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"Jackass and Other Elected Officials" 

The author is reporting from a shale formation, selling shares to suck methane.

A former governor's son, former Madam, homophobic slumlord and the "Rent is Too Damn High" party candidate are all standing on a stage... The start of a hilarious joke? Nope, the New York State gubernatorial debate. I met one of these fine candidates years ago (maybe two, if the Madam's employees count), Carl Paladino jacking up prices at his gas pumps before our meeting, so let's just say the Empire State will also be won by "none of the above."

We're facing big choices here, folks. The witch from Delaware who can't cite a Supreme Court decision or the thug from Alaska whose goons handcuffed a blogger? "Jackass 3D" had the biggest October opening ever, earning $50 million at the box-office, yet the sucker-punches and sadistic explosions started months ago. We're so distracted that, while we were celebrating 33 Chilean miners being rescued, news that 26 miners died in a blast in China's Henan province and another two more trapped in an Ecuador cave-in was missed.

Ceding all journalistic responsibility, CNN announced what it will (and maybe won't) be covering each week with "Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days" - Offering highlights of stories because "to anticipate what's around the corner can help you step more confidently into the future." Meanwhile, Fox has done Democrats a favor by blacking out over three million cable customers in the Northeast. Somewhere in the Bronx, a wife-beater is soaked in sweat from O'Reilly withdrawal, all because Fox wants $80 million more from Cablevision for its "fair and balanced" programming.

That increase is nothing compared to our federal budget deficit, which tripled in 2009 to $1.42 trillion. Not since 1945 has our country had such a gap, but we were winning a big world war back then and now fighting two while in the midst of a civil war. Bankrupt and our children's children indentured to China, for some reason politicians are still talking about tax cuts. "We don't think tax cuts for the middle-class should be held hostage for tax cuts for the wealthy." said White House senior advisor David "Not Rahm" Axelrod this weekend. The Obama Admin is steadfast in raising taxes for those making over $250,000 in order to protect the middle class. Yet the middle class has since disappeared and is now on food stamps, while corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash and Citigroup (AKA "Bailout Bank #7") reporting $2 billion in profits.

Meanwhile, Americans throughout northern Pennsylvania and upstate New York have well water that burns, thanks to "fracking." The natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale Formation may hold 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, which sounds like a lot but will only delay our shared suicide another 14 years or so. The possible profits and hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") technique being employed to reach these deep reserves has drawn billions in investment, promises of 50,000 new jobs, as well as the ire of locals and activists. Now the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been exposed for tracking anti-fracking groups, making angry farmers akin to al Qaeda. "We don't track groups," stated James Powers, Director of PA's Office of Homeland Security, while struggling to explain why his briefings to law enforcement officials include evil groups like a forestry association and a city council.

Speaking of ironic energy, Iraq's estimated oil reserves were increased by 30 percent after extensive studies showed our 53rd state (Mexico and Afghanistan being #51 and 52) has 143.1 billion barrels in proven reserves. After we liberated the country from tyranny in order to subject its people to capitalism, Iraq has signed dozens of drilling deals, boosting output to 2.5 million barrels-per-day. With Iraq gushing like a MILF on YouPorn.com, ask why we spent billions and lost thousands, and now, a gallon is again $3, and rising.

Also rising rapidly is the X-37B orbital test vehicle that we aren't supposed to know about. Built by Boeing for the Air Force, 9 feet high by 29 long and powered by solar cells, the details of this top-secret reusable space vehicle were leaked by the Secure World Foundation for concern that it may be used to destroy enemy satellites and defend us from the bugs in "Starship Troopers." By international agreements, the void of outer space should be devoid of military machines (yeah, right), but now the secret is out.

Too bad the Pentagon isn't investing is technologies to keep secrets and/or find Osama bin Laden, known to be hiding northwest Pakistan, according to an unnamed senior NATO official, who added, "Nobody in Al Qaeda is living in a cave."

Speaking of hiding, the ghostly white snailfish was discovered 4 ½ miles under the Pacific Ocean, a new species that survives in water pressure of 10,000 pounds per square inch. Our President can surely relate to such pressure.

What we need now is a little comfort and wisdom. But we lost the classy Barbara Billingsley at age 94 this weekend. She reared Beaver and Wally while scolding Eddie Haskell as June Cleaver, then spoke jive in "Airplane!" - that's called range, and something our partisan politicians will need after the elections. Add to that, losing Tom Bosley on Tuesday at age 83, everyone's dad on "Happy Days," and we're in deep trouble. No mother or father figures, we're totally fracking lost.

Vote for the Madam, maybe for lower rent. Just avoid the witches, thugs, slumlords, and sons; Halloween is coming soon, but this horror show has only begun.

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