Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Dispatches: Taylor Swift Gets Used By John Boehner, The President on the Rise, and Mitt Drops Acid

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting Speaker of the House, John Boehner, the wild hipster that he is, recently enlisted the help of pop star, Taylor Swift. According to the Monitor, Boehner's people released what is called a "listicle"--a series of Swift's GIFs separated by snippets of  text--in this case slamming Obama's proposal to provide free tuition for students wishing to enroll in community colleges.

The message itself is the typical republican bull shit about how Obama will have to pay for it with tax increases, or the whole idea will burden the next generation with a larger national debt. However the use of the GIFs and the presence of Ms. Swift dancing around and doing things like smashing out the head light of a sports car with a tire tool,  gives the stale and glum politics a sort of 21st century, with it, feel. You can hardly blame the Boehner camp for going this route. After all, they are trying to convince the very people the proposal will help that it is somehow bad for them.

Ah, very clever indeed, but the Monitor notes there might be a problem. No one, at this point, knows if Swift is aware her images are being used, if she is actually against the community college idea, or, ultimately, if she even knows what it is. Given those possibilities, it may turn out she thinks she is being exploited by a dirty old man for his own selfish purposes. If she does this whole thing could blow up in Boehner's face. The Monitor reports, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives has 314,000 followers on Twitter. Taylor Swift has 51 million. If she does get mad about the use of her likeness in Boehner's campaign we can safely assume each and every one of those 51 million people are going to hear about it.

In other news a new Washington Post/ABC poll shows the president's approval rating has hit 50% for the first time since the spring of 2013. The online article by the Post says in the last month alone Obama's approval rating jumped nine points while his disapproval number dropped by ten.

According to the poll the president's biggest gains were among democrats--up 10%, political moderates--up 10%, Hispanics--up 22%, and adults under 30--you know that Taylor Swift demographic--up 19%.

The Post claims the economy is the driving force behind the improving numbers, although, at least with Hispanic voters, you would have to think his executive actions on immigration reform would certainly have something to do with it.

Of course the opposition to America's first African American president remains fierce. 35% of those polled strongly oppose him, while 24% strongly support him. Among republicans his approval rating is 14%.

Finally word comes to us, via the Los Angeles Times, Mitt Romney spoke to a bevy of republicans over the weekend in, California. His message was so bizarre that one could reasonably speculate Mr. Romney had dropped a large dose of window pane acid about an hour before delivering his speech.

The Times reports the two time presidential loser promised the crowd if he ran a third time for the office his campaign would focus on fighting income inequality and poverty.

That's right, the guy who just under three years ago told supporters he would never get the vote of 47% of the people, because they were dependent on the government and later claimed he lost the election because Barack Obama gave "gifts" to blacks, Latinos, and young voters, is now, according to him, their new champion.

The Times quoted one former aid as saying, "I don't understand the angle he is taking. I don't understand why it is one of his three talking points. I'm still trying to sort that out."

Well, let's face it, there is no sorting out the ravings of a man deep in the throes of an acid binge. No, it is best to just let him jabber on for a few hours after making sure all the cutlery is locked up.

Mr. Romney's chance for another republican nomination was tenuous at best before this weekend. After his latest performance it is, at the moment, non-existent.

So now we must ask ourselves at least three questions. Will John Boehner start twerking at news conferences in further efforts to attract young voters?  Is Obama's sudden and positive bump in popularity simply an anomaly which will fade as quickly as it appeared? Then, lastly, what sort of awful rehab facility will Mitt Romney end up in after the intervention?

Many will ponder these mysteries in the coming days. There is no telling when the answers will come.

And with that, for obvious reasons, the bar is open.


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