Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Groceries v. Debt

While I was spring cleaning (and prepping for a landlord visit with a plumber) over the weekend, I set my Roku to the Newscaster channel and watched hour after hour of traditional Sunday political shows. It was nice to see David Gregory (who’s no effing Tim Russert, more’s the pity) actually push both sides and not just pander to the right (which he’s always seemed to me to do). I also stumbled into the delightful Candy Crowley, whose “State of the Union” hour easily became my new fave Sunday show when I watched her quiz Trump on the birther thing (and WOW is he off the effing grid on that!), plus she grilled Tony Blair about Israel & Palestine, and I like that a bunch.

I haven’t been a regular Sunday show watcher since Tim Russert passed, broadcast TV went digital, and I switched to Roku. Of course, not long after, I started pulling back from politics to focus on my own personal shit, and I’m only just now really starting to get back into the thick of it. Frankly, I can’t think of a better time to dive back into politics. I don’t know that there’s been a moment in my lifetime where the stakes were so clear and the battle lines so starkly drawn. Watching a concerted effort by Republicans of all stripes (not just the far-right fringey tea party folks!) to undermine women’s healthcare, social programs (and I swear, if I hear one more jackhole call them “entitlements” my head may ‘splode), unions, and all the other protections that make this the land of opportunity? It sickens me, and it makes me want to scream from the top of a building about the injustice and the bullshit.

People need to know this stuff, and so many who're directly affected by these policy decisions don’t. I understand why that is...it’s so hard to stay engaged when it’s so thankless, when the news is rarely actually good (sometimes it’s not horrifying, but that’s not much of a standard), when the leader of the fucking free world is AWOL while the core values of his party (and the essence of what we stand for as a country) are attacked and eroded.

It’s been awhile since I yelled at my TV because some ass said something totally fucking ridiculous. Like, say, anything that came out of Paul Ryan’s mouth. Anything at all. Or, when the goddamn president lauds a shitty budget deal where more and more people are more and more screwed - unless they happen to be rich and totally fucking okay anyway.

What frustrated me beyond belief, though, was the constant talk about “debt reduction” and the fucking budget deficit, as if those are the most important things on our national agenda right now. I didn't see a single economist, pundit, or wonk pointing out how debt reduction isn’t something you do when you’ve got sky high unemployment and an economy that – despite the recovery being felt by Big Business and the upper one percent – is still trying to dig down to whatever’s underneath rock bottom. Debt reduction is something you do when you have basic needs met, when you have a working infrastructure and average salaries that are keeping pace with the cost of living, when the middle class is growing and not shrinking.

To break it down in really simple terms, it’s pretty fucking stupid to pay down your credit cards instead of buying groceries or medicine. And by short-changing recovery efforts in the form of unemployment extensions and Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and tax increases for the people who aren’t drowning, that’s exactly what our government is doing. I mean, yes, ideally we would be able to fund a social safety net *and* pay down our debt (which, incidentally, is the kind of thing you do with a big ol’ surplus, like, say the one Dubya was handed after he stole the election and then proceeded to squander instantly with tax cuts and invading other countries). We're not living in an ideal situation right now, and before we start doing some credit repair thing, we need to make sure people aren't sick or starving first. THEN we can get all fancypants worried about our goddamned credit score for when we buy a house in five years.

If you’re not reading Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, I highly recommend. He’s one of the few people talking sense these days, and just seeing that someone else sees things as they are, not as it’s more profitable for them to be….well, it helps keep my head from ‘sploding.

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