Tuesday: Something’s Gotta Give!

greta garbo reading

Good Morning!!

I’ve finally reached a point of such frustration with politics, with the do-nothing Congress, and the mostly unserious media, that I wonder if the bottleneck of corruption, incompetence, and stupidity in Washington DC will ever be broken.

Congress–particularly the Senate–is populated mostly with old, rich white men who work about two days a week at most and take so many vacations that it’s hard to keep track of when they’re actually on the job. When the rest of us have a day off, they get a week. And for major holidays like Christmas, they take a month. It’s sickening.

The Republican House spends its two days a week mostly taking votes to repeal or defund Obamacare or finding new ways to wage war on women’s individual freedom and autonomy. The rest of their time is spent trying to take food out of the mouths of poor children by cutting food stamps and other safety net programs. Then there are the states where Republican governors and legislatures are waging all-out war on women and pretty much anyone who isn’t in the top 1%.

Meanwhile, our roads and bridges are falling down all over the country. Can you imagine how many jobs the government could create by helping to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure? Not only that, but baby boomers like me could be put back to work helping in the schools. The government could create a WPA for the growing ranks of seniors instead of attacking us for collecting the Social Security and Medicare we’ve paid into for our entire lives!

Will the logjam ever break? Will we ever see the slightest focus on jobs and economic equality for the vast majority of Americans?

Back in 2000, after the Supreme Court designated George W. Bush as president, I despaired and ignored politics for awhile. But after 9/11 and the lies that dragged us into two wars that ended up being longer and more pointless than the war of my youth–Vietnam–I began to follow politics closely again. I felt it was my responsibility as a citizen to pay attention to what was being done in our name. And I did.

I had gone back to college in 1993 and got into using computers again. In 1997, I started graduate school, and got my first PC and immediately got my cable company to hook it up to the internet. I joined internet mailing lists where I could discuss issues that interested me.

Around 2003, I heard about “weblogs,” and I set out to find some that discussed politics. Every day I read and commented at Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, and dozens of other liberal blogs. Most of you know the rest. In 2008, I was driven off DK after I failed to drink the Obot Koolaid. I wrote for a small blog for a couple of years and then finally Dakinkat and I joined up here at Sky Dancing, along with Mona and JJ.

I’m here and I want to keep on writing here. I love learning about new subjects when I research news stories. But Goddammit, I want something new to happen. I want our government to be functional and have positive effects on my life and the lives of other ordinary people.

Back in 2008 I pretty much shut off the TV and focused on getting my news on the internet. But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been escaping into detective novels and watching old movies on the tube. It’s difficult to find things blog about when the news is the same every day–the war on women and working people and Congress refusing to lift a finger to improve the economic situation for the vast majority of Americans.

As you know, lately I’ve become fascinated by the case of Edward Snowden and his leaks about NSA spying. Previously, I had focused on the bombings that took place in Boston and that had led me to do a lot of research on Russia, where the accused bombers’ roots were. So when Snowden ended up in Russia, I had a little bit of background on the place.

When the NSA leaks first broke, I thought it was possible we might get some real movement on the issue of domestic spying, but once Snowden revealed himself the story became mostly about him and his mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald.

Now the Snowden story has also settled into a holding pattern. The Russians are enjoying playing with their new toy and sticking it to the Obama administration, and Greenwald isn’t even writing about leaks anymore. He just writes long, angry lectures about how Democrats and liberals are the root of all evil.

Speaking of libertarians, have you noticed the Ayn Rand crowd is taking over and brainwashing a lot of so-called “progressives?” Last week there was an effort to pass an amendment that would have prevented NSA from collecting any telephone metadata. Instead of having an intelligent discussion about how to carefully regulate electronic surveillance, we would have simply ended it–and gone back to where we were before 9/11 in terms of identifying terrorist threats.

That bill was named after an Ayn Rand worshipping wingnut from Michigan named Justin Amash whose goal is to remove all power from the Federal government except the power to control women’s bodies! Did you know that Amash wants to ban abortions as of three days after conception? This reactionary who is being called “the next Ron Paul” was actually named “Truthdigger of the week.” Are you kidding me?

Have we finally reached the point where the “progressives” of 2008 are joining with the anti-statist libertarians? Sorry, but I’m not down with that. I believe in government, and I believe we need a strong Federal government. I think the states have too much power over people’s lives right now. I think we need a national equal rights amendment to end the constant ridiculous efforts to control the lives of women and LGBT people!

Now I’ve ranted away much of the space for this post, and I haven’t really given you any news. I’m going to post a few links, and I will put up another post a little later on. And If you have any suggestions for how I can deal with my Political Affective Disorder, I’ll be very grateful to receive them.

President Obama has been trying to put some focus on economics, and will make his fourth speech on the topic today. A few links:

The Windsor Star– Analysis: Obama tries to shift focus to economy, faces withering Republican opposition

WSJ– Obama Economic Proposals Face Long Odds in Congress

Dean Baker– Cruel Arithmetic and President Obama’s Big Speech

The Hill– Obama to propose ‘grand bargain’ on jobs, corporate tax rates

Other News

Fox News– 8 injured, including 4 critically, after dozens of explosions rock central Florida propane plant

Amy Davidson at The New Yorker– Waiting for the Bradley Manning Verdict

Vanity Fair– Anthony Weiner’s Cringe-y New Sexts Reveal Request for “Daily Shoe Update”

USA Today– San Diego mayor wants taxpayers to foot legal bills

So…….. What’s new with you today? Are you frustrated, depressed, or perhaps inspired? What issues are you focusing on today? Please let me know in the comment thread.

37 Comments on “Tuesday: Something’s Gotta Give!”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I hope this post makes some kind of sense. It’s sort of stream of consciousness…

    • RalphB says:

      makes perfect sense to me

    • dakinikat says:

      This is the most righteous and wonderful rant I’ve read!!! It makes complete sense and I am so with you … it’s like everything i care about is being kicked down the road like an old tin can so some old white dudes can get richer and more powerful,

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thank you! I admit, I’m finally fed up.

        • dakinikat says:

          I am disgusted and depressed by the state of things … you spoke for me too

        • newdealdem1 says:

          BB, you can speak for me any day. Splendid rant about what many of us feel. What you said has been in my head. You putting it into such moving words made my day but it will last a long time. Some years ago, there was a musical with the terrific title “Stop the World I want To Get Off”. I sometimes feel exactly like that. I sometimes just want to step away from all forms of communication and just block out everyone and everything and feel hopeless and alone but then realize I’m not alone in this world and its at times like these when I realize he importance of family and friends and all of the things I enjoy doing in my life are still there.

          But, as Dak says “I am disgusted and depressed by the state of things” still holds true. It’s impossible for most thinking, empathetic human beings to not “see things as they are” and not despair but like others, I’m still optimistic (even after all of the crap out there) and as Ralph says so aptly ” I’m both frustrated and depressed but because I know that’s what the right wing depends upon, I’m not gonna give in to it. Press on, in spite of it.”

          And, I would like to believe that that is what the American spirit is all about. Press on, don’t give in or up, in spite of how much the cretins push one to do so.

          Thanks again for this post.

  2. RalphB says:

    Cool post! I’m both frustrated and depressed but because I know that’s what the right wing depends upon, I’m not gonna give in to it. Press on, in spite of it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Ralph. I’m not a quitter either. Despite it all, I’m an optimist at heart. I have to believe something better can come out of all this.

  3. Fannie says:

    I’ve been thinking about you this morning BB……..I think you are a beautiful woman, who has on more than one occasion given of yourself and your time, and you have been perfectly correct in your accounts/views of politics, and of the world. Your postings have been most enjoyable and you are a wonderful writer. All the sharing that you have done, all that work does mean a lot to all us here.

    I feel the same as way as you, my history had been mapped out pretty much like yours, in that I thought we were really working to better society, and helping in positive ways, then something dropped out of the sky, all that was good was turned into negatives, bad politics, war, bad economy, and lack of respect for women’s rights. But here we are, dealing with the oldest freaking domestic problem there is. Being hit once again with that old ugly stick which today made for another pissed off morning…….. I keep hearing over and over that “DOOR is CLOSED”………..you aren’t ever going to amount to nothing, it tears at me. Then I listed about the crap with Wiener, and it’s all on Hillary and Huma, when it was his dollar dick all over the internet. Like you, our aspriations and desires really were and are for a better and strong Country. We’ve gone through too many life changes to stop now BB……..we are witnessing the worst corrupt and degrading and decrepit times for women in this world. Our fight is not over till, well not until the end.

    My granddaughter, all of eight years, told me her dream car was a red vw convertible. She has a birthday coming up, and said she needed $50 to put into a small account, which she informed me that she already has $489, and I think she is going about it the right way, planning for her dreams. I really don’t talked much about her future, but she says she would like to go a real good college, Harvard, or Sanford, that is what she is thinking………I hope she does, I hope her future is not so complex that she can’t “enter through the doors”. It’s only right that she is allowed to, not just that of education, but all doors. We went on to the library where she was helping a six year old girl check out a book about animals………the little girl Hannah, didn’t remember her card, couldn’t remember how to spell her last night, (it was a long one), and she couldn’t remember her phone number, or where she lives. She was in tears, and my BB (Bella Boo), reassured her that today she would have that book, and be helped in remembering WHO she is, and WHERE is lives, and that she was a very important little girl. She’s packed the index cards, and pencils, and few gummybears, and off we go.

    We aren’t going to let them close the doors of our minds…………hell no.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What a beautiful comment! Thank you Fannie. I hope your granddaughter will have the wonderful future she deserves. If nothing else we have to keep on truckin’ for the kids. Right now my fondest wish is a better world for my two precious nephews, and for them to grow up to see women as real people with equal rights.

    • RalphB says:

      Bless all our granddaughters. They deserve only the best of futures.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The Bradley Manning verdict will be announced at 1PM.

    • Fannie says:

      BB can’t find it but MSNBC reporting “not guilty on aiding the enemy”.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yes, I was just coming to post that. He was found guilty of some espionage charges and of course he already plead guilty to a number of charges.

        • bostonboomer says:

          That’s all I’m seeing so far–no published updates. The journalists in the courtroom were not allowed to leave even to go to the bathroom.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Appeals court upholds ruling that halted NYC’s large-soda ban

    Now if they would only strike down stop and frisk.

  6. dakinikat says:

    POLITICO ‏@politico 2m
    #Breaking: Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy charge, convicted of 5 espionage counts http://politi.co/18PuMTo

  7. dakinikat says:

    Kerry begins Middle East peace talks http://j.mp/130ESJi by @JPecquetTheHill

  8. bostonboomer says:

    I’m guessing Manning will get about 20 years, but the sentence won’t be decided for awhile.

  9. peej says:

    Breaking: Bostonboomer Unshackles Reason!

    Hot Damn! — Spot on. Spot on. Spot on. You struck the nerve, for sure. I’ll tell you how I spent the week – after it became abundantly clear Regressive Progressives were merely absorbing Libertarianism, and the gears of government had certainly ground to an undeniable halt… I wrote to the President, I wrote to Tim Carpenter, Director of Progressive Democrats of America, I admonished Wyden and Udall, I contacted my Progressive Senator, and I tried contacting a number of Democrats and Progressives from both Houses with little success. Mostly, because a number of them will only receive email from district constituents. I asked my Senator to address that hypocrisy with her colleagues. How ludicrous is it to bellow senselessly about “open government” only to shut out the voices of all but those who might vote for you? I was appalled. Then there’s the idea that representatives in the national councils represent everyone, not just the interests of a single a state or district.

    The only phrase that sums it up for me is: Unfit to Govern. I made that point in most of my emails. When Progressives jumped on Snowden and Greenwald’s histrionic bandwagon, I said enough is enough. Progressives have responded as reactionaries abandoning empiricism and rationalism, blindly absorbing Greenwald’s frame; therefore they are unfit to govern.

    I was particularly disappointed by Alan Grayson’s screed because it was littered with subversions of history. Good God, haven’t we seen enough damage done by Right Wing Revisionists? BTW: the latest front on that effort – Scott Walker has compared himself to FDR…. though that could also be categorized within the grand propaganda effort that seeps through this nation at a frightening pace. Anyway…

    It is not your imagination. Progressives have inexplicably taken a disturbing Libertarian turn. I suppose that so shocked and frightened me it sent me on my email spree – which I’m not quite sure I’ve finished with yet…

    And the bottom line I always come back to whichever scandal or disappointment dominates the Anti-Press – it’s all about governance and governing. For the Left end of the spectrum, the lack of a comprehensive, actionable agenda is the issue. One that addresses past, present, and future They’ve just been reacting for years, particularly since the Tea Party agenda has gone full swing. Anyway…

    Perhaps emailing as many legislators as you can with your perspective would be a fruitful option?

    And thank you for venting. Reason rejoices. 🙂

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Pierce: Justice Kennedy has to answer for North Carolina


  11. dakinikat says:

    CSMonitor.com ‏@csmonitor 58s
    #Russia: We already knew everything Snowden leaked. But, just in case, we’ll beef up cybersecurity http://ow.ly/nsQp9

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Three Penn State Ex-Officials To Stand Trial On Sandusky Cover-Up Charges

    Penn State’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    Prosecutors showed enough evidence during a two-day preliminary hearing to warrant a full criminal court trial for ex-President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, Judge William Wenner concluded.

    Wenner called it “a tragic day for Penn State University.”

    State prosecutors allege that the three men failed to tell police about sexual abuse allegations involving Sandusky and then tried to cover up what they knew about it.

  13. NW Luna says:

    BB, righteous rant! There must be some way out of this. But I’m so cynical after all I’ve seen. How much worse before things get better?

  14. peej says:


    Perhaps a little inspiration to wade through the pervasive cynicism in which so many of us feel entrapped – a quote from Emily Bronte on the anniversary of her birth (which is today):

    “No Coward Soul Is Mine.”

    Do not give up, courageous souls! Be a Cynic in its truest form:

    Maybe the silver lining of cynicism can be found etymologically. The Greek Cynics or Cynici didn’t look anything at all like the cynics of the modern day. Rather than mistrust and a disbelief in human potential, the Cynici believed living in harmony with nature was the key to happiness and the road to reason. Therefore, the Cynici repudiated wealth and power as antagonistic to human nature. Central to their ideals were a love of humanity and the banishment of ignorance.

    May we be Cynics!

    I believe, Luna, that when it gets better it will be much better. I think the end-game will be won by true Cynics.

    • NW Luna says:

      peej, thank you for that; I’m very rusty on my Classical History.

      Love of humanity and banishment of ignorance! I’ll raise a toast to that. Long may they reign.

  15. I had no idea the asshole Amash was truthdigger of the week. All these “progressives” jumping on the libertarian boat is disgusting…but I’m curious if any of the real Hillary 08 backers are doing it too.

  16. Boo Radly says:

    BB – super post as so many here have pointed out all the points you made – Cynics all – hear, hear!

  17. Sorry I’m so late…
    Brilliant post, BB. Mail it in as a letter to a Boston editor! Peer pressure 😉