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      There isn’t much to say that others haven’t, but let’s go through it anyway: There was never any chance that Darren Wilson would be charged; the prosecutor acted as defense attorney, not as prosecutor; A grand jury, for all intents and purposes does what the prosecutor tells it to; Doing the announcement at 8pm at [...]
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Mitch McConnell opens his kimono

Sorry about that image so early in the morning. Let me pass you some brain bleach.

What I am referring to is the peek at the Republican agenda that McConnell revealed yesterday. Let’s take a look, shall we? This bit is from the Washington Post:

“You know, I think the gridlock is going to end,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in an interview Wednesday. “Senator McConnell knows how to make the Senate work and I think he’ll make us a bigger party, a better party, by . . . crafting bipartisan legislation.”

No, Rand, the gridlock is going to end because Republicans no longer have any reason to say “NO, Non, Nein!” to absolutely everything proposed by the other side of the aisle.  Republicans had their chance to craft bipartisan legislation for 6 straight years. In fact, every day of the last 3 congressional sessions was a new day for Republicans to wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “It’s a new day.  There are millions of Americans in dire straits waiting for us to help them recover from the financial mess of 2008.  I’m going to do something different today!  I’m going to propose bipartisan legislation.” That’s certainly what all of the media pundits are going to pressure the Democrats to do. But Republicans did not set this example for the past six years. Nope, not a one of them. Instead, they shutdown the government precisely to avoid bipartisan legislation. So, Rand is lying. I know because his mouth is moving.

The New York Times reveals a little more:

HEALTH CARE It is a delicate topic, but top Republicans acknowledge they cannot repeal the Affordable Care Act, particularly with Mr. Obama able to veto any such effort. They will no doubt take some repeal votes, but their initial focus could be on smaller changes.

For instance, a medical device tax used to pay for the law is opposed by lawmakers from both parties who represent manufacturers, and a repeal of the tax could pass Congress. And another group of Republicans and Democrats has also called for returning the health law’s definition of full-time work to 40 hours from 30, arguing that the lower limit is forcing too many people out of work because of employers’ efforts to comply with the law. Mr. Boehner singled out that measure as one that he would like to see advance.

Returning the definition of a full timer to 40 hours is supposed to help??  How is that supposed to work, Mitch?  If you’re not going to fully rescind Obamacare, it’s only going to make the part-time work crisis more severe.  By the time, Mitch is through, no one will be eligible for benefits of any kind.  Yeah, that will make things better.

Back to WaPo:

For more ambitious legislation, senior Republicans are discussing a fast-track procedure known as “reconciliation,” which would permit them to push a measure through the Senate with just 51 votes. Among the targets under consideration: tax reform, cuts to Medicare benefits and an increase in the federal debt limit.

The argument that the Democrats always made about Obamacare is that it was better than a sharp stick in the eye. Now, we’re going to get a sharp stick in the eye. You people on Medicare shouldn’t get too comfy either. Mitch is planning to cut your benefits. Oh, yeah, we tried to tell you but would you listen?? No. So, now you’re about to find out that Republicans don’t really give a crap about your biblical morality. They want your money. Every penny of it. They are all about stripping government down to the studs and giving its profit making potential over to their friends who helped get them elected. Fox News is just a front, a club, if you will, for you retired people to hang out and get captured like flies in a spider web.

But you’ll see.

Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare with a white hot passion. Medicare was passed during the Johnson administration only by overwhelmingly voting in Democrats to Congress so as to reduce Republican opposition to insignificance. Social Security was also passed over their dead bodies back during the Depression. Now that they are in charge, and we have an weaker president than even I ever thought possible in the White House, Republicans are going to do all they can to make sure they stamp both programs out or cripple them so badly that they may become worthless. You may indeed be the last generation that benefits from all your hard work. But it is my generation, who paid *extra* taxes into the surplus fund so that we could retire, and have almost no other pension benefits, that will feel the most severe pain. Because Republicans are going to cut a deal with you to screw us over and we are going to watch as you hastily pull the ladder up in order to save your own skins.

We’ve seen what is underneath the Fox News lovers kimonos too. And it is not pretty.

There, there, get it all out.

My best guess is that despite the NYTimes and the entire Democratic party being in denial about this, voters really HATE Obamacare.  It’s the cheap airlines special of healthcare where you have no idea what the guy sitting next to you paid for the same seat but you’re pretty sure he got a better deal than you did. Oh sure, there are always going to be a few people who scored the deal of a lifetime, but that only means that the rest of the poor slobs in economy subsidized their ticket. Meanwhile, business class is enjoying extra legroom because their employers used CliqBook to negotiate better deals. And first class doesn’t know or care about the people in steerage.

Then there is the problem of being forced to buy a ticket in economy where there is zero legroom and you could swear the airline shrank your personal space by another 25%, and there are no snacks but some grumbling flight attendant who just lost her pension is walking up and down the aisle with pony bottles of water that sell for 5 times what you would pay on Air France. Then you realize that this flight is 14 hours long and you have to pee but YOU had to buy the cheapest seat you could find so you’re crammed in to the window seat and have to climb over other people to get out.  And there’s Paul Krugman sitting in a business class upgrade saying you’re ungrateful if you complain about your seat because the morbidly obese passenger whose excess girth is spilling over your armrest is finally able to afford his insulin.

Did I mention that you have to pay full price tickets for a long time before you can use your frequent flyer miles?  In fact, you may never get a chance to use them

I take back that extended metaphor because some of us are not on that plane.  Noooo, we’re the ones whose careers were ended by the financial catastrophe and haven’t been able to afford a ticket and can’t get a subsidy because we make too little money.  So, we’re stuck there on the tarmac, paying a penalty for being deadbeats, except we’re not deadbeats.  We’re just invisible to the Krugman types and the nation’s elderly who just can’t understand what horrible thing we must have done if we can’t find new jobs.  Maybe the new Republicans will implement training programs for us where we will learn how to take responsibility for coming to work sober and on time every day and where we can learn useful skills like how to use a computer and the inter toobz,  Oh, yes, sign me up for that!  I LOVE mandatory pointless patronizing lectures that will not improve my life a jot.  It’s what I live for.

Didn’t the Democrats promise they were going to fix Obamacare if only they could just pass it first? They swore up and down that they were going to revisit it and correct all the flaws as soon as they could. And how did that go?

It’s not that the country doesn’t want or need better healthcare. It’s just that when Democrats had two whole years to create something better they had Obama in charge all ready to lock us into a plan that only the extravagantly expensive health care/insurance industry wanted.

And don’t even get me started on the crappy economy. I am having a very hard time believing that the economy is picking up.  Now I have to worry about a bunch of nut job Republicans waving some shiny Grand Bargain object in front of Obama, who’s got the political skills of a second grader being shaken down by the class bullies that want his lunch money.  Make that OUR lunch money.

It could have been different.  Of course, Democrats will blame Bill Clinton.  It’s what they always do.  They never learn that this is just what the psychopaths who run the country want.  They need Bill Clinton to be the enemy to keep the party’s attention off of what they are doing.  There must be a scapegoat.

Well, I have a new governor and my congressman retained his seat, not that it will do much good seeing as here in Pittsburgh, we’re a tiny dot of blue in a sea of red.  It’s sort of like being the good guys surrounded by zombies infected by a virus transmitted through their cable boxes.  The closer you are to urban areas where diversity confers some protection, the less likely you are to be infected.  Too bad about that whole gerrymandering thing.

{{sigh}}

We deserve better than this.

Update: Ah, yes, Howard Dean, that brilliant strategist who was in charge in 2008 when the DNC changed the rules to allow a candidate who wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan to win votes there anyway, *including* votes that were legitimately won by a different candidate. Delegate reassignment surgery was a novelty introduced during the Dean era. Then, the campaign consultants and money (from the financial industry) moved out of DC to Chicago.

Thank you, Atrios.  You can go back to bed now.

Wolf (D) beating the pants off of Corbett (R) here in PA

Woah, this looks like it might be a blowout here in PA.  With about 11% of the votes counted, Wolf leads Corbett by 65.27% to 34.73%.

I wasn’t here when Corbett was elected but I really didn’t like his “solution” to the Medicaid expansion.  He turned it down.  Then, when he saw the end of his political career, he proposed an alternative to Medicaid.  It was something like privatized Medicaid but with premiums.  Ok, I could *almost* live with that but what made it unpalatable was the suggestion that those of us who are still having problems finding employment and health care were somehow lacking initiative and essential skills.  So, under the Corbett plan, I would probably have to sign up for courses in, what, exactly?  How to use a computer?  How to use a word processing application?

See, this is why people vote for Republicans.  They have strange ideas about what is really going on in the world.

Just Do It.

Why am I not surprised?

Look, guys, the election is happening tomorrow and I aim to vote my congressperson back into office, as well as elect a new governator.  But other than that, I just want to be in denial about this election.  I feel betrayed by the clueless Fox News lovers out there and by the Democrats who let the Fox News lie machine go unchecked.  Yeah, they could have done a much better job since 2008 but that’s for Wednesday.

Instead, I point you to this story from the NYTimes about sexual harassment at Yale.  It’s about a departmental supervisor in the cardiology department who made an explicit pass at a female researcher.  She rejected him because she was already dating a cardiologist in the supervisor’s group.  So, the supervisor decided to make her future husband’s life a living nightmare, cutting him off grants and generally being a dick.

You may think that the supervisor got what’s coming to him after he was investigated by a disciplinary committee at Yale but you would be wrong.  Here’s the money quote:

Several of the faculty members who attended the meetings said that while they could not recall the dean’s actual words, the message they had come away with was that he seemed confused by the standards for sexual harassment, and thought brilliant researchers who attract grants might be given extra latitude.

That just about sums it up.  If you can bring a lot of money into your department through grants, you can be abusive to your staff with impunity and the administration will just shrug it off and call him demanding.  The highly competitive grant generating atmosphere in academia appears to be aggravating the tendency of some ambitious researchers to become narcissistic abusers.

Someone should look into that.

Tweet of the Day

from @LOLGOP:

*******************************************

@LOLGOP: “I’m not a scientist.”
-Republicans

“I’m not a Republican.”
– Scientists

********************************************

{{snort!}}

Technically, this is not strictly true. From my experience, the best scientists are not Republicans.

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