“Don’t Forget Medicaid”

See the whole thing from Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut:

“As we wait for the white smoke to emerge from the ‘grand bargain’ negotiations at the White House, most Americans are already aware of the Republicans’ plan to dismantle and privatize Medicare and Social Security. But what many people may not realize is just how dangerous it would be to slash funding for a program that 60 million Americans rely on for their basic health care needs: Medicaid.

“While it seems that just about every major industry or interest group has teams of lobbyists in Washington looking out for them, some of our most vulnerable citizens simply don’t have a voice in a town where unfortunately, money still talks the loudest.

“Why? Medicaid covers only the impoverished and disabled, so it lacks a traditional advocacy base. This may be news to Republicans — but most poor people I know are spending all their time trying to find a job and put food on the table.”

Catholic Bishops attack Obama again

Let’s be clear: I deplore Embryonic Stem-Cell research or usage in any way at all except for a good-faith attempt to bring to those embryonic human beings to birth.  This is because, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian who aspires to be a member of Christ, ie, one of His body-parts, I don’t consider endorsing human destruction of unborn humans — even disabled ones (I am Disabled, perhaps from birth or before) — to be in keeping with Christ’s body-parts.*

However, the U.S. Catholic bishops go out of their way to attack the democratically- and Constitutionally-elected Obama Administration in recent news releases on the issue.  They’ve been indignant that we elected him and VP Joe Biden (himself a Catholic), as they made clear at their winter meetings days after the 2008 Elections, televised live on cable.  But as any Civics student could have told them, the Executive Branch of the US Government doesn’t lawfully appropriate money, Congress does.  The Executive Branch does nothing with money that Congress has not authorized.  This is the bishops’ national release; this is from one of their most “conservative” divisions, Pennsylvania.

Their Eminences and Excellencies could be forgiven (if I had the power!) their confusion, after their boy in the White House, George W. Bush, appropriated money without Congressional authorization several times, occasionally with active deceit on the part of the corrupt then-Republican leadership of both Chambers.  (And they wanna come back?!?!?!)  False or cowardly Federal judges or Congressmembers allowed this ACTUAL theft of taxpayers’ money to fly almost completely under the radar.

What do I want?  President Obama and Vice-President Biden are no more nor less a threat to advance abortion or its related horrors than a Congress that hasn’t brought to the floor a Constitutional Amendment to reiterate the protection of unborn Americans in 27 years in the Senate, and EVER in the House, NOT EVEN UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP!  Instead, Republican alleged “pro-lifers” spend their time and money (and yours) fighting [PDF] real Democratic proposals (and candidates) to eliminate nearly all abortions voluntarily by addressing their causes — showing that they view the lives of Unborn Americans less sacred than their own political power (witness their last-minute, repeated deceptions over [lack of] abortion funding in America’s Healthcare Reform).

What I want is for the bishops and other non-Democratic pro-lifers to understand that specific parties and candidates clearly aren’t how to prevail, but bona fide proposals on the floor of Congress.  Based on that, who’s the REAL pro-life party?  THE DEMOCRATS, AFTER ALL!!!

And what about the bishops’ dioceses’ tax exemptions for targeting Obama/Biden?  After all, a partisan church’s tax exemption is like spending YOUR TAX DOLLARS ON THEIR FAVORED PARTY OR CANDIDATE.  (There are Orthodox Church clergy who could be called on the carpet equally and worse than these. But Catholic bishops tend to have more resources on which to call, and lawyer friends advising them, so they should know better. Orthodox, not so much yet.)

(*–The only exception I can see is, in shorthand, to save the life of the mother: where the best available medical opinion[s] is that continuing the pregnancy will kill her in and of itself, not via suicide or threats thereat, or financial impoverishment [falling through our coarse Social Safety Net], her own mental illness or disability, etc.  Because I don’t believe we can require mothers by law to actually — not metaphorically — lay down their lives for their babies; that must be voluntary.)

PS: I’m not “an anticatholic;” I’m a convert from Catholicism with extensive graduate work in Catholic and other (Western) Christian theological ethics.  I don’t “hate Catholics;” some of my best relatives and old friends are still Catholic.  Just for the record.

Impeach Alito

…for pulling a lip-reader’s Joe Wilson during the State of the Union Address.  While the President added “with all due respect to the Separation of Powers,” “Justice” Alito, aka Scalito, did not.  That’s because Republicans like him don’t believe in the concept, at least politically.  Undisciplined immaturity is to be expected in a relative newby to the High Court; but some kids you just have to leave home with the 14-year-old sitter, can’t take ’em anywhere, like to a Joint Session of Congress on live global television — they might pick their nose, or mouth rude comments to the grownups.

Understand this: Federal judges are not supposed to be politicians; Presidents are.  Obama could rip you up one side and down the other, Your Dishonor; you just sit there still and quiet like a man.  Anyway, what do you care?: you just handed Congress back to your party till the end of time — and the White House in two more years — so Obama’s agenda (whatever that was) is basically dead in the water.  You won’t even have to steal them anymore, just buy them!

Alito’s behavior actually blows the cover right off the GOP partisanship of the Court majority.  If Congress and the Court itself don’t discipline or censure Alito, maybe we need to impeach all 5 Repugs on the Court.  Or really make Obama like FDR, and threaten to appoint a couple more real jurists to that Court, to counterbalance the Reagan-Bush-Bush unConstitutional partisans.

Spontaneous Joe Wilson

I doubt it.  Why was a camera trained on him at just the right moment to capture him pointing and yelling?  Members of Congress received advance copies of President Obama’s address to last week’s Joint Session.  Wilson probably tipped-off someone in the media about his planned “outburst.”  Such cynicism and manipulation rules us today….

Remember Next November

… in 2010 … who the Republicans voted to bail-out, and who they told ‘Drop Dead.’  They were OK with letting crooked bankers rob us blind, but when it came to union auto workers and the rest of America, they thumbed their noses, except Senators Specter, Snowe (an Orthodox Christian!), and Collins.

Yes, the GOP is as amenable to “bipartisanship” in opposition as they were in so-called leadership.  Why should WE?!!  They march in goose-step, hoping with Rush Limbaugh that America goes down like the Titanic … apparently even McCain, Mr. Conciliatory, is celebrating the Depression.  (‘Why do “conservatives” hate America?’)  Not hurting THEM too much, is it!  I’ll take a “Limousine Liberal” over a hypocritical, self-declared “Compassionate Conservative” any day!!!

In the interest of Full Disclosure, apparently I’m going to get a few more dollars in Food Stamps, and that one-time $250 lump-sum in my SSI/Disability (which will probably claw-back the Food Stamps!  Talk about taking from Peter to pay … well … Peter!).  Again, frankly, most individual beneficiaries of Bailout 2.0 are gonna sock it away in the bank and not “Go shopping” like us pobres who have NEEDS, so really, it would’ve done more good going more to us.  But then, apparently not even Specter, Snowe, and Collins, as Repugs, could stomach that.  And Specter comes from Philly….  With friends like him….  But hey, where else are we gonna get the money to pay your “Eat the poor,” upward-transfer taxes, eh?!!!  Wages?  Lotto?  Dean Graziosi?!

They’re even politicizing Halloween!

Is this what we have to look forward to in a Bush/McCain/Palin America???  Punishing babes for their parents’ freely-chosen, legal (for now!) views and votes and associations?  Good thing Jesus isn’t so picky!

Of course, her use of the word handouts underlines who she thinks deserves them: not those who need them, but only those who don’t, like herself and other rich folks and Big Business: wealthfare not welfare.

In reality, her denial also to “liars and tricksters” would rule out her own candidates, McCain and Palin, too!!!

Just like they’ve politicized the public airwaves, “fair and balanced” journalism, even Christianity as a religion.  Then they complain about “the tone in Washington” … the tone they instilled there!!!  (In reality, “democratic” republics do tend to politicize everything; nothing is sacred, everything’s a political football, nothing is presumed — except militarism.)

The American people really should turf this party or sect for a whole generation, like the Israelites in the desert who weren’t allowed to see the Promised Land after worshipping the Golden Calf.  This all-consuming partisanship isn’t politics at all, it’s not give-and-take for the Common Good, it’s just corruption.

As for “Trick or Treat,” the traditional penalty for not treating the kiddies used to be having your property or car TP’ed, egged, vandalized, etc.  There’s a “traditional value” that maybe should be brought back, at least in this one case!!!  Seriously, it arguably constituted community regulation of undesirable behavior, community promotion of generosity and not being so tight-fisted or close-minded or un-neighborly.  Of course, with today’s corrupt, egotistical individualism, we’re not allowed to do things like that anymore, neither from the left nor the right.  Mixed blessing, eh?!

As for her putting GOP campaign flyers in kids’ treats (isn’t that redundant, since she only wants to preach to the choir?), I’d no more want them in my kids’ bags than (literal) poison or razor blades or needles: I consider Republican propaganda these days to be that dangerous and unhealthy, especially to the young.  I wouldn’t want my kids’ brains polluted with such filth and selfishness and heresy!

Why don’t they just go back to protesting the existence of Halloween at all, like good Fundamentalists!  LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE!!!!!

Liberals for States’ Rights!

Yes, it’s true!

MY reason is I’m tired of the W. abuses of power and neutered or compromised Congresses’ lax oversight, and compromised Republican courts.

The dirty little secret is that usually the party out of power Federally favors States’ Rights where they ARE in power, or hope to use to regain power, and opposed by the party IN power Federally that wants to impose its will nationally, and finds it easier to do so through one government than 50, 51, or 52!  They don’t always use the language of States’ Rights, though.  Because the phrase has been tainted by racists, slaveholders, and Confederates, I prefer State Sovereignty — an absolute value under the current Constitution.

I’ve admired the late Marc Chaitlin, but he underestimated the need for State Sovereignty.  Suffice to say he passed away during W.’s first 100 days.  It’s possible to see our States today as Chaitlin’s mere “state-like provinces,” and as theologian Stanley Hauerwas might say, there’s no denying the descriptive power of that statement.  But we need to restore States’ dignity as a hedge against Federal dictatorship like we’ve experienced now, or worse in the future.  Certainly not to roll back true progressive improvements in America, or give greater power to reactionary elements among State and local politicians … indeed, to protect or restore those improvements, and make them even better!  Actually I think most Americans today think of States as little more than provinces, pointless holdovers from somewhere around the Middle Ages, with non-understood differences in drinking or driving laws, court systems, governmental structures, tax structures, practices — Patriots’ Day?  Freeholders?  I&R?  California Emission?  But all this proves is the need to fix Civics classes, and educate pundits and journalists also.  (While we’re at it, let’s teach about the legal status of Native American Tribes, and their rights and Reservations / Villages also.)