What exactly ARE our national priorities?
Can anyone tell me? No, seriously. What DO we stand for today, because I am no longer sure.
We don’t feed the hungry or house the homeless. Shit we make them faster than ever these days. Now, entire cities can be rendered bankrupt in the blink of an eye. (See: Detroit, San Bernadino, Vallejo, hell just look the rest of the list yourself, try not to cry.) The hungry and homeless live in shanty towns or die on the street and we just take pictures of them.
We don’t cure disease (last disease we cured was polio and people are still catching it because we can’t stop waging war long enough to see it actually eradicated). Meanwhile we are only making diseases stronger in our factory farms so every meat meal you eat gives you the chance to experience antibiotic-resistant bacteria, first hand. Your next hamburger could be your last. Hope it was a good one.
Our government doesn’t lead, it harangues the poor and disenfranchised when it isn’t looking completely dysfunctional all by itself with conversations debating the wisdom of birth control for women and whether corporations should be allowed to pay for it, trans-vaginal ultrasound to embarrass women into NOT having abortions they won’t get but were supposed to legally have access to since Roe vs Wade, nor will the government be helpful if they are raising the children of their rapists, who will be, of course, looking for parental rights.
We can’t decide what education should look like, only that it should cost as much as possible and be as ineffective as it is expensive. Our police are now functioning as Judges dispensing justice from the barrels of their guns, or armored personnel carriers or coming soon to a city near you, aerial drones.
We don’t allow people to retire in dignity for lives well lived, we allow pensions and soon we will be spending Social Security and Medicare (after we privatize them for flavor) to be gathered up by large corporations and gambled away enriching banks while they bankrupt the rest of the world. Don’t worry, though because we will bail out those pesky banks for still being “too big to fail” and socialize their losses while they capitalize their gains. I guess after a few more cycles of boom and bust with the remainder of our society in ruins we will actually consider putting those bastards behind bars and letting greedy banks go the way of the dinosaur, rendered down for their vital assets and turned back into a public service that helps people rather than impoverishes them. Banks in our modern society act more like bulimics than a financial asset. They eat all of the nations money and puke out the chewed remains of the people who trusted them.
So I ask you again, what does this country stand for these days because, I am not seeing much freedom (you are free to be analyzed, illegally wiretapped and edutained by corporate sponsored newscasters, blonde, perky and not too bright), justice (if you count the Supreme Court which has members who are both homophobic and in the pocket of the corporate powers who run this nation or the judges who put kids in prison for profit keeping corporate prisons full, or perhaps the inability of our justice system to protect citizens who happen to enjoy iced tea and skittles or using mass transit on national holidays).
And we still can’t get a decent set of wages if you aren’t a corporate executive. Wage stagnation, debt consolidation, and government subsidization allows corporations to pay people little or nothing while they work two jobs and still find themselves in need of food stamps, while corporations pocket MAD money from the privatization of the EBT service. Not to mention we still can’t get laws to provide protection from random NRA-mandated acts of violence.
I see a lot of the American Way, though. Exporting jobs, storing cash in foreign banks, utilizing child labor in Third World nations, (watching those underpaid people dying in poorly maintained factories for pennies a day so we can pay less for our clothing) avoiding corporate taxes AND managing to get corporate subsidies while spending as much as they want on the government officials who rotate between being Congressmen or Lobbyist depending on where they are in their cycle of governmental malfeasance.
So I ask you again, what exactly are our national priorities because I hate to tell you it looks a lot like greed, exploitation and good old-fashion buggery to me.
Oh wait. I have a video that sums it up nicely…
America Fuck Yeah, the Deluxe Edition
A parting shot from Tom Tomorrow
The Threat of the Default is Over!
Free the hostages! The Americans are free! The government will be operational again. There won’t be a default. The crisis is over, right?
Don’t hold your breath. We will see more BS grandstanding like this while Barack Obama is the President of the United States. They will make this debt debate go away for three to six months and then we are right back here again, screwing with the full credit solvency of the US and terrifying (or is that terrorizing) foreign nations that are dependent on the strength and liquidity of the American Dollar. Bridges? I doubt seriously if this Congress will even pass a single transportation support or jobs bill the entire time President Obama is in office. They haven’t yet.
I suspect this is only a respite while they figure out their next plan to avoid doing anything to help the President. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, led the radical Tea Party campaign, along with the likes of Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachmann. Their goal was to tarnish President Obama reputation as a leader. This was ultimately to discourage people for voting for the Democratic party and especially to make the idea of another Black president the most unpalatable idea, ever. They will be able to look back and say, how he divided the government, prevented any acts of bi-partisanship, made the country a place that is less safe, more dependent on government, and increased poverty everywhere (even though it was most of their lack of leadership which actually caused most of these things).
The truth matters less than the result of what they have done. People have short memories and won’t remember the Tea Party almost causing them to lose their homes, be three weeks without pay, the hardship on the families of the government’s workers or on the military, or on people dependent on the EPA, FDA, USDA, or any other NECESSARY government regulatory agencies (which the Tea Party would abolish, if they could).
From their perspective, they have utilized the 24 hour news cycles desperation to fill their hours with conjecture, improperly vetted news, opinions and misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, the Debt Ceiling, the damage potential of a prospective Economic Default on both our economy and the worldwide financial state. This has made the United States appear dysfunctional, poorly governed and able to be controlled by a minority of the Congress. Our foreign allies are saddened by this lack of leadership and horrified that the US can be so easily terrorized (there goes that word again) by a radical minority.
I am not a liberal despite what you may think of reading this. I am simply not a fan of a screw job when I see one. The worst part of this event is that NOTHING will be done with these economic terrorists who saw fit to take the nation hostage, punishing the poorest and least able among us by taking away their food, resources, and work under the guise of keeping them from having any kind of affordable health care. Does anyone have a word for what this might appear to be? Funny, there is one.
But alas, no one is going to request it be used. Reasons include: Too much bad press; not how we do business; it is the President’s fault for not giving in to the Conservative demand to get rid of his signature legislation that everyone but the rich and powerful who stand to gain from the constantly growing economic divide, seem to want.
it would seem, not only is failure the outcome of this grandstanding by the GOP, but that no matter how it turns out, their goal has been accomplished. Make the president look weak and ineffectual (mostly through the use of rhetoric and sprinklings of the madness of people like Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachmann).
Yes, Virginia there is an Apocalypse.
One brought to us by the Koch Brothers and other multi-billionaires who believe government’s real job is to subsidize their wealth (by paying their workers so little, the government is forced to pay out food stamps and welfare so they can have enough to eat) and undermine the effectiveness of government until those super-rich folk can buy the Commons right from under us and then they can divide it up and give us what they want us to have, for a price we, of course, cannot afford.
But its a good thing those billionaires own banks too, they can always lend it to us on credit…like they do right now.
Debt is as good as cash, or as a form of economic enslavement. Ask any college student, they know first hand.
No Time for Celebration
The Senate voted 81 to 18 Wednesday night on a bill to reopen the federal government and raise the nation’s borrowing limit, and the House followed suit, voting 285-144. President Barack Obama signed the legislation early Thursday.
Elizabeth Warren agrees with me regarding this chicanery and had this to say about the economic shutdown:
I’m glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I’m relieved that we didn’t default on our debt.
But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.
Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.
According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.
$24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains upgraded?
The Republicans keep saying, “Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets.” They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.
So I’m relieved, but I’m also pretty angry.
We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.
It’s time for the hostage taking to end. It’s time for every one of us to say, “No more.”
Here go some other names you might want to keep an eye on.
$24 billion dollars lost by the people who claimed they wanted to balance the budget. I am naming names.