Well, the winter season is here, and it feels like I’m snowed in at a horror movie ski cabin full of lunatics, idiots and psychopaths.  The door is blocked.  There is no way out.

Listen–it’s Trump’s Freedom Kids, singing their patriotic little hymn again.  Over here, USA!  Over there, USA!

Hillary is at the party too.  She is cackling at everyone’s jokes, wondering why nobody finds her likable.

Bernie and Trump are playing a game of I’ll do you one better.  “I’ll make America great again!”  “I’ll make America even better than America!  I’ll make it Sweden!”  “I’m gonna win!” Trump yells.  “I’m gonna win!” Bernie mumbles.

“Neither one of you is going to win!” I want to say, but there’s too much clatter just outside the living room door.  Out there, religious fanatics are beheading and shooting people, and blowing things up.  Great.  We’re going to have to bomb the kitchen and the pantry.

In the corner lurks the scariest person of them all, Ted Cruz.  “You know why all this is happening?  Because we’re weak,”  he whispers in that smooth telemarketer tone of voice.  “We need to become religious fanatics just like them, otherwise we’ll lose…”

I want to scream, I want to wake up from this nightmare, but I can’t, because this isn’t a dream.  I really am stuck, spinning around on a blue marble with these crazies, unable to get off.  When is the Mothership coming to pick me up?  When are the snows going to melt?  Please, let me out of here, preferably before my head explodes.

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When I was younger, I used to daydream about Prince.  I would imagine what it would be like to be at one of the legendary parties at his mansion.  These were your typical lame-ass young girl fantasies.  Prince would come trotting out in his stilettos like the sexy little satyr that he was and he would play guitar for us.  Perhaps our eyes would meet for one magical moment.

But then I grew up, and I got a newsflash courtesy of Cold Hard Reality:  I would never actually go to one of Prince’s parties.  It just wouldn’t happen, in the same way that I would never date that old school crush or become a good dancer.  It wasn’t a painful realization, as by then my life had turned out to be far more unpredictable and meaningful than any celebrity fantasy could be.

The problem is, I live in a nation which still believes it’s going to get invited to the party.  Too many of my fellow Americans suffer from the mansion party syndrome.  They genuinely believe that one day they will be friends with Donald Trump.  One day, they too will be winners.  They will find a way to get rich.  Maybe they will make some brilliant investment, or their singing talents will be discovered on Youtube.  Or maybe they will win a million dollars on a reality show.

Here’s the thing–you won’t.  Your chances of joining that club are tiny to slim.  And that’s fine.  But please, don’t vote based on the delusion that your membership in that club is possible.  Stop voting against your own best interests.  You keep thinking that the oligarchs would love to be BFFs with you.  You’re waiting on the curb with that sad little bouquet, but your prom date isn’t coming to pick you up.  Wealthy and powerful America isn’t going to make out with you in the back of the limo.  They don’t care about you.

So don’t vote for the mansion.  Vote for who you are, for your little house or apartment, if you still have it, because even that is slipping through your fingers already.  There’s no shame in being a regular working person–you’re the one building this country, not Trump.  You deserve to have a glamorous party thrown in your honor for all the blood and sweat you put in every day.  Since that will never happen, at least stand up for yourself, and when Donald or Ted ask you out to the dance, turn them down.

“Well, are you ready for a fairy tale?”

“Oh, yes!  Things have been so depressing lately.  Tell me a good one, Uncle Fox!”

“Once upon a time, there was a future President who was born deep in the African savannah, under the acacia trees.  From the time he was a little boy, it was his goal to bring the Islamic faith to the American nation.  As a young man, he made the long, perilous journey from Kenya to America.  His Marxist mentors were already waiting here for him.  They subjected him to the toughest kind of mental training, until he was turned into the perfect instrument of subversion.  When he was ready, his handlers helped him infiltrate the Senate.  Little did the American people know that a fascist dictator would soon be unleashed upon them…”

“But I thought he was a Marxist…”

“Shhhhh!  Don’t ruin the story!  Remember, this is a fairy tale.  Now, do you want me to go on or not?”

“Yes, yes!  I’ll be quiet, I promise!”

“The young politician had strong black magic at his disposal…haha, see what I did there?”

“Hehehe!  You’re so politically incorrect, Uncle Fox!”

“Don’t I know it!  He used his magical spells to create all sorts of things out of thin air–cell phones, food stamps, birth control pills…  He enchanted the voters by showering them with free gifts.  He turned them into sheep and they elected him to the presidency.”

“Oh, no!”

“They were under his spell–they were unable to resist him.  And so, the long dark years of the new President’s reign began.  The people of the nation suffered…”

“Ooh, ooh!  Tell me about all the terrible things that happened.  Did they lose their jobs?”

“Well, actually…the economy improved.  But not as much as it could have!  Also, the President gave more people health insurance…”

“That doesn’t sound so bad…”

“Just wait, it gets worse!  There were weddings all over the land…”

“I love weddings!”

“But these were gay weddings!”

“Eep!”

“See what I mean?”

“Uncle Fox, I know another bad thing that this President did!  Mama told me that he used drone strikes to hit innocent people…”

“Silly bunny…drone strikes are a good thing!  Stop messing up my story!”

“Keep going, Uncle Fox…”

“Misery and evil descended upon the country.  Thankfully, there was a small band of brave Tea Party warriors who were willing to stand up against the dictator…”

“Wow!  What did they do?”

“Let me tell you!  They took out their…”

“Swords!”

“…flag pins!  They put on their patriotic flag pins, and they rallied with American flags and anti-Medicare signs.  They even dressed up as the Founders!”

“Awesome!”

“They were armed and ready!  When the time came, they pulled out their guns and…”

“And??”

“…took selfies with them!  They shared Facebook memes!  These were true freedom fighters.  We don’t have men like that around anymore.”

“Sigh…”

“Finally, the dictator’s eight-year term was about to come to an end, and the patriots were ready to breathe a sigh of relief.  But then the thing they had always feared came to pass.  The population of America was so mesmerized by its smart phones, they didn’t notice getting microchipped in the neck by the government.  Also, the military was easily able to go door to door and confiscate all the guns, since the gun owners were too busy blogging in their underwear about how they were going to assassinate the politicians they didn’t like.  The FEMA camps had waited around for years, but now, they were going to be used…”

“I’ve heard all about the FEMA camps!  What did the patriots do?”

“After the microchipping, they could no longer fight, so it seemed all hope was lost.  But God was on their side!  And so was a giant bald eagle!  The eagle grasped a nuclear bomb in its talons and dropped it on the dictator, annihilating him.  As the smoke of the explosion cleared, Jesus appeared in the clouds and appointed a new President, a godly one who would restore this nation to its biblical foundation of huge mansions and strippers with big hair.  President Cruz would rule the land in peace and liberty…”

“So all those stories about the voting machines malfunctioning in 2016 and President Cruz stealing the election are untrue?”

“Of course they are!  Those are all liberal lies.”

“And the stuff about our wages going lower and our pension funds getting stolen?”

“Don’t you worry your little bunny head about that nonsense!  Now that a real American is President again, we’re going to live happily ever after in the land of the free…”

“Awwwww, Uncle Fox!  You tell such nice stories.”

“Now hop along to the meadow, little one!  We need to fatten you up…I mean, make sure you’re healthy and well!”

“I’m on my way, uncle!  Thank you for everything and have a good night!”

“Sweet dreams, bunny!”

For your enjoyment, here is an inspiring video from a guy clearly angling to be a 2016 presidential candidate:

I like the American flag flapping patriotically in the breeze at the beginning of the ad–nice touch–but if Ted really wants to run for national office, he needs to stop stealing slogans from other campaigns.  The “Yes We Can” thing has been done before.  And in the rest of his CPAC speech, Ted also mentions “Hope and Change” as his motto, and finishes his performance with “morning in America”.  I get that borrowing the Obama stuff is meant to be sarcastic, but I can tell you from personal experience that sarcasm will only get you so far.  This man needs his own slogans.  And they shouldn’t be Dr. Seuss quotes, either.

Unfortunately, I’m not very helpful in this regard.  I’m terrible at trying to come up with ideas for Ted.  He certainly has policy positions he can write slogans about, but they don’t sound very catchy.  There’s Obamacare–“It’s Finally Working!  Let’s Repeal It!”  There’s his call to abolish the IRS–you could go with “Sick And Tired Of Roads!” or “Food Stamps Are For Losers”.  I’m pretty sure Ted is in favor of privatizing Medicare and Social Security, so perhaps an empowering chant of “Old People Can Make It!” might be nice, or even an #oldpeoplestrong, a la Boston Strong.  And since the GOP is trying to repackage old moral values and sell them to the millennials, maybe a suggestive ad with two beautiful people and the tagline “Conservatives–Making Sex Feel Dirty Again” would do the trick.

Finally, a slogan to help Ted market himself to his fellow Latinos–“Build The Wall And Kick Them Out!”

So you can see the problem.  I really do suck at this.  Luckily for Ted, he will have professionals doing this kind of work for him.  Let’s hope they come up with something that has at least a bit of an original ring to it.

April Fools has come and gone, yet people continue to promote ideas so ludicrous I can only assume they’re pranks being played on us.  Perhaps this entire year should be dedicated to the Fool.  Here are some of the best jokes so far:

Paul Ryan:  “My plan to replace Medicare with a voucher was such a huge success, I’m totally going to bring it back.”

Chris Christie:  “I’m innocent!  My lawyer buddy says so.”

Sarah Palin:  “The Republican budget plan doesn’t cut enough benefits for the poor!”

Paul Ryan again:  “The pre-existing condition clause of the Affordable Care Act is wildly popular.  But I’m sure nobody will mind if we repeal it.”

Ann Coulter:  “If they really want to endear themselves to the voters, conservatives should keep making comments about rape.  For instance–immigration is just like rape.”  (Thanks to the Kavalkade Krew for drawing my attention to this one.)

Vladimir Putin:  “Ukrainians long to be freed by their beloved Russian brothers.”

Kim Jong Un:  “I haven’t done enough executions.  Let’s try one with a flame thrower.”

Miley Cyrus:  “America is in love with my sexiness!”

Ted Cruz:  “America is in love with my intellect!”

If this is any indication of what this year will be like, I will spend the rest of it in constant fits of laughter…or weeping.  I haven’t yet decided which.

Turns out that scientists have been unable to find any trace of time travellers on the Internet.  I know–I didn’t realize there were scientists looking for signs of online time travel, either.  Physicists at Michigan Technological University decided to adopt the strategy of coming up with two phrases–“Pope Francis” and “Comet Ison”–that were not in popular use before 2012 or 2013, and Googling for any earlier use of these words, to see if a time traveller may have been dropping hints on the Internet.

But nope, nothing.  So either time travel doesn’t exist, or our future selves are so spiritually enlightened that we no longer waste our time endlessly surfing the Web.  Since that second option is unlikely, I’ll go with “time travel doesn’t exist”.  Unless whoever travelled in time just didn’t care about either Pope Francis or comet Ison.  Maybe they were too busy predicting the rise of twerking?

Looks like we’ve got no time travelling, no prophecy–we’re stuck with the good old-fashioned method of guessing what will happen.  Some of our guesses are pretty good.  Presenting this article from back in 2004: 

Remember the name Barack Obama. You’ll be hearing it a lot as this election season unfolds.

Mr. Obama, a Democrat, is tall, thin, youthful and very smart, and he’s running (sometimes literally, depending on the schedule) for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois.

He’s got a million-dollar smile and he’s charismatic. At the moment he has a substantial lead in the polls. If that lead holds and he wins in November, he’ll be only the third African-American to take a seat in the Senate since Reconstruction.

His partisans describe Mr. Obama as a dream candidate, the point man for a new kind of politics designed to piece together a coalition reminiscent of the one blasted apart by the bullet that killed Robert Kennedy in 1968.

The article describes Barack Obama as the future of politics, but doesn’t get everything right.  The hilarious part of the prediction is that Obama will help the country’s politics be less divisive….I think the writer may have been overestimating the sanity of our nation.  Well, nobody is going to guess correctly 100% of the time…unless you are a time traveller reading this, in which case, tell us what the hell happens with Ted Cruz?

 

I can kind of sympathize with passionate conservatives at the moment.  Since the Democrats hold both the Presidency and the majority in the Senate, conservatives find themselves in the same position progressives like me have been in many times, valiantly struggling for the things they believe in without having the power to really make them happen, until that struggle turns into something a bit quixotic and silly.

There is no better example of this than the current conservative hero, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Conservatives sing his praises for sticking to his right-wing principles, but…what has he actually been able to get done?  So far, he is 0-to-11 in his Senate votes.  He has introduced a bill to repeal healthcare reform (snort).  He has voted against John Kerry’s confirmation for Secretary of State while attempting to smear him as anti-military, and lost that fight.  He has participated in the Chuck Hagel hearings and tried to make the Secretary of Defense nominee look anti-Semitic by quoting out of context from an interview in which Hagel in fact criticized Iran and emphasized the importance of a strong relationship with Israel.  When all else failed, Cruz threatened to filibuster Hagel’s nomination.  But this turned out to be an idea which other, more sane, Republicans are backing away from.  (And I’m using the word sane to refer to John McCain here, which feels like quite a stretch.)

I realize that when he does all this, Cruz is appealing to his conservative base.  But he is also not accomplishing much of anything.  His dramatic gestures may get attention, but that is all they are, gestures–like his letter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel opposing gun control measures.  I’m sure Emanuel cares deeply about that one. Again, as a liberal I feel some sympathy for Cruz here.  He’s like one of those tree sitting anti-logging protesters.  You know that tree will get cut down anyway, but good old Ted is gonna keep sitting up there.

But I guess I shouldn’t completely dismiss Ted–he proudly represents the red-blooded American values of a state like Texas.  At least, until the demographics shift and Texas turns blue.  Tee hee.