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April 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Government will work if GOP lets it

Another view?

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I, like most Americans, was led to believe our government is broken. Funny though, it hasn’t been this dysfunctional since the Harry Truman administration. We’ve had all sorts of partisan battles, but in the end, the government functioned. That was until Newt Gingrich and the right wing shut down operations in 1995. We are still dealing with that partisan fallout of Clinton versus Gingrich. Our government isn’t broken; Republicans simply refuse to negotiate, bargain or compromise.

It’s as if a spoiled child lost a game, took their bat, ball and glove, and had a temper tantrum on the way home. Never before have we had to deal with a party abusing filibusters to this extent. Over the past four years plus, Republicans conspired to stop almost anything from passing into law. Their leadership went from being moderate, reasonable people, to hair-on-fire radicals, screaming about how this president was destroying our economy and had no idea of how to keep the country safe.

Of course, none of that is true, considering the stock market is as high as it was before September 2008 and President Barack Obama had great success in killing off terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. In April 2012, Bloomberg Financial News reported there is a net migration of zero from Mexico.

Hopefully, Americans will come to see these facts and vote the obstructionists out in 2014.

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  1. All so right Mr. Branco! And more!

    A paradigm shift is taking place. The ruling class, the powers that be, are bending and forced to listen and response to the majority. Plainly, the minority power is losing power. Some of them are in a panic. Others are responding.

    Just to be clear, the minority in this case is not people of color or the disadvantage.

    The ruling class is pushing back. And pushing back hard. To the point of going against long standing conventions. Going against items and causes that were championed and considered generational. Now, they discard, used of pawns. Like poker chips. But holding on to deep family practices of bias, hatred and prejudice.

    President Obama is trying to change America into what America says America is suppose to be. America has not been what America states in the Mission Statement, the Vision Statement! You know, the Constitution! The Bill of Rights! Yeah, that mission and vision statement. What America leadership has done over the last hundred years is do a great marketing job of telling a different story. Creating a Class A citizenship, and a Class B and C. Different worlds, different standards, different treatment.

    So, this obstructions we are seeing in Washington is the death gasps of a few power brokers who are becoming irrelevant. They are losing access, their voices are not being heard or responded to, like it has been in the past.

    The Constitution says we are all created equal. The Bill Rights makes certain guarantees. President Obama is taking the marketing of America and trying to make it a reality for all Americans.

    You know, making America live up to the stated values. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights! Yeah, those stated values.

  2. Longtimevegan wrote "President Obama is trying to change America into what America says America is suppose to be"

    Can you describe the specific changes Longtimevegan?

  3. Jeff,

    There is an assumption in today's world that anyone with a computer can find the information they are seeking. Surely, Jeff, you have access.

  4. RefNV - "Vernos is yet another MSNBC koolaid drinking liberal trying to paint the party they oppose as bad and evil."

    As a matter of fact, I don't have cable television. As usual your opinion of me is off target. I read local and foreign news for my sources, some of which includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WAPO, The Guardian and the New York Post.

    As far as the sequester working, wait. Things will get bad enough for our dim witted politicians to admit, maybe they should have worked things out. I wonder if John Boehner will lose his job as did Newt Gingrich back in his day. Some of the jobs lost will be in states who have overly padded defense contracts. Those wanting a small enough gov't. to drown in a bath tub will find they have a smaller military and defense dept. with thousands of layoffs. Composed of constituents who voted for the obstructionists now sitting at the helm. Will they continue to vote for them in the next cycle if they lost their jobs?

    Reported by CNBC Tuesday, 26 Feb:

    "The federal government spends more than $500 billion a year--- or roughly 14 percent of the federal budget --- on private-sector contractors, and an estimated 7.5 million people are employed through government contracts."

    "Hundred of thousands of workers face being let go after Friday in order to reach reductions in defense by $500 billion and nondefense by $700 billion to reduce the deficit this year and over the next decade by at least $1.2 trillion."

  5. One can watch Foxnews without cable. The Foxnews internet site can be access without a cable news subscription.

  6. GOP has the right message and it resounds with the American people. It just lacks, at least up until now, a national leader to deliver the message with political charisma. That will change as the new and fresh faces of the GOP get acclimated into the party. And they will. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and a host of others male, female, African American, young and old. Don't count the Republicans out yet. President Obama is counting it on it and to be honest, do you really want to believe somebody that is wrong as much as him and the Democrats?


  7. Freeman: This was the final point Branco made in the link you posted:

    "Do not be surprised the shift in power on The Hill will occur in the next election cycle, giving Democrats the upper hand." VBranco Jan 3, 2013.

    He thinks like the President and OFA. All 3 are wrong. But let's face it when you have silly Dems willing to pay $500,000 to schmooze with the Prez for a few minutes, why not be wrong? Pay to play. The Dems impugn the GOP for doing it and give the President a pass. [In fact if Bush did it, I don't know what would happen quicker: The Attorney General sending out the police or the CIA Head sending out a swat team]. There's a word for those people. It starts with an "h."


  8. From my position at The Center of the Universe I am able to judge what is "liberal" and what is "conservative" just as Freeman, Vernos, and other commenters do. And from my center, I characterize rather than mischaracterize just as Freeman, Vernos, and other commenters do. The difference is we all have different centers.

    We can argue all day about MSNBC and Fox as "news" channels and both do provide some news. But, both are principally thinly veiled propogandists and we choose the propogandist that is more closely allied to our own personal center and reinforces our world view.

    We can throw numbers back and forth to support our opinions on this or that. But the truth is our responses are based more directly on our individual life experiences and emotions.

  9. It's amusing to watch the proclamations regarding the
    'end' of one of our major parties. In past, for years, the Republicans couldn't get control of the legislative branch..... and then .... they could. For a time, the Democrats had great difficulty winning the Presidency... and then ... they didn't.

    People seem to ignore the fact that most elections are fairly close, within 5 % or so, out of 100 %. About one half of this country favors a moderate liberal agenda and about one half favors a moderate conservative agenda.

    One big problem we have is that both parties are largely influenced by people that represent the tiny far right and far left Americans out there. For those people and representatives, compromise is a no no, and that is one reason the country and our government struggles.

    I would like to see a lot more involvement by moderate right and moderate left Americans. With that, the far left and far right would be marginalized, as they should be, and we could get some positive things done for our country.


  10. Vernos does what leftists do best: fudge the facts and omit pertinent info that does not agree with their commie-lite agenda. Where was he during the George W administration? Pulling a Rip van Winkle? Filibuster was the rule of the day for Dumbocrats as they opposed nearly every initiative put forth by George W. They even went so far as to filibuster federal judge nominations - unheard of until then. I also love how some leftists characterize themselves as "middle-of-the-road." It's laughable and tells us more about them than they want us to know. They don't even have the guts to stand firm on their "principles."

  11. Enjoyed the letter, Mr. Branco. And I totally agree.

    Nothing but obstruction. Block this. Say no to that. Do nothing. Complain. Whine. Protest. Point fingers and say it's them, not us. Fillibuster.

    The Tea/Republican Party agenda is not realistic. Not one mention of jobs. Nor do you rarely ever see a sentence containing the words "middle class." Why? Because they don't care. They will tank this economy. Only to get into power.

    Everyone pretty knows my position. I am at war with the entire Tea/Republican Party. Especially the manifestation they are now. Which is nothing but extreme, radical and constantly over reaching. All in order to give the rich more tax breaks to feed their insatiable need for corporate welfare. And the middle class pay for it. At the same time pulverizing the poor into dust.

    No more. I will NEVER vote for another Tea/Republican Party politician for the rest of my life. It'd be the same as hiring Godzilla as the new building architect for refurbishing downtown Tokyo.

    Tea/Republicans need to change. Because if they don't, they are going to standing outside looking in for a very, very long time. They don't take steps, the voters out here are going to wipe them off the political landscape. That's not a threat. That's a promise. People see they can't fix their fractured political party, they will line up at voting booths and fix it for them.

  12. ReFreeman, wrote,

    "But, if your theory holds true then he follows Fox News on the internet and not MSNBC."

    You are correct, one can watch Foxnews and CNN on the internet. You are also correct, one cannot watch MSNBC on the internet.

    With that said, in your orginal charge to Mr. Branco of being a "MSNBC koolaid drinking liberal", this would be not a true statement based on the information we both agree on and Mr. Branco's declaration saying, he does not have cable.

    (1) Mr. Branco said he does not have cable.
    (2) MSNBC does not have realtime internet access.

    So, therefore, Mr. Branco could not watch MSNBC, base on the information provided by Mr. Branco, and the facts as we know them.

  13. I don't understand how people can say that the House of Representatives blocks everything and proposes nothing. The 'facts' prove that assertion to be untrue.

    The House of Representatives has blocked many pieces of legislation but has approved others. The House has also offered many pieces of legislation, most of which haven't been brought up in the Senate or have been defeated.

    The 'truth' is that what the Senate proposes, the House opposes for the most part and what the Senate proposes, the House opposes, for the most part. That is why we have gridlock! Duh!


  14. Vernos,

    You say the government will 'work' if.... Each of us has to define 'work'. For you, I suspect that if the Tea Party was totally defeated and the Democrats had enough members in each chamber to pass the President's agenda, the government would 'work'. Not everyone would agree that such a scenario would be a positive development.

    To me, having the Democrats or Republicans with enough of a majority to overrun the other side would NOT be something I want to see. Far left or far right... both scare me and I fear that is what we will have if one party gains total control of the legislative branch. I think we must all be careful of what we wish for. We may get it!


  15. I'm old enough to remember the campaigns of the 1960's and how the far right derailed the Republican Party, costing Barry Goldwater the election. As noted the other day by BChap not all Republicans or Tea Party members are gonzo, but there are enough of them making so much noise that sane Americans are asking "what is wrong with those people?" Again I'll mention the John Birch Society and how they brought the GOP to their knees with their insane chatter and antics. Unfortunately the lessons learned were lost on later generations. Why is that? The election of Bill Clinton brought the crazies out again screaming for his impeachment and the budget battle shut down the gov't. costing tax payers hundreds of billions. The election of Obama had people screaming "I want my country back!" as if the nation had moved somewhere else. Paranoia and fear has been driving this insanity on the far right simply because they lost, again.

    Ideology is not evil, but forsaking common sense to stand on principle is pure idiocy.

  16. ReFreeman,

    Go to Foxnwews site. The upper right corner will show what shows are live. Click and watch.

    I usually look through all available sites in the morning. I do not looked at Foxnews site in the evening. Only in the morning.

  17. JeffromVegas,

    I favor re-instituting the talking filibuster and one member of Congress should not be able to stop legislation. Elections have consequences and it should be that Congress operates in a way that Americans either suffer the consequences or gain the benefits of election outcomes, depending on your point of view. There is much to much 'contrived' protection of the minority in Congress. It should be removed.

    I also thought Rand Paul's filibuster was unnecessary but strangely, many people on the left and right actually agreed with the point he made.


  18. No, Future, spending is NOT, as you claimed at 3:19 nthis morning, "... still up a trillion dollars per year from 2007 to 2011" and it is NOT "...flat since Republicans took the House January 2011". The deficit heat its peak in 2009 (what happened then? Think Presidential inauguration.) It has been going DOWN ever since. Just think where it could be had Republican'ts not conspired, starting in 2011, to oppose Obama in EVERYTHING he tried to do!

  19. In considering filibusters, at 7:41 this morning lvfacts101 (Jerry Fink)claimed " Filibuster was the rule of the day for Dumbocrats as they opposed nearly every initiative put forth by George W."

    Not even CLOSE, Jerry! (First a note - the Senate filibuster is primarily a tactic the minority party in Congress uses to oppose the majority.) In the 107-109 Congresses, when Dems were in the minority in the Senate, there were 204 cloture votes to end a filibuster. In the next three Congresses, 110th-112th, with Republican'ts in the minority, there were 391 cloture motions. Already, in the first two+ months in the 113th, there have already been 5! See Of course that's on the Senate's official page so it may be in error...

    In no instance is there a record of the "virtual" filibusters that were declared but never reached the stage of a cloture vote. Three Congresses of Republican't Senate leadership vs three Congresses of Democratic leadership. The result? Number of cloture motions went up 94% when the Republican't were in the minority. And the actual number of filibusters was undoubtedly LARGER - since not all declared filibusters proceeded to cloture! In an unknown number of instances, the President ProTem simply moved on to the next order of business.

  20. Freeman: It's unfortunate that you opened the discussion with an ad hominem attack on Vernos, saying "Vernos is yet another MSNBC koolaid drinking liberal trying to paint the party they oppose as bad and evil. Below is a link to his LVS comments. Just read a few of his comments and you'll see the anti-GOP bias."

    Could you not instead have addressed, and attempted to respond to, his primary point: that Republicant's have waged a campaign of obstructionism, starting with the comment of the Senate's minority leader just just after the start of the 111th Congress in 2009? Note my response to Jerry Fink of 10 minutes ago, above. It documents Republican'ts subsequent attempts at obstructionism while trying to support their leader.

  21. "In short, they [GOP] have the wrong message and a majority of Americans aren't buying into their agenda..." El Lobo

    "The GOP has more governors sitting in office right now. The GOP controls the House of Representatives also. The recent election proved nothing. The situation is status quo as of now. The Democrats have a lame duck president and he is powerless to lead because he has no leadership skills." ....Rough

    Right on Rough. 30 to be exact. And the GOP controls a majority of the States' legislatures. I opine President Obama is making nice nice with the GOP because he has no choice if he wants to have a legacy.

    Today is the 6 month anniversary of Benghazi. GOP is pushing for a select committee to investigate. No perpetrators brought to justice/killed. No survivors interviewed. I opine that the select committee will be approved and proceed.


  22. "Carmine D.
    Specifically, what answers will the Benghazi investigators be seeking? Specifically!!!!! Tanner

    Who pushed the Youtube video?


  23. "The posts made by Rough and Carmine reminds me of a dog chasing its tail....around & around & around in a circle!" El Lobo

    You have me confused with a Democrat. They run around in circles like you.


  24. "Horrible republicans will never fool us again." Teamster

    No need to, you have a President who does a very good job at it! Then again it doesn't take much to fool a Democrat. Just some free government cheese. If it's a union Democrat it has to be cheddar.


  25. Jeff: Whenever you have an original thought, we get a leap year!


  26. To sum all of this up; our elected officials have lost sight of what their job is: To serve the working class voters, NOT the wealthy 2%. Power, bribes, and influence have corrupted our governing body and we need to replace it. ALL OF IT.

    If anything they have done was actually LEGALLY, MORALLY, AND ETHICALLY SOUND, why all the secrecy?

    Yeah, wrap your head around THAT for a few minutes. ;-)

  27. Notacon: Check the latest McClatchy-Marist poll. Americans give Congressional Republicans a higher rating than the President to deal with deficits: 44 to 42 percent. Perhaps the President's lack of credibility in Benghazi and the Sequestration has something to due with the new numbers. What do you think?


  28. Jenifer: Elected officials serve all the people not just the poor and/or the rich. The 2 percent of the wealthiest are the golden geese. You don't make life better for the poor by killing the geese that lays the golden eggs.


  29. Carmine, I disagree. I have seen what the 2% do; little or nothing for the working class/working poor. Take a look at the minimum wage and working conditions. I see it every day. The 2% aren't happy with the entire cake, they want every last crumb.

    They own most of our elected body, giving them 'incentives' to draft legislation, bills, and pass laws that give the wealthy 2% the upper hand by taking away employee collective bargaining rights, coercing employees into arbitration, thus, forcing employees into a corner, giving them a 'take it or leave it' choice. This does not inspire much of a sense of loyalty to anything of wealth in this country. Golden Geese? Hardly. Just my two cents. ;-)

    Again, I see this everyday.

  30. "Carmine, I disagree. I have seen what the 2% do; little or nothing for the working class/working poor. Take a look at the minimum wage and working conditions. I see it every day. The 2% aren't happy with the entire cake, they want every last crumb."

    Well first of all: They earned it and it belongs to them not Uncle. Second, get the latest edition of Forbes magazine. It lists the wealthiest people in the world and the USA. Look up their names and their money gifts to charitable organizations. It's not crumbs. Gates, Buffett and a host of others. All there. Just research.


  31. Carmine: We will never see a comprehensive investigation of the Benghazi incident. Any such would have to be conducted solely by the House and it will never admit its own culpability.

    Why the House? Read the Constitution: (Article I, Section 6, referring to both Senators and Representatives: "...for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place."

    How does this apply? Any truly comprehensive investigation of the Benghazi debacle must to look at why the House blocked a State Department request for additional funds to enhance security AND at a request that State be permitted to use funds appropriated for one purpose for another purpose - specifically to enhance security. Can you conceive any Representative answering questions for any investigation that is based outside the House about why he/she blocked either or both actions? I can't conceive an investigator actually ASKING such questions. Would you truly BELIEVE the results of any "comprehensive" investigation that might actually come out of a House investigating itself??

  32. "Carmine: How do you conflate dealing with the budget deficit with Benghazi? Logical minds want to know.."

    The President and his Administration has been inept at both.


  33. Robert:

    I posted the GOp was pushing for a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. GOP is not alone here. Bob Woodward also and a host of others. Look up the meaning of a "Select Commitee."


  34. There is no doubt in my mind that the Republican party will one day emerge as the party they once were.However it won't be in the midterm elections in 2014. They have not learned anything from the last Presidental election with the shalackling they took at the polls with the re-election of Pres.Obama.As Louisiana's Govt.Bobby Jindal recently said we the Republicans should stop being the stupid party.This may take some time for them to wake up,and smell the coffee.

  35. I read your posts, Carmine. I still maintain that there will be NO investigation that will look at, or comment on, GOP involvement, as a party and as individuals, in denying the State Department the funding it deemed necessary for the security of its people and property. This opinion is enhanced when it comes to the idea of a GOP-controlled committee doing the investigating.

  36. Robert:

    Select Committee for Benghazi. You're wrong about it. here's how it works.

    Friends and family and others of the 4 heroes will go public on Benghazi and have petitions signed for a Select Committee Investigation. The petitions will be sent to Congressional officials and Congressional leadership. Then the Committee will be formed and proceed. Let's see who's right.


  37. Keep in mind that Select Committee and Special Committee are synonomous. I opine the closer we get to the mid-term elections 2014, the more likely the probabilty and publicity for the Committee. What do you think?

  38. Carmine,

    The tragic events of the Benghazi killing of 4 American in Sept of 2012,should not have happened and also should not ever happen again.

    It also seems as though the Republicans are still trying to make it a ralling cry. Benghazi has moved away from substance.I believe the Republicans will not get any more mileage out of this tragic event.

  39. Sam:
    Think 4 Americans, serving their country, murdered at a US Consulate. Not one perpetrator brought to justice after 6 months and counting. And not one survivor interviewed. President Obama promised swift justice for those responsible. Hasn't happened.

    Now contrast Benghazi with the attack on the natural gas plant in Africa in January 2013 by Al Qaeda. 3 Americans dead. 5 Americans survived. 3 of the 5 American survivors were interviewed within days of their rescue on the Charlie Rose TV show. And the two leaders of the Al Qaeda cell responsible for the attack and seige on the plant were killed by Mali soldiers WITH US INTELLIGENCE ASSISTANCE within a month of the attack and seige. Why the difference?


  40. "Only Teabagger logic could put these two together with the irrational hatred of our moderate president."

    If hatred of incompetence is irrational, then I confess I am guilty. I can care less about the President's politics IF he demonstrates he is competent in the execution of his duties as President. So far he gets failing grades.


  41. Carmine,
    Think 4 Americans serving their country,nurdered at a U.S. consulate.Not one perpetrator brought to justice 6 months and counting".

    1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing 299 U.S.and French military personal killed by suicide bomber.220 U.S. Marines, 18 sailors,3 soldiers,along with 58 French soldiers all dead.

    Hezbollah (terrorist group) backed and financed by Iran claimed responsibility for the attack.President Reagan said at that time those responseable would be caught and brought to justice. 25 years and counting,Hezbollah still has not been brought to justice.

  42. Here's the difference Sam. The Beirut Barracks were a multi-national site and multi-national military cooperative with several governments and armies. ALL of whom incurred human losses. I don't have to remind you either about what Reagan did in 1986 to Libya and Mad Dog Gadafi. Made a parking lot out of Libya and bombs killed several of his family members. Finally bringing him into line.

    Benghazi incident happened in a US Consulate, on US territory, with American lives lost including a US Ambassador.

    It's not going away and won't be explained away.


  43. "President Reagan said at that time those responseable would be caught and brought to justice."

    Not true, Sam. President Reagan and VP George Bush who visited the terror site said the USA would not kow tow to terrorists and not change our policies toward Lebanon. Remember Lebanon was involved in a civil war and the USA was providing aid to Mitterand our ally. There is no war in Benghazi. It was a terrorist attack against Americans on American soil.


  44. Carmine,

    Nobody was ever brought to justice for the bombing of the barracks.Both Benghazi and Beirut were terrorist attacks.Both very true.

  45. Like I said Sam, Reagan never made the promise about Beirut that Obama made about Benghazi. NEVER. For the reasons I said above. One, Beirut, was a foreign policy stance where the US supported France, an ally, and its Lebanon policy in the country's civil war. The other, Benghazi, was an unprovoked attack on Americans on American soil.

    Now, if you want to compare apples to apples, the example I said is the natural gas plant attack and seige in Africa in January. Compare that with Benghazi. Then you're talking.


  46. FYI Sam:

    "Search for perpetrators

    At the time of the bombing [Beirut Barracks], several Shia militant groups claimed responsibility for the attacks, and one, the Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, identified the two suicide bombers as Abu Mazen and Abu Sijaan.[33]

    After some years of investigation the bombing was thought to have been carried out by the Lebanese Shia militant militia and political party Hezbollah while it was still "underground," though opinion is not unanimous. Hezbollah did not formally announce its existence until 1985.[34] The U.S. government believes that elements that would eventually become Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, were responsible for this bombing,[35] as well as the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut earlier in April. Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have denied any involvement.

    Two years after the bombing, a U.S. grand jury secretly indicted Imad Mughniyah as having ordered the bombing. Mughniyah was never captured; he was killed by a car bomb in Syria on February 12, 2008.[36]"

    This tells me Sam that the suicide bombers responsible for the attack were killed in the act. And the person indicted as the mastermind of the bombing attack was killed by a car bomb. End of story.


  47. And some more Sam:

    "In retaliation for the attacks [Beirut Marine Barracks], France launched an airstrike in the Bekaa Valley against alleged Islamic Revolutionary Guards positions. President Reagan assembled his national security team and planned to target the Sheik Abdullah barracks in Baalbek, Lebanon, which housed Iranian Revolutionary Guards believed to be training Hezbollah militants.[21] A joint American-French air assault on the camp where the bombing was planned was also approved by Reagan and Mitterrand. Defense Secretary Weinberger lobbied successfully against the mission, because at the time it was not certain that Iran was behind the attack."


  48. In both cases Beirut and Benghazi were both terrorists acts. Hezbollah was not brought to justice, and continues to bring death and destruction to the west.Israel is the biggest receiver of missile attacks on it's soil. Carried out by Hezbollah,sometimes for days on end.

    One day Hezbollah will pay dearly for all the destruction it has caused the free world,and so will Iran. The Arab spring is not over,it has just begun.

  49. I agree Sam. Tell that the President, Administration and its spokespeople who pushed the you tube video! And never told us why!

    Carmine D