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  • mistermuse 8:42 pm on August 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brazil, , Ecuador, election campaigns, , , , Politicians, ,   

    CONTORTIONISTS AND DUMMIES 

    Every nation gets the government it deserves.  –Joseph de Maistre, 1811

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    Every once in a while — like every day — you see on TV/the Internet, or read in the newspaper, that politicians have done or said things that are so over-the-top, you can’t believe they emanated from a sensible, reasonable human being. And, of course, you are correct — they were actually begot by a verbal contortionist or a ventriloquist’s dummy. Who else could engage in such twisted logic or move their lips to the voice of ideological rote?

    Case in point: on Wednesday last, House Republicans sued the President for overreaching without congressional authority; on Thursday, they issued a statement putting the onus on the President to act on his own “without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders” — a contradiction that even several Republicans admitted made little sense.

    So what else is new(s)? Who elects such hypocrit-ters? Well, after exhaustive research, extensive investigation and having previously made up my mind, I have come to the conclusion that….WE do. Yes, it’s true. We voters are such dumb asses that we have been known to elect a real ass to office if he belongs to our political persuasion.

    Take the case of the good citizens of Milton, Washington, who in 1938 elected Boston Curtis to be Republican precinct committeeman. The Democratic mayor, to prove the point that many voters have no clue who they’re voting for, had managed to get Boston Curtis on the ballot by signing the filing documents as legal witness. Boston Curtis was a brown mule. I suspect that, like most mule-headed politicians, animal instinct took over and Boston Curtis refused to resign even after the truth came out when he brayed his victory speech.

    At least, Boston Curtis was among the living. Dead people have been known to win elections as well. In 2009, a 77 year old Alabama Republican ran for Bibb County Commissioner and won on the strength of straight party line voting, despite departing this vale of tears prior to the election. Likewise, a 96 year old Florida man won 56% of the vote for Orange County Tax Collector, notwithstanding dying before being elected. Apparently, tax-resenting voters figured a 96 year old tax collector wasn’t going to be too swift on the job, dead or alive.

    Of course, America doesn’t have a monopoly on clueless voters. In 1967, during an election campaign in Picoaza, Ecuador, the makers of Pulvapies (foot powder) aired an ad proclaiming, “Vote for any candidate, but if you want well-being and hygiene, vote for Pulvapies.” You guessed it — voters elected Pulvapies their new mayor (who knows — compared to the other candidates, Pulvapies may have been the best choice, hands down).

    On the other hand, the people of Sao Paulo, Brazil, knew very well who and what they were voting for when they elected a clown to their congress in 2010….an actual, illiterate clown, no less. Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva (professional name Grumpy the Clown”), who ran using the campaign slogan, “It can’t get any worse,” got over 1.3 million votes (more than double the number of votes for his nearest challenger) by promising to do absolutely nothing if elected, other than finding out what they do with their time in Congress and telling the voters. Now that’s what I call a candid-ate.

    GRUMPY THE CLOWN! GRUMPY THE CLOWN! GRUMPY THE CLOWN! He da mano*!

    *Mano is slang for “man” in Portuguese (the language of Brazil).

     

     
    • Don Frankel 6:10 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If the dead can vote then by God I say they can also serve!

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    • mistermuse 8:12 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I would vote for a dead tax collector every time.

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    • arekhill1 9:59 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I salute the Brazilian clown, and if I had the time, energy and moral character suited for any kind of office, would happily run on a program of doing absolutely nothing except cash my paycheck.

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    • mistermuse 10:48 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Despite the fact that we already have enough clowns in Congress unsuited for office and accomplishing nothing, I would vote for you, Ricardo, because as Grumpy said, “It can’t get any worse.” Just kidding – I don’t know how, but it probably could get worse. 🙂

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    • Michaeline Montezinos 9:04 pm on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I would vote for both of you, mistermuse and Richard on the very fact you are both so knowledgeable about politics that in doing nothing you both may stem the dam of repitive gerymandering and hypocritical assumptions. 😉

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    • mistermuse 7:06 am on August 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t forget Don Frankel – since his hip operation, I’m sure he’s very knowedgeable too.
      I would also vote for you, Michaeline, just on general principles – such as the idea that you would vote for me.

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  • mistermuse 8:12 am on June 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 72 virgins, , , Lady Liberty, Politicians, , Statue of Liberty, Trojan Horse   

    BEWARE OF GEEKS BEARING GIFTS 

    Yesterday I read in USA TODAY that the Statue of Liberty was not a gift from the government of France to the people of the United States. In an article headlined “Unmasking the myths behind Lady Liberty” (expounding on a new book by Elizabeth Mitchell titled Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty), it was further revealed that French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi “did not like most Americans. He thought that they were more interested in money than art.” Can you imagine that!

    Like you (assuming you are like me), I am of course highly insulted by such an insinuation….especially coming from a man who, as he was building it, “put parts of the statue on display with an admission charge” and “copyrighted the statue’s image, intending to get paid every time it was used in ads, postcards and trinkets.” A French artiste should be rich enough to finance such a work with his own funds, just like an American artist.

    In any case (no thanks to the French government), sufficient funds were raised and the rest, as they parlez-vous, is history….speaking of which, the above revelation got me to thinking about how many other celebrated “gifts” haven’t been all they seem on the surface.

    The legendary Trojan Horse story is undoubtedly the most famous of them all, hence the well known saying, Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. In a more general sense, of course, what can top politicians promising anything to get elected? And, not to beat a dead horse, many religions promise eternal bliss in heaven for behaving yourself while going through hell on earth. ‘Twas ever thus.

    Satirical geek that I am, my favorite has to be the 72 virgins promised to Islamic martyrs by Muhammad/the Koran — 72 “young, full-breasted” virgins, no less. I must admit that this one is the most persuasive of all. At my age, this holds the future promise of being as good as it gets.

     

     

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 10:02 am on June 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The 72 virgins dilemma represents all our contradictory thinking about Heaven. The decision when admitted and then confronted by all these full-breasted teenagers, of whether to assault them all at once or only to deflower one every several thousand years or so to extend one’s eternal pleasure, is hardly an easy one. Makes being an Islamic martyr seem even less appealing to me.

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    • mistermuse 11:07 am on June 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      American virgins should thank their lucky stars that they don’t have to take male chauvinism (which is from the French “chauvin”) lying down, as they would if they were Islamic. Frankly, if I were a deceased Islamic virgin, I would demand more say in the matter; what could an Islamic martyr do to her if she won’t cooperate – she’s already dead.

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    • Don Frankel 8:45 am on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I like you am highly insulted by this news. I have decided to stop eating French fries and French toast from now on. And, I hate to be the guy who throws the monkey wrench in here but the virgins get to paradise because they are virgins. That’s their claim to fame or ticket in. So why would they give up being virgins once inside? Ah ha. Now imagine spending eternity with 72 virgins.

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    • mistermuse 9:50 am on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      So much for converting to Islam. Guess I’ll stick with Deism, a non-prophet organization.

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    • Don Frankel 6:56 pm on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      arekill1 makes the same mistake that I guess every terrorist makes. He assumes that they are young and nubile. But just where does it say that? It just says virgins. There is no age listed and no pictures.. They are not on facebook. And, I don’t think you can complain much when you’re on the other side. As Muse points out you’re already dead. They sort of got you by the short hairs.

      Muse does a no-prophet organization mean there are no mottos or sayings? You know seek and ye shall find, maybe?

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    • mistermuse 8:31 pm on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, for the answer to your first question, I turned to http://www.straightdope.com – with a name like that, you know you’re getting the straight dope (as opposed to homo dope, I presume). It turns out that, like the Bible, there are various versions of the Koran, one of which says, “Verily, for the righteous, there will be a paradise; gardens and grapeyards; and young full-breasted maidens of equal age.” Naturally, that version is just the ticket to the martyr’s afterlife that fundamentalist Muslims are hot to ride….it’s known as the Raging Hormones version (OK, I made that last part up, but the rest is the straight dope).

      As for non-prophets, the likes of Mark Twain may not be prophets, but with wise men like him and many others whose sayings I’ve quoted, who needs prophets?

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      • Don Frankel 4:44 am on July 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Muse always, I mean always read the fine print. It says “full-breasted maidens of equal age”. That only means they are large and the women were born around the same time. Also it doesn’t say anybody is going to do anything just that they’ll be there.

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    • mistermuse 7:17 am on July 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I’m glad you pointed that out, because it just goes to show how different interpretations of Holy Books screw people up. What that Koran passage means to you sounds logical to me, but I’m betting that an Islamic fundamentalist reads “equal age” as meaning “equal to HIS age.” And if those maidens are going to “be there” – well, what else would they be there for but to make righteous whoopee happily ever after?

      Logic versus hot male hormones/religious fervor? No contest!

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  • mistermuse 10:43 am on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Devil's Dictionary, George Stephanopolous, , , Politicians, ,   

    POL POTLUCK 

     

    April 17 being both NATIONAL CHEESEBALL DAY and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH DAY, my thoughts naturally turn to politics and politicians as subject matter for today’s post. Of course, many politicians are unintentional comedians, so there is a verbal plethora of political humor to choose from — too much, in fact, to arrange here in any coherent fashion in one day (not that I would care to do so anyway, had I the election of a plethora of days). I’ll start with an entree — The Devil’s Dictionary definition of politics — followed by a potluck buffet of jokes, quotes, axioms, etc. in no pontifical order:

    Politics, n.  A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.  –Ambrose Bierce

    Four surgeons are taking a coffee break and discussing their profession. The first says, “I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered.”
    The second says, “I think librarians are the easiest. You open them up and everything is in alphabetical order.”
    The third says, “I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded.”
    The fourth says, “I like to operate on politicians. They’re heartless, mindless, spineless, and their heads and their asses are interchangeable.”

    We’ll let the other countries of the world be the peacekeepers and the great country called America be the pacemakers.  –George W. Bush

    “I have had great financial sex.”  –Presidential candidate Ross Perot (intending to say “financial success“)

    Congress is strange: a man gets up to speak and says nothing; nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.  –Evan Esar

    “I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.”  –Dan Quayle, former Vice President

    The highest function of conservatism is to keep what progressiveness has accomplished.  –R. H. Fulton

    “The American peole’s expectations are that we will fail. Our mission is to exceed their expectations.”  –George W. Bush

    The chief defect of a democracy is that only the political party out of office knows how to run the government.  –Evan Esar

    “The President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.”  –George Stephanopolous, former aide to Bill Clinton

    I have never found in a long experience in politics that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance.  –Harold Macmillan 

    “This is a great day for France!”  –Richard Nixon (while attending President DeGaulle’s funeral)

    Etc., etc., etc….

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 10:58 am on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I thought financial sex was screwing people out of their money. Happy Cheeseball Day!

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    • mistermuse 12:27 pm on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’re right on the money. By the way, today is also National High Five Day, a day when politicians celebrate their biggest scores of the past year in that regard.

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    • Don Frankel 3:12 am on April 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      No matter what they do or what they say, they are spending your money. In all fairness and why should we be fair, but in all fairness if you speak in public enough you’ll say some stupid things. Of course some people make a career of it. Sorry to pick on Dick Nixon, and he said we wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore, but he said one of my favorites. He was President and sex was the issue of the day and in the middle of some speech he said. “When it comes to the question of sex, no one can stand pat.” Of course he was married to Pat Nixon. Even he laughed at that.

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    • mistermuse 6:19 am on April 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Don. Some of the “stupid things” said by politicians are the spoken equivalent of written typos — funny but entirely excusable (like what Dick Nixon said about standing pat, which I hadn’t heard before).

      On the other hand, some guys’ verbal screwups (and it’s usually guys, notwithstanding the Sarah Palins of the world) are so ingrained and such a window into their real self that you have to question their capability for the office they hold or seek. To me, the poster child for this is former VP Dan Quayle, who I shudder to think what this country would’ve endured if he had become President. No doubt many right-wingers feel the same about current VP Joe Biden, but his malapropisms strike me as being of the “typo” type, not of being gravitas-and-insight challenged (if I’m not being too unkind).

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  • mistermuse 7:44 pm on November 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , political equivocation, Politicians, poolitical humor,   

    POLITICS MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY (AND MEANING IT) 

    Some men would rather be right than be President, while others are not so particular.  — Evan Esar

    The PEANUTS comic strip in this morning’s paper had Peppermint Patty asking Roy what you do when something you “really believed was going to happen didn’t happen?” Roy answers, “Well, you could admit you were wrong.” Peppermint Patty replies, “Besides that, I mean.”

    Now that’s humor that hits the nail on the head, which may be a cliche (like DENIAL IS NOT A RIVER IN EGYPT), but it’s a cliche because it’s right on target. Guilt-evasion, admission-advoidance and denial practicioners excel in many professions — one of my favorites is end-of-the-world prophets who always manage to come up with excuses why their predicted Armageddon dates come and go, yet we’re still here — but life is too short to delve into many professions. Politicians alone comprise a category of equivocation beyond belief, so it’s enough to let their cup runeth over onto this page….in their own words:

    It depends on what the meaning of “is” is.  — Bill Clinton

    I hope you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you’ve heard is not what I meant.  — Richard Nixon

    First, it was not a strip bar, it was an exotic club. And second, I’m a night owl.”  — Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry (when accused of inappropriate behavior at a strip joint)

    I was walking around dictating responses and simply wanted to make sure the pieces of paper were not weighing me down.  — British Cabinet Secretary Oliver Letwin, after having been caught dumping sensitive Government papers in park bins.

    I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.  — former NYC mayor David Dinkins

    Oh, did I say Norwegian army? What I really meant was that he’s with Britain’s special forces on a totally secret foreign mission, so I can’t tell you where he is or anything.  — Norwegian parliament member Saera Khan, who claimed, after Norwegian parliament refused to pay her $7750 cellphone bill, the charges were satellite phone calls to her boyfriend, a Norwegian special services soldier (she finally admitted the calls were to psychic hotlines after the British ISAF repudiated her claim)

    Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.  — Mississippie Senator Trent Lott

    I simply misremembered it wrong.  — Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, regarding claims he’d made about his military record, including having been Naval Intelligence Officer of the Year, having commanded the Pentagon War Room and served in Desert Storm.

    Well, it doesn’t sound [appropriate] now, [if] you bring it up that way.  — Texas state representative Joe Driver, in response to revelations that he’d been routinely double-billing the government for travel expenses despite his opposition to the “big spending habits of liberals in government.”

    I never know what I’m going to say until I say it, so I am kind of interested in hearing what I think.  — South Carolina state representative John G. Altman

      

     
    • Ricardo 8:01 pm on November 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      And you compiled this list without a single Bushism! Very commendable. Personally, I’m not the type of guy who resists low-hanging fruit, so never forget “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

      That’s Dubya at the peak of his powers!

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:06 pm on November 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a classic, Ricardo.
      I ran across many classic Bushims in compiling this list, but none seemed to go well with the theme of this post, so i gave him a pass. I added the Norwegian parliament member quote after posting my original list, so I may add an appropriate Bushism tomorrow if I feel like doing more research and can find one that fits.

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