Dog whistling politics in America

I’m at home sick today.   It started with sharp pains in my head and then nausea.  I passed out when I got home and my head felt like a brick this morning.  I’ve been in and out sleep since 10pm yesterday. Boo!

I was messing around on the internet and I found this article entitled “The racism at the heart of the Reagan presidency.”  The article speaks about the dog-whistle racism employed by Reagan to get himself elected and then subsequently gut the economic protections/freedoms of those that carried him to office.

Article points:

  • People only have the “liberal” view that we’re all in this together, provided the “we” is a monoracial group.
  • Other presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, have used dog-whistling to lure white voters, but only Reagan actually followed through with his rhetoric which in turn gave such behavior mainstream acceptance.
  • Liberal politicians have not helped their own cause by failing to call social security and medicare a form of welfare.  Yes, you pay in the system, but you get a hell of lot more out of it than you put in it.  Don’t let those yearly statements from the Office of Social Security fool you.

In America, with the way things are, it makes total sense.  I mean, how else can you explain working and middle class white people voting for people that argue against subsidies for the poor, worker’s right, consumer protection, etc?  These ideas have been wedded to communism, integration, people of color, and everything else that is the antithesis of a Christian, white America.  

Look at this Vanguard documentary from 2011 entitled “Two Americas.”  The poorer family is struggling like a mug, yet they are sitting at home watching the Republican Presidential debates agreeing with every point that’s just going to prolong their misery.  No one is saying sit at home with your hand open, but sometimes, people do need help.  What’s so wrong with accepting help, be it from charity or the government, until you get on your feet again?  The American banking industry went to Uncle Sam with fancy hat in hand to ask for a bailout (welfare!!!!) for their own stupidity without a drop of shame.  Yet, your dumb ass is sitting at home starving/struggling and living out some Horatio Alger nonsense just so you can sit and say that I’m not like those (black, brown, yellow, red) people asking the government for help.  That’s a damn shame.

Barnes and Noble: “Dog Whistle Politics:  How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class”

Fools and Charlatans: The Federal Government Shutdown, Part 2

The fact that I’m even writing a part 2 about this fuckery is enough to make me scream.   So we’re heading into week 3 of the shutdown because of childish overpaid and extremely underworked bitchmade fools in Congress.   Who needs a functioning nation?  Not them!

Here’s a secret to anyone out of side of the DC Metro Area.  Congress hasn’t created a budget in years.  They do little patchwork malarkey called “continuing resolutions.”   A continuing resolution is a short time budget that allows the federal government to operate for as little as a few days.  That is some bullshit.   A budget is supposed to span the entire fiscal year and yet every time they find some way to mess it up.  Can you imagine going to work and tell your supervisor “I’m only going to give 5% of the project that’s due.  You’ll get more when I feel like it”?  That’s what Congress tells American citizens every time they show up, show out, and do not a damn thing.

And now to top it off with people sitting at home worrying and government services shutting down, we now have the debt ceiling debacle.  And since no one in Congress will do the logical thing of cutting spending and raising taxes (seriously, it’s the most obvious thing, but these bamas are ridiculous), we’ll be hitting that ceiling on what the government can borrow on October 17.

The worst player in all of this firestorm is the media.  “The Republicans are winning. The Democrats are winning. Someone has to cave.”  How can anyone be winning when people are anxious and suffering?  The media is supposed to be riding the politicians’ asses, not kissing them. Furthermore, there is no such thing as caving in this situation.  It’s called being a grown-up and learning compromise is a way of life.

I guess that I’ll just get through more of the book that I’m reading as I watch all of this play out.   It’s about a fringe political group that worms it way into the highest form of government in the land via backroom deals and criminal acts while rallying people that they’re going to take back the country.   It’s called The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer.

Fools and Charlatans: The Federal Government Shutdown

Mocha Pikachu along with over a million others is at home today when I should have been at work.   I’m one of the over a million people affected by the Federal Government shutdown. Newsflash to all of you Republican trolls in Congress so happy to stick it to the President, all you’ve done is hurt a bunch of federal employees and private sector employees.  Yes, even the precious private sector that y’all profess to love, and of which I’m a member, is affected too.  My employer is still trying to figure out what to do with us.

So while y’all slack-jowled bastards get to pat yourselves on the back for a job done horribly, we will sit and ponder how long our savings (if we are lucky enough to have any) will sustain us.  It’s expensive as hell to live in the DC Metro Area and federal employees and contractors aren’t ballin’ out of control they way that some would have you believe.

We’re regular Americans.  We have mortgage/rent and bills to pay.  We have families to support.  We’re not idealistic fools that still get paid no matter how many lives we destroy.

What the hell does it say about this nation that the biggest internal fights are always about civil rights and the public good?

What is so wrong about letting people get access to insurance and not having pre-existing conditions clauses?  It is not the Universal Healthcare that would normally have y’all pissing your pants.  Insurance companies are about to get paid off the Affordable Care Act.  I thought y’all were pro-business.

Or are you more anti-black than anything else?

All I know is Boehner better put down the MAC NC42 Studio Fix powder, dry those bitchmade tears, and go start kicking some ass in his own party.  2013 is not 1996.   Americans are worse off due to Corporate and Government mismanagement.   Things will get ugly.

What the hell, Virginia?: 2013 Gubernatorial Race

My fellow Virginians, real talk, where in the blue hell do the Democrats and the Republicans find their candidates?

In the Blue (D) corner, we have Terry McAuliffe.  This is his second attempt to claim Virginia’s top job. He has an endorsement from Senator Mark Warner; who was Virginia’s last decent governor. He’s never held office but he was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He’s a Clintonite and that’s problematic for me.  Currently, he is leading in the polls, but he should have a victory and a concession speech written.

In the Red (R) corner, we have Ken “the Cooch” Cuccinelli.  He’s our current Attorney General. For all of his small government talk, he’s ultra-conservative on social issues and not afraid to push legislature that supports his worldview.  Plus, his running mate has to be certifiable. All of that takes away from a man whom appears to least have the potential to be a half-way decent administrator.

Virginia governor’s race: Where they stand on the issues.

So are the big “two” choices if you will.  Neither of them are doing it for me.

Economically, they both seem the same to me.  To even have a chance in Virginia, you’d had damn well better be business-friendly.  The Virginia business lobbies are not a game.  Also both seem long on ideas and short on details.  For a state race, I need to see PowerPoint presentations and concrete data when you have that much money backing you.

They’ve both have horrible, negative ads. I’m so sick of politicians telling me what their opponents can’t do instead of telling me what they can do.   They just had a debate and Cuccinelli was arrogant and McAuliffe was smarmy.

Socially, Terry is your standard liberal.  He’s very equal rights for minorities, women, and LGBT communities.  Ken is ultra-conservative and some of his ideals seem rooted in a quaint 1940s motif rather than the 2000s reality.

Ethically, to quote the great Clay Davis “I’ll take any motherfucker’s money if he givin’ it away.”  Both are slimier than snail shit.

Seriously?  This is the best that the two largest political parties has to offer the Virginia citizenry.  We’re the birthplace of Presidents, dammit.  Why can’t y’all find some decent damn people to run for office? I wouldn’t trust most of the candidates that they find to run a pie shop, let alone the whole damn state.  McAuliffe just got buck with a lobby group because they didn’t endorse him.  I have a terrible feeling that if he could get away with it, Cuccinelli would have a state funded Stasi checking to make sure that straight couples had missionary only sex.

I’m so tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.  I want to see viable candidates out there.  Right now, when I vote, I think to myself “whose fuck-ups will do the least amount of damage while in office?”  What kind of political life is that?

And once again, the Powers that Be ignore or exclude Third Party Candidates.  Last year, Larry King on MHz Networks did a Third Party Presidential Debate.   While writing this rant, I saw that there is a Libertarian Candidate named Robert Sarvis running and he’s getting no shine except from dedicated followers and Independents. I’ll check him out and see what he’s talking about.

America’s Other Undeclared War: The War against the Poor

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $40 billion from the already overburdened Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more commonly known as food stamps.

They got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor…

With the current state of the U.S. economy, more Americans than ever are relying on government assistance to survive.  Some of these Americans are hopelessly unemployed or underemployed.   The New York Times just had an article about New Yorkers working two or more jobs and still living in homeless shelters.

I’m tryin’ to make a dollar out of fifteen cents…

So let’s review:

  • U.S. economy is shot to hell.  There is almost no manufacturing base due to corporate greed and political shortsightedness.  The majority of jobs are services-based and are few and far between.
  • Basic living expenses have far outpaced basic wages for the past 30 years.
  • Some Americans needs government assistance programs for survival.

Now would be the worst time to pick SNAP for program cuts.   There is a lot of fluff in the Federal Budget that can take a hit better than this program.

In the 2012 documentary The House I Live In, David Simon, creator of the series The Wire, said “the War of Drugs is a holocaust in slow motion.”  Although the basic premise of documentary starts off about the failed War on Drugs, it soon turned into an examination of how the war unfairly targets and hurts the poorest of Americans.  Since, they can’t codify poverty itself as a crime, they make actions associated with poverty a criminal action. 

It’s hard to be legit and still pay the rent…

At some point in time, the Powers that Be decided that Poor Americans aren’t worth our consideration. Listen to how they are vilified.  “The poor are lazy.  They make bad decisions.  They’re a drain on our resources.  They aren’t trying.  They need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

What they really saying through word and deed is that Poor Americans are excess Americans.  They don’t need them here and they don’t want them here.   And if they can’t work them to death, or lock them up for petty, non-violent crimes to make a quick buck off them at private prisons, then they can take away their food security.

They pick the worst examples of poor people in America and portray them as the standard of American Poverty to justify their actions to the Middle Class.  Sadly, a lot of the Middle Class falls for it hook, line, and sinker.   Every article about poverty or welfare in America, has some fool commenting about how he saw some welfare recipient buying beer, lobster, and cigarettes with their food stamps at the grocery store.  Bitch, please. They are and always well be people that scam the system.  That doesn’t mean that you punish everyone who legitimately needs the program.  You weed out the scammers, but “That’s too much like right” as my grandma used to say.

I have news for those that disparage the poor.   Unless you are a multi-millionaire, you’re one catastrophic event away from complete financial ruin.   That’s the cold hard financial reality of America.   Anyone in America can be become impoverished.  So while it makes you feel good to haughtily wag your finger remember that there but for the grace of God goes thee.

So you keep believing that poverty is relegated to those “bad people” in the ghettos, barrios, and trailer parks while you assist in dismantling the social safety net.  Come talk me after a stroke of misfortune strikes you hard.

We ain’t meant to survive ‘coz it’s a setup…

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My Favorite Scene: House of Cards (BBC Version)

Hopefully, by now you’ve heard of House of Cards:  BBC or the American Netflix version.  Both are about a prominent national politician Chief Whip (BBC)  Francis Urquhart/House Majority Whip Francis Underwood (American) that helps the Prime Minister (BBC) /President (American) get elected and then finds himself passed over for a promised position.

Both are great, but for very different reasons.   I’ve seen both and and I adore Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood (American),  but I have to give it the late Sir Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart (BBC).   He plays Francis as a bubbling cauldron of calculated menace and rage masked by an elegant veneer.

Now on to the scene:  Mr. Urquhart is quietly waiting to see the new Prime Minister and discuss his plans/suggestions for the new administration.   Watch until about 22 minutes in.  Or do yourself a favor and watch the whole episode.  There are 4 total in the first series.

That split second hand grip that Richardson does…chilling.

If hand-grips could talk

When I first started watching House of Cards, I was about to give up on the series until this scene.  That scene made want to watch the rest because I knew some serious shit was about to go down.

Richardson’s Francis doesn’t roar.  He doesn’t bellow.  Besides that hand gesture visible only to the audience, he gives no indication that he’s not going to be a team player. He goes home, has a drink and decides to destroy this man’s political career probably in much the same way he would decide to remodel his study.   It’s logical (to him) and, well, fuck it, he has the time.

He’s cool, sinister, and menacing in the most gentlemanly possible and I can’t help but admire the bastard for it. It must be my inner supervillain.

Watch out for the quiet ones.

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