Risking Your Safety And Wasting Your Time.

The growing threat of terrorism, increased air travel and a shortage of security agents have led to long lines and growing frustration at airport security checks. As a result, it’s fashionable to blame the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the problem. Indeed, Republicans would have you believe that the problem is just another example of an incompetent and inefficient federal government. That would seem to be a good explanation. It’s just not true.

Certainly, the problem is the fault of government. But the real culprit is the GOP-controlled Congress.

To get a clear picture of the problem, you must first understand that TSA agents have a difficult, almost impossible, job. They are expected to keep a watchful eye through grueling work shifts while dealing with long lines of frustrated, disrespectful and often clueless people; people who are laden down with a growing list of “necessities” as carry-on baggage; people who try to sneak any number of prohibited items through the screening process; people who fail to follow instructions then defiantly protest when they are confronted for their stupidity – all the while delaying those in line behind them. Yet those same people expect the agents to keep them safe. There is no margin for error.

Such stressful, yet monotonous work and low pay have led to an exceptionally high turnover of TSA agents – more than 20 percent annually.

In an attempt to alleviate the problem, TSA management offered a pre-clearance program that was expected to reduce the number of agents required while, at the same time, improving the flow of passengers through security. It was a good idea. But, unfortunately, significantly fewer passengers than expected signed up for the program. That forced TSA to increase its workforce. But given the low starting salary, the extensive background checks needed for such a sensitive position, and the training required, TSA has been unable to react quickly.

All of that set the stage for Republican congressional representatives to really screw things up. Despite fomenting fear by pointing to the threat of ISIS and claiming that immigrants could likely be terrorists, they swept money from TSA’s budget in an attempt to further cut the deficit. Then they pointed fingers at TSA for the resulting lines. The hope is that a backlash from passengers will help Republicans attain one of their ideological goals – to privatize airport security and most other functions of government.

Just what we need – to turn our security over to a corporation that got the contract as the lowest bidder, then competes with fast food companies to hire a bunch of underpaid, under qualified and disgruntled workers in order to meet its CEO’s profit goals. Or maybe congressional Republicans could give another no-bid contract to Halliburton – the oily company once run by Richard “The Dick” Cheney that wasted hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ money in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Conservative author and humorist P. J. O’Rourke described it best by writing, “Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”

The Attempted Destruction Of A Candidate.

Since she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been the presumptive Democratic nominee for the office of president. And, of course, that has made her the prime target for Teapublican attacks. There is simply no other explanation for the continued investigation into the attack on our Benghazi consulate. In fact, few other incidents in US history have received such scrutiny. Not the attack on a Marine base in Lebanon during the Reagan administration. Not the sale of weapons to Iran during the Iran-Contra scandal under Reagan. Not the attacks on 9/11 during the Bush administration. Not even the run-up to our invasion of Iraq on false pretenses.

For nearly 3 years, there has been a near constant drumbeat of rumors and accusations by Teapublicans over the Benghazi attack. Only Obamacare has been the subject of more Teapublican rants than Benghazi. We even have a select congressional committee on Benghazi. Yet, despite no evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary or anyone in the Obama administration, the “scandal” persists. Indeed, it has grown into “e-mailgate” over Clinton’s decision to use her own e-mail and her husband’s computer server, instead of the one provided for her by the State Department.

Was she trying to hide something? Did she illegally use her husband’s server to receive and send classified information? Could the server have been hacked? More to the point, was she trying to hide what really happened at Benghazi from Teapublican congressmen?

Multiple investigations have proven that the answer to all of those questions is an emphatic no!

Clinton provided all of her e-mails from the server regarding State Department business – more than 30,000 – which have been poured over by the FBI and still there is no evidence of wrongdoing. But the purported scandal will not go away. It continues to expand. Each and every day, the so-called “liberal” media publish yet another story of a new Teapublican allegation. Now the FBI has been given access to all of Clinton’s personal e-mails. Of course, this is exactly what Teapublicans have been fishing for.

Be prepared for her private e-mails to be leaked to Teapublicans and then to the Press. Anything that can possibly be portrayed as negative, deceitful or unethical will show up in the media. And, if there happens to be one e-mail that can be construed as a “bombshell,” it will be released next summer during the peak of the presidential campaign.

We’ve seen this act before.

In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president, there were numerous allegations and investigations into Whitewater, an ill-fated investment in which Republicans claimed that the Clintons had defrauded other investors, but, in fact, the Clintons lost money themselves. That “scandal” was followed by Troopergate, Fostergate, Billarygate and numerous other “gates.” All of them were simply fishing expeditions to find dirt on the Clintons. Only after expending 6-7 years and more than $70 million, did Republicans finally strike paydirt when Monica Lewinsky’s friend outed her relationship with Clinton leading to a congressionally-appointed Special Prosecutor who was freed to dig into every corner and crevice of the Clintons’ lives.

In fact, the Republican obsession had little to do with the Clintons themselves. Like the elephant that serves as the Republican logo, Republicans have long memories. They are still looking for payback over the threatened impeachment and resignation of Richard Nixon. They first tried to pin a scandal on Jimmy Carter and settled for the Iran hostage crisis which was extended by Reagan’s treasonous agreement with the Iranians to hold the hostages until after the presidential elections. They tried to pin anything and everything on Bill Clinton. And they failed at painting Barack Obama as a radical Muslim Kenyan unqualified to hold the office.

Now they’ve turned their attention to Hillary.

Of course, the Teapublicans could not have any success with such manufactured scandals if not for a compliant, corrupt and lazy Press; a Press that is all too happy to fawn over every bombastic word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth; a Press that happily publishes accusations leveled at Hillary without any attempt to research the accusations and to put them into context.

For example, did you know that Hillary was not legally bound to use a government e-mail server? Did you know that the State Department’s server was hacked while Clinton’s remained secure? (It is, after all, a server shared with a former president of the United States.) Did you know that the previous two Secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, also used private e-mail accounts while in office? And did you know that Karl Rove and the Bush administration funneled millions of e-mails regarding government business through a server owned by the Republican National Committee and, when asked to produce those e-mails, erased them?

Where was the outrage then? Where were the congressional investigations? Where was the Press?

Time To Extinguish Liberty’s Torch?

The European response – especially that of the Germans – to mass migration from the Middle East and Southwest Asia stands in stark contrast to the immigration policies of the US. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Germany had relatively little to do with events that led to the crisis. On the other hand, the refugee crisis is almost certainly a direct result of US misadventures in the Middle East – most notably the Bush-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the US has steadfastly refused to help those who were dislocated as a result of our meddling. Likewise, many of our so-called allies in the region have refused to help.

This is not the first time we have turned our backs on those fleeing violence and poverty caused by our actions.

Just last summer, we saw thousands of women and children flood our southern border seeking refuge from the violence and poverty in Honduras and El Salvador – violence for which we bear much of the responsibility. And how did we greet the dispossessed? We herded them into makeshift prisons. Conservatives confronted their buses screaming obscenities and making it abundantly clear that they were not welcome here. If they had no families or relatives in the US, we sent them home to certain poverty and almost certain death.

This is how America welcomes immigrants today.

Where we once welcomed the tired, the poor, the streaming masses yearning to breathe free, we now turn them away. We vilify them and blame them for all of our nation’s ills. We treat them as something less than human. We call them names, order them to speak American, then hire them for all the jobs we consider too distasteful to do ourselves. We underpay them and cheat them. And we applaud people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio for arresting them.

This is America today. A political atmosphere driven by the “We’ve got ours. You can’t have yours” crowd; by the Trumps, the Palins, the McCains and the Cheneys. An America dominated by the loudest, most angry and most heavily armed; where a feeble and compliant press reports only the most sensational statements made by a group of boorish loud-mouths who have little compassion for the poor and disadvantaged. They may claim to be religious, but their only religion is money. And they refuse to share it.

Instead of seeing those who have suffered only because they were born in the wrong place and time, these arrogant buffoons see only “takers” – people they believe only come here to suckle off of the government teats.

Based on all of this, maybe it’s time to send Lady Liberty packing. Maybe we should send her back to Europe where she came from; a place where she will likely feel more at home.

Why US Must Prosecute Its Architects Of Torture.

When President Obama took office, he and Attorney General Eric Holder declined to prosecute crimes committed by the Bush administration…the fraudulent case for the Iraq War, the illegal detention and treatment of the prisoners at Gitmo, and the failure of government agencies to regulate the gambling addiction of Wall Street. The feeling was that the nation needed to heal…that, in the midst of two wars and an economic calamity, the prosecution of crimes would only make the festering wounds worse. As a result, Bush administration officials were given a pass for war crimes and Wall Street bankers were given a “stay-out-of-jail” card for massive financial fraud.

It’s time for Obama and the Department of Justice to revisit that decision.

The Senate report on the Bush-led torture program chronicles the depravity of our extraordinary renditions and enhanced interrogations. It shows that, under the Bush administration, our nation sank to new lows, placing us among the world’s worst actors. Instead of claiming the high ground in our war on terror, in many ways we joined the so-called “Axis of Evil” as decried by former President Bush himself.

We cannot ever again claim to be the “beacon of hope” or that “shining city upon the hill” as described by Ronald Reagan if we refuse to seek justice against those who committed war crimes in our name. That means an open, and very public, trial of Bush, Cheney, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, former NSA Director Condoleezza Rice and anyone else within the Bush administration who authorized and ordered torture. We should demand that Richard “The Dick” Cheney repay his share of the reported $39.5 billion in profits made by Halliburton from the Iraq War. We should also reclaim the $81 million paid to the two psychologists who recommended the various forms of torture and, if they refuse to repay their “consulting” fees, we should arraign them on criminal charges.

“But what about the political divisiveness such actions would create?” you may ask.

That ship sailed long ago. It left port on the day of Obama’s inauguration when Mitch McConnell and his Teapublican cronies plotted to make Obama a one-term president by obstructing his nominations and every aspect of his agenda. It gained speed when Senate Teapublicans used the filibuster a record number of times and the GOP House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times. And it sped out of sight when the GOP House voted to sue the sitting president of the United States.

Despite the president’s best efforts, there has been no healing of the wounds opened by the Bush administration. And there can be no healing of the US reputation unless those who chose to torture prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the UN treaty against torture are held accountable. Moreover, without a proper accounting, our own citizens and troops will be more vulnerable to torture in conflicts around the world. Does that mean a former president, vice-president, CIA director and assistant attorney general should go to prison? If we were to follow the precedent established by the Nuremburg trials of former Nazi leaders, the answer could very well be yes.

We cannot be a true democracy unless every crime is prosecuted fairly and equally under the law, and unless everyone is held accountable for criminal actions.

Tales Of Our Torturer-In-Chief.

The Senate Committee on Intelligence (Yes, I know, there are many who would question if there is any intelligence in Washington) has released its report on torture and its insights into the actions of the CIA under the Bush administration is not pretty. The report shows that waterboarding was only one of the methods used, and not even the worst at that.

Among other things, the report shows that we abducted suspected terrorists, many who were innocent and held at least 119 captive. 26 of the captives were illegally held. The captives were subjected, not only to waterboarding, but to numerous other forms of torture, such as sleep deprivation and sustained eardrum-piercing noises. Some were shackled in “stress” positions. Some were held in complete darkness with only a bucket to use as a toilet. Many were threatened with rape by objects such as a broom handle. Some, who tried to end their misery through hunger strikes, were fed rectally. And at least one died.

These are not descriptions of POW abuse committed by North Vietnam, North Korea or WWII-era Japan. These are descriptions of prisoner abuse by the good ol’ US of A.

And what did we accomplish from our violations of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners? Nothing. According to the report, we gained no information that was useful or that hadn’t already been gained from humane interrogations. Yet our Torturer-In-Chief, Richard “The Dick” Cheney, says he stands behind the program of “extraordinary renditions” and “enhanced interrogations” (aka torture), and he would do it again.

Keep in mind, this is a man who bravely avoided the military draft through a series of 5 deferrals. A man who ignored the advice and counsel of military heroes who had themselves been subjected to torture as POWs. A man who outed a CIA agent as payback for her husband revealing information that blew a hole in the administration’s case for war in Iraq. A man too cowardly to dirty his own hands. Instead, he stood behind the dark curtain pulling the puppet strings of the torturers.

We vilified some low-level military officers for their role in the abuses uncovered at Abu Grahib. We published pictures of them holding prisoners on dog leashes. We showed them threatening prisoners with dogs. We showed them holding naked, blindfolded men in stress positions. We dishonorably discharged them. And we sent some of them to prison. Yet the puppetmaster who authorized and encouraged their actions not only walks free. He has become a celebrity on Fox News Channel and conservative hate radio. And he continues to support one of the most embarrassing chapters in US history.

I believe Richard “The Dick” Cheney is an international war criminal. He, and all of his co-conspirators should be tried for war crimes and, if convicted, sent to prison where, unlike his victims, Cheney can rest assured that he won’t be subjected to torture.

Obama Again Forced To Clean Up One Of Bush’s Messes.

It has taken most of 5 years for President Obama to clean up the economic mess left by the Bush administration…an economic disaster that former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke labeled as worse than the 1929 crash that led to the Great Depression.

Now the Obama administration is determined to clean up the mess created by the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq…a country that posed no real threat to the US. ISIS, aka ISIL and IS, began as al-Qaeda in Iraq in the vacuum created by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. When Paul Bremer decided to “de-Ba’athify” Iraq following the invasion, Saddam’s former military officers were left with no jobs, no income and no future. The situation was further complicated when the US military following the directions of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left the Iraqi ammo dumps unguarded allowing the guerilla fighters to turn artillery shells into IEDs that kept US forces bogged down in Iraq for more than 9 years.

The Ba’athists and former Iraqi military officers became further alienated by the new Iraqi leadership who gave power to Shiites and marginalized Sunnis.

So here we go again. Round three in Iraq.

Only this time, we are doing it right. Although the Obama administration has been criticized for not committing ground troops, that is because they are being careful not to make the war on ISIS seem like another Christian crusade against the Muslim world. Instead, we have put together a coalition that includes the Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Jordan and the Kurdish Peshmerga.

It’s not perfect. No war is. But it’s unlikely to be another disaster on the scale of what Bush-Cheney gave us.

What Good Are Geneva Conventions If We Refuse To Enforce Them?

By signing the Geneva Convention on torture, the US agreed that it would never resort to torturing prisoners, and that it would prosecute or extradite anyone who did. So why has the Obama administration refused to press charges of war crimes against George W. Bush, Richard “The Dick” Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, et al?

The Senate Intelligence Committee has now documented torture during the Bush administration and President Obama has confirmed the findings. If that’s not enough evidence to generate indictments, Bush officials have confessed to their crimes in their published memoirs and on television. Not only have they admitted knowledge of “extraordinary renditions,” aka torture. They have bragged about their “extreme interrogation techniques” and stated that they would not hesitate to use them again.

In other words, they are self-confessed war criminals.

So why hasn’t the Obama administration pressed charges according to the Geneva Conventions? Why have they not extradited the perpetrators to countries that will? Aren’t we supposed to be a nation of laws? Don’t we brag about our commitment to human rights? Don’t we accuse and prosecute the officials of other nations for war crimes?

If we can’t live up to our own rhetoric and promises; if we can’t abide by the treaties we sign, what good are they?

Advice From A War Criminal.

From The Department Of Who The Hell Cares, Richard “The Dick” Cheney and his unpleasant daughter, Liz (I assume that’s short for Lizard) recently announced that they have formed a Political Action Committee to “restore America.” Restore America to what? To a craven bully that interferes with other governments; that robs resources from third world countries while giving nothing in return; that encourages large agribusiness to dump excess products in other nations thus bankrupting small farmers and throwing them into abject poverty?

Or does The Dick merely want to start another war in order to direct more taxpayer billions to his former company and political allies at Halliburton? Does The Dick want to resume his position as Torturer-In-Chief to cause others to fear him? Does he still believe that we can use our military might and status as the world’s only superpower to force the rest of the world to kneel at his feet and pay tribute to our multinational corporations? Does he still want to extract money and resources from the poor to feed the insatiable appetites of his wealthy friends?

Yes, as part of the Ford, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations,The Dick has done all of that and more.

In an op-ed, The Dick and his disagreeable daughter wrote, “Rarely has a US president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” to which White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rightfully replied, “Which president is he talking about?” The only president that meets that description is the one who lived in the White House while The Dick was running our nation to ruin.

Let’s review: First, Cheney and Bush stole the 2000 election through a combination of Jeb Bush denying voting rights to tens of thousands in Democratic-dominated Florida counties, by counting nearly 10,000 unsigned absentee ballots, by bullying election officials, and by appealing to a Republican-laden Supreme Court. Cheney and Bush ignored more than 40 warnings of a pending terrorist attack in the US by al-Qaeda. They then invaded an oil-rich country under false pretenses, ordering numerous atrocities. They stole our privacy. They awarded so many billions in no-bid contracts to Halliburton for rebuilding Iraq that they “misplaced” roughly $80 billion. They ignored outright gambling by our largest financial institutions costing ordinary Americans their homes and trillions of dollars. They then bailed out those same financial institutions in order that they might continue their ritual of handing out six and seven-figure bonuses. Finally, Cheney and Bush were convicted as war criminals in abstentia by an international court.

Now that is a failed presidency!

Did I mention that the Cheney/Bush fiasco included leaving the Middle East in complete turmoil giving Sunni and Shiite Muslims the opportunity to resume their near 1,400-year war over who is the rightful successor to Muhammad? Now The Dick and his spawn want the US to send troops to Iraq to intercede. They’re not worried about the lives of our soldiers, the lives of Iraqis, our national debt or our national reputation. They’re only worried about oil.

Here’s an idea. If The Dick feels so strongly about immersing our nation in another war or occupation, let him crank up his mechanical heart and enter the fray with his shotgun and his oily buddies. Give them military training and draft their children for the fight. After all, The Dick has already proven that he is dangerous to his friends with a shotgun in his hands. Imagine what he can do against his enemies. Anyway, he and his fellow executives of Big Oil are the only ones who stand to profit from another misadventure in Iraq.

Ugly Voices From The Past.

Since the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) jihadists invaded Iraq, the media outlets who failed to ask the tough questions in 2002 and 2003 have paraded Bush administration neocons and their apologists from one “news” program to another. In recent days, we’ve heard the warmongering duo of Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Iraq Administrator Paul Bremer, chicken hawk Bill Kristol, former Secretary of State Condosleezza Rice, and GOP presidential wannabe Mitt Romney all tell us that President Obama has frittered away all of our hard fought gains in Iraq…that Iraq will soon become a testing ground for more 9/11s.

The obvious question is why on Earth would we ever want to listen to these nitwits again?

If you were paying attention in 2003, you may remember that Graham and McCain told us that there was no history of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites (Wrong). You may remember that Blair was little more than an obedient lapdog hoping to capitalize by pandering to the Bush administration. And you may remember that Rumsfeld said that we would be welcomed as liberators (Wrong) and the war would be over within a matter of days (Wrong again). Rumsfeld ignored the warnings of Gen. Eric Shinseki that we would need many times the number of troops to secure Iraq and pushed his “shock and awe” race to Baghdad without stopping to secure ammunition depots. (That ammunition was then used to create the lethal IEDs that haunted us for the remainder of our occupation.) Wolfowitz was the one who told us that a war in Iraq would pay for itself in oil. (Wrong!) Bush, Richard “The Dick” Cheney, Condosleezza, and Colin Powell assured us that Saddam was sitting on thousands of WMD. (Completely, provably wrong!) Bush announced “Mission Accomplished” more than four years before our combat role ended. Meanwhile, Kristol and his cronies cheered the war from the safety of their offices.

All of these people showed a knack for making impossibly stupid decisions that cost tens of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Yet no one’s decisions led to more disaster than Bremer’s.

Bremer was the genius who, upon the conquest of Iraq, ordered the cleansing of all Baathists from their government positions. In other words, he fired all of the Iraqi military, administrators, government workers…even teachers…leaving a catastrophic void of expertise and creating an angry, displaced population set on payback. That decision alone led to the sustained chaos in Iraq that exists today. Moreover, Bremer’s stupidity gave the majority Shiites an opportunity to oppress the Sunnis and pushed the Iraqi government toward increased cooperation with Iran.

Now that ISIS is rolling through Iraqi cities, our incompetent media are once again turning to these people for more jewels of wisdom. Of course, the neocons have been quick to claim that the failures of Iraq were not their fault. The fault, they claim, lies at the feet of President Obama. “If only Obama hadn’t withdrawn our troops from Iraq, everything in the Middle East would be peachy keen,” they say. Yet it was Bush who destroyed Iraq. It was Bush who wasted hundreds of billions of dollars by awarding no-bid contracts to Cheney’s Halliburton and others to re-build Iraqi cities that are once again being destroyed. And it was Bush who agreed in 2008 to withdraw all of our troops. Not Obama.

McCain and Graham were livid that Obama refused to support the Syrian rebels. Yet, from the beginning, those Syrian rebels have included ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot formed as a response to our invasion of Iraq. ISIS is now financed by the Saudis and armed with American weapons that were provided by Congress and the CIA or captured from fleeing Iraqi troops – weapons that may eventually be aimed at us.

In other words, we are witnessing a sh*t storm that is the sole responsibility of the Bush administration. And there are no easy solutions to this mess. Our taxpayers have no appetite for placing troops on the ground or replaying the shock and awe bombing campaign. The ill-advised Iraq War has destabilized the entire Middle East and made it possible for the Islamic world to continue an ancient civil war. About all we can hope to do is to somehow minimize its effects on ourselves and others.

Listening to the neocons can only make matters worse.

The Teapublican Zombie Apocalypse.

Following eight years of the George W. Bush administration, which included two wars (including one pre-emptive war of choice), the failures of FEMA to give aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the crash of the housing market, the nation’s second-largest stock market crash, the bailout of the nation’s largest banks, soaring debt, thousands of home foreclosures and skyrocketing unemployment, the general public was understandably outraged. The Democratic Party stood a good chance of tapping into that outrage thereby ensuring its dominance for generations.

Not only did it fail to do so, it allowed the Tea Party to capture the voters’ anger and help the GOP seize the House of Representatives in 2010.

Was that outcome the result of astute planning and insightful strategies by Republicans? No, it was the result of the stupidity, timidity and outright cowardice of Democrats! Instead of charging Bush officials for the war crimes they committed, Democrats allowed them to profit from the speaker’s circuit and to rewrite history with their inevitable memoirs. Instead of pursuing criminal charges against the banksters who defrauded ordinary Americans, the Department of Treasury and the Justice Department allowed them to give each other six and seven-figure bonuses for their misdeeds. Instead of rewriting the tax code to prevent corporations and individuals from avoiding taxes by stashing profits in off-shore accounts, they bowed to Teapublicans making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

By 2010, the populist outrage created by Teapublican policies was re-directed toward Democrats – not so much for what they had done, but for what they had NOT done. They have not established a brand, making their core values clearly understood. They have not embraced those who joined the Occupy movement and the 99 percent. Too few have stood up against big money and big business. They have not fought hard enough for what they claim to believe in. And, instead of staying focused on solutions to our nation’s problems, they have too often and too easily buckled to criticism.

Now we are heading toward yet another seminal moment in politics and the analysts are suggesting that the Teapublicans will not only hold onto the House. They are likely to take over the Senate! In other words, voters are likely to reward the party that blocked the regulation of financial institutions; the party that panders to large corporations and billionaires while demeaning and dismissing nearly half our population; the party whose policies have hollowed out the middle class and transferred trillions of dollars of wealth upward to those who least need it; the party that took us to war based on a series of lies; the party that has repeatedly tried to cut Social Security and Medicare; the party that refused to allow the duly-elected majority to legislate through a record number of filibusters; the party that prioritized the profits of large corporations over jobs; the party that ignores the needs of small businesses; the party that has destroyed labor unions; the party that underfunds Veterans Affairs then howls when it can’t meet demand; the party that believes that climate change and environmental conservation are based on flawed science.

If you’re a small business owner, a white collar worker, a blue collar laborer, a woman, a retiree, or anyone who wants to breathe clean air and drink clean water, the GOP has made it abundantly clear that they don’t care about you. By the same token, many in the Democratic Party have shown an unwillingness to fight for you. And their election strategy seems to consist of, “A Republican said (or did) something stupid, send us money.” Maybe that explains why so few Democratic voters show up at the polls during midterm elections.

Indeed, the two parties can best be summed up by two quotes. In the HBO series The Newsroom, Jeff Daniels’ character stated, “You know why people don’t like liberals?…cause they lose. If liberals are so f***ing smart, why do they lose so goddam always?” And conservative author P. J. O’Rourke famously wrote, “Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”

Unfortunately, I believe they are both right.