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Running on Empty: The GOP's long retreat, Polish aviation disasters, and who's your Master? 

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from an interstate rest area bathroom, making friends on assignment for and The Source Weekly.

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from an interstate rest area bathroom, making friends on assignment for and The Source Weekly.

Officially Out of Ideas

As Obama continues his contemporary version of Sherman's March - passing health care reform, hosting the biggest summit on nuclear weapons since, well, ever (only our "special friend" Israel didn't RSVP), visiting more countries than any president in our history (all in one year), slashing and burning any fiscal responsibility, and soon to pick his 2nd Supreme Court Justice - the Republicans continue their retreat to the sea. So sorry is the state of the GOP that a gathering in New Orleans last week actually focused on whether they should adopt "No!" as their official party slogan. Parading a "diverse" bunch of potential presidential candidates, the Party of Lincoln (and fundraisers at S&M Bars) has no policies to point to, or any interest in developing any.
"What's wrong with being the party of no?" asked Sarah "Where Am I?" Palin (who brought two teriyaki caribou jerky sticks for each delegate - you can't make this stuff up); Liz "My Dad's Dick" Cheney urged everyone to rally against Obama's policies; meanwhile Texas Governor Rick "I Like Bush" Perry blamed "Big Daddy Government" for everything. In an interesting twist, only Newt Gingrich (who led the mass recall of Democrats in the 1990s) seemed to sense that his party is adrift, entering the event to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" then baffling everyone by saying, "We should decide we're going to be the party of yes."

(Insert bad
punch line here)

This is why our president and vice president don't travel together: President Lech Kaczyncki and the entire leadership of Poland perished on Saturday when their plane clipped a tree and crashed while traveling to western Russia. Somewhere someone has a hilarious joke about how many Poles does it take to fly a plane but, this is a sad mess; the pilot refused multiple orders from Russian air traffic controllers to not land. RIP: Both the presidents of the country and national bank, the deputy foreign minister, chiefs of the army and navy, first lady, and dozens of relatives were lost, as well as Anna Welentynowicz - the 80- year-old dock worker whose firing sparked the Solidarity strike that eventually overthrew Communism in Poland. The irony is that they died while going to mark the anniversary of Stalin slaughtering 20,000 of Poland's elite officer corps - in the same place, but 70 years earlier. Said former President Aleksander Kwasniewski, "It's a damned place."

Tiger Sighting

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Superstar swinger Tiger Woods showed his very-sorry-and-totally-cured-of-sex-addiction self at The Masters, drawing huge TV audiences and further enriching a non-sport that Mark Twain called "A good walk spoiled." Alas, Woods' return was overshadowed by a real husband: Phil Mickelson won his third green jacket after several months of supporting both his wife Amy and mother Mary as they battle breast cancer. Hearing of breasts, Tiger faded quickly and tied for 4th, saying, "As the week went on I played worse."

Speaking of Masters

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Any celebration of the Confederacy won't mention how the North kicked the South's butt, or slavery. Yep, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell forgot to mention all of the free labor Southern states employed (involuntary African immigrants were interns after all) in his recent proclamation that April is Confederate History month. No lack of eager idiots ran to McDonnell's defense, with Mississippi (a state that still doesn't know the Civil War is over) Governor Haley Barbour saying, "To me, it's a sort of feeling that it's a nit. That it is not significant, that it's not a - it's trying to make a big deal out of something doesn't amount to diddly." As if that didn't void Barbour's expertise on history and government policy, he then decided to talk about our president (whose skin color makes many angry for some reason) referring to any replacement for Supreme Court Justice Stevens by saying that Obama will, "appoint the most liberal person that he can and he thinks he can get confirmed. And that, that person will be a liberal. That's just a fact." If you don't know, Barbour is a former lobbyist for big tobacco and led Bush's presidential exploratory committee. A man for whom facts are subjective, whether the era of slavery, Republican racism, Bush's ugly unending legacy, smoking or death...

Appalachian Indignity

All 29 bodies of miners killed in the blast in West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine have been recovered, allowing federal investigators to confirm what we already know. Massey Energy was hit with 57 safety violations in March alone, and paid $4.2 million in criminal and civil fines last year; this fine company runs the Upper Big Branch mine, the scene of the worst American mining disaster in 40 years. Good thing coal is clean, unlike the conscience of the managers still sending impoverished people deep into mountains for black rocks that burn.

A Potpourri of Insults

* Steelers QB big, dumb Ben Roethlisberger won't face criminal charges for (probably) again raping a woman.

* The first multi-party elections in 24 years are being held in Sudan, with polling stations predictably opening late or not at all.

* At least two Catholic cardinals compared any critics of the Vatican's mismanagement of pedophile priests to Nazis who exterminated the Jews; in related news: Cardinal Ratszinger signed his name to a letter in Latin refusing to defrock a known pedophile priest - good thing Ratzinger isn't a cardinal anymore (wait, he's now the Pope? WTF!).

* Somewhere a terrorist is seeking nuclear weapons, which is far more important than anything on TV; also on TV at this moment: Kate Gosselin is dancing and doing anything for fame, instead of spending time with her kids.

* The Dow hit 11,000 this week! You'll soon be rich again and buy that house you can't afford from a financial conglomerate that totally cares about your long-term goals.


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