Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Confusion

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Surely you can't be serious

There is a decent chance that one of the republican presidential hopefuls may be our next president. That is a simple (terrifying) fact.

But that fact in no way validates any of these people as serious candidates.

To be a serious candidate, you have to believe in serious things. And on virtually ever measure, this group of halfwits fails that test.

You cannot be a serious candidate if you don't believe in evolution.

You cannot be a serious candidate if you don't believe in global warming.

You cannot be a serious candidate if you think gay people don't deserve all of the same rights as straights, including the right to get married.

And sorry, but you absolutely cannot be a serious candidate if you think that our current president was born somewhere other than Hawaii.

Most of the republican wannabes fail on all of these measures. Simply put, they are not serious candidates. And until they decide to be serious candidates, I refuse to call them by their serious-sounding names.

So, from now on, Sarah Palin will be known as Granny Shitforbrains.

And Newt Gingrich shall be known as Phil Anderer

Mitt Romney? This is tough. You could go the Mormon route, but I find it a bit absurd that he gets called out for his 'extreme' religious beliefs by evangelical wackjobs. So, instead, I will simply call him Studly McFancypants.

Mike Huckabee is now Droopy Tits.

Michelle Bachmann is now Gods Greatestmistake

Tim Pawlenty gets to keep his name because no one knows who the fuck he is anyway.

Ron Paul shall now be called Psycho.

Rick Santorum is now Satan.

And everyone's favorite douchebag, Donald Trump, shall henceforth be known as SeƱor Cocksucker.

Now, these names don't have to forever. Any one of these candidates can have their old moniker back with one simple statement:

"I (state your name), do hereby renounce idiocy in all its forms. I will allow reason to guide my political and personal beliefs and I will speak out against those who refuse to follow the same path."

So whaddya say Mrs. Shitforbrains? You in?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There's no 'me' in politics

The world is a mess. Everything is corrupt. Millions are out of work. Houses aren't worth shit. And the planet appears to a few years away from self-combusting.

But luckily, I have a plan.

I'm not going to do anything. I'm going to sit in my room, hum a nice tune and focus on what really matters—me.

I don't have time to care about the petty problems of those who orbit my universe. And I don't have the luxury of caring about the 'future'. I'm all about the here and now. And right now, I'm here in my room humming some Kajagoogoo, higher than a kite on the moon.

Now, don't get me wrong. If something bothers me personally, I will speak the fuck right up. I will complain like a 5-year old without his juice box. Heck, that's my right as an American.

But if you want me to actually do something? Back off dude. I've got bills to pay. I've got kids to raise. I've got a lawn to mow. How can I possibly squeeze anything else in?

Shit, I don't even vote. Don't see the point. Those political fuckers have never done nothing to help me. Get Obama out to clean my gutters and maybe I'll consider pulling the lever for him next time.

Until then? It's me time, baby. Time to spark up and tune out.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Have we stopped learning?

A guy walks up to you in the street and punches you in the face. Hurts like hell.

Next day, you see the same guy walking towards you. Pow! He punches you again. Fuck!

Day after that you see this bastard yet again. You walk up to him, stare him in the face and say "'do it again, only harder this time."

This is what our country is like right now.

Used to be, we learned from stupid decisions. The depression was caused by lax regulation on business and made worse by the lack of a safety net. So we tightened up regulations and created a saftey net. Makes sense.

Poor judgment and high-level corruption got us into an unwinnable war in Southeast Asia that lasted over a decade. So we started cracking down on corruption and holding our leaders more accountable through an aggressive media. Great idea.

A concentration of executive power and an overly trusting populace led to Nixon's infamous Watergate scandal. So we threatened impeachment, forcing him to resign from office. And we developed a healthy skepticism about our leaders. Lesson learned.

But over the past 30 years or so, that ability to learn from our stupidity has disappeared.

In the 80s, Wall Street went wild, enabling corruption at levels never seen before. Markets crashed. Scandals erupted all over the place. And we spent the next 30 years further deregulating the financial marketplace. Huh?

In the 90s, the Twin Towers were bombed by an extreme Islamic group, killing 6 people and injuring thousands. So we spent the next decade allowing our intelligence agencies to become more fragmented and less communicative, keeping critical information from each other that could have helped prevent 9/11. What?

In the 2000s, after 9/11, we were at a rare moment in history. A moment where people were prepared to sacrifice their own well-being to bring the country together and ensure its safety and prosperity for future generations. But instead, we went shopping. Are you fucking kidding me?

Later in that same decade, we experienced what could go down as the worst economic collapse our nation has ever seen. The financial industry pretty much decimated every corner of our economy through fraud, deception, negligence and outright theft. Millions were left jobless. Many were tossed from their homes. And countless more were left holding the deeds to properties worth tens of thousands less than what they owed.

What a perfect chance to right the ship and regain control over our financial industry. We could create an industry that actually works to enable investment in real businesses. We could write regulations that actually hold people accountable for their actions. We could institute policies that begin to reverse the extreme inequalities created by decades of financial mismanagement. And we could put the executives who defrauded America in jail, letting everyone see that we consider white-collar crime just as serious, if not more so, than street crime.

So that's what happened right?

Not even close. Instead, we decided to dump a few trillion dollars into the pockets of those who killed our economy—without any conditions on how they used that cash. We have convicted exactly zero financial executives. We have instituted a watered down regulatory bill that essentially leaves the system as-is. And, to top it all off, we have decided that we simply can't afford to invest in jobs, infrastructure and health care for those most hurt by the crisis.

Pow! Take that America! Right in the fucking kisser.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Get your gay hands off my wedding vows

Why are homosexuals so intent on ruining my marriage?

You all are so worked up, trying to get the right to marry your partners, without giving a single thought to how you are destroying the relationship between me and my wife.

How can we possibly be happy, knowing that two men might be enjoying the tax benefits of holy matrimony?

How can we enjoy our 5th anniversary celebration this year knowing that, at the same moment, a woman might be able to visit her wife in the hospital?

And how could we ever look forward to growing old together, when Steve in accounting can get company paid health benefits for both himself and his husband, tax free!

It's just not right.

But thankfully, the republicans in congress recognize this and are fighting to defend my rights. Their support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is truly heroic.

In a time where they could easily be distracted by things like a horrific economy, escalating tensions abroad and a rapidly deteriorating environment, Speaker Boehner and his minions remain steadfast in their fight for what really matters.

These guys understand love. They get how two men or two women loving each other automatically cancels out the love between a man and a woman. It is the transitive property of amorosity. You can't fuck with that shit.

Perhaps gay people could learn a lesson from these selfless warriors and do something equally monumental to save our nation. Like fixing the economy or the environment, for instance.

Leave the love to our republican friends in congress. Most of them have been married a bunch of times. So they're kind of the experts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The iPad is not the enemy

Apparently Jesse Jackson Jr. has inherited his father's knack for saying some pretty stupid shit.

This past Friday, on the floor of congress, he made a bizarre speech that attempted to put the iPad at the heart of the unemployment problem. He also mentioned that he had recently purchased one of these evil job-killing machines.


Hypocrisy aside, this has got to be one of the most ridiculous, nonsensical examples of just how out of touch congress is with reality.

Yes, the iPad (along with other digital readers) may be responsible for eliminating some jobs in the publishing industry. But this is kind of like getting pissed off at toothpaste for killing jobs in the false teeth industry.

It's called progress. And it's a bit disappointing that a so-called progressive like Mr. Jackson would not understand this.

The iPad has already unleashed a flurry of economic activity in it's brief history. No, the device itself is not made here in America. Nothing is made here in America. But there are countless developers, writers, artists, musicians and more who have already begun to use the iPad as a platform for their creativity. These ideas, apps, songs, etc. would never have existed without the iPad.

Even old-school magazine publishers have started churning out amazing content. Check out Esquire or Wired for some great examples.

And we are really just scratching the surface at this point. As more players enter the marketplace, the possibilities for creative development will grow exponentially.

So please, Mr. Jackson, stop lamenting the loss of jobs in industries that were already dying and start focusing on the bigger picture. Your constituents are not served by empty promises of a return to the past. You need to embrace the future and figure out how to apply progressive principles in a way that will ensure more people share in the spoils of this latest technological revolution.

Unemployment is a serious issue. But if you want people to listen to your ideas on how to address the problem, you need to act in a serious manner.

Ignoring reality is not a good place to start.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stop hiding behind the constitution

Used to be, you could count on republicans to hide their hatred behind the bible.

"It's not me who hates gays, it's the Good Book!"

"I don't want to treat my wife like shit, but that's what the word of God says!"

Ah, how I long for those good old days.

You see, now republicans have found a new set of words to follow blindly. And they hold even more power than the holiest of scriptures.

Right wingers have given up on the bible and moved on to the most sacred of all documents—the constitution.

"I don't want the poor to starve, but the constitution won't let me feed them!"

"I wish I could help those old folks, but the constitution says I have to let them die!"

"Sure, I value those who work hard, but the constitution says they should be underpaid and treated like shit!"

How do you argue with that logic? "What, you don't believe in the constitution? Damn, I knew you liberal pricks didn't liked God, but shit, you don't like America neither?"

Well, actually. I do like America. So much so, that I've actually read the constitution. And you would be amazed at the things it says and doesn't say.

For today, let's focus on the preamble (otherwise known as the beginning).

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I've put a few of the words in bold because they seem to be the ones that get ignored by virtually every constitution worshiper.

Those 4 words give the federal government a lot of power. And they show that our founding fathers had the foresight to realize that the world would evolve in ways they could never imagine. They understood that people might have different needs in 2011 than they did in 1787.

Back in the day, each little community was isolated and not particularly dependent on each other.

In 2011, our general welfare is intertwined and highly interdependent. More of us work together. We travel the same highways together. We breathe the same car exhaust-filled air. We drink the same e-coli tinged water.

To promote our general welfare, it takes a coordinated effort. Lucky for us, this handy little document known as the constitution gives our federal government the authority to tackle this job head on.

So we have the EPA to help mange our air and water quality. Which allows us all to live longer.

We have government run health programs--like Medicare, Medicaid and The VA--which help those most in need get the care they deserve.

And we have laws to protect gays, ethnic minorities, women and others who continue to suffer discrimination at the hands of our most ignorant citizens.

No, you won't find the words Medicare, Gay Rights or Environmental Protection Agency anywhere in the 7 articles or 27 amendments to the constitution. But that doesn't matter. Because the spirit behind those words is right there in the first damn paragraph.

Promote the general welfare. That's just a fancy way of saying we are not all in this alone.

We are incredibly fortunate that the authors of our constitution were smart enough to include this language.

I just wish some of our countryman were smart enough to understand what those words actually mean.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Obama is not a liberal

I like Obama. He's smart, even-tempered and seems genuinely concerned with the state of our nation.

But one thing he is not, is a liberal.

Wednesday's budget speech proved this once and for all. Obama is a realist. He is a pragmatist. And he is also to the right of every republican president we've ever had, except for the last one.

Obama has laid out a budget that Reagan would have been proud to call his own. It relies heavily on spending cuts with only about 1/4 of the deficit reduction coming from the taxation side. For those Reagan worshipers who think Saint Ronnie never raised taxes, he did. Quite often actually.

You want to see a liberal budget proposal? Check out this one.

Haven't head about it? No surprise there. Our so-called liberal media hasn't reported anything from the actual liberal point of view in over 30 years.

But that doesn't make the ideas any less legitimate.

Is it really that radical to push for a progressive estate tax? Or for taxing capital gains the same as earned income?

Is it so extreme to believe that US corporations should actually pay a few bucks in taxes on income earned abroad? Or that oil, gas and coal companies should be weaned off the succulent teat of government subsidies?

Is it really nuts to put a small tax on financial speculation, so we can afford to pay for the next bailout when (not if) it comes?

Is it absurd to want a public health insurance option, to compete with overpriced private insurance? Is it extremist to try and stop drug companies from overcharging consumers? Is it kooky to try and ensure that doctor's are paid properly for their services?

Is it so fucking crazy to think that a country which pays more for defense than nearly every other country combined should try and scale back a bit? Maybe we only bomb every other country in the middle east.

And finally, is it beyond the scope of reason to think that in a country where more people have reality shows than actual jobs, the government should consider creating real work through investment in infrastructure and education?

None of that seems all that crazy to me. Especially when you consider it will all result in our deficit being eliminated in 10 years.

This is a truly liberal approach to government. And it's an approach that is not even being considered by our so-called 'socialist' president.

It's hard to blame him, when you see how much attention has been given to the 'conservative' budget put forth by congressmen Paul Ryan. This is a budget so callous and so unrealistic it should be dismissed as some kind of joke. In fact, it was released so close to April Fool's Day that many wondered if it was in fact, a hoax.

So, how can Obama be a liberal? It would be political suicide. Shit, you can hardly be a mainstream conservative anymore without being labeled a commie sympathizer.

Which leads us back to what Obama actually is—a smart guy just trying to do the little bit he can to keep the country from being completely overrun by extreme anti-government zealots.

Now, I realize that this measured, defensive approach doesn't have the bold, sexy appeal of "The New Deal' or "The Great Society" programs put forth by previous, more progressive, Democratic presidents.

But Obama's work may eventually prove to be more historically significant than either one. Assuming of course, that he actually succeeds.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life, incorporated

As of today, I have officially changed my name to Tjack, Inc. And I have to say that so far, it feels fucking great.

I am no longer burdened by petty human concerns like empathy and compassion. And my urge to give a shit about the world around me has nearly vanished.

With this huge weight lifted, I am free to pursue what any other decent, god-fearing corporation wants—unbridled riches and a free pass from law enforcement agencies.

Now, I can piss in the streets with impunity. I can get drunker than a priest on Easter and fear no moral rebuke. And I can drive my car down city sidewalks to avoid traffic, without getting hung up on the whole 'I might kill a few innocent pedestrians' thing.

Yeah, this is living.

The best part?

I can funnel my cash to politicians, without limit, and they will rewrite the laws to make it even easier for me to make money. So then, I can funnel even more back to them so I can get even better laws written to help me make absolutely absurd amounts of cash.

We corporations like to call this the Cycle of Awesomeness.

If you haven't considered incorporating yourself, I highly recommend it. It is the only way to achieve real power. And and there is no high quite like the sweet buzz of unchecked authority.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to join the party. Say hello when you get here. I'll be the guy outside, pissing all over the flower beds.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh Donny Boy

I love Donald Trump.

He's brash, bold and lately, a little bit bonkers. Which makes for great entertainment.

But now he's scaring me. Because I think he really wants to be president.

C'mon Donny, you don't really think you're qualified for this shit do you? Yes, you've made a shitload of money. And yes, you attended some good schools.

But you do realize you're a clown, don't you? People like you because you are someone they can laugh at, not admire. You have a catch phrase for fuck's sake.

Hell, your hair alone should disqualify you for office.

But if it doesn't, the fact that you continue to support the "birther" conspiracy about our president absolutely should.

We expect this from the other GOP candidates. Shit, their collective SAT scores wouldn't get them into a decent pre-school, let alone the fine institutions you so proudly boast of attending.

But if you're going to tout your brain as one your qualifications for higher office, you have to show some proof that you actually know how to use it.

Which means this birther nonsense has to stop. You can't possibly believe that Obama wasn't born in the US. The evidence is overwhelming. And you have to be aware that the whole damn conspiracy is a tea party ruse to appease their racist membership.

So just drop it already. Unless you're content to continue to play the clown.

In which case, I say keep the crazy coming. Because you do it so damn well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Put 'em on the table

One thing I've always admired about republicans is the size of their balls.

Big, tax-cut loving, government hating, god-fearing, war-mongering, stick it to the poor while jerking off the rich, balls.

And man, they've gone and whipped those suckers out again. And they are bigger than ever.

Congressman Paul Ryan recently released the GOP's blueprint for the federal budget. And damn if he didn't go and do exactly what the tea party campaigned on.

This budget is a radical departure from the status quo. It privatizes Medicare. It squeezes the hell out of Medicaid. It guts the tax code, eliminating most deductions. And it shrinks government to levels we haven't seen in years.

Now, I disagree with a lot of Ryan's proposals. It puts way too much of the burden on lower income people. And it removes government from roles I think are critical. But I have to say, I admire the shit out of this budget nonetheless.

Why? Because it is honest. The tea party campaigned on the idea of smaller government (except defense, of course) and now they are giving us a budget that reflects their beliefs.

It may fly in the face of most of their membership's economic self interest, but ideologically, it suits them to a tee.

It will eliminate health care benefits for many members, but it will get the government off their backs.

It will sap their savings accounts when they hit retirement, but it will keep taxes low for their theoretical millionaire friends.

It will put a college education out of reach for many, but it will relieve large corporations of burdensome regulations.

It is a true conservative manifesto. And I for one, thank Ryan for bringing it to light.

Now, it is the democrats' turn. Will Obama and the congressional leadership stand up for progressive principles like fairness, opportunity and shared propserity? Or will they do what they usually do, and present a watered down version of the Republican plan.

This is Obama's last real chance to show what he's made of before the election cycle heats up.

I never thought I'd say this, but man, I hope we finally get to see his balls.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To burn or not to burn?

You may have heard about this jackass pastor, Terry Jones, who thought it was a great idea to burn the Qur'an the other day.

At least 20 have died in Afghanistan riots sparked by the burning. This is tragic, plain and simple.

And as a result, some here have called for new laws outlawing such inflammatory (sorry for all the fire-related puns) outbursts.

I strongly disagree.

This bigoted little maggot needs to be exposed. And what better way to do that than by allowing him to broadcast his hate around the world? If we censor his actions, he will only find a more subversive way to spread his ignorant beliefs, which could incite much worse than what we've seen in Afghanistan.

Is the pastor to blame for these killings? No. That responsibility lies with the murdering thugs whose overreaction to Jones' stupidity was of epic proportions.

But Jones has plenty of blood is on his hands. He was well aware of the potential consequences for his actions.

Now, we need people here in America to be brave enough to shed a bright light on those actions without setting fire to our constitution.

Free speech is a messy thing. But it was included in our first amendment for a reason. A true democracy cannot thrive when uncomfortable ideas are suppressed.

Our founding fathers knew this. And many risked their lives in pursuit of this freedom. To take that freedom away would the equivalent of spitting on those brave soldiers' graves.

Which you're free to do in this great country by the way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The race to the bottom.

Economist Paul Krugman wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times yesterday that explains the current Republican economic strategy. Essentially, they want everyone takes a collective pay cut so that companies can hire more people without spending more money.

Krugman goes into some pretty detailed economic mumbo jumbo that I won't go into here. But I will sum up his basic point for everyone:

The Republicans are fucking insane!

This is what America voted for back in November? A collective economic circumcision? C'mon everyone throw your foreskin into a big pile so we can make penises for everyone!

Not to mix my genital metaphors, but wow, that takes balls.

Now, if corporations were really struggling, I think we might all be able to join together and take one for the team. But corporate profits are at an all time high. And now they want more? At our expense? Didn't you just take off the condom from the last time you fucked us? Wow, big boy, you're ready to go again so soon? Damn.

Instead of reinserting your corporate cocks into our collectively sore asses, why don't you open up that overstuffed vault of yours and start creating a few fucking jobs? I realize you are perfectly content selling your shit overseas and counting the money back here in the good ol' USA, but wouldn't you like a few home grown customers too? You know how much we love to buy shit in this country. Imagine how much more of it we'd do if we actually had a little cash?

It's just a thought. I realize you will continue to do whatever the hell you want, since you are the ones in control of this country.

Just one simple request. Be gentle.