John Boehner certainly had some big things planned for today: First coffee, then breakfast, then resign his position as Speaker of The House – Wait, what? Yes, that’s right, John Boehner has resigned as Speaker as well as vacated his congressional seat, effective October 30. As keeper of an out of control zoo, I can’t say as I blame him. Who wants to be in charge of a monkey house when all the monkeys want to do is bite the shit out of him and shut the whole thing down? For the entire time of his run as keeper of the gavel, Boehner has had shit thrown at him from every direction. When Boehner was first chosen to be Speaker, he wanted to watch over a Congress that would go on to do historic things, which would glorify his 35 year career in politics. If by historical, he meant historically inept and dysfunctional, he hit the nail on the head.
I don’t know that you can blame Boehner as much as you should blame the Tea Party. In my opinion, Boehner is a moderate by today’s standards: A moderate who is clueless as to how to interact with and negotiate with today’s rabidly conservative Republican. I honestly get the impression that he dislikes the far right as much as the far right dislikes him. The enthusiasm never seemed to be there, when he lip synced to the public about any of the far right talking points. At any rate, he will be gone at the end of the month, and if I had to guess, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is going to replace him. I don’t know much about McCarthy, other that the fact that he was tight with Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, and that he has less than ten years of experience as a congressman (he was elected in 2006).
Whoever gets the nod, it’s going to feel like swimming upstream in a raging torrent of rapids right away. The new speaker will be facing the immediate threat of yet another government shutdown, as well as default. Things are going to have to come together fast, and nothing comes together fast in Washington.
I can only surmise that with a new and improved (for the Tea Party) Speaker, things are only going to get worse for the rest of us. I just can’t help but feel that with Boehner’s resignation, the GOP leadership just took another gigantic step to the right.
Get your popcorn folks.
“When did it become the law of the land that the Supreme Court has the final say on everything?”
– Rick Santorum, Republican presidential candidate
Atta boy Mr Frothy Mix. For that comment, you receive one of these:
I’m still around, but I’m finding little joy in blogging right now 😦 I lost my job back in August, and though I’ve been in the transportation industry for nearly 30 years, I still have not managed to find a job in my field. I had to settle for a cashier job at a local convenience store; I work for a third of what I used to make, and in spite of severe back pain, I have to remain on my feet for 8-9 hours a day with no break of any sort! To cut expenses, we moved to a trailer park, and we’re fairly miserable here. The park is filthy, and the trailer is in more disrepair than what we originally thought. We’ve done a lot to rehab the trailer and we’re pretty proud of what we accomplished. However, there is a lot more to be done, and we have neither the money nor the energy to do it. We’re broke, and both my partner and I have been very tired, in a lot of pain, and very depressed as of late.
On the bright side, we got back our health insurance on January 1st (Thank you ACA!), and my wife is now back on her very needed medications. I have a doctor’s appointment in mid-February, and I’m looking forward to renewing some vital medications that I used to be on. We’re both managing to eat healthy; my wife has lost 27 pounds, and I’ve lost about 40 🙂 I’ve also picked back up on doing my PT for my back, and it is doing a bit better.
In spite of all of the personal set backs, I’ve still managed to keep up on the political world. Chris Christie, has once again shown himself to be the vengeful asshole that we’ve all known him to be, and Ted Cruz is still a douche. The GOP still remains in the public eye as the disconnected, borderline sociopath party of no. In spite of getting trounced in last year’s election and ever declining popularity, the Republican party of religious elitist extremist seem hell bound on doubling down their message that unless you’re a white rich christian male, you’re of little use to them. However, we’re of great use to them; they divide us with their messages of hate and fear in order to make us hate each other. This is a very useful tool in the sense that it keeps the rest of us from uniting into one super group as it were, that could possibly wield a great deal of power, and dismantle the corporate and religious structure that continues to keep us among the “have nots”. The Republican party, with all of its religious dogma and corporate might has become indeed, the American Taliban. The 2014 elections are going to be a good marker to just how much the American people have grown tired of their shenanigans.
At any rate, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still around and I’m still writing occasionally. I’m going to try to write more, and I hope you will continue to visit my little corner of the world from time to time.
In closing, I want to share this Coca Cola commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Apparently, the Tea-Billies are in quite the uproar over it.
Coca Cola: Now sweetened with the tears of xenophobes.
Much love and peace to ya’ll 🙂
With a full government shut down pending in two days, many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the debt limit. In ten sentences, Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum explains what it means, and what happens if it isn’t raised:
For most of the past year, the Republican Party has been threatening to refuse to raise the federal debt limit unless Democrats give in to a broad and varying set of demands. To understand just how reckless this brinksmanship is, you have to understand just what the debt limit is and what it means to breach it. So here’s an explanation in 10 short sentences:
1. On May 19, total US debt reached $16.7 trillion, the maximum currently allowed by law.
2. The Treasury Department has been playing various games since then to continue paying all our bills while still technically remaining under the debt limit, but within a few days they’ll run out of tricks and the government will no longer be allowed to spend more money than it takes in.
3. These Treasury tricks are very much not business as usual, and the fact that we’ve been reduced to these kinds of shell games means that normal governance is already dangerously crippled.
4. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in FY 2014 (which runs from October 2013 through September 2014), total federal income will be $3,042 billion and total spending will be $3,602 billion, a difference of $560 billion.
5. This is the amount of debt we need to issue to pay for everything in the budget, which means that if the debt limit isn’t raised, we need to immediately cut spending by $560 billion, or $46 billion per month.
6. That’s roughly the equivalent of wiping out the entire Defense Department; or wiping out two-thirds of Social Security; or wiping out all of Medicaid + all unemployment insurance + all food assistance + all veterans’ benefits.
7. What’s worse, because the government’s computers are programmed to simply pay bills in the order they’re received, it’s not clear if the Treasury can specify which bills get paid and which don’t.
8. This raises the additional risk that interest on treasury bonds might not get paid—something that would put US debt in default and could be disastrous in a global economy that depends on US bonds being rock solid.
9. So those are our choices if Congress fails to raise the debt limit: Either we suddenly stop paying for critical programs that people depend on, or we default on US treasury bonds—or both.
10. The former would immiserate millions of people and probably produce a second Great Recession, while the latter would likely devastate the global economy.
Not much of a choice, is it? That’s why it’s time for Republicans to stop playing games with the financial equivalent of nuclear weapons and agree to raise the debt limit.
Are you as tired of this as I am? Are you sick of our spineless Speaker allowing 49 petulant and seditious congressional members of the GOP to hold this country hostage? Then tell him so: http://www.speaker.gov/
- The Debt Ceiling Explained in 10 Short Sentences (motherjones.com)
- Key dates on debt limit as Thursday deadline nears (kansascity.com)
- Dual crises: Shutdown, debt limit could merge (bigstory.ap.org)
A tip of the tin foil hat to People Against Gun Violence for sharing.
- Baghdad Battery (notestoponder.wordpress.com)
It’s been a little over a week now since the election, and the GOP seems to be sticking to some very confounding reasoning as to why they lost. It wasn’t because of their out of touch platform, it was because Obama got too many votes. Wait, what? That’s like the Kansas City Chiefs blaming their Monday night loss on Pittsburgh for scoring too many points. This is the message delivered: Whether it be Romney trying to cover his ass to his campaign contributors (or investment handlers as I like to think of them), or Paul Ryan bemoaning that Obama had too much support in urban areas.
That’s the Republican reasoning: Blame Obama for getting votes that they were sure would be coming to them. It had nothing to do with the fact that the GOP managed to alienate half the country. The election was lost because President Obama was irresponsibly appealing to a larger demographic of voters. Yet again, the GOP has found a way to blame our president for their utter failure. Talk about a gift – the Republican Party as it is in the present day, going down in flames, was gift enough for me. The Republicans can blame Obama and his “gifts” all they want, but truth is that the majority of us loathe their gifts to the perversely wealthy, big oil, and hedge fund managers.
One would think that the GOP would learn their lesson. Extreme conservatism is no more appealing then extreme liberalism. Yet, that’s the cold dish that they insist on serving. What happened to the moderates? What happened to cooperation? Apparently these are ideologies of the past. It’s not enough to enable corporate welfare, the GOP will not be happy until extremism rules our country in much the same fashion that extremists rule Iran. This is the party of Reagan no longer, this is the party of rich white ayatollahs who want to impose their will on the rest of us.
I was hoping this would change after the election. I was hoping the GOP would begin to make a sorely needed move toward the center. I guess I was wrong. Maybe they will get the memo, in time for the 2014 house and senate elections. I’m not holding my breath though.
- GOP Extremism Will Doom Its Future Prospects (patheos.com)
Um Secede perhaps? How serious are we to take these people? Self deportation is an option you know. Unless you can’t spell passport. Or Mexico. Or Canada, etc,etc. Hell, they couldn’t even spell cat if we spotted them the c and the a.