Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The On-going Agenda

Most of us have stuff to do. I, to use an example close to home, have a full-time job. It's tiring, and in a mental way that is quite different from the profession in which I used to engage, namely building stone entities such as chimneys and walls. I'm more exhausted when I get home, that's my meter for measuring. And then of course like most everyone I have other stuff to attend to. Last weekend I changed the oil on our three aging trucks. They'll be due again about October 1--when it's cooler and the ticks have possibly moved into winter quarters. Then there's the damn roof, and the damn grass (which is dying right now cause central NC is in a drought; even though we had a brush with a hurricane, the rain didn't get this far inland). There's all sorts of stuff I don't manage to get to either, such as rescreening the porch and making it cat proof so's the houdahenians can have more space to enjoy the view of the great outdoors without getting actually in it and serving as tick magnets and food for wandering dog packs.

So, anyways. Not so different from anyone else, just particularities. In the evening I am tending to not watch the news any more, but to retreat to movies. The news is so disgusting. I'm sure most everyone feels that way too. But strangely what the object of disgust is varies greatly. Last night I watched Megyn Kelly browbeat some foolish liberal woman who thought she might go on Fox and have a consequential discussion about the Hobby Lobby Decision. What she got--quite predictible--was "well, you were ok with Roe, weren't you?" What a genius Ms Kelly is, with her chin all pushed out. Earlier I'd heard Charles Krauthammer assert that he hadn't watched any of the major news networks for twenty or thirty years, but at least the news wasn't all "liberal bias" like it used to be before Fox. Krauthammer was being interviewed by O'Reilly, on Fox.

Over on MSNBC, which is the sorta liberal balance to most of the media these days, which General Electric felt some existential need to fund because things were getting so unbalanced, Rachel Maddow did a quick run-through of the historical fact that since the advent of Ronald Reagan we are living in a world with both news and faux right-wing counter news. So in a way Fox and MSNBC were kinda covering the same meta-story, that to find out what's going on is a bigger job than most folks have time for. Because most folks live just like I do and are way too busy.

So this morning--I devote an hour or so to this constant research so's I can have some idea of what's happening--I ran into this:

I wasn't aware of there being a pressure brewing to get rid of the disability insurance wing of Social Security. Far as I know it's not been some huge story. But check out the post by Mr. Pierce. Hearings are starting up. Already there are allegations of massive fraud. And this stuff seeps down into the minds of regular folks somehow. My boss told me several weeks back that the social security disability fund was being gamed. My boss is by no means a right-winger either. Like me he works hard, goes home tired, watches a little tv, gets up and does it again, plus Saturdays, when he does the books of the company. But he's formed an opinion that there's problems with the disability insurance.

Of course there could be problems. If there are, they should be fixed. But there's also an on-going agenda. The agenda is to destroy the entire concept of the public good. All concerns for the weak are to be dismissed as soft-hearted, soft-headed liberal confusions, if not out-and-out pandering for the votes of the "takers." There's a growing murmur of impeachment. Sara Palin called for impeachment this last week. The Speaker of the House is going for impeachment too, by other means.

Mr. Obama goes down to Texas today, to talk to Rick Perry. That should be interesting. Mr. Perry has also insinuated impeachment as well as Texas secession. I'd like to see someone try to harness the vast "right to life" cauldron, forever on the bubble and in search of new focus. There are all these desperate children arriving. You'd think a person who finds the "right to life" as their beacon of meaning would want to offer succor and nurture. These kids have a right to life. Their parents are desperate enough to send them off alone, to us. We have the makings of a Darfur along the border. But the logistics favor us, and there are no fanatics riding camels and wielding Kalashnikovs and shoulder-mounted ground-to-air missiles. Wouldn't it be morally bracing to spend some time taking care of some children who need care, rather than, say, stalking a woman's health provider, or screaming at a desperate pregnant woman, or even shooting some doctor in the back of the head as he worships of a Sunday.

What if the folks driving the on-going agenda actually did something human? That'd be news. Optimism springs eternal. I should note, however, that the striking photo at the top came with a headline: the kids are sporting, it is alleged, gang tattoos. How convenient. In Germany they applied the tattoos. Some genius has figured out how to skip the middleman.


Update. Indeed Mr. Obama and Mr. Perry talked. The Obama news conference afterwards was clear and sensible. The Republican congressional response, at least the bit I heard, was not. "We gave him $40 billion for Home Land Security already, why doesn't he use that?" That is a well-crafted political counter-move to a straight-forward effort by the President to start dealing with an humanitarian crisis which was not budgeted. It's also paternalistic. It sounds like Dad asking where the allowance went, because it is crafted to sound that way, to resonate.

It must be extremely frustrating for Mr. Obama. He is obviously being responsible and trying to do his job. His job is to craft an human solution to a refugee crisis involving mostly children. As they have in the past, the Republicans are just fine using the helpless as pawns in the ongoing game of destroying Mr. Obama. It was disappointing to see some Democrats chime in. Mr. Obama doesn't need to "go to the border." His problem is not empathy, he has plenty of that.

There is unlikely to be a solution crafted by Congress and the President. The Republicans would rather play their joint and mutually inconsistent attacks on Mr. Obama. He's both, according to them, too strong (sue him) and too weak (used up the allowance). The hell with those children. Anyways, as noted yesterday, a lot of them sport gang tattoos. A Republican would surely know a gang tattoo if he spotted one.

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