Sunday, October 4, 2009
Image by jamestraceur via FlickrUpdate the Second: Oh. My. God. This must be like Totally Righteous Anger day. Awesome.
Update: The always-excellent "Reality Based Community" has a modest recommendation for the USDA: For Christ's sake, do your goddamn job for once instead of sucking up to Big Meat, you gutless sacks of offal (paraphrasing a little).
Bill Maher, on fire:
New Rule: If America can't get its act together, it must lose the bald eagle as our symbol and replace it with the YouTube video of the puppy that can't get up. As long as we're pathetic, we might as well act like it's cute. I don't care about the president's birth certificate, I do want to know what happened to "Yes we can." Can we get out of Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Fix health care? No. Close Gitmo? No. Cap-and-trade carbon emissions? No. The Obamas have been in Washington for ten months and it seems like the only thing they've gotten is a dog.
Well, I hate to be a nudge, but why has America become a nation that can't make anything bad end, like wars, farm subsidies, our oil addiction, the drug war, useless weapons programs - oh, and there's still 60,000 troops in Germany - and can't make anything good start, like health care reform, immigration reform, rebuilding infrastructure. Even when we address something, the plan can never start until years down the road. Congress's climate change bill mandates a 17% cut in greenhouse gas emissions... by 2020! Fellas, slow down, where's the fire? Oh yeah, it's where I live, engulfing the entire western part of the United States!
We might pass new mileage standards, but even if we do, they wouldn't start until 2016. In that year, our cars of the future will glide along at a breathtaking 35 miles-per-gallon. My goodness, is that even humanly possible? Cars that get 35 miles-per-gallon in just six years? Get your head out of the clouds, you socialist dreamer! "What do we want!? A small improvement! When do we want it!? 2016!"
When it's something for us personally, like a laxative, it has to start working now. My TV remote has a button on it now called "On Demand". You get your ass on my TV screen right now, Jon Cryer, and make me laugh. Now! But when it's something for the survival of the species as a whole, we phase that in slowly.
Folks, we don't need more efficient cars. We need something to replace cars. That's what's wrong with these piddly, too-little-too-late half-measures that pass for "reform" these days. They're not reform, they're just putting off actually solving anything to a later day, when we might by some miracle have, a) leaders with balls, and b) a general populace who can think again. Barack Obama has said, "If we were starting from scratch, then a single-payer system would probably make sense." So let's start from scratch.
Even if they pass the shitty Max Baucus health care bill, it doesn't kick in for 4 years, during which time 175,000 people will die because they're not covered, and about three million will go bankrupt from hospital bills. We have a pretty good idea of the Republican plan for the next three years: Don't let Obama do anything. What kills me is that that's the Democrats' plan, too. . . . .
Image by road_less_trvled via FlickrWashington Post headline writer appears to understand the new reality better than most:
Prolonging Home Buyer Tax Credit Will Prolong RecoveryWhat does it mean when something that is supposedly the "American Dream" and that is already subsidized up the wazoo has to grab even more subsidies from the public purse at a time when that purse is full of nothing but IOUs?
What America needs is to do less fixating on increasing "home ownership" and a lot more thinking about how to stop subsidizing sprawl and how to improve the quality and habitability of rental units, starting with giving renters rights to make and recover their investments in conservation and efficiency improvements. As a society we treat renters like shiftless drifters and then we bemoan renters who are "not like us" and who won't invest in their neighborhoods.