It’s Time to Focus on the Main Event

After you finish this article, please enjoy the bonus article, Peeling the Onion Known as Trayvon Martin.

The media would like to drag the GOP primaries out as long as possible. For one thing, they relish Republicans trashing other Republicans. For another, they enjoy seeing the GOP squandering tens of millions of dollars that, as a result, they won’t have available when the general election rolls around.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe that Mitt Romney is the candidate with the best chance of defeating Obama, whom I regard as the gravest menace, foreign or domestic, that this country has ever faced. When I think of the permanent damage he could do to America if given another four years and the opportunity to possibly replace the likes of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, my blood runs cold.

If either Santorum or Gingrich had built up a commanding lead in the primaries, I would have urged the others to drop out of the race because either of them would make a far better president than the Occupy Wall Streeter who currently occupies the Oval Office.

I would even support Ron Paul, the man who has never won a single primary even though this is his third run for the presidency. Although I regard his foreign policy as dangerously delusional, I believe Rep. Paul, unlike Obama, is a genuine patriot who sincerely wants what’s best for America.

There are those who insist that Mitt Romney would be no different from Obama. I regard such people as either being saps for believing that a so-called “Massachusetts moderate” is the same thing as a left-wing zealot or, as is far more likely, liars, who are trying to disguise their religious bigotry as nothing more than political differences. To me, the scary thing is that there are so many Republicans who see a moral equivalence between a Marxist and a Mormon.

Gingrich remains in the race for the same reason I always said he entered in the first place. He wanted to enhance his brand, thus ensuring that even years after leaving Congress, he would continue to sell books and videos and collect huge speaking fees. If he had been a serious candidate, he would not have spent the early weeks of the primary sailing around the Greek islands, leading his entire campaign team to resign. Also, if he had been serious, an old veteran of the political wars would not have found himself in the embarrassing position of not being on the ballot in his home state of Virginia.

I sincerely believe the only reason Newt is still hanging around is his hatred of Romney. After all, Romney is everything Gingrich wishes he were: tall, handsome, an exemplary father and husband and extraordinarily wealthy. In addition to jealousy, there is political animus because through an odd set of circumstances, Gingrich actually found himself perched atop the polls until Romney’s Super Pac buried him in Iowa.

Santorum is still sticking around because, unlike Gingrich, he has actually won more than two primaries, although the fact that he, too, was off the ballot in Virginia and in several Ohio counties, doesn’t speak well of his organizational skills. Still, the fact remains that as we approach the mid-point of the primary season, Romney has collected more delegates than Gingrich, Paul and Santorum, combined, and that the big ones coming up after the swing through the South — namely California, New Jersey and Illinois — all favor Romney, would suggest that for the sake of the Party, it is time to coalesce. The problem is that neither Santorum nor Gingrich holds elective office, and, so, there is no way the Party leaders can force the issue.

A good deal of the opposition to Romney comes from those who see him as the choice of the GOP establishment. The irony is that if Santorum and Gingrich somehow prevent Romney from garnering the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, it will lead to a brokered convention. And just who do you think will control that?

The good thing about being the standard bearer for the GOP in 2012 is that, unlike any presidential campaign in the past, the candidate won’t have to make a slew of promises he might not be able to deliver on; instead, he can earn his place on Mt. Rushmore by merely undoing what Obama has done.

As for Obama, the unfortunate thing is that he received the Nobel Peace Prize a month after he took office. In a just world, he would have received it next February, a month after he leaves.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Notes From the War Zone

In every war, there are big moments and small ones. The same holds true in election years. The biggest event, the Super Bowl as it were, takes place on November 6, but along the way there are any number of incidents that help to determine the eventual outcome.

For example, why would any American vote for Obama after he put the kibosh on the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have simultaneously provided us with a friendly source of oil and 20,000 jobs? I mean, even if you’re one of those environmental zealots who feel that jobs and energy should take a back seat to the comfort and well-being of insects and rodents, wouldn’t you be the least bit annoyed that he merely delayed a final decision until 2013 so that you and your kind will continue to donate to his re-election campaign? Doesn’t it bug you the least little bit to be played that way? Why don’t you folks just stamp SUCKER on your foreheads and be done with it?

How is it that the same people, Democrats, who pretended that George Bush was a dunce because they didn’t like the way he pronounced “nuclear,” never mentioned the fact that in heaping praise on Ener1, yet another green energy company that received $118.5 million of our tax dollars from the Department of Energy before filing for bankruptcy, Joe Biden kept referring to it as “Enron”? While anyone can occasionally mispronounce a word, it takes true comic genius to take a company name that is, at best, nebulous and verbally change it to a name that has become synonymous with the most corrupt practices of the capitalist system.

It would be like the Vice-President giving a rousing campaign speech for a liberal senator such as Charles Schumer or Harry Reid and concluding with, “And now it is both my pleasure and my privilege to introduce… Adolf Hitler!”

It figured that Newt Gingrich would latch on to Mitt Romney’s “I don’t care about poor people,” while ignoring the words that followed. In fact, after attacking venture capitalism, cozying up to Nancy Pelosi on that famous couch and labeling Paul Ryan’s economic plan as “right-wing social engineering,” I couldn’t tell if Newt was seeking the GOP nomination or had decided to put himself in the running in case Obama decides to dump Biden as his running mate.

Moreover, I couldn’t quite figure out why Gingrich thought that his own plan for improving the lot of America’s poor was so terrific. A trampoline, for God’s sake? Given that the former Speaker clearly doesn’t exercise anything but his jaw, what made him think that a trampoline was the ideal metaphor with which to illustrate the glory of capitalism? Someone should have explained to him that the way it works with one of those contraptions is that it allows you to bounce up in the air, but the lift is only momentary. Within a second or two, you’re right back where you started. The next time Gingrich decides to paint a word picture, perhaps Callista could suggest he’d do better to mention an Up escalator.

It shocks but doesn’t surprise me that Obama and his cronies are rejoicing in an 8.3% unemployment rate when most people know that the reason the number isn’t twice that high is because it doesn’t include those who have taken low-paying temporary jobs and those who, after three years of this economy-destroying administration, have simply removed themselves from the work force. I suppose if enough people finally give up, Obama will boast that he managed to get the unemployment rate down below 5%.

In three years, the Democrats have added 200,000 people to the federal payroll, meaning that there are 200,000 people who now have a reason to vote for Obama. Several million people have also started getting food stamps since 2008. Obama would say the reason that one in seven Americans is currently collecting federal assistance is because he inherited a bad economy. Other people, those who can’t afford to spend a billion dollars in order to remain gainfully employed, would point out that today’s economy is far worse than the one he took on three years ago.

For example, the day he moved into the Oval Office, unemployment was 7.8 %; we had a triple-A credit rating; we had a $10 trillion debt;, we had a federal budget; and the average gallon of gas was selling for $1.81. Today, even the doctored unemployment numbers are higher than they were; we have a double-A credit rating; we have a $16 trillion debt; we haven’t had a federal budget since Bush moved back to Texas; and a gallon of gas goes for $3.69…unless you happen to live in California, where I paid $4.29 a gallon for regular this afternoon.

It’s true that some fruitcakes on the Left are still upset that President Obama hasn’t shut down Gitmo; hasn’t campaigned for same-sex marriages; hasn’t entirely destroyed the oil and coal industries; hasn’t eliminated military tribunals or the Patriot Act; and didn’t pitch in when the various unions trashed the state capitol all because Gov. Walker tried to bring fiscal sanity to the state of Wisconsin.

In their insistence on nit-picking, these ungrateful leftists remind me of the scene in “Now, Voyager,” when Bette Davis urges her suave lover, Paul Henreid, to join her in appreciating what they have and not to focus on the fact that, thanks to certain plot-related circumstances, they are unable to get married: “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.”

In similar fashion, I would urge America’s loony liberals to concentrate on their guy’s numerous accomplishments, not on his various shortcomings.

If they follow my advice, only then will they fully appreciate the fact that when Senator Obama vowed to radically transform America, that fool wasn’t kidding.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Other Catastrophes

I must confess that I was never as big a fan of Sarah Palin as some Republicans. But honesty compels me to confess that much of my antipathy derived from the fact that her voice had the same effect on me that bagpipes and fingernails on a blackboard have on others. So the fact that she threw her support to Newt Gingrich, a serial adulterer and a K Street lobbyist, didn’t disillusion me as much as it might have.

I realize that because Newt allegedly asked God for His forgiveness, all his tomcatting around is supposed to be off the table. The problem is, I think God should have waited to find out if Newt’s ex-wives forgave him because where I come from, they’re the ones who were wronged.

Just for the record, I have two divorces on my own record. But I never committed adultery and I didn’t have girl friends in the wings when I divorced my wives. What’s more, the first one didn’t have cancer and the second one hadn’t recently been diagnosed with MS when we parted company. In fact, I suspect that if I were running for president, neither would try to derail my campaign and at least one of them, the Republican, would even vote for me.

Much has been made about Gingrich being a man of ideas. But the fact is, what’s required of a president are principles and a political philosophy that’s in tune with that of America’s founding fathers. A president always has access to the best ideas in America; he needn’t limit himself to only those that spring willy-nilly from his own head.

I realize that for obvious reasons, Newt would like Republicans to see him as Ronald Reagan incarnate. But the fact is, he has far more in common with Barack Obama. Both are thin-skinned and narcissistic. In musical terms, the president should be the conductor of a 310 million piece orchestra, but these guys see themselves as one-man bands. They’re like one of those guys you used to see on the Ed Sullivan Show, beating a bass drum on his chest, clashing cymbals between his knees and wheezing into a harmonica.

Reagan always used plural pronouns when referring to the accomplishments of his administration; with Obama and Gingrich, whether they’re referring to taking out Osama bin Laden or helping to balance the federal budget during the 90s, it’s all I, me and myself.

Another person who unfortunately reminds me of Obama is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In Obama’s case, his problem with the U.S. Constitution is that it failed to deal with the redistribution of wealth. In Ginsburg’s case, the problem is that it’s an out-dated document that ignored the rights of women, slaves and Native Americans.

In a recent interview shown on Egyptian TV, she had a few good things to say about our Constitution, but she advised her listeners not to use ours as a model in a post-Mubarak society. “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she said. Instead, she referred Egyptians to the constitutions of South Africa, Canada and the European Convention on Human Rights. She added: “I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution.”

As she approaches her 79th birthday, I would have appreciated it if she had limited her remarks to the state of her own aging constitution. Which, I dare say, is in far worse shape than our nation’s.

Not to be outdone by a cranky old woman when it comes to making stupid remarks, Jesse Jackson voiced concern that Governor Jan Brewer’s pointing her finger at Barack Obama could jeopardize his safety by inciting others to violence. This is the same Jesse Jackson who got terribly upset in 2008, when he decided that candidate Obama had insulted blacks by proposing to expand George Bush’s federal assistance for faith-based social services. At the time, Reverend Jackson, unaware that his microphone was live, turned to a friend and said, “I want to cut his nuts off!”

In response to those Republicans who feel that this bitter primary season will leave our Party deeply divided and unable to unite and defeat Obama, I’m here to reassure them. If, as seems likely, Mitt Romney is the standard-bearer, Gingrich will say, “I still think he’s a Massachusetts moderate, but that sure beats being stuck with an Illinois socialist.” With the promise that the Federal Reserve will finally face a long overdue audit, Ron Paul will enthusiastically hop aboard the bandwagon.

As for Rick Santorum, I think he’ll be happy as a lark if Romney simply buys up all those surplus sweater vests he’ll have lying around in his garage.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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A Tale of Two Debates

Tonight, I watched the GOP Presidential debate from Mesa, Arizona. Last night, I attended a Congressional debate here in the San Fernando Valley. There was a world of difference between them. The biggest difference is that I got a big kick out of last night’s event, even though the candidate I’ll be voting for hasn’t got the slightest chance of winning. His name is Mark Reed, and he’s a bright, attractive, well-spoken fellow. In many parts of the country, even in many parts of California, he’d be a shoo-in. He suffers from only one drawback; Reed happens to be a Republican.

Last night, he had to enter the lion’s den. Not only did he have to contend with two U.S. congressmen, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, but the event took place in a synagogue, so nearly everyone in the overflowing audience was a Jewish liberal. To be fair, nobody booed Mr. Reed, but that was mainly because the rabbi reminded everyone to be on their good behavior, and because the audience knew that Reed was essentially irrelevant.

What made the evening so entertaining for me is that one liberal was, for the first time in his political life, being forced to tell the truth about another liberal. It was sheer heaven listening to these guys insult each other. There was none of that phony “With all due respect to my distinguished colleague” blather. These guys wanted to bludgeon each other to death with their microphones.

The reason behind this mortal combat was that California’s congressional lines were redrawn after the last census and what had previously been safe liberal districts for Sherman and Berman had been turned into a single district that will be covered in blood before the primary vote in June determines which of them goes back to the House and which one goes back home.

Honesty compels me to confess that I have been friends with Howard since our days at UCLA. But as he knows, I will be voting for Mark Reed. At present, Brad Sherman is my congressman. If I had to choose between them, I would vote for Berman, not only because he’s an old chum, but because so far as it is possible for a liberal to be a man of principle, I believe he is one. For one thing, he backed the invasion of Iraq. Whether you agree with that decision or not, a great many Democrats opposed it for no other reason than to make political hay at George Bush’s expense.

For another thing, Brad Sherman joined the likes of Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters in voting to continue funding ACORN with taxpayer dollars. And that was even after we had all seen the videos of ACORN employees trying to help someone they believed was a pimp finance a proposed brothel to be filled with underage girls from Central America.

That brings us to tonight’s GOP debate. As usual, I found Ron Paul alternately amusing and alarming. One minute, you find yourself being charmed by his apparent good nature; the next minute, you’re asking yourself “Did he really say the world has nothing to fear from a nuclear Iran? Or did he mean that someone has invented a new, clear iron?”

Rick Santorum still strikes me as a guy born to be a college cheerleader, although it appears that this lengthy campaign has taken a toll on his hairline. It seems to be receding at the speed of light. I recall that during the 1961 baseball season, as he pursued Babe Ruth’s home run record, the pressure became so great on Roger Maris that his hair began falling out in clumps. I fear that if the primary race lasts into June, Santorum could wind up as bald as I am.

As usual, I was impressed with Mitt Romney. I know that some people resent his looks, his height, his hair and his money. By” some people,” I mean others besides myself. But just because someone looks and sounds presidential, I don’t really think that should be a liability for someone who deserves to be the President.

That brings us to Newt Gingrich. Although I have sat through all of the debates so far, which adds up to about 498 hours I’ll never get back, I finally focused like a laser on what Gingrich was actually saying, as opposed to the glib way he has of saying things.

I don’t know why after all this time it finally hit me. After all, it has been his constant mantra throughout the campaign that he’s the guy who reformed welfare, balanced the federal budget and, through his Contract with America, gained control of the House for the GOP.

That being the case, it seems to me that the most sensible solution is for Romney to be the President and Gingrich to run for Congress and once again become the Speaker.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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The Silly Season

by BurtPrelutsky

With football season finally over, we face the rest of the year, during which victories and awards are not usually determined by actual talent, true grit or any other standard that can be measured objectively. Instead, we will have some group of generally goofy individuals determine who will cart home Oscars, Nobel Peace Prizes and the U.S. presidency.

Jimmy Stewart was nominated for "Best Actor" for "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" in 1939, but didn't win.

The Academy snubbed Jimmy in 1939...

In fact, I’m convinced that the reason that so many people are addicted to sports is because they remain just about the only meritocracies in existence. While it’s true that injuries occasionally play a role in which team wins the World Series or the NCAA basketball tournament, it is nearly always the best team that cops the trophy.

When it comes to Academy Awards, there is a long history of mind-boggling injustices. For instance,“Sweet Leilani” beat out the Gershwins’ “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”; James Stewart got the Oscar for The Philadelphia Story to make up for his losing it the previous year to Robert (Mr. Chips) Donat, when he starred in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Going My Way and its director Leo McCarey beat out Double Indemnity and Billy Wilder; The Greatest Show on Earth beat out High Noon, The Quiet Man and The Bad and the Beautiful; and, lest we forget, the Academy members, in their infinite stupidity, decided that “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” performed on the Oscarcast by the group that composed it, the 3-6 Mafia, was voted the Best Song of 2006. It thereby took its place on a list of honorees that included “The Lullaby of Broadway,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Over the Rainbow,” “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “White Christmas,” “It Might as Well Be Spring” and “Moon River.” If you close your eyes, you can almost picture some bureaucrat in Heaven telling the likes of Harry Warren, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, to be sure and make room in their clubhouse for the dudes in the 3-6 Mafia.

I keep hearing that Newt Gingrich is a great idea man. That begs the question why he should be the president. It seems to me that if someone is an innovator, you don’t make him the CEO of the company, you put him in charge of the lab. In Newt’s case, I think he might make an admirable Secretary of State or, maybe better yet, as a John Bolton-like ambassador to the U.N.

Jimmy Stewart won the Academy Award for "The Philadelphia Story."

... so they gave it to him in 1940.

When it wound up taking Iowa weeks before deciding that Santorum and not Romney had won the caucus — but even then they couldn’t be sure because they had somehow misplaced a ton of ballots — I expected Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, to send Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad a one-word telegram: “Thanks!” After those folks botched the counting of a mere 121,000 votes, it couldn’t help but take the onus off Florida. Iowa didn’t even have all those blankety-blank hanging chads to contend with.

Speaking of which, one of the absurdities of the primary system is how much attention it focuses for months on end on states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In addition to the 121,000 caucus votes cast in Iowa, there were 248,000 cast in New Hampshire and roughly 600,000 in South Carolina. In short, we have devoted endless time and energy to analyzing less than a million votes when, in the general election, more than 140,000,000 votes will be cast. To me, that makes about as much sense as judging a book by its first paragraph.

Finally, as dumb as Obama’s nixing the Keystone XL oil pipeline is, it’s even dumber that we’re not drilling for oil in Alaska and in the lower 48. I still recall when Bill Clinton was railing against the endless demands that he “Drill, Baby, Drill!” In 1996, he actually had the gall to argue that even if they opened ANWR to the oil industry, it would still take 10 years before the oil would reach our local gas pumps. At the time, I pointed out that it would eventually be 2006 in any case, and wouldn’t it be nice if we no longer had to depend on the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, to supply our energy needs.

The fact is, because of environmental Nazis and their advocate in the Oval Office, we have pretty much shut down the oil and coal industries. It seems to me that should be a constant source of shame for every member of Congress, including those on the right side of the aisle.

The very idea that America is still dependent on foreign oil makes about as much sense as Mexico having to import tortillas, Italy having to import olive oil and France having to depend on Luxemburg to supply them with snails.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Liberals: America’s Termites Profiles of Success (60 candid conversations with 60 Over-Achievers)