A Vote To Never Forget

There have been numerous votes in the Senate and House over the years that have impacted or could have had the impact to seriously effect the health of this nation.

On October 16th, 2013 H.R. 2775 which was a Continuing Resolution to reopen the United States Government and raise the debt ceiling was before both chambers of Congress. The U.S. Government had been shut down for 16 days costing the economy by conservative estimates $24 billion dollars. This was on top of the $700 billion already lost to our economy due to the Tea Party sponsored and supported sequester and austerity cuts to federal spending at time of a recession and anemic recovery.

All economists were agreed as to what was at stake for this vote. Pass it, government would reopen, the debt ceiling would be extended until February 2014 and both chambers of Congress would finally meet in conference to hash out a long overdue long term budget.

To not pass the CR would result in certain destruction of the United States and world economies. The Stock Market would crash, interest rates for all loans would increase for all people, businesses and governments and the credit rating of the United States would be downgraded again, possibly even worse than in 2011, during the last threaten credit default.

These facts were indisputable unless you were an idiot or you wanted to cause irreparable harm to the nation, or both.

As it turned out 18 US Senators and 144 House members, all Republicans voted to keep our government shutdown and default on our debt.

They wanted to keep vital services defunded; parks and memorials closed and to make matters worse for Americans of all races, creeds and party affiliation. This showed that they hated the President and the Democratic Party more than they cared about the nation and people they claim they love and want to serve.

These Senators and members of the House also voted to keep millions of dollars out of the hands of their constituencies, creating additional troubles for the impoverished, working class, veterans and elderly. They did no good service to those who elected them to office, apparently out of either fear of being primaried or pure hatred of the current administration.

This vote must be remembered because these people who voted to destroy our country on October 16, 2013 need to be voted out when their terms expire.

Below is the list and phone contact information for each Senator and Member of Congress who voted Nay to HR 2775. All are Republican. They cannot be forgiven and on November 4, 2014, all House members who voted no must not be allowed back in the House and if the Senator who voted no is up for re-election, they too must be denied another term.

Keep this list, keep it generating for as long as it takes to get all 18 Senators and 144 House members out of government.


Senator Jeff Sessions                  202-224-4124

Senator Richard Shelby               202-224-5744

Robert Aderholt                            202-225-4876

Mo Brooks                                    202-225-4801

Martha Roby                                202-225-2901

Mike Rogers                                 202-225-3261


Paul Gosar                                    202-225-2315

Matt Salmon                                  202-225-2635

David Schweikert                          202-225-2190

Trent Franks                                 202-225-4576


Doug LaMalfa                                202-225-3076

Tom McClintock                            202-225-2511

Jeff Denham                                  202-225-4540

Ed Royce                                       202-225-4111

John Campbell                               202-225-5611

Duncan Hunter                              202-225-5672

Dana Rohrabacher                        202-225-2415


Doug Lamborn                               202-225-4422


Senator Marco Rubio                    202-224-3041

Jeff Miller                                       202-225-4136

Steve Southerland                         202-225-5235

Ted Yoho                                       202-225-5744

Ron DeSantis                                 202-225-2706

John Mica                                       202-225-4035

Bill Posey                                        202-225-3671

Richard Nugent                              202-225-1002

Dennis Ross                                   202-225-1252

Tom Rooney                                   202-225-5792

Trey Radel                                      202-225-2536


Jack Kingston                                 202-225-5831

Lynn Westmoreland                       202-225-5901

Tom Price                                       202-225-4501

Robert Woodall                               202-225-4272

Austin Scott                                    202-225-6531

Doug Collins                                   202-225-9893

Paul Broun                                      202-225-4101

Phil Gingrey                                    202-225-2931

Tom Graves                                    202-225-5211


Senator Mike Crapo                       202-224-6142

Senator James Risch                     202-224-2752


Randy Hultgren                              202-225-2576


Jackie Walorski                              202-225-3915

Marlin Stutzman                             202-225-4436

Todd Rokita                                    202-225-5037

Larry Bucshon                                202-225-4636

Luke Messer                                  202-228-3021


Senator Chuck Grassley               202-224-3744

Steve King                                     202-225-4426


Senator Pat Roberts                     202-224-4774

Tim Huelskamp                             202-225-2715

Kevin Yoder                                  202-225-2865

Mike Pompeo                                202-225-6216


Senator Rand Paul                        202-224-4343

Thomas Massie                             202-225-3465

Andy Barr                                       202-225-4706


Senator David Vitter                      202-224-4623

Steve Scalise                                 202-225-3015

John Fleming                                 202-225-2777

William Cassidy                             202-225-3901


Andy Harris                                   202-225-5311


Bill Huizenga                                 202-225-4401

Justin Amash                                 202-225-3831

Tim Walberg                                  202-225-6276

Candice Miller                                202-225-2106

Kerry Bentivolio                             202-225-8171


Michele Bachmann                       202-225-2331


Alan Nunnelee                               202-225-4306

Steven Palazzo                              202-225-5772


Ann Wagner                                  202-225-1621

Blaine   Luetkemeyer                    202-225-2956

Vicki Hartzler                                 202-225-2876

Sam Graves                                  202-225-7041

Billy Long                                       202-225-6536

Jason Smith                                   202-225-4404


Senator Dean Heller                     202-224-6244

Mark Amodie                                 202-225-6155

New Jersey

Scott Garrett                                  202-225-4465

New Mexico

Steve Pearce                                 202-225-2365

New York

Tom Reed                                      202-225-3161

Chris Collins                                   202-225-5265

North Carolina

Renee Ellmers                               202-225-4531

Walter Jones                                  202-225-3415

Virginia Foxx                                  202-225-2071

Richard Hudson                             202-225-3715

George Holding                             202-225-3032

Mark Meadows                              202-225-6401


Steve Chabot                                202-225-2216

Brad Wenstrup                              202-225-3164

Jim Jordan                                    202-225-2676

Robert Latta                                  202-225-6405

Bill Johnson                                   202-225-5705

Bob Gibbs                                      202-225-6265

Michael Turner                               202-225-6465

Jim Renacci                                   202-225-3876


Senator Tom Coburn                    202-224-5754

Jim Bridenstine                             202-225-2211

Markwayne Mullin                         202-225-2701

Frank Lucas                                  202-225-5565

James Lankford                            202-225-2132


Greg Walden                                 202-225-6730


Senator Patrick Toomey                202-224-4254

Scott Perry                                     202-225-5836

Tom Marino                                   202-225-3731

Keith Rothfus                                 202-225-2065

Joseph Pitts                                    202-225-2411

South Carolina

Senator Tim Scott                          202-224-6121

Mark Sanford                                 202-225-3176

Joe Wilson                                      202-225-2452

Jeff Duncan                                    202-225-5301

Trey Gowdy                                    202-225-6030

Mick Mulvaney                               202-225-5501

Tom Rice                                        202-225-9895

South Dakota

Kristi Noem                                     202-225-2801


John Duncan Jr                              202-225-5435

Chuck Fleischmann                        202-225-3271

Scott DesJarlais                              202-225-6831

Diane Black                                     202-225-4231

Marsha Blackburn                          202-225-2811

Stephen Fincher                             202-225-4714

Phil Roe                                          202-225-6356


Senator John Cornyn                     202-224-2934

Senator Ted Cruz                           202-224-5922

Louie Gohmert                               202-225-3035

Ted Poe                                          202-225-6565

Sam Johnson                                  202-225-4201

Ralph Hall                                       202-225-6673

Jeb Hensarling                               202-225-3484

Joe Barton                                      202-225-2002

John Culberson                              202-225-2571

Kevin Brady                                    202-225-4901

Michael McCaul                             202-225-2401

K. Michael Conaway                      202-225-3605

Kay Granger                                   202-225-5071

Mac Thornberry                             202-225-3706

Randy Weber                                 202-225-2831

Bill Flores                                        202-225-6105

Randy Neugebauer                        202-225-4005

Lamar Smith                                   202-225-4236

Pete Olson                                      202-225-5951

Kenny Marchant                             202-225-6605

Roger Williams                               202-225-9896

Michael Burgess                             202-225-7772

Blake Farenthold                            202-225-7742

John Carter                                     202-225-3864

Pete Sessions                                 202-225-2231

Steve Stockman                             202-225-1555


Senator Mike Lee                           202-224-5444

Rob Bishop                                     202-225-0453

Christ Stewart                                 202-225-9730

Jason Chaffetz                                202-225-7751


Randy Forbes                                 202-225-6365

Robert Hurt                                     202-225-4711

Bob Goodlatte                                202-225-5431

Morgan Griffith                               202-225-3861


Senator Ron Johnson                   202-224-5323

Paul Ryan                                      202-225-3031

F. James Sensebrenner                202-225-5101

Thomas Petri                                  202-225-2476

Sean Duffy                                      202-225-3365


Senator Mike Enzi                         202-224-3424

Cynthia Lummis                             202-225-2311

Stop Privatizing Prisons

Rcooley123's Blog

The United States currently incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other nation on earth. In an attempt to contain costs involved in operating prisons, some states have resorted to contracting out the services of for-profit companies to run prisons for them. Adding a profit motive to the operation of prisons at taxpayer expense is detrimental to the purposes of having a criminal justice system in a free society such as ours purports to be. What may seem like a good short-term fix to a very real fiscal difficulty may become a longer-term fiscal problem, as well as a moral dilemma for our society.

If crime rates fall or laws are changed to require fewer people to be housed in prisons as punishment for socially unacceptable behavior, there is less need for them overall. Private prison companies, however, know that closing prisons or administering them for a declining…

View original post 1,101 more words

Time to Nationalize the Federal Government

The title of this rant is not as snarky as it would appear. Over the past 30 years since the reign of Ronald of Reagan the first, there has been a concerted effort from the business community to “privatize” numerous traditional government services and resources. This effort of course has a lot of money behind it from billionaires such as the Koch brothers through their front organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Freedom Works to name but a few. It’s quite simple, take something that is part of or is ran by the government, take control of it and earn a profit from it because it is still a needed service. What’s more, not only have they privatized these resources and services, they’ve done so via a monopoly. Thus, they are the only game in town. This isn’t capitalism because no free market exists. It is in fact Oligarchy. Another term for it is Fascism.

It all begins with “The Commons.” You need to understand this concept to understand what has been happening in this country over the past several years. Commons refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. The resources held in common can include everything from natural resources and common land to software. The commons contains public property and private property, over which people have certain traditional rights. When commonly held property is transformed into private property this process alternatively is termed “enclosure” or more commonly, “privatization.” A person who has a right in, or over, common land jointly with another or others is called a commoner.

Examples of the commons would include the air, water, public parks, road system, public delivery systems, public schools, etc. They are considered to be part of the commons because they are essential and are used by the people. In a sense, our National Government, a government that Abraham Lincoln described as “Government of the people, by the people and for the people” is the manifestation of the Commons. We all own the government and this government has the responsibility to the people who theoretically control it.

So government services are part of the Commons. This would include police, military, schools, social services, the Courts, the prisons, the docks, the interstate highway system, all used and controlled by the people through their representative government. It is done is such a way that the taxes needed to run these systems are spent in an as efficient way as possible for the greater return on the money spent. If not done so, the people can respond by going to the government that they run and demand redress and correction. This is how it has been since our founding. However, seeing the potential profit involved by taking these services and institutions needed by the people away from government and privatized, many of these services have been corrupted. You can’t approach a corporation for redress like you can your government.

It started slow and harmlessly enough. Our constitution actually provides for “Postal Roads” for delivery of the mail, over time this was the impetus to create a road system that connected communities and states. They were built with government funds and maintained by the government. Some took it upon themselves to build and open “toll roads”. They did so by buying up the rights to the lands involved and agree to maintain these roads. They are also allowed to of course charge a toll for using these roads to fund the maintenance. This took a burden off the state, gave it to the private sector and in theory saved the state money. However the state still maintained public road systems that ran parallel to the toll systems. Though not as well maintained or quick as the toll system, they were free for those who couldn’t afford to pay to drive. It was a balance that was accepted. The railroads used the government to take control of lands to build the nations railroad system. For the most part, these were private industries that used private lands to ship people and material across the nation for a cost. However, they had a unique relationship with government where even though the owners made profits over the endeavor, the Federal government had some control and leverage ensuring people were safe and it was affordable to use.

The electric grid and water delivery systems were and are a mutual effort between government and private sources. Most water delivery systems are ran by local governments for water that is still very much a part of the commons. After all, no one can survive without water. Delivering that water does cost money to maintain the infrastructure. It is paid for via taxes and or fees to the delivery systems that are either publicly owned or are private entities enjoying special privileges with local government ensuring the people aren’t left dry. It is concerning that the President of Nestle is actually on record advocating the privatization of the water supply, not the delivery system. The way things have been going, he could get away with it.

Time to get to the focus of this rant, government services.

As I mentioned above, government services, those things government does for the people who consent to their rule are part of the commons. This includes police, military, fire-fighting, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Public Schools, Head Start, EPA, FDA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATF, the list goes on. If these agencies fail to meet the standards of the people who they are in place to serve, we have the constitutional right to redress our grievances with government for correction.

However, if these services were to be provided by private sector sources, we have no such right. At best, you need to hire an attorney and file suit in Court. What has made matters worse is a recent Supreme Court Decision that limits the ability to file class action lawsuits. So if a Corporation with billions did something wrong that impacted you, it’s your ability to pay for attorneys versus theirs. Not an easy endeavor.

Time was fire fighters were almost exclusively private sector institutions. Some volunteer and government operated systems were in place to put out fires no matter what. However like in Chicago during the Great Fire, the various Fire Departments would only respond to those who paid for their services first. We know what happened. Recently fire departments have started to go back to being privately owned. There have been recent incidents where a home has caught fire but because the owner didn’t pay their dues to the department, the home was left to burn, endangering the neighbors nearby.

The most discussed privatization of government services you will see on blogs, twitter and the like is the Prison system.

Traditionally the prisons were built and ran by the government. Taxes and fines paid for the operation. Then the private prison corporations came into being. They went to Governors of various states and convinced them they could house and control inmates for less cost per inmate and that they should be given title to the existing prisons or build new ones to house them. Of course in order to stay in business, unlike government run institutions, private prisons must make a profit to operate and get more investments from stockholders.

So they cut costs in security, medical care, psychological treatment, and training of staff. All things to squeeze a profit out of the tax dollars per inmate they take in. But it didn’t stop there.

Using ALEC, they sponsored laws that resulted in the Courts having no choice but to place more people in Prison for “crimes” that never really carried time before. The most infamous example of this is in my home state of Arizona. The infamous SB1070 law otherwise known as the “Papers Please” law, in reality had nothing to do with curbing illegal immigration. It was written by ALEC, pushed by the prison corporation folks to State Senator Russell Pearce, Governor Jan Brewer and others to permit local Sheriff’s like Joe Arpiao to arrest “undocumented” aliens he couldn’t arrest before and house them in new prisons especially created for this law.

More people in prison at more cost to the Arizona Tax Payer. This law was pushed in other States for the same reason. There was a population of people who weren’t being housed at tax payer expense before because there was truly no reason for it. If they committed an actually criminal offense they could be housed for that. This forced incarceration on them for simply being here without papers.

The prison corporations have been over the years pushing for mandatory prison sentences for crimes that never carried imprisonment before in order to fill beds and get more money from the tax payer. Once the beds are filled, security is lax, treatment is sub humane and these people come out far worse than they went in. This, along with the “War on Drugs” is the major reason why our country has more people behind bars per capita than any other country on Earth.

Then there is the military.

Time was, the military clothed, fed and took care of itself when in any war theatre. They were trained to build barracks, cook food, provide medical care, and do their own security both here and abroad. That changed when the Federal Government began to privatize military support services. Instead of these people taking care of themselves, private contractors, who cost the government far more than the military charged itself came in to build barracks and bases, feed and secure military personnel.

Infamously was the time military personnel were electrocuted in a shower build by one of these contractors. Keep in mind that under Bush/Cheney, these contractors got these cushy assignments on no-bid contracts. Their work was shoddy, expensive, poorly distributed and even resulted in death. Further, under law the soldiers had no recourse to address these issues in Court or with the owners of these companies. They were immune from criminal and civil liabilities. Attempts to change this in Congress were thwarted by those representatives who got campaign contributions from these no bid contractors. They were and are more expensive than traditional use of military personnel for these services and what’s more not as good in providing services. All of this costs the tax payer more money for worse results.

Then there are the Intelligence Services.

What can be said? Our nation has secrets that need to be kept for our national security, we have operations around the world to gather and analyze intelligence to warn and protect us from potential terroristic threats both here and abroad. This was once the total venue of the Federal Government. Then they decided to bring private contractors into the fold. It wasn’t a cost saving endeavor because the known budgets for these services have skyrocketed as had the number of people no longer answerable directly to our government but only to their corporate heads, who now have top security clearance.

Enter Edward Snowden. An employee of a private contractor, not vetted or controlled by anyone in government, not answerable to anyone outside of his company, who was able to gain access to top security material and leave with it. He hasn’t been the only one. How has privatization of intelligence services saved the tax payers any money or made us more secure and safe? It has done quite the opposite as had every instance where government services have been taken away from government and privatized for the profit of a handful of CEOs, Corporate owners and stockholders.

It’s a simple paradigm, to make profit you need to reduce cost and increase revenue. You reduce costs by cutting corners, removing safeguards, redundancies, etc and you increase revenues by finding ways of getting the customer base to pay you more while you provide less. As tax payers we are the customer base, there is a lot of money that is collected by us that private industry would love to get their hands on for more profit. When government provides these services they do so in as efficient way as possible providing the most bang for the buck and hopefully getting a return on the investment that is used to make the system even better. Private Industry in profit driven, their goal is to get the most buck from whatever they do regardless of quality of service. Profits rule and anything that cuts into profit is frowned upon by the stockholders.

This is where we are with the growing privatization of government services.

Privatize schools; fewer children get the proper education for the costs involved.

Privatize Medicare/Medicaid fewer patients get quality care for the costs involved because medical care is expensive and trying to squeeze a profit out of it only makes it even more expensive.

Privatize Social Security the only people guaranteed to make money are the Wall Street types who trade your money in speculative transactions in order to make themselves a profit on your tax dollars.

Privatize prisons you end up with more people in prison costing tax payers more to house them time and time again because they are treated so poorly they recidivate even more.

Privatize fire departments then fires have a greater chance of spreading because not every property is paying dues directly to the company running the department.

Privatize military; you pay more to CEOs and contractors and less to the very people who put their lives on the line defending you.

Privatize intelligence services; you get less intelligence, more leaks and a bigger bill at the end.

This trend must stop.

Capitalism and the private sector have plenty to occupy their time with. Building cars, televisions, appliances, and big ticket items in a free market is a good thing and no government can compete in that. That is communism and it is a proven failure. However privatization of government services, those things we need to rely upon at the best cost and the best overall service, the commons are best left to Government. Government has no profit margin to adhere by, only the satisfaction and needs of the governed who are able to bring redress immediately back to them. To allow continued privatization of government services has two names, Oligarchy and Fascism, private industry control of government and the nation. This must end. We need to reverse what has already begun; it’s time to nationalize our Federal Government for the people of this country and their well-being.

I’ll discuss Nationalizing Koch Industries in another rant. This is a poor attempt on my part to try to explain this situation, but it does exist and it does concern me. The facts of this phenomenon are out there for all of you to read and digest. Hopefully some true journalists will bring this to the forefront in a better way than I have. Thanks for reading.