“United States of America, R.I.P.” and “Politics, Guns & Surgery”

The Democrats apparently think they can get away with anything simply because the major media outlets are in the tank for them, and perhaps they can. I suppose we’ll have to wait until the mid-term elections to find out if America really is prepared to pull the plug on itself.

Clearly, Obama and his gang thought it wouldn’t cost them any votes if the Department of Defense suspended death benefits to the widows and children of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Apparently, they were equally copacetic about shutting down the outdoor World War II Memorial to military veterans, while throwing open the National Mall for a demonstration by illegal immigrants and some of their publicity-crazed supporters in the House.

Speaking of the shutdown, I don’t think it’s right for people to complain that none of the golf courses on military bases where Obama likes to play were closed for the duration. After all, Obama needs a place where he can unwind after playing all those other rounds of golf.

It is almost beyond belief that people like Obama and John Kerry can still find nice things to say about Syria’s al-Assad and Russia’s Putin just because they’re going through the motions of destroying Syria’s stash of chemical weapons. But when it comes to House Republicans, Obama calls them “saboteurs.” Chuck Schumer labels them “extortionists and hostage-takers,” while former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau draws the line at extortionists; to him, they’re just “hostage-takers.” White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer insists they’re “terrorists,” while Sen. Dick Durbin agrees they’re “terrorists,” but adds that they’re also “squealing political pigs.” Harry Reid calls them “anarchists” and Nancy Pelosi is equally convinced they’re “arsonists.” Al Gore claims they’re “political terrorists,” while Sen. Angus King of Maine refuses to beat around the bush, insisting they’re nothing more or less than “murderers.”

I realize that the Democrats are taking comfort in the polls that show that whereas 65% of the people hold House Republicans responsible for the shutdown, only 50% lay the blame at Obama’s feet. They’re convinced it will lead to the Democrats retaking control of the House in 2014, enabling Obama to complete his mission of radically transforming America in his own disgusting image.

Now, if I were an extortionist, an arsonist or a hostage-taker, I would probably keep this to myself, but I’m not that sort of guy. The truth is that while everyone claims to hate Congress, they do not hate their own congressman, who happens to be the only member of the House they actually get to vote for. That is why the incumbent generally gets re-elected.

On the other hand, when half the people hold the president responsible for bad stuff, that tends to shred his coattails. Therefore, Democrats who’ll be running in 2014 would do well to realize that Obama will be gone two years hence, but if they keep pushing his loony agenda, they could be gone even sooner.

Also, it’s the president who gets tarred with a bad economy. The recession of 2008 was created by people like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Sen. Obama, but it was George Bush who got blamed and the Republicans who suffered the consequences.

In the meantime, Republican politicians would be wise to recall Reagan’s 11th Commandment, cautioning his colleagues not to speak ill of other Republicans. For one thing, a circular firing squad not only makes them look dumb, but it provides Democrats with a blood bath they can wallow around in, like pigs in mud. I know from my own experience that Republican politicians, by and large, are no smarter than the folks on the other side of the aisle, but there’s really no compelling reason to provide Democrats with sound bites to use in future elections.

When I state that Republicans are as dumb as Democrats, I don’t mean to suggest that they are equally vile. After all, in the same week that Obama decided that the federal government couldn’t possibly accommodate World War II veterans or pay death benefits to military widows, he decided it was essential to hand over 450 million tax dollars to continue funding NPR and PBS. From Obama’s point of view, it made perfect sense because both of those media entities are constantly promoting him and his agenda, whereas what the hell have old veterans and young widows ever done for him?

It was also the same week that Obama decided to deny money and military hardware to the Egyptian army. This was seen in Egypt, Israel and everywhere else in the Middle East, as Obama’s casting his lot with the Muslim Brotherhood.

That would certainly seem to be the logical conclusion. On the other hand, it could simply mean that he has the same contempt for Egypt’s military that he has for our own.

Politics, Guns & Surgery

One of the basic problems with those on the Left is that they become infatuated with certain words while choosing to ignore their meanings. For instance, one of their favorites is equality. Unfortunately, equality is merely a concept. No two individuals are really the same; human beings, after all, are not robots, although liberals come close. For sane people, equality translates to equality under the law and equal opportunity to achieve one’s goals.

For progressives, though, it doesn’t mean either of those things. To their way of thinking, it means equality of outcome. Nobody is supposed to be more talented, brighter or more successful, than anyone else. To their way of thinking, if you have a bigger house, a more expensive car and more money in the bank, it can’t be the result of greater effort on your part. The only answer is that you cheated the fellow who lives in a hovel, drives a wreck and relies on welfare to cover his expenses.

There is a reason, after all, that socialism has been defined as an economic system in which misery is shared equally, except by those who run the system.

I was surprised to read that Glenn Beck, in calling for Obama’s impeachment for sending arms to the Syrian jihadists, wrote: “We did not get into bed with Hitler to defeat Japan.” What he seems to have forgotten or chose to ignore is that FDR did get into bed with Stalin to defeat Germany.

In the meantime, Pope Francis, who talks as much nonsense as Juan Williams and Alan Colmes put together, told Europeans they should be more welcoming to Muslim immigrants because they are poor and needy. What he didn’t mention is that Muslims do not assimilate. They do not respect the laws, culture or traditions, of non-Muslims. Instead, they take advantage of all the tax-supported social services, which inevitably leads to their hosts becoming poor and needy.

Surely the pope must realize that being needy isn’t the same as being deserving. What’s more, being charitable doesn’t mean taking leave of one’s senses and prostrating oneself to one’s sworn enemies.

Chicago, it’s worth noting, is a gun-free zone, as is Washington, D.C., with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Through executive order, Bill Clinton made U.S. military bases gun-free zones. Yet, within a single week in September, over two dozen people were gunned down in those gun-free zones. The moral, as I see it, is that Obama, Feinstein and the rest of those 2nd Amendment-hating creeps whose own lives are protected by men with guns, should shut their hypocritical pie-holes.

It recently came to light that the USIS, a contractor that provides background checks for the federal government, okayed both Edward Snowden and mass murderer Aaron Alexis. But before anyone starts feeling too superior, keep in mind they had nothing to do with helping Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman or Rangel, get or keep their jobs.

Not many people are aware of the fact that I once ran for president. Not of the United States, you understand, but of the Writers Guild. I didn’t really want the job, but I sure didn’t want the guy who had the job to win a third term. He saw his role as being the rubberstamp for the power-hungry executive director.

Possibly because I knew I didn’t have a chance, I was able to run the most honest campaign in the history of the Guild. For one thing, even though I had always been a freelancer because I didn’t want to get burned out writing for just one show, I told the Freelance Committee that I would do nothing to change the system in which most episodes were written by members of the staff. I explained that there were only about 24 episodes in a season. The Guild rate for an episode was about $13,000. Multiply that by 24 and you get $312,000. Even if you add a story editor, the total paid for writing services would only have amounted to about half a million bucks. However, a staff of six or seven could expect to be paid upwards of a million dollars; sometimes way upwards. How could I, in good conscience, insist they break up the staff system and only hire freelancers? Besides, the producer would still hire the same six or seven people to write the two dozen shows, but simply pay them less.

I also told the Minority Writers Committee that I did not believe that forcing producers to hire writers simply because they happened to be black, Hispanic, female or gay, was the American way. I told them that writing, like the world of professional sports, was one of the few places where people could excel on the basis of their own merits and had no need or right to demand employment on the basis of victimhood.

I still remember a friend and fellow member of the Writers Guild Board, David Rintels, following me into the men’s room one night during a Board meeting to apologize for not being able to support my candidacy. He said, “I believe the president has to be able to get along with the executive director, and I know you and Brian often butt heads.”

I told him he didn’t have to apologize over an honest difference of opinion. I told him I believed the executive director should have to get along with the president.

Needless to say, I was soundly defeated.

In closing, I wish to thank all of my readers who have written to let me know they hoped that the rheumatoid arthritis that has been plaguing my right wrist would get better. It hasn’t, and a recent MRI has confirmed that I also have torn tendons in my wrist.

I did see a surgeon who confirmed the bad news. But he did say that so long as I could bear the pain and discomfort, continue to wear the wrist brace and find some relief in Alleve, I shouldn’t rush into surgery.

On my way home, it occurred to me how wise I was to seek counsel from an elderly surgeon. You always stand to get honest advice from a guy who is too old to still be paying for his kids’ orthodontia and college tuition.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




“Republican Cannibals” and “Lower Forms of Animal Life”

The Catholic Church came up with the concept of excommunication. But as you may have noticed, such Catholic luminaries as the Kennedy clan, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and Joe Biden, all spent years promoting abortion on demand and nobody in the Catholic hierarchy even raised an eyebrow, let alone said anything about denying them communion.

However, let a Republican take two steps in any direction, and his fellow Republicans want him drawn and quartered. I’m not suggesting that we Republicans should follow the lead of our opponents and turn ourselves into robots. Frankly, I don’t know why Senate Democrats even bother going to work. Harry Reid not only decides how they’re going to vote, but even decides what legislation they’ll be allowed to consider.

I swear, Republicans don’t hate Democrats nearly as much as they hate one another. I have a group of readers who are always trying to organize a lynch mob, anxious to string up what they refer to as RINOs. Those are Republicans whose unforgivable sin is that they don’t agree 100% with them on every single issue.

Even the recent brouhaha over defunding ObamaCare caused more friction between members of the GOP than it did between them and Democrats. What they failed to acknowledge was that the fight wasn’t over an issue, but merely over strategy. They all agreed that ObamaCare was a disaster. The difference was that one faction decided it was worth decimating their ranks in a fight they couldn’t win, while the other side, insisting they alone had principles, were willing to create a hostile environment which might have terrible repercussions a year down the road when the GOP will be trying to hang on to the House and at least make a dent in the Senate.

Department of Homeland Security advisor Mohamed Elibiary had the gall to blast America’s Christians for holding the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Someday, someone will have to explain to me why anyone who is not only named Mohamed, but feels impelled to spring to the defense of a Muslim terrorist organization, is employed by this administration. After that, he can then explain to me how it is we have a president who is more comfortable sitting down with Iranian jihadists than he is with House Republicans.

Diplomacy is a con game posing as an art form. Hassan Rhuhani, the recently elected president of Iran, made his mark several years ago when he boasted that while he held the West at bay for two years pretending to negotiate a cessation of Iran’s nuclear program, the centrifuges continued to spin. But we see Obama and Kerry both pretending that diplomacy is the way to go. I guess neither of them is old enough to recall that when the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, Japan’s diplomats were earning their salaries, expressing their peaceful intentions to FDR.

It occurs to me that perhaps a better name for what is now referred to as Intelligent Design might be Divine Design. Intelligence, after all, has its limits.

As most of you know, when it comes to books, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I prefer novels because I feel they are written by writers, not researchers; they are therefore concerned with style, pace and literature as an art form. Also, as a rule, they don’t regard epic length as a virtue.

But I just happen to have read a piece of non-fiction which I am happy to recommend. For one thing, I know the author of “Arguing for the Constitution,” Steven Maikoski. For another, I know he knows his subject matter, and, what’s more, he cares passionately about his subject.

I won’t deny that the book’s length, less than 100 pages, is no small part of its appeal for me. But keep in mind that the Constitution itself is a model of brevity. In an age when we take a 2,500 page health care bill in our stride, it’s worth noting that the Founders were not out to bury anyone in sheer verbiage. Unlike Nancy Pelosi, they fully expected people to read it before they signed it.

Finally, I find that when Obama gives a speech, I am, like a James Bond martini, shaken, but never stirred.

Lower Forms of Animal Life

Having spent a good deal of my life studying the behavior of politicians, particularly those in our nation’s capital, I have concluded that the Potomac River gives off noxious fumes. It’s the cause of the common malady known as Potomac fever. The usual symptoms are a loss of mental faculties, a diminished moral sense and a swelled head.

We’re all aware of the ways it affects the likes of people like Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi and John McCain. But even lesser lights exhibit signs of contamination. For instance, Jay Carney used to be a respected journalist, or at least as respected as a Time magazine reporter could possibly be. But once he went to work as a press secretary, he has learned to lie for a living. And not just once in a while, but every single time he finds himself standing at a podium.

Then there’s Marie Harf, who finds herself as the spokeswoman for the State Department. With her nasal delivery and her blind devotion to Obama and Kerry, she appears to be auditioning for the lead in “The Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Story.” The big surprise is that, generally, when you find someone who looks and sounds like a Valley Girl in such an elevated position, one for which she is clearly unsuited, you assume her last name would be Clinton, Pelosi or Schumer, not Harf.

Speaking of the State Department, an agency with an infinite capacity to take a terrible tragedy and make it worse, it has designated the Benghazi massacre a criminal act rather than an act of terrorism. By doing so, it has introduced so much red tape into the process that the Islamics who murdered four Americans are more likely to die of old age than to ever be executed. On the plus side, those virgins waiting for them will also be 50 or 60 years older.

Speaking of the criminal justice system, Barry Bonds, now that a federal appeals court has determined that he was indeed guilty of obstructing justice, will be punished to the full extent of the law. In his case, that means he faces 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service and a whopping $4,000 fine. During his home confinement, Bonds is likely to find the $4,000 under the cushions on his couch.

Considering he was guilty of committing perjury while testifying before a Grand Jury, it sounds like the judges on the Court of Appeals did a little obstructing of justice of their own. Though, come to think of it, lying to a Grand Jury was what Bill Clinton did, and he still got to be president.

I am always trying to persuade wealthy Republicans like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers to start swaying public opinion by buying up however many media outlets as they can afford. A liberal billionaire recently bought the Washington Post for $250,000,000. For a lot less money, conservatives could buy up local TV stations and newspapers, including Spanish-language dailies, and staffing them with conservatives.

I now have another better way for them to spend their money than on pinky rings and financing losing primary campaigns for the likes of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. It’s my idea that they should be saturating TV with ads demanding the Senate vote on ObamaCare. When you have the unions, large and small businesses and 60% of the voters opposed to the Affordable Care Act, you do everything in your power to force Harry Reid’s hand. Anyone who thinks the Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in 2014 will commit political suicide for a lame duck president is just plain nuts.

Finally, it was during the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Manassas, that Thomas Jackson received his nickname when Brig. General Barnard Bee extorted his troops by shouting, “There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall.”

Although he’s faced no bullets or cavalry charge, Barack Obama, in his own way, has earned the same nickname. Unfortunately, in his case, he has done so by stonewalling on one scandal after another. In each case, starting with Operation Fast and Furious and proceeding through the IRS targeting of conservatives, the feds snooping on the AP and, worst of all, the Benghazi massacre and subsequent cover-up, he staved off criticism by insisting he couldn’t interfere in an ongoing investigation. Ultimately, he dismissed all of them as “phony scandals.”

I have come to realize that the major difference between “Stonewall” Obama and our dog Angel is that she does her business on the grass, while he does his on the Constitution.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.