Category: politics

Maps of America

The United States Constitution is a mess. For 73 years it held together, crudely, like a quilt of bandaids, all of the piles of compromises that were required to keep petulant slave states happy. After the Civil War, the thing should have been rewritten completely and all the structural compromises designed to placate the backward states should have been removed.

It has now gotten to the point where the American system of government is one of the biggest problems facing the country. The 21st Century moves fast, and yet America has an 18th Century operating system. We are unable to keep up with the world. The last two decades have essentially been lost to idiotic gridlock and the classic “land war in Asia” blunder. We can’t afford any more lost decades.

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Hissy Fits: A List of Things Obama Is

Obama’s first term is nearly over. I’ve been bookmarking certain news as “Obama Derangement Syndrome” for four years. The paranoid delusional psychosis was funny for a while, and then the 2010 midterms happened. That’s when several rodeo clowns got into office and raised an amazing amount of money by peddling garbage. It was much more frightening than I anticipated.

Here’s a small sampling of the unhinged fever dreams of the radicals.

They have said:

Obama is Kenyan
Obama is Marxist
Obama is an enemy of humanity
Obama is Fascist
Obama is an oligarch
Obama is Socialist
Obama wants to kill grandma
Obama wants death panels
Obama wants to build his own liberal army
Obama is like Hitler
Obama is like Stalin
Obama’s mother was a whore
Obama is like Goebbels
Obama is like Mengele
Obama is like Lenin
Obama is entirely dependent on teleprompters
Obama throws like a girl
Obama has no birth certificate
Obama is part of the Black Mafia
Obama is a racist
Obama drinks the wrong beer
Obama will tax your favorite beer
Obama eats arugula and fake food
Obama wants nationalized banks
Obama wants a nationalized auto industry forever
Obama is a Communist
Obama hired Van Jones because Jones is also a Communist
Obama wants to indoctrinate school children into Socialism
Obama is a terrorist because Gaddafi called him his son
Obama is like Kim Jong Il
Obama is brainwashing school children into singing his praises
Obama should be overthrown in a coup
Obama has mean, uncivil allies
Obama wants schools to perform secret abortion field trips
Obama wants to force people to get sex-change operations
Obama wants sex clinics in schools
Obama is weak internationally and can’t drive a hard bargain
Obama is bully internationally who blows the Olympics because he’s not respected
Obama is weak internationally when he shows his hand rather than attack Iran
Obama is like a rapist
Obama supports NAMBLA
Obama is worshipped internationally because “the world” is stupid
Obama won’t bomb the Taliban so he bombs the moon
Obama is dithering about the war in Afghanistan
Obama’s HHS is a pedophile training children to be perverts
Obama needs the GOP’s permission to accept the Nobel Peace Prize
Obama is juvenile for saying FoxNews not a real news network
Obama is daring the terrorists to attack us again
Obama wants the DHS to make Tea Partiers wear torture devices on flights
Obama wants to give the USA back to Native Americans
Obama job numbers are doctored in a plot by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Obama is breaking campaign finance law when it doesn’t accept illegal donations
Obama’s good poll numbers are a conspiracy by everyone
Obama is covering up Benghazi
Obama is an emperor
Obama is acting like a King
Obama is a dictator
Obama is a tyrant
Obama wants Americans to die of Ebola
Obama is an anti-Semite
Obama wants doctors to report your guns
Obama wants to open concentration camps
Obama Concentration Camps will be all run by gay people
Obama wants to invade Texas and impose martial law
Obama wants forcibly depopulate the Earth
Obama wants to convert American woman under Sharia Law
Obama wants gays to rule the world
Obama is covering up the faked moon landings
Obama wants a single North American currency
Obama is lying about how Global warming is a false flag operation by the government
Obama and fluoride is out to control your mind
Obama controls the weather to scare us about Global Warming
Obama wants to to outlaw Christmas cookies and sprinkled doughnuts
Obama murdered Justice Antonin Scalia.

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Stephen Colbert Wins

He won a Peabody. His winning “Super PAC” segments embody some of my favorite rules – both from writing and improv:
He says his responsibility is to the story.
Whenever possible, discover the story along with the audience.
Find the complications, break through them with logic and humor.
Own the character, even when you wink in an aside.
The truth is funnier than fiction.

If you ask me, the Legal Dept. at Comedy Central deserves this award as much as Colbert and his writers. Greenlighting that bit took guts.

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What The World Needs Now Is…

More of this, please.

If you don’t know what this Goya riff is working from, behold: the future.

From Eater: The owner of a café in the center of Madrid, Spain has become a hero of sorts and internet phenomenon after standing up to riot police and allowing protestors to seek refuge in his establishment. The incident took place yesterday, when thousands of protestors took to the streets to demonstrate against the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The man, Alberto Casillastells Eco Diario that he saw the whole drama unfold near the Neptune fountain, when police finally charged protestors and people began to flee the scene. “I saw a boy who was being beaten up by the police — he was bleeding — and I went to help him,” said Casillas, who let protestors inside his café. “I then stood in front of the restaurant and didn’t let the riot police in.” He also fed all of the protestors that had flocked to his business.

#OWS as a Judd Apatow Movie

What if Occupy Wall Street incorporated as an investment bank and an attached savings bank?  And what if at #Occupy demonstrations around the country, protestors could walk up to a little table and sign up as board members of the Occupy Corp investment bank – and then go over to a different table (crossing over what used to be that pesky regulation which Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act dissolved). And there, the poorz set up accounts on the customer-facing table: Occupy Trust. The “bank” would immediately issue a lien against the empty account, so that the bank would eat the future earning potential of these protestors.  In this way, the bank gobbles up a bunch of toxic assets. Then they bet against the value of the debt on the market. Of course, insolvency looms. Then they demand and get a giant bail-out. The bail-out is split up among the millions of “board members.”  The B-Story is about cops and a forbidden love affair between a protester and a cop. And there’s a bit with a dog.

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Orwell’s “In Front of Your Nose”

An excerpt from the master’s essay “In Front of Your Nose”:

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events. Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it. Political predictions are usually wrong. But even when one makes a correct one, to discover why one was right can be very illuminating. In general, one is only right when either wish or fear coincides with reality. If one recognizes this, one cannot, of course, get rid of one’s subjective feelings, but one can to some extent insulate them from one’s thinking and make predictions cold-bloodedly, by the book of arithmetic. In private life most people are fairly realistic. When one is making out one’s weekly budget, two and two invariably make four. Politics, on the other hand, is a sort of sub-atomic or non-Euclidean word where it is quite easy for the part to be greater than the whole or for two objects to be in the same place simultaneously. Hence the contradictions and absurdities I have chronicled above, all finally traceable to a secret belief that one’s political opinions, unlike the weekly budget, will not have to be tested against solid reality.”

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Chris Hayes, Roger Hodge, Ari Berman and Adam Green Have An Intelligent Conversation on Teevee

So rare. It’s amazing.

I can’t believe it happened.

GOTV Soundtrack Memories

The last week of GOTV election time always makes me think of the song that was playing on a loop in my head  while I worked politics in the field at the end of 2004.  It was the second part of this track.  God, what a nightmare. No, I don’t miss politics.

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The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

Bumped back to the top.  I was trying to think of something to write about the election until I remembered that I already said what I wanted to say back in January.  I’ll merely add that the number of voters who can’t tell the difference between a fireman and an arsonist only increases.

Here is my comment on the 2010 midterms:

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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Marriage Funnies

One hundred years ago, conservatives argued against my grandparents getting married on the grounds that they were from different religions. The conservatives rested their case on 3,459 year old essay called the ancient Bible.

Thankfully, my grandparents’ love won the fight.

When my parents were getting married, in some states it was illegal for people to get married who had different skin color. Conservatives again quoted the ancient Bible  in their legal court opinions(!):

“Almighty God created the races, white, black, yellow, Malay, and red and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.” – Judge Bazile, Caroline County, VA, 1965.

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RFK’s “We Dissent” Speech

It is not enough to allow dissent. We must demand it. For there is much to dissent from:

…We dissent from the fact that millions are trapped in poverty while nations grow rich.

…We dissent from the conditions and hatreds which deny a full life to our fellow citizens because of the color of their skin.

…We dissent from the monstrous absurdity of a world where nations stand poised to destroy one another.

…We dissent from the sight of most of mankind living in poverty, stricken by disease, threatened by hunger and doomed to an early death after a life of unremitting labor.

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What if Coke Saved the Planet?

Considering how Copyright laws are so strictly enforced, and multinational corporations the size of Coca-Cola & Company have such control over our current government, I discovered how Coke could save the world with a single piece of paper.

How you ask?

File for Trademark Damages.

Coke has trademarked a family of Polar Bears, motion captured from living bears in captivity, for use during the holidays.

If Polar Bears go extinct as many scientists are fearing, Coke can sue the EPA and the US Government for damaging its trademark by not protecting the bears existence enough so as to maintain Coke’s “Trademark’s Viability.”

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