Decisions are made by those who show up.

Last night I was sitting with some friends enjoying a nice ice cold beer, relaxing in the cool evening and enjoying my first day of what should be a nice relaxing weekend off work. That was until my conservative friend tried to get his other conservative friend to argue with me on a bunch of topics that couldn’t possible matter to anyone.

This so called argument went nowhere, because like most people, when anyone talks issues and politics it is much easier to get mad and through a tantrum than actually sit and have an educated talk. I myself can understand why since these days most people are not educated on the fullness of the issues and that is not their fault, but rather the fault of news organizations who make their bones off ratings.

But my problem today is not with the news, it’s that people don’t try to dig deeper than what is on CNN. Here is my point, and it will be followed with a lot of facts. When someone, like my friend, only listens to big news and never tries to do research, he will never be fully educated, but only knowing what he hears.

My friend hears each day about Obama taking our guns away and I have been waiting for soooooo long to show him and you all, the end to Obama’s gun crusade argument.

“Don’t doubt for a minute that, if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment,”

That saying was by former governor Sarah Palin, said at the National Rifle Association last year and here is FOX news host Glenn Beck on the same subject.

“[Obama] will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun.”

Here in this video is the executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. (Watch from 1.50 – 2.30)

http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/nra-claims-massive-obama-conspiracy-not-to-ban-guns/

And radio host Rush Limbaugh had repeatedly warned to his listeners to go out and buy guns before President Obama goes and outlaws them all.

The result?

In the month of November 2008, the month Mr. Obama was elected, there was 42% spike in gun background checks as compared to the month of the year before. The nations biggest anti gun lobby is called the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, named for James Brady who was President Regan’s Press Secretary who was shot in the head during John Hinckley’s assassination attempt on the 40th President.

http://www.bradycampaign.org/

The Brady organization gives grades to elected officials, based on their record and leadership in regard to gun legislation, with an “A” being the most anti gun and so on.

In spite of Governor Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh , and the VP of the NRA, telling us emphatically that Barack Obama has a secret plan to get our guns, here is the Presidents report card.

Background checks: F

Gun Trafficking: F

Guns in Public: F

Federal Assault Weapons Ban: F

Standing Up to the Gun Lobby: F

Not only has no attempt what so ever, been made to dismantle the second amendment during President Obama’s first two years in office, but the President has signed into law more repeals to federal gun polices that George W. Bush did during his entire eight years in the White House.

In fact these grades would indicate that President Obama is the best friend the NRA has ever had in an elected office, to say nothing of the Oval Office.

So why are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the head of the NRA so colossally lying to you?

I don’t know.

But when they do, their ratings go up. Political contributions go up. Membership in the NRA goes up. The Presidents approval ratings go down and gun sales go through the freaking roof.

I don’t have the words to describe the cowardice of Congress or the depravity of the gun lobby, which conspired to kill the assault-weapons ban. I can’t explain the apparent impotence of President Obama who vowed to “use whatever power this office holds” to convert the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School into commonsense common good.

Any fool knows that [Adam] Lanza couldn’t possibly have killed as many children as quickly as he did on the morning of Dec. 14 without an assault weapon in his hands. So how does the president and any other big politician who allows the gun nuts from the National Rifle Association to win again answer the larger question about weapons that make killings like the elementary-school massacre ridiculously easy: If not now for a ban on these weapons, when?

The ban on assault weapons sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California apparently died Tuesday with barely a whisper from media outlets or the White House

In fairness, the gun lobby deserves most of the blame for creating a political climate in which any regulation of firearms is viewed as an attack on the constitutional right to bear arms. This as much a financial issue to the NRA and its industry allies as it is a constitutional one.

But Obama and fellow Democrats shoulder a responsibility to reframe the debate around unassailable facts: The Second Amendment is not at risk; modest regulations would improve gun safety and strengthen the nation’s noble gun culture; and nobody outside the U.S. military needs an assault weapon. Instead, the White House and Democratic lawmakers signaled retreat on the assault-weapons ban almost immediately after Obama proposed it. He didn’t fight.

I don’t doubt Obama’s sincerity, but it is fair to question the president’s stomach for hard and hands-on legislative campaigns in a divided Congress. Not only are the facts on his side, but so is the public. An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 52 percent of the public favor stricter gun laws; 91 percent support background checks at gun shows; 82 percent want to make illegal gun sales a federal crime; and 57 percent favor a ban on assault weapons.

Every member of Congress, every White House aide, and every National Rifle Association dues-payer should take another look at those numbers. Be ashamed.

Sure, there is a chance that Obama will eventually sign legislation that requires background checks at gun shows, that makes gun trafficking a federal crime and that provides funding for school security. These provisions would allow Democrats, moderate Republicans, and a legacy-seeking president to claim they did something about gun violence. And they might, in fact, help. But don’t be impressed: If anything comes out of the GOP-controlled House, it’s likely to be weakened.

Any fool knows what an assault weapons is created to do. If Sandy Hook Elementary doesn’t make every member of Congress take a stand against assault weapons in this country, then what does? How many small coffins do we need the next time?

There has been a lot of talk about the Sequester, but i have noticed that most people have no idea what it really is.

At first I thought that meant they would put the government in a hotel room and not let them have contact with the outside world, like they do with juries. LOL. No, it’s all about the $85 billion in across the board cuts.

These cuts most be made, I understand that. We need to gain some leverage on this countries spending but I can’t imagine why Republicans feel some of these programs need to be cut. I have here the 32 most devastating ( and might I say dumbest) cuts.

1. First up is Health care, let’s face it, nobody has ever died because of lack of Health Care.

Image

 $20 million cut from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
  $10 million cut from the World Trade Center Health Program Fund
  $168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  $75 million cut from the Aging and Disability Services Programs

2. Next is another industry that is hard enough. Housing

housing

$199 million cut from public housing
$96 million cut from Homeless Assistance Grants
$17 million cut from Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
$19 million cut from Housing for the Elderly
$175 million cut from Low Income Home Energy Assistance

3.  The 3rd group is an area I personally hate to see cuts, since I live in Tornado Alley, Disaster Emergency.

superstorm-sandy.jpeg7-1280x960

 $928 million cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money
  $6 million cut from Emergency Food and Shelter
  $70 million cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA
  $61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
  $125 million cut from the Wildland Fire Management
$53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

4. It’s law, time to get use to it Republicans. Obamacare

032612-national-supreme-court-affordable-care-act-protest-2-e1362238907575

$13 million cut from the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (Co-ops)
$57 million cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control
$51 million cut from the Prevention and Public Health Fund
$27 million cut from the State Grants and Demonstrations
$44 million cut from the Affordable Insurance Exchange Grants program

5. We are ranked 43rd out of 50 other countries here. So we really need more cuts. Education

tnk_education

 $633 million cut from the Department of Education’s Special Education programs

  $184 million cut from Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research

  $71 million cut from administration at the Office of Federal Student Aid

  $116 million cut from Higher Education
$86 million cut from Student Financial Assistance. (That’s good because I like paying more for college!!!)

6. Immigration

DREAM act

$512 million cut from Customs and Border Protection

$17 million cut from Automation Modernization, Customs and Border Protection

$20 million cut from Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology

7. A BIG one, since there is not more threat to America we should add more cuts to: Security

102412-marine-embassy-security-800-e1362239259142

$79 million cut from Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance
$604 million cut from National Nuclear Security Administration
$232 million cut from the Federal Aviation Administration
$394 million cut from Defense Environmental Cleanup

Republicans, who refused to raise any additional revenue to avoid the budget cuts, have described the reductions as “modest” a “homerun” and something that “needs to happen” in order to “get this economy rolling again.”

The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office show that the nation’s deficits have shrunk by trillions of dollars, and the debt is close to being stabilized as a percentage of the economy. Meanwhile, budget cuts have already reduced spending by $1.5 trillion and even with the revenue included in the fiscal cliff deal, the ratio of cuts to revenue stands at an unbalanced 3 to 1.

votefraudtoles

There are literally no proven or convicted instances of anyone producing a false ID to actually vote, but republicans have to make sure it will not happen in the future. So the Republican held legislatures pass laws to make everyone produce a government issued voter ID with a picture.

Just a few years ago these same Republicans were rampaging against government IDs! The story here is not so much what they are doing, we all know what they are doing, but getting caught bragging about how these laws will help Mitt Romney and Republicans. It’s another of many dishonest processes that they can semantically play to their advantage, AND GET AWAY WITH. Well to the choir anyway. But even the choir knows this is nothing other than keeping Blacks, Hispanics, the young and the poor elderly from voting, all of whom tend toward Democrats. It suppressed the vote by an estimated 2 to 5 million this past November.

Deconstruction of Obama Myhts

I have been debating a lot of social websites lately and I have been hearing the same four myths thrown at me and I think it is time to kind of deconstruct some of the Obama myths.

1. Obama’s Golfing More Than Leading

This one never seems to die. I never really understood why the public cares about the Presidents vacation record. Now, there’s no question that he plays on a regular basis: 104 rounds from January 2009 through Aug. 4 of this year, the last time he played, according to Mark Knoller, the longtime White House correspondent for CBS Radio. That puts him about in the middle when compared with other duffers-in-chief. It’s less than Bill Clinton, and a lot less than Dwight Eisenhower, who played more than 800 rounds over eight years — four times as often as Obama plays.

And why is it an outrage if the president, who heads one of three branches of government, golfs 104 times in three-and-a-half-years, but the head of another branch of government, the Speaker of the House, plays four times as much? You heard correctly: John Boehner once told Golf Digest that he plays upwards of 100 rounds a year. Seems like a double standard, no?

2. Obama and His Vacations

Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you.” The responsibilities, the pressure, the officer with the “nuclear football” — it’s all with a commander-in-chief at all times. No exceptions.

But how much time away from the White House has President Obama spent, and how does this compare with predecessors?

POTUS Tracker, compiled by The Washington Post, shows that from January 2009 to October 31, 2012, Obama spent all or part of 72 vacation days in a variety of places, mostly Hawaii in the winter and Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. That’s about 10 weeks away in three-and-a-half years, hardly extravagant. Through May 18, according to data from CBS’s Knoller, he also visited Camp David 22 times, spending all of part of 54 days there.

What about his predecessors?

· In 1798, President John Adams left the capital for seven months to care for his ailing wife Abigail; his enemies said he practically relinquished his office.

· Thomas Jefferson and James Madison routinely went away for three- and four-month stretches.

· Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, was blasted for spending about 25 percent of his time away from the White House.

· Dwight Eisenhower took long summer breaks in Denver and spent almost every single weekend at Camp David.

· John F. Kennedy rarely spent a weekend in the White House, staying at family homes in Palm Beach, Hyannis Port, and the Virginia countryside.

· Lyndon Johnson spent 484 days in five and a half years at his Texas ranch.

· Ronald Reagan was away for 436 days, usually at Rancho del Cielo (his mountaintop retreat in California) or Camp David.

· Bill Clinton, who didn’t own a vacation home, loved to party with his elite friends in Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons.

· George W. Bush spent 32 months at his ranch (490 days) or Camp David (487 days) — an average of four months away every year.

Time off doesn’t mean goofing off. President Bush, for example, met with a variety of foreign leaders at his ranch. President Obama held a G-8 summit at Camp David. Just like you might check your email while sitting on the beach (you fool, you), presidents never really unplug. But if anyone deserves a vacation, it is the person who serves in the world’s most stressful and demanding job.

3. Obama shows his true colors by not going to Arlington National Cemetery
Sadly, the days we set aside to honor those who have worn the uniform of our country — and made the ultimate sacrifice — have become highly politicized. There is an expectation that presidents should go to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial and Veterans Day. Certainly, any commander-in-chief should mark these sacred days in such fashion. But paying tribute to those whose final resting place is in any other of America’s other 130 national cemeteries is no less honorable.

That being said, the tradition of going to Arlington itself on Memorial Day is fairly new. Most presidents never, or rarely, went. Let’s look at the past six decades:

· Eisenhower: Twice in eight years

· Kennedy: Never in three years

· Johnson: Once in five years

· Nixon: Never in six years

· Ford: Twice in two years

· Carter: Never in four years

· Reagan: Three times in eight years

· Bush Sr.: Never in four years

· Clinton: Eight times in eight years

· Bush Jr.: Seven times in eight years

· Obama: Three times in four years

Bush Jr. and Obama really have perfect records as far as I’m concerned. The one year Bush wasn’t at Arlington he was at Normandy, honoring the heroes of D-Day. The one year Obama wasn’t at Arlington he was at a National Cemetery in Illinois, where the heroes who rest in peace are no less deserving of our respect than those who rest in Arlington.

3. Taxes Under Obama Are At A All-Time High

If you buy this one, congratulations: You’ve failed not just history, but economics as well. Between the combined burden of federal, state, and local income taxes, Americans are parting with the smallest share of their income since 1958. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says we pay 23.6 percent of what we make, down from an average of about 27 percent during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

What makes you think that any president is responsible for what state and local governments take from you anyway? Never mind that Congress controls the federal purse strings, and never mind that cuts in income tax rates and payroll tax rates have been in effect for several years now. Of course, this could all change come January, unless hyper-divided Washington can somehow find a way to cooperate and avoid taking the economy over the fiscal cliff. But for now, the notion that taxes are gobbling up more of our hard earned income than ever is, to use a word we’ve heard often during this long and often dishonest campaign, malarkey.

Follow me on twitter @jnwrotc for more live tweeting on polices and politics.

Why We Need More Taxes

With tax season just on the horizon and everyone talking about taxes I decided it might be best to take a look. When I ask people what they know about about politics 99% of people will respond with “Republicans like to lower taxes, Democrats like higher taxes.” Doesn’t sound very good for us and Republicans love using the line “It’s your money and you know how to best spend it, rather some old guys in Washington.” It makes for a great 5 second sound bite, but it’s not totally true. So rather than argue with Republicans I decided to break down the Democratic tax plan and compare it side by side with the Republican tax plan so you can decide for yourself.

Minimum wage is $7.25 cents per hour. Times by 40, times by 52, that is $10,700 a year, which is what you would make unloading boxes in a “right to work state” say Kentucky. He can’t live off that so he puts in another 30 hours as a night watchman bringing his total $18,746 a year. He pays 15% in federal income tax, or $2, 811.90.

Public school teacher, $41,724 is the national average. He is paying 28% or $11,682.

Finally the doctor making 150,000 a year is paying 36% or $54,000 in taxes. 15%, 28%, 36%. It’s called the progressive tax, it’s been around since Lincoln.

Under the republican plan announced, the box loader stays the same, the school teacher stays the same, the doctor gets $4,500 back. Under the democratic tax plan in tune with the White House tax plan. The box loader gets $321 back, the school teacher gets $1251 back, the doctor stays the same and to finance the tax dectuablity for college tuition of the box unloaded and the school teacher we go to a fourth group, the uber wealthy, and ask a CEO making 4 million 600 thousand dollars a year to pay another one percent, taking him up to 41%.

Our taxes aren’t a penalty, as hard as that is to believe. They are the price we pay for our roads and bridges. And they’re the way we look after the least among us. The sign and signal of our obligations to each other and to our own best selves. We must rise above parochial interests and speak to the national interest. Instead of a trickle-down economy, imagine one where the work and welfare of ordinary Americans is placed at the center of national life.

Anti-gun crusaders seem worried about the advent of a Republican administration. Heaven knows why. Republicans, in recent years, have managed to do nearly as much damage to the Second Amendment as Democrats.

In 1969, journalist William Safire asked Richard Nixon what he thought about gun control. “Guns are an abomination,” Nixon replied. According to Safire, Nixon went on to confess that, “Free from fear of gun owners’ retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles.”

It was President George Bush, Sr. who banned the import of “assault weapons” in 1989, and promoted the view that Americans should only be allowed to own weapons suitable for “sporting purposes.”

It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, “prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one’s person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street.” The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners.

Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. “I support the Brady Bill,” he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, “and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay.”

One of the most aggressive gun control advocates today is Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City, whose administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in June 2000, and whose police commissioner, Howard Safir, proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, complete with yearly “safety” inspections.

Another Republican, New York State Governor George Pataki, on August 10, 2000, signed into law what The New York Times called “the nation’s strictest gun controls,” a radical program mandating trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and “ballistic fingerprinting” of guns sold in the state. It also raised the legal age to buy a handgun to 21 and banned “assault weapons,” the sale or possession of which would now be punishable by seven years in prison.

Don’t blame Liberals for gun control.

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