Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

The knuckle-draggers from Amen Corner

January 12, 2012

Christ, we get more bad shit out of Texas Republicans than a zoo vet does out of a whole herd of sick elephants.

The latest GOP dungheap will be accumulating at a ranch near Austin, where a gaggle of “social conservative leaders” — read “wealthy rednecks who either misconstrued Christ’s message or deliberately chose to pervert it” — will spend the weekend trying to decide whom they wish to assume the position before as the pestilential erection looms.

Ho, ho. As if it matters.

These self-righteous, sanctimonious pricks are in the same boat as we lefty-loonie, tree-hugging commies. When it comes to the big prom in November, we have no choice as regards dance partners.

Frankly, it’s an abusive relationship for both parties, the hard right and the hard left. Obama figures we’re not going anywhere, and whichever double-talking fascist finds himself out in front of the Tea Baggers, Elmer Gantrys and bow-tied Beltway boneheads knows he’s got that lot locked up.

It’s all about getting the base to the dance while also snagging the lion’s share of the so-called “independents,” who mostly have already made up their minds but won’t tell the pollsters.

So, yeah, “social conservative leaders,” good luck with that KKKaffeeklatch outside Austin. Will rubber chicken and plastic knives defeat a Chocolate Jesus? Stay tuned.

One war ends, another continues

December 15, 2011

The war in Iraq officially “ended” today, for those of you who believe in beginnings and endings.

But the war on civil liberties continues. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act contains provisions that the American Civil Liberties Union says could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison, indefinitely and without charge, civilians — including U.S. citizens — anywhere on the planet, including right here in the good old US of A.

Glenn Greenwald views this development with alarm over at Salon, charging President Obama with being more concerned with executive power than civil liberties.

At The Nation, Patricia J. Williams argues that under this law, “if the Defense Department thinks you’re a terrorist, there would be no presumption of innocence; you would be presumed a detainee of the military unless the executive decides otherwise.”

Her colleague Robert Scheer declared that this “assault on the Constitution’s requirement of due process represents a direct threat to the freedom of the American people every bit as menacing as any we face from foreign enemies.”

Andrew Cohen is less alarmist at The Atlantic, saying we’re still “much closer to the beginning than to the end of this dirty business.”

I don’t know whether to be reassured or terrified by that.

Awright awready

September 1, 2010
It's not music that soothes the savage breast, it's pasta and vino.

It's not music that soothes the savage breast, it's pasta and vino.

Maybe it wasn’t such a horrible speech after all. I was cranky (having just shredded my right leg in a boneheaded trail mishap) and hungry (Herself was working late so I didn’t have dinner on the table pre-speech). After getting a meal and a few drams of Spanish vino into my system, I felt more kindly toward the prez and his little chitty-chat with the nation.

The recipe, pasta with salsa crudo and green beans, is from Martha Rose Shulman. Run it past the cranky-pants in your family and see if it doesn’t work wonders. I made mine with homegrown Portuguese beans and tomatoes from the gardens of two generous friends.

This is not to say, mind you, that I comprehend Obama’s fetish of continually extending olive branches to the Repugs only to watch them snatch them from his hand, toss them to the floor and piss on them.

Nor am I satisfied by his fondness for glittering generalities (“Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be traveling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the predawn darkness, better days lie ahead.”).

And while I’m delighted to hear he wants to at least cut back on croaking our fellow Americans abroad and get cranking on the domestic economy instead, I’m still waiting to hear any details of how he proposes “to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity.” How many of us wonder whether the next paycheck we get will be the last? Just ’cause you’re paranoid, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

And then there are the midterms. The more I watch the Obama “machine” in operation, the more I’m convinced these guys think they can take a page from the Repug playbook and blow off a sizable chunk of their supporters without consequences at the ballot box. The Repugs punk the Bible-thumpers every election year, and the Donks think they can do likewise to the lefty-loonies.

It’s a dangerous game. Sure, moving center-right to woo the independents and the handful of Repugs who aren’t yet completely unhinged may pick up a couple of loose votes. And it’s true that like the Bible-thumpers, lefty-loonies are not likely to hold their noses and switch their allegiance to the other side.

But a bunch of us, disillusioned once again, might just stay home on Election Day. And that’s really bad news, because the GOP’s whackjob base always turns out with a will, like a bunch of frat boys gleefully piling out of a van to beat up a longhair, nigra or queer.

Shit, now I’m cranky again, and I don’t feel like cooking. Happily, I still have some wine.

• Literary addendum: I almost forgot — one of the reasons I started writing this post was a recollection of Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here.” Red Sinclair certainly thought it could, and anyone who read the book will recognize many of its characters hamming it up on today’s stage.


June 16, 2010

The sun has returned, and just in time, too. I got the hell out of the house and onto the bike the past couple days, thereby missing the roundly panned Obama address from the Oval Office, the Limeys finally figuring out that Bloody Sunday was a bloody cock-up, and Apple’s quiet update of the Mini (we’ll be buying one to run the 20th Century Dog videoplex so I can get my ’06 MacBook back for purposes of revenue generation).

The cycling was the usual hodgepodge of on road and off, with one ill-advised, impulsive detour through the Garden of the Gods on Tuesday. How some folks pass a driver’s exam is a mystery to me. In one half-lap of the Garden I encountered three SUV pilots who apparently were incapable of reading the ubiquitous “No Parking” signs stenciled in the bike lane and posted at roadside.

At least one of them didn’t even understand spoken English, because I explained the bike lane/no parking concept to him after watching him park in the bike lane for a photo, leave it without signaling, and then zip back into it again for another snap, confusing two- and four-wheeled traffic equally. Ever try reasoning with a feedlot cow? You get the idea. Dude was 25 meters from a parking lot and 25 pounds shy of that first ton, which I hear is the hardest to lose. At least this one didn’t want to fight.

Today, as a change of pace, I fired up the Vespa for my trip to the chiropractor, who hates it when I show up all sweaty from cycling (makes it hard to get a secure grip for the back-cracking, don’t you know). The carb’ was fouled after a particularly damp and chilly May, but the folks at Sportique set it right and now I’m back to scooting hither and thither, drawing admiring glances from all and sundry.

“Cool scooter,” said a fixie hipster with the iBuds in as we both sat at a stoplight. Yes, indeedy. Don’t have to pedal or nothin’. Burns gas, too, just like a Harley, if at a slightly reduced rate.

After the back-cracking and a bit of cartooning for fun and profit I went for another one of my patented weirdo cyclo-cross rides (concrete, asphalt, pulverized granite, singletrack, etc.). Then I broke out the townie and a messenger bag for some light grocery shopping.

First it was south to America the Beautiful Park for this summer’s inaugural Colorado Farm and Art Market, buying some frozen free-range pork chops from Doug Wiley of Larga Vista Ranch. Next it was north to Ranch Foods Direct for a flatiron steak and some asparagus from Pueblo’s Milberger Farms so I’d have something to eat tonight.

Mind you, this was hardly the Frozen Chosin in the Freezing Season — I’m talking about 10 miles of leisurely cycling in fine weather for a dinner of grilled steak, boiled spuds and asparagus. Wiley’s pork chops are thawing in the ’fridge awaiting Herself’s return from The Big Easy. But my velo-shopping set me to to thinking about that roundly panned Obama speech.

The prez spake thusly:

The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through — what has always seen us through — is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.

If we can’t park our SUVs and walk a few meters for a Kodak moment, how strong, resilient and courageous are we? Because the hard times are surely coming. And the SUV pilot who couldn’t be bothered to hump a few meters? He was a Marine.