The DC Folly Trolley – 01/19/14

A Really Bad Week.

Ever lose two court decisions in one week. Well, if you have, you are no longer alone.

Right wing Republican governments in the United States just accomplished that dubious distinction.

A Federal judge declared unconstitutional a NC law requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound exam.

In its opinion, the Court ruled that promoting an “ideological message” through a medical procedure violated a woman’s rights.

Therefore, a woman could not be forced by the North Carolina government to view an ultrasound image nor could it force a provider to describe the features nor offer a chance to listen to the heartbeat.

mccrory

Gov. Pat McCrory and his comrades in the antideluvian NC legislature took one on he chin.

.

Not to be outdone by the Tar Heelers, right wing Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and his legislative troglodytes took a hit in state court when a judge ruled a restrictive voter ID law unconstitutional.

The intent of the law, and all similar laws passed by Republican governors in several other states, is to disenfranchise Democratic voters. Enough said.

 

***

O, O, O Obama.

Like Obama do you? Maybe even love him? Well, if so, it may be because you’re a tribal Democrat and would vote for Satan if he declared himself a member of that once great party.

Or maybe you don’t like Obama, but voted for him anyway because there was no way you could vote for the two schmucks who ran against him.

Or maybe you voted for him because on the campaign trail in 2008 he lied like a tart in confession in speech after speech and you fell for it.

Well, regardless of the reason for your vote, you’ve been hornswoggled by the greatest snake oil salesman in recent history.

How? Here’s how.

First we had Obamacare, corporate control of health insurance, ACA. The Affordable Care Act entrenches corporate involvement in the health care industry for generations. ACA was the wrong way and Obama charged down that path when he reneged on the public option after extolling it in numerous speeches.

Next we’ll get Obamatrade, corporate control of trade, TPP. This bogus trade agreement will allow corporations to overturn national laws by a mere appeal to a tribunal rigged to abide by corporate will.

Soon we’ll have Obamanet, corporate control of the Internet. Obama’s FCC sided squarely with the telecommunications industry when it voted to classify telecoms as information providers rather than a service. That decision removed Internet control from the FCC and now allows telecoms the freedom to charge for net use as they see fit.

Reclassifying broadband access as a service should have been done at the very beginning of the Obama regime. Instead, his commissioners steadfastly defended te notion that telecoms were information sources. They could hardly do otherwise in an Obama administration. To classify as a service would have removed the profit motive from the telecom equation. And how would that play on Wall Street!

Were Obama’s FCC commissioners incompetent? Or were they complicit?

Complicit, no doubt.

Now that’s the change we should have believed in regardless of what the great smoke blowing machine told us during the 2008 campaign.

***

Dethinking Inequality.

If anybody can dethink, it’s David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times.

First, let us describe “dethinking,” for it is what Brooks does best.

It’s knowing that what you think is wrong, but being forced to prove it correct by resorting to a variety of creative devices to demonstrate from a conservative perspective that what is patently wrong is really right.

So Brooks, in his most recent column, latched on to the subject of inequality and using right wing logic (oxymoron alert) managed to dethink the issue.

No, no, no, he seems to be saying. We’ve got it all wrong. It’s not inequality that causing an abrupt increase in poverty. It’s the “interrelated social problems of the poor” that at the heart of the issue.

It’s a whole new take on the old right wing theme that poor people are the cause of poverty.

Here is another example of right wing dethinking: Blaming homeowners for being cheated by banks and mortgage originators; and blaming government for forcing banks to create bogus mortgages.

thinker

Some people think better upside down. Of course, the ideas come out that way as well. (The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, photo: Cham (Christian Amet).

So according to this nefarious form of dethinking, homeowners who were scammed into bogus mortgages were responsible for the housing crisis; and government must share the blame because it forced bankers to make exorbitant profits from the scheme. As always in conservative logic, the victims are guilty of corporate crime while the corporate criminals go free.

Oh, well. Some things never change except for the words used to describe tired, worn out ideas.

Read Robert Reich’s take on David Brooks. He does a far better job of hitting the nail on the head than I ever could.

***

Tiptoeing Through The Tulips.

Who might that be, you say? Why it’s Chris Christie, the nimble footed, jack-be-quick governor of the semi-great state of New Jersey. The gov, it seems, has stuck a teensy weensy toe ever so delicately into another great big bowl of jam.

And it has nothing to do with bridgegate. This time yet another member of his administration has been accused by the Mayor of Hoboken (yes, Virginia, there really is a town called Hoboken), one Dawn Zimmer of attempting to influence the selection of a contractor to do work in, oh well, Hoboken or else….

Or else the governor would withhold Federal relief funds intended to repair the damage done by Storm Sandy.

christie kin

Christie and Dawn Zimmer.

The governor’s lieutenant governor, that would be Kim Guagagno, threatened to withhold the Federal freebie if Zimmer refused to select the governor’s favorite contractor, The Rockefeller Group,to do some construction work in Hoboken.

Nothing will ever come of this affair since it’s really a matter of she said, she said. But the episode makes for some juicy newsy gossip.

As for me, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. So the governor maybe put in a good word for a contractor with connections. I mean, what are friends for?

And besides, it’s the American way.

***

Just One More Story About a GOP Gov. Just One.

This one is about a governor whose about to be carried back to ole Virginny to face Federal corruption charges.

Seems former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell some gifts from a supporter with connections in the gov’s government, ya know, little things like a Rolex watch for himself and designer gowns for his wife. And a few other things like a fifty grand loan, shopping sprees worth as much as $15,000, sets of golf clubs, hot tubs and cash for his two daughters’ wedding.

All of that in exchange for putting in a good word with the Virginia Department of Health about his chum’s dietary supplement which the FDA said was worthless.

 bob m

Just tryin’ ta hep a friend. What’s wrong with that!!!  So sayeth the former gov. of Virginia.

So? Seems like a good deal to me. But not to Federal prosecutors who are bringing the charges against the former gov. who says he innocent.  What else???

All things considered, 2014 is shaping up to be a bad year for Republican governors. And it’s still January.

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