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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Snort Notes: September 2012

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a totally Mitt-Romney-free entry…um, except for this sentence.)


The Nationals “nattitude” all season long has paid off as the baseball franchise is giving Washington its first taste of a baseball post-season since 1933. As a Phillies fan - who is more bemused than bitter at the prospect of the Nationals going to the World Series - I must point out that Washington didn’t field any baseball team at all for 34 of those 79 post-season-free seasons. Maybe my point throws cold water on the franchise’s excitement…but so be it.

The whole situation makes me believe that at least one Nat player is thankful for playing for the team this year: Jayson Werth. The former Phillie must be grateful to his former franchise for trading him away to a potential World Series contender in 2010, even though he was leaving a team that was trying for another World Series appearance. Well, now the cleats are on the other shoe; Werth gets to play post-season games and the rest of the Phillies get to schedule their tee times on the golf course.

Werth is the focal point of some controversy at the moment here in Philadelphia. The local fans are outraged that Werth faked threw a ball to some kids in the stands when the Nats played the Phils this past week. Werth later justified not releasing the ball - he perceived that there were some unruly middle-aged fans behind the kids who might grab the ball instead of the children - and threw the ball into his dugout.  

Okay, so the kids were obviously disappointed. Prognosis: they will survive to be disappointed another day, and if they’re Phillies fans, disappointment is a certainty. Really, people? This is something to get outraged about, with high unemployment and a federal government paralyzed by a do-nothing Congress? Dear Phillies fans (especially you, Anne Marie) we had a great five years at the top, but it’s time for us to regroup. We’ll be on top again, someday. I just hope it’s not 79 years like Washington, but, you know…someday.


Independent dealers for LukOil in south New Jersey raised their prices for one day to protest the high wholesale prices their corporate bosses charge them. Many drivers must have thought it was a joke when they saw that the prices were posted at $9.99/gallon! It was no joke, but the dealers cautioned drivers that they weren’t serious either; they stopped drivers from using their pumps for the duration of their “protest” and handed out fliers explaining to customers the reason for their gripe. It’s doubtful that the action raised any concerns at the LukOil corporate offices.

Still, there must be some validity to the dealer’s complaints. LukOil has an odd business model. It allows some independent outlets to shut down for months at a time, before they mysteriously reopen like nothing ever happened. One near me has been closed for over a year, with the exception of a few days in early summer, before it closed again. How the hell do you maintain a credible business bond with your customers when they can’t from one day to the next if you’ll be open?

I may be profiling here, but I’ll suggest that the oddity of their business may be rooted in the fact that LukOil is owned by Russians. I’m not implying that Russians are lousy business people, but, let’s face it, they spent the better part of the last century in communism. That’s communism, as in non-capitalistic. Perhaps they are still trying to get the hang of this capitalist business theory. Just a thought….


Williams succumbed to cancer at his home in the wholesome family entertainment capital of Branson, Missouri. One of my earliest childhood memories is hearing his rendition of Moon River as I rode a carousel in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia. The carousel closed decades ago, but Williams performances will live on. 
I also remember watching his variety show where he often hosted the Osmond Brothers. Johnny Cash introduced his hit A Boy Named Sue on the Andy Williams show; and the weekly running gag involved a bear who always asked for a cookie. The request was always denied - inexplicably - by Willams himself with the phrase “Not now, not ever, never!”

The gag was the only time I can recall Williams raising his temper, although one of his obituaries quoted his memoirs as stating that Williams would yell at the television whenever he saw another performer dare to perform Moon River. Williams considered it “his” song. This anecdote got me thinking about what would have happened if Elvis Presley had ever given Andy Williams lessons in handling his television.  

Submitted for your approval:  Elvis starts the lesson by explaining, “Andy, you shouldn’t yell at your television. Yelling is childish. Here, this is what I do when I feel like the television is getting the better of me. You see here, you take a Magnum .45 in one hand, and one of my patented peanut butter and banana sandwiches in the other. Then you alternate between the two; eat your sandwich, shoot the tv! Bite, shoot (BLAM); chew, shoot (BLAM), then repeat as necessary.” I can also see Williams graciously thanking the King for his lesson and explaining that blowing away electronic appliances was just not his style.

Or maybe Williams was kidding in his memoirs about yelling at the television, which blows my Elvis theory apart, but oh well!

In any case I think it’s time that we let the bear have a cookie.

Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.

(Thank you for reading. Seriously, the bear looks like it hasn’t eaten anything in forty years. Somebody give him a cookie!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Weekly Romney Gaffe Report

Ah, readers, a new week has begun in this political season. With this new week comes a fresh set of gaffes from Mitt Romney. Honestly, his weekend pronouncements on various issues allow liberals to look forward to Mondays!

This week Romney created a new reason for the federal government to not ensure that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare. In an interview on CBS 60 Minutes, he pointed out that the uninsured already have access to healthcare by just going to hospital emergency rooms. So, you see, there’s no need to mandate coverage for the uninsured, because they are already getting the care they need.

Obviously, this is not a perfect solution. When the uninsured get treated at emergency rooms, the facilities - that insist on making a profit (go figure) - do not absorb the costs. They adjust the pricing of their other services so that the loss is absorbed when the insured pay their bills. The insured would be people like you and me (the 47%). 
This has undoubtedly contributed to the high cost of healthcare in America. The spreading of the loss is an economic certainty that’s been known by a number of people for years. Those people are a) in the healthcare industry; b) in the healthcare insurance industry; c) everyone else who has had to pay a healthcare bill in recent memory; but not necessarily d) politicians. Obviously this little factoid of economics has been lost on Romney.

Oh, there have been a few politicians over the years that have acknowledged that there is a problem with the uninsured stampeding to their local emergency room every time they have a sniffle. In a 2007 interview with conservative host Glenn Beck, one politician even called the thought of the insured burdened with the cost of paying for the healthcare of uninsured people a form of socialism. That politician's name is, coincidentally, Mitt Romney!

Romney’s most recent statement flies in the face of the universal healthcare law enacted in the state of Massachusetts by you know who. That law was largely successful in cutting down on the number of uninsured seeking care at emergency rooms, according to the Huffington Post. Yet Romney is still sticking with the conservative mantra that what worked in one state won’t necessarily work in the other states.

So, Mitt, how do you know this until we try it?

This has been a good week for gaffes from the Romney camp already this week. He didn’t give us just one, but he gave us two gaffes! I swear, I love Mondays!

Last week, the plane carrying the candidate's wife, Ann, had to make an emergency landing due to smoke in the cabin. Romney later commented on the incident in a story published in the Los Angeles Times. Again, by way of the Huffington Post, Romney pointed out that a big problem with distressed aircraft is that “the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous.” 

Gee, the only real dangerous problem I see at the moment is the idea that Romney might win the election! Also, how did the Times reporter manage to keep a straight face when the candidate made this incredible statement?

It turns out that there are several good reasons why windows on aircraft are sealed. One, as the article stressed, is the danger of hypoxia, which is brought on by the lack of oxygen at cruising altitudes. This is one reason why aircraft have oxygen masks available for all passengers.

Another reason is that the presence of any breach in the aircraft’s pressurized cabin would literally suck everything that isn’t nailed down out of the cabin and into the big blue yonder. This would include objects like magazines, laptops, trash, and, oh yes, last but not least, passengers. If Romney doesn’t believe this can happen, then he should take a break from his campaign, settle down with his wife Ann at home and watch the James Bond classic, GoldfingerA cabin breach could also, as the same climatic scene from the film points out, lead to the loss of control and crashing of the plane.

It makes me wonder if - by some bizarre chance Romney is actually elected - how long he will last as President. We’ve had presidents die in office from assassination, pneumonia, brain hemorrhage, and various other ailments. Romney may be the first President to die from gross arrogance and stupidity when he insists that the windows on Air Force One be opened while in flight.

Any survivors of such a disaster can take heart in the fact that there will always be an emergency room available to treat their injuries. They just need to check their insurance card at the door…

(Thank you for reading. Long live gaffes!)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fifty Three Forty Seven Or Fight

Numbers are in the news again! Of course, numbers are always with us, but in this election cycle, the numbers have been more oppressive than usual. All year we’ve been hearing about the 1%, the 99%…and now we’re hearing other numbers, like 53% and 47%. This goes way beyond the statistics of the polls released almost daily by major survey vendors. It now defines who each of us are and how we fit in with everyone else.

This has all come to our national attention due to a surreptitiously recorded video of a meeting that gaffe-prone Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held with major donors in May. The video, released by liberal media stalwart Mother Jones magazine, showed Romney discussing how certain segments of the American population were beyond his control. The meeting was held at the home of a private equity manager, Marc Leder.  Media accounts claim, since the video became public, that Leder is known for hosting wild parties at his mansion in the Hamptons. The stories have detailed that "guests cavorted in the pool and performed sex acts while scantily-clad Russian women danced on platforms.” Obviously, Mother Jones videotaped the wrong party…but I digress.

At the “private” fundraiser, Romney broke the American population down into two parts, which coincidentally fall in line with a popular conservative talking point, namely that over half of all Americans don’t pay federal income taxes. Romney repeated the talking point that the 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes are also supporting Obama because they are dependent on government handouts. Keep in mind that 47% is - in the conservative universe - over half the American population. It is, of course, mathematically impossible, but this number works for them. After all, who am I to argue numbers with them?

Romney explained that these “47 percenters” expect government entitlements in food, housing, and education because they claim to be victims. He further stated that his job was not to be concerned about them. He maintained that he cannot convince them to take responsibility for their lives.

As Jack Benny might have said, rather haughtily, “Well!”

So, if we dovetail this revelation with Romney’s earlier contention that the income line for middle class Americans starts at $200,000, then truly we can see that many of us don’t even rise to the level of being considered chopped liver (as in “What am I? Chopped liver?”) At this point, I am compelled to warn my fellow 47% Americans, who formerly lived a blissful existence believing that they were in the middle class, not to start a stampede for your local welfare office to apply for benefits. Although we may not earn $200,000 per year, many of us are also not poor enough to take advantage of government entitlements.

The French have a phrase that describes this situation. Now, how does that go, oh yes, I remember now, “It sucks!”

Besides, the sight of millions of formerly middle class citizens rushing for welfare benefits would just prove that Romney is right. Lord knows we don’t want to do that!

So, where am I in this big soup of 1, 99, 47, 53 percentage points? Well, let’s see: I am employed, so I guess I am one of the 53% who is taking responsibility for my life, working hard to earn a good living. Oh, but wait, I was unemployed a few years ago accepting benefits from the state, because I was a victim of an economic downturn that happened despite the fact that I was a hard-working American. So I have been in the 47% area as well.

I don’t believe that the government has to directly give me food for free since I am employed, but I am entitled to food for nourishment and sustenance. This bit of propaganda was instilled in me by my mother. Thanks, ma, for making me ill-suited to vote for Mitt Romney! Truly I am grateful.

I am dependent on government regulations to make sure the food I consume is wholesome and pure. Similarly I am also dependent on government to maintain the infrastructure so that the food I eat, and thousands of other products which we all use, are transported safely and efficiently to market. I am also a product of the taxpayer funded public school system, and college with a work-study grant. Yes, my college assistance was not just handed to me: I had to earn that money by working various jobs on campus.   

Given these facts, I guess I’m not really in the 53% or the 47% range; maybe I’m in a gray buffer zone, say 46.5-52.5%.

Oh, and my wife has reminded me that our mortgage is subsidized by the federal government. Damn! I’m a moocher! I’m a hard-working moocher, but a moocher nonetheless! And - dramatic music up - I’m an Obama supporter!

Oh, how can I live with this knowledge? How can I look my fellow Americans in the eye, knowing that I’m dependent indirectly on my government, paid for with my tax money, for various services? I am not worthy to hold my head high in public.

(Tee hee!)

It begs the question: when will pundits and politicians stop divvying up the American people and actually solve the problems our nation is facing? Shut up about who is where and who you can help. Stop shrugging your shoulders and walking away from the people who are in true need for assistance just to survive. 

Romney has since explained his ”off-the-cuff-remarks” as “inelegantly stated”, but by and large he is standing by his comments. His allies in the media have tried to explain that Romney was actually saying that he cannot count on the 47% for support. That defense - furnished (naturally) by Fox and Friends - has fallen on deaf ears. Whatever!

The whole episode has highlighted the perception that Romney is more a man of the 1% and not the rest of the country, most of whom are hard-working, productive Americans. It is a perception that liberals are gleefully exploiting at every chance they get. I know my glee cannot be contained.

(Thank you for reading. And now, my fellow 47 percenters, let us eat cake!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Percent Motors, Inc.

Sales Person: “Hi folks!  Welcome to One Percent Motors!  What can I do for you today?"

Husband: “Well, we’re thinking about getting a new vehicle, something that will move us forward. Oh, by the way, my name is He-Can’t-Make-Up-His-Mind, and this is my wife, Undecided-Can’t-Make-Up-Her-Mind."

Wife: “Hi! My friends call me Unde!”

Sales Person: “Nice to meet you! Are you looking to trade?"

Husband: ”Well, all we have to offer is our old car over there…”

Sales Person: “Oh, yes, a 2008 Obama! It looks like it has seen better days!”

Husband: “I don’t know, it seemed like a good purchase at the time, but…."

Sales Person: “But it fell short of its promises! Yeah, I hear that a lot about that model. Well, let’s see what we can do for you…hey, can I interest you in a 2013 Romney? Here’s a model over here….”

Wife:  “Oooohhh….”

Sales Person: “It’s sleek, stylish, yet ‘not elegantly stated'! There’s been a lot of interest in this model.”

Husband: “Hmm, I don’t know. What kind of mileage does it get?”

Sales Person: “That has yet to be determined."

Husband: “What?”

Sales Person: “What I mean is, I could give you a number, but you might take it and twist it all around to make it mean what you want it to mean. So the mileage hasn’t been released yet. It’s something that isn’t automatically a given. It has to be tested and debated in the public realm. You know what I’m saying.”

Wife: “Umm, no.”

Husband: “Isn’t the Romney missing a few things?”

Sales Person: “Missing? Like what?”

Husband: “Like a body? 

Sales Person: “Body?”

Husband: “Yeah, you know, pieces of sheet metal fitted around the framework, painted and shined to look attractive to the consumer. All I can see is the metal framework."

Sales Person: “Oh. That body.”  

Wife: “How does it go?”

Sales Person: “What do you mean?”

Wife: “How does it go? Where’s the engine?”

Sales Person: “That has yet to be determined.”

Husband: “What? It has to be determined if it has an engine or not?”

Sales Person: “Okay, I know what you’re thinking. The Romney is not a complete car, I’ll admit that. In fact, it’s a work in progress.”

Wife: “Hey, is that a pet carrier strapped on top?”

Sales Person: “Yes, but the good news is that the carrier is not an option. It comes standard with all models.”

Husband: “Oh, I don’t know. It doesn’t look like it’s ready to be functional yet. Any ideas on when it will be ready?”

Sales Person: “Well, let me check my laptop here and see if we have any news from the factory on a completion date. Hmm...uh-huh...”

Husband: “What? What do you see?”

Sales Person: “Just a moment, it’s still coming through…”

Wife: "Hey, wait a minute, that’s not a laptop! That’s an Etch-A-Sketch!”

Sales Person: “What? Oh, yeah, well you should’ve been here last week when all I had was an Eight Ball.”

Husband: “I’m not surprised!”

Sales Person: “I’m kidding, I’m kidding!"

Wife: “Well, at least it comes with a large trunk. Look at all of the baggage displayed in this model.”

Sales Person: “That’s not a display, ma’am. All that luggage comes with the car.

Wife: “It comes with the car?”

Sales Person: “Again, standard equipment. The Romney comes with a lot of baggage.”

Husband: “Okay, I’ve seen enough. Thanks for your time, but I think we’ll hold on to our car for a little while longer.”

Sales Person: “Wait, wait! Can I interest you in something else? Maybe something pre-owned?"

Wife: “Like?”

Sales Person: “Well, like the 2012 Gingrich!”

Wife: “Pre-owned? That’s an understatement!”

Husband and Wife (unison): “Baggage!”

Sales Person: “Or how about the 2009 Palin! It’s known for its great legs - I mean mileage, great mileage! It runs on sound bites and moose manure…”

Husband: “Bye! Let’s get out of here, Unde!”

(Thanks for reading. Remember, friends shouldn’t let other friends vote Republican and drive.)