The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 3, 2011: The end of the world averted!

Well, we all get to blame Obama for caving in and agreeing to 98% of Boehner’s demands. Boehner had the guts to destroy the entire world economy if he didn’t get what he wanted, and he succeeded. Obama didn’t want to see the entire globe fall into chaos, so he failed. Huh?

Life goes on, Social Security Checks will go out, the U.S. will keep its coveted AAA rating in the financial markets, for now at least. Seems like Obama achieved his goals, too. Maybe more so than Boehner. Let’s face it, Obama dealt with an enemy that advocated and rejoiced in the notion that it would hurt people. If Obama’s first and most important task is to protect the American People from harm, he succeeded.

But this episode proved, once and for all, that extortion by the rich WORKS! The rich didn’t give up one single tax break. They got 98% of what they wanted. And as long as there is a privleged class, they will continue to extort concessions from the rest of us. That is, until we realize we outnumber them, and that collectively, we have more power than they do.

***

A return to the “good old days.” That’s what the Teabaggers want. But it’s not the good old days of the 1950’s. Its the good old days of the 1850’s…the days of the Wild West.

In the Wild West, everyone was self-reliant. There was little to no government, and the 2nd Amendment Solution settled most disputes. Slavery was still legal, women couldn’t vote and knew their place, either keeping house or working at the brothels. The downtrodden victims of the industrial revolution, working for a pittance in dangerous conditions with no job protections had been left behind in the Eastern cities.

The gold rush, with gold for the picking, lay in the forefront. Vigilante justice ruled the land. (remember how popular the song “Beer for My Horses” was right after 9/11?)

Yes, the Teaparty wants to return us to the days of the idyllic past, the days of the Wild West, of rugged he-men with their 6-shooters, the days before the arrival of the Sheriffs and Marshals, the days where all the women are pretty, doctors made house calls, and wives and kids did everything the man of the house told them to do. The days when you could shoot someone you didn’t take a liking to… or just to prove you were a faster draw then he.

And, what the heck, doesn’t the new movie, “Cowboys and Aliens” prove that a bunch of rugged he-men with Colt 45’s can take on the most sophisticated technologically advanced enemy and kick their ass? Yeah. The Good Old Days. Too bad the Teabaggers don’t realize the Good Old Days were a creation of “liberal” Hollywood!

This is our open thread. What the heck, it’s Hump Day! After the vote on the Debt Ceiling, this day seems quite appropriately named, don’t you think?

Veruca Salt Award — Ginni Thomas!!

Yesterday, I heard that Mrs Clarence Thomas — Ginni to her teabagger friends — had reached out and touched Anita Hill.  Might as well keep it in the family, I always say.  “Zooey,” I thought

Veruca Salt

to myself, “the Veruca Salt Award committee needs to have a meeting.”  The guy sitting next to me on the bus tightened his grip on the handle of his briefcase and averted his gaze, which is the usual indication that I’m thinking aloud.  Again.  But I digress…

It seems that after 20 years, our Ginni felt a burning desire to mend fences, so she got up bright and early on a Saturday morning, called Anita Hill’s office at Brandeis University, and left a chatty message re-introducing herself, and asking Ms Hill to give some thought to her offer of an explanation and an apology.

Waitaminute, what!?  I can see the wheels turning.  You’re thinking, “Why so cranky, Z?  Clarence Thomas wants to apologize for putting Ms Hill through all that crap…”  No, no, no, this is the Veruca Salt Award, remember? Mrs Thomas — Ginni to her bar friends — was asking Ms Hill to give her and husband an apology.  The ‘offer’ was to allow Ms Hill to apologize to the Thomases.

I know, right?  That chin dropping to your chest is one of the best indicators of an oncoming Veruca Salt Award.

Here’s the text of the message Ginni confirms she left on Ms Hill’s answering machine:

Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.

First, I wonder how long Ms Hill laughed after hearing that message — and how wide was her satisfied grin while turning it over to the FBI?  Wish I could have seen that.  Heh.

Second, can you picture the ‘WTF?’ look on Clarence Thomas’ face when he heard that?  I mean seriously, a whole generation who weren’t around back then, having used the Google, are now thinking, “He said what about his Coke can!??  OMFG!  LOLz!!”  Way to go Gin-ster.

 

Gee thanks, Ginni

 

Is this some sort of diabolical revenge-taking by our Ginni on her husband for some unknown (to us anyway) offense?  Is Ginni spending too much time with vermouth and olive?  Or, is Ginni a ready-for-The Jerry Springer Show prima donna whose teabagger bravado has finally torn down the wall between prudence and entitlement?  Yeah, I’m liking that last one.

Finally, did you catch our Ginni’s phrasing on the message?  She wants an explanation/apology about what Ms Hill “did with [her] husband.”  Not ‘to’ her husband, but “with” him.  What’s up with that?  Apparently, our Ginni thinks Ms Hill was an active and/or willing participant in her husband’s disgusting behavior — probably because that’s what her hubbie told her.  I wonder if Ginni or Clarence can spell D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L?

It’s been a while since our last presentation ceremony, but the vote in the committee meeting was unanimous that Ginni deserved it.  So I was a little hungover this morning, and I wasn’t sure where the award had landed after Hillary Clinton threw it at my head (and thank goodness Hank Paulson didn’t show up for his awards ceremony), but after digging around a bit, I found it under a pile of empty Doritos bags, Red Bull cans, and Mardi Gras beads.  Scrape off the barnacles, give it a spit shine, and we’re good to go!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO GINNI THOMAS
FOR WINNING THE VERUCA SALT AWARD!!

This Is Worth Reading…

I came across this over at the Huffington Post this afternoon… James Zogby’s thoughts on Republicans’ behavior of late, and more specifically, around the debate and passage of the Health Care bill. It’s disturbing, to say the least.

Before dashing off to celebrate a hard fought victory in achieving health care reform, it is important to reflect on a deeply disturbing aspect of the debate that I believe spells danger ahead.

A Republican talking point repeated ad nauseam during yesterday’s debate pounded on the theme that they, and they alone, had the right to speak for “the will of the American people.” This took different forms: “the American people have spoken,” or “you (Democrats) are ignoring/imposing your views on the American people” or “the American people have sent a message,” etc. All making the same point — that the GOP speaks for the American people.

I’ve noticed the same tone in the comments of many, many Republicans, self-identified conservatives, and Tea Partiers the last few months… that they, and only they, are Real Americans. From Sarah Palin’s constant comments about what she considered the “pro-America” areas of the country to be, right through endless talk about Obama’s place of birth and whether or not he was even qualified to run for office, let alone hold it, up to Republican hyperbole during the debate over the healthcare bill.

Zogby goes on to say:

The idea that the minority party represents the “will of the people” (not some of the people, but “the people”) is the seedling of a totalitarian mindset. In this mindset — democracy doesn’t matter, ideas are not to be discussed, and opposing views are not to respected. What matters is that they alone have truth, they alone are metaphysically connected to the “mind of the people” can interpret their will, and because they have truth and speak for the people, others represent a threat and must be silenced and stopped.

I can only agree with Mr. Zogby on this. There is an increasingly ominous tone to the comments so many Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, and anyone else who identifies with other side of our political spectrum are making.

We need to keep a watchful eye on this.

Why it’s not possible to reason with the Right

Author John Avlon (Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America) reports on a truly mind-boggling survey of Republican voters just released by Harris.

  • 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
  • Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”
  • The belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” is widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come.

  • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
  • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
  • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”

OK, you have to admit, that’s even crazier and scarier than you imagined. Not just that two-thirds of Republicans believe the President is a “socialist,” but that 40% of all Americans agree.

Just don’t ask them for a definition of “socialist.” Avlon makes a good argument that responsibility for this idiocy can be laid at the feet of the media, but judging from the morons selecting schoolbooks in Texas, the problem is far more deeply rooted than that. As Avlon writes:

The poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, also clearly shows that education is a barrier to extremism. Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It’s a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: “Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.”

So now what? How is it possible to reverse an accelerating downward slide into rigid ignorance?

Drinkin’ the purple kool-aid

“Kill the bill!  Kill the bill!!”

Whatever’s in the bill, they’re against it.  They can’t point out the terrible things in the bill — euthanasia, rationing, government take over, etc — but DAMMIT they are against it!

Daily Kos

UPDATE:  Disgusting teabaggers shout the word “nigger” at black members of Congress.  What does a congressman’s ethnicity have to do with the health care reform issue?  I’m sure the teabaggers can explain that as well as they explain why they don’t like the HCR bill.

Californians Face 39% Rate Hike for Health Insurance

HT – TPM

Anthem Blue Cross increased its health insurance premiums in the Golden State by 39%.

Now that the Republicans in the Senate have their 41st vote, guarenteeing successful filibusters on any attempt at health care reform, insurance companies are quick to make the most of their captive customers.

One couple, this author knows, will see their premiums increase by $450 per month. The only way they can afford the extra premiums is to declare bankruptcy to wipe out their other debts and lose their home of 25+ years. Since one of the pair has a chronic, debilitating condition, they are unable to purchase health insurance on the open market.

On the other hand, the upper eschelon of Wellpoint, Anthem Blue Cross’ parent company, do quite well.

I guess when you’re making nearly $10,000,000 a year, an extra $5,000 for health insurance doesn’t seem like much. But when you’re making $60,000 and your premiums are already 20% of your annual income, an extra $5,000 is crippling.

This, then, is the system that the Teabaggers were willing to seceed from the Union to protect. One can only wonder how many Teabaggers in California are going to face this latest premium hike with the glee of a child opening presents on Christmas morning.

Your thoughts are welcome.