Wednesday, April 22, 2009

*Clues For The Clueless

"I don't have a clue'" is a familiar refrain. When someone says that, it usually is in a jocular, self-depreciating way. I means simply, "I don't know."

But you also often hear the phrase used by one person or group in reference to another. For example, someone can say, "He (or she) just doesn't have a clue," or he (or she) is clueless." When used in this context, the message usually is, 'He (or she) is a stupid bastard (or bitch)." This is widely regarded as NOT a compliment.

But, whichever way the phrases are used, there is always a subtext of truth to them. When you say it about yourself, you are acknowledging your ignorance about whatever is being discussed. When said about another, it means the person (or group) being referred to also deficient in knowledge on a specific subject or the issues under discussion. Since the phrase is depreciatory, it is all too often used in an insulting way against someone else.

But all that may soon change.

A little-known subsection of the 'Stimulus Package' (H.R. 1, ‘‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’’) seeks to remedy the paucity of clues for anyone who needs them. Language inserted at the last minute which provided funds or the establishment of a 'Office of Clue Research and Promulgation'. The money will be used to hire experts to be on call to research any matter requested and provide clues on demand, particularly for clueless politicians. Many formerly clued in politicians quickly become clueless in the rarified air of their Congressional life. The same is often true in areas of individual state governments.

Now, any clueless individuals or groups may have them by simply asking for them.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky successfully inserted the provision at the 11th hour. "I've been pretty much totally clueless my entire life." Senator McConnell declared. "So, I really know what I'm talking about. There's been way too many times I've shot off my mouth about something only to realize later I was blowing smoke out my ass. Of course, a lot of other people knew better all the time, so it has been pretty humiliating along the way."

"And Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is really excited about this too." McConnell went on. "I don't know how that puppy finds his office every day. If he didn't have a couple low level staffers to keep him sorted out, he'd never be able to leave his house."

President Obama indicated he was solidly behind the new clueless office. "It's a real tragedy we didn't have this over the last eight years." he said. "I can think of a lot of people who might have benefited from it. I don't want to get into naming names, but my immediate predecessor was surely one of them. My new dog Bo has more clues than he did."

But, former presidential advisor Karl Rove strongly criticized the provision. "Besides being against the entire bailout package in principle, I am very upset by this so-called Office of Clue Research." he declared just before his appearance on his Fox News show. "The more clues you give anyone, the smarter they are. It's just like education. Clueless folks usually vote Republican, unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

But many other politicians from both parties eagerly embraced the idea. Former presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are expressing renewed interest in the 2012 elections now that the Clue office will be available to them. Katherine Harris declared she would run for governor in Florida, and even TV evangelist Pat Robertson said he would be able expand his broadcasts into new markets.

"It's really a gift from God," Robertson said. "and, I'll take full credit since I had a talk with God about it the other day and asked him to cause Mitch to put it in the bill."

Sarah Palin of Alaska said, "Hooray! Now, I'll be ready to put some brand-new lipstick on this pig!"

On the Democratic side, former SC Senator Fritz Hollings said he thought the new clue office would definitely benefit Al Gore, or anyone who didn't know what the definition of 'is' is. Congressman Charles Rangel of New York declared he didn't vote for it, but 'just didn't give a damn one way or the other, but what the hell. Another 100 million or so cain't hurt all that much'.

* (The above is a parody written entirely for my own pleasure and gratification. I hope others may also enjoy it.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Dangerous Demise of the U.S. Two Party System

I've always believed in having multiple political parties so no one party can achieve and keep dominance. We need two strong parties (at least) to keep a good balance towards the sane middle ground. The moment any political group obtains dominance is the moment their deep corruption begins. That's historically and invariably been true for any group.

There's a lot to Acton's famous quote, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (Lord Acton, 1887)

Therefore, I believe there is danger to all of us, and the nation as a whole when we allow the destruction, or death of one political party in favor of any other. We are seeing the beginnings of that now as we watch the political meltdown of the Republican Party. The once powerful and completely dominate party is becoming vulnerable right now almost everywhere. The voting public is indicating strong preference for Democratic candidates over Republicans, and polling numbers now show Democrats favored by large margins over Republicans generally. Though many neoconservative Republicans may loudly disagree, facts are facts. All polls show this and that's the reality.

Indeed, who can blame the voting public after 8 years of Bush, et al?

That the George W. Bush debacle played a big part in current Republican woes is a given. Over the past decade or so, Republicans allowed the far right wing fringe to capture their party, and install a bunch of inappropriate right-wing ideologues in office. A wholesale revision of national policy occurred, with the aim of moving everything right, and as far right as possible. Positions on abortion, religion, taxes, guns, regulation, etc., etc., were all shoved firmly to the right. That largely succeeded, and moved the Republicans in charge to the right of everyone else, including their own moderates.

Neoconservative Republicans are still doing this and even resorting to rewriting history to convince themselves and their base of the infallibility of their ideas and positions. For example, high level Republicans are currently stumbling all over themselves to buy Amity Shlaes' new book 'The Forgotten Man'. Shlaes has written a book on the economy of the Great Depression which argues that FDR's actions were not helpful, but harmful - even though the country - and the rest of the world - did pull out of the depression. It doesn't matter that Shlaes was never an economist, or ever even studied the subject (she claims to be a 'historian': "The finest history of the Great Depression ever written," says Steven F. Hayward of the National Review, the online neoconservative conscience), her book is fast becoming a new economic bible for neoconservatives, in Congress especially.

Shlaes, is a Senior Fellow of the Council of Foreign Relations, who's membership reads like a Who's Who of the rich and influential, and includes from Diane Feinstein on the Left to Dick Cheney on the Right.

Bizarrely, Shlaes is also a champion for the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina, which got her fired as a writer from he Financial Times. But never mind all that. She remains one of the new darlings of neoconservatives.

Republicans were and are always very successful in propagandizing their base towards their far right ideologies. And, they apparently also convinced themselves with their own rhetoric. In their zeal, the neoconservative Republicans who control the party continue to propagandize ad nauseam. There are some obvious problems with this. First of course, if the theory itself is flawed, the results are liable to disaster - and we saw just that during the eight years of the two Bush II administrations.

But secondly, and more importantly to the continued viability of the Republican Party today, is the difficulty of moderating a flawed ideology when your base is now so implacably sure of its validity. In other words, to move back to a more reasonably moderated position is now so strongly resisted by a base convinced of the more radical version that it becomes nigh impossible.

We see a lot of this in the GOP today. One prime example of Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri who is in danger of losing his seat and being challenged by his own party. His big sin? Support of the Wall Street bailout. Now, he is having lot's of trouble raising campaign funds. Another example is Norm Coleman of Minnesota who was initially recruited to run for the seat by George W. Bush and Karl Rove. Coleman just lost a squeaker of an election to Al Franken, a very liberal Democrat. Coleman's subsequent, mule headed attempts to hold on to the seat has earned him wholesale condemnation from both the left and the right.

So, many Republican officeholders today are perched directly on the horns of a dilemma, entirely of their own creation. They are in dire trouble in coming elections, but can not easily move from their far-right fringe positions to a more reasonable, and electable moderate stance. Their own now rigidly convinced whack-job right-wing nutcase bases simply won't let them. Such is the stuff that political tragedies are often made of.

While this may be very gratifying to those of us with more moderate or progressive ideas, it is not good for our country. We must continue to have a viable two-party (at least) system, in order to avoid absolute corruption by absolute power.

We must always remember: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Planning The Tea Party

"Hey! Let's have us a tea party!' Mad Hatter cried during his daily meeting before his broadcast on Fox News.

"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! " Jabberwock chortled in his joy. "then, we can gyre and gimble in the wabe!"

"Yes! Yes! Let's! That's a marvelous idea!" enthused Cheshire Cat. "Whatever shall we call it then?"

"Why not have it on tax day, April 15th?" replied Mad Hatter. "Then we can call it the 'Tax Day Tea Party'. We should even go out on a limb and invite Alice too of course."

"Nay,nay," said Caterpillar. "she is but a moderate person and not what we could consider as a conservative. She doesn't fit with our agenda at all - in fact, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out she voted for Obama in the last election."

"I totally agree." said Cheshire Cat. "The last time I invited her here, last election, she left no doubt what she thought about us.

"`But I don't want to go among mad people,' she said.

`Oh, you can't help that,' I said: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'

`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice. `You must be,' I said, `or you wouldn't have come here.' "

"I don't care about that now!" said Mad Hatter. "We must take the chance. Our party will have no credibility at all if we don't invite everyone - even the moderates. We must be grassroots!"

"Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!'' shouted Jabberwock.

"Quiet you blathering idiot!" sneered Mad Hatter. "Shut your damned pie hole! Else folks will think everyone in our group is as mad as me, or worse, you."

But then White Rabbit quietly intoned, "Yes, Quite. But, that's despite the fact we all are. We just can't let on is all. We must show that we in our party are all as normal as Alice or they'll never take us serious again. I think we've worn out that 'Fear Factor' thingy by now. No one is taking us serious anymore after that last election blowout. We gotta invite Alice and everyone else. We need a new gimmick!"

"Oh, come to my arms, my beamish boy! " exclaimed Jabberwock. "Exactlyish we mimsy are, burbling as we do! Terrierist! WMD's! Yellowcake! Al Qaeda! Praise the Lord!"

"Quiet, I've told you Jabberwock!' ordered Mad Hatter disgustedly. "Or, I'll have security escort you from the building!"

"Now, look here everyone. I'm the official leader and spokesman for this Party." the rotund cigar smoking beasty went on. " I'm the one who sets the rules and the policies while you're out all galumping around. Let's just get down to business, shall we? We can have everyone bring their own tea bags to this party. That will show the country and that socialist Obama how dead serious we are. I think tea bags are a very serious symbol, reminding everyone of the Boston Tea Party and how our patriots took back the country then, and took their own guns and installed our Christian God and Capitalism in our great country.

"Yeah," said Caterpillar. "Obama wants to destroy capitalism by raising taxes on the highest income Americans all the way up to about 10 percent less than under Reagan. If that's not socialism, I don't know what is! And, all that malarky about him going to Christian church all his life is just a smokescreen. Oh yes, he's devilish clever he is. He's planned his attack since the time he was six years old. He just wants to worm his way in so he can make Islam the official state religion for everyone!"

As Jabberwock could never remain silent for long, he now shouted out excitedly. "All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe! Terrierist! Terrierist!"

But now studiously ignoring Jabberwock, Mad Hatter continued. "Yes, all completely true Caterpillar. And Cheshire Cat, I think you should be in charge of organizing things. You should work behind the scenes and make it look and seem the tea party is a grassroots thing. That way, everyone will get the idea that conservative Republicans are still mainstream, no matter how mad and bizarre our politics have grown."

"Quite, quite." said Cheshire Cat, pleased with the responsibility. After all, playing second fiddle to Mad Hatter wasn't the most rewarding thing in the world, even if he did have his own broadcast show. This was his chance to really get his teeth into something meaty and maybe make himself stand out from the crowd.

But Caterpillar was troubled. "Whatever shall we do with all those tea bags which are sure to be turned in? We can't afford to be seen as littering if they're thrown on the ground or whatever."

"Hey! I know!" Cheshire Cat broke in. "We can mail them all to Obama. Then he'll be stuck with tons of the damned things and have a huge problem with what to do with them. That will make him look bad for sure. I know that should work better than attacking his dog Bo in the press did."

At this point White Rabbit interjected, his bald head glistening in the harsh overhead lighting: "You're all dreaming." he said. Obama is way too smart for you for that to have a chance. He'll just pack 'em up and ship them off somewhere as part of a 'African Stimulus Bill', or find a cure for AIDS with them or something. He's a wily devil I tell you, and not at all like our dear White Queen now back down there in Crawford, Texas twiddling his thumbs."

"Oh, you just had to bring him up!" Mad Hatter cried, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Oh how I miss him sitting there in the White House, clueless as he was. He was a dumb son of a bitch all right, but by God, he was OUR dumb son of a bitch!"

"And, we must never, ever lose sight of our sacred Republican creed." Mad Hatter bawled: "Gold, Guns and God!"

'Amens' where shouted as loud chorus of sincere agreement ran around the meeting room and everyone wiped their eyes.

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves!" shouted Jabberwock as he took his vorpal sword in hand and left whiffling through the tulgey wood.

(My sincere apoligies to Lewis Carroll for my shameless twisting of his wonderful prose in The Mad Hatter's Tea Party.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Rise and Fall of a Hockey Mom

She came out of nowhere. Four or five years ago few people had heard of Sarah Palin. She served a couple terms on the city council at Wasilla, AK, then two terms as mayor during the 90's and into the new millennium. She campaigned for Lt. Governor in 2002, but lost. Then, former Governor Murkowski appointed her to the state's Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, from which she resigned citing 'ethics' concerns. She lodged an ethnics complaint against Randy Ruedrich, chairman of the State Republican Party (which stuck), another against the then Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes who later resigned.

Hooray, a 'maverick' Republican campaigner who dared to challenge the good old boy network in Alaska!

Those were the stepping stones which catapulted her name into state headlines and enabled her to gain the Republican nomination for governor in 2006. She defeated sitting Governor Frank Murkowski, whose approval rating was dismal at less than 20%. She was duly elected governor in 2006, running on a platform of cleaning up government.

At first, Palin's performance as governor pleased most Alaskans, including the Democrats. She enjoyed huge widespread support with a statewide approval rating over 90%. Had matters continued in this vein, Palin likely would have gone on to be easily re-elected as governor for a second term. Now, that possibility is in very serious doubt, and several challengers are happily girding their loins for the next election, while Palin seems focused on the presidential election of 2012.

As governor, Palin strongly supported and advocated a policy of 'wolf control' which included a bounty and airborne shooting of the animals. This angered a lot of people everywhere, including many in Alaska. Then, in early 2008 a controversy erupted over her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan in which he claimed he was pressured to fire state trooper Mike Wooten. Monegan maintained Palin pressured him for personal reasons because of Wooten's bitter divorce from Palin's sister. Palin ultimately acknowledged two dozen contacts with Monegan about Wooten, but denied there was ever any 'pressure'. The ensuing scandal became known as 'Troopergate'.

An investigation was ordered by the state legislature which concluded that Palin was within her rights as governor to fire Monegan, but she had also, by the by, 'abused her power and violated the state's Executive Branch Ethics Act'. Palin claimed the report 'exonerated' her, nothing was done, and the matter was swept under the rug, still bubbling away not to surface until later.

On August 29, 2008 lightning stuck and Palin was 'touched by the finger of Jesus': John McCain selected her as his VP running mate. As might be expected, immediate national and international media attention was focused on Palin; her life and history went under a microscope. After a brief honeymoon with an enraptured public, the media started uncovering some disturbing bits and pieces about or concerning Sarah Palin. First of course 'Troopergate' was trotted out - and was airily dismissed by Republicans as 'just some flak thrown up by the opposition'.

But, some other things also came to light, including but not limited to:
  • Palin's statement that she said 'no to the bridge to nowhere', when in fact she had energetically supported the project earlier in her election campaign;
  • The fact that as Mayor, Palin required rape victims in her town to pay for their own rape kits (up to $1200 each);
  • That Palin's husband Todd is a member of the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), which among other things, advocates Alaska's succession from the United States. Palin herself is rumored (denied) to be a former member who dropped her membership for political reasons.
  • That Palin is a vociferous supporter of oil and energy companies as evidenced by her loud 'Drill, Baby, drill!' and anti-environment comments;
  • That Palin cut state funding for teenage mothers;
  • That Palin strongly opposes abortion for any reason except extreme danger to mother's life, even in the case of forcible rape (of her own daughter!);
  • That Palin is strongly anti-homosexual, and vetoed a legislative passed bill providing benefits;
  • That Palin advocates teaching 'creationism' and 'Intelligent Design' in public schools;
  • That Palin is anti-environment, sneering at scientific evidence about global warming and the possible extinction of polar bears;
  • That Palin is supporter of 'abstinence only' even though her own unwed daughter ended up pregnant during the presidential campaign;
  • That Palin was not sure of what a vice president does (even while running for the office) when questioned by Charles Gibson on national TV;
  • That Palin is unaware of the 'Bush Doctrine';
  • That Palin gave a disastrous interview with Katie Couric on national TV which demonstrated her appalling lack of knowledge about current and foreign affairs - and then claimed she was ambushed;
  • Palin's putting her family on prominent display during the election campaign, then complaining about the 'uncalled for attention' shown by the press;
  • The fact that Palin believes and says the Iraq War was 'God's will';
  • That Alaskans have been complaining ever since her nomination Palin has put the state's business 'on the back burner' in order to pursue her personal, political ambitions for the White House.
All of this and more has caused Sarah Palin's credibility at home to plummet, from the heady 90's to the low 60's and beyond. The state legislature in particular seems very peeved, recently soundly rejecting her last several legislative efforts. Most notably, her disastrous nomination for state attorney general was robustly rejected on a bipartisan vote. The candidate was totally unsuitable for many reasons, but his confirmation was expected since Republicans hold a large majority in the Alaskan legislature. Most noteworthy, this the very first time in Alaska's history that a governor's nomination for a state department head has ever been rejected. Ever.

You might say, the honeymoon is pretty much over except for the doctrinal die hards who adoringly love her no matter what. Reasonable people are seeing who she really is, warts and all. Sarah Palin's star is in precipitate decline and she now seems to be in political meltdown. I believe when she got the 'Call from jesus' from John McCain's campaign it simply overwhelmed her common sense and sensibilities. As the old saying goes, that call evidently 'addled her brain'. And, she's not been the same since.

I personally feel Sarah Palin's fall from grace is not her fault. After all, she is who she is and does as she does due to how she grew up in. She can not be blamed for being raised as a conservative Christian, nay, even a fundamentalist Christian. And today, that's who she is, defining her, lock, stock and boomerang. Her fundamentalist Christianity, worn on her sleeve, rules her completely.

It's most unfortunate that Alaska must suffer now with an ineffective and distracted governor, especially right on the heels of the previous Republican disasters, both nationally and in Alaska. Palin is now implacably focused on a national attempt on the White House doomed to failure. She suffers grievously herself as a result; there's simply too much baggage to carry. A distracted Palin continues to shoot herself in the foot almost daily. As Robert Watson, a professor Florida's Lynn University said, " . . . .(Palin) seems like a train wreck in slow motion,"

I am sad because I once voted for her and had great hopes for her, and because of the damage she is now doing to herself and the State of Alaska. May she soon return home to her family where perhaps she can prove to the world that 'abstinence only' can still work with her remaining two daughters. Two out of three won't really be all that bad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to make W.A.R. on extremists

Do you ever wish you could make some kind of an effective protest when you see, read about or hear about some asinine thing our public figures do?

Cheer up. There is a way!

What brings this to mind is the thought of the dogmatically partisan acts our political leaders sometimes engage in. A prime current example is Alaska's governor Sarah Palin, who last Fall was so suddenly thrust upon the national stage it apparently addled her brain. Since her selection as Senator John McCain's running mate she has apparently been on a non-stop and blatant campaign running for the presidency of the United States - even though other national Republicans, including John McCain are studiously and carefully keeping their distance from her.

Forgetting the needs of the state she supposedly governs, Palin deliberately engages in provocative acts apparently designed to improve her image amongst fellow neoconservatives nationally. The list of her actions is long - and Alaska's citizens and state politicians are quickly losing patience with her - even her fellow Republicans, especially the moderate ones.

Ah, but she has a national neoconservative following which is invariably thrilled whatever she does. Some will sing her praises no matter what, or how many pigs she kisses. The more outrageous she is, the better they love her. Fortunately, they are but a small minority of the voting public.

Robert Watson, a professor of American Studies and presidential historian at Florida's Lynn University commented that Palin, " . . . . seems like a train wreck in slow motion,"

Her latest obscenity - and that's exactly what it is - is the appointment of a near Nazi right-wing extremist as Alaska's next Attorney General, one Wayne Anthony Ross. Ross, fortunately has so far yet to be confirmed by the legislature, but since two thirds of the Alaskan legislature is solidly Republican overall, there is a clear danger he will get the needed confirmation. It is an extremely controversial and divisive selection, even among other Republicans - some of whom still have the clarity of vision to see what this might cost the party.

Upsetting the entire Alaskan legislature three days before the end of the session, Governor Palin left town right in the middle of the legislative confirmation process to attend the Vanderburgh County Right to Life Banquet in Evansville, Ind.

Here's a few of Ross's credentials which Palin so ardently admires, and which apparently, she feels will burnish her national standing:
  • Ross once praised a KKK display, and sneered at student protest to same;
  • Ross has a long history of hatred and censure of homosexuals of any kind;
  • Ross owns and drives a red Hummer vehicle with license reading 'W.A.R.';
  • Ross has been a National officer of National Rifle Association;
  • Ross claims to be a staunch Christian, who feels if he can overturn Roe vs. Wade, he will get 'his ticket to Heaven'. (No, honest! You just can't make this kind of stuff up!)
There is possibly no one else in the entire state of Alaska who is less suited to the state's attorney general.

So, how does anyone in the public fight this kind of madness by ego-centric people like Palin? Well, not to coin a phrase, but ''you puts yer money where yer mouth is!" If Sarah Palin attends a Right To Life conference, and you disagree with that position, well, one simple way to send a message is: Donate in her name to Planned Parenthood! And be damned sure to write and let her know you've done exactly that. I've done exactly that and it felt great!

If you believe Wayne Anthony Ross's position as such staunch assault weapon gun advocate is wrong, you can donate money to a gun control group in his name, and be sure let him know about it!

It doesn't have to be much money, $5 will do. Remember. It's the thought that counts! And, the thought of your political enemy gritting their teeth is pure sweet music for the soul, let me tell you. As a bonus, the receiving group will be most appreciative! And, depending upon the group, it may even be tax deductible!

Happy giving!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Wake-Up Call for Republicans

Disgracefully, the Republican Party is now commonly being referred to as 'the party of NO'. The self-proclaimed (and apparently widely accepted by most 'conservatives') Republican standard bearer, Rush Limbaugh, repeatedly says he hopes President Obama will fail. Anything Obama tries, even the most benign act, is stridently and roundly castigated, in lockstep, by all Republican Congressional members. Often, usually, for the most flimsy of reasons, or no reason at all. Apparently it's just a partisan and doctrinal thing. Incredibly, even the selection of a White House dog for Obama's children is reason for criticism!

And, Republicans can present no reasonable alternatives in their criticisms, and now seem to be resorting to depending upon miracles.

That's the only possibility since eight years of having things their way was resulted in a near complete collapse of our basic economy. What seems obvious to anyone but Republicans, is that 'More of the same' simply can not possibly be the answer without some sort of miracle.

Yet, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, comes right out and says, “ . . . we are standing up on principle and just saying no.” Maybe this originally stems from former First lady Nancy Reagan's now-famous anti-drug refrain, "Just Say No!", but such lockstep doctrinal negativity will never get us out of this mess.

Still, Republicans in general seem determined to prove how negative they can be. Possibly spurred by Obama's widely popular slogan "Yes We Can!", Republicans apparently have decided their only response can be "Not only NO, but HELL NO!"

The inevitable result of all this negativity has left today's Republicans with:
  • No message;
  • No ideas;
  • No level of acceptable ethics;
  • No leader;
  • No contact with reality;
  • No responsibility;
  • No success at governing;
  • No respect;
  • No NUMBERS in their proposed budget;
  • And apparently, No Clues!
Lest I am perceived as anti-Republican, I'll point out my voting record over the years has leaned in favor of Republicans. I always vote for the PERSON, not the party, believing as I do that we need a strong multi-party system. Yet the capture of the Republican Party by the Neo-Conservative wing now leaves me little choice. The result is leading directly to the destruction of the party. Already, it has rendered the Republican Party as marginalized, and largely irrelevant on today's US political scene.

This is tragic and sad. The Party of Lincoln is on life support and desperately needs a wake-up call!