Beloved hilarious Representative Michele Bachmann has retired from Congress, ending or at least suspending one of Combat! blog’s longest-running categories. Her last official act appears to have been to urge President Obama to bomb Iran at the White House Christmas party. Earlier this week, she delivered a farewell speech in which she attributed America’s economic success to the Ten Commandments. Quote:
It could be no coincidence that this nation, knowing and enjoying the heights of such great happiness and such great prosperity, that it could be built upon that foundation of the Ten Commandments and by the law given by the God in whom we trust.
Can you believe she only legislated for eight years? Today is Friday, and even those most deeply committed to just sayin’ stuff must fall silent sometime. Won’t you keep the flame burning with me?
The good news is there’s plenty more US government yet to come, thanks to the omnibus spending bill congressional leaders appeared to settle on this week. But you can’t make the sausage without grinding off a few fingernails. Among the non-nutritive substances in this week’s deal lies a provision to dramatically increase limits on individual contributions to political parties. It’s hard to say exactly how much, but the Times estimates that the amount any one person can donate to party committees will increase from $97,200 a year to $777,000. You know that’s what the American people want, because neither party will take credit for it. I quote the Times:
Neither party’s lawmakers would take responsibility for inserting the provision.
“Success has many fathers,” said a Republican who supports it, who spoke candidly on the condition of anonymity. “Democrats love this, too.”
Now that’s leadership: speaking candidly on the condition of anonymity. Anyway, once you figure out who that guy is, all you need to do is raise three quarters of a million dollars to defeat him. That’s a tiny fraction of the money Amazon saved this week, when the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that warehouse employees do not have to be paid for the mandatory half-hour security screenings they undergo at the end of each shift. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas declared that the screening was not “an intrinsic element” of workers’ duties, even though they are required to do it every day. Just because you’ll get fired if you don’t do it doesn’t mean it’s part of your job, apparently. Either that or the court twisted reason to side with a Fortune 500 company, but why would it ever do that?
Maybe it was to protect America. Pretty much anything is okay if you do it for America, including but not limited to wrecking America. According to the Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed falsified a plan to recruit black Muslims in Montana in order to avoid being waterboarded for the second time in one day. This story shouldn’t be funny. But two elements here are comedy gold:
- KSM assumed this lie was plausible, because he knows nothing about Montana.
- His interrogators believed him for the same reason.
Here’s a possibility thus far unaddressed in debate: maybe the CIA likes torture because they’re kind of dumb, and it’s way easier to put food in someone’s butt than to manipulate an elaborate network of relationships that will trick him into revealing the truth. First a nation works hard and exercises good judgment to succeed. Then it decides that whatever it does is good by definition and exploits its success to cut corners. I wonder what happens next.
Probably, it realizes that a large portion of its success was due to resource extraction and takes a broadly compassionate attitude toward those less fortunate. The good people at Clickhole have pulled off maybe my favorite form of humor, compassionate satire, in this roundup of the 8 Dumbest Criminals. Rather than explain the effect, I’ll just proffer and example:
Get a load of this Einstein. After being physically and emotionally abused for years by his alcoholic father, 15-year-old Elijah stole a car with the vague, desperate hope of leaving his whole life behind. Can you say NUMBSKULL?!
The tone of this piece manages to be relentlessly mean in its parody of the form yet determinedly forgiving of the people we thoughtlessly condemn. It’s cruelty in defense of kindness, and I like it. Everybody quit your jobs and become Clickhole.
Except for a certain Obama speechwriter and friend of the blog—he should keep doing exactly what he’s doing, especially when he’s doing stuff like this:
Behold the President of the United States being legitimately funny. And if the jokes here evoke a style honed over several birthday and bachelor party roasts, why that’s just an added treat for those of us who see behind the curtain. Good work, buddy. Wish I could run your name. See you soon.