Wednesday, February 17, 2016

An Open Letter to Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah

To the Honorable Senator Mike Lee,


You disgust me.  To put it plain and simple, a certain sense of revulsion wells up inside me whenever your name is spoken.  And why, may you ask, do I get such displeasure at the mention of you?
Well, let me tell you.
On Sunday, last, a long standing and honorable member of the Supreme Court of the United States, Antonin Scalia, passed away into what we all hope is a better world, and in response to his passing, you tweeted:


“What is less than zero? The chances of Obama successfully appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia?”


Now, let’s overlook the absolute callousness of such a statement at the event of a man’s passing and go right to the fact that you have no respect for the Executive branch of our republic.  He isn’t “Obama.” to you, Sir.  He is “President Obama,” “Mr. Obama,” or “Mr. President.”  I don’t care if you don’t like or respect the man.  Heck, I don’t like or respect the man, but I do give respect to the office, he was able to reach that office and thus, deserves the honorific attached to his name.
On that note, for the next 11 months, he is still the President of the United States. A Supreme Court Justice has passed away, leaving a vacancy, it is Mr. Obama’s duty, per the constitution, to fill that vacancy and it is the Senate’s constitutional duty to confirm that person or show just cause why they cannot.  A presidential election is not just cause Mr. Senator.
You and your ilk have stated time and again that a confirmation during an election year hasn’t happened in 80 years.  Well, Sir, you and every one of your cronies who keep saying that are liars.  Justice Kennedy was confirmed, by a Democrat controlled Senate on February 8, 1988, during an election year, and Mr. Reagan’s final year in office.
Let me do the math here.  I was 19 years old in 1988, and according to your math I would be 99 years old now.  I am not 99 years old, so I’d say that you and Mr. Cruz are at least a good 50 years off in your calculations.  1988 was only 29 years ago, after all.
But, the ultra conservative dough heads out here in the west are going to believe your lies, and post them all over facebook and such, so you’re doing ok. You and Mr. Cruz are fine to keep spinning your yarns.


Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Oh, this is just one of those rare Utah Democrats, spouting his hatred for a Republican Senator.”


Not at all, Sir.  Up until about 5 years ago, I was a Republican.  That was until I figured out that the Republican and Democratic Parties are both full of the unsanitary substances emanating from the nether regions of a horse.


I belong to a small political party that advocates returning to the commonwealth of England.  Why, may you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.


It’s because of you and people like you who are destroying our republic.  You and people like you have made this country into an oligarchy.  You don’t care about the people whom you profess to represent.  You care about your party and your corporate donors who keep you in power.  As long as the R’s have control, you’re happy.  You and your’s, have this funny knee jerk reaction to anything that the President says.  It doesn’t matter what he says, you are against it.  Is it because you don’t like his kind?  Maybe, he has shoved his way into your exclusive boy’s club, and you can’t have him getting uppity?  Is that what it is Mr. Lee?  Because that’s how it sounds every time you and the other Senate Republicans open your mouths.  Calling him “Obama” instead of using the honorific he has earned.  You may as well be calling him “Boy.”
Think about that.


So, why are you waiting to approve a new Supreme Court Justice?  Is it that you actually think that any of the Republican candidates has a snowball’s chance of getting into the Whitehouse?  If that’s the case, I have a bridge to sell you.  Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump are practically handing Mrs. Clinton the keys to the front door.  Get used to saying Madam President, because you will be for the next 4 years.


Do your duty, and consider the next Supreme Court candidate that is put before the Senate for consideration.  If you believe in the constitution, as you profess you do, then do your duty and show me that I have you all wrong.


But, I don’t think you will.


Sincerely,
Murph

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

 
Last night, while lurking on facebook to kill a couple of minutes before going to bed, I ran across an article in the Huffington Post arguing that people who support Bernie Sanders are not naive nor stupid.  I happen to agree with the premise of the article. In fact, I kind of like Sanders. I don't agree with quite a few of the things he has said, but, who really agrees with everything that comes out of the mouth of a politician?
 
Let me just say right now that I am not a Democrat,  nor am I a Republican. I am fairly moderate with strong environmental views that seem to be the bastion of the left, but I also have fairly strong social views that seem to be that of the right.
I do belong to a small political party whose main platform consists of giving up as a country, returning to the British Commonwealth,  and working to put the royal family back in real power. Call that left or right, I don't much care.
 
Of course,  5 minutes after I posted the article, my very conservative little brother chimed in stating that Sanders would destroy the first amendment and so on and so forth. I don't fault him for his views. It was not long ago that I shared his views. I’ve swung left and right so many times It’s even making me dizzy. I’ve probably been in my current state of middle for the last 10 years. I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Obama, but I don't think that He’s the antichrist either. You get my drift.
 
Now, I could be wrong here, but I really don’t believe that the President of the United States really has much power to effect actual, you know, capital “C,” Change in the country.  They don’t have the power to change the constitution or to take parts out of it.  If Clinton gets into office, shock troops are not going to be pounding on your door to collect your guns.  Sanders is not going to be sending out work crews to knock over church steeples. Trump is not going to deport millions of undocumented immigrants nor is he going to have Mexico build a wall.  And Cruz is not going to abolish the IRS, nor is he going to get a “flat tax” passed.
 
They can propose laws, but then they have to get them through a very obstructionist congress. That’s not an easy task at all.  They can’t change the constitution unless it gets through congress and then is approved by 38 state legislatures.  Also, not an easy lift.
The president can appoint judges to the supreme court if there is a vacancy.  But you know what?  I think that SCOTUS gets it right most of the time. They may not rule to my liking in all cases, but once the passion cools a bit, and I look at the decisions as they pertain to the constitution, I can usually see that they were right.  (But I’m still not so sure about that Citizens United thing, that was a ball of worms that should have stayed in the bait box as far as i’m concerned).
 
The president can also issue executive orders to “circumvent congress” and Obama has been proclaimed an “Imperial President” by conservatives because of the enormous volume of executive orders that he has issued. But you know what, I looked it up and found “The American Presidency Project” (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php) where they list the number of executive orders by president, and here is what I found.
Obama: 228
W. Bush: 291
Clinton: 364
Bush: 166
Reagan: 381
Compared to the last few presidents, Mr. Obama is about average, but when compared just to Reagan, the darling of the conservative movement, he’s a light weight.  Here’s what I found interesting.  All these 5 presidents put together are no FDR who issued a whopping 3,721 executive orders.  Now let’s talk about an Imperial President, shall we?
 
It’s called perspective people.
 
Ok, so here’s the thing. In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter who becomes president because their power to affect (capital C) Change is very limited, but they are the face of the country.  They can make or break relations with other countries.  They can appoint people to positions who can make real change: The HUD secretary, the VA director, FBI, CIA, NSA directors, along with countless other alphabet soup agency directors.  They appoint diplomats, and other State Department positions.  You get my drift.  So it is kind of important that we choose a statesman instead of a freak who’s going to piss off Putin or any of the Middle Eastern guys with whom we’d like to have better relations.
 
So with that in mind, I’d like to give you my opinions of the current crop of candidates.
Trump.  Do we really want someone like “The” Donald in the oval office?  He’d be turning the presidency into a reality show. The guy is a clown, and doesn’t care who knows it. He’s a rude, crude, racist, “f-word,” and he’s ok with that too.  He’s a walking recipe for disaster and his supporters seem to be ok with that as well.
 
As for Cruz and Rubio, they are just tea party mirror images of eachother.  You could elect either one of these guys and it wouldn’t matter because all I hear from them is that they are against everything Obama is for. It amazes me that they are doing so well in the polls.  Opposition (meaning one who is opposed to everything) candidates, historically have not done so well in voting, but, this isn’t a normal year.
 
I’m really not going to mention the other 92 (slight exaggeration) Republican candidates because none of them matter.
Although of that crowd, I was bit of a Carly Fiorina fan, but since she doesn’t have a snowballs chance of getting the nomination with her 1.9% in Iowa, I’ll give up on her chances and so should she.
 
Clinton.  Ugh… do we really need to relive the 90’s?  Seriously people.  Listen to the lady talk.  She measures every word before she says them.  It’s like listening to a badly programed droid.
“ I...uh... said I... would… uh... do it... and I… uh... did it… um... because… uh... if there is... anything new… um... which is… uh... unlikely... after the… uh... eight...um... prior… uh... investigations that… um... have been… uh... held… Blah, Blah… uh... Blah…”
To elect her would be historical and momentous.  I think that it would be cool to have a strong woman in the presidency.  But not her.  There is something decidedly dishonest, disingenuous, maybe even sneaky about her that I just can’t get past.
 
Sanders, well, I don’t agree with everything he has said, but there is one thing that I do like about the guy; he is the only candidate who has not formed a Super PAC for fundraising, which means that every dollar he has raised is open to public scrutiny and he can’t hide behind a PAC.  So I know that he’s accepted money from Microsoft and Apple, from facebook and from the Air Force… The Air Force?  Really?  Actually, I can see that all the branches of the military have given to all of the candidates. Why any of the candidates would accept money from the military is beyond me.  It would be quite a PR coup if one of them publicly gave that money back to the military and called on the other candidates to do the same… wouldn’t it?
 
But, I digress.

There was a time that the United States was the greatest country on the planet.  But that time has passed and I doubt that it will ever come back as long as the D’s & R’s continue to fight among themselves rather than do the work of the American People.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean.  In 2015, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a study of 15-year-olds in math and science.  What they found was that the USA ranked 29th world wide.  “The greatest country in the world,” so says the flag wavers and yet we ranked 29th, behind Singapore (1st), Estonia (7th), Slovenia (18th), Latvia (24th), and even Luxembourg (26th).
 
There are other studies I’ve read that show that since the year 2000 the US has lost 32% of all manufacturing jobs to overseas.  That we used to be #1 in terms of personal wealth world wide, but back in 2011 we had dropped to 7th, meaning that back in 2011, we were no longer the richest country in the world, I’m sure that we’ve dropped even more in the past 4 years.


Sanders has some ideas about how to bring that back, and I’m willing to give him that chance.  But, it doesn’t really matter much because I live in Utah, where our 6 measly electoral votes will go to the R column.  Compare that to California’s 55 or Texas’s 38, or even Florida’s 29 and it becomes really clear that my little vote doesn’t matter.
 
So, there you go.

I don't know what the answer is, but I'm sure that there is an answer out there... somewhere.
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