Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decade of What?

Yesterday, there was lots of discussion on the airwaves and in newspapers on what to call the Decade. Brother Dan ran across a San Francisco Chronicle article entitled “Grim year ends the Decade of Fear.” That's funny. The decade doesn't end on December 31 st , 2009. It ends December 31 st , 2010! So, it's not too late. We have another year, so let's think about this a little more. Let's see...
We started the decade with a Supreme Court decision that essentially stopped democracy; it stopped the vote count in Florida and handed G. W. Bush the presidency. The chad vote. A panel of nine judges, we learned, have more votes than the citizens of entire state of Florida. But, that was appropriate according to Karl Rove, Bush's Brain , who essentially sold about half of the people, give or take 500 votes, in this country on Bush's electability. But, none of that bothered the “Christian Vote.” They celebrated in the streets that their man was elected. It was God's will! And, of course and as expected, G. W. immediately pushed through a tax cut for the rich “to appropriately distribute the government $1 Trillion surplus back” to the “people” that, by the way, make a lot more money than you and I in the lower 97% income class (er, another by the way in case you need help with math – that means the upper 3% got the tax break). That was the “democratic” thing to do to make government small by putting it in debt. How's that for fairness? Did you like that?
Then there was 9/11. Karl Rove, etal., sold us on the idea that 9/11 was the “War on Terror” instead of the act of a bunch of criminals. We invaded Afghanistan and Bin Laden went into hiding and G. W. said, “I don't care where he's at. I don't keep track of him.” The “War on Terror” idea, however, became a campaign to sell us on WMD and how evil Sadam Hussein was, though he was only a minor dictator of a country that was already devastated by ten years of sanctions, so we went off to kill Sadam, G. W.'s personal devil. Never-the-less, a lot of hypothetical intelligence convinced us to invade Iraq. Sadam was a boogeyman. And, our smart bombs killed several hundred thousand innocent Iraqis. In the meantime, with Iraq gone, Iran became the most powerful nation in the region. That was enough, however, for G. W. to stand on an aircraft carrier and shout, “Mission Accomplished.” G. W.'s lawyers wrote the torture memo and pushed through the Patriot Act that allowed him and his thugs to spy on American civilians without judicial oversight; another chink fell out of democracy that day. Then, pictures of Abu Ghraib torture surfaced and we sent an Army Private, Lynnde England, to jail... but the torture continued, we now know, in spite of jailing England. Hmm, maybe she was innocent? What the hell, she probably did something wrong!
Then Alan Greenspan watched while the housing bubble grew because he believed “that bankers, traders and financial barons would self regulate themselves.” Well, he said he was sorry in congressional testimony – after the economy fell apart, of course, and that makes it all better. But, right in the middle of that, while everyone was “feeling prosperity,” G. W. ran for reelection – AND WON! Man, that Karl Rove is some kind'a bullshitter. He's good.
As if we hadn't had enough, the economy melts down into a Great Recession not experienced since the Great Depression. All of the right-wing, free-market, libertarians on CNBC said, “let 'er melt. That's what a free market means,” even though a complete melt-down would, LITERALLY, kill America. So, Paulson and Bush hands over billions of tax payer money to banks and AIG with no strings attached. Of course, the banks and AIG used the money for bonuses.
Glenn Beck rises to the top of right-wing gossips and rumor mongers, and then Sarah Palin comes along. And, I guess the thing that is most astonishing, they have a following. Palin writes a book that doesn't pass even basic facts-tests, let alone having any resemblance to truth or common sense – and it sells millions of copies! And, Dick Cheney is still preaching the “Dark Side” of torture. People are still eating this stuff up.
There's more! Minnesota voters reelect Michele Bachmann! John Boehner gets 100 lobbyist together to discuss how to defeat financial regulation. “Death Panels” allegation is chosen as “Lie of the Year.” On and on. Dear God, is there no end to bullshit?
So, does the name “Decade of Fear” describe this decade? Nah. I'd say it's closer to The Decade of Idiots. I don't believe we can do anything radical enough in the coming year to fix the past nine, so we're probably stuck with that. We may not be able to fix the past nine years in fifty years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Liar of the Year and the Runner Up

The national vote on the Lie of the Year is in. Sarah Palin's “Death Panels” chosen by Politifacts.org and its readers, with Glenn Beck coming in second. I guess that means that Sarah Palin is the liar of the year and Glenn Beck is the runner up. I can't imagine better liars to give those awards to.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slim-Ball Lieberman

I learned tonight that a half pitcher of Bud Lite equals 2 1/2 mugs and that's the perfect quantity to get on a good mad. I've been pissed all day, but it took the Bud Lite to get to a point to vent; to tell you what I think. I can't believe and I can't describe how disappointed I am that Joe Lieberman is holding the Senate Health Care Bill hostage. That mealy-mouthed, turncoat, slim-ball son of a bitch.

I've been told all my life not to curse, as much good as it's done to tell me. Use “another” word, they said. There's always another word that's just as appropriate, they said, so use it instead. But, sometimes there are no other words that fits the circumstances. I know, personally, people, family and friends, who can't afford health insurance. They sweep your goddamned floors, serve your goddamned meals, bring your goddamned drinks to your tables, sweep your goddamned streets and carry off your goddamned garbage. There are forty million of them. Their children are hungry... IN AMERICA! And the best you can do for them is force them to buy insurance from a goddamned insurance company that they don't want to buy from or can't afford to buy from? You bastard.

Howard Dean is right. The current Health Care Bill, without the public option or without the Medicare expansion, isn't worth the paper it's written on. It's just another boon for the insurance companies. Any law that “requires” a person to buy a product from a company or be fined by the government is unconstitutional. You can't force me, or anyone, to do that. You just try to make me buy it. I'll take your ass all the way to the Supreme Court, and even if that court demands I pay, I'll give them the finger too.

So, I have a message for you, slim-ball Lieberman. If I ever meet you on the street, I'm going to smash your effing face.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Meg Whitman - The Same Old GOP Line

...along with the hook and sinker for the American, Californian sucker. She has begun her run for Governor of California. Whitman hasn't voted in numerous (any at all?) elections because, “I was focused on raising my family, on my husbands career. We moved many, many times. And it is no excuse...” while all that time she was an executive of major companies, including Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, Disney and eBay. That doesn't sound like “focusing... on my husband's career.” What's his job, anyway? God? But, now, she wants to vote! I find it a little hard to swallow that she was too busy. So do many others, it seems, especially women who scoffed at the “too busy” idea and said they found time to vote despite juggling busy work and family schedules. How much more “busy” could she have been than the average Californian woman when she is chauffeured every where she goes. Did her chauffeur not know the way to the voting booth? How easy could it get? The facts are bubbling to the top of the typical Republican cesspool that say she's full of typical GOP blarney.

In her introduction ad to California voters she claims to bring “new ideas” to “build a New California... for small business, the backbone of California's economy” by “reducing taxes, government and spending.” Does all that sound familiar? It should, because that's exactly what Governor Schwarzenegger has been doing for the past six years. In January 2009, Schwarzenegger was faced with an over $20 billion deficit, but they did not raise taxes. Instead, they cut school programs, mentally challenged children programs, medical aid to the elderly programs, medical care aid to poor children and a dozen other “social” programs that affected the least fortunate in the state. In July 2009, Schwarzenegger was faced with another budget deficit of around $15 billion and once again called on the legislators to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and again they cut social services, otherwise, Governor Schwarzenegger said, “I'll veto the bill.” And, the last I heard, January 2010 will bring even more cuts.

All the while, other “taxes” are being raised in other areas. For example, to ward off bankruptcy, cities and counties have been forced to raise local sales tax. Even voters, faced with county service cuts, are voting to raise county sales tax. Voters, it seems, see the problem clearly. And, Schwarzenegger raised “toll road fees” all over the state which, by the way, are paid by those who can least afford it. State income taxes that might effect those can can most afford it were not raised. It seems to me that the most fortunate simply don't want to pay for their state's well being. Republicans raise taxes; they just don't call it “tax.”

Jerry Brown, her Democrat opponent, get's it. He's said time and again that the thing that makes California a budgetary mess is that for the past 40 years, since Governor Reagan, we voters have been asked to do our legislators' jobs. We've been asked to vote, sometimes twice a year, on propositions that special interest groups have managed to add to ballots and spent huge sums of money to promote that we, the voters, really knew nothing about. Voters are nearly always ignorant of specific spending propositions that, if passed, become law. For example, if a special group wanted to fund a $10 billion overhaul of the state-wide water distribution system from the Joaquin County Delta, southern farmers and privately owned reservoir owners would pay minimum wage to gather signatures to put a proposition on the ballot to force the state to use tax revenue to pay for it. That, in turn, would become law and limit legislators ability to budget that $10 billion for any other, more important, state program. Of course, southern farming corporations and reservoir owners make millions from the law. There have been thousands of propositions of that kind and the end result is that our legislators are hamstrung.

Want a bullet train? Put a proposition on the ballot that forces the state to borrow $20 billion, by issuing a bond, so the state will have to pay off the bond with interest. More deficit. Want to give California's oil companies a monopoly? Put a proposition on the ballot that California's oil “only” come from oil refineries located in California. But, disguise the proposition as a “Green Energy proposition... because out of state, imported oil is bad so the voters believe they are voting for something good. Then, add a sales tax to the gasoline so it is the most expensive gas in the United States because, “we can't use another state's oil.” Oh, I forgot. Also give the oil companies a tax break on every gallon of gas produced in California “because they [the companies] are being limited in their ability to earn a profit,” which, by the way, tops $30 billion per quarter! Wow. If $30 billion profit per quarter isn't enough profit, imagine what “enough” would be.

So, has anything changed in Meg Whitman's message? Nope. Not a thing has changed. It's the same old Republican ideas and the same old hook, line and sinker for suckers.