Sunday, July 31, 2011

SHOWDOWN ON CAPITAL HILL! - Another Staring Contest…Which Party Will Blink First?

I gotta be honest with you…I love this shit! 

The theoretical headlines alone get me semi-erect! Debt ceiling disaster looming! Will default apocalypse be stymied at the zero hour?! Will the partisan Mexican standoff give way to historic bi-partisan deficit reduction deal?! Or will the financial universe implode into a black hole that swallows every dollar, renminbi and euro in the international marketplace?

I have no fucking idea what will happen!

And right now it’s anybody’s ballgame!

Love it, hate it, laud it, mourn it…either way, this whole fucking mess has been political theatre at its best…irrefutable proof that our two-party system is both broken and functioning exactly as it should. I realize that statement is mildly paradoxical so I’ll elaborate.

Yes, our parties don’t like each other and yes, they are diametrically opposed forces…so who can blame them for butting heads, biting and pulling hair when it comes to ironing out the wrinkles in comprehensive legislation, especially ones pertaining to fiscal policy.

And perhaps it is proof positive of an efficient democracy that the only laws that get passed are the ones that both parties loathe. If the two parties can swallow their ideologies, wipe their asses with their talking points and compromise, maybe that is evidence that the system works…eventually.

However, is this what it takes to prove that? Months of political grandstanding, hurling hyperboles from across the isle, positioning each party in a manner that will cast any catastrophic blame solely at the feet of the opposition, refusing to give an inch until it becomes feasible that such rigidity might hurt them come November 2012? And then, after all the name-calling, after the DOW and NASDAQ have already been bum-rushed, battered and bruised, after the rest of the world joins in mocking our inability to get a goddamn thing done, only after all of that…can a deal actually be made. Well, that is where the problem lies.

CNN has had a countdown clock to the Deficit Default ticking for several days now. ESPN does the same thing for the Superbowl. The promos are already flooding the networks:


Like, I said…I love this shit!

But many people do not share my appreciation for the theatrics. The stock market certainly does not. And with the world watching, it does not help our public image to have all this juvenile finger-pointing, especially with nimrods like Nancy Pelosi lambasting the Republicans for “Going to the dark side.” Really Nancy? I’d say that she’s better than that, but let’s be honest, she really isn’t. Her own party fucking hates her for Christ’s sake.

"Use the Force Barrack!"
And this is exactly the type of bullshit that draws out and unnecessarily muddies the waters of the political process. There is nothing wrong with the GOP sounding off against the Dems for their desire to increase tax revenue and likewise with the Dems’ insistence that revenue increases accompany spending cuts. These are legitimate ideological differences. But likening the opposing party to Darth Vader is just silly. Yes, it makes for a catchy sound bite but it does not, in any way, facilitate resolution to what is a serious situation with possibly catastrophic financial ramifications.

But must it come down to this every fucking time? I understand the game…each side is gonna fight for every inch of their agenda. That’s what we want them to do, that’s why we elect them. And neither side will blink until it absolutely must. But at some point, pragmatism has to prevail and does that point always have to be when the final seconds are ticking off the shotclock?

Apparently, yes. Because when Obama tacks too far to the center, the far left castrates him and independents castigate him. When Boehner drifts even remotely away from the extreme right, the Tea Party blowhards pistol-whip him into recanting and modifying his position so that it fits snuggly within the confines of their ultra-conservative agenda. And then he cries about it…quite literally.

So what does it say when our two parties’ highest officials cannot get anything done? Is that a reflection of their inadequacies as leaders or our system’s inefficiencies? Maybe both. Maybe neither.

But here we are, just as we were with the budget deal last April that at the very last possible moment, averted a government shutdown. Congress hustled into the wee hours and ironed out a deal that made everyone nauseous. But they swallowed hard and the country lived to limp into a marred but slightly less ambiguous future.

But with a situation like this, who do we blame and who do we celebrate if the deal is finally struck? Did the system work? Or did our elected officials simply call ‘Uncle’? Is this impending deal the best option or the only one that could possibly be extracted from this clusterfuck of partisan vitriol? Who’s the hero in this battle and who’s the villain? Who’s the champ and who’s the chump?

If the deal that is rumored to be on the table is the one that goes through, the bleeding hearts will say Obama has sold out once again, acquiescing to the demands of a hostile House that is hell-bent on cutting both fat and flesh off our government and its entitlement programs. The Tea Partiers will hurl their bibles and patriotic rhetoric at Boehner for spearheading a deal that had the temerity to actually attempt to restore the tax code to what it was before George W. Bush buttfucked it into oblivion. If NO increase in tax revenue is included in the deal, I will personally be considerably peaved.

And then there are the centrists…the realists and pragmatists who somehow are able to find sunshine throughout all the noise. Maybe they will say that this deal is dogshit…but it’s also for the best. And maybe they will be right.

Because our fiscal future as it was yesterday, was not sustainable. Our treasured entitlement programs simply can not continue as they were. Our debt could not continue to escalate at its present rate, especially with a hobbled GDP crawling beside it in lockstep. It needed to be reined in and yes, we need to both increase tax revenue and cut spending to accomplish this.

So hopefully by tomorrow at some point before midnight, Congress will strike a deal. And we will all once again be grateful that our system works…even though it truly sucks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Second Guessing the System: And Then Quadruple Guessing the Second Guessing

Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck to think or feel about any of this nonsense. Guilt, innocence, credibility, reasonable doubt. Twenty-four hour media saturation that convicts someone before justice has a chance to…then second guessing the media for having done so…then quadruple guessing whether or not they have the right to do so…then octuple guessing which is more broken…justice or media.

Fuck me! 

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful, is an asshole that for years, has perpetuated a work environment where slapping the secretary’s ass is as common an office practice as borrowing someone’s stapler. But is he a rapist? Within twelve hours of his arrest two weeks ago, the entire media circus seemed to exclaim in one voice, “Yes he is! Castrate him and feed his prick to the Associated Press with a baguette and a bottle of Sancerre.”

But now, because the accused hotel maid has a checkered past that includes unforgivable offenses like lying on her tax returns (GASP!), DSK has been released from house arrest. Furthermore, the District Attorney is second guessing whether or not the semen on her uniform and the fact that he checked out of his hotel ninety seconds after the alleged incident with toothpaste caked to his face, are in and of themselves, enough to try a case against this very powerful man. I mean, hey, you’d hate to foil a man’s presidential aspirations for something as tedious as an unsuccessful rape attempt and a non-consensual blowjob. Seriously man, she didn’t even finish cleaning his room.

Vive la France!

And Casey, Casey, Casey. What are we to make of all this. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. I have not heard one solitary person outside of the legal profession celebrate this verdict. And at the same time, bouncing between CNN, Fox and the networks, I have not heard one person inside the legal profession chastise it. No lawyers seem to be all that surprised by this verdict and none seem to be even remotely outraged by it.

So are we all wrong? Sure, I hated Casey as much as the next person and I have seen “Twelve Angry Men” a thousand times so the term ‘reasonable doubt’ is nothing new to me. So what gives?

Has justice succeeded or common sense failed? And if it’s the latter, are the mind-bending intricacies that construct the former responsible? How could the pulse of an entire nation be this off course? I like to fancy myself something of an aficionado in the realm of deductive reasoning so let me give this a shot and see if I can’t get to the bottom of all this. We’ll start with DSK.

The housekeeper’s room card proved that she was in the room at the time of the alleged incident. This is indisputable.

The housekeeper is wearing someone’s semen on her fucking clothes so it’s most likely DSK’s unless someone else ejaculated on her in the hallway during her three second trip to the adjacent room. I have not inspected her uniform myself so I guess it could be mayonnaise or melted ice cream but I think it warrants further investigation. The semen just might have some of that DNA stuff I keep hearing about.

DSK was seen at the checkout desk exactly two minutes after the housekeeper left his room. This too is indisputable; proven by surveillance cameras and the time the housekeeper’s room key was used.

Now when I get a blowjob, even if it’s a mediocre one from a woman I don’t particularly like, I try to relax and savor the moment because god knows when it’s going to happen again.  I usually don’t get immediately dressed, brush my teeth and rush out so fast that I leave my cell phone behind and toothpaste on my face; especially if the woman has already left. But that’s just me. Maybe DSK gets blowjobs every day and he’s just that busy. Perhaps he was really hungry and anxious to get to the lunch meeting he allegedly attended after leaving said hotel. But again, common sense kids. What does all this say to you?

And what do we make of the media’s role in all this? We’ve got the NY Post calling the maid a hooker and the NY Times castigating DSK as the poster child for alpha-male-oriented abuse of power. Who are we to believe? How do we drown out the cacophony?  The coverage never ends so how are we to form our own opinions based on the facts and how is the justice system expected to live in an impartial vacuum when every potential judge and juror is drowning in the bullshit?

And now Casey. Let’s forget for a moment that we all think she is a lying bitch and hope she rots in hell. Let’s leave that alone. Emotions can hinder our ability to analyze facts so let’s at least try to just focus on some of the facts for now.

Yes, three months prior to her daughter’s disappearance, Casey (no, it was not her mother using the family computer…she’s a fucking crazy lying bitch too) Googled “chloroform” and other fun terms like “neck-breaking,” “chloroform inhalation,” “death” and “how to make chloroform.” And yes, they found chloroform in the trunk of her car. But since she didn’t order chloroform from and save her receipt for tax purposes, the jury could not presume that she actually bought and used the chloroform. Oooohhhhkaaaaayyyyy. Maybe.

The child was wrapped in plastic garbage bags and thrown in the woods where traces of duct tape were found. Hhmmm. I’m no detective but that has ‘foul play’ written all over it…not accidental drowning. Accidental drownings are usually reported, especially when ex-detectives like Casey’s father are involved. Detectives, you see, are great at determining what is or is not an accident because they can, ummm, detect such things. 

And since Casey eventually admitted that her make-believe nanny did not exist (truly a travesty because imaginary employees are much more utilitarian than imaginary friends), we can rule out kidnapping and probably say beyond a…wait for it…reasonable doubt…that Caylee did not run away either. Because when children arbitrarily run away, they usually don’t wind up duct taped in plastic bags dumped in the woods. 

I don’t have children. But if my little sister died, I would be heartbroken. I would be devastated. I probably wouldn’t get a tattoo that reminded me on a daily basis how “beautiful” life was two weeks after she disappeared without a trace. I’d probably be more in a state of ‘shit-my-pants hysterical panic’ and less in a bubbly, ‘let’s get inked and go out clubbing’ kind of mood. And I wouldn’t wait until she was gone for a month before reporting her missing.  I’d probably try a little harder to find her. But again, that’s just me.

Okay, so they didn’t find evidence in the trunk, other than the traces of chloroform and the testimony of several witnesses, including Casey’s own mother, who said “It smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.” So I guess it is feasible that Casey accidentally left an abnormally pungent, half-eaten KFC Value Meal in the trunk of her car for a month and then, after running out of Lysol, used chloroform to cleanse it of it’s odor. But again…common sense kids.

No, there was no smoking gun, but apparently common sense isn’t enough these days. Nor is a kum stain for that matter. 

This all leads to natural questions both of our legal process and the manner in which these events are conveyed in the media. And regrettably, this questioning, though healthy, does not lead to definitive conclusions. Nor does it provide closure for all those people that were affected by Cailee’s passing and all those that want answers to simple questions like “what happened?” and “why did it happen?”

And unfortunately, the answers to those questions may never come. 

Did DSK force himself on a poor Haitian maid that lacked the perfect resume required to even attempt to tackle a man of his power in a legal system this complex? Probably. 

Did Casey Anthony kill her daughter, stuff her in a few garbage bags and dump her body in the woods just blocks from her and her family’s home? Probably. 

But we will never know.

Something happened in that hotel room and something happened to Cailee Anthony. And whether the system or the media is to blame for our never finding out ‘why’ is irrelevant. We will never know 'why.' And that sucks enough.