Tuesday, December 31, 2013

God Help Us Every One.

     When I was a kid, I remember looking forward to staying up to watch the ball drop on Times Square and fireworks from where ever the three channels available to us would broadcast them from. Long before heartless corporate prick Dick Clark parlayed New Year's Eve into a second career, we'd inevitably hear Guy Lombado conducting "Auld Lang Syne" in his shiny tuxedo. Part of the excitement in staying up to watch the New Year's festivities as a kid was the sense of hope, not nearly unjustified, that the new year would be better than the last. Indeed, I'm old enough to remember the worst thing about New Year's was my father worrying whether he'll keep writing the old year on his checks.
     Then again, that was another time and, it seems, another country ago. New Year's and the bloated festivities surrounding it have become a money-making juggernaut like the equally bloated Super Bowl halftime show. I still remember Super Bowl 1 in 1966 and the halftime show consisting of Al Hirt playing his trumpet on a little wooden box. Most of the seats were empty as the Packers beat the Chiefs in a 35-10 blowout. The budget was so tight Pat Summerall and his co-announcer from NBC had to share a microphone.
     Nowadays, everything is monetized, everything that smells of exploitability is corporatized and we see corporately-generated celebrities and their likenesses bloated to cartoonish proportions on Jumbotrons and monitors on Times Square. And this is symptomatic of just how much corporations have come to own our sporting events, our government and our very country.
     This is why I don't even get into the spirit of New Year's any more. The corporate-coddling Obama will still be president tomorrow, the House GOP will still be in power and getting its way almost every time, the Koch Brothers will still be alive and pulling the strings from the shadowy catwalks and nothing will have changed.
     Granted, some good things happened in 2013. In the fall of 2010, only five states had gay marriage. By the end of this year, 18 will have it, with Utah and New Mexico being the newest to ratify marriage equality. Obama Care, diluted, watered down and corporate-friendly though it is, is still the law of the land despite nearly four dozen Republican attempts to defund, delay or repeal it.
     But I can't think of much else that happened either personally or nationally that's worked to anyone's benefit. The cruel, ignorant and stupid still rake in the money while those who want to work artificially lower the unemployment numbers by simply getting too discouraged to look for work. It seems once you've lost your job, and this goes especially if you remain unemployed for more than a few months, it's a virtual death sentence and you're unofficially deemed unemployable. And those who are still in the swim now have to consent to credit background checks despite being out of work for an extended period of time crushing whatever positive credit rating you've had.
     By tomorrow, we'll still be a nation of such skewed priorities we spend nearly ten times as much on defense as we do on education and think that's OK, despite the fact we have less and less to actually defend. Our Bill of Rights has been stripped from us or made so conditional it's tantamount to not having any rights. We can't feed the hungry, house the homeless, keep the environment clean, educate our children or repair our infrastructure. Remind me again why we spend more on defense than the next 20 nations combined (especially since 19 of them are allies)?
     By tomorrow, the police will still be the most heavily militarized on earth, ready to murder American citizens for little or no reason with near total impunity and will always more vociferously guard corporate interests over yours any day. Despite making up just 20% of the world's population, the United States will still lead the world in the number of prisoners per nation. This is largely because when states began handing out contracts to private prisons, they had minimum occupancy clauses written into these contracts, which led to harsher sentencing and minimum sentencing to people largely due to our utterly failed War on Drugs.
     By midnight, we'll still be in Afghanistan with no end in sight and liberals who railed against Bush's 2007 surge in Iraq are strangely OK with Obama ramping up our inexplicable and fruitless involvement in Afghanistan's affairs right after getting nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, a war now employing more war profiteers than military troops.
     Sure, the Dow is up to over 16,000, more than double over what it was on Inauguration Day 2009 but how exactly does that translate to good fortune to Main Street? Nearly 90% of the new wealth generated in the last five years was gobbled up by the 1% while the richest corporations still offshore jobs overseas, dodge taxes and hire low-paid temps while still crying about our Socialist president and paying the highest corporate income tax rate on earth.
     And people are actually seriously listening to these corporate cunts' caterwauling.
     By the time the ball drops on Times Square, we'll still be criminalizing civil disobedience that used to be guaranteed to us in the 1st Amendment, civil disobedience that was seen in the Occupy movement just a few blocks away from Times Square. Meanwhile, the nation's biggest criminals still have city police departments do their bidding for them even as they rob the Treasury of $64 billion worth of corporate subsidies every year and sit on a sea of cash totaling some $2 trillion (much of it coming from US taxpayers) as people are getting kicked off food stamps and out of their homes.
     By tomorrow, racist morons like Phil Robertson, Sarah Palin and Pat Buchanan can still look forward to getting even richer than they already are through book deals, TV shows and appearances and however else they can vacuum up money they plainly don't need simply because we allow their racism, stupidity and ignorance to look like legitimate or at worst, controversial, viewpoints.
     By tomorrow morning, we will have gotten even closer to the world of Idiocracy instead of merely representing its prequel. Newtown will be a more distant memory, 10,000 more children and adults will needlessly die from firearms while firearms CEOs lick their chops and rub their hands over the next major school shooting that will inevitably result in more gun and ammo sales by people who'd been quivering for five years now at the thought of Obama taking away all their guns.
     This country is utterly doomed barring some massive demonstration that will make the Kiev uprising last month look like a half-hearted Tea Bagger rally in Des Moines. But we're the most easily anesthetized nationality on earth and as long as we have our shiny Apple toys and $160 Air Jordans made by Third World slaves and Super Bowls every February with its bloated halftime shows featuring old hasbeens in no danger of showing their nipples, that national uprising will never happen. We take no advice and no warning from the lessons left to us by the twilight of the Roman Empire.
     I'll be drinking tonight just as I had when I was a young man. But this time I'll be drinking not only to forget the mostly hideous 2013 but to push from my mind the realization that 2014 will be worse in many, many ways.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Caturday Blogging

     Guys, I'm so sorry for the complete lack of posts since Christmas. I'm sure you can all appreciate what demands the silly season makes on us. And right now, my thoughts aren't on the political landscape of the here and now but 1888 Whitechapel. Last night, in a 4000+ word last gasp, I'd finally completed the first draft of Tatterdemalion, my epic novel spanning 244,000+ words and over 600 pages. I've been working on it since late February this year and I finally have a complete draft. I've already finished the reformatting and all the headaches real writers publishing real books with real publishers never have to worry about. Now begins the first rough revision before I upload it to Create Space and have them send me a physical copy I'll then use as my galley proof. Maybe I'm being audacious when I say this but even in this unpolished, vastly imperfect state I know that when I get done with this beauty (probably early spring), it'll be right up there with Caleb Carr's The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. Yeah, it's gonna be that good.
     Anyway, between the demands the novel's been making on my spare time, plus the headaches of license and registration renewal, car inspection and excise taxes hitting me all at once, plus battling AAA over them replacing a defective battery they refuse to do for free plus fighting hammer and tongs with the idiots at the Mass Health Connector trying to get a sit rep on my ObamaCare application that was made over two and a half months ago, life's been a bit thick. That's not to say I haven't been blogging, though.
     Because in fag ends of spare time, I've been chipping away at my Assclowns of the Year that, sadly won't come out early next month as I'd hoped because I've been so backed up. But there's still loads of new material in the can for you to enjoy once I upload it. Considering the various monetary gifts Mrs. JP and I have gotten this holiday season from a few kind-hearted folks, I feel like a fraud when these faithful readers surf into Pottersville and see nothing new. I will remedy that as soon as this book is finished and in the swim. And Tatterdemalion is some special kind of special. If you will indulge me when it's finally ready for sale on Kindle and Create Space and buy it, you'll see for yourself. An epic historical thriller such as this only comes around once or twice every generation and no one has challenged the brilliant Caleb Carr's mantle... until now.
     So this is it for now. It's back to work chopping and slashing like Saucy Old Jack as I try to trim the book down as far as I can. Until then, see you in the funny pages.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Xmas in Pottersville

     This is the first Xmas at my current residence in which we had a real-honest-to-God tree. I'm still peeling sap off my body.
     The stockings were hung over the... uh, gas heater with care...
     I spent last Christmas and New Year's totally alone, so having my baby back for the holidays, while it may sound like something out of a tears-in-your-beer Christmas song, makes this one especially sweet. 
     Nothing makes Mrs. JP smile like getting a Stevie Ray Vaughan DVD.
     She stood there for two and a half hours reading it before opening her next present. A true bibliophile.
     There's none of Popeye this year. I got him a plastic cane full of cat toys and I'd impregnated them with cat nip last night. By this morning, he was in an especially homicidal frenzy and was moving too fast.
     I'll be having the kids over later today then Mrs. JP and I will have our annual Christmas feast. Merry Xmas to all my readers, especially those who made this one the best one, yet. You know who you are.

It's a Blunderful Life

(Editor's note: When in doubt, bring back the classics, such as this gem from 2005. Enjoy and Happy Holidays.)

(CAMERA PULLS UP from the Failey ranch and travels up through the sky until it is above the falling snow and moving slowly toward a firmament full of stars. As the camera stops we hear the following voices talking, and as each voice is heard, one of the stars twinkles brightly.)

“I wouldn’t have gotten those six budget-busting tax breaks if it wasn’t for George Failey.”

“Conservative evangelicals wouldn’t be back on the map but for George Failey.”

“George Failey made it possible for the Gulf Coast to make a fresh start.”

“Thanks heavens George Failey woke up on 9/11 and attacked someone for it.”

Franklin: “Oh, shit. George Failey’s fucking up again.”
Joseph: “Looks like George needs a guardian angel.”
Franklin: “That wet-brained, coke-addled fuckup? He’d need a platoon of guardian angels, plus air support. Who do we have?”
Joseph: “With the Republicans about to lose their majority, all our guardian angels are booked up for the next twenty years. However…”
Franklin: “However…”?
Joseph: “Well, we just brought up Karl Odbody.”
Franklin: “Oh, sweet Jesus. He wouldn’t even be up here if Old Scratch didn’t start a work release program in Hades just to get rid of him. Still, if he’s all we got…”
Joseph: “‘Fraid so.”
Franklin: “Karl. Karl Odbody!”
Karl Odbody: “Yes, sir!”
Franklin: “What took you so long?”
Karl: “Sorry, sir. I was plant… er, finding a bug in my new office. I think JFK planted it.”
Joseph: “Look, never mind that. We have a mission for you. George Failey needs you. See him down there?”
Karl: “You mean the one who just fell off his kid’s tricycle?”
Franklin: “That’s the one.”
Karl: “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
Franklin: “No, we’re not. If anyone ever needed to be saved, it’s George Failey.”
Karl: (Jesus, every shit job that comes down the pike.) “Alright, I’ll give him some sympathy, maybe some therapy, zippity do-dah, and I’ll…”
Joseph: “No, Karl. Not this time. This one needs special attention.”
Franklin: “Actually, he has our attention because he has special needs. Now go down to earth and help out George.”
Karl: “Yes, sir.” (Fucking assholes. How about asking me to win the mid-term elections for the Republicans, while you’re at it?)
Joseph: “Now, hold on, Karl. If you’re going to save this bird, you might as well know something about him. Pull up a cloud and sit down…”

This is George Failey as a boy, the oldest of the four Failey brothers. Even then, George had big ambitions.

“I wish I had a million bazillion dollars, plus stock options… Hot dog!”

This is George Failey all grown up (Well, technically) the day his inheritance kicked in. His Dad runs the Building and Loan in Dedford Falls. George has bigger dreams and ambitions than ever and wants to build things all over the country, like oil derricks and refineries. Then again, George also wants to be an spaceman and a rodeo clown. George is about to go on a world-wide fishing trip.

George: “I once caught a perch this big, even though the looters in New Orleans were scaring away the fish.”

George never had to worry about working a day in his life because Dad ran the Building and Loan and was helped by Cousin DeLay, Cousin Hughes and his brother Paul. When George, Jr. got in trouble, Dad always bailed him out to make sure he kept his record clean in case he had to take over the family dynasty

George is a child of privilege and as a consequence he’s easily bored and distracted. George never found out what he wants in life except for scotch and pretzels. Still, even though George has blundered from one failed enterprise to another, you gotta give him credit for never giving up. And Pop Failey, ever the supportive, loving parent, always indulged him.

Ma Failey: “Don’t you think you ought to go upstairs and tell them to do that Yale hazing ritual more quietly?”
Pa Failey: “Oh, let them alone. I wish I was up there with them. “
(off camera) “No, not the coat hanger! (Ssssss!) Agh! It burns, it burns!!” (George and Jeb laugh.)
Ma Failey: (chuckling) “Boys will be boys. And these hazing skills may serve him in good stead later on in life…”

When people needed homes built and rebuilt, they went to Pop Failey’s Building and Loan. It was a wonderful arrangement: Mr. Richard Potter would knock down their homes citing pre-emptive reasons and management change and the Faileys would loan people the money to rebuild. Their clients include the citizens of Iraq and New Orleans.

But there was a reason why George was never permitted to run the Building and Loan. You see, George is a fuckup especially when it comes to money. We have it on good authority that his mother’s umbilical cord was wrapped too tightly around his neck. George’s business endeavors, even though he was bailed out by Pop Failey, James R. Bath and others, lost a bit of money over the years.

Cousin DeLay: “This is the last two dollars that the Building and Loan has, George.”
Failey: “OK, guysh. Go ahead and make babies… Hey, waitaminnit. These dollar bills are the same. They can’t have babies. That would be like gay marriage.”
Cousin Hughes: “Burn them!”
Failey: “You’re right, Karen. Tom, gimme a match… Uncle Paul, refill my glassh...”

Still, despite all his blunders, George is a kind-hearted slob and is always willing to help the people of Dedford Falls when they were in need. Here’s George helping out Violent Bicker, the town gossip:

George: “I know you want to write nasty shit about our enemies so here’s a list of people that you can call gay in your next book…”
Violent Bicker: “Hm. Bill Clinton, Al Gore… I like how you think, George. This will have to do. Boy, you call for the deaths of a Supreme Court Justice, one lousy ex-President and a billion or so unconverted Muslims and you never hear the end of it. If you were President, George, we wouldn‘t have to cower like this.”
George: “Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have to see if Potter and his goon leaked that stuff about Valerie Plame to Bob Novak…”

George was always sweet on both Violent Bicker and Laura Welch ever since childhood. But his heart always belonged to Laura, the town librarian.

Laura was a heartless cocktease who drove George into a jealous rage by pretending to romance their old childhood friend James R. Bath. After his brief Texas Air National Guard stint, James had made his fortune in petroleum during the war and was wooing the town librarian all way from New York City.

Laura: “Oh, James, I love it when you say Hee Haw!”
George: “What?! Is he bragging about the size of his cock, again?!”
Laura: “Oh, maybe. Nobody, James. That was just George.”

Then one day, as George was about to go on his world-wide fishing trip, tragedy struck…

Building & Loan Officer: “George, bad news. It’s your father…”
Failey: “Oh my God. Is he dead?”
Officer: “No, worse. He got voted out by the board. We kept telling him, ‘It‘s the books, Stupid’.”
George: “But I’m gonna shake the dust of this miserable town off the soles of my shoes. I wanna build things, drill in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe become a cowboy or an astronaut or maybe a pirate.”
Officer: “George, the board won’t sell the Building and Loan to Potter on one condition and that’s if you stay on as the chief executive.”
George: “But I don’t wanna be in charge, to be responsible and shit. Figgerin’ out ways to save money on a length of oil pipeline so I can give annual tax breaks to the rich. Go elect my brother Neil, he’s your man…”
Officer: “He’s busy trying to get his tie out of the shredder at the Savings & Loan. Besides, George, the board’s already decided: With your father gone, if you don’t take over, Potter will.”
George: “What’s the difference?”
Officer: “I… Well, I don’t know, George.”

George gamely tried to run the Building and Loan with Cousin DeLay’s, Cousin Hughes’ and Uncle Paul’s help but none of them were Old Man Failey. George was the biggest fuckup of them all. Still, with the steady income, George persevered and married Laura Welch and they soon raised a family.

Man in crowd: “George, we demand to know how our money’s being spent. Where is it?”
George: “You're thinking of this place all wrong. As if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Trent's house... right next to Ahmed’s. And in that children’s cancer hospital in Basra, and the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, on terror and a hundred others. There’s cost drivers, tax deferments, interest rates, all sorts of economic stuff…”
Crowd: “Huh?!” “What the fuck are you talking about, George?”
George: “My head hurts. I don’t like being in charge…”

Karl: “What happened then?”
Joseph: “Well, Karl, in no time flat George lost $317,000,000 of the Building and Loan’s money. He had to crawl to his old nemesis Mr. Dick Potter for help.”

George: “And another thing, you warped, frustrated old man: The middle-class and poor people of Dedford Falls do most of the suffering, living and dying here in town. I, for one, don’t wanna be one of them. The Building and Loan sucks. It gives me headaches.”
Potter: “George, I want you to work for me. I’ll start you off at, oh, $400,000 a year. I’ll make you my junior partner and President of Contract Procurements here at Halliburton.”

George: “Deal! Sorry, people. Opportunities like this don‘t come a’knockin’ every day!”

But George’s fortunes were soon reversed. When Mr. Potter displaced over a million Iraqis in another pre-emptive war, the Building and Loan was instructed to rush almost nine billion dollars for Iraq’s reconstruction on Christmas Eve.

Karl: “So, what happened?”
Joseph: “George fucked up yet again by trusting Uncle Paul with the money. Watch what happened earlier today.”

Uncle Paul: “Well, it looks like our little war is going splendidly, Mr. Potter. Shame about New Orleans, though.”
Potter: “Humph. They can go fuck themselves. It’s their fault for being poor.”
Uncle Paul (wrapping up check for 8.8 billion dollars in newspaper and handing it to Potter.) “Well, you can’t keep those Faileys down.”
Potter: “Well, they make convenient figureheads from time to time.”

(Uncle Paul walks to the teller, hands him a deposit slip sans cash.)

(Potter opens the paper and finds the 8.8 billion and instructs his goon to wheel him into his office. He peers out the door and watches.)

Teller: “Aren’t you forgetting something, Paul?”
Paul: “Huh?”

Joseph: “Back at the Building and Loan, things got tense between George and Paul.”

George: “What did you do with that nine billion dollars, you stupid cocksucker? Do you know what this means? An inquiry or two from the back pages of the liberal media, left wing bloggers impotently screaming bloody murder! How am I going to blame this on Bill Clinton?”
Paul: “George, there’s only a certain amount of financial transparency that you can expect.”
George: “You’re right. But Fitzgerald the bank examiner is coming any minute now to check the books. So, think! Where’s the money, you dumb fuck?!”
Paul: “I don’t know. I can’t think anymore! My head hurts!”
George: “That’s my line.”

Richard B. Potter: “So, Failey, you lost $8,800,000,000 and you come crawling to me again for help. Do you have any security, stocks, bonds?”
George: “Well, I have these stock options from Arbusto and Harken Energy…”
Potter: (sputtering) “Wha…? Those are the companies you bankrupted, Shit for Brains! And, besides, these aren’t even real. You drew them in crayon! They’re more worthless than you! What else have you got?”
Failey: “Well, nothing.”
Potter: “You used to be so cocky. You were going to take on the world. You once called me a ‘warped, frustrated old man.’ Look at you, now, a warped, frustrated slightly younger man.”
Failey: “But, Mr. Potter, I’m desperate.”
Potter: “Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do for you, George. I’m going to swear…
Failey: “Swear out a warrant for my arrest?”
Potter: “No, I’m going to swear at you, first. Go fuck yourself! Also, I’m going to call your father and make myself your Vice President at the Building and Loan. We‘ll get you out of this latest mess.”
Failey: “Oh, thank you, Mr. Potter! I never would’ve thought of that on my own!”
Potter: “Fuck you.”
Failey: “Merry Christmas to you, too, sir!”
Potter: (picks up phone) “Hello, Failey? This is Potter…”

But George was still worried about Fitzgerald and having the law brought down on him. George made the mistake of climbing into his car with a bottle of Jim Beam and a bag of Rold Gold pretzels. He asphyxiated and crashed his car against a tree and staggered to the bridge.

Karl: “Oh, no. Is he thinking of throwing away God’s greatest gift?”
Joseph: “No, Karl. The fish are jumping tonight. It’s how George deals with stress when things get hectic. This is where you come in. So go down to earth and spend an hour with him, Karl, and you’ll get your black leather wings.”
Karl: “Yes, sir!” (Exits)

George: “Who are you, little guy?”
Karl: “I’m Karl Odbody. I’m your guardian angel.”
George: “You look like the sort of guardian angel I’d get. What’s that book you’re holding?”
Karl: “Oh, just something I carry with me to read when I’m on the road. You should read the new book that Lee Atwater’s writing now.”
George: “So, how are you gonna save me, Karl? You got nine billion dollars?”
Karl: “(Chuckles) Tut tut. No, George, I’m going to give you a great gift: You’re going to find out what the world would be like if you were President.”
George: “But I don’t wanna be President!”
Karl: “Think about it, George: No worries – no obligations – no eight billion dollars to get – nobody looking for you with the Special Prosecutor...”
(The clean white snow is suddenly replaced with a gray, frozen soot. Smoke stacks, oil wells and refineries dot the once-pristine country landscape.)
George: “Where’d all that come from?”
Karl: “From you, George! You built these!”
George: “No, I didn’t! I only wanted to build those beautiful things.”
Karl: “Well, you did build them, George. You’ve been president for six years!”
George: “But I’ve been telling’ ever’body that I don’t wanna be in charge!”

Karl: (Shit, this is harder than I thought. This clown’s lazier than a dead sloth.) “George, if you don’t become President… (What, Joseph? Did He actually say that? You really think he’s stupid enough to fall for that? OK.) George, God wants you to be president. He just told me so Himself.”
George: “Really?! But… why me?”
Karl: “God only knows, George, so you’ll have to ask Him.”
George: “My head hurts with all this thinking’. You want a drink? Let’s go to Martini’s.”
(George and Karl walk to Martini’s and George notices that the car wreck is gone.)
George: “Hey, where’s my car? I crashed it in this tree!”
Karl: “Your car’s not here, anymore, George, because you’re the President and you have an army of people to cover for you. The wreck’s already in a chop shop and the crash has been blamed on Bill Clinton.”
George: “Cool! All that remains to be done now is to go to my Dad’s house and pick a fight with him.”
Karl: “You have better things to do, George. You’re the President, now.”
George: “What’s that sign say? It says Po-o-t… Poh…”
Karl: “It says Pottersville, George. This isn’t Dedford Falls anymore because you’re the President!”
George: “Dedford Falls is Pottersville, now?”
Karl: “No, George, the entire country is Pottersville, population 300,000,000. Here, take a look at this edition of the Drudge Report:”

(Karl Odbody and George walk into Martini’s. George immediately sees a difference. Fox News is blaring from a TV in the corner. On it, Bill O’Reilly was yelling above a banner headline that said, “Nine More Lives Claimed in Liberal Jihad on Christmas.” A fat black man plays the piano and it’s Ruben Studdard. Two gay men walk in after Karl and George and ask Nick the bartender if they can use the bathroom.)

Nick: “Out you two pixies go! Through the door or out the window!” (Nick physically throws both gay men out a window.)
Karl: “How do you like the new America, now, George?”
George: “I like it! I’ve always wanted to incinerate those Nancy boys.”
Karl: “You’ll see a lot of things that you’ll like, George. The Constitution doesn’t exist, anymore, and neither does the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Convention and even the Magna Carta.”
George: (Trying to comprehend what Karl’s saying but sadly has never heard of any of those documents.) “Wow.”
Karl: “There’s no longer such a thing as accountability or conflict of interest because Republicans can do no wrong! We now dominate all three branches of government, plus the media. And it’s all possible because of Mr. Potter’s vision of the unitary executive.”
George: “Uni… Huh?”
Karl: (Sigh) “ ‘Unitary executive’. In other words, you’re a dictator.”
George: “I like the sound of that! As long as I get to be the Dictator!”
Karl: “Maybe you’d better stick with a more PC term, like ‘the Decider’, for instance. We still haven’t completely won over the hearts and minds of the wacko liberal fringe that’s taken over 70% of the country. Now go on home, George. You have a surprise waiting for you. Here, take this book. You'll need it.”
George: “Thanks, Karl. And Merry Christmas!”

(George runs through what is once again Dedford Falls. The smokestacks are gone, as are the refineries and oil rigs.)
George: “Merry Christmas, you piece of shit Building and Loan! God’s gonna make me Preznit!” (George runs into his ranch house where he’s greeted by dozens of people.)

George: “Laura, you have no idea what’s happened to me! I just found out what the nation would be like if I was President and I like it! And the best part is, God wants me to be President!”
Laura: “So does everyone else, George! That’s why people are bringing in baskets and baskets of campaign contributions! And Matt Drudge is here! It’s a Christmas miracle, George!”
Fitzgerald: “Mr. Failey, I’m Patrick Fitzgerald, the bank examiner. There’s a matter of the missing 8.8 billion dollars…”
Failey: “To quote my Vice President, go fuck yourself, Mr. Bank Examiner. I’m gonna be the Preznit and you can’t do anything about anything!”
Drudge: “Don’t worry, Mr. Failey. I’ll write an expose about him and his gay lover.”
Laura: “What’s that book you’re holding, George?”
George: “Something from a dear friend.”

Condi the Maid: “I've been saving this money for a divorce, if ever I get a husband.”
(bell rings)
Barb: “Teacher says every time a bell rings, a poor black person gets their wings!”
(Everyone laughs. Fade to black. The End.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jingoist Rock

Jingoists, Jingoists, KKK hoods
Jingoists swing their Jingoist bats
Snowjobs, and blowing up Planned Parenthoods
Now the Jingoist pointy hats.

Jingoists, Jingoists, Jingoist tools
Jingoists mansplain like Banshees in pain
Dancing and prancing like racist fools
As they’re put on the air.

What a white time, it's the right time
To lock your rights away
Anytime is a swell time
To hunt gays for us to slay.

Giddy up, Robertson, embarrass your clan.
You shouldn’t be sucking cock.
Mix in some racism if you can
Cracker Barrel’s keeping you in stock.

(Dingbats, Dingbats, yeah, Dingbats, Dingbats, Dingbats, Dingbats, Dingbats, Dingbats)

Santa Claus. Jesus Christ. They were both white
In your heart you know Megyn is right.
Burning our crosses in public Squares
In the smoky air.

What a white time, it's the right time
To lock your rights away.
Your vagina is all mine-a
To do exactly with as I say.

Paula Deen. Paula Deen, pick up the South.
Put blacks in their place.
You’d better think twice before you open your mouth.
‘Cuz the Senate did, ‘Cuz the Senate did reauthorize the NDAA.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ducking the Truth: The Real American Dynasty

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
     "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men." - Phil Robertson, GQ
     "Free speech is an endangered species: Those 'intolerants' hatin' & taking on Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing personal opinion take on us all." -Sarah Palin from her Mooselini Twitter balcony

     There are many things that do not subscribe to common sense in the Phil Robertson storm raging across the internet. The first that comes to mind is why A&E, a cable channel that's quickly acquiring a reputation for putting out some of the best shows on television, would want to shovel boatloads of money at the boots of a man who'd already made millions with his patented kazoo, a man who makes Jed Clampett look like Cary Grant by conspicuous relief. Another is what A&E's executives were thinking in putting a bunch of hillbillies on their network when it was obvious that they'd eventually say something stupid and embarrass the network. The only wonder is that it took four years for this to happen.
     Another question is why ignorant right wingers and fellow hillbillies like Sarah Palin are screaming about the First Amendment as if that's some guarantee of getting a reality show and how a Constitutional amendment somehow applies to a network (i.e. part of the Free Market) when all it does is safeguard individual rights from the overreach of government.
     Another is why freedom of speech is so important in Phil Robertson's case and not Phil Donahue's or Dan Rather's or the Dixie Chicks or Linda Ronstadt or Martin Bashir or... Well, you get the idea.
     In the cases of the abovementioned, all these people did was speak truth to power. Back in 2003, Phil Donahue had his highly-rated MSNBC (You know, the "liberal network") show pulled off the air ten years ago for criticizing the Iraq war and the Bush administration's constantly-shifting rationales for it. Dan Rather was essentially forced to resign from his chair hosting the CBS Evening News for a 60 Minutes II segment the following year for simply telling the truth about George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service because they didn't vet 100% of the documentation. In fact, the fallout over that flap was so all-pervasive, four producers lost their jobs and 60 Minutes II was immediately cancelled despite respectable ratings. In fact, it salted much of CBS's earth because of the furious pushback from a few partisan right wing bloggers.
     Linda Ronstadt's career took a nosedive when she inveighed against Bush during a show in Las Vegas when she lauded Michael Moore's new movie Fahrenheit 911, a movie that had set box office records for its genre. She was not only booed off the stage, she was booted from the casino. Ronstadt's only mistake was in overestimating the liberal sensibilities of your typical nightclub audience, an entertainment demographic that's notoriously conservative and completely out-of-touch. In fact, news reports at the time said,
Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air. Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, decided Ronstadt, who was booked to play only one show at the venue, had to go -- for good. Timmins said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite and she was escorted off the property.
     All for telling people to go see a movie.
     The Dixie Chicks can tell you all about the right wing's sanctity of free speech. Nearly 11 years ago, Natalie Maines also took a moment from their set list in London, England to say, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” Does that not qualify as an opinion as much as Phil Robertson's ignorant dismissal of gayness and likening it to bestiality?
     The Dixie Chicks had to wait a decade for their careers to recover and all over criticizing a war and a "president" that hardly anyone who doesn't paint murals with their feces still defends. CD's were burned and there many war-crazed Americans who would've loved to have burned the women who made them and not in effigy.
     To cite a more recent example, there was the coerced "resignation" of Martin Bashir, who suggested someone should shit in Sarah Palin's mouth on account of the woman's obvious idiocy. As with Phil Donahue a decade ago, the "liberal" MSNBC flew into a corporate rage over his comments and, after a meeting with the same Phil Griffin who'd suspended Keith Olbermann three years ago for making two minor contributions to Democratic campaigns without disclosure, Bashir effectively "resigned."

Those Who Wear Camou Suits and Have Camou Wallpaper Should Stay Hidden

     It goes without saying that Bashir, the Dixie Chicks, Dan Rather and Phil Donahue have already been vindicated by history and posterity. Sarah Palin is indisputably an idiot and a failure in every professional aspect. The war in Iraq was unjust and we'd spent or will spend nearly $4 trillion on a war that bought us nearly 4500 coffins and the execution of a single tin pot dictator. George Bush did go AWOL from his Texas Air National Guard champagne flight and wound up, for reasons that haven't been fully explained to us, in Alabama, of all places. Phil Donahue was also justly critical of the war in Iraq. These people told the truth or expressed opinions that are no less valid, to say the very least, than those made by an ignorant redneck likening homosexuality to bestiality.
     Now let's look beyond the irony of a hillbilly like Phil Robertson appearing in a magazine named Gentleman's Quarterly or of him inveighing against gay sex after making a fortune inventing and patenting something for other men to put in their mouths and look to the larger issue, one that's even larger than the rabid right wing's breathtaking hypocrisy in apportioning First Amendment rights only for those who echo their ignorant prejudices and biases.
     It wasn't too long ago that Lara Logan flushed down the toilet whatever credibility she may've built up over the last decade as a war correspondent by taking part in what cannot even be called bad reporting but an outright hoax in 60 Minutes' take on the Benghazi attack. Essentially, Logan and the show's producers had willingly Curveballed themselves out of relevance and respectability by taking the word of a con artist who claimed to be there at the Benghazi embassy and even conned his way into a book deal that was later rescinded when the guy's story fell apart. Yet, 60 Minutes is still on the air, Lara Logan still has her job and the Benghazi hoax has been virtually forgotten despite it being one of the most shamelessly incompetent pieces of journalism in the world this year.
     Time after time, we liberals are comforted by one survey and poll after another telling us that America is leaning more and more from the right wing regressive side of the political spectrum and to the progressive side. Yet our standards and tolerance for outright bullshit tells a different tale as right wing talking points and outright fabrications are troweled out on a daily basis virtually unchallenged (such as ObamaCare's failure when it still hasn't been officially implemented and Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi).
     Those of us in the know knew way back when when the purges began 10 or 11 years ago that Rather, Donahue, the Dixie Chicks and Ronstadt were right. But the rest of us were whipped into a pro-war hysteria that simply wouldn't tolerate a dissenting opinion that's guaranteed to us in the same First Amendment that's now being touted as an example of why we ought to allow Robertson to spew what are obviously falsehoods. Again, A&E shouldn't be shocked about Robertson's pronouncements. After all, he's the patriarch of a family that looks like an inbred Appalachian cult and his Bible-banging pretensions are pretty typical for the Bible Belt.
     So we've become a nation where gun nuts congregate at Starbuck's with our AR15's strapped to our backs, choke down Chik-Fil-A sandwiches and Freedom Fries, do our Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby and cook Barilla pasta because the people who own and run these corporations echoed our pet prejudices and artificially gave us consensus. It doesn't matter to them that yesterday Utah got same sex marriage and the day before New Mexico did, making 18 states with marriage equality. It doesn't matter to these people that others who inveigh against the LGBT community aren't merely un-PC but hateful and prejudiced. It doesn't matter to them that just because Phil Robertson didn't see examples of racial prejudice in the 60's that it didn't exist. And it doesn't matter to these mouth-foamers that it's not free speech that's un-PC and no longer tolerated but outright lies and bigotry.
     Again, if Martin Bashir or David Letterman say something critical about one neolithically stupid woman, it's off with their heads. But if Rush Limbaugh consistently makes misogynistic and demeaning comments about all women, calling one "a slut", that's his right as a Republican white male.
     As long as our worst fears and bigotries are amplified in an echo chamber, there will always be a large segment of us who will insist on freedom of speech while screaming their fool heads off to figuratively or literally axe those who challenge those prejudices or speak inconvenient truths. We need to be lied to because the reality of our nation, that many of us still hate African Americans and gay people and that the pre-Civil Rights America wasn't just hunky dory, is still too horrible to confront.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is This "War on Women" of Which You Speak, Stranger?

     The National Socialist Party Republican Party of Michigan became the latest state to pass a rape insurance bill into law. And it doesn't even make exemptions for rape victims, one of the reasons why Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar, earlier bill.
     And Republicans still laughably try to claim there's no war on women, which was sort of the rationale we used to kill two million Vietnamese in the 60's and 70's. "War? What war? We didn't officially declare war on Vietnam."
     The GOP has advanced women's rights about as much as Jack the Ripper. And even Jack had the sense to stop while he was ahead. Piss on these misogynistic, fascist motherfuckers.

Technical Announcement

(From the man behind the curtain to whom nobody, indeed, pays any attention.)
     The comment settings have been set back to where they were before so that now anyone can comment, which should make Constant Reader Comrade Rutherford happy. Hopefully, the spambots will have learned their lesson and have moved on to other pastures.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The War on Christmas

     Yes, it's that time of year again when the silly season gets even sillier when right-thinking Christians impose on the rest of us how we ought to be spending a pagan holiday. Such as the above gift idea for that gun-clutching relative every family has and pretends to tolerate every Christmas. And what better way to silence blasphemous liberal tongues calling for background checks and national registries than to figuratively shoot their tongues off with these semi-auto ice cubes? Imagine the looks on your liberal relatives' faces when they look into their drinks and see this baby bobbing up and down like a murder weapon that just won't go away! To quote Emeril, "Can I freshen your drink? Bam, Bam!"

     Continuing our theme of NRA-themed holiday gifts, how about this fabulous Millennial clock from the official NRA store that features not only the time and 2nd Amendment but also conceals a small- to medium-sized handgun? Not only does this fine, furniture-grade accessory conceal weapons and tell the time, the built-in alarm even chimes every time a militia group announces a coup against the government, which is about 12 times a day.

     Moving on, when having 33 rounds in a ridiculously extended clip just isn't enough, there's this baby...
     ...in case you still can't hit your target from point blank to medium-range 33 times in a row and need to get even closer for that eye-to-eye debate with anyone who even just looks at you funny, as they likely will after you miss them with 33 shots in a row. Yes, that is a mini bayonet for a Glock 9mm handgun. Now, finally, good guys with guns may actually do some damage when they throw their empty gun at someone!

     As proof that we haven't even come close to peak oil, there's this Tim Taylor-inspired monstrosity to consider for the back yard chef of the family: A 345 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine-powered grill wrapped up in 330 feet of stainless steel. With the V-8 engine, you can get about 30 hot dogs per gallon and the nearly 350 ponies will flash-fry a herd of buffalo in three minutes flat. Yes, the tyranny of clean-burning propane's now a thing of the past, guys. Who cares about the exhaust and what's a little global warming among friends, right?

     Who coined the phrase, "No pain, no gain"? 
      Now, thanks to fine retailers like this one, one can sport tough-looking tattoos without actually experiencing the pain of getting them. For less than $7.50 an arm, you, too, can look like you belong to a South Central LA street gang or survived multiple prison shower rapes. Perfect for that conservative brother or son in law who wants to look bad-ass yet just can't seem to get over that childhood fear of needles.

     In case you're averse to Black Friday or going to the mall, there's always eBay. And as long as there's eBay, why not get something else for that Obama-hating conspiracy theorist in the family such as these skeet-shooting Obama targets?

     And, just in case you have an Obama-hater in the family but one who's passive-aggressive, there's this Obama Urinal target also for sale on eBay for less than two and a half bucks!

     What would Christmas be without having a spirited debate about inert bundles of cells with your church lady aunt? She can now win any abortion debate at the dinner table simply by hanging this grotesque, heavily-veined ornament of a fetus too young to enjoy Christmas. Yes, it's part of the Pro-Life Crusader Christmas Tree Ornament line! And we all know the original definition of the word crusader don't we? "Adopt my extremist Christian views, heathen, or I will turn you into a rotting corpse." Amen!

     Got a misguided, lib'ral-minded youngster in the house? Then give the adorable but ideologically-crippled little tyke this really big Ted Cruz coloring book from Really Big Coloring Books! Yes, this masterpiece of children's literature joins "Rapey" Rush Limbaugh's factual historical account of the talking horses and cell phones of the American Revolution by indoctrinating edumacating impressionable minds about the evils of ObamaCare. Yes, in this "non partisan" coloring book, Tailgunner Ted and his shiny super suit reminds our nation's future that America is a Christian nation, that providing health care to those who want it is bad business and that ObamaCare is the greatest scourge since... well, since ever! (The first 1000 who order will get a box of free crayons. Unfortunately, they're all white and flesh tone.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grumpy Cat Sez, Pt 2

Grumpy Cat Sez...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Phoning it in Again

     This also happens to be my Twitter avatar for the rest of the year, although I must say I've been a bit more productive than this incarnation of Santa Claus. You'll make my nice list if you mail this to Megyn Kelly at Fox.
     Anyway, with Scott Carson, Buffalo Bull, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and Arthur Conan-Doyle chasing down Jack the Ripper throughout the East End of London in the denouement of Tatterdemalion, plus doing the usual Christmas thing and keeping the household running, there's been no time for real-time blogging (although I've got the annual bizarre Christmas present post in the can plus I've been chipping away at Assclowns of the Year #3). So please accept this substitute for actual political/social commentary.

     A suggestion for guys planning on having Christmas sex: Take off the ribbon first. Your lover will appreciate it later.

@EWDolan Megyn Kelly doubles down on ‘white Santa ’: I did it for the kids.* *Psst. The white ones.

Next I expect to hear Fox airhead Megyn Kelly try to claim Jesus was born not in Bethlehem but Grosse Point, Michigan. #RWNJs #p21 #p2 #tlot

 #PraytoEndAbortion because Paul Ryan can't cut food stamps for a dead fetus.

     Drone kills 15 in Yemen on way to a wedding. Obama administrations says, "They were probably wedding crashers."

     #embracethesuck and let's replace Alan Grayson with Allen West since that worked out so well last time.

     Is sending a fruitcake to a #Republican at Xmas passive/aggressive?

     With the #GOP threatening to cut SNAP again, cancer research funding & cutting UI, I can see them charging us for the coal in our stockings.

     Instead of his uncle, maybe Kim Jong Un should've executed his barber, tailor and fitness trainer. #justsaying #toosoon?

     #PraytoEndAbortion I'm praying to end the abortion that's known as the 113th Congress. Does that count?

     Look at old films from 70, 80, 90, 100 years ago. You'll never see an obese person. Ever. Nowadays, even our ferrets are fat.

     always struck me as Jimmy Fallon's stupider, pudgier, more evil older brother.

     Maybe that's why Texas hasn't seceded. If they do, they'll automatically qualify as a Third World country.

      I wonder how many redneck Aryan types are following because they think it's a White Supremacy kegger?

     's new "update" with the semi-covers looks like half-assed censorship. Who heads up their Engineering Dept? The American Tourister gorilla?

     Santa Claus is the one guy on the planet who works fewer days a year than Congress.

     : "Oh, you don't want to follow these idiots? How about this guy if I recommend him to you three simultaneous times?" #FuckTwitter

     Every time Sandy Rios opens her mouth, someone should light a match afterwards. The woman has flatulence of the intellect.

     Gals, banishing a guy to the #friendzone is like promising him a five course dinner at the Four Seasons then dumping him off at Denny's.

     Michael Jackson's doctor. #ThingsMoreUsefulthanthe113thCongress

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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