Sunday Roast: Giving the unemployed the finger

In the face of empirical evidence that unemployment benefits help boost the economy, Congress went ahead and let the benefit expire for 1.3 million people — with another round of cuts coming right up.

Yes, I said “people.”  Not slackers, takers, losers, or lazy fucks, as Republicans and Tea Party morons like call the long term unemployed.

Officially, there are three people applying for every job in this country, but with so many people off the official unemployment roles (like me) — because their benefits ran out long ago, they’re so discouraged and depressed they don’t even look for work anymore, or they’re elderly or disabled — the actual number of people applying for each job is probably eight to ten.  Far too many of those jobs have absolutely no benefits, and don’t pay enough to keep a roof over your head AND keep the lights and heat on AND eat halfway decently.  Pick one!

But listen to the GOP/Tea Party, and you’ll hear patronizing statements that unemployment benefits make people lazy, shiftless slobs, who will feed off the government teat forever — this from career politicians who feed off the government teat.  Apparently, the best way to get people off unemployment is to just let the funds run dry, and accuse hard-working Americans of being lazy, blood-sucking shits, rather than actually passing a jobs bill (hey, the President has one!) or a sufficient stimulus bill.  Oh yes, they’ll extend unemployment benefits, but children, veterans, the elderly, and the hungry are damn well going to pay for it — unlike in the Bush years, where nothing was paid for EVER, and the GOP were happy as clams.

And gee whiz, where did all this unemployment come from anyway?  Let’s all ignore the FACT that George W. Bush crashed the economy in 2008, and had been hemorrhaging jobs out of this country long before the crash.  No no no, all this unemployment is because of President Obama’s socialist, fascist, Marxist, commie, pinko, nazi policies — again, flying in the face of actual evidence to the contrary — not because of constant Republican obstruction and blatant refusal to do the work they were sent to Washington DC to do.

Do you know how long they’ll keep doing this to the people of this country?  Yes, the people — do you actually think YOU are immune to GOP policies?  They’ll keep doing it as long as the people stay silent; as long as the people stay out of the voting booth; and as long as they can keep the people fighting among ourselves over things like the “War on Christmas,” so-called religious persecution, taxes (except the taxes of the top 1% aka the “job creators”), and other social issues that are only the business of those actually involved.

Pay no attention to the 97 days the millionaires in the House of Representatives will work this year — naming post offices, repealing Obamacare again, and railing against dirty, dirty women who want unfettered access to birth control, because they just don’t want to push out an unwanted baby every year — or their rapist’s baby EVER.  No, of course, lazy blood-sucking GOP/Tea Partiers aren’t the problem — it’s the unemployed.

Right.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss whatever.

To Rule versus Govern

To rule or to govern.

Govern

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (also intr) to direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc., of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc.); rule

Rule

1. Governing power or its possession or use; authority.

George Washington’s Farewell Address, speaking on political parties (from wiki.answers.com)

“They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.”

Since the political shift of 1994, with Newt Gingrich and his Contract for America, bitpartisanship has become a dirty word in the conservative vernacular.

This disdain for anything that smacks of compromise intensified exponentially with the advent of the Tea Party and their candidate’s successes in the 2010 elections.

What we have now is an attempt by the Tea Party Republican ‘faction’ to rule as a minority. They have little interest in governing, if the difference between ruling and governing implies a requirement for political compromise.

This is exactly what our first President warned us of. He foresaw those ‘small and artful’ politicians with their ‘ill-concerted and incongruous projects’ trying to force their vision of our country instead of attempting any ‘common counsel’ or ‘mutual interest’.

So what to do in counterbalance to this force dedicated to foisting its policies and dictates on the American people?

My answer would be to do whatever it takes to remove them from their temporary seat of power. I would remove them as a statement that our founding fathers fully intended, by virtue of the checks and balances they carefully crafted into our governmental system, to forge a system based on compromise.

Every major crises with the exception of the Civil War has been resolved by the two major parties, regardless of the rancor of the debate, crafting a give and take answer that at least temporarily put the issues to rest.

We can’t afford to lose sight of the precedent and traditions that have served us so well since our founding some 220 plus years ago. We must send the Tea Party packing.

Sunday Roast: Dark Road to the White House

The New York Times, by Charles M. Blow

Shady money, voter suppression, shifting positions, murky details and widespread apathy.

If there is a road map for a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan win in November, that’s it. Distasteful all.

Thank goodness Romney/Ryan (R/R) has all that money backing them up, huh?  Otherwise the voter suppression and murky details might cause them a problem.  Oh wait, R/R are counting on the listed items to get them elected in November.  It’s all good.

Charles M. Blow, beside being a gorgeous man, is absolutely brilliant.  In his article, he talks about the various lies, equivocations, flip flops, secrecy, and abject hypocrisy of the Romney/ Ryan ticket.

America, this is the Republican ticket. Although most smart political observers currently have Romney losing the Electoral College, Romney, following this repulsive road map, is virtually tied with Obama in national polls of likely voters.

“Virtually tied” with President Obama in the polls.  Un-friggin-believable.  Why is R/R in a virtual tie with Obama/Biden?

Apathy.

Yep, you read that correctly.  Voter apathy is a HUGE problem in this country — even now, with so much as stake.

As USA Today reported, the 90 million people who are unlikely to vote in November prefer Obama over Romney by 2 to 1, and “they could turn a too-close-to-call race into a landslide for President Obama — but by definition they probably won’t.”

I want to know who these people are.  I want to know what — exactly — is going on in their pathetically tiny pea brains.  I want an explanation as to WHY they just can’t be arsed to get themselves into a voting booth.  I want them to tell me, and then I want to put a big red “D” for DODDERING DUNDERHEADED DUMBASS in the middle of their foreheads, as a sign to the rest of us that these people are dangerous to the well-being of this country and her people.  I want to know all of these things, and then I want them to shut the fuck up, because not being involved enough with the country that made it possible to have such fascinating lives that they can’t exercise their civic duty by getting into a voting booth is something that pisses me off.

It pisses me off so much that I’m going to call them what they are:  FREE-LOADERS.  They live in this country, enjoy our freedoms, our clean air and water, and take advantage of the commons we all contribute to via our time, effort, and tax dollars, but they just don’t care enough to bother finding out about the people they’re voting for, or about how it all happens until they wake up and realize something has, or is about to, affect them and families in some manner.  This is how teabaggers are born.

If this underhanded dirty dealing by the Republican ticket doesn’t jolt some of these unlikely voters into likely ones, I don’t know what will.

Nor I, Charles, nor I.

Read Charles Blow’s whole article here.

This is our daily open thread — Do you know any of these people?

 

Civilization in an Eggshell

Guest blog by Hoodathunk

Yesterday we had a brunchfast that relied pretty heavily on the magical chicken egg.   Poached eggs for the wee’uns, Crab Benedict for the more discerning palette and eggnog; so I probably shouldn’t be surprised that I awoke at 4 am thinking about the dream I had about eggs.  Odd things my subconscious plays with in dreamland.

Consider your basic egg.  Nicely packaged, a comfortable incubator (at least for the mom) bringing forth a new generation of bird that can produce more eggs, be edible in its adult form, or provide hours of entertainment and appreciation with their songs or beauty.  All in all, the egg is a wondrous thing.  But I had never looked at it as an expression of society in an eggshell.

Man learned early on that the insides of your basic egg were both edible and nutritious in its natural state.  Then, when Ug learned about fire, it was discovered eggs could be cooked.  I suspect one was accidentally dropped on a hot rock and sunny side up was born.  Since then, eggs have become something of a staple in most societies.  And, as societies become more civilized, so does their treatment of the egg.  No more of this lop off the egg and slurp it down, no that will make you sick; the cholesterol, also a bad thing.

This is where civilized society comes in.  How many have gone to fry up an egg and tossed it because the yolk got broken in the process?  Or boiled and decorated eggs at Easter and ended up tossing some when they got too old?  Eggs are pretty cheap so it isn’t a really big deal — unless you happen to be starving.  But we have, for the most part, gone beyond that point.  We take eggs for granted because there are literally millions, if not billions, of chickens out there just a clucking and a dumping.  We just go merrily along quiche-ing, custard-ing, caking, dressing up our lives with the hard work of hens because it isn’t like they mind being kept in cramped, unsanitary quarters, living on chicken feed so we can use the efforts of their labor to pamper ourselves.

This is juxtaposed to a memory from my childhood.  We would go to the grandparents’ farm on weekends and help out.  This was done so we could get a few good meals while providing my Mom’s parents with much needed assistance in running the farm.  One of my jobs was tending the chicken coop.  I had to collect the eggs, then feed the feathered beasts, and then clean the nests.  I was not allowed to carry the basket of eggs to the house because dropping an egg was something of a minor catastrophe.  The dog liked it but it meant a smaller helping of scrambled eggs for me.  Each and every one of those ovoids were important, just as the chickens themselves were.  Not exactly life or death but they could spell the difference between going to bed with a full tummy or a growling one.

What our civilized society is doing, both on the microcosm and macrocosm level, is that we aren’t taking care of the chickens.  We are gobbling up the eggs, while wasting a great many of them, thinking there will always be more.  We are distancing ourselves from the very things that have brought us to this point.  Our greed blinds us to the workings of nature because we think it will always be there, and if we have this magical paper in our pockets, everything will be fine.

Work in a chicken coop?  Ewwwww, gross!

Only one provable lie?

Media Matters for America

The media says, ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie,” Breitbart said on stage at the Weiner presser. “One, journalist, one, put your reputation on the line here, one provable lie.”

How about a whole list of provable lies, you scum?

BIG FAT LIE:

Breitbart coordinated release of conservative activists’ undercover ACORN videos. On September 10, 2009, conservative activist and videographer James O’Keefe posted an entry to BigGovernment.com in which he revealed that he and fellow activist Hannah Giles had posed as a pimp and prostitute at a Baltimore ACORN Housing office and secretly filmed their meetings with ACORN staffers. As O’Keefe wrote, their intention was to take “advantage of ACORN’s regard for thug criminality by posing the most ridiculous criminal scenario we could think of and seeing if they would comply — which they did without hesitation,” the “scenario” being the “trafficking of young helpless girls and tax evasion.”

Except they didn’t.  Upon viewing the un-edited videos, it was revealed that the ACORN workers did nothing wrong or illegal.  As it turns out, O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart are the liars in the ACORN case.

That’s one.

BIG FAT LIE:

Breitbart eagerly embraced and promoted [Jim] Hoft’s false attacks on [Kevin] Jennings.  Writing for the website Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft has authored a series of factually dubious attacks on Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings and the organization Jennings founded and previously led, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Hoft’s Jennings posts — which he has labeled “Fistgate,” even though many of those allegations have little or nothing to do with the sexual practice of fisting — often draw upon the work of MassResistance, a Massachusetts based anti-gay organization that has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

When you lie down with dogs…expect to get up with provable lies.

That’s two. Continue reading

The Watering Hole: July 16 – Has the oil spill been stopped?

Picture source:Yahoo

BP has announced yesterday that the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon well has been stopped for the first time since the accident.

Video feeds from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico continue to show no leaking oil

Oil firm BP is awaiting test results from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, a day after staunching the flow of oil for the first time since April.

The firm is checking how much pressure the well can withstand while the valves on its new capping device are closed. (read more)

This is, of course, good news. But there is scepticism, too:

We will need to wait another 24 hours or so – and engineers will have to continue monitoring sonar and visual images (both help determine if any oil is leaking from the seafloor), and seismic data (to determine if there are any new leaks below the seafloor) – before engineers can determine how stable the well is. (read full story)

Admiral Allan says (via The Oildrum):

“We’re encouraged by this development, but this isn’t over. Over the next several hours we will continue to collect data and work with the federal science team to analyze this information and perform additional seismic mapping runs in the hopes of gaining a better understanding on the condition of the well bore and options for temporary shut in of the well during a hurricane. It remains likely that we will return to the containment process using this new stacking cap connected to the risers to attempt to collect up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day until the relief well is completed.” (read post)

The video from the oil well shows no obvious spill right now. Yesterday, however, I thought I saw something spilling in the background. My eyesight sucks so don’t take my word for it. If, God forbid, I really saw it, it would mean the entire well is compromised and this would be disastrous.

The relief wells  are generally seen as the sure-fire solution to the oil spill. If, that is, those wells are up to standard.

HOUSTON, July 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a memorandum that problems were identified “in recent weeks” with blowout preventers on BP Plc’s (BP.L: Quote) (BP.N: Quote) relief wells, which are seen as the only proven way to kill the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

In a 29-page memo to Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) dated Monday, Salazar said “performance problems” with the blowout preventers were found when new testing requirements were imposed after the April 20 blowout that preceded the gushing leak. (read full story)

I am not surprised at all. Not at BP’s producing yet another blunder, neither, I must say, at the watchfulness of your government, who found out before yet another blowout preventer failed. There are many voices out there, who claim the government’s response was inadequate. I beg to differ. The Obama administration made sure there were live cams down there, so the claims “only” 1’000 barrels/day flowed from the well were quickly and obviously debunked. The Obama administration insisted on two relief wells being drilled, so there was a second shot, if the first failed to hit target. The Obama administration has delayed the testing of the new cap, because increasing the pressure was a dangerous proposition and needed to be done in the best possible way, not hurriedly. I still believe this is not over yet and I still believe this catastrophe is mostly unmanageable by us humans who caused it. But everybody who thinks the government should do more ought to sit back, think and go back in time only three years. And then honestly assess, what the Bush administration would have done.

Never mind my lengthy post, this is still our open thread so feel free to comment on this or on anything else  on your mind.

The Watering Hole: June 8 – Incumbent (tea)bagging

Here is a new Gallup poll, which supports what I thought for a while now. People are fed up with Washington’s elites. Incumbent Congressmen and -women are having a harder time to retain their seats as ever. Republican voters are obviously more fired up than Democrats, but Democratic members of Congress need to watch out, too.

Source: Gallup

Electing Barack Obama as President, was surely a first and very powerful sign of this sentiment of discontent. People are still fed-up with the ways of Washington, the lobbying and the arrogant sense of entitlement of the political class. This is not different over here in Europe, where outsiders from the left and right increasingly gain votes.

This should tell your President it is time to take off the kid gloves. He has the right concepts, but he condones the wheeling and dealing still and never got rid of that idea of bi-partisanship. After all, it takes two to tango and the Republicans are not dancing. This weakens his Presidency as much as his consideration for the Blue Dog Democrats who’d just need a good and healthy kick in the butt. The numbers above indicate that the tea party movement has already gone a long way to voice the outrage at politicians on their side, satisfying their voters there is an alternative, while Democrats are still more wary. In the end those who will have made their positions unmistakably clear will be favoured. It is not a matter of telling people how stupid, racist and nasty teabaggers are, this ultimately puts one in a defending position. While obsessing about the other’s behaviour one misses to point out what positives are on offer as an alternative. Leaving the stage to an opponent is not a good idea at all. The media are reporting on the tea party movement extensively, because those are voicing their opinions shrilly enough to make a good story. No need to stoop to this level but a strong message reasoned loud and clear should be heard, too. And it is needed to rally the voters. If voters are not convinced by the party of their choice they tend to stay away from the polls which is nearly as devastating as if they were voting for the opponent.

And for Barack Obama that means confronting the old-school politicians in his own party as well as in the other. I perfectly understand that cleaning up the Bush spill is overwhelmingly hard, even more so when you are dealing with obstructionism from both sides in Congress and from special interests, too. But can someone please shake your President a bit, he needs to wake up and fight now.

This is our open thread. If I can speak my mind you can, too.