What is the cause of polarization in American politics today!

        Polarization in politics refers to the divergence of political attitudes ideological extremes. Most discussions about polarization refer to political parties and Democratic systems of government. Typically polarization results in moderate voices being silenced. The extremes in both parties take the lead, which ultimately causes the same in the population. In our political climate the Right Wing extremists have demonized compromise, referring to it as weakness. the polarization in our current political climate has ground our Democracy to a halt. This in turn has hurt the middle and lower class Americans. It has damaged any attempt to fix our infrastructure or deal with anything of political significance. Hopefully i can succinctly describe the cause of polarization today.

       Gerrymandering, also known as redistricting has had a bit to do with it. when a sitting representative feels safe from the other side they tend to double down on more extremist views. This is a way to pander to a base. Gerrymandering is illegal in the United States. instead of drawing districts in lines that make sense, the districts are drawn to keep Republican districts safe by splitting up strong Democrat sectors. This has been on full display in states where Republicans are sitting in the majority or as Governors. In several states despite a Democrat winning the majority of the votes they lost the states because of the redistricting. As i said this was found to illegal many, many years ago, yet still happens.

           Lobbying is another humongous cause.  The Sunshine Rules which came into being after Watergate created more transparency in committee meetings and recorded votes, also opened them up to special interest groups and lobb
yist. Which made it easier to figure out which Congressman were on the fence and needed a little push. This truly opened our Democracy up to the oligarchy our government has become. A perfect example of this phenomenon is when President Obama and Congress (Democrats) started working on the ACA. In the first week about 300 lobbyist from the health insurance industry descended on D.C. Look at who received these donations, it is public record, and you will understand the incredible disinformation about the ACA. Then throw the Citizen’s United decision into the mix and everything spins completely out of control. If anyone tells you that decision didn’t effect our Democracy is either lying or lives in a box. The candidate who raises  the most money wins 94% of the time. Obviously money has a very large effect on our Democracy.

          Last but not least, the Media has pushed our representatives farther left or right. As a Liberal I wholeheartedly believe it is more Conservative media then Liberal media pushing the extremism. I watch both  sides and identify with little, if any thing the Conservative media says or believes. Republican Darrell Issa, who I personally believe is a disgrace to his Continue reading

ISIS beheads journalist. How does the United States need to respond?

         ISIS, also known as ISIL or Al Quadea in Iraq has struck a nerve with United States population. James Foley was kidnapped, held hostage and then beheaded by the terrorist organization.  This is just weeks after they attacked a rare religious sect in Iraq. Just weeks after President Obama authorized strategic airstrikes. It seems as if ISIS is tempting the United States back into Iraq. The war mongers are pounding their drums louder now.

ISIS had convinced the Iraqi people that they were unbeatable. ISIS owes much of its success to the fact that Iraqi military officers who were ousted by the U.S. have joined there cause. ISIS has not suffered many, if any losses until faced by the Peshewars and the United States military. When faced by these two ISIS backed off. ISIS claims that they are the leaders of the Muslim world. Where in truth, most Muslims want nothing to do with them. They are a radical element that Republican Marco Rubio says needs to be exterminated.

People were upset that the U.S. would not pay 100 million euros or $132 million dollars for the release of Foley. The U.S. does not pay ransoms to terrorist organization or any organization. If a group or family decides to do so, the government typically will let them do so, despite that money assisting a terrorist organization. It is a horrible tragedy and no one deserves to be harmed like that. But I am sure Foley knew what the dangers of this assignment were. Again that does not make them right, but he had to be aware of the risk he was taking. Anyone going over there, soldier, reporter or medical workers should have these risks presented to them.

When I heard President Obama authorized air strikes I was appalled. I knew it wouldnt be long until we had soldiers over there fighting again. Today I have heard that it may be happening much sooner then I thought. We do not need to fight another war. Our country is tired, devastated and broke because of the last 2. Our soldiers need to recover and be with family. This is not the answer. We have many special operations units and drones to do this work. Yell about drones all you want. I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER AMERICAN TO DIE IN IRAQ!!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. It will not end well. I agree that action needs to be taken. But noy another war.

I am an adamant President Obama supporter. I love many of his policies and agree with even more. His whole presidency has been one tough decision after another. This is no different. Congressman John McCain has been beating his war drum for years. The Republicans and there puppeteers have been trying to get us in every country that has a case of marital discord. President Obama and Democrats have held strong until now. The region has always had issues, religious zealots tend to hate a lot of people. We are not the country to fix it. I do not know if Iraqis are better off now or before the war but our country is not better off. We have recovered quite a bit but not enough to go to war again. Please President Obama, I implore you, do not go to war.

What happened to our Democracy?

         What happened to the great country of America? Why do we not prosper like we did in the 1950s-1970s? What caused the greatest nation in earth to come back to the pack? If you listen to Republicans it is all liberals fault, their policies and entitlements. If you listen to Democrats it is all conservatives fault, horrible policies, war mongering and the trickle down economy. But what caused our current predicament. This is an average high school educated Americans opinion on our decline.

America was very successful in the decades following WWII. There are several reasons for this. I believe first and foremost was the conditions other countries were in. Germany, England, Italy, France, Japan and most of Europe was decimated by the war. This essentially left the world at Americas mercy. We were the only developed country that wasnt decimated and we took full advantage of that. Second was the rise of labor unions. They leveled the playing field with corporations causing better pay and benefits. Workers were happy and American made meant something. Third was the gap in income. It put us in a position where employees believed in their employers. Corporations werent cutting corners for a profit.

When CEO pay began to grow quicker then employee pay we saw the beginning of the decline. Companies off shoring work to make a higher profit despite products that were not made very well. Union membership particularly in the early 2000s declined sharply. NAFTA wad created to help Americans but it worked against us. This was the beginning of the end. Then banks began to work against us. I to this day do not completely understand what they did, but they destroyed pensions, credit, peoples lives and the American economy. Too big too fail and too rich too prosecute.

You may ask “Why all this about the economy and jobs?” It all contributed to the political climate we live in today. The decimation of unions took away one of the major checks on corporations power. Easieast example is Walmart. They make billions in profits, get all of their product from overseas and essentially pay minimum wage. They typically cap employees hours so they dont have to offer benefits. All the while their employees are in every government program that is offered because of the low pay. Walmart is one of the largest employers in the country. Any attempt at unionizing is dealt with harshly. People getting fired, hours cut amongst other things. Workers no longer recieve living wages, all the while corporations and the super wealthy gain more and more of the pie.

Why does any of that matter? Well that is quite easy. 94%. 94% of the time the politician with the most money wins. 94%, a ridiculous number. That means that the people with money get their politician of choice. That means that said politician then works for the cause of the wealthy. That causes an ever growing gap in income inequality. When corporate backed politicians are in charge, corporations essentially are in charge. Take the Stand Your Ground Law, a mess of a law. ALEC writes papers called model legislation, which is a bill that is given to their bought congressmen, who then work to get it passed. Congress no longer works for the people, it works for its puppet master.

Money has bought our government, big money, corporations and super wealthy. These people have destroyed our democracy. We are now at the mercy of our corporate overlords. It is funny to think that not only do you buy their product in a store, but we all bow at the altar of the wealthy. This is what these wannabe oligarchs, feudalists or monarchs want from us. For a while the people were silent, but many are waking up. But it is too late? Can we retake our democracy? Is America the new Rome? I certainly hope not. But in my opinion we are balanced on a precipice.

I realize that this is not the most concise description of our fall. But just open your eyes and look around. People stand up for a tax evader like Cliven Bundy but demonize Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. When was racism so prevelant, the 1950s. How about the constant attack on women? It seems like a calculated attack to keep rich men in charge of things. The election of President Obama, a black man, seems to upset the apple cart. Why else would certain people say their first and most important priority was to make him a one term president. Democracy is not conservatism or liberalism, it is a combination of all of them. We need to overturn Citizens United, put term limits on Senators, Representatives and Supreme Court Justices. We need to be able to assess their jobs and have the right to immeadiatly fire them. Our democracy is on the line. Lets save it.

Is Ferguson, Missouri a case of the poor and mistreated fighting back or the beginning of a military state?

         Mike Brown was recently shot by Ferguson police. Unarmed, yet shot. Witnesses say his hands were in the air, yet he was shot. Is this the police attacking victims of our economic plight? The greed of the ruling class creating areas of poverty that police believe they need to crack down on in order to prevent crime. The Broken Window policy i have heard it called. Stop and frisk in New York. I think it is racism being disguised as police work.

I read one article after another about this young black man being shot while unarmed. The black guy who was shot in Walmart while holding a BB gun. Cops told him to put hands in air, he complied saying it wasnt real and gets shot. Yet an 18 year old white guy was walking down the road in his neighborhood with a shotgun. When police stopped him, asking for his ID, ge refused. He walked away with a fine. Open carry nutbags who walk around with loaded assault rifles, yet nothing happens. Cliven Bundy, the tax evading trespasser and his nutbag hooligan want to be militia point guns at authorities, yet nothing happens. Armed lunatics waiting for a busload of immigrant children force bus to go different location, again nothing happens. This seem a bit fishy to you?

What started off as peaceful protests about the Mike Brown shooting became a fiasco. Who was at fault? People being arrested, shot and beat by police. What looked like a military strike force in an American city. The citizens rioting in response. None of this is right. These people have the right to protest. We do not live in a police state where protest is not allowed. When a public servant does something wrong, we the people have the right to call them out. Any violence in answer of violence is wrong. But that is easy for me to say sitting hundreds of miles away in my Pennsylvania home. Anyone who says race has nothing to do with this is utterly ignorant or blatantly racist.

President Obama has spoke about this. Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken extensively on this. The Ferguson police chief and Governer of Missouri have spoken about this. The governer has pulled the St. Louis Police out replacing them with the Highway Patrol. Events like this have always happened but it seems like it is more common place. To say that the economic and political climate has nothing to do with this is short sighted.

Republicans and Democrats are not to blame per say. The fact that they allow nut bag extremists to hijack the party and message is their fault. These people have inflamed hate and justify racism. They justify hating one another based on our differences. The NRA has created a mess with their idiotic way of thinking and model legislation they give to their bought Congressmen and women to push through. Hate and indifference has become common place, as well as radical out looks on civil rights. The social climate has changed with the political climate.

I live in Pennsylvania and have not personally seen much of this. But i do know quite a few police officers and the way they think is alarming. You would like to think they would look at each situation differently but I dont think they do. It is a generalization of all cops based on a few so it is not a scientific breakdown. When you send a human being out with orders to target a certain group of people, it will have unintended effects on both groups. It is 2014, you would think we would be beyond this. Sadly this is everyday life for certain groups of Americans. When will this change? Only then can we avoid travesties like Ferguson, Missouri.

President Obama authorizes airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq.

     Much to my dismay President Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq. I realize that President Obama had only bad choices in this matter, but in Iraq again. Really? We supposedly stopped military operations in 2011. We were supposed to be teaching Iraqi forces to handle these situations without losing control. It seems the only military presence in Iraq is militias. As of now President Obama has limited military action to airstrikes. How long will that last.

As always the Republican war machine has its wheels turning. John Boehner said the bombings were appropriate but will not be enough. John McCain, the biggest war monger of them all, referred to the strikes as pin pricks. Then followed by saying the Obama administration will not move forward to finish the deal. Peter King said the strikes will not be enough alone. Are these leaders calling for boots on the ground? Of course Democrats are calling for no more then air strikes. Nancy Pelosi commended the President saying that air strikes will help and that she admired his commitment to not putting soldiers in danger.

Why did it take us so long to get involved? Iraqi official have asked the President for help earlier in the year. He said no, because he wanted Iraq to stand on their own as a soveirgn nation. He said that Iraq needed to learn how to handle these situations themselves. Essentially to grow as a government and country. Was this the right strategy? Of course the opinions are split. I do not want soldiers on the ground and it seems as if the American people do not either. But honestly what choice was left.

ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. It is essentially Al Queda in Iraq. It was also very involved in Syria. It is a self proclaimed caliphate and claims authority of Muslims all over the world. It aspires to bring much of the Muslim inhabited regions of the world under its direct political control, according to Wikipedia. ISIS us currently targeting the Yazidis. The Yazidis are a Kurdish minority that is isolated from the majority of the population due to their ancient beliefs. Members of the group are believe in an ancient religion linked to Zoroastrianism and are considered herectics by radical Ialamists. ISIS growth in power has made it easier for them to target the Yazidis.

President Obama said these strikes may save women and children stuck on a mountaintop. His decision seems to have been made by ISIS. Iraqi militias stopped the ISIS march into the capital. But ISIS has been very successful in other regions. I am disapointed that it has come to air strikes. I believe we did the right thing allowing Iraq to handle the situation themselves, we essentially did that in Syria. This is a rock and a hard place situation. Any decision will involve loss of human life. I am happy to say President Obama waited until he could wait no longer. I just home the war machines reach ends at air strikes.

Manufactured scandals, the new GOP.

         In the six years President Obama has been in office have been very eventful. Most of the high profile “events” turned out to be absolutely nothing. Darell Issa swore he had a smoking gun, the one that would impeach him. John Boehner has actually filed a lawsuit against the President because of his ” liberal” use of executive orders. Then a few days later said the President should act alone on immigration reform. These are a few examples of the insanity that D.C. had become.

       Lets cover Benghazi. Republicans shamelessly exploited the death of four Americans in an attempt to hurt Hillary Clinton and unseat President Obama. The Republican led House of Representatives led 8 investigations into the incident, forged emails and even made CNN look horrible with a first hand witness account that was a lie. Darrell Issa has been like a dog with a bone on this, relentlessly pursuing any possible misdeed. Even lying in an effort to trash the President. The eighth investigation proved what the first 7 said, the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton were not guilty of any wrong doing. So the fiscal watch dog Tea Party wasted millions of tax payer dollars on utter nonsense. All they really needed to do was look at who cut funding for embassy and overseas security. Thats right!! The Republicans.

         The IRS scandal. The IRS was accused of targeting Tea Party 401c tax exempt organizations. In the opinion of Republicans President Obama ordered the IRS to do the targeting. Turns out that after the Citizens United decision the IRS was targeting all groups. In fact the only ones that were denied tax exempt status were liberal ones. Another scandal DEBUNKED!!!!!! The VA scandal. The Obama administration spent about $60 billion more on the VA in order to accomadate Vets coming home. They were unable to do so and numbers were intentionally falsified to make it look as if they were meeting obligations. Again this had zero connection to the Obama administration other then his appointee. The outraged Republicans it turned out just shot down aid for Vets. Hypocrites i do say.

I personally do not agree with everything Democrats do, nor with President Obama. I always tell people to look at the Monsanto Protection Act r the super secret Trans Pacific Partnership. These are true scandals that are not recieving any coverage. But these arent scandals that would destroy President Obama, so they arent good enough. Although I do not agree with Democrats on everything, I disagree with Republucans on most things and the hateful Tea Party on everything. The Republican disdain for the average American is perplexing to me. I cant understand why normal people vote for them, it is not in their best interest.

Our country, i repeat, our country will never be the same or better again if we cannot get past this hyper-polarization. The hate and despicable actions of so many are directly ripping apart our political spectrum, as well as our morals. I am hopeful that we can move past this. Find our way to what we truly can be. To me, a Democratic society relies on many different forms of government to truly work. Our country is slipping from Democracy into an oligarchy. Lies and venom towards a sitting President is not the answer. But for some it seems to be all they have.