All About My Gag Reflex

Totally cray-cray? Gag me!

Richard Cohen makes me gag. Not because of what he wrote, but because he has a beard. I’m very conventional; I don’t like his pseudo-intellectual, bearded-professor look. It makes me think he’s hiding something, like crumbs from last night’s dinner. What with his tweedy jackets, snowy, poofed hair and nerdy writer’s frames, it’s like he is trying to make himself look as progressive and enlightened Upper West Side Jew as possible. (Now come on, I’m just saying what you all feel.) And it activates my gag reflex. Because I am conventional, I want my Upper West Side Jewish writers to be more Woody Allen, and less John Birch.

Here are other things that activate my gag reflex — or relieve it.

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Compassionate Conservatism
As I was raised Catholic, I have compassion for Jews who killed baby Jesus. However, I have to hold my gag reflex when a Jew and Catholic marry. What? That’s not okay to say? Why not? If Liz Cheney can feel compassion for her lesbian sister and her wife, can’t I hide behind the same word? But seriously, I have more compassion for the residents of Wyoming who have to hear all Liz Cheney’s burble-babble about how she is the best candidate for a state she had to move to in order to run. Gotta love those entitled Cheneys! I almost feel compassion for Dick, but then I remember what a lover of waterboarding he is, and I feel schadenfreude watching his family act like the Real Housewives of Cheyenne, complete with mom Lynne getting all up in former Sen. Alan Simpson’s face, telling him to shut up. Andy Cohen, get these ladies a Bravo show, stat!

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The verdict of Stephen Colbert (screen capture courtesy of
The verdict on Rep. Radel, as rendered by Stephen Colbert (screen capture courtesy of

Cocaine Cowboys!
Speaking of schadenfreude, let’s talk about Florida Congressman Trey Radel, a true Tea Party Patriot! Who, by the way, says Cartagena, Colombia is his favorite vacation spot. Really, Trey? Not Disney World? The Florida Keys? Cape Canaveral? Any of Florida’s favorite tourist destinations? No, you pick the cocaine capital of the world. I think if you were to ask most people from Florida where their favorite vacay spot is, not a single one would say Cartagena. This family-values, self-proclaimed “hip-hop conservative” (gag reflex) serving his first term got busted in DC for buying an eight-ball of coke. Now, I’m pretty sure the fact that Radel purchased three to five grams of coke tells me this is not his first time at the drugstore. “Radel was described in charging documents as a routine buyer in Dupont Circle, purchasing for himself and for his pals,” according to The Washington Post. This is the hypocrite that voted to have all food stamp recipients get drug tested. Of course, only welfare queens get to be drug tested, not government-paid cocaine cowboys like himself. And now, off Radel goes to “rehab” and his “tour of apologies.” Cue the fake tears and remorse. Sure, remorse for getting caught. Such sanctimonious self-serving nonsense. Gag me with a coke spoon.

Walmart’s Employees Are Starving
Walmart has never been a store known for fair labor practices. And they are well known for refusing to pay their employees a living wage. Well, apparently, one store in Canton, Ohio, has employees in such dire need that a food drive was implemented to make sure employees in need had food for Thanksgiving.
Political propaganda courtesy of

This makes no sense to me, as most of the workers will be forced to work on Thanksgiving — for minimum wage. So they won’t be home to eat the donated canned goods. Walmart has no problem creating full-time workers living in poverty, because they know the state will pay for their food stamps, Medicare and housing assistance. I mean, why bring shareholder dividends down by paying your employees more when the state will pick up the slack? Walmart PR hacks spin this tale of the needy giving to the needy, telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer it is evidence that employees care about each other. No, Walmart! It’s employees helping to feed each other because you won’t pay a living wage. Why not pay a living wage? You already cut hours so you don’t have to pay health benefits for employees. So why bother showing any compassion by paying more than absolutely required by law? Gag.

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Costco, on the other hand is a model of a business that values their employees and pays them accordingly. Having met founder Jim Sinegal a few years back, I completely understand where that comes from. Sinegal believes that happy employees mean less turnover and more productive work time, which reap bigger dividends for the store and the shareholders. This is coming from a guy who brought his own sandwiches to eat on the ride to his private plane. Gotta love that!

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Nuke Them All!
Harry Reid, a Majority Leader of the Senate, finally did something. After the battle of the filibusters and the seemingly endless Republican blockage (read: constipation), Reid pushed the Red Button and set the clock back. The Senate now needs only 51 votes, a simple majority, to get nominees to courts — with the exception of the Supreme Court — to the floor for a vote. Shockingly, no President before Obama had such nominees filibustered to such a degree. As expected, Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader, had a hissy fit and threatened to seek vengeance after this vote went through:

“You think this is in the best interest of the United States Senate and the American people?” asked the Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, sounding incredulous. “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this. And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think,” he added.


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Oh, wah wah wah, Mitch. You and your band of tinpot Tea Party crazies have not a moral leg to stand on. The blocking of any of Obama’s judicial picks is fine with you; making the Senate have 60 votes to get anything done is just dandy; but when the Democrats finally call bullshit and call for simple majority rule, now life is unfair? You are a real piece of work. You act like a little boy who stamps his feet and screams until he passes out. “You’ll regret this”? What are you, Bette Davis threatening Joan Crawford? Get over yourself and realize you sound like a petulant child. Bullying an entire legislative body because you won’t get your way any longer is embarrassing to you, the elected position you hold, and to your state. Oh right, Kentucky. Never mind.

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Please don’t forget those less fortunate, and try not to gag when passing them on the street.