Posts Tagged 'John Boehner'

NRA Caves In

The National Rifle Association, bowing to pressure exerted by Congress, has agreed to change its name to the National Gun Association.

Acknowledging that most of the murders committed in the U.S. involve handguns instead of rifles, the NRA began to destroy its existing  stationery and order new stocks that also incorporate its revised slogan “Guns r Us”.   Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president said in a short but heartfelt announcement “we know when to cash in our chips, give up the ghost, wave the white flag and lay down our arms.  This is a major victory for the gun control folks, but what the hell, we’ve had a good run.”

Expressing great satisfaction with the U.S. House of Representatives’ demands for the name change following last week’s massacre in Isla Vista, Speaker Boehner said, “That should bring closure to the question of whether we’ve got the balls to take on the NRA.  Forcing them to change their name brings them out of the closet and reveals just who they represent.  This is another meaningful accomplishment that our members can point to this November as we seek to expand our control of the House and take back the Senate.  And as further evidence of our commitment to reduce gun violence, I intend to offer up a proposal that repeals the Affordable Care Act. ”

When reporters queried Mr. Boehner about the connection of the repeal of Obamacare to the carnage caused by the lack of any meaningful gun controls, he replied “Oh, that’s just something we do”.  Mr. Boehner then left the Capitol to deliver the keynote speech at the NRA annual meeting.

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the Tea-Party star better known as “Joe The Plumber”,  joined the chorus of gun rights advocates by penning the following to Richard Martinez, father of one of the Isla Vista victims.  “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.  So there.”  When asked what controls, if any, he might advocate to reduce the kind of carnage that happened in Isla Vista, Joe replied “Ya know, there were three people who that crazy bozo slaughtered with a knife.  Maybe we can require a seven-day waiting period and background checks at places like Williams Sonoma or Bed Bath and Beyond.  After all, there’s nothing in the Constitution about the right to bear knives.”

Attorney General Sam Olens of Georgia, where a recently enacted law allows people to carry guns into bars, churches and public places, said there was no truth to the statements made by gun owners that the law allows guns in public schools.  “That law only allows parents to carry guns when they pick up their kids.  After all, we’ve been overrun by kidnappings in school parking lots.  Someone had to do something, and we did it.”

One bright spot was Kansas where Attorney General Derek Smith clarified the law regarding guns in polling places.  “It’s OK to bring concealed weapons to a polling place as long as they allowed guns in that place before its use as a location where people vote.”  Gun control advocates cheered the clarification. On the other hand, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback questioned the logic of the restriction on polling places and surmised “Damn, maybe we should have let this alone.  Maybe if I were a fraudulent voter I’d think twice about going to place where some volunteer could blow me away without the proper ID.”

Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a courageous single-handed effort, proposed a slate of tough new gun controls including the public flogging of Chicago gun shop owners who violated the laws.  However, a reporter noted that 96% of the guns used during the city’s violent crimes were purchased in Kansas.

Napalm in the morning…

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

That was Robert Duvall’s famous line from Apocalypse Now.  We laughed nervously at Lt. Colonel Kilgore’s morbid craziness while we also stared at the wild, crazy eyes of Marlon Brando, playing Colonel Kurtz, a berserk officer living in a cave, who had gone over the deep end in the same movie.

I was somehow reminded of that movie as I watched and listened to John Boehner this morning as he tried to explain why he couldn’t successfully arm wrestle enough members of his own party into voting for his Plan B.  A plan devised by folks who apparently had skipped arithmetic in first grade.  A plan that offered to microscopically increase taxes on folks making over a million dollars while, maybe inadvertently, also raise taxes on a few million poor folks.  Such a deal.

Eric Cantor, majority leader and Boehner’s Sancho Panza, stood next to the Speaker and, when his turn in the barrel came, told us how the Republicans had fought hard to maintain fiscal sanity while the Democrats simply didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation.  Then he quickly stepped aside, exited stage left, and went home for the holidays.

Speaker Boehner, looking like he needed some emergency time in the tanning booth, then took questions from the press.  “Mr. Speaker, now that you weren’t able to corral enough of your own party to pass your own Plan B, and since all of your members are headed for the airport, what are you going to do next to keep us from going off the fiscal cliff?”

Rising majestically to his full political height, a smile appeared on his face not unlike that of a kid who has no way out other than to tell the truth, and said “God only knows.”  For the first time ever, I actually almost believed him.

The Speaker knows the solution but can’t bring himself to say it.  To say it means that he will have failed to satisfy the Colonel Kilgores and Colonel Kurtzes of the Republican party.  The crazies who have hijacked the party and are holding it hostage until he and we agree to their every demand.  Holding a gun to their own heads like Cleavon Little did in Blazing Saddles.  The crazies who, like the NRA’s gun-toting national icon Charlton Heston, will never let a tax hike be pried from their cold, dead hands.

The same crazies worship Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, who earlier had promised to provide constructive suggestions that would stem the mass killings of first graders.  In satisfaction of that pledge he offered these remarks at today’s NRA news conference…

America has left its school children utterly defenseless.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Put an armed police officer in every school.

Laws that declare school zones as “Gun Free” actually entice killers to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

He criticized Congress for not having established a national data base of the mentally ill (he did not, however, offer to be first on its list.)

How does one deal with crazies?  First, you convince the vast majority of our citizens that the crazies are indeed crazy.  We’ve already done that, in spades.

Second, you refuse to deal with the crazies on their terms.  We’re doing that.

Third, you replace the crazies.  We’ve done some of that but another opportunity will come up in 2014.

Yes, the fiscal cliff is ten days away.  As the venerable George W. Bush once said “bring ’em on.”  If we do that, here’s what will happen.

Sane folks, including a bunch of Republicans, will realize that the sake of the country is more important than Grover Norquist, The Tea Party, and Wayne LaPierre.  They will band together with enough votes to pass legislation that will lead to fiscal sanity and put a severe dent in mass murders.

Until then, get used to the smell of napalm in the morning.

Robert Duvall

Still a good idea…apparently

A couple of years ago I told you about the movie Night Shift.  That’s where Henry Winkler manages the after dark goings-on at the local morgue.  His buddy is Michael Keaton, a loveable neer-do-well who has nothing better to do than hang out with Henry and his quiet companions, and conjure up money-making ideas that come well short of Einstein’s theory of relativity.  One night Michael says “Ya know, we spend far too much time squishing mayonnaise into a can of tuna.  It’s tough, hard work.  We could save time by simply feeding the mayonnaise to the tuna before we bash its brains out.”

I was reminded of that clever idea when the Huffington Post  published a summary of Senator McConnell’s proposal to solve the debt limit conundrum.  If I’ve got it right, Mitch wants to cede responsibility for raising the limit to Obama so long as the Prez also proposes expense reductions equal to the debt increase.  Congress (i.e. Republicans) could vote against the debt increase, but Obama could veto the negative vote thereby becoming solely responsible for further indebting the country.  Independently, Congress (again, i.e. Republicans) could vote against the expense reductions and Obama could veto the negative vote, thereby being solely responsible for taking food out of the mouths of the hungry, healthcare from the sick and guns from the troops.

Good idea, says Mitch.  “That way we can say we Republicans didn’t want the debt limit increased.  And we sure as hell didn’t want to cheat grandma out of her visits to Dr. Kildare.  Obama did it, so elect Michelle.”

Playing the Henry Winkler role, the Prez said that Mitch (playing Michael Keaton as though he were vying for an Oscar) had an interesting idea.  But that maybe it was better to address the problem head-on even if it cost Mitch a trip down the red carpet in November.

Supporting the Prez by pooh-poohing Mitch and, in the process continuing her insatiable quest for the Judy Holliday  Zany Brainie award of the year, was Michelle Bachmann.  Disputing the very idea that the government’s credit standing might be tarnished and that checks would surely continue to be mailed to her government subsidized husband, she said…“I’m a ‘no’ on raising the debt ceiling right now because I have been here long enough that I have seen a lot of smoke and mirrors in the time I have been here…”   Who’s to argue with that?

John Boehner, tearing himself away from coddling the Tea Party members of the House, offered praise for Mitch’s idea on Fox News…“I think everybody believes there needs to be a backup plan if we are unable to come to an agreement, and frankly I think Mitch has done good work.”   Deftly playing both sides of the street he added…“I don’t think such a proposal could pass the House in any way, shape or form…”  So there.

Well, I suppose the good news is that they are still talking.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually come up with a thought as eloquent as this snippet from Night Shift that focuses on the use of the movie morgue as a house of prostitution.

Henry: (disgustedly)  As we sit here and idly chat, there are women, female human beings, rolling around in strange beds with strange men, and we are making money from that.

Michael: Is this a great country, or what?

 


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