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.

Advertisements

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!

The Bristol Club: Don’t You Forget About Me

In an effort to maintain her now expired 15 minutes, Bristol Palin will star in a reality television series on Lifetime later this year. If you’re curious as to what qualifies Bristol to discuss reality (or represent it), you are not alone, my friend!

Apparently, the show, entitled “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” will focus on Bristol’s attempts to raise a child that we all know will turn out to be a maladjusted famewhore. Just like the rest of the people who grew up in Alaska.

I kid, I kid.

It’s interesting, however, to note that Bristol has found some sort of media activity each year to keep her star from tarnishing; 2012 will see a reality show, last year saw a memoir, and the year before that she danced with the stars. What possibilities await us in 2013? Here are my predictions.

  • Abstinence-only sex tape
  • Boone’s Farm endorsement deal
  • Methamphetamine scandal
  • Celebrity marriage to Lindsay Lohan (now legal in seven states!)
  • MTV “Journalism” job
  • Waiting tables at the Mat-Su Resort
  • Appearance on “Hell’s Kitchen”
  • A starring role as Titania in the Valley Performing Arts production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • A substitute teaching gig at Wasilla High School that will provide the basis for an action thriller starring John Cena, Chris Benoit, Jason Statham, and various retired porn actresses
  • Another reality series, this one based on her entrance into politics.  Look out, Parnell–Bristol’s coming for your seemingly endless governorship!

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.

Finally, Universities Will Stop Discriminating Against White People

Yes, the long years of discrimination against white people in higher education may be coming to an end as the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear an affirmative action case. The case could have far-reaching implications for the future of education:

Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action said they saw the announcement — and the change in the court’s makeup since 2003 — as a signal that the court’s five more conservative members might be prepared to do away with racial preferences in higher education.

The consequences of such a decision would be striking. It would, all sides agree, reduce the number of African-American and Latino students at nearly every selective college and graduate school, with more Asian-American and white students gaining entrance instead.

At last, white people and Asians will be allowed into college. Believe me, if you’ve ever walked around the campus of a certain unnamed elite university in Boston (well, not in Boston, but nearby–no, not Tufts) then you know how difficult it is to spot white people or Asians. Diversity shall return at last!

This case originated in Texas (the cradle of American civilization), where a disappointed white girl couldn’t get into UT. Apparently, Texas reserves spaces for the top 10% of the high school graduating classes at their public universities; it’s a race-neutral policy that theoretically has the effect of providing diversity because Texas communities are relatively homogenous. Alas, poor Muffy–excuse me, Abigail (so much better!)–Fisher did not make the cut. And so she went into the general population, where apparently her white heritage did not give her the advantage that she thought she deserved:

Ms. Fisher’s argument is that Texas cannot have it both ways. Having implemented a race-neutral program to increase minority admissions, she says, Texas may not supplement it with a race-conscious one. Texas officials said the additional effort was needed to make sure that individual classrooms contained a “critical mass” of minority students.

I would argue that Ms. Fisher is confused (which is not surprising, since she was not in the top 10% of her class) as to the nature of the policies; because one has the concomitant benefit of racial diversity does not in fact make it a policy of affirmative action.

Not surprisingly, conservatives are happy to hear that decades of disenfranchisement and systemic social inequalities will possibly be eliminated from consideration in the admissions process:

“Any form of discrimination, whether it’s for or against, is wrong,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who added that his daughter was applying to college. “The idea that she might be discriminated against and not be admitted because of her race is incredible to me.”

Yes, no doubt Hans von Spakovsky’s precious little snowflake was in immediate danger of losing her spot at an elite American university because of her race.

It’s unlikely that the Supreme Court will uphold the federal court’s decision, which means that affirmative action in college admissions is likely to be severely weakened, if not altogether eradicated.

I just hope that the decision comes in time to protect Hans von Spakovsky’s daughter. Poor girl–settling for a safety school like Brown or Cornell would be so hard on her!

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.

Blog at WordPress.com.