Luke R. E. Publican

The Republican Party, inebriated with tea partisanship, seems to shoot itself in its elephantine trunk in attracting presidential candidates. This certainly worked to Romney’s favor last time around, as he certainly looked far more presidential than “what-was-the-third-one” Rick Perry, Call 999 and pay your taxes Mr. Cain, Sarah “I can see Alaska from my bedroom” Palin, Ron “I will run even when I am in my grave” Paul and the other circus acts that paraded through the primaries in 2012. Once again we are seeing a run (at the mouth some times) of former Governor and Fox News celebrity Mike Huckabee. He is apparently willing to overlook the fact that having two presidents from the state of Arkansas within only a couple of decades is going against Las Vegas odds. But here he is again, hitting the mash potato and Bible verse quoting circuit and about as Iowa bound as a candidate can get.

The latest bit of Huckabeeswax has a nasty sting to it. Echoing the Gold Meir canard that there are no “Palestinians” on his most recent Bible Land tour (I suspect that Huckabee is guilty of not reading Twain’s Innocents Abroad), the Arkansas traveler said that there aint no such thing (well he is reported to have said “is” no such thing but who knows what the meaning of “is” really is) as a Palestinian. “The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,” Huckabee said.

So if there are no “Palestinians” but only “Arabs” who made up the term to spite Israel and drive them into the sea, who exactly was living in Eretz Israel before 1948. Here are some scenarios. (more…)

The lunatic fringe is no longer a fringe on Youtube. Every wild idea you could possibly think of is out there somewhere. For example, not only is Egypt the mother of all civilizations, an idea that has been around for awhile, but today we see ancient Egyptians being cloned. There is Obama, who must be relieved to know he is an ancient Egyptian and not a Muslim. And there is Michael Jackson, who probably would make a great MTV video if he had only known his true roots. If you want more proof of the clones, just check out this Youtube video.

President Obama has been stalked by birthers ever since his first run for the White House. But forget about placing his birth in Kenya, even though Kenya is a country where qat (Catha edulis) is chewed. A friend in Yemen sent me this photograph which should confuse the birther issue even more. If Obama can chew like a Yemeni, who knows where he was really born. Just think, how much qat is there in Hawaii?

Afghan President Karzai explaining how large a bag he wants his CIA cash delivered in

Following the “revelation” that the CIA has been dropping off bags of cash to Afghan’s President Karzai, perhaps its acronym should also stand for Covert Insurance Allowance. What better way to spread democracy and freedom-loving among the Afghan people than to buy allegiance with greenbacks. After all, if Karzai is not supplied with freshly minted American dollars, how can he get the warlords to side with him. Let’s face it, the Taliban have stockpiled the opium, so Karzai needs some source of income for his fragile economy. As bribed supporters of American liberation, we can be assured that these warlords would never use any of that under-the-table funding to buy opium from the Taliban.

Many Americans are shocked that the CIA would provide clandestine aid to a foreign president who is pulled out on the kilim in public to be chided over Afghan’s notorious corruption. But rest assured that President Karzai gives America receipts for every dollar. These receipts are actually recycled and used as toilet paper back in CIA headquarters, resulting in a significant savings for the agency. The CIA can now cover its own shit without having to buy truckloads of Scots Tissues, much to the consternation of the Koch Brothers. Now that the shit has hit the fan, so to speak, more money will need to be provided to Karzai so that more receipts can make their way back to headquarters. There is plenty of cash available, despite sequestration, since so many of the other dictators that were getting genuine made-in-America bribes on the sly are gone. (more…)

Events in the Middle East continue to fester and flair with yet more deaths in Syria, rumors of the Kurds carving out an enclave for themselves in the ruins of Assad’s state, Kenyan troops cleansing the Al Shabab from their last stronghold in Somalia, cross firings between leaders of Iran, Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the anything but united UN, and the list goes on and on. But in America, now that the official NFL refs are back on the job, the media is gearing up for the first presidential debate between a sitting President that was once thought to be in electoral trouble and a Republican candidate who has been so inept that he may re-enact a Goldwater moment for the party of Lincoln (and now of Lincolns, Lexus and Jaguars).

I suspect quite a few voters will watch the debate, even those who have already made up their minds and voted early, and others will watch just to confirm how much they dislike one of the candidates. But for all the hoopla, these debates are so choreographed that winners and losers tend to be determined only in the eyes of the beholders. Romney could stick his foot, ankle, calf and knee in his mouth and Fox News will still declare him the winner. The MSNBC anchors will try to stifle their laughter, but they actually knew who would win before the show opened. And a show it will be. Think of it as the MLB home-run hitting context with the BP fastballs lain in there, right down the pike, not as a boxing match where someone might get bloodied and knocked out. Consider this: George W. Bush survived his debates and won re-election. Does anyone seriously think that Obama will forget who the leader of China is?

There are a number of questions that I suspect will not be asked, even though quite a few Americans may be mulling over them before they make a “legitimate” vote (I suppose in Todd Aiken’s view this would be a vote in which the voter has a built-in ability to reject liberals and shows an I.D. issued by the NRA). How about these?

• Governor Romney, if you are elected President and Jesus Christ comes back to earth before you take the oath of office, will you be disappointed? Will you urge the Republicans in Congress not to filibuster any of the programs for the poor that Jesus might want to introduce?

• President Obama, why won’t you admit your are a Muslim born in Kenya? If Governor Romney is elected President, will you agree to self deport yourself back to Africa and stop passing yourself off as a white guy?

• Governor Romney, given the rising costs of health care for the elderly, who are often given medical tests they really do not need, would you as president give a tax break to faith healers as an alternative to the E.R.?

• President Obama, you once wrote a book called “The Audacity of Hope.” Is it true that your are currently working on your next book and it will be called “The Audacity of Hype”?

• Governor Romney, if last time around the VP candidate Sarah Palin was a pit bull, do you think that Paul Ryan is a poodle or a Doberman? Has the campaign committee put him through a dog training school yet?

• President Obama, is there a room in the basement of the White House where Joe Biden can be sent and the key thrown away?

• Governor Romney, do you actually shop at Staples?

• President Obama, if you are not re-elected President, would you be willing to work at Staples for a minimum wage or would you prefer to take your chances in the NBA draft?

I have one more suggestion. Since there are three debates, could we remake “Survivor” and vote one of them (or both of them) off the stage at the end of the third debate?

Jean-Marc Ayrault

The election of François Hollande as the new President of France not only has the financial markets reeling, but has also presented a problem for Arab journalists. Take, for example, the appointment of Jean-Marc Ayrault (as the French pronounce his name) as the new Prime Minister. As noted in al-Arabiya, here is the problem:

The Arab-speaking media was in a quandary after the appointment of Jean-Marc Ayrault as France’s new prime minster on Tuesday − about how to mention the head of the French government without causing offense.

Transcribed into Arabic from the French pronunciation of his name, “Ayrault” refers to the male sexual organ in several Arabic dialects.

The problem lasted for hours after French President Francois Hollande named the head of the Socialist bloc in parliament as his prime minister, with Arab journalists trying different possible pronunciations of his name.

Some newspapers referred to him as “Aro,” others prefixed his name with an “H,” while some chose to spell out the last two silent letters.

The conundrum was finally resolved by the French foreign ministry, which issued an official edict on subject permitting his name to be transcribed as written, and saving the blushes of many an Arabic editor.

I sympathize fully with Arab journalists trying to avoid any rhetorical ethical lapse. It might indeed raise the ire of Monsieur Ayrault, if he were to learn that Arabs think him a prick before he even takes on the responsibilities of his office (although perhaps this was the case for Sarkozy). Certainly Monsieur Ayrault is no airhead, nor should anyone confuse the recent French election with any kind of erectile dysfunction within the Eurozone. Monsieur Ayrault deserves a chance to enlarge his reputation without having his name sullied from the start. After he has had a chance to perform affairs of state, he can be judged during the refractory period that inevitably follows for all politicians. After all, he is only a Prime Minister and not yet an heir apparent.

There is the real world which we see nightly on the news, even if filtered through journalistic hubris in which people are killed, maimed, maligned and the gamut of human interaction. Then there are the “prophets” who keep cropping (usually crapping) up with visions of impending doom. The recent prayer event that Rick Perry attended was organized by some of the most bizarre religionists in our country. As noted on yesterday’s Fresh Aire, some individuals are crusading a brand of “spiritual warfare” that comes close to the real thing. These include what most normal people, including the vast majority of Evangelical Christians, would call nut cases: charismatic preachers who claim visions from God, but somehow need more money to get the vision across.

I visited one of these “prophet” sites of a fellow named Sid Roth. He looks like the kind of guy who you would meet at a Jewish Community Center and his site is all about Jews, that is all about how to convert Jews to his version of Christianity. You have to wonder about a flashy website that has a banner declaring “It’s supernatural!” as a registered trademark. There is also that “Messianic Vision”, which is blind to what most Christians believe and certainly to just about everything rational in the world today. One thing that is all over the site is the “Donate Now” prompt. However, I do find it ironic that one of the DVDs for sale at a discount is entitled “Will America Survive 2011?” Is it being discounted so more people will buy and view it (which I somehow doubt as a financial move) or because thus far it is surviving and probably will, so why not try to unload the DVDs now. Indeed there are people stupid enough in our land that will buy this DVD after 2011, just as those who predict the end of the world (or think it already ended) always keep a few followers.

A short surf of some of the sites on the network of media prophets came up not only with Sid (I do wish he were a professional comedian with that first name) but with a Faisal Malick, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and now tries to convert Muslims with slick media programs. (more…)

If you are reading this post today, one of two things may happen in the next day (May 21, 2011): (A) the Rapture will occur and you will not be chosen, or (B) the Rapture will be miscalculated yet again. I suppose the Rapture could happen and no one will be chosen; things are rather evil these days so maybe this time the Godhead will be totally pissed off and we are all on our way to hellfire and brimstone.

So let’s assume, for insanity’s sake, that it is option B. Move over Bishop Ussher, the alpha and the omega have been revised again. Bishop Ussher was the Irish prelate who in 1654 published a tract that calculated the creation of the world commencing October 23, 4004 BCE. This was the date that became embedded in many editions of the KJV, although there were other counts of the biblical begats that came up with different dates. You would think that a loving God would at least give his creation an exact time rather than this “one day is as a thousand years” nonsense. Bishop Ussher sure thought that.

Now one of the current daze of judgment scenarios making the rounds among bibliolaters of this age is for May 21, 2011, tomorrow by my reckoning, but I do hope God is using the Gregorian and not the Julian calendar. The folks at have pushed creation back to 11,013 BC, bumped the birth of Jesus back to 7 BC, initiated the “great tribulation” back in 1988 (the year the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was released) and now predict the rapture for May 21, 2011. I, for one, will be checking their website on May 22 to see what I might have missed, since I do not have reservations myself for the Last Trump (and I do not mean the Donald). I can’t even get Broadway tickets for “The Book of Mormon” before mid-June. (more…)

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