I’m a big fan of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. The two half-hour shows air on Comedy Central from 11 to midnight Monday through Thursday nights. Because that’s past my bedtime, I record both shows each night on the DVR and then watch them the next night.
Stewart’s and Colbert’s humorous and satirical takes on current events and politics are incredibly amusing and entertaining; their shows have been Must See TV for me for years. But I’ve noticed lately that rather than being entertained, I find myself becoming more and more agitated by what I’m seeing and hearing on these used-to-be-laugh-out-loud comedy shows.
I sometimes get so annoyed and angry that I want to grab a gun and shoot the TV. Fortunately for my TV, I don’t own a gun.
From bad to worse
Our governments — federal, state, and local — are so dysfunctional that not only is nothing positive being accomplished, all kinds of damage to the economy, our society, and to our planet is being perpetrated by our duly elected and ideologically rigid officials.
Just over a year ago, in a post titled Gridlock and Dysfunction, I wrote, “Our nation’s government is choked by political gridlock and dysfunction to a greater extent than I can personally recall. The country is almost hopelessly divided along ideological, cultural, and regional lines, and Congress appears to have lost the ability to conduct even the most basic business of government.”
Now, a year later, nothing has changed. Oh wait, it has changed. It’s gotten worse. The two sides in Congress can’t seem to agree, much less compromise, on anything, whether it’s the economy, gun control, immigration reform, climate change, or personal rights and freedoms.
At the end of last year Congress came close to pushing our nation off the so-called fiscal cliff. Then, due to its inability to negotiate a bipartisan agreement on cutting the deficit, sequestration, a self-imposed and drastic fiscal measure that forced automatic, across-the-board, fairly arbirtrary spending cuts, took effect. And who is suffering as a result of sequestration? Not our Congressmen. Just the rest of us.
About the only thing everyone in Congress agrees on is that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is crazy.
I seriously believe that if the IRS randomly selected 535 tax filers’ names and sent them to Washington to replace our current senators and representatives, they couldn’t possibly do any worse.
Red states and women’s rights: fuhgeddaboudit
When it comes to abortion and women’s rights, the red states are falling all over themselves to subvert Roe v Wade. First, Arkansas legislators passed that state’s Human Heartbeat Protection Act. Women in Arkansas who are at least 12 weeks pregnant and are seeking an abortion will be required to undergo an ultrasound. If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the abortion will not be permitted.
Not to be outdone by Arkansas, North Dakota lawmakers passed a bill that outlaws almost all abortions, voting to define life as beginning at conception. A few weeks later, Kansas legislators passed a law declaring that life begins at fertilization.
I honestly thought those two terms, “conception” and “fertilization,” were synonymous. And to most people, they are. But some hair splitters insist that fertilization occurs when the sperm and the egg unite, usually in the fallopian tubes. Conception, they say, doesn’t occur until the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine wall.
So when is it, right-wingers? Does life begin when the sperm and the egg connect or when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall? Or, if you are from Arizona, even before that.
In what has to be the most bizarre development in the war Christians and conservatives are waging against women’s rights, Arizona has passed a law that says pregnancy can begin two weeks before a child has been conceived. Huh?
Yes, a woman in Arizona can be considered to be pregnant even before having intercouse, since the age of the fetus in that state is calculated from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Board of Health now requires abortion clinics to meet the latest architectural standards set for newly constructed hospitals. It is a transparent ploy to shut down that state’s 20 private abortion clinics by requiring them to spend large sums of money for renovations that are medically unnecessary.
Rumor has it that in some red states, conservative legislators, backed by religious leaders, are now drafting laws declaring that life begins when a couple begins thinking about having sexual intercourse. Such laws would effectively ban women who aren't even pregnant from seeking abortions.