Greetings, American Refugees,
On behalf of the people of Canada, we would like to welcome you to our country. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay. We’re starting to worry about your nation’s apparent complete psychological breakdown. You were doing so well these past eight years with President Obama. He seemed like an awfully nice fellow. We’re not really sure what has caused your country to go off the rails, but as we’ve watched your presidential election primary coverage, it appears millions of your fellow Americans have gone utterly bonkers.
Oh sure, for a while there, we’ll admit, we were highly amused watching your presidential contest, featuring a carnival of candidates, from a narcissistic billionaire / Reality TV show host, to a rightwing evangelical Texan universally disliked even by his own party’s colleagues in the Senate, to a prominent neuro-surgeon who believes Egypt’s pyramids were built to store grains, not pharaohs. Where on earth did you find such a zany cast of characters? But we figured that eventually your countrymen would come to their senses and realize that perhaps the most important criteria for selecting your next head of state should be something more substantial than the size of the candidate’s privates or the relative hotness of their spouse. Apparently we were wrong. And for that, we deeply apologize.
Donald Trump is a great American. In the past nine months, he has done a masterful job of uniting millions of Americans from all different backgrounds – admittedly mostly by uniting them in their deep hatred and fear of Donald Trump. But that’s simply because they’ve not gotten to know him the way I have. If only he had more TV exposure, then people would see the light.
I know all about the trash talking dished at The Donald. Unflattering slurs – like he’s a narcissist, a racist, a sexist, that he often insults people using coarse language unsuitable for a serious presidential candidate, that he lashes out at anyone who dares say a negative word about him, that he has a hair-trigger temper, that he is unpredictable and mentally unstable, and that he flaunts his wealth every chance he gets. And these are just his supporters talking. Don’t get me started about his detractors.
But these attacks are unfair. The Donald Trump I know is one to admire. Listen to my heartfelt defense of the man, who, God willing, will be the next – and quite possibly LAST – president of this great nation.
CLAIM: TRUMP IS A NARCISSIST.
Unfair. So he has a healthy opinion of his own point of view. So he harps on how he’s greater than everybody else. So he flaunts all the properties he owns worldwide. So he brags about how tough he is and how he’s the best deal maker since Thomas Jefferson engineered the Louisiana Purchase from France. So he likes to blow his own TRUMPet. Does that make Trump a narcissist? I happen to know for a fact that you bragged to your dad about your third place ribbon in your middle school science fair. Do you see me calling YOU a narcissist, you hypocrite?
Did it ever occur to you that just maybe underneath all of Trump’s bravado, there is a fragile little boy begging to be loved? That all of his braggadocio may be masking the excruciating pain of not having any friends as a young boy – or ever? No, I didn’t think so. You’re so heartless.
CLAIM: TRUMP HATES MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS. Read More…
For months now I’ve been watching all of the presidential debates, and I’ve heard some pretty incredible promises by the 16 serious candidates running for president (17 if you include Donald Trump). I have to say: They are really good at making outrageous promises and telling lies. And then it hit me: So am I! I do this every week here in this blog. Which is why I feel there is room for one more candidate in this year’s presidential election: ME!
Naturally, this raises a number of questions, such as:
- What are my credentials to be considered for such an important responsibility?
- What are my views on immigration reform?
- Where do I stand on gun control?
- How did I get your email address?
All perfectly reasonable questions – all of which I plan to deflect by answering a completely different question from the ones posed above, further establishing my credentials as a legitimate presidential candidate. For example:
Question: How would you solve the problem of funding Social Security so that it does not run out in my lifetime?
Answer: The stability of our Social Security system is of paramount importance. America’s greatness is built on the backs of its citizens, who have worked hard and paid into Social Security for years. And it is these people who have made this nation the great nation it is today. That’s why we need to protect our rivers, lakes and air from pollution – for our children and our grandchildren. After all, if our kids can’t swim in a lake without the fear of being attacked by terrorists, then how will we ever stop China from hacking into our electrical grid? I for one won’t stand for it. And that’s why I’m running to be your next president. God bless America.
Question: What are you credentials to be our next president?
Answer: I can see that the moderator has only given me 30 seconds to respond to this question, so let me be direct. Did I mention God bless America yet? I did? Okay, well then, let me address this very important question about my qualifications to lead the highest office in this country. The second amendment is something we must not take for granted. And there is no greater nation in the world than the United States. It is for this reason that – Oh, I see my time is up. Next question, please.
It’s time patriotic, flag-waving Americans stand up for our God-given right to oppose any minority group that makes us feel slightly uncomfortable. The time is now to raise arms – and legs – against the moral decay of this once great land. Join me in opposing the misguided policy of marriage equality for left-handed people. As our forefathers would no doubt agree: WHAT’S RIGHT IS RIGHT! Therefore anything else must be wrong.
Now, before you start getting all tied up in knots, I’m not saying that all left-handed people are bad. I’m just saying, why take the risk of letting them marry? If we do, the odds are their innocent children may grow up to be left-handed too. We need to stop this epidemic – for the children.
I honestly don’t mind if someone is left-handed – just so long as they don’t behave left-handedly around me. Thankfully, southpaws represent only a tiny sliver of the American population – less than 11% of our nation’s 321 million people. So it’s not like we have to interact with their type on a daily basis – unless we are forced to leave home to get groceries.
Have you ever met a left-handed person you really trusted? Me neither. And I should know. I’m married to one. There is no shortage of hysterical – I mean historical – reasons for treating left-handed people differently. Those reasons date back more than 2,000 years. In ancient Rome, the Latin word for “left” was sinistra. It’s where the modern term “sinister” comes from, which, according to Webster’s Dictionary, literally means “threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous.” The word “left” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means “weak”. The Dutch word for “left” is links, which also can be translated as “cunning, shifty or risky”. And the Dutch invented Dutch Chocolate, which I love. So if they don’t trust left-handed people, who am I to argue with the wisdom of people who wear wooden shoes and live below sea level, protected only by dikes?
When it comes to parenting, I don’t always make the best decisions. I’m not always sure what the right thing to do is in a difficult situation.
Like the time our elder daughter begged and pleaded with me to let her drive the car to the mall. It was a sunny day. Traffic was light. And she had behaved extremely well all week long. So against my better judgment, I said okay. Two minutes later, she smashed the car into a stop sign barely 100 yards from our driveway. A part of me can’t help but wonder whether in retrospect I made a mistake giving in to the incessant pleadings of an eight-year-old to drive my minivan.
Sometimes my wife questions my ability to make the right call. Heck, she rarely listens to any of my opinions unless at least four complete strangers tell her the exact same thing – which got me to thinking: maybe the way for me to make better parenting decisions is to poll the opinions of total strangers.
In the most recent presidential election, the polls were incredibly accurate forecasters of people’s voting preferences. Nate Silver’s 538 blog accurately predicted the Electoral College winner in all fifty states. Politicians use polls all the time to help them decide how to vote. Should we legalize gay marriage? Poll your constituents. Should we cut defense spending? Do a poll. Should we ban hurricanes during the last week of a presidential campaign? (97% of Republicans resoundingly voted yes.) Read More…
We continue this week with Part II of VFTB’s Year in Review for 2014. If you missed Part I, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. A couple of wars, a few natural disasters and a political scandal or two – pretty much a replay of 2010 through 2013. Check it out here. Let’s continue now with Part II. Don’t skip ahead to December and spoil the surprise ending, okay?
July: In world news, Somalia sweeps again at the 2014 World’s Worst Nation Awards, barely beating out North Korea and Syria for most corrupt, morally bankrupt authoritarian regime. Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke remarks, “It’s an honor just to be included in the company of such illustrious dictators.” He ends his press conference by thanking the great people of Somalia and announcing that all homosexuals will be executed at dawn for acts of treason against their loving supreme ruler.
August: In health and wellness news, nutrition experts say “Goodbye kale. Hello cauliflower!” proclaiming cauliflower to be the world’s most healthy snack. Critics suggest that nutritionists look up the definition of the word “snack”. Praising the vegetable’s many health benefits, researchers believe it may help fight cancer. Critics say they’ll take their chances with the cancer-fighting properties found in a slice of pepperoni pizza and a can of Pringles.
You may not have heard (if you’ve been in a coma since 1994), but our national debt is spiraling out of control. If you could imagine a fire hose spraying a stream of $100 bills instead of jets of water, that’s essentially the way our federal government pisses through money on an average day. If you’re having trouble staying awake at night, here is a number that might help: $233 billion. That’s not the latest national debt figure. Oh, no. That’s just the interest on it we pile up each year.
Won’t somebody come up with a plan to stop all the fiscal hemorrhaging? Anybody? Nobody? Okay, I guess it’s up to me to bail out America…. Again.
Last week, I shared Part I of my solution to our national debt problem. In this week’s thrilling conclusion, I solve it even more. So let’s get started, shall we?
Cape Canaveral – Kennedy Space Center: $11.5 billion. If you’re still a kid at heart, this one’s for you. Located on the pristine golden beaches of Central Florida’s Atlantic coast and just a two-hour drive from Disney World. Always wanted to be an astronaut? Now you can own a whole crew of them. Guess who gets to press the “Blast off” button at Mission Control? You do! Comes with a free ride on the next Space Shuttle Endeavour flight. (Fine print: Next scheduled Endeavour flight: 1st of Never.)
State of Alaska: $780 billion. Call the Last Frontier your home with this incredible once-in-a-lifetime bargain. See Russia from your house. Be the first among your friends to own your own state. Comes with tons of room to spread out all your stuff, not to mention access to our nation’s largest oil and natural gas pipeline. Stunning views of mountains, grizzly bears, bald eagles and hot ex-governors. Juneau what else? For just $20 billion more, we’ll even rename the state capitol after you. Flexible payment terms. Ask about our layaway plan.
US Interstate 80: $87.6 billion. If you thought you could “get your kicks on Route 66”, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Own a part of the world’s greatest highway network. The nation’s second longest interstate, I-80, runs from scenic California through the Nevada Dessert (where you can do 130 mph and the state troopers won’t hassle you) through the golden corn fields of Nebraska, before your journey ends at glamorous New York City. Read More…
Here’s a number that might scare you: $17,746,662,973. That’s almost 18 trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred billion. That’s the current estimate of our national debt according to the OMB (Office of Management and Budget).
Here’s a slightly smaller but equally frightening number: $1 million. That’s the amount our nation’s debt is expanding – per minute. The clock is ticking. Economic experts estimate that our national debt will increase by another $10 trillion in the next decade. And I thought I was bad about managing my money. I look like Ebenezer Scrooge compared to Uncle Sam.
Depressed? Don’t be. Because I have a brilliant solution to our nation’s debt crisis. And it doesn’t involve painful tax hikes, closing down your favorite park or eliminating daily delivery of your mail.
As many of you know, I (often imagine that I) am a highly sought-after, award-winning, Harvard-educated economist. I won’t drone on about my many notable achievements in the fields of econometrics or applied macro-economic asset price modeling theory (because I have no idea what those words mean). Suffice to say, I took both Econ-201 and Econ-202 Pass-Fail in my second year of college.
I have successfully balanced my personal checkbook 8 of the past 12 months. And I have completely paid off our family’s credit card debt on all but 5 of our 17 credit cards. I saved $4,000 by the time I was 18 years old by doing summer jobs, and I didn’t blow it all until late spring of my freshman year of college (hey, I needed a new stereo system). So when I say I have a solution for the nation’s debt crisis, I think my credentials speak for themselves.
Newsflash: Our prison population over the past two decades has soared to a record-bursting 2.4 million. Almost one out of every 100 Americans is currently incarcerated. (Personally, I blame Hollywood celebutantes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Justin Bieber for much of the overcrowding problem.)
The USA has more people in prison than any other country in the world – yet one more achievement about which Americans can proudly shout We’re #1. The cost to house all these charming folks is staggering. Check out these startling statistics:
- The average annual operating cost in 2012 was $28,000 per inmate.
- Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail awaiting trial costs $9 billion a year.
- The cost to put my two daughters through four years of college would be enough to house the entire prison population of Wyoming for four months.
- An ant can carry 50 times its own body weight.
- Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
As these alarming statistics clearly demonstrate, we need to do something about the runaway costs of housing our inmates – not to mention cracking down on Donkeys Gone Wild.
Christmas Day is just around the corner, a time of peace and love and harmony, unless you’re Jewish. But this year, our Christian values of tolerance and forgiveness are being overwhelmed by a cataclysmic war on a scale the world has never seen. The images we see on television are heartbreaking. When will this senseless war stop?
No, I’m not talking about the twelve-year war in Afghanistan, nor the civil war tearing apart Syria. I’m not even talking about the brutal Mattress Price Wars, although the televised images of those retailers viciously slashing prices before my very eyes is enough to make me cry. No, I am, of course, talking about something far more pernicious and deadly: The War on Christmas.
In her lovingly written new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, distinguished author and former Alaskan beauty pageant winner Sarah Palin launches into a heartwarming tirade in defense of Christian values against the onslaught of political correctness, the secularization of Christmas, and the abominations of atheists and liberals (which two groups are, of course, essentially the same). And I for one could not agree with her views more, even if I understood what she was talking about.