Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Politix Update: May Your Thanksgiving Be Wonderful. Yes, Even You Republicans.

When I was a kid in Indiana, we thought it would be fun to get a turkey a year
 ahead of time and feed it and so on for the following Thanksgiving.  But by the
time Thanksgiving came around, we sort of thought of the turkey as a pet,
so we ate the dog.  Only kidding.  It was the cat! 
These are the folks joining us again this Thanksgiving for our annual stuffed turkey, cranberry and brussels sprouts extravaganza.  Before dinner, we all crowd into the living room and listen to Alice's Restaurant for the umpteenth time.  Then there's dinner, touch football in the back yard before pumpkin pie and ice cream for dessert, and brandy for the grown-ups while the kids arm wrestle on the floorThen we all watch Home Alone for the ump-umpteenth time before passing the Zantac and going our separate ways. 
Despite all the turmoil in the world and sometimes in our own lives, we all have oodles to be thankful for, as our grandson Toby puts it, again this year.  I'd like to introduce each of us and explain why. 
That's Toby on the left.  He had an anxiety disorder that went untreated, and he fell behind in school.  Then President Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides quality health care to kids like him.  Today Toby is a straight-A student. (Well, maybe not in gym class.)  Republicans opposed renewing CHIP, even for children who were uninsured. 
Next to Toby is Courtney, or Curtsy as her brother Toby calls herShe went to work as a quality control technician at a pharmaceutical plant straight out of high school and eventually found out that she wasn't making as much as the men in her lab.  She didn't mind the flirting, but getting paid less for doing the same work seemed unfair.   Under the Obama-supported Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, she's now making the same.  Republicans opposed the act and sued to try to block it. 
Next to Adrian is Matt and next to him is Armand.  Matt and Armand are Iraq war veterans who happen to be gay.  They have been living together for years and are very much in love, but weren't permitted to get married because of a state law until Obama's lawyers argued forcefully before the Supreme Court that their union is constitutionally protected like Mom's and mine.  Republicans adamantly oppose same-sex marriage and predict a social apocalypse
Next to Matt and Armand is Kelly.  He struggles with a form of paralysis linked to contaminants from a Reagan era Superfund site where he played as a child.  Then Obama signed the Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis and backed stem-cell research into the causes of paralysis. Republicans didn't want to fund the act and oppose anything to do with stem cells. 
That's Mom and I at the head of the table.  I'll get back to us in just a sec
Next to us is Adnan.  He was an orphaned refugee from the civil war in Syria when Barbara and Frank adopted him last year.  They were unable to find child care while they worked.  Under an Obama administration program, money was provided for  child care and his English teacher's job was saved through the president's Recovery Act.  Republicans opposed the program and Recovery Act, and oppose even orphaned war refugees being granted asylum.
Next to Bart is Beverly, or The Bevster as her brother Toby calls her.  She's asthmatic but couldn't afford health insurance when she decided to work for a veterinarian for a year before attending community college to become a vet tech, but because of Obamacare she can stay on her mom's policy until she's out on her own.  Republicans oppose all forms of health-care reform. 
Next to Beverly is her and her siblings' mom, Barbara. Obama's stimulus bill saved her job at the auto assembly plant and she is celebrating a big pay raise because of record sales and profits. (You may have noticed that she's wearing a new wig, which is the subject of some dinner-table tittering).  Most Republicans opposed bailing out automakers.
And finally there's Barbara's husband, Frank.  He likes to joke that he's the Frank in Dodd-Frank, the financial reform legislation supported by Obama, and there's actually some truth to that.  The agency created as part of Dodd-Frank to protect Americans against predatory lending saved their house from being taken when they couldn't keep up with usurious mortgage payments.  Republicans oppose Wall Street regulation and support removing what little there is. 
As for Mom and I, we too thank the president, and have done so every year when we say Grace
We know Mr. Obama hasn't been perfect, but we sure feel like middle class folks like us finally have a chance again.  Also, we were able to install solar panels on the roof of our house because of his administration's generous tax incentives, and we're selling our surplus electricity to the local utility.  We also were able to get rid of our old car through his Cash for Clunkers program and buy an energy-efficient model.  Republicans are intent on making things tougher for the middle class, oppose "green" power, and voted against Cash for Clunkers. 
The only person missing is our next-door neighbor Leo, who usually sits at the opposite end of the table from Mom and I
Leo is a widower, poor guy, and lost his wife to cancer in 2008.  It had gone untreated because their darned insurance company refused write a policy when they found out she was ill.  Leo would never blame the Republicans for that, although his wife once told Mom they were to blame.  Anyhow, Leo said he wouldn't be joining us for dinner after that darned Toby asked him if he was a racist at the Labor Day picnic because he flew a Confederate battle flag and had a Trump for President sticker on the rifle rack in the back window of his pickup truck.
You can't choose your family, of course, but we've been blessed, and hope your Thanksgiving be as wonderful as ours.  Uncle Frank likes to say that we "mustn't view everything through an ideological prison," so yes, our blessings even go out to the Republicans who are against everything.

Politix Update is an irregular compendium written by veteran journalist Shaun Mullen, for whom the 2016 presidential campaign is his (gasp!) 12th since 1968.  Click HERE  for an index of previous Politix Updates.


From Soup To Nuts: An Index To 'Politix Update' Posts

(November 244) In Which Candidates Pander To The Instincts Of The Lynch Mob.  LINK. 
(November 23) Is It Time To Get Hysterical Over Donald Trump?  Yes, It Probably Is.  LINK.
(November 20) Crisis Sure Has A Way Of Bringing Out The Worst In Republicans.  LINK.

(November 18) Syrian Child Refugee Crisis Is A Shameful Moment In Our History.  LINK.

(November 16) Sanders' Revolution Is Unrealistic, But You Gotta Love The Guy.  LINK.

(November 13) David Vitters' Very Serious Hypocrisy Very Seriously Catches Up To Him.  LINK.

(November 11) Liberal Media Bias & The Truth According To The Good DoctorLINK

(November 8) The Republican Party Is Eating Itself Alive.  Blame Sarah Palin.  LINK. 

(November 6) Poppy Bush Tells It Like It Is, But Too Many Years To Late.  LINK.

(November 4) What Is The Real Osama Bin Laden Story?  The Battle Rages On.  LINK. 

(November 2) GOP Tries To Shoot The Messenger But Hits Itself In Debate Flap. LINK.

(October 30) Why Republicans Never Learn From Their Misteaks . . . Er, Mistakes.  LINK.

(October 28) Why The Nazi-Hugging Ben Carson Is So Dangerously Malevolent.  LINK.

(October 25) A New Movie That The Brothers Bush Won't Be Rushing To See.  LINK.

(October 23) Hillary Survives Trey & Outlasts Joe.  Who's Gonna Stop Her Now?  LINK.

(October 21) No Way Jeb Was Going To Let Dubya Define Him.  Until He Did.  LINK.

(October 18) Campaigning Against Evils Of Capitalism Leaves GOP Vulnerable. LINK.

(October 16) Experience Becomes A Four-Letter Word in The GOP Vocabulary.  LINK.

(October 14) Is The Presidential Race Over Bar The Shouting?  Probably.  LINK.

(October 13) Treasonous Repubs Find Despicable New Ways To Define Chaos.  LINK.

(October 9) Democracy, Truth & Lives All Devalued In Banghazi Probe Fallout. LINK.

(October 7) Bush v. Gore & The Tarnished Legacy Of Sandra Day O'Connor.  LINK.

(October 5) When It Comes To Race, It's All About Power & Condescension.  LINK.

 (October 1) Why A Delusional GOP House Thinks It's Reached Political Nirvana.  LINK.

(September 29) Before You Know It, Fiorina's Pants Will Be Burning.  Guaranteed.  LINK.

(September 25) Let's Try To Appreciate Bernie Sanders While He Lasts.  LINK.

(September 23) The Death Of Cowboy Conservatism & Other Campaign Morsels LINK.

(September 21) They're Nutty, Delusional,  Scary & All Destined To Be Losers. LINK.

(September 18) How Donald Trump Preys On People Struggling To Get Ahead.  LINK.

(September 16) Ben Carson Dishes Out The Nutty From Behind His Invisible Shield.  LINK.

(September 13) Why Hillary Clinton's Fall From Grace Presages Her Comeback.  LINK. 

(September 10) A Tale Of Mythos, Pathos & Dysfunctional Hero Worship.  LINK.

(September 8) When Things Fell Seriously Apart & The Center Didn't Hold.  LINK.

(September 2) Why Republicans Have Become Incapable Of Governing.  LINK.

(August  30) The virulent Cancer That's Eating Away At The Body Politic.  LINK.

(Aug 27) Everybody Knows That Emperor Christie Has No Clothes. LINK.

(August 23) Scott Walker Is Against Big Government.  Unless He's For It.  LINK.
(August 21) Donald The Trump Puts Last Nail In Republican Coffin.  LINK

(August 19) I Adore You, Joe Biden, But Please Don't Run For President.  LINK.

(August 16) For Jeb!, Money Can't Buy Him Love -- Or The Presidency. LINK.
(August 12) Secret Of The Political-Media Industrial Complex Revealed.  LINK
(August 10) Foes Try To Get A Grip On Donald Trump's Greased Pole.  LINK.

(August 6) Empty Rhetoric About An American Middle Class In Crisis. LINK.

(August 2) Cruz Has GOP Hooker's Clients, What Abut Other Voters?  LINK.

(July 31) Does The New York Times Have It In For Hillary Clinton?  LINK.

(July 29) The Republican War On Woman Grinds On & On. Why?  LINK.

(July 27) Repubs Better Watch You For That Guy In A Funny Hat.  LINK.

(July 22) The Republicans Flail, Trump Sails & Jeb! Gets Caught Out.  LINK.

(July 19) What Happens When You Use Bigotry & Hate As Weapons.  LINK.

(July 16) The Bernie Sanders Effect & Return Of Opus The Penguin.  LINK.

(July 14) Please Don't Throw Us In The Briar Patch. Mr. TrumpLINK.

(July 10) Why Bernie Sanders, Like Gene McCarthy in 1968, Will Fail.  LINK.

(July 8) Why The Republican Clown Car Isn't At All Funny.  LINK.

(July 6) Why Hillary Clinton's Emails Are Much Ado About Little. LINK.

(July 1)  The Republican Party's Very Bad Case Of Future Shock.  LINK

(June 29) Fuggedabout The Here and Now, It's All About The Legacy. LINK.

(June 25)  They're Making News Without Even (Officially) Running. LINK.

(June 21) Bow Down To The Republican Doctrine Of Perpetual War. LINK.

(June 17) Why The GOP Is Screwed No Matter How The Supremes Rule.  LINK.

(June 11) The Nightmarish Scenario Of A Case of Clinton Fatigue. LINK.
(June 8) Hillary Asks, 'What Part of Democracy Are They Afraid Of?' LINK.
(June 5) We've Come A Long Way Since 9/11, Or Have We? LINK.
(June 2) Objects In Your Mirror Are Not As Close As They Appear. LINK.
(May 18) Jeb Bush Pisses On A Third Rail Of American Politics. LINK.
(May 6) GOP Field Insures That Hillary Will Keep The Inside Track. LINK.
(March 31) GOP Has Uphill Fight Not Just Because Of Idiots Like Cruz. LINK.