Sunday, March 28, 2010

Imelda Marcos is Baaack! Obama in Karzailand, Sending Rush to Venezuela

Frank Rich
Peter Yanev
Vanda Felbab-Brown
"Well, as you know, health care reform was passed by the House last night. Supporters of the bill say the American people now get the same health benefits members of Congress get, which is great. See, if we can just get some of those other perks — the free travel, the envelopes with the cash in them, the get-out-of-jail-free cards — oh, all of that could be great." –Jay Leno

"You know, not a single Republican voted for the health care bill. They claim the U.S. government isn't qualified to be in the health care business. Hey, kept Dick Cheney alive the last 30 years. It's got to be worth something." –Jay Leno

"Do you know who's going to be in charge of health care? The IRS No, this is true. The IRS will be in charge of enforcing the new health care laws. You thought you hated getting audited by the government? Wait until they're in charge of your prostate exam, O.K.?" –Jay Leno

"And before the vote, protesters on Capitol Hill heckled Nancy Pelosi. But she managed to keep a stiff upper lip, as well as a tightly stretched forehead, and an unnaturally arched eyebrow." –Jay Leno

If you like stories of blatant, in-your-face political corruption, shady characters, plot twists to rival Shakespeare, class struggles, conspiracy theories that go beyond bizarre and are all too true, then following the upcoming elections in the Philippines is for you. Probably the weirdest candidate is the entry of Imelda Marcos to the Presidential ring. Her sole platform is that if she wins, she will have her husband's body transferred to the national military hero's cemetery. Her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, was President back in the 1970's and '80's, was ousted for his corruption and had to leave the country, and ended up in Hawaii where he died in 1986. Imelda became a national symbol for conspicuous consumption in the face of poverty and unrest when it was revealed that she had a shoe collection of several hundreds. She was the Evita of the Philippines, don't cry for me, Manila... Some supporters of Marcos were thought to have developed the derivative drug "ice" and to have introduced it to the American public. From Foreign Policy: "Between the ongoing clan violence in Mindanao, a rumored coup plot, the meddling of disgraced former President Joseph Estrada, and boxer Manny Pacquiao's first foray into the political ring, there are almost too many subplots to keep track of in the Philippines' fascinating upcoming elections. The latest is the return of former first lady and footwear enthusiast Imelda Marcos to the public eye. Marcos is running for congress for the sole purpose of burying her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, in a "heroes' cemetery" Imelda makes Sarah Palin seem well read and intelligent, yet she has bounced back into the political spotlight more times than Richard Nixon reinvented himself. After the intensity of our year long health care debate, this upcoming election is candy to delight the mind and sweeten our thoughts in time for Spring...

I'm a little upset, I thought this story wouldn't be reported until tomorrow, but every news website has it as their major story...

Some folks take a break after a big win by going to Disneyland, Barack Obama went to the next best thing. Taking a break after an intensely fought health care win, and a new nuclear treaty with Russia, President Obama went to Afghanistan unannounced and schmoozed with Hamid Karzai. His goals were: "First and foremost was [determining] exactly what effort is being made by President Karzai - as he promised on his second inauguration last year - to make sure that corruption is being fought," he said. Also, [Obama was] to find out how the fight against the drug-growing industry here in Afghanistan is going. And of course, the corruption that comes with it.

He was also to use the trip to meet with US troops before heading back to Washington. There are some 120,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and that is set to rise to nearly 150,000 by the end of this year as Washington sends in more troops as part of a new strategy to try and quell the mounting violence." This was to give some support for Karzai, to buck up his ego, and to give some tough love. Karzai is now essential to the Afghans successfully taking over the tasks that US and NATO forces are currently doing. Pakistani and Saudis are performing most of the diplomatic work to the Taliban groups, and the Karzai government has to appear strong, popular, competent, and honest, all new roles for an Asian government to perform. It's possible that Obama scored one of those cool custom made hats that Karzai has especially made for him...

I thought that the flap in Honduras was over with a new election, but evidently there are still a lot of people who felt that Manuel Zelaya got an unfair shake, especially since what  he was proposing, to allow more than one term for the President, was not worth such a vehement reaction from the military. It was a lot of political theater and grandstanding by the more conservative elements in the government.

Now, members of the Honduran Parliament are debating over allowing Zelaya a seat alongside the newly elected President. Guess this means that Honduras will get another visit in solidarity from some conservative Congressmen, maybe even our own Doug Lamborn will go back and shower them with mediocrity...

Who knows, Hillary hasn't had a chance to rest much this year, so we need to find another high profile person, maybe we could send treasonous Oliver North on down to take a look at the situation. After all, he made so many friends the last time he was in Central America... heck, maybe he could resolve our Iran problem while he is at it...

I say we need to start using our dissident voices to work for us and begin by putting our AM radio hosts to better use. They should all be drafted and sent to places where they can best influence a population. Just think, we could send Glenn Beck to talk with the Taliban since he is so good with a chalkboard, and maybe send Rush to other places in South America, once he gets settled in Costa Rico. Perhaps he would go to Columbia and Venezuela, where they could use his influence, then, who knows, he could take Google back to China...

Here is a fun game. When you find words like "Democrats," or "America," or "Obama," in a quote from Rush Limbaugh, substitute it with the party, country, and despot of your choice. For example, if we sent Rush to Venezuela to talk insurrection about Hugo Chavez, we could alter these lines from his Friday's show to show how effective he would be:

"The real death threat is this legislation. The Plutocrats have aroused a majority of people in this country with their bill and their lawless attempt to pass it."

"When is the last time you can recall a bunch of conservatives having a riot, disrupting a congressional hearing, or coming out with books and movies on how to assassinate a president?"

"The simple fact of the matter is that the kind of behavior these people are running around scared to death of and accusing people of, they are the authors of this kind of behavior. These are the people that wrote the book on how to do this."

"There is genuine anger. A lot of Venezuelans, Mr. Chavez, think you're destroying the country, and you're smiling while you go about it."

"Every time we disagree with these people we have to hear how we're racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, and all the rest. Is that not hate speech, especially when it's lies? The left is the architect, the author of hate speech."

"Do you remember when everybody in the media was just ripping George Bush to pieces 'cause gasoline got to three bucks a gallon? Well, it's there again. Gas prices up a dollar a gallon since Hugo Chavez was immaculated, and they are expected to go over three dollars a gallon during the summer driving season."

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