The Great American Shutdown
Well the silly bastards and bitches did it. At the stroke of midnight on October 1, 2013, the government of the United States of America ceased to be - at least for the time being. I can't see this lasting very long, but then again, a certain political party in recent years has redefined the process of "governing" to mean doing away with government. As Molly Ivins once pointed out, putting people in charge of your government who don't believe in government is generally not a very nifty idea. If you don't understand that by now you will soon enough. This is going to be interesting.
The really amazing thing is the fact that the congresspersons from the red states have no fear of voter-backlash because most of their constituents have no problem with the shutdown. In fact they're cheering their representatives on. It would appear that the overwhelming majority of these assholes will be reelected during next year's midterms. Ain't that a knee-slapper? How on earth are the Democrats expected to gain a majority anytime soon if these half-witted Tea Partiers keep getting sent back to DC every two years? I have a plan....
The secret is not-so-much in concentrating on the red states. They're a lost cause. Let's face some serious and uncomfortable facts, boys and girls: Most of the voters in those regions of this diseased nation are just too idiotic to do the right thing at the ballot box. If this country is to be saved it will only be saved by the voters in the blue and purple states. And they will be able to do that by sending every Republican that represents them in Washington packing in November of 2014.
|Peter King, R. NY|
Yeah, I realize that that's a pipe dream on my part, but these are desperate times. Got any better ideas?
The one beautiful thing about this entire mess is that - for all the damage that's being done to the United States - it surely is an amusing spectacle to behold. I'm sure that watching Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned all around him must have been a funny thing to witness as well. You can say anything you want about the times in which we live, but you can't say the they're boring. Anything but. In fact I cannot recall an era more entertaining - in terms of pure ideological insanity - than this one. The ancient Chinese used to say, "May you live in interesting times". It was a blessing and a curse.
And to think that this all came about simply because the tea-partying hardliners refuse to extend affordable health care to the poor and working classes. They should be renamed the "Sociopath Party". This morning they are desperately attempting to put out the spin that the shutdown is the fault of the president. It isn't. We must not forget that he is there to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution the United States". Obamacare (they don't dare call it by its real name: the Affordable Health Care Act) has been judged to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. Holding the executive hostage over a law that is already on the books, on the other hand, is not only unconstitutional (That's obvious) it's also criminal. I thought I'd just point that out.
So, put your feet up, grab a couple of bags of pistachio, sit back in your favorite easy chair, and enjoy the farce while the country that you love implodes from within. This ought to be loads of fun to watch.
by Upton Sinclair
Three events of note took place on November 25, 1968: the Beatles released the "White Album", my beloved friend Rosemarie was born, and Upton Sinclair died.
In the case of Sinclair, his 1906 novel about the stark realities in the lives of working men and women in America had been all-but-forgotten by the time he passed from the scene. In recent years, however, the book has had quite a renaissance - and with no little wonder. At the turn of the last century there was no-such-thing as a middle class in this country. There was the "professional class" (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.) but the plutocracy held most of the wealth while nearly everyone else lived in poverty. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal put an end to that economic madness. Unfortunately it wasn't a permanent ending as recent years have proven. The middle class that FDR bought into being is dying on a poisoned vine.
By all means give The Jungle a read sometime, and have a look at life during the Gilded Age - or as I like to refer to that time and place: "America's Conservative Paradise".