Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Once upon a time in America there was at least a tangential relationship between fame and talent. Actors could act. Writers could write. Singers could sing. Of course, there were always freaky novelty acts, but they were in the sideshow, not the main arena. But now we live in the world of “reality stars” -- individuals with little discernable talent beyond a hunger for self-promotion so insatiable that they allow cameras into their private lives to document their personal failings, which then gets fobbed off as entertainment to a voyeuristic public. Infamy has become the new fame. Reality shows the venue for aspiring media monsters to strut the stuff they imagine they’ve got. A place for Goslins and Kardashians to wallow in their 15 minutes and, once there, claim it as a right of entitlement.
But now, out of the west, or northwest to be precise, has come a relatively new phenomenon: the reality politician – Sarah Palin. A novelty act governor who was plucked from obscurity and placed on the national stage. A campaign gimmick. A Hail Mary pass by a veteran politician so desperate to win he would try to fob off a grinning dumb belle as a Vice Presidential candidate. Someone who proved not just in those few short months, but since, that she would never let her ignorance get in the way of her ambition.
Thankfully, it didn’t work. But now… she’s back… with, well, it’s words on paper between two covers so I guess technically one has to describe it as a book. One that it seems should have been titled Profiles in Carnage because apparently her failure to catapult McCain to the White House was everyone else’s fault. Steve Schmidt. Nicole Wallace. Tina Fey. The SNL writers. Charlie Gibson. The liberal media. The AP. Apparently, all these people conspired to make her look stupid. It had nothing to do with her justification for her foreign policy experience being that Russian jets flew over her state. A response so inane that if a junior high school student on the debate team offered it up, she’d be laughed out of the auditorium. And the infamous Katie Couric “what do you read” gotcha question? Even your average idiot on the street trying to appear intelligent could’ve name-dropped “The N.Y. Times and Wall Street Journal” and no one would have been the wiser. These weren’t “gotcha” questions. These were softballs to anyone running for national office. And her answers were not up to par. But she thought they were. And that is frightening.
Ultimately, no one did more damage to Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin. She was handed a national platform on which she could dazzle the country with her brilliance. And she winked, smirked, and crapped all over it. Forget that she’s a woman. Forget that she’s from a more obscure state. Forget that she’s got a voice that sounds like a dolphin with a sinus condition. She could’ve opened her mouth and demonstrated her intelligence and grasp of issues both domestic and international. And people would have rightfully taken notice and been impressed. And if a question momentarily stumped her, she could have honestly copped to a lack of familiarity with the issue along with the intention to look into it, and people would have forgiven her lack of knowledge and possibly even appreciated some refreshing candor from a politician. Instead, we got cutesy evasions. “I’ll check into it and get back to ya.” “Hockey mom” jokes, “bridge to nowhere” lies, and “pallin’ around with terrorists” inflammatory accusations. “Pallin’ around?” This is the appropriate level of discourse for a presidential election?
And what have we been treated to since, when given a chance to comment on policy? Health care? “Death panels!” Economic crisis? “Socialism!” She can commission a dozen ghost-written books and it will never change the simple fact that she is not capable of participating in a substantive discussion on vital issues because that requires having knowledge, thoughts, and ideas. Not just talking points, surface slogans, jingoistic nonsense, and fake, folksy crackerbarrel chatter. She’s the anti-Susan Boyle. She’s physically appealing. But she can’t fucking sing.
And, yet, despite her ridiculous campaign performance and subsequent lack of ability to stand up and take responsibility for her own shortcomings, once again we have to endure the interviews, and the endless news reports about the interviews, during her battleground state book tour, along with the Republican cheerleader chant of “underestimate her at your peril.” Yes, we know, Mr. Gingrich -- everyone thought Reagan was an idiot, too. But just because she’s shrewd doesn’t mean she’s smart. You can’t teach intelligence. And the talking points of the week will eventually sound hollow when there’s no legitimate thought behind them. If there were a God who was paying special attention to Sarah…there isn’t… but if there were, his message to her would be to finish her smirkathon, sell some books, and then take that shit back to Alaska. Bad news for the moose. Good news for the rest of us.
And I would be relieved. Not that Mittens and Huck don’t cause me to wake up with 3 a.m. flop sweat, but this woman scares me. She is, as Carl Bernstein so accurately put it “an ignorant demagogue.” But when so many people are out of work, they get desperate. And desperation is the demagogue’s fertilizer. So, as much as I miss laughing at Tina Fey’s deadly accurate lampooning of her --a performance as satirically brilliant as Dan Aykroyd’s Nixon -- I would happily forgo seeing it again to keep Palin off the national and world stage. We have serious problems that need to be solved by serious people. Not politics’ answer to Kate Goslin.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Many people have drawn the comparison between Vietnam and Afghanistan in terms of fighting a war without a clear objective. Some accept it. Others reject it. Putting aside how many troops (English translation: young Americans) Gen. McChrystal says he needs to accomplish the military goal in Afghanistan, we’re still left with the question: what is the political goal?
Are we fighting to deny Al Qaeda a base of operations and to keep American safe? “Fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here?”
This is not a Bond movie. It’s not like we can destroy their secret base of operations in time to stop them from bombing the Super Bowl. So what if we take over Afghanistan? Apparently there are other countries in the world that will let them host their corporate retreat. Besides, it’s not like 9/11 was launched from a central location where they amassed tanks and an invasion force like D-Day. It was 19 young men with box cutters. 15 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 1 Lebanese, and 2 from the UAE. No Afghans. No Pakistanis. No Iraqis. And they didn’t invade by landing on a beach. They slipped into the country, unnoticed. Took flying lessons unnoticed. Slipped through security with box cutters, unnoticed. Boarded planes unnoticed.
And at the end of the day they didn’t hijack planes and fly them into buildings. What they did was the unthinkable, and for all our kneejerk reactions (taking off our shoes at the airport; 3 oz. shampoo bottles) if there is another attack it will be equally unthinkable. We could reduce Afghanistan to Stone Age rubble (putting it back about 3 years in economic and social development) and it still wouldn’t eliminate the hate-filled mindset that created 9/11. That mindset is all over the world. It doesn’t take some Dr. Evil bearded mountain goat to hatch a nefarious plot. Just a few madmen with heads-full of pseudo-religious mania and the glories of martyrdom. Terrorism is now an international franchise. All you need to buy in is a copy of the Koran and a death wish.
Are we there to capture Bin Laden?
We’ve had 8 years and we still can’t find him. It’s officially the longest game of hide-and-go-seek in history. So what if Bin Laden’s captured? We get a war crimes trial? An execution? A few people get justice and other people get a new martyr, and the insanity goes on. In our cult of personality culture, it’s easy to fixate on a single person as the embodiment of evil.
For years, Khadafi was out to destroy the world. We tried to bomb him once. Didn’t work. Then we barely heard his name for decades until Scotland released the Locherbie bomber and then Khadafi showed up at the U.N. in his Snugglie and went nuts for over an hour. Still crazy after all these years.
Then it was Saddam with his WMDs who was intent on destroying us. Well, he’s dead. And “the surge worked” meme has been hit so hard that it’s become synonymous with “the Iraq war was noble, justified, and served a legitimate purpose.” Fine, even if you buy that, now Iraq has been freed from the clutches of an evil dictator and they’re on their way to enjoying the gift of American free-market capitalism. Welcome to our nightmare.
Are we fighting to free the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban?
Afghanistan is 12th century mountainous shithole with a corrupt “central government,” local warlords, and 80% of its economy comes from growing poppies for heroin. Do we think once we take over all those farmers are going to suddenly start growing wheat? Yes, the Taliban are religious zealots who throw acid in the faces of little girls who have the audacity to want to learn. How do we wipe out crazy?
During the election, Obama came out against Iraq and for shifting the struggle to Afghanistan. If he had advocated pulling out of both wars the Republicans would have hit him for abandoning the “war on terror” and weakening the country. But now, what’s the sense? The Republicans will hit back no matter what he does. If he escalates, he’s putting us deeper into a quagmire, wasting money and blood. If he pulls out, he’s a typical Democrat who’s weak on defense.
We haven’t learned the lessons from the Russians in Afghanistan any better than we learned the lessons of the French in Vietnam. So, until someone in power can articulate specific, discernable, achievable political goals, then what’s the sense in debating military strategies? Why argue about directions when we have no idea where we’re going?
Four decades ago, it was the same shifting rationale: We’re stopping the spread of Communism. We’re saving the South Vietnamese people. Pacification. Winning hearts and minds. Vietnamization… Now we can buy shirts made in Vietnam and American business is all over the country. Saigon is Ho Chi Minh City. After 55,000 American, and 3 million Vietnamese dead, we bugged out in 1975 by calling it “peace with honor.”
Given how easily manipulated the American public is, and how susceptible we are to ad campaigns, maybe all we need to bug out here is a good slogan. Like, maybe: “Afghanistan: Been there, done that”? And perhaps a theme song to go with it. Something like “Oops!... I did it again.”
Monday, October 12, 2009
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced this morning that the President and his family played a game of monopoly in the White House kitchen this past Sunday, which was won by the President. Reaction from the right was instantaneous and vitriolic.
Bill O’Reilly decried the callousness with which the President of the United States would treat the real estate crisis as just “some game” when so many Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, showing how out-of-touch he is with the concerns of regular folks, and once again showing his imperiousness as he “fiddles while Rome burns.”
Similarly outraged, Glenn Beck demonstrated on a black board how the President’s buying Short Line, Pennsylvania, B & O Railroads and the Electric Company was indicative of his socialist plot for a complete government takeover of industry, not to mention the obvious land-grabbing in the game itself. Beck noted that the building of houses and hotels on properties such as Park Place clearly showed his intention to place SRO hotels and substandard public housing in upscale neighborhoods, inevitably leading to class warfare and revolution, as outlined in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
Sean Hannity questioned the President’s victory in the game, itself, insinuating that perhaps it was indicative of shady financial dealings, particularly in the purchase of Illinois Avenue, which is “of course, the result one would expect when you’re dealing with Chicago politics, payoffs, bribes and cronyism.”
The hosts of Morning Joe pondered if the President truly understood the depth of the economic crisis facing this nation, in that he had no problem spending his time gambling in the White House while the country was facing financial ruin. And of course, there was concern over the President’s winnings. The Press Secretary noted that there was no actual gambling, and the game involved play money which all went back into the box when the game was over, sparking accusations from Pat Buchanan of “redistribution of wealth” and of “killing the American entrepreneurial spirit that made this country great,” along with the fact that each player collecting 200 dollars every time they went around the board amounted to little more than a “welfare program that we can ill afford when the government is up to its neck in a deficit that will cripple the economy for generations to come.”
Rush Limbaugh’s fury was so uncontrollable that he was unable to speak. He simply turned red with rage, inflated to twice his size, blew out the veins in his head, exploded, and shat out Lou Dobbs and the entire cast of Fox & Friends.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The prerequisite for running for President is no longer experience in government, public service, or a background in the law. It’s publishing “your story,” and getting your face all over the media via the “book/pre-primary tour.” And in a long line of “throw your autobiography in the ring” tomes, comes Sarah Palin’s: Going Rogue: An American Life. It’s amazing how, in a few short months, she managed to knock off a 400-page book, take care of her growing family, and keep up her advanced civics and geography lessons, learning all the world capitals and the names of national leaders, while jetting off to Hong Kong to address that group of businessmen for a 6-figure payday. Though it went unreported in the press that when she arrived for her appointed talk, the stage had a pole on it, the businessmen had 100k in singles, and were already liquored up on Hennessy. No wonder the media was shut out.
But the publishers must be confident in her popularity, as they’re printing 1.5 million copies. Though one wonders why. Of all the people who like her enough to read her book, 75% don’t read, and the other 25% can’t read. Still, she will go on a book tour, where she will lay out her vision for America: less government, more guns, venison in every pot, and a pregnant teen in every garage-converted-into-a-spare-bedroom. She will talk about her small town upbringing. The life lessons she learned from being a pageant contestant. Her platonic relationship with Jesus. How she was treated unfairly by the media during the campaign when they persisted in asking her questions, constantly interrupting the recitation of her talking points as she’d memorized them. How she resigned from the governor’s job for the good of the people of Alaska, not realizing the unintended irony in that statement.
But it doesn’t matter what she writes, says or does. For all her ambitions to be America’s first PILF, it will never happen. Most sane people realize she is, as Carl Bernstein so succinctly put it, an “ignorant demagogue.” Someone who hasn’t let her incompetence and stupidity dampen her lust for power. But despite her twilight fantasy of the Wasilla Hillbillies gliding down Pennsylvania avenue on inauguration day on a dogsled, with Todd brandishing the whip and Sarah holding on behind, clutching the Down Syndrome kid in one hand and pageant-waving with the other, it will never happen. She’s just Sarah Sideshow. The homecoming queen in the GOP parade of lunatics, evolution deniers, Tea Baggers, birthers, deathers, along with their congressional enablers -- the Boehners, Canters, Grassleys, Gunslinger Joe Wilson, and Congressman Hairlip from Arizona, who collectively must turn the annual GOP congressional Christmas card photo into a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
But none of them will be the candidate. They’re just there for their scare value, until the GOP turns over its hole card: Joe Scarborough. He’s telegenic, a Congressional vet, political talk show host, fiscal conservative, yet not a social Neanderthal, and he’s already done the book. And he’s tall. And from Florida, a key state filled with scare-able old people. He will be the GOP’s great white hope for 2012, railing against the deficit and ballooning size of government. Unless the next few years show a marked upturn in the economy, more jobs, a coherent policy in Afghanistan, and meaningful health care reform, Scarborough will try to become Ronald Reagan to Obama’s Jimmy Carter, with a Veep choice that will mollify the base, a Pawlenty, or possibly a Jindal, so the GOP can show they’re down with the ethnics. And it could work, unless America gets back to work. We vote our pocketbooks. When America has a steady paycheck, the sideshow shit becomes less powerful. A recovering economy will be Obama’s best defense. And offense. If the job numbers go up, and the economy rebounds, Obama could pull out a Martian birth certificate, orchestrate a government takeover of the NFL, and declare homosexuality the new state religion, and he’d still have record poll numbers.
But Sarah won’t be in the mix. Still, I hope she enjoys the book tour. Though I won’t be buying a copy. The book I’m waiting for is Carrie Prejean: Profiles in Courage.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
When John Edwards said there were two Americas, he was making the point that this country is divided into the haves and have nots, based on money and opportunity. But based on the recent insane behavior on the extreme right, it seems he left out another element: intelligence.
There are two Americas. Smart America. And Dumb America. And Dumb America has been shrieking like a wounded animal, flailing away with one ignorant, ridiculous, histrionic claim after another. It’s like someone spiked the school punch with vodka and now the kids are raging all over the playground like drunken lunatics.
As someone who prefers to live in Smart America, I’m making a plea to the GOP: If there are any limited government, old-fashioned values, strong defense, low taxes, honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay- type Republicans left, please stand up for reason and sanity, and reclaim your party. Lose the logorrhea and the hysteria. Instead of privately trading on the insanity and fobbing it off as legitimate dissent, denounce the lunatics, and re-join the national debate.
And if you won’t, I have a second request: seceed. Take Rick Perry’s advice. Split. Carve out a humble plot of land somewhere within our borders, start your own country, and go be batshit crazy together.
You could even set it up like an old western town. Lou Dobbs as Mayor. Ted Nugent as Sheriff. Matt Drudge as his bumbling deputy. O’Reilly as the gunslinger. John Boehner as the shady gambler with a Derringer in his boot. Limbaugh as the sadistic, wealthy cattle rancher. Glenn Beck as the town drunk. Sarah Palin as the local schoolmarm. Pat Robertson as the preacher. And as for Coulter and Malkin; well, someone’s got to work the local whorehouse.
You can even take the national anthem. It’s a grating, unsingable song. We’ll get Stevie Wonder to pen something new. And name your new country whatever you like. Maybe The United Taitz of America. Or Dumbfuckistan.
Then we’ll build a wall between the countries. With a Disneyland-style sign at the border, reading: You have to be THIS intelligent to live in Smart America.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This past weekend tens of thousands of corpulent, toothless economists were herded to Washington to express their outrage over health care and the rising federal deficit, collectively experiencing two phenomena for the very first time: Protest. And walking.
Brandishing the obligatory Obama as Hitler signs alongside the “I break for gravy” bumper stickers, the event marked the first time in history this many fat white people gathered in a single location without the promise of football, free beer, stock cars, or Toby Keith.
Wheezing along the famed D.C. streets, blood red anger coursing through their sclerotic arteries, the protesters demanded their right as hard-working Americans to be dropped by their insurance companies when they get sick, and gouged by pharmaceutical companies for the Diabetes drugs they’ll soon need. They waved flags, honked horns, and shouted anti-government slogans, all as a way of venting their enlarged spleens over the prospect of the government improving the quality of their lives. Not since the 1929 Rose Bowl, when Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels ran a fumble back 65 yards, almost into his own team’s end zone, has so much energy gone into an effort so blatantly self-destructive.
But as they hoofed along the D.C. streets, snapping photos of famed government buildings, while scanning the side streets for the nearest Applebees, one couldn’t help but wonder: where was all this economic righteous indignation when the Clinton surplus became trillions flushed down the Iraq toilet? Where were Glenn Beck’s tearful fears for his country? Limbaugh’s Mr. Creosote-like explosive apoplexy? I don’t recall any anti-government outrage, then. I guess the leaders on the right were too busy screwing their mistresses for Jesus.
But for all the smugness and stupidity on parade, the venal spirit of the event was captured by a single sign, reading “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy.” Very nice. The man served over 45 years in the senate and he’s barely dead a week and this is where you want to take the debate? Fine. Get nasty. But you assholes are going to get some form of health insurance reform whether you like it or not? And maybe, just maybe, by the time you have your first heart attack at 37, the amount of the hospital bill or the fights with your insurance carrier over the enormous co-pay won’t give you a second heart attack.
Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy? I don’t think so. Maybe “Bury corporate greed, selfishness and stupidity with Ronald Reagan?” How’s it feel, fuckos?
Monday, September 7, 2009
Hello, everyone –how’S everybOdy doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High SChool In Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from aLl across AmerIca, , kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you could all join uS today. I know for Many of you today IS the first day of sChOOL. And for those of you In kindergarten, or stArting Middle school or high school, it’s your first day in a new sChOOL, so it’s undERstandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine THere Are some seNiors out there who are feeling prettY gOod right now with jUst one moRe year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it was still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, y family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning. Now I wasn't too hapPy About getting up that eaRly. A lot of timEs, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But wheNever I'd complain, my moTher would juSt give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
SO I knOw some of you are still adjusting to beiNg back in schooL. But I am here todaY because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here today because I want to taLk to you about your education, and what IS expecTEd of all of you iN This new schOol year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility. I’ve talked a lot about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you and pushing you to learn. I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your hoMEwork done, and don’t SPEND EVERY HOUR IN FRONT OF THE TV OR WITH THAT XBOX. I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t Working where students Aren’t getting the opportunitieS they deserve.
But at the eNd of The day we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the Best schools in the world – and none of it will matter UnlesS all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up at tHose schools; pAy aTentiOn to thOse teachers; Listen to your parents, your Grandparents and Other adults; and Put in the hArd woRk it takes to succEed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibiLity each Of you haS for your Education. I want to staRt with the responSibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you Has somEthing you’re good At. Every singLe one of you has someTHing to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourselves to disCover whAt that is. That’s the oppoRtunity an Education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe eveN good enOugh to Write a book, OR articles in a newspaper – but YOU might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you COULD be an innovator or an inventor, maybe even gooD enough to come up with the next IPhonE, or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you do with your life, I guarantee that you’ll need an educatioN tO do it. You want to be a DOCTOR, OR a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a NURSE or an architect, a lawyer, or a member of our military? You’re going to need an educaTiOn for every single one of those careerS. You cAn’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’VE got to work for it, and train for it, and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for YOUR own LIFE and your own future. What you make of your education will decIde nothing less than the Future of this country. What YOU’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest chalLenges In the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving sKills you learn in sciEnce and math to cure diseases like CANCER AND AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, CRIME AND DISCRIMINATION, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you’ll deVelop in all your classes tO build new companies that will creaTE new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every sinGle one of you to develOP your talent, skills, and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems…
It goes on for a while, with more hidden Democratic propaganda, until the final …
Thank you…and GOD BLESS AMErica.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The current debate over health care has nothing to do with health care, any more than the TARP debate was about the economy. This is about one thing and one thing only: the GOP’s apoplexy over losing power, and their pathological desire to get it back. They despise Obama’s popularity, they detest his intelligence, his compassion, even the smile on his face. This is 21st-century Clinton hatred with a side order of racial resentment. Thinking there was ever any chance at bi-partisanship was as reality-challenged as picking up a rattlesnake thinking you could tame it as a house pet.
The GOP’s goal from the second the president took office was to bring him down. Their strategy: Operation Monkeyshit. Just like a monkey in the zoo will wildly fling his shit at tourists, the GOP started flinging their shit with the sole intention of diminishing the president’s popularity, tarnishing his image, and hurting his brand, all to lay the groundwork for the 2010 midterms and 2012 presidential elections. Tea parties. “Mortgaging our children’s future.” “The TARP didn’t work.” “Death panels.” “Killing grandma.” Birthers. “He’s going to take your guns and house terrorists in your neighborhood.” “He’s weakening the country.” “He’s going to give Bin Laden the keys to your city where he will take your job and sleep with your daughter.”
Now it’s the professional tailgaters in town halls holding Hitler signs, screaming about Fascism and Socialism -- as if they could either define those ideas, or spell them. It’s Rove 101. Take your opponent’s biggest strength and turn it into a weakness. John Kerry the veteran fabricated his injuries. Obama is Hitler.
Of course it’s insane, but getting out the hicks provides the sound bites for the party’s media flacks and congressional representatives to hit the talk shows and smugly fob off these contrivances as spontaneous expressions of national outrage, as opposed to insurance- and drug company-created street theater. As if a few hundred illiterate screamers in a nation of several hundred million constituted a popular uprising. People with legitimate concerns don’t reach for Hitler signs and mob chants as if the increased volume gave them some sort of collective higher intelligence. These are not outraged citizens. These are the great unwashed with too much free time on their hands, and access to their children’s crayons.
The GOP has no platform. They don’t care about the economy, unemployment, jobs, the deficit, the wars, or their cost either in dollars or human life. Just witness their current leader -- Mr. Potato Head look-alike, Michael Steele -- and his reaction to a woman in a wheelchair talking about her medical horror story. His response was pure Republicanism: disdain in the face of human suffering.
All these people care about is regaining power by diminishing the president’s image, and defeating his every initiative. And to accomplish that they will throw all the shit they have to. The health care debate is just the latest venue. But unless the President calls them out and takes them down in his speech to Congress, the shit-flinging will continue. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out too many times, historically, Democrats just don’t know how to fight. They think this is a dinner party discussion, faculty mixer, or a robust exchange at a debating society, where your opponent is the “loyal opposition.” This is not a debate. It’s not a salon. It’s a street fight.
Case in point: Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, recently replying to Palin’s comment tying him in to “Obama’s death panels” saying: “there’s no basis for that claim either in any of my writings or the legislation. It has no grounds in reality. It’s surreal and Orwellian, the idea that this legislation or my writings suggest that her son Trig shouldn’t get health care.”
His comment was eloquent. Passionate. And filled with the appropriate moral outrage. But “surreal,” and “Orwellian” are lost on the people who need to get the message. All Democrats, up to and including the president, have got to begin using the right words: these are lies. They’re not “gross exaggerations,” “myths,” “fantasies,” “fabrications,” or “hyperbole.” They’re lies. Lies so sinister that they’ve got the very people who might benefit from universal health care carrying signs and screaming what is essentially: “Don’t help us! Don’t give us choices! Let us suffer and die the way we were meant to – poor, destitute, and being denied coverage from our insurance companies!” (As a side note the town hall screamers, heed the sage advice of Dean Wormer: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.”)
The glow of last November’s victory faded before anyone could get too intoxicated over a Democratic mandate, or lost in the illusion that the GOP was going to roll over and die. Sure, they lost, but only because they were sunk by the weight of their own incompetence as the economy careened toward a meltdown and McCain took out his trusty revolver and repeatedly shot himself in the foot. He tried the flag-waving bullshit: “The state of our economy is strong.” Didn’t work. He tried the patriot game: “I’m suspending my campaign for the good of the country.” Didn’t work. He stunt-casted a GOP MILF and smirky, ambitious moron as his running mate. Worked for a second with a post-convention bump, then ran aground in the wake of her profound stupidity. Obama’s victory was directly proportional to McCain’s implosion. These people won’t make the same mistake twice.
To the blue dogs in the senate and the progressives in the House: Start working on intra-party bi-partisanship. Get united, and start kicking the GOP in the teeth. Get mean. Get ruthless. Twist their arms or break their kneecaps for the good of the country. They want to slit their wrists, hand them the knife. Beat them senseless with the best bill you can get. Do it in the memory of Ted Kennedy, but with the balls of Lyndon Johnson. What’s the point of gaining power if you don’t know how to wield it? Not every Republican great white hopeful is going to get busted with an Argentinian mistress. Get it together, now. Unless anyone’s in the mood for President Romney. Or President Bachman.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
As the arguments over health care rage on, key Senate Republicans opposing the President’s plan are about to present a report leaked from the Beck Institute, which might just turn the battle into an all-out firefight. The report will reveal that the President’s stated intention to provide all Americans with government-run health care is just a smoke-screen for a plot to darken the skin tone of white Americans, turning them Black.
The insidious plot involves putting a government option in place that will be so attractive to struggling Americans that millions of newly insured white patients will begin seeing doctors for the first time in years. Then, under the guise of performing standard diagnostic tests to assess the patient’s current health, cadres of specially trained Jamaican nurses will pretend to take their blood but, instead, administer a skin-darkening agent known as Boehner225.
The process, referred to in the report as “Negrowing,” will be gradual, and as it will commence during the summer, the slowly darkening skin tone will most likely be mistaken for a beach tan, so that people will not instantly panic. But as fall approaches, the patient’s skin will continue to darken, as the effects become permanent. And irreversible.
A GOP spokesperson is urging all Americans to write their representatives, demanding they resist the government plot at all costs, stating: “Not only would this plot have a disastrous effect on the economy, particularly on the golfing, sailing, and car-racing industries, but with millions of white people having been turned black, the 2012 election would be a slam-dunk.”
When reached for comment, a White House spokesperson categorically denied the allegations in the report, stating: “It is completely false. Our plan has one single goal: to provide millions of uninsured Americans with affordable health care. And to kill old people.”
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I was hiking the Appalachian trail and my GPS went, like, totally batshit.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thanks to Twitter, we are no longer sadly unaware of what everyone else is doing, thinking, or feeling at every single moment of every single day. Except for that one time that had traditionally been private: taking a dump. But that empty space in American life will now be filled, thanks to Shitter ™, the new social networking site for people taking a crap.
Prior to this innovation, sitting on the toilet was a moment reserved for reading, reflection, or perhaps even despising your friend who came up with the brilliant late-night idea, in the form of “hey, I just heard about this fabulous new Moroccan restaurant. Let’s check it out!” Regardless, thanks to your cell phone or netbook, those heretofore private moments need not remain private anymore.
In what will become known as “sheeting,” those who sign up for Shitter ™ will be able to communicate their every thought, feeling, and emotion while on the can. What are you thinking? Are you having a good time? Is it going well? Is this a home or away game? And, if away, how are the facilities? Luxurious, marble hotel stall with two-ply rolls and a basket of hand towels? Or urine-soaked public park crapper littered with used condoms and candy wrappers?
“Sheets” will have to be under 50 characters, creating even more of a challenge to be succinct, pithy, and to the point. Whether the pit stop is a respite from one’s troubles, or an intrusive, but necessary detour from a pleasurable, exciting, and stimulating day, there will always be time to fire off a quick “sheet” and let the world know how it’s going.
Shitter ™. Because keeping your thoughts private is just so last century.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Madonna’s private plane landed in Malawi so that she could bring home another black kid. Apparently, she’s not satisfied with just the one. Maybe it’s a matched set kind of thing. Or maybe she’s trying to paper the house for her next movie premiere. Or maybe, just maybe it’s part of a friendly competition between her, Mia Farrow, and Angelina Jolie, over who can adopt their own U.N. When I was growing up, everyone collected baseball cards. We’d sit on the porch and play “got ‘im, need ‘im,” which went along the lines of someone naming a player and everyone flipping through their stack to see whether they had ‘im, or needed ‘im. Is that what this is?
Madonna: Got ‘im.
Mia: Got ‘im.
Angelina: Got ‘im.
Angelina: Got ‘im.
Madonna: Need ‘im.
Mia: Got ‘im.
Adopted white kid?
Angelina: Need ‘im.
Madonna: Need ‘im.
Mia: Got ‘im.
Natural White Kid?
Angelina: Got ‘im.
Mia: Got ‘im.
Madonna: Got ‘im.
And from there it just goes on…
Still with the father of the natural white kid?
Angelina: Got ‘im.
Mia: Need ‘im.
Madonna: Need ‘im.
Madonna: Need it.
Mia: Had it. Need ‘it.
Angelina: Got it.
Pseudo religious affectation to show I’m not a filthy rich narcissist but truly
a spiritual person?
Mia: Need it.
Angelina: Need it.
Madonna: Got it.
Genius filmmaker ex husband/boyrfriend?
Angelina: Did you see Slingblade?…
Madonna: Did you see Into The Wild? Did you see Snatch?…
Mia: What, are you fucking kidding me?
Ridiculously young boyfriend to show I’ve still got it?
Mia: Need it.
Madonna: Got it.
Angelina: What, are you fucking kidding me?
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
When did this become America? Coarse, crass, and crude. Long on attitude and opinion, short on knowledge and substance.
When did this become America? Bloated. Corpulent. Engorged on its over-fed appetites.
When did this become America? With bellicose porcine grunting replacing intelligent discourse. Where the desire is not to communicate, but to incite.
When did this become America? Blind to the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. Flailing against any human weakness, yet blind to its own addictions.
When did this become America? Greedy, selfish, intolerant. Where the lust for power supersedes the desire for communal prosperity, as if we lived in independent spheres, sucking on our individual fortunes. Where pulling oneself up necessitates keeping someone else down.
When did this become America? Bellicose. Belligerent. Afraid of intelligent dialogue and shouting down dissent.
When did this become America? Brash, stubborn. Snorting anger like some incensed bull under the purported intention of voicing the popular rage.
This is not America. This is the American disease.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This guy’s ambition is only matched by Sarah Palin’s delusion. Between her 2012 PAC and Blago’s TV blagorrhea, they’ve got a real Bonnie and Clyde media blitz going. But their combined hubris doesn’t even touch Warren’s. First he put the candidates through his Purpose Driven litmus test, then he played the inauguration, blond hair dye and all. Now he’s got a magazine. Grab a copy from your local newsstand for total life advice from America’s most well-fed holy man.
The Purpose Driven Cook Book! What Would Jesus Eat?
7 Purpose Driven Sex Tips: It’s Not Just For Fun Anymore. Call it The Calmer Sutra!
10 Purpose Driven Investments: Jesus Saves, and Invests for Long-Term Growth!
Purpose Driven Food Products: You love whole milk! How about Holy Milk! Not only Pasteurized. It’s Pastor-ized! Builds Strong Bones and Even Stronger Souls!
Purpose Driven Fast Food: Check out our Eternally Happy Meals!
8 Purpose Driven Relationship Hints! Jesus: He’s Always Into You!
Purpose Driven Retirement Planning: Is Your 401K Rapture-Ready?
The Purpose Driven Full Body Workout Machine: Not Just a Life-cycle, but an Afterlife Cycle!