Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year In Confusion

Let me be the first to wish you a Merry...oh...uh...

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year!

Things we learned in 2014:

If you can find a way to restrict minorities and younger voters from voting, you can win elections even with a collection of sociopathic morons for candidates.

The poor deserve to suffer.

Some Republicans are felons, and some Republicans are white supremacists. And I know I might be going out on a limb here, but some are probably both.

In general, dictators have very poor senses of humor.

It's always OK to shoot black men. No ifs, ands or buts. After all, it's one of our Second Amendment rights.

Cops have feelings, too. In fact, they can be downright whiny, pouty, little bunnies when they get their feelings hurt. But they can still get away with shooting you, so watch out! And always do what they say, especially when they're sexually assaulting you.

Unlimited money pumped into elections is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

A Democrat pretending to be a Republican will always lose to a Republican pretending to be a human being.

The Big Lie, that political tactic beloved by Republicans everywhere, still works.

The law of the land is whatever Antonin Scalia decides it should be at that particular moment. But don't worry, it will be applied as unevenly as possible.

Apparently, Kenyan anti-colonial socialism is the best thing that ever happened to the stock market.

And finally, now that noted semiologist Rush Limbaugh has told us, plainly and with his usual level headed good humor, what color James Bond is, perhaps he could tell us what color Jesus was.

Peace on Earth, Joy to the World, Don't Drink and Drive, blah blah blah...

See you next year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Today's Quiz

Get your pencils ready:

If and when the Supremes destroy the Affordable Care Act, A) how are the insurance companies going to react to losing all of those paying customers? and B) how will the Republicans explain to some of their supporters why they don't, and perhaps can't, have insurance anymore?

300 words or less, and remember punctuation and spelling are always important.

Extra credit: who do you think will win in the fight between Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and all those old Cubans who got run out of their own country 50 years ago on one side, and every U.S. corporation licking its chops over doing business in Cuba on the other?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hey, What Happened?

I thought we were all supposed to be dead from Ebola by now? That's what they said on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. That we were all going to die because Obama hates white people and Ebola is his way of getting back at us for slavery. And if we didn't quarantine all of West Africa, we'd all be dead by Thanksgiving!

And what about ISIS/ISIL? It was neck and neck whether we would die from Ebola before ISIS/ISIL cut off our heads because Obama, that secret Muslim, was such a lousy, weak leader, and because he detests America so much he had opened the door for his brethren to sneak in and kill us while we slept!

And gasoline was supposed to be 6, 7 maybe even 8 dollars a gallon because of Obama's stupid energy policies! But it isn't and it wasn't and...what's the deal on that?

And the economy was supposed to collapse under the threat of that Kenyan's anti-colonial socialism, yet the stock market keeps setting records and more jobs have been created than in George W. Bush's entire presidency. That can't be possible, can it?

And remember how Putin was a three dimensional chess master while poor Barack was still shooting marbles, poorly, somewhere in a Nairobi alley? And how excited the right got about manly, manly Vladimir the Stud Dictator? Jeez, it was almost like they're genetically wired to worship totalitarianism...How'd that turn out again?

This is madness I tells ya, madness! I just don't know who to believe...

I guess the good news is that we can stop worrying about climate change, and those anti-business loons over at the EPA, because noted climate scientist and oil company cuddly toy Senator Jim Inhofe is in charge of things now and he says there's no such thing as man made climate change.

Whew, we sure dodged a bullet there.

Also, and this is very important, according to a majority of our Supreme Court, and everyone at Fox News, too, we live in a post racial society now, where everyone is judged by the contents of their character, and not by the color of their skin. And therefore, the police only shoot criminals, and not just any black person who they feel threatened or disrespected, by.

Wow, that's a relief!

Monday, December 15, 2014

You're Telling Me The CIA Lied? No!

The problem with replacing all the top CIA guys is that you'd only end up replacing them with other CIA guys...

And they all lie. And when I say "all" I mean most. And when I say "most" I mean all. And when I say "black" I mean "white". And vice versa. They don't call their world a "hall of mirrors" for nothing. It is the nature of the business.

And it has driven at least a few of them completely paranoid crazy.

I'm not sure how the Brits get around this fundamental issue with MI-6....Perhaps they don't.

Anyway, the last President who talked about truly substantive change to the CIA was a fellow named Kennedy. Remember him?

After the Bay of Pigs JFK was so pissed off about being lied to by his "intelligence" agency that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind."

And we saw how that worked out in the end...

For the past 67 years we've let this exclusive little club do whatever it thought best to protect US interests, and by that I mean US business interests (often oil related) all over the world. This would include overthrowing governments, assassinations, torture,  and all sorts of other cool stuff. Since it is, nominally, part of our government, when its fuck-ups become too obvious, it will, on occasion, allow its wrists to be slapped by Congress. Then it goes back to doing whatever it wants, under the pretense of "protecting" us.

And should you complain too much about this, and be in a position to possibly do something about it, well, they have ways of dealing with that, too.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The CIA's Nuremberg Defense

Uh, for those of you not up on your World War II references, that would be "I was only following orders."

Adolph Eichmann meet Dick Cheney and all the good and true Skull and Bones boys of our CIA.

Now, I know it's dangerous to bring up the Nazis in any contemporary context. Unless you're Rush Limbaugh, drug addled sage to the unwashed, unwanted, and unredeemable, who gave us the term "femiNazis", a clever coinage which made all of his minions--his leering, slobbering, mouth-breathing, low wattage minions--chortle until they wet themselves.

But it should be pointed out, at least in passing, that the CIA has always had a certain affinity for Adolph's Crew.

After all, they brought as many as they could out of Europe after the end of the war. Set 'em up out of harm's way. Gave them fun new work they could really sink their teeth into.

Kindred spirits, you know?

So, it was only natural that "I was only following orders" was the first thing that popped into the collective CIA mind when they finally got exposed. Again.

Like I said "kindred spirits".

If you wonder why so many of "them" hate us, you really should take a good long look into what's been done in our name all these years...

Monday, December 8, 2014

World War II Was Won By A Cripple, A Drunk, A Commie, And A Queer

That would be FDR, Churchill, Stalin and Alan Turing.

Forget all your generals, forget all those heroes, dead and alive. Replaceable and expendable to a man.

The war was won by the combined brainpower and will of four people who today would be mocked relentlessly by the geniuses at Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and all the rest of the right wing media.

Think about that for a second.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

American Justice

Young Ben Jr and I were in New York City when the Ferguson grand jury reached its decision and so we found ourselves marching up the West Side of Manhattan from the theatre district to Harlem surrounded by people chanting "hands up--don't shoot!" and various other things.

Of course, since we were predominantly white, middle class folks, mostly college students, no one got shot.

In fact, we had what amounted to a police escort clearing the way ahead, shutting down cross streets and redirecting traffic.

See, the cops know who they work for.

And who they don't work for.

The ugly truth is that many of our worst "thugs" have badges and guns and a hatred and/or fear of people who aren't white.

And that's American Justice.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Existential Nightmare Of....Existence

A long, long time ago....

This country used to work, more or less. Oh, folks had their differences. Folks will always have their differences.

And things were far from perfect. We've had some crooks in charge, I'm thinking of you Dick Nixon; and some figureheads, hello Ronnie Reagan, hello W.; several outright racists; and more than a few cyphers, Ford, Harding, Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Fillmore--well, yes, it is a longer list than you'd expect from the Greatest Country There Ever Was Or Ever Could Be.

But setting aside the Civil War period, which I know is impossible for some of our Southern cousins, the people who claimed to govern us would not dream of actively working to destroy the nation.

They understood that compromise was a necessary component of a functioning democracy. Hell, there wouldn't be a United States without compromise. The Constitutional Convention was nothing but a series of compromises--some good, some bad. The Founding Fathers, all of whom were human, by the way, and therefore flawed, understood that that was the only way to preserve our tenuous union.

Somehow we muddled along.

And up until, oh, 20 years ago or so, there was still the possibility of moving the country forward through a process of give and take.

But, like I said, that was a long, long time ago.

Certainly before the black guy became President.

Now, everything is a fight. Every single thing. Complex or relatively simple, it doesn't matter. And the question of whether or not something is good for the country is lost in all of the noise.

This may be because we all seem to be living in different versions of America. The commons and the idea of a common good have been shattered and all that is left is whatever each of us imagines the United States to be. Or to have been...

And that isn't any way to run a country.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Hall Of Fame Of Arizona's Recent Republican Governors

Since some out of state folks, and we'll probably never learn who, thought it was worthwhile to buy the governorship of Arizona for the Republican candidate, as a public service let me refresh your memory about the last few Republican governors of Arizona:

Ev Mecham, the man who tried to re-popularize the word pickaninny. Ol Ev was, naturally, a successful businessman--well, he sold Pontiacs back when people still bought Pontiacs, I guess that counts--and he was so successful as Arizona's governor that he was called "an ethical pygmy" and then impeached by a legislature controlled by his own party! But not before he rescinded the MLK Jr. holiday and cost the state its first shot at hosting a Super Bowl. Go Ev!

J. Fife Symington. J. Fife was, you guessed it, a successful businessman, many of whose projects somehow went bankrupt, and who, through no fault of his own, of course, was convicted of fraud! A popular bumpersticker of the time read "Honk if Fife owes you money!" Fife's defense boiled down to "they should have known I was lying" (on his financial statements). If not for a Presidential pardon, Fife would have spent some quality time in prison.

Jane D. Hull. You can list Jane D's lifetime achievements on one side of a very small post-it and still have room for a fairly detailed grocery list. But she wasn't impeached or indicted, and in this field that makes her our champion!

Jan Brewer. Not terribly bright is perhaps the kindest description of Jan Brewer. Famous for wagging a boney finger in the face of President Obama, championing SB1070, and having the verbal dexterity of a brain damaged non-English speaker trying to improvise Shakespearean dialogue, Jan was, of course, beloved by all not terribly bright Arizonans, which fortunately for her was and is a majority!

Which brings us to the newly elected Doug "Cup or Waffle Cone?" Ducey, who is, wonder of wonders, a successful Republican businessman!

What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Billionaire Beggars

Being a mostly red blooded American male I should be all excited by the football season.

I mean, really, what else matters in life?

And here in sad sad Arizona, "our" Cardinals are doing very well.

That's supposed to compensate for the low wages, crappy schools, hillbilly politics, racist sheriffs, brain dead populace, suburban sprawl, cultural wasteland, and all the rest of the ongoing river o' shit that is life in Arizona. Did I mention we have championship golf, too?

Bread and circuses, baby. Bread and circuses.

Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to root root root for the home team.

Nothing against the players or the coaches. I'm sure they're a fine bunch of guys, with just the right mix of wife, and/or girlfriend, and/or child, and/or drug, abusers mixed in.

And I'm fine with all that. No, really, I am. I guess it's the libertarian in me.

What I can't abide are the team's billionaire beggar owners, the lovely Bidwill family.

Look in the dictionary under institutionalized mediocrity and there's a picture of Bidwill pere et fils.

4 winning seasons in 26 years in Arizona. This in the NFL, a league that does everything it can to insure parity. Wow. Because Arizona is the land of eternal optimism, after just one winning season the Cardinals were rewarded with a shiny new stadium at tax payer expense. This new bauble increased the value of the team enough to make the Bidwill's billionaires. Shouldn't that be enough for one lifetime?

But it's not enough. No, it's never enough.

Hardly a month goes by without young Michael Bidwill whining about the Cardinals not getting their fair share of something. Parking or signage or whatever. Their "partners", the City of Glendale, may crash and burn financially, but until Mikey's happy with his cut, nothing else matters.

Of course, they are not alone in this. Every major city in America has been, or will be, held hostage by some billionaire scum who owns the local team and wants something--usually a tax payer funded new stadium to replace the tax payer funded old stadium. Because, well, you know, old stuff's creepy.

Not nearly as creepy as a bunch of old white men with too much money and power and an overwhelming sense of entitlement...

Go Team!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How Much For Arizona?

So a lot of Dark Money flowed into Arizona for the recent election...

Millions and millions and millions of dollars!!

Almost all of it went to Republican candidates.


Trust me, there isn't anything in Arizona worth all the money that was spent here.

No oil, no shale, not much water to privatize, and the mines are already spoken for.

Unless they think they can get their hands on the Grand Canyon...hmmm?

Millions and millions to get Doug Ducey elected governor? Doug Ducey? Please.

No, on the face of it, it doesn't make much sense.

Until you remember how the Germans used the Spanish Civil War to work out the kinks in their tactics. Field test the Stuka's and Panzers. They didn't really care much about Franco or Spain, they were just practicing for something more important...finding out what worked, and what didn't work.

I think that's what we just saw in Arizona and some of the other unimportant states. A field test. How often do you have to repeat a lie before people start to believe it? Daily? Hourly? On every station? What does that cost per vote? Crunch the numbers.

Got to get ready for the next Blitzkrieg.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Nation Of Imbeciles

What does it say about a political party that can only consistently win elections when they lie and cheat?

What does it say about the future of a country that there are large numbers of people willing to vote for the liars and cheaters?

What does it say about the mainstream media of a country that bends over backward to find ways around reporting about the lying and cheating?

What does it say about a nation's highest court that equates money with speech and therefore allows the out of state money of a few billionaires to overwhelm the money of an entire state's citizens in local elections?

When I was younger, and I guess more compassionate, I probably would have said about all those coal miners who vote Republican, "well, you know, they're afraid about their jobs and not well educated, and that's all they know, so..." But I'm older, and I don't have as much patience, so what I say now is "fuck you. I hope you die of black lung, without any healthcare--which is what you voted for after all--in a sad little shack. Maybe the coal company will send a nice floral arrangement to your funeral. Won't you ever understand that you are completely expendable?"

And to all those old people, dependent on Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, who consistently vote against the party that gave them Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, "please do us all a favor and die soon."

And to those Latino-Americans who don't bother to vote at all, "I hope you get stopped by the cops every time you leave the house and asked for I.D. And that your kids always go to substandard schools, too. That's what comes from not voting."

And to those young people who also don't bother to vote, "enjoy paying off your student debt at a minimum wage job. That is, if there still is a minimum wage. But hey, maybe the Republicans can reinstate the draft, so you won't have to worry about that debt after all! Have a nice time in Syria, or Iraq, or Iran, or the Ukraine, or wherever. Oh, and thank you for your service."

In some alternative universe I suppose it makes perfect sense that the majority party of a Congress with an approval rating of 13% gets rewarded with more seats.

That's where we are now.

In a democracy you get the kind of government you deserve.

And therefore it logically follows that a nation of imbeciles deserves to be governed by imbeciles.

Friday, October 31, 2014

False Advertising

So I'm driving through the neighborhood, burning some more precious fossil fuel, because why the hell not, and what do I see?

There, on one of my more prosperous neighbors' front yard, not one, but two Doug Ducey for Governor signs!

And what does it say on the sign?

"Opportunity for all".

See, now this is the kind of shit you just can't make up.

Opportunity for all? Really? 

I guess "opportunity" doesn't include public education. 'Cause the Ice Cream Man doesn't give a single dip whether the schools are adequately funded.

Says we can't afford it. No, the best thing would be to do away with the state's income tax. That will lead to all sorts of cool stuff! Just like cutting taxes always does! Trickle down, trickle down, hooray hooray!

That old fraud Reagan is rotting in his grave, but we are still plagued by the spawn of his "government is the problem" dictum. That, and its evil, retarded twin "run government like a business."

Government isn't a business. No, not even an ice cream business. And people who believe that government should be run like a business don't understand much about government or business.

But hey, for the sake of argument, let's say that government is a business. Ducey still isn't a good choice. After all, look at the jobs he created: one guy got very rich (that would be Ducey), a few people did well (those would be his franchisees--except for the ones who went under and ended up suing the Dougster), but the vast majority of jobs created were of the minimum wage or just barely above minimum wage variety. You know, the people who need public assistance to get by? Now, I understand that that is the ideal Republican economic model, but I'm not convinced that having a bunch of folks trained to stick gummy bears into ice cream is the best way to face the economic challenges of the future.

If you want to see what the Ducey brand of Republican economic "opportunity for all" can do to a state take a good, long look at the disaster that is Kansas.

Once elected one of the first things all of these parasites do is sell off the public commons to their rich buddies. Because the free market is the best solution for everything! And all of those things that you thought belonged to "we the people"? Well, guess again.

Unless you're an oligarch, a complete idiot, or the kind of person who wants to see just how bad things can get, Fred DuVal is the only choice for Governor of Arizona.

By the way, my well off neighbor with the Ducey signs made his money in agriculture. Which means he definitely benefited from government subsidized water and quite probably benefited from unskilled, cheap labor, i.e. Mexican migrant workers. Other than that he's just another "self-made" rugged individualist Republican.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chances Are You're Not Going To Die From Ebola

Unless you're unfortunate enough to be stuck somewhere in West Africa, chances are you're not going to die from Ebola.

No, more likely you'll get shot by some Second Amendment nut who feels "threatened" by you.

Or you'll die from all the pollutants those free market, Ur-capitalists the Koch brothers and their ilk continue to spew into our air and water.

Or you'll get t-boned by some teenager driving and texting.

Or you'll eat too much fast food and fall over from a stroke or a heart attack.

Or, if you're a black male between the ages of, say, 6 and 86, maybe the cops will gun you down--just because they can.

Hey, you could always OD from prescription drugs! That's increasingly popular.

And, if you're female, I hear back alley abortions are making a big comeback in certain Red States. I guess that is the understandable Republican free market response to Obamacare.

Of course, there's always the "I didn't know it was loaded" and therefore it was a "tragic accident" that Bobby shot Billy, or Suzy, or Uncle Jeff, or Grandpa, or you, or, what the hell, himself.

Finally, if you're silly enough to listen to Fox News, your head just might explode from all the bullshit they pump out 24-7.

Hey, this is America, God Dammit! We've got plenty of ways to die before your time...

But chances are you're not going to die from Ebola.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When In Doubt, Shoot The Black Guy

There's your American justice system in a nutshell.

I just saved you the cost of several years of law school.

What the hell, here's another:

Rich people are always innocent.

And one more, just for luck:

A white person with a gun is a patriot, a black person--with or without a gun--is a threat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hey, Let's Just Pretend None Of This Ever Happened

History is such a messy thing. I mean, gosh, you've got slavery and racism and religious wars, you've got genocide against native peoples, you've got Dark Ages, and Inquisitions, and all manner of barbarism. And let's not forget the constant ongoing thievery of the ruling classes.

No wonder our conservative Republican and Libertarian friends want to rewrite it, erasing all of the bad stuff from high school history curricula.

Children's heads should never be troubled by the truth. A questioning child is an unruly child, after all....

Thank God there are, all across this great land of ours, Republican controlled school boards and legislatures sworn to protect the little darlings!

Better to teach them happy fantasies and Bible stories about how well cared for and content the slaves were, how Reagan was a saint, FDR was the devil, how evil welfare is, how wonderful the free market system, how benevolent the job creators were and are. Evolution is the Devil's work, Darwin only wants to deceive you, Jesus rode a dinosaur, and the Founding Fathers were inspired by God Himself.

Don't worry, be happy! After all, ignorance is bliss, baby! Pure, unadulterated All-American bliss!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Et Tu Leon?

Another day, another "insider" memoir questioning President Obama's handling of the Bush-Cheney Middle East Morass.

This time it's from Leon Panetta, former CIA chief, former Secretary of Defense, ongoing Clinton family apologist.

Panetta's main criticisms of Obama are these:

A) He didn't argue hard enough for US troops to remain in Iraq. You remember Iraq, don't you? That war that Bush-Cheney lied us into? That multi-trillion dollar dark hole that Hillary Clinton voted for? Yeah, that Iraq. First of all, Bush negotiated the SOFA troop withdrawal--not Obama. Secondly, the government of Iraq didn't want us to leave troops there. Thirdly, the American people were and are sick and tired of that pointless (unless you're Halliburton or Blackwater or a card carrying member of the Military-Industrial Complex) war.

B) He did not arm the Syrian rebels fast enough. Hillary and Leon urged that we arm them in 2012. Of course, even at this late date, no one is really sure which--if any--of the Syrian rebel factions we can trust. For instance, the Syrian rebels included ISIS/ISIL. If we had guessed wrong 2 years ago, and a guess was all it would have been, they'd have even more American weapons than they have now. This would be very good for American arms manufacturers, but perhaps not so good for the security of the region.

C) He should have worked harder to reach compromises with the Congress. (At this point, feel free to give out a long, disgusted sigh).

Apparently Panetta is from the delusional Beltway school that believes that if only Obama had been nicer to the Republicans things would have been different. Played more golf with them, shared a bottle with Boehner now and then, taken Gohmert to the circus. You know, Beltway stuff. If only he had tried a little harder--like Clinton would.

And if only the Jews had been nicer to Hitler things would have been different. You know, invited him to sit Seder or sent him some rugelach for his birthday.

Let's set aside that the entire project of the Republican Party--since before Obama's first inauguration--has been to thwart whatever he proposed. Even those things that were initially Republican proposals. The Republican idea of compromise during the Obama years has always been "do exactly what we want--or we will shut down the government."

Despite what you might hear on Fox News, Iraq is a dangerous bloody mess because Bush-Cheney and their merry band of neo-cons, of which Hillary Clinton is an honorary member, wanted to a) show Poppy Bush how it should've been done; b) get their hands on all that oil; c) help "protect" Israel; d) all of the above. As far as I'm concerned, all the shit since then is on them.

At this point, Leon Panetta is just another Clinton family shill. His every utterance from here on out will be in service of getting Hillary elected and polishing Bill's legacy.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shocked! Shocked! Yet Again

A big headline on the front page of The Arizona Republic announces a teacher shortage in Arizona!!!!

No shit?

Gee, you think the fact that the state doesn't value education or teachers at all has anything to do with that?

This state had to be sued in order to force it to adequately fund public schools. Sued! Naturally, the state lost, but, of course, they're still refusing to pay up. Because we value education only as long as it take us to say "we value education."

And when I say "we" I mean the Republicans who have been running Arizona for a long, long time. And when I say "running" I mean "into the ground."

As a man on the radio in my long ago youth was fond of saying, "this is a state that glorifies bankers and vilifies teachers."

That's not entirely fair. Only public school teachers are vilified. They are, after all, members of a union (gasp!), and therefore the root of our problems.

If, on the other hand, you start a charter school, whatever your "qualifications", you will be exalted. State money will be showered upon you. You can even pick and choose what kind of students you want--or don't want. And no questions will be asked. No standards will be enforced. market solution?

This assault from the right on public education can probably be traced back to the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs The Board of Education, back in the 1950's.

See, and this is going to surprise the hell out of you, living as you do in post racial America, but some white people are racist to their very core. I know, I was shocked to find it out myself. Shocked!

So, in the places they control, and that includes Arizona, everything becomes a game of keeping "them" away from "us". Depending on where you live, "them" can be African-Americans, Latinos, poor whites, or a combination thereof.

Since public schools are often full of "them", we must keep public schools in a constant state of disrepair and disarray. Because a permanent undereducated underclass sure comes in handy come hiring time...

And, as an extra benefit, we can blame the teachers (and their union, of course) for not being able to do the impossible job we've given them.

Talk about a win-win!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'll Leave A Light On

Did you know that Jesus is coming soon?

Yeah, me neither.

But according to noted theologian, and Duck Dynasty guy, Willie Robertson, He is.

So it must be true.

Because if you can't believe reality TV faux hillbillies who can you believe?

This is America, dammit!

Robertson bases his predictions about the J man's imminent return on the coming release of a Nick Cage movie. Just like the Council of Nicaea did.

The flick, called  Left Behind, is yet another of those Rapture movies that simple minded hicks can't seem to get enough of. It's like crack for them. Or maybe Oxycontin...

If you'll recall, a while back, Robertson, channeling the spirit of Jesus, and charitable, open-hearted, God is Love, Conservative Christians everywhere, had some truly enlightened things to say about gays.

This raises an interesting theological question: What happens if a gay Christian is "enRaptured" (so to speak)? Does He spit him or her back? Or does some sort of super duper conversion therapy happen on the trip up to Heaven?

Well, Willie, what about it? You're the expert, after all.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dr. Strangelove, or: John McCain Doesn't Know Anything About Anything

I've lived in Arizona for a long time...certainly much longer than Senator John McCain. I'll probably be here long after he's gone, too. And, if you put a gun to my head, I still couldn't name one thing he's done for the people of Arizona.

But even worse than his lack of any tangible legislative achievements is the faith that some media types seem to put in his foreign policy acumen. Let Vladimir Putin fart and there's McCain, expounding...

And he's always wrong. Always.

Remember "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"? Remember "We're all Georgians now"? Remember his predictions about the Iraq War? Remember the Keating 5?

Here's McCain's curriculum vitae: He was a prisoner of war. Doesn't that mean that he fucked up on some fundamental level?  He survived imprisonment. That's his expertise.Then he dumped the first wife on her sickbed, married the young daughter of a wealthy liquor distributor, ran for a safe Republican seat in the House, and then, because the voters in Arizona get all mushy over a boy in uniform--regardless of their qualifications--he ascended to the Senate. The rest, as they say, is history. I will only add that with the first big, important decision he had to make as a Presidential candidate he gave us the gift that is Sarah Palin. Res ipsa loquitur.

None of this makes him an expert on anything, except opportunism.

Now, on the other hand, if you were casting a screwball comedy, McCain and his little buddy, Miss Lindsey Graham, would make a perfect couple: A bitter old man and a dithering hysteric.

Well, hell, I guess that's exactly what we're living through, though, isn't it?

A screwball comedy where the most ridiculous people are taken seriously.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"I Would Have Done A Better Job Than Obama"

So sayeth noted Mormon Elder Willard Mitt Romney.

Isn't that the best thing about America? You can believe anything you want!

Any idiotic thing. Any ridiculous thing. No matter how absurd.

And even better, you can always find some stupid, delusional, brain dead, bastards who agree with you!

In fact, these same dumb fuckers would probably vote for you all over again.

I'm pretty sure we lead the world in that kind of thing.

There's your American Exceptionalism.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oh, I Got Gambling Money

It's amazing!

There's never enough money for education.

Or to feed and house the poor.

Or provide basic healthcare for everyone.

Or for repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

Or to create jobs.

Or to replace fossil fuels with cleaner, renewable energy.

Or to care for our veterans.

But there is always enough money to go to war.

You know the old joke, a guy in Las Vegas asks a stranger for money for an operation for his mother. The stranger replies, "How do I know you won't use any money I give you to gamble with?" And the first guy answers, "Oh, I got gambling money."

Funny, isn't it?

And what is truly amazing is how quickly conservatives become Keynesians when there are war profits to be made!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lessons From The Master

So Dick Cheney, former President pro tem of these here United States stopped by to give those wily rascals who make up the Republican part of our esteemed House of Representatives some pointers on war, Iraq, terrorism, ISIS/ISIL, and what the hell, life itself.

Naturally, these true blue patriots listened raptly, with dewy eyes and hearts all aflutter, seated at the feet of the Master, because they are, after all, nothing if not loyal boot licks.

Always on the look out for a friendly audience, Cheney, who is kept alive and amongst us by the wonders of modern medicine, offered up his "expert" advice.

Sorry...but I can't go on. We've stepped over the line from tragedy to farce one too many times.

Dick Cheney is a war criminal. He is forever stained with the blood of Americans and Iraqis. He is mendacious to his rotten core and, at this point anyone who believes a word he says is an imbecile. He should be locked in a dark, damp cell somewhere, muttering and snarling to himself, and writing his "expert" advice on the walls with his own feces.

And when the batteries in his artificial heart start to fail, three simple words:

Do Not Resuscitate.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

We Will Get Fooled Again

Well, the other day they had themselves a Republican primary out in these parts.

And they chose which "run the government like a business", "build the dang fence", "cut taxes and then wonder why the place falls apart", "free market worshiping", "fear the dark skin people", "bust the unions", freak they wanted to run for governor against the Democrat Fred DuVal: Ice Cream magnate Doug Ducey.

Then, having separated the chaff from the other chaff, naturally, the first thing the Republicans did was lie about DuVal's record. The very first thing!

Why? It's really very simple: because they have gotten away with lying so often and for so long that by now it's just second nature to them. "Like breathing out and breathing in."

Right out of the box you open your campaign with an easily disproved distortion of the truth. Simply breathtaking!

I think that tells you everything you'll ever need to know about the Republican Party. In Arizona and everywhere else.

That's their true inheritance from Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes and co-president Cheney. Lie, lie, lie...and then lie some more!

The "Party of Lincoln" is really the party of Atwater and Rove. Oh, and Rupert Murdoch, too!

More to the point, we've already seen, ad nauseam, what happens when the Republicans are completely in charge of the state's government--any state--and it ain't pretty.

There is, of course, only one sane choice for Governor of Arizona. In a sane state, Fred DuVal would win in a rout...

But this is Arizona...and sanity...well...sanity is not considered an essential component of Arizona government.

Because you can never stop stupid white people from voting. It's in the state constitution, I think. In fact, it's the very engine that keeps Arizona running the way it does.

And we wouldn't want to change that. No sir!

Status Quo or Death!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Best Movie Of The Year

OK, it's not exactly a movie, but that video of the little girl shooting the idiot who's "teaching" her to shoot an Uzi is priceless.

First of all, what kind of moron parents think it's a good idea for a 9 year old, girl or boy, to shoot an Uzi?

What, are we in the Middle East now? Is the white paranoia so strong that it repels any vestige of common sense?

"They're coming to get you honey, you better be ready. So put down that Barbie, and lock and load!"

Secondly, what kind of dumb bastard would agree to teach a 9 year old girl to shoot an Uzi? Oh, that's right, he was a trained professional. My bad.

I guess my second favorite part of this whole sad tale is the dumb bastard's Facebook page that states:"In the event of tyranny...I'd prefer a fighting chance."

Uh, he's going to protect us from tyranny, but he couldn't even protect himself from a 9 year old girl...The smart money is on tyranny.

Of course the poor child is probably damaged for life, but really, I say that's a small price to pay for our unbridled Second Amendment rights.

Hey, maybe Wayne "A Gun Is A Tool And So Am I" LaPierre will pay for all the many years of therapy she's going to need.

The again, maybe not.

Oh, I know, I know, this is just an awful accident. Of course it is.

It always is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

White Privilege

Hey, if you know anything about the history of this Best Country There Ever Was Or Ever Could Be, anything at all, it's that white men have been killing black men with relative impunity since almost the very beginning.

For one thing, it's the fucking basis of Southern "culture". Strange fruit, y'all.

For another, it's all that some folks mean when they talk about "law and order".

Consequently, we end up with police who are more than happy to oblige.

Dammit, it's our history, and I'm sorry to say, for some of us, our nature.

Face it, we were extremely naive to think that having a black president would change any of that.

Hell, that just served to "energize the base", as the pundits are so fond of saying. Give 'em something to get really mad about. Distract the hillbillies from what is really happening.

And the claim, put forth by the corporate mouthpiece majority of our Supreme Court, including "honorary" white man Clarence Thomas, that we are living in a "post racial" society? I mean, honestly, what a sick joke that is. At least wipe the blood from your hands before you say it, OK?

No, sorry, but you just can't get away from white privilege. And, obviously, to some that privilege includes killing black men.

God Bless America.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Comedian

So Robin Williams is finally cornered by the "black dog" and kills himself and Rush Limbaugh says something stupid and cruel about him.

Anybody surprised by that?

I mean, shit, stupid and cruel are the foundation of Rush Limbaugh's career.

Oh and racist and sexist, too. Mustn't forget racist and sexist.

Limbaugh is not clever. He is not funny. He is not profound. And the only insight he provides is a scary peek into the minds of his followers.

The obvious conclusion is this: people who continue to listen to that subhuman piece of festering slime and his form of "entertainment" must also have large portions of stupidity, cruelty, sexism and racism in their character, too.

There is no other possible explanation.

But hey, it's a free country...

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Death Penalty

So I guess the penalty for shoplifting now is death.

Selling individual cigarettes on a street? Death.

Running away from a cop? Death.

Running toward a cop? Death.

Resisting arrest? Death.

Being mentally ill in a city park? Death.

(And since the cops are overworked, what with having to learn how to drive tanks and all, thank God for the well armed citizens helping to patrol our streets.)

Wearing a hoodie while carrying some skittles and a soft drink? Death.

Playing your music too loud? Death.

Knocking on someone's door late at night? Death.

Texting in a movie theatre? Death.

Just being "threatening" in general? Death.

Well, it certainly does streamline the criminal code. And apparently we're all OK with that, right?


Anyway, the fact that a couple of those dead guys were white proves that we live in a post racial society, right?


Saturday, August 9, 2014

You Decide!!!!!

So I get this flyer in the mail the other day from a group that calls itself Keeping the Promise.

It reads, in part: YOU DECIDE A Glendale casino means gambling everywhere...including near your family

Apparently, if I don't do something, there will be casinos all over the place, including in my neighborhood!!!!


I mean YIKES!!!

What the people who sent me this flyer want me to do is contact my nitwit US Senators, Johnny Mc and Flakey Jr., and tell them to stop the Glendale casino that the Tohono O'odham tribe is planning on building.

Otherwise....cue ominous music....dum dum dummmm!

Repeat after me, Native American tribes are recognized as sovereign nations. And their rights to build casinos on tribal land have been upheld by the courts.

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass whether or not this particular tribe builds a casino on their land near Glendale, or anywhere else for that matter. Nobody makes you gamble. Plus think of all the cheap shrimp cocktails, prime rib specials, and classic rock concerts! Besides, if there's any criminal element involved, certainly we can trust Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Tom Horne and the rest of our crack law enforcement crew to root them out. Yes, I am being sarcastic again. It's a character flaw, I know. But there it is.

How the flyer makes the jump from one more Indian casino to "casinos in neighborhoods and near schools" and "bars and restaurants offering gaming" is beyond even my hyperbolic imagination.

I guess it's the same kind of wishful thinking that takes a centrist Democratic President from Hawaii and makes him into a wild eyed, Muslim Kenyan Socialist hell bent on destroying "our" way of life.


The most interesting aspect of this is why anyone in a position of power in Glendale would object to a 365 day a year business enterprise drawing folks to that poor benighted place. It is beyond me. After all, they rolled over like submissive puppies for a 8-10 game days a year football emporium that will ultimately cost well over a billion dollars of tax payer money. And a 50 day a year hockey arena that costs the city 15 million dollars a year in fees--in addition to the bond debt costs of building it. Oh, and don't forget the Camelback Ranch spring training facility. You know what they say, a hundred million here, a hundred million there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money. Real money which the City of Glendale doesn't have. Like the 3 million bucks they've already dropped trying to fight this casino.

Go figure.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Signor Baseball's Well Past Mid-Season MLB Update

Hey, I've been busy...Not really. Just lazy. And of course still spell bound by "the beautiful game". Nil nil. Yawn.

So, with two months left, where the hell are we?

Well, the NL East is going almost as predicted, with Atlanta and Washington neck and neck. Whichever finishes second has a good shot at a Wild Card slot. The Marlins are about where you'd expect, still full of young talent and still playing before mostly empty seats. The Mets look better than projected, and the poor Phillies are aging before our eyes, like that guy at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They could have had one hell of a fire sale in the City of Brotherly Love. Hamels, Utley, Rollins, Byrd, and a couple of others would've been very attractive pickups for any contender. But they all have huge contracts, and to get any of them you probably would have had to take on Ryan Howard's absolute dog of a contract as well, so...

The Milwaukee Brewers are a surprise in the NL Central. They've cooled off from a very fast start, though, and I don't think they will stay the course. The Cards made the best pickups at the trading deadline, but I still expect the Pirates and Reds to stay close down to the wire. And the runner up has a good chance at a Wild Card. Pittsburgh sure could use another bat, though. Which leaves the Cubs. All the experts say the Chicagoans are loaded with prospects. They've been saying this for the past few years. And yet the Cubs never get any better. Hmmm. Waiting for them to win is like waiting for the Rapture--except with plenty of cold beer.

Out West, the Dodgers and Giants will go down to the last few games, with the loser a strong candidate for a Wild Card spot. LA's pitching still has the edge, and their offense is stronger, too. In other words, San Francisco has them right where they want them. All the other teams are shite as they say across the pond. The Rockies jumped out fast but began to fade even faster. The Diamondbacks and Padres have already started dumping salary. Arizona in particular has been a massive disappointment. The highest payroll in team history and look at them! Whoever put that team together has a lot of 'splaining to do. The only questions left at this point for those three teams are which managers and general managers will be fired.

The AL East looks like a race between Baltimore, New York and Toronto to the bitter end. None of them is good enough to pull away. Neither the Blue Jays or the Orioles have proven they can stand up under the pressure of a pennant race. The Yankees are held together with spit and baling wire and any more injuries in the Bronx and I'll be in their starting rotation. A week ago I would have included Tampa, but trading your best pitcher for a bag of magic beans and some pocket lint means you've pretty much written off this year. And why the Red Sox added more bats at the cost of their 2 best starters is anyone's guess. Still, Boston will take great pleasure in beating any of the teams in front of them.

With the acquisition of David Price the Tigers are a lock in the Central--even though Verlander isn't really Verlander anymore. And Price hasn't pitched very well in the post season, either. But Scherzer (a former Diamondback if anyone is counting), Porcello and all of those bats make Detroit a heavy favorite to win the AL. The Indians, Royals, and my God, even the White Sox, still have a shot at the second Wild Card. The Twins remain stuck in small market purgatory with no Billy Beane in sight. PS the T-Wolves are going to suck, too.

A lot of very smart folks have been calling the A's the best team in the American League for months now. But a look at the West standings shows them just a couple of games ahead of the Angels. Oakland added a great pitcher but gave up a lot of offense when they traded Cespedes. And money being tight in Oakland, chances are they'll only have Lester for the rest of this year. So win--or else. After under-performing at great expense the last couple of years, Anaheim would just love to knock the A's off. Seattle has an outside shot at the second Wild Card, the Rangers are as huge a disappointment as the Diamondbacks, and I read somewhere that the Astros will win the World Series in 2017. Uh huh.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

If You Have To Talk To A Republican...

I mean if it's absolutely, positively, unavoidable, like if you're related to them or something, ask them the following questions:

What would Lincoln think about voter suppression? Or political campaigns based entirely on hatred and fear?

What would Teddy Roosevelt think about "corporate personhood" and "corporate religious beliefs"? Or "too big to fail"?

What would Eisenhower think about starting a war based on lies? And then cutting taxes in war time?

What would Nixon think about getting rid of the EPA? Or basing your economic policies on the writings of a quack philosopher/novelist?

What would any of them think about putting the Second Amendment above and before all the others?

Ask them these questions and then brace yourself for an avalanche of dissembling bullshit...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

God's Chosen People, or: 100-1

It is a simple, easily understood ratio: For every Israeli killed, at least 100 Palestinians must die. Think back to World War II...remind you of anyone?

Now, the Palestinians breed faster that the Israeli's, so we better make that ratio 1000-1. And continue to provoke whenever and wherever we can.

Until there aren't any Palestinians left.

Then all of ancient Judea will be ours!

Which has been the plan all along. Forget that nonsense about separate states. From the first Zionists in the late 1800's to the partition of 1948 and onward until today it has been a case of how soon can we get rid of these people? They are on our land. Doesn't matter how long they've lived here. It is ours! God gave it to us! What, would you argue with God?

Obviously, to the folks running Israel, the only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian.

Couching it in any other way and pretending otherwise does us all a disservice.

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Religion

Since we're apparently headed into the "my religion says I don't have to obey your laws" era of American History 101, I might as well lay out what my religion says:

My religion says your religion is based on an invisible, unprovable, sky God who is deaf and blind. When you pray to Him you are essentially just talking to yourself, for all the good it will do you.

My religion says His son is a mostly fictional amalgam of whatever the earliest "christians" thought they needed to convince the ignorant masses to enlist in their cause.

My religion says any religion should be a deeply personal matter, and it is oafish to force your religious beliefs on others.

My religion says you shouldn't meddle in the personal lives--with particular emphasis on reproductive issues--of other people, especially women.

My religion says that people who, prima facie, hate other people because of the color of their skin or their sexual preferences have voided their membership in humanity and should be ignored until they see the error of their ways.

My religion says politicians who start unnecessary wars should be hung from trees in public display until their rotting carcasses are picked clean by birds. Ditto for the pundits, intellectuals, clergy, radio/tv hosts, etc. who act as cheerleaders for said wars. Obviously we're going to need to plant more trees.

My religion says corporations are not people, money is not speech, and hatred is not a family value.

My religion says that organizations that don't pay taxes get to have no say in public policy.

My religion says if you elect idiots to govern you, you will be governed by idiots.

My religion says everyone is entitled to their own beliefs--however loopy--but not their own facts. This is 2014, not 1014. We should not have to go through the Dark Ages and Enlightenment more than once in an eternity.

My religion says cookies good, Nazis bad.

So it is written, so it shall be. Amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

John Huppenthal Is Just One Of Many

I suppose I should be all in an uproar over John Huppenthal's no longer secret life as a blogger.

His posts are indeed ignorant, offensive, racist--you know, the whole right wing Tea Party Republican grab bag. You can just about taste the hatred behind his every word.

The fact that he is my state's Superintendent of Public Instruction only adds to the joke--and to his awfulness.

But guess what? A lot of people will still vote for him. Because he speaks for them, doncha know? They are stupid, bigoted, reactionary, antediluvian racists and he's their guy.

I should be pissed off about this, but...

The other day Ben Jr. and I went to a fund raiser for Fred DuVal, the Democratic candidate for Governor. He's a nice man, a good man, an intelligent man. Not exactly charismatic, but you can't have everything. I hope he wins. But even if he does, he'll still have to deal with a legislature that is controlled by sadistic, nihilistic, hillbillies. And that means nothing much changes.

Hey, this is Arizona:

Land of Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Attorney General Tom Horne. Trent Franks and Rick Renzi and Ben Quayle. John McCain and Jon Kyl and Jeff Flake. Paul Gosar and Matt Salmon and David Schweikert. Oh my God, the list is never ending! One empty suit replaces another empty suit, and the beat goes on.

So, let's be fair and give ol Hup a break. After all, he fits right in.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The More Things Change

As the neocons rage about a "lost" Iraq, some of us remember how we were lied into that war by Cheney-Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, McCain and the gang, including The New York Times, and some of us obviously don't.

Before we go all goofy with the USA! USA! chant, and more stupid country songs about how tough we are, perhaps we should pause and consider the events of June-August 1914.

A whole bunch of smart people, many of whom were related to each other, somehow managed to get their countries into a war that none of them anticipated, killed off a generation of Europeans, started the Russian Revolution, created random boundaries throughout the Middle East, and sowed the seeds of Fascism.

Which led directly to the Spanish Civil War, and World War II.

Other than that things worked out pretty well.

When I was a mere youth, there was a best selling book entitled "The Best and the Brightest". It was all about the really smart people who initially got us mired in Vietnam. Because they were so sure of their superior intelligence, they arrogantly ignored history and every single warning sign. No matter what, they were certain they could think their way out of trouble. Think and/or bomb...

Now, no book about the Cheney-Bush years could possibly be called the best and the brightest--not even in jest. But the results were the same.

And so we find ourselves in what looks like a lose-lose situation, with no clear solution. Partition Iraq? Okay, that would make the Kurds happy, but who gets the oil? What about Iran and Saudi Arabia? They'll have something to say about it. And what about our "friends" in Israel and the Palestinians? Most of us would probably be happy to sit back and watch the Shias and Sunnis kill each other off. After all, they've been doing it for over 1000 years. Why not finish the job? Of course, that could easily spill over into Egypt, Turkey, and all of the 'stans'. And that means Russia and China and India all conceivably have skin in the game.

Considering everything, I think we are very lucky that we have a cautious, intelligent man in charge, and not a hair trigger cowboy nitwit.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Please, Just Go Away

Dick Cheney, aka The Dark Lord, and his daughter, Liz, who isn't a lesbian, and, truth be told, not much of a sister either, but who was a laughable failure as a senatorial candidate, have spoken out, for the umpteenth time, about what they perceive to be the abject failure of President Obama's foreign policy.

By failure they mean ol Barack hasn't gotten us into any wars. Indeed, he's gotten us out of the Cheney-Bush wars, and not gotten us into wars with Iran or Syria. And for an old chickenhawk like Dick Cheney, that's a sign of weakness.

It's strange, you know, a guy who got so many deferments, the infamous "other priorities", to avoid service in Vietnam, being such a cheerleader for war. But then, most of those neo-cons are like that, aren't they? Where's dear old Freud when we really need him?

Dear Dick (and Liz), it's time to face the facts. No one who matters cares what you think. About anything. God knows you had your chances. With numbnuts in the White House you and your buddies got to run the country for a few years. And you were wrong about everything*. You fucked it up completely. So, shut the fuck up, OK? Take the big Halliburton payout, load up the old Holland and Holland, and go shoot something. Or someone. But please, just go away.

*wrong about everything is a registered trademark of the Cheney family.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Give Up

The other day I was walking into the local burrito/taco place, and there were two 20 somethings seated outside, happily smoking away.

You know, it's been, what 50 years or so, since we started realizing that smoking was really, really bad for you. Cancer, emphysema, all those fun things.

And yet, with all the medical evidence, not to mention all of the deaths, people still choose to smoke. Nobody puts a gun to their heads. They just do it.

A friend who has some experience with these sort of things told me many years ago that nicotine was harder to quit than heroin. OK. But people do quit both. Better to not start either, right?

Of course, it does take a certain amount of effort and willpower. More or less depending upon the person. Still, if you really want to do something, you will usually find a way to do it.

So if we really wanted to do something about the proliferation of guns in America, we would.

We'd get rid of all the politicians who are in the NRA's pocket. Every last one.

And we'd demand that their replacements do something. Not talk about doing something. Not join in the prayer vigils for all of the slaughtered innocents and wring their hands about the tragedy of it all. No.


Then we'd laugh Wayne "A Gun Is A Tool And So Am I" LaPierre, and all the crazies who love guns more than life itself, right out of the public arena. Marginalize those halfwits.

But, of course, it's easier not to, so...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Some Lovely Parting Gifts

It appears that Donald Sterling, part time slumlord, full time racist, will be forced by the NBA to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for TWO BILLION dollars to one of those multi-billionaires who infest our poor, benighted nation.

Said billionaire is paying more than twice what the franchise was valued at by Forbes magazine.

This will no doubt teach Sterling, and all the other owners of professional sports teams, a very valuable lesson:

There's a rich sucker born every minute. And no matter how badly you screw up, one of them will come along and bail you out...

Since Don is apparently suffering from the onset of dementia, (karma anyone?), his wife Shelly, a woman who has set the bar incredibly high in the category of looking the other way, will handle all of the details of the sale.

You are an evil, disgraceful person and for your "punishment" you get to walk away with $2 billion.

This is the most compelling justification I can think of for estate taxes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Crazy White Men With Guns

No, it's not the next Quentin Tarantino movie. It's the country we live in.

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

"My right to own as many guns and as much ammo as I can afford trumps you and your kids right to safety."

So sayeth that towering intellect, Libertarian Republican sage Joe the Plumber. Because...uh...Black Panthers?

And Fox News agrees.

So that settles it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

On this Happy Memorial Day 2014, we pause from our bar-b-ques and ballgames and parades to remember one thing:

The Republicans love our veterans.

Just ask them.

Well, not all of our veterans.

Not the gay ones. Yuck.

But other than that one small exception, Republicans can't wait to tell you how much they love our veterans.

Of course, they don't love them enough to adequately fund the VA.

Because even though VA funding has gone up by 50% under Obama (little thanks to the party of "no") the number of veterans needing help has gone up over 100% since Simple W. started his wars.

And, surprise surprise, the last bill to increase VA funding was filibustered by--you guessed it--the Republicans.

Now, before you jump to any rash conclusions, this only proves that patriotism is one thing and raising taxes on the rich is another. Obviously, they are mutually exclusive.

Still, the Republicans love our veterans so much that they will happily make more of them at the drop of a hat.

What Republicans really mean when they say how much they love our veterans is this:

We will always find enough money to start wars, but never find enough money to care for the people who do the fighting.

Oh, and God Bless America!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The United States of Amnesia

OK, I admit to borrowing the title from Gore Vidal...who is sorely missed.

But that's the way it goes. Great people die off and we're left to shuffle on without them...hopefully having learned something from them.

Anyway, Vidal's point was that we Americans, as a people, tend to forget things in an incredibly rapid fashion. Forget or perhaps never know in the first place.

The Republicans understand this, and act accordingly. Already there's a concerted effort to make us believe that the presidency of Bush/Cheney wasn't the soul destroying, mind numbing, complete disaster that it was.

And so, naturally, it follows, for reasons that have no basis in reason, that we now have a great number of voters longing for a Congress controlled by Republicans come the 2014 midterms. And maybe even a Republican president in 2016.

Coupled with a Supreme Court ruled by 5 sorry, old, corporatist white men, that would leave the Republicans in charge of all 3 branches of government.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, let me tell you:

How 'bout another war? Pick one; Iran, Syria, North Korea. Russia! What about all at once?  That would be soooo good for the defense industries! Really pump up their bottom lines.

How 'bout completely unregulated industries? Imagine the oil spills! Wow! Imagine the water and air pollution! Get rid of the EPA and unleash the beauty of unfettered American capitalism.

Climate change, slimate change. Just another liberal lie. Besides, Al Gore is fat! Drill baby drill! Frack baby frack! Burn baby burn!

While we're at it, let's do away with the Department of Education and all public schools, too. Charters are the way to go! That's where the money is...

And speaking of big money, Wall Street would do a great job with Social Security. Sure, there would be winners and losers, but, hey, that's life!

Oh, and by the way, this ain't Europe, so health care is only for people who can afford it. Remember, makers not takers.

Fuck it, let's undo all of the social progress of the last 80 years! Women belong pregnant and in the kitchen, blacks were probably better off as slaves, and gays should just turn straight--or disappear.

Finally, only white men and women with property should be allowed to vote.

The philosopher Santayana famously remarked, "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

But, what the hell? There's an old Russian proverb that translates to "repetition is the mother of learning." Let's go for it!

And so it goes...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

True Or False: Doug MacEachern Is A Libertarian Hack

Last Sunday, Doug MacEachern, who is one of the crack team of editorial columnists at The Arizona Republic, (to my knowledge the only daily paper in a major metropolitan area to NEVER win a Pulitzer Prize for anything other than cartoons), took up his quill pen, and ever ready righteous indignation, to warn us--yet again--of the dangers of creeping unionism in Phoenix. Oh, those pesky labor unions with their demands for a living wage, safe workplaces, and, horrors, benefits. They must be stopped! And MacEachern, the Paul Revere of the Arizona branch of the Free Market/To Hell With The Workers Club, is just the guy to do it.

For those of you fortunate enough to never have read any of his work, MacEachern has been writing essentially the same column for at least 20 years. Always some variation of "the unions are bad, regulations are bad, multiculturalism is bad, liberals are very bad, the free market is the only thing that will save us" crap that the right, and libertarians in particular, spew out on a regular basis.

The cornerstones of their "ideal" Arizona are low taxes and low wages and the "freedom" to fuck over your workers. Because, uh, I don't know, Ayn Rand? The fact that this method has never delivered the results they swore it would, and has in fact resulted in Arizona being the southwestern version of Mississippi, does not deter them from constantly repeating them. That's the thing about True Believers: They have faith and that's what really matters. Not facts--faith. "If only we could drive wages down even lower and remove all taxes...then you'll see how right we are!" Uh huh.

So, of course, unions are the root cause of all the bad in our would be capitalist paradise--at least in the bullshit fantasy libertarian world that Dougie Mac flits around in.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Benghazi, Ergo Benghazi

So we had a focus group come in and tell us how to get more hits on the old blog. Because frankly, just between you and me, it's been a bit stagnant.

There were snacks, and charts and graphs, and a heartfelt Q&A.

And what we decided was that we had to start focusing on things that really matter to people.

Now personally, I couldn't care less about this whole Benghazi "thing." I mean, sure, it was very sad. Dead people are sad.

And dead Americans are the saddest of all dead people. In fact, 1 dead American is sadder than a million dead anything else. Am I right?

But somehow these 4 dead Americans in Benghazi are even sadder still. Much sadder than the 3000 plus who died on 9-11.

And the 4000 plus who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Because these 4 died while Obama was president!

And it was his fault. It must have been his fault. Oh, yeah, his and Hillary's. Can't forget her! Why else would the great minds of the GOP be rolling around in it like pigs in shit, if it wasn't their fault?

Couldn't be because Darrell Issa's IRS "scandal" isn't working out for them. Couldn't be because the more people learn about Obamacare, the happier they are with it. Couldn't be because the Republicans don't have any ideas about making the country a better, more just, safer, and healthier place. No, all of their ideas produce exactly the opposite effect.

And it certainly couldn't be because all of the Republican 2016 presidential candidates are laughably flawed in ways that should be obvious to all but the most obtuse "undecided" voters.

Still...we have to be realistic about these things.

Bottom line is: We need more hits.


(To be honest, regarding Benghazi, I am kind of interested in that CIA station just down the road from the consulate...but that's not what they're going to be focusing on, is it? Didn't think so.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Regarding Cliven Bundy

Wouldn't we all be better off as slaves?

I mean, really...

No mortgages. 3 squares. Free housing. Free clothing. Steady work and lots of fresh air.

Oh sure, being owned by someone else does have some drawbacks.

The lashings, the rapes, the wives and children sold to the highest bidders, being worked to death, the unmarked graves. Oh, and let's not forget the brutal, murderous whims of amoral, psychopathic owners. And of course the ultimate dehumanizing act of being treated as a piece of property.

But all in all...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"End Times" Again

According to noted televangelist and hairspray adept Pat Robertson, we're very near the End Times. Again.

And here I just put all of the decorations away from the last "End Times." Jesus. I guess apocalypses do have a way of sneaking up on you.

You know, one of the problems with living your life according to a bunch of superstitions and fairy tales is that you're never exactly sure what to plan for.

Plague of locusts or famine? Do I need to stock up on the bug spray or just a bunch of canned goods? Or both? Beats me.

Is this really the Rapture or just a problem with my meds?

Will it rain for 40 days and nights, or only long enough to mess up the car?

Is it better to be already dead and raised up by old Mr. Jesus, or alive, brutally killed in the conflagration, and then raised up?

Should I spring for the 3D Imax version of the Book of Revelations? Those glasses give me a headache.

What do the Chinese think about all this?

So many questions, and so few answers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Wonder If...

I wonder if...

...the Chinese spend a lot of time debating the scientific merits of creationism?

...the next big tech breakthrough, or cure for cancer, or remedy for climate change, or new energy source, or anything of value will come from some kid who thinks the earth was created in 6 days, Noah filled a boat with mating pairs of every living creature, and Jesus rode a dinosaur?

Gee, I wonder if all the time we've spent in pointless debate with bible thumping simpletons was wasted?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dear Sheldon Adelson,

Dear Sheldon,

May I call you Shelly? You seem like a Shelly to me.

Hey, sorry I missed the big Bow Down Before Me And Beg For My Money fest. From what I saw on the TV it looked like a lot of fun.  Especially when Jersey Fats slipped up with that "occupied territories" gaffe. My God, I almost split a gut with laughter!

That's a cool scooter you got, by the way. Is that one of those "and it won't cost you anything" deals they advertise on the late night infomercials? I know you could afford to buy one, but free stuff is free stuff. Am I right?

Look, you're a busy man--how are those Justice Department investigations of bribery at your Macau casino going by the way? Ooops. Sore spot, huh? My bad.

Anyway, here's the deal. Last Presidential election you spent about a hundred million bucks on loser candidates. I mean real losers. Newt Gingrich? Mitt Romney? I know, you being a billionaire and all, that's just a few drops in the old Clairol bucket. And this time, Yahweh love you, you seem bound and determined to do it again. Noblesse oblige, and all that.

But let's face it, Christie, Kasich, and the rest have the stench of death on them already, and it's only 2014! By 2016 they'll be so ripe, nobody will go near them. Except die hard Republicans, of course. And if you've been paying any attention at all, you know that there aren't going to be enough die hard Republicans left to elect a president of anything larger than an all white Country Club.

So here's my pitch: For millions less than you'll spend on any of them, I promise to be your candidate. I'll even convert if necessary. I mean, one set of fairy tales is pretty much the same as the other, so why not? I already have a couple of campaign slogans ready: "Israel First Last and Always!" and "A Rich SOB Paid For This Sign".

Honestly, we both know that you're going to lose again. And then pretty soon you're going to die. But until that glorious day comes along, we should have some fun, huh?

Yours truly (for a price),

B. Franklin

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Gettysburg Address ( Supreme Court Approved 2014 Amended Edition)

Four $core and $even year$ ago our father$ brought forth on thi$ continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the propo$ition that all men are created equal. 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, te$ting whether that nation, or any nation $o conceived and $o dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, a$ a final re$ting place for tho$e who here gave their live$ that that nation might live. It i$ altogether fitting and proper that we $hould do thi$. 

But, in a larger $en$e, we can not dedicate -- we can not con$ecrate -- we can not hallow -- thi$ ground. The brave men, living and dead, who $truggled here, have con$ecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we $ay here, but it can never forget what they did here. It i$ for u$ the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfini$hed work which they who fought here have thu$ far $o nobly advanced. It i$ rather for u$ to be here dedicated to the great ta$k remaining before u$ -- that from the$e honored dead we take increa$ed devotion to that cau$e for which they gave the la$t full mea$ure of devotion -- that we here highly re$olve that the$e dead $hall not have died in vain -- that thi$ nation, under God, $hall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people $$$$$$, by the people $$$$$$, for the people $$$$$$, $hall not peri$h from the earth.

Just another nail in the coffin of democracy, courtesy of John Roberts and the Supremes. Nice work boys. I'm sure you will be amply rewarded by your bosses.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why Don't The Koch Brothers Want Us To Have Affordable Health Care?

I mean, after they've poisoned all of our air and water with their various industries, we're going to need it.

It seems like the smart play would be to support health care reform wholeheartedly.

Then, when we're all gasping for air, dehydrated from lack of clean water, and dying from the various forms of cancer that the Koch brand of "free, unregulated markets" inevitably create, they could say, "hey, we may have poisoned you and your family, but at least we did everything we could to make sure you had a little medical care!"

But no, they're happily spending hundreds of millions of dollars hiring people to lie about Obamacare.

So, the big question is, why?

Since money and power are obviously what really matter to Dave and Charlie, where's the profit for them in denying people affordable health care?

Or is it just that they hate some things so thoroughly--Obama, democracy, people who aren't rich, the very idea of being governed--that they're doing this one as a freebie, just for shits and giggles?

Let's call it merely another case of evil people being evil, and leave it at that.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Signor Baseball's 2014 AL Preview

Time to forget about your bracket--face it, it's irredeemably broken. Mercer?! Harvard?! Dayton?! Really? Time to pick up the old horsehide and start boning the bat. Yep, you guessed it, Spring has sprung, and ready or not, here's Signor Baseball's American League preview:

The East looks like another down and dirty race to the wire. Last season the Red Sox brought in a bunch of folks, none of them "superstars", rolled the dice, and ended up winning the World Series. That just doesn't happen very often in baseball. I suppose it could happen again, but...In New York, the Yankees are without the cursed A-Rod (finally) and have added a lot more power. The starting pitching could either be very, very good or very, very mediocre. Tanaka won't go 24-0 like he did in Japan, but he looks like a good bet to win 14-16 games. Kuroda and Nova are solid. CC Sabathia has lost something off his fastball, though he still is better than most, and Pineda is healthy for the first time in years. However, Rivera is gone, Cano is gone, Jeter is going fast, and second and third base look like big question marks. But who knows, maybe everything falls into place and New York can contend. Baltimore and Tampa are solid, on paper at least, and barring injury, should fight it out with Boston for the division and at least one of the Wild Cards. If the Orioles don't compete, Buck Showalter may be looking for another job. The Blue Jays, after the big spending debacle of 2013, can look forward to another also ran season. Having a knuckleballer as your #1 starter just doesn't work out. Sorry. At least it won't cost as much to finish last this year. Plus, Toronto has a very entertaining mayor. And that's something.

In the Central, Detroit has had a big edge talent wise for the last few seasons. This year, Cleveland and, gasp! Kansas City, might give them a race. Might. Both the Indians and the Royals will score runs, but they also both have obvious holes in their pitching. The Tigers still have a big edge in starting pitching and Miguel Cabrera. And maybe, someday, they'll win another World Series. Just kidding. Should they make it again, trust me, they'll figure out a way to lose. Kind of like the Texas Rangers. For whatever it's worth, the White Sox will once again be better than the Cubs in the battle for Chicago supremacy. And the Twins? Looks like they're turning into the Astros of the American League Central. And no, that is not a good thing.

Out in the Wild West, last year the Angels were a huge disappointment, the A's over-achieved again (gee, somebody in Oakland must know something, huh?), and the Rangers were pretty much what we thought they were. This year, Los Angeles (or Anaheim or Orange County or whatever they call themselves) added a couple of solid everyday players and some young arms. But if Pujols and Hamilton don't hit it will be another disappointing year for Halo fans everywhere. Texas traded a big bat for a bigger bat, but pitching wins things and they better get comeback seasons from any starter not named Darvish if they want to compete. The A's still have that lean and hungry look. So, I guess it's a 3 team race until the bitter end. Elsewhere, Seattle over spent to get Robby Cano, who is a great player, but not worth A-Rod (in his prime) money. Hell, A-Rod in his prime wasn't worth A-Rod money. Years 7-10 of Cano's contract will be a very, very sad time for the Mariners. But that's years down the road...Unfortunately, they probably won't win anything before then, either. And finally, try to name one member of the Houston Astros. Go on. Anybody? No? Well, there it is.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Signor Baseball's 2014 NL Preview

Well, it's that time of year again. Mr. Franklin tears himself away from wondering what happened to that airliner (has anybody checked gate 69 at Newark International?), and temporarily crawls out of the ice bath in which he braces himself for another delightful Phoenix Summer. The Crimea Crisis gets shoved to the back burner, all political shenanigans are swept aside for the moment, and he turns his attention to what truly matters: Signor Baseball's 2014 National League preview...

In the East, last year was supposed to be Washington's year. Didn't happen. Atlanta ran away from them. This year, three quarters of the Braves rotation imploded the first week of Spring training. So, hey, better late than never, let's go Nationals! Let's see if Matt Williams is a better manager than he was a third base coach. The Braves have plenty of bats, but their pitching is suddenly a hospital ward. The Phillies are just old, old, old. And some of them are getting grouchy, too. Some old guys are like that. The Mets are still not very good. Money can buy you everything but happiness--and a good team. With the Yankees in a weakened condition this may be a depressing season all around for New Yorkers. And 90 miles north of Cuba, the Marlins are...what exactly? They come up with a bunch of young talent year after year, have won as many World Series as the Yankees in the last eleven seasons, and still nobody comes to see them play. Plus their owner is a complete jerk. Hey, maybe that has something to do with it! Still, they have some bats and a little pitching (at least until their young players are eligible for free agency), so who knows? Washington hasn't won anything yet, the Braves and Phillies do have a couple of arms and a couple of bats, and this may be a year where almost every team in the East plays right around .500 and whoever gets hot in September wins the division.

The Central division, as usual, should be a dog fight until the end.  Reds, Cards, Pirates. Take your pick. At least one of the Wild Cards will come from the runners up. The Reds looked like they had a slight edge before their 100 mph closer took one in the eye a couple of days ago. Ouch. And the Pirates probably won't repeat last year's success. Their pitching just isn't that good. I get tired of picking St. Louis every year, but they put a good solid team on the field every year, and that's all that it takes in this division. So far, in the Windy City, City of the Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the World, Blahblahblah, Theo Epstein hasn't been able to work any wonders with the Cubs. They'll battle it out with Milwaukee for last place. Again. The good folks of Chicago certainly deserve better, but as Clint Eastwood once said, "deserves got nothing to do with it." I guess some curses are harder to break than others. And regarding the Brewers, well, any state that elects Scott Walker gets a truly sucky team. That's just Karma, I think.

And finally, out West, apparently Arizona has become a place that good young arms come to die. And with them, the Diamondbacks' hopes of catching the Dodgers. Now, repeat after me, "you can never have enough pitching."  Unfortunately, in an attempt to fill some other holes, the team traded a whole bunch of pitching that would sure come in handy about now. On offense, this Trumbo guy that Arizona brought in to protect Goldschmidt will hit 35-40 homers and strike out a lot. Mark Reynolds comes to mind.The rest of the lineup will scrape away trying to find enough runs to compete. All for naught, because the Dodgers are plain loaded from top to bottom. Case in point: their #5 starter was the D-Backs #1 a couple of years ago. The Giants, though they don't have many bats besides Posey's, should be better than last year--at least good enough to compete for a Wild Card slot. Indeed, San Francisco has won a couple of World Series with essentially the same level of talent. The D-Backs will have to hope that some sort of rotator cuff plague hits LA and San Francisco if they want to have a chance at winning this division. Do not fret, Rockies' and Padres' fans. Colorado and San Diego are still very nice places to spend the summer. And you can get legal weed in Denver! So they got that going for them.

So, light 'em up, and play ball!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oooh Baby!

I don't know why the Republicans get so turned on by dictators.

It would probably take the combined insight of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Lorraine Bracco to figure it out.

Maybe it's the idea of completely ignoring the people you govern, or any kind of open debate, and just doing what you want. Maybe it's that whole law and order thing taken to the nth degree. Maybe they all have Daddy issues. Or Mommy issues. Or maybe they're all just fascists at heart...

Whatever it is, the sight of Vlad Putin's hairless chest has caused some sort of meltdown in our reactionary friends.

Which means that Chris Christie better hit the gym right now if he wants to have any chance at all of getting the nomination of the Grim Old Party in 2016. He's already got the Putin bluster--now he needs the Putin pecs. Here's a thought: a few months on a diet of federal prison food might take off a lot of that Jersey blubber. They have weights there, too.

The same holds true for the pasty twins, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Sorry boys, but you're just a little too flabby to make hearts flutter. Time to put down the collected works of Ayn Rand, and pick up the P90x. Ditto Jeb Bush. Your country, and by that I mean the Confederate States of America, needs you.

Now Paul Ryan--he might be the complete Republican package. He spends a lot of time in the gym. His policies are all specious crap. And he acts like a total dick, too. But he seems a little short on the bluster.

I wonder, do Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly give lessons?

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 CPAC Roundup

Uh, let's see...

It was just a bunch of delusional, bigoted, reactionary, halfwit assholes vying with each other to see who could be the most delusional, bigoted, reactionary, halfwit asshole.

All for the entertainment of an audience of delusional, bigoted, reactionary, halfwit assholes.

That's about it. Oh, and God Bless America!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Charge Of The Lightweight Brigade

Oh, what manly men they are!

William Kristol!

Lindsey Graham!

John McCain!

Charge for the guns they said!

(You go ahead...we'll be back here...watching...and cheering...)

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward!
Look, there's little Billy Kristol, son of the intellectual father of the neo-cons, Ur-chickenhawk, always on the lookout for ways to keep Israel safe for apartheid.

Right next to him is Lindsey "Belle of the South" Graham, who proudly served in the US Air Force and yet somehow never left South Carolina. No doubt he was keeping Charleston safe from the Iraqi hordes. Just like W. kept the bars of Texas safe from the Cong.

And in the lead, of course, is John "Maverick" McCain, who, and let's be honest now, has milked being a POW for 40 some years. He parlayed being captured into a seat in the House, then the Senate, and almost into the White House itself. Along the way he has somehow earned a reputation as a foreign policy 'expert'. Expert in his case is defined as being wrong about just about everything. But, fuck it, I guess we're all Ukrainians now, right John?

Some folks never tire of war. Indeed, the very idea of it makes them feel all warm and gooey inside.

Especially when they're not going to get their hands dirty fighting it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

They're All The Same? No,They Aren't.

We've really got to stop this nonsense about "oh, both parties are at fault. The extremists on the left are just as bad as the extremists on the right."

No. They aren't.

One party wants to discriminate against gays. The same party wants to demonize unions. This party does everything it can to deny voting rights to minorities. This party also wants to take away a woman's right to control her own reproductive system. And destroy public education.

Affordable health care reform? Not if this party has it's way.

Rebuild the infrastructure? Sorry, can't afford it.

In general, this party has said a loud, resounding "No!" to every progressive measure. Even those that they originally supported.

Of course, this party does say "yes" to some things:

Lower taxes for the rich? You bet!

Beat up on poor people? Fuck yeah!

Industries free to pollute? Right on!

Money equals speech? Makes sense!

Destroy the safety net? About time!

Ignore science? The Bible says so!

Corporations are people? Sure!

War? Why not!

No, the fault runs entirely in one direction.

Oh, and by the way, what extremists on the left?

Barack Obama? 

Elizabeth Warren?

Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid?

Give me a break.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's Always All About The Benjamins

I'm not sure why it took almost a week for Jan Brewer to decide to veto SB1062.

I mean, it was two pages long. But that's why you have staff.  To read stuff and explain it to you.

Anyway, it seemed like a "no brainer" and therefore just right for our gal.

But I guess they had to run through the numbers for her a few times.

Until she understood.

Not that it was discriminatory.

Not that it was hateful.

Not that it was probably unconstitutional.

Not that it was just one more example of how backwards Arizona can be.

No. It was going to cost certain people cold hard cash. A lot of cold hard cash.

And we can't have that.

Now, to be fair, if you can come back with a law that will allow us to discriminate against certain people and not cost us anything monetarily, well, then Governor Jan would be happy to listen to you.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sorry, But That's Against My Religion

Let's put aside for a second that SB 1062, the "religious freedom" amendment just passed by the Republican controlled Arizona State legislature is almost certainly unconstitutional. (Sadly, you always have to say "almost" with the current makeup of the US Supreme Court.)

And that it codifies the idea that Christians are nothing but bigoted, racist, homophobic cranks, incapable of any kind of empathy for their fellow human beings, so insecure in their religion that they feel threatened by everything that doesn't exactly mirror their own beliefs.

And that we must now rely on a Republican hack, Governor Jan "Chuck, Tell Me What To Do" Brewer to veto it.

Instead, let's look at it from a practical standpoint:

When all the bigoted, racist, homophobic, real "Christians" in North America retire they'll want a nice, warm place to go.

A place where they'll be able to express their true feelings.

A place where they'll be safe from any prolonged contact with "The Other."

All the esteemed Republican members of the Arizona State legislature are trying to do is guarantee that Arizona is that place.

Cynics might call it their economic growth plan.

Their only economic growth plan.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is Our Children Learning Yet?

It shouldn't be surprising that the Republicans in Arizona are pushing, hard, for more charter schools. Arizona Republicans hate public education, and they will do anything to undermine it.

See, a well funded, functioning, public school system might level the playing field a little, and we couldn't have that, could we?

Also, public school teachers belong to a union, and unions, as every good Arizonan knows, are the Devil's work. So adding a bunch of charter schools, with little or no oversight of course, to suck as much money as they can from the education budget makes perfect sense to them.

No. That's not surprising. Not for the "I've Got Mine, Fuck You" Party.

What should be surprising is that the latest push is coming from the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Huppenthal. You know, the guy that was elected to look after the best interests of our public schools. Oops. Occasionally, the curtain slips, and you get a glimpse of what these people really are all about.

Ha ha ha, the jokes on us! Again.

The last 30 years or so of the Republican Party only begins to make sense when you begin to understand that the entire party, from Ronnie Reagan, through Bush The Elder and Bush The Lesser, the Dark Lord Cheney, Rummy and Rice, Romney, Cruz, Palin, Gohmert, the Tea Party, Bachmann, Santorum, Issa, and all the rest of the festering pile, is an ongoing piece of performance art.

And performance art has nothing to do with good governance.

No. It's all about the show. The wilder the better!

Friday, February 14, 2014

We Are What We Are

It should be simple enough. Your political party needs to attract some combination of women, Hispanics, African Americans and gays to survive.

Your base is old and white and dying out. Sooner or later you will die out with them.

So, you have to figure out some way to appeal to a broader demographic.

It isn't that hard. It really isn't. You know what you need to say and do. Everybody knows what you need to say and do. It isn't rocket science, after all.

But every time you try, every single time, you end up shooting yourself in the foot.

One of your geniuses says something so offensive, so reactionary, so antebellum South in its nature that people laugh at you.

Oh, not all of the people. Just the ones you're trying to court.

You end up repelling and offending the very people you need to survive.


The truth is, you can't help yourselves. 

Because, at the end of the day, we are what we are.

The world changes, but people don't change much. We just get older. So if you were taught hatred and bigotry and racism as a child, if those were your family values, odds are you still harbor those characteristics at your core.

You are what you are. And you were raised without any empathy for anyone who might be different.

You genuflect before money. You are living in the past and you fear the prospect of change. You believe all the Bible stories you learned in Sunday school. Science is just a bunch of theories. Minorities are inferior. Women are chattel. And don't get you started on the "gay agenda."

You are what you are.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Worst. Speaker. Ever.

This post started out to be Worst. Super Bowl. Ever.

But I got sidetracked. And, besides, the Super Bowl just boiled down to the simple fact that God must not like Peyton Manning.

After all, I heard several Seahawks thanking the big man upstairs for their victory. If they're correct, that means ipso facto, that God doesn't like Peyton Manning.

Or maybe the Almighty is just sick to death of that Papa John's guy. I know I am. And don't get me started on that horse's ass John Elway...

Anyway, "ultimate" games come and go, and after you've swept up all the corn chip detritus, mopped away the spilt beer, and settled up with your bookie, life goes on.

Which brings us to John Boehner. The Worst Speaker Ever.

In the coming years, entire libraries will be written about the inadequacies of our little orange friend.

And all those words will boil down to one thing:

Boehner is a sad, weak, little man. He can't control his party. He is afraid to offend the lobbyists that keep him in office. He is afraid to offend the Tea Party. He is afraid to offend Rush Limbaugh. He is afraid to do anything. The only legislation he can get passed through the House is the monthly repeal Obamacare measure. And we saw how that worked out for him.

So there will be no immigration reform, no re-build our infrastructure jobs' bill, no nothing. Naturally, all of this isn't his fault. No. It is President Obama's fault.

According to Johnny Boy, the President can't be trusted to enforce our laws. So why even try to come up with any new ones? And that's that.

Tonight, instead of doing anything positive for the country, weepy John Boehner sits somewhere with his bourbon, and his bronzer, and his big, flaccid gavel, and whines about that man in the White House.