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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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I am truly sorry Rick Santorum has dropped out-- Some Bananaslug thoughts...
Now before anyone decides that I've gone completely off the rails, I want to be clear that I am not/was not a Santorum supporter. That would be the furthest from the truth.

Indeed, I thought and still think that he is a complete and utter idiot. His grasp of history and the underpinnings of our society are less than adequate, and his ability to picture the scope of events is unparalleledly nonexistent.

And therein lies the reason for this post.

If Santorum had won the nomination, he would have been far easier to defeat in November than Mitt Romney. Every time Santorum opened his mouth, he shoved his foot into it harder and deeper. He reminded me of "The Igli," a character Robert A. Heinlein wrote in Glory Road who had both of his feet fed to him until he disappeared.

Now it is obvious that barring assassination or being caught in a compromising situation with a young child, Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican presidential nominee.

That's scary.


It is scary because, unlike Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, et al., Romney appears as if he will run to the right, but govern to the center. He seems to have done that to some extent in Massachusetts as Governor. The difference, of course, was that the Massachusetts Legislature is and was Democrat controlled, and he needed to govern at least to the center if he wanted to get anything done.

In most scenarios, a Romney win will be accompanied by a Republican takeover of the Senate, and maintaining control of the House. Most of the newly elected, in both the Senate and the House, will be of the Tea Party wing of the Republican party. In order to get along with "his own" party, Romney will have to govern even more to the right than he will have to run.

So we will have a right wing President, and a right wing controlled Congress.

Romney, if elected, will have the opportunity to appoint at least two Supreme Court Justices, thus giving the right wing control of the judiciary for the next 30 years or more. Considering the expected makeup of Congress should he win, the appointees will be further to the right than if he was facing confirmation of those nominees in a Democrat-controlled Senate.

And given the likelihood that the Supremes will strike down the Affordable Health Care Act (I refuse to call it Obamacare) as unconstitutional on the grounds that citizens cannot be forced to buy insurance, we will have a visitation from the Unintended Consequences Squad.

Senior Citizens Take Note

By most estimations, if the Supremes say that nobody can be forced to buy insurance, Medicare is by definition also unconstitutional, as is Social Security. Why? We are forced to buy annuities (pay into the plans) whether we want to or not. That is the same as being forced to buy health insurance BEFORE we become 65.

The thousands of elderly and soon to be elderly who are so violently opposed to the Affordable Health Care Act are going to be deeply surprised and distressed when the Republicans go right ahead with what they have been suggesting for years: the "privatization" of Social Security and Medicare...on the grounds that the enabling legislation for each is now seen to be unconstitutional.

Of course, the Unintended Consequences Squad can take joy in the huge number of class actions against the Federal Government demanding return of all the premiums paid into both plans that are certain to be filed...

Rollbacks aren't just for Wal-Mart, they are for women and minorities too

And then there is the movement to roll back equal opportunity legislation for minorities and women. Okay, in deference to several of my friends, including Sarah A. Hoyt, I won't call it "the Republican war on women." Yes, women have it far better in the United States than, oh, Somalia for instance, or Afghanistan.

So freakin' what?

The reason people come here to live and be citizens is because we strive as hard as we do to level the playing field. When you have Republican idiots like Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman saying, "Money is more important to men than it is to women," because women stay home and have kids, and the Wisconsin governor quietly repealed Wisconsin's equal pay law, and with dozens of other assaults on the rights of women and minorities, it is hard to not call it a war. Sure, nobody is shooting women or blacks or hispanics or gay people very much here, but the tide will turn, and as Pastor Niemoller famously said,

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Sure, there's some hyperbole in this post, but based on the rhetoric of the right wing that has stolen the Republican party from us centrists and made it uniquely their own, I honestly can't say I know how much hyperbole there is.

The German upper class and the middle class made the fatal mistake of thinking they could "do business with Hitler," because he seemed to them so reasonable. I am NOT equating Mitt Romney with Hitler (Mussolini, maybe) but what about the right wingers who follow him?

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If you haven't read it, I can recommend taking a look at David Neiwert's essays (in a series of blog posts) The Rise of Pseudo Fascism (PDF link) and Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An exegesis.

Glad to see this from you...

I find it distressing that many of the Baen people I see online, who are otherwise sharp as a drawerful of razor blades, seem to believe that Obama is little short of Satan Incarnate and must be defeated at any cost.

I don't *like* Obama (as a President) in a number of ways (most prominently things like him re-signing the Patriot Act, when he could have just let that abomination die). But compared to the alternatives the Republicans offer? He's practically a saint.

Ideally I'd like a real third party, and one that elected people who were capable but NOT into politics; ones who "will not run, but will serve if elected".

I fear there's less hyperbole than one might wish, in this post. And I do love that poem.

Walt, I love ya, but... Obamacare and Social Security are _not_ the same thing.

In the former case, there is a mandate to engage in commerce - to buy a product from one of a number of regulated/etc. private entities, or, failing that, from a state-sponsored entity.

In the latter case, there is no "must buy from private entity" requirement - it's a straight government entity action. And the consitutionality of SS was settled before the Supremes in 1937.

If Obamacare had been structured as a government takeover of health insurance, ala the British NHI model, we'd be having an entirely different legal discussion... and, frankly, the legal issue would have to be much more closely drawn to have any chance of making it to the USSC. But it wasn't, and that was _by choice_ of Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, Mr. Obama, and their various and sundry staffs and special interests.

And, as I recall, the response when negotiations were suggested was "we won."

As to the rest...we'll have to see. Quite frankly, NOBODY is all that interested in the center at the moment. Certainly not the current crop of clowns, certainly not the crowd we elected in 2008, and probably not the crowd likely to be elected later this year.

Want something to hope for? Split decisions - both houses split to the point where they can't override a veto, or shut off debate.

BTW, I would point out that a substantial portion of the onus for this mess is courtesy of the demonization policies that both sides have been pursuing for a couple decades now. And before you go off on how Republicans should clean up their act - which they should, let me ask this... what have _your_ representatives, the people you voted for, done to stop this? Or are they part of the "more gas on the fire" crowd?

My previous posts have been aimed at indicating that none of these buttheads are my peeps. None. I can't be a Democrat, and the fools running the Republican party have stolen my party away from me and made it a poor excuse for a truly conservative party. I am not a Green, although I have been working in the environment since I was a teenager. I am not a member of either a Socialist or Libertarian party. I'm beginning to hate all parties equally. You are right-- demonization is demonization, whether it is done by a leftist or a rightist.

NOT going to get into the whole 'war on women' thing it supremely pisses me off.
War on blacks? the only ones truly committing war on the black community is well....the blacks. look at the crime statistics breakdown by race. depending on whether it's non fatal violent crime, murder etc...the stats are between 60-90% black ON black crime. I've always told black liberals.."you think the rest of the Us....'the white man' trying to keep you down jack? Bzzt wrong. For that one all you need do is look in the goddamn mirror""
Hispanics..that one if I bothered to look at the stats would probably be a mix of mostly hispanic on hispanic and black on hispanic. The damn gangs are constantly at war with one another over 'turf' after all. I live in gangbanger central.
Gays..personally I don't care about sexual orientation. Who you do is your own personal perogative and I really don't give a damn so long as it's consensual between adults.

Leveling the playing field? Meh on that one we've bent over backwards, and it's gone a tad to far in the other direction. It's become more about equality of result instead of equality of opportunity. The latter of course was what our forefathers intended..not the former. That mentality makes me want to puke and for proof of that all you need to do is look at our school system. Can't grade logically anymore. 'nope can't give little johnny an F...it might damage his psyche', 'nope, can't grade using a red pen..you might damage the children's psyche'. 'nope, can't let kids be kids anymore because they might get hurt' oh we can't have those words be taught in the curriculum it might be found offensive by some. REally? The word DINOSAUR is offensive? WTF? If they're not going to teach reality then there's no point in sending the kids to school now is there?
As far as the candidates and Romney go? That decision was made FOR us[and without approval of the people I might add] by the never to be sufficiently damned RNC. They flat out TOLD people [if you were paying attention that is] that Romney was the candidate that was going to get their backing, their support and was going to be THE candidate for the Republican party...after the first damn debate. Which by the way REALLY chaps my ass.
Obama is a disaster. Don't even get me started. Suffice to say he's run up the amount of debt in 3yrs that it took Bush 8 to run up. the Same amount of Debt it took 106 congresses, and 42 previous presidents...250 YEARS to run up. For that alone he [and most of congress] should be booted out on his ass so fast he leaves skid marks.
Romney? How he'll govern remains to be seen. He's still got to pick a VP and then WIN 1st.
SAntorum?- never paid him any attention because I never saw him as my own personal front runner for who I would want.
Paul- he's got SOME good ideas on the home front but his Foreign policy ideas would have been disastrous.
Bachman- again not my own personal front runner.
Gingrich? Should never have been IN the race. He's a long term "professional" politician and therefore part of the problem. I will admit I did get a kick out of watching him verbally slap around the so called "moderators" of the various debates though. I HATE the MSM
As to the rest? My own personal pic after some looking around at the beginning...was among the 1st to go bye bye. Out of the Race.
Supreme Court Judges? Sorry if you're not a strict constitutionalist then you're butt should NOT be in one of those chairs.
Oh as for the TEA Party? Don't knock em. Most of them are pretty centrist. Hell many of the ones I met[fore I was a member of the local from it's inception] were legal immigrants, people who were born here, black, white, asian, male, female, democrat and republican.
I left because, my truck wasn't the most trustworthy at the time, the meeting hall was on the other side of the city, plus they went non profit and started charging for a membership[it wasn't really that much actually..I just couldn't afford it]to pay the rent for the halls we were meeting at. Though they recently told me by email[since I am still on the mailing list] when I pinged them about a new possible place for them to meet, since the old one closed, that they'd GIVE me a years membership for free til I got back on my feet. Nice people.

My dear yellow gastropod ...

while I have always known you for a predominantly fiscally conservative person, I have mourned your inevitable disillusionment with the Republican party.

Bait-and-switch, over and over. Monetary caution offered, social reactionism delivered. Libertarian ideals spoken, regulations and inspections switched from pirate banks and buccaneer mines to women's control of their own bodies and lives, and to ensuring that the sexually transgressive are controlled, intimidated, and blamed.

Let us not speak too much of the military and fiscal adventure that was asking the Chinese to finance the Iraq war. (When you know damn well we were all opening our veins and panting to have requests - ANY requests - made of us as a nation when the towers fell.)

Inclusion trumpeted - Mr. Reagan's "big tent" - while forcing adherence to greater and greater exclusionism.

Now we see the Democrat Party sitting cautiously on the right-hand edge of Mr. Reagan's Republicans, while the most vocal and demanding members of the Republican Party are trying to resurrect General Franco.

I voted for John Anderson. O Ariolimax, a new party is needed.

Or possibly an effective elimination of the last adherents of the Peculiar Institution from the American Political Process. Because that is what you are actually watching.

Yeah. I'd like that. I'm sure you would as well.

Much love,

you know who.

The fact that US healthcare could use reform does not in any way mean that Obamacare is the right answer.

Even ignoring the constitutionality of the mandate it has two clear problems that have already been identified:
1) It WILL cost way more than claimed and than the current systems.
2) It is so badly drafted that no one understands it so there are bound to be many situations like the "free" contraceptives requirement that will end up seriously negatively impacting certain groups within the US.

However you are flat out wrong about the claim that invalidating the mandate means medicare is also unconstitutional.

Unlike the mandate, medicare and SS are defined as taxes in the legislation that allows them. The mandate is defined as a fine for non-compliance. This is the key difference and is why the latter is highly likely to get struck down. The federal government is allowed to raise taxes and even raise them and hypothecate them the way is supposedly does for the Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare, it is not allowed to insist that everyone in the US purchase something from a particular place. The legal option would have been the "public option" which could have been set up as a tax, but politically this was never going to fly, and IMHO, for good reason because state run medical systems are a failure.

Finally, as noted above, Medicare and Social Security are basically Ponzi schemes that only work if enough younger people pay in and enough older people die quickly. They aren't quite as screwed up as most European state pension schemes but that is not a very high bar. SS is going to have to become means tested and only apply to people over the age of at least 70 (so retirement age is going to have to be raised) and Medicare is also going to have to face cuts in what it covers.

Actually, Obamacare was written with absolutely no enforcement mechisms. You don't buy private health care? No problem, you pay a tax!

George Wallace was right. The two parties are Tweetle Dum & Tweetle Dee.

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