The Watering Hole, Wednesday, December 24, 2014: Obama Delays Christmas

Santa Camel

Faux Gnus has found a new way to attack President Obama, this time blaming him for delaying Christmas. According to Faux, lifting the embargo on Cuba will delay Christmas by several days this year.

Bill O’Lielee, of the O’Lielee Factor, picked up the banner. “By lifting the embargo on Cuba, well, Santa, you know, Santa stuck by the embargo these 50 years. So now the big guy has 50 years’ worth of Christmas presents to deliver.” Bill-O remarked. “Now, mind you, that just because they’re Communist, that doesn’t mean the little boys and girls of Cuba didn’t deserve Christmas presents from Santa all these years. But he couldn’t deliver them, because, you know, Santa is one guy who follows the rules, unlike President Obama.”

“Then, too,” O’Lielee continued, “he’s got a lot of coal to deliver down there. I mean, 50 years’ worth of coal for one of the naughtiest regimes on the planet. In fact, I believe Cuba is going to get so much coal from the North Pole, that if there is anything to this global warming, and personally I believe it is nothing but a big hoax perpetrated by a bunch of tree huggers, but if there is anything to it, Cuba may be responsible for cooking the planet up a few degrees with all the carbon they’ll have to burn.”

“Getting back to my main point, Obama’s ill-thought out plan to lift the embargo right before Christmas is going to delay this national holiday by at least a week, ’cause it’s going to take Santa that long to deliver his 50 year backlog of toys and coal to all those Cubans down there, the nice ones, and the naughty ones.

“So, boys and girls, when you wake up Christmas Morning and there’s nothing under the tree from Santa Claus this year, blame Obama. I know I will.

“This is Bill O’Lielee, for the O’Lielee Factor. Next up, Sarah Palin says she can see the North Pole from her house.”


The Watering Hole, Monday, March 17, 2014: Why All The Hate?

If you’re like me, not only are you incredibly smart and good-looking, you wonder why so many people on the Right hate, just viscerally hate, the President of the United States. The knee-jerk reaction is to say it’s because the Haters are (Insert Randomly Insignificant Criterion Here) and the President is Not, and that for most of the haters, the randomly inserted insignificant criterion would be race. Not necessarily. There’s a lot of people who hate the president, and there’s certainly a chunk of them with an IQ well below the three-digit range who think the color of his skin is reason enough to hate him. Thankfully, despite this group’s inability to grasp the concept of birth control, Natural Selection will prevent them from becoming a majority in this country. But they don’t account for all the Haters. Some of the Haters claim to be Christians who think the President is Not One of Them. They think he’s a Muslim. What’s really funny about that one is that these are the same people who said Obama shouldn’t be President because he sat in the pews of a Christian church for 20 years listening to the hate speech of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Well, Uptighty Righties, which is it? Is Obama a Muslim, or a Christian who listened to a kind of hate speech that differs from your own? None of your other reasons to hate him make sense, either. At least, none of the reasons coming from the Right. Some of us on the Left certainly have our problems with a number of areas of his Governance, but we don’t hate him for it. We’re disappointed as all get-out, but we don’t hate him. But you do. Why?

I hear many of you claim he’s a “Communist,” a “Marxist,” and even a “Fascist,” all at once. And I laugh, because if I don’t, I’ll start shaking my head in sadness until I’m overcome by sobbing fits, despondent over the intense stupidity of my fellow human beings. You can’t be a Marxist and a Fascist at the same time, and if you don’t know enough about them to understand why, you should really stay out of the political arena. I would also not only recommend, I would beg you to stay home on Election Day, or least don’t go near the polls to cast a vote. Your political awareness is on par with that of sea urchins, who are at least smart enough not to advertise their ignorance. I just can’t see how America’s best interests are served by letting you have a say in who governs it. But you’ll notice (or, more likely, I’ll have to point out to you) that I’m not calling for you to not be allowed to vote. That’s how many on your side of the political aisle solve an issue like that. If they don’t like the way they think someone is likely to vote, they make up some bullshit reason to deny him the right to vote at all. Our side doesn’t do that, nor do we put out fliers telling you the election is being held on another day. We just ask you to do what’s best for your country, and don’t vote until you learn what you’re talking about.

You can’t govern a country based on denying rights to the people who aren’t like you, especially when about 75% of the country is not like you! This is a Republic, and you are a small percentage of its citizens. We don’t need to put anybody in Congress who thinks like you because there’s something wrong with the way you think. You need mental health treatment. And we hope you’ll be happy to learn it’s covered thanks to Obamacare.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss what you think we should do about all the Haters, or anything else you want.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, June 5, 2013: Take a Hike…or Not


One of the best hikes anywhere in the world is the hike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It’s an 18 mile round trip, going about a mile up and back down, passing soakingly close to two waterfalls. The last 500′ is like Batman & Robin as you pull yourself up cables, at close to 8’000 feet in elevation. Fortunately, there are 2×4 planks every 10′ or so where you can stop and catch your breath.

And, one of the more remarkable things about the hike is the folks on the trail that are heading down as you are heading up – – always full of encouragement.

For the past several years, one could only make the climb by getting an advance permit. And, of course, enterpreneurs quickly found out how to beat the system and lock up numerous tickets, to be sold later at a premium. But no more.

Twitter, The Zoo's Top Investigative Journalist

Twitter, The Zoo’s Top Investigative Journalist

THE ZOO just learned that all hikes to the top of Half Dome have been suspended indefinitely.

Top secret documents in the Obama Administration reveal that the granite monolith has been sold to China. According to transcontinental communications intercepted by anonymous hackers within the Interior Department, Half Dome will be covertly dismantled over the course of the next five years; taken apart in blocks weighing 5 metric tonnes each, and shipped to China to be reassembled in a yet to be disclosed location. Under the guise of restoring the landmark to its original appearance when first viewed by John Muir, a gigantic scaffold will be erected, blocking from view the activities of stonemasons and heavy equipment.

As part of the deal, Obama gets to wipe out our current debt to China, estimated to be slightly over $1 trillion. In another interesting twist, Disney Corporation has already signed on to build an exact replica of the landmark. One leaked email noted Disney already has experience in replicating mountains, having re-created the ever popular Matterhorn in its theme parks. Fragments of communcations between the Interior Department and officials at Disneyland indicate the entertainment giant will have the rights to create “The Half Dome Experience” – some sort of theme ride involving the re-created national treasure.

Republican leadership in Congress is already on board with the project, in spite of their natural tendency to oppose anything Obama proposes. Although some expressed outrage at the selling of the world-renowned landmark, others noted that the only people who enjoyed such a thing were naturalists and other progressives. One even went so far as to point out that the Republican Party split with progressives when it left Teddy Roosevelt, the first, and only, progressive Republican. It was he that created the National Park System in the first place. Other Republicans secretly admired Obama for his naked capitalism: profiting from selling a national treasure, while at the same time allowing an American Company to reap untold profits in the future from selling The Half Dome Experience Rides.

A translation of one cable from the Chinese Consulate appeared to gloat. “This is great! We sell junk to America, and we can buy her most precious treasures one at a time.” The cable went on to muse about buying Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls, before wondering how much it would cost to buy Old Faithful.




The Watering Hole: Wednesday, March 6, 2013: The Sequester, Iran & the Virgin Islands.

Due to the sequester’s cutback in military spending, the Obama administration has had to scrub its plans to invade Iran. President Obama has decided to emulate President Reagan’s invasion of Granada by invading the Virgin Islands.

Republicans are in a quandry. Instinctively they oppose anything Obama proposes. But, in this case, Obama wants to invade the Virgin Islands without their consent. Given the Republican’s attitude towards rape, many are opting to blame the Virgin Islands for allowing themselves to be invaded by a black man, while others insist the troops be armed with vaginal ultrasound weapons as they establish their beachhead.

Open Thread Time.

Across the Pond – State of the Union – Press Roundup

Yesterday’s State of the Union Address has been aptly commented here on this very blog. But what do commentators this side of the pond say?

The Independent:

By turns pugnacious and inspirational, Barack Obama last night used his State of the Union address to table a laundry list of aspirations for his second term that ranged from achieving tax reform to increasing the minimum range and tackling issues from gun control to immigration and climate change.

[On Rubio:]

Speaking so fast his mouth dried to a crust, Mr Rubio accused Mr Obama of harbouring an “obsession with raising taxes”.  And he accused him of trying to demonise his party as the party of the rich. “I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbours,” Mr Rubio said.

(read more)

The Guardian:

As an agenda, it was impressive. Jobs, immigration reform, climate change, equal pay for women, the minimum wage, troop withdrawal, universal pre-school provision for the poor, gun control, voting reform – this was unapologetic in its liberalism and unstinting in its determination. (read more)

They graced Rubio with a transcript of his speech. Aaaand, they have a live blog with some really witty remarks as well.

The Economist:

“THERE is much progress to report,” Barack Obama stated with satisfaction at the beginning of his state-of-the-union address. He was referring to the improving health of the economy and the diminishing number of American soldiers in harm’s way abroad. But he might just as well have been speaking of his strategy for facing down Republican opposition in a time of divided government. (read more)

They mention Rubio, too, in that article.

I am still waiting if Der Spiegel will have an article on their English page, their take is basically that Obama took up the gauntlet I will link to it later, if I can (UPDATE: Here’s the link to the English page). Die Sueddeutsche is unimpressed by Marco Rubio who seems to have lost his glam as the Republican Saviour a bit.

Anyhow, I do think the job of SOTU rebuttal is somehow jinxed. A bit like the “Defense Against The Dark Arts” job in Hogwarts.

The Watering Hole – Saturday, September 22, 2012 – Red Lines

According to a report on Raw Story, Israel is trying to “thaw the frosty relationship” between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the White House. They are trying to set up a meeting between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama to discuss how far they will let Iran go in developing its nuclear capability. Obama is said to be angered by Netanyahu’s repeated calls for him “to set unambiguous ‘red lines’ for Tehran,” especially in the lead-up to the election. I have to say I agree. Netanyahu should keep his mouth shut until after the elections. Iran isn’t going to be building any nuclear weapons before then, and Netanyahu knows that. He lived and studied in the U.S., so he has seen how our election system works.

Jumping off into personal opinion land, I wonder what right Israel has to boss the United States of America around? When did the people of Israel elect our President? Israel does indeed have as much right to defend itself as anybody, but the criteria used for determining what constitutes a threat has to be the same as everyone else’s: Imminent danger. You can’t use the excuse that just because Iran “claims” they simply want a peaceful nuclear energy program, they’re really lying and trying to build a nuclear weapon to be used against Israel, as the rationale for attacking them, which is what Israel wants to do.

In essence, Israel is saying this: We “know” that ultimately this nuclear program will be used to build weapons that will be used against Israel, so we reserve the right (a right they don’t have, by the way), to strike at what we feel is an existential threat. An existential threat is really nothing more than a theoretical threat, and not an imminent threat. They want our approval (an approval they sometimes say they don’t really need) to attack Iran over what they might do down the road, not what they are actually about to do right now. This kind of thinking has to stop.

Russia is more of a threat to Israel’s security than Iran will ever be. Russia has nuclear weapons and often sides with Israel’s political enemies. Why isn’t Israel worried that Russia might give a nuclear weapon to Iran and preemptively bomb them? After all, by their logic they have every right to. And Russia isn’t theoretically building nuclear weapons, they already have, and way more than they need (since they are willing to discuss arms reductions with the U.S.) The United States needs to stop enabling Israel’s warmongering behavior, before innocent people die.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Israel or any other topic you wish. It’s a free country.