Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Karzai the Enemy, Not WikiLeaks

Our ally?
On what planet?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai now says that, if push came to shove, he'd throw his lot in with the Taliban.

And there is still rational discussion about how the U.S. can become better partners with this madman? Talk about a dysfunctional relationship. America is increasingly becoming like the battered spouse who remains in an abusive relationship, in denial, each day hoping that THIS is the day my partner begins to change. It almost never happens.

And it almost doesn't matter now.
Because the notion of abuse is not theoretical, and it's not to America as a whole.

The abuse is real and lethal to the brave young men and women in uniform who are fighting and dying to keep venal, corrupt and cowardly assholes like Karzai and his family in power, in money, in drugs, and apparently, in control of America's policy there.

Condemn WikiLeaks all you want.
Be a grandstanding blowhard like Bill O'Reilly and call for Julian Assange's execution.
Talk about killing the messenger.

The simple fact is, some of the leaks have made excruciatingly clear just how corrupt Karzai's government is, and just how completely the U.S. knows it. And still we prop up this opium-besotted bastard.

He gets to live, and play us for fools, and pocket our money, and mock us.
And three Massachusetts kids -- in the past two weeks alone -- die for this outrage.

We cannot leave Afghanistan soon enough.
But we should take Karzai with us.
And make him stand trial for war crimes.

In the end, it's Karzai, not WikiLeaks, that needs to answer for true depravity.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Martha, My Dear

"Hold your head up you silly girl, look what you've done."

So go the lyrics of the Beatles' song, "Martha My Dear."

Paul McCartney was writing about his sheepdog, not a girl.
I'm not thinking of a girl, either, but rather a 57-year-old woman.

The Massachusetts Attorney General.
The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate to succeed the late Ted Kennedy.

But oh, what she's done.
Made a muck of this special election campaign.
Should the worst happen, and a Democratic seat turn Republican for the first time in over thirty years, she will hardly be able to hold her up.

Her future in elective politics will, in fact, be quite over.
Deservedly so.

One does not mock one's opponent for "standing in the cold and shaking hands outside Fenway Park."
One does not run as an entitled incumbent when one is neither.
And one gets out there and presses flesh and wears silly hats and tells stupid, self-deprecating jokes till they say, "Hey, she's a good sport."
And one runs and runs and runs till even those whose votes are beyond your grasp have to give it to you for being a fighter.

Alas, Martha Coakley, my dear, you've done of the above.
And you may well lose (God forbid) to who is, in fact, the silly boy...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hatch Hurls

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, one seldom hears the words, "distinguished" and "barf" used in the same sentence. But this past week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pulled it off.

The "distinguished" part refers to Hatch's colleague on the opposite side of the aisle, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The "barf" part refers to the effect Hatch claims the Democratic healthcare reform bill has on him.

And to think the "barf" line is now enshrined in the official Congressional record.

Funny, but there's apparently no record of Hatch expressing any similar sense of being upset about the fact that more than 45 million Americans without health insurance -- including nearly half a million in Hatch's home state.

No word on Hatch being upset, gastrically or otherwise, that 45,000 Americans die prematurely every year due to lack of health insurance.

Or that he finally found it sickening that of those 45,000 deaths due to lack of health insurance in his country, fully a thousand are children.

Orrin Hatch apparently has a healthier stomach than he lets on.
I suppose that makes up for his shriveled-up heart.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joe The Bummer

In the 1998 film, "Bulworth," Warren Beatty plays a U.S. senator who decides during a re-election campaign to start speaking the truth, rather than regurgitating the usual diet of predictable, political pablum.

Which further recalls that old saying: "In Washington, a gaffe is when someone tells the truth."

All of which makes me think of the U.S. senator who is perhaps our generation's most despicably unprincipled hack.

No, not Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, though he would certainly be in the running.

My vote goes to Joe Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.

Lately, Lieberman has made many Democrats (his former party) foam at the mouth as he has publicly relished his role as a potential spoiler on the fate of healthcare reform. Lieberman's biggest problem with the bill? The potential inclusion of a public option. And its potential (though not according to the Congressional Budget Office) impact on the federal deficit.

Now, this is a man (Lieberman) who for the better part of the past decade, has had no problem signing off on two wars that may ultimately top $2-trillion and have been funded entirely with borrowed money. (In other words, literally every dollar has increased the deficit.) In voting to pass George W. Bush's Prescription Drug Bill, he again had no problem supporting legislation that had no funding, and directly and immediately piled onto the ballooning deficit.

But now, in flailing about for a rationale du jour (he has changed rationales almost daily) with which to oppose his former party's historic healthcare bill, Liberman seems to have settled mostly with the argument that it would simply be "immoral" to pass legislation that would burden the nation with more debt.

Question: Why does Joe Lieberman tend to look brown in most photos?
Answer: Because he's so full of shit.

And why bring up "Bulworth?"

Because once, just once, it would be refreshing--and for Lieberman, actually redeeming--to just be honest. Just come right out and say, "Look, folks--in case you haven't noticed, my home state, Connecticut, and Hartford, in particular, is home to many of the world's largest insurance companies. And in case you haven't noticed, they are flat-out opposed to any kind of government-sponsored competition coming in the form of a public option in healthcare reform. And they are not only some of my most important constituents, but they also give me an enormous amount of campaign contributions. And you wonder why I am opposed to passing this bill as written?"

And with that, I would say, "Know what? Joe Lieberman is still an obnoxious, opportunistic, ego-addled asshole. But at least for once he's being honest about his asshole-ness."

If only.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

OMG: My Kids Watched Obama!

This evening, our family watched Barack Obama's speech to the nation's students. We watched it online, in the evening, well after it had been delivered live.

You can't be too careful.

How do I know that the President might not slip in some subliminal sleight of hand and my kids end up walking in their sleep, hands outstretched, intoning, "Ob-a-ma, Ob-a-ma," like something out of "Dawn of the Living Dead?"

It could happen.

Clearly that's what worried some parents in Texas and elsewhere, where kids were kept at home so as to not to fall prey to the whole "Invasion of the Barack Body Snatchers" thing.

While viewing the speech, my four-year-old daughter did nod off, but she was headed that way as we prepared to watch, so I don't think any POTUS code caused her to fall asleep, the better and more quickly to dream of devoting herself to the Supreme Leader. Her six-year-old sister stayed pretty much right with the speech throughout, though.

They know who the President is.
But they really like his daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Now it's an hour later, and it is quiet and normal here in the house.
No bad dreams or socialist propaganda-inspired nightmares.

And I wouldn't say Obama can depend on these two young citizens to buy into any cult of personality. Not with that speech. I mean, talking about personal responsibility, staying in school, doing your homework and following your dreams is all perfectly good.

But creating a cult of personality with my two voters-of-the-future?
Please. Not without some serious talk about toys, candy, and Disney.

I mean, otherwise it's all just so, well, educational.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teddy K. Is Not Walking Through That Door...

In 2001, then-Boston Celtics Head Coach Rick Pitino, in a fit of season-in-the-toilet-fueled frusration, went off on an infamous post-game rant:

"Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish isn't walking through that door."

The (now disgraced) former coach's point?
The glory days are over, pal; the Gods have gone, and we've got what we got.
(Rick Fox and Vitaly Potapenko, alas, never made anyone forget about Bob Cousy or Bill Russell.)

Pitino was a putz.
But his whiny meltdown (he also said the city's negativity "sucks") about the princely past versus the puny present suddenly has an eerie echo.

In the wake of Ted Kennedy's death, and the vanishing of the Lion's long shadow from Massachusetts politics, we are faced with the sobering realization that the next Senator from the Commonwealth will be someone much, much....well, smaller. In stature, influence, hagiography, everything.

And while there may even be another (Joe) Kennedy walking through that door, it will hardly be the same. Not with the potential lightweights and nitwits lining up and eyeing the ballot.

State Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham)?
Can you say "Vitaly Potapenko?"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who's The Clown?

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) has given perhaps the pissiest welcome to an incoming colleague since just after the 2000 elections, when then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) wished that lightning might strike, and thus spare thim from having to sit -- even across an aisle -- from "this Hillary," as Lott so derisively put it.

Senate collegiality, my ass.
And by the way, Senators from Mississippi and Oklahoma -- whatever happened to all that supposed southern hospitality, anyway?

But now Inhofe has made inroads into Lott's heretofore first-place, all-time, (You're not) "Welcome to the U.S. Senate" diss.

Speaking of the senate's soon-to-be newest member, Al Franken (D-MN), Inhofe said, "We are going to get the clown from Minnesota."

This from a man (Inhofe) who has called global warming a "hoax."
Who has compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo.
(He also compared the agency's head at the time, Carol Browner, to the infamous Japanese spy, Tokyo Rose.)
He is one of only a tiny handful of senators to oppose lowering interest rates for student loans, thus making college more accessible and affordable for millions of students.

I could go on, but you get the drift.
This is a man who puts the "whacky" in "Right Wing Whack Job."

Franken is indeed a very funny man at times. Always has been.
Inhofe isn't trying to be funny.
On the other hand, when you think of this man making policy federal policy for the rest of us, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry.