The despised “Obamaphone” continues as Republicans’ whipping boy with more longevity than octogenarian publicity-seeking wobbly walker-borne missile Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio could hope for between Geritol shots.
Enter one Louisiana Sen. David “Diaper Boy” Vitter (R-D.C. Madam) into the fabled faux “Obamaphone” fray. Oh, it’s just too ironic that the Federal Communications Commission low income telephone assistance subsidy expanded from traditional landline service to include wireless in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “Who Dat?” Last time I looked at the map, “Nawlins,” a very fun city for the cocktails-and-crawfish crowd, was in Diaper Boy’s very own state.
Lifeline, the less exciting sounding Universal Service Fund official program Republicans besmirch as home of the “ObamaPhone,” costs telecommunication providers forty cents per user, dutifully passed on to subscribers on their phone bills in the spirit of ‘Murican “free enterprise.” Lifeline’s roots go back decades. so if it’s an “ObamaPhone,” original legislators then were either strangely prescient over the future of telecommunications, or that a black graduate of the Punahou School in Honolulu would someday be a two-term President.
Nope, it’s just another “scandal” spitball smirking freshman senators such as the Loonytarian smirker Sen. “Ayn” Rand Paul (R-Ky.) throw from the back benches at Senate President Pro Tem Joe Biden in the hope of one actually sticking. More icky saliva needed, quack!
Forty cents. Geez, I know there’s more than that behind ONE cushion on my sofa. Vitter’s mom probably paid more in current dollars for the per-nasty nappy that the diaper service charged in the early 1960s for just one of little David’s yellow-yuck loaded cloth derriére wrappings. Long before “Family Values” Vitter dropped trou trolling for hos.
The nine-bucks-and-change Lifeline subsidy goes directly to the telephone service provider, not a “government check” to the least fortunate to dance as if they won the Powerball lottery jackpot. Hardly The Jeffersons “Movin’ on up” largesse for po’ folks. It does make a difference.
It might mean those in poverty can call 9-1-1 in case of fire before their home burns completely down, ring for an ambulance before Grandma breathes her last breath, or, heaven forbid, a prospective employer can call the unemployed back about a job offer. Perhaps that job will even pay enough <gasp!> to get one sufficiently out of poverty to disqualify them for the program. Forty more centavos for ‘Murica’s davenports.
I am not on Lifeline, and the local phone company finally gave up any hopes of seeing that the landline dangling unused from the telephone pole to my little mountain cottage would ever see dunnable dancing electrons ever again. Yup, I have a data-hungry aged iPhone in a near-klutzproof Otterbox case reflecting how hard I am on consumer electronic devices. The lack of a landline just means I just don’t get telemarketing calls from a young woman ringing from Bangalore, India, with the revelation she was [the late Grateful Dead lead guitarist ] “Jerry Garcia” reincarnated calling about my credit card account.
As Lifeline, enters its’ 28th year, thanks, <gasp!> Presidents Reagan and Dubya Bush. CONservatives have finally found a way to “blame the black guy” on his second White House term ex post facto. Alas, the FCC under the Obama Administration found a way last year to detect and cancel illegal duplicative household Lifeline accounts feeding wireless and landline carrier bottom lines. I should have some empathy, as Bishop Mitt R-money of Kolob and the Caymans reminded us in the last campaign that “corporations are people.”
Next “scandal,” s’il vous plaît.