Showing posts with label tea party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tea party. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Because there are no 'enhanced recounts'. . . .

The Honorable Whack Job from Florida has ways of dealing with sticky wickets such as this.

Unfortunately for him, however,  it would have been impractical for congressman Allen West to shove the State of Florida's head into a weapon-clearing barrel and fire his sidearm into the sand next to it until it gave him the result he desired.

So, according to this story from ABC News, the other guy has at long last won:
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Tea Party Republican who rode the wave of anti-spending fever to Congress in 2010, has conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, who will take his seat as the youngest member of the 113th Congress in January.

The Associated Press today called the race for Murphy. West conceded in a statement, while saying “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results.

“For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly,” West said. “While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election.”

The race was decided by fewer than 2,000 votes, with Murphy topping West 166,233 to 164,316, according to the latest tally from the AP. The state of Florida must still certify the result.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West continued. “I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new congressman from the 18th Congressional District. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

Murphy maintained a considerable lead while provisional and absentee ballots were counted, but West forged ahead with legal challenges.

“I appreciate Congressman West’s gracious concession today,” Murphy said today in a statement. “To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice.  I campaigned on a message of reaching across the aisle to get things done for the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and that is as important in this district as it is in Washington.  I am excited and honored to get to work.”
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE for the soon-to-be-former congressman, he'll have a lot more free time to engage in non-negotiable sex acts with his very own personal "porn star," otherwise known as Mrs. West.

Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to. . . .

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Ding, dong, is the tea party dead?


It was a bad night for the tea party.

Creepy tea-party firebrand Allen West apparently has gone down in flames in his Florida congressional district, despite outspending his Democratic opponent 4 to 1. Kooky Michelle Bachmann almost lost in her Minnesota district, this after a failed presidential bid on a tea-stained platform.

Rep. Allen West
Tea-party insurgents also got whacked in their U.S. Senate races in Missouri and Indiana after finding it impossible to speak about touchy subjects without gagging on their feet. Tea partiers cost the Republicans seats in the Senate and in the House.

Some suggest it was just a matter of bad candidates, not a wholesale repudiation of the movement. Could be. I think that's a question that will be answered over a number of years.

Nevertheless, it's interesting that the man held hostage by the Tea Party Caucus until now is singing a more conciliatory song a mere day after the election. He even said the T-word, and I don't mean "tea":
House Speaker John Boehner offered Wednesday to pursue a deal with a victorious President Barack Obama that will include higher taxes "under the right conditions" to help reduce the nation's staggering debt and put its finances in order.

"Mr. President, this is your moment," Boehner told reporters, speaking about the "fiscal cliff" that will hit in January. "We want you to lead."

Boehner said House Republicans are asking Obama "to make good on a balanced approach" that would including spending cuts and address government social benefit programs.

"Let's find the common ground that has eluded us," Boehner said while congratulating the president on winning a second term.

The Ohio Republican spoke a day after the president's clear re-election victory. He said conditions on higher taxes would include a revamped tax code to make it cleaner and fairer, fewer loopholes and lower rates for all.
BUT we are talking about a budgetary standoff between the Party of Lust and the Party of Greed, so getting all optimistic that sanity might prevail in Washington is, to say the least, premature.

What I do know is that a people as arrogant and hubristic as ourselves usually gets the leadership it deserves. And you're looking at it every night on the network news.

Expect no miracles.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oily rags waiting for a lit match


Violent Marxist Revolution Now Guy, meet Andrew Breitbart and the Water the Tree of Liberty People.

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right . . . here I am, stuck in the middle with you. Who knew Gerry Rafferty was a prophet?

Ultimately, all of life is a big version of a college Free Speech Alley. Of course, this is no debating society or bitch session in the sheltered world of the American university.
No, this s*** done got real.

This is the America of soaring unemployment and political warfare. This is the America where dreams go to die and outrage comes to live.

In this Era of Ill Will, where massive consumerist appetites and burgeoning corporate greed face off with minuscule wallets and fading hope for the future, something's gotta give. We don't know just yet what that will be.

But something will.

And some freak show on the fringes -- either one -- is just waiting to throw a lit match into a pile of oily rags.



CONTRARY to the propaganda on the right, the Occupy Wall Street people aren't just a collection of angry Marxists, anarchists and free spirits looking for an excuse to take off their clothes. From what I can see, there are a lot of "normal" people out there, too -- folks who tried to play by the rules and got burned by a system with an ace up its sleeve.

Their dignity is under assault, their checking accounts are depleted, and their options are few amid the Great Recession. It is them I feel for. I feel for the eccentrics, too -- just more in a
"That's just Junior. Don't hurt him -- he's odd, but he's harmless" kind of way.

Now here's what I fear.

Some Angry Marxist Guy -- or maybe some Breitbart vigilante, some self-appointed defender of capitalism and Americanism -- is going to do something stupid. And then some cop is going to do something stupid.


And then some ordinary Joe -- peacefully taking it to the streets because the street is all that's left for the redress of grievances -- is going to be the one killed by the cop's stupidity.

I remember the '60s and how cities burned after just such a scenario. Think of what could happen in this
tinderbox of a country we've built for ourselves, where those at the top have everything to lose and too many down below have nothing left to lose.

DO YOU think that a country in which "terminating" defenseless fetuses is a constitutional right and
"Let him die!" passes for somebody's health-care policy isn't much up for an ideology-driven bloodbath between the able-bodied? You'd better think again. It's in our DNA, both as Americans and members of a woefully fallen human race.

All it takes is 1 percent to start a fire that consumes the other 99.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

American unexceptionalism

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

-- Declaration of Independence,
July 4, 1776


Throughout its 235 years as a nation-state, the United States of America has done many remarkable things.

Amid that exceptionality stands the glaring absence of something that would be exceptional, indeed. Living up to our foundational principles . . . and our advertising.

From the scourge of slavery to the near-genocide of the American Indian, from Jim Crow to the Japanese internment, from the excesses of the Gilded Age of the late 19th century to the excesses of the Jazz Age of the 1920s . . . and now the massive societal inequality and Wall Street thievery of today, one thing we Americans have been remarkably consistent about is our rank hypocrisy. And that's not exceptional at all -- that's remarkably ordinary.



IN FACT, those who govern the affairs of the United States -- unelected capitalists and the elected officials they rent -- have come to resemble more a "Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant" than they do the rebellious colonials of 1776.

Today's tea partiers have considered this and decided, in the name of "liberty," that somebody "is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." Unfortunately, their ill-willed and often grammatically challenged rebellion takes dead aim at the "life" and "the pursuit of happiness" of a supermajority of Americans.

I hold these truths to be self-evident. If you do not, you might yet if you look at the data and past the self-delusion of American exceptionalism, a Hypocrite's Gospel preached by some for all they're worth and believed by others because it's less challenging than the one preached long ago by some pinko Nazarean hippie freak.

Monday, September 19, 2011

So, you say you want a revolution?


Two years ago, the tea-party meme was "Barack Hussein Obama is a socialist." And a "Muslin."

Protesters walked around with handguns on their hips and assault rifles slung over their shoulders. Amid the "Don't Tread on Me" flags was an occasional "It is time to water the tree of liberty" sign. Right-thinking Americans were to "water the tree," as it were, "with the blood of patriots and tyrants," according to the original Thomas Jefferson quote.

A year and a half ago, the tea-party meme was "Barack Hussein Obama is a socialist, Marxist Nazi who, with his liberal henchmen, wants to fundamentally subvert constitutional rule."

And "ObamaCare" was as Marxist as it got. Or as Nazi as it gets, what with all the "death panels." Even though it was modeled on a Massachusetts plan championed by a Republican governor.


SINCE, we've had Republicans in the U.S. House hold the government hostage with the threat of default. We've had Republican presidential candidates hyperventilating about "government injections." We've had another GOP presidential candidate speculatively accusing the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of "almost treason" and suggesting Ben Bernanke's reception in Texas, were he so unwise as to venture there, would get "ugly."

The United States has lived through other eras as divided, rancorous and nasty as the present one. A century and a half ago, one such era ended with the deaths of between 600,000 and 700,000 Americans. A third of the country lay in ruins.

Having been to the abyss once and fallen in, Americans since have been gun shy when it comes to civil war. No more, not in this present Era of Bat-S*** Crazy.

Today, it's a death match between right-thinking, right-wing Americans of the tea-party persuasion and the evil liberals, whose communist plot has succeeded in subverting our culture. That's what conservative Internet mogul Andrew Breitbart told a Boston-area tea-party gathering Friday, adding that in his less-clear moments he thinks
"Fire the first shot. Bring it on."

"We outnumber them, and we have the guns."


JUST IN CASE you think you heard him wrong, Breitbart makes it perfectly clear.

"I'm talking about if they want to take it to the point of a civil war and it goes to the streets, we're the guys that have the guns," he said. "The people in the military, who are not supposed to be political -- when push comes to shove, they're going to be on our side. That's what I'm talking about."

What was just a nasty political undercurrent (and ill-tempered words on misspelled protest signs) now has come out into the open. A conservative media entrepreneur and provocateur now has named That Which Must Not Be Named, and he did so in the context of:
* "Bring it on."

* "We outnumber them, and we have the guns."

* "
The people in the military who are not supposed to be political -- when push comes to shove, they're going to be on our side."


CONSIDER, TOO, what is obvious but unsaid by Breitbart. Who is the present-day leader of the "liberal subversion" of all that was right and good about America? Who is at the top of the "subversive" food chain?

It can be none other than Barack Hussein Obama -- President Obama.

What Breitbart rhapsodizes about is a civil war that
, given who now sits as its chief executive, would result in the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. And he suggests that it would occur with the backing of the military -- a coup. (See Title 18, United States Code, Section 2385.)

Tea-party "patriots" and those who egg them on, like Breitbart, think it's cute to wink and nod at the violent end of the United States as we've known it since the last attempt at bringing about the violent end of the United States. They think they're being conservative and culturally responsible by seeing the evil of the "subversives" (and in some specific cases, they're correct about cultural trends) . . . and then raising it.

Likewise, they think they're being "constitutional" -- law-abiding -- by walking to the edge of what could earn them up to 20 years in federal prison, toeing at that legal line in the sand and then running off to hide behind the First Amendment.

They do all this so cavalierly, so glibly. So enthusiastically.

THIS IS HOW most people condemn themselves to hell, thinking the whole time that God is on their side. This is how a small cadre of nuts, louts and fools can cast entire peoples into hell on earth. Gavrilo Princip, after all, was just trying to free Bosnia from the shackles of Austro-Hungarian tyranny, right?

He was a patriot. And as a result of his patriotic -- and successful -- double-assassination attempt, "trees of liberty" all over the world got watered with the blood of some 17 million dead and 20 million wounded.

Self-styled "patriots" usually cast us all into an earthly "lake of fire" with years of murderous rhetoric that culminate with a single stupid individual doing a single stupid -- and deadly -- thing. Then comes a harsh reaction. And an even more violent counterreaction.

Then a yet harsher counter-counterreaction . . . a whole self-perpetuating vortex of hate and violence sucking whole societies down into the netherworld.

WE LIVE, in our tenderbox society, during what the Chinese curse would refer to as "interesting times." It is here that tea-party "patriots" strike their matches and wantonly discard lit cigarettes. And it is here that "conservative" radicals such as Andrew Breitbart throw bombs at "the enemy within."

If sanity does not reassert itself -- and soon -- the bombs Americans throw won't be rhetorical ones. And the "tree of liberty" just might drown amid a crimson tide.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I predict tomorrow's Post



I'm not much of a psychic friend, but I think I can predict the cover of tomorrow's New York Post, given the National Enquirer's spilling of the beans about the racy stuff inside Joe McGinniss' new tell-all biography on bodacious tea-party babe Sarah Palin.

Here's what the Miami Herald has come up with thus far:

A new book about tea party darling Sarah Palin has a salacious revelation about her sex life involving a well-known Miami sports star.

According to The National Enquirer, which obtained an advance copy of a book about Palin by investigative writer Joe McGinniss — Palin and former Miami Heat player Glen Rice had a one-night tryst back in 1987.

At the time, the former Alaska governor, now 47, was single, just out of college and working as a sports reporter at Anchorage TV station KTUU.

Rice, 44, who lives in Coral Gables, was a promising junior basketball player at the University of Michigan.

Their encounter occurred while Rice was in Anchorage attending a basketball tournament and Palin apparently covered the event. Months later, in 1988, Palin eloped with her high school sweetheart Todd Palin. The two are still married.

Quoting from the book, the tabloid said that at the time, the 23-year-old Palin had a “fetish” about black men.

WHO THE HELL needs to pay for The Playboy Channel when we have saucy, smokin' hot right-wing firebrands and a lifetime of Blazing Saddles jokes floating around our heads?

Film at 11. Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Michele Bachmann goes viral. No, really.


If government injections are bad, does that mean private viruses are good?

Vaccinating young women against human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, is somehow a violation of their "innocence," as Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann suggests in the above video from the CNN/Whack Job Tea Party Express debate for the GOP presidential field?

I know the social-conservative politics here -- the theory is that we're "slutproofing" teens, taking away a powerful disincentive to premarital sex and promiscuity. They believe that f***ing not only shouldn't be an entitlement, it also, in some form of Messing with Divine Wrath sense, shouldn't occur without the possibility of consequences.

Here's the transcript of the whole nutty exchange:

BLITZER: Gov. Perry, as you well know, you signed an executive order requiring little girls 11 and 12-year-old girls to get a vaccine to deal with a sexually transmitted disease that could lead to cervical cancer. Was that a mistake?

PERRY: It was. And indeed, if I had it to do over again, I would have done it differently. I would have gone to the legislature, worked with them. But what was driving me was, obviously, making a difference about young people's lives.

Cervical cancer is a horrible way to die. And I happen to think that what we were trying to do was to clearly send a message that we're going to give moms and dads the opportunity to make that decision with parental opt-out.

Parental rights are very important in state of Texas. We do it on a long list of vaccines that are made, but on that particular issue, I will tell you that I made a mistake by not going to the legislature first.

Let me address Ron Paul just a minute by saying I will use an executive order to get rid of as much of Obamacare as I can on day one.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, do you have anything to say about what Governor Perry just said? You're a mom.

BACHMANN: I'm a mom. And I'm a mom of three children. And to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong. That should never be done. It's a violation of a liberty interest.

That's -- little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan. They don't get a do-over. The parents don't get a do-over. That's why I fought so hard in Washington, D.C., against President Obama and Obamacare.

President Obama in a stunning, shocking level of power now just recently told all private insurance companies, you must offer the morning-after abortion pill, because I said so. And it must be free of charge. That same level coming through executive orders and through government dictates is wrong. And that's why again we have to have someone who is absolutely committed to the repeal of Obamacare and I am. I won't rest until it's appealed.

BLITZER: Let's let Gov. Perry respond. Was what you signed into law, that vaccine for 11 and 12-year-old girls, was that, as some of your critics have suggested, a mandate?

PERRY: No, sir it wasn't. It was very clear. It had an opt-out. And at the end of the day, this was about trying to stop a cancer and giving the parental option to opt out of that. And at the end of the day, you may criticize me about the way that I went about it, but at the end of the day, I am always going to err on the side of life. And that's what this was really all about for me.

BLITZER: Sen. Santorum -- go ahead.

BACHMANN: Can I add to that, Wolf? Can I add to that?

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Hold on a second. First Congresswoman Bachmann, then Sen. Santorum.

BACHMANN: I just wanted to add that we cannot forget that in the midst of this executive order there is a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate. We can't deny that...

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: What are you suggesting?

BACHMANN: What I'm saying is that it's wrong for a drug company, because the governor's former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company. The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong. The question is, is it about life, or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?

BLITZER: All right. I'll let Sen. Santorum hold off for a second.

You've got to respond to that.

PERRY: Yes, sir. The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended.

(APPLAUSE)

BACHMANN: Well, I'm offended for all the little girls and the parents that didn't have a choice. That's what I'm offended for.

(APPLAUSE)

SANTORUM: I think we need to hear what Gov. Perry's saying. He's saying that his policy was right. He believes that what he did was right. He thinks he went about it the wrong way.

I believe your policy is wrong. Why -- ladies and gentlemen, why do we inoculate people with vaccines in public schools? Because we're afraid of those diseases being communicable between people at school. And therefore, to protect the rest of the people at school, we have vaccinations to protect those children.

Unless Texas has a very progressive way of communicating diseases in their school by way of their curriculum, then there is no government purpose served for having little girls inoculated at the force and compulsion of the government. This is big government run amok. It is bad policy, and it should not have been done.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: I'm going to move on, Gov. Perry, unless you want to say anything else.

PERRY: Look, I think we made decisions in Texas. We put a $3 billion effort in to find the cure for cancer. There are a lot of different cancers out there. Texas, I think, day in and day out, is a place that protects life.

I passed parental notification piece of legislation. I've been the most pro-life governor in the state of Texas. And what we were all about was trying to save young people's lives in Texas.

SANTORUM: Then give the parents the opt-in, as opposed to -- teach them, let them opt in, but do not force them to have this inoculation.
THERE ARE still plenty enough serious consequences to teen sex, if you ask me, without insisting upon a horrible death from cancer being among the "deterrents." At some point, you're not standing up for virtue and divine morality so much as you are being as mean as the devil.

Republicans like Bachmann and the equally loony yet somehow less entertaining Rick Santorum clearly have crossed that line.

Jesus God, I'm defending Rick Perry here! This is just one more ominous sign of the total insanity -- and unseriousness -- of a major political movement and of an entire political party.

I DON'T THINK "depraved" would be too strong a word for such a political culture.

If only someone could mandate inoculations against bat-s*** crazy, that might go a long way to fixing what's wrong with American politics.

Death: Love it. Live it. Cheer it.


The prospect of President Rick Perry scares me. The prospect of President Ron Paul, however faint, scares me more.

And the fact that, presumably, universal suffrage applies to a loud -- and monstrous -- contingent at Monday night's CNN/Tea Party Republican debate scares me most of all.

Let me be clear: If crowd reactions are any clue to what the tea-party movement really stands for (and I think they do, given the weirdness of America's present "tea" totalism), then this present darkness, this "constitutionalist" mass insanity not only threatens the American republic but also, if left unchecked, mortally threatens civilization itself.

It represents, in the ironic name of God and country, a mass restating of Cain's guilty query of the Lord:
"Am I my brother's keeper?" For Cain had just slain his brother, Abel.

Or let him die because he didn't buy health insurance. One or the other.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


YOU KNOW
your political base is a bunch of hateful lunatics when the man who had been pandering to them so effectively admits to NBC News that he was horrified by the tea-bag rabble's heartless reaction.

The morning after a sometimes-rocky appearance in front of a Tea Party debate audience, Gov. Rick Perry said he was "taken aback" by cheers from some crowd members on a hypothetical question of whether a young man who decides not to buy health insurance should be refused care if he develops a life-threatening illness and be left to die.

"I was a bit taken aback by that myself," Perry told NBC News and the Miami Herald after appearing at a breakfast fundraiser in Tampa.

"We're the party of life. We ought to be coming up with ways to save lives."

Perry distinguished from that the issue of "justice," reiterating his strong support and "respect" for the death penalty on a state-by-state basis. "But the Republican party ought to be about life and protecting, particularly, innocent life," he added.

PERRY'S GOT it all wrong. His is not the party of life -- it is the Party of Greed. The Party of Self-Righteousness. The Party of Endless War. The Party of American Hubris. The Party of Demagoguery. The Party of Willful Ignorance. (How 'bout them drought- and heatwave-fueled Tejas wildfires, Governor? No climate change to see here . . . move along.)

And the Democrats are just as bad. Just different -- right-wing extremists cheer for letting the uninsured die of dread diseases, left-wing ones cheer for killing babies in the womb.

Our age has become one where shell-shocked Jeremiahs spend much time invoking, and desperately defending, moral propositions once so obvious they required little discussion and almost no debate. What are tea-party Republicans going to rethink next? The 13th Amendment?

What are "progressive" Democrats going to try to enshrine as a "right" next? Incest?

Don't answer that. Just allow me the small comfort of feeling vaguely foolish for having felt the need to write this flippin' post at all . . . for all the good it'll do.

Such is the state of the nation in this land far, far right (and left) of Eden.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teabonics

From the "you can't make this s*** up" department, we have the Tea Party Patriots' poetry corner:

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
BLIND OBAMA
YOU HAVE WAKEN UP A SLEEPING GIANT
WE THE PEOPLE UNITED WE STAND
AS ONE NATION
TO SAY NO
YOU MUST GO
WE THE PEOPLE SAY
NO YOU MUST GO
IMPEACH OBAMA
AND BRING HIM TO JUSTICE
IMPEACH IMPEACH
BRING HIM TO JUSTICE WITH ALL THE OTHER TRADERS
TO WE THE PEOPLE AND THE CONTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHO STAND TOGETHER AND WILL NOT FALL
PLAY WE MAY BUTT WHEN NEEDED WE COME STAMPEDING PROWD AMERICANS READY
TO FACE ANY ENEMIES FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC
WE THE PEOPLE SAY
THE CONTITUTION IS IN OUR HEARTS
ONLY A TRUE AMERICAN KNOWS ITS TRUE PATH AND WILL DEFEND UNTIL DEATH
YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOW'N FREEDOM WILL STAND FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE

Monday, August 22, 2011

Help! Help! They're being repressed!


I am one of those Catholics who believes in God, not cultural self-identification.

I believe that God exercises a "preferential option for the poor." I believe that's in the Bible -- somewhere toward the back.

I believe that how we govern ourselves, and how our governing structures implement a basic vision of social justice, is a direct reflection on a democracy's citizenry, which grants consent to its agents.

I believe that God does not sleep, that nations come under judgment and that we are in big, big trouble.


I ALSO BELIEVE that Louisiana -- my home state -- is working hard to sink from mere banana republicanism to fascistic banana republicanism, and that this stinking turd some self-righteous collegiate twerp left on the opinion pages of LSU's student newspaper is Exhibit A. From the soiled July 28 edition of my old stomping grounds, The Daily Reveille:

Obama and the Democrats love to paint a picture of the "poor" as innocent people "just trying to stretch every dollar as far as it will go."

I wonder how many Democrats have ever been to a Third World country to see what poor really means. For two weeks I stayed with a family in Costa Rica who had no air conditioning, no hot water, no washer or dryer, and the roof of the house was raised above the walls so that air could circulate in and out. And yet they washed all my clothes, gave me meals every day and never complained about it.

There are definitely some Americans who are truly needy, but it would be ridiculous to think the 47 percent of Americans not paying federal income tax are eating food out of dumpsters.

It's sickening to hear Obama and the Democrats portray the poor as blameless people in dire need of government help when our poor live lives of luxury in comparison to the poor of other countries.

It isn't the rich who are paying less than their fair share in taxes. To the contrary, they're paying much more than everyone else. It's America's poor who get free health care and new SUVs who aren't sharing the sacrifice.

And if we don't start taxing the rich, Obama wants to withhold Social Security checks. How about the government withholds welfare checks from the "poor" instead of Social Security to those who have actually paid their fair share?

It's about time the so-called poor Americans share the sacrifice and pay their fair share of taxes.

BACK IN MY DAY, the "f*** the poor" crowd complained about "welfare Cadillacs" and ghetto dwellers buying bottles of Mad Dog and Colt 45 tall boys with food stamps. Now, apparently, it's "free health care" and "new SUVs" that are the problem.

My assumption, though, is that the faces behind the stereotype are still brown ones.

What I don't understand is why the smug Reveille columnist, Austin Casey, didn't aim lower for whom he considers real poor people. Why not starving Somalians instead of Costa Rican peasants?

That could have made him feel even better -- or worse, depending -- about how rich America's poor are in the grand scheme of things. After all, it doesn't look quite so bad that the richest 1 percent of Americans controls 40 percent of its wealth and takes home a fourth of its annual income if we get to put quotation marks around our poor.

Sorry, make that "poor."

OF COURSE, the whole construct of inequality in the United States is unique to "socialists" like . . . well, me. I actually give a rat's ass about stuff like this. Austin Casey and the rest of Tea Party America don't.

When Austin Casey encountered the poor of Costa Rica, they sheltered him, fed him and wished him well. When Austin Casey encounters the poor -- sorry, "poor" -- of America, he pouts, stamps his feet and screams "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Tea Party America is not the land of e pluribus unum -- out of many, one. Instead, it is the land of ad te sorbet -- it sucks to be you.

Jesus has an opinion on that. It's in the Bible -- somewhere toward the back.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lullaby for the working class


Dear Democrats:

No matter what asshats Republican politicians might be (and they are), ordinary Americans still hate you worse. This is Tuesday's lesson from the Wisconsin recalls . . . and from numerous other elections across America the past four decades.

I have opinions on why this is.

One, you hate Joe Six-Pack just as much as the GOP pols, basically. You'll go to the wall for the eugenicist swells of Planned Parenthood in ways you'd never consider going to the wall on behalf of -- for lack of a better word -- the proletariat.


In a world of political priorities, you know and I know that you think it's more important to abort babies (many of them poor and brown) than it is to fight like hell for jobs, education, social services and basic f***ing human dignity for the poor, working and middle classes. Many of these people can't articulate it that way, but they know it just the same.

And this is why so many of them either stay home on Election Day or go out and vote against their own economic and class interests by filling in the oval or pulling the lever for tea-party nutwagons, bomb-throwers and (oftentimes) your average, modern-day "conservative" protofascist.

This is the lesson from Recall Tuesday in Wisconsin. No matter how outrageous the GOP's sins against the poor and working class, regular folk think their chances are better going with their enemies than with their "friends."

Good luck with that paradigm in 2012, Democrats. And God help us all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

It takes a beetle


Listen to Jon Bruning when he tells stories about highways and burrowing beetles and welfare raccoons; the Nebraska attorney general knows his beetles.

After all, he is one. For a long time now, Nebraskans who have better things to do than drool at demagogues' red meat at "political meetings" have pegged Bruning as the sort of sniveling little opportunist who'll do just about anything to get elected to something. This is much like the sort of beetle we used to call "tumble turds" when I was a kid in Louisiana.

The similarities between Bruning and a tumble turd -- otherwise known as a dung beetle -- are striking. The man deals in excrement; excrement is his life's blood. In cattle country, we know what kind of excrement a "Bruning beetle" is most likely to deal in.

SO WE HAVE the state AG, who wants to be a U.S. senator, carefully crafting all his precious bulls*** into a neat little ball, which he then rolls around from town to town for "tea party patriots" to eat up.

Here's an example from the
TPM website:
He describes a requirement that workers at a construction project gather up endangered beetles by luring them into a bucket with a dead rat in order to release them elsewhere. But the plan is thwarted when hungry raccoons then eat them straight out of the rat-infested bucket. Which, according to Bruning, is a perfect image to illustrate how welfare recipients receive their benefits.

"The raccoons figured out the beetles are in the bucket," Bruning said. "And it's like grapes in a jar. The raccoons -- they're not stupid, they're gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them. Just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don't send them to work, they're gonna take the easy route."
BEING AN exceptional tumble turd, though, Bruning has figured out how to make his precious wad of poo self-replenishing. It's kind of like hitting it big on Wall Street -- simple in theory but requiring some skill to practice.

What the attorney general
(and I just threw up in my mouth a little typing "attorney general") does is invest a little bit of his ball of bulls*** in hopes that Bubba and Vi will deposit their nest eggs in his wad. Soon enough, the nest eggs mature and go out to collect more material for the effort.

This is called the "s***ball effect," which is like the "snowball effect," except browner and smellier, and Bruning is just the latest in a long line of demagogues who can spin a little bulls*** into a whole lot of ugly. Welfare recipients . . . raccoons . . . 'coons . . . get it? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Would that trapping and disposing of such political "tumble turds" were as easy as plopping a cow pie in the bottom of a bucket and waiting for suppertime.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Death by irony


Just in to the newsroom, this important message for all Louisianians living south of Baton Rouge.

Move.

This was made necessary by a bit of mutual exclusivity not easily grasped in a state where lots and lots of people don't even make it through high school -- a state unusually dependent on the kindness of strangers that tends to go whole-hog for politicians who just aren't all that generous. In 2010, Louisiana voters turned out whole-hog for whole-hog.


Now their congressmen are part of the charge to pauperize Uncle Sam by cutting up his credit cards, which House Republicans already had been hiding from him. All this has left the Whole-Hog State -- the one with the vanishing coastline and hurricane-ravaged city -- doing its Blanche DuBois routine to a fusillade of rotten tomatoes and tea bags.


WVUE television reports from New Orleans:
Near the heart of the city, where a cypress forest once thrived, a visitor will find only skeletal remains-- the trunks of hundreds of dead trees jutting from the water bottom like tombstones.

The central wetlands of New Orleans' lower ninth ward are dead, but only miles away the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built some of the world's most elaborate flood defenses.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Washington lavished $14 billion dollars on Greater New Orleans-- new flood walls, levees, barriers and storm gates designed to provide the city 100-year storm protection.

Four years ago, Congress also authorized $6-$8 billion in coastal restoration projects, only to leave the projects unfunded dreams on paper.

"Leaving folks in a vulnerable situation is simply not an option," said Garret Graves, Chairman of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Twice in the month of July, Congress has shot down money aimed at rebuilding Louisiana's coastline.

First, the House rejected $36 million in restoration money that had been included in President Barack Obama's original budget proposal.

Then, last Thursday, a Senate Committee debated a proposal to grant Louisiana and other coastal states 37.5% of royalties from offshore oil and gas wells in federal waters.

The plan never came up for a vote after supporters, realizing they lacked the required votes for passage, bolted the room and denied the committee a quorum.

"All we're asking for is our fair share," said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a gathering last week in Thibodaux, where he announced a series of small projects designed to bridge some of the funding gap.
WELL, BOBBY, the Tea Party manufactured a debt crisis, and now Washington is throwing your "fair share" into the rising waters. They can't help themselves -- it's what lunatics do, with the full support of yourself and most of your subjects constituents.

So, is Bobby Jindal
that cynical, or is he the dumbest Brown graduate ever?

Now excuse me while I explain to the Louisiana electorate that the last sentence was referencing Jindal's alma mater and not his skin color.
Natural selection, you see, is a bitch.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear kids: Die. Love, the Tea Party


You know, if poor kids had had the decency to stay in their mamas' wombs, conservative Republicans at least could have pretended that their lives had some value.

Now feeding them costs federal dollars that otherwise could be living the high life in rich men's bank accounts. That kind of foolishness will have to stop.

Nothing to see here in this story from
Channel 7 in Omaha. Nothing to consider as tea-party extortionists conspire to blow up the whole government to gain the right to budget-cut the food out of underprivileged kids' mouths.
About 55,000 children in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties qualify for free and reduced school lunches. Now that school is out, those lunches are served in parks where program organizers were overwhelmed with attendance.

The Salvation Army’s Kids Cruzin Kitchen is expected to feed about 350 children per week. Instead, in some cases, they’re seeing 1,000. So far, the kitchen has fed more than 4,000 children.

For 14-year-old Katie Glessman, sometimes a free meal is the only meal.

“I like it because sometimes my mom can't afford to buy food,” Glessman said.

Glessman and her friends who usually eat lunch at school said getting food in the summer can be a struggle.

“You have to figure out how to cook something or just go without,” Glessman said.
AMERICA IS a country with plenty enough money for guns all around the world. Certain factions in Washington, taking advantage of the deadened conscience of a country given over to mammon, want to make sure there's damned little in the piggy bank for butter.

Or bread.

Or Medicaid.

Or Medicare.

Or Social Security.

Or poor children who have survived long enough to emerge from the womb and begin to trouble their betters.

IT MAY BE little comfort for "the least of these" in the short term, but in the long term, we can be sure of at least one thing.

God don't sleep. And vengeance is His.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mayor takes up cross, fights for Them


Repeat after me: Justice without mercy is no justice at all.

During this sad season of empty wallets and cold hearts in America, one small-town Georgia mayor understands this. It probably will end up costing him dearly.

Acting like a true Christian usually does. It was for no small reason that Jesus told His disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."

Today, in state after state across this country, the cross we take up will look something like what
Cable News Network illuminates here:

Paul Bridges leans toward his desk, picks up the phone and punches in a number with the fast, laser focus of a man on a mission. The mayor of this tiny town in South Georgia is ready for battle -- and looking for a new weapon.

"I need some help getting a website," he said, spelling out the words of the domain name he wants for a site promoting immigration reform.

The man on the other end says he'll try to help. But that isn't enough for Bridges.

"I really don't know what your beliefs are on this issue," he said, "but I'm going to persuade you."

Bridges wants the federal government to come up with a solution that gives the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States a chance to work here legally.

"You get me an invite to that Tea Party meeting and I'm going ... I'd like to give the contrary viewpoints. Surely one person in the audience is going to be sympathetic."

(snip)

Bridges is one of more than a dozen plaintiffs suing Georgia and its governor, trying to stop the state's new immigration law. They won a reprieve Monday when a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law scheduled to go into effect July 1.

One of those sections would criminalize exactly what the mayor of Uvalda does almost every day: knowingly driving a car with illegal immigrants as passengers. The judge also put on hold parts of the law that allow police to ask about immigration status during investigations of criminal violations.

But the legal fight is far from over. It could drag on for months and reach the chambers of the nation's highest court. It's a struggle that pits Bridges against many members of his own party and could hurt his political future. But that doesn't stop the mayor.

THE HEART of Georgia's law -- like so many others that have been, or will be, passed across the United States in these times -- is a basic indifference to the humanity of its targets. Justice is one thing, as is upholding the law. Intentional cruelty and a one-size-fits-all approach to a vast array of humanity and motivations is entirely another.

It is here that American "respect for the law" begins to ape that championed by monstrous regimes we once fought to the death.
Bridges sits on a wood bench in the front row of a courtroom in Atlanta, clutching a notebook. The atmosphere is tense, quiet. He is nauseous and alone.

Friends are waiting in a van in a nearby parking deck. The family has lived in Georgia for more than a decade, but now they are afraid to walk outside.

Bridges is fighting for them, and for countless other friends and former students. His decision to be "the mayor for everybody" led him here.

The family is willing to sit for hours in the heat so he can drive them to a shopping mall after the hearing. Uncertain how the law will affect them, they have canceled plans for the 14-year-old's coming-of-age quinceañera party in case they have to leave the country. They hope to get their deposit back on a dress.

"All rise. Court is now in session," the bailiff said.

Omar Jadwat, an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, mentions Bridges in his opening argument, describing him as "Mayor Bridges, who on occasion helps undocumented friends come from Florida to Georgia."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. grills the attorney representing the state.

He asks what would happen if police pulled over an 18-year-old citizen for speeding while he was on the way to the grocery store with his illegal immigrant mother.

As the judge speaks, Bridges nods so intensely that his whole body rocks back and forth. He is encouraged by the questioning. The judge seems to see what he does: a law that makes criminals out of good citizens and tears families apart.

But he grimaces at the attorney's answer.

"It would be no different than if his mother had pockets full of cocaine, and he was knowingly transporting her to go sell it," said Devon Orland, senior assistant attorney general for the state.

THINK about that for a minute.

Repite conmigo: La justicia sin la misericordia no es justicia en absoluto.

It is a finer line than we think between "truth, justice and the American Way" and "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer." That line usually is crossed when scared people blame THEM! -- and then do evil, calling it good.