If everyone is spending all their time expressing their quadrennial political expertise on Facebook, they hardly have time to DRIVE their cars, let alone buy bumper stickers for them. These are the early ideas for our abandoned novelty products for the 2012 election cycle.
What better symbol for America
than a pilot-less war machine?
This has been a depressing election year. No, not because my side is losing. I’m not on one. It’s too hard to tell which side of any line these clowns are standing on. Mr. Rope-a-Hope sold out to the insurance industry to force health care on all of us, and his presidency is ironically well-represented by one of the things he gets the most flak about from his own base. What better symbol for our country right now than a pilot-less machine of war? And in the end – if he wins – Moderate Mitt will probably be more like that moniker than you think. Clearly, they scraped cells off Reagan’s body back in the 80′s, and have grafted them onto Romney to create the next meat puppet president. The transmogrification was nearly complete by the first debate. If you closed your eyes whenever Mitt spoke during that debate, you would SWEAR it was Ronny up there on the podium. Romney has even perfected that weird, breathy, Reagan vocal mannerism; if he just adds that odd head bobble of Reagan’s, the effect will be complete.
But that will only endear him SLIGHTLY to a “real” Republican, and Obama has the same problem. Democrats have one of the worst collective cases of buyer remorse since Carter first donned a cardigan for a fireside chat while his redneck brother crawled from the woodwork to market Billy Beer. And that creates a problem for people like me; it’s hard to work up some decent antagonistic campaign parodies when both sides hate their OWN candidate. The most positive responses I’ve gotten when lambasting Obama have come from bleeding heart liberals, and any protest from my conservative friends when I poke fun at Romney have been like the final punches of a fighter that knows that even if there’s no way they’ll take the title, there’s NO WAY they’ll stop punching ’til they actually go down, even if their punches ARE more like the open-handed sissy slaps I got when fighting my sister in third grade. In this cannibalistic environment, where partisans are eating their own, the best we could come up with in the last couple of years were things like the Donner Party and the Punk Party.
But you know what makes matters even worse? YOU. In case you haven’t noticed, your political posts on Facebook are the REAL joke. The level of Read the rest of this entry »
Just who WAS that black man, and why did he keep interrupting Bill O’Reilly, anyway? A look at Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl interviews with President Obama
We do a fair amount of Obama bashing around here; it’s probably safe to say that many of us who voted for him feel a bit short-changed-and-hoped on occasion. But in spite of whatever you or I think about Barack Obama, I would hope that given the chance to actually speak to the man, we would maintain a little class and basic manners and remember that we’re talking to the president of the world’s most powerful democracy. I’d like to be able to say I was appalled at Bill O’Reilly’s demeanor while interviewing the president before the Super Bowl yesterday, with his constant interruptions and muttered asides, but I’m not. Although I’m rather fond of old-school manners and the concept of dignified statesmanship, I was just sort of detachedly disappointed by it all. For one thing, I’ve shared my thoughts before about how I find it ironic that Fox – an entertainment company owned by a foreigner – has become the main source of news for the most xenophobic of Americans. So the fact that Fox sent a ranting loon like O’Reilly try to stir up some paranoia about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt rather than asking some insightful questions was no surprise. And it’s just some darn pre-Super Bowl filler, right? I mean, while millions of people actually care about the game, it’s safe to say that many, many more people are interested in the commercial spots. So at the end of the day, a short chat with the president is just a minor distraction. Which is why it’s a little disappointing that O’Reilly couldn’t just leave it at that, and instead tried to turn it into a Fox opinion piece. Although I have to add – as someone who enjoys observing people’s body language and vocal expression – it was kind of entertaining to see O’Reilly look so awkward and hear his voice tweaked up nearly a half-octave with discomfort. But I think my biggest disappointment was that Obama didn’t get a bit tougher and just tell his heckler to shut up like Reagan might have. Unfortunately, this is where – in a weird turnabout – the white man was carrying the race card. The difference in America between Barack Obama telling someone to shut up and Ronald Reagan telling someone to shut up is, sorry to say, like night and day. Below is O’Reilly’s interview yesterday, and the last two pre-Super Bowl interviews with Katie Couric on CBS, and Matt Lauer on NBC, respectively. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll be watching the State of the Union address next week, but I’m bereaving hope more than I believe in it.
A couple of years ago, I asked When Did Americans Become Such Chickenshit Crybabies?, so it was kind of a relief when Patrick Smith, the “Ask the Pilot” guy, went public with a more serious and calmly reasoned treatment of the idea. Because if you look at the entire history of airline terrorism, things haven’t changed much over the years, only our reactions have. Which is at the core of just one of many reasons I take issue with the treatment of privacy rights since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. All along, I’ve been of the opinion – which I consider to be informed rather than paranoid – that various parties both inside and outside of government have capitalized on public fear, whether in the interest of invasive data collection or manipulating national sentiment. With President Obama’s State of the Union address coming up next week, I’m reminded of how profoundly disappointed I am with myself for falling for his campaign rhetoric and tone in 2008. One of the only reasons I voted for the man was that I foolishly believed he was sincere about troop drawdowns, lowering America’s hostile presence abroad, doing away with some of the Bush administration’s executive secrecy, and easing up on the incessant erosion of citizen’s privacy and freedom to move about. I was disappointed when Obama supported the FISA bill before he was even elected, but blew it off to a campaign-time necessity, and believed him when he said his administration would pursue a sincere review of wiretapping policies. Well, not only have none of these things come to pass in two years, he has completely contradicted himself repeatedly on almost all of them. Last year was the deadliest year so far in the Afghan conflict, with troop increases of 3,000, and a 134% increase in drone attacks and 54% increase in related deaths. The Obama White House has endorsed Bush era secrecy on torture and rendition, been worse about wiretapping issues than Bush, and made virtually no changes regarding the inept, out of control, and revenge-driven TSA, which many travelers have described as providing an experience they haven’t encountered since the Berlin Wall days. I could go on about how the Obama health care plan was a back door corporate sellout, but I won’t. The Republicans will be spending enough time deriding the plan as a dog and pony show in the coming months. No need to throw more sand in the gears of government; American politicians seem to have things pretty well ground to a halt on their own. I honestly hope to see something inspiring from next week’s SOTU address, but only because I’m idiotically optimistic about life in general. Not because I have any rational reason to do so.
Help us pick a winner. We thought we had one in Tom Delay, then he went and got CONVICTED, so this year we’ve opened the contest to international entries. The race is still tight with Gaddafi and Kim Jong giving Obama and Lieberman a real run for the money.
This is only the second year we’ve selected a “politician of the year”, so we haven’t sorted out all of the ground rules yet, but we assumed one rule would be that the same politician couldn’t win two years in a row. So Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama were originally not nominees, since they shared the award last year. Well, we’ve reconsidered. Since Obama keeps acting more like Bush than Bush did without even having Dick Cheney around to goad him on, and since an Australian hacker provided more transparency in government in one weekend than Obama has in almost two years, Obama’s back in. And Joe Lieberman’s sudden decision to appoint himself Lord Master of the Internet means he’s back in the running too. We thought we had a sure winner with Tom Delay; his gallivanting around on “Dancing With The Stars” while awaiting sentencing on money laundering charges was the most politician-like behavior we’ve seen since John Edwards got caught whoring around while his wife was dying of cancer. But then Delay went and got convicted, breaking the most basic rule of politics: Break any law you want if it means winning, just don’t get caught. So in the end, we decided we were limiting ourselves by only considering American politicians for the award. It’s like reaching into the same basket of moderately rotten apples hoping for a really wormy one and always being disappointed. This year, the award is going international, and we’re open to suggestions. We’ve presented some candidates below to get you thinking.
Read the rest of this entry »
It really boils down to simple things, like HEY AMERICA! You’re fat, rude, and greedy! Chill out!
For quite some time, I’ve wished that when a president says utterly irrational things in a State of the Union address, he would say positive things instead of things like “everyone wants to kill us because we’re so great and they’re jealous so we’ll just have to bomb someone”. So when I voted for Mr. Hopey Changey, I think I was fantasizing that in one of his speeches he would say something like “Our team of political and social analysts has spent the last year reviewing the key problems in America, and have reached some simple conclusions and developed some simple solutions. First of all, you’re all too fat, lazy, greedy, rude, and watch WAY too much TV. Y’all need to stop eatin’ those sticks of butter and supersizin’ all six meals each day. Get off your butt and at least GO FOR A WALK if that’s all you can manage. Once you’re off your butt, when you run into people, make eye contact and say things like ‘HI! HOW ARE YA?’ and hold doors for them and let them go first in line, and say ‘EXCUSE ME’ if they’re in your way instead of snorting and having a hernia. If you’re one of those fortunate enough to own six cars, two houses, and have more than a million in cash at your disposal, THINK ABOUT SHARING some of that. How many houses can you live in at the same time? We’ve also decided that corporations and government should BENEFIT PEOPLE OTHER THAN THE ONES THAT RUN THEM. Therefore, we’re stripping corporations of their human rights (um, they’re not human, right?) and stripping legislative, executive and judicial pay back to nearly nothing, so that whole “public servant” thing makes sense again. You’re also no longer allowed to sue people every time you stub your toe on their sidewalk, but all medical malpractice suits are hereby judged in favor of the patient. We all know that even the flippant ones were the result of the greed and mismanagement of the health care industry, right? And this whole lawsuit thing extends ESPECIALLY to kids. Children can no longer sue their parents, and parents can no longer sue the kids’ teachers. If the neighbor’s kids are acting up, BUST ‘EM. And you and the teacher are the grown ups, remember? TALK IT OUT. Oh. And no more padded playgrounds and helmets. All the dumbest and clumsiest kids are surviving grade school and creating a really feeble gene-pool for the next generation. I think that should cover it for this year. We’ll be back next year to see how things turned out. There may be a pop quiz in June though.