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The Fools on the Hill

June 4, 2013
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Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 7.57.19 AM(With Apologies to John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney)

Day after day,
Alone on a hill,
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him,
They can see that he’s just a fool,
And he never gives an answer,

But the fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning ’round.

Well on the way,
Head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him,
or the sound he appears to make,
and he never seems to notice

They are fools.

The GOP is spending millions to investigate the Obama Administration and hinder any sort of legislation that would make him look good.  They talk this huge game of saving money, but that’s only for things they want to eliminate, or harm.  If they can destroy Obama, they would break the country doing it.

Sorry, that’s not my idea of being very bright.

It’s not my idea of saving money.

An audit in Mass. recently saw dead people, when it was discovered that 1,164 dead people were still receiving welfare benefits.  The Boston Herald reports that a “stunning” $2.39 million in benefits have been paid out anywhere from 6 to 27 months after the death of these individuals.  When you do the math (and The Pink Flamingo always puts a dyslexia caveat on anything with numbers) that averages out to about $2000 or so per dead person.  It also paid out $532K to 40 people who were scamming for the dead.  That’s about $13,000.  Yes, that’s the bad news.

Don’t you see the good news?

There were only 1,1164 people deceased on the rolls and only $2.39 million had been paid out.  Sure, that’s a heck of a lot of money, but my gosh it could have been much, much worse.  The population is around 6.6 million, ranking it 14th in the nation.  If this is the case, and only 1,164 were found on the rolls who were dead, that’s a remarkable number.  Instead of slamming the state, the Boston Herald should be quite impressed with those numbers.  If they were to reflect the rest of the nation, then maybe we’re not in bad shape, that way.  One of the great myths of the far right is that people who don’t need help or those who are dead are sucking the life-blood out of the nation.  if the study in Mass is any indication, they’re just plain wrong.  That’s not going to stop the far right from cutting programs that people in need must have to survive, these days.

The far right loons of CNS News is lamenting the fact that there are  10,978,040 Takers on disability. The total population of the US is 313.9 million.

Politicus USA

Politicus USA

Nothing more perfectly exemplifies the Republicans in the House and Senate than one of the least popular Beatles songs, ever. They are fools.  A fool, in the classic sense, is someone who is completely lacking in wisdom.  They have none.  It has all been drained from the swamp of Washington, probably never to return.  If it does not return, like Bob Dole said, the GOP needs to be closed for business for awhile.  It needs to be shut down for their own good, and for the good of the rest of the nation at large.

The Pink Flamingo’s economic hero, Paul Krugman recently wrote:

“...First, as millions of workers lost their jobs through no fault of their own, many families turned to food stamps to help them get by — and while food aid is no substitute for a good job, it did significantly mitigate their misery. Food stamps were especially helpful to children who would otherwise be living in extreme poverty, defined as an income less than half the official poverty line.But there’s more. Why is our economy depressed? Because many players in the economy slashed spending at the same time, while relatively few players were willing to spend more. And because the economy is not like an individual household — your spending is my income, my spending is your income — the result was a general fall in incomes and plunge in employment. We desperately needed (and still need) public policies to promote higher spending on a temporary basis — and the expansion of food stamps, which helps families living on the edge and let them spend more on other necessities, is just such a policy.Indeed, estimates from the consulting firm Moody’s Analytics suggest that each dollar spent on food stamps in a depressed economy raises G.D.P. by about $1.70 — which means, by the way, that much of the money laid out to help families in need actually comes right back to the government in the form of higher revenue….”

The Pink Flamingo did not want to turn on the GOP.  It is the last thing I ever expected, but I can’t associate with idiots.  And – they are idiots.  They are the most foolish bunch of sounding brash and clashing cymbals since those words were first written two thousand years ago.  If the numbers are correct, or even half right, the rise in poverty in this nation, a goodly portion of it because of foolish austerity and the misguided devotion to Ayn Rand’s foolish and abjectly evil religion of personal selfishness.

“…While ideology has an impact on who approves of the cuts, with conservatives approving more than liberals, once the cuts hit them personally, ideology goes out the window, with 65% of conservatives impacted by the cuts disapproving of them: “Ideology has an effect: Forty-seven percent of “very” conservative Americans approve of the cuts, as do 42 percent of those who call themselves “somewhat” conservative. It’s 36 percent among moderates and 24 percent among liberals. But again, impacts of the cuts are a bigger factor in views on the issue. Among conservatives hurt by the cuts, 65 percent disapprove of them; among those unhurt, just 34 percent disapprove.”…”

There is nothing wrong with trying to save money.

My real problem is that this misplaced devotion to Ayn Rand is harming not only the country, but ruining the GOP.  It is making them look like fools.  There was a piece in Politicus USA that reflects what The Pink Flamingo is starting to hear, not just online, but out in the trenches, on the street, from people who were once Republicans.

“...The service members who perished probably never imagined they fought and died to protect a major party and large segment of the population that wants to transform America into the John Birch Society’s vision for America. It is doubtful that any soldier would fight and die to protect people who deny other Americans their constitutionally guaranteed equal rights, or make the ultimate sacrifice for people who deliberately keep millions of Americans living in poverty to enrich the wealthy. It is a sad commentary, but what America’s war dead defended was the current group of Americans who oppose freedom of religion, the right to vote, economic freedom, American values of citizenship, Civil Rights, women’s rights, and nearly all of the provisions in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The ultimate irony is that those fighting hardest to destroy America have to audacity to claim to be true patriotic Americans, but that is who the soldiers fought and died for and it is utterly shameful.

Those who made the ultimate sacrifice defended a different America than exists today and it is heart-rending that today’s soldiers are willing to die for a nation, and group of Americans, who cannot separate religion from politics, hate the Constitution (save the 2nd), threaten Civil War, race war, and revolution, and pass nullification laws that started the Civil War. Current soldiers are prepared to die for Republicans who will take their parent’s pensions away, hand power and Americans’ assets to corporations, and promote a culture of hate and bigotry towards all manner of Americans. Conservatives not only dishonor past service members sacrifice, they could not even help returning  Veterans find work because they claimed America was too broke to afford $5 billion for a jobs program while they fought to maintain oil industry subsidies and tax cuts for the rich. The same conservatives scream for more wars and more American service members’ sacrifices to profit the corporate defense industry, and their supporters could not care less if it is war against a foreign country or against other Americans based on their race, religion, sexual preference and political ideology….”

“...Our infrastructure is literally falling while 31 corporations and banks have dodged $128 billion in federal taxes. The fact that Republicans were apologizing to Apple showcased the silent killer at work in our political system. Money is destroying our political representation. Senate Republicans were acting like they work for Apple, because they do.” The people who were thrown into the water when the bridge collapsed in Washington don’t have lobbyists. They aren’t making big campaign contributions, so they don’t exist….”

Popsci

Popsci

We have a serious infrastructure problem.  The funds are already there to fix much of the problem.  But, the Republicans in the House can’t be bothered doing something that might not only put people to work but make Obama look good.  They are throwing money down the drain.  You fix it now and it’s cheaper than waiting for another day, when you deal with abject disaster.

“…“We cannot hope to have an A+ economy with a C-level infrastructure,” said James Chae, president of the engineering society’s Seattle section.

A bridge may hold up for decades after its design life is reached. Despite rust, shorn connecting bolts, spalling concrete foundations, and the erosion of its base by flowing water, it may bear the loads from vehicles, winds, and rivers. But as shown by the collapse of the Skagit bridge, which carries 67,000 vehicles each day, a bridge can fail without warning. And that instant may not always be at 7 in the evening when traffic is light. It could be at rush hour.

Close to one in three American highway bridges has surpassed its designed life. One in nine is rated structurally deficient, meaning major repairs or replacement are needed—yesterday.

Newer bridges are designed so one broken part does not mean catastrophic loss. Instead of just falling into a waterway like the Skagit bridge, newer bridges shift the load to backup structures—what engineers call redundancy. This principle is used in jetliners, where multiple systems allow a plane to land safely after one or even two or three systems fail.

Experts estimate bridge spending at $10 billion to $13 billion, far short of the $17 billion to $21 billion needed to replace outdated and dangerous bridges within two decades.

State and local governments spent $156 billion on highways in 2010, roughly a penny out of each dollar of America’s gross domestic product.

Right now, governments can borrow at the lowest interest rates in 700 years. Roughly 25 million people are involuntarily forced into part-time work, are looking for work, or have given up because they cannot find a job.

We must either update our infrastructure or face a future that is both more dangerous and poorer, as more bridges collapse, pipelines leak and explode, and the movement of goods and people becomes less efficient. We could increase our spending and reap big dividends in jobs and the taxes they generate, improved safety, and a more efficient economy….”

A wise person, wise elected officials do their very best to save money when they can. By ignoring our infrastructure, the austerity fixated GOP is showing how abjectly foolish they really are.

What is wrong with these people?

Think Progress

Think Progress

What is wrong with this picture?

Politicus USA

Politicus USA

“...Several Republican lawmakers are trying to claim that Obama’s $50 billion plan to invest in infrastructure is too expensive, at the same time that they’re pushing for an $830 billion tax cut for the richest two percent of Americans. If these lawmakers succeed in blocking the investment, they’ll definitively prove their deficit peacockery, while also perpetuating an ongoing neglect of the country’s infrastructure, which is rapidly deteriorating….”

Media Matters

Media Matters

Then there are those pesky things called taxes.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

“…The distribution of tax expenditures across the income scale varies considerably among the different tax expenditures. For example, CBO estimates that more than 90 percent of the benefits of reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividends will accrue to households in the highest income quintile in 2013, with almost 70 percent going to households in the top percentile. Those benefits will equal 2 percent of after-tax income for the highest quintile and 5 percent of after-tax income for households in the top percentile. In contrast, about half of the benefits of the earned income tax credit will accrue to households in the lowest income quintile, equaling 6 percent of after-tax income for households in that group….”

It doesn’t matter what your political inclination is, smart is smart and dumb is dumb.  What is going on within the GOP, today, is just plain dumb.  The Fools on the Hill are truly harming our economy for an agenda that is designed to keep them in power by feeding of the corporate tit of the Koch Machine.  I think, if the left were doing this, the argument could be made that I would be enjoying every minute of their downfall.  The problem is, I’m still a Republican at heart, even if that heart is broken by what I see.  I’m not enjoying their downfall.  It hurts.  Watching formerly rational and reasonable men and women do their best to truly harm this nation is sickening.

I think the kindest thing they can be called are fools.  Case in point:  Marsha Blackburn.  Lord Have Mercy!

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