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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

By now most of you have heard the joke about Romnesia and the punch line about it being a pre-existing condition which is, thankfully, covered by ObamaCare. (If you haven’t, go here to listen to the President of the United States tell it better than this rabbit ever could.) I also like the notion of Ryan-itus as an FTD (Fox Transmitted Disease.) As jokes go, these things make me giggle which I don’t do often and surely haven’t done much during the extremities of this election cycle. Last week, however, I broke my long silence and now I’m on a roll. It’s all because of that second debate. [If I have to be honest, I slept through the first debate and, apparently, I wasn’t the only one…Mr. President.]

I thought the second debate was much more interesting, especially since both candidates showed up, but what has been even more compelling to me are the videos of Governor Romney debating himself as seen here and here. All of which serves to bring me to my point, Romney is speaking in tongues. All the Romney reversals, “misunderstandings” and outright lies are so frequent that they can’t really be accidental, can they? I think they have to be strategic. They are locking the doors of the room, dumping snakes on the floor and then speaking in tongues…and somewhere between 44.8 and 48 percent of the electorate is buying it.

Bring on the lies!

Bring on the snakes!

Surely, I am a believer and I will be spared.

Except, of course, that snakes don’t work that way and eventually poison spreads.

Speaking In Tongues

 Romney’s Economic Plan – The economic plan which Governor Romney still refuses to detail can not possibly work. It can’t. That is a fact proven by every single outside, independent organization which has reviewed it. (The only organization to review it and find it workable is owned, in part, by high ranking GOP operatives.)

Romney’s Jobs Plan – though he seems to give a different number every day and I hear that he and Paul Ryan have even been known to give different numbers on the same day, the Governor is promising to add as many as 23 million jobs, with his imaginary jobs plan, while he is the President. Ummm…no. Times three. No. No. No. The plan isn’t his.” The number isn’t 23 million. The time span given in the plan is ten years.

Romney on Women – No matter what you thought you heard during the debates, Romney opposes abortion of all kinds in all cases and has said he would be “delighted” to sign a law and/or appoint Supreme Court judges who say just that. No matter what you thought you heard at the debate, Romney supports the Blunt amendment, which would make it lawful for any and all employers to refuse to include contraceptive coverage in any company sponsored health plan. And all of this is before I even mention “binders full of women” a subject upon which I have a whole blog entry here.

Romney on Medicare – First of all, the President did not take $716 billion dollars away from Medicare thereby weakening it. The money was moved around from one line item to another in an effort to strengthen Medicare. This bureaucratic change extended the life of Medicare for eight more years. Anything else you might hear from the Governor on that subject is likely a lie and is patently disproven here. Second, the Governor really does believe in eliminating Medicare and replacing it with vouchers. Here is the thing that will always be true, Medicare and government-based systems may not be perfect but they are not in health care to make money. They are invested only in providing care. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield is rewarded every time they deny care for a customer. It is money they do not have to spend. The Governor wants more of that. He wants you on your back with an insurance company’s fangs on your throat. Listen to a rabbit when I say, “don’t do it! Don’t go into the light!”

Romney on China – Then there is the new story about the Governor and his ownership in the company Sensata that is right in the middle of shipping jobs to China. It isn’t the first time Romney companies have done so and it won’t be the last. Oh, he can tell you his investments are in a “blind trust” but know this, he can see through that blindfold just fine. One of the things I would like to know in Monday’s foreign policy debate:

If Bain Capital was to bring back every job they had sent or caused to be sent to China back to the US, how many jobs would that be?

I’m just guessing but mightn’t those jobs be enough to reverse the negative jobs numbers in Wisconsin or Nevada, two of only six states with jobs numbers which are down from over a year ago? Governor, I suspect that when you speak of taking a tough line with China, you mean something entirely different than what the rest of us mean. You mean things like how many kilowatt hours of grid time will your factories be allotted. Or, how do you keep Chinese factories you don’t own from reverse engineering the products of Chinese factories you do own. In the story of the Garden of Eden, the serpent talks Eve into taking a bite of an apple. When the Governor speaks of China, he does so with a forked tongue and we all know where that leads.

Romney on the World – The Governor thinks he is tough. He certainly likes to talk tough. Americans eat that up after all. We love the image of being the biggest and baddest country in the world. We think it suits us. Well, guess what. News Flash. Twitterstorm. The world has changed. National entities are not the only actors on the international stage and they are only an increasingly small percentage of the conversation. The Governor’s tough talk could severely damage our relationship with allies (see the news coverage of his trip to the UK for reference) and it could easily tip us into war with both Iran and Syria. (Regarding Syria see here and here.) What it will not do is make us any safer. What does make us safer is being perceived as going in the same general direction as the majority of those engaging in the conversation worldwide. Governor, in case no one told you, the thing most likely to change the balance of power in the world today is the cell phone. Brace yourself…and learn to use Twitter.

GOP Facts are Fungible

The GOP has struck upon the manna of “facts as fungible commodities” and they have been worshiping at that alter since the infamous “Contract With On America.” Yes, the Contract was able to hypnotize the electorate but it also was the beginning of the rise of the economic policies which ultimately lead to the W’s Great Economic Collapse. Democrats, meanwhile, have steadfastly, and to our past electoral detriment, continued to rely upon facts, logic, luck and the intellectual stick up our proverbial butts. [Note: none of those three things alone are the way to win an election, guys.]

My Thoughts on 2012 Election Cycle Take-Aways

• Lies (aka Romnesia) will be progressively harder to sell and impossible to maintain as fact checking becomes both common and instant…by everyone. (But this is one of my current favorites.) While the GOP has still been successful, to an extent, in 2012, try it again in 2016 and see where it gets you.

• There are and always will be people who are too afraid of change to be willing to accept any truth which encompasses said change. These people are the GOP base from here on out. The GOP is no longer the party of fiscal conservatism, it is the party of fear.

• Demographics do not favor the GOP – not with women, minorities or the young, none of whom are interested in being in binders any more…ever.

• Technology and social media do not favor the GOP either in the US or around the world…and neither does science (but that last part is another blog post isn’t it.)

• Democrats have to remember to show up and fight – not just our President, all of us.

• OH – and when you are a Mormon, Republican and the Salt Lake Tribune endorses the other guy because you haven’t been truthful enough, well that’s just… … … …. I’m sorry, I can’t seem to stop laughing.

To those of you who follow me, this has not been my usual humorous posting. I apologize. As you can tell, I am especially disapproving these days. Besides, I’m allowing others to carry the awesome burden of humor for me and I have to say that Mr. Eastwood has done a fine job. Thank you, sir, and have a seat.

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Okay. I’ve been quiet. I’ve been good. But then, last night, Mitt Romney and his “…binders full of women…” put me over the edge. WOMEN IN BINDERS!!! Really! And this is coming from someone who has eaten a few binders in her time. (Don’t gasp, it’s a rabbit thing.) Now, my issue is not the great humor to be derived from this statement. (See “Women In Binders” on Facebook for some pretty hilarious drill down on this.)  My issue is that it is profoundly, massively, wholly and completely condescending and paternalistic. He treated all females and, frankly, all of us period, like we are dumb bunnies. (Again, this is an area in which I have some expertise because, trust me, I’ve known some dumb bunnies in my time.)

Still, before I get into my thoughts on the scope of this comment, I want to address the facts around it which is to say that, as with oh-so-many other things that come out of Flip-Flop-Romney’s mouth, it isn’t true. Allow me to repeat. It never happened. An initiative existed in Massachusetts, started by the MassGAP organization, prior to the election of Governor Romney, to increase the number of women in leadership positions at the State level. When Governor Romney took office, he inherited this program. Period. End of story. He didn’t initiate it. He didn’t notice that he was surrounded only by wealthy white men (see the post-debate photos for an example of this behavior). He just lived with something which was already in place and which, he perceived, came out of some binder he was shown at some point in time. I know this won’t come as a shock to any of you, not even to Republicans who can remember as far back as the Republican debates, Mitt lied. Again. I mean really, people, this man makes Nixon and Johnson look like friggin’ Boy Scouts. And all of that comes before the part of this that really gets my dewlap*. (*Look it up. It’s your word for the day.)

Let’s take these things in no particular order:

1. Mitt didn’t have enough women in his organization in the first place and when it was pointed out to him he had to resort to a BINDER for assistance.

2.  Once again, Mitt did not answer the question. Obama was over there saying “Lilly Leadbetter Act” and Mitt had a story about a binder!

3. And AGAIN we have Mitt (or his boy-child Ryan) telling a story about a small, individual situation that absolutely does not address the question at hand, instead of answering the question itself. Women don’t deserve fair pay but they do get a binder. Auto workers don’t deserve to have their jobs saved but there was this one family who lost their son in an auto accident and Mittens was really generous to them. [General note to anyone who EVER debates Joe Biden in the future: don’t go after Joe with an auto accident story. His will trump yours every single time. Every…single…time….]

4.  Did you notice Mitt when he answered the woman who asked the tax question. He slowed down, used small words and spoke as if he was speaking to a third grader? Now maybe his treating her like she was an idiot was fine with you. He is used to dealing with  Tea Party audiences, after all, but it sure as H…e…double carrots bothered me. Here is my take on things. Anyone bothering to watch the debate instead of the ballgame passed third grade and is deserving of respect. Oh – and he didn’t answer that question either but don’t worry, you can get the detail on that here.

5. Unlike Obama, Romney sees no relationship between the issues of fair pay, health care, right to choice, the elimination of tax deductions for child care – and women. For Romney, these are all separate things. He never speaks of them in any kind of holistic or integrated way. Despite the efforts of Ms. Crowley to intervene, Obama gets that all of these things are of-a-piece. Obama isn’t changing topics when he speaks of choice in a discussion of fair pay. He is talking about empowering women all the way around. Not so much with Romney. “Knock! Knock!” “Ummm…yes?” “This is a CLUE! You thought your approval numbers among likely women votes were low before! Here, catch.” *crash* *clatter* *muffled rolling sound* “Nope. Missed again.”

Look, it isn’t just that “binders full of women” is insulting. It isn’t just that Mitt is so dense that he can’t imagine why it would be such a fracking paternalistic thing to say. It’s that he doesn’t get it at all. Not any of it. Mitt’s understanding of women, taught to him at the knee of his father and in services each Sunday for his entire life, is that a woman is someone who requires a man to reach back and call her name in order to be welcomed into heaven. [Personally, I’m hoping that Hillary remembers this attitude when she is approving the list for drone strikes during her Presidency.] Mitt thinks of women in binders and uses small words because that is how little he thinks of women. Period. I suggest that on November 6th, all females unite to show Mittens just how little we think of him. Thump!

November 6th – brought to you by the letters F and U, the number 47 and Office Depot. Go get ‘im, girlz.

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Oh, Great Bunny, I come to you tonight, in prayer, my head bowed and my paws together, beseeching you to ease the immense pain and suffering of others and by “others” I mean the bunnies of Mexico, who have been shaken to the core in this massive earthquake, and, of course, the Republican party….

OH! *cough* I didn’t see you there! As I bask in the glorious sunspot on the floor in my room I find myself truly appreciating the joy that is Spring along with all the entertainment it brings. I mean, what could possibly be better than tuning in each night to _________________________ (pick ANY news/politics show) and reveling in the clown car that has become the Republican Party. Truly, I haven’t laughed this much in years. Also, I am already looking forward to seeing the dresses Michelle wears to the Inauguration and the balls that night. After all, this time she isn’t limited to just an American designer. She will be done, done, done with campaigns and elections. I’m expecting to hear that she spent the night in epic Katy Perry form.

http://www.buzzsugar.com/Katy-Perry-Music-Video-Last-Friday-Night-TGIF-17859109

It didn’t have to be this way, of course. The Republicans could have chosen to run someone who might actually get elected but, much to the off-the-hook, unending gratitude of comedians everywhere, they LITERALLY elected otherwise. Even at this late battling-all-the-way-to-the-Convention date, they could feign something that actually resembles strategy – but they won’t and I could not possibly be more geeked about it and trust me when I tell you, I’m not the “geeked” sort. Ever. Still, this is such a ridiculous confluence of Republican mis-steps that I am making an exception.

What They WILL Do

Republicans will nominate Mitt Romney and Democrats will ride Romney-isms like:

Corporations are people, my friend.

and

“It’s because of the banks…. Well, banks aren’t bad people. They’re just overwhelmed right now.”

and

“The banks are scared to death, of course. They’re feeling the same thing you’re feeling.”

and

I’m not concerned with the very poor.

and, my personal favorite

The economy is coming back….It always comes back after a recession.

[Really, Mitt, who told you that economies naturally recover and was it inscribed on golden tablets –  because that is not an economic fact so it must have to do with your religious beliefs.]

…all the way to the White House. Well, that and the fact that Democrats actually have policies that are more closely aligned with what the greater percentage of the electorate really wants – like banking reform, building and protecting American jobs, a safety net when things don’t work out, health care and getting the hell up out of the personal lives of everyone in America including, and especially, women and homosexuals.

Image

Bo advises the President.

All this AND Obama never strapped the family dog to the roof of his car which I can tell you, as someone who has spent more than my fair share of time in the evil box with holes, is reason enough to vote Obama. Two thirds of voters, which includes a whole lot of Republican dog owners, call Romney’s actions “inhumane.” I’m not nearly as polite. More to the election winning point, 42% of women polled say that it makes them less likely to vote Romney. I think we can anticipate LOTS of Obama posters featuring him playing with first dog Bo. Rallys will inevitably include “Dogs for Obama” posters and even cat owners will cough it up because this is just too hideous a fur ball to ignore.

What They SHOULD Do

They should nominate Rick Santorum. I’ll wait until you finish gasping with horror… … … … … … … …. Alright, no one ever said I was patient, finish gasping on your own time.

Republicans should nominate Santorum not because he can win, which he most certainly can not, and not because Lorne Michaels would be forever grateful but because it is the one and only chance the non-right wing part of the Republican Party, read as “the electable Republicans,” may EVER have to send the right-wing, Tea Party nut bars back to the kiddie table…for good.

The core Republican leadership already knows that this election is a lost cause and if they were savvy they would put this loss to work for them by proving, for once and for all, that the far greater majority of Americans are not bigoted, fascists and thereby reducing the Tea Party to their rightful place as the whining, minority voice which is the true reflection of their place in this country.

Take a note, people, be they ultra-liberals or Tea Partiers, extremists are the fringe and we have been allowing them to run the show for too long. Once upon a time it was possible to engage in civil debate in this country. In fact, that was the case right up to “The Contract With On America.” Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove changed everything because they created a political poison-well whereby winning by whatever means necessary was the ONLY course allowed and Democrats were to be opposed on all fronts, even those upon which both parties agreed. They created the concept that Democrats were wrong ONLY because they were Democrats.

This brings us up to today where the Tea Party will shut down government and ruin lives rather than enter into goodwill negotiations  and, in case you missed it, this has brought disaster down not just upon the country* but upon the Republican Party itself. Don’t mistake me, I believe in the right to disapprove. In fact, I am the Queen of that parade, but I believe in a loyal opposition. I think most of us do. I think it is the cornerstone of Democracy and that it is worth fighting for.

[*You will recall that the credit rating of the US was lowered not because of the financial crisis but because our Congress was deadlocked in debate and could not take the actions the world financial community deemed necessary.]

The Republican Party has a chance, a perfect chance, to fight that fight on behalf of all of us…but they won’t because that would take more courage than just creating a misleading name for something or someone and repeating it over and over and over and, as we all know, they are the kings of that parade.

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Image

STRONG…or Not

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a rabbit but you don’t need to sit in a litterbox everyday to know that something is wrong with our country when bigots can serve openly in political office but our kids can’t openly be taught science and history without exaggerated myth impinging upon their curriculum. As President I’ll end the blasphemous war to distort religion and I’ll fight fear-based attacks by “religious” fanatics against the religious diversity and freedom of thought guaranteed by our Constitution. FREEDOM of religion and, in fact, just plain freedom, made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m a rabbit and I approved this message.

And Another Thing…

Faith isn’t like “Twilight.” It isn’t Team Jesus vs. Team Muhammud vs. Team It’s None of Your Business. Faith isn’t about being seen sitting in church and it isn’t about slapping a fish on the back of your car. The back of your car is where you should be slapping truly excellent bumper stickers like these from Bunny Whipped but I digress.

faith |fāθ| noun

1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something

2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

• a system of religious belief

• a strongly held belief or theory

Faith is…well…FAITH. It’s the faith to believe there is room for other beliefs, that a God big enough to create what YOU already think he created is big enough to have created much, much more – like the laws of nature, science and other ways of thinking and believing. Faith is the security to know that God is big and that is alright. Faith is even the security to believe that if the person next to you doesn’t believe in God she is either right or wrong but it does not have any bearing what-so-ever on your faith.

Faith is also the ability to understand that faith is not diminished, or under siege, or in any way weakened by the beliefs of others. This is why the founding fathers of the United States made, as a cornerstone of our nation, freedom of religion. Yes, Christianity was the faith of some of the founders but they very purposefully left Christianity out of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Both they and the Supreme Court have been pretty specific on this point so I won’t be droll. Had the founders specified Christianity as the state religion than we would be in the very same boat as Saudi Arabia or, frankly, any communist country. Specifying what religion people will or will not worship is the exact opposite of the intentons of ALL of our founding fathers. It is one of the very few things they all agreed upon. What they gave us was FREEDOM of religion and if you can’t understand why it’s the “freedom” part and not the “religion” part of that which sets this nation apart, than I have this lovely hutch for you right out back.

Another thing about faith is that faith is often, very often, confused with force. Instead of feeling secure enough in their faith to practice it in their hearts and homes, some people, using  _____________ as their excuse, (and here you can fill in the blank with the name of almost any major religion) believe that forcing others to openly bow, with their hands over their hearts and “under God,” to the professed religion of the majority makes faith stronger. NEWS FLASH:  God doesn’t need your vote. God is God (or not – for all you atheist bunnies out there) no matter what and forcing others to bow and recite words they do not believe or backing children of different faiths into a corner so that they feel less-than for not agreeing with the dominant religion, evidences not faith in God but the exact opposite. If you think you need to force someone, anyone, then you are testifying that your beliefs are not strong enough without that other person and that your God needs both you and them in order to be God. You need to know that the Great Bunny is there no matter what any of the rest of you believe. I am at peace with that. I have faith.

And One Last Thing…

On this, the eve of Christmas Eve, I’ve been thinking about innkeepers. As the story goes, Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem, for the census of Joseph’s family, having, foolishly, not made prior reservations. Since the rest of the line of David was there as well, there was, as they say, “no room at the inn.” Increasingly worried about the impending birth, Joseph and Mary went from inn to inn and every single time they were turned away. Even two thousand years later we think about those innkeepers and we shake our heads but here is what we forget. One man, and I guarantee you it was a man given the place of women at that time in history, said “yes.” He wasn’t an innkeeper and all he had available was a stable, but one man said, “yes.”

Who was that guy? History has denied him his rightful place but one has to wonder, given the general population of Bethlehem at the time, was he a Palestinian? He wasn’t a Muslim, because Islam was still hundreds of years into the future, and he could have been a Jew, but Bethlehem was a diverse place and he easily could have been any of several other faiths which were popular at the time. Was the man who put a roof over the Lord of all Christians on the night of the birth of our faith, was he a Palestinian? We don’t know. No one does. Still, he was a man of goodness, a man of kindness, a man who did all he could at a time when no one else stepped up. So, does it matter? Does who or what he worshipped matter? This was a man who changed history with his heart and, no matter his faith, he deserves the thanks of all Christians. He even deserves the thanks of doves and sheep and fatted calves and, this is just conjecture, but quite possibly more than a few rabbits, because Christianity put an end to so much of that sacrificing of members of the animal kingdom on alters (see “Leviticus” for more detail on this). Christianity changed a lot of things – including adherence to the many laws and rituals imposed in “Leviticus”. (Make a note, Rick Perry.)

It is my hope on this eve of the Eve that Christians find a way for faith to open their hearts in the same way that man, of unknown faith, opened his stable. It is my hope that on the Holy Night and on every night we are each secure in the faith that we are each secure in the hands of God and that no human force, or law, or religion can change that.

Merry Christmas.

Yours in the Great Bunny – Arliss

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Rabbits are, by nature, prey animals and trust me when I tell you that it is a difficult cross to bear. As such, it has taken untold generations of my kind to evolve into a rabbit, like myself, who is entirely capable of managing a household of predators (ie dogs and humans) for my benefit and to do my bidding. So hear me when I tell you, we don’t get it. Why would a human as powerful as the President of the United States or the most numerous political party, the Democrats, relinquish power as if it was a simple thing to get it back?

Touching John in the Naughty Place

Is it possible that these “leaders,” and here I will use that term in the loosest possible way, are thinking that the pendulum will swing back, that the conservative tide will crest, fall and some sort of sanity will be restored? Have they not been paying attention! The Tea Party crazies have been making John Boehner look like a centrist.  I will remind you that I predicted this  (see “John ‘Cheeto’ Boehner Has a Problem“) well before the last election. John Boehner has found himself having to work with actual Democrats, just to keep the doors of government open. It probably makes him feel like he has been touched in the naughty place. Poor John. I digress (and laugh, but that’s just me). What Democrats have failed, either purposefully or not, to notice is that there won’t be much left of their party or anyone with the ability to make a change, unless they start to stem the tide now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about dealing with the Tea Party. Those idiots will flame out in a blaze that will probably be attributed to lighting their own farts on fire. I’m talking about the people who paid for the party, Tea or otherwise. Corporations have won the right, confirmed by the Supreme Court, to buy elections. This is easily seen in the results from the 2010 election cycle. See here and here if you aren’t following me. People, 40% of all the outside money spent on the 2010 election cycle was made possible by the Citizens United ruling. That’s $186 million dollars! Those of you who have walked through the fires of Fundraising Hell know that’s one heck of a bake sale and what was sold wasn’t brownies, it was our government. How do we know this? Because they have worked so very hard to prove it during this recent, manufactured, budget “crisis.”

Meaning, Not You

Humans – I will use very small words here so that you cannot fail to understand. It was never about the budget, it was only about power for those with incomes in the top 1%, meaning not you. I’m going to sit here and munch on some grape stem while you re-read that however many times it takes for it to sink in… … … ….

Oh, you can attend a Tea Party rally, march with your misspelled sign and shout some slogan that references an historical event or movement of which you have no educated understanding but not one wit of the beneficial changes in the budget will be felt by you. No, what 99% of Americans will feel will be all the things that flow from underfunding programs upon which the less fortunate rely and by “less fortunate” I mean everyone not in the 1%.

I’ll give you some examples:

  • the top 1% can afford to hire a personal courier to deliver their mail, can you?
  • the top 1% don’t need farm subsidies, though many of them take them, can the same be said for the average farm family?
  • the top 1% can afford top-notch fire suppression and burglar systems throughout all of their homes so they are perhaps not as reliant on the first responders they have cut back; how about you?
  • the top 1% can afford to pay for 100% of their health care directly out of their pocket, for the rest of their lives, without risking their home no matter what illness befalls them; you?
  • the top 1% send their children to private schools from pre-school through university, their children never need a government backed loan or scholarship and neither do they – also, they don’t give a heck about the quality of public schools because their children aren’t there; you?
  • the top 1% already have the whole retirement thing completely under control; you?

Yeah – that’s what I thought.

Oh – and one more little thing, when the top 1% is using the Tea Party as their meat puppets to push through tax cuts for… you guessed it, the top 1% – it might behoove our Democratic leaders and President to stand up and shout that TARP AND the auto-industry bail-out AND oil company sibsidies AND, in fact, the entire corporate tax structure, already functions as their tax break. …and where, exactly is the trickle down from that? Oh, never mind, I found it.  It’s right there in my litterbox. *blush*

But shouting isn’t the way of our “leaders.” They think it makes them look too crazy. Meanwhile, Michelle Bachman actually says, out loud, that because so many courts are disagreeing with her, Congress should strip federal judges of the right to hear marriage-equality cases. STILL, our “leaders” sit quietly by while those of you who are ill go to the gallows of no health care and those of you who are healthy are headed, via the worst of usury practices by financial institutions and abuse by corporations, for bondage. And not the fun kind.

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It would be polite of me to say that my year spent in Just to the Right of Nowhere was lovely and that I appreciate everything done for me by my temporary staff but why start lying now? I have returned to my home in the capital city, Indianapolis, and I am damn glad to be here. When my Chief of Staff arrived in JttRoN she did bring gifts. It wasn’t enough to make up for her having gone, without me, to Ireland for a YEAR but I loved the dandelion. I noticed, however, that there was reticence to give me more than two blueberries-on-the-half-shell at a time. Apparently, my previous blog on the subject had an impact.

Clover did move with me. I was a widow when I was sent into exile and he became a widower while I was stuck in JttRoN so we naturally gravitated together. As one would expect, he worships me. Having him here has helped to make some of the changes easier.

On the first day, we decorated.

His grooming gets better all the time. I don't like to reciprocate.

Speaking of changes, do you know what they have in Ireland? They have greyhounds. Do you know how I know this? Because they now have one fewer. How do I know this seemingly obscure fact? Because that one lives here now!!! It’s name is Emmy. It’s big. And irritating. It keeps sniffing me…with an accent. Thump!

Are you SERIOUS?

Of course when I told the beasts to scram, they did.

I am trying to be accepting but I have to tell you, gentle reader, it’s hard.  Still, in my eleven years as a wise and disapproving rabbit I have never found bigotry to be right or just or moral or even economically viable.  I have only ever found it to be mean.

Here’s the thing – I disapprove of Emmy when she sniffs my tail but I disapprove of anyone who sniffs my tail. Period. No exceptions. (This means YOU.) In Indiana the State Legislature just spent most of the legislative session bickering about the subject of gay marriage. They came down against it because it is the firm belief of the Republican Party that staying in power is more important than doing what is right.

The Republican Party has mastered the art of championing fear* and riding that fear to victory. The key, of course, is never to focus on anything that is a genuine threat. As long as Republicans can keep their core whipped up about things that don’t matter (or can’t be solved by legislation) than they can lie at will because emotions are rarely centered on facts. This means that they expend their energy around issues like gay marriage, abortion, illegal immigration and guns instead of the kinds of core issues that build or maintain a successful nation including:  education, infrastructure, sustainable economic growth, long-term environmental issues, health care (including cost management, liability limitations, drug costs and pharmaceutical development costs, well care/preventative care etc), resource management and the military (including support of underlying technologies and industries).

Humans – there are BIG issues and BIG problems. Gay marriage is not one of them but bigotry is. Bigotry towers for the simple reason that either we believe that we are ALL valuable and all of us are needed to solve the real problems or we believe that the world really is about us and them. For you bigots who haven’t yet figured it out, unless your last name is Koch or Murdoch, you aren’t one of those “us.” Those “us” will eventually turn on you too because they only care about one thing and, trust me, it isn’t you.

So, the Republicans in Indiana have cast their votes in favor of  bigotry. It’s embarrassing. It’s wrong. It’s mean. Even disapproving rabbits know it. Step up, humans. Don’t just sit in your hutches and thump. DO SOMETHING. Next time the news is covering the “voice of the people” make sure it is your voice. Stop letting yourself be represented or intimidated or out maneuvered by homophobes and fear-driven fools. If you don’t know what to do or how to be of help, go here, the Human Rights Campaign is a great place to start.

Don’t just complain on Facebook. Don’t just make wry observations on Twitter. Don’t just be thoughtful, Work for change. Stupid is never the answer but sometimes polite isn’t either. Make noise. Thump!

[*Whereas the Democratic Party has utterly failed in this regard. We can’t even manage to effectively message real threats. It’s humiliating.]

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While you may be thinking that John “Cheeto” Boehner has nothing more to worry about these days than how he will be redecorating the Speaker’s office to get the Pelosi out of the carpet, let me to assure you, he has MUCH bigger problems. Allow me to explain. Remember earlier this week when you were at the grocery store to purchase a large cart full of wonderful produce to bring home to the bunnies in your life…or something close to that. While you were there a young human started to scream and cry. It didn’t matter the context because it is always the same thing, a single child brews up a tantrum which translates to, “I’m furious because you aren’t paying ALL of your attention to me, Me, ME!” To that child, the world revolves around them and whatever toy or treat they have fixated on at that moment. That child is ruining the shopping experience for everyone else in the store because none of those other people matter. Other people are not a part of that child’s microscopically small, warped universe. Now multiply that child by, say…the Tea Party and you have an idea of ol’ Cheet’s problem. John Boehner has been a bad parent and now he will have to live with the consequences.

I know what you are going to say, “The Tea Party is a grass-roots, populist uprising and in buying it a lollipop, Cheeto is just bowing to the will of the people.” Here’s what a little knowledge of grass (I believe I can be considered a specialist in that field.) and fact-checking* will get you.  As a, granted, self-avowed grass specialist, I know that populist grass is a mess and it isn’t funded by the Koch brothers. The Tea Party, on the other paw, has been heavily funded by major Republican think tanks, activists and donors. It was only made to look amateur by all the nutbars who came along for the ride. Watergate’s Deep Throat had it right all those years ago when he said, “follow the money.” Ol’ Cheeto and his buddies were just pushing the Tea Party around in his shopping cart thinking, “Wow! This is spectacular. TP, here, is giving all these Democrats a whopping headache,” but Cheet failed to notice, there were other people in the store too, namely, Republicans.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. The Democrats are going to lose this next election precisely because they exemplify that which can be found on oh-so-many grassy lawns, a

hot mess |hät mes|
a derogatory term describing a situation, behavior, appearance, etc. that is disastrously bad. Think “faux pas” but times ten. Possible origin is literal (think, steaming dogpile).
“She got up on stage and tried to sing Beyonce’s “Dangerously In Love” but her performance was a hot mess.” – the Urban Dictionary

Cheeto’s problem with the election is that he will actually lose some seats which could well have been won by a sane Republican in the general election because the sane Republican was soundly thumped in the primary. This, of course, is a relief to Harry “Closed the Gap” Reid and Chris “Double-digit Lead” Coons but not-so-much for ol’ Cheeto.

Still, it’s really the post-election nightmare that is keeping Cheeto awake at night. (Well, that and the bright orange glow in the room.) Just this week the Republican Party published their “Pledge to America” which featured, appropriately, their version of America…a whole bunch of white people. Literally. I challenge you to find a photo in the published document that shows otherwise. Of course, they could also have called this the “Dead in the Water Pledge” because the combination of trying to add more than $4 trillion dollars to the deficit and all of the actions which will be over-ridden by a simple veto means that, frankly, NONE of the Pledge will ever see the light of day. However, it will give the Democrats terrific campaign fodder both for this election-cycle (“Everyone repeat after me,  ‘trillion’?!?”) and for the next (the “2012 Do-Nothing Congress”.) The Pledge avoids making any of the genuinely hard decisions it takes to govern a nation. It’s cowboys and red meat and a whole lot of white folks – in other words, it’s a Texas Bbq – and, people, you’ve already been there. Which, is the point the Democrats are FINALLY using to gain a little traction.

Additionally, the Tea Party and its extreme backers will be successful in pushing the Republicans farther to the right than the majority of the Republican Party wants to go. Even the neo-cons (some of which are known to still have brains because just last week a mouse with a neo-con brain was spotted in Delaware) have to know this somewhere down in the heart of their polls and focus groups. I mean, it’s all very well and good for them to allow their Tea Party offspring to be a devolved, eternally angry pile of tantrum but once you are in charge, then you have to govern and the next thing you know, the Tea Party infants will be putting a Hitler-mustache on you. Cheeto is especially worried about this because, you know, orange with a black moustache will either make him look like a die-hard, Who-Dey, Bengals fan or a year-round celebration of Halloween, neither of which will make his party more attractive to voters in 2012.

Oh – and then there’s the government shut-down being threatened by the Tea Party two-year olds and their buddies. Just recently, in an interview, the still wildly popular President Clinton was noting, with glee, how well that worked for the Republican Party in 1995. Don’t think for a minute that ol’ Cheet missed that point.

The last thing that keeps Cheeto from joyfully sucking the juices out of the marrow of the bones of the children from whom he wants to strip health care is the knowledge that moving farther to the right in order to attempt to mollify the never-to-be-satisfied Tea Party is the sure knowledge that the farther he goes the harder he makes it for rational Republican Presidential hopefuls, like Indiana’s Governor, Mitch Daniels, to get elected. The Democrats may be barely as organized as a pile of poop on a nice green lawn but, when energized, there are still more of them and the fastest way to energize the Democrats in 2012 is to live with two years of Tea Party insanity between now and then. Cheeto may seem like a delicious snack and all the rage right now but he isn’t an idiot and I promise you, being awakened several times a night by a screaming kid during the next two years isn’t going to be any fun for him or for us.

Cheeto Boehner

*[Note: if you are from the neo-con media or work for any of the major news outlets, all of which are owned by conservative corporations, “fact-checking” is that suspiciously foreign thing the actual liberal media has been doing for years. For further information go here.]

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I’m sure I at least mentioned it. I’m from Kenya. We know this because I was born in Indiana and I’m a different color than many of you. More to the point, because of my coloring, I have a “Kenyan anti-colonial” worldview. What this means is that if you do not have an accurate predictive model for my behavior unless you have a clear understanding of Kenyan history and politics. Oh, yes, and you need to be a racist. Being a bigot helps but racism is really the handle by which you can carry away this pot. Newt Gingrich and Dinesh D’Souza found me out. Their firm mastery of the racism laid me bare before them.

I must learn to accept the repercussions of being a Kenyan anti-colonialist. Either that or someone needs to teach all these idiots what words mean and I have to tell you, the chances of the latter having any impact at all is about the same as the chances of me turning down my serving of kale leaf tonight. (For those not fortunate enough to live with a Kenyan anti-colonialist rabbit, the odds of kale rejection occurring would be zilch.)

There is an old joke: the UK and the US are two nations divided by one language. An example of this would be as follows:

British, ” I think I’ll knock her up and see if she has a rubber I can borrow.”

American, “I think I’ll call her and see if she has an eraser I can borrow.”

Frankly, it’s funnier when the Brits say it but that’s not my point. It has become clear to me that Americans now fall into three groups divided by a single language. There are those who still use words as they are defined in the dictionary, also known as Democrats; those who use existing words and invent totally unrelated definitions to suit their political ends, also known as Conservative Republicans or the Tea Party; and those who invent their own words from scratch, also known as computer nerds, if you grok my meaning.

For the Conservative Republicans/Tea Party, it works like this:

  1. select a scary sounding word, like “Muslim” or “Kenya” or “Qur’an” or “anti-colonialist”;
  2. attach to it all kinds of racist and bigoted rhetoric that is designed to frighten people remembering that unlike bunnies, humans are at the top of the food-chain but near the bottom of the common sense chain;
  3. know that, historically, identifying with cruelty generally works out, like the fans cheering for Michael Vick this weekend;
  4. make sure that at no time is factual information or factually based educational material allowed to gain a foothold;
  5. dominate the weak-willed, corporate-owned, conservative main-stream media.

So, in a nutshell, that explains why I am both a Kenyan anti-colonialist and a Muslim. My response is this:

People, buy a dictionary! Read a book! Grow some balls! Muslims, Kenya and the Qur’an aren’t the enemy – ignorance is – and vicious, rabbit-eating coyotes. I think we can all agree on that.

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You think I’m kidding, that this is satire, but I am saying, in the grand tradition of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin is a communist spy. Oh alright, I’ll bow to the pressure of political correctness. Sarah Palin is a Russian political operative. Here’s a helpful chalkboard diagram as evidence.

Arliss' Chalkboard Diagram

Allow me to explain.

1. Sarah Palin wears LOTS of red. I know, other American female politicians do too, but not like Sarah. Red hair, flaming red lips, red-head to toe – almost all the time. Red. Red. Red. The slang for communist is “red.” Red is the color most commonly associated with Russia even after the fall of the Soviet empire. Red = Red

2. In an interview by Glenn Beck, who was more fawning than actual fawns,

Beck – “Who’s your favorite founder?”

Palin – “Ummmmm…you know…well, all of them.”

We’re talking here about a woman who not only can’t name a single founding father of the United States but quite possibly couldn’t think of one because the over-riding thought that filled her head when she was asked the question was, “Marx, Lenin or Stalin…it’s so hard to decide! Oh, and wouldn’t it be just a BLAST to have a beer with Boris Yeltsin!” You know how it is, once you get one answer in your head, it’s so hard to dig up another one.

3. In an interview with Kati Couric, Palin couldn’t name a single book or news publication which she reads…in English. I suspect she knew that answering “Pravda” wouldn’t go over well with American voters.

4. As a normal American or, frankly, any nationality of rabbit, you have to ask yourself, “Self, what is it with this Palin woman and bears?” I’LL TELL YOU! Bears are the animal most commonly associated with what country?!?! That’s right, kind Reader, Russia, hence, the RUSSIAN bear.

5. Palin has no respect what-so-ever for any media which is either unfiltered or intent upon reporting facts. She only accepts interviews from verifiably friendly media and engineers all events to only allow pre-screened questions just like every single Russian and Soviet politician since…well…forever. Where do you think she learned that?

6. She is an ardent supporter of the plaid* Birther Movement meaning that she supports the immediate removal of the current US President. It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that this is a plot with Russian fingerprints all over it. It’s what the Kremlin dreams about – when they wake up and need a towel.

* See the landmark film “Spaceballs” to fully appreciate this sly and yet hilarious reference.

7. Her husband, Todd, is a fisherman, clearly a nod to the proletariat. Why else would anyone marry someone who smells like that?

8. During the 2008 campaign she was fixated on being able to see Russia from Alaska. Really? I find myself compelled to ask, “Sarah, just exactly how much time have you spent longingly staring at Russia? Wishing you could be there? Wishing it could be here?” Now I say to you, the Average American, “How much time have you spent staring at Russia?” I’m guessing zero. That’s what makes you an American and her, well…something else entirely. (Note my exceptional use of the vaunted Glenn Beck Reasoning System here.)

As a closing comment…OMG, I almost forgot…she’s a HOCKEY mom!!! Need I say more, people? HOCKEY for crying-out-loud! What more could I say to you? How much more evidence do you need? (If you could see me now you would know that my paws are reaching out and there are earnest tears pouring down my face.) This woman is an enemy of the State. She is the moral anti-thesis of all that is good and right, of Democracy with a CAPITAL D, of kittens, people. Sarah Palin is an enemy of kittens everywhere! Sarah Palin is the Devil! (Too much?) Ok, strike that last part. Sarah Palin has had tea with the Devil…at a Tea Party.

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Humans today throw words around with absolutely no idea how to pronounce them or what they mean yet by using them incorrectly long enough, the words themselves become changed. Take the word “forte” for instance. It’s pronounced “fort,” people, not “for-tay,” “FORT.” Really. Look it up. But people have been screwing it up for so long that even the dictionary finally gave up. I know, you are gong to tell me that language is elastic and that it evolves. I’m just asking, must it evolve to accommodate stupidity? Apparently so.

Additional examples of this exist here in my home state of Indiana. Right now, for instance, I am temporarily staying in the Middle of Nowhere, Indiana which is a mere half hour from Milan, Indiana. That’s pronounced “My-land,” for those of you who, when you first read the word, foolishly thought to yourselves, “Me-lawn”. I feel confident in saying that most of the people who live in Milan, Indiana cannot even conceive of Milan, Italy, of what it has produced and the place it holds in history. I’m equally confident that these humans have no idea why the Travel Channel or the Discovery channel is included in their cable package. If you can’t watch the Bengals on it and scream “Who dey” at the television, what’s the point?  I’m also just a hop, skip and a jump (times a million), or about a half hour, from Versailles, Indiana. Of course, that would be “Ver-sales.” Stop laughing. I’m not making this stuff up. They look at you like you are an idiot if you say it any other way.

So, apparently, in keeping with the parlance of the day, I’m a Muslim. This is obvious because I AM a terrorist. Just ask anyone. I box ankles without reservation, take it upon myself to destroy anything in my purview with which I disagree and generally rain fear down all around me. At least, that’s my goal. It was easier when I still had my front teeth. (Damn those abscesses.) I also fully support the terrorist actions of others. Earlier this week Samwise Bunny chewed a huge hole into the side of a Samsonite carry-on and ate right through the handle. I was impressed. Just like al Jazera, I’m posting this photo on my site.

Sam's Suitcase

Domestic Terrorism (Sam is from Kentucky)

Now, I know many of you are saying, “This can’t be! Arliss isn’t a Muslim. She is a known follower of the Great Pumpkin. We made a HUGE, overblown, mountain-out-of-nothing about this just two years ago when we decided she was following a Great Pumpkin preacher that we didn’t like. We published a bizillion photos of her with her Great Pumpkin preacher. We spent millions of dollars of valuable network time talking about it. We had a special chyron!”

I say, “chyron shmyron!” because in addition to being a Muslim, I am not qualified to be the President of the United States. You see, I don’t wear my birth certificate on my forehead and my mother was an ENGLISH lop so, clearly, despite the wealth of evidence associated with my domestic birth, including the testimony of several humans who were present, my thrice verified birth certificate and local newspapers of the day which noted my birth, I am still considered foreign-born by a full 30% of the population.

Beer Good, Education Bad

Chart 1: Beer Good, Education Bad

I am even further unqualified to be President because you don’t think you would want to have a beer with me. You think I’m too smart, too educated and not at all like you and we all know how qualified YOU are to be President. OBVIOUSLY, when you compare the essential requirement of beer-buddy to the frivolous extravagance of intelligence and education, there is no question what-so-ever that I am not Presidential material. Since I don’t have a chalkboard, here’s a handy chart.

But let’s be clear here, I AM a terrorist. “No!” you say?

You don’t know me. I’m THAT disapproving*.

*See previous post references to me as a Famous Disapproving Rabbit.

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