Back in 1975 the great Paul Simon recorded the iconic, Grammy-winning album, "Still Crazy After All These Years." It included Simon's first and only solo #1 hit, "50 Way To Leave Your Lover." The history behind the single is quite interesting: it was written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper. The song is a mistress's humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship.
Mistress. Ending a relationship. Hmm. What if the mistress is Senator Rafael 'Ted' Cruz? Ending his relationship with the GOP and leaving it for a new lover, the Tea Party?
She said it's really not my habit
Furthermore, I hope my meaning
Won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover
So while I slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan, no need to be coy, Roy, just listen to Ted -- Below are some of the 50 ways that America's being impacted which The Huffington Post found in a survey of local newspapers. You can find the entire list here:
Border patrol training has been suspended in New Mexico. (LINK)
Businesses, can't get their government-backed Small Business Administration loans. (LINK)
Veterans, including 100 Missouri State University students, will not receive federal tuition assistance. (LINK)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities -- in states that include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin -- are closed to the public. (LINK)
A town in Montana dependent on seasonal tourism has become a "ghost town." (LINK)
Arizona stopped payments to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. (LINK)
A legal challenge to Texas' voter ID law has been delayed at the request of the Department of Justice. (LINK)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission court cases have been delayed in Maine. (LINK)
King crab fishing boats have to stay docked without government approval of permits and quotas, costing Alaska fisherman potentially "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (LINK)
Native American communities are seeing nutrition programs, foster care payments, financial assistance for the poor and anti-elder-abuse programs cut. (LINK)
Lockheed Martin announced it was furloughing 3,000 workers in Colorado. (LINK)
The absence of a farm bill has hit cotton farming in Georgia. (LINK)
Federal investigators can't inspect a fatal Metro accident in Washington, D.C. (LINK)
United Technologies Corp. says it may furlough more than 5,000 workers in Nevada. (LINK)
Children in Tennessee couldn't ride the bus to school. "Since the Great Smoky Mountains are closed, along with a number of roads overseen by rangers, a some parents had to find another way to get their children to class. During the government shutdown, Bus #49 could not make its route." (LINK)
A free health care clinic in Alabama can't take on new patients. "Our hands are tied because we can’t help those patients unless we get that," said Cullman’s Good Samaritan Clinic Executive Director Kelly Lindsey. "We also work with pharmaceutical companies to get people free medicine, but they won’t do that unless we have that paperwork. It’s impacting us quite a bit now." (LINK)
It's fun to watch a good heavyweight championship fight. There have been some memorable bouts which included Ali-Frazier, Holmes-Norton, Bowe-Hollyfield, Forman-Frazier II, Tyson-Spinks. There have been surprises and shockers along the way. Some quick knockdowns and disbelieving knockouts, even something called 'rope-a-dope to go with a 'phantom punch'.
As of last night, you can add to that list of pugilistic punishments two more names - Matthews and Perry. The event will be known as the Hawker at the Talker. The Mowdown at the Showdown. The Last Word Massacre. The Bird vs the Turd. The Yapper in the Crapper.
On MSNBC's HARDBALL last night, Chris 'Tweety bird' Matthews took on Keystone State's U.S. Representative Scott Perry. Both men had trained hard for this bout. The bell rang and with the lights bearing down on them, they sized each other up for a few rounds, then the blows started to land.
Slightly favored Perry, trained under the tutelage of the Ted Cruz and Micheal Lee, landed some early shots, stunning the ever avuncular, soft-punching annoyer-turned-destroyer, Matthews. Barbs and taunts were volleyed back and forth. Most blows landed softly or were counter-punched with bombastic overtalk. Not much was landing.
Then, as the fight wore on, so did the patience of hometown favorite, Tweety. He seemed momentarily stunned and slowed early on by the surprise pounding and rapid speed of his counter-punching challenger-- but then it happen. The unthinkable. The referee was called in to stop the fight. The Keystone Kid, Perry, had thrust a low-blow to his adversary. He had struck below the belt. He questioned Matthews integrity and challenged him where it hurts most -- in his family jewels -- his journalistic integrity.
Waving off the ref who wanted to stop the fight and give Matthews the TKO, Tweety took to a final assault. With just seconds left, Chrissy Boy summoned everything left in his tank, reared back, and threw a final roundhouse, landing squarely on the challenger's chin. Scott was knocked to the canvass, resulting in a ten-count K.O.
If you want to see the replay, this is one fight you'll remember and tell your kids. It's the night Tweety Bird beat the favored challenger, the Keystone Kid. Warning, this is a brutal and bloody battle. You might want to clear the kids from the room. It's not for the squeamish.
So as famed ring announcer Michael Buffer would yell, "Lets get ready to ruuuuuuuummmmble!!!"
Another guest post is by our pal and regular TPC contributor, David Garber:
Marco, Marco, Marco. You had trouble keeping hydrated when you were giving your response to the SOTU address. I actually felt a bit sorry for you. All those lights and cameras, a huge at home audience. Not only were you're words parsed and dry, but so was your mouth. I just figured it was nerves.
Then today's speech made me think differently. There's another reason. How about your constant putting your foot in your mouth. Some people step in poop. Other people spew it. You evidently savor the latter.
You say you want to help your fellow Hispanics, your Asian brothers, your immigrant sisters -- so you come out with an immigration plan that doesn't allow for a path to full citizenship. You prefer keeping undocumented people here, but under second class citizenship. Some heart you have. You're some compassionate soul. But maybe I'm too quick to judge. So I took a look at your voting record and here's what you voted:
Against: The 2013 budget, unfreezing the hiring of Federal employees, affordable medical care, timely payment of government bills, disaster relief, keeping student loan rates low, job protection and recession prevention and the bring jobs home act.
For: Limit eligibility for SNAP (supplemental nutrition), prohibiting the US from entering into a UN Arms Trade Treaty. A much shorter list.
You, like your Republican cohorts seem to be against much more than you are for. Why is that? Spineless? Void of thoughts and vision? Or just plain stupid?
Now you say you're for sane gun control, and then from the other side of your mouth comes this today:
"We should look for ways to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill prone to misusing them, but I oppose legislation that will be used as a vehicle to impose new Second Amendment restrictions on responsible, law-abiding gun owners."
Dummy, isn't that what background checks are supposed to do? There's no restrictions offered up on responsible, law-abiding gun owners? How deep are you into the NRA's back pocket?
Can't you hear this is what nearly 90% of the country wants? Evidently you're not listening.
So not only are you deaf, dumb and stupid, but you reek of what you have been stepping in -- public sanitation waste. And you want to be president? You certainly are showing your colors -- and they're not red, white and blue. They're diaper waste brown.
For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”
Here is a New York Times email alert about the budget:
After an all-night debate that ended close to 5 a.m., the Senate on Saturday adopted its first budget in four years, a $3.7 trillion blueprint for 2014 [...]
The 50-49 vote sets up contentious — and potentially fruitless — negotiations with the Republican-dominated House to reconcile two different visions for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Max Baucus of Montana, also opposed it. All four are Red State Democrats up for re-election in 2014.
Well now, there are four Democrats we sure don't need. Replacing ConservaDems with more progressive representatives won't be easy, but we can't stop trying. This means doing everything we can to get good candidates elected at every level, starting locally, with school boards and city councils, and continue grassroots efforts to build from the bottom up.
So yes, four "Dems" joined every Senate Republican in voting against this budget. Bummer.
But I have yet to hear a word mentioned about another bummer, this very disturbing part of the bill. Via the L.A. Times:
And the proposed Keystone oil pipeline, between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, drew broad bipartisan support.
To all those inexplicably shortsighted members of Congress and the Obama administration, here's the problem: There has been a huge jump in atmospheric CO2 due to fossil fuels. So how’s that Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline coming along?
Yet the State Dep’t. draft report looks promising for backers of Keystone XL even though it would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America.
It would also create very few long term jobs, gas prices would increase, dependence on foreign oil would not lessen, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if this crackpot project gets the go ahead.
Yet it is getting "broad bipartisan support." From bipartisan recipients of Big Oil money.
The good news:
Women benefited from the exercise, as Republicans showed no interest in fighting Democratic proposals to ensure equal pay and reproductive care. Both issues were approved.
And of course, the Senate had this incentive:
One outcome was guaranteed: paychecks for the senators.
Failure to approve budgets this year would have suspended pay for the lawmakers under a provision slipped into a law earlier this year by House Republicans to goad Democratic senators into presenting their own budget proposal — and saving their $174,000 a year salaries.
Congress is now enjoying a two-week Easter recess.
Back in December, Public Policy Polling had some pretty pathetic survey results to report:
49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.
ACORN was founded in 1970 as a grassroots organization to advocate for low-income families. By 2009, the group had 500,000 members and had expanded into a national network of federally funded organization that helped to develop affordable housing, offered foreclosure counseling, and conducted voter registration drives.
Additionally, ACORN was proved innocent of any illegality in the notorious James O'Keefe “pimp” affair, a federal judge declared defunding ACORN unconstitutional, and the Congressional Research Service found no evidence of voter fraud.
As The Brad Blog posted in May 2012:
[Y]ou’ve heard plenty about a handful of ACORN workers — no actual ACORN officials, mind you, and they were never hired by the Democratic Party, and never led to a fraudulent vote — turning in fraudulent registration forms in past years.
But nobody who ever worked for the non-profit ACORN has ever been accused of what these Republican firms continue to do on behalf of the Republican officials who hire them, paying them per Republican registration, year after year, as is once again apparent in the allegations surfacing today against Momentum Political Services…
But it's okay if you're a Republican (IOKIYAR). Facts don't matter to them. They create their own reality-- it's so much easier!-- as is documented in this quote by an “unnamed Bush aide” (later identified as the now-very tarnished Karl Rove):
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”
Which brings me to this very surreal HuffPo report:
A new short-term budget bill introduced on Monday by House Republicans includes a bizarre provision banning federal funding to anti-poverty group ACORN, despite the fact that the group has already been stripped of federal funding -- and has been defunct for nearly three years.
ACORN leaders announced that the group was disbanding in March 2010, after Congress cut off all federal funding to the organization. The provision in the current GOP budget bill [PDF], buried on page 221 of 269, would duplicate legislation that has already passed, to target an organization that does not exist.
Oh that's right. IOKIYAR.
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