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Keramos On April - 20 - 2011

It’s my observation that the country as a whole has a serious case of what can best be termed American Attention Deficit Disorder – (AADD).  A really good example of how this works is actually occurring right now in the Congress.

The Rs captured the lower house in the 2010 mid-term elections.  During those elections, the rallying cry was “JOBS!”  Entering office, there was a continuance of this mantra.  So one might expect that we would have heard so much about jobs by now that we would actually be sick of hearing about them, never mind writing about them.  What has been done since these stalwarts have taken control?  The following is a list, admittedly incomplete, of the work that has been done towards this end to date.

Reading of the Constitution.  This took several days.  For many, it may have been their first exposure to the full document and some of the newer members were horribly conflicted by such items as The First Amendment.

The show votes

– H.R. 2:  –  Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act

Last Action:  Feb 1, 2011: House Energy and Commerce: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.

– H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

March 17, 2011 House Committee on Energy and Commerce Granted an extension for further consideration ending not later than April 7, 2011.    Last Action:  Apr 7, 2011: Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 28.

How interesting, they’ll get a double distraction for these since they’re coming up for a second round sometime later this year.

Check out website: http://energycommerce.house.gov/default.aspx I’d be interested in hearing the opinions of this website from others here.

And now we’re having a huge debate about the budgets for 2011 and 2012, the continuing resolutions for financing the government and many of the R touchstone ideals they’re pursing in their continuing kulturkampf.

Just to be sure that the confusion continues, the House is now spending over 1/2 million dollars to hire the high-priced law firm of King and Spaulding to defend the silly DOMA that our President told our Attorney General not to defend.

What happened to jobs?

Fortunately,  there has been some modest improvement in this area.  U3 unemployment was 8.8% during March.  This is a decrease from the highs of 2009.  GDP has shown growth in every quarter since the second quarter of 2009.  Corporate profits have been at record levels for several quarters now.  Why aren’t these patriotic citizens re-investing in the US?  Why are $2 Trillion being held hostage by these citizens?  Whose money is this?

What will next week’s distraction be?  Further, are enough of the disaffected voters who sat out 2010 voting (about 58% nationwide) paying attention and, if they are, will they vote in 2012?

The Rs are engaged in a massive re-direction of attention.  This is an integral part of creating an illusion – ask a magician.  We were looking for jobs but now we are more interested in whether  or not gays should be allowed to suffer in matrimony as the rest of us sometimes do?

WTF??

32 Responses so far.

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  1. BillLoney says:

    The primary function of the mainstream media is the production of ADD in the American public.

  2. whatsthatsound says:

    I think you could almost make a reasonable argument that people need to become LESS political. Current politics has become part of the problem. Already people are talking about who is going to run for president a year and a half from now. That means it gets to be a leading story for the next eighteen months on “news” shows. People like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity get to make lucrative careers out of makng “political” points when in fact they are just entertainers. They are to politics what Charles Barkley is to sports. Their whole purpose is to make it somehow interesting, give it the “heroes and villains” theme that keeps people coming back.

    Meanwhile, the true story of this country is that corporations are now in charge. The government serves them first and foremost. Already BP is welcomed back into the fold of government contracts.
    We are not the same as Europe. There, governments are still in charge. Good ones, bad ones, but still it is government that runs things. We have a different reality here, and we have to acknowledge it.

    Perhaps if we could do away with politics altogether and not use it as a failed method of interfacing with the corporations that really run things, things could run better. We could just wash all that distraction out of our hair, and take it straight to the fat cats. Get them to work with us better. By buying or not buying, by choosing small over big, by taking less pay to join green companies instead of Old Energy companies. Changing the dynamic of how people live in a corporatocracy. Do away with the sham of caring who wins, who runs, who gives the best speeches.

    I’m off my soapbox now and am ready to go into full retreat from c-lady. :) This was just my, not very well thought out, rant. For what it’s worth.

    • KillgoreTrout says:

      wts, your comment wasn’t a “rant,” and made perfect sense. I said over a year ago that it is the corporations we should be directing protests against. Protesting our government hasn’t worked very well at all. Our government is quite good at playing deaf when it wants to.
      And you are also right about the media being akin to sports. Especially cable news. They have literally made a new sport out of politics. This is quite evident in all the internet flame wars and oneupmanship of the various cable news outlets. It can be maddening and it leads nowhere, really. Americans need to get back in touch with the confrontational aspect of citizenship.

    • choicelady says:

      Nyah nyah -- I do NOT disagree with you! Take THAT, my beloved comrade-in-arms! I totally agree that a good part of our difficulty lies in making UP problems over which to rend garments and gnash teeth. Nobody does it better than Glenn and Rush, damn their loud mouths and warped sense of America.

      On the other hand, I just had an hour long conversation, more or less, with a very progressive woman who has woven a HUGE conspiracy theory out of absolutely NOTHING. I talked her down, reminded her she was inches away from being one of those people with tin foil hats, and urged her to keep focused on the two REAL problems she honestly has. Period. We’ll see how long my advice holds. I’m thinking about 30 minutes? The urge to be “in the know” about “god ain’t it awful” just seems very present in our society.

      Best advice ever: don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.

      For all its problems, this is a pretty cool country. First of all it’s beautiful -- everywhere in each state there is amazing physical wonderfulness. People basically are good, politicians are no worse than most other places and often MUCH better. Life can be hard but not as hard as Calcutta. When left alone, most of us solve our own problems and lend a hand to others. It’s not perfect by a long shot, and there are evil forces abroad in the land trying to restore the Gilded Age Plutocracy and Theocracy, but overall most people put one foot in front of the other, take care of their own business, are kind to their neighbors, are caring to animals, and don’t throw garbage out the windows. There’s not a lot more to ask.

    • BillLoney says:

      There’s a very good argument that everything is political, but I think I know what you mean. The problem, as I see it, is that the opposition to any goals we want to achieve is intensely political, so I don’t see how you can avoid it, even some of the most senseless, time-wasting stuff. I have no affection for politics per se, but I do care about what’s happening to people. As a single individual, I can only do so much. The entity available to us that’s actually capable of affecting the equation is run by politics. Yeah, I know it sucks.

  3. ADONAI says:

    Democrats have to accept that you live in a right leaning country and it is on YOU to combat that.

    You know what is a big issue to most Americans? The downgrade of visual quality in Netflix streaming.

    You know what isn’t? Gay marriage, unemployment, women’s rights, and clean energy.

    And why should they? Neither Party is really all about those issues either. Democrats don’t want widespread changes in the system that raises them to unjust dominion anymore than Republicans do.

    Remember when Democrats had that super majority? Me neither. I remember when Republicans had a soft majority. They passed 85% of their legislation and ruined the country. With Democratic help. Call them Blue Dogs if you want, they’re your Blue Dogs.

    You want people to get behind the Democratic Party? Give them something to get behind. How many times do you want people to watch you compromise away their faith in you and still buy that you want their vote because you’re concerned for them?

    Go ahead and blame the people who sit the voting out. 2000 had one of the highest voter turnouts in history. A lot of good that did. It’s not that people want more voters, we’ve had that before and people still got pissed at the few that sat out. That’s just scapegoating. Like Perot or Nader. People just want you to vote for their guy. And don’t bother pointing out their candidate’s inadequacies. You’ll get that whole “lesser of two evils” bullshit that is just another way of saying, “well, my guy won so I gotta defend him for some reason the Party has drilled into my head. most likely fear.”

    What a great fucking way to run a country. Endless fear of the opposition. No substance, no solutions. Just constant condemnation of the other side followed by drawn out debates over legislation that benefits only a handful. With the occasional backdoor deal that benefits no one. GOD bless America.

    • Keramos says:

      “2000 had one of the highest voter turnouts in history. A lot of good that did. ”

      Both the 2000 and 2004 elections are absolute proof that the Electoral College needs to be done away with.

      • ADONAI says:

        Bill -- I totally agree. It is no longer necessary at all and causes more problems than it solves. Popular vote should decide it. Direct representation. Taking away “battleground states” will cut away much of the “rigging” of the elections and change the way politicians have to run.

    • agrippa says:

      Adonai, I am in a permanent minority; virtually, a sect of one: a social democrat of the european sort. People like me are never at the table in the USA. The USA has three parties: GOP, Democrat, and “I do not care”. There is no mandate to do anything and no working majority to do anything.

      What else do expect out of american politics when a near majority know nothing and care less? Very little good is going to be done until all other options have been exhausted, owing to that fact alone.

      Most countries, most of the time, are badly governed. History is mostly a march of folly. Fact of life, and the USA is very little different from most other countries in the amount of folly.

      • ADONAI says:

        agrippa, That’s why I am just patiently waiting for it all to blow up in our faces.

        Governments have always been run poorly. But this country, on occasion, has exceeded expectations. I know it’s there. I know the will to make significant change exists.

        Obama was a good start, but we bailed on him. I can’t really compartmentalize my support of President Obama. I severely disagree with his foreign policy. I’m angry hat he doesn’t forcefully go after equal rights for all citizens. The bailouts and health care compromise left a sour taste in my mouth.

        But goddamn the dude does try. When I listen to Obama speak, then listen to the Democratic leadership in Congress, it’s like they’re from 2 different Parties. I can support their individual politicians, but I just cannot support the Democratic Party.

        • bito says:

          That’s why I am just patiently waiting for it all to blow up in our faces.

          It has “blown up in our faces” before. Do you need another great depression before any transformation? Millions live in poverty today, do we need to double, triple the number? At what point?

          • ADONAI says:

            bito, Do I think we need another depression? No. But I’m afraid that millions of Americans do.

            Every great change that has been made in this country has been the product of incredible, needless suffering.

            So don’t ask me. I don’t know at what point Americans will break. History says it will be after the worst has happened. Millions live in poverty. Millions more don’t. Millions are unemployed. Millions more are not.

            “YOU WANT ANSWERS!”(this is where you say, “I WANT THE TRUTH!”) “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

            Sorry, I just get so few opportunities to work that in. The truth is that as much as we blame politicians, Koch suckers, and fatheads on TV, the American people bring every goddamn bit of this on ourselves. Everything the Founders ever warned us about has come to pass, every promise and opportunity we’ve been given has been squandered for immediate and temporary comfort.

            This isn’t government. It’s strictly majority rule. That’s not a democracy, that’s mob rule. And I blame political Parties. The very idea and practice of them.

            Democracy didn’t abandon America. America abandoned democracy.

        • agrippa says:

          Adonai, the Democratic party is weak. It lacks courage ( political and moral), discipline and organization. It is weak on the idea side as well. The party is in dire need of new people.

          I have no problem with Obama; he was given a “bad brief” and has argued it well. But, his party is a cipher.

    • choicelady says:

      Adonai- Well. “YOU” Democrats? Presuming you’re not, the issue for all of us boils down to practicality. This is a democracy with two parties. Third party candidates never win, and progressives never win. If we were a progressive nation, that might change, but we’re a centrist nation with some progressive tendencies and more that are just whining. I want single payer, out of Afghanistan (and everywhere else), want employee ownership of many businesses, want all kinds of things -- for which there are not enough votes. Not enough nationally, not enough in Congress.

      I don’t love my Congresswoman. She’s lousy on Mid-East issues because her late husband was. But she’s cool on some things, too. What I do know is that hands down she beats any GOP candidate. She will listen, heed a lot, disregard some, and that’s America.

      What I also know is that Blue Dogs can be turned. The media can be turned. How? PEOPLE. Members in the organization for which I work tackled one Blue Dog on supporting health reform WITH a public option. Legions of people from the faith communities in his district beset him and changed him so fast -- three weeks -- that he issued a front page story about his conversion. And he never backed down from that more progressive position. You want media coverage of your issues? Follow the US Uncut actions and lay siege to the paper/radio/TV outlets in your area. Insist on an editorial board meeting, and if you don’t get it or it does not work, picket. Daily. Contact advertisers and make your perspective clear. And oh yeah -- take church people with you.

      If you live in a purely Red district? It still helps. Or move. There ARE dead horses not worth beating. But look around for progressive/liberal people with whom to join forces.

      But if you have a mod Dem, it is ALWAYS better than what the GOP can hand you.

      Those who think Obama is an empty suit, a Rep. in disguise, a shill for corporations -- just NOT paying attention. More has changed for the good in the past two years than we got for all of Clinton’s term and the past three decades. Don’t be a child -- it took us 40 years to get into this mess, and it won’t change overnight. Like it or not, the Baggers and corporate shills are Americans, too. You want ’em jailed for wrecking the economy? Prove it. Court-level proof.

      I watched MoveOn.org go after insurance executives just like the anti-abortion zealots went after abortion providers: “Wanted” signs, a hit list, and other really outrageous tactics. They tried “citizens’ arrests” at a convening of insurance company execs. All street theater except, as with abortion, NONE of their targets did one blessed thing that was illegal. Immoral? Sure! Illegal -- NO. That is the problem for our side; selling insurance, recisions, cherry-picking healthy people -- all legal. Where were we when they were writing the laws? Using these RW tactics was, to me, horrifying because it legitimated Operation Rescue’s disgusting acts.

      By deciding that Obama is not worthwhile or any congressional candidate is not up to your standards, your failure to vote DOES give the vote to the winner. Statistically and morally that is indefensible. This IS a democracy -- join your local Dem party central committees and change the candidate selection process. This IS a democracy with only two parties -- vote for one of them.

      What we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that there is a world of difference between the GOP/Bagger party and the Dems. Dems don’t go after ordinary people to kill ’em off, and the GOP does. Dems don’t want to dismantle Medicare. Dems can be moved to vote against military funding. Dems will vote to end DADT and DOMA.

      If you can honestly say none of that matters to you, then you have no skin in the game, and you need to be moved by someone ELSE’s plight. Ask any young woman struggling to get off welfare. Ask any immigrant who wants half a chance at a path toward stability and even citizenship. Ask any woman who needs reproductive control over her body. Ask any kid trying to get a decent education or health care or financing for college. Ask anyone who is impacted by the VAST differences between the parties.

      And then tell me you can sit it out.

      • agrippa says:

        choicelady:

        hear hear

      • ADONAI says:

        choicelady, It ALL matters to me. And that’s why I don’t vote for these assholes.

        And I’m not looking at the quality level of the handouts. I donate to progressive issues and support progressive candidates. If that puts me on the “losing” side, I don’t care. At least I have my integrity.

        **EDIT**

        And I like Obama. He’s a good politician. I’ll be voting for him next year based solely on is handling of the economy in his first year and a half. he was brilliant. Could have been better but to get what he got was unbelievable.

        • choicelady says:

          Well then you’re doing OK -- it is hard to read people refusing to vote though. Of course, I’m not in your shoes in your district, so maybe you DO have Dems that are beyond hope. But I do hope you will be really careful not to throw people in need to the wolves to keep your personal integrity. Sometimes just having someone who won’t be selling babies in the town square and shoving Granny under the bus is enough to make it worth voting for someone who otherwise is not good. Since Ryan got his way today -- they voted to kill Medicare -- that rather influences me to vote for almost ANY Dem over not voting. Stuff matters. Even if it’s not much, it matters. If not to me, then to those in need. My integrity is based on: First -- do no harm. I go on up from there.

          • Khirad says:

            It’s helpful to remember AD is in Kentucky, CL, FWIW.

            • choicelady says:

              Well Mitch is pretty much worth voting for ANYONE ELSE! No politican with the face and morality of a bloated toad cannot be bested.

          • ADONAI says:

            choice, I don’t face a situation where I have Republicans trying to kill people. This state has had Republican Senators for decades, a constantly shifting state government and national Representatives.

            You wanna know why I’m indifferent to Republicans and Democrats? I live in a state that has been run equally ineffectively by both for quite along time.

            Sure,we’ve made some money under the Democrats, but they scoot out of the picture awful quick when the bills come in.

            And yes Republicans have gotten our unemployment situation in the state somewhat under control, which was top 3 annually in the nation for high unemployment til recently we’ve begun making improvements, but I really can’t agree with the cuts to the Public Libraries and the further strain they’re putting on our educational budget.

            But the last Democratic Rep. to run here actually KEPT a lot of the educational cuts in his counter proposal so fuck that guy. I can’t even remember his asshole name.

            It’s tough here. One side will get yo money but at a huge expense. The other side will cut those expenses but get way too involved in your free time.

  4. agrippa says:

    You may be correct. We, as a culture, may have ADD. I do know that few people know very much about government, politics or policy. Few have bothered to learn and few devote very much time and energy to these matters. And, see how few actually vote. And, see how few are actually politically active.

    The so called “news media” does not report. It never did do an excellent job; but, now, it is much worse.

    What this means is that we get a government that is foolish and corrupt.

    • bito says:

      We do blame “The Media” quite often, but I just saw this”

      Latest cable news ratings: #Fox, #MSNBC & #CNN combined had 3.28 million total viewers. Barely 1% of U.S. population (week of Apr.11)

      Sorry no link, but where do people get their “news.” Talk radio?

      • ADONAI says:

        bito, If American families are anything like mine, they get their “news” from the newspaper and the interwebs.

        • choicelady says:

          You still read newspapers? I thought I was the only one left! Huzzah! On my block only TWO households get papers. The online version gets censored especially when they screw up (long story, but I know that for a fact) and does not carry certain items. So yeah -- newsprint still matters. Good for you!

          • ADONAI says:

            choice, I gotta have my newspapers. Especially the local paper. And I frequent their online sites quite often but I do want the unfiltered straight to print story.

            I lament the fall of print newspapers.

            • choicelady says:

              Amen, Adonai! Even a lousy paper is better than NO paper. How will we line the birdcage without them? I go online to read the Youngstown OH Vindicator, which, oddly is one of the best AND worst papers EVER. I find the dual personality amazing. It also has damned hard crossword puzzles, which, given the population, is sort of amazing. I like the Omaha World Herald, partly because I once had relatives on editorial staff there, but it’s certifiably one of the WORST papers in America politically. Still look at though. You are right -- gotta have my paper!


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