Saturday, October 19, 2013

Purity and Committment
By Emma X

Emma X

Start up or start over?

Be forewarned.  Your government
power supply may fail again in 90
days.  Make sure you have backup.
Hey, the country is back in business.  At least for 90 days.  Just time enough to get your holiday shopping done, and then get your survival preparation ready for round two.  Or is it three?  I’m losing count.  Mitch McConnell says what we just went through won’t happen again.  Ted Cruz says don’t bet on it.

The thing about ideologues is that they won’t allow themselves to give up.  They are getting too much gratification from their own activist base.  They enjoy the spotlight, and they enjoy the thrill of brinkmanship.  As soon as the adrenaline rush from this most recent fiasco wears off, they will be back for more action.

The Silence of Ted Cruz
should not be expected any time soon, although

his Party tried to contain him.
"Will the Tea Party be chastised by recent defeat?
Not likely, or not for long.  Because Tea Party
members inhabit an alternative political reality--
sheltered in safe districts or states, applauded by
Conservative media, incited (or threatened) by
advocacy groups, carried along by a deep current
of anger and frustration among activists--they
have no incentive to view defeat as defeat.  In fact,
turning against tactical radicalism would involve
serious political risk.  So every setback is interpreted
as a need for greater purity and commitment."

--Michael Gerson, The Washington Post
So what do we know now that we didn’t know a week ago?  Well, it should be crystal clear to everyone that Congress is a house divided, and as both Abraham Lincoln and The Bible tell us, it will not stand.  John Boehner will go down in history as possibly the weakest Speaker of the House ever.  There is no ‘too far’ for the Tea Party.  The rest of the world, including our economic allies, will be looking for fiscal stability elsewhere.  And unless there is a significant voter mandated change in 2014, economic recovery for the middle class is in jeopardy. Why do I say this? Because the swing votes needed to prevent disaster were garnered under extreme duress.  There are no real defenders of the American people in The House.  Just very bad chess players.

As God is my witness, I thought elephants could fly!

But please don’t let my cynicism spoil your appreciation for the titanic loss incurred by the Republican Party over the past few weeks. They failed in everything they were trying to build.  The real precipice they stood on was not the fiscal cliff, but the edge of voter confidence.  At the last minute some recognized the danger and clung to their grass roots to break their fall.  But others, buoyed by a blood-thirsty anti-government frenzy, jumped headlong over the edge believing they would bounce.  I know many of you out there frustrated with the theatrics are eagerly waiting to hear the resounding splat. Congratulations.  Today is your day.

But the survivors will not be deterred.  They are not afraid of going over the edge.  They believe with all of their heart that the philosophical bubble they live in will break their fall. They just need to go home and pump it up a little.  More hot air will make them buoyant again.

The De-evolution of Republican Man
What most of see as a fifteen year progression of repeated error and bad judgement, Republicans feel is a mere redefinition of 
political identity.  They still feel their policies are sound, which is why they will lose even more support in 2014.   The Tea Party views their role as destiny, and the mainstream Republican machine as a convenient tool to help them reach their goal.  Cliffhanging  is no big deal.  They have spent the last two weeks telling us just that.  Stock up on canned tuna and fresh water.  We may all have to hunker down again.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Greatest Gerrymander
By Nebu Ganesh

Nebu Ganesh,
Progressive Potentate

Go ahead and give grandpa a call.  Listen
to his complaints about his bursitis.  It
just may save the world economy.
As we sit waiting for someone in Washington to blink, we are left to contemplate who is happy about this House of Representatives cluster f*ck that is giving a whole nation angina.  I mean we know about the Founding Funders and their special interest people, and the anarchist Tea Party Congresspeople skipping from newscam to newscam with school kid glee. But who are those stalwart 5%* of 'normal' people represented on polls who think that things are hunky dory in Congress right now?  Well the demographic for the Tea Party, after you subtract the Jesus Apocalypse freaks and inbred southern gun runners, is basically white men over 55.  I would guess way over 55, but that is the number with the inbreds and the paranoiacs off their meds factored in.  Let's just be politically incorrect and say old people, where 'old people' refers to a state of mind rather than biological age, and I will just admit bias because the only place I hear the Tea Party litany spouted these days is from old white devotees of FOX News. You know, the sexy babes that are excited that Rupert Murdoch is single again.  I'm sorry to wound Liberal readers with these prejudicial statements. But some old people in this country think that Congress is moving in the right direction, and they are home all day responding to pollsters.

The Next to Greatest Generation
has a message for you.  "You have been a great
disappointment to us.  We are leaving our money
to cat shelters, because you don't deserve what
we earned.  Why couldn't you have applied
yourself in Junior College and grown up smart
like that nice Teddy Cruz?  He loves his father."
This, the Greatest Generation and their not so great first born sons have lived long enough to see just about everything, so why not the end of the Global Market Economy?  Theirs will be the first and last generations to ride the wave of government entitlement programs from start to finish with no diminishment in terms or services.  In fact, their government perks have improved sweetly over the decades, because this group has always voted for politicians who promote their financial interests. And why not?  Their social benefits were earned, they believe.  Ours were not.

Might as well let 'er rip.
who cares about health insurance
at this point?  Especially yours.
This same mighty generation came back from World War II and the Asian wars with PTSD and alcohol dependency, for which there were no Socialist government support programs.  They were men of their times, and their times were racist.  They are not all geriatric Yodas spouting the wisdom of the ages. Some of them are spouting some pretty hateful things, and voting their angry minds.  They can do so without fear, because no politician in more than thirty years has passed legislation that would touch their entitlements. Their generation is exempted in every proposal to change Social Security or Medicare.  They've got Social Program Fiscal Tenure, if you will.  So they can watch you hang. And they might just enjoy that, since you never text your grandma anymore.

Selective Social Shame
John McCain gave his fellow lawmakers
hell this week about the denial of military
death benefits for active duty veterans.
He told them that Obamacare was a done
deal because of the results of the last
election, and said his fellow Republicans
should be ashamed of leading America
down this path.  He has never felt shame
about bringing Sarah Palin to the political
forefront, though.  The Tea Party really
took off after McCain introduced her as a
viable Vice Presidential candidate.  Main-
stream Republicans aided and abetted the
Tea Party view, enjoying their antics and
often repeating their rhetoric when it
seemed advantageous to do so, and they

used them to try to sway elections, as
McCain himself did.  There is even more
shame to go around than he currently
They worked 40 years of double shifts at the foundry to give you and your ungrateful parents a leg up in life.  And for what? So that your liberal education could cause you to question everything they believe in and fought for?  So that their hard earned money can be redistributed by the government to a generation of foul-mouthed upstarts who can't keep their pants up?   They conquered the Hun and put Communism in check but their thanks is getting to listen to you spout off about Bono and Progressive Humanism?  No wonder they're angry.

I still like Ike.  That sweet blonde lady on FOX
 News says that a debt ceiling default won't amount
to much, just like our grand kids.  Its the same with
global warming.  We came through the Dust Bowl
all right.  Liberals are just a bunch of wimps.  We'll
keep voting Tea Party.  It's the best way to keep more
pansies from getting in to Congress.

Now I'm not saying that your right-leaning elders are vindictive. I'm sure your granny is very sweet and loves you very much. But they are uncomfortable in the current culture.  Can we say it? They are racially prejudiced. They are fearful, and therefore easily led.  And because the world they understood is in fact gone forever, they are angry.  They think that we have made crap out of everything they fought to save, and maybe they're right.  FOX News tells them that they are,  and a little geriatric empowerment can be refreshingly meaningful as they pause to reflect on life's rewards, or lack of them.

So they can let your Liberal agenda crash and burn.  They have lived through much worse, and think that a good Depression may help build in you that strength of character you sadly lack.  Just one word of warning to the Tea Party, though.  Touch those Social Security checks at your own peril. Remove one, just one, of their Medicare benefits, and you'll be looking down the barrel of German Mauser liberated from the cold hand of a former member of the Wehrmacht at Normandy. That would certainly qualify as a justifying reason for the Founding Fathers giving us the Second Amendment. Age brings clarity, you know.

* The AP poll released Wednesday, 10/09/13 reports the current Congressional Approval Rating to be a whopping 5%, the lowest in history.  Stand proud, America.  We put those underachieving morons in office!

The tea knives are out.  Tea Party elders want you to know that they're not dead yet, and they vote.  Even after they're dead, they will continue to vote in Ohio, Texas and Florida.  They are the Americans that the Tea Party says don't want Obamacare, and they are a big part of the reason that your economy will be in the sh*tter next week.  You can argue about it with them when you are all drunk at Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

All or Nothing
By Emma X

Emma X
If there was a shut down button
for Congress, I'd push it.  I wish a
government shut down defunded
political rhetoric.
Well folks, they did it.  They shut it down.  Not that we didn’t know it would happen, but it is still pretty amazing to think that our Congressional Representatives are leaders of the free world.  Do you ever wonder why the rest of the planet thinks we are stupid ignorant narcissistic jerks?  Take a look at the 113th Congress.

Official Portrait of the 113th Congress.
A bigger parade of self-aggrandizing sphincters you
will not find anywhere.  America is truly exceptional.

So we don’t know how long it will go on, or who will blink first, but make no mistake, the perpetrators of this fiasco do not feel your pain, nor would they respond kindly if they did.    War planners calculate for an acceptable amount of collateral damage, and Big Business has rendered themselves untouchable in this economy.  They have theirs.  This is about power.  The concerns of small businesses and the American people in general have not been a factor in this ideological debate for ten years, despite the ‘we the people’ rhetoric that is tossed to the crowd like cheap candy and plastic beads.  This is a battle between Big Government and Big Business masked as a personal freedoms debate, and you might be shocked to know what the millionaire mercenaries in Congress are willing to take down to win.  You got a small taste this week.

Tea Party Big Insurance patrons
feel that Federal Government interference in the industry
 will ruin profits and take the food right out of their mouths.
They've got the time and resources to wait this thing out,

though.  If their Congressmen don't perform, they'll
buy new ones.  The goal is to be just like Wall Street;

too big and entrenched to fail.
So who is ahead so far?  Well, nobody.  But both sides claim righteous indignation.  Polls before and after the default blame Republicans, but they are whining all over the airways, decrying misplaced culpability.  They tried 42 times to repeal Obamacare.  They took the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.  They launched an expensive several month media ad campaign to convince America that Obamacare is a Socialist evil.  They told us for several months that they would shut down the government to defund it.  Then they did.   Now they claim they didn’t do it, Obama did.  They are having tantrums like two-year-olds in public.  Not exactly a winning posture.  So I guess we have to award the first blood strike to the Democrats, even though it was self-inflicted by the Tea Party.  Despite all expensive efforts to defeat it, Obamacare is now law.  And ironically, it is funded.

Mitch McConnell says that
the Democrats have rejected reasonable
legislative compromises.  Conserva-
tives offered to defeat, then defund,
and then delay implementation.  I
guess those three 'Ds' are the new
working definition of Republican
middle ground.  They are actually say-
ing what they proposed throughout this
whole debacle is a middle ground position.
If you press against your temples firmly
with both hands right now, your head may
 not explode.
Conservatives claim that the President refused to cooperate with them.  I don’t know how you negotiate with playground bullies.  What?  I’ll give you half of my lunch money and one of my sneakers, now go away and don’t come back?  But I have to say that the Obama Administration did a pitiful job of educating the American people about Obamacare, allowing the Tea Party to spread their stock in trade lies, confusion, and fear.

The 1995 government shutdown lasted over three weeks, with terrible political repercussions for Republicans.  This one looks to last longer, considering the atmosphere of gridlock that has permeated the last two Congressional sessions, and the general spirit of meanness that pervades the process.  Tea Party candidates are beholden to no one but their patrons, so they have nothing to lose, including their Gerrymandered House seats.  On October 17th America defaults on its debt.  At that time the Treasury will not be able to honor U.S. financial commitments.  That’s when the elephant shit hits the proverbial world-wide fan.  That is when your investments and retirement take a hit, and your job may be in jeopardy.  But if you wish, you will still be able to sign up for cheaper health insurance.  How whimsical.

Here's the plan.  When the Tea Party
is finished screwing the main stream
Republican caucus, they will buck that pesky
middle class off of their backs for good.
Hang on tight, folks.  They've been
fantasizing about doing this for a decade.
Unfortunately for Conservative legislators there is no political party health insurance.  Tea Party politics introduced an aggressive deadly cancer into their core that has metastasized without treatment, and gently put, the Republican Party should be getting their affairs in order.  Their odds of survival as they stand are minimal.  The American electorate is confused, but it does not have Alzheimer’s.  We will remember this feces-hurling hate-fest in 2014 and 2016.

Its the beginning of the end, and time for the hard liners to start heading toward the place where failed political ideologies go to die.  The careers of leading politicians involved in this fiasco will not survive.  For the others, it will be best to establish a new generational identity.