Friday, October 31, 2014

Konajournal's Handy Guide for Undecided Voters

With the midterm elections just four days away, we at Konajournal have assembled a short questionnaire to assist undecided voters in making an informed choice in this most crucial vote. We believe that all citizens, whatever their race, economic status, gender or age have the right to have their voices heard at the ballot box and indeed the responsibility to make it heard.

Circle the numbers that best describe you. We will tally results at the conclusion.

1. You believe that voter fraud is rampant and that the only way to guarantee the integrity of the vote is to disenfranchise as many Blacks, Latinos, young people, seniors, women and habitual Democratic voters as is humanly possible. You also disagree with the opening paragraph.

2. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, he immediately eliminated the budget surplus President Clinton had left him, tanked the economy, presided over the loss of millions of jobs, started two unfunded wars that cost over 2 trillion dollars and left hundreds of thousands dead while alienating almost the entire world. You refer to this era of American history as "the good old days."

3. You see war as an international football game with guided missiles and enjoy rooting for your team from a safe distance. You also believe that the American military, like a football team, gets rusty during a bye week and therefore should be eternally at war with somebody. Anybody. Plus it's more exciting than NASCAR.

4. You are a devout Christian and believe that the Bible is the error-free word of God, except for the mistranslation in the gospel of Matthew that has Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem instead of a triceratops. And all the verses about helping the poor and sick.

5. You think that science is overrated, and are willing to take Sarah Palin's word for it that the climate change hoax is just an effete liberal plot designed to take away your muscle car.

6. Corporations are people. And Mitt Romney is not an animatronic replica of a human being designed to accumulate vast sums of wealth by any means necessary, but an actual human being. And that's his real laugh.

7. Providing health care coverage for 10,000,000 Americans who never had it before will only encourage them to live longer.

8. To protect the weaker sex, all abortion and birth control must be illegal. Abstinence is the only legitimate means of preventing pregnancy, unless you're at the Republican National Convention.

9. There is no such thing as too many guns. And they make great stocking stuffers.

10. God created Black people to entertain us, not govern us.

11. The Koch brothers are selfless, patriotic Americans who spend gazillions to improve the lives of the little guys.

12. You use the "n" word when referring to President Obama but are definitely not a racist. It's a Southern term of endearment, like "bubba."

13. You think your state should secede from the Union and this time it will not result in a humiliating, pathetic ass-kicking because you have an extra pair of shoes.

14. You like the cut of Mitch McConnell's jib.

15. You are Black, Latino, a union worker, a woman, gay, middle class, a student, make under $150,000 per year and are not an asshole.

If statements 1 through 14 describe you, you should vote Republican. If statement 15 best describes you, you should vote Democratic.

If you are still unsure, you're an Independent.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Land of the Free, Home of the Scared Shitless

Washington, DC. Republicans may not have any new ideas or policies that would benefit the middle class. They may not have any candidates that appeal to Blacks, Latinos, the LGBT community, union workers, young people or single women. But yet there they are, poised to take control of the Senate, retain the House and make President Obama's last two years in office an exercise in abject futility, while gleefully euthanizing anything that even smells a bit like progressivism.

What is their secret? Well, besides heavily gerrymandered districts and SCOTUS-backed voter suppression, it's really not a secret and it's nothing new. It is the exact same thing they have enticed voters with for years: unreasoning, slobbering, paralyzing fear.

This is brilliant, because there's always something to be afraid of, and apparently about half of us are ridiculously easy to terrify. In fact, one of the first tenets of conservativism is to be fearful of that scariest monster under the bed of them all: change. Yes, Obama's campaign slogan alone was enough to cause millions of Republicans nationwide to piss in their pants at the same time.

Of course there is nothing scarier for Republicans than a Black president. That is change at its very worst. It smacks of equality and puts the unhealthy notion in the heads of little Black kids everywhere that they, too, might be able to rise above their predetermined station in life and succeed. At anything.

But there's always more than race to send Republicans scurrying under the bed in blind, convulsive terror. Gays are going to ruin marriage, and of course bring about the downfall of Western civilization. Never mind that they helped mightily in building it. Or that Christianity is under siege. I remember one church bombing. It was committed by people who called themselves Christians. Or Obamacare is going to turn us into Socialist Europe. Cool! Do we get wine with breakfast? Or that the Democrats are going to take your guns away. I wish they would. People suffering with delusions and paranoia should not be heavily armed. But they won't.

Then there are those very frightening brown-skinned people way over there in countries most of us can't find on a map that practice the wrong religion and don't seem to appreciate us slaughtering them for no particularly good reason. Republicans are convinced that any one of these barely functioning Western constructs is poised for World Domination and that every petty despot is the second coming of ol' Adolph.

Which is why Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is convinced that ISIS "could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas." Sure. I can just hear al-Baghdadi telling his few thousand irregulars, "Today Little Rock, tomorrow the world!"

Now of course we have the horrifying Ebola virus to complete the nightmare scenario Republicans love to masturbate to. And even though Rush Limbaugh has had more wives than we've had infected patients, Rep. Tom Tillis (R-NC) says that "We've got an Ebola outbreak...we need to seal the border and secure it!"

Note to Border Sealers: The United States shares 5,525 miles of border with Canada. We share 1,989 miles with Mexico. And just for shits and giggles, we have 95,471 miles of coastline. And your plan is?

It doesn't matter. It's all about the fear. It's all about herding their cowardly base to the polls. It doesn't have to make sense. There is no real action required, or any to be taken. It's just about making stupid people believe they'll die if they don't vote for you.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. And fear itself is all the Republicans need.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Taste of What's to Come

Sarah Palin. Say that name. Let it roll around in your mouth. Savor it like a fine whine. Now swallow. Hmmm. A wonderfully mawkish nose of intolerance, spite and rancor with a distinctive acidity and subtle flavors of moose shit and halibut with an early finish dominated by a slightly cloying note of fresh hundred dollar bills.

Fortunately, we do not need to say this name. Nor do we have to imagine what life would be like with Sarah Palin as Vice President. But we are not out of the woods yet. At present there are dozens of members of Congress and a score of candidates on next month's ballot that make Sarah Palin look like Rachel Maddow's smarter sibling. And the fact that should keep liberals up at night is that a good number of them are going to retain their seats and new ones will win.

Think about it. Joni Ernst of Iowa feels that she is well-suited for the Senate because she knows how to cut the balls off pigs. But considering that she has called President Obama a "dictator," thinks judges should base their decisions on the Bible, believes that states should nullify federal laws they don't approve of, and like all Republicans, wants to repeal Obamacare and thinks climate change is iffy, being a veteran pig-ball remover may be the nicest thing we can say about her.

Then there's Zach Dasher who's running for Congress in Louisiana, which should thrill anyone who thinks that Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson should be in charge of the country. See, Zach is Phil's beardless nephew. But don't let that lack of manly facial hair fool you, he's every bit as ignorant and intolerant as his uncle. Zach opines that atheism caused the Sandy Hook massacre, and would like to make his particular brand of Christian fundamentalism the law of the land. And you're worried about ISIS.

As if Wisconsin weren't hemorrhaging enough of the liberal ideas and plain good sense that made it a beacon of progressivism, here comes candidate for Congress, Glenn Grothman, to hopefully drain the last drop. Grothman, besides being another typical fundy nutbar, thinks there's a war on men, that sex ed makes kids gay and that you really don't need a weekend, you lazy punk. Of course this is pretty standard Tea Party doctrine, but Grothman also has a particularly frisky bug up his ass over Kwanzaa. Yes, Kwanzaa.

The evil morons running on the Republican side of the ticket, both new and used, are too numerous to detail here. And it would be laughable, until one considers that about half the people one meets will gladly vote for them. That's why we, the sane, informed people who live here and care whether this nation moves forward for all or backwards for a few, must turn out and vote in greater numbers in this coming mid-term election than the pundits believe possible or likely.

If not, you've had a taste of what's to come. I'd recommend a nice dollop of Cheez Whiz with that particular vintage.

©2014 Kona Lowell 

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The "R" Word

You've really got to hand it to the Republicans. They are masters of the English language. No, not in the way William F. Buckley, Jr. was. He was a habitually wrong Yale-educated intellectual with a working vocabulary that would have made Noah Webster or Peter Roget say, "What the fuck does that mean?" No, I'm talking about the way they are able to pervert it.

Republicans have learned that words are malleable. They also understand that their own base would have no idea what the word "malleable" means. So they keep it simple, as in third grade simple. And as Frank Luntz, the Republicans' favorite political analyst, conservative messaging whore and corrupter of democracy likes to put it, "It's not what you say. It's what people hear."

This is why on Fox you will hear the greedy pigs who have surpassed the fabled Robber Barons of old in deepening the chasm between the haves and have nots referred to as "job creators" and Obamacare casually called "a government takeover of health care." If you are not at this moment personally eyeing the inner workings of you own colon, you are aware that neither of these substitutions are honest.

But that's what Republicans do, and it's working. Of course their greatest achievement of Orwellian word-molestation is in completely dishonoring the word "liberal," a word that for centuries was the very definition of all things virtuous. So damaging has that label now become that many of us have timidly retreated to the comfortable safety of the word "progressive."

We can, however, fight back.

Yesterday I saw a graphic on Facebook with a picture of Rush Limbaugh. It asked the reader to describe him in one word. The results were as one would expect, as this was a Democrat's page: asshole, pig, heartless, misogynist, liar, stupid, racist, cigar-fellating junkie pedophile (which broke the one word rule), etc. I read through all the responses, and while they were certainly apt, there was one word that I felt was the embodiment of all of them: Republican. So I humbly suggest we use this word to our advantage.

For example, let's say you're at a trendy restaurant and you are given a particularly awful meal. The waiter arrives at your table.

"The scallops au gauche are pleasing, no?"

"No. This tastes like Republican!"

Or, your friend backs up into your car.

"Dude, what are you, Republican or something?"

Or your child misbehaves and needs a time out.

"Dakota, that was very Republican of you to hit your little sister like that."

Or your best friend hits on a woman you're talking with at the bar.

"Hey, Jason, stop Republican-blocking me, will ya?" 

The possibilities are limitless. Just replace any negative word or phrase with "Republican." Eventually, people will prefer to be called just about anything else. Maybe even "liberal."

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Complicated

It can be distressing when a loving couple you've known for years separate. You want to remain friends with both, but it gets complicated. And there's always someone who simply refuses to accept that the union is over. They make it their perpetual mission to reunite the two, employing ridiculously juvenile tactics to bring the pair back together.

You know the sort of plan: invite both to a party or an intimate dinner without telling either that the other will be there as well. The belief behind this scheme is that neither will be furious and that both will suddenly realize they just can't bear to be apart any longer. Magically, all will be well and they'll live happily together ever after.

While this works in Hollywood, it almost never does in real life.

The Republicans are like that person who just can't adjust to his friends, Church and State, being separated. They will do anything to get them back together again.

See, they miss the good old days when Church and State just couldn't keep their hands off each other. Church and State's PDA's were legendary. If iPhones had been around, TMZ would have video of them fucking in the street. And on the throne. And on the altar. Of course they were much younger then.

Republicans really miss that, because a theocracy would be so much friendlier to them and their wealthy backers. So they devise little schemes to get them back together, like putting the Ten Commandments in government buildings, schools and courthouses. And even though most Republicans could not recite them if you held a gun to their heads, they figure Church and State will remember how much fun they used to have together enforcing laws by divine right and get back to some serious street-fucking again.

Of course they have other ways of getting Church and State back together. Making abortion and gay rights a religious issue. Making foreign policy bible-based. Implying that our military is doing God's work. Referring to America as a "Christian nation." Demanding prayer in school. Loudly lamenting phony wars on religion and Christmas. Making one's faith or lack thereof a campaign issue. And of course using selected out-of-context verses from the Bible to legitimize the trampling of the poor, women, ethnic minorities, workers and anyone else who might have a contrary view or is just in the way.

"Hello, Church? Hi there, darlin'! This is the GOP. Well, I just wanted to invite you to a little Congressional hearing we're throwin' tonight. No, just good fun, a few friends, you know. Sure, darlin', see you at eight!"

The Republicans will never give up. They don't believe the separation can last. Church and State were meant for each other. But it's over. This is not a trial separation. They've got their papers.

We call them "The Constitution."

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Money Talks

Washington, DC. Yesterday Senate Republicans did a tremendous service to liberty loving Americans and God-given free speech by filibustering the cynical, anti-tremendous-piles-of-money amendment that would have overturned Citizens United. Why? Because if there was ever a time we need our citizens united, it's now.

This proposal, authored by suspected communist and hater of democracy, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), would have restored the power to Congress to set campaign finance limits, which would be like legislating when beautiful, harmless birds may be allowed to sing. This is hardly surprising, coming from the Senator of the "Land of Enchantment." That's right, enchantment, which is another name for witchcraft!

Here is Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) before the freedom-saving vote, reminding us exactly why Kentucky is so fortunate to have him:

"I have to say it’s a little disconcerting to see the Democrat-led Senate focusing on things like reducing free speech protections for the American people. This is what they chose to make their top legislative priority this week. Taking an eraser to the First Amendment."

As usual, Senator McConnell, not wanting to step on any toes, understates the situation. It is not an eraser. It's an atomic bomb laced with Ebola and the spit of ISIS terrorists, being shoved up James Madison's ass.

Some people, mostly Maoists, say that money doesn't equal free speech. Nonsense! Ever hear the expression "Money talks"? Of course you have. It's in the Bible. But not the "Bullshit walks" part. That's in the Apocrypha. Somewhere. But you know what Democrats, especially those from New Mexico who practice witchcraft, think about the Bible.

Anyway, saying multi-gazillionaires like the Koch brothers shouldn't have the right to spend as much as they like on elections is like saying the tallest person shouldn't be first in line. Or that the biggest cars should have to obey traffic laws. Or the woman with the biggest tits shouldn't get paid the most. Or that the fattest person shouldn't get all the food. It's ridiculous.

And the worst part is that Democrats don't believe in prosperity. When I'm a gazillionaire, I want to be able to buy my own Senator. How else am I going to get rid of those pesky environmental laws here that keep me from selling Kona's Spinner Dolphin Burgers and Baby Hawaiian Monk Seal burritos? I call it "The Flavor of Aloha."

So thank a Republican today for standing up for your rights. Thank him for believing in you. Because when you win the lottery or Publisher's Clearing House or discover Captain Kidd's treasure in your trailer park when you're putting in a new septic tank, do you want your vote to count as much as that little shit who bags your groceries?

This is America. Dream big. Dream free. Dream rich. Just don't wake up.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wanted: Unindicted Republican Candidate

Washington, DC. With yesterday's conviction of criminally inept but boyishly handsome Governor Bob McDonnell and his apparently insane wife Maureen on multiple counts of corruption, the GOP is scrambling to find someone — anyone — who can carry their banner of medieval science, 18th century human rights, middle class-trampling oligarchy and endless war into the 2016 election. The only catch is they cannot be under indictment, under investigation or batshit crazy. So far the Craig's List ad has yielded squat.

Not that McDonnell was being considered for the presidential nomination, but he might have made a formidable vice president, and they'll need a running mate, too. The former governor was a good fit, being telegenic, English-speaking, white, male, as bland as Wonder Bread and wonderfully amoral. In other words, a perfect Republican. However, even Republicans must draw the line somewhere, and that line seems to be federal prison.

Of course the Great White Republican Hope is Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, but with the ongoing investigations into his corruption scandals, even his fuck-you-I'm-the-fucking-Governor style of governance, fetid, corpulent arrogance and noted contempt for the media might not be enough to make him marketable to independent voters, the six moderate Republicans and people who aren't Sopranos fans.

Then there's Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who appears to be launching another quixotic presidential run. But his recent indictment for corruption may hinder this. Not that Republicans have anything against criminals, as they clearly proved by electing Medicare fraudster Governor Rick Scott in Florida, but campaigning while fighting to stay out of prison could be one of those walking-while-chewing-gum situations for the well-coiffed Governor. Note to Governor Perry: It's "You can't hit a man wearing glasses." Hit. Not can't indict him. You're welcome, hoss.

Of course there's always Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who has all the qualifications Republicans admire and emulate: an enchanting, smarmy soullessness, dead fish eyes, an on-going submissive sexual relationship with the Koch brothers and the ability to lie repeatedly without blinking. Add to this that he is doing his damnedest to turn Wisconsin, birthplace of the Progressive Movement, cradle of workers' unions and citizen action into a dystopian conservative shit hole. He's perfect. Or would be, except that he's being investigated for corruption, too. Nuts.

The Republican bench is getting a bit thin. Sure, they've still got Congressman Paul Ryan with his famously bloodthirsty budget, who has aided and abetted Walker's ruination of Wisconsin, but when nuns travel around the country on a bus just to tell voters what an asshole you are, people take notice.

Jeb Bush might have a shot if his name wasn't Jeb Bush.

Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Adios, Latino vote!

This leaves Rand Paul. To face Hillary Clinton. Or Joe Biden. Or insert name here.

Sorry Republicans. But hey, don't give up on Craig's List. You might at least find a date for Friday night.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.