Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nevermind trying the Utah doc for murdering his wife so he could marry his mistress. Hang him for being a sleazy cheapskate.

A cheesy ring the doc bought for Gypsy
probably had a stone no larger than
this one. And maybe it was even smaller.

Let me offer you two rules to live by:
1.  If you’re a married doctor, never cheat on your wife with a woman named Gypsy. 
 2. If you’re a woman who wants to stay out of trouble, never get kept by a married doctor. Especially not by a cheap one.
I pause here from the exhaustion of writing ad infinitum about Tea Party outrages, Republican idiocy, the well-intentioned Obama Administration repeatedly shooting itself in the foot, and political overload in general. You'll get none of my usual political harangues today.

Instead, I take note of a  Associated Press story by Paul Foy about a doctor in Provo, Utah, who’s on trial for zapping his wife with lethal drugs so he’d be free to marry his mistress.

The doc’s name is Martin MacNeill. The femme fatale’s name is Gypsy Willis. And while we’re pointing out names, I feel compelled to mention that the prosecutor’s name is – say it aloud – Sam Pead.

Even with the names, it was one of those “ho-hum, I’ve seen this before on TV” kinds of stories ­– up to a point. The prosecutor accuses Dr. MacNeill of a 15-month affair with Gypsy, during which the doc set her up with a love nest and a debit card, and shelled out for her nursing school tuition. 

But then, the wife is suddenly dead from who-knows-what-drugs, allegedly administered by her doctor husband. Nine days later, Gypsy moves out of her duplex love nest into the home (and presumably the bed) of the dead wife. A few months afer that, the doc proposes marriage and gives Gypsy a $7,000 diamond ring. 

And that's when the alarm went off in my head.

A $7,000 diamond? From a doctor? How cheap is that? The old wife is hardly even cold in her grave and already Gypsy is getting nickeled and dimed like a wife of 20 years. What an outrage!

Listen, I know something about what diamonds cost. I’m not a rich man by a long shot. But back in the day, when The Crank’s beautiful girlfriend was still alive and I was head-over-heels in love with her (and as I may still be, almost three years after her death), I took the beautiful girlfriend to Tiffany’s.

There, in the Tiffany building, I whipped out a not-insignificant chunk of my life savings, and bought her a pure white, 4.1 carat, brilliant-cut solitaire diamond engagement ring for – well, it’s none of your business. However,  I can state with considerable authority that I once could have made the down payment on a Manhattan mansion or an estate in the Hamptons with it (although I’d never have been able to carry the mortgage, or even the taxes.)

But I’m just a poor wreck of a writer. The doc practices medicine, a profession that actually pays people stuff you can call money

So for $7,000, gypsy got what? A piece of crap is what. You could look it up, here. While diamonds vary widely in price according to size and quality, chances are she got a cheesy little under-one-carat rock of mediocre quality, a little chip of a crapola stone. Of course, the $7,000 probably included the dimestore setting.

And for this she gave up the duplex she was being kept in, her independence (“Please don’t come over tonight, Martin, I’m washing my hair”) and for all I know her nursing school tuition?

There’s even more juicy stuff to it than that. Doctor Cheap-o tried to sneak Gypsy into the, uh, marital abode as a baby sitter. ­ And Gypsy is accused of trying to pay off some old debts of hers (that evidently the cheapskate doc wasn’t willing to pay off) by stealing the identity of one of the doc’s kids.

Sorry, no pictures of the cast of characters. I’m afraid the photographs belong to the AP or some other news medium that might make noise about copyright infringement. But there are a couple of photographs of Gypsy and Doc in the story, so go check it out here.

Oh, and one more moral. Ladies, never even think of marrying a man who says he’ll dump his wife for you. He will – or worse – but then he’ll start treating you the way he treated his wife.

This all somehow reminds me (there's no reason why it should) of the story about the married board chairman traveling on business with his executive assistant. At midnight, she knocks on his hotel room door. He opens it. She’s clad in a diaphanous negligee. Thickclouds of Chanel No. 5 are wafting off her pulse points, fogging the air around her.

“Brrr!" she says, pretending to shiver and hugging herself. "It’s so chilly in my room and I think the window is stuck. Could you come in and close it for me?"

He does so and retreats to his own room.

A half hour later, she’s at his door again. “Now I’m hot,” she complains. “So hot! I don’t know, maybe the heat is out of control. I'm hot, hot, hot! Could you come to my room and open my window?”

So he goes to her room and opens the window again.

And twenty minutes later, she’s once more knocking at the door. This time, she's cold again. 

Suddenly, he gets an idea.

“Say, how would you like to pretend – just for tonight – that we’re married?” he asks.

“Why, I’d love it!” she coos.

“Great!” he replies, “Then open and close your own damn window."

Monday, October 28, 2013

What’s next for Wall Street? A porno portfolio?

Matthew Carr has looked at aspects of America's
insanity – and discovered there's money to be
made there.

No, this isn’t another of those rants against the evil Bankers of Doom, prepping to vampire-suck your
financial blood from your bank account’s veins.

It’s way more ominous than that

Over at The Oxford Club, a subscription service that recommends investments, their “Emerging Trends Strategist,” a dude named Matthew Car with what appears from his photographs to be a shaved head, has looked at various aspects of our paranoid nation’s insanity and decided there’s money to be made from all the nut cases – and that Wall Street is the place to make it.

In an e-mail to investors Carr reminds his fans:
…back in August 2012, as shows like Doomsday Preppers really began to gain ground, I started thinking, "Are there profits to be made on the apocalypse?" 
It's a very capitalistic idea, I know. But that's my job. 
So I developed a "Doomsday Portfolio" and shared it with my readers in Investment U.
The idea behind the Doomsday Portfolio was simple: What are Preppers focusing on? And what do they need to survive - and thrive - during an apocalypse? 
Carr honed in on makers of doomsday “essentials” – manufacturers of “firearms, camping gear, generators and radiation detection devices.” He would also have recommended investing in bomb shelters except that, as he mournfully points out, there are no publicly-traded bomb shelter manufactuers.

Anyway, he put his recommendation out there for his subscribers. And how did it go?

Money, money, money, mon-eeee!

If you bought Carr's portfolio, “An $8,000 investment on August 20, 2012 would be worth $12,706 today,” he rejoices, “A total portfolio gain of 58.83 %.”

Next he came up with his “Death Portfolio. (Well, he called it a “Funeral Services Index” but we all know what that means.)

This one also did well, since (brace yourself for the inevitable pun) people are dying to make money for it  – although it didn’t do quite as well as the crazier Doomsday Portfolio. In the case of the Death Portfolio, an $8,000 investment in Carr's list of funeral companies on March 4, 2013, would be worth $9,767 in late October, a ”a gain of 22.09% in a little more than seven months.”

Which leads me to believe that Carr may be on to something. I personally prefer archly conservative, reliably-dividend-paying, no-fun, old-fogey stocks like utilities, insurance companies, and manufactuers of  household staples. (Even in the worst of times you’re not likely to say, “Honey, we’ve really got to cut back. How about us doing without toilet paper this month?) And in fact, The Oxford Club has a guy who recommends just that sort of thing for retirement portfolios – toilet paper manufacturers (two of them), utilities, pill manufacturers and others yawners, most of which do nothing but lie there and reliably dribble money into my old age fund.

Even so, in a crazy nation (which our The United States most assuredly is) there actually may be something to grouping our insanities in clusters and investing in them.

The National Bankruptcy Portfolio, 
the Texas Secession Portfolio, and 
raw, uninhibitedly-profitable sex

Since races to the cliff edge of national bankruptcy are becoming America's favorite spectator sport, how about a national bankruptcy portfolio? I’ll leave it to Carr to pick the stocks, but it might include a Swiss or Bahamian bank where the billionaires can ship their own stashes before their U.S. banks cave in; an airplane leasing company or small jet airplane manufacturer, so the rich can get the hell out of the country without waiting on security lines before Everything Is Worthless; a tin cup manufacturers and a pencil maker (need I explain?); and a a pharmaceutical company that makes pills useful for quick and painless suicides that avoid messy plunges from the 20th story windows. (Can you still get a prescription for Penobarbitol, the suicide drug-of-choice back in the 1950s, and under consideration for snuffing Death Row inmates today?)

I’m also rather fond of the idea of a Texas Secession Portfolio. The Tea Party whackos down there are acting as if they’re part of a separate nation anyway. When they break away and form their own separate Republic they’re going to need their own army, making them a natural customer for American defense industry companies. They’ll need their own currency (consider purchasing stock in companies making printing and engraving equipment.) And they’ll need elementary school textbooks that reflect their special way of life. Sooner or later, some public book publisher will put out a reader that begins, “See Dick. See Dick run. See Dick run black people, Hispanics and women out of the voting booths.”)

Finally, whether there’s a democracy or a dictatorship, a kingdom or anarchy, people will always need, love, and practice sex. It’s just never going to go out of style. Matthew, which condom manufacturer's stock should I buy Also, should I buy the makers of Viagra or of Cialis? There’s no public manufacturer of inflatable sex dolls, but I do take note that Amazon.com, which is certainly public,  offers “inflatable love dolls” including an inflatable love sheep, and "Sex For Dummies" books.

Of course, porn will always be big business (and no, I’m not going to give you any URLs here. Do your own homework.) But if Vivid Entertainment ever goes public, please do count me in on the IPO.

Over to you, Matthew.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Barack Obama, “Obamacare” and “Brand Experience” marketing

The bad marketing job that killed
the Ford Edsel is a tragic
historic milestone.
Will Obamacare be another?
President Obama may have seen to it that what is now called Obamacare became law, but he has flunked Marketing 101. The delivery system of The Affordabled Healthcare Act is so far a total flop. And not for lack of demand. The president forgot, or didn't know, that ordering and delivery are part of the marketing mix.

Once the bill passed, the president pretty much pulled back into his shell. He needed to be talking to the nation – constantly talking –  explaining how the plan would work, why it would work, why it was better for the nation than the lack of national healthcare we’ve had for all except Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

If you’re old enough to remember John F. Kennedy, think about how Kennedy would have talked up a prized bill, at frequentl intervals, with unforgettable and inspiring eloquence. 

Instead, we had the once eloquent ("Yes you can!") Barack Obama occasionally, and evidently without enthusiasm for the job, umm-ing and uh-ing his way through it, but only when he seemed to have no choice. Nor did he proceed, pedal to the metal, to prepare either the nation or the Internet for the arrival of the badly needed product that is Obamacare.

It’s a shame. Not only do huge numbers of Americans want the Affordable Care Act despite the President's less than spectacular sales job, but the Republicans did the President a great favor. They gave the Affordable Healthcare Act a memorably nifty brand name — Obamacare. For that, the President ought to send the Tea Party a thank you note. They inadvertently helped market affordable healthcare more than he did.

But a great brand name, and even some advertising, rarely sells anything unless every phase of the product lives up to the advertising. We used to have a saying on Madison Avenue, where I worked for over 45 years,  that nothing kills a bad product faster than a great ad.

The reason was simple, lots of people, moved by advertising, would buy a product in a hurry. If they didn’t like it the product they’d stop buying it in an equal hurry and the market would collapse.

Now it happens that Obamacare is a great product, with a few exceptions (such as the prices charged for it in rural areas due to lack of insurance company competition.) What sucks is the order and delivery system – tagged with the misnomer, “computer glitch.”

Mr. President, it’s not a glitch. It’s a massive fuckup. For the sake of good public relations you ought to acknowledge it as such and get on with the business of properly fixing it – and do the acknowledging sooner, rather than later. Trust in the brand, smooth ordering and flawless delivery are part of how people think of Obama care, too. And so is the opposite of smooth and flawless.

Imagine if, as the Christmas season approached, you couldn’t find Big Hugs Elmo,  one of the season’s most-wanted toys, in the stores. If you were a parent trying to make a child happy, and if your child, having been exposed to the advertising, was pining for a Big Hugs Elmo, you’d be mighty angry. You’d get angrier each day you got closer to Christmas and you were in danger of disappointing your offspring. Eventually, you might try to placate your child by saying, “Big Hugs Elmo’s no good anyway. Let’s get some ‘Despicable Me’ figures. Do you suppose they make a Ted Cruz figure?”

What the White House has forgotten is that consumers aren’t sold only by brands or the advertising for them. They’re sold by something called the “total brand experience” ­– any and every thing having to do with the brand that has touched their lives. If you get stuck in a phone tree for two hours trying to contact your cable company, you’ll hate that company's brand even if their cable carries great programs (which you can’t get) and offers cheap rates. Another cable company could easily lure you away.

President Obama, you’re soiling your own once-sterling healthcare brand, and you’re in danger of letting voters get lured away, over time, by Republicans. You need to do what a smart marketer would do when faced with a similar problem:

  1. Apologize to the nation for unexpected delivery problems and offer them the equivalent of a make-good. “We’re sorry most people haven’t been able to buy your Obamacare healthcare insurance yet, especially since it’s such great healthcare insurance. To put your mind at ease, we’ll delay the fines for non-compliance one day for each day a fully working, non-crashing system is delayed.”
  1. Stop the Silicon Valley “surge” nonsense. The implicit notion of, “Throw everything you’ve got in Silicon Valley into Washington" smacks of an old Leslie Nielsen movie gag. The last thing we need is a huge bunch of nerds with undefined or fuzzy technical assignments bumping into each other in Washington. Instead, what you need to do is recruit one Internet star with the technical knowledge, creativity, and proven organizational genius to figure out how to fix the problem. Maybe a Bill Gates. Maybe a Jeff Bezos. (And how I wish Steve Jobs were alive!) Conscript the right person, if necessary. Then stand back and let him or her figure out who else is needed — and how long it will take — to solve the mess and get the system operational.
  1. Kathleen Sebellus is a great Secretary of Health and Human Services. However, she’s a thoroughly lousy Secretary of Computer Network and Order System Construction. Take away her authority to oversee construction of the Obamacare Internet order system. Give that to Gates or Bezos. Leave Sebellus in charge of making sure we’re all inoculated against the flu.
  1. Also, don't even think about seeking out somebody to punish. Everybody at the top, including you Mr. President, is guilty ­­of taking on a project without the technical skills to follow through on it. That’s not a crime. It’s the ineptitude caused by inexperience. If you could forgive the Bush-era players who dragged us into Iraq instead of prosecuting them, you certainly can forgive the klutzes who don't know what it takes to get a health care system on line. Let's find somebody who knows how to do the job and then get out of their way.
Further, the job here is not to punish the inept or to cover up the ineptness. The task is to fix the system, get it on line, get people insured and save the brand before Obamacare goes the way of the Edsel.

Mr. President, you gave America a great healthcare insurance system. Please stop screwing it up. Fix the brand experience now.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Obama does it!

At long last, President Obama has demonstrated that not dealing with impossible Republicans is better than trying to “go halfway” with them.

So cranky congratulations to the President. But congratulations with a caveat. For a few weeks, at least, the once-greatest nation on earth has its borrowing powers and its shaky government operations restored. That’s hardly enough. But it’s an excellent example of what works when dealing with these right wing creeps, and what doesn’t.

We’ve been seeing, since the beginning of the Obama administration, that it’s fruitless to attempt real negotiations with far right Republicans – and also with so-called “moderate” Republicans whose position is anything but moderate when they’re in the thrall of the Tea Party crazies. Exhibit A, of course, has been John Boehner.

Step halfway in compromise toward Republicans and they instantly step the same distance back back. Approach them again, and once again they step back. Calling them 'The Party Of No" or saying that "they can't take 'yes' for an answer," have become new political cliches.

That’s because thee object of the Right is not to settle, but either to have things their way or to sink the whole nation with a loss of cash, credit and credibility. (Not that it wouldn’t sink anyway, albeit more slowly, if the Tea Party actually had its way.)

If the Tea Party and other Republicans were Al Qaeda operatives atempting the exact same thing, we’d looking to to arrest or terminate them. Since it’s Republican lawmakers, we offer them the courtesy of not either smart bombing them or packing them off to Guantanamo Bay.

President Obama has promised to negotiate a “grand bargain,” and there are fears part of that might mean cuts, however gradual, in Social Security and Medicare, when in fact, increases are needed for both. The so-called “chained CPI” is one example. It would effectively tax the oldest and most vulnerable Americans, by using a way of measuring inflation that would actually reduce their benefits, even as the price of medicines, rent and food (among other things) rises.

The Social Security problem could be solved for about the next 75 years, simply by removing the cap on Social Security Taxes, currently $113,000. If your heart bleeds for people who are making, say $250,000 a year and will be forced to pay a few hundred bucks extra for the good of the nation, then bleed. Every other civilized Western nation takes care of its people without a qualm.

The question is, will the President sell the oldest, weakest and sickest down the river to appear “reasonable,” (and save some millionaires a bit of what for them is chump change) or will he continue to use the one technique he finally tried that works against Republicans and continue hanging tough?

Your move, Mr. President.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Is New Jersey’s Governor Christie a corrupt crook? A New York Times expose might lead you to think so.

The New York Times this morning reports an alarming story of systemic corruption in the Hunterdon County, New Jersey sheriff’s office, with a trail leading straight to the New Jersey Attorney General and other appointees of Governor Chris Christie.

I’m not going to recapitulate the whole tangled spider’s web of sleazy and corrupt interlocking acts by Christie appointees. Just go here and read the lengthy and very well-reported New York Times horror story by Michael Powell.

But I can’t resist a few highlights:

• A Hunterdon County Grand Jury indicts a  Christie-appointed sheriff on 43 counts of what comes down to downright abuse of power worthy of a police state. So what happens?

• The state takes over the county prosecutor’s office and fires three veteran prosecutors

• A deputy state attorney general walks into a state court and asks that the case be dismissed, insisting that the case was full of “legal and factual deficiencies,” but enumerating not one of them. Does the judge ask the deputy attorney general what the heck he's talking about, or for evidence of those "deficiencies?" Nah! The judge simply dismisses the case.

• When one of the dismissed prosecutors sues, “claiming that the attorney general killed the indictment to protect prominent supporters of the governor,” the records of the indictment get spirited away to the state capital, where the state has now has them hidden while it resists and appeals court orders to release them.

There’s more. Powell learned of so called “law enforcement” officials doing the backgrounds checks on…themselves! There were threats from law enforcement against someone whose website reported on the matter. Police IDs get issued to friendly campaign contributors. Explanations from the attorney general’s spokesman about what’s going on and why change with the wind.

I urge you to read this, and keep in mind that Governor Christie is a potential Republican candidate for president. Given his police state tactics in New Jersey, that’s not just worrisome. It’s terrifying.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Below is a portrait of John Boehner and the Republican Party deliberately destroying America

The right wing fanatics who base part of their insanity on their belief in the wisdom of free markets need to look at this chart. It shows how one free market, the stock market – as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Averages and the S&P 500 – has been reacting to the shenanigans of John Boehner and his fellow Republicans.

The chart comes right off Fidelity’s website at the close of market yesterday, Oct. 8. As you can see, it shows that things were going quite nicely for your retirement investments ­– until the Republicans start playing games in mid-September.

Clearly, the Republicans have done a good job of grabbing the controls and attempting to crash the airplane. They are economic terrorists, pure and sample, insisting that unless their minority has things their way they will wreck your 401(k) and your IRA, smash the economy, squash the recovering value of your home, crash what there has been of an economic recovery, ruin lives, and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States forever.

One might even conclude that their true objective is not only to kill Obamacare but also to deliberately kill the American economy, in the hope that a couple of years down the road, they will be able to use a Koch and other special interest contributions to spin a major American recession, or perhaps even another Great Depression, into a reason to vote Republican.

And if you wonder whether President Obama bears some responsibility for this mess, or whether it’s a pure Republican play, I encourage you to pay a visit to this Crooks and Liars post and laugh along with Jon Stewart as he catches John Boehner in a full-throated lie about who’s responsible – until you weep for America.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Why I shot the guy in the head

He was asking for it. Read my story and you’ll see what I mean.

I was on this dark street when the guy comes out of a bank vestibule. I knew he must have been getting cash because it was late at night and there’d be no other reason to go to the bank. So I walked up to him and stuck my pistol against his ear.

“This is a stickup,” I said. “Give me your wallet.”

“What? Why?”

“Don’t ask me any stupid questions. Just give me your wallet. I want the money in it.”

“That money is to take care of my family,” he said. “I can’t give you the money.”

“I don’t care about that,” I said, “I want your damn money, so give me your damn wallet.”

“But if you take my money, my family won’t eat,” he said. “My family will starve, so I can’t give you the money.”

“What is it about a gun barrel in your ear that you don’t understand?” I said. “Give me your money. And your wallet.”

“This is very foolish,” he said. “If you shoot me, the cops will come after you. They’ll arrest you. They’ll throw you in prison for the rest of your life. You could maybe even face the death penalty”

“That’s baloney,” I said. “The cops are on my side. The judges, the prosecutor, everybody is on my side. And they all hate you. I happen to know this, from friends of mine who get around. The fine people of this city are fed up with you.”

“Where did you get that crazy idea?” he said. “Nevemind. Just forget about taking my stuff. I’m not going to do it.”

“You’d better do it. I’m sick of you. Everybody’s sick of you. Give me your wallet.”

“ I just can’t give my family’s money away to some guy just because he walks up to me and demands it. And if you shoot me, you’re going away to prison for the rest of your life.”

I thought about that for a couple of seconds. Maybe he had a point.

“Okay then,” I said. “Then let’s negotiate.”

“Negotiate what?”

“Let’s negotiate you give me the money so that I don’t shoot you dead.”

“There’s nothing to negotiate,” he said. “I can’t sacrifice my family’s future.”

“I'm trying to be reasonable,” I said. “I’m trying to negotiate.” I cocked the hammer of the pistol. It made a click. “Don’t piss me off. I’m offering very nicely to negotiate with you.”

“No negotiations. And if you shoot me in the head, you’re in prison for the rest of your life. Maybe you even go to the death chamber and they will stick a needle in your veins and zap you.”

Holy crap! This guy was scary. I don’t like to admit it, but he was scaring me.

“Okay then, but you can’t just walk away,” I said.

“What are you talking about?” he said.

“Well, even if I don’t get your money, I have to get something out of this.”

“Like what?” he said.

“I dunno,” I said, “But I want something out of this, even if I don’t know what it is yet.”

“This is nuts,” he said. "You're getting to sound like a psychopath."

“Okay then, here’s what I want. I want your credit and debit card. And the deed to your house. Oh, and also all the money in your wallet. Plus the wallet.”

“I told you, I can’t give you that,” he said. “Also, that’s not even negotiating.”

“You’re refusing to talk,” I said.

“I’m talking a mile a minute. Negotiating is when you give up something to get part of what you want. Your idea of negotiating is to insist on getting everything you asked for in the first place, and then ask for more on top of it. ”

“Also I want your car and I want sex with your wife,” I said. "I'm glad I just remembered to ask for that."

“I told you, I’m not negotiating,” he said.

So that’s when I pulled the trigger and blew his brains out. I don’t know why everybody turned against me over this – the cops, and the prosecutor and the jury and the judge and everybody. I know they’re really on my side. I have it on good authority. I have good friends who told me. Besides, like I said, the guy was asking for it.

For my last meal I’d like a sirloin steak, rare, and French fries with ketchup and three scoops of Rocky Road ice cream with chocolate sauce on top. Oh, and I still want the guy’s wallet. And his house and his car and his wife.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

It’s time to work on shutting down Speaker John Boehner. (Oh Boo Hoo!)

It’s pretty clear that Tea Party Congressmen or not, a single human being can stop the impending collapse of the United States, its credit, and its economy.

That man is House Speaker (Republican) John Boehner, who singlehandedly is preventing an up-or-down vote on the so-called CR, or continuing resolution that would let the government keep operating.

Fortunately, if he can feel more threatened by Democrats than by the Tea Party wing of his own party, the future of America has a shot at survival.

At first glance, taking down Boehner doesn’t look easy. Boehner comes from the outrageously gerrymandered 8th Ohio Congressional District, a Republican stronghold (and evidently a Tea Party stronghold as well.)

On the map, the 8th looks like the letter H lying on its side, with one of its legs sawed off and the other leg so busted it appears to be suffering from series of compound fractures, as if some thug from a loan sharking operation did a job on it with a sledge hammer. 

The district includes a few Republican suburbs of Cincinnati, and rural “We’re-Republican-‘cause-we’ve-always-been-Republican” bastions of small thinking such as Troy (where I once worked as an off-the-books newspaper reporter on the Troy Daily News,) Tipp City, Piqua, Middletown, and others – not to mention a tract of turf owned by the Darke County Fish and Game Club.

In other words it’s your basic Fox News-watching, beer-drinking, I-know-what-I-think- and-I-don’t-need-to-know-why Middle America.

They can be swayed into hating Boehner and making him feel so threatened he'll stop blocking the up-or-down vote. It’s not cheap, but they can be swayed.

Somebody needs to finance the most expensive anti-incumbent advertising campaign ever launched against a congressman. It should begin immediately, while Boehner is still tying up Congress. In addition to running early, the advertising should run often. Very often.

All spots might begin with Boehner in tears (there’s got to be hours of tear-soaked Boehner video around.)  Typically a voice over announcer might say: 
John Boehner weeps crocodile tears about everything except the permanent and devastating damage he’s doing to The United States, our economy, and our citizen. It’s John Boehner alone who’s interference with the work of Congress, who threatens the continuation of your Social Security checks, who threatens to cut off your Medicare, who has closed government offices, national parks, food safety inspection, and imperiled the job of every hard-working American.

If a foreign terrorist tried to bring down America, its economy and its people, we’d rightfully arrest him and pack him off to Guantanamo.

Well, John Boehner is trying to bring down America, its economy, and it’s people. What do you think should happen to him?

Tell John Boehner to resign his office and go back to tending bar before you lose your job, your security, your health and before America loses its future.
Boehner can be stopped – and can serve as an object lesson to other right wing crazies – if he feels more threatened by the next election than he does by his Tea Party co-saboteurs.

Billionaires and millionaires of the left, open your wallets.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Medicare For All — or how Democrats can throw their own monkey wrenches into the works if Republicans ever come back into power

In the highly unlikely event that you need reminding, “Obamacare,” or the Federal Affordable Healthcare Act if you prefer, was originally a Republican idea, sprung on the world by the likes of Mitt Romney. Its purpose was to provide close to universal healthcare coverage while saving the butts of Romney’s pals at the insurance companies.

Medicare For All, otherwise known as single payer healthcare, would make the United States government the one and only healthcare insurance company. It works great for us old-timers who are of Medicare age. It would work even better for everybody under the age of 65, because it would cover so many young and healthy people who are less of a drain on our healthcare system, that costs would come down even further.

Alas, now is not the time for it. But if the Republicans by some freak accident ever simultaneously control the House, the Senate and the Presidency again in the next half century, here’s what the Democrats ought to do.

First things first: stand up in the Senate and read “The Cat In The Hat,” a Dr. Seuss poem about how “somebody else” wrecks everything, and then talk nonobjectively about nonobjective art, meanwhile letting funding run out for major government contractors and pork barrel subsidies to rich land owners.

Second, demand a 99 percent marginal tax bracket for anyone earning over $10,000,000 a year.

Third, stand up in Congress and read “The Sneetches,” a Dr. Seuss poem about a group of critters who have stars on their yellow bellies and therefore think they’re entitled to stuff nobody else has.

Fourth, demand that anyone who has ever registered Republican be forced to surrender his or her firearm, on the grounds that being Republican is a prima facie indicator of insanity.

Fifth, stand up in Congress and read the Dr. Seuss poem about the north going Zax and the south going Zax, who meet  on the Prairie of Prax “nose to nose, face to face,” and refuse to budge for each other.

Sixth, demand that Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Eric Cantor…well the list goes on, but it includes every Tea Party Republican and current corrupt shill for collapsing the government and the economy. John Boehner included. Demand all Tea Party-ites turn themselves in as the Al Qeada agents they most probably are, and confess to conspiring to destroy the United States for ideological reasons.

Seventh, stand up in Congress and read the Dr. Seuss poem about the “pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them,” another perfect metaphor for John Boehner and other “heads” of the Banana Republican.

Eighth, institute an excess wealth tax on individuals with assets over $20,000,000. If you have $19,999,999, that’s enough to live very, very comfortably. You don’t need another dollar. Add to that an inheritance tax of 100 percent on all estates larger than $10,000,000.

When the Banana Republicans begin to scream and bleat, declare that you’re willing to negotiate nearly all these issues if they'll institute the 100 percent excess wealth tax first, but that they refuse.

In the end, nothing tastes as bitter as your own medicine.

Cross-Posted at No More Mr. Niceblog