Archive for August, 2011

No Time to Wait for Superman

We went to the movies with Yoram and Bert yesterday and saw Sarah’s Key.  A somewhat schizophrenic movie, it vacillated between engrossing and boring.  It should have ended thirty minutes earlier.

As is our custom, the forty minute ride to Ventura went quickly as we made the rounds of politics, the economy, the British riots, the astoundingly dopey letters-to-the-editor in the Ojai Valley News, and my recent, somewhat less dopey, Waiting for Superman blog.  We especially marvelled at the inability of the Democrats to mount an understandable, mind-grabbing offensive to counter the simple-minded missives delivered by the bad guys.

It appears that lots of folks are waiting for Superman, including Timothy Egan who wrote a similarly named New York Times article on the same day I penned mine.  Egan compiles a compelling, and basic English list of points that should be taped to every Democrat’s refrigerator door and repeatedly shouted from their windows much like crazy Peter Finch did so eloquently in Network.

As Egan points out, given the present composition of the House of Loons, the Senate’s sixty vote obstruction provision and the upcoming (isn’t it always upcoming) election, any economic solutions offered by Obama will never see the light of day.  You can read Egan’s column, but to save you time and to make the list compact enough to fit on your refrigerator, I’ve taken the liberty of providing a Fredified version of it.

Rich people should pay more taxes.  Period.  Leave the rest of the folks alone.  Let the Republicans be the champions of the rich in a country where 5% of the population owns 60% of the assets.  Even more amazingly, 1% of the population owns about 33% of the wealth.

Higher taxes never stopped a business owner from trying to sell more and make more profits.  It’s better to make an extra buck even if you gotta pay half of it to the IRS.  Let the Republicans do the math.

Higher taxes never stopped any owner from hiring people.  As long as they made money for him, he hired them.  Let the Republicans prove the opposite.  Oh, and point out their intent to reduce corporate income taxes.

And, while we’re talking about the unemployed, ask anyone to name a single jobs creation bill proposed by a Republican since Obama took office.

Instead of falsely claiming that the financial stimulus bill was a failure, you might point out that Obama created more jobs in 2010  than Bush did in eight years.  If anything, the stimulus should have been three times larger.  Instead, the Republicans focused on debt reduction in spite of its job killing effects.

Nearly 50 million people don’t have healthcare insurance.  Obama’s healthcare reform act, though imperfect, chips away at that contemptible situation.  Let the Republicans tell us why these folks should go without insurance.  Rick Perry might be qualified for that assignment since 1 in 4 Texans have no insurance.

Repeat the mantras of the leading Republican candidates.  Especially those dealing with reliance on the bible for solutions, the age of the planet, disputing man’s contribution to climate change, the abolishment of the Federal Reserve (accompanied by the guillotining of Ben Bernanke), a moratorium on environmental regulations  (leave it to God),  the claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, their refusal to allow a woman to determine how to manage her own body, elimination of the minimum wage, getting folks to be more responsible starting with the elimination of federal disaster relief, and their ideological shackle to the National Rifle Association and single-minded Tea Party dim wits.

If all that doesn’t work, try scaring the undecided with the prospect of more Supreme Court justices like Thomas, Scalia and Alito…or worse.

So take that blanket off your face, quit being a woe-is-me wuss,  get up off your duff, and be more like Peter Finch…even if he was a loon.  Oh, and stop worrying about getting the facts straight.  They don’t.

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Waiting for Superman

Now that Muammar Gaddafi is toast I wonder if we could focus on the next candidate for the I’m Done, Butter Me Hall of Fame.   It took Muammar forty-two years to finally realize that he should have retired to the French Riviera twenty  years ago.  Like wasn’t ten billion dollars enough for room service?  Did he have to stick around just because he wanted to bequeath Libya to his kids?  So now he’s got nothing to show for it other than looking suspiciously like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

Which brings me to the Prez.  Yes, I know that the country was in the shitter when he took office.  Yes, I know he’s a lot smarter, quicker on the uptake and more compassionate than his predecessor.  He can even say nuclear without making it sound like he’s from Bolivia.   Yes, I know that he had little to do with our sixteen gazillion dollar deficit.  Yes, I know that Obama has accomplished more than we realize.  But I want him to enter the phone booth, shed his glasses, remove his tie and leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Two, even three, bounds would be acceptable.

Why do I feel blah when he appears on my TV screen?  Why do I feel that he needs lessons in Excel so he can put his plan on paper?  Why did the Republicans get everything they wanted when they control only one part of government…the House of Loons.  Why am I still waiting for Superman?

The presidential campaign has begun (or maybe it never ended).  The Republicans have fielded a sorry mess of candidates.  They are even killing their young.  The latest entry into the fray is a governor who thinks his home state should secede from the Union.  A guy who has so many lies to live down that his nose length precludes him from using the supersized revolving door at LAX.  While bemoaning the size of government, this guy shleps big bucks  from supporters in return for appointments to a bushel of commissions that he, the sworn enemy of big government, established.

People still flock like adoring groupies to see the Snow Queen, and she laughs all the way to the bank.  There is so much duct tape on Ms. Bachmann’s mouth that she has to be fed intravenously.  Yet she wins the Iowa straw poll and proclaims herself the messiah who will lead us back to $2 a gallon gas.  Then there’s the party’s token black, a Clarence Thomas act-alike ready to pack the Supreme Court with little Clarences.

And a guy who might be on the cusp of agreeability has been tied in knots by Tea Party take-no-prisoners and other folks who think Mormons are from Mars.  And how about Ron Paul who famously said Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism.  If he wasn’t running for President, he’d do a great job of making the trains run on time .

So, with all this mediocrity vying for the Republican pole position, why am I pouting about someone who is head and shoulders above them?  Maybe Superman is just a dream.  Maybe I should thank my stars that we’ve at least got Mighty Mouse to save the day.


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