Tag Archives: Government Shutdown

Two White Men Hold United States Hostage

18 Jan

The Hug That Sank 800,000 Jobs

We are now in day 28 of the government shutdown–the longest government shutdown in US history. What a national embarrassment; I suppose it probably provides poor sad Theresa May some cold comfort. Let us just be clear and use facts about why the government is shut down. 45 has continued to lie about the safety of our southern border. He and Faux/Fox News have used fear to scare his base of support into spending nearly 6 billion dollars on a racist wall. However, Trump is not holding the country hostage alone: he has his loyal sycophant and award-winning hypocrite Mitch McConnell to help strangle the country. Lest we forget, during this shutdown Trump and all of Congress are still being paid their full salary.

More on the spineless, sexist, lying, egotistical, hypocritical, bigot, Mitch McConnell: this is the same bully who proposed the identical initiative that the Democrats are now to prevent a government shutdown–the same initiatives that he won’t allow to reach the senate floor, even though they passed by UNANIMOUS CONSENT in December. Party over politics and a huge fuck you to the American People to demonstrate his loyalty to the Dark Lord Covfefe Hamberders (are you missing Dan Quayle now?), and his loyalty to Putin, who gave him 3.5 million dollars. The Dark Turtle from Kentucky says he won’t allow a “show vote” that 45 won’t sign. This despite the fact that he allowed TWELVE votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act that he knew President Obama wouldn’t sign; he’s also allowing an anti-choice measure onto the floor this week, even though it has no chance of passing the house. Those are the very definition of show votes. Racist, sexist hypocrisy much, Mitch?

Let us talk about the serious and far-reaching impact of Trump’s racist temper tantrum. Over 800,000 employees are affected by the shutdown and going without pay; this includes 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents, 53,000 TSA agents, 42,000 Coast Guard employees, up to 88% of Homeland Security are working without pay. Maybe it is just me, but this does not make me feel safer. In fact, Trump’s tantrum has put the nation in jeopardy.

More than 380,000 people will be furloughed. This directly impacts NASA, the IRS, the Department of Commerce, the National Park Service. It seems to me this does not take an economics degree to understand that this is bad for the economy. Refund checks will now be delayed. There are now new barriers to homeownership, as there are now delays in processing and approving loans. This also negatively impacts all local economies that depend on tourism dollars to visit national parks.

While it is a Sisyphean task to keep track of all of the lies from Trump and his administration, it is important to note two huge whopper lies here.  Trump claimed that all of the previous presidents supported the wall, which in fact, is NOT true. Trump also made the claim that 63,000 Americans had been killed since 9/11 by people at the southern border. Again, this is NOT true. In fact, the number was made up by the self congratulating racist Steve King, who has now been censured for his charm free comment: “White nationalist, White supremacist,–how did that language become offensive?” I don’t even know how to unpack that, except to say that I’m grateful that at least a handful of Republicans have denounced King’s comments.

CALL TO ACTION: I implore you! Make those phone calls! Let Mitch know he can’t hide in his shell while the country suffers. Call your Senators! Thank the Democrats for holding firm and demanding that Congress perform its Constitutional duty of checks and balances. Demand that Republicans put their constituents before a pointless racist wall and force Mitch to allow a vote on measures that will easily pass.

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Cancer in the Trump Era, Part Deux

28 Dec

Today I start my first chemo treatment, thus starting my year-long journey to get rid of this new cancer. I hate that I am so scared and hate that I am causing all of the people whom I love to feel scared.  Obviously, the cancer last year along with the massive heart attack was not enough. This latest hiccup started the evening before Thanksgiving 2018 when I found out that the cancer in my colon spread to my liver. Needless to say this has been a rather intense and rather sad Holiday Season. My team of oncologists reported to me that this is stage 4 cancer and that there is between a 20 and 50% survival rate. Not exactly news I wanted to hear. I feel like my body, since hitting 50, has betrayed me, or is telling me that it is tired and has no desire to continue. While most of me still says fuck cancer, I must confess that the betrayal I feel from the Trump administration and from those who support this sociopath, makes it hard for me to feel confidence in beating this fucker cancer.

The past two years have seemed unbearable, as I have seen the decline of empathy and understanding of the Social Contract, if it ever existed. The currently emboldened racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia is allowing us to see the very worst in humanity here in the United States. While it has always existed here, as it is a part of the very fiber of our country, 45 has normalized the worst in humanity. Sadly, 45 and his base of support have no understanding of what a Democracy is or how one works. Even more tragic is that the GOP does not know how a Democracy works, and they have proven they don’t care and thus support 45’s dismantling of our Democracy.

What has been particularly painful in the past three weeks aside from my latest cancer diagnosis, is that 45 is holding the country hostage by shutting down the government until he gets his racist wall. In the words of the late Ronald Reagan, I say: “Mr. Trump, Tear Down This Wall.” Yes, it has gotten so bad that I have to quote a president for whom I have nothing but contempt. Of course, in the world of twisted facts by Fox News which is wired directly to 45’s brain material, the blame is assigned to the Democrats who hold no power in the House or Senate currently. I and most of America continue to weep.

The list of lies and atrocities by Trump and his administration is pages long and interferes with my ability to focus on kicking cancer’s ass. Here is my plan to conquer cancer: I have named the tumor Pat, short for Patriarchy (watch out Trump/Pence), and I have named the port implanted in my chest Mueller to help kill Pat.

My hope is that during the next year, we will see some type of harmony and healing happen in the US and around the globe. That we will not see the pure hate delivered by Fox News, Trump, Pence, Theresa May, Michel Temer, J`anos `Ader, The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and of course Puppet Master Vladimir Putin. Let us hope people will work towards Democracy and dismantle the autocratic governments here and around the globe.

I am fully aware it will take an enormous amount of strength, courage, and determination to beat this cancer over the next year. I am very lucky. I have a beautiful and phenomenal network of friends that are on this ride with me and lift me up when I am tired, and carry me when I can’t walk. Even with this amazing support, I am scared as fuck! For all of us who are currently struggling with cancer, I say we need to unite and know we can’t do this alone and let us love on each other as we belt out our individual and collected voices to Fuck Cancer and Destroy the Patriarchy!

Congress Cashes In While Country Crashes

4 Oct

dimeI need to thank my friend Sarah B. for some of the research done here. If you are not outraged with the GOP/Tea Party, you are not paying attention. There is a great economic and emotional cost to this government shutdown–the brunt of the cost is being paid by the workers, the middle class, and lower classes of the country.  While millions of Americans in the United States are having to go without a salary and resources, John Boehner , Ted Cruz, and all the others drinking the Kool Aid are GETTING PAID while they devastate the country.  It is difficult to believe there is not a sad and disgusting thread of racism as part of what is motivating the Teahadists.

Let us look specifically at just some of the direct costs of this horrific behavior:

Furloughed Employees:

  • Over 800,000 Federal employees have been furloughed and will not be paid.

Head Start:

  • Up to 19,000 children are unable to attend head start programs, depriving them of early childhood educational opportunities and leaving their parents scrambling for childcare.

Cancer Patients Turned Away:

  • Cancer patients trying to enroll in clinical trials at NIH have been turned away until the shutdown ends.

No Flu Outbreak Monitoring:

  • Monitoring of Flu outbreaks nationwide has been crippled, with only cursory examinations and no “in-depth” investigations of potential outbreaks.

Assistance for low-income families comes to a halt:

  • The WIC program, which provides food assistance to families with children, has shut down. Some states are not accepting new applicants, and other states are running on reserves which will last mere days.

Colorado Springs:

  • Over 18% of the workforce in Colorado Springs, CO (55,000 workers) are on furlough and won’t be paid.

Highway Investigations:

  • Incidents like the deadly bus crash in Tennessee cannot be investigated because the staff at the National Traffic Safety Board are furloughed.

As of today, the cost of the Shutdown is now well over 1 Billion Dollars and all because a bunch of wealthy congressmen (who have full health care and are still collecting a salary) want to get rid of the much-needed Affordable Care Act, which they are calling Obamacare.

Here is where the GOP/Teahadists need to catch a clue and pay attention.  The Affordable Care Act is a huge success in just four days.  Millions of people are enrolling and for many this is the first time they have had health insurance in years. Enrollment is so vigorous that it is crashing web servers.  Now tell me again why the Affordable Care Act is a bad thing?

As programs continue to shut down when their existing funding ceases, the crazed militants in the House speak about the situation out of both sides of their Tea-holes. While many Republican members of the House laugh and call the situation “fun” and “the best part of my job,” others bemoan aspects of the shutdown that inconvenience them. (Yes, Rep. Neugebauer (R, TX), who publicly shouted down a park ranger who wouldn’t let him into a closed memorial, we’re talking to you.)

While it is great to see the President and the Democrats united in standing up to this bullying, the impact on the country is horrific. How long will the so-called “moderate” and “rational” Republicans be cowed by the fringes of their party? Until enough members of the House agree to do their jobs, the most vulnerable citizens of our country will continue to suffer.  Sadly, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell (two Madhatters) were caught on mic with their despicable behavior.  Click here to see them.

John Boehner’s House of Shame

30 Sep

Boehner_Hostage_xlargeJust when you thought the country was able to finally get the rancid taste from the Tea Party out of our collective mouths, the Teahadists have brewed a particularly wicked, hypocritical, and inequitable pot of tea.  John (I seem to have mislocated my spine) Boehner has yet again proven his dedication to erring on the wrong side of history. Twice in one week the House has passed a budget bill defunding the Affordable Care Act even though President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have made it clear that such a budget bill will never survive. Never mind that these nasty Republicans are acting AGAINST what is best for Americans and against what most Americans want.

Boehner yet again acquiesced to competing Madhatters, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  This gang of school yard bullies have wasted tax payer money with their grandstanding and posturing in their attempt to hold the country hostage over the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Yes, why not deny millions of Americans access to health care? These civil servants (a term I use loosely with this group) do not have to worry about their own access to health care, but certainly are not advocating for those in need.

Let us also address how this greedy group of gangsters is impacting the economy. Without a budget in place, most Federal government functions will shut down on Tuesday. That means millions of workers will be furloughed and may never get their back pay. The ripple effect will touch every service these workers might use and every place they might shop. So-called “essential services” — air traffic control, Social Security payments, meat inspections, and such — will continue but most services will not. Even the things that will be funded will operate more slowly.

Ironically, many health services are considered essential. That means that by shutting down the government, the Tea Tainted Tricksters may actually ensure the implementation of the next wave of ACA measures.

The GOP’s increasingly strident demands to defund the ACA demonstrate how much they fear it. Polls and samples clearly show that as Americans understand what the law actually does — and begin to benefit from it — its popularity goes up. If it rolls out as intended, the Democrats have a signature accomplishment to campaign on in 2014. Bitter, bickering, bigoted, and blathering, the GOP has nothing but rhetoric and an insane hatred of the President to campaign on (racist much?). Sadly, they are willing to punish millions of true civil servants to make their pointless point.

Ted Cruz Has His Health Care, Who Cares About Yours?

25 Sep
Sen. Cruz counts the number of people he actually cares about

Sen. Cruz counts the number of people he actually cares about

If anyone doubted just how twisted Sen. Ted Cruz (R – Pit of Hell) really is, his antics on the Senate floor this week are all the evidence we need. You see, Cruz is engaged in a talk-a-thon pseudo-filibuster to block a vote on a bill he actually approves of. If that sounds a bit whacky to you, then you’re paying attention.

A bit of background: Worst Speaker in History John Boehner recently caved to the tea-soaked fringe of his party and helped pass a budget bill that would avoid a shutdown of the government (for three whole months). The price? It removes all funding for the Affordable Care Act. That’s right, the House passed its 42nd effort to eliminate a law that would improve the lives of millions of Americans.

Sen. Cruz favors this bill. All his blather is aimed at one thing: running out the budget clock. If there isn’t a budget bill in place by Tuesday, the Federal government shuts down. (That worked really well for Newt Gingrich in the 90s…) So what it comes down to is this: Cruz, clearly grandstanding as he sets up a 2016 presidential campaign, is willing to risk a stoppage of most Federal services and cut off pay and benefits for millions unless the Senate passes the nasty House bill and blocks improved access to health care for another set of millions of Americans. In my best Dolly Parton voice from 9 to 5, “I never thought I would have to say this about another human being, but you are evil, that’s right you are evil Mr. Cruz.”

Talking much and saying nothing isn’t new for Senate Republicans, but Cruz is part of a new wave intent on putting their selfish hypocrisy on display. Remember when Rand Paul (R – Myopia) filibustered an Obama nominee to protest the administration’s stand on the use of armed drones? (And then reversed himself just days later after no-one was paying attention…) Cruz is engaged in just such grandstanding. In fact, Sen. Paul stepped up to lend a hand. So did Mike Lee (R – Who?), the worst Senator you’ve never heard of.

It’s all pointless, of course. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will call for a vote today and even the Republicans won’t muster enough votes to block it. The Senate will never defund the Affordable Care Act and the President would never sign such a bill. Cruz, Paul, and Lee  (The Three Stooges) just want to make it as hard as possible to work out a compromise. So, he babbles on about anything, giving television reviews and reading from Atlas Shrugged and Green Eggs and Ham. (That’s a literary analysis that can’t help Ayn Rand’s legacy any…)

Never mind that the majority of Americans (including a plurality of Republicans) oppose a shutdown. Even larger numbers oppose using health care to hold funding hostage. Even people who dislike (or more likely misunderstand) the health bill believe that it should be implemented and improved, not used for games. Sen. Cruz and Paul don’t care. His health care is secure; so is his salary. The rest of America can suffer.  A very odd approach to civil service.

Will this post about Charlie Sheen get 1,000,000 views?

5 Mar

Is this picture hot enough to get more clicks?

That seems to be everyone else’s strategy for good ratings this week. Why should we miss out on the fun? Despite not having seen a movie he’s starred in since the early 90’s and having only watched (ironically) half of an episode of his recently cancelled hit sitcom, I feel, through media osmosis, suddenly expert on this week’s candidate for the Robert Downey, Jr. Celebrity Train Wreck Award.

I understand the public fascination with celebrity and disasters, so when someone embodies both of them it is no surprise that he’ll get a lot of air time. From the snippets I’ve read, Sheen has also been very quotable and colorful in his public breakdown, providing a huge number of juicy soundbites. I expect the big media noise machine to make the most of something like this for a week or so.  (Three interviews on the Today show in one week does seem like overkill even for this story, however.) What baffles me is how pervasive this story is.

I subscribe to fifteen separate feeds from blogs and other online resources. They focus on politics, gay rights, comics, libraries, and social justice. Not one is a popular culture or big media resource. Nevertheless, eleven of these sources have posted a Charlie Sheen story in the past 48 hours. I find this fascinating and disturbing. Sadly, it seems that most of these stories have had only the weakest of connections with Sheen.

Is using his name a shallow ploy for traffic? Is he so much a part of the culture of the moment that we can’t help ourselves? If Sheen’s antics can provide a life lesson or a valid illustration which is relevant to your thesis, using a popular figure for emphasis makes sense. If, as with the Comic Alliance, you can achieve something truly hilarious, then go for it. But Sheening for ratings seems alarmingly shallow and cynical.

A couple of months ago, I expressed my dismay that the media were more interested in Barbara Walters getting Oprah to cry than in blatant goverment censorship of art. Just for fun, let’s visit Google news on a few topics of the day:

Need I say more?

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