“United States of America, R.I.P.” and “Politics, Guns & Surgery”

The Democrats apparently think they can get away with anything simply because the major media outlets are in the tank for them, and perhaps they can. I suppose we’ll have to wait until the mid-term elections to find out if America really is prepared to pull the plug on itself.

Clearly, Obama and his gang thought it wouldn’t cost them any votes if the Department of Defense suspended death benefits to the widows and children of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Apparently, they were equally copacetic about shutting down the outdoor World War II Memorial to military veterans, while throwing open the National Mall for a demonstration by illegal immigrants and some of their publicity-crazed supporters in the House.

Speaking of the shutdown, I don’t think it’s right for people to complain that none of the golf courses on military bases where Obama likes to play were closed for the duration. After all, Obama needs a place where he can unwind after playing all those other rounds of golf.

It is almost beyond belief that people like Obama and John Kerry can still find nice things to say about Syria’s al-Assad and Russia’s Putin just because they’re going through the motions of destroying Syria’s stash of chemical weapons. But when it comes to House Republicans, Obama calls them “saboteurs.” Chuck Schumer labels them “extortionists and hostage-takers,” while former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau draws the line at extortionists; to him, they’re just “hostage-takers.” White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer insists they’re “terrorists,” while Sen. Dick Durbin agrees they’re “terrorists,” but adds that they’re also “squealing political pigs.” Harry Reid calls them “anarchists” and Nancy Pelosi is equally convinced they’re “arsonists.” Al Gore claims they’re “political terrorists,” while Sen. Angus King of Maine refuses to beat around the bush, insisting they’re nothing more or less than “murderers.”

I realize that the Democrats are taking comfort in the polls that show that whereas 65% of the people hold House Republicans responsible for the shutdown, only 50% lay the blame at Obama’s feet. They’re convinced it will lead to the Democrats retaking control of the House in 2014, enabling Obama to complete his mission of radically transforming America in his own disgusting image.

Now, if I were an extortionist, an arsonist or a hostage-taker, I would probably keep this to myself, but I’m not that sort of guy. The truth is that while everyone claims to hate Congress, they do not hate their own congressman, who happens to be the only member of the House they actually get to vote for. That is why the incumbent generally gets re-elected.

On the other hand, when half the people hold the president responsible for bad stuff, that tends to shred his coattails. Therefore, Democrats who’ll be running in 2014 would do well to realize that Obama will be gone two years hence, but if they keep pushing his loony agenda, they could be gone even sooner.

Also, it’s the president who gets tarred with a bad economy. The recession of 2008 was created by people like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Sen. Obama, but it was George Bush who got blamed and the Republicans who suffered the consequences.

In the meantime, Republican politicians would be wise to recall Reagan’s 11th Commandment, cautioning his colleagues not to speak ill of other Republicans. For one thing, a circular firing squad not only makes them look dumb, but it provides Democrats with a blood bath they can wallow around in, like pigs in mud. I know from my own experience that Republican politicians, by and large, are no smarter than the folks on the other side of the aisle, but there’s really no compelling reason to provide Democrats with sound bites to use in future elections.

When I state that Republicans are as dumb as Democrats, I don’t mean to suggest that they are equally vile. After all, in the same week that Obama decided that the federal government couldn’t possibly accommodate World War II veterans or pay death benefits to military widows, he decided it was essential to hand over 450 million tax dollars to continue funding NPR and PBS. From Obama’s point of view, it made perfect sense because both of those media entities are constantly promoting him and his agenda, whereas what the hell have old veterans and young widows ever done for him?

It was also the same week that Obama decided to deny money and military hardware to the Egyptian army. This was seen in Egypt, Israel and everywhere else in the Middle East, as Obama’s casting his lot with the Muslim Brotherhood.

That would certainly seem to be the logical conclusion. On the other hand, it could simply mean that he has the same contempt for Egypt’s military that he has for our own.

Politics, Guns & Surgery

One of the basic problems with those on the Left is that they become infatuated with certain words while choosing to ignore their meanings. For instance, one of their favorites is equality. Unfortunately, equality is merely a concept. No two individuals are really the same; human beings, after all, are not robots, although liberals come close. For sane people, equality translates to equality under the law and equal opportunity to achieve one’s goals.

For progressives, though, it doesn’t mean either of those things. To their way of thinking, it means equality of outcome. Nobody is supposed to be more talented, brighter or more successful, than anyone else. To their way of thinking, if you have a bigger house, a more expensive car and more money in the bank, it can’t be the result of greater effort on your part. The only answer is that you cheated the fellow who lives in a hovel, drives a wreck and relies on welfare to cover his expenses.

There is a reason, after all, that socialism has been defined as an economic system in which misery is shared equally, except by those who run the system.

I was surprised to read that Glenn Beck, in calling for Obama’s impeachment for sending arms to the Syrian jihadists, wrote: “We did not get into bed with Hitler to defeat Japan.” What he seems to have forgotten or chose to ignore is that FDR did get into bed with Stalin to defeat Germany.

In the meantime, Pope Francis, who talks as much nonsense as Juan Williams and Alan Colmes put together, told Europeans they should be more welcoming to Muslim immigrants because they are poor and needy. What he didn’t mention is that Muslims do not assimilate. They do not respect the laws, culture or traditions, of non-Muslims. Instead, they take advantage of all the tax-supported social services, which inevitably leads to their hosts becoming poor and needy.

Surely the pope must realize that being needy isn’t the same as being deserving. What’s more, being charitable doesn’t mean taking leave of one’s senses and prostrating oneself to one’s sworn enemies.

Chicago, it’s worth noting, is a gun-free zone, as is Washington, D.C., with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Through executive order, Bill Clinton made U.S. military bases gun-free zones. Yet, within a single week in September, over two dozen people were gunned down in those gun-free zones. The moral, as I see it, is that Obama, Feinstein and the rest of those 2nd Amendment-hating creeps whose own lives are protected by men with guns, should shut their hypocritical pie-holes.

It recently came to light that the USIS, a contractor that provides background checks for the federal government, okayed both Edward Snowden and mass murderer Aaron Alexis. But before anyone starts feeling too superior, keep in mind they had nothing to do with helping Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman or Rangel, get or keep their jobs.

Not many people are aware of the fact that I once ran for president. Not of the United States, you understand, but of the Writers Guild. I didn’t really want the job, but I sure didn’t want the guy who had the job to win a third term. He saw his role as being the rubberstamp for the power-hungry executive director.

Possibly because I knew I didn’t have a chance, I was able to run the most honest campaign in the history of the Guild. For one thing, even though I had always been a freelancer because I didn’t want to get burned out writing for just one show, I told the Freelance Committee that I would do nothing to change the system in which most episodes were written by members of the staff. I explained that there were only about 24 episodes in a season. The Guild rate for an episode was about $13,000. Multiply that by 24 and you get $312,000. Even if you add a story editor, the total paid for writing services would only have amounted to about half a million bucks. However, a staff of six or seven could expect to be paid upwards of a million dollars; sometimes way upwards. How could I, in good conscience, insist they break up the staff system and only hire freelancers? Besides, the producer would still hire the same six or seven people to write the two dozen shows, but simply pay them less.

I also told the Minority Writers Committee that I did not believe that forcing producers to hire writers simply because they happened to be black, Hispanic, female or gay, was the American way. I told them that writing, like the world of professional sports, was one of the few places where people could excel on the basis of their own merits and had no need or right to demand employment on the basis of victimhood.

I still remember a friend and fellow member of the Writers Guild Board, David Rintels, following me into the men’s room one night during a Board meeting to apologize for not being able to support my candidacy. He said, “I believe the president has to be able to get along with the executive director, and I know you and Brian often butt heads.”

I told him he didn’t have to apologize over an honest difference of opinion. I told him I believed the executive director should have to get along with the president.

Needless to say, I was soundly defeated.

In closing, I wish to thank all of my readers who have written to let me know they hoped that the rheumatoid arthritis that has been plaguing my right wrist would get better. It hasn’t, and a recent MRI has confirmed that I also have torn tendons in my wrist.

I did see a surgeon who confirmed the bad news. But he did say that so long as I could bear the pain and discomfort, continue to wear the wrist brace and find some relief in Alleve, I shouldn’t rush into surgery.

On my way home, it occurred to me how wise I was to seek counsel from an elderly surgeon. You always stand to get honest advice from a guy who is too old to still be paying for his kids’ orthodontia and college tuition.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • GlenFS

    Burt, you tagged the right villains for the 2008 recession. They know it too, but have no shame or sense of responsibility. I’m sorry to hear of your painful wrist and do hope you make the right choice for managing it.

    • CentralScruntinizer

      You and Burt might want to scan some financials that show the relative role of GSEs in the collapse of 2008 (Fannie and Freddie were part of it, but statistically minor) and before you default to the other common dodge – that the Community Reinvestment Act under Carter and the extension thereof under Clinton caused the subprime crisis – have a look at the percentage of subprime mortgages originated as a percentage of all mortgages originated from the 1960s through 2002. It remains tiny in spite of the CRA. What actually spurred the leap in toxic mortages? The Securities Modernization Act of 2000 (sponsored by GOP, signed happily by Clinton with Rob Rubin clapping like a seal) which allowed the banks to deploy formerly illegal types of derivatives and lay off the risk with default swaps and other devices. Furthermore, they could initiate these risky bets using newly accessed capital that they could tap into once the CMA of 2000 broke down the walls that previously had prevented them from merging with commercial banks and insurance companies. All of this created the framework of a bubble, and Greenspans post 9/11 monetary policy was the hot air that inflated it.

  • Wheels55

    51% of the blame goes to Obama – he is the leader. Split the rest of the blame to Republicans and Democrats. But Obama is the key to this mess. Remember that in 2014 and do not give any one party full control of all three executive branches.