Monday, October 31, 2011

The Perry Diaries

Dear Diary,
That's it! No more debating for this cowboy. All them words, and rememberin' stuff, and thinkin' and, well, no way Jose as we say in Texas.

Besides, the American people don't want a President that thinks too much. At least the ones that would vote for me don't. I mean look at old Reagan. Hell, he didn't think at all! And they loved him.

If'n you want a lot of thinkin', hell, you must be a Democrat anyway. No, my kind of voters want action, not thought. Enough talkin', I need to get back to doin' what I do best: executin' folks and takin' big checks from corporations. A "Man of Action", that's what I am. Shit howdy!

Dear Diary,
Why don't people like me more? Hell, I'm smarter than W. and better lookin' too. And he was elected President twice. Sort of. Jesus, my wife's better lookin' than old what's her name, too. Why don't Karl Rove like me? I didn't nickname him Turd Blossom. But I gotta admit it suits him to a "T".

Dear Diary,
What's the deal with that colored guy? No, not him, that other one. Cain. And what's all this "9-9-9" crap? Hell, even at A&M we learned enough math to laugh at that horseshit. And yet he's ahead of me in the polls! What's wrong with folks?

I didn't mean nothin' bad with that Nig, uh, "N-word head" stuff. Hell, it's just a place for guys to let off a little steam, drink a few beers, and shoot things. Some people are just too damn sensitive, if you ask me. Always lookin' for race in everything. Jesus! Anyway, I was gonna paint over that sign years ago, but my Mexicans never got around to it. You know how it is with them, "Manana, manana, Senor Rick."

Dear Diary
I miss Sarah Palin. People said she was dumb, but she always made a lot of sense to me. Easy on the eyes, too. Down boy! And anyway, what's more important, lookin' good or thinkin' good? I know the answer to that one!

That Bachmann gal's a pretty nice lookin' lady, too. And her husband seems like a real sweet fella. Sensitive and all. Good dancer, too. What's his name again? Maurice? Somethin' like that. Those Northern guys, I don't know, there's somethin' about 'em. Can't put my finger on it.

Dear Diary,
I'm not a theologian, but I'm pretty damn sure that Jesus wasn't a Mormon! I wish some folks would wake-up to that.

Dear Diary,
OK, new strategerie. I'm gonna do them debates, but I'm not gonna say anythin'. Anybody asks me a question I don't like, I'm just gonna squint at 'em--so it looks like I'm thinkin', then cock my head, sorta smile, and nod. That'll show 'em.

Go Aggies!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shocked, Shocked! (Redux)

For the last week or so we've been inundated with various pundits announcing that they are shocked--shocked! to discover that Pizza Man Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan would in fact lower taxes on millionaires while raising taxes on the middle and lower classes. Really? They're surprised by this? Really?

Lest we forget, Cain is a Republican. He is also a millionaire. As are Willard Mitt "Do As I Say And Not As I Do" Romney and Rick "Try To Forget All Of The Crazy Things I Say And Gaze Instead At My Beautiful Head Of Hair" Perry. So is Sarah "Material Girl" Palin, who isn't running because she feels that she can best serve the America people by collecting enormous speaking fees from starstruck saps.

Michelle "Yes, I Am This Stupid" Bachmann? Millionaire. Ron "FEMA Is A Bad Idea" Paul? Millionaire. Newt "Lover Boy" Gingrich? Millionaire. Even Rick "For The Love Of God Please Don't Google Santorum" Santorum is a millionaire.

So of course they want to lower taxes on millionaires. They're all millionaires. "Duh!", as the kids say.

I mean really, what would be the point of being President if you couldn't feather your own nest? Leave austerity to the little people. It suits them.

Republicans never govern very well, their "hearts" aren't really in it. Besides, since their cornerstone belief is that "government is the problem" you can't expect them to do a good job for the rest of us. It goes against their very nature.

But give them credit for one thing: they sure know how to look out for their own kind.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"I Don't Recall"

Joe Arpaio has been a blight on Arizona for more years than I can recall. His type of "get tough law enforcement" has cost the good folks of Maricopa County tens of millions of dollars in accidental death settlements for the "justice" carried out in his jails. He is a publicity whore without equal and, when you take a good hard look at the crime statistics, not really much of a cop.

But despite all of his indisputable failings, the desert hillbillies still love them some Sheriff Joe enough to keep re-electing him. Why? Because he has a big mouth and a flair for the kind of gestures that appeal to bitter, scared hayseeds. Gestures that demean and dehumanize anyone, guilty or not, who is unlucky enough to spend time in one of his facilities. Pink underwear? Check. Green baloney sandwiches? Check. Chain gangs? Check. Outdoor holding tents in the Phoenix summer? Check. Oh, and one more thing: They love Arpaio because he's gonna show them "Meskins" who's boss.

There may be dozens of meth labs scattered across the desert. There may be thousands of unserved warrants. There may be organized crime lurking in the shadows of some of our oldest establishments. And what does Joe choose to do? Raid restaurant kitchens. Our boy's a regular Eliot Ness, isn't he?

Or maybe J. Edgar Hoover is a better comparison. The FBI's fabled director wasted years harassing anyone on the political left, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Dalton Trumbo to Martin Luther King Jr. while completely ignoring the Mafia.

But now "America's toughest sheriff" has a tiny PR problem. Called to testify at the ethic's hearing of Andrew Thomas (yet another "law and order" Republican who should be behind bars), Arpaio used the old "I don't recall" defense so often it began to sound like sudden onset Alzheimer's.

Let's take a look at the scorecard: In addition to all of those wrongful death suits, he misused 100 million bucks entrusted to his office; many of his hand-picked underlings have serious legal problems of their own; and now he can't remember anything about how the county attorney's office came to bring criminal charges against a couple members of the county Board of Supervisors.

"I don't recall."

Of course none of this will matter to the desert hillbillies. They will continue to vote for their beloved Sheriff Joe, scourge of short order cooks, dishwashers, busboys, and gardeners everywhere--until he ends up getting thrown into one of his own jails. And even then I wouldn't count him out. Arizona voters are nothing if not loyal.

No, I'm afraid that Arpaio will be with us forever, like those other civilizational plagues, the cockroach and cancer.

It does have a nice ring to it, though: Joe "I don't recall" Arpaio.

And it'll look good on his headstone, too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Theatre Of The Absurd

In a moment of weakness, I considered watching the Republican's latest "debate". After all, there is a slight chance that one of these "people" might be elected President of the United States. Plus it was in Vegas, and I was wondering how all these self professed stewards of Good Christian Values would deal with the undeniable fact that if you took the sin industries out of Nevada there wouldn't be anything left but that "secret" air force base, a couple of uranium mines, and a handful of Basques tending sheep. And I always enjoy watching a room full of hypocrites grappling with a moral dilemma.

Luckily, good sense grabbed hold of me, and instead I chose to completely ignore the proceedings because, really, what would be the point?

Like the fifth sequel to a terrible movie, every single thing that might be said by one of the "worthy contenders" is entirely predictable.

First the Black Guy would say something stupid. Then the Millionaire Mormon Male Model would say something stupid. Then the Superdooper Christian Corporate Whore from the Republic of Texas would challenge the Mormon male model's stupidity with some down home y'all superdooper stupidity of his own. Then the Batshit Crazy Lady would blurt out something so bizarrely inane that the entire universe would pause for a second to ponder what the fuck she was trying to say. Did I leave anyone out? Oh, of course we can't forget Rick "Please Don't Google Santorum" Santorum, who has his own special brand of desperate loser stupidity to share, if only someone would ask.

This process would then be repeated until our eyes crossed and our ears began to bleed.

The term "Theatre of the Absurd" took root in the years after WWII. The unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust and the Atomic bomb led Samuel Beckett, amongst others, to tackle the fundamental absurdity of living in the shadow of such overpowering nihilism. Becket's Waiting for Godot was like a slap in the face to audiences used to Noel Coward and the well made play.

However, the years rolled past and the societal attacks and musings of Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Beyond the Fringe, Monty Python, Dr. Strangelove, The President's Analyst, and many others have made Godot's compounding absurdities seem almost quaint.

But none of them could have prepared us for the Tea Party Republican Presidential Contenders of 2012.

Listen closely and you'll hear the ghost of Samuel Beckett sigh and say, "OK. You win."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Day, Another Ridiculous Statement From A Republican Presidential Contender

And you thought Herman "9-9-9 Shall Be The Number Of The Beast" Cain was only stupid about economics?

Au contraire, mon frere!

Today we learned that, according to Hermie Pepperoni, "Jesus was killed by a liberal court." I will now pause for a moment to fix myself a strong drink while you digest that...

Ahhh, that's better! Now where were we? Oh yes...

Come on Herm, we all know that the Jews killed Jesus. By God, that's been the basis of Christian theology (and much of Western civilization) for nearly 2000 years. Ask any good, anti-Semitic Catholic.

I know that it's hard to believe that the Romans would allow anyone anywhere to interfere with their administration of justice. I mean, really, is that anyway to run an Empire? Still, it is a long way from Rome to Galilee and who knows, maybe things got a little bit lax in the farthest provinces.

But "killed by a liberal court"?

No Herm, we can blame those dirty meddling liberals for many things: the 40 hour week, paid vacations, child labor laws, the G.I. Bill, student loans, Medicare, Social Security, various clean air and water acts, workplace safety laws, civil rights, voting rights, and much, much more. But not for whacking the Son of God. Sorry. But no.

See, it is possible, in this age of multi-tasking, to be stupidly ignorant about several things at once. Just ask Herman Cain, pride of Tea Party Republicans everywhere.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The other day, The Arizona Republic endorsed Wes Gullett over Greg Stanton for Mayor of Phoenix. This did not come as a surprise. The Republic has a long and distinguished history of supporting the worst possible candidate. One fondly recalls Little Ben Quayle and Jan Brewer and Trent Franks and Rick Renzi and--well, the list is long and life is short. Suffice it to say Wes Gullett fits right in.

Gullett has been a GOP hack off and on for many years now. At one time or another both John "Maverick" McCain and J. Fife "They Should Have Known I was Lying On My Financial Statements" Symington have signed his paychecks. Quite a resume, huh? But mostly he's been a lobbyist.

A lobbyist is someone who scuttles around the the darker corners of our statehouses carrying large sacks of money. They ply politicians with lunches, or tickets to ball games, or just plain cash. Like the vast majority of the Wall Street Gang, most of them do nothing to make things better for the rest of us. They certainly do not have our best interests in mind. That isn't the point. Influence and power are the points. Lobbyists buy influence and power, which I might add in Arizona are surprisingly cheap, and the public good be damned. They are, in essence, purveyors of anti-democracy.

To repeat, Wes Gullett is a lobbyist.

The Republic called Gullett "right for these times." If I thought anybody down there had a sense of humor, I'd say they were being sarcastic. Alas. They think he'll be more likely to rein in the unionized city worker's benefits than Stanton. If you really believe that the benefit package of city workers is the most pressing issue facing the city then you are just as stupid as the Republic's editorial board, and you probably should vote for Gullett.

The paper also supports Gullett's goal of "leveraging city investments" (I think this means trying to privatize whatever he can get his clammy little hands on) and "getting government out of the way" of business. Sigh. Maybe someday the desert hillbillies will wake up and realize that electing people to govern you that don't believe in government is just plain dumb. Maybe not.

To repeat once again, Wes Gullett is a lobbyist. As such he has spent most of his professional life acting on the belief that government's only true purpose is to enrich his friends.

**In the interest of full disclosure, I once sat next to Greg Stanton at a banquet of some sort. To be honest I can't remember a single interesting thing he said. At the time I wasn't overly impressed. However, compared to Wes Gullett, Greg Stanton is a combination of Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Many years from now, your grandchildren will ask you "where were you when you heard that Glendale had been awarded the 2015 Super Bowl?"

Personally, I began weeping with joy when Mrs. Franklin told me the news. It's taken me many hours and some pretty powerful medication to compose myself enough to write these words. When I saw the front page of the paper with Young Michael Bidwill and "Governor" Jan Brewer beaming with joy at the wonderful news I almost relapsed.

Sure it's more than 3 years away. Sure the only new jobs it will create are temporary and low paying. Sure the local municipalities will get stuck with paying overtime for police protection. Sure the huge numbers being floated around for the game's alleged economic impact are totally unsubstantiated. Sure, most of the money will ultimately end up wherever the hotel, rental car, and restaurant chains are headquartered. (Hint: it's not Arizona.)

That's not the point.

WE GOT THE SUPER BOWL!!! Take that, Tampa Bay!!!

And when I say we, I don't mean "we" as in you and me. That "we" gets next to nothing. The chances of one of "us" even getting tickets for the game are minuscule. No, I mean the greater "we". The "we" that defines itself by the success or failure of its sports teams. The "we" that is always willing to give billions of dollars of taxpayer money to wealthy team owners so that they can become even wealthier. The "we" that glorifies men who play kids' games while vilifying teachers. That "we". "They" are ecstatic right now.

2015. Maybe some of you are worried about whether or not you'll still have a job by then. What if you get sick and don't have any insurance? Will you lose your house or be able to feed your kids? That just shows how selfish you people are. Listen, your problems don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy mixed up world. No, what matters is that Young Michael Bidwill and "Governor" Jan Brewer have something to crow about.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Last Refuge

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." (Samuel Johnson)

It's time to update Dr. Johnson's famous observation. By necessity we must now add religion to the equation--at least on the Republican Tea Party side of the ledger.

It's simply just not enough anymore to hide behind phony, flag waving patriotism. These days you also have to shove Mr. Jesus in everyone's face to prove your bona fides.

So one of Rick Perry's Crazy Legion of Jesus minister buddies called Mormonism a "cult"? Hey, take a good close look at your Merriam Webster's--by definition, every last Christian sect is a cult.

Perry had to apologize of course--wouldn't want to run off any potential Mormon voters.

(For this he apologizes? But not for executing a possibly innocent man? Strange times we live in.)

Why any Mormon would vote for Perry when they still have one of their own tribe, the Human Weather Vane, Willard Mitt Romney, to vote for, is beyond me...

It's a long way to 2012 and we can expect a lot more of this "My love for our Lord and Savior is greater than my esteemed opponents' love for our Lord and Savior" nonsense between now and the Republican convention.

Of course, it's completely beside the point. The Founding Fathers didn't spend much time worrying about that sort of mumbo jumbo; nor did Lincoln, or either of the Roosevelt's. They were busy with weightier matters and just didn't have the time or inclination to dabble in fairy tales.

But the old My God is Bigger Than Your God is endlessly entertaining, and these days that's much more important than ideas or governing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Today's Chuckle

Jan Brewer, who is still masquerading as Governor of Arizona, even though the truth is that she is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chuck Coughlin and the For Profit Prison gangs--oops sorry, Corporations--that pay him, had this to say about endorsing a 2012 Republican presidential contender: "I'm going to wait until (the December 1st, Arizonan Republican Party/CNN debate) and see what comes out of there and then make the very best decision that I can make."

So there it is. Still time to make a bid for the "governor's" endorsement. Please, small denomination, non-sequential, unmarked bills only. Thank you!

PS Based on her previous decisions, that bit about the "very best decision that I can make" is priceless.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Republican Jobs Program

Don't worry, after the Rapture there will be lots of openings...


Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Apologies

Here's a thought for the Dark Lord Cheney and his daughter Liz, who is a particularly nasty piece of work in her own right:

President Obama doesn't have to apologize to anyone for anything until lil' Dick Cheney apologizes for the following: all of the lies about WMD's and yellow cake uranium that led to the bait and switch war with Iraq; the billions of dollars that Halliburton subsequently made in Iraq; the secret energy policy meetings with his oil company buddies; the secret, unrecorded testimony to the 9-11 commission where he sat Simple W. on his lap just like a ventriloquist's dummy; the instituting of torture as official policy; being a chicken hawk despite the five draft deferments he got during the Vietnam War; about a million dead Iraqis; and well, anything else he ever did as a member of the US government. Oh, and for generally being just a no good lying sack of shit.

That ought to keep the old prick busy until the mechanical heart finally gives out.