Lewis Black On Fox News and Black Friday

Lewis Black On Fox News and Black Friday

The above clip of Lewis Black on Black Friday exposes the absurdity of Fox News.  Apparently Fox News is coming down hard on workers that want off on Thanksgiving, but not on corporate stores that are forced to be open…

One day I hope that those that support the Republican Party, who aren’t rich, will wake up and see how it in no way, shape, or form represents the average American.

We must Make America Somewhere No One Wants To Live

toby-turtle

We Must Make America Somewhere No One Wants To Live

A pretty funny article that is all too true about the current Republican leadership and their plans.  It says the Republican immigration plan is to turn America into, “somewhere no one wants to live.”

Hat tip to Kevin Russell

These Are Their Top Priorities?

I don’t understand man!  The other day I saw an article where Mitch McConnell said his number one priority was to, “Get the EPA reined in.”  Article:

Mitch McConnell Says HIs Top Priority is to ‘Get the EPA Reined In’

Now today the headline over at Huffington Post is that the GOP is aiming for a showdown over immigration.

GOP On Immigration Reform

If you think of all the problems that face the American people, are these really the most important issues that need dealt with?  In an era where climate change is one of the main threats that we face, do we need less environmental regulation?  The world is overpopulated and is only going to get worse in upcoming decades.  Pretty much everyone will agree that the pollution in Beijing, a place where it is already ridiculously overpopulated with not enough environmental regulations, is unbearable.  The EPA thing is pretty easy to figure out.  These Republicans are bought lock, stock, and barrel by the fossil fuel industry.  I would assume that the immigration is them pandering to their xenophobic base.

So with all the problems in the world, two of the GOP’s top priorities are to deregulate an industry that needs more regulation and to pick on already the most vulnerable people within our midst.  (If you want an idea of the hell that immigrants already live in, then read Matt Taibbi’s The Great Divide.)  I am never ever going to agree with the Republicans on either issue, but aren’t there other things that would be more of more benefit to the American people?  Like if these were issues 9 and 10 on their agenda wouldn’t it at least be less transparent?

I asked the other day for one person to tell me a positive thing that the Republicans wanted to do for the American people, and I know a lot of Republicans, and not one person replied.  I’m still waiting.  The Republicans in power represent the interests of the already powerful.  I have seen nothing that makes me think any differently.

W.A.R. (White Anglo-Saxon Republicans) What are They Good For?

Ever since the election I have been trying to think of one thing that Republicans do that is positive.  I am talking about the leaders and not about those that are in the party.  I grew up with Republicans, I have had Republican friends at all times in my life, and I know that many of them are kind, generous, fun people.

But most of the people that I am friends with would be moderate Republicans.  These are not the kind of Republicans that just won election.  Most moderate Republicans have been drummed out of positions of power.

I am dead serious.  I want any of you that are Republicans to email me positive policy positions that the Republicans have.  Things that you don’t agree with, but you think they would do better than Obama don’t count.  You also can’t say anything like I think they would be better at foreign policy because they would fight war more effectively.  I’m talking about things that would be put in place that would make the lives of everyday people better.

Most of the things I have heard during the election are things that would make someone’s life worse.  There seems to be anti-whatever in front of all of the Republican’s big issues.  They are anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environmental regulation, anti-affordable healthcare, etc.  I know that they want to take away women’s right to choose, immigrant rights in anyway possible, gay people’s right to marry, allow fossil fuel companies to operate with less restrictions, repeal Obamacare.  I don’t see how anyone but the extremely rich benefit from any of these ideas.

Those in the right that are in power seem to be either free-market utopians or the religiously insane.  Those in power are not conservatives with a small c.  So please, I really want to know.  What do those in power in this party stand for other than making sure that rich white people hold onto their money?  What are the leaders of this party good for?

Unless someone can make me aware of something that I’m not, I can’t help but feel that the answer is the same as to war in the Edwin Starr song:  Absolutely nothing!

Hey Don’t the Wars Come Easy, Hey Don’t the Peace Come Hard

Love junkies wanna change the world:
It quickly stays the same
Money junkies hire all the smart ones
Power junkies run the game

One step at a time
Polarity Hill
If the bad guys don’t get you, baby
Then the good guys will
With angels on the take
And the gangsters in the yard
Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

- Excerpt from the song The Big Ones Get Away by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Ever since the election I’ve wanted to bite someone’s throat out like a werewolf.  That is, until tonight.  I was listening to the great Buffy Sainte-Marie and those last two lines struck me.  Buffy Sainte-Marie is a singer who politically is also the real deal.  She was blacklisted personally by President Johnson.  She was an activist that put herself on the line numerous times.  When she sings the lines, “Hey don’t the wars come easy, hey don’t the peace come hard”, she knows what she is talking about.

I played a festival in Canada this year where I got to see Buffy Sainte-Marie perform.  She talked about how not enough people were saying how we treat each other is what’s important, and not the almighty dollar.  Such a simple message, but something we can’t seem to learn in America.

I worked hard to try to get Prop 1 passed here in Austin.  Prop 1 was a bill that was going to put in the first stage of urban rail in Austin and it also included road projects.  When I was canvassing I mostly talked to Democrats.  When I went into the more middle class and working class neighborhoods people seemed to get that this would help make the city a better, more livable place.  The richer the neighborhoods, the more people seemed to claim that we couldn’t afford it.  This was going to raise taxes a total of about $20 a month, and this was not even going to take full effect until 2020.  The price of four beers a month turned people off to doing something that was not only going to make the city better, but was also good for the environment.  And it seemed to be those that could most afford it that were the most against it.

The state of Texas elected Dan Patrick, a former conservative radio host, who makes Sean Hannity look like a Rhodes Scholar, as our new Lieutenant Governor.  That position actually holds power in the state of Texas.

The country as a whole seemed to vote for the most insane politicians possible, at a time when, especially environmentally, we can least afford it.  The oil and the gas industries won big, when we need to be electing people that will help us end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.  Women and gays are under attack through proposed policies.  Minorities and poor people are under attack at the polling stations.  I had to show an ID to vote in Texas, a move that some estimate might have disenfranchised 600,000 Texans.

The old, the white, and the scared showed up in large numbers, while the young, who have the most to lose, stayed home.  It’s discouraging that people that should know better allowed themselves to be duped, while those that need to know better were so apathetic.  All around no one comes out of this clean, for different reasons.

However, the one of my pet peeves is those that say there is no difference in politicians.  There is an ancient ocean of difference between Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Warren, for one example.  Those that have become so cynical that they are blind to that, I will never understand.

The thing is, even those that voted the opposite of what I believe they should have, are people that I think should be included in the dream.  I don’t want anyone to go without healthcare.  I don’t want anyone to go to a war that is senseless.  I don’t want anyone thrown in jail that doesn’t deserve it.  I wish these people could see that the things that we liberals want don’t just benefit us.

Meanwhile there seems to be nonstop attacks on those most vulnerable.  Why is there so much hatred for immigrants or homosexuals?  The lizard brain is running wild right now.  But at the center of all this are people that value money over other human beings.  And they know how to get those lizard brains in motion.

This week was a huge setback for this country, and because of our power, for the world.  But as Buffy sings:

Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

 We on the left must dust ourselves off and get motivated.  There is a dark train coming down the tracks.  I don’t blame anyone for being depressed or discouraged.  Christ, I am.  But to do nothing is to give in to despair and desolation.  There is only two years until the next election.  Not that much time, but enough to get reorganized and hungry again.

Last time our people showed up to vote it led to 10,000,000 people getting healthcare that didn’t have it, to gays being allowed to serve openly in the military, and to the first Latino on the Supreme Court.  That is real and meaningful change.  I benefited from the healthcare law, but I’m a white male that likes girls.  I was happy to see people that were different than me realize their dreams.  in this interconnected world it has to be about more than your own tribe.  We sink or swim together.  There is water in the boat, but we haven’t drowned yet…

Andrew Sullivan On the Election

The Dish

The above is a link to Andrew Sullivan’s take on the election, which is I think has a lot of merit to it.  A sample:

So this is a victory in favor of more governing paralysis. Most voters don’t really want that; but their actions belie it. History twists and turns, of course, and any number of events or surprises could upend our expectations for the better. But yesterday, it seems to me, was the definitive moment when Obama’s promise to forge a pragmatic purple center ceded to the grim, polarized reality of a deeply and evenly divided country. This was the GOP’s strategy from the start; but it leaves them with a strangely ill-defined, if emphatic, victory.

Openly Gay War Hero Helped Defeat Hitler

Alan Turing Movie Starring Benedict Cumberbatch

Read this article this weekend in the New York Times.  It is a new movie coming out about the war hero Alan Turing and it stars Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbath.  Turing cracked the German’s Enigma code, thus helping to win World War II.  He was also openly gay at a time when it was not excepted.  Despite being essential to the war effort Turing was eventually tried and convicted on charges of indecency.

When Republicans, who now control the House and the Senate, start up with their homophobic nonsense, remember that we might not have even won World War II, if it weren’t for an openly gay man.