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That’s what the Handy Man at Camp Chewonki used to say upon completing any work of carpentry when I worked as a Counselor up in Maine during the summers of the 1960s. Seems my Housing Start websayito was prescient: housing starts hit a 19 month high in November, another sign the economy may be recovering.

I thought this would be seen as bad news by the Republicans, but when I ran into John Boehner at National Airport, on his way home for the holidays, he was not crying but wore a broad smile on his face.

“I’m really proud of the work we did in Congress this session,” he explained. “We eliminated the uncertainty that was plagueing the economy by killing tax breaks and unemployment benefits for the lower and middle class!”

I asked him if he was concerned that Obamacare resulted in another 2.5 million people being covered by health insurance. Now his eyes welled with tears.

“I know, it’s terrible! We have to repeal that program, Rupert, and I need your help! Please, vote Republican in 2012!”

I asked him if the GOP had a healthcare program of its own, as I hadn’t heard any of the candidates talk about it other than to denounce Obamacare.

“Of course we do, Rupert, do you mean you haven’t heard of our “Don’tcare” program? ‘What, you don’t have health insurance? We don’t care.’ ‘What, you’ve been bankrupted by an operation you had because you are uninsured? We don’t care.’ ‘Oh, still paying for that kid you had ten years later because you had no insurance? We don’t – ”

I told him I got the idea. Before he dashed off for his plane, I asked him if he was glad Sarah Palin was considering getting back into the race.

“Yes, Sarah told me that being out of the limelight was really costing her in terms of book sales and speaking fees. She said she got out too soon, and that she should have stayed in at least through the primaries. Okay, Rupert, got to run. Promise me you’ll vote for Newt, Sarah, Ron, Mitt, Rick or Michele in November!”

I told him I would think about it.

Oct
22

I’m liking Obama Reloaded who is much more decisive and not afraid to make decisions like to withdraw from Iraq, despite a unanimous chorus of nay-saying from the GOP candidates. In fact, it’s a pretty good bet that if the Republicans are against it, it will be the right thing to do for the country.

I read an interview with Clinton in the Guardian where he came out with a good summation of why it’s pointless to argue with the GOP on just about any topic. Clinton made a distinction between philosophical vs. ideological differences, arguing that, in the latter case, facts don’t matter because the person has already made up his mind and nothing is going to change it. I think he’s right on: if a fact — say, on global warming — were a bullet, you would need to coat it with teflon and run it through that Super Collider in Geneva to get it up to a speed where it could penetrate Rush Limbaugh’s skull.

Speaking of Rush, I turned myself into an oxycodone pill and sneaked into an emergency meeting Rush held with the GOP field where they discussed how to deal with this latest crisis.

“Did you see how little Obama spent to get rid of Ghadaffi?” Gingrich exclaimed. “I mean, did any of the Defense Contractors who stuff money in your pockets make anything out of it?”

Shaking heads. Only one hand went up. “I mean, one of our contributors made some chump change on jet fuel and a few Hellfire Missiles, but other than that……”

“Damn, where is “Blank Check Ronnie” and “Yellow Cake Dick” when we need them?” Bachmann lamented. “I mean, if you needed an excuse to go to war and there was no evidence, he would make it up.”

Heads nodded. A collective sigh filled the room. You could almost hear everyone thinking:

“Justification No. One: Weaponsamassdestruction.”

“Justification No. Two: Sadaam plotted Nine Eleven.”

“Justification No. Three: Al Queda was in Iraq.”

“Justification No. Four: Sadaam is a Brutal Dictator.”

Only Rush was smiling. Perry asked him what was so funny.

“You guys. Don’t you get it? The real money is in Climate Change. Look at the destruction these floods and powerful storms are causing. Are you telling me you guys can’t figure out how to profit from that? I mean, I’m doing my job, denying it, ensuring that no one will act until it’s too late — but you guys gotta step up!”

The mood in the room did a 180 then. You could almost hear everyone thinking: “Make money off Climate Change. Why didn’t I think of that?”

There was an interesting Op Ed in the NYT this morning by Warren Buffet, complaining that, while he is taxed at the rate of 17%, the drones in his office at Berskhire Hathaway are taxed at 33% to 41%. He thinks that is unfair, and wants Congress to “Stop Coddling the Super Rich” like himself.

I understand that Boehner is frantically buying up every copy of today’s NYT and shredding them before anyone else sees it.

So it’s down to Romney, Bachmann and Perry. Romney is the most intelligent, competent and qualified of the lot, so obviously doesn’t stand a chance with the GOP base. Besides, Romney himself doesn’t know where he stands on most of the issues, so how could anyone else? He is the Al Gore of the GOP field: with a wooden, room clearing appeal that says “So I’m worth a quarter of a billion, so what? I’m just like you!”

Then we have Bachmann. Oy, veh. Unlike most Republican politicians who pretend to be religious, she’s the real thing. We both read Alley Oop comics as children, but she internalized them and still does think man co-existed with dinosaurs. She would teach creationism instead of Darwin in public schools, which would really gives an edge over the Chinese when it comes to science.

Perry is my hands on bet for the one who will go all the way. The Reagan BS is second nature to him, sliding out of his mouth with a facility that would have left the Gipper himself envious. But it’s when the camera zooms in on his beady little eyes that you realize: “OMG! It’s the reincarnation of Nixon!” If you could make a candidate through gene splicing you couldn’t do better.

Watching him on CNN in New Hampshire you could almost see the bubble coming out of his head: “It took Bush 8 years to destroy America. I can do it in two.”

With the Gingrich campaign team dispersing like ants before an ardvark onslaught, apparently over Newt’s decision to take a two week “workation” to study how the Greek’s destroyed their economy so he can get ideas if he ever takes office, and Rush having exploded Romney’s hopes over a throw away line about believing in Global Warming, the GOP has, in desperation, outsourced its search for a viable candidate to their go-to guy, Limbaugh himself. I dropped by his studio to see if I could lend a hand. The lobby was crowded with hopefuls, and there was a big stack of automatic weapons piled up at the ‘friskem’ portal which Rush had recently installed.

“I need you to leave your weapons on the pile, Sir,” said the burly lad in the Black Water uniform.

“I don’t have any,” I said.

He looked at me in disbelief. “And you want to run for President as the GOP’s candidate?”

“I’ve got a 50 cal mounted on my SUV,” I reassured him, and he waved me on through.

I found Rush in an interview room, pouring over a stack of resumes with an aide.

“I don’t see Sarah’s here. Isn’t Sarah running?”

“She’s making too much money pretending to run, Sir. Becoming President would mean too large a pay cut.”

“Understandable. Bring in the next one.”

Rush had a set of “knock out” factors he screened for which told him immediately whether someone would make a good Leader of the Free World. The next contender had all the right answers on cutting taxes, cutting spending, and dismantling health care.

“One final question, Sir. Do you believe in gravity?”

The candidate looked nervous. He knocked a pencil off the table, and it fell to the ground. “Well….I mean….Doesn’t everyone?”

“NEXT!”

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