Certainty and the Republican Party

Remember how Republicans told us that the reason businesses haven’t been hiring for the past five years is because of uncertainty?  Uncertainty over how much their taxes were going to be, they said.  Then it was uncertainty about how the ACA (affectionately known as Obamacare) was going to impact their business. 

Demand shemand.  Nothing to do with demand, they said. Nothing to do with the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the fact that more people have less money to spend, that unemployment is still too high, that government has laid off close to a million people.  (Don’t forget, government doesn’t create jobs.)

So what does the Republican Party do to instill confidence?  They shut down the government and threaten to default on our debt.  Remember our debt?  That was supposed to be the biggest problem we have here in the good ole U-S-of-A.  And what would be guaranteed to increase our debt?  Well, if our political system looks so unstable that U.S. Treasuries no longer look like a safe bet.  Then, investors start demanding higher interest rates to compensate for the increased risk.  Then the costs of our debt starts to skyrocket. (Read more about the effects of the shutdown here.)

The only thing the Republican Party is certain about is that they’re right.  That they’re the true Americans — white, wealthy, weligious (Okay, so I couldn’t come up with a third “w” – pretend I’m Elmer Fudd.)

It’s time to dispel the myth that the Republican Party is the fiscally responsible party and Democrats are the profligate, spendthrift children who never saw a social program they didn’t like. Mythology aside, what, I ask, is wrong with social programs?  Isn’t the well-being of its people the primary mission of any government?


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Let the Rebranding Begin

The Republicans are at it again.  They think all they have to do is change their “brand” to get people to vote for them.  I offer a brief history of the Republican “Brand.”

The Lincoln Brand:  Ended slavery, kept the union together.  Considered by many to be the most distinguished of all Presidents. … And you know how it ended.

Quote:  “At what point, then, is the approach of danger [to the United States] to be expected?  I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad.  If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher.  As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” (Speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, IL, January 27, 1838)

The Eisenhower Brand:  WWII General, married to Mamie of the notoriously short bangs.  Significantly invested in infrastructure by building the Interstate Highway system.

Quote:  “We pray that… all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.” (Speech made upon leaving office.)

The Nixon Brand:  Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean nobody’s out to get me.

Quote: (Speaking of the Truman Administration as a Senator) “This administration has proved that it is utterly incapable of cleaning out the corruption which has completely eroded it and reestablishing the confidence and faith of the American people in the morality and honesty of their government employees.”

The Reagan Brand:  Morning in America: (watch out for “pre-dawn vertical insertions[1]”)

Quote: “Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.”  California Governor Ronald Reagan, Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966

The Bush Sr. Brand:  If you don’t like me, there’s plenty more where I came from.

Quote: “Read my lips – no new taxes.”  (He did raise taxes, but they were old taxes.)

The Bush Jr. Brand:  Don’t confuse me with the facts.

Quote: “Mission accomplished.”

The Gingrich Brand: Contract on America.

The Boehner Brand: It’s my Party and I’ll cry if I want to.

The Tea Party Brand: This is a Democracy – mean and stupid people deserve representation too!

Quote:  “We don’t care how many times we shoot ourselves in the foot, we’re not giving up our guns!” (Okay, I made that one up.)

[1] A military euphemism used to describe an early morning drop of equipment and personnel in the invasion of Grenada.

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Congress Approval Rating at 10%

I only have one thing to say: That high?

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The GOP’s Race to Irrelevance

John Boehner should be the biggest advocate of gun control in Washington, D.C. if for no other reason than to prevent members of his own caucus from shooting themselves in the foot. Most recent example: Representative Steve King of Iowa whose opposition to any kind of amnesty for immigrant children rests on his undocumented knowledge that, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

We know the GOP does not believe in science. Include under that heading demographics. No matter what the statisticians tell them about the changing face of the U.S. population, they refuse to believe that Demography is Destiny. Somehow, more older white males will materialize at the polls even as their numbers dwindle in the general population. Perhaps they know something we don’t know. Check the cemeteries. In the future, you might need an ID to vote but not a pulse.

In addition to insulting every Latino in America, the GOP also continues to wage war against women’s reproductive rights (see Texas). Note to Republican candidates: You can’t grab them by the hair, drag them to the polls and make them vote for you.

Keep the racist and sexist comments coming, and soon the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub.

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George Zimmerman’s “Bad Judgment”

Juror B37 commented that George Zimmerman had used “bad judgment” in killing Trayvon Martin.

Bad judgment is Anthony Weiner broadcasting images of his underwear-clad nether regions. Bad judgment is choosing Sarah Palin as your running mate. Bad judgment is getting your hair cut in a Mohawk the day before a big job interview.

What George Zimmerman did was not “bad judgment.” Taking the life of an unarmed person who was minding his own business was not “bad judgment.” It was a racially-motivated criminal act.

The only bad judgment in this case was that of the jurors.

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Standing Your (Uneven) Ground

Based on the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, anyone who fears they are in danger of bodily harm or death, may shoot the person they’re fearful of in self-defense.

So, if I’m an African American and I have a justifiable fear of some redneck cracker, I can shoot him? And if I’m a woman walking down a dark street at night and I hear footsteps behind me and I’m afraid it’s a rapist, I can turn around and shoot him? And if my husband has been abusing me for years and I’m afraid he’s going to hurt me or kill me, I guess I can shoot him, too.

Call me a cynic, but somehow, I don’t think the verdict in cases like these will be the same as in the Zimmerman trial.

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Wikipedia should be.

As Virginia Woolf is reputed to have said, “The reason women writers are not more widely read is because their friends don’t teach at Harvard.”  Apparently they don’t work at Wikipedia, either. According to a New York Times article by Amanda Filipacchi, Wikipedia thinks its list of “American Novelists” is too long, so they’ve created a subcategory of “American Women Novelists” without creating a corresponding one for “American Men Novelists.”

Well-known women writers have been relegated to the sub-list while obscure male writers remain on the “Amercian Novelists” list.  I guess we should be thankful they didn’t name the subcategory “Girl Novelists.”  Perhaps we can help them out with a few suggestions for some other subcategories to pare down their list.  How about:

1)      Dead white male novelists.

2)      Male novelists who really aren’t that great but whose friends are publishers.

3)      Overrated male novelists we still read because they’re on the list.

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