Halloween Horrors in the Halls of Congress

Haunted House

Ted forgot to put in his teeth this morning.

Ted forgot to put his teeth in this morning.

I seriously wonder if our country is doomed to fall victim to its own superstitions, prejudices and stupidity. If an ignorant populace prefers to elect ignorant people to represent them in Congress, what can anyone possibly expect? This morning I spent a few minutes watching Kathleen Sebelius being grilled by Congress over the snafu caused by the faulty website roll out of the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA)–or Ah-Haaa, if your prefer. It was nothing short of disingenuous to see Republicans drag the Secretary of Health and Human Services over the coals because of a crashed website. We all know the GOP wants the AHA to fail in the same breath that they’re demanding answers as to why the enrollment website has been such a dismal failure. You know they’re glad that the website crashed repeatedly. It’s drawn attention away from the Ted Cruz Show. Now they’re all kicking themselves for shutting down the government in the first place and not allowing AHA’s rocky start to dominate the headlines instead of their own congressional constipation.

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett turns a deaf ear to the needs of his constituents.

It’s pretty clear that no one in Congress actually understands or experiences the real life trials and challenges that everyday struggling citizens endure. I’ve been without healthcare for over a year now. I’ve been looking forward to obtaining affordable healthcare. I still believe in the principles of making affordable healthcare available to millions of otherwise uninsured Americans–because I’m one of them. The website will be fixed. Clearly no one realized the crush of traffic the site would draw, and it’s pretty obvious there are systemic problems in the design and implementation of the website to put it mildly. But I still maintain that the online presence will be corrected, but that’s only part of what we can expect to go wrong with the Affordable Healthcare Act. Much of what will substantially go wrong will be how the law is undermined.

Kudos to whoever created this inspired piece of Photoshopping.

Kudos to whoever created this inspired piece of Photoshopping. Speaker Boehner allowed the House of Representative to run amok under the madness of Ted Cruz. He does need to be changed.

The ideas behind implementing the AHA are sound and moral. The boisterous tantrum thrown by members of the GOP Tea Party are not. But if the GOP wants to put a fly in the ointment to create problems in the AHA, fear not, Republican governors across the nation have already done that due to a provision in the law handily provided by activist judges in the Supreme Court. Shortsighted and blatantly evil state governors like Governor Corbett in Pennsylvania (where I live) have purposely failed to expand statewide Medicaid. In doing so, people like me do not qualify to take advantage of the AHA. I fall into a crack between the floorboards. My earnings are below the poverty level, but I have small assets and holdings. If I could show on paper that I earned either $250 MORE per year or $250 LESS per year, I’d qualify for a healthcare exchange that would cost me $70 per month. I’m only sixty three years old and I’m not disabled–so I don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. This leaves me having to pay SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS per month as opposed to seventy dollars. I don’t have $700 a month to spend on an exchange.

tumblr_msffq489Yk1s65idto1_400This purposeful denial is designed to keep people like me from qualifying and taking advantage of the AHA. It’s also clearly the purpose of the GOP to confuse people into believing this is a failure on the part of President Obama’s signature law. It is not. It’s an undermining tactic. Too many Americans in general don’t like to think very deeply about anything. The easy assumption will be “blame it on Obama.” The exception that I fall into is by Republican design. And it’s not particularly “Christian-like” of the party of “God, guns and greed.” But that shouldn’t surprise anyone. In GOP-think, religious values are a tool and not a moral imperative. The Affordable Healthcare Act will eventually work, and people will like it. However, by that time I’ll be on Medicare and Social Security–providing Republicans haven’t figured out how to undermine those safety nets as well. Nothin’ like Congress at work. Oh, I forgot, they don’t work, they just get paid and collect magnificent medical care and other various and sundry deluxe entitlements. Goody, goody for them.

– Disassociated Press, 10/30/2013

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A Ridicule Wrapped Within a Misery Inside an Enema

OutFestWestboro Baptist Church members protest at Arlington National Cemetery in VirginiaNo talk today about the Sequester, the late government shut-down or the delayed argument over the Debt Ceiling. But there are parallels between those constipations and today’s observations: Why do people blindly believe things that allegedly took place over 2,000 years ago, but dismiss out of hand the irrefutable facts that surround them right in plain sight? Take climate change for example, but that’s science, so no one who truly needs to be reached is paying attention. Society is changing and broadminded people have come to understand that human beings are at our best when we embrace diversity as opposed to isolationism and prejudice. That said, inherited prejudice is one of the most potent yet toxic forces known throughout history. It can bring down entire civilizations–just look at what is happening in the Middle East among peoples who worship the same god and follow the same faith–but for reasons no one can remember or articulate, they’re devoted to hating each other.

grape.Subtext.outfest2On occasion I hear variations of the phrase “there are extremists on both the left and the right in this country.” And while I don’t question the existence of extremists on either side of any issue, there’s a fundamental difference in methodology and desired outcome between the extreme left and the extreme right wings in America. The extreme left would like to be extremely left alone to live their lives in peace—whereas the extreme right likes to stick their noses in everyone else’s business–especially if it has anything to do with the other people’s governance over their own genitals. Where the left would like to be left in peace—the right likes to stir up conflagrations in the name of the Prince of Peace–who would most certainly not be on board with the ideologies put forward in His name.

anti-gay-protest-signs2aThere IS no mention in the New Testament one-way or the other about homosexuality. That however does not prevent right wing Christians from engaging in boisterous—no—make that blatantly obnoxious protests at peaceful gay gatherings. The “Christians” are determined to “save” gay people in spite of having nothing whatsoever to offer that would entice anyone into their fold. Watching a bunch of knuckleheads holding signs that read “God Hates Fags” doesn’t make me want to stop smoking anymore than it makes me want to attend church. Nor does it make me inclined to go against the grain of my own inherent sexual orientation. Why would it?

images2This past weekend my little Philadelphia neighborhood held our annual OutFest, which is a six square block street fair with food, music, public information booths and vendors. Every year we get either the Westboro Baptist bullies or some other pray-away-the-gay “annoyance group” fully armed with megaphones and offensive signs and literature. They blare their opinions and non-provable mythology at seven thousand decibels above the threshold of pain because they have nothing better to do than perform endless feats of amplified Turrets. I can guarantee you that if were I to gather together a group of LGBT people with megaphones and hateful signs outside of one of their churches to disrupt Sunday services, I’d be tossed in jail along with whoever was with me. At gay rallies, these “Christian” disruptors are assigned plain-clothes bodyguards by the local police department. But no one protects the gay community from those agitators.

Gay_PhelepsWhen attending gay rallies, what a certain sector of misguided Christians are busy protesting is a lifestyle that has nothing to do with them, and effects them in no way other than their own choice to impose themselves into making judgments about the lives of other people. If LGBT people have sex, hold hands, fall in love, dance together or get matching tattoos and nose rings it in no way effects right wing Christians–nor does it cause our lifestyle to to splash up against anyone else who’s minding their own business. But try telling that to a right wing Christian. Those people aren’t inclined to be receptive to coherent logic–but who needs logic when you’ve got dogma on your side?

westboro-baptist-churchFor decades dogmatic Christian protestors have become a tiresome staple at gay rights rallies across the nation. Most people try to tune them out as best they can. Other people take photos of the Jesus freaks–often with friends mugging in the foreground. During last weekend’s festivities that’s what a friend of mine did along with his partner. They were taking photos of themselves with Christian apes in the background —but much like standing too close to the apes at the zoo, doing so can be hazardous to your health. Perhaps they got too close to God’s own Troglodytes or someone simply panicked for no reason, but my gentle friends were manhandled, thrown to the ground cuffed and tossed in jail until the following day for simply taking a photograph of Jesus freaks. Philadelphia plainclothes police came to the rescue—but not to the people who had every right to expect to have a good time and be safe at their own gay pride rally—but rather to protect the out-of-place Christian protestors who won no “souls” and accomplished nothing more than strained vocal chords for their trouble. No converts. None. Nun. Nada.

gay-hate-signNewsflash to the Christian right: You’re wrong. And pushing forward very confused looking young men at us telling everyone within earshot of your public address system that these poor simpletons are “EX-gays” proves nothing. Well at least you can’t prove it by me, I haven’t slept with any of them, nor would I—they weren’t a particularly attractive bunch of specimens. At one point, the mouthpiece with the megaphone shouted: “Homosexuality is ugly, and God don’t like ugly.” If that is indeed the case, then right wing Christianity is long past due for a massive beauty makeover.

DSCF0690.JPGWhat happened this past weekend is indicative of what is happening across the nation. A noisy, ill-informed bunch of know-nothings, determined to force their will on everyone else (logic and common sense be damned) forge ahead jousting windmills in favor of doing anything constructive. True Christians are gathering food and clothing for the poor–or volunteering time helping to educate underprivileged children–not wasting their time getting bent out of shape over who chooses to love each other. It’s the same dynamic that’s happening with our endless crisis’s in Washington, D.C. and it’s what’s happening to personal liberty. In fact it’s one of my major beefs with the Libertarian movement: Liberty is to be reserved for the people who fall in lockstep with them, and the rest of the world be damned. At my neighborhood gay pride rally the rights of a very noisy few trumped the rights of the majority present for what would otherwise have been a peaceful, unified purpose. Where can people turn to be protected from from toxic religious proselytizers?

god-hates-fags-kidsI’m all for the right to peaceful protest, but what can be done to prevent the “few” from harassing and holding the “many” as hostage? That question holds true whether the subject is human rights or how we’re governed in the nation’s capitol. Locally, I want to see an ordinance put in place here in Philadelphia forbidding protestors directed against minority groups (of any description) from getting any closer than 100 feet from the outer perimeter of the area legally designated and licensed for the official rally. Sadly, that’s about as likely as administering intellectual aptitude tests to prospective congresspeople. Among other things, our Constitution protects the individual’s right to exercise undiluted stupidity. But when do the rest of us get protections from dimwits? And that includes Philadelphia’s high-handed police force–so many of whom peaked while they were still bullying their way through puberty as high school hall monitors. When as a nation are we going to stop allowing ourselves to be held hostage by a small but noisy gaggle of the most devoutly delusional in society? And why for some peculiar reason do they deserve special protections while the rest of us do not…? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXjlVk9bB-o

– Disassociated Press, 10/16/2013

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Without structure there is no order. Without order there is no freedom.

Closed Nationa ParksWinnieWashingtonFramedrightWithout structure there is no order. Without order there is no freedom. It’s really a very simple concept–while counter intuitive to some on the hard right–our freedoms do not thrive in an atmosphere of chaos. In going after the government of the United States with the unrepentant goal of crushing our president, the Tea Party has proven just how green at the gills they really are. They’ve proven how little they and their followers understand about how our nation and economy function. If anything good comes from this mess, it might be a sophomoric lesson in governing for those foolish Congressional freshmen. As much as none of us like career politicians, it’s far worse when Tea Party ideologues from all walks of life waltz into office touting a barely nodding acquaintance with the workings of their own government, only to be let loose like weevils wielding power without any forethought of action.

1_photoSimply because some yahoo campaigns for public office and wins–doesn’t distinguish that person as a Constitutional scholar any more than it sets him or her apart as an inspired leader. In point of fact getting elected is a lot easier than governing. It has become abundantly clear that certain elected officials have a severe deficit of knowledge about anything and everything useful. Take for example Texas Republican congressman, Randy Neugebauer, who confronted and berated a National Park Ranger standing guard at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. for simply doing her assigned job. The simpleminded Rep. Neugebauer in a moment of priceless stupidity blamed the ranger for turning veterans away at the entrance to the monument, telling her that she “should be ashamed” of herself for blocking the door. In reality the locked monument had nothing to do with any decision-making process on her part–she was assigned to guard the entrance during the government shutdown–period. She WAS doing her job while the grandstanding Neugebauer was not. Neugebauer himself had voted for the government shutdown without any of the consequences ever crossing his mind. He is incompetent, unqualified and unfit to serve in a_560x375public office. And if he believes the words that fell from his lips, he’s pointblank stupid to boot. Sadly among the fractured remnants of the Grand Old Party, his type are more common than not. Ted Cruz and simpleminded Sarah Palin arrived at the World War II Memorial this past weekend to pretend they were patriots with Cruz blaming his own irresponsible actions on President Obama.

Joe WilsonSouth Carolina Representative, Joe Wilson thinks that a government shutdown just might be the ticket to help fix the economy. Wilson, who is most famous for inappropriately shouting “You lie!” during President Obama’s first State of the Union address is too ridiculous to grasp the ripple effect his congressional constipation has on the average American citizen–let alone the very business moguls who bankroll his party. Curious how Charles and David Koch have publicly distanced themselves from Ted Cruz’ government shutdown. Why? Because between the sequester, the government shutdown, furloughed employees and the looming Debt Ceiling–the rich are starting to understand that this tactic will not only backfire–it will cost THEM money. The only one benefiting from this foolishness is Ted Cruz who swept the “Values Voters Straw Poll” which is about as politically useful as winning a game of solitaire.

TeddyDuckEvery single day that our government functions remain in suspended animation–the supposedly “fiscally responsible” Tea Party further runs up America’s bar tab, past due bills and interest payments. The Grand Old Tea Party has ground us to a halt under the naive belief that standing still doesn’t cost anything–when in reality it costs taxpayers up to $300 million dollars a day and counting. That accumulative invoice will eventually come due and have to be paid–but it’s the so called “party of fiscal responsibility” who is wholly at fault for digging our fiscal grave ever so much deeper. As best as I can tell, there are only two good things coming from the intestinal blockage in Congress: The GOP is imploding (which will hopefully lead to a more reasonable alternative party). And the national parks are getting a much needed break from being trampled into oblivion by tourists. But in the end, order needs to be restored if any of us are going to continue enjoying our freedoms. And knowing that freedom comes at a price–why in the world pay more than necessary?

– Disassociated Press, 10/14/2013

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The Ted Cruz’ $300 Million Dollar a Day Self-promotion Scheme

649-01755343god hates fags 2Why are so many members of the extreme right wing in America so stridently and vocally Christian while embracing almost none of Christ’s doctrine nor applying any of His teachings into actual practice? I have a theory: People who believe without ever questioning the beliefs they’ve been raised with with don’t have the strength of their convictions. They have dogma and see no reason spend any further time thinking on the matter.

1377415_10151874299528221_1371201935_nThe Ted Cruz Governmental Shut Down (which is now the official name of the event) is causing untold harm to countless people, places and things. The Federal Government shut down coincided with the 123rd birthday of Yosemite National Park. “Happy birthday, deer—turn around tourists, there’s nothing to see here.” Why it sounds like a rhyme that Doctor Ted Seuss might have uttered while fila-bullshitting.

Child_hospitalChildren are being cut off from receiving treatment at the National Centers for Disease Control—throwing promising clinical trials into jeopardy while at the same time depriving those same children of life sustaining medicine and meaningful medical progress for humanity. There is a measure to extend that funding, but it’s partially a Republican trap so they’ll look reasonable. It’s a little like Fascists strapping children to a train loaded full of munitions and then trying to look magnanimous when no one fires on the train. What a home-run this is for modern Christianity, and for the duplicitous Mr. Cruz—they must all feel all warm and fuzzy about the current constipation of progress.

hgfeCruz won’t take any responsibility for the chaos and destruction he’s caused—he’ll merely blame it on Obama to a Bossa Nova beat. Ted Cruz has manipulated the party of God, guns and gonads to labor under the delusion that they’ve gotten their wish, and to some degree as nihilists, they have. Almost all non-essential services of the United States government are at a complete and total standstill for the first time in 17 years. Originally it was predicted that the 17-year locusts were going to swarm, but instead we got swarmed by one single slimy cicada named Ted Cruz, with his sophomoric faux-filibusters and his pointless attention-grabbing publicity stunts. All the same, The Affordable Health Care Act went into effect—In spite of Tea Party prayer meetings on the steps of Congress (now that was a pathetic sight to behold)—And none of the histrionics will have any effect on ObamaCare. So far the cruzprayingbiggest problem in implementing Barack Obama’s signature achievement appears to be jammed phone lines and crashing websites due to people in desperate need of health coverage trying to buy into the new exchanges. When new windows of opportunity are opened for people to obtain something they want—and the phone lines are jammed and web servers are going down—it’s actually a very good omen. But not for Ted Cruz.

What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Obamacare-and-Health-Insurance-ExchangesShutting down the government will have no effect what so ever on the implementation of The Affordable Health Care Act, which curiously enough polls much higher with knuckleheads than ObamaCare, because the Tea Party doesn’t pay attention to anything and have no earthly idea that they’re one in the same thing. Prejudice is a powerful drain on everyone’s resources and it certainly draws a lot of blood flow away from the brain.

GodHatesFacts2Meanwhile, this IS the very moment the pistol packin’ Peter Principle prophets have been praying for: The moment when life becomes more and more difficult for other people they don’t know or live near. It’s as if Tea Party labors under the misconception that ONLY their own personal slice of backyard is the true America and to hell with the government (unless, of course, they’re in need of federal assistance in the event of a natural disaster—but only they deserve assistance—not for other people). You gotta love the logic. The Tea Party is more than willing to allow Ted Cruz to hook them up to the tail of a Kool-Aid-kissed comet where Jesus Duck on the Waterneither God nor nation can be bothered with healing the sick…praise the Lord Jesus, world without end, Amen. Ted Cruz and his minions think granting people certain basic human dignities are “akin to the holocaust…!!!?” Maybe he has the word holistic confused with the word holocaust. But if that’s not the case, definitely take a pass on Ted Cruz’ federally mandated showers.

Apparently people who don’t like Obama, think Jesus wants the sick to remain sick and the poor and the elderly to go without health coverage and food—as if that was God’s very own plan, henceforth they’re sticking to script with logic and mercy be-damned. They want the government out of their own business while telling other people what they can and can’t do with their own gonads (at gunpoint if possible) fueled by a seething hatred of Ted Cruzminorities and people of foreign or suspected foreign birth. But they eat out of the hand of Eduardo Raphael Cruz, born in Alberta, Canada to an American mother and a Cuban exiled father. Ted, who prefers his name Anglicized and his Ivy League rings prominently displayed on his fingers for all to see, is shepherding his flock off a cliff all as part of his own personal ego insecurity issues.

green-eggs-and-hamIn brighter circles, Cruz will forever be known as the old ham with green egg all over his face. But he doesn’t see himself for the fool he is. He’s got people paying him the attention he so desperately craves. Almost single-underhandedly he gave birth to a national travesty, and in doing so raised his profile with people who prefer not to think too deeply—most notably, his base. Cruz hails from Texas where he oiled his way into the hearts of the Bible belt. Cruz is being mentored by Jim DeMint, ( DeMint felt he could personally do more damage to the country from outside the confines of popularly elected government) so he uses Ted Cruz as his mouthpiece. DeMint left Congress to head the Heritage Foundation think tank—best described as a room full of empty laboratory jars. The Heritage Foundation is a “big Tent” operation that appeals to everyone from snake handlers and trigger-happy gun paranoids—to the 24-carat gold potty mouthed spiritual leaders of televangelism and radio talk. The message is: Jesus wants people to live in perpetual hardship, deprived of a living wage and healthcare (remember, blight is a reoccurring biblical theme always visited on others). Meanwhile this same bunch of moral-miscreants tirelessly defend the rights of gunmen Jim Demented2who seek out soft targets because they’re sure Jesus would have carried a gun if they’d been invented yet. So with the prevailing convoluted logic, the best way for this boisterous minority to accomplish their immoral goals while kidding themselves into claiming the moral high-ground, is to shut down the government and hope that the world spins off its axis. That’ll be real freedom in their eyes: Free radical chaos theory realized.

PANDAYou can’t reach America’s far right wing through common sense nor reasoning with their “sense” of moral compass—the only way to get them to realize they’re working against everyone’s own best interests (including their own) isn’t by closing down national parks and switching-off the spy cam on the pandas at the national zoo—The only way to reach the God, Guns and Gonads crowd is to figure out how to shut down the NFL and Nascar. Then you’ll get their attention. Even delaying their Social Security checks won’t fully get their collective consciousness because a truly resourceful and self-sufficient American can always go down the ally and shoot rats, bring ‘em home and fry ‘em up like skirt steaks. Since no one has any control over the NFL (the NRA) or Nascar, they’ve shut down the government in the holy pursuit of depriving their own citizenry of the dignity of decent health—all in the name of Jesus in an effort to kneecap the black guy the nation overwhelmingly elected twice in landslides well above comfortable margins. That’s also why the GOP is so busy at work drawing-up redistricting lines so raw acreage can outvote living, breathing human beings.

TortadoAlleyTrailerPark2It is worth noting that the extreme element of the House of Representatives is bringing the nation to a screeching halt in the months that lead up to Christmas—while under the shadow of the next installment of the Debt Ceiling saga while we’re still under sequester. We’re destroying the nation’s full faith and credit—internationally—in the middle of a jobless recovery—as Christ himself would do—to confound a popularly elected black president who is backed by a legally implemented law upheld by the Supreme Court. Apparently when your worldview is so myopic that you can’t empathize with victims of Hurricane Sandy because those people were foolish enough to live close to the coastline—but you want every penny of federal assistance you can get your hands on when your trailer parks are blown away in the middle of Tornado Alley—somehow that makes sense to a certain faction in the Tea-heartland. In summation: if the person in the best position to improve your quality of life has the wrong color skin—then you go shoot rats and fry ‘em up ‘cause that’s what ‘chur made of. And then you sit yourself down on the convertible daybed and watch The Ted Cruz Show on FOX—it’s only a question of time before he becomes a paid FOX News analyst or “annihilationist.” I have no doubt he’ll find financial backing plenty of corporate sponsorship.

– Disassociated Press, 10/3/2013

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