My Irish Up: News of the Weak

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan

BN Columnist

Last week, at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, United States President Barack Obama shook the hand of Cuban leader Raul Castro! There is photographic evidence! Senator John McCain likened the gesture to Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 — though McCain could not confirm that the Cubans were promised that they could take over the Rhineland without Allied resistance.

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The United States Congress finally passed a budget last Tuesday, its first since 2009! The budget’s passage was hailed as a “compromise.” It was a compromise in the same sense that the Cold War was peace, but still.

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It was revealed that the government’s “cyber oversight” group and the National Security Agency, the group to be overseen, will be — surprise! — the same entity. The president had “considered” splitting the responsibilities, he said. But, after all, he decided, if you can’t trust double agents, who can you trust? This is not a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, administration officials claimed. A better analogy would be the hens guarding the foxhouse.

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When 20 kindergarteners were gunned down in Newtown, Conn. last year, many Americans looked at the Sandy Hook school massacre as a game changer for gun laws in the United States. And it was. Since Newtown, 39 laws have been passed in various states tightening gun restrictions — and 70 have been passed loosening gun restrictions. Game changer? Sure, if your game is Russian roulette.

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Illinois “overhauled” its pension system, joining the drumbeat of governments reneging on long-standing retirement fund promises to their workers. “We were told to run government more like a business,” one Illinois Senator explained. “That’s our ideal.” Government and business leaders in the Land of Lincoln now share identical goals: death before retirement!

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In yet another speech no one listened to, President Obama said the No. 1 task for the remainder of his administration will be tackling income inequality in America. He lied. His No. 1 task will be continuing to defend Obamacare from Republicans, who keep comparing the idea to Hitler’s Final Solution. (In a side note, it is not true that Obamacare will require Americans to travel to Czechoslovakia for surgical procedures.)

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Income inequality in America is an illusion. There are only people who deserve to make millions of dollars a year, and people who have lost or can’t find jobs, and who thus have become fat and happy from their cushy welfare checks. These payments often amount to more than $800 a month, tax-free. So it’s the government’s fault. (Source: Fox News.)

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A six-year-old boy in Washington State was suspended from school for kissing a female classmate on the hand. The kid got off lucky; had he kissed a boy’s hand, he could have gotten life.

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In related news, the United States still has 25% of the world’s prisoners, despite the fact that the state of California has eased its historic overcrowding levels following court-ordered sentencing reforms. “America can do better,” said one federal prosecutor, who added, “We won’t rest until 100% of our citizens are behind bars.”

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America still has the highest child poverty rate of any industrialized country. “It’s the poors’ own fault,” said a Fox News reporter last weekend. “Why don’t they just move to a rich suburb? If I were in their situation, that's what I’d do.”

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Speaking of doing better, American kids again finished behind Slovenia and 20 or so other countries in standardized testing in math, science and reading. However, breaking down the numbers, which nobody bothers doing, the media being so poor at math and all: in those districts where fewer than 20% of the students lived in poverty, American kids scored better than students in every other country in the world! So it turns out that extreme poverty lowers test scores. And that American public education works, after all — as long as you live in a rich suburb. Really, who didn’t know that before we tested?

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In international news, I hurt my shoulder in early November and it’s still killing me. President Obama has assured me that I am on the waiting list for a doctor in Czechoslovakia.

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