Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Calling Captain Phillips

Calhoun's Cannons for Oct 2  2013

Well, the terrorists finally won.  Oh, not the wild-eyed Muslim jihadists.  Those guys just managed to scare Americans so silly that they promptly shot themselves in both feet, and bankrupted the country in a paroxysm of wars, and Constitution-busting eavesdropping.    

Nope, wasn't the jihadists.  This time, Washington was hijacked by a cohort of wild-eyed government-hating, Christian, jihadist Neo-Confederates who do not like green eggs and ham.

Actually, it's Obama they don't like.  Neither does the mainstream Republican Party, the old guard that the Neo-Confederates have now managed to take over.  From day one they all vowed to resurrect the tactic of Southern Resistance and stand with the ghost of Governor Wallace in the schoolhouse door  -- segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever! -- with rhetoric filled with  Southern grievance, dog-whistle music and sick fears of ol' Nat Turner.

And for the past 5 years, while the country foundered, desperate for help from Washington, in Congress it was all one long ridiculous Wallace-ite blockade: Not today, not tomorrow, not ever!  Even legislation crafted by Republicans themselves was suddenly dumped when it appeared the President might possibly support it too.  Cooties! Cooties! No! No! Never!

Instead of governing, these fools wasted time repeatedly voting to defund, defeat, deny Obamacare to millions of uninsured Americans.  It was their ultimate Green Eggs and Hamish bet noir. And like cocaine addicted lab mice, they kept futilely hitting the anti-Obamacare bar again and again, hoping against hope that this time --- pleeze, pleeeze, puh-leeeze -- they would be rewarded by one teensie bit of cheese for their micey little handsies so they could claim they "won" a fight noted only for its monumental stupidity and utter futility. Forty-three times, forty-four?  I've lost count.

Finally, they shut the place down.  That'll show 'em! So what was the despised, hideous, awful "government" they shut down? Well, for example, it was a VA employee helping an Iraq vet get benefits, including treatment for ongoing PTSD.  Yes, the same bunch who couldn't wait to send that vet to war in the first place,  were now more than willing to toss him under the bus for reasons of obsessive ideological purity and conservative resentment. 

They were also willing to toss their own staffers under the bus, offering at one point in their desperation, to force all Congressional staff members be required to "buy their health insurance on the new exchanges [but] without any government subsidies."  So while they made sure they'd keep their own Cadillac plans (paid for by the taxpayers) they were happy to toss their staff -- the little people -- to the wolves.  Portrait of self-serving politicians who don't want to govern but want only to rule -- the perfect Marie Antoinette moment.

And so came Oct 1, and two very important things happened: 1) The Government was shut down by a handful of radical, crazy-eyed Neo-Confederates in order to "save" the American public from the sheer horrors of Obamacare. 2) The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) started signing up people on the exchanges and the system kept crashing because so many people were trying to access it in order to sign up for the horrible, terrible, dangerous, freedom-destroying, awful, no-good, Obamacare.

Is it possible that Americans are finally figuring out that they are not helpless passengers on this ship of state, but crew?  And being crew, it's up to them to keep the ship in working order, keep it off the rocks, keep it steady.  And if the captain and ship has been hijacked by wild-eyed pirates and is being held hostage, it's up to the crew to take the ship back and set things right.

Now, where's  Seal Team 6?  




Billy Dunne said...

Terrorists and extortionists and seditionists. Like Rachel Maddow said, elect repugs and they will burn this place to the ground.

The Confederate suicide caucus feels no pressure from their constituents, as their gerrymandered districts are very safe indeed.

Hostage-taking is all these scumbags have left. Terrorists and extortionists and seditionists.

Here’s the fun part. The Repugs are crying for negotiation now, but for months they have steadfastly refused to appoint conferees to negotiate the budgets in the House and Senate. Refused, which is what they do best. And how do you negotiate something that was debated and litigated ad nauseam, passed into law, upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional, and validated in an electoral landslide by President Obama’s re-election in 2012?

Yet the mainstream media still wants you to believe “both sides” are dug in. Huh? Say again?

The repugs say “we’re just doing the will of the people.” Like, after Sandy Hook, when 85% of the American people polled wanted stricter background checks including internet and gun show sales, you passed that bill right? Oh yeah, you didn’t.

But if you want your news rosey, go over to Fox News. Shutdown? No big deal. In fact, we’ll call it a slimdown. No whoop. Jeez, you’d think the sky was falling or something. We’ve had 17 of these already and we’re all still standing. Chill out bro’s.

And note the effects of our little local slice of Tea Party heaven, Ms. Arnold.

Elect a repug and they’ll burn this place to the ground…..or watch it die a slow death from thirst.


Sandra Gore said...

Excellent commentary. Sounds like a mad hatter's party. I think this time in history will be noted for the rise and fall of an obstructionist group of radicals that pursued their own narrow-minded agendas without consideration of cost to anyone - including themselves.

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Crazy, stupid and so self-important. Big ugh at the sheer stupidity of these Tea Party nuts. Not a bit of care for the people hurt by this. And we will all PAY for this too.

What happened to the reasonable Republicans? I really think we need two parties and these guys are killing themselves.

Churadogs said...

Billy, you're right about the media. It's truly astonishing they continue with this he said/she said. It's also amazing that these repugs don't nderstand how the U.S. government works: Dislike a law that's been passed and vetted? Great. Write another law rescinding and/or modifying and/or rescinding the original law. WE DO IT ALL THE TIME. Look at the 3 strikes law. It's been/is being modified. Ditto the coke/crack sentencing laws.
But these guys? Nope. Shut the Gov down and if it hurts the country, well, F**k them.

Sandra: Yes, this will be one for history history books. What will be noteworthy is what Jon Stewart and John Oliver comically discussed last night: 90% of Americans disapprove of Congress yet on average, 90% of Congresspeople get REELECTED. Even in un-gerrymandered districts. Hopeless. (Let's see if McCarthy gets reelected in this county after he's joined the crazies and voted to shut the government down).

Toonces: Yes, two SANE parties who actually know how government works. Plus campaign reform.

One final hideous image: Repubs, who shut the place down, showing up at the WWII memorial site to DECRY as DISGRACEFUL that OBAMA has SHUT DOWN the place and announcing the Republican Party has donated a big check to hire private guards to keep the place open.

That's sociopathic pathology. Pure and simple. The whole party's infected and dying and taking this country down with 'em. Sick, sick, sick.

Anonymous said...

Republicans have their share of the shut down responsibility, however, the Democrat's led by an unwilling to compromise President certainly have their share of the responsibility.

This is the way politics is played! If you don't like it, start a recall the Los Osos way of politics.

Meantime, try using some energy to justify this latest welfare program heaped on the working taxpayers in California and the nation. Think about what those insurance "subsidies" really mean to those who have been working and paying for insurance all along. Can you say increased taxes to pay for this new welfare program!

All this really means is that the entire insurance premiums paid by employers will be eliminated and shifted entirely to the workers. Why would any business continue to pay for insurance for it's employees when the government forced program is required?

Frankly, I am tired of paying taxes to support those who don't! We have gone way too far with government welfare programs, especially in California! Please don't cry that you can't, won't, work for a living, I grew up dirt poor with no government assistance, but I made it. If you can't won't, then you are just plain lazy! Maybe you should have said no to drugs, said no to having your brood of welfare kids, should have finished school? Those were your choices, you should not be simply given welfare to continue reinforcing your poor choices!

Anonymous said...

Cute, especially coming from Ann.

I had a hard time figuring out that she was not talking about how a " handful of radical, crazy-eyed Neo-(anti-sewer activists)".

Is she really advocating a revolution to take back the ship and save the captain? Seal Team 6?

Great article Ann, if you don't agree with someone, you just hire someone to kill them! Sounds like Harry Reid doing your thinking.

Anonymous said...

But if the liberal Democrats do the same thing it's OK. Really????

Mike Taylor

Churadogs said...

Anon 7:03: A question. Since you're concerned with money. Do you think it's financially smarter to spend $6,000 on a kid early on to make sure he can read, for example, or spend $40,000 a year to keep him in jail?
Or spend $10,000 to get a junkie cleaned up and productive and working, or spend $40,000 to keep him in jail. Or spend $6,000 to catch and treat a diabetic or pay $105,000 to hospitalize and amputate an untreated diabetic's legs. One way or another we pay, so the question is, how much and how effective is that money going to be. Does it create a decent society for the majority or continue to spend far more money while ending up with a more dangerous, ugly, mean F**k You! society.

Anonymous said...

Just quit spending money on the criminal element. How about making prison something the criminal would not want to end up in? Forget the foolish notion that criminals can be cured and will want to become productive members in the utopian society. That silly thought has never worked!

Also stop the welfare baby production. Quit rewarding those irresponsible mothers. I'm so sorry if the extra mouths go hungry, but wasn't that the mother's choice? Let the parents pay to feed and educate of toss them into the prison of no return.

By all means, let's all goose-step to the liberal democrat liberal give away program. Let's tax everyone working to support all those who make the choices to leach off society. Wait, soon there won't be anyone left to pay taxes, then what? Oh my goodness, people will once again have to be responsible for their own choices and actions?

Yes, the liberal give away program is simply wonderful! Why can't those republicans recognize that. Why can't they see that the democrat is the only thought that counts and no negotiation for anything! Hail Obama!

Billy Dunne said...

Here's a little history lesson for Anon 8:41 concerning negotiations between President Obama and the Repugs:

And I'm not quite sure how informed you really are, or if you get your information from Fox News, but the intent of this shutdown, choreographed for months by Ted Cruz and his tea swilling buddies, was not to negotiate anything, it was simply to defund The Affordable Care Act. That simple. Or to paraphrase something I read this morning:

Repugs: Can I burn down your house?
Dems: NO
Repugs" Then can I burn down your garage?
Dems: No
Repugs: Is there anything I can burn down?
Dems: NO
Repugs: These people won't negotiate!!!!!!!

If you need any more examples of "negotiations," including most of the Affordable Care Act, which was gutted by repugs (which Obama let happen) rendering the whole thing weak and not nearly what was envisioned by those of us who support universal healthcare, let me know and I'll steer you to many other examples. I'll be happy to deal in facts my friend.

Anonymous said...

Obuma: I'm going to bomb Syria!

The American People: NO!!!

Obuma then pouts,

The latest government budget process winds down without any concern for what that might mean to Americans,

Some concerned Republicans say, let's pass a budget, but lets look at that obumacare that was rammed down our throats by the democrats,

Obuma: I will not negotiate!

Harry and Nancy shout: NO NEGOTIATING!

Obuma: I will never negotiate!

So far, obuma has gotten his panties in a twist and is throwing a tantrum while

the federal government grinds to a stop.

The world looks on and can't help but see that "Democracy" has failed! Totalitarianism reigns! King obuma rules without listening to his subjects! When will the troops be brought home to patrol the streets without paychecks?

Maybe this is the next step in America. Rule by one person, no need for contentious elections, every subject will be treated fairly and exactly alike.

No prisons, plenty of drugs and food for all equally. And most importantly, NO NEGOTIATION for anything because the benevolent leader is the only voice that matters and if course, is the only voice that is correct!

Maybe stopping the pendulous government is a good thing. Quit paying for needless over-government when only one person is in charge. The mindless supporters will be well cared for, while the rabble will be begging for any scraps he allows to fall by the wayside. It's all working out per the democrat plan!

Hope there is still time to head for Panama.

Anonymous said...

If we think this annual budget battle is crazy, wait until the debt ceiling fight comes up.

Anonymous said...

Desperate times call for......
What if ALL of us said "Stop all of this foolishness! IF you do not
shape up...NO ONE will vote for any
incumbent (whether doing a good job

or not). Now, let's get to work.

Billy Dunne said...

That's a false equivalency again: blaming both "sides," when in reality, this shutdown was carefully orchestrated by Ted Cruz and those who felt Obama would cave to their extortion by defunding the Affordable Care Act (or as they later demanded, delay it by a year or more). It is an attempt to completely nullify this presidency. Moderate Repugs are scared shitless that the Tea baggers and their money (see Freedom Works, et al.) will run someone against them in their primaries if they don't go along. This is common knowledge. The notion that "they're all bums" or that they "need to work together" just doesn't apply in this instance. It is a false equivalency.

Anon 10:13:

Yikes. It's too late to even begin responding to your ridiculous post. Obama actually listened to the American people and that's a bad thing to you? Instead of rushing in and engaging us in, oh, say a 10 year war that killed over 100,000 innocent people looking for things like "weapons of mass destruction" that really didn't exist? Egads.

Maybe Panama IS best for you. But watch out. Their health care is also provided by the government and private sector there. Something I'm sure you're dead against.

Sleep tight.

Churadogs said...

Anon 8:41. Hey, John, is that you? Back from Panama? Anyway, you're making some mighty big assumptions and generalizations about "those people." i.e. criminals can't be cured, everyone on welfare are lazy bums. There are many ways of "curing" criminals, depending on the criminal and the crime. Drug addiction? We haven't even tried fixing that medical problem. Instead we warehouse people at enormous expense. Not to mention how drug offenses are now being used as the new Jim Crow laws. (More whites than blacks use drugs but more blacks are in prison. Duh?) Nor have we even seriously dealt with poverty and poor school outcomes. They're inextricably linked but we're serious about neither issue.

Instead of thinking in misinformed stereotypes, you might find it helpful to start looking a individuals. Criminal A is a sociopath. We can't cure sociopaths (too many of them end up in Congress, alas, and running huge companies) but some guy whose life went off the rails, self-medicating with street drugs for mental health issues? Oh, yes, totally curable, totally fixable. The actor Tim Robbins has been working with an interesting group who go into prisons to work with prisoner and the recidivism rates for those who've gone through their programs is extraordinarily low. Their program? Using role playing and acting to give the men the specific, clear language needed to to define their inner and outer worlds, language needed to create coherent narratives out of their lives and enable them to name and once named, control their feelings and actions. Sounds all arty-farty? Criminal coddling? That's because you assume all criminals are unhuman and unreachable and worthless and incurable. This program gives them the tools needed to put their lives back into order and change their outcomes. (In an interesting way, the program works the same way that Helen Keller's teacher, Annie, tamed the "wild beast" that was Helen; she gave her language.)

Or your assumption that all women on welfare are just sitting around cranking out babies. There are Iraqi vets on welfare with their kids. Or, sadly, the wife of an Iraqi vet whose PSTD is untreated and he's a danger to his family so she fled with her kids and is now on welfare until she can get on her feet. Even hard working families tossed out of their homes by greedheads on Wall Street. None of them lazy bums.

So criminal A is not criminal B, welfare mother A isn't welfare mother B. And there is so much we can do to improve outcomes if we get smart and serious and committed to doing things that work.

As for shutting down the country to "negotiate" about changing Obamacare. That's not how it's done. Want to change a law, write another law, get it passed. What the Republicans are doing is Banana Republic stuff, not governing according to Constitutional rules. The GOP has drunk the Kool-aide of the radical right and we're now in very dangerous territory of remaining a country of laws.

Anonymous said...

Keep the government shut down!

Churadogs said...

Anonymous 9:56. I know you're being snarky and unserious, but I wonder when people say that, do they understand the implications? Right now we "play at" shutting things down but always make sure "vital services" are delivered for just so long but not TOO long. That way we can pretend to be getting our tantrums rewarded -- see? take that you rotten crummy government!

It's childish beyond belief. But I wonder if all the anti-government folk really understand what that would mean? Somalia would be a nice place to begin looking for what things would be like. I really don't think the old white guys wearing clothes brought to them over federally built highways in trucks burning gasoline protected in its transit over the sea by the government's navy, eating food inspected by government agents, secure in their little towns because brave spooks foiled another deadly plot in some crap country so old guys cashing their social security checks and carrying their Medicare cards can wave signs saying "Get Government Off My Back" at a Tea Party rally. Nope, don't think they have any clue what they're talking about. but I'm sure it makes 'em feel good, now doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

The more you speak Ann, the sillier you sound. You are advocating that the primary goal of the US is to cure all the ills of the entire world? To be come the rulers of the world and thus justify controlling what all peoples think, eat and do. That Ann is exactly the utopian world that you are pushing.

This country needs to get back to civility and learn to work together instead of drawing plans to rule without opposition. Neither current political party seems capable of working for the citizens of the United States of America.

Alon Perlman said...

Calling Captain John Yossarian

Churadogs said...

Anon 7;16 seZ"you are advocating that the primary goal of the US is to cure all the ills of the entire world?" Not what I'm advocating at all.

Interesting comment on ruling without opposition. Hijacking the government in order to stop a law instead of working within the constitutionally constructed methods is attempting to rule without opposition. Our system is set up to have opposition to a certain point then there's a VOTE. Then it's over. If you want to change that vote, you go back to square one, write another law and wash, rinse, repeat. Ruling without opposition is what the Republicans have decided to do: Any opposition to what we want and we'll pull the trigger on the default and plunge the country into financial ruin. THAT's ruling without opposition. And that's not the American way. That's banana republic stuff.