Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Bedbugs and Bread Bags
Sometimes I think us East Coasters are a little sort-changed when it comes to the SOTU speech and the rebuttals—it’s late by the time all the coverage is done. I have to get up for my paying gig the next day, and I usually have to get to bed before I’ve been able to properly ruminate on the President’s speech, let alone the rebuttal. Especially not if there are five rebuttals.
What is a blogger to make of five rebuttals from the opposition party? Given that there’s an “official” GOP response, I have to guess that the “takes” from different “rebuttals” have to be taken individually, on their own merits, and not view them cumulatively. I mean—would that be fair—five against one? (Well, yeah. I did think Obama did a heckuva job. Easily worth about five of those other speeches.)
See, I’m not what you’d call a pro, like Ron “No ‘I’ in Leadership, well, except that one” Fournier. And the benefit of blogging for seven years is that my regulars pretty much know where I stand on the major points President Obama brought up (raising the minimum wage—for it, equal pay for women—for it, addressing climate change—for it, land wars in the middle east—against’em), so I just feel like a point by point of the SOTU itself is pointless. In general, he looked more at home giving the speech this year and his zinger about winning two elections himself took some of that expectation that Dems losing the midterms overall would leave him “checked out” and lame-ducking it until January 2017 away. He’s still “all in” as far as I can tell. But that’s just my opinion.
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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/21/15 at 09:23 PM
Comments (3) •
Friday, August 08, 2014
Rev. Rick Wiles Welcomes Ebola - God’s Gift To America
The deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in west Africa has the world’s attention. The American Center for Disease Control recently declared that the current crisis is “unprecedented,” and, yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO), held an emergency meeting and declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is “an international public health emergency.”
Not too many people on the planet are celebrating the Ebola outbreak . . . but then Reverend Rick Wiles is not like everyone else . . .
From his roost at “Trunews” radio, Wiles foretold:
This Ebola epidemic could become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography, and abortion.
An interesting take, to say the least, on how politically selective viruses can be but then Rev. Wiles tells us just how to protect ourselves and our loved ones:
If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.
Admittedly, some less extreme variations on that pitch can be found in churches throughout the land, but, Rev. Wiles is a multi-faceted prophet and, like others of his generation of doomsayers, has discovered the utility of enhancing his prophecy with a liberal dollop of partisan politics.
For example, the previous day, he shared these divinely-inspired insights on how President Obama could exploit the Ebola epidemic to grow the government and force Americans to be inoculated with a vaccine:
Obama would claim executive powers to mandate that every human being in the United States be vaccinated. They could use the panic to stampede hundreds of millions of people in this country to be vaccinated, in fact billions worldwide, they could stampede the world to receive to (sic) a vaccine against a deadly virus and nobody knows what is in the vaccine.
Which strikes me as peculiarly similar to the way in which Rev. Wiles “uses the panic” to “mandate that every human being in the United States” “make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you.”
Wiles would be easy to dismiss as just another self-educated End Times prophet with his own media operation. But a look at his guest book is pretty chilling. Evidently, quite a few Republican members, and former members, of Congress find it expedient to visit with Rev. Wiles, from time to time, for a convo on his latest conspiracy theory.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/08/14 at 11:16 AM
Monday, March 24, 2014
Enjoying My Hobby in Your Lobby
It’s some kind of crying shame that I haven’t addressed the Hobby Lobby case when I am supposed to be a pro-reproductive rights feminist over here. I don’t know where my head is at. But when I was buying yarn to crochet a cozy for a diapraghm case, I had a kind of epiphany that really only comes when you’ve been sniffing the Modge-Podge for a while—
Look. I think we can agree that an employment contract is not a one-way street. It never was meant to be. So, if Hobby Lobby believes it is totally in the right to make decisions regarding the reproductive health and maintenance of it’s employees, in other words, making those employees’ private business their store business, then it’s only fair that the employees should be able to bring their private business right into the public business.
That’s right, Hobby Lobby. If you all think you have a right to dictate the methods your employees use for their bedroom or kitchen floor or whatever activities, those employees should feel comfortable enjoying those activities in your store. I don’t mean on the clock. Off-the clock, of course, since your company has decided to also be the boss of all off-the-clock funtimes. But let’s get this clear—you wanna make the rules?
You should get to make the rules about stuff happening on the premises of your store. Sexy funtimes don’t happen in your store. Until you made it about you. Now I think employees should get to use the break room, or even the return desk, to do what they like—because you guys decided their business was your business. So why shouldn’t your business be where they can do their business?
Of course—no one would probably want to actually screw in your store. Not because pony beads and potholder looms aren’t fucking erotic as hell, but because that is not what your store is for. Your store is for serving your customers, who for the most part don’t give a good goddamn what your employees do so long as they don’t screw up an order and give them exact change. Why don’t you try and be at least as tolerant as your customers? And recognize that your employees are human beings with bodies, and that the female bodies deserve to be treated by the people who have to live in them—and that isn’t you, Hobby Lobby execs.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/24/14 at 11:14 PM
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Is There a Doctor In The House?
Suppose I’m an average American . . . I’m not exactly “low-info” or even politically apathetic, I’m just pretty busy having a life. I’ve got kids, a dog, a job and, now, a tetchy water heater that probably needs replacing. I just don’t have the bandwidth to turn over every rock in the political landscape and inventory the slugs living under them. I live in America the Exceptional so I take some things on faith.
For too long, now, I hear way too much about Obamacare and how it’s going to save or destroy the country and none of it makes a whole lot of sense. And since I have “real” health insurance for my family, through my job, I don’t really need to think about it. Right? I wouldn’t mind paying less for my share but it’s just way too risky to switch insurance when you have it.
So. This morning, on the way to work, I hear that some big organization for doctors has taken a case to the Supreme Court for an emergency hold on the Obamacare roll-out. That gets my attention—this isn’t crazy politicians with an ax to grind but real doctors. And doctors are smart and professional and they know what’s going on in the medical world. This sounds serious if the doctors are going all the way to the Supreme Court to stop Obamacare . . .
* * *
OK. I read that, too. And I’m retired so I have lots of time to not take things “on faith” in 21st century America. The downside of that is that I am sometimes tempted to march off a cliff into the sea and never look back.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 01/07/14 at 12:22 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wait! I Said Coup! COUP!!
Mr C. W. Cooke [with an “e,” if you please] is a young British gent who has come to America to seek his fortune telling Americans how to do American better. He does this important work in the pages of National Review and via occasional guest appearances on conservative thought leadership outlets such as Fox News, The Blaze and The Washington Times.
Now, aside from the fact that Mr Cooke, at 30 years old, has been in this country for only a grand total of two years, he is an Oxonian [British for a graduate of Oxford University] who has spent considerable hours swotting away [as they say] at Modern History and Politics.
So. That makes him a very smart fellow indeed who has found his niche lecturing Americans on free speech, the Second Amendment and American Exceptionalism. Obviously, young Mr Cooke is hankering to be an exceptional American himself.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/21/13 at 05:44 PM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Here There Be Trolls
Congressional Republicans—they are different, you know? Going back to the Truman Administration at least (no, actually, longer than that), pols have thought it might be kind of nice for Americans to have some kind of affordable access to medical coverage so they didn’t die of easily treatable maladies. It was just this thing, you know? We thought our fellow citizens were worthwhile human beings and that maybe they shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being and not being dead.
Maybe not everyone got the message that our fellow citizens are worthwhile human beings who shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being. What strikes me as exceptionally tasteless, though, are the folks who have decided that the decades-long work to cover most Americans’ health care was a source of amusement. Like the goofy galoot pictured above, who himself follows in the vein of Asclepius.
Well, sort of. He was a doctor, but somewhere along the way, he decided that science was Satan, and I guess the whole “taking care of the sick and suffering” thing became hilarious. You know he doesn’t really care because this is how he talks about Obamacare during an EPA hearing (I know, right? Like is global warming even a thing? So boring!):
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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/14/13 at 08:14 PM
Monday, October 28, 2013
Revenge of the Kludgeocrats
So. It’s been awhile, about 3 years now, so it’s understandable that some of us may have already forgotten our bitter disappointment when the Affordable Care Act morphed, before our eyes, from a brave new universal healthcare plan, that would finally bring the US in line with the rest of the industrialized world, to a neoliberal Frankenstein’s monster designed to lead New Deal liberals and Reagan conservatives to a great post-partisan Kumbaya moment.
As we know, ACA barely made it, thanks only to a Democratic super-majority, without a single Republican vote. And the result is a healthcare law that left liberals and conservatives both holding their noses over a law that hardly anyone approves of in its current form.
By the time, conservative-bait and liberal dreams were all present and accounted for, ACA had turned into a Rube Goldberg model of healthcare policy.
One of the interesting bits of ACA history is that it is based, in large part, on a 1989 Heritage Foundation blueprint of the conservative alternative to single-payer healthcare along the lines of Medicare.
At that time, Republicans were not fond, at all, of the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act which requires any hospital participating in Medicare (i.e., most, if not all) to provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, underwritten in large part, by the federal government. Republicans hailed the Heritage Foundation plan, a market-based approach dependent on individual responsibility, much more to their liking.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/28/13 at 10:44 AM
Thursday, October 24, 2013
And things were said and tears were shed, People
The above video is of Rep. Pete Sessions of TX, who was supposedly the person who said he could not stand to look at President Obama at some point in a White House meeting. And I don’t even know if it is true. I won’t pretend I know. Let’s just call him the Schroedinger’s Racist, and posit that unless the White House meeting in question was actually recorded, we simply can not infer from the available data whether he actually expressed the opinion that he could not stand the President and will not know until that event can be observed.
Some people might allege that based upon a priori data, we can reasonably speculate that Pete Sessions is in fact just the sort of person who might have made a disrespectful remark regarding the President. Others might state that the authoritative denial of the White House spokespeople negates the likelihood that he said that thing—but reasonable people might also weigh the possibility that the remark exists as an inadmissible anecdote—not on the record, but having been heard by someone, just not in a fashion readily reproducible.
In other words, he may have said it, and have had it been officially unsaid. In fact, it may have been very necessary to do so, because in order for the aforementioned White House meeting to have been in effect, the actual authority of the holder of the office that the White House represents would have to be validated. The failure to recognize that authority would tend to corrupt the resulting exchange of the conversation.
And we have no particular reason to believe that the conversation was corrupted, do we?
I leave that logical exercise for the reader to determine on his/her/their own.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/24/13 at 10:44 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2013
It’s His Party: He Can Cry if He Wants To
The final (for now) congressional vote on ending the government shutdown and raising the debt limit finally happened, and here are our totals:
The Senate voted 81 to 18 Wednesday night to reopen the federal government and raise the nation’s borrowing limit, hours before the Treasury Department faced the possibility of being unable to pay all of America’s bills for the first time in modern history.
The House followed suit, voting 285-144, to end the latest damaging battle of divided government in a polarized Congress.
I wil probably have a lot more to say about this later, but for now, keep in mind that there were 18 GOP Senators and 144 GOP House members (oh, yes, they were all GOP members), who for some reason thought not raising the debt ceiling would be fine with them. Among the “Nays” were usual suspects for the 2016 GOP presidential primaries—Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul—even Paul Ryan.
That’s kind of a disgrace, isn’t it? In a few years, will they be able to defend that? Will they maintain that this was a symbolic vote since they didn’t doubt in the least that the votes to pass were there? I guess we will see how that flies.
But speaking of whether or not the votes were there, I guess Boehner was not accurate when he previously said that the votes to pass a clean CR weren’t there. It’s possible he only thought he could get them if his members were under the debt limit gun, so to speak. But when you consider the last 16 days, and $24 billion lost in the economy, it just doesn’t seem like this was all that productive. does it?
This also takes us back to the dilemma from the beginning of the year—Boehner might really have only 80-odd reliable votes in his caucus, and Nancy Pelosi has pretty much the Democratic side. He’s a pretty weak speaker to begin with, and with yet another violation of the Hastert rule, once again, his Speakership may be in peril. But once again—who wants it? If Speaker Boehner looks like a man who drinks, he also looks to me like a man with reasons.
With an update since I posted at Strangely Blogged:
Which, when I composed all this last night, was a bit contigent upon more GOP members actually minding, but as of today, his Facebook page blowing up with dolchstoss imagery notwithstanding, it looks like the teafolk have electedto be cool. I deeply wonder if this is because Drunk Uncle John promises them Christmas, lets them stay up past their bedtimes, and will allow them to do this thing all over again. Unlike the GOP Senators, who are poopyheads.
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/17/13 at 07:55 PM
Saturday, October 12, 2013
No, Wait, Wait—Everyone Actually *LOVES* Ted Cruz!!
It’s true! Because wouldn’t you know it, the straw poll at the 2013 Values Voters’ Summit had him as the big winner, should he be thinking about a White House run in 2016 (and you know he is thinking about it dontcha?). And this was after he said some of the most gee-gosh-darn things, too.
You know what? On second thought, maybe it’s because he has said the most gee-gosh-darn things. You know, like joking that the president was going to disappear him and that hecklers were probably paid OFA shills. Because obviously. Nothing succeeds like flaming paranoia. (Unless you are appealing to the fringe, in which case paranoia is best known as “fitting in”.) And amongst the values voters, that enlightened bastion of Godwinning for Goobers, Homophobia for Herp-Derps, and Bible-Banging for Bigots, he actually has a crowd in which he doesn’t stand out. Good going, Ted.
Now, you might have gotten a different impression from more old-school Republican politicians like NY Rep. Peter King (who is a likely contender against Cruz should there even be a 2016 GOP primary with debates an’ all that). He doesn’t like what Cruz is laying down even a little, because by doom saying against Obamacare he kind of is making it look like a quite a reasonable system by comparison of his fantasy-world (inherited from the Sr. Cruz, because the Rev. does believe in death panels) with the affordable care reality. And for what it’s worth, many Democrats find themselves in the odd position of agreeing with Rep. King, because they, too, think Cruz has done quite a lot for making the ACA popular.
So there you go. Honestly, I think I am beginning to have a kind of hate-love thing for him. He could be my new Santorum. Anything is possible.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/12/13 at 11:59 PM
Friday, October 04, 2013
Sunt Lacrimae Rerum
Call me the eternal optimist, but there’s a little part of me that thinks we might just get somewhere with this discharge petition thing, largely because I’ve lost the last bit of faith or patience I’ve had for the Squeaker of the House. Yes, there is the possibility that this kind of move will cause him to play “harder ball” over the debt ceiling—
And I find myself fresh out of fucks. He’s at this point promised Christmas to his Tea Party caucus, implied he would not permit a debt default regardless, but still wants to play games with both the normal functioning of the government and debt ceiling talks while bellowing that this is not “some damn game”.
Well, of course it’s not some damn game. So he might as well stop playing, because as Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell have helpfully and inadvertantly informed us, the White House is at least being privately as well as publically consistent in their message. Boehner can’t even keep his public face on straight. If you don’t have the cards, at some point you have to fold or show, to borrow a gaming metaphor. And then everyone will know.
And yes, there is the possibility that Boehner will lose his Speakership over dealing fairly and in a bipartisan way—and once again, I am out of fucks. He can end doing something correct, or he can end looking for “no disrespect” from the disrespectful Tea Party monster that both got him his speakership, but brought him to this ugly impasse. It can be argued that he might be replaced with someone worse—I would respond that once he became so hollow inside that the arm of freshman Senator Ted Cruz conveniently fit inside and made his mouth work, I no longer thought worse was necessarily probable. I think the ad nicely delivers the blame and points in the direction of what is truly embarassing about this situation. It’s either Boehner’s call what he does about it, or he’s about as weak in that position as we already guessed.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged. )
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/04/13 at 04:27 PM
Monday, September 30, 2013
A Piece of Unsolicited Advice from the Constituency
Meet Rep. John Abney Culberson (R-Loon Star State) who is so tickled over the prospects of his beloved TEA Party Caucus shutting down the government that he allowed the testosterone to totally go to his head and uttered these ill-chosen words as he exited Saturday’s GOP House caucus meeting:
It’s like 9/11. Let’s roll!
It’s not a thing, it’s NOTHING like 9/11, you ignorant chucklehead.
Now, in deference to my fellow bloggers here at RumpRoast, I won’t take up the space here that it would take to describe my feelings of abject disgust over the sheer dick-headed crass, crapitude that is embodied in that unfortunate false equivalence of real heroes with the whiny losers [both literal and figurative] throwing a prolonged tantrum in our nation’s capitol. The only thing they might have in common with those 9/11 heroes is that they already know they are dead so they might as well destroy the whole shebang as they go down.
Suffice it to say I think Culberson is a hare-brained cracker who could only get elected in Texas.
Which brings me to my second point: Republican sane people—WAKE UP! These asshats are about to torpedo your party once and for all. They represent 13% of the American electorate, the certifiable portion, but they are convinced that they represent a huge majority and they are going to take you down.
Meathead Culberson will survive, though, because he hails from a firmly gerry-rigged district. But that is certainly not the case for all of you, as reported so well in Down With Tyranny today:
There are at least 32 Republicans who, unlike Culberson, can’t win reelection without independent voters. And, unlike Republicans, independent voters do not back this government shut down.
You folks are on that plane with Culberson. You know who you are. You still have time to keep him away from the cockpit and put him in a straightjacket.
Oh, and Speaker Boehner? you might consider manning up at the eleventh hour and putting a clean CR to a vote. If you do, it will pass. The nut-jobs in your party will not be pleased, They might even take away your gavel. But, at least you’ll be able to look the man in the mirror in the eye, tomorrow.
Posted by Bette Noir on 09/30/13 at 09:41 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Green Eggs and Spam With a Side of Chumpbait
Well, the P.T. Barnum of the US Senate let his freak flag fly last night in a pre-season campaign talkathon and damage-control session. Cruzilla had maneuvered himself into hot water with a large majority of the sane inhabitants of the Free World and had to prove that he was not just all . . . well, talk.
So it is that the Gentleman From Texas took himself off to Harry Reid and asked for permission to stage a faux-filibuster in the US Senate during off hours. Of course, Harry’s nobody’s fool and figured if this troublemaker wants an audience while making an even greater ass of himself, well, there aren’t any Senate rules against that as long as he clears off in time for a Wednesday test-vote that should spank him good and proper.
Others have covered the details of Cruz’s overnight “program” in detail. Suffice it to say that it included little homilies about Neville Chamberlain appeasing Nazis—a conservative staple, introduced during the first 30 minutes—the ever-inspiring story of Cruz Sr’s immigrant dish-washing days, a weird riff on White Castle, a Rand Paul walk-on, and a brief—now famous—interlude in which Ted Cruz, family man, read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham for his daughters’ bed-time story.
Cruz may have graduated from Princeton and Harvard, but that doesn’t mean that he “gets” Green Eggs and Ham. Cruz, of course, tied the story into Obamacare, explaining how Americans “do not like it in a box, with a fox, on a train, etc” proving to the wonderment of the pre-school set that he completely missed the point of the story which is “try it, you might like it.”
Oh well, I guess his brain is just too crammed with Ivy League stuff [and none of that “Lesser Ivy League” stuff, either.]
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/25/13 at 09:43 AM
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Cast Your Vote for Worst Hyperbolic Comparison Right Here at RUMPROAST!
In the last few days some absurdly over the top and hilarious (or disgusting depending on your point of view) comparisons have been made. Here’s a straw poll to decide which one is the most craptastic:
1. Aptly named Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) compares efforts by himself and other Republican Congresspeeps to defund Obamacare to the actions of Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King. Because fighting to deny affordable health care for people is exactly the same as fighting to secure civil rights and freedom for other people.
2. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) compares the Obamacare defunders to Revolutionary War soldiers. He admits that he’s fighting a losing battle on the defunding front but manages to massage his comparison so that a small heroic group of Revolutionaries rallied the masses who apparently were just fine with British oppression up to then. Bonus points for re-writing history!
3. And last but by no means least, Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG goes all the way there and compares public anger at the large AIG bonuses paid out after the company crashed itself and most of the economy to lynchings of black people in the South. Yes. Actual quote: “The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.” I can’t even . . . well, ‘nuff said.
Cast your votes in comments but myself, I gotta go with door #3.
Posted by marindenver on 09/24/13 at 12:20 PM
Saturday, September 21, 2013
All Over Lil’ Ol’ Obamacare, Too
So, I went looking for what I think is the banner thing—the symbol—the geegollysothatswhatdoneitall failure to communicate that we have here. And I came across this:
Now, that voiceover is the Once and Future Rex Ronaldus Magnus, telling all us heathens about how the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have stood for no Medicare, no way, no how. You know, the Medicare that has become so much a way of doing things in this country that the last Republican president actually expanded the pharmaceutical coverage under it and the last Republican candidate for president used a fear that President Obama might cut Medicare as one of his biggest scare lines. Medicare, the thing that some naïve Tea Folk might hope the government keeps its hand the hell off of.
After 41 attempts to defund, repeal, or otherwise fool with Obamacare, for crying in the soup, sore loser Republicans, can we please get past the Louie Gohmert fucking line of deliberate ignorance?
Because it is no longer 2009. This question is for Republicans in the House: You somehow got enough people into the House of Representatives to make a go of expressing your sorry-ass displeasure that the private health insurance that many people get through paying lots of money in premiums for, or otherwise work for as part of their employment package, is now extended to less-funded individuals, rather in the way Heritage designed it and Romneycare first enacted it some time ago. You never did get enough senators to repeal it, though. So what gives?
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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 09/21/13 at 07:19 PM