Go Day. Come Day. Lord Bring Friday.

I gave my farewell speech. I’ve been feted and roasted.

But the legislative session is still droning on. We are working long hours, trying to drag this baby across the finish line.

I won’t be a free woman until we make the motion to “sine die.”

We were in legislative session until … I’m not sure, but I think it was around 10:30 pm last night.

When I got home, I couldn’t sleep.

My husband had followed the session for most of the day, texting me a hilarious running commentary. We’ve done that for years. He listens to us and our squabbles and texts me comments about what’s going on that keep me both entertained and sane.

We spent quite a while re-hashing the day’s events after I got home. Then, I stayed up alone, saying my prayers and unwinding. I was so tired that I kept falling asleep while I was praying.

Mama got me up several times during the night because she was afraid that she’d be late for her “job” at the adult day care center. She usually starts this around 4 am. I gave up about 4:30 and got up.

We had several hard votes yesterday. We passed legislation that will harm the people of Oklahoma for generations to come.

There will be more of the same today. And tomorrow. And the day after.

With any luck, we will adjourn this wagon train on Friday. That is not certain. Not by a long shot. I have seen legislative sessions go right down to the day we planned to adjourn, right down to the last piece of legislation, and then get hung up and have to go on for another couple of weeks.

Nothing in legislating is certain until it’s done, and sometimes not even then.

Yesterday was a hard day, and the next three days will be hard, as well. One upcoming vote in particular has me questioning what is the least wrong thing to do.

If things go reasonably close to predictions, it will be a matter of getting through today, then tomorrow and then Friday. We may be in session until quite late Friday, but there is hope that we’ll adjourn.

I got a ripping headache yesterday during the discussion on one bill. My left temple is still tender to the touch because of that headache, so I guess it was a migraine.

I disagree with the legislation in question. But the thing that triggered the headache — and it was one of those ka-pow! type headaches that hit like a hammer falling — was the bald-faced lying by one legislator. Back in the day, if a legislator deliberately lied to the body on the floor of the House, that legislator would never pass another bill.

In today’s world, this legislator has lied repeatedly about big issues on the floor of the House and no one cares. The legislator in question isn’t even embarrassed that everyone listening knows that they are lying. I’m talking about lies as obvious as someone standing in a tub of water and looking you right in the eye and saying, “So far as I know, my feet aren’t wet.”

These weren’t lies about catching a really big fish or how popular you were in high school. They weren’t braggadocio or a weak moment of trying to hide a private humiliation from public view.

They were lies based on other lies that were broken promises given to the entire House as well as the people of Oklahoma that have to do with legislation that will impact many people for generations to come. They were arrogant, on-the-mike, in-public, I-don’t-care-if-everybody-knows-I’m-lying-lies that were told to a trusting public as well as legislative colleagues.

This same legislator had already broken their word on this very piece of legislation with a so-what? attitude. The whole point to them seemed to be that anyone stupid enough to believe them was a fool and deserved what they got. In the course of the discussion, this same person gave other assurances as to what would happen in the future.

And the security and hopes of many thousands of people hang on this. On these lies. On the word of this legislator who evidently just says things so that people will believe them so that they can do something else.

I’m old-school about this sort of thing. I believe that a person’s word is their bond. In my book (to use a phrase from my Daddy) if a person’s word doesn’t mean anything, then the person isn’t worth listening to. I grew up in a world where cattlemen at the Oklahoma National Stockyards would close million-dollar deals on a handshake and that deal was done.

It’s difficult for me to accept that people entrusted with the governance of millions of their fellow Oklahomans would take their word so lightly. That is dishonorable. Reprehensible.

So, I got a headache. And I had to leave the floor for a while to keep from picking up a mike and saying things that I would regret. And the headache stayed with me all day and left me with an achy head that could fire off into another Ka-pow! at any time.

And now I have to go to confession, just like I always have to go to confession after one of these shut-down weeks.

Because of my temper.

Because of my bad language.

Because of my lack of charity.

Because of the unkind things I’ve said and because of my grudges over the unkind things that were said to me.

Because of the votes that I have no idea if I did the mostly right thing or the mostly wrong thing, but I’m pretty sure that no matter what I did, it was the mostly wrong thing because there wasn’t a mostly right thing I could have done.

Because I feel like I’ve been slimed from head to foot.

I got up this morning and had a talk with myself. I am the shortest of short timers in this outfit. My story as a legislator is all but told. All I need to do — all I should do at this point — is what I always do. I should vote my conscience. The only other thing — and this is different — is put my foot down and slide.

Adjournment is coming.

And serious work in a new arena awaits me on the other side of it.

Go day. Come day. Lord bring Friday.

 

 

 

Was the House Stenographer a Modern-Day Jeremiah?

Jeremiah Michelangelo Buonarroti

Did the House of Representatives stenographer crack, or is she a modern-day Jeremiah?

Tom McDonald, who blogs at God and the Machine, followed up on the story, and what he gives us is another story altogether. His is a story about a woman who felt called by God to speak out.

According to a Daily Beast interview with her husband, Dianne Reidy experienced a mega dose of what all the rest of us got as she watched the shutdown shenanigans.

“This whole mess has just kind of sickened her to the whole process,” her husband says. “The alliances between people who aren’t really allies. The finger-pointing on the dais, [then] the arms around each other… Where are the people being served in this whole deal?”

He recalls, “She was just like, ‘Gosh, this is not what it’s about.’”

Politics causes something akin to what her husband describes here as a natural by-product of focusing on the issues. You can fight someone like a dog one day and form an alliance with them on something else the next.

That truly is the nature of the political beast, and it’s not evil. It is just a factor of the reality that we agree with one another on some things and disagree on others.

But this recent shutdown fight, and all the other partisan bloodletting that preceded it, went much deeper and was far more tawdry than the usual pragmatic need to work together when you agree and go at each other when you don’t.

This was not about the issues. It was about power. On both sides, the focus was themselves. The country could be damned.

I can understand how any honest person would have been sickened to be part of it, on either side. That’s what I thought had happened. I thought Mrs Reidy cracked from being too close to the raw hatred and blind ambition that is governing the people who are tasked with governing our country.

But it turns out there was another element. Mrs Reidy told her husband that she had been awakened in the night for many nights with what she believed was a call from the Holy Spirit to speak out.

I’ve witnessed the way that politicians use God to justify themselves. I seen up close how elected officials who campaigned and were elected on their faith in Jesus turn around and kick Him to the curb with what they actually do. I have also witnessed the unbelievable hubris of politicians who have convinced themselves that God is made in their image and everything they do is right because it is god (little g) ordained.

These men and women truly are mocking God.

And it is sickening.

To see up close the way they treat the Lord Jesus grieves you. It can send you home a wreck.

I know.

I’ve been there.

I have never been forced to participate in anything as ugly as what has been going on in Congress these past years. I’ve only seen it in the small-time House of Representatives of the itty bitty State of Oklahoma. And it was all I could bear.

So, do I believe that the Holy Spirit may have called Mrs Reidy to stand up in the House of Representatives and dramatically announce “He will not be mocked” ???

Yes. I do.

It’s also no mystery to me why He asked her, and not the Speaker of the House of any of the other hundreds of people at that vote, including members of the press.

She was probably the only one there who was listening to Him.

I don’t know this, of course, but I think it’s very possible, that out of all of them, this woman was the only one in that entire assembly who was open enough to the Holy Spirit to hear His voice. After all, they were engaging in an unholy hate-off whose only limit seems to have been the parameters of their own ambitions. God is not a part of that kind of equation, no matter how much its human operands may claim that He is.

It was, is, always has been, about them.

They are the only gods they worship.

This is just as true of the members of the national press who reported this shindig as it is for the politicians who created it.

If God used a stenographer to proclaim that He would not be mocked to those who had been mocking Him to such great profit for so long, there’s nothing surprising in it to me.

I just hope that the boys and girls in that room — as well as all the rest of us — have the good sense to listen.

From Tom McDonald:

When I first heard that a congressional stenographer had grabbed a microphone and started ranting about Masonic conspiracies on the floor of the House, I assumed she’d had some sort of mental break. That’s always a safe guess when people deviate from the script in public, and it wasn’t helped by the lack of clear audio in the video clip that circulated on the internet.

She may well have had some kind of break, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, and trusting the media to report factually and objectively is, quite obviously, foolish. It’s always best to wait for some primary sources before drawing conclusions.

This is, as near as I can tell, an accurate report on what Dianne Reidy said on the House floor:

He will not be mocked! This is not one Nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one Nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.

I know! Crazytalk! Get the men in the white coats!

Honestly, is there anything in that paragraph that says, “nuts” to you?Anything at all? Because I got nothing here.

Bush II’s Finest Moment

For my money, President George W Bush’s finest moment was also one of his worst moments as president.

He took this nation to war based on the belief that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction.” Our troops got in there and found — guess what? — no weapons of mass destruction!

Why would I think that this was President Bush’s finest hour?

Because he didn’t lie about it.

He didn’t try to fake weapons of mass destruction.

He told us the truth.

Sad to say, that is as rare as hen’s teeth in the American presidency of the past few decades. Of all the things George W Bush did as president, some of which I agreed with strongly and others which I opposed adamantly, none earned my respect like the way he took it on the chin over the lies that got us into Iraq.

I am convinced that there were deliberate lies involved in this; lies told by what President Eisenhower called the “military industrial complex.” This “complex” appears to be always hungry for another war, and always willing to do whatever it takes to create one.

But President Bush redeemed himself and his intentions, at least in my eyes, by telling the truth.

Now, he did try to soft-soap the whole thing with talk about how “evil” the dictator of Iraq was. He did his best to shift attention away from this awful mess he’d made by invading Iraq. But he didn’t lie and he didn’t try to shift the blame. He let the buck stop with him.

For that, hats off, President Bush.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Sick of Politicians? Here’s Why.

Jay Leno said a mouthful (pun intended) with this video.

Enjoy.

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Explain to Me How Taxing the Internet is NOT Raising Taxes on the Little Guy

Explain to me how taxing the internet is not raising taxes on the little guy because, frankly, I don’t get it.

In my simple little mind, I think that a federal intervention that allows the states to slap a sales tax on the things we buy on Amazon and Ebay is, well, slapping a national sales tax on mom, pop, you and me.

One thing I’ve always admired about Republican tax policy is that they don’t make any bones about the fact that they want to tax everybody but the rich and give to nobody but the rich. They are right out front with their intention to use the national treasure as a piggy bank for corporations and anybody else in the top 5% who wants some. 

The Democrats, on the other hand, try to be more fair, or at least they do part of the time. Out of all the deficit-enhancing tax cuts that Congress has passed in the last 13 years, only one showed up in my paycheck. That was the temporary reformulation that President Obama used to try to stimulate us out of fiscal armageddon when he first took office in ’08. 

I believe he promised something about not raising taxes on us working stiffs. It went something like this:

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax, not any of your taxes.”

That sounds fairly comprehensive to me. However, nothing that anybody in Washington says to we the people appears to matter all that much to them. In fact, I’m beginning to get the feeling that they tell us stuff so that we will believe it, so that they can do the opposite. 

The President’s no-tax-on-the not-rich is a case in point. It appears that he didn’t mean that he wouldn’t tax gouge the little guy when taxes are “unfair.” What is an “unfair” tax? It appears that a tax is “unfair” when the Chamber of Commerce says that it’s unfair. 

In the effort to achieve “tax fairness” the United States Senate has pushed a measure that would require consumers to start paying sales tax on internet purchases. They claim, however, that this is not a tax increase. It will take money out of your pocket and put it in the government’s pocket, true. But it’s still not a tax increase and only the addlepated and simple-minded think that it is. 

Personally, I don’t think anybody believes that. I do think that hired guns who lobby Congress for Wal Mart, et al, and the Congressmen who get campaign donations from the same, will recite this claptrap until their noses grow out and sprout leaves. But they don’t believe it. They’re just hoping that the American people will be passive and dumb enough to let them get away with it. 

They are calling this “tax fairness,” as if any missed tax gouge on the American people was somehow a breach of morals. I love that. I hear the same kind of nonsense every time a bill that will hurt the people gets tossed at us in the Oklahoma House. “Tax fairness” means that if this thing passes, you and I are going to get a tax hike ranging from 9 or 15% on the things we buy on the internet. 

Wal Mart is the main proponent of this kind of legislation in Oklahoma, just as they are in Congress. Personally, I think it’s kind of hilarious, hearing a Wal Mart hired gun tell me that all Wal Mart wants is a level playing field. I know people who had small businesses before Wal Mart came into their neighborhood. I’ve heard the way these guys negotiated with them. 

This is about limiting competition. A Reuters article on this subject said that “Prospects for the bi-partisan measure are murkier in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where some Republicans view it as a tax increase.” 

Well, duhhhhh. 

Since we are dealing with Puppet people congressmen, anything can happen. If the pressure goes up, we might very well see some evolving door Republicans on taxes as well as social issues. 

In meantime, would somebody really, really smart please explain to me again how this is not a tax increase?

I’m just too simple to get it. 

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – A measure to empower U.S. states to require out-of-state retailers to collect online sales tax cleared a legislative hurdle in the Senate on Monday, after earlier winning official backing from President Barack Obama.

Seventy-four senators voted to limit debate and move forward with a final vote on the proposed legislation in the Democratic-controlled Senate, likely on Wednesday.

“You have businesses all around America on Main Streets and shopping malls collecting sales tax on the things that they sell, competing with Internet retailers who do not,” said Democratic co-sponsor Senator Richard Durbin.

Supporters of the measure include brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Best Buy Co Inc and cash-strapped state governments, along with Amazon.com Inc, which hopes to simplify its U.S. state retail tax situation. Opponents include many online merchants, including eBay Inc and Overstock.com Inc.

Prospects for the bipartisan measure are murkier in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where some Republicans view it as a tax increase.

Lobbyists on both sides are working to make their case in Congress. Several new wrinkles emerged on Monday, a key one being that the Obama administration for the first time officially backed the measure.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the bill “will level the playing field for local small business retailers who are undercut every day by out-of-state on-line companies.” (Read the rest here.)

The Last Wagon Train for the Marriage Gold Rush

Wagontrain You’d think it was the last wagon leaving for the gold rush.

Politicians are hopping off traditional marriage and jumping on board the gay marriage band wagon as fast as their fat little feet will carry them.

It’s been kind of fun for me,  watching them step up to the mike and explain how god (little g,) evolution, their philosophical understanding and reasoning abilities, as well as family and friends have finally made them come to this secular jesus (little j) and get turned around facing forward at last.

All this time when they were campaigning based on their support for traditional marriage it seems that they were just deluded by a lack of … ummm … evolution? … brainpower? … moral gravitas? … oh you know, the bloomin’ polls were the other way and you gotta do what you gotta do to win the election.

They tell us that their long soul searching has finally come to an end. They are now persuaded by their own evolving natures, “their” god (little g), their philosophy and highly questionable reasoning abilities, etc, that now is the time for them to make this brave stand. The day has come for them to go along with the crowd (once again) on gay marriage and reverse the position they took previously. Having dusted off 2,000 years of Western civilization with their profound moral gravitas, it’s time for them to get back to standing their ground on all those other issues.

Which they will do.

You can trust them.

Until the poll numbers change.

One problem with governing by the polls is that you never know what you believe until you get up in the morning and check to see the latest numbers. Another problem with governing by the polls is that nobody else knows what you think, either.

Liar liar ver1

Marriage is a fundamental kind of thing. If whole groups of politicians can just flip over on marriage like a bunch of flap jacks, why should we believe them about other promises they make?

These aren’t children. The young ones are middle-aged. Their ways should be fixed.

I wouldn’t be making this judgement if it was just one lone ranger who stood up and announced in a quavery voice that his gay brother wouldn’t eat Christmas dinner with him unless he changed his stand on the issue. I would never object to anything that smacked of authenticity and an honest reappraisal of the issue. That’s life. And life happens to all people, including elected officials.

When a politician steps out there alone and does something like this, it usually betokens guts and some sort of genuine change of heart. The price of making a move like this all by yourself can be enormous and no one would do it lightly.

But that is not what is happening here. What they are giving us are canned little speeches that sound like they came from a liars template shop.

“I evolved. I prayed. I want people to be happy. My family/friends/gay staffers told me to. Civil rights.”

They say these things like someone reading the slip from a fortune cookie. It is soooo obvious that they don’t believe what they are saying. It is equally obvious that they also don’t much care if we believe it. This is just another bit of work they’ve got to cross off their to dos before they go to the reception and on to dinner with the boys.

They don’t care that no one with half a brain is going to buy these twice-told tales they tell. They just want to get it over and done so they can go back to doing whatever it is they do when they’re not balancing the budget and not getting this country out of an endless round of meaningless wars and not taking care of the industrial drain or finding jobs for the jobless recovery or any other useful thing that I can see.

They are the same balding pieces of work they were before they “evolved,” or god (little g) spotlighted them like a deer and told them to go forth and overturn 2,000 years of Christian teaching, or they realized that people need to be happy, or their family/friends/gay staffers finally got their attention, or they had some sort of bizarro epiphany about “civil rights.” They’re the same phony-baloney political opportunists they were when they told us they supported traditional marriage.

The polls told them what to say then, and the polls are telling them what to say now.

Stampede

I know I sound harsh, but it’s difficult to be mild when I see such obvious, in-your-face, flat-out and unapologetic lying to the American people. What we are witnessing is a herd crossing of the political Rubicon that home and family represent in Western society. Once it’s done, we — and by that I mean our society and our future as a nation and a people — will never be the same again.

This is not about evolving or family or civil rights. It most certainly is not about Christian faith. It is about perceived political expediency.

The assumption seems to be that the people in their districts will overlook this as they have so many other things and re-elect them like slot machines come election time. It may work. The American people are so overburdened with the multiple traumas bad governance and a deconstructing society have pushed onto them that they no longer respond like free people.

“What can we do?” they say. “Nobody listens anyway.”

Kingdom of God

My advice to anyone who feels disheartened by all this callous gamesmanship on the part of our elected officials is to remember that while we are indeed citizens of the USA, we are also citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Here, right now, we are already citizens of that Kingdom.

Our first loyalty and our only center has to be that Kingdom coming. Our jobs as citizens of this world is to be the leaven of the Kingdom.

Our faith never was and never should be in politicians. Our faith is in Jesus Christ. It does not matter to us at all what the polls say. We follow Christ and He never changes.

Do not let a few stupid politicians who foolishly follow polls instead of God Almighty drive you to despair. Absolutely do not let them wear down your commitment to keep on speaking for the truth of the Gospels and doing the right thing.

As for this charge for the last wagon leaving for the gold rush, it is a rush to the fool’s gold of fleeting popular opinion. Before you can say “I told you so,” it will come rushing back, going the other way.

Your job right now is to make sure that you, for one, do not get on it.


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