Who’s Mad? Who’s Really, Really, Mad?

911: President George W. Bush Signs Patriot Ac...

911: President George W. Bush Signs Patriot Act, 10/26/2001. (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety –Benjamin Franklin

Hey Ben, ever heard of nukes?

Please tell me who exactly I’m supposed to be mad at?

Obama?

Be furious, you say, at Obama for spying on us. How dare he! He is evil! This an ourage! Impeach! Impeach!

Okay but here’s the thing.

He is following the law we Americans ignored and acquiesced to back in 2001.

Remember, after 9-11, we Americans were shitting the bed over the terrorists nuking us in the middle of the day so we said, “Go ahead government, do what ya gotta do.”

D-O W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R-I-T-T-A-K-E-S.

Yup, we said that kids. You did and I did and we did. We did it through our silence. We gave the all clear.

Christ, when a dog gets abused we can get a whole country to write emails to politicians and march into the streets, but this one? This one we gave a pass to.

Please don’t deny it.

Make us take our smelly shoes off before we get on a plane? Sure.

Profile Muslims? Absolutely.

Spend gazillions of dollars for Homeland Security and screw our basic needs at home like education, research, etc. Fine.

Do it! Just do it!

But today, on June 8, 2013, some of you are incensed. Oh yes, you are screeching about the 4th Amendment and how this president is destroying it.

The funny thing is, I don’t really remember you guys, the ones who are pissed off at Obama, being annoyed with Bush when he enacted this Patriot Act stuff.

In fact, I’ve seen and read plenty that proves you kinda liked it when old Georgie did it. You said it was “necessary” to combat the terrorists who were bound and determined to kill every American so that they could get their 52 virgins in heaven or some such thing.

That includes Congressmen, reporters, talking-heads, and YOU…and ME.

I didn’t like the Patriot Act then and don’t now. However, I don’t recall writing emails to my legislators or marching, well, mostly because no one marched so I’d look pretty stupid out there by myself.

But anyway, if you are all up in arms today over this (although you presumably were not all up in arms over it back in 2001), how about we also manage to muster up a little anger for the Republicans in Congress who positively loved the Patriot Act when it was passed. The same Patriot Act that has been re-authorized every 5 years by said Congress, some of whose members are now clearly stunned and outraged by its use?

Let’s try asking Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity,  and the sniveling turds on Fox who are today  choleric over the latest revelation of government overreach, where they get off changing horses in mid-stream?

While we are at it, this getting all prickly I mean, who am I, are we, supposed to be pissed at over the “targeting” of “Tea Party” groups at the IRS?

Obama?

That awful Obama! Why, can’t you see he is “out to get” his enemies and this whole “scandal” is because he told the IRS to do this…well…maybe not in words, but he used his secret Mooslim decoder-ring to flash signals to the Cincinnati office to do it. Impeach, I tell ya! Impeach!

Why again is that? Because ( once again) we have had hearings, and so far, there hasn’t been a shred of evidence, not only linking this to Obama, but to anyone in the White house. Well, unless you count the secret Mooslim telepathy Obama uses to force his minions to destroy his enemies with, there’s no evidence… the kind they use in an actual court.

Should I be mad at the IRS workers?

Why? Because they were in essence, doing their job, trying to enforce the law (yes, in an “unfair” way), which hundreds of groups took total advantage of after Citizens United. No one was denied their precious tax-exempt standing except PROGRESSIVES folks. If they were being sinister and heavy-handed and had a mission to seek and destroy the Tea Party groups, they did a crappy job of it. Couldn’t they even deny one group?

They suck.

How about instead I be angry at the Tea Party groups who engorged themselves using our tax code? Remember, the people who hate paying taxes wanted to pretend they weren’t being political and pretending they weren’t all about trying to elect people who would reduce their taxes. Yeah, those people.

These groups who are NOT supposed to be engaging primarily in political activities who most certainly are doing NOTHING but engaging in political activities and want to be able to do it without revealing donors and paying taxes like the rest of us.

I mean like really, you think that Karl Rove is mostly engaging in “social welfare” with his tax exempt groups? Uh-ok.

Benghazi? Mad about Benghazi?

Oh do puleeze inform me about who the hell did supposedly what, and who the Hades I’m supposed to be enraged at?

Obama (Yawn)?

Please tell me again exactly WHY I’m supposed to hate him for this again? Because after 50 billion “hearings” at taxpayers expense, talking-head mannequins on the nightly “news” programs who practically slobber and drool when they talk about this episode in history, and Facebook friends who cannot articulate a single, proven act or lack of acts that hasn’t been explained by the military and others in the agencies who looked into this, I am still at a loss.

Actually, how about I get pissed off at the TEAPUBLICANS? The Teapublicans, who REJECTED a bill that would INCREASE funding for security at overseas embassies.

The word hypocrisy springs to mind in an awful lot of these instances.

As far as the NSA controversy is concerned, the honest to God truth is that a part of me says that those “in the know” have seen the data and honestly cannot make a decision to end this surveillance state because they believe it would allow a terror attack that could conceivably wipe out a city (dirty-bombs), or take down a jet-liner, or release poison into a subway system.

A part of me is also appalled that the Fourth Amendment is basically null and void since 9-11 and the Patriot Act.

Another part of me says hold your nose and justify data-mining for the safety and security of the country. After all, they are looking for terrorists wishing to do us harm and not concerned with how many cat pictures I post on Facebook.

But the forth part of me (I’m divided into quarters, like a football game) feels what I felt a long time ago. The Patriot Act signaled the end of an era where we used to have some semblance of privacy protections.

But that’s not the only thing. You use a computer right? Why do you think the ads on the right side of your Facebook pages seem tailored to what you buy? You do realize there are little cookies that come with every click on a web-site.? You do realize that corporations have for years been buying and selling all there is to know about you to other companies, right? Did you give your permission to them to do that? Probably not, but we’ve just rolled over and accepted that this is the way things are in the age of cyberspace.

Has anyone ever read the terms and conditions of anything on the web before clicking “yes”?

Crap, I bet there’s a guy in China or Iran who is watching my every click at this very moment, let alone Obama, whom I bet some idiots are actually picturing in their minds (?) with some rockin’ Beats slung over his massive ears and his nose pressed up against a computer screen watching our every move.

I don’t know how else to express this thought but to just say it. We seem to be getting mad at the wrong people or the wrong thing. How about we get mad at ourselves for once?

We can have security or we can have total privacy, but we can’t have both, said President Obama, and he is right.

But I think you smart ones know that.

If we put the genie back into the bottle, and repeal the Patriot Act, chances are, we may not foil a major attack on Americans somewhere. There just might be a disaster somewhere on our soil and we need to understand that right here and right now.

We need to be grown-ups and realize that. We need to be real about it. We need to decide right now what direction we want to go in. If…when…it happens, we can’t start wailing that our government is not protecting us. Nope. Those days are over if that happens.

We need to be honest with each other and ourselves, which is something I’ve seen very little of lately.

And when it comes to getting ourselves worked up into a lather over what’s going on in Washington, perhaps, just perhaps, we should be irritated at ourselves first.

We Americans are as much to blame as anyone in government. We find it so easy to point fingers at them but WE THE PEOPLE aren’t holding up our end of the bargain. We want it both ways to Sunday. We want to be for it before we are against it.

We suck.

I can include myself in that critique. And you?

Posted in NSA, Patriot Act | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Really?

“Alright. And, really: Politics aside, should we be surprised that the IRS takes special attention to the tax forms of the Tea Party? Judging from the terrible spelling on their protest signs, attention to detail isn’t really their thing. It’s not fair to scrutinize somebody for hating Obama, but you might want to give them a second look if they spell it ‘Obambo.’ Really!”
-Seth Meyers

I will be totally stealing a line from my favorite faux “newscaster” Seth Meyers from SNL when I comment on the response from the “R’s” to the President’s remarks about student loan rates doubling on July 1. Because unless Congress gets off their collective fat, cellulite-pocked, Jello-like, obstructionist ass and does something about it, the interest rates will double and you know what the response from the Rebumblicans was?

Obama is being “petty” and “partisan”

Obama is “grandstanding.”

Really.

Really Republicans?

You know, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy the last few years  trying to highlight the idiocracy that is now the Teapublican party down there in D.C. I write about it here in this hideous blog to the point of nausea. I post about their buffoonery on my Facebook page obsessively, even as I watch the unfriending” from my Republican “friends” or at least can just “sense” the blocking of my newsfeed at the very least…buh-bye!.

There are literally weeks where there are so many bombastic, infuriating, stupid, obnoxious, and/or hysterical missives flowing from the party of the rich and hateful (oh settle down there Sparky, it’s called satire) that I can literally start writing about one of them—then get distracted because some ditz on Fox said something so brazenly idiotic that I just have to comment on it.

Watching the righties perform is like eating Chinese food where you are hungry an hour after you eat. If you wait an hour after you hear one imbecilic remark, another one will come along on its heels.

So yesterday, I was perusing the Twitterverse when I came across the story about President Obama speaking in the Rose Garden about the student loan rates possibly doubling unless action is taken by the miscreants in Congress. President Obama has a plan which differs—and not ever so slightly—from the other side’s plan.

I’m not going into detail, but you can read about it here. Suffice it to say, the prez wants students to pay less over time and the Teapublicans want them to pay more.

The Republicans want students seeking to better themselves and our country to help pay off our debt through student loan interest and let Wall Street borrow at 0% interest.

You know, there is a reason why the R’s have earned the moniker  ‘the party of the rich.’ This is a perfect example. You see, in the world of the right, it’s good to let the big banksters take money from the Fed at seriously low rates, but just try to let some poor shlub  from some working-class family in Bumfuck, Idaho try it— then you have a problem on your hands.

With regard to the discrepancies of both plans I’ll let you judge for yourself which is better for Americans (no I won’t-Obama’s plan is better), but it is the response from ‘Captain turtle-face’ McConnell and Speaker ‘Weepy’  Boehner that really cemented exactly what kind of galling asshattery goes on in DC with this new breed of righties.

But let me preface my comments, because uhm, in case you haven’t heard …

BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI

Additionally…

IRS SCANDAL IRS SCANDAL IRS SCANDAL.

Throw in…

AP SCANDAL  AP SCANDAL  AP SCANDAL.

So what I’m ever-so subtly trying to say is that the right-wing world insistence that they smear President Obama without any evidence linking him to anything untoward, except the endless loop of conjecture and irresponsible “what-iffery” that goes on in right-wing television shows and blogs (and with evidence actually TO THE CONTRARY), and through their laughable tactics, only seems to work with their “people.” Most Americans with half a brain can see-through the manure that the righties fling. It has become such the “cry-wolf” party.

The party of the right has done all it can to halt progress and stifle governance while they play their irresponsible and petty games.

Look over here! Obama did something bad in Benghazi!

What is that?

Well, we haven’t really figured it out yet, but we know it was bad. Bad we tell ya! We’ll just keep saying Benghazi! and holding hearings at great taxpayer expense and wasted time until the next election because we have no ideas or any desire to actually earn our fat salaries and pensions and govern for the good of the country.

Oh and Watergate! Watergate! This is worse than Watergate!

How in the world does any of this compare to Watergate?

It just does! Trust us. We know Obama is acting worse than Nixon. We have no evidence, but who needs evidence? The American public is so stupid that they’ll believe us, with no evidence, because Sean Hannity tells them what to think. Awesome, isn’t it?

We just need to keep our jobs and get more of our kind elected in order to continue the non-governing (except repealing Obamacare 967,000,000 times) and filibustering.

We need to distract and confuse the electorate with any scandal dujour and pin it to Obama so they can’t see that the country is healing, growing economically, reducing the deficit (too fast probably), no thanks to us.

So after the POTUS tries to force Congress to do the right thing by students and their families, speaker Boehner issues this statement:

“Last week, the House passed legislation that would prevent student loan rates from doubling and permanently take politics out of the issue.  The bill already passed by the House provides a market-based variable interest rate, mirroring what the president proposed in his own budget.  The differences between the House plan and the president’s are small, and there’s no reason they cannot be overcome quickly.  But today, rather than working to resolve the issue, the president resorted to a campaign stunt to try to score political points.  If the president is truly unhappy with inaction, the only place to look is the Democratic-run Senate, which has taken no action to prevent rates from doubling.

“Campaign stunt”?

Sure John. But if it is one, perhaps it is a necessary evil to combat the filibustering  which your party has used and abused since the day Obama took office. You remember that day, don’t you? The day when the only thing on your minds was making Obama a one-term president and NOT rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on actually governing. Right sweetie?

How about hearing from the Senate minority leader Mr. McConnell:

“Here’s one issue where the two parties can and should find quick agreement. Unfortunately, the president appears more interested in needlessly stoking partisan divisions in Washington.”

Ha ha ha! Ho ho ho! Whoo- hoo. I mean, he’s obviously kidding right? Oh what a jokester, old turtle-puss is.

Seriously though, he must be joshing and Boehner has to be kidding because otherwise they each have a set as big as VW’s.

Because “pot-calling-kettle-black” doesn’t begin to cut it.

Yes, how dare the President “lead” on an issue, which is what you all screech about on your blogs and Twitter feeds and say he doesn’t do.

How dare the President call you out for making it harder for students to pay back massive loans, after all, it’s the corporations who need their asses protected before college pukes.

What nerve Obama’s got for actually tending to the business of making our country better and getting the issues before the citizens when you’ve got non-scandals and fear to peddle.

I mean come on Obama, stop it!

You are harshing our scandal buzz man. Really.

Really.

Posted in 112 Congress, Benghazi, conservatives, Filibuster, Fox News Channel, Humor, IRS, Obamacare, politics, Republicans, Republicans and Fear, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HORSEPUCKY!

Hey gang. This hideous blog post may disappoint some who expect a lot more from ole’ Blithering Idiot than she’s got to give about now.

I haven’t written any pithy narratives lately mostly due to personal matters and that pesky day job taking up most of my time and energy.

Even today, I do not have enough in the tank to do the kind of job I would normally like shedding light on the insidious crapola coming from the right. Quite honestly, I don’t think I could have kept up with the 24 hour news cycle shifts that went on this past week anyway.

It was a week that started out with the right, oh how do I say this delicately, practically writhing in orgasmic pleasure over the supposed SCANDALS! cropping up left and right (no pun intended) that made it look like Obama is bad…really, really, bad (Michael Jackson).

However, as of this writing, it seems the right have made much ado about nothing (Shakespeare).

But as most of my Facebook and Twitter friends know all too well from my spastic and annoying penchant for posting 20 times in a span of an hour, that does not mean that I’ve stopped focusing on what’s been swirling around in the political universe.

In between sips of my homemade smoothies (who knew kale was so darn yummy when pulverized to smithereens?), and ass-kicking workouts (down a full 5 pounds this morning thank you very much), and thinking up interesting ways to impart Shakespeare to a bunch of grumpy teenagers ready to sleep til noon and hit the beach for summer break, I just haven’t had the gumption to sit and spend hours thinking up ways to tell you how much Teapublican Conservaputzes suck.

But suck they do. I mean they suck hard. Really, really, super-suck. Like to the nth power suck.

I tell ya folks, I try… I really do… I try like hell to be somewhat witty and make passing attempts at being a tad humorous when I bash ’em. I kid, I mock, and I figure it’s a lot more better to expose them in that way than the way I would really like to sometimes (yeah, I know that ain’t good English, but I’m tired man. Just dog-tired).

But today, I’ve gotta tell you, I’m really about done with their bull-shit. Finito.

I can’t get any more real and less funny than that, and honest to God, I don’t find the incessant lying and hyperbole and middle-school rumor-mill reporting at all humorous.

I’m done with these politicians,  pundits and talking heads in right-wing world who have now just totally shattered any shred of confidence or trust that anyone should have in them. Honestly, if you believe a thing most of them say, then there is no hope for you.

These people are not at all interested in truth-seeking, they are interested in promoting a false narrative…and are quite willing to throw out lies and innuendo daily to see what sticks. They must believe that Americans are really that dumb and pliable and cannot see through their pathetic smear campaigns against the President.

Because it’s apparent, that in the last week of scandalpalooza, they have all exposed their bloated, scuzzy, slimy underbellies for the world to see.

Look, I know you haven’t been living under a rock and you know the trifecta of supposed SCANDALS! that one Barack Hussein Obama has supposedly had his dirty little Muslim-socialist-Kenyan hands in.

Sure guys, don’t you know? Obama, before he got done not funding extra security for our personnel serving overseas, then allowing 4 Americans to die in Libya because he refused to send help, had made a call to the IRS and directed them to audit only Tea Party groups for their (cough-cough) “social welfare” 501 (c) (4) tax-exempt status. But before that even, he directed the Justice Department to spy on all reporters because he is the vilest ( darkest) president ever in the recorded history of our country.

I’m also pretty sure he has something to do with the kidnapping of Lindberg’s baby and may have forced the captain of the Titanic to ignore warnings and smack right into that iceberg.

I mean, “some people say…” he may have had a hand in those things.

I smell a possible hearing…I mean after the House tries to repeal an un-repealable law such as…oh I don’t know…Obamacare …for the 867 millionth time.

Good use of your time and our money, idiots.

You see friends, when you live in right-wing world, truth, proportion, temperance, forbearance, and common-sense is unnecessary. Those traits are actually unwelcome.

You must, and I mean, must, froth at the mouth and practically bust a move, do the worm or whatevah, because AHA! you have found something– anything– to perchance be able to waggle a finger at and scream IMPEACH!

The real truth is,  each supposed SCANDAL! has now been either debunked or investigated to the point where there is not one iota, not one scintilla, not one damned fingerprint of the President on them.

But by all means all of you right-wing, fear-mongering, lying, scheming bastages (Johnny Dangerously), don’t let truth, justice, or the American way (Superman) stop you from ginning up, in the most pathetic and transparent way possible, faux OUTRAGE!

I do not have the time nor energy to write about each specific issue from the three supposed SCANDALS! that are supposed to bring down the Obama presidency.

But for those of you reading this who watch only that channel that starts with “F” and ends with “X”, I will provide links that will let the air out of your tires faster than a box ‘o’ nails fallen from a 1989 pick-up truck with a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker affixed to its back window.

BENGHAZI SCANDAL!Hey guess what? Not only have the Teapublicans attempted to smear good, intelligent, and patriotic people like Susan Rice, they have actually been proven to be the ones who wouldn’t fund more money for embassy security, and now, somebody with an “R” next to their name actually doctored emails to make the Whitehouse look like they were lying. WHICH THEY WEREN’T. Oh, and former Defense Secretary Gates, who served under both Bush and Obama, said that he would have made the same decisions in Benghazi and that a lot of loudmouth stiffs have a “cartoonish impression of military capabilities.”

The military command both on the ground and in the Pentagon assessed there was not enough time to get substantial help to the situation and were wary of taking forces from other areas in potential target zones, and in the words of Air Force Major Rob Firman who spoke to the US News and World Report,

“Were these guys told not to do anything? No. They were in Tripoli, supporting the U.S. security in Tripoli, and they were told to stay there,” Firman says. Special Operations Command Africa leadership told them to remain where they were, and “it was more important for those guys to be in Tripoli.”  He added, “I look at that as not so much a stand-down order, as it is a ‘stay where you are,'” says Firman. “Those guys met the planes and continued to support.”

Firman adds that the C-130 was tasked with picking up the American personnel at the Benghazi airport and leave immediately. These Special Forces troops would not have been on the ground long enough to have contributed significantly to the operation.

“There was a very limited amount of time that they could have done anything,” he says.

Guess what news outfit did not so much as mention that the decision was military based and not Obama willy-nilly deciding to “stand-down” as has been stealthily repeated as fact instead of the lie it is? Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

B’ut, but, I will continue to make hay out of it anyway because ‘Obama sucks’, said the outraged Tea-Party member holding his misspelled sign who doesn’t have a freaking clue where Benghazi is.

IRS SCANDAL! Yes, yes. We all hate the IRS. Why, it’s almost un-American to not despise those folks. PITCH-FORKS! TORCHES! (Every Frankenstein movie). While we’re at it, SWIMMING POOLS! MOVIE STARS! (The Beverly Hillbillies). And yes, yes, on the face of it, it looks like they were not politically correct and a little sloppy in the execution of their cited tasks. HOWEVER, the IG has investigated and there is not one link to anything political—let alone some directive from the Whitehouse on this. And get this, the head of the agency was a Bush appointee who had republican ties.  Oh, and every damn Tea Party group who applied got their bogus tax-exempt status approved but guess what other groups were also audited and got shot down? The left, that’s who! By the way, the IRS does us all a favor when it does its job and for my money, they SHOULD be looking at all of these groups who are pretending to be “non-political.” Right Karl Rove?

AP PHONE RECORD SCANDAL! Ok, this one I have to admit, makes me squeamish. The right to have a free and unencumbered press is vital to our security as a free people (fuck your guns, the pen is mightier than the sword). That being said, the circumstances that led to this step being taken by the DOJ also makes me rumbly in my tumbly (Winnie-the Pooh) because that right does not mean that others lives should be put at risk or our vital national security either. However, once again, this was a separate issue which has no connection to Pennsylvania Avenue. Hey, if that changes, I’ll be glad to write a retraction, but for now, there’s nothing there to connect the DOJ to the Whitehouse. Besides, what the DOJ was not illegal. They didn’t wire-tap as I’ve heard and read many dumb-dumbs repeat. They subpoenaed phone records. I would have felt better had they received a warrant.

And last, but not least, I leave you with the right’s own words on how to run a country in 2013. In essence, it should be the job of Congress to do nothing to get the country moving forward. Do nothing to help the unemployment numbers tick down faster. Do nothing to focus on our huge environmental concerns. Do nothing to reduce poverty, crime, blah-blah-blah. That’s kid-stuff.

Instead, just keep these words scrolling in the news crawl of right-wing television day and night:

SCANDAL!

BENGHAZI!

IRS CONSERVATIVE WITCH-HUNT!

OBAMA IS A CANNIBAL!

Okay. I made that last one up.

And forget about doing the work of the American people for the betterment of the American people. Instead right-wing, do this: From The Grio:

In light of the white hot media spotlight on the administration, and to deflect attention from the many policy areas where Republicans don’t quite get along, the letter urges: “it is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to conduct oversight hearings on those actions, but it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference.”

“To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference.  Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another ‘circular firing squad’ article.”

Yes, that was an excerpt from a real letter just sent to Boehnor and Cantor from the right-wing think-tank (oxymoron) the Heritage Foundation. Their advice?

Screw America, we want SCANDAL!

Screw America, we want to spread lies and mis-information and run with it 24/7!

Screw America, we want IMPEACHMENT! trials and hearings to encompass our every waking hour so we can avoid actually legislating!

…even if what we are trying to peddle is all a bunch of damn horespucky (Colonel Potter-M.A.S.H.).

Posted in Benghazi, conservatives, Fox News Channel, Humor, Obamacare, Republicans and Fear, Tea Party | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Who’s the Blithering Idiot?

“Some of you hear this and you’re livid, and you’re outraged,” Limbaugh said. “The thing that I really want to impress upon you is that this is not far out. This is not new. It is unusual. It used to be … what’s new is she has total confidence in saying it. She’s not worried that a majority of people are going to disagree with it. But this is Marx, Engels, ‘The Communist Manifesto.’ The nuclear family has always been under attack by communists, by leftists. The nuclear family has always, just like religion, must be destroyed and in its place, the community, collective. So while this is outrageous in its self-contained form, it isn’t anything -Rush Limbaugh 

http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/08/limbaugh-harris-perrys-remarks-old-as-communist-genocide-video/#ixzz2QTZ

Calm down Fox News. Simmer Rush Limbaugh. Chill Sister Sarah.

The typical hyperbolic outrage from the usual suspects over an ad for the left-leaning MSNBC left me doing the very same thing I usually do whenever the right-wingers have a meltdown…inwardly chuckle and outwardly shake my head in flat-out amazement that people are seriously that crazy, dumb, and out of touch…and hard up for real discussion of important issues.

I’m sorry, there is no polite way to put the reaction to this ad in any other terms but those.

There may be times when a wig-out from the right over something stupid from the left may be justified, but the problem is that they throw temper tantrums like this way too often. They have fallen into the great expanse of “cry wolf” syndrome. They are so far down that hole that even if they had one of those ‘Life Alert’ buttons around their necks like grammy, they still probably couldn’t get out.

In case you missed it, Melissa Harris-Perry hosts a television show and made a promotional ad for MSNBC. The general idea behind the admittedly provocatively-worded (some have said awkwardly-worded) ad was basically the age-old idea that “it takes a village” to raise a child. Here is some of the red meat that conservatives lost their poop over:

“So part of it is we have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the households, we start making better investments.”

She also used the word ‘collective’ in the ad so you know, those old righty heads just about exploded over that one.

Here is what most normal, rational, people with all synapses firing hear from that promo:

It takes an entire society to agree that our children are precious and will be our future, and as such, we need to make sure we are caring for them, educating them, and keeping them safe. Investment in children is the smart and right thing to do. 

Here is how most normal, rational, people with all synapses firing respond to a 30 second promo ad like that:

What time is dinner, honey?

Here is what Fox news viewers and righty hate radio listeners hear:

Obama and the lib-tards are commin’ fer the kids!

Here is how Fox News viewers and righty hate radio listeners respond to a 30 second promo ad like that:

Damn socialist- commie freakin’ bastards! I knew those lesbians would try something like this! You hear those helicopters? Git the guns Myrtle! Now!

Sheesh. I have to admit, I am even kind of embarrassed for them now. I’m embarrassed by and for the reaction of the right, to very basic and long-held American –and additionally very Christian– values that Perry was trying to espouse.

Doesn’t the Constitution say something about We the people promoting the general welfare or some such something?

Understanding nuance is definitely not the right’s strong suit, so the fact they garbled and mangled the intent of the spot is not surprising.

Here are some of the greatest hits from the mouth-breathers in reaction to the ad:

Sarah Palin: “Apparently MSNBC doesn’t think your children belong to you. Unflippingbelievable.”

Glenn Beck: He actually made the connection between the tin-foil hat brigade’s favorite conspiracy theory, “agenda 21” to MHP’s comments. By the way people, he’s been warning you about this for years. Do you see, now?

Michael Savage: He calls Perry a “blithering idiot” who gets her ideas from the (gulp) Communist Manifesto for her words.

Hey! That’s MY name! Thanks for the free publicity Mike, although, I have a feeling I’ll be getting some right-wingers stumbling upon my blog after googling “blithering idiot” looking for some hate porn.

I’ll brace myself for the misspelled hate mail.

The typical responses (yawn) and vocabulary of the right-wing echo chamber also belted out those old, familiar tunes like “Communist!”, “Marxist!”, and the old stand-by, “foreign!”

You see, Melissa Harris-Perry typifies everything the wacko-extremists hate. She’s a black, liberal, woman who speaks her mind and has a platform to do it.

They picture her in her classroom at Tulane University, wearing an African headdress, no doubt. In that classroom, she is, of course, preaching Marxism-Lennism, Malcom X and lauding the Black Panthers and every pinko-commie-rad idea from the 60’s that she can disseminate in an hour and forty-five minute class on Tuesdays and Thursdays to unsuspecting, hung-over, college pukes.

Yeah, that’s right. She’s…oh I don’t even want to say it… an educator. Blech.

A college professor with a show. Doubly icky.

In her “defense”, (like why the hell does she even need to defend anything, but whatever, it was a major brouhaha) here is what she said:

My inbox began filling with hateful, personal attacks on Monday, apparently as a result of conservative reactions to a recent “Lean Forward” advertisement now airing on MSNBC, which you can view above. What I thought was an uncontroversial comment on my desire for Americans to see children as everyone’s responsibility has created a bit of a tempest in the right’s teapot. Allow me to double down.

One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities.

When the flood of vitriolic responses to the ad began, my first reaction was relief. I had spent the entire day grading papers and was relieved that since these children were not my responsibility, I could simply mail the students’ papers to their moms and dads to grade! But of course, that is a ridiculous notion. As a teacher, I have unique responsibilities to the students in my classroom at Tulane University, and I embrace those responsibilities. It is why I love my job.

Then I started asking myself where did I learn this lesson about our collective responsibility to children. So many answers quickly became evident.

I learned it from my mother who, long after her own kids were teens, volunteered on the non profit boards of day care centers that served under-resourced children.

I learned it from my father who, despite a demanding career and a large family of his own, always coached boys’ basketball teams in our town.

I learned it from my third-grade public school teacher, who gave me creative extra work and opened up her classroom to me after school so that I wouldn’t get bored and get in trouble.

I learned it from the men who volunteered as crossing guards in my neighborhood even if they don’t have kids in the schools.

I learned it from the conservative, Republican moms at my daughter’s elementary school, who gave her a ride home every day while I was recovering from surgery.

I learned it watching the parents of Newtown and Chicago as they call for gun control legislation to protect all the children of our communities.

I learn it from my elderly neighbors who never complain about paying property taxes that support our schools, even if they have no children in the schools today.

And I have learned it from other, more surprising sources as well. I find very little common ground with former President George W. Bush, but I certainly agree that no child should be left behind. And while I disagree with the policies he implemented under that banner, I wholeheartedly support his belief that we have a collective national interest in all children doing well.

I’ll even admit that despite being an unwavering advocate for women’s reproductive rights, I have learned this lesson from some of my most sincere, ethically motivated, pro-life colleagues. Those people who truly believe that the potential life inherent in a fetus is equivalent to the actualized life of an infant have argued that the community has a distinct interest in children no matter what the mother’s and father’s interests or needs. So while we come down on different sides of the choice issue, we agree that kids are not the property of their parents. Their lives matter to all of us.

I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.

So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear.

We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions.

But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it.

I venture to say that anyone and everyone should know full well that my message in that ad was a call to see ourselves as connected to a larger whole. I don’t want your kids, but I want them to live in safe neighborhoods. I want them to learn in enriching and dynamic classrooms. I want them to be healthy and well and free from fear. I want them to grow up to agree or disagree with me or with you and to have all the freedom and tools they need to express what they believe.

And no hateful thing that you say to me or about me will ever change that I want those things for your children.

Apparently, Ms. Perry, it takes a whole bunch of village idiots to screw up the meaning behind that quite beautiful thought, and a bunch of sheeple to believe them.

Unflippingbelievable.

Posted in conservatives, Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC | 1 Comment

Letter to a Senator

*A few days ago, I called the offices of a few United States Senators, including Rand Paul, to express my views about the gun control debate and any pending common-sense regulations. However, my primary reason for calling Rand Paul’s office was to express my disgust for his expressed intention of filibustering any bill that may reach the floor. I have written extensively on the injurious effects of the filibuster, how the Republican party has used it excessively and irresponsibly, and how it is a prime cause of the grid-lock in our government ever since the 2010 elections. Although used by both sides in our illustrious history, the right has used it  as a cudgel since the invasion of the Tea Party members to Congress, who are hell-bent on blocking any legislation brought forth from the Democratic party.  They now need to be exposed for the cowards they truly are when it comes to letting debate go forward. I have sent this as a follow-up to my call. I urge every American, on whatever side they find themselves on, to examine the abuse of the filibuster, because if all voices of disagreement are unable to be heard in the halls of our legislatures, exactly how does that make our country stronger? That is not democracy, it is slight of hand.

Senator Paul,

I called your office earlier today to make my voice heard. Although not a constituent of your state, my life and the lives of every, single American are greatly affected by your actions as a congressman.

I felt compelled to call because I am completely bewildered and utterly outraged at your reprehensible decision, along with Senators Lee, Cruz, and Rubio, to filibuster any bill that may come to the floor with regard to guns. You and the other senators have decided that absolutely no debate– no discussion– no public hearing– on this issue should take place in the halls of Congress.

Of course, when it came to the talking filibuster of CIA Director Brennan ( which we all know was done primarily for fundraising efforts to bankroll a presidential run), you seemed to be so full of vim and vigor and attempted to show the country, who had forgotten or weren’t aware of the practice, just what a true filibuster was.  When you had to end debate because of a pee-pee run, the country had witnessed just why the talking filibuster is the way to go when you want to shed light on an issue or actually thwart legislation.

However, the silent filibuster, which your party has used irresponsibly, has become a scourge to our legislative and democratic process. And it is this weapon which you and your co-horts see fit to bludgeon our democracy with this Easter season.

Silence and obstruction is your way of governing, presumably. Is this American democracy at its finest Senator? Is this how the Founding Fathers envisioned our government to function? Silence? Obstruction? No meaningful debate? No elected representative forced to take a stand and have their vote on record for the citizens to evaluate?

Really?

Actually Senator, the Founders quite cherished the whole idea of “debate.” It is why the Senate is considered a “deliberative body”, more so than the House. While I place ample blame on the majority in the Senate who allow “silent” filibusters to take place (I understand it is actually a more draining process for the majority party to “wait out” a talking filibuster than it is for the minority party to enact it), I blame “legislators” such as yourself for the misuse of the practice. The Founders did not intend this procedure to be used as a weapon against a majority in excess. It was understood to be used judiciously and sparingly. Your party has made a mockery of the process.

My question is, why? What are you afraid of? Who are you afraid of? Could it possibly be the outfit that bears the three letters N-R-A? Or could it simply be you have a fear that if these laws somehow come to fruition, they may actually work, and that would make you look bad? Why are you and your party so eager to regulate a woman’s body and yet so opposed to regulating a weapon of mass-killing? Square that circle, Mr. Senator.

Is this democracy?

Don’t you even amaze yourself by your own hypocrisy  You see, I seem to recall your outrage that the President (you claimed) would not allow a vote and was, in your words Senator,  “feverishly scheming to bury the National Right to Work Act without a vote.”

Isn’t that exactly what you are doing now Senator, “feverishly scheming” to block a vote?

Those are your words Senator.

My phone call was used to express my deep concern and true outrage regarding your actions (or lack of them) on the contentious issue of “gun control.” I use quotation marks around the preceding two words in an admittedly sarcastic manner, because I wonder when this idea of common sense, when it comes to the enforcement of the Second Amendment and the words ” gun control”, became so diametrically opposed?

First of all, it would be wildly appreciated if you and your pro-gun, anti-regulation brethren would stop your unhelpful and disingenuous rhetoric which is intended to muck up the already murkey waters of this issue. Nowhere in any bill, or even in discussion, has there been a call for the government to ban all guns, ban ownership of guns, or anything close to that nonsense. No one is coming or working on legislation to “grab your guns.” If I am misinformed, please tell me. But I believe I am correct.

What I have noticed from blustering politicians and ideologues such as yourself, however, is the highest form of intellectual “bogeyman-ism.” Your party has taken this idea of common-sense gun regulations (which by almost every measure MOST Americans are in favor of– overwhelmingly–including sensible gun-owners) and tried to obfuscate the issue through rhetoric that is meant to scare the average gun-owner or even non-gun owner and their deep-seated fear of rights being taken away. It is politicians like you that knowingly and willingly act as fear-mongers who are in actuality a threat to the safety and security of all Americans.

It is revealing that you are on record as saying you would have have filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act due to the “unconstitutionality” of it, with respect to “personal property.” You tipped your hand here because you seem to have a penchant for deciding that you are judge, jury, and executioner (really, no pun intended) when it comes to laws that we abide by. You believe yourself to be some sort of ideological guru who knows better than the SCOTUS by boldly declaring that you find the landmark civil rights bill of our lifetime to be unconstitutional.

You do realize that the SCOTUS, an institution which is one of our three branches of government, has come down definitively and squarely and unambiguously on the side of gun regulation, don’t you? You are familiar with District of Columbia v. Heller and the brief, written by the right’s hero Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he clearly states that the Second Amendment unequivocly allows for restrictions on firearms. Here is an excerpt from the brief:

“Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

You spoke the other day about how you find the pro-gun control crowd, especially the Hollywood types “hypocritical” for being pro-gun control but having armed guards protect them. You then openly admitted that people in the public eye, not unlike yourself, find themselves to be a special type of target and need to be protected. You bring that up but I wonder how does calling for a background check or limiting magazine size make a celebrity a “hypocrite”? Remember, Senator Paul, we can assuredly agree that once again, no one is calling for laws to ban all guns. You are being intellectually dishonest by conflating the issues.

Additionally, I could bring to light YOUR hypocrisy when you gladly accept a governmental health care plan, which is one that most Americans could only dream of having, let own being able to afford, but are steadfastly against all Americans having the ability to procure decent health care insurance? You are adamantly anti-worker, anti-union, and anti-pension for government workers, but will greedily take the generous pension that my tax dollars will pay for once you retire, won’t you Senator? Your cherry-picking of issues include those bits of pretense on your part quite clearly.

You are elected to represent the will of the people, not to serve your own ideological and personal ambitions or perhaps more appropriately, your delusions of grandeur.

You claim to be a patriot who pledges to protect the Bill of Rights unhesitatingly, however you will now pledge to prevent (filibuster) the most basic and intrinsic functions of a representative democracy from taking place–debate on an issue so exceedingly important to the health, welfare, and safety of every American.

Once again, you have deemed yourself judge, jury, and executioner, and that Senator, is not what the Founding Fathers intended when they framed the government, nor what the American people elected you do. What is it about your ego that makes you feel so omnipotent and self-important that silencing my elected representative to debate on the floor of the Senate is somehow responsible or democratic?

The children and families of Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Columbine and the children and families in every corner of this beautiful country deserve to be heard. The citizens who are expressing to our elected representatives what they want done on this issue, and on both sides of this issue quite frankly, deserve to hear all sides of the debate.

We deserve, and moreover under our Constitution, we demand a vote.

Do not filibuster this legislation. Let all voices be heard.

After all, just what are you afraid of?

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen

Posted in 112 Congress, Colorado Massacre, Filibuster, Gun Control, politics, Republicans | Tagged | Leave a comment

Clever Like a Fox? Hardly.

 I know when you watch Fox News.

I really do.

No I’m not clairvoyant like Santa Clause,who supposedly knows when you’ve been good or bad, which is enough make any 9 year-old straighten up and fly right.

However, I also know when you read Breitbart.com or the Drudge Report, listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and worship at the gold-plated, conspiracy-fueled altar of Glenn Beck.

I know you read Drudge because you actually believe and then repeat to anyone within earshot at wedding receptions ( while snarfing down cocktail weenies like Obama was going to outlaw them), a ridiculous and untrue story they actually published as “fact” on their website, like that the President had time to “meet with a pirate, but had no time to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu” last year.

You definitely read Breitbart when you tweet a link to their site which happily announced that Paul Krugman, the lefty-economist, declared bankruptcy. The only problem was it wasn’t true. Breibart used information from a satiracle news website and published it as real news. It was a hoax.

I can always tell who listens to Sean Hannity because they never refer to the President by name, only as “the anointed one” and still just cannot believe that he won and Romney lost (because wittle Sean predicted a Romney victory ). Hey Seany boy, that’s now TWICE “anointed.” Oh that has GOT to sting a little, huh buddy?

However, what really fired me up and prompted me to write about this topic was an item I read about this Eric Bolling from the evening Fox News show, “The Five.” Admittedly, I often can’t stomach more than a fleeting glance at shows like these on Fox. I rely on others to “take one for the team” by watching, then reporting back about the lies and absurdities they air daily. For this enormous sacrifice, I am eternally grateful.

Incredibly, this arrogant, Glenn Beck wannabee Bolling was on this panel of 5, speaking about the Iraq War. I won’t even comment on his “opinion” that the Iraq War was the “smartest thing Bush ever did” for the obvious reason that anyone who says that is functioning at an intellectual level below that of a sea cucumber (my apologies to sea cucumbers). But hey, he has a right to his opinion as dubious as it may be.

But  what really got me to stand up and shout, “WTF are you talking about?!” was his assertion that IRAQ NEVER INVADED KUWAIT.

That’s right, Eric Bolling, a major player on a major program on the Fox News network actually had the chutzpah to deride Bob Beckel (the lefty sacrificial lamb) when he (correctly) informed Bolling that Iraq did, in fact, invade Kuwait.

Here is Bolling’s (rather annoyed and dismissive) response to the correction:

“No, he didn’t go into Kuwait,” Bolling said. “He lined them up and then we went and did Desert Storm and stopped him. He lit the Kuwaiti oil fields on fire, but he didn’t ever actually go into Kuwait to try and take the country down. He never got there. He decided to light the oil fields on fire.”

Uhm…I hate to break this to you Mr. Bolling, but Iraq most definitely did invade Kuwait. They occupied that country for 7 months. Uhm, we, the United States of America, actually went to war by declaring on January 16, 1991 that “the liberation of Kuwait has begun.”

Gotta give ya a big ole’ duh on that one.

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly anymore, the right-wing grasp of history (or science or math) is tenuous at best, deliberately misleading at its worst, and often hysterically fractured much of the time (see Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann). But what is especially frightening is that many of the Fox news viewers at home probably had no idea that Bolling was just flat-out wrong. What is more likely is that many of them probably just nodded their heads in agreement and smug satisfaction after Bolling told that Beckel what’s what. Even more depressing is the stark reality that if they did know the truth, they just didn’t care that their guy was a misinformed idiot. They will tune in tomorrow, truth be damned.

It got me thinking about so much of what I’ve come across these last few years in the way of argument and debate with those on the dark side other side. Way too often, they just don’t have their facts straight. I blame what they are watching, reading, and listening to…and what they’re not.

Do you want to know precisely how I know you are in your own little bubble of misinformation because of Fox? I know because you usually never have the facts right, or the facts you do quote leave out pertinent information. I know when you mention Benghazi during a conversation about the weather.

For example, I know you are watching FOX News when all of the other news outlets are showing President Obama receiving the highest civilian honor from Israel and FOX simultaneously declaring that under the President, Israel’s enemies have gotten stronger, so you post on your Facebook page that under Obama, Israel’s enemies are getting stronger.

Crap, has anyone told Israel this?

I know you are watching Fox News when you mention Benghazi, which was a despicable event and a tragedy in every sense of the word, but can’t come up with anything other than a blank stare, or mutter “Obama sucks” when asked if you are as outraged by the SEVEN attacks on US embassies abroad and numerous American lives taken under the Bush administration?

I indubitably know you are a Fox newsie when I hear any of these words or phrases dribbling out of your mouth with regard to President Obama, or even the democratic/progressive agenda in general:

Muslim, radical Christian, Kenyan, Hussein, birth certificate, Beghazi, no budget in 5 years, Saul Alinsky, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Benghazi (did I mention Benghazi already? It’s ok, it deserves to be repeated because it’s a biggie for them), big spending liberal, FEMA camps, one-world order, socialist, communist, fascist, Marxist, Islamo-terrorist sympathizer, class warfare, golf, vacations, The war on coal, The war on religion, The war on Christmas, The war on Easter (personally, I could go for a war on April Fools day since I get snookered literally every year by someone. Obama, get crackin’), climate change is a hoax, climate change is not happening, snow means there is no global warming, global warming is good, entitlement mentality, gun-grabbers, anchor babies, death panels, free-stuff, Obamaphone. Benghazi. Did I say Benghazi?

I damn well know you get your information only from Fox News when you can bring up Fast and Furious in a nano-second, but don’t have the slightest idea of all the facts when pressed and prodded. Important facts are often missing from your arguments, like that Fast and Furious actually was a program started under Bush. Another missing fact from your repertoire is the reality that one of the main reasons that the government couldn’t arrest the straw purchasers was because of Republican-NRA enacted laws (or lack of them.) Laws not passed by Republicans and lobbied against by the NRA that made it harder to arrest those buying the weapons to sell to cartels and made the job of the prosecutor that much tougher to convict them once arrested. Anyone 18 or older could buy any amount of guns, had no waiting period requirement and no permit requirement. There were other pertinent details about F&F that people know nada about which are germain to the entire story. But elucidating all the facts is not the important part for these outfits. Ginning up fear and loathing is the goal. So when I have a conversation about this story with someone who watches or listens to only right-wing mouth-breathers, it does not surprise me in the least that they have only part of the story.

Another way I know that you only watch that “we report, you decide” channel is when you are really freaking incensed over the supposed “Obamaphone” which again, if you had your facts complete, you would know was a program started DECADES AGO under Saint Ronnie Reagan, and is not paid for by the government.

Whether you agree or disagree with the theories and justifications behind these programs is a separate matter, but the facts are not negotiable.

Lately, I know that you only watch Fox News when you say that it’s Obama’s fault that gas prices are getting so damn high, but never give him the credit he must certainly deserve when the gas prices start to plummet, or hysterically push the idea that falling gas prices are actually bad for the economy. I swear, they said that.

I know you only listen to or watch right-wing media when you can’t tell me what a filibuster is or why the Senate now needs 60 votes to pass bills instead of the 51 which the Founders intended, but you scream that it’s all Obama’s fault why nothing can get done in Washington.

And in perhaps one of the saddest and yet infuriating ways that I know you watch or listen to the right-wing wackos is when you insist that the Newtown shooter did not use an assault rifle on those innocent lives in an elementary school last December. Or even worse, you are one of those Newtown “truthers” who say it was perpetrated by our government in order to grab your guns. Or you tell me supposed facts about what areas of the country have less crime or gun deaths BECAUSE people are allowed to carry guns around like John Wayne, which just isn’t factual. I know you keep your television tuned to one channel and one channel only when you tell me that banning assault-type weapons, enacting background checks, and limiting magazine size is “unconstitutional”, when in fact, even the First Amendment right to “free speech” is regulated. Yes, that’s how I know you watch, listen to, or read, nothing but right-wing propaganda.

It is apparent that there is a huge information gap between people who only get their information from one source, and those who don’t.

What we have here folks is a war. A war on intelligence. A war on facts. A war on reality. A war on integrity.

Do I watch MSNBC? Absolutely, and I make no apologies. I enjoy the brilliance of Maddow and the unheralded Chris Hayes, whose weekend program is one of the smartest and comprehensive and yes even “balanced” programs on the airwaves. However, I also read countless newspapers from around the country and the world, magazines and blogs on all sides of the spectrum from the left, center and right, watch all the networks at various times, including CSPAN. I listen to all kinds of talk radio as well.

Does MSNBC have a lefty/progressive slant and attitude? Absolutely. But they also give 2 hours of airtime everyday to the conservative Joe Scarborough. However, what I’ve also noticed is that MSNBC never makes the claim that they are “impartial” like Fox does with their “Fair and Balanced” malarkey (I have never once said or typed the words ‘fair and balanced’ without chuckling…ever). MSNBC also does not deliberately, willfully, and knowingly disseminate untruths or omit pertinent information on a daily basis. That is the job of Fox, and they do so with impunity.

Perhaps I speak too soon. It seems that since the election, Fox’s ratings have dropped alarmingly, as has the ratings for wind-bags like Sean Hannity. So that’s a good sign.

Because you are 100% entitled to your own opinions, just not your own facts.

Posted in Filibuster, Fox News Channel, Glenn Beck, Gun Control, Humor, Michele Bachmann, Republicans and Fear, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, SEan Hannity, Sean Hannity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Invisible Hand of Mom and Sequestration

Mothers are all slightly insane-J.D. Salinger

Oh yeah, J.D. Salinger? Well so are some people in Congress.

I love my family. I really do. My husband is a wonderful guy. He works hard, does a lot around the house, and would give you the shirt off his back. I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter. She’s loving, beautiful, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor.

That said, there have been more than a few moments in my life when I grew very weary of the day-to-day drudgery of housework but more importantly, its accompanying taken-for-granted nature. I call it the “POOF! Everything magically gets cleaned, cooked, washed, and put away syndrome.”

Moms, you know the drill. Many of us not only work the full-time job, but then have another full-time job waiting at home for us. We do the mega-loads of laundry, the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the errands. We pick up after our families as they drop stuff on the floor, spill stuff on the counters, and generally mess things up. Some of us moms are more anal than others. While I can let certain things go to pot in my home very easily, I do have an admittedly obsessive-compulsive need to keep counters free from crumbs and stains, drips and spills. One day I estimated that I wiped my counter down nearly 30 times from morning til night. That’s because:

My family has some sort of visual acuity issue and cannot see the crumbs and spills they’ve caused, or…

My family doesn’t mind living with crumbs and stains on their counter, or…

My family knows the “Magic Cleaning Fairy” will take care of it.

Methinks it is more likely than not the last reason.

I also can’t stand fingerprint smudges on sliding glass doors or books and magazines askew on my coffee table. My family mocks my every attempt at Windexing the glass for the umpteenth time, or straightening the reading material once again as I pass through the living room…on my way to the kitchen…where I will no doubt need to wipe off the gazillionth coffee stain my husband has left on the kitchen counter, or the 50 million tiny crumbs my daughter has deposited on the counter and floor after making her gourmet Panini.

Hey, I’m not looking for a pat on the back or even your pity. I try to keep things fairly tidy and habitable because it’s the way I want to live. Truth be told, you can’t exactly eat (safely) off of my floors every moment, and don’t open some of my closets unless you have quick enough reflexes to escape tumbling hoodies and baseball hats. And yes, some months my fridge contains Tupperware filled with fuzzy, fermented food barely recognizable as dinner from weeks before. But my house is not hoarder-worthy either. The clothes get washed, the shopping gets done, the dinners get cooked, all the essentials are taken care of, so that my family is fed, clothed, safe, warm, and generally happy. Our home has run pretty smoothly using that formula over the years.

But I’m human and there are some days that I just feel like I’m taken for granted. Sometimes I get sick and tired of working 24/7. There are moments when I blow my stack and scream at the unsuspecting family unit. “I’m tired of cleaning up after you slobs!” Oh, I can rant and rave with the best of ’em. “Do you even once try to wipe up your mess?!”

They look at me, usually with a tilt of the head and a look of bemusement after one of those eruptions.” . “Geeze,” they must secretly ponder, “What’s eating her?”

Honestly, it’s moments like that when the thought crosses my mind to go on strike. That’s right. I’m going to cease doing anything around the house for a while. A long while. Let’s just see how they like it. Let’s see how long they can go before they beg me on hands and knees to get back to doing my invisible “mom” jobs. They will swear on a stack of Bibles that they will do better. They will appreciate me more. They will finally get it. They have taken me for granted for the last time.

There is precedent for this course of action. I watched Eyewitness News one time where they interviewed this harried mom who became sick of similar treatment and who made up a sign that said, “Mom on Strike!” and plunked it down on her front lawn. They interviewed her for her side of the story and then got the family’s reaction. It was kind of a funny story and yet it made its larger point. Moms get taken for granted, and when they stop doing all the unseen “mom” things, then everyone notices…then everyone worries.

I have to make my own lunches?”

I have to clean-up the dog-poop in the backyard?”

I have to sort the underwear from the towels?”

That sound you hear collectively from the family now is one, giant, “GULP.”

So in the dark and sinister recesses of my mind, I picture myself doing this very same thing to my family.

STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!

Laundry? Guess you’ll have to do it yourself darling. There’s the laundry basket over there. Dinner? Well, the environmentally friendly shopping bags are in the car. Go to it fella. Pick up something really yummy at the Shop-rite to make for din-din. Cat box starting to stink? Oops, guess ya didn’t realize that I clean it everyday of my life so that the offensive smell wouldn’t permeate the house…like it is now…since no one has bothered to clean it for a week. Garbage piled up? There’s this thing called a garbage can out in the backyard. You can walk the bag back there and then replace it with a fresh, clean bag from under the sink. Annoying, I know. Bathroom getting a little…well…gross? Ha! That brush near the commode is the one I use every week to scrub your sh__ …

Gettin’ my drift, here?

I can see it now. Dishes piled up in the sink for days, as far as the eye can see, with nary a clean utensil to eat with. Rugs not vacuumed and littered with cat hair and dirt balls carried in from the street, ground into the carpet, lessening its lifespan. Entire ant colonies doing the cha-cha as they carry away the food crumbs scattered on the floor. A teenager scrambling around and screaming for a clean pair of underwear minutes before having to leave for school. Dinners ordered out every night, stressing the budget, because shopping and cooking every single day is a drag. Appointments not made or missed. Lots less “free time” to lounge around surfing the inter-webs or watching the ballgame or just snoozing. Yeah. A few weeks with mom on strike might just be the best solution to the problem of a household that takes mom for granted.

But alas, I never did do it. Mostly because I could never let my home get that bad without it making my life miserable. But how I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to…

Which brings me in a very round-about way to this idiotic sequester. If you don’t understand the sequester, read this. If you don’t get why it is mostly the fault of the do-nothing, Conserva-Teapublicans in Congress for the last few years, then read this.

But the sequester and my little family story has something in common. I’ll attempt to explain.

The reason we have gotten to the ridiculous point of sequestration is that the Conserva-Teapublicans running loose in Congress (that the worst Speaker of the House ever in John Boehner can’t reign in and is threatened by), want to end almost every government program there is. The Conserva-Teapublicans secretly have made the calculation that the sequester is the best way to begin cut the social programs and safety nets and institutions that they despise. You see, they don’t want any government that restricts the wealthiest or the corporations from running amok. Conserva-Teapublicans want unfettered capitalism, the system whereby the plutocrats are able to make their own rules and be guided by the bottom line. Profit.

They hate the EPA. They hate the FDA. They hate the CDC. Evidently, they hate anything with three letters in it. They hate unemployment insurance, federal student loans, food stamps, Head Start programs, and Big Bird. They hate Medicade, Medicare, and Social Security. They hate when government tells corporations that they can’t do stuff…like pollute the air and water. They hate when the government says you can’t drill for oil because it may become an environmental disaster. They hate when OSHA comes into a business and tells the boss that the working conditions are hazardous for his employees. In short, the Conserva-Teapublicans have never seen a program or government institution they like. Conserva-Teapublicans are like teenagers. They just hate being told what to do, although most of the time it is for their own good.

The very definition of ‘conservative’ is “opposing change.” If we had listened to and followed the conservative ideology and mindset only for the last two-hundred plus years I shudder to think where we would be today. Racism, sexism, unequal rights, worker abuse would still be our reality (yes, I understand that it was the Democratic Party who opposed ending slavery and the Republicans who ended it. However, the term “Conservative” also refers to the party since the “Southern Strategy” of the 60’s and the takeover of the party more recently by Tea Party and Christian Right ideologues who have hijacked the Republican Party). Rivers so polluted that they catch on fire, cars that kill, tobacco revered as “healthy“, air that causes kids to suffer from asthma attacks would be our daily existence. Seriously. When has a Conserva-Teapublican ever promoted something besides “laissez-faire” or “the invisible hand of the free-market” to solve problems?

The idea that somehow government sucks eggs and spends like a drunken sailor on leave and what we need to do to save ourselves is cut and slash spending (except the bloated military budget) is the Conserva-Teapublican purview. Or as Ronald Reagan once said, “Government isn’t the solution to the problem. It is the problem.” He then proceeded to triple the deficit, expand government and raise lots of people’s taxes. Huh. Imagine that?

Then there are the progressives, like myself, who think that government, while admittedly not perfect, can do more good for more people by using our vast resources wisely. Naked capitalism and privatization would never account for things that government has done, and done well (what, you think government has never done anything well? You are dead wrong).

I find it telling that when Americans are asked whether or not they have benefitted from government largess, the percentage that says “yes” is fairly low. However, the perception is often just not reality. A study from Cornell University found that “96% of Americans have taken part in government benefit programs in one form or another.”

Interestingly, conservatives were much more likely than liberals to underestimate their use of government programs.

Go figure.

Yes Americans, whether you want to admit or not, and whether you care to believe it or not, the fact is, most of you benefit from big government from cradle to grave. The problem is, it has become ingrained in all of us that government= bureaucratic incompetence and waste. And yes, there is some bureaucratic incompetence and waste in government. However, there are lots of examples of waste and incompetence in the private sector (the holy grail for Conserva-Teapublicans) as well.

However, it is all too easy to overlook how we all do greatly benefit from government. One of my favorite written pieces of all time is the one I came across years ago which chronicles how we forget what government does well, and proves just how damn much we take for granted.

Let’s examine a typical day in the life of an average middle-class American and try to identify some of the ways that government improves that person’s life during that 24-hour period.

6:30 a.m.

You are awakened by your clock radio. You know it is actually 6:30 because the National Institute of Standards and Technology keeps the official time. And you can listen to your favorite radio station only because the Federal Communications Commission brings organization and coherence to our vast telecommunications system. It ensures, for example, that radio stations do not overlap and that stations signals are not interfered with by the numerous other devices – cell phones, satellite television, wireless computers, etc. – whose signals crowd our nation’s airwaves.

6:35 a.m.

Like 17 million other Americans, you have asthma. But as you get out of bed you notice that you are breathing freely this morning. This is thanks in part to government clean air laws that reduce the air pollution that would otherwise greatly worsen your condition.

6:38 a.m.

You go into the kitchen for breakfast. You pour some water into your coffeemaker. You simply take for granted that this water is safe to drink. But in fact you count on your city water department to constantly monitor the quality of your water and to immediately take measures to correct any potential problems with this vital resource.

6:39 a.m.

You flip the switch on the coffee maker. There is no short in the outlet or in the electrical line and there is no resulting fire in your house. Why? Because when your house was being built, the electrical system had to be inspected to make sure it was properly installed – a service provided by your local government. And it was installed by an electrician who was licensed by your state government to ensure his competence and your safety.

6:45 a.m.

You sit down to breakfast with your family. You are having eggs – a food that brings with it the possibility of salmonella poisoning, a serious food-borne illness affecting tens of thousands of Americans every year. But the chance of you getting sick from these eggs has now been greatly reduced by a recently passed series of strict federal rules that apply to egg producers.

7:00 a.m.

You go into your newly renovated bathroom – one of a number of amenities that you enjoy in your house. But the fact that you can legally own your own house is something made possible by government. Think about this: “ownership” and “private property” are not things that exist in nature. These are legal constructs: things created by laws that are passed and enforced by government. You couldn’t even buy your home without a system of commercial laws concerning contracts and a government that ensures that sales contracts are enforced. So the fact that you live in your own home is, in part, a benefit of government and the rule of law.

7:01 a.m.

Government also helps you own your house in more than the legal sense. On a more practical level, the federal government actually gives you money every year to help pay for your house. It’s called a mortgage interest tax deduction and it is one of the larger benefit programs run by the federal government – amounting to over $60 billion dollars a year. You can also deduct any real estate taxes you pay. These largely overlooked subsidy programs have enabled millions of people to buy their first home or to move up to a larger home than they could afford otherwise.

7:02 a.m.

Back in the bathroom. You use the toilet and flush it. Your local government then takes care of transporting this waste, treating it, and disposing of it in an environmentally responsible manner – all without a second thought by you.

7:20 a.m.

As you are getting dressed, a glance outside the window shows some ominous clouds. You check the weather on your TV. All these weather forecasts are made possible by information gathered and analyzed by the National Weather Service, a government agency. Every day, on your behalf, it takes in 190,000 weather observations from surface stations, 2,700 from ships, 115,000 from aircraft, 18,000 for buoys, 250,000 from balloons, and 140 million from satellites – all just to help you plan what to wear and make sure you don’t get stuck in a snow storm. And oh yes, this agency may save your life with its hurricane and tornado warnings.

7:30 a.m.

Before you leave home, you take your pills to control your high blood pressure. But how do you know that this medicine is safe or effective? Without the testing required by the Food and Drug Administration, you wouldn’t. And without the vigilance of the FDA, you could easily fall victim to unscrupulous marketers of unsafe and worthless medicines.

7:45 a.m.

You put a couple of letters in your mailbox. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, a government employee will come to your house, pick up the letters, and have them delivered in a few days to someone on the other side of the country. A pretty good deal.

7:50 a.m.

You and your child walk across the lawn to your car and arrive without getting dog poop on your shoes. A small but welcome achievement that is made possible now by a local law that requires people to clean up after their pets. Also, the reason your neighborhood is not plagued by stray cats and dogs is that your local Animal Control officer is on the job dealing with this constant problem.

7:52 a.m.

You help your young child into your car and you pull out of your driveway. You have now entered an experience that is improved by government in almost more ways that you can count. Driving your car is inherently dangerous. But it is made immensely safer by government laws and regulations, such as those mandating child safety seats and the use of seat belts – rules that have saved tens of thousands of lives. Driving down the street is also made much safer by a local government that enforces traffic laws and discourages people from driving too fast or driving drunk. Most state governments also minimize your risk of being run into by someone driving on bald tires or with faulty brakes by requiring regular inspections of all vehicles. And state driver’s license examinations ensure that all drivers are at least minimally competent and can actually see the road. In addition, if you are hit by another car, the potentially disastrous costs of an accident are covered because the government requires that all drivers to have auto insurance. In fact, without this extensive network of government laws and regulations covering automobiles and driving, it would be foolish for us to ever venture out on the road.

8:15 a.m.

You drop your child off at day-care. It took a long search to find a good program and it is an expensive one, but it is worth it so you can feel confident that your child is in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment while you are at work. One of the reasons you can afford this program is the $3,000 child care tax credit you get from the federal government every year. Equally important, your child benefits from the fact that most state governments now enforce day-care requirements for group size, ratios of children per staff member, teacher training, nutrition, health, safety, and space requirements.

8:35 a.m.

Your trip on the freeway is much safer due to federal restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers can operate their vehicles without resting. Thousands of people die every year from truck-related traffic accidents, but it would be much worse without these regulations that keep sleepy truck drivers off the road.

8:55 a.m.

You arrive at work and take the elevator. You just assume that the elevator is safe; and it is, thanks in part to the annual elevator inspections conducted by your state government. It is probably nothing you will appreciate until the next time the elevator breaks down with you inside, and that makes you think a bit more about the reliability of elevators.

9:00 a.m.

While at work, your rights and wellbeing are constantly protected by a wide-ranging network of federal and state laws. The Occupation Safety and Health Act works to protect you from unsafe and unhealthy work conditions. Federal law protects you from workplace discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. State laws may also require your employer to purchase worker’s compensation insurance so that you are covered in case you are injured on the job

Noon.

For lunch you have your usual sandwich and microwaveable cup of soup. But why did you choose that particular soup? Perhaps because it was low in salt and fat. But how do you know that? Because the government requires all food packaging to have a truthful and easily readable panel on the label that supplies you with the nutritional information necessary to make a good choice. Food companies tell you what they want you to know about their products, but the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling requirements tell you what you need to know to eat in a healthy way.

How do you know the lettuce in your sandwich is not laced with unhealthy doses of pesticides? Because the Department of Agriculture has developed and is enforcing uniform standards for pesticide residue on raw foods.

Microwave ovens are potentially very dangerous machines, but you can use this one with confidence because of detailed government regulations that limit the maximum amount of radiation leakage and mandate two different safety interlocks that prevent its operation with the door ajar or open.

12:45 p.m.

After lunch, you walk to a nearby ATM and get some cash out of your account – and your money is actually there. That wasn’t always true during the economic depression of the 1930s when many banks failed. But your money is safe — as it was during the recent financial and banking crisis — because the government guarantees your deposits. In addition, those pieces of paper you put in your wallet are only worth something thanks to the federal government. Our monetary system is entirely a government creation, and the value of money is only maintained because the government regulates the money supply and protects it from counterfeiters. Quite an important service really.

1:00 p.m.

Back at work you hear rumors about a new downsizing plan being talked about by management – a fairly typical occurrence in these days of heightened national and international corporate competition. You know your job is one that could be lost, but you also know that you will be eligible for state-mandated unemployment insurance should that happen. This is just another way that government helps you to cope with the economic risks and uncertainties of a modern economy.

3:00 p.m.

On a break, you call your elderly mother in the hospital to check on how she is recovering from her broken hip. Thanks to Medicare, her medical expenses are covered and she does not have to worry about this becoming a financial disaster for her. Thanks to the federal Family and Medical Leave act, you will also have the right to take several days off to tend to your mother when she comes home from the hospital.

3:10 p.m.

You call to arrange for a physical therapist to work with your mother when she comes out of the hospital, and again this is paid for by Medicare. And you can be reasonably confident that she will get good therapy because your state Department of Health has a program of examining and licensing these therapists in order to ensure the quality of their work.

5:00 p.m.

You leave work—thanks to the government-mandated 40-hour workweek. Labor Department regulations prevent your company from making you work past 5:00 unless it pays you overtime.

5:15 p.m.

You stop at a local gas station to fill up. The very fact that this oil company offers this gas to you for sale is dependent on the existence of certain government laws. This company would not do business in your town without a legal system that assures them that you will pay for any gas you pump into your car. This economic exchange – like buying your house – would not be taking place without a system of statutory and common law that protects private property and regulates sales transactions. This simple sale is covered by Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code – dozens of pages of laws that regulate every phase of a transaction for the sale of goods and provide remedies for problems that may arise.

5:15 p.m.

You pump 15 gallons of 87 octane gas into your car and pay for it. But how do you know that you really got 15 gallons, and not 14½? And that the gas was actually 87 octane? This is only ensured by the presence of that little sticker on the gas pump that shows that a worker from your city’s Division of Weights and Measures has inspected the pump and the gas. These public employees make sure that you get what you pay for – from a pound of sliced turkey breast to a carat of diamond – by constantly testing and inspecting all commercial meters and scales, and by verifying the accuracy of checkout scanners. This is a crucial service, since more than half of the income of the average family is used to purchase necessities bought by weight or measure or scanned at a checkout station.

5:15 p.m.

How do you know the price you are paying for this gasoline is a fair and competitive one? In many states, the Department of Attorney General has been responsible for finding and prosecuting cases of price manipulation and price fixing by oil companies and distributors.

5:30 p.m.

As you drive home, you notice the tree-lined streets and the nice houses in your neighborhood – generally a pretty good place to live. Thanks again to government. Without zoning rules, you might have an auto body shop or a fast-food outlet move in next door. Or worse yet, a fertilizer plant or a toxic waste site. But there are no noxious smells in the air, no excessive and dangerous traffic on your street – thanks to your government. Pleasant and livable neighborhoods are only possible with extensive government planning and zoning regulation.

5:35 p.m.

As you approach your house, you see your child coming down the sidewalk. The government-provided sidewalk. The sidewalk that allows your child to walk to the neighbor’s house down the street to play with a friend without the risk of being hit by a car.

5:45 p.m.

You go for a jog in your local public park.

6:30 p.m.

You take your family out for dinner at a local pizza restaurant. You enjoy a good meal and no one gets sick from E. coli or other food-borne illnesses. This is in large part because your local government conducts regular inspections of all food establishments to protect the health of customers.

7:30 p.m.

Back at your house. You settle in for a quiet evening at home – one that is undisturbed by those annoying telemarketers calling you up to try to sell you something. This is because you have signed up with a state or federal no-call registry – a government service now enjoyed by over 60 million Americans.

8:00 p.m.

You do a quick check of your e-mail – just one of the many services you enjoy over the internet every day. We all tend to think of the internet as the product of those talented and imaginative entrepreneurs in the high-tech companies. But the internet actually began with government programs that created ARPANET and later NSFNET, early computer networking systems that developed the software and networking infrastructure that form the foundations of today’s internet. The government also helped to fund research that led to web browsers like Internet Explorer and search engines like Google.

11:00 p.m

. You go to bed. During your sleep, you are protected by a smoke detector that your city requires to be installed in every residence. Maybe you would have bought one of these yourself, but this law helps to ensure that everyone is protected from the dangers of fire.

4:00 a.m.

You are asleep in your comfy bed. Unlike that time you stayed in a small inn in Costa Rica, where you were woken up regularly at 4 in the morning by the roosters crowing in the neighborhood. By law, no one can keep roosters in your neighborhood and so you remain in blissful slumber.

Do you ever really think about any of that everyday? Of course not. These benefits of government are totally taken for granted…until they are slowly taken away.

And taken away they will be if the Conserva-Teapublicans have their way. That day will come if we let it.

I know it is much more fun to bitch and moan about how awful government is than to admit it does do some things that are necessary, important, and completely overlooked by the masses. I realize that snarky humor and sarcastic quips make better fodder for radio talk show hosts and certain television outfits who get better ratings when they portray everything the government does as idiotic or wasteful (I mean when Obama does something-See Fox News).

In that vein, this lunacy called the sequestration is exactly what the Conserva-Teapublicans have been looking for in order to completely dismantle the government and almost every single program or institution that has brought benefit to average Americans for decades.

Robert Reich makes that case in his blog. The fact that the right was so intransigent to the President’s more balanced approached, two dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar of revenue (mostly by closing the loopholes for the wealthiest… one like the so-called “corporate jet loophole”), proves that these people aren’t interested in working towards a compromise. They are working towards “drowning government in a bathtub,” and then throwing the baby out with the bath water.

This Conserva-Teapublican monster would rather let the arbitrary sequestration cuts take place, and watch possibly a million people lose their jobs or have their wages severely cut back, in order to accomplish their stated goal of destroying every social program and institution of government.

How much longer can this country sit back and let these ideologues bit by bit try to destroy our economy and our safety nets? They use fear and insecurity that Americans feel about their personal financial circumstances and claim that if we only got rid of government, all would be well.

You see, deficits are not the problem, wealth disparity and unemployment is. Big Bird isn’t the problem, an aging population is.

We simply cannot take for granted that the things that government does well and does best will be there down the road anymore. This sequestration will be the start of the chipping away at Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, government research, student loans, and a host of other really important functions that the government serves and that too many of us take for granted every single day of our lives. Reich comments in his piece about how their goal is

“ending worker protections we’ve had since the 1930s, eroding civil rights and voting rights, terminating programs that have helped the poor for generations, and making it impossible for the government to invest in our future.”

Please don’t take for granted that mom will have dinner on the table every night and that there will always be clean underwear at the ready, because someday…someday…

Posted in conservatives, Fox News Channel, Grover Nordquist, politics, Reagan, Republicans, Sequester, Tea Party, Wealth disparity in the Unites States | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Thirsty For Some Hype

Even Marco Rubio is playing Marco Rubio drinking games –  @Brad Plummer

Glug, glug, glug.

Of course, by now, most of you saw or at least heard about “rising Republican star” Marco Rubio’s awkward chug-a-lug the other night, right?

Glug, glug, glug.

When your actions make every, single, late-night show playlist, and the Twitter-sphere lights up in minutes, you know it’s a hoot.

Glug-glug-glug.

It was the “glug” heard round the world.

Well, ok, maybe it wasnt exactly front page news in Bora-Bora, but it was pretty fun to watch, nonetheless.

But in case you weren’t amused with the thirsty senator from Florida and his awkward sideways reach-over-to-grab-the-Poland-Spring-while keeping-eye-contact-with-the-camera move , I can tell you that I was not at all amused by the substance of his rebuttal.

The real laugher of the Republican response #1 (Rand Paul gave rebuttal to the rebuttal) was the Rubio explanation that Medicare and government backed student loans are peachy-keen when old Marco Rubio and his family need them, but really sucky when anyone else does.

It is moments like these that make me wanna lunge for something cold to drink, to wash away the bitter taste of Republican greed and hypocrisy.

Glug-glug-glug.

Besides the fact that Rubio is an empty-suit, the newest flavor-of-the-month, peddled to the masses as some sort of Republican “savior” (admittedly this party does need some savin’), and used for his ethnicity quite openly at this point, he did nothing to promote any of this new, supposed, Republican branding fever apparently sweeping the RNC.

By all accounts, his nervous, brow-wiping, sweaty, cotton-mouthed speech that made high-school debate team members around the country chuckle for its amateur hour delivery, was– same old, same old– in as far as it went right back to the Romney-Ryan screed that “big-government baaaad/tax cuts for rich goooood.”

Rubio, the self-promoted son of supposed exiled Cuban immigrants who has had to back-track about that family history, and claims he lives a “middle-class life” in his 675,000 dollar home in Florida (now up for sale so he can move to…hehe…D.C.), took a page right from the Paul Ryan playbook when he spoke glowingly about how Medicare saved his daddy, and now his mommy from becoming bankrupt due to healthcare costs. He gushed about how student loans from Uncle Sam saved his own behind and got him through college so that he could be the new Republican shiny thing to bedazzle everyone.

Ain’t ‘merica great?

Ah but then there’s that kicker. There is always a kicker with these Republicans. You see, Marco and his family have benefitted by these super-terrific government programs, but now we clearly need to “fix” them, a.k.a. gut the living shit out of them, so that nobody else will reap the same wonderful rewards as he and his family did. Oh, and don’t forget to cut the millionaires taxes along the way. Trickle down! Trickle down!

In other words you fifty-somethings and below, I got mine now baby, so the rest of you can f*ck off. The candy store is closed for the rest of y’all.

This is some sort of “re-brand” of the Republican party? Huh?

Lets be real. Rubio has no new “bold” ideas that one would expect from a “savior.” His rebuttal speech was replete with typical, worn-out, “Obama is a big-government, socialist, doofus” themes of the last 5 years. Yawn.

He says that the “government can’t change the weather” so climate-change is a non-starter. Screw you kids, enjoy the floods and the droughts and the locusts–we’ll be dead.

He is anti-gay marriage. He will be just another creep-wad on the wrong side of history on this civil-rights issue.

Oh, but he just now jumped on the bandwagon of immigration reform which was pretty much already fought over and crafted by his party years before and extolled by our President already, but hey, thanks for playing Marco.

But really, that deer-in-the-headlights moment with the sippy-bottle was a moment of clarity for many of us. Pump out your b.s. and the body reacts in subtle ways. The throat tightens, the mouth dries up. Teeth start sticking to the flaky lips. Just like a lie-detector machine records uncontrollable responses of the body like heart-rate and blood-pressure, that Rubio parched-mouth told me all I needed to know about his ideas and his own belief in them…not to mention the glaring proof that he is not exactly ready for prime time.

Rubio is the new toy in the big box, ready to be unwrapped, played with, and then discarded behind the couch once the big-boys tire of using him.

You can put lip-stick on a pig, but it’s still a pig…

…albeit a thirsty one.

Glug-glug-glug.

Posted in Marco Rubio | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Obstructing the Middle Class One Play at a Time

As a young boy, I didn’t know a Republican from a Democrat, only in one way: If some man or bunch of men rode up to the ranch to sit or stay all night, and my Father set me to watching ’em all the time they was there — what they did and what they carried off — I learned they were Republicans.

WILL ROGERS, Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like

Sometimes, when I peruse the Twitterverse and news sites from around the country, I run across stories that make me ponder the eternal question, why is anyone a Republican who isn’t filthy stinkin’ rich or a lobbiest working for corporations and big business?

Since it’s Superbowl Sunday, I realize that most folks are fixated on the game, the parties, and their numbers in the football pools. I have barely enough time to bang out more than a few good pithy Facebook statuses myself, but late last night I ran across this tidbit from Think Progress entitled, “43 GOP Senators Threaten Obstruction Unless Consumer Protection Bureau is Weakened.” I think it is important to not let this one get away from us even as we are distracted by nachos and wings on this fine Sunday.

Admittedly incensed upon first glance, I continued to read on and see if this was some sort of clever headline meant to inflame all good libbies. I’ve learned to not jump to conclusions based on headlines alone in the age of the interwebs. Very often, they are misleading at best and disingenuous at the worst. On the face of it, there would appear to be no obvious insidious motive behind these 43 GOP Senators threatening to block the nomination of anyone to head the consumer watchdog agency until and unless there were serious reforms undertaken to the structure of the new agency. This from Think Progress:

In a letter sent to President Obama on Friday, 43 Republican senators committed to refusing approval of any nominee to head the consumer watchdog until the bureau underwent significant reform. Lawmakers signing on to the letter included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. “The CFPB as created by the deeply flawed Dodd-Frank Act is one of the least accountable in Washington,” said McConnell. “Today’s letter reaffirms a commitment by 43 Senators to fix the poorly thought structure of this agency that has unprecedented reach and control over individual consumer decisions — but an unprecedented lack of oversight and accountability.” […] In particular, Republicans want to see the top of the bureau changed so it is run by a bipartisan, five-member commission, as opposed to a lone director. They also want to see the bureau’s funding fall under the control of congressional appropriators — it currently is funded via a revenue stream directly from the Federal Reserve.

The request could seem fairly innocuous to the average American. The request may even seem reasonable on the face of it. The “buzzwords” like ” lack of oversight and accountability” and the other requests for a “bi-partisan…commission” instead of a single head overseeing the agency hardly strike fear into the hearts of men. They almost seem mundane. But closer scrutiny and understanding of why the agency was set-up in this specific manner is key to understanding exactly why this request is in reality, quite surreptitious.

The Consumer Financial Protection Agency was created by President Obama in the swath of financial destruction that was the 2008 recession. The goal of this agency was to protect the consumers in the financial system, who were decimated after the collapse of the economy due mostly to Wall Street malfeasance, greed, and lack of accountability. The same Wall Street that is protected by Congressman from both sides of the aisle still today. The agency’s charge is to protect you and me from those clever types who go to fancy colleges in order to figure out how to make as much scratch as possible from us financial illiterates or through cloak and dagger tactics. The agency would regulate mortgages, credit cards, car loans, etc. The agency is our cop on the beat protecting us from unscrupulous lending practices.

The area of mortgages was especially destructive to our economy. Since the Federal Reserve was in charge of “regulating” mortgages and failed to stop the subprime lending fiasco that Wall Street helped perpetuate, it was necessary to come up with another way to stop the foxes from guarding the henhouse. Hence, the Dodd-Frank Bill which created the CFPA.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was given the task of setting up the agency (and later rebuffed as its head due to the scaredy-cats in Congress who saw her as too formidable a foe against corporate and Wall Street interests). This agency was really Warren’s idea that the President signed onto and the Republicans were opposed to it, and her, from the get-go. But Warren and the President pushed for this to be included in the financial reform bill.

I mean, imagine that! People in Washington who are actually on the side of us. Imagine people in Washington who want the average American to be able to have understandable contracts written in clear language minus the wittle-bitty text stuck to the bottom of the paper that no one tells you about, which usually spells doom. Imagine people in Washington who will fight for us instead of them. The “them” are the rat bastards that love nothing more than to separate us from our money in the most seemingly undetectable and underhanded ways possible.

So in that spirit, Elizabeth Warren came up with a few “must-haves” for the agency. These from the Huffington Post:

  1. A chief appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate;
  2. Independent budget authority, so it won’t be subject to the whims of Congress or an anti-consumer administration;
  3. Independent rule-making authority, without interference by bank regulators or others who may focus on bank profitability before focusing on consumers;
  4. And independent enforcement powers, so the agency’s investigators can go after abusive lenders.

Notice the word “independent” and how many times it’s used.

There is a reason for that. A very, very, good reason. Liz Warren knew full well that any agency that is funded by Congress has the power to be rendered functionally inoperable by a “business friendly” Congress by with-holding the purse-strings. She also knew that if the agency was to have any teeth in going after financial abuse it needed to be fully independent and able to operate outside the constrains of lobbying and governmental forces.

The Republicans who sent the letter this week to the POTUS also want to have the agency run by a board of five. Of course they do. This is because they can do exactly what they have done to the National Labor Relations Board to make it impotent.

The obstructionist Republicans have continually blocked the President’s appointments to the NLRB that oversees and protects worker’s rights. This is because  the SCOTUS ruled in 2010 in a  5-4 decision that a “quorum” must be present (3 out of 5 members) in order to function.

The do-nothing Congress actually did something alright. They then purposely blocked all the nominations precisely so that the NLRB could not function. In this way, the agency that looks out for us in the workplace will be rendered useless and the business world can continue to run roughshod over the working class.

Ain’t life grand?

So there you have it. A little bit of Congressional chicanory exposed for what it is. McConnell and Crapo and the other 40 Republicans who sent that letter to the President this week don’t really want you to know the truth about their intentions.

The Republicans want another agency that helps the consumer, worker, or middle class over the interests of big business like I want another pound attached to my derriere.

Which leads me back to my original query. Unless you are rich or a corporate entity, why are you a Republican? Because for the life of me I can’t figure out why you haven’t figured out their game by now. Republicans really are all for business at the expense of the consumer. The Republicans really see a cloud in every silver-lining when it comes to helping the poor or middle-class. They never seem to find that dark cloud when it comes to propping up the rich or the corporations.

They sure ain’t looking out for the middle class, are they?

Play Ball!

Posted in 112 Congress, Consumer Financial Protection Agency, Elizabeth Warren, Humor, Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Benghazi Bullies Swing and Miss

The Benghazi Bullies Swing and Miss.

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