Politics: it’s been called Hollywood for ugly people. And boring people, we might add. So why bother, when there is a real Hollywood, filled with beautiful people and awesome plot lines. Megan Fox is way awesomer than Mitch McConnell, for real. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that goes on in Washington that actually impacts you. So, there’s some stuff to keep track of. It can all get pretty confusing, so here’s a cheat sheet of all the things you need to know and care about as a dude in America.
The Wars: You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the news coverage, but we’re still stuck in the middle of two massive wars in the Middle East. Whether you agree with whether we should be fighting them or not, the truth is, it’s generally dudes our age stuck getting shot at. That means you’ve probably got a friend, family member or at least acquaintance overseas, fighting these wars. And hey, with a bad economy, there’s a chance you could end up enlisting, too.
There’s a lot of political turmoil in Iraq right now (what else is new), but it at least looks like this one is winding down. President Obama will soon announce that many troops are coming home (let’s give ’em a hero’s welcome), but at least 50,000 will be stationed in that crazy desert til mid-2011. And while the President is refusing to budge on that, a bunch of war hawks want him to keep them there longer.
And even if those troops do get to leave Iraq, the problem is, they just get sent right over to Afghanistan… and well, who knows what’s going on over there. Our troops are trying to cut deals with shady ass politicians and chasing religious warriors with guns through the mountains. But we’re not doing too hot a job rebuilding there, either (question: can you rebuild something that wasn’t there?), and the President announced last year that even more troops are going in. Doesn’t look too promising right now, but at least women have some freedoms.
The Economy: Want a job after college? How’s housekeeping for your parents sound? Free room and board!
After the greedy vampire squids sucked the life out of our factories and then stock markets for 15 years, things finally went bad in 2008, starting the biggest recession since the Great Depression. It even had a cliche name: The Great Recession. Great my ass.
President Obama has worked hard to get this thing up off the ground, though he’s being a sissy with bankers right now. In any case, he passed the stimulus and some money is pumping in. Jobs are returning, so there’s a chance that maybe, if you know the right people or are willing to do some ungodly acts, you can get a job when you graduate. Still, Republicans are trying to block any spending, because they just don’t like poor people; unfortunately, everyone is poor right now. It’s a big battle to spend more and reign in some of the banking practices that screwed us all over, so pay attention: this is your future livelihood at stake.
And remember: recovery is tentative, so think hard when anyone promises you anything in exchange for some of those ungodly favors.
Healthcare: After a full year of fighting and ridiculous lies about killing grandma, healthcare reform finally passed. It’s not like Europe or Canada, where everyone gets it for free, but about 30 million more people will get covered… even if it costs them out the ass. Progress!
How does this impact you? Well, see: the economy. Most people get insurance from their jobs, and when they can’t get a job, they’re screwed. Luckily, the new law lets people stay on their parents’ insurance til they’re 26, so not only can you live in their basement, you live on their insurance, too. And insurance companies can’t discriminate against pre-existing conditions, which means your destroyed liver is a-okay and ready to insure for the eventual transplant.
Immigration: Sure, you’re an American citizen (well, probably), so how does this impact you?
Well, Mr. Jingo, Arizona just passed a law that says they can demand to see the legal identification of anyone that looks suspicious of being an illegal immigrant. So, basically, if you aren’t pale, white, and blonde, they’ll demand to see your papers. And if they don’t like them, they’ll throw you in jail. Sound familiar?
We throw around the label Nazi far too much these days, but this is the real deal. Go to Arizona while brown, or black, or even tanned from the fucking Arizona sun, and there’s a chance you’ll be stopped and searched.
Not scary enough for you? Well how about this: it could really mess with your weed supply. Yeah, we knew that would do it.