Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cute Animal Websites Must Be Destroyed, Says Sheriff Joe Biden

The Democrats sure had a point when they complained that the shenanigans of Anthony Weiner were just a distraction from more important stuff.  What with Weinergate, and President Obama's campaign swing through the South, and his delegating the domestic jobs crisis to the CEO of a multinational corporation that pays no taxes, nobody is noticing the important work that Vice President Joe Biden is doing.
Everybody seemed to miss the vice president's big announcement yesterday that he is The New Sheriff in Town! He has his fiscal six shooters out to blast away all the terrible horrible government waste and fraud and abuse to balance the budget and save our country.  Because fiscal weapons of mass destruction and tightening our belts are the only ways we can navigate those bumps in the road and forge ahead through the headwinds and make multinational corporations feel confident enough to provide all those new jobs they are just itching to create if only they didn't feel so taxed and nervous!
In an email sent out Monday called, aptly, "There's a New Sheriff in Town" Biden announced his new gig as Anti-Waste Czar:

Did you know that the government spends millions to maintain buildings that have sat vacant for years? Or that your tax dollars pay to needlessly ship copies of the Federal Register to thousands of government offices across the country even though the same information is available online?
And I bet you didn't know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I'm sure it's a wonderful species, but we can't afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. It's just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.
This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we’re facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it's a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody.
That’s why President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in The Federal Government.

No Joe, I sure didn't know there was a website devoted to the Desert Tortoise, so I decided to check it out before it disappears from cyberspace forever.  It is a wonderful website, but I agree that it must cost at least several dollars a year to maintain. It's got full-color graphics, a FAQ feature, and links to other nature sites.  What a disgusting waste.  Plus this turtle is kind of boring.  The only thing it apparently does besides breathing and taking up valuable geographical and cyber space is to pee copiously all over your hand if you pick one up.  Ecch.
Now let's see.... wherever could the idea of a money-hogging desert tortoise destroying our budget have come from?  It's a known fact that governors in western states have been mounting a big campaign to do away with the federal Endangered Species Act altogether.  Just this year, the Gray Wolf was removed from the list thanks to lobbying by Montana ranchers who want to shoot the wolves because they kill a sick old cow once in awhile.  But since the Desert Tortoise lives mainly in the harsh environment of the Mojave Desert, what's the beef there?
I mean, the Tortoise is a perfect metaphor for the slow pace of our economic recovery, so it should be protected forever and ever and its website preserved. "Slow and Steady Wins the Race to the Top" should really replace Winning the Future as the Obama campaign slogan.
Joe Biden says we can't afford to have a stand-alone website devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. But since he's so concerned about austerity (or pretends to be to appease the Republicans) why not take a look at all those Department of Defense websites while we're at it?  Take a look at the $1 million a year it takes to keep one soldier in Afghanistan, take a look at all the billions going to feed the Karzai drug cartel, to build roads and schools and maintain bases overseas -- and then talk to the American people about the deficit and our own crumbling infrastructure and exactly what it is that constitutes waste, fraud and abuse.

And how wasteful is it to have a vice president wasting his time writing harebrained emails that trash-talk tortoises? Maybe we should just trim the waste and get rid of the vice presidency altogether. And leave turtles and the Desert Tortoise website alone!
Say It Ain't So, Joe! (Can I Call You Joe?)



John in Lafayette said...

Off topic, but......

Brilliant response to David Brooks today.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, John!

4Runner said...

Thanx for the turtle alert! Being a hard-shelled nature-lover, I immediately Googled to see if our indigenous south Florida sea turtles (loggerheads) were afforded equal big guv coverage. Sure enough, loggerheads a/k/a caretta caretta (not to be confused with Corinna Corinna) have 4 or 5 wasteful websites of their own. And this was probably done on porpoise. They weigh around 300 lbs and thus are very waistful.

Karen Garcia said...

Four or five websites of their own? They will be at loggerheads with the budget, that's for sure. How very shellfish of them! Maybe these obese critters can be Joining Forces with Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign and trim off some of their disgusting fat!

Anonymous said...

Pretty dumb. Now may I stir the pot?

Did anyone see the debate last night? Since Obama is pretty well "done", which one do you want as POTUS come 1/20/13? Perhaps Santorum? Michelle? Gee, so many wonderful candidates...so hard to choose. But not to worry. Anyone of them is sure to take this country right over the cliff.


Karen Garcia said...

Nah, I skipped the debate. Too distracting. Plus I have to tighten my belt, so I am thinking about cancelling cable altogether.

Janet Camp said...

I second the "brilliant response" to Brooks' column! My fist was in the air!

Hey, didn't Al Gore already do this "ferret out the waste" thing in the Clinton Administration? Supposedly he cut billions in unnecessary and duplicative stuff. And changed out all the light bulbs too! You can bet the Bush's changed 'em right back too, just like Reagan took down those unsightly solar collectors that Jimmy Carter put up--remember him? The one who tried to get us going down a path of sustainability 30+ years ago?

But I digress.....What Biden is doing has the potential to be important--too bad he is trivializing it with these goofy examples. I think that websites are a very simple and inexpensive way to get scientific information out there for curious children (and adults) who just may have their scientific curiosity piqued by one of these "useless" websites. We don't need a sheriff so much as a moderator who would limit this stuff before it gets out-of-hand to begin with.

Anonymous said...


No cable needed. Watch via the web.

Distracting? Oh, ok. That ought to make them go away.

Better to concentrate on the turtles.

Karen Garcia said...

Yes, a presidential debate a year and half before Election Day is a waste and a distraction and simply a way for Cable TV to fill its news vacuum with various personalities who do not answer even the most vapid questions proffered by the moderator. I read a recap of this non-event this morning -- that was enough for me. If we had more governing and less campaigning this country just might be in better shape.
And yes, I like turtles more than I like politicians, because they have the good sense to withdraw into their silent shells every once in awhile.

Anonymous said...

Janet Camp said:

Hey, didn't Al Gore already do this "ferret out the waste" thing in the Clinton Administration?

Yes, I know this is serious -- endangered species and all -- and I can relate (maiden name is Wolfe; major supporter of wildlife preservation) but "ferret out?" Exquisite!

Janet, your point is well taken, and better still, well expressed. But beyond the momentary frisson of pleasure evoked by your wordplay, there's the issue of yet another gratuitous assault on something of interest and -- dare one say it -- importance to those of us who reside outside the DC beltway.

Cut, cut, cut: taxes for the rich, and services for everyone else. That's the mantra in Washington, no matter the party.

Our only hope is to work tirelessly to elect, at all levels of government, the most progressive candidates we can find, even if they call themselves Democrats, in 2012.

Rose in Michigan

Valerie said...

Perhaps Joe should look to the war budget and do some cutting there. How about the bribing - sorry I meant financial aid - to countries that hate us? How about some of those government incentives/ grants/ whatever they are called/ to the energy industry? There is lots of waste out there, Joe, just follow the money. Picking on educational websites that serve double duty on conservation seems like small pickin’s to me.

And you are so right, Karen, about the ridiculous amount of time (not to mention money) that is invested in campaigning in this country as opposed to governing.

Janet Camp said...

@Rose in Michigan

Thank you for your kind words. It's always a pleasure to make others smile. Of course you all know that the 'R' in Biden's name is for ROBINette? Do you think he's an endangered species?

Let's hope Joe isn't ducking his mission over at the Budget Office while he's busy slithering through websites. We need those cuts to appease our elephantine
friends on the right--but why listen to a bunch of asses? I sure hope that when our third party takes off it will have a decent mascot (logo?). I have read how we got these party symbols, but don't recall.

Kate Madison said...

I have a brilliant idea! How about cutting out websites hyping the newest and greatest missiles:

And while we are at it, I think the Defense Department budget is much fatter than that of an endangered turtle website. And it is so much more waistful--errrr.....wasteful.

I agree with you, Karen, about all of the pre-2012 hype. A complete waist--err, sorry--waste of time. I know the bottom lines, and don't need to hear about the cosmetic surgery on all of the candidates--especially Michele Bachmann, with her false eyelashes and fake nails. How tacky can she get? Don't answer, please--especially if you wear false eyelashes or have fake nails.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation!

Anonymous said...

The Desert Tortoise is really rare, I have driven through hundreds of miles of fenced and posted reserves for years and only seen one of them.
Did any one read that a bipartisan group headed by Dennis Kucinich is suing the President for not following the war powers act in various countries?


Marie Burns said...

Cute animal? As part of his attempt to get a debt ceiling deal, Biden has to placate Republicans, and that's what his Kill-the-Tortoise-Website push is all about. It's Joe Biden's way of assuring Mitch McConnell that the government will no longer devote entire Websites to humorous caricatures of McConnell. In the name of bipartisanship, the turtle must go.

Jay - Ottawa said...


To Tortoise or not to Tortoise,
That is the question:
Whether ‘tis better to hold a turtle that pee-
Wees the noble hand that holds it
Or to support the fuss and folderol for Sherman tanks
That breathe fire upon the evildoer in distant lands.

‘Tis a no-brainer for those whose wee brains have
Not been protected by the Endangered Species Acte.
Neither the gods of Olympus nor the august members
In Congress sometimes sexting upon the Web itself
Dare table the mighty tank put forth by the crushing
Military-Industrial Complexity too big to fail –
Forsooth, although we wish it could be.

But wee desert turtles and, by Jupiter, other en-dan-ger-ed
Species, like homeowners held too long under water,
Elders whose bank accounts mysteriously flushed out
With the same incontinent malady of their owners,
Jobless groundlings with offspring to feed,
And whining schoolboys held behind in crumbling schools
Are game for TLOTE’s mighty cincture called JOEBYE.

And so, progressively, we die, one by each one,
Dying not by the sword, nor by vengeful turtle bite,
Nor by the thousand little shocks that flesh is heir to,
Not even by terrorists so feared and funded against
That our treasury and laws now stand hollow,
But by the garrote of yonder belt tighteners,
The sad sons of Dives siccing their dogs upon Lazarus,
Turning the screws to the most hapless classes
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Thus with my vote freely gifted to TLOTE
Followed by a kiss upon his hand --
Because it could be worse, right? --
I die....

VLT said...

Jay! That was priceless! And cheers to everyone else who made me laugh!

Janet Camp said...

Brilliant, Jay!
(How long did that take you?)

Karen Garcia said...

Pure genius, Jay. Thank you for uplifting my spirit.

Jay - Ottawa said...

@ Janet C

Between the time I read Karen's topmost post this morning -- and the likewise sardonicky comments that followed -- about Turtlegate and the VP and the prompt I received shortly after high noon from Jason Rosenbaum of BoldProgressives.org to call Senator Chuck Schumer to fault his leading yet another Democratic retreat with this rousing conclusion and the new battle cry in their fight for job creation:

“The senators concluded that the only stimulative measures with any chance of getting Republican votes involve tax cuts.”

Go ahead, find some daylight between Schumer and Mitch McConnell on this one. I know there are plenty of Goliaths still around, but is there just one David, anywhere?

Now let me see.... What rhymes with 'Chuck' ?