Michael Goodell

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!
by Michael Goodell

Considering how much they like to call themselves Progressives, it’s ironic how nostalgic liberals are as a group. But maybe that’s because the last time their ideology showed any promise it was October, 1917. Still, their instinct to relive the past is so strong they ought to call themselves Retroprogressives.
 
Consider the past twenty-five years. First, we had Bill Clinton in the White House, where every day was a reprise of the Summer of Love. Then came George Bush, and Iraq, when, having finally recovered from that embarrassing spurt of Pearl Harbor Patriotism following 9/11, liberals could finally relive the greatest of the old days, the antiwar movement. Throw in a little 1970’s American self-hate and we now are ready to continue our stroll down memory lane. That’s right, it’s time for Watergate 2.0.
 
Not so long ago Democrats were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of Special Counsels danced in their heads. Soon they would awaken to a brand new morn, their president charged, if not with colluding with Russians, which isn’t really illegal and can’t be proved, but with maybe lying about when they knew what they didn’t know or something like that. Anyway, it could happen, and then maybe Hillary would get to be president after all. 
 
At the very least, they Democrats were almost a lock to sweep the midterm elections this November, and retake Congress. And then they could finally impeach that mean old nasty Mr. Trump. But that was before they overplayed their hand. Before they shut down the government and actually got blamed for it this time. Before their collective State of the Union tantrum, when they showed America they could not applaud a strong economy, would not cheer for low unemployment, and refused to stand for their flag or their nation. Before they revealed that the only people they felt worthy of their applause were illegal immigrants.
 
Now, even though their Special Counsel is still taking names and calling the shots, Democrats have retreated all the way back to collusion. Their latest cry is “The Russians are preparing to hack the midterms.” The Republicans are playing games with partisan, fact-challenged, National Security shattering memos when they should be doing whatever is necessary to keep the Russians from stealing another election.
 
A curious charge, this, since up until about Monday the Democrats were almost guaranteed a win. You obviously don’t want to allege electoral shenanigans if you think you’re going to win. 
 
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the minority party. It’s hard to imagine them stumbling so badly unless they did it on purpose. But why would any politicians intentionally shoot themselves in the foot? It’s preposterous. No, there is really only one explanation for this turn of events. Putin did it.

 

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Incessant Aggrandizement

by Michael Goodell

Just about everything wrong with America today can be summed up in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the campaign to place a woman on the newly designed $10 bill. The author, Nick Timiraos, cites a March, 2015 memo from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew which revealed that though the decision to honor Susan B. Anthony with the rollout of the new bill in 2020 had already been made, he decided to turn the redesign into a public referendum over which woman should be put on the bill.

 

Now, the fact that it was envisioned that redesigning a piece of currency was envisioned to take at least five years is proof positive that our federal government is fatally sclerotic, but that is not the most damning aspect of the decision. Instead, it had to do with the rationale for turning the decision into a debate. Lew felt the decision would “inspire a feel good campaign about women’s contributions to U.S. history.”

 

Whether it is the role of the federal government to launch “feel good campaigns about women’s contributions” is a reasonable question, but what should be beyond dispute is that it is in no way within the purview of the U.S. Treasury to engage in such social pseudo scientific meddling.

 

Of course, under this administration there is no piece of social meddling beyond its scope, as witnessed by the head of NASA informing us that the president believed  one of the highest priorities of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s was to encourage “the Muslim World” to feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.

 

Let us be clear. It is not the job of the U.S. Treasury to boost the self-esteem  of  women, or any other subsection of American society. Nor is it the business of government to encourage fathers to take time to be fathers, as a recent federally funded ad campaign entreats.

 

In an age of steep deficits and steadily mounting debt, with burgeoning entitlement spending and no clear path to reining in the fiscal Leviathan which is the federal budget, it is unconscionable that anyone, let alone the U.S. Treasury Secretary, would spend valuable tax dollars on something so insubstantial, trivial and unnecessary as promoting a “feel good campaign about women’s contributions.”

 

If every federal department could be forced to return to its original remit, with its budget slashed accordingly, not only would we be one step closer to a sound fiscal policy, but everyday life would begin to trend toward freedom, and away from the increasingly stifling embrace of the nanny state.

 

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Conventional Wisdom
by Michael Goodell

There has been a lot of nervous talk lately about a “brokered” Republican National Convention. Allow me to set your hearts at ease. There will not be a brokered convention this year. I guarantee it it. 
 
Here’s why a brokered convention is impossible. A brokered convention has been defined throughout American political history as a group of party leaders assembling in smoke-filled rooms and picking their party’s nominee. On October 9, 2006, Quicken Loans Arena, the site of this year’s Republican National Convention, banned smoking throughout the facility. No smoking, no smoke-filled rooms. No smoke-filled rooms, no brokered convention. QED.
 
There may well be an open convention, or a contested one, in which no candidate has won the requisite 1,237 delegates. After the first round of voting, most delegates are released from their commitment, and are free to vote for any candidate they choose. There are some limitations, such as eligibility being limited to candidates who have won at least eight primaries or caucuses during the run up to election. 
 
Of course, this rule was set by the Rules Committee, and it can be changed, by a majority vote. Which means, theoretically, the nomination is open to anyone. Except Paul Ryan, who has said he will not accept the nomination. (Of course, Speaker Ryan also stated adamantly that he would not accept the Speaker of the House).
 
Now, Donald Trump has made noises about the possibility of riots if “the Establishment” denies him his nomination. Of this, all we can say is, if you’re Geico, you save people 15% on car insurance. if you’re Donald Trump, you make irresponsible, ill-considered comments. It’s what you do.
 
For all those who think denying Trump the nomination would be a travesty, an act of injustice on a level with, say, Howard Cosell losing his job because of some colorful terminology used to describe certain NFL wide receivers, consider the following.
 
If Trump continues to nail down his usual 35% of the Republican electorate, it basically means for every Republican who supports him, there are two who don’t. Hardly overwhelming support. Hardly a clear example of the people having spoken with one voice.
 
If, after the first ballot the delegates are released and his support drops in subsequent ballots, then we will have an open convention. This will be riveting television, on par with a hotly contested “Batchelor,” or even “Dancing With the Hollywood Chefs” episode. If someone comes from outside the ranks of candidates, a Dark Horse, and rides a sudden upwelling of support to victory, then neither Trump nor his supporters can rightfully claim they were cheated. The system worked, and a party, the majority of whose members never supported him, gets its  way, and justice is done. 
 
His supporters can choose to stay home, or Trump can run as a third party candidates, either of which options will likely result in Hillary Clinton becoming the first president to pardon herself, (unless Brazilian President Dilma Roussef beats her to it). They can have their temper tantrum and punish those who opposed them, but in no way can they lay claim to the heart of the Republican Party.
 
If, on the other hand, Trump’s support rises on the second ballot, matters are trending his way and he will likely win the nomination. If he gains sufficient support, then shame on party leaders or insiders who would attempt to deny him the nomination, to deny party members the right to determine their own path.
 
This is the part of the brokered convention some people fear will occur, even if party insiders aren’t allowed to smoke (or maybe they can use the Boehner Suite). In this scenario “the Establishment” selects a favored candidate, either Mitt Romney 2.0, or Jeb!, say, and they swing the delegates’ support his way.
 
The problem with this is, it won’t work. The Chairman of, say, the Ohio Republican Party can’t say, I’ll throw my 66 delegates behind Eric Cantor, because he doesn’t control them. In the old days of brokered convention, he could do that, and the delegates would fall in line. Today they will fall in line, but only if they agree with the decision.
 
So, there won’t be a brokered convention. Even if there is a contested convention, whoever the nominee is, rightly or wrongly, wisely or foolishly, he or she will be chosen by a majority of the delegates. Then maybe the party will rally behind the candidate, all the Trump supporters will wake up, like Dorothy, back in their own beds, telling the most amazing story about twisters, munchkins and flying monkeys, and the people will unite to defeat the Wicked Witch of the East.


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Pitchforks and Tea Carts
by Michael Goodell

A long time ago, when American diplomats were being held hostage by Islamist thugs in Tehran, and American power was being held hostage by indecision and cowardice in Washington, I came upon a cluster of suits one lunch hour in downtown San Francisco. They were angry, frustrated, frightened and gathered outside the Iranian-owned Bank of Melli, on Sutter Street. 
 
They were muttering and occasionally shouting, shaking their fists and taking secret pleasure from the frightened glances the young tellers inside would cast our way. Though they would deny it from that day on, each of those present would knew, in their heart of hearts, that terrifyingly delicious taste of putting fear in the eyes of others.
 
We were a mob. A singularly well-dressed, and well-behaved mob, but a mob nonetheless. We felt a thrill of anticipation when the manager scurried over to lock the door. Our shouts grew louder. At one point I realized I could take control of this mob. I could bend them to my will. It took only the raising of my voice to lead them to riot.
 
I stepped forward, grabbed the door handles and shouted, “We can break this door down!”
 
Okay, I spoke the words conversationally. Maybe I even whispered them. There at the moment of decision, I lost my nerve. I decided I didn’t want to be responsible for them trashing the bank, maybe even punching, stomping, beating the employees. I didn’t have what it took to lead a mob. I was too passive to be an activist. I spent the balance of my lunch hour in the crowd, waiting for someone else to step forward.
 
When the police came to escort the bank employees to safety our impromptu mob cheered. I explained to them you didn’t cheer the police when they arrived, you booed them. But they, like me when push came to shove, were reflexively allied with order and the rule of law.
 
I was reminded of that incident the other day while pondering the mystery of Donald Trump. How is it possible that he can break every rule of politics and see his support grow? How can he be a bully, a boor, an adolescent shambles, a self-gratifying, self-aggrandizing, self-glorifying egotist and watch his numbers grow? How is it possible that people who have learned over the course of a lifetime to despise people like Donald Trump on general principle can turn with a vengeance on anyone who points out exactly who and what the man is?
 
Trump supporters, I came to understand, are like that nascent mob in San Francisco. They are angry, frustrated and frightened. They feel let down by the system, by their culture; for them the American Dream is dead. They don’t embrace Trump because they believe he will, in fact, Make America Great Again, but because they are convinced he will destroy what remains of the City Upon the Hill.
 
They are angry. They are throwing bombs. They don’t care to preserve the system because the system no longer works. How is it possible that the American political system could have failed its citizens so drastically that the middle class are ready to revolt? It is a terrible thing when the middle class advocates revolution, because when the system falls, it falls hardest upon the middle class. It is the middle class which thrives on order, which depends upon the rule of law, which cheers the police when they arrive. If the middle class want to throw things over, things have gotten very bad indeed.
 
These torches-and-pitchfork condemnations of the Republican establishment, of damning people like Paul Ryan, Richard Lowry and William Kristol as RINOS, as liberal hacks, reveal a kind of sickness, a Dantonesque fanning of the revolutionary flames, of kindling a bonfire while will burn more than their enemies. 
 
Calling Trump a dictator, a Mussolini, has no impact on his mob because they want a dictator. They want a Mussolini to come in and sweep the old edifice away. They are tired of being lied to by the establishment. They are tired of voting for Conservatives only to have them rule like moderates or even liberals. They believe the system is so broken it corrupts even decent men and women, and the only solution is to tear it down.
 
The break has been a long time coming. It happened, as Mike Campbell said about his bankruptcy, two ways, gradually and then suddenly.

 

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com,

Bedtime Stories

by Michael Goodell
 
Of all the interesting aspects of this most curious of curious elections perhaps the most remarkable is the urgency with which the prevailing media are trying to draw it to the close. Even though a mere four of the 57 American states have voted, pundits are throwing dirt on Marco Rubio’s coffin because he hasn’t managed to win a single election. Donald “Il Duce” Trump, on the other hand, is the hands down winner, having dropped only a single campaign, and that to Ted Cruz, the Emmanuel Goldstein of contemporary American politics, who is incapable of winning because he can’t even poll a plurality of Evangelical voters in South Carolina. 
 
No, Tump towers over all other candidates by virtue of his having a ceiling of 35% of Republican primary voters, and as any student of history will tell you, 35% is a yuuuge margin. Hell, the best Hitler ever managed was 34%, and look at how that turned out. I’m telling you, the man knew supply chain management, believe me.
 
On the other side of the spectrum, a quick sampling of Nevada Caucus headlines have Hillary Clinton winning easily, handily, decisively. Her easy, handy and decisive victory pretty much marked the end of Bernie Sanders’ quixotic quest to give free things to everybody (except the evil rich, who will be made to pay, like they are in Denmark).
 
Parsing the numbers shows that Hillary easily nailed down 52.5% of the Nevada caucus vote, while Sanders struggled to convince a paltry 47.5% of Nevada democrats to vote for him. Only among the Clinton faithful is a 5% margin considered a landslide. One wonders if these journalists really, really like Hillary, or are they just bucking for a cushy job at the Clinton Foundation. (Nice work if you can get it, schmoozing with billionaires, jetting off to Davos on private jets, and if you’re lucky, getting full use of Bill’s Penthouse Lounge VIP card).
 
If they were so inclined, they could have spun the Democrat results in an entirely different way. Despite spending months building an infrastructure in Nevada, Hillary barely held on to wrest a much-needed victory from the surging Sanders. The Vermont Senator had essentially written off the state, having spent very little time and money there. Despite this, he came within a fraction of upsetting the struggling Clinton machine. Even more disturbing, Sanders actually outpolled Clinton among the crucial Hispanic vote. 
 
Her substantial advantage among African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities is crucial to counter the fact that everybody else (except aging feminists) favors Sanders by a substantial margin.
 
The election could have been reported this way, except those tasked with creating the rough draft of history have already decided Sanders can’t beat anybody, but Hillary has a decent shot of knocking off Trump. Obviously, conventional wisdom says there’s no way a bullying, buffoonish blowhard  like Trump can defeat Hillary in a national election. Of course, conventional wisdom has been sticking a fork in The Donald since last summer and he continues to lead the Republican race.
 
It would be interesting to see what would happen if Trump did in fact face Hillary. Yes, Trump seems to have a ceiling of around 35% in the Republican Party, but where will Bernie’s people go if he loses? To Hillary? Not likely. They seem to hate Hillary more than even Republicans do. It is stunning how many Sanders supporters regard Trump as their second choice.
 
Despite the risk that their advocacy might blow up in their face, certainly Trump gives Hillary the best chance to win. Certainly more so than Rubio. Rubio has polled well against Hillary for months, and has only gotten stronger as his name recognition has grown. Which is why the media felt compelled to make such a big deal about his stumble in the New Hampshire debate, and why his fifth place finishing was regarded as potentially fatal to his prospects. 
 
Reporters twist themselves into knots trying to decree that the nominating process is as good as over. The other day one of those dybbuks cited Trump’s “overwhelming lead,” pointing out that he has “nearly six times as many delegates” as his closest competitor. Which is true. He has around 58, while Rubio and Cruz have 10 apiece. Since he only needs 1237, it’s easy to see why those other guys should just pack it in. 
 
It reminds me of my schtick on Opening Day, when, say, Miguel Cabrera hits a homer and has 3 RBI. I’ll say he’s on a pace to hit a record 162 home runs and 486 RBI. Of course, I’m kidding. When the CNN Bubble Head says Trump has an overwhelming lead, it’s entirely possible she believes it.
 
Of course, the predominant media are allowed to tell themselves any stories they want if it will help them sleep at night. We the people, on the other hand, are under no obligation to believe them. In fact, one could argue it is our patriotic duty to ignore them.

 

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Against Hillary

by Michael Goodell

Following Hillary Clinton’s thrilling, amazing, come-from-behind Iowa caucus victory over the scintillating  Bernie Sanders, it may be time to take this bright young politician seriously. There is a very real chance she will win the Democrat Party nomination. We should dread this prospect.
 
There are plenty of reasons why Hillary should not be president, including her husband, the Old Houndog hisself. I he were to return to the White House, no woman in Washington under the age of 60 would be safe, especially those with big, uh, hair. Another is the prospect of listening to that cackle for the next four years. Also, consider her mannerisms. They aren’t natural. She looks like she’s thinking her way through simple human interactions. Compared to Hillary, 70’s era Disneyland animatronics are stunningly lifelike.,
 
Yet another reason to dread another Clinton in the White House is the very real prospect that Hillary would be the first sitting president forced to pardon herself to stay out of jail. These are all compelling reasons not to vote for her, but none of them matter as much as this little gem from her basic stump speech:
 
“We need enough support to be able to really wrap our arms, both literally and figuratively, around every child, and give those kids a chance to show us what they can do, to make their contributions.”
 
On the surface, this anodyne statement is nothing more than political boilerplate, just words to fill in the spaces, but it is so much more than that. First, when Hillary says “we,” she isn’t talking about parents. “We” to her is the state. So she is saying the state needs enough support to literally wrap its arms around each child. Is there any thought more chilling than that? Well, yes, there is, and it comes at the end of her plea to help the little ones. Why must the state literally wrap its arms around every child? So every child will have a chance to make their contributions. 
 
Now, again, this seems to be a noble sentiment, that every child should have every opportunity to contribute to society. But Hillary isn’t talking about society, she is talking about the state. This is the progressive outlook in a nutshell. The state exists to control each individual in order to help that individual make the greatest contribution to the state. 
 
This differs only in degrees from that haunting line from “1984,” “If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”
 
Although it’s a popular meme, for jaded millennials and the mouth-breathing Tea Party Taliban alike, that there is no difference between the two parties, it just isn’t true. The Republican Party stands for the individual. Even “liberals” like Paul Ryan recognize the danger of the ever-expanding state. Unfortunately, reining in the state is a massive, thankless, seemingly impossible job. There are more defeats than victories in this fight. 
 
The Democrat Party, on the other hand, represents the state. Democrats believe in the essential goodness of the state. They believe the state must be made larger and stronger in order to perfect the human race. This is the state which wraps its arms around children and forces them to make their contributions. It is a hug which ultimately and inevitably becomes suffocating.
 
By her own words, today and throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she believes in the state and wishes to perpetuate and expand it. She will build upon the work the current Occupier of the White House has already achieved. She will complete his mission. She will do so in the name of justice, and progress, and “for the sake of the children.”


Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com
13 Hours: Hillary’s Disgrace
by Michael Goodell
One of the more disturbing features of George Orwell’s “1984,” is the Two Minutes of Hate, in which all good citizens shout their contempt for the villain du jour at the top of their lungs. The only real world comparative would be sports radio, or the comments section of HuffPo. 
 
After watching the film, “13 Hours,” I decided we need something called Thirteen Hours of Shame, in which all good citizens are required to watch this heartbreaking tale of brave men and women left to their own devices because a sclerotic bureaucracy could not bestir itself to find a solution. That only four people did die is a tribute to the courage, the experience and the grace under pressure of a handful of contracted “operators.” It could have been a whole lot worse.
 
“13 Hours” is not a political movie, though it is, by virtue of its existence, a political act. And the result of this act should be the end of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. As is fitting for the would-be-FLOTUS, the assessment I made of her husband, that if he had any character he would resign, though if he had any character he wouldn’t have to resign, is suitable for the Mrs. as well. If Hillary had any character, she would drop out of the race, though if she had any character, she wouldn’t have to.
 
The filmmakers, dedicated to the whole truth, did not mention the Secretary of State, the president or any ranking members of the national security establishment. They were only able to tell the story through the eyes of those who fought to save themselves and their colleagues from a series of concerted and steadily escalating assaults through the early hours of September 12, 2012.
 
Seriously, this movie conveys no sense that anyone was guilty of anything greater than hubris. There is a poignant scene of fighter pilots in their jets, their engines idly spooling, waiting for the command that never came. In retrospect, they might have done some good, but they would have had to have been scrambled almost immediately after the attacks began. It was clear nobody knew how concerted and relentless they would turn out to be. One likes to think if they had known, they would have ordered the jets into the air.
 
If the decision was made, not out of ignorance, but from the determination that the consequences of intervening were greater than the potential massacre of nearly 40 American soldiers, analysts and administrators, it would be  acceptable. They knew the risks they were taking. The nature of their job was to put their lives on the line. These weren’t cruise ship passengers or Holy Land pilgrims.
 
It could be  justified. In fact, the world would likely be a better place if Jimmy Carter had taken that attitude toward the Americans taken hostage in Tehran in 1979. I don’t suggest he should have acted with callous disregard for their lives, but he could have given Iran an ultimatum, demanding their return in very short order, or face the consequences. If he had been willing to sacrifice their lives, he might well have saved them anyway, without the US being dragged into more than a year’s worth of humiliation. Instead we told the world that we were weak, that we would fold when confronted, that we would always lose.
 
It is not hubris, miscalculations or a hard but justifiable conclusion that if lives were to be lost it was because the price to save them was too high that renders Hillary unfit for office. No, the damning act is she lied. Now, some might argue in her defense, “Hey, she’s a Clinton. That’s what they do.” Point taken. 
 
Obviously, there are times when National Security demands a touch of mendacity. As Winston Churchill once said, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she must always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” However, a political campaign is not war, and a lie told to protect one’s campaign theme is not the same as one told to protect the lives of soldiers or to conceal a crucial strategy. 
 
If the full force of the United States government is used to construct and protect that lie, then it is worse than offensive, it is morally, and arguably criminally wrong. Thanks to the grudging release of Hillary’s emails we now know that on the very night of the attack the Secretary of State knew this was a terrorist assault on the United States, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. She knew this. She told her daughter this. On that very night.
 
The entire national security establishment of the United States knew this was an act of terrorism. Yet they chose to lie to the American people, and to the grieving parents of those who died that night. Hillary said it was a protest that got out of hand. A protest against an Internet video which showed disrespect to some religious figure. And that’s why she should not be president.
 
That’s what “13 Hours” drove home. The calm courage, the willingness to die that others might be saved, the very honor of the American soldier was on display that night. When Hillary deliberately told lies about how those men fought and died, she dishonored their sacrifices, she demonstrated that she neither valued nor respected them or their service; she effectively spit upon their graves. At the very least she rendered her unfit to fulfill the duties of the office of Commander in Chief.
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Benghazi-On-The-Water

by Michael Goodell 

One of the good things to come out of the 2012 Presidential election is, having decided America is too stupid to survive, I can actually laugh at the latest Iranian adventurism. The capture and ritualistic humiliation of American naval personnel will go down in history as Benghazi-On-The-Water, Obama’s aquatic version of the Jimmy Carter Desert Classic.

Reading the words of people like Secretary of State John Kerry and California Senator Barbara Boxer, describing the incident as a good thing, because we had successfully opened channels through which to more effectively beg the mullahs for mercy and forgiveness, were deliciously Orwellian in their absurdity. But the most profound response came from the President himself, which was silence.

Now, some believe his neglecting to mention the incident during his State of The Union address demonstrated diplomatic mastery. His silence was born of the understanding that words spoken in anger cannot be withdrawn, and decisions made in haste might propel an incident to the level of conflict.

That’s certainly a reasonable position to take, but when this incident is viewed in conjunction with both the Paris massacre and the Benghazi assault, a different pattern emerges. Rather than judicious silence, what the president’s behavior indicates most strongly is a sense of pique, a resentment that the world is not going the way he wants it to.

When 10 US sailors were captured and, at best, psychologically abused, Obama was angry, not at the Iranians, but at the fact that this development was going to mess up his planned SOTU victory dance over the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Development and Terrorism Financing Agreement (or INWDTFA). In other words, what he felt wasn’t concern for the men and women under his putative command, but anger that they were messing up his plans.

So, too, with the Paris Massacre. Recall the shock among primarily European journalists, who still labored under the delusion of Obama’s deific qualities, when he described the slaughter of 130 Parisians as “a setback.” It was an untoward intrusion of reality into his constrained approach to ISIS and the Syrian auto-genocide. He was upset at mass murder only to the extent that it inconvenienced him.

Consider Benghazi. While not unprecedented, the assassination of an American Ambassador is sufficiently rare as to be noteworthy. Certainly for a president to abandon an American Ambassador to a terrorist attack, leaving him to be burned, mutilated and ritualistically abused while gathering his campaign advisors to figure out the best way to spin it so he could continue to base his  reelection campaign on his having successfully defeated terrorism, is a first. Deliberately lying, fabricating some spurious internet video as the cause for a calculated act of terrorism, marks a new low in presidential misconduct.

Again, the president’s reflexive reaction to Benghazi was not concern for American casualties, but resentment at how it messed up his preferred narrative. This dispassionate inability to respond to tragedy except as it impacts his own interests, indicates nothing less than a sociopathic personality.

Recognizing the president as a sociopath, it helps to explain just about everything he has said and done during the past seven years. It is reassuring to know that he hasn’t actively conspired to destroy America, he has just acted out from a sense of privilege, of misplaced entitlement, and the delusional belief that he knows better than anyone else what needs to be done.  Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Scalpel, Clamp, STAT!
By Michael Goodell

Every time we drive to the Karmanos Center we pass the Ben Carson High School of Science and Medicine and I am reminded again what a great man he is, and what a phenomenal, inspirational story he has to tell. True greatness is rare to witness, and the honor and intellect the good doctor demonstrates each time he opens his mouth is something to behold.
 
Obviously, I think highly of Dr. Ben Carson. So why was I not thrilled to see he has leapt to the forefront in the latest WSJ/NBC poll, by a margin of 29% to 23% over Donald Trump? Why wouldn’t I want to see a man of Ben Carson’s stellar qualities in the White House? After all, everything about him just oozes integrity.
 
Unlike some black politicians, Carson’s white mother didn’t leapfrog around the world in pursuit of suitably third-world lovers, abandoning him to be raised in relative luxury by her left-leaning parents. Instead, he was born in Detroit and raised by a single mother who worked two or three jobs to support him and his older brother, Charles. To rise from such humble origins to become a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins almost defies belief.
 
Frankly, if a compelling backstory was all it took to be an effective president, Jimmy Carter would be one of the All Time Greats.  Why, his brother alone would have landed him a spot on Mt. Rushmore. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more than that. Watching Carson’s performances during debates it is evident this is not his ideal metier. In fact, if Jeb Bush weren’t on stage, Carson would look utterly lost.
 
Of course it is true that the debate format doesn’t play in the Oval Office, where there are rarely provocateurs trying turn discussions into schoolyard brawls, and the president can end any debate simply by saying, “I’m the president.” Still, the ship of state is vast and unwieldy. It requires a steady hand at the helm. While there are many of us who wish to see it trimmed, there are very few of us, (and none not saddled with massive student loan debt), who want to watch it sink.
 
Carson’s supporters point to his experience in surgery, where life-and-death decisions must be made in an instant, and the surgeon’s orders must be obeyed immediately and exactingly. Only a true leader can succeed in such a high-pressure environment, they argue.
 
They are correct, but it is worth noting that Carson only became a great surgeon after years of diligent study and practice. He didn’t presume to separate conjoined twins after a couple games of Operation. Yet that is what he is doing by running for presidency.
 
One point in his favor though, one which promises greater success than, say, Trump would enjoy, or which has eluded the current White House Occupant, is that he appears to have the humility to ask for help. There is nothing more dangerous than someone too ignorant to know what he doesn’t know.
 
I would like to see Ben Carson in the White House, just not in the Oval Office. A man of his knowledge and wisdom would be perfect heading Health and Human Services. He would enter with a vision and, assuming the support of the president, quickly find a path to fulfill it. He would be doing a great service to his country, thereby making his story even more inspirational.


What’s Your Problem?
By Michael Goodell

In his review of Jay Winik’s “1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History,” Victor Davis Hanson writes that “Roosevelt remained mostly oblivious to the savage nature of Joseph Stalin and the criminal character of the Soviet Union.”
 
Roosevelt, he continues, “Owing either to the physical incapacities and discomfort of his illnesses or to his innate narcissism and resulting naivete, believed that his once formidable but fading repartee and eloquence could charm Stalin into joining his envisioned team of sober and judicious world-policeman states under the aegis of the United Nations.”
 
As a result, “The conferences in Tehran in November 1942 and in Yalta in February 1945 . . . saw Roosevelt chide the pro-American Churchill in a pathetic attempt to triangulate with the Soviets. The near-moral equivalence Roosevelt drew between British colonialism and Stalinism had negative consequences for American foreign policy, and indeed on global stability, for the ensuing decade.”
 
Replacing Churchill with Netanyahu, Stalin with Ayatollah Khamanei, Russia with Iran and British with Israeli, produces a solid analysis of contemporary Middle East policy. Switch out Roosevelt  in favor of Obama and the analogy is complete. Or nearly so.
 
Winik suggests that Roosevelt’s deteriorating health contributed in large measure to his late-war errors and his failure to accurately measure the iniquity of his foes.  In Davis’ review he writes, “By mid-1944, Roosevelt suffered from end-stage congestive heart failure, heart-valve damage, hypertension (with blood pressure regularly nearing or exceeding 200/100), atherosclerosis, and sinus, bronchial, intestinal, gall-bladder, and urinary infections. Doctor’s at Bethesda Naval Hospital by late March 1944 correctly diagnosed the president’s maladies and balefully predicted that he had no more than a year to live.”
 
Both author and reviewer seem to suggest that the fact Roosevelt was dying excuses some of the worst of his blunders, which forces us to ask of Obama, “What’s your problem?”
 
Or, as Lance Armstrong asked Peter LeFleur in the film version of Shakespeare’s “Dodgeball,” “So, what are you dying from?” 

Defund Ted Cruz

By Michael Goodell 

In the Wall Street Journal today, Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson displayed a flash of drollery in their article headlined “GOP and Obama in New Talks On Budget.” It described attempts by Republican Congressional leaders to reach a two-year budget agreement with the administration, thereby forestalling any fiscal furor during an election year. Or as the Taliban wing of the Conservative movement might phrase it, a wholesale capitulation by the RINO establishment who would happily abandon morality and destroy the very foundations of our nation rather than risk criticism from the drive-by media and the Inside the Beltway Elite.

It is hard to fathom why The True Believers are so rabidly opposed to negotiating with Mr. Obama. Everyone else in the world does it, and they make out like bandits. Maybe the GOP leadership should don turbans and shout “Death to America.” Then the president would no doubt roll back Obamacare, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, come clean on Benghazi and lock Lois Lerner in Gitmo and throw away the key.

As for the drollery, when discussing the unlikelihood of putative new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy going ahead with the preliminary budget negotiations, the writers mentioned McCarthy’s promise to “be more in touch with the views of the public, where many conservative Republicans see threatening a (government) shutdown as a legitimate tactic.”

It is a legitimate tactic. Lord knows, Obama and the Democrats use it all the time to question the GOP’s ability to govern like adults. They perform a flawless impersonation of Brer Rabbit, pleading “I don’t keer what you do wid me, Brer Tea Party,  just so long as you don’t shut down de gummint.” And then Brer Tea Party says, “Oh boy, don’t we got ums now. Brer Obama he is gone to have to veto dis budget and den ev’body know who shut down de gummint.”

Just one problem. It has never, ever worked. It doesn’t matter who wins the politics, the public perception, drilled into their heads by the incessant mainstream media chant, is that the Republicans shut down the government. It was ever thus. Back in 1995, fresh from the evicting the Democrats from Occupying Congress, Newt Gingrich’s Republicans attempted to fulfill their vow to rein in government spending. They passed a budget (they did things like that back in those days), and Bill Clinton vetoed it. They passed another budget. He vetoed it again, at the last minute, and the government shut down. Who got the blame for the government shut down, the people who passed a budget, or the man who vetoed it? Correct, it was the people who passed the budget.

Flash forward to 2013. House Republicans fulfilled their promise to pass a budget which delayed the rollout of Obamacare. At the last minute Senate Democrats refused to pass the it, and the government shut down. Who got the blame, the people who passed a budget, or the people who refused to? Correct, it was the people who passed the budget.

Now we come to today’s clever stratagem, which calls for House Republicans to pass a budget defunding Planned Parenthood. Once they do that, Obama will have no choice but to veto it, and the government will have to shut down. This time, it will be absolutely clear who is responsible for shutting down the government, right? Correct, which is why ever since Ted Cruz first aimed his RPG at Planned Parenthood’s headquarters, reporters and commentators at NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, NPR, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Univision, Al Jazeera and Telemundo have bitten their lower lips, frowned and asked in their most tremulous voice, “Surely the Republicans aren’t going to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood–which incidentally is one of the leading providers of women’s health care and didn’t do or say anything that those mean, nastily edited and misleading videos.”

It won’t work, which should be obvious to anyone who is paying attention. Which should include Ted Cruz. By all accounts–except for the Jon-Stewart-intellectual class who think every Conservative is a knuckle-dragging, slope-browed, mouth-breathing simpleton–Cruz is a pretty sharp guy. So he’s got to know two things. One, Republicans will be blamed for shutting down the government, and Two, it is impossible to defund Planned Parenthood.

Yes, the videos are bad–or so I hear. I watched excerpts of the first one, but none of the rest. Not because I didn’t want to know, but because they are preaching to the choir. Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill. It is what they do, but they dress themselves up as purveyors of women’s health services so nice white suburban ladies can feel good about themselves by donating the proceeds of the Episcopalian Church Rummage Sale to help take care of poor, dark women (and if that means helping them abort their babies, well, after all, they wouldn’t likely have a very happy life, what with their terrible schools and growing up to be criminals–or to put it another way, #BlackLivesMatterButBlackFetusesDon’t).

In theory, and quite to the contrary of what The True Believer knows just has to be true, the federal government is not paying Planned Parenthood to perform abortions. It is against the law. If Congressional Republicans believe it is, they should investigate the matter. If they have proof they should demand the Justice Department act.

In fact, much of federal funding for Planned Parenthood is payment for services covered under Medicaid. That money has to be paid, unless Congress wants to pass a law prohibiting Planned Parenthood from providing health care to poor women. (Oh, that’s a lovely visual, isn’t it? Try to capture the Millennial vote waving that banner around).

Cruz knows all this, which means the only reason he is leading this stunt is to feed the blood lust of The True Believer mob. Maybe he thinks this will give him a lock on the nomination. Maybe he figures with Jon Stewart retired, the vast bulk of the Millennials, having lost their sole news source, won’t even know there’s an election, and so won’t come out in force to vote against him. It’s a strategy. Maybe it will work out for him.

It’s a strategy, but it’s not leadership. It’s not statesmanship, and it reflects a demeanor possibly even less presidential than that of Donald Trump.

 

Ich Bin Ein Buffooner

By Michael Goodell

After Donald Trump’s selfish, arrogant, and bullying behavior during the recent Fox News-sponsored Republican debate, most serious political observers concluded his performance would be fatal to his campaign. As it turns out, the experts were wrong. Rather than seeing Trump as a buffoon, the bomb-throwing wing of the GOP attacked Fox News for being biased.

Trump’s poll numbers remained unmoved, his supporters even more defiant. “How could this be?” the experts wondered, before seizing on  Ohio Governor John Kasich’s concession that Trump addressed genuine concerns among the American people.

That must be it, they decided. Trump speaks to the people. He says what they are saying, and they gravitate to him. He’s the mythic Everyman, come to life, come to salvage a people’s hopes and dreams. Okay, he’s a mythic Everyman with his own private jet. But still.

The problem with this line of thinking is while it may explain, it doesn’t justify Trump’s position. It’s not enough simply to speak to a nation’s beliefs. That’s essentially what Hitler did during his rise to power. He said what many German’s were saying, namely that Germany didn’t lose World War I, but were betrayed by the Jews and the bankers. Hitler touched a nerve, but that didn’t mean he was justified.

I should note that in no way do I mean to equate Trump with Hitler. Hitler, after all, actually believed what he was saying. Hitler didn’t change every one of his positions when he decided to run on the Nazi ticket.

This is not to say Trump has no firm, deeply held beliefs. Two things remain constant regardless where he lands on the political dial. 1) He is very, very rich, and 2) He is very, very classy. And he is, classy, that is, like your typical strip club owner is classy. Like your stereotypical pimp is classy. Like your average hip hop artist turned business mogul beating his son’s strength and fitness coach with a kettle bell weight is classy.

Really, the only question is, how stupid are the Tea Party Taliban? Do they really think Trump has a chance to win? Do they really want to throw the election to Hillary, Bernie, or God forbid, Joe Biden? Those of us who, after all this change, still have hope, would like to believe Trump’s poll numbers are so high because a lot of Democrat operatives are falsely identifying themselves as likely Republican voters in order to inflate The Donald’s numbers.

The reason they’re doing this is because they know Hillary can beat Trump, even if she has to campaign from prison.

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President Obama is Right!

By Michael Goodell

Following President Barack Obama’s forceful and compelling address at American University it seems only right to give credit where credit is due. Speaking at the same venue where John F. Kennedy defended the use of diplomacy with the Soviet Union, Obama defended the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) reached after years of torturous negotiations between Iran and the P+1, (comprising the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

Having been a consistent critic of our president, it is my duty to acknowledge when he is right. Though his entire presidency has been either a farrago of Carteresque incompetence or the machinations of Manchurian Candidate,  when Obama speaks the truth, to power of otherwise, I will say so.

Obama was right when he called the JPCOA the capstone of his foreign policy legacy, and he was right when he declared rejecting this deal would leave the US “with one option: another war in the Middle East.”

Sadly, from the moment he initiated negotiations with the Ayatollahs of Iran Obama triggered the steady erosion of American power, prestige, dignity and leverage over the world’s most dangerous rogue regime. It is bizarre that Obama’s objective from the very beginning seemingly wasn’t to protect our interests, or those of our one-time ally, Israel, but to support the Islamist dictatorship.

By affirming that our goal was to end crippling economic sanctions the president gave interested parties tacit permission to subvert and undermine those very sanctions. That this helped stabilize Iran’s economy is beyond dispute. That this undercut a growing domestic opposition to the murdering mullahs is clearly evident. Only one question remains, qui bono?

But our president is correct. Thanks to this agreement, the only way to stop Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is to wage war. In fact, the upshot of this agreement is regardless of our intentions, there will be another war in the Middle East. The only question is how involved will we be in it? We can say to Obama what Sir Winston Churchill said to an earlier diplomatic disgrace, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you shall have war.”

Except for the bit about war, everything the President has said about this agreement is a blatant lie. There are no “snap-back” sanctions provisions. Even if there were they would be useless because the agreement states no existing contract or arrangement will be subject to sanctions. Furthermore, reestablishing sanctions will allow Iran to end the agreement.

In other words, Iran will be able to break the agreement from its outset, with no fear of consequences and little fear of detection. Because there is no “anytime, anywhere” inspections program. The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA must give 24 days’ notice before inspecting any Iranian facility. This inspection will be subject to negotiation, and as we have seen throughout this process, the Iranians are masters of drawing out negotiations.

No one from the United States is allowed to inspect Iranian compliance, only the IAEA, and then only in accordance with secret agreements hammered out in conjunction with the JCPOA, agreements no American, not even in Congress, is allowed to see. We can see how ineffective this process will be today, even before the agreement comes into effect.

One of the terms of the agreement requires the IAEA confirm the existence and extent of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program. The study, due to be completed by mid-December, has been hamstrung by Iran’s refusal to allow IAEA inspectors to speak with anyone associated with the program. Chief among them is Moshen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, whom the IAEA has been trying to reach for the past five years.

Does this recalcitrance endanger the JCPOA? Not at all. IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano  doesn’t feel it necessary to speak to anyone who actually was involved with the program. “If someone who has a different name to Fakhrizadeh can clarify our issues, that is fine with us,” he breezed.

Maybe they can ask Obama to help. I’m sure he’d be happy to clarify their issues. Anything to help keep the dream alive. Anything to help “the Supreme Leader” keep his job. Anything to avoid war.

http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

 

Shame on You

By Michael Goodell

Bret Stephens devoted his Wall Street Journal column this week to Jeffrey Goldberg’s recent interview with Barack Obama. He discussed Obama’s “Rational Ayatollah Hypothesis,” in which the president believes that Ayatollah Khamanei, (whom Obama insists on calling the supreme leader), is like the little match girl, shivering outside the window, wanting only to bask in the glow that comes from the fond embrace of the international community.

Or as Stephens put it, “Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that a man with an undergraduate’s enthusiasm for moral equivalency . . . would have sophomoric ideas about the nature and history of anti-Semitism.”

Stephens is far too kind to the president. In Obama’s eyes Iranian anti-Semitism is inconsequential, comparable to, say, the racism of those with the temerity to disagree with him. If Obama can work with racist Republicans, how hard would it be to work with anti-Semitic Iranians?

Responding to Goldberg’s concern that ending sanctions could serve as a $150 billion gift to Iran’s terroristic infrastructure, Obama said, “I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in . . .”

Of all Obama’s arrogant,   anti-American allegations, of which there are legion, this may well be the worst. No, Mr. President, we did not put Iran in this deep economic rut, the supreme leader and his henchmen did. They put themselves in this rut by defying the “international community,” by being so blatant in their disregard for international law; so vocal in their promises to wipe Israel off the map, that even France, even China, even Russia, despite America’s diffident leadership, were moved to establish a regime of strict and painful economic sanctions.

Shame on you, Mr. President, for rushing to the supreme leader’s aid, for overlooking his perfidy, for “having his back.”

More on the subject of Iranian anti-Semitism: “You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism . . . There were a whole lot of European leaders–and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country–”

This knee jerk moral relativism, this reflexive kick back at what is presumably his native land, this craven eagerness to prove that America is no better, and never has been, than any other nation, is galling to behold. The audacity of giving moral equivalence to Khamanei’s invidious cheerleading, as thousands give voice to their bloodthirsty chant, “Death to Israel, Death to the Jews!” and certain country clubs which refused to allow Jewish members is despicably evil and mind-numbingly ignorant.

Shame on you, Mr. President.

As for those European leaders, you actually got that one right. Some of those European leaders were responsible for the death of  six million Jews. Yes, Hitler and the Germans tried to wipe out the Jewish race. It was a despicable act, a dark day in the history of the world. It was that of which the world has resolved Never Again. Well, not the whole world.  Ayatollah Khamenei, for instance, refuses to believe the Holocaust ever happened, claiming it was yet another lie hatched by the dastardly Jew.

This, Mr. President, is your prospective BFF, the “core regime,”  your highly rational, legitimacy-seeking leadership. This is who you want to do a deal with, whose excesses you forgive, whose transgressions you absolve, whose power you defend and whose supremacy you embrace.

Shame on you, Mr. President.

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Whoa Ho, Up She Rises!

By Michael Goodell

Under the disturbing headline in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, “Sea Levels Rising Faster, Study Says,” we learned “Global sea levels are rising faster than previously thought, though seawaters haven’t climbed as high as scientists estimated, according to a new study.” In other words, the reason seawaters haven’t risen as high as expected is because they are rising faster than expected.

If there is a better example of the tortured casuistry of the zealous Climaterian evangelist, it is likely buried in a footnote on page 2365 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report.

The sea level study, which was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, sought to explain why sea levels weren’t rising as fast as environmentalist prophets had hoped they were, or, to put it another way, if the sky was in fact falling, why weren’t bits and pieces of it found floating in the ocean?

Much to the dismay of serious climate science grant writers, despite hundreds of billions of pounds of carbon and other greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere since 1993–nearly half of that emitted by private jets carrying Al Gore, Bill McKibben and other diminutive poultry to climate conferences in exclusive resorts around the world–sea levels have only risen a paltry 3.2 millimeters a year. That translates into a total global sea level rise of–wait for it–2.77 inches.

At this rate, tiny South Pacific islands will be completely underwater within a millennium or two. Obviously, that couldn’t be true. I mean, who’s going to willingly return to the lifestyle and life expectancy of the stone age just to forestall an event not likely to occur within the lifetime of your great-great-great-great grandchildren?

Faced with a fact-based challenge to the One True Faith, Christopher Watson, Abbot of the University of Tasmania and Climaterian Monastery, commissioned a study. Using the most up-to-date scientific tools, the study resolved the question of why the sea level rise failed to come anywhere near the numbers proclaimed by the Prophets of the One True Faith.

Lo and behold, upon careful analysis, it turned out that sea levels hadn’t increased by 3.2 millimeters a year, but in fact, it had increased by somewhere between 2.6 and 2.9 millimeters a year, reaching a total increase of 2.25 – 2.50 over the past 22 years. Yes, that’s correct. Or, as Gautam Naik, the Wall Street Journal reporter put it, “Sea levels were more or less static in recent millennia. But there had been a significant rise in the 20th century, which is widely accepted to be one of the most pronounced effects of climate change.”

Quick quiz: if you saw the ocean levels rise by less than two-and-a-half inches over the course of more than two decades, would you describe that result as more or less static, or a significant rise? If you chose the latter, you may have what it takes to become a High Priest or Priestess of the Climaterian Faith.

What existing High Priests confronted was an existential crisis of faith. How could the seas not be rising ever more rapidly? (The answer, of course, is that Barack Obama was nominated as the Democrat Party Presidential standard bearer in 2008. You may recall his proclamation that from that day forward, the seas would no longer rise). However, as Obama’s term is about to end, the seas must necessarily resume their inexorable rise. The climate clerics had to find the numbers to support their panicked cries for additional research dollars.

Using really nifty new tools, including satellite imagery, tide gauges and accounting for “a slight discrepancy related to the electronics,” the they found what they were looking for. Even though the seas were rising even more slowly than expected, over the last ten years the rate of slowing in the rising levels was lower than in the previous 12 years, which is “consistent with the projection of future sea-level rise estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change!”

So, there you have it. Scientific proof that the sky is in fact falling, and the seas are rising, and we all need to reduce our carbon footprints so Fiji Islanders won’t be forced to live in house boats in Marin County and climate change advocates can continue to fly around the world on their private jets preaching and seeking converts to the One True Faith.

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Legalize Murder, or A Modest Proposal

By Michael Goodell

The headline in this morning’s Detroit Free Press wondered “Could pot solve our budget problems?” The article promoted three groups attempting to legalize marijuana in the state of Michigan. Surprisingly, or as the article put it, “In a sign of changing political times,” two of the three groups claim allegiance to the Republican party.

If they are telling the truth these clever Republicans do represent a sea change in party identification. Traditionally, scouring the earth for new taxes to support an ever-expanding state has been the province of the Democrat persuasion. Regardless of party affiliation, legalizing marijuana solely to increase state revenues is a bad idea for many different reasons.

One reason is because it doesn’t work. In every state where pot has been legalized tax revenues have come in way below expectations, and expenses from increased regulation, smuggling interdiction and the consequences of an increasingly stoned populace have been higher than anticipated.

Still, the fact that it won’t work isn’t the main reason it’s a bad idea. If there is an argument in favor of legalization, advocates should make that argument. If they can convince the voting public that the possession, sale or consumption of marijuana should not be a crime, then by all means, let’s legalize the stuff.

However, if the state’s only reason for legalizing a criminal activity is to generate revenue, then the state has not legalized that activity, but in fact it has become a criminal enterprise. If marijuana is legalized solely for tax purposes, the only difference between a drug dealer and the state is the state has bigger guns. Indeed, the state will use its firepower to attack rival gangs, those who continue to sell their product without first paying off the state.

If the state can justify legalizing pot on the basis of revenues, what other activities might it consider legalizing? Prostitution comes to mind. It’s out there. If not everybody, certainly enough people avail themselves of the service to make its business plan viable. Why not let the state get a piece of the action? Why should it all go to the pimps?

Murder could also be very lucrative for the state. No doubt most murderers would happily pay a fee, or a murder tax, to avoid arrest and imprisonment. We could fix a whole lot of crumbling bridges with Detroit’s murder tax alone. Not only would revenues go up, expenses would plummet. Police departments could save money by eliminating their homicide departments. Coroner’s offices would see a dramatic reduction in work load. Prosecutors would try fewer cases, judges’ dockets would be cleared up, and the savings from not having to imprison murderers would be huge.

When you consider the twin benefits of increased revenues and reduced expenses, it’s clearly the sort of idea today’s modern Republican can get behind.
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Old Friends

By Michael Goodell

Compare a couple of recent statements emanating from the maws of the State Department. First we have Secretary of State, John Kerry–in Egypt to study mummies in the hopes of emulating their more lifelike facial expressions — who said of the Iranian Theocratic Dictatorship, “As you all know, Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear weapon, and that is a very welcome statement that the Supreme Leader has, in fact, incorporated into a fatwa. And we have great respect – great respect – for the religious importance of a fatwa.”

Then we have Jen Psaki, whose official job description at Foggy Bottom, one hears is, “to keep Marie Harf from looking like the most stupid, naive person ever to walk the earth.” And she’s doing a great job, BTW, as if she were born to the task. No wonder she’s moving to the White House to head up their communications team. State Department insiders say she will leave just as soon as they find someone to fill her pumps.

Jen was not quite so effusive as her boss in embracing the veracity of a bitter enemy of the United States. When asked about Ayatollah Netanyahu’s stated willingness to accept a two state solution “under the right circumstances,” she expressed skepticism. “If he had consistently stated that he remained in favor of a two-state solution, we’d be having a different conversation,” she sniffed.

In this case Jen-Jen is showing understanding far beyond her tender years. It is important to realize who we are dealing with here. This is not a wise man of faith like Ayatollah Khamanei. He is not a long-term and steady ally of the United States. No, this is the Ayatollah Netanyahu, head of one of the cruellest, most oppressive regimes on earth.

As most folks–in the White House at least–know, Israel constitutes the greatest threat to world peace. Israel is a pariah of the international community. How can we be expected to take the word of a man who is known to begin rallies by leading the masses in cries of “Death to America?” How can we engage in reasonable dialogue with someone who calls our president “The Great Satan?”

How can we expect Israel, a nation which has provided weapons to our enemies and constructed roadside bombs which have killed or maimed thousands of American troops, to ever be a trustworthy partner on the road to peace? Israelis are dangerous. They cannot be trusted. They are Jews.

On the other hand, consider the Iranians. They have enjoyed a long history of free, democratic elections. People are free to speak their minds, and can adopt any “faith tradition” they choose, (as long they remember there is no God but God and Mohammad is his prophet). They have worked tirelessly for peace, continuing to negotiate for over eighteen months despite provocations from Israel and economic sanctions imposed by American neocons in thrall to AIPAC and the Jewish lobby.

The Obama administration has been unique in American history in its willingness to stand up to our allies and kneel down before our enemies. Finally, though, in the aftermath of the ungrateful Israelis’ refusal to accept presidential guidance on selecting their new government, we have figured out who our friends are and who our enemies are.

Clearly, Iran is a country we can do business with. Obama supporters are already looking ahead to a day when we will again have normal diplomatic relations with our old friend Iran, and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have Netanyahu to kick around anymore.

 

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Let Them Eat Bacon

By Michael Goodell

Finding myself driving across town last Saturday morning, I decided to tune in to the local NPR station. It’s been awhile, but it’s nice to keep my hand in from time to time. “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (WWDTM)” happened to be on. I haven’t listened to that show since the host opened an episode with a vile, offensive screed against our president (Full Disclosure: it wasn’t the current one). WWDTM is ostensibly a humorous current events quiz show featuring mid- to low-range media types reading canned jokes in response to questions about events which transpired during the preceding week.

WWDTM is not a “political” show. It’s supposed to be “fun,” a way for loyal NPR listeners to relax, and to boost their self-esteem for being so well informed about  current events. Of course, being part of the NPR universe, WWDTM is naturally and reflexively liberal. Their left focus is instinctive, and they assume their entire listening audience shares their prejudice. They would never expect a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, slack-jawed Conservative outlier such as moi to pop up in their audience.

As a result, when they addressed the recent Israeli election, one given was that everybody shares our current president’s attitude toward Benjamin Netanyahu. Since our president hates him, it’s okay for us to hate him too. Also, since our president hates him it is safe for us to assume that he is a Republican, or at least closely aligned with Republicans, which gives rise to jokes like the first one the panel dutifully recited, that Netanyahu’s victory marked the first GOP victory in a national campaign since 2004.

Of course, the clever joke writers got the joke exactly backwards. The GOP didn’t campaign for Netanyahu, and didn’t use American tax dollars to support Likud’s campaign. In fact, it was Obama and the Democrats who campaigned for the opposition, and, it is alleged, used American tax dollars to fund that campaign. It would have been more accurate if one of the panelists had read, “This marks the first national election Obama has ever lost,” but it wouldn’t have been as funny. At least, not for this audience.

Since in the eyes of Obama supporters Netanyahu is the most hated Jew since Shylock, it’s open season on him, his personality, and even his Jewishness. Thus were the panelists entitled to read comments such as, “Yes, he was elected by promising to let Israelis eat bacon,” “He said, ‘If you like your foreskin, you can keep your foreskin,’” and “He ran a pork barrel campaign.”

No doubt the party-faithful in the audience were laughing as hard as the panelists themselves, and no one, except this bitterly partisan, reflexively hateful, rightwing nutjob thought there was anything unseemly about that. I was apparently the only one who thought mocking someone for his religious beliefs, and ridiculing him for his dietary restrictions, essentially shaming him for being Jewish, reflects the same sort of mentality as those who watched Jews being loaded into boxcars and shipped to death camps without raising a voice in protest. It is simply a matter of degree.

It you don’t believe there was something despicable about this, imagine how the panelists, the WWDTM writers, and all dutiful NPR adherents would react if Netanyahu had lost and someone like, say, Rush Limbaugh had cracked the exact same jokes about the new Israeli Prime Minister, Whitey Herzog.

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Crazy Is As Crazy Does

By Michael Goodell

In a surprising policy shift, the White House spent last weekend talking up terrorism. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson turned to CNN to warn Americans that terrorists want to blow up their malls. In terms eerily similar to vice president Joe Biden’s Swine Flu counsel, Johnson said, “If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful.”

Why this sudden pivot from “nothing to see here, folks” to “the sky is falling?” After all, this is the same administration which just last week thought a progressive jobs program would eliminate “Violent Extremism.” This comes from a president whose views of Islamic Terrorism have evolved to the point where it has become known as the hate that dare not speak its name.

Though one hopes this isn’t a cynical political ploy, this is the Obama administration. Does this bid to foment panic have anything to do with the fact that DHS funding is due to expire next week if Congress can’t reach an agreement? Could they really be so despicable as to terrify an entire nation solely to make Republicans look bad?

They say the definition of insanity is to continually attribute a particular definition of insanity to Albert Einstein when nobody knows for sure who said it first. Another definition of insanity is the Cruz Caucus of the Republican Party. These are people who will play the same procedural card — shutting down all or part of the government — over and over, expecting a different outcome.

Having grown bored with shutting down the entire government, this time the Cruz Caucus decided to just shut down the Department of Homeland Security. Within the realm of brilliance, this qualifies as a supernova. Confronted by a president whose foreign policy can most charitably be described as feckless, whose tap dancing around Islam makes even those not given to fever swamp speculation wonder where his loyalties actually lie, the Cruz Caucus has taken the only action which makes the president look strong on national security.

It is so unfathomable, one wonders exactly who is the Manchurian Candidate here. Is it the president, whom many still insist was born to alien creatures occupying an abandoned nuclear power plant in Springfield, Oregon, or is it Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada?

No matter, because any action which gives aid and comfort to this president is unconscionable. Now, you may wish to argue that in fact it isn’t the Cruz Caucus threatening to shut down Homeland Security, but Senate Democrats, who though a minority, have sufficient votes to prevent cloture. If you were to argue thus, you would be correct, as far as the facts are concerned.

But when it comes to who gets blamed for government shutdowns, facts don’t matter. When Bill Clinton vetoed two consecutive GOP budgets, leading to the government shutdown in 1995, who got the blame? Not the president who with the stroke of his pen actually shut down the government, but Newt Gingrich, the Republican Speaker of the House.

In 2013 Senate Democrats refused to vote on continuing resolutions which would fund the government in lieu of an actual budget. Who got blamed for this? The GOP. So too this time around. Shortly after the 2014 wave election, House Republicans agreed to fund the Department of Homeland Security for just three months, reasoning they would have more flexibility after the new Senate was seated. They singled out DHS not because they wanted to let the president pretend he actually gave a damn about American security, but because it houses US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which has the brief to implement the president’s legally questionable new amnesty program.

Of course even a cursory glance at Senate rules would have shown that even after the wave election, Democrats still retained the power of the filibuster. They could block any bill defunding USCIS. If the Cruz Caucus stick to their guns, which they always do, until just after it’s too late, then the DHS will be defunded, and Jeh Johnson can release more terror videos and point to the GOP saying “These people want to see you die!”

Insane, you might suggest. Perhaps, if facts had anything to do with it. But again, when it comes to government shutdowns, facts have nothing to do with it. The dominant media’s narrative is that government shutdowns are always the Republicans’ fault. Someone needs to tell the Cruz Caucus, “You can’t win.”

Oh, sure, the base knows what you’re doing, and why, and they support you on this. The problem is, you already have the base, and it’s not that big. It’s the whole mass of Middle America, who get their news in snippets between episodes of “The Bachelorette,” who know who really shut down the government: the Republicans.

It may not be true, but if the overwhelming majority believes it, it is the truth. It is the truth, and it hurts your cause and you are insane if you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect the Democrats to get the blame.

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook

 

The Scourge of CBDS

By Michael Goodell       http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Today the CDC revealed a frightening new disease called CBDS. If left untreated, CBDS could result in the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of Americans around the world. Some observers have gone so far as to call it a threat to national security.

How could a disease as severe as CBDS appear without warning, despite one of best pathological research laboratories in the world? That’s a question the CDC is having trouble answering. “We just don’t know,” one scientist said, with a shake of the head.

“Like Ebola, it suddenly popped up and then spread rapidly. But at least we know what Ebola is, and how to treat it. Historically, Ebola has been, if anything, too efficient to spread very far.”

While the CDC is reluctant to draw direct comparisons between CBDS and Ebola, clearly  ignorance and superstition can result in both diseases being widely transmitted. This certainly seems to be the case with CBDS, which scientists first discovered with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture.

“This release, which was unnecessary, and motivated only by a pathological form of hatred, indicates a mutated form of BDS,” the CDC spokesperson revealed. “We’ve thoroughly documented the source and pathology of BDS, or Bush Derangement Syndrome, which was nearly pandemic during the first decade of the Twenty-First Century. We expected once the original vector was removed from the local environment, BDS would eventually die out, much the same as smallpox did. The last thing we expected was for it to mutate into Chronic Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

Chronic Bush Derangement Syndrome, like its precursor, results in delusions, mainly among liberals (and certain libertarians surnamed Paul) that George Bush is evil incarnate. They view him as simultaneously stupid and brilliant, masterfully implementing a plot to take over the world while remaining unable to speak intelligibly or string together a series of rational thoughts.

BDS reduced seemingly intelligent people to the same incoherence they ascribed to their nemesis. During these fits of irrationality, liberals took actions contrary to their own interests as Americans. They gladly jeopardized national security if they thought it would hurt Bush.

In the six years since Bush left the White House, there have been occasional outbreaks of BDS, generally emanating from the White House where frantic shouts of “It’s not my fault. It’s Bush’s fault,” could be heard during clinical interventions and interviews with sympathetic journalists.

The disease cropped up with some frequency in Congress, though it seemed to have been eradicated in the House of Representatives sometime in late 2010. Recent hopes that the Senate would soon be declared BDS-free were dashed this week with the CBDS outbreak.

“By all unbiased accounts the Senate Intelligence Report is an unbalanced, poorly researched and often mendacious report whose only objective is to ‘Blame Bush,’” the CDC spokesperson explained. (‘Blame Bush’ is the most common symptom of the BDS patient).

“Writing the report is the sort of partisan infantilism characteristic of late stage BDS, but it was only when Senate Democrats and the White House decided to release the report in its entirety that we realized just how severe the BDS mutation had become,” the researcher stated. “Releasing it serves only to damage relations with our few remaining allies, and to lend aid and comfort to our enemies. Even in the throes of CBDS infection victims can recognize those consequences, yet they are unable to resist the urge to ‘Get Bush.’”

It really is hard to understand why, six years after he left office Bush Derangement Syndrome remains such a powerful disease. “One theory is that BDS was caused by shame,” said a CDC representative who wishes to remain anonymous because he has not been authorized to tell the truth. “We have anecdotal evidence that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 many liberals sidled up to their more conservative colleagues and murmured, ‘A lot of us are glad your guy’s in the White House and our guy isn’t.’”

In other words, according to this theory, BDS and CBDS are caused by a kind of short circuit in the brain occurring when liberals realize they have succumbed, even briefly, to patriotic feelings. “As long as that memory remains, CBDS might never be eradicated,” the CDC spokesperson concluded.

 

BUTCHING UP

By Michael Goodell

You remember that scene in “Die Hard With a Vengeance,” where Simon Gruber (apparently no relation to Jonathan, though they are in the the same line of work), taunts FBI agent Bill Jarvis, suggesting he’s chewing on the frame of his glasses in an attempt to “butch up?” Well, there ought to be a whole lot of frame chewing going on in Washington after the article in today’s “Wall Street Journal” explaining what is driving the slowing pace of rising health care costs.

That remarkable reduction is one of the items cited by those few remaining True Believers after NY Sen. Chuck Schumer admitted Obamacare was a mistake. Millions of previously uninsured have insurance, they crowed. The growth in health care cost is at the lowest level in decades, they swooned.

These are all good things, surely. Especially providing health insurance to the previously uninsured. Remember when people like Simon Gruber explained, in a slow, slightly elevated voice, the kind you need to use when addressing stupid people, that once everyone is insured health care costs will actually go down because people will willingly go to the doctor with minor ailments, thereby preventing them from become major, hence more expensive ailments.

Makes sense. Unfortunately, we learned today that there are two main reasons health care costs aren’t rising as quickly. The first is that apparently medical insurance premiums are not included in calculating the cost of health care. The second is since most of the private insurance plans allowed under Obamacare carry huge deductibles and copays, many people have chosen to “delay or put off seeking care.” Which means the cost of health care isn’t going down, but the amount of health care being purchased is.

In other words, while the previously uninsured can get a check up every time they sneeze, the rest of America won’t go to the doctor until that golfball-sized lump in their throat grows up to be a softball. This is absolutely brilliant. What this means is that Obamacare has basically mandated that every individual in America must carry a major medical insurance policy.

You may remember major medical plans. They were a lot cheaper because they only covered serious hospitalization or illness. The difference between those plans and Obama-approved plans is though the latter only provide the coverage of major medical, they are priced like comprehensive plans.

Today this only applies to individuals who pay for their own insurance, but one of these days, once our president finishes gnawing the frame of his glasses, he’s going to have to implement the rest of his eponymous legislative achievement, and revoke most employer-provided plans . Once this is done, the rest of America can stop going to the doctor, too. We’ll all be chronically ill, but our health care cost curve will finally start bending downward.

When Hans Gruber–or was it Simon, or Jonathan? Who can keep these villains straight?–started bragging about stupid American voters, everyone from the president to the former Speaker of the House started denying they even knew him, let alone paid him half-a-million dollars to develop Obamacare.

 

Of course they were lying. Everything about Obamacare was based on a lie. It wasn’t designed to do what they said it would. It couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t improve the delivery of health care, and it wouldn’t lower the cost. They knew this going in, but they also knew they knew better than we did what was good for us. Whether it actually was good for us was immaterial. The fact is, they decided it was, and we were too stupid to know the difference.

Where are Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson when we need them?

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook,http://www.amazon.com/Rebound-Michael-Goodell/dp/1937690636/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1389045172&sr=1-2

Occupy Ferguson

By Michael Goodell

The run up to the riots had more in common with the week before the Super Bowl than a vigil sat for justice. When the decision not to decide was announced the rioters looked more like people going to work than people going to war. The rage seemed a sham, more like a duly scheduled Orwellian Two Days of Hate.

Rage is spontaneous. It doesn’t answer the bell, it doesn’t meet a schedule. It explodes, unbidden, unforeseen. It is the opposite of what was on display in Ferguson, last week, and around the country since then.

What we have seen is a wholesale co-opting of genuine emotion and, however misguided, compassion and concern. The first miscreants, as is increasingly the case under this regime of fantasists, was the media, who rushed to judgment, who constructed an early narrative and refused to be swayed by facts or deterred by reason. They weren’t there to report the news, they were there to shape their fairy tale of a gentle giant shot down by a brutal, racist cop, while on his knees, hands in the air, begging for mercy.

They returned to the scene of their crimes to beat the drums of anticipation, to fan the flames of regularly scheduled rage, and to assure those riding or flying in from around the country that yes, there would be cameras on shoulders and tape a-rolling.

Print journalists were almost as bad, each jostling the others to get their spin in print. Some, like the Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit Free Press, went so far as to suggest that black people, such as himself, were fully justified in resenting this country’s very existence. (Why that man still has a job is a mystery to me).

Not willing to be outdone, his colleague, Rochelle Riley, dipped her own pen in blood and wrote, “America is built on a bedrock of inequality between blacks and whites that is so strong, laws have been passed for centuries to maintain it.”

Given this kind of hatred for their own nation, perhaps it is not by accident that these journalists have been so willingly co-opted by those who have assumed command of the national disruption campaign. As highways across the nations close because protesters have taken over the roads, and shopping malls are forced to close when rioters invade the hallways, three things stand out.

One, many of the outraged protesters seem to be smiling when they turn to the cameras for their allotted fifteen minutes. Two, what started out as a predominately black movement, back when liquor stores still had goodies on their shelves, is turning progressively white. In fact, many of the outraged protesters seem to be the same ones who Occupied Wall Street and other streets and parks throughout America not long ago.

And three, who is coordinating these allegedly spontaneous yet surprisingly cookie cutter demos. A Wall Street Journal photo of one of the acts of mall-closing insurrection featured a rather proud looking person holding a banner bearing the logo revcom.us.

Revcom.us is the official website of the Revolutionary Communist Party of America, whose Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America states, “In order to bring this new socialist state into being, it would be necessary to thoroughly defeat, dismantle and abolish the capitalist-imperialist state of the USA; and this in turn would only become possible with the development of a profound and acute crisis in society and the emergence of a revolutionary people.”

In other words, to quote Barack Obama’s former BFF, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Given that universities seem to be indoctrinating their Black History students in the belief that this nation was “conceived in tyranny and dedicated to the principal that blacks are inferior to whites,” and that most journalists and television news reporters at the very least don’t want to offend their colleagues by straying too far from the Party Line, the Revolutionary Communist Party seems to have made a good choice in selecting “the Gentle Giant” as their mascot.

Whether this latest series of occupations will tip the scales toward revolution is doubtful, but one thing is clear, nearly a quarter of a century after being utterly discredited, communism still exists. Next time your shopping trip is disrupted by a mall-shuttering claque of violent protesters, remember to thank your local commissar.

Die Hard
by Michael Goodell
The American president’s reaction to the recent GOP wave election was extraordinary. In his droning press conference he pointed out that two-thirds of the voting age population didn’t vote. He seemed to suggest that, rather than listen to those who voted, he preferred hear the voices of those who didn’t. Which is an interesting way to hold office, though, to be honest, many of Obama’s actions over the past six years have been characteristic of someone hearing voices in his head.
Undeterred by an historic rejection of his policies, the president and his party have responded by condemning ostriches for being too nosy. Some Democrats have said this wasn’t a wave election, it was an anti-incumbent election. Which it was, as long as the incumbent was a Democrat. Senate Democrats, surveying the ruins of their power, decided they had been neglecting the base. Yes, their conclusion was, let’s move to the left. They appointed Sen. Elizabeth Warren to a new leadership post, Panderer in Chief, or Native American Liaison, or some such thing. 
Another extraordinary conclusion reached by Senate Democrats, according to the Wall Street Journal, was that the American people didn’t see any difference between the parties. That’s right. Voters, when confronting a partisan slate, simply chose at random. By some amazing coincidence, all their random choices happened to be Republicans.
Having announced a willingness to work with Republicans, as long as they’re willing to admit defeat, Obama has laid out his agenda of rule by fiat. Since Congress hasn’t yet done what he wanted, and is only less likely to do so once the new Congress has been seated, Obama is doubling down on his extra-legal actions.
Apparently recognizing that cases move slowly through the courts, the president figures he can declare new laws at a faster rate than justices can render justice (especially since a growing percentages of them believe supporting the president’s agenda is more important than upholding the rule of law).
This is the point when the president has stopped playing politics and has declared open war on his enemies. (It is a pity that the only enemies this president has are other Americans–oh, right, and Israelis). It is clear he will continue to rule by decree until Republicans are forced to initiate impeachment proceedings. Only a lunatic fringe (also pronounced Ted Cruz) actually wants this. If forced to impeach it will be reluctantly, with regrets, and knowing full well the consequences. 
The domesticated media will condemn Republicans for “trying to impeach every Democratic president,” or ascribe it to racism. The Ferguson claque will be sharpening their spears, ready to take their insurrection on the road. The public, proving again Hans Gruber’s perspicacity, will respond as instructed and blame Republicans for being “too partisan,” and will vote accordingly. (Yes, I know his name is Jonathan, but I wanted to tie this in with the title).
The president will do his finest Brer Rabbit impersonation, begging the GOP not to throw him into the briar patch. (Trigger Warning: The author of this essay would like to apologize to his younger brother and others seeking to identify racism as the underlying theme of all his criticisms of the man currently Occupying the White House). He really can’t lose. If they don’t impeach, the rule of law will be irrecoverably damaged by his actions. If they do, the Republican party will be irrecoverably damaged by their actions. 
Beware a president seeking a legacy. While this has long been true, we now confront something called the Obama Corollary: Beware a young president who believes the best job in the world is UN General Secretary.
#NaNoWriMo This!
by Michael Goodell
 

I love this time of year, when I get to haul out my favorite hashtag, #NaBuMyBoMo. Inspired by the success of #NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, #NaBuMyBoMo stands for National Buy My Book Month. (If you don’t currently have a Twitter account, you may be unfamiliar with the whole hashtag business, as well as the concept of a hashtag, such as #NaBuMyBoMo, trending. A trending hashtag is one that is being picked up, repeated and retweeted and generally becoming popular throughout the world of Twitter).

I thought #NaBuMyBoMo could provide a public service by offering an antidote to the mind-fogging silliness of #NaNoWriMo. It is based on one of the pernicious myths ever propagated on a gullible populace, namely that everybody has a novel in them. That, of course, is manifestly not true, as evidenced by the percentage of seat mates on transcontinental flights who don’t exchange a single word during the entire trip. It’s not that they’re antisocial, it’s simply that they dread their neighbor might be one of those who labors under the misapprehension that she has a novel inside her.
Even if it were true, that does’t mean everybody can write one. I suppose it is as a writer that I find this self-indulgence particularly offensive. It serves to denigrate what I do. It says the only reason everyone hasn’t written a novel is because they haven’t yet availed themselves of a gaggle of  #NaNoWriMo cheerleaders celebrating their daily output. Come on, you can do it! Just 1,500 words a day! Don’t worry about quality, or content, the volume is the important thing.
Actually, it’s not. It may come as a surprise to the perpetual teenaged girls who populate the realm of #NaNoWriMo, but there is no dearth of published books in the world. Even post-apocalyptic, dysfunctional, urban vampire romance mysteries take up a room or two in the virtual bookstore.
Writing is a skill not everyone shares, sort of like being an electrician, or a mechanic, or being able to hit a 95-mile-an-hour fastball. Not everybody can do it. If I need to rewire my living room, I call an electrician. I don’t go to #NaWiMyLiRoMo and announce how many feet of wire I strung today, to the cheers and encouragement of other hashtag electrician wannabes.
Maybe I’ll start a new hashtag, to compliment my incredibly successful #NaBuMyBoMo. I’ll call it #NaBeAProBaPlaMo, or National Be A Professional Baseball Player Month. Would that be fun? Stepping in against Morgan Fairchild, the San Francisco Giants’ World Series MVP, with two out and the game on the line. And why not? I bet everybody’s got a walk off home run in them.
I was listening to one of the #NaNoWriMo founders on NPR this morning extol the many wonders of the hashtag sensation, and I got to thinking, “Wow, that guy would kill it at Awesomenessfest.” But that’s another story altogether. Actually, what the guy said that made me write this screed in the first place, along with nearly driving off the road, was that the best part of #NaNoWriMo is it gives us a chance to focus on ourselves for once.
Yep, that’s definitely been the problem with the American culture, we’re not sufficiently self-indulgent. I wonder what kind of world he lives in where Americans spend all their time thinking of others, to the detriment of their own self regard and esteem. In fact, we are probably the most self-regarding nation since the last days of the Roman Empire.
Why, I oughta write a book about that.
Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook, http://www.amazon.com/Rebound-Michael-

 

Obama: We Were Wrong

By Michael Goodell

During an appearance on Sixty Minutes, Barack Obama justified a return to a more aggressive posture toward terrorist groups whose avowed intention is the destruction of the United States. “We underestimated the insurgents’ strength,” the previously infallible president admitted. “After 2012, when our enemies were demoralized, and, at the very least, reduced to a ‘manageable problem,’ I’m afraid the intelligence community took their eye off the ball.”

However, after a summer of disease-ridden children inundating the border, followed by the mass rape, torture, and beheading of Arab Christians and other religious minorities by Islamic State functionaries, Obama’s  approval ratings went into the toilet. The numbers got so bad that state controlled media operatives stopped taking public opinion surveys.

“I’ve often said it’s hard being president,” Obama noted wistfully. “It’s not like in China where those guys say ‘Jump’ and the people say ‘Hao hai!’ But it’s worse when you can’t even line up a putt on the 15th green without some aide running up with the latest poll numbers showing even Michigan is in play. You try being reading the break with that going on.

“So, yeah, I’ll admit it. We underestimated our opponents. We honestly thought the Republicans had been degraded to the level of, say, the junior varsity, or even the US Ryder Cup squad. We had no idea they were even relevant, let alone competitive.”

This, the president agreed, was a mistake, though it wasn’t really his fault. “Let me be clear, I gave the American people the foreign policy they said they wanted. Hell, they reelected me, didn’t they? How was I to know they hadn’t actually thought it through?”

In fact, as it turned out, the American people had given little more consideration to the consequences of a neo-isolationist policy than the president had himself. This lack of foresight  resulted in diminished American influence, enhanced terrorist threats, and the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. Disgusted with themselves, Americans grew disenchanted with the once godlike Occupier of the White House.

“Let me be clear,” the president said, “I never thought the Republicans had a chance of making this a wave election. Have we screwed up? Of course we have. Have we critically weakened the country while giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies? Sure. Have we shredded the constitution through our utter disregard for the rule of law? Naturally, and I’m proud of all those achievements.” Obama shook his head, gravely. “But would I have done it if I thought it might cost us the Senate? No way.”

The president pointed out that these weren’t Iranians or Ukrainian dissidents he was facing. “They were Republicans,” he scoffed. “Republicans,” he repeated, bearing an expression of disgust mixed with awe, with just a soupcon of concern wreathing along the edges of his lips. “These people have no backbone, no values, no beliefs. Their only reason for being, or ‘raison d’etre,’ as Kerry would say, is to win elections.”

Obama shook his head sadly before continuing. “Apparently one thing the Republicans have going for them is they aren’t me, and they aren’t my party. It seems the American people aren’t quite ready to surrender after all. Because of that, the Senate, and according to some, civilization as we know it, is in jeopardy. We underestimated our opponents, so now we have to start bombing trucks and bases and the occasional hospital to show how tough we are. We have a little over a month, but I am confident if we kill enough people we can send the Republicans back to their caves and retain control of the Senate.”

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook,

Mr. Obama Goes to War

by Michael Goodell
And so it came to pass that the president was forced to pause in his nation-building at home to reflect on a world coming apart at the seams, or as he preferred to describe it, a world no messier than before, but a mess more visible thanks to 140 character descriptions. Indeed, if it weren’t for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the latest social media outlet, Whathaveyou, no one would know the world was going to hell in a hand basket. (I have an English friend whose Twitter handle is @Chopper, and suddenly I start to wonder if he is a member of ISIS. Upon further reflection, I recall he was never very good at basketball, and couldn’t make the varsity squad. Hmm.)Maybe the president has a point. Maybe we ought to force Facebook to install a Don’t Like button. Then we could all Don’t Like ISIS and Putin, and they would have to give up, wouldn’t they? I mean, it’s one thing if the President says there’s no place in the 21st Century for that kind of behavior, but if you lose have your followers overnight, then you know you’re in trouble.After the second American journalist was YouTubed to death, the president got good and angry. Not as angry as the Veep, mind you, but pretty danged mad. He might not promise to follow ISIS to the gates of hell, but he definitely won’t allow them any three-foot gimmes. How serious is the president? During a confidence-building stop in Estonia, he vowed to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. In fact, “If we are joined by the international community,” he will degrade and destroy ISIS “to the point where it is a manageable problem.”The president declined to reveal how many decapitated Americans constitute a manageable problem, and how many more it takes for the world to be “appalled.” Some people were less than impressed with the president’s verbal jujitsu. Or as The Wall Street Journal put it, “The president’s statement drew criticism from Republican critics,” which is to distinguish them from Republican praisers. Apparently some of the Republican critics wondered why it was necessary to qualify destruction with the term manageable.In response State Department spokesperson Jan Psaki snarked that Republican critics’ criticism was little more than “a word game,” a point she illustrated by tweeting a smirking selfie holding a sign reading #StopNitpickingUs.Now, about that confidence-building stop, not just Estonians, but all three Baltic States (if you can name them, chances are you didn’t attend an American Public School), breathed a big sigh of relief when the president failed to warn the Russian president that invading them would be tantamount to “crossing a Red Line.” The bad news was he assured them that NATO will “be here for Estonia. We’ll be here for Latvia. We’ll be here for Lithuania. You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you’ll never lose it again.” Such a bold, forthright statement has stymied the Russian president. At this very moment he is closeted with his generals, trying to figure out what to do next. Invade Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania? It has to be one of the three. If  the American president makes such a specific promise, he obviously doesn’t mean it. (Incidentally, those nude photos of the president circulating on the Internet didn’t come from Kate Upton’s phone. In fact, they were hacked from his new tailor’s iPad).If the president has made one thing clear over the last six years, it’s that when he speaks his enemies laugh, and only his allies tremble. As should Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO members all, they presumably would fall under the protection of Article 5, which points out that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all of them. Of course, Putin won’t blatantly invade. He’ll go the Sudetenland route, as he did in Ukraine, triggering protests by Baltic-based Russians. He’ll hope for an overreaction by the authorities, and failing that, generate one himself.Then he’ll arm the same “militants” who “rose up” in Ukraine. By the time NATO acknowledges  Russian troops have invaded the Baltics someone will have figured out an escape clause, something along the line that Article 5 only applies to the original NATO members, not the slew of new ones which came in after the USSR imploded. Putin will be happy to only swallow portions of the tiny Baltic nations, allowing them the appearance of sovereignty, albeit fully within the Russian orbit. Such a partition will allow the American president to pivot from denying he ever said “We’ll be here for Estonia. We’ll be here for Latvia. We’ll be here for Lithuania,” to pointing out that those small parts of the three countries which remain independent constitute yet another “promise kept.”

You Da Bomb, Joe!

by Michael Goodell

After listening to a second-hand anecdote involving Vice President Joe Biden, a semi-private dining room, a tipsy woman describing a glass of wine as “da bomb,” and some tightly wound Secret Service agents, I wondered aloud if, should I ever meet the man, I would have the courage to say, “Hey Joe, you’ve come pretty far for the son of a Welsh coal miner.”

Referring, of course, to 1988 when then Presidential candidate Biden appropriated British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock’s stump speech as his own. This was not a simple matter of failing to attribute a quote, Biden actually stole Kinnock’s biography. Needless to say, Biden’s campaign vanished faster than those insurance plans his current boss promised you could keep.

Stealing another politician’s go-to speech is wrong on so many levels. It is stupid, for one thing. It is also arrogant, a display of contempt for the public, a reflection of the belief that the people are too stupid to catch on. Most significantly, it demonstrates that the man has no character.

So it’s not surprising Biden’s bid was immolated. What is surprising is thirty years later not only was the man still a sitting Senator, but he was deemed worthy of the office of vice president. Even more amazing, his selection was hailed by many as lending “gravitas” to the untested Democratic Party standard bearer.

There should be no statute of limitations of poor character. Once manifested, that person should be rendered unfit for public office. Stealing another man’s speech shows no character. Bimbo eruptions? No character. Driving your car off a bridge and leaving a young woman to drown, should result if not in a prison sentence, then certainly not in reelection. And definitely, that cur should never have been eulogized as “the Conscience of the Senate.”

This is not a partisan issue. George H. W. Bush should have resigned after vomiting in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap. Make all the excuses you want, but when he “committed Bushusuru,” he brought shame to his nation and disgrace to the office. He should have resigned. Mark Sanford rightfully deserved to be hounded from office after Appalachian Affair. He never should have been elected again. Again, there should be no statute of limitations of character issues. The good people of South Carolina displayed all the judgment and discretion of ghetto dwellers when they sent the “mad hiker” to Congress.

At a time when elected officials enjoy the same level of public respect as trial attorneys, carjackers and those guys wearing matching jerseys who ride their bikes four abreast on busy highways, it is surprising how little emphasis the electorate places on character. If we continue to elect and reelect men and women who by voice and deed demonstrate they have no character, then why should we be surprised when they put their petty interests above those of the people they were elected to serve?

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook,  http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

 

The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Political Kick

By Michael Goodell

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup winds down to its final few games, let’s reflect on what we’ve learned along the way. The most surprising thing, other than the fact that none of the stadia collapsed, is how politicized supporting the sport has become.  The ideologically extreme MSNBC mouthpiece Chris Hayes mocked non fans for being wedded to antiquated ideas. “The aversion that some hold in joining the world to embracing soccer is often weirdly tied to American Exceptionalism,” Hayes said. “And once again, this year, a few anti-soccer trolls reared their ugly heads. But they really don’t matter . . . Even the president of the United States caught the game today. . . And while we didn’t win, that’s ultimately alright because part of embracing a truly worldwide competition is accepting the fact the U.S. cannot simply assert its dominance.”So, if you’re one of the cool kids you like soccer just as much as you like transgendered urinals. Another ideological brownshirt, Peter Beinart, observed on CNN that soccer fans are generally younger,  more liberal, more tolerant of others and “are far less likely than older American to say that America’s culture is superior or to say that America is the greatest country in the world.” He thinks that’s a plus.Beinart explains, “if you look at the states where soccer is most popular, they’re overwhelmingly blue states, and the states where soccer is least popular are red states. The only difference between the soccer coalition and the Obama coalition is that African-Americans are right now are not such big soccer fans and of course important parts of the Obama coalition . . . So you can see the Obama coalition as essentially soccer plus basketball.  The Republican coalition is essentially baseball plus golf plus NASCAR.”Which begs the question, what stands out more, Beinart’s incoherence or his ineffable silliness? Of course, the left doesn’t have a monopoly on silliness. Not when it comes to futbol.  Ann Coulter spewed her own version of dementia, declaring soccer to be beneath American’s contempt because “It’s foreign.” Like the metric system, it is from “Europe,” and therefore verboten. Even worse, it’s a game played by sissies, and liberals. “Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys,” Coulter fulminates. “ No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.”Not to be outdone, the other day Bernard Goldberg passed his judgment in a piece on National Review Online (which effectively transformed a once-respectable forum of ideas into the intellectual version of “The National Enquirer.”). Soccer, he declared, is for losers. “It’s not just because it’s so dull that I don’t like soccer. Another reason I don’t like it is because of the Americans who do like it. Most of these sports fans — a term I use with no regard for either word, “sports” or “fans” — wouldn’t know a fumble from a first down, a hit-and-run from a double play. But every four years they show up at bars and go wild when the American team ties the Tunisians zero-zero, or nil-nil, as they call it.”The debate over soccer seems like the last nail in the political coffin which is contemporary American society. Why can’t someone simply enjoy a good match without feeling morally superior? Conversely, can’t I choose not to follow the sport, or even actively mock it without attacking true soccer fans? (True fans, by the way, follow the sport year-round, not just every four years–it’s like the Olympics. We can enjoy the passion and drama of Olympic competition without describing ourselves as huge track and field, or luge fans).An English friend once described soccer as a gentlemanly game play by thugs, as opposed to rugby, which is a thuggish game played by gentlemen. Another English friend refers to the sport as “kiss ball,” yet he lives and dies with the fate of his National Team. Former British Prime Minister Margaret  Thatcher is reputed to have soothed her shattered nation following an unlikely loss to the German National Team by noting that “England has twice defeated German at their national game.”So there’s a lot of tradition and history to soccer. Ironically, on a continent given to scorning nationalism, Europeans exult in the fortunes of their National Teams. An Englishman who will look down his nose at American patriotism will willingly and reflexively bite the nose off a Frenchman’s face in the unlikely event of a froggish goal.To be honest, I dislike soccer because it is mired in the past.  It was yet another English friend who expressed his envy for the way Americans constantly tinker with our sports. Baseball, hockey, football and basketball are constantly evolving to accommodate changes in equipment and improvements in diet, training and performance.Consider baseball. Over the years the pitching mound has gotten lower and the strike zone has effectively been cut in half. Every change has been made to improve the batter’s chances of hitting the ball. If those changes hadn’t been made, most baseball games would finish one-nil after 18 innings, contested before as many as three dozen people.Baseball has changed with the times. Soccer hasn’t. Which is why players fall to the ground and writhe in agony, until they realize they won’t be rewarded with either a penalty kick or the issuance of a yellow or red card. The reason they do this is not, despite what Coulter might say, because they are “sissies,” but because about the only way to score in modern soccer (we’ll leave Germany-Brazil out of this discussion) is by penalty kick or a man advantage.Which means most games come down to which side is best able to game the system, or to phantom penalties called or legitimate ones ignored. Soccer is too much in the hands of the officials, and not enough on the feet of the players. Which is why I don’t like it. It’s ironic when you think of it. According to trendy-leftie elites, by definition I don’t like soccer because I am a conservative, while in fact, I don’t like soccer because it hasn’t changed. Advocating change is not the purview of the right, which means, I don’t like soccer because it is too conservative for me.
Please buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook

Captain America: Whiner Soldier

By Michael Goodell
Considering he’s the most timorous and geopolitically unformed President since Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama is remarkably prolific when it comes to slaughtering straw men. Take for example his recent press conference hissy fit in Malaysia. Or it may have been a calculated outburst, it’s hard to tell with this guy. Ostensibly a defense of his nuanced, highly sophisticated foreign policy, by the time Obama was done hyperventilating, the field was so strewn with straw man corpses, it bore a striking resemblance to one of that noted education reformer Bashar Assad’s charter school projects.
Slaughtering straw men is one of the president’s favorite rhetorical devices. When faced with criticism, he presumes to define the terms his critics used, generally in a manner bearing no more connection with reality than his administration’s policy toward, say, Iran. He then proceeds to demolish the arguments nobody has made.In Malaysia he imputed to his foreign policy critics a desire to invade foreign countries, or to put boots on the ground, in one of his favorite phrases. They still haven’t learned the lessons from our disastrous involvement in Iraq, he charged. What is the matter with these people? How on earth can they continue to pursue the misguided, failed policies of the past? Obama’s arguments completely destroyed all those critics calling for us to invade every country that looks at us cross-eyed. The only problem with his rhetorical victory is nobody has made the arguments he just blew out of the water.And that’s the seductive appeal of the Straw Man approach. If you put words in your critics’ mouths, it’s easy to destroy them. When Obama opens a can of Whupp Ass on his critics, he looks like Rambo. Okay, he looks like Rambo with skinny arms, but still, that’s a whole lotta mayhem raining down.Even Rambo, er, Obama knows he can only take this Straw Man thing so far. Here’s what he said about Syria. “Those who criticize our foreign policy with respect to Syria, they themselves say, ‘No, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops.’ Well, what do you mean? ‘Well, you should be assisting the opposition.’ Well, we’re assisting the opposition. What do you mean? “Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria.” Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what are you talking about? And at that point it kind of trails off.”What can we learn from this sophomoric outburst? One, we can conclude it’s not just tobacco the President is still when Michelle isn’t looking. This sort of incoherent recapping of an amazing internal dialogue suggests that the Choom Gang is alive and well and hanging out by the White House basketball court.We can also conclude that the reason it “kind of trails off” at the point where Obama brags about getting chemical weapons out of Syria is because his imaginary interlocutor considers it rude to say, “Really, Mr. President? Tell me, are you lying to my face or are you really that stupid? Because anybody who can read a newspaper knows that Syria has missed every deadline you’ve extended for turning over the chemical weapons they say they have. We don’t even know about the rest of them because there’s no independent inspection team to verify. Furthermore, you may recall the only reason we’ve gotten this far is because Vladimir Putin came riding to the rescue. Do you remember when you were wilting from an attack of the vapors because grown ups in Washington said you needed to do something because Assad violated what you called a red line? Do you remember how panicked you were? Do you remember denying ever calling it a Red Line? Do you remember how you crumpled in Putin’s big, strong arms when he untied you from the railroad tracks like Dudley Dooright?”“Did you ever stop to  think, Mr. President, that if you hadn’t proved yourself worse than a coward over Syria, that Russia might not have invaded Crimea? Did you stop to think how far your foreign policy is from robust? Did you ever stop to think that what you call a calibrated, low-profile set of diplomatic maneuvers’ is the geopolitical version of hiding in a bathroom stall until the jocks have gone off to football practice?”That’s probably the main reason your critics start drifting off at that point.We’ve gotten to a pathetic point in history where people want to believe our president actually intends to destroy American power as a force for good in the world, because it is hard to imagine someone stupid enough to do this by accident.

Happy Spring Black Friday

By Michael Goodell
We owe a debt of gratitude to the folks at Home Depot who came up with the wonderful concept called Spring Black Friday. At last, we have a name for the awkward Friday before Easter. For years people have referred to it as, uh, you know, that day when schools are out, Wall Street is closed, and there’s nothing to do but go to church.But now, we have a name for it. Spring Black Friday. It is the perfect counterpoint to the traditional Black Friday, which occurs the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, of course, is as close as Americans come to a religious holiday, that day after the gluttonous feast, when families go to the local mall and worship at the feet of the Great God Commerce.Fulfilling as Black Friday is, when we all buy things we can’t afford for people who don’t need them, all to observe what we call “Holiday,” it is sometimes hard to go a full year without worshiping again. Granted, there is Valentine’s Day when we buy chocolates, flowers and cards, and St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, when we gather in bars to drink ourselves into oblivion, but somehow these minor Holy Days don’t quite fill the gap between Holiday and Graduation Day (which occupies the entire month of June).Thankfully, last year the marketing department at Home Depot came up with Spring Black Friday. This year, they’re doing it again, and joined by such stalwarts as Lowes and Walmart, it promises to be bigger than ever. At last, all Americans will have a place to worship during this bleak, empty season. Spring Black Friday should fill out our religious calendar. We will be fulfilled.In his “Inferno,” Dante described the nine circles of hell. Actually, he got that wrong. There is a tenth circle, and it is the exclusive domain of everyone in the marketing and advertising racket.
Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook

 

Eich’s Auto-da-fe

 
By Michael Goodell
My head tells me to leave it alone. Don’t write about it. Just leave it alone. The damage is already done. You can’t save a culture intent on suicide. So keep your mouth shut, don’t make waves. Don’t intentionally offend those whose taking of offense is beyond your ken.Then my heart tells me in Nazi Germany they called this attitude “internal exile.” That was the place  where those intellectuals, writers and artists unable or unwilling to flee would hide. That place was inside their heads, because that was the only place it was safe to be. So I wondered is it right to witness our slide into totalitarianism without at least letting people know where they are headed?What triggered this bout of introspection was Brendan Eich’s resignation as CEO of Mozilla. Eich, by all accounts a brilliant man, invented JavaScript which is, they say, the language which writes the web. Now, I don’t know the difference between JavaScript and FijiCursive, but I do know  that civil society begins to die when bigots are able to punish people for what they think.What was Mr. Eich’s crime? What did he do that rendered him unemployable? Did he rape a child? Did he bribe a Senator? Lie on his resume? No. He donated $1,000  to support Proposition 8, the California initiative which defined marriage as an act between a man and a woman. At the time this was the position held by just about every public figure and virtually every American citizen capable of rational thought (or somewhere close to 300,000 people). It was a time when reasonable people could disagree on whether the state should redefine marriage. It was a time when people could oppose state-sanctioned same-sex marriage and not be accused, and convicted, of hate crimes. It was just six short years ago.Most articles about Mr. Eich’s auto-da-fe refer to Proposition 8 as an initiative to ban gay marriage. Actually, it did no such thing. In fact, there has not been a single initiative or law passed anywhere in the country which banned gay marriage, or made it illegal. All they have done is confirm, or codify the status quo. Gays have been free to marry as long as Barbra Streisand has been singing show tunes. That’s why God invented the Unitarian Church, and SWAT teams have never been dispatched to arrest Rev. Samantha while she unites Warren and Bruce in Holy Matrimony.Nobody has ever banned gay marriage, because, in the eyes of the state, and in the eyes of history, gay marriage has never existed. You can’t ban something that has never existed. Yet none of this matters as our culture goes careening over the cliff of rationality. Nor does it matter how his Inquisitors learned of Mr. Eich’s despicable deed. Which is the worst part of the story.An Internal Revenue Service employee illegally leaked the names of National Organization for Marriage (NOM) donors. This crime is another example of the dangerous extent to which the current administration has politicized the bureaucracy. Even more disturbing than the actual leaking is the refusal of the (even more politicized) Justice Department to investigate and prosecute.This is no small matter. This is the erosion of the rule of law upon which our nation was established. When the state is allowed to pick and choose which laws it will enforce, and when the state abets those who would punish others for their beliefs, we are creeping perilously close to totalitarianism.In short, it is not the series of actions which are so terrifying, but the lack of response those actions have inspired.
 
Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook.
Stick it to the Man 
By Michael Goodell

I woke up yesterday morning with our president’s voice whispering in my ear. No, I haven’t bought an ObamaLama, (Note: The following is a paid advertisement. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the editorial staff at www.mlgoodell.webs.com).
ObamaLama is the revolutionary new alarm clock now sweeping the nation. Yes, thanks to the same technology which enabled millions of uninsured Americans to finally get the health care they deserve, the ObamaLama, allows you to wake up each day to the sound of our beloved President’s voice. Just set the time you want to wake up by turning the innovative devices on the back  called dials, and the next morning (or afternoon if you’re one of the millions of Americans freed from job lock!) you can start your day full of confidence, knowing that our President “has your back.”(We now return you to our regularly scheduled program).Again, I don’t yet have an ObamaLama, mainly because, since the merger,  Amazon.gov is having fulfillment issues whenever traffic exceeds 100,000 users. Instead, our beloved leader’s words came to me through the miracle of NPR on my clock radio, reporting on his campaign speech in nearby Ann Arbor. Bolstered by reports that ramping up the minimum wage would free another half-million Americans from the humiliation of having to go to work each day, Obama was in town to support a statewide initiative to boost it to $10.10 an hour.Among other crowd-pleasing remarks, the president extolled the merits of allowing anyone to earn that much, “regardless of your last name, the color of your skin, which country you were born in, or who you love.” That Angelou-esque litany of interest groups, which passes as policy these days, gained  the expected cheers from the crowd of reliably liberal collegians, though none was greeted as enthusiastically as “who you love.”This struck me as curious. Why on earth should our president’s by now obligatory nod in the direction of homosexual normatization generate such acclaim? Could it be that this generation of children, having been indulgently raised free from restraint or even guidance, nonetheless feels the need to rebel? Grasping for issues, they can find only one which reflects a generational divide. That, of course is same-sex marriage. Our president has evolved in dramatic fashion, going in just three short years from believing marriage is between a man and woman to claiming “marriage equality is the defining issue of our age.”So for the purposes of pleasing the crowd, the President boasts he has their collective back. It is a bit off-putting, though, this pandering to an unformed audience. It should be somehow beneath the office of the president to assist children’s bids to shock their parents. Whenever Obama gets in front of a collegiate audience, he reminds me of that old Sprint commercial in which a business executive brags that  the money he is saving is his way of “Sticking it to the man,” to which his assistant replies, perplexedly, “But you are the man.” (See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG-VB5xb6KM ).Because, in fact, that is what the President is doing in front of his youthful audiences. He is sticking it to the man without understanding that he is, for what it’s worth, the man. Given their upbringing in a culture defined by self esteem enhancement and moral relativism, today’s college freshmen are arguably the most ethically immature and spiritually unformed generation ever to matriculate in what used to be called the civilized world. Is it any surprise then that whenever the mean old world gets too icky and scary, this President  flees to where he feels most comfortable, before an audience of his intellectual peers?
Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook.
 
The Koch Brothers Ate My Homework

By Michael Goodell

In a stunning development, the Associated Press announced on April 1 that “President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than seven million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday.”You may recall that the Congressional Budget Office determined that seven million people would need to sign up for health insurance on the government run exchanges for Affordable Care Act to work. The fact that exactly as many enrolled as required  makes this achievement all the more impressive, especially when you consider that, as recently as March 30, the day before the deadline, most people doubted they could even come up with six million sign ups.As remarkable as this accomplishment is, it gets even more astounding considering that Obamacare’s official fan site, er, website, healthcare.gov, was down for four hours on March 31. Since this constitutes fully one sixth of the day, signing up more than a million customers is damn near miraculous. Since even after billions of dollars of fixes and revisions the site still tends to crash when more than 100,000 people access it at the same time, one has to feel so proud of the more than one million people who patiently waited at the portal until number 100,000 left the site, so as not to overwhelm it.For all those who claimed Obamacare was a train wreck, here is a profound rebuttal. It works. More than a million people signed up in one day. People all over America who did not have health care can now get health care. Fifty-year-old men who lived in fear of a sudden, unwanted pregnancy, can now face each day with confidence knowing their maternity costs will be covered. Gay men and women can get married without worrying where their contraception will come from.It is a bright, shining day in America. It is, to borrow a phrase, Morning in America. And it is all the result of The Affordable Care Act. For all those who claimed it couldn’t be done, we can say with pride, go crawl back into your cave you racist haters.In other news today, the AP reported that the CIA has identified the powerful “tractor beams” which lifted MH370 out of the earth’s atmosphere. President Obama, taking a break from filming an episode of “Girls” remarked that “while we don’t know these aliens’ intentions, we’re going to assume they are peaceful.” The president also called up the world’s media to refrain from using the term “alien” to describe the otherwordly creatures. “It’s such a hateful term,” he noted. “We prefer to call them unexpected visitors.”Also, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a breakthrough in the latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Apparently Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu admitted that his country is a imperialist tool, that the perfidious Zionists stole Palestine from its rightful owners, and that Jews do in fact drink the blood of Christian children. In order to make things right Netanyahu announced that all Israelis would commit suicide at midnight tonight.“This is a great achievement,” an exultant Kerry exclaimed. “We identified mass suicide as perhaps the major stumbling block standing in the way of a comprehensive peace agreement. Thanks to Prime Minister Netanyahu, we have indeed, achieved peace in our time.”In a related story moderate President something-something Rahmani (get actual name from Wikipedia before posting–Ed) announced that Iran was ending the nuclear weapons program they never actually had. “If all the Jews are already dead, then building nukes is just a waste of  time and money,” Roumahni explained. A jubilant Obama gleefully welcomed Iran back into the family of enlightened nations.Finally, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was giving Crimea “back to its rightful owners,” and withdrawing all troops from the Ukrainian border. “Watching the way President Obama consistently took the high road and refused to react to any of my provocations, I realized we really were living in the Nineteenth Century. I am so ashamed. So from here on, I’m surfing on the arc of history. Plus from now on, I keep my shirt on.”It is so exciting to live in a world in which all problems, no matter how intractable they might seem to be, can be solved just by wishing them so. Thanks, President Obama, for making our world better and better in every possible way. Or, to put it another way, in Obama’s America, every day is April Fool’s Day.
Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook.

Please Send Money

By Michael Goodell

Half my inbox these days consists of Gorean alarums about global warming having caused “unprecedented drought in California,” which generally start out by referencing “the driest winter since 1976.” Besides giving a new meaning to the term “unprecedented,” these appeals serve as the ideal springboard from which to launch appeals for money.Stripped down to their barest essentials, the environmental message is that George Bush unilaterally abrogated the Kyoto Accords, a climate-saving treaty which the US Senate rejected by a 95-1 vote, (It may have been 95-2, but details don’t really matter since I’m arguing on the liberal side of the spectrum here), Big Oil and the Koch Brothers are collaborating to drown hapless South Pacific Islanders, and everything would be better if I sent the Environmental Defense League, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Al Gore and Organizing for Action $100 each.

It is with some guilt that I turn to rest of  the emails clogging my in box which basically boast that record low temperatures and high snow levels in the Midwest prove that climate change is a hoax and that Obama lied about whether you could keep your doctor. There are no problems in the world except those born of the overheated imagination of leftist socialist anti-capitalist enviro-freako-wierdos. And, I hold in my hands the power to make all those problems go away, if I would just send Ted Cruz, Jim Dement, Sarah Palin and the Crossroads GPF Fund $100 each. Oh, and buy a copy of Rush Limbaugh’s latest children’s book.

Being a bit of a dinosaur, I tend to recall the last time we had unprecedented droughts and record cold temperatures and high snow levels. I don’t recall anyone saying anything about Global Warming causing those phenomena, probably because back in the seventies environmentally-oriented people had their knickers in a twist about The Coming Ice Age. Some people, true radicals I’ll grant you, went so far as to ascribe heat and cold, snow and drought to bizarre things called weather patterns, stationary high pressure cells camped off the coast of California, and other meteorological terms.

Sadly, as time has passed and more Cassandras have taken over tv stations’ weather maps and environmental fund raising operations, it becomes harder to find anyone capable of discussing the weather without screaming like a Banshee (it is the goal of every serious essayist to fit Cassandras and Banshees into the same sentence as often as possible).

It has been said of the Internet that the easier it is to transmit information, the stupider we all come–I doesn’t know if that’s true, but I did read it on the Internet–and that certainly has proved to be the case with the escalation of normal weather into disaster, and the unique into unmitigated horror. As Mark Twain once said, “Every body talks about the weather but–eek! Run for your lives!”

Surely you all agree that it is high time to return weather to its natural role as what happens outside. I am happy to take on that task. In fact, I am confident I will be able to shut up both Al Gore and the super secret Koch Brothers if you will just send $100 to my new 501 (c)(4) organization (send me ten grand and I’ll let you look at my list of secret funders), Weather Not Climate.

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook.

Bibi to the Rescue

By Michael Goodell

At first glance, it might seem surprising that a bunch of guys who loathe the military as much as Obama and his playpen pals do, are so obsessed with looking tough. But if you put it in perspective,it begins to make sense. Do you recall how those Choom Gang guys used to hang around the flag pole out in front of the high school, as far away as possible from the jocks who liked to beat them up?

That’s why the stoners always moved in a pack, because it made them look tough, and as every high school kid knows, if you can’t be tough, the next best thing is looking tough. Furthermore, if you can’t be tough around the tough guys, at least you can be tough around the nerds. Most of the time, striking a pose is fine. If you’re an insignificant night clerk at the local Seven-Eleven, looking tough might even dissuade some punk from robbing you. Of course, if he does go ahead and pull that gun, within seconds you’ll be lying in a pool of your own urine, sobbing and begging him not to kill you. But, like I said, that’s fine.

However, if you happen to be president of what used to be known as the most powerful country on earth, striking poses can come back and bite you. This is what Obama has yet to learn. You can’t go around mouthing tough guy phrases and striking poses that impress your stoner buddies. Because in the real world there are guys like Putin who like to show off their pecs and wrestle bears and alligators. They see you in your mom jeans cracking wise about consequences and costs, red lines and knocking chips off your shoulder, and they just laugh.

Which is what has just happened in Ukraine. Leave all the geopolitical mumbo-jumbo aside. Forget about Crimea basically being Russia, and only falling under Ukrainian jurisdiction for the past sixty years or so. Or whether the current Ukrainian government is more or less corrupt than the previous one. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that the United States has become a joke.

The day after Obama warned Putin there would be costs if he sent troops into Ukraine, he procured permission from his rubber stamp parliament to do just that. And to recall the Russian Ambassador as well. It would have been better to have said nothing than to make more empty threats. This person currently Occupying the White House has adopted a foreign policy the exact opposite of Teddy Roosevelt’s. And it doesn’t work.

Luckily for our hapless leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose that moment to visit the White House. It was very kind of him to sit down for a photo op, and to keep his mouth shut while the President threatened him with boycotts and international isolation if he doesn’t do exactly what Obama wants him to. Must be nice to know we’ve still got some allies, otherwise who would we be able to push around?

Choom Gang foreign policy would be a joke if it weren’t so disastrous for America’s future, and by extension, that of the world. Many people have resented the American Century, and they have chafed under our clumsy leadership. We’ll have to wait to see how much more enjoyable it will be living in a world divided neatly between Russia and China. We’ll see what good soft power achieves when wielded against thugs and bullies.

At the end of the day we will have to learn how to live in a world in which we are mocked by our enemies feared only by our allies.

Buy my new novel REBOUND, for  $17.99 from http://www.whitebirdpublications.com, or for just $5.99 on Kindle or Nook.

Double Dumb: Game Change 2014

by Michael Goodell 
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every era deserves its own wonky post-election analysts. Lately Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have shrugged on the mantel previously worn by such notables as Jules Witcover, Theodore H. White and, um, Hunter S. Thompson.

Their perspicacious coverage of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections have provided posterity with insights into the sheer brilliance of Barack H. Obama, his disdain for the nuts and bolts of political campaigns, his disgust for the hypocrisy and deceit such campaigning requires, and the fact that he has surrounded himself with brilliant, quick-witted aides.

As if that weren’t enough, we also have learned that Obama benefitted from the fact that John McCain, his 2008 opponent was really old, and that his 2012 foe was really rich. Oh, and Sarah Palin was really dumb. That just about covers it, except that Obama’s wife, Michelle, possibly even smarter than he is, is definitely wiser, and will do whatever it takes to ensure that her benighted subjects will benefit from the guidance only her husband can provide.

Full Disclosure: (I always enjoy the full disclosure ploy. It somehow implies that the discloser possesses candor even greater than that wielded by Messrs. Halperin and Heilemann) I have always wanted to be one of those wonky post-election analysts, and having survived yesterday’s snowpocalypse, I have decided that now is the time to step up and lay claim to what is rightly mine. What follows is my analysis of the 2012 presidential election.

Before we begin I would like to stress that you will need to read very carefully, because my wonkiness is far wonkier than any other commentator on the scene today, and that includes Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harry-Perris.

Today I visited two grocery stores in search of basic staples–eggs, vegetables, sliced luncheon meats, Jack Daniels, cheese, bread–and discovered they were still mostly empty after Saturday’s panic buying. Why were people panic buying on Saturday? Because there was a snow storm forecast. This storm carried the possibility of dumping as much as a foot of snow on lower Michigan over a 48 hour period.

Now, for those of you not familiar with basic principles of geography, which is to say, Americans, Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Annual snow fall averages range between 15 feet and 40 inches, with metropolitan Detroit laying claim to the latter total. The average high temperature in January is below freezing. In other words, if you lived here, you would not be a stranger to winter weather.

What then caused otherwise rational people–okay, people no less irrational than any other Reality-TV-watching and celebrity-voyeuristic Americans–to engage in such irrational behavior? The only possible explanation is the way local media started a drumbeat of dire weather predictions some 36 hours before the storm was actually due to hit. This is part of the sensationalization of weather which is arguably one of the most disgusting aspects of popular American culture (Miley Cyrus aside).

A basic rule should be that snow in January is not newsworthy. Cold weather in January is normal. Hot, humid weather in July is normal. Thunderstorms in July are not newsworthy. If a foot of snow were to fall next July in Detroit that would be worth covering, but not in January.

Everyone seems to agree that news stations have gone overboard in their treatment of normal weather events. Everybody understands that snow is normal. Despite this, it seems if the media repeats the same story, distorts its meaning and refuses to report the truth, people will, despite their knowing better, accept those stories and act accordingly, even if they know the stories are lies, and even if they know it is not in their best interests to do so.

Get your copy of Michael Goodell’s second novel, REBOUND today.http://www.amazon.com/Rebound-Michael-Goodell/dp/1937690636/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1389045172&sr=1-2

Relatively Speaking by Michael Goodell  

From the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal:
U.S. officials believe members of Hezbollah, the militant group backed by Iran, are smuggling advanced, guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria piece by piece to evade a secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them.
The moves illustrate how both Hezbollah and Israel are using Syria’s civil war as cover for what increasingly is seen as a complex and high-stakes race to prepare for another potential conflict–their own–in ways that could alter the region’s military balance.
These two paragraphs show why the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement is a fool’s errand. (Given that it is a fool’s errand, it is hard to imagine anyone better suited to run it than the current Secretary of State. We make this claim because it is generally regarded as unseemly for the Vice President to engage in shuttle diplomacy).
The Wall Street Journal reporters had to engage in linguistic contortionism in order to equate the actions of Hezbollah and Israel. Actually, the stunt begins with their labeling Hezbollah a “militant group.” Even John Kerry’s State Department recognizes Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In this case it is a terrorist organization smuggling advanced, guided missile systems into Lebanon. Why are they doing this? Not because they fear a surprise attack from the Isle of Rhodes. Rather, it is to wage war against Israel. It is in order to slaughter as many Jewish men, women and children as possible.
Against this effort the reporters have described a “secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them.” In the following paragraph the reporters claim that both parties are using the civil was a cover for preparations for a new war in the region. Apparently in the eyes of The Wall Street Journal, there is no need to distinguish between building up weapons of mass destruction and trying to prevent that build up. Preparing for an invasion is the same, in the equivocating eyes of The Wall Street Journal, as preparing to defend against that invasion.
Unlike The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal is not in the habit of printing lies on the front page (though to be fair, not every article on the front page of The Times is completely dishonest), but in this case, they are guilty. At the very least they are reflecting the attitude long ascendent in the State Department, that Israel is the main stumbling block to peace in the region. If only Israel would accept all the Palestinians’, or Arabs’, or European intellectuals’ demands, then there would be peace.
Another way of putting this is until Israelis get comfortable with the idea of their own slaughter, there cannot be peace in the Middle East. That may seem extreme, but no more so than suggesting smuggling missiles into the region is morally equivalent to trying to keep them out.

Thanks for Nothing

So begins our season of excess. On Thanksgiving Day,  the fattest people in the history of the world gather together to express our gratitude to a suitably generic Deity. The ritual we depend upon? An orgy of unspeakable gluttony. Afterwards, glancing up, eyes glazed and chins still glistening with the grease of the bird and its gravy, we intone, “Must move quickly. Target’s opening soon.”
My skin crawls whenever I hear the term “Black Friday.” It is intoned with reverence by commentator and consumer alike. The ads get plastered across television, newspaper and internet, promising huge savings to the intrepid few willing to brave blustery winds, chilling cold and the lustful lunges of what we shall, in the interest of charity, call “the savvy, price-conscious consumer.” Underlying these clarion calls is an undercurrent of obligation. It is as if it is our sacred duty to indulge in the shopping ritual.
According to Wikipedia, the term “Black Friday,” originated in Philadelphia, some time before 1961, “where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.” Over the years its meaning has shifted to suggest that heavy shopping the day after Thanksgiving allows retailers to become profitable, or to be in the black, for the year. When retailers embraced the ramped-up sales and conspired to induce the sort of frenzy by which the day is now defined, they helped our culture begin its descent into consumerist dementia.
Before long the term “Black Friday” became ubiquitous, mouthed by retailer, consumer and pop cultural gatekeeper alike, always with such a semi-religious, cultic reverence that a stranger plunked down in our midst would conclude that Black Friday is the holiest of holy days in America. And perhaps it is. Perhaps we have reached the point where blatant consumerism is all that is left of the American Spirit.
How ironic that a holiday called Thanksgiving should come to be defined by a massive outpouring of “I want.” Whenever I contemplate the fetishistic frenzy of Black Friday, spread now into the early evening of Thanksgiving Day itself, I give thanks that Barack Obama is our president, and wish him Godspeed in his drive to destroy the American culture.

Please note: The anti-consumerist jeremiad above does not apply to purchase of books, especially ZENITH RISING (for just $12.00, or $2.99 on your Kindle, I-Pad or other tablet device. http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com) or the soon to be published REBOUND
I Don’t Think. We’re Stupid by Michael Goodell http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Last weekend American diplomacy was dealt a setback in its latest bid to appease Iran, This was due to what the Wall Street Journal called “unforeseen developments” such as Israel’s opposition to what the French Foreign Minister called “a sucker’s deal.” American Secretary of State John Kerry reacted to the development by stating, “We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid.”
What many people don’t realize is  Kerry, as is characteristic of  deeply nuanced and smartest-guy-in-room type guys, tends to have trouble with punctuation when he is flustered. Among the sorts of situations in which these guys get flustered is when they discover they “miscalculated” during appeasement sessions. I mean, who would have thought that the Israelis would get upset just because we’re basically telling Iran “go ahead and build a nuke, but for Allah’s sake, be discrete about it.” That’s like going to Munich without your umbrella.
Nobody could have seen that coming, not even a deeply nuanced, smartest-guy-in-the-room type of guy. So, the deal gets scuttled, and Kerry figures he has to say something. Under stress he committed that rare gaffe. He told the truth. Fortunately for his credibility within the Beltway, he fumbled the punctuation. He forgot a period. What he actually meant to say, during that brief instant of lucidity was, “I don’t think. We’re stupid.”
Actually, this has been designated as the official motto of the Obama White House for the balance of his presidency. He and his party have proved themselves to be the sort of craven, self-deluding  charlatans who ordinarily would not deserve to hold elective office. However, given the fact that they were  elected by the same people who, after witnessing the first four years of the Obama cluster clown act said, “Yeah, gimme more a dat,” they are the ideal men and women to represent Americans.
They have spent the past five years perpetrating a fraud upon the American people. Actually, they have perpetrated a number of frauds, but the one I’m addressing today is health insurance “reform.” These mendicants created an framework which could only have been viewed as functional if its objective was to destroy American health care. After assembling such a monstrosity they were forced to lie about it when people like Paul Ryan tried to warn the public what was in the bill. Democrat Senators lied. Democrat Representatives lied, and the Democrat President lied.
I don’t think. We’re stupid.
Since it was passed and in the three years leading up to its implementation the President and his minions have continued to lie. They had three years to write code for their crucial website, but chose to do nothing until the last 11 months because they “didn’t want to give Romney ammunition” during last year’s campaign. They condemned the website to failure, for purely political purposes. Then, in the run up to the rollout, when experts warned the website wasn’t ready, the President lied and said it was. He lied to the people, and he lied to himself. It is as if he believes whatever he says must be true. How could he have allowed this fiasco to move forward?
I don’t think. We’re stupid.
Once the website was launched (cue video of toppling rockets during the early days of the space program) Obama lied again. First he lied about the website itself, claiming it was “too successful.” Then he lied about when he knew about it failing. The he lied about how it could be fixed. He lied, and his Democrat claque lied, and their lap dogs in the media lied as well.
After the website travesty came the wave of insurance cancellations. Millions of Americans learned their President had lied to them when he promised they could keep their insurance policies if they liked them. (Millions more, like me, weren’t upset when they lost their insurance policies and discovered their health care costs are going to double, because we’ve known for years it was going to happen. We knew all along the President was a liar).
Now, confronted with the betrayal of their trust, the American people have (finally) awakened. They are angry, and word of their response has reached even into the hallowed halls of Congress. Now these Democrat reprobates, having lied about the law and lied about its implementation and echoed the President’s lies to make sure they could all be reelected, are now lying about what is in the law which they wrote and passed. They are suddenly shocked, shocked! to learn that virtually every health insurance policy in the country will have to be changed. Most people will be paying more for less coverage. Millions of Middle Class Americans who are “too rich” for subsidies will have to do without health insurance because they won’t be able to afford it.
Now the President, belatedly discovering he is losing the politics on Obamacare, has decided he needs to tell us a few more lies. He didn’t lie when he promised we could keep our plans. He had been lied to himself. He didn’t understand what was in the bill., and he wants to make it better. He wants insurance companies to reinstate the policies they were forced to cancel, and to do it in a fortnight. If they don’t, it will be their fault that millions of Americans will see their health care costs doubled, and our President won’t hesitate to blame them for our plight. “I tried to fix it,” he’ll lie. “But the greedy insurance companies wouldn’t let me.”
Given who he’s dealing with, that ploy just might work. After all, as most Americans, if they can be troubled to glance up from the latest bout of celebrity voyeurism, will happily inform you, “I don’t think. We’re stupid.”

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I’m With Stupid

By Micahel Goodelll

The bad news for the Obama Administration is the Obamacare rollout is every bit the train wreck Max Baucus said it would be. The good news is nobody knows about it, except for the millions who have lost their insurance thanks to Obamacare reforms.

Everyone else is distracted by the Republican-led government shutdown. The GOP  has thrown away a tremendous political advantage. Coming after the historic Republican gains in 2010, the Democrats’ insistence on forcing an unworkable, progressively unpopular program down the American people’s throats almost guaranteed a further shellacking in 2014..

Not even a compliant media could have spun this one in Obama favor. The people wouldn’t need NBC Nightly News to tell them how bad things were going. They would have had the evidence of their own experience to inform them. The next year would have been a steadily unfolding disaster, a platform on which to build a powerful run for power. Republicans could have benefitted from an increasingly frustrated, ever more discombobulated  President insisting that failure was actually success, that he never lied to them, that war is peace and work makes you free.

All Republicans had to do was allow the thing they couldn’t stop to unfold. Unfortunately, there is a certain brand of zealotry which will not tolerate success. Unable to stop Obamacare’s launch, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulled the stupidest Republican stunt since Larry Craig tap danced in a Minnesota toilet stall. He took a wide stance on his principles. Like William Wallace before him, or at least Mel Gibson’s interpretation of the willful Scot, Cruz announced, “Every man dies, but not every man has the chance to read Dr. Suess for 21 hours on the Senate floor.”

It was so utterly predictable. How could they think they would not be blamed? From the moment they floated the defunding option, media wonks triggered the shutdown countdown. Obama, staring disaster in the face, didn’t even have to call on Putin. He didn’t need to launch cruise missiles, his salvation was on Cruz control. Obama immediately announced he would not negotiate something as sacred as a budget. Never in the history of the world had anyone ever had the temerity to negotiate a budget. It just wasn’t done. Of course it was a lie, but if a truth falls in the presser and there is nobody around to report it, does it count a lie? Apparently not.

Conservative pundits pounded out article after article praising Cruz and the Gang for their strategic brilliance. It wouldn’t be the Republicans shutting down the government, they noted, it would be Obama, or Senate Democrats. The Republicans had  cleverly forced the Democrats into a corner where they would either have to agree to defund Obamacare, or they would vote to shut down the government.

How could anyone have imagined this would work? You cannot outmaneuver master manipulators, especially when they own those who tell the people what is happening. From the beginning Republicanshutdown was a compound noun. Didn’t anyone think to study what happened back in 1996, the last time “Republicans shut down the government?” Did they recall that twice Republicans passed budgets (this was back in the day when Congress actually negotiated and passed budgets) which Bill Clinton vetoed? Twice. He vetoed the budget twice. The government shut down, and Republicans got the blame.

How could they think it wouldn’t happen this time? The smart thing would have been to pass a  “clean” continuing resolution, along with a resolution authorizing the President to delay the individual mandate for a year. The resolution could have spelled out all the problems inherent in the rollout, including the woefully under-powered, incompetently designed healthcare.gov, as justification for the delay. It wouldn’t have survived the Senate, and if it had, Obama would have vetoed it. In other words, the Republicans could have forced Obama and the Democrats to take ownership of what is in fact theirs. They could have spent the next year calling for action to improve or salvage the program, all the while reminding people that they tried to delay implementation.

Opportunity lost, to be sure. No, worse than lost, actively thrown away. These clever Republicans have managed to maneuver themselves into a corner They make Obama’s whimpering over Syria look statesmanlike. The vast majority of Americans blame the GOP for shutting down the government. They blame them for barricaded parking lots, rest areas and open air monuments. The truth has nothing to do with it, and that’s something they should have been smart enough to realize from the start.

They weren’t, which is why next November, while they may not lose the House–thanks to gerrymandering–they won’t regain the Senate. And every vote they do receive will be cast by someone holding his nose and muttering, “I’m with stupid.”

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Vlad to the Rescue

By Michael Goodell

The wise folks who stuffed Obamacare down my throat decided I wasn’t capable of choosing my own insurance plan. Ever attentive to my needs, they established the Health Insurance Marketplace where I could go and find a federally approved plan. The last three days I have gone to the only place I am allowed to buy health insurance only to see this:

“We have a lot of visitors on the site right now. Please stay on this page. We’re working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line. We’ll send you to the login page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!”

This, we need to understand, is one of the parts of government which hasn’t been shut down. This is part of the government which is supposed to be working. It’s hard to understand who threw up these barriers to participation, unless the White House heard a bunch of World War II veterans were trying to access the site.

Actually, the white House, and HHS Secretary Sebelius, have spent the past few months denying reports that the official Obamacare website,healthcare.gov, was underpowered, poorly designed, and jam-packed with more bugs than Chelsea deManning’s prison cell. Which is typical behavior for this self-styled ubercompetent administration incapable of confessing to a single error, whether it be slandering the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department or ignoring the assassination of a US Ambassador.

However, even this collection of guinea hens (I can’t call them peacocks, my younger brother tells me that’s a racist term) had to realize they had a train wreck on their hands. They had to realize they weren’t ready for their closeup. They had to be praying for a life line. They had to be searching for someone to bail them out.

Enter Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his band of irregulars, offering a funding resolution to keep the government functioning. All they asked in exchange was a one-year delay of the Individual Mandate. This should have been manna from heaven for our beleaguered President. However, instead of grasping the safety line this most partisan of Presidents chose to continue to founder in the sea of incompetence. Better to continue denying anything is wrong than to accept help from a <gasp> Republican.

So we sit here today, with millions of Americans facing the prospect of losing their health insurance with no way of replacing it, with half the government shut down, a credit default crisis looming, the world economy teetering in the balance, and our hapless President saying, “Where’s Putin? Why isn’t he bailing me out, the way he did with Syria?”

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Arab Spring Cleaning

By Michael Goodell

After watching last week’s events unfold, I have three comments to make about the remarkably nimble performance put in by president Barack Obama’s foreign policy team.

1) Over the years I have been known to criticize our president. Many have suspected that there was nothing he could do that would please me. Which is untrue. I can and will praise him when his actions are praiseworthy.

In the case of Syria, I admit I was wrong about our president and his impressive team of foreign policy experts. There has never been a finer example of the judicious use of “soft power” as has been on display during this crisis. Obama has proved himself to be an accomplished poker player. Clearly, he has been posturing all along as a diplomatic naif. He masqueraded as a coward and incompetent, tabbing anonymous aides to issue such embarrassing characterizations of his strategy as “leading from behind,” or acting “just strong enough not to be mocked.”

I was taken in by this subtle misdirection. I often asked whether Obama was actually that stupid, that naive, that incompetent, or were his policies in fact designed to destroy American power and influence in the world?

Now we have the answer. None of the above. His clever ruse, evidence of a long term view, was to lull our enemies into a state of complacency, to adopt a diplomatic “rope-a-dope” strategy, if you will, and then to strike with steel and force. So it was in Syria. The mere fact that this man, who had seemed so feeble and cowardly to all who took the time to observe him, acted with such vigor, sent shock waves of terror through the hearts of all our enemies.

The Russians, realizing they were about to lose their only client state in the Middle East, were at a loss to respond. Bashar Assad, the chinless dictator, trembled in his very boots. The world teetered at the brink of disaster. I thought this was the result of our foolish president’s abysmal ignorance of the way the world worked. I was wrong. He did this on purpose because, having taken the measure of his opponents, he knew they would blink.

Now we have the happy situation where Syria will identify all their chemical weapons and surrender them to the international community. Having been seduced into thinking he actually came up with this proposal, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is now personally tied to this proposal. Because his credibility is at stake,  he will do everything in his power to maket Syria comply with the terms of the agreement.

And finally, having induced the United Nations to oversee the hand over of all Syria’s chemical weapons, we have achieved a situation where the international community endorses our policy. If you recall where we stood in the world at the end of George Bush’s presidency, this is incredible progress, an achievement only Obama could have made possible.

2) A happy result of this crisis, and possibly, the key objective behind all Obama and Kerry’s moves, is Russia’s return  to the community of responsible nations. You may recall that the unilateralist Bush, under the sway of the Neocons, had marginalized Russia in the Middle East. Yes, they still had their client state, but they had no true power or influence in the region whatsoever. This was quite a fall from grace in just forty years.

Being the sole diplomatic or military force in the region demanded a huge price, both in blood and in dollars, from the United States. Especially given Obama’s shrewd and timely policy shift to Asia, the much-ballyhooed Pivot to the East, it was going to be impossible for us to continue to devote as much time and as many resources to the Middle East.

Now that Russia has been drawn into the region, we can depart, confident that Putin will keep Syria under control, and even more significantly, he will be able to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear weapons programs. No doubt Russian influence will have the same beneficial impact on Iran that it is already having in Syria. Again, this happy turn of events is due entirely to the geopolitical sophistication of the Obama/Kerry/Rice team. In fact, we now have the answer to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s famous question, “What difference does it make?” This is what difference it makes, the difference between a region in flames and a world in which the tides of war are truly receding.

3) My  final observation  on this matter is that Mylie Cyrus’s enormous talents as a singer and dancer are exceeded only by her good taste and classy judgment.

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Scoundrel Time

by Michael Goodell  http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Reading about the sixty-four people arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina during the latest “Moral Monday” rally, a number of thoughts occurred to me. The first came when I looked at the picture of one of those arrested, a man dressed in an Uncle Sam costume. Samuel Johnson’s famous aphorism concerning patriotism sprang immediately to mind, along with the thought that there could be no better illustration of the point.

The second pertained to the frequent references to civil disobedience in the article. In case you didn’t know it, the “Moral Monday” rallies are a joint venture between various race-based pressure groups and various feminist and pro fetus murder groups; a bid to intimidate the North Carolina legislature.

You see, last year the people of that state had the temerity to elect a majority of Republican state legislators, for the first time in more than a century. That they voted so just four years after voting for the democrat candidate for US president (Hosni Mubarack Obama, D-Chi), was a shocking development for one man, one vote, one time democrats. They believe once enlightened, a state’s population must never descend back into the state of slothful ignorance of conservatism.

We have seen this tactic repeated throughout the country, from Wisconsin to Austin, from Michigan, and now to North Carolina. Having failed to have their way in the voting booth, leftists seek to prevent legislators from passing laws which reflect the views of the majority who elected them. This is not civil disobedience but quite the opposite. Disrupting the legislative process through violence or the threat thereof is most uncivil behavior. It is not nonviolent protest, it is insurrection. It does not strengthen or sustain democracy, but threatens to undercut it at its foundation. Only the bitterly partisan, the ideologically rigid, the antidemocratic, can support such antisocial behavior.

My third thought was the monumental audacity of those engaged in insurrection to label their attacks  “Moral Mondays.” What arrogant aggrandizement to assume the mantle of morality from those seeking justice for pregnant women and their unborn children. The bill which inspired these so-called moral zealots to storm the floor of the legislature would have required abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards of cleanliness and safety required of other drop in clinics where basic outpatient surgical procedures are performed. Because only one abortion clinic in the entire state is maintained at even this minimal standard, various feminist and abortion rights groups described the law as a bid to limit access to abortion.

How is it possible that those campaigning to deny pregnant women the most basic rights to safety and security can describe themselves at “moral?” Surely the moral position is on the opposite side of that barricade. But this is reflective of a larger philosophical shift in our fragmented society. Suddenly, and it did occur breathtakingly fast, cultural arbiters now deride those who seek to defend traditional values, traditional culture, and basic human dignity as immoral, or in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in United States v. Windsor, “enemies of the human race.”

How on earth did the standards and values which made this nation great become the object of contempt for the chattering classes and the ideological elite? Did we willing cede the right to call ourselves American, or was it stolen from us in the night? Can we get that right back, or is it too late?

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N-Word Jim’s Revenge
by Michael Goodell
http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

I’ll never forget my disappointment upon learning that N-Word Jim wasn’t one of Mark Twain’s most introspective characters, but merely literary sanitization, a bid to rid his work of the most shocking, offensive word ever to be uttered, written, or spray-painted on Southern Baptist Churches.

The N-word possesses astounding power. It can cause women to weep, men to rage, and rap artists to rake in millions before being murdered in a drive-by shooting. The N-word can kill. It can maim. It can and has destroyed lives.

The most dangerous thing about the N-word is, once spoken, it can never be retracted. It remains indelibly on the speaker’s conscience, a moral stain upon the content of one’s character. How powerful it is can be demonstrated best by the fate which befell the former Food Channel hostess Paula Deen.

Once one of the flagships of that foodie favorite, Deen recently found herself taken down by a particular noisome race-based shakedown operation which uses the courts to extort money from well-known personalities. As part of the operation a lawyer asked Deen if she had ever used the term “Ni–er.” Deen said she had, but it had been a long time ago. In other words, she used the word back when it was merely a mortal word, before it acquired supernatural powers, before it got radioactive blood.

Once the race-based shakedown organization revealed Deen’s transgression to the public, a hue and cry erupted across this benighted land. So grave was the turmoil that it put the Food Channel off its feed. Though executives struggled mightily to digest this morsel of truth, they could not swallow the fact that their  butter-schlepping star once said that terrible, terrible word. They really had no choice. It was a simple process of elimination. They had to let her go.

Pity poor Paula, condemned to a life of shame, forced to walk the empty streets in a shapeless smock with a coal black letter N pinned to her wizened breast. Such is the fate of those who use the dread N-word.

Or not. What is most telling about this story is that Deen speaks with a pronounced South Carolina accent, which  is anathema to the enlightened, elitist left. Even though  her politics are liberal, they cannot help but hate her. And what happens when the left hates? The left dispenses with all rules of human decency.

When The Daily Show, (the sole source of news for the typical Obama supporter), tackled the Paula Deen story, they mocked her weight, they made sport of her diabetes, and they condemned her for unrepentant southernism. They brought in what they call a “correspondent,” Jessica Williams, to announce that Paula Deen suffers from “Type 2 Racism.” It isn’t curable, but it is treatable, Williams assured her callow viewers, with the use of a Nicorette-like patch called, naturally, Ni–erette.

No word yet on whether Williams has already lost her job with Comedy Central, or if it will take a decade or two for the word to wield its terrible swift sword. But clearly, she must be punished. She used the N-word. On television.

Actually, it was okay for Williams to say “Ni–er.” Because she is a member in good standing of the trendy left everybody knows she didn’t mean it. Her heart is pure. She wasn’t using the word to destroy. Well, actually, she was. But she was using the word to destroy a fat sick woman who talks southern. So it’s okay.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about the fate of Paula Deen’s cooking show. The closest I come to viewing any cooking show is when I watch “Dancing With the Hollywood Chefs.”

So I don’t have a dog in this fight. The story here isn’t the injustice Deen has suffered, but the hypocrisy inflicted upon us all. It is a particularly offensive form of hypocrisy. Not only the left is guilty, but the Food Channel as well. I suspect it wasn’t the utterance of that life-destroying word that got her fired, but something else entirely. Perhaps it was ratings. Most cooking shows have a limited shelf life, and hers had been running for more than a decade. So it could have been diminishing returns generated by an increasingly erratic performer.

Not long ago Deen made an appearance in Detroit. According to some in the audience she was irrational, uncooperative, acting very much like a prima donna, and “off her meds.” This probably had more to do with Deen’s firing than her admitting to using the most icky, ucky, horrible, awful bad word in the history of this or any other world.

And that is its own kind of hypocrisy. It is a very dangerous one, because it strengthens those who punish those who step out of line, who fail to follow the party line, who dare to think independently. They paid tribute to leftist intolerance in order to take the easy way out of an ugly situation, and that, like uttering the N-word, could come back to haunt them.

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Thar She Blows!
By Michael Goodell
http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Last week I woke up in the St. Paul Hotel, feeling a little light-headed. Then I got up. First I bounced off the wall, then I landed on the floor. Vertigo. Lasted six days. It was triggered by a head full of seasonal allergic reactions. When we got back to Michigan I learned my doctor was on vacation, but someone else in his practice could see me.

(When I told a doctor friend about my vertigo, he said “Labyrinthitis?” I said the doctor diagnosed sinusitis. “Labyrinthitis triggered by sinusitis,” he concluded.)

I wouldn’t know, the doctor found it hard to stay focused on my symptoms. You see, when I went into the examining room a nurse took my blood pressure. “It’s high,” she said. “It always is when I go to the doctor,” I replied, “But it’s much lower than the last time I had it taken, because I’ve been exercising and getting into shape.”

“Ah, white coat syndrome,” she condescended as she left to room. Eventually the doctor came in. “Your blood pressure is very high,” she said.

“I am very light-headed, and if I’m not careful I can lose my balance and fall down.”

“What medicines are you taking that might cause your high blood pressure?” the doctor asked.

“I’m not taking any medicines, except an over-the-counter allergy medicine, to unstuff my head, and maybe stop the dizziness, and my tendency to fall down, which has been going on for three days now.”

“You should lose some weight, and reduce your salt intake. Alcohol can cause high blood pressure.” She glanced up briefly from her computer screen.  “Do you smoke? I see. Well, you should quit. It is very bad for you. Do you have any questions?”

“Can you give me something for my vertigo?” I asked. “Otherwise I might have to come back here with broken ribs.”

She wrote a prescription and reiterated her concern about my blood pressure. Fortunately, the medicine seems to have arrested the vertigo. Apparently I remain a ticking time bomb, though. This might qualify as a blasphemous thought, but the medical profession’s obsession with blood pressure borders on the ludicrous. Yes, it can be an indication of underlying health issues, and it can lead to death or incapacitation. Let us concede this point. On the other hand, we’re all going to die, eventually, and sometimes we have to go to the doctor about some matter which, in the short term at least, is more urgent than high blood pressure.

For example, late last year I visited the emergency room. I had a sore which became infected, and then it began to grow. One night it doubled in size and I suddenly thought,  MRSA. My primary care physician wasn’t available, so I went to the emergency room. The attendant took my blood pressure and said, “Your blood pressure is very high.”

“I have this open sore which is rapidly growing,” I replied.

“I’m going to take your blood pressure again,” she said.

“Please don’t,” I begged “ It will be even higher.”

She clamped the cuff on my other arm and pumped away. “Your blood pressure is even higher,” she said in surprise.

“Yes, and if you take it again, it will be even higher. Can I please see a doctor about this open wound?”

After she escorted me to a curtained cubicle and instructed me to sit and wait. I could hear her laughing with the doctor about my blood pressure. Apparently I was in denial. Eventually another nurse came in with a blood pressure machine. “I understand you have high blood pressure,” she announced.

“I have an open wound which is infected and growing rapidly.”

“Well, I’m going to take your blood pressure.”

“It will be even higher,” I warned her.

She started the machine. It hummed and whirred and the cuff tightened on my arm. Right around the point where I thought, as I always do, “What if it doesn’t stop?” I could feel my blood pressure go up. Which upset me. Which made it go up even more.

The nurse said, “Your blood pressure is even higher!”

“Told you,” I replied.

“I’m going to take it again,” she decided.

“It will be even higher,” I repeated.

She did, it was. “Your blood pressure is very, very high,” she announced. “I think I should take it again.”

So I started shouting. Something to the effect of, “I came here because I have an open wound which is infected and getting bigger! Now, either you can keep taking my blood pressure until I have a stroke, or you can treat my problem!”

Finally the doctor came in. He informed me that my blood pressure was “Very, very high,” and proceeded to offer suggestions on how to lower it, and the potentially dire consequences if I failed to do so. He continued blithely along this line as he removed my homemade dressing. When the sore was revealed, he cried, “Oh my god! Hook this guy up to an IV.”

Blood pressure has achieved such talismanic status that all other medical conditions appear to be sublimated to it. I suspect if I had, say, cut my femoral artery with a power saw, the first thing they would do at the emergency room is lecture me about my very, very low blood pressure. “You know, low blood pressure can be as dangerous as high blood pressure,” the nurse would probably say. “I’m going to take your blood pressure again.”

Meanwhile I would be lying there saying, “No, you see, the problem is, I’ve cut my femoral artery. I am rapidly bleeding out.”

“Well, I just want to make sure,” she would say. “Your blood pressure is very, very low.”

Even though some of my best friends are members of the medical profession, I confess that I tend to view the health care establishment as, at best, a necessary evil. No doubt as time passes, I will be spending progressively more time in their clutches. Not something I look forward to, but that’s the way it seems to go for most people.

On the other hand, as Obamacare looms, with the number of health care options dwindling as rapidly as their costs will increase, and as more doctors decide to get out of the business, health care may become a rare experience. The few remaining technicians will be run so ragged they won’t have time to slap the cuffs on their hapless patients. People fortunate enough not to have bled out, can get their cuts and abrasions treated without intemperate, condescending lectures on blood pressure and lifestyle choices.

Oh, what a wonderful world that will be.

 

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Shocked, Shocked!

By Michael Goodell

When President Barack Obama weighed in today on the rapidly unfolding IRS scandal, I was reminded of the classic film, “Casablanca.”

“If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous,” declared the scandal-plagued Obama. “And there’s no place for it.”

You may recall the scene, when Major Strasser’s Jack-Booted Crooners went head to head with Victor Laszlo and His Ragtag Band in the popular mid-war reality show, “The Axis Has Talent.” After coming up short in the crucial Nationalist Anthem Sing Off, a petulant Strasser ordered Captain Renault to close Rick’s Café Americain, “At once.”

“But everyone’s having so much fun,” Renault protested. Strasser would not be dissuaded. Dutiful as ever, Renault blew his whistle and ordered  the Café closed. “On what grounds?” an outraged Rick Blaine demanded.

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Renault roared, just before a flunky approached him with a wad of bills. “Your winnings, sir,” he announced, much to Renault’s dismay.

That’s pretty much the tone Obama took when denouncing allegation that the IRS targeted conservative advocacy groups with extremely vigorous, and often illegal scrutiny. Naturally, the most politicized president in American history had no inkling that this was going on. Nevertheless, he wants it stopped, immediately, and if in fact it was going on, his determination to fire low-level IRS functionaries is impressive to behold.

There are a couple of key phrases to keep in mind. One of them is “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in (these) practices . . .” This is very similar to Obama’s reaction to Bashar al Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his revolting citizens. You may recall not too long ago Obama described such an act as a “Red Line,” which must never be crossed, “a game changer.”

When first the Syrian rebels, and then the Israelis claimed Assad had done just that very thing, Obama remained unmoved. When the English and French made the same claim, he didn’t respond. Finally, when the American intelligence services confirmed the many previous allegations, Obama was forced to act. And act he did. He condemned such behavior, “if in fact it did take place,” in the strongest terms, and called upon “the International Community” to investigate.

Which is kind of like asking the State Department to investigate whether anyone in the State Department changed talking points concerning the terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This is a case of lie after lie after lie. It was clearly a cover up, and then a cover up of the cover up. Either Obama was truly in the dark about Benghazi, or he, too, joined in the festival of lies.

Which brings us to the second key phrase in Obama’s statement today, which was that the first he knew about the IRS crimes was on Friday, when he saw it on the news. This is the sort of thing which, if Obama were a Republican, would have Democrat Senators, Representatives and Media Personalities asking, “What did he know, and when did he know it?” It doesn’t take much to shake a story as weak as, “I just happened to catch it on MSNBC.” If, that is, anyone is interested in looking into it.

The IRS scandal may have legs which all the other scandals lack. The IRS is an entity about which every American is inclined to think the worst. This might well resonate the way Benghazi or Syria never could.

Now, in the president’s defense, it is entirely possible that he had no idea about using the IRS as a cudgel to intimidate his political enemies. He has proved to be rather detached from the day-to-day workings of government. It is plausible that he was on the golf course while all this went down, that it was a couple of clerks in Cincinnati who decided on their own to punish people for the crime of loving their country.

By most accounts, Obama is not the worst golfer ever to Occupy the White House. One thing that is certainly clear though, the strongest part of his game is improving his lies.

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Wow, Didn’t See That Coming

by Michael Goodell
There was an amusing story in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Not amusing in any mirthful sense, since the story pertained to a rather nasty piece of business, specifically that of the stabbing of a French soldier on a Parisian street last Saturday. Rather, it was an amusing demonstration of the contortions we diversity-benighted fools endure to avoid calling a spade a spade. (Pardon my French).

Two surprising details concerning the arrest. First, the suspect was not a white member of a far-right political group. Second, prosecutors believe he was motivated by radical Islamic beliefs. This is where the amusement starts. “The portrait that emerged from the police description of the suspect, Alexandre Dhaussy, is that of a man whose alleged behavior didn’t raise any of the red flags that police typically monitor in tracking potential terrorists.”

Dhaussy’s sloppy knife work “raises concerns that authorities are facing a new potential type of threat: people without links to extremist groups who suddenly self-radicalize and turn to politically motivated violence.”

This is where the mirthfest descends to laugh riot status. Dhaussy’s “alleged” behaviors which didn’t rise to the level of potential threat included “his participation in a street prayer in 2009, a public display of faith that was often regarded as a violation of laws separating church and state,”  and last year when he “made a fuss because he didn’t want to wait for the bus alongside women at a stop.”

In the interest of clarity, the street prayer was a tad more significant than a “public display of faith,” involving large groups of Muslim men blocking busy streets every Friday afternoon to turn them into open air mosques. Rather than a mere public display of faith, the prayers were a blatant attempt to intimidate the multi-culti French state into conceding a form of supremacy to Islam.

Also amusing was the phrase, “made a fuss,” to describe Dhaussy’s displeasure at the sight of women at a bus stop. “Making a fuss” doesn’t usually attract the police. Usually it takes a bit more than that. Like violence or threats thereof, or disturbing the peace in a manner somewhat more dramatic than “making a fuss.” Then again, this is France, where hundreds of Islamist radicals burning thousands of cars on a nightly basis are dismissed as “disgruntled youths.”

Christian Prouteau, former head of one of France’s counterterrorism units explained Dhaussy’s ability to fly under the radar as follows, “You can’t monitor everybody. It would be too expensive and would be rejected as a massive breach of privacy.” Good point, Mr. Prouteau. Maybe you should stick with monitoring people attending certain Mosques, people attempting to force their religious beliefs on others, and young men who turn violent at the sight of independent women.

Why is Islam the only major religion in which, as adherents grow more devout, they become more careless with the lives around them? Though every major faith has a long tradition of adherents embracing Martyrdom, only the Islamic version requires taking innocent bystanders along for the ride.

Until we are willing to have an honest conversation about the Islamist threat, we are condemned to reading about sudden, seemingly random, and usually lethal outbreaks of violence, and some of us will continue to enjoy the tortured positions into which official apologists will twist themselves.

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Moral Cowardice, or Death of a District by Michael Goodell

By Michael Goodell
http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com
Weeks after approving a visit by former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Grosse Pointe Public School Superintendent Thomas Harwood caved into pressure from bigoted teachers union members employed by his district, and rescinded the invitation.

After authorizing the visit, and speech on leadership, Harwood and Grosse Pointe South High School principal Matt Outlaw, were inundated with videos sent by teachers union members employed by the district, which showed Santorum expressing his views on the sanctity of marriage. Apparently Mr. Santorum’s beliefs, which actually reflect the current law of the land, are too extreme for a community such as Grosse Pointe.

Patrick Coyle, Vice President of Young America’s Foundation, the local affiliate of which extended the invitation, told Breitbart.com that Harwood, though claiming to support traditional marriage, told him that his gay brother finds Santorum’s views to be extreme. Though it is certainly sweet that a school superintendent supports his sibling, one could argue that suppressing the Freedom of Speech in order to prevent his brother from throwing a hissy fit seems a tad self-indulgent.

This act of censorship is sadly characteristic of a once-great public school system. As far back as when my children were in elementary school the district has been increasingly polluted by administrators and teachers union members who seem offended by the district’s tradition of excellence. Their actions and their policies reflected an adherence to liberal ideals which required them to steadily corrupt the system until it functioned on the same level as the neighboring Detroit Public School system.

If the act of egregious censorship doesn’t show they have achieved their goals, perhaps the email distributed by the Outlaw principal will prove they have achieved their dreamed of nadir. It reads in part, “I am announcing that we are declining the invitation to have Rick Santorum speak . . .” Since Outlaw runs around sporting a “Dr.”in front of his name, one has to conclude that he earned his PhD. in the field of education, or possibly public administration. Certainly there were no communication skills taught or required along the way.

For future reference Mr. Outlaw should know that one can only decline an invitation that one has received. One cannot decline an invitation one has extended. The word the good doctor was groping for was no doubt, rescind, as in “We are rescinding the invitation we previously extended, either because we are moral cowards, or because after learning what you believe, we have succumbed to the urge to suppress, or even censor your views. We are administrators, and as such, one of our most important tasks is to promote the free and open exchange of all ideas, so long as they reflect the trendy leftist biases of the teachers union members whom we employ.”

Though it is a dark day for a once-great school district, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that this school district exists within the boundaries of a once-great nation.

After a massive weather event of fecal proportions Grosse Pointe Public School Superintendent Thomas Harwood and Grosse Pointe South High School rescinded their rescinded invitation to former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum to address an assembly of high school students on the subject of leadership.

Perhaps this whole thing was set up in collaboration with Santorum as an object lesson on “how not to lead.” If so, it was a brilliant demonstration. These administrators are poster children for the opposite of leadership, or as they call it in academia, “business as usual.”

There are so many questions which require answers, most prominently, why do these men still have jobs? As the saying goes, if they had any character, they would resign. But if they had any character, they never would have found themselves in this predicament.

Another question is this. If Santorum’s views on marriage, which, mind you, as recently as nine months ago were identical to the president’s, are too extreme to allow innocent Grosse Pointe teenagers to hear, how on earth is it possible that these two alleged leaders were unaware of them? How is it possible that so-called educators were ignorant of the views of a man who came within inches of being the Republican Presidential Nominee? This was just a year ago, not back in the ancient mists of time, like, um, you know, last decade?

At any rate, their resignation, or firing if it comes to that, would represent only a small crevasse in which to seek shelter from the avalanche of cultural decay which is our nation. Still, there is one bright spot to emerge from this administrative and moral fiasco.

Demonstrating the spine of a rubber band, the dauntless Grosse Pointe leaders decided, once having allowed Santorum to appear, that students would not be able to hear his address unless they secured written parental permission. Thus do we have the Irony of the Day: Grosse Pointe Public Schools officials will require a 13-year-old girl to get written parental permission in order to hear a speech by a man with extreme views, such as, among other things, believing a 13-year-old girl ought not to be able to get an abortion unless she has written parental permission.

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The Day the Music Stopped

by Michael Goodell

Watching the president and his minions relentlessly fan the flames of Sequestration panic, my first reaction was, “Does Obama think we’re all complete idiots?” Then the answer hit me. Of course he does, we reelected him. This explains why every day he or his team made another prediction, each more dire than the last. Yesterday Democrat Representative Maxine Walters hit the jackpot when she claimed the sequester will cost 170 million jobs. (Don’t believe it? View it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8-d95SO_3g).

That is no mean feat, since there are only 150 million people working in this country. Doug Powers suggests that 20 million people will lose their jobs twice, though I suspect that’s how many illegal aliens are doing work Americans won’t do. Pity they’ll lose those jobs, too.

Some on the right are having fun with the panic mongers. National Review’s Jim Geraghty compiled a list of the better tweets in his Morning Jolt. My favorite was Jonah Goldberg’s “It wasn’t until I ate my neighbor’s pancreas that I realized president Obama was right about the sequester.”

Clearly, an electorate which, after experiencing the Obama magic for four years concludes, “Yup, gimme four more just like them,” is likely to believe the President’s warnings. Though some Conservative commentators are giddy in anticipation of Sequestration’s implementation, believing that upon discovering the consequences are not as severe as anticipated, the public will at long last learn the truth of their Emperor’s raiment.

Those observers are likely mistaken. Even if the government continues to function as normal, this electorate will believe things have gone south because the compliant media will tell them so. It is almost a certainty, however, that the cuts will indeed cause great harm to the public. Obama will see to this, because it is in his interest to send the message to the public that any cut to government spending harms everybody, because it carries with it the corollary that all increases in government spending (except for defense spending) benefit us all.

The larger issue though, one which no one has discussed, is the fact that any cut in government spending that harms the middle class is a cut which must be made. In the United States, government was not at first, nor for most of our history, viewed as something to benefit the Middle Class. In fact, the main reason the Middle Class grew so quickly and so prosperous in this country was precisely because the form of government we adopted was designed to stay out of the people’s way.

This is the government that honest, thinking people want to get back to, a government which does not limit people’s goals. It doesn’t trample their dreams. It doesn’t bind them in the chains of grants and transfer payments. It will provide a safety net, for those whose fortunes are plummeting, but will provide countless opportunities to avoid that security.

Obama will use Sequestration as a cudgel, to deny the public access to essential services. Of course, the only reason most of those services are essential is because without a bureaucrat’s stamp or say so Middle Class people can’t buy a car, start a company or move to another town. Obama wants to drive home the point that We the People need all the government we can get, and if he can blame the hardships on the GOP. So much the better.


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Lincoln’s Sequesterburg Address

by Michael Goodell
http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

If, after a decade of relentless growth in spending, you believe that the federal government operates on a bare bones basis, and that even the slightest reduction in the rate of increase must necessarily cause draconian cuts in essential services, then you might be an Obama voter. For the rest of us, the dwindling few still capable of rational thought, such dire threats are nothing more than the latest example of what can only be described at Chicken Little Governance.

Under a Chicken Little Government, elected officials and the public-teat-slurpers whose livelihoods depend upon them, flit from crisis to panic to crisis, pretending this is responsible behavior. Aided and abetted by their media handmaidens, the public sector of our economy exists in a vacuum.

Someday, assuming the world survives, historians will look back on our collective abdication of responsibility, and scratch their heads, and wonder aloud, “Where were their parents while all this was going on?”

Of all the recent manifestations of Chicken Little Governance, none has been as aggravating and insulting to common sense as the latest Sequester Crisis. Of all the squawks and cries, from MSNBC’s Chicken Licken, CBS’s Henny Penny, FOX News’ Goosey Loosey, House Speaker Turkey Lurkey and President Foxy Loxy, none has been more absurd than those emanating from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood–or, shall we, in honor of the analogy, call him Cocky Locky?

LaHood warns us that the looming cuts will force small airports to close and larger airports to dramatically slash the number of daily flights they can handle. Passengers will face delays of three hours and more, not just because so many flights are grounded, but due to longer security delays thanks to TSA furloughs. (When one incredibly naive interlocutor asked LaHood why they simply couldn’t furlough the six or eight TSA employees who hang around the gates doing nothing rather than the three or four who actually do the screening, LaHood explained that if they were to do that, they would have to pull people off the scanners to take the jobs of those standing around doing nothing–something about union rules).

Absurd as LaHood’s SkyFall alarum was, it paled when compared to yesterday’s bid for statesmanship. During appearances on CNN and NBC, LaHood urged Democrat and Republican leaders to watch the film “Lincoln.”

“Everybody around here ought to go take a look at the ‘Lincoln’ movie,” LaHood counseled, “Where they did very hard things by working together, talking together and compromising. That’s what’s needed here.”

Just a little FYI to Mr. LaHood, Abraham Lincoln didn’t preside over an age of “working together, talking together, and compromising.” He was president during the Civil War. There was very little talking together that could be heard over the sound of cannons blasting, rifles firing, and wounded men screaming in agony. But, hey, it was a clever pop cultural reference, a perfectly calibrated appeal to a populace willing to believe the slightest restraint in federal spending will cause the sky to fall.

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The Breathtaking Greed of the Self-Proclaimed Cassandra

by Michael Goodell

http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

It still being too cold to Reoccupy Wall Street, tens of thousands of baristas and grad students descended upon the nation’s capital yesterday to protest the perpetually proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It was your typical anti global warming protest, “held in biting winds and near-freezing temperatures,” according to Jim Snyder of Bloomberg News. It was also a rare opportunity for protesters to slip into cute, cuddly Polar Bear costumes.

Even better than playing dress up was the chance to hear America’s favorite self-proclaimed Cassandra address the crowd. Bill McKibben, founder of www.350.org, and probably the most intensely serious and caring-about-the-earth guy in the world, took time off from his day job of urging people to reduce the size of their carbon footprints and flew to Washington to encourage the President to do the right thing. The President, of course, would have liked nothing more than to have been there to help save the earth, but he had taken advantage of the wife and kiddies’ Colorado ski trip and flown down to Florida for a golf outing.

Undaunted, McKibben, (who once said on an NPR program hosted by a woman so intensely earnest that she affected a stutter “I fly all over the country talking to people about reducing their carbon footprint”) helped the intensely caring, polar bear-clad protesters remember what’s really important.

“Twenty-five years from now, nobody is going to look back at our era and say, ‘Boy, I wonder how that fiscal cliff thing came out?’ Everyone is going to look back and say, ‘Well, the Arctic melted, and then what did you do?’”

His mission is so pathetically flawed, it’s hard to believe someone who pretends to be as smart as he does doesn’t realize it. Surely he knows that stopping the pipeline won’t stop the flow of Canadian Shale Oil. It will continue to flow, through a pipeline to Vancouver, where it will be loaded onto ships and sent to China. And we will continue to ship oil into the country from around the world. The oil will be processed, and the carbon from excess shipping will be greater than if the pipeline were approved. He’s got to know this, because you have to be smart to set up a scam like his.

Actually, the flawed logic and sixth-grade reasoning aside, Billy’s quote got the matter exactly backwards. Assuming he used the term fiscal cliff as shorthand for the looming fiscal crisis this country, and the rest of the industrialized world are confronting, twenty-five years from now everybody who’s left will look back at our era and say, “Boy, I can’t believe those bastards preferred to play gotcha politics rather than try to solve the defining issue of their generation.”

Or maybe they’ll say “I can’t believe those children preferred to dress up in polar bear costumes and listen to intellectual puff balls like Bill McKibben blather away in his self-indulgent way about something he barely understood.”

The good news for McKibben and his children’s crusade is, if AGW is in fact grounded in fact and not nursery rhyme infantasizing, then our failure to address the looming fiscal crisis will in fact save the earth. As economies grind to a halt, and turbines stop spinning, pumps stop pumping and drills fail to drill, as engines freeze and factories shutter, and ships, trains and planes remain ashore and grounded, unladed, unboarded; as money evaporates and markets vanish, as people starve by the millions and cities and houses are discarded, the only carbon we will produce will come from our rotting bodies.

The world will be saved, and Bill McKibben will reign as savior for the few hundred thousand survivors, because you know Bill will survive. He’s that kind of smart.

 

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The Devil, the Nazis and the Mercedes Benz

I saw a television ad the other day heralding some exciting new development Mercedes Benz is unveiling next month. The commercial showed a car shrouded in mystery. The visual was accompanied of a song, part of which went, “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste.”

Great song choice. It conveys the idea of an introduction, as well as projecting the ideal Mercedes owner, a person of wealth and taste. Plus, it’s a catchy tune. You may recall it.  The Rolling Stones released it, probably before whatever genius thought this one up was born. Here are some other lyrics from that same song:

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Interesting. Last time I checked, Mercedes Benz was still a German company. While the Holocaust is probably not really a good graphic for selling any product, (except, possibly, Chuck Hagel’s world view), you’d think Germans in particular would shy away from it. You’d think maybe somebody at the advertising company would have taken the time to check out all the lyrics, or that whoever is in charge of approving the ad at Mercedes would have done so.

In fact, you might think, even without checking the lyrics, somebody might wonder whether they want their new car to be forever associated with a song called “Sympathy For the Devil.” But then again, that brings us back up against that whole doesn’t-anybody-think-anymore quandary.

Critical thinking is a valuable tool. It helps people make important decisions. It helps us avoid terrible mistakes. It is the kind of thing that ought to be taught at the earliest age. It’s probably even more important than self esteem or diversity. It is the kind of thing that helps people maintain a long term outlook. It might be the most important quality a civilized nation possesses. Sadly, it is increasingly absent from our world, our nation, our government, our schools, offices and homes.

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Relax, You’re Already Dead

“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.” – Ronald Spiers, “Band of Brothers” During this fiscal silly season the Republican Party should heed Spiers’ advice. They have approached each Obama-inspired crisis with fierce boasts about not backing down. “It’s a spending crisis,” they crow. “No new taxes,” they boast. Then, as the deadline draws near, as the President refuses to negotiate and blames the GOP for partisan rigidity, party leaders begin to shudder. When the media dutifully spin their Great Leader’s words, heaping blame upon the perfidious right and the whackadoodle Tea Party loons, GOP leaders look for a way out. They try to avoid taking all the blame. What they need to understand is, no matter what happens, they are going to get blamed. In other words, they need to accept the fact that they’re already dead. If they make an offer today identical to the demands Obama laid down yesterday, he would refuse to accept them. Then he would blame the Republicans when the negotiations broke down. It doesn’t matter what they say or do, Republicans are at fault because that’s the story the narrators want the people to hear. Since they’re going to get blamed regardless what they do, Republicans should decide to do what’s right. If they are going to get blamed for shutting down the government, they should go ahead and shut down the government. Every Republican office holder (except Chris Christie, who is apparently seeking to succeed Chuck Hagel as the left’s favorite Republican) needs to adopt as their mantra the following phrases. We are witnessing the greatest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world, only we aren’t redistributing from the rich to the poor to satisfy their needs, but from our children and our grandchildren to satisfy our desires. I don’t believe the American people understand this, because I don’t believe the American people could be that selfish. Government is the only institution in which slowing the rate of budget increases is defined as cutting spending. Only in government does holding a department’s spending increase to ten percent require closing offices and eliminating essential services. We will not allow this government to destroy the economic health of individuals not yet born. Republicans need to keep repeating these phrases while voting no on every spending bill until fiscal sanity is restored in the Capital. To do otherwise will eventually destroy the country. So remember Republicans, relax, you’re already dead

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Barack and the Beanstalk

“By minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling — while doing no economic harm at all.”–Paul Krugman

Once upon a time a man named Barack lived with his family in a big White House. Because Barack cared about his neighbors and always tried to help them in times of need, he and his family were deeply in debt, and people in the neighborhood started to avoid Barack whenever he left his big White House.

He complained to his neighbor, Lord Boehner, who said, “Barack, you are spending too much money. Stop spending so much and you won’t have to borrow money.”

“I don’t have a spending problem,”Barack insisted. “I have a revenue problem. Surely you don’t wish to stop investing in our schools and our roads, Lord Boehner. That would be absurd.”

“Sometimes we can’t do everything we want to,” Lord Boehner said, with a mournful shake of his head.

“What I need is for everybody to pay his fair share,” Barack retorted with a pointed look at his prosperous, sun-tanned neighbor. “Look around you, Lord Boehner. There is nothing but need. Look across the street, where the Old Woman lives in a shoe. Do you realize because she works for a Catholic hospital there has been no one to pay for her contraceptives? Why, she has so many children, she doesn’t know what to do.”

Lord Boehner nodded sadly.

“Or consider those poor kids, Jack and Jill. Do you recall when they went up the hill? Because of  fracking the ground was unstable. Jack fell down and broke his crown.”

“Yeah, sure, I remember. And Jill came tumbling after, didn’t she?”

“You bet. Now, here’s the thing. Neither Jack nor Jill had medical insurance, because their parents weren’t allowed to keep them on their plan, so Jack didn’t get proper treatment for his broken crown. Even though he has health insurance today, thanks to the job I got him at the solar panel factory, they won’t cover treatment for his recurring headaches. They say it’s a preexisting condition. I can’t just let these people suffer. Not if I can help them.”

Lord Boehner agreed it truly was a problem, and he just hoped Barack would be able to find enough kind people to keep him afloat. It would be a shame if he had to leave his big White House.

Barack’s wife, Michelle, didn’t particularly like the big White House. In fact, she wanted to leave. “Let’s Move,” she always said. Still, she loved her Barack, and wanted him to be happy. So she was very excited when Squire Krugman happened by with a suggestion that would solve all Barack’s problems. “You know, Michelle,” quoth Squire Paul. “I have always enjoyed my job of watching  over Barack’s wealth. Lately, though, it seems all his assets have turned to debts.”

“I know,” Michelle sobbed. “Oh, if only we had a Goose that laid Golden Eggs. Then our problems would be solved.”

“Dear Michelle,” Squire Paul enjoined. “That is the silliest, most childish thing I’ve ever heard. There is no such thing as a Goose that lays Golden Eggs. However, I have a practical idea that will  solve all of Barack’s problems.”

“Oh, pray tell, what is it?”

With a flourish Squire Paul produced a shiny coin from his pocket. “Tis platinum,” he crowed. “We can assign it any value we wish. We can make it equal all of Barack’s debts, or even double that. Why, if we price it high enough, Barack will be the richest man in the kingdom. He will have enough money to build windmills and electric cars, to pay for birth control pills and to ban guns.”

Oh, how happy they were! Later, when Barack returned wearily home from another day of investing in school teachers and their unions, Michelle handed him the shiny coin. “Quick, Barack, take this trillion dollar coin into town and deposit in Chancellor Geithner’s Treasury. Then you will have all the money you will ever need.”

Indeed, Barack made haste for town for he understood, instinctively, as he was wont to do, the wisdom of Squire Paul’s plan. However, on the way to town he was ensnared by a captivating web of intrigue, spun by the old hag, Dame Pelosi. “Do not take the coin to the Treasury, but give it to me instead,” Dame Pelosi cackled. “And I will give you these magic beans.”

Barack knew he should do what Michelle said, but the beans looked so pretty, and they were magic as well, so he made the trade. He turned and marched triumphantly home. He decided he wouldn’t tell Michelle what he had done. However, when he returned to the big White House, Michelle met him at the door. “Barack,” she demanded. “Have you been smoking again?”

“No, Sweetness, I haven’t. Well, maybe just a puff or two, on Lord Boehner’s Marlboro.” Michelle just stared at him, until Barack broke down. “Oh, okay, I bought a pack,” he sobbed. “I’m sorry. I am truly sorry.”

Much to his surprise, instead of punishing him, Michelle smiled tenderly and caressed his boyish cheek. “Oh, that’s alright, my darling. You deposited the platinum coin in the Treasury, so all is well.”

Strangely, rather than soothing Barack, her words caused him to cry even harder. It was with a growing sense of dread that Michelle next spoke. “You did deposit the coin, didn’t you?”

Barack shook his head, bracing for Michelle’s outrage. “What did you do with the coin?” she demanded.

“I bought some magic beans,” he mustered.

“Magic beans? God, you truly are an idiot,” Michelle stormed. “Give them to me!”

When Barack handed them over, she threw them out the window. “You have ruined us all with your childish pursuits,” she cried woodenly as she flounced off to bed.

Poor Barack was banished to the stables. He slept fitfully on a bale of hay until the morning light. When he looked out the window he was amazed to find an enormous beanstalk stretching up into the clouds. Figuring he had nothing to lose, Barack quickly climbed the beanstalk until he found himself inside an enormous castle made out of gold. Everything, the floors, the walls, the table and chairs, even the silver, was made out of gold. Barack gave a low whistle and said to himself, “Well, it’s pretty clear this guy isn’t paying his fair share. There are a helluva a lot of defined benefit public employee union pension plans in the kitchen alone. I gotta get my hands on some of this loot.”

Right about then he heard a rumbling cry, “Fee fie fo fum, I smell the blood of a statist redistributionist .” Quick as a whip Barack scampered out of the castle and made for the chicken coop. For some reason whenever he was confronted with danger, Barack thought of chickens. In this case he thought rightly, because once he secreted himself in the coop, he heard an enormous squawk, and glancing at a nearby nest he espied a huge Goose laying a Golden Egg.

“This,” he said to himself, “appears to be the proverbial Goose that lays the Golden Egg.” Here was the answer to all Barack’s problems. With this magical goose he could stop the oceans from rising, he could heal the planet, he could bail out all his friends who had overextended themselves in “green energy” investments with the confidence that he would come to their rescue.

Without hesitating, Barack grabbed the Goose and made haste for the beanstalk. However, before he could get there he was met by the giant, who had heard the Goose’s triumphant squawking and was on his way to collect the egg. “Where are you going with my Goose?” the giant roared.

“I’m taking it to the Treasury so I can help deserving little boys and girls throughout wonderland,” Barack retorted.

“But, but it’s my Goose,” the giant sputtered.

“You didn’t make this,” Barack sneered. “You’ve got enough gold. In fact, you should be happy I don’t come back and take it all!”

And with that he darted down the beanstalk, and when he reached the ground he chopped it down before the giant could hire a battery of lobbyists to write some legislature which the lazy Congressmen and women would pass without reading, requiring Barack to give the giant back his Goose.

Barack rushed into the big White House, his goose under his arm, eager to show his prize to Michelle. When she saw it she laughed and cried, and forgave him and hugged him, and the goose laid a Golden Egg every day, and they all lived happily ever after.

Buy Zenith Rising for just $12.00, or $2.99 on your Kindle, I-Pad or other tablet device. http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

A One Party State?

By Michael Goodell  

Jonah Goldberg, the accomplished “National Review” writer, wondered today why President Obama would waste so much political capital over what might be “the worst defense-secretary-nomination fight since George H. W. Bush’s failed appointment of Senator John Tower more than 20 years ago.”

He tosses out some ideas, including the one about Obama doing it as payback for GOP scuttling of Susan Rice’s Secretary of State bid. He points out that the mainstream media are treating it as another example of Obama’s reflexive tendency to reach out to his “enemies” in a spirit of bipartisanship, but Goldberg misses the real story.

Obama isn’t spending political capital on this nomination. If Hagel is approved, that’s fine because he will have  a Secretary of Defense who hates Israel and Jews as much as he does, who despises the role the military plays in American foreign policy as much as he does, and is as complacent as his boss to the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran.

If Hagel isn’t approved, Obama will go with someone worse, confident that Republicans will be reluctant to go to the well a second time. The best part about this from Obama’s perspective is, given the narrative the media are duly parroting, win or lose, he wins.

Nominating Hagel is part and parcel with everything Obama has done since getting reelected. It is the answer to another question observers are asking, which is, “Why is he still campaigning? He already won.” Some believe it’s because Obama likes the rush of adulation he gets from the campaign trail, plus it allows him to play hooky from the really disgusting part of the job, that which requires him to sit up straight, pay attention and actually do some hard work.

That’s part of the answer, but the real reason he’s still campaigning is because the campaign isn’t over. This was never about getting reelected, this has always been about destroying the Republican Party. If you discount the stuff he has to say from time to time whenever he has to play at statesmanship, it is obvious that he hates people with conservative values and beliefs. He despises people who aren’t ashamed to say they love their country. Oh, he’ll say it from time to time, but always with a wink and nod at the base. It’s the same thing as when he and his ilk pretend to love our troops. They open their arms in a giant embrace, and help usher them into the left’s preferred  status for them as the latest class of victims. Victims of the right, and victims of American exceptionalism.

Obama floated Hagel’s name well in advance, in order to gauge Republican disdain for him. If it hadn’t been high enough, he would have nominated someone else, but when it proved to be a nearly unanimous animus, he submitted the name. Now those Republicans who will oppose the nastily anti-Semitic and delusionally pacific Hagel for the sake of their nation will be further tarred as defiantly rejecting Obama’s offered olive branch. They don’t want to play nice. They don’t want to get along. They are racist obstructionists. They don’t look like “our America.”

The Fiscal Cliff melodrama was Phase One of Obama’s campaign. The nomination battles are Phase Two. The debt ceiling is Phrase Three. What is truly frightening about this man is his belief that he cannot lose, because win or lose, his “enemy,” the GOP will get the blame, and if his country is taken down a peg or two in the process, well, that’s all the better.

http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Buy Zenith Rising for just $12.00, or $2.99 on your Kindle, I-Pad or other tablet device. http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

 

The Incredible Fiscal Cliff Diet!

By Michael Goodell  http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Hey, America! I just lost 15 pounds with the New! Improved! Incredible Fiscal Cliff Diet. And I did it without dieting, without exercise, and without taking any synthetic food supplements. Losing weight with the Incredible Fiscal Cliff diet is fun, easy, and best of all, it makes you into a healthier, happier person.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent most of your life wishing you weighed ten or fifteen pounds less than you do. You’ve probably tried joining health clubs, taken yoga classes, and chased after every fad diet to come down the pike. But nothing worked. Oh, sure, you might lose a few pounds as long as you stuck with the routine, but long term? Nothing. Am I right? As soon as you relax for even ten minutes, that weight comes flooding back on.
Well, if that sounds like your story, then you can relax, because starting today, you can lose weight fast and easily, on the Incredible Fiscal Cliff Diet.
Okay, you might be saying right about now. Hey, that sounds amazing, but how about some details? Or, you might even be saying, how much is this going to cost me?
Well, as the guy said from inside the soundproof “21″ booth, I’d like to take the second part frist,  Jack.” And the answer is–nothing! For a limited time only you can have the secrets to PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS without dieting, exercising or any will-power or self-discipline at all, for absolutely nothing. How can I do that, you may wonder. Well, it’s simple. Using special Fiscal Cliff mathematics, I have developed a system which is guaranteed to make me money no matter how much I spend. (But, I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s next week’s offer–“Now You Too Can Make Millions With No Money Down!”).
Okay, here’s how the Incredible Fiscal Cliff Diet works: Last July I sat down and took a good look at myself. Then I stood up, sucked in my gut and took another look at myself. That was marginally better, but the sad fact was, as I admitted to myself, I was a wreck. “Self,” I said, “If you keep eating and drinking like this, you’ll gain 35 pounds by the end of the year.” Well, when New Years Day rolled around earlier this week, I weighed myself, and guess what? I only put on 20 pounds since July!
Yes, that’s right. Instead of the 35 pounds I predicted, I only gained 20. That means a savings of 15 pounds, and that’s absolutely amazing! Yes, now, by using the same scientific principles Congressmen and Women, and their fearless leader, our President, rely upon to keep our economy strong, you too can now lose 15, 20, even 25 pounds a year!
So join with me in saying Thanks Mr. Obama! Thanks Senator Reid! Thanks Speaker Boehner! Thanks for keeping our nation fiscally sound, and thanks especially for helping me lose all that weight!

Buy Zenith Rising for just $12.00, or $2.99 on your Kindle, I-Pad or other tablet device. http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

Stefphon and Sandy Hook

By Michael Goodell http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

I confess that the Sandy Hook massacre left me cold. I felt nothing at the time, and have felt nothing since. Based on what I have read and heard, though, if I were inclined to watch television, I would have felt something. I would have felt disgust for the tarted up media frenzy.

I felt nothing because I have been numb since November 6. I did not grieve because I have been grieving since November 6. Sandy Hook was not a tragedy, but the culmination of a tragedy. Sandy Hook was not the end of something, but the beginning of the end. To those who wail and gnash their teeth I say, “Get used to it.”

This, people, is the new normal. This is what our world has been reduced to. Our culture is a sewer, a pustule of moral corruption and decay. We have become a nation of whiners and moaners, and yes, cold-blooded, remorseless, amoral killing machines. We are a nation for which the media event validates reality, a nation for which the president has become mourner-in-chief.

Consider this stunning assertion in a Detroit Free Press story today about President Obama’s photo op in Newtown last night. Note, this is supposed to be a piece of journalism, of reportage, not an opinion piece or even a “news analysis.” “For Obama, ending his fourth year in office, it was another sorrowful visit to another community in grief. It is the job of the president to be there, to listen and console, to offer help–even when the only thing within his grasp is a hug.”

This is astounding. It is his job? This is the Oprahfication of America writ large. I must have gotten the abridged version of the US Constitution. I can’t find any reference to the president holding our hands. It doesn’t say anything about the president “feeling our pain,” or serving as Undertaker in Chief. This doesn’t sound like the president’s job description. It does, however, sound a great deal like Big Brother. Obviously, given the results of the last election, with the choices spelled out so clearly, and the choices the American people made, it is Big Brother we want.

We can just check in our brains, and let Him do the thinking for us. In fact, we can put our feelings on hold, and laugh, or cry, or grieve, or have our Two Minutes of Hate, whenever He tells us to. The problem is, if we as a society, as a people, don’t choose to think as responsible individuals and act to defend our culture against the inroads of moral rot and voyeuristic violence, we are doomed to witness a steady escalation of carnage.

How is it possible for a 20-year-old to grow so evil that he thinks it worthwhile to shoot up a bunch of children? How many blood-soaked hours of video games went into his makeup, and where were his parents while this monster was being created? Because, make no mistake about it, in the absence of strong moral guidance and ethical leadership, our children are being desensitized to violence and indoctrinated into mayhem and destruction. It is in the games that they play, and the movies they watch. If you look clearly at what our culture has become, it is hard to believe it wasn’t done intentionally by some sinister force determined to destroy a nation.

Yet it wasn’t done intentionally, it was done by default. It was done by people who preferred to keep their mouths shut, who chose to look the other way, who passed on passing judgment out of fear that the enlightened humanist would condemn us for seeking to impose our value system on others.

Some years ago I wrote an essay called “Tolerance is Easy,” and it remains true today that the failure to make value judgments allows the proliferation of evil. In the long run that is untenable, but in the short run, it’s always easier to look the other way. There has been much talk about how terribly we’ve neglected mental health in this country. In fact, we haven’t. We’ve done even worse. We’ve normalized it. We’ve established a system under which it is wrong to regard mental illness as anything other than an alternate life style. There is no such thing as an intervention before the fact. In the case of Adam Lanza, as with Jared Loughner, everyone who knew them thought they were nuts, but there was nothing society would allow them to do, assuming they wanted to, which is highly unlikely.

Even beyond the question of how Lanza got to the point where he considered slaughtering innocents to be sport, how did he get to the point where ending his life was a viable option? Anytime a 20-year-old views suicide as a reasonable action, he is acting on less than full information. He is taking a criminally short-term view of life. Yet we see a rise in teen suicide. Why? Because of bullying some say. Actually, that is not correct. It is because educators and counselors and talking heads and professional Cassandras have forced our culture to openly confront the phenomenon.

The problem is, if you teach children about suicide without exploring its moral component, you are merely telling them that it is a lifestyle option fully as acceptable as, say, single motherhood or homosexuality. It normatizes the abnormal, it brings the insidious other inside the tent. So we open up the full spectrum of choices for our children, but we decline to offer guidance out of fear of being judgmental. And then we are shocked, shocked to find that depravity is going on in here. Really? You honestly didn’t see that coming?

We have become a morally passive nation. We don’t want to pass judgment. We subscribe to a whatever-floats-your-boat philosophy. We won’t venture any judgment whatsoever. Consider the name Stefphon in the title. Stefphon is a very good tailback for the University of Nevada football team. He also has a ridiculous first name. It’s pretty obvious when he was born his mother was clueless about things like spelling. She plucked a few letters out of the air, thinking she remembered seeing an f, or maybe a ph in the name Stephen, or Stefan, or even Stephon.

Don’t believe me? Consider the name Antawn, owned by a professional basketball player, which is pronounced Antoine. The point is if we live in a culture in which the people who take down the vital stats of the newly born can’t trouble themselves to help illiterate mothers spell their babies’ names, what hope do we have to address our culture’s crucial issues?

Going Weimar

In a “National Review,” article called “Obama’s Coddled Elites,” Michael Knox Beran suggests  rather than using “vague but comforting formulation(s)” such as quantitative easing, the Fed should come clean and call our monetary policy “going Weimar.”
Now, since we live in a nation in which a plurality voted to reelect Barack Obama, we shouldn’t assume that people recognize the Weimar Republic. So here’s a brief history lesson. (Lena Dunham devotees probably prefer neologisms like “herstory,” but they probably stopped reading this once they saw the words “National Review,” thinking  what followed would be “icky” and “hard”–which, come to think of it, kind of raises imagery of, say, voting for the first time).
For the rest of us, the Weimar Republic was Germany’s ill-fated attempt at democracy between the wars. “Going Weimar” refers to the government’s decision to promote inflation in order to reduce the burden of war reparations, which had been imposed on them under the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I. Let me know if I’m going too fast.
The reparations had been imposed despite the best efforts of the American President at the time, Woodrow Wilson. Wilson, who incidentally was the only previous president to present himself as a Messiah, was also unable to translate popular adulation into success at the negotiating table. Interestingly, Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke during his second term which greatly limited his transformative agenda, including that of implementing a unified world government.
Hmmm, perhaps the consequence of not learning history isn’t as dire as the adage would have us believe. Good news, Lena. You’re off the hook.
Now, let’s look at the Weimar inflationary policy. In very short order the inflation got out of hand. It became what was known as “runaway inflation,” which is what happens whenever really smart guys think they can manipulate currencies. This soon produced such evocative images as the woman pushing  a wheelbarrow full of Deutsche Marks to the bakery. Among other consequences was the destruction of personal savings and national wealth, and the rise of a radical group called the National Socialist, or Nazi Party. The leader of the party was a fellow named Adolph Hitler. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar.
Back to Beran and the Fed. As some of you might be aware, ever since 2008 the federal government has spent somewhere north of $1 trillion dollars more than it’s raised each year. This is called a deficit.  One trillion dollars is such a very big number it’s hard to even imagine how big it is, but to put it in terms comprehensible even to Dunham fans, one trillion dollars is enough money to buy 1,791,044,776,000 condoms at drugstore.com. Another way to put it is, if those condoms were laid end-to-end–which reminds me of a not entirely inappropriate Dorothy Parker quip –they would circle the earth 2,270 times.
So, a whole lot of money. Back in the good old days, when the profligate W. and his spendthrift Congressional allies were running amok, racking up deficits as high as $400 billion, (more than 716 billion condoms, in Dunham-speak), we could lay off that debt on the Chinese. However, since the Chinese impose mandatory abortions on their citizens, they don’t need to buy so many condoms. As a result, they stopped bankrolling us. Enter the Fed, and quantitative easing, by which they buy our debt, to the tune of $85 billion a month, or almost the full trillion dollar annual deficit.
Now, if the Fed was spending hard earned cash, raised by holding car washes or running lemonade stands, or, say, shorting Facebook IPO’S, that would be fine. Perhaps not the wisest investment, but probably better than buying condoms at drugstore.com. The problem is, they aren’t  earning the money, they are merely printing it, or would be if there were actual physical dollars involved. As Beran puts it, “The fiat cash is electronic now, so you don’t need wheelbarrows to cart it around.”
You see where this is going to end up, don’t you? No, not you, Lena. You keep working on your tats. I’m talking to grown ups, here. If there are any left. Where this ends up is hyperinflation and the utter destruction of our, and by extension the world economy. It is interesting that I have said to everybody working in the money business of late that within ten years I can envision a situation where the US dollar will be worthless, yet it will still be the strongest currency in the world. They look at me, shrewdly, as if to say, “You’re not allowed to say that out loud.” As one guy said, “We’re paid to be optimists.” But noone has denied the prediction.
Meanwhile our president is still out there campaigning, still waging class warfare, and still pretending that the only thing wrong with our economy is the rich are not paying their fair share. At least Wilson could use his stroke as an excuse.

Buy Zenith Rising for just $12.00, or $2.99 on your Kindle, I-Pad or other tablet device. http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

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