The Lightning Rant for the Week Ending 1/8/12

Either Keifer Sutherland has been on Ninja Think Tank or a lot of other people made the same observation I did about his new show, Touch, looking a lot like 24. The folks at Fox must have thought the same thing, I saw a new commercial for Touch, and not only did it look nothing like 24, but it actually looked like something I want to check out. The question is: Which preview more accurately depicts the show? If at anytime I see Keifer wave a pistol in the air and yell: “Everybody…………down on the ground!” I’m going to be pissed.

How does one girl’s skimpy outfit and a banned yearbook photo become a national story? Oh yeah, it’s Yahoo! Well, she should be able to ride that fame straight into Season 3 of Teen Mom.

They say 17 is the new 35.

Speaking of morally bankrupt teens, 17-year-old Courtney Stodden has gained a lot of attention for her marriage to a 51-year-old man. Courtney loves outraging the world with her provocative photos, but I have to say that girl is not 17. There’s either some fake documentation going on, or she’s lived a hard 17 years. I know, marrying a 51-year-old man means that you’ve obviously grown up in a less than healthy environment, but she looks like she’s in her 30’s. And I’m not saying that in the “she doesn’t look like jailbait” way that guys will talk themselves into statutory rape. If you see a photo of her, look at her face. I realize most guys don’t notice she has a face, but her eyes look old. Her skin looks old. I can easily picture her with a Pall Mall menthol cigarette hanging out of her mouth while she plays Nickel Video Keno in Laughlin with long, fake press-on nails. When you start backsliding at 17, you’ve really made some bad choices.

Taco Bell has brought back the burrito that has Frito Corn chips inside. When you are eating that, you have got to know that you’re doing some pretty bad things to your body. My guess is a few hours later your body is going to do some pretty bad things to you.

The rumor that the crunch comes from actual hardened arteries might not be true. But it feels true.

Justin Timberlake got engaged. That’s like an Iron Chef cooking with only the secret ingredient and no others … forever. I’m all for marriage – but to Jessica Biel? I just don’t see anything resembling a personality there.

PepsiCo is considering laying off 4,000 domestic workers. Critics are blaming PepsiCo’s recent focus on healthier snacks and foods, which has hurt the growth of the flagship soda and chip brands. So how do you feel about that? A company that is a major contributor to American obesity tries to find a healthier way for Americans to eat, and profits suffer. In turn, they have to lay off workers. Employed and fat or broke and lean?

I’m ready for summer. I’m always ready for summer. January is a depressing weather month. This from a guy that doesn’t have to deal with snow.

That movie where Michael Keaton cloned himself seemed pretty dumb at first. Now I wish I had about three more of me. One to do my job, one to do my work around the house and the third to get me caught up and ahead in both those arenas.

There are 2 kinds of jobs in this world. Those that you can officially leave behind when you walk out the door and those that eat at your brain, making you strategize for the next work day. I have the second kind of job; I have for 17 years. Those typically pay better, but there is something to be said for going to bed knowing that your day tomorrow will be decided by what happens tomorrow.

Why does it take your employer a month to get you your W-2? They know how much they paid you last year. It seems a pretty simple process to put it down on paper. I only ask because I’m always anxious to do my taxes. I have a fear every year that I’m going to owe, and it’s a bigger fear this year. It isn’t that I’ve changed my withholdings, it’s probably because I’ve spent the entire year listening to people that don’t pay taxes telling the people that pay taxes that they should pay more. I need to know if I can take the money I expect to get in a return and purchase some goods or services with it or if the government would like to find a better way to piss it away.

Speaking of which, I saw the PBS special Ten Trillion and Counting. Bush got hammered pretty hard, which I think was deserved because he fought two wars while cutting taxes. Obama got mostly a free ride but was called out for thinking that increasing taxes on the 1% was going to fix things. And for those who say, “it’s a good start,” remember that we have politicians talking about program cuts that would “only” save about $50 billion. We’ve gotten to the point where anything less than several hundred billion dollars isn’t worth talking about. So if we doubled taxes on the rich and raised several hundred billion dollars, that would be relevant? How is it different?

The IRS says that $330 billion in taxes is still uncollected. Now, as hard as I am on folks who get a free ride, for those of us that pay taxes, you need to pay your taxes. If you are in the half of Americans “prosperous” enough to warrant owing taxes, then you better damn well pay them. How is the government not garnishing wages and auctioning off property to collect this? Obama has recommended adding 5,100 IRS employees, so I would expect they could start paying for themselves by collecting this money.

The other day, I read an idiotic article that stated that some Americans might be saving too much money for retirement. Their definition of “too much” was more than was needed to maintain the retirees’ standard of living pre-retirement with small cutbacks. I chalk this level of idiocy right up with the article that suggested that you purposely put a misspelling into your résumé to show that you are human. Imagine the horror when someone in their 60s retires and says, “Oh my god, we saved too much money.” How horrible. If you think that you may be saving too much for retirement, let me throw these potential game changers at you:

• If you are younger than 50, there’s no guarantee Social Security will be around when you are ready to collect it.
• Medicare probably won’t be there when you need it, and if it is it will likely take a gaping wound before you are authorized to see a doctor.
• The money you have in your 401K isn’t growing. You’re lucky if you’ve recouped what you lost over the past 4 years.
• What do you think a loaf of bread is going to cost in 20 years? $5?

Take my advice, save what you can afford. And then save a lot more.

Hey, get this, Latinos are different from white people. Isn't that hilarious? Also, someone once bankrolled "Deuce Bigalow 2," so I guess anything's possible.

I cringe when I see the commercials for the new Rob Schneider sitcom. It’s bad and offensive. I’m not surprised that Rob Schneider is doing that kind of shtick but Cheech Marin has got to have something better to do.

The reality shows that feature pawnshops are depressing. You are either dealing with a person parting with family treasures out of a desperate need for cash or a greedy person parting with family treasures out of a disgusting need to turn a fast buck. Either way, on the other side of the counter is a slimy pawnshop owner that knows the true value of the item, and he’s trying to screw over the first party.

I assume by their commercials that Carl’s Jr. has officially given up on wooing female customers. I was in a crowded bar once and the commercial came the TV with the girl eating a Double Western while riding a mechanical bull. You could have heard a pin drop.