DON'T GET TOO HIGH AND MIGHTY

Several weeks ago, it came to our attention that ginandtacos.com has a small group of readers in Australia. Coupled with the fact that America-bashing is a popular (and justified) pastime in most of the world today, we thought it was fair to devote a little space to talking about assholes who run other nations. America may have perfected the art of semi-literate leadership by bravado, but we didn't patent it.

Which brings us to the Right Honorable John Howard. Most Americans do not know who John Howard is. Those who do already understand that the United States has company on the list of affluent nations that really ought to know better and should be ashamed of themselves for electing such people.

John Howard, like George Bush, is the kind of leader that one would expect to find at the helm of a dilapidated former Soviet republic or a Latin American banana plantation. Or perhaps some crackpot African post-colonial nightmare. But no, he is the elected leader of a nation whose standard of living is among the finest in the world.

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Howard: Australian for dick

Mr. Howard's coalition widened its lead in the Aussie parliament, earning an unprecidented tenure in office for himself in the process. His political career has been distinguished in a number of ways.

  • He laid claim to almost $2 billion in oil reserves in East Timor, a claim that he refuses to adjudicate in any international body because he knows how asinine it is. Timor is a prosperous nation that doesn't really need its natural resources, especially one as worthless as oil.
  • He maintains a nice cushion of popularity among the lowest common denominator in his nation by making frequent and thinly-veiled racist appeals regarding the "boat people" attempting to reach Australia from Indonesia and other similarly shitty nations. He also demanded that photographers not take or circulate any "humanizing" pictures of refugees. Brown people aren't really human, they must be photographed in a certain way in order to so appear.
  • He leads efforts to systematically defund the educational system while repeatedly claiming that he is doing nothing of the sort. Fancy book learnin' is the enemy of freedom everywhere.
  • He steadily relies on the old "repeat a lie enough and it will be true" theory by repeating the claim that votes for the opposition Labor party will add hundreds – hey, maybe thousands – of dollars to the average family's expenses through higher interest rates (which are controlled by a central bank, not the Parliament). Draw your own analogies to "terrorists want you to vote for Kerry."
  • Lastly, he has been a nice obedient puppy regarding Iraq, doing little more than photocopying the White House talking points of the day and repeating them with some local color added.

    This exercise may seem boring and/or pointless to many readers, as the day-to-day happenings in Australia are about as relevant to life in the Midwest as the volcanic activity on Venus. However, ginandtacos.com would feel derelict in its public responsibilities if it left its readers with the impression that A) America is the only civilized nation run by a crass xenophobe who ain't too bright or B) that this website's desire to excoriate such people has borders.

    While I'm sure the Aussies have some sort of cute-sounding pejorative slang to describe men like Bush or Howard, in our eyes an asshole is an asshole in any language or time zone. We forgave Australia for Mel Gibson, INXS, Paul Hogan, and Silverchair. We have turned a blind eye to the Crocodile Hunter. We even put up with Foster's. But this cannot stand. While the rest of the world is right to look at us like we're pricks for electing Bush, people in glass houses should be mindful of starting rock-throwing contests.

  • SAVVY CONSUMERS OF MINDING YOUR SOCIAL CASTE

    The Onion needs to hire a good intellectual property attorney and slap a lawsuit on the Cato Institute. It seems that the latter is blatantly copying the satirical newsweekly's comedy format under the thinly-veiled guise of "policy papers."

    Lots of college students can barely afford their education. Lots more don't go at all because they can't afford it. Do you know why that is? Well, this cocksucker does. It's because the government is too generous in handing out student loans.

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    "Why have government loans when these kids could just ask their parents for the money?"

    Yes, Professor Gary Wolfram of "Hillsdale College" (I had to look it up too. It's actually accredited, and it's in Michigan.) has written a neat little Cato policy paper explaining to all of us dumb liberal whiners that the reason education is expensive is not because states are slashing educational funding and schools have to make up the deficit by raising tuition and/or accepting morons they wouldn't otherwise accept. No, that's not it at all. It is, like everything in the neoconservatives' childish and monochrome dream world, a simple matter of supply and demand. The solution is, ironically enough, also the same one they give for every problem from Social Security to pollution: the free market will take care of everything somehow.

    Quoth Professor Wolfram: "Anyone who has taken a remedial economics course knows that if you subsidize something, more people want it."

    Thanks, "Professor," for that quick Econ 101 tutorial. But anyone who has taken a remedial course in not being a cocky, reactionary asshole understands that there is a fundamental difference between skills, such as education, and the other types of "goods" to which your condescending statement applies. The fact that someone has to sit down and explain to people like this that more people wanting, pursuing, and obtaining an education is a good thing is the reason that stress balls and punching bags were invented. The idea that reducing the number of tuition-paying students attending school will somehow decrease tuition is so ridiculous on its face that I can't believe that Cato would even publish this. Even by their standards, this is asinine. Not to mention the fact that the "excess demand" that would be removed would be, you know, people who can't otherwise afford college.

    Prof. Wolfram responds: "That's OK, Ed. Here at Hillsdale College, we find that not having any negroes or poor people around really increases efficiency. It allows us to devote more attention to our student base of rich kids who weren't smart enough to get into Michigan State."

    The implication that we can remove a concept from Econ 101 and replace the word "cars" or "widgets" with "education" makes it patently obvious why this guy is a loser at some glorified high school that advertises links to William F. Buckley content and a speech by Zell Miller on its home page. Thank you, Gary Wolfram, for proving that getting a PhD in Political Science from a top five University (Cal-Berkeley) doesn't mean your career can't be an utter failure. With a degree like that you'd assume he would be at Ohio State or Yale. And he would be, if not for the minor fact that he is a fucking idiot.

    2004 IN REVIEW – BEST CONSERVATIVE ASS-KISSING

    On the heels of Lawrence O'Donnell's award for outstanding achievements in the field of having a liberal meltdown, it is only fair to issue some sort of award to perennial ginandtacos.com favorite Sean Hannity for the best performance in a year rife with political ass-kissing. His network-televised "interview" with President Bush (which happened to be the lowest-rated television program ever played on a network during prime time – take that, Brian Benben Show) is such a blatant expose in the art of cock chugging that it can only be described as an attempt at sketch comedy rather than journalism. The spectacle was so incredibly embarassing, even to most conservatives, that it is almost unfair to consider it in the same category as anything else that happened in the election.

    Here are just a few highlights:

    HANNITY: Do you think that when he says these things, John Kerry, your opponent, you were in these three debates with him, do you think he knows he's not telling the truth? I mean…
    BUSH: I'm not sure Sean.
    HANNITY: You've been pretty clear on the issue, but yet he continues to go out there and say it. When I think of old people that I know that say to you, uh oh, somebody is going to take my Social Security and that scares them.

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    Hannity wraps up his audition for the role of "submissive cum dumpster" in a gay right-wing porn film

    HANNITY: Last question. You saw John Kerry in Ohio, all-important swing state, he put on brand new camouflage.
    BUSH: He did.
    HANNITY: Said he's a hunter. I understand the gun he had — I'm not sure if it was one of the ones he proposed to ban and he said he — of course — he wants to tax guns. When you see something like that is…
    BUSH: My reaction was when it comes to taxes — he can run even in camo but he cannot hide. When it comes to healthcare — it was just a moment in the campaign…
    HANNITY: Mr. President, good to see you.

    HANNITY: Your faith has been the subject of a lot of press. You've spoken openly how important it is in your life. Explain to — in terms of a daily basis — how you go about keeping your faith strong — what do you do?
    BUSH: Well, I pray a lot. And — first of all my faith is a very personal matter and I am very mindful that a person in public life like me should never try to impose my religion on anybody.

    HANNITY: You get to see things that we will never get to see. That's your job. You have to look at the intelligence briefings every day. You have to assess the nature of the threat that is facing this country. Is it possible — is it a reality that we could turn on our television sets one day — FOX News Channel I hope — and find out that America is — that a nuclear weapon has gone off here — that a biological agent has been released or a chemical agent — is that a reality?
    BUSH: Yes it is. That's the biggest threat we face and we know that a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda wants to acquire a weapon of mass destruction of some kind or another to kill on a larger scale than they did. You see, it's very important, Sean, for the American people to understand that — when I talk about terrorists I'm talking about people who have embraced an ideology — I would call it an ideology of hatred but it is an ideology.

    HANNITY: Particularly in the second and third debates, you really sort of stamped his forehead with the Massachusetts liberal. What does that mean to you and what do people — you even said to him at one point he was the conservative senator from Massachusetts. What does that mean?
    BUSH: Ted Kennedy was the conservative.
    HANNITY: Ted Kennedy was the conservative senator, right.
    BUSH: Well, it means to me, on the domestic front, raising taxes. That's what that means and I'm actually convinced he will.

    HANNITY: …so my question is, If John Kerry were president would he
    make this country more vulnerable and more susceptible to terror attacks?
    BUSH: You know, that's ultimately the decision the people are going to have to decide in this campaign and it is by far one of the biggest issues in the campaign. What I say is that his point of view is dangerous because it's very limited in nature.

    This interview will surely stand the test of time and serve as a perfect, archetypical example of sycophantic propaganda masquerading as journalism. Congratulations, Mr. Hannity. It just goes to show you that even a person who has made an entire life and career out of sucking cock can still find ways to hone his craft and suck a little bit more. Old dogs can learn new tricks, although obedience is the only one their master really needs to see.