Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bread Wrappers for Everyone

Des Moines, Iowa. We're here in America's corn hole, I mean corn basket, this afternoon at the annual Freedom Summit, also known as Steve King's Fuck You Immigrants, Muslims, Gays and Anyone Who Isn't a White Redneck Asshole Lollapalooza. This is where potential Republican presidential contenders come to prove their bona fides to the GOP's most droolingly right-wing voters and hopefully get that much coveted Iowa bump.

However it's not the line-up of presidential hopefuls that are the talk of the event, but Iowa's own Joni Ernst, the freshman senator who delivered the first of five fulsome GOP rebuttals to President Obama's State of the Union address. The pig castrater from Red Oak has inadvertently uncorked something of a pissing contest with her woebegone tale of childhood poverty — poverty so deep it required $460,000 in government subsides — including the heartbreaking account of wearing plastic bread wrappers over her one good pair of shoes. Now everyone is regaling the press with Dickensian tales of brutal childhood hardship. Here's a small sampling from those willing to speak to us:

"Bread wrappers? That ain't nuthin'! We was so poor we wore bread for shoes. My poor mama would git herself up at four in the mornin' and start bakin' our shoes. 'Come in here chillun and put your dogs in them buns an' git on to school' she'd say. Then we'd walk five miles to school in our bread shoes. We ate 'em for lunch. Then we'd walk on home barefoot. Took me twenty years 'for I could eat bread without mud on it."

"Well we were so durn poor our little town couldn't even afford a town drunk. We had this one guy who just pretended to be drunk about half the time."

"You want me to tell you what poor is? We were so fucking poor the panhandlers gave us spare change. My pop's best job was holding the 'will work for food' sign for the homeless guy."

"Oh my, we were so poor that our mama would tell us, 'You kids go out there and foller them squirrels before it gits dark and find where they're buryin' them acorns and bring 'em home.' Then we'd bring the acorns home and mama would make us all a nice bowl of hot water and acorn soup."

Of course there are some who still are a bit unclear on the concept.

"Oh dear, yes, as a young lad I faced very great hardship. Father made a disastrous investment and found it expedient to sell our summer house on Cape Cod. We were forced to winter in a rented villa in Hawaii for three torturous years. The following year pater auctioned my polo pony, and Biff and Skipper and the rest of the chaps at prep mocked me mercilessly. 'No Polo DuPont' they called me. It still rankles to this very day."

Fortunately, the Republicans still have time to work this all out and prove to the middle class and working poor that they really, really care about them. The empathy workshop starts at 2:00 pm, entitled "Bread Wrappers for Everyone." Watch out, Democrats.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mitt Romney 3.0: Champion of the Poor

Washington, DC. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren may not be seeking the nomination for president in 2016, but her populist message is being adopted by hopefuls on both sides of the aisle early on here in 2015. The most recent politician to do so is former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential also-ran, Mitt Romney.

Mr. Romney, who in 2012 became the poster boy for corporate rapacity and nonchalant, well-bred indifference to the poor and middle class, has since experienced something of an epiphany when it comes to income inequality.

Addressing hundreds of well-heeled Republican National Committee members, and potential donors, recently in San Diego who had for some reason suddenly appeared aboard the aircraft carrier Midway, Mr. Romney made it clear that his focus would be on, as he called it, "the scourge of poverty."

Mr. Romney made it clear, between well-written one-liners, that to regain the White House Republicans must show a willingness to lift all people out of poverty, and that only Republicans are capable of accomplishing this economic and social justice turnaround. Although there were no particulars given as to how the GOP, notorious among the poor as the heavy-handed wielder of that so-called "scourge," would bring about this change, some possible solutions are cutting capital gains taxes, lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating antiquated programs that keep the poor in bondage, like Meals on Wheels.

However, the biggest surprise of the evening came when Mr. Romney announced to the stunned audience that he would be selling his $12,000,000 La Jolla estate and moving into a double-wide trailer.

"I'm running for president for Pete's sake!" the former governor exclaimed.

The Romney's three story, 8,000 sq. ft.double-wide trailer sits on 14 acres in Napa Valley, has 8 bedrooms, 10 baths, an olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, a bowling alley, a theater, two helipads and of course a car elevator.

©2015 Kona Lowell

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chips, Salsa and Steve Scalise

Washington, DC. In a stroke of amazing good fortune, Konajournal has obtained a secretly recorded meeting between Republican Representatives Joe Barton and Louis Gohmert, both of the Lone Star State of Texas. The conversation took place during lunch between the two congressmen at a Waco Mexican restaurant, Que La Chinga, and concerns their plans to deal with the David Duke scandal that fellow representative, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, is now embroiled in. We present it here unedited.

"Louis, we got us a peck of trouble right here with this Scalise deal. I mean, no sooner do we get them reins of power back in our hot little hands and we're like to get bucked right off and wind up with a mouthful of dirt. We gotta stay on that sumbitch til the bell, old son."

"Well, I guess we just need to make it clear to our base that we got no truck with them neo-Nazis and Klan boys."

"That is our base, you idjit!"

"Oh yeah. Hey I know what! We make us a mess of tee shirts that say 'Je suis Scalise'!"

"Naw, that won't work. Everyone will think it says 'Jesus Scalise', except for a few of them boys down in Louisiana and they don't read nothin' anyhow."

"Oh yeah. Well... hey I know what! We get him to pal around with that nigger doctor, Ben Carson!"

"That won't help. Carson's a Republican... and stop saying nigger!"

"I can't help it! It just comes natural. I mean I switched to niggra, then colored folks, then Black and now African-American. I just don't know what to call them folks."

"Well just call 'em 'them folks' then."

"Okay. Well, maybe if we just ignore this whole mess it'll go away. Anyhow, them media fellers are easy to put on a new scent. Just holler 'squirrel'!"

"You got that right, but we got another problem."

"What's that?"

"Well, seems ol' Steve got himself a bit of tattooing on him a few years ago."

"That ain't no big deal. I got one says 'Mom' right here on my arm!"

"Yeah, well, Scalise has a tattoo across his back. I mean across his whole back."

"What is it?"

"Confederate flag."

"Holy shit!"

"Yep, and underneath it says 'The South will rise again'."

"Holy shit! Well, we just tell him to keep his damn shirt on!"

"Yeah, but that ain't all. He's got another one, tattoo of the greatest general this country's ever known."

"You mean..."

"Yep he's got a tattoo of General Robert E. Lee... right on his bum."

"On his bum? Now why would he put Robert E. Lee on his bum?"

"Well, he didn't mean no disrespect. Seemed like a good idea at the time."

"Well hell. Okay. Here's the deal. He just has to take a shower with his clothes on. There's cameras everywhere these days. I mean there could be one down there in the drain."

"Well, that'll work. Except we got one more problem."

"What's that?"

"Well, seems Steve got real drunk one night and got a tattoo on his Joe Willie."

"Hell you say! On his Joe Willie?"

"Yep. And it says, Lord help us, 'Don't tread on me.'"

"Holy shit! That musta hurt!"

"Yep. Though most times it just says 'Do me.'"

"Huh?"

"You know, unless it's all stretched out, all you can read is 'do me.' Can't read the rest of it."

"Well that ain't no big deal."

"The hell it ain't! He whips that thing out in the Congressional bathroom there's no tellin' what could happen."

"Holy shit. You're right! Okay. Here's the plan. Steve Scalise takes a shower with his clothes on and he wears Depends when he's on the Hill."

"Well, that'll work. Louis, you always figure it out, ol' hoss. Jose! Can you get us some more chips and salsa, son? That stuff's hotter'n fire but it sure is good!"

©2015 Kona Lowell

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teaching Pigs to Sing

I have this motto I live by that originates with the late, great author, Robert Heinlein: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Well, the other night at my local watering hole I broke this sacred rule. See, there's this guy (I'll call him Bob) who is always trying to lure me into a political discussion. I have always avoided this because I know he's a Republican. Don't ask me how I know. I can just smell it.

Any way, after several drinks he was still goading me, so I said, "Bob, I don't want to discuss politics with you because you're a Republican, and it's impossible to have an intelligent conversation with someone who doesn't accept facts as reality."

"Well, facts are questionable."

"No," I said, "that's what makes them facts."

"Not really."

At this point I was already kicking myself for going this far and scanning the bar for an empty stool. There were none. So I made one more attempt to at least get him to acknowledge the existence of facts.

"Look," I said, "it's 8:30. It's dark out. That's a fact."

"Right."

"It is also a fact that under Obama we've had 57 straight months of private sector job growth."

"Well, I don't know."

"Look," I said with some impatience, "it's a fact. You can look it up."

"Well it depends where you look it up."

"Do you watch the news?" I asked.

"Yeah, I watch Fox News.They're great."

"So there's your problem," I replied, "There have been several studies done that show Fox News viewers are actually less informed than people who watch no news at all."

"I don't believe that."

"Of course you don't," I muttered.

Tired of punching myself in the face, I decided to put an end to this futility and finish my drink.

"See," I said, "this is why I don't argue with Republicans."

"I'm an Independent."

Well goddamn it.

"Oh really," I said, "Who was the last Democrat you voted for?"

"I don't remember. Hey, what do you think about Dr. Ben Carson?"

"Ben Carson?" I said, doing a spit take with the last of my vodka rocks, "He's a shit head!"

"No he isn't!"

"Ben Carson is the Republican equivalent of Stephen Colbert taking a selfie with his 'Black friend.' They think it proves they don't hate Black folks." Actually, I did use the N word here for maximum effect.

"He's a neurosurgeon."

"Yeah, and he also compared Obamacare to slavery!"

"Well, he meant that it would get like that and the unions are ruining jobs and blah, blah blah..."

At this point I actually put my fingers in my ears and started singing "La la la la." I got up abruptly from my bar stool and went outside to have a smoke, sadly missing Bob's scintillating explanation of why Dr. Ben Carson is a combination of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus. I waited outside until I was certain he had finished talking then resumed my seat at the bar. Fortunately, my friend Phil came up and started talking football and Bob found someone else to irritate: my wife, God love her.

As Phil and I were arguing the finer points of the West Coast Offense as opposed to the critical importance of a franchise running back like Demarco Murray, I could hear my wife behind me saying over and over "I don't want to talk about it, Bob!"

Which is exactly what I should have said in the first place. Heinlein was right.

©2014 Kona Lowell