Sh*t that happened last week
First of all, I apologize for the profanity-laden headline, but last week was supposed to be all about giving thanks, and instead it was all about people, companies, agencies, and organizations sticking it to us.
Here, then, in no particular order, is a summary of selective sh*t that happened last week.
It is common knowledge that Blue Cross Blue Shield supported Obamacare because the insurance giant stood to pick up as many as 40 million new customers. Meanwhile Big Blue and the White House knew all along that about 15 million Americans subscribed to healthcare plans which wouldn’t meet Affordable Care Act guidelines, and that, despite the President’s pledge to the contrary, those folks would not be able to keep their plan. And so, earlier this month, BCBS started mailing out cancellation notices.
President Obama came under fire from both parties for lying to consumers, so he backed down and ordered that anyone who had his policy canceled could have it reinstated. There’s only one catch. In order to keep the policy they had all along, these canceled customers would have to pay Blue Cross a higher rate than they did before, even though their policy didn’t suddenly become more compliant. Last week our useless Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin aided and abetted Big Blue’s ballsy move by approving a huge rate increase in premiums, as much as 23 percent for some customers. Thanks Wayne, you are a real champion of the people. Congratulations are in order to Blue Cross and Mr. Goodwin for making sh*t happen last week.
Not content just to mislead us about our healthcare plans, President Pinocchio’s nose also grew when it came to the military. Back in September 2012, Obama promised to have all soldiers out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
That was an important pledge to those of us who felt we never should have sent troops to any Middle Eastern country to begin with, and it was a pledge that helped propel the President to a second term in office. But guess what sh*t he pulled last week? Mr. Obama announced he was extending the deadline for withdrawal.
Not by 60 or 90 days, but by 10 freakin’ years! That’s right, our troops will now remain in Afghanistan until the year 2024. It seems President Karzai is worried that radicals will take over the Afghan government if we pull out. Hey Mr. Karzai, having radicals take over your government isn’t so bad. It happened to us in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Speaking of putting people in harm’s way, George Zimmerman, that notorious vigilante who murdered Trayvon Martin, last week pulled a gun on his own girlfriend. Police arrested Zimmerman and found a small arsenal of weapons in his home. Crazy George’s ex-wife then told the media, “He’s a ticking time bomb.” Hey lady, where the hell were you when your psycho racist ex-husband was on trial for killing a defenseless black man? Thanks a lot for the helpful newsflash. Together, you and George made sh*t happen last week.
The next category comes under the heading of salary sh*t. Last week the News & Record’s Travis Fain reported that Greensboro Housing Authority CEO Tina Brown makes $242,000 per year. That’s more than her counterparts in Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte, who make $114,999, $210,402 and $198,162 respectively (Charlotte has twice the housing budget than that of Greensboro). It also makes her the highest paid housing director in the state, and puts her in the top 30 in the nation, out-earning housing chiefs in cities like Chicago and Boston! And to avoid violating a federal pay cap, part of Brown’s salary is derived from rent paid by local tenants. It all just seems obscene to me.
Speaking of obscene, last week we learned about surveillance-related sh*t, including that the NSA spies on those of us who look at pornography online. The NSA says this helps them discredit radicals who might try to incite the populace. And just as the NSA story broke, the Center for Media Justice reported that Wal-Mart, the company who pays poverty wages, has plenty of money to spend on data collection. CMJ says the retail giant now possesses information on 145 million Americans.
And while that may seem a bit creepy, it’s not the worst thing Wal- Mart has done. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the manager of a local Wal-Mart asked his low wage employees to donate food to other low-wage employees so they could enjoy Thanksgiving.
What’s the lesson here? Simply that Wal-Mart is doing to its workers what pornographers are doing online, so the NSA should start spying on Wal- Mart, and get rid of the real sh*tty radicals. !
JIM LONGWORTH is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11am on WMYV (cable channel 15).