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No, we’re NOT all going Texan

A graphic of Texas divided into states

The lazy “journalists” at TIME have announced on the cover of the October 28 issue that “the Lone Star State [Texas, of course] is America’s future” — so much so that we’ll be “the United States of Texas.”

It’s popular these days to make such an assumption, perhaps especially after Gail Collins’ June 2012 book As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.

But it’s also a ridiculous argument to make that any one state is going to take over the entire nation’s sociopolitical culture any decade soon.

Of course you can take the nation’s most populous states — California, Texas, New York and Florida are the top four, in that order — and find similarities between these states and the rest of the states.

We’re talking about the top two most-populous blue states and the top two most-populous red states, yet the combined population of California and New York exceeds 57.5 million Americans, whereas the combined population of Texas and Florida, by comparison, is around 45 million.

Texas and its red-state mentality aren’t exactly taking over the entire nation.

TIME helpfully notes that from 2010 to 2011, California lost 94,000 residents while Texas gained 110,000 residents, but the graph in the magazine does not give us the context of that, which is that California has just more than 38 million residents to Texas’ just-more-than 26 million — yes, Texas is a good 12 million people behind California, putting it at a distant second place — so we’re hardly talking about an exodus.

And comparing other red states to Texas is pretty fucking stupid because duh — they’re red states.

The God-awful red state of Arizona, for instance, where I lived for the first 30 years of my life, of course is much like Texas. In Arizona, like in Texas, the business owners, the plutocrats, the fat cats, call the shots. You, the commoner, probably especially in the workplace or as a consumer, have almost no rights, because that’s how these states’ laws are written: for the benefit of the plutocratic overlords and to the detriment of the working class and the poor. It’s set up that way.

Consumer protection? Employee protection? Environmental protection? Dream on! These Commie luxuries cut into the fat cats’ profits, and that’s anti-American! And anti-Christian, too (even though Jesus said to pay your taxes without complaint and that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of Heaven)!

This is how Arizona was when I left it for good 15 years ago, in 1998, so to claim that Arizona is copying Texas now is bullshit.

The red-state-blue-state divide has been with us since before the Civil War, and to claim that the entire nation is going to turn all blue or all red during our lifetimes is short-sighted and ridiculous.

Despite even the McDonald’s-ization of the United States of America — I refer to the monolithically capitalistic American culture, with McDonald’s and Wal-Mart stores in all 50 states, as well as movies and television shows that Americans watch in all 50 states — the regional sociopolitical and cultural differences throughout the U.S. persist, and they will for a long time to come.

TIME’s article quotes one person who puts the Texas “miracle” into a nutshell: “The Texas model basically calls for low taxes and low services,” TIME quotes Erica Grieder, author of the April 2013 book Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas. (Clearly, Grieder sees the Texas “miracle” in a different light than does Gail Collins, and I have to wonder if Grieder’s book was a response to Collins’.)

More emphasis needs to be placed on “low services,” the part of the red-state equation that almost everyone usually misses when singing the praises of Texas’ low taxes. There are low services because these red states don’t care about the individual, unless he or she is filthy rich. For the filthy rich — those who need the least amount of help — the red states can’t bend over backwards enough.

The commoner, however, is pretty fucking fucked in a red state. Those who need the most help in a red state are the most fucked, yet, ironically, these are the very same states that claim to be the most “Christian,” even though Jesus Christ was all about people helping other people (and not about claiming that the richer the plutocrats get, the more all of us will benefit — somehow!).

As far as taxes are concerned, you get what you pay for, and I experienced the “low-services” environment of Arizona, in which everyone except for the richest was pretty fucking miserable. The richest Arizonans could afford their own health care, education, transportation, etc.; the rest of us were quite on our own in this “low-services” environment.

So if you are a commoner and you want to pay lower taxes but stupidly don’t give a shit about your quality of life, then by all means, pack up your shit and move to Texas.

Concurrent with the myth that there is an exodus of commoners from California (and other blue states) to Texas is the myth that we Californians are so distraught over seeing anyone leave the state.

No, actually, we’re not.

The lower the population is, the lower the taxes can be, the lower the competition for resources will be, and the quality of life will increase for those of us who remain.

So: Go!

And most of us Californians are fine seeing greedy, unethical business owners packing up and moving their businesses to Texas (and other red states), where, without state regulations that protect the consumer, the employee and the environment, they can rape, pillage and plunder and profiteer far more effectively than they can do here in California, where we believe in protections for the environment, the employee and the consumer.

Most of us Californians aren’t abject fucktards, and so we are quite clear that the vast majority of plutocrats don’t exist to help out anyone else, but are in it almost entirely or entirely for themselves and their fortunes, which they gain at our expense as employees whom they under-compensate and as consumers whom they overcharge (and, of course, at the expense of our environment, which they destroy in their quest for obscene personal profits).

“Trickle down” is the fat cats urinating all over the working class, what little remains of the middle class, and the poor. The plutocrats don’t ensure that all boats rise. No, they keep buying larger and larger yachts for themselves while they foreclose upon our dinghies.

“Jobs!” is the mantra of the Texas-promoting plutocrats and those who love them like chickens showing love to Colonel Sanders.

Right: Jobs with shitty wages and shitty or even no benefits — in states with “low services,” so don’t expect any help outside of your employer, who only exists to fuck you over! Lots and lots of these shit jobs in Texas, but hey, they are jobs, in the strict, dictionary-definition sense of the word, right?

Again, does quality matter at all?

I say that it does, and so I’m staying here in California, where I’m happy to pay my fair share of taxes for a better quality of life — instead of evading taxes and living among the miserable in a dog-eat-dog, “low-services,” pro-plutocratic red state.

And again, when you are talking about the nation’s two most populous states, the blue state of California and the red state of Texas (states so populous and so influential that the two of them have the most influence on the public-school textbook industry, with, basically, Texas editions and California editions), it’s easy to compare the two states to other states — or even to the nation as a whole.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s accurate to do so.

I’m not a hypocrite on this matter; it works both ways. The New York Times on Friday apparently held out California as a model that, if followed, could break the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Indeed, although wingnuts claim that California still has a state budget deficit, California for some time now actually has had a budget surplus under Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who after his November 2010 election reversed years of budget deficits under former Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, the Repugnican fraud who ruled the state from the do-over gubernatorial election of 2003 through early 2011, and under the nation’s shitty economy under George W. Bush from early 2001 through early 2009.

Because Brown has accomplished in less than three years what Baby Daddy never accomplished in more than twice that amount of time, Brown’s re-election in November 2014, should he seek it, is guaranteed. Because Brown — unlike his Texas counterpart, the blowhard Repugnican Gov. Prick Perry — just quietly does his job (which I define as doing what’s best for the majority of the residents of the state that he governs, regardless of their income) without a lot of fanfare and bluster, Brown’s accomplishments aren’t well known outside of California, but here in California, Brown is on solid footing with the majority of the state’s voters.

That is the truth of where California and Californians stand today.

“The turnaround [in California] from just 10 years ago — striking in tone, productivity and, at least on fiscal issues, moderation — is certainly a lesson in the power of one-party rule,” the New York Times notes. “Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in the [state] Assembly and [state] Senate and the governor, Jerry Brown, is a Democrat. The Republican Party, which just three years ago held the governor’s seat and a feisty minority in both houses, has diminished to the point of near irrelevance [in California].”

Gridlock doesn’t happen when the Repugnican Tea Party is as impotent as it is in California, and, the aforementioned Times article also notes, because in most elections in California a Repugnican candidate would have to be moderate (or at least campaign as a moderate) in order to win, most Repugnican candidates in California don’t have to worry much, if at all, about being “primaried” by a far-far-right-wing whackjob of the so-called “tea party.”

But, unlike those who tout the so-called Texas “miracle” — and only our treasonous plutocrats have anything to gain from the “miraculous” arrangement in Texas — I’m realistic.

Yes, as the New York Times at least insinuates, if the treasonous Repugnican (Tea) Party were as weak in D.C. as it is here in California, the nation would be much, much better off. We most likely would have no more gridlock and a return to prosperity. It would be great.

But like the Texas “miracle” is a right-wing fantasy, that the much-quieter California miracle will sweep the nation is a left-wing fantasy.

It’s not like the long-standing dynamic of the red states and the blue states is going to go away soon. The entire nation isn’t going to California-ize any year soon any more than it’s going to Texas-ize any year soon.

Indeed, the Civil War still wages. The red-state-blue-state divide is not an oversimplification. It’s a fact. (I could produce a lot of proof, but how about [once again…] a map of the slave states and territories and the free states and territories compared to a map of the 2012 presidential election results?:

Florida went to Obama in 2012, by the way.)

It’s a long, hard slog, and the change is slooooow, but, I predict, once it becomes clear to enough Americans what, exactly, the so-called Texas “miracle” actually entails, and once more Americans realize that the right-wing lies about how California is today are just that — lies — the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. will see their power diminish, as it has here in California.

It’s already happening.

After all, in all but one of the past six presidential elections (the 2004 election), the Democratic candidate indisputably received more votes than did the Repugnican; Texas Gov. Prick Perry, for all of the blather about the coming “United States of Texas,” couldn’t win even his party’s presidential nomination, much more the White House; and more and more it’s appearing that the Democrats might take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2014 elections.

In the meantime, go to Texas and have your “miracle” there, while I enjoy the actual miracles that are happening here in California.

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My guess: It was domestic terrorism, perhaps over taxes

So today was Tax Day and deadly bombs went off in Boston, Mass., the site of the iconic 1773 Boston Tea Party, which was a protest against the British taxation of the American colonists.

Coinky-dink?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I can’t see “Islamofascists” having pulled off this one. Given the not-too-subtle symbolism of it, I can, however, see right-wing, anti-tax domestic terrorists having done so.

If this is correct, it would be interesting to know whether the domestic terrorists (I’m guessing that there was more than one terrorist who pulled this one off) consider themselves to be members of the so-called “tea party” or not. (If memory serves, the “tea” in “tea party” is supposed to mean “taxed enough already.”)

If so, what horrible PR for the “tea party” this will be…

In any event, I’m all for making political statements, and while I can live with property damage, committing the murder and/or the maiming of innocent people in order to make a political statement is a shitty fucking thing to do, and of course any political statement is lost entirely among the carnage, which is all that anyone can see, such as the serious injury done to this man, who lost his legs in the terrorist attack in Boston today:

Associated Press photo

A cropped version of this photo was all over the Internet today; I found this apparently unedited version on liveleak.com. (The news photo has been glitchy for me, so if you don’t see it above, you can see it here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=eaa_1366058986)

I think it’s best not to sanitize the results of terrorism, whether it’s like the apparent domestic terrorism that we saw today in Boston, or whether it’s like the terrorism that the unelected Bush regime committed in Iraq in such noble names as “freedom” and “liberation” and “democracy.” Speaking of which, the photo above reminds me of this iconic photo from the Vietraq War:

Terrorism is terrorism, and no “good guys” commit terrorism. Only bad guys do.

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Obama’s Round Two already shaping up to look just like Round One

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Obama (D-IL) shares laugh with Senator Hagel (R-NE) at Amman Citadel in Amman

Reuters photo

Then-U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel yuk it up in Amman, Jordan, in July 2008. Obama is expected to nominate the Repugnican former senator as his secretary of defense any day now, because “bipartisanship,” you see, means that a so-called Democrat does things that no Repugnican Tea Party traitor ever would do in kind.

 Let’s see:

“Democratic” President Barack Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his second term, and already he:

  • Threw U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus when she came under attack from the white supremacists and patriarchs, who rather would see U.S. Sen. John Kerry in the position of U.S. secretary of state, since a white male Democrat is better than any other kind of Democrat
  • Capitulated on the Bush-regime-era tax cuts for the rich, having promised over and over and over again to increase taxes on inviduals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000, but actually having agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and families earning more than $450,000  
  • Is poised to sell us out on Social Security and/or Medicare in the deferred so-called “fiscal cliff” fight over the federal budget (after all, he and his family are set for life)
  • Is poised to name Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, reinforcing the meme that Democrats are shitty on defense, and doing something that a Repugnican president never would do (i.e., appoint a Democrat to his cabinet, perhaps especially for defense)

Have I forgotten anything? And again, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet for Round Two.

Your vote for Barack Obama on November 6 was significantly different from what Mittens Romney was offering how?

The most immediate next fight in D.C. apparently will be over Hagel, whose nomination might be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Reuters.

Not that Hagel would represent the first time that Obama sold out those who voted for him where it comes to his selection of the U.S. secretary of defense. Recall that Obama, at the start of Round One, lazily, cowardly and stupidly kept on Robert Gates, who under George W. Bush had replaced war criminal Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in November 2006. Gates stayed on the job as defense secretary under Obama until he retired on July 1, 2011.

My biggest problem with Hagel is that again, a Republican president of today never would put a Democrat on his cabinet (yes, I use “his” because a female Republican president is pretty much an oxymoron), and DINO Obama has sold out the Democratic Party enough as it is.

Yes, I have a real problem with Hagel having referred to former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel in 1998 as “openly, aggressively gay” — we gay men should keep our sexuality strictly and entirely in the closet, just like straight men always do, you see (since when has equality been an American value?) — but I do like Hagel’s reportedly made comments about the “bloated” defense department budget (our national “defense” budget is bloated beyond belief, and mostly represents only the perpetual looting of the U.S. Treasury by treasonous war profiteers) and the insanely disproportionate amount of power and influence that the “Jewish lobby” (I call them the “Israel-first lobby,” because of course not every Jewish American is an Israel firster) has in D.C.

Admittedly, it is unusual for a Repugnican to attack the sacred cows of the military-industrial-corporate complex and the Israel-first lobby, even though both of those sacred cows are milking us dry. And Hagel, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, also apparently wasn’t enough of a cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which also is unusual for a Repugnican.

But are there no qualified Democrats whom Obama could nominate as defense secretary?

What’s Obama’s logic here? That as long as his nominee as defense secretary uses the Republican label, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. Senate will be OK with it?

“This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham– who, along with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus, was instrumental in Obama’s caving in on the nomination of Susan Rice — already has declared of Hagel’s nomination.

Not that the likes of wingnutty closet case and chickenhawk Lindsey Graham would approve of any of Obama’s nominees, but why the fuck can’t Obama at least respect those who voted for him by ceasing to kiss the ass of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who never return the favor in the fucking slightest?

Oh, well.

As I watch Barack Obama for the next four years continue to sell out those who voted for him — and continue, just like Bill Clinton did, to make the Democratic Party more and more indistinguishable from the Repugnican Party (I lovingly think of the two corporation-loving and individual-hating parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) — at least I won’t feel nearly as punk’d this time as I did during Obama’s first term, because while I stupidly voted for Obama the first time, on November 6 I cast my vote for the Green Party candidate for president.

As George W. Bush once so wisely declared: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

See you around, fools.

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Eddie Munster vants to suck our blood

Putting yourself in the public spotlight is risky. You might succeed spectacularly. Or you might have Jon Stewart remarking of you on his show that he didn’t know that “Eddie Munster grew up to be a J.C. Penney catalog model.”

Indeed, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, with his widow’s peak, indeed resembles the little Munster —

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— which at least one individual pointed out as early as January.

But worse than being compared to Eddie Munster would be being compared to vampiress Sarah Palin, and I have the feeling that Paul Ryan is going the way of Sarah Palin: an individual in his or her 40s with presidential aspirations who isn’t all that bad on the eye but whose wingnutty policies are for shit and who just isn’t ready for political prime time.

As I have noted, very apparently the Repugnican Tea Party thought that they could put Paul Ryan’s pretty face on their wet dream of privatizing (and thus destroying) Medicare and ensuring that the rich and the super-rich never pay their fair share of taxes again — and that Paul Ryan alone was enough lipstick to put on that monster pig.

But thus far, the majority of Americans apparently would prefer to keep Medicare intact and to make the rich and the super-rich pay up rather than to gush all over Paul “He Works Out, You Know!” Ryan.

But Rep. Ryan apparently thinks that he’s some hot shit, taking on the president.

In case Ryan didn’t notice, his Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker-like tactics aren’t going over very well in his own home state right now, so why does he believe he has a strong political base from which to take on Barack Obama?

The uber-cocky Ryan has accused Obama of being a “campaigner-in-chief” for publicly having taken exception to Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare and to make the rich richer, and indeed, Ryan is brazenly denouncing everyone who doesn’t embrace his so-called “path to prosperity” that gives the rich and the super-rich even more tax breaks while soaking the working class, the middle class and the poor even more than they have been soaked over the past several decades. (So it is a “path to prosperity” — just not our prosperity!)

And it’s ludicrous to hear Ryan accuse Obama of being political, when of course Ryan is being at least as political, and, as they are both politicians engaging in politics, of course they’re being political. (Of course, the charge that the other side is being “political” isn’t meant to denote that the other side is engaged in the struggle for power, which is the very definition of engaging in politics, but is meant to connote that the other side is being unreasonable, that of course the other side would agree with your very reasonable proposal(s) if he or she would just be reasonable instead of “playing politics.”)

On the heels of calling Obama political (in a bad way), Paul “I’m Rubber and You’re Glue” Ryan announced that Obama’s denunciation of his plan to destroy Medicare and further enrich the rich has only strengthened the Repugnican Tea Party’s support of Ryan’s plan in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oh, please. The stupid white men who comprise the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the House of Representatives support Paul Ryan over Barack Obama? Shocker!

Paul Ryan’s idea of destroying Medicare and enriching the rich isn’t “bold” or the like. It’s a colossally shitty idea is what it is. Not only is it horrible public policy (and, I will add, anti-Christian) to allow the wealth care profiteers to shamelessly profit even further from Americans’ pain and suffering via the bloated wealth care-industrial complex, but to attack Medicare is as politically smart as it was for George W. Bush to attack Social Security.

Nor is it OK to assure current oldsters that they’ll be OK, but that the rest of us are fucked where Medicare and/or Social Security is/are concerned. I’m 43 years old and I’ve been paying into Social Security and Medicare since my teens, and I want both benefits, fuck you very much, Mr. Ryan; you’re not going to fuck me up the ass — no matter how much you look like a J.C. Penney catalog model.

Cutting the bloated-beyond-belief budget of the military-industrial complex and making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes, as I have noted, will keep afloat Medicare, Social Security and other government programs that benefit the majority of the American people instead of further enrich the rich.

So of course Ryan’s “path to prosperity” — his own prosperity and that of his right-wing ilk, not yours and mine — does not include cutting the “defense” budget or making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes.

Which demonstrates that he’s not serious about resolving the federal budget deficit. He’s serious about making the rich richer and the poor poorer. He’s a radical-right-wing ideologue, not a problem solver, especially since his proposed “solutions” would make the problems worse, not better.

Unfortunately, Ryan seems to represent a reliably red congressional district. He won his seven two-year House terms with an average of 64 percent of the vote, so he probably would be very difficult to unseat, even in Wisconsin, in which the Repugnican Tea Party is under fire right now.

However, Ryan’s deceptively titled “path to prosperity” can be relegated to the dustbin of U.S. history, where it belongs, and hopefully, he’ll never rise any higher than the U.S. House of Representatives, where he essentially is just a saner-seeming version of Michele Bachmann.

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