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Am I Mad? Episode 11- Thoughts Before the Zimmerman Verdict, Egypt, and It’s Ok to Lie to Kids

This week we cover 6 topics and only one didn’t make me mad! You’ll never guess which! Egypt, the Zimmerman trial, Rand Paul’s neo secessionist staffer, Sarah Palin is inexplicably in the news again, Pope John Paul the 2nd will soon be a saint, and Obama lied to kids about broccoli.

We completely understand what is happening in Egypt

This week my friend James Chase came by and we talked about ever so many things!

Am I Mad_ Episode 11- Thoughts Before the Zimmerman Verdict, Egypt, and It’s Ok to Lie to Kids

Episode Breakdown: (Approximate runtime: 45 minutes)

0:00 James and I talk about Egypt’s military coup and explore Emily Bazelon’s observation that you can have theocrats in a democracy but only if they lose all the time

8:51 Maddening thoughts while the jury deliberates the George Zimmerman verdict

19:30 We have to briefly pay attention to Sarah Palin again because damnit all

24:13 Rand Paul has neo secessionist white pride staffers and advocates racist policies but it’s ok because he has non racist justifications for everything

31:30 Sneaky anti abortion bills travel by motorcycle

37:07 John Paul II was awesome except for all that horror he enabled

41:18 It’s ok to lie to kids when you’re the president

As always you can click here to subscribe on iTunes. Also please like our facebook page if you have not done so yet. Please leave comments and suggestions if you’d like us to talk about any topics!

Am I Mad? Episode 6: Meet the New Media. Same as the Old Media.

Episode 6 of the podcast is ready for download! This week, Mike and I discuss the Boston Marathon Bombing. Also, no amount of penis jokes can stop Anthony Weiner from mounting a comeback!

As always you can subscribe to new episodes on iTunes, and I’m pleased to say the podcast is now available for streaming on your smart phone via the Stitcher app. If you don’t have the app and you own an iPhone or Android, you should get it right now because it’s awesome and has all the podcasts you’ll ever need.

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Episode Breakdown:

0:00 Reddit discovers it’s just as harmful as traditional media.

24:10 Mike and I discuss the most famous dick in politics.

Correction: During the podcast we claimed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not Mirandized. He was actually Mirandized within 16 hours of his capture.

Reflections on Republican reflections – Election 2012

Writing a political blog is hard, I’ve discovered. I’m not a reporter, I’m just some guy on the internet who feels compelled to share his opinions with the internet. The problem is I have dozens of drafts and I always feel like I’m writing the same post over and over again. All I can do is write about how the Republicans are terrible. Which isn’t surprising when you consider Obama’s campaign wasn’t nearly as much about the great things he’s gonna do for the country as much as it was about how the Republicans believe things that aren’t true and the only economic plan they have is trickle down, which conservatives no longer reference by name because it’s widely considered to be laughable discredited horseshit.

The Democrats may be feckless cowards who don’t take initiative, but I generally don’t hate their proposals even if I disagree with them on some level. Republicans on the other hand, support policies that are horrible and must be stopped. I spend so much more of my time reading right wing blogs than I do left wing blogs because I honestly can’t see how people can vote for the current incarnation of the GOP.

When I can’t sleep at night I play videogames and listen to youtube rants from rightwing nobodys fighting to preserve the future of the republic. I recently listened to 2 Republican podcasts recorded November 7th to hear how actual human beings who identify as Republicans reacted to Obama’s reelection. Below are the observations I recorded.

“If only we had fought dirty like the Democrats”

Both programs began with the hosts expressing feelings of hopelessness and lamenting how honest and virtue were the Republican Party’s biggest hangups. In the views of these hosts, the Democrats had won only because they cheated. At the time, they were saying Romney had only lost by about 400,000 votes (we now know he lost by over 4 million) and how “DemocRAT voter fraud” was certainly to blame. They talked about what a great guy Mitt Romney was and how the Obama campaign used dirty tricks to besmirch him as a vulture capitalist before America could really get to know him.

Outside of the bubble, Romney ran an incredibly dishonest campaign from the very beginning to the very end. Romney’s first campaign as maliciously took President Obama’s words from 2008 out of context to misrepresent what he said. His campaign bus harassed Obama supporters at campaign events. The stories that emerged from his past him even more like cartoonish yuppie villain from an 80’s comedy. We learned how he held down and cut a gay kid’s hair off in prep school, that he used to dress up as a cop and pull people over for shits and giggles, and that he tied a dog to his roof. As for being a vulture capitalist flip flopper with no conscience, those charges began during the Republican primaries where he spent the better half of the campaign being despised by the rest of his party.

The voter fraud thing really fascinates me, though. The Republican Party changed election laws across the country to put obstacles in the way of voting blocs that traditionally vote for Democrats. From banning Sunday voting before the election in black neighborhoods, to removing early voting in Democratic districts and preserving them in Republican ones, the Republicans have admitted on more than one occasion that the goal of their voter id laws was little more than a craven political strategy to suppress likely Democratic votes. The hosts were alsoy unaware that the voter fraud claims Republicans push have no evidence behind them. Also that  the official Republican voter registration group this year was caught destroying registration forms, rendering them unable to continue registering new voters during the final crucial weeks of the campaign.

Must’ve been those Obamaphones

What’s an Obamaphone? It’s phone service people in poverty get from the government. The Lifeline program began under famous communist President Ronald Reagan who had the leftist idea that if we want poor people to be able to get jobs, they need to have access to a phone. George W. Bush actually expanded Lifeline to include cell phones during his presidency, but in Republican podcast world, it’s a cynical Obama tactic to enslave poor inner city black people. A Tea Party group used the Obama phones in some swing states ads this year as part of their strategy to project every negative stereotype white people have about black people onto the president and his supporters. Check out the ad below. It’s pretty gross.

This doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe the majority of Americans want life handed to them

Overall, I’m still just marveled by the total bewilderment of these people. Outside of the conservative media bubble, we now know that the business geniuses and billionaire free market purists ran an out of touch, completely bloated and wasteful campaign consisting  only of bullshit so removed from reality they couldn’t see a landslide defeat coming even up to the morning of the election. But during both of these podcasts the hosts remarked something in disbelief along the lines of “I refuse to believe that 53% of the population just wants to stop working and live off government handouts.”

In their minds, the country is essentially divided in half by makers and takers. Mitt Romney famously looked down his nose upon the 47% of the country who pays no income because in the Republican universe those people are all Democrats. Veterans, elderly people…it never seems to occur to him that these voting blocs who typically vote Republican fall into that category.

Listening to these podcasts, it makes me realize that while they hated him at first, Romney won the Republican base over by the end of his campaign. That’s why they haven’t really turned on him in a public way. He spent the entire campaign inside of the Republican bubble convincing the choir he was worthy to preach to them. They have such a specific list of hard line stances that he had to go through and prove himself on every single menu item and by the time he was done he was completely outside of the understanding of anyone not plugged into right wing media.

The podcast ended with the hosts reassuring one another by reminding themselves that while the Democrats have the Senate and the presidency, the Republicans gained seats in the house (they didn’t). Oy. How do we reach these people and convince them to participate in reality again? This shit is killing us.

The Republican strategy moving forward: Same bullshit, more charisma

The other day I opined how I’d like Republicans to see the error of their ways and completely revaluate all their policies to try to become more rational for their own sake as well as for the sake of the rest of the country. A few days later, I can safely say that I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. The Republicans aren’t going to change a damn thing.

I consume an unhealthy amount of derp from right wing blogs, and I keep hearing really troubling things coming out of their mouths. Like this little gem from noted right wing hack Bernie Goldberg in his latest condescending pile of readable internet dogshit entitled “Santa Claus and the GOP Civil War”

What the GOP needs more than a conservative who can deliver uncompromising rhetoric, is a conservative with charisma — someone who can articulate conservative values but not scare the dogs and children and moderates who would be willing to vote for a Republican.

No. You don’t need someone who can better “articulate” your terrible policies. You need better policies. You didn’t lose big with women, youth voters, and minorities because you didn’t explain yourself well enough. You lost because everything you’re offering these groups of people totally sucks.

Firstly, don’t expect people you openly dismiss as unamerican leeches to vote for you. The whole “Obama voters just want stuff” talking point is absolutely ridiculous. Think of it this way, Mitt Romney is a guy who has it all. He was born into wealth, he’s enjoyed all the advantages that come along with being in the upper echelon of society, he has an ivy league education and millions upon millions of dollars. But Romney saw himself as a victim of an unfair tax code. He wanted even more personal wealth, and he didn’t want to earn it by getting back into the private sector and fighting for a bigger piece of the pie. He wanted to get that money by changing the US tax code to reroute tax dollars that go to the poor to himself.

Your economic policies absolutely suck balls for anyone that isn’t already rich. And even a good handful of rich guys are smart enough to remember back to the last time Republicans were in charge that they proved the only things they know how to do is wreck the economy and get us tangled up into expensive new wars, so stop acting like everyone who didn’t vote for another years of trickle down economics is some kind of idiot. There’s absolutely no reason to believe Mitt Romney’s insultingly vague economic policy would have outperformed Obama’s, especially after Obama was able to pull the economy away from the brink of depression, and take us from hemorrhaging  hundreds of thousands of jobs to 25 consecutive months of job growth.

All my conservative friends tell me that social issues aren’t important, but that’s just because the Republican position on just about every single one of them is obviously wrong and will be embarrassing to look back on decades down the line. Why on Earth would anybody who is gay or has gay friends or family members want to vote to against their rights? Why try to stop them from getting married or visiting their dying loved ones in a hospital? There’s no reason. It’s unnecessary social cruelty to appease a group of old religious busy body types who grow increasingly irrelevant each election cycle. Even if I was rich and wanted the tax cut, you can’t expect me to vote against the rights of the people I love.

Bernie’s also been quick to blame cretins like Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock for their comments on rape for the loss last Tuesday. The problem is, Aiken and Mourdock didn’t come up with those ideas out of nowhere. The idea that women should be forced by the government to carry rape babies to term is a plank in the Republican 2012 platform. The only mistake Aiken and Mourdock made was admitting it out loud instead of hand waving away like Mitt Romney and all my Republican apologist friends did.

Republicans, for your own sake and for the good of the country I hope you learn to moderate yourself in the next four years. Stop focusing on your rhetoric, step out of your alternate reality and try to listen to the voters you so despise. They didn’t vote for Obama to get “free stuff,” they voted for him because he doesn’t actively demonize and belittle them like you do. There’s a reason why the country doesn’t trust you to run the economy, and bringing in a more charismatic guy to explain to gays why they shouldn’t be allowed to get married won’t make a lick of difference. You can try to better explain to women that they should pay out of pocket for their ovarian cyst medicine if their boss decides he doesn’t want the insurance company to cover it, but you’re wasting your time.

If you honestly believe the only thing you did wrong this past election was rhetoric, you might as well run Romney again in 2016. Maybe four more years of finely toning his bullshit talking points will convince all us idiots that voting for tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the women/gay/minority rights is all this country needs to compete with all the western countries who moved past all this bullshit years ago and live measurably happier lives.

Pie-in-the-Sky Hopes for the Next 4 Years

Hello everybody! It’s been a crazy couple days for me, but if you haven’t noticed the election is over! Hooray! Obama won again and I got to watch it all play out in real time on Fox News, where apparently nobody ever gave them the memo that losing was a possibility.

There was a beautiful piece in the Atlantic this week by Conor Friedersdorf entitled How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File. It’s fascinating to see that while Nate Silver and all the polls were indicating an Obama victory, the Romney people essentially just surrounded themselves with yes men telling them what they wanted to hear rather than what was actually happening around them. Silver, having accurately called the last 3 elections, is the kind of man supposed “numbers guys” like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should have been paying attention to, but instead they chose to look to faux experts like the morbidly obese huckster behind Unskewed Polls, a website which earned it’s page clicks by essentially taking Silver’s numbers and switching Obama and Romney’s names.

I’m happy to have President Obama back in office. I’m glad we’ll have another 4 years of a president who doesn’t actively work against gay rights, science, women, etc. I also acknowledge that the chances of the Republicans admitting any sort of fault and learning any lessons from this election is pretty far-fetched. Still, this is my hope for the next 4 years.

Tone Down the Rich Guy Rage

2012 was the year for the richest and most powerful people in the country tried to present themselves as victims to the American people and lost big time for it.

It’s hard for anyone who hasn’t bought into the propaganda or who isn’t rich themselves to cheer on a bunch of blue bloods snubbing their noses at poor people/veterans/single mothers/etc, but it was the cornerstone of the Republican argument. This is why when Romney’s 47% video released, everyone but the Republicans was able to say “This is not good for Romney” while the conservatives were patting each other on the backs saying “So true! Go for it Mitt! Stick it to those leeches!” And Republicans are still astonished their strategy didn’t work. Hopefully they will learn.

Stand up to those in the party who are anti-gay/anti-woman, rather than downplaying the importance of the issues

Because I live in a blue state near a large city, the Republicans I know actually tend to be pro gay marriage, yet are completely comfortable voting for the party’s anti gay stance. They reconcile this by saying “The economy is the most important issue,” but that doesn’t change the fact that for many in the country, a vote for the Republican Party is a vote to disenfranchise their friends and loved ones.

My Republican friends scoff that people are foolish for voting to support gay rights rather than supply side economics, but them’s the brakes. You can’t have it both ways. If the conservative argument is that marriage makes society stronger because the institution in and of itself promotes hard work, respect, and loyalty, why deprive your fellow Americans of it? The American tide has turned, a majority of the country is ok with the idea, and gay people tend to be productive members of society who work and contribute to the economy. It would be wonderful to see the Republicans direct their efforts away from preventing gays from being happy, and focus on better things.

Admit that the sky is not falling

The country has been experiencing positive economic job growth for 25 months now. A big part of Romney’s strategy was to run ads in swing states with regular looking people asking “Where are the jobs Obama? Where are the jobs?” The problem with that was in Ohio, the unemployment rate was well below the national average thanks to the auto bailout. The people of Ohio weren’t swayed by the “Obama destroyed the country” argument because generally speaking, they were doing ok.

For every one of my conservative/libertarian friends bemoaning the death of America for the next four years, I hope they get over it and come up with a different strategy. They predicted quite literally that the world would come to an end in 2012 after Obama’s first win, and 4 years later we’re not doing too bad. Obama hasn’t outlawed guns and free speech, and (big shocker) hasn’t rounded up the Palin family and euthanized them in liberal death camps.

Bottom line is the entire right wing characterization of Obama voters is wrong. Nobody wants to live in a Marxist dystopia where everyone stops working and instead enslaves the millionaires and billionaires. Americans aren’t going to suddenly decide they no longer want money and success. This “the world is going to end” bullshit worked well in 2009 when everyone was in a panic after the economic crisis. Continuing to cry wolf four years later just makes them look silly, and if they continue the strategy they will look even sillier when we still have guns, free speech, and another round of confused Republicans wondering why they’ve lost the general election yet again.

Obama is President Still. Hooray? Hooray!

We did it everybody! Obama’s still the president. What does that mean?

Anybody who follows this stuff closely is seriously drunk as hell right now. Nate Silver is off partying with hookers somewhere I’m sure, and I’m here watching Fox News full of optimism. From the moment Fox called Wisconsin, it’s been nothing but joy for me tonight.

I voted for Obama, and maybe I’m a sucker for doing so. But I’m so happy he’s president once again. He’s the first president I ever voted for, and his words tonight touched me again. Words are words and soaring rhetoric is ripe for mockery, but what does a president have but his ideas? While I criticize my president for his tactics he projects to me that he’s at least pointed in the right direction on issues like not hating science, not being needlessly cruel to gay people/poor people/minorities, and not pulling out our dicks and starting several new unfunded wars.

I sincerely hope the American people are less easily fooled in 2012. Now that we’ve had four years without forcing the Palin family into FEMA death camps with an improving economy, America won’t be as terrified of the moderate right wing solutions proposed by the president.

I’m back now

Hi everybody. Sorry I’ve been a bad blogger. Life’s been kind of crazy and I’m still trying to figure out how this whole “political blog” thing is supposed to work. As I understand, I’m supposed to take my own ideas, support them with facts, and then build some sort of compelling argument. However, I’ve been scatterbrained as hell lately and I’m tired of writing a ton of drafts that never come to fruition, so from now on I’m just gonna post bullet points of observations.

Recent Observations

  • SuperPAC ads are creepy, even when I agree with them. Richard Mourdock, the tea party asshat who primaried arguably the last sane Republican Senator out of his seat, recently said rape babies happen because God wants them to. I’m not a religious man, but the argument makes sense to me. God’s in control at all times. It’s impossible for him to make a mistake. So there’s no way he could fuck up 207,754 times every single year. Anywho, Romney’s been campaigning for this chode pretty hard lately and the pro Obama Super PAC just cut an effective attack ad. Still, SuperPACs in general just creep the fuck out of me.
  • Seems like the whole nation got real excited for the debates and then stopped giving a shit halfway through.
  • I wish all my apathetic friends who don’t care about politics and don’t know shit about anything that’s going on domestically/internationally would quit pretending like them not voting is somehow a noble act of defiance. It isn’t. Your apathy is nothing to be proud of. You lack information about the world around you only because you don’t give a damn. If you actually gave one fuck about what’s happening in the world, you’d seek out some sources and educate yourself.
  • In that same vein, fuck everybody who hasn’t said shit about politics up until this week who tries to tell me to vote for Gary Johnson. No, I’m not going to vote a libertarian into office to suck big business’s boner even hard than it currently is, no matter how attractive their views on social issues are. If you really believe in these parties and these issues, you’d have been making this argument months ago.
  • Romney barely showed up to the last debate. He could’ve hit Obama in some vulnerable places but pussed out. I’d have liked to see him grill Obama on Fast & Furious, but that would’ve required both candidates to acknowledge the drug war is still happening and it’s horrible.
  • Romney also neglected to attack the president on Benghazi. This surprises me because for the past few weeks the right has really been acting like they think Libya is a winning issue. I personally think it makes them seem like a bunch of vultures trying to capitalize off a national tragedy, but I’m bad at reading people sometimes. Still Romney’s smirk during his initial press conference said it all:

  • Look at that fuckin smirk. I remember 9/11 when the Democrats rallied behind Bush. There’s no fucking way the reverse of that could ever happen. If 9/11/2001 occurred under President Gore’s, Fox News/the Republican Party would have begun their campaign to kick him out of office on 9/12/2001.

Proofreading also causes me to not post my entries, so no proofreading for you!

/I’m gonna do this more often, I promise.

It’s September 11th Again

September 11th always fucks with my head. It was an absolute tragedy on every single level. We were devastated. And what hurts the most is the terrorists seem to have gotten everything they wanted.

The towers went down when I was a freshman in high school. I was getting ready for gym class and a classmate told me terrorists blew up the world trade center. My initial impulse was laughter. As an incredibly insecure high school kid who grew up in the suburbs, I really had no real exposure to tragedy and suffering. I laughed because it seemed so ridiculous. But I guess that was the point. The attack worked because we were all surprised.

After that, terrorism became the new existential threat to America. I’d never really had that before. The idea of a group of nefarious people in a foreign land, plotting to randomly kill innocent people scared the fuck out of me. Worst of all, the threat seemed absolutely undefeatable. In my short 14 years of American life, I never knew an enemy that couldn’t be instantly killed by the mighty justice of my country. We beat the British, we beat the Nazis, we’re number 1 in the world and yet Osama bin Laden, according to the media I consumed, would probably never be captured.

11 years later he’s dead, Al Qaeda is on the ropes, and I’m even more pissed off. Because I’m old enough to realize that this is not an army or a nation, but on September 11th, we were defeated. We had to make some very serious decisions while we were terrified, and we absolutely gave the terrorists everything they wanted.

They wanted to radicalize American Muslims and turn them against their government. These madmen don’t respect peace and religious tolerance. Instead of standing with our Muslim brothers and sisters, it became socially acceptable to hate them. During 2010’s shameful “Ground Zero Mosque” episode, we learned that hating Muslims makes for good election year politics. Somewhere in a shitty suburban condo in Abbottabad, I’m sure Osama bin Laden was laughing his balls off. He had successfully caused the American people to rally behind the idea of telling Muslims they have no right to build a place of worship in their own country.

Our entire political discourse took a shift to the hard right, which meant throwing our civil liberties out the window to empower the government to fight against our boogeymen. The federal government can now monitor us secretly for pretty much any reason they see fit. The government is so big and intrusive, it literally touches all of our balls when we go to the airports. Our military spending has exploded and bygone values like “privacy” are never coming back because both parties because snooping and ball-touching are now bipartisan ideas.

Which is great, because shitting our pants in fear and spending tons of money are pretty much the only bipartisan things we can do these days. During 9/11, the country briefly all came together. Now we’re angrier and more divided than ever. We hate each others guts, we’re totally broke, and we’re still not over September 11th.

We didn’t learn a damn thing from September 11th. It was an ugly moment in history, and it’s made us an uglier people. We will eventually move past this, but we’re not anywhere close yet.

Whenever a facebook libertarian enters the conversation

Libertarianism, like communism, to me is a philosophy with a handful of good ideas, but is unworkable as an entire philosophy.  While I, like many others, often find myself agreeing with libertarian arguments about the drug war and the dangers of military adventurism, I don’t see “every man for himself” as a feasible way to run a country.  And while I can give props to Ron Paul for getting up in front of Republican audiences during the primaries and sticking to his ideals while he gets booed in South Carolina, his followers online piss me off to no end.

Here’s what happens when a libertarian shows up to a facebook conversation about gay marriage.

 

And here’s what happens when a libertarian wants to talk about music or pop culture.

 

You get the point.  Every libertarian I’m fb friends with believes they alone understand the world, and only the things they care about are important.  They’re the misunderstood geniuses who listen to Alex Jones and watch youtube videos with ALL CAPS MUST WATCH THIS NOW TITLES instead of news stories.  They generally stay out of the political process, but are quick to insult anyone and everyone whose opinion differs from theirs.

So what happens when I try to talk to a libertarian about the things they want to talk about?

 

While I’m sure there are libertarians out there who can get into the specifics about foreign and monetary policy, the majority of them I’ve encountered speak only in dismissive insults or youtube videos.  Which always makes me smile when I see something like this.

 

Clint Eastwood, congrats on being Mitt Romney’s only friend. Seriously

Clint Eastwood did something I haven’t seen anyone do lately.  He endorsed Mitt Romney.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I know tons of people who are voting for Mitt Romney, but Clint’s the only one I know who’s done it without sounding like a total jackass.  Here’s why:

Reasons Clint Eastwood has cited for supporting Mitt Romney

  • He’s a long time registered Republican
  • He thinks Romney’s tax plan is more equitable

Reasons Clint Eastwood has no cited for supporting Mitt Romney

  • 0bama’s a socialist
  • NObama’s a Kenyan
  • FAILbama is a secret Muslim
  • Marxbama’s gonna take away his guns
  • Fartbama secretly hates white people
  • Omoslem hates America

And that’s what separates him from everyone else I know who’s planning on voting for Romney.  Most of the soon-to-be Romney voters I know actually fucking hate the guy, they just hate Obama way more.  Clint Eastwood is supporting Mitt Romney, and not because of paranoid conspiracy theories or outright falsehoods about how 4 more years of Obama will somehow transform America into a Marxist dystopia governed by Sharia Law.

Eastwood seems like a nice guy who genuinely loves his country.  He gives credit where credit is due and while he’s not going to vote for Obama, he doesn’t get out in front of the cameras and root for him to fail.

I hear a lot of people bitch about actors expressing political views, and I completely disagree with them.  We’re all in this country together, we all have opinions, and Clint’s is just as valid as some goblin opinion spewer from Fox or CNN.  Some of our most astute political commentary throughout history has been expressed by our writers, poets, and musicians.  Kudos to you, Clint.  We may disagree, but I appreciate you doing so without all the usual Republican herp and derp.