A Fairy Tale for Pundits

Everyone knows by now that TV personality Donald Rump is, in fact, not running for President.  The only people who appear to be truly interested in this fact are the people who took him seriously in the first place.

No, I am not one of them.  Yes, I was quite irritated with all the media attention on Rump’s toy Presidential maybe-bid, just as I am irritated with the fact that the media continue to take Sarah Palin far more seriously than do the rest of us.  It seems that our media now exist in an alternate universe in which the differences between seriousness and flightiness, sanity and insanity, intelligence and stupidity, and most important, REALITY and UNREALITY do not exist.

Anyway, this particular chapter in media stupidity is mercifully over.  It ended when Rump got handed his charred ass at a White House Correspondents Association dinner and was obviously unable to handle it, followed by the announcement of the death of bin Laden right in the middle of Rump’s reality show in which he gets to act very tough and fire celebrities from pretend jobs.

Of course, this was around the same time as Rump’s silly reaction to the release of the President’s long-form birth certificate, as well as news of Rump’s various swindles, but the fact is that neither of those hurt him much.  The White House dinner and the death of the terrorist were dramatically different; Rump had been handed his own seriously charred ass twice in a matter of a few days and that was something even the most blinkered media mouth could see and understand.  It was finally that loud and clear: Rump was in the big leagues now and thoroughly over-matched by a President he was attempting to heap scorn upon from his own imaginary lofty seat (you know, the Wealthy White Guy Zone).

The sad thing is that this is an isolated case.  Rump is only one idiot of many, and I don’t see any domino effect in progress.  Yes, Huckabee is out, but Palin and Bachmann are still roaming the Earth with their political aspirations, at least in the minds of some, viable.  And as I say, there are many others.

So, with a hefty sigh, I give you the story of Pat Paulson.  Who’s he?  Well, I’m surprised that you have no idea and further surprised that someone, somewhere, hasn’t issued an oh-so-serious tome about his considerable political thought, or something like that.

My own memory only goes back to the 1960’s, but as far as I’m aware, he was the first TV personality — a comedian, actually — to engage in a joke run for the Presidency.  Yes, it was a joke.  But it was taken just barely seriously enough that his name appeared on the ballot in at least one state.  This was in 1968; his candidacy was launched on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour or whatever it was called.  Paulson ran for President (with less publicity) during every cycle in succeeding years, ending only with his death in 1997.

Thing is, most people knew his run for the Presidency was a joke.   After all, the cartoon dog Snoopy also ran for President during those years.  As far as I remember, neither Snoopy nor Paulson was ever mentioned with any seriousness on an evening news broadcast, much less in a newspaper.  It was clear at the time that some people are Presidential candidates and others are performers, or even cartoon dogs.  Even 7-year-olds emerging from the fantasy world of early childhood could see this.

That clarity was lost, perhaps, when a former B-movie actor was elected to the Presidency in 1980.  The erosion of pundits’ abilities to decipher reality from fantasy seems to have started in earnest then.  The erosion became further evident when an Austrian-born action movie actor was elected to the governor’s chair in California after uttering a few of the correct right-wing catch-phrases, and was so adored by his minions that a petition was started to allow this actor to run for the Presidency in spite of his foreign birth.  Yes, it’s true.  And yes, those minions are many of the same people who later joined the birther movement after Obama was elected.

And so it leads to what we have now: fantasy Presidential candidates backed by fantasy media empires (as in: a new radio ratings system has revealed that right-wing talk radio was apparently never as powerful as people have chosen to believe), with oh-so-serious media pundits jiggling their jowls about the latest joke’s chances of sitting in the Oval Office.

Happily, sometimes reality still jumps up and bites these people in their asses.  Such is as it was with Rump, who the media took as seriously as he takes himself.  Such is as it always was with Paulson, who never had the tremendous ego to take himself seriously.

May it be that way for all of them one day.

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A government small enough to fit in a uterus…

…this seems to be the Republican ideal.    Oh, you haven’t heard?  Well, apparently they want a government that consists of a rubber stamp Congress, a plastic doll President, a Supreme Court made up of chimpanzees, and a teeny tiny IRS that only audits rape victims who have had abortions. The rest of their plans…you know, the military intervention everywhere in the world to spread Christianity…oh, sorry, democracy…well, I guess the Koch brothers will direct and pay for that.  The Kochs have already have bought the University of Florida, you know, but the stipulation is that they get to choose the professors at that school.  Which translates into this: all education at the University of Florida, from here on out, will be on a level with that given by Trump University and Glenn Beck University.  Which is to say that education there is at an end.

Put that together with the Republican plan to force children into the job market during their grade school years, and you have utopia.  But I don’t know for whom.


P.S.
Word has it that the Repugs are very, very nervous about a new plan to require government contractors to reveal their campaign contributions.  I wonder why.

Meantime, a right-wing radio screamer in Wisconsin continues to lie through his teeth, actually blaming most of these Republican plans on Obama.

As I was saying

…and I have been, for a couple of years:
Slate

I’m glad someone else finally noticed that the Queen Ester/Sarah Palin thing does not have an unlimited success rate, if only because it is so contradictory.  In that blinkered corner of the world, it’s high time the little women shut up and went home, if only until the next time they are to be trotted out and served up as hyper-conservative fashion dolls.

As for the rest of the election, in spite of the media stating the merely obvious on top of the completely redundant without, apparently, doing much thinking in between, I still say that this week’s election was no mandate and no giant repudiation.  Anyone believing it was either is a fool.  All the election proved is that if you pass enough shit around long enough, people will start to cherish it — some people, that is, and sometimes enough to tip the scale one way or another.

Yesterday, for instance, I had a conversation with a coworker who was against healthcare reform simply because he knew nothing about it but Sarah Palin’s scare stories and numerous other media-based poisons.  When I explained to him that healthcare reform is actually beneficial, and that the teabaggers have vowed to get rid of it because their corporate overlords are afraid of it and thus are spreading lies about it, he came to this startling conclusion: Who knew that with healthcare reform, you won’t have to waste your time working at an $8.00 an hour job just to keep insurance?  I didn’t know that.  I’m all for it now.”

There you go: benefits to the economy and the American worker.  No death panels.  Who knew?  Almost no one, because the media were wasting time focusing on Sarah Palin and the Crazy Ladies.

And now very few in the media — and consequently, the general public — are considering the basic truths, and the fact that a political Crazy Lady is a walking contradiction is one of them.  There are others.

Let’s stop taking the easy route and sit and consider that for a while, and then move on.

P.S. — As an aside, the vapid Mark Kirk proved once again that lying about your military record and working against the American worker and promising to gut healthcare reform are all not as bad as being a Democrat.  Looks like he studied George W. Bush and learned his lesson well.  As for the studied stupidity of Bill Brady in the governor’s race, the jury’s still out as of this hour; if Pat Quinn retains his office it will be by a mouse’s squeak only.  And that’s sad.

Good news is that Californians rejected the stunningly nasty Carly Fiorina (she even looks mean) who was running for the Senate post.  For once, some news out of that strange state makes sense.  Could they pass some of that along to us back east?

On balance, it’s fairly made up

Fox News creates its own alternate reality:

And for some facts these poor teabaggers definitely hadn’t been told by Fox, read THIS (click on THIS).

Reason I’m bringing this up is that some recent polls seemed to show that most people in the U.S. are “against Obamacare.”  Now, I question that since I don’t know how the polls were conducted or what questions were asked; I suspect that a lot of pollsters also create their own news by skewing things a bit.  But the thing is, if you’re an average American, “Obamacare” is a good thing; however, it appears that a lot of us have been effectively swayed by scare tactics.  (For instance, the main Republican line of attack on “Obamacare” is mandatory health insurance.  Now, we’ve had mandatory automobile insurance for some time in many states…why is that okay?)

To me, the only frightening thing about nationalized (or even somewhat nationalized) healthcare is Big Pharma’s increasing stranglehold over the availability of treatments in the entire western world.  They recently swayed the EU to ban all “herbal medicines.”  Now, this presents us with a tangle of problems because Obama is guilty of caving in to Big Pharma in a pact made before “Obamacare” was approved; it would seem that Big Pharma are above it all at this point and can do anything they want without even a government stepping in to stop them.  Them again, the relentlessly ill-informed teabaggers should be elated about “Obamacare” because of the corporate control that Obama gave Big Pharma in the U.S. as part of it, shouldn’t they?  Have they ever stopped to think about that — or about anything at all?

In spite of the increasing danger from Big Pharma, I still say that overall, “Obamacare” could help bail this country out of its economic pit by making U.S. citizens less expensive to hire.  If it’s allowed to fail merely because of fear of the unknown, and even one person goes bankrupt or dies for lack of insurance because of it, Fox News should be held responsible.  And they can take their blinkered teabaggers to hell with them.

It does not work, part II

Now about that Facebook petition advocating putting a law in place that welfare recipients have to be drug-tested…

3-2-1…think

Okay, so this petition was probably dreamed up by a teabagger.  That means that thinking is not part of the equation here.  Great; that explains some of it.

First of all in the “does not work” category is the issue of the assumption that everyone on welfare is also on drugs, which is as false as the assumption that everyone who is not on welfare is not on drugs.

Second comes the issue of socialism. You know, teabagger, that thingie that is commie and socialist and Marxist and takes your freedom to own a gun away.

Third, if you don’t want to pay taxes, who is going to pay for this and how?

HOW is a big issue.  I mean HOW are you intending to carry this off?  Mass round-ups?

And WHAT will you do with those assholes who are on welfare and also are on drugs?  Submit them to reprogramming? Isn’t that…um…socialist?

(Oh you say Reverend So-And-So can cure the drug addicts if you give him millions in donations.  No.  All Reverend So-and-So is going to do is buy himself a tv show, get his hair done, wear fancy rings, say stupid stuff, and possibly misuse your money and abuse minors as well.  If Reverend So-and-So is associated with the Catholic Church, most of the above has already been done for him, so why bother?)

Why are you so FOR mandated drug testing and so AGAINST healthcare reform?  Yes, darling, the two are related.

All I can say is, this petition is stupid.  And so, to all who dreamed it up and all who have signed it, I have the prize: a Stupid of the Day award.  Take a bow, morons.

In need of explanation

I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate lately, so you’d think I’d have figured some of this stuff out.  However, there are things I don’t think I’ll ever understand, such as:

(1) Why is it so admirable that one of the top right-wing radio slack-jaws claims to be a “Constitutional lawyer” when at the same time it is so awful that Obama is a Constitutional lawyer?

(2) Why is it so okay that Sarah Palin knows nothing about anything and keeps proving it, and so awful that Obama has an education and sometimes uses it?

(3) During the last months of the ’08 Presidential campaign, why was it so okay that Sarah Palin had done nothing but fail at a series of public offices, but not okay that Obama had no prior Presidential experience (after all, McCain still hasn’t any and God forbid Ms. Palin gets anywhere near the White House).

(4) There’s currently a “petition” going around to have a law passed to require people to take drug tests before receiving welfare.  Now, think this through: how is this supposed to work?  And what will we do about all those people who are out earning a living while abusing drugs?  Does getting a paycheck make it okay?  Why?  They’re still doing something illegal, aren’t they?  What about the people who make a living pushing drugs?  I’m not just talking about illegal drugs, but pharmaceuticals like that stuff you use to make your eyelashes darker or thicker or whatever the hell it is?  (I will be writing an article about this issue in the near future.)

(5) This one is going to get me labeled a “racist,” but I don’t get it that people who are living here and are not citizens or legal residents of this country (and in many cases don’t want to be) can have the nerve to demand their “rights.”  Sorry honeys, you have as many rights here as do U.S. citizens living abroad — not many.  No reason for it to be different here.

(6) If you are sitting there fuming that I’m a racist, tell me which race I am discriminating against with that remark.  I already know your answer, and because of that I get to call you a racist because you automatically made that assumption.  I’m not a racist, Hoss, and illegal aliens do not come from only one “race.”  In fact, where I live, most of them come from eastern Europe.  And I’m eastern European.

Now will you explain #5 to me — in non-racist terms, please?  Can you?  I’m waiting.

(7) I don’t understand why people keep trying to rehabilitate George W. Bush’s image. I read an article the other day about how he’s suddenly so popular…right.  He screwed up this country and most people I know are still well aware of that.  They hardly miss him.  If Bush’s P.R. firm thinks we’re going to elect Jeb Bush as President if they can convince us that Georgie was so wonderful, then they need to be tested for drugs.

(8) The other day I heard something that indicated that the Republicans are going to introduce a bill to outlaw “death panels.”  That’s like outlawing the Bogey Man.  I don’t get it.  Why do they get to waste our time and taxpayer money outlawing things that are figments of their imaginations?  I guess it’s easier than tackling real issues, but still…

(8a) Maybe it wouldn’t be such a waste of legislative time and taxpayer money if we provided free anti-anxiety drugs to the Republicans?

(9) Which brings me to another thing I do not understand: the “tea party.”  How can people who do not understand the issues have any solutions for them?  Well, I have a partial answer: they don’t have any solutions.  In fact, they are against solutions.  So I’m guessing their platform is that they want to do nothing about anything.  Not very promising.

(10) And while we’re at it, I don’t get why people listen to Fox News, the Fat Man, the screech Coulter, or any of the rest.

(11) Bill Clinton…I understood some of what he was saying all along until he piped up the other day and said we need more immigrants.  I’ll have to write an article about the cruelty of his remark someday soon, because the reasons I think it is such astounding bullshit are too many for one little talking point.  (And I hear you calling me a racist again; indulge yourself, but also know that you will be dismayed at how wrong you are when you finally read what I have to say about this.)

(12) I don’t get Wall Street.  Really. Don’t. Get. It.  I guess the only fruitful line of pursuit is considering where and how did we come up with these monsters, and how can we keep from doing it again?

(13) I don’t get how people who are so dead-set against healthcare reform are also whining so much about our present system if they love it so much — unless, of course, one is a politician and had much of his campaign paid for by the healthcare industry, in which case it’s merely easier just to ignore the present healthcare system, which is what they got away with doing for many decades.

(14) I don’t get why ultra-conservative women are awarded media time.  If the world were so perfectly conservative as they wish, no one would be listening to them. As this is coming from someone who remembers the bad old days, I know what I’m talking about here.  Not long ago, women were the exception to the rule — and exceptions are not offered much of a voice, believe me.

(15) I don’t get why it is if a Democrat has a less than sterling private life, it’s a huge never-ending scandal, but if a Republican turns out to be Mr. Sodom, it’s someone else’s fault or the “liberal media” is picking on him.

(16) And while we’re at it, where is this “liberal media?”

There’s much more than I have time for, but those are the major points for this morning.   Yes, there should be a “stupid of the day” award here, but there are so many candidates that I don’t know who to give it to first.  So all I can say is, whoever resembles these remarks should take a bow.

Yes, you too

Here’s the text of a mass e-mail I got a while back.  Not sure how I got on Michael Moore’s e-mail list, and I know right wingnuts have been trained to sniff at the sound or sight of his name.  You know, he’s that nasty fat guy, as if they haven’t got one of their own.

All that crap aside, I thought he made some good points here:

The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans: Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition. Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy. Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive.

I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you. But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick. So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you’ll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening. If it’s any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They’ll also get to cap an individual’s annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they’ll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren’t poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It’s truly a banner day for these corporations.

So don’t feel too bad. We’re a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered — and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won’t be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that’s ok with you. If you don’t mind, we’re now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business — because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, “How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?” Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We’re doing better. And we’re doing it for you, too.

Yours,Michael MooreMMFlint@aol.com

The worst part about this for Republicans?  It’s all true.

That could be why they’re now making plans to take credit for parts of the bill.  After all, the part about enforced universal coverage was, in fact, their idea before they decided to forget about that.

No doubt they’ll soon be claiming they were behind it all the time.  At that moment the bloggers, such as yours truly, will trot out all the old quotes, including just about every other blather from Sarah Palin, to prove that they weren’t.  But it will not matter, because we are dealing with delusional people here.  It’s hard to tell what planet they’re on, let alone how to deal with them.

But anyway, it’s done and they are covered along with the rest of us.  Too bad there wasn’t a Republican exclusion clause.  But then again, maybe that’s a good thing.