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Conventions and Clint Eastwood: May They Go the Way of the Dodo Bird

4:08 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Barack Show is underway, leaving us all to wonder why we even need conventions – especially if your secret guest speakers are His Eloquency Clint Eastwood and the Imaginary Barack the Kenyan Kommunist. They are outmoded in an instantaneous 24×7 world.

According to the Great Big Screaming Heads, the primary function of the Republican World Lie-a-Thon Champeenships was to introduce Mitt to America. Apparently introducing him is really hard. He’s been running since 2008. Of course, the crazy wing of the party could say incredibly stupid things at exactly the most inopportune times. Party swells cozied up to big donors and assorted cash-laden hangers-on for a little up-close and personal grifting. And, Mittens got to enjoy his favorite political banquet meal…rubber chicken slathered in Dom Perignon caviar sauce served by a brace of virgin Sister Wives.

Barry doesn’t need a convention to introduce himself, though maybe pretending to be someone else would be advantageous. When people can’t decide between you and an unprincipled, unlikable misfit there is trouble afoot. Still, Democrats will indulge in the same conventioneering as the Mittenites, except they’ll replace the infirm Clint with ancient Betty White. We should never allow people that old to drive or address large groups of people in prime time – with or without an empty chair. It’s a disaster.

Once upon a time, conventions – like 4-year long campaigns and the Electoral College – meant something. Today, not so much.

Before people became professional candidates instead of legislators and corporate lackeys, conventions still held some magic, some suspense. Occasionally, the primary orgy of the previous two years didn’t lock up every state before things even got off the ground. The parties didn’t usually squash the rugged individualism of states and single delegates out of existence by bald threats and deft agenda control. Votes still meant something. Now? Pffft!

People used to pay attention to conventions too. They tuned in to watch grown men and women in plastic straw boater hats tell the world their political shit not only didn’t stink, but was positively essential for a balanced diet. There were balloons and tchotchkes and back room deals. It was all quite festive and gave delegates a reason to vote FOR someone instead of prevaricate for an unapproachable, stock-still statue of the Angel Moroni.

Many people used to look forward to the party platform’s grand reveal. Democrats and Republicans always used the same standard template. There were lots of flag-waving, no-brainer, popular, chicken in every pot promises that wouldn’t survive the inaugural ball. No one actually believed them, but they were such fun.

Today, nasty outliers conspire to create platforms guaranteed to piss everyone off – including their own supporters, God, and Jerusalem. Planks like no abortions – even when a rapist with a rusty Bowie knife stabs Mom to death – don’t elicit much support. Well, except for professional goobs like Rush Limbaugh, Tony Perkins, and any Republican who wouldn’t understand a rape if he woke up with a sore bunghole.

The modern convention – and likewise the Electoral College, primaries, and campaigns lasting more than 2 weeks – are anachronisms. They are overly expensive dodo birds that serve no discernible purpose. They distract everyone. But then, maybe that’s why we still have them. People need a distraction after a 4-year campaign.

“The delegate from the great state of Sensibilonia moves we abolish all conventions and adjourn so we can get to the massage parlors before they close for the night!”

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

The Democrat’s Conspiracy…As Told By Rush Limbaugh

3:59 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Except for the 700 people he conned out of money for the original 700 Club, most people think Pat Robertson is bat shit crazy – especially when it comes to natural disasters. In his mind, hurricanes attack because cities support Teh Gays. Or, he prays them away from his home base in Virginia Beach VA, where he has substantial business interests and many of his suitably righteous homies live. But in the panoply of right-wing shitting bats he’s not exactly alone – take Rush Limbaugh. Please.

Robertson probably thought the Log Cabin Republicans were in the Tampa Coliseum (that public place built without public funds), tempting Hurricane Isaac to attack the Republican Convention. The homophobic hurricane caused a sharp curtailment in the number of statements that will be “misquoted”…verbatim. Even Ann Romney was put off telling the heart-warming, just plain folksy story of her Olympic show horse.

But Rush was “alleging no conspiracy” of the sort. In fact, Rush was, “alleging no conspiracy” that “the regime”, “the government”, and “Obama” ordered the National Hurricane Center to fake Isaac’s forecast to interrupt the tea party that is the Republican Convention.

“Alleging no conspiracy”, loudly, Rush said, “What could be better for the Democrats than the Republicans to cancel a day of this? I’m just telling you folks, when you put all this together in this timeline, I’m telling you, it’s unbelievable.” True, it’s unbelievable, but “the timeline” isn’t that unbelievable part.

This will come as a surprise, but the Democrats were probably more upset than the Republicans. With the delays and cancellations, the public didn’t hear walking w(h)ig and birther Donald Trump. A host of lesser Republican ignorati didn’t have the chance to dispute science and say incredibly stupid things they had to explain ad hominem before claiming they never said any such thing (while videotape of them saying every such thing plays in split screen).

Republican ladies didn’t get the chance to throw panties and tea bags on stage when that dashing hunk Paul Ryan appeared. Heck, even Mittens didn’t get to make an acceptance speech where he was for something (Romneycare) before he was against it (Obamacare). Good Lord, the Democrats don’t stand a chance now that the Republicans lost a campaign day as time runs out.

It seems clear that if anyone “is alleging no conspiracy”, it’s the Democrats.

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

Regardless of Economic Plan America Can’t Compete

2:08 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Both Republicans and Democrats jabber a lot about jobs, even when times are relatively good. When times are bad the talk turns into a nasty shite-storm. The mantra for both sides is America can’t compete if we don’t [fill in the blank]. But here’s a dirty little secret: America can’t effectively compete regardless of which ideology you prefer.

Republicans argue that if we didn’t tax the wealthy or corporations and got rid of regulations we’d be trickling jobs like Ronald Reagan’s pissing down Donald Stockman’s leg.

The Democratic vision is to tax the hell out of the wealthy and make corporations pay dearly, but oddly considering their constituency and history, get rid of regulations too. Dems also like to retrain those with unmarketable skills into those with different unmarketable skills. Turning steel makers into assembly line workers doesn’t gain much unless you only need workers to assemble steel Big Macs.

We Unbombed Them Back From the Stone AgeAfter WWII, America spent a lot of money rebuilding the world economy. We rebuilt countries we bombed back to the Stone Age. Sure it was altruistic, but more importantly, there was plenty of economic benefit for America too.

Made in Japan” used to be code for cheap crap – items from faux Stucky’s gift shop Indian drums to transistor radios that barely lasted through the voyage to American shores. Crap made cheaply, sold to relatively wealthy Americans, kept the money flowing and built a unified international economy that replaced the chaos of dozens of national unequal economies.

By the late 60′s, Japanese cheap crap became a flood of very good Japanese products. There was still a fairly vibrant US economy where heavy industry provided adequate jobs for adequate pay. Japan was still cheap enough to compete with American companies, but that was rapidly changing. As America exported more jobs, we also became a nation of consumer debt ridden, credit-crazy, not-saving orgyists buying stuff like 5-bladed razors and houses we couldn’t afford.

The collapse was on.

But the Japanese were no fools. As their fortunes rose. they began to demand the same sort of money and working conditions as Americans. American corporations responded to their demands and continued to send jobs even as their products became inexorably more expensive.

Eventually, both America and Japan became too expensive. Jobs moved from there to places like Korea. Then by the same route, Korean jobs moved to places like India, and lately, China. Radically low costs may draw jobs to places like Uganda next.

Truth is,  America can’t compete with foreign sweatshops and Chinese prison labor on cost. If Americans worked for those wages they’d have even less money than we do today.

What about deregulation? We’ve already moved most high paying American jobs to Third World countries. Their lax or unknown regulations make their sweatshops and factories some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.

Doing Anything to Turn a RupeeFor example China, on behalf of American companies, push Chinese workers to the point of suicide. The air in most Third World countries is too thick to breathe. Workers die from exposure to toxic chemicals or crushworthy machines and when they do are replaced with other destitute people willing to do anything to turn a Rupee – regardless of the danger and damage to their health and safety. If you don’t provide adequate health care, the cost of dead and disabled workers doesn’t matter much.

It’s often said that Americans won’t take some jobs. That may be true, but there’s a reason. American corporate sweatshops may make products cost competitive with India or China, but do it at the expense of worker safety while producing less and less money to buy their own goods.

You got no money, you can’t buy a color TV…from anyone.

The economic pendulum has swung one direction for a long, long time – perhaps too far to swing back. We should expect recessions to be deeper and last longer than ever before, regardless of the Democratic or Republican plans.

The War on the Middle Class is true, but so is the War on the Wealthy. Sadly, these are but the first battles in the War on Everyone, rich and poor alike. It’s united we stand, divided we fall time. Absent some agreement between waring political factions, we’ll all be killed in an economic holocaust.

And, that benefits no one.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

The Limbaugh Fight: Will the Winner Get an Asterisk in the Record Book?

11:45 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Let’s get this straight. In my opinion, Rush Limbaugh was wrong. He was wrong in calling a young woman a slut and prostitute. He was insincere, at best, in his multiple apologies. He was wrong – or deliberately lying – about salient information covering contraception.

He’s done this many times before. Yet, the Dittohead Nation always answers the clarion calls to defend him and their other conservative heroes with a scorched earth policy comprised of, “it was those dirty (liberals, leftists, socialists, communists, Nazis, or secular humanists, take your pick) “made me do it” and a series of “heartfelt” apologies that are anything but.

In short, the man is a dog rocket, but his oft repeated claim that Democrats are just as guilty at slinging the mud at him has some validity.

Previously rebuked Don Imus called Limbaugh an “insincere pig“. Liberal talking head Ed Schultz made similar cracks about Fox’s Laura Ingraham, calling her a “talk slut”. Not exactly taking the high road and just as bad as taking Rush’s low road.

This same tit-for-tat, “I never do it, but the other side always does it” argument is rampant in today’s toxic political environment. Politics has become a zero sum game where scorning any sort of compromise is accepted as the cost of doing political business. It’s unfortunate, but not unexpected.

America’s biggest bloviators have honed the art of sneak attacks while hiding behind the other side’s temerity in saying bad things. The point is you poke another kid on the playground in the eye and then deny the whole thing ever happened – despite witnesses and security camera. Though both sides claim the righteousness of taking responsibility for their actions, they really mean everyone but them.

If you call someone a slut, own it. Say, “Yes I did it” or say nothing to start things at all. This takes a disciplined mind, but it also takes a disciplined mouth – something most commentators don’t have.

I take full responsibility for what I write. I frequently say bad things about stupid people, but try to acknowledge that folks of the opposite opinion do stupid things too – like in this post.

My blog may be bombastic, but I try to be open-minded about what other folks feel. I learn a lot from those exchanges and sometimes so do the people with opinions different than mine. Those exchanges rarely change my mind because I believe for a variety of reasons mine are better. The only thing I’m normally swayed by are immutable facts – not opinions about them – that cause me to question my own logic. Agreeing to disagree is a good thing, but truly taking responsibility for what you say is even better.

Let the disagreements begin!

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Rush Limbaugh, The Man With No Toes

6:05 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Rush Limbaugh has an uncanny knack for shooting himself in the foot every time he speaks – which is about as often as a continuous-fire Gatling gun with an inexhaustible supply of ammo. Quite frankly, I believe the man has no toes left. He lost the shriveled pea in his head long ago. Thank God, the rattling was driving me crazy.

Rush likes to exercise his First Amendment Right to free speech with extreme prejudice. He’s allowed to do that. The Constitution only talks about free speech. It says nothing about stupid speech. He can insult much as he likes and he’d be legally right. Morally right is something with which Rush has only a nodding acquaintance.

In the panoply of things he’s said about others and that others have said about him, calling someone a slut and prostitute is pretty tepid. I’m sure George Carlin’s advice would be, “Hey, they’re only words man. They won’t hurt you.”

I agree. In fact, people have called me much worse and I didn’t get mad about it. It goes with the territory. But then, I have rhino-like skin and am very poorly socialized. I also like to piss off people like Rush and The Dittohead Nation, so any verbal havoc I can raise is icing on the cake baby. Still, I know others aren’t so thick-skinned and will be outraged when he says stupid things.

He will go on – as he did in Slutgate – standing at a podium in a huge, imaginary stadium and nodding and thrusting his chin out like Mussolini to accept the rapture from the likes of FoxThe Conservative News, and CNSNews.

As he had done so many times before, Rush said something stupid, doubled down on it, and watched the advertisers jump ship like Captain “I Forgot My Glasses” Schettino of the Costa Concordia. Finally, he issued an apology blaming everyone except himself.

With Rush, these things never last long. He’ll immediately ignore it as soon as the chatter blows over as if it never existed at all. Rush’s Rubes will finally stop slobbering and pretend as if it never existed. Eventually, enough of them will drift back so that advertisers will see a large block of people who are easily fooled and start advertising to separate them from their money. Think a 7-month plague…with a lot of weaselry going on.

To the extent that Rush babbled when he should’ve bobbled, he brought things on himself. He could’ve saved himself some bucks by simply keeping his perpetually flapping pie hole closed, but it doesn’t matter.

Rush knows the money will be back as sure as there will be a morning tomorrow. Though money appeals to him like a jackal loves a T-Bone, he managed to highlight some important testimony that otherwise would’ve appeared next to the pork belly prices  in the newspaper. In an odd sort of way, he handed the Democrats something of a victory, tiny though it may be. Lots of people heard not only the insults, but also the actual issue. And judging from the advertiser rebellion, more people were agin’ him trather than fer him.

This entire thing could’ve been avoided if Rush STF up for a change and lefties ignored him (unlike me). In the end, it will all turn out to be a wash. The teabaggers will brew a fresh pot. The Obamainatorists will continue to call him a numbskull and life will go on with more important, or at least more entertaining, fare.

Like the 6 billionth Republican “debate”.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!