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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.

 

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.”

INCOMING!

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.

ROMNEY TO EXECUTE BIG BIRD ON NATIONAL TV!

9:18 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

We haven’t seen headlines like this in a long time. SNEAK ATTACK ON HAWAII! NIXON RESIGNS! KIM K. TO MAKE SEX TAPE WITH KANYE! ROMNEY TO EXECUTE BIG BIRD ON NATIONAL TV!

Huh?

Come on, Mitt just launched one of his famous “zingers”. He even practiced them before the debate, although he probably cribbed this one from the snot jokes on his debate hanky. He didn’t mean he’d strap Big Bird to an altar, cut open his chest, and hold his still-beating faux-avian heart up as a sacrifice to the Goddess Ayn Rand. (Alternatively, Mitt could probably pitch him into a volcano too. I strongly suspect the asexual avian is a virgin.)

No, he meant he’d strap PBS to an altar, cut open its chest, and hold its still-beating pledge-broken heart up as a sacrifice to the Goddess Ayn Rand. (PBS is certainly no virgin since Republicans think it is chock-a-block with filthy references to that homo-icon Liza Minnelli.)

That’s not a new idea. Republicans hated PBS since the beginning. Why do you think their business model looks like reverse outsourcing? They couldn’t brook the, “commie, homeless, cookie thief living in a garbage can” thing. It’s programming for the eastern elites you understand.

Since the entire PBS budget is roughly equal to Bain’s luncheon martini bill, the Republic will not collapse – even the toddlers PBS recruits for the homosexual lifestyle using the immoral, queer Teletubbies – if it goes.

But then, it will have zero effect on the budget. So, it’s mostly a wash even though I’ll toss a petition signature or two and some money in the collection plate next pledge drive. This isn’t so much a War of Error, War on Christmas, or Class War; it’s sending an Aviary Expeditionary Force into harm’s way – without a Coalition of the Inept led by Mitch McConnell.

Don’t get me wrong. I love PBS. I like the occasional Met concert or Nova, though in the interests of full disclosure I’m not much of a 50th rerun Dr. Who fan. It’s not as if it’s totally worthless. Big Yellow puppets that read and classroom educational shows for teachers to TIVO at 3 am are useful – even if they teach ideologically unedited history and that Noah didn’t load a herd of Triceratops into the ark. Again, see the eastern elitist bias? Although, it’s hard to miss when Mitt’s humongous flag pin blocks your view.

DOWN IN FRONT!

I learned to read in a pre-Big Bird world – in fact, in a pre-PBS world. There were no cute yellow birds brought to you by the letter “C” to teach you, mainly because I could already read before TVs could show the Wonderful World of Disney, Bonanza, and Big Birds colorful plumage in “living color”. Even then, it was slow to catch on. Color TVs were very expensive, possibly foreshadowing the poor state of the current Consumer Confidence Index.

Judging from the hubbub over the much vaunted free-range reading finch, it’s unlikely Mitt will kill him. First, Congress will actually have to cut it and even Republicans are nervous birders when it comes to offing popular TV characters. Hell, 24 was on for years and they even water boarded. There would be yellow blood in the streets!

More likely, the Republicans will keep the eastern elitist programming, including that pinko yellow bird, because they need handy, safe punching bags to bully. Taking on subjects their own size is decidedly not a plank in the Republican platform. A bully could get hurt like that.

So let’s all calm down and keep our eyes on the “real issues” ball. Obama is still pinko and I hear Michelle Bachman thinks the census takers are on the way to toss us into concentration camps and throw away the fluoride. To quote another source of “the programing you love”:

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

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

Jack Welch as a Virtual Business Messiah

6:28 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

GE Housatonic Superfund project site

GE Housatonic Superfund project site (Photo: CorpsNewEngland/flickr)

I worked for GE during the “halcyon” days of Jack Welch.  There were many things to recommend GE in those days, but Jack Welch was not one of them. Today, many people remember Jack Welch as a virtual business messiah.

The guy turned massive profits and was (and is) the darling of Wall Street, but it seems a lot of people have forgotten a lot of things about Jack…one of them being he could also be the most flamboyantly dumb man ever. He returns to that glory with his birther-like charges of Obama fiddling jobs numbers a month from the election.

His baseless charges are his Harry Reid, “Romney never paid taxes” moment – all huff with no puff. At their heart, the charges are more of an attack on Obama’s integrity than anything to do with the jobs numbers and they contain not a smidge of proof. It’s laughable that a man with less integrity than Donald Trump would make such claims. Let’s review some of Jack’s suspect history of integrity:

  • Jack Welch sold the electronics division, but waited until the next morning to call the division president in to let him know.
  • At a time when the company was stressing loyalty to GE employees, Welch said loyalty to a company was an outmoded concept. He denied saying it, despite dozens of witnesses.
  • His nickname was “Neutron” Jack because of his penchant for “killing” employees by offshoring their jobs but leaving the factory buildings intact – much like a neutron bomb would. In fact, forget Bain. He was one of the pioneers in offshoring while touting the superior abilities of American workers.
  • Under his “leadership”, GE created several new Superfund sites and refused to clean up old ones. One requires dredging the entire Hudson river downstream of a GE plant to remove contaminated river bottom. The work still isn’t done.
  • The company regularly faced fines for financial “irregularities” like teaming with diamond company DeBeers to fix prices and corner the industrial diamond market using GE’s artificial diamond business. They sewed up 90% between them.
  • Jack fell “victim” to what was then the world’s largest divorce settlement. His wife found an affair with a mistress he kept in a very expensive Manhattan apartment to take “Little Jack” for a few sprints around the bedpost.

The list goes on. He has a long history of stretching or downright lying in his past – many of them with solid proof.

Although it too often comes from both sides of the aisle, these charges, without proof, about something so critical to the nation doesn’t speak well for his integrity. Just ask his boys Mitt and Paul, both of whom rarely meet a truth they could tell. I don’t know whether Jack is right or wrong on this count, but I doubt it. I certainly wouldn’t admit I had no proof and then refuse to take my charges back the next day and I’m not doing that here. It’s a long-shot, but Jack may be right – I don’t know and neither does he. But if Obama truly fudged the numbers, why stop at a few tenths of a percent? Why not lop off a lot? Why make the charges if you can’t back them up?

If you choose to listen to a messiah, listen with some context. Messiahs don’t always tell the truth. Sometimes they don’t even know the truth. Here’s another provable fact. Jack Welch was once named one of the Top 10 CEOs in the nation not worth the money paid to them.

Some messiah.

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

Ryan May Have Gone all Pinko on Us

5:23 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

When Mitt Romney insulted half of America he said he was, “inelegant”. Anyone with an IQ higher than a jelly donut could see Paul Ryan believed the same, but was just too elegant to say it. Yet, lo and behold, it turns out Mr. Ayn Rand is as inelegant as his erstwhile boss. The only difference is he only insulted a third of America.

I fear Ryan may have gone all pinko on us.

The men argue 47% or 30%, depending on the crapweasel you believe is the lesser liar, are takers and not givers. Both men believe people on the public dole choose it as a lifestyle in much the same way the homeless choose to live in filth and piss in doorways. Or as Willard puts it, “…they believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

THOSE GREEDY BASTARDS!

Mitt, a world-renown expert on poverty, went on to say the takers, “…believe that, that they are victims.” Then, he simply wrote them off as goldbricking ingrates who couldn’t change if they wanted.

Apparently, not victimizing them is too radical an idea.

Since Romneyan are only brave enough to say these things before sympathetic groups, they are preaching to the choir.  The choir, 2400 of whom are millionaires collecting unemployment, believe that crap. I’d wager that more than 47+30% of them believe it because their only up close and personal experience of poverty is sipping champers in a darkened limo while driving on the safe, faraway edge of a favela on the way to Carnival.

A mind that sees medicine, food, and housing as optional entitlements is psychopathic. A mind that sees people choosing to work three jobs, skip meals, and live in their cars is profoundly ill. By contrast, whining about paying less tax than your average upper middle class family or refusing to discuss your economic recovery plan because it is too time consuming to explain is mere hubris of Rumsfeldian proportions.

Last year, the United Farm Workers hosted a program to place interested parties in the fields alongside migrant farm workers doing stoop labor in the 100 degree sun. The idea was to give folks the chance to see the rigors of that work in person. Shockingly, there were few takers – only one so far as I know, Stephen Colbert. Still, it was a good program. When your head is as hard as the reinforced concrete in Cheyenne Mountain, having the essence of a clue is a good thing.

I’d like to offer Mitt and Paul a similar learning moment. Perhaps they would like to “choose” to live like a “victim” for a day or two to see what it is like. Maybe eat in a meal kitchen or live in a car, and not the Expedition either. Mitt, you can even wear your permapress mom jeans that are as authentic as Obama’s “black” accent.

If you can stand the heat and don’t leave the kitchen where your third job is a Denny’s short order cook, I’ll be happy to listen to your advice on the poor.

Until then, shut your caviar and champagne holes.

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

Turns Out Most of the 53% are Victims Too

6:01 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Mitt Romney thinks almost half the nation is a bunch of crybaby, irresponsible victims living on the public dole rather than paying their own way. To his way of thinking, asking the wealthy to pay taxes to carry their freight is at the center of a class war that persecutes the rich.

Mitt, consider yourself lucky, there is a move afoot in France to up the tax rate on the wealthy to 75%. If you want persecution, move yourself and your money out of the U.S. and into that cute little winery in Provence you’ve had your eye on.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the states with the highest taxes on the wealthy also have the highest per capita number of millionaires. As Mitt knows first-hand, apparently hiding your money in the Caymans is preferable to actually moving there.

This statistic seems odd when the conventional Republican wisdom is that higher taxes on the wealthy will lead to a mass exodus to escape the unfairness of it all.

California, with the second highest “millionaire tax” in the nation at 10.3%, has a statewide proposition pending to raise the tax rate on the wealthy to an outrageous 13.3%. The bulk of the money would go to schools that benefit the wealthy by training workers they now import from overseas because they claim they can’t get them here. I believe you call this “growing jobs”. Some of the money would go to fixing Third World style roads on which you drive your limos and cutting the debt you so decry.

As a point of reference, I ain’t no millionaire and 13.3% is considerably less than what I pay.

Unlike Mitt, I can’t throw a few extra dollars the Mormon Church’s way to lower my “burden”. I don’t make enough. Still, I throw plenty at places where it goes to feeding and housing ultra-low end 47 Percenters rather than casting big-ass, tax-free gold statues of the angel Moroni.

I can’t move my vast financial empire to the Caymans or into Swiss bank accounts. I don’t make enough. My wife does own two horses, one of which is permanently lame and the other for sale. Neither is an Olympic dancing horse.

I do take a miniscule deduction on my almost paid off mortgage. I’d guess that Mitt’s write off on, say, a Malibu Barbie Ann beach house, financed by a below market, low-interest loan from Bain, would be considerably larger than mine.

So California wealthy people, stop carpet-bombing the rest of us with ads foretelling financial Armageddon if you pay a 3% tax increase which, because of your available tax dodges, will amount to an actual increase of almost zero. If you haven’t run away from such a dastardly and onerous imposition already, I’d guess you wouldn’t now.

BTW, don’t worry about skipping out on your share. I’m sure my higher taxes will make up the difference. I wouldn’t want you to lose sleep over it.

It looks like most of the 53% are victims too.

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

Fly Jolly Joker Airlines

4:24 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Opening windows on an airplane, ROFLMFAO! Mitt sure is a moran or a jolly joker, depending on your point of view. Assuming others are as clueless –a safe assumption in an underfunded-education, science-challenged country – Yahoo ran a story explaining it all. That is more worrying than Mitt’s suggestion. He was admirably trying to show concern for Ann’s harrowing, though relatively common, experience with smoke in the cabin of her airplane. That’s about as close to human as Mitt gets.

It was probably a joke from a man who is about as funny as a bowling ball, but you never know. There are some weakly plausible reasons why he might say something so bizarre. Mitt isn’t the world’s best off-the-cuff speaker as his 47% speech shows. Sometimes he speaks first and thinks later. After 2+ years of stumping 18-hours a day, perhaps he was just tired. This may be one of those rare occurrences when the “I misspoke” explanation might be true. On the other hand, maybe he is as stupid as he sounds. It wouldn’t be the first time. But there is a very remote possibility he holds common misconceptions about aircraft like many others – misconceptions that are a combination of possibilities and impossibilities.

Ironically, his idea has some historical precedent. Aviators have investigated the window idea before, sometimes successfully. If your only experience with aerodynamics is rolling down a limo window and sticking your elbow out, it isn’t as goofy as it sounds. But, successful doesn’t mean practical.

Some airplanes have opening windows. Some have doors bigger than boxcars that open in flight. The problem isn’t windows, it is why you can’t or shouldn’t open them and if you did, what would happen.

Who Let the Smoke Out…Who?…Who?

First, Mitt’s “let the smoke” out rationale is off the mark. In the unlikely event there is smoke it probably doesn’t come from fire and if it does, it also probably comes from areas that already have fire suppression systems.

Mitt apparently didn’t watch the movie Backdraft and makes an assumption common in house fires. Opening windows doesn’t bring air (not oxygen as he suggests) in to blow smoke out. Instead, the open window it likely feeds the fire, providing there is enough air to do that. On airplanes, where higher pressure causes a film of air rushing past open windows, the smoke would probably be trapped in.

Then, there is the issue of pressurization. Airliners typically fly pressurized to about 6000-8000 feet so people can breathe easily, but they can breathe safely above that altitude…up to a point. Around 35,00 feet most people develop hypoxia in seconds, above 59,000 feet your blood boils, though airliners never fly this high.

If you’ve seen too many Bruce Willis movies, the explosive decompression issue is hog-wash. Explosive decompressions don’t last for minutes of hurricane force winds. They don’t pull passengers out windows considerably smaller than their asses. In fact, plugging the hole with an ample ass would probably help stop further decompression. Explosive decompressions momentarily create a thick fog and suck the air from your lungs. Pop, and you reverse-breathe as air leaves you. If you are high enough you can’t refill your lungs or subsist on the thin air. You’ll take a short nap until you get lower. You might have some lung trauma, but you might not be damaged by more than a little nausea or maybe ringing ears, but nothing as bad as a mild hangover from the tiny bottles of vodka. Trust me, I’ve been through them…on purpose.

Stowing Color TVs in the Overhead

It is hard to believe people come up with ideas that are self-evidently stupid sometimes. For example, I’ve heard dozens of people suggest passenger parachutes (oddly, there are whole airplane parachutes for small aircraft) would be a fine idea on airplanes without knowing it is probably more impractical than jumping up at the moment of impact.

The chaos of a planeload of people struggling into bulky parachutes in the aisle would make stowing color TVs in the overhead (a problem that can and should be fixed) pale in comparison. There is zero chance anyone would get into one, get to the door, and jump in the short time before the airplane met the ground. Then, they’d have to deal with the effects of the fall and the landing. There’s also that little thing about people passing out before they could even do that. Plus, a plane load of parachutes are heavy enough that you couldn’t stow baggage in or out of the airplane at any exorbitant cost. You’d never get off the ground.

Most of Mitt’s experience in airplanes is drinking champaign and making wads of money on board a private GulfstreamV. It’s doubtful he pays much attention past that. That ignorance could breed stupid statements. It happens.

On the other hand, maybe he is stupid and incapable of understanding anything other than investing in aerospace companies, shipping the work to the Philippines, and closing the place down. That happens too.

But, I’m with Mother Jones, I’m betting on the jolly joker theory.

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

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: For When Special Exemptions Aren’t Special Enough

4:17 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Another Christian organization is howling at the moon because their special tax exemption, which non-religious groups don’t get, isn’t special enough. The right wing Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) organization is urging pastors into the pulpit to preach politics instead of God. Pulpit Freedom Sunday is an effort to force the IRS to take the pastors to court for breaking the law so they can sue and argue the prohibition against taking a perk and making political endorsements too is a violation of the First Amendment.

“We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened,” Erik Stanley, ADF’s Sr. Legal Counsel said. “We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it [the Johnson Act] in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this down as unconstitutional.”

But, some aren’t so sure.

Constitutionality might be a practical moot point anyway. The IRS rarely enforces the law now and when it does, they write warning letters rather than prosecute. “The IRS will send out notices from time to time and say you crossed the line,” Jim Garlow, Sr. Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego said. “But when it’s time to go to court, they close the case.” Religious persecution is a hard sell when the worst thing that happens is a not-so-strongly worded letter telling you to follow the law. ADF may say the law is “blatantly unconstitutional”, but it is still the law.

In fact, the entire idea the IRS is somehow depriving pastors of free speech is laughable. Surely, the opposite is true. Under the First Amendment, preachers can say anything they want. They can lead demonstrations. They can picket abortion clinics. They can wave God Hates Fags signs at military funerals. They can pray in any location they desire, without restriction. The entire point of the First Amendment is to allow even repugnant speech a place in the public square and terrorizing families of dead troops is about as repugnant as you can get – yet, Westboro Baptist doesn’t chip in a dime to maintain a country where they can act like ass hats. What clerics aren’t allowed to do is use their First Amendment right to freedom of religion and speech as an unequal fig leaf to avoid paying taxes.

The solution is simple. Start paying taxes like everyone else and every other organization in the country. The Johnson Act says religious speech is untaxed, it says nothing about political speech – or it getting the same treatment. Churches already “double-dip” by accepting charitable contributions to fund untaxed, religious activities and commercial enterprises. That’s a sweet deal, especially considering the huge benefit of getting the dough, saying what you want, and constantly pushing for even more unequal treatment under the law. Exxon should be so lucky.

Christians, even while making up 77% of the population, constantly complain they are victims of persecution. If they are victims, sign me up. I pay a significantly higher tax rate than Mitt Romney (before and after charitable contributions) and I could use the write off. Even though I’m a member of the 53%, I feel victimized that I can’t throw some money at the Mormon church or the Archdiocese of the Cayman Islands and reduce my tax burden by half.

And, the 41% “victims” have it even worse. When they go to church, the church wants their money to pay for the privilege of being told how to vote.

That’s like having your cake and eating it too while telling people they should buy the cake from your untaxed bakery with a 10% tithe they can’t afford.

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

Mitt Romney: Likable as a Haggis Buffet

9:01 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

The list of things wrong with the Romney campaign is ignominious and pushing Mitt toward the precipice. He has had innumerable foot-in-mouth episodes, told many hand caught in the cookie jar lies, managed self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and made the worst Veep choice since McCain sent himself well and truly off the rails with the Moose Momma. The reasons for this ineptitude are manifold, from sheer stupidity to being as likable as a haggis buffet, but perhaps that last one might explain it best.

In general, Americans don’t like lawyers. They aren’t too hot on reporters either. And when it comes to politicians Congress can’t get any lower than their 12% approval rating. And right up there in the Pantheon of the Hated are CEOs. Your average citizen thinks they are arrogant, greedy, out of touch, and completely devoid of morals. When a factory worker screws up they find their ass on the street. When a CEO screws up they get a hefty bonus and stock options equal to the combined incomes of Nebraska’s entire middle class. Then, they close the factory, send the work to Chinese reeducation camps, and collect another bonus for how well they handled their own failure. To everyone other than CEOs, and the people who inexplicably love them, it’s easy to see why they don’t give people the warm and fuzzies.

Saving America by Gutting and Selling it to the Highest Bidder

Mitt wants to be a CEO President in the worst way. He wants to be the brilliant turnaround artist who saves America by gutting and selling it to the highest bidder. We had another CEO President not long ago and that didn’t work out so well. He bragged about his business acumen too. It consisted mostly of running an oil company into the ground, helming the Texas Rangers, and lots of frat parties. You know, pretty much the standard CEO resume.

People don’t much trust Mitt. Even his brethren in the Grand Old Pogromites (GOP) don’t like him and they are of the same Brook’s Bros. cloth. He has the uncanny ability to make someone like Mother Teressa hate him by telling a few jokes at at $50,000 a plate rubber chicken dinner. However, that might not be completely his fault. I question the character-smelling ability of a person willing to shell out $50,000 for a vulcanized chicken breast.

Mitt has all the worst habits of the CEO-class. If there is one place he excels, it’s acting nothing like a human in thought, word, or deed. That is baggage my friends – the sort of baggage that makes it hard to hornswoggle people into believing that giving them less is somehow more. Like most CEOs, he never met a piece of good advice he could take. His massive, well-coiffed ego won’t allow it. Give him a rope, he’ll gladly set his eyes bugging out, then ask for your vote because he’s the CEO dammit.

His former friends are running away from him while shouting advice over their shoulder to let someone else run the campaign. You’re not the worker bee, just find someone who can competently tell lies and get out of their way. Wasn’t that why you chose Paul Ryan?

There’s something else common to all CEO Presidents – not understanding government is not a business. Government’s purpose is not to turn a profit for anyone – even the people who hide more in offshore accounts that the 53% pay in taxes. Businesses are dictatorships, which every CEO will remind anyone ill-advised enough to cross them. In business, you can’t hand-select Congress, the courts, or voters like a stacked Board of Directors…yet. Government is messy and the electorate often lacks the same goal of business – money. Regardless of how it is made.

Voters Really Appreciate Fire Trucks Traveling Fast Down a Taxpayer-Funded Road

The one way governments and businesses are alike – budgets – even differ. CEOs routinely miss theirs by considerable amounts. Governments routinely go way over theirs…because they are bigger. CEOs can get things under control easier. They can eviscerate half the company and cutting off unprofitable products because they only have to suck marginally less than their competitors. Government doesn’t have that advantage. When your house is on fire, the average voter really appreciates a fire truck traveling fast down a taxpayer-funded road. No amount of telling those lazy-ass victims that living in blackened rubble is better than getting off their dead asses and getting a job in a country where all the jobs are in Bangalore is better than water and ladders.

Mitt is the penultimate personification of a CEO and reaps all the ill that brings. He came out of the campaign gate toting more baggage than Kim Kardashian on the way to tennis lessons. He targeted his campaign at 1% of the population and it’s hard to carry that much baggage without a sub-minimum wage bellhop that will inevitably embarrass you.

There are only a few weeks left to pull the limo out of the fire and close the deal. There will be more mistakes, as there are in any endeavor, but he can overcome them. Rather than employing the normal CEO reaction to failure – deny, deny, deny, blame it on someone else – he could simply employ some (I know this is going rouge) common sense.

Stop envisioning yourself as the potential Potentate of Romnistan, put on the throne by the Council of 500 Fortunes. The country doesn’t need any more CEOs, they are the skeevy bastards that got us into this mess and we’re awash in them. Using that as the only plank in your platform is a non-starter, so (I know this a mavericky thing) stop it. Stop telling people with three jobs they are whining little goldbrickers. Start saying, “You know, that must be hard. I don’t really know about it first hand, but I trust your word for it and I’ll do something specific about it.” Stop telling people you will create 18 billion jobs during the first dance at the Inaugural Ball because no one, not even Ann Coulter, believes it.

Admit you know shit all about foreign policy. The fact you can see New Hampshire from Massachusetts is not foreign policy, no matter what Sarah Palin says. Empty the tea pot and throw those bat-shit crazy, spelling challenged nitwits out of the big tent. They scare the hell out of people and will stab you in the back as soon as you won’t support a ban on condoms bought only with prior approval from the Texas legislature.

We’re told – though most people doubt it – that you have a tiny smidgen of human left in you. Step out into the sunshine of Temple Square and let your love light shine. Treat people like (I know this is all roguey and mavericky) people instead of fully depreciated assets. Trust me on this, people really hate it when CEOs do that. Mitt, there is hope for you. You could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and not shove defeat back into the jaws if you’d stop acting less like the CEO of BushCo and start acting more like the CEO of People.

Better yet, stop being a CEO at all. We neither want nor need any of those.

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