Saturday, October 8, 2011

Die Laughing, Republican Style

So you thought the Grover Norquist robots of the Republican Party were only in it for themselves, their families, and their wealthy benefactors? Well, scratch the middle category:  a select group of extreme right wing House members are perfectly willing to throw their own flesh and blood under the bus -- or should I say hearse - just to make an ideological point.

Rep. Bill Posey of Florida and his gang of six conservatives want to do away with the payoff they'll get if they die in office.  Yes, you heard right: they are framing their bill as being all about money they personally would get as a dead body in good standing in Congress. Nothing about the spouses, the kids, or the grandkids in relinquishing the payout of a year's salary of $174,000.  

But then again, are they not the Living Dead zombies of supply side economics anyway? In their world, a pulse and respiration are just liberal concepts. They are the reanimated Norquistians, roaming the countryside, arms outstretched, sucking the lifeblood from the lower classes to keep themselves going.

Among the Gang of Seven is everybody's favorite old batty aunt from hell, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina. You may remember Virginia as a frequent winner of Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" awards for her various heartless votes and remarks against everything from health care to education.  She said if Congress wants to provide for their families, look somewhere else besides her beloved taxpayers.  But please do continue paying for her franking privileges, travel, vacations, Cadillac health plan and generous pension.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Way to be More Heartless

And then there is loveable curmudgeon Ron Paul (R-TX), who defiantly did not provide health coverage for employees of his last campaign, with the upshot being that his campaign manager died uninsured and destitute after the 2008 race.

Said Posey (who has never yet had one of his bills passed): "I believe Members of Congress should do what other Americans do, purchase their own life insurance."

Yeah!  Get down with the common people!  He went on, "And with so many Americans struggling to make ends meet - mostly because of bad policy coming out of Washington - this taxpayer funded 'gratuity' just adds more insult to injury. It's no wonder Americans have such a low opinion of Congress."

I am so relieved, aren't you?  They get it, they finally get why we have such a low (about 12% approval rating) opinion of them.  And now they are redeemed for altruistically agreeing not to take it with them when they get raptured up, or whatever their future plans are.

They Won't Be Smiling When Gramps Cuts Them Off:  The Posey Heirs

Do you think it's a mere coincidence that Posey's second largest campaign contributor is the insurance industry? And now that Congress will be forced to buy its own life insurance, the industry is champing at the bit, salivating over the ultra-high premiums the 60, 70 and 80-somethings will now have to fork over to pay for their own "final expenses." Posey certainly made sure to send a press release hyping his industry-friendly legislation straight to the insurance industry for their delectation.

The Republicans may get to have it both ways. Not only are they laughing all the way to the bank with lobbyist largesse, they'll be laughing all the way to the mausoleum too. And their heirs can just forget any ideas about Gram or Gramps conveniently kicking the bucket before their terms are up. You hear that, Rand Paul?

Fathers and Sons, the Ayn Rand Edition


Fred Drumlevitch said...

Republicans apparently "willing to throw their own flesh and blood under the bus -- or should I say hearse - just to make an ideological point."?

Yes. But that's not all they're willing to throw for ideology:

Valerie said...

OMG! @Fred! What a horrible story! I had no idea this was even a practice - EVER! The fact that little people would allow themselves to be degraded for money shows how terrible their options are for employment. How can any decent person not condemn this "bill" and the heartless person who is sponsoring it. What we need is more anti-discrimination legislation so that little people are given the same employment opportunities as the rest of us.

@Fred - In another thread you suggested that the police wear cameras on their shoulders to film any conflict situations. You put forth this idea because it would protect the public from police brutality. I also suggested that good police officers should be happy to wear such a camera because it protects them from false accusations. Just this morning I read that Australian military personnel are buying these kinds of camera devices (on their own dime) to wear on their helmets because they are concerned that they might be accused of attacking civilians or making judgement errors during conflict. Just thought you might find the story interesting.

My first reaction to this article is, sure let the Congress members get their insurance the same way we peons get ours, on the open market. But the truth is, these pro-corporate, insurance industry lackeys would most likely be offered huge insurance discounts for themselves and their families and if they needed to claim, their claims would be honoured no questions asked. As for life-insurance - Aren’t most of these people millionaires anyway? And if they aren’t now, they will be soon! They can afford to turn down life-insurance because their children are already sitting pretty being the children of affluence.

Anonymous said...

I'd read Fred's comment on police cameras, but didn't have the chance to respond - there's been discussion in PD's around the country about police wearing cameras to protect themselves from false accusations of abuse.

I think if everyone's going to be monitored constantly, then it makes sense to include the people bearing arms (i.e., cops). Seems like the technology chronology is catching up finally - first came muskets, then hundreds of years later, video to monitor firearms.
Of course, video can be doctored. The doctiring is currently detectable, but the tech is no doubt expanding.
Weird world, right?

You're on a roll (still) with the Times comments. Really enjoyed reading the recent slew of 'em. Marie Burns is on fire, too, her full-throated support for the OWS kids is stellar.
-Camp Obama

Kat said...

Quite the sacrifice they're making.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Although some people sound full-throated in their support of the protesters, notice carefully what they are saying.

They still think we have a functioning democracy and claim that the protesters only want to pressure elected 'representatives' to do their jobs and fix the problems.

To quote a comment in the NYT: "America is no longer a democracy and the protesters know it, the media know it, the government knows it, and the financial and corporate sectors who caused and aided and abetted the largest looting of American citizens since the robber barons know it." We have a new DINO - Democracy in Name Only.

You don't expect the fox to fix or secure the henhouse after raiding it. Asking politicians to fix the problems? The fix is already in. You can change the names and faces in Washington, but the system itself has been rigged.

If protesters believed in the system, they would simply vote, or volunteer for the Democratic Party. This is exactly what some full-throated supporters hope they'll do. Hope for Change! Newsflash: Voting doesn't matter. The RepubliDem Party is a big part of the problem. Good cop, bad cop puppets of the oligarchs.

This is not merely a movement. It is a Revolution. Some full-throated supporters have expressed their opposition to that idea, but the fact is we have even MORE cause to declare independence from this corrupt system than our original founders did.

It is naive and simply hopeful that even major tweaking by a bunch of twittering millionaire 'representatives' will fix this fixed system. Just listen to them right now, offering their sympathy and agreeing that Wall Street (alone) is to blame. They forget, but we don't, that there is a buyer and a seller.

The Royals and their all powerful national security apparatus are no doubt studying this 'insurgency' and plotting strategies to neutralize it. They will use any excuse, especially Occupy!, to further erode our freedoms. They are ruthless and cunning, and if they want something done to stifle the People, Washington will comply.

Let's keep our eyes on the prize. It's OUR country, and we will take it back. A good start would be a Constitutional Convention with only People at the table - no corporate zombies allowed. But we need to wake everyone up to reality first.

Anonymous said...

I can't say your criticism of the current system is invalid, or that there aren't profoundly revolutionary aspects of OWS.
You're also, I'm afraid, correct that relying on foxes to secure the henhouse is naive.
All that recognized, I'll still vote in all the upcoming elections. How I vote will depend on what occurs (and has already occurred) until election eve. As you probably know, I doubt that I'll be able to cast my vote for anyone currently in office. But voting, no matter how impotent it feels, is still essential.

And I believe that voting remains one of the most radical -and sacred - acts imaginable.

-Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Valerie said...

I am trying to find some good footage and even interviews of the D.C. People's Protest. I have been reading and seeing great videos from the Occupy Wall Street protest but not much from the other.

While I don't want to take anything away from the wonderful OWS protest, I must admit, I feel a little sorry for the organisers October 2011. They have put months into the planning and it is really taking a back seat to NY from what little I can find.

Maybe I am just looking in all the wrong places.

Did you hear the guy (can't remember who) calling the protesters a mob? Now it will start. There have been so many good interviews of intelligent protesters floating around on YouTube - discrediting the notion that these are a bunch of dumb, hippy kids who don't even know why they are out there. It looks like the Right's new tack is to call them a “mob” and see if they can't turn support away from the protesters.

I don't know how they have done it but I have yet to see a badly behaved, foul-mouthed protester. Aside from a few "jail breaks" from behind the barriers, protesters are doing an amazing job of making themselves known and doing nothing that would discredit the movement in the eyes of reasonable people. I love that they all shout "shame!" if a police officer does something mean!

Also, does anyone know if those amazing computer guys and gals who figured out Baloney Cop's name have been able to identify some of these baton wielding cops I have seen batting the hell out of innocent civilians?

mac gordon said...

There's an interesting development to the OWS actions, reported in the UK press today.
Protestors have blocked one of London's main bridges, Westminster Bridge. This is to protest proposals that seek to privatise the National Health Service. Which is a Single Payer delivery of health care, that has worked well for more than 60 years.
Several people from OWS spoke at the protest, and suggested the protestors could enhance their actions by utilizing a 'general assembly'. Which they did.
The linking of UK and US protests is a development I certainly didn't forsee.

Nan Socolow said...

Don't miss Paul Krugman’s seminal column today (9 Oct) on Panic of the Plutocrats - the media-hyped hysteria by the Republicans about OWS. We need to remember history -i.e. remember the original Bonfire of the Vanities of 1497 fomented by Savanarola in Italy, and the great Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe in 1987, predating OWS by 24 years, about the hilarious come-uppance of Sherman McCoy, the Master of the Wall Street Universe. May all the ultrarich plutocrats who brought us this Second Great Depression be hoist by their petards in a public place, swinging in the wind upside-down like Mussolini and his mistress Petacci till nothing is left of them but rags upon some bones.

Nan Socolow, Cayman islands, British West Indies

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, there have been some ugly incidents (2?) of antisemitism by some morons. In the first instance, I think others were taken by surprise and therefore did not react which created an opportunity for some very bad pr. In the second case, I think they were better prepared and treated him like the nut he was. Unfortunately, the right can use this crap to slime the whole group. Indeed, my link is from the right.

The "mob" guy is Eric Cantor, minority whip of the House. A bigger ass would be hard to find.