October Surprising Himself: Mourdock

Richard Mourdock feeling a disturbance in the force. “It’s like a thousand undecided voters all cried out at once ‘WTF’.”

Sometimes, in October, the Ghosts of Christmas Past will hunt down and lay the People’s Elbow on politicians, laying to waste well laid campaigns and perfectly portrayed lives. We call this phenomenon (my original spelling: phenomnomnomnom) The October Surprise.

Other times, candidates look blank-face at the campaign numbers, see that they are well within reach to win the election, and take a ball-pin hammer to their own image, presumably crying and screaming “You’re a loser, you’ll always be a loser.” We call this symptom of mental illness a word I’m not even allowed to say on the internet (seven syllables, three letter Ps. You know the one).

Thus we have the campaign of Richard Mourdock, the usurper of IN Senator Dick Lugar’s throne, fitting the rigid qualification passed in Indiana State law of 1877 “Hereforeth all G.O.P. Candidates needeth the first name Dick (LOLeth).” Mourdock’s rise to fame was influenced in part by Kingmaker Brian Gross (I’m really sorry guys, I had no idea). Riding the wave of a growing Tea Party base who considered Lugar too moderate, Mourdock is slated against Joe Donnelly, who has served in the Indiana State House since ’04.

Mourdock’s previous position of State Treasurer put him in perfect position for a Tea Party: Handle the money and not be in position to say anything crazy. This is a good lesson that everyone needs to learn, that just because they have not said anything crazy yet doesn’t mean it ain’t coming with a little power.

During Tuesday’s Indiana Senatorial debate against Donnelly, Mourdock said that he only supported abortion in the case of saving the mother’s life, and impregnation in the case of rape and incest “is what God intended.”

The look on the campaign staff of Joe Donnelly in the back room, watching the live feed, much have been only comparable to multiple orgasm.

First, Mourdock clearly doesn’t mean that God intended the rape, just that God intended life to happen. I get it, I see it, and it still doesn’t feel right. Phrasing is everything in politics. Remember Grossness, M.D.’s first rule for saying things in politics: “If what you say can be misinterpreted, automatically assume it will be and act accordingly.”

Second, let me god-damn rephrase for you knuckleheads out there. You want to tiptoe around the subject of Rape and Abortion? Don’t go into it like a bull in a china shop by throwing a little Jesus in there. Use this phrase, Tea Party politicians, it’s a freebee.

“I believe in the sanctity of life, and I don’t believe in the kneejerk reaction to match violence with violence. Rape is a heinous act, and I want to exhaust every opportunity available to avoid answering it with another act just as heinous.”

Bam. Eloquent, informed, and it still has all the hardline approach the Tea Party demands. Or, you can find a way to artfully dodge it by talking on the platforms that work. Taxes, Size of Government, Healthcare, come on, that stuff is a gimme. That is where you can win those undecideds. But when was the last time a moderate said “I do like his Old-Testament God approach to Rape… Oh what the hell, I’m team crazy.”

I’m currently breaking Reagan’s eleventh commandment, Do Not Speak Ill of Other Republicans, and especially two weeks out from the election. Reagan forgive me, but it is important to keep everyone honest, even our players.

There’s an old term of endearment out there, RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only. Which first off is the most Hipster thing I’ve heard (Those cats are just posers, we were hardline before it was cool). But secondly, Republicans apply this term to people who aren’t extreme enough and are committing the crime of being moderate. Hey, maybe we should throw that one at the Atkins and Mourdocks and other crazies out there who take my perfectly good small government party and twists it into their bully pulpit to pitch their interpretation of the Bible and moral code rolled into angry soundbites.

Third, (going back to the list before I so rudely interrupted myself), Abortions stemming for Rape and Incest are in the huge minority. If you want to deal with the real problem, go for the majority of abortions which are a result of poor planning and the throwaway culture we’ve created (do abortions impacted our carbon-footprint?)

But the crux of the matter is thus (and fourth, for those folks keeping track at home): We’re in the home stretch. If Republicans retake the Senate, it will be due to this and 3 other close races. If they lose or hold a tie, it will almost certainly be due to Mourdock losing this one. And think on this one further. Lugar was a sure thing. Hands down would have won. Especially, if the 80-year-old Lugar (who I just discovered lived through World War 2) were to die in office, almost already inaugerated IN Governor Mike Pence could have just appointed someone else to keep the Republican Majority they would assuredly have.

But noooo. I had to go help the Mourdock campaign. Like some idiot. Republicans, Reagan, I’m so sorry.

Brian Gross feels it is important to own up to his mistakes when it is funny. Read the rest of his mistakes, subscribe, and make him feel like idiot he is.

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In Case You Missed It: Representative Jesse Jackson So Cray-Cray

First off, forgive my absence. With Paul Ryan’s busy schedule in the campaign, I was recruited to stand in for the quarterly Vast Right Wing Conspiracy meeting. I had to propose our new tactics for the War on Women (outlawing pantsuits) and talk Richard Nixon’s ghost out of destroying our puny mortal constructs… for now. And the continental breakfasts were exquisite.

Once our nefarious network signed its peace treaty with the Legion of Doom, I hopped on the first Antartica to Indy direct flight and opened my digital newspaper for the first time in weeks. So you can imagine my entire cup of coffee spit-take from reading that Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is still in the race for Illinois’ Second Congressional District.

As a representation of the character of the man, when you Google Jesse Jackson Jr., the list of related people includes Rod Blagojevich (who is currently trying to sell an open Shower stall to the highest bidder) and Debbie Halverson (who, after being connected to a fake rally calling American Hero and all-round Swell Guy Adam Kinzinger a Nazi, has become as close as Political Aids as you can get). You also get Sandi Jackson, who I think was the only other talented one of the Jackson 5 (wait, what?).

Why is this such a big deal as to spit out an entire cup of coffee (don’t worry, 5 more still on the pot), you ask? Foremost, Jesse Jackson Jr. (or Triple J, when he professionally wrestles) has been officially absent from his position as Illinois Representative since June 10th on Medical Leave.

Voter, you’re the boss, they are the civil servant. Are you ever unsure if your employee should keep his job? I think a good rule of thumb is if, in the exact same position, the employee has been absent from his job for over 5 months, then no. They don’t sound capable of doing it.

But Jackson is still in it, his wife and father claim. Js on Js on Js’ medical leave has been revealed to be related to Bipolar Depression. Real mental illness is absolutely no laughing matter, and the stigma of mental illness has long lasting and deep effects. At the same time, however, I’ll be putting on my scrubs for a segment I’d like to call Grossness, M.D.

Grossness, M.D. is professional doctor of political ailments and has absolutely no regard for patient confidentiality. 

Let’s first look at what brought on the symptoms.

1. JJJ is under investigation for his connection to the whole trying to sell a Senatorship thing by Blago. Medical tip: if your name is often said in the same sentence as Rod Blagojevich, you’re probably guilty of something, even if it is just keeping terrible company. And with Rod sitting in lock-up and probably talking to the Feds, I would doubt they are barking up a useless tree.

2. At the same time, a Federal Probe has been launched into JJJ’s possible abuse of campaign money. Specifically on spending it on himself, which I hear is frowned upon.

3. His wife, Sandi Jackson, faces scrutiny under charges that she doesn’t actually live in Chicago. Not living in Chicago wouldn’t be a problem (more like a sign of some common sense) except that she is an Alderman of the city, and kinda has to live there. Reports allege that she lives in their D.C. suburb home and commutes via plane, often attending meetings with the suitcases in hand.

4. All this is compounded by the number of media outlets rescinding their earlier endorsements of the Congressman who has spent 17 years in the House. When Chicagoans smell blood in the water and start backing off en masse, its like a pack of rats scurrying for holes: there’s a reason for it (Political Aids).

Who can blame the Congressman for being depressed then, when facing at best an end to his political career and at worst an end to his not-being-in-jail career? Though I have limited sympathy units, and generally try to reserve them for people not afflicted by their own doing: Jackson’s bipolar depression sounds a lot like a guilty conscience. Not the type where you feel guilty for what you did, mind you, but when you’re just afraid you got caught.

Dr. Grossness’s prescription? A long break from Chicago politics, and definitely don’t go out drinking in D.C. with strange women… Wait, never mind that. But at least, when you claim that you are attending treatment twice a day from the Mayo Clinic and go to a bar on Tuesday and Wednesday, represent your god-damned district and at least go to Chicago bar.

HisGrossness, M.D., has been diagnosing and treating Political Aids for months now, and is happy to be back at it. I’ve gotten tons of love these last few weeks from fans and it means a lot to me. So you keep reading and I’ll keep giving politics the business. 

Bad Jailhouse Math Blues

The State of Illinois is a meth-addicted 12-year-old son with your credit card: absolutely no fiscal sense whatsoever, but you love them too much to abandon them on the side of the road like you ought to.

So it is for me, watching my former state borrow, swindle, and sell their way into an incredibly deeper hole. And all the while, Governor Pat Quinn and his Goon Squad actually think they are at least treading water. As I’ve already shown that the higher leadership in Chicago doesn’t understand math, it is up to reformed-Hoosier and math-novice Brian Gross (#hisgrossness) to set things straight.

Take the recent sale of the Thomson Correctional Facility on the far border with Iowa (which is an ingenious location. Tell the prisoners that they are surrounded by a sea of corn and the occasional obnoxious Iowa State Fan and they’ll be clamoring to stay in). The State of Illinois recently sold the prison, which was not being used, for $165 million, to the U.S. Federal Government. Perfect, get some liquidity for unused state facilities, sounds like another state I know (#Windiana).

But let’s look at the numbers. The Prison was built in 2001 for $140 million. Cool $25 mil profit, right? Well, no, because $140 million 2001 dollars are worth $181,575,172.41 (inflation is a b*tch). So immediately it’s more like a $16 mil loss. And how much does it cost just to maintain an empty prison? If it’s anything more than negative moneys, the total loss is much higher.

Furthermore, the Thomson Prison was valued at $220 million. For those of you playing at home, that is in fact more than $165 million. Pat Quinn, are you writing all this down? Someone get him a calculator.

Am I mad at the Obama administration for swindling the state out of a great facility just because Obama is buddies with Dick Durbin? No, because who can blame him, or anyone, for taking such a great deal. I feel like I can start offering cash for the Bean and see if they bite.

Quinn said to reporters, “I think we ought to pay our bills with that money.” Well I’ll be damned. What bills, Pat, you mean the bill for the unused prison? Our meth-addicted son just hocked his $300 guitar for $200 and calls it gain. Can you tell the difference?

Currently, Illinois’s unpaid bills total $8.5 Billion. The sale of the prison probably won’t cover the interest of that debt for twenty minutes.

As a fiscal move, I decided against building a prison and then selling it. I didn’t lose the State’s taxpayers $16 million. Can I have some of that money I saved?

In the end, the wind bags in Springfield will mark this down as their fiscally disciplined good deed for the year and pat themselves on the back as they keep on mortgaging Illinoisians’ futures. In the meantime, get in while the getting is good: let’s start the bidding on the rest of Illinois’ infrastructure!

Brian Gross

Brian is an escaped Illinoisian, and so can you! He is offering refuge to runaways, just read his posts and tell everyone about it.

Obama Phones!

Are any of my Cleveland Readers currently in between phones? Well, I have an exciting offer for you!

That’s right, for the low, low price of your vote, you can get an ObamaPhone! Does not require knowing any of the issues, any real concern for the country or an ounce of civic duty. All you have to do is “Keep Obama in President”[sic].

During a grassroots movement from local Clevelandites, the woman who surely must be the groups public relations chairperson expressed her exuberance for Obama’s pro-phone policy, while dismissing Romney for his recent “sucking” stance. The display must surely represent the best of Cleveland’s engagement in the political process.

Oh, wait. It wasn’t a Grassroots movement, the protesters were in fact paid. And at $11/hr, you’d think that there would be plenty of Graduate Students lined up around the block who could better articulate themselves (and maybe follow up by studying the event for seven years before accepting that full-time position in Starbucks). But this was in fact a paid protest in which the protesters did more to hurt their cause than help, and to demonstrate the exact attitude eating away at the virtues of our country.

Consider for a second what programs she listed off that qualify one for an Obama phone: Food stamps, Social Decurity, Disability. All of these are considered Entitlement programs intended originally to serve as a safety net (now it’s a safety hammock, no rush to get up). Entitlement, as in “you are owed something.” This seems in itself a contradictory understanding of being an America; we are clearly entitled to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And that is about it.

I can’t wait for that tasty, tasty liberty. And those Obama phones. -George Washington

The point is, will we mark this on our Calendars as the day that liberty died? Probably not, but we should mark it as a day that Liberty took a good ball kicking. This represents the absolute lowest common denominator in politics, when the voters think primarily about who can immediately give them the most stuff. Never mind the freedoms being eagerly handed away when the government is your provider, how can we as a free country be able to afford to keep pace with the precedent? What if they start asking for iPhones?

An educated voter realizes that nothing is free. That phone is not free, and I’m not just talking about the fact that our taxes are going pay for the luxuries of others. The esteemed woman in the above video took that phone at the cost of her own autonomy, and the unfortunate thing is that she does not realize it.

So when you listen to the Mitt Romney video in which he decries the state of the 47%, think to yourself this: “Does the Obamaphone woman care that Mitt will cut income taxes? Does she care that he will bring fiscal discipline to the White House? Does she care about the state of the Republic, the weakening role of the constitution, or the future we the entitled people are leaving for our children?”

I’m going to guess not, but it is not her fault. The Federal Government has created this type of voter. It has bore its teet for anyone to suckle, without incentivizing autonomy. Oh, no, the government hates autonomy, because autonomy means that you might fail. Better not to try at all. Forget that failure could summarize Abraham Lincoln’s career before his presidency.

It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to not have a phone. It’s okay to have to work for yourself. By your own bootstraps stories are better without the asterisk, act accordingly.

Brian Gross is a professional failure and almost written countless books about it. Support his blog so he can get one of those cool Obama Phones.