The pacifier changes, the sucking remains.
-The Covert Comic
Social media on the shutdown:
Andy Borowitz (Facebook):
BREAKING: Most Hated People in U.S. Deciding Fate of World.
Let's put this shutdown behind us so the trials for treason can begin.
Michele Bachmann: "My Health Plan is Rapture."
As the Republicans go from Abraham Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt to Ted Cruz, it's no wonder they don't believe in evolution.
Say what you will about America, it's a place where any child, if he's stupid enough, can grow up to wreck the world economy.
If we default on our debt Miley Cyrus will no longer be the most embarrassing thing about America.
Call me an optimist, but I believe our government will come up with a totally unsatisfactory solution to a completely unnecessary crisis.
The behavior of the Tea Party congressmen is the most glaring indictment of our nation's failure to teach math.
Congress has wasted two weeks on a totally unnecessary crisis of its own creation. It's a good thing our schools and roads are in great shape or I'd be mad.
There are people in Congress I would not trust to look after my plants.
WASHINGTON - After a poll showed 50% of Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown and 30% blame Obama, Rep. Michele Bachmann said, "That means we're winning by 20 percent."
Boehner: "The time has come to end this crisis so we can start planning the next one."
BREAKING: GOP Accuse Obama of Acting Like He Won Election
BREAKING: NRA Defends GOP's Right to Use Metaphorical Gun
Basically, the Republicans want a reward for calling in a bomb threat and then retracting it.
Just bought health insurance online. For some weird reason, the country was not destroyed. Anyone else have this problem?
It bothers me that our country may be pushed into default by people who cannot spell default.
Boehner: "We will continue this shutdown until we find out the reason for it."
WASHINGTON - In an escalation of the stalemate gripping the Capitol, House Republicans voted today to shut down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls reasoning and impulses
The shutdown could last awhile since the Tea Party is demanding the President not be black anymore.
I wasn't happy about the country being controlled by the richest one percent, but I really hate it being controlled by the dumbest one percent
Boehner: "The President is stubbornly refusing to end this crisis I created."
WASHINGTON - House Republicans reassured the nation today that during the government shutdown they would continue to work hard to cut benefits for the poor and hungry.
A lot of people are asking when this kind of madness in Washington will end. I believe that can be arranged in 2014.
I'm impressed that no one has made the analogy between Ted Cruz and McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
REMINDER: Michele Bachmann's favorite Founding Father is George Jefferson.
FYI: A nuclear bomb is about to blow up the world's economy and the House GOP will let it go off unless we give a tax break to a corporation.
Political party that pretends Donald Trump is a serious candidate for anything isn't a political party anymore, it's a cry for help.
House Republicans. Willing to destroy what's left of the global economy to avoid a primary challenge.
BREAKING: Ted Cruz and House Republicans meet in private to write open letter to Miley Cyrus, plot a global financial crisis.
Columbus discovered America the same way Republicans discovered the deficit when Obama became president.
Republicans waited to wage war on birth control until 50 years after it was invented. Next: Stop the miniskirt!
Schoolhouse Rock is working on a new "How A Bill Becomes Law" but it's taking a while because not much rhymes with "hostage."
Boehner should just show up in a Hawaiian shirt chomping a cigar and say "whatever" to everything.
The real victim in this is legitimate Kabuki theater.
Maybe if the History Channel showed history instead of pawn shops and alligators less people would carry Confederate flags.
Hi, we're the most powerful nation in all of recorded history, may we please have our allowance?
Congress is going to wait until the very last minute and look up budget deals in Wikipedia.
Ted Cruz: Mr. Obama, tear down these barricades!**
(** Put up because of my 21-hour speech directly leading to this outcome.)
Don't tread on me, except getting me to donate money and vote against my own interests, you can tread on me that way.
I don't think Spock could handle mind-melding with John Boehner, even for a moment. The madness. The sorrow. It would break a mind.
Sarah Reese Jones (Twitter)
John McCain warns Dems not to humiliate GOP as the VP he picked stands near Confederate Flag in front of WH accusing Obama of being Muslim.
A non-native English speaking friend of my was complaining about the behavior of relatives whose loyalty was questionable when situations threatened their perceived well-being.
"I can't trust them," he said. "They're playing both sides of the chicken."
My mind decoded the mixed metaphor as a combination of playing chicken and being on both sides of the fence. But I also started giggling, trying to imagine how one would play both sides of a chicken and, more precisely, why you would want to do so.
Giggling still, waiting for a chance to use that phrase during a conversation and see the reaction...
News Headline: “Is social media ruining our grammar?”
No. Not at all.
Social media are ruining our grammar.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes
The Science Is Awesome page on Facebook noted in a post that the Curiosity rover has been on Mars for one year. It's measured radiation there, found dried up stream beds which shows Mars once had flowing water, became the first machine to drill into the surface of another planet, and has discovered some of the elements that are essential for life.
Meanwhile on Earth, the US House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare.
Rehab is a failure if you come out of it and you're still a politician.
Regarding the Boy Scouts, I'm very suspicious of any organization that
has a handbook.
First, we cannot enhance our own security if we place in jeopardy what
is most precious to us, namely, the centrality of human rights in our
daily lives and in global affairs. Second, we cannot maintain our
historic self-confidence as a people if we generate public panic. Third,
we cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda
that polarizes and divides our country. Next, we cannot be true to
ourselves if we mistreat others. And finally, in the world at large, we
cannot lead if our leaders mislead.
Jeff Haden: These Speech Patterns Irritate the $#@* Out of Everyone Around You (from Linked In)
Years ago I worked for the poster child of buzzwords. He loved using terms like "cones of precision" and "silos" and "drill down" and... let's just stop there. (He also bought one of the first Palm Pilots, which meant a roomful of people often sat waiting while he laboriously entered stuff on his calendar. Yep, he was that guy.)
One of my colleagues maintained a running list of this guy's buzzwords. Whenever he whipped out his pad to jot down a new one two things happened: 1) our manager looked smug because he thought he d just said something so insightful my colleague wanted to capture it for posterity, and 2) the rest of us tried not to laugh because we knew what was really going on.
Unfortunately, Palm Pilot aside, we all have a little of that guy in us. We use the same words too often. Or we use irritating speech patterns. Or we simply fall in love with certain expressions (I once conducted an all-too-public affair with the phrase, "That's neither here nor there.") When we do, whatever we hoped to say gets lost in the noise of cliche or extreme repetition.
See if you're guilty of any of these:
1. The Double Name: Using a person's name twice (worst case using your own name twice) in the same sentence as a way to justify unusual or unacceptable behavior.
Typical usage: "What can I say?" Shrug. "That's just Joe being Joe." (Worse, "Hey, that's just me being me.")
Whenever you use the double name you're actually excusing behavior you would not tolerate from someone else.
And everyone knows it.
2. The Fake Agreement: Pretending to agree while expressing the opposite point of view.
Typical usage: "I'm with you... but I just don't think we should take on that project."
In reality you aren't really with me because then you would agree with what I'm saying. (Plus beginning a sentence with something like, "I hear you..." is like a condescending pat on the head.)
Don't try to couch a different opinion inside a warm and fuzzy Fake Agreement. If you disagree, just say so professionally.
3. The Unsupported Closure: Ending a discussion or a decision without backup or solid justification.
Typical usage: "At the end of the day, we're here to sell products."
Really? I had no idea we're supposed to sell products!
The Unsupported Closure is the go-to move for people who want something a certain way and cannot or do not feel like explaining why. Whenever you feel one coming on, take a deep breath and start over; otherwise you'll spout inane platitudes instead of objective reasons that may actually help your employees get behind your decision.
Quick note: A Fake Agreement combines nicely with an Unjustified Closure: "I hear what you're saying, but at the end of the day revenue concerns must come first." Win-win!
4. The False Uncertainty: Pretending you're not sure when in fact you really are.
Typical usage: "You know, when I think about it... I'm not so sure shutting down that facility isn't the best option after all."
Oh, you're sure; you're just trying to create buy-in or a sense of inclusion by pretending you still have an open mind... or you're planting seeds for something you know you will eventually do.
Never say you aren't sure unless you really aren't sure... and are truly willing to consider other viewpoints.
5. The First Person Theoretical: Pretending to be another person in order to explore different points of view.
Typical usage: "Let's say I'm the average customer and I walk in
your store and want to buy a shirt..."
You can get away with this one occasionally, but more than that is really irritating.
Don't believe me? Let's say I'm the average reader and I know someone who uses the First Person Theoretical to pretend he's putting himself in another person's shoes. And let's say I'm thinking it's really irritating. And let's say I'm...
Let's just say I'm thinking we should move on.
6. The Favorite Phrase: Using a phrase so often that word is all anyone can hear.
Typical usage: Any phrase that gets hammered to death. Here's an
I knew someone who never met a sentence he couldn't find a way to shoehorn in a random "in other words," "as it relates to," or "in general." Often he could cram all three into the same sentence multiple times.
Fall in love with a word or expression and not only do other people hear it, they start to hear nothing else. Then whatever you hoped to get across gets lost as they think, "Oh jeez, for once could he leave out the 'that's neither here nor there'?"
Ask someone if you overuse a word, phrase, or figure of speech. At first they'll look uncomfortable and try to avoid answering. Insist.
Eventually they'll tell you, and I guarantee you'll never do it again. Trust me: Been there, been told that.
(Mr. Haden also writes for Inc.com.)
We live in a country where voting rights get gutted but Sharknado
gets a sequel.
"Sharknader" - via Late Night With David Letterman
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by:
- finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it;
- intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, and threaten to default on the nation’s debt;
- taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections;
- running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change isn't occurring, and
- buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.
Would you call this treason?
You stand on your own two feet. You don't voluntarily participate in any socialist programs like insurance. And when you get into an auto accident, you get out your checkbook and scribble out a series of checks for half a million dollars, made payable to your doctor, your hospital, the testing labs, the rehabilitation facility and a couple of dozen other related entities. In other words, you pay your own way. But you don't mind this. After all, you're a capitalist. You believe in self-reliance and you will not participate in any liberal social program like insurance. I mean, you could pay into an insurance plan for your whole life, and if you never get sick, you'll never see a dime back! Where is the fairness in that? That's not any better than paying taxes! And the thought of your premiums going to all of those other socialist scumbags who get cancer or are shot in a robbery - you simply can't stand for that. If you let your guard down and participate in a socialist program like insurance, you'll be contributing to the destruction of our way of life! And morons who don't look like they're smart enough to have a job will scream at you at town hall meetings.
And don't think for a second that I'm only talking about health insurance here. Auto insurance and homeowner's insurance are exactly the same. If you carry any of these products, you are a socialist.
Feeling stupid yet? You should be.
... Audience reaction when the lights go down and the screen is filled with the words "A Santorum Film".
Don’t get me wrong. Being a mom is no picnic. Raising the kids is the
mother’s responsibility. It’s a thankless, solitary job, like sheriff or
Morton Lyon "Mort" Sahl (born May 11, 1927) is a Canadian-born American comedian and actor best known for his stream of consciousness monologues centered on current events and politics. His low-key, droll delivery of withering, ascerbic observations prompted Time to refer to him as "Will Rogers with fangs." (Sahl has his own web site here.
A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now.
A social historian is someone who reports accidents to eyewitnesses.
Did anyone ever wrestle with his conscience and lose?
God is watching us. If we support someone we don't believe in and say he's electable, then God will make sure he's not elected and hope we do better the next time.
Hitler said that he always knew you could buy the press. What he didn't know was that you could get them cheap.
"I Aim for the Stars, But Sometimes I Hit London." (suggested title of Werner von Braun's autobiography)
I don't think there's any reward beyond participating, beyond being here.
I made the mistake early in my career, when I moved to Hollywood, of being attracted to actresses. I used to go out exclusively with actresses and other female impersonators.
I'm not so much interested in politics as I am in overthrowing the government.
If anybody comes up to you and says, "My kid is a conservative- why is that?" you say, "Remember in the 60s when we told you if you kept using drugs your kids would be mutants?"
If you maintain a consistent political position long enough, you will eventually be accused of treason.
If you were the last man on earth, I'd have to oppose you. That's my job.
In the forties, to get a girl you had to be a GI or a jock. In the fifties, to get a girl you had to be Jewish. In the sixties, to get a girl you had to be black. In the seventies, to get a girl you've got to be a girl.
I’m for capital punishment. You’ve got to execute people. How else are they going to learn?
Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.
Most people past college age are not atheists. It's too hard to be in society, for one thing. Because you don't get any days off. And if you're an agnostic you don't know whether you get them off or not.
My whole life is a movie. It's just that there are no dissolves. I have to live every agonizing moment of it. My life needs editing.
People tell me there are a lot of guys like me, which doesn't explain why I'm lonely.
Reagan won because he ran against Jimmy Carter. If he ran unopposed he would have lost.
Say what you will (about former Disney chairman Michael Eisner), he made the monorail run on time.
Television is never more false than when it's openly sincere.
That feeling of hopelessness only serves your masters.
The bravest thing that men do is love women.
The Democrats don't want anyone to be born, but if you are, they will take care of you from the cradle to the grave. The Republicans don't mind if you are born, if you assure them that you don't plan to live long enough to collect your Social Security.
There's a danger our fiscal bankruptcy might overtake our moral bankruptcy.
There's a magazine of obscure poetry - called Whither.
This matter of two sides to every question is bad logic and bad practice: sometimes there are no sides; sometimes there are a hundred.
Those who learn nothing from history are condemned to rewrite it.
Those who the gods would make rich and famous on TV, they first drive mad.
Two hundred years ago, we had Jefferson, Washington, Ben Franklin and Tom Paine, and there were four million people. Today we have 220 million, and look at our leaders. Darwin was wrong.
Washington couldn't tell a lie, Nixon couldn't tell the truth, and Reagan couldn't tell the difference.
We all know that America is the worst country in the world, except for all the others.
We claim we believe in compassion, which is an abstract, and when it's personified we discredit the man.
We would have broken up except for the children. Who were the children? Well, she and I were.
When the Democrats form a firing squad, they stand in a circle.
Exactly ten years ago, this very minute, I was on a United Airlines 737, somewhere over Indiana, heading back to Pittsburgh to see my first grandchild, Leanna Renee, who had been born two hours earlier.
It's been ten years, and we still don't have personal jet packs.
"Hey, we might be able to see the Northern Lights tonight."
"They're saying 8, but it may be as late as midnight."
"Cool. What direction do you look?"
"Uh... Northern Lights? I'm guessing north."
(Some sources are saying that due to a large coronal mass ejection on the Sun this past Thursday, that areas as far south as Pennsylvania may be able to observe the Aurora Borealis this evening.)
We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
Coca-Cola has announced a new product called “Fruitwater,” which contains no fruit.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes
Following a commercial for the movie, "Dracula's Daughter:"
"Can vampires reproduce?"
"They do in the Twilight movies."
"No, I mean real vampires."
I imagine our Shelties all would have Scottish accents if they could speak, and Lucy, the oldest, would sound just like Deborah Kerr in the original Casino Royale.
They should just create a "Best Quentin Tarantino Film" category and be done with it.
How can you not like an Oscars show with two Captain Kirks?
I wish Spielberg had won best director. How great would it have been for him to talk too long and to have the Jaws music start..
The Pope's tweets come from an Apple device, which is kind of funny when you think about it...
Since I'm not a fan, I was a bit apprehensive about Seth McFarland hosting the Oscars. His performance reminded me of Calvin Trillin's suggested state motto for New Jersey: "Not as bad as you might have expected."
"Why Seth MacFarlane's Oscars were mean spirited and misogynistic, coming up next after our
review of the worst dressed women."
Totally unrelated: It turns out Person of Interest is more of a documentary...
Daniel Craig is a fine actor, and Skyfall was a good film, but lt just doesn't feel like a Bond movie, despite the presence of all the MI6 characters and trappings.
Perhaps it's because I can't get over Mr. Craig's unique physical attributes. When back-lit, his ears make him look like a Volkswagen with its doors open.
The Aston-Martin has an ejector seat. Bond can hear dog whistles.
It was the last day of school- May 31, 1963. My parents decided to take me on a short weekend vacation trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate my completing third grade.
We stopped at the J&I Dairy on 13th and McClure in Homestead to pick up some last minute items. At the front of the store was a comic book display.
I was three months shy of my ninth birthday, yet somehow had managed to miss the fact that my favorite- make that only- superhero, Superman, actually had a comic book. In fact, he had an entire series of comic books in which he appeared. My experience to this point with the Man of Steel was the endlessly rerun Adventures of Superman, which I watched daily on a snowy WTOV Channel 9 Steubenville.
Naturally, I was drawn to the book. My parents bought it for me, along with some other Superman titles, to keep me quiet on the trip.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that comic book changed my life.
It was the middle of the "Silver Age" of comics, and after Superman, I discovered Green Lantern, The Flash, The Manhunter from Mars, and rest of The Justice League of America.
My comics reading habit opened a world of literature. I discovered that Superman wasn't the first hero with a dual identity, after learning (in the comics' letters from readers section) that a Hungarian baroness, Emma Orczy, had first introduced the concept in The Scarlet Pimpernel. an idea later borrowed by Johnston McCulley's Zorro.
You know how when you read an article on a web site that has a link, which you follow to another link, then ten others, until it's eight hours later and you haven't found what you were originally looking for but instead discovered dozens of other even more interesting topics and facts? Superman comics were like that for me, only instead of surfing the web, I roamed the stacks of the Carnegie Library of Homestead.
I mention all this because today in the birthday of Curt Swan (February 17, 1920 – June 17, 1996), the man whose cover art for Giant Superman Annual #7 drew me like a moth to a flame. Referred to by some as "The Norman Rockwell of comics," Swan's influence is perhaps most apparent in the original Superman film series, where Christopher Reeve appears to be a real life version of Swan's artistic interpretation.
Fifty years. Wow.
In related news, reports are surfacing that the largest crater resulting from the Russian meteorite strike contained a spaceship, and that a childless, middle-aged couple rescued a toddler wrapped in red and blue blankets...
There's probably some reason the tweets of greatest significance to me this week were from God and a fictional lesser mammal with a personality disorder, but don't ask me to explain. TMI, and all that.
Thousands of dead fish have now washed up on shore along the coast of
South Carolina. Today the NRA said that this wouldn't have happened if
those fish had guns."
I love the NRA accusing anyone of being paranoid. It's like a septic
tank saying, "You need a mint."
It's reported that if you're playing Angry Birds, the company is
tracking your location. This may seem silly to you, but it's actually
how we got bin Laden.
An American worker was arrested for paying someone in China to do his
job for him. The man is being called lazy, irresponsible, and three
years ahead of his time.
The difference between George W. Bush and Lance Armstrong is that Bush
never took anything that was performance enhancing.
President Obama's inaugural parade will feature eight floats, including
a Hawaii float to honor his birthplace, an Illinois float to honor the
first lady’s home state, and a Kenyan float just to mess with
Manti Te'o's at Notre Dame! Imagine, going to a college named after
Virgin Mary and being in love with a nonexistent dead lady.
As a Jew, it's hard to mock Manti Te'o considering what we do for Elijah.
Wal-Mart made plans to hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans. Which can only mean
one thing: Wal-Mart is going to invade Costco.
Rumor: Tiffany's to make imaginary rings.
Daniel Day-Lewis won a Golden Globe for playing Abraham Lincoln and
Julianne Moore won for playing Sarah Palin. The foreign press realized
that the greatest challenge for an actor in Hollywood is pretending to
be a Republican."
Fox News inauguration coverage will just be live video feed with Sarah
McLachlan's "Angel" playing on a loop.
I went to see Zero Dark Thirty, and the first 45 minutes are torture.
Same as The Hobbit.
The drive on 95 shows how the Confederate capital could be 90 miles from
DC, yet not fall to Union forces for four years.
Next year, Tour de France moving to unicycles.
Between the great things we cannot do, and the little things we will not
do, lie the medium-sized things we do do.
-The Covert Comic
Republicans and Democrats are working on a new bill to streamline the
health care system. It will reduce the cost of mammograms and prostate
exams. But don't worry. They'll still be free at the airport.
I'm not saying a gun fetish is exactly a penis fetish but both are far
more likely to be fired on one's self than another person.
President Obama's half-brother is running for political office in Kenya.
Donald Trump has already accused him of being born in the United States.
During Jodie Foster's emotional [Golden Globes] speech she said she was
gay, 50, and friends with Mel Gibson. Afterwards, her publicist told
Jodie, "I'm going to need a raise."
Between Lance Armstrong admitting that he was doping and Jodie Foster
coming out as a lesbian, it's been a tough week for the clueless.
This country is the most entertained and the least informed.
News Headline: "Walmart promises to hire 100,000 veterans."
News Headline: "Bill would give homeless veterans unclaimed clothing from airports."
A lot of thought has gone into honoring our veterans.
Now they will have secondhand clothing to wear when they start their underpaid jobs with no benefits.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes
News Headline: "Study: Billions of Earth-size planets in Milky Way."
And we're the one that gets Donald Trump.
-Zay N. Smith- Quick Takes
Q. If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the
most difficult thing to explain to them about 2013?
A. I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.
I received an invitation on Linked In from someone involved in one of those multi level marketing rackets. You know the routine: be your own boss, retire a millionaire, our product sells itself. Of course, if the product did indeed sell itself, it wouldn't need distributors and a "down line" and a never ending campaign for new suckers- er, "team members."
The product being sold is not the product, but books and DVDs and seminars which teach you the magic system that will make you wildly successful. And when you find yourself in the hole, credit cards maxed out and the mortgage due, it's not that the product didn't sell. Rather, it's because you didn't work hard enough or master the magic system. Here, we have a book and DVD for that- it's only $49.95.
My grandiose and deluded friend called himself a "Global Success Architect." I stuck the term into Google, and the search engine responded with:
"No results found for 'global success architect'."
Which is exactly what I expected.
So I'm wandering the aisles at Giant Eagle and the missus, who is out of town, sends me a text message admonishing me to avoid buying junk food (not including, of course, the three-for-ten-dollars sale on Breyers' ice cream).
In fact, I had skipped the junk and was annoyed by her honest concern, which I chauvinistically perceived as condescending. Later, she reminded me to put the ice cream in the freezer immediately when I got home. Hey, I may not cook, but I am a freaking expert at the preparation and handling of frozen food, having subsisted primarily on pizza and Hungry Man dinners during my exile in Chicago.
I was sorely tempted to pick up a frozen strawberry cheesecake to share with the dogs. I wouldn't even thaw out the sucker- we'd just lie on the floor and lick it into yummy, sticky oblivion.
The groceries stored, I logged onto Facebook and was immediately presented with this New Yorker cartoon by Eric Lewis:
Which reminds me, I left the Clementine oranges and tuna fish out in the car.
Before celebrating too much, you should be certain the statute of limitations expires today and not the date of the original offense.
"Your call is important to us, but not important enough for us to hire anywhere near the number of people required to adequately deal with the never-ending torrent of valid complaints about our breathtaking incompetency."
I derive pleasure from the suffering of people who don't know what schadenfreude
Hamas could confuse the sh*t out of Fox News viewers by changing its
name to "Christmas."
The new normal is always worse than the old normal.
You'd think the secessionists could at least wait until the Lincoln
movie is out of the theaters.
News Headline: "NY district attorney admits he acted in 1970s
And then he fell in with a bad crowd and went into politics.
-Zay N. Smith, QT (The Beachwood Reporter)