Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Goes Around
By Nebu Ganesh

Nebu Ganesh, PhD 
Guest Liberal Commentator

"What would Jesus do now?"
About four odd decades ago, Jesus officially became a Republican.  His conversion happened gradually, and started at the grass roots with a concern for family values.  When political money realized that for a relatively small investment they could claim a group of alienated voters who would march lock step into the polls to vote with Jesus, a new Republican strategy was born.  Of course, things evolved over time, but when you know your God personally and he talks with you every day and tells you how to vote, things start to roll.  It wasn't long before the big money guys saw potential and started backing candidates. Some were sincere, but eventually most were good ol' boys working with a new public vocabulary.  Soon they were able to use the same angle to add other factions who felt disenfranchised politically, such as service veterans with whom the government had not kept good faith, and some elder citizens who could not cope with the pace of cultural change.  Sadly, at the bottom of each untapped barrel lived various crackpots and kooks, including bigots,misogynists, xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, anti-government militias and white supremacists.  Whatever people believed, they were told that their fears were justified.  Twenty-four hour cable news and talk radio put a microphone into angry shaking hands that had never known a mainstream outlet. The result is the contentious Republican Party base.

Like so many of us, Jesus was a Liberal
when he was in college, but after reading

 Atlas Shrugged he became a conservative
like His Father.
Under the direction of Ralph Reed,
Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition was one
of the first groups that proved that religious
voting blocks could turn elections.  Reed
knew politics before he knew faith, but he
famously met the Holy Spirit while drinking
in a Washington pub.  H.S. demanded that
Reed come to Jesus, which he did.  While with
the Christian Coalition, Reed worked with
Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist.  The
three were known as the Triumvirate.  Reed's
tenure ended when the organization went
bankrupt amid allegations that his cronies had
ripped off millions of dollars.  Recently Reed
has proposed a Christian Coalition version
2.0, saying that America needs them now
more than ever.  Jesus famously ate with
publicans and sinners.  Looks like everybody's
hungry again.
Back in the Reagan era when Jesus was just beginning to get tired of feeding the lazy poor, Karl Rove stepped up to provide the template for strategic election planning. Karl had been working with party patriots in Texas, updating old political dirty tricks to fit seamlessly into mainstream American politics. Karl and the boys used a quasi-scientific approach to figuring out what people actually wanted to hear, and devised ways to give them permission to voice what they believed.  He also presented new demographic maps that would either enhance or inhibit voter turnout, depending on need.  His methods were at best unethical, but negative campaigning worked well on a local level, and Karl moved up to the Senior Bush presidential campaign.  Along the way Rove honed a 'consultant-centric' model for election strategy that appealed to large business contributors.  Confidence was high that Rove's steady hand on the rudder would continue to pilot the Republican ship to repeated wins on the national scene.
The Conservative Victory Project is also targeting
potential liberal candidates.  Rove is running smear ads
against actress Ashley Judd in Kentucky based on rumors
that she might run against Senate minority leader
Mitch McConnell.

Karl Rove continues to promote this approach, even though his American Crossroads PAC failed to produce the promised 2012 Republican presidency.  He is attempting to save his political career with a new organization, the Conservative Victory Project.  Karl easily recognizes the problems that caused failure in 2012, because they are the very monsters he created. Local primaries enjoy a kind of drunken naked mud wrestling approach to politics, but the same tactics are off-putting to more prissy swing voters at the national level, who consist mainly of women and the minorities Neo-conservatism has targeted to exemplify social decay.  He is confident that he can wrest the negative spotlight from party base anarchists by employing the same dirty tricks and smear tactics successfully used on Democrats to defeat ultra-conservative candidates in Republican primaries, with the intent of presenting more viable candidates to conservative voters.

Neocons love to attack opponents
with Nazi imagery.  Ironically, Joseph
Goebbels invented many of the
propaganda techniques used by Rove.
They may have finally found the right
fit for the costume.

Unfortunately the machine he created is now self-powered.  The muddy grass roots have found leadership in anti-establishment candidates who have gained a foothold in the political process, and who don't intend to cooperate or tone down their inflammatory rhetoric.  They know how the game is structured, and they know when they are being played.  Karl Rove is now the enemy, and they are ready for battle.  There is open warfare in the Republican Party, and the first shot was fired in Iowa.

With the impending retirement of Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa voters are looking at the first open Senate seat since 1974. Rove is employing his considerable political resources to make sure that Representative Steve King, a Tea Party candidate, does not run in the local primary.  King is a colorful politician who backs up Todd Akin on his legitimate rape comments and has compared illegal immigrants to dogs.  He trails a back-wash of foul smelling slimy rhetoric that Republicans now understand to be distasteful to more discriminant national voters.  Rove's Conservative Victory Project intends to place a more palatable centrist candidate in the running.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa exemplifies what
has to go.  His rehetoric alienates the very
voters that the Republican Party now
recognize as crucial to their success.
The result is a conservative backlash that may place King on the ballot.  It turns out that angry white men know no loyalties.  A fundraising e-mail sent out by the Tea Party Patriots portrayed Rove as a Nazi SS trouper.  They gave the image wide circulation, then quickly apologized, a method that Rove himself would have quietly approved just a few months ago.  Where local Republicans estimated King's chances of winning to be slight, they now suggest that negative publicity generated by this skirmish may have increased his chances of winning to 50/50, should he decide to run for Senator.

If the enemy of my enemy
is my friend, then Liberals just
inherited Karl Rove.  Faced with
the workings of modern American
politics, Sun Tzu would have blown
his own brains out.
Well Karl, welcome to the ever shifting landscape of conservative politics.  The political ground has moved so far to the right that you are now a centrist, something not tolerated in the political back water.  At least you got the Nazi thing out of the way, and can look forward to being labeled Socialist, anti American, anti-Christian, anti-military and possibly gay.  And don't think the fact that you were born in Canada will go unnoticed.  You wouldn't let that one go by, would you?   Good luck planning your new anti-strategy strategy.  In going to war, there must be some consolation in knowing how good you look in that uniform.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Massaging the Message
By Emma X

Emma X
If you are going to put lipstick
on a pig, make it a nice coral
shade for spring.
The Republican Party has announced that they will be undergoing some serious renovations.  They have determined that the reason they suck at winning national elections is that they have not fully explained their message.  Minorities and women, beleaguered workers, poor people and the disabled just don't understand how Republican policies will benefit them.  So after serious soul searching and a gentleman's agreement to tone down hyperbole, conservatives are redecorating their brand to create more sparkle and appeal for middle and working class voters.
Republicans agree they need to change their image
and improve the appearance of The House.  The
party base will have to agree on a new color scheme
of muted browns.

Their main focus will be on the Hispanic demographic, as conservative analysts have determined that just a skosh more Gerrymandering and poll manipulation in key states like Florida would have produced a Romney presidency.  So while red state legislatures continue to redraw constituencies, would-be party leaders will get out the new improved message; tired, poor huddled masses yearning to be free will find their respite in the caring arms of the new Republican Party.  They just don't know it yet.

Latino and Hispanic voters will be delighted
that Republicans will propose a path to citizenship.  At
 last, a comprehensive process that will allow a person
already here only twenty odd years or so to complete.
Just so they don't stay and have anchor babies.  Wait
 a minute, maybe they could use birth control.  The
Government could provide....oh shit.  Back to the
drawing board.

New party rhetoric will focus on fiscal conservatism, and eschew other issues that the pesky middle class finds inflammatory. Republican elected officials will cease talking about women's hoohas and stop trying to legislate their use.  There will be more sensitivity expressed about immigration issues, since as far as they can see, all brown people are related.  There will be more 'big tent' talk, and less petty bickering in conservative ranks.  Bobby Jindal has set an initial low bar, which is to not look stupid.  It seems like a good plan.

An enlightened Republican Party will no longer
tolerate divisive rhetoric.  Self-deportation, anchor babies,
women's bodies, origins of climate change, various kinds
of rape, takers and parasites, the age of the earth and the
evils of modern science are all on a long list of subjects that
will be reserved for backroom political smokers.  Ownership
of Jesus and the Founding Fathers is still under debate.

Of course, we haven't heard how they will herd in the 27% or so of the lunatic fringe at the party base.  Getting these people to change their divisive rhetoric will not be easy, as hate speak has become big business, and mainstream Republican candidates do not hesitate to use the money and mechanisms of right wing propaganda machines to further their own interests.  To ask them to tone it down now is at best rude, and probably not realistic.  If the foundation is crumbling and the pipes are rusty, a new coat of paint will only go so far at improving things.  Still, the party that transformed Corporate Raiders into Job Creators is probably creative enough to put a positive spin on anything.  Get ready for a new positive narrative focused on inclusion.

Republicans remain committed to their vision of American family values.
They will keep their rose colored glasses, but will try to re-imagine conservative policies
in different hues.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

by Mittens Romney

Mittens Romney, Mitt Romney's cat.
Cripes!  People used to catch on a lot sooner.
Greetings and salutations everybody.  It's me, Mittens.  I am grateful to Emma and the Maine Coon Revolutionary Council for giving me space in this blog to make a necessary revelation.  Not like the religious Revelations Mitt and Ann have.  More of a confession, really. You see, I get bored.   I like to create pranks and make jokes on people.  It's really not malicious; these things just occur to me, and I have a sort of compulsion to make them happen.  Anyway, this particular joke has gotten way out of hand, and Emma said that if I let it go on I would have to confess to Oprah, and I know Mitt wouldn't like that kind of publicity.  So I am using this blog, which no one reads anyway, to make my confession: I, Mittens Romney, am Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend.

I didn't plan on a long term prank.  It was supposed to be a simple goof, but the thing kind of snowballed.  And of course I wasn't dead to start with.  Here's how it all happened:

Many people of Mormon faith come in and out of Mitt's realm.  He is a big deal in the church, and people come for advice or just to see him. I don't want you to think that all Mormons know each other, but the brown skinned ones stand out pretty good.  I mean in any Mormon gathering there is so much white that you have to wear sun glasses.  Anyway, Manti was around a few times, and it became clear to me that his religion requires that he save himself for a nice Mormon girl, but even in this day and age nice white Mormon girls don't seem to be interested in brown men of any faith.  Old cultural norms die hard in Utah.  I guess I understand.  You would be looking at those brown kids for eternity.  So I got the idea that maybe he would just like to talk to a nice girl once or twice, and that I could be that girl.  Just for a lark, nothing cross gender or cross species. Just a prank, and not for more than a week or two.
Youth and stupidity go together.
Science has proven that the area of the brain that under-
stands consequences is not fully developed in young
human males, and never fully develops in feline males.
Sports fans should forgive young and stupid

Problem was, I sort of got in to it.  I mean, it was very Shakespearean really.  A guy falls for a girl, who is a guy playing a girl, who is really a pedigree cat.  This is the stuff of great storytelling.  But unfortunately, being me, I let it go on too long.
Old and stupid is another matter.
Shakespeare would call his story a tragedy,
not a farce.

It was cool how I set it up, though.  I have several false online identities.  The world still hasn't warmed up to dealing with felines on a business level, so I often use other identities.  Bainsy and I create the names by spilling the Scrabble board. Most human names sound ridiculous to me anyway.  Especially the ones you give your cats.  So that's how I got the name Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.  I mean, really people, that should have been the first clue!  Who has a name like that?  How can you blame me for any of this?  Anyway, that's the account I used.
When I was communicating with Manti Te'o
as his soon to be dead girlfriend Lennay, I used to
make Bainsy dress up as a hula dancer.  It wasn't
 necessary for the prank, I just liked doing it.

So I was having a good time, and this thing went on for a while.  I learned a lot about football, and I learned an important lesson, which is, the narrative is more important than the truth.  Somewhere along the line Manti Te'o figured out that this story might further his career.  You can't get to the finals on American Idol without a compelling tear-jerker back story, and Manti reasoned that you can't win a Heisman without the same.  I believe this might be true, as veteran reporters were happy chasing a popular story with legs and didn't bother to check the simplest things.  You didn't need Urim and Thummin to closely interpret this one.  But there's big money in sports for everybody involved, and nobody wanted to upset the apple cart.  Or in my case the Apple iPad cart.  And evidently a dead grandma isn't enough anymore.  But a dead grandma and a dead girlfriend on the same day, and he won the game? Wow. They probably wanted to engrave that beefcake bronze trophy right then and there.
Oprah and I are friends, and I
would hate to have to tell her the
stupid things I've done.  I'd rather
 tell Google+ users with similar
impulse control issues.

Of course, I didn't know about grandma, I was just trying to end the thing gracefully at that point to have more time to devote to Bobby Jindal's political career.  I was actually considering saving the sick/dead sweetheart thing for him to use in the next Republican primary, and I didn't want to over do it.  God knows he will need all the help he can get when he announces.  Anyway, I decided to take the quickest way out and kill Lennay (my alter ego, 9 points) but the timing was terrible, with grandma kicking it on that same day.  But that was fairly Shakespearean too. Ultimately, an artist can't question.

The Maine Coon Revolutionary Council asked me to
emphasize that this is real cat fishing, and the only kind
they endorse.
Manti Te'o is a talented young football player whose only failing is that he is young and stupid, and I am sorry that I took advantage of that.  I am also sorry for grandma, who was very real and who is very dead, and now no one mentions her.  I regret dead grandma, and I regret any bad feeling I may have caused football fans, or people who live vicariously through the fictitious life stories of would-be sports heroes.  I would also like to apologize to the Mormon Church, which really had nothing to do with the story.  I promise in future I will consider the consequences of my behavior, and have already changed my ways. Well OK, I did tell Bobby Jindal that his best bet for the Republican 2016 Presidential Nomination was to start telling the party that they were stupid, but I don't intend to follow up on that.  I am truly humbled, and would be grateful for your forgiveness.  By the way, I haven't taken performance enhancing drugs since 2006.  Thank you for your time.

Most Humbly, 
Mittens Romney

P.S.  I would also like to publicly apologize to Mitt Romney.  Mitt, I know when you read this you will be upset, and I know I promised to never do anything like this again after I put that truckload of laxatives in the horse feed on Pioneer Day.  If you think about it, this wasn't exactly like that, but I get it, and I promise to not cook up embarrassing schemes in the future.  I am sincerely sorry. -- Little Mitty

P.P.S  Manti, I never properly thanked you for the beautiful red roses.  Bainsy enjoyed the candy, although he got excited and ate the whole box in one sitting and horked up a huge wad of sticky goo on Ann's white satin settee.  Still, it was lovely.  You are a fine young man, and I know one day soon you will find the right cat.  Keep in touch. --M.

Bainsy and I make up online user names using Scrabble letters.
We also use this method to come up with names for Ann's horses.
Rafalca was a 24 pointer on a double word score.

“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun;
 it shines everywhere.”
― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.