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Friday, March 17, 2017

Yardstick.

Yeah, it's up there. How can I tell? I just look out the window, dude. I look out and I see exactly nothing. That's how you know it's Snowmageddon. Simple, right? Trouble is ... I'm on the third floor.

Yeah, the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill (our squat house) was buried in snow this past Tuesday night, and Mitch is responsible. I know it seems like I blame everything on our mad science advisor, but that's only because he's behind everything that happens, at least in some measure. Like that full moon we had last week. Did you see it? It was kind of ghostly, like the clouds had wrapped around it, but you could still see the full disc. Mitch's part in that? Not certain, but my guess is that he was working the cloud machine that night. (He should really be advising a 1970s arena rock band, but I digress.)

The sad thing is that his cloud invention could be a boon to mankind and animal kind alike ... if he would only use it for good instead of evil. That's a bit unfair, actually - Mitch is amoral, not immoral. Madness has no reason, but it can have a goal ... and this week, I suspect the goal may have been snow and more snow. And as I believe I mentioned earlier, he has a cloud machine. Not good.

Hey ... I think it might have snowed.There is one other piece of incriminating evidence. The big nor'easter was named Stella, and that was the name of Mitch's old girlfriend from back in the day. He doesn't talk about her much, but Marvin (my personal robot assistant) has dished a bit of back story on Mitch's wild years. Now I know that doesn't sound like Marvin, but you would be surprised what's stored in those creaky, tape-medium databases he holds inside that brass hide of his. (Before you ask, no, there are no audio recordings - just metadata of phone calls, that sort of thing.) Folks: never date a mad scientist. Seriously.

So, let me be the first to apologize about the storm. I'll probably also be the last to apologize, since Mitch never apologizes for any of the catastrophes he causes. Crazy as fuck means not having to say you're sorry.

Point made.

I think Sam Seder on the Majority Report said it best this week: the core of what the Republicans are doing is not policy, it's ideology. It's obvious every time they open their mouths. The policies they are advancing can only be seen as efforts to implement their extremist ideas, regardless of how negatively they affect large swaths of the population. They try to hide behind bogus concern for the well-being and "freedom" of ordinary people and "businesses", but that's a thin disguise. Listen to them talk for more than thirty seconds and the real agenda comes through, loud and clear.

Chief assistant rat bag.Take Speaker Ryan (please). He seems dedicated to souring people on the very idea of insurance. Ryan repeats the claim that 1% of the insured incur 23% of the costs of coverage. Even if his numbers are correct, isn't that what insurance is supposed to do? The system is based on the notion that everyone doesn't typically get sick at the same time - everybody pays into the system, and much of those funds are diverted to those who need health care at any given time. Important safety tip: That can be ANYBODY. You may feel great on Wednesday and get a dire diagnosis on Thursday, or get hit by an effing truck. Reality has a way of turning "makers" into "takers", in Ryan's parlance.

Another thing our Ayn Rand-admiring Speaker spouts with some frequency is this notion of "rights" without intervention from the state. He claims breezily that we may all have a right to health care, but that doesn't mean the government should guarantee that right. So ... what is this "right" - the right to buy something? By the same token, we all have the right to buy a Mercedes or take a trip to the south of France. Ryan makes it sound as though the government is violating your rights and infringing upon your freedom by, say, providing Medicare when you're elderly. They MAKE you pay for it, right? That's force!

I just heard a right-leaning Texas health policy activist on NPR decrying Medicaid expansion because people will be "dragged into it", as if providing a free health coverage option for people on limited incomes is an attack on their liberty. Trump's budget director Mulvaney is justifying their proposed cuts to meals on wheels and after-school nutrition programs by claiming that they are "not showing any results." On the school nutrition programs, “there’s no evidence they’re helping kids do better in school,” says Mulvaney. Again, from an ideological perspective, this makes perfect sense. Whereas for most sentient human beings it would be enough that we are contributing to the nutrition of the young, the old, the most vulnerable, to these jackals, there has to be some positive, quantifiable value they can take to the bank. Disgusting.

Trump is not the only problem we have, folks. It's this whole GOP mindset, subscribed to by some Democrats as well, but squarely within the Republican wheelhouse. That's the real fight.

luv u,

jp