Archive for the ‘irrelevant’ Category

Word on the street is that former President Bush is currently writing a book about “…the environment in which [he] was making decisions.”

Does a cocaine-and-booze-induced haze count as an “environment”?

And wouldn’t it be just ironic if the publisher went bankrupt before he could finish it?

John McCain seems to have lost his tenuous grip on reality. Take, for instance, his recent comments on the stimulus package:

“I do say, in all candor, that it was a bad beginning,” McCain said about the way the stimulus passed without support from Republicans. “It was a bad beginning because it wasn’t what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together.”

“Look, I appreciate the fact that the president came over and talked to Republicans,” he added. “That’s not how you negotiate a result. You sit down together in a room with competing proposals. Almost all of our proposals went down on a party line vote.”

How’s that again? The president talked to Republicans, but that’s not negotiation?  The mind boggles at the notion of McCain talking to international leaders.  What he really means is that Obama didn’t completely cave in to the Republicans, so they took their shriveled, dried-up, useless balls and went home.  The real reason the package vote went along party lines isn’t because the President didn’t include some Republican ideas; it’s because he didn’t include ONLY Republican ideas. Un-fucking-believable. After eight years of the Republican “my way or the highway” style of bipartisanship, they’re still trying to say that bipartisanship is doing what they say.

Nearly 40% of the stimulus package is composed of tax cuts, the only economic concept Republicans both understand and will vote for.  I suppose the real problem with it is that the bulk of the cuts go to the middle class, who genuinely need it, instead of the wealthy and powerful, who don’t.

And the idea of the Republicans, the party who for eight years gave us trillion-dollar deficits, skyrocketing national debt, an unnecessary and illegal war, the national and international embarassment of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other overseas torture chambers, and economic and social policies that have bankrupted the nation, are now the arbiters of morality and fiscal responsibility, is beyond ridiculous.  These people are lucky to have the Congressional seats they currently hold.  They should be put on a pedestal – so we can all throw rocks at them until they fall off.

Last year at this time I posted a piece about why I didn’t watch the Super Bowl then, and why football and in fact all sports are pretty much irrelevant.  In case you haven’t read it, here it is.

Since no one argued with me then, I’ll assume I was correct at the time.  I’ll also assume I’m just as on-target this year.

A few weeks ago, just before the inauguration of our 44th president and the first black man to be elected chief executive of this great nation, I overheard someone complaining about all the money the networks and the government were spending covering the event.  Unable to stop myself, I interjected into the conversation.  Here’s a paraphrase of what happened next:

Me:  When was the last time we had a presidential inaguration that was truly historic?  All the others have been like “oh, great, another rich white guy got in.”  This is truly historic.

Him:  I just, um, think that with the state the country is in, the recession, we shouldn’t be spending the money.  That’s all.  I need some coffee.

People don’t like it when I’m right.

And now we have the networks and advertisers spending just as much money, two weeks later, to cover something infinitely less relevant and historic.  Where’s our sense of perspective?  If the networks had spent ten times as much covering Obama’s inauguration as they did, the money would still be well spent.  Because that event, unlike all but a few previous inaugurations, was truly historic.  In a way that the Super Bowl isn’t.

We may have black presidents in the future.  We may even elect a black woman president at some future date.  But they will not be the first.  We will never again have a first black president.  That was history.

The Super Bowl is played every year, and let’s face it, the only thing that really changes are the teams.  Not one game is truly historic.  No Super Bowl ever changed the world.  Maybe this one, coming as it does in the middle of a Recession, could provide a slight boost to the economy.  But I doubt it.

Voting matters.  Football doesn’t.  Get used to it, sports fans.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  No jock ever changed the world by doing jock stuff.  Barack Hussein Obama may play basketball, but that’s not how he made history.

This will come as a shock to some people, but what follows is a list of what I consider political “non-starters” this year. They are issues that are either peripheral to the main discussion, or are dangerous distractions from the real problems that we face as a nation. They are in no particular order, since placing a list of national non-priorities in a hierarchy was nearly impossible. So sit back and prepare to be offended.

  • Gay Marriage. Politicians and pundits who bloviate endlessly about this are wasting both time and air. The Republicans and their cronies in the Fundy-Wacko community would love to believe that this is the biggest threat to morality and virtue since the last biggest threat, but in reality it’s a blip on the radar scope. Does it really matter, cosmically speaking, if Peggy wants to marry Sue and Joe and Steve want something more than a “civil union”? No. Does the fate of our nation hinge on preventing such unions from occurring? No. Does it affect my marriage and my children? No. There is an inherent biological component to homosexuality, and being exposed to it does not increase your chances of “becoming gay.” You either are, or you’re not.
  • Abortion. Make no mistake about this – I am personally opposed to the practice of abortion, especially the vicious and despicable method of performing late-term abortions commonly known as “partial birth”. I would like nothing more than to see this procedure outlawed, and soon. However, at present, the debate has been stifled by the shouting of bigots and hatemongers on both sides. The extreme left would love to overlook the fact that abortion does, in fact, destroy a human life, and often leaves the (former) parents grieving and in psychological trauma as a result. The extreme right has been desperately trying to ignore the fact that it’s been their policies of “smaller government, less regulation” that have led to wage stagnation, rising costs of living, and people being so desperate that when faced with the expense of a child, abortion seems a more viable option. It’s time to move past the rancour and try to reach some middle ground. It’s the law of the land, so we might as well accept it. Oh, and if it’s going to be an accepted medical procedure, let’s try treating the clinics that perform it like hospitals. Regular inspections of their facilities and medical documentation would be a good start.
  • Illegal Immigration. This relative non-issue has been made into a hot-button topic by racists and bloody-minded right wingers across the country looking for someone to blame for problems we’ve pretty much created for ourselves. The real problem isn’t that illegal immigrants are coming across the borders and “taking American jobs”, and it isn’t that terrorists could sneak into the country and pose as plantation workers. Illegal immigration has been a fact of American life for decades, and will continue to be so whether we ignore it, or build a fence, wall, force field, or whatever. Walls won’t keep people out, and it’ll only be a huge waste of money and effort if we build one. No, the main reason our economy is in the shitter is not because of illegal immigrants – it’s because of the unethical and frankly despicable behavior of American corporations that have shipped America’s manufacturing base overseas in the quest for cheaper labor and less regulation. It’s not Jose’s fault you lost your job last year – it’s Joe the CEO’s fault. But it’s easier to blame the brown-skinned person, so that’s what the right-wing wacko racists want you to do.
  • Taxes. Once again, it’s time for a reality check. Every year, we get to hear from the usual suspects that the reason the American middle class can’t get ahead is because taxes are too high. Meanwhile, since Bush’s last round of tax cuts, the rich have increased their share of the national wealth from merely stratospheric to astronomical, while middle class wages have actually declined. Check out Robert Reich’s column from yesterday’s New York Times. Anyone who hasn’t felt the effects of rising costs of living and stagnant wages is either rich or not paying attention. So take taxes out of the picture. Americans, in fact, pay the lowest taxation rates of any industrialized nation, and it shows. Our government currently is having to borrow money just to make operating expenses, and has recently voted a stimulus package of hundreds of billions of money from God-knows-where. The dollar is sliding down the toilet compared to other currencies, if this is any indicator. And our government fiddles while Rome burns. What we need is higher taxes, on the upper levels of income.
  • The Stimulus Package. So our elected (and one selected) officials finally woke up to the fact that the economy is in deep shit. Good for them. But as I’ve said before, putting $1200 in the pockets of the average American family and hoping it’ll “turn the economy around”, when the real problem is that the family in question isn’t paid enough to live on in the first place, won’t solve the problem. This is irrelevant, pointless, and mostly a waste of time. After all that money’s been spent, or more likely, put in the bank for later, the economy will continue its inexorable slide into oblivion. It took 30 years of Ayn Rand-style cutthroat capitalism to get us in this mess, it’s not gonna be solved overnight. Besides, trusting the lot currently occupying Washington to fix the economy is like finding out the guy that just wrecked your car is also a mechanic, and then taking it to him to get it fixed.
  • Ronald Reagan. Why is every Republican candidate trying to run as the next Ronald Reagan? Is it because he was truly a great president, the apotheosis of conservative ideals, or is it because their own merits and abilities are so meager and uninspiring that anyone else looks great in comparison? Please, guys. Reagan was an adequate president. If you can’t run on your own ideas, stay out of the race. Reagan is dead, and good riddance. Try, just once, to be yourselves for a change.
  • Bill Clinton. I’m trying to be even-handed here. Yes, Bill Clinton is irrelevant. It’s eight years since his administration sailed into the sunset, and the left still can’t let go of him. Fortunately there’s only one candidate running as the next Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, it’s his wife. She gets the same note that I just sent out to the Republicans – if you can’t run on your own merits, stay the fuck home. Clinton was a mediocre president who got lucky (in more ways than one). He was not a military genius, but he did learn to respect the military he commanded. That’s something Bush II has never learned yet. Besides that, he did commit perjury in front of a grand jury. Granted, it was about an illicit sexual affair with an intern. But perjury is perjury, whether it’s about sex, lies, or videotape. So the impeachment, however frivolous, was well-earned. Oh, and to all you Clinton defenders who keep saying “how could he have” about the intern in question – Monica Lewinsky was a babe then, and she’s a babe now. Get over it.
  • George Walker Bush. Well, this pretty much goes without saying. The best we can hope for is that he fades ignominiously into the dustbin of history. Sadly, the messes he’ll leave behind will take years, maybe even decades, to clean up. America, I hope you’ve learned your lesson.
  • Republicans. Pasty-faced, rich, middle aged white men are so out this year. GOP, prepare to be PWNED.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m sure there are a lot of other non-issues to discuss, but I honestly don’t feel like it at the moment.