Where Is Our Conscience?

If the events of this past week disclosed anything, it’s that the people of the United States have no conscience. We not only support a government waging war on civilians, including women and children, resulting in 860 dead and more than 5,000 wounded. We have accelerated deportations of desperate mothers and kids escaping the violence and poverty of Central America.

One must ask why? What happened to us? Where is our concern for our fellow men, or more accurately, our fellow women and children? Where is our sense of charity? Where is our morality?

For many years, we have unconditionally supported Israel. That made sense when the Arab nations around it refused to accept its right to exist. But that is no longer the case. Now Israel is the baddest bully on the block, with state-of-the-art weaponry purchased with our money. The Israeli government has made Gaza a prison and every so often, in the words of Israeli military leaders, it invades Gaza to do “a little lawn-mowing.” Israel refuses to negotiate a permanent two-state solution with the PLA because, in its view, the PLA has nothing of value to offer. It has no weaponry other than rocks. Israel also refuses to negotiate with those Palestinians who are armed…Hamas…probably because Hamas provides Israel a reason to justify its repression of Palestinians and its development of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

So what is the US attitude to the violence in Gaza? Secretary of State John Kerry is working hard to negotiate a cease fire, saying that any agreement must first assure Israel of its security and Palestinians of an economic future. Not to villify Kerry, but why just talk about Israel’s security? It is the Palestinians who are being killed!

As for the refugees from Central America, why are their lives of so little value? Why are we deporting them when we have accepted refugees from around the globe who were facing similar conditions? Are Guatemalan lives worth less than Somalis? Are Honduran lives worth less than Romanians?

Conservatives preach that our entitlements will soon be bankrupt because, as baby boomers retire, there will be fewer people to contribute portions of their salaries to add to the trust funds. They say that we will soon have more people “on the dole” than people working. If that is true, why not accept refugees who have come here looking for jobs? Don’t the taxes and contributions of Latinos count as much as those from Sudanese, Ukranians, Russians, Vietnamese, Cambodians and all of the other refugees we have welcomed?

If we can so easily watch Palestinians die with our complicity; if we can so angrily turn our backs on desperate people seeking our help, we may as well remove the inscription from the Statue of Liberty. We must admit that we are no longer the beacon of freedom for the world. We must admit that we no longer hold the moral high ground.

We must admit that we have no conscience.

Conservative “Values.”

Whenever I hear someone talk about “values,” I silently prepare myself to endure yet another lecture about religion, hard work, freedom and patriotism. That’s because conservatives assume that they are the only ones who appreciate such things – the only ones who admire hard work, dedication to family and the benefits of living in the US.

Conservatives talk about religion, but they spout hateful ideas. They talk about freedom, but they want to discriminate against those who look different and those with whom they disagree. They talk about hard work, but they refuse to see others rewarded for it. They talk about getting the government off their backs, but they don’t want anyone to touch their Medicare or Social Security. They rail against illegal immigrants while denying equality to the First Americans. They spout quotes from the Founding Fathers, but ignore the statements from those Founders with whom they disagree.

They talk about patriotism, even as they are at war with our federal government.

For the so-called “values voters,” everything is black or white; us against them; Christians against heathens; fiscal conservatives against spendthrifts; cut-and-save against tax-and-spend. There simply is no room for middle ground. As stated by former president George W. Bush, “you’re either with us, or against us.”

I suspect this will fall on deaf ears, but here’s some news for conservatives. Caring for and helping others is a value. Negotiating peace is a value. Showing compassion for those less fortunate than yourself is a value. Leaving the environment in the same shape you found it is a value. Helping to educate others is a value. Honoring knowledge and accomplishment is a value. Tolerance for other lifestyles, ideas and religions is a value. Moderation and compromise are values. And you can be patriotic without waving the flag, shouting “USA” or supporting yet another war.

I understand, dear conservatives, that these may be distasteful and foreign concepts to you. But these are values shared by most of the developed world. In fact, your “values” of greed, anger, hate and intolerance are reviled by most of those who are educated and enlightened. You remember who used those words to describe themselves and their aspirations, don’t you? We refer to them as the Founding Fathers.

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.

The Conservative War Against Labor.

In the years following the Great Depression, labor unions were popular and thriving. The Wagner Act of 1935, also known as the National Labor Relations Act, guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. As a result, union workers, particularly those in mining and manufacturing, experienced dramatic gains in salaries and benefits, along with safer working conditions.

Corporations didn’t give up these things without a fight. But public sentiment was temporarily on the side of workers and World War II demanded unity between corporations and unions.

The end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War gave corporations a new opportunity to undermine unions with the rise of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) and his House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC). Likely emboldened by President Truman’s loyalty program intended to discredit Democratic rival Henry Wallace (former V.P. to FDR, nuclear disarmament advocate and pro-labor candidate) prior to the 1948 presidential election, McCarthy launched a witch hunt in search of communist sympathizers. News of the Soviet Union’s growing nuclear capability spawned a national paranoia that allowed McCarthy to portray labor unions as a communist front .

By the time McCarthy’s lies and un-Constitutional tactics were exposed, hundreds of Americans had been imprisoned, thousands more had lost their jobs and tens of thousands had been investigated. The victims included those who had supported Wallace, civil rights leaders, union leaders…even the unions’ rank and file.

The unraveling of the HUAC may have posed another setback for corporations and the wealthy, but McCarthy’s accusations left many suspicious of organized labor, even as labor unions continued to help build the middle class. Finally, in the 1980’s, anti-union forces suceeded in electing a president sympathetic to their cause – Ronald Reagan. When the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) went on strike, violating a law banning strikes by government workers, Reagan fired all 11,345 members who failed to return to work.

Reflecting on the event, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan commented, “His [Reagan’s] action gave weight to the legal right of private employers, previously not fully exercised, to use their own discretion to both hire and discharge workers.”

The war against unions resumed in earnest.

Corporations began sending jobs offshore in search of labor willing to work for low wages and without benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance and unemployment insurance. The export of jobs also eliminated the need for worker pensions. (In the years since Reagan’s election, more than 85,000 defined benefit pension funds have been eliminated.) Many of the jobs that can’t be exported, like those at Walmart and McDonald’s, now pay so little that their employees require public assistance. And with fewer workers eligible to pay dues, many labor unions have been weakened.

Meanwhile, management compensation has soared. The savings on labor costs has resulted in million dollar annual salaries and bonuses for executives.

With money comes influence allowing corporations and industries to successfully lobby Congress for subsidies, tax write-offs and lower tax rates. In addition, many corporations have been allowed to avoid taxes by creating Post Office box “headquarters” in off-shore tax havens. The resulting drop in tax revenue led to increased deficits and greater debt. But, rather than rewrite the corporate tax code and raise taxes on those who could afford it, conservatives have seized the opportunity to cut social programs. They not only cut food stamps. They have targeted Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, as well.

Not surprisingly, conservatives have also taken aim at the labor unions which represent government workers, such as teachers, firefighters and police. In particular, they want to eliminate government pensions. The argument is that, if private workers don’t have pensions and benefits, why should government workers? If successful, conservatives will have turned the clock back to the gilded age; the days prior to labor unions; the days of extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

Some say that we already have two Americas. I would argue three.

One is the America of the one percent; those who make lots of money and pay little to no income tax; those who can buy influence by donating to political campaigns and build new businesses with government subsidies financed with the taxes paid by others.

The second is the America of hard work, limited upward mobility and shrinking investments. In this America, you work ever longer hours in order to meet the corporate demands of increased productivity. Each year, you are forced to do more with less. For you, retirement may be little more than a dream. And for your children, college will become a financial burden they may never be able to repay.

The third America is one in which people work for so little money they can’t afford many of the necessities of life. According to the Working Poor Families Project, one in three American families are now among the working poor. One in six Americans and one in four children don’t know where the next meal is coming from, or even if there will be a next meal. In this America, more than 630,000 are chronically homeless and 3.5 million will experience homelessness in a given year. For many of these people, there is little hope that their circumstances will change. They not only lack political influence, many face new laws and obstacles intended to discourage them from voting.

Both President Obama and Pope Francis have recently called economic inequality the biggest problem we face. But President Obama can’t reduce inequality in America by himself. We will need a Congress that represents all Americans. We will need a sympathetic and unified citizenry. And we will need organized labor.

(As a footnote, I should make it clear that, having become part of middle management almost immediately following college graduation, I was ineligible for union membership. But, like most Americans, I was able to take advantage of the improved working conditions, salaries and benefits negotiated by labor unions.)

The Privatization Fraud.

For many years, the GOP has called for smaller government while, at the same time, extolling the virtues of privatization. GOP politicians have pushed for private schools through tax incentives and vouchers. In many states, they have turned the operation of prisons over to private, for-profit corporations. And thanks to the GOP, many of the operations once provided by military personnel are now provided by private contractors, such as Halliburton and Blackwater.

More recently, the GOP has pushed for privatizing Medicare through a voucher system and privatizing Social Security through private financial institutions.

The argument is that private companies can always perform tasks better and cheaper than public institutions. But before you jump on the privatization bandwagon, maybe you should ignore the rhetoric and look at studies which compare the costs and quality of services provided by private institutions with those provided by government.

Let’s begin by comparing charter schools with public schools. A 2009 report entitled Multiple Choice Charter School Performance in 16 States by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that only 17 percent of charter schools performed better than public schools while 47 percent performed at roughly the same level and 37 performed worse than public schools! This is in spite of the fact that charter schools often get to select students and usually provide few of the extra-curricular activities that public schools do.

As for prisons, a 2012 study by the Tucson Citizen found that private prisons cost the State of Arizona $3.5 million per year more than public prisons even though private prisons do not take high security prisoners or those with chronic illnesses. Ironically, the one exception is Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City. Like the name suggests, Tent City is a series of canvas tents in the desert with no heat or air conditioning. The bathrooms are portable toilets. Prisoners are made to wear pink underwear. And prisoners are served two meals a day. One meal consists of milk, juice, porridge and a hard roll. The other consists of a green baloney sandwich. Yet, despite the primitive conditions, Tent City costs more per prisoner than any other jail or prison in Arizona. Worse, recidivism is 14 percent higher than the national average.

Sheriff Joe may be the self-proclaimed “nation’s toughest sheriff” and an extreme conservative, but he is a failure as a steward of taxpayers’ money.

Nevertheless, the biggest waste of money is the privatization of our military. During the early stages of the Afghan war and the Iraq war, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded no-bid contracts to Halliburton for everything from food service to transport and supply. In addition, the DoD handed out lucrative contracts for security services to Blackwater. The expectation was that privatizing such services would cost the US substantially less and allow the DoD to focus on military operations. But, after examining the DoD’s own documents, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) found that private contractor employees cost 2.94 times more than an average DoD employee performing the same job!

According to POGO, in 2010 the DoD spent $254 billion for contract employees compared to $108 billion for civilian personnel directly employed by the DoD and $150 billion for military personnel.

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. After all, the primary difference between a service provided by government and a service provided by a corporation is profit. The corporation must deliver profits in order to pay dividends to shareholders. And the corporate CEOs tend to pay themselves salaries that are many times those of government leaders. In most cases, the only way private corporations can compete with government is to reduce the scope and quality of service.

Imagine what will happen if they ever get their hooks into Medicare and Social Security!

Conservatives Take Aim At Government Labor Unions.

This year, conservatives are gathering lumps of coal for most Americans’ Christmas stockings. We can soon expect to see multi-million dollar assaults on many of the nation’s remaining social institutions and programs. At the federal level, conservatives in Congress are seeking to cut another $4 billion to 40 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. They are also targeting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. And they are fighting attempts to increase the minimum wage despite the fact that large corporations have raked in record profits since the beginning of the Great Recession, and that wage growth is our main impediment to economic growth.

Conservatives are facing a severe time crunch in order to accomplish these goals. You see, the economy is finally showing signs of real growth. That means more Americans are working and paying taxes, thereby reducing the drain on social programs and lowering the deficit. As the deficit disappears so, too, does the conservatives’ primary argument for slashing social programs and cutting spending.

If conservatives are going to force more austerity and “personal responsibility” on poor Americans, squash labor unions, slash corporate taxes and head off a growing environmental movement, they have to do it now while the deficit is still inflated due to the effects of the Great Recession.

That’s why, as The Guardian reported, the State Policy Network funded by the Koch brothers is coordinating an all-out assault on government and social institutions in 34 states beginning early next year. The focus is on cutting pensions and wages for government workers, cutting budgets for public schools through voucher programs, and combatting attempts to reduce greenhouse gases. But, undoubtedly, the primary goal of the campaign is to rid the country of labor unions, particularly those in the public sector.

Of course, virtually none of their goals are actually good for our country. They are, however, great for large corporations, their executives and their investors.

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. Conservatives have been fighting organized labor since the 1800’s. Labor unions grew in the 1930’s following the Great Depression when workers realized that the economic collapse was caused by the rich and their insatiable appetites for more wealth. But labor unions have been under attack ever since. The attacks accelerated during the Reagan administration leading to a decline in union membership, the elimination of more than 85,000 pension plans since 1980, and the export of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. As more high-paying labor jobs were sent offshore, union membership further declined. At the same time, large corporations like Walmart fought to block the unionization of their workers. As a result, union membership declined 11.3 percent in 2012 alone. Simultaneously, corporate profits have soared. But that largess has not been shared with workers.

There is, however, one sector of our economy in which labor unions are alive and well. The percentage of union membership among government workers is now 5 times higher than for workers in private companies. Given their contempt for unions and government, that figure makes public sector unions a tantalizing target for people like the Koch brothers. Their control of workers and the disassembling of government won’t be complete until labor unions no longer exist, corporate taxes are eliminated and the federal government is reduced to the Department of Defense. (After all, somebody has to defend them from those who would like to claim part of their wealth.)

Want to learn more about the attacks on American workers? I highly recommend The Betrayal of the American Dream by Barlett and Steele.

Impeach Obama?

In the fantasy world of right wing crazies, the impeachment of President Obama is becoming a greater possibility. For example, Michele “Batsh*t Crazy” Bachmann recently told viewers of Fox News Channel that President Obama has “rewritten the Constitution to serve his own purposes.” First, I doubt that Bachmann has ever actually read the Constitution. Second, the “evidence” she used to support her claim is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)…a bill passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld as constitutional by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court.

Some evidence.

Bachmann isn’t the only mental hospital escapee making such claims. At Tea Party rallies throughout the US, it’s common to see people holding “Impeach Obama” signs or verbally calling for the president’s impeachment. Even worse, numerous Teapublican congressmen have suggested that impeachment may soon be “necessary.” To justify their calls for impeachment, they point to manufactured “scandals” such as Benghazi.  But, unlike his predecessor who ignored numerous warnings prior to 9/11 and led our nation into war under false pretenses, President Obama has done absolutely nothing to warrant impeachment. And, just one year ago, voters had the ultimate opportunity to remove him from office.

It’s called an election.

Unfortunately for Teapublicans, they lost…badly. Nevertheless, Teapublicans continue to blame the president for their own failings. They ran up the debt with their wars and tax cuts and blamed it on Obama. They collapsed the economy and blamed Obama for unemployment. They created the debt crisis in 2011 and blamed Obama for the damage done. They have used the filibuster to nullify many of the president’s initiatives and to block many of his appointments and nominations.

They cry that Obama “refuses to defend our border” despite the fact that the Obama administration has doubled the size of the Border Patrol and invested billions in a border fence. They forced our government into sequestration then howled when the cuts resulted in long lines at airport screening. Most recently, they shut down our government then blamed Obama for parks and monuments being closed.

They continue to complain that Obama was foreign born (he was not) though their most vociferous whiner and presidential wannabe, Ted Cruz, was born in Canada. They attacked Obama for attending a “radical” black Christian church yet claim he’s a Muslim (as if that’s something bad). They howl about the start-up issues with the ACA website despite the fact that they have done everything in their power to sabotage it. They not only withheld much of the funding needed for its creation, Teapublican-controlled states refused to implement their own health insurance exchanges, forcing millions more Americans to log onto www.HealthCare.gov to find health care coverage.

Now Teapublicans are back home holding town halls and giving speeches about the evils of Obamacare. They are also inviting people to bring their “horror stories” about Obamacare. One can only imagine that they will spend their last 8 working days of 2013 reading these anecdotal, and likely false, stories into the congressional record and voting to repeal the law for the 48th time. And don’t be surprised if, next year, Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Paul Gosar and others use these stories as the basis for impeachment.

Knowing that impeachment is doomed to fail unless they gain control of the Senate, Teapublican congressmen are also continuing their attempts to destroy the Obama presidency by refusing to negotiate a budget and refusing to raise the debt ceiling which would force the US treasury into default. Never mind that such a move would have severe and long-lasting consequences for the world economy and our nation’s ability to borrow. It might even cause the world to replace the dollar as the world’s prime currency. But in the minds of many Teapublicans, such realities are dwarfed by their dislike for President Obama.

Teapublican hatred has no bounds.

How Small Of A Government Is Small Enough?

For years, Republicans have demanded a smaller government with limited powers. Indeed, Grover Norquist has said, “I want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.’

Okay, I get it. Republicans really hate government. But given the fact that our federal government is already the smallest in 47 years, and given that the size of our federal government ranks just 120th in the world as a percentage of GDP, when will Republicans consider it small enough to drown in the proverbial bathtub?

Exactly how small is small enough?

Roughly a third of all US federal employees are dedicated to national defense. Another 10 percent are in the Department of Homeland Security created by the Bush administration following 9/11. Yet another 10 percent are in law enforcement and prisons. According to Republicans, all of these people are necessary. In fact, Republicans constantly call for increasing the size of our military and border security!

That leaves roughly half of all federal employees to manage all of the remaining functions of government. Of those, nearly half work for the quasi-governmental US Postal Service. Do we no longer need mail service? If not, who is going to deliver your bills, your payments, your magazines, your checks? (Not everyone has access to the Internet, and it has not yet proven to be secure.)

The remaining 600,000-plus federal employees manage all other aspects of government. So what goes? Do we get rid of the IRS which collects the revenue to run our government? If so, how does the government get the money it needs to operate? Do we actually expect it to run on private donations?

Do we eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps? Then what happens to the elderly and the poor? Do we eliminate unemployment insurance? Then what happens to those who can’t find work?

Do we eliminate our federal court system? Do we eliminate our foreign embassies?

Do we eliminate government regulators? Then who becomes responsible for food safety, drug safety and transportation safety? Who keeps banks from taking all of our money and causing a complete collapse of our economy? Who keeps corporations from defrauding our citizens, pillaging our land, dumping industrial waste into our waters and poisoning our air? Who builds our highways? Who keeps hunters, fishermen and commercial interests from “harvesting” species into extinction? Who keeps corporations from clear-cutting our forests? Who subsidizes research and our universities?

It’s one thing to say that government is too big and out of control. It’s quite another to face the reality of living in a plutocracy with corporations and the greedy allowed to completely run amok.

A Nation Of Crises.

Every day I receive dozens of emails and letters asking me to help save the oceans, save the environment, save children, save wildlife, save food stamps, increase the minimum wage, stop voter suppression, stop global warming, stop the pipeline, stop racism, stop the attacks on women’s rights, stop the attacks on education, stop the attacks on science, demand gun control, end hunger, end poverty, etc., etc., etc…

It’s all very depressing.

Of course, these are all very real and serious issues, and the organizations asking for help are well-run and well-intentioned. They deserve our support. But I finally realized that all of the issues are related. They are all the result of corporate greed and ideological candidates supported by billionaires and big business.

Our oceans are being destroyed by greedy oil companies and by large, commercial fishing operations. Our air and water are being polluted by corporations who would rather dump toxins into the environment than sacrifice a portion of their profits to clean up after themselves. Poverty and hunger are the result of corporations who are more intent on rewarding investors and executives with large bonuses than paying workers a livable wage. Global warming is the result of corporate-backed congressmen who prioritize subsidies for oil companies over subsidies for alternative energy sources.

Many chronic health issues and diseases are the result of corporate farming practices and food processing companies that intentionally poison our food in order to increase profits. The attacks on science, education and voter rights are designed and paid for by large corporations in order to maintain control of our government. The lack of funding for social safety nets such as food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are the result of corporate fraud and abuse, as well as tax loopholes that allow corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Almost every one of our problems is the result of large, multinational corporations and the billionaires who run them treating the Earth as a source of commercial resources and people as commodities.

Since I can’t afford to donate to every good cause, I’ve decided to donate to candidates who place people above corporations.

I will vote against candidates who support corporations that pay employees a minimum wage while paying CEOs millions; that damage our environment and our food supply. I will vote against those who accept large donations from such corporations regardless of which party they represent. I will not spend another dime to purchase products and services from corporations that harm our citizens, our nation and our environment.

If corporations only care about money, I will deny them the thing they want most. I hope you will consider doing the same.

House Of Horrors.

No, it’s not The House On Elm Street. It’s not Norman Bates’ home. The US House of Representatives has claimed the crown! Populated by a host of psychopaths, spooks, bloodsuckers and zombies, it strikes fear into intelligent people around the globe.

Within its terror-filled chambers, Speaker Boehner plays a modern-day, orange-tinted Mad Hatter with a Tea Party no less crazy than that from Alice In Wonderland. Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are like Freddie Krueger and Norman Bates trying to slash food stamps, Social Security and Medicare. Michele Bachmann talks glowingly of the end times. Louie Gohmert wields a verbal chainsaw attacking everyone and everything in sight. Steve King (not to be confused with the less frightening Stephen King), Trent Franks, Joe “You Lie” Wilson and Ted Poe lead the rest of the freak show.

Across the hall, honorary member and defacto House leader, Ted “the headless horseman” Cruz, unleashes a seemingly endless stream of hatred and nonsense.

With a cast like this, is it any wonder Washington has spun out of control? Is it any wonder that Congress has become dysfunctional? Moderate Republicans have fled for their lives, allowing the John Birch Society and Ayn Rand-inspired zombies (aka the Tea Party) to take our government hostage. So it’s now up to Democrats and Independents to put an end to their insanity.

But there are no silver bullets, no wooden stakes. And unlike horror movies, you simply can’t turn away from the terror or walk out of the theater when it gets too scary. In this story, it’s as if the 3D psychos have jumped off the big screen to threaten us all. Moreover, their tactics will have real consequences for the poor, the hungry, the young, the elderly and the middle class. Our only defense is our vote.

Around Halloween, everyone likes a good haunted house or horror film, but this is a horror story that may not end well…if it ever does. That’s your cue to scream!