Category Archives: politics

The End or the Beginning?

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, it appears the shutdown is drawing to an end. And it happened with a bipartisan move in the Senate. Taking the lead on negotiations that would affectively reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling – temporarily – were Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. Reid, a Democrat, and McConnell, a Republican, worked with other Senators from their respective sides to come to a compromise. Of sorts. 

The deal gave the Democrats pretty much what they wanted: Raise the debt ceiling and pass a continuing resolution to reopen the government. On the other side, it gave the Republicans just one thing that they wanted: Budget negotiations and conference on the matter. That’s right. The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will go on untouched. So, in reality, the last 16 days have been spent bickering and arguing about the one subject that meant the most to Republicans and members of the Tea Party. In that sense, the two and a half week holdup was a fail. 

The question that must be posed now is, where do we go from here? With everyone involved suffering drastic hits in nationwide approval ratings, 2014 -an election year for the Senate- is beginning to look more like a house cleaning. Granted, there will only be 33 seats up for grabs during the regular election, though. Still, the hope for the Republicans would have been to grab as many of them as they could. The Democrats felt the same way, I’m sure. Then there’s the Tea Party, who would love to get a few of those seats so that their voice carried more weight in the Senate. But, again, with approval ratings in the gutter for all parties, there’s certain to be a shakeup. Which way it goes is anyone’s guess at this point. 

So, again, where do we go from here? In my honest opinion, it’s hard to say. I have spent some time thinking about this very question. I have always said that a two party system COULD NOT work, any longer, in American politics. I have long said that we needed a strong third party. Some would point at the Tea Party and say that they WERE the strong third party with names like Lee, Cruz and Palin. I have to beg to differ though. From an educated standpoint, the Tea Party is a failed experiment as a third party. In fact, the name alone suggests third party but their political ideology suggests they are nothing more than extreme right wing conservatives. And that’s fine. But since their establishment, they have given Americans the appearance of being a party separate of the Republican caucus. There’s really no secret that for a third party to be strong and successful it needs to have its very own identity. Independents aren’t really a third party, they are more like a third wheel on a date, fun to have around but kind of annoying when things get heated. 

So what would make a strong third party? I think it’s going to take dissecting the other parties and really finding out what parts of their ideology the people cling to. Find out what has kept them around for so long. Then, you take the best parts and create a new, fresh, political agenda based on the best of the big two. What you should come up with is a middle of the road, political agenda that believes in taking care of Americans first, likes saving money, believes in fair taxes across the board, wants American education to sit atop the world rankings instead of somewhere near the middle and believes that the peoples’ voice needs to be heard in order to accomplish sanctity. I have no problem saying that, personally, this is how I think about politics. To me, it’s all about my PERSONAL freedom. I have never believed that the government should tell me what I can and can’t do as long as what I am doing isn’t causing physical harm to anyone else or malicious property damage. I mean, really, isn’t that what “pursuit of happiness” means? 

The fear that I have at this particular point in time is reminiscent of what happened when Ross Perot ran for president. See, old Ross took the nation by storm. He was ready and willing and the people were quickly getting behind him. And then something happened so he backed out, only to jump back in to the race a few months before the election. By then, those who were ready to support him were weary of returning him to their good graces. When election day came, he managed to get just enough votes to screw up the election. The reason that today’s current situation invokes that memory is that the Tea Party public opinion polls have sank…dramatically. If you were to believe the poll numbers, one could only ascertain that America has deemed the third party experiment a complete failure. What that means for any other third party hopefuls is that Americans will be less apt to vote for anyone that isn’t from the big two for fear that it will just cause chaos and invoke more rhetoric while failing to represent the will of the people. In essence, it’s quite the conundrum for the voters. Do they trust another third party or just go with the lesser of two evils? My hope is that the American people don’t lose trust in the political process. 

Although, I fear, that it is too late for that. 

God bless. 

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Shutdown: The Saga Continues

Well here we are. Day 15 of the government shutdown. You would think, by now, that the men and women on Capitol Hill that were elected to prevent things like this from happening would have gotten their acts together by now. Well, that isn’t the case. No, day 15 brought more of the same as what we have seen for the first 14 days: Lots of finger pointing, name calling and debate over trivial matters. All in the wake of a rumored deal between Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell. 

Yes, the rumors abound that the shutdown was mere moments from being over. Well, as the day ended, it was still on. The House Republicans decided to take matters into their own hands earlier today, showing some sort of initiative and came up with their own resolution to end the shutdown and reopen the government. While, on paper, it sounded like a doable plan, the Senate (clearly wanting to be the heroes of ending the shutdown) made a statement saying that anything the House came up with, they would certainly vote down. So, the stalemate continues. 

Where does that leave us? In limbo, relying on lame duck,  Democratic party crony in Harry Reid and “Mr.-should-be-able-to-tell-when-his-mic-is-on” Mitch McConnell. In essence, the people will be the only ones losing on this deal. 

As I was listening to the idiocy take place on the Hill today, I couldn’t help but to think of all of the ways this could have been avoided. I mean, let’s face it, the ACA (or Obamacare) is the demon spawn of Satan that the Republicans would have us believe. But it’s also not the savior to end all hurt that the Democrats would have us to be either. After reading a basic summary of the law (I’ll admit, I am much like the men and women that voted for it: There was no way I was going to read that WHOLE law), there are a few pros that I took away. Very few, but still. 

For instance, a child being able to stay on their parents insurance until they turn 26 is a pro. Let’s face it, if you are among the lucky high school graduates that get to go to college for four years, when you graduate at the age of 22, you’re most likely going to end up in some entry level position not being able to afford the employer’s health care. So that gives you four years to move up in the corporate world where you will be in a position to afford the care. 

The second pro would have to be an insurance not being able to decline you because of a pre-existing condition. I like this one because when you research insurance companies declining to pay for things based on pre-existing conditions, you would be amazed at how the companies get by. I read a story (again, I don’t put 100% faith in anything I read that isn’t in a known credible source) about a man being diagnosed with a blood disorder. His insurance company denied his claim on the PE basis because 15 years earlier he had broken his leg and THEIR doctors – not his – said that such a disorder could happen if not tended to and healed properly. Since the broken leg occurred BEFORE he was insured by the company, he had to pay out of pocket for visits related to the blood disorder. 

All in all, though, I think the ACA is a failure. Not because of all of the horrible cons that are written into it, but because I think that the Democrats really went the wrong way with health care reform. I mean, was the problem ever really that people didn’t have insurance? No. The problem was really that health care costs were pretty much unregulated. I mean, the ACA really does nothing more than what Medicare+ does. Enter the market place and the insurance is sold to the lowest bidder. And it’s cheaper than most of the reported ACA costs thus far. So, the ACA, as a whole, is a fail. But I do think that parts of it could have been written and signed into law without forcing the citizens to buy insurance. I’m all about giving the people the right to choose. And I understand that uninsured people going to the ER and not paying the bills are the reason why health care costs are so high. But don’t punish the masses for the lack of the few. Provide the few with what is already in place and leave the masses the hell alone! 

I read an interesting post today. One that basically said our nation is divided between Democrats and Republicans, which is pretty much true. The post went on to pose the question of whether the Republicans (I’m assuming because it was written and oriented that way) should just take over the government or secede and start their own nation. The author of the post said that it was really the only two options. So, I want to pose my response, which most already know will be middle of the road. But I want to go further and address the question itself. See, anytime one group rules over another without the latter’s say, that’s true tyranny and oppression. That’s the reason that this great nation was founded in the first place (taxation without representation). Naturally, the vast majority of the people would see that that practice would completely violate the democratic process that founded this nation and violate the Constitution, a document that most Conservatives swear is the most important guiding principle to them. The second part of the question asked about seceding and creating their own nation. That, to me, sounds ultra radical. And besides, you would have to secede by STATE and then remove all of the people that didn’t agree with your principles. So, what you would have would be sporadic sovereign nations, dotted inside the borders of the United States. That wouldn’t work either. Who would want to be surrounded by the very people they sought to get away from? They could attempt to purchase all of the land West of the Mississippi, but who has that kind of money? Another option would be to invade and take over some small, central American nation like Peru, but who wants to put up with the climate down there? If you detect a bit of sarcasm from me, I would have to say that you are completely correct. 

Look, extremism, radicalism, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t the answer. The answer is what I have said it was all along: Middle Ground. Granted, I know two people won’t always agree on everything. But I guarantee that two people, who are realistically willing to COMPROMISE  and meet in the MIDDLE, will always do more good than harm. There will always be bumps in the road, but compromise always wins. I would be willing to wager that if I could find 99 people who were willing to go in with an open mind and willing to compromise and meet in the middle, that I could figure out a way to reopen the government BEFORE the cronies on the Hill do. And they have had a two week head start! You can’t say that there aren’t Republicans and Democrats out there willing to do it. I hear them all day long. In the end they just want to take care of the little man. That’s a starting point. 

The 113th Congress of the United States is the worst in the history of this nation. They have done little to nothing in their time. Now, it’s time for them to go. It’s time for them to be replaced by level headed people under the age of 90 that are ready to give the people what they want: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Imagine that. Taxes are guaranteed and we are only guaranteed the PURSUIT of happiness. 

God Bless. 

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October 14th: The Day After

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The sun rose – once again – upon Washington, D.C. on Monday morning. Today is Columbus Day. They day that we celebrate Christopher Columbus, the man that DIDN’T actually discover the land known as America. A holiday which is fitting the for the current state of affairs in our great nation.

Today is the day after the Million Veterans’ March held at the World War II Memorial to protest the shutting down of memorials in DC and cities across the nation. What was witnessed yesterday was nothing short of spectacular and inspiring. Veterans taking over the Memorial and then fanning out after remarks by politicians Sarah Palin and Senator Ted Cruz and a brief clash with US Park Police for blocking the road, not allowing access to the truckers there in support. Some went to the North lawn of the White House and carried on with chants and signs, invoking the DC Metro Police to call in the riot police. Others made their way to the Lincoln Memorial, where they tore down the barricades and carried them, as they marched, to the White House where the barricades were piled up in plain view of the South lawn. It was a statement. A statement that said, “We are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore!” Had anyone other than the Secret Service been home, they should have been shaking in their shoes. The whole scene resembled the beginning of a revolution in a Hollywood film. Surreal.

Today, though, there are no signs, no protesters and the barricades had been resurrected from the graves in front of the White House. There were also no camera crews and no politicians. In fact, the only representative of the US government was the lone US Park Ranger, sitting on the ground tying wire around the barricades to hold them together. But no politicians and no cameras.

I say it like that because it’s very apparent that when the cameras aren’t around, neither are the politicians. Sure, politicians claim to be there for the people, to help them fight the good fight, while the cameras are on, but when they go off, the politicians go away, to the comfort of their homes with their families, far from the problems of the majority of the citizens in this country such as living paycheck to paycheck. They are opportunists. Glory hounds. I’ve met used car salesmen that I trust more than I do the word of a “politician”.

Now, it is my belief that each party has its good and bad, its pros and cons, its failures and successes. So I don’t point fingers at one party and not the other because I feel that they are BOTH to blame for the current state of affairs. Some will disagree with that assessment and that is their right to do so and I respect that. With that being said, though, I feel that I need to talk a little about dear old, friend to the veteran, crusader for the Constitution, Senator Ted Cruz, only because he did show up yesterday and he IS the only one of the two currently occupying a seat on the Hill, wasting oxygen.

I’m going to “BASH” Sen. Cruz, because that accomplishes nothing. Instead, I merely want to call into question his history with hot  button topics. Now, before I go any further, I will state this and be held accountable to it: I promise not to only direct my attention, like I am about to do, on one party’s representatives or senators without doing the very same to members of the other party. In other words, while I may direct my attention to Sen. Cruz in this post, you can bet that I will highlight a member of the other party for the same. Which, I can promise you, for every Republican that does something there is an equal number of Democrats that have done it also. That being said, let’s get on with it.

Since I’m big on researching a particular member of Congress for whatever reason, the first place I always start when looking into a politician is their past voting record in their current position. What I found on Sen. Cruz was nothing short of predictable, having voted along party lines for the majority of votes. However, one struck me as really, really bad. And make no mistake, it wasn’t JUST him that decided to vote against this particular bill, there were Democrats also.

The bill in question is HR 325. Back in January of this year, when the Hill was in an earlier fight over the budget for the fiscal year, this bill was proposed by the Republicans that basically said that in the event of a government shutdown, Senators and Representatives’ pay would be withheld until a resolution was reached. In other words, they weren’t getting paid to NOT come up with a solution to the problem. The bill eventually made it to being signed by President Obama, but not unanimously. In the House, there were 144 votes AGAINST the measure! 144 votes AGAINST. That’s 144 representatives of the PEOPLE that believe that they should get paid for FAILING to do their job! If any of the readers failed to do their job they would be fired. No, these “representatives” don’t believe that should happen to them. They feel they should be continued to receive a check. The breakdown of voting against was 77% Republican and 23% Democrat, of the 144. But, the bill passed and went on to the Senate where it passed, but not unanimously. I received 34 votes AGAINST, or “Nay” votes. That breakdown was even more astonishing as 97% ( or 32) Republicans and 3% Democrats. Now, 3% would equal 2 Democrats, but, in reality, only Joe Manchin III from West Virginia voted against it with the last remaining Democrat not voting. So, in real numbers, that’s 33 senators that felt they should receive a paycheck for failing to do their job. Among those 33 was Ted Cruz. So, how is the friend of the people, the crusader against big government, fighter for the rights of veterans going to say, “Well, I’m not giving up my paycheck!” And that’s where I have a problem. The first “red flag”, if you will.

The second (ironically) is his historical stance on the 2nd Amendment. Back when he was the Texas Solicitor General, Cruz wrote the amicus brief for the case of DC vs. Heller, a case that basically found that in certain circumstances it was constitutional to regulate firearms. He even went further to make the case that military style assault weapons SHOULD be banned. I want to stop here for a moment and say, I understand that a person’s beliefs can change, that they can become educated in a certain belief and find himself agreeing with the belief. But this case made Sen. Cruz an EXPERT in the 2nd Amendment, or at least that is his proclamation. Now, the real problem comes some years later, when as a junior senator on the Hill, he and fellow Republicans fillibustered the appointment of Caitlin Halligan for DC Circuit Court Judge. Right now you’re probably asking, “What does that have to do with the 2nd Amendment and this whole argument?” The answer lies in the reasoning behind the fillibuster movement. See, it could be said that Cruz took the stance he did in the Heller case because he was the Texas Solicitor General and he was representing Texas as an attorney and he was giving his client – Texas – the best possible legal representation he could. He was doing his job. I can relate. He shouldn’t be faulted for attempting to do his job to the best of his ability, and most would agree. However, in fillibustering the appointment of Halligan, the argument was made that the arguments Halligan had made on behalf of her CLIENTS as an attorney, surely reflected HER OWN PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS. So, the question should be asked then: Should Senator Cruz be held to the same standard that he set forth in fillibustering the appointment of Halligan and have his represenation of Texas and the opinion that certain guns should be banned or regulated questioned?

Look, I know I’ve talked a lot about Senator Cruz. But these two examples of his political history are the EXACT reason why I have a problem with politicians regardless of party affiliation. Now, anyone could make the argument as to why I should be a Republican or a Democrat or a member of the Tea Party or a Libertarian or whatever. But you will NEVER convince me that either side is 100% right 100% of the time. It doesn’t happen. Don’t believe me? Here’s a test. Ask yourself this and answer honestly. Are you in a relationship (married/significant other)? Are you always right (no matter the issue)? Is your spouse/significant other always right? If you answered HONESTLY, you should have said NO to both of the last questions. The reason why is, no one is ALWAYS right. It defies the principles that guide us through life. That’s why there are actions that have a name: Mistakes. It happens.

The hope, for me at least, is that we, as American people, can begin to realize that in politics – as those of us that are married know and can confirm – the only way to success is put aside your personal agendas and beliefs and find the MIDDLE GROUND. There’s a Diamond Rio song I can remember listening to years ago. The lyrics went something like, “I start walking your way, you start walking mine. We meet in the middle, beneath that old Georgia pine. We gain a lot of ground, but we both give a little. And there ain’t a road too long, when you meet in the middle.” I apologize to any remaining Diamond Rio fans if I screwed those lyrics up, especially since I could have looked them up for accuracy sake, but you get the gist.

What I’m saying is basically what the song says. There’s a long road ahead of this great nation. But that road really isn’t that long if we put aside party bickering, finger pointing, mud slinging and name calling and become ONE, UNIFIED people and meet in the middle! As I said before, both parties have their pros and cons. Why can’t we just take the pros from both parties, the good parts, roll them together and come out with a strong unified party of the people and take control of this nation away from career politicians? It makes perfect sense to me.

I saw what this country could look like if we could find that common ground yesterday. Men and women bound together by the thread of patriotism, that had served in the military at one point or another in their lives, standing up for what they believed was RIGHT! But, today, that was merely a memory. One I will forever have etched in my mind, but a memory nonetheless. And it saddens me.

My hope is that the middle of the road can be found and a movement will start that WILL NOT end until there are REAL results. When the politicians that supposedly represent us see that the people mean business. A movement like that takes time, and, at the present moment, it doesn’t seem as though anyone is willing to sacrifice the time that is needed to make real change happen.

So, until then, our lives and destinies are controlled by the puppets of the campaign contributors, the political agenda supporters and the corporate elite.

God Bless.

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So here it is!

Hello, everyone! This is the OFFICIAL first post of Capital Truth, a spinoff of Capital View, a comedy podcast. However, Capital Truth will be a politically based podcast. 

So where do I stand on things? That’s easy. In the MIDDLE. I don’t lean right, I don’t lean left. I am right in the middle. Quite frankly both sides have ideas that would make this country stronger and more united. However, they can’t seem to see through their own political rhetoric long enough to make things right. 

What’s the purpose? Well, I hope to inspire other Americans to look beyond the partisan rhetoric and see the truth: That all politicians are party driven, campaign contributor representing, scoundrels! Okay, maybe scoundrels is a strong word. I would like to see people realize that politicians WANT us divided as a nation along party lines. They want that because as long as the nation is divided we pose no threat. Unification scares the shit out of them! 

So, with that said, welcome to Capital Truth, where politics really does meet the middle road! 

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