Category Archives: Dennis Kucinich

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Republicans have nothing but bad ideas and Democrats have no ideas.” — Lewis Black

OFFICIAL STATE GUN BILL REQUIRES A SEQUEL

So, the deep thinkers who populate the statehouse have sent a bill to Governor Mitch Daniels’ desk declaring something known as the Grouseland Rifle as the Official Indiana State Gun.

Daniels is expected to sign the bill.

A Hoosier Treasure

I hereby request my local state legislators, Vi Simpson and Peggy Welch, co-sponsor a follow-up bill that names an Official State Gunshot Wound.

I’ve done a little (believe me, a very little) research on the topic. According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common gunshot wounds occur in the extremities. Why? Search me.

Perhaps too many people who have no formal training mess around with firearms.

So, I suggest the Official State Gunshot Wound be a hole blown in the shooter’s own left biceps. Every time an aspiring gun lover accidentally puts a slug in his own arm, he’ll be brought to Indianapolis to display his wound to legislators. His photo will appear in the Indy Star, he’ll be taken for a nice lunch at Shapiro’s Deli, and he’ll get two free tickets to whatever game is in season.

And A Treasured Wound

He’ll be declared a True Hoosier, an honor I just invented. As such, he’ll receive a plaque as well as a little sticker he can affix to his drivers license.

Hoosier pride.

FAREWELL, LITTLE GUY

Super Tuesday, huh? Not so super for good old Dennis Kucinich. Perhaps the only remaining unabashed liberal (or progressive, or whatever) politician left in this holy land, Kucinich lost his Democratic primary battle with fellow Congressbeing Marcy Kaptur.

K & K: House Colleagues No More

Redistricting had combined Kucinich and Kaptur’s districts and the longest-serving woman in Congress wiped the floor with her opponent in her home county, providing her margin of victory.

Kucinich was probably the one national pol nearest to me in philosophy, save for his initial antediluvian views on abortion. He was a strong opponent of the Iraq War, pushed for universal health care, was big on workers’ rights, and even once proposed a Cabinet-level Department of Peace. Still, I never would have wanted him to be president.

He ran for the White House, you know, in 2004. That’s when he suddenly realized he was for abortion rights. I don’t demand that my fave pols walk in lockstep with me on every single issue, and I suppose I cut Kucinich slack because his early abortion stance likely was based upon the ideal Roman Catholic notion of respect for all life. He did oppose the death penalty as well so he seemed to be consistent in that regard.

But President Kucinich? Never. He would have been chewed up and spit out by the big-money boys. That’s the sad thing about today’s America, I guess. The nearest we can ever come to having a real liberal (or progressive, or whatever) in the White House would be the pair of Rockefeller Republicans who’ve carried the Democratic banner to victory in the last 20 years.

Anyway, Kucinich’ll be gone from Washington come the new year. And the nation continues its inexorable move to the right.

STAND-UP RICK

Come on admit it: With Rick Santorum’s chances of gaining the Republican nomination fading ever so gradually, you know you’ll miss him when he’s gone.

As long as it remains highly unlikely he’ll ascend to the chancellorship in November, Santorum serves as the evil jester of the 2012 presidential race.

Take these little tidbits dug up by the folks at Mother Jones. When Rickey-baby was running for Senator from Pennsylvania back in 1994, he had lots to say about single mothers. Not that theirs was a thankless task, nor that we as a people ought to lend a hand to women trying to raise families and keep jobs without the assistance of partner daddy-o’s.

Wrecking The Nation

No. Santorum told supporters at one point, “We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms.”

Oh.

A couple of weeks later, he amplified this view. “What we have,” he explained, “is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.”

Let’s not even trouble ourselves with his faulty logic and his obsessive need to blame people’s sexual behavior for everything that’s wrong in the lord god’s creation. Just consider his use of the word breeding.

You know, as in what we humans do with livestock.

Breeding

There are a million scary places in this world but the scariest of all just might be the inner recesses of Rick Santorum’s mind.

THE HILLER POST

Bloomington’s own Nancy Hiller writes in her blog about the first time she saw Arianna Huffington speak publicly back in 1978.

The young Huffington took to the rostrum in England, where Hiller spent part of her callow youth. Hiller writes glowingly of the then-28-year-old future media magnate. Hiller also expresses gratitude for The Huffington Post naming her tome, “A Home of Her Own,” one of its Books We Love last year.

Now, Hiller’s the ideal role model for young girls. She has struck out on her own to create a successful business, she makes art, and she has thrived in a trade usually dominated by men.

It’s understandable that Hiller would speak kindly of Huffington, who also has made it big in a man’s world. I’m happy Hiller’s getting ink (and electrons) for her terrific book. And, hell, I’m a regular reader of The Huffington Post. But I’m gonna throw a bucket of ice water on this Arianna love fest.

Born Arianna Stassinopoulos, she has been working her way up the ranks of the world’s most opportunistic human beings for all of her 61 years. She has tied her star to men who could advance her career since she was a schoolgirl.

Fresh out of college, she hooked up with British television personality Bernard Levin, known as the most famous UK journalist of his day. He was also a game show panelist. She helped Levin become an adherent of a woo religion and he helped her write books and get them published. She called him the love of her life.

In the mid ’80s, she took a job as the closeted wannabe-politician Michael Huffington’s beard. She got tired of that charade in 1997 but has been known as Arianna Huffington ever since.

Huffington started her American media career as a conservative commentator when Bill Clinton was in office. Lots of conservative talking heads made hay back then. But as time passed and it appeared there was only room for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and some other blowhards, she switched to the liberal side. It was an inspired career move.

She started up The Huffington Post and built it into a powerhouse. She sold the shebang in 2011 for $315M. That’s a pretty nifty payday. Oh yes, payday. A concept whose absence she employed to make that concern wildly successful. Arianna Huffington was a capitalist visonary: she finally found the way to get labor to work for free.

I suppose what I’m really trying to say is Nancy Hiller is a far better person than Arianna Huffington.

It’s Huffington who should be expressing admiration for Hiller rather than vice-versa.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” — Christopher Morley

BARRY’S OKAY — JUST OKAY

I have no idea why but I feel I must defend Barack Obama these days — tepidly, of course, because his presidency has been rather ho-hum, for my money.

For all the excitement he generated among the commie, pinko, homo, abortion-crazed, tax-happy, put-the-white-man-in-jail, apologize-for-America, femi-nazi, Manchurian-candidate-cabalist population of this otherwise holy land when he was merely candidate Obama, Boss Obama’s reign has been pretty much a let down.

Every Right Winger’s Wet Nightmare

Many of my lefty pals feel their blood pressure reach quadruple digits when the current POTUS is mentioned. The radical lawyer Jerry Boyle goes so far as to call him a “traitor” (to the left‘s cause — not, as the other side would have it, to the nation.)

How can a guy be a traitor when he was never part of the club?

If anybody had paid a bit of attention to how he voted when he was Senator Obama, they’d know he was, in truth, the biggest Rockefeller Republican since that very man who passed from this vale of tears at the age of 70 while banging his secretary on her desk back in 1977. (Yeah, yeah, I know — allegedly.)

The Original Rocky (Bust In The Senate Gallery)

Anyway, as I’ve pontificated before, perhaps my happiest day as a voter and taxpayer in this greatest nation in the history of our corner of the Solar System was when Barack Obama was elected president. Not that I expected him to outlaw guns in cities, care for the sick, tend to the poor, pull the soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan the next day, and order the summary executions of Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, but because the election of a (half) black man demonstrated that these United States had grown up a bit since, oh say, the 1970s.

That and the fact that Obama wasn’t George W. Bush nor was he craven enough to have chosen as his running mate a MILF-y knucklehead from Alaska.

Every Right Winger’s Wet Dream

The fact that Obama has surrounded himself with so many unindicted felons from the Goldman Sachs mob makes me want to retch. Then again, I never expected him to name among his advisers Dennis Kucinich, Howard Zinn, and Rachel Maddow.

So, that’s my roundabout way getting to the fact that I am categorically, incontrovertibly, without question or fail, voting for Barry come November. As long as nobody better comes along.

You think I want to see Roe v. Wade overturned? And all those Wall Street baboons given free reign? The privatization and profit-ization of basic human services? The digging for oil in every citizen’s backyard? Rush Limbaugh smiling?

Hell no, babies. I’m a staunch(ish) Obama man from here on out.

TRUTH — REALLY

Bloomington author Julia Karr waltzed into the Book Corner Monday, carrying the galley copy of her forthcoming book, “Truth.”

It’s the follow-up to her successful 2011 release, “XVI,” a murder chiller set in a dystopian future.

‘Truth” will go on sale a week from tomorrow with a book release party Friday, January 20, at Boxcar Books.

Julia Karr

Karr brought in “Truth” for our town’s Book Babe R.E. Paris, who’s reviewing it for Ryder magazine.

I was chatting with another customer at the time, a man whom I don’t know. When I told him he was in the presence of a big time pen lady and then told him about all the other successful authors in town, he said, “No kidding? I had had no idea this was such a center for authors.”

It is, pal. It is.

BLOOMINGTON’S BOOK BABE LOOKS BACK AT 2011

Speaking of R.E. Paris, I mentioned yesterday that she looks at the year in publishing in the current issue of the Ryder. Peter LoPilato, the Ryder’s majordomo, has been kind enough to let us run selected pieces from the magazine in these precincts.

The Ryder

So, let’s take a look at R.E.’s retrospective, no?

2011: The Year in Books, by R.E. Paris

In which I discuss some interesting titles from 2011, note others, and leave out yet many more worthy of mention among the hundreds of thousands of books published last year.

Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt, (Norton), is a very readable history of the intellectual inheritance of the Renaissance. Greenbaltt shows that history ties the modern world to the classical one…. read more

TRUE FAITH

New Order was born of Joy Division after that band’s lead singer committed suicide. Joy Divison had led the post-punk movement in the late 1970s and New Order took the sound to a new level with its incorporation of then-new electronic technology.

And, BTW, New Order has a bit of a Bloomington connection. The video for “Round & Round” featured the face of super-model and recent local divorcee Elaine Irwin (go to the 3:15 mark.)

Elaine Irwin Decorates New Order’s “Round & Round” Video

Anyway, here’s “True Faith”:

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