The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The August Absurdity Award: The DUMBASS (Final results)

UPDATE:  After a few weeks of additional deliberation the August Absurdity Award has been award to John Boehner.   Boehner's comments about 'getting 98 per cent of what he wanted', at a time when the U.S. Government required a common debt ceiling increase was stupefying  regarding the level of obstruction and silliness that lives on the political Right.

As the Leader of the 112th Congress and third in lien for the Presidency, his management of his repsosnbilities has turned into a fiasco.

Boehner has obvious problems with a major cancerous constituent group and he has an ever-present clown (EIB network) watching over his every move.  Life has to be horrible for the Speaker; but then he asked for the privilege.

He is our hands-down winner of the August DUMBASS.

The August 2011 Absurdity Award (The DUMBASS)


Alas, the unforgettable month of August 2011 is behind us.  The nation made it through the month but August was but another 31 day period filled with the absurd.  As we reflect back to through the month, we can only feel as if we drug ourselves to August 31, like an injured soldier clinging to life but resigned to eternity.  Life prevailed but the nation is even more maimed than on August 1, 2011.

The month experienced stock market performance that saw 'blue-chip' stock performance at its lowest level  since 2001.  The Dow Jones Industrial average shed 4.3% for the month while the Nasdaq and S & P 500 shed 6.2% and 4.7% respectively.

We watched and shuddered when filling our gas tanks without seeing five straight days of prices declines.  Prices were up and down like a dizzying roller-coaster.

The political climate remained uncooperative and stale with a few particularly noteworthy hits during the month.  Those hits may come up as you read on.

Never-the-less, and without fail,  the month was replete with candidates for the August Absurdity Award (The DUMBASS).

The Nominees for the DUMBASS.

Nominee: Marco Rubio, (R) Senator Florida, is our first nominee. Mr. Rubio is a first term U.S.  Senator and has an eight years plus history in the Florida State Literature.  Despite his less than two (2) year service in the U.S. Senate, he is rumored to be a 'sure' candidate for the GOP Presidential Ticket in 2012.   He must be the classic model of the GOP as he has received no scorn from one top leader of the GOP: Rush Limbaugh.

Rubio claims the first honor as August Nominee is the result of comments related to Medicare and Social Security. He delivered the remarks on the U.S.Senate Floor.  An exert from his speech:

These programs weakened us as people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government's job.
Senator Rubio speaks "republican speak' very well for one who has been in the nations' capital for less than two years.   He shows the insensitivity of the well-to-do better than any I have heard over the past few weeks.  He speaks of families taking care of the ill. He speaks about caring for ill family members as if the nation is still in the early to mid 1900s.  Does Mr. Rubio not realize that health care cost have risen in increments of hundreds of percent since the early 1900s?  How can the Senator from Florida underestimate the value of quality-of-life for seniors who do not have to rely on their children for sustaining  (financial) life?   He comes across as a man who does not understand the overwhelming significance of independence that is inherent in our 'baby-boomer' generation.  He is truly a lost person.  

A few facts:

Social Security is not an entitlement program that is pending insolvency until at least 2035.  The fix for this 2035 problem lies in a simple tax fix.  If our politicians would simply remove the Social Security Cap of max. tax level of $106,800 per year, people who earn more would pay more into the system.  Does Mr. Rubio not realize that there are millions who pay no Social Security tax after the first few months of the years. "Remove the Cap".

Medicare is a program that need serious intervention. Do we not pay our members of Congress to come-up with solutions to such problems without simply reaching for the 'easy fixes'?  Increasing the eligibility age for Medicare is one such example. The eligibility requirement may have to change but it does not have to be the first (back-slapping/high fiving) fix out of Congress?

Mr. Rubio's remarks embody all that is the GOP or the GOTP.  Yet, he will never seek one cent from the nation's well-off to help offset the short-comings of programs that benefit people.

Nominee:  John Boehner.  The Speaker of the House  provided significant fodder for those who will write U.S. History.  In addition to maintaining  an aura of 'no cooperation after a post 'golf date outting' with the President of the United States, Boehner left a couple of notable actions open for his legacy.

After the lowering of the nation's AAA Credit Rating by Standard and Poors, Mr. Boehners post debt ceiling 'deal' comments are stark and disgusting.  "..... I got 98% of what I wanted", he said on camera.  Within hours the credit rating agency lowered the nation's AAA Rating  (to AA+) for the first time in U.S. History and published a report that clearly labeled a lack of political cooperation and refusal to consider possible relief from our financial problems with 'balanced measures.' How could Boehner  have shown such shortsightedness when all three credit agencies had threaten lowering the rating if our problems were not addressed.  

One last act of pure absurdity. It appears that President Obama and his team may have exercised a degree of political one-ups-ship in requesting an opportunity to address the full House to deliver his long-awaited 'jobs initiative; but the final decision is suspect'.  The timing is a bit suspicious as it coincides with an oft rescheduled GOP debate.   That said, it is being reported that Boehner was not completely against the request early in the day of August, 31.   If reports are accurate as of 11:55AM Boehner had not objected to the request.  The reports are inclusive of the following from the leader of the GOP/GOTP....

Limbaugh on Boehner (audio only)  

What he oughta do is say 'no' and offer September 6th, September the 8th, September the 9th, September the 10th...whatever, but he doesn't get September the 7th. He should do this. It's very simple. He says to the president, 'you did not consult me before you publicly issued the date. You were obviously trying to disrupt the plans at the Reagan Library. You're going to have to learn that if you really want to work together as you repeatedly claim, Mr. President, I'm gonna show you how it's done. Here are the dates that you can have."
Mr. Boehner, followed the lead of his party leader; truly absurd.  I will not go into the advantages of allowing the speech to take place as requested as we have other candidates for The DUMBASS.

Nominee:       Fox News is certainly a candidate for the August Absurdity Award.  Of course, the Ruppert Murdoch owned and Roger Ailes managed network could receive monthly status as a nominee  for The DUMBASS.  An August segment stands-out as a revealing snapshot of how the networks works.  The segment includes former O.J. Simpson trial on-air legal commentator, Great Van Sustren, and the inimitable Right-Wing political operative, Karl Rove.  In response to a question about media handling to the (WHINY) Palin, a Fox News employee, Rove took a turn that FOX producers found unacceptable. Rove's segment as summarily ended after he failed to respond to Van Sustrens effort to deflect him 'of'f comments about Palin's 'thin-skin'.    (VIDEO)

Palin remains a salacious draw for FOX News despite poll results indicting that 90% of GOP voters have no interest in her as a candidate for high office.  No surprise about Fox News as we all know the network is about Right-Wing ratings vs pursuit of journalistic integrity. Yes, absurdity exudes at Fox news.

Nominee: Michelle Bachmann, of course, added to her growing list of notably insane comments.  During the month of August, the following took place.    On the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, Bachmann Again blurted out a clear indication of  'constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth'.  She yield-out the following:
"Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today," said Bachmann while speaking in the Palmetto State. "We played you a little bit of promise land when we pulled up. You can't do better than Elvis Presley."
Elvis was born on January 8, 1935.
If you follow the ever-present mental lapses and communication SNAFUs  of Bachmann you will remember her proclamation of being in the hometown of John Wayne, when actually she was in the birthplace of John Wayne Gacy, noted serial killer.

How very absurd!

  I will stay away from Ms Bachmann's association of Hurricane Irene with God's wishes.  Inclusion of such a remark would disqualify Bachmann from consideration for The DUMBASS based on the insane nature of the remark. We  strive to maintain the integrity of The DUMBASS.   Herewith is a list of Bachmann's 10 most crazy quotes.   We wish to also point out that this is the very same member of Congress who loudly claimed that during his trip to India, President Obama was spend 2 million dollars per day and deployment 220 naval vessels, occupation of 200 hotel rooms. She retracted the statements with an omission that the information came from an Indian blogger.  

Nominee:  Eric Cantor's 'in your face of tragedy',  remarks that indicated less assistance to people whose lives would be ruined by Hurricane Irene ( just as was the case after the historic tornado destruction in Joplin, Missouri).  Since you probably know the full scope of Cantor's asininity, callousness, and foolishness, I will not add to this writing.

Hurricane Irene left the nation with more than 41 people dead in 12 States, more than 75 billion in property losses, homeless people (Outside of the horrors of a city like New Orleans), and 9.1 million lost power.  Yet, the House Majority leader continued to rant about offsetting critical ad with matching budget cuts.

His level of crass and callousness definitely places him in the realm of the absurd.

Nominee:  The Debt Ceiling debacle.  The national debt ceiling became a political hot potato during the months of July and August.  The common 'non-issue' boiled up to the level of agreement during August.  since its inception, The DUMBASS has never been awarded to more than a single honoree. As we considered the completely political manifestation, it is clear that it became an issue for two reasons:    The GOP wanted it to be an issue and President Obama and his team again failed in strategic thinking and planning.  President Obama first.

The job of President of the United States is by far the most difficult and intricately complicated leadership position on Earth.  I, nor you, can imagine the full scope of the level of detail and the extent of distractions that plaques our Commander-in-Chief.  In an ideal world the President and his Cabinet have the luxury of working through issues with a less than heightened sense of strategic urgency. It goes without saying an issue such as raising the national debt ceiling has  been historically treated as a matter of formality;  no resistance from the U.S. Congress.  You are aware of recent history regarding signing-off on raising the ceiling, so I will not repeat how easy was  increasing the debt ceiling for all past Presidents.   The issue was compounded this year based on new dynamics in Right-Wing politics.  The Tea Party, and virtually all top GOP candidates for president adopted a common refrain: "Shut Er Down".  Shut down the U.S. Government with all associated  downsides.  So, you say that I have not touched on any reason that our President should be part of the consideration for The DUMBASS?

If you noticed above, I  stated the words, strategic planning.  If competent strategic planning includes an assessment of the environment (Both internal and external to any entity), the president and his team failed miserably in that (strategic) aspect of their jobs. Every leader of the GOP (In Congress) and outside of Congress (Rush Limbaugh and others) declared a wish for Administration failure from the day of his 2009 inauguration to date. One Mitch McConnell declared his desire for failure to the point of a public declaration. That translate into a serious 'wish for failure'.

If the environment was that obvious, how could the president and his team fail to approach issues of national significance without focused strategies or approaches to upcoming issues.  How difficult would it have been to double down on the GOP's desire to renew the Bush Tax cuts?  Double-down means (in this context) coupling the debt ceiling into that set of negotiations. Some will say that it was far too far in the future to know it was going to be a problem.  Again, I posit, failure to perform competent strategic planning.  How far in the future is too far, if some have declared themselves as 'enemies'?

Since, I have touched up the obstructionist intent of the GOP, I can dispense laying out the fallacy of the GOP regarding this issue. It is worth noting the impact of the debt ceiling fiasco on the nation's credit rating.  As it was a manufactured issue from the GOP, the obstructionism joins an amazing list of astronomically stupid decisions and actions from the RIGHT.

Those are the August nominees for the DUMBASS.

For the first time, the committee will defer the decision on awarding the DUMBASS for one week.  We will address that decision in a moment.

As has been the case since early 2011, the DUMBASS award is always accompanied by a runner-up award.  We are going to, for the first time, go ahead and award the lowly  runner-up honors.


The lowly honors for the August 2011 DUMBASS runner-up award goes to......wait, wait... the award is being awarded outside of the stated nominees.

The award is being given to the voting public.    Millions obviously used their faith in RIGHT-Wing campaign prowess and RIGHT-wing political machinery as an impetus to go into voting booths and elect a cancer in the U.S House or Representatives.  We elected enough Tea Party members to throw our federal government into something akin to an insane madhouse. The electorate did not stop at the federal level. We also elected numerous GOP governors and state legislators from the RIGHT.  The impact of the state level elections has become all too obvious via attacks on public service collective bargaining, cuts to education programs, forced drug testing for aid recipients (and inside story that is unfathomable), cuts in programs to the needy and lay-offs.

The Tea Party is singularly responsible for core obstruction on issue that are critical to the well-being of the nation.  Since, you are probably an informed progressive, a curious independent, or a voter who voted for the RIGHT in 2010 and now realize the errs of you vote, there is no need to provide words about the Tea Party.

If you voted to elect officials who have turned out to be virtual killers of our economy and staunch allies of maintaining a hands-off on increasing taxes for the nation's wealthy, you are a recipient of the

The Award is a Top-Hat of distinction that will clearly label you as an informed voter and one who is actively responsible for a lack of progress in moving the nation from the 'dark ages' (2000 to 2009). Wear it well!

To finish off the consideration for award of the August Absurdity Award, we are going to leave the voting open for one week.  We have never had six potential recipients and would like your help in deciding.  After one week we will tally the votes and announce the  August winner.

Since we expect the voting to be less than light, you individual vote may actually carry significant weight in awarding this honor.  So, let's us know you thoughts, or better yet, offer up another nominee and tell us why you submitted the name.

We will be watching for you vote or recommendation....

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