Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wankers in the News

As promised, here's a compendium of asshats who have made public statements that have elicited a WTF in the past few weeks. First up is the two Young Cons rapping about Jesus and taxes and Ayn Rand, lawn care and the high cost of BMW repairs. Actually, I couldn't listen to the entire thing so I don't know what their posturing about.

But the coments at YouTube are a joy. Here are a few:

This is like watching your dad trying to dance to C&C Music Factory at your cousin's wedding.

Michael Steele says this video is the shiznit!

These two idiots should be making raps about their real "problems," like the hard decision of what kind of product to put in their hair.

and my favorite:

There are two novels that can change a fourteen-year old"s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves hobbits.


Next up is former state representative Cary Allred, a Republican from Alamance County, an area overrun with conservative jerks so, in Allred, they were getting true representation. That is, until last week when Allred resigned.

Allred was under investigation for (allegedly) getting his drink on before weaving his way into the legislative chambers where he (allegedly) hugged a 17-year-old page in a way that many thought inappropriate which, in my view, almost always involves hand/ass contact, but I wasn't there so I can't know. Allred also was clocked doing 102 MPH on his way to Raleigh. He talked his way out of a ticket by claiming he was rushing to the capital to vote on something like allowing old men to grope young girls without penalty.

But what really got my attention, and earned Allred a spot in today's post, was what he said when confronted with all his (alleged) shenanigans:

"I am 62 years old, and I'm worth two million dollars. People ought to show me respect."

Money = Respect. Spoken like a true Republican. Maybe he should put out his own rap video now that he's out of work. He couldn't be more embarrassing than our two Young Cons above.

Taking third place but still finishing in the money is Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. He, being all sensitive to immigrants' issues, takes offense at the way SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor pronounces her name:

Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English ...insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to.

This from a guy named Krikorian.

As most of you know, I have a name that doesn't rolling willingly from uber-patriotic American lips. My drill sergeant called me everything from Tarantula to Toranado, never once coming close to wrapping his tongue around the French noire in the end syllable and just the thought of my drill sergeant's tongue just made me want to toss breakfast.

My apologies.

Even my immediate family had willingly let our name be corrupted to a Terre-noor pronunciation until some of us took it back and insisted that noire is noire, you provincial putz, not noor.

So, I'm a little closer to this whole name thing than is Mr. Krikorian, or as we pronounce it here at the Planet, FUCK-tard, with the emphasis on the first syllable because insisting on unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn't be giving in to.

There are many more Wankers in the News, but I have to work. Yes, on a Sunday. But if I missed your favorite, be sure to let us know. Sadly, there is a plethora of choices.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm not dead.

But work is keeping me from doing fun stuff, like napping, drinking, and writing this blog.

I know, yet another blogger whining about not having time, or energy, or ideas, blah blah blah. My apologies.

Coming soon, Wankers in the News. Stay tuned.

What? Another meeting?

Gotta run.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day.

I'm not ordinarily a fan of the New York Post, but I liked this from Cindy Adams. I encourage you to read the whole piece but for today, I pulled just the words of the people who served.

Harvey Keitel, a Marine at 16 who served in Lebanon: "Everyone should serve. I don't be lieve in a volunteer armed forces. We shouldn't leave it for the other guy to fight America's wars. It robs our young men of vital experience. They can't have an identity they can respect without being aware it's necessary to stand up and defend the liberties they cherish."
The older I get, the more I agree with Mr. Keitel. I didn't enjoy my time in the Army, not a minute of it, but it made me appreciate life more than I would have without it. The Army took a small town boy and showed him places. It taught him how to communicate in another language and gave him a new appreciation for American history, the good and the bad, by showing how the gears of power turn.

These things would not have happened without the belief that Americans have an obligation to serve. That sense of obligation was drilled into us by my father, a man of his time, a citizen soldier who lost his only brother in WWII.

That obligation seems quaint now, as we crawl from the wreckage of 30 years of Milton Friedman/Ayn Rand ideology that says you don't owe anyone anything, that self-interest is all.

But, that's a topic for another day. Let's get back to the voices of veterans.

Morgan Freeman joined the Air Force after high school: "I wanted to be a fighter pilot like those I saw in war movies. But after napalm and rockets and realizing whoever you kill is going to stay dead, I realized this is not what I want for life."

Dr. Ruth Westheimer: "As a teenager in the Israeli army, I was a lethal sniper who could hit a target farther away than anyone and was accurate with hand grenades. Even today I can load a Sten automatic rifle in one minute blindfolded. On my 20th birthday in 1948 in Jerusalem, my legs were almost ripped off from a Jordanian cannonball that threw me 20 feet. All I could think
about was would there be blood on the brand-new shoes I'd just gotten for mybirthday that morning."

Tony Curtis: "I was on a submarine in Guam and got hit at the base of my spine. Doctors thought I'd be paralyzed for life. I prayed in English, Hungarian, every language I could think of. I was terrified I'd never walk again. I was mostly afraid my penis was dead. That area was completely numb. I had a good body, handsome face, and sex was all I thought about. Then one morning I felt a tingling. As the swelling at the base of my spine lessened, my nerves came back. As did everything else. Boy, was I afraid it mightn't."

Dennis Franz, in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, "heard bullets whizzing over my head and got as close to being shot as I care to."

Oliver Stone, who won the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster: "I can't even walk a straight line in daytime. I've no sense of balance. I lost my hearing in Vietnam."

To all who served, to those who had the courage to go someplace they didn't know, experience things that those who stayed home couldn't imagine, and do things they weren't sure they could do, I am proud to have stood with you, however briefly and without heroics.

Enjoy the day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this."

I've never heard of this guy before today. He's a radio jock, dubbed by some as the conservative Howard Stern. He goes by the name of Mancow, and he's a good friend of Fox News, apparently.

But I have a newly earned respect for him. Unlike the coward Sean Hannity, Mancow let himself be waterboarded to prove that it's not torture.

His conclusion? It's torture.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A calm and measured response to Dick Cheney.

Dick "Dick" Cheney's speech to the sycophantic American Enterprise Institute has brought me out of my undisclosed location for a few moments because there's enough self-congratulatory mendacity in those few minutes to curdle milk at a distance. So much hokum that I suspect Dick thinks no one remembers that 9/11 happened on his watch. That as the head of the terrorism task force, he couldn't be bothered to meet with the guy in charge of counter-terrorism. That Dick's protege, the president, when given the report that Osama was determined to strike within the US, dismissed the guy who delivered the briefing by saying, "Well, you've covered your ass."

Yes, Dick would love for us to forget how he and George screwed the pooch. Big time, as Dick would say.

But, let's take a quick look at a few lines from Dick's speech.

Even before the interrogation program began, and throughout its operation, it was closely reviewed to ensure that every method used was in full compliance with the Constitution, statutes, and treaty obligations.

Yes, men like John Yoo constructed paper-thin legal arguments for torture, arguments that better, more ethical lawyers at the DOJ would later clear their throats, stick their fingers in their collars and say, "Uh, those arguments, uh, not so much." This was after Dick and other criminals in his administration had violated the Constitution, our statutes, our treaty obligations, and our collective sense of decency.

...for all these exacting efforts to do a hard and necessary job and to do it right, we hear from some quarters nothing but feigned outrage based on a false narrative.

Believe me, sir, there is nothing feigned about my outrage and the false narrative seems to be coming from your nether regions in a self-serving attempt to avoid being tried as a war criminal.
I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about “values.”

I couldn't agree more.

What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation methods in the future is unwise in the extreme.

No, it is called doing what's right, knowing that it is not only our law and international law, but is a bright line that separates us from the barbarity of our enemies.

It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness, and would make the American people less safe.
There are many people in a position to know, military interrogators and others, who have testified that the opposite of what Dick says is true. But what's true has never concerned Dick. Truth is for little people. this excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do...terrorists or those who see them as victims are not exactly the best judges of America’s moral standards, one way or the other.

Wow. Did someone call the terrorists victims and I missed it? Did someone excuse Osama and blame Cheney for 9/11 while I was out? Because that's news to this liberal.

Just to be clear: Bush and Cheney did fail to stop 9/11, not because they were evil, but incompetent. They didn't take terrorism seriously, and that's to their enduring shame. But the people who flew those planes into those buildings are still considered evil fucks here at the Planet. And yet, their calculated murder of innocents does not justify abandoning our ideals and breaking our laws. Dick knows this distinction, he's hoping you're too stupid or blindly ideological to notice.

As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.
That's something I'd like an impartial commission to decide, thanks. Because I think you're full of shit on this, Dick, like you've been so full of shit on so many other things, from Iraq having nukes to Saddam and Osama being BFFs.

But, a few days before Memorial Day, this is what really rankled:

Like so many others who serve America, they are not the kind to insist on a thank-you. But I will always be grateful to each one of them, and proud to have served with them for a time in the same cause.
Served with them? Really? Where'd that spring from, the soft confines of your fat civilian ass? You, the man who took five deferments to avoid serving? You, the man who had "other priorities? You, who eagerly let someone else's son take your place on the line?"

I know several young men who had other priorities in 1969. In fact, I'd guess most of the young men who stood with me in the Philadelphia induction center would have rather been doing anything else.

But we raised our hands. We took an oath I still take seriously. We served.

We didn't get rich. No one offered us a job as CEO of anything when we got out. And a lot of those young men came home damaged or didn't come home at all. Your claim of service dishonors all of those who sacrificed something other than a bigger paycheck.

On that note, I wish you all a good Memorial Day and this weekend, take a moment to say thanks for all those men who had other priorities but served anyway. I know I will.

See you next week.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Spring Break!

No, really. I'm tired.

Too much torture. Too much Cheney. Too much everything.

I'm going to leave the Planet for a few days.

Check back in a week or so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why do I bother?

Every morning, after I walk the dog, I turn off the lights, sit on the floor and meditate. Why? Because I believe if I'm diligent, it will lower my blood pressure.

Then I turn on the TV to get ready for work and what's on? This show on MSNBC called Morning Joe. If you haven't seen it, you are indeed one of the fortunate people on the planet.

Joe Scarborough, a former congressman from redneck Florida. One of the young Gingrich revolutionaries, Joe made his bones during Clinton's impeachment for the blow job.

For weeks, Joe has been opining over torture, defending Dick "Dick" Cheney's authorization to use waterboarding on a couple of bad guys.

Morning Joe had Liz Cheney on, talking about what a great fucking guy her father is and what a great thing her father did. She even repeated that gasbag Limbaugh's assertion that Cheney, because Rush can't think of any other motive, must be speaking out now because he loves his country.

Huh. I would have guessed a fear of indictment, social disapprobation and/or eternal damnation, but then I'm not the mighty El Rushbo with his superior brain powers.

Here's the brief Liz Cheney, who loves her daddy, made for Dick.

1. Lawyers in the DOJ said these methods weren't illegal.
2. Dick was protecting the country.
3. Half the people in America agree with Dick so that makes it OK.
4. We waterboard people in SERE, a program that trains men to survive capture and interrogation by the enemy.

First, she's right about the lawyers. These are the legal eagles who gave us dictator lite in the theory of the Unitary Executive. They said these techniques weren't illegal.

But then some other lawyers came after them and said, oops, we think these techniques are illegal. So just ignore those first memoranda, OK? No harm, no foul, OK?

(And if my lawyer tells me it's OK not to pay my taxes, do I still have to go to jail?

There's precedent in American law that says waterboarding is illegal. We have prosecuted people for waterboarding. I understand precedent is a big thing with legal guys.

Then there's the law itself. (This link from Barry Eisler's great blog post on this subject):

The UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed by President Reagan in 1988 and ratified by the Senate in 1994, and Article VI of the Constitution ...

So, it looks like Big Dick broke the law. Ouch. On to #2.

Dick was protecting the country. So if I rob a bank and give the money to charity, that's OK. I didn't know intentions negated the law. Learn something new every day.

Half the country would torture some raghead if they had the chance. And that's the half we should follow? Huh? I mean, WTF?

And now for number 4. I've heard this so often from right wingers that my head nearly explodes when I hear it again. For those who think this makes waterboarding all right, try to read slowly and carefully.



Listen, I went through some things in training that I wouldn't want to do again. Sleep deprivation, harassment, physical and mental fatigue, all designed to break me. But even at its worst I knew these people would not do me any real harm. I knew they were doing this to make me stronger. That means it is not the same thing. So let's stop with the SERE bullshit, OK?

Or if you insist, remind your listeneres that the SERE program - the stress positions, loud noise, lack of sleep, etc. - was based on Communist Chinese torture of American POWs captured in Korea. That means Daddy turned to Mao for instructions on how a civilized country behaves during war. Fucking Mao!

When challenged by another guest as to legality of these techniques, Liz Cheney agreed that people had different opinions.

OK. Fine. Let's have a hearing to hash out all these differing opinions.

And for the last straw wingers cling to, that Pelosi and other Democrats knew and approved of these techniques, I say, bring it on. I don't care who gave this the green light. They need to be held legally accountable.

That's another word right-wingers love to throw around - accountability. Except when it's applied to them. Bastards.

I don't know why this meditation crap isn't doing a fuck of a thing for my blood pressure.

Goddam eastern guru bullshit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hey pal...

fail owned pwned pictures

...if you don't like our justice system now, you sure won't like it when your cellmate wants to cuddle.

So you don't strain your eyes reading this guy's scrawl, here's what this upstanding citizen sent to the court, explaining why he couldn't be part of a jury:

Apparently you morons didn’t understand me the first time. I CANNOT take time off from work. I’m not putting my familys wellbeing at stake to participate in this crap. I don’t believe in our “justice” system and I don’t want to have a goddamn thing to do with it. Jury duty is a complete waste of time. I would rather count the wrinkles on my dogs balls than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls. Leave me the f–k alone.

I thought the bit about counting the wrinkles on his dog's balls creative, but not in a way that's going to impress the county lockup's literary community.

I believe every person should show up for jury duty, if for no other reason than to hear how important other people's lives are. Really, there are more essential people than I thought.

When I showed up for jury duty a few years ago, we were being seated for a murder trial (another story for another day) and there was one woman who decided she would, like our citizen up there, have none of it.

During voir dere, she started by saying that her father was a prison guard, her brother a cop, she thought anyone arrested was guilty of something, even if it wasn't for the crime charged, and not only did she believe in the death penalty, she wanted it extended to other offenses, like being Mexican or chewing food with your mouth open.

Needless to say, they dismissed her. A much more practical, yet no less efficient way of ducking jury duty than the one our upright citizen chose. And it has the added attraction of no jail time! Bonus!

(my legal friends - I'm looking at you Dusty - can fill us in on what is the possible punishment for shenanigans like this. I'm curious.)

This is from the estimable Failblog, or course, one of my favorite sites. Whenever I feel like a complete knucklehead, this place makes me realize that there's a whole other league of moronic behavior out there than what I've engaged in.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Now that you're angry, cool off...

...with an ice cold Dixie Beer and read this story about how the New Orleans brewer is helping people hit by the flood in Fargo.

HT to Scout of First Draft.

Does anyone, anywhere, still believe...

...that the New York Times is a liberal newspaper? I mean besides the teabaggers who believe Rush Limbaugh is honest and Sean Hannity is smart.

Because if you do, you should probably read this. Then you should get really angry.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Jesus is coming. Get the waterboard.

Remember when the Passion of the Christ came out and all the good Christian evangelicals flocked to the flick to watch Jesus get tortured by the evil Romans? Remember that?

Well, according to a Pew study, a majority of those evangelicals are now siding with the Romans. Fully 62% of white evangelical Christians think it's OK to torture suspected terrorists. Not known terrorists, but suspected terrorists. Like Jesus.

I love irony, don't you?

It's not only evangelicals who appear to have lost their souls on this issue, either. They're just the most eager to tighten the thumb screws. In fact, the more often you attend religious services, the more likely you are to justify using pain, humiliation and degradation on your fellow man.

Makes you wonder just what they're teaching in those churches, doesn't it?

It's been a long time since I read the New Testament, but I have read it and while I'm no expert, I don't remember Jesus ever giving the green light to torture. He was much more of a turn-the-other-cheek kinda guy, if I recall.

But American Christians say fuck that. You got some swarthy middle eastern dude suspected of stirring up trouble for the empire? Break out the stress positions, brother.

So, let's take stock of where we are in America, shall we? We have the GOP, the self-proclaimed law and order party wanting to disregard the rule of law and the hardcore Christians advocating behavior that is not only illegal, but is distinctly unChristian.

Jesus, it's no wonder we've lost our way.

For those who want more substance and less snark in your torture news, I invite you to check out Barry Eisler's blog post on the subject. It's good.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May I introduce the representatives of our health insurance industry.

During the eight crap-filled years of the Bush administration, conservative friends would ask me if I would be as critical if Bush were a Democrat.

The answer, of course, is fuck no. There are plenty of right wing critics who blast anyone to the left of Himmler and reporters who happily sucked up to Republicans when they were in power. They don't need my help. Let 'em write their own damn blog.

But here's something that sets my hair on fire. I worked my ass off to help get a Democratic majority and when the Senate convenes a roundtable to discuss health care they invite a passel of fucking insurance weasels to give their thoughts on what reform should look like.

Let me guess. More ways to deny coverage (saves money!) and the right to kick any American at any time, square in the goolies.

Here's who the Democrats invited:

Stuart M. Butler of The Heritage Foundation (the fucking Heritage Foundation)
John Castellani of the Business Roundtable (yay business)
Gary Claxton of the Health Care Marketplace Project (the key word here is marketplace)
Donald A. Danner of the National Federation of Independent Business (yay more business)
Jennie Chin Hansen of (insurance-peddler-in-disguise) AARP
Karen Ignagni of America’s Health Insurance Plan (wonder what side she's on)
Bruce Josten of the Chamber of Commerce (son of more business)
Scott Serota of Blue Cross and Blue Shield (can't have too many insurance reps)

These and a supporting cast of assorted lobbyists, hacks, sycophants, toadies and fluffers, but not one supporter of a single-payer system. Not one.

And when 8 brave souls stood up to protest this sham, they were arrested. By Democrats.

I expect blatant fellating of insurance oligarchs from Republicans, but we voted for something different from Democrats. Fuckers.

Can you imagine having this conversation without one representative of business or insurance present? It would never happen. So I'm asking you to look at this list of Senators on the committee and call any or all of them and tell them, put single-payer on the table. Even if you think it's a bad idea, it's something that should be part of the discussion.

Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln - (202)-224-4843
Delaware: Thomas Carper - (202) 224-2441
Florida: Bill Nelson - (202) 224-5274
Massachusetts: John Kerry - (202) 224-2742
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow - (202) 224-4822
Montana: Sen. Max Baucus - (202) 224-2651
New Jersey: Robert Menendez - (202) 224-4744
New Mexico: Jeff Bingaman - (202) 224-5521
New York: Charles Schumer - (202) 224-6542
North Dakota: Kent Conrad - (202) 224-2043
Oregon: Ron Wyden - (202) 224-5244
Washington: Maria Cantwell - 202-224-3441
West Virginia: Jay Rockefeller - (202) 224-6472

I still believe there's a difference, even if it's small, between Republicans and Democrats and since the Republican party has shrunk to a tiny band of angry old fist-shaking white men, this makes the Democrats, for now, the only game in town. But this shit plays into every cynic's view of American politics. And I don't want to be a cynic.

So pick the people you want to call and let them know that single payer should have a place at the table.

If for no other reason than to piss off those grasping insurance assholes.

Good night, Mr. DeLuise

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A grasshopper walks into a bar...


Last week I told my psychiatrist, "I keep thinking about suicide." He told me from now on I have to pay in advance.

I love jokes. I love telling jokes. I love hearing jokes. Dirty jokes, clean jokes, clever jokes, puns, riddles, it doesn't matter.

What do you call a monkey in a minefield ? A Baboom!

Even a really bad joke can be made good in the telling and often, an inept joke teller is more entertaining than the joke itself.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like his passengers.

Men, in my experience, like jokes more than women. I don't know why.

His motto is "Love Thy Neighbor". His neighbor just turned 18.

I started thinking about jokes this weekend, listening to an interview with comedian Carol Leifer who credited her father for her love of jokes. This is the one she said was her father's favorite:

A man takes his pet chicken to the movies and the ticket taker tells him he can't bring a chicken into the theater. So the man ducks around the corner, tucks the chicken into his pants and walks in.

Halfway through the newsreel, the chicken gets squirmy. The guy zips open his fly and lets the chicken poke its head out.

After a few minutes, the woman sitting next to him whispers to her friend, "The man next to me unzipped his pants and his thing is out."

Her friend says, "So what? You've seen one, you've seen them all."

The woman says, "Yeah, but this one is eating my popcorn."

One of my father's favorite jokes was about the boy who wanted a pony. The punchline is "With all this horse shit, I know there's got to be a pony in here somewhere."

I've always thought that this was the perfect joke for my old man. He was an optimist to his bones.

So today, I'm looking for the pony. Because there certainly is enough horse shit.

Have a joke you like? Tell it, and bring a little light into the Dark Planet.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Let's take a closer look at Miss California's breasts.

Pretty impressive, right? As it turns out, these are some of the best breasts money can buy.

Carrie Prejean aka Miss California, has been in the news lately because she said, “...We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman..." pissing off gay men, a beauty pageant's biggest audience block, and admitting to the rest of America that she is an inarticulate bigot.

But that's not what interested me about Miss Prejean. After all, what's one more floating turd of vacuous blather compared to the river of poo that Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and Doocy pass every day?

No, another empty-headed beauty queen making Republicans all tingly in their nether bits is hardly worth a mention. But when the news focuses on her store-bought Winnebagos, that's when I take notice.

Last week, Keith Lewis, the co-Director of the Miss California Pageant, appeared on a network news show and admitted he helped our plucky contestant get a new front-end alignment.

When newsbabe Maggie Rodriguez asked why, Lewis said it was to give Prejean confidence because, as we all know, women can't possibly be confident without big tits. Then the interview turned to other ways of looking confident without having to beg skeezy pageant people to pay for your new knockers.

"Many of the girls use chicken cutlets," Lewis said.

Wow. I'll never look at chicken cutlets the same way ever again. Or breasts, for that matter.

And the questions arise: How does that work? Does it make a girl smell like poultry?Can you eat the cutlets afterward? If a gentlemen nuzzled your breast, as gentlemen are wont to do, could he contract salmonella? Would veal cutlets work? What does PETA think about using our feathered friends to enhance a beauty contestant's cleavage?

As we ponder these and other pressing questions of the day, let's use this opportunity to check out Miss Prejean's hooters again.

They're pretty nice, you have to admit. But probably not nice enough to win over all her former fans.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Let's take a ride.

It's 1966 and your father, a man who has never been anything close to rich, finally pulls down a enough coin to do something he's dreamt about for years.

He buys a new Chrysler.

It's not the top line New Yorker, but it's not the budget Newport, either. It's solid and right down the middle, as your father is. It's the 300 and it is a beautiful car.

Like America in 1966, it's got real power, and in the spirit of the pill-inspired sexual revolution, it's opened its top a bit to waggle the goods and let the air flow free.

This was my father's car. He was a store manager for Montgomery Ward, working long hours six and seven days a week, never once taking a sick day in his 35-year career, and this was his reward. That car, with a 383 cubic inch V8, could jump up and fly.

Mileage? Who gave a shit. Gas was 32 cents a gallon.

Dad had the Tijuana Brass on the in-dash 8-track and cruised through town, living the life. He was still a young man, just 42, respected and well-liked in our little town. And now he owned a fucking Chrysler.

That was the year, after decades of hard times and hard work, my father must have felt like he had life by the balls.

But, it wouldn't last long. In less than 3 years he would have one son in Vietnam and another one in basic training. He would see long-haired kids smoking pot in public, watch riots on TV, and hear some Afro freak fuck up his beloved National Anthem with shrieks yanked from the guts of an electric Fender.

A mall would spring up by the new Interstate. His store would close up and move out with the rest of the merchants, leaving downtown a shuttered and empty husk.

And he would wonder just what had happened to those golden days of 1966 when he and my mother would ride to dinner at the club, cruising like hometown royalty in their brand new Chrysler 300.

Forty years later, as the car company circles the drain after decades of crappy management making crappy cars, I think of Chrysler and prefer to remember when they built the dream car of a small town store manager, instead of the company now going tits up, looking to the Italians and the US taxpayers to keep the emblem afloat.

Good night Chrysler. For a while there you had something an American could be proud to drive.

But you fucked it up.

What this bumper sticker tells me.

I see a lot of strange and often frightening things on my weekday commute. I've watched 18-wheelers drift into my lane because the driver is texting. I've seen very large people eating sausage biscuits at 75 MPH. I've seen unintentionally funny vanity plates and people warming up for their American Idol debut.

But this morning I saw a guy with this bumper sticker carefully centered between huge Phillies and Eagles stickers.

And yes, it was an SUV, why do you ask?

Now, I'm a big fan of the Constitution and I'm not happy about Obama's extension of the Bush policy on wire taps and secrecy, but I'd bet that if I stopped this guy and asked him just what it was that he found unconstitutional in Obama's first 100 days, I'll bet he wouldn't bring up either one of those. But that's just a guess.

Then I thought about the guy who designed this sticker. He's stolen the pissing Calvin car cartoon that some other asshole stole from Bill Watterson and his use of the exclamation point suggests he thinks this is satire on a Swiftian level, delivered with the wit of Wilde.

So it was no surprise to discover that the designer of this sticker is a right wing radio guy. His name is Mike Church but he's given himself a nickname like his mentor El Rushbo.

I've written before about the lame-assedness of middle-aged men giving themselves nicknames, but this guy has the effrontery to call him The Dude, or King Dude, an insult to Achievers everywhere.

I've never heard Mr. Church's radio show, so he might be really funny and smart. Just like our transplanted Philadelphia brother could be a Constitutional scholar. But I have my doubts.

My evidence, aside from the bumper sticker, comes from Mike Church's own page hawking his satirical wares. Here's the headline:

Obama Miterates on the Constitution Bumper Sticker!

In the body copy, Mr. Church tells us he thought "long and hard" about this bumper sticker. He wanted to make it "outrageous, relevant and CONSERVATIVE."

Wow. Where to start?

First of all, the word is "micturates." As in "...every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city..." But since the demise of Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater, intellectual rigors like spelling have been widely ignored by the American right.

Second, if Mr. Church actually thought long and hard and came up with this as being outrageous, relevant and CONSERVATIVE then I'd suggest that Mr. Church doesn't know the meaning of any of those words, including the words thought, long and hard.

But Mr. Church's intellectual vacuity pales next to the guy who actually buys one of these stickers and puts it on his car. Because everyone who gets behind him is going to think, "Jesus, what an asshole."

Yes, these are the things I think about on my Friday morning commute. I hope your time was spent more productively.