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Some people say that the recent earthquake in Washington D.C. was a sign that God is displeased with Barack Obama.

I spoke to God the other day and he told me that these people are partially but not entirely right.

He said, “I’ma tell you a secret. Bobby Boy. I’m God and I don’t diddle around with things of no consequence like Barry who, by the way, is a good guy but totally irrelevant in my scheme for mankind.”

That’s when I first learned that God is from the South. Nobody says I’ma except some cracker from Georgia. Don’t get me wrong, though. God is smart, smarter than any voice I ever heard.

“No, siree. I’ve got big plans. I mean big ones, boy. This is how it’s gonna work, see. I’ma punish the whole damn flock.”

That’s when I knew God was a regular guy, talking to me and saying regular things like damn.

“I’ma start little, with a earthquake see, get everyone thinking. Get ‘em scared. That’s how I work. Then I hit ‘em with something a little bigger, a hurricane, I’m thinking.”

“Wow. That’s smart, God.”

“Yeah, I’m a thinker. Always figuring how to scare people out of their pants. Keep ‘em guessing. Like those boys at Guantanamo.”

“What next, God.”

Well, I haven’t quite figured that one out, boy. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun. Even destroyed a few cities. Even floods. Worked for awhile but then, they fell right back to their old habits.”

“Could I ask a question, God?”

Sure, boy. And you don’t have to call me God. Just call me Sid. Everyone else does.”

“Well, Sid, I wonder if the problem has anything to do with sex.”

“Sex? What’s that?”

“It’s like when you said go forth and multiply.”

“Oh yeah. I vaguely remember that.”

“Well, I’m just thinking, Sid. You made multiplying so pleasurable that people practically do it in the streets. They even do it in schools and in the restrooms. People are multiplying everywhere.”

“I did not know that.”

“Nobody gives a damn about an earthquake or a hurricane. I mean, they don’t even slow down.”

“I think I’m getting your point. Go on.”

“Well, this might be the time to make multiplying not quite so pleasant.”

“I get it. I can threaten those politicians with a sex holiday or something like that.”

That’s it, Babe, er, Sid.”

“How would you like to sit at my right hand, Bobby Baby?”

“Love it. Let’s talk later. Right now, there’s a few things to think about.”

“What’s that? I thought I knew everything. I am God, you know.”

“Well, you’ve been busy, Sid. Natural for a girl in your position.”

“Is that a double entendre?”

“Not at all. You’re God, Sid. You can be anything you want, boy, girl, horse, computer, you name it.”

“Okay, go on.”

“Well, here’s my plan. Remember when you dispatched all the male children?”

“Vaguely.”

“Well, this time, you render the women in D.C. repulsive.”

“So?”

“It’ll drive the Democrats nuts.”

“What about the Republicans.”

“Their women are repulsive anyway. Save your energy.”

“So what’s your point, Bobby.”

“Well, Sid, the real problem in D.C. isn’t Obama, it’s the Republicans. They’ve got the Democrats running so scared I think we have a new species evolving, the spineless Democrat.”

“Hey, don’t use spineless in my presence. I’m the Intelligent Designer. I decide who and what evolves.”

“True, Sid, but the manufacturing process went awry someplace.”

“I see your point. What do I do?”

“Well, here’s how I see it. Feel free to chip in anytime. We’ll pull a reverse switcherroo on ’em. Instead of leaving Repub women repulsive, we’ll make ’em enticing.”

“You’re a good guy. I’m beginning to like this. Fire away.”

“Well, remember the lamb’s blood on the door of believers?”

“It’s coming back to me.”

“Well, this time, believers use the blood of a virgin and write R on their door. When you pass over, you touch all women within and, voila, they become irresistible reproducing machines.”

“Oh, Lord, I love it.”

“Here’s the kicker, Sid. The Republicans will become so tired from multiplying, they’ll call in sick every day and the Democrats can finally pass their own agenda. No more gridlock. Prayers will taper off and you can go fishing again.”

“God, you’re a genius.”

“Well, I try.”

“No, I meant me. I’m a genius. I’m assigning you to my staff immediately. Angel in Charge of Devious and Evil Ideas.”

“There is one hitch, Sid.”

“What’s that Angel?”

“The Republicans will probably spend so much time multiplying they won’t have time to worship you.”

“That’s okay, Bob. It’s time those uptight assholes relaxed, anyway.”

See, I told you God is a regular guy.

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Sometimes I feel like Barack Obama. I don’t mean I share his intellect or charisma and all that stuff. I’m talking about my status in life as a punching bag serving double duty as a pin cushion. Everything I do or say is met with instant criticism. This applies to all aspects of my life but it’s most notable in my eating habits. Here’s the latest example of what I’m talking about.

A few days ago, a woman of my acquaintance brought me something to eat that she had prepared at her home. I dutifully accepted it and placed the wrapped plate and its contents on the table. That’s when she said, “It’s a red snapper.”

I should have kept my mouth shut, thanked her, and thrown it away after she left, which is my usual means of handling food gifts. But I must have been in a bad mood that day. Honesty got the better of me.

Almost instinctively, I said, “I don’t like red snapper.”

I think my words touched a nerve in this nice little lady. Her demeanor shifted into prickly high gear.

These are her exact words. I am not making them up.  She said, “You’re the only man in the world who hates fish.”

Now, I’m familiar with the tendency of politicians to make leaps in logic. That’s their job. It’s a part of their innate DNA structure.

But this nice little lady? I’m still trying to figure out how she made a transition from the specifically named red snapper to the general class of fish. I finally concluded that the shock of my honesty rocked her very sense of being.s

Barrack has his own food-fixation problem. Only, in his case, his  problem extends far beyond a simple criticism of an irrelevant personal habit, although I’m sure someone has criticized him for his failure to divulge his preferences in male shorts. “Boxers or briefs, Mr. President.” In Barack’s case, everything he does or says is a food-fixation problem.

The latest mesmerizing event to enter his universe is a proposed mosque in New York City near 9/11 ground zero. The matter that has enthralled the American public revolves around Barrack’s statement about the proposed mosque. His remarks in their entirety can be found here. Oddly, or perhaps not since Americans have a strong tendency to prefer form over substance, the hullabaloo is almost exclusively about whether he should have said anything at all rather than the substance of his statement. In fact, the Republicans by and large agreed with him.

Yes, everyone agrees that Americans have a right to worship as they choose. Yes, in a capitalistic society everyone has a right to buy property and do pretty much as they choose with it.

And, certainly, America must remain a bastion of religious freedom as a beacon for the oppressed of the world.

But…and I’ve never heard so many “buts” in my life…these are turbulent times and a mosque at ground zero would exacerbate the negative picture good Americans already have of Muslims and possibly inflame our sensitivities.

I’m thinking about all of this as I watch a news report on one of those ubiquitous 24/7 news outlets staffed with generic news readers. According to the report, sixty-eight (68%) of the people polled were against the building of the mosque.

Why did they oppose it? Many of them said something similar to my analysis above. “Yes, we have freedom of religion, but in this case, building a mosque is a bad idea. There’s a difference between a right and the exercise of that right. Common sense is needed here. This is a provocative act and can only inflame Americans against Muslims.”

I tend to agree with the last sentence. We live in volatile times, and it doesn’t take much to raise the dander of Americans. But embedded somewhere in all of the comments that I read and listened to was an underlying theme somewhat similar to the logic of my nice little lady who made a leap from red snapper to fish. Somewhere along the line, the opponents of the mosque have leaped from “the people who want to build the mosque” to “all Muslims.”

Another thread running through the comments of the mosque’s opponents is the subtle threat that if anything happens, it won’t be our fault. The threat manifested itself most prominently when a talking head or a politician said, “Yes, they have the right erect a mosque and worship in it, but what is right and what is prudent aren’t always the same.”

The theme neatly relieves Americans of all responsibility for their failure to exercise any degree of self-control should they feel a need to take advantage of their Second Amendment rights. Phrased more succinctly, “The Devil made me do it.”

Seems to me I’ve heard that refrain in another context. Thank you, Designer in Chief, for giving me free will, but I sure wish you hadn’t sent me to hell when I decided to covet my neighbor’s wife.

When all is said and done, this will turn out to be another tempest in a teapot. Do you remember the Elian Gonzales case? Republican indignation evaporated the moment Elian departed for Cuba. The Republicans are going to use the mosque as a political football in the run up to the November election, hoping fervently for a Hail Mary. And the Democrats are going to cave on the issue just as Harry Reid has already done.

Obama had the courage and the honesty to speak up on the issue, although to be fair, he was rather wishy-washy. The best we can say at this point is that his wishy-washy is morally preferable to the Democratic rank and file’s genetic tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory using the simple tactic of silence.

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Today as I watched a “debate” moderated by Chris Wallace on Fox News between Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Graham called the Iraq debacle “…the greatest military success in the history of America, or maybe the world, against terrorism.”

Graham then proceeded to launch the usual broadside at Levin and the Democrats in general, firing the same old charges of “undercutting the generals, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, blah, blah, blah.”

When Levin’s turn rolled around, he launched into the usual whiney Democratic defense. “We aren’t undercutting the generals,” he moaned. “We support General Petraeus. It’s Prime Minister al Maliki who is undercutting the unification of Iraq.”

Levin is partially correct, of course, but his argument is irrelevant because it sends blame for the debacle elsewhere when it ought to be laid at the feet of the most incompetent administration in American history. That’s what Graham wanted today. He fully intended to shift any responsibility for the disaster elsewhere.

You may ask why I watch the Fox Propaganda Network. I watch because I am awed by the consistent and unwavering audacity of the Republicans and the consistent and unwavering spinelessness of the Democrats on every issue that arises in Congress.

The “debate” today is a good example. Here before my eyes, we had Graham characterize the greatest American foreign policy debacle bar none combined with the greatest military failure in American history into one great triumph.

Graham’s statement trumps “We aren’t retreating. We’re attacking in a different direction,” a term associated with the withdrawal of American forces from the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. We can understand the original version as a tactic for sustaining troop morale. But the current instance defies rationality.

Yet as illogical as Lindsay’s claim is, it falls in line with a Republican tactic developed when the Iraq failure became clear and the Democrats increased their criticism of the Bush administration. Democrats were accused of failing to “support the troops.” The charge still resonates today, with the requisite Democratic cringe response. In politics, never back away from a successful tactic.

Will Democratic logic ever overcome Republican illogic? No. The Democrats must understand a fundamental fact of human nature and translate their newly revealed truth into action: effective lunacy trumps ineffective sanity. The only way to win against a crazy tactic is to meet it with an even screwier one.

Here’s one that comes to my mind. The Republicans hate American foods like hamburgers, French fries, pizza, tacos and sushi, and American booze like Scotch whiskey and Napa wine.

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In direct contravention of my solemn vow yesterday to never watch the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, I relented for the sake of family unity. One cousin with more muscles than Hulk Hogan gently lifted me and carried me to a sofa where he positioned me gently before a flickering Magnavox televisioon set. Another with muscled tattoos sat beside me and growled in my ear.

The thick smoke in the room clouded my mind but I remember a couple of things.

Hillary scored a solid one-up over Obama when Woof Blitzem asked a Yes or No question: Do you support drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens? Obama talked for almost ten minutes. When he finally ran out of gas, Woof turned to Hillary who responded with a straight-to-the point “No” without further comment.

Woof seemed stunned, but Hillary’s supporters broke out in rousing cheers. In fact, they cheered every time Hillary opened her mouth and booed every time John Edwards or Obama opened theirs. The consistency of Hillary’s supporters pointed to a long rehearsal period.

All in all, this was a debate between Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. The others were mere background with an occasional spark. Chris Dodd, for example, answered a question in fluent Spanish. We learned that he had spent a couple of years with the Peace Corps in South America. Even one of my favoritres, Dennis Kucinick, seemed out of it.

Overall, here’s how we read the three main contenders:

Hillary: Came across as assured and in control. A much better performance than expected. She was well coached for this one, obviously a quick learner.

Obama: Seemed flustered and long winded. One generic talking head noted later that he doesn’t perform well in debates but is on his game when making speeches.

Edwards: Slick, photogenic, sincere, but tends to over-explain. If he gains the nomination, his hair will be a focus of Republican ridicule.

What about the issues? The main ones were the war, the cost of living, and illegal immigration. The candidates waffled mightily in their efforts to craft an answer to satisfy everyone. All were against the war, in favor of improving the economy, torn between the Democratic values of humanity and an overwhelming desire to pull in the votes.

Any zingers? Not really, but everyone tried. Edwards came as close as anyone when he remarked, “We aren’t piling on Hillary because she’s a woman but because she’s ahead.” Whether he was correct or not, the candidates seemed united in their resolve to knock her over. They failed. Hillary came away smelling like a rose in comparison.

To the credit of the debaters, all of them accepted and answered questions with good grace directly from the audience. Contrast the atmosphere in Vegas with the Texas Twerp’s controlled appearences. Yes, there were some planted questions. One woman became so nervous, she had to stop and start over again repeatedly to stick to a script. Her performance detracted from her message, which I’ve forgotten.

Nothing new surfaced in the couple of hours we watched and listened. If you supported a candidate, you came away with an interpretation favoring your guy or gal. No minds were changed.

I’m beginning to believe the Democrats will have a difficult task fielding an electable candidate. None of the current crop seems right. But who are viable alternatives? For some reason, my mind is blank.

Final assessment: Everyone must have gorged on waffles at I-Hop. But this is American democracy in inaction.

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