I think it's hilarious when American politicians go to the Middle East to try and help solve their problems. Really, contemplate the irony here. Our leaders can't even balance a checkbook or come to a consensus on how to cut less than one percent from their spending projections, yet they fancy themselves capable of reconciling a holy war that's been raging since the 700's. Republicans and Democrats -- who actually agree in principle on most issues -- can not negotiate about anything, ever, for any reason. And somehow they feel no shame in lecturing Muslims and Jews -- who have been disagreeing violently about everything for more than a millennium -- about the need to sit down and hammer out their issues with civility and class? These fools in DC would sooner drive the country into bankruptcy and dissolution than give up one ounce of control or political favor and still they don't hesitate to put "Conflict Resolution Expert" on their resumes.
Our government has only been around for a couple hundred years and they've already figured out a way to grind whatever constructive capability it once possessed into the ground. And the folks responsible for it want to offer their services to a religiously fueled land dispute that's been going on for well over a thousand years? An American politician trying to negotiate a compromise in a 15 centuries old holy war is like a guy who has to call AAA to change a flat tire being sent to do repairs on a nuclear reactor. In both cases it's probable that 1) literally any other human being within a 5000 mile radius would be better suited for the job and 2) he's more likely to leave everyone even more screwed and hopeless than they were before he got there.
You don't have to be a genius to know that if a war has the words "civil" or "holy" in front of it, it's best to stay the hell out of it. And certainly it's the worst possible time to come running in armed to the teeth with shortsighted oversimplifications coated in a complete and utter lack of historical context. After hearing me discuss my foreign policy views people sometimes ask me whose "side" I'm on in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Side? What is this, a volleyball tournament? This is the Middle East, buddy, it's no place for pompoms and pennants.
There have been 5000 sides over 5000 years in that region of the world. I know it's a lot to ask for, especially on the internet, but can we TRY to appreciate the complexity? This is certainly no place to be a "Democrat" or a "Republican". Those designations sure haven't done much to solve any problems here, what the hell do you think they'll do over there?
Remember all those devastating cuts to government that we heard about? Yeah, me neither. I'm an American and it's been like 14 days so my memory of that event has already been pushed out of my brain to make room for car commercials and Dancing With the Stars.
But if I think hard enough I seem to remember talk of "cuts" and "shrinking budgets". Which is why I'm confused to learn that since the sequester hit, the government has advertised for over 2,600 new jobs. That includes more than 100 positions at the Department of Homeland Security. Which makes sense considering they just ordered another billion or so rounds of ammunition. As my grandfather used to say, what's the point of having all those bullets if you ain't got folks to shoot 'em? Only thing they need now is people to shoot at. That's where you come in.
In another sign of the lean times, the White House, which canceled its public tours even though the tours are conducted by unpaid volunteers, has made no indication that it intends to cut its own staff at all. That's a staff, by the way, that includes almost 140 people making six figures. The president's cabal of "climate advisers" rake in a cool 370 grand between them. It's important to have "climate advisers", you know. Me, I just have a window and the Weather Channel. The president, however, needs to spend north of a quarter million for special advice about the weather. My favorite staffers are the "ethics advisers" who make 140 thousand a piece. Who needs Aristotle's Ethics when you have highly paid bureaucrats for that job? Really, if any president needed ethics experts, it would be this one. But I'd say the same thing to Obama's ethics people that I'd say to Chris Christie's nutritionist: you clearly suck at your job. Of course we also can't forget about the several White House calligraphers raking in over 90 grand each. You know, because we live in Rome circa 376 AD and it's necessary to have calligraphers on the staff. I wonder how much they pay the Royal Jester? [insert Joe Biden joke]
But these shining examples of financial restraint hardly hold a candle to a "study" the Feds just decided to fund to the tune of 1.5 million dollars. They are paying for research to find out why lesbians are fat. Yes, apparently 3/4 of all homosexual women are obese and Uncle Sam wants to find out why. And he will spare no expense in doing so. Don't you love it when the government studies civilians like they're rodents? Hey, I don't mean to spoil the ending but I'm pretty sure lesbians get fat the same way straight folks get fat: by eating a lot. This, in fact, is the one thing that binds people of all races, creeds, sexual orientations and political affiliations together. We're all fat as hell because we eat too much and move too little. But I know some crackpot "researcher" somewhere has to justify his government funding by conducting experiments that would make Nazi scientists go "really, dude?" so this study will commence no matter what anyone says. A Nobel Prize surely awaits.
So if you're keeping track at home, the government wants you to know that it's tightening its belt... By hiring 3000 people, spending millions on White House advisers, and funding research into the effects of Big Macs on lesbians.
You are now depressed. You're welcome.
Senator Paul talked with Matt today about reckless spending in Washington and Ashley Judd. Listen below: