Ignorant Jackass

Let’s remind ourselves for a moment who Jim DeMented, Repbligoat “Senator” from South Caroliny, is.

  • He favors banning abortion in all instances, even carrying through endangers the mother’s life.
  • He ought to be pounding rocks right now for traveling to Honduras to meet with Roberto Micheletti—who was installed as “President” following a coup—against the express wishes of the White House.
  • He believes that openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools.

And, finally, in the wake of what The Washington Post today says “may have represented one of the most serious terrorist threats in the United States since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” DeMented still has a hold on President Obama’s nominee for head of Transportation Safety.

Why? Cuz he don’t like them unions. What a booger-eating moron.

Read more at FDL and at Think Progress.

Hear, Hear!

From this week’s Group, 2009 Year-End Awards edition. The category: “Enough Already!”

John McLaughlin: Free trade—enough already! A bad idea, that’s right, a bad idea during the worst economic crisis since World War II, and when unemployment is double-digits, free trade is not the golden fleece. Limited protectionism is the golden fleece.

Funny. But A Little Too 'On-The-Nose.'

From The Onion:

Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

ESCONDIDO, CA—Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

“Our very way of life is under siege,” said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. “It’s time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are.”

Let the Disaster Begin

I am thinking through the arguments about why we should support the health care bill that the Senate is about to approve.

If it’s killed Democrats will get the blame, GOOPers will win the 2010 election and incompetence will reign again. Many significant Obama initiatives will be totally governed by the GOOP, these include infrastructure and climate change initiatives. It could also affect future appointments to the Supreme Court.  Sarah Palin will be President in 2012.

If it’s not killed, the Democratic Party has an improved chance of maintaining control over Congress and our opportunities for change significantly improve. …. Really?

The fact is the Democratic Congress has done nothing progressive with its “massive” majority. In fact there is no Democratic majority.   At least two and possibly more, depending on the issue, members of the Democratic Caucus are not Democrats.  (Joe Lieberman and Benny Nelson).  There are only a handful of progressives in the bunch.  The Majority Leader is a weak-kneed, right- center Mormon.  The Speaker of the House is a Botoxicated  dingbat.

Nothing in the record of this Congress speaks to any success for progressive politics. We have swept the crimes of the Busch thugs under the table, we have appointed an ivy league Catholic centrist to the Supreme Court. We have failed to undertake even the most basic civil rights reforms for the GLBT community (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).  Would we do worse with a GOOP Congress?

If the health care bill passes, centrists can say they made a change where no change has been made.   Some small improvements will be made for some people and everyone else will be told to sit down and shut up. The insurance companies will get richer and more powerful.

If the bill does not pass, the system will continue to collapse. The number if uninsured will grow. The number of people who go bankrupt because of medical costs will escalate. People who now oppose change may learn to embrace it. There may be, as President Obama has promised, a disaster in health care. Good. Maybe it will lead to change.

The Real Jobs Killer

Now that that’s over—back to some amateur wonking.

Over the weekend, I heard one of the talking heads, I think it was P. Buchanan, though it might have been some other assclown, I’m not sure, call health care reform a “jobs killer.”

I can’t tell you how often something is said regarding public policy that makes me go “zoinks” like Shaggy. This of course is one of them.

The only jobs in danger as a result of health care reform are those of HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY BUREAUCRATS. Health care reform, however, would be a boon to entrepreneurship and innovation in these Untied States. And I think that’s exactly what they’re afraid of.

The current system is a fiefdom, and your average fat cat is okay with that. It keeps the labor market scared and steady. There’ll be no Pullman strike so long as employers are in charge of the health and wellness of the workers and their kids, and certainly, there won’t be any of those worker bees striking out on their own.

Imagine for a moment that we lived in a country with a moral, decent health care system instead of the evil, noxious one we seem to be willing to put up with now. Imagine how much more creative you could be regarding earning a living. Starting your own business would be a far less daunting proposition. Nor would part-time work. If you opted to live frugally so you could live on a 20-hour workweek, so be it. If you opt to work retail part-time and to run your own web-monkey business and to write the great American novel, your options are wide open. Never again would you feel obligated to chain yourself to a desk or a conveyor for 40-60 hours a week. Your health care would be completely untethered from your employment, which would give you, as a worker bee, more power and more freedom in the workplace.

This, I think, is why the fat cats get sweaty chins over this shit.

And it’s unfortunate, because the flexibility I’ve described is exactly what our economy requires.

What would unemployment and underemployment numbers look like if Americans felt more empowered to craft jack-of-several-trades careers? If job seekers didn’t feel absolutely obligated to find full-time work with bennies? If you could work 15 hours at Starbuck’s and 20 as a Geek Squad geek and consider yourself fully employed? You don’t reckon those numbers might dip a little?

Universal health care empowers labor. If you’re not a CEO, then it empowers YOU. It takes power and wealth potential out of the hands of upper and middle management and distributes it to you. That’s why billions of dollars have been spent to kill true reform. They like the labor market just the way it is, with you tethered to your desk and terrified of losing your status as a full-time worker bee. Sadly, the longer we retain a health care system that is madly driven by profit, the longer this economy will remain more about shuffling paper than about making things, hopelessly addicted to bubble economics.

The real jobs killer is our broken, feeble health care system. And there is nothing in the now-gelling law that is going to fix it.

Zappadan: Day Zero

Today is the last day of Zappadan—Frank Zappa’s birthday, and, coincidentally, that of my little brother—who is now taller than me and is teaching himself to RTFO on the guitar—as well. Happy birthday, man.

Over Turkey Day, brother asked me the same question I asked early on about Zappa as we lounged to Lumpy Gravy, which was man, he must have done a lot of drugs, right? It is an easy, and utterly incorrect, assumption to make regarding Frank Zappa. Ringo “Larry the Dwarf” Starr summed up the answer to this most adroitly: “Probably one of the straightest men I’ve ever met.”

Zappadan 2009 has been an incredible event for me. I discovered Zappadan in its midst last year and so didn’t feel like I’d been able to really give the blogswarm its due. I spent the next year saving up bits and pieces for 2009. I started @zappadan and built an audience (up to 256 from 209 on Dec. 4—thanks!).

It’s been awesome. I have gotten to listen, watch, and read quite a lot, and I’ve gotten to enjoy work of many of talented bloggers. I learned a lot about Frank Zappa. Which is, for me, why one does a crazy nerdy thing like this. To learn.

Thanks primarily to Mark Hoback at Fried-Green al-Qaedas. As I’ve written to him, this is one of those amazing ideas that makes one do a Yahtzee face and say, why the hell didn’t I think of that? (Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the Snuggie™.) But I’m glad Mark did, and I’m glad for the sharing, creative, cool spirit of it. I intend to keep the Zappadan blogroll through the next. If you did some Z-Dan blogging and I missed you, please leave a comment.

To steal a literary device from late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson: So, what have we learned?

We learned too much to list it all. Zappa fans are rabid mothers, there’s no doubt about that. And give a bunch of them blogs? Oh, they go crazy. They…oh, I wish there were a phrase that would describe this…they…they…they…

Oh, yes. They freak out.

I wonder if our efforts here would tickle Frank himself or if he’d just be annoyed. Likely, he’d probably just shrug and sit back down at his Synclavier and create something wonderful. Again.

We miss you, Frank Zappa. Happy birthday.

Merry Zappadan.