Perhaps This Helps Explain Why I’m Still A Mere Worker Bee

There are at least two political issues that I don’t understand why big business in the United States doesn’t support.

One is single payer health care. The other is strict gun regulation.

I don’t understand why big business in the United States doesn’t get behind single payer health care because if I were a big businessman, I would imagine that I would salivate at the notion of cutting my human resources team in half, and at the notion that I wouldn’t have to screw around once a year pursuing better insurance rates, or screw around once a year telling my employees that the rates are going up, or screwing around once a year having all of those meetings.

If I were a big businessman in the United States, I would be begging the Chamber of Commerce to get the heck on board with single payer health care. Think of all the time and effort I could cut from my schedule about all of this crap about caring about my employees and get back to pillaging and white-knuckling over the bottom line. Wouldn’t that be great, big businessmen? Then why in the wide wide world of sports don’t you give this issue some shoulder?

I also don’t for the life of me comprehend why if you’re a big businessman in the United States, you don’t think it’s an excellent idea for government to regulate who can own a human-killing machine, and where and when he can brandish it.

This news story caught my eye today. A man walked into a Kroger store brandishing a loaded assault rifle in Charlottesville, Virginia. It scared the living shit out of everybody.

Shopper Monica Green said she fled the store and called 911 after she saw the man. Green said she warned people in the parking lot not to enter the store.

“It’s amazing because some people didn’t want to believe it was true, they just stood there like sitting ducks,” Green said.

Do you see what happened there? This redneck inspired one of the customers to walk out of the store and to encourage others not to enter. Now, once she saw this guy was getting his head pushed down into a squad car, she went back in and finished shopping. But how many of those folks took their pocketbooks back to their cars to buy their Wheaties elsewhere today, and how many of them now see a big red X when they drive by that particular location?

It happens. The local Home Depot near my previous neighborhood was where Linda Franklin had been shopping before she was cut down by Malvo and Muhammed during the world-famous run-back-and-forth-while-you’re-pumping-gas days in the metro D.C. area. Not that I go to Home Depot a lot as I try to frequent local hardware stores first (plus there’s that whole in-Home-Depot-nobody-can-hear-you-scream aspect) (hat tip to Cherrydale Hardware), but after that, all I could think about going there was two deranged assholes in a highly-customized Chevrolet sedan.

All that could be done, by the way, to this guy who walked into a Kroger in Virginia brandishing a really big gun was the Kroger banninated him from the store. No $.59 toilet cleaner for you, man, because you terrorized the rest of the people in here who were just trying to sniff and poke the artichokes. He didn’t break the law. He wasn’t even arrested. That to me is crazier than Charlie Manson, and remember, Charlie Manson is locked up for life. But THAT…is out here.

Hint to big business: Allowing rednecks to carry deadly munitions in public is bad for business, as is allowing huge insurance companies to tie up your own HR departments penny pinching in the health care market. Also, there are a number of other quote-endquote “liberal” policies that by the way are actually excellent for the bottom line.

Marshall Street Bar and Grill

The Marshall Street Bar & Grill

I like the Marshall Street Bar and Grill. It’s right down the street. The neighborhood it’s in is astonishingly pleasant. It’s neighbor to the Abundance Cooperative Market. It is a spacious establishment with a good bar, lots of taps, and ridiculously sized projection television sets for basketball.

Dad and I lunched there today, determined to try their wings. We concluded sadly that the best wings in town are still at Henrietta favorite J.B. Quimby’s. No, the thing to get at Marshall Street is the burger. It’s a humble burger with a two-patty approach that makes it great to grab. Plus, hey: Waffle fries.

I like lining up my local favorite joints.

The Swingle Singers

It’s not every day you get to add to a Wikipedia article.

In Popular Culture
Mentioned in season 3, episode 23 of The West Wing, “Posse Comitatus.” As Deborah Fiderer, played by Lily Tomlin, exits a disastrous job interview with President Jed Bartlet, she is heard to wonder: “Whatever happened to the Swingle Singers?”

Wish I could prove a new theory that Scissor Sisters were inspired by this combo.

No Sour Cream For You

A writer’s embellishment of what just happened:

ME: Hello. I was just down at my local hippie food cooperative buying accompaniments for my pork chop. I remembered to purchase two russet potatoes and a bar of chocolate, but I forgot to buy sour cream. Since I park in the garage across the street, it is a perceived pain in the ass to get back in my car even to drive a few city blocks, so I thought I would come to the corner market to “save me some time.” However, I notice you do not have any sour cream. But there is this weird middle-eastern yoghurt spread here. Is this anything like sour cream, because I’m already sold that it is and I really am just asking to be polite because at this point, I’d rather have a mediocre substitute than I would to get in my car again and drive.

GROCER: NO! It is NOT like sour cream. It goes on a sandwich. And I do not need more of your American dollars, you running dog imperialist bastard. And I know that my friend here is breaking New York law by smoking a cigarette inside of my shitty weird corner grocery that sells nothing but beer and hummus. But I do not care. For I am one of Obama’s minions, and in this establishment, we only obey the Sharia. No nasty yoghurt spread for you, you running dog imperialist. Why, I bet you’re CIA, and I should take you hostage! ALAH AKBAR!

ME: Thank you sir. Back to the hippie cooperative grocery for me.

End scene.

In other news:

Alan Smells Like Pee

He sat in the corner of the classroom trying to hide in plain sight with a sickened, scared look on his wide, white face. He had spent the morning deflecting the accusation hurled at him by his fifth-grade colleagues: Alan smells like pee.

It was my first week at my new elementary school, and I remember it like it happened last week. The poor kid might have actually smelled that way; I didn’t really sense it at the time. As Sarah Silverman attests, some people never get over the bed-wetting, and maybe he didn’t get around to washing up. Or maybe his house had an old incontinent cat. I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I was just glad for a moment that the little monsters’ wrath that day wasn’t directed at the new kid.

And I will never forget what his face looked like.

There’s a tone that’s struck when a person that age makes that sort of statement about somebody. It’s the tattler’s inflection. First goes the up-talky “aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” then the echoed up-talky statement of the accusation. “Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, Alan smells like peeeeeeeeee.” That kind of thing.

So that’s what made me think of Alan. Because I can’t help but feel that I spend a lot of time these days hearing that inflection from grown-ups as well.

Like a few weeks ago, when the story broke that the Secretary of State had banged her head and was diagnosed with a life-threatening injury as a result that rendered her ineligible to spend any length of time in a pressurized cabin at 30,000 feet plus.

“Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” they said. “She’s faking a blood clot in her head to get out of appearing before the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committeeeeeeeeee.”

Well, lookie there. Look where Hillary Clinton was at 9 a.m. this morning. She was sitting in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I also understand that when she was done testifying, Mrs. Clinton stood up and quoted Drew Barrymore in the film Charlie’s Angels: “And that’s called KICKING YOUR ASS!”

But remember, a couple of weeks ago, the lady was too much of a fraidy-cat to sit in that chair. And she and the entire State Department and the White House and who knows how many doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital and not to mention the Board of Directors of that, the sixth-best hospital in the United States, were all involved in a conspiracy to keep Hillary Clinton from facing off with the likes of John McCain and Rand Paul.


The latest case of Alan Smells Like Pee is involving the issue of guns. As we reviewed yesterday, the latest tattle is that Barack Obama is going to single-handedly come to every doorstep in the United States and demand that you haul all of your armaments onto the lawn for him to personally confiscate. But nothing could be farther from the truth; the only true regulation of gun ownership must be vetted in Congress and in my opinion is not likely to reach escape velocity from the House of Representatives.

And yet, every gun enthusiast around is all like “Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Obama’s gonna grab all of our gunnnnnnnnnssssss!”

He’s not going to take your guns. And Hillary Clinton did not fake her illness to get out of answering questions. And President Obama did not try to indoctrinate your children. And there are no FEMA camps. And there are not 78 to 81 members of Congress who are die-hard communists. And President Obama is not a Muslim (not that it ought to matter as the Constitution explicitly reads: “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”).

So I woke up this morning seeing the news that Mrs. Clinton had made her way to the hotseat, having known previously that the State Department had sent two deputies in her stead and that, in fact, this Secretary of State had taken a vigorous buck-stops-here stance about this event, and I wondered, where are all the people who were spreading this manure a few weeks ago, where are they now to say, wow, I guess I was wrong about that, sorry for spreading such garbage all around like that, won’t happen again? Where oh where are they?

“Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, Alan smells like peeeeeeeeee.”

The Executive Orders

I have taken a bit of time looking over the 23 executive orders issued by President Obama regarding guns. Every one of them fits into the following schema somewhere: Sharing information. Reviewing, clarifying, and/or beefing up enforcement of existing rules. Public relations. Improved accountability. Filling the ATF-chief post. Training. Research. And, finally, conversation and a commitment to the issue of mental health.

All of these actions are within the full scope and power of the Presidency, most of them by directing federal agencies to take this action or that. He is not usurping power. He is not bypassing Congress. And there is nothing among these orders that is remotely unreasonable.

Mr. Obama also hopes to take three actions in Congress, only one of which—strengthening background checks—has a snowball’s chance in Cuba of being passed. The assault weapons ban and the bid to limit magazines will die hard among those little desks.

And yet…

Like Ted Nugent, many Americans base their political opinions on garbage. Rather than first bothering to actually understand the machinations of public policy, they sop up a bunch of shitty gravy from dubious sources of information and go charging out of the building lit up like fireworks. And it’s too bad because it means that we simply do not get to talk about this.

And we kind of need to do that. What a shame.

In other news: You ate my fractal.


And then there’s…

The Speech

My Dad and I have been wondering if Mr. Obama will have a LOBO second term, which stands for “Let Obama Be Obama,” which we of course co-opted from the excellent Stephen Sondheim show “The West Wing.” No, wait. Aaron Sorkin. I always get those two mixed up for some reason.

I believe today’s Inaugural Address begins to answer that question. If you’re a “Tea Party” person today, I hope you didn’t accidentally get within earshot because if you did, you probably began involuntarily clawing out your own eyes.

This was a speech about The Commons.

You know, once upon a time, the national debate centered on what to do with The Commons and how to best invest in The Commons. That was the basis of the political tug-of-war. In the past decade or so, however, we’ve left that relatively reasonable debate behind. Now we’re hotly debating whether or not The Commons should even get to exist. And the country’s troglodytes have decided that The Commons == Communism and therefore it should be ‘sploded.

That is not a reasonable debate.

More than anything today, President Obama affirmed his understanding that a country requires a Commons, that spending money on that Commons is not mere expenditure but is investment, and that a country is only as strong and powerful as is its Commons. He also, quite interestingly, peppered his speech with images and references to African-American history, referencing slavery and the great Martin Luther King. And, of course, he today historically became the first President to nod to the basic human rights of GLBTs as well.

It was a perfect speech. And, if it is any true indication of how this man intends to govern, well, Mr. McGarry, you might just have something there.

Filed under “holy shit:”

Shannyn Moore Sandy Hook Caller