Monday, May 20, 2019

Our Crap Runneth Over

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With the announcement that Bill "The Worst Mayor in America" De Blasio has thrown his hat into the badly overstretched ring, there are now 24 Democrats vying to become the next presidential candidate to be beaten by Donald Trump like a fluffy egg white meringue atop a Loser Lemon pie.

Frankly, we can't wait for these clowns to take the debate stage and hear how they struggle to differentiate their policy positions from each other. After all, they pretty much all want the same things: higher taxes, more government control, socialism that will actually work for the first time ever, "Medicare for all," reparations for slavery, freedom to abort babies who start to get annoying after a year or two, a "living wage" for jobs which can be done by three-toed sloths, the banning of guns and other things that "look scary," the repeal of Free Speech, replacing coal and oil with clean and affordable imaginary energy sources, official ratification that there are 732 different genders whose dignity demands that they all need different bathrooms and glory holes and, most importantly, all of the candidates are promising to feed Donald Trump into a wood chipper feet first so that everyone on the Left can enjoy the expression on his face.

With all of this policy overlap, some of the candidates are having to stake out very narrow niche positions just to get noticed. Bernie Sanders has recently announced that he'll make Larry David his vice president, so that any succession of power would be undetectable by the naked eye. Beto O'Rourke promises to be a strong advocate for Irish people who believe themselves to be Hispanic.

Cory "Spartacus" Booker has promised that, if elected, he will serve his entire term dressed as a gladiator. Joe Biden is breaking from the pack by making it clear that no one hates old white men who have been in Washington forever more than he does.

Elizabeth Warren expects to pick up momentum with her catchy slogan: "A Slightly Less Annoying Hillary." And of course, Kamala Harris is separating herself from the pack by pointing out that none of her worthy competitors has nearly as much experience blowing Willie Brown.

Democrats, this is your circus and these are your monkeys. The rest of us are just going to pour some stiff drinks and enjoy the really big show.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Unsociable Security

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Hang on, everyone, this is going to be a chaotic ride today! See, we're actually too exhausted and frustrated to do a proper post about Alabama's abortion laws, possible impending war with Iran, the unbridled idiocy of adding an "adversity score" to SAT results, or the Democrats doing a marathon session to read the entire Mueller Report out loud (for reasons we can't even begin to fathom, although it is fun watching them try to sound out the polysyllabic words).

The cause of our distraction and dysfunction relates to a visit that the Jarlsberg family paid to the local Social Security office today. By way of backstory, Stilton isn't taking Social Security yet (though he's old enough and has paid tens of thousands of dollars into the freaking system) but theoretically, according to our new paid financial advisor, Mrs. J could claim a social security spousal benefit anyway (she doesn't qualify based on her own work record, because it was for a government agency with a separate retirement plan).

So we conveniently filed her claim online, and it was only a week or so later that we received a letter saying that Mrs. J had to call someone at the Social Security office. It took her three attempts before anyone bothered to call back, at which point she was told that she had to report to a crowded field office because she'd been flagged as a possible fraud. Swell.

So today was the big day, and the Jarlsbergs showed up at the packed United Nations-style waiting room (side note: apparently America's melting pot has been supplanted by cold cash) where a nice police officer frequently had to tell everyone to shut the heck up so that the old, infirm, and foreigners could hear the service numbers which were occasionally called through what sounded like a big electric kazoo. It was like being in the hold of a slaving ship, only with passengers playing with their smartphones.

Fortunately we had an actual appointment, meaning we only had to wait with the great unwashed for two and a half hours before being called in. And from there, everything was easy! It only took the charming and personable clerk five minutes to explain that our claim was rejected and that Mrs. J can't get any social security payments until her workaholic husband also signs on as a ward of the state. She did not tell us to "piss up a rope," "screw ourselves," or "take a flying f*ck at a rolling donut," though we're pretty sure these notions were implied.

Since Social Security knew from the initial application that they were going to deny the claim, why didn't they just put THAT in the letter, rather than ordering us to come in and waste hours of our time? Oh yeah, because they had to complete their investigation of the whole "fraud" thing - the accusation of which, it turns out, is randomly assigned by a computer to provide maximum annoyance. To put Mrs. J right in the eyes of God and country, we were told to bring birth certificates, marriage licenses, name change documents, multiple forms of identification, fingerprints, DNA cheek swabs, and about 10 pounds of other documentation.

Our clerk started the interrogation by asking for Mrs. J's driver's license, which she tap-tap-tapped into a database. "Okay," she smiled, "you're all done." We asked about all the other things our Sherpa had struggled to carry in, and she said, "Oh no, we don't need any of that."

So we were free to go, claim denied, but with the renewed confidence of knowing that seamless proof of citizenship and identity can apparently be established by a minor functionary's quick glance at a driver's license.

While the entire experience was only a bit over 3 hours, the soul-sapping nature of the visit (and the unsatisfying outcome) has left us drained and discouraged.

We have seen the future, and it doesn't work worth a damn.

PS: The only thing we enjoyed about the visit to this gulag was seeing framed photos of Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the wall, and guessing how many people who were there to claim our tax dollars were annoyed by pictures of our President and Vice President.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Staying Abreast of the News

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In a perfect world, this would be the cast of "The View."
Owing to the fact that Stilton's Place is a "woke" site (at least, after a couple of cups of black coffee in the morning), we like to occasionally showcase the opinions of those who self-identify as women without much clothing. Clothing, of course, being one of the worst exemplars of easily spotted income inequality.

Which is why we asked the ladies above what kind of investigation they'd like to see now that Attorney General William Barr has hired US attorney John Durham to look into possible (ha!) corruption and illegal actions associated with the specious multi-agency "Russian investigation" of President Donald Trump.

Durham is said to be tough, fair, and non-ideological...and a guy who believes in the rule of law. Which could translate into a lot of fun for those of us who've been waiting (seemingly forever) to see some of the smug, lying SOB's on the Left forced to testify under oath and, oh yeah, get long prison sentences.

We can already see friction being generated between some of the major players (including former FBI-director James Comey, former CIA director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper) who all seem increasingly likely to turn on one another. Which isn't surprising considering that charges are likely to range from gross malfeasance to treason.

In any event, like the strong, independent women pictured above, we look forward to seeing the investigation proceed with considerable vigor and full revelation. Or at least as much revelation as our panelists are displaying.