nolanimrod on October 30th, 2014

In next Tuesday’s elec­tion most of us will be vot­ing for our U.S. Con­gres­sional Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and some of us for Senators.

Most of these races will fea­ture an incum­bent and a chal­lenger. There is a ques­tion we must ask the incum­bent in each race and it wouldn’t hurt to ask the chal­lengers, to boot. I know there is not much time left before the elec­tion but I didn’t think of this until around ten min­utes ago.

Here’s why it’s important.

When Obama took office he blath­ered con­tin­u­ously about how trans­par­ent his rule would be and promised to post the text of impor­tant bills on the Inter­net for a cer­tain period before vot­ing on it so the peo­ple could see what their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives were get­ting them into. Then, when the most impor­tant piece of leg­is­la­tion was being con­sid­ered, leg­is­la­tion that would directly affect every per­son in Amer­ica, they not only didn’t post the text on the Web but the peo­ple vot­ing on it didn’t have time to read it, with the Speaker of the House blandly telling us that we had to pass the bill so we could find out what was in it.

Not only did we not know what was in the bill before pas­sage; we still don’t really know what is in it today.

One thing we do know, though, is that a promise the pres­i­dent made to us over and over and over again was that if we liked our health care poli­cies and we liked our doc­tors we could keep them. Period.

We found out that was a delib­er­ate lie. There are some big secrets wrapped up in the so-​​called Afford­able Care Act (aka Obama Care). Obama knew they were there. Kath­leen Sebe­lius, the Sec­re­tary of Health and Human Ser­vices, knew they were there. They knew a lot of us wouldn’t be able to keep our doc­tor. They knew a lot of us wouldn’t be able to keep our health care cov­er­age. They didn’t want us to know that. So Obama and Sebe­lius lied. They lied early. They lied often. Sebe­lius even enforced a Mafia-​​like omertà on the insur­ance com­pa­nies by threat­en­ing them with legal pros­e­cu­tion if they told us what was really com­ing our way.

Obama and Sebe­lius played us for suck­ers in the most shame­ful way. But Obama has run his last elec­tion and Sebe­lius is gone from gov­ern­ment. And even though it might be sat­is­fy­ing, con­sid­er­ing her fond­ness for oper­at­ing like a Mafia Don, it’s prob­a­bly not a good idea to leave a horse’s head in her bed. For one thing: it wouldn’t be fair to the horse. The horse didn’t lie to us. She and her boss did.

The worst thing about Obama’s lies was that even after the bill was passed he didn’t tell us we’d prob­a­bly lose our doc­tors and/​or our cov­er­age. We had to get con­cel­la­tion notices from the insur­ance com­pa­nies to find that one out. All the things Obama and Sebe­lius knew were things we had to find out one bit at a time. First we’d find out we were can­celled. Then we’d find out our pre­vi­ous cov­er­age was unac­cept­able under Obama Care. Or we’d find out that cov­er­age like we used to have cost more. Then we might find out that even though it cost more it didn’t cover our doc­tor. Or our hos­pi­tal. Or a spe­cial­ist hos­pi­tal we might have to go to.

But we know all of that. And there is noth­ing we can do about it. But, as Mr. Monk used to say, Here’s the Thing: while Obama was post­pon­ing a require­ment of Obama Care or delay­ing a reg­u­la­tion our Sen­a­tors and Rep­re­sen­ta­tives had to know at least some­thing of what was loom­ing in our future. And while they might be of the President’s party, and while they are def­i­nitely part of the gov­ern­ment, they don’t rep­re­sent the exec­u­tive branch. They rep­re­sent us.

So — did YOUR Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Sen­a­tors give you a heads-​​up about this? Did you get a let­ter telling you that you were likely to lose your cov­er­age before you got your carefully-​​worded love note from the insur­ance com­pany? Did they tell you that where, and to whom, you went for your med­ical needs was up in the air and might change? They have a Frank­ing priv­i­lege and can send mail postage-​​free. Did you get a letter?

Before you vote this Tues­day it might be a good idea to call them up and ask them a ques­tion from the Water­gate Era: WHAT did they know and WHEN did they know it?

Here’s another:  Why didn’t they tell us?


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Tags: Hornswoggled!

nolanimrod on October 28th, 2014

Los Con­quis­ta­dores weren’t a faint-​​hearted lot. These were a bunch of guys who could live in bru­tal con­di­tions, eat spoiled food, drink ran­cid water, endure harsh dis­ci­pline, and risk death daily all for the priv­i­lege of con­quer­ing some lands, grab­bing some gold, and feel­ing the lithe bod­ies of the native women they were rap­ing squirm­ing under them. Not what you would call a crew of shrink­ing vio­lets. These guys weren’t hor­ri­fied by the sight of blood nor by see­ing some guy’s entrails dragged out of him by a pike nor blood spurt­ing out of a neck recently vacated by its head. Not the sort to loose their cook­ies at the sight of some­thing gruesome.

Not, that is, until they got to Tenochti­t­lan, capi­tol of the Mex­ica, or Aztecs, and found priests so versed in anatomy that they were good at slit­ting a victim’s chest and pulling out his still-​​beating heart to show it to him just before shov­ing it down the throat of a stone idol. Even they were horrified.

That’s why the lat­est native Amer­i­can hurt feel­ings mas­cot brou-​​ha-​​ha is funny.

Temple of the Sun in Tenochtitlan, floating city of the Aztecs

Tem­ple of the Sun

Kind of takes some of the air out of the mul­ti­cul­tural arti­cle of faith that any cul­ture is just as good as any other.

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Tags: Aztecs, Conquistadors, mascots, Mexica

nolanimrod on October 27th, 2014

This gem is way beyond a Freudian slip. The first sen­tence was a slip. Then he threw in the whole under­wear list: Freudian corset, Freudian camisole, Freudian pet­ti­coat, and the clincher: Freudian bloomers.

I grew  up in Tuc­son, and at the time south­ern Ari­zona was rep­re­sented by his father, Mor­ris. Mor­ris Udall was a genial fel­low who played bas­ket­ball at the Uni­ver­sity of Ari­zona and was known mainly for being a really nice guy and for hav­ing only one eye.

His father never, as far as I can remem­ber, took it upon him­self to pro­nounce judg­ment upon the moral char­ac­ter of Amer­ica by approv­ing of it just so long as it elected the pres­i­dent can­di­date from the proper racial group

I was so proud of our coun­try, in 2008, in 2012 we showed …

But, then, Mo had more to rec­om­mend him.  I don’t remem­ber Mo Udall ever using a Teleprompter. Nor do I remem­ber Mo Udall imply­ing that his polit­i­cal oppo­nents were racial big­ots. Though an hour’s drive north of Tuc­son resided the bête noire of lib­eral ortho­doxy, Barry Gold­wa­ter, Mo Udall never accused him of big­otry or misog­yny. Fur­ther­more, Papa Mo would never have got­ten wrapped up in his own tongue the way junior did.  Per­haps because when he spoke he talked about him­self and what he wanted to do in Wash­ing­ton for Ari­zona. He wasn’t lim­ited to attack­ing his oppo­nent over racial mat­ters, over a War on Women, or because he had heard tell that his oppo­nent knew one of the Koch broth­ers. In addi­tion, Mor­ris was a gen­tle­man back in a time when you could be that and also be a Demo­c­rat. Mor­ris Udall would never have intro­duced a speaker by call­ing atten­tion to her race.

It wouldn’t have been a wise move even had he been so inclined. Back in his day the only black U.S. Sen­a­tor was a Repub­li­can and the most famous black U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, a Demo­c­rat, had just been cen­sured for finan­cial hanky-​​panky.

Here’s what can hap­pen to you when your party is out of step with the coun­try and so forces talk­ing points down your throat. I say forces because I don’t believe the son of Mo Udall would be that boor­ish and shal­low on his own.


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Tags: Democrats, Mark Udall, talking points, Teleprompter

nolanimrod on October 21st, 2014

And they grind exceed­ing small. Right down past the point of men­tion­ing, as it happens.

For exam­ple, Paul Miren­goff over at the Pow­er­line Blog shares with us a fundrais­ing let­ter he received from the Demo­c­ra­tic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. I don’t think he will mind if I share it with you. If you choose to read it I hope you will notice some­thing odd in a let­ter beg­ging for the recip­i­ent to send money. Look at it closely. There will be a test.  The let­ter reads as follows:

Dear [X]:

We are com­pletely out of ideas.

After Pres­i­dent Clin­ton emailed you this morn­ing to ask for help, we really thought we would be in a bet­ter place.

But we aren’t. The Koch Broth­ers, Karl Rove, and the other Repub­li­can out­side groups are spend­ing mil­lions against us. It’s the biggest spend­ing spree of any midterm elec­tion EVER. So big — it doesn’t even look like Pres­i­dent Clinton’s email can dig us out of this hole.

There is still time, though. Things are rough, but we’re not ready to accept defeat. If we can bring in 5O,OOO dona­tions before tomorrow’s ad buy dead­line, we can get back on track. Will you answer Pres­i­dent Clinton’s call-​​to-​​action today?



If you read through the let­ter you will note that it is demand­ing that you send money to avert catastrophe:

Things are rough, but we’re not ready to accept defeat.

Ah — the boy stood on the burn­ing deck! But, wait! Cat­a­stro­phe to whom? Caused by who?

While the nature of the cat­a­stro­phe isn’t men­tioned the evil male­fac­tors are:  the Koch broth­ers and Karl Rove. But never fear! Stand­ing with US against the hea­then hordes is our cham­pion. If we keep read­ing we find our cham­pion to be none other than …

Will you answer Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton’s call-​​to-​​action today?

But it’s not 1997. So we should send money because

  • we like Bill Clinton?
  • we don’t like Karl Rove?
  • the Koch Broth­ers have more money that we do?

OK. Back to the quote men­tioned in the title (with thanks to Mr. Longfellow):

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceed­ing small; Though with patience He stands wait­ing, with exact­ness grinds He all.

OK. Here’s the test I promised. The Demo­c­ra­tic Party sends you a let­ter demand­ing money and to give you a rea­son to send it they mention:

  • Their sit­ting president?
  • Their Sen­ate Major­ity Leader?
  • Their House Minor­ity Leader?
  • Their sig­na­ture leg­isla­tive accomplishment?
  • Their suc­cesses in for­eign affairs?
  • Their cre­ative han­dling of ille­gal immigrants?
  • Their enhance­ment of the eco­nomic secu­rity of the Mid­dle Class?
  • Their supe­rior man­age­ment of threats to our well-​​being?


They invoke boogey­men and try to assuage your fears of them by inton­ing Bill Clin­ton in a hushabye, melo­di­ous voice. After six years of run­ning every­thing that’s the best they can do: Bill Clinton.

When the Democ­rats send out a let­ter beg­ging for money and don’t men­tion their party, their pres­i­dent, their Sen­ate Major­ity Leader, their House Minor­ity Leader, their sig­na­ture leg­isla­tive accom­plish­ment , their actions to help the econ­omy, their achieve­ments in for­eign pol­icy (the allies we didn’t pre­vi­ously have, the ene­mies who are now friends, the con­flicts we have sub­dued, the strength of our alliances), when, in short, the vac­u­ous breezes they have been blow­ing at us all turn out to be whirl­winds of strife, they have not one thing to men­tion that they have done that they want to remind us of. They are left remind­ing us that we liked their guy four­teen years ago.

But send them money. Do.

They grind exceed­ing small.

UPDATE:  One of the funny anom­alies in pol­i­tics is that politi­cians fre­quently decry the money in pol­i­tics. Then they ask you for money. The elec­tion is two weeks away. All the radio and TV time is booked. All the mag­a­zine and newsprint is set in type and put to bed. What is this money for? In 2008 the Obama cam­paign took in around a bil­lion dol­lars. That’s a lot of walkin’ around money.


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Tags: Hope and Change