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New Rules

New Rule: Somebody has to ask John Edwards why he is smiling in his recent mug shot. [slide of Edwards' mug shot] After the three years he's just had, his mug shot shouldn't look like this. It should look like this. [slide of Nick Nolte mug shot]

New Rule: Nancy Grace has to prove she was somewhere else the day of the murder. Any murder. I'm not saying she did it; I'm just saying, who's always around and clearly capable of cold-blooded murder without remorse? I think most Americans are relieved to see Nancy Grace on TV because it means she's not hiding in the back seat of our car with piano wire and those cold, black eyes.

New Rule: Stop saying America doesn't make anything anymore. Introducing "Shivers," ice cubes that have lemon or lime flavoring already in them. Suck on that, Germany. We have revolutionized the ice industry. Now, go do what you still have to do that we don't have to do anymore: go cut up your lemon into little wedges and squeeze it into your drinks, you f**king losers!

New Rule: Stop comparing Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann just because they're both Republican women...and crazy. And know-nothings...And Jesus freaks. Who claim to receive messages from God. Who both get their historical facts wrong all the time, and both give off a sound that only animals can hear, and make microwaves explode. Seriously, stop comparing them.

New Rule: Stop making those fumigation tents look so damn fun. This look doesn't say "beware, deadly pesticides in use"; it says "step inside and pet the monkey."

And finally, New Rule: If you think the Republican presidential candidates can't possibly get any lamer, then you haven't met the new Republican flavor of the month, Rick Perry.

If you're not familiar with Rick, he took over as governor of Texas from George W. Bush, who's now referred to as the "smart one." Rick carries a gun even when he's jogging. He wears cowboy boots with a suit. And the boots say, "Come and take it." Which sounds kind of gay to me.

And he threw such a tantrum when Obama won, he actually talked about Texas seceding from the union. Because that's what America needs: a president of the United States who's not really sold on the whole "United States" concept.

Now, last week, Rick Perry announced that he has rented out a 70,000-seat football stadium in Houston for something called "The Response." Which sounds like a home pregnancy test. But, actually is, to quote the governor, "a Christian prayer service to provide spiritual solutions to the many challenges we face as a nation." Or as stadium employees are calling it, "Batshit Day."

I guess the idea is to get together in a big group and pray all at once. That way, the signal is stronger and God doesn't lose you when he's going through a canyon. But, here on "Planet Reality," may I point out that there is no such thing as "spiritual solutions" to national problems. If that's where we are as a country, if our official government policy is "Yee-haw, Jesus take the wheel!"- then we're dead already.

On his "Jesus-palooza" website, Perry writes, "There is hope for America. It lies in Heaven, and we will find it on our knees." He also says, "Some problems are beyond our power to solve."

What?! I thought we were the "can-do" people. And if Perry thinks only God can solve our problems, why is he even in government? Why doesn't he just stay at home and light a bunch of candles like Sissy Spacek's mom in "Carrie"?

Here's an opposing view: Not only are our problems not beyond our power to solve, they're actually fairly easy to solve. You have a giant budget deficit, like Perry has in Texas? Raise taxes. Federal tax revenues haven't been this low since 1950. And THAT, plus two wars and a recession, are the reason we have a huge deficit.  It's not because God's angry over the gay kissing on "Glee." It doesn't require prayer to solve it. It requires a calculator.

Politicians like to say, "We need new ideas." Bullshit. "New ideas" is just a secular version of "spiritual solutions," something that's going to magically fix everything. What new idea is going to solve our healthcare crisis? A magic pill that makes obese children crap out gold bricks?

We don't need "new ideas." We need the balls to implement the ideas we already know work. Cut corporate welfare. Slash the defense budget. Tax the rich. Support the strong unions that created a middle class in the first place. Build infrastructure and take the profit out of healthcare.

By the way, Rick Perry isn't just talking when he says "spiritual solutions." Back in April, faced with a devastating drought, Rick did what any solutions-oriented, 21st century civil servant would do: he proclaimed a "Day of Prayer for Rain." Because we're ancient Mayans now.

Here's what Texas looked like in April, with the drought in red. [slide shows Texas map with tiny section in red] And here's the Eden it is today. [slide shows Texas map with more than 50% red] In the words of Sister Mary Ignatius, "God answers all your prayers. And sometimes, the answer is no.'"

New Rule: Nancy Grace has to prove she was somewhere else the day of the murder. Any murder. I'm not saying she did it; I'm just saying, who's always around and clearly capable of cold-blooded murder without remorse?

Episode 217

June 17, 2011

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