Monday, July 30, 2012

Tramps Like Us, Baby, We Were Born To Eat

Turns out that Chris Christie, the morbidly obese Governor of New Jersey, is a big Springsteen fan.

The longer I live, the more I encounter things in this world that just dumbfound and amaze me. This is one of those things.

It is obvious that Christie has no idea what Springsteen has been singing about for the last 40 years or so.

If he listened to the lyrics and took them to heart, well, he wouldn't be Chris Christie. He couldn't be.

Bruce Springsteen champions almost everything that an obnoxious loudmouth bully like Christie is against.

You know, things like community, working people, racial justice, economic fairness, equality, unions, brotherhood, the struggle of the common man against the corporation....

Things that Chris "Super Size Me!" Christie has nothing in common with.

PS It occurs to me that, as Springsteen tours Europe, he offers a look at the best of America...whereas Mitt Romney, as he races off to kiss Bibi Netanyahu's ass after his various London debacles, offers up the worst.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Romney Way To Economic Recovery

If you're ever feeling unreasonably optimistic about the future, just read the letters to the editor in The Arizona Republic and it'll bring you right back to reality.

The other day, for instance, they published a letter from a man who sang the praises of Willard Mitt Romney's offshore accounts. This guy is convinced that the ability to hide money from the IRS in the Cayman's, Bahamas, and Switzerland proves Willard's economic bona fides. In his mind Romney is an economic genius and the country--our country--would greatly benefit from just that kind of financial acumen.

Wow. Normally I'd dismiss this guy, in the vernacular of my Irish forebears, as just "another fookin' ijit." But apparently many people share his belief in the Mastery of Mitt. So let's take a closer look:

Since Romney made a lot of his money by hollowing out companies, off-shoring the jobs, firing American workers, looting pension funds, and ultimately burdening the remaining shell company with millions of dollars in debt, all while raking in huge management fees for him and his Bain Capital buddies, I'm wondering what a United States run under those principles would look like...

First of all, any job that can be sent overseas will be. The Federal government will be run out of a call center in Bangalore. And if those Indians get uppity, bang, we move it to Indonesia, just like that.

The only remaining American industries will be Defense contractors. Naturally, we'll need more wars to use all that cool, expensive stuff. Iran anyone? How about Russia and China, too?

Now, you unemployed folks needn't worry about the solvency of Social Security, or Medicare anymore. Most of you won't live long enough to benefit from them anyway. See, Mitt will do away with what's left of the safety net, welfare, food stamps, OSHA, the EPA, the FDA--all of those burdensome regulatory agencies that bother his billionaire backers. We'll have bad air, bad water, unclean food, unsafe roads and bridges, and low wages. Some of those diseases we thought we had eradicated will make a curtain call, too. Cholera, polio, tuberculosis--maybe even smallpox! But at least you won't have the Feds buggin' you man! It'll be a real "free market" paradise. You'll see.

Of course, it's not all bad. On the plus side for progressives, you can say goodbye to most, if not all, of the Red States. They take more from the Federal government than they give, which means they under perform. And Mitt knows what to do with under performing assets.

So sayonara y'all! 147 years after the Civil War, Dixie will finally get its wish!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How much longer do we have to take this?

The shootings in Aurora, CO, hit me in a way that very few things ever have before. You see, I used to live in Aurora. In fact, I lived within a mile of that theatre and saw a number of movies there before I left. As I was watching the news early this morning, it actually took a while to sink in that this was the same theatre. It just seemed so unreal. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that if I had not moved away and was a fan of the Batman series of films, it would have been very possible that I could have been in that theatre. I do wonder what it will take to have an honest, civilized debate on gun laws in this country. This morning I heard Louis Gohmert, the idiot congressman from Texas who can always be counted upon to say something stupid, wonder why there weren't other people with guns in the theatre -- they could have stopped it, he said. Yet all the reports I've heard so far say that the shooter, who was wearing a gas mask, set off tear gas cannisters to sow confusion before he started shooting. The idea that anyone else with a gun would have done anything other than contribute to the carnage is an astonishing idea. In basic training in the U.S. Navy, we were exposed to tear gas without wearing a mask. Trust me, not one of us could have done anything even remotely resembling helping the situation, with or without a gun, when exposed to tear gas. Your only thought is to get some relief for your eyes. On top of that, every gun that Holmes had was a legally purchased firearm. Every single one. Think about that the next time you hear Ted Nugent or Wayne LaPierre talk about how only criminals commit crimes with firearms. Holmes had no criminal record. He didn't become a criminal until he started blasting away in a crowded movie theatre at innocent victims with legally purchased guns! If James Holmes had been holding a knife or two, or even two fucking samurai swords, do you really think he could have killed 12 people and wounded, some critically, 59 people? If you really believe that, then you must believe that the superheroes portrayed in the type of movie they were attending must actually be real -- because he would have had to possess some sort of super powers to kill that many people without an automatic weapon. How clear does this have to get before we do something about this as a society? We refused to discuss it after Virginia Tech. We refused to discuss it after Fort Hood. We refused to discuss it when Gabby Giffords, along with several other innocent victims, was shot. How much carnage do we have to endure before we end the stranglehold the NRA, the tea Party, and the GOP have over our gun laws? Do any of you really want to see one of your parents, siblings, children or friends die because we don't have the political courage to stand up to these people?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ben Quayle, Superstar

When last we heard from Young Ben Quayle, R-Silver Spoon, he was heading off to Washington DC to "kick some ass".

In Young Ben's mind he is one tough hombre. I believe the word is "delusional". I guess being a pampered, little, lick-spittle will do that to a fellow. The truth is, Ben Quayle would get his ass kicked at a Cub Scout jamboree. (I'm reminded once again of the Bush boys. They all think they're Sonny or Michael, but in actuality they are all Fredo.)

Young Ben had campaigned, if by "campaigned" you mean spending Mom and Dad's money preaching to a bunch of Paradise Valley Republican scum, by calling President Obama "the worst president ever." This coming from a man whose party gave us Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes--in less than 100 years! (Quite a roll call, isn't it? We're lucky there's anything left standing. All I can say is thank God for FDR, JFK and LBJ or we'd all be living in caves, eating the dead and dying.)

Well, time flies by, and Young Ben Quayle is running for re-election! Since he hasn't done a single substantive thing in Washington DC--he is a good Republican after all--and because of redistricting he has to defeat another Republican cypher, David Schweikert, to even get to the general election, our boy has doubled down. His latest ad concludes with the following:

"Two years ago I called him (Obama) the worst president in history. I overestimated him."

Ah, the exuberant ignorance of shallow youth...Let's get one thing straight. Ben Quayle is, to quote a line from "The Ruling Class", a piece of "upper class excrement." He has no new ideas, no solutions, no intellectual capacity at all, not even a fundamental understanding of the problems we face. He is nothing but a name, and honestly, it's not much of a name.

Friday, July 13, 2012

When Lap Dogs Collide

I thought I had said all I needed to say about Wil Cardon in my groundbreaking post from earlier this year. As you may recall, it was entitled, definitively, if I do say so myself,  Wil Cardon is just another Republican Putz. I was certain it covered everything you could ever need to know about young Wil Cardon. I was equally certain that because Mr. Cardon is a featherweight intellectually, and has the political savvy of a bag of dirt, even an institution as dissolute as the Arizona Republican Party would not take him seriously. I mean, they already are, let us say, top heavy, with people possessing those exact qualities. And really, who needs one more like that?

But, alas, the world is a funny place, Arizona is funnier still, and because Wil Cardon has millions of dollars to spend on himself, he is still a candidate for the United States' Senate seat of the old anteater himself, Jon "Not Intended As A Factual Statement" Kyl.

Here's where it gets fun! To run in the general, Cardon has to defeat Jeff Flake in the primary. Jeff Flake, for those of you too benumbed by Republican incompetence to notice these things, is a U.S Congressman from the hillbilly heartland of Arizona. He can best be described as Rand Paul lite. And no, that's not a compliment. As far as I can tell Flake hasn't done one thing for the people in his district. Because "Government is Bad!! Ronald Reagan said so!!" His constituency hates big government--except for the services they themselves need to survive. This is the "keep your government hands off of my Medicare" crowd in a nutshell. "Don't do anything to help anyone else--but keep my checks a comin'" is their mantra.

So Wil Cardon is in a pickle. How do you attack someone from your own party who is doing just exactly what the nitwits want him to do? How do you outflank somebody on the right who already has two wheels in the right hand gutter?

I know! Make shit up! Cardon's ads, and they are plentiful, play up Wil's great achievements as a job creator. Turns out he owns a bunch of Subway sandwich shops. More minimum wage jobs is apparently the only Republican answer to America's shrinking middle class. The ads go on to make Flake sound like a dangerous Big Government, dare I say it, liberal! That's just stupid, of course, but who knows, maybe it will play with the more inbred Mormon Tea Party crowd.

Let's be clear about one thing: neither of these boys should be considered fit to serve in the Senate. I mean honestly, shouldn't a certain level of intelligence be a minimum requirement? But since Arizona has swung disastrously to the right politically, and will soon be known as "the third Carolina", one of them will probably end up being addressed as "Senator".

In the meantime we are treated to the laugh-a-minute entertainment of Jeff and Wil mano a mano!

Many years ago, as I was wandering around New York's Upper East Side with a couple of friends, we were treated to the sight of two tiny little pampered lap dogs barking away at each other. That's what I'm reminded of by the ongoing spectacle of Cardon vs Flake.

Now, I don't mean that in a pejorative sense. I mean it in a descriptive sense.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Lesson in Pop Music History

Everyone remembers the cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" LP, which pictured Bruce and Clarence Clemons back to back, a celebration of interracial harmony in 1975. Few remember that Bruce had a band that at one point early in his career featured three black musicians along with three white musicians. The LP "The Wild The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle" celebrated not only rock and roll, but jazz and soul as well. With that in mind, check out this video from the Roskilde Festival in Denmark with Bruce and the E Street Band performing with The Roots. If this doesn't bring to mind such interracial bands from the sixties as Sly and the Family Stone and Booker T & the MGs, then you just don't know much about pop music history.

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

About 50 years ago, I saw a movie called "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" at the Cinerama in Scottsdale Arizona. It featured almost every top comic actor of the day, with the notable exceptions of Lucille Ball and Bob Hope. (And of course Charlie Chaplin, who had been run out of the country a decade earlier by some "Red Scare" Republican assholes.)

The movie was way too long and dragged in places, but the best bits were (and are) very funny. I still remember one of the lines delivered by the great Jonathan Winters. A group of total strangers is wrangling over some stolen money that they hope to get their hands on. One of the group mentions that if they should recover the money without arousing the suspicion of the police, they wouldn't have to pay any taxes on it. Winters, who plays a truck driver just trying "to get this load of furniture to Yuma" doesn't think this sounds right, and he tells the others:

 "Even businessmen who lie and cheat and steal all day long, even they have to pay taxes."

Well, no, not necessarily. Not anymore. Not if Willard Mitt Romney gets elected. Oh, the small businessmen, who Republicans profess to love and serve--and yet fuck over in so many ways--they'll continue to pay taxes. Sure, I mean somebody has to. And if all those good, solid, salt-of-the-earth, God fearin' folks are stupid enough to vote for a Republican Corporate Whore after all these years of watching the American Middle Class be destroyed by Republican Corporate Whores, then they deserve whatever happens to them.

But the big Big BIG businessmen who are spending a billion dollars to defeat the coloured usurper, they won't be paying any taxes. And what's more, they'll want a refund from those of us who do pay taxes. Because, hey, they deserve it!!

After all, they're the job creators, right?

Of course, for the past 30 years or so most of those jobs have been in China, or India, or Indonesia, or Mexico--anywhere but the USA. But just as soon as we lazy, spoiled, unproductive, Americans decide we can work for pennies an hour with no benefits, no vacations, and no right to unionize, well by God, they'll bring those jobs back here.

Because, after all, they're Patriots! And they love this country!

God Bless America!

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

John Roberts....A Fantasy

INTERIOR: the chambers of the Chief Justice of the United States' Supreme Court--day

[John Roberts, an insignificant man in a black robe, stands before a full length mirror]

Roberts: Well, today's the big day! Yep, the big day. Obamacare, heh heh heh.  Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. I think liberals just like to complain about things. I'm very happy with my health insurance, and so is everyone I know. Scalia, and Alito, and Thomas. And sometimes Kennedy. You never can tell with him. It's something, though, to hold the fate of millions of people in your hands. Makes me kind of giddy.

[A 3 headed devil, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Rush Limbaugh and the Koch brothers, appears on his right shoulder]

Devil: You know what you have to do, don't you?

Roberts: Yes, Master. I do.

Devil: Just like Citizens United.

Roberts: Yes, Master.

Devil: This will finally be the end of our first--and last--black President.

Roberts: Yes, Master.

[An angel, who is the spitting image of Abe Lincoln, appears on his left shoulder]

Angel: Now John, you don't really want to do that, do you?

Roberts: Who are you?

Angel: I'm the better angel of your nature.

Devil: Shut up!!

Roberts: I didn't know I had one.

Angel: Oh John, we all do. It's just hidden in some people.

Devil: Shut the fuck up!!

Angel: John, don't pay any attention to them. They're living in the past and we're talking about the future. The future. Listen, do you really want to be remembered as the biggest asshole in the history of the Supreme Court?

Roberts: I thought that was Scalia.

Angel: Besides him I mean.

Roberts: No! No, I don't!

Angel: Good, there's hope for you yet.

Devil: God damn it!

[The 3 headed devil disappears in a puff of smoke. The angel chuckles and then he, too, disappears]

Roberts: The better angel of my nature. Wow!

[Roberts brushes the dandruff off his shoulders, and exits]

Fade to black