Monday, January 25, 2021

Deficit Attention Disorder

Annnnd right on schedule, the Republicans are concerned about the deficit again. I’ve said it since the early days of this blog, and I see it everywhere now, Republicans are only concerned with the deficit when someone else is in charge of spending.

And this isn’t a new phenomenon, this pattern has gone on for decades. Republicans spike the deficit but don’t demand austerity until there’s a Democratic administration.

The next time they ask where the money for a tax cut is going to come from will be the first.

The only thing that matters right now is getting a handle on the COVID and giving people the tools to get by until that happens. Biden’s new plan is a good start.

In an emergency, we have to address the problem first, then deal with how we’re going to pay for it. Republicans holding up the stimulus package is akin to if your house is on fire, refusing to let the fire department put out because of what it will do to your water bill.

First you have to put out the fuckin’ fire before anything else comes into play!

This is the viewpoint stated by a lot of conservatives:

The thing is, the checks are what will keep businesses going, whether it’s the general checks that provide spending money or the small business checks and loans that allow businesses to pay their bills and staff. They tried that last year, but it was set up so poorly, huge businesses and connected individuals sucked up the bulk of the money.

People need money to spend. But they also need a safe place to spend it. All the stimulus money in the world isn’t going to make people go out and shop like they used to. Most of us value our asses more than risking a fatal illness just to eat at the Cheesecake Factory.

I’m fortunate that in my area of Baltimore, pretty much everyone is masked up. I haven’t seen a stranger’s face in months. But not all locations are toeing the line on masks.

I say, if you want your friend’s business to survive, wear a damned mask and get your shots.

Teacher Teacher

Speaking of “Wear your damned mask,” (which is our governor’s (Larry Hogan, R-MD) new catch-phrase), after appearing rational about the virus last year, his “Republican” is suddenly re-emerging. He’s exerting pressure on state school boards to get schools open ASAP, or else face the consequences (to be meted out by him.) He proclaims that since teachers have been moved to status 1B and are currently eligible for the vaccine, we should be opening up the schools right now.

The problem with this logic is that while the teachers are eligible, there isn’t any vaccine to be found, nor is there an efficient way of procuring one. Being “eligible” is fine and dandy but it doesn’t mean jack until the shots go into the eligible arms.

Also, the schools, like the one at which my wife teaches 1st grade, still haven’t done anything to prepare for in-person classes. There are still 20+ kids assigned to a class with no room for proper spacing, no dividers, not much of anything except some new posters on the wall urging proper handwashing. Even teachers, like Sweetpea, who desperately want to come back to school are resistant without proper precautions, like the shots.

This whole thing smacks of a political ploy. The Gov knows that people are sick of having their kids taking online classes and everyone knows that’s not the best situation for them. So in setting up the teachers to protest rushing back without protections, he’s shifting the blame.

You don’t like your kids doing remote learning? Blame the teacher’s union.”

It’s a pretty shitty thing to do, just to position yourself for the GOP 2024 nomination. The teacher’s union has no intention of rushing straight into a germ-infested nightmare.

Teachers give their lives to teaching, but shouldn’t be expected to give their life.

Now Back to Congress

I hear that Congress is tied up over their operations agreement. Mitch is holding out for a commitment from the Democrats not to alter the filibuster rules.

I agree with Majority Leader Schumer that doing so is a non-starter. Why on earth would the Democrats agree to give up such a lever? It’s one of the few pieces of ammunition they have. Mitch certainly wouldn’t do so, if the roles were reversed.

If I’m Schumer, I tell McConnell that he’ll first have to show that the Republicans don‘t intend to abuse the power before I yield anything. Odds are, they won’t be able to do that because obstructing every bill is exactly what they intend to do, just like they did with Obama. Schumer knows this, as does Biden. They can reach across the aisle a time or two, but as soon as they pull back a stump, the game’s over, they go it alone.

Republicans never shy from playing pure power politics. It’s about time the Democrats try it themselves.

Impeachment 2, The Sequel 

I’m not optimistic about impeachment anymore. While I like that the Democrats are tending to essential business first, (like cabinet appointments), I fear the Republican stomach for impeaching the former president has turned. Now they’re trying to use Biden’s call for unity against them, by insisting that we shouldn’t prosecute the previous administration, in the name of moving on, which is so very Republican. When they prosecute a political foe, it’s essential for the nation to uphold law and order. But when it comes back at them, it’s divisive.

From my point of view, an impeachment is absolutely necessary for this issue alone: if using bald-faced lies to incite an armed insurrection against the government, by people ready and willing to kill those with whom they disagree, isn’t grounds for impeachment, then what is? There absolutely HAS to be consequences, or else the door is wide open for any idiot with a grudge to try again to overthrow a legally elected government.

This makes Nixon’s sanctioned spying on Democrats look like child’s play. And Clinton’s impeachment? That’s a mere pimple on Trump’s ass compared to launching a violent campaign to pry power back from those who defeated him in an election, fair and square. And remember how Republicans got all dewy-eyed while insisting that telling a lie under oath needed to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, in order to maintain the integrity of the Presidency?

Then their guy tells 35,576 of them in a single term and they don’t contest one of them. Hell, they lined up to support the lies.

If Trump’s actions aren’t impeachable, then there is no longer anything a (Republican) president can do to get thrown out of office. That’s a precedent that can’t be allowed to stand.

And now for a little debunkery…

I’ve seen this one posted several times by my conservative friends. And each time I weep for what’s become of them.

This is the very definition of propaganda. Lots of shaky assertions that seem rational on the surface until you spend about 10 seconds thinking about them.

“No wars in four years.” Only the one against black people who dare to demand not to be harassed, shot, or choked while in police custody. And as far as overseas matters go, we cut and run, hung our allies out to dry, as well as other people on the ground who supported us at great personal risk. Isn’t that what the Republicans charged Obama with when he tried to wind down operations in Iraq? How pride-inducing!

“Job security.” Are you fucking kidding me? Joblessness is at a record rate! People are literally losing everything. Then again, the only jobs Republicans really care about are the high-paying white-collar jobs, preferably on the Boards of Directors, the ones who donate to Republicans. Yeah, those guys are really secure. The rest of us, not so much.

“Oil independence.” We are not now, nor have we ever been oil-independent. We could be, but the markets don’t work like that. Remember that every time something blows up in The Middle East, our gas prices go up. If we were independent, that wouldn’t be so. I suspect this segment is about Biden nixing the Keystone XL oil pipeline project and that’s laughable. The United States wasn’t getting anything out of that. It was a means for a Canadian oil company to get its oil to the Gulf of Mexico for shipping to its overseas customers. The only thing America would get out of it was the environmental damage should an accident ever happen. This is just towing the Republican company line, wherein fossil fuels are the only ones that matter, while wind and solar are just hippy daydreams. Just keep in mind that there’s a finite amount of oil in the ground. At some point, it will cost more to extract it than it will be worth. Then they better hope the hippies will share.

“Gas at under $2.10.” Hah, in Possum Holler, maybe. This weekend, I filled up for $2.29 a gallon. But I get the drift… gas is cheap right now. And do you know why? Because of the Coronavirus! People aren’t traveling or going much of anywhere. Lack of demand brings down gas prices. I found gas for under $2.00 last spring, at the height of quarantining. The most benign reading of this point would be the because of the incompetency of the Trump Administration, letting COVID-19 ravage the country brought gas prices down a bit. Hoorah!

“Stock Market above 30K.” LOL. Stocks took off once it looked like Trump was going to lose the election, and then continued up after Biden won. But yes, the stock market was one (and probably the only) area that thrived under Trump. All it took was crippling the government to pay for the massive tax cuts that big businesses received and used to buy up their own stock. There was little job creation, little in the way of wage increases, just padding for the bottom line. As usual with the Republicans, the rich got richer, kept it all, and duped their followers into bragging about it.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

That meme makes me mad. Obama had all those and more but they hated him. He also killed the man Bush was after and couldn't get done. (osama bin laden) okay I need to not think about politics. Bad for my health.

bluzdude said...

Republicans have a raging case of amnesia when it comes to Obama, especially when they whine about how Trump was treated. They put that man through the wringer and he never came down to their level.

RO said...

This school thing just goes back and forth and back and forth, and it's been such a rough situation for so many families. Parents want their kids in school, kids seem to want to go back to school, many need to be back in school, and teachers want to be back in school. But as you mentioned, they just want safe and healthy environments in order to make it work. I think that's one of the things the president is asking for in his stimulus package, which would include proper ventilation in schools, etc. I told my son that I'm glad this didn't happen when he was a kid because I probably would have lost my mind!(lol) Hugs and more hugs to you both. RO

bluzdude said...

My dad told me last year that if this had happened when we were still in school, he'd have pulled us out for the year, to go back when it was over.

I said I'd have been pretty pissed to be taken away from all my friends.

He said, "I wouldn't have been asking your permission."

RO said...