The Straw Man

Television has never gotten over itself.  Specifically it has never gotten over the 1960 Presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  At the time, the great idea was that Nixon lost the debate by wearing a gray suit on black-and-white television.  He did not do it be being a blank, blubbering bundle of nerves.  And of course, he wasn’t a crook until 14 years later.

But anyway, back to the point, television has never gotten over itself.

Our current crop of media geniuses work for the very corporations that support Mitt Romney, so after last night’s disastrous performance by their hero, they are still searching for reasons why he won…or why, if Obama actually did win, it was, in the words of one media pundit, “too little too late.”

A hyper-conservative online friend of mine echoed this last night, saying something to the effect that “this was Obama’s last stand,” and “the majority (in some poll) feel that Romney is the one who will correct the economy.”

I thought, “Really?  How, dear?  By repeating and intensifying the mistakes of the last 30 years?  Doesn’t repeating a mistake just make it worse?   And what about all those charts and figures that show how the economy tends to worsen under a Republican president and get better under a Democratic one?  Explain.”

Of course there was no explanation.  Sadder still, this guy’s an economist (an article comes to mind about economists being made ‘stupid’ by their their training; I’ll have to look for it).

But anyway, the point here is this: Obama won — and he won simply by telling the truth and not allowing Romney to stick to his scripted unreality — and the media are having a fit.  This is not in the script, and they don’t know how to deal with it.  I mean, Romney didn’t even wear a gray suit!

Obama did play into their hands by being a snoring sap in debate #1, and at least one media wag now says that’s when he lost the election.  This debate means nothing.  Nothing, I tell you.  (And I daresay if Obama hadn’t slept through the first debate, that debate would have meant nothing, either!)

And to this wag I say, “I had no idea it was already November, darling.  And I don’t have a crystal ball, either.  But I do know better than to do two things: (1) predict this election based on anything at all I hear in the media, which has gone from chortling about gray suits on black-and-white TV to creating an entire universe devoid of reality, and (2) repeat the mistakes of the last 30 years.”

To my eyes, Romney is nothing but another George W. Bush.  George W. Bush was the perfected incarnation of Ronald Reagan: a stupid, arrogant, bullying figurehead for shadowy corporate overlords.  Straw men, if you will.

These are the kind of straw men and media wags who will put up a headline stating that “the jobs are going away and they aren’t coming back,” and not offer a solution.  Then they will blame the victims.

These are the kind of straw men and media wags who will prattle on about “small government,” and then regulate the hell out of women’s bodies.

These are the kind of straw men and media wags who will convince us to get into yet another war…because someone, long ago, noticed that we only got out of the 1930’s depression by going to war.  No matter that it hasn’t worked since.  We gotta get our hands on all that oil!

We can’t go there again.  Obama is our only choice.  If we elect Romney, we die.

Stupid of the Day awards all the way around to everyone who supports Romney.  It’s on me.

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Reality Fail

There’s a page on Facebook called something like “Donald Trump, would you please STFU.”  Almost every day I receive an article from them which is usually about whatever blather has most recently spewed from Trump’s cavernous mouth.

The last few days have been different; it seems that since his feelings were hurt at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, followed quickly by the embarrassment of having his fantasy-based TV show preempted by the very real death of Osama bin Laden (which Obama was involved in, but never gave a hint that anything was going on), Rump has retreated into silence*.  But I know this is temporary.  As early as later today, I have no doubt he’ll be baaaaack, this time spouting nonsense about…well, how COULD a black guy get good grades in college?  You know, it’s not racist, but…(mail-order lawyer Orly Taitz has chosen that as her next cause, so yuh know, there might be somepin to it).  Note to Rump: would you believe it if I told you that Obama’s white half got the grades?

Meantime Sarah Palin has made a “speech” (Really?  Was anyone outside of the media listening?) thanking George Bush for killing bin Laden.  Right, Twinkle-toes.  I assume Dick Cheney shot him by accident, right?

All I can say here is…well I have to ask: where did reality go and how can we get it back?  All we have these days, outside of an occasional genuine news item, is this:

(1) Rump (Mr. Fantasy), a.k.a. Mr. Better Living through Bankruptcy —  Like many another actor (Charlie Sheen, for instance), he has become convinced that what occurs on his TV show is real, and that he himself has a meaningful life, genuinely useful ideas, and something to say;

(2) Palin — Still there although goodness knows why; she finished herself with that speech about the Arizona shootings and it’s high time her media supporters, especially the Huffington Post, realized it and moved on to the next shiny object (in spite of her eldest daughter’s most recent and probably tantalizing publicity grab, which involves claiming to be a liberal);

(3) Taitz — certifiably certifiable, and nearly everyone knows it…so why do we keep hearing from her?  She’s also like Charlie Sheen, continually ranting and raving and painful to watch;

and oh, yes (4) the Royal Wedding.  Put that one right in the WTF department along with the rest of it.  I mean, OOOOO what does her dress look like and OOOOOO is she going to vow to Obey and OOOOOOO don’t the Brits just love their expensive monarchy when most of the Brits themselves are dirt poor from having to do things like, oh, say, PAY (the equivalent of) $7.00 A GALLON FOR FUCKING PETROL.

Perhaps reality has become too painful to deal with, and that’s the cause of this mass fascination with making delusion as real as possible.  Or maybe it’s true that our media have been bought off and are determined to alter reality to suit their corporate masters.

I don’t know what the hell the problem is, but remember the old saw about fiddling while Rome burns?  It’s happening, folks.

*I Knew I Spoke Too Soon Department: Rump spews.  My reply to this nonsense: not bloody likely, Hoss; from the sound it if, bin Laden got part of his head shot off.  As in, he was there and then he wasn’t.  Dumb ass.

Looking for a Silver Lining (and only seeing a tornado)

(edited 12/9/10)

Okay, almost everyone’s together on this one: progressives, conservatives, even people like me.  The only ones who probably haven’t worked it out yet are the teabaggers. That’s no big surprise because, well, they’ve yet to work anything out.  Think about it: they just got what they wanted, or did they? What do you want to bet that even they don’t know for sure?  And that they’re furious with Obama anyway, for caving in on their own candidates’ demands?

I mean, if you’re a Fox News commentator, what the hell do you say? (I am positive that they’ve already thought of something; certainly Sarah Palin has because she Tweeted an incoherent attack that lashed out at everyone while at the same time trying to exonerate the Republicans in the scenario — they were, after all, the ones that got what they wanted but that’s not what they got, or it’s exactly what they wanted, but anyway it’s all Obama’s fault according to Sarah…or something like that.)

So what am I talking about?  What is it that we are all together on?  We are together, for once, in being against the extension of tax cuts for the rich because it’s a scheme that has not shown much, if any, benefit for our economy in 30 years and it showed no benefit whatsoever during the Shrub Administration.  Yet the cuts are about to be extended.  Again.  (Note: I spend most of this blog entry talking about the extension as if it has already passed Congress because it’s such a phenomenally bad idea that I assume it will.)

No surprise that no one is happy about this but the Republicans/teabaggers who had their way paid into Congress by the very rich folks they have now paid back by merely threatening to hold their breath until they turned blue if they didn’t get their way on the issue of tax cuts.  Oh goody!  Now to turn our attention to pressing matters like the war on Christmas…and on soliciting donations for the RNC from the very rich people they just liberated!

Of course, most of us wanted to see them hold their breath until they turned blue and dropped dead.  But somehow, that did not include Obama.  And we are left to guess why.

All I can think of is that there are a few things on the horizon: the election of 2012, and a possible economic collapse in China.

How does China figure into this?  Because they are loaning us the missing money that we won’t be getting, that would have come from from our rich folks if the tax cuts had not been extended.  China has money right now; we don’t.  But you see, the Chinese economy is on the same sort of bubble our economy was on for about 7 years before it imploded.  That’s right.  Some folks in Australia, which is currently partially dependent on the income from massive raw-materials exports to China, are beginning to get nervous about that.  We should be getting nervous too — too nervous to borrow money to pay for a tax cut, if nothing else.  But teabaggers never look that far ahead.  All they think about is that they want to pay back their benefactors and do it now, and then get on to the real important stuff like handing out rifles to first graders.  Gotta make our apocalyptic visions come true, you know!

Anyway, I’m thinking that it could be that the Obama Administration is betting that the Chinese economy will collapse before 2012, taking with it all the remaining excuses to extend tax cuts to the rich (and tax increases for the poor) beyond that.  Why?  Because there will be no other place to get the money after that, except at home.

It could be that the Obama Administration also sees some benefit in the extension becoming a unifying factor for all the warring factions within our country — except the teabaggers, that is.  And who cares about them?  If they continue on their mad, merry way, 2012 will be the end…of them.  You can only try to turn the U.S. into a creationist theme park for so long before reality catches up with you, or at least the bills come due.

I should mention that I’m pretty much alone in finding any silver lining at all in this catastrophe.  Most folks are looking at the horizon and only seeing a huge tornado sucking up everything in sight.

It’s hard to keep positive in a case like this, and I’m probably wrong about everything.  And maybe it would be more fun to get swept away by that twister, anyway.   But we’ll see.  The next 2 years will tell us everything.

Lost as a Republican on Labor Day

I’m sure by now some Republican and/or Teabagger has piped up about Jesus and Labor Day.  Or the Constitution on Labor Day.  Or guns and Labor Day.  Or (somewhat ironically) abortion and Labor Day.

Which is to say they just don’t get it.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Republicans/Teabaggers have set themselves up as the enemies of the worker.  Never mind that some of them are workers themselves; the “bad guys” are always “those other people.”  Who are those other people?  Nope, it’s not Suzy down the street who has been trying to support her 4 kids on a waitress’s salary since her husband lost his job, couldn’t find another one, and finally gave up.  Nope it’s not John who was diagnosed with cancer and was fired from his job of 3 months, which he was only able to find after 2 years of unemployment after being laid off from his previous job, and now can neither work nor pay his medical bills, as he is uninsured.  It’s not even Mike and Nancy who are about to lose their house because they have an under-water ARM for $300,000.00 and the payments just zoomed up above both their monthly salaries combined, and now their employers are talking about layoffs.

Nope.  It’s not any of them.  It’s “those other people.”

This kind of logic apparently has yet to work against the Rebiblicans/Teabaggers, as the Democrats haven’t been wise enough to leap on it.  I mean, too easy — like taking candy from a baby.  Yet they don’t see the opportunity, in a depressed economy with millions out of work and unable to find work, to point out the Republicans’, and the Teabaggers’, and of course Fox News’s (the mouthpiece for both) insistence that all these people are just lazy and looking for a government hand-out.

As one of the people who was forced to leave the skilled-labor sector of the workforce for a service job a few years ago (during the Bush administration), and is now doing one of “the jobs Americans won’t do,” let me give the Rebiblicans/Teabaggers/Fox News the finger that the Democrats won’t.

Mind you I am not a fan of the unions, for whose members this day was created.  I think that too often these days, unions are nothing but parasites.  But time was (just after the last Depression) that they served a purpose and actually created good for millions of workers.

Those times are gone, and so are the union-induced goodies enjoyed by previous generations.  It is not the fault of the current worker that s/he finds him or herself in an economy that does not want to pay anyone a living wage, or pay anyone at all.  That is not laziness; that’s just bad luck and the result of decades of union-busting Republican efforts.  And now they’re trying to bust the workers themselves for alleged laziness.  You know, we’re a bunch of friggin’ socialists who don’t want to pull our own weight.  Yep, we LIKE losing our homes and going on food stamps ‘cuz we’re starving, and doing without healthcare because of that WONDERFULLY EXPENSIVE and EXCLUSIVE private health-care system that hasn’t changed one whit since reform was passed — perhaps partially because of all those lovely Republican governors who are trying to sue reform out of existence at taxpayers’ expense.

Nice work if you can get it, darlings, but what goes around comes around.  If you’re a Rebiblican/Teabagger or are a rabid fan of Fox News, may it catch up with you faster than you can shout “hallelujah,” even if the Democrats never catch on — because many of the rest of us will.

A reminder

Since it seems that too many of our memories are very, very short, Keith Olbermann gives us a reminder of the Bush years and how we got where we are now. Hint: Obama didn’t do it.

“I didn’t really had a good answer”

The quote in the title is from the Wasilla Windbag, Sarah Palin.

Neither, Sarah, have the Republicans.  Nor has Glenn Beck.

They could gain a lot of advantage by appearing to side with the unemployed against Obama, who after all, caused all this (if you leave out the bit about George Bush).  But NO…..instead, they oppose all efforts to help the unemployed, even while blocking all efforts to hold their former employers responsible for (1) shipping millions of jobs abroad, and (2) importing millions of hapless-victim immigrants to fill whatever positions are left.  Free market and democracy, you know!

Now one of their mouthpieces, Glenn Beck, has joined in on the chorus, more or less blaming the unemployed for their own unemployment.  His motives are so transparent at this point that you’d think whatever millions are watching him would throw up their hands and walk away, but no such luck.

His blather will no doubt go over well with the retirement communities that Beck so strongly appeals to — nothing like biting the hand that once was feeding you, especially if you haven’t worked in a while and have no idea what it’s like out there these days.  But one has to wonder what will happen in the mind of someone who has been out of a job for over a year and is watching Beck (not that they can afford to, because cable and satellite cost money; he’s probably somewhat insulated from an immediate backlash in that respect).

However, his luck may run out.  Sooner or later, some of these people will start catching on that hey…this Beck guy isn’t in their corner after all.  And neither are the Republicans.  The backlash may happen on election day if they keep up this anti-unemployed campaign.

So Sarah, for a change you are right: they don’t really had a good answer, do they?  And neither have you.

The Stupid of the Day Award goes to the Republican Party.  Beck and Palin are, of course, too hopeless to receive this award.

Serious Deficiencies

To quote a GOP Senator, Elena Kagan has “serious deficiencies,” so much so that he may have to spend days reading the New York City phone book to the Senate to block her approval.

Okay honey, let’s talk about serious deficiencies.

I had a moment of clarity this morning in which I realized that most right-wingnuts I know are (1) unrecovered alcoholics (usually they have found religion, at least on the surface, and claim they are “cured”); (2) active alcoholics (2a) or abusing other substances; (3) dependent on government aid in some way, shape or form; (4) people who flunked everything in sight while in school, even clock-watching and (4) people who have incredibly dysfunctional lives accompanied with a violent urge to tell other people how to live, even while they themselves bristle at anything that smacks of advice, let alone help.  Government intervention you see.  Never mind that right-wing radio blasting manure into their ears at least 8 hours every day.  (5) How could I forget?  Most of these people are television and/or talk radio addicts.

And now the Supreme Court wants to give these creatures more access to guns.  Not that their access was ever denied anyway; it was always all too easy to get a stack of AK-47s for “personal protection” and then shoot up a school or a highway, right?  Yes, it was.  Name me one cretin who was ever stopped from doing this by gun control.

Well the difference is that now you can buy one and you can’t even get arrested for it.  And if you manage to kill a whole bunch of people because you didn’t like the way they looked, or they were “mean” to you, you can stop worrying about extra years tacked onto your sentence (if you don’t kill yourself first, that is) for gun offenses.  It’s all very convenient.

So the conclusion I’ve arrived at is that (1) right-wingnuts now have one less thing to bitch about, but they will never stop bitching about it anyway because it’s too deeply embedded in what’s left of their brains, and (2) gun control was ineffective when you have so many cretins who think they need guns around.

Why do you need guns anyway?  This opens up another whole can of worms.

Do you need them to protect you from the government?  Nah.  You can win any battle like that if you have enough sticks and stones.  Look at George Bush…he’d back down from any public battle that would make it clear to him how unpopular he really was (and then secretly do whatever the hell he wanted to do anyway).  Look at Barack Obama…now being blamed for George Bush’s numerous mistakes.

So you need guns to protect you from corporations?  Nah.  They’ll just ignore you.  Look at BP.  (Or, come to think of it, maybe they’ll ask for an apology after they destroy the environment and you just happen to mention it in an unfavorable light.)  And if you’re a wingnut, you are all for corporate control anyway…after all, don’t they ship our jobs overseas, bring in millions of immigrants with false promises of jobs, make life as miserable as possible for small business, wreck the environment, increase U.S. unpopularity abroad exponentially and turn our lives into a regimented nightmare?  What heaven!  No government control…CORPORATE control.  Wingnuts are all for it. So you don’t need guns for that purpose, do you?

Do you need guns to protect you from banks?  Oh NO!!!  Fail!  You’re all for being overcharged for a house and then losing it because of a skyrocketing mortgage payment.  That’s FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY and CAPITALISM.  Right?

Ah, so you need a gun to protect you from liberal criminals?  Wrong.  Technically, there aren’t any.  Think about it.  Any notion that gun-toting liberals abound is nothing more than a hangover from the late 1960’s.

So you need guns to protect Rush Limbaugh?  Well, Sarah Palin was sniping the other day that Barack Obama is “cowering” before world leaders, yet she herself cowers before Limbaugh.  Maybe she needs to redirect that helicopter the next time she goes wolf-shooting if she’s that scared.  Aren’t we supposed to shoot things we’re scared of?  And aren’t we scared of everything, whether it is real or not?

You need guns to protect Israel?  Ah, now that’s a sticky one.  Ms. Palin and many of her right-wing cohorts are pro-Israel, but what they don’t realize is that most right-wingnuts hate the Jews.  (Of course, we do have to stop to consider why Weiner changed his last name, don’t we?  So some of them probably do realize this on some level.)  OOO that could get interesting…

What brought all this on?  Well the recent avalanche of stupid from the Supreme Court, and the usual continual blurbs of stupid from Congress and things like Sarah Palin, didn’t help.  But what really brought this on was a conversation with two otherwise intelligent people I know the other day, in which one of them stated with a straight face that Palin has more qualifications to be President than does Obama.  After I got over gasping for air, I reminded them of just one of her more wanton stupid moments in public — the Katie Couric interview — and her later claims that Katie was MEAN to her.  They had no answer for this and quickly changed the subject.  And yes, their only objection to Obama is that he is black.

So yes, we are talking about serious deficiencies here, but not necessarily Elena Kagan’s.  We’re talking about serious deficiencies with guns in their hands.