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The Tea Party is thought to be a group of angry voters tired of the way things are in the country.  They are tired of being taken advantage of, tired of high taxes and not having enough money for even the essentials.  The problem isn’t the idea of the tea party, but that the people financially backing the tea party are using them so they can buy nutjob politicians who will continue the current Republican theme of free reign and no oversight of big oil.  The tea party is for the most part, the brain child of the Koch brothers who just want to continue making insane amounts of money and will stop at nothing to make sure they continue to do so.  They don’t care about the people of the tea party, they want to destroy them and the land that they live on and have fooled them with a mission that the people think will get their country back. 

Most teabaggers have no idea that the wool is being pulled over their eyes.  They either are too angry, too blind or too busy to actually find out what is really happening.  I have to admit, until the last couple of years, I have been too busy to care about what is really happening in politics, but a light bulb turned on and I have studied both sides and have discovered what to me is really happening to the country. 

My view is that most politicians on both sides are being bought by big business, whether it is big oil, wall street, the big banks, big pharma or all of the above.  The difference to me however, is that the Democrats seem to be trying to fix things while the Republicans use lies and fear to make sure that the people really paying them stay happy.

Who are the Koch (pronounced coke) brothers?  Until I did some investigation, they were just a couple of rich guys who are buying their way into the Teabaggers hearts.  David and Charles Koch’s daddy Fred started things for these silver spoons.  They are an American private energy group out of Wichita, Kansas.  They own a bunch of large companies but for the most part, their main love is oil and energy.  Like most of the oil industry, they spend obscene amounts of money to get around rules and regulations that are supposed to protect the environment.  They have been fined numerous times for violations but obviously, the fines do not add up to the profit they make by avoiding the regulations.  Among the fines that these wonderful gentlemen have gladly paid are:

In March 1999, Koch Petroleum Group, a Koch Industries subsidiary, pled guilty to charges that it had negligently allowed aviation fuel to leak into waters near the Mississippi River from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had illegally dumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi River. Koch Petroleum paid the Dakota County Park System a $6 million fine and $2 million in remediation costs, and was ordered to serve three years of probation.

In 1999, a federal jury found that Koch Industries had stolen oil from government and American Indian lands, had lied about its purchases more than 24,000 times.

In January 2000, Koch Industries subsidiary, Koch Pipeline, agreed to a $35 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the State of Texas. This settlement, including a $30 million civil fine, was incurred for the firm’s three hundred oil spills in Texas and five other states going back to 1990. The spills resulted in more than three million gallons of crude oil leaking into ponds, lakes, streams and coastal waters

In 2001, the company reached two settlements with the government. In April, the company reached a $20 million settlement in exchange for admitting to covering up environmental violations at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. That May, Koch Industries paid $25 million to the federal government to settle a federal lawsuit that found the company had improperly taken more oil than it had paid for from federal and Indian land.

In June 2003, the US Commerce Department fined Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hill Resources a $200,000 civil penalty. The fine settled charges that the company exported crude petroleum from the US to Canada without proper US government authorization. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said from July 1997 to March 1999, Koch Petroleum (later called Flint Hill Resources) committed 40 violations of Export Administration Regulations.

In 2006, Koch Industries’ subsidiary Flint Hill Resources was fined nearly $16,000 by the EPA for 10 separate violations of the Clean Air Act at its Alaska oil refinery facilities, and required to spend another $60,000 on safety equipment needed to help prevent future violations.

In 2009, Koch subsidiary Invista agreed to pay a $1.7 million civil penalty and spend up to $500 million to correct self-reported environmental violations at its facilities in seven states.  Prior to the settlement, the company had disclosed to the EPA more than 680 violations after auditing 12 facilities acquired from DuPont in 2004.

On August 24, 1996, a pipeline carrying butane gas operated by Koch Industries subsidiary Koch Pipeline Group ruptured near Lively, Texas, a small rural town about 40 miles southwest of Wichita Falls. The highly flammable butane vapor ignited as a pickup truck carrying two men drove into it in their residential area, and the resulting fire killed them. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the “probable cause of the accident was the failure of Koch to adequately protect its pipeline from corrosion.” As a result of NTSB’s investigation, it required Koch Pipeline to make a number of safety improvements and to conduct public education.

Governor Schwarzenegger, a Republican recently blasted 3 companies, one being Koch Brothers Industries for spending millions of dollars to manipulate the will of Californians and “buy votes.  The companies are sponsoring Proposition 23 on the Nov. 2 ballot, which would indefinitely suspend California’s 2006 law that calls for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Opponents of the law, AB32, say it will place a financial burden on businesses and cost California jobs. They propose delaying its implementation until the state’s unemployment rate falls from its current 12.4 percent to 5.5 percent and stays there for a year.

Schwarzenegger said the law may cost some jobs but will more than make up for the losses by boosting the clean-technology industry. He questioned the true motivation behind the oil companies’ support for the ballot measure.

“They really don’t just want to suspend it, they want to kill this initiative, kill our laws,” he said. “Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect our jobs?”

The above statements are not from a bleeding heart liberal or the so called biased media, they are from one in my opinion, of the last of the decent republicans.  While I disagree with a lot of the Terminator’s views, at least he has the guts to not blindly follow the party line. 

Some of the Koch Brothers other political contributions include:

From 2005 to 2008, Koch industries donated $5.7 million on political campaigns and $37 million on direct lobbying to support fossil fuel industries.

Between 1997 and 2008, Koch Industries donated a total of nearly $48 million to climate opposition groups.  According to Greenpeace, Koch Industries is the major source of funds of what Greenpeace calls “climate denial”. 

Koch Industries and its subsidiaries spent more than $20 million on lobbying in 2008 and $12.3 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group.

Koch Industries produces Formaldehyde in large quantities and has been lobbying to prevent the EPA from classifying it as a known carcinogen in humans.

It’s obvious what these guys are all about, the almighty dollar and Mother Nature be damned.  The Koch Brothers should be the poster boys for what is wrong with this country; instead, they are one of the biggest financial backers of an angry group called the Tea Party.  Do the teabaggers really believe that their movement will make the US a better place?  Do they really think that allowing big business to get around rules and regulations will make their lives better?  I think that if most teabaggers pulled their heads out of their tea cups to find out who is leading their cause; that most of them would be against what the Koch Brothers are trying to do.

The Tea Party or as I affectionally call, Teabaggers, have some interesting and fresh new faces (psychos).  The fact that the Tea Party is funded by for the most part, the extremely rich Koch Brothers who basically are whipping up the angry masses so that their businesses can continue to get tax breaks seems to have gone unnoticed by the angry masses. 

The first fresh new face that I would like to start off with is Sharron Angle, who is running against Harry Reid for Senator in Nevada.  Now I’m not the biggest Harry Reid fan, although maybe a decent Senator, he is brutal as the Senate majority leader.  Being a baseball fan, I compare him to the great Jerry Manual, currently the New York Mets manager until he gets fired at the end of the year.  I’m a White Sox fan, and I hated every minute of the Jerry Manual experience.  To me, neither Manual or Reid are good leaders, they may know a lot about their current professions, but they are supposed to lead and inspire the people that they work with.  Jerry Manual always seems like he is asleep to me, and Harry Reid just seems meek.  A lot of people hate Nancy Pelosi, but I love her as someone in her position and Speaker of the House needs to be a bulldog and asskicker.  She reminds me of my Mother In-Law who while we always don’t agree on things, we have the same outcome in mind and she does whatever it takes within for the most part, reason, to get the job done.  Harry Reid just doesn’t have that in him, and I’m hoping that after he beats Sharron Angle and the elections are over, that if the Democrats still have control of the Senate that they will pick someone with Nancy Pelosi’s get it done spunk.

Now, about Reid’s competition Sharron Angle, her website at least lists some of her ideas as other’s like Christine O’Donnell’s doesn’t have one word about HOW she is going to fix things.  Angle has, for example, called for the elimination of the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, denounced the BP compensation fund for victims of the oil spill as a slush fund, and suggested that her candidacy was a mission for God.

The EPA while not perfect, to me is necessary to make sure that big business doesn’t have free reign on destroying the environment.  I have been asked before, who do you trust more, the government or big business.  While I trust neither group, and having worked for other’s for over 28 years, I trust government more than big business.  Big business is out for one thing and one thing only, PROFIT.  They don’t care who gets hurt, who dies or the damage done to Mother Nature.  While government is for the most part a joke, there are some good people like Senator Bernie Sanders and other’s that know how to help the country get back on its feet.  The percentage of politicians who care about the common man to me is much higher than people in big business. 

Corporations are what is killing this country!  Both the Democrats and Republicans are being bought and sold, and that includes our Supreme Court, Appellate and local judges.  To say that a corporation is a person and has the same rights as you and me is a joke.  A corporation is a group of people who will lie, steal and cheat to make a profit, it’s that simple.

To denounce the BP compensation for the victims of their negligence is an outrage, but it is the typical Republican answer to anyone who dare make a corporation pay for their taking shortcuts when it comes to safety.  People died, and other’s lost their businesses, homes and more so that BP could make more profit, and this loony thinks that BP shouldn’t pay.  Why is that?  Why would any sane person think that way?  The answer is simple, like pretty much every Republican (Tea Party) candidate, she is being bought and sold by people like the Koch Brothers.

Angle also favors the privatization of Medicare and Social Security which is another Republican idea.  Why do the Republicans want privatization?  The answer for everything that the Dark Side stands for, is that it allows their corporate buddies to make more profit and screw the average person.  After she won Nevada’s Republican Senate primary, Angle’s campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a new version that toned down her far right-wing rhetoric.  The Reid campaign saved the old version, and put up a website called “The Real Sharron Angle,” reproducing the old content.   

I checked out the information from the old site and found some interesting information.  Her views on the health care act are mostly in line with the Dark Side (Republicans).  They act like the new health care plan is big government, which of course it isn’t.  One of government’s jobs in my opinion is to make sure that businesses don’t run wild and screw over the people of the US.  She seems to also feel that mandates for coverage for autism and maternity leave are not what this country needs.  In a video shot of Angle making the criticism, she can be seen making air quotes as she says “autism.” 

She goes on and says’ “They just passed the latest one. Everything they want to throw at us is covered under ‘autism’ so that’s a mandate that you have to pay for,” she continued. “How about maternity leave? I’m not going to have any more babies but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things we want to get rid of.”  That’s the typical Republican attitude, why should I pay for something that doesn’t affect me?  My feeling is that we are one nation and should care for and be in each other’s corner.

Her comments regarding autism coverage refer to Assembly Bill 162, which passed with sweeping bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2009.  Only two Nevada legislators voted no on the bill, both of course were Republicans.  The bill passed 60-2 in both houses with one legislator absent.

She thinks that the Department of Education is unconstitutional, and she also wants to bring back prohibition.  Prohibition in Nevada, where Las Vegas is?  I can’t imagine the casino owners would be too happy with that. 

She is obviously way out there and someone who needs to be defeated if the US is to continue its current trend towards recovery.  While you may not love Harry Reid, he certainly is a much better choice that wackjob #1, Sharron Angle.

The new health care bill just went into effect, which to me is a good thing.  Health insurance is a big deal, my personal view is that it should be a US citizens right and not a privilege, it should not be something one should go broke over.  My wonderful wife has had a rough years health wise which I would prefer not to go into, but I will say this.  While my insurance premium is outrageous, I am getting my money’s worth this year.  Insurance companies get a bad rap and for the most part, they should.  Blue Cross Blue shield has been pretty much great and honest and fair, except of course for the price of my premium.   

There are some really great things that went into effect today.  Things that will help millions of Americans, which of course makes the Republicans against the health care bill.  Why is the Dark ASide (Republicans) against the bill?  For one, a lot of Republican Senators and Congressmen are being bought by the insurance companies as well as other corporations.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot Democrat politicians in the corporate pockets as well, but the difference is that somehow most of the Dems find themselves voting against their own pocketbooks best interests.   

So what are the good things that the new bill does for the people of the us?  Let me tell you:     

1. Kids can stay on your policy until 26 years.   

Currently, many insurance companies do not allow adult children to remain on their parents’ plan once they reach 19. Companies cannot do that any more. 

This one effects my brother and will save him a lot of money each month.  His oldest will be able to back on his family policy which will save him in the neighborhood of $500 a month.  My guess is that this will help a lot of people out there.      

2.  Insurance cannot drop you   

Your health insurance company will no longer be allowed to cancel your policy if you get sick. 

This is a great thing for everyone.  Why should an insurance company be able to dump you because you get sick too often?  This one will probably immediately affect me immediately as this year has been brutal for my family health wise.  If the insurance companies can’t handle laws like this, then they shouldn’t be in the business. 

3. You Can’t be Denied Insurance 

Starting this year your child (or children) cannot be denied coverage simply because they have a pre-existing health condition.  

This is a great part of the bill as again, health care to me should be a right.  There are so many kids with health problems and issues that should effect their right to be insured. 

In 2014, unless the Dark Side has their way and reverses this bill, pre-existing conditions will apply to everyone.  This affects a lot of people, especially when they switch jobs.  Let’s say you have any kind of illness, heart problem, diabetes, gout, pretty much any physical problem, your new companies health insurance most likely would not cover you.  Most of you who have health insurance through your companies plan probably have no idea how much health insurance coasts to small business owners and people who have to pay for insurance themselves.  Health insurance costs me around $800 a month, this bill makes the insurance companies accept individuals with past health issues which is what they should do.  Now I can understand why the companies may not want to cover people with chronic conditions, but again, I say too bad, they have had their way over us for too long.  On the other hand, I had something called fake gout, which causes gout like symptoms.  Now gout in name doesn’t sound so bad, but those with gout will tell you that it is one of the most painful things that one can have.  I cried all the way to the doctor as the pain was unbearable.  Luckily, I don’t have gout and have never had a recurrence, but during my interview for health insurance, I was almost denied because of the one instance with my gout like symptoms, which of course would have been ridiculously unfair.

4. Insurance cannot drop you

Your health insurance company will no longer be allowed to cancel your policy if you get sick.

This is a pretty common sense law.  insurance companies have been getting their way too often and making things up as they go along.  Why should someone who gets sick get dropped?  That’s unfair and I will say it again, it the companies don’t like the law, then do something else.    

5.  No maximum limit on coverage

Companies will be barred from instituting caps on coverage when your costs for treatments goes up due to sickness.    

Another great saver for the average person going through tough times.  What is one to do when in the past, they have reached the cap.  Should we just let them go broke, or even  let them die?  No one should lose their homes because of health problems, we should be helping each other and not burying them in impossible to pay for medical bills.    

6. No waiting time    

 If you currently have pre-existing conditions that have prevented you from being able to qualify for health insurance for at least six months you will have coverage options.

Another win for the average person and to me, a common sense law.  One shouldn’t have to wait 6 months to get covered because of a pre-existing condition.    

7.  Small Business Tax credits    

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums

 The Republicans claim as they always do, that they are for small businesses, yet when any vote comes up to help small business, they find a way to band together and vote no.  Why is that?  Well, it is because the Republicans don’t really care about small business, they only really care for the corporations who pay them off.  They just lie to the US people that they care about us to get our votes, and a lot of you believe them.  Stop believing them and check out the voting records of the Republican politicians.  Try to find an instance where the Dark Side has voted for small business, or better yet, find a bill that they have introduced in the last 2 years.   They are the party of no because helping you and me  isn’t what they stand for.    

8. Seniors Get ‘Donut Hole’ Rebate    

Seniors will get a rebate to fill the so-called “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage, which severely limits prescription medication coverage expenditures over $2,700. As of next year, 50 percent of the donut hole will be filled.

How many of you have parents still alive?  My wife and I are fortunate enough to have our parents still with us and in pretty solid health.  The above fix helps our parents, but doesn’t really go as far as it should.  The donut hole should be completely filled, as like the insurance companies, the drug companies have a strong hold on our politicians and have been screwing us for years.  For one, they are keeping the Canadian companies out of the US which would add to what the Republicans say they stand for, competition.  The Dark Side is not for competition or for the free market that they claim to love.  They are out for the corporations only.  If they wanted to have a free market society, then why are they keeping the Canadian companies from competing? Money money money!    

There are a couple more advantages for most Americans that I will not get into at this time.  The bottom line is this, eventually all Americans will have health care coverage.  This is not a prefect plan, it is far from it, but it is a lot better than when Dubya (Georgie Bush Jr.) was in charge.  We are headed hopefully towards single payer coverage which will make health care even more affordable.  If the Dark Side wins the house, senate and in 2014, the white house, they will take back everything that we have gotten and will get in the next couple of years.  Do we really want to head in that direction?  Do you really want the corporations running our country?  Republicans will tell you that they want the government out of our lives?  I agree that I don’t want the government to be completely in control, but what is the Dark Sides alternative?  They want corporations and big profit to run our country?   Do you really want that?  It’s bad enough that the middle class is disappearing, but if the Republicans take charge again, we will have 2 classes.  The haves and the have not, and their will be a lot more have nots which includes most of you.  I will preach this again, do your homework, listen to both sides.  watch MSNBC at night and hear what people like Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews have to say.  If you live in the Chicago area, tune into 820 AM and hear people like Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman and the hilarious Stephanie Miller have to say.  Then give Rush Limbaugh a listen, watch Fox and see what Glen Beck, Hannity and other’s have to say.  listen to both sides and you will hear the differences.  You will hear Rush, Beck and friends talk about hate and use scare tactics to make you afraid.  Don’t be afraid, give both sides a listen and then use your brain.  Let’s move forwards, we can’t afford to go backwards.    

I am going to use this blog as a way to give my political views and my fears for the way the country is headed.  I just turned 50 and am married to a wonderful lady named Lisa.  We have two happy kids, Ashley 11 and Brandon 8.  For most of my working life, I was in the computer field, starting out as a data entry clerk and working my way up to an IT Director for Chef’s Catalog by age 34.  Since then I bounced around a bit and learned how to fix computers.  About 10 years ago, I started a small side business repairing computers, and 18 months ago, Dave’s Computer Services went full time.  Being a small business owner has a lot of ups and downs, but for the first time in my life, I love my job and wouldn’t take a regular corporate job again.  The Corporations don’t care about you, and never will again until we fix things in this country.

Politically, I was always very naive.  I thought I was an Independent and would vote for who I thought was the best candidate.  I became politically active over the last 3 years and came to the realization that while I did not consider myself a Democrat or Republican, that I always voted for the Democrat and not once did I ever vote Republican.  Now that I have been paying attention and doing a lot of listening, reading and learning, I now understand why I am a Democrat.

It’s pretty simple and obvious to me, while everyone in both parties are flawed, that if you are a white Christian who is only looking out for themselves and afraid of anyone not like them, you are welcome in the Republican party.  Everyone else, myself being a Jew, is welcome to vote for a Republican, but otherwise is not wanted.  I don’t consider myself smart, but I do consider myself pretty sharp and for the most part, aware of what is going on around me.  The Dems are pretty much afraid to create waves, but they welcome everyone no matter or race, religion or sexual choice.  It blows my mind that people who the Republicans don’t like, and that includes women, will vote for them.  But they have a lot working for them, like Rupert Murdoch and his Fox network.  They push fear and lies using crazies like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other’s to scare you that the sky is falling.

I don’t judge people by their looks, the old saying you can’t judge a book by it’s cover is true for me.  There are good and bad people in every race and religion.  Growing up, I was a homophobe, mostly because I was just naive and ignorant.  I now know that being gay is not a choice, it is something that is with one when he or she is born.  I have always been attracted to women with brown hair, we all have a type or types that we are attracted to, and I believe that is the same whether you are straight or gay.  I had to laugh a couple of nights ago as there was someone on TV from a group called gay Republicans or something to that effect.  Recently pretty much every Republican Senator blocked the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, so how then could any person who is gay vote for a group of people who don’t believe that gays should have equal rights as the rest of us.  Are there really that many stupid and ignorant people out there?  How is that possible?  I really feel that if you do your homework and listen to both sides, that unless you are one of the top 2 percent of the richest people in this country, that there is no way you can vote Republican, but every year I am proven wrong.

Thanks for reading this and please, do your homework and get out there and support candidates will help the US get back to where we should be, caring for each other and helping each other out.  All men and women truly are created equal.

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