The Tragedy of Mittlet, Prince of Michigan

David Brooks has really done it this time. In today’s column, he’s proposed that Gaius Julius Mittensus Caesar take a few moments in tomorrow’s debate to address the plebeians and reassure them that his performance to date was nothing but the trifling mummery of a rude mechanical; the stuff of which dreams are made that is or is not and dares not cross the bourne to the undiscovered country lest it discover Ophelia in the shower or something. Polonius Mittensus is neither a borrower nor a lender, though despite this he seems to have lost both loans and friends.

And that’s where David Brooks comes in. Cue moronery in five…four…three…two…one…

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to use the opening minutes of this debate a little differently. I’d like to say that I wish everybody could have known my father, George Romney. He was a great public servant and I’ve always tried to live up to his example. The problem is that you get caught up in the competitiveness of a campaign and all the consultants want to make you something you’re not.”

In other words, Mitt’s dad was a nice guy. That totally qualifies him to be president. Obama’s dad was a dick; he ran off on the kid, after all. So if a guy with a total dickbag for a father can become president, what about a guy with a dad who was like the second coming of Christ? Cheese and crackers, folks, he was even a lath-and-plaster man! That’s pretty much carpentry for non-hippies!

“I’ve allowed that to happen to me. I’m a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and I’ve been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. I’m a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. I’ve ended up dumbing myself down.”

In other words Mitt’s a spineless sociopath with no moral center and an odd sense of entitlement to the presidency. Thus, he allowed Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers to put on some Barry White, draw a hot bath, and make sweet love to his non-ideological personal opinions until he gushed free-market tea party rhetoric that makes no sense to anyone save for the most sophistic of douchebags.

“The next president is going to face some wicked problems. The first is the “fiscal cliff.” The next president is going to have to forge a grand compromise on the budget. President Obama has tried and failed to do this over the past four years. There’s no reason to think he’d do any better over the next four.”

Shout-out to Timmy, Tommy-Twosies, and Seanny Duff—Southie for fackin’ life, dahg! Leht’s drink some beeyahs and wahtch the Town agahn! Go Pats!

“He’s failed, first, because he’s just not a very good negotiator. You don’t have to believe me. Read Bob Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics.” Obama spent the last campaign promising to be postpartisan and then in his first weeks in office, in the fullness of his victory, he shut down all cooperation with Republicans and killed any hope of bipartisan cooperation.”

David Brooks believes that one should always reference a book, no matter how stupid the reference might look—why should anyone care that Mitt read Bob Woodward’s book? Also, Obama sucks at negotiating because, well, let’s face it: he’s black and he was negotiating with a bunch of dudes who resemble the dried up shit one sometimes sees on hiking trails. You know the kind—it’s been there for a long time and is shriveled, old, and white. It’s exactly like the Republican congressional delegation.

“Furthermore, he’s too insular. As Woodward reports, he’s constantly leaving people in the dark — his negotiating partners and people in his own party. They’re perpetually being blindsided and confused by his amorphous positions. There’s no trust. If I were in business, there’s no way I would do a deal with this guy.”

I see that someone’s still a bit grumpy about not being invited to any cool White House parties! Also, the idea that Mitt “wouldn’t have done business with [that] guy” is fucking hilarious, as is the quip about Obama being “amorphous,” given that Romneybot has proven on several occasions to be but a mirror of whatever’s convenient, which necessarily makes him an untrustworthy douche. And to get a sense of Mitt’s business ethic, just talk to all the companies that Bain fucked about how awesome it was to do business with an aloof, insular, amorphous, glad-handing ball of crab-infested pubic hair.

“The second wicked problem the next president will face is sluggish growth. I assume you know that everything President Obama and I have been saying on this subject has been total garbage. Presidents and governors don’t “create jobs.” We don’t have the ability to “grow the economy.” There’s no magic lever.”

At this point I’m confused as to whether Brooks is alluding to New England slang or musical theater. Was sluggish growth something that Elphaba sang about? I guess it could have been, seeing as how those damn midgets in Oz were all a bunch of socialists!

“Instead, an administration makes a thousand small decisions, each of which subtly adds to or detracts from a positive growth environment. The Obama administration, which is either hostile to or aloof from business, has made a thousand tax, regulatory and spending decisions that are biased away from growth and biased toward other priorities. American competitiveness has fallen in each of the past four years, according to the World Economic Forum. Medical device makers, for example, are being chased overseas. The economy in 2012 is worse than the economy in 2011. That’s inexcusable.”

While it’s true that the United States now ranks 5th in the WEF’s competitiveness report, it should be noted that the report is fabricated mainly from surveys given to “business leaders” in the surveyed economy. For instance, while the report draws upon hard data to reach conclusions regarding certain macroeconomic factors, additional subjective variables such as “property rights” and “cooperation in labor-employer relations” are included in the rankings. These subjective categories account for roughly two-thirds of the data used to compile the rankings, while publicly available hard data account for one-third. Thus, two-thirds of the study relies on the subjectivity of human opinion. So let’s not–how would Huey Freeman say it?–“dick ride” the WEF’s competitiveness report.

Let’s also consider that Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, and Sweden all rank higher than the United States, and all provide universal health care to their citizens (with a range of methodologies). So if you take this report at all seriously, SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE DAMAGING THE ECONOMY.

“The third big problem is Medicare and rising health care costs, which are bankrupting this country. Let me tell you the brutal truth. Nobody knows how to reduce health care inflation. There are two basic approaches, and we probably have to try both simultaneously.”

This is laughable. See the WEF’s report on the top 5 countries, and examine their spending on health care services:

Switzerland: 11.4%
Singapore: 3%
Finland: 9.2%
Sweden: 10%
United States: 17.2%

Then, look at how they do it. Only a fucking idiot would say “nobody knows how to reduce health care inflation.” Although I imagine that Romneybot’s plan of starving roughly 47% of U.S. citizens to death has the benefit of substantially reducing the health care burden.

“I’m willing to pursue any experiment, from any political direction, that lowers costs and saves Medicare. Democrats are campaigning as the party that will fight to the death to preserve the Medicare status quo. If they win, the lesson will be: Never Touch Medicare. No Democrat or Republican will dare reform the system, and we will go bankrupt.”

This paragraph is an interesting rhetorical diversion that carries the same semiotic weight as a bag of dicks; that is to say, very little weight indeed. Allow me to rephrase: “Democrats want to do anything to save Medicare, but I’m willing to do anything to save Medicare. We can’t let them do anything to save Medicare, but I will definitely do anything to save it.”

“At last, I’ve tried to be on the level with you. This president was audacious in 2008, but, as you can see from his negligible agenda, he’s now exhausted. I’m not an inspiring conviction politician, but I’ll try anything to help us succeed. You make the choice.”

Unless that plan involves raising taxes to raise revenue, or standing up to small-minded bigots within the Republican party, or anything that involves helping the poor. Because fuck those guys.

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Run:\Romneybot.smalltalk.txt:\file not found

Gaius Julius Mittensus Caesar (a.k.a. Romneybot) has always had difficulties connecting with the common man. There’s his unfortunate “Nascar” gaffe, his claim that his wife drives more than one Cadillac, his apathy toward the poor, or perhaps best of all, his assertion that $374,000 is not a lot of cash. Oh, there’s also the whole dressage thing.

But thankfully for Mittensus, his recent “Tour de Poor” has helped his stilted, awkward, and assholish speaking style:

The Mr. Romney who emerged over this recent tour still came across as goofily old-fashioned, but he was also more polished on the stump, able to improvise and riff and better handle the surprises that naturally accompany a rambling motorcade through the heartland.

Yes, all you need to do is practice being around poor people and you’ll eventually learn how to charm them. His performance during this tour, however, is a damn sight better than his performance during the primaries, where “he delighted his traveling press corps by guessing voters’ ages and ethnicities (often incorrectly) and [proved] himself a gaffe-prone jokester.”

“You there, the fellow in brown–oh, wait, that’s your skin! Ha ha ha ha ha! Is your wife a Hottentot?”*

Alas, with his newly acquired skill of mimicking the conversations of the sweaty unwashed, he’ll surely gain ground among idiots who, despite common sense, will vote for a man that gives not a single zany fuck about them.

According to Mitt Romney’s website, this is what you can expect from a Romney presidency:

  • A bloated defense budget that relies on an outmoded idea about how modern warfare is conducted (unless we’re fighting a time-traveling British Navy, I doubt we need a bunch of new warships), coupled with the ridiculous idea that more privatization will lead to greater efficiency. I encourage you to read this if you’re at all concerned.
  • An educational system that disenfranchises the poor, and lines the pockets of people already capable of paying for private school; moreover, vouchers use taxpayer dollars to directly subsidize religious education. I’m sure American students brought up to believe that Jesus rode a dinosaur and that cell biology is the Devil’s work will be super-competitive against Chinese students who are building quantum transistors by the 8th grade.**
  • A ridiculous tax code that favors rich assholes by reducing the corporate rate (which many corporations don’t pay anyway), switching to a territorial tax system (a lovely plan which allows billionaires to hide money offshore–just like Romney!), and maintaining the insanely low tax rate for capital gains and dividends.
  • Also, an anti-state’s rights gun policy! A borderline (pun!) racist immigration policy! Anti-state’s rights marriage policies! An idiotic stance on stem cell research! And, you guessed it, an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade!

*This exchange may not have taken place.
**You can’t prove it didn’t happen!

“The Banning of Foie McGras”

I will begin by saying that I am heavily biased on the matter of foie gras; I love the stuff, and I find attempts to ban it to be offensive and idiotic. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t fucking eat it; if you try to stop me from eating it, I will slap your grandmother.

Sadly, California just doesn’t seem to value their grandmothers enough to avoid my wrath, and soon enough a full ban will take effect:

July 1 is the start date of the hotly debated and divisive ban, which prohibits the sale of any product derived from the force-feeding of birds to enlarge their livers — the most common way to mass-produce foie gras. (The law was passed in 2004, but included a seven-and-a-half-year grace period.)

Naturally, both chefs and lovers of delicious food are outraged; culinary hero Thomas Keller and other luminaries are currently attempting to repeal the ban while their customers enjoy Romanesque orgies of fattened goose and duck liver (duck liver being the more common form) for what could possibly be the last time in California.

Perhaps the saddest thing about the ban is the rather nutless logic that underlies it, artfully crafted by a man who I strongly suspect of fiercely masturbating to movies like Hostel:

John Burton, the former California legislator who drafted the law, has shot back at the chefs, likening the tradition of foie gras (which dates back centuries) to waterboarding and female genital mutilation.

“Why don’t you tell those chefs to have a duck cram a lot of food down their gullets and see how they like it?” he asked.

Yes, fattening a goose’s liver is exactly like having several adults hold down a screaming pre-teen girl while her aunt takes glass from a broken bottle and carves off a piece of her anatomy. And it’s definitely like simulated drowning to extract information:

“Tell me what you know, you goose bastard!”

“Quuuuaaaaaccccckkkkkkkgargleegarglescream!”

Thankfully, there are those that see the inherent flaw in this argument: geese are not people, Goddamnit!

David Kinch, the acclaimed chef at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif., who opposes the ban, said part of the problem with the ban’s logic was that its supporters had mistakenly anthropomorphized the ducks’ experience of being force fed. “They imagine a tube being shoved down their human throat,” he said. Rather, he said, ducks have no gag reflex, nor are geese as cuddly as they appear.

Indeed, it’s rather unlikely that a goose or duck will break into song and dance its way around the barnyard while a candlestick plays the fiddle.

However, allowing for a moment the ethical objection to the production of foie gras, it’s worth pointing out what many other critics point out–that factory farming, which is far more ubiquitous in America than foie gras production, is much more harmful to the environment and moreover to food. But, as Michael Pollan rather sensibly noted, “I think it’s really a way for people to feel like they’ve done something without doing anything…there’s so many more serious problems we’re not dealing with.” Thus it becomes a matter of missing the ethical forest for the twee moral tree; that is to say, your stupid ideology is showing.

But really, why bother fixing your fucked university system when you can shit on people for eating delicious food?

According to David Brooks, Romneybot is More Like Edward and Less Like Dracula

Once again, that bloated sack of Burkean bon mots has come out swinging against those who would seek to defile the good name of private equity:

Forty years ago, corporate America was bloated, sluggish and losing ground to competitors in Japan and beyond. But then something astonishing happened. Financiers, private equity firms and bare-knuckled corporate executives initiated a series of reforms and transformations.

The process was brutal and involved streamlining and layoffs. But, at the end of it, American businesses emerged leaner, quicker and more efficient.

Apparently the last forty years of American capitalism was like a season of The Biggest Loser; muscular capitalists yelled at weak and flabby businesses and eventually turned the American economy into something you wouldn’t be ashamed to bang.

But those damned Democrats just released an ad besmirching the reputation of Bain Capital (they weren’t founded by the Batman villain, in case you’re curious) by calling into question their handling of GST, a failing metalworks:

The company was in terminal decline before Bain entered the picture, seeing its work force fall from 4,500 to less than 1,000. It faced closure when Romney and Bain, for some reason, saw hope for it in 1993. Bain acquired it, induced banks to loan it money and poured $100 million into modernization, according to Strassel. Bain held onto the company for eight years, hardly the pattern of a looter. Finally, after all the effort, the company, like many other old-line steel companies, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, two years after Romney had left Bain.

This is the story of a failed rescue, not vampire capitalism.

You see, Democrats? Bain is more charity than anything else; besides, Romneybot left the Bain heezy before GST crashed and burned! And he probably had no effect on policy, so as soon as he left, Bain was like, “who the fuck was that guy”? This is some solid-ass logic, Brooks.

Of course, Brooks can’t write a column without shifting from the concrete to the abstract, or without mentioning a fancy study conducted by someone in the Ivy League; therefore, we have this half-assed justification for private equity:

This process involves a great deal of churn and creative destruction. It does not, on net, lead to fewer jobs. A giant study by economists from the University of Chicago, Harvard, the University of Maryland and the Census Bureau found that when private equity firms acquire a company, jobs are lost in old operations. Jobs are created in new, promising operations. The overall effect on employment is modest.

Hey, if a guy from the University of Chicago said that the throbbing knob of venture capitalism and private equity is a good thing for America’s middle-class, unlubricated anus, then it must be! Because that school has no history of capitalist stoogery.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this essay is the way that it elides several key points. For instance, what does the study classify as a “modest” effect on employment? Is 25% modest? Or perhaps 30%? I do not consider the absence of 30% of a company’s labor force to be modest, especially when you consider that 30% as a contributor to the local economy. Here’s another gem:

Most of the time they succeed. Research from around the world clearly confirms that companies that have been acquired by private equity firms are more productive than comparable firms.

What is the precise number for “most of the time”? Did Brooks say “most” because 51% isn’t the hotness? You know, now that I think about it, that quote is an excellent summation of Brooks’s writing for the Times:

Most of the time he succeeds. Readers from around the world clearly confirm that conservative essayists for the New York Times that are named David Brooks are more productive than comparable essayists.

Also, Team Bain for the win!

David Brooks Would Like Obama to Top Paul Ryan With Something Big

David Brooks, keeper of Burke’s reanimated corpse and devotee of madcap monarchism, is disappointed in Obama:

President Obama is an intelligent, judicious man who can see all sides of an issue. But every once in a while he tries to get politically cute, and he puts on his Keith Olbermann mask.

I suppose it’s to his credit that he’s most inept when he tries to take the low road. He resorts to hoary, brain-dead clichés. He wanders so far from his true nature that he makes Mitt Romney look like Mr. Authenticity.

That’s pretty much what happened this week in Obama’s speech before a group of newspaper editors. Obama’s target in this speech was Representative Paul Ryan’s budget.

Yes, the one time that Obama indulges in the rhetorical flourishes that commonly seep from the hemorrhoidic buttocks of the Republitards he is decidedly worse than Gaius Julius Mittensus Caesar, Emperor of Romneyland and Bearer of the Gold Standard of American Meritocratic Failure. Worse still, his target was Paul Ryan, the handsome little man with the big fat plan!

But before Brooks delves too deep into the pit of right-wing ideological adulation, he wants to remind us of his philosophical centrism:

It should be said at the outset that the Ryan budget has some disturbing weaknesses, which Democrats are right to identify. The Ryan budget would cut too deeply into discretionary spending. This could lead to self-destructive cuts in scientific research, health care for poor kids and programs that boost social mobility. Moreover, the Ryan tax ideas are too regressive. They make tax cuts for the rich explicit while they hide any painful loophole closings that might hurt Republican donors.

You see, don’t you?! Brooks acknowledges the difficulties with Ryan’s plan! He’s a true philosopher! Sadly, though the difficulties that he outlines are actually quite convincing, he betrays his argument and goes on to prop up Obama’s reasonable whinging as a dancing straw man (if he only had a brain!):

But these legitimate criticisms and Obama’s modest but real deficit-reducing accomplishments got buried under an avalanche of distortion. The Republicans have been embarrassing themselves all primary season. It’s as if Obama wanted to sink to their level in a single hour.

Again, Brooks equates Obama’s rightly spoken criticisms with the entire Republitard campaign’s rhetorical fracas. So not only does Brooks cast a straw man in his Théâtre de l’Absurde, but he proceeds to light it on fire! Zut alors! Brooks also found Obama’s “tone” to be unacceptable, as well as his use of 80s liberal clichés (paging Ronald Reagan, would Ronald Reagan please report to EVERY FUCKING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE’S STUMP). He then reminds us, in true Brooksian fashion, of his familiarity with the Great Books curriculum:

Social Darwinism, by the way, was a 19th-century philosophy that held, in part, that Aryans and Northern Europeans are racially superior to brown and Mediterranean peoples.

And for those of you following along on your “How to Write an Essay By David Brooks” rubric, now comes the moment when Brooks cites studies to demonstrate his wonkishness and objectivity:

There are, indeed, real differences, but in the short term they are not a chasm. In 2013, according to Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University, the Ryan budget would be about 5 percent smaller than the Obama budget, and it would grow a percent or two more slowly each year. After 10 years, government would be smaller under Ryan, but, as Daniel Mitchell of the Cato Institute complains, it would still take up a larger share of national output than when Bill Clinton left office.

If only Obama had cited the Cato Institute he wouldn’t have lost all his credibility.

But Brooks isn’t done with Obama yet, because Obama had the temerity to assault Ryan’s asinine Medicare revamp (you know, the one that’s a giant giveaway to the insurance industry, and will likely lead to poor old bastards dying on the street or in their shabby trailers—but fuck them, right? Hahahaha!).

Obama claimed that Ryan’s plan “will ultimately end Medicare as we know it.” Which seems accurate, as that is the ostensible goal of the reform: ending the bloated entitlements and denying the fat coverage that’s bankrupting the nation. But alas, Brooks doesn’t care for that phrasing, most likely because it accurately reflects the plan’s intentions, and so he reminds us that such claims were voted on by the Internetz and were deemed false.

For Brooks, Obama’s rhetoric is a symptom of the pervasive disease: Democrats refuse to do the things that Republicans want them to do without complaining about it. However, it seems as though Brooks’ outrage is the outrage of an assclown; that is to say, he takes Obama to task for something that every Republican has been doing since the beginning of the primaries. According to Brooks, “Obama shouldn’t be sniping at Ryan. He should be topping him with something bigger and better.”

“He should be topping him with something bigger and better…” I see now that I’ve completely misunderstood this piece! Clearly we’ve merely wandered into one of Brooks’ sexual fantasies. Sorry, Dave! But maybe next time leave a fucking tie on the door or something!

Anchorage Morons Fight Bravely for Their Right to Discriminate Against the LGBT Community

In a stunning show of stupidity and small-mindedness, Anchorage voters decided to reject a measure that would have prohibited discrimination against members of the LGBT community:

Anchorage voters rejected a proposed ordinance to add legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people in a chaotic municipal election fraught with ballot shortages and high voter turnout in many precincts.

With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting late Tuesday, 58 percent of voters had voted against Proposition 5, the equal rights ordinance that was far and away the most controversial and emotional component of this spring’s election.

It’s about damn time that a brave, Amurrican city stood united against the scourge of the LGBT community, with their musicals and flannels and gender conflict, and said: “Yes, Goddamnit–we would like to discriminate against you!” Sadly, this is the third time that an anti-discrimination proposal has met with rejection in Anchorage (the other two times were not ballot issues, however).

Apparently, the measure was such a hot button issue that polling places ran out of ballots; one hotspot had to resort to photocopying ballots on the school’s Xerox to meet voter demand. Those ballots will be counted as “questioned ballots,” so it remains unclear what the exact percentages will be; despite this, however, the idiots clearly won the day. And the driving force behind the idiots? You guessed it: Jesus.

A group of clergy supporting the ordinance, Christians for Equality, was a key part of organizing efforts, campaign spokesman Trevor Storrs said.

Opponents, campaigning as Vote No On Prop. 5, complained that the law was vague and poorly written and would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality. The proposition included an exemption from the law for churches and religious organizations.

I’ll give you a moment to savor the name “Christians for Equality.” Also, take a few minutes and peruse the “Protect Anchorage” website. Just make sure that you have something to release your rage upon after you visit.

But really, one must feel some sympathy for those poor, put-upon American Christians–truly they are the last disadvantaged group in the world! To not be able to discriminate against someone on the basis of some shit scribbled down thousands of years ago is well beyond the pale, sir!

Perhaps it’s unfair for me to paint a portrait of Anchorage based solely on the retards that rejected this proposition; after all, roughly 40% of the people said “Hey, assholes, discrimination isn’t cool–let’s smoke a jay and pet a moose or something.” And I can attest that there are a great many good people in the City of Anchorage who lament the influence of inbred Godtards on Alaskan politics.

Therefore I applaud the minority of citizens who decided that open discrimination is unacceptable and voted against stupidity.

And I issue a hearty “fuck you” to the tyranny of the majority.

First They Came for the Pasties, and I Didn’t Speak Out Because I Wasn’t Hungry…

Then they came for the crisps, and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t have 50p anyway…

That’s right, Britons–get ready to pay an extra 20% on your beef and onion pasty thanks to Oxford twat George Osborne, who while increasing the tax on a beloved food item of the 99%, decreased the taxes for all the Lord Nimblybottoms in the financial sector:

The tax controversy, which the British press has called, inevitably, “Pasty-gate,” has come to symbolize the increasingly vitriolic debate in Britain over who should shoulder the burden of the government’s drive to cut debt and spending.

Of course the tax decrease on the wealthy pasty-avoiders is justified by the standard logic that accompanies any tax decrease for the wealthy: if the wealthy have more money to spend, they’ll improve the economy. Yes, the wealthy; not some plodding sow from Shropshire with pasty crumbs on her rubbery bosom.

Not surprisingly, the Times highlighted the pasty’s populist credentials:

At lunchtime Thursday at the closest shop on the Times list — less than a mile from Mr. Osborne’s residence in the Westminster area of central London — a line of civil servants, construction workers and others waited to pay 90 pence, or $1.43, for a sausage roll or £1.42 for a heartier steak bake.

Yup, for about a quid you’ll get a delicious pastry filled with ground beef, sausage, or whatever the hell they feel like putting in there–and that’s the same for everyone, doctors to ditch-diggers. It truly is the food of the people.

Thus, methinks this tax situation is going to get pasty.

Rick “The Trick” Promises a Newer, Cleaner Santorum for America

Well, it looks like the Lenny Bruce of the GOP presidential pack is going to tone down his act. That’s right, Rick “The Trick” Santorum is going to offer a kinder, gentler discursive environment for his followers. Or, at the very least, an environment where he won’t comment on the relative qualities of a Romneybot presidency:

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.

Nevertheless, he still has some harsh criticisms for his opponent; Above the News was able to obtain this unedited draft transcript of a Santorum speech attacking Mitt Romney (I’ve censored it for your protection):

“Mitt Romney can suck a d**k, folks. Yes, that’s right: Romney’s nothing but a f**king c**ks**king a**clown. First he’s over here, then he’s over there; he’s like a f**king retard. He just can’t make up his mind. ‘Duh, I like health care–it nice. I wear magic panties!’ And speaking of magic panties, what about his wife? Have you ever seen such a b****y looking c**t in all your life? I bet her p***y’s as cold as a glacier. And probably as big, too. The magic of her panties is that she can fit her oversize c**t in there.”

It only gets worse, folks, I can promise you that. But as the Times article noted, Santorum is aiming to clean up his act; thus, speeches like the above will become a thing of the past.

Though he may be Wal-Marting his speeches, Santorum still has some vague criticisms of Romneybot, as well as some reiterations of his credentials on battling health care:

“I’ve got a long, strong, consistent record on the issue of health care,” Mr. Santorum told a group of more than 100 supporters at a campaign rally in Janesville on Tuesday night. “No wobbles, no bobbles.”

It is unclear whether Santorum weebles; nevertheless, he does not fall down.

But some Santorum fans are upset that he no longer spits hot fire:

Paul Kurtz, a high school social studies teacher from Janesville who was at the rally, said he thought Mr. Santorum seemed to be repressing his trademark tenacity.

“I think Rick tempered what he could have said,” said Mr. Kurtz, 36, who was sipping the dregs of a beer as the crowd filed out of the Armory in Janesville. “I think he was really close to going there. I was waiting for the personal attack on Romney.” But Mr. Kurtz left disappointed.

Yes, Mr. Kurtz is responsible for educating the youth of America. I’ll give you a moment to cry.

What remains to be seen is whether Santorum can maintain this pretense of civility. Oh, wait–

Welcome to Thunderdome!

Yes, today is Super Tuesday, and it will quite likely determine the candidate who will go on to challenge Obama in the presidential election. Let’s hope it’s not Santorum. Or Romneybot. Or Ron Paul Kenobi. Or Newton “Fruit n’ Cake.” Actually, let’s hope that all four of them meet up for a grip-and-grin photo op and a meteor strikes them. Yes, that would be the best possible scenario: the meteor that killed the Republican presidential candidate field versus Obama.

Naturally, I’d vote for the meteor; after all, it did more for American politics than Obama ever could.

But since that’s not going to happen, we’ll discuss some actualities. In what appears to be a race to the bottom for Santorum and Romneybot, both are counting on victories in Ohio to propel them to the depths; Ohio is the necessary morale booster for either candidate. Hence all the campaigning and vague talk about “manufacturing”:

At a metal works in Canton and a welding factory in Youngstown, in mailboxes and on the radio, Mr. Romney’s intense focus on these Republican-leaning voters was in evidence on Monday as he made his closing appeal in Ohio – if not as an everyman, then at least as a chief executive who knows how to generate blue-collar jobs and get factories running again.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee meetings, but I’ve actually been in it,” Mr. Romney told workers at a guardrail factory in Canton, where he walked among huge coils of steel. “I understand what it takes to get business successful, and to thrive.”

Yes, a predatory venture capital firm is exactly like a factory; really, the douchebags I see outside of Bain’s headquarters at lunch are virtually indistinguishable from the chumps who make sprockets in Bumfuck, Ohio!

Also, there’s no such thing as “the” economy; there are a multiplicity of interrelated economies. When I sell my bike to some hippie, that’s an economy. We’re all in the Goddamn economy, Mittensus. So shut the fuck up.

Santorum, however, was not to be outdone on the pandering front:

Mr. Santorum, who has mixed his faith-based appeal with a workingman’s sensibility born of his Pennsylvania coal and steel country roots, was not about to cede that ground.

At Dayton Christian School in Miamisburg on Monday, he urged a capacity crowd to vote for “a guy who grew up in a steel town in western Pennsylvania who no one gave any chance to be standing here in Ohio in March, because he went out and believed in free people” and in “building a stronger economy based on manufacturing.”

Yes, Rickspittle–your White Christianness and upbringing near some people who worked really hard definitely qualifies you to be president. I grew up in a small farming town; I didn’t farm, but there were some nearby. Thus, I’m not only qualified to talk about farming, but I could also be president! Isn’t democracy grand?

Whether this nonstop blue-collar asslicking will prove fruitful remains to be seen; if the past is any indicator, it probably will. Desperate people are often swindled with vague promises, and in this Republican field, vague promises are seemingly the only mode of discourse available.

But before you vote, blue-collar Super Tuesdayans, just consider this: are you willing to work for $17 a day, where a day lasts 14 hours? No? Then kiss that manufacturing bullshit goodbye.

Also, vote for Ron Paul Kenobi–I’d love to see Emperor Muslimtine crush him beneath his Imperial loafers.

Obama Will Not Be Happy Until Gasoline Prices Reach $10,000,000 Per Gallon

He is, however, more than willing to start with $5 a gallon. That’s right, Emperor Muslimtine wants your family to pay $5 a gallon so that he can finance his dreams of turning America into a theocracy. Oh, wait–that’s this guy. Sorry, I got confused.

In any event, gas prices seem poised to rise even further, which will prompt morons to demand that Obama personally alleviate the hardship caused by their poor decision to buy a used Range Rover. Moreover, because the price of oil is linked to the volatility in the Middle East, the price surge could force some rather blustery rhetoric from neocon chickenhawks:

“If we get some kind of explosion — like an Israeli attack or some local Iranian revolutionary guard decides to take matters in his own hands and attacks a tanker — than we’d see oil prices push up 20 to 25 percent higher and another 50 cents a gallon at the pump,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

For the typical driver who pumps 60 gallons a month of regular unleaded gasoline, a 50-cent increase in price means an extra expense of $30 a month.

I can hear the rich guys now:

“I say, Yarmouth, let’s rile the plebes with this business. An extra $30 per month ought to do it; those poor bastards love to put people in harm’s way for the price of a dinner at Chili’s.”

Oil prices have steadily increased in part because of the tensions with Iran, though demand from China also plays its part. Yet interestingly, demand seems to be but one part of the problem: the other part, speculation:

“The bankers are speculating, protecting themselves from higher prices by committing obligations to buy now, and that starts the ball rolling toward higher prices,” said Sadad Ibrahim al-Husseini, former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, the state oil company.

He added that the escalating civil turmoil in Syria, a crucial ally of Iran, “is bound to increase price volatility and that will drive future speculation.”

So, what we have here is the classic set-up for American politics: the Republitards will blame Obama for rising gas prices, citing his energy policy, and use those prices to rile the idiot base. They will also appeal to the violent, nationalistic instinct present in the American populace and demand military action in the name of patriotism; failure to act, they will claim, proves that Obama sympathizes with Muslims and hates America. Meanwhile, banks with billions of dollars in holdings will speculate on the price of oil, driving the prices ever-higher, which will create record profits for the oil companies that do business with the banks.

And worst of all, because of rising gas prices, you won’t even be able to afford a consolatory dinner at Chili’s. Well, maybe a dinner. But you’ll only be able to get one appetizer. And it’s just so hard to choose.

Damn Obama!

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