Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Exceptional Supreme Court

"In regard to the US Supreme Court, we believe the current US Supreme Court to be an exceptional court," a Republican spokesperson said today. "The conservative justices on this court have broadly construed the commerce clause in many instances when it suited their ideological purposes, except for this one. The conservative justices have spoken against 'judicial activism' for many years now, except for now when they have a majority on the court. The conservative justices have expressed ongoing deference to the representative authority of Congress to shape our laws, except for this case. And the conservative justices have railed against radical decisions which undermine the other branches of government and the will of the people and state sovereignty, with the minor exception of deciding the 2000 Presidential election by a 5 to 4 majority when they overturned the Florida Supreme Court's order to count all the votes in that election. And in 2012, if we have to make it more difficult for Democratic voters to vote up front so that we may prevail, then so be it. That's democracy. And now that Corporations are People, we should look at giving Corporations a vote as well."

"You may think it contradictory to impose a Fundamentalist theocratic version of atheist Ayn Rand's vision of the United States, but I'll remind you that even though she railed against the Nanny State all her life, she sill took social security and Medicare when she needed it. Our version of Theocracy has our own Fundamentalist twist for public education: required prayer in Public Schools, the teaching of Creationism, and the rewriting of history textbooks which eliminate references to evolution, the Enlightenment thinking of our founding fathers especially Thomas Jefferson who we have excised entirely. We are for religious freedom, except for Muslims, of course. We don't believe in teaching that evolution theory; we believe in the survival of the fittest and Social Darwinism. And we are for less intrusive government, except when it comes to women's vaginas and gay people. The government should be able to force doctors to insert things into vaginas and execute people for being gay."

Returning to the case presently before the US Supreme Court , dozens of Republicans gathered again today outside the US Supreme Court protesting their own health insurance mandate concept: "We hate our plan!" "We hate our plan!" "We hate our plan." A Republican Spokesperson tried to explain, "This is not inconsistent at all. We oppose all our ideas that President Obama adopts."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eat More Broccoli

One of the more amusing, hyperventilated, and ridiculous, aspects of the Supreme Court arguments on the Republican health care mandate adopted by President Obama for his Affordable Health Care Act are the arguments about broccoli and slippery slopes. The argument is if the government can fine you if you don't purchase health insurance, they can require you to buy broccoli. The image of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange droog's mouth being clamped open and force-fed broccoli comes to mind.

Eating broccoli is a good thing and should be encouraged, not demonized. If more people ate broccoli, we'd all be better off. Broccoli farmers would be better off, consumers of broccoli would be better off and healthier. And the cheese sauce industry would also benefit. Broccoli should be served in public schools: not the dull green mushy over cooked broccoli we may remember, but the bright green crisp delicious broccoli that we should all love. Broccoli should be exalted, not slippery-sloped to a dull green mushy death.

According to my favorite online excyclopedia, "Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium.[7] A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.[8] The 3,3'-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.[9][10] Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled.[11] Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells." The best way to cook is to steam it for 3-4 minutes.

So, anyway, broccoli is taking a beating in the Supreme Court.

And another thing. Many among us demand the freedom to incur severe brain damage from helmetless insuranceless motorcycle accidents. The freedom to incur $1 million vegetative state comatose patient care so that the health insurance premiums I pay will cover your freedom to die gradually in a hospital ward is an expensive one for me. The irony is that many of these constitutionalist freedom folks are the ones fighting the various "right to die" legislations that are introduced in the states from time to time. So people appear to demand the freedom to not purchase health insurance and to die from brain trauma, yet oppose the right to die in consult with a physician. They want the right to ride helmetless without health insurance, the right to smoke, the right to drink to excess, and the right to have me pay for it all. The apparent contradictions are many. It's all very nuanced, as my lawyer friends may point out, I'm sure.

So, broccoli and the health care mandate are taking a beating these days. Insurance companies want the right to deny persons with pre-existing conditions coverage and the right to kick people off their insurance plans if they incur expensive illnesses. And Republicans are opposing their own health care mandate concept in the Supreme Court.

In conclusion, I say: Medicare for All! Wear a helmet! Quit Smoking! and above all, Eat Broccoli.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Federal Department of Vaginas

Breaking News: In a rare departure from the usual petty bickering, all three Republican frontrunners have agreed they would create a new Cabinet level department if they were elected President: The Federal Department of Vaginas. This new government agency will monitor all things Vagina. Mitt, Newt, and Rick all agree that this is one area where government needs to "man up." "There's just too much sex going on out there," said Rick Santorum. "Rampant breast and pelvic exams are becoming all too common," opined Newt Gingrich. "And believe me, I would know," he continued. "We need to get rid of Planned Parenthood," echoed Mitt Romney, not wanting to be left behind. Libertarian Ron Paul thought this big government intrusion would go too far: "We should just cut all the $$$ for women's health. That would work equally well. We don't need a whole Cabinet Agency to do that. That's why we have Congress."

Responding to charges that Republicans were waging a war against women, all the candidates claim that the newly created The Federal Department of Vaginas has nothing to do with women. "It's not about women," they say. "It's about religious freedom."

All Republican candidates have agreed that government should no longer regulate clean air or water and that environmental regulation should be abolished entirely. Regulation of business is also on their targeted hit list. But the three frontrunners agreed that monitoring bedroom behavior has always been a Republican concern and are simply carrying that tradition to its logical end. "For far too long, women's health has been between them and their doctors," Mr. Santorum summed up. "the time has come to change that."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rick Santorum is One of Us

It was fairly close in both states, but Rick Santorum has won both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.

After blowing double digit leads in the final days of previous primaries with his anti-birth control, anti-education, and anti John F Kennedy statements, Rick Santorum showed surprising strength among those Republicans in the deep south who think President Obama is a Muslim, and even worse, a college graduate. "We are sick and tired of college "ejicated" people thinkin' they know more than we do," said Bubba. "Can they shoot an alligator between the eyes with a rifle or make moonshine? We rekkin not. We want someone like us: really ignorant." He went on: "Santorum may have several college degrees, but at least he sounds stupid."

‎"We heard tell that Romney and Gingrich speak French. We just don't cotton to that," Bubba went on. "Santorum may be a Catholic, but there's no way he knows Latin." "Semper fi," he added, proud of his 4 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. "There'll be none of that E Pluribus Unum crap for us," Bubba continued. Bubba went on, "And don't go talking that evolution nonsense. We believe in survival of the fittest down here."

My preliminary electoral analysis is that the voters wanted someone every bit as dumb as they are. And that man, by the slimmest of margins, is Rick Santorum. Further analysis shows that Santorum polled well among married women under the age of 15 with children.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Not-so-Super Tuesday

"Super Tuesday" has come and gone now and all the Republican candidates are declaring victory. Although Rick Santorum's anti-contraception, anti-education, and anti-JFK message cost him votes from women, smart people, and Catholics in Ohio where he blew a 7 % lead in Ohio in as many days, he won in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Newt Gingrich, "I'm a tortoise," won his home state of Georgia. Mitt Romney's billionaire SuperPac managed wins in Ohio, Virginia, Vermont, Idaho, and Massachusetts. Ron Paul came in last again, but always declares victory whenever he gets any votes at all. These primaries have become an endless Rock, Paper, Scissors game where anyone can beat anyone. Except Ron Paul, of course, who the big guys won't let play.

One thing to note from Gingrich's victory speech in Georgia: if he says, "I'm not making this up," he's making it up.

Barbara Bush declared, "This is the worst primary ever." And as an exclamation point on the end of that sentence, Joe the Plumber, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, won a Republican primary for US House of Representatives in an Ohio district.

The Republican Primaries will continue to alienate a majority of the country as the candidates pander to the right wing theocrats of their party in the weeks ahead as they celebrate The March Against Women Month. Having now lost the Hispanic vote, the black vote, the mainline Protestant vote, the women's vote, the Muslim vote, the college educated vote, the moderate vote, the Independent vote, the college student vote, the let's not get into another Middle East war vote, and faced with the terrible prospect of a recovering economy, things look bad for Mitt, Rick, Newt, and Ron.

Their last best hope is that gasoline prices continue to rise.

Good news for the week was that Rush Limbaugh has lost, at last count, 34 sponsors of his radio show, and at least two radio stations have now dropped his show entirely. When given an opportunity to weigh in on Limbaugh's attacks on Ms. Fluke, first lamely declared he wouldn't have used those words, "slut" and "prostitute," leaving observers to wonder what words he would have used. Mitt Romney later ducked the question entirely.

Stay tuned for more.