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The New Normal

As most of you know, I live in Manhattan so I’ve been living Hurricane Sandy for four days now. Not surprisingly, the whole thing has elevated my already active bitchy tendencies. I’ve been watching wet reporters feeding me bullshit about homes burning down, roller coasters falling into the ocean, cars floating down Church Street, basically everything but what they should be talking about; climate change.

This is the second year in a row, when a hurricane has become a problem that the North East has to deal with. And everyone seems to be acting like this is normal. It’s not fucking normal! These giant, 550 mile wide storms working their way up the east coast are not normal. Well, they didn’t used to be. They’re the “new” normal. YAY for me!

And while I’m embracing the new normal, I’m having to endure an election year where for the first time in thirty years, neither presidential candidate was asked a single question about climate change in any of the debates. Are we really pretending like this isn’t fucking happening?

Apparently we are. That shit needs to stop. We need to be talking about climate change all the time. I don’t know why liberals and democrats have given up on it, but let me tell you that it hasn’t given up on us. Actually, I do know why we’re not talking about it; because our liberal bastion of a democratic president isn’t talking about it. We need to make him talk about it.

But as long as we’re going to ignore climate change, I need to set some ground rules;

There will be absolutely no talk about cutting the budget for FEMA. Obama wants to cut funding to FEMA by 3%, Romney wants to privatize it completely, which to me means that Obama must be bitch slapped (yes, I’m volunteering) and Romney needs to be put down. Future conversations regarding budgeting for FEMA must echo the conversations about defense spending. Since we’re going to ignore climate change, we must embrace the idea that FEMA is the biggest growth area in our economy and budget accordingly.

There will be no insane winger rhetoric about the privatization of emergency services. This is crazy bullshit that can be dismantled with a little recent history. Trent Lott, the douchebag republican senator from Mississippi, learned how well the private sector works for people after Katrina. He had to sue State Farm because they refused to pay for the damage to his home. Ever heard of FEMA insurance? It’s government funded homeowners insurance that exists because the private sector doesn’t want to deal with you, if they think they will have to pay out a high dollar claim. So if you live in Florida or Texas, you have some of that socialist FEMA hurricane insurance because State Farm would rather you go fuck yourself, than submit a claim for hurricane damage to your house. I’m guessing that we’re going to start seeing FEMA hurricane coverage here in New York because of the new normal and all.

There will be no talk of cutting the budget for any technology that will help us detect hurricanes before they fuck me. Does anybody have any idea how fucked New York City would be right now if the subway system hadn’t been shut down before the hurricane hit? Or how fucked our electrical grid would be if the power company didn’t know to shut parts of the grid down preemptively? No, early detection is not something we can do without. NOAA and NASA get as many goodies as they need to keep a Metro North train from blowing off the track and landing on top of my house.

I hope I’ve been clear on my rules on how to proceed in this climate science era we seem to be living in. You may now proceed to laugh any politician that doesn’t adhere to my rules, out of the room.

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Voting Third Party

I was going to write about the conventions today, but I decided to do something different. My impression of the conventions is pretty clearly spelled out on my Facebook page.

I received two questions this week alone, asking why I don’t write or comment more about third party candidates. I’m assuming these questions are rooted in recognizing that I’m not a partisan hack. I call bullshit anywhere that bullshit exists, without doing the “calling it even” crap that the main stream media does. It’s not even. One party is significantly more destructive to most Americans than the other is. Any true conservative or liberal would agree with that assessment. Real conservatives completely lost their party eleven years ago. Liberals are in the process of losing their party, as I write this.

So why don’t I talk about third party candidates? I have two main reasons. Let me start with the most insignificant, and easy to explain. I don’t like either of the two most popular third party candidates; Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. I like Gary Johnson as a person, but libertarianism is the single most childish ideology ever created by the human race. I don’t want to go on a long rant about libertarianism, so let me cut to the jugular right away. Unless you can provide an example of a single country or civilization in which libertarianism has successfully brought prosperity or growth, you’re basically advocating for the existence of unicorns. I’m not interested in your unicorn because I’m an adult. I like to form my opinions based on empirical evidence and historical precedent. On to Jill Stein. I just don’t like her, even though I agree with almost everything she says. I’ve heard a few interviews with her now, and I’ve concluded that she doesn’t listen. She’s the type of person that waits for her turn to speak, without absorbing or considering anything that is being said on the other side of the conversation. And her rebuttal to the point that voting for a third party is an exercise in futility is also childish. She thinks that even though she doesn’t have a snow balls chance in winning, that every vote for her (or any third party) diminishes any “mandate” that the victor will ultimately have. BULLSHIT. George W Bush barely got selected to be president in 2000. He didn’t have anything resembling a mandate and yet, he barreled through his presidency as if he were the imperial president.

This mandate thing is nonsense, because our representatives don’t give two shits about your opinion. I can give you a long list of examples, but let me briefly give you two. Afghanistan. We’re over it. Democrats are over it, and republicans are over it. Now that we killed Bin Laden, no one can make a cogent argument for why we’re still there. And yet our representatives, republican and democrat alike, won’t get us the fuck out because the defense companies that own them don’t want us out. My second example is social security. Three quarters of Americans (republicans and democrats combined) don’t want to see a single cut made to social security, ever. Most of those people don’t even understand that there’s an easy fix to the social security problem. If they did, that 3/4 number would go up. And yet, the vast majority of our legislators can’t fucking wait to make the “grand bargain”, which will result in significant cuts in benefits. Obama, Boehner, McConnell are all on the same page on this one. Instead of raising the cap on contributions into the fund, they want to raise the retirement age and cut benefits.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I’m making a great argument in favor of third party candidates. I’m not, and here’s where I turn it all around. Our politicians aren’t people. They’re tools. They don’t give a shit about your needs because they don’t work for you. They work for the interests that pour money into their coffers to get them elected. This is the fucked up system of governance that we must work within. We have a system in which the candidate with the most money wins their election 94% of the time. Think about that for a second. The person with the most money wins NINETY-FOUR PERCENT of the time. The ideas and the people running are irrelevant. Good guy/ bad guy, ideological purist/ pragmatist; none of that matters. The only thing that matters ninety four fucking percent of the time is the MONEY.

The irony is that I believe that a bigger percentage of third party voters know that statistic, than the rest of the population. That’s true of the third partiers I know, anyway. But when you know that fact, supporting third parties is even more inexplicable because you still have to believe that the better idea can win. That is not fucking possible, and the empirical evidence tells you that it’s not possible.

As long as we have to operate under this system, voting is an exercise in picking the less damaging, sell out candidate among the options available to you. That’s just a fact. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t call myself bitchy for nothing. You need to grow the fuck up, and realize that there is no political nirvana to be had in this system.

We have to fix the goddamned system before we can expect anything good to come out of it. Voting for a third party candidate is like flicking water off your fingers at a wildfire, and expecting to extinguish that fire. It’s actually worse because what you think is water on your fingers, is actually little tiny droplets of gasoline. The interests that control our government fucking love it when you vote third party because you’re practicing self voter suppression. You’re throwing your goddamned vote away and helping their guy win by checking out of the system. Voting third party is an exercise in futility, and it always will be.

I will be writing a lot about what we need to do to fix this monumentally fucked up election system of ours after the election, and as followers of this blog grow. It’s going to take a lot of proactive work, on the part of a lot of us. But right now, we have an election to deal with. And we have to have that election with the current system in place. We have to focus on minimizing the damage.

We can’t help to elect candidates that want to tear down our social safety nets as quickly as possible, and destroy our already pathetic education system in order to feed the corporate profits of their masters. In case you haven’t figured out yet, that would be 100% of republicans, and roughly 40% of democrats. I don’t care what a politician calls themselves. Whether they’re republican or democrat, you have to pick the one that will slow down that dismantling of our social contracts.

You have to do this until we change the system. I’m a sunny optimist. I believe that we can fix the system, and I have an idea of how to do it. But right now, we have to keep our eye on the prize and get through this election cycle.

I just don’t see how voting for a third party candidate is going to serve your best interest. I hope that answers your questions on this topic.

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Obama Is The Luckiest Man In The World

  He’s got an uncomfortably low approval rating, decreasing support within his own base, an opposition party that wants to crush him like they’ve never wanted to crush another and yet, he’s virtually assured a second term in office. It almost feels like he’s won the lottery ten times in a row, by buying one single lottery every week.

His incredibly good fortune started when the republican party rolled out their clown car of potential opponents. Seriously, these people are just fucking embarrassing. They weren’t just bad candidates. They were among the dumbest, and most dishonest people in the country. We started with two morons that (mercifully), never ran; Sarah Palin with her IQ of lint, and Donald Trump who never met a company (or hairstyle) that he couldn’t bankrupt. Then we moved onto Michele Bachmann, whose own staffers said has no use for facts. Next up was Rick Perry, who I’m convinced has alzheimer’s or some other similar affliction (I’m not kidding). When he proved to be too dumb for anyone that isn’t a Texan, we were treated to Herman Cain who took almost as much pride in his ignorance (remember Uz Becky Becky Becky Becky Stan Stan Stan), as he had hubris in his perceived sexual appeal. And let’s not forget Rick Santorum who is all about small government, except that he literally wants government up your ass in order to make sure that nothing else gets up there. Because once you let something up your ass, you’re invariably going to want to fuck (and marry) your neighbor’s schnauzer. Come out of the closet already, Rick. You’re entirely too obsessed with the ass to pass for straight.

This brings us to Obama’s latest winning lottery ticket; Newton Leroy Gingrich. This is a man whose own party voted to remove him from the speakership for being too corrupt, even for congress. This is a man who, at the age of 16 was fucking his teacher whom he later married, and subsequently left after she was diagnosed with MS. But don’t worry about Newt, he was already fucking the woman that would become his next wife, before he left the first one. Being nothing if not consistent, he left that mistress-and-then-wife when she received a cancer diagnosis. Once again, he had the next mistress/wife lined up before he left the cancer riddled one. And since everything Newt does must be more loathsome than the thing he did before, he was probably sitting in his car (parked at the hospital), after just having served wife #2 with divorce papers, getting blown by soon to be wife #3, while on his cell phone with CNN, doing an interview about what a dirtbag Bill Clinton was for cheating on his wife. But Newt’s long history of douchebaggery isn’t where Obama got lucky.

Obama’s luck stems from the fact that Newt is going to do to his (Obama’s) eventual opponent, what Obama won’t; tear him from limb to limb. Over the course of the next nine days, before Newt is forced to realize that he’s done running for president, he’s going to make Mitt release his tax returns. Not just this years tax returns, but several years tax returns. He’s going to force Mitt to go on the defense, which is something that Mitt sucks at.

Every time Mitt opens his mouth, he looks like more and more of a self entitled fat cat, who has no fucking idea how 99% of Americans live. Seriously Mittens, fire your health insurance provider? Where the fuck do you live? Because where I live, you get the insurance plan that your company provides you with(assuming you’re lucky enough to have a job). And if that plan sucks, you’re lucky if there’s one provider in your area that takes single subscribers. Firing your company sponsored health insurance plan will cost you hundreds of dollars a month, if you never seek out health care. What a fucking asshat, seriously. Newt is going to force Mitt to confirm that he has millions of dollars parked in the Cayman Islands, not because he’s sheltering it from taxes of course, but because the money prefers a tropical climate. Massachusetts is just too frigid a climate for the money. In order to keep the money happy, Mitt needs to keep the money warm and nicely tanned so that it’s in a good mood when it pays all of the taxes it owes the United States.

Newt is going to force Mitt to say stupid, implausible shit like that so that when he does become the nominee (and he will), Obama’s PACs need only run clips of Mitt speaking. I don’t believe that Obama is capable of damaging Mitt the way Newt is. During the 2008 campaign, we all collectively believed that Obama rope-a-doped Hillary. We were wrong. She rope-a-doped herself. In watching Obama govern for three years now, it’s obvious that he’s not a fighter. He’s quiet and subdued right up until the moment when he acquiesces to his opponent.

Yes, Obama got unfuckingbelievably lucky again. He can keep sucking at his job without fear of getting fired from it.

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I Whine Because You Blow

In the past week, Joe Biden has joined the white house administration chorus in crapping on the democratic base. Here, watch;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOlPVivrG8g[/youtube]

Buck up? That sounds familiar. Hmmm…where have I heard that before? Oh right I heard it from Obama here. I’ve heard this enough from the administration to now be able to decisively say that these aren’t gaffes. This is a mystifying strategy. I don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, but I can tell you that the result is a division in the democratic party.

This happened on MSNBC yesterday:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6-d94s019s[/youtube]

I wasn’t watching it because I wasn’t home, but I was checking twitter from my iPhone. My twitter feed exploded with anti-Cenk tweets. I had no idea what was going on, so I had to wait until I got home to catch up. I watched the clip and agreed with most of what Cenk said (although a less red-faced delivery might have been more appealing). I listened to Cenk’s show later (The Young Turks) and heard him say that he thought all of those tweets were a concerted effort to astroturf (sometimes right wing media outlets will tell their fans to pile on a specific left wing pundit on a specific day) him. They weren’t. They were tweeted by members of the democratic base that I follow.

These people are active democrats that buy into the idea that the health reform bill was “historic”. They buy into the white houses’ narrative that the administration has delivered on “70% of the promises made in the campaign, in twenty short months”. I suppose that’s one way to look at it, but you have to overlook a whole lot in order to maintain that point of view.

Was the health reform bill historic? No. Was the fact that something happened with health care legislation historic? Yes, but only in that, the last time we reformed health care was fourteen years ago. When something occurs that infrequently, it’s not unreasonable to refer to it as “historic”.

I don’t believe it was historic because it didn’t fundamentally change the system. We all still have to buy our health insurance from private companies, and there is still nothing place to prevent them from gauging us with obscene rate increases every year. I’m not saying it didn’t help some people out. I know that it did. I see comments and blogs from people that have been able to obtain health coverage for the first time in years, every single day. I thoroughly appreciate the difference this reform has made, for the small number of people that it’s helped.

But let’s be honest, this bill wasn’t much more than adequate. It was the bare minimum that could have been passed, and still labeled a “win” for Obama. As lacking as this bill is, there would still have been one way that I would have been satisfied with it – if the administration had actually fought to get the best thing they could, I could have championed this bill. But they clearly didn’t. Does anyone remember President Obama’s moving speech, strongly advocating for a public option? Yeah, me neither. Does anyone remember President Obama strongly advocating for a medicare buy in? Yeah, me neither. Does anyone remember seeing a single republican standing on the senate floor, reading the phone book in an effort to filibuster the passage of the bill? Yeah, me neither.

I could have accepted this crapfest of a health reform bill if you had tried and failed. You didn’t. Don’t tell me to buck up. Fuck you.

Same thing with financial reform. This administration didn’t do a goddamned thing to regulate the derivatives market, which is the thing that every economist agrees, is the root of our financial instability. They didn’t even try.

I will buck up when, and only when you don’t fuck up. And I’m not a whiner, a retard, or a vicious part of the professional left that is trying to undermine you. I’m trying to make you better. If you wanted an uninformed, sycophantic base, you should have run as a republican. Oh yeah, and fuck you!

Even with this split between democrats that need to believe, and democrats that need to think critically, I’m positive that one thing will happen – we will all collectively show up to vote. Active democrats don’t sit out elections, any more than active republicans do. You know who’s not going to show up? Everyone else. The people that turned out en masse to vote for change in 2008 will not be there for you this time. And if you don’t start to deliver meaningful change in the next two years, they’re not going to show up for you in 2012 either.

The sycophants in the democratic party will show up because they feel that you’ve given them enough change that they can stay on board. Disgruntled democrats will show up because we realize that you suck less than republicans. You’re wasting your time crapping on your base. We’re going to be there for you one way or another, but no one else will. You’ve disenfranchised and demoralized everyone else with your half assed legislative “victories”.

This administration sucks at politics if they can’t figure that out. Pointing at your base and saying, “A HA! This is your fault!” when you lose in November is stupid, and it won’t help you get your shit together for 2012. This strategy makes Obama a lot like Bush in that, both love pointing the finger at someone else when they fuck up.

I whine, because you blow. And my whining is not the root of your problems. You blowing is.


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