Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Katie Porter is Not Here to Suffer Any Fools

 


If Representative Katie Porter unearths some incompetence, malfeasance, or debauchery as a result of performing oversight on the Biden Administration, too damned bad:

Democrats loved watching Orange County Rep. Katie Porter skewer Trump administration appointees and corporate executives in congressional hearings.

But it felt different when Porter’s progressive passion and impatience for convention turned to them.

Just as she wielded a whiteboard and sharp questioning to expose the flaws and outdated thinking she saw in Postal Service management or the nation’s COVID-19 testing system, Porter recently took aim at House Democrats’ rules and traditions for what is usually a behind-the-scenes competition to determine which lawmakers sit on which coveted committees.

It was a calculated high-stakes gamble that resulted in Porter not returning this year to sit on the Financial Services Committee, one of the House’s most sought-after panels and one for which the former bankruptcy and consumer law professor was highly suited.

Porter has very little seniority but she more than makes up for it in personal achievements and outright expertise. I think it is a mistake to sideline her when she should be an incredibly valuable ally for anyone who believes in competent governance.

President Joe Biden is not going to bat .1000 every single day. He's trusting a lot of people to do the right thing and do their jobs. If they don't do what they're supposed to do, then the normal course of events is to get rid of them. That's how you lead, that's how you run things, and that's how good governance happens. You have to be tough and you have to give a shit.

Miss Katie Porter gives a shit.

Here's the thing that separates us from the wolves, or Republicans: if Porter does her job and if it exposes someone's inability to do their job, I am all for that person being fired or removed. I want the government to work and so does Porter. We just lived through four years of unhinged disregard for doing the right thing. When a Democrat acts like a jackass, get rid of them and get someone in there who can do the job.

What we don't need is blind partisan support for croneyism and graft. Porter is the cure for all that. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Biden Agenda for Women

 


Elections matter:

President Joe Biden is set to mark International Women's Day Monday by signing two executive orders creating a Gender Policy Council and reviewing Trump-era changes to Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education, according to administration officials.

The first order establishes the White House Gender Policy Council to work with other policy councils to advance gender equality in domestic and foreign policy development, combat systemic bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment, and focus on increasing female participation in the labor force and decreasing wage and wealth gaps, the officials said.

The council will also focus on transgender rights and supporting care workers, predominantly women of color.

Officials pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women the hardest, with 2.5 million leaving the workforce in 2020 compared to 1.8 million men who did the same. The U.S. Department of Labor's February jobs report released Friday found Black and Hispanic women showed the greatest declines in labor force participation.

This is an open reminder that the GOP is going to try and stop each and every initiative that expands the rights of every American. If you want to see an inclusive, expansive agenda going forward, look to what President Biden is actually doing. This won't get anywhere near the amount of coverage it deserves, but a push to ensure that women are treated equally in the workplace and in university athletics could resonate for generations. We have to support these moves and we have to keep voting for Democrats or the Republicans will stop all of this from going forward.

Monday, December 21, 2020

You'll Take What We Give You and You'll Like It

 


There will be a stopgap, half-assed stimulus and it's better than nothing.

The package would send direct stimulus payments of $600 to individuals, half the amount provided in the first round of checks that went out in the spring. As with the first round, the payments will only be sent to people below a certain income level, though it wasn't clear Sunday where that would be set. 
Eligible families would receive an additional $600 per child -- which is $100 more than Congress gave families in the first round of relief last spring.

Everyone who relies on unemployment benefits gets something, but not much. 

The jobless would receive a $300 weekly federal enhancement in benefits for 11 weeks, from the end of December through mid-March under the deal. The amount is half of the earlier federal boost, which ran out at the end of July.
Also, the agreement calls for extensions of two other pandemic unemployment programs that were created in the CARES Act in March. Both are currently set to expire at the end of this week, affecting an estimated 12 million people.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expands jobless benefits to gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, the self-employed and certain people affected by the coronavirus. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provides an additional 13 weeks of payments to those who exhaust their regular state benefits.

Blaming the Democrats in the House and Senate for how paltry and miserly this deal is ridiculous. They passed extensive, substantive benefits for Americans back in the Spring. The Republicans in the Senate blocked those benefits. And then, we had an election. Virtually every one of the worst Republicans imaginable got re-elected. There is a massive disconnect between the American voter and understanding who actually is responsible for kicking them in the head.

The voters in Kentucky, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas who could have changed out their corrupt GOP Senators for people who would vote to help them said, nah. We like being kicked in the head and going bankrupt. 

You get the government you vote for. And if you're getting screwed because of that, well, it's not my problem. I voted specifically to help people all over the country. I voted a straight Democratic ticket. Anyone who thought voting for Joe Biden and Joni Ernst was a bridge too far, fuck them. They will get what they deserve.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Modern Policing is a Shakedown Racket


There is no need for this, other than to extract revenue from poor people. This is how local governments "raise taxes" without actually making rich people pay their fair share.

About 30 minutes east of Atlanta lies a small city led by a female mayor and an all-women council. The police chief is a Black woman, as is the municipal judge and the court solicitor.
The City of Pine Lake, Georgia, prides itself as a liberal oasis in an otherwise conservative-leaning state, a community that backed Stacey Abrams' 2018 gubernatorial campaign and has a history of gay or lesbian city council members. But there's a not-so-progressive reality in Pine Lake as well — systemic racism in the way the city has brought in revenue. 
Though the city has fewer than 800 people, the police department writes hundreds of traffic tickets every year along Rockbridge Road — a stretch of county road that skirts the edge of town — and court documents reveal that a vast majority of tickets are issued to Black drivers from the surrounding county and other cities. Black residents in the area say this stems from aggressive policing tactics that date back many years and still linger today.
The mayor and police chief disagree, and say it's simply a matter of who's frequenting Rockbridge.
"It is true that the majority of tickets are given to people of color," Mayor Melanie Hammet told CBS News. "The demographic reality is that a majority of those driving through Pine Lake are people of color."

If a municipality has revenue or cash flow problems, the solution is never to raise money through a bonding bill or an increase on property taxes. The police are not there for public safety. They are there to confiscate money from poor people and tie them up in a vicious cycle of fines, fees, mandatory court appearances, warrants, and arrests. 

This is the bullshit that pollutes our existence right now. Think of the untold numbers of people in America right now that have a bench warrant or an unpaid fine hanging over their heads because they went a little too fast through a contrived speed trap in the middle of nowhere. All the stress and pain and anxiety created by these traps built into our unfair legal system are constantly ruining the lives of people we don't give a second thought.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

You Gotta Be Kidding Me

 


I find this to be a game-changing accusation, one worthy of figuring out. The implications of Trump being positive for COVID-19 and then exposing himself to other people is bad enough. We are at a point where he is hospitalized and his doctors and his handlers are frantically correcting one another, trying to establish a narrative that has no credibility. None of them are credible at all.

Trump exposed himself to his political opponent. He endangered Joe Biden's life as well as the lives of everyone around him. He exposed his own family to COVID-19. That's not just his erstwhile wife and his adult children and their spouses. He exposed his own juvenile son and his grandchildren to COVID-19 as well. He exposed everyone who works to keep him safe and secure and well fed and comfortable.

What a fucking disgrace.

There are reports that Trump's secret service detail is angry. For what has to be the first time in over 20 years, the protective detail around the president is not leaking information and betraying the trust instilled in them. Look at the parade of disgraceful agents, beginning with Dan Bongino. Where are they when it is long past time to start talking about how unfit for office Trump really is and why have they been silent for so long.

The entire Executive Branch is a betrayal of the American idea. All of the cabinet officers must get together and decide whether or not they are going to put the Constitution first or their own short-term interests. There is no reason to even consider keeping Trump in office. They should meet, they should vote on whether or not to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump, and they should let Mike Pence be president until January 20, 2021. We already know that if there's a free and fair election, Joe Biden is going to win anyway.

Why continue with this debacle?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Distressed


Once a fixture at the administration's coronavirus briefings, Dr. Deborah Birx has confided to aides and friends that she has become so unhappy with what she sees as her diminished role as coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force that she is not certain how much longer she can serve in her position, sources familiar with her thinking tell CNN. 

Birx has told people around her that she is "distressed" with the direction of the task force, describing the situation inside the nation's response to the coronavirus as nightmarish. 

According to people familiar with her thinking, Birx views Dr. Scott Atlas, a recent addition to the task force, as an unhealthy influence on President Donald Trump's thinking when it comes to the virus.

In other words, "I would love to resign on principle but that ship has sailed."

Monday, July 27, 2020

Don't Plant Those Seeds


If you receive a bag of seeds in the mail from China, tell your local officials and don't bother trying to inform our incompetent Trump-run government about it:

Officials in at least four states are urging residents to report any unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to have been sent from China, warning that they might be invasive or otherwise harmful.
The agriculture departments in Washington State, Louisiana, Kansas and Virginia have issued statements in recent days, noting that residents had reported receiving packages of seeds in the mail that they had not ordered. Based on photos, the seeds appear to have been mailed in white pouches displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.”Some of the packages were labeled to say they contained jewelry, according to the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Packages of seeds have also been sent to residents in Utah, Arizona and Ohio, according to local news reports.

What's a Trump regime official or potentate or acting deputy vice chairman going to do about it?

Seriously, this is probably just an effort by a Chinese company to distribute their product illegally. It's  likely nothing nefarious beyond that. But we don't have a State Department. We don't have a functioning set of agencies that could respond. We have screaming, diaper-clad toddlers working for the ultimate fool who could easily screw up a one car parade.

In other words, if this happens to you, the Federal government is going to be of no use in helping to deal with the problem the way that it would have in decades past. And I think people all over the world are beginning to realize that they can exploit the inherent stupidity in Trump voters and get them to work against American interests and their own economic self-interests. I'm not going to be surprised when the Chinese start sending AK-47s and poison to individual Americans, and that's probably the next thing that's coming in the mail.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Courage of Mitch Landrieu


Cities all over America are responding to the needs of their citizens. In New Orleans, under the leadership of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, they're at the forefront of understanding that we need to have a reckoning with the past and look at how racial inequality has robbed Americans of their dignity.
Mitch Landrieu catapulted from progressive philanthropy darling to household name when he ordered the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans while serving as mayor in 2017.
Now, he’s organizing public conversations about race and opportunity while creating a program to help produce elected officials willing to prod their communities toward equity. And on Tuesday, Landrieu will testify remotely at a hearing of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands about his belief that all of the nation's Confederate monuments should be removed from public land.

The hearing itself carries a weighty name: "Monumental Decisions: A Long Overdue Reckoning With Racist Symbols on Our Public Lands."
But as Landrieu establishes himself as an evangelist of equity, questions loom. Is Landrieu, who has long been supported by good-government groups and other arms of the monied liberal establishment, able to facilitate sweeping change? Or is he merely a voice of those with power seeking to adjust a few things?
"We've been headed towards this moment, this situation, for a long, long time," Landrieu said in an interview from his home in New Orleans. "We, particularly white Americans, have been putting off all but the emergency work needed to wind up anywhere else."
The removal of Confederate symbols is one part of that, but we need to understand that red lining, discrimination, and a lack of economic opportunity are all evils that need to be cured as well. Landrieu gets it, and that means he'll be remembered as a pioneer of how to bring our society out of the dark ages of racism.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Let's Regulate and Break Up Facebook




A growing list of companies say they'll join an advertiser boycotton Facebook in protest of what they say are the site's failures to stop the spread of hate.
 
A civil rights coalition, which includes the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the NAACP, launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign last week when it called on major corporations to put a pause on advertising on Facebook, citing the company's "repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms."
 
Within days, outdoor retailers REI, The North Face, and Patagonia said they were in. Other companies, including Upwork and Dashlane, joined too.

We are not living in a period of "good government." The corruption we're seeing at all levels of the public and private sectors is not something that can be sustained. When you see the value of Facebook plummet like this, you have to ask yourself, "was that really the value of the company in the first place?"

In as much as Facebook could monetize your data, freely given, yes. But the reality is, without proper regulation, a company like this cannot continue to operate in the same way for very long. An activist, law-respecting government would have already regulated how Facebook uses data and what it sells it for. A government that protects consumers would have already broken up the company and would be looking at Amazon and a host of others because their business model--screwing people eight ways to Sunday--isn't the sort of thing that should be tolerated.

And no, Facebook is not being censored. It's being brought into the 21st Century, kicking and screaming like an anarcho-libertarian problem child.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Symbol of Distress


It should be noted that General Michael Hayden was a creature of the Republican establishment. He ran several intelligence agencies during the George W. Bush administration. I do not believe him to be a hysteric nor do I think he has become a flower child hippie in his retirement.

This is a serious wake-up call to the American people. It should not pass without comment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Incompetent Any Way You Slice It


This is the header of an Email that I just received from the Small Business Administration. I checked--it's not a phishing scam, nor is it something that also promises me several million dollars in funds from a dead prince who used to live in Nigeria.

I am not a small business owner. I've never registered as one, nor have I ever even tried to be a small business owner. This Email going to me is proof that the government has no idea what it's doing right now. It is sending out information to people who don't need it, promising money they are not entitled to, at a time when people who actually do need help aren't receiving anything other than silence and dropped connections.

If you are a small business owner, I hope you received this Email. I doubt that we even have a government right now that can process your request for a forgivable loan. I hope they get their act together and help you.

When this landed in my In-Box, I just couldn't believe it. This is the gang that couldn't shoot straight, and they have no fucking clue how to help anyone right now. What a shame.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Republicans Will Threaten to Shoot Anyone


They're not even bothering to hide it anymore.

Today's GOP is completely out of control and unhinged. Chances are, you're like me and you had no idea that there even was a Representative Ken Buck from Colorado's Fourth District. I can't even remember writing about this guy before today, what with all the other batshit crazy nut jobs currently serving in Congress.

Here, you have an American politician who has been alive for the last fifty years or so and he's threatening the former Vice President of the United States of America and a former member of the House of Representatives with gun violence. I would hope someone has taken note of this and is moving accordingly to protect them from this lunatic. He seems to be a danger to the people around him.

Buck represents Eastern Colorado, the flat part, mostly, and hasn't had a real challenger since 2010. If I were a part of the Democratic Party out there, I would be helping to send Buck home.

You see, both sides don't threaten to shoot each other. The Republicans do that. The Democrats simply organize themselves and throw you out of office on Election Day. That's how that works.

UPDATE: Yes, the rifle in Congressman Buck's office is "inoperable." Through an agreement with Capitol Police, he has a trigger lock on it and the bolt assembly is back in his home state.

As we know from watching Raising Arizona, that outdated adage "It ain't armed robbery if the gun ain't loaded" does not apply here. A threat with a weapon, inoperable or not, is still a threat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

What Deadly Weather Can Do


The Nashville area has been devastated by a tornado:
The storms left numerous homes and other buildings in ruins across several counties, and left tens of thousands of people without power and hundreds at least temporarily looking for another place to live.

In Nashville, 48 buildings collapsed, others were damaged and about 150 people have been taken to hospitals because of the storm, Mayor John Cooper said.

In Nashville's Germantown area alone, parts of apartment and other multi-story buildings were ripped open, with bricks, roofing material and glass strewn about, images from CNN affiliate WTVF show.

"As tragic as this is -- and our hearts are broken -- we are certain that we'll surround these folks and we'll do what is necessary" to recover, Gov. Bill Lee said.
Incidents like this make me wonder if people really understand the link between funding for first responders, keeping hospitals in business, and whether we have the capacity to deal with natural disasters. The impact of coronavirus is about to be felt in every region of the country--hospitals are going to be inundated with patients on respirators if this thing blows up.

Now add to that the impact of a single tornado sending 150 people to the hospital. Are we prepared for such a thing? What happens when it affects an area where the local hospital has been shut down or when a state has enacted draconian budget cuts to disaster relief?

We currently don't have much of a functioning Federal response to anything right now. Their response to coronavirus has engendered panic. Add to that the Trump regime's horrible response to any natural disaster--flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like--and you have all the makings for a mass panic and unnecessary fatalities.

Friday, February 14, 2020

This Man Has a Grievance


I have no doubt that there are young people who are looking at what has been done to Andrew McCabe and they are ruling out a life of public service.
The Department of Justice has told lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that he will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investigators about a leak to the media, the ex-official's attorneys said Friday. 
The decision was released on the same day it was revealed that a federal judge had expressed concerns months ago that McCabe's case was looking like a "banana republic" prosecution. 
"We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client,” J.P. Cooney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., told McCabe’s attorneys in a letter Friday. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.” 
McCabe's lawyers Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler responded in a statement, saying, "At long last, justice has been done in this matter."
This is the direct result of failing to stop the Trump presidency from happening. The elites who run the Republican Party should have thrown Trump out on his ear in 2015 but they didn't. They should have nominated someone else to run for president in 2016, but they failed to retain control of their party.

Oh well.

McCabe has had this hanging over his head for far too long--somewhere in the neighborhood of two years. He has a legitimate grievance against what Trump and his minions have done to him. This will resonate for decades, I believe. And I also think that no one will learn a lesson from this.

McCabe talked to day about the stress on his family. Who, in their right mind, is going to sign up for that and go into public life?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Joe Klein is Too Stupid to Recognize Racism in His Midst




Hey, Joe. That's racist!

I have heard the T-bone steak and orange-soda riff a number of times on road trips in recent years. It is always T-bone steaks. Sometimes it’s dog food too. Is it true? Maybe so; there are food-stamp abuses, no doubt. Or maybe it happened once, someone saw it, and the story spread, sprayed into the atmosphere by talk radio. It is now an urban (and rural) legend. The food-stamp stories mix with more purposeful fantasies spread by interest groups, like the National Rifle Association’s constant spew that the government wants to “take away” your guns rather than merely regulate their use. And then there are the immigrant stories: Kostelka heard about a carload of Mexicans stopped by the local police without driver’s licenses or proof of residency. “And they were given a fine and set free,” he said. True, no doubt, but incomplete: fewer would-be immigrants have been crossing the border in recent years, and the Obama Administration has been sending record numbers back home.


The "Welfare Queen" meme runs through American society like shit through a goose--it's as phony as hell, it stinks, and everyone is convinced that it's true no matter what the facts say.





People on welfare are not rich. People who come here to work do so because wealthy business owners know they can get away with hiring cheap labor and get rid of them when they don't need workers. Those that abuse the system and get caught are punished. The Border Patrol works the southern border of the United States in depth, catching untold numbers of immigrants. The vast majority of Americans who use welfare benefits of some kind do so temporarily. The vast majority of people who come here illegally to work are conservative in their social beliefs and don't break the law. It is much, much easier to accumulate stuff, buy things, and live well by having a job. That's true for everybody. When people don't have jobs, they see how stingy welfare really is and get off it as soon as they can. The Obama Administration has been sending illegal immigrants back to where they came from since day one.





The next time Joe Klein is talking with the people who make all of these claims, he should call bullshit on them and call them racist. That's all this is--racism and ignorance, tribal resentment and the mistaken belief that poor people cause all the problems in America. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Right Will Never Stop Trying to Destroy Social Security







Do you know why Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare?





Because they work.









Nah, me neither:


I don’t see a lot of appetite for that kind of bullet-biting on the center-left right now, whereas on the Republican side there’s a much greater willingness, post-2010, to bite the alternative bullet of entitlement reform. And that matters: The emerging policy vision on the right only coheres and makes (at least some) fiscal sense because it includes proposals to change Medicare and (from leading politicians like Ryan and Marco Rubio, if not from the party as a whole) Social Security as well. A center-left analogue would need to come to grips more fully with the long-term cost of the liberal vision, and the need, eventually at least, for new taxes on someone other than the rich.


New taxes on "someone other than the rich" is doublespeak for "kill the poors." Occupy Wall Street scared the living hell out of the people who thought that they were going to be able to waltz into the decade with government-slashing politicians in their hip pocket. You know, the ones exactly like Paul Ryan, who was a middle class kid from Wisconsin who cashed in on Social Security death benefits and got an education in the very ideology that would condemn anyone who took a handout from the government.





Inadvertently, the American taxpayer funded the life plan of a man who hates what America does for kids just like him. When you get through that door, slam it hard behind you so no one else can have a good life just like yourself. Pathetic.





Here's an idea--accept government for what it is and what it does and attack the one thing we know that does NOT work, and that's giving the rich tax cuts in exchange for creating jobs.





People in this country actually are free, and they're free from worse levels of poverty and fear than the Republican Party is comfortable with. Social Security isn't broke, Medicare works, Obamacare works, and that drives people who have NO ideas crazy.





More and more, it looks like we missed the ball on Occupy as a movement for real reform and change, and, just like in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we lost a chance to talk about poverty and race in this country. We lost one hell of a good chance and I don't think we'll get it back until we defeat the ideas that give Douthat his woody.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This is Why They Want to Impeach the President




The wholesale destruction of America continues, unabated. Soon, there will be a time when Americans have health care insurance and coverage for their families. Once that happens, America will turn into Thunderdome and we will all be driving cars that have no gas. Do you have four camels lying around who can pull the thing? I don't. But, thanks to Obamacare, now I have to find extra shotgun shells, a water purification system, a Geiger counter, and four freakin' camels because we're all headed for a post-apocalyptic hellsphere, fights to the death optional.

And while we all look for feathers and castoff shoulder pads, let's remember one salient fact--Obamacare was the devil. It was supposed to rip the fabric of American life to pieces and leave nothing but horror and destruction in it's wake. It was supposed to give rise to a thousand Hitlers and burn everything to the ground. If you've been listening to the clowns on the right, you would think that socialism was really, really bad or something. So far, it's looking pretty good.

The Republican Party now has to impeach Obama in order to offset the success of Obamacare. They have tried, dozens of times, to legislate it out of existence. Now that we know it works, they have to do something to head off the damage it is causing to their ideology, not the country. We have been cursed to live in an interesting time--government actually works? Really? Why don't we try having a little more of it, then?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Obamacare is a Profound Success




Some disaster.

Paul Krugman has a victory lap column up today, and it's well deserved. Far be it from me to dance around and laugh at people who are stupid, but that's exactly what we should be doing right now--pointing and laughing at how absolutely ridiculous the enemies of the PPACA were just a few short months ago:

What was especially odd about the incessant predictions of health-reform disaster was that we already knew, or should have known, that a program along the lines of the Affordable Care Act was likely to work. Obamacare was closely modeled on Romneycare, which has been working in Massachusetts since 2006, and it bears a strong family resemblance to successful systems abroad, for example in Switzerland. Why should the system have been unworkable for America?


But a firm conviction that the government can’t do anything useful — a dogmatic belief in public-sector incompetence — is now a central part of American conservatism, and the incompetence dogma has evidently made rational analysis of policy issues impossible.


It wasn’t always thus. If you go back two decades, to the last great fight over health reform, conservatives seem to have been relatively clearheaded about the policy prospects, albeit deeply cynical. For example, William Kristol’s famous 1993 memo urging Republicans to kill the Clinton health plan warned explicitly that Clintoncare, if implemented, might well be perceived as successful, which would, in turn, “strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.” So it was crucial to make sure that reform never happened. In effect, Mr. Kristol was telling insiders that tales of government incompetence are something you peddle to voters to get them to support tax cuts and deregulation, not something you necessarily believe yourself.


This would be same William Kristol who championed the Iraq War and has been going around telling everyone that we should re-invade Iraq. Seriously, though--if Kristol is your intellectual guide, you've spent over twenty years being wrong about everything in America. With a track record like Kristol's--and with all of the hysterical predictions about how the PPACA was supposed to fail--how could anyone seriously believe there is a conservative intellect anymore?

Friday, May 30, 2014

And That's Not the End of It





“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan..."


Shinseki is gone:

In the end, even Eric Shinseki knew he had to go, President Barack Obama said Friday in announcing the resignation of his only Veterans Affairs secretary over a growing scandal involving sometimes deadly waits for care at VA hospitals.


Obama went before reporters shortly after meeting with Shinseki at the White House and said the retired Army general told him that "the VA needs new leadership" to address the widespread problems chronicled in new reports this week, adding that Shinseki "does not want to be a distraction" to fixing the situation.


"That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans, and I agree. We don't have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem," Obama said.

When the boss has to leave under a black cloud, it sends a clear message to the underlings--you're next. The reason why it makes sense for Shinseki to leave is because the greedy, incompetent administrators below him need to be washed out of the VA like the fleas and lice they are, clinging to their bonuses and their schemes to profit personally while failing America's burgeoning corps of Veterans.

That's why I called for him to quit or be fired--there's no other way to remove the terrible, terrible management below Shinseki's level at VA. Someone new, someone tough, and someone with a clear mandate to remove incompetence and fraud from the ranks has to be empowered to do so. Shinseki was not that man anymore.

I would think that many of those engaged in malfeasance would have the decency to retire or quit in the weeks ahead. Many of them won't. They will cling to their lifestyle and continue to do nothing to take care of Veterans. They will continue to ride out the clock. They should not collect any more bonuses, however, and every administrator paid a bonus over the last ten years who presided over a hospital with secret wait lists and things of that nature should be prosecuted for fraud. Their bonuses should be paid back and their retirement benefits should be irretrievably revoked.

The Department of Veteran's Affairs is about benefits, after all. I don't think anyone who screwed Veterans and got paid should be able to retire on a comfortable pension and with full health care. I think that they should be cast out into the real world where so many dying and sick and Veterans have lived since coming back from Vietnam and wherever else. They have had no safety net. They have seen the promises made to them turn into a blizzard of paperwork, crushed under the heels of people who don't care about them while making three figure salaries, getting eight weeks off a year, and being paid ridiculously inflated personal performance bonuses.

To them I would say, welcome to the reality you were charged with improving. Screw you. You're on your own.

This does not end with Shinseki. This ends when the frauds and the thieves who cost this man his job are scrambling to find someone to take care of them while they cope with the aftermath of their personal pity party. This ends when a former bigwig administrator from the Phoenix VA Hospital has to use Coinstar to pay for meds at a discount grocery store in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Paul Ryan Was Against Community Organizers Before He Was For Them




In case anyone is wondering, Paul Ryan still wants to run for President:

On Tuesday, he waded into the conversation with veteran civil rights leader Robert Woodson Sr. by his side and explained that he “wanted to get out of the ivory tower, out of committee hearing rooms, and go out around the country and learn. Not talk, not lecture, but to learn.” The goal was not to make him a better politician but a better policy-maker. He wants to attack the root causes of poverty rather than simply ameliorate root symptoms.

Ron Christie is one of the most dishonest shills in America. His identification of Robert Woodson leaves out the fact that he is also a community organizer.

Yes, a community organizer. Paul Ryan's epiphany should come with a trigger warning for people who hate community organizers.

Barely one year ago, he hated them with a passion:

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Tuesday that a "data hub" being compiled for Obamacare presents a danger to Americans.


"This thing gives me a tingle down my spine. It's just chilling," the Janesville Republican told conservative Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes on WTMJ-AM (620).


"It's the biggest database ever collected on us, meaning people, the citizens of this country," Ryan claimed.Ryan said the data hub will merge databases from the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal and state agencies.


The hub will be used to determine eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, he said.


In a National Review column posted Monday, Ryan is quoted as saying "community organizers" working to implement Obamacare will have access to the data hub.


“Giving community organizers access to the Federal Data Hub is bad policy and potentially a danger to civil liberties,” he said. “But it’s one of the most underreported stories I’ve seen. If people only knew about this Data Hub program, it would touch off a huge public outcry.”

Now that's a flip flop. And it's funny how a history of being one kind of jackass and then pretending he never held an opinion in his life can come back to haunt him.