A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Snort Notes – August 2011


Yes, it appears that one of our most despised enemies in recent decades had a “thing” for Condi! This was not a good week for Condi. First this news breaks, and then Bush Vice President Dick Cheney slams her in his just published, hotly-quoted memoir.

Now that we know this, a few other things make sense. Like all of those mysterious phone calls to Condi’s residence in the middle of the night, where the caller would hang up just as Condi picked up the receiver, traced back to you-know-who’s palace in North Africa. Or Ghadafi’s interview with Al-Jazeera when he went into orgasms chanting “Leeza, Leeza, Leeza”. Or why Ghadafi suddenly tossed all of his Moms Mabley memorabilia nine years ago.

Suddenly, all these events make sense now.

Okay, two reactions to this bit of news:

One: “Ewwww, gross!”

And two: “Back off Moammar! I saw her first!”

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s put this in perspective. What if, and I’m just saying, what if historical evidence is found that Eva Braun came across a stash of Der Fuhrer’s unmailed love letters to, say, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Again, two reactions:

One: “Ewwww, gross!”

And two: “Ewwwwwwwwwwwww! Grossssssss!” another part of Libya...


As Ghadafi’s reign disintegrated, a few American congressmen raised the idea that here was a chance to get the Lockerbie bomber back into a Scottish jail. Pardoned by Scotland on humanitarian grounds because he was (allegedly) only a few months away from dying of cancer, the bomber was given a hero’s welcome in Libya. That happened in 2009. Only problem was that Megrahi reneged on his part of the deal; he didn’t die.

Now, within the last few days, CNN has conveniently broadcast footage showing Megrahi dying at his mother’s home. He is depicted as comatose, near death, and having gone without medication for several days because rebels have looted the nearby pharmacy. With this footage coming to light, the calls to have him returned to Scotland have subsided. Scotland doesn’t want him and the Libyan rebels won’t give him up. Many believe that whether he dies in Libya or in jail is a moot point, so he might as well die at home surrounded by his loved ones.

My only problem with all this: now that the international media has gotten hold of this story, how far will they run with it? If Megrahi doesn’t go to be with his 72 virgins soon, he may become the subject of daily, beat-into-the-head saturation of daily medical bulletins. That’s all we need: Megrahi to drag this out like that drama queen Francisco Franco did in 1977!

The very thought of this makes me long for a replay of the O.J. Simpson trial, and we all remember what a kidney stone of a media event that was!


As the Weavers sang many years ago, “Good night, Irene! Good night, Irene!” (You effin bitch whore! – characterization mine.) I’ll see you in my dreams! (NOT!)


Vento, long a symbol of the typical Alger Hiss rags to riches American success story, became the guy liberals loved to hate a few years ago with his posted insistence that his cheesesteak customers order in English. He could have stated that his policy was a desire to increase ordering efficiency, but somehow his explanation made him look like a racist. A city investigation later found that he was within his First Amendment rights to post the “speak English only” directive, and he became a hero to the Tea Party. This just pissed off liberals even more.

Then, in the months since the controversy died down, the local media highlighted Vento’s contributions to the community. He supplied a local church with food to feed the homeless. He held benefits for local police charities. Vento once contributed money to one of Elton John’s AIDS benefit concerts. The list of his charitable contributions probably goes on longer than people wrapping around his shop at noon time.

So in judging Joey Vento with a scale that gives more weight to actions over words, then perhaps the liberal community was too harsh on this son of South Philadelphia. After all, we’ve all said things we later regretted, and we don’t think it’s fair to let the rest of our lives be tainted by those words. How can we hold Joey Vento accountable to a higher standard? He was nothing more than a product of the society in which he grew up.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Vento.

(Thank you for reading! Adolf and Eleanor sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Ewwwww!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Great Earthquake of 2011

Everyone should know by now that my area of the world had an earthquake this week. The devastation that the 5.8 tremor left in its wake was nearly minimal. The loss of life defies description because nobody died! Okay, maybe there were a few broken fingernails, but that’s it!

I was at work, reviewing a few cases when the great event happened. My first feeling that something was amiss was the floor shaking – almost like a wave rolling under my feet. I stood up and looked around, only to see all of my co-workers standing up and peering over the top of the cube walls that were vibrating slightly. Everyone had a look of puzzlement on their faces as if we were silently asking each other, “Are you feeling what I’m feeling?” I stated out loud, rather matter-of-factly, “Must be an earthquake.”

A few more seconds passed and I perceived that the floor had stopped moving. Our 15 (some estimates ran as high as 18) seconds of sheer...bemusement was over! Bravely, boldly, I SAT DOWN at my desk and RESUMED MY WORK! My other workers conversed for a few more minutes and we all went back to our duties, even though a good portion of our job could not be accomplished for the next hour or so because the outside phone circuits were jammed.

Then, it happened! Absolutely nothing! Nothing at all for the rest of the workday! Our office handled the event with excited serenity and an anxious calm. We did not evacuate our building. By the end of the day, our office was back to normal with the average, everyday buzz of phones ringing and clicking-clacking of computer keys.

Meanwhile, in Center City Philadelphia...pandemonium reigned!

Office workers were told to evacuate their buildings and thousands dutifully did what they were told and poured into the streets. There, they resisted the temptation to run around in circles with hands above their heads and screaming hysterically. They stood around, talked, comforted each other, and pondered calling it a day in the early afternoon. Many did go home, believing that a mild earth tremor constitutes grounds for paid time off.

Since the great event, the experts have weighed in on what to do and not to do in the event of an earthquake. Yes, that’s all we need to make the day complete: thousands terrorized by the ground turning to mild jello and a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks giving us lessons in tectonic plate shift etiquette! Don’t run into the street, they say; crawl underneath your desk so that you don’t get hit by falling debris. This is fine advice unless the shocks are so severe that the floor collapses beneath your cowering, kneeling mass of protoplasm.

There is some common sense in telling people not to run into the street. For one thing, you could be injured by debris falling off very tall buildings. Second, you could be seriously injured by people — who were obviously faster than you in getting out of their offices and into their cars — running you over as they escape the shock waves that would barely make an ant break into a sweat!

A total analysis of the event must at some point involve raw data. We all know that the quake registered 5.8 on the Richter scale. Another measure was 9.5 on the sarcasm scale expressed by the late night satirists and snarky morning paper journalists writing about our panic reaction. California could have recorded a large number — 9.9 — if every Californian had fallen over in hysterics laughing at the reaction to the quake by wussified effete easterners. Fortunately, the residents of the Golden State took the high road. I’ve heard no reaction from them, although who could blame them if they offered a smug smile and a “Been there, done that!”

On a personal level I was mildly concerned by what I would find when I got home. Would shelves have fallen off the walls? Would a cabinet or two topple over? Would our Fiestaware dishes spill off the iron rack on my kitchen table and shatter? Would a water pipe burst in our basement and gush thousands of gallons of water on our crappy linoleum floor? Oh, and what about Steven and Meredith? What would my cats think of this?

Thus my thoughts as I drove into our driveway and saw nothing wrong. I entered and did a quick inspection from bottom to top of the entire house. Nothing was out of place; everything set and unbroken in its place. No pipe or wall damage at all. As for the cats: Steven met me at the door as usual. I had to call out for Meredith, and found her standing at the top of the stairs with a spooked look on her face. I assured her it was safe to come downstairs, and she came down slowly...eventually.

Now also, the usual religious zealot community is weighing in with their pronouncements on why the quake happened. So far, a rabbi has made the conclusion that the seismic event occurred because the country is slowly adopting a growing tolerance for gay marriage. The Westboro Baptist Church crowd and Pat Robertson haven’t opened their yaps yet, but I’m sure they’ll do so about the time that our next natural disaster — Hurricane Irene — hits the east coast before the end of the weekend.

(Actually, I spoke too soon. Even before I finished this paragraph, Robertson had issued a statement comparing the cracks in the Washington Monument caused by the quake to our national leadership. Typical!)

To this, I say coppy-pock! (No relation to poppy-cock.) If we consider that anything is possible, then perhaps we should consider the idea that the earth tremors happened for the opposite reason. The quake may actually be a sign from another larger than all-of-us force that is angry that gay marriage hasn’t gone nationwide yet. This could be the work of...Liberace!

Go ahead and fall down laughing, Californians! Go ahead and fear the wrath of God, Westboro Baptists! Just don’t underestimate the glory and power of Liberace!

(Thank you for reading. Everyone can come out now. Liberace has left the building.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Am a Job Creator

I know I’ve talked about my parents political proclivities in the past, but to understand where I’m coming from, a quick recap is in order. My mom has been a lifelong Democrat. My father was, until the last few years of his life, a lifelong Republican.

Mom explained to me one time that she sided with the Democrats because they usually looked out for the little guy, the average joe, society’s worker bees. I never did figure out what the hell Dad’s problem was. He would never discuss how he voted and politics was never discussed at the dinner table. Still, he kept a roof over our heads, fed and clothed us, but most importantly brought pizza home when he worked late on a Friday night. Dad was all right, except for the Republican thing, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

I’ll be the first to admit that many of my blog entries have been highly critical of the GOP. I know I’ve made many disparaging remarks about their ruthless, blasé attitude towards the disadvantaged in society. Unbeknownst to many people, I would make these comments with tongue in cheek and a knowing wink of the eye due to a perhaps extremely naïve belief that surely no one group of people can be so callous to another group of people.

Now I know the truth: Mother was right!

Case in point: there’s a current debate in Washington about the payroll tax. As you may recall from a previous episode of Federal Government Follies, a deal was cut last December to decrease the payroll tax contribution of many American workers from 6.5% to 4.5%. You may recall at the time that the Bush tax cuts were set to expire, and the Republicans were crying that those cuts shouldn’t expire because it would hurt the “job creators” (whoever the hell they are). So Obama, ever the centrist, conceded the point on the very rich, and allowed the middle class to enjoy a brief tax holiday.

Now this tax cut is due to expire at the end of this year (I did say “brief” tax holiday). As can be predicted, one side wants to let it expire, while the other side would like to renew it for hard-working Americans everywhere. Take a wild guess as to who is who.

Okay, everyone close your books and put your pencils down! The Democratic President – that champion of cutting deficits by advocating higher taxes for those who can afford it — wants to let the middle-class have their tax cut live on past the end of the year. The Republicans in Congress want — to paraphrase Jim Nabors, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE — want to stick it to the middle class while their very wealthy buds enjoy the lowest tax rates in this country’s history.

I don’t mind paying taxes, since many times they are used to fund many programs and ideas that are for the common good. And I really don’t mind paying taxes as long as everyone - and I mean everyone (are you listening, General Electric?) — pays their fair share. I’m not convinced that the super wealthy in this country are paying what they should be paying.

Don’t take my word for it, but consider the recent griping from one of their own — Warren Buffett. He has made it known that he believes that he and his neighbors in the upper tax brackets are not paying their fair share, and he’s been willing to whip out his checkbook to prove it. God Bless Warren Buffett!

My attitude towards this debate is I’m fine with a rise in my payroll tax, but it has to come with a comparable rise in the tax rates for the super rich. Otherwise, I will use the argument that they’ve used against the Democrats all year. You can’t tax me: I’m a job creator!

Since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve become more sensitive to my place in the capitalist hierarchy. In other words, I have done my best to spend a bit more each pay period than I have in the pay periods for the last ten years. It’s a habit that was a holdover from my six month unemployment stint, when I would meet my monthly obligations, but I wouldn’t hold the rest back for a rainy day.

After all, I was unemployed; as far as I was concerned, the rainy days were already here! I would go forth and stimulate the economy. And the economy liked it, but it proved to be an insatiable bitch, and always begged for more.

So today, I treat myself to breakfast at a local diner at least once a week. Friday nights, I’m in the mood for spending a little more money on a cheesesteak or a pizza on the way home from work (Gee, I wonder where that habit came from? Thanks, Dad!)

Okay, it might be only $10-$15, but if everyone could spend that amount every week, it might go a long way to keeping a business open, which keeps people employed, who in turn go and spend the money they earn at other businesses, which keeps them going, which...and so on!

I order goods more frequently on line than I ever have. Bed sheets from Haband, books and DVDs from Amazon, sauces and condiments from Fly Creek Cider Mill! I’m a spending fool!

So go ahead, raise my taxes! Then maybe I won’t be so generous in spreading my wealth (what little I have) around. I won’t eat breakfast out, and I’ll cut way back on my Internet spending. I’ll turn my back on the economy and leave it whimpering in my wake!

I swear I’ll do this if you raise my taxes, Republicans! Go ahead, play your hypercritical job creator card and see how the middle class reacts. You won’t jump start this economy on the bent over backs of the American worker, and you certainly can’t expect Warren Buffett to support the whole country either. Tax everyone fairly or not at all.

(Thank you for reading. Now go forth and order something...preferably something with pepperoni on top!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gaffe Parade

Newly anointed presidential front runner Michele Bachmann has probably had better weeks in her life. Oh, it started off nicely last weekend when she won the Iowa Straw Poll, and everyone knows what an accurate barometer of America’s voting attitude that is...NOT! Then it happened! A new week dawned with new chances to prove herself worthy to the American electorate...again, NOT!

Dogged by a few missteps early in the week brought renewed focus on her lack of knowledge on...well, you name the subject, and she managed to screw it up! During a busy weekend of political events, Bachmann was late for one of the events, and then challenged by reporters as to why she was late. Well, she explained, she had a lot of ground to cover in Iowa — a political fund raising dinner here, a speech there, and, oh yes, a big family reunion in Waterloo. Well, that’s okay! After all, the leading candidate in the party of traditional family values should be allowed the chance to see the folks back home when she just happens to be in the same time zone.

Unfortunately, Michele was a no-show at the gathering of the Bachmann clan. And who revealed this tidbit of information? CNN? MSNBC? My Weekly Reader? No, it was no less than Michele’s own mother that called Michele out on her fib!

Way to go, ma!

Then there was the rally in South Carolina where Michele made a grand entrance to the strains of Elvis Presley’s Promised Land. Of course, she must have got caught up in the moment and giddy with excitement. That might explain why she whipped the crowd into a frenzy to wish Elvis Presley a Happy Birthday...on a day that’s nearly equidistant on the calendar from his actual birth date in January. That was a minor point, because she wished the King of Rock and Roll a happy birthday on the 34th anniversary of Presley’s...DEATH!

Does anyone vet this woman before she opens her yap? Does she have any handlers at all?

Poor Michele! The Libra in me feels sorry for her, while the liberal in me is laughing its ass off! Seriously, I do feel for Michele, as opposed to feeling Michele, but being a married man I won’t go there.

Just to show that I’m not a total liberal jerk enjoying a moment of her public embarrassment, I’ll offer to help her out. The week, for all intents and purposes, is nearly over. Michele has one more chance to make up for all the parade of gaffes this week. So I will make a suggestion that she can choose to use or not that might help repair her image.

I will just mention the fact that during the very same week in 1977 - in which we lost Elvis Presley - another great icon of American pop culture passed on. This icon was a dark, brooding genius of another generation who attacked the pomposities of society with a sharp razor-like wit. In many ways, this man set the standard for comics who came of age in the 60s and 70s.

So it is only fitting that Bachmann honor this man at an event today. She could enter the event as the tune Hooray for Captain Spaulding fills the air, a stuffed duck with a cigar sticking out of its bill under her arms. Then, donning a fake mustache, bushy eyebrows and glasses, she could shout out, “Hey everybody, let's wish Happy Birthday to Groucho Marx!”

No need to thank me for this suggestion, Michele. I’m just doing my duty as a patriotic, fair and balanced liberal blogger...NOT!

(Thank you for reading. “Hello, I must be going...”)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iowa Results Are In!

All media attention last weekend was on the overblown fundraiser for the Iowa State Republican Committee, otherwise known as the Iowa Straw Poll. In recent years, the straw poll has become — in the minds of some — this great event that portends the future of the Republican Party in the presidential election every four years. The media oblige and devote a great amount of time to what has become a combination state fair/carnival/political free-for-all.

Granted, the state of Iowa does get some benefits on its own from the event. It undoubtedly brings more business to the state, if only for a week. It also gives the state a chance to be more than an agricultural center that feeds the rest of us and lives down its unfortunate claim to fame as someplace where rock and roll legends come to crash their airplanes. More about that later, but my point is that we at Arteejee felt left out of the proceedings.

Thus we present the results of the first (and probably last and only) Arteejee Iowa Straw Poll! The voting constituency for this poll comprised me and my wife, Anne Marie. Our cat kids Steven and Meredith, who couldn’t be bothered with the complexities of national politics, sneered and abstained — courteously!

Our decisions were based on admittedly incomplete media coverage of the event. Thus this poll is totally unscientific and the results should not be construed as an endorsement of any candidate for next year’s election. Indeed, as of now, we intend to vote Democrat.


His barbecue easily won over Michele Bachmann’s corn dogs (Really, Michele! Corn dogs? In Iowa? What were you thinking?) and Rick Santorum’s home-made peach jam.


Bachmann’s campaign featured Randy Travis at her tent, which we believe was better than Santorum employing The Crickets (as in Buddy Holly and the...) and bagpipers. Oh yeah, I can just imagine that the Crickets have always held fond memories of playing Iowa ever since The Day the Music Died (see not very subtle rock and roll legends remark above). In this light, the bagpipers presence offered an interesting counterpoint to the otherwise festive politicking.


Watch out, Michele! This guy is hot!


Okay, Mitt Romney did worse, but at least Pawlenty saw the writing on the big tent wall, and bowed out while Perry announced his candidacy at the same time the poll was being conducted.



VOTED TOO STUBBORN TO REALIZE IT’S TIME TO PACK UP THEIR BIG TENT AND GO HOME – A four way tie between Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Jon Huntsmann

Congratulations, gentlemen. Now pick up your John McCain Commemorative I-Did-Lousy-at-the-Iowa-Straw-Poll t-shirts and get the hell out of here!


Granted this has nothing to do with the Iowa Straw Poll, but it did come up in our voter’s discussions about the candidates and how we would like to see some of their campaigns end. This one was the most noteworthy, so I included it here.


Okay, again this is totally off subject, but I’ve been dying to work it in to one of my blog entries for months.


Do you believe she had the cojones to come to the straw poll and upstage everyone with her demure “Oh, I don’t know if I’m running yet. Maybe I’ll announce next month...”? If she keeps this up much longer, the Republican Party establishment will get very frustrated with feelings of repression – political and sexual. And we all know what happened the last time a sexually repressed Republican Party went to the polls. That’s right, Richard Nixon...elected president!

A word to the wise should be sufficient!

(Thank you for reading. Corn dogs! She had the nerve to serve corn dogs! I mean, aren’t they so plentiful in Iowa that they’re, like, lying all over the streets?)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Iowa Beware!

See, there is a downside to being one of the first states to have a primary. The straw poll in Iowa this weekend is a perfect example. Sure, you get the satisfaction of being the first citizens to kick the tires — so to speak — of the newest crop of candidates that want to lead this country for the next four years or so, but at what cost?

There are so many from which to choose, and every other one is more outrageous than the previous one. Candidate A will promise not to raise your taxes; candidate B will promise not to raise your taxes and balance the government’s budget; while candidate C will promise to do all that and put consenting adults of the same sex who just want to live like any other couple in a committed relationship in their place.

My state — the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania — has no time or patience to put up with this kind of riffraff. And by riffraff, I’m referring to the politicians who promise you the moon for your vote, and not the consenting adults of the same sex who etcetera etcetera etcetera. Gays are okay with us. On the other hand, politicians are a totally different animal, particularly after the latest round of political brinkmanship that played out in DC recently.

So as of today, we have eight or ten or twelve or I don’t know how many Republicans tossing their hats into the presidential election ring. Let’s put it this way: there are so many hats in the ring that no one can see the ring anymore. From this multitude, the media are focusing on the eight main contenders, which includes a couple of holdovers from 2008 (Romney and Pawlenty), the tea party fave (Bachmann), a former Obama administration member (Huntsmann), and all the rest — but not including the Professor and Maryann.

Of these contenders, I feel compelled to warn you, dear sweet corny Iowa, about Bachmann and Rick Santorum. I truly have mixed feelings about Bachmann: on the negative side, she is the main tea party candidate who has displayed a bizarre grasp of American history. On the plus side — and I’m speaking now as a male who is deeply appreciative of female beauty — she looks good in a dress. In this respect, she is miles ahead of Santorum, who to my knowledge has never worn a dress. This is a pity, as it might broaden his narrow-minded, 12th century horizons...or maybe not.

Bachmann has made many amusing statements on American history in the course of her campaign. Now, to be fair, I should note that she did get something right. Last week, when she criticized Obama about the S&P downgrade of America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ (the plus sign must count for something), she noted that the rating held steady through “World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Korean War,” and so forth. What was amazing was that she ticked off each of these conflicts/social upheavals in the right order! I was stunned! And she did it without a five year old nearby to check her facts or a crib note tucked into her bra! I was so proud of her!

Santorum deserves to be watched closely, sweet corn-shucking Iowa. In anticipation of this weekend’s straw poll, he has uprooted his wife and seven children from their northern Virginia digs (which is miles away from their “legal” residence outside of Pittsburgh PA), and brought them to your sunny midwestern plains. I assume his plan is to establish residency, ingratiate his brood with your citizenry, and perhaps enroll them in a cyber charter school in your state.

I have no reason to believe this is Santorum’s intention, but the fact is he has done this before. Back in 2004, a controversy arose when then Senator Santorum representing a district in western Pennsylvania listed a residence near Pittsburgh as his legal address. He and his family spent most of its time at a house in Leesburg, VA.

So far, no problem. Papa Santorum’s job was in DC, and who wouldn’t want his children living with him close to daddy’s job. The problem arose when the local school district noticed that Santorum’s children were enrolled – at Pennsylvania taxpayers expense — in a PA cyber charter school when they spent most of the year in VA. The school district ruled that the Santorums didn’t satisfy their residency requirements, and requested a refund from the senator.

Santorum balked and withdrew his children from the PA cyber school. Courts later ruled in his favor, but eventually the school district did get some of their money back courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Department of Education. Where the state got the money to settle this dispute...oh, wait, I guess we the taxpayers of Pennsylvania footed that bill too! No matter what happened, we got screwed!

In any event, Iowa, you may want to watch this man Santorum carefully. If he does well in this weekend’s straw poll, then he’ll go off campaigning to God knows where, and he’ll leave his brood behind in Iowa. You may get stuck with a bill for educating them while daddy runs for president. Of course, if you have no cyber schools in your state, then you should have nothing to worry about.

So, Iowa, good luck with this year’s crop of corn and corn-fed candidates! Enjoy their company, give them a thumbs up or thumbs down for the benefit of the rest of us, and send them on their way. Just make sure they take all of their people with them when they leave.

(Thank you for reading. By the way, Iowa, please don’t take my “kicking the tires” of the candidates remark literally. I’d hate to see Michelle Bachmann emerge from the straw poll with bruises on her ankles.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Random Swings Between Tranquility and Apoplexy

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath. Let’s remember we are all on this earth together as one big, admittedly not always happy, family, but many of us are still learning to get along and respect each others beliefs and cultures and...EFF IT!

You damn tea partiers! You’re destroying all of us just to make one man look bad! For a group that professes to be mostly Christians, you are incredibly selfish!

No, sorry! That outburst was wrong and not very civil. I must remember what my father taught me. He would say, “If you can’t say anything nice, then...say it on EFFN FOX NEWS!!!!”

Sorry, Dad!

You pushed your Republican leaders to stand so firm on no taxes that they were forced to accept a half-ass compromise on the debt ceiling that has been sinking markets all over the world ever since. Look at the stock market yesterday! Dooowwwnnnn over 630 points! Down, as in the opposite of up! Down as in very, very bad!

No, I must get a hold of myself. After all, these are just human beings who mean well and want their very best to make EFFN LIVING HELL FOR THE REST OF US!!!!

You’re destroying our retirement savings! We won’t have anything left to live on just because you want to make Obama a one-termer. My poor wife will be forced to continue working making little instruments that measures stress in glass and plastic products until her fingers cramp up permanently, and her knuckles get all gnarly, and she won’t be able to knit anymore, all because her 401(k) was wiped out by the great Tea Party of 2011!

Okay, I need to take a few more deep breaths. I must control these urges to verbally assault people who are, after all, fellow Americans who like me are hard-working, dedicated to making a better life for all. They are nothing less than freedom worshipping...FEAR MONGERS WHO SEE COMMUNISTS UNDER EVERY EFFN ROCK!

Everyone, let’s welcome back Joseph McCarthy! Let’s dive right into the mud-soaked pool of fear and paranoia! Come on, let’s roll around in it until all of the pores in our bodies are unable to breath in the life-sustaining oxygen of faith and understanding, and our eyes are so caked over with grime and dirt that we can’t see anyone else's point of view except yours. And your point of view is the only point of view, period. Am I right, tea partiers?

Now I must calm down. I should lie back in my Lazy Boy, eyes closed with my cat Steven snuggled comfortably in my lap, and perhaps sipping a nice warm cup of...TEA!


(Thank you for reading. Coffee, anyone?)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dear Wall Street

Dear Wall Street:

Hope this little missive finds you well, although I hear you’ve not been well at all. You taunted and teased us during the course of the default battle recently waged in the halls of Congress. You predicted dire consequences if the United States did not raise its debt limit. Interest rates would rise, thousands (more) would be thrown out of work, retirement investments would shrink, and you claimed that Michele Bachmann would say something stupid. None of which came true, except for your Michele Bachmann prediction, and I’m still wondering what five year old you consulted for that bit of news!

So, in light of all these warnings, the impossible happened: Democrats and Republicans came together (in other times, a sure sign of impending apocalypse) and worked out a compromise deal. Of course, the deal was warmly received for about five seconds, before everyone involved realized what they had done. Sure, Obama got his debt ceiling raised, but without the aid of tax revenue for which he was hoping. Republicans got their spending cuts, but without the balanced budget amendment the Tea Partiers wanted. In short, everyone agreed to a deal that, in the end, left everyone not entirely satisfied.

Their satisfaction was of little consequence as long as you were happy, Wall Street. It didn’t matter one iota if the politicos in Washington were uncomfortable, just as long as you weren’t sitting in the corner and pouting that you weren’t getting your way. So everyone gave in a bit of their principles just to see the look of joy on your face the morning after the dust settled.

So how did you repay us? You tanked! You plunged over 500 points in one session, the worst since the recession began in 2008, and started talk that the recession was on again.

Wall Street, we need to talk.

What the eff is your deal? Historically, you react all jittery every time someone beyond your borders says anything nice about the economy. The government says the dollar is strong, and you start crying. The head of the Federal Reserve develops a case of the sniffles and you go running for an open window on a skyscraper floor very high above terra firma. Someone else sees a trend that first time unemployment filers is down, and you see the end of the world. Please note this equation: working people = good things. Obviously, you have a hard time believing this.

In more recent years we, the American taxpayers, have bent over backwards to help you through your tough times. Unfortunately, you viewed this gift giving as a one-way street. There were strings attached after all.

We gave you billions with the understanding that you would use that money to help homeowners from foreclosure, and to create jobs. So what did you do? You partied and blew the wad on executive bonuses without requiring them to show what they had done to earn it in the first place. Oh, you said they’re good talent and we need to reward them to keep them here.

Hey, Wall Street, I have news for you! There are millions of other Americans whose talent has been going unused for many months, and for some more a few years. When will they get a chance to display their skills again? Hmmm?

Clearly many of you on Wall Street are not cut out for the high stress environment of high finance. Perhaps you should seek out occupations which are less taxing on your nerves. Something like, oh, I don’t know, delivering mass quantities of dynamite in a huge semi tractor trailer that has failed its brake inspections for the last three years. Or how about suicide bomber? There are always openings in this field. Oh, I know, it’s a very short term job, and you can forget about retirement benefits, but it’s obviously more in line with your natural fatalistic tendencies.

(Wow! Job recommendations for those with nerves of celery and career advice for suicide bombers! Can’t you just feel the love, readers? Read on...this gets better!)

Then there are others who are not fulfilling their capitalistic duties. I’m talking about the entrepreneurs who once again — with the help of their Republican chums in Congress — will not see their tax liability go up. You are the ones who it is said are the “job creators”. Okay, so start creating!

As for the rest of you who are not in the position to help homeowners or the unemployed, I have one final suggestion: kneepads! You’re going to need a strong set of kneepads, because there are lots of Americans who are very unhappy with their financial situation and are seeking satisfaction.

Yes, I am suggesting that you get on your knees and suck us! Suck our (insert genitalia here)! So get on your knees, close your eyes, take a deep breath and, I don’t know, “think of England”.

Warmest Regards,

Millions of Pissed-Off Americans

(Thank you for reading. Everyone, send your kneepads to Wall Street!!!!)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Thank You for the Music...Now Get Out of Here!

Compact discs, the grandchild of the vinyl long-play platter, is holding its own against the iPods and other inventions that enable us to hear our music without utilizing a separate contraption. We’ve gone from room size stereo systems that were once the neighbor's envy in the Mad Men era, to tiny players with the accompanying ear buds. Honestly, I thought CDs would be long gone by now.

So, to hasten its demise and drive the last nails into its coffin, here are my suggestions for albums which should do the trick:

1. The Puppini Sisters Sing Abba’s Greatest Hits

2. Derbies and Mallets: The Return of the Nairobi Trio*

3. Newt Gingrich’s Greatest Press Releases, as performed by John Lithgow

4. Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, as read by Percy Dovetonsils**

5. Live from The Improv: Michele Bachmann Teaches America’s Greatest History Lessons

6. Crying Time Again: Greatest Songs of Tears as performed by John Boehner and the House Republican Caucus

7. Faithful: A Collection of Devotional Songs for Long Term Relationships by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Anthony Weiner

8. The Wiggles Sing Mack The Knife and Other Selections by Brecht and Weill

9. Glenn Beck Reads Selections from “Mein Kampf”

*With apologies to Ernie Kovacs

**With more apologies to Ernie Kovacs

(Thank you for reading! Happy listening!)