Overcast with a chilly breeze this early Friday on California’s north coast — the best couple of words almost-ever: It’s Friday!
Yesterday was like summer around here — bright afternoon sunshine and warm temperatures.
The country as a whole, however, is frigid in political spirit — one screaming-dysfunctional place. And the news media is whacked, too. Although there’s no distinction between right and left for being assholes, but the GOP is still the most bat-shit crazy of them all.
Yesterday, top-notch jerk-nut, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, told the fruit-gum gathering of CPAC: “It’s time to stop talking like Ronald Reagan and start acting like him.”
And screw the US hard-time.
(Illustration found here).
And despite gay GOPers allowed back at the insane-posse rally, the fall-out is pure fruit:
Did I mention that in years past CPAC has developed a reputation for being one of the biggest gay hook-up destinations this side of the White Party?
Given CPAC’s lack of enthusiasm for including gay conservative groups in the conference, this might come as a surprise to some of you.
Then again, it might not.
Admittedly it’s a very specific type of gay hook-up destination for most DL (“down low”) types as evidenced by some very NSFW Craigslisting compiled by Huffington Post last year and Hyper Vocal the year before that.
And why, oh why is the US so dysfunctional?
Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post has a couple of thoughts:
Just why is American politics so dysfunctional?
One answer is that both parties, for different reasons, have created self-serving mythologies that reward them for not dealing with pressing problems that, though daunting, are hardly sudden or secret.
For proof, see Paul Taylor’s new book, “The Next America.”
Taylor oversees many of the Pew Research Center’s opinion surveys.
His masterful synthesis of polls shows that three familiar mega-trends lie at the core of America’s political and social stalemate.
By 2050, immigrants and their U.S.-born children are projected to represent 37 percent of the population, slightly higher than in 1900, when the country last experienced mass immigration.
The question is whether newcomers are constructively assimilated or whether — to use Taylor’s acid characterization of popular fears — they “take our jobs, drain our resources, threaten our language .?.?. and import crime.”
Either way, America’s profile changes.
In 1960, 85 percent of Americans were white and 10 percent were black.
Now, 63 percent are white, 13 percent black, 17 percent Hispanic and 5?percent Asian.
In 2050, those shares are projected to be 47 percent white, 13 percent black, 28 percent Hispanic and 8 percent Asian.
Second, family breakdown.
In 2011, unmarried women accounted for 41 percent of U.S. births, up from 5 percent in 1960.
The trend affects all major groups.
The rate is 29 percent for whites, 53 percent among Hispanics and 72?percent among African Americans.
Although 60 percent of single mothers have live-in boyfriends, half of these relationships end within five years.
Single parenthood’s stigma is gone.
This may shape the future middle class because growing up in a single-parent home puts children at a disadvantage.
Children in two-parent homes — despite millions of exceptions — are “healthier, do better academically, [and] get into less trouble as adolescents,” writes Taylor, summarizing social-science research.
Every day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65.
The retiree flood is swamping the federal budget.
By 2022, Social Security, Medicare and the non-child share of Medicaid will exceed half the budget, up from 30 percent in 1990, projects an Urban Institute study.
To make room for the elderly, defense and many domestic programs are being relentlessly squeezed.
There’s no generational justice, argues Taylor: “The young today are paying taxes to support a level of benefits for the old that they themselves have no prospect of receiving when they become old.”
And there’s a shitload of us boomers — we’re a whining lot, too.
Via the complete-back-ass-backwards US news media?
Robert Parry at Consortiumnews takes a look:
When Secretary of State John Kerry denounces Russia’s intervention in Crimea by declaring “It is not appropriate to invade a country and at the end of a barrel of gun dictate what you are trying to achieve.
That is not Twenty-first Century, G-8, major-nation behavior,” you might expect that the next line in a serious newspaper would note Kerry’s breathtaking hypocrisy.
But not if you were reading the New York Times on Wednesday, or for that matter the Washington Post or virtually any mainstream U.S. newspaper or watching a broadcast outlet.
Yet, look what happens when Russia’s President Vladimir Putin does what the U.S. news media should do, i.e. point out that “It’s necessary to recall the actions of the United States in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, where they acted either without any sanction from the U.N. Security Council or distorted the content of these resolutions, as it happened in Libya.
There, as you know, only the right to create a no-fly zone for government aircraft was authorized, and it all ended in the bombing and participation of special forces in group operations.
Despite the undeniable accuracy of Putin’s observation, he was promptly deemed to have “lost touch with reality,” according to a Washington Post’s editorial, which called his press conference “rambling” and a “bizarre performance” in which his words have “become indistinguishable from the propaganda of his state television network.”
You get the point.
If someone notes the disturbing U.S. history of military interventions or describes the troubling narrative behind the “democratic” coup in Ukraine – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias who overthrew a duly elected president – you are dismissed as crazy.
And the above-mentioned Reagan love?
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan, one of the most honored political figures in modern American history, ordered the invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada to overthrow its leftist government amid a political crisis that U.S. hostility had helped stir up.
Reagan’s pretext was to protect American students at the St. George’s Medical School, though the students were not in any physical danger.
The U.S. invasion killed some 70 people on the island, including 25 Cuban construction workers.
Nineteen U.S. soldiers also died.
Though Reagan’s clear violation of international law was noted around the globe, he was hailed as a hero by the U.S. media at home and faced no accountability from the United Nations or anyone else.
On Nov. 1, 1983, just a week after the invasion, White House public-relations specialist David Gergen advised Reagan’s image-molder Michael Deaver on steps to orchestrate the “follow-up on Grenada” to impress the American people, including making sure that the phased U.S. withdrawals were “well publicized, the bigger the groups the better.
When units of the fleet leave, that also ought to be done with fanfare.”
The P.R. choreography called, too, for using the “rescued” students as props.
Gergen wrote: “Students Meet with Liberating Forces: Everyone sees this as a key event, and it needs to be done before RR [Reagan] leaves for the Far East. … Students Visit the Wounded: Many of the wounded would probably welcome a thank you visit from a student delegation.”
In a handwritten comment on the last suggestion, Raymond praised the idea: “Happy Grenada theme.”
And the CPAC bozos honor their ignorance.