Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sudden Cases of Inexplicable Political Depression

During the last election cycle I wrote a lot about politics. I haven't so much this time. Mainly because I'm so depressed about it.

Time to share the wealth.

Paul Ryan (R-Wis) has proposed an alternative to Medicare that looks nearly identical to Obamacare. (See here.) Note: Ryancare is touted by Republicans to be completely workable. Yet Obamacare, which functions identically, is touted by those same Republicans to be completely unworkable and unconstitutional. Apparently, something magical happens when you pass sixty.

Now let's add into that a larger look at the Republican budget as a whole. From Ezra Klein:
The Republican plans we've seen share a few basic premises. First, taxes are too high, and must be cut. Second, defense spending is too low, and should be raised. Third, major changes to entitlement programs should be passed now, but they shouldn't affect the current generation of retirees. That would all be fine, except for the fourth premise, which is that short-term deficits are a serious threat to the country and they need to be swiftly cut.

The first three budget premises means that taxes and defense will contribute more to the deficit, and Medicare and Social Security aren't available for quick savings. That leaves programs for the poor as the only major programs available to bear cuts. But now cuts to those programs have to pay for the deficit reduction, the increased defense spending, and the tax cuts. That means the cuts to those programs have to be really, really, really deep. The authors have no other choice.
Given this the Republicans are in the ideological position of having to tax the poor (after all, cutting a subsidy according to Grover Norquist is increasing a tax) for their deficit reduction and spending increases.

Or take it out of Federal workers paychecks (See here.) which will likely increase the cost of government before it decreases it.

On top of that the whole slut shaming of Sandra Fluke (See here) to the sanctioned cold blooded murder of Trayvon Martin (See here and here) just adds to this whole malaise. From what I can tell from the Martin case he was killed purely because he was black. No surprise there.

What's even more appalling than that (unsurprising) fact is the nature of the law in Florida that may well allow Zimmerman to remain uncharged (from here, wikipedia here):
A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;
The "reasonably believes" as opposed to "reasonably" is interesting here. It means that what the person believes, provided he is within reason, is sufficient for the person to use deadly force. "Belief" and "reason" are both contextual references. Zimmerman believed that Martin was up to no good and followed him. Was it reasonable? According to the 911 transcripts (see here.) Zimmerman followed Martin, classed him with people he clearly thought were undesirable and didn't want him to get away. Was this "reasonable?" Only in a world where black men are scary just by being black. Martin's last conversation suggests he was scared of Zimmerman, of being stalked, possibly of being killed. (See here.)

So here we have a situation created by Zimmerman in which he caused a confrontation, killed a man and then gets off because he might have believed he was in danger. This reminds me of an old joke, a definition of chutzpah: a man who murders his parents and then claims mercy because he's an orphan.

After a while the circuit breaker snaps and I go back to reading comics.

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