Infrastructure improvements? Out of my cold, dead hands.

Infrastructure improvements? Out of my cold, dead hands!

Aristotle’s fundamental political binary categorizes governments as either true or perverted, a means of characterization that, however simplistic, still holds water in examining modern political moments. Among his criteria for true government is the requirement for the ruling body to “govern with a view to the common interest.” A ruler in such a state is concerned only with advancing the condition of his subjects.

Perversion of government by trivial individualized issues is, unfortunately, all too common within our federal government. The election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, while producing a tangible change in attitude towards the manipulation of government for personal ends, failed to eliminate the sort of self-interest that drove O’Connor to throw the 2000 election to Bush on the basis of political passion and a selfish desire to retire.

The recent political grandstanding by Republican governors Jindal of Louisiana, Sanford of South Carolina and Palin of Alaska serves as a potent example of personal ambitions and aspirations getting in the way of the public good. President Obama’s recent economic recovery and reinvestment package was designed to cushion the blow of the current economic calamity on the middle class while jump-starting the nation’s productivity and financial stability. Governors Jindal, Sanford and Palin, all hoping to capture the Republican Presidential nomination, have all publicly refused to accept important portions of the stimulus funds for their states. Though the governors cite a perceived advent of “big government,” “tax-and-spend liberalism” and “socialism” for their refusal of these vital funds, politicians, pundits and laymen alike realize the personal reasons behind the refusal of this money.

Governor Jindal, for example, appeared on national television mocking stimulus funding for disaster readiness barely four years after the deplorable federal response to Hurricane Katrina. The governors, pandering to their political base in order to secure their place at the top of the 2012 ticket, are ignoring the urgent needs of their constituents in order to advance their own careers. 

Aristotle’s characterization of such perversions? Tyranny.

Take that, teabaggers.

– A-$

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Rush would sure like to cut her taxes...

Rush would sure like to cut her taxes...

Between former Senator Larry “Toe-Tap” Craig, sitting Senator David “Pay-For-Play” Vitter  and former Congressman Mark “I Always Use Lotion And The Hand” Foley, the Republicans rendered their “family values” mantra entirely hypocritical years ago.

But this week, the GOP took the full leap, going from the Grand Old Puritans to, well, the party of pervs with a series of gaffes that would make Biden proud.

Exhibit A? Joe the Unlicensed, Tax-Evading Plumber. Shocking, I know. Who would have thought he was capable of saying something stupid?

Watch:

That’s right, Samuel J. Wurzelbacher proclaimed himself “horny” to a crowd of wealthy Republican donors that look more like attendees at an Augustus Gloop Impersonator Convention. Thus, Wurzelbacher’s proclamation is both stupid and innacurate.

You think the freakazoids would have cut this imbecile loose after Joe the Plumber proved to be neither named Joe nor actually a licensed plumber!

The GOP's latest strategy

The GOP's latest strategy

But, apparently, one more sexual deviant just isn’t enough for the GOP. Chairman Michael Steele, surely as a thinly-veiled ploy to garner support from “urban-suburban hip-hop settings,” urged Democrats this weekend to – and I quote – “strap it on.

Joey and Mikey may have rendered comedy obsolete in one fell swoop, for even a team of writers couldn’t come up with material as good as this. Just ask Jay Leno.

But the implications of the GOP’s newfound “sexual healing” are far less funny. While Conservatives are dropping innuendo faster than Jim Cramer’s ratings, they still adhere to their primordial sexual policies. One cannot invoke sex toys one day and rebuke abortion the next. These characters don’t want to seriously discuss policy; they’re content with dropping dirty words and then squealing like a pack of third-graders.

The GOP needs to stop acting like children and start offering informed policies that provide an epistemological answer to the problems of our nation. Talking maturely and honestly about sex would be a great first step.

Or, we Democrats could just “strap it on” and win another election. 

Your move, M.C. Steele.

– A-$

Send in the clowns…

11 March 2009

Brevi is no more.

I'll help you, Brevi!

I'll help you, Brevi!

Perhaps I jumped the gun with the celebrity nickname hybrid. But the verdict is in: the Palin-Johnston (Shotgun) marriage hasn’t happened, and the couple has reportedly split up. As if we didn’t see it coming.

Normally, I’d include bits and pieces of the article in my post, followed by my usual snarky observations. But for Comedy’s sake, I have to reproduce the entire story. There are just too many LOLS!

From HuffPost:

“Gov. Sarah Palin’s office on Wednesday refused to comment on a report that Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin had broken off her engagement with fiancé Levi Johnston.

According to Star magazine, 18-year-old Bristol Palin and Johnston are no longer together:

Now’s Levi’s sister, Mercede is telling all exclusively to Star and the picture she paints of life in Wasilla, Alaska is not a pretty one. Bristol, 18, has virtually cut Levi out of the life of their two-month-old son Tripp.”Levi tries to visit Tripp every single day, but Bristol makes it nearly impossible. She tells him he can’t take the baby to our house because she doesn’t want him around ‘white trash’!” Bristol won’t even allow him to watch the baby for a few hours — unless he’s babysitting!

Mercede also told Star: “Bristol’s just crazy. That’s the nicest way I can put it. She and Levi actually broke up a while ago!”

“That’s not state business,” Abbey Bulawa, an aide to Gov. Palin, told the Huffington Post. “We don’t comment on the governor’s children.”

In an interview last month with FOX’s Greta Van Susteren, Bristol said Levi is “a hands-on dad” who sees his son every day. She also said they planned to get married once they were done with school.

Palin’s son Tripp was born on December 29, 2008.

A breakup would be additionally unfortunate for Levi as he has “Bristol” tattooed on his ring finger.”

You’re welcome.

– A-$

It’s all about reaction, people.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele (apologies to Jon Stewart)

RNC Chairman Michael Steele (apologies to Jon Stewart)

Apparently, when one teaches an old dog new tricks, the dog repeats said tricks ad nauseum. After the Dems gave us Hillary, the Republicans gave us Caribou Barbie. After Jesus Himself gave us Barack Obama (full disclosure: I am a Jew), the Republicans gave us Michael Steele.  

The problem is that whilst a character like  Steele may “be da man,” he is essentially an awkward copycat. Steele and Palin (hereafter known as “Peele”) are the Leno to the Democrats’ Carson or, if you will, the Cialis to the Democrats’ Viagra. The Nation’s Ari Melber explains this quite beautifully:

“Obama’s comfort with that culture, and endorsements from its leaders, has earned him generational credibility. When Obama channeled Jay-Z on the campaign trail to brush the “dirt” of petty attacks off his shoulders, young people knew exactly what he meant. Older television pundits did not get the reference. Some even conceded their confusion while blasting the gesture as “contemptuous,” (as theWashington Post reported at the time). Obama invoked hip-hop deftly and accurately. He played on the theme that being tough does not mean you respond to every attack. Just as Jay-Z confidently brushes away his enemies, and hip-hop culture scolds the “haters” who pillory successful people, Obama signaled that his political approach–transcending trench warfare and pessimistic snark–was cool, current and strong.

Now contrast that to Steele’s gimmicky foray into dusty LPs. Here is his debut in the New York Times after assuming the chairmanship: ” ‘It’s going to be an honor to spar with [Obama],’ he said, before throwing down the gauntlet to Mr. Obama with a quotation from… a rap song by Kool Moe Dee: ‘How ya like me now?’ ”

First of all, what is he talking about? How does the president like a former lieutenant governor now that he’s become chairman of the opposition party? It doesn’t even make sense. Second, the album is twenty-two years old, so this reference does not exactly resonate with young people.

The spectacle got more awkward when Steele offered Bobby Jindal some “slum love” for doing a “friggin’ awesome job” as governor of Louisiana, in an ABC radio interview. As the Wonkette blog pointed out, this mess of a shoutout was actually coaxed out of Steele, based on his proclivity for questionable slang. All this heavy-handed hip-hop may make him “da man” for fellow travelers like Rep. Bachman. To young people, Steele just looks like he’s fronting.”

The real joke is that the Republicans honestly think that this song-and-dance will work! While I applaud their idealism purely in the spirit of LOLs, following this absurd path during the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression does nothing but harm our country. It’s tempting to cheer on the Limbaughs, Bachmans and Steeles of the world, but continued detachment from the issues at hand is a frightening prospect. With both parties focused on constructing sound solutions for the crisis at hand, we can always stand to strengthen our nation.

Remember, Obama doesn’t need these kind of hilarious antics to get re-elected in ’12. His ability to “transcend trench warfare and pessimistic snark” ensures victory on principle rather than by contrast. An elevated dialogue would just further showcase his incredible abilities.

Besides, he can always leave the snark to me.

– A-$

The Dragnet

2 March 2009

 

Tupac lives?

Tupac lives?

This morning on da internetz:

– A-$