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.