Donald Trump is a Terrorist

A middle child of privilege. A man with deep contempt for the majority of Americans and its principles.  A man who used a warped vision of a world religion to produce fanaticism among his followers. A man whose leadership has led to the death of thousands of Americans.  This is a description of Donald Trump, though you could be forgiven for thinking I was referencing Osama bin Laden.  In America, we have become reflexively accustomed to equating terrorist with Muslim and/or Brown, but make no mistake: Donald Trump is a terrorist.  His whole life he has lacked both courage and faith, but do not think of him as a fanatical warrior engaging in actions that strike fear into people. Think of him more as the leader who issues orders and spouts religious platitudes while committing adultery and looking at porn in his private quarters. defines terrorism as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” By that definition can there be any doubt?


I think I need to acknowledge the fact that many people colloquially think of a terrorist as a sort of violent, religious fanatic, or at least someone conducting their terror with religious undertones.  Obviously the definition does not require this, but real life and dictionary definitions can often diverge.  For those more inclined to link terror with religion, I would ask: doesn’t Donald Trump often wed a religious fanaticism to his political objectives? Donald Trump has no religious convictions, but is very happy to weaponize religion to suit his pursuit of power.  As I have often thought of some fundamentalists (I am a Mass-attending Catholic for what it’s worth), faith becomes a post-fact rationalization for desired effects.  For some it is violence. For many it is misogyny. For some it is to repress things about themselves.  For Trump it has been an easy way to weaponize a group of people who want to win more than they want to embody Christ.  He clearly believes in none of it, but he is willing to conduct violence on peaceful protesters just to send signals to his true believers that he is a tip of their religious spear. Combine that with lies and misrepresentations about abortion and inane declarations like “Joe Biden wants to hurt God” or “get rid of Churches” and you have effectively primed your religious fanatics for a Holy War (likely with trademarked merchandise).

Violence For Political Purpose

Donald Trump issues calls to violence repeatedly but because he and his followers are white, “Christian” men they are called patriots instead of armed fanatics following their leader’s fatwas  From claiming “2nd Amendment people” could take care of candidate Hillary Clinton, to demanding Michigan and Virginia be “liberated” (and a non-vague reference to the 2nd Amendment in Virginia’s case) he has consistently encouraged violence on the part of his followers as the way to fight for his cause (himself).  He could not even bring himself to condemn the racists in Charlottesville because it would have contradicted his one and only goal: retaining his most fanatical and solid supporters.  The political aim is always about him and his reelection and he will both encourage violence and ignore violence if it clashes with his sacred purpose of protecting Donald Trump’s power.

But beyond his direct calls for, or ignoring of, actual violence Donald Trump’s self-absorbed “leadership” has also cost tens of thousands of lives.  Not pursuing Russian bounties on U.S. troops, lying about the risks of Covid to protect his economic numbers, failing to properly provide for the American people and then diminishing the risks of Covid again as the election nears he has shown at best, a grave indifference to the lives of American people, especially those in Blue states.  In other words, those who did not support him were expendable.  If “Terrorism by omission” were ever a thing he would be its supreme leader.

In summary, Trump encourages violence, looks the other way when his supporters engage in violence and prioritizes his reelection over the safety of Americans, especially the ones from places that do not support him.  And as the cherry on top, sometimes, “friends” of his like Herman Cain are simply collateral damage. Unwitting suicide bombers in a Trump 2020 jihad.

Donald Trump Serves Donald Trump

These words will come off as sensationalist or incendiary to some, but I mean them.  If Donald Trump were running another Democracy this way we would be encouraging new leadership. If he were in charge of a young democracy or a developing nation I think we would either have the CIA or SEAL Team 6 seeking his ouster and would cheer his downfall as a victory for Democracy. But he is a white, American, self-proclaimed Christian and he is afforded all the protections those labels provide while representing a daily threat to human life, Democracy and the founding principles of this country.  Fans of Trump, like the rabid moron Alex Jones, love to claim that 9/11 was an inside job. Well, Trump actually is an inside job. We put him in office and he is causing more death and lasting damage through commission and omission than any terrorist ever has or ever could.

As heinous as 9/11 it did not break us as a country. In fact it unified the country, at least in the pre-Iraq War days.  Donald Trump’s brand of terror is not an isolated incident. It is a governing strategy and personal philosophy and it is ongoing.  Donald Trump’s terrorism does not profess to serve God or Yahweh or Allah. He serves himself and is willing to sacrifice all in that service and that should earn him at least as much scorn and condemnation as the agents of death and fanaticism that have preceded him.

The One-Dollar Bet from Price Is Right: The Political…

It cannot be argued that Donald Trump is intellectually, morally, emotionally and mentally unequipped to be president.  He doesn’t read (he prefers briefings with “killer graphics” according to a member of his cabinet) and he seems to have no greater than a 7th grader’s knowledge of our institutions.  He has no moral compass beyond “is it good for me” and as a parent he seems to have only passed on a name and equally shitty character.  Now of course, you can make an argument for this man as a human being or as president, but in either case you are wrong.  In baseball when a player has all the necessary skills to succeed he is referred to as a “5 tool player.” In Trump’s case he is the exact opposite – as a president he is a “5 failure tool” (sorry if this feels like I am pulling a Tom Friedman – trying to coin my own phrase). Emotionally unstable, morally bankrupt, selfish, stupid and arrogant – literally a Voltron of the 5 traits you would want least in a leader – and he has all 5 in abundance.  But this is not about stating the facts. They are not in dispute among anyone not brainwashed or brain dead.  This is about the people who don’t hate Trump and don’t support him, but for those faux intellectual warriors on social media I call the “One Dollar Bet” people.

On The Price is Right when contestants bid on the price of items to be selected to come to stage the last person will often bet $1. The reason for this is any bid that goes over the price of the item is disqualified.  Therefore, if you bid $1 all you are saying is “I think everyone went over so even if I am the farthest away from the price of the item, I win by default.” That is sometimes a good strategy on the game show, but when discussing issues of the day these people act like their $1 “objectivity” lends them some sort of intellectual heft.  In fact  they look just as stupid as the wrong side, but without the passionate support to at least provide justification for their stupidity.

These are the people that used to say “I am not a scientist” when it comes to climate change. WOW – how brave. By saying you aren’t a scientist ($1 bet) you now have absolved yourself from listening to or believing scientists?  Maybe the creationist CEO of the oil company is right that climate change is a hoax!  Maybe Trump is right that it is a Chinese hoax – I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE I AM NOT A SCIENTIST.

Now these folks have evolved into the “I don’t like Trump. Heck I didn’t vote for him, but both sides are bad! Hillary was bad too!”  Oh shut up you One Dollar Betting Bitch!  First off a vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein is not even a $1 bet. It is more like when Drew Carey or Bob Barker called your name to come on down and instead of coming down you went outside the studio and burned your name tag. But now these morons have evolved from the types that question scientists’ on climate change (AND PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND THAT YOU BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE – CLIMATE CHANGE IS AN EXAMPLE, NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF HOW YOU ARE INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST) to now demanding rigorous evidence from every commenter on social media:

  • There seems to be collusion with Russia – WHAT IS YOUR EVIDENCE? – Ummm, common sense
  • (a few months later) There have been contacts with Russian – SAYS WHO – Ummmm Donald Trump Jr.
  • (a few days later) The emails say they intended to collect dirt on Hillary thinking it was Russian government intel – SAYS WHO – DO YOU HAVE DNA EVIDENCE AND VIDEO TAPE PROOF? WHERE IS IT?  YOU ARE REALLY REACHING HERE!

This kind of shit just keeps happening. The $1 bet people keep puffing out their chests like they are Copernicus challenging whether the Sun revolves around the Earth, but they are really just Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun insisting there is nothing to see while the store behind him explodes.  You can have your vote and your opinions – but stop pretending that ignoring facts and being a simpleton makes you an intellectual heavyweight. It just makes you complicit in an administration that should have an approval rating of a terror attack instead of in the high 30s.


And this goes for a lot of independents as well (the Kings and Queens of the $1 bet in many cases). Standing outside the parties may win you moral points and (for left leaning indies) make you feel a strong kinship with Bernie (who still insists on using as much of the Democratic establishment he can while not joining so he can just bitch about it, keeping up his brand).  So keep complaining about the system, remaining an independent (I would be curious how many independents actually show wide variance in the parties they support from election to election) and be sure to complain about the parties not letting you vote in primaries as you insist on not joining the parties.   I am not saying some people are not truly independent and do not have valid concerns, but I genuinely believe a lot of independents care more about feeling independent than actually maintaining some sort of political independence.

But at the end of the day yes, it is all Hillary’s fault. Because “any decent candidate would have crushed Trump.” But if that is true, then why after watching President Sleeper Cell destroy America’s credibility from within and put millions of people’s health care and safety at risk every time he has a thought, are his ratings still around 40%? Maybe the country, full of hate and morons has its own issues and the cure may not be “Hillary was bad too.” But keep making your $1 bets if it makes you feel good. I am sure you will get some nice parting gifts.

Donald Trump: America’s Participation Trophy

Today the electors vote, presumably, but disappointingly for Donald Trump.  And just over a month Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.  And one of the running things I have heard and read from conservative pundits and Long Island comedians is that one of the driving forces behind Trump’s election (ahead of bigotry and stupidity, of course) is the safe spaces of liberals.  The idea that liberals are too easily offended and politically correct and require too much sensitivity. This is considered the progression from a participation trophy culture – if we give every 8 year old a trophy for their 5th place soccer team, then eventually those children will require safe spaces on their college campuses and rescind invitations from speakers with whom they don’t agree.  The election of Trump (in addition to being a potential disaster for women, people of color and immigrants) was really a comeuppance for those faggy liberals and their weakening of what makes America strong.  And yet, the group that abhors participation trophies (or at least wants to blame said trophies, metaphorical and literal, for America’s problems) has just elected the biggest participation trophy in American history.

Adam Carolla, the podcaster/entertainer, often says we need to work “big to small” when lambasting priorities of the left. Now I am a big fan of Carolla as a comedian and a person, but I disagree with a lot of his politics, especially because he, like many conservatives, often apply lessons and principles against their enemies with rigid discipline, but not to their own side.  Carolla’s show has featured some alt-righters like Milo Yogurtanapopolis (hey if I am too respectful to his foreign sounding name wouldn’t that make me a pussy liberal?), and one of their things about speech (as well as race, etc.) is that the left is playing games with identity and speech, while the conservatives are simply about solutions and not catering to useless things like feelings and identity.  As if conservatives treat life like math, while liberals treat it like poetry. Shitty poetry.  In fact Carolla has called the Democrats the party of feelings (to be fair he sort of characterizes most people today as to concerned with the self and their feelings, not just liberals all the time). It plays well and makes sense with the narrative that liberals are too sensitive and are into participation trophies.  And yet, I feel like people like Carolla have missed the forest for the trees.  No president, in my lifetime at least, has played and prayed upon a victim mentality and identity politics more than President-Elect Donald Trump.

“The economy is a disaster” – unemployment cut from almost 10% to under 5%

“Our military is a disaster” – the strongest in the world by a wide margin

“I will bring back coal” – not happening

These are a few examples of Donald Trump’s comments to appeal to men and women who, admittedly, may have fallen behind in an increasingly global, technologically advanced, eco-conscious world  and I do sympathize.  But wouldn’t the conservative approach be “don’t blame someone – get new training, more education, etc.” (even if unrealistic)?  After all, Hillary Clinton said she wanted to replace coal jobs with new training and jobs in those communities for a clean energy 21st Century.  Wouldn’t that be the conservative approach?  Not handouts and identity politics, but education and employment?  But instead, leaving aside the repudiation of President Obama’s legacy and skin color for now, the Trump voters opted for someone who demonized immigrants and promised jobs that cannot come back. Hillary Clinton promised help with pulling up their bootstraps, Trump blamed the boot maker and promised everyone a new pair of their favorite boots that the manufacturer stopped making.

So just as conservatives have hijacked patriotism, faith and other ideals that plenty on the left share as well, at least let them take ownership of being the participation trophy party as well. Trump voters have elected a man who has promised impossibilities and appointed a cabinet that will not only not “win” for their interests, but actually make you even bigger losers in the end.  So while libtard parents are giving their 8 year olds participation trophies for soccer, Trump voters have elected a participation trophy as president. And like Adam Carolla says, shouldn’t we be worrying big to small instead of the other way around?

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The GOP Hates Hillary Clinton More Than They Love…

My favorite thing about the hysteria in the GOP is how their Trump-phobia still cannot bring them to say that they would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.  This completes the Modern GOP establishment’s complete unmasking.  The first part was the rise of Trump – a candidate who fan base was conceived during Richard Nixon’s “Silent Majority,” went through puberty during Ronald Reagan’s renaissance of “States’ Rights” and finished maturing during the George W. Bush’s complete embrace of the religious right  begun during Reagan’s presidency.  Now, the candidate, accurately described by many columnists as the GOP’s Frankenstein, is leading the charge of those constituencies (religious people tired of being lied to – they will accept a non-religious guy who promises them real world results rather than the Kingdom of Heaven, angry white people tired of “others” being given priority in school, work or news cycles, and scared people terrified of foreign others who want a strong man to be their bully) that have been used by the GOP for votes, but rarely given results for their loyalty.

The hilariousness of the establishment GOP’s response to Trump has been to say first, that “he doesn’t represent the Republican party.” Really? First off he has consistently polled between 30 and 45% of GOP voters, which is why I dubbed them the “Angry Plurality” on my podcast.  So statistically he seems to represent the party more than anyone else right now.  Second, from demonizing the Civil Rights movement in the 60s, embracing the “States’ Rights” dog whistle in the 80s, demonizing gay people as a wedge issue promising a Constitutional Amendment in the 2000s and then embracing the “Birther” movement (or not disavowing it) amplified by Trump in the 2010s while calling Obama a socialist (a painfully obvious proxy for the N word) and a liar during the State of the Union, the GOP has done everything but put a crown on Donald Trump’s head, Trump is the rightful heir to this half century legacy of using or manipulating code words, wedge issues and racism.

And yet, despite branding Donald Trump all four horseman of the Apocalypse, the party that claims to love America almost as much as they love unborn babies and fossil fuels, it seems no GOP people can bring themselves to say they would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. One candidate, according to GOP establishment figures, would make America somewhere between a pile of nuclear ash and a global joke (but a joke like an Adam Sandler film post 1999 – intended to be funny, but really just sad and wasteful when thought about). The other is a centrist Democrat, with 25 years of executive and legislative experience on domestic and foreign issues who would appoint 1-3 left of center Supreme Court justices.  And this brings me to the second unmasked truth about the modern GOP: they hate Hillary Clinton more than they “love America.”

I have heard Trump get called “uniquely unprepared to be president,” “un-presidential,” a “terrible person,” “weak on policy” and generally “dangerous.” And this is just by Republican talking heads and establishment figures. So naturally for a party that “doesn’t stand for what Donald Trump represents” and cares about “Country First,” voting for Hillary Clinton would be a no-brainer right, if only to point out how truly dangerous the GOP really believes Trump is?  She has been Secretary of State, worked closely with 2 presidents, was a Senator, is well respected by most colleagues (at least for her work ethic, if not ideologically) and is well versed in policy, both domestic and foreign. Certainly that is a better option than a man whose policy speeches resemble the writings of Jack Nicholson in The Shining (but with “All Work and No Play Make Jack a Dull Boy” replaced with “Make America Great Again”)?


So congrats GOP, not only have your half century of lies and reliance on base elements of our national consciousness been exposed, but now your patriotism has also been revealed as hollow.  So if Donald Trump, a carnival barker/pied piper of angry racists and “the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated” ever steps in the White House you can enjoy your view of the Apocalypse with the comfort that your real priorities are protected:

3) No Trump Presidency

2) Safe, Secure and Respected America

1) No Hillary Clinton

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

Time Magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year: The Scared…

This year there has been no shortage of big stories, controversies and entertainment and it would seem that Time’s board would have a tough task choosing its 2015 Person of the Year.  There’s news makers like Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin and President Obama to name a few.  There’s Lin Manuel Miranda, whose Hamilton on Broadway is basically what would happen if Alexander Hamilton re-wrote Biggie’s Ready to Die about his own life, but without Puff Daddy “uh-huh”-ing throughout.  There’s Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, both of whom have shaken up their respective ends of the political world.  But I think at this point the person of the year should be clear.  2015’s person of the year has been overdue for a few years, but now with the ascendancy of Donald Trump and the success of Jurassic World, this year’s person of the year must be:

the scared white person.

Exhibit A – Donald Trump

No one has given voice to the scared white person, and has allowed them to flex their collective muscle like Donald Trump.  He became a front runner, with remarkable staying power considering his lack of substance and our collective ADD, on the strength of demonizing Mexican immigrants and touting his own vague prowess at everything.  And his nearest challenger is from Dr. Ben Carson, a man who finally started to climb the polls by criticizing shooting victims and demonizing his brown people of choice, Muslims.


Exhibit B – Jurassic World

No movie hit bigger in 2015 than Jurassic World, which is now a top five grossing film of all time.  I thought it was much more Jurassic Parks 2 & 3, than it was the excellent original, but pretty white people running from dinosaurs was enough to destroy even The Avengers (confident white people/superheroes not as popular this year).


Exhibit C – More Mass Shootings, Less Gun Control

Scared people (probably of all races, but come on…) had to deal with a few more mass shootings in 2015 and as usual found comfort in boosting gun sales to combat their fear of being victims… not of being shot (then gun control might be their preferred approach), but of having the scary black president taking unprecedented action and “Taykin’ they guns!!!!”

Exhibit D – Ashley Madison hack

Nothing sent shock waves throughout the white male community like the Ashley Madison hack.  As we learned from the (edited) viral street harassment video, men of color don’t need a secretive website to holler at women.

Exhibit E – Benjamin Netanyahu 

Exhibit F – Unreasonably nervous 911 callers continue to get black people shot  

Watching the video today of the police officer brutally assaulting a misbehaving black girl in her classroom reminded me of something – many of the cases involving shot/murdered unarmed black people by law enforcement involve a call to police from a nervous (white) person. At least in the classroom case it was a nervous (but more likely annoyed) black person calling on the police (the teacher), but the result was the same: a black person violated at the hands of a police officer.  But in so many of the cases in the last few years I always wonder “what scared white person reported this?”  Because in all fairness to the cops, even the ones who have taken excessive action, I have to assume getting a call from 911 saying “there’s a (black) guy with a gun” will heighten the officer’s tension and preparation for danger, more than a call less soaked in fear (or, obviously, if a call never comes).  But in reality the officer was just doing physically what one-half of Republican primary voters have been supporting from Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson verbally – the abuse of people of color.  So for all these reasons, both serious and humorous, Time’s 2015 Person of the Year is the Scared White Person.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

The Culture That Gave Birth To #OccupyWallStreet

I have been very happy to see the Occupy Wall Street movement gaining momentum.  I have posted some prescient, but possibly unduly pessimistic, blogs about some of the issues that are being brought up with the OWS movement (From Feb 2011 –, but I have yet to join the actual protest.  I have been travelling and dealing with some health issues with my Dad, but I plan on joining at some point.  But before I can, I guess I will make some points on why I think this movement is important and vital right now.

People Saying That This Is Just Anger At People With Money

This is the narrative that is being pushed by Republican and corporate masters and their less intelligent minions in the general public.  Like many things with Republicans it is a concise, easily understood and completely misguided description of what the issues are.  People do not resent the money.  It is the fact that the political system is now a full-fledged partner in the massive consolidation of wealth in a very small percentage of Americans.

First off let us not pretend that the bankers and investment houses are Apple (who for all the good it produced, American jobs was not high on the list) or General Motors in that they produce products people can use and employ lots of people to do so.   They are gamblers in a casino.  They are playing three card monty.  The problem is that not only are they counting cards that represent working families’ money, the Casino (the government aided by lobbyists) are helping them!  The Casino wins, the Wall Street gamblers win, and then the American people lose.  This is not anger about the money they earn; it is anger at how the system has been gamed and rigged to give them an unfair advantage in the form of government access.  And not only is it rigged – it is so rigged that it will only get exponentially worse.  They have more money, which allows them to buy our government, which will enact further advantages in tax breaks and loopholes (or de-regulate protections) which will reap more money that they can then use to… buy more protections from government and so on.  And this leads to my next point:


Lobbying Is A Bigger Enemy

To a certain extent the Wall Street culture and those who embrace it are the obvious villains in the current narrative.  But to be fair they are playing a game that our country has allowed to go on.  For anyone who has not read it, I strongly recommend “Winner Take All Politics.”  It is a book, that in more scientific terms, defends the premise of comedian George Carlin that elections are illusions of personal political power.  We are always obsessed with fund raising during big elections and voting for major candidates, but in between elections it is the lobbyist for the wealthy (yes to detractors on the right, unions have lobbyists too, but the influence of the Union has dwindled just like its membership and the status of the working man) and corporations that determine what actually happens.  Lobbying money is bigger than campaign money, it is more secret than campaign money and it has more effect than campaign money.  And after a while, the Senators and Representatives who work for us realize that their job is to be re-elected and that their best friends are their lobbyist and contributor buddies.  And there is only one way to break those shackles.

Congress Needs Term Limits

I still do not understand why the President has term limits, but Representatives and Senators can serve until they die.  These are the people that need term limits more than anyone!  The President’s office is much harder to operate in secret, whereas there are 535 members of Congress who are continually being offered things from their corporate suitors and unless you are like my Uncle and watch tons of CSPAN you are probably in the dark about Congress in general.  If they all had term limits (and this is PARTY NEUTRAL) then they could actually listen to the voice of Americans and not the voice of lobbyists.  And I actually do not resent the far right direction of the House.  The Framers intended the House to be the chamber that catered to the fickle will of the people.  And “right or wrong” the People wanted something different in 2010 and the House operated as it was intended to to a certain extent (if we ignore massive anonymous corporate campaign contributions).  The real prostitutes are the Senate.  The intent of the Senate was that it be a branch of government above the indignity of elections every two years, which would allow its members to make decisions based on long term needs.  But Senators of both parties have turned out to be the worst.  That is why even Democratic Senators like Mary Landrieu (La.) and Jay Rockefeller (W. Va) can support oil subsidies and coal mining because they enjoy their seats of power and therefore, will cater to to provincial corporate interests rather than the better long term environmental health of the United States.  Hate or love the tea party, but they were on politicians like hit squads that did not do what they wanted.  Perhaps it is time for Democrats to do some house (and Senate) cleaning as well.  But the Tea Party did not act alone.  It was aided by the judicial branch.

Citizens United

When the Supreme Court decided that restrictions on corporate donations violated the First Amendment it gave Tea Party backers (who either believed in their cause or simply could use them to enact an extremely business friendly political climate) the ability to become national political hitmen.  That is why from small local elections to disastrous Republican Senate nominations like Christine O’Donnell there was a dramatic shift right for the Republicans.  They could not actually flood every single primary with money, but they now had a weapon to make Republicans afraid that they COULD BE targeted.  But beyond all of these things, there is a fundamental problem in America and nothing short of a revolutionary movement will probably correct it.

Our Culture Has Become One of Greed and Ignorance

The most popular reality television shows (besides Jersey Shore) are the lot that feature “real, working Americans.”  From Coal, to Gold Diggers, to Deadliest Catch, the shows are in the dozens.  And it makes sense that they are on television because they represent an American fantasy.  See there is a market for all of these shows because we like to romanticize the working man.  These shows should be on Disney because they are bordering on fiction.  America is like the girl that dates the garage worker because it pisses off her father and she wants to “feel real,” but eventually she settles down with a lawyer or an investment banker.  She has experienced authenticity at a safe distance.  That is what we do.  People love watching these shows because they represent what America used to be, but when it comes to providing jobs and industry to people like the ones on television, well that is a little “too real.”

Or maybe you are one of the many Americans who enjoy watching pastors on television, like Joel Osteen, that have developed this prosperity gospel, where God wants and loves those who make lots of money (I believe it was Jesus Christ who said, “Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter the Kingdom of Heaven”).  So now television is telling you that the rich are blessed by God and that the working men are fine and kicking ass on reality television, so who are these socialist scumbags trying to overturn a country that is supposed to be about making tons of money?

Many of them are people who cannot get jobs. Does that mean they are lazy?  Perhaps. Or is it also because we are an economy and a corporate structure that has one goal – pleasing shareholders and boards of directors?  We value stock price as not just the most important factor in corporate success, but the only one!  Need to raise your share price?  You could invent something, or layoff 1000 workers, either way you will be viewed as more attractive, more efficient and your shareholders will be happy.  Mission Accomplished.

Now I understand we are not and probably never again will be an industrial economy, but are there major initiatives to make our country better at math and science to create or build the next industry?  Of course not, because that might require tax money or deeper sacrifices from the wealthy or a belief in science from half of the country. We should be leading in green technologies.  Even if you are a climate change skeptic (i.e. moron) there is a huge market for energy efficient and carbon neutral products.  From a business perspective isn’t that enough of a reason to lead in that area?  Of course not, because too many industries have their hands deep into the souls of our lawmakers.  So they attack the science (which is settled) and never even address the fact that if done right we could become a power economically by leading this industry.

Or why not a high speed rail system?  There are laborers looking for work and our train system is ancient compared to Europe and Asia (Shock of shocks – America not #1 or #2 in this area!!!).  But there are industries that cannot possibly want this (oil and aviation to name two).

Of course money sometimes has a “good” effect, but I believe its influence, regardless of the cause, must be removed.  The power must be the people’s again.  When gay marriage passed in NY State it was a big moment and seemed like a triumph of good, but I saw it as a triumph of money.  Only the threat of campaign contributions from some wealthy businessmen who had changes of heart on gay marriage swung the necessary votes.  As AC/DC said, “Listen to the money talk.” I would have preferred marriage equality to come the way it should have because it is the right thing.  I am sure I do not speak for gay people who were thrilled to have the rights by any means necessary, but do not ignore the fact that that was money and not justice at work for those critical swing votes.

Who Is To Blame?

I have a friend named Martha who is always asking me why I do not blame Obama (or at least give him a “fair share,” to borrow his tax mantra) for the country’s economic problems.  One issue she had was with the original bailouts.  I am no economist, but I know Paul Krugman is a Nobel-Prize winning one and he wrote that without those original bailouts the country would have fallen off a cliff into a great depression.  Obama cannot change the entire system (hell he tried to give more people health care and was henceforth known as Hitler) and yet that is what I believe is necessary.  Obama has tried to be a great compromiser, but instead he has been portrayed as a Muslim, American hating socialist by the right and a gutless coward by the left.  The Republicans have had an obstructionist agenda from the beginning (a well calculated risk that would not have had as much traction with a caucasian president, because the most ignorant and radical elements of the tea party and Republican party are also the ones most likely to have antebellum notions of Negros).  If you doubt that then why did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say that “Republicans’ top priority is to make President Obama a one-term president?”  So  given this incredibly hostile political climate I cannot blame Obama for not being or acting like a super hero.

Now some people will say “The climate in Washington is even worse, not better since Obama took office.  he promised better and it is worse.  he ruined it.”  Now that is correlation without causation.  Similarly to how banks started passing more fees after Dodd-Frank was passed.  Or how health insurance premiums started rising more after “Obamacare” passed.  These actions are no different than mob bosses who demand “protection money.”  Obama came with good intentions and perhaps too much naivete about Washington (the biggest reason Hilary Clinton may have been a more effective president), but the response to him and his initiatives are nothing less than a shakedown to convince dumb Americans that the correlation of their responses to Obama’s actions are in fact CAUSED by Obama, which they are not.

So who is to blame – well I think Wall Street, the lobbyists, the unyielding Republicans, the Democrats to a lesser extent all have a part to play, but (and Republicans should like this) I think we need to take individual and collective responsibility as American citizens.  The American Dream is a fantasy.  Take Steve Jobs as an American Rorschach Test.  For many Americans they saw it as the American Dream – any American, even one living in his parents’ garage, can rise to become a brilliant inventor and change the culture!  But that is looking at it through the eyes of an American Dream that does not exist.  He is the American Exception.  He was so brilliant and inspired that he would thrive and create anywhere.  He succeeded through his own exceptionalism.  Do not let Steve Jobs become a Pat Tillman for the business sector of America.  Are we saying that to make a decent way in America you now must be exceptional? Possibly because to millions of Americans, work ethic and responsibility are not enough any more.

Here is a hypothetical (at least to me – it may be very real to others) that I think sums up why I believe in the #OccupyWallStreet movement.

During one of the Republican debates, Ron Paul was asked about a healthy 30 year old man who chose not to get health insurance and subsequently got very sick.  This was the “let him die” moment during the debate, when a few crowd members shouted that.  The question I would have wanted to hear asked is, “What if a 45 year old father of two, who has worked for the same business for fifteen years, gets laid off.  He has COBRA benefits, but they run out before he can get a job again because of a tough job climate.  Then during a routine physical that he is paying for out of pocket it is determined that he, after some more tests, has a treatable, but eventually fatal, disease.  What should we do with THAT man?”  That is the question Americans should be asking.  What do we do when a man who believes in the system and plays by the rules, but falls on hard times.  What happens when THAT man is failed by our system?  What do we do then?  For me, all of these things, the imbalance of political power by gross inequality of wealth, the political bickering, the deceit, the game playing, the shameful politics and the ignorance in this  country all come down to the fate of that man.  The way the country is right now is a country where that man dies or if he doesn’t his family that he fought and worked for is homeless because of his crippling bills.  The country I want America to be and the country that I think Obama wants and that I believe the #OccupyWallStreet movement wants, is the one where the climate, the culture and the system in place create a country where he lives and lives the life he has worked for.  But to do that I think a lot will have to change first.


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3 Non-Partisan Things America Should Be Doing

1) Helping Somalian Children

I am fascinated by a few stories (or in some cases non-stories) in America today.  One is our non-involvement in Somalia.  We are all scarred by Black Hawk Down, both the actual incident in 1993 and the disappointing film by Ridley Scott.  But every day the news and the newspapers report the fact that around 500,000 children are close to starvation in Somalia.  The options for the innocent in Somalia are go to a Taliban-style Muslim section where freedom is non-existent, or live in a war zone.  Now that would seem to be all the things “real” Americans care about – there are children at stake.  After all, the Super Bowl was never the same after  “the children” saw Janet Jackson’s nipple, so naturally if half a million kids are dying we should surely care.  Plus, it is a chance to take on the scourge of radical Islam, which has provided a nice replacement for the Red Scare in post Cold War era (admittedly real in many cases, but used as a boogyman in others).  But we can do nothing?   It is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.  I was all for fighting in Afghanistan, but once again this is related to the decision to fight in Iraq.  All the money and international good will it cost us is still relevant even though people have “It’s Bush’s fault” fatigue.  Who gives a sh*t if you are tired of hearing that – it doesn’t make it any less true!  And why is it so hard for so many “real Americans” to wrap their heads around the idea that sometimes a problem that took between 7 and 30 years to develop (our Frankenstein-esque de-regulated capitalism), might take more than 2 1/2 years to solve?  As a country we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg of how warped a spoiled nation, with increasing ADD and an overflow of information sources, both credible and absurd, can become.

2) Building A  National High Speed Rail System

This could be the stimulus the country needs.  A WWII level stimulus project that employs people in 48 states, uses real American labor and builds something that doesn’t involve a dot-com, but rather a tangible product to be used by Americans.  It could help reduce the use of oil as a nice bonus.  And it would be a long-term project, not some 12 month replacement of a small bridge (I am talking to you Cleveland).  These are all the advantages I see for building a high speed national rail system.  Admittedly, I have only been to two foreign countries (and neither is Canada or Mexico), but my more well-traveled friends tell me that in developed nations in Europe and Asia the rail systems put ours to shame.  So if we pride ourselves as a nation as being number one (even if only in our own minds) why do we have such a substandard rail system.

I am a huge fan of rail travel and have travelled most of this country by Amtrak.  Imagine how many more people would if they tripled or quadrupled the speed of it.  Instead of 21 hours to Chicago from New York it was 6 or 7.  Instead of 17 hours to Atlanta, it was 5?  All presumably built with some form of updated green technology.  Why can’t Amtrak be this decade’s Man on the Moon?  Well, of course there are several reasons.  One is the oil lobby.  Another is the aviation lobby.  Another is we have been conditioned to see the rail as some sort of purgatory between the Heaven of aviation and the Hell of Greyhound.  But how could America not take a renewed pride in the rail system if it was a massive and beneficial national project?  Well, of course that probably sounds like socialism so I guess if we got beyond negative perceptions of Amtrak and intense lobbying we would still have to compete with American stupidity.

3) Use a Dictionary and an Encyclopedia

With the Internet providing any “fact” that anyone wants to support their pre-existing belief I think we need to get back to agreement that words and facts exist and are sometimes not up for interpretation.  A standard Merriam-Webster dictionary and an Encyclopedia Britannica should do (if we can agree that those are not tools of the radical left or right).  These texts used to provide a basic presentation of facts that we could all agree with if we bothered to read them.  I would not go as far as to suggest that the New York Times, which until the advent of Fox News Propaganda (which it is – brought to “real Americans” by an Australian with a pro-business agenda), was known as the public record because of its thorough and excellent worldwide reporting, could possibly be this in our current society.

I have a selfish reason for suggesting this.  Yesterday I made the mistake of getting into a Facebook discussion with a conservative on his Facebook page.  His ignorant cabal of friends then proceeded to jump on me with the usual Tea Party rhetoric that is more faith-based than historically based (random assertions of “The Constitution says” as if there are not actual words that can be verified).  Here are some of the highlights that I think an Encyclopedia and a dictionary would have helped:

  1. “Liberalism is all about socialism and stripping us of our Constitutional rights” – Funny, liberals are often accused of giving people too many rights (see the Warren Court).  You know who else is about socialism?  Your police department, your fire department, your public schools, your parks, your sanitation workers and your libraries to name a few.
  2. “What about groups like the Black Panthers that Obama endorses?”  – I am not sure a comment is needed here.
  3. “Liberals bringing socialism is definitely as dangerous a guy with a bomb strapped to his chest” – see #1
  4. “Ask the Brits how well gun control works for them… they can’t own anything to protect themselves. Even if they use a toy gun to seize a burglar the home owner gets arrested for assaulting the criminal. Thats what the liberals want for the USA.” – see also the murder rate and gun violence statistics for Britain.  I know it is Europe and that is “faggy” and “awful” for “real Americans” but fewer dead Americans would seem like a good thing for America.  As of 2000 their murder rate with firearms was 10 times less than ours.
  5. “This is laughable. As if the left hasn’t practiced these same exact tactics (referring to when I said the Tea Party nearly brought our government to default): gay rights, environmentalists, gun control, the list goes on and on. What was it we were talking about again? Small, well-financed groups of people holding a party hostage? – In other words this person (these comments were from several different individuals on the same comment stream) took an unprecedented event and claimed that there were several non-existent precedents.  When exactly did the left brink the country to the brink of economic disaster over “gay rights,” or the environment?  Even though perhaps they should since civil rights and the future of the planet are more important to America’s creed than low taxes for the wealthy.

So in sum, my platform is simple:

  • We should intervene on behalf of half a million dying children before we intervene on behalf of oil interests;
  • We should develop a national high speed rail system as a tangible stimulus plan and;
  • We should all read a major newspaper (that hopefully hasn’t been fact-raped by Rupert Murdoch’s minions – and despite his vast empire this DOES NOT exclude all conservative leaning publications) and occasionally open a dictionary or an Encyclopedia Britannica if we want to verify something that maybe sounds outrageous.

20 years ago this would have seemed sensible.  Today it seems too ambitious.  Sadly in another 20 years it may seem like a fantasy.

Economics For Dummies

I received a B in Economics 101 in college.  I never took another economics class.  I took calculus in high school and have never done anything above algebra since then.  My brain over the last several years has basically been conditioned to say funny things or things I think are funny.  So I never expected to be able to synthesize the big economic events that have taken place in the United States over the last few years.  Except for the fact that I have done some reading and have looked at the obvious.  So why is everything so hard for people to see and who is to blame for the predicament?  Well there are only three possible reasons: people don’t read, people are liars or people don’t care.

I was never much of a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe in my lifetime, without major significant changes to our economic and political systems, the United States will fall and fall hard in world standing (except in our own collective consciousness).  I fall short of saying there will be a revolution, but something close will occur.

What is happening across the Middle East right now, in my estimation from what I have read and seen is not so much about some anti-religious fervor or some clamoring for USA-style democracy, but more about people not being able to share in some form of economic prosperity.  Now if the Middle East is rising up having never experienced American level prosperity (but able to learn and see it through the Internet), what will happen in this country when people wake up one day and realize that they cannot get what they once believed was a right, or at least a viable opportunity?  Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, but NOT better to have once been prosperous and realize you aren’t anymore.  The American Dream is moving towards becoming the American Lottery Ticket – it can happen, but it is no longer the odds-on-favorite for a have-not who works hard.  If you are born poor, odds are you will die poor, regardless of how hard you work.  But more than that, this is the generation that is going to be dumber and poorer than its parents’ generation.

In this country we have video games, flat screen televisions, reality television, iPods and a million other gadgets that, despite their considerable cost, have become must-haves from the rich to the barely scraping by.  And even newsworthy issues that seem so divisive, like gay rights, abortion, even war all are mere distractions compared to the economic disparity that is occurring in our country.  I know as a heterosexual man who has never served in the military it may seem wrong to be so dismissive of these issues, but look at any country that has had major uprisings – economics is always what spurs it.  Lack of personal resources.  It just happens that in this country we have all the distractions that come with wealth so there is no massive movement to make issue.  Add up all the people in this country that are gay, having an abortion or in the military and it will still be a smaller number that the people who will be adversely affected by the inequality bomb that will go off without change.  I just always hate how some liberals give a pass to someone who says, “Well sure, I am fiscally conservative, but I am pro choice and pro gay marriage.”  Well all I hear is, “I am OK with corporate America and political whores fu*king over women and gays, whether they have kids and are married or not.”  But here are all the pieces to this puzzle from what I have seen and read:

Companies in the United States used to make things.  They used to have a relationship with workers.  Now the only thing American companies are beholden to are stock prices.  Everything is secondary to stock prices.  Because if a company is successful and productive they can only make stock holders comfortable and CEOS rich, which is not good enough.  But if all else is sacrificed to stock price then that upper crust can become REALLY rich.  How else can one explain how corporate profits hit record highs in 2010, but unemployment did not budge?  But one party will have you believe that more tax cuts and deregulation are needed to improve employment.  So if record profits are not enough to spur employment, the question is how much profit is needed before a company is safe enough to share?

This explosion helped make banking a lot more lucrative than it should be (in addition to an incredible amount of greedy and corrupt individuals).  So you had intelligent people flocking to finance, but not all motivated by a love of numbers, but a love of money.  So when you become an industry attracting disproportionately greedy people, nothing can go wrong, right?  There is a reason everyone is familiar with the stereotype that spawned my comedy bit  “Todd the hedge fund douchebag.”

Meanwhile, since the 198os, big business has been on a two pronged attack to de-unionize workers and curry political favor by investing of money into lobbying efforts (I finally learned this year that the US Chamber of Commerce was not an official body of the government, but an incredibly pro-business lobbying think tank hell hole).  Whether you agree with unions or not (we can all agree that some pensions and benefit plans are too generous and not tenable in this economy), they have always represented a powerful bulwark against corporate overreaching.  Many important worker protections have been brought about because of unions.  And has corporate America (I know that the particular issue in Wisconsin is about government worker unions, but still the GOP has been dedicated to eradicating unions for 30 years) ever shown to act in the benefit of the worker or public in general without prodding or regulation?  Oh, so maybe if we get rid of taxes and unions, maybe THEN corporate America will let us into their party.  I worked at the Bronx DA’s office for 3 1/2 years and anyone who believes this is like a battered spouse who believes this will be the time their husband stops hitting them.  They don’t stop – it only gets worse.

Throw in last year’s Supreme Court Decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed for the flooding of last year’s elections with millions upon millions of anonymous donations from corporations and you have a perfect storm for fu*king over the average American.

Of course this might not be possible without a sizable amount of the population being stupid or apathetic.  So it is not corporate America full on raping the average American in all cases.  It is somewhat consensual.

For example, the Tea Party was brought into life, in part, because of anger against the bank bailouts.  Of course these are the same people that are protesting public sector unions, despite, as one Tea Party protester said when quoted by the New York Times, “I am not sure about all the issues here.”  They are not for the banks, nor are they for union workers.  In other words, they are for whoever the well funded corporate ads tell them to be for, even if they are not sure why.  And to be sure, the Muslim President is on the side of the unions, right?

Or articles I read late last year about Detroit car sales improving.  Great news, right?  Except that, with the exception of the Volt, many of the cars that saw big increases were SUVs.  In America, it seems, everything has become YouTube – our attention span and memory last 5 to 10 minutes at best.  We were going to become leaders in new types of cars, not reliant on oil, but do you think Detroit will really have the foresight for that, if they can jack up stock prices in the short term?  Just today, there were big articles on the price of oil rising because of the unrest in the Middle East.  So now will begin the cry for getting of Middle East oil and Thomas Friedman suggesting gas taxes (a great idea, but one that would probably get President Obama assassinated).  In this country people think with their wallet and fight for their wallet and that is the only way to communicate with people.  If gas were $9 a gallon the people would demand new forms of power for cars.  At $4 a gallon they bitch.  At $2.50 a gallon they shut the fu*k up and drive.  But a gas tax would mean government regulation – boo hoo.  So instead we will wait until the benevolent oil and car companies listen to the market (that they saturate with ads assuring us of their commitment to science and new clean technology to pacify us into silence) to ask for new cars.   We are more likely to run out of oil before that plan would work.

And I have been able to work and go to school and even date people of economic means and one thing I have learned is that many of the people of means in this country do not realize that they are of means.  For example I dated a woman whose family lived in a multi-million dollar home in an affluent neighborhood, owned the property the land was on and lost a ton of money on WorldCom stock.  She insisted that they were upper-middle class, even though by definition, if you are rich enough to have lost a ton of money in the stock market and still own a multi-million dollar home you are not middle anything.  Another time someone mocked a blog of mine encouraging the Obama tax increase for people making $250,000 or more by saying “Oh those people making $250,000 are really making a killing!”  Well, YES!!!!  In the world and in this country, just because you live in an affluent neighborhood or work with even richer people does not mean that making $250,000 as an individual makes you less rich.

Over the last year I have read Winner-Takes-All Politics, The Big Short, the New York Times (particularly columnists Paul Krugman and Bob Herbet- two of the few men I am aware of who seem to have the appropriate level of rage on this topic) regularly and seen the movies Inside Job and Capitalism: A Love Story.  Now some may see this list (which I recommend to everyone reading this) that there is some liberal bias.  But what have I said that is false?  There are basic facts that have happened in this country – CEOS make much more relative to their workforce than they ever had and the top 1% of the country owns a larger portion of the economy than ever before.  And at this time of peak economic inequality in America, corporations have had their handcuffs taken off instead of putting them on – less regulation over the past 30 years, calls for even LESS regulation and lower taxes NOW, Supreme Court decisions allowing a free flow of anonymous, corporate advertising for political candidates and brazen attempts to crush unions for good.  How is this not obvious to everyone?

The problem is that too many people still believe in the American Dream.  It is now more an article of religious faith than reasonable expectation based on fact.  Without that faith all this would be awfully disturbing.  But the Revolution (which will also be pacified by Twitter and Facebook – why do anything when you can just complain?) will have to wait until people can no longer afford their distractions.  And when more people see Inside Job than saw the Justin Bieber movie.

So to answer my question of who it is in this country should be blamed?  All of the above – the stupid people who act and vote against their own interests, the people in political and economic power who lie to us and ourselves for doing and saying nothing while it continues to happen.

Obamacare is the New N Word

I joked in a tweet a couple of nights ago that Fox Opinions (because it is not really news except for that Shep Smith guy – I wonder when they will fire him?) would try to link Kanye West to President Obama after he upstaged the angelic 19 year old country singer Taylor Swift.  And Kanye was wrong and Taylor Swift seems remarkably (and refreshingly) un-Hollywood for such a big star (perhaps, her humble Christian roots have something to do with it, or perhaps she just hasn’t been paid enough for a sex tape yet).  Whatever the case was I had this eerie feeling that white people in parts of the country would see beyond a vain entertainer upstaging a humble one and see it as yet another arrogant negro ruining a moment for a white woman (e.g. Sarah Palin, Emmit Till to name two such incidents).

But the larger truth is that small town, small minded white people feel incredibly threatened by Barack Obama.  When he was a humble, conciliatory campaigner who aspired (but did not and could not guarantee) bipartisanship he looked like that talented black man who could do wonderful things, but still had the tone on one who recognized that he could not do it all alone.  But now that he has decided to make change that not everybody agrees with, he magically transformed from Jackie Robinson to Malcolm X (pre-Mecca trip) for a lot of Americans.  There used to be a socially acceptable way for angry white people to vent their frustration at blacks.  But most mainstream racists now know that saying the N word is debate suicide, so they just attack the man shouting “Obamacare” (I will probably stop using it because I have just realized through a twitter search that it is used too often in derision and not as an easy shorthand as I thought it was) as their slur.

Democrats rooted against George W. Bush and derided him, but mostly because he spoke in a manner often unfit for POTUS status, waged an unnecessary and lie-based war in Iraq, mismanaged the war in Afghanistan, an honorable and necessary war, to the point that now Obama is facing incredible pressure to abandon it, which may imperil America’s safety, allowed Dick Cheney, who appears to be the only man more evil that Nixon’s squad of goons in the early 1970s, to run roughshod over the Constitution and sold the environment to industry.  There are 5,000 dead troops, over 4,000 from the Iraq War.  Global Warming is real.  These are the classic issues that have always brought on tough words and tougher protest.  But now, universal health coverage has become the lightening rod that pushed these people over the edge.  Not war (and if it was a white country, or at least non-Muslim nations, would these people have been as gung ho about it).  Not environmental degradation with disastrous and cataclysmic consequences.  Health care for all.  With numerous controversial proposals introduced by Republicans.  This is their best shot at Obama and sadly, there may be enough industry whores on both sides of the political aisle to derail it, which will be like getting a do over at the Civil War for some of these morons.

I will admit that I think economic fears have something to do with it also.  I think this country is greedy at its core.  If the economy had not tanked in September of last year, the election would have been A LOT closer.  People vote their wallets and their instincts in this country, in that order.  So when the economy tanked, some people who may not have wanted a black president voted their circumstances and decided their ideology could fight another day.  Well, now that the economy is not recovering in terms of jobs for people it is time to let the racism kick in, in its socially acceptable form – shouting angrily over anything that you can.

I recently read the book Nixonland, which is a weighty tome and sometimes difficult to wade through without a real substantive knowledge of all the political players of the 1960s and 70s, but Richard Nixon rode to the presidency on white frustration.  Not all of it was racial, some was economic (the way Republicans have continued to fool poor and middle class people that their economic best interests are with Republicans), but much of it was racial.  In the 1960s civil rights enactments along with racial riots made the Republicans the party of safety and the re-establishment of white order.  Well now that there is a president of color that battle has been lost, but that does not mean that equality’s victory over intolerance cannot be frustrated.  And that is what these TEA party folks are doing.  Their victory is unattainable so they’ve redefined their goals very simply: if we cannot win, then neither can he/they.

Even if you believe that Obama & Co. are going about health care in the wrong way, is health care for every American such an abomination on its face that it requires the same intensity of protest that Vietnam had, which these people are giving it?  And why do we have to cover these losers as if they matter.  Below is my recent interpretation of a Health Care Town Hall:

Richard Nixon tapped into a feeling of helplessness that white people had.  Liberal causes almost always win the day eventually because to quote George W. Bush, “I believe freedom is the deepest need of every human soul.”  But those moments don’t really exist for ordinary white people because they have been on top since the country’s birth.  However, black people have come up from such depths that every milestone is a feel good celebration, culminating, of course, with the election of Barack Obama.

So the the TEA Partiers and their selfish and/or small minded sympathizers, my message to you is relax.  You are still white and in America.  Appreciate the natural advantages that still abound because of it and let people have health care and a president of color.   It reminds me of the scene in Goodfellas where Tommy (Joe Pesci) gets very angry at his girlfriend for over complimenting Sammy Davis Jr.  TEA Partiers and their allies at Fox Opinions are like Tommy (white, angry with no legitimate place for their real frustrations).  Obama is Sammy Davis Jr, but only worse, he is a Democrat.  And worse, he is trying to do something other than  dance, sing or shoot a jump shot.

If you read this and like it (or the video) – please forward on or re-post.  And if you don’t like it…