Friday, April 03, 2020

Ouch - That Hurts

Why do I keep banging my head against this brick wall?

Because it feels so good when I stop.

That's how I feel sometimes when reading about the Republican party, it's enablers and leaders. This article describes what's happening and going to happen in Florida because of ex-Governor Rick Scott's dismantling of unemployment insurance in that state. Here's a quote from the article -
Privately, Republicans admit that the $77.9 million system that is now failing Florida workers is doing exactly what Scott designed it to do — lower the state’s reported number of jobless claims after the great recession.

 “It’s a sh-- sandwich, and it was designed that way by Scott,” said one DeSantis advisor. “It wasn’t about saving money. It was about making it harder for people to get benefits or keep benefits so that the unemployment numbers were low to give the governor something to brag about.”
Rick Scott is currently a U.S. senator from the great state of Florida. In an earlier incarnation he was the CEO of a health care company where he oversaw what, at that time, was the largest Medicare fraud in U.S. history. His company Columbia/HCA was fined 1.7  billion dollars for Medicare fraud.

Given Scott's background of ripping off the Federal government,  taxpayers and in particular seniors who depend on Medicare - one might ask how he could then be elected the Republican Governor and then Republican U.S. Senator from Florida?

Lots of reasons of course - greed, ignorance, hate, fear, deep-seated tribal and familial ideological indoctrination. On the other hand, a person living through, and looking at, what the GOP has done to this country over the last 40 years with a clear eye can see that their actions have harmed the majority of people in our nation.

Are their corrupt Democratic politicians and ideologically possessed Democratic voters? Absolutely. Bill Clinton did various things that harmed the majority of Americans - Glass Steagal repeal, NAFTA, letting China join the WTO welfare "reform" to name a few.

Is there any comparison between the GOP and the Democratic party when it comes to the scope of corruption, greed and harm to the powerless? Absolutely not.


If I could give a homework assignment to United States voters I'd ask them to read this incredibly damning United Nations Human Rights Council Report on extreme poverty and human rights in the United States of America.

What did the GOP do about this report?

They took their ball and went home mad as heck at those pesky people who cite facts to describe reality. Specifically they removed the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council and fired up their radical right-wing billionaire-funded think tanks to spew propaganda.

The GOP claims 250,000 Americans live in extreme poverty while the U.N. report says 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This Washington Post article has a quote that rings true to me,
“You can spend all day arguing about how many people are living on $2 a day vs. $4 a day,” said Kristin S. Seefeldt, of the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. “But if you spend any amount of time in poor communities in the U.S., it's obvious there's still a lot of deprivation and 250,000 is a ridiculously low number.”
Of course people are angry and hurting - and the GOP has used that anger and pain to obtain and retain power for decades. Trump (and the Republican party) love the uneducated and the ideologically possessed for the simple reason that if that segment of the population ever figures out what's been done to them - the pitchforks and torches will be rampant.

If you like to read and maybe learn something new, the book, "American Amnesia: How The War On Government Led Us To Forget What Made America Prosper" is a well-researched book about how anti-government, anti-education, anti-press, pro-greed forces managed to reshape a system, that worked well for working class Americans from the New Deal era until the Reagan devolution, into something that left a whole segment of our population struggling to get by...while the rich only got richer.


Tracking this Republican president and his administration's response to the Covid-19 pandemic confirms that the decades of anti-science, anti-education, anti-free-press tactics the GOP has used to obtain and maintain power are now causing devastating harm to our nation.

A few days ago, Jared (not the Subway Jared the other one) told us that the federal stockpile of emergency medical supplies isn't meant for the states. This understandably caused a lot of push back from "the states".  The next day the White House, in the cult-like Orwellian revisionist ways of the GOP - revised the HHS web page to try and align it with Jared's version.

There are literally hundreds of these God-awful stories about the GOP  and the Trump administration that one could cite but why bother?

How about this one from the LA Times which has this tidbit -
Two months before the novel coronavirus is thought to have begun its deadly advance in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration ended a $200-million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat.

If you don't get it by now - you ain't never gonna get it. For those of you who have been fooled again (and again) I feel compassion for you and all the people your ignorance will harm. I feel anger and disgust at those who know better, but take advantage of you because of their greed and will to power.


Chris Hedges has a point of view that contains some truth about how our society became so dysfunctional for so many people. He's not an optimist but he tries to be honest. Among other things, he's an ordained minister who holds classes for people in prison. He reminds me of an old fashioned fire and brimstone preacher telling us we are all going to hell if we don't change our ways.

I have to admit I'm afraid that some of his cures (shutting down corporations) would be worse than the disease. On the other hand if we listen to scientists, consider the existential threat to our ecosystem and it's living inhabitants due to CO-2 emissions in the decade(s) to come - it's obvious that we are going to hell if we don't change our ways - fine for you and me...but what about our kids and their kids? 

Of course this administration is doing just what the Reagan administration did decades ago to ensure greed prevails over the future of our children and our planet by rolling back mileage standards on motor vehicles.

The GOP anti-science anti-fact response to the Covid-19 pandemic is the same as their anti-science anti-fact response to climate change. The major difference is we are seeing how our federal government reacts to a quickly evolving emergency in this pandemic whereas the damage done, and to be done, by climate change happens slowly enough that we can pretend that ignoring the problem (or some future technology) will make it go away.

I'm going to stop banging my head now...