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Friday, March 29, 2013

Jesus Didn't Have Such a Good Friday...
     ...and it's not looking so good for us, either.
     Riddle: How many right wing nut jobs can you stuff into a Saturn V rocket? Answer: I don't know. Let's find out.
     Scanning the news these past few days reminded me again and again why I've been trying to divest myself of political blogging for years, now. I used to think I was immune to outrage fatigue and then it finally caught up to me back when Junior was still squatting in the White House. And I admit it: These past few months, blogging for me, with everything else I have going on, is like trying to start a car with a bad battery and on 5 cylinders. I just can't seem to get any momentum anymore. And the lunacy on the far right is so toxic, it often results in intellectual paralysis.
     Take the right wing, who've been reduced to sneering at Michelle Obama for trying to get kids to eat healthy and exercise and pooh-poohing the annual Easter Egg roll at the White House. After all the doom-mongering since November 2008 at how Obama's Socialism is going to kill America, the Dow Jones Average is over 14,200, the president just wrapped up a highly successful tour of Israel and corporate profits are at an alltime high. So now they have to content themselves with acting like 3rd grade schoolyard bullies and saying "Neener, neener!" at perhaps the least political event at the White House.

     If Justice Anthony "Buttsex" Kennedy is going to be the swing vote, I think we have another couple of decades of the despicable, Clinton-era DOMA and Prop 8 to look forward to. Scalia and Alito have pretty much weighed in with their thoughts on gay marriage and adoption and providing progressives with a solid argument as to why the Supreme Court ought to have checks and balances.
     You would think the homophobes and bigots of the right wing wouldn't stand a chance with an ignorant shyster like Paul Clement representing them at the Supreme Court but you'd be wrong. Clement actually made the incredibly bone-headed assertion that DOMA wasn't signed into law in 1996 on moral grounds, which is like saying that Jim Crow laws were enacted in the South merely to hold black voters to a higher standard and wasn't at all based on disenfranchising them because of race.
     But anyone with access to Youtube can go back to 17 years ago when psychopaths like Georgia's Bob Barr stood up in the well of the House and inveighed against gay marriage as flames licking the pillars of our society. DOMA was certainly ratified and signed into law on religious/moral grounds (Our first mistake right there in letting them frame the debate thusly because homosexuality has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with human rights and privacy) and now, 17 years later, the right wing, through Clement, is trying to redefine marriage as it is now recognized in nine states while at the same time trying to redefine the latter-day GOP as not being bigoted at all.

     So, now Wal-Mart is trying to get its own customers to do their dirty work for them?
     From the, "But, but... it looked good on paper!" Files, Wally World is seriously thinking of implementing what is perhaps the most incredibly stupid crowd-sourcing idea in human history in getting its own customers to do their deliveries for them. For a little bit of gas money and an unspecified discount (but no hourly wages), Wal-Mart will give you the names and street addresses of random strangers so you can deliver their online orders to them on the way home. That should work out real well at households that are fanatical about standing their ground and unvetted delivery people who just might keep those packages that may or may not contain guns and ammo.
     I don't know what the fuck they're smoking at Bentonville but they shouldn't Bogart that shit.

     Speaking of not vetting people properly, another al Qaida underwear bomber was caught with explodable undies just before he boarded a jet. Here's the kicker: He was working for Saudi intelligence and our own CIA. And yet, if you want to get a minimum wage job through a temp agency, you have to provide tons of documentation for the I9s and undergo a rigorous interview process.

     In one of the ultimate examples of judicial corruption and hideously skewed priorities, Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking recently ruled in Wyoming that a fracking company doesn't have to reveal the ingredients of their fracking chemicals on the basis that they're "trade secrets." So, in other words, if any of these 900+ chemicals that seep into your well water give you cancer, you're not even allowed to know what's killing you because of the corporation's right to keep their trade secrets.

     By the way, did you know that Congress quietly but unanimously passed "the Monsanto Protection Act", as it's come to be known? In a classic example of stealth legislation (USA PATRIOT Act, anyone?), right wing scumbags in our Congress slipped a rider into a Farming bill like a shiv between the ribs. It essentially gives Monsanto ("Changing Your Genetic Structure One Meal at a Time.") legal indemnification from anyone seeking to sue the chemical giant for health problems arising from their genetically-modified organisms. The one lone dissenting vote in the Senate came from Jon Tester whose amendment to strip the rider from the bill wasn't even put up for a vote, nor was the legislation even open to hearings. Another fine example of government at the People, against the People and despite the people.

     The North Carolina Senate, which is so deeply crimson it's enough to make red blush, is poised to pass a charter schools bill that has to be read to be believed. It would essentially hand over the state's entire public education (which is 48th in the nation in public funding, a status that's remained unchanged since at least 1996, spending less than $8500 per student per annum) to the corporate sector. Says The Answer Sheet:
A bill titled “NC Public Charter School Board,” introduced by two Republicans, calls for a new board to approve and oversee charters. The State Board of Education would no longer have the job of overseeing charter schools, and charter school applicants would no longer have to get permission to open from local school boards or local education agencies. They could go straight to the new board, whose members would be appointed by the governor...
What’s more, local school boards would be forced to lease open buildings or land to charter school operators for $1 annually unless they could prove that wasn’t feasible, according to the Progressive Pulse. If a charter school closes, its assets won’t go the local school agency or school board but to the state’s general fund.
     This has got the Koch Brothers' and ALEC's greasy fingerprints all over it. Not only would it essentially neuter the North Carolina Board of Education, it would strip away any semblance of regulation regarding educational standards and the vetting process that, until now, was indispensable in the hiring process. Under this new Republican (of course) bill, charter schools could hire anyone who just might be a sex offender and on a sex offender database. It would also basically ensure that North Carolina's schools move even closer back to the segregation we oldtimers saw in the 1960's.

     However, lest you think North Carolina is hopelessly crimson, this ought to warm the cockles of your heavy heart: In the lower chamber of the North Carolina Congress, they're finally getting around to repealing Jim Crow laws that you'd think the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would've put an end to. While they're at it, maybe they can finally make lynching a misdemeanor offense.

     Finally, let's remember that President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley 32 years ago tomorrow. Let's also remember that President Reagan fortunately survived through sheer luck, not because he had armed security surrounding him. Just something for the psychopaths at the NRA to think about.
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Blogger D. said...
They are "3rd grade schoolyard bullies," with a few extra feet and additional years.