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.