Monday, October 29, 2012


Hello folks, come on in. And welcome to the Republican States of America (RSA). I’ve been authorized by Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers and billionaires everywhere to invite you in for a visit. But not to stay.

You can only stay here in the RSA if you are a declared heterosexual, American-born—possessing two birth certificates if you’re black and running for the presidency—fully observant of the moral dictates of women-subjugating religions or right-minded politicians, and committed to enshrining selfishness into the Constitution.

While you are visiting with us in the RSA feel free to wear your gun to the movies, abuse your undocumented Latino servants and drop off your grandparents at the local emergency room, should they have health problems. In the RSA anyone struggling to earn a living wage is responsible for his or her own difficulties and is requested never to ask for assistance, especially if they’re poor, elderly, recently out of work, living in a single parent household, or in ill health. Take note that women in the RSA are not allowed to be raped or have abortions in cases of rape.

Also be aware that your unborn children are of greater importance to us than those noisy, filthy and irritating children poor people seem to breed as if they were sex-starved rabbits.

Please take note that as of January 2013, membership in a public or private employees union will be considered contrary to the public welfare, punishable by extended stays in Arizona or Wisconsin. In the interest of fairness, every citizen will pay the same percentage of his or her income in taxes, regardless of how rich or poor they may be, except in cases where a minimum level of assets qualifies you for the Oil, Gas and Millionaires tax loopholes.

In the Republican States of America it is understood we may declare preemptive war against a weak third-world nation anytime we deem it necessary to use up, and thus upgrade and re-manufacture at great cost, our store of aging armaments. If we de-stabilize a region, we take no responsibility and will blame it on the mainstream media.

In the Republican States of America it is perfectly acceptable to declare war on another country in the interests of spreading democracy, even while here at home we combat voter fraud by denying voting rights to minorities, students and other left-leaning elements of the population. To that regard, it is also permissible to steal elections in swing states.

Welcome to the Republican States of America. Please remember, we don’t do torture, and we’ll waterboard anyone who says different. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 If I sound harsh, forgive me. It’s only because the stakes are too high for us to make a mistake voting for Senator next month.

Senator Scott Brown is a nice guy. We can all agree on that. As far as his vision goes as a politician, we only really know two things about him. At some level he supports Republican doctrine enough to belong to the party. Secondly, he’s running for reelection based on the fact he plays nicely with others.

Ask Scott Brown why any of us should vote for him and he immediately points to his bi-partisan voting record, which by the way has him voting for core Republican positions almost every time, and alongside Democrats on the really tough political fights, like naming post offices or codifying rules of behavior for National Parks.

The nation’s two most important economic issues don’t seem particularly interesting to Mr. Brown. On the widening gap between rich and poor, he’s shown a surprising bent for siding with the wealthy and the powerful. On the destruction of the middle class, he mouths platitudes, but does little or nothing to help.

What does Scott Brown stand for, besides getting himself re-elected? Can you think of one issue meaningful to our lives that he has articulated or even slated for political action?

Elizabeth Warren has risen to challenge Brown exactly because she does stand for something. She’s a fighter for the middle class and, more important, she’s a defender of our rights against the very same entrenched interests Scott Brown and the Republican Party represent.

If you observe Scott Brown’s behavior in the Senate you’ll notice he’s very calculating about taking his “bi-partisan” votes. Most times he will only vote after the outcome is decided. Thus giving himself maximum time to see which way the wind is blowing, but also to devise a plausible reason to explain his vote. When Brown votes with Democrats it’s almost always on issues where his vote is next to meaningless and has little impact on our lives. I admit, he did vote for Dodd-Frank Financial Reform, but almost immediately tried to weaken its provisions.

And Mr. Brown always has a plausible explanation (read ‘excuse’) for his lock-step Republican votes. He’s never without a reasonable explanation for abandoning the middle class. On voting against cutting the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, he rotely explains now is not the time to tax the ‘job-creators’. On voting against fair-pay for women, he argues the bill had too many unintended legal consequences. On protecting tax loopholes worth billions to the oil companies, he claims eliminating tax loopholes would only result in higher prices at the pump.

All reasonable, plausible explanations! But forgive me, I don’t think they pass the smell test. Rather than honest explanations they seem like thinly veiled political shields meant to hide a voting record that favors the high and mighty at the expense of the poor and unprivileged.

But what makes Scott Brown immensely regrettable is his taking up a space in the Senate that can mean so much to the lives of everyday Americans. Not every Senator can be a Teddy Kennedy or a Daniel Webster. But those are the footsteps in which Scott Brown walks, and it’s time he proved himself worthy of being there. It’s not enough for Scott Brown to rest on his laurels as a make-believe liaison between Democrats in the center and the crazies on the right. Nor can he expect to coast to a victory by defaming an opponent who has already accomplished more on a national level than he could ever hope to achieve.

Scott Brown makes a lot of claims in explaining a short Senate career filled with meager accomplishment. He claims that kings and other royalty confer with him regularly. He claims his 2-week summer rotation in Afghanistan qualifies as “doing combat duty in Afghanistan.” He claims Elizabeth Warren lied about being part-Indian and then spends half a debate regretting he has to bring the issue up.

Worst of all, Scott Brown claims to be protecting our interests while all the while giving cover to the whackos and billionaires who assault our interests every day.

Scott Brown may be a nice guy, but as our Senator from Massachusetts he doesn't deserve your vote; he deserves to be an ex-Senator.

NOTE: The original title of this essay was "Scott Brown Is A Total Waste Of Space." Upon serious reflection, I decided that statement was far too harsh and personal, so I changed the title. I apologise if anyone was offended by my previous title, or confused by the current one. PSS

Monday, October 15, 2012

Eddie Haskell Goes To Washington

“Hello, Mrs. Cleaver, can Wallace come over and help me stack the Supreme Court with anti-abortion judges?”
“You know, Mr. Cleaver. When I grow up I’m going to smoke a pipe just like you, sir. And also, I plan to kill health care reform!”
For the last few weeks I’ve been watching the political debates. Have you? More particularly, have you noticed all the Republican candidates are channeling the spirit and, sometimes, the smarmy personality of Eddie Haskell.
Eddie Haskell? Could this be intentional? Or just an amazing coincidence?
Eddie Haskell, if you don’t recall, was an American TV character, but a cultural icon all the same. One of Wally’s friends on “Leave It To Beaver,” Eddie was the one you couldn’t trust, the smiling, backstabbing boy who was always manipulating people, sucking up to the adults, telling them what he thought they wanted to hear. Very often, stirring up the plot just to make trouble. But Eddie’s fatal flaw was you could always see through him, see the wheels turning, the eyes calculating, the sham arising.
So, I’m watching the debate, and there’s Scott Brown smiling at the audience while Eddie Haskell says, “Gee, Professor Warren, I’m truly sorry I mentioned you're being a pretend Cherokee warrior. I’d stop talking about it 'cept no one will let me.”
Or there’s Paul Ryan as Eddie Haskell proclaiming, “Dismantle Medicare? Me? I never suggested such a thing. I was just taking my beloved mother—who is much given to charitable works—down to the Medicare office so she'll always have the best medical care a son, or a country, could provide.”
But the best Eddie Haskell, the one impersonation so smooth and successful it’ll take weeks till you realize you’ve been fooled, was the Mittster’s!
“Ah, shucks, Mrs. Cleaver, I never intended my tax program to give all that money back to my billionaire and millionaire friends. And Wallace knows I have secret plans to replace Obamacare with something better. I can’t tell you what those secret plans are, Mrs.Cleaver—I would have to kill you, if I did, haha. You’ll just have to trust me.”
Mitt was just too good. He out-Eddied Eddie! And we were all so busy figuring out who put the knockout powder in Obama’s Gatorade we never stopped to question all the silken lies the viewers were swallowing, one after the other, as Mitt spewed them out with full Eddie Haskell temerity.
“Gee, Mr. Cleaver, if you like my new and improved Caring and Kind Persona, perhaps you’d like to hear how I’m going to help all those undocumented Mexicans and South Americans happily self-deport themselves. Or why my slow emasculation of Medicare will actually be good for older Americans. Or how the destruction of America’s social safety net will actually reduce poverty. Or why…”
It's funny to realize Eddie Haskell hasn’t disappeared from my life, or from the American culture.
For some strange reason he's joined the Republican Party.
And Eddie being Eddie, he's still trying to cause trouble.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Obama has struck out.
Stolen from “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer

No Joy In Mudville

       “What happened?” they cry in disbelief, “What did I just witness?” Unwilling even to process, much less believe what their eyes had just seen. That the President, mister POTUS himself, much storied debater of constitutional law, with a silver tongue and a steel-trap mind for details and insights had just fallen on his spear in a debate with his Republican opponent..
       Yes, the mighty Obama had struck out.
       And their eyes had seen what their hearts can’t accept. That their president, the last man standing as a bulwark against the hordes of right-wing, pseudo-Christian, tea-partying, homophobic fanatics threatening everything they believe in had fallen asleep on guard duty. So emboldening his opponent as to completely undo the advantage he previously held in the race.
       As stink bombs go, this was a real stinker!
       Ahh, the lies Obama allowed to go unchallenged, the weapons he refused, or forgot, to employ. Weapons like women’s rights, Medicare, or Romney’s “47%” comments. But worst of the bunch was Obama’s inability to stand up for himself. He stood there smiling at Romney’s lies like he was afraid to embarrass his opponent by remarking on inaccuracies or mistruths. Where was the Obama who debated Hillary four years ago? That Obama was too hungry to let his opponent get away with anything. This Obama was like a sixth grader called in to pinch hit for David Ortiz.
       Next time, we want David Ortiz.
       And never more was a hit needed. It didn’t need to be a home run; a double would have done just as well. But to let Romney hit one out of the park…!
       “Fraud!” cried the maddened throngs of supporters. “This is not the Obama we knew!” Nor was it a Romney they recognized either.   This Romney pretended to care about them, their futures, their aspirations. Pell grants for all!, double Medicare if they need it!, and tax cuts for everyone! 
       And our mighty Obama, rather than calling out his adversary’s lies, just stood there smiling broadly. Perhaps thinking about the anniversary dinner awaiting him after the debate.
       “Oh well!” the fans cry, “There’s always the next debate.”
       “But will the Mighty Obama even show up?” they worry. “How can we be sure it won’t be the sixth grader all over again?”
         Yes indeed, how can they be sure?
       Oh, somewhere in this troubled land the sun is shining bright. Millionaires taking over, shifting to the right. And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout. But there’ll be no joy in Mudville—till dreaded Romney is struck out!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Who is this figure that trudges across the empty stage in the dark, flinging invocations and invectives as if they were darts? But wait, it is Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney, and as he steps from the shadows into the downcast light we may, if we wish, bear silent witness to the Republican Presidential Nominee wrestling with his demons.

“Darn you! Gosh darn you!” he rails at an adversary as yet unseen on the stage. “How can I be trailing you by 8 points in Ohio? And 6 points in Florida! Doesn’t anybody believe me when I tell them what a disaster you’ve been? Just wait till I get you on this stage. We’ll see how good you are playing one-on-one when you don’t have Bill Clinton or the presidential seal to hide behind.

“Step back!” he suddenly cries, as if his enemy were within striking distance. “You have had your moment in the sun, Barack, and now it is my turn. Mine, do you hear? I’ve earned it, by dint of my massive, relentless effort, not to mention my millions of barely-taxed dollars. And you, you imposter, you poseur—with your easy smile and glib tongue—will not keep me from my destiny. I will not let you. I will scratch out your eyes, tear down your reputation, question your birthplace, repudiate your policies—yes, even when they mimic mine, as they did with your copycat health care reform!”

“Health Care Reform, now there’s the rub! It was mine before it was yours. If only those tea party fanatics weren’t so crazed by the concept, I could have held onto it, claimed it as my own true child, and used it to prove to all those lazy bums and victims—whose gruel bowls are always left empty—how much I care what happens to them in their pathetically small and uninteresting lives! How dare you take what was mine and make it yours?

Like so many others, you have misjudged me, mislabeled and maligned me. I was never inconsistent, Barack. I never shifted my position. How can you waver from an established stance when your only position is to do and say whatever seems necessary to win the presidency? That is my True North, and if I have to act like the town fool singing in a barbershop quartet to win the job, so be it.

But I warn you, Barack, I’m coming back to take ownership of Health Care Reform. Strangely enough, Health Care Reform has become very acceptable to a majority of the electorate, if not downright popular, and I’m going to embrace it as proof that I care about 100% of the people. Heck, I might even take back my comments about forcing immigrants to self-deport, if it’ll help me gain traction in Florida.

“Oh why,” he questions longingly, “why wasn’t I given the advantages of a deprived childhood and a struggling middle class upbringing? Or, failing that, why wasn’t I born to Mexican parents? Cruel is the fate to be born with a silver spoon in my mouth! How much harder it is to be a truly self-made millionaire when your parents have millions. But does anyone appreciate my difficulty? Or even care?

“But wait till they see me up on the stage. Standing next to you, you unworthy jackanapes. There I’ll be, friend of the working class, a millionaire who cares, so humorous in my barbs, so humble in my demeanor, so quick with one-liners that score point after point against you, my unworthy jive-talking opponent. And finally the American public will see me for who I am. The one man—the only living politician— who can keep a straight face while talking about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as if they didn’t screw America blind. Then leave you to clean up the mess!

"I'm coming for you, Barack. And I'm bringing Paul Ryan with me!"