The Fence

Credit: No Greater Joy Ministries

Credit: No Greater Joy Ministries

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said “you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.

– Author Unknown

Thanks to my niece for sharing this with me.

New Republican Congress – Same Old Republican Agenda

Congress is now under total Republican control. It has been eight years since the last time this happened, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner are ready to lead their new Republican majority Congress to new heights.

They can now get serious about passing legislation that benefits everyone, except the American people. Speaker of the House John Boehner has said that Republicans should be proud of “how many laws benefiting the people we eliminated.” He said Republicans just “don’t do all that nonsense” of passing laws for the people. “Unpopular? Yes. Why? Because we’re fighting for what we believe in.”

If we look at the first 200 bills proposed by the new Republican Congress, we know what they believe in:

  • Repealing ObamaCare
  • Deregulating everything
  • Stopping immigration
  • Cutting government spending via austerity
  • Holding the debt ceiling hostage
  • Being against anything the President is for
  • Rewarding their wealthy supporters.

There were no jobs bills; no economic bills; and definitely no environmental bills proposed. Sound familiar? Same old obsession with President Obama, deficits, debt, and women’s bodies. No consideration for the needs of the common, hard-working, American people.

In all fairness, the Republicans are trying to pass one “major” jobs bill; the Keystone XL oil pipeline. It is estimated that this “major” jobs bill will generate approximately fifty (50) long-term jobs. Of course the real beneficiaries of this bill are the Koch brothers and TransCanada, not the American people.

We should not be surprised. The Republicans are keeping their promises to their wealthy and powerful supporters. They will continue to reward the rich (1%) and the big corporations by taking away from the American people (99%).

Another example: By passing a rule banning the transfer of funds within the Social Security Trust, they are supporting the Koch brothers and Wall Street’s quest to gain access to American’s retirement accounts. Passing this rule will help create a Social Security crisis that could lead to privatizing Social Security.

By their actions during the first week in control of Congress, there is no doubt their priorities are to support their wealthy supporters and keep their promises to them. All at the expense of the common, hard-working, American people. Shameful.

Corporate OverlordsNew Republican Congress — Same Old Republican Agenda.

Economy Is Better Despite Republican Efforts to Make America Fail

It started the day Barrack Obama was elected President and before he actually took office.

<snip>

“…reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” [1]

That’s right, the Republicans plan to win in the future was to make President Obama fail, and to do this they had to make America fail as well. Thus began the expansion of the “do very little Congress” into the “do nothing Congress”. Republicans would need a major collapse during President Obama’s tenure to prove their ideology of smaller government, full-bore capitalism without regulations, tax cuts for the rich and big business, austerity measures, and ignoring science is the best direction for America.

Source:  Maddow Blog

Source: Maddow Blog

While shamelessly ignoring the real concerns and needs of the American people, the Republicans continued with their eagle-eye focus on their seditious political maneuvering and shenanigans, like shutting down the government and endless votes on repealing the Affordable Care Act. Anything, except passing legislation that might have a positive impact on the economy, jobs, income inequality, health care, education, immigration, middle class, repealing tax cuts for the 1% and big corporations, climate control and much, much more.

Fortunately, President Obama continued to fight for common-sense action that would positively impact the middle class and America’s economy. The following good news graphs attest to President Obama’s and the Democratic-led Senate’s positive actions.

Job Growth

Source: Steve Benen, Maddow Blog

While this is good news, despite six years of all-out-resistance by the Republicans, it’s not all that we need. Jobs are up and unemployment is down, but we need good-paying jobs.

US Domestic Growth by Steve Benen-Maddow Blog

Source: Steve Benen, Maddow Blog

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is starting to gain strength again. The GDP is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period – you can think of it as the size of the economy. Of course, one of the key components of GDP is productivity. Productivity is off the charts for businesses, but wages have remained stagnated.

Dow Graph

Source: Huffington Post

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is another indicator of economic health. The DOW recently closed above 18,000 for the FIRST TIME EVER – despite six years of doom-and-gloom proselytizing by the Republicans. It appears that confidence in our economy is definitely looking up — despite the Republican’s tanking of the economy by constantly playing brinksmanship on raising the debt ceiling.

Indeed, this is good economic news – for all. There is a slogan that says “A rising tide lifts all the boats”. In reference to the economy, this means that an improving economy will benefit all participants in the economy, not just some.

Yes, it has taken longer than President Obama expected. But what if the Republicans and the “do nothing Congress” had actually worked with the President over the course of the last six years. All this good news probably could have started many years ago.

However, despite all the efforts by Republicans to make President Obama, and America, fail; the economy is better.

And true to form, the Republicans take the credit…

mcconnell smallMitch McConnell on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 in a Senate floor speech:

After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope,” McConnell said. “The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

Welcome to the National Security State of 2015

Re-Posted from TomDispatch.com | by Tom Engelhart

This is a great, eye-opening post. It pulls together all the links as to how Washington has, over the past 50 years, perpetuated such a militarized economy based on American insecurity. Even more daunting, it will be almost impossible to turn it around.

<snip>

Official Washington has, that is, invented a system so dumb, so extreme, so fundamentalist, and so deeply entrenched in our world that changing it will surely prove a stunningly difficult task.

Welcome to the new world of American insecurity and to the nightmarish inheritance we are preparing for our children and grandchildren.

A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity
Welcome to the National Security State of 2015
By Tom Engelhardt

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175939/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_feeling_insecure_in_2015/#more