The Dissident Peasant Podcast Episode 3

In this episode, an Internet argument actually changes someone’s mind! Reince Priebus’ career prospects are looking up! The GOP’s Wealthcare bill fails! Mueller Watch Continues!

Share and enjoy. STAY DISSIDENT SERFS.

 

Let’s Not Fall All Over Ourselves to Praise “Moderate” GOP Senators

Above: Senator Ed (R- Peach Creek)

The Senate had votes on three different wealthcare bills recently, and all of them sucked, and none of them passed! (There were also votes on a bunch of amendments, but this was all for show.) The GOP didn’t quite manage to pull off their Goldilocks routine, as some senators voted bills down because they were too cruel, and others voted bills down because they were not cruel enough.

But the hot “heroes” of the moment are surely John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, rebelling as they did against the least ambitious of the three bills, the one touted as simply a vehicle for getting to a conference committee with the House of Representatives. (Because the GOP cares so much about careful and prudent governance, the Senate demanded assurances that their bill would not simply be passed by the House as-is, because it sucked. They were received.) Each voted no.

Susan Collins has been hinting obviously in interviews that she is VERY WORRIED ABOUT RURAL HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES. She was and is clearly ready to vote for a bill that includes a few extra billion dollars for her state, if she can get away with it. What a hero!

Lisa Murkowski received a call from the Interior Secretary of the United States, who proceeded to clumsily threaten her with a reminder that Alaska has a lot of land managed by the federal government. (Nice state ya got there, be a shame if anything were to happen to it…) However, when the person attempting the intimidation is so obviously incompetent with dismal poll numbers, it tends to piss off the subject and redouble their resolve. Murkowski may have voted this bill down anyway, but Trump made her vote definite. So really, Trump’s the hero with an own-goal- truly the alphas are BACK IN CHARGE.

And finally, John McCain. Though the senator, representing the great state of Arizona Bullshit Sunday Talk Shows, could have simply voted no on the motion to proceed earlier, he decided that might deny John McCain some fawning media coverage as The Last Honest Man in Washington. It was nothing but pride and a fit of pique that caused McCain to be the 51st ‘no’ vote on this sham of a proposed law. He’s not a hero for this vote, he’s a vain and shallow old man who likes attention and is generally a total asshole.

Citizens, if they want to remain citizens and not just peasants, should reward good behavior by their elected representatives, no doubt. So I am glad these three voted the way they did, as far as that goes. The problem is that “that” doesn’t  actually go very far at all, as a wealthcare bill in the House of Representatives was a dead a month ago, and yet they soldiered on. These three aren’t heroes, but specific cases where pecuniary interests and political pressure forced three politicians not to take a vote that would leave their careers and reputations in tatters.

If you’re looking for heroes to celebrate, start with all the people who marched, called, and wrote to make sure these Senators felt the heat. And hell, maybe give the Democratic Party a bit of credit, too- they were uniformly opposed to this sham of a process to kill poor people for money. I know it’s much easier to stand united in opposition than to design and construct laws, but they did the right thing nonetheless.

GOP Postmodernism Watch: Transgender Soldiers Edition

Let’s travel back in time! All the way back to June 2016 even, when this story ran in Time:

Updated: Jun 30, 2016 3:10 PM ET

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the ban on open service of transgender troops will be lifted, five years after a similar ban on the open service of gay men and women was formally ended by President Obama. The end of the ban is effective immediately, Carter said. “Implementation will begin today,” he said, promising a “step by step approach.”

Back in those halcyon days when facts mattered a little bit more and fascism was not so fashionable fascism-able? popular, they would run studies on this sort of thing:

Almost exactly a year ago, Carter had promised to review the ban. In comments made at a press conference at the Penatgon, Carter said the study of the possible implications of lifting the ban had shown there would be “minimal readiness impacts” and “minimal” costs, including coverage of medical care related to transitioning. As of his comments, transgender military members can no longer be discharged from the military because of their gender identity, he said.

What happened THIS morning, about a year later?

No study was conducted, no impact on medical costs ACTUALLY considered. There’s no need, because the United States government implemented the results of just such a study a year ago, when we had a president who was a touch more fastidious about the executive branch.

So why do it? Well, here’s the reason they gave a reporter when asked:

Oh. It’s an attempt to frame a wedge issue and split the Democratic party, and probably fires up Trumps more pious brown-shirts as well.

Human decency hasn’t mattered to the right for a long time, at least not the universal kind, but they used to have to at least pretend to give a shit about what’s true. Indeed, they would cast leftists as the dreamer out-of-touch types, contrasted with their rough, tell-hard-truths political philosophy. (“Black people are just genetically inferior, face facts libtard.” “Islam is a uniquely evil religion, and you can tell because most terrorists are Muslim, that’s just the way it is.” “We can’t afford anymore giant social programs, increasing the deficit is just too big a risk, so stop your fantasizing.” I could go on and on…)

In all cases, their insistence that THEY are the serious factual ones is an Orwellian word trick. Lies become their new tribal facts (deficits matter, black people are inferior, transgenders will hurt the military) and the truth becomes liberal propaganda/fake news. The transgender community is today’s victim in the GOP’s descent into a total and complete postmodern hellhole; which group will be next?

 

 

What Is Dead May Never Die

Squid monster
Above: One GOP staffer tasked with drafting sections of the Senate healthcare bill.

But rises again, crueler and stronger: 

Sen. John McCain, recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, will make a dramatic return to the Senate Tuesday to cast a critical vote on health care legislation.

McCain’s office announced Monday night that he would return Tuesday — a surprise to most in Washington who expected him to miss the crucial vote and return to Washington at a later date.
McCain is expected to get GOP leadership one vote closer to beginning debate on health care legislation, which is on the verge of collapsing.
Apart from being a reminder that fights for progress in this country are never truly won but always subject to attack by radicalized reactionaries and religious fundamentalists, I truly feel this event demonstrates a breath-taking and Shakespearean lack of humanity.
John McCain’s job, at one point in his life, was to drop bombs on people in a clearly genocidal and nonsensical war or US aggression. He was captured and tortured, and learned not one lasting lesson about the gravity and evil of war or the destructiveness of the US government’s foreign policy. Now, decades later, Death is looking him in the face in the form of a brain tumor. The prospect of his own mortality is likely firmly in his mind, the fear of which he shares with not just his country’s people but with much of evolved life itself.
Distracted as he is physically and mentally, threatened and afraid, this sick and elderly man is going to screw up enough will to drag himself onto an airplane, and fly to take a vote that ensures that the very same public he professes to serve will continue to lose sleep over how their families will be able to get medical care in the future. People will forego other expenses to take their kid to the doctor. They will pawn their jewelry and heirlooms, and never forgive themselves. They will cry and scream and rage in their lives because the threat of medical debt and painful death will drive them to it. Death will also look them in face, and John McCain will have shown Death to their doors.
The Capitol Hill switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

A Brief List Of Things I Wish for John McCain

I want to wish Sen. John McCain a swift and speedy recovery from cancer.

But as long as I’m wishing for things, here’s a list of things I’d wish for long before that.

  1. I wish John McCain hadn’t voted for an illegal and pointless war in 2003. I wish the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers that were killed would have the chance to be alive today.
  2. I wish John McCain wouldn’t have chosen Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008. He and he alone bears responsibility for adding such an unprincipled and unqualified hack to his ticket, paving the way for a yet more unprincipled and unqualified hack on another GOP ticket 8 years later.
  3. I wish John McCain, after returning from the Vietnam war, would have seen that war as the horrible and pointless waste of human potential and life it was. I do not begrudge him his role in that, and appreciate the pain and suffering he endured as a prisoner, but it’s a tragedy that such a man developed into a bitter and ruthless warmonger.
  4. I wish John McCain would appreciate that multitudes of his country’s people also get cancer, and not only do they not experience the same quality of care as he does as a United States Senator, in many cases they don’t get any care at all- they just suffer and die in the richest country the face of the planet has ever seen. Of those that do get care, some are forced by medical debt into modern peasantry. These are all problems John McCain has voted to make worse in the past.
  5. Finally, this is a bit petty, but does everyone remember this?

    Questioner: I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, he’s not, he’s a…umm…he’s an Arab. He is not…-no?

McCain: No ma’m. No ma’m… he’s a decent family-man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.

Resist the urge to grade Republicans on a curve; this does not make McCain an enlightened man of courage. This might be a better effort than the racist mouthbreathers who make up the bulk of the GOP, but the correct position- the one in line with the best of American values- is that Arab men can be and almost always are of the “decent family-man citizen” type. The 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the crown jewel of the document in this humble peasant’s opinion, lays this out pretty strongly- Uncle Sam doesn’t care what race you are. And if the questioner was really trying to go the Islamaphobia route, it’s just as true that Uncle Sam doesn’t care what religion you practice.

I’m sure I could think of some other items if I researched for a bit. And if I might anticipate any objections that boil down to “now’s not the time,” I’d just like to say that now is exactly the time. The GOP needs at least 50 of their 52 senators to vote for their shit sandwich of a healthcare bill, so his support for that bill and ability to vote for it are extremely important. Before we all go rushing to call him a hero and a patriot who loves his country, let’s remember that he’s not guiltless in leading us to our present place.

The Dissident Peasant Podcast Episode 1.2- Quickie

In this quickie episode, I call out Jeff Waldorf at TYT Nation for his pretty absurd views on whether Trump has done anything worthy of impeachment.

 

Let’s Reboot Memento And Have Chris Cillizza Play the Lead

 

Sen. Mitch McConnell is nothing if not careful and crafty. Which is what makes what happened on the Senate floor Wednesday night all the more remarkable.

At issue was legislation to raise the debt ceiling…

-Chris Cillizza, 2/14/14

Mitch McConnell is the master of Senate rules and regulations. He proved that time and again during Republicans’ long, dark spell in the minority, using the arcana that is the Senate rule book to stall or stop legislation that he and his side didn’t like.

That’s why McConnell’s mishandling — by anyone’s assessment — of the Senate floor debate this past week over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone data was so baffling.

-Chris Cillizza, 6/5/15

McConnell is widely regarded as a master legislative strategist.

-Chris Cillizza, 6/26/17

Lowest moment in McConnell’s time as GOP leader.

-Chris Cilizza, 7/18/17

Mitch McConnell isn’t a veteran strategist of modern day court intrigue leading a party with a positive  legislative agenda, and he never has been. He’s an amoral nihilist with a group of belligerent and stupid reactionaries behind him, a party blindly running against progress itself, good at gumming up the works and shit at doing the hard work of governing a country.

I’m just some peasant, and I figured this out years before Chris Cillizza, who I suspect has lost the ability to form new memories. A tragedy to be sure, but maybe “Political Analyst” isn’t the right job for such a person.

The Dissident Peasant Podcast: Episode 1

On today’s show, the debut of the Dissident Peasant Podcast!

  1. What the hell is this!?!?!?!?!?!
  2. Russians interfered in the 2016 election, anyone who says otherwise is wrong!
  3. The GOP’s post-modernist madness!
  4. Unresponsive government breeds increased cynicism among population!

Modern Court Etiquette

Lords and Ladies have always been very concerned with civility. It’s important to speak and behave in a manner consistent with ones social position and the situation. For example, here’s Kamala Harris forgetting herself momentarily, and addressing the Honorable Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III without the proper deference and respect:

As you can see, two elderly gentlemen were kind enough to intervene on his behalf and allowed the esteemed attorney to explain his brand new legal standard of ‘appropriateness’ when refusing to answer questions under oath.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren, who instead of properly playing the meek maidservant attempted to read into the record the words of the infamously pro-peasant Coretta Scott King:

Thank goodness this screaming harpy was stopped; I’m not sure how much longer her colleagues could have suffered it!

Here’s Representative Martha McSally, scandalously exposing her bare shoulders. The Washington D.C. summer heat is no excuse for impropriety!

She actually had the gall to protest hysterically when the kind officers from chamber security informed her of her violations of their completely arbitrary and selectively enforced dress code, closing her speech by stating, “Before I yield back, I want to point out I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes.”

Thankfully, some noble gentlemen remain on the side of the angels. Noted body-slam enthusiast and Congressional Representative Greg Gianforte recently reminded people of their duty to be civil: “It’s important to make sure we reach out to all parties and hear their voice. I think the other parties have an obligation, as well, to be respectful and in that dialogue,” he said. Representative Gianforte may be in the middle of attempting to deny people medical care in order to pay for the GOP’s holy grail of massive and permanent tax cuts for the noble class, but that’s no reason to be rude.

Attractively man-shaped scourge of humanity Speaker Paul Ryan is similarly tired of all the name-calling, and would prefer “a great debate on ideas” as he attempts to fulfill his dream of killing poor people- an idea he’s been fantasizing about since he attended college keggers. Noted court musician and pants-shitter Ted Nugent, having conveniently realized the error of his previously-uncouth ways just in time for his faction to seize the levers of power, urged everyone that “we have got to be civil with each other.”

Now, I realize that some of these remarks were made in the wake of a shooting at a Congressional baseball practice, but even in those you’ll notice the call is not to refrain from violence- reasonable people would agree we are not yet at the point where we need to go full-on Robespierre on these fuckers. The call is for civility, for the proper respect. That’s what the GOP thinks makes them decent people. Not protecting our water and air, not ensuring children and the disabled have access to medical care, not feeding and clothing and sheltering humans. No, what makes them decent is proper dress and manners. You don’t see them hurling invective at their political opponents, do you?

Oh wait, never mind. Etiquette for thee, but not for me, peasant!