Monday, September 26, 2016

Week of 09/26/2016

Cruz Endorsing Trump Proves He Is Amoral Scum
Remember the old complaints about politicians?  That they were empty vacuous amoral scumbags that would sell their mothers into slavery just to stay in office.  Did you ever wonder why that characterization never went away?
Well, part of the reason is that we, the voting public, are complete and utter willful idiots who buy into their lies and false promises.  But another reason is that they prop themselves up on platitudes they don’t earn and quickly abandon when the cameras are off them and their taxpayer-funded pensions are secured for another term.
The classic con is that of the “principled politician”.  The one that sucks up to the bible-thumpers and holy rollers and tells them that he’s somehow different from the “corrupt establishment”.  He says that he’s really one of “them”.  He’s pious and moral and has standards that he’s quick to display.  He’s got that perfect family, brought up the “right” way, and wouldn’t the world just be a better place if everyone had to follow their lead?
Of course the latest wrinkle to that is that they’re also supposedly “strict supporters and interpreters of the U.S. Constitution”.  They like throwing that claim in as if they could suddenly channel Thomas Jefferson and John Adams from the great beyond.  It gives them that illusion of legitimacy.  Funny how Jefferson and Adams had no love for organized religion imposing itself in government like these people want to have happen.  I guess that makes them only partial-mediums, huh?  Only the part that benefits them.
Anyway, the key word in “principled politician” is the word “principle”.  As in they have standards.  They have something that goes beyond the whimsical demands of the “establishment”.  And supposedly those standards come before anything else.  The whole world could demand one thing, but if it is against what the person believes in, that person would refuse to do it, no matter the consequence.
Bible-thumpers and holy rollers love hearing that kind of thing.  Hell, they have a certain book that they love to tout full of stories with that precise message in them.  Stories about how people like them are always persecuted for what they believe in, but still hold themselves true to those beliefs and are eventually rewarded for doing so.
That brings us to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the one-time “serious contender” for the White House.
Cruz was a “serious contender” because he had the support of those bible-thumpers and holy rollers.  His father played up the evangelical crowd and had them singing his arias like a tabernacle choir.  They thought they have a solid plan to sneak in, get the support of those “heartland” states, stay pious and above fray of the other wannabes, and end up with the GOP nomination while the other wannabees pick themselves apart with petty squabbling.
And Cruz made sure that everyone knew he was a “principled politician”, that he would put principle above party.  He ran a good old-fashioned filibuster of Congress in his effort to kill the Affordable Care Act.  He wasn’t above criticizing members of his own party when they behaved like career politicians.  He wanted everyone to know that he was somehow different from the typical GOP party-player.  And for a while, it worked.  Of course it also helped that he cheated a little here and there to get the upper hand in a few of those early states.  That’s why he earned the hashtag #Cheat2Win.  But, hey, that’s what Jesus would do, right?
Then Senator #Cheat2Win came up against “The Ego”, Donald Trump, otherwise known as #WhinyLittleBitch.
Trump played the game like a proverbial GOP elephant in a china shop.  Or, in Trump’s case, a drunken and belligerent GOP elephant.  Carrying around like a schoolyard bully, gloating when he got his way, and crying foul whenever things weren’t going his way.
And unfortunately for Cruz, Trump outplayed him in the primaries and caucuses.  While Cruz could only pretend to be an “outsider”, Trump was a real political outsider.  Cruz could only pretend to be a political lone wolf.  Trump was the real lone wolf.  I say “was”, of course, because Trump is now the nominee, so he is officially on the inside, and the “lone wolf” just became the leader of the GOP pack.
So when the 2016 GOP National Convention came around, the world wondered whether Cruz would follow his earlier campaign promise to support the eventual winner.  This promise was mostly made on the premise that anyone but Trump would be the nominee.  But obviously just the opposite happened, and now everyone wondered if Cruz would support Trump like he promised to do.
Cruz refused to endorse Trump at the convention.  He simply told Americans to “vote your conscience”.  He didn’t condemn Trump, but he didn’t overwhelmingly support Trump either.  Cruz would later say that he could not in any conscience support a man who attacked his wife and accused his father of helping to assassinate President Kennedy.  And Trump, in his usual narcissistic way, said that he wouldn’t accept any kind of endorsement from Cruz anyway.
So, that’s that, right?  Cruz calls Trump a scumbag, Trump calls Cruz a sore loser, the GOP writes Cruz off, and Bob’s your uncle.
But then this past week, #Cheat2Win Ted Cruz stepped up and actually endorsed #WhinyLittleBitch Donald Trump.
Ted Cruz, the supposed man of principle, who called Donald Trump a “serial philanderer”, a “sniveling coward”, and a “pathological liar”... just did what he said he would never do.
Oh Ted, poor Ted...
Now I know the script-writers and apologists are busy trying to craft some story about how Ted “caved to pressure” from the GOP bosses and those unaccountable power-brokering donors that demanded party unity at all costs.  (He says that didn’t happen.)  I’m sure the timing of it was far from coincidental, given that this happened in the same week that word got out that former President George H.W. Bush would be voting for Secretary Hillary Clinton.  That probably played a role, but I don’t think it was necessarily the reason why #Cheat2Win Ted would come out for the #WhinyLittleBitch after all that he previously said about the “sniveling coward”.
You see, #Cheat2Win Ted could have just joined some of his other failed wannabes in obscurity and relative silence.  You don’t hear too much from former Governor Jeb “Low Energy” Bush, do you?  Just sit down, shut up, and keep your focus on your own job and your own constituents.  After all, he has two more years before he needs to worry about re-election and voters are proven idiots with short memories.
But, no, that wouldn’t be Cruz, would it?
Let’s get brutally honest here... what we are seeing here is the real Ted Cruz.  Not a “principled politician”; just another amoral scumbag trying to stay relevant and hoping for a spot in a predicted Trump presidency.  A man who just demonstrated that party politics are more important than principles.  A weasel-faced self-righteous hypocrite whose standards are based in sand instead of stone.
You know, I previously had some modicum of respect for the Senator from Texas for standing up against the GOP and holding true to what he said about Trump.  It was the same modicum of respect that I initially had for him when he actually staged a physical filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate instead of invoking a phony “proxy filibuster” that Senators usually wage.  Of course it turned out that his filibuster was pretty much for show.  He waged it for a few hours, got his media clips for the campaign trail, and then pulled the old Nixon trick of “declare victory and leave”.  He gained nothing except attention.  But now I see that this is just standard operating procedure for him.
I suppose that we should not be surprised to see a so-called “principled politician” be exposed as an amoral hypocrite.  The problem with these kinds of pretenders is not that they get caught, but that the masses do absolutely nothing about it when they are exposed for who and what they are.  Ted Cruz will back-spin and double-talk his way into justifying both stances, his special interest sponsors will back him up on it, and his gullible constituents will vote him back into office so he can keep playing these games.  Because, after all, Texas “needs” to have a “principled man of God” representing them against the “amoral corrupt criminals of the Washington elite” ...
... even if the man they chose happens to be no different than the rest of the lot.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week of 09/19/2016

The Biggest Supporters of Socialism Are Capitalists
You know what?  I am sick and tired of hearing about socialism being this big frigging threat to human civilization.  I am.  I’m sick of hearing about how the whole wide world will just come falling apart because some tenant of socialism gets put into practice somewhere instead of some good old-fashioned “’Merican capitalism”!
What pisses me off the most is that the loudest arguments for socialism in any form are coming from those very “capitalists” that are crying foul about it.
Take a look at the scam called healthcare in America.  Yes, we have the Affordable Care Act, which the conservatives and neo-conservatives have been waging an unholy scorched-earth crusade to destroy by any means necessary.  They’ve sabotaged Congress, even shut down the federal government, all in the name of this cause which they claim “imposes socialism”.
What a twenty-ton crock of cow feces!
Yes, one of the original ideas was to have what could be best described as “Medicare-for-all”, which would be considered socialized medicine.  But that is not what the American people ended up with through this law!
We are forced to buy health insurance thanks to a legal leap that even the late Evil Knievel couldn’t pull off with a space shuttle!  Will all afforded respect to the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, we can chose to not drive a car, but we cannot chose to not live unless you decide to legalize suicide-on-demand, so using the driver’s license idea is not a valid justification for the ACA.  But that is precisely what we are forced to do in America.  We are forced by law to buy a commercial product.  That’s not socialism; that’s corporatism.
So what do we get?  We get health insurance programs whose premiums are continuing to go up.  We have insurance companies that decide they don’t want to be in the “exchange” program anymore and are instead going back to deciding who gets to pay big money for the “privilege” of being covered by them.  We have insurance companies having pissing contests with regional hospitals over coverage and how much money they can make off us.  In other words, the American people continue to get screwed.
And let’s not forget Big Pharma!  We have big drug companies giving themselves monopolies and then gouging the public with medicine that they have to pay for in order to live!  And there’s nothing that can be done about it.  It’s all legal.  Hell, the champions of capitalism would even wrap themselves in the American flag over it and say “it’s the free market, baby!  Gawd bless ‘Merica!”
Actually, no, if it was really the free market at work, there would be real competition instead of government-sanctioned monopolies.  You’d be seeing more generics on the market, and the government wouldn’t be giving preference as it does today.  But that’s neither here nor there because we’re supposedly in a “socialist” system now, even though we’re far from it.
You see folks, the sham that we call the Affordable Care Act only works if the big corporations in the Healthcare business play along and behave.  But, then again, if they did, then we really wouldn’t have needed the ACA in the first place.
The very reason why there is even a call for the ACA or even for a real socialized version of healthcare is because big corporate executives in the healthcare business and the insurance business and the drug business all got greedy and put profits ahead of people.  And even when the ACA became law and it got passed the Supreme Court, they still operate under the presumption that they can continue to put profits ahead of people and screw America over.
So now the only way out of this mess is either convincing the greedy corporate bastards and their equally greedy investors to stop putting profits over people and get their act together, or else watch as the government starts imposing actual socialized healthcare.  And the longer they are allowed to continue to put profits over people and screw the American people over, the louder and louder the call will be for the government to do something to fix this.  It’s like putting a bunch of reckless speeders behind the wheel on the empty promise that they’d change their ways, and then wonder why they slammed into a school bus at 70mph in a residential neighborhood.  Sooner or later, someone will have to tell them to use public transportation.
And they’re not the only ones doing it either! 
Wells Fargo, one of the “Too Big To Fail” entities that we got bullied into bailing out in 2008, recently got caught creating multiple fraudulent accounts for millions of their customers all so they can pad their books.  They just paid a pittance of a fine and fired over 5000 of the employees affected... in other words, par for the course.  The executive responsible?  She was allowed to leave before the whole thing happened, so she got to keep her nine-figure golden parachute.
And yet we’re supposed to “trust” these banks. It’s pretty clear they haven’t learned a single goddamned thing since the Great Recession, other than how to hide the bodies better and to diffuse the blame.
So what are we supposed to do, huh?  Go to another bank?  What stops them from playing the same game?  We learned that from the Great Recession, when all the banks played the same game and they all led us to the same catastrophe. 
It seems to me that these so-called “Capitalist winners” are doing the very things that encourage socialism, not discourage it.
Let’s get brutally honest here... if you do not want socialism in American society, then you have to do more than just bitch about it, more than just wail and moan on talk radio about it, you have to actually do the things that make the need for it irrelevant!
Every single time a company screws over the public, no matter of that is a mom-and-pop operation, some fly-by-night business, or a big corporation with a Wall Street presence, they are a screaming advertisement for socialist programs.  They’re all saying “Look at us!  We can’t be controlled!  We’re greedy money-grubbing monsters that you can’t stop!  You can’t protect yourselves from us!  If you want us reined in, then you need to put your trust in something bigger than us and something even worse than us!  If you want to be protected from the likes of us, you need socialism!”
When businesses tell us to put our trust in them instead of government oversight, they are obligated to make sure that trust is not in vain.  They are telling the consumers “we value you most of all”.  But greedy money-grubbing corporations like those that infest healthcare and insurance and banking industries, along with a few other industries, tell us a different story, and they tell it to us every time they screw us over.  They constantly tell us “We have a higher obligation to our bottom line and to our investors, than we have to you, the consumers.  They are more important than you!”  Those are the groups that invite socialism and socialist programs in!  They are the biggest supporters and cheerleaders for socialism through their abusive and predatory actions.  They validate every argument for socialism more so than a million Hillary Clintons and a billion Elizabeth Warrens and a trillion Bernie Sanders.
You want that to change, Big Corporate?  You need to change yourselves first!