Saturday, November 8, 2014

Guess What...

After my little rant yesterday about the opinion piece from Boehner and McConnell, a conservative was nice enough to send me the entire article, since apparently I got it all wrong.  If you could see me right now, you would observe that my eyes are rolling.  Hey, even my eyes need a work out sometimes.  I did thank him for his time, because now I can really see what the plan is...  Well.. No... Not really.

So, here is the full play by play of the piece.  We are quickly informed that the American people have entrusted the GOP with the House and the Senate.  At this point, you might want to get some popcorn, because I can already tell from the first sentence, this is going to be a dog and pony show.  Now, while they are entrusted with both houses of congress, I have to say that this election was not a referendum, this was a bloodbath of the worst kind, it was a bloodbath of apathy that was created by pure ignorance.  They are humbled, as they call their corporate overlords to find out what their bidding is.  Well, I wish they would have said that, because it would have been truthful, but what they said was that they are humbled to help the middle class.

So, they start talking about all the bills passed by the House that have languished in the Senate.  What they have neglected to tell people is that this is a common occurrence.  They will throw out a number, 300 to be exact, but what they don't say is that in the past nineteen sessions of congress, even have ended that number of number or more idle bills.  Did you know that over the last forty years there have been over two hundred idle bills in the Senate when it ceased its business for the year?  Yeah, not many people know that, I had to do some research to find out.  Here is something else you might not know, the House has refused to vote on nearly eighty Senate Bills passed to them.  So, this brings us to their next paragraph, about how the House did its job, well apparently they think people are so stupid as to not catch the contradiction.  The Senate put mothballs on 300 House bills, but the House was always on the ball doing its job?  Nope.  If you didn't vote, you voted for liars and hypocrites.  Thank you.

Oh, and two paragraphs in, we get the repeal Obamacare.  So, back to the bills that have been mothballed.  Well, they claim that these bills will jump start the economy, and improve it.  Sure from where I am sitting, the economy sucks, but I am at the bottom of the heap, so the economy always sucks for me, but the numbers say something different.  The numbers are showing that while the economy sucks for people like me, it is generally improving already.  It is stronger today than it was when he went into the White House.  But once again, uniformed electorates are the friends of the GOP.

They bring up the Keystone XL Pipeline with claims that it will lower energy prices and more jobs.  I discussed last night, and rather than get into it again, I am just going to link that here.
The GOP wants to start building the Keystone XL pipeline.  While this will be a boom for a time (3 years max), because of the need for workers while building it, the truth is it will only have less than forty full time employees when finished.  It is said that it will decrease energy prices, but there are talks that it will lead to less production of gas, and adding an increase to the cost of producing gas.  Both will lead to higher gas prices.  Depending on the source, you can expect to see a 15-25 cent a gallon increase.  Not much, but when you are already stretching everything you have, that can be a real killer.  Just think about what you have paid for gas the last two or three years, and add a 15-25 cents onto the gallon.  Think about where you would be now with that hanging over your head.  This does not take into account what happens if it leaks oil somewhere, the amount of CO2 it will put into the environment that is already taxed, and the fact that it will be a 1700 mile long oil pipeline that will have to be secured (that is a very large target for a terrorist, and its a soft target, their favorite kind). 
 Next they talk about the Hire More Heroes Act, which is dedicated to hiring more of our veterans.  I am not against that, but here is what is neglected, at the time the bill was passed int he House, unemployment for veterans across the board was only 6.3%, lower than the national average.  Mostly because the experiences of the military encompass a ton of required job skills.  Plus many people prefer former military over nonmilitary people.  It should also be noted that within the language of this bill there were alterations to the PPACA Employer Mandate.

Then we have the previously mentioned return to a 40-hour work week:
We are back to the PPACA in the next highlight but not for any other reason than it dictates that full time employment is only 30 hours a week.  They want to restore the 40 work week, as it would mean more money for us, and lower healthcare costs.  Of course they neglect to mention that the reason healthcare costs are so expensive is 27$ for an aspirin.  Now, they are talking about repealing portions of the bill, but ultimately it will be the entire thing.  You see, it was created in such a way as to be self funding, and by taking away a tax on medical devices, it will cut funding from this bill.  The requirements that employers cover workers who are full time, or pay fees is also on the block.  Now, some might say that it is a benefit to employers, and they are right.  The problem was, and will be those employers who cut hours down to ensure that workers are part time.  Rather than keeping someone working 30 hours, they cut them down to 29.5 and they are free to make the employees cover their own insurance.  Rather than 29.5, these employees will be at 39.5 and what is the difference, seventy two dollars and fifty cents before taxes.  When you have to buy your own insurance, its going to get ugly fast, and put more debt on those states that have expanded Medicaid.
 Next on the list is legislation to protect and expand America's energy boom, along with support to innovative charter schools.  By that they mean that they will deregulated environmental protections, and continue to neuter the EPA, while they are defunding public schools in favor of private for profit schools.  Again I covered this yesterday.  Ultimately we were given a list of things that will be "confronted head on":
• The insanely complex tax code that is driving American jobs overseas;
• Health costs that continue to rise under a hopelessly flawed law that Americans have never supported;
• A savage global terrorist threat that seeks to wage war on every American;
• An education system that denies choice to parents and denies a good education to too many children;
• Excessive regulations and frivolous lawsuits that are driving up costs for families and preventing the economy from growing;
• An antiquated government bureaucracy ill-equipped to serve a citizenry facing 21st-century challenges, from disease control to caring for veterans;
• A national debt that has Americans stealing from their children and grandchildren, robbing them of benefits that they will never see and leaving them with burdens that will be nearly impossible to repay.
I will admit the tax code is insanely complex.  I couldn't understand everything about it without two lawyers and at least one accountant sitting right there.  So, sure I can agree that it needs to be simplified, but that is not what is driving away jobs.  What is driving away jobs is the ability to hide money off shore, and to pay people nothing to work over seas where there are no regulations to protect the environment or workers.  Why pay four people two hundred dollars to  assemble that PS4, when you can pay four people fifty bucks to assemble it? 

Heath care costs continue to increase, but not because of a flawed law requiring insurance, but because of corporately owned hospitals trying to make profit.  While I agree the PPACA does nothing to curb the human capacity for greed, and it certainly cannot stop $27 a pill aspirin charges, it is a hell of a lot better than the majority of people getting ruined because they don't have coverage.  Honestly I would much prefer a single payer option.

It took a while, but they finally pulled the fear card... The terrorists are coming, and unless you are a conservative, or outright stupid you know the terrorists aren't coming.  This is yet another boon for the military industrial complex, to that the likes of Haliburton and Academi (Blackwater) make more money setting up showers that electrocute our troops, or outright murder innocent civilians.

At this point I covered the three points of contention, last night, and the logic behind them still stands.  Nothing of note has changed for me personally in the past twenty-four hours.  Well, outside of more outrage for those who did not vote and could have, and those who gave the GOP what they wanted.  They are the real world equivalent of Andre Linoge.  Give them what they want, and they will go away.  Except they don't just go away, they hang around, they take from you and I.  The devil is in the details, and people neglected to find out what the details are, or simply didn't care.

Now this last point they attempt to make I find so totally hilarious, so hypocritical, so insane I can only shake my head and laugh.  They are back to the national debt, to stealing from your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  I would love to see their plan on reducing the debt.  They refuse to raise taxes... They refuse to do anything of worth for jobs.  Instead we get the Keystone XL Pipeline, deregulation, no healthcare, and naturally things will instantly get better as our retirement age gets jacked up.

The GOP plan for retirement looks like this.  Social Security is privatized and played in the stock markets.  But it won't matter because you likely won't live long enough to collect it, because of poor heath and environmental issues.  Even so, it does not matter much.  Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not be educated enough to know the difference. 

Somewhere I heard rumblings of immigration reform.  Well about that...  There is a huge bill sitting under Boehner's desk, likely supporting his desk, it needs all that support with his huge head.  So, this bill is known as Senate Bill 744, and it was passed with bipartisan support, 68-32 in favor.  Both Republicans and Democrats voting, and it was not along party lines.  But the all the nays were republicans with some agreeing with the bill.  I bet they got their asses chewed out by McConnell and Cruz.  Except Rubio, because he is Rubio, and yes, Rubio voted for this.  So this immigration reform bill was sent to the House, where it is being stonewalled.  So, as explained to me by someone who is a lawyer, here it is to you, since they want to talk immigration reform.
1.       Senate Bill 744 proposes several components.  The First a nod to the GOP’s demands for border security, including drones, heavy duty weaponry along with other police equipment.  There will be severe penalties for employers who employ illegal workers, as well as a mandatory instant verification system known as “E-Verify”.  There will be the implementation of “Exit Visas,” which will be used to track those who come to the US, and overstay their visit.  It would grant amnesty to those who are already present in the United States, and offering children who were brought here an easier path to citizenship (10 years), while adults who are already here will have other hoops to go through (13-14 years).
2.       This bill was passed in June of 2013, and had bipartisan support (55 Democrats – 13 Republicans).  If brought to the House floor for a vote, it would likely receive 219-234 positive votes, enough that it would pass the House and be signed into law.  However, it likely will not be passed as he refuses to allow a vote on the bill.  Keep in mind this has their border security, and other aspects of laws they want.
3.        This is where the GOP has said that Obama should not act.  Obama has stated that if congress refuses to act on the bill, the same bill that passed the Senate with the support of 13 Republicans, he will issue executive orders to start enacting the portions of the bill he can.  In essence, he will grant pardons to all people who are currently considered illegal immigrants, at least those who would be legalized by the Senate bill.  This bill is sitting under Boehner’s desk. 
And in other news Obama had a meeting with the leaders of both parties.  While the minutes of the meets were not released to the public, statements about the meeting were.  On the GOP side, the minutes of the meeting reflect John Boehner and others laying down the law of the land to the lame duck president, who seems to cement his imperial grab of the American people.  Yeah, right on GOP.  Except, the truth was far more mundane.  The truth is Boehner came hat in hand to the White House, to speak with Obama.  During the course of the meeting, it was indicated that Boehner and the GOP were more than happy and willing to finally start trying to work with Obama.  At this point, I wish the GOP well, because I have the feeling that the Democratic Party, might return the favor.  But here is the problem, While Boehner is in Washington DC, behind closed doors, he is acting one way, but when he gets in public, he acts the opposite way.  He says he wants to work with Democrats, yet he has been sitting on a bill for over a year, and has done nothing with it.  For me immigration reform is meaningless, as far as I am concerned if they are here, they should be granted amnesty, and we should move on, no questions asked.  If they do not break the law, they learn the language, and the history, they don't hurt anything.