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Fiscal Cliff: Republicans Will Lose

4:17 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

So far, I’ve abstained from posts about the Fiscal Cliff or Fiscal Crag or Hoar Frosty Diving Board Into the Socio-Economic Pits of Hell. One, there is chatter enough without me throwing in my rapidly worthless 2 cents. Two, it is the most predictable story in the history of politics. But, let me to throw in at least a cent and a half with the caveat that this post isn’t all about the cliff, but the behavior surrounding the tax hike on the wealthy.

It’s safe to say the Republican party is suffering  bit of internal strife. Their election bid failed for many completely foreseeable reasons, not the least of which was acting like imbeciles led by a candidate who never met  a position he wouldn’t gladly abandon. The Republican intelligentsia, like Bobby Jindal (And let’s face it, how intelligent can your intelligentsia be if Jindal represents it?), keeps trying to tell the Tea Partiers, Grover Grovelers, and Evangelical Loons to cool it. “Psst. They finally caught onto us. Shut up and look smart for a change you guys.” But, they just don’t get it.

The GOP still can’t figure out they lost the election. Or maybe they’ve just practiced ignoring facts for so long they can’t break the habit. They’re under the mistaken impression they can continue to act as they have and no one will be the wiser. Oddly, this is partly Obama’s fault. Until now, he’s negotiated every issue by coming into the room offering concessions before the ink was dry on his proposal. With each concession came a new Republican demand he almost always accepted until he became the proud owner of a 1969 Belchfire 5000 with no wheels or engine. Republicans call this negotiating in bad faith, which is true if by “bad faith” you mean not negotiating at all, just capitulating.

Obama Gets a Backbone

Suddenly, Obama gets a backbone and now sets the terms. He’s willing to negotiate, but he’s set some hard rules for what he finds acceptable, secure in the knowledge the vast majority of Americans will back him up on it. Republicans can complain all they want that Obama hasn’t presented a proposal (which he has) and that their proposal is balanced (while still containing the very things Obama said he won’t concede to).

In the process of not seeing what is wrong with this picture, they have said some unbelievably nutty things. Last week Boehner suggested that Obama actually following through on his campaign promise to raise taxes on the wealthy was madness, madness I say! Which, in a way, I suppose it is. A politician delivering on what he promised would seem mad to a politician who never has. Then, there are the simple lunkheads who dig a deep hole deeper.

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) is the richest woman in Congress, a full-fledged member of the soon-to-be more highly taxed group. Thomas Roberts of MSNBC asked the genteel woman from Tennessee, “Over 65 percent of Americans agree that taxes need to be higher on those making over $250,000 a year. And I know you like to say these are small business owners, these are people that are going to give jobs to the American people. But when we look at this as a whole and the mandate that was given as a collective voice with the president’s re-election and he ran on the fact that he was going to raise taxes, and now this polling supports that Americans want to see taxes raised,” Roberts continued. “How can you stand there within the halls of Congress and say that’s not something you are willing to do?”

To which Black answered, “Well, I think that’s a really good question (but apparently one not good enough to answer). But here’s my question: If I say I want my neighbor to pay more than what I pay — I don’t care what level you’re at, you will always have that happen — but I think that what a lot of the American people are not aware of is how it’s going to directly impact them, and that is their jobs. Because these are the job creators.”

Diane, Diane, Diane. You just called 65% of the American people ignorant of what the taxes mean. Hell, even Mitt only insulted 47% of America. This is not the way to increase your voter appeal. Plus, you are arguing against many super-wealthy Republicans by single-mindedly refusing to accept tax increases on them — even though the rich can already see the handwriting on the wall. When Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — surely one of the most arrogant, least sympathetic rich people on the planet — calls for heavier taxes on himself, you know you’re seriously on the wrong side of the issue.

There are Too Many Jobs

But, you’re not the worst. Billionaire investor and author Ken Fisher thinks we have too many jobs. In his words, “…if we continue to innovate as we have been it will mean more output with fewer jobs in the future. In the long run we will all benefit.” I suppose that is true if all means we folks who fund lower taxes on his $1.4 billion fortune. It would seem, at least in Fisher’s case, that he doesn’t intend to create many jobs with his windfall.

Republicans who will drive over the cliff to save some tax money against the will of 65% of Americans are not displaying much political genius. They will eventually lose this battle one way or another. They will have to concede because the few rational supporters they have left will punch out or because there isn’t a chance in hell of them getting their demands met when they are in no position to demand anything other than calling french fries, Freedom Fries in the Congressional dining room.

They will lose because it’s folly to continue as the party of angry white guys when there are a rapidly dwindling number of angry white guys left. They will lose because they can’t cater to religious zealots who want to quash anything not contained in the Bible at the expense of millions who like their rights just the way they are thankyouverymuch. They will lose because their candidates show the intellectual capacity of turnips and their spokespeople throw hissy fits when their own bought-and-paid for TV network declares the election over when it is over…and then fires him because he was such a pain in the ass about it. They will lose because they can’t continue to say, “no” while nodding their head, “yes” as every conspiracy crackpot in the nation mouths off about commie plots, Kenyan pretenders, and FEMA death camps. They will lose because they will ice their cake by letting The Donald’s hair speak for them or don’t take the hook to Clint Eastwood rambling at an empty chair.

It would be hard to repeatedly expend thousands of rounds of NRA-approved ammo at their own feet unless they were trying…trying really, really hard. So in the vast scheme of things, capitulating to avoid the cliff dive or just doing a Thelma and Louise doesn’t amount to much. The only principle they have ever adhered to is the principle of free political market capitalism. They sold their entire party and a good part of the nation to a band of lunatics to plug self-inflicted holes in their Big Tent. Now that their political capital is well and truly squandered, they are looking for a bailout – a bailout from the people they sold their party to. The ones that got them into this pickle because they are too obstinate, arrogant, regressive, and, well ignorant not to see what they are doing to themselves.

So here’s my cent and a half’s worth: The physical cliff is the least of their worries.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Creating Jobs in the Booming Corporate Executive Sector

8:57 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

High ticket CEOs often complain those who object to their squeezing blood out of the nation turnip for their personal gain are simply jealous. I suppose that is true in many cases, but even if people are jealous it is understandable. It’s hard not to be jealous when the mortgage company is kicking your family to the curb – just as the CEO buys a multi-million dollar summer “cottage” in Aspen. But there are others, and I am one, who object on business grounds.

Much of the CEO’s “compensation” comes from companies that take the concept of corporations-as-people far past any original intent. Under the CEO’s direction, corporations reap record-breaking profits, even in recessions that crush those who buy their products or citizens that pay hefty taxes (which captains of industry caterwhal are breaking America’s back) to fund the profits through not insubstantial corporate welfare.

For all the talk about the value of small business, we could fund thousands of small businesses for years just on what a single multi-national gets in tax breaks in a single quarter. It’s a vicious cycle – multi-nationals take billions in taxes from just-plain-citizens to prop up corporate values to pay hefty dividends and fund expensive lobbying efforts to continue getting our money from the people who don’t live tax-free. In turn, CEOs get massive compensation to hire lawyers and accountants to make sure they get their money as tax-free as possible, and so on. This is not robbing Peter to pay Paul. This is robbing Peter and then complaining Paul wasn’t carrying enough cash for Paul to steal.

Creating Jobs in the Booming Corporate Executive Sector

The moral implications for our society aside, it’s also bad business…and it is consumers and regular taxpayers who are partly complicit in creating and perpetuating the problem. Notice please, that corporate welfare and substantial loss in consumer buying power comes from people and industries that demand cuts in “entitlements” (I hate that misnomer) and not cuts in the programs that benefit them. They do this under the guise of “creating jobs”, the code words for “trickle down economics” that create no jobs  – unless one means jobs in the booming corporate executive sector.

Trickle down economics falls more and more into disrepute by economists more intelligent than the ones hired to justify the blood they squeezed from the national turnip. Even David Stockman, former St. Ronnie of Reagan acolyte and one of the  architects of the scheme, thinks it is one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. And, he was able to see this mistake not from bar charts and pie graphs, but by observing corporate behavior. A rising tide can’t lift all boats if someone steals the boats.

It’s hard to convince me that a corporation with more money than they’ve had in their history is too afraid and poor to create American jobs because they aren’t making enough money. It is doubly hard to believe they are shipping the few American jobs left, along with much of the corporate welfare I gave them, to Bangalore and not investing in real jobs in Pittsburgh.

This is where bad business and irresponsible consumerism come in.

Big Deals at Bill’s Bargain Barn and TV Emporium

America’s Christmas buying orgy begins earlier each year. At the current rate it will begin on Jan. 2 in 5 years. People stab each other for the chance to buy a must-have widescreen TV made in China fer Chrissakes! Last time I checked, I don’t know of a single occurrence of someone stabbing anyone to get into the local appliance store to buy the TV – and that’s even after the local guy provides ample parking and takes a bath on the sale price to get you into the store to buy something you can live without and that shipped the entire widescreen TV industry off to China.

This sort of rampant consumerism is voting against your own interests, and it is bad business whether you are the consumer or the local appliance shop. Few of us actually “need” a wide screen and if we can afford buy it Walmart, we can afford the extra few bucks to buy it Bill’s Bargain Barn and TV Emporium. If the price different is too big to afford, you shouldn’t buy it anyway. Perhaps you could buy something you really need, like a new fridge (get the through-door water dispenser, I love mine).  Besides, they might even still make it here. You win. Bill wins. Someone gets to keep a job, and we can all make a better case that GE really doesn’t need a huge tax cut to survive. Even GE wins. Bill makes a few bucks and you get to keep your job in GE’s fridge factory. And that CEO who makes more money than the deity of your choice? He still gets to build his umpteenth cottage, which coincidentally, might actually “create” a job for a drywall hanger making minimum wage.

This is not class warfare. This is not trickle down economics. This is not socialism, income redistribution, or jealousy. This is the grease of a free(er) market. The problem isn’t that America has too little money, it’s that the vast number of people don’t have it to spend because all of it is in the hands of a few instead of out actually being invested in America.

I’m not jealous of the people who make the big bucks. I’m pissed off at people who consistently vote against their own self-interest.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Christmas Wars: And Now, the Rest of the Story

9:23 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Disclaimer: I’m an atheist who has nothing major against non-secularists. But sometimes this whole Christmas War nonsense is more tiring than Black Friday sales. Sigh.

Christmas in Regional Command-East [Image 2 of 3]

Christmas in Regional Command-East

“…and now, the reeesstt of the story,” as newscaster Paul Harvey used to say. For the past few years Paul’s pithy prose describes something we should all remember when it comes to the infamous Christmas Wars – look at the other side.

The latest battle has been fought before, yet it never seems to die. Christian organizations in Santa Monica, CA won’t be able to place their annual 14-scene Christmas nativity decorations in the city park and they’re miffed.  The Washington Post headlined the story this way, Atheists’ move halts Christmas tradition in Santa Monica, churches go to court to get it back.

The problem is the atheists didn’t kill anything. They simply applied for slots in a lottery the town set up to allow equal access to the city park. Not surprisingly, city officials grew tired of being accused of being “anti-Christian” for following the law, so they killed it.

Of the 21 available slots, atheists won 18 draws, Christians won 2, and Jews won 1. Since the drawings were blind, I’m not sure how to account for the imbalance, but my guess is atheists put in more applications and Christians fewer. In other words, they played by the rules and won fair and square. Yet, the atheists are a vast anti-Christian plot.

I won’t argue that atheists put up some displays that Christians found offensive and I won’t defend them for it. However, they are as entitled to do that as Christians are to say just as bad or worse things about atheists. The Constitution protects speech, it says nothing about friendly or agreeable speech.

Understandably, there are bad feelings all around – from both sides of the story. Although I follow the “logic” of some of the Christian backlash, it seems pretty lame, and frankly contradictory, to me. Cynthia Dermody offered “10 Reasons Atheists Can Go to Hell Over Holiday Decorations Fight” on Cafemom. Here are her “reasons” (with much of her snark removed): Read the rest of this entry →

The Patraeus Affair: Does it Really Matter?

4:31 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The David Petraeus narrative is coming out in dribs and drabs, all the better to make things look worse than they are and give the story long, long gams. Petrausgate is as strange, or stranger, than any other Washington “boy meets girl … boy beds girl … boy resigns … girl hides in an undisclosed location” story. Surprisingly, everyone is still working out the details of a story with more plot twists than the Da Vinci Code. They are just beginning to get to the rights and wrongs of the matter and as we all know, that’s when the sh*t will really hits the fan.

Despite the coming onslaught of, “God smiteth thou who cannot keep his pecker in his pants” admonishments, most Americans could probably care less the General had an affair. Heck, half of America is screwing around so they tend not to get too worked up over sexual indiscretions – unless they are televangelists coveting their neighbor’s wives. That’s as it should be. Morality is best left to the people exercising those morals. No one needs a squadron of Church Ladies to tell them they will burn in eternal fire because of something they did behind closed doors. Note to over-reaching religious zealots, if they will indeed burn in hell, it’s between them and Beelzebub. No more needs be said.

Although I usually follow the screw and let screw position, there are some differences between Petraeus and your average cad. For one, he’s the leader of America’s spy apparatus.

Inclined to Watch Goats a Little Lasciviously

He’s the guy all the international America-haters would most like to knock off and there is no better way than to catch him doing something really embarrassing. In the Old World, blackmail would’ve been the tool du jour. Revealing someone was gay or inclined to watch goats a little lasciviously was a sure-fire way to dispose of an intelligence enemy. Today, outing someone would produce a collective American yawn. Even being a goat-lover might not be so bad as long as it was a consenting goat. But, if you doubt the power of embarrassment, I offer the following examples: Bill Clinton threw away his second term by breaking the law in trying to cover up the embarrassing fact he used Monica as his little humidor. John Edwards tried to keep the lid on his love child while killing his career. The list is endless.

Blackmail is a hard thing to do these days because people aren’t embarrassed about much of anything. However, Patraeus’s indiscretions aren’t about embarrassment or blackmail. They are about genuine concerns for national security.

A man who babbles a little too much during après sex pillow talk is a legitimate security risk. A man who is so unconcerned about keeping the affair secret that the cuckolded hubby finds out, blows the whistle, and writes a letter to Dear Abby is a legitimate security risk. A man who is so oblivious to a paramour who used his email account for a cat fight with a family friend is a security risk. Plus, if he is this cavalier about a relatively harmless extramarital affair, what does it say about his critical thinking skills when it comes to more important events? People have been fired for much less and rightly so.

Congress is another matter. If there is hypocrisy afoot, their hems may be the ones showing too much ankle. Congressional overseers are miffed they weren’t told straightaway. However, these are the same people who routinely leak like a colander. I can understand the FBI’s reticence in informing them until they had all the facts, especially since it didn’t appear the General broke any laws or caused any real damage. Using the oversight committees’ logic, every member of Congress should get a daily briefing explaining that they and every other member of Congress is under investigation, because at some point, they all are.

Holly Petraeus will Have His Stars and Balls

Still, the intelligence committees do have a point. The law requires notice of things like this, even if the law is vague on the rules about when – one man’s notification is another man’s prudent holding the notice until the facts are in.

Finally, there are the matters of optics and transparency. While Petraeus may not have done any real security damage, he did splash mud on his boss’s wingtips. Despite all the talk of bipartisanship, Congress is still an ugly, obstreperous place and there will be investigations until the cows come home. The chances we’ll get away with one good investigation and drop it to get on with more important things is nill.

On the transparency front, Congress has always struggled with how to oversee things they can’t be trusted to see. The intelligence community struggles equally hard with how and when to communicate sensitive matters. It’s hard on your transparency cred when the FBI knew about the affair for months and neglected to send it up the chain until a few days after the election. Though that doesn’t seem to be the political case here, one could understand why opponents might think conspiracy instead of transparency.

Personal  affairs like these almost never end well – just ask Holly Petraeus how “furious” she is. By the time this is over the General will be lucky to keep his stars in the divorce and his balls still attached to cheat another day. But, that’s no concern of the nation. What is a concern of the nation is how poorly the man in charge of national security protected that security while squandering his own. It makes one wonder.

Will these guys never learn?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Hi, I’m a Veteran. No Thanks are Necessary

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Today is Veterans Day. I know this because I am a veteran. I also know this because I have a Cold War service medal, which ironically was not invented until about 5 years ago, long after the Cold War ended abruptly. Plus, my daughter sent me a happyVeterans Day email as she does every year.

The nation reveres veterans much more than they did a few decades ago, and they should. It is a tough life putting your ass on the line to save some other person’s ass…or in some cases, asshole. You know who you are. I’ll not get ugly today.

I joined the Air Force in 1977. Viet Nam was still a fresh memory and people tended to look down on saps like me who joined the military voluntarily. A life of gold chains, wooly chest hair, atrocious bell bottoms, and doing the Hustle while teetering on platform heels was supposed to have been nirvana. But if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it in a heart beat. In fact, sometimes I wish I had stayed and weathered a couple of wars. As it is for almost everyone who experiences it, military service is a life changing experience and it changed me, radically and for the better. Besides, I’ve not much of a dancer and I knew better than to wear those ridiculous bell bottoms, even back in the day.

300 Days a Year Traveling

My military was in a state of flux. I joined one month after the end of the Viet Nam era GI Bill . I did this because I wanted a particular job as an aircraft mechanic more than I needed the benefits. It was the soonest I could get an enlistment appointment anyway. I got to pay for my educational benefits for my trouble and never used the small amount of money the Air Force collected from me because it was too meager to do anything with. I didn’t get the money back as I recall. I had planned to finish college while on duty, but I was gone almost 300 days a year traveling to every continent other than Australia and Antarctica. In the end, I figure I got the better end of the education deal anyway.

The only veteran’s benefit I’ve ever used was a VA Loan. The benefit consisted of shaving about 1 point off the loan interest and being comfortable in the knowledge that if I defaulted the mortgage company would get paid while I got to declare bankruptcy. I used it twice while living in Ohio. I planned to use it again when I moved to California, but the top amount available was about $100,ooo less than a house cost at the beginning of the ultra-expensive housing bubble. In the end, I got the house based on the higher wages jump started from my military service. It was a win/win situation even if I had to pay the extra point and come up with a substantial down payment.

I’m supposed to get a coffin flag when I die, as did my grandfather who fought and was wounded twice in WWI. My Dad, who served aboard submarines in WWII didn’t get one. I paid for it. I suspect my daughter will pay for mine. Sorry about that Sweetie.

My war was pretty peaceful. Jimmy Carter managed to keep us out of a shooting war for my 4-year enlistment, though I did tow airplanes out of the way to make room for airplanes picking up Delta Force soldiers on their way to Operation Eagle Claw in Iran. I didn’t know that until long after the failed raid. I don’t take credit for my small part in the raid. The real troops deserved more credit than they ever got. However, I do take partial credit for felling the Berlin Wall. I figure flying troops all over the world, including over the wall and into West Berlin’s Templehof airport, was as instrumental as Ronald Reagan kicking over an Iron Curtain from a podium after it had already rusted through its foundation. Ronnie hogged all the credit – the selfish bastard – but I don’t hold a grudge about him never thanking me for my service.

Other than my daughter, almost no one thanks me for my service and that’s OK. Veterans Day is about the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and Coast Guardsmen who put themselves in harm’s way. Their service was certainly more harrowing than dropping into remote Turkish airfields to deliver supplies to listening posts on the Black Sea. It’s hard to complain when you get tea and cookies for delivering some mail and C-Rations, even if the excessively short gravel runway almost killed you to do it.

Had there been a need, and there were several times I came close, I would’ve gone into combat. There is no question in my mind. I’d have been honored to pay the dues necessary to be a citizen, plus a little more for the folks who didn’t serve. I’m no 1 percent, Mormon missionary when it comes to paying my fair share. I was as glad to do it as I was to deliver medication to disaster areas, Christmas hams to lonely British troops in Kenya (the home of the future US President), and fresh eggs to the Navy mess and base exchange in Guantanamo Bay. Besides, Ronnie and I were holding off the commie hordes poised to invade and buy up all the spare McDonalds franchises.

I Don’t Expect Thanks on Veterans Day

I don’t expect thanks on Veterans Day. I just did my job like so many other Americans do. True, I did it for abysmally low pay (that’s not a new problem) and under sometimes very dangerous conditions. You try losing an engine while struggling over the Italian Alps during a storm. It’s a bit more intense than a ride on the Matterhorn Bobsled at Disneyland. Besides, they did give me hazardous duty pay – $100 per month I think – to cover near misses with Italian airlines in the dead of night or collapsing landing gear in Las Vegas…that last one was less of a picnic than it might seem.

But while I don’t expect thanks, I do expect some small measure of respect. It infuriates me when a nimrod who shoots old men while duck hunting and takes people into battle based on his “service” as a multi-deferment college student who had, “more important things to do” than go to Viet Nam questions my patriotism.

But, I find it especially insulting to have my military service questioned by fellow veterans because I don’t agree that a man who thinks running a was is just like running Staples after your company buys them out. We had a business man in charge of the DoD once – Robert McNamara. He learned that you can’t run a military at war with bar charts and pie graphs. He hated himself for the rest of his life after taking too long and killing too many men and women to learn that lesson.

But aside from the affront to me personally, I get particularly worked up that a person who, “solemnly swear(s) (or affirms) that [they] will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,”…and will,” bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over [them], according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help [them] God,” would so easily cast aside the most important and cherished Constitutional right of them all – the freedom of speech.

I get worked up not so much for myself, but for my fellow citizens – right or wrong, agreeable or disagreeable, veteran or not – when my patriotism and service is questioned. I still take my oath seriously, even 35 years after I took it. And so, in my own small way, I try to make my country a better place and make the lives of my fellow citizens a little safer and more equitable. I do this not only because I swore an oath, but because I believe it is the right thing to do. It is my honor to do it, even if I’ve never had a shot fired at me. The First Amendment is the final weapon in my arsenal and I’ll be damned if I’ll allow anyone to criticize my fellow citizens for using it.

I offer my humble thanks to all veterans today, but no thanks are necessary for me. I’m simply glad to have helped out.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

The Election: Well, That was Anticlimactic

12:11 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Well, that was anticlimactic. We listened to a grueling (for voters) 4-year long campaign during which we witnessed the worst political spectacle of the epoch. If, “liar, liar, pants on fire” meant anything, there wouldn’t be a pair of Levis left on the planet. The country immersed itself in a boiling cauldron of rancor so deep there is no word in English to adequately describe it. And yet, after all that, we have essentially the same balance of power as before.Well played America, well-played.

It’s time for a few observations and maybe a little advice. For the “mandate” crowd, winning an election by the skin of your teeth does not a mandate make. For the “it’s imponderable we lost” crowd, no it isn’t. You acted like a bunch of jackwads. For the “gridlock will finally break” crowd, what makes you think reelecting largely the same people who are already bought and paid for is going to break gridlock?

But since the nation is populated with a large ignorati caucus, let’s break it down real simple like:

The Shallowest Anchorman in the History of Anchormen

  • Ohio voting lines were as long as depression era soup lines because Ohio can’t run an election to save their incompetent lives. It was not the, “African-Americans Ken Blackwell.
  • Brit Hume, America is not more liberal than many thought. Independents didn’t swing for Obama because they were liberal, they swung for Obama because Mitt Romney is a crapweasel.
  • Bill O’Reilly stated the obvious and then spun off to his unhappy place. Minorities and women did vote for Obama because, “they want stuff”. Many white men voted for Romney because, “they want stuff” too – namely the “stuff” minorities and women seek.
  • Brian Kilmeade, if America is the, “shallowest country in the history of man” because they considered Sandy a valid election issue, it is because you are leading much of the country away from common sense for a dip into the same “shallow” end of the gene pool in which you dog paddle.
  • Karl Rove, calling the Wars of Error huge successes is a lot like not believing actual math showing Obama won Ohio. Are you running for President on the Ignorati of Upsidedownistan ticket in 2016?
  • Ari Fleischer, a word to the unwise. Elections have consequences and if the Republican party never embraces LGBT and women’s rights you will suffer them.
  • Kudos to Tammy Baldwin for becoming the first openly gay senator. It is a big accomplishment for the LGBT community. But it’s also a big accomplishment for the straight voters who supported her and for a senate in dire need of diversity. That it pissed off the fundies is just icing on the cake.
  • Dear Central Virginia Assembly of God, putting religious voter guides inside the polls is against the law and upstanding citizens who feel obliged to lecture everyone else on morals should know that. May God visit his wrath upon you for worshipping asshatery above all else.
  • Ha ha, very funny Charleroi, PA Republicans. Putting up “NO PARKING FOR DEMOCRATS” and “WALK THAT WILL BE THE MOST WORK YOU DO ALL DAY” [sic] signs is a hoot. May you get a voter intimidation ticket.
  • Tea bagging True the Vote people, you haven’t taken back “your” country yet. Laws are still laws. Tampering with ballots is still tampering with ballots. Even if you hate the Big Government that passed them. Don’t complain if your cheating asses get thrown out of the polls.
  • Why the hell is Wall St. complaining about an Obama win? They made record profits since he’s been in office. Huge bonuses for being stupid all ’round!
  • So Diane Sawyer is a wine connoisseur. So what? She was just playing the drinking game where you take a hit every time a pompous asshole appeared on camera.

Donald Trump Impersonates Daniel Ortega

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.


Prediction: It Doesn’t Matter Who Wins This Election

12:18 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Everyone with a mouth or some other means of communication is making predictions today. Of course, damn few of them will be correct, but what the hell, it doesn’t stop them. So being a very poor amateur pundit, it won’t stop me either. Prediction: It doesn’t matter who wins this election.

It’s not that the political outcome of the race is unimportant. There will be big policy differences whoever wins. Both candidates have fundamentally different visions of the future, but it will look nothing like the one they ran on. It will begin to change with a switch to a new DJ at the inaugural Ball and won’t stop for 4 more years. But whoever wins, voters will all fall into one of two huge blocks – winners and losers.

Supreme Court, Gas Up the Limos

America will be lucky to escape a Bush v. Gore-style ending today. The Supreme Court better have their limos gassed and ready to come into the office and make a choice that a the country appears unable to make on its own. Whoever “wins” may make their victory speech from the steps of the Supreme Court. Nothing good ever comes of this kind of ending. We see what happened last time and there is every reason to suspect it would be much worse this time. I’ve decided to renounce atheism for the day only so I can pray to Christ that we aren’t dragged through the mud again. You can find me visiting Richard Dawkins’ grave tomorrow where I will beg his forgiveness for my one-day defection from logic. But given the stakes, I think even the irascible Richard would understand. He understood you can’t speak logic to the illogical.

Hopefully the Big Guy will listen to a poor lapsed Methodist like me. But even if he does, we’re still in bad straits. So much money has been laundered through so many places it is inevitable someone will find a dryer full of cash left in a lonely laundromat in Tulare, CA. No one will show up to claim it. They’ll still be investigating it the day Darrell Issa shuffles off this mortal coil. So many mystery ballot boxes will float in the Ohio River you could walk from Cincinnati, to Covington, KY on them. State elections officials won’t even be able to vote in their own elections because they can’t produce long-form birth certificates and DNA of their own like they demand from others. Election fraud, an almost unknown problem before people decided it was the worst problem in an ocean of problems, will rule the day. If you have children going to college soon, recommend a legal career. There will be an ample number of ambulances to chase before the fallout of this election settles.

Do the Antler Dance of Victory

The “winners” will shout, “HUZZAH!” and do an antler dance of victory. They will brag about their 3-vote electoral college “mandate” and crow about recapturing “their” country. There will be cotillons and fireworks and their minions will leap to the battlements to build them higher and higher to keep the opposing scum at bay. They will swear on a stack of Bibles, Korans, and Torahs they won fair and square, even if the corner of their rug is held high by the events swept under it.

The “losers” will scream, “UNFAIR! THEY STOLE THE ELECTION!” and start the endless round of lawsuits and investigations that will plague us for years to come. They will probably be right too. It doesn’t take too many hanging chads to decide an election for someone pond-scummy enough to stoop that low. If you think the campaign has been nasty, rude, and brutish you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The vote counting will make it pale in comparison.

Of course, this is a prediction unlike anything Nate Silver would factor. There are no polls. There are no stats and hunches, no pundit pronouncements or Palin endorsements. It’s not even forward-looking like a self-respecting prediction. It is simply a 100% statement of fact that almost everyone already knows. It doesn’t matter so much who wins this election, it will be stolen whoever is the victor.

May the best thief win.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Ann Coulter: You Know You’re a Douchebag When…

1:08 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

You know you’re a douchebag when Michelle Malkin thinks you’re a douchebag. Today’s douchebag is douche recidivist – apologies to douchebags for comparing her to a feminine hygiene appliance – Ann Coulter who described Barack Obama as a, “retard” in a mid-debate tweet Monday. “I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard,” she said.

“What a stupid, shallow thing to say, Ann,” said Malkin, who is a bit of a douchebag herself sometimes.

There are two things unique about this picture. First, Coulter chose the words, “kind and gentle”, two words missing from her lexicon until now. She usually chooses something like, “communist imbecile”. Still, that’s better than Rush Limbaugh who would’ve used, “communist imbecile manslut”.

Second, Malkin – who sometimes uses similar words – seemed genuinely offended. She must be going all liberal and shit because her complaint put her in league with a gaggle of socialist Hollywood fellow travelers like, Michelle Branch, Marlee Matlin, and Christina Applegate.

The R-Word

All the tweets specifically addressing the offending word used, “the R word” in place of “retard”. It evokes the “N word” debate. Not saying the word is probably worse than saying it during a discussion about it. These words are offensive, but people with brains functioning better than a marshmallow wouldn’t use them. But once you cross the line, better the ignorance of the user is on display for everyone to ridicule…and ridiculing Coulter is like ridiculing belly up fish in a barrel.

Of course Deadfish McCoulter doubled down, “The only people who will be offended are too retarded to understand it,” was her first response. In true Conservo-Coultarian fashion, she ducked any responsibility later when that excuse didn’t fly. “Obama: Stage 3 Romneya – because cancer references are HILLARIOUS. If he’s the smartest guy in the room it must be one retarded room.” That response – if you’ll excuse me for using the R-word just this once – isn’t even “retarded” it’s incompetent.

Ann, Stage 3 Romnesia is an AMNESIA reference, not a cancer reference and I’m fairly sure there is no amnesia lobby complaining about offenses involving “the A-word”. Though I sometimes wonder if Romney doesn’t have some sort of huge goobulent tumor, Obama was implying he forgets things easily when it suits him.

And, “the smartest guy(s) in the room” were Enron execs, which makes Obama sound like a very smart man indeed when compared with that lot of thieves and scoundrels –at least a lot smarter than someone who accidentally turns a perceived minus into a positive.

However, it isn’t for me to decide whether “the R-word” is offensive. I have no skin in the game other than taking great delight in reminding the world what a turd Coulter is – apologies for offending all you turds out there. But, Special Olympian and Down syndrome sufferer John Franklin Stephens can make the interpretation.

Well Played Franklin, Well Played

In one of the most eloquent letters I’ve ever read – written by an intellectually disabled person or not – Stephens makes his own point from the moral high ground. Ground where he stands head and shoulders above Coulter…or me. The letter is well thought out, sincere – and perhaps surprisingly – very magnanimous.

After pointing out all the misconceptions in Coulter’s comments, Franklin’s letter offers a touching olive branch.

“After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV. Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.”

“Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged. [Signed] A friend you haven’t met yet.”

Well-played Franklin, well-played.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Missionary Service Is Not the Same Thing as Military Service

8:17 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Mitt Romney Serving in France

Missionary service is not the same thing as military service – a fact, and not just a semantic one – lost on Mommy, Daddy, and the Romney Boys. Donning a crisp white shirt and black tie to annoy the hell out of the good citizens of France from the back of a 10-speed is “service” to your church. Bleeding to death in a rocky Afghan Pass that a big flock of Mitt’s equally chickenhawkish supporters sent you to is service to your country.

Ann Romney, filling in for a hubby too pusillanimous to “serve” his campaign next to vicious warhawk Whoopi Goldberg, placed herself between the withering fire of Whoopi and her men folk. She’s due a Conservative Cross with Silver Dollar clusters for her bravery.

Goldberg fired the first round. “When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion.”


BOOM! Medic, I’ve been hit!

“That’s not correct,” Ann cried out above the din of battle. “He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans.”

SON! Here’s my health care voucher. Take me to the Hamptons for treatment,” she screamed in agony.

As the Harvard Med School corpsmen carried her off the battlefield she croaked through tears, “So, you know, we find different ways of serving. And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”

Powerful stuff. Battle action so daunting it approached being as hard as campaigning. When The View returned from commercial break, Whoopi stuffed a rag in Ann’s mouth and began to pour a champagne bucket of melted ice cubes over it. “So, when you’re facing these mothers whose children have not come back, how will you explain to them that your sons haven’t gone? Will you talk about the missions they’ve gone on,” Whoopi said as she beat the defenseless Anne with a rubber hose.

Oh, the vile eyebrowless bitch! The horror. The horror.

Through pain-clenched teeth, Anne whispered, “I would say it’s probably the hardest thing that a president and a first lady probably do is to comfort those that have lost a love [sic] one and have gone in harm’s way,” Ann continued before blacking out. “It is an amazing country, we have the most extraordinary fighting men and women, and we have to be so grateful for them. Of course, it’s hard, and I don’t think that any of us can understand the sacrifice [sic] that are being made by families.”

Poor Ann, she was too weak to even answer the question. Damn those socialist bastards of the Kenyan Self-Aggrandizement Force!

It’s easy to make light of the Romney family’s aversion to anything that doesn’t service them. It’s especially easy when they say things like this. Easy, but sickeningly funny.

There are so many ways their defense is a gold-plated load of crap from the finest Kobe Kow. For example, Mitt could’ve served in the noble tradition of Quakers  – whose religion actually doesn’t allow them to fight in wars – serving as battlefield medics. That’s infinitely more compassionate, patriotic, and braver service than a bike trip through the European countryside.

Ann is right when she says the boys all served their compulsory Mormon missionary tours though – quite admirably in fact. Citizens around the globe must have really appreciated it when:

  • Tagg served in Bordeaux.
  • Matt served in Paris.
  • Josh served in Leeds, England.
  • Ben served in Australia.
  • And, Craig served in Santiago.

Of course, the starving kids in Ethiopia probably would have appreciated it more if the boys had compulsorily served them – even if they did serve up the cold, thin rice gruel with a heaping, hot side dish of old-time religion.

Service by Not Serving

Ann says Ben “serves” the nation by treating injured soldiers at his private internal medicine practice in Boston. With a management degree from BYU and medical degree from Tufts, it’s probably damn good care too. I’m sure he offers an indigent veteran’s rate in thanks for their service to his country. As we know, compassion runs deep in the Romney family.

Tagg the Pugilist notwithstanding, Ann isn’t the only one who fights for the family honor. Last election, the boys toured Iowa on a comfy campaign bus from which they defended against charges that Dad might have a small stain in his pants by assuring everyone he was serving his nation too…by running for President!

Romneys, here’s the thing. I voluntarily served my country, and while I had the good fortune to serve under a democratic president who managed to keep us out of harm’s way, I’m proud of that. I would have accepted a combat job had one been needed, because that is what people in the military do.

However, I flew many humanitarian missions at home and abroad. My unit would have been one of the first into combat had those real socialists – the Russians – had invaded. Yes, I went to some very nice places in the 24 countries I traveled to, but I also went to a fair number of gravel strips that were too small to even have names. My war may have been Cold, but I practiced hard for it as did several friends killed in “safe” training accidents.

I served proudly and learned something about the men and women, like the Seals we often worked with, and their commitment to service and what it means. I’m pretty sure that almost 100% of veterans know something more about service to their nation, and what it means, than a kid taking a bicycle ride through Bordeaux.

The Romney’s political ambitions would have been well-served if they had served – or at least not tried to equate their “service” with the real thing. It cheapens their flag-waving promises to support our troops by hiding behind a pulpit – from which they could’ve easily served – that protected them from real sacrifice and service many regular Americans make every day of their lives.

It is insulting to serving troops and veterans.

The nation should be insulted.

I’m insulted. Damn insulted.

The Romneys should be ashamed of comparing their “service” to ours.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

Tagg Romney is a Little Hot Under the Collar

4:09 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah


What a joke. No, really, what a joke.  Tagg Romney wants to whomp the Prez up side the head? Despite the faux outrage over his “threat”,  I’m pretty sure the Taggster meant a metaphorical whomp. I’m equally sure the Secret Service saw it that way too. After all, Tagg isn’t spread eagle on the ground at the business end of a drunken Secret Service agent’s Glock. Besides, brother Josh apologized for him. Apparently, Tagg has the same aversion to embarrassing questions as Dad has to Evil Empress Whoopi Goldberg and the ladies of the View.

Please, don’t hit me Tagg! It’s a joke!

‘I’m Hankerin’ for a Shot of Milk in a Dirty Glass’

But let’s pretend, shall we? What if Tagg actually meant it? What if he is secretly a swaggering Mormon who’s handy with his fists, has a quick temper, and thirsts for a swig of milk…in a dirty glass? What if Obama had said to you, “Young ‘un. Your Pa is a dirty, low down liar!” I suspect you’d be pissed and spit back, “Meet me on Main Street at high noon you piss pot little varmint. We’ll duke it out mano-a-man.”

Hell, even Malia and Sasha would kick holy hell out of your knees if you said that about their Dad – as Tagg’s Dad occasionally does. Circling the wagons is what families do. Most of us don’t cotton to familial insults even if we suspect, deep inside, they might be more than a little true. It is the way of wagon trains – and families. Blood is thicker than water. It’s thicker than cold, hard facts too.

Empirically, Obama is right. Mitt’s pants catch fire more often than an unregulated oil refinery. In fact, he lies more often than his famously lying running mate, Paul Ryan (Romney’s robust 9% vs. Ryan’s wimpish 7%). In fairness, Willard had been lying longer, so the spread is understandable. (On a personal note, I think Mitt’s lies are more artfully crafted than Paul’s. His 47%  “mistake” that was merely inartfully put is comedy gold. Kudos, really. It put’s Paul “Ayn” Ryan’s “Balanced Budget Plan” to shame.

Props on Romney’s Wide White Belt and Straw Shoes

But Tagg does have a point that Obama calling Daddy a liar is disingenuous, even if the Prez only does it 2% of the time. Mitt has always been a quantity-over-quality man. However, Obama gets a lot of style points. His lies are to Mitt’s lies as a pair of finely tailored wool pants are to Mitt’s window pane check, polyester capris circa 1982. Props on Mitt’s wide white belt and straw shoes though.

Tagg, the point here isn’t Obama calling your Dad a liar. That is demonstrably true. The point isn’t you wanting to stomp the O-Man into a Chicago pizza grease spot. Even if your desire was just an inartfully stated joke. That’s your DNA’s fault. It isn’t even that Obama lies too so Dad is justified in calling him out on it – even though the political calculus suggests Malia and Sasha would be justified in coming to beat you like a 9th Century Persian tapestry from your Dad’s bathroom.

The point is that your Dad is a liar. And Malia and Sasha’s Dad is a liar. Worse yet, they both hire surrogates to lie so they don’t have to do the dirty work of politics themselves – though I suppose that does create  jobs for professional surrogates. There is no need to get all huffy about someone telling the truth about your Dad’s lies or for your opponents to chuckle in the corner…until they get caught in lies – even fashionable ones. Everyone knows everyone else is lying. Everyone enables the lies with applause, contributions, and votes. Lying is one of the traits that separates humans from apes – if you believe that sort of science. But that doesn’t make it right.

Damn! Now I want to take a swing at somebody!

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.