Monday, October 12, 2015

Today's Hilarious Political Utterances: Charles Koch, Ben Carson and Timothy Egan

A little bit of laughter, however sarcastic, keeps a goddess in top form.  And I'm sure it works for you, too.

1.  Let's begin with Charles Koch.  The defining characteristic of Mr. Koch is that he is Very Rich.  The other defining characteristic of Mr. Koch is that he uses his enormous wealth to influence the US politics, naturally in the direction which works best for Mr. Koch.

So what did Mr. Koch say in a recent interview?  This:

Mason asked, "Do you think it's good for the political system that so much what's called 'dark money' is flowing into the process now?"
"First of all, what I give isn't dark," said Koch. "What I give politically, that's all reported. It's either to PACs or to candidates. And what I give to my foundations is all public information. But a lot of our donors don't want to take the kind of abuse that I do. They don't want these attacks. They don't want the death threats. So they aren't going to participate if they have to have their names associated with it."
"But do you think it's healthy for the system that so much money is coming out of a relatively small group of people?"
"Listen, if I didn't think it was healthy or fair, I wouldn't do it. Because what we're after, is to fight against special interests."

"Some people would look at you and say you're a special interest."
"Yeah, but my interest is, just as it's been in business, is what will help people improve their lives, and to get rid of these special interests. That's the whole thing that drives me."
"There are people out there who think what you're trying to do is essentially buy power."
"But what I want is a system where there isn't as much centralized power, where it's dispersed to the people. And everything I advocate points in that direction."

Now unscrew your eyes, rinse them, and put them back in the normal way.  Then remember that Mr. Koch, together with his brother, has spent a lot of money opposing efforts to combat global climate change and efforts to get Americans health insurance.  Because people who will die when the earth finally boils over are special interest people!  Well, at least they won't get health care during that final struggle if our Charles has his way.


But wait!  There's more.  Ben Carson, the Republican presidential hopeful, has uttered a lot of inane things in the recent weeks, including the idea that there is no war against women, only against what's inside women.  That means the pesky female liver, my friends, always starting uprisings everywhere.

2.  Anyway, Carson now thinks that the holocaust might have looked a lot more like a gunfight at noon in some imaginary Western movie if only German Jews had been heavily armed.

What's humorous about that comment is not the context or the enormous tragedy it belittles, but the idea that this man is hoping himself to affect future history by running the still-most-powerful country on earth!

And that without apparently having had any European history lessons or any deep thinking about what it means when the government of a country is bent on catching and killing a particular population segment, and when most of that activity is not readily visible on the net or neatly happening in one great massacre.

Ben Carson says all that because he wants guns to be freely available in the United States and because he believes that any number of college and school massacres is an acceptable price to pay for that availability.  That's not funny.

3.  Here are today's funny political data bits

They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.
Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena, providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.

Mmm.  This just goes to prove that every dollar in the US has the same voice.  That's a reference to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which made the American democracy a one-dollar-one-vote democracy.   Too bad that the dollars are not evenly distributed across those who have the nominal votes and voices.  And yes, most of that seed money went to the Republican candidates.

This funny story links to that Charles Koch funny story!  Everybody except the rich is a special interest group.

4.  To wrap this list up, here's Timothy Egan on the important task of explaining to us how those school and college massacres are really the fault of women.  He isn't a beta boy, of course,  so he doesn't blame women for causing the killings by not handing over pussy on demand, no.  Instead, he muses about the horrible mothers of two recent killers:

We should look, instead, to the mothers of America. The politics have to be replaced by the personal.
Can we blame the mother of Adam Lanza, who let a mentally disturbed child arm himself to the teeth just before he slaughtered 20 children and six adults in Newtown? The home was an arsenal, supplied in part by the mother.
Can we blame the mother of the Oregon shooter for letting her troubled son surround himself with 14 guns? Like Lanza, the attacker was a loner, with imaginary enemies, suicidal at times. What reasonable person would allow him to assemble more than a dozen guns, including assault rifles?

Timothy labors a bit to turn all this into a plea that the Mothers of America should rise up and somehow stop all these massacres.  But honestly, if you are going to write a piece about the parental influence of mass killers, do all of them, present us with good evidence that it's the mothers more often than the fathers who have brought the gun culture into the homes.  Then I'm willing to look at what you are saying, though still with a critical lens.

What's so funny about this one is the fact that women are barely visible in the statistics of mass killer.  But we need to get them into a more prominent role, by hook or crook.