April 22, 2014
Addressing First World Problems Since 1970
Do you know what today is?
If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you’re probably thinking, “Tuesday, why? Did I miss a parole hearing? That’s not until Thursday.”
Also, “Wait, it’s Earth Day, isn’t it?”
Exactly. And to better help readers reacquaint themselves with this decades-long tradition, we’ve prepared a little Q&A:
Q: What is Earth Day all about?
A: Its primary purpose is to raise awareness about environmental concerns that threaten our well being.
Q: You mean, the one-third of the world’s population that cooks and keeps warm burning twigs and dung, 4.3 million of which died in 2012 from the deadly fumes and resultant air pollution?
A: What? No. Threatens us. Not someone else.
Q: What threatens us?
A: Way too many lights on at night.
Q: That’s a threat?
A: Absolutely. It’s called light pollution. That is why we should all pitch in to help and keep lights off at night for the next week.
Q: You know who’s a big proponent of keeping the lights off at night?
A: Al Gore?
Q: Close. Kim Jong Un.
A: An Earth Day champion if there ever was one!
Q: Now, what about those millions of people dying every year from air pollution?
A: Hey, they can pitch in too. They can put out their smoldering piles of twigs and dung at night.
Q: Won’t they go cold and hungry?
A: Sure, but think of the brilliant night sky view they'll have!
April 17, 2014
And Here We Thought Billionaires Spending Their Money Trying to Influence Public Policy Was “Un-American"
That ought to show them!
Of course, Mayor Bloomberg takes a slightly different approach. While the NRA seeks to educate the public in the proper use, care, and storage of firearms including practical safety tips and rules that promote responsibility and safe practices, Mr. Bloomberg believes it is more productive to scare the living hell out of you.
Of course we are being unfair. At the end of the video in which he scares the living hell out of you, he suggests you “start the conversation about responsible gun ownership in your home and community.”
Sure, the NRA conducts the Eddie Eagle gun safety program in elementary schools all across the country, and conducts hundreds of hands-on courses for adults every year but, yeah, sure, conversations are good too.
So, you click on the “ACT NOW” button at the very end of the video and are informed that,
"No, it shouldn’t!"
"Well then, let’s do that!"
"Me? Great, Let’s get going, then.”
"I want to help stop the violence? How?"
"Yeah! I’ll join the movement! Wait, the movement for what?"
It doesn’t matter. Join the damn movement.
“Where’s the rest?”
“What kind of information?”
That we need to start a conversation.
"Fine, fine, I'll go to the video on YouTube and start a conversation. "
So, let’s contrast and compare. First, the NRA’s list of things you can do to promote responsible gun ownership:
- ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
And now let’s review Michael Bloomberg’s list:
- Start a conversation.
- Act now
- Join the movement.
It’s not even close. If the NRA wants to be taken seriously about gun safety, it’s going to have to spend more time starting conversations and joining movements and less time on instructing people in the safe handling of firearms.
It’s for the children, you know.
April 15, 2014
He Hearts IRS
Virginia state Delegate and Democratic Congressional primary candidate Patrick Hope believes that in order to tackle the federal budget deficit, we need to raise taxes, but in doing so we should spare people who make less than $250,000 from this additional burden.
In other news, Virginia state Delegate and Democratic Congressional primary candidate Patrick Hope makes less than $250,000.
If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That reminds me, isn’t today April 15th? All this talk about taxes rings a bell for some reason, like I should be doing something…”
Also, “Well, most people make less than $250,000.”
Yes, but Patrick Hope makes $231,197 a year.
However we’re not suggesting that this is anything other than a coincidence. The difference between some fat cat making $250,000 a year, and a regular working man like Patrick Hope bringing home $231,197 a year is significant. It’s like the difference between riding around in a Mercedes, and riding around in a slightly less expensive Mercedes. It’s the difference between being able to afford a 12-day Mediterranean cruise and a 10-day Mediterranean cruise.
Hey, those hot shot SOBs who make a little bit more than Delegate Hope can afford to skip Barcelona, okay, and slum it in Athens and Cyprus like the rest of us common folks who have to work for a living. As health care lobbyists.
Hope believes he’s hit on a winning formula, pointing out that raising taxes on people who make more money than he does,
“Solves our revenue problem very simply, by bringing in more revenue.”
Well, more, more revenue.
That’s how you can tell you have a revenue problem. When you bring in more revenue than you ever have before in the history of the country and are still running huge deficits.
March 10, 2014
Innocence of the Law is no Excuse
As if parents with school-age children don’t have enough to worry about already, what with whether or not their children are eating enough vegetables from the red-orange subgroups, or ensuring that they participate in as little physical activity as possible, now we have a scourge Planet Moron has been following for some time:
Some might dismiss the threat posed by imaginary weapons, however they’re not taking fully into account the many pretend deaths that could result if schools didn’t act quickly and decisively to neutralize the non-existent threat.
Take for example, the boy caught red-handed with an imaginary bow and arrow.
Look, you could put out a make-believe eye with that thing.
If only the trouble ended there. The problem with letting little things, like not having a bow and arrow, pass without the proper disciplinary action, is that things can quickly escalate into children believing that they can get away with not having even deadlier weapons.
And that’s how we end up with the boy with the finger gun.
First of all, as any young boy will tell you, finger guns have a nearly inexhaustible supply of pretend ammo, limited only by the ability to say “bang,” quite possibly putting the finger gun in violation of magazine ammo limits.
And second, finger guns are the gateway weapon to other harmless non-firearms, such as the miniature gun-shaped key chain charm.
Don’t let its diminutive size fool you. It may be small, but it’s just as not deadly as the finger gun.
Perhaps it’s the times we live in, but it doesn’t stop there, either. Yes, now we have:
Keep in mind that the only difference between a make-believe bomb and the real thing, is that a make-believe bomb doesn’t actually exist. And that is simply a difference without a distinction. Other than the distinction that it’s not real.
And so, when it comes to education, we here at Planet Moron fully support zero tolerance for anyone found in possession of things they are not actually in possession of, and that the punishment meted out should be as severe as if they had actually done something wrong.
Hey, a little compassion and common sense here, people.
February 28, 2014
You Should Only Have Rights if You’re Right
Our old friend, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, has identified what is possibly the single biggest peril facing America, one that, according to Mr. Bittman,
“Poses greater threats to our existence than any communicable disease you can name.”
What is this hazard that stalks us?
Or, as he prefers, “rights,” because the only rights that are truly legitimate are those rights that are exercised in a fashion that would be agreeable to Mark Bittman.
And therein lies the problem. As it turns out, you’re simply a victim of the “the corporate consumption complex,” in which “companies engineer hyperprocessed foods in ways precisely geared to most appeal to our tastes.”
Yes, that’s right, companies continue to insist on producing products that will appeal to you.
How. Dare. They.
But the products they sell don’t appeal to Mark Bittman, of course. Unlike you, he’s not a complete imbecile who cannot possibly be trusted with the “right” to choose what is best for him. That imbecile would be you, what with your tiny mind, poor education, and non-New-York-Times editorial job.
Why, you might even work with your hands. <shudder>
And, according to Mr. Bittman, it’s not just food, it’s all manner of industries selling things “in ways that will cause premature mortality.”
Sure, you may think you are capable of weighing the tradeoffs and risks associated with certain products and endeavors based on your own values system, priorities, and personal circumstances but the problem with that is you are not taking into account Mark Bittman’s values system, priorities, and personal circumstances when making your decision.
And really, isn’t that more important? After all, he’s written books! Well, cookbooks.
Incidentally, here is a brief list of things that can bring on premature mortality:
- Any job other than potato farming.
- Any sport other than swimming.
- Any city other than Fishers Indiana.
We are aghast that anyone would risk their life doing anything other than swimming at their potato farm in Fishers Indiana.
It’s like you people don’t care if you live or die.
So, what can we do about people exercising their “right” to make decisions different from Mark Bittman? According to Mr. Bittman, it’s all spelled out in the book, “Lethal but Legal,” by Nicholas Freudenberg. We’ll be exploring this book in the near future, but rest assured, the solution involves doing something about those “rights” of yours.
The current occupants of the White House share a similar concern regarding your seeming inability to choose the same things that they would, particularly Michelle Obama who has worked tirelessly to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic that doesn’t exist. However, they believe they have hit on a possible answer:
As they see it, one of the main problems with people eating more than people in the White House think they should, is that nutritional labels are obscuring the number of calories food contains by cleverly hiding it next to the word “calories.”
It’s a brain tickler all right.
The new label at least partly solves this problem by making the number bigger in a way that just screams, “Hey, look over here! Big number! Big! Pay attention to the big number. Big scary number.
The proposed label also changes some of the nutritional content provided since studies have demonstrated that it is healthier for people to ignore how much vitamin D is in their food rather than ignoring how much vitamin A there is.
They also add the category “added sugar,” because as everyone knows, sugar that has been added is worse, possibly due to contamination by cooties.
And finally, we’ll leave you with the White House exercise video that is sweeping the nation:
Thus demonstrating that if you run limply for one minute in your dress shoes once a week, you just might one day develop a nearly complete inability to stretch your quads.
December 12, 2013
We Have Them Right Where They Want Us
This week, fiscally conservative budget cutter Congressman Paul Ryan managed to reach an historic agreement with his liberal Senate colleague, Patty Murray, in which spending will be cut, the deficit will be reduced, and taxes held steady.
How did he accomplish this monumental feat?
By agreeing to a deal in which spending will be raised, the deficit enlarged, and taxes increased.
William Shatner’s got nothing on this guy.
Interestingly, Congressman Ryan, who as we mentioned before, is a fiscally conservative budget cutter, points out that his budget deal actually reduces spending AND the deficit. Well, not now. Next year and the year after discretionary spending increases by over $60 billion. But just you wait, once 2022 rolls around, we’ll be rolling in spending cuts.
The fiscally conservative budget cutter also asserts that his plan does not raise taxes, only “user fees,” which unlike taxes, is spelled completely differently.
Some might point out that increasing user fees on, for example, airline passengers, so as to offset increased defense and domestic spending that has nothing whatsoever to do with airlines could possibly be considered a hidden tax.
In the words of fiscally conservative budget cutter John Boehner, those people are “ridiculous.”
There is the question of why a deal had to be done at all. Had the sequester cuts simply been left in place, discretionary spending would have gone down in 2014 and 2015 rather than going up under Congressman Ryan’s budget cutting-ish plan.
But that would have meant the Pentagon would have had to get by on $500 billion dollars next year as opposed to $520 billion.
What if we once again find ourselves in a position where we have to bomb a country that hasn’t attacked us? What then? Are you going to be the one to tell those brave young men and women in uniform, “I’m sorry, but you won’t be required to place yourself in mortal danger not defending the United States?" Well, are you?
We didn’t think so.
Now all we can do is hope they can successfully sneak it through Congress in 36 hours before anyone can think about it.
After all, taking into account your supporters' opinions can be so… messy.
November 11, 2013
Standing up For Principal, er, Principle
Powerful business interests want to turn the tide against Tea Party-like upstarts within the Republican Party and return the GOP back to its traditional roots:
Doling out special favors to powerful business interests.
The problem is that radical Tea Party Republicans are spending far too much time trying to ward off fiscal catastrophe when that time could be better spent enriching powerful business interests at the expense of everyone else.
For example, according to CNBC:
“Call it the wrath of establishment Republicans and corporate America, always considered the best of friends. Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, they've watched the GOP insurgents slow a transportation bill and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, block a treaty governing the high seas and stand in the way of comprehensive immigration legislation.”
This is surely a dystopian future these radical fiscal conservatives paint, one in which lucrative transportation bills for which we have no money receive additional scrutiny. One in which private businesses have to finance their own imports and exports at market rates without the benefit of your money. One in which Congress refuses to surrender United States sovereignty to unnamed foreign courts. And one in which businesses are denied immediate access to abundant sources of dirt-cheap labor.
Let’s face it. We owe it to our children to ensure that they never have to live in a world in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is not fully funded. Or do you want to be the one who has to look into your young child’s eyes and tell her that it was you who allowed it to happen. That it was you who stood by and did nothing while others saw to it that the marketing and promotion of potatoes was left only to the people who grew and sold potatoes.
Just tell her you’re a monster now and get it over with.
To ensure a future in which government exists to reward the powerful, old-line establishment Republicans and their business allies are planning to support candidates that are not radical extremist Tea Partiers.
Such as South Dakota where an open Senate primary is allowing challengers from the right to go up against Mike Rounds, a well-known former governor who has refused to sign a no-new-taxes pledge.
No new taxes pledge? What if a private business needs a sweetheart deal? Where is the money supposed to come from? Aside from China, we mean. It is absolutely essential that we elect moderate Republicans to ensure not only that business interests have a friend in Washington, but to make sure that taxes can still be raised, just not raised as much as those dastardly Democrats would! Not significantly less, but less.
Okay, sometimes less, and sometimes more, such as when old-school conservative governor Bob McDonnell signed into law the largest tax increase in Virginia history, but it was for a traditionally conservative reason:
Powerful business interests supported it.
And that’s why the Republican Party has to, as former representative Steve LaTourette, put it so eloquently, “beat the snot” out Tea Party Republicans.
Steve LaTourette believes strongly that Republicans should be a lot more like Steve LaTourette, and so has started a new PAC dedicated to seeing to it that that happens.
Hey, that ought to fire up the base! Finally, someone willing to forgo principle, so he can stand up for principal.
As LaTourette pointed out:
“40, 42 House members have effectively denied the Republican Party the power of the majority."
You know another way to deny the Republican Party the power of the majority?
Lose the majority.
October 29, 2013
If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You’re Wrong
There has been a growing controversy this week as millions of people are discovering that they are losing the health insurance they like as Obamacare regulations take hold. Many are confused, since President Obama had promised on repeated occasions that, if “you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.”
In fact, he specifically said, “Let me repeat this. Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.”
Sure, at first glance, it appears as if The President was being less than completely truthful about Obamacare, but fortunately, the problem isn’t with the law. As White House advisor Valerie Jarrett explains, the problem is that insurance companies are following the law.
FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.
Those SOBs will stop at nothing to comply with the law, even if it mean you can’t keep your existing health plan. What's their excuse, "I was just following orders?" Let's see, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah.
Okay, sure, so the Administration knew that you would lose the plan that you liked, and even wrote the regulations to make sure of it, but did you ever consider the possibility that when the The President said you would get to keep to your health care plan, he might not have been talking about you specifically? Maybe he was talking to someone else in the room, perhaps Valerie Jarrett.
What, if you were sitting next to a couple at dinner and the woman said, I love you, would you immediately assume she meant you as well? (Note: She doesn’t. BTDT.)
And besides, the issue isn’t really whether or not you like your plan, it’s whether or not you’re too stupid to want a better, more expensive plan. For example, let’s say there has never been any history of mental illness in your family and you show no signs whatsoever in yourself, so you decided you don’t want to have to pay for mental health benefits.
Well, that just proves your crazy, and probably should be required to pay for mental health benefits.
Think of it as the Catch-22 of Obamacare.
And then there’s the pediatric dental care that 55-year-old single men have been living without for far too long.
We’re fortunate that President Obama is around to tell us what we need.
So, to review, President Obama did not lie when he said if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. After all, Vulcans can’t lie. They can, however exaggerate.
So, he exaggerated.
October 23, 2013
Obamacare User Guide
There has been an unfortunate amount of confusion regarding how to apply for insurance under Obamacare, most likely due to the lack of information available during the government shutdown. In this vacuum, many people simply went looking to sign up using the web site.
What is this, 2005?
Nobody uses the Internet anymore. Sure, Obamacare has a web site but that was mostly just for older citizens who are simply more comfortable with things they are familiar with, no matter how obviously dated, like CDs, or Miley Cyrus keeping her clothes on.
As it turns out, Obamacare is much more cutting edge, with new and exciting ways to sign up. To help you with what may be unfamiliar technology, we’ve prepared a short user’s guide.
The Obamacare User Guide
Putting The “no” in “Innovation!”
No doubt, most of you are unfamiliar with this exciting new development. At only a fraction of the thickness of an iPad, and lighter than a Galaxy S4, Obamacare’s paper applications are a stunning site to behold.
And when it comes to flexible displays, the future is here! Paper can be flexed into all manner of shapes, and even made into small flying craft, “paper airplanes,” if you will. Try that with a laptop! Paper is like the carbon nanotubes of the new century, with nearly limitless applications!
And paper is totally backwards compatible with any type of writing instrument, from pens, to pencils, to Sharpies to crayons. It’s obsolescence proof!
You’ll find using paper technology to apply for Obamacare is as easy as 1-2-3!
Then it’s on to page 2!
And some appendices.
And just like that, it’s a week later and you’re almost ready to send in your application. Which brings us to a related innovation.
Rather than go through the laborious process of first finding out where your cursor is on your monitor, then looking for the “Send” button, then moving your cursor all the way over to the Send button and then having to apply downward pressure in order to “click” on it like you have to do using the Internet, all Obamacare’s paper application requires is the quick and easy application of a stamp! For those of you younger than 27, please refer to our stamp FAQ below for any questions you may have.
Stamp Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s a stamp?
A: It’s a sticky piece of paper you apply to an envelope.
Q: What’s an envelope?
A: It’s a paper folder with a sticky flap you put your paper application in.
Q: What’s paper?
A: Please see section above.
Q: Is it also sticky?
A: Not usually, no.
Q: Because it seems like everything having to do with paper is sticky.
A: The paper application is not sticky.
Q: I hate sticky things. Ever spill a latte on an Xbox game pad? Now that’s sticky.
A: It’s not sticky.
Q: Boy, I could use a latte right now.
A: Remember, you’re trying to apply for health care.
Q: Oh,yeah. So, can I get unlimited stamping?
A: No, not really.
Q: Can I roll over my unused stamps to the next month?
A: As a matter of fact, you can.
After Sending in your paper application using a stamp, you can now sit back and relax, and know that you’re covered. In 6 to 8 weeks. Maybe.
Toll-Free Phone Number
Phones aren’t just for texting, updating your facebook status or sending instagrams, you can talk on it, too!
It’s true! And Obamacare makes use of this technology by permitting you to call a toll-free phone number. Please consult our Toll-Free Phone Number Faq if you have any questions.
Toll-Free Phone Number FAQ
Q: What’s a toll?
A: Its’ when you have to pay for a phone call.
Q: You have to pay for phone calls?
A: Well, in a sense…
Q: Because I have unlimited calling.
A: Well, then, you don’t have to worry about it.
Q: Then why bring it up?
A: It’s mainly for people who use land lines.
Q: What’s a land line?
A: It’s a phone that is wired to the wall.
Q: Oh, like those pens at banks.
A: Well, not re…
Q: So people won’t steal them, got it.
A: No, that’s not…
Q: I guess it would make sense that people who are too poor to be able to afford unlimited calling probably live in bad neighborhoods and would want to wire their phones to the wall.
A: No, you’re missing the point…
Q: So, what if I don’t need the toll-free number, what should I do?
A: Use a stamp.
Q: What’s a stamp?
And there you have it. As the President said, Obamacare is “not just a web site.”
It’s also stacks of paper and call centers!
That all rely on the web site.
October 21, 2013
Our National Nightmare - Week… Wait, What? It’s Over?
The federal shutdown came to an abrupt end last Thursday when the government reopened, thus freeing the American people to once again drink in the intoxicating elixir of liberty, in part by pulling into the parking lots on the side of the George Washington Parkway.
Now we know what it must have felt like when Thomas Jefferson finally seized Iwo Jima from the Nazis and put an end to the Hundred Years War.
If you are like most Americans, you’re probably thinking, “Thomas Jefferson wasn’t at Iwo Jima, he dropped the Atomic bomb on Godzilla in order to destroy the Death Star. “
Also, “Wait a second, the shutdown is over? We have some questions.”
Of course you do.
Q: So, what does it mean to have the shutdown ended?
A: Hundreds of thousands of government workers are now back on the job, doing the non-essential work of the people.
Q: Surely there’s more to it than that.
A: Of course there is. With the government fully back up and running, school children will once again be able to say the pledge of allegiance.
Q: Are there any downsides?
A: Well, the barricade industry is probably heading for a prolonged slump.
Q: Any others?
A: Not really. Wait, oh yeah, utter fiscal catastrophe. Otherwise, we’re good.
Q: So, what did the GOP gain by shutting down the government and threatening national bankruptcy? A postponement of Obamacare?
Q: Cuts in spending?
Q: Entitlement reform?
Q: What, then?
A: Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray agreed to have breakfast.
Q: Are there any lessons can we learn from this sorry episode?
A: As the old saying goes, never take a hostage unless you are prepared to release him totally unharmed.
Q: So, we’re going to see this whole thing all over again next year?
A: Yes, the issues at hand are simply too grave not to be willing to stand up for your principles, and then sit right back down again. Do you know what that’s called?