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 them 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.