Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why He, A Principled-Conservative, Bible-Believing Protestant, and Counter-cult Expert, Will Vote for Mitt Romney

As the election season approaches, the Constructive Curmudgeon regales us with the reasons why he, a principled blah blah blah, will vote for Willard Mitt Romney in the November elections. The real reasons? The Curmudgeon enthusiastically welcomed Sarah Palin as the VP candidate of the last Republican presidential ticket, he supported Michele Bachmann this time around. In other words, in spite of all claims of logic in support of his choices, the guy votes Republican because he hates Democrats, which he is entitled to.

He'd never vote for a Democrat, like I would never vote for a Republican, and he rationalizes his distaste for Democrats and cloaks it in a smokescreen of alleged good reasons when, in fact, he offers really none (unless you consider lines like "the alternative to Romney is [...] the end of America as it was founded and as we know it" an example of a good reason, in which case you have bigger problems than agreeing with the Curmudgeon.

If the choice were between a Democrat and an orangutan in Republican garb, the Curmudgeon would come up with a list of "good" reasons why the orangutan would make a better president for America. Lucky for him, many Republicans reason just as well as orangutans do.

(P.S. If you want to read his official reasons, complete with factual inaccuracies and simply made up stuff like [Obama supports] "the federal takeover of health care, leading to rationing, inefficiency, and a loss of personal freedom. You will be paying for abortions. Some would rather go to jail than do this", "A growing and perhaps insurmountable debt, mortgaging our future, and making us like Greece", and the completely fantastic "Further evisceration of our military and cut backs in military benefits" you can read the whole sorry post here.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You've Got To Wonder About Some Congressional Districts

How do idiots like Allen West (R-FL) get elected? When a district contains enough idiots like him to elect him, I guess, and when the good people who might prevent him from winning a seat don't vote.

Anyway, here's West's latest nugget of idiocy. In any case, better red than [being represented by] West.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Greed vs. Life

Hunter at Daily Kos gives a very typically pitiless and accurate take down of the conservatives' arguments against universal health care, in which he unmasks the freedom vs.socialism/government argument for a what it really is: an argument for greed over life.

You can read Hunter's whole impeccable argument, Steve King is still a rotten human being by clicking the link. But a few excerpts bear highlighting:
The freedom of the healthy, it is presumed, will be abridged if they are taxed even a penny to pay for the less healthy. The freedom of the decently well off will be compromised, it is argued straight-out, we consider it a national interest to care for people those "well off" individuals deem it unnecessary to care for. 
[...] The future potential of a need for health care among all living humans would seem to be a self-evident premise, and existing federal law provides that they will be cared for in emergency situations, whether they have preemptively "entered into" that commerce or not. The hospitals and other institutions responsible for that care are already actively engaged in—and mandated to— provide that commerce. There's no opt-out there. There is no citizen who does not benefit from that explicit federal guarantee of some very basic level of care, even if they, like Mr. King's Randian supermen, never actually need to partake of it. They are in that commerce. They benefit from it.
[...] The conservative argument is that there is no underlying right to health care, there is no obligation to provide citizens with that care, and that establishing a tax or fine or program to provide that care is in fact the true infringement of rights and freedoms, as some people might be put out by it. This argument is considered implausible in nearly all other aspects of government: There is no opt-out of defense spending, if you do not wish to pay for it. There is no little box to check if you do not want your tax dollars to go towards transportation spending, or infrastructure improvements, or courthouses, or police forces, or fire prevention efforts. These are decided legal issues. The notion that the rights of a certain small subset of the greedy and amoral are being wounded by requiring them to partake of a federal program to insure all others would seemingly be a rather asinine proposition. For millennial conservatism, however, it is not. 
[...] The "right" not to be taxed is being weighed against the "right" of poorer or less fortunate citizens to live, and the outcome of that question is honestly being presumed as debatable, even though there are precious few other contexts in which you could debate the question and not be considered, for lack of a better phrase, a goddamn monster. 
 Read the rest of it. It's well worth it.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Blood Boils Again, I'm Afraid

Every country has horror stories that affect the lives of its citizens. The United States, of course, is no exception, except in the minds of rabid Repuglycans (not Republicans, mind you, although the distinction is getting quite pointless) and Tea Partiers who take any criticism of the nation as the evil work of Commie infiltrates. On the contrary, recognizing one's shortcomings is the only way to eliminating them, which is why so much that is good in this country has been going so badly, so fast. Denial, Egypt, etc.

Tonight, I had the misfortune/good fortune of watching a special presentation of PBS's Frontline that featured two such horror stories.

The first one covered cases in which the forensic pathology and prosecutorial apparatuses of this nation combine in a frightening frenzy to create crimes when there is none. Prominently featured was the case of a quite likeable fellow, Ernie Lopez, who spent close to 10 years in prison for a crime he almost certainly did not commit: the rape and murder of a 6-month old infant he baby-sat. You can watch the original investigation, The Child Cases, on Frontline's web site.

The other story followed the intersection of for-profit online universities (with a lowercase U) with the lives of veterans who attend them in hope of rebuilding their lives after serving the nation. The waste of money is unthinkable, as is the damage done to the lives of men and women who have sacrificed their lives, and their families', in service to the nation. You can watch this episode too, Educating Sgt. Pantzke, on Frontline's web site.

If your blood is not boiling after you have viewed this stories, check your pulse. If it is, do something about it.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Some Republicans' Idea of Democracy Very Much Resembles Dictatorship

A chilling report broadcast by Rachel Maddow  tonight shows the Republican-led Michigan legislature put laws into immediate effect, a practice that requires a 2/3 majority and that should presumably be reserved for emergency situations, not by roll-call but by a simple show of hands (actually, by asking representatives in favor of the resolution to stand).

The legislature which was seated in January 2011 passed 546 of 566 laws with immediate effect. You can watch how long it takes the speaker of the Michigan House to determine that a 2/3 majority exists for the immediate effect resolution in the video below. And then you may shudder.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

If Broccoli Were Like Health Insurance...

If broccoli were like health insurance, in cartoon form. What a country, eh?
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