Category Archives: Obamacare

Hot Air

Bim Bam Boom

Quick hits today. Enjoy.

❂ As far as I can tell, that Gerber’s Big Mac and Fries baby food dinner that everybody seems up in arms about simply does not exist.

Facebook Meme

Facebook triumphs again over reality.

❂ Alright, let’s assume that this Bowe Bergdahl fellow left his camp for the worst of reasons. That is, he no longer supported the American war effort in Afghanistan and simply decided to desert.

Now, the military pounds it into your head not to quit in an engagement area because your absence can affect the safety of your mates and, from a purely selfish POV, you need to know your mates won’t be there to protect you anymore should you bolt. Simple enough, no?

So, just for argument’s sake, we’ll pretend we can somehow know what was in the mind and heart of the newly-returned POW when he wandered away from his gang some five years ago. Let’s pretend he was no longer loyal to either the American cause or his buddies. So he split.

When the going got rough his pals weren’t there to bail him out. Bergdahl was on his own. And he paid the price. He promptly got caught by the enemy. He was held for half a decade by a bunch of wild-eyed, Duck Dynasty-bearded loons who hate music, women, and the West in no particular order. That’s a significant slice out of anybody’s life.


Bergdahl In A Taliban Video (Reuters Image)

Do we need to punish him further?

❂ With the success of the Affordable Care Act‘s health insurance exchanges and the knowledge that some 11 to 17 million people in this holy land no longer have to live in mortal fear that they’ll break a leg or pop an appendix lest they be financially ruined, shouldn’t the Democrats this election year be running on Obamacare?

For all his sins, long-ago Mayor Richard J. Daley used to say to rallies of the faithful, “I’m wit’ you.”

Richard J. Daley

Power To Da People

With all 435 House seats up for grabs in November, aspiring Dem congressbeings as well as those hoping to hold on to their sweet seats should be telling the Murrican peeps, “Yep, I’m with you. My party got you health insurance. The other guys not only were dead set against it, they’ve been standing on their heads for four years now trying to take it away from you.”

Then again, no one of late has accused the Democratic Party of being smart.

❂ Speaking of being found guilty, when do we start throwing GM execs in prison for their 13-year delay on recalling cars whose faulty ignition switches have killed dozens?

Totaled Car

GM Exec A: “Golly Gee, Do You Think We Should Recall Our Cars?”

GM Exec B: “Nah. Let’s Wait A While.”

GM Exec A: “Okay. Where Do You Want To Go For lunch?”

That’s the question. The answer, as any sentient watcher of goings on in this holy land well knows, is never. This is America, duh.

❂ So, everybody’s happy now that the Bloomington City Council last night unanimously approved a plan (paywall) that’ll protect our sacred Courthouse Square from the evil empires of McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa John’s “pizza,” and the terrifying Olive Garden, no?

Now, the only eateries allowed in our picturesque downtown area will be run solely by aproned aunties with flour on their hands. And they’ll occasionally stop by your table to remind you to finish your peas.

That’s what we want, isn’t it?

Only that’s not what we’ve got. The plan is a watered-down version of an earlier proposal that would really have banned Ronald McDonald and his spine-chilling confreres from Corporate Logostan. Our town’s Chamber of Commerce suffered the vapors when Mayor Mark Kruzan’s original reg was under consideration five years ago. The CofC-ers were certain it would be the downfall of Our American Way of Life. Consequently, ixnay on the chain ban.

Now this mighty burgh’s statespeople have drawn up an iron-clad municipal law that’ll require restaurant operators to pass through the gauntlet of the city’s Planning Board. My good god in heaven, chain restaurants’ll have to get a special permit before build on the Square. The stern members of the PB will ensure that proposed edifices, be they chain- or auntie-run, will maintain the Square’s historic character. Like this, for example:

Courthouse Square

Land Sakes! Is This The Year Of Our Lord 1943?

A walk around the square, my friends, is a trip in a time machine.

It’s good to know that when McDonald’s does open up a restaurant on the Square, those Golden Arches will appear just as they did back in the 1920s when the young IU law student Hoagy Carmichael had a hankerin’ for a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle.

Unseasonably Warm Hot Air

Comet, Heal Thyself

Too bad about Comet ISON, no? Goddamned Obamacare.

Comet ISON


Zero From The ‘Aughts

Perhaps this is obvious to everybody else, but it just occurred to me this morning as I washed the dishes that the first decade of this 21st Century really and truly sucked.

Dig: The decade/century/millennium began with a double whammy of slam. The great tech bubble blew up, costing countless entitled middle- and upper-middle class white computer geeks their previously privileged spots atop the human pyramid. And a lot of middle class investors lost their little all after betting that tech stocks would carry them through their dotage. Then there was the non-election election of George W. Bush, a putsch pushed along by Supreme Court justices installed by his daddy-o and their patron saint, Ronald Reagan.

The next year, our holy land’s spies and spooks fell asleep at their CCTV security consoles and allowed a couple of dozen lunatic fundamentalist religionists to stage the scariest disaster movie scenes ever seen in New York City and Washington, DC.

What followed, natch, was an overreaction of monumental proportions as this holy land turned into a fighting, spying, hating-on-ragheads military machine. Now, I’d bet more money is spent on making sure American air travelers don’t sneak bottles of mouthwash onto airplanes than is earmarked for useless things like school libraries.

Meanwhile, Americans were urged by their popularly un-elected president to go back to shopping, chop-chop, just to show the world how much we love, love, love freedom. And Americans fell into line, buying anything and everything, including TV screens wide enough to display the entirety of the Grand Canyon. We Americans got so giddy pissing our hard-earned dough away that we began looking upon our happy homes not as safe harbors from the cruel world and anchors of our communities but as ostentatious, in-your-face ATMs-slash-McMansions. We bought and sold houses the way teenaged boys trafficked in baseball cards in the 1980s.

And then that bubble popped, leading to the greatest economic collapse since the Greatest Economic Collapse.

But wait — before that, the president, who, I might remind you, had been elected by a minority of voters, told us Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was perhaps a half hour away from decorating the skies above our greatest cities with pretty and colorful mushroom clouds. To prove his assertion, he sent out his minions and assistants to tell us and the world blah, blah, blah, blah — none of which had a whit to do with Iraq’s capacity to build nuclear weapons, and so we promptly fell into line and gave the Prez the go-ahead to commit our nation to a decade-long pointless war. We did get to see Saddam Hussein’s tonsils, though.


Say Ah-h-h

Anyway, back to the housing bubble. Wall Street banksters, quants, and fellow travelers discovered fascinating new ways to fleece investors with mortgage-backed securities and, while they were at it, make scads upon scads of dough for themselves no matter whether their financial instruments were successful or not, preferably unsuccessful because…, well, it’s pretty much impossible to explain why, but the banksters and quants and the rest are sitting pretty right now while the rest of us are still dusting ourselves off.

The banksters and quants and the others were punished by being named to high-level economic advisory positions in the Obama White House and as regulators of the operations they’d transformed into casino games. That’ll show ’em.


“This Is A Sound Investment, Sir.”

So, today, municipalities that had invested in their crooked schemes are broke, school budgets are being slashed, social service agencies are closing their doors, and the poor are being blamed for all of it. The fiends.

As this was all going on, there arose in this great nation a grass-roots political movement dedicated to the age-old ideals of selfishness, savage competition, refusal to share any wealth whatsoever, anti-intellectualism, and reactionary demagoguery with a sprinkling of racism and misogyny thrown in. They called themselves the Tea Party, which seemed rather euphemistic. I might have suggested they call themselves a Bunch of Big Pricks.

Tea Party

Apple Pie Americanism

Working feverishly behind the scenes, this nation’s spies and spooks, embarrassed by their failure to nab the 9/11 plotters before they struck, expanded their capabilities to eavesdrop on your Thanksgiving email exchanges with your aunt in Kokomo. By the way, you might want to let her know that three cups of sugar in her cranberry orange sauce is a tad much.

And, hey, here are two unforgettable names from the -zeroes: Joe the Plumber and Terry Schiavo.

So, kiddies, that was the ‘Aughts in a nutshell.

You might think I’m being pessimistic but, honest, the future actually looks brighter to me. Things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

Could they?

Hot Air

Negotiating 101

Here’s what John Kerry and his entourage don’t get. Many, many Americans have their own definition of the term negotiating.

Kerry at Iran Talks

See, for most of the world, the word denotes a process wherein two or more parties sit around a table and talk about what they want. Naturally, the things each party wants are far different from those the other party or parties want. Ergo, how do they come to a reasonable understanding?

Well, according to most of humanity’s grasp of the concept of negotiation, they give and take, inch by inch, teensy steps at a time, until, at some point, all parties’ acceptable wants and needs are satisfied. Well, satisfied-ish.

This concept works on a global scale as well as in national and individual relationships.

Take The Loved One and me, for instance. Let’s say I had the irresistible urge to travel down to Mesa, Arizona next February, where I could sit in the warm sun and watch my beloved Chicago Cubs gambol across the Spring Training playing fields. Many thousands of Cubs fans do this each year. It’s one of those rare endeavors wherein they get not one but two priceless boons. They are able to escape the living hell that is a midwestern winter and they get to bask in the glow of their heroes and dream of the coming summer.

Cubs Spring Training

Look At That Pretty Sky

So, in our hypothetical situation, I’d say to The Loved One, “Darling, I’ve been meaning to ask you — and by the way, have I told you how much I love and cherish you lately? No? How silly of me — well, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you wouldn’t mind if I take a little trip down to Arizona to catch a bit of Cubs Spring Training. I won’t be gone long and — you know what? — I won’t even eat while I’m down there. In fact, I won’t even spend any money on a hotel room. Heck, it’s warm in Arizona, by golly, and I can just spend my nights in a sleeping bag on the desert floor! Honest, Angel, I really, really, really want to do this. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for years. Whaddya say, huh? Whaddya say?”

At which point, The Loved One would ponder my position, being the thoughtful and careful soul she is. After a few moments’ thought, she’d reply, “How about this? You don’t go down to Mesa, Arizona in February to sit in the warm sun and dream the impossible dream that your Cubs might win more games than they lose next summer and, in return, I’ll refrain from crashing a cast iron skillet over your head.”

“Hmm,” I’d say. “Sounds good to me.”

See how it works?

Understand, though, that The Loved One practices the art of negotiation as defined by many Americans.

To many in this holy land, negotiating has little to do with inch by inch increments and niceties like give and take. We’ve learned by observing the negotiating styles of people like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other clever bargainers that negotiating means, Sign here or we’ll crash a cast iron skillet over your head.

Similarly, they’ll say as they sit around that bargaining table, No, we won’t let you do what you want to do and to stop you, we’re going to shut down the government, refuse to vote on your judicial and administrative appointments, and tell the world you’re a commie abortionist. And if that doesn’t work, why, hell, we’ll secede. Oh, by the way, did we mention we’ve got tons of guns?

To the Cruz crowd, America’s single most successful negotiating ploy took place in early August, 1945.


Here’s Our Offer

So, any deal that does not include the abject humiliation and the paralyzing of the Iranian government is a total loss for us.

I’d rather negotiate with The Loved One than those dopes.

And Another Thing

At least one observer on the Right is saying the Iran Nuclear deal is merely a smoke screen designed to make the gullible public forget the horrifying atrocity that is Obamacare.

Sen. John Cornyn (R [Of Course]-Alabama [Where Else?]) sez, “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care.” He horked up this pearl of wisdom, natch, on his Tweetin’ machine, ergo the pidgin English.

Damn that Kenyan mole! Doesn’t he know that once a president comes under fire for some controversial act or legislation, he is no longer permitted by law to do anything else in the whole, wide world, no matter what?

Thank you, Sen. Cornyn for setting these Confederate States of America straight.

Confederate Soldier

Fighting The Good Fight

Board News

The WFHB Board of Directors will meet tonight somewhere in City Hall at 7pm.

The room originally reserved for the meeting may be too small for the expected turnout of interested volunteers who hope to witness the Board talk about high-minded ideals and peace on Earth among….

Oh, okay, I’m being cynical. The Board just might commit to finding a new General Manager for the station by the end of the year. There I go, being zany again.

Hotwire Air

Human, All Too Human

The gummint and its utilization of computers has been in the news of late.

Marketplace Website

Dig: the Obamacare websites went live three weeks ago and, apparently, there’s been nothing but trouble surrounding them. Yet not too long before that, leakers revealed that the National Security Agency is compiling meta-databases of all our phone calls. All of us being ±314 million Murricans in addition to the countless furriners whose phone chats we find it necessary to eavesdrop on. According to the more suspicious of our sisteren and brethren, the NSA computers are humming along quite nicely, processing the tens of billions of phone calls made each day.

Each computer set-up is handling more information than could have been found in all the books the human species has ever produced. And if that’s an exaggeration, well, it’s not terribly far off the mark.

Phone Tap

Having worked with computer geeks and hackers time and again, I know that designing a system to handle even the most banal of processes (say, a blog or a simple website with a shopping cart) entails the input of countless chefs and the implementation of ten times that many compromise fixes as well as add-ons just to humor the people paying for the project. And when the blog or site rolls out, its virtual structure resembles nothing so much as a house of cards built on a wobbly table outdoors on a blustery day.

Conventional wisdom holds that the more people involved in a software roll-out the more unwieldy it becomes. So let’s be frank: if it’s a gummint database or service website, it has had more hands on it than Justin Beiber tossed into the middle of an arena full of tweeners. Book it: both the Obamacare network and the NSA databases have the paw prints of multitudes of office supervisors, project managers, HR specialists, lawyers, priests, shamans, witch doctors, administrative assistants, and Tarot card readers all over them.


“That’s 1,423 In Favor Of Barbie Pink, 1416 for Deep Cerise.”

That the Obamacare websites are cracking under the strain seems only natural. But somehow, according to those who see federal spooks under too many beds, the NSA operation is fine-tuned and efficient enough to know precisely how many pizzas I’ve ordered in since The Loved One went out of town Friday (Shhh! What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.)

I’m guessing this is an either/or issue. Either the feds and their staff geeks are savvy enough to keep excruciatingly exact tabulations of the number of booty calls all the assistant managers of all the Best Buy stores in this holy land made in the year 2012, or they can’t even set up an insurance exchange that can satisfactorily serve the residents of New Hampshire.

Naturally, the conspiracy theorists will have us believe that the “glitches” of the federal insurance marketplace website are mere covers to make us think Master Espionage Agent Barack Obama is incapable of listening to each and every one of us snoring at night. Oh, but he can, they’ll insist.

(You know, I had a girlfriend once whose snoring Barack Obama could have heard in Chicago or Hawai’i or Kenya or wherever he was at the time, even without the aid of fancy double-naught spy apparatus.)

Anyway, I buy the government-is-run-by-schlubs theory as opposed to the arch-villains that the conspiracy theorists see in their fever dreams. Take this quote from Matt Taibbi to the bank:

“[People in key positions of governmental power] are imagined to be a monolithic, united class of dastardly, swashbuckling risk-takers with permanent hard-ons for Bourne Supremacy-style ‘false flag’ and ‘black bag’ operations, instead of the mundanely greedy, risk-averse, backstabbing, lawn-tending, half-clever suburban golfers they are in real life.”


Spy Agency Division Heads Golf Outing

So, I’m glad the feds are tripping all over themselves trying to fix or explain away the ramshackle Obamacare online system. It only proves that no one has the technical or organizational capability to use their computers to eavesdrop on each and every one of us.


Believe me: If they could, they probably would.

Hot Air


So, a guy lights himself on fire in Washington, DC. The rest of us figure the act must somehow be related to whatever lunacy Congress is up to these days.

From WPTV Ch. 5

Back in the mid-’60s, several Buddhist monks immolated themselves in protest against the corrupt regime that was running the non-nation of South Vietnam into the ground and whom we were about to send in half a million soldiers to prop up. The monks were seen as courageous martyrs.

Will the guy in Washington yesterday be seen as a martyr?

You bet he will, no matter what side of the fence he stands on. As for me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I stick with Bertrand Russell on this one. He said:

I would never die for my beliefs because I could be wrong.


Bertrand Russell

Now It’s “Inefficient”

What with millions upon millions of people flooding the interwebs servers and phone lines of the bureaucracy that is running Obamacare, the Me Party-ists and their Republican coat holders in the US House of Representatives have to come up with a new fiction/myth/slander/prevarication…, er, um, lie to justify their rabid opposition to jes’ plain folks getting their hands on affordable health care.

Obamacare Web Error Message

Prior to this week, of course, the Me Team has screeched that the American people simply do not want Obamacare. Well, kids, tell it to all those millions and millions.

So, now what do they say? I heard a Tea Party squealer talking with Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition this morning. Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots told Simon, “[T]his law is not ready for implementation. All we’re saying is don’t spend our tax money on this law that clearly isn’t ready.”

Oh. Perhaps she’s referring to the flood applicants who got busy signals and error messages. Isn’t that sweet of her? Clearly she cares for all those poor uninsured souls. No?


Big Mike Pronouncement: Tea Party-ists and their pals don’t give a good goddamn about anybody but themselves.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Tea Party-ists and the like would do better if they stopped couching their terms. For instance, why don’t they just come out and say it: If you’re poor, you’re unworthy. If you haven’t won big — or at least fatly and comfortably — in this jungle economy, you should shut up and accept your lot of shit in this life.

I’m telling you, this refreshing crystal clarity wouldn’t turn off a soul who already buys into their Randist, faux-Darwinist, execrable manner of “thinking.”

Anyway, here’s the definitive slapdown to Martin et al‘s dishonesty. A war toy manufacturer by the name of Lockheed Martin has been trying to develop a brand spanking new multipurpose stealth fighter for the US Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy as well as several of our bomb-dropping allies in Europe and elsewhere. The US alone was slated to buy more than 2400 of the airplanes. They’re to be called F-35s.


Not Ready

One of the selling points of the F-35 was that it would be inexpensive, whatever that means when one talks about the Defense Department and military contractors. Each of the fighters is expected to cost more than $150 million. Lockheed Martin’s hoped for invoice to the people of the United States would total approximately $360 billion.  Sheesh, if that’s inexpensive, I’d hate to see the Cadillac version of a stealth fighter.

Anyway, the production and design of the F-35 has, natch, caused eye-popping cost overruns. Not only that, the plane has so far been found to be unsafe, not all that stealthy, and, in computerized war games run by Pentagon geeks who love this kind of stuff, was roundly defeated by old fashioned Russian fighters.

In other words, to paraphrase Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, the F-35 is not ready for implementation.

Can we expect Martin and her cronies to sing out, All we’re saying is don’t spend our tax money on this airplane that clearly isn’t ready?

Neither Martin nor any other Me Party-ist has ever uttered such a line in reference to any war toy program. Nor will they ever.

They are as full of horseshit as anyone this mendacious holy land has yet produced.

Hot Air Is Not Shut Down

Smart. Or Not.

People have been talking about how ironic it is that members of the US House of Representatives will continue to get paid even while much of the federal government is shut down due to certain Congresscritters’ intransigence.


Hardly Working

But here’s the perfect opportunity for the sane among our esteemed legislators (there are all too few) to demonstrate how whacked the Me Party wing of the Republican House is. If the Democrats were smart (they’re not) they’d stand up en masse this morning after last night’s fed shut-down and say, “We’re not going to accept our paychecks” (they won’t.)

Wouldn’t it be perfect, though, if they did? The dramatic act would strip away whatever shred of dignity the Me Party-ists think they still have. Suddenly, the Dems would look like heroes, sharing with the rest of us the pain of the ordeal, while making the Republicans stand around with their pinkies in their noses argling and bargling as reporters demand to know why they’re still drawing checks.

Oh, wait, I just thought of yet another reason why this wouldn’t work: This holy land’s reporters don’t demand to know anything of import.

My mistake. Forget it.


Congressbeing David Schweikert of Arizona told NPR interviewers this morning that people seem to be getting all “shrill” about the fed shut-down. He added that there are silly geese who are acting as though “the world’s coming to an end.”

His words, of course, in quotes.


What, Me Worry?

Schweikert, who is four-square against the crime against humanity that is Obamacare, will continue to receive paychecks based on his $174,000 yearly salary even as some 800,000 people (all of whom make a lot less) will go without as long as he and his House cohorts continue to hold their breath.

Just a little trivia about the number 800,000. That would be the approximate population of the cities of Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and San Francisco. Fast approaching that figure are Columbus (Ohio), Ft. Worth, and Charlotte. All are large, vibrant, densely-packed municipalities.

So, for perspective, let’s just imagine that the entire population of the city of Indianapolis were suddenly laid off at midnight. Folks there might be driven to a bit of shrillness should that occur, no? And those who, let’s say, are trying to keep the refrigerator full while remaining current with the rent or mortgage payment and just happen to be wondering how they’re going to continue paying for various prescriptions and medical treatments for themselves or members of their families? Yeah, the world just might seem to be coming to an end.

BTW 1: That $174,000 yearly salary for a freshman, rank and file member of the US House of Representatives? It comes with a generous, comprehensive health insurance plan. None of the Representatives, it should be added, are responsible for co-pays. Sweet, eh?

BTW 2: Schweikert’s nickname is Rusty and that’s what the interviewers referred to him as. I will not. I don’t give a shit about his nickname. He’s neither likable, nor cuddly, nor familiar enough to me to get all chummy with in that way as long as he’s putting so many people out of work just so this holy land will not put into effect a law that will mandate health insurance coverage for all its citizens. I think a better nickname for him might be Dickhead.


If you’ve still got your gig, scrape together $25.00 for the new book Historic Preservation in Indiana: Essays from the Field. It’s a beauty, edited by Bloomington’s own Nancy Hiller and featuring writings by the likes of Henry Glassie, Lauren Coleman, Cynthia Brubaker, Steve Wyatt, Don Granbois, Vicki Basman, Benjamin Clark, Gayle Cook, Edith Sarra, Scott Russell Sanders, Teresa Miller, Cheryl Munson, and Bill and Helen Sturbaum. Kristen Clement does the pix. Linda Oblack, ably assisted by Nancy Lightfoot and Sarah Jacobi, got the project through the publishing maze at Indiana University Press.

Man, that’s an all-star cast.

Book Cover

Here’s a review of the book by Demetra Aposporos, editor-in-chief of the magazine Old House Journal: “Through a series of compelling essays, Historic Preservation in Indiana shows us both the far-reaching ripples of one person’s singular endeavors, and what can be accomplished when entire communities ride waves of preservation education and triumphs.”

The book hits the shelves tomorrow.

It Ain’t The Hot Air, It’s The Humidity

Ted Talk

Not so fast, everybody. I know, I know, Ted Cruz just shot himself in the groin with his bizarre performance during his un-fillibuster earlier this week. Conventional wisdom now holds that Ted Cruz is a joke, Ted Cruz is out of the picture for the 2016 presidential election, and, in fact, Ted Cruz pretty much has no political future at all anymore.


Doh, Canada

Like I said, Whoa. This is America here, darlings. For a few years at least, Sarah Palin was seen as a serious candidate for something or other. When Donald Trump makes his occasional hominid grunts about running for the highest office in this holy land, the corporate press actually covers said guttural ejaculations as if they are somehow related to human communication. And, hard as it may be to believe at this remove, one Michele Marie Bachmann, née Amble, was taken as a serious candidate for the presidency.

And, to be sure, none of the three aforementioned is any nearer to occupying the Oval Office than, say, Carrot Top, but stranger things have happened in this nation’s glorious political history.

Carrot Top


Here, for example are highlights of an election night press conference rant delivered in anger a mere six years before the man who spoke these words became the President of the United States of America.

… [N]ow that all the members of the press are so delighted that I have lost, I’d like to make a statement of my own….

I believe Governor Brown has a heart, even though he believes I do not.

I believe he is a good American, even though he feels I am not.

… [F]or once, gentlemen, I would appreciate if you would write what I say, in that respect. I think it’s very important that you write it — in the lead. In the lead.

And our 100,000 volunteer workers I was proud of. I think they did a magnificent job. I only wish they could have gotten out a few more votes in the key precincts, but because they didn’t Mr. Brown has won and I have lost the election.

One last thing: What are my plans? Well, my plans are to go home. I’m going to get reacquainted with my family again. And my plans, incidentally, are, from a political standpoint, of course, to take a holiday. It will be a long holiday.

I did not win. I have no hard feelings against anybody, against my opponent, and least of all the people of California.

And as I leave the press, all I can say is this: For 16 years, ever since the Hiss case, you’ve had a lot of — a lot of fun — that you had an opportunity to attack me and I think I’ve given as good as I’ve taken. It was carried right up to the last day.

I made a talk on television, a talk in which I made a flub — one of the few that I make, not because I’m so good on television but because I’ve done it a long time — I made a flub in which I said I was running for governor of the United States. The Los Angeles Times dutifully reported that.

… And I can only say thank God for television and radio for keeping the newspapers a little more honest.

The last play. I leave you gentlemen now and you now write it. You will interpret it. That’s your right. But as I leave you I want you to know: Just think how much you’re going to be missing.

You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference….

Not only did Richard M. Nixon win the presidential election of 1968, he was reelected in 1972 by one of the greatest landslides in US history.


A Shot In The Arm

You absolutely have to read JJ Keith’s latest post on her parenting blog — whether you’re a parent or not.


JJ Keith

She takes on anti-vaccination parents. By “takes on” I mean she assaults them with facts and unassailable logic. Me? I’d fling paper bags full of dog poo at them

Three What?!

Speaking of great bloggers, The Blogess (AKA Jenny Lawson) delivers one of the finest lines in interwebs history:

Did you know that kangaroos have 3 vaginas?  Because they totally do and that’s probably why they’re always hitting each other.

I think I may have to retire.

Kangaroos Fighting

Your Daily Hot Air

Lying Liars And The Lazy Louts Who Love Their Lies

How many four-flushing, lick-spittling, two-faced, hypocritical bullshit artists live in this holy land?

Oh, at least 19.

That’s how many US Senators and members of the House of Representatives groveled and sniffled for shares of Affordable Health Care Act dough from the federal government in letters recently dug up by The Nation mag. The beauty is, each of these 19 has publicly condemned the Act (which they dismissively call Obamacare) and each of the Congressbeings has voted to kill the Act numerous times.

Here’s a separate Nation piece about Tea Party fluffer and failed veep candidate Paul Ryan begging for AHC Act bucks (paywall alert). You recall, of course, Ryan doing handstands to convince us all he loathes the very sound of the words affordable, health, and care (when, in reality, he really loathes the sound of the words President Barack Obama.)

Obamacare Opposition

The truth is, it’s not that I’m stunned about pols lying. It’s that so many goofballs in this country eat their lies up. So these fabulists wring their hands and turn all teary-eyed over death panels and creeping communism while their fans nod like bobble-head dolls before flipping to Beverly Hills Nannies.

Damn, can’t we criminalize stupidity around here?

The Bare Facts

The 10th Annual World Naked Bike Ride took place last night in cities around the globe. Hundreds of pedalers in various stages of dishabile covered a 14-mile route in Chicago.

Radical street lawyer (and one of my old Ever-So-Secret Order of the Lampreys pals), Jerry Boyle, is a driving force behind the Chi-ride.

He posted this on Facebook Friday:


I mean honestly, what other possible reaction can there be to a parade of half- and fully-nude bicyclists cruising by?

WNBR participants wiggle their naked butts on bike saddles for the express purpose of demonstrating that there are ways of getting around town other than cranking up the gas guzzler. Chicago’s WNBR website trumpets the motto: “Less gas more ass! Burn fat not oil! Nude not crude!”

Speaking of alternative transportation, one of the cool things about living here in B-town is the fab bus service. The Loved One and I are lucky to live just a few steps away from the farthest outpost of the No. 6 Campus Shuttle bus route. Well, I’m lucky; T-Lo has never stepped foot on a Bloomington Transit vehicle.

From Flicker

Riding The No. 6 Bus

Anyway, there’s really little reason to drive to the IU campus or downtown in this burgh. And I don’t even have to get naked to convey that to you. You’re welcome.

Take The A-Train

Speaking of public trans….

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Wednes II


“I have never seen snow and do not know what winter means.” — Duke Kahanamoku



So, a gaggle of Indiana hospital workers is getting axed for refusing to take their flu shots.

And — wouldn’t you know it? — a lot of them are refusing to be pricked due to their religious beliefs.

Flu Shot

Satan’s Prick

What is it about religion that makes people want to hurt themselves and others?

The irony is so many hospitals in the early part of the previous century were run — gasp! — by religious outfits.

Yup. Organizations like the Catholic Church actually practiced succoring the afflicted back in those hazy days, running many big city hospitals. Had you been laid up with lumbago, say, in the 1940s, a nun was as likely to bring you your ginger ale or Jell-o as an LPN.

St. Vincent Hospital, Toledo, Ohio

Nursing School Graduation, 1964

Now, of course, the Catholic Church is more concerned with burning issues like whether you’re getting naked with someone of your own gender.

Anyway, one fired oncology nurse told Fox news she eschewed the needle because it would have violated her nondenominational Christian beliefs.

Wow. Presumably this is a woman who has studied at a university and has specialized in one of the most advanced areas of modern medicine. It’s not as though she’s some backwoods Luddite. Yet, she believes that her god isn’t at all interested in stemming the spread of the seasonal flu virus which, by the way, kills some 3000 to 49,000 Americans a year, depending on the severity of that year’s outbreak.

Pegasus News Photo

As Bad As The Flu

In some years, more people die from the flu than from automobile accidents.

Yet there are highly trained medical professionals who won’t take a simple step to protect themselves and others from this scourge.

Religion, I tell you, is maddening. And mad.


How fascinating that the petit field marshalls at World Net Daily have named none other than Michele Bachmann their person of the year.

Michele Bachmann!



I mean, I assume I’d disagree with any choice that gang of basket-weavers would make. They and I look at the world through radically different lenses.

They could have tabbed Paul Ryan, who hitched his wagon to the runaway mule that was the Mitt Romney campaign.  I don’t care at all for Ryan’s politics, philosophy, or theology. But had WND designated him POY, I’d have been cool with it.

They aren’t, after all, going to dub Rachel Maddow their top 2012-er.

They could have named Speaker of the House John Boehner person of the year. He did stand tall against a certain Mau Mau, Muslim, commie, abortionist who wants to take away all our precious, sexy guns.

Again, cool. It’s their team; they get to choose the captain.

But Michele Bachmann?

Yes, Michele Bachmann!

Here’s what WND has to say about the Congressperson from Minnesota.

“Bachmann is a gutsy, pro-life fiscal conservative who dared to vote against raising the debt ceiling. She’s a God-fearing, gun-loving advocate of tax cuts and domestic oil drilling — and has proven to be one of Obamacare’s worst nightmares.”

Couple of interesting lines in there. I like the “God-fearing, gun-loving” thing. Shoot, if only sweet Jesus had a good Bushmaster AR-15 in his hands when the Roman soldiers came calling with the intent to nail him to the cross. He would have let his daddy-o sort ’em all out.

Jesus with Gun

Jesus Is Love (Of Guns)

The other thing that caught my eye was that Bachmann is “one of Obamacare’s worst nightmares.” So, a more equitable system of health delivery has taken on anthropomorphic form in the fever dreams of the fringe right, so much so that this piece of legislation even has nightmares.

Man, these folks are whacked.

Wait a minute. Maybe Michele Bachmann is the perfect WND person of the year.


Uh, yeah. Dedicated to those delightful folks at World Net Daily. And their darling, Michele Bachmann

The Pencil Today:


“I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.” — Alfred Hitchcock


Books are dangerous things. That’s what quite a few jittery folks in this holy land think.

There are enough bibliophobes around to cause heaps of trouble for librarians who are brazen and perverted enough to stock their shelves with certain titles that any god-fearing soul knows will weaken the nation and destroy the family.

Herewith is the American Library Association’s list of 2011’s ten most challenged books in these Great United States, Inc.:

  • The Lauren Myracle series including “ttyl,” “ttfn,” and “l8r”
  • The Kim Dong Hwa series “The Color of Earth”
  • “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • “My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy” by Dori Hillestad Butler
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
  • The “Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
  • “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones
  • The “Gossip Girl” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Harper Lee, Contributor To Delinquency

Any of these books may well turn your child into a young socialist or aspiring terrorist. If you are an older person and you even inadvertently read one of these tomes, you’ll suddenly find yourself wishing to acquit black men falsely accused of crimes, use indelicate language, and — worst of all — possibly think about sex.


Drop everything you’re doing right now and pick up a copy of the Indiana Daily Student or click over to the IDS website. Read the unsigned editorial about the personal struggle of a self-described chunky Hispanic latent homosexual who endured years of bullying at the hands of his schoolmates.

If it doesn’t make you cry, you’re probably dead.

The author of the piece points out that a conservative Christian Cro-Magnon man named Douglas Wilson is slated to speak at IU Friday. Wilson thinks current anti-bullying efforts let gay and lesbian kids off the hook. They’re bad seeds, he concludes.

I checked out Wilson’s website. Man, this guy is a piece of work. He links the late IU sex researcher Alfred Kinsey with Nazism. He also espouses age-old Puritan chestnuts like a wife should be submissive to her husband (but not in the fun, light bondage way, either).


Here’s an example of Wilson’s “thinking” on Barack Obama’s health care reform bill: “When they urge the passage of Obamacare because this person will now ‘have coverage,’ they overlook the fact that nothing good can come from men wanting to be God.”

Wait, what?

Wilson’s wife also has a blog. They’re both the kind of folk who need to cite a Bible passage for every thing they say. Only their Bible doesn’t seem to have a passage advising them not to terrorize kids who are struggling with their sexuality.


I’ve long suspected noted brute-with-a-badge Joe Arpaio is playing with a short deck. Now I know it’s true.

The longtime Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff jumped on the Birther bandwagon months ago. He’s upping the ante now. Arpaio’s current take on that particular psychotic reaction makes earlier Birther charges seem almost sane.

“America’s Toughest Sheriff”

Tough guy Joe now says the Republicans are in on the scheme!

Yep. GOP senators and even the motley crew running for the Republican nomination for president all have have thrown in their lots with the conspirators who took a Kenyan baby and groomed him to become the President of the United States.

Not even Stephen King could come up with this stuff.


Does the thought strike you that this great nation is riding a time machine backward?

Guess who’s in the headlines again, 54 years after the Cuban revolution, 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and fully four years after he quit as Cuba’s boss because he was getting too old and feeble to terrify anybody anymore.

Yep. Fidel Castro.

America, I’ll Be Living In Your Nightmares For The Next Fifty Years!

I’m not part of Castro’s fan club. There’ve been good and bad things to say about his bully-boy reign. Sure, everybody can read and health care coverage is universal in Cuba. But just try being a dissident and see how far that’ll get you on the island.

Anyway, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has no filter between his reptilian brain and his mouth, the other day was talking about the Marlins new stadium which is located in Miami’s Little Havana district.

Perhaps Guillen, not normally known as a sage political observer, figured Hmm, lots of Cubans around here. I’d better say something nice about Castro.

So he gushed about the Havana strongman. “I love Fidel Castro,” he brayed. “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years but that son of a bitch is still here.”

Suddenly, Guillen found out that the nearly one million Cubans who live in Miami are the ones who’ve wanted to slice Fidel’s throat this last half century. Don’t ask me why, but there’s hardly a group on Earth with longer memories and holding a deeper grudge than the people who fled Cuba after Castro took over.

Miami has rarely seen a storm like the one that’s blowing over town right now.

Local pols are screaming that Guillen should be fired. A state legislator is calling for “punitive measures” against him, according to the Associated Press.

The owner of Miami’s Major League Baseball team has suspended Guillen for five games.

No one knows if this will be enough to satisfy the baying hounds who right now are ringing Marlins Stadium, calling for Guillen’s head.

Look, Guillen’s a big-mouthed dope. So are Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus and every other professional gabber who has delivered racist, sexist, insensitive, insulting, or deliriously uninformed diatribes. But we don’t punish people for stupid talk in my country. We don’t take their jobs away from them.

If we did, everybody would be in hot water and nobody would have a job.

Not The Most Respected Political Commentator Around

Wait a minute…, everybody is in hot water and nobody does have a job. Oh well, you know what I mean.

Back to this going back in time bit, though. Wasn’t it just a few years before Fidel Castro blew into the national consciousness that we proud Americans were punishing folks and taking away their livelihoods just for talking or thinking the wrong way?

It looks like old Joe McCarthy has never really gone away.


Tyrone Davis’s soul hit from the spring of 1970.

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