“The American Borat.”

Last week, Mitt Romney created a stir by stating that there were “disconcerting” signs that the British were not fully prepared for the London Olympics.  His comments led one British publication to call him “Mitt the Twit.” In addition,  a German publication labeled Romney “The American Borat,” and wondered what Romney would do for an encore during the remainder of his trip to Israel and Poland.

Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the comments stating, “It’s more difficult to organize the Olympics in one of the busiest, most active cities in the world than if you held the Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

This, of course, was an obvious slam at Romney’s crowning achievement of “rescuing” the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Good thing Mitt is visiting some of our staunchest allies rather than nations where diplomacy and sensitivity are truly needed.

Poll: At Least 17% Of Americans Are Nitwits.

A new poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Life has found that 17 percent of Americans believe President Obama is Muslim.  Of course, that’s not true.  The President is Christian.  Indeed, many of the same people who want to believe he’s Muslim were originally outraged at statements made by his Chicago Christian pastor.

But that’s not the extent of the lunacy on the right. 

According to a Public Policy Polling survey in March of this year, 37 percent of Americans believe the President was not born in the U.S.  Yet another 21 percent are unsure. (They must have forgotten Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959.)

However, given the other wrong-headed beliefs of the right, none of this should come as any real surprise. After all, these are people who reject education and science.  Many think the Earth is just 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs are a myth invented to test the faith of Christians.

These are people who fail to see a connection between the easy availability of military-style assault weapons and mass killings.  The same people who think that giving ever-increasing tax breaks to the filthy rich will somehow help their own financial circumstances.  People who think defaulting on US debts will benefit our economy.

Obviously, they cannot be educated and informed.  They refuse to listen to anyone but their own equally deluded brethern.  Yet their vote counts the same as yours and mine.

Do you still believe in America exceptionalism?

Let’s Help Texas Secede.

On several occasions, Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested that the Republic of Texas might secede from the United States.  He meant it as a threat, but after first ridiculing the idea, I’ve come to embrace it.

Let’s consider the benefits.

If Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee (Yes, I know this isn’t all of the original Confederacy, but the others have better embraced their statehood.) were allowed to secede, the level of education in the US would improve overnight.  At the same time, the number of impoverished would plummet.  We would also improve the United States’ international rankings with regard to incarceration and capital punishment.

Moreover, the US would dramatically reduce the number of assault rifles and handguns within its borders.  We would rid ourselves of the evangelical crackpots on the Texas school board responsible for rewriting textbooks to whitewash history.  We would improve the percentage of our population with health insurance. And since most of the Tea Party crackpots in Congress come from the former Confederacy, the level of political discourse would likely improve.

I know this plan seems radical, but I think it best.  Many of the former Confederate states have long been openly hostile to the federal government, even threatening to “exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.”  In Arizona, there are legislative bills calling for state sovereignty of national parks and all federal lands.  And many of these states have refused to accept the legitimacy of the Affordable Care Act despite a Supreme Court ruling.

For the states that do secede, they finally could have the theocratic government they seem to so desire.  They could completely ignore science.  They would no longer have to accept the billions in federal money that have been thrust upon them to provide food and medicine for their poor.  And unless they continue their hostility to foreign visitors, they could replace Mexico and Jamaica as warm weather destinations for US tourists.

Of course, the plan is not without downsides.  We would have to move many of our military bases to Union states.  Football could suffer without Texas and Florida athletes, but since we already embrace foreign nationals for basketball and baseball, we could make accommodation for football players.  We would lose much of the domestic oil production and refineries, but all of that oil and gas is sold on world markets, anyway.  And since I live in Arizona, I’d have to sell my home at a loss in order to move back to the US.

Nevertheless, I encourage you to give my plan serious thought.  If you do, I’m confident you’ll see that the many benefits outweigh the negatives.

Penn State’s 9/11?

Asked by a reporter how he felt about sanctions against the Penn State football program, one fan said, “I just can’t put my arms around it, it’s, to me, it was our 9/11 today.”

Ummm…no, it was justice.

In the Penn State fiasco, the only events remotely comparable to 9/11 were the sexual assaults of children committed by a former Penn State coach.

Unfortunately, this fan isn’t alone in his opinion.  Upon visiting the fan message board on Rivals’ Penn State website, you will find many, many other fans who seem far more outraged at their university’s punishment than at the real crimes.  Many want to fire the university president for accepting the sanctions.  Many want to sue the NCAA.  Many are furious at Louis Freeh for his report implicating Joe Paterno.  Many are outraged that their beloved coach’s statue was removed from their campus.  Many refuse to consider the culture that allowed Jerry Sandusky to abuse children for so long.  Many are in denial – convinced that their university could not have covered up the crimes.

Of course, Penn State’s fans are not unique.  The fans of such football factories as Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and USC would likely react in much the same way.  Their teams have been on top so long, the fans feel entitled.  They have lost touch with reality.  Many are all too willing to turn a blind eye to crimes committed by great players.  They dismiss their team’s cheating by saying “everyone does it.”  They ignore the fact that many of their star athletes attend their university only for football.  A degree program and grades are immaterial.  What really matters is another bowl win.

Maybe it’s time for universities to, once again, view football and basketball as mere sports.  Not as sources for endlesss amounts of money.  Maybe they should be more concerned with their academic reputations than their sports reputations.  Maybe they should focus on students more than athletes.

Well, you can’t blame me for dreaming.

Batsh*t Crazy Brotherhood.

Contrary to Senator McCain’s statements (Welcome back to the high road, Senator), the highest levels of our Government have been infiltrated by a sinister organization.  But it’s not the Muslim Brotherhood or any other outside group.

It’s by the Batsh*t Crazy Brotherhood, otherwise known as the Tea Party.

Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney, Lynn Westmoreland, Joe Walsh, Rand Paul, Ben Quayle, Paul Gosar and a host of other crackpots have infiltrated our Congress!  They’ve blocked legislation necessary for the operation of our government.  They even tried, and failed, to force the US into defaulting on its debt.  Nothing could be more damaging to the security of our nation.

Now they are creating fear of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to conceal their own actions.

It’s time to declare war on these deceitful infiltrators.  We must root out this menace to our nation.  By voting for their opponents in the November elections we can not only send a message in favor of patriotism.  We can promote sanity and civility by sending all of these out-patients back to the sanatoriums from whence they came.

The Cowardly Russell Pearce.

Those in Arizona are all too familiar with Russell Pearce for using his position as former Arizona State Senator to push for the ill-conceived immigration bill, Arizona SB 1070.  Happily, he was recalled in a special election and sent packing back to the cave he crawled out of.

But he’s making news again by blaming the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shootings for the crimes perpetrated against them.

That’s right.  The shootings were the victims’ fault.  According to Pearce, “Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this “bad” man from most of this tragedy.  He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload.”

Keep in mind that this is coming from a man who has long fought for expanded gun rights, including the right to carry concealed guns into bars and onto college campus.  It’s because of people like Pearce that assault rifles, handguns and high-capacity magazines are so readily available to potential killers like Jared Loughner and James Holmes.

Arming every single citizen in the US will not help prevent incidents such as that in Colorado.

After every mass killing, those who were victimized or witnessed the event say that it happened in such a flash that they didn’t have time to react.  Indeed, following the Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the one person who drew his weapon nearly shot those who disarmed the shooter.

One wonders how Pearce would react in a similar situation, even if armed.  I’m betting he’d dive for cover behind the women and children in front of him.

What Mitt Believes In.

It’s ironic that Mitt Romney’s campaign slogan is “Believe in America,” because he obviously doesn’t.

What does he believe in?

In a word, money.  His money.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in dollars, francs, pounds, euros, rmb…whatever.  Mitt believes in possessing it.  Lots of it.  And he doesn’t like giving any of it away for taxes.  That’s why he’s used an assortment of tax havens and accounting tricks to keep his tax rate below that of most working people.

Of course, Mitt doesn’t mind that others have to make up for the taxes he dodges.  Based on his tenure with Bain Capital, he doesn’t mind that their jobs are shipped overseas, either.  Or that their companies are dissolved leaving them without jobs, benefits or pensions.

In fact, he’s already said that he’ll cut other jobs if elected president.  He wants to eliminate or combine numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  He also wants to give his wealthy cronies a big tax cut; nevermind that the money to pay for it will come out of the pockets of the poor and middle class.

According to a new Joint Economic Committee study, the Romney-Ryan Budget Plan will increase taxes on those making $50,000-$100,000 by $1,300 per year.  It will cost those making $100,000-$200,000 $2,600 per year.  On the other hand, if you make $500,000-$1 million, you will get a check for $35,000.  And if you make more than $1 million, you’ll get a check for $285,000!

Moreover, it has been estimated that Romney’s proposed policies would create 800,000 jobs…overseas.  His tax cuts for corporations would reduce corporate tax revenue by more than $1 trillion over the next decade.  And, of course, he plans to repeal “Romneycare…er…Obamacare” increasing profits for insurance companies and big PhRMA.

Is it any wonder that Forbes magazine calls the Romney-Ryan Budget “A mistake of historic proportions?”

Where Are The Real Newsrooms?

The HBO program called Newsroom is terrific!  It portrays a news program that transforms itself from “human interest” style, ratings-driven drivel to a program dedicated to telling the truth.  In other words, it’s recreating the style of news that we enjoyed before the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.

You see, under the Fairness Doctrine, broadcast media were bound by law to serve the public interest; in other words to tell the truth.  If a network or station failed to prove that it failed that standard, it could lose its license.

Yet it wasn’t necessary for news reporters such as Edward R. Murrow, Daniel Shore, Harry Reasoner, Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Chet Huntley and Dan Rather.  They needed no such incentive to tell the truth.  They were true newsmen.  They were not bound by ratings or the need to be first.  They were bound by the need to be right.

Unfortunately, when the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, that commitment disappeared.  Networks canned most of their news gathering staffs and focused on ratings.  At the same time, the mouths of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and others were unleashed to hammer away at their political opponents by telling any lies they found necessary.  Fox News Channel was created to fill the news void with innuendo, lies and half-truths on behalf of the GOP.

It can’t continue.

The job of a real newsroom is to tell people, not what they want to know, but what they need to know.  So enjoy HBO’s Newsroom while you can.  Listen to Jeff Daniels and imagine how much better off this nation would be if there were real news anchors like his character.  Imagine a new Fairness Doctrine that would chase liars like Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck and company back into the swamps and caves where they belong.

Imagine an informed electorate.

Of Bullies And Cowards.

For more than 30 years, the bullies at the National Rifle Association have pushed their gun laws on the American public.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” they say.  Well, a whole lot of people have been killing other people with guns lately.  And, unless we do something to keep assault weapons and handguns out of the hands of crazy people, we’ll see a lot more deaths.

“But guns are needed for self-defense,” they say.  Well, the fact is that guns are offensive weapons.  In most cases they’re useless for self-defense.  What good would a gun have done in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater last night?  If some movie-goers had opened fire, likely even more people would be dead or wounded in the crossfire.

The plain fact is the NRA is full of bullies who demand that everyone else accept their beliefs.  Our gun laws are not designed for hunters.  Who hunts with an assault rifle, a silencer, a night vision scope or a semi-automatic handgun?  Our laws are designed for bullies who want to have the threat of violence easily at their disposal so they can force their will on others.

Sensible gun laws would place limits on the number of weapons any individual can purchase and own.  They would limit the size of ammo clips.  They would ban assault rifles and large caliber sniper rifles.  They would force anyone who wants to carry a handgun to be trained and licensed.  (If Teapublicans think voters should have drivers’ licences as ID, why shouldn’t gun-toting wingnuts have a gun license?)

What does it say about our society that guns are so readily available to the crazy and deranged? What does it say about us that our citizens are so afraid of each other that they feel the need to be armed? What does it say about our politics and media that people are now convinced that they must arm themselves against our government? What does it say about us that we accept one mass killing after another with scarcely a whimper of protest.

It’s not only the GOP, the NRA, Fox News and the radio hate-mongers who are at fault.  The cowards in the Democratic Party who refuse to fight for common sense laws must also accept some blame.

Mitt Also Outsourced The Olympics.

Last week, Congress was in an uproar upon finding out that the uniforms for the US Olympic team were made in China.  As it turns out, this is not the first time.

Mitt Romney, who counts his experience as “savior” of the 2002 Winter Olympics among his qualifications to become president, outsourced the uniforms for the US Olympic team to Burma (AKA Mynamar).

But that should come as no surprise to anyone.  After all, Mitt outsourced jobs from numerous companies to other countries, just as he outsourced his money to Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Switzerland in order to avoid paying US taxes.