Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Next Time" - Things Bill Maher didn't say this week but wishes he did...


He didn't say: If Congress is going to confirm Mary Jo White
as the new head of the Security and Exchange Commission
(SEC), the Agency that failed to uncover Bernie Madoff and
the financial problems at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers --
than we also need to bring  in her two top assistants, Larry
and Curly to be her right hand men.  Besides, the uncanny resemblance,
the name Mary Jo sounds suspiciously like Moe.


Anyway, after a highly prominent and stellar career in the US Attorney's
Office prosecuting terrorists, Ms. White left the Agency to
become the Lead Defense Council for many of the companies
that are currently under investigation by the SEC. (JP Morgan,
UBS). How ironic that she will be forced to recues herself from
so many high profile cases, just to prove that the SEC is no
longer a "Stooge" for Wall Street.

Bill Maher also didn't say: Snack companies have to stop naming their cakes
like characters from "50 Shades of Gray". No wonder Hostess went
bankrupt. What responsible mother today would allow their child to
buy a snack named "Ding Dong", "Devil Dog", "Ho Hos", "Zingers"
and a "Ring a Ding Ding". The new Pope just announced that buying
a 2 pak of "Twinkies" is the equivalent of supporting same sex
marriage.

Bill also didn't say: 5 Hour Energy and those like it, need to admit they are
nothing more than legalized drugs. These drinks get us so amped up,
that many of us are forced to take medical marijuana in order to bring
us back down. Whether it be the half of America that wants to be
in a hyperkinetic state of ADD, or the large group of people that
want to mellow on their couch and wonder if there are two kernels
of popcorn that look exactly alike...clearly, there are few Americans
that want to live in a state of conscious reality.

He didn't say: Somebody needs to tell Blackberry they are the Krispy
Kreme of mobile phones. We think we want you back...but we really
don't. We need the new "Z10" model about as much as we needed
"Z1 though 9".

He didn't say: We need to remind Congress that the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms was not based on Paper, Rock, Scissors. There
was a time when all three were considered equally dangerous. Who
would have thought that 75 years after the Agency was formed...you
can't smoke in public, carry an open container, but you can carry a
concealed weapon almost anywhere.

He didn't say: Actors on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars
cannot be on the air at the same time, unless they are starring in a
Reality Show based on "The Hunger Games". These Celebrities careers
are so far behind them, they are even forbidden from being used in a
game of Kevin Bacon's "Six Degrees of Separation".


And finally, Bill Maher didn't say:...Air Traffic Controllers should be considered
more important to passengers than a free bag of peanuts.

With the "Sequester Cuts" closing 149 Air Traffic Control Towers
and the forced layoffs of TSA officers at security checkpoints, we
will now officially be waiting in line longer...in order to fly less
safe.

You know you have a problem when Rosetta Stone is selling "Airport
Complaining" as its very own language, and when Carnival Cruise
Lines prefers to send people home by Greyhound Bus, instead of by
plane, so as not to further worsen their customer experience.

The Airline Industry has taught the government that passengers
will tolerate taxes and fees that cost more than their plane ticket,
pay baggage and parking fees that are more than a hotel room, and
have a willingness to pay for everything from six inches of extra leg
room, a blanket, and even for toilet privileges...as long as you continue
to give them a free bag of peanuts.

In fact our government is run exactly like the airlines, it thinks like
Republicans but operates like Democrats. Not unlike the government,
70% of the airlines revenues comes from 20% of the people, who in
kind, receive almost 100% of all of the perks and benefits.

When the 20% fly, they receive the very Republican valet parking, a
private waiting lounge, a separate security gate, no fee for bags,
fully reclining seats, generous frequent flyer perks, and a gourmet
meal, while the other 80%, get a very Democratic...free bag of peanuts.

No matter what the government or the airlines debate about what to
take away next from the 80% of the rest of us, Pell Grants, Student
Loans, Veteran Benefits, Medicare, Social Security or the free instruction
card in the back of the seat in the event of a plane crash, the 20% will
still have more than 1 trillion dollars in tax deductions, the very best
health care, a good retirement plan, top educational schools, access to
a mortgage...and a first class seat on the aisle.

Regardless of whether you are in the 20% or the 80%, danger and public
safety affect all of the passengers... 100% of the time.

It is one thing when our government fails to inspect our meat properly, or
the lead in our children's toys, but when I fly, I don't think I deserve to fly
with less air traffic controllers, less TSA Security Officers, and now Muhammad
being allowed to carry Pocket Knives and Hockey Sticks back into the cabin,
while I still have to throw out my 3oz. bottle of moisturizing skin creme.

Does Greyhound give away free peanuts?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I know who is older, whiter and more insular than the Republican Party..




According to the Chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, the only people
that are "older, whiter and more insular" than the Republican Party
...is Hugh Hefner and the Leadership at the Vatican.

All three cling to the past, believing their problems are more style than
substance, in spite of the fact, their downward spiraling membership
and fractured organizations...is strong evidence to the contrary.

While Mr. Hefner was a man ahead of his time, eventually becoming
out of sync with the times, the Vatican and the Republican Party have
appeared to be frozen in time.

Scandal, Celibacy, Contraception, Abortion, Gay Rights, Same Sex
Marriage, and Women's Rights are issues that have been flashpoints
for both organizations, yet the recent "Conclaves" at CPAC and the
Church, don't lay out much hope or faith that any fundamental change
will be forthcoming anytime soon from either organization.

With 80% of the Nuns here in the United States now under the watchful
eye of the Archbishop from Seattle, to insure they are only promoting
Church Doctrine, and only 31% of voters identifying themselves as
Republicans, one might think that new Leadership would be elected to
point them in a new direction.

Yet both organizations cannot seem to break free from separating core
conservative values, from the interpretation of how those values are
relevant or reflective of our everyday lives.

And even though both organizations, lean heavily on the Lord for guidance
and revelation, it is now the Hispanics, they are both are looking at... to
lead them to the Promised Land.

Pope Francis will excite the 501 million Catholics in Latin America and
Marc Rubio will reach out to the 11 million immigrants that dream of
one day being proud Americans, but espousing old policies on new faces,
is a poor substitute for a true Religious or Political Awakening.

The Church under Pope Francis, does seem to poised to recommit itself
to helping those in need, in order to find its salvation, while the Republicans
still seem destined to help only those... that are in a position to help
someone else.

The Republican Party will be spending 10 million dollars on a campaign to
reach out to the very people, they will want to be taking away hundreds
of millions of dollars from...in order to  prioritize the reducing of the
deficit.

Paul Ryan says the Republican Budget is tantamount to not burdening our
children of tomorrow with the financial irresponsibility of today, but why is
it the best policy to burden the children of today with the financial
irresponsibility of those from yesterday.

Are children of today any less valuable than the children of tomorrow? Any
less deserving of a fair and balanced approach to share the responsibility
and the benefits of a bright and exciting future

Does it make sense to ask the children of today to sacrifice their education,
scholarships, food stamps and health care and social security...for the children
of the future, while not asking the wealthiest people in this country to sacrifice
their annual 1 trillion tax deductions to help pay down the debt?

What sacrifice will Mr. Ryan's be asking of his children, while asking 98 percent
of everyone else's children to share the burden?

Many Republican policies certainly win elections and seem easier to implement
when they are governing someone else's family...other than their own.

It is hard not to notice the number of Republican Leaders who were against
same sex marriage until they learned their own child was the one who wanted to
get married to someone of the same sex.

The Republicans have begun a listening tour to reach out to minorities and Latin
Americans so their Party can begin to look like America.

I hope the first thing they hear is: it is much more important to understand
how Americans feel, than trying to reflect how they look...and the best way to
understand how they feel...is to first ask a greater sacrifice of yourself, than
anything you may ask of others.

And if that be the case...than the Catholic Church and the Republican Party,
might have eve more in common in the coming years...then just the hope for
a large Hispanic following!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun in the News: Bye Bye to Chavez, Justin Bieber's career and why they should not pick a Pope now


Justin Bieber in England this week, needs to decide whether or not
he will become the new "King of Pop", or the next Prince Harry. If
Prince Harry can foolishly boast of killing the Taliban, than Justin
should be able to successfully kill his own career.

JC Penny and Macy's need to stop fighting over Martha Stewart,
Martha says she hasn't felt this popular, since she taught fellow inmates 
how to make blueberry wine from raisins and maple syrup.

Newly embalmed for public viewing, Hugo Chavez will be starring
in a new Diet Pepsi commercial with Sofia Vegara entitled "Wherever
Hugo - I Go". Sofia will be forced to decide, to be "On the Go with Hugo",
or in heaven with her favorite soft drink.

The drama at the Russian Bolshoi Ballet is doing more to thaw relations
between Russia and The United States, than the night the "Who Shot JR"
episode, became the most watch television show in Russian history.
Mark Burnett has already licensed "Real Men Wear Tights" in more
than 37 countries.

If the Vatican really wants to change its image, it probably shouldn't be
locking 115 men in one room, with a chimney symbolizing the only key
to getting out!

Students need to stop whining about the use of Standardized Testing as
the main component for College Entrance Exams. Call me insensitive, but
I haven't noticed that many math and science geniuses, who could only
get into a community college, and was forced to major in Phys Ed, because
the test didn't understand the essence of who they are.

Also this week -- Mercury is in retrograde and will stay that way until March 17.  Justin Bieber and the Vatican should NOT make any decisions until then.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Abortion in Arkansas - If men could get pregnant would we even be having this conversation?


This week saw the celebration of "International Women's Day",
and what better way to honor how far women have come, than
on the very same day, Arkansas passing the most restrictive
abortion rights law in the country.

In response to the ban on abortions after 12 weeks of conception,
Liberals immediately vowed to oppose any law that helps people
of Arkansas, replicate themselves anymore than is absolutely
necessary.

Expect to see massive contraception handouts, free information
pamphlets on the morning after pill...and free seminars on how
to hold an aspirin between your knees while eating Tater Tots
from Dairy Queen.

When did the fight for freedom to believe as you choose,
become only a fight to believe as I do?!

Why does a debate on the fate of the unborn, have to be decided
in the courtroom, instead of in our hearts and mind?

How is it, that people work harder for the rights of a potential
unborn child, than they do for a woman once she is born?
Would we even be having this conversation if men were the ones
who got pregnant?

Today, here in the United States, even though more women attend
college and achieve higher grades than men...they are overwhelmingly
and disproportionately kept away from seats of power.

Only 20% of elected officials are women and an even smaller percentage
are CEO's, or sit on the Board of Directors of Fortune 1000 Companies.
In India, it is culturally acceptable to assault women as sport, in
Afghanistan to deny them an education, and in Saudi Arabia they are
still not allowed to drive.

Religious teachings has never been particularly kind to women. Ever
since Jesus picked all men as the Apostles...women knew it was going
to be an uphill battle to get a seat at the table.

And the fact that Muslim extremists are still touting virgins as door
prizes on the way to see Allah...certainly indicates there is still much
work to do before a celebration is in order.

But the real religious challenge for woman when it comes to abortion
is not an individual line of scripture or an interpretation of the Ten
Commandments, but the fact that in religion...as emblazoned in the
state motto of Arkansas "The People Rule", instead of the individual.
One Book...one set of rules...one set of rituals...and one set of beliefs!
The reason there are more than 1500 religions in the world is because
you cannot have 1500 opinions in one Religion.

So even though our country was founded on individual rights...religious
conservatives are challenged to think that people have an individual right
to decide how they feel, once the Church has put in Doctrine exactly what
they say one should believe.

There are fair, spirited and troubling arguments when life begins, that
neither faith nor science can answer with a true consensus of certainty.
And it is moments such as these, why this country was designed with
a church to guide us and not define us...and a government to protect
us, but whenever possible... never be the one to choose for us!

Some people argue about the intention of the "separation of church and
state" in America by our founding fathers, but the real separation, was
that our country was not set up as a theocracy.

As we have painfully been reminded all too often lately...our country, unlike
the church... was set up to disagree!

Divided factions, individual rights and equality for all... were very distant
cousins from religious organizations or the European governments that
were based on religion as their inherent right to rule.

Women may never win the argument for the "Right to Choose" in church
on Sunday...but here in the United States her body is her Temple and she
should be the Pope!

...and although a Woman still can't be elected Pope, we need to make sure
that whenever possible, the "smoke is blowing white" for all Women in all
areas...so International Women's Day ...can be a true celebration!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beltway Confidential - Behind the Scenes of the Sequestration





Ever since the sequestration has gone into effect, the Fox News lead story
every day has been, "the economy is still alive". Similar to when Saturday
Night Live infamously reported every week that Spain's General Francisco
Franco was "still dead". Both organizations selectively reporting on what
happened as opposed to what was actually happening.

Breaking news by Fox is now: airport delays not caused by the sequester,
meat still being inspected, and lines are still only 4 hours long at the DMV...
some things will never change!

Unlike Elvis, no one ever questioned the General's permanent state of
rigor mortis, but the possibility that the sequester has killed the economy
and the poison hasn't taken its full effect yet, one would think is the far more
compelling story.

With the sequester calling for 44% of the $85 billion in cuts to be implemented
upon just 14% of the budget in a period of only 7 months, the independent CBO
reports and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke agrees, that up to 750,000 jobs will be
lost, GDP will be reduced sharply,...and the economy could be endanger of being
pushed back into a recession with such a harsh and abrupt halt placed upon the
economy.

Why was there no midnight call to VP Joe Biden this time? Why did Republican
Leadership leave town faster than Anthony Scalia can get rid of the Voting Rights
Act!

This is not an impasse...this is not a failed negotiation...this is how you win
Championship Fight.

Round One: Republicans threaten to shut down the government and default on
our bills if spending cuts are not guaranteed regardless of either Party's inability
to negotiate. Debt Ceiling is raised, the sequestration is born, and the Tea Party
hasn't felt this successful since Nathan convinced Aaron to build a Golden Calf
while waiting for Moses to come down from the Mountain.
Winner - Republicans...the sequester becomes the "rope a dope" of political
strategy!

Round Two: The Republicans lose an election and give up 620 billion dollars in
revenue increases on the top 2% income earners for 2.5 Trillion dollar in spending
cuts.
Winner - Democrats...Republicans agreeing to tax increases hurts more than Joe
Frazier being knocked down 6 times in 6 minutes against
George Forman.

Round Three: The sequester kicks in and the Republicans give up Zero dollars in
revenue increases for 1.2 Trillion dollars in spending cuts and haven't even touched
Social Security or Medicare yet! And most importantly, the Republicans for the first
and only time, get to cut the Military Budget, with complete cover by the Democrats
and the sequester...without having to cast a single vote!
Winner - Republicans...Tea Party doesn't care if you take a sledge hemmer to the
government, they want it as broken as possible!

Round Four: Before this round starts, the Democrats and their team are going to
have to change strategy to avoid a knockout and out box their opponent to victory.

The problem is the Republicans have put the Democrats into the corner by forcing
them to manage the sequester as best as possible and open themselves for blame
if they don't. If the Democrats use the pain of the sequester to force the Republicans
to the center of the ring, they could be knock downed by the very same pain that
is unfairly being forced upon the public.

If someone loses their job, it is not the forced sequester that is responsible...
but the inability of the President's team to manage the cuts more effectively.
Need more tools to manage the sequester and save jobs? House Republicans
will blame the President for not accepting their amendment to the sequester
for allowing the President to choose targeted cuts instead of the painful cuts
from among all of the Presidents favorite programs.
Winner - TBD...this will come down to whether the President's Left, is stronger
with the Bully Pulpit, vs. the Republicans Right, with radio and
television, influencing how the referee, mainstream media
ultimately reports the story.

Final Round: After four years of training, the President is more than prepared to
fight either toe to toe or with the "sweet science" that only an experienced fighter
can bring to the ring. The President will go for the knock out by bringing the Grand
Bargain back to the table...bigger and bolder than he first proposed with John
Boehner. He will bypass the Speaker of the House, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell,
and look to Republican Senators who secretly want to diminish the role of the Tea
Party before the upcoming Republican Primaries.

He will put enough in the ring to try to make this a battle between Senate
Republicans and Republicans in the House, instead of a fight between himself
and House Republicans.

The punch they won't see coming will be a significant closing of tax loopholes to
pay down the debt for a modest reduction in corporate tax rates to stimulate the
economy.

This combined, with offering means testing and agreeing to change the formula
for cost of living increases for Medicare, will put the Republicans in a defining
moment for who controls the future of their Party...which will strengthen the
Democrats in 2014, no matter if the Republicans agree or remain the party of
no to compromise!

The President would still have Social Security and raising the minimum age
requirements to receive benefits, for future negotiation fights, or if he needs
another devasting punch to call upon in a close call decision.
Winner - The American People...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Unwanted Advice to People in the News This Week




Advice: Rock Stars need to stick to promoting Drugs, Sex, Rock
and Roll --and not World Peace! Now, with no Pope to promote the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we can't afford to lose two
Holy Trinitys in the same week! It was disappointing to learn that
rocker Jon Bon Jovi is not joining the panel for "American Idol" or
"The Voice", but "The White House Council for Community Solutions".
It used to be we could count on Rock Stars to be role models for
leading a decadent lifestyle far worse than our own...now we have
only the politicians to look at. Just because politicians are legalizing
pot, sleeping with prostitutes, and constantly infighting,... it doesn't
mean they can be in a band!

Advice: Automobile companies have to stop selling electric cars that
cannot stay charged longer than my electric razor. The EPA is
reformulating the MPG standards for electric cars and so far they have
determined people in Los Angeles walk their dogs longer than they can
drive the new electric Nissan Leaf. If Thomas Edison had counted on
the batteries in the "Leaf" to test electricity, it would have been over
so fast, people would have thought he was inventing lightening instead
of the light bulb. It's one thing for my iPhone to run out of power during
an important call...but it would be true "Carmageddon" if more than 2
people ran out of "juice" on the 405 freeway at the very same time!

Advice: Dennis Rodman cannot have a "bromance" with Kim Jung-un.
This is what happens when "JDate" tries to expand its clientele. Kim
thought he was in the secret romance section, took one look at Dennis's
secret weapon and put him on the next plane to Pyongyang. For Dennis
...he thought he was answering an ad for a chain of "Korean Massage
Parlors".

Advice: Now that he has been approved as Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel
has to show he can defend our country, better than he defended himself
against the Republicans. No one has looked that out of sync with Military
leadership, since Michael Dukakis tried to put a helmet on while sitting on
top of a tank! He didn't just turn the other cheek to Lindsey Graham and
John McCain, but had it slapped, pinched and placed on a whoopi cushion.
We are the only country that screens a potential Defense Secretary in open
hearings because public perception plays a critical role in projecting military
strength, but than feels it is necessary to do everything possible to create
the weakest perception possible before approving him!

Advice: The Pope needs to be allowed to still wear his red shoes. The Vatican
announced that the Pope Emeritus will be no longer be allowed to wear his
favorite red shoes after he goes off to a life of prayer and silence. Are they
afraid if he taps them three times he will be able to "get the hell out of there".