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Smoking and Obama Kill?

If you’re wondering do other nations villify us  as much as we do them, witness this poster seen recently in Moscow. It says, “Smoking Kills More People than Obama does.”

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When I’m done laughing, all I can think is: yeah, well–that’s all fine and dandy and cute and funny, Russia–but ask yourself this: are your better off today than when your own President took office?  Because he sure is, with a net worth of nearly $200 Billion that qualifies him as one of the wealthiest people on earth.

So, let’s call it a draw. May the biggest man win.

SAINT PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05: In this handout image provided by Host Photo Agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands during an official welcome during the G20 Summit on September 5, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The G20 summit is expected to be dominated by the issue of military action in Syria while issues surrounding the global economy, including tax avoidance by multinationals, will also be discussed during the two-day summit. (Photo by Alexey Kudenko/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alexey Kudenko/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)
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Elizabeth Lauten & The Obama Girls

I suppose most of you–among the American contingent, at least–have by now heard about Elizabeth Lauten’s ill-considered, vile attack on President Obama’s teen-aged daughters, Sasha(16), and Malia(13).  I’ve been busy with family for the past three days, so I’m a little Obamas Yawnlate to the game, but I had to take an opportunity to say my piece.  First, in case you missed it, here’s the skinny:  Every year the President does this corny bit in which he “pardons” a couple of turkeys before going inside the White House to, um, have a nice turkey dinner.  It’s silly, but silly in a fun, nice, old-fashioned way.  The teenaged Obamas, as teens tend to be, were unimpressed in a very obvious, expertly ambivalent way.

Anyone who has ever known a teenager knows those faces.  Annoying? Sure.  But also an opportunity: anyone who has never mocked a child who is making that face hasn’t truly lived.  I enjoy it on an almost daily basis.

ClimberElizabeth Lauten, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) obviously has not had the pleasure, addressing the humorous image with a fusillade of angry denigration, publicly ridiculing President Obama’s children with a shockingly aggressive, repugnant, and inexcusable venom while taking a few oblique shots at the President and Mrs. Obama at the same time.

Elizabeth-Lauten-FB.png.CROP.rtstoryvar-mediumI ought not to be surprised–I like to joke that the only group I detest more than Democrats is Republicans, but the fact is that in the outright nasty department it takes one hell of an aggressive liberal to out-insult a  conservative.  Just think on Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and all those gap-toothed inbreds who insist on writing italicizing the President’s middle name, Barack Hussein Obama like it matters.  In the low blows department, these people are whacking at ankles with croquet mallets and laughing all the way to their meetings with Wall Street swindlers and CEO’s of offshore-based corporations.  Why wouldn’t they take aim at innocent children, especially given the enthusiastic, muttering hate of a small but vocal minority of the far right for the President?

A lot of folks are calling for Ms. Lauten’s head on a platter, or a least for her swollen cankles to be compelled to take their place in an unemployment line.  Not me.  I don’t give a shit.  Apologies have been demanded, but I don’t care about those, either–I’d rather the bitch stood adamantly behind her words then to cower behind insincere, politically expedient words scripted by a public relations consultant.

What really irks me is the script Ms. Lauten followed when the inevitable apology oozed out of her office.
apology

What a load of cow pies, right?

“Blah, blah, blah I want to keep my job blah blah blah AFTER MANY HOURS OF PRAYER…blah blah blah.” That’s what I read.

I loathe this shit.  When I’ve tried to help people understand poetry, one of the tactics I suggested was to re-read a particular work with an eye towards visualizing each metaphorical element, then think about how they fit into the narrative.  That strategy can be instructive in this situation as well: just imagine Ms. Lauten on her knees, hands folded in front of her, communing with His Holy Humungousness–for “many hours,” on Thanksgiving Day no less,  over her venal skewering of a couple of innocent teenaged girls.  “Whatta ya think, G-Dawg, was that too much?”

I’m hear to tell you: that doesn’t mean a gawd-durned thing. I don’t give a good damn how much she prayed after the fact, playing the God Card now is a small, petty, and wholly transparent response.  Thinking that we’ll fall for such a cynical bit of ass-covering nonsense is, at best, gravely insulting.  Furthermore, I’m tired of self-professed Christians acting like supreme, sociopathic asshats until they’re called on it, only to step back, shove God in our faces, and ask forgiveness.  We’re smarter than that.  We see through you.

I mean: I’m an atheist, I don’t go to Church unless someone is dead or getting married, but somehow I know better than to act this way.  Why don’t they?  The truth is that they do.  They know, but they just don’t care.  Christian morality is little more than part of the costume they wear, like a prostitute in a corset and push-up bra, to seduce the weak and the idiotic.

Note: It seems Ms. Lauten isn’t alone in her cynical use of Christianity to serve her own wickedness.  This is her employer:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/22/gop-congressman-stephen-fincher-on-a-mission-from-god-starve-the-poor-while-personally-pocketing-millions-in-farm-subsidies/

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The President Needs a Make-Over

While I was devoting considerable energies into not nodding off during the State of The Union Address last night, Mrs. Junk remarked on how odd it was to see President Obama’s suddenly graying hair.  As a guy who has seen Obama Grayhis own hair take a sudden flight towards white–I’ll be in Santa country by the time I’m 55–I have to say he carries it well.  He’s a handsome guy, after all, and he’s got a lot on his mind.  Not only that, he’s certainly in good company. Until my own hair changed from brown to salt & pepper to–uh–just plain salty (like my personality, I guess), I have to admit that I suspected s conspiracy of Presidents.  As candidates, it goes to figure, Clinton Graypotential leaders want to appear youthful, energetic, virile, powerful and vigorous; so it goes without saying that coloring one’s hair is a simple part of a campaign not unlike wearing good suits and attractive ties.  Once in office, however, the cultivated image of choice shifts to one of wisdom, maturity, and leadership–candidates are cast as agents of change, but Presidents are leaders.  The are diplomats who set the tone for george-w-bush-58e91e6f1fa9866bnational discourse and international relations.  Even the simplest of men, those who bore leadership as if it was no greater burden than a sack of children’s toys, have aged under the weight of responsibility and the pressure of constant scrutiny.  Was I wrong to suspect that Presidents in office intentionally let their hair go gray?  That some possibly even hasten the process via artificial means?  I suspect I’m on to something–but I also think that these guys are missing the boat.  Ronald Reagan, that canny old player, appeared to RonaldReaganmoisten his hair with waxy black shoe polish right up to his last days in office, even as he muttered “I do not recall” to inquiry after inquiry into the despicable conduct that took place on his watch–and people loved him for it.  Why did folks love Reagan?  Not because he denied any problems America faced with the same fervor he denied knowledge of the FonzIran-Contra Arms For Hostages deals, and not because he reminded many of us of our doddering old grandfathers.  Reagan was beloved because he had the same hair as The Fonz.  When Reagan was elected, who was the reigning cultural icon?  It Arthur “Fonzi” Fonzarelli.  When Reagan won reelection in 1984, American was sadly saying goodbye to that same shark-jumping icon when a wave of nostalgia carried the incumbent back for another four-year term.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

So, clearly what President Obama needs is a celebrity make-over, and the perfect celebrity has never been more clear–we need someone who is highly intelligent and articulate, someone who works as hard as Obama, and we need someone cool–if the truth is to be told, Obama needs a little help here: he’s a bit of a policy geek, and those cigarettes don’t make him seem any cooler, despite what years of Marlboro ads have said to the contrary. He gets points for playing basketball, but not enough to compensate for his wonkishness.  On the subject of his rumored, rabid fanaticism for Star Trek I plead the fifth amendment and the right to not risk self-incrimination.

I’ve found a guy who is smart, articulate, wildly talented, supremely hard-working, and unquestionably cool.  His name is ?uestLove and President Obama should assume his style immediately. questlove

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“Hey, Questlove–I need an update–who’s your stylist?”

Not only would it be a serious upgrade in terms of both style and cool, but there would be added tactical advantages in dealing with the primarily southern, lilly-white conservative seed at the heart of Republican stubbornness, for example–that tall and proud hair is going to scare the bejesus out the closet crackers who let their backwardsassed racism foul progress.  On the international circuit, do we really think a bully like Vladamir “Mad Vlad” Putin is going to give a giant like Questlove–easily 7 feet tall with the hair factored in–and backtalk whatsoever?  I don’t think so–and Obama is another tall guy, so all he needs to do it thicken up, add 150 pounds, and voila….

If I was any good at computer graphics, I’d mock up a cut and paste job of Questlove’s hair on Obama, but I’m afraid we’re just going to have to wait for the inevitable since, now that I’ve loosed this cat from it’s sack, there’s no way this isn’t going to happen.  In the mean time, please enjoy the video link.