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Marion On December - 23 - 2009

BBC news reports a rise in the pagan population of Britain, with an item on their celebration of Christmas as the traditional Winter Solstice. Being a secular sort of person, I was curious about this until I found out these so-called pagans are anything but rational and, instead, cling to the worship of nature and nature spirits as a substitute for the more acceptable catharsis of received religion.

I always thought the Seinfeld idea of Festivus was interesting: you got together over a meal and aired your grievances of the past year. It was a cleansing moment; there was even an organised wrestling match with the head of the household as a finale, which could have gone a long way to furthering the catharsis, if you didn’t end up killing the person in question. Besides, most Christmas gatherings with families generally end in a fight or an argument of sorts, just like most Christmas parties end with someone copping off with someone he/she shouldn’t have and hiding that embarrassment for the better part of the next year.

Considering the year the US has been through – a seminal year, in many respects – I think a good dose of Festivus spirit is just what the doctor (Coburn, Dean, Zhivago?) ordered. A good old fashioned airing of grievances, a ticking off, a rant. So kick off your shoes, sit back, gaze upon the firelight reflecting off the Festivus pole, and prepare to get the telling off of your lives, various people … in the spirit of St Festivus Maximus, let us begin …


Barack Obama:

I’m starting with you, Mr President, because you failed. You failed to be everything to everyone in the United States. You failed to be the Saviour, the Anointed One, the Miracle Worker, God Incarnate, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. You didn’t put everyone of us back to work, with a wage double that which we had before, you didn’t pay off all the credit cards we’d maxed out on, you didn’t stop the Simon Legree-like bailiffs from appearing and foreclosing on the homes we bought that we knew well we couldn’t afford.  You told us to wash our hands, but it wasn’t enough. Swine Flu still arrived, and it was a pandemic. I know that to be the truth, because the media told me so.

You gave all those millions and millions of dollars to Wall Street to bail them out and none to the ordinary person. You hired Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, instead of listening to Arianna Huffington, and everyone knows that she knows more about economics and what to do with Wall Street than either of those two men; she has a hedge fun and married oil money – besides, hiring Arianna would have given her access to all sorts of important people of varying degrees of celebrity, and she could get them to blog on her aggregate, if she couldn’t do anything else.

(Seriously, though, Mr President, we could have done with Eliot Spitzer at your side).

Besides that, you’re upping the ante in Afghanistan, and everyone knows that we shouldn’t be there. 9/11 … what’s that? Bin Laden … who he? (Well, actually, Mr President, I think you know as well as I that Bin Laden is probably dead). But everyone knows, Mr President, that Afghanistan is destined to be another VietNam. It’s got to be. I mean, we’re long overdue another VietNam. Why, there’s a whole new generation of young people who need to be pried away from their laptops and the blogosphere to discover the joys of what Martha Reeves and the Vandellas euphemistically called ‘Dancing in the Streets.’ Besides, that’s exercise, and goodness knows, exercise is essential in the fight against obesity. Why, if the youth of today took to the streets in protest against Afghanistan, along with the lardy teabaggers who tried to make your life a misery this year, the impact of such a protest would be felt around the world … and probably register 12 on the Richter scale.

You tried to institute healthcare reform, and yet, you didn’t. You didn’t muscle through any and all sorts of legislation, including repealing DADT, DOMA, setting up agencies which would hand out jobs on demand to people, paint the sky pink and abolish religion sum total. You didn’t do that and you could have. You were supposed to bypass Congress altogether, bang your shoe on the conference table and be a dictator, be a king, be more like Bush! You were supposed to get things done, dammit! Never mind, that all that posturing is against the Constitution, never mind that DADT and DOMA are acts of Congress who have to be repealed by other acts of Congress … Bush didn’t use Congress, why should you? And never mind the fact that the Constitution specifically says that Congress legislates and the President has other duties. Who cares about the Constitution? After all, wasn’t it reinforced by the Bush regime that the Constitution was just a piece of paper to be ripped up?

But … wait a minute … you sounded like Bush when you told us about the Afghan escalation. That was wrong, Mr President. You sounded like the chimp … I know that, because smart people in the media like Arianna Huffington and Ed Schulz say so and they’re appalled. (And they should know what a neocon sounds like – after all, they have credentials, being closet shills, themselves).

In short, Mr President, we are very disappointed in you because you haven’t done anything any one of us in the US has wanted. You haven’t given us everything we demanded, including solving global warming, in the entire first year of your Presidency, and we’re mad. We’re so mad, we’re not going to play with you anymore. In fact, we’re taking our votes and going home … NYAHHH. Take that. We just won’t vote in 2010 and we’ll hope Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich mounts a primary challenge in 2012 and then YOU’LL be sorry … Because you’ll lose, won’t you and Sarah Palin will win, and that will be ALL YOUR FAULT TOO …

Worst of all was that you haven’t given us FREE single-payer health insurance for us all, with the government paying for it and without raising our taxes, like you promised, you PROMISED. You haven’t closed down all those evil private health insurance companies and turned their employees out onto the street. We’re entitled to this, Mr President … free healthcare, got that? Like they have in Canada, like they have in Britain. You promised us, Mr President. I heard you, I heard you … at least, I think I heard you.

“How do you pay then?” you ask.

How the hell should I know? You’re the President, smart man, you figure it out. I’m disappointed in you because you’re a socialist, a communist, a Community Organiser, a Chicago gangsta, an eater of arugula who prefers Dijon mustard to ketchup and a black man in the White House.

I’m disappointed in you, Mr President, because people far better than I am tell me I should be – people like Arianna, Ed, Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Dylan Ratigan and Naomi Klein. Rush Limbaugh wants you to fail, and it looks like they do too. Sarah Palin says you’re planning to kill us, and even the Bible is wishing for you just to ‘go away …’ So, if I were you, Mr President, I’d make a strenuous effort to find that birth certificate, because a lot of people have a problem figuring you out, seeing as how you’re just ‘not one of us.’ And from the looks of those names above, I think it’s as true of the Left as of the Right.


Republican Party:

I’ve always been taught that the Loyal Opposition is just what it says … it’s ‘loyal’ and it ‘opposes’ the government. It recognises and accepts the President as Commander-in-Chief and, whilst it might oppose his agenda, it offers viable alternative suggestions of its own (presumably, which it would implement if and when it became the majority government).

Not you … no, not you, GOP. In true Madonna fashion, you’ve reinvented yourself as ‘the Party of No’… no sense, no ideas, no civility, no character.

Your action plan for the year was to obstruct absolutely in hopes of bringing government to a gridlock. You rebuffed all efforts our President, rather naively, extended to you in the early days of his Administration and you threw them back in his face. You acted like spoiled kids deprived of their candy.

You’re dishonest, hiding behind the facade of a secret organisation which purports to be a church, but whose real agenda is to bring a Mafia-like theocracy to this secular country, forcing-feeding God to the multitudes like Christ fed the thousands with fish and bread. But we’re onto you, you see … We know the ‘C’ in the ‘C Street House’ stands for ‘Cathouse’, or rather, a home for wayward Christian men, who’ll receive counselling from their own personal Republican physician (a man qualified to perform but diametrically opposed to abortions – convenient, yes?), who’ll show you fifty ways to pay off your lover and assure you that if you say you’re hiking on the Appalachian Trail, no one would ever suss you’re porking your bit on the side in Buenos Aires … Don’t cry for me, Argentina …

You don’t fool us either, Eric Cantor … You might walk the walk and talk the talk, but you talk with a face which tells me you either don’t like what you have to say or you’ve got a constipation problem, and you walk as though you’re either a puling liar ashamed of the stupidity of your party or you’ve just paid a visit to your brother, the proctologist. (Please tell him that he still owes me $1.5o, as I stumped up the price of a ticket to see “Nicholas and Alexandra” in 1972, as he was short of funds on that occasion. I won’t charge interest).

I’m disappointed in YOU, Joe Wilson, for forgetting and laundering your white sheets in public. I’m disappointed in YOU, John Boehner, for sounding as though you’re three white sheets to the wind in public, and I hope you suffer from the tanning bed tax the new health reform is going to introduce. I’m disappointed you, Mitch McConnell, for looking like a cross-dressing, disapproving old maid at a Holy Roller church social. I’m disappointed in you, Michelle Bachmann, because you’re not only batshit crazy, you’re a certified lawyer … and that leads me to wonder what the hell ails the legal profession in the US if a ditz like you can pass the bar.

I’m disappointed in YOU, Sarah Palin, because, like a bad case of head lice, you’re always there causing an itch. You refuse to go away, like a fart in an elevator. You quit one job to run for another, and there are still poor, dumb shits out there stupid enough not to see that everytime you open your mouth … you lie.

I’m disappointed in YOU, Joe Lieberman, and I’m including you in the Republican category, because that’s really what you are. You’re a tired, bitter and angry old man, who simply wasn’t good enough to sustain a Presidential nomination and who was thrown to the pi-dogs by his own party for another candidate in 2006. So you sulked off and supported your old friend, John McCain, throughout the 2008 campaign, crawled back to the majority on your knees and got to keep all your toys … only to shaft us on healthcare at the 11th hour.  Apart from the President, you are the most hated man in America. You deserve that epithet. He doesn’t. At this time of year from hence onwards, when people think of Joe Lieberman at Christmas or Hannukah, they’ll think of the Grinch or Mr Potter or Scrooge (and even Scrooge was redeemed). Get ye to the Dark Side, Satan, and consort with Cruella de Ville, AKA Mrs Palin.


Democratic Party:

Grow up! Just grow up! In fact, to paraphrase that great Democrat, James Carville, “Buck up, suck up, but for Christ’s sake, stop fucking up!”

Every damned time we capture the Big Chair and the Hill, we turn ourselves into a circular firing squad, and, quite honestly, I’m tired of us shooting ourselves in the ass. As soon as we get a mandate, we start in-fighting amongst ourselves. In fact, we’re getting beyond a joke now.

My late father used to say that the Democrats fall in love, while the Republicans fall in line. Well, it’s also mete to know your enemy – maybe even learn to behave a bit more like him. We finally did that, didn’t we, with this latest healthcare bill – but not until various and sundry of the playmates had to be given new toys, courtesy of the taxpayer.

Look, we’ve always been diverse. Hell, George Wallace, that arch-bigot from Alabama who did everything but wear his white sheets to the state house, voted in 1960 for the ueber-liberal Catholic from Boston, Jack Kennedy. We’ve thrived on diversity. It’s what makes us different from the robatathon lemmings on the other side. We have Hillary Clinton and Diane Feinstein. They get Bachmann and Palin – great to look at, but brains are sex appeal that lasts.

Can’t we find a way to harness all that diversity into a singular fighting, positive force? If Joe Biden can put aside his religion to champion freedom of choice for women as regards abortion, why can’t Ben Nelson? If Mary Landrieu knows her constituents are so pig-shit thick that they’ll mistakenly believe any government-funded healthcare program will be free (and a lot of people think that who aren’t Mary’s Louisianans), why can’t she explain to them, in words of one syllable or less? It’s not rocket science. In fact, I could tell them in a 3-word, 3-syllabled sentence: It’s not free.

I mean, there has to be some common ground amongst Democrats. I just want to know what it is. We’re supposed to be more cerebral, more rational than our Republican brothers, yet we’re acting like a bunch of slimey, little kids scrapping over the last piece of birthday cake when we’ve all eaten just a tad too much. And if we’re not worried about the corporate interests that are lining our pockets, we’re being sneaky and snarky and checking certain contrived polls inorder to make the next move that will shinny us up the greasy pole (and I don’t mean a Festivus pole) in order to achieve what we perceive to be a necessary end.

Are you listening, Russ Feingold, you trouble-making Judas!

Way to go, Russ! You pay lip-service to support for the healthcare reform bill, and then you remark to the Huffington Post that the reason the public option didn’t figure into the equation was all Obama’s fault.


It’s one thing to have a clusterfuck moment of ignorance in forgetting that it’syour lot who legislate (psssst! That means, ‘make laws’) and not the President; although, I’ll forgive you that slip-up. After all, it was late, and you were probably tired. I’ll even forgive you a singularly cowardly moment recently, when you rather calculatingly put off voting for another measure in order to see if your Party obtained the necessary 60 votes for cloture. Once you saw that other Judas, Joe Lieberman, cast the decisive vote, you heaved a sigh of relief … and voted with the Dark Side.

But I forgive you for that, Russ.

What I can’t forgive you for is making a totally irresponsible remark like that to that worst piece of cyber-tabloid, second-guessing rag, The Huffington Post. Don’t you know that they’re looking for a pet monkey to prime for a primary challenge to the President in 2012? Or … maybe you do. Maybe that’s what you’re hoping. If so, I ask you to remember what happened when the late Ted Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential primary …




You don’t even know what the name of your political movement really means. That would be amusing, if it weren’t so pathetic.

I suppose, actually, I should be grateful to all y’all. You’ve proven to me that there is still a core of strident racism prevalent within the psyche of the United States of America in the 21st Century. That’s not only sad, it’s scary – and pretty low too, that you’re too cowardly just to come out and say that what’s really riling you is the fact that an intelligent, articulate and thoughtful black man is sitting in the White House … that he’s your commander-in-chief. If you’d only shut up trying to deny freedom of speech to people of opposing viewpoints, long enough to listen to what the man’s saying, you’ll see that he’s fighting for your best interests, trying to better your sordid, little narrow-minded lives.

Instead, you call him a socialist or a fascist or a communist. Sometimes, you even call him a Marxist socialist fascist communist. Make up your minds, or at least learn to read (and spell) so you can understand what you really want to call the President instead of just saying outright that you don’t like the fact that he’s black.

You want the Constitution back? You want to get back to the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers?

Well, have I got news for you!

Going back to that hallowed time might enslave all the black people again, including the President; it might put people like Hillary and Mary Landrieu and Maria Cantwell out of the public domain; but it would also ensure that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann kept their gobs shut too.

But it would also mean most of your lot wouldn’t have a leg to stand on or a vote to cast; because the Founding Fathers, secular elitist Ivy League-educated men that most of them were, never envisioned passing one iota of power to the great unwashed, of which you, most definitely, are a part. People  – i.e. white men – without property or education were simply not allowed to vote. They didn’t count. They weren’t to be trusted with something so monumental as choosing their country’s leaders. Now while you might own a bit of land, you can’t claim the education prize. Telling a United States Congressman that you want the government to keep its hands off your Medicare doesn’t exactly advance you to the head of the class.

Besides, once universal white male suffrage was mandated in the early 19th Century, that resulted in the premature elevation of the ordinary to the extraordinary in the form of the Know-Nothing Party:

And they eventually ‘evolved’ to give us this:-

And this:-

I mean, let’s just make Nightmare on Elm Street a national reality!



Just get a life!


Howard Dean:

You know, I always thought you were hot, but this hot … Pardon me, while I dowse myself with ice water. Christ-on-a-bike, Howard, boys like this at my old alma mater were all Republican to a man … To think that Yale produced you and …

Right … I was disappointed in you because you opened your mouth to open a can of worms at the eleventh hour in the healthcare debate, which could have caused and still may cause any number of problems for our Party in the future …

But after seeing that picture, I realise it wasn’t really your fault; instead …


Irresponsible media:

In my humble opinion, the media is the bete noir noir of American society today.

I must be getting old, because I keep harkening back to the days when all we had upon which to depend for news and information were the 7pm news broadcast on one of only three network news broadcasts, the hourly news bulletin on radio stations and a newspaper.

We got by.

If anything exceptional happened, programs were interrupted. They were interrupted when Kennedy was shot, when Martin Luther King was shot and when the same thing happened to Bobby Kennedy.

We survived.

Now news is the staple of our daily diet. We can have breakfast, lunch and dinner to various talking heads assailing us, giving us their take on the latest, selected happenings. If it were a fashion (and it is), news would be the new black.

Somewhere in our collective late 20th Century psychological evolution, we lost the ability to think critically for ourselves, to watch a measure of dispassionate and apolitical information and form an opinion based on what we’d seen, heard or read.

Instead, we learned, and learned quickly, to let others form our opinions for us.  To pass the buck onto the weighty, cerebral shoulders of the professional talking heads. It started in the 80s with the advent of talk radio shock jocks.

It then became part-and-parcel of an innovative feature that gave us the first 24/7 news stream on a cable package:

And from there it went haywire.

And soon, everybody was getting in on the act.

Somewhere along the line, news and entertainment morphed to forminfotainment.

The problem was, as the news media evolved and developed into something, ostensibly, more creative and sophisticated, we the people regressed mentally. We got lazy and forgot to think. We absconded the responsibility and turned into nodding dogs cemented to our sofas and hanging on the words of various and sundry pundits, many of whom weren’t even in possession of a viable journalism degree. Some were responsible informers. Others tried. Many didn’t even intend to be.

In the new, all-singing-all-dancing news media, there was something for everyone of every political hue and every intelligence level. And during this time, in addition to fusing fact and entertainment, concerted and deliberate opinon entered the equation … just to confuse people even more.

So, in the space of forty years, we ‘evolved’ from the likes of Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley to former rodeo clown named Glenn Beck and a screaming, proselytising, fire-and-brimstone Elmer Gantry called Ed Schulz.

2009 was a watershed in many disappointing ways. We lost Wise Uncle Walter to death:

We’re losing the great Bill Moyers to retirement.

And we lost Charlie Gibson to a bit of fluff.

The media is a business, and like all viable businesses, it knows and caters to its market. The fact that Fox is leading the pack (bad pun) was evidenced recently on MSNBC’s Hardball, when Chuck Todd stated that the extreme right wing of the Republican party, peopled by the teabaggers and Libertarian strain, was in receipt of a massive 71% approval rating, as opposed to the mainstream ends of the two political parties.

“It shows,” opined Todd, definitively, “the power of Fox.”

And on the left side of the political spectrum, MSNBC is not without blame also. For every O’Reilly, there’s a Keith Olberman, for every Beck, there’s an Ed Schulz. Each of theses media Jesuses have their own hardcore band of disciples, each lot proclaiming the veracity of the words of their god and decrying the opposite as a liar. People hang on the words of these pundits as though they’re clinging onto the side of a precipice for dear life. They cling to their message as the one and only truth, oblivious of the fact that their shows are opinon pieces, where various items of news are cherry-picked and dissected along the lines of the pundit’s opinion. It matters not one whit to the infotainer that the person on the receiving end buys into the message as truth and fact. The viewer is a bum on a seat, a bump-up in the ratings game, an assuaging of a fragile, celebrity ego. These manipulators, for that’s what they are, tap into a legion of couch potatoes and armchair quarterbacks, who want their dissatisfaction and dismay at current political situations validated and verified as truth.

That it’s not truth is self-evident, if anyone bothered to think. Earlier this year, in March, the patron saint of left-wing political punditry, Keith Olbermann, former sportscaster, sanctimoniously opined on Bill Maher’s Real Time that the Fox News boys were all ‘salesmen’, that if the world woke up to a right-wing media the next day, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Co would wave a magic wand and Messrs O’Reilly and Hannity, at least, would become weeping Nellie liberals. Not one month later, it was inadvertantly discovered that the ad hominem war of words occurring every other day on Olbermann’s and O’Reilly’s respective shows, was, in fact, a contrived sham. Who’s the salesman now?

It’s television, baby.

Olbermann, himself, is well on the way to becoming the Left’s version of Howard Beale, dedicating full-length programs to his brand of ‘special comment.’ One such ‘special comment’ pertained to the healthcare issue, where all we gleaned from the healthcare ‘special comment’ was extraneous information about Olbermann’s father’s illness and hospitalisation (which was paid for by Olbermann’s cadillac healthcare plan courtesy of NBC) and the fact that Keith’s vocabulary is rather good, if not archaic.

It was an exercise in ego, pure and simple.

The current trend in this sort of media is lengthy rants, dedicated to certain pesky subjects or equally pesky personalities, due to become particular whipping boys with which to ratchet up the base.

Sometimes these exhortations end in tragedy, as when Glenn Beck informed viewers that Obama was empowering police forces to ‘come for your guns’ in anticipation that the Democrats would, somehow, effect federal gun control. Some poor, dumb fuck then takes his beloved gun and kills five police officers, before turning it on himself.

Beck is perfectly entitled to broadcast his tripe. It’s protected under the First Amendment Freedom of Speech. Plus, he’s canny enough to know that he didn’t abuse this right, by deliberately demanding that people take their firearms and do what this unfortunate man did. So he bears no responsibility, but it has to be said that there’s a point when freedom of speech becomes irresponsible speech, and that irresponsible speech bears terrible consequences.

The latest rant of the left is against all things Obama. Obama’s the tarnished angel, who promised so much and appears to be delivering nothing. The media voices of the Left cottoned quickly to the intellectual shortcomings of the Progressive base, understood that they were like spoiled children who thought the ‘change’ Obama promised would be instantaneous and gratifying. It didn’t happen now and the way they wanted it to happen, so the talking heads feed the notion that they are entitled to sulk and throw hissy fits and demand that the President either perform to their own specifications like a trained seal or else they’d take their votes elsewhere, thank you very much, or else stay home with the remote.

Obama’s first 100 days didn’t wreak the miracles of repealing DADT or DOMA; he didn’t deliver single-payer health insurance, which would – according to whatever pundit is speaking – be the saving grace of the country; he didn’t stop the war or ensure that Guantanamo Bay was closed the day after he walked through the White House door. He bailed the banks out, when he should have let them crash and fail. He hasn’t found them jobs with top pay. He’s not wiping their asses; therefore, he deserves to be thrown under the political bus and they have to club together find a mug to mount a primary challenge in 2012.

The worst of these political preachers sounds like a preacher, himself:

schultz2.jpg image by pjcomix

After the recent revelation of Joe Lieberman’s treachery, which meant that there would be no public option and no extension of Medicare benefits to people between the ages of 55 to 64, the media immediately descended on Howard Dean. After all, not only was he an esteemed elder statesman of the Democratic Party, being the chairman of the DNC, he was also a practicing physician. When asked his opinion of the current legislation, he replied that the Senate should ‘kill the bill.’

There ensued a media frenzy.

That Dean had spoken, seemingly, out of turn in relation to Party policy, was irrelevant. The media had found their golden child to Obama’s chocolate Jesus, and they ran with the prize, over and over again, none moreso than that Avenging Angel of the gridiron (failed), Ed Shulz.

Yet the blame doesn’t lie entirely with the cable news media. The internet, itself, opened up a plethora of pejorative possibilities for faux news sites, perfect havens of validation for the those who sought the limelight of investigative and intelligent journalism and failed.

The ultimate in media whoredome is found at the Olympian portals of The Huffington Post, where nebulous ‘unnamed sources’, misleading sensationalist headlines, poorly researched articles, and celebrity bloggers with axe to grind and a willingness to radge the commentators to a frenzy heretofore unseen. For the current fashion in Obama-bashin’ , look no further than the fragrant Arianna as the trend-setter.

As much as she metamophosed overnight from virulent neocon-artist into a heavily-accented voice of the Progressive Left, and unbelievingly so, so she shape-shifted from ardent and passionate Obamaniac (after conducting a particularly scurrilous and personal attack on Hillary Clinton’s campaign) to a particularly virulent, gratuitous and totally nasty critic of everything Obama has done or proposes to do. Every criticism gets increasingly more outlandish and batshitty, but each such criticism gets her unlimited invitations onto various and sundry punditry shows – from Charlie Rose to George Stephanopolous with various visits to the ubiquitous MSNBC shills along the way. Arianna, expert on everything with solutions for nothing, is one of the biggest self-promoters of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Celebrity is her brand and she thrives on collecting ‘pet celebrities’ to further her message and her cause.

The most outlandish of her recent suggestions centred on Vice-President Joe Biden. She wrote a well-publicised article for her aggregate (which subjugates everything to second-place when the self-proclaimed Progressive Goddess chooses to declaim an opinion), urging Biden to resign … get that? To resignimmediately and lead a protest movement against Obama’s proposed and perceived escalation of the Afghan war. It got her plenty of appearances on plenty of talk shows and nothing else. It got her publicity.

And her willing disciples, as much dittoes to her faux message as Limbaugh’s are to his, nodded their heads in avid agreement and cooed how wonderful and right Arianna, a naturalised citizen with precious little knowledge of either the Constitution or how the government works, was and how she always speaks the truth.

It never once dawned on any of her lot of commentators that Arianna, only recently in the neocon pocket of Newt Gingrich, could have a possible ulterior motive. Having the ability to think outside the cerebral box may have caused alarm bells to start ringing in some people’s heads. Those who heard the clarion sound, needless to say, and who voiced as such on her ‘Progressive’ aggregate, found their comments swiftly erased and their accounts wiped.

So much for Freedom of Speech … possibly that’s the so-called Greek position.


Progressive Base:

The above illustration fits you perfectly because you’re closer in spirit to your teabagging bretheren than you can ever imagine; and there’s the operative word: imagine.

You’re simply incapable of imagination, creative thought and critical thinking. You are a disgrace to Progressives, especially since you’ve abandoned your thought processes to various and sundry media whores.

People, they don’t give a rat’s ass about your health care or your joblessness. They care about their egos, their bank balances and their ratings/clicks. They know you, however, in a way you will never admit to knowing them. They know that, unlike your rightwing counterparts, you won’t march in the streets and protest your demands. You’ll sit on the sofa, wrapped in a snuggie, operating the remote and eating tacos, whilst screaming at the television.

In fact, the only thing you’ll activate is your computer screen, in order to blog away your perceived dissatisfaction.

And here’s the problem: you bought into the rock-star image of Obama. You’ve either never voted before, because you were either too young or too bored; so you got caught up in the frenzy of Obamania and because all your friends were doing it, you registered to vote. Everyone was saying how bad Bush was, including the people in the news media who tell you how to think, so you looked at a politician and saw a Saviour. You saw him speaking and projected your own thoughts and desires onto his lips. To you, Obama promised single-payer health insurance that was free, with tax cuts, an executive job with a company car and a six–figure salary, a home of your own with no mortgage and unlimited credit. Oh, yes, he also promised repeal of DADT and DOMA and he’d legalise pot too, which would be available, free on prescription.

And you invested in him, as President, superhuman powers that were a combination of those inherent in Jesus Christ, a dictator and a king.

You demanded why Obama didn’t make the Senate pass a health bill with at least a public option. (Answer: he couldn’t. The President doesn’t legislate, Congress does).

You demanded why Obama didn’t repeal DOMA or DADT immediately. (He can’t. Only Congress can repeal an Act of Congress). When he said he was going to do just that, you stomped your feet and complained that he didn’t tell you when.

You echoed Arianna’s demand that Obama be more like Bush and then when he explains a reasoned and articulate rationale for a surge in Afghanistan with a definite time limit and an exit strategy, you and she complain that he’s just like Bush. I ask you.

And then because you haven’t got past the Freudian stage of psychological development called instant gratification, because Obama hasn’t done everything in record time, you cry and whine and declare that you’re either not going to vote or that you’ll hope for a primary challenge to Obama. You’re incapable of seeing that refusing to vote or even encouraging dissent within the Democratic Party will do more to enable a Republican return than anything the teabaggers or the birthers could do.

Ever wonder why we’re not hearing anything out of that lot on the Right lately? Here’s a clue … it’s because you’re doing their job for them.

Enable that lot of theocratics, and I promise you, snowballs will rain in hell before you see a Democrat in the White House again.

My suggestion is for you to buy a book entitled Civics 101, read it, then progress (as in ‘Progressive’) to the Constitution, paying particular attention to the First Amendment. You might learn something, and you might grow up along the way.

Look, politicians should be criticized, especially whoever’s at the top. They should be held accountable for their actions. It’s why we elect them, to act for us, the people. We are sovereign, and they should never forget that. But I can honestly say that I have never in my life ever known a President who’s been so assailed, not only by his Opposition, but also by people in his own party. It’s totally unbelievable, and it begs the question as to whether or not race has anything to do with this. What if the current Democratic dissidents’ darling Dr Dean were in the Big Chair? We might like to believe he’d do things differently, but the truth would be he would have had to deal with an equally recalcitrant and dysfunctional Congress as well.

It makes me think of a prescient remark my spiritual muse and fundit, Bill Maher, made in the wake of last year’s election: That the voters have only done the ‘natural’ thing in electing Obama – get a black man to clean up the mess. I wonder now if, in their agony of cognitive dissonance, the Progressive base are registering a particularly petulant and equally subliminal dissatisfaction with the ‘hired help.’

Thus endeth the Festivus Message. Feel free to air your own …

48 Responses so far.

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  1. dannie22 says:

    That piece totally rocked the house! Thanks for writing it! Merry Christmas! I’m glad I found this blog. Don’t worry. I think a number of people are onto Arianna hr puff and stuffington’s game. It won’t last much longer.

  2. peacekitten says:

    excellent, excellent post, marion. i look forward to seeing more of yours in the future.

  3. Marion says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind, kind comments and criticisms. I appreciate all of them, and I’m truly humbled. And thanks again for the warm welcome to this fabulous page. I’m going to spread the word about this site, truly.

    And, Nellie, I’ve absolutely no objection to you linking this to your Facebook page. In fact, I’ve no objection to anyone linking it to anyplace. I’d love some of the people mentioned to get a load of that as well. Ed Schulz comes from my home state, more’s the pity; but I suppose all 50 have their own brand of low-hanging fruit.

    • boomer1949 says:


      Oh thank goodness. I didn’t ask before I did, but I did anyway. I’ve sent this to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and a very good writer friend gave you a great thumbs up. I know it will go beyond our cyber walls. Woohoo!!

  4. Khirad says:

    I have absolutely nothing to add, whatsoever. I will admit to watching Keith here and again, but yeah the histrionics totally started losing me over a year ago and that O’Reilly thing, and other stories he played up that ended up wrong, were never corrected. Ed has totally been pissing me off too -- whereas before I just couldn’t take the non-stop outrage (I mean, seriously, I worry for his blood pressure). Nate Silver or Elijah Cummings or some voice of reason has to contend with some etheric dogmatist from the left, that somehow believes there’s still enough political capital to scrap HCR and start over… and so on. I guess the only real problem I had was why you had to rag on pagans and Stewart/Colbert (whom I would argue are new iterations of an older satiric tradition, but hey, I’m but a pup).

    In any case, quite ironically, I found this to be cathartic and what I needed to hear. That someone else is thinking the same things as me regarding a plethora of ailments in our discourse and information gathering, and having to deal with the dumbfucks from both fronts -- all criticism, few practicable solutions. And worse yet, the Obama supporters who made him all things to all people. I, too, never got swept up in the mania, I simply sat back, realized he wouldn’t be perfect, but in the end saw him as a politician whom I thought was the least of all evils (no offense meant to Hillary supporters) who could actually get elected (yeah, that’s to the Kucinich people -- of whom I share many of the same ideals, just none of the pie-in-the-sky delusions or orthodoxy -- his wife is a hottie though -- makes me wonder what he could accomplish in office if he worked some dark magic to get her).

    • Marion says:

      I’m actually a fan of both Stewart and Colbert, and I included them only as a point in fact. If anything, Jon Stewart is bang on the ball about most issues, and his factual research is flawless.

      I’m a real fan of Bill Maher’s, but I left off including him in this rant. I’m a bit disappointed in him this year, because I think the Obama-bashing began in earnest after he gave his initial critical editorial around about June-time … one week after he gave a similar editorial criticizing the Republicans for their bashing of the President for the same things for which Bill subsequently criticized him. But, hey … he’s a self-publicist, himself, and I realise that he did this for attention, which was somewhat scurvy and more than a bit hypocritical.

      Having seen him in stand-up this year and also having talked to other people who have as well, he comes across in those venues as very pro-Obama and lays off the gratuitous criticism. That he does one thing in print and in front of a television camera and another thing live tells me something … I don’t know what, but it tells me something.

      Anyway, because he’s a particular favourite of mine, I’ll give him a bye until I see how he handles Obama when Real Time starts again.

      • Khirad says:

        Wow, we seem to be in sync! I sort of thought that’s what you were doing with them. Like they exist because of the others, to call them on it. I just wasn’t sure. Anyhoo, you’d already gotten my thumbs-up and 10 stars. And, a 100% on Maher. Besides the self-promotion thing, maybe he wants to overcompensate in trying to be objective (or at least outside the box, I don’t think he would ever describe himself as unbiased).

        By the way, doesn’t BBC do the same Winter Solstice, pagans on the rise story every year? I have some neo-pagan sympathies, but think I knew where you were going, and yeah a lot of ’em can be pretty spacey and out there. Others have been the most intelligent people I’ve ever known. In any case not the point of your article at all -- and it makes me sound as if I didn’t read the whole thing through, which I did, laughing all the way. I too find Festivus so much more viscerally authentic in it’s inception, rather than reconstruction. One year our sermon in church was on it, in fact and we performed a little of it (not in full, of course, but there was the pole).

  5. javaz says:

    Spectacular masterpiece, Marion.
    You’ve covered it all superbly.

  6. AdLib says:

    An FYI: Out of respect for Marion’s amazing post, the OT comments discussing how to use use blockquotes and Gravatars were moved to the Help Desk where those conversations are welcome to continue and answers to those questions are posted: http://planetpov.com/2009/12/24/help-desk .

  7. boomer1949 says:


    My sentiments exactly…Bravo!!Bravo!! Excellent piece, no holds barred, and speaks volumes; a privilege to read. And, in all honesty, catharsis (for me too) at it’s best.


    btw — I’m sure I’m older than nellie to “stands on chair,” so I just sent the link to my dear Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

  8. AdLib says:

    A masterpiece, Marion! Truly remarkable! Humorous, insightful, comprehensive, cuttingly honest…a marvelous post!

    Just loved it!!!

  9. nellie says:

    Marion, any objection to posting this to my facebook friends? I think they’d really get a kick out of it.

    And once again *stands on chair*


  10. abby4ever says:


    Your article is extraordinary and covers so many topics it would take a month to fully digest them all…and your slant on them. If I might post something I posted at hp earlier today…my reposting it here it is not a criticism of your article but is related to it. It’s about something quite dear to my heart: the freedom to like or not like what Obama has been saying and doing, and to say so outright without getting blistered for it. For the most part I got positive replies. Here it is:

    “I just want to say this and I say it as an Obama supporter. He is human and will make mistakes. If and when he says or does something that is an apparent mistake, and if and when it becomes obvious to all that the mistake is a real one, we who support him should admit it. All we do by not admitting it, is inflame the tr0lls…who love to harp about our ‘slavish support of Obama’. It just gives them ammunition.

    “Along that line, even his supporters should be allowed to criticize him. Obama himself said, 3 different times during the primaries, and loud and clear, that he welcomes disagreement, adding that we would not always agree with everything he does. What I cannot stomach is when we do criticize him for something and then other Obama supporters pull the ‘Well, you were never an Obama supporter, anyway, you were never really one of us’ rubbish. We heard that all through the primaries. That is just bullying, an attempt to intimidate others into silence…something that has no place in a democracy and certainly not a free speech democracy.

    “If you can’t criticize your leader, you are not in a democracy anyway, you are in a dictatorship. Virtually, anyway.

    “I am making a general point here that I think is important; I am not referring to any mistakes, real or apparent, in any specific policy of his, be it HCR or something else.

    “All we need do, is be honest.”
    __________________________ End of repost

    I agree that he needs much more than a year to show us what he is made of and what his policies are. And that lots of the criticism is premature. That said, I understand why some of his supporters, even this early on, feel disappointed and I back their right to express that disapppointment…freely.


  11. choicelady says:

    Marion --

    Where to start??? Wow -- simply Wow!!!

    I deal daily with the whining Dems who have lost any sense of Civics 101, and you have captured all I have written and felts and believed “out here” trying to push some sense into people. I find myself shunned by some, disbelieved by others, ignored by many. And you’ve put your finger on it ALL.

    One tiny disagreement -- I LOVED Olbermann’s hourlong discussion of health care. But that’s the only thing with which I disagree -- and that’s just personal preference I think.

    Wow. This should be basic reading in every precinct, Dem headquarter, school room, senior center, and civic center in America. It’s probably asking too much to ship it to every elected official, but maybe one could send the link? I’ll ponder that.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to pull this together. You have well and truly defined so many problems, and so many problem MAKERS. Awesome!

  12. Emerald1943 says:

    Well, all you beautiful PlanetPeople, it’s now officially Christmas Eve here on the East Coast…and I need to put my body horizontal until daybreak!

    I cannot express my appreciation to you all for your kind thoughts today. It’s been a hard one for me and your moral support has been invaluable! If it is part of your belief-system, say a prayer for Sherri, my kid sister. She is barely hanging on to life right now and it is breaking my heart to think of losing her.

    Have a good night, everyone! I’ll check in with you tomorrow!

    Love to you all!

    • abby4ever says:

      to Dana aka Emerald: I am so sorry about your little sister…and what I just said, though straight from my heart, seems so inadequate. These situations fight language.

      You are very brave.

      I will pray for your sister…and for you and all your family, in this heartbreaking time.

      Merry Christmas.


  13. escribacat says:

    Excellent piece, Marion.

  14. Emerald1943 says:

    You all are spot on and I apologize to Marion for not complimenting this well-done post! Most of you know that I have been really distracted by other issues today and my brain is not necessarily connected to my fingers! I especially liked the photo of Ms. Landrieu! LOL

    BTW, speaking of photos, where did that picture of Shrub come from? Photoshop? With him, it’s hard to tell if it’s real or not…I would not put it past him…or Cheney either!

    Good job, Marion! I look forward to more of your comments! :-)

    • nellie says:

      There is no photoshopping on that picture of Bush. That was our president. For eight years. Just think.

      Wishing you well, Emerald.

      • boomer1949 says:

        Eeeeew! I remember — what a nightmare!

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Nellie, are you serious? Did he really shoot somebody the bird? If so, wonder why MSM did not pick this up? They picked up on Dick Cheney’s famous comment to Senator Leahy on the floor of the Senate, “Go EFF yourself”! I’d like to have a poster-size blow up of this to send to a couple of friends! LOL

        And thanks for the well wishes. Still no change on my sister tonight, although her kidney function is UP just a little bit and that is good news…she’s still comatose though. At this point, no news is good news!

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