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Archie Bunker and the death penalty

After the third, by my count, screwed up execution by a state against an individual today, I’m reminded of a TV show from years ago.

Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker’s wife in the hit 1970s TV show, All In The Family, best described the feeling that most Americans have regarding the death penalty. It seems that lots of us believe in it, but we don’t want it to look too brutal to our sensitive eyes. We want to believe that it isn’t barbaric, lest we be thought of as, well, barbaric.

Here’s the actual dialogue from the show…

Michael ‘Meathead’ Stivic: Do you believe in capital punishment, Ma?
Edith Bunker: Well, yeah, I guess so.
Gloria Bunker-Stivic: Mother!
Edith Bunker: Well, so long as it ain’t too severe.

Yup, OK, to kill the bastards, as long as it “ain’t too severe”.

How many of us believe that lethal injection, irrespective how long it takes to slowly kill the prisoner, “ain’t too severe”.

Onward Christian Soldiers

After listening to John Boehner once again complain about the President’s request for $3.7 billion to try to stem the tide of children coming over the southern border, hire even more border guards, and put judges in place to adjudicate these cases, I was struck by the blinding hypocrisy of these Repub imbeciles.

Repub conservatives, in general, promulgate the following ideologies:

1. We are a Christian nation
2. We care about children
3. We are a nation of immigrants

The more radical of the group, although still identifying as Repub conservatives, add some of the following to the above list:

1. The Muslim faith promotes violence
2. Arabs are somewhat beneath Americans
3. We should be fiscally conservative in all matters

Keeping all this in mind, let’s look at three contemporary Repub conservative demands promoted by some key Repub conservative leaders.

1. We should go back to Iraq and re-fight that war
2. We should send troops to Syria
3. We should send troops to, or bomb Iran

(The above has been suggested by John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruse, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, among many, many others)

Military actions like this cost billions of dollars (the Iraq war alone cost over $1 billion per day) and protect…wait for it…Muslims. Yes as if you didn’t know, Iraq, Syria and Iran are all Muslim countries. And of course you remember George “Cowboy” Bush telling us that he was liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein. I’ve never figured out why the Iraqi people became so important to us all of a sudden, but I digress…

Many of these same Repub conservatives are chanting to send these children from Honduras and El Salvador back home, since they shouldn’t be our problem and taking care of them is too expensive. And, unlike those lovable Iraqi people, no one can think of any reason to liberate them.

So, if I have this right…

Those of you who hate Muslims and maintain that their religion is violent and that they hate Americans for their freedom, are willing to spend billions to protect mostly adult Muslims from whatever dictator is trying to kill them this week, virtually half-way around the world, and potentially risking angering others of their religion, possibly causing more terrorist attacks upon the US, whereas…

You think its too expensive to spend a fraction of that to save primarily Christian children, from our own hemisphere, who have no history of violence, and need nothing more than a place to live away from gangs and drug wars.

It must be tough walking around all day, avoiding mirrors. I can’t imagine what it must be like to see yourself in one.

How can you not be ashamed of your self-serving insouciance?

Republicans were right…Nah, I’m just kidding.

I was going to write today about all the recent events about which Republicans have been wrong. Rather than write what will likely be a very, very long post, I will break it down into many smaller ones. Here goes the first in a series:

Unemployment rate on Barack Obama’s first month as President: 8.2% in February 2009
Before the end of his first year in office it has risen to: 10% by October 2009

Date that Obamacare was signed into law: March 12, 2010
Unemployment rate on that date: 9.9%

Date that John Boehner (and virtually every other Repub) started calling Obamacare a “jobkiller”: Jan 7th, 2011
Unemployment rate on that date: 9.1%
Unemployment rate today:6.1%

Amount of time that Obamacare has been the law: 4.3 years
Decrease in unemployment rate in that time:3.0%, or nearly one-third

Total amount of jobs that have been “killed” by Obamacare: None. 4.5 million jobs have been added since Obamacare signed into law.

Hey, I’m jus’ sayin’

More to come…

Repubs spend more money creating veterans than taking care of them

Interesting little tidbit in the news today:

The congressional committee investigating Benghazi, (yes, still), is asking for a budget of $3.3 million, whereas the committee investigating the deficiencies in the VA is only asking for $3 million. Not a very big deal, but it does make one wonder why is costs less money to investigate one of the largest government agencies on the face of the earth, responsible for the health care of millions of veterans, than it does to investigate what has turned out to be a simple, though tragic, attack on an American Embassy (and one of over 15 such attacks in the last 30 years).

Could it be that everyone in Congress knows that the VA is not under the President’s domain as much as it is under Congress’ watch (only Congress can appropriate funds for it) and that it is not controlled by the military (it has a separate cabinet-level administrator) and so does not come under the President’s direct control in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief?

Could it also be that they know that these problems are endemic to the VA and are the result of years of Congressional neglect, spanning the last 5 or 6 Presidents?

Well, who knows? The Repub controlled congress is spending more investigating this attack, not because it’s the first time an American got killed at a US embassy, but because Susan Rice didn’t say the exact words that they would have preferred on some Sunday morning talk shows.

Yet Veterans, (you know, the ones who used to be the “troops” that the Repubs used to admonish us to “support” during the Iraq deception, err, war), are not worthy of nearly as much attention as far as these decepticons are concerned. Apparently, once you’re no longer an active “troop”, (the correct word is soldier. A troop is a small cavalry unit, subordinate to a squadron) your importance to these ersatz patriots diminishes rapidly.

There is a genuine scandal in the way Veterans have been treated in this country for decades, but since the Repubs know they can’t really pin it on Obama or Hillary, they’ve just put it on the back burner for now, while they wait for some other windmills at which to tilt.

True Story. This Happened Just Yesterday.

During a meeting of a local, non-political group to which I belong, one of the speakers decided that it would be appropriate to offer an Independence Day message to all of we, the un-enlightened. He started by saying how we should be proud of our military and all of those who fought for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. You know, the standard hyper-patriotic lines worshiping military might, willingness to die for our county, and American exceptionalism etc, etc, etc.

He then pivoted and, quite inappropriately, brought up how Obama is killing us with taxes (he failed to say which taxes, since Obama really hasn’t raised any on the middle class) and the standard Republican talking points about how the country is going in the toilet and all the other unsubstantiated garbage that those of his ilk like to say to each other to reassure themselves that they actually have any knowledge of the world around them. They don’t.

Anyway, after this derivative and reductive diatribe about how we’re all going to hell if Obama has his way, I asked him a series of questions. The following is a true account of those questions and answers. I’ll call him Steve

Me: So, Steve, I’m curious about some of what you said. You seem to think that patriotism and military might go hand in hand.
Steve: I do
Me: So, should I assume that you would agree that the height of patriotism is the willingness to die for your country.
Steve: Damn right (or something to that effect)
Me: Would you be willing to die for your country?
Steve: Of course!
Me: But you’re at least my age, so I can’t imagine a scenario where you’d be called upon to die for your country. The military doesn’t want guys our age, and I don’t see any foreign armies attacking the US via the west Florida coast, so you’ll agree that there is little likelihood that you would actually have an opportunity to die for your country. I mean, it’s pretty easy to say you’re willing to do something that you know is never really going to happen, right?
Steve: Yeah, but I still would.
Me: Hmm. Steve, what’s more important, your life or your money.
Steve: Pretty stupid question buddy. My life of course.
Me: Well, I figured that, but that confuses me.
Steve: Why?
Me: Because you’ve just said that you’d give your life for your country, which you just acknowledged is more important than your money, yet, earlier, in your speech about patriotism, you complained about taxes. So if your life is more important than your money, and you’d give your life for your country, why do you bitch so much about giving some of your money for your country?
Steve: I didn’t say that…
Me (interrupting): I mean, money is renewable. You make more of it every day. You can replace it. But your life is not renewable. Once you give it away its gone. You go around saying that you’d give your life for your country, knowing full well that there is virtually no chance that you’ll have to, but giving your money to your country in the form of taxes, which is much easier and less permanent, somehow offends you.
When you pay taxes, you’re actually doing something for your country, whereas claims of willingness to die for it are easily made and have no real cost. Could it be that paying taxes is actual patriotism but assertions of willingness to die for your country, when you know that you really won’t have to, are merely patriotic hyperbole?
Steve: (Offensive, obscenity-laced, Fox News-esque, spit-mixed screaming rant including words like socialist, communist, Marxist, Nazi, wish I had my AR-15, I’ll kick your ass, referring to me as resembling various female body parts, cowardly draft dodger (?), probably like having sex with boys and other colorful words, serving only to reveal his lack of sophistication, upbringing and education. None, however, not one, addressed the matter at hand).

Your patriotism is based on offering something that no one is asking for (your life), but when your country asks for something it really does need (money to run the country) you have no problem telling them to go to hell.

John Boehner is Suing Barack Obama For…He’ll Get Back To Us On That

Yesterday, in a press conference from Capital Hill, John Boehner was asked about his threatened lawsuit against Barack Obama. You know the one that isn’t about impeachment (his words), but about “not faithfully executing the laws of this country”. When asked to give some specifics as to what laws Obama has not “faithfully executed”, Boehner’s reply was, “when I make that decision, I’ll let you know”.

So, if I have this right…I just know that you did something wrong, dammit! And I’m going to sue your ass over it! Just as soon as I figure out what it is!

The Repub circular firing squad did this once before. They spent 3 years and $25 million paying human bobblehead Ken Star to investigate and bring lawsuits against Bill Clinton, ending up in a useless impeachment hearing over, of all things, a blowjob, AND NOT ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY OTHER THING. Yup, $25 million of those precious semolians that Repubs are so keen on saving, all to bring some kind, any kind, of legal action against one of the most popular Democratic presidents of the last century. And they, as usual, failed. Remember Whitewater, Troopergate, The Rose Lawfirm, Travelgate, Vince Foster, draft dodging, ad infinitum? You don’t? Well that’s because they were investigations and lawsuits that turned up absolutely nothing.

Repubs never saw a lawsuit against a Democrat that they didn’t like, irrespective if it’s just another circle-jerk. Substance is of no consequence, as long as you can tell your idiot followers that you’ve got the Dems on the run.

Now, they’re all ginned up about this “lawsuit”, but don’t know what they’re suing over.

Reminds me of a cartoon I saw years ago, of a bunch of teenagers who wanted to start a band. They bought lots of guitars, amps, drums, keyboards and microphones. When they had it all set up, one of them said, “Great! Now all we have to do is learn to play these things”.

John Boehner (and his confused minions) figure that you first must decide that you want to sue someone, but leave the important part -like the actual purpose of the suit-for later.

I think its a big mistake to waste so much time on this. I mean, if Boehner spends too much time on this lawsuit, how will he have the time to order more votes repealing Obamacare?

Jesus Loves Me This I Know, Cause Hobby Lobby Tells Me So

Those of you who believe the conservative bile that your religious freedoms were protected today please pay attention. Your religious freedom was not was transferred.

Now, if you work for Hobby Lobby (or any of the other closely held companies in the country) it is THEY who will determine whether or not you’re entitled to something that the government has promised you-birth control included with your health insurance.

It is now Hobby Lobby who has been given domain over your religious freedom. If you are a woman who works for Hobby Lobby (they have 22,000 employees) it is the Green family who now gets to determine if you’re entitled to birth control. And they’ve already decided that you’re not.

So, to recap, prior to the Supreme Court entering the womb of every woman who works for Hobby Lobby, those women had the choice, given them by the ACA, whether to use birth control. Now, they can only use birth control if they can afford to pay for it on their own, in addition to whatever they pay for their health insurance. And the only people who are deciding this for them are the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby.

And just wait…more is coming. There are about 100 cases of companies who want to deny birth control to their employees in the lower courts, and now the precedent has been set.

Enjoy your religious freedom…and the unwanted pregnancy.

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