You Should Be Used To That By Now, Chris

How do you show people that you are a legitimate show on a legitimate network? You don't do it this way as demonstrated by Chris Wallace in the video below.

I'm sure the great numbers of people who watch Chris Wallace frame his plaintiff wail as a victory: "They refused to show up! We win by default!" Meanwhile the normal world goes on for the people making the hard decisions and the hard cases. They will opt to appear on networks where Sarah Palin's opinion is not so readily accepted as "analysis." They will speak their mind where they will be confronted by people who want to ask tough questions but don't necessarily want to see them fail. 

I actually watched part of Chris Wallace today and I enjoyed watching Juan Williams commandingly shake his head in disbelief at his colleagues' appetite for the Kool-Aid. Wallace brought up the health care bill on the occasion of its first birthday and the entire gaggle-on-the-right took us back to the summer of '09 with the same predictions of how health care was going to be the downfall of Obama. Williams reminded the group that Obama's job approval is currently around 50 percent, hardly a number of impending doom. 

Obama's message of hope really resonated with some Republicans in a perverse way as in they hope he fails. Naturally they hope that the health care bill somehow fails too. That is expected, but Juan Williams' Foxmates, as smart as they are can not seem to pick up on how their bias differs greatly from reality. It's that cognitive dissonance that is so at home at Fox News. Williams then drove his point home by reminding the panel of the initial hysterics that drove the Republican argument against health care reform including cries of death panels and socialized medicine. None of these rank as concerns among the majority of people because these were and still are lies. 

This is why Chris Wallace does not get first pick at administration officials at times of high demand. Fox appeals to a market that most often does not like the truth so Fox makes up the truth its market likes to hear. What they like to hear is how Obama is failing. Fox leads with this any way it can. This is also a group who feels sore about how the latest Iraq mission went down, not for the destruction and loss of life, but for the failure of the agenda they had bet on. For Obama to have his own Iraq would be the land of Milk and Honey for the fixated Foxified. Watching Fox gives them hope. 

Not a Veep Outta You

Maybe Dick Cheney has decided to be a good role model for his party by shutting the fuck up. Maybe he saw "True Grit" and went on the lam like the character Tom Chaney. Maybe his battery doesn't hold its charge like it used to. Whatever it is, I love it. 

For some reason Cheney has taken a break from his attack dog duties as if he has become the Republican attack dog emeritus. The same goes for his daughter, what's-her-name who while displaying her father's deftness at making evil look easy still has a tough road in distinguishing herself. Commonly known as "the one that's NOT the lesbian," Cheney the Younger is still feeling her way around a family business with limited prospects. Don't rent new office space if your best strategy right now is to stop talking.

Any joy on my part is still mitigated with caution though. Cheney and Co. may be staying off the radar so no one notices they are building a Death Star or a High-Powered Inter-orbital Deep Sea Laser Drill as Halliburton calls it. But it is more fun to think that Dick is in his house peeking from behind drawn shades on the lookout for Nigeria's rendition team, or for all he knows, a Halliburton rendition contractor. Here's how the latter situation would go:

Cheney: Stryker. This is a surprise. I thought you were in Laos.
Stryker: Was. Good to see you Dick. How's Lynne?
Cheney: Has her days. Why don't you come in?
Stryker: Nigerians sent me Dick.
Cheney: Aw, Stryker. Nigerians don't want to try me. They want to sell me to the Berbers. Even you don't want to be a part of that.
Stryker: I'm not Dick. I'm not a part of it. All I have is a contract.
Cheney: Can I send my daughter instead, the one that's not a lesbian?
Stryker: It's your name on the paperwork, and the plane ticket.
Cheney: Plane ticket?
Stryker: We're flying Bel Air to Newark and Aeroflot to Helsinki. Helsinki to London on Virgin.
Cheney: That flight only leaves once a week!
Stryker: London to Abuja. Goodluck has a ton of miles and wants to use them apparently. 
Cheney: Fuckin' Nigerians. Fuck you, Stryker. Let me at least get my toothbrush. 

The P and R in Republican Don't Stand For Public Relations

66 days without a Republican elected official breaking out the gun violence speech... aw crap.

In spite of the defensive posture they took since the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, it seemed like the Party of Palin got the message that even figurative talk of the use of gun violence against other people was not acceptable to humans. So Kansas Republican legislator Virgil Peck must have assumed that meant they were going back to literal talk of the use of gun violence. Peck was in a meeting of a committee discussing control of feral swine with hunters in helicopters. His contribution to the discussion was suggesting they use the helicopter program to solve the problem of illegal immigration. 

So that is bad, but... the article I read on Peck also gave a rundown on the progress of Kansas' own tough immigration bill inspired in part by a similar law passed in Arizona. The Kansas House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill. One Republican on the committee Pat Colloton stated that the broad law was an invitation to racial profiling. Credit her for at least questioning a law that requires stereotyping. While you are at it credit Colloton for fighting stereotypes of Kansas Republicans. I was far more surprised by Colloton's legislative deliberation than I was Peck's casual inhumanity. Shame on me? 

Are You There, FEMA?

When some people bitch about how terribly government manages things, high on their list of examples is probably FEMA. The strange irony is that before the bumbling Administration of George W. Bush FEMA was reputed as an example of how well government can deal with disaster. By the time Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 FEMA had been absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security. Michael Brown who had been appointed director at the time of FEMA's merge into DHS warned that his agency would be a shell of its former self without the independence with which it had originally been given.

Katrina introduced many Americans to FEMA when Brown's insensitive and cynical communications from New Orleans hit the press. It read as if another incompetent Bush appointee was heading up another inefficient government program that could not deliver on its mission. It was not far from the truth. Brown had no experience in emergency preparedness, but what explains the attitude problem that eventually got him fired was his belief that there was nothing he could do in any event. Brown had already made plans to leave FEMA as he could not deal with DHS chief Michael Chertoff whom Brown blamed for defanging his organization. As Brown sulked around the periphery of the disaster left by the hurricane Chertoff conducted phone interviews with reporters from his desk in Washington.

Now FEMA is the go-to target of what people think of when they think of government failure and less consequentially, the butt of loony conspiracy theories of re-education camps. In light of the recent events in Japan this seems like a great opportunity for FEMA to promote its ability to deliver on its mission. As of yet I have not heard of anyone from FEMA or the Department of Homeland Security for that matter describe what procedures are in place for dealing with any number of issues in which Japan finds itself mired. No time like the present - if not yesterday.

I will say that FEMA has done the least it could do. This is the link to their Internet guide on preparedness:

It is somewhat extensive, but there are no links to local information. If I wanted to know where to go during tsunami I would be out of luck. If there is any work being done at FEMA to boost their reputation it is not that apparent. If there was a nuclear catastrophe tomorrow would FEMA be ready? Is it their job anymore? It would be good to know about now. As a proponent of government I would like to see FEMA up to the snuff it was in the days of James Lee Witt, the FEMA head that Bill Clinton elevated to cabinet level. When the president showed up at a disaster and said "you're doin' a heck of a job, Witty" you could believe it.

All Rhetoric No Candidate

Here's a screenshot of the RNC homepage. Republicans are gearing up for 2012 with a strategy of alienating yet another segment of the population: unionized workers. It seems like a real gamble considering how polls suggest a sympathy for unions. Does the Party of Palin actually think Americans prefer corporate bosses over union bosses?

Notice the amounts of possible donations starting with $20.12. Get it? That's the next election year. But who's running?

World Cheese and Beer Prices Surge on Wisconsin Uncertainty

By Rashida Reinshickle - AOTL Wire Service
French Minister of Cheese and Beer Mathieu Anisette

Amid the political standoff in Wisconsin, the prices of cheese and beer around the world have risen steadily. Experts predict by the end of the week the price of beer could reach as high as $100 per barrel.

Wisconsin is a large enough producer of beer and cheese to worry markets around the world of a significant dip in supply says economist Reba McSorley. “This is a big deal and right now we’re trying to come up with a name for it like Cheese and Beer Depression, but catchier” McSorley said Monday.

In spite of the rise in prices some officials played down the possible effects. “This mostly concerns the poor quality cheeses and beers like you make in America” explains French Minister of Cheese and Beer Mathieu Anisette. “Cheese like this, we feed to prisoners and pigs. What the prisoners and pigs don’t eat we mix with poison to kill the rats. We use your beer to make the glue on our flypaper. We also use it as a spray to keep puppies from chewing on your belongings because the taste nauseates them so, henh?

When asked if France was going to join other nations in boosting their supply of cheese and beer to prevent further price spikes Anisette answered “I don’t know. I also don’t know why you wear such unflattering clothing. You look like an old grandmother, but if I saw you naked I would not have to be drunk to fuck you probably, henh?”

Come On Canada, Be Cool

Come on Canada, be cool. Eighty-seven dollars a barrel? Come on. We make our own oil. We don't even need to buy it from you. We're just doing you a favor. Just come down a little bit. I thought we were friends.
It's not like you're having rebellions or drug wars and you don't have to ship it very far. We'll even pick it up from now on. Just text me the address. 

You know we buy most of our oil from you and we don't even get so much as a punch card program. You have to keep your best customers happy. It's called customer service. Hello. How much money do you need? Oh, that's right, just enough to cover that house of cards you call a health care system. I'm just kidding! I'm just kidding. You guys have a far lower death rate than us. You must be doing something right. So what do you say?... Come on! Then come down a little on your maple syrup, which we also make by the way. 

Maybe you're just trying to put on a show for Hugo Chavez, huh? I know you Like all of his status updates on Facebook. He calls you Tio Tom De Los Yanquis behind your back. That means America's Uncle Tom. What a prick. So what do you say? Eighty bucks a barrel? We'll even keep Celine. Think about it. I'll call you tomorrow.

What Repulses the Youngest of Voters

 Jittery personnel in the news media have been commenting on how it is taking so long for any Republicans to declare their intentions to run for the chance to challenge Barack Obama in 2012. They should switch to
decaf and remember that John Kerry did not announce his 04 campaign until 14 months before the election. 

That being said, they are on to something. Even following a midterm election that suggested the reddening of states Obama would supposedly have to carry in 2012, one former potential Republican challenger, John Thune conceded Obama would be too tough to beat the next time around.

As you take a deep breath and recover from the shock of rare Republican humility, consider these stock pictures of culturally diverse youth and their implications on the next presidential election. From Iowa to the general, Obama had the youth vote to thank in 08. There is no reason to expect he won't do it again, perhaps in larger numbers as we see an "ever-browning" of American youth. 

As Newt Gingrich becomes the only Republican to signal a go at Obama, he will be a novelty candidate to a disappearing niche. Gingrich's generalized attacks on Muslims, Kenyans, and Mexicans won't get the kids rushing to shake his hand because his exclusionary rhetoric insults either them personally or friends of theirs. One thing about Gingrich that can be appreciated is his openness. For the most part, the rest of the potential GOP candidates are either equivalents of Gingrich or they are Gingrich-Lite. They will try to win by appealing to the bitterness of a sliver of the electorate.  

And then there is Mitt. Romney does not have the same Birther appeal as Gingrich and others which could be attributable somehow to his Mormon faith. To some Birther types, Romney may seem just as foreign to them as Obama. Romney may not want to engage in Birther-rousing lest it bring attention to his own perceived peculiarities. 

Then there are Romney's difficulties with the kids. As one youth voter put it to me back in 08 "Romney's a tool. Everyone knows it."

Obama's domination among the younguns is as close to a lock as one could possibly get. Regardless of what is said of his policies, he has a way of conveying hope to the demo that needs it most in a way few other candidates of either party have been able to do. If I were to guess, instead of trying to find a viable moderate candidate the GOP is preparing for 2012 with a strategy they know. Get ready for them to challenge the citizenship of everyone who votes for Obama.

Oh Reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaally, Mike Huckabee?

Warning: This post includes real references to animal cruelty
I don't know what the Tea Party is selling, but someone better call the FDA because it's making Republicans say some crazy shit! Semantically when I refer to the Tea Party I am referring to the entire coalition of white people who hate Obama and the idea of having a black president.That includes the Tea Party, Birthers, and Southern Republicans.

Over the past few days Mike Huckabee has been slandering Obama by mistakenly referring to the childhood Obama spent in Kenya. He later made a cutesy correction: "I meant to say he grew up in Indonesia. Whoops." I love it. All this crazy talk is the sound of a party collapsing. Of course, with all his fantastic ramblings I wouldn't want the police to have to take away Huckabee's children. Especially not David, the former Boy Scout counselor. Huckabee thinks so highly of the Boy Scouts he has been sure to point out that Barack Obama wasn't playing little league or going to Boy Scouts when he was a child in Kenya or Indonesia.

It was peculiar that Huckabee even brought up the Boy Scouts knowing David's controversial past with the organization. According to Wikipedia, Huckabee's middle son was dismissed as a Boy Scout counselor after allegedly hanging a dog by the neck until it was dead at a Boy Scout camp. Naturally, a police chief lost his job when he refused to cooperate in the investigation wink wink nudge nudge. Oh yeah! Mike Huckabee's America rocks!

So what are you waiting for Obama? If you want Mike Huckabee to stop talking smack about you go kill yourself a dog. But if you want the Republicans to keep descending into lunacy, be vewy vewy quiet.