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The Sure Thing.
Red Red Gingerbread (Karen Noel Hearn's Food Blog
What John Mackey sees as fascism, I see as, finally, a health care law which lets millions of people get health care who would have been turned down before the Affordable Care Act.
Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism And 'Conscious Capitalism'
There's a growing, no, make that a festering train of thought chugging down the rails in this cynic's mind. It's called distraction and Reconstruction. It has to do with this funding battle raging in Washington. Is this all really a distraction -- something to erase our recent memories of the Republican party's attacks on our domestic rights? Things like immigration, the EPA, voter's rights, women's rights, fracking, big Wall Street regulations, Food Stamps, and subsidies to GOP's favorite charity, oil.
Referring to a recent article on The Hill:
Six months after the Republican National Committee (RNC) issued a post-election blueprint for rebooting the party and reaching new voters, top Republicans are worried their party is failing to meet its goals.
Party strategists and a number of Republican lawmakers are concerned about fallout from the GOP’s handling of the government shutdown, public infighting between lawmakers, attempts to reach out to female and minority voters and an overall lack of a positive vision for the country.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned that the GOP was “taking our eye off the ball” by failing to focus on boosting appeal with Hispanics, young voters and women — groups that voted strongly Democratic in 2012.
When your post-national election report card says you're failing in so many areas, how do you start things over, level the playing field and even force an advantage? You start a war. A form of distraction which unites the people and if you win, you gain more control. If you lose, people are so busy talking about the fight and battle that they forget all of the other issues that were derisive before the war. And then you can start Reconstruction.
But starting a war is risky. A recent Talking Points Meme by Tom Kludt put it rather illustratively:
A Republican congressman drew parallels between the government shutdown and one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, saying Thursday that the GOP has "found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn't intend to be on."
"I would liken this a little bit to Gettysburg, where a Confederate unit went looking for shoes and stumbled into Union cavalry, and all of a sudden found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn't intend to be on, and everybody just kept feeding troops into it," the congressman said. "That's basically what's happening now in a political sense. This isn't exactly the fight I think Republicans wanted to have, certainly that the leadership wanted to have, but it's the fight that's here."
In this parallel, change shoes to Obamacare and the battle to the government shutdown. All that's left is the surrender at Appomattox which will be the debt ceiling. Then General Robert E. Cruz will be lost to the ages along with his deputy, Colonel Beauregard Boehner and Reconstruction under Abraham Obama will begin.
At least that's the projection as the story is going along so far. Not exactly Tom Clancy or Bruce Catton, but it's pretty close.
It's an interesting ruse these Republicans are running. And we're seeing signs of it already. Who's talking about civil rights? Who's talking about women's issues. Who's talking about gun control or voter rights? Who's talking about clean air and water? Who's talking about immigration? Or fracking, for "fracking" sake?
This war is about distraction from those issues and consolidation into one battle -- one the Tea Party wing of the GOP has produced.
Fortunately, it didn't work for the Confederate South at Gettysburg. What we have to hope is now is that, 150 or so years later, the South doesn't rise again -- God help all of us all if it does.
But Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) tweeted Friday there was "no negative impact trickling down from the government shutdown."
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) echoed that sentiment, telling National Review that he did not "think that many of my constituents even know that there is a shutdown — or even care."
Well, that's saying a lot about your constituency. Don't they have newspapers, radio or television down in the Gulf coast area? Or is it you, Rep. Fleming, who's unaware of the shutdown? You voted for it and continue to do so. You voted to shut down FEMA which annually makes loans available to your storm-ravaged area. You don't you think your people are paying attention? Ask the Katrina survivors? You might just be surprised when you run for re-election in 2014. Be worried if they come up to you and say you're doing a heck of a job, Brownie.
Perhaps the reason these two Louisiana elected officials aren't worrying about the safety of their folks back home facing a possible Hurricane Karen is because of responsible, Democratic action, not their Republican party's. The disaster-relief safety net (FEMA), despite all of GOP game playing with governmental funding has been covered, along with Louisiana's collective derrieres.
The White House announced Friday it had recalled and deployed federal liaisons to emergency operation centers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. It also recalled staff from furlough to a supply distribution center in Atlanta and activated its national response coordination center in Washington.
Of course, Mr. Vitter and Mr. Fleming, there's no problem. The Obama White House, not your Republicans fixed it. Somehow that got lost in the messages sent out by you two. I'm sure you'll be correcting that... soon. But no rush. According to Congressman Fleming's words, the folks back home don't even know what's going on, or care.
Rafael 'Ted' Cruz spent much, if not most of his summer on a "Defund Obamacare Bus Tour." It's lead spokesperson, the 'drawing card' or Pied Piper for this publicity stunt was the junior senator from Texas. His stump speech at ever stop included this message, reported by WCSH6-TV:
"And there is no more important piece of regulatory reform that we can do than to repeal every single word of Obamacare," said Senator Ted Cruz, (R) Texas.
Senator Cruz and the Heritage Foundation are hoping to whip up enough support to gut President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Now, taking an issue to the people is solid, time-tested strategy. It's peaceful, informative and instrumental in getting a message across. Nothing like pressing flesh and getting out there during a break from Washington -- especially if this timing coincides with your anticipated announcement that you plan to run for the presidency.
The general intentions of a bus tour like this include whipping up such a frenzied group of concerned backers, that movement on an issue in Congress will be the result. And Cruz's efforts have been used for just such motivation.
Cruz Wednesday became the Pied Piper of Washington town leading the House Rats on a march to their death in the Potomac River. The Canadian/American senator, along with Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, led wobbly-legged Speaker John Boehner to begin the political equivalent of the Bataan Death March.
What makes it most interesting is that the House, which doesn't include Cruz, Rubio or Lee, is taking their orders from this trio. Three men who will be part of the messy defeat of this action when it reached the senate.
This all reminds me of the bully kids who egg you on to throw rocks and break a storefront window with, "It'll be fun. You want to be part of our gang, prove it!"
Then as soon as you commit the challenge, they call the cops and turn you in, laughing all the time you're being arrested. They're instigators.
Well now some of the saner (a rarity in the GOP party) members of the house are railing against Pied Piper Rafael C. They realize they've been sold down the river, or more appropriately, been pushed into it.
Here's a little taste of the vitriol coming from the house members who've just realized what's been done to them.
"House agrees to send #CR to Senate that defunds Obamacare. @SenTedCruz & @SenMikeLee refuse to fight. Wave white flag and surrender," tweeted Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.).
"So far Sen Rs are good at getting Facebook likes, and townhalls, not much else. Do something...," tweeted Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.).
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) also took to Twitter to vent. "House Republicans are turning words into action to defund #Obamacare. Ball will be in the Senate’s court," he wrote.
Another aide said Cruz's comment "exposes how [Senate conservatives] have deliberately misled their constituents and the grassroots for eight weeks. This isn't leadership, it's hypocrisy."
"We haven't even taken up the bill and Ted Cruz is admitting defeat?" fumed one senior GOP aide. "Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fundraise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He's a joke, plain and simple."
It's still too early to gloat, but the writing does seem to be on the wall. The house has been used by Cruz, Lee and Rubio, but the man blowing the flute seems to be Cruz. He's drowning his own people in hopes that if he's the only one left standing come 2016, he's got a shot at the White House.
That's some long-term, roundabout way to lead.
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