Monday, January 24, 2011

Steps to Remedy Sophomoric Behavior Expected at SOTU Address

Whoever came up with the term “date night” to describe the seating arrangements anticipated at the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night has a good handle on just how juvenile the behavior of some of our lawmakers has become. When it comes down to actually having to physically require Democrats to sit with Republicans and vice versa to give the appearance of bi-partisanship, we are in deep, deep trouble.

The fact that it took the shooting of a colleague to make legislators appear to act like adults is telling. But before we get all proud of ourselves as Americans and think that our representatives are finally going to act like adults on their own, consider what exactly has to be done to accomplish a bi-partisan seating arrangement on Tuesday.

Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) will be required to sit in the front row, center seat of the chamber so that President Obama can keep his eye on him. Remember, Wilson was the senator who yelled out “You lie!” at Obama in 2009 when he was addressing a joint session of Congress to discuss health care reform. While he has promised to behave, seating planners are taking no chances with this rabble rouser and he’ll be joined on either side by Democratic senators as yet to be named.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has recently disseminated a pamphlet entitled “You Can’t Catch Cooties from a Democrat” to all the Republican lawmakers prior their attendance at the State of the Union Address. The pamphlet was prepared to quell long-standing beliefs Republicans have had that they could very well catch cooties while being forced to stand near or sit next to a Democrat in any public setting. This pamphlet will come in extremely handy for the handling of Joe Wilson.

Special row monitors will be on hand at the end of each row of seating to monitor the passing of notes by disgruntled senators. The necessity of this action came to light immediately following last year’s State of the Union Address when a crumpled up piece of paper was found on the House chamber floor. The note read thusly “Glad we’re sitting way over here, cause I hear you can catch cooties from them Democrats, ha ha.” The note also contained a crude drawing of President Obama with what appeared to be little bugs crawling on his suit.

John Boehner was asked if he felt these measures were necessary to get legislators to act like ladies and gentlemen and not resort to the childish reactions witnessed at last year’s address. Boehner replied simply, “They started it.”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

As Sarah Palin Lays Low, Her Doppleganger Continues to Rile the Masses

The controversy surrounding the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords has kept Sarah Palin in the spotlight, causing her to question whether or not public life is the path she wants to continue to pursue.  Just kidding.

However, the real Sarah Palin is showing signs of becoming weary of all the bad press she is getting and has therefore stepped back into the shadows for a bit until all the hubbub dies down.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a good hold on her evil twin, the Sarah Palin Doppleganger, who seems not to be affected by all the bad press and, in fact, appears to be going out of her way to create more controversy.

In fact, just a few days ago, Sarah Palin (the evil one) announced how honored she was to be chosen as the keynote speaker at the Safari Club International Gun Convention to be held January 29 in Reno, Nevada. And to show her appreciation, Ms. Palin, through her sponsor, a large guns and ammunition retailer, has promised to hand out replicas of the famous “Crosshairs Map” to the first 100 gun enthusiasts who register for the event.

We asked the Doppleganger what was in store for the future and she just smiled and said, “anything to keep those masses riled up, I’m game, but not in a safari sense.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Communication Between Obama and Chief of Staff Devolves into Abbott and Costello Sketch

China’s President Hu Jintao (pronounced Hoo Jin-tou), was scheduled to spend three days at the White House for a state visit, and was the first important item on President Obama’s agenda since William Daley became the White House Chief of Staff. Everything was expected to be perfect and as such, President Obama relied on Daley to make sure everything ran smoothly. The following exchange was rumored to take place on the morning of President Hu’s arrival.

Obama: Morning Bill. What’s on the agenda today?

Daley: Not what, Hu.

Obama: I’m sorry. Hu?

Daley: Yes, Hu Jintao.

Obama: Who’s in town?

Daley: Yes, Hu.

Obama: I don’t know, Bill. That’s what I’m asking you.

Daley: And I’m telling you, sir. Hu Jintao.

Obama: Ok, let me get this straight. You don’t know who’s in town?

Daley: Yes, I do. Hu. That’s the man’s name.

Obama: What man’s name?

Daley: Hu.

Obama: Ok, let’s start over. Who’s on the agenda today?

Daley: You’re absolutely right, sir.

Obama: Look Bill, all I want to know is what’s on the agenda today?

Daley: And I’m telling you sir, Hu.

Obama: Where the hell’s Rahm when I need him?

Daley: Who, sir?

Just then Michelle Obama walks into the room and, not being privy to the conversation but wanting to remind her husband about the big state dinner planned for the evening, says nonchalantly “Morning, dear. Guess Hu’s coming to dinner.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Glenn Beck is Dusting Off His Lederhosen and Ratcheting Up His ‘Hitlerspeak’

“Politicians, however, are there to protect you, and they're pushing a ban on certain symbols and words, a ban on guns, a ban on talk radio.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/11/11]

In the wake of the pushback he’s getting from the shooting in Tucson, Arizona this past week, Glenn Beck is finding it necessary to ratchet up his fear mongering and he’s doing it at a fevered pitch not seen since the days when he first sported a pair of Lederhosen on national television and started interviewing himself. Yes, Beck has brought the Hitlerspeak back to let America know that in the sea of crazy, he is the one lone sane voice that is going to save them from marching to “Der Commandant’s” cadence.

This time he is claiming that certain Washington lawmakers, at the prompting of President Obama, are using the tragedy to once again take away our guns. In doing so, Beck has succeeded in prompting the biggest buying spree of guns, especially the exact same kind of gun used in Saturday’s shooting, since right before Obama’s election, when he spurred Americans to get their guns before their rights were taken away for good.

“It’s not just me that is scared of losing my rights,” says Beck. “Gosh darn it, I have the best interests of my fellow Second Amendment rights believers in mind when I tell them ‘Get out there and buy your weapons, you idiots, before it’s too late.’ Is that so wrong?”

Attempts to find video of this latest on-air stunt have proven to be near impossible as any existing videos of Beck touting Americans to take back America by force, if necessary, have been scrubbed from YouTube. No explanation has been given.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Three Stooges Make Rare Appearance after Tucson Shooting

The definition of a stooge, according to Merriam-Webster is: (1) one who plays a subordinate or compliant role to a principal; (2) puppet.

They may not be the original Larry, Moe and Curly, or even Shemp in this sense, but they are Stooges all the same. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck continue to be manipulated by the big money that pays their salaries, and because of that, they have proven once again that even when they are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they still won’t admit their hate rhetoric may have played a small but important part in shaping a young man’s political views.

The shooting of several people this past weekend by someone who is slowly emerging as a very troubled individual has many wondering how this could happen, as is always the case when tragedy strikes and answers don’t come quickly enough.

Blame slowly begins to be laid at the feet of anyone who may have remotely contributed to shaping the shooter’s mindset. For Sarah, Rush, and Glenn to deny any culpability and to even go so far as to try and place the blame on their political enemies goes beyond the realm of realistic. Yet that is what is expected of them if they are to continue receiving the big bucks from the guys who really call the shots.

The statements and actions by each of the Stooges during the past few years should directly implicate them whether they like it or not in this horrible shooting event, as they had no compunction whatsoever in giving their asinine views nonchalantly about guns, gun rights, political opponents and how to deal with political opponents prior to it. They may want to argue the point, but it is apparent that the Stooges gave their views with little regard as to whether or not a few crazies may actually act on the inciteful messages they were receiving via television or radio broadcasts.

Sure, a number of politicians and pundits from every political persuasion are guilty of using guns to get across their political points. After all, the subject of guns and the right to possess them is one of the most heated debates of our time. However, the rhetoric spouted by the Three Stooges is particularly incendiary due to their wild popularity with the right wing revolutionary populace in this country. Some of the words spoken by Sarah, Rush and Glenn were not only irresponsible, but they were obviously said with the purpose of riling up their base or the base of their puppet masters.

Let it not go unnoticed that since the tragedy, there has been a bit of back peddling being done by the Stooge Sarah as she tries frantically to distance herself from her SarahPAC map and what it really did depict, while Stooges Rush and Glenn seem to actually become even more defiant in their right to say anything they want regardless of whom it spurs to violence. After all, they aren’t the ones who are actually holding the weapons are they?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Palin Explains Mixup in Map Displayed on SarahPAC Website

"Oh gosh, when I woke up Sunday morning, I was just horrified to see my US map with the gun sites directed at US states and names of lawmakers printed below,” claimed a somewhat contrite Sarah Palin in attempting to explain the offending map posted on her SarahPAC web page. “Someone screwed up, and when I find out who it is, they will be reprimanded,” said Sarah Palin in an official denial of any wrongdoing on her part.

When asked to explain then what the map was indicating. “Well gosh,” said Palin, “I used those there crosshair icons on a couple of maps. One was a map I used to strategize my next moose hunts in the upcoming year, and and I also used them on a map I used as a joke to show my helpers about putting our sites on the best darn Christmas sales on Black Friday.” Palin claims she has no idea how the caption came to be attached to this innocuous map and further claims that it was a joke that didn’t have such a great punch line.

“Oh, I remember now,” said Palin, appearing somewhat embarrassed, “that was going to be a calendar gift for all my friends at Christmas. The caption was supposed to be the dates and locations this year I’d be stopping in to give speeches on gun rights.” Then she added, “Someone just got their facts wrong is all. Happens all the time.”

When asked if she was willing to admit there could be a misunderstanding when seeing the map and thusly, the appropriate thing to do would be to take the map entirely off her website, innocuous or not, she replied, “Well, gosh darnit, ya know, we’ve tried that, but it just keeps reloading.”

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Advance Care Planning Initiative Kills Trees Not People

The debate over whether advance care planning is actually another way to describe death panels is rearing its ugly head again since regulation started January 1st. The few folks who are still fuzzy on exactly what the intent of the regulation is are claiming that it will cause some folks who are facing some tough decisions, such as whether or not to continue life-sustaining treatment, to just say the heck with it and have their caregivers pull the plug.

While that is not the case at all with this particular piece of legislation, what most people should be concerned with is how many trees are going to be killed by going forward with the initiative. Yes, I said trees will die and plenty of them, which will probably get the anti-tree huggers folks all riled up with their discourse on hippies and climate change weirdos, but that is a debate for another time.

The point I’m trying to make is that the real losers in any piece of historical legislation are always the trees. Just to start the process, you need bills, and bills are always written with the least amount of brevity because, let’s face it, everyone has an opinion as to what they want the bill to say and Senators and Representatives are no exception. Speaking of which, you don’t have one bill, you have a House bill and you have a Senate bill on the same subject. In the case of this proposed legislation, each of those initial bills counted out at over a thousand pages each.

Then you have the combined bill which finally came out to around 2700 plus pages, give or take a subsection. I’ve worked at law firms all my life, and I’ve seen one draft of a brief of say 30 pages get sometimes up to ten or more re-writes before it is filed with the court. If two or three attorneys are working on the case, each of them has to have a copy of the brief and subsequent drafts. Let’s just say that at the end of the day, it is no longer considered a brief.

But let’s get back to the end-of-life planning phase of the Health Care Reform Bill. To start the process, there are pamphlets to give out at doctors’ offices to inform patients of their rights. One can only imagine the hundreds of man hours it took to come up with just the right wording on that pamphlet and the re-writes to get it just so. Telling someone they have options when it comes to dying can be a tricky business. It’s not something you jot down on a cocktail napkin the night before at Joe’s bar and then go into work the next day and punch it up for your editor’s approval.

After perusing the pamphlet, a patient may make the decision to take advantage of their options, in which case, there are forms to fill out. Consider this. Just filling out the forms to become a patient at a doctor’s office entails filling out and reading about a dozen forms, so imagine the paperwork involved in deciding whether or not you want to continue living when it comes time to make that decision. It would be insensitive to offer less paperwork to allow someone to make a right-to-death decision than it does to visit say a proctologist would it not?

 The doctors who care for the patients have to fill out more paperwork to advise governmental authorities of their involvement with the plan, and, of course, insurance companies will want to be informed of what’s going on, considering the windfall they get if someone decides to cut short their drain on resources to keep them alive.

All of this paperwork should have the trees of the world shaking in their roots. With all the advanced technology we have these days, you still see multiple thousand-page plus bills sitting on legislators’ desks waiting to be read. And we’re not just talking health care, we’re talking about finance reform, DADT regulations being changed, etc. If you’ve been hospitalized lately, you know that it takes the equivalent of time from just after breakfast to the noon hour to sort through all the paperwork the hospital administrators load you down with upon arrival at their facility to make sure they will get their money before your departure. And when you do check out, assuming you didn’t check the end-of-life box on the aforementioned forms, there are inch-thick piles of yet more forms to sign before they wheelchair you out of there.

Next time you want to talk death, take a moment to remember the living things that are giving their lives every day for our propensity to change something for nothing more sometimes than a misspelled word. “The Heath Care Reform Act—Senate Version”…there goes another couple thousand acres of forest.