Saturday Open Thread: Waiting for the Apocalypse


Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!!

Mona is under the weather today, so I’m going to put up some links to get some discussion going.

Hey, remember when elections used to have consequences? That was before we elected the black guy. Now the right wing nut party tells us what “the American people really think.” At Maddowblog, Steve Benen writes:

If you listen to congressional Republicans defend their shutdown scheme and crusade to destroy the federal health care system, they’ll routinely use the same phrase. The “American people,” the GOP claims, are on their side. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued at a press conference yesterday, for example, “The White House may not get it, but, frankly, the American people get it.” [….]

It may seem like ages ago, but about 10 months ago, the United States held national elections. One party, the Republican Party, ran on a fairly specific platform, near the top of which was a promise to destroy the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Their rivals, the Democratic Party, also had a platform, which included preservation of the Affordable Care Act.

The “American people” were asked to make a choice. And they did.

At the presidential level, the Democratic candidate won with relative ease, and became only the sixth presidential candidate in American history to win 51% of the popular vote twice. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats not only held their majority for the fourth consecutive election cycle, they also unexpectedly added seats. In the U.S. House, Democratic candidates collectively won 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates….

We’ve all heard the “elections have consequences” adage many times, but let’s be clear about what we’re witnessing in 2013: Republicans are very clearly telling the country, “No, actually, elections don’t have consequences. We’re still going to do as we please.”

I have to say, it’s really getting old too. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m on the verge of giving up on politics and just playing video games and reading detective stories until the apocalypse overtakes us.

Here’s an example of one of the wingnuts who’s leading us all to armageddon: North Dakota Rep. Kevin Kramer. The North Decoder reports on exchange that took place on Kramer’s Facebook page:

[A] constituent of North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer posted a comment on Cramer’s Facebook wall.  The constituent apparently wanted to make sure that — after Cramer’s vote to take food out of the mouths of hungry children, disabled people, the elderly and many military veterans — Cramer was aware of some of the Biblical passages supporting the idea of helping the least of these.  Cramer’s response is kind of stunning. His response is, essentially, to let those people starve.  Citing a different Biblical passage, here’s what Cramer wrote:

Congressman Kevin Cramer 2 Thessalonians 3:10 English Standard Version (ESV) 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
about an hour ago via mobile

Facebook (source)

So there you go folks.  The hungry children of veterans who can’t find jobs or who are disabled; those kids can just starve.  See, Cramer’s a good Christian, and Thessalonians says we need to let the children of people who can’t work or who can’t find jobs starve….

Cramer assumes everybody who receives SNAP assistance is lazy. Because, of course, the Christian thing to do is to assume that everyone who isn’t working isn’t willing to work. And we should hate those people and let them “not eat.”  Let’s just forget all that crap the Bible says about helping poor people.  Why not?!?  He forgets that many who receive SNAP assistance work. Many work full-time. Many work multiple jobs. It’s not that they’re lazy, Kevin; it’s that our economy needs a lot of working poor people. WalMart needs a lot of working poor. Kevin’s owner — the Man Who Bought North Dakota — needs a lot of working poor people.  How would the Walton family make so much money if they weren’t able to pay so many people so little?!?

Read the whole Facebook post at the link.

Here’s some advice for journalists on the Republican campaign to starve low wage workers and unemployed people and their children to death from Dan Froomkin: Writing a Neutral Story About Something So Heartless As the Food Stamp Vote Is Not Good Journalism.

The Republican-led House yesterday voted to make deep cuts to the food stamps program that has kept millions of American families from going hungry since the recession hit, saying its response to growing need was instead a sign of bloat and abuse.

The New York Times editorial board this morning said the vote “can be seen only as an act of supreme indifference.”

But that’s not the way the paper’s own reporters covered it. Like those at essentially every other mainstream news organization, they wrote it straight. They focused on procedure. They quoted both sides. And they called it a day.

I decided to closely examine this morning’s coverage of the vote because such a blatantly absurd and cruel move struck me as a good test of whether the Washington press corps could ever bring itself to call things as they so obviously are — or whether they would check their very good brains at the door and just write triangulating mush that leaves readers to fend for themselves. It was no contest.

Read Froomkin’s review of the coverage at HuffPo. American journalism is pretty much dead these days, folks.

Speaking of approaching armageddon, lately we keep hearing about near miss nuclear explosions in our past. The latest of these incidents to be revealed took place in North Carolina in 1961. BBC News:

The plane was on a routine flight when it began to break up over North Carolina on 23 January 1961.

As it was breaking apart, a control inside the cockpit released the two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs over Goldsboro.

One fell to the ground unarmed. But the second “assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target – and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina,” Mr Schlosser told the BBC’s Katty Kay.

Only the failure of a single low-voltage switch prevented disaster, he said.


The bomb was almost 260 times more powerful than the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The incident is only one of the terrifying “near misses” reported by Eric Schlosser in a new book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. Schlosser is also the author of Fast Food Nation.

Sooooo…. What are you up to today? If you have any interesting news links to share, please post them in the comment thread.

12 Comments on “Saturday Open Thread: Waiting for the Apocalypse”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a stupendous Saturday, everyone!!

  2. List of X says:

    The assumption that “those unwilling to work should not eat” doesn’t take into account the 7% unemployment. That’s about 11-12 million people the Republicans plan to starve out. I guess now we know the Republican plan for reducing the unemployment rate. There are also children, those who are physically disabled and unable to work. (However, those who are mentally disabled are often able to get jobs as Republican politicians, apparently)

  3. dakinikat says:

    In 2012, as a part of the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program (known colloquially as Louisiana’s “school voucher” program), Governor Bobby Jindal legally obligated his administration to guarantee the program complied with federal desegregation orders. ”The 2012 state law expanding the voucher program statewide acknowledged that the program was ‘subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect, for a particular school district,” Education Weekly recently reported.

    And this should have been easy. It just required the Louisiana Department of Education to share public records with the Department of Justice: Where are the schools? And who are the students?

    For some reason, however, the Louisiana Department of Education was incapable of providing this very basic documentation to the United States Department of Justice, and the DoJ asked over and over again, for months. (Why am I not surprised?) When the DoJ finally received a response from the Jindal administration, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they were missing data on nearly 20% of voucher students.

    Lying your way to destruction of public education the Jindal Way

  4. dakinikat says:

    These Republicans Who Voted To Cut Food Stamps Personally Received Large Farm Subsidies … via @BuzzFeedAndrew

  5. cygnus says:

    Your undergarment choice is apparently are the magic eightball of whether you deserve to be raped in the military or not:

    What ices the poison cake? One of the Interrogators was a woman! I feel like vomiting.