Losers by the Handful

Just what we want in a Leader

Just what we want in a Leader

The last couple of months I’ve struggled a bit to keep my focus on this blog – something obviously not a problem prior to the last election cycle.  It is not that there is nothing to share feelings about – I think it has been more I’m not sure where to start.  My head spins as I look at what is going on around me – not the world but here in the United States.  For any one reading this blog it is obvious I’ve got a bit of anger – most of the time – and anger has fueled much of what I have written.  While it isn’t also the most pleasant for those around me, I’ll have to say that anger sits reasonably well with me.  I’m not saying it is good but it is an emotion I can deal with.  And I don’t see it going away any time soon – not with the direction we seem to be going as a nation.  But recently, there is a “buddy” to sit alongside my anger and this emotion is one I have always tried to avoid at all costs.  That “buddy” happens to be embarrassment.  While there is a lot to be angry about but we have reached a point in this country where we should all be embarrassed.  Not only because of the state of our politicians and the mess they have made but also about many of our people.  In particular the know-nothings and the loudmouths that continue to say they represent the American public or they are looking out for our country.  I’m embarrassed that Ted Cruz (and some others of his ilk) are US senators – but even more embarrassed there are people supporting them – and it’s not because they don’t believe what I believe – I’m used to that and I don’t expect that my views and beliefs work for anyone else.  It is because these people are generally not nice people in any sense of the word.  They are basically self-centered, don’t care about anyone but themselves, narcissists.  They feel better about their state in life by bringing down others. And they are stupid enough to actually believe that Ted Cruz believes in the same things they do and not that he is taking advantage of their ignorance to prop his own interests to the forefront.  I’m embarrassed we have congressional leaders that let freshman congressman wield the power to bring our economy to its knees.  I’m embarrassed we have become a people who generally don’t care about those that are not so well off and because there are some who take advantage and cheat the system, then everyone in need is bad. I could go on and on.

Fool me once.... credit: theguardian.com

Fool me once….
credit: theguardian.com

But today I read something that really encapsulates what we should all be embarrassed about as it speaks volumes of what we have become as a nation.  Take a swing over to The Huffington Post  – take a read of this article –  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niels-gerson-lohman/us-border-crossing_b_4098130.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular.

For some out there, they will see nothing wrong – it is just the US looking out for our safety and security.  I’m embarrassed for you people too.

For once, Pennsylvania had some sense and got rid of at least one loser.... credit: pumabydesign001.com

For once, Pennsylvania had some sense and got rid of at least one loser….
credit: pumabydesign001.com

Let’s call stupid and bigotry what it really is….

credit: classwarfareexists.com

credit: classwarfareexists.com

 

Point of today – actually two points – we are who we follow and let’s do a better job of calling bullshit when we see it.

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” – Pat Robertson

It is obvious I have issues with religion and those who unabashedly profess to be leaders of the masses – many of whom are actually more bigoted, unforgiving, selfish and most everything anti what I was always taught the teachings of the bible are about – one person you won’t see with a WWJD bracelet on is Pat Robertson.  I won’t go into much detail about his first son being born out of wedlock (do what I say, not what I do) or his repeated misogynistic stances regarding women and their place with men (essentially men cheat because their wife doesn’t take care of them as they should) as that would take too much time and space for today.  I happened to be channel surfing and stopped on the 700 Club – not a usual stop but given the SCOTUS decision on DOMA this week, I thought there might be some reaction from Pat.  I was not disappointed as my timing was right on.  He was discussing the issue with Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ, a right-wing, pro-life group that focuses on constitutional and human rights law worldwide (as they define them).  Just for context, Sekulow is also a regular on Fox News.  As expected, the discussion was obviously on the horrible decision made by the court but where did Robertson immediately go? His first question was whether Sekulow had any insight into whether Justice Kennedy had any homosexual law clerks.  He followed it up with a derisive comment on the judge in California who had declared Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, immediately leading the discussion to his understanding that the judge was in fact himself a homosexual.  So no discussion on human rights, equality under the law or anything else other than a view that all these decisions were no doubt just self-serving actions – something I expect that Robertson knows quite a bit about.   What a piece of shit – and well representative of all those who support him and his extravagant lifestyle.  But he is consistent on one level – he pretty much holds both gays and women to the same level of contempt.

“The reason that we fought the [American] Revolution in the 16th century — was to get away from that kind of onerous crown, if you will.” —Rick Perry

I also caught a brief news clip on that illustrious governor of Texas – Rick Perry – another shining example that if you’re from Texas, you don’t have to be very smart to get elected to a high office.  While much of the country was giving high kudos to Sen. Wendy Davis who held up the vote on more limitations on abortion and women’s rights in Texas, Perry was quick to play the “man” hand and pretty much dismissing her accomplishments (not sure Rick could even spell “HARVARD”) and bring it down to some stupid comment on learning from her mothers’ decision not to abort her and therefore reversing her stance on abortion rights.  Key word – “rights”.  Heaven forbid anyone traipse on their religious “rights”.  It was also rather revealing that during Sen. Davis’ filibuster, it was only the men in the room who work to thwart her effort.  Another situation where men work their hardest to control what women do.

So, a quick take away from these two seemingly separate items.  It is really about women and how they decide to deal with all these idiot men.  These people in power only maintain their position if women support them.  Probably a little less influence over Robertson but maybe not quite as much an issue.  At 83 years old, we can only hope he gets to meet his maker before long – and assuming I’m wrong in my lack of belief in God, he gets to explain himself to the big guy.

As far as Rick Perry, one can only hope that the women in Texas begin to understand his concern is not for women and he is willing and able to work against the rights due all women.  In the meantime, I’ll stay thankful none of us live in Texas and the women in my life can still think for themselves.

credit: moveon.org

credit: moveon.org

Another take on the DOMA decision was made this morning on Face the Nation this morning with Bob Sheiffer.  Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, an American conservative Christian group and lobbying organization shared one of the horrific impacts of the decision.  Let’s put the Family Research Council in some appropriate perspective here – In 2010, the FRC paid $25,000 to congressional lobbyists for what they described as “Res.1064 Ugandan Resolution Pro-homosexual promotion” in a lobbying disclosure report.  The US House of Representatives, in a moment of rationale thought,  passed the resolution condemned the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a bill which, among other things, would have imposed either the death penalty or life imprisonment for sexual relations between persons of the same sex.  Let’s make sure we recognize what kind of christian organization we are talking about here. 

credit: back2stonewall.com

credit: back2stonewall.com

In any case, back to Tony.  He was very concerned of the impact on bakers, photographer and florists who would inevitably lose their religious freedom by being forced to do work with gay couples looking to get married. He in fact indicated that there were already a great number of court cases in play and there were instances where these business people were being forced to sell services to gay couples.  It did take Schieffer a moment to clear the incredulous look off his face as he forced what was essentially a “Really?” out of his mouth.  Tony was firm in his view that when people realize this sort of impact is inevitable, the tide will turn, people will regain their senses and all will be right with the world again.   Can’t say that was an impact that I was really worried about.

William Shockley…in another Flavor?

Maybe it is Brain surgery...

Maybe it is Brain surgery…

Interesting paths that some individuals take to relative notoriety.  Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital, has made the rounds as of recent from addressing President and Mrs. Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C to wowing the crowds at CPAC.  Hard not to make a splash at CPAC when you take an obviously successful black man who is Republican and have him attack Obama policies…but again, he was preaching to the choir, so to speak.  Apparently quite the Christian also.  But just when you have an new face in the Republican camp who is all of a sudden being talked about as the next best thing next to sliced bread who will be a leading contender for the 2016 Republican amazing race, it becomes obvious they left the bread in the toaster a little too long.  The good Dr. choose poorly and joined Sean Hannity on Fox News and again, quickly provided evidence of why the Republicans are where they are and why many even within the party are shaking their heads in wonderment.  If you missed it, the exchange basically was as follows:

HANNITY: All right, last question, we have the issue of the Supreme Court dealing with two issues involving gay marriage. I’ve asked you a lot of questions. I’ve never asked you that, what are your thoughts?

CARSON: Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So he, it’s not something that is against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.

Huh?  You’ve got to be kidding – say what?  Brain surgeon?

So here we have someone who is apparently an esteemed surgeon (questionable) who equates gays with pedophiles and people into bestiality.  Excuse me?  I wouldn’t let this guy near my brain if it was leaking out all over the floor.  I guess the good news is we can really see what this guy is made of and where his values lie.  Reach a little further back into his views and you get that which is the hallmark of these conservatives and right-wing nut jobs – “I can tell you what to do and how to live but don’t try to do that to me.”

In his book America the Beautiful, he shares the following view:
“I have no problem whatsoever with allowing gay people to live as they please, as long as they don’t try to impose their lifestyle on everyone else. Marriage is a very sacred institution and should not be degraded by allowing every other type of relationship to be made equivalent to it.”

Interesting point I must have missed – I didn’t realize the gays were trying to “impose” their lifestyle on everyone else.  I might be a little slow but I still don’t get how gay marriage somehow changes marriage between a man and a women.  Is this anything like gay teachers trying to convert children to their lifestyle?  In all honesty, in looking around at the state of most heterosexual marriages, one might be able to easily make the case that it needs a little help or change.
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So again we have someone who gets a great deal of attention as a conservative who manages to step wholeheartedly into the pit of ignorance by demonstrating not only an opinion that most in this country would obviously abhor (at least if they are younger than 40 years old if we go by polls) but also the stupidity to say it aloud so there is no room for error when someone looking and listening to him tries to figure out if this is someone to whom they can relate as a person.  I guess the net result of the comments made in this last election cycle by the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Murdoch (and even the 47% speech by Romney) hasn’t made much of an impression on some in the party.
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What I might suggest to the good Dr. here is a quick review of the position taken not all that long ago by another Republican. William Shockley.  William Shockley won the Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor, founded Silicon Valley, was a virulent racist, and donated sperm to a sperm bank for the super intelligent.  So on one hand a rather accomplished physicist and inventor.  On another hand, he managed to pretty much put it all out there with his views of blacks.  While teaching at Stanford he became intrigued by racial questions and population control, and began publicly claiming that blacks are less intelligent than whites, by genetics and heredity.  Shockley believed that the higher rate of reproduction among the less intelligent was having a dysgenic effect, and that a drop in average intelligence would ultimately lead to a decline in civilization.  When asked if his views amounted to racism, he famously answered “If you found a breed of dog that was unreliable and temperamental, why shouldn’t you regard it in a less favorable light?”
William Shockley showing off his latest invention - Siamese Tea Cups

William Shockley showing off his latest invention – Siamese Tea Cups

So, I ask Dr. Ben how different his views of gays as equals to the rest of us are from how Shockley viewed blacks a few decades ago.  Looks like some haven’t learned much about how it feels to be looked as inferior.   And these are supposedly the “smart’ ones.  I might suggest that Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus consider reprinting the latest Republican Manifesto so maybe a wider population can “get it”.
                                                                                                                                            RNC Growth                                                 growthRNC

When it hits close to home…

Senator Portman with his own sort of coming out.

Senator Portman with his own sort of coming out.  (Photo credit – MSN.com)

Not to pick on Sen. Portman per se but I find it very insightful that we again have a situation where we have a politician who maintains a political position which might be contrary to what their constituents want to see UNTIL somehow it comes home to roost.  The following (a part of which I have included) was reported on MSN this morning –

“Sen. Rob Portman, who voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, says he has changed his mind on the matter since one of his sons came out as gay in 2011.

 CINCINNATI — Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is now supporting gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay.

Ohio’s junior senator disclosed his change of heart in interviews with several Ohio newspapers and CNN. In an op-ed published Friday in The Columbus Dispatch, he said the decision came after a lot of thought.

“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” he wrote.

As a member of the House in 1996, Portman voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Portman said his views on gay marriage began changing in 2011 when his son, Will, then a freshman at Yale University, told his parents that he was gay and that it wasn’t a choice but “part of who he was.” Portman said he and his wife, Jane, were very surprised but also supportive.

He said it prompted him to reconsider gay marriage from a different perspective — that of a father who wants all three of his children to have happy lives with people they love.”

I expect the sentiment shared by Portman as to the different perspective driving his change of heart is not one that will change most of those stone-hearted anti-gay politicians (or any other person of influence in any position of authority) who seem to look through political, religious, etc. lens as they continue to treat many of our citizens as 2nd class people, at best, and lesser human beings, at worse.  I said the same thing after the Sandy Hook travesty that maybe when the anti-gun control lobby people actually have someone in their family killed in a similar manner (or any manner with a gun to be honest) we might be able to manage our issues with guns with a little more common sense     A little sad that it takes a personal event to get someone to take notice and to start to feel a little.  I would suggest that empathy is a quality that goes much too unnoticed as we evaluate and elect our leaders and that maybe it is time people begin to not look at caring and understanding as a weakness and maybe see it for the benefit it brings. But this all requires some thinking and empathy to get there.  And we have a long way to go.

Santorum_StanL

Now the next question is at what point will one of Ricky Santorum’s five sons comes out – and how apoplectic will Ricky become….

Stupidity – the new normal?

I’ve read several articles that raise the question whether people in general are less intelligent today than in the past. I actually like the phrase “more stupid” as it gets more to the core of the issue but the question raised is one that should not be taken lightly. On an individual basis there is no doubt that there are many more smart people today than in the past. One need only look around at the conveniences of daily living we enjoy to see there are obvious signs that there are many out there who have put their education and native intelligence to work. But the bigger issue is society in the US as a whole. There is thought that with the proliferation of many modern technologies, there is less to stress and exercise the brains of most people. Just look at the result of the use of calculators. Watch a lot of cashiers work out change when you provide the challenge of giving them extra coin so you get back a whole bill. Something is missing. People have gotten lazy as there is less to work at. That too adds to stupidity as a brain unexercised doesn’t grow. Now I don’t need to see large scientific studies to prove this – just look around. Lazy and stupid aren’t too far apart on the continuum of human conditions.

First example – the blizzard that just hit the Northeast. Seems that despite the rather advanced warnings, there were many in Long Island who figured they knew better that everyone else and took their cars out for some reason that only they can probably make sense of. Now, I know that New Yorkers are smarter than most of the rest of us and are much more experienced and worldly (they always seem quick to make it clear that they know more than those of us that don’t live or haven’t lived in New York) but in looking at the number of vehicles that figured they could traverse the blizzard based no doubt on their superior intelligence, let alone vastly better driving skills, I offer up the following picture.

What do you mean I can't get my car thru here?  It has FWD.

What do you mean I can’t get my car thru here? It has FWD.

So bad enough that they are that stupid to go out and get quickly stuck, most of them ended up abandoning their cars causing other issues with getting roads cleared or put emergency workers at personal risk when they had to go out to rescue them from their own stupidity. My suggestion would be that any vehicle that was abandoned be picked up and immediately brought to a junk yard to get crushed and recycled. My guess is that those individuals would be a little less stupid next time around.

I do believe that stupidity is our biggest problem at the moment. It invades most every other issue and it is the common denominator across most every situation where anyone who can actually think looks up and scratched their head and says “WTF”. Stupidity hides itself in many ways and is core to many other shortcomings people consistently demonstrate. I have to believe that if you are a Tea Party member, stupidity is at the core. And admitting it is just one more piece of evidence. If you can today still take the stance there is no reason for further control of guns in our country, your proclamation of patriotism and 2nd amendment rights is a cover for stupidity.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

Just look at the current political landscape. A lot of stupid people in politics – the likes of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz demonstrate that quite nicely. But we also can’t ignore those who actually felt the urge to vote them into office. So without stupidity, many of our politicians would not get elected, let alone be able to take the political stance they do. While I think the Republicans have it down pat (one of our current favorite phrases is from Bobby Jindal where he called on the Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party” – and they still don’t get it), the Democrats aren’t without their share.

To a great extent I think organized religion and most “devout” religious belief is steeped in stupidity – not in whether one believes or even what they believe but that most of these assholes feel they have to have the rest of us live in the same aura of stupidity and bow to the same inane beliefs. Hey – you don’t want to take birth control, fine, but keep it in your own family – and by the way, the likelihood is your son or daughter is out there screwing around anyhow. And by the way, at least 1 in 5 of you have a gay son, daughter, aunt, uncle, cousin, mother, father…pay attention – but then again, you are stupid.

Most prejudice is about stupidity. And there is a lot of that going around. I think the Boy Scouts of America are clearly a beacon of demonstrated stupidity. To think that they are upholding a more “moral” standard by discriminating against gays is monumental stupidity. They have enough moral challenge when it comes to patrolling their own ranks of child molesters. Another level of moral question when one looks at the effort to cover it up – more stupidity to think they could actually get away with it. Only to be outdone by the Catholic Church – but that is a another whole story.

Future Leaders of our country?credit: http://m3foto.tumblr.com

Future Leaders of our country?
credit: http://m3foto.tumblr.com

And speaking of Boy Scouts, that shitbag of a human being, Ricky Santorum managed to squeeze into the public eye again as he felt it important to identify another area where he could help report the demise of old and prejudice opinions as he continued his assault on gays – concerned the BSA was abandoning the “founding moral principles that nurture boys into men”. BSA and morals in one sentence is a problem to begin with – having Santorum in your corner doesn’t speak to mainstream longevity.

Ricky with what he thought was a new Ipad 4.

Ricky with what he thought was a new Ipad 4.

“The wise understand by themselves; fools follow the reports of others” – Tibetan Proverb

Lastly, I did want to share a few experiences that I had recently that brought it home very clearly to me the level of stupidity we are dealing with out there. The first occasion was when I stopped by our local township office to make a “Right to Know” request. I had asked for an organization chart of all our public employees indicating all reporting relationships. As the woman at the desk reviewed my form, she very seriously asked “Why do you need to know who is related to who in the organization”? I will say I managed to keep a relatively straight face as I explained the concept behind the term reporting relationships – maybe I’m expecting too much but really?

Lastly, while getting an order from the deli counter in our local supermarket, I asked for 1/3 of a pound of turkey breast – yes, 1/4 was too little and 1/2 was too much but I digress. As I watched the deli guy get my order, I overheard him ask another deli guy how much 1/3 of a pound was. I was even more amazed at that point that he was actually allowed to operate the deli slicer and that he had all his fingers intact.

End of it all, stupid takes a lot of forms – I recognize that some people are doing their best but the vast majority of stupid is there because of laziness and an unwillingness to think. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting much better.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Stupid is as Stupid does…

 

One thing I’ll say for Republicans – they really don’t know when to keep their mouths shut.  Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia can take his place with the likes of Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana with what we can only hope is a similar result.  At a Chamber of Congress meeting this week in Georgia, Gingrey not only defended both Akin and Murdock to some extent, he shared his own experience that “adrenaline can prevent pregnancies, and that women who are frightened during sex will not ovulate”.  Sounds like just another take on Akin’s view of pregnancy after rape that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”  We have here another discourse by a man who seems to be somewhat out of touch with the reality of women’s lives – demonstrating, at best, insensitivity – at worse, a rather pompous and callous view of women.  As Gingrey has been an OB-GYN physician since 1975, this gives pause to never lose sight that 50% of doctors finish at the bottom of their class.

Of course Gingrey, after having time to think about it (or at least beginning to hear the proverbial shit hit the fan) subsequently followed up with a further explanation and said the comments he made on rape “misconstrued” his own position on the topic but here we again have the chance to see the real view of a politician when he responds off-the-cuff and without monitoring his own sound bite.   Again, I can’t tell anyone what they should believe and what they can say.  I’m just more amazed at the stupidity that gets displayed – and these are people in position to make decisions for our country – scary and disturbing.

So let’s take a roll call –

Todd Akin - Defeated 2012

Todd Akin – Defeated 2012

 

Richard Murdock - Defeated 2012

Richard Murdock – Defeated 2012

Can we go for #3?

Can we go for #3?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll just hoping they keep up the good work – this is one way to reduce the number of seats the Republicans hold.

Welcome Back Ricky!

It has been a bit difficult to figure out what I want to blog about as of recent given much of the political landscape and turmoil is almost laughable.  If I didn’t know better, I would almost assume the Republicans had actually won this last election cycle and that they increased whatever political collateral they had last time we went around on the debt ceiling and how to best handle the issues of deficit reduction.  Their continuing stance of protecting the upper 2% of taxpayers while refusing to acknowledge the problems of the middle class will no doubt be discussed in future political science classes as they ponder what appears to be a death march celebrating the ongoing decline of the Republican Party.  But that is not where I want to spend my time today.

For anyone who has paid any attention to my blogs for going back into the beginning of the last election, one of my favorite targets has been Ricky Santorum.  Hasn’t taken much skill on my part as here we have a man who essentially put the proverbial “Kick Me” sign on his own back as he continually and consistently demonstrated his anachronistic stance in terms of moral, ethical, cultural and almost every form of bias and short-sighted bigotry of everything that didn’t fit cleanly in the mold he has established around his world.  I don’t have time nor interest in repeating all my reasons and all my conclusions about this asshole of a human being but, again, he has made it easy as he works to stay in the limelight – really more around bad attention is better than no attention at all.  So where does he climb out of his hole in the ground?  He’s taken a job as a columnist for the birther bible WorldNetDaily.  I’ll admit I hadn’t been aware of the site or organization prior to Ricky’s announcement of his new job but this is a site and organization that makes News Corporation and Rupert Murdock look almost like a real new agency.  Aside from maintaining that Obama is not a US citizen and all the like, WorldNetDaily has maintained what I think is one of the most shattering headlines that most of the world has undoubtedly overlooked – that Obama hid gay life in order to become President.  I knew Obama was pretty smart – who would have thought.

 

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rick_santorum--300x300

 

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So here we have Ricky stepping down a notch (hard to believe that was possible) and signing on with an organization that maintains credibility with only those who aren’t really sure what year it is and where they left their car keys.  But wait, it gets a bit better because what is his first column about?  He basically shits all over the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which he feels “crushes U.S. sovereignty.” What is this convention all about? It is intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Those parties that sign and support the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law. Sounds pretty bad to me – oh wait – didn’t we in the US pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to essentially get to the same place?

I’ll admit I haven’t reviewed all the nuances of the UN Convention but it would seem that we in the US should be ready and willing to fully support the UN effort.  Well, sorry folks but here we go again with this new Republican mindset of somehow being entirely out of step with most everyone else in the US if not the world.  Just yesterday on December 4, 2012, the Senate rejected the U.N. Convention on the Rights  of Persons With Disabilities by 61 to 38.  The 38 Republicans voting against the agreement prevented it from receiving a two-thirds majority, necessary in the ratification of treaties.  This was despite strong support from John McCain, John Kerry, Bob Dole and others who approached this in a non-partisan manner.  What was the rationale of voting against the convention? They took the stand that to vote for the U.N. treaty would mean that the U.N. committee overseeing the ban on discrimination against the disabled,  including children, could violate the rights of American parents who decide to home school their disabled children.   Visions of Big Brother at it’s finest – you do have to wonder what all these Republicans are really doing behind closed doors that they are that concerned about infringements on their personal freedom.  Again, lead by a Tea Party Senator, Mike Lee from Utah, the use of fear and confusion remains a key weapon by those who don’t seem intelligent enough to be making decisions for the citizens of this country.  And how embarrassing for the United States – this is not a position to be taken by the greatest country in the world.

So here we continue down a path that is astounding in its lack of civility and compassion for those who probably need help the most.  Boy, the elections in 2014 can’t get here soon enough.

I guess for Ricky Santorum he thinks this is somehow going to enhance his bid for the Presidency in 2016.  If nothing else, he is consistent – once a fool, always a fool.

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If You’re a Republican, Politics Trumps America Every Time

McCain caught doing his best Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield imitation

There is no doubt the killing of four Americans in Benghazi is a tragedy and there should be the required reviews and assessment of the situation to learn what we can, understand what was not done that maybe should have been and to work to reduce the likelihood this will happen again.  I say reduce as I expect to take any position that implies there is anything we can do that will prevent these sort of incidents in the future would be stupid and illogical – especially given the temperament of the world today.  I would doubt that any ambassador or any staff member in a US embassy in most of the rest of the world recognizes they take the position with some element of risk being evident.   Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to protect them but we are not dealing with people or situations where we can anticipate every move and action.   There are actions to be taken but to turn this political is unacceptable.  This brings me to today’s “Head in the Butt” award.

The Dynamic Duo of 2008 – Two halfwits not adding up to a whole

There was a time where I had a lot of respect and time for John McCain.  He was a man who had served his country and a man who appeared to obviously have some standards for which he stood – and he actually seemed to be a pretty nice guy  – at least from afar.  My naiveté.  As he took the national and global stage in his run for President, it quickly became clear that behind the public persona I had seen was someone who was pretty much a jerk, someone who was pretty angry and basically a man who was pretty much a bastard.  With his pick of Palin for VP he further showed his inability to understand what was important and the degree of his shortsightedness.  To think he could have foisted that half-wit of a governor on this country is unconscionable and the fact he would allow the Republican Party to push that on him puts his leadership ability seriously in question.  His recent attacks on Obama and Susan Rice continue to show this is a man who has an ax to grind and again reminds us of the Peter Principle in practice.  I can only imagine where this country would be four years later and with the challenges we have faced.  But I digress.  These most recent McCain political attacks show that he is no different from the rest of his party and he will put politics before country.   His grandstanding and his obvious lack of civility brings only one good thing to the forefront – we get to see the newly enthused Barack Obama start to show the muscle and attitude many of us have figured was there and were waiting to see.  So on that note, thanks, John.  You’re still an asshole but every cloud has a silver lining.

So today, please take a bow and accept the most recent “Head in the Butt” award.  In reality, I think it is long overdue.

There was a close runner up but not this time Lindsey.   Lindsey Graham, by joining the same chorus with McCain, definitely put himself in contention for the “Head in the Butt” award.  Unfortunately, this time around you weren’t quite up to the same level of cluelessness but I have to give you some slack given your area of study in college – one I expect leaves you entirely out of step with many of us but probably more in line (or at least a little ahead) with many of your Republican peers.  Your B.A. in Pseudoscience actually implies you have some inkling that science might have some bearing in our lives.  I, for one, didn’t know this even existed as a major in any college.  It seems somewhat contrary to most of what I would expect from any college curriculum but that could be my shortcoming.  For others in my same stead, Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories (Wikipedia).  I expect this helps when you want to basically ignore fact and make it up as it meets your need.  So, Lindsey, I’m not of the mindset you should get the “Head up the Butt” award but have no issue giving you a runner up prize of the other award of notice – the “Bag of Shit” award seems appropriate given I can’t expect you to look at anything beyond the use of vague and unprovable claims.

Yes Lindsey, that is pretty rank – on par with your recent attack on Susan Rice.

It’s a New Day

Back from vacation – turned out to be a great week – almost 6 days in Las Vegas (Disneyworld for adults where real life only intrudes in small pieces) and an election that pretty much worked out as I had hoped.  I will admit there was a point a week or so before the election where I had I had my doubts as to whether we would bring back President Obama for another four years but as the election grew nearer I was pretty sure we would be okay.  I already expressed some of my initial feelings on election night – posted from my cell in our room right around the time Romney appeared to deliver his concession speech.  I was not awfully elegant nor was I gracious in the least but I’ve reached that point in my life where I realize that conciliatory is not necessarily better – something I hope the Democrats keep in mind as I expect the Republicans are far from looking to make things work going forward.

Not much I can add at this point re: the election results other than a couple of thoughts:

1.  The fact that it would seem the entire Republican Party, most importantly Romney, was totally taken off-guard when they didn’t win is pretty reflective of the lack of connection with reality Mitt would have brought to the Presidency.  While we all have a tendency to see things as we wish them to be, this takes it to a new height.  I think this is also reflective of the type of CEO Mitt probably was – surround yourself with only those who tell you what you want to hear.  Doesn’t make for a company (or a country) that can realistically deal with the real problems and solutions.  Only thing I wish is that I could have been in the room when the realization that they lost became clear.  There’s a sweet picture.

2. At some level, my faith in the people in our country is a renewed.  I was disheartened thru much of the election cycle by what appeared to be the same level of intellect and lemming-like mentality that re-elected Bush the 2nd to office twice.  To have an election that wasn’t really a close one was an uplifting experience.  Nice to see there are enough people out there not focused purely on economic considerations that the care and focus on people and social issues has not been lost.  No doubt we need to fix things from an economic side – but to do it with no consideration of other human costs is not a palatable strategy.  It’s not just the economy, stupid.

3.  I am most elated with the progress in the results of Gay Rights.  Aside from a plethora of elections of GLBT candidates to the Senate and House, the shift in state votes on gay marriage was monumental as same-sex marriage was legalized in three more states using ballot referendums and not legislation.  This was the people talking – this is the voting public.  Kudos to Maine, Maryland, and Washington who all voted to allow same-sex  couples the right to marry in their states as well as to Minnesota which became the first state to have voters reject a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  While opponents to gay rights have quickly put their spin on why and how, the tides continue to change and we continue our march towards a country where all citizens are recognized equally under the law – how disheartening is it that this is even a statement that can be made in 2012.  The future for my son is looking better and while I labor under no illusion that there remain many out there who would have him stay a second class citizen, they are slowly losing.  In reality, there will always be stupid and hateful people around but we can only hope (as I’ve offered on many ocassions) that they die off quickly as they are a dwindling breed.  They remain a bane on our society all while sucking out everything they can while giving nothing back.

4. Nice to see that the idiot men whom so eloquently gave us insight into their prehistoric views of women and how they are treated in regards to sex, rape and all that were so soundly defeated.  Nice to see that there are some things that no level of spin can help.  The larger stain here is that the Republican leadership was essentially absent in their condemnation – yes, there was the attempt to distance but not the outrage one would expect (at least one who actually believes that men and women are equals and that rape is never legitimate).

5. The lack of influence of the Tea Party this time around was refreshing.  I guess watching all these old and uneducated people who are taking Social Security and Medicare rant on about getting the Federal government out of their lives resulted in a moment of cognitive dissonance for many in our country.  Trying to have it both ways is somewhat disingenuous –  another thing that Romney seemed to forget about.

6. Additional kudos to the youth of our country for showing up again – despite all the dire predictions.  It is good to see they all recognize they have quite the vested interest in making their voices heard. I know both my kids were there without prodding – my daughter even stood for hours in line down in Washington DC.

7.  I remain somewhat embarrassed at the obvious bias and bigotry that remains with white voters.  To think that only 39% of white voters were with Obama is disturbing.  Sure, I’m sure that there are many whites who would position that it was about policy and platform differences but we all really know there is much more beyond that.   As a white male over 55 I am definitely out of step with the majority of my peers – and boy does that feel good.

8.  Last point – after watching Obama speak to the crowds after his re-election and most pointedly in his talk with his campaign staff, I again saw probably what I saw as one of the main reasons I voted for this man – it was obvious he was tired and worn out from the process but his emotional reaction was not scripted and we got a good glimpse into the type of person we just re-elected.  His level of emotion and his deep sense of caring was obvious.  He wasn’t and hasn’t been playing a part or emoting a position based on who he is speaking to.  This is a man who, at least in my view, truly cares about this country and it’s people.  Not just some of the people, not just those who can help him.

Boy, do I feel better.

Awards of the Day – Politics as Usual

It has been quite a week for many on the East coast including many of us not exactly on the coast.  To a great extent, we in the Poconos were pretty lucky.  As Hurricane Sandy made her way to landfall, we managed to pretty much be in the path of the eye of the storm – not that there wasn’t damage and impact.  For many in our area, they remain without power.  We lost power Monday evening and did not get it back until Wednesday afternoon around 3pm.  Inconvenient yes, but not the disaster that unfolded across much of the tri-state area.  I at least had a generator so within an hour of the loss of power, we were sitting in a lit house and our refrigerators and sump pumps were all functional.  The real inconvenience was we quickly ran out of water as there are relatively few areas with public utilities so when the volume of water in our captive air tank was exhausted, that was about it.  Luckily, we have learned to plan and were well stocked with water and other things we needed.   Again, this was an opportunity to realize how lucky we were which wasn’t clear until we got our cable and internet back and we could see what many had and will continue to have to deal with.

That brings me to probably to me what was so different from what has been front center almost every day for the past, I don’t know, 6 months or so – the presidential election.  I can’t say I thought too much about it and it was actually refreshing to get a break from the explosion of ads and political rhetoric with which we have all been inundated.  It also meant I got a break from blog material – less that incensed me and less to somehow find catharsis for.  But wait, it didn’t take too long.  So today I’m going to actually recognize some positive and give some kudos as well as cite some of the usual bullshit that I continue to be astonished that so many believe and embrace.

Let me start with the positive.  In the past I have not always been kind to Chris Christie, NJ Governor.  There is much of him that exemplifies everything I despise in Republican Party.  However, I need to give him credit for two things this week.  One, it is obvious the man says what he believes and feels – I have to respect that quality whether I agree with the content or not.  Secondly, Christie quickly put politics to the side and was unabashed in his praise of President Obama in light of the support and attention he got for NJ when it was most needed.  And I expect he knew he would take shit for it from his fellow Republicans.  Again, kudos for having some balls.  So today, I want to award Chris Christie the “Hero of the Day” award for being real.  I don’t labor under any illusion that when things calm down he will quickly move back into the fold but that’s okay – he at least showed he is not the imbalanced jerk that most of his Republican peers are.

BFFs

 

My other award today is actually related to the “Hero of the Day” award.  Let me say that the recipient demonstrated behavior that was not a surprise and is consistent with being probably one of the most vile people on the planet – so I guess there is something to be said for consistency.  But he does lose points for lack of creativity.  In any case, the immediate condemnation of Chris Christie by our recipient is indicative of his general lack of compassion, empathy and most other generally positive human emotions and feelings.  Yes, I expect many will have already guessed it – it is no other than that shit hole of a human being – Rush Limbaugh.  He again takes lowlife to a new level – as hard as that is in his case.  I might also suggest that his loyal followers get to share in this award given their general inability to deal with life in general – demonstrated by their blind allegiance to someone of Rush’s calibre and character.  Rush, take a bow – oops, you dropped one of your pills – is that a Viagra or a oxycodone?

A Triple Crown Winner! Take your pick – Head up the Butt, Horse’s Ass or Bag of Shit or any combination of the above!

 

I think it is also fitting to also recognize the runner-up for jerk of the day – a man who isn’t used to being 2nd in much of anything – Donny Trump – for a myriad of stupid ass things that come out of his mouth – he again provides some pretty interesting support that man did evolve from apes – some less than others!

 

Don’t feel bad – you are only runner-up today. You still are one of the biggest shit bags I see out there today!