Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

Oct
03

 This just in!  The Government of the United States has been under attack for quite some time now and the origins of the attack are becoming clearer by the day.  Billions of dollars have been spent over the years in attempts to keep attacks from sources outside of our country from destroying us.   Hard-working, diligent people in all of our branches of military service and clandestine services have sacrificed their time, and their lives to keep this country strong and ward off those who would attempt to destroy us.  It seems as if, in this case, efforts should have been made to protect us from those who live among us whose self-centered personal goals put them in a position where they can influence others to perform actions that do harm to us all.

Our political system has been hijacked from within and the country is paying a steep price for a lack of diligence.  The hijacking of the American political system is a serious event that has long-lasting repercussions.  Some of us saw it coming and were fearful.  Others saw it coming and were overjoyed by the prospects.  Others saw it coming and were too afraid to stand up against it.

Our political system has been hijacked by a missile that has very definite destructive characteristics.  It is these characteristics that make this weapon so deadly to the very government of our union.   Here are just a few of the characteristics that many of us have observed in the past year or so.

We have elected individuals whose actions are geared towards re-election at the expense of governing the nation and expressing the will of the people.

Once in a position of power, our elected officials spend a very large portion of their time raising funds that are used to keep them in power.  The collective will of the people is made subject to corporations and individuals with immense financial backing.  Those who serve us, no longer serve us.  They serve those who keep them in power.

It has become almost impossible to get rid of elected officials.

A very large percentage of the House of Representatives are elected in gerrymandered political districts that are absolutely designed to keep them in power.  Many districts have been set up with abnormally high percentages of one political party and as such, there is very little threat that their elected representative will ever lose an election in a district tailored to keep them in power.

“The will of the American people” is an oft-used quote that is rarely accurate.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a political representative state that they are voting or acting in a certain way because it is the “will of the American people.”  Justifying political behavior on such garbage is politically expedient and intellectually dishonest.   Let me give you some examples.   I can pretty much say without fear of being incorrect that it is the “will of the American people” that our government should protect us from harm from countries or groups that would do us harm.  That is pretty much a 100% certainty.  However, when we hear our representatives say that the American people want the Affordable Care Act overturned you can rest assured that they are overstating that will for the purpose of making a political point.  First of all, the statement is a lie.   The American people do not want the Affordable Care Act overturned.  True enough, a portion of the American people want it overturned, but there is an equal number that do not want it overturned.  Stating that the American people want a given outcome is ignorant on its face.   Is anyone else as tired of this garbage coming from the mouths of both sides of the political spectrum?

Are our political leaders so ignorant that they don’t know the difference between the “will of the American people” and “the will of those who will keep me in power”?   Or could it be that they think those of us who put them in power are ignorant?  (If you doubt the ignorance of the electorate I call attention to a recent video I viewed where individuals where asked whether or not they would chose the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  None of them knew that they were one and the same thing.  (Most commented that the Affordable Care Act was much better).  Ignorance indeed.

There are those in power who do not believe that elections have consequences.

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.  Those who claim they can repeal, or defund it in this political environment are feeding you a load of garbage.  Attempts to do so (over 40 worthless votes in the House of Representatives) are nothing more than a political stunt without any chance of accomplishing the stated goal.  The sad thing is that a fairly significant percentage of the American people actually believe it can be done.  Those “true believers” in the Constitution are depending upon actions that are not possible because of the very Constitution they believe in.

Elections have consequences.  The political environment as of this date is one of “split” government.  Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate.  Republicans control the House of Representatives.   There are not enough votes for Republicans in either house to overcome the actions of Democrats without there being “defectors” from the Democrats.  The Presidency was one by a Democrat with a 5 million vote advantage over his Republican rival.  The Democrat campaigned on moving forward with the Affordable Care Act.  The Republican campaigned on the repeal of the same act.  The Democrat won, the people spoke.  Even the Supreme Court has spoken on the issue. The Republican lost, and his party is now beholding to individuals trumpeting sound and fury signifying nothing of consequence.

Now we have a very small group of elected Republicans who have made every effort to overcome the results of the election.  Make no mistake.  Attempts to repeal of the Affordable Care Act in this political environment are contrary to the collective will of the American electorate.  As such, these efforts reject very Constitution they claim to love.

I suggest that those whose desire it is to repeal the Affordable Care Act figure out a way to win control of the Senate and the Presidency.  Only then will they be successful.  Minority parties, while representative of many individuals, are not representative of the overall electorate.

The Republican Party Is Unrecognizable And Has Been Hijacked By A Small, Vocal Group Whose Actions Have Terrified Other Republicans In Power.

The Speaker of the House has allowed this small group to hijack the Republican Party and the rest of the country is paying a steep price for it.  Only time will tell if he is able to remain in his exalted position as Speaker.  He has voiced significant concerns but at this point has done nothing that will get control of this small faction of individuals who threaten to remove him from power.   Now we are back to my original statements.  “Those who serve us, no longer serve us.  They serve those who keep them in power.”   Who is the Speaker of the House serving?  The view from this window indicates that he is serving himself at the expense of the rest of his party.

Ted Cruz Represents The Will of His Political Base Very Well, Without Regard To Anything But His Own Self-Serving Interests.

I am absolutely sure that Senator Cruz is expressing the will of a majority of those who elected him.  However, his actions over the last month or so have led his national party over the edge of a cliff of his own making.  The country is paying a price for it.  For the most part, he has convinced other political leaders to attempt to do something that is politically impossible in our current political environment.  We are beginning to see statements from other Republicans denouncing his efforts, attitude, and political expertise.  His efforts are failing miserably and every day more our political leaders veer off the path that leads towards the cliff.

I have some major questions regarding the efforts of Senator Cruz:

  1.  If he is so intelligent as he and others claim, why did he lead so many of his party astray on this issue?
  2. Could it be he is only trying to garner a name for himself and prepare the country for the Cruz Missile that would be his Presidential run in the future?
  3.  What is the reason that others followed his lead in this issue?
  4. Could it be that they fear losing power if they don’t follow him?

The heart of our government has been struck by an out-of-control missile that has left a lot of damage.  It is obvious that the American electorate is fed up with the behavior of members of both Houses of Congress as is attested by their 10% approval rating.   Our government is now stuck in a pattern of governing from self-inflicted crisis to self-inflicted crisis.   The most infuriating part of this is that a small group within the government believes that this is the way to express the will of the people.

The will of the people is being suppressed by the weight of the desire to remain in power.

Aug
13

Is voter fraud really a problem in our elections?  If voter fraud is a problem, has it had any role in electing individuals to office?  Why is it that Republicans stress the importance of voter id laws and Democrats are against them?

If you listen to a Republican touting the importance of voter ID laws you tend to see trends in their comments.  Here are some comments that I have found online in “comments” sections of online articles this morning:

“We debate whether it’s better to allow a dirty foreigner to vote or deprive a grandmother her right to vote…..”

“I believe many in the Republican Party want voter ID laws because they believe it important only living, legal-age, legally-allowed (depending on state laws regarding felons and that sort of thing) citizens vote and each one votes only once.”

“Why are Dems so scared of the possibility of a fair election?”

“Why are the Regressive Liberal Democrats against anything that ensures integrity.”

“it’s the right thing to do, up yours NAACP”

“How many times a day are we requested to show ID? You cannot board a plane without showing ID- are airlines being sued? Now to buy cold medication and even nail polish remover you need to show ID. The ones who cry out racism and law suits are most likely the ones who are not American citizens.”

“Keep illegals out of the polls…”

“Boo hoo. You just want all the illegal democrats votes. You don’t care about their well being, keep them down but keep them voting.”

Realize first of all, that the comments I provided are not in any way a scientific representation of all of the comments out there these days regarding voter id laws.   That being said, these comments are actual comments from concerned citizens regarding our voting process.   There are definitely some trends here that we should take a look at.

  1. There are citizens out there who believe that minority individuals who have migrated to this country illegally are actively involved in providing Democratic votes in our elections.
  2. There are citizens out there who believe voter ID laws will ensure the integrity of our elections.
  3. There are citizens out there who believe past elections have not been fair and that is the reason why they lost.
  4. There are citizens out there who believe votes are being cast in the name of dead individuals.
  5. There are citizens out there who believe underage voters are voting.
  6. There are citizens out there that believe people are voting twice or more.
  7. There are citizens out there that believe convicted felons are voting when they don’t have the right to vote.

There can be no doubt that a portion of our electorate believes that illegal votes are being counted and that these votes have swung elections towards Democratic candidates.  There is also no doubt that there is a significant portion of the electorate that believe that “illegals” are voting in our elections and swinging elections toward Democratic candidates.  You will have to decide whether or not you think that negative feelings towards individuals who are of a different race is contributing towards these comments.

The right to vote is one of our most important privileges and responsibilities.   As we draw nearer to the next mid-term elections in 2014 this is a battle that will be waged on many fronts.  Are there facts that support the positions of those whose comments I illustrated today?   Look for more posts regarding voter id laws in the coming days and weeks.  This is a discussion worth having.

Nov
07

For the past month or so I spent a great deal of time writing down my thoughts in regard to the reasons that I and others could not vote for Republican candidates in this election cycle.  Now that the election is over, its time to take a hard look at the reasons I had, and whether or not the Obama victory in any way reduced my fears over the very reasons I voted in the way I did.

Reason #1 – The Republican Party has evolved from the party that worked diligently to conserve the environment to one that does its best to insure its destruction.

Nothing is going to change in regard t the Republican Party’s stance on environmental issues.  Hopefully in this second term, Obama will have the courage to work together to come up with legislation that will make a positive impact on the environment.  A Republican victory would have guaranteed that their “job killing regulation” garbage would have continued and the environment would have paid the price.

Reason #2 – Replacing the current Democratic Administration with a Republican Administration significantly increases the probability of a return to the “enhanced interrogation” policies ushered in by the Bush Administration.

Since Mitt Romney basically said that he would institute “enhanced” interrogation, the fact that he is not in office lessens the chances of the return to the ineffective use of torture to gain information that is at best sketchy and at worst false.  Since information obtained by torture techniques is basically unusable in a court of law, there is less chance that trials of terrorists will be unsuccesful because of information obtained illegally.

Reason #3 –The Possibility Of A Return To Neocon-Influenced Foreign Policy.

Neocon influence on the Obama Administration is marginalized and will not be a factor in foreign policy decisions.  Obama’s victory guarantees that the Neocons will spend at least 8 years in exile.  This does not in any way preclude the fact that their ideology will return in the future.  For now, their influence is negated.

Reason #4 – Republican Voter Suppression Is Real, And Is, At Its’ Core, Un-American

The President won the popular vote by about 2.8 million votes.  There is no real data out there yet as to the number of individuals who were denied their legal right to vote because of the actions of Republican Governors and legislators.  All you have to do is to look at the lack of results in Florida to see that their voter suppression efforts impacted the electoral process.  Seven hour waits to vote are ridiculous.  Governor Rick Scotts’ reduction in early voting in Florida impacted the election.  Once again, the State of Florida looks moronic.  Can anyone in Florida count past 5 or 10?  It surely doesn’t look like it.  Republicans will continue their voter suppression efforts even though they failed in their objective during this election cycle.

Reason #5 – Republican political figures exhibit a significant “anti-science” attitude that leads to policy implementation that is uninformed and imperils both the environment of the planet and the welfare of those who live on it.

Until Republicans are removed from key positions on committees that are informed by the processes and data of science, they will continue with their uniformed, ignorant, and destructive attitudes and the people of the country will suffer because of it.  Until the House of Representatives contains a Democratic majority, those who deny the contributions of legitimate science to the public policy debate will continue their denial of scientific fact.

Reason #6 – Republican Obstructionism

Democratic gains in the House of Representatives and Senate are not sufficient to overcome the obstruction that has become the hallmark of Republican legislative effort.  There is some noise out there today about Harry Reid letting the Republicans know that the majority in the Senate will not be pushed around.  Truth is, without filabuster reform, Republicans can continue their obstructionism.  I think many voters were turned off by their stated obstructive processes, but I am not sure that they are intelligent enough to make the decision to give up their efforts.  A good indication of what the voters think about Congress is to take a look at their job approval rating.

On another note, Mitch McConnells stated goal of doing whatever it took to make sure Obama was a one term President failed.  I don’t have much faith that things will change in that regard.  However, it was a very good night for us last night and I wanted to call Mitch up and say “scoreboard baby, you are a complete failure”.

Reason 7 – Romney’s statements over the years make it completely impossible to have any legitimate understanding of where he stands on the issues.

It doesn’t matter, he is no longer on the political scene.  His flip-flops made an impression on voters.  The extent to which they contributed to his 2.8 million vote loss is probably not discernible.

Reason #8 – Putting more Republicans in office will contribute to continued lack of action on climate change.

The real question here is whether or not the Obama Administration has the political will to even bring this up.  Big storm hits New York and New Jersey, everyone is talking about it.  Hurricane hits the Republican Party on election night, will anyone be talking about it now?  Obviously having a Democrat serving as President makes it more likely, but I don’t have a lot of faith in the Democrats convictions in regard to the most important environmental issue of our lifetime.  Time will tell.  However every day they wait, the problem gets harder to solve.

So there you have it.  My reasons for voting Democratic.  Notice that I did not bring up any of the real “hot button” issues to justify my vote.  Issues like womens rights, minority rights, tax fairness, the Supreme Court, and health care etc. are important.  However, I am not your typical Independant voter.  Other things grabbed my attention this time. 

Your comments are always welcome.  Would love to hear why you did, or did not vote Democratic in this election.

Nov
05

People have been asking me what my predicitions will be for the Presidential race.  All we have to go on for data on where the electorate stands is polling data.  My predictions are based upon data taken from individual battleground states in their last 10 polls.  Most of the polls were taken in November, but a few were in Late October.  My prediction is based entirely on polling data without trying to inject any of my own personal bias.  The accuracy of polls is, of course, assuming that the polls themselves eliminate bias.

My Prediction –  Obama 294 electoral votes, Romney 244 electoral votes.

Obama Toss Up States victories predicted in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada

Romney Toss Up State victories predicted in North Carolina, Florida and Colorado (Though the polls slightly favor Obama in Colorado at this point)

For details of the poll data and how that influences my predictions click on the following link: Swing State Predictions

Nov
01

This is the last in a series of posts on reasons why I and many other Independants and Democrats will not vote for any Republican candidates in this election.

Reason #8 – Putting more Republicans in office will contribute to continued lack of action on climate change.

So the monster storm hits New Jersey, New York and other areas on the east coast and all of the sudden people are starting to pay attention to climate change.  A 15 minutes search of online media that I tend to read each morning illustrates my point.  Nearly every one of the websites I read has an article that relates to the possibility that the intensity of Sandy was influenced by issues related to climate change.  Even Fox News had an article, with their typical caveat that some scientists don’t agree with the consensus.  Big shock there.   Here are a few of them:

  • “Did Climate Change Play A Role In Sandy’s Strength? – Ericka Bondstad – Mclatchy
  • “It’s Global Warming Stupid!” – Paul M. Barret – Business Week
  • ‘It’s Called Climate Change” – Molly Reilly – Huffington Post
  • “Cuomo: “Climate Change Is A Reality…We are Vulnerable” -
  • “Nasa Warned New York About Hurricane Danger Six Year Ago” – Chris Mooney – Mother Jones
  • “Outsmarting the Surge” – Bryan Walsh – Time
  • “Dems Push Climate Change Issue In Wake Of Sandy, But Some Scientists Skeptical” – Kara Rowland – Fox News

Everyone has an opinion.  I am amused by the fact that all of the sudden people seem to be having a “come to Jesus” moment now that the $50 billion storm has spread its havoc over a highly populated area.  Note, I am not amused by the results of the storm, just by the sudden surge in interest in climate change issues.

The processes and data obtained through legitimate scientific research is used to inform policy decisions that are made in Washington D.C.   However, when scientific research comes face to face with political ideology and the almighty pocketbook of our elected officials, that research is often ignored.  There are lots of reasons for a politician to ignore the results of science.  Here are a few:

  1. If the science in any way threatens the religious beliefs of a politician, he can not afford to alienate those who would vote for him that have the same beliefs.
  2. If the science  in any way threatens the ideological position of a politician, he can not afford to alienate his political base or he will lose his job.
  3. If the science in any way threatens the financial contributions that come to him from special interests, he literally can not afford to agree with the science.

Here is what we as a country are faced with at this time.

  • Legitimate scientific research overwhelmingly points to the fact that human activity has changed our climate.
  • Those who claim otherwise are not skeptics, they are deniers.
  • All legitimate scientists are legitimate skeptics.  It is inherent in the scientific process that one be skeptical.
  • Denialism is not skepticism.  Denialism involves ignoring evidence and maintaining a set of beliefs that are consistent with ones ideological or religious convictions.
  • Skepticism involves taking a legitimate look at the science, questioning it, getting answers and moving in the direction of the data.
  • Republican politicans are significantly more likely to deny the science of global climate change than Democrats.
  • All of the Republican politicians vying for the Republican nomination but one, stated that they basically “don’t believe that the climate is really changing” or don’t believe that “human activity is the cause”
  • Mitt Romney changed his position on human contribution to climate change during this election cycle.
  • Anyone shocked by Romney’s change in his position doesn’t pay attention to the realities of his constant flip-flops on most issues.

Let me be perfectly clear with regard to my stance on climate change if it is not already clear to this point.  I stand with 98% of the legitimate scientists whose expertise is in climate related fields.  Climate change is real and it is upon us in ways that are causing loss of life, causing destruction of property, causing major disruptions to peoples lives, and costing the government billions in repair and cleanup costs.  The effects of CO2 in the atmosphere were predicted in the late 1800’s.   Politicians who are responsible to put policies in place to protect those that voted them into office have failed miserably.  Some are significantly more culpable than others.

Ultimately, the electorate is responsible for the lack of legitimate action on climate change issues.  Those who vote for individuals who don’t have the courage to stand up to special interests, those who will not honestly look at the science, are responsible.  Voting for individuals who deny the science of climate change is similar to voting for someone who believes that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.  To anyone with a legitmate brainwave, that seems ignorant doesn’t it?  Yet, we keep putting these people in office year after year.

I blame the electorate my friends, for being so short-sighted and gullible when it comes to this issue.  If this was the only issue where I disagreed with Republicans, it would be enough for me to deny them my vote.  I am not a one-issue voter.  If I was, this is big enough for me.  In the long run, it could be more important than the other 7 reasons I have given in my previous posts combined.

A vote for a Republican candidate, is a vote for continuing the process of denying the science of climate change.  It is a vote that has ramifications, while the wind blows, the rain and snow fall, and the ocean decides to come ashore.  I am counting the days now, until Mitt Romney changes his mind again and goes back to his original stance on climate change.  A word of caution here.  It won’t happen before the election, too many of his voters expect him to have his current stance, and that is the problem in a nutshell.

Oct
28

In the first 6 versions of “In Case You Were Wondering” I detailed reasons why I and many other Independents and Democrats could not support any Republicans in this election cycle.  The reasons given were all related to specific attitudes and policies of Republicans.  At this point I want to go in a different direction.  Now I want to talk about the Republican Nominee for President, Mitt Romney.

Reason 7 – Romney’s statements over the years make it completely impossible to have any legitimate understanding of where he stands on the issues.

In the Republican Presidential Debate on November 9, 2011 Mitt Romney made the following statement: “I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy.”  Actually Mitt, we understand just the opposite.  You have proven to be a man with an unsteady and ever-swaying doctrine about so many issues that the only thing that is constant is your unsteadiness.   In other words, you have proven to be a man we can not trust because you hit both sides of almost every issue and therefore we have no idea what you really stand for.  Romney is, steadily unsteady and constantly changing.

John Huntsman, fellow Republican Mormon, and one of the early dropouts in the Republican nomination process has summed up what others (regardless of political affiliation) think of Mitt Romney.  He pointed out that Romney was “A perfectly lubricated weathervane.”   There is more truth in that statement than one could possibly imagine.  First of all, by their nature and design, weather vanes are designed to spin and twirl and point to whatever direction the wind is blowing.  What a perfect metaphor for Mitt Romney.  You see, Romney’s statements are entirely dependant upon which way the political winds are blowing at any given time.

Wind is an amazing phenomenon.   Unless we are schooled in the science of climate and weather we probably don’t have a clue as to why it is blowing in any direction at any given time.  Never mind that we can’t figure out why it is blowing so hard.  All we care about is getting away from its effects.  If you live in Las Vegas like I do, you would be constantly faced with winds blowing in all sorts of directions with all sorts of velocity.  So it is in the political realm.  On any given day you never know what direction political wind will come from and rarely be able to determine its velocity ahead of time.

I suggest the following reality about the nature of political windstorms.  The force and direction of political wind is often related to its source and the environment you are in at the time the wind hits you.  If you are trying to gain the adulation of a group from the Republican political base you had better understand the political winds they are driving your way.  In that regard, Mitt Romney is the absolute perfect political weathervane.  When trying to get people in the Republican base to get excited about your candidacy, you will have one set of responses to their inquiries.  If they ask about gays in the military, you better come out strongly against it.  If they ask about abortion, you better come out strongly against it.  If they ask about climate change you had better spout the company line that the science is not certain and because of that we shouldn’t do anything about it.

If you are trying to garner the nomination, you better pander to the base.  However, when you sense the wind blowing in a different direction, like maybe in a Presidential debate where Independents and Democrats are paying attention, you better deny all that you said during all of your debates against fellow Republicans and come out strongly in favor of things that might attract the independent vote.  Hence, Romney’s performances during the Presidential debates were no surprise to anyone who was paying attention.  The weathervane was well-lubricated and spun around and basically denied all of his previous statements.   Hence, John Hunstman’s description is dead on the money.

To give you an idea of the seriousness of Romney’s lack of conviction, even the political commentators on Fox News have made disparaging comments about Romney’s inability to stand consistently for anything.  “You are only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character” - Britt Hume – Fox News, October 30th, 2011.  While I don’t usually agree with much that comes from Fox News, my point here is that even those who support him, realize that his flips and flops generate beliefs about him that indicate he has character problem.

The problem that many Independents and most Democrats have with Mitt Romney is that his ever-changing political stances on a host of issues make him appear to have no political soul. To put it in biological terms, he is a vertebrate without vertebrae.  I prefer to use that term instead of the one I hear more often, that he is spineless.  In other words, he doesn’t believe strongly in much, and because of that we don’t trust him.  Should we vote for him because he is going to reduce the taxes of the very rich, or should we vote for him because he is not going to reduce the taxes of the very rich.   Should we vote for him because he was completely supportive of the Bush doctrine on Iraq, or should we vote for him because he was completely against the Bush doctrine on Iraq.   Should we vote for him because be believes in his primary legislative accomplishment while Governor of Massachusetts (health care), or should we vote for him because he is against the same basic health care legislation that is President Obama’s primary legislative accomplishment.

You see, no matter which Mitt Romney we vote for, we are voting against the other Mitt Romney.  Do we put Mitt Romney in the White House or do we put Mitt Romney in the White House?  Either way, we can be sure that he will proclaim victory while he is forced to proclaim his political demise.  We don’t trust him, because he is untrustable.  We don’t believe in him, because he is not believable.  As such, he is not fit for the office of the Presidency of the United States.

I have put together a chart illustrating Mitt Romney’s flip-flops.  It doesn’t include all of them, there isn’t enough room to list them all.  If you believe what I am saying, it will support my position.  If you don’t believe what I am saying, it will support my position and you may not want to discover that what I am saying is the truth.  At least my position on this doesn’t change when the wind blows.

Romney Flip Flop

Oct
25

Reason #6 – Republican Obstructionism

I have definitely found something that Republican political operatives are terrific at.  That something is obstructionism.  Republicans can holler and scream all they want but facts are facts.  The obstructionism exhibited by Republicans in Congress completely disrupted a significant portion of legislative efforts during President Obama’s time in office.   There is no surprise here.  It is a stated goal.

Do you remember that kid in your neighborhood who always had to have it his or her way?  Do you remember their threats to “take their ball and go home”?  Do you remember how you felt as a kid when one person completely dominated your choices as to what you were going to be doing on that day?  I remember dealing with them all through school.  We despised their attitudes.  They were basically bullies.  Welcome to the 111th and 112th Congress.

Those of us who legitimately look at the claims of the candidates can point to a very significant claim that Mitt Romney has made during his years running for President. (Recently repeated during the debates)  His claim is that he governs in a bipartisan way.  To prove his point he calls attention to the fact that during his term as Governor of Massachusetts he worked together with Democrats to get a significant number of legislative efforts passed.  In truth, yes he did.  In truth, he had no choice.  Romney’s political party was at a complete disadvantage during his term in office.  The legislature he had to deal with was more than 80% Democrat.  Here is an accurate way of describing why he was successful.  HE HAD NO CHOICE!  Had he not worked together with Democrats Massachusetts would have had a legislative stalemate of major proportions.  True enough, he could have vetoed legislation, but unfortunately his veto would have been overturned by a legislature that was largely Democratic in a largely Democratic State.  As a general rule, when one is outnumbered, unless you have significant firepower, you had better work with the majority.  Romney did not have any firepower and so he agreed to work with Democrats.

Romney’s calls for bipartisanship and his claims that he worked in a bipartisan way are at best hollow, and at worst manipulation of today’s electorate.  That is not to say that he did not work with the Democrats and the small number of Republicans he was tasked with working with.  He was outnumbered, he knew it, and he did what was politically expedient.

Now, fast-forward to today.  Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Senate.  However, they do not have enough Democratic votes to overcome any Republican filibuster attempts.  Knowing that, the Republicans set records for filibustering legislation in the 112th Congress.  Republican claims that they wanted to work with the President are not backed up by fact.  Here are the facts:

  • Mitch McConnell made the following statement to the National Journal. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  McConnell was true to his word as he led his fellow Republican Senators to block almost every legislative attempt by the Democratically-controlled Senate.
  • The number of cloture votes (for the purpose of breaking Republican filibusters) in the Senate were almost four times that of the Senate during the Bush Presidency.
  • Without 60 Democratic votes, the Democrats were powerless to overcome Republican obstructionism.
  • Republican Senators voted against legislation that they had made major contributions to.  They got what they wanted, and voted the legislation down anyway.
  • A failed Obama Presidency is, and was, the only real goal of Republicans in Congress over the past two Congressional terms.
  • For the first four years of the Bush Presidency there was an average of 33.25 cloture votes per year.
  • During the first two years of the Obama Presidency there was an average of 68.5 cloture votes per year.
  • During the second two years of the Obama Presidency there has been an average of 123 cloture votes per year.

Here are a few of the bills that Republicans kept from becoming law:

H.R. 12 – Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 — Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 – Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 — National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 – Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 – Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 – Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 — Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 — DREAM Act
S.3985 — Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 — Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 — A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 — Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 — Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 — American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 — Veterans Jobs Corps Act

Recently every Republican Senator voted to filibuster the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — basically, healthcare for 9/11 heroes.  Do you suppose they claimed there typical patriotic reasons and waived the American flag and proudly wore the American flag pins on their lapels as they voted this down?  Meanwhile the heroes who sacrificed their own personal health in an attempt to rescue those killed on 9/11 suffer without well-earned compensation.

One of my favorite examples of Republican obstructionism is the fact that they filibustered  S.2204 the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act”.  Anyone shocked that they would not hold their major campaign contributors to task out of fear that their financial support would dry up?

Notice also that they stopped several bills designed to assist our war Veterans from receiving assistance after they got back from serving our country in a war foisted on the American people by the previous Republican Administration.

So, as we move closer to November 6th, when you hear claims from Mitt Romney that he worked in a bipartisan way during his term as Governor of Massachusetts and that he will work in the same manner after he is elected President, take a good look at the real situation.

If, by chance, Romney is elected, he will not face a Senate that is so hostile to his Presidency that they will sacrifice the needs of the country to make sure he is a one-term President.  Only President Obama faced that environment.

The promised and fulfilled obstructionist activities of the Republican Party are a major reason why I and many others will not vote for any Republican during this election cycle.

Oct
21

Here is the 5th reason many individuals are not considering voting for Republican candidates in this election.

Reason #5 – Republican political figures exhibit a significant “anti-science” attitude that leads to policy implementation that is uninformed and imperils both the environment of the planet and the welfare of those who live on it.

In the realm of government, science does not set policy.  On the contrary, science informs policy.  There is no possible way for our elected officials to be experts on every issue that comes before them.  It is imperative that our elected officials educate themselves before casting their votes on legislation that is beyond their realm of expertise.  Without input from science and technology, related legislative votes are reduced to uninformed actions dependent more upon ideology and financial backing than on reality.

The Republican Party has increasingly become “anti-science” as the party has morphed into what it has become today.  This “anti-science” mentality has exhibited itself for several decades but it was never more apparent than during the most recent Republican Administration.  I fully understand that those who are attracted to the conservative ideology will deny this as nothing more than the musings of someone who doesn’t share their same world view   As one who is educated at the University level in science, I recognize that I am considered “the enemy” by many who have a different world view.  It is a label I wear without reservation.  I believe in science and the scientific process.  I believe in legitimate medical and environmental research and in their value to the health and well-being of all members of society.

Any legitimate investigation of the recent and past history of “conservatives on the hill” will find that what I am stating here has been observed, documented and verified for a long time.  Any denial that the problem exists can only be made along ideological lines.  As a matter of fact, denial along conservative ideological lines is what causes the problem to exist in the first place. The actions and attitudes of the Bush Administration in this realm were transparently obvious and do not take a college degree to identify.

To my past students whose lives are centered on their faith in God, I say that nothing has changed in regard to my faith since you walked into my classroom so many years ago.   However, the political party that once represented my political leaning has morphed into something that is unrecognizable.  The Republican Party is without question, demonstrably “anti-science” in its attitudes and behaviors.

The previous Republican Administration was known in the scientific community as one that was significantly “anti-science”.   In fact, the Bush Administration was not interested in the normal policy advisory role that scientists have fulfilled in past administrations whether Republican or Democrat.  The Bush Administration was not remotely interested in factoring in the results of legitimate and fact-based scientific inquiry into their policy decisions.

There is a reported conversation between a very prestigious investigative reporter and a Bush Administration official that beautifully illustrates the attitude of the Bush Administration towards those who would question the reliability of their actions.  In an October 2004 New York Times article, Ron Suskind describes his encounter with a “senior advisor” to President Bush as follows:

“The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community”, which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.”  He cut off my response, saying “That’s not the way the world really works anymore, we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

I suggest to you that when the leadership of the country makes the claim that we are so important that we are an empire, and that because of this we create our own reality, it opens up the possibility that creating this reality ignores fact and thus policy decisions and actions of the government become uninformed and ignorant.

Scientists and people who believe in their processes are in the reality-based community and believe strongly that study of that reality (also known as truth) is the only way to inform important decisions.

The reality of the Bush Administrations reliance on untruthful information and their efforts to create their own reality is undeniable.  Should I mention the presence of WMD in Iraq?  Should we talk about the belief without a shred of evidence that Sadaam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were connected at the hip and therefore Hussein should be removed from power regardless of the fact that there was no truth to their beliefs?

This fact is beautifully illustrated by the fact that President Bush met with science-fiction novelist Michael Crichton to discuss global-warming issues that he faced as President.  Obviously Michael Crichton was a terrific science-fiction writer.   Unfortunately, his stated views on the global-warming issue never remotely approached reality and, in fact, were more in line with his science-fiction background.  There is no place for science-fiction in policy decisions.  This meeting is illustrative of the fact that the President of the United States had a blatant disregard for the legitimate role of scientific expertise in his decision making process. Truth be damned!  I am proceeding based upon what I believe, as long as it makes my base happy.

For decades, science has come in contact with political processes in several different ways.  The United States government funds scientific research through several agencies such as the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation.  Additionally, science endeavors are funded through direct congressional appropriations (often called “academic pork”).  In the past, both political parties have found common ground when it comes to funding scientific enterprise.

Political leaders need legitimate, hard data, to properly evaluate and justify certain political decisions.  This is where scientists and technical experts play a key role in the political process.  However, of late there has been a significant shift within the Conservative movement.  This shift has resulted in an increase in the tension between a politicians ideological commitments and their reliance on pure science.  Chris Mooney, author of “The Republican War On Science” defines political “abuse” of science as “any attempt to inappropriately undermine, alter, or otherwise interfere with the scientific process, or scientific conclusions, for political or ideological reasons.”   That being said, the history of past Republican administrations, and current Republican Congressional leaders has been one of significant abuse of the processes and results of scientific inquiry.

One doesn’t have to peer too far in the past to find a typical example of how a political ideology has exerted pressure on individuals vying for standing in the Republican political sphere.  It doesn’t take a keen sense of observation to realize that the vast majority of the individuals attempting to gain the Republican nomination for President of the United States clearly aligned themselves against overwhelming scientific observation and data regarding the effects of years of pouring CO2 into our atmosphere.  The pressure exerted on these individuals to gain the support of their political base is undeniable.  When all but one of them goes on the record against over 97% of the legitimate, peer-reviewed, scientific conclusions about climate change, it is patently obvious that pressure from their political base trumps legitimate and reasonable thinking processes.

To be sure, those that align themselves with the political right, generally have very serious doubts regarding scientific data, hypotheses, and conclusions that come from those that they consider to be part of the “liberal elitists” who happen to be educated at the university level.  Carl Rove, the famous (or infamous) conservative political operative has defined a liberal as “somebody with a doctorate”.  Obviously he was trying to make a point with this comment, but to be sure, his comment illustrates the rights disdain for highly educated individuals who do not agree with their political ideology.

Conservative political ideology as exemplified by today’s Republican Party has increased the tension between politics and science.  Those in leadership roles within the Republican Party have resorted to actions and attitudes that have significantly ignored advice from legitimate scientists who work within the government and in other scientific agencies.  Here are a few examples of their response to this tension:

  • Distortion of legitimate health information from qualified scientific professionals.  For example, Conservatives political operatives have often made the claim that condoms don’t work well in protecting against sexually transmitted disease.  The ignorance of those statements can literally cost the health and well-being of someone who believes the uneducated and politically motivated garbage.    Statements such as this absolutely foster outright ignorance.  If this is a faith-based issue for you, make your claim boldly and do nothing to give those who believe differently added ammunition in ways that reduce the validity of your argument.  Introducing provably false arguments reduces ones credibility.  Another example of this is the widespread belief in the Conservative community that there is scientific proof that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.  It wasn’t that long ago that the Rush Limbaughs, and Sean Hannity’s of the world were making this claim without regard to legitimate scientific evidence to the contrary.  I realize that when we start talking about abortion that the temperature in the room goes up about 20 degrees.  However, using provably false scientific data at the expense of truth to justify ones beliefs is, at best, ignorant of fact.  Ones beliefs regarding this topic are obviously informed by many sources and influences, faith being one of them.  However, the issue is important enough to stand on its own merits without introducing untruthful elements into the issue to persuade others to believe similarly.  Credibility is always on trial.
  • Suppression of scientific information for political reasons.   During the Reagan Administration, a report issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology called attention to very serious environmental conditions scientifically attributed to the presence of acid rain.  Those within the Reagan Administration stalled the release of the report so that citizens of the United States would not complain regarding the administrations complete disregard for the problem.  No action was taken at the time.  Examples of this type of action by political leaders are documented and numerous.
  • Attacking the credibility of individual scientists for the purpose of discrediting their work.  For a detailed example of political heat applied to legitimate scientists take a look at “Global Warming and Political Intimidation” by Raymond S. Bradley and “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” by Michael E. Mann.  Both of these distinguished scientists have faced significant attack from Conservative political leaders currently serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate.  One need look no farther than the actions of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma as the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in regard to the issue of attacking scientists whose work contradicted his political ideology and endangered his sources of funding for his campaigns.   Inhofe publicly named a group of scientists that he wanted investigated for possible referral to the US Justice Department for prosecution.  Their crime?   Publishing their scientific observations and conclusions in peer-reviewed journals as all scientists are required to do to gain legitimacy.  The right-wing media echo chamber picked up the call for action and soon the scientists mentioned began receiving hundreds of emails accusing them of falsifying their science for political purposes.  Death threats soon followed.  By the way, Inhofe invited Michael Crichton to testify before a government panel as an expert on the science of global warming.  Basically, he invited a science fiction author to give expert testimony before his committee.  No act of complete ignorance could be more illustrative of Republican lack of credibility and downright dishonesty when it comes to their battle against any scientific evidence that contradicts their ideology.  It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

Here is an example of one of the many emails that these scientists received as a result of Inhofe’s indiscretion as reported in “Fool Me Twice, Fighting the Assault on Science” by Shawn Lawrence Otto:

“You communistic dupe of the U.N. who wants to impose world government on us and take away American freedom of religion and economy-you are a traitor to the U.S., belong in jail and should be executed.”

This is a perfect example of the attempts of a political ideologue to intimidate a legitimate scientist.  Read the email again carefully.  Any doubt in your mind that the issue for this fine upstanding Conservative was not related to the legitimacy of his scientific research?  Nope, afraid not!  This garbage is entirely related to a difference in ideology and a fear that somehow, the product of legitimate scientific inquiry would reduce stated ideology to irrelevance.  The writer of this email included several illustrative terms” often used in attacking individuals who do not believe as Conservatives.  Here is a quick list:

  • Communistic
  • U.N.  (United Nations)
  • World Government
  • American freedom of religion and economy
  • Traitor to the U.S.

Obviously the scientist was a communist, believes in that horrible organization known as the United Nations, wanted a one-world government, decries American freedom of religion, and was a traitor and as such should be executed.  I am surprised that the scientist did not turn himself in to the authorities after learning of his real standing in the community.

This one is getting a bit long here, obviously my beliefs regarding the importance of the role of science are important to me.  If I were to sum up the feelings of many of us who will not vote for a Republican in the coming election the following statement would pretty much cover it.

We don’t trust Republicans to make informed decisions regarding policy that should be informed by legitimate science.  The reason we don’t trust them is that for decades they have proven to be untrustworthy.  Their beliefs, attitudes, and actions have informed those of us in the “reality-based” community that their beliefs in their “empire status” make them dangerous to the planet and those who occupy it.

 

Oct
16

In this post I discuss a significant reason that individuals have decided not to cast their vote for Republican candidates in the coming election.

Reason #4 – Republican Voter Suppression Is Real, And Is, At Its’ Core, Un-American 

On the whole, the Republican Party is the one that screams the most about liberty, American ideals, the Constitution of the United States, and Freedom.  To many who identify with the Republican Party, they consider themselves to be the political party that best represents the “real America”.   I am here to tell you that their claims are bogus and their voter suppression tactics are un-American.

There are no set of actions that are as un-American as the continued efforts of the Republicans to silence the political expression of African-Americans, Hispanics, the elderly, the young, the poor, and past felons who have rightfully regained the right to vote.  The reasons that Republicans give for their efforts all center on a crime that has been proven to be absolutely microscopic in its occurrence.  In-person voter fraud is a non-factor and proven to be a non-event.   Republican voter suppression is un-American and unjustified and tends to bring back the “separate but equal” policies known as Jim Crow laws foisted upon the American people after the civil war and lasting until the 1960’s.  African-American voters have always faced significant obstacles in their efforts to vote.  For example, in the South, African-American voters have been required to guess the number of beans or other objects in a jar next to the voting booth before they were allowed to vote.  None ever got the number right, and none were allowed to vote.  Voter ID laws are an embarrassment to the Republican Party and to Americans as a whole.

You may ask why the Republicans need to enact these new laws that restrict the ability of American citizens to vote?  It is really simple.  These days, the Republican Party will not consistently gain the majority of votes in local and national elections without keeping a portion of the people who totally reject their policies from expressing their political will.  In other words, they can’t win unless they restrict the vote!   “If you don’t like our policies, we won’t let you vote!”

It has been estimated that 25% of African-American voters in the country do not have the type of identification that allows them to cast their vote.  18% of voters over the age of 65 do not have allowable identification.  15% of voters with incomes under $35,000 also fall into this category.  Do you honestly believe that Republicans are ignorant enough to make these efforts without knowing that they will be effective?  In the words of that famous ex-NFL political operative, Chad Ochocinco…”Child Please!”

The Secretary of State in Florida threw over 8,000 voters off of their voter registration roles prior to the 2000 election.  The justification used was that these individuals had  similar names to over 8,000 individuals convicted of felonies in Texas.  Never mind that these were not the same individuals.  Never mind that even if they were, they had served their time and thus earned the right to cast their ballot.  The reason that they were removed is that it was determined that a large majority of them would not vote for Republican candidates.   If you won’t vote the way we want, you can’t vote.”  Indeed, un-American.

“We don’t care if you don’t like our policy because we are not going to let you vote anyway!”

Voter suppression efforts of the Republican Party affect those aligned with the Democrat party disproportionally.  If it didn’t, they would not make the effort.  Remember the “Acorn” issues before the last election?  Remember all of the bluster and garbage the Republicans made over the efforts of “Acorn” to register voters?  Here is an inconvenient fact:  The Acorn organization was not guilty of voter fraud and there has been not one provable incidence of voter fraud in any jurisdiction attributed to illegal Acorn actions.  They use a classic Republican tactic:  Accuse the Democrats of that which you are guilty of.

“Anyone can get identification that allows them to cast their vote”

If this were true, the Republicans would not waste their time by making the effort.  A disproportionate number of poor, elderly, and minority voters, have limited ability to obtain the types of identification required by voter ID laws.

There are those that argue that the complaint about voter ID laws is really an argument without validity, a tempest in a teapot.  Is that the case?  It has been estimated that voter ID laws could legitimately restrict voting activity in 10% of Florida’s eligible voters.  Mitt Romney has little chance to win the election without a victory in Florida.  I find it comical that a State that has proven inability to provide accurate vote totals, can make the claim that their voter ID laws are necessary.

In Pennsylvania, restrictive voter ID laws have been passed recently.  A well-known Pennsylvania, Mike Turzai, leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was recently recorded making a speech to his constituents where he proclaimed that the recently enacted voter ID law in Pennsylvania guaranteed a Romney win in the state.  His boastful claim in front of his constituents illuminated the real reason for the Republican effort to pass the law.  It was, and is, perfectly clear, that Republicans believe voter ID laws will restrict Democratic voters from voting and thus give the Republicans the majority of votes.  There are no legitimate reasons for voter ID laws in any State in the United States.  Yet many States with Republican-controlled legislatures have passed these laws in a transparent effort to thwart the will of the electorate.  Take a look at this map of the United States illustrating this very point.

Voter ID Laws Map

Voter ID laws are totally unnecessary, and are nothing more than an effort to restrict people from voting in ways that hurt the Republican Party.  Plain and simple, they are examples of voter suppression that are consistent with past Republican tactics.  (Such as a robocall campaign to identified Democratic voters on election day urging them not to go to the polls that day because the Democrats had already won the vote and there their vote was not required!)   These tactics are un-American, and contrary to Republican claims that they are the party that represents freedom, the Constitution, and the “real  American people”.  In fact, the Republicans are exhibiting attitudes and tactics that are provably more in line with ideals that are absolutely contrary to their oft-stated political ideals and more suited to the ideals of the very countries and regimes that, even now, they urge the country to go to war against.

Voter suppression activities of those who identify with the Republican Party are a significant reason not to trust them with your vote.  They are an example of another reason many Americans will not vote for Republican candidates.  We can’t, and will not trust any candidate who identifies with efforts to restrict certain groups of Americans from expressing their political will.  The claim that in-person voter fraud is occurring in any measurable way in our elections is at best, a fraudulent claim.  Its’ use is contrary to the very ideals claimed by the individuals who support it.  In other words, it’s hypocrisy.

Here is a link to a terrific article written by a former Republican in Chicago about the events that brought him to the point where he realized that voter ID laws disproportionately affected minority and were, by defination, racist.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/former-republican-how-i-learned-voter-id-laws-pushed-gop-are-racist?paging=off

Oct
10

Reason #1 – The Republican Party has evolved from the party that worked diligently to conserve the environment to one that does its best to insure its destruction. (see earlier post)

Reason #2 –  Replacing the current Democratic Administration with a Republican Administration significantly increases the probability of a return to the “enhanced interrogation” policies ushered in by the Bush Administration. (see earlier post)

Reason #3 –The Possibility Of  A Return To Neocon-Influenced Foreign Policy.

Do you know who the “neocons” are?  Do you know the influence that they exerted on the Bush Administration?  Do you understand the result of their influence?  Do you see that influence being exerted on Mitt Romney?   If you can not accurately answer these questions it might be time for you to do a little research.  Do the work and come to your own conclusions without automatically accepting the opinions of the respective political parties, their spokespeople, the bloggers (yes that includes me), and any number of individuals who feed information to you.

The other day Mitt Romney gave an important policy speech where he outlined his proposed policies at the Virginia Military Institute.   Basically, Romney promised to maintain, restore, escalate or even begin military involvement in several of the hotspots in the Middle East.  These included Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran.   Never mind that the two wars started by the previous Republican Administration have cost us billions of dollars and thousands of lives and have largely been regarded as poorly planned, improperly executed, and generally impossible to end.  Mitt Romney has a group of foreign policy advisors who are significantly influenced by neocon foreign policy.  His foreign policy pronouncements that day contained significant neocon influence.

Most of the country has come to the conclusion that our military involvement in Afghanistan was necessary.  Many have come to the conclusion that the Iraq conflict was a significant mistake sold to the American people with dubious and false claims and largely reduced our commitment in Afghanistan and helped to prolong that conflict.

We all understood the need for response to the horrible events of September 11, 2001.  Many of us believed in the need for involvement in Afghanistan.  Many of us believed that the Bush Administrations reasons for going to war in Iraq were valid.  Don’t kid yourself.  We were lied to.  Interestingly enough, it took lies to convince us because the truth wouldn’t have done so.  The House of Representatives and the Senate didn’t have the intelligence or backbone to discern the difference.

Here is why the return of Neocon-influenced Foreign Policy scares many of us.  The major players in the development of the policy that resulted in the Iraq war are known as neocons. (Neoconservatives).  Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfield and many others exerted their considerable influence on President Bush as decisions were made that resulted in the Iraq war.  Did you know that a special intelligence group (I use that term without reference to their personal intelligence) was given the charge of going over raw intelligence in the Pentagon for the purpose of finding reasons, clues, data, etc. that would support their contention that we needed to go to war in Iraq.  Did you know that these individuals did not trust the professional intelligence officers in the CIA and did not believe them when they told them there were no WMD in Iraq?  They didn’t believe CIA intelligence officers when they were told that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al-Qeada.   They didn’t trust the professionals so they were instructed to find their own justification for war.  They never found any legitimate intelligence that remotely proved their claims.  Yet they provided the impetus for war.

This group of individuals, untrained in intelligence matters, took it upon themselves to provide the country with a case for war.  They interfered with working CIA intelligence officers.  They made incredible and totally unbelievable claims regarding WMD.  Remember the claim that Iraq had mobile biological weapon devices?  Remember the claims that Iraq had hidden biological and atomic weapons.  Remember the fears that our serviceman had regarding the use of biological weapons?   None of these claims were remotely true and easily refuted by even the least experienced CIA intelligence officers.

You see it didn’t matter what the truth was, the neocons developed and operated under their own truths and led the country to war.  By the way, our political allies in England, France, and Germany all had intelligence that there were no WMD in Iraq and warned the President of the United States numerous times.  They were right.  Remember all of the ridiculous comments about France during this time?  Freedom Fries?  The leadership in France was correct about WMD.  Yet we still to this day cast negative comments towards the “peace-loving” French.  They were right and we were wrong.  But it didn’t matter because neocon policy as stated years before this time stated without question that Saddam Hussein had to go.  Within hours of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the neocons in the Bush Administration began looking for clues that Saddam Hussein was involved and therefore must go.  They saw this horrible event as an opportunity to exert their influence and they were eventually successful in convincing the President of the United States that it was logical to attack Iraq.

Understand that I have never, and will never claim that the political leadership in Iraq was filled with saints.  However, that is not the point here.  They were bad guys.  They did bad things.  They were not associated in any way with Osama Bin Laden and no longer had weapons of mass destruction.  Yet there are still thousands of individuals in this country that still believe that Sadaam Hussein was somehow responsible for those planes flying into the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center towers.  They still believe we found WMD in Iraq.  Welcome to the world of neocon foreign policy.  Welcome to the possibility of another Republican Administration influenced by the neocons.

I am one of many who will never remotely consider the option of voting for any Presidential candidate who is in any way associated, and therefore influenced by the neocons.  Mitt Romney has proven to be exactly that Presidential candidate.  With so many still believing the lies spread by the neocon-influenced Bush Administration, it is hard to come to the belief that, as a country, we have the ability to determine the difference between what is the truth and what is not.  Again this isn’t necessarily the most important reason for not voting Republican, it is just another one.

As always, differing opinions are welcome.

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