Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bill Kristol, Neocon Nostradamus

The venerated pantheon of seers and oracles is as expansive and momentous as History herself. The Oracle at Delphi, Cassandra, The Brahan Seer, Edgar Cayce, The Amazing Criswell, Jean Dixon, Miss Cleo and of course, the great Nostradamus are among the revered prophets enshrined in her temple of augury. But there is one more that must be added to that illustrious canon: Bill Kristol.

Bill Kristol, son of Irving, Father of Neoconservatism, functions as the American version of The Nechung Oracle of Tibet, counseling and forewarning heads of state, politicians and pundits with uncanny accuracy and aplomb. When not making prophetic utterances at Fox News or other outlets fervently awaiting his preeminent prognostications, Mr. Kristol holds forth from his electronic fortress of neoconservative agitprop, the esteemed American Standard. Excuse me, I meant to say Weekly Standard. American Standard manufactures toilets.

Mr. Kristol's soothsaying is legendary, and so of course keeps him in high demand among the networks' Sunday morning Republican infomercials. But what has this vaunted seer forecast that makes him so critically essential to the regressive message?

The list is extensive, but here are a few of the highlights of this breathtaking career in divination.

In 2002, Mr. Kristol eerily predicted that a war in Iraq "could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East."

In 2003, Mr. Kristol miraculously predicted that the Iraq War would last for two months, and that weapons of mass destruction would most certainly be found.

In 2006, he stunningly said that if Hillary Clinton "gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then. … Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now."

In 2007 Mr. Kristol amazingly prophesied that the Bush tax cuts would send the economy soaring through the stratosphere and that Bush would be entirely vindicated by this brilliant manoeuvre.

Again, in 2007, Mr. Kristol magically said that the civil war taking place in Iraq was not really happening.

In 2008 he wondrously predicted that Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska would defeat Mark Begich.

In 2011, Mr. Kristol knowingly forecast a Rudy Giuliani run for the presidency.

And of course in 2012, Bill Kristol preternaturally predicted an overwhelming Romney romp to victory.

Which brings us to 2014 and one of Mr. Kristol's most recent predictions, that being that Hillary Clinton will likely not run and if she does will be defeated by "a younger, fresher Republican face" because she will be "too out of step with the Democratic primary electorate in 2016."

Time will tell if Bill Kristol maintains his perfect record in prognostication, but if I were Hillary Clinton, I'd start measuring the drapes in the White House.

©2014 Kona Lowell

Catch this blog read live every Wednesday, 7 PM Central, on Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio with host Scott Henderson.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Here Come The NEW Republicans!

Washington, DC. Having realized that their brand is in serious need of spiffy new packaging, the Republican Party is launching a campaign to convince voters that there really is such an animal as a "New Republican." The project, brainorphan of Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, features Republican new kid on the block, former Governor Jeb Bush and radical upstart Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

The ad, which aired for the first time last Sunday, features the pair borrowing Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be a Redneck schtick and modifying it ever so slightly, all while being buoyed atop bouncy, generic indie folk.

Says Governor Bush, "If you believe that every parent ought to be able to choose their child’s school, and that the economy should be driven from the bottom up, not the top down from Washington, then you’re thinking like a New Republican."

Then Governor Jindal chimes in with, "If you don’t think the Republican Party should be the party of big government, big business or big anything, you’re thinking like a New Republican."

Apparently, the focus groups Castellanos ran this ad by did not include any humorists, historians or people with perceptible cognitive abilities or with memories lasting longer than about five minutes.

Take Governor Bush's passive-aggressive call to arms. Aside from being a thinly burkaed promise to destroy public education by grabbing all the funds and handing them to their backers and cronies who run charter schools, what if all parents picked the same school? Then what? And yes, the economy is being driven from the bottom up. Driven like a herd of cattle to the slaughterhouse. But he's right. The profits are definitely not staying at the bottom.

By the way, Jeb Bush is known as "The Smart Brother." 

Governor Jindal's laughable attempt at passing off the Republican Party as the champion of The Little Guy and definitely, positively, swear to God not the party of Big Business, and steadfastly opposed to "big anything," should keep cynics amply supplied with grist for their snark mills for days. I'll pass on the obvious penis jokes but mention that he left out "big ideas." Doubt that he noticed.

And yet this smug masquerade might just work if only they were not chained at the ankles to the Tea Party. Those guys are not going to start thinking like mythical New Republicans. They're going to continue to demean women and minorities. They're going to keep equating science with demonic possession. They're going to obstruct anything and everything. They're going to fight against equal pay, raising the minimum wage, civil rights, marriage equality, voting rights, the unemployed and of course Obamacare. They're going to pursue their bogus scandals like suicidal junkie Quixotes. And every time someone like Jeb Bush waxes poetic (and uncannily human) that undocumented immigrants enter this country as an "act of love," they're going to rear up on their hind legs and demand that 12 million people be deported. Or shot. Whichever.

We've seen this attempt at rebranding before. It was called "Compassionate Conservatism." Jeb's dumber brother ran on it, and won, and he had so goddamn much compassion that up to 1,000,000 Iraqis who never did a thing to us are dead, their country decimated and we're still digging ourselves out of the economic abyss that neocon misadventure created. And these compassionate conservatives also had something of a crush on torture, but they renamed it "refined interrogation techniques." Sweet.

The point is, I can call myself an omniscient interplanetary sex mariachi, but that doesn't make me one. Here's hoping we don't get fooled again.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can catch a live reading of this blog and more every Wednesday, 7 PM Central, on Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Death Spiral

Washington, DC. Well, the numbers are in and it's 1,099,000 per day! Pretty amazing, isn't it? Most liberal pundits did not believe we'd be seeing numbers like this in 2014, especially after all this country has been through. Yet even with all the intentional omissions, non-stop obstruction, doom and gloom forecasting and outright, endlessly debunked lies, Fox News viewership is still on top.

Which is why the Fair & Balanced network is having such a horrible time dealing with this number: 7.1 million. That of course is the number of Americans who signed up for Obamacare by last night's deadline. It's just about the worst news they've ever had, except for Obama being elected. Twice.

See, Fox News has worked feverishly for years to deprive millions (make that 45 million) of us from having a choice between bankruptcy and wellness. Or death and wellness. And this failure can only lessen their credibility. How can they honestly report on our fellow Americans lining up by the tens of thousands in red states nationwide to willingly submit themselves to socialism and death panels? Well, they can't. And they won't.

But what Fox News will do is put lying sacks of shit like Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on the air to claim that the administration is "cooking the books" on Obamacare and therefore it's really a dismal failure. They will televise charts that show the number 6,000,000 to be one third of 7,000,000 and charts to show 7.1 million being less than 7 million.Their viewers, not known as math wizards, will not notice.

In coming days they will have House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on over and over to tell their audience, a solid majority of which will certainly be future Darwin Award winners, that the only way to save this once-great nation is to repeal this freedom-destroying law and give all the money to the Department of Defense and the vastly under-appreciated rich people who make life as we know it possible. Ryan will of course do this while looking as much like a winsome stray puppy as is humanly possible.

And you can count on learning that only old and sick people, you know, people who really need insurance, are signing up and that young people are roundly rejecting it so it's an utter failure and must be repealed. And you will hear that billions and billions of Americans have lost their coverage and are now going to die. And that premiums are going through the stratosphere. And that doctors are quitting because they can't make any money. That it's a train wreck. It's in a death spiral. It's a government takeover of the health industry. Jesus hates it.

Well, here's something you won't hear on Fox News. My wife and I got covered and it saved us $650 per month. And that's a good plan that also pays for alternative treatments like acupuncture (which I swear by) and massage therapy (which I swear during). So fuck you, Fox News. If I'm going to get sick and die, it will not be because my insurance has been cancelled, I have reached my lifetime cap or I couldn't collect enough cans to pay for a new heart.

How many people will not get good, affordable coverage because they bought into the Fox News lies, coverage that might be the difference between life and death? We'll likely never know. But one thing is certain, and that is that Fox News and the Republican Party are dangerous to your health and our country's future. Sadly, even with Obamacare, there's no cure for stupid.

©2014 Kona Lowell

To hear a live reading of this blog, catch me on Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio Wednesday at 7 PM Central or click this link for the recorded version. I'm on right after intro. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shenderson19/2014/04/03/brass-knuckle-progressives-radio-political-potpourri

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Barack Obama's Fault

Remember when we petulant liberals used to blame George W. Bush for his little faux pas that inconvenienced us and the rest of the world? You know, like sitting there blissfully reading My Pet Goat while terrorists he imprudently ignored leveled the Twin Towers. Or starting a needless war based on outright lies that killed possibly one million Iraqis, 4,500 Americans and left another 30,000 of our soldiers wounded. Or flushing the economy down the toilet. Or starting another war in Afghanistan that is now the longest in our nation's history. Things like that. Remember?

Well, it turns out that Bush was a slacker compared to Obama. Of course Bush was a slacker compared to most slackers but I'm talking about in racking up guilt. So much of what is going wrong today is Obama's fault that it's hard to keep the list updated.

For example, Republican politicians and pundits will tell anyone willing to listen — make that every major network — that it is entirely President Obama's fault that Putin invaded and annexed Crimea and is threatening Ukraine. Yes, I know this is the same Putin who invaded Georgia during George Bush's presidency and no one blamed Bush, but that was because Dubya looked into Putin's dead eyes and saw a reflection of his own bankrupt soul. Plus Putin had seen pictures of Bush in a borrowed flight suit and knew that he was muy macho, like him. He knew that Bush's concept of foreign policy was the military equivalent of premature ejaculation and so was completely cowed. Instead, being psychic, he bided his time, waiting for the weakling Obama to become president so he could begin his reformation of the Soviet Union, one piece at a time. Putin would have behaved had Romney become president, because besides being white, Mitt's the kind of guy who looks scarey in his mom jeans. Really scarey. Seeing your parents having sex scarey.

Of course we now know that Obama's renowned weakness with world leaders led to the disappearance of Flight 370 and is precisely why it has not been found, as furious former UN Ambassador John Bolton (and his even more furious mustache) made crystal clear on Fox News. It's Obama's fault for not bombing Malaysia. Or something.

And all of this, from Putin invading Crimea to Malaysian officials not immediately resigning their posts and begging the US to run their country is all a direct result of Obama's feckless handling of — say it with me — Benghazi. Yes, it's Obama's fault that diplomats in a besieged embassy a world away in the middle of a revolution were killed, because the terrorists knew that Obama would just sit there and fill in his NCAA bracket.

But it's not just disasters on the world stage that are Obama's fault. It's clearly the situation here at home as well.

For example, we cannot get immigration reform passed. Why? Because Republicans say Obama cannot be trusted to carry out the law. It's his fault.

The Republicans must resort to voter suppression. Why? Because Obama had the nerve to win. Twice. It's his fault.

West Virginia has contaminated water. Why? Because Obama hates the coal industry. It's karma. It's his fault.

Winter storms have been the worst in history. Why? Because God wants to prove that Obama is wrong about climate change. It's his fault.

Republicans are saying stupider things about rape, women, the poor and minorities every day. Why? Because Obama makes them so angry they can't think straight. It's his fault.

People are being forced to give up lousy, expensive health insurance and replace it with better, cheaper polices. Why? Because Obama ramrodded the ACA through Congress and made it law. It's his fault.

Young Black men are being targeted and killed by older, angry white men with penis issues. Why? Because they look faintly like Obama. It's his fault.

And just this past Monday a long-awaited earthquake struck Los Angeles. Why? Because it's fucking L.A. And that certainly is Obama's fault. But the Republican House is not taking this one lying down. They have rushed through a bill to deal with the President's utter fecklessness in earthquake prevention. They demand that the San Andreas Fault be renamed Barack Obama's Fault.

The bill is expected to die in the Senate. Which, as you know, is Obama's fault.

©2014 Kona Lowell

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Send in the Clowns: A CPAC Review

National Harbor, MD. If you were not one of the thousands of far-right pilgrims pious enough make the hadj to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, at the ironically named Gaylord National Hotel here this past week, or have been media-deprived, we at Kona Journal now offer you a quick recap of the highlights. But first, here's comedian Jackie Z, fresh from the Clamdigger Room, with his take on the big event. Jackie?

"Thanks chief! Hey, I just flew in from Miami. I'm not gonna say it's humid down there, but I need a steam bath to dry out! But seriously! CPAC? What is that? An antibiotic? Hey, these Republicans are a great crowd! You know what's dumber than a Republican? Two Republicans! You know I've seen less venom at a rattlesnake roundup. Yeah, the crowd here is all upset about Ukraine. Well Crimea river! Hey, ya know what the number one appetizer is here? Putin on a Ritz. Hey, I'm not gonna say all these Republicans are douches, but the best-selling drink here is vodka and Summer's Eve."

Thanks Jackie! Save me a seat at the bar! Anyway, there were several outstanding performances by leading Republicans.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas was a big hit with the uber-conservative crowd. Looking almost sentient in his black-rimmed glasses, a very animated (as in cartoonish) Perry wowed the crowd with his televangelist hair and delivery. He drew wild applause for his call for the government to give corporations free rein to decimate the nation and his not-so-subtle jab at that drag on the economy, the Post Office, and the cruel Republican-made problems it staggers needlessly under.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey drew polite applause for his attempt to prove his anti-choice bona fides and hatred for all things Obama, but ruined any chance he had of garnering the presidential nomination by advocating that the party actually have ideas. Even the fact that he is probably facing indictment for criminal behavior is not enough to save him.

Former Arkansas Governor and embarrassment to bass players everywhere, Mike Huckabee, did the full Benghazi and a very bad Jesus impersonation, reminding all lapsed Christians why they lapsed.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky came out of his shell and allowed Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn to play with his gun to the delight of one and all. He also threatened to make the Senate a place Coburn can be proud of again if he becomes Majority Leader.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas used his stage time to savage other Republicans, as usual, and to the great joy of Democrats nationwide continued with his utterly nonsensical theory that Republicans could win it all if they were just meaner, more racist, more anti-science, more pro-war, more pro-rich and more anti-woman. In other words, more conservative. There was not a Tea Partier there who did not pitch a tent.

Congressman Paul Ryan's stirring speech on the righteousness of allowing starving children to die with dignity left not a dry eye in the room.

Senator Rand Paul, who won the straw poll and will therefore never be president, proved his daredevil credentials by successfully tackling a subject he is entirely unfamiliar with: principles. He also droned on about liberty, something Democrats are apparently allergic to.

But of course the star of the show was former half-term governor, Fox News paid liar, losing vice-presidential candidate, failed reality star, queen of smarm, wet dream of Rich Lowry, the ever-snide Sarah Palin. Palin did not disappoint with her acid-tongued swipes at Obama's manhood and proved that she had read at least one book, Green Eggs & Ham (or her speech writer had). She thrilled the audience with the possibility of a new Cold War and brought the hooting and hollering house down with the suggestion that real men love nuclear war. She stood up for the most downtrodden among us, the millionaire fakers of Duck Dynasty. But her most wallet-felt remarks came in her plea for women to not be mere "accessories" for the Democratic Party, but to embrace the full freedom of servitude and submission awaiting them in the GOP. The room echoed and shook to cries of "Run, Sarah, run!" On a personal note, I have always refrained from using the "C" word to describe any woman, but in Palin's case, I'll make an exception. She's a cretin.

Finally, I think I can sum up the entire convention/primal scream therapy session/circle jerk best with the lyrics to that old song. "Send in the clowns. Don't bother, they're here."

©2014 Kona Lowell

Monday, March 3, 2014

Barack Obama, Girlie-Man

Washington, DC. Republicans, who by the way are "all Ukrainians now," are beside themselves with shame and embarrassment that President Barack Obama seems unwilling or unable to display the proper alpha male chest-pounding and feces-throwing that defines their idea of US foreign policy. Or as battle-scarred commando Lindsey Graham stated to Candy Crowley this past weekend:

"Well, number one, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators. It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression."

Graham is not alone in his panty-twisting contempt for Obama's girlie-man diplomacy. Old warrior Rudy Giuliani, who battled the Viet Cong from the very front stacks of a Manhattan law library, adjusted his bra straps and expressed his tumescent admiration for Vladimir Putin's Bushian style of decisive, head-long, incautious action, "Then everybody reacts. That's what you call a leader. President Obama, he's got to think about it. He's got to go over it again. He's got to talk to more people about it."

Also incensed to the point of extreme huffiness was Charles Krauthammer, who sits ready to wheel himself onto the field of battle shouting "Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, all in the valley of Death rode the six hundred," but instead must watch Obama issue statements that he seems to find in need of testosterone. Said Krauthammer, between bites of a bull testicle sandwich, “You could not have issued a more flaccid statement than what Obama did. Why did he issue it at all? He should’ve just stayed at the White House and gone off and had his happy hour with the Democrats." (Note: "Happy hour" is Republican for gay group sex.)

Senator John McCain, Navy ace, is livid. Of course that is normal, but this time he's even livider. He sees the whole crisis as being "the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy in which nobody believes in America’s strength anymore." McCain, who is known for having an enormous amount of feck and more than a petting-on-the-first-date audacity when it comes to all things war, wants to desperately demonstrate that strength by, well he's not exactly sure, but it's clear that Obama doesn't possess the machismo to carry it out, whatever it is.

And therein lies the Republicans' — and more specifically the neocons'  — problem, and the cause of their impotent, sputtering rage. For years they've been slapping around puny, basically defenseless little countries full of brown-skinned heathens and now they have a chance to take on nuclear-armed Russia and vicariously prove their collective, much-doubted manhood and they know, but won't admit, that Obama is doing what anyone in his right mind would do. So all that's left is to complain shrilly about the calm, stern and determined Obamaesque way in which he's handling it and pretend that if they were in charge, they would do it so much more, well, American, and  there would be lots of really cool explosions and everyone would be really, really scared of us. Like Osama bin Laden was of Bush. Oh, wait...

©2014 Kona Lowell

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The GOP: Champion of Minorities

To hear the Democrats tell it, they are the one party that proudly represents minorities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure racial minorities like African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians tend to vote predominantly Democratic, but the Republican Party can boast even more support from a greater number of minorities.

For example, take those 25% of Americans who believe that President Obama was born in Kenya. The Republican Party has a lock on them, as well as the 17% who believe he is a secret (or not so secret) Muslim. That last group is equal to the percentage of Hispanic Americans in the U.S. If the Democrats really wanted to represent minorities, they would work to get the votes of these two groups by demanding Barack Hussein Obama be deported, after of course being forced to accept Christ at gunpoint.

Then there are those souls who Time forgot, people who would be much more at home in the no-questions-asked bliss of the Dark Ages. They turn exclusively to the GOP. This would include the 25% of anti-Copernican Americans who swear on a stack of Bibles that the sun revolves around our Earth and the even larger group of 46% who believe that same Earth is still a tween, geologically speaking.

These same Americans, those who see the pernicious evil inherent in anything scientific, are of course joined by the 37% who know in their guts that climate change is a lie straight from the pit of hell, a hoax created by effete, limp-wristed arugula-eaters who want to destroy our country's greatest achievement: the muscle car. The only way the Democrats could ever hope to claim their votes would be to replace every science textbook in the country with the Cliff Notes to Genesis. And publicly stone Bill Nye to death.

There are yet two other groups, equal in population percentage to African-Americans and Hispanics respectively, who the GOP can count among the minorities they represent, that being the 22% of Americans who believe that states have a right to secede from the Union and the 17% who want to do it this very goddamn minute. There is little the Democrats can do to appease these voters, aside from repealing the Emancipation Proclamation and changing the National Anthem to Dixie. This is unlikely.

There are even yet smaller blocs of voters that only the GOP can count on, one being the 11% of Americans who oppose any and all birth control. The Democrats did try to court them with the Just Say Woo-Hoo to Oral & Anal Sex campaign, but it was unsuccessful.

This of course only skims the surface of the Republican-supporting minorities. There are still those small groups who favor Sarah Palin for president, those who believe that FEMA is setting up death/Muslim-indoctrination/hip hop camps, those who think a government default would be really great for business, those who believe George W. Bush was definitely right about something, those who believe homosexuality is contagious and those who think Brit Hume is a real hunk.

But all of this pales in comparison to the Republicans' smallest minority, one that just barely edges out Native Americans in population percentage at 1%. The filthy rich. The handful who own 46% of not just America's, but the world's wealth. This group includes the now-famous Koch brothers, among other well-heeled sociopaths. Of course the Democrats would love to have their support, but they just aren't able to muster that nonchalant amorality that comes so naturally to the GOP.

So even though the Democrats would happily trade their minorities for the Republicans' 1%, they'll just have to make do with what they have: a majority. Now if they could only get all of them to vote.

©2014 Kona Lowell