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, October 29, 2013

Snort Bites – October 2013


In recent months, the government of this South American country has taken steps to become the sole seller of marijuana to its citizens. The move is being made to combat the black market. Eyebrows all over the world have been raised at the touted prices for a gram - running anywhere from a dollar to $2.50!

This report prompted me to do some research on our soon to be higher than a kite neighbor to the south. I learned, for example, that Uruguay is one of the more progressive countries south of the equator. There is a total separation of church and state; religious freedom is guaranteed. Abortion was legalized last year; same-sex marriage was legalized this year. (Thanks to Wikipedia for these quick facts!)

Rick Santorum has a vacation home there. No, just kidding…

North American potheads should take note before they march en masse through Mexico and Central America for their own version of eternal nirvana: the government will only sell to the local citizenry. (Sorry, Janey!) Besides, this crowd is probably so high they may not know which direction to march. For the record: travel south for 3500 miles and turn left at Argentina.



President Nicolas Maduro has created an agency to continue the anti-poverty measures started by the late President Hugo Chavez. Something must be getting lost in the translation when they named this the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness. It seems that the Venezuelan government wants to build prosperity, which doesn’t necessarily equate with happiness. Just ask the rich capitalists in this country who regularly rack up therapy miles on their psychoanalyst’s couches.

Naturally the blogosphere greeted the news with snarky comments portraying government soldiers encouraging Venezuelans to be happy at gunpoint. Strangely, all of these happiness police officers are portrayed as speaking with a German accent. Go figure!
We here at arteejee will not take such cheap shots here. We will wish Venezuela all the luck in the world in wiping out poverty, ensuring the basic societal and medical needs of their citizens, decreasing their rate of inflation, and overall improving the economic situation for all of its citizens. Failing that, they can always try flying some native Uruguayans in to share their stash with the Venezuelan people.


A federal judge has ruled that Texas’ new anti-abortion law, which would have shut down many clinics in the state, is unconstitutional under federal law. For now, the clinics will stay open while the state government vows to appeal.

Dag nab it! Don’t that beat all? Once again, the federal guvmint is telling the little ole state of Texas what it can and cannot do! Don’t that get cactus needles in your britches? Don’t that twist your spurs around? 

It's events like this that will likely once again resurrect calls for secession from the union. This would be a shame if it were to happen, since Texas has contributed so much to this country. The state has given us two presidents who both got us into wars that later resulted in buyer’s remorse. Also, the good people of Texas voted Ted Cruz to the Senate…

On second thought, I am so tired of their whining!

If you really want to go, Texas, then go! Don’t let the Mexican border hit you in the ass as you leave!

(Thank you for reading. Yes, I know that when you’re looking at a map of South America, Argentina is west of Uruguay and therefore you would turn right, but if you’re traveling south you’re going in the opposite direction from where we normally read a map. No matter, once you go and start smoking, who’s going to know which way is up?)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

“…And then, of course...”

Fox News contributor Sarah Palin’s recent filibuster length answer to a question on Megan Kelly’s show last week has been making the rounds of the liberal media. Chris Matthews, aided by several sympathetic commentators, ridiculed the performance on a segment of MSNBC’s Hardball.  The Huffington Post excerpted the interview on their website, leaving its readers to fill in their own opinions.

Kelly threw the gauntlet down with her transitional introduction between a film clip of President Obama’s remarks and Palin’s response:

“So the President you heard there suggesting that nothing has done more damage to our credibility in the world and our standing with other countries than this latest DC fight. Really?”

Okay, Megan, first of all your “Really” came off as condescending. I hasten to remind you of your network's slogan, “Fair and balanced.” At this point, we’ll totally throw this concept out the window because here comes tea party pit bull Sarah Palin. Megan asked Palin for her opinion of Obama’s comment.

Let the rant begin:

“I think that remark is one of his more out-of-touch remarks we’ve heard in recent days…”

(Okay, but at least his comments make grammatical sense, unlike some Fox commentators we know. Please continue…)

“…you know what emboldened our enemies and what empowered competitors was his promise to fundamentally transform a solvent, free, exceptional country into something we’re not going to recognize…”

(By competitors, I’m guessing that she is referring to our economic competitors like China. Of course, Obama empowered our competitors. I doubt that this empowerment had anything to do with millions of Americans buying products marked “Made in China” at their local Walmart. Of course not!)

“Also, what has emboldened enemies is he’s double our debt since he’s been elected, putting (us) on a path towards bankruptcy, and then locking up our pipelines and resources that will result in us being more reliant on foreign imports for energy, and then, of course he, having left behind, his administration having left behind our brave men in Benghazi to be murdered, and then of course…"

(Okay, Sarah, take a breath. Um…is that saliva frothing I see on the side of your lips? Just wondering…)

“…there’s Syria, where he promised to bomb Syria, because in that civil war Syria was going to bomb Syria...”

(Yes, Syrians fighting Syrians. I guess that’s why they consider it a civil war.)

“…and then we never heard another word again about his threat to bomb in a foreign civil war,”

(Yes, because we did that once before, Sarah, and it didn’t work. Google Vietnam for more information.)

“…and then, of course, more recently, Megan…”

(This has to be a world record for using commas in such a short time span.)

“…he's using our military (not) to fight our enemies, our military, our vets shutting down memorials and holding them hostage in terms of budget deals, threatening to withhold pay checks for our brave men and women…”

(Someone call a doctor! She’s getting delirious! Medic! Stat!)

At this point, Megan Kelly jumped in to ask a follow up question, as if she suddenly remembered that this is her show. Up to this point, Kelly had listened patiently, or smoldered in a way that would have made Edgar Kennedy proud, take your pick. It’s probably just as well, because God only knows where Sarah would go from here. We can only speculate:

“...and of course, he set the Hindenburg on fire, and of course he was on the grassy knoll the day Kennedy was shot…”

(She’s into serious rambling now. Code Blue! Code Blue!)

Ah, Sarah, once again you make yourself look like an idiot in the national media. It’s okay; this is why we tolerate you. You speak for the tea party so well, when you, of course, go off on one of your moronic rants.

(Thank you for reading. Ramble on, Sarah, ramble on.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Re-arranging the Rhetoric Closet

The end of the year holidays are fast approaching, which in America is a series of celebrations of (in this order) gluttony, excessive materialism, followed by more gluttony and possibly drunken debauchery.

What’s not to like about this time of year?

Of course with the holidays come decorations, and all of the accompanying sentiments. This calls for a rearrangement of the rhetoric closet. Move to the front all of the salutations we’ll need for the upcoming holidays, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”, “God Bless Us Everyone,” “I want, I want, I want…” and so on and so on and so on.

In the meantime, other sentiments will be packed away in the back of the closet, until we need them again. I’m not necessarily referring to slogans and catch phrases that celebrate such uniquely American holidays as Fourth of July and Labor Day. No, actually, I’m referring to the holiday just passed and is threatening to become a quarterly event: the Government Shutdown.

I would love to discard all of the phrases and sentiments of the recently departed Government Shutdown season, because I would like to think that everyone learned their lesson, everyone now has a cooler head, and a government shutdown will never happen again. Obviously I’m in an alternate reality universe when I think all this. 
So what rhetoric will I need to keep handy when the next crisis happens in January? The tea party has already vowed to keep fighting against Obamacare, so we may want to keep phrases like “defund” and “repeal” close by to pick up at a moment’s notice. I will also keep on standby my new label for any member of the tea party that threatens the Affordable Care Act: rumpholes. It’s similar to calling them assholes, but not so offensive to their tender religious right ears.

Other rhetorical terms to store near the front of our closet:

“Debt ceiling” – which now expires in February. Once again, we can expect this threat to go down to the wire.

“Revenue” – as in taking in more money to support government functions. The Democrats in Congress, egged on by the President, will insist that raising revenue be a part of any budget negotiations. Of course, the Republicans in Congress will hear the word “taxes” whenever Democrats mention the word “revenue.” And we all know how the Republicans (read: tea party rumpholes) feel about taxes.

“Entitlement reform” – which the President has said he will consider in negotiations. He may want to tweak Social Security with the Republican proposal of using a chained CPI to determine benefits. The Republicans, on the other hand, will undoubtedly resurrect Paul Ryan’s voucher plan for Medicare. And we all know how much Democrats love Ryan’s plan…not! 

Which reminds me, I will need to store terms like “impasse”, “blockage”, and “standstill” where I can grasp them quickly.

“Filibuster” and other procedural maneuvers by Congress will also get aired and used. I wonder if Ted Cruz has selected a literary reading for his next performance of egotistical grandstanding. Perhaps he should choose something simpler than Dr. Seuss, something that won’t be so taxing to his intellect. Something along the lines of say, “See Dick run!  Run, Dick, run!”

“Bipartisanship” is more of a dream, like unicorns cavorting in nature than an actual concept. No need to put this back in the closet. Let’s just toss it in the trash now. There’s no point in getting our hopes up that the two sides of the aisle will reach out to each other to solve our problems.

Also, as long as the federal government keeps kicking the budget can down the road, we might as well keep the term “government shutdown” dusted off and polished for future use. Yes, a nice buff shine will keep this stale concept looking new through repeated uses by all media outlets, let alone the blogosphere.

For now the federal government is working and functioning as well as could be expected under such trying conditions. We might as well enjoy this autumn of normalcy, but like the seasons – holiday or otherwise - it’s all a temporary illusion. We have a long winter ahead of us…and it doesn’t look pretty from here.

(Thank you for reading. See Ted shut up. Shut up, Ted, shut up!)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy Mid-October!

So here we are in the middle of the month, and for those of us playing along at home this marks the third week of the US government shutdown, and only a few days away from a possible default and possible tanking of the global economy.

I know, I used the word happy to describe this time period, but truth be told, I haven’t found the happy part yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I find it. In the meantime, let’s briefly note some of the milestones of this latest government crisis.

In one recent PS (post shutdown) interview, Senator Ted Cruz was asked if he believed his efforts to defund/delay/repeal Obamacare which led to the shutdown hurt the GOP brand. Cruz, with his ego bulging through the veins in his head, as expected said no, and I have to agree with him. Those of us who have been critical of the Republican Party have long believed that the party does not have the best interests of this country’s poor and downtrodden at heart; look upon the same as hopeless individuals content to mooch off the rest of us and who do not want to improve their lives; and, in more Ebenezer Scrooge type moments, even stoop to holding food back from children who had the audacity to be born to poverty-stricken adults. This, to us, represents the Republican brand, and Ted Cruz’s recent efforts in the Senate only served to reinforce our perception of the Republican Party.

Way to go, Ted! With people like you in the GOP, who needs liberals to bash their image!

The third week brought more protests to the mall in DC (Despicable Congress). Now, war veterans running barricades to view the memorials were joined by photo-op hungry tea partiers denouncing not the shutdown, not the Affordable Care Act, but their main target, the man in the White House! The protestors heard speeches calling for Obama’s impeachment, saw signs calling for the same, and witnessed the Confederate flag being unfurled in front of the White House.

Of course, tea party favorites also showed up to grab the spotlight. Ted Cruz was there standing behind Sarah Palin, who performed her impression of a politician exploiting the war veterans for political points while she condemned politicians who exploit veterans for political points.

If that last sentence doesn’t make sense, then you don’t fully understand the dysfunctional times we are living. Otherwise, Palin’s hypocrisy makes perfect sense.

So where was the man in the White House while all this was going on mere yards from his front door? Barack Obama was making sandwiches at the non-profit kitchen Martha’s Table for the poor and downtrodden. The news photo published of the event showed furloughed government employees working by his side. Compare these two events – the protest on the mall with the President’s photo op - and now we know why the Republican brand is reviled by three out of four Americans today. Today’s polls show that 74% of Americans disapprove the way Republicans have handled the shutdown.

So for now we will enter the second part of the month with this cliff hanger in the halls of Congress. Will they legislate or will they default? Will they govern or grandstand? For now, the uncertainty of their actions isn’t making anyone happy.

Okay, the happy part of the middle of the month is today is my birthday. It’s #54 for those playing along at home. My oldest friend Janey remembered my big day with the card pictured below. The inside description reads: “Your birthday, your fantasy, NOT MY BUSINESS!”

Thank you, Janey for digging up this photo of one of my old girlfriends. No, just kidding! 

(Thank you for reading. My goodness, Janey! Marilyn has definitely seen better days…but haven’t we all?)