Call it Rain

statue-peeingThe House is such a lovely group of ne’er-do- wells’ it is difficult to believe this is the braintrust leading our nation. Lest I be too focused on those dunderheads in The House, The Senate will apparently follow them down the path of running grandma over with the Bentley. The President has already signaled he too wants to get the hell out of Washington, so he will get his signature pen ready versus his Veto pen and guess what, they will all be happy.

Don’t piss down my leg and call it rain.

Here are some of the highlights of what the Congressional House Republicans and Democrats voted on last night round about 11pm when most of the rest of us were fast asleep and paying no never mind to their high handedness.

Dodd-Frank, yes sir they gutted it. Don’t know what this is, shaking your head and saying so what are you? Well remember when the banks nearly failed in 2008 and we the people, the taxpayers, all of us that is had to bail them out. Do you remember that? I surely do, people lost their savings, their homes, their jobs and some of those people are still jobless and homeless. Remember that time, prior to this administration being sworn into office 9 January 2009.

money-cash-bills-paper-bank-piles-tons

Campaign Finance, can’t ever say these greedy SOB’s aren’t looking out for number one, no indeed not. Never say never, can you say Citizens United on steroids; if not learn to and post haste. They have taken out their best carving knives and shredded the McCain-Feingold legislation of 2002 that limited individual donors to $32,400 to either party this year would be able to up the ante, not by a few measly thousand dollars but by a whopping ten times (10X) the current limit to $324,000. How is that for feathering your own nest.

Egypt gets a $1.3 billion in aid, subject to Democracy and Human Rights conditions. Well my question is, who the hell in this country is fit to measure either.

The EPA gets another $60 Million cut from their budget, down in total 21% since 2010. According the Budget Office and gleeful GOP aides they will have to cut staffing, taking them to the lowest levels since 1989.

Cuyahoga River burns due to chemicals and pollution

Cuyahoga River burns due to chemicals and pollution

Once again, the Budget bans the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to any current facility in the US and bans the spending of any federal funds to build a facility to house them.

Again, the US continues to spend billions to fund Israel, to the tune of $3.1 Billion in random aid in addition to $619 Million in defense aid. Not to be gauche here, however Israel has their own economy and it is fairly healthy, if they would stop trying to steal what small bit of land and peace remains to the Palestinian people it would likely be healthier still. There is no one starving in Israel, there is no need for us to continue to give them billions of our tax dollars every year, especially when those dollars could go to things we need here in this country for our own people.

I love this one, simply because there are so many of those Tea Partiers and Libertarians running about screaming, “Small Government” and “Self-Determination” and “States Rights”, I guess they marijuana-weed-1200-drugsdidn’t really mean it. This lovely bars Washington, District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana. Now keep in mind there was a vote, the people of the District approved the initiative and like Colorado and Washington, citizens of the District should be able to smoke a blunt on their porch. But nooooo, the members of the United States House of Representatives forgot, they are only guests in Washington, D.C. not residents.

The list goes on and on, there is more. The cut funding on key education initiatives, they continue their ridiculous Abortion oversight moving it to the ACA to require all policies offered on the Federal Marketplace have a declaration whether they cover Abortions so people can decide for themselves not to buy that policy. They cut additional funds to the ACA, for the ‘Death Panels’.

There are some good things, expansion of sexual assault services for the military and expansion of Veterans Benefits. There is also the funds targeted to fight Ebola and funds targeted for the National Institutes of Health, some of which will go to brain and Alzheimer’s research.

Overall, though, this Omnibus bill is simply Congress working for a C- grade. They are hoping we don’t notice what they are doing and won’t complain. They are supposed to work on these things for the entire 24 months they are in session, dealing with each of the individual budgets and government agencies as independent entities rather than creating these huge Omnibus Bills in the Lame Duck session, two weeks prior to Christmas.

urine-dog-pee-upside-downDon’t piss down my leg and call it rain.

Talk about a boondoggle Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) apparently got in bed with Rio Tinto to grab native lands. Rather than doing it up front and with full transparency, he shoved in to the NDAA before congress. This little land grab of his was hidden on page 1,105 and both the Democrats and Republicans hid it from everyone until they could hide it no more. Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton would simple walk right in and start the casual destruction of 2,400 of the Tonto National Forest, which includes Apache Leap, burial grounds and other sacred lands to the Apache people.

These lands are supposed to be protected, but never mind.

Just let me say this, I am disappointed our President made a deal with the Speaker of the House on the Budget. Why in the hell did he do that? Doesn’t he know, doesn’t he understand these people hate him. They will never do a damned thing that he wants, not one damned thing. Mitch McConnell, the incoming Majority Leader of the Senate has already said, his first order of business will be a vote to overturn the ACA. Doesn’t he get it? What doesn’t he understand? Isn’t it time for him to say to these old, nasty men and women on both sides of the aisle, ‘if you send me this shit I will veto it without a second thought’.

What the hell is he waiting for? An invitation to their table? Hasn’t he figured it out yet, it is never going to happen.

The best synopsis of the Omnibus Bill: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/12/09/whats-in-the-spending-bill-we-skim-it-so-you-dont-have-to/

The best synopsis of the NDAA and Land Grabbing: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/ndaa-land-deals_n_6264362.html

Lesser Than or Better For

vote6We often hear one of the following, he / she is the “lesser of two evils”, said in connection with why a person voted for a specific candidate. There are times when we go vote and no candidate seems to be what we really want representing us, whether an election for dog catcher or President, there are times we look at the options and think, ‘Just Hell to the NO’.

I understand our apathy I do. Especially the apathy of those who call themselves one of the following:

  • Democrat
  • Liberal
  • Progressive

The country has moved to the Right. It is no longer normal, sane Conservatives, the Republican of your or my father’s day, not the Eisenhower Republican but the crazy azzed Tea Party ones who have taken the spotlight and the front page. These days they vie for the camera and the vote by just how crazy they can be, how many conspiracy’s they can manufacture, how many ignorant quips they can make against Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, the Poor or some other targeted group of the moment and then blithely pass it off as a ‘joke’.

Yes, the country has moved to the Right, to even stay in the game Democrats run as pseudo Republicans. They run away from the President, the head of the party in fear of scaring away constituents. Telling who you voted for in the last election or what you stand for as a candidate is no longer considered the best strategy, instead it is better to straddle the fence; not sound quite as crazy as the other guy but not allow your Blue to show either.

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The mendacity of the candidates is terrible to behold, across the board, we are seeing money take precedence over the will of the people and the needs of the nation. Isn’t it time we all held our elected officials to a higher standard? Rather than going to the polls with the ‘lesser of’ mentality, shouldn’t we start asking the question, who is ‘better than’.

  • Who will better represent my interests?
  • Who will better represent the interests of this nation in the future?
  • Who will better represent and support the things I care about?

What is at stake?jfk

  • Voting Rights: Yes, that means you and me. Every last one of us are faced with being able to continue to go to the polls and vote without impediment. For years now, the GOP has worked diligently to narrow the field. They have succeeded in some states in legislating new draconian Voter ID laws, losing tens of thousands of new voter registrations, closing early voting and a host of other tricks that will prevent those who would traditionally vote a Democratic ticket from voting in the 2014 elections. See a trend here? You should.
  • Minimum Wage: I am sure you have heard it before but I am going to say it again. No one who works full time should live in abject poverty, yet across this nation that is exactly what is happening. We will not see a raise in the Minimum Raise nationally should the GOP take the Senate and retain the House. Hell, we will have a fight on our hands if things stay status quo.
  • The ACA and Health Care: love it or hate it, the fact is millions of previously uninsured Americans now have access to affordable health insurance. Because of the ACA (Obamacare) millions of Americans now have access to preventative healthcare, medicines, well child care, pre-natal care and a host of other things they did not previously have. Because of the ACA, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are now covered. The list goes on, the fact is without the ACA and despite its flaws, millions of Americans are better off today than they were a year ago. If the GOP takes the Senate, those millions of Americans and their health will be at risk.
  • Education: seems such a simple thing doesn’t it? Today though, more and more young people are mortgaging their future for a college education. Fewer and fewer young people are leaving High School with the necessary skills to begin a university education. Fewer college graduates are finding work. We must begin to consider what it will mean to this nation when we are no longer able to support our own economic needs by producing a well-educated work-force. Already, we outsource ‘low skilled’ manufacturing jobs and import a significant portion of ‘high skilled’ engineering and IT workers. What will be next?
  • Equal Pay: despite the many years women have been in the workforce and the strides we have made to break the glass ceiling, we continue to be paid less than our male counter parts. On average, we earn .78¢ on the dollar. If we don’t vote for candidates who believe as we believe, that we are worth 1:1, then hold their feet to the fire at both state and national levels to pass effective legislation, we will always be worth something less than our male counterparts; always.
  • vote7War: I don’t know about you, but I am weary as hell and would like to see an end to the United States of America fighting every single war that comes along and a few that don’t. I am tired of our young men and women being put at risk for every drop of oil, mad dictator, religious potentate or wild hair up someone’s azz about WMD’s in some sandy desert. I am weary as hell listening to the Hawks tell me why other people’s children should die while their child sit safely ensconced at home or school or wherever. We, all of us must send a clear message to our elected officials, NO MORE.
  • Choice: That is right; a woman’s right to choose is at stake. At state and national levels our right to make a choice for ourselves when and whether we bear a child is at risk. Old white men are attempting to tell women when they should bear children, what birth control they should use and whether safe and legal abortion should be accessible to them. This is not a discussion of whether you agree with abortion, don’t agree with abortion don’t have one; no one though has the right to tell another woman what is appropriate for her, this is especially true if the basis of the demand is religion. All I can say is get your religion out from between my legs and off the law books.
  • Guns: When will it be enough? When will enough people die at the hands of idiots with guns that you and I will hold our elected officials accountable to us and demand the passage of sane gun laws? What is the number? Despite the numbers of the dead, it clearly isn’t enough. So far, the NRA has beaten us every single time.
  • Civil Rights: Trayvon Martin wasn’t enough. It doesn’t appear Michael Brown will be enough. How many young unarmed Black youth will have to die at the hands of the police before we, all of us acknowledge there is a problem in this nation? What has to happen before we stop hiding our heads in the sand, buying the media narrative of ‘victim’ police and ‘thug’ Black youth, so we feel better and can ignore the problem.

vote4These are only some of what is on the table, there is certainly more. How about these?

  • Climate Change
  • Money in Politics, or better getting it out of politics
  • Supreme Court
  • Impeachment, I assure you if the GOP takes the Senate this will be back on the table and it is the only thing that will be on the table for the next two years
  • Social Security, make no mistake the GOP wants to dismantle Social Security
  • Long Term Unemployment, despite the real gains in our economy there are still those who need our help
  • Infrastructure, we need to be rebuilding this nation! Not only to make the investment for our economy but in our future.
  • Speaking of which, how about our Economy and Tax Reform!

Have you voted? If not, why the hell not? Even if this time it is voting for the ‘Lesser of’, get off your azz and vote; there is still time.

You have one voice, exercise it. Vote.

 

You Can Keep It

WideModern_Obama_130621620x413“You can keep the plan you have.”

Everyone weights in, including Bill Clinton. Everyone has an opinion, on both sides of the aisle; Democrats and Republicans, the Tea Party is running with the idea of the Train Wreak.

The website doesn’t work as well as it should. It is certainly a problem; I think we can all agree.

Sign-up in the federal marketplace for private insurance are far below projections or what is necessary to claim success. The slow sign-up is consistent with the Massachusetts experience and reflective of the gross problems of Healthcare.gov. There are so many different issues, more than are being addressed by the media, the talking heads or by the clamoring politicians afraid of their re-election prospects.

What should we be thinking right now? Who is to blame for the failures? What are the answers?

Without pointing fingers at any single person or entity, is it possible to answer these questions? Probably not, so let’s point some fingers and remind ourselves of what the ACA was supposed to be and who is behind some of the failures and who is not.

Healthcare.gov is a website with a complex integrated system underlying it. It was underfunded, poorly managed from its onset and deployed without appropriate testing. Further to this, thanks to the many obstructionist Republican Governors who refused to establish state exchanges, the Federal exchange is far bigger than originally expected. What does this sizing mean? It means greater complexity, more integration to individual private insurance companies in individual states. Add to this the entrance barriers set up by those states that chose to ‘opt-out’.

Can we blame this entirely, no we can’t. We can point to this as part of the problem though.

We also have to blame the contractors, all of them, responsible for the design and deployment of the Healthcare.gov solution. No, not just the website the entire system; it does not work and this is a clear design flaw. The flaw isn’t just in the front-end, what you or I might see, but in the back-end everything from how it was sized to how it is integrated to the all the other systems it must integrate with to provide the services it was intended for. The contractors hired to provide this system were given a Statement of Work (SOW) to develop this system with what I am certain were clear milestones and requirements, they failed to meet the most critical of these. None of us can know for certain how oversight was provided over the various stages of the contract, how milestones were validated or whether there were periodic quality gates to insure requirements were being met. We do know though taxpayer money was paid to private contractors to deliver a system that does not work and that is doing great harm to citizens and this administration.

Does part of the blame for the system failure fall on the government agency in charge of the development? Yes, it does. They were responsible for oversight. Who within that agency is responsible? Ultimately, it is the head of the agency; however, knowing what I do about this process it is unlikely the top of the line was sitting in status report meetings, performing tests or otherwise involved in the daily activities of this project. There was an accountable deputy.

healthcareNew

Here is what I do know, The President of the United States is not responsible for the failure of Healthcare.gov as a computer system or website frontend and we truly need to stop beating him about the head and shoulders for this specific failure.

Finally, ‘You can keep your plan if you like it’. Yes, the President said this repeatedly. I think he believed it. In fact, within ACA all the policies now being cancelled by the Private insurance carriers were grandfathered for at least two years. This means Americans should have been able to keep their policies through 2015. Let’s talk about both the junk and what else the Private market is doing shall we?

  • High deductibles
  • High co-pay
  • Annual spending limits
  • No catastrophic coverage

These were primarily Defective products, not grandfathered and in many cases, states had thrown the companies out years ago. On the other hand, there were policies that did meet the standard for being grandfathered, even if they did not meet the ‘Basic Coverage’ standard of the ACA. What is happening with these? Why are policyholders receiving letters of cancellation of policies they like, that the President of the United States promised they could keep. There is a simple answer.

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The Private Insurance Carrier decided to re-price their product to ensure they were making a PROFIT.

When the ACA was designed and passed, it was a gimme to the Private Marketplace. It kept Private Insurers in the game, offering them a broader market even if they had to meet some new restrictions and regulations. Although the law was designed in favor of citizens, allowing them to keep their current policies, it cannot force the private insurer to continue offering that policy to the market.

Blaming the President for the greed of the Private Insurer is idiotic, truly stupid. For those making the most noise, I offer this tidbit to chew on. The acts of the Private Market are consistent with Capitalism at its finest.

This is what everyone wants, right? Free Market Capitalism and Competition

Well this is what you got, so stop bitching. The Private Insurance marketplace is doing exactly what they choose; they are evaluating their products, cancelling those that no longer meet their profitability standards and offering alternatives. They are using marketing techniques, while you and I might find them slightly shady; there is nothing illegal about what they are doing. If those receiving the cancellation letters are too lazy, stupid or stubborn to look for alternatives; shame on them.

I am tired of hearing the ACA is a failure. We have only gotten started and even today, with what has already been implemented it has helped Americans. Do we need to look at the ACA and potentially tweak the law? Yes, we do and we should. But this trash talk in Congress, on the street and in the media is ignorant and without merit.

False Equivalence Right

Albrecht Durer, Weeping Angel Boy

Albrecht Durer, Weeping Angel Boy

I cannot begin to tell you all how tired I am of hearing about Healthcare.gov and all of the glitches. Yes, I get it, really I do. It is hinky, the roll out was not seamless and smooth, it is well let’s just say it is imperfect.

It is in fact an ugly baby.

What Healthcare.gov is not; it is not the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Healthcare.gov is simply a delivery vehicle, one of many and one that is currently not performing as it should but it is not the law itself. Democrats on the Hell  Hill, pundits in the media and all of us truly need to separate the two and discuss them as distinct and not at all equal. It is contingent upon those of us who support the idea of access to affordable Health Insurance for all citizens that we not confuse or confabulate the issues surrounding the ACA (aka: Obamacare) and the rollout of one hinky delivery system, Healthcare.gov.

All this being said, let’s first talk about some of the idiotic conspiracy theories first. Don’t think they exist? You don’t read the Right Wing My Head is Exploding with all my f’ng insider knowledge, do you? So, here are a few of my recent favorites, those Right Wing walks resulting in False Equivalency that eventually makes their way into the mainstream because everyone is afraid to call Bullshit:

  • No bid contract awarded to CGI, the Canadian corporation, prime contractor.
    • Since 2007 CGI has had an ID/IQ designation with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The designation means Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity and covers contracts from $1K to $4B. CGI is one of 16 companies granted this designation prior to President Obama’s first term. These designations are consistent throughout the government, whether they are appropriate or not is a different issue. (sourced from various sites including DHHS). It is possible, though not probable some work orders for Healthcare.gov were awarded under this designation. It should be noted however, CGI was not the only vendor working on the Healthcare.gov integrated solution.
    • Further, on various sites (no confirmation yet) the RFP (Request for Proposal) was sent to several qualified vendors. DHHS received four (4) responses and of these, only CGI’s response was reviewed and accepted (again no confirmation of the veracity of this statement). There is only one reason why other responses would have been rejected without review; the response did not meet the stated requirements of the RFP.
  • Senior Vice President of CGI Federal, Toni Towne-Whitley was a Princeton classmate, class of ’85 of First Lady Michelle Obama and is a member of the Princeton Black Alumni.
    • Yes, both of these statements are true on their surface. Careful examination of some facts would find though, it is unlikely they are friends or ever met each other at school. They traveled in different circles, attended different schools at Princeton with different educational goals and attainments. Simply attending the same very large school does not instantly mean you know each other. By the way, Daily Caller, not every Black Person in the country knows every other Black Person in the country.
  • Upon award of the contract to CGI the President of CGI Group, George Schindler donated to the President’s reelection campaign.
    • Yes, in fact he did, $1,000; big money there. Mr. Schindler also donated to Mitt Romney and previously he had donated the max of $2,300 to John McCain. To make this easier though, let’s just debunk all of this and go ahead on to Open Secrets if you are interested. Follow the money, use the following criteria;
      • CGI
      • George Schindler
      • CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. PAC
      • Toni Townes-Whitley
  • The cost of Healthcare.gov was somewhere in the neighborhood of $693M.
    • No, no it was not anywhere close to this. In fact, the awarded contract was approximately $70M originally, when you factor in all the changes required due to recalcitrant GOP Governors who refused to implement their own state marketplaces, the final cost might be closer to $115M. The final costs are not in, however Daily Kos have done an excellent job of pulling apart the Right’s argument with facts here, including a great spreadsheet here.  I love facts!

Now, those are my favorites of the weekend. Really, how hard is it to stick with facts and stop making shite up?

healthcare-gov-affordable-care-act-website-jpg_fb_big

Can we talk for a minute about what Healthcare.gov is and what it is not? I don’t want to bore you with tech-speak; I do some of this for a living and even my eyes glaze over. I do want to talk about what Healthcare.gov is and why the idiots on the Hill should not be holding hearings over which they have not a clue.

  1. Healthcare.gov is not a simple website. The website is a frontend; it is how you and I access the system behind it.
  2. Healthcare.gov is an integrated system. This system requires tens of thousands, if not millions of lines of custom code to parse information you and I enter, including our names, address, financial status, this determines what products to show us. This is essentially “If, Then, What” lines of code based on multiple options. Then, once the products we qualify for are delivered to our screen and we have the opportunity to review and decide this same solution must send our choice(s) to external private vendors, outside of the Healthcare.gov system.
  3. Integration is not simple and it is not a one-to-one process at the federal level. For every single state that did not create their own marketplace the integration had to be created for that state. What this means, for example in Texas every single district, county, city, zip code combination had to be entered. All of the private insurance companies willing to offer plans for Texas citizens had to offer those plans to the marketplace. The State of Texas vetted those plans and made their own rules that had to be incorporated into the system.
    1. This was true of every single state. Every Red State that did not create their own Marketplace made up their own rules; rules in many cases with the sole intention to case the ACA to fail in their state, to prevent their citizens from accessing Affordable Insurance and ultimately affordable healthcare.
    2. Finally, nothing in Healthcare.gov stores your medical information, thus nothing in Healthcare.gov is in non-compliance with HIPPA. Keep in mind, one of key provisions of the ACA is the elimination of ‘pre-existing conditions’. With this provision, you and I no longer fill out extensive medical histories when applying for Health Insurance, in fact the only information we are asked is if we smoke.

If you are a Democrat, Liberal, Progressive or Left Leaning Independent please stop referring to Healthcare.gov as Obamacare or the ACA, or even a Website. It is none of these. It is just one of several delivery systems for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it isn’t the entirety of it. Could it have been done better? Yes, certainly, it could have been and I suspect all that is wrong with this particular delivery system will be corrected fairly quickly but let’s not fall into the trap the Right is laying for us, let’s not repeat their idiotic talking points as if they were gospel.

The truth is we are now going to have to watch as the GOP members on the Hill waste valuable time and money following their boogiemen down every conspiracy hole. Their insatiable appetite to find this President at fault for something, anything is horrifying, wasteful and frankly boring. The propagandizing by the Right is tiresome; that we fall into their trap repeatedly is shameful. They throw the Red Herring and we run with it.

Red Herring

Next up, what likely went wrong in developing Healthcare.gov.

Widening the Chasm

Idiom: a condition of being unequal of different, in disagreement, opposed. The idiom uses ‘odds’ to express the condition of ‘being unequal or different’ and transfers it to a difference of opinion or quarrel. [Late 1500’s]1


soapboxpileWe are a nation at odds. What does this mean, to be at odds as a nation? It could mean any number of things, I am going to tell you what I believe it means from my personal perspective. Given this is my personal opinion, although backed by a certain amount of boring statistical notations and research and facts, it remains my interpretation. There a couple of caveats I should make before continuing, I am a Boomer, I apparently do not follow my generation on many social trends, voting trends or overall political thinking. My guess is I am different from the majority of my cohort because of my life experiences, which are also vastly different from most of the Boomer generation (1946 – 1964).

How are we at odds?

First, there is the issue of being a ‘Christian’ nation that refuses to care for its weakest members, its aged, its children and those who cannot care for themselves. I find this to be fully ‘at odds’ with the philosophy born of the man who was Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ and all of the religious houses that lay claim to his teachings. One of my favorite examples of how American Right Wing zealots have fallen away from the teachings they pretend too is Matthew 31-46 The Son of Man Shall Judge the Nations, here is just a small piece of it if you are interested read the rest for yourself:

41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’44“Then they also will answered Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’46“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

How does this translate into how we behave as a nation? If as so many wrongly insist, we are a Christian Nation, why is it so easy to watch children go hungry, entire generations incarcerated, poverty grow and illiteracy expand. Why, if we are a Christian Nation, as so many wrongly insist is the culture of violence the only culture we worship with any fidelity?

The Farm Bill is mired in partisan bickering, with the R’s praying to the idol of greed and Ayn Rand to cut billions of dollars from SNAP (Food Stamps) thus ensuring children, disabled veterans, women, other disabled and the aged must learn to subsist on even less than $133 per month for food currently allotted (sometimes less). I don’t know about you, I am fairly certain I could not survive on approximately $4.36 per day. If these cuts go through, for those who do not lose their benefit altogether the new benefit will be approximately $90 per month that is $2.95 per day. How, tell me just how does this translate back into the whole Christian Nation thing? Just curious mind you.

Census_Poverty

census_Povertyageandgender

Not to be pedantic about this whole issue, however why does GOP wander down this path, revisiting entire swaths of the 2012 presidential election, trying hard to forget THEY LOST. Why are we bombarded with foul rhetoric, 42 votes to defund ACA at a cost to the American public of $84,000,000. This number is calculated based on a daily rate of $2,000,000 per day for each time Congress meets to vote on something they know does not have a snowballs chance of snowballinhellgetting to the desk of the President. Why do they continue this folly, at a time when the acolytes of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of absolute selfishness (not Christianity) are trying hard to forget there are consequences to elections and ignoring their own stump of deficit reduction and fiscal conservatism. I guess their principals only count when it isn’t them who might be hungry, without work, buried in student debt, losing your home or facing life without health insurance for your child or yourself.

We are a nation at odds, we truly are. I speak to so many people both on-line and face-to-face throughout the week who cannot seem to reconcile their ‘Christianity’ with their gut level responses to the current ideological rhetoric coming from talking heads, written word, elected officials and even their pastors. It is damned near pathological and it is frightening. When faced with reasoned argument they have no response, but to name call and fall back on age-old arguments.

  • “Are you saying you think children should go to bed hungry?”
    A penniless mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

    A penniless mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

    • “That isn’t what I am saying. Their parents should get a job.”
  • “What if there are no jobs? Are you saying those children should go to bed hungry, go to school hungry?”
    • No, I don’t want children to be hungry. I am not heartless. Their parents shouldn’t have had them if they can’t take care of them.”
  • “But they are here now; their mother didn’t have access to birth control and couldn’t have an abortion because in this state it isn’t available. Are you saying her children should go to bed hungry and go to school hungry?
    • “That isn’t what I am saying dammit. She should get a job. She should get off Welfare. Maybe she should give her children to the State.”

The above is a conversation I had recently with someone in a store, her comments are in blue. The person I had it with is someone I know fairly well, we talk often about these issues; obviously, we are on different sides of the chasm.

My question to everyone, how do we fix this? The 113th Congress is the most ineffective Congress in history. They have done nothing since their swearing in. They waste money and time, they continue down this path of attempting redefine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election, THEY LOST. Whether or not you like the outcome, it is frankly not relevant. What is relevant?

  • Poverty is growing in this nation.
  • Incarceration is growing and becoming a for-profit industry.
  • Unemployment is not going down perceptively in this nation.
  • The infrastructure of this nation is crumbling.
  • The middle class of this nation is nearly dead.
  • Violence is growing
  • Global competitiveness is shrinking

The list goes on and yet we sit back and do not one damned thing but stroke ourselves for what? American Exceptionalism? Really?


1http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/At%20odds

http://frac.org/leg-act-center/farm-bill-2012/

http://www.offthechartsblog.org/farm-bill-amendment-would-pay-states-to-cut-off-snap-benefits-for-people-who-want-to-work-but-cant-find-jobs/

http://hungercliff.org/

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34SNAPmonthly.htm

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/health-care/what-cost-house-vote

http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-245.pdf

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