Sunday, October 06, 2013

The difference between soil and dirt, explained for House Republicans

The thirty-two Republican Congress critters who have joined the kamikaze mission of Tail Gunner Ted Cruz in taking down the United States government include the following Texans:

John Carter, John Culberson, Louie Gohmert, Randy Neugebauer, Steve Stockman, and Randy Weber.

Their names come from the list James Fallows references.

Two more quick instances of the wanton damage that 30-odd legislators (named here) are doing to Americans at two levels: those running small businesses, and those working in the large research institutions on which so much of our long-term wealth and well-being depend.

And from there, Scott Slesinger of the National Resources Defense Council has this account from a virologist at an East Coast university.

Just don't get the flu next year and you will be OK. I happen to be vetted for a Federal committee that decides on which influenza antigens to use in next year's vaccine.  It doesn't take much imagination to figure out how fast this is going during The Shutdown.

[This researcher's lab is internationally recognized for having discovered two different viral causes of cancer, and yet] our research funding has been cut, a moving target, but somewhere between 10 and 25%.

I just received an email from one of my more talented post-docs who took a job at FDA as a scientist several years ago.  They couldn't hire him on as permanent science staff because of temporary hiring blocks, "The Sequester", and so forth.

Since they are no longer giving him a paycheck, he says to hell with it and he is looking for a job in private biotechnology.

The problem with Congressional Republicans is that they do not know the difference between soil and dirt.  If you put soil in your oven and bake it at 450 C for an hour, it turns into dirt.  It doesn't matter how much manure you throw on dirt, it won't become soil again.   It's dirt with shit on it.

Fallows, back with the moneyshot and the action item.

Like Robert Costa of National Review, whose reporting on the Republican hard-line faction has clarified why they are willing to wreak so much damage on so many fellow citizens, McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed has been very well sourced among Republicans. Read his account "Where Ted Cruz Is Coming From" for an understanding of how irrelevant any normal concept of "compromise," "leverage," or "public opinion" is with the hard-line faction. And also how contemptible John Boehner* is for protecting his own job, by catering to these people, at the costs of hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country. Coppins writes:

From its genesis in 2009, the Tea Party movement has been fueled by the rhetoric of revolution.... While Nevada Senate candidate Sharon Angle outraged mainstream political observers when she suggested people may start looking for “Second Amendment remedies” to the country’s problems, one recent survey showed that nearly half of Republicans believe armed insurrection might be necessary “in the next few years.”

Data points like those have long been Democrats’ bread and butter as they work to cast the Tea Party as “extreme.” But they also show just how extreme conservatives consider America’s current peril to be. To believe an armed revolution could realistically be on the horizon is to live with the genuine suspicion that your government could, at any point, be overtaken by tyranny. In that context, some temporary furloughs seem like a small price to pay....

[M]any Tea Party lawmakers view Obamacare as such a catastrophic threat to the country’s healthcare system and long-term economic health that it’s worth the high-stakes legislative brinksmanship to try to slow it down.

At least, that’s what they hear when they return to their districts.

* Why do I single out the affable-seeming Boehner for contempt? He obviously is not a Tea Party hardliner himself. And it is within his power to end this damage in a minute, simply by allowing the House to vote on a "clean" budget measure (which would pass). That would probably cost him his job as Speaker — but his failure to do so is costing many other people their jobs, not to mention longer-term effects.

Here's the list of Republicans in Congress who are willing to vote right now in favor of a clean CR.  (Note that no Texans appear on that list.)

This has gone beyond ludicrous and straight to Insane.

If the only constituents the Congressional conservative sociopaths are hearing from are themselves exclusively motivated by revolution at this point, then that is quite obviously at the crux of our national problem.  So you know all those e-mail appeals you're getting about telling Boehner to take a vote?  The ones that say 'Call your Congressman'?   Maybe it's time to do those things.  Again.  And tomorrow also.  Maybe the day after that, if this shutdown continues.

Besides the real physical danger Americans are facing, the economic ramifications are also swelling.  Republicans are supposed to be the party of business, and even the 1% are figuring out they're getting screwed... along with all the rest of us.

There needs to be a cost to the terrorists responsible (once more, their names are at the top of this post) for the damage being done -- indeed, the lives that will be lost -- due to their wanton irresponsibility.  That cost needs to be extracted now, and again in 2014.

We cannot continue to let the Dale Hulses of Harris County and Texas elect the kooks who run this great state and nation.

Updates (this morning):

Boehner says "not enough votes" for clean CR

GOP in grave danger of losing House in 2014, polls say

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