Saturday, April 27, 2013

Welcome To The George W. Bush Presidential Library; Please Switch Off Your Brains

They opened up the George W. Bush Presidential Library the other day.

Is this a great country, or what?

Here's a guy who was without question a total disaster as President. And believe me, having lived through Nixon, Reagan, and Bush the Elder, I have a fairly high threshold for disasters.

But Simple W. set the bar at a level that one hopes will never be approached again. Let us count the ways:

Asleep at the switch for 9-11 whilst cuddling up with his Saudi soul mates; dropped the ball on Bin Laden's pursuit at Tora Bora at the same time his administration was legitimizing torture; bait and switch war in Iraq that cost us more than a trillion dollars, not to mention all the death, dismemberment, and PTSD; turned a budget surplus into a huge deficit with his tax cuts; watched Wall Street run wild because he believed in the beauty of the unregulated "free market"; half-assed response to Katrina; wanted to privatize Social Security; shit all over the Constitution every chance he got..Jesus, the list goes on and on, but I'm starting to have flashbacks...

So anyway, because it's de rigueur for former Presidents, Incurious George gets himself a library. Keep in mind, this is a fella who probably hasn't read anything since My Pet Goat and very little before.

Now, there's a very good reason for this: Books are sometimes filled with facts, and facts can get messy. And since Bush's administration decided early on that they would create their own reality, it is only natural that the George W. Bush Presidential Library would be dedicated to the completely counter factual narrative that Bush was a great leader, a great President, and a great American.

Shortly after Obama was elected the first time, a billboard appeared by the highway in the desert near Yuma, Arizona. It featured  the beaming face of George W. Bush and the words "Do You Miss Me Yet?"

Of course the only sane answer to that would be "No, no we don't. Not now, not ever."

Fortunately for W. (and the Bush family in general), the American people have a tremendous capacity to forgive, but an even greater capacity to forget.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The U.S. Senate reached a new low today. Every single one of the Senators that voted against the background checks bill should be filled with shame -- but of course, they are not.

Blood is on their hands.

I, for one, am ashamed to be a U.S. citizen today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Gun-damentalists

In the beginning was the Gun. 

And they saw that it was good.

They tell me that the Chinese invented gunpowder. But the stupid bastards only used it for fireworks!

Now, I like fireworks as much as the next guy. Hell, everybody likes fireworks--they're fun!

But not nearly as much fun as shooting someone.

And that just proves the superiority of the European mind. 'Cause once they got gunpowder from the Chinese, fireworks were the last thing on their minds.

No, the goal was to kill stuff. Primarily other Europeans. At least at first.

But then quickly followed by Africans, and Indians--both feather and dot, and Arabs, and Persians, and Polynesians, and Aborigines, and Asians, including a few Chinese. Ironic, ain't it?

That's what we call progress: Getting more efficient at killing each other.

Sometimes this leads to a little thing called genocide, but hey, like the man said "stuff happens."

Now here in the good ole U.S. of A, we got us some folks who believe that the Constitution consists entirely of the Second Amendment. And not even all of the Second Amendment. No, just the part that says, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The part that comes before that, the part that says "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" might as well have never been written.

Because "well regulated" obviously means laws, and laws about guns are anti-American. Also, in this context, "militia" means what today we call the National Guard.

Fortunately, Wayne "A Gun Is A Tool, And So Am I" LaPierre and the NRA are here to defend our right "to bear arms."

So it doesn't matter how many schools, or shopping malls, or movie theatres get shot up. Doesn't matter what a bullet fired from 30 shot clip in a high velocity rifle does to a 6 year old's body. Or anybody's body. Doesn't matter if the majority of the American people have had enough of the slaughter.

'Cause Wayne and his gun manufacturing buddies have bought off enough Congressmen to stop all this gun control nonsense.

What about the "will of the people"?  Don't be naive.

No, Goddammit, we don't want no gubmint regulatin' us.  We will regulate ourselves, thank you very much! And if we want our own assault rifles and unlimited ammunition, then Goddammit we will have them!

And if you're worried about your safety, then Goddammit, buy your own assault rifle!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Signor Baseball's 2013 AL Preview

For a moment, please stop sharpening your spikes, greasing your mitt, and boning your bat, because it's time for Signor Baseball's 2013 American League preview:

In the East, is this the year the Evil Empire finally crashes and burns? Boy, it sure looks like it. These days, just putting on a Yankee uniform makes you eligible for Medicare. Jeter, Teixeira, Granderson, and Hughes, are all hurt. And let's not forget A-Rod who is contractually owed the equivalent of the GDP for sub-Saharan Africa, who is recovering from yet another surgery, and whose production has fallen off so drastically it makes grown men weep. Grown men named Steinbrenner, at least. All in all, a tough way for Mariano Rivera to go out. Remember, "life isn't fair." If, and it's a bigger "if" than even Kipling could imagine, if the Yankees can somehow hang in there, it could be a five team race well into September. Toronto bought out the Marlin fire sale, Baltimore looks like they are for real, Tampa is still loaded with talent, and the Red Sox have to be better than the Bobby Valentine debacle made them look. Don't they? Any of these teams could finish first--or last. Or anywhere in between. So...allow an old man a final wish: to see Mr. Rivera on the mound, saving meaningful games in last time. Because when he's gone, there won't be another like him.

In the Central, everybody is playing for second place behind Detroit. Except the Twins, who will be playing not to finish last. Even though they looked bad in the Series, the Tigers are still ahead of the rest of the division in talent--especially starting pitching. The five year rebuilding plan in Kansas City has gone on for most of a decade--but finally seems to be yielding results, though probably not enough to catch Detroit. In Chicago they will try to put last year's late season floundering behind them. This is sometimes easier said than done. And according to the laws of probability, Cleveland has to get better eventually...I think. In the meantime, Mark Reynolds has brought his "feast or famine, but mostly famine" act to the shores of Lake Eerie. And, if things get too ugly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is still a short walk from Jacobs Field. Up in Lake Woebegone, the Twins opened up a nice, new, ballpark just in time for the team to completely fall apart. Life is funny like that...

Out West, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent a fortune last year with nothing much to show for it. They got out the checkbook again in the off season and this year it will pay off. Maybe. Maybe not. The recent history of big spending teams has been spotty, to say the least. In Oakland, the A's are experts at working and winning with very little money. Perhaps it's time to let Billy Beane have a go at the Federal deficit...Down Texas way, the Rangers had their chances the last few years and blew them. Now, they will have to scramble to be in the Wild Card race. In Seattle, the Mariners are getting better, but don't look nearly strong enough to compete in this division. And finally, what is there to say about the newest members of the American League, the Houston Astros? Nothing at all.