Romneybot Squeaks Out Santorum in Michigan and Arizona

Yes, for the moment, it would appear that Romneybot is holding the lead in the Republican primaries. Yesterday, he claimed victories in Arizona and Michigan; we can but hope that this marks the death knell of Santorum’s “Campaign for an American Catholic Theocracy.” Romneybot, who likely feels as though he was created to be president, was understandably jubilant-seeming:

“I stand ready to lead our party to victory and our nation back to prosperity,” Mr. Romney told a jubilant crowd of supporters. “It’s a critical time in America.”

Ich bin ein Amerikaner! However, Romney’s tough fight in Michigan may not be the golden shower of adulation he always wanted because Michigan awards its delegates by district; thus, Pope John Paul Santorum might take almost as many as Romney. Understandably, Santorum was also pleased with himself:

“A month ago they didn’t know who we are,” Mr. Santorum said, moments after calling Mr. Romney to concede. “They do now.”

Sadly, he’s correct.

The contest now moves forward, and unfortunately Santorum is still with us; we can only hope that Ron Paul Kenobi and Romneybot prove adequate to the task of removing him from the crevice of American politics.

Good News! Rick Perry Retired!

Ha! Psyche! He’s just taking retirement pay while still receiving his governor’s salary! Wait, what?

Apparently, under a provision in Texas law, certain state officials can be paid a retirement benefit while they still work. And Governor Perry, who is perhaps more savvy than we’ve given him credit for, is milking that teat like a farmer on speed:

Mr. Perry invoked the provision last year, disclosing in December that he had increased his take-home pay by more than $90,000 a year through his on-the-job retirement. He also makes $150,000 a year as governor.

Perhaps even better is that hardly anyone even knew about this lovely little benefit until Rick Perry, the man who promised to eliminate congressional benefits, ran for president:

In Texas, the considerable pension benefits given to politicians are exempt from government transparency laws and not subject to ethics disclosure rules. But Mr. Perry, a presidential candidate before dropping out last month, had to reveal the pension payments to the Federal Election Commission.

Moreover, Perry points out that he’d be an idiot not to capitalize on this benefit:

“I would suggest to you that it’s rather inappropriate if you’ve earned something if you don’t take it and take care of your family,” Mr. Perry said. “This was put into place by the Legislature, and if your point is it’s not appropriate, then the Legislature will change it.”

The provision allows certain employees to benefit from two retirement systems, the elected class and the employee class. Thus, elected officials can receive the employee benefit while they serve in their elected capacity. Rick Perry apparently ranks among nearly 200 public employees that receive over $100,000 in salary while earning pension benefits.

Suddenly Perry’s campaign foibles make perfect sense. Retirees in America seem prone to annoying behaviors: clogging highways with Winnebagos, voting for Republicans, and writing checks after the cashier finishes ringing everything up. Also, using checks. Get a fucking debit card!

And Now for Some Completely Unsurprising News from Utah

Utah’s House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would severely limit the scope of sex education in schools. Apparently, the bill allows schools to skip sex education entirely; however, if the school chooses to offer the course, it must be designed in consultation with parents, and not discuss contraception.

Curious democrats inquired about the content of an abstinence-only sex ed course, and Bill Wright (R), penned a curriculum on the spot:

“…the course could include lessons on friendship, dating and love…a lesson on the consequences of sex outside of marriage and a lesson on how to teach people to say no to sex.”

“Why don’t we just be honest with our children and tell them right up front that sex outside of marriage is devastating?” Wright said.

Pressed further, Wright offered the following list of devastating occurrences brought on by people having sex outside of marriage. It’s not an exhaustive list, either; that dude rambled on for hours. According to Representative Wright, the following events should be blamed on people having sex outside of marriage:

  • The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
  • The cover-up of the Roswell spacecraft landing
  • The assassination of JFK
  • Your mom’s souffle failures
  • Fraggle Rock
  • The publication of White Ninja, by Eric von Lustbader
  • The Yankees losing to the Red Sox
  • The slow decline of polar bear populations
  • Global warming
  • People wearing socks with sandals
  • Flared jeans
  • Cat memes

As you can see, Utah is clearly doing us all a favor.

Being Gay for Gay Marriage is the Latest State Government Fad

With Maryland’s state senate voting to approve legislation that would legalize gay marriage, it would appear that being gay for gay marriage is the hottest trend in state government. The Governor, Martin O’ Malley, promised to sign the bill into law, but it still awaits House approval and a battle from reactionary morons:

As part of the conditions agreed to in order to get the bill passed through the House, opponents of the new law will be given an opportunity to put the issue on the ballot in November, raising the possibility of a major public fight this summer and fall. The law will also not go into effect until all legal challenges have been exhausted, which could be a matter of years.

It would also seem that opponents are going to attempt to draft President Obama for their cause; he has stated in the past that he opposes gay marriage but his administration has not come to the aid of DOMA, which was recently declared unconstitutional.

Regardless of what happens, it would seem that various state legislatures are sending a message to America, and that message is this: it’s time to get gay for gay marriage!

Ron Paul Kenobi and Romneybot Tag Team the GOP Debate, Smearing Santorum Everywhere

I’ve always found it odd that Republicans compete with one another over political rigidity; seemingly, they believe that the candidate who is most inflexible will be the best president. Because no president has ever had to compromise, ever. Also, in their competition they seem to forget that they also govern those who did not vote for them. But fuck those guys, am I right?

In any case, last night’s GOP debate was no different, save for the fact that Ron Paul Kenobi and Romneybot’s budding bromance turned into a WWE-style tag-team effort, which definitely ran wild over poor Rick “The Trick” Santorum:

It was Mr. Santorum’s first time in the cross hairs as a leading candidate, an uncomfortable position that has set back other Republican challengers. He did not recoil or wither under pressure, but he was placed on the defensive again and again, with Mr. Romney and Representative Ron Paul of Texas acting as a tag team in critiquing his record in Congress.

Their power moves were varied:

They criticized his earmarks [BIFF!], his vote for a provision that financed Planned Parenthood [POW!] and his support of the No Child Left Behind law [CRUNCH!], President George W. Bush’s signature education plan now out of favor with conservatives. By the end of the night, the scrutiny seemed to wear on Mr. Santorum, who was taunted with boos when he said he had voted for the education program even though “it was against the principles I believed in.”

Since Santorum has been surging all over Romney’s face in recent weeks, this debate was critical for Romney; thus, he wasted no opportunity to point out Santorum’s flaws. Moreover, despite the fact that most Americans are worried about finding a job, or whether they’ll be able to send their children to college (they won’t), the Republitards took this opportunity to sound out their conservative bona fides on immigration, healthcare, and Romney’s ability to balance a budget:

Mr. Romney played up his status as the only candidate on the stage who had never served in Washington, but Mr. Santorum would not let his rival take credit for balancing the budget as governor of Massachusetts, which is required by state law.

“Don’t go around bragging about something you have to do,” Mr. Santorum said. “Michael Dukakis balanced the budget for 10 years. Does that make him qualified to be president of the United States? I don’t think so.”

Personally, I don’t think a man whose claim to fame is a humorous neologism has much to stand on when criticizing other people’s credentials, but who am I to judge?

Santorum didn’t stand much of a chance against the Iron Bromance, and the night’s most hilarious moment came when Ron Paul Kenobi defended his television ads criticizing Santorum’s legitimacy:

When the moderator asked Mr. Paul why he was running a new television advertisement calling Mr. Santorum “a fake” conservative, Mr. Paul answered simply, “Because he’s a fake.”

“I’m real, I’m real, I’m real,” Mr. Santorum said, shaking his head.

Somehow I don’t think he was quoting J-Lo. Cogito ergo santorum, Rick the Trick.

Obama is the Best Republican President Ever

For a while now I’ve been convinced that Republicans dislike Obama for at least two reasons: the first is because many of them are racist assholes. The second, and I believe more salient, reason is simply because Mr. Obama is a far better Republican president than any of their hopefuls would be. Consider the following:

  • Obama has been fairly friendly to resource development interests: Chopping down trees? Check. Drilling for oil? Check. Water resource development? Check.

And now, best of all, Obama is offering to lower the corporate tax rate. Yes, you heard that correctly, although I don’t know why you’d be surprised; did you skip the bulleted talking points?

The administration plan to revamp a corporate code that is widely derided as inefficient and anticompetitive has been in the works at Treasury for two years, and is a priority of Mr. Geithner. Yet he has been preoccupied with crisis management, and is unlikely to see the project through since he plans to leave office after this year.

The proposed overhaul “will help level the playing field for businesses and allow the government to collect needed revenue while promoting economic growth,” Mr. Geithner told a Congressional committee last week, without details.

Naturally, since it’s Obama, there’s going to be trouble with congressional morons–sorry, Republicans–over the rate. They’ll likely seek a 25% rate, and they’ll definitely want the loopholes and subsidies to stay in place. Because that’s how American corporations pay next to nothing in income tax, despite bitching about how high our tax rates are.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with revamping the tax code to make it equitable and competitive. But since “equitable” and “competitive” are not synonymous with “fattening a rich asshole’s bank account,” it’s not likely that we’ll ever see anything of the sort.

Catholics Hate When You Force Your Beliefs on Them While They’re Forcing Their Beliefs on Others

Alas, it would seem that both irony and logic are lost on Catholics, because while the Church bemoans the health care mandate that would only ask them to provide health care services to their employees (God forbid!), they are slowly taking over some of the nation’s hospitals and quietly doing away with contraceptive services that are not aligned with Church doctrine. Luckily, this is mostly a problem for women, and who gives a shit about them? Clearly not Catholics.

Thankfully, at least a few doctors expressed concern:

Some doctors fear they may not be able to do what’s best for patients, forced to wait to treat a woman who is miscarrying, for example, or to send a rape victim elsewhere for an emergency contraceptive.

The restrictions at any given hospital may not be clear. “Women simply don’t know what they’re getting,” said Jill C. Morrison, senior counsel in health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center.

While some might argue that options exist (the woman in desperate need of immediate treatment could always take her whorish ass to the hospital across town), these arguments become problematic in rural communities where the only option is a Catholic hospital. Moreover, one-sixth of all admitted patients were admitted to Catholic hospitals. Freedom of choice is hardly free when you lack options.

Abortions are not the only issue, either; apparently, sterilization procedures such as tubal ligation (and presumably vasectomies) also run afoul of doctrine. The community of Rockford, Illinois has resisted a plan by the Sisters of the Order of St. Francis to consolidate their hospitals because this procedure stands a chance of elimination. According to Dr. Ronald Burmeister, a retired obstetrician, it “would just be an inconvenience to the patient and the physician, who has to make life-and-death decisions.”

There is, however, some hope–one large western Catholic hospital organization decided to restructure and operate some hospitals as secular institutions; thus, those hospitals would not have to follow Church doctrine and could presumably decide to offer contraceptive and sterilization services (as well as in-vitro fertilization, which the Church also opposes).

Obama, let this be a lesson to you: Catholics, and in fact most Christians, hate when you force your secular beliefs on them while they’re trying to force their beliefs on others. It’s just not cool, man–leave them alone while they try to turn America into a nightmarish theocratic state.

Democratic republics make the baby Jesus cry.

Letter From a Birmingham Bankruptcy Courtroom

If you have $4 billion lying around, you might be able to purchase Jefferson County, Alabama, which includes the city of Birmingham. Wait, I know what you’re going to say–do I have to take Birmingham?

Thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet; I say “yet” because the situation in Jefferson county is severely fucked:

For all the talk in Washington about taxes and deficits, here is a place where government finances, and government itself, have simply broken down. The county, which includes the city of Birmingham, is drowning under $4 billion in debt, the legacy of a big sewer project and corrupt financial dealings that sent 17 people to prison.

The sewer project that the article references is a delightful example of how corrupt the private sector can actually be, and how that corruption can completely fuck a municipality:

Birmingham, which had thrived from Reconstruction to the mid-1960s as an iron and steel town, had been declining for years. Why not embark on a giant public works project, a Taj Mahal of sewage systems, to foster jobs and development?

Jefferson County began to borrow vast sums of money, but that money, it turned out, was a perfect medium for graft and contract-padding. Rather than replacing more than 2,000 miles of decrepit sewer pipes, the county dispensed contracts to build water treatment plants, pumping stations and administrative buildings, some on slag heaps left behind by closed steel mills.

The cost of project was meant to be recouped in fees paid by the users of the service; unfortunately, those users never got the chance because the scam became clear when fees nearly doubled in a short amount of time. Eventually, the scam failed, and it cost millions to fix the bungling of the various contractors. Thankfully, many of the assholes who profited from the scheme went to jail–including a former mayor of Birmingham.

Cut to some further bad investments and the failure of 2008 and you’ve suddenly got a county that’s bankrupt and $4 billion in debt.

Public-private partnerships aren’t always a bad thing, but in a state where the constitution was written to privilege business interests (read: rich white people) over the interests of the residents, such partnerships can be catastrophic. Especially when the public officials are high-caliber anal sores.

But who knows, maybe they’ll get lucky and some new Facebook IPO billionaire will offer to buy the county. Because that kind of seems to be where we’re headed in general.

Hey France, can I sleep on your couch for a while?

Drill Here, Get Gas

As gas prices climb, Republicans are looking to blame it on Obama, who as we all know, runs the oil companies and also owns every gas station in America. What an asshole!

In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents’ Day recess.

“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”

Four dollars! That’s crazy talk! Nowhere in the world pays that much! Except for all of these places.

This strategic embrace of rhetoric could have a negative impact on Obama’s reelection hopes, however, as many Americans are quite gullible (especially the old bastards who should have been Carousel’d long ago–you know, the ones who vote). Obama’s energy policies, according to Republicans, are the real problem:

“They want higher energy prices. They want to push their radical agenda on the public,” Rick Santorum said at a campaign event last week, accusing Democrats of pushing alternatives to oil. “We need a president who is on the side of affordable energy.”

Yes, Obama wants higher energy prices. Presumably because it will anger Americans, and he relies on the anger of Americans to fuel his Muslimtanic baby-killing rituals. That’s why he decided to approve exploration in Arctic waters. Oh, wait, that doesn’t make any fucking sense, does it?

Yes, it would seem that despite Obama’s relatively conservative approach to domestic energy development, he’s still responsible for high domestic energy prices. Personally, I think the Republitards are angry because Obama is a way better Republican president than any of their past choices.

At this point, you’re probably wondering “wait a minute, what about the oil companies? don’t they make billions per quarter? let’s get some of that cash!” Well, shut up about that. If you tax the oil companies, they’ll stop drilling for oil. That’s right, they’ll close up shop on one of the most valuable commodities in the world market and open bakeries in Williamsburg. Where will you get your gas then, chump? Yet one New York representative still insists on pointing out the obvious:

“House Republicans are very good at using every argument they can to shield oil companies from paying their fair share,” said Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “They have been relentless and fearless protectors of oil company profits.”

Regardless of what happens, expect a great many stories on your local news about how the gas prices are too damn high, featuring “real people” at the pump. Hooray, a whole summer full of idiots complaining! Sounds very American.

Did You Have Sex with Your Girlfriend or Wife Last Night? No? Well, Congratulations: That’s an Abortion

Apparently, the last time a Catholic studied logic Thomas Aquinas was wanking to etchings of Aristotle:

“We object to the use of drugs and procedures used to take the lives of unborn children,” the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, said Thursday at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Their reasoning is that life begins the moment an egg is fertilized, and that if a contraceptive has the potential to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, it is aborting a life.

This is an odd position. Catholics contend that life begins at the moment of conception, yet also object to pills which prevent conception. Thus, I am forced to believe that Catholics regard any prevention of conception to be an abortion. Thus, when you didn’t have sex with your girlfriend last night, she had an abortion.

That harlot.

Not surprisingly, people versed in “science,” or “magic,” as some theologians would have you believe, disagreed:

Several scientists and doctors said in interviews that this view did not reflect the way the birth control methods actually work. “There’s so much evidence for how these things work prior to fertilization,” said Diana L. Blithe, director of contraceptive development for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “And there’s no evidence that they work beyond fertilization.”

I, for one, do not find it terribly surprising that Catholic Bishops were ignoring evidence.

So just remember: every time you don’t have sex with your girlfriend or wife, you’re forcing her to have an abortion. And moreover, every time there’s an abortion, Jesus gets kicked in the nuts. So basically, if you’re not fucking right now, your girlfriend is a whore and you love to kick Jesus in the nuts.

How can you live with yourself?

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