Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Selfish asshole with two jobs ruining the economy

You lousy, self-centered prick.

You couldn't stop yourself, could you? A couple of hungry kids and some unpaid medical bills and suddenly you think you have the right to go out and 'provide for your family'?


You weren't satisfied with just one job? 50 hours a week wasn't enough for you? You had to run out and take a second gig, knowing full well it means that some other poor sap won't have one as a result?

It's all me, me, me with you isn't it?

Did you ever stop to think about the needs of that chump whose job you just stole? He has a family too. He probably has medical bills as well—it's tough to stay healthy when you can't afford a decent meal every day.

Maybe it's time you owned up and recognized that you are the problem. You are the one keeping this economy from catching fire again. You and all of the countless pricks just like you, taking on extra work that could be done by any number of our 14 million unemployed.

So what'll it be, bucco? Are you gonna stay the selfish course and continue driving our economy into the ground or will you do the right thing and relinquish your second job so that someone more deserving can have it and become a productive member of society again?

I don't wanna hear any whining about those incessant calls from creditors or those untended illnesses that keep your kids out of school for weeks at a time. I don't wanna hear about those belligerent bankers who keep knocking on your door, threatening foreclosure.

Just shut the fuck up and give someone else a chance at the American Dream you seem so intent on hogging.

It's the least you can do. Asshole.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peace, love and misunderstanding

Hippies like a good protest. It's in their DNA. From the Vietnam War to the WTO to the current uprising on Wall Street, hippies have always been at the forefront of anti-establishment challenges.

Now, you may hate hippies. You think they're lazy. You think they smell. You hate Phish.

But that does not negate the importance of the battle being fought on the streets of downtown New York and across the nation.

The unchecked power of Wall Street and the out of control influence of corporate money in politics are the primary drivers of our current economic woes.

The question is, hippie-hater, why don't you care?

Unless you're nestled comfortably among the wealthiest 1% of Americans, you are almost certainly on the receiving end of Wall Street's promiscuity.

Sure, you may have a job. You may even be getting the occasional raise or promotion. But look around. You're healthcare costs are exploding. The roads you drive on are crumbling. Your rent is skyrocketing. Or your home value is plummeting.

Every time you take a step forward, Wall Street, fist firmly planted in your ass, pulls you back two paces.

It's even worse for the unemployed and under-employed. As more and more money gets funneled to the top, less is available to those closer to the bottom. These people are forced to draw more from safety-net programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance, putting a further strain on our government's finances.

As the government struggles to make ends meet, it receives more pressure from those at the top (who don't want their taxes to go up) to cut those vital safety net programs in addition to key investments like education and infrastructure.

Which ends up screwing all of us, except those wealthy enough to private-school their kids, pay cash for their college educations and drive on private roads or fly over them in private jets and helicopters.

Which brings us back to our dirty hippies. Yes, they may not fully understand what it is they're protesting. But they smell it (even amid all of that pot and patchouli). They smell the stench of a financial establishment that has run amok. They smell the foul odor of a government that has sold itself to the highest bidder. The smell the rancid stink of a political process that accomplishes nothing and leaves millions disenfranchised.

So they follow their nose (yes, occasionally getting distracted by the marijuana) to the place where it all went wrong. The place, that in an ideal world, should be where hope is born. A place where resources flow to those with the best ideas. A place that understands how much every decision it makes has a lasting impact on people throughout the world.

But, sadly, that place no longer exists (if it ever did). So the hippies gather. And you hate hippies. So, as you walk by the protests, you make fun of their long hair and funky clothes, never realizing that you're actually on the same side in this fight.

Fifty floors up, behind double-paned glass, a group of men and women are looking down at the crowd, laughing.

But they're not laughing at the hippies. They're laughing at you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lots of flavors, no taste

Will Chris Christie run or won't he? Millions of Republicans are on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

Not because they want him to be president, mind you. No, they don't really think anyone is qualified to be president, except Jesus. Maybe.

No, they want Christie because they need someone new to fawn over before deciding he doesn't meet their incredibly high (after all, these are the same people who nominated George W. Bush, twice) standards.

Mitt was fun for a while, what with his Frankensteinian good looks and his ability to say anything put in front of him without a hint of internal conflict.

But that got old pretty quickly.

Fortunately, Donald Trump was waiting in the wings to keep everyone entertained for a while. The billionaire himbo was quick to jump on the birther bandwagon. This endeared him to the more extreme elements of the party, otherwise known as everyone except Andrew Sullivan and David Frum.

But alas, Donny boy was not long for the game, unwilling to sacrfice his "Apprentice" fortune for the good of the nation.

Luckily, a glassy-eyed congresswoman from Minnesota was ready to pounce on the opportunity. Michele Bachmann appeared to have it all. The almost-as-hot-as-Palin looks, the religious fervor and a profound misunderstanding of our nation's history that allowed her to latch on to every insane tea party position without question.

This seemingly flawless formula carried Ms. Bachmann to victory at the Iowa straw poll back in August. It should have been her crowning moment. But alas, a dim-witted fella in tight chinos from down in Texas was about to ruin everything.

Rick Perry strutted onto the scene like a constipated Clint Eastwood, promising to release our nation from the tyranny of organized government. No time for half-assed 'reform'. What this country needs is someone who'll come into Washington, guns a blazin', and set the whole damn town on fire.

If he only had a brain. Unfortunately, the only thing larger than his Texas-sized ego turned out to be the gaping hole inside his head.

Now what? With seemingly viable candidates dropping faster than Sarah Palin at an NBA game, where was the party to turn?

Herman Cain? Please. While his extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric must be quite comforting to the party faithful, it will never be enough to help him overcome his most glaring weakness in their eyes—the color of his skin.

Ron Paul? He almost had a chance when he suggested that hypothetical 30-year-old dude without health insurance should just suck it up and die, but what else has he got? You can only impress people with the whole 'let him die' thing so many times. Once they get a whiff of your extreme anti-war beliefs, you're toast, pussy.

With the rest of the field polling at around 2% or lower, it's clear that the Repubs are not overly excited at the prospect of a President Huntsman, Santorum, Johnson or Gingrich.

So enter the big guy from Jersey. King Christie.

He's a straight-talking, union-busting superstar. Business leaders love him. Party leaders respect him. He's the perfect candidate, right?

For now. If chooses to get in the race, it won't take long before his anti-gun, pro-gay beliefs come to the forefront. You really think folks down in South Carolina are gonna vote for the blustery guy from Jersey who likes queers and hates shooting stuff? Don't think so.

Which brings us back, full circle, to our boy Mitt. He's a bore. He's a suck-up. He's an empty suit without a single core belief to be criticized, critiqued or called out.

He's perfect.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lesson learned

The great recession has been the complete opposite of great. It has been a total catastrophe for our nation.

How did we get here?

Mortgages were packaged as securities and traded like baseball cards, resulting in the largest reduction in home values ever.

The financial system nearly collapsed as trillions of dollars worth of toxic assets threatened to destroy banks' balance sheets.

Reckless deregulation of financial services led to rampant speculation across the board—driving up commodities prices, sending fuel costs through the roof and throwing entire nations into chaos while tossing more and more Americans onto welfare rolls.

And out of control, unfunded wars raged on, draining valuable resources, killing thousands of our best and brightest and exploding our national debt to unprecedented levels.

But luckily, after all of this misery, we've come together as a nation and learned a valuable lesson.

It's all the Mexicans fault.

Guess we can move on now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Murderer hangs 'em up

"I was really just starting to hit my stride with the whole killing thing, so today is kind of a sad day for me.

A wistful Eric Allen Smith was nearly in tears as he explained his sudden retirement.

"Listen, I love putting people down, don't get me wrong. It's what I do. It's in my blood. My daddy was murderer. His daddy too. But I guess all good things have to end sometime.

So why the change of heart?

"Shit, that's easy. Last night, the government killed this guy who was maybe a murderer, maybe not. Who the fuck knows, right? Doesn't matter. What matters is it sent a crystal clear message to guys like me.

And what exactly is that message?

"Pretty obvious, no? If you kill someone or maybe kill someone or kinda sorta look like a dude who coulda possibly killed someone, you will be taken down.

But doesn't the fact that Troy Davis may have been innocent bother you?

"Ha, you're talking to the wrong man if you want sympathy for some guy getting killed, dude. Just 'cause I'm hanging up my ice pick doesn't mean I don't still appreciate a good old fashioned slaying. Just wish it wasn't that pussy lethal injection shit. Where's the art in that?

So what will Smith do now?

"I don't know, man, I just don't know. I don't have any skills, other than gutting folks with kitchen tools and burying bodies.

At that moment, a smile came across Smith's face.

"Maybe I could work at the morgue. I don't think they kill your for chopping up someone who's already dead. At least not yet."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Class Warfare is just a fancy way of saying economics

Republicans are up in arms that Obama wants to raise taxes on millionaires. "Class warfare" was the common refrain on this weekend's political shows.

Democrats are no better, really. They try to spin things around, saying that it's the wealthy who have been waging class warfare on the poor and middle class for the past 30 years.

They're both right. But they're also both missing the point.

In it's most basic form, economics is the mechanism through which a group of people allocate scarce resources.

The key word is 'scarce'. In other words, everyone needs to fight for their piece of the economic pie. So rich people use their influence to grab more and more goodies and the rest of us use whatever means we have available to try to grab some scraps for ourselves.

It should not surprise anyone that this battle is often one-sided. Those with more resources will always have an easier time accumulating even more. Money begets power. Power begets influence. Influence begets policies that help funnel more of the kitty your way.

We shouldn't blame the rich for gaming the system. It's only natural to want a larger slice of the pie, particularly when that pie appears to be shrinking as it has in the last few years.

Instead, the rest of us should be figuring out how to get our share.


We need to be informed. Most Americans greatly underestimate the amount of inequality in America.

We need to care. Understanding is great, but without passion, it means nothing.

We need to act. Write your congressman. Sign petitions. Attend rallies. And most importantly, vote. And I don't mean blindly pulling levers like you normally do, I mean actually understanding the consequences of your decision and then acting on it. Don't just sit there and let political advertising dictate who you choose. Do a little damn research on your own. It's amazing how often people choose to vote against their own interests. Ignorance is almost always to blame.

Need more affordable health care? Vote for the person more likely to make it happen.

Wish the roads weren't so crappy? Send someone who cares about infrastructure to Washington.

Want to pay 0% tax on your capital gains? Vote Republican.

It's really all quite elementary. Call it class warfare if you must. But don't act like that somehow negates the struggle most Americans face each day.

We all want a little piece of the dream. If that means we have to occasionally hurl stones at the castle, so be it. I just wish those doing the hurling weren't so quick to run away every time the king starts crying.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

You say scandal, I say opportunity

She snorts cocaine off oil drums!

She bangs basketball players!

She cheats on her husband!

Hey America, that sassy little lady from Wasilla is one funky lady, you dig? Behind those cat eye glasses lurks the soul of a wild woman. When she's not picking off wolves from her private helicopter, she's fornicating, philandering and freebasing her way around the country! What a gal!

Perry's a prick. Bachmann's a bore. Romney's a robot.

Isn't it time you took a second look at America's favorite heat-packing sweetheart?

Palin 2012. The sexy choice. The right choice. The only choice for America.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wolf Blitzer shoots Herman Cain at GOP debate, crowd cheers

In a surprise twist during last night's Republican presidential debate, Wolf Blitzer pulled out a .45 Magnum and fired it directly into longshot candidate Herman Cain's chest, killing him immediately.

And the mostly tea party crowd went wild, cheering like a bunch of frat boys at a wet t-shirt contest. The debate actually had to be delayed for 10 minutes until everyone simmered down.

Speaking of the late Cain, one audience member, still giddy, explained her jubilant reaction.

"Listen, I like killing in all it's forms. Whether it's some retard in Texas getting the chair or some freeloading Mexican without health insurance getting what he deserves when the cancer finally gets 'em. This Cain thing is no different. Just a good killin', that's all."

Another tea party attendee offered a slightly different perspective.

"First off, the guy was asking for it, the way he talked back to Governor Perry. That ain't right. And shit, the guy's black. So he's probably on welfare. Way I see it, Blitzer done saved me a few bucks taking that guy out."

The candidates themselves were decidedly noncommittal, choosing to remain silent on the matter. Except for Perry.

"Justice was done. People like justice. Man shoulda kept his mouth shut. Justice, justice, justice. Go horns!"

Later, as the candidates left the stage and the janitor mopped blood off the stage, the crowd erupted into an impromptu cheer for Blitzer, chanting "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" for nearly two minutes straight, until Sarah Palin swooped in on her private helicopter and took Blitzer out with a shotgun.

After a brief pause to assess what happened, the crowd again erupted into cheers.

Grand Ol' Party, indeed.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Ten years have passed.

So much has happened in those ten years. As a nation, we've made plenty of mistakes since that day. But we've also done some great things. In that sense, the previous 10 years were no different than any other in our history.

But they've felt different.

All I have to do is think about that day and I can still feel the horror, the shock, the anger and the sadness. All of those emotions act like a film, giving every subsequent day a subtle gray cast. Some days you barely notice it, but others you can hardly see past it.

I imagine many others feel the same way.

But sometimes, I think about how fortunate we are in this country. How many gifts we've been given. We are a wealthy nation. We are a free nation. We are a nation that inspires others and draws millions to our shores in search of a better life.

So many others have seen so much greater sorrow. Floods, famine, war, revolution. The horrors from abroad that we witness on the news each day paint a much scarier picture than anything we've ever experienced here.

And yet that does nothing to lessen the pain we all feel.

It's not because we don't care about those outside our borders. Most of us are quite empathetic. But ultimately, we can only truly internalize what we experience ourselves. And so, we are still held captive by those still-raw wounds from ten years ago.

It's no way to live. It's understandable, but it's not particularly useful. Ultimately, the best way we could honor those who were lost that day is to to move forward. Never forgetting what happened, but letting it go, so we can again be the nation we set out to be 235 years ago.

Life will always be filled with hardship and tragedy. And while I hope we never again see something on the scale of 9/11, it could happen. But knowing that should set us free, not imprison us. Understanding that life will never go according to plan should be the ultimate motivation to make the most of what's right in front of us.

Easier said than done, for sure. But that's pretty much how life works. Nobody said it would be easy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anybody want to drive this thing?

The Republicans are holding another debate tonight.

Obama's giving his jobs speech tomorrow night.

And you probably don't give a shit about either.

Hey, I don't blame you. If the past three years have taught us anything, it's that we have no reason to have faith in any of our leaders.

Our country remains mired in a near-depression.

The housing market shows no signs of life.

Our long term debt issues get lip service but no solutions.

Our financial institutions continue to act with reckless abandon.

Our military remains bogged down in questionable conflicts.

Our corporations keep buying influence in the form of political contributions.

Our schools continue to under-educate and over-test our youth.

Our churches keep pushing their political agenda without paying a dime in taxes.

And worst of all, our media continues its role as puppeteer, maximizing the drama while making sure the storyline never veers into the realm of actual news.

So, instead of honest debate, we are treated to round after round of political theater. Obama plays the hapless compromiser while Tea Party loyalists play the unflinching rogues.

And the people lap it up, choosing sides, stuffing their faces and enjoying the show.

Meanwhile, America burns.

Hey, at least football starts Thursday night. Right?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eric Cantor refuses to pull mom out of the path of speeding train unless she agrees to stop wasting money on food

Representative Eric Cantor from Virginia is in quite a pickle.

His mom has slipped and fallen on the train tracks. Her ankle is stuck and she can't get up on her own. A 50-car freight train is barrelling towards her, just seconds away from disaster.

But Mom is a spendthrift. She buys food every week, giving in to her seemingly insatiable need for sustinance. And Eric just does not like this behavior. So now he sees his chance to set things right.

Mom needs a little help. Sonny boy gets to set the terms. It's a win-win.

All he's asking is for a little restraint. Perhaps she can cut out a few lunches each week. Maybe eliminate a food group or two. Or she could just skip breakfast altogether. See? He's willing to give her options. Why is Mom being so damned unreasonable?

Look at her, just lying there. Pathetic. She should be able to get up on her own, but she's gotten lazy and dependent on her son's help. That terrified look in her eyes is probably just an act to get his attention. Why is she so desperate?

The train is approaching quickly. There are only a few moments left to broker a deal. Why can't Eric's mom just stop being a glutton and get on with it? Why is she screaming like that? Why is she acting like Eric is the one who needs help?

The seconds tick by. The train is nearly upon her. The blare of the horn is deafening. It's hard to think clearly.

Fortunately for Eric, he doesn't rely on thinking to make his decisions.

Friday, August 26, 2011

God says 'how you like me now' to the northeast

God, aka, 'The Man Upstairs' has decided to unleash some of his patented fury up on the northeastern United States this week. So we asked him, what gives?

"To be honest, I'm just tired of them, that's all. They make all kinds of money. They have great sports teams. An awesome music scene. It's all a bit much, you know?"

But a recent study on marriage clearly sent the big guy over the edge.

"I can deal with those pricks making mad bank. I can tolerate their advanced educations and successful careers. But now you're telling me that these douchebags are also enjoying some of the happiest and longest lasting marriages? Fuck! It's just too much, you know? I gotta put my foot down, so to speak."

The Universal Life Force took a sip of wine before elaborating further.

"Listen, for years I've been throwing all kinds of crap at the folks down south. Hurricanes, tornadoes, you name it. Sure, I've felt bad about it. I mean, those fuckers already have it pretty rough. Bad schools, poverty, country music. It's hell down there. But they're my people, you know? They love all that fire and brimstone shit. Who am I to deny them?"

Yahweh paused for a moment as an angel came by to top off his chalice.

"These northeastern types, they don't really know my game. Shit, half of 'em don't even believe I exist. So, typically, I just leave 'em alone. Live and let live, you know? But this whole marriage thing just sticks in my craw. My people are supposed to be the moral ones. How are they gonna rave about those 'heathens' up north if everyone is being all goody goody and shit? So I gotta step in. I owe my peeps that much."

When asked if the latest batch of fury had anything to do with the liberal attitudes towards gays in the northeast, as some of his 'peeps' have suggested, the Lord was quick to retort.

"Seriously? This fucking nonsense again? How many times do I have tell you people, I don't give a shit who all y'all are fucking? If anything, I wish you'd fuck each other more often. Maybe you wouldn't be so damned uptight. And to be honest, I wouldn't mind if a few more folks started going gay. All these damned heteros breeding like crazy is kind of fucking up this perfectly good planet I created."

After carefully spreading some brie on a piece of melba toast, the King of Kings sat back in his throne and offered a final bit of advice for those in the path of Irene.

"First off, I think it is so damn cute that you give names to these massive engines of death and destruction. You people just crack me up. But seriously, even though I'm trying to send a little 'don't fuck with me' message with this storm, I don't want people to be stupid about it. Stay away from the beaches. Move to higher ground if you can. Buy batteries."

After pausing for a moment to survey his kingdom, The Almighty took a final sip of Chardonnay and smiled.

"And make sure you have plenty of wine."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Romney declares potatoes are people too.

Fresh off his emphatic declaration that corporations are in fact people, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took thinks a step further today at a campaign stop in Boise.

"Listen friend, potatoes are people, I don't care what the FDA says."

Clearly baffled, Boise resident Jim Simpson pressed Romney to elaborate.

"What the fuck are you talking about, Mr. Romney?"

Mitt gave a wink and flashed a calculated grin.

"It's basic science, pal. Potatoes have DNA, don't they? They have skin. Heck, they even have eyes!"

Simpson shot back.

"But they aren't capable of rational thought."

Unfazed, Romney was quick to retort.

"Listen, chum, I haven't had a rational thought since I left Massachusetts. Some of my fellow candidates may never have had a rational thought. You don't see anyone claiming we're not people, do you?"

Simpson shook his head and walked off.

"Hey, where ya going, bro?"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Enough with the faux outrage

Republicans are up in arms that President Obama has taken a 'vacation' during this time of economic crisis.

How dare he play golf when millions of Americans are out of work?

How dare he lollygag around Martha's Vineyard, hobnobbing with his family and a group of policy advisors, while the stock market goes through it's daily self-inflicted, sadomasochistic, masturbatory crisis?

How dare he wait until September (that's like 12 days away!) to offer up a jobs plan?

As congress enters the third week of it's taxpayer funded vacation, one can only imagine they are moments away from proposing their own plan to get Americans back to work.

I look forward to it. I'll be checking the interwebs later for details.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The self-loathing feedback loop

Billionaire Warren Buffett raised a few eyebrows recently when he said that he and his fellow high-rollers should pony up a few more bucks in taxes each year.

Republicans were up in arms, astounded that someone would dare challenge their anti-tax religion.

Democrats rejoiced, pleased that a respected rich guy appeared to be echoing their calls for additional revenues.

They're both missing the point.

This is not just about taxes. Our nation faces a wealth disparity that rivals that of China (see they're not kicking our ass at everything!) The top 1% essentially own everything. The rest of us are in debt. And the divide just keeps growing.


Because our government policies are set up to benefit those at the very top. Makes sense, when you realize that the wealthy are the ones financing all of our political campaigns. It's basic capitalism at work. Provide a service to your customers and get rewarded financially.

The worst part?

As more money gets concentrated at the very top, the more incentive government has to get their share of that growing pie. And the more they choose to ignore the needs of the rest of us.

So why do we stand for it?

Because we buy into the fantasy of upward mobility. For years, we've been fed the line that all it takes to succeed is a little hard work and dedication. Anyone can make it to the top if they just get up off their fat ass and apply themselves.

Sounds like great advice, right?

Except it's completely unsubstantiated by the facts. Our country offers almost no economic mobility whatsoever. Which means, if you're born poor, you will likely stay that way. And if you're born wealthy, you have almost no risk of dipping down into the ranks of the great unwashed.

Sure, there are exceptions. And those are the stories we get fed on a regular basis, which makes them seem that much more prevalent. Cinderella gets the prince. Rocky becomes heavyweight champ. Some homeless dude played by Will Smith gets a fancy job in a high rise.

These are all great stories. And they're all theoretically possible (in fact, the Will Smith one is actually real). But make no mistake—they are exceptions to the rule. Unfortunately, the rule doesn't make for great theater. Who wants to watch a movie about a working class guy who busts his ass for years, only to be left with arthritic hands and an underperforming 401k?

The end result of this ongoing narrative is that people only blame themselves when they don't make it to the promised land. And they hang on the mistaken belief that the keys to the castle are always within reach as long as they keep plugging away.

Which fits right into the master plan.

When people think they have a legitimate shot at reaching the top, they don't care if the people already at the top get special treatment. Because they want to make sure they'll get that same special treatment when they get there.

Which means they'll sit idly by as our government guts programs that benefit most Americans while lavishing more and more new spending and tax loopholes on those who need it the least.

When most Americans inevitably fail to reach the top? They just learn to hate themselves a little more. Why am I such a failure? Why can't I get ahead? I must not be smart enough or work hard enough. Guess I'll just have to dig in, pull myself up by the boot straps and work even harder.

Go right ahead, monkey. That's exactly what the top 1% want you to do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cure for cancer falls victim to GOP hardliners

America almost rejoiced today when it almost learned that a cure for cancer was moments away from discovery.

Scientists have been laboring for years to put an end to this horrific disease. And they've never been so close.

But their plan has one fatal flaw.

They need money. And it would take a small tax increase on those earning over $1 million to raise the necessary funds.

Republicans aren't having it.

"Why should the job creators be forced to pay for the work of some geeky scientists?" exclaimed a red-faced Mitt Romney.

"The American people don't want more government involvement in their lives. The private sector is where diseases get cured." added Michele Bachmann, while she and her husband sucked down a couple of corn dogs.

Fresh off his presidential campaign announcement, Texas Governor Rick Perry was quick to chime in.

"Listen, I don't care if someone says they can bring world peace. If it means one more penny out of the American people's pockets going to Uncle Sam, I won't stand for it. That pansy-ass peace shit don't fly in Texas anyhow."

Rick Santorum (yes he's still in the race) summed it up succinctly.

"These so-called cancer curers are probably spending their weekends having gay sex and abortions out the wazoo. So really, do we want taxpayer funds supporting these freaks?"

When told that more people having gay sex would actually ensure that there was less need for abortions, Santorum's head spontaneously blew up.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not quite Right

Americans claim to be a conservative bunch. For every 2 self-proclaimed right-wingers there is only 1 liberal.

Or so they say.

If that's the case, how do you explain the chart in this article?

Apparently, Americans want to keep or increase government spending in all areas except foreign aid.

Wow. What a bunch of Randian wackos we are, huh?

Makes me wonder if most people don't understand what the word 'liberal' means.

If only we had someone in a position of power who could help Americans understand what liberalism really is. Someone with access to the airwaves any time he wants. Someone famous for his ability to deliver rousing speeches that can move people to action.

I remember a guy like that from a few years back. Not sure what happened to him though.

Monday, August 8, 2011

We are not worthy

30 American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan this weekend. 365 have been killed so far this year. Whether you agree with the war or not, it is sobering to think about our fellow citizens giving their lives so that we may be safer.

But we don't deserve their sacrifice.

While our soldiers are overseas fighting to protect the American ideal of freedom and democracy, our politicians are doing their best to make sure that ideal no longer exists. They play games with our economy to gain political points, knowing full well their actions will cause suffering for millions of Americans.

We don't deserve their sacrifice.

While these brave men and women risk their lives in unknown lands, we send pathologically flawed misfits to represent us in Washington. We succumb to campaign-trail promises and fail to hold their feet to the fire when they inevitably toss our interests aside.

We don't deserve their sacrifice.

While these kids barely out of high school are witness to some of the worst human tragedy imaginable, we sit on our ample asses and allow our rights to be systematically shredded, our institutions dismantled and our political process turned into a circus.

We don't deserve their sacrifice.

While these soldiers wonder if the next trip they take might be their last, we allow ourselves to be distracted by 'real' housewives and dancing 'stars', oblivious to the workings of our government that has been funneling power to corporations and the uber-wealthy for over a generation.

We don't deserve their sacrifice.

And yet thousands of our finest men and women still choose to make that sacrifice every day.

Don't you think it's time for us to earn it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can one building revive a nation?

I noticed something on my way to work this morning that I haven't seen for almost 10 years.

A tall structure has begun to emerge above the downtown Manhattan skyline. After years of what seemed like no progress, the Freedom Tower framework is rising quickly and I, for one, am pretty happy about it.

September 11, 2001 was an awful day for America. Looking back at the last 10 years, it is easy to make the correlation between this tragic event and the depression (emotional, not economic) that has hung like a cloud over us ever since.

We had never encountered anything like 9/11 before. So it's not surprising that it would rip apart our collective national psyche. Sure, we've put up a brave face, but it doesn't take a PhD to recognize the classical symptoms of depression.

Fear, anxiety, listlessness, distraction. A lack of direction. This has been our story for the last 10 years. The great recession merely brought these emotions to the surface. But they've been there for some time now.

So, when we struggle to come out of our current economic malaise, it is foolish to simply look for economic answers. There's something deeper happening here. And it can't be fixed by simply pumping up the money supply or giving folks a few tax breaks.

But, perhaps, it can fixed by a building.

Now, the Freedom Tower can never bring back the nearly 3,000 Americans we lost on that horrific day. It will never bring peace those who lost loved ones. And it will never erase the awful memories we all have burned into our subconscious.

But it can be a symbol of hope. A symbol that gives Americans permission to finally move on. It's okay for us to be exceptional again. It's okay for us to be passionate again. It's okay for us to dream again. If we don't, then the terrorists will have gotten exactly what they wanted.

Tomorrow morning, I will stare out at that rising mass of steel and try to imagine what the next 10 years can be for America. I invite you to join me.

It's time to be America again.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is your chance, Corporate America

Time to open up the wallets.

You just got everything you've been crying for. The big bad government has taken it's ball and run on home. Time for you and your buddies to come out and play.

Time to take that cash you've been stockpiling in the back room and throw it around a bit.

Start making some shit and selling some shit. Start hiring people to make the shit so they can afford to buy the shit.

Start innovating. Start researching. Start marketing. Start fixing.

Start doing all of the shit you've been saying government sucks at.

Start investing in health care and making sure every American has access.

Start supporting infrastructure improvements to our roads, bridges, electrical grid and telcom networks.

Start providing our aging population with opportunities to provide for a secure retirement.

Start making sure the products you build don't poison our drinking water, overheat our atmosphere or contaminate the air we breathe.

Start making sure our financial system acts in the best interests of both business and consumers.

Start acting like a true free market disciple and disclosing the money you give to political campaigns.

And most importantly, start behaving in a way that gives Americans hope that our system is not hopelessly broken beyond repair.

Can you do all of that? If you can, I'll happily vote Republican in every election from here on out.

Are you up for the challenge?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Congress searching for it's next made-up crisis

"I can't believe it's almost over.

A wistful Mitch McConnell wipes a tear from his ample cheek as he mourns the approaching end of the debt ceiling debate.

"This was our finest hour. Or 2,000 hours, as the case may be. I am so proud of what we've done here. We managed to take a meaningless procedural vote on the debt ceiling and turn it into the crisis of the new millenium. That's impressive. I'm just not sure we can top ourselves. And that makes me kind of sad."

McConnell sniffles and takes a sip of chamomile tea. We are joined by Speaker Boehner, who is surprisingly tear-free.

"I've got some ideas. I'm not willing to accept that this is our finest hour. Sure, it's been an awesome ride. It's not often you get to fuck with American lives and get a huge spike in media coverage at the same time. That's kind of the holy grail for us legislators. Doesn't happen every day. But I refuse to believe our best days are nearly behind us. We are a resilient bunch. We'll find a way to screw people over and get the proper amount of media buzz yet again."

A barely perceptible smile appears on McConnell's face.

"You really think so, Johnny?"

Boehner throws down a quick shot of Jameson and continues.

"I don't think so, Mitch, I know so. I've never been more confident in our ability to act completely against the interests of the American people. Shit, we barely broke a sweat on this debt ceiling nonsense. Sure, Obama hurled a few insults our way, calling us babies, whah, whah, whah. Whatever, that shit just stoked the media fires even more. Bring it Barry, tell us to eat our peas! That was a good one. Gotta hand it to that guy, he's got a way with words."

McConnell is now visibly excited, his jowls starting to jiggle.

"Ha ha, Johnny. You know the funniest part? I already like peas! Stupid president."

Boehner chuckles.

"Now you're getting it, Mitchy. We've got this guy by the balls now. We can come up with any kind of crazy crap we want and he'll go along. I'm thinking of having a Republicans-only pool built in the backyard of the White House. We can float out there on our inflatable easy-chairs, eating peas and chugging margaritas all day long. I can just hear Obama now, 'John, you can have your pool, but no diving board.' Ha! Okay, Mr. President, you win!"

McConnell stiffens a bit.

"Margaritas? Ain't they Mexican drinks?"

Boehner smiles.

"Damn right. I'm thinking our next big 'crisis' will be immigration reform. Might as well figure out what makes those little fuckers tick before we start deporting their asses."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We did this

It's so easy to blame the tea party for the shitstorm currently blanketing our country.

As a group, they are ignorant beyond belief. They are woefully misinformed about our history. And they have mistakenly managed to equate liberty with their obsessively self-centered ideology.

Yet they have managed to bully their way into the mainstream of US politics.

But you know who I blame for that? Liberals.

All it took was a few moderate proposals from Obama (healthcare, the continuation of TARP) to get the tea parties knickers in a twist.

Meanwhile, we have seen them spend the last two years spewing their self-absorbed, racially-tinged, extreme anti-government nonsense and we haven't done shit in response.

Where's the outrage? Where are the impromptu rallies and fired-up town hall meetings? Why aren't Democrats in congress as afraid of us as their Republican colleagues are of the tea baggers?

When the Democratic head of the Senate feels comfortable proposing a debt reduction plan that Ronald Reagan would have called extreme, that's our fault.

When liberals in the house can't get a single mainstream media outlet to talk about their more progressive debt plan, that's our fault.

And when the president allows his opponents to completely dominate the debate and shift attention away from the issues that really matter like jobs and excessive corporate influence, that, once again, is completely our fault.

The tea party claims that our nation's values are under attack. They are right. They just don't realize they are the ones doing the attacking.

Why aren't we fighting back?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President, congress debate whether to kick or punch us in the crotch

"I tell ya, I've always been a fan of a good old fashioned punch.

A cheerful president Obama flashes his winning smile and takes a sip from his light beer as he looks across the table at Congressman Boehner.

"It just feels good ya know?"

Boehner surveys the golf course as he sips his gimlet. Life has never been better. For months now, he and the president have been playing their own unique game of chess. And it has been a blast.

"Punchin's great, don't get me wrong, but there's something visceral about a strong kick. When you feel that crotch meat envelop your toes, man, it's just the coolest thing."

Obama pops a few beer nuts in his mouth before opening up about his relationship with the House Speaker.

"Listen, we may have our differences, but there's one thing we can both agree on--the American people are hurting right now. Folks are out of work, families are losing their homes. I get it. Times are tough. But here's what they don't understand. There's no chance in hell me or Johnny here are gonna do anything to help. Helping average Americans doesn't exactly pay the bills, ya know what I'm sayin'?"

He and Boehner explode into laughter. High fives are exchanged. Boehner wipes his fingers on his tie and chimes in.

"Plus, it's just not fun. I didn't come to Washington to be bored outta my mind. I'm came to party. And there ain't no party like crotch kicking party cause a crotch kicking party don't stop."

Obama shakes his head.

"A crotch punching party is even better, John."

"C'mon Barry, You know you like crotch kicking the best."

"Ah hell J-Bo, you're right. I do like me some crotch kicking."

Boehner slides his chair back and starts to rise.

"Good meeting O-bombs, I gotta run over to Tantastic for a quick spray down, but we'll pick this up next week. And you're buying."

"Okay, but you take care of the tip."

Boehner shrugs into his blazer and grabs an olive off Obama's plate.

"Not a chance."

Obama smiles, yet again.

"Sounds good. See you soon."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Down with America!

If Al Qaeda threatened to bring down the entire US economy, it would surely be called a terrorist act.

So how come it's not when Republicans do the same thing?

Congressional Repubs, led by the Tea Party dipshits, are trying to cram their extreme anti-government agenda down the nation's throat by gleefully holding out the threat of a federal government default as the alternative.

The most extreme house members seem to relish the idea of a mortally wounded Uncle Sam. Not only are they unfazed by the prospect of a total economic collapse that will almost surely lead us into a depression, they are actually rooting for for it. "That'll teach those commies to mess with us!"

Someone needs to call these so-called patriots what they really are--terrorists. Any politician who even hints at the notion that they would be willing to let our government default on it's debts should be immediately arrested and charged with treason.

This is not a fucking joke. Lives are at stake here. People will actually die if we go into a depression. Children will starve. Old people will be denied medical care.

But hey, it makes for great political theater, so who cares if a few thousand folks have to perish in the process?

God bless America.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why are you listening to us?

18% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.

33% of Americans believe in ghosts.

24% believe the moon landing was faked.

18% think the sun revolves around the earth.

51% believe in creationism.

49% think Fox News is trustworthy.

50% think Christianity predates Judaism.

37% are afraid of haunted houses.

20% believe aliens have abducted someone they know.

21% believe in witches.

41% believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Most of us clearly don't know what the fuck we are talking about. So why would politicians give a crap that a majority of Americans don't want the debt ceiling raised?

You were elected to make intelligent decisions on our behalf. Stop listening and start leading.

I've got a Jewish alien witch in my backyard. I don't have time for this shit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Motives matter, but results matter more

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, the opposite can be true as well. Bad intentions can often lead to good results. Especially when it comes to politics.

You may think that all politicians are corrupt assholes with no real concern for the average citizen.

Maybe. Maybe not. But does it really matter? What really matters is the policy. And how it impacts all of us.

Take healthcare. You could argue that the plan pushed by Obama is a cynical giveaway to the pharma and insurance companies, as both stand to benefit from many of the new laws.

But if most Americans also stand to benefit in the form of expanded coverage, no pre-existing condition clauses, more affordable coverage and better health outcomes overall, then who really gives a shit if the idea was concocted to please some big-time corporate campaign donors?

Same goes for the deficit. Some would argue that the only reason Democrats are pushing for higher taxes on the wealthy is so they can win votes from the elderly who think these taxes will help ensure that Medicare and Social Security remain intact. And you'd probably be right.

But again, who really cares? If the overall outcome is what you would want anyway, why get upset about impure motives?

It works on the conservative side as well. Republicans may be holding a rigid line on taxes because they've signed their political independence away to a radically libertarian kingmaker. But if you truly believe we will benefit from draconian spending cuts that disproportionately affect the lower class, then it's all good.

Politics will always be messy. Corruption will always play a huge role. And we should continue to be vigilant against it.

But the presence of corruption shouldn't be an excuse for a disengaged citizenry. If anything, it should push us towards greater involvement. Because we need to be fighting two battles at the same time. One against the forces that corrupt and another for those outcomes that will ultimately be better for our country.

Fighting two wars at the same time? It doesn't get any more American than that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What happened to ideas?

We are a country founded an idea. A simple idea that human beings have an inalienable right to freedom and to pursue that which makes them happy.

This was a bold idea at the time. And we followed it up with countless more bold ideas over the subsequent 230 years or so.

But it seems we may be tapped out.

On Friday, we witnessed the launch of the final space shuttle mission. It's amazing how far we've come (or, more accurately, fallen) since the dawn of our space program back in the 50s. Once upon a time, we dreamed big, setting our sights on the moon at a time when we were just getting used to the idea of transcontinental flight.

Doesn't anybody dream anymore?

Where are the big plans? The bold ideas? The crazy, brazen statements like Kennedy's 'we'll put a man on the moon by the end of the decade' speech back in 1961? Or MLK's "I have a dream" speech in 1963?

It seems we are so afraid of failure these days that we do not even want to take a chance on success. The Great Recession has sucked the life out of all of us, including our greatest thinkers.

And this is incredibly sad.

The only thing that stands to pull us out of this horrible place is courage. We need to dream bigger than our current reality. We need to see things that seem unthinkable. We need to imagine things that seem impossible.

People can throw around all of the economic theories they want, but if we don't have something that truly energizes our nation, we will slide further and further away from the simple idea that launched this country to greatness.

But how do we encourage this type of thinking? How do we get people, especially our best and brightest, out of their woe-is-us funk?

I'm not sure. But I feel the solution probably lies outside of Washington. As much as I champion the role of government in areas such as healthcare, job creation and environmental protection, there is only so much they can do to encourage bolder, bigger thinking. The feds can play a part, but ultimately we need the push to come from the private sector.

And this is where social media comes into play. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google have access to an incredible amount of brain power and imagination. Wouldn't it be amazing if they could harness it all in a way that propels us into the next great movement?

We've seen hints of this type of action. Google is actively involved in big projects like wind power and self-driving cars. Facebook has played a major role in some great ideas like the Pepsi Refresh Project. And Twitter has mobilized people across the globe to rise up against tyranny and abuse.

But we need to take things a step further here at home and actively engage the nation in a way we haven't seen in a generation. We need our next 'man on the moon' moment.

I'm ready to do my part. Are you?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

No jobs for us, no job for you

While congress and the president have tea, deciding whether or not they want to drive our economy off a cliff or stick it with a knife a thousand times, there are roughly 300 million of us actual people who stand to be fucked either way.

The only people who won't be fucked? The politicians. Because even if the economy completely crashes, most of them are assured of a job for as long as they want it.

But wait, won't they get voted out of office if they screw up?

Not likely. Incumbents in congress tend to get reelected no matter what happens. And George W. Bush proved in 2004 that no matter how badly you fuck up your fist term, there's a good chance we'll invite you back to screw things up some more.

So perhaps we need to give the guys in office a little extra incentive to actually do their jobs.

I say, if the unemployment rate is above 8% at any election cycle, every single federal politician gets the fuck out. That's right. Every last one of you. Take a time out, stand in the corner for a couple of years and think about what you didn't do.

Listen, 8% isn't that tough. We've spent most of history well under that number. But when we get above that number? Shit tends to suck really hard. And as far as I'm concerned, it means whatever we're doing isn't working. So bring on some new blood.

I'll tell you one thing, you'd see Boehner and Obama spending a lot more time together, trying to figure out our real problems if they knew their asses were really on the line. You'd see people's true colors come through as well. Instead of throwing out theories about what may or may not create jobs, people would go with what they truly believe will work. And they'd be much more aggressive about it too.

Now, I don't even want to wait until something like this could become a formal law. Let's ask every federal politician to sign a pledge. And unlike the bigoted, homophobic nonsense pledge that Michele Bachmann just signed, let's keep this one simple and straightforward.

"If the United States unemployment rate is not below 8% by Election Day 2012, I will step down from office."

You think any one of these fuckers would have the guts to sign it?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Everything is political

Politics is such a drag, right? What's the point and stuff? I mean, like, how does it affect me?

Well, that home you live in? Politics helped determine how much it costs and how well it needed to be built.

The car you drive to work every day? Politics helped determine the safety standards, it's fuel efficiency and it's price.

Those roads you drove on to get to your workplace? Politics helped fund them. Politics set the speed limit. Politics determined the type of blacktop used.

Your job? Politics influenced it's very existence. The right or wrong policy decision can have huge impacts on where and how we work.

The doctor you go to when you get sick and miss work? Politics helped shape his practice. How much time he takes, how he treats you, the diagnostic tools he chooses, the medicine he prescribes. All of it was shaped by the political process.

The foods you eat, the entertainment you enjoy, the trips you take, the beer you drink, the clothes you wear, the water you swim in, the mall you shop at, the babies you choose to have or not have, the person you want to spend your life with. Every last thing you do, right down to the very air you breathe, is influenced by politics.

But, like, hey, you know, politics is just like sooooo boring and stuff. So, whatever.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The American Theater

I've got a great idea for a movie.

It's about a group of rich kids who are largely ignored by their parents. Emboldened by this freedom, the kids wreak havoc all over the place. They party like crazy. Gamble. Fuck everything that moves.

Then, one day, their money runs out. So they run crying back to their parents, who know that their kids will ultimately be the ones taking care of them, so they shower them with more cash.

Back-story: to make sure their kids get as much money as possible, the parents all decide to free up cash by firing their housekeepers, accountants, nannies, drivers, chefs, gardeners, etc.

Fast forward two years. The kids have gone back to their partying, gambling, fuck-everything-that-moves ways. Life is good. The money is flowing faster than they can spend it.

But they're bored. So they decide to go back to their hometown and visit the housekeepers, nannies, accountants, chefs and gardeners that their parents had to fire a few years back. They scour the town to make sure they find each one. Then, they line them up and kick every single one of them in the crotch, repeatedly.

That's it. That's the movie. Whaddya think?

Ooh, I forgot to mention the title. It's called "The American Economy".

The system worked

Get over it.

The prosecution didn't prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury acquitted. Justice was served.

The end.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What does it mean to love America?

Today is our nation's 235th birthday. All across the land, Americans will be spending time with friends and family to celebrate this grand occasion. Among the celebrators, are those who would say "if you don't love America, you should leave."

I completely agree.

If you don't love America enough to want everyone to share the same kind of opportunity we give to our most wealthy, leave.

If you don't love America enough to believe that all of us deserve the kind of healthcare our elected officials receive, leave.

If you don't love America enough to expect our politicians to consider the value of our soldiers lives before sending them off to battle, leave.

If you don't love America enough to believe we all deserve clean air and clean water, leave.

If you don't love America enough to expect our leaders have at least a basic understanding of science, economics and history, leave.

If you don't love America enough to wish that all of us can enjoy the rights that come with being able to marry the person you love, leave.

If you don't love America enough to want our politicians to care more about the average citizen than they care about their next campaign contribution, leave.

If you don't love America enough to believe that putting our fellow countrymen back to work is more important than keeping taxes at record low levels, leave.

If you don't love America enough to be concerned that the average worker has seen little to no gains over the last 30 years while the wealth of the top 1% has exploded, leave.

And finally, if you don't love America enough to muster up a little energy to actually participate in this democracy you claim to be so thankful for, please, I beg of you, get the fuck out.

Happy 4th everyone.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Take your happy pills dammit

Stop whining already.

If you would just buck up and turn that damned frown upside down, we wouldn't be in this whole never-ending recession mess.

As this article in the Atlantic Monthly points out, the biggest problem with the economy is not that companies are hoarding cash and refusing to hire people. It's not that millions of Americans are trapped in homes that are worth a fraction of what they owe on them. It's not that soaring energy costs have squeezed family budgets to the breaking point.

Nope. The problem is you. You've got an attitude problem.

You don't see CEOs and corporate board members walking around with their tails between their legs, do you? No. And you wanna know why? It's not because they're pulling in record-breaking salaries and earning bonuses that could buy you out of your home 10 times over. That's not it. It's because they are chipper and upbeat. They don't see the glass as half empty—they see it filled to the rim with the 30-year-old single malt scotch they received as a gift from one of their grateful shareholders.

Not sure you can muster up the same level of enthusiasm?

The solution is obvious. We need to get everyone on anti-depressants, stat. Not only will people stop feeling so damned glum about the whole "I don't have a job and my home is being taken away from me" thing, it will also pump money into the pharmaceutical companies, which will be sure to please their shareholders.

Which means even more scotch for the corporate execs. See? Everyone's happy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Congress and Biden solve debt crisis, agree to sell ad space on the Capitol dome

Catastrophe averted.

Vice President Joe Biden stood proudly on the steps of congress this morning, nestled between Congressman John Boehner and Senator Harry Reid.

"I am proud to announce that our administration has worked out a deal with the leadership in congress to sell advertising space on the Capitol Dome. This is a defining moment in US History and I am honored to be a part of it."

The details are still being worked out, but Reid explained that they already have interest from many corporations.

"McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Chuck E. Cheese, all of the big guys have reached out. We're really excited about it."

Boehner explains how they finally reached that 'ah-ha' moment.

"We're all sitting around the conference table, sipping mountain dews. Every time someone suggests a program to cut, someone else starts yammering about how that cut will piss off one of their corporate donors. You've got the corn lobby, the potato guys, the military contractors, the telcom dudes and of course all the whole big oil crew. We're all looking around at each other, cracking up, realizing just how deep we are in the pockets of these corporations."

They all share a laugh and then Boehner continues.

"So I'm like, man, if only there was some way we could do something to close this damn budget gap that would also make our corporate benefactors happy. And that's when Biden starts jumping out of his chair like he's got termites in his trousers."

Biden chimes in.

"I was just so damned excited. Advertising on the Capitol dome! I mean, why the fuck hadn't we thought of this before? It's genius. I still get a little wood just thinking about it."

Reid could barely contain his excitement at the possibilities this new plan could lead to.

"This is so much bigger than the Capitol dome. I see us whoring out all of the monuments to corporate players. And why not, they're all such boring pieces of shit anyway. In fact, we've already received a call from Viagra for permanent sponsorship of the Washington Monument."

When asked if they saw any conflict of interest with their new proposal, the three men stared blankly for a few seconds and then burst out laughing. When they finally calmed down, Biden summed things up.

"Listen, we all know what's going on in this town. Every last one of us is bought and paid for by somebody. Instead of trying to deny it, let's embrace it. Is anyone really going to be that offended when they visit the Taco Bell Vietnam Veterans Memorial?

Biden pauses for a second, then flashes his trademark toothy grin.

"Not when they get a free Chalupa at the end of their tour."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's time for a third opinion

You're sick. Sluggish. Can't seem to get yourself moving. You are weaker than you've ever felt before. But you somehow drag yourself to the doctor.

He tells you to stop eating because you're going to be fat in 10 years.

You're confused. But what about now? If you don't eat, won't you just get weaker?

"No", says the doc. "Your stomach is very uneasy about the upcoming fatness. This uncertainty is draining your energy. If you just get the damn food out of the way, you will be on a path to recovery soon."

You walk out of his office, confused and still feeling terrible. After pondering the first doctor's suggestion for a while, you realize you should get a second opinion. So you shuffle down the street to the other top guy in town.

He tells you to stop eating because he heard that's what the other doctor said. But because this doctor likes to think of himself as the more 'caring' of the two, he tells you to taper your food off a bit more gradually. But you still ultimately need to starve yourself, of course.

Now you are really dejected. Can these guys be right? Should you really stop eating? It sounds crazy, but these guys are supposed to be the best.

You ask a friend if she knows of any other good doctors. She says, "I know of a couple of others, but they have some wacky ideas about how to practice medicine. Plus, they're kind of a waste since they're not covered by insurance."

You decide to stop thinking about it and just do what the two doctors say. You mosey on home, fall into the couch and listen the the growing rumble of your empty belly.

How much better would your life be if there was a viable alternative to the two doctors in town? No one can know for sure. But could it be any worse?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The two dumbest words in politics: 'Either' and 'Or'

You're either for jobs or for the environment.

You're either for unions or for business.

You're either for war or you hate America (you're with us or you're against us).

If you were to listen to the political 'debate' these days on MSNBC, FOX and CNN that's what you'd assume. It's always either/or.

Makes for great TV. Who doesn't like to see a good fight?

But it's also killing our country. Politicians on both sides have been all too willing to grab a piece of the simplistic narrative.

The right has become the party of kooks, glomming on to every wacko anti-government conspiracy theory and elevating it to GOP gospel.

The left has taken on the role of the cerebral professor, always searching for answers, but often oblivious to how things are in the real world.

They both need to give it up and start engaging in some critical thinking that might actually accomplish something. A good start would be to acknowledge that there are valid points to be made on both sides of the aisle.

Creating jobs without protecting our environment is pointless. We work to create a better future for ourselves and our families. What kind of future includes a poisoned water system, unbreathable air and an ever-warming planet that threatens to obliterate entire cities?

But creating rigid regulations with no concern for what businesses need to do to implement them is absurd as well. There are actual people in those businesses who have to pore through every new law and figure out how it impacts there bottom line. Would it kill you to make things a little easier for them?

Unions have given us, as workers, so much over the years. The 8-hour work week, healthcare, safer workplaces and more. And they continue to be a champion for the little guy in the face of an ever-increasing corporate dominance in our politics. We need someone to help level the inherently un-level playing field that exists between a single worker and his employer.

But again, we need to face the realities of the 21st century. Like it or not, we are part of a global economy now. Which means companies face extreme pressure to keep costs under control. And that often includes wages. How do we balance the needs of lower and middle class Americans with those of businesses that see their foreign counterparts able to get the same level of work for a fraction of what we earn here? There's no easy solution, but ignoring the problem or pretending we can go back to a world where the other 6 continents don't matter is simply naive.

And then there's war. Nobody in their right mind likes war. Sure, there are some wackos out there who think any chance to kill people without repercussions is just plain awesome, but most Americans shutter at the thought of our young men and women getting shipped off to fight in some faraway land. Which means, many of us are not 'for us' when we go to places like Iraq. But we are also not 'against us' either. We simply think our leaders should think a little more deeply before sending our citizens in harms way.

Some feel the Iraq war was justified. Some feel no war is justified. And then there are the rest of us, who fall somewhere in between. Maybe Afghanistan is a more just war. Maybe Libya is a cause worth fighting for. Maybe not. But when everything gets framed as yes vs. no you don't tend to hear about the multitudes of opinions that fall somewhere in between. And that's a shame.

Now, some things should not even up for debate. Basic human and civil rights should transcend politics and be assured for everyone. Unfortunately, these issues tend to get thrown in to the either/or machine and tossed back at us as 'reasoned' debate on subjects like gay rights, the right to health care and the right to due process. Instead of debating these issues, we should be fighting over the best way to make sure these rights are guaranteed.

Those who have read my blog know I can be pretty firm on the progressive side of things. And you may think this post runs counter to such a strong point of view. But I disagree. I am not married to any policy prescription. What I am unwavering on, however, is a constant commitment to progress. And the only way to keep moving forward is to see things as they are. The world is rarely black and white. Solutions are rarely simple. And debate is almost always complex.

Ultimately, we have to choose. Do we want to be entertained nightly by a bunch of stiff-haired half-wits on cable TV or do you want your children to live in a country that provides them with opportunity and freedom?

In this case, it actually is either/or. We can't have both.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lack of adult supervision plagues Republican party

The kids are not alright. They've gotten out of control.

Republicans keep spitting out dumber and dumber shit. But no one is calling them out on it.

So who can blame them for keeping it up?

When a 5 year old craps his pants and his parents don't let him know he shouldn't be doing that, he keeps crapping his pants. Why the hell not! Mom and dad don't care! And it's fun!

So when Sara Palin said she could see Russia from her house and McCain did not stuff her into a cannon right then and there and shoot her back to Wasilla, she kept at it.

When Newt Gingrich called Obama a socialist, colonialist Kenyan and he didn't instantly get smacked across his fat, pasty face, he was encouraged to keep it coming.

When Michelle Bachmann said that homosexuality was the greatest threat our nation faced and she wasn't hog-tied on the spot and flown to LA so the entire cast of Glee could bitch slap her repeatedly, she felt affirmed and kept taking her bat shit pills.

So it was no surprise this week, when the GOP held its presidential 'debate', that the kiddies went on a stupidity binge. Let's lower the corporate tax rate to 25%! No, make it 15%! Screw you, commie, I say let's go to 9%! And let's raise taxes on poor people while we're at it!

And, so it went, until the so-called moderate Mitt Romney decided to bring the unrestrained dipshittery to a whole new level, saying that providing federal assistance to victims of natural disasters was immoral. When he was not immediately hurled into shark infested waters with a t-bone stapled to his scrotum, he left that debate emboldened, wondering how he can come up with even crazier crap to spew at the next GOP blabberfest.

Where are the adults? It used to be the republicans had some voices of reason to counter the nutballs.

Used to be, democrats also had a couple of folks with the balls to stand up for what they believe in.

Now? We are left with the kids running the kindergarten. The teachers as are gone, the principal is MIA and the parents have thrown in the towel.

I am begging the adults to please come back. The kids need you. Your country needs you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where is the real moral outrage?

Seems like the only thing you can get Americans upset about these days is sex. Weiner shows his wiener and we flip out. Arnold fathers a love child and we are aghast.

Meanwhile, we have politicians making decisions that actually impact our lives (no, a congressman texting his cock around the country does not impact your life) and no one seems to give a shit.

The republican budget in congress calls for cuts to programs that help poor people pay for home heating oil. Without these funds, people may freeze to death. That's pretty fucking immoral if you ask me.

But no one seems to care.

Their budget also calls for scrapping Medicare in favor of a privatized program that gives seniors a stipend to pay for health insurance. But the stipend is only expected to cover about 1/3 of health plan premium costs, so poorer seniors will likely forgo getting insurance, get sick, not see a doctor, and die. That's really fucking immoral if you ask me.

But no one seems to care.

Lest, you think I only believe republicans are at fault, let's take a look at Mr. President. Seems he let Pfc. Bradley Manning, a solider accused of leaking information via Wikileaks, be detained under incredibly inhumane conditions for nearly a year, despite not having been found guilty of anything. That's pretty fucking immoral if you ask me.

But no one seems to care.

We have both parties arguing over how much they want to cut social spending that disproportionately helps poorer Americans. Meanwhile, we continue to let the wealthiest skate by with record low tax payments. And many are proposing even further tax cuts for the rich, despite the fact that the wealthiest 1% have seen virtually all of the economic gains of the last 30 years. That's fucking criminally immoral if you ask me.

But no one seems to care.

Our elected representatives have sent thousands of American boys and girls (they are hardly men and women) overseas to fight in questionable wars. Many have come home in body bags. Many more have returned with debilitating injuries, both physical and mental. This is perhaps the greatest moral outrage I have ever witness in my lifetime.

But no one seems to care.

All across the country, average Americans are suffering. People can't pay their mortgages. Gas prices are through the roof. Jobs are nearly impossible to come by. Healthcare costs are out of control. College tuition is skyrocketing. Meanwhile, large corporations and wall street firms have received trillions of dollars in taxpayer financed support in return for their generous campaign donations.

But no one seems to care.

Why? Why can we only generate real human outrage when some dude pulls his dick out in the wrong situation?

I wouldn't care if every single member of congress started their day with a mass orgy, fucking every other member of congress, as long as they enacted laws that actually helped our country.

The president could stick his penis in every single willing vagina that came into the oval office, as long as he worked at getting our economy back on track and our soldiers back home.

But hey, that's just me. Clearly the private sex lives of our nation's leaders matters a great deal to most average Americans.

The sad irony, however, is that those same Americans are the ones who are actually getting screwed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

While you were staring at that penis

Some other shit happened. A lot of it actually. So I thought I'd fill everyone in.

In the past week, while most of the country was fixated on a congressman's schlong, the following, clearly less important things also took place.

About 900 Americans died because they didn't have health insurance.

A few hundred people died in Syria, as unrest in the middle east continued to rage on.

The people of the world continued to make the planet hotter and less hospitable.

Wildfires raged in Arizona, threatening residential neighborhoods and inching perilously close to a multistate electrical grid.

We escalated our bombing campaign in Libya.

We intensified drone air strikes against Yemen.

Another 427,000 people filed for unemployment.

We got another week closer to defaulting on our debt and hurling the country into another catastrophic recession.

The nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan continued to leak radiation, with no clear end in sight.

Unless Weiner has some sort of magical member that can make all of these problems go away, it's time for everyone, including our pathetic media, to pull their collective eyeballs off of that cock and start focusing on shit that really matters.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nobel winning fry cook turned down by McDonald's

Steve, one of the leading fry cooks in the world, was stunned when he got the news.

"It's crazy. I studied at the best fry cooking schools. I've been mentored by some of the all-time greats and I've been published in all the leading fry journals. I just don't get it. It's like excellence in your field has become a liability."

When told that a Nobel winning economist from M.I.T., facing stiff opposition from Republicans in congress, was forced to remove himself from consideration for a high-level Federal Reserve governorship, Steve was quick to draw comparisons.

"Hey, I feel that, man. I get it. You spend your whole life at the top and then one day, bam! You're poison. No one will talk to you. I can't even get an interview at Jack in the Box these days. Fucking Jack in the Box!

When asked why he thought society was no longer interested in quality, Steve pulled no punches.

"People are idiots. They'd rather hire someone with no skills as long as they don't rock the boat, you know? Me, I like to mix it up. I double fry. I dabble in different oils. When everyone else is frying Idahos, I throw down with some Yukon Golds. Fuck, maybe I'm too much of a rebel for some people.

So what's next for the world's top fry guy?

"I may hang up the paper hat for a while. Give myself a little TLC. Then, who knows? Maybe figure out to be suckier? Dumb my shit down so I can appeal to the masses, you know? Oh, and I'll probably take that stupid Nobel Prize off the resume. Clearly that thing doesn't impress anyone anymore."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Penis Mightier

In today's news, the latest jobs report was a huge disappointment.

Holy shit did you see that congressman's cock!?!

Companies created just 38000 new jobs, much less than expected.

Cock! Cock! Cock!

Economists fear we are in danger of dipping back into a recession.

Holy shit the guy's name is Weiner! As in cock!

Meanwhile, congress is playing games with American lives, arguing over a manufactured debt crisis.

Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! Weiner! Cock! Cock! Cock!

Leaving millions of


unemployed workers


in danger of losing everything

Weiner! Weiner!

they've ever worked for.

Cock! Cock!

The situation

Weiner! Weiner! Weiner!


Cock! Cock! Cockity cock cock!



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reality check

We've got a lot to complain about in this country and I will keep at it for sure. But reading this today has given me pause. Whenever you think this country has completely gone to shit and we are doomed as a nation, be thankful that you don't live in Saudi Arabia.

Now, we could talk about America's tacit approval of this kind of behavior because our oil addiction keeps us tethered to this ridiculous, abusive and dangerous terror-sponsoring 'ally' and forces us to ignore their continued atrocities. But that's for another day.

Today, let's just be thankful.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How much money do you want to make when you grow up?

To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, money isn't everything. It's the only thing.

According to the experts, no matter what industry you're in, the only way to attract the best and brightest talent is to make sure you offer a shitload of money.

Most recently, I read a piece that said If we don't pay doctors a really high wage, the next generation of students will choose something other than medicine—like running a hedge fund or investing in tech start ups.


Doesn't anyone choose their career because it's what they actually want to do anymore?

I'll be honest, it kinda freaks me out to think that my cardiologist might be distracted by dreams of $1000 bottle service with the boys from Deutsche Bank.

I want my doctor to be that guy who is so obsessed with his craft that he actually masturbates to medical illustrations.

Listen, I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with my life until I hit my mid-twenties. But never for a second did I base my thinking on how I could make the most money. Sure, I wanted to find something that could help me earn a decent living. But my main concern was finding a career that actually inspired me to go to work each day.

Have we lost that? Have we become so money-focused in this country that kids only dream of dollar signs?

I hope not. I hope kids still ask each other "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

And I really hope that the most popular answer isn't "rich".