Respect is paid to people in many ways. Sometimes it's a thank you, or a tip of the hat. And in exceptional cases, those that have earned the greatest respect, there's even a traditional flying of the U.S. flag at half-mast. It might mark the passing of a single person, or in the case of a tragedy like 9-11 or Sandy Hook, the loss of many. The general rule is that this tradition is reserved for the highest degree of reverence. The ultimate acknowledgement.
Recently, with the passing of Nelson Mandela, President Obama ordered the flags on federal buildings to be lowered in recognition of the South African's passing. This Nobel Peace Prize winner, this international diplomat and civil rights crusader was being honored for the impact he had across the world. Not just in his nation. His footprint exceeded South Africa's borders. He was a citizen of the world, so to speak.
Yet this is not good enough for the Republican party here in the states. Now, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has made it clear that he feels the U.S. should only lower flags to honor American citizens, and not foreign dignitaries like civil rights leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Sadly Sensenbrenner is not alone. It was reported today in Talking Points Memo
Sensenbrenner's assertion was received with "cheers" at the event, which was organized by the Republican Party of Waukesha County, according to Brookfield Now.
Does respect now based on a person's nationality? Is a man or woman deserving of our recognition only if he/she was an American? According to the Wisconsin representative and his GOP party, it does. I don't agree.
Been there. Done that. The Republicans in the Senate seem to never learn. Their antics gain them momentary acknowledgement, then waft off like smoke from a chimney on a windy day.
The latest shenanigans in the Senate is the GOP's plan to talk all day and night to hold up an inevitable vote on Cornelia Pillard, one of President Obama’s picks for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. From THE HILL:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) started the extended debate Wednesday afternoon by slamming Pillard’s nomination and decrying the Democrats’ unilateral effort to rewrite Senate procedures.
A GOP source said that so far 36 senators have signed up for hour-long speaking slots on the Senate floor, which would tie up business until early Friday morning.
The tactic is similar to all-night talk sessions Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held on the floor to protest the administration’s drone policy and the Affordable Care Act, respectively.
If anyone's curious about the effectiveness of this type of stunt, just ask Paul and Cruz. How did that work out for them? I think the drone policy and the ACA Law are still viable -- though the "Green Eggs And Ham" recitation was quite amusing. Maybe Cruz will read us "The Grinch That Stole Christmas" if he's back in time from the Mandela funeral.
So what's this really meant to do? Do the GOP senators really think America, tired and hungry with poor jobs opportunities and upcoming cuts to food stamps and unemployment benefits gives a flying "F" about this gaggle of incredulously selfish Republican men (and four women) stunting for attention? Do we care that the Senate might have to stay in session and lose one additional day of paid vacation while we hunger for jobs and food? Guess again. I hope they talk for 40 days and 40 nights -- work through the holidays and New Years. You're not going to get an ounce of compassion from the masses. We've had it with you.
A Senate Democratic leadership aide said the GOP floor protest will not stop the Senate from voting on other nominees Thursday.
"All they're doing is highlighting their own impotence," said the aide. "The Republicans no longer have the tools to delay that they had before."
The only thing Republicans are proving is that the "O" in GOP stands for 'Obstruction.' America's seen enough of that and now they want action. The Democrats are hell bent on providing it, too. The 'nuclear option' is going to be the "spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down." So open up wide, GOP, and say, "Ah..."
If it weren't for the inability of either chamber of Congress to get their acts together and actually do something, we might be heading for war. Yup, war.
Just after Obama chose to involve Congress in a decision to take action against Syria for the use of chemical weapons, the elected officials went nutso. Everyone including the shoe-shine guy in the rotunda had an opinion and most were not leaning toward the elected official whose call it really was - President Obama's. The Republicans are a war machine and they wanted to start bombing. The Democrats were timid and were afraid they'd get nailed to the tree like they did when they went along with the phony war in Iraq. So they ran around like the beheaded chickens we've heard so much about.
Finally, in steps a possible diplomatic solution. You'd think everyone in Congress would breath a sigh of relief, even if only temporarily while the plan had a chance to be ironed out. But no, the Republicans were insisting on war. The only thing that kept us from spilling blood, lost lives both American and Syrian was that Congress can't agree on anything.
You'd think that's a bad thing. But there's a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel here. Even that blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
The good fortune in this picture is that we have a diplomatic chance to shut down, possibly even remove totally any threat of nuclear armament in Iran. Yes, that country who for over 30 years we had no official contact with. On the cusp of their going nuclear, a possible treaty is in the works. The only thing that could gum it up would be Congress. A warmongering Republican run House of Representatives. All it would take to tip the fragile preliminary diplomacy would be the House and Senate coming up with new economic sanctions against Iran. And the GOP were pushing as hard as they could. If they succeeded, the talks would be called off and probably immediate escalations would have taken place as a possible nuclear flash point could have been reached.
The Republicans in Congress didn't care if this would lead to nuclear war. The simple fact that Obama might go down in history for two huge diplomatic solutions to potential wars, on top of his successes with finishing up Iran's conflict and potentially running down the war in Afghanistan was just too much. How could a Black president be allowed a place like that in history?
So fortunately, the dis-functionality of Congress worked in the American people's favor this time. Watch Rachel Maddow as she lays it out clearly, precisely and accurately for us. We owe our Congresspeople a collective acknowledgement that their inability to work is going to perhaps save our lives.
Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto, let's call the whole thing off. Thank you Gershwin brothers. Great song and so appropriate for this little expose.
Well, when we're talking about the Affordable Care Act, we're not going to call anything off. We'll tweek, fix, expand and provide coverage to all, but it's not now nor will it in the future be going away. And to borrow from another Gershwin classic, "our ACA's here to stay."
It's with nothing short of amazement that I've read the recent outrageous claims the Republican party are making about the ACA law. First they didn't like it despite it being their own plan. They they voted against it 45 or so times. After that they shut the government down over it. They followed that up with criticism and obstruction on the faulty rollout -- like none of their plans (like they've had any) have never faced a rocky start. Okay, give them this one -- the rollout was a disaster -- but the rollout wasn't the law. It was the delivery service.
That argument about the rollout is like blaming UPS when a package you were expecting didn't arrive or came damaged or late. It wasn't the fault of the contents of the package. It was the delivery service. Who you hired for the delivery service may have been a mistake, but your product didn't change. It was still as strong as when it was shipped.
After figuring that out once the website started running relatively well, the GOP nay-sayers needed another argument. So this one became, Obamacare is part of the war on women.
Oh yes, the pot calling the kettle black. The misogynist party went to some genius Republican strategist to concoct this one. Fight fire with fire, so to speak. Only the Democrats have flame throwers to the GOP's flicking their bic in this argument.
Here's the GOP's new take on the Democratic ACA law as voiced by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. (Somewhat surprising that the GOP didn't pick a male nurse, so let's give them points for trying with dear, sweet but used, Renee.)
“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”
Let that digest a moment. Okay, that's long enough. No reason to wallow in the stupidity of those remarks very long.
This inanity drew a rather pointed and fact-based response from Ashley Etienne, Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson. Nancy undoubtedly was too dumbfounded to even utter a reply.
"This pathetic attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is a profound insult to the intelligence of women across this country," she said.
"Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for health insurance coverage, and hundreds of thousands of women are now enjoying access to preventive care, like breast and cervical screenings. The question before House Republicans is why they're trying so desperately to take these benefits away from women?," she continued.
There you have it. The GOP leaves no stone unturned, even if it's a rock that rolls back over and crushes them. The fact that women are covered without the stigma or expanded expense of being childbearing and therefore falling under the scrutiny of having a preexisting condition hasn't registered with GOP numbnut Renee Ellmers. Perhaps she forgot everything she learned in nursing school. I guess we should be glad she's in congress. They don't do anything there and in a hospital, who knows what harm a fool like herself could be doing to others.
It's easy to lose track of how many times Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- even members who voted on don't know for sure, 42, 45? Actually, the current number by my understanding is 46 times. Now if that's not a waste of valuable tax payer money, I don't know what is.
Then you come to immigration. In the House, that's been brought to the floor what, six times? Two times? Oh, actually the number is ZERO times. So you can easily see why immigration reform advocates are quite tired of mispent time and money when it comes to the 113th Congress. The Senate passed their version of the immigration reform bill months ago. John Boehner just hasn't gotten around to bringing it up for a vote. He's been too busy bringing up bills to nowhere -- like Obamacare repeals.
This past week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Florida) decided to speak up about the real people effected by the lack of immigration reform action. He spoke eloquently and acknowledged a family sitting in the gallery. That was just too much for the presiding officer of the House, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana). She warned Rep Garcia not to refer to people in the gallery -- in this case people from his own district who are pushing for the bill to come to the floor for a vote. People directly impacted by the proposed bill.
Well, that personal rebuke by president pro tem Walorski toward fellow congressman Garcia was immediately jumped on by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado). He held back nothing in blasting the Republican puppet. He put the Republican president pro-tem in her place -- speechless and cowering -- and this will leave you cheering. Congressman Polis wasn't going to take any sh##. The fireworks begin around 2:37 of this short video, but these earlier moments set the stage for what is nothing short of amazing.
The message has finally started to get through to the Republican party. They have a problem with women voters. A huge problem which if not addressed properly could cost them big time in 2014 and certainly in 2016. Or so women are saying according to the early polls.
GOP men needed to do a better job communicating with women. The obvious gender gap between the parties isn't new. It's just the GOP's disdain for the female species has approached a point of no return. So the Republican men's club has called together a meeting of their misogynist group to address their problems with the chicks. ("Not that they exist, but is't way to shut up the bitches.") We all know those sluts need to be talked down to so they'll understand us. After all, their minds, just like their bodies, are weak and like jello, and don't work as well as the superior men's. (To paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenneger)
So gentlemen of the GOP, when your speakers address the issues of gender equality in communications, platform planks and respectful courtesies within the Grand Obstructionist Party toward women, don't pay attention. This isn't a real issue. If it was, it would be coming from real GOP men, like Todd Akin, Rep. Phil Gingrey, or Rep. Trent Franks.
But for any true open minded GOP-er out there, a rare genus of the species, the first step is to recognize you have a problem. And just attending one workshop isn't going to fix what ails you. Going to one AA or NA meeting isn't going to cure your illness. It'll put you on the road to recovery. Yet over time and with weekly or even daily visits in the beginning, you can start up the 12 step ladder to a healthy existence. Admitting you have a problem is only step one.
I think some of the GOP have now taken that first step. Now assume responsibility and educate yourselves. Stop criticizing the "dames" and those "skirts." Enough with thinking women are here for man's pleasure, alone. And look yourself in the mirror and admit you're not superior, but hopefully equal. Educate yourself. The Democrats may have the jackass as their symbol. But the GOP has the dumbass as their reputation.
I'm not one to offer much advice to the Republican party, but in this case I will. Watch this video. Watch it all the way through. See how many of the successes you and your GOP party are responsible for. Then count how many of the failures you're directly involved with.
You want to know how to reach women? Here's how:
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