Second class citizens…

Second class citizens…

On Monday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin (which divided itself by conservative and religious lines), declared that employers who object to contraception as a violation of their deeply held religious beliefs do NOT have to cover their employees, one of the most important points of the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading “Second class citizens…”

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Unless you’re living under a rock (and you’re probably not if you’re reading my stuff), you already know about the blowback from the trade of former POW Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five former residents of Gitmo, Afghan detainees we were preparing to keep indefinitely. As in forever. As in we never ever intend to close Gitmo, so long as That Black Man is President.

That’s precisely what I read right here:

In a tweet Monday morning, Johnson noted that Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) had said “if Obama’s trying to liquidate and close Gitmo through deals to release detainees, that’s illegal too.”

Illegal. Say whut?

You read that right. The GOP think it’s illegal because of this law it appears they passed.

That’s hilarious, considering we’re already in violation of the Geneva Convention. So what law are they talking about? Why, it’s our old friend, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

That’s right, friends. Almost one year ago to the day, by a 59-2 vote, the GOP secured Gitmo and are in a position to keep us from closing this facility because it would look good for the President to bring this chapter to a close.

These same disingenuous bastards will hold up the continued operation of the prison as a failing step in the President’s agenda of change. It must be HIS fault the base is still in operation. It CAN’T be us! We had NOTHING to do with it!

I call BULLSHIT.

Not only did the President talk about this with the GOP in advance of the swap, but three years of negotiations have gone by since the process began. The only ones with egg on their faces here are the GOP who worked to ensure the language got included in the NDAA, which authorizes payment to our troops on the ground.

I can’t do justice to the justifiable indignation, the gut wrenching prose and points Jim Wright has written in his latest Stonekettle Station post, but I can sure boost the signal.

We have just five months left before the 2014 elections and you have an OBLIGATION to do something about these sanctimonious, lying, manipulative bastards.

Show these obstructionist GOP bastards the door.

 

 

It’s all right there, if you want to see…

It’s all right there, if you want to see…

ol·i·gar·chy (noun ˈä-lə-ˌgär-kē, ˈō-; plural: ol·i·gar·chies)
Full Definition of OLIGARCHY:
1 :  government by the few
2 :  a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also:  a group exercising such control [emphasis mine]

On April 9, 2014, this report was released on Princeton University’s website, and it’s shaken up news reports all over the world. It might come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that I’m not shocked at all by the finding. In fact, I’ve been using the term for at least the last several years, to describe in various threads just exactly what our country has become. If you think we’ve somehow escaped notice, think again:

The Telegraph: The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

Defence Pakistan: US is an oligarchy not a democracy, says scientific study

UPI: The US is not a democracy but an oligarchy, study concludes

All of a sudden, this is news. Only it’s not news.

 New York Times: Oligarchy, American Style (11/3/2011)

Mother Jones: How the Oligarchs Took America (12/2/2010)

Robert Reich’s film, Inequality For All, does a spectacular job of tying all the loose ends together to explain what happened to the U.S.A. over the last 30 years. I’ve written a lot about the symptoms in the last year and a half, but nothing connects them half as well as this simple, elegant movie.

Too many people spend their time repeating the talking points without understand the source of the platform. They trust the office without paying attention to the officer. They don’t know how to read between the lines because their education fails to explain that the subtext is just as important as the message. We got where we are today because the Republicans beat the Libertarians in 1980, and the Libertarians took a different path.

You can (and should) go back in this blog and read the articles I’ve posted on the Koch brothers, you can listen to the things Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have to say (because comedy is the best source of truth these days), or you can analyze the political rhetoric that’s starting to hit for each of the Senate and House races this year, but the bottom line is, we have maybe two years to get our act together and do something about the GO(T)P.

They’ve got a lock on two of the four (yes, four) branches of government: The Supreme Court and the House. Without cooperation across the aisles, the Senate is barely holding on. Today, the Senate leans Democratic, but that’s not a given based on the 2014 election analysis.

If the Senate flips back to the GO(T)P, and we put another Republican in the office of President, we can write off our country. The poor will become modern-day serfs and the middle class will join them because that class is a modern myth. The combined branches will finally get to do what they always wanted – rewrite the Constitution with impunity.

The Presidency depends on having enough votes in key states – most of which are undergoing the same sort of voter crap that Florida’s done. We tip one or the other (senate or presidency) in the direction of the GOP, and what little remains of our safety nets will disappear completely. Want some practice at reading between the lines? Try these articles out for size:

Huffington Post: Florida’s 13th District Bellwether Report: Why Obamacare’s Least Of Democrats’ Worries

Christian Science Monitor: Court rules Florida voter purge illegal, but will it stop GOP voting tweaks?

Purge the rolls of Democrats, lean a little in the direction most conservatives think they need to go, or split the vote a little more with the splinter parties (Green or Socialist) and the GOP will have what they want: Total control of the US government. Once that happens, they can rewrite our constitution, revise the rules for who gets to vote. Can’t happen? We have three Supreme Court Justices who are on the edge of retirement, and the guessing game for who will retire first, and who will replace them, is heating up. Have a good look at the Tea Party line and platform and you’ll see the fundamentals of the Neo-Fascists who are presently armed to the teeth, thanks to the NRA.

We can still stop the madness, but it’s getting harder, not easier. I’d hoped the GOP was the party of the Old White Male, but that ignores the younger population who are moving in through the Tea Party. I recognize that the Democrats have issues, but the things they want to support – the Social Safety Net, universal health care, public education – will ALL go away if they lose.  So like I said: We’ve got maybe two years to turn this around. We can’t wait until 2020. This election is important. The next one is critical.

No vast right-wing conspiracies here. Nope.

No vast right-wing conspiracies here. Nope.

And here we are, at the end of the first full week in January. That didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.

Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors,
raised $400 million in 2012

“The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.”

It’s almost as if…as if…

But wait. That can’t be right. Can it?

Well, yeah, it can. And folks are finally starting to notice. It’s about time, after 30 years of Conservative howling about deregulation. 2014 promises to be a nasty, nasty year, if we can’t figure out how to force Corporate America to let our people go.

So here’s a preview. Watch what this year looks like, because with the mid-term elections, we’re still three years away from the real deal. The big question I have right now: How do we get rid of Citizens United so this nonsense stops for good? That’s an excellent question. Here’s what the Huffington Post has to say on the subject:

Well here. Let’s see how the Dark Money likes it when we get all uppity and try to make things better for ourselves. Wait. You mean we can’t? Whut?

Right. Because while corporations are people, my friend, people AREN’T corporations. And that, dear friends, is the sum total of what’s wrong with America right now. You heard it here…well…now, really. I’m just spreading the Word. It’s what I do.

It’s not just me…

It’s not just me…

In case you were wondering. Slate has done the homework this time, and they’re dead on. This is what the year’s going to look like, whether you like it or not. Here’s hoping you’re employed, because if you’re not, it’s going to be a long eleven months.

Obamacare. Obamacare. Obamacare.  The Republican strategy for winning the Senate in 2014 is a single word.

Unemployment Blackmail is just the beginning, folks. Buckle your seat belts. 2014 is gonna be bumpy. All year long.

Unemployment Blackmail

Unemployment Blackmail

ex·tor·tion [ik-stawr-shuhn]
noun
1. an act or instance of extorting.
2. Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing
of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.
3. oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price
or interest: the extortions of usurers.
4. anything extorted.

Yesterday on Facebook, this little gem popped up in my feed. I was nearly done for the night, and with all Facebook’s recent monkey business and tampering with the way news filters through, I might have missed it. But no, it hit me about this time last night and I…I couldn’t stand it anymore.

I’ve been quiet, trying to concentrate on getting through school and the holidays, but I have to say I could not have imagined the depths the GOP will stoop to relieve us poor saps of the one thing that could get them unseated in November. Not until last night, at least.

It wasn’t enough just to believe PoliticsUSA, though. I needed to find corroboration that didn’t link back to the original article, so imagine my surprise when I found this.

Here’s the whole clip from C-SPAN2.

Seriously? Okay, folks. I’m back. Miss me?

This is why the GOP pulled benefits from our Veterans and those suffering from long-term unemployment? (That, by the way, includes me. I fell off the unemployment ranks three years ago. That’s why I’m back in college again, even though I have a perfectly valid B.A.)

There’s no polite term for extortion. It’s illegal. Why aren’t these gentlemen going to prison for violating Federal law? Because someone told them it was okay to do this.

Well, get this. We have just shy of nine months to let these criminals know they can’t pull this crap and get away with it. Show them the door.

Mitch McConnell is up for re-election THIS November. So are roughly one-third of the other Senate seats and ALL the Representatives in the House.

If you allow these thugs to stay the course, you’re just as guilty as they are.

Do something about it.

You have nine months.

It all comes down to this…

It all comes down to this…

On Facebook a few days ago, Matthew Rose posted this public status that’s making the rounds on my list of friends:

Oct 2008: “You’ll never get elected and pass healthcare.”
Nov 2008: “We’ll never let you pass healthcare.”
Jan 2009: “We are going to shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare.”
July 2009: “We will fight to the death every attempt you make to pass healthcare.”
Dec 2009: “We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare.”
March 2010: “We can’t believe you just passed healthcare.”
April 2010: “We are going to overturn healthcare.”
Sept 2010: “We are going to repeal healthcare.”
Jan 2011: “We are going to destroy healthcare.”
Feb 2012: “We are going to elect a candidate who will immediately revoke healthcare.”
June 2012: “We will go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare.”
Aug 2012: “The American people will never re-elect you, because they don’t want healthcare.”
Oct 2012: “We can’t wait to win the election and explode healthcare.”
Nov 2012: “We can’t believe you just got re-elected and that we can’t repeal healthcare.”
Feb 2013: “We’re still going to vote to obliterate healthcare.”
June 2013: “We can’t believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare.”
July 2013: “We’re going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare.”
Sept 2013: “We are going to leverage a government shutdown into defunding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing, dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare.”
Oct 2013: “WHY AREN’T YOU NEGOTIATING???”

I woke up this morning, obsessed with a single thought:

If the GOP don’t think there’s anything bad about the letting the Debt Ceiling collapse, then why do they think holding it hostage will get them anything?

I’ve been chewing on this all night and I think I know.

I took the name Cassandra for a reason. It’s not my given name, never been called that in my life, but I begin to think I must be one of her descendants because I’m seeing where this is headed and I’m afraid the President is going to weaken his resolve before the 17th. This MUST NOT HAPPEN.

God Bless Bernie Sanders, because he’s preaching what I’m preaching.

I have been saying for well over a year now what some news organizations are only now reporting on their main pages. On October 5th, The New York Times said that there is no issue so important that it could possibly pull the House Tea Party from their brinkmanship because this is a carefully planned process and it’s proceeding according to their hopes.

NY Times: A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning

If for any reason you have failed to grasp what’s happening 10 days from now, worry no more. It’s going to happen. I’ve already sold one of my stocks and both the mutual funds (what’s left in my meager IRA), riding this one out with cash and stock in Yahoo and one Solar Energy company because I think they’ll survive this. That’s all. Everything else is cash because I simply can’t afford to lose what’s left of the teeny gains I’ve made in the last year.

Despite all the craziness on the Hill, Wall Street’s been reacting slowly. Why?

Here’s just one example, from an unlikely source, The Motley Fool:

Fool.com: Warren Buffett’s $10 Billion Financial Crisis Profits

Here’s another, from Slate.com:

Slate.com: Crisis? What Crisis? How House Republicans are convincing themselves that defaulting on the country’s debt wouldn’t be the disaster everybody claims it’d be.

I never once watched an episode of the X-files, but I can quote their tag line: “The truth is out there.” Just go look at the main sites for business: Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, pick one. This is where we should have been looking while the Obamacare smokescreen was in action. We haven’t paid attention. We’ve been too busy. And that’s just what the Tea Party wanted.

Slate.com: Republican Senator: We Can Crash Into Debt Limit “Because the Only People Buying Our Bonds Are the Federal Reserve

They’re serious. They don’t care who they railroad. And I’ll tell you why. Because they won’t lose their money if the US economy tanks over the Debt Ceiling. Let me repeat, because this is the single most important thing to understand about the Tea Party mentality:

They don’t care.

Three words, but they mean everything and you should be terrified.

I posted this before on Facebook, but I’m repeating it here because it needs to be said and you need to share it with everyone you know.

The Tea Party’s whole goal is the destruction of the U.S. government. They are happy to toss the country over the Debt Ceiling cliff and this time the Democrats aren’t going to stop them.

Why?

Stick with me, because I’m about to go off the rails, but if you are going to fight the enemy, you have to think like them, and that is precisely what we have to do. If you do, you’ll see the whole picture.

We are looking down the barrel of a semi-automatic weapon-driven Second Civil War and if we aren’t careful, that’s exactly where we will be by the end of this month.

Don’t think for one single second that the Second Amendment is about your personal rights. Or that Obamacare is about socialism or job loss. These are threats that keep the workers in their place, going to church and praying instead of noticing what’s going on in their world. How did Lenin and Stalin rise to power? By taking out the aristocracy in a bloodbath that immediately followed World War II. In their strange, twisted world, the Tea Party (the New Confederacy) paints President Obama as the charismatic leader on an equal basis with Hitler. I’m not making this up. It’s not Godwin’s law. They’ve said it themselves, so it must be true!

The Tea Party doesn’t live in our world.

They have sold their base on the idea that We the People refers only to certain people, and is not representative of their world view. It must therefor be thrown out as a useless document.

They will toss this country over the Debt Ceiling cliff because they want to see the government change and they know they can’t do it any other way. If the US defaults, they have someone to blame because he wasn’t willing to negotiate, and that isn’t John Boehner, though he richly deserves the honor. No, they believe the Gingrich model from 1996 will work this time with President Obama, too. They don’t have a Monica Lewinsky to use as leverage this time, because Barack loves Michelle too much to mess around with someone else, so they need another something to pin on him. And the Debt Ceiling is it.

Mark my words: The motion to impeach President Obama will come on either the 17th or 18th, when he is forced by law to do something about the Debt Ceiling, and they will sing to Fox News that they’ve FINALLY got him where they want him. I hope he’s ready for that next step, because it’s a mess.

This disaster in the making is larger than the two-party system. It’s larger than Us against Them. We’re talking about more than a four-year gap in the budget process, failure to hold the banks responsible for despicable acts against our people because they set up the rules and then changed the game. We’re talking about failing to preserve our social structure in the face of domestic terrorism that strikes me as so very similar to the Weimar Republic that we should all be very, very frightened.

Ask yourself: If Godwin’s law is so very bad for conversation, why does it happen so often that people pull the subject into the discussion? We narrowly avoided electing our own charismatic leader because he lacked the charisma of the German leader I refuse to name here.

I buried these comments on a Canadian friend’s Facebook wall, under comments related to this article from The Guardian:

If America is the world’s greatest power, why the infantile politics? The US is on the brink of disaster, brought to it by a movement unique in its startling lack of realism and rigour

The second individual in the comment stream suggested I didn’t know much about American politics (apparently he assumed — incorrectly — that I was Canadian, too). As flattering as that was, I resisted the urge to thank him for the compliment and wrote this instead:

The fact is that the situation here closely parallels the development of the Nazi party in more ways than we ought to be comfortable with in this country. And the parallels are no accident, either. Wanna see something really scary?

http://gulagbound.com/39187/top-communist-compares-koch-bros-republicans-to-nazis-wants-to-make-all-of-u-s-like-california/

Note that the comparison is NOT disputed, but that those who suggest the ties are called Communists, lumped together with Democrats.

Have a little more education on the rise of the Koch brothers and their deep connections to the John Birch Society and the leap they took to control the Tea Party at the top level. (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer)

Fascism is not correct, however. You’re looking for the term Neo-fascist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-fascist

Last year I did a fairly extensive exploration of Machiavelli’s The Prince and the relationship between mid-17th Century European history and the German rise and fall in the 1940s. The Koch brothers, no doubt, have paid close attention to the way the Nazis rose to power and it shows in this current stand-off.

The American government has been more or less powerless in the last 20 years. The Kochs have exerted increasing pressure on American politics since just after Reagan was elected, which explains the Bush family’s rise to power and the Romney/Ryan ticket. They don’t want leaders. They want puppets they can control. And if they can’t control the puppets, they’ll do everything in their power to neutralize the work [we] do.

We can only hope that the electorate will remember this enormous game of Chicken come November, 2014, but I wouldn’t count on a recall election for any of these so-called representatives, and I wouldn’t imagine many of them will lose their jobs. It’s the moderate GOP who stand to lose the most when 2014 comes, and they know it.

I can hope that in another year, more voters will come to realize just how much their leaders lied to them, and do something about it in the polls.

The Kochs are making up for 150 years of failure to win the Civil War. If you can’t win one way, and replace the government the way you wanted then, there are other ways, up to and including the Tea Party, our New Confederacy. That’s precisely what the Patriot Act, Citizens United and ALEC are all about. They set the foundation for a takeover of catastrophic proportions.

And when it happens, they can finally put uppity black man back in his place, the poor can serve the RICH without educations to know they can do better, become Christian or starve to death. We don’t need government. It just takes money away from the rich who’ll take care of their own (as long as they’re rich and white).

And when Jesus comes to collect them, because the calculations were just wrong but they’ll be right soon because the Bible tells them so, the rest of the Earth won’t matter because they’re going where it’s much, much better.

And if that doesn’t happen in the near term, it’s okay because there’s always the Cayman Islands, or other off-shore locations that will welcome these guys, because they’ve got enough money invested there that they can do whatever they want, no matter what happens to the US in the process.

And if all this does come to pass, I will have to become an expat and move to Canada, because I won’t be able to live here in the US anymore.

Howl all you want about the weather, education, the environment, science, the poor, and other earthly delights like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You are talking about people who Just. Don’t. Care. They have no reason to care. They have a better place to go.

And screw the rest of us.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.