Why Republicans Have Found Jesus On Prom Night Over Benghazi Cash

Reading a breathless tweet about Senator Elizabeth Warren raising “blood money” off of the Benghazi tragedy this morning was not surprising. In the wake of John Boehner naming a “select committee” to investigate the consulate attack in 2012, the political back-and-forth last week was over the appropriateness of fundraising on the subject. Republicans have been raising money and beating that dead horse for some time now, but they suddenly seem keen to cast Democrats as the ones cynically mining campaign cash over the deaths of four Americans in Libya. Putting aside the fact that Republicans exploited the deaths of 2,000 Americans in lower Manhattan for close to a decade, the sudden rush for the moral high ground on campaign “free speech.” is curious.

Republicans are suddenly painting the idea of fundraising over Benghazi as unseemly, hence the “blood money” hyperbole. But cashing in politically over the deaths of people is as old as Donald Sterling’s racial worldview. Neither side cares about the unseemliness of fundraising off of any subject. The average member of congress would raise money off their dead mother before her body was cold. The real concern is how it frames Benghazi. The affair was on the fast track to dead-issue land as Republicans tried to unskew the Obamacare sign-up numbers. When that failed, and the economy created nearly 300,000 jobs in April, it was time to move on to another subject. A “select committee” was needed, because after hearings on Fast-And-Furious and the IRS “scandal,” it was clear nobody was buying any of Darrell Issa’s bullshit.

Republicans are now against fundraising over Benghazi because they need a believable winner. They’ve been calling so many foolish non-issues scandals, that now they’re ruining the magic of the word scandal. They don’t care about the unseemliness of raising money for anything. They understand that if they go out on the rubber chicken circuit on it, people will understand that it’s another transparent political stunt. Many people outside of the Fox News political bubble have understood that for over a year, but don’t tell Trey Gowdy and John Boehner that.


My stepdaughter has a deep affection for Chuck E. Cheese. I can’t fault her for that as I was into the animatronic pizza parlor scene circa 1986. But as I’ve noted before it can be a place of thinly veiled despair as well. Wednesday we all had dinner again with America’s second most famous rodent.

Much like every rave requires glow sticks, every child’s birthday party requires balloons. I walked across the Publix parking lot to the party supply store and ordered up the requisite My Little Pony balloons. I bought the Rainbow Dash balloon and admitted in open company that I knew who Rainbow Dash is. As I walked back to my car I realized I was a grown-ass, 38 year old man, walking across a parking lot adjacent to a biker party with a giant My Little Pony balloon flapping in the breeze. Once inside, my wife observed something that makes living on the west side of Jacksonville a rich and wonderful experience. As a sad person dressed as Chuck E. Cheese threw prize tickets up in the air for eager children, an older African-American gentleman yelled, “MAKE IT RAIN CHUCK E. CHEESE MAKE IT RAIN!”

Aside from the live action rat making it rain for all the little children, the video “entertainment” tells us that Chuck E. Cheese’s corporate media team hasn’t produced much in decades. The on screen graphics resemble the Sifl And Olly show from 1996. The restaurant is marketed for kids, but they understand that all the people stuck there watching are adults from age 37 and up. The characters were all doing songs spoofing acts like Journey and mid ’80s hip hop. The only human featured looked like someone from Duck Dynasty stoned out of their mind.

All this said, why they don’t sell booze is beyond me.

Benghazi 911: Starring Trey Gowdy

We all have that moment when we see a person and immediately think, dammit they look just like some B-level celebrity. South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy has a unique look. Considering how much national politics my ever-present ADD consumes, I was surprised I was not familiar with Gowdy before he was named by House Republicans to head their Benghazi Select Committee. Yet sitting at a Chuck E. Cheese last night for my stepdaughter’s 10th birthday it occurred to me who Gowdy’s doppelganger was, Carlos Alazraqui. Alazraqui is a very busy voice-over actor, but he’s best known for his role as Deputy James Garcia on Reno 911. The Comedy Central show was a spoof of Cops, and that’s entirely appropriate because the Benghazi Select Committee is a parody of actual congressional oversight.

After countless hearings, thousands of documents, and hours of cable news hilarity, why the need for this sudden, “congressional oversight?” The answer is simple. The effort to repeal Obamacare is dead. Add to that the 288,000 jobs created in April and you realize the Republicans have dire need to change the subject. The Republicans would seem not to need Obamacare as an issue for the November midterm elections, since the playing field is greatly slanted in their favor. But looking at the polling last month, many of the at risk Senate Democrats were leading their races. Republicans still have more than a 50 percent chance of re-taking the Senate, but that had to have caused the change in course.

The re-emergence of Monica Lewinsky was particularly ironic in this regard. The Benghazi Select Committee is simply the bastard son of Whitewater. Republicans must be hoping that if they bang this new dead horse hard enough, another intern might pop up.

Republicans Still Dry-Humping The Monica Lewinsky Scandal Like It’s 1999

Anyone who’s ever been single has found themselves calling an old ex late some night. You tried your best to make something special happen with them, but it just never worked out. You call, thinking maybe, just maybe, you could try again. But you know the prospect will always spell doom. Monica Lewinsky is back in the news with a spread in Vanity Fair, and Republicans everywhere are going back to a well that yielded little for them after so much effort. Much like that misguided, lonely single person, Republicans should know better. But the angle this time seems to be some play for women voters, who vote overwhelmingly with Democrats.

Not one aspect of the 15 year old scandal has generated any political benefit for the Grand Old Party. I graduated from the University of Florida the day the House of Representatives voted to impeach the 42nd President of The United States. I was a registered Republican then, and the foolish fiasco was part of what drove me from the party. At the time, the GOP hoped to tarnish the popular president with the sordid details of the affair. Their efforts had the exact opposite effect as was intended. Bill Clinton’s highest approval ratings as president came during the depths of the Lewinsky scandal. Yet now almost two decades later Republicans are crowing about the Lewinsky scandal as if it will yield some fresh benefit that heretofore has been non-existent. But this new effort is pointed more to Hillary Clinton’s coming presidential run in 2016, than the aging former president.

A review of the current polling shows the Oval Office is Hillary’s to lose. The GOP suffered badly in 2012 with women voters and the prospect of America’s first female president makes that a crucial gap to close. The angle with Monica now seems to be painting liberal “feminists” as the ones who truly savaged the poor, innocent intern the most. It seems to be a new meme with conservatives, saying “______ are the true oppressor.” Basically it’s feminists who brought Monica to the public eye and they are the true misogynists, so vote Republican in 2016. But it was Republicans that beat the Whitewater horse to death before they drug Lewinsky through the media mud in hopes of destroying the Clintons.

Even if this sudden concern for the dignity of Monica Lewinsky were to generate some electoral gains with women, it takes focus away from another huge demographic problem for Republicans; young people. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal dominated the airwaves, today’s 25 year old voter was in the 5th grade. Talking about this now is akin to Democrats campaigning on the Iran-Contra scandal in 2004. Good luck squeezing any juice out of that old turnip.

What I long for the most is the prospect of seeing Newt Gingrich go on Fox News to reminisce about the scandal. Bill Clinton first met Monica Lewinsky during the budget shutdown fights of the mid-90’s waged between him and Gingrich. Gingrich himself was married, and began an extramarital affair with an aid during the same time. He’s now married to that woman. . . . for now.

Florida: Now With Free Heat

When writing ad copy it’s critical that it be as benefit-driven as possible. One of Florida’s primary industries is tourism, and growing up in the early 1980s every hotel and motel billboard enticed customers with the offer of “Free HBO.” The modern-day equivalent to Free HBO is Free WiFi. When a benefit that is near-ubiquitous is touted as unique, nobody every asks, “well who doesn’t offer that?”

In all business transactions the seller advises the buyer as to the cost of the good and or service. But one of the most common offers you encounter in construction, or auto-repair is “Free estimate.” Who exactly charges for an estimate? Now this isn’t a matter of hidden fees. Being told that there will be extra costs after the fact is a different matter entirely. Charging for an estimate is charging to tell someone how much you will charge them. Perhaps there is a business model coming one day where people can pay an extra fee to reveal all hidden charges. During the cold winter months in the northeast, Florida could advertise offering “Free Heat.”

Have Republicans Lost Their Taste For Larping Monarchy?

Americans always pat themselves on the back and describe the Revolutionary War against Great Britain as a war for democracy. The fact remains we fought a war against Great Britain because we didn’t want to pay taxes. America is a republic, but deep down our dirty fantasy has always been about the monarchy. Twice the son of a president has become president himself, and once the grandson of a president has become commander-in-chief. Attacks on the idea of dynastic succession in America have usually been the domain of Democrats and progressives in during and after the age of Dubya. As 2016 approaches, Republicans can see the polling showing Hillary Clinton trouncing the current array of GOP hopefuls. Now many conservatives have begun to seem to find Jesus on prom night with regard to running for president on the family name.

Reading the Twitters today I’ve come across several conservatives touting the rising tide of Senator Elizabeth Warren. I happen to prefer Sen. Warren to the former Secretary of State, and the idea of having a wife of a former president become president is anathema to my ideal of American principles. That said Hillary Clinton is more than qualified. Her last name may have been a factor in my backing Barack Obama in 2008, but that’s not to say I would back any Republican should she be the nominee in 2016. But the idea of Republicans pushing the progressive Warren in some kind of appeal to Democratic dislike of dynastic succession is particularly cute to me. Republicans haven’t found the light in turning against pseudo-monarchy. They realize Hillary Clinton will route any of their current crop of young guns.

All the appeals to Democrats to reject the candidacy of Hillary Clinton are coming from the establishment wing of the Republican party. They have every intention of continuing the American war of the roses between the Clinton and Bush family. Why else would they be simultaneously pushing Jeb Bush?

Billionaire Kleptocracy Or Two Dudes On A Wedding Cake

The fundamental differences between the two wings of American political thought are fairly plain to see. We’re often told that Democrats and Republicans are either Siamese twins or water and oil. But it’s telling if you look to what reasons both feel the American republic is doomed. Ask any progressive and they will tell you America is doomed because of the Supreme Court’s legalizing the billionaire purchase of elections. Ask any conservative and they will tell you America is doomed because two dudes who fancy each other might be able to marry each other. Politics aside that tells you everything you need to know.

Shouldn’t The Promised Man-Animal Marriage Movement Have Started By Now?

Big Gay is in the news again this week with the firestorm over Arizona’s newly passed gay discrimination law. All across the fruited plain and on Twitter the arguments have again erupted over acceptance of our LGBT brothers and sisters. With discrimination and marriage equality, when the religious arguments are exhausted the discussion always goes to the “Slippery Slope” threat. If we allow two men or two women to legalize their love in a contract with the state, then what could be next? It’s always human-animal state sanctioned marriage. That’s always the threat at the end of the day. That’s last vestige when all the other bat-shit reasons are dead. Do we want to have a society where humans and animals are married couples? But if that logic were so automatic, why have we not seen that movement start? Same sex marriage has been legal in scattered parts of the United States for over five years. Isn’t that time enough for this inevitable human-animal marriage equality movement to begin? If not, then how long should we have to wait before we have to start dealing with what marriage equality opponents assure us is guaranteed to be the next battle?

The notion has always been insanely moronic from the start, but the time this country has lived with marriage equality in large population centers without the promised fire and brimstone should be evident to those still fighting this dead argument in politics. Most understand that the country has moved on with this and those still using this argument are the flat earthers of our time.