Monday, October 21, 2013

Defeat Of The Wackadoodles

One good thing to presumably come out of the most recent US political dance with mindless absurdity is that the voting public will wake up to the utterly vapid (though no less dangerous) nature of the so-called Tea Party.

Def:  a group of  primarily white, mostly unattractive, evangelical-fueled, self-serving hypocrites, who employ magical (i.e. delusional) thinking to promote a standard (i.e. imbecilic) Christian fundamentalist political agenda.

Ex:  The Affordable Care Act must be repealed because Obama is a radical Muslim, Leninist, Satan-worshiping Socialist intent upon robbing us of all our God-given liberties. Just ask Sarah Palin. Or, if you find her intellectual prowess intimidating, Michelle Bachman.

And this is one of the more tepid claims from the lunatic, Born-Again fringe. 

Note: Sarah did take time out from her campaign to hunt and kill for "sport" everything in Alaska walking on anything more than two legs (because the Constitution says she can), showing up at a conservative rally to remind the faithful that Obamacare "Death Panels" are already busy sifting through potential candidates for early eradication.

"Yeah, but that will just be the poor, gays, Muslims and illegal immigrants, right?"
"One can always hope, but I wouldn't count on it."

But then hold on a minute ... the morons who voted these people into office remain morons - once a moron, always a moron - strenuously impervious to the hard facts, easily swayed by the manipulative bible-thumping fanatics. What are the chances they will be able to figure out the whole Tea Party sham?

Take Earl Shuck, recently laid off from his job at the toxic waste disposal plant, living in a trailer in western Kentucky with his wife and eleven kids, all of whom suffer from some sort of physical and/or mental illness, possibly the result of proximity to numerous toxic waste dump sites. Even if he could afford it, Earl wouldn't be able to find a health insurance plan accepting those with pre-existing conditions. Yet Earl continues to vehemently oppose the Affordable Care Act.

"What precisely is your issue with Obamacare, Earl?"
"It aims to steal away my freedom, plain and simple."
"Your freedom to do what, exactly?"
"My freedom to, uh, well, you know ..."
"You mean the freedom to be able to pray to Jesus each night with a fully loaded .9mm under your pillow?"
"Hey, some liberal homo-sexual could bust in here in the middle of the night hell-bent on engaging in immoral, ungodly acts . No way he's leaving alive."
"And the AK 47 standing next to the front door?"
"Something wild walks by outside, I got an obligation to blow its head off. The Bible says so, don't it?"

Have the walking dead secretly infiltrated the Tea Party?
It would sort of make sense, as zombies, by definition, have no need for health insurance.

Amazing what people who read the Bible can find lurking therein.
One Christian conservative talk show host recently claimed that Obamacare is clearly alluded to in the Book of Revelations, as one more ominous precursor to the End of Days.

Talk about delusional.

At least the Catholics confine their opposition to the issue of health insurance covering the cost of birth control. Because the single most important requirement of good Catholics is to procreate lots more good Catholics. I mean, imagine sex without having to feel nervous, guilty and depressed at the prospect of an unwanted pregnancy. It's crazy. Under those conditions a person could almost enjoy it, which would most likely constitute a sin, no doubt prompting a new round of nervous, guilty depression.

Ain't religion great?

 So anyway,  this Tea Party politician dies and goes to heaven. The angel manning the gate tells him he can't get in without health insurance.
He doesn't quite get it, being dead and all, but he says, "No problem. I've got a trunk load of cash, courtesy of my dim-witted constituency. I'll just buy some."
"No can do," the angel tells him. "You can't buy insurance with a pre-existing condition."
"What pre-existing condition?" the guy wants to know. "Aside from being deceased, I'm as healthy as a horse."
"You're human," the angel says. "If that's not a disease, what is?"
"So there's nothing I can do?"
"Sorry. If you had died a month ago, before the Heavenly Affordable Care Act had been repealed, you'd already be well on your way to eternal paradise."

* For a slightly more serious, somewhat less 'fictionalized' take on fundamentalist religion and politics, we recommend Amanda Marcotte, who regularly takes aim at the Christian Right on


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Ball

Back by popular demand - and thanks to both of you for asking -  a few thoughts on the "Great American Pastime."

No, not the pathological American obsession with accumulating weaponry - because, let's face it, the more guns we own, the freer we are. Hey, who needs health insurance when we've got an arsenal in the basement?
 I refer to the other G.A.P.  Major League Baseball! Defying time, possibly gravity, three and a half hour games, the threat of actually falling into a coma while watching, the great plays (which usually occur right after you've left the TV room to pee), the nearly supernatural consistency of umpire incompetence, the sheer annoying magic of it all.

It's October, the one month of the season that makes the previous six somehow bearable. That's right, I'm talking MLB Playoffs. Baseball pundits are quick to point out that anything can happen, which generally translates into the top teams mysteriously choking and some upstart Wildcard entry managing to sneak into the World Series.

(The Detroit Tigers, who should be the best team in baseball, but never quite are. Last year in the W.S. they were swept by the S.F. Giants, a team so far underwater in the standings this year that several of the players heads reportedly exploded from the pressure. How long these now headless team members will be on the D.L. is unknown)

 Forget the bookmaker odds, bet on the long shot, the dark horse, the team that defies the criteria of the upscale marketing demons.
Basically, it pays to root for guys who don't fit the standard profile. Not all that easy, since baseball, along with everything else, has been mostly homogenized, filtered down into a single blurry image of what the giant corporations running the planet have taught us not to only expect, but crave.

Case in point: Both  Miami Marlins' and Tampa Bay Rays' fans - all 237 of them, collectively, on average - apparently feel not the slightest bit of self-referential, irony-laced discomfort watching a game in stadiums named after brands of orange juice.

Still, there are glimmers of the iconoclastic. The Pittsburgh Pirates are back in the playoffs for the first time since your grandmother was in grade school. They're a wild, rough-around-the-edges bunch, who play really well, almost in spite of themselves, in a town in mostly rural western Pennsylvania, of all places.  They also have really cool uniforms.
All they have to do is get past the Cincinnati Reds in a one game punch out, which I'm predicting they will do. Today.

Of course, I'm also the guy who predicted that the entire Tea Party - along with Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian - would be abducted by aliens and transported to an intergalactic penal colony. 
 Just wishful thinking, I guess.

*Highlight of the post season so far:  The elimination of the Texas Rangers. Not sure why, but I have a visceral hatred for this team. It could be the two obsequious twits who announce their games, or the preponderance of all-white, overweight dumbbells in the stands, or possibly Nolan Ryan's fleshy scowl, or the fact that he drags George Bush along with him to the stadium, who sits there looking confused, wondering what time the Dallas Cowboys' game is supposed to start.
 Sayonara, Texas.

 Anyway, this is how I see it all playing out:

National League:
Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati, goes on to play St: Louis, beats them.
L.A. Dodgers beat Atlanta (a good though ultimately boring team)
Pittsburgh beats L.A. for National League Championship.
American League:
Cleveland beats Tampa Bay, goes on the play Boston, beats them.
Detroit beats Oakland.
Cleveland beats Detroit for American League Championship.

Cleveland / Pittsburgh play in World Series.

The odds against this particular outcome, by the way, are astronomically high.
A Detroit / L.A. or  Boston / St. Louis World Series are statistically much more likely.

But then as they say, in the Baseball Post Season anything can happen.