My list of demands for US leaders
It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means it’s not too early to ask for Christmas gifts. And we’re gearing up in the US presidential election cycle, which as usual means there’s more taking than giving in the national spotlight. It’s annoying, really, all these promises from vacuous, made-up snake oil salesmen (OK, and women) with expensive, lint-brushed suits, all perfectly coiffed, terribly earnest and deferential to the tiny US flags pinned to their heaving chests as they face the latest rounds of searing questions from today’s TV sycophant.
News flash for all you hopeful voters: They’re here to take from you, and you really don’t matter. As we should have learned by now, it’s not at all about you, me, or our neighbors, but what these oligarchs and their bourbon-swilling friends want.
Fighting fire with a word-fueled propane blaze, I am speaking up to try to reverse this annoying tide.
I am deploying my share of American-style narcissism along with a heavy dose of irony and presumptuous humor to say what I want over the next four years from whomever survives the next year and is elected the 45th chief executive officer of United States of America, LLC. This message also draws a spiteful bead on the backs of members of the US House and Senate, heartless, willful obstructers on permanent intellectual and ethical vacations, with this simple, digestible message: get with the program, get on board, or start working on your resumes.
We’re bringing a new sheriff to town, and he’s got plenty of room in his hoosegow for all yew folks who don’t wanna play fair.
Feel free to disagree, object, agree and support, but why not share this message with your peers? Maybe some of the attitude will stick. Maybe some of the message will filter through the maze of commuters on their way to work, worrying about how to pay bills and whether their Camrys will survive the next DOT inspection, into the consciousness of the men and women inside the Beltway who we pay to make our lives a little better, easier and gentler, and who seem determined to fail worse than I did on my first Algebra II final exam (it took me two years to pass and move on, but at least I learned my lesson and walked away from a career in math. Politics is the only profession, other than pro baseball, where you get rewards for failing less than 50% of the time.)
My list of demands:
1 ) No more wars. I don’t care if gas leaps to $10 a gallon, Palestine invades Bhutan, or Vladimir Putin buys Ogilvy PR and declares war on Hollywood film studios, LA paparazzi and threatens to shut down TMZ, I want US military in full “stand down” mode for the next four years. No, make that eight, and no sneaking attacks on Taliban headquarters masquerading as hospitals, you guys. Let Russia take the lead as global bullies, or China, unless they pick a fight with Vietnam over gas rights in the South China Sea. That part of the world is still licking its wounds from the last go round in their neighborhood, so we in the West need to wake up and get on top of that simmering conflict, and pronto. It’ll be good practice. We need to re-learn the art of effective diplomacy and get out of the “shock and awe” business for good.
Hire the Dalai Lama as Secretary of State, if you must, but we’re gonna lose our swagger and return to the days of “the beneficent good guys.” Why? ‘Cause we the voters (i.e., The Bosses) say so.
2) A kinder, gentler immigration policy. Screw you and your big walls, your “we’ve got ours, too bad for you” philosophy and your apparent distrust and disdain for anyone who bears so much as a vague resemblance to your own forebears and is thus unworthy of US residence. (Are you paying attention, Marco Rubio?) Come up with a program that’ll continue to welcome people to US shores who deserve it while requiring them to act like citizens in return without overrunning our shores or stressing out our infrastructure. And stop the hatred and rhetoric.
We all come from meager roots. Only we, the voters, remember it. As of now, you agree with us. Completely. And you will act accordingly.
3) You will happily and quickly create free health care, free education, and housing and food programs that make sense. (Channel Jack Nicholson’s voice from “A Few Good Men” when you say this aloud.) The US is still the wealthiest, most innovative country on the friggin’ planet, if you believe Warren Buffett’s homespun assessment of our country (and I do). Until you pinheads in Washington find a way to make sure all of us get good health care, quality higher education, a place to sleep and food to eat, you’re on notice, far as I’m concerned, and you are bound for political extinction. Members of Congress: Your new prez is going to give you six months to come up with a plan, agree on it, and get it into action.
Say hello to bipartisan politics and so long to the bullshit game you’ve been playing since YA Tittle quarterbacked the Giants.
How to pay for it? Now, I know that many will say “cut defense spending,” or “raise taxes, mostly on the wealthy,” but not me. I say both. But thoughtfully, carefully, yet aggressively and firmly. Diet and exercise, diet and exercise; it’s the only way to truly get fit.
So here’s the deal: The Pentagon is going on a spending diet, and first swat is going to be leveled at the advanced arms development money and porkbarrel projects promoted by fear mongering opportunists like Dick Cheney who stand to benefit from how our tax dollars are spent. You have 10 years to get used to this gradual austerity program, over which time you can expect to see your $630 billion budget not increase by the $483 billion that Rhodes Scholar and new Speaker Paul (Bunion) Ryan sought in his last budget proposal, but reduce by $100-$200 billion. Yup, that’s right, and you’d better spend some time thinking about retraining programs for the people whose jobs these cuts are going to whack.
This money’s going to other causes (see above.)
4) Fix our infrastructure. I know you don’t routinely drive our roads, traverse our bridges or, unless you’re Chris Christie (who found himself in the “no cellphone car” on the Acela train while jabbering away on his cell phone and was forced to move), ride our trains, but you’re going to find a ton of dough to re-pave our roads, repair our bridges and give us an interstate public transportation system (see National Rail in the UK, Chinese rail, il Treno Italia, or even the impressive bus system in South America, those coca-soaked cretins, for a model). Oh, and find a way to teach common decency skills to TSA agents who need a refresher while you’re at it. Maybe Christie could lead that cause, as his response to the Amtrak employee who pointed out his transgression and patched him off to the right car seems to have been apologetic, respectful and even humorous.
$100-$200 billion isn’t going to pay medical costs, college bills, infrastructure improvements and housing and food costs for those who need it. The balance is going to come from the tax dodging 1 percenters who’ve bullied their accountants from safe perches in the Cayman Islands to find loopholes to protect their hard-stolen money, thus ensuring their brats will coast through four years at Yale with ample allowances which will thus shelter them from having to take a bunch of shit from their house “masters” about what Halloween costumes to wear, or anything else, for that matter.
Yes, Congress, cozy up to the federal tax code and get ready to hear leadership bellow like Michael Buffer when they propose new tax levels aimed at the rich: “Llllllllet’s get ready to ruuuuuummmmbbbble!”
Hey, Mitt Romney: get your pen and checkbook ready. Time to pay up, pretty boy. Call Buffett. He’ll teach you how to write checks with reasonable fair numbers on them, all made out to US Dept. of Treasury.
That’s right, richest of the rich: pay day is coming, and for once it’s not for you, it’s for the middle class you seem to have been working so hard to ignore, forget and destroy, and for the lower classes who continue to bathe your children, mow your lawns and flip the burgers your snotty brats eat on the way home from boozy nights out with their buddies in their brand new BMWs.
This sound like socialism to you? What. Ever. Sounds like fair to me, and equality in action, and parity, and justice, and leadership, and progress, and fairness and, well, just fricking RIGHT. Aside from that, it’s what we, the voters, want. So, get at it.
I know this treatise is going to be as popular to the hoi paloi in the highest echelons of the military industrial complex as a “Shake Your Booty” retreat run by Richard Simmons. Tough crap.
I’m only a voter. What would I know?
How about this: I know that I’ve had enough. I’m done with the stalemates in Washington, the bloated expense budgets of lobbyists who have all of Congress’ numbers (in more ways than one), and of a world run by banks, big pharma, the NSA and Microsoft, begrudgingly joined by Yahoo and Google. (Check out OpenSecrets.org on your iPhone on your way to work tomorrow for a look at which lobbies spent how much in DC this year. Warning: It’ll make you want to barf up your Egg McMuffin.)
I am angry with a system that rewards a badly coiffed capitalist who is clearly incapable of communicating an original idea by letting him vie for first place in a chance for the most important job in the world with a brain surgeon who thinks a biblical character built the pyramids as the world’s first giant Costco. These are our leaders, for Chrissake?
I lean left (duh), but I’m not wildly enthusiastic about our chances with the gang on that side, either. Bernie’s Bernie, Hillary’s a cold fish technocrat who is probably played better by Robin Wright (see House of Cards) than she plays herself.
This is why I think a broader appeal and more aggressive action is required. And you, unhappy voters: get mad, speak up, and forward this message if you don’t want to write your own. We need to send a loud, unified message to these public servants in starched white cotton.
Here’s the bottom line: I don’t care which of you spends the most, insults the others most effectively, curries the most favor with the disenfranchised, angry yet motivated voters and thus wins.
You are to give us what we want (see above.) No questions asked.
You have four years. Get at it.
Or we’ll throw your butt out of office, revoke your citizenship and pack you off to build houses in Honduras with Jimmy Carter. At least that way you’d be doing something worthwhile.