Mitch McConnell Likes Falling Bridges!

Throughout President Obama’s eight year tenure, one man stood out as the biggest hurdle to anything and everything Obama and his team proposed.  That man, of course, is the ignoble Mitch McConnell … the poster boy for why we need term limits.  McConnell’s power is far greater than it should be and when he pledges obstruction, you can count on him destroying everything in his path … even our lives.

Most recently, McConnell has pledged to do everything in his power to keep the infrastructure bill from seeing the light of day in the Senate.  Frank Bruni, writing for the New York Times, addresses the infrastructure bill and McConnell’s self-serving intended obstruction in his latest newsletter …


Mitch McConnell, Fickle Fiscal Prude

By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist

The numbers stagger me too.

President Biden is promoting more than $2 trillion for infrastructure (loosely defined). He signed legislation for $1.9 trillion for pandemic relief, economic stimulus and anti-poverty initiatives.

All of this comes after the Trump administration’s mammoth relief-and-stimulus spending in 2020, and all of this precedes what will almost certainly be yet more requests for additional trillions from the Biden administration.

We’re in uncharted waters. Experts offering assurances that all will be well — or even better than well — are giving us their best educated guesses. No one — not the cheerleaders, not the naysayers — truly knows how this will all turn out.

But here’s the thing: At some point you have to pick a path, choose a side, place your bet. In many instances the potential price of a flawed wager is almost certainly less steep than the cost of inaction. This instance, I think, is one of those. Maybe America will go too big in the end. But too small hasn’t worked for us.

Too small led to the economic dispossession and pessimism exploited by a junior-league demagogue and would-be despot who hurt this country gravely. Too small factored into our shameful and unsustainable degree of income inequality.

Too small was a culprit in America’s world-leading number of coronavirus infections and Covid-related deaths last year. By contrast, too big — or rather, big — was a partner in the speedy development and distribution of vaccines.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, has pledged to fight Biden’s infrastructure package “every step of the way,” as a sudden defender of fiscal discipline. I say “sudden” because his attachment to it over the past few years, before Biden took office, was as steady as a Slinky.

He was perfectly happy to run up the federal debt to stay in good with President Donald Trump, who wanted tax cuts and more gleaming military hardware. Now? We mustn’t leave crippling bills to our children and grandchildren! How horridly gluttonous! How downright immoral!

How utterly laughable. The truth about most politicians and spending is that they’re for it if the outlays bolster their electoral fortunes and against it if the other side may have more to gain. They’re not in thrall to some fixed economic ideology. They’re bound to partisan rivalries and enamored of ideological fashions of the moment.

Remember all of those fiscally principled Tea Party candidates who rocked the Republican Party and swarmed to Washington in 2010? That didn’t turn out to be any kind of revolution. Many of those candidates, along with most other Republicans, exiled their thriftiness when President Barack Obama exited the White House, then embraced Trump in all of his profligacy.

But back to infrastructure and Biden’s big-ticket legislation. Over recent decades of congressional sclerosis, America has fallen behind and imperiled its future prosperity. We’ve no choice but to catch up, and catching up, I believe, will cost more than McConnell is willing to agree to. It may cost even more than Biden is pitching.

Or not. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that the choice is between overdoing and underdoing. That it’s that clear, that stark. I’d vote for overdoing. We haven’t tried that in a while.

And my read of the American mood right now is that people are frustrated with the status quo and the timidity of politicians too focused on one another to focus on everyone else. There’s a hankering for movement of some kind — of any kind. There’s an appetite for boldness. Let’s feed it.

Still More Never-Ending Snarky

The snark-o-meter is still running high and needs a release … fasten your seat belts!


Does free speech cover incitement to violence?

Justice Clarence Thomas is apparently upset about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook banning the former guy from their platforms.  Oh REALLY, Clarence???  He, along with your nasty wife Ginny set a marvelous example for the youth in this country, teaching them that violence is the way to solve the problems of the world!  For any who may not be aware, Thomas’ wife endorsed the attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  She later, no doubt as the Justice was coming under some fire as a result of her actions, apologized to the Court saying she had no right to “impose [her] passions” on them.  So, her ‘passion’ is to overthrow the government, killing police officers and others in the process?  Where the hell did he find this ‘wife’ and why isn’t she in jail with the rest of them?

Justice Thomas (whose salary we pay) had nothing better to do with his time than to write a 12-page diatribe about the power of social media firms like Twitter.  Thomas’ opinion amounts to an invitation to Congress to declare Twitter, Facebook and similar companies “common carriers,” essentially requiring them to host all customers regardless of their views.  Note, please, that it wasn’t the former asshole’s views that got him in trouble, but his inciting a riot, inciting a takeover of the legitimate, elected government by white supremacist madmen for his own nefarious purposes!

While I don’t always agree with nor appreciate the lax and uneven attitude these social media sites take toward hate speech and destructive verbiage, I do see that they are at least making an effort.  If Thomas has his way, then we will also have to make it legal for a person to scream “BOMB” on an airplane or “FIRE” in a crowded theater … both currently crimes under the law.  Justice Thomas apparently believes there should be absolutely zero limits on free speech.  So, if I call for somebody to please shoot the former guy, then that’s okay, right Clarence?

Funny, isn’t it, that Justice Thomas supported the Masterpiece Cake Shop’s right to refuse service to a LGBT person, but he doesn’t support Twitter’s right to refuse ‘service’ to a person who is inciting violence.  Methinks the Justice has his priorities skewed a bit.


A brief pet peeve …

We all use acronyms … a set of letters that stand for something, such as EPA for Environmental Protection Agency, FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In common vernacular, there is WTF for What the F**k, SOB for Son of a Bitch, etc.  I get it, I grew up with most of those, and the ones for governmental agencies are so well-known that we rarely think twice about them.  But people!  Draw a line somewhere!!!

I popped into Twitter tonight and saw a post about the recent ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian that will give more leeway in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, but the tweeter said it was BFD.  So, I was confused as to whether he was pro or con … what the Sam Hell is a BFD???  Pretty soon, our speech is going to consist of nothing more than acronyms!  HhaymniJ (Hi how are you my name is Jill).  BFD … Balanced Feeding Development?  Bored Fireman’s Dance?  Bring Food Down?  I commented on the man’s post that while I am grateful for the fact that more legislation will be able to pass through the Senate sans filibuster, I am nearly 70 years old and for the sake of the people in my generation, might he possibly use whole words.


Infrastructure, anyone?

Everyone, even congressional Republicans, agree that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and badly in need of an overhaul.  Yes, even Republicans such as Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Senator Roger Wicker also of Mississippi have expressed their state’s dire need for money to repair roadways, bridges, water supply lines and more.  But, of course, anything that is proposed by President Biden will get a red light from these same people.  I’m tempted to say, “Fine, let the whole damn thing fall down around our ears and then see what happens to that damned economy you’re all so worried about.”  But of course, the people who would suffer if that were to happen are not those rich dudes in Washington but the poorest among us out here in the field.  Which is at least part of the reason they can sit on their fat posteriors and do nothing about anything – it doesn’t affect them.

So, do you know why the Republicans claim not to like President Biden’s infrastructure bill?  C’mon … take a wild guess.  Yep, you got it … because it would mean a tax increase on their big corporate donors, and probably hit their own pocketbook as well.  If you spend money to repair an Interstate highway or run new water lines to Flint, Michigan, then that money has to come from somewhere, right?  Right now, corporations and rich assholes are paying almost nothing … some actually pay nothing … in federal income taxes.  President Biden seeks to change that and let the rich pay their way for a change.  The Republicans in Congress have no doubt been warned by their big-money donors not to vote for this.

Biden’s proposal actually leaves them with nearly half of the tax cuts they received in 2017, raising their effective tax rate to only 28%, rather than the 39% it was in 2016 and years prior.  The current federal tax rate for corporations is only 8.84% … far less than most middle-income earners pay!

Despite corporations receiving huge tax cuts in 2017, I did some quick and dirty calculations on a per-item basis the other day and the price of food has increased between 25% and 40% since 2017.  Now … ‘splain that one, Lucy!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.