Caustic Countdown: 5/14/12

14 May

Good day to vampires, and good evening to those with proper circadian rhythms.

This last week was particularly eventful, politically. Even if you don’t happen to subscribe to the traditional news sources (and say, instead, you merely follow the Caustic Countdown), I’m fairly certain that you’ve heard about the hullaballoo going about in the political arena. Besides the fact that there are rich, privileged politicians, watching this display of strategic verbal evisceration is as close as we can comfortably get to the hunger games.

Now, I’m not going to get atop a pedestal and say “Obama is a scheming socialist; vote republican” or “Romney is a callous business man; vote Obama.” In my humble opinion, it’s all a bunch of puppetry which plays upon very real ideological foundations shared by a large propensity of Americans which are, in turn, polarized based upon minutiae and extraneous nuances. In short (in the words of my father, my mentor) it’s all *cough* bullshit, bullshit *cough* bullshit. A show, a facade, a play within a play- like in Hamlet except with less incest. I have my beliefs, you have yours. We all want this nation to grow stronger with each successive effort and generation. If we work together, regardless of petty differences, we can make America amazing for our posterity.

But even if I can respect your beliefs, and you can respect mine, we can all agree that sometimes politicians and their constituents do some, well… interesting things. So rounding out this week’s four is some recent political actions culminating in clean, bipartisan hilarity. Well, not so much clean. This is politics, after all.

5: Incarcerated vs Incumbant.

Elections are meant to be a serious matter. To vote poorly and for the wrong candidate is to embrace certain grave consequences. People will cite both this president and last as a cautionary tale in voting for “the right man.” However, consequences may already be pretty grave in West Virginia; how else can they justify a convicted Texas felon receiving 40% of the vote in a Democratic primary against President Obama.

Now I understand the whole premise of tactical voting. I even understand voting for Snoopy to send a message. But when 40% of the DEMOCRATIC vote rallies behind a convicted TEXAS felon instead of President Obama, then this man clearly has a damn good publicist. Either that or his platform must be really personable and relatable. It presumably includes things such as softer punishments on crime and mandatory sympathy for people who grow their hair out long enough for it to look like a mauled raccoon.

When asked why individuals had voted for the convicted felon, most reported a serious disdain for the President’s energy policies. Seeing as how he routinely pushes for green-technology and West Virginia is heavy in coal production, the apparent abhorrence makes sense. But still, wouldn’t it be interesting if the convict made it to the white house? I wonder if they would have to pardon him or merely force him to work by telecommuting.

4: Newt in Deep Water

Many people know Newt Gingrich in different ways. To some, he is the man who promised to get us to the moon… in less than a decade. To others (a smaller populous) he was a serious contender for president. To most, the man’s name makes him sound like he’s an amphibian from the Amazon.

The truth is that Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is all of these. Except for the Amazon part (although, I’m still waiting on the official DNA test results).  In addition, the man was a strong proponent of arguing for a balanced budget, responsible fiscal spending, and intelligent monetary policy. So is it a case of “whoops!” or delicious irony that he is in the biggest financial hole out of any of the candidates for president this cycle?

Sure, running a campaign is expensive. You have to spend loads of greenbacks just to continue shoveling those bittersweet negative advertisements down our throats. And then you need enough money to pay your employees and fly around in a private jet- and all that jazz. It racks up heavily. So heavily that he currently leads the current debt list- ahead of even multiple-attempt third-party candidates.

3: Not Too Merciful Court

Although many people consider the supreme court to lie within a political vacuum, the truth is that the influence of politics on the court is comparable to how prevalent a certain Serbian inventor’s work is to our daily lives. Although most of their rulings are displays of intelligence-fueled common sense (indeed, most opinions are levied with incredible super-majorities or carried with a unanimous vote), the most publicized often come down to pure political leaning.

This case didn’t even get the writ of certiorari.

Tom Petters was a man convicted of  orchestrating a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. The stare decisis ruling means that the man will continue to serve his fifty year sentence. If fifty years sounds like an awfully long time for a few measly billions of dollars of personal wealth and welfare stolen from innocent victims, you’re in luck. You qualify to be this man’s attorney.

According to the article linked above, the primary argument of the man was that he’s innocent. But as the old adage goes, prisons are filled with innocent men. (Sometimes, they are at least present). However, the primary argument of his attorneys is that his sentence was simply too extreme. Considering though, that in 1992 the act of committing suicide was considered a veritable crime by the Judiciary branch, it may have been the wrong route to go.

1: Immoral (Even for a Politician).

All joking aside, we can agree that politicians are truly human. They have their personal flaws and shortcomings, to err is to be mortal. Many retire without a single official blemish on their official congressional record. Still- let’s be honest- it’s just too tempting to pick out the few who get caught in remarkably compromising situations and believe them to be emblematic of  representatives within our democratic-republic.

Then there are those guys who even stand out above that. So much so that they even get tried for corruption and cheat on their spouses who are ridden with cancer.

Let me be clear now. I don’t dislike John Edwards personally because of his policies. I don’t dislike him personally because he is a Democrat; and I wouldn’t dislike him personally if he was Republican or Independent. However, I do dislike him personally because, to be blunt, it takes a certain kind of asshole to cheat on your wife with a movie star and father an illegitimate child all while she battles cancer. I think that’s a fair, bipartisan statement.

So it aroused more venom when it came to light that Edward’s campaign manager allegedly paid said mistress nine-thousand dollars a month for living expenses.  Defenders insist that the money was a donation entirely unrelated to the fact that he was secretly (and literally) making babies.

For some reason, I want to invoke my father’s prior wisdom.

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