No Need For Hyperbole

January 20, 2011
TAO

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What’s that saying by that one guy? Something something “satire is dead?” Well, I’m going to have to ask that the haters out there come up with some new adjectives now, because we need ours back:
Congress is stupid.

We’ve lost meaning with that word, “stupid,” but it’s coming back now. There is no other word to describe what is unfolding before our eyes.

Take a hard, honest evaluation of the name of this bill: “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”

Let’s understand something here. The bill is two pages long. The first page is a list of the people who signed it. The second page details two sections. One half of this bill—again, let me make it perfectly clear, I am NOT exaggerating—is the following statement:

“This Act may be cited as the ‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act’.”

Do you understand what this is? Let me take you back to 1983. I remember this clearly. The kids around the neighborhood got together under the Wilsons’ big oak tree and we pretended that we were politicians. One side made their case, and the other side took careful notes. Then, dramatically, one of the opposition stood up, paced back and forth, and in a sudden fury of activity, ate his notes. He then said, “that’s what I think of your case.”

I’m going to go ahead and put this next part in caps, so if someone stumbles across this page it will be the only thing they read.

MY FRIEND WHO ATE PAPER MADE A MORE REASONED POLITICAL STATEMENT THAN OUR CURRENT CONGRESS WHEN HE WAS FOUR.

Say what you will of his methodology, he got his point across. Now let’s turn back to our brainless droolers in Washington who got elected off of two campaign promises: 1. America needs more jobs. 2. We were the guys who opposed the health care bill.

Then, their idea to solve this crisis was to do the following. Again, not exaggerating. They wrote down “job-killing” and “health care” on a piece of paper and then said NO. That’s it. That’s all it does. One section says, and I quote: “Job-killing Health Care Law– such act is repealed.” The other section says “you can call this the ‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Act.’”

That’s all it fucking says.

It’s not hateful, it’s not corrupt, it’s not laden with pork. It doesn’t hurt minorities, it doesn’t restrict anyone’s rights, it doesn’t demonize liberals. They didn’t waste any time debating it. It can’t even make it to law in its current form, because Obama would have to sign it.

By the way, it’s got an amendment. It had to be added, because someone noticed it’s so vapid it doesn’t even count as an actual bill, so they amended it to say, and I quote, “add the language required.” It doesn’t even add the language required. It just has an attachment at the end which says, essentially, “…and stuff.”

Pay attention, tea partiers and fiscal conservatives: this is the batch you got into office. They can’t even do stupid right. You wanted jobs? This is their idea of getting you jobs. They wrote “not jobs” and then added “not that.” Let me say that again. Their idea of creating jobs is to pass a bill, with no content whatsoever, which says “tell people that we got them not not jobs.” They didn’t even get you not not jobs. They just wrote on a piece of paper to tell you so.

So, there you go. I just… I wish we had a word that still meant stupid, because they earned it today.


On Boycotts

July 29, 2010

I’ve been sent two articles in particular this week from several sources– one is a call to boycott Target because a congressman who opposes gay rights has received some of their money; the other is a call to boycott Home Depot because they support community organizations who champion gay rights.

Do we still not get why our economy is so ass backwards? I’m aware of boycott charges against WalMart for using evil business practices, or Starbucks for being too aggressive, or Hallmark for monetizing our culture. I get those boycotts. But to infuse politics into two of the most apolitical organizations out there is ridiculous. It’s selfish, it’s egomaniacal, and it’s just plain mean.

There are certainly times when a company has a definite political bent. Don’t forget that NewsCorp and Universal are both businesses. Whole Foods made that whole weird stink last year about health care. There were a few companies in 2008 who got in trouble for telling their employees how to vote. Those are times when one might be expected to reach out to their local companies and say ‘cut it out, or I’m taking my business somewhere else.’

Target, though? Target has a rating of 100% from the HRC. They have very progressive hiring practices, and even if they didn’t, they have no record of any unfair business practices, which is exceedingly rare for a budget chain. Now they have donated money to a pro-business PAC, which has donated money to a pro-business candidate for Governor of Minnesota (they’re based in Minneapolis), who among other things is a very religious man who opposes gay rights. Target has already come out in an attempt to be perfectly clear—no, they do not agree with the candidate’s view on gay rights. Yes, some of their money did make it to his campaign. But they donated the money to an organization which has a reputation of helping businesses. They’re a business.

Home Depot’s connection to this ridiculous charade is that they have but up promotional booths at gay pride parades, and put on workshops for children. In other words, they’re advertising at a place where there are going to be a lot of people who see their name. I give you a guarantee that Home Depot also has tents in many more festivals which have a more chauvinist, homophobic slant, but not because it has anything to do with politics—a majority of do-it-yourself, lumber and power tools type customers have a more conservative slant. Now Home Depot—who, incidentally, have a less than impressive score of 85% with the HRC—are being boycotted as gay-lovers.

You know who’s getting business out of all this, who’s benefiting from this culture war? Competitors who have done nothing for anybody. That’s the message we’re sending to these companies. Keep your advertising to billboards and obnoxious television commercials. Don’t support any causes. Take all that extra money and just funnel it into your stockholder’s pockets.

Your decades-long track record means nothing to us. If you do one thing we disagree with (and both companies are patronized by both ‘sides of the aisle’), we’ll drop any support for your store. So just don’t bother. Let’s go back to an age of huge companies with no social responsibilities at all.

The only solace I have from all this is that the same knee-jerk reactionaries who call for these boycotts also lack conviction. They’ll be shopping there again soon enough.


I Hate Bill Frist

June 15, 2010

Over the years, I’ve expressed a good deal of respect for a variety of conservatives… people like Bill Kristol, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, etc. I may not agree with them, and one might say that anyone can make their case sound good if they aren’t tethered by reality or facts, but all of them have said things at one time or another where I think, you know, I support your right to say that. I disagree, but I do so in a way that I would love to discuss the issue with you. They present things eloquently, respectfully, and show that they put real thought in it, and have been willing to have a debate on the issues, stand by their principles even when it isn’t to their advantage, and even give the opposition a chance to speak. Not always, but there are times.

Now, I just had a chance to hear Bill Frist talk on Bill Maher’s show. And I can say with confidence that the man is an ignorant, intolerant, no-good hack whose sole intent is to benefit himself at the expense of others. He is so detached from humanity that he preaches his beliefs in a way that reveals their very absurdity, because he’s simply too inhuman to realize what he’s saying. He can’t formulate an intelligent response to honest questions, and the fact that anyone knows his name is proof that there are too many people out there who feel that it is their right to rule the world, and wish we could go back to a time when black people were slaves, women were servants, and progressives were in jail. He condones a world that, if made real, would lead to the complete degradation of society as we know it, and THAT is not an opinion that I feel should or can be defended by the right of free speech. The only time he says something respectable, it’s because he’s regurgitating a prepared and polished conservative talking point.

This is one of those very few times where I honestly believe that anyone who takes Bill Frist’s side on anything except medicine (he’s a multimillionaire surgeon) is a danger to society.