Dennis Rodman on Monica Spear: I Think I’ll Visit Venezuela Next

imagesPYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA  Controversial basketball star, tattoo enthusiast, and crazy person Dennis Rodman remarked to the media that he thinks he’d like to visit Venezuela in the wake of the tragic shooting death of international celebrity Monica Spear and her husband during a roadside robbery in the oil-rich, crime-ridden nation.

“North Korea is pretty awesome, but I hear in Venezuela there’s like one murder every 21 minutes,” remarked the ex-NBA player and possible sign of the collapse of Western Civilization. “That’s crazy, yo. I gotta book me a flight.”

At press time, Rodman was seen enjoying a five-course dinner served to him by a team of nubile North Korean sex slaves who later tonight will watch as their families are tortured and killed right in front of them.

Polar Vortex Update: Mayor deBlasio To Meet With Freeze Miser

deBlasioVfreezemiserMOMENTS AGO   While his metropolis succumbs to frigid arctic air that is causing frostbite on contact with exposed skin, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio announced today that he will meet with the entity known as The Freeze Miser, who is believed to be responsible for the unprecedented temperatures.

“This has got to stop,” the mayor explained in an emergency press conference. “I’m going to sit down with The Freeze Miser and we’re going to talk this out.”

Representatives for The Freeze Miser stormed the stage and said in response, in four-part harmony, accompanied by a brass band that featured an impressive tuba section, “He’s Mister Freeze Miser, he’s Mister Snow.”

This is the first time a sitting NYC Mayor has attempted direct talks with a claymation figure since the historic Ed Koch / Gumby Accord of 1981

Vladimir Putin Personally Guarantees Olympic Games Security

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 7.29.00 AMSOCHI, RUSSIA  President Vladimir Putin responded to criticism about the ability of his nation to property secure the upcoming Winter Games by picking up a rifle and doing something about it.

“I’ll handle this,” Putin said to reporters while wielding a tactical assault rifle and wearing camouflage.

History is on the controversial leader’s side. The last time a sitting Russian president saw military action was in 1945, when Josef Stalin personally led a brigade of Soviet troops in the successful defense of Moscow in World War II.

GOP Divided Between Those Who Want More Global Warming and Those Who Deny It Exists

republican-convention.jpeg93-1280x960WASHINGTON, DC  Top conservative minds from all over the country gathered today to beg the President and Congress to do everything in its power to speed up global warming and hopefully prevent future blizzards like the one that is presently wreaking havoc across the country.

“Average global temperatures have only risen like half a degree in the last thirty years,” pleaded Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). “I’m from North Dakota. It’s still really cold there.”

But not all Republicans are convinced that the government has the ability to affect the environment.

“I keep hearing about the planet heating up, but I look out the window and wow!  It’s snowing outside,” stated congresswoman Michele Bachman (R-MN). “Blizzards are a sign from God, and this one is clearly telling us that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.”

Later today Speaker of the House John Boehner will meet with the two GOP factions and try not to cry.

Newly-Minted New York City Mayor Unable to Prevent Historic Snowstorm

More like “Mayor de Blizzardo.”

bill-de-blasio-may-face-impossibly-high-expectations-as-new-york-mayorNEW YORK, NY It’s only his third day in office, but already Mayor Bill de Blasio has allowed a blizzard of epic proportions to engulf New York City.

“This shows an almost incomprehensible amount of incompetence and lack of leadership,” ripped the New York Post’s editorial board as several inches of snow blanketed the once-thriving metropolis. “Democrat Bill de Blasio and his ultra-liberal, bleeding-heart, environmental terrorist agenda have failed the city of New York and its great people.”

A demonstration has been scheduled for later today outside of City Hall, where protesters are already gathering to demand the mayor’s removal from office.

City aide workers are distributing coffee, tea and hand-warmers to the crowd, while sanitation trucks outfitted with plows, sand and salt have been mobilized to keep the streets and sidewalks safe.

 

New York City Now Controlled By Italian Man

“What were we thinking?”

bill-de-blasio-italian-flagNEW YORK, NY Millions of New Yorkers started the first commute of 2014 under the sober reality that the city is in the iron grip of an Italian.

“I noticed the subway was extra-crowded this morning. Not even two days on the job and he’s already [expletive] up the MTA,” exclaimed John McIntyre, who owns and operates one of the city’s 255 Starbucks locations.

Others were less complimentary.

“This is complete [expletive], my friend,” declared cab driver Ghomatzabi al-Nassib. “I can’t [expletive] believe this [expletive] [expletive].”

Unencumbered by early criticism, Mayor De Blasio unveiled his administration’s legislative agenda for the first 60 days, which he calls “Primi y Antipasti.” Highlights include:

  • “Stop and frisk” will be replaced by a new program in which uniformed NYPD officers will approach individuals and say, “hey guy, c’mere, I wanna talk to you.”
  • A new law to strictly regulate the use of the name “Ray” amongst the city’s roughly 25,000 pizza parlors.
  • Cannolis.

At press time, Mayor De Blasio’s aides were reaching out to long-time Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to set up a “discussion” regarding which cast member will portray the mayor.

Income Inequality and the Slippery Slope

income_inequalityToday, on the heels of President Obama’s speech on income inequality, fast food workers in 100 American cities went on strike in an effort to gain higher wages.

The Guardian has an interview today with one of the striking workers, Laurentina, who earns $9.15/hr working at McDonald’s and is trying to raise four children as a single mother.

However you may feel about it, there can be no doubt that income inequality is a very real and very unbalanced condition in the United States. As the chart I published earlier this week clearly demonstrates, wealth is rapidly diminishing among the bottom 90% of earners.  The story of the middle class in the last twenty years has been the story of its disappearance. Again, however you might feel about it, there can be no doubt that America is hurtling towards a new economic paradigm that will contain three possible states: the obscenely wealthy (~1%), the not-far-behind (~9%), and the poor (~90%).

Back to Laurentina. I wonder how many people will read her story today and think to themselves, “why does someone who works at McDonald’s think it’s okay to be a single mother with four kids?”

I know I certainly had this reaction at one point reading the article. And it scared me. Because as the remaining vapors of the middle class go quietly into that good night, as jobless rates remain stagnant and an increasing number of potential workers stop searching for jobs because there are none to be had, and as wealth continues to accumulate amongst the top 1% of the nation’s earners, what other opportunities to Laurentina and the hundreds of millions like her have?

And yet, that is how the United States contextualizes a case like this: it’s Laurentina’s fault. She shouldn’t have had those kids. She shouldn’t have allowed her marriage to end (or if she was never married, she should have). She should work harder.

Recent sociological work potently challenges these antiquated notions of America as a land of opportunity in which anyone can rise to the top if they just apply themselves. But I think there’s another systemic assumption at play here, one that has thus far stayed largely in the shadows.

I would like to see a national conversation on the following topic: what do we as Americans believe are opportunities that anyone can/should have access to, and what do we feel should only be available to those who can pay for it?

Because I am concerned that as money disappears from the masses we are fast approaching a place where we decide that marriages, children, housing, and access to police and fire and even water should only be available to those who can specifically pay for it.

Certainly until very recently this is how Americans felt about access to health care. Challenging this ideology has proven to be extraordinarily difficult, meeting resistance at every turn, not just from the expected people and institutions who do not benefit from the dilution of what was previously an exclusive privilege of their wealth, but also from the very people who stand to benefit the most.

 

Income Distribution and the Disappearing Middle Class

Net_worth_and_financial_wealth

I don’t have much to say about this that I haven’t already said. I just thought it would be a good idea if this chart were spread far and wide around the internet.

Credit: Professor G. William Domhoff, Sociology Dept., University of California at Santa Cruz.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

What Does ‘Obamacare’ Have in Common With Tesla?

They’re both on the receiving end of hysterical attack marketing.

2122261018_monopoly_elec_banking_ed_bx_xlargeThe most significant health care reform in the history of the United States, one that will make comprehensive affordable health care available to every citizen regardless of caste or medical history, is being called a failure in every major news media outlet because its website has some problems.

The world’s first non-gimmicked, non-planned-obsolescence electric car, the product of one of the nation’s most promising new innovative manufacturing startups, receives media attention mainly because three of its cars caught fire following collisions, the first occurrence of which suspiciously became a YouTube sensation when a passing motorist “just happened” to notice that it was a Tesla.

What the hell is going on here?

Monopolies resist innovation and change. The most cost-effective way for behemoth institutions to maintain their size and power is to ensure that nothing can possibly compete with their products or services. Open markets are bad, goes the thinking, because an open market could potentially produce a competitor with a significantly better product or service. Monopolies win so long as the status quo goes unthreatened.

Since its origins, the financial paradigm at the heart of the auto industry has been the internal combustion engine and its reliance on oil. Huge institutional fortunes all over the world hinge on the continued success of this increasingly obsolescent machine and its rapidly diminishing fuel source, and the continued delay via any means available of the implementation of the proven technologies that will supplant and replace ICEs and their fuel source is in the best interests of the people sitting atop those institutions.

The auto industry’s resistance to change is well-documented. For decades, American automakers in particular relied upon patriotism and a “who cares” attitude towards innovation, fuel economy, and emissions regulations to excuse a lethargic path-of-least-resistance guideline for product development.

Similarly, the nation’s health care providers have been complicit in creating an industry whose primary aim is to be profitable. Even common-sense measures with clear health advantages, such as the implementation of electronic medical records, have met with massive industry-wide resistance and only gained traction thanks to equally massive government regulatory efforts that have included tax credits and other forms of federal funding to financially reward health care providers for adapting the technology.

One effective form of resistance is to control the public conversation, and both the health care and automobile establishments have been successful in their attempts, overt or otherwise, to shape the news media’s presentation of both the Affordable Care Act and the development of Tesla’s next generation of cars as largely failures. Worth wondering is how much of a controlling interest those industries have in some of the nation’s news media outlets.

Given the shrill nature of headlines about “Obamacare” and exploding Tesla cars, it seems at least plausible that institutions with a vested interest in protecting their status quo are making some noise.

Hey CNN, Can You Stop Calling It “Obamacare?”

Barack Obamaby Matthew DeCapua

Hey. “Worldwide Leader in News.” I’m talking to you.

Stop calling the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare.” Now.

Can I be real? I can? Great. So now that I’m being real, here’s the dope: for a long time, the Republican establishment has practiced any and every means available to stop President Obama from accomplishing anything whatsoever.

Why? So glad you asked. It has nothing to do with good governance. Nothing at all to do with the will of the people, or the best interests of the nation, or anything that could even remotely be called right, or just, or altruistic, or good.

It boils down to two essential reasons. First and foremost, our national Congressional leaders (to be fair, on both sides of the aisle), are completely bought and paid for by special interests with, shall we say, an extremely strong desire to maintain the status quo.

Second, there’s a black man sitting in the Oval Office, and an alarming number of people can’t handle it, and being the kind of people that can’t handle it, they react accordingly, to the detriment and embarrassment of the rest of us that have to live in the same country as them.

So back to you, CNN. Every time you call the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” in one of your infantile headlines you willingly and deliberately evoke the entire spectrum of complete bullshit the more unhinged parts of the GOP have conjured in their mighty but ultimately futile attempt to prevent our President, working with a mandate, from even beginning to fix one of our national infrastructure’s most egregiously flawed institutions.

“Obamacare” doesn’t exist. It’s a figment of the Republican Party’s imagination dreamed up by frothing-mouthed residents of some bizarro political fantasy land who scream hysterically about death panels in between cashing checks from a corporate establishment with a vested interest in pretending there’s not a health care crisis in this country. “Obamacare” is failed propoganda. “Obamacare” is a myth.

The Affordable Care Act is this country’s first meaningful attempt to correct one of its most deep-rooted, classist, elitist, human crises. It’s not perfect, but it’s significantly better than the “system” it replaces. Its signature components enjoy the overwhelming support of the American people.

It’s the law of the land.

Report it as such.