Saturday, June 30, 2012
"Cullman soldier killed in action in Afghanistan " Posted: Jun 29, 2012 6:16 PM EDT Updated: Jun 29, 2012 7:24 PM EDT "By Brianne Britzius - email "Source: U.S. Army "The Department of Defense said today that 25-year-old Sgt. James L. Skalberg, Jr. of Cullman died Wednesday, June 26 while serving in Afghanistan. "Skalberg died during an enemy bombing on his unit's vehicle in the city of Maidan Shahr, which is the capital of Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan. "He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division from Fort Bliss, Texas. The U.S. Army says that Skalberg entered service in 2007 and previously served in Iraq. "His brigade deployed in October 2011 and is scheduled to return in July 2012. "Skalberg has been awarded with several medals, including the Purple Heart and two Army Commendation Medals. "Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss commanding general released this statement about Skalberg: "Team Bliss is saddened by the loss of Sgt. James Skalberg. He was a great 1st Armored Division Soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and leaves behind a loving wife and infant son. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, fellow Soldiers, and all of our troops in Afghanistan. "Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved. Kenneth Stepp salutes Sgt. Skalberg, and hopes the U.S. Troops will all be brought home from the Middle East Wars soon.
Friday, June 29, 2012
"Congressman Hal Rogers did not like Thursday's supreme court decision, but believes it could actually help Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "I think the people now realize that the only way we're going to get rid of ObamaCare . . . as well as cutting medicare for our senior citizens. I think it places the importance of electing Romney in a much higher plane and I think more people now will be really motivated to get out there and make sure we defeat Obama this fall." Congressman Rogers told Mountain News. "Rogers and Romney both promised they will continue working to repeal President Obama's health care law." from WYMT News. I understand the Affordable Health Care Act improves Medicare benefits for senior citizens. Kenneth Stepp is a friend of senior citizens. Elect Kenneth Stepp to the U.S. House, KY-05 and send Hal Rogers home.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I am Kenneth Stepp, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Fifth District, Kentucky, having won the Democratic primary. A majority of the voters in the Fifth District of Kentucky are registered Democrats. More recently, the Alliance for Retired Americans rated my opponent Republican Congressman Hal Rogers “zero” (0) on his House Votes for 2011, and he is getting worse because he has a seven per cent (7%) lifetime rating with the Alliance for Retired Americans (see attached chart). 1. Specifically: Hal Rogers voted for health care reform repeal in H.R. 2, Roll Call No. 14, January 19, 2011, and that bill passed 245-189; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against health care repeal in that vote. 2. Hal Rogers voted for an amendment to a spending bill that would prohibit funding to implement the Affordable Care Act in H.R.1, Roll Call No. 97, February 18, 2011, and that amendment passed 239-187; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against prohibiting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act in that vote. 3. Hal Rogers voted against a motion to recommit a housing refinance bill to committee in order to add language that would authorize the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs to determine what amount of funds would be necessary to provide assistance to seniors who own homes in H.R. 830, Roll call No. 170, March 10, 2011 and that motion failed 185-243; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted for that motion. 4. Hal Rogers voted against a motion to recommit a spending bill to committee in order to add language that would bar the use of funds to develop or implement a system that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, privatize Social Security or establish a Medicare voucher system that limits benefits in H.J.Res. 48, Roll Call No. 178, March 15, 2011 and the motion failed 190-239; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted for that motion. 5. Hal Rogers voted for a budget resolution introduced by Rep. Ryan, R-WI replacing the guaranteed benefits of Medicare with a privatized system, and creating a fast track process for Social Security cuts, and that resolution passed 235-193 on H.Con.Res. 34, Roll Call No. 277, April 15, 2011; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against that resolution. 6. Hal Rogers voted for a bill introduced by Rep. Chaffetz, R-UT that cuts domestic spending dramatically, preserves the Bush tax cuts, and ends Medicare and Social Security as we know it by raising the retirement age and cutting benefits, and the bill also contained an amendment to the Constitution that would tie the hands of future Congresses by capping Social Security and Medicare spending, and that bill passed 234-190; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against that bill. 7. Hal Rogers voted against a motion of Rep. Michaud, D-ME to recommit a consumer financial protection bill to committee in order to add language that would ensure Consumer Financial Protection Bureau authority to issue rules to protect seniors from abusive, deceptive or unfair practices, and that motion failed 183-232 in H.R. 1315, Roll call No. 620, July 21, 2011; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted for that motion. 8. Hal Rogers voted for a bill introduced by Rep. Black, R-TN, that would make eligibility for middle class Americans more difficult for many vital programs, and would count Social Security benefits in eligibility formulas for Medicaid as well as the new health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act in H.R. 2576, Roll Call No. 813, October 27, 2011, and the bill passed 262-157; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against that bill. 9. Hal Rogers voted for a balanced-budget amendment to the United States Constitution at H.J. Res. 2, Roll Call No. 858, November 18, 2011 which had provisions that could lead to automatic Social Security benefit cuts and make it difficult to deal with economic recessions or natural disasters, and the amendment which requires a 2/3 majority failed 261-165; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against that amendment as it was written. 10. Hal Rogers voted for an bill introduced by Rep. Harper, R-MS, that would eliminate the Presidential Campaign Fund and would eliminate the agency that evaluates voting equipment, which can help produce senior friendly voting systems on H.R. 3463, Roll Call No. 873, December 1, 2011, and that bill passed 235-190; but Kenneth Stepp would have voted against that bill. I am married to the former Wilma Smith, who was born at Red Bird in Clay County, Kentucky. We have two children together, Carson Stepp and Conrad Stepp. I have one son, Brian Stepp by a previous (deceased) wife, and he lives with his wife and daughter in South Carolina. I am a Baptist, and a lawyer practicing law in Manchester, Kentucky. I am a veteran of five years in the Navy. I support the right of public and private sector workers to bargain collectively. Collective bargaining evens up the bargaining position of many workers and one employer. I oppose “right to work” legislation. If a business in unionized, the union should be allowed to prevent the hiring of nonunion workers. That gives more strength to the labor union. I would be a Congressman friendly to unions and to disabled veterans, replacing a Congressman hostile to unions and to the interests of disabled veterans. My opponent in the general election is Republican Congressman Harold (Hal) Rogers. Hal Rogers has long had a strong anti-union voting record. Hal Rogers supported the interests of the National Parent Teacher Association zero per cent (0%) in 2003-2004. He supported the interests of the National Education Association zero per cent (0%) in 2002, and in 2000. He supported the interests of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees zero per cent (0%) in 2005, and in 2004, and in 2003. He supported the interests of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers zero per cent (0%) in 2005, and in 2004, and in 2003, and in 2002. He supported the interests of the Transportation Communications Union zero per cent (0%) in 2002. He supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans zero per cent (0%) in 2005 and 2004. I am a friend of disabled veterans, retirees, and labor unions. Traditionally, the Democratic Party has been the party of poor people and the working poor, while the Republican Party has been the champion of the wealthy. The Fifth District has some of the poorest counties in the country; yet the Fifth District has a Republican Congressman. Please give me your endorsement, and send me a political campaign contribution to above address. Together, we can elect a Democratic Congress this November. Yours truly, /s/ Kenneth Stepp KENNETH STEPP
Monday, June 25, 2012
"June 25, 2012 12:00 PM "Farm Bill Was Politics As Usual—Food Stamps Cut, Big Sugar Gets Special Treatment " By Susie Madrak "Not only does Big Sugar have politicians by the throat, they're also famous for destroying the Florida everglades—you know, the ecosystem that's supposed to protect them from flooding? So the chance of them taking a loss in favor of (don't make me laugh!) poor people was always a long shot: "Take the farm bill that Congress spent time working on this week. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced an amendment to restore $4.5 billion in funding for the food stamp program, which assists some of the poorest Americans, by cutting “guaranteed profit for crop insurance companies from 14 to 12 percent and by lowering payments for crop insurers from $1.3 billion to $825 million.” "Her amendment, which would help poor Americans at the expense of corp insurers,was defeated along a 33-66 vote. The cuts to the food stamp will be going ahead in the name of deficit reduction. "But there was a separate effort in the Senate this week to save money that would’ve spared the poorest Americans and taken on corporate welfare instead. "Senators Jean Shaheen (D-NH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced an amendment that would save up to $3.5 billion every single year by repealing and reforming various subsidies, tariffs, and other price supports that prop up the price of sugar on behalf of the Sugar Lobby. "The amendment was rejected along a 46-53 vote, with bipartisan coalitions on either side. "It’s not a coincidence that the poor — who do not have well-heeled lobbyists at their disposal — lost, while the powerful Sugar Lobby maintained its government favors. As The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney explained last week, Big Sugar has all sorts of deep connections to Washington: "But the lobby for the sugar program is strong. Most famously, the Fanjul family in Florida, owner of Florida Crystals, are deeply embedded in Washington politics. Over the last three elections, the Fanjuls have given more than $1.8 million to federal candidates and political action committees, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. "Tags: food stamp program, Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand, Sen. Pat Toomey, sugar lobby" If you want your food stamp benefits cut, and more of your money going to big corporations in the form of Corporate Welfare, then re-elect Hal Rogers. The big money special interests have filled up his campaign coffers. If you want to finance the big money people that are looting the national treasury, then re-elect Hal Rogers. If you care about yourself, then vote for the Democrats and elect Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05! Elect More Democrats.
"Doug Kendall. "Founder and President, Constitutional Accountability Center "Obama's Dream and the Right's Crocodile Tears "Posted: 06/24/2012 11:51 am "Is there any limit to the Right's hypocrisy about the Constitution? Do folks like Marco Rubio, Michele Bachmann, war-on-terror architect John Yoo, and columnist Charles Krauthammer really believe the Constitution means one thing when a Republican is in the White House, and something entirely different when the President is a Democrat? "That is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the incessant and insufferable howling from conservatives that President Obama's decision to exercise prosecutorial discretion to allow studious and law-abiding young people brought to this country by their parents to remain is somehow a threat to our constitutional system of government. "First, a short historical recap. During successive Republican presidencies, conservatives have made extremely aggressive, and in some cases unsustainable, assertions about the unfettered powers of the President to enforce the law and control the Executive Branch. This started in the Reagan Administration, where young conservatives in the Justice Department and White House Counsel's office (notably including John Roberts and Samuel Alito) fashioned something known as the "unitary executive theory" as a way of trying to strike out against independent agencies and special counsels that were not fully within the power and control of the President. As a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from 1987 put it, "[i]n support of a variety of actions since 1981 designed to ensure ultimate presidential control of decisionmaking in all executive branch agencies, the Reagan administration has articulated a constitutional based theory of a unitary executive." "The Supreme Court decisively rejected this theory in 1988 with its 7-1 opinion in Morrison v. Olson, written by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Reagan Administration's unitary executive argument drew support only in a lonely dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia, but it lived on in conservative circles and was resurrected in the George W. Bush Administration in the foreign policy context. Particularly in an Office of Legal Counsel memorandum written by John Yoo authorizing warrantless wiretapping, President Bush asserted inherent powers to ignore federal statutes and even constitutional prohibitions such as the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures when necessary to conduct the worldwide war on terror. "Compared to these truly aggressive assertions of executive authority, President Obama's new immigration policy is presidential child's play. More precisely, President Obama has done what Presidents can and should do in honoring their Article II obligation to "take care that the laws are faithfully enforced." At the core of executive authority is prosecutorial discretion, which allows the Executive Branch latitude in determining how to allocate its resources in enforcing the law. As Justice Scalia has said in an immigration case, "prosecutorial discretion" is the "special province of the Executive." "This is particularly true in the immigration context, because Congress, in the Immigration and Naturalization Act, made it clear that the enforcement of immigration laws is vested with the Executive Branch. Again, in the words of the Supreme Court, "Congress made a deliberate choice to delegate to the Executive Branch, and specifically to the Attorney General, the authority to allow deportable aliens to remain in this country in certain specified circumstances." Meanwhile, Presidents of both political parties have been using prosecutorial discretion to allow deferred actions [pdf] on deportable individuals for decades, and President Obama's new policy [pdf] still must be applied by federal officials on a case-by-case basis with no guarantees. "As Ilya Somin, a respected conservative scholar has explained, President Obama's decision not to deport certain studious and law-abiding youth brought here by their parents is akin to the decision of federal drug officials not to pursue college students who smoke pot in their dorms, and constitutional for the same basic reason. The President cannot refuse to enforce a law passed by Congress. But federal laws governing many subjects, including guns, drugs, taxes and immigration, all sweep a large number of Americans into their broad nets, and it is the responsibility, ultimately of the President, to decide who to prosecute and why. "As President Obama said, "this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people." Those who call this humane and lawful action unconstitutional know very little about the U.S. Constitution and nothing about what makes America great. "Cross-posted on Text & History. "Follow Doug Kendall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/myconstitution" Doug is right you know. It is within the President's dixcretion to put a low priority on prosecuting and deporting talented, driven, patriotic young people. We should give our top priority to deporting and prosecuting traditional, common-law criminals such as murderers, burglars, thieves, and their ilk. Punishing people for being foreigners should be way down on our list of priorities. Kenneth Stepp.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
"Legalizing Watergate "Posted: 06/23/2012 8:04 am "Who would have thought, forty years after the greatest political scandal and presidential abuse of power in U.S. history, that the Supreme Court of the United States would rule that the practices that fueled and financed that scandal were now legal? "Yet that is essentially the effect of the Citizens United decision. Go ahead and take bets on how much time will pass before the tsunami of cash unleashed by Citizens United ends up in the pockets of a Watergate-like cast of break-in burglars, wiretap experts, surveillance magicians, and cyberpunks. Given the power and money at stake in the nation's presidential and congressional elections, it is inevitable that candidates or their operatives will tap into the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through their campaigns and try to game the system -- in perfectly legal or highly illegal ways. "And, of course, the ultimate victims of the corruption of the democratic process are not defeated candidates and parties but America's citizens. Perhaps Supreme Court justices should have to experience a corrupted election process firsthand to understand what it means to live with a hollowed-out democracy. As one who experienced Watergate in its multi-tentacled form, it isn't pleasant to discover that you've been placed under surveillance, had your taxes audited, and been subjected to other dirty tricks. All this happened to me, among a number of others, simply because we worked for an honest presidential candidate who dared to challenge the authority and power of a president who had long-since forgotten the integrity the democratic process requires. Coupled with the concentration of lobbying power now consolidating in the offices of a small hand-full of mega-firms (see the blog: "Convergence in the Garden of Government Influence"), the advent of legalized corruption launched by the Supreme Court through Citizens United empowers the super-rich to fund their own presidential and congressional campaigns as pet projects and to foster pet policies. The calculus here is simple: Because you have several hundred million dollars, or even a billion, you can lease or purchase a candidate from an endless reserve of minor politicians and then make him or her a star. In short order, all of that money and marketing power makes your candidate a mouthpiece for any cause or purpose you and your money handlers value, no matter how questionable. Your candidate-for-hire also will mouth your script in endless political debates and through as many television spots as you are willing to pay for -- all of which Citizens United makes quite legal now. "The five prevailing Supreme Court justices might at least have required the bought-and-paid-for candidates to wear sponsor labels on their suits like stock car drivers. For the time being, though, Exxon-Mobil or the Stardust Casino can't openly sponsor candidates, and instead rely on phony "Committee for Good Government" smokescreen entities. "So, America: Welcome to the Age of Vanity Politics and Campaigns-For-Hire. If this Court had been sitting in 1974, when the Watergate scandal was in full blossom, it would not have voted 9-0 to require the president to turn over legally incriminating tapes but instead would have voted to support the use of illegal campaign contributions to finance criminal cover-ups as an exercise in "free speech." For many decades our citizens has had to survive free-wheeling antics by politicians and parties. Now American have to survive their own Supreme Court. This post appears in the June 24, 2012 issue of Huffington." That is Gary Hart's opinion. Kenneth Stepp agrees that money should have less influence on elections. We should have more power to the people and less power to the money bosses. Stepp for Congress. Elect Democrat Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
FROM: Sen. Sanders and Boxer and Democracy for America Tuesday, June 19, 2012 6:53 AM "Can you believe that, only four years after Wall Street and the Big Banks brought our economy to its knees, many of those same bank CEOs are helping to shape policy at the Federal Reserve? "Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse. These executives are serving as directors of the very same Federal Reserve that bailed them out in 2008 -- and is supposed to regulate them today. "It's unbelievable, and we've got to do everything we can to end these outrageous conflicts of interest. "Please join us, and our friends at Democracy for America, to become a citizen co-sponsor of the Federal Reserve Independence Act -- and help us end these huge conflicts of interest at the Fed! "The General Accounting Office has detailed instance after instance of top executives of financial institutions and corporations who could have used their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms -- including board members who were affiliated with banks and companies that received near-zero-interest emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. "The American people deserve a Federal Reserve that is truly independent from the financial institutions it supervises and oversees. That's why our Federal Reserve Independence Act would: "-Prohibit banking executives or employees of companies regulated by the Fed from serving on the Federal Reserve’s board of directors; "-Prohibit the banking industry from choosing any members of the Federal Reserve's board of directors; and "-Prohibit Fed employees or board members from owning stock or investing in companies that the Fed regulates, supervises or oversees with absolutely no exceptions. "Americans deserve a Federal Reserve that works for them, not just the top one percent. Congress needs to pass the Federal Reserve Independence Act -- and you can help us do it. "Please stand with us to end these outrageous conflicts of interest and reform the Federal Reserve by becoming a citizen co-sponsor of the Federal Reserve Independence Act today! "It is time for change at the Fed -- real change. Thank you for joining us and helping to make that change happen. "Sincerely, "Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer U.S. Senators" "Paid for by Democracy for America, http://www.democracyforamerica.com/?t=4&akid=2027.1072672.vZ_C23 and not authorized by any candidate." Kenneth Stepp agrees. The Federal Reserve spends your money but has no supervision. Congress should supervise the spending of your money by the government. Will the Federal Reserve sink a few billion dollars into the Greek bailout, or the Euro bailout? No one knows. Who's minding the store. Congress should have the Fed audited, so we can know what's going on over there. Congress should pass the Federal Reserve Independence Act, to protect you from having interlocking boards of directors, and from having banking executives or employees of companies by the Fed from serving on the Federal Reserve's board of directors--conflicts of interest like that should be outlawed. We need more transparency in government so you can see what's going on. We need more ethics in government, so the foxes won't be guarding the henhouse. Kenneth Stepp.
Monday, June 18, 2012
The New Yorker New Yorker magazine articles The New Yorker Online Only Daily Comment "May 30, 2012 "The President’s Kill List "Posted by Amy Davidson "What is wrong with the President sitting in a room, looking at lists and portraits of people—a Somali man, a seventeen-year-old girl, an American citizen—and deciding whom to kill? That, according to long and troubling articles in both the Times and Newsweek, is a job Barack Obama has assigned himself. His aides, notably John Brennan, his counter-terrorism adviser, portray it as a matter of taking responsibility—if we are going to assassinate someone, or call in a drone strike to take out a camp in Yemen, the President should make the call—as if our only alternative were some sort of rogue operation, with generals or C.I.A. agents shooting at will. But responsibility involves accountability, which is something, in this case, that appears to be badly lacking. Obama has not taken on a burden, but instead has given the Presidency a novel power. "The “kill list” story is a reminder of how much language matters, and how dangerous it is when the plain meaning of a word is ignored. Each might include a mini-glossary: “baseball cards,” for the PowerPoint slides with the biographies and faces of targets; “Terror Tuesday,” meetings where targets are sorted out; “nominations” for death-marked finalists; “personality strikes” that aimed to kill a person, and “signature strikes” that went after a group of people whose names one didn’t know because of the way they seemed, from pictures in the sky, to be acting. (From the Times piece, written by Jo Becker and Scott Shane: “The joke was that when the C.I.A. sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks,’ the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official.”) Signature strikes were also known as TADS, for terrorist-attack-disruption strikes, or just as “crowd kills.” Both articles explore Obama’s halting efforts to confine signature strikes to Pakistan, rather than Yemen and Somalia, and how he ultimately didn’t, really. This is the kind of attack that, in one incident mentioned by Daniel Klaidman in his Newsweek piece, led to “persuasive” reports of dozens of women and children dying. A lawyer who saw that on “Kill TV,” the feed that let the military and lawyers watch strikes, said later, “If I were Catholic, I’d have to go to confession.” "More disturbing than childish names for brutal things are the absurd meanings ascribed to more sober terms. The key ones are “civilians and combatants,” and “due process.” "How do you minimize civilian casualties in a conflict? Ask a military planner or human-rights organization or just a sensible person and each might come up with a list of tactics, plans, litmus tests. And there were apparently elements of that in the White House’s conversations. But ask a sophist or, as it happens, the C.I.A., and you might get this suggestion: change the definition. As the Times described it, Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. "In other words, if we thought that you were someone we should kill, and we did kill you, and you look to be the right age to be cast as an extra in a spy movie, you were guilty. Does that mean that, if a house is hit and the bodies of a father, mother, teen-age boy, and middle-school-aged girl are found entangled with each other, two are combatants and two are civilians? "These words are important because of the argument that we have to act to protect ourselves: there is a terrorist on a screen; hit him now. But how are we deciding who a terrorist is? In some cases, we don’t even know the names of people we’re killing, in countries where we are not actually at war. In others, we do know their names, and don’t care who dies with them. (In one strike, in which the identity of the man was known, according to the Times, Obama made a deliberate decision to kill his wife and in-laws along with him.) "The method we have built, over a couple of hundred years, for sorting out questions of guilt and innocence and probable cause, is due process. And that may be the most degraded phrase of all. "The Obama Administration has sought and killed American citizens, notably Anwar al-Awlaki. As the Times noted, “The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.” In other words, it’s due process if the President thinks about it. One wonders how low the standard for “internal deliberations” are—if it might be enough if Obama mulled it over while walking his dog. And if an American whom the President decides is a threat can be assassinated in Yemen, where Awlaki was hit, why not in London, or Toronto, or Los Angeles? (Awlaki’s teen-age son, an American citizen who had not been accused of anything, died in a separate strike.) "These are not far-fetched concerns. The Times quoted Michael Hayden, who served as the director of the C.I.A. under George Bush: “This program rests on the personal legitimacy of the president, and that’s not sustainable,” Mr. Hayden said. “I have lived the life of someone taking action on the basis of secret O.L.C. memos, and it ain’t a good life. Democracies do not make war on the basis of legal memos locked in a D.O.J. safe.” "As Jane Mayer has written in The New Yorker, drone strikes, as opposed to ground troops, bring with them a comforting illusion of distance. Picturing Obama going through the lists in a bright office in Washington shows where that daydream leads, and how deceptive it can be. A drone-based conflict may, in the short run, keep some troops from harm, but it may also take the debate about war and peace out of the public sphere and into what is, in political terms, a much darker space. "Brennan and other officials interviewed by the Times and Newsweek said that Obama had enormous faith in himself. It would be more responsible, though, if he had less—if he thought that he was no better than any other President we’ve had or ever will. The point isn’t just the task, or burden, he takes on, but the machine he has built for his successors to use. Perhaps, just to suggest a range, he could picture each of the Republican contenders from this past season being walked through the process, told how it works, shown some of those video clips with tiny people and big explosions, and taking it for a test drive. Never mind whether Obama, in particular, sighs or loses sleeps or tosses a coin when he chooses a target: What would it mean for a bad, or craven, or simply carelessly accommodating President to do so? In the end we are not really being asked to trust Obama, or his niceness, but the office of the Presidency. Do we?" Did you see the movie Terminator? Did you see the movie Terminator II? Did you play the video game Terminator III? Is that the kind of world that you want for your grandchildrena. Kenneth Stepp opposes releasing Terminator nor drone killer robots on the general population. Elect Stepp! Send Rogers Home. KY-05! Official White House Photo by Pete Souza . Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/05/the-presidents-kill-list.html#ixzz1yCVaPVMm
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld. Rabbi, Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue "How To Stop The Cycle of Unhappiness Posted: 06/15/2012 12:08 pm "Have you ever tried arguing with a three-year-old? It is definitely a no-win situation. Let me give you an example. A certain three-year-old I know might say to me: "I want chocolate milk in a sippy cup." I will then pour the milk into the sippy cup and add the chocolate syrup. No sooner will I add the syrup than I will be told, "Actually, I want plain milk, or strawberry milk, and I want it in a plain cup, not a sippy cup. Wait. Don't shake it. Wait, I want the powdered chocolate not the syrup." Just try convincing the three-year-old that he just asked for the exact opposite of what he now wants. "But how different is this psychology of the average three-year-old from that of many of us vis-à-vis the choices we ourselves make in life? "In a nutshell this is the sin of the generation of the Israelites who lived in the desert and accepted a bad report about the land of Israel from spies that were sent to scout out the land. Although the immediate sin of the Israelites is that they believed this bad report about Israel, their underlying sin is that they are constantly unhappy with what Hashem has given them in life. And now that Hashem gives them what they thought they wanted, they are suddenly unhappy with that as well. Their rationale and decision making is comparable to a three-year-old. "The underlying message of the Torah [the first five books of the Bible] is that we should not define happiness by what we don't have, but by what we do have. The Torah teaches us that the happiness we seek is literally right in front of our eyes. "The same Torah portion that begins with the sin of the spies and the Israelites in the desert ends with the third paragraph of the Shema -- the cardinal statement of Jewish faith -- that we recite twice a day. The message of the third paragraph of the Shema is the antidote to this mentality of always seeking happiness in the wrong places. * * * "In contrast, the Torah's path in life remains constant. It reminds us to cling to the Eternal One, to Hashem [In conversation, many Jewish people, even when not speaking Hebrew, will call God HaShem, השם, which is Hebrew for "the Name" (this appears in Leviticus 24:11)], and not to wander after the fleeting pleasures of our eyes and attempt to seek happiness elsewhere. True happiness can be found in what we already have in our lives by realizing that everything we have is a gift from Hashem. Authentic happiness, like the tekhelet, will never fade. "When we recite the third paragraph of Shema [A liturgical prayer consisting of three Scriptural passages (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41] morning and evening, and when we look at the tekhelet, we are reminding ourselves not to wander after a false happiness. And if we don't wander after a false happiness then our happiness will be like the authentic tekhelet. "This is what the promise of following the path of the Torah offers. Its message is so beautiful and rewarding and joyous and happy...and it will never fade." The great teachers of the Torah and the New Testament agree, you should Count your many blessings, one by one!
"Stop The Drone Mass Murders "In the movies, when one side roams the skies with ruthless robotic killing machines they are universally considered the bad guys. So why are we, The United States of America, doing that? "There may be bi-partisan outrage in Congress that the American people are finally hearing about what is actually being done in their name. But it is no secret to the people in the countries where any and all adult males (and any women and children unfortunate enough to be nearby) are presumed to be "militants" and targets for assassination. Yeah, we're winning hearts and minds alright, dozens of corpses at a time. If they weren't all militants before, they soon will be. "But even if this were not unconscionable on a moral level and grossly opposed to our proclaimed values, it is also strategic idiocy. Even if they happen to pick off one actual militant, they are doing nothing but ensuring a bumper crop of replacements for decades to come. Indeed, for this cause it would be a miracle if radical fundamentalists did not sweep into power in Pakistan, putting deployable live nuclear weapons in their hands immediately. "And we must speak out against it, no matter who is president." Speak out against the U.S. using drones to kill people in an undeclared war, with a check to Stepp Committee, and a vote for Stepp for Congress in the Kentucky Fifth District this November.
Monday, June 11, 2012
From "Crooks and Liars" Sunday June 10, 2012 11:35 am Peter King: Drones 'Carry Out the Policies of Righteousness and Goodness' By David "House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-NY) on Sunday refused to confirm the existence of U.S. drone strikes in other countries, but later insisted that the unmanned flying machines were being used to "carry out the policies of righteousness and goodness." "During an interview on CNN, host Candy noted that an analysis by the New America Foundation estimated that drone strikes have had an 17 percent civilian casualty rate since 2004. "Because I'm on the Intelligence Committee, I can't officially acknowledge that we have a drone program," King told Crowley. "I'm not concerned [with the casualty rate]. My belief is that when you're in war -- and we are in war -- the idea is to kill as many of the enemy as you can with minimal risk of life to your own people. As far as the civilian casualties, every one of those is tragic. But the fact is in every war, there's a large amount of collateral damage, of civilian casualties -- whether it's World War II, whether it's the Korean War -- and if we were using ordinary explosives, we would also have those type of civilian deaths." "Crowley pressed King on whether the U.S. would criticize other countries -- like Russia -- if they began using drones to strike outside their airspace. "I think we have to assume that the Russians would use drones if they could," King explained. "Just as we had to assume during the Cold War that they would use nuclear weapons. ... I wish we could all live in a world where we could hold hands and love each other. The fact is, that's not reality. We have an enemy that wants to kill us. I live in New York. I lost over 150 constituents on 9/11, and if we can save the next 150 by killing al Qaeda terrorists with drones then kill them." "He continued: "We have to assume that there's always going to be an increase in weapons. This has been the history of mankind. That's why we have to make sure our defense budget is not weakened and that we stay ahead of the enemy." "There's evil people in the world. Drones aren't evil, people are evil. We are a force of good and we are using those drones to carry out the policy of righteousness and goodness." Yeah! Right! What happened to due process, and "Congress shall declare war!" The GOP is on a killing spree policy of the U.S. government. Kenneth Stepp opposes killing sprees. That is not a very good foreign policy. Did you ever see the movie "Terminator"? Did you ever wonder what happens when these drones start taking orders from rogue computers, and quit taking orders from people. Did you ever wonder how everthing got into the condition of the three (?) Terminator movies? Do you want robots going around killing people? Is that good use of your taxpayers' money? Do you want them to send terminatory robots after us to retaliate. The GOP has let the genie out of the bottle. The GOP has got us on a killing spree with their killer robots. The movie "Terminator" was a warning to the "military industrial complex" of the dangers of turning our killing sprees over to robots and drones. Apparently no lessons were learned. I know not what course others may take, but Kenneth Stepp will vote against exploding drones, undeclared wars, pre-emptivie invasions of small countries (and large countries too) and warrantless wiretaps. Kenneth Stepp will stand for the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. This time, elect a Democrat, Ky-05 of the U.S. House.
I've written blogs about Paraguay and about Haiti. We must consider our policy toward Turkey. Turkey was a loyal NATO ally of the United States from approx. 1945, through the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, through the collapse of the Soviet Union, and up to the present day. The Turks (Young Turks and Old Turks) want to be a part of something bigger. They have been trying to get into the Euro Zone and the European Economic Community, but they keep getting turned down. Shoud the United States pursue closer ties with Turkey? Turks aren't strictly Arabs. They used to have their own empire--the Ottoman Empire, which they lost in 1918 at the end of World War I. They have been proven to be a formidable ally and good fighters on the same side of the U.S.A. in the Korean war, and pulling guard duty, throughout the Cold War, along the common border they had with the Soviet Union who wisely decided to leave the Turks alone. Turkey has great strategic value. Napoleon once commented that whoever controls present day Turkey can control a large part of the world. Certainly, Russia would try to be friendly with whoever controls their warships' ingress and egress with the Mediterranean. What should our policy be toward our NATO ally Turkey--unwanted in the European Economic Community and not popular among the Arabs and Islamists either? For Biblical scholars, Smyrna (modern Izmir), and many of the other places frequented by the Apostle Paul are in present day Turkey. Turkey, a former part of the Roman Empire, has a rich history. I'm not advocating a particular policy, and I'd like to see what our readers think about the Turkish question, "What should we do with Turkey?"
"Americans Suffered Record Decline In Wealth During Recession: Report Reuters | Posted: 06/11/2012 2:02 pm Updated: 06/11/2012 3:04 pm "WASHINGTON, June 11 (Reuters) - Americans suffered a record decline in wealth between 2007 and 2010 as home values tumbled, according to a Federal Reserve report on Monday that underscored the severity of the recent recession. "The median family's net worth dropped 38.8 percent during the three-year period, the Fed said in its latest report on changes in U.S. Family Finances, derived from a survey of consumer finances. Fed economists told reporters that this was the biggest drop in net worth since the survey started in 1989. "The median net worth, which is the value of assets minus debt, plunged to $77.3 trillion in 2010 from $126.4 trillion in 2007. Net worth in 2010 was at levels last seen in 1992. "Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices," the Fed said. "The survey's findings shine a harsh light on the devastation inflicted on the economy by the 2007-09 recession and could help to explain the frustratingly slow pace of the recovery. "The housing market's collapse was at the core of the recession, during which the economy contracted nearly 5.1 percent between the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, with the unemployment rate rising 4.5 percentage points to 9.5 percent. "Housing was of greater importance than financial assets for the wealth position of most families," the Fed said. "The survey found that the decline in median net worth was large for families in groups where housing was a larger share of assets, such as families headed by someone 35 to 44 years old and families in the West region. "A substantial part of the declines observed in net worth over the 2007-10 period can be associated with decreases in the level of unrealized capital gains on families'assets," the Fed said. "The share of total assets of all families attributable to unrealized capital gains from real estate, businesses, stocks, or mutual funds fell 11.6 percentage points to 24.5 percent in 2010, it said. "While the overall level of debt owed by families was unchanged, debt as a percentage of assets rose to 16.4 percent in 2010 from 14.8 percent in 2007 because the value of the underlying assets, especially housing, decreased faster. "The share of families carrying a credit card balance fell 6.7 percentage points to 39.4 percent in 2010. The median balance fell 16.1 percent to $2,600 in 2010 from $3,100 in 2007. "The proportion of families with debt payments greater than 40 percent of their income was nearly unchanged between 2007 and 2010." You voted for Hal Rogers the last three times! How is it going. MOst people's net worth dropped 38.5 per cent between 2007 and 2010. They say, when Republicans are in power, put your money on bonds, but when Democrats are running everything, put your money in the stock market. A lot of people have invested their fortune in their house. If your net worth is down 38.5 per cent from what it was in 2007, then you are about typical. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You voted for Hal and Mitch your last few elections and your net worth is down 38.5 per cent. Next time, elect a Democrat. Elect Kenneth Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05! Don't get stuck with a spendthrift Republican!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
"WASHINGTON -- It sounds like a silver lining. Even if the Supreme Court overturns President Barack Obama's health care law, employers can keep offering popular coverage for the young adult children of their workers. "But here's the catch: The parents' taxes would go up. "That's only one of the messy potential ripple effects when the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the Affordable Care Act this month. The law affects most major components of the U.S. health care system in its effort to extend coverage to millions of uninsured people. "Because the legislation is so complicated, an orderly unwinding would prove difficult if it were overturned entirely or in part. "Better Medicare prescription benefits, currently saving hundreds of dollars for older people with high drug costs, would be suspended. Ditto for preventive care with no co-payments, now available to retirees and working families alike. 'Partially overturning the law could leave hospitals, insurers and other service providers on the hook for tax increases and spending cuts without the law's promise of more paying customers to offset losses. "If the law is upheld, other kinds of complications could result. "The nation is so divided that states led by Republicans are largely unprepared to carry out critical requirements such as creating insurance markets. Things may not settle down. "At the end of the day, I don't think any of the major players in the health insurance industry or the provider community really wants to see the whole thing overturned," said Christine Ferguson, a health policy expert who was commissioner of public health in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was governor. "Even though this is not the most ideal solution, at least it is moving us forward, and it does infuse some money into the system for coverage," said Ferguson, now at George Washington University. As the GOP presidential candidate, Romney has pledged to wipe Obama's law off the books. But he defends his Massachusetts law that served as a prototype for Obama's. "While it's unclear how the justices will rule, oral arguments did not go well for the Obama administration. The central issue is whether the government can require individuals to have health insurance and fine them if they don't. "That mandate takes effect in 2014, at the same time that the law would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people with existing health problems. Most experts say the coverage guarantee would balloon costs unless virtually all people joined the insurance pool. "Opponents say Congress overstepped its constitutional authority by issuing the insurance mandate. The administration says the requirement is permissible because it serves to regulate interstate commerce. Most people already are insured. The law provides subsidies to help uninsured middle-class households pay premiums and expands Medicaid to pick up more low-income people. "The coverage for young adults up to age 26 on a parent's health insurance is a popular provision that no one's arguing about. A report last week from the Commonwealth Fund estimated that 6.6 million young adults have taken advantage of the benefit, while a new Gallup survey showed the uninsured rate for people age 18-25 continues to decline, down to 23 percent from 28 percent when the law took effect. "Families will be watching to see if their 20-somethings transitioning to the work world will get to keep that newfound security. "Because the benefit is a winner with consumers, experts say many employers and insurers would look for ways to keep offering it even if there's no legal requirement to do so. "But economist Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute says many parents would pay higher taxes as a result because they would have to pay for the young adult's coverage with after-tax dollars. Under the health care law, that coverage now comes out of pre-tax dollars. "Fronstin says there's no way to tell exactly how much that tax increase might be, but a couple of hundred dollars a year or more is a reasonable ballpark estimate. Upper-income taxpayers would have a greater liability. "Adult children aren't necessarily dependents for tax purposes, but an employer can allow anyone to be on a plan, just like they now allow domestic partners," said Fronstin. "If your employer said, `I'm going to let you keep this,' it would become a taxable benefit for certain people." "Advocates for the elderly are also worried about untoward ripple effects. "If the entire law is overturned, seniors with high prescription costs in Medicare's "donut hole" coverage gap could lose annual discounts averaging about $600. AARP policy director David Certner says he would hope the discounts could remain in place at least through the end of this year. "Yet that might not be possible. Lacking legal authority, Medicare would have to take away the discounts. Drugmakers, now bearing the cost, could decide they want to keep offering discounts voluntarily. But then they'd risk running afoul of other federal rules that bar medical providers from offering financial inducements to Medicare recipients. "I don't think anyone has any idea," said Certner. "A mixed verdict from the high court would be the most confusing outcome. Some parts of the law would be struck down while others lurch ahead. "That kind of result would seem to call for Congress to step in and smooth any necessary adjustments. Yet partisan divisions on Capitol Hill are so intense that hardly anyone sees a chance that would happen this year." Kenneth Stepp supports the Affordable Health Care Act; Hal Rogers opposes it? A vote for Hal Rogers is a vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. A vote for Kenneth Stepp is a vote to keep it. Do you really want to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act? It benefits a lot of people. Does it benefit you? Vote for Stepp for U.S. House Ky. 05!
Thursday, June 07, 2012
"Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much." A James Pence Quote "American Politics, a sport for the rich and enslavement for the rest of us." A James Pence Quote "Paycheck Fairness Act Defeat Is Part Of A Greater War "by: RDemocrat "Wed Jun 06, 2012 at 00:26:32 AM EDT "It is not hard to see all that is wrong in this country today. Everyday, everywhere you look it is easy to understand why this country has gone to hell if you want to accept the truth. The truth is no matter what happens working Americans can depend on one thing. Anything that levels the playing field with Corporate interests for them will be defeated. Sadly, anything that allows the 1% to continue robbing and raping our country blind will always be enacted as well. RDemocrat :: Paycheck Fairness Act Defeat Is Part Of A Greater War While the Republican War Against Women is continuing this time it is an outreach of another, wider war. The War Against Working Americans. That is why anything, no matter how fair and no matter how much common sense it makes is defeated if it even hints that busninesss should deal more fairly with workers. Such was the case earlier today with legislation designed to end the unfair gap in wages that exists between females and their male counterparts. Along party lines, the vote did not allow the bill to defeat the idiocy of the filibuster that requires sixty votes for a bill to pass the Senate: "The bill's defeat came after Democrats made a tightly coordinated media blitz to call for the bill's passage. President Obama, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-M.d.) and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rosa Delauro (D-Conn.) all held conference calls expressing strong support for the legislation. But Republicans strongly opposed the bill, leaving Democrats short of the seven votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Democrats said the paycheck bill's defeat is the latest example of a Republican "war on women." http://thehill.com/blogs/floor... "Of course, no matter how much common sense a bill makes and no matter how much good it would do for our country as a whole, nothing can ever be passed in this country anymore that has the opposition of the greediest and least patriotic among us: "Outside business groups like the Chamber of Commerce also expressed opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act. On Monday the chamber sent out a letter stating that it "strongly opposes" the measure and urged lawmakers to vote against it. Indeed, once again common sense measures that would help so many who work so hard achieve the middle-class is defeated despite broad support from a wide coalition of Americans: "This is a common-sense measure with broad public support. Nine out of 10 Americans - including 81 percent of men and 77 percent of Republicans - support this legislation," Reid said. "But once again, the only Republicans who are left opposing a common-sense measure to improve our economy and help middle-class families are the ones here in Washington." "Yes, once again America the interests of yourself and many of those that you love have been sold down the river so that some fat sack of crap can get even fatter and more full of crap while you can merely dream of living a comfortable life: "Democrats argued that not passing the paycheck bill would hurt the economy by leaving money in the hands of the wealthy instead of the middle class. "This is an issue, Mr. President, that not only affects women, but our families and our economy," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said. "You would see the economy stimulated because middle-class families would spend those dollars, they don't hoard those dollars." "The saddest part?? Americans continue to allow these great injustices to be thrown upon them. It is like we are becoming a country of fat, brownnosing cowards who would rather believe what we are told and fight each other for scraps than actually find and accept the truth and stand up for ourselves and those we love. "It is not hard to see what is wrong with this country. We have allowed the very few elites to hoard all of the wealth to themselves and they in turn have manipulated the system to allow them the best government they can buy. It was not done overnight with one law but has been decades in the making and now we are beginning to see its culmination and effects. "Unfortunately it seems to me that this country is not even to the point where it will accept the truth, let alone rise against the scoundrels who are festering this country from the inside out. Unless we can wake up soon and begin to fight for things that really matter I fear that our democracy has fallen to far to ever rise from the ashes again. "Now is the time for all true patriots to come to the aid of their country." Right On, RD. The Democrats brought you the Lillie Ledbetter Act. Now the Democrats have been stymied in our effort to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act. Shame! Shame! This time elect Stepp to the U.S. House KY-05, and things will get better and better!
"Syria’s insurrection is not America’s war "by Patrick J. Buchanan "06/05/2012 "In pushing for U.S. military intervention in Syria — arming the insurgents and using U.S. air power to “create safe zones” for anti-regime forces “inside Syria’s borders” — The Washington Post invokes “vital U.S. interests” that are somehow imperiled there. "Exactly what these vital interests are is left unexplained. "For 40 years, we have lived with a Damascus regime led by either Bashar Assad or his father, Hafez Assad. Were our “vital interests” in peril all four decades? "In 1991, George H.W. Bush recruited the elder Assad into his Desert Storm coalition that liberated Kuwait. Damascus sent 4,000 troops. In gratitude, we hosted a Madrid Conference to advance a land-for-peace deal between Assad and Israel. "It failed, but it could have meant a return of the Golan Heights to Assad and Syria’s return to the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee. "We could live with that, but cannot live with Bashar? "Comes the reply: The reason is the Houla massacre, where more than 100 Syrians were slaughtered, mostly women and children, the most horrid atrocity in a 15-month war that has taken 10,000 lives. "We Americans cannot stand idly by and let this happen. "That massacre was indeed appalling, and apparently the work of rogue militia aligned with the regime. But in 1982, Bashar’s father rolled his artillery up to the gates of Hama and, to crush an insurrection by the Muslim Brotherhood, fired at will into the city until 20,000 were dead. "What did America do? Nothing. "In Black September, 1970, Jordan’s King Hussein used artillery on a Palestinian camp, killing thousands and sending thousands fleeing into Lebanon. During Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990, more than 100,000 perished. In the 1980s, Iraq launched a war on Iran that cost close to a million dead. "We observed, content that our enemies were killing one another. "In 1992, Islamists in Algeria won the first round of voting and were poised to win the second. Democracy was about to produce a result undesired by the Western democracies. So Washington and Paris gave Algiers a green light to prevent the Islamists from coming to power. That Algerian civil war cost scores of thousands dead. "If Arab and Muslim peoples believe Americans are hypocrites who cynically consult their strategic interests before bemoaning Arab and Muslim victims of terror and war, do they not have a point? "As for the Post’s idea of using U.S. air power to set up “safe zones” on Syrian soil, those are acts of war. What do we do if the Syrian army answers with artillery strikes on those safe zones or overruns one, inflicting a stinging defeat on the United States? "Would we accept the humiliation — or escalate? What if Syrian air defenses start bringing down U.S. planes? What would we do if Syria’s Hezbollah allies start taking Americans hostage in Lebanon? "Ronald Reagan sent the Marines into Lebanon in 1983. His intervention in that civil war resulted in our embassy being blown up and 241 Marines massacred in the bombing of the Beirut barracks. Reagan regarded it as the worst mistake of his presidency. Are we going to repeat it because Bashar has failed to live up to our expectations? "Consider the forces lining up on each side in what looks like a Syrian civil war and dress rehearsal for a regional sectarian war. "Against Assad’s regime are the United States, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Turks and Saudis and Sunni states of the Persian Gulf. "On Assad’s side are his 300,000-strong army, the Alawite Shia in Syria, Druze, Christians and Kurds, all of whom fear a victory of the Brotherhood, and Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. "The question for our bellicose interventionists is this: "How much treasure should be expended, how much American blood shed so the Muslim Brotherhood can depose the Assad dynasty, take power and establish an Islamist state in Syria? "Tell me how this thing ends,” said Gen. David Petraeus at the onset of our misbegotten Iraq War. If we begin providing weapons to those seeking the overthrow of Assad, as the Post urges, it will be a fateful step for this republic. "We will be morally responsible for the inevitable rise in dead and wounded from the war we will have fueled. We will have committed our prestige to Assad’s downfall. As long as he survives, it will be seen as a U.S. defeat and humiliation. "And once the U.S. casualties come, the cry of the war party will come — for victory over Assad, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia! We will be on our way into another bloody debacle in a region where there is no vital U.S. interest but perhaps oil, which these folks have to sell to survive. "Before the religious and ethnic conflicts of Europe were sorted out, it took centuries of bloodletting, and our fathers instructed us to stay out of these quarrels that were none of our business. "Syria in 2012 is even less our business. "Patrick J. Buchanan" Kenneth Stepp agrees that Syria's Insurrection is not America's War. The Founding Fathers would not have had American troops invade Syria, nor should we. This time Vote for a Guy that will keep the American Troops out of a new Middle Eastern War! Vote for Stepp. Send Hal Rogers Home!
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Look what George W. Bush did! He caused the Republicans to lose one third of their base. There is still time for the Republicans to find a Nixon pragmatist. Bush, Cheney, and Romney make Nixon, Ford, and Reagan look better and better, don't they? Republicans, there is still time. Return to being the party of peace and prosperity and people will return to you. Keep on your present course, and you get smaller and smaller.
Jennifer Bendery firstname.lastname@example.org "Paycheck Fairness Act Fails Senate Vote "Posted: 06/05/2012 2:59 pm Updated: 06/05/2012 6:29 pm "WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that would have ensured women are paid the same amount as their male counterparts. "The Senate failed to secure the 60 votes needed to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to demonstrate that any salary differences between men and women doing the same work are not gender-related. The bill also would have prohibited employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers, and would have required the Labor Department to increase its outreach to employers to help eliminate pay disparities. "The final vote was 52-47, with all Republicans opposing the bill. That included female Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Susan Collins (Maine), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Olympia Snowe (Maine). "President Barack Obama called it "incredibly disappointing" that Republicans would block a bill relating to equal pay for women. "This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination," Obama said in a statement. "It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families." "After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used a procedural maneuver that gives him the ability to bring up the bill again on another day. He said he would leave the door open to taking it up again in another form. "It is a very sad day here in the U.S. Senate," Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the author of the bill, said after the vote. "But it's a sadder day every day when a paycheck comes and women continue to make less than men. We are sorry that this vote occurred strictly on party lines." "Mikulski said she refuses to let her bill "die on parliamentary entanglements" and, after quoting Abigail Adams, called on women everywhere to keep fighting until the bill becomes law. "Put on your lipstick! Square your shoulders! Suit up and let's fight for a new American revolution where women are paid for equal work!" Mikulski shouted. "Let's end wage discrimination in this century once and for all." "Republicans opposed the bill for different reasons. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) signaled Monday night that he wouldn't support it because he thinks it may burden small businesses. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told reporters Tuesday that he didn't think the bill would do the job and said it "reads more to me like some sort of welfare plan for trial lawyers." "Collins told reporters that "we already have on the books the Equal Pay Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which I did support. I believe that they provide adequate protections. I think this bill would result in excessive litigation that would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses. So I think existing laws are adequate." "In other cases, it may be due to personal decisions that women make to leave the workforce to raise children for a number of years and then return to the workforce, for example," Collins continued. "I don't think you can assume discrimination." "Regardless of their belief in the bill's policies, Democrats are also clearly pushing the bill for political reasons. Obama jumped on a press call Monday to personally throw his support behind the bill. House and Senate Democrats have slammed Mitt Romney for saying silent on the issue, and White House officials have teamed up with Democrats for calls and press conferences to call attention to the fact that Republicans won't support the measure. "Mikulski demurred when asked during a Monday press call why, if the issue is so pressing, Democrats didn't push the bill when they held the majority in the last Congress. She said Democrats chose to move first on a related bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and lost their majority in the Senate before they could bring up the Paycheck Fairness Act. "White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who was also on the Monday press call, said that Obama has no plans to issue an executive order to implement the bill, in the event it can't pass Congress. "There is no interest right now in talking about a fallback," Jarrett said. "We are confident that if we focus on working hard, we can pass it. We want to keep focused on the best alternative." "Mike McAuliff contributed to this report." Kenneth Stepp supports the Paycheck Fairness Act. This year replace your Republican Congressman with Democrat Kenneth Stepp for the U.S. House KY-05!
Saturday, June 02, 2012
My Dad once said that people get the government they deserve. Maybe the Fifth deserves Hal. The Fifth could do better than Hal Rogers. The people of the Fifth act like they are plugged into the Wall Street agenda. It sickens me to read the Wall Street Journal editorials saying how great our wars in the Middle East are. Great for Who(m)? Certainly not for you or for me. You know, if you took a tour of duty in Afghanistan, you could come back with an arm or a leg missing. A right-wing publication that I sometimes read has recently remarked that since we militarily occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, Christianity has almost been wiped out in those two countries. At least there are plenty of other countries thriving, that the United States hasn't sent in troops to screw up. Maybe someday Hal Rogers will write his memoirs and explain why he always voted to support the U.S. having Middle East Wars, and why he always voted to screw up things, and always voted against the common man, and against the interests of ordinary people like you and like me.
Friday, June 01, 2012
- Sgt. James L. Skalberg, Jr. of Cullman killed June...
- Congressman Hal Rogers against the Affordable Heal...
- Ten reasons you should vote for Stepp and not for ...
- Republicans vote to cut food stamp benefits, pay m...
- Doug Kendall Reports.
- Gary Hart warns against money politics!
- Congress should Regulate and Audit the Federal Res...
- Shut down the President's Kill List!
- Count your Many Blessings, One By One!
- Stop the Drone Mass Murders!
- Americans Suffered Record Decline In Wealth During...
- Consequences of Affordable Health Care Supreme Cou...
- Paycheck Fairness Act Defeat Is Part Of A Greater ...
- Syria’s insurrection is not America’s war!
- Republican Party Continues to Shrink!
- GOP Majority in Senate Kills Paycheck Fairness Act...
- Dear reader,
- The Reagan Years and the Obama Years of Government...
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