Our country is in a world of hurt. Seriously. In one party, we have a bunch of two-year-olds who demand everything and won’t be satisfied without sugar on top. And on the other hand, we have a chief executive who has the backbone of a sponge. SpongeBarack. He sucks in all this abuse, giggles annoyingly, and then declares it a great accomplishment for the American people. OK, Barry doesn’t giggle annoyingly, but it would be better if he did.
Now I understand narcissism. I was an actor once. And that’s possibly the one profession which is more narcissistic than politics, but it’s a close race between actors, politicians and strippers. Politicians see every deal as an accomplishment–even turds that have been spray-painted gold. And this budget deal is a turd so moist the paint can’t even stick. Yet President Obama goes and describes it as some kind of rosey-hued vision of democracy because “Americans of different beliefs came together,” to avoid a government shutdown–when the tyrannical threat of a shutdown should never have existed in the first place! Then he went to the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the fact that it was still open, but don’t worry, your tax dollars will help pay for those tax cuts for the upper 1% we caved on back in 2010. My, how long ago was THAT? Oh, by the way, we’ll have to cut out some government jobs–like 100,000! (But the stock market is doing great, isn’t recovery grand?)
And immediately after the deal was struck–we get assholes like Mike Pence intoning that the deal was probably not good enough. Not good enough? According to one Republican, they got 79% of what they wanted. What does Mike Pence want? 100% capitulation, an apology for not surrendering sooner, war reparations and Obama, Reid and Pelosi committing seppuku on the steps of the Capital?
As a wise ‘possum once said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.” God save the United States of America–’cause nobody else is trying.
The awful tragedy in Japan is continuing–hundreds of thousands of people have been homeless for a month now and agriculture in the area–particularly rice farming–is non-existent. Many people kept their money at home rather than the banks, and now are penniless. So a reminder, please give generously for Japan relief in this time of need
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone
Text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.
Text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Also Save the Children
Japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief @ Global Giving
Doctors Without Borders
But let us be generous and think of it as a first step in what is likely to be an arduous journey. Real Reform for the rest of us lies further ahead. Let us be thankful for the people who won’t be forced to die for lack of medical care.
You would think the votes wouldn’t be so close. But all you have to do is look at the demonstrations over the weekend to see the bitterness that poisoned the hope of better legislation. Teabaggers running through the House offices, banging on doors and shouting. Hurling racial and other insults at Representatives as they prepared to vote. Spitting on them. One person in a wheelchair was mocked and told his “free ride” was over.
It wasn’t because of the sweeping nature of the plan. It kept to guidelines established by Republicans decades ago. This bitterness arose because some people in the US could not abide the thought of a black President and wanted to do anything in their power to destroy his tenure in office. They were whipped into a fury by Fox News and demagogues like Rush Limbaugh. Responsible Republican leadership has been out to lunch. They excuse this behavior instead of telling the teabaggers to stop acting like children. And they did this because the teabaggers were pulling the stunts they themselves knew they couldn’t get away with. Finally, after the vote, Boehner told everyone to start acting like adults.
But the genie’s out of the bottle. This is not the end of the teabaggers, I betcha. I hate to see what will happen next.After a year of deals, compromises, debates, broken promises, lies, protests, counterprotests, Health Care Reform(?) is passed. With all the incredible rancor and venom, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have to be congratulated for actually getting SOMETHING done. There are about 32 million people who will have them to thank for actually having some kind of health care, and countless others who will not be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions” or other BS. Is it a perfect bill? Hell, it may not even be all that GOOD a bill. It strengthens the stranglehold of the health insurance industry–that mandate for all citizens to buy health insurance can be seen as nothing less than a bribe to get the parasites to give up denial of coverage and if anyone thinks that the insurers are going to keep rates down and risk lowering executive salaries and bonuses, I’ve still got that bridge in Brooklyn I’m offering on eBay.
Congratulations on the Health Care Bill–99 and 54/100 % Pure. Republican Blogosphere: You Traitor, Cao!
Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party are to be congratulated on passing SOME kind of Health Care Reform. It’s nowhere near perfect–we are told that it is to be a platform for more improvements–but frankly, since none of it is going to take effect until 2013 and it won’t be fully operational until 2019, I don’t really see how any substantial improvements are going to be made for another 10 years. After all, we’ll have to give it a chance, first. In the meantime, the health insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry have five years to squeeze every nickel out of the American people so hard, Thomas Jefferson will get acne scars–and if the credit card companies are any indication, we’ll be seeing rate hikes and deductible rises the second the Senate passes its own bill–provided a Senate bill DOES get passed.
Will Rogers once said, “I don’t belong to an organized political party–I’m a Democrat.” Considering how much Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have had to fight their own party members to get this one thing done that everyone in the country said was REALLY REALLY important, I suspect even old Will would be surprised at how dysfunctional the Democrats are today. I mean, with a 50 seat majority, how this bill managed to get passed by only 5 votes–if three people had changed votes, it would have failed–it just boggles the mind. They even had to tack anti-abortion idiocy on it to make sure they got even those five votes. WTF does abortion have to do with it???
Back to the Republicans–despite claiming NOT to be the party of NO, their strategy was to present a unified block of negativity in an effort to make Health Care Reform an epic fail for the Obama team. They needn’t have bothered–the Democrats were doing fine on that score alone. But, after the bill had gotten the requisite 218 votes, one lone Republican–Joseph Cao from a mostly Democratic district in Louisiana–decided to cast a Yea. Minority Leader Cantor stormed from the chambers and a torrent of invective was let loose by the right wing blogosphere and Twitterati. TRAITOR! HOW NOW, MAO CAO? You’d think that Republicans were the only true Americans and that taking away profits from the parasitical health insurance companies was unAmerican! On that note, don’t think it hasn’t gone unnoticed that Cao emigrated from Vietnam and only “became” an American citizen instead of being born here. He isn’t “a real American”. He’s a “gook” who should go back to Vietnam–if he likes COMMUNISM that much. My personal favorite was calling him “cat-eater”–HA! everyone knows the Vietnamese outlawed cat-eating a few years ago to cure the rat problem! Michelle Malkin asked rhetorically what Obama gave him to change his vote and said he was bought cheap by the promise of help for Katrina victims–who as we all know don’t deserve it (IRONY ALERT). And of course, impeachment threats and promises that he will lose his seat next election season the unsavory mix. I’m not sure Cao was quite ready for it all. BTW-how much have we heard about any of this? Not a thing unless you were looking for it, not just from the MSM, but not even the liberal blogs have been paying it much attention –has it reached the point when Republicans do something so completely racist and partisan, it’s no longer news?
Anyway, I wouldn’t be patting myself on the back for having crafted a bipartisan bill. Like I say in the title, 99 and 54/100s per cent pure Democratic vote does not equal bi-partisan in anyone’s books. The best you can say is that it wasn’t unanimously rejected by Republicans, thanks to Joseph Cao. Alas, he may not be in Congress more than another year.
On to the Senate! Back when I was a kid, good sportsmanship was something you expected of everyone in the game. The losers were supposed to take their loss without whining or rancor, the winners weren’t supposed to **** them up the ***. That hasn’t been the Republican way for some time now. Good sportsmanship is something to be demanded … of the OTHER guy. Remember the Bush years? The Republicans said, “We won–deal with it”. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, are the Republicans dealing with it in the good sportsman-like manner they expected of the Democrats? If you call doing everything in your power to try to make the winners regret being alive–I guess you could say they are! Remember how they called the Democrats obstructionist for not rubberstamping 100% of Bush’s judicial appointees without question? I think the Democrats had held up maybe a dozen out of over 100 appointments. HORRORS! How can we get anything done with these bullies holding up ALL our appointments! But twe sure are getting models of cooperation NOW!
Suffice it to say, however, that since Joe Liebermann has been flirting with the Republican Party, he probably can’t read anymore–otherwise, he’d never have made such an asinine criticism. But, you know, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Is the “public option” something worth all the effort that’s been put into it? According to that same CBO report, the public option is only going to affect 2% of all Americans…by 2019, up to 6 million people will make use of that long and hard fought for provision. Now 6 million people is nothing to sneeze at–except when you compare it to the most probable 2020 population of just over 300 million people. And that’s 10 years down the road. The public option won’t even kick in until 2013. Hell, most of the baby boomers with be on Medicare by then. *I* will be on Medicare by then! Moreover, the public option isn’t going to be free–it will have a price sticker roughly equivalent to private health insurance. I say roughly because it’s going to be a little bit higher–we don’t want it to actually compete with private health insurance! We want that industry to stay healthy, even if it starves the middle class! That’s kind of like eating nutritious meals so our tapeworm doesn’t get malnutrition. And furthermore–everyone will have to have health insurance or pay a fine! The poor will get a subsidy so they can afford to buy it, but we’re talking about an enforced expansion of the health insurance customer base. You would think the health insurance companies will be pleased by this. Nosireebob! They’re too busy griping about not being able to drop customers because they have expensive conditions. If that profit margin goes down, they’ll have to raise rates to protect their executive bonuses! About the only good thing about the public option as it now stands is that it has backdoored a tax on the top 1%. But not to worry–they’ll soon find a way out of THAT!
The question is, with all the stuff negotiated away to achieve this public option goal, is the final result what we bargained for? I mean, we gave away our ace-in-the-hole, single payer health care, what the people of this country both need and deserve, even before negotiations started. Since then, it’s been like Chico and Groucho negotiating a contract, stripping aways clauses until all we have left is the sanity clause–and as we all know, there ain’t no such thing as a Sanity Clause! In the efforts to get something that could be called a “public option”, have the various committees thrown away so much substance that all that is left is skimpier than a stripper’s bikini? Kucinich’s state-by-state single payer option got tossed because it was too meaty and might have jeopardized passage of the program, but it’s altogether possible the program is going to die of anorexic shock all on its own. Some people say that something is better than nothing, but we really have to ask ourselves if we are not actually condemning ourselves to another ten or more years of slow strangulation by the parasitical health insurance industry just so we can say that we achieved “something”?
I don’t know–as they say on cable innuendo news, I’m just asking–but I’ve reached the end of my column, so let’s end up with something we can all agree on… Joe Liebermann is such a jackass! Let’s start off by saying that Joe Liebermann is such a jackass. There, that feels good, doesn’t it? Practically on the very day that the Congressional Budget Office projects that not only will Health Care Reform with the public option not increase the deficit, it will lower it, Joe Liebermann says he will join the filibuster because of his concern that it will increase the deficit. This is the same Joe Liebermann who as a young senator supported abolishing the filibuster, but now that he is older and wiser, realizes that it’s the only way a dedicated minority can tie the federal government in knots. I say “dedicated minority” since that excludes the Democratic Party, which is constitutionally incapable of agreeing with itself. And since Joe caucuses with the Democrats but votes with the Republicans–he calls it independence, other call it “being a quisling”–he wants the dedicated minority to be able to screw things up as much as possible.
OK, I can see how local law enforcement might think the death of Bill Sparkman could be a suicide. After all, with what Michele Bachmann and other wingnuts have been saying about the census, poor Bill could have been so depressed at the thought that he was contributing to the downfall of Western Democracy, Christianity and all that we hold dear so that Kenya could dominate the world in something other than Olympic running, that he scrawled FED on his own chest and hanged himself. That’s one theory. Another theory, just possibly a little more probable, is that Bill was mistaken for a revenooer or a DEA agent or just saw the wrong thing and was eliminated as a witness–with FED scrawled over his chest to alert the FBI that a gang of drug and/or illegal whisky purveyors were hiding out in this vicinity…they obviously wanted the publicity. Or it could have been a result of all the spew from the right wing at how the census will turn these United Statesl into a socialist worker’s paradise, aided by the pimp=and-prostitute loving, false voter registering ACORN. Maybe Glenn Beck even thinks this is crazy stuff, but they don’t think that over on CLEAR CHANNEL where they are advising people not to fill out the census–thus ensuring that their state will not get the representation that its population will deserve.
What gets to me is that with all this talk about the census in the news, the Associated Press really jumped on this story…and buried it for 10 days! Granted that since the days of Ronny Raygun, AP has been drifting starboard (and it’s fascinating to watch how individual stories become more “balanced” as different levels of editors get their hands on an issue to the point where in a recent story birther protests were equated with protests against torture at Abu Ghraib), but what did they think suppressing a story like this was going to achieve? Were they hoping that they could release it at a time when no one would notice? Myself, I’m of the opinion that it took 10 days to find out whether or not Michele Bachmann had an alibi for the date in question–they have such a great research department! But I’d better quit talking about this if I don’t want to get slapped with a plagiarism charge and get sued for violation of copyright because it IS an AP story–and their legal department’s position is that you cannot even CITE an AP story without stepping over the borders of their vast intellectual property domain.
Nancy Pelosi recently invoked the ridicule of the right by suggesting that America was at risk from politics erupting into violence, with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor returning his own opinion that Speaker Pelosi was living in another world. Nancy was either prescient (if she had to wait for the AP story to appear) or better-informed than Cantor who is living in a bubble of mythical America where assassinations, lynchings and mob violence only happen–to someone else. But even POLITICO has discovered that there might be reason to be worried–at least in the opinion of several former CIA, FBI and Secret Service officers. Myself, I HOPE this terrible crime was the fault of drug or alcohol miscreants. But seriously–I have me doubts. Even Bachmann evidently has her doubts, considering the way she cut a reporter who asked for her comment. Michele should realize that those who play with guns sometimes get shot–in their own foot by their own finger. In the meantime, being a census worker has been declared a hazardous occupation and is grounds for cancellation of your health insurance policy. Have a nice day
(My condolences to Bill Sparkman’s family–my cartoon is not meant to belittle his unfortunate death but to ridicule the competency with which it is being investigated.)