Ten Things That’d Go Down Today, if I Were King, God Damn It.

Eventually I lost track of how many “10 Best/10 Worst” lists I slogged through at the end of 2011. Suffice to say none of them covered the stuff that I consider critical to maintaining, A: A functioning democracy in our troubled times, B: The possibility of  victory in the eternal struggle between intelligence and bullshit-lubricated shilling, and C: My sanity.

Hence, my annual list of “Ten Things That’d Go Down Today, if I Were King, God Damn It.”

1:  Hear ye, hear ye … in our modern hyper-connected, Google-ized, information at the tap of a smart phone wonderland there is no reason — none at all — to but up with the astonishing bombardment of fact-free bullshit in what passes as “news” programming. Therefore and henceforth, all cable, satellite and broadcast programming purporting to be/marketing itself as “news”, be it “reported” or “personality driven” shall be placed on a 30 second delay. During that delay a “Truth Squad” of a half-dozen or so techno-geeks will run a check on all statements presented as fact. The results will run in a constant banner at the bottom of the screen. For example, when Sean Hannity says, “Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim with a secret proto-Socialist appeasement agreement with the Iranian ayatollahs”, the banner beneath him would read: “Nothing about this statement bears any resemblance to reality. As usual, Sean is completely full of shit.”

 2: The aforementioned “Truth Squads” would be paid for a by … A Tax on Perfidy.  Monetary fines adjusted in proportion to audience size at that moment would be channeled back into the system, steadily adding more and more fact-checkers. For example, if Brian Williams describes Mitt Romney as “an executive with an unequivocal history of job creation”, NBC would pay a fine of say one cent per viewer. Assuming an audience of 13 million, that’d be $130,000 into the fact-checker hiring kitty.

3.  Computing power would also be deployed in removing the single biggest obstacle to Congressional Gridlock … gerrymandered, incumbent-protected redistricting. All pertinent data would be fed into Watson the Monolithic Deep Blue Number Cruncher which after a few seconds of humming and blinking would spit out 435 new Congressional districts with no consideration whatsoever of protecting the careers of the incumbents who have signed the most oaths, pledges, vows and taken the most four-star dinners with Big Pharma lobbyists.

4:  Recognizing that Newt Gingrich has had at least one good idea … Lincoln-Douglas style debates … it is hereby ordered that the top 12 leaders of the two major parties submit themselves to a regular, free-form debate process … with the wild card that the debates be moderated by acknowledged experts in the subject matter at hand. For example, by the luck of the draw Eric Cantor would be required to appear in debate with say, Chuck Schumer, on the topic of government deficits, moderated by Joseph Stiglitz and Simon Johnson. Live. Two hours. No toilet breaks. No under-the-suit wiring. No microscopic ear buds.

5:  Jazzed by the success of the Tax on Perfidy funded Truth Squads, I hereby order a similar … Tax on Brain Sucking Inanity. Scrolling through the current 500 channel TV universe is one of the most profoundly depressing exercises imaginable. Cajun pawn shops. Swamp coots ‘rasslin’ alligators. Functionally illiterate yobs and gimbals shrieking insults and throwing drinks, talentless society bimbos with freakish hypo-plumped lips and no instinct for decorum carving up each other’s egos … and Sean Hannity. Lost tribes of the Amazon are better served by their signal drum media. Hence, another per viewer tax for every … tattoo, Botox injection, absence of teeth, faux hawk, catty knife-in-the-kidney remark and reference to anything Kardashian. Billions will accumulate in a single week.

6:  Similarly, based on the astonishing response to Your King’s mandatory debate decree, it is hereby ordered that as a condition of any candidate filing for state-wide or national public office they be publicly vetted by a similar panel of acknowledged experts in the fields of foreign policy, tax policy, economics, American history and, if necessary the difference between a Kleenex and a paper towel. Live. Two hours. Not that brains matter, of course. But the likelihood of a sheer public humiliation might at least spare us six months of Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.

7: In addition to a (far) more enlightened, skeptical and informed political media Your King hereby decrees on an infusion of similar virtues into the realm of …. business reporting. Since money is the only thing that matters, each public relations profile  masquerading as journalism must be off-set with a persistent stream of curiosity into any endeavour making disproportionate profits in any industry. Or … any industry making disproportionate profits amid recessionary collapse. Similarly the CEOs of such companies must submit themselves for public cross-examination by a panel of indisputably skeptical journalists. The phrase “shareholder value” is NOT an acceptable explanation for gross violation of labor and environmental laws.

8: The next variation on “Lost” — like this “Alcatraz” series for example  — must have an ending written and filed in a safe deposit box prior to the airing of the pilot episode. Granted, anyone with two neurons left in operating condition shouldn’t be watching network TV. But Your Royal Highness is not pleased — to the point of going all Henry VIII — on the next Hollywood slickster who sucks us in to a “Twin Peaks”/”X-Files”/”Lost” puzzle drama … without the faintest attempt to tie the loose ends together and make sense of years worth of tantalizing sub-plots. If not beheading, The King is seriously considering yet another tax.

9: Noting the $10 million spent on television advertising prior to the absurdly unrepresentative Iowa caucuses — which drive fewer low-information religious crazies to their caucus sites than fans to the average Ohio State-Michigan football game — The King correctly senses that this maelstrom of nutbaggery is a boon only to the Pizza Ranches and TV stations of Iowa. Unable to think up anything punitive enough for Pizza Ranch managers, the windfall income to (mostly corporate-owned) TV stations shall be (bitch) slapped with a 50% surcharge, or $5 million in this year’s cycle, which will be re-distributed to public schools for courses in critical thinking.

10:  Finally, Your King recognizes that royalty such as his is a residual quality from the Dark Ages … not that that bothers him all that much. But just because we wallow like happy swine in this rank sewer of Kardashian-Hannity-Swamp People-botox-wives-of-New Jersey effluent doesn’t mean we have to spend as much time as we will this year counting down to the end of the Mayan calendar. Bug-eyed jeremiads will be heard all about the land. But The King hereby decrees that he finds prophets of doom-for profit tedious … and usually in arrears on their taxes. Therefore they shall all be arrested by The King’s Bullshit Police and given the choice of either summary beheading (The King’s preference) or being caged in broken elevator for the next 12 months with a Kardashian and … Sean Hannity. (After a week the knaves will plead for the guillotine.)

That is all. Now, back to the fields with you.

 

 

A (Heavily Medicated) Live-Blog of the GOP Debate.

True, I had to have my restraints re-tightened a couple of times, and I was heavily tranquilized. But I watched the entire GOP debate from the Ronald Reagan Library last night. With the big applause line, that the state of Texas has executed 234 people, still ringing in my ears, I’ve combed back through my live-blog style comments for the highlights of the night, the moments most representative of credible, responsible, America-first, conservative messaging and marketing.


6:59
With a minute to go MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who is working some kind of raconteur emeritus act these days tells the story of Bobby Kennedy’s pre-debate advice to brother Jack, namely, “Kick ‘im in the balls”. Good lord Chris, there’s a lady present.

7:00 Wait a minute. There are still eight of these cartoons walking around? Rick Santorum is still running? Who is giving him money?

7:03 Rick Perry gets the first question and goes right to his “jobs creator” shtick. Someone will be fact-checking that “95% above the minimum wage” business. But even if 90% of Texans are making 10 cents over the minimum wage, those are “real jobs” in the minds of The Base, not elite-y, college-trained government career-like jobs. I notice he doesn’t mention, nor does Brian Williams follow-up with the inconvenient fact that the fattest chunk of Texas’ job growth has been in … government jobs.

7:04 Mitt Romney, the guy who, to quote David Letterman, “looks like the guy who turned your dad down for a loan” doesn’t like the “buy out specialist” tag Williams puts on him. I assume Team Romney will create some new facts for a 2012 campaign that will call out the numbers of “hard-working middle class Americans” Bain Capital laid off as it stripped companies for assets and quick sales. Note to GOP: If Romney is a viable candidate why not Carl Icahn?

7:10
Rick Santorum … wait I need to Google some info on this guy … is arguing that he is someone who “has done things”, which could mean tieing his own shoes, although frankly he looks like a Velcro slip-on guy to me. He is of course saying that the path to job creation is through a zero percent corporate tax. Not that there’s anyone on the stage — other than Herman Cain — who’ll disagree with that.

7:11 Oh, here’s Herman. And yeah baby, “flat tax”. Did Godfather’s Pizza see a lot of tax-deductible business lunches?

7:12 Jon Huntsman has by far the best tan.

7:14 Our girl Michele finally gets some camera time. Watch her lay in to that fraudulent Tea Party in Name Only Rick Perry … oh wait, she’s talking about federal regulations stifling her small, family business. Is this the farm she gets federal tax support from, or her husband’s pray-the-gay-away front business, for which he’s taken government money? I won’t wait for Williams to ask her how the hub’s small business managed to make “between $50,000 and $100,000 in net income” last year and … still keep the gay away. And, uh what? The Congressional Budget Office has said “Obamacare” is a jobs killer? How did I miss that?

7:15
According to a scientific study Ron Paul makes lucid sense 41.3% of the time. It’s his 58.7% foaming street prophet thing that makes trouble for himself. I notice in this rant about federal regulations, which I guess would have pilots handling their own landing queues, he doesn’t get into the mortality rate of private industry testing out drugs on the general public until they get the formulas right.

7:17 Oh shit … I just blew a quart of high dose sedative formula out my nose. Did Newt Gingrich just give himself credit for the “bi-partisan” way HE created 11 million new jobs in the 1990s? These could not possibly be the same 1990s where a guy named Newt Gingrich obstructed every attempt at budgetary discipline proposed by Bill Clinton, withheld every vote on the budget act that set up government surpluses, threw a tantrum that shut down the entire government and then, as an elder statesman, happily fomented a witch hunt that impeached the most successful jobs creator/deficit reducer of the past hundred years over a sex fling, all while atop a desk boinking his own secretary? That has to be a different Gingrich, right?

7:25 Michele is back. I think her hair has been over-teased. But then Mitt’s looks like a non-government worker applied a quart of marine spar varnish. She is still claiming that “Obamacare” which goes into effect in 2014 has taken over one-sixth of the American economy, which can not be good news for UnitedHealth and all those other companies who struggle against great odds every day to maintain such a clean, straight unimpeded line between you and your doctor.

7:31
Santorum and Perry have just finished explaining how they’d treat poverty in America. Essentially it’s this: Stop the government from doing anything and these malingerers will show some initiative. And they make it sound like they care.

7:35 Michele’s $2 gas promise is not playing too well. But, boy does she have big numbers. I think I have this right. If we set fire to the EPA we would create 1.2 million new jobs, increase energy productions by 50%, and goose the economy by $800 billion. I’m not sure if this also involves turning North Dakota into a sludge pond and burning the homes of 5th District liberals for heating fuel, but if I’m a Tea Partier living on Social Security and Medicare I love the thought of getting the government off my back.

7:37 Huntsman is picking up some of Ron Paul’s disease. He’s talking again about the $13/gallon “true cost of imported oil”, taking into account the military we need to keep the juice flowing from the Middle East and Brunei. I think he hates the troops.

7:40 Ron Paul … in the sanctum sanctorum of the Ronald Reagan library points out that dottering old Ronnie ran up staggering deficits. But Paul stills loves his “message”, wholly bullshit though it was.

7:47 Ohhhh boy, here’s the takeaway for the group-think press herd. Perry is calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” again. ‘Wrong from the beginning” he says. “A monstrous lie”. Worse though, for him, he’s getting into it with Karl Rove who is connected to about as much undisclosed SuperPAC cash as the there is money in Social Security. But damn it, like W*, Perry is sayin’ it from his gut. He’s decidin’. He stickin’ to what he believes. Or at least what the Goldman Sachs lobbyist told him is a winning formula for the Americans that matter.

7:53 I am not comfortable watching any of these people talk about the HPV virus, especially the seven very weird middle-aged guys. Ron Paul tells everyone he’s an actual doctor. So why doesn’t he tell everyone how those Big Pharma sales guys — like from Merck — sweeten the pot to make their drug du jour the go-to for what ails “the people”. But really, aren’t we talking pre-marital sex? And why is Rick Santorum looking like he just had unnatural congress with some … thing?

7:59 Newt is reminding … an audience that needs reminding hourly … that “there are people out there who want to kill us”. Does anyone remember how it was back in Ronnie Reagan’s glory years, when no one did? Except those silly Russians? Only since Obama took over have the knives come out.

8:00 Ron Paul’s 58.7% batshit fever has flared up again. We’re spending $20 billion on air conditioning” in Iraq? Oh hell, close enough for debate work.

8:05
It’s really good to know that the 49,000 teachers Rick Perry laid off in Texas and his state’s Mississippi-like graduation numbers were all part of the “thoughtful reductions” he made in out of control, wasteful spending. Of course, we can all agree that the real culprit there was … Mexicans.

8:08 And on the subject of those violent brown people climbing fences to get into the better neighborhoods of Houston and Dallas, and getting the federal government off the states’ backs, Perry demands … the federal government step up and put “boots on the ground”, drones in the air and who knows, straight cash in the pockets of private contractors to seal off the Rio Grande.

8:10 Romney wants the whole enchilada, the 2600 mile fence. Does Bain Capital own a steel fabricator? He’ll have to check.

8:14
Apparently Michele didn’t hear the question. Instead of saying what she would do with the 11 million undocumented “illegals” already here, she riffs on “narco-terrorists”, completing missing her opportunity to link homocidal drug lords to the jobs creation aspects of American assault rifle manufacturers working overtime to build and smuggle heavy-duty firepower into Juarez and Tijuana.

8:17 Bi-polar Ron Paul is back on the 41.7% lucid side, talking about how our drug laws are driving narco-terrorism. BTW, where is my medicinal sensimilla?

8:23 Perry too is down on the negatory of even a 10 to 1 debt deal. He says a national balanced budget amendment would be the only way to “cut the snake’s head off” … just not until the damned pit viper sends out those boots, drones and greenbacks to stop the friggin’ Mexicans.

8:25 Bachmann invokes Ronald Reagan, without making the sign of the cross and kissing a rosary.

8:26
It’s “Malaise in America” time. Huntsman says, “we have lost our confidence as a country”. “Our core is broken … we are weak … “. Good lord man, wear a cardigan the next time.

8:28 Romney agrees. “We have a crisis of confidence … absolutely … .” Romney’s cardigan would be top dollar imported cashmere.

8:29 After complimenting, sort of, Obama for getting Osama bin Laden, “but mostly the SEALS” Perry again reminds his target audience that “government spending will not create one job”. There was a noise outside so I’m not sure if he said, “If you don’t believe me, ask the Chinese”. But before anyone takes that too seriously, get those troops and contractors on permanent patrol down in El Paso, damn it. He’s also against sending troops anywhere without a clear intent. Hear that, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama?

8:31 Michele still doesn’t like what we did in Libya. But those tyrants in Iran … now that’s a whole different story.

8:33 Rick Santorum just called someone else “indecisive and confused”.

8:35 Huntsman is toast. You DO NOT stand under Ronnie Reagan’s airplane and say Republicans lose if they’re anti-science. Ronnie flewall over the world looking for a cure for AIDS, didn’t he?

8:37 Perry won’t buy that climate change bull. And he’s got Galileo on his side.

8:39
Michele reiterates that if we drill in the Everglades “of course we’d do it responsibly”. That’s BP’s promise.

8:44 I’m glad I lasted this long. Enthusiastic, spontaneous applause for 234 death row executions in Texas. That’s one way to keep The Base exclusive.

Damn! It’s over. Screw the sensimilla. Give me a triple Everclear and an appointment for electro-shock.