Friday, March 18, 2016

Random Barking: Reposting Friday

The World Is A Box Full 'O Bad Crazy Weekend
  • ...looking for A Way Out.  It's Friday in Berlin, and someone remembers that without people who follow, the Leader is just another guy with a funny moustache -- or a weasel who lives on his head; or a thin woman with short, dark hair; or a chubby one with blonde hair.
Because of the perceivable growth of Germany's Afd of late, particularly as measured in last Sunday's elections in three German states — which had been dreaded but expected — much of the discussion I see & hear is similar to what's being written & said about the Republican Primary in the US — and particularly, in the case of the former, the voters' influence.

Most talk has had to do with how to stop the rise of fascism, and ... includes by default of context how to go about changing the minds of the people in a movement. The corresponding discussion in the US seems largely focussed on Donald Trump himself. It expands beyond that only in how it objectifies his followers with something akin to a couplet of consequence: "Look what he's letting them do!"  "Look what he's making them do!"

What these discussions do not do is soberly acknowledge that all of these growing gatherers will exist tomorrow, no matter what happens to Donald Trump or the AfD. 
  • Meanwhile, in downtown Beltway, people who know the Village must be destroyed in order to save it (yes; I understand the pun and irony in using that old bromide, here) are lining up for a confrontation with... themselves.
The seminal event in the crackup of the Republican Party is not the rise of Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, contrary to popular opinion. It was the overthrow of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. That showed the power of the forty-odd members of the House Freedom Caucus, and their incompatibility with the GOP establishment and the compromises required by divided government (or for that matter, math).

The change in leadership at the top has not bridged this divide. Despite months of happy talk, the Freedom Caucus rejected Paul Ryan’s budget resolution, likely leaving the Republicans with ... the continuing irreconcilable differences between conservative factions. Trump will not be able to fix this either; only a purge of one side of the party or the other would.

The Freedom Caucus essentially wants to control government from a base of 40 members of the House, with only a few allies in the Senate and no president willing to agree to their demands. They want to defund Planned Parenthood, balance the budget through massive spending cuts, dismantle government healthcare programs, and overturn every executive order of the past eight years, regardless of not having the two-thirds support in Congress that would be required currently to override Obama vetoes and make that happen.

Conservatives had to beg Ryan to take the Speaker’s job. His prescient leeriness stemmed from seeing Boehner put in the impossible spot of rounding up votes for routine government functions. And absolutely nothing changed when he received the gavel.
  • As an older Dog, I have nearly a 1-in-4 chance of living in poverty within the next 15 years (it would be much less if there was a Mrs. Mongo, but). In the near term, I have a 16.5%  (close to one in five) chance of ending up in the same situation within the next five years. Want to know what your chances are?  Go here and spin the big prize wheel, Me Droogies.
  • What happened to John Titor? Bet you don't even know who that is, Pilgrim.
  • If you were the Annie Liebovitz of North Korea, you could be in constant jeopardy: See the wonderful photoshoots of Kim Jong Fatboy, XBox Terror of the Korean Peninsula.
  • A wonderful map showing the distribution of the only humans who matter High Net Worth persons around the globe, along with a guarantee you will not be among them (if you are, Please Burn In Hell). You will find this fun and informative.
  • Hot, bad, and anything you want, (as it is said) for those who do. Try your might and main against the really smart kidz in the room, and win the coveted Tub Of Slaw.
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