Friday, March 28, 2008

Bush III, or What He Said

The Democrats need to start working the refs right now, I think, because St. John is morphing into the Unifier in the minds of the asslickers. We need to shout down and spit upon the people who insist that McCain is somehow different or even better than Bush. Repeat after me: Just as crooked. Just as dishonest. Meaner, not smarter. Bush III.

From Glen Greenwald in Salon:

Just as was true for Bush in 2000, McCain is running at a time when the Republican brand is sullied (in 2000 because of the ugly Gingrich/impeachment crusades and in 2008 because of the destructive Bush years). Thus, McCain is being politically marketed in exactly the same way that Bush the presidential candidate was (he's a uniter not divider; a new kind of Republican; you always know where he stands; he's a conservative who deviates from dogma and appeals to Democrats; he transcends partisanship; we're going to be a more humble nation, etc. etc.). It's exactly the same wrapping. And the media believed all of that about Bush and they now believe it all about McCain.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bush's War

Over at PBS I'm sure they're having an orgy of self congratulation over Bush's War, the 4.5- hour retrospective on the debacle -- produced just in time to make a real difference for America. They were billing it as 'the whole story' or something like that in the ads they bought on left-leaning websites, and it had its moments. It was of course very, very damning, even though the producers didn't see fit to feature anyone who, beforehand, called the war for the fraud and atrocity it was always going to be. No, they pretty much let the sober Suits do all the talking, and even in their chastened rationalizations the whole project comes across as disastrous and ill-conceived. But not, y'know, atrocious.

The producers don't seem to have much sense that Iraqis have suffered. Maybe the Iraqi museums have been degraded, but hey, these things happen. And the producers don't seem to have been aware that thousands of people (among them Colin Powell) had predicted, as far back as the first Iraq war, that if we invaded Iraq what would happen is just what has happened. No, we get the sense from Frontline that "Nobody could have predicted...."

They also didn't seem aware of the way sensible people, in the runup and since, have been marginalized, villified, fired ,et cetera, according to the best Rovian principles. Nor do they give the slightest sense that a key reason for the war was Rove's sense that its fog would hide the blemishes on the Junta, and help the War President keep absolute power and impunity. Also that it would enrich Republican contributors beyond their wildest dreams, and provide employ for lots and lots of College Republicans with no qualifications whatsoever. No, Frontline lets the booboisie go on believing that it was all done with good intentions, even if the execution was rather inept.

And of course we get no sense whatsoever of the depraved indifference all these Bushite deviants have to the death, suffering, injustice and perversion they have unleashed.

Oh well, Frontline says, in essence, no need to get upset. The Suits are sort of sorry -- and they'll get it right next time. Excellent news.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thoughts for Easter

American Christianity, the Christianity of George Bush, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Fred Phelps is only possible in a semi-literate state where "history" is another word for oblivion. To say that these people do not speak for American Christians is rather like saying that Gravel speaks for the Democrats.

The notion that one can petition God for intervention in our temporal affairs is, even to many believers, a nauseating atavism, a backsliding to the Golden Calf. How many people would panhandle that god, that needy, suck-upable God, a God composite of their least attactive features! They might as well sacrifice virgins to reverse global warming.

Christian culture as an incubator of ethical behavior is historically up there with multi-level marketing and the sex trade. Only a kitschy sentimentality insists otherwise.

Religion, insofar as it is salutary, is always an inwardness. When adapted for broadcast it always degenerates to dogma, idolatry taboo, bigotry and monarchy. A people cannot adore a Heavenly King without aspiring to make one on Earth.

You would think that the jihad, as prosecuted by kamikaze and suicide bombers would shake our faith in Faith. But faith is proven immune to fact by the way we double down against the jihadists, betting ever more that our God is bigger than theirs.

For every act of Christian charity and forgiveness, there are ten (100? 1000?) of hypocrisy, bigotry, atrocity.

Belief in sin is anathema to ethics; it is resort to taboo. There is no more inherently wrong with homosexuality, extramarital sex, or catching a buzz, than there is with eating pork, graven images or menstruation. This does not stop the inquisitors from making war on any of them, as the whim or need arises.

"God hates fags," says Fred Phelps, the one preacher in American Christendom who speaks candidly from its heart.

Every conversion is a seroconversion; Jesus plus the GOP is love plus AIDS.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Speaking of "Races"

As I was saying at lunch with a lovely colleague (we were in our outift's luxurious and exclusive aerie, looking down on the Capitol of the Mediocracy and the little people in awe of it), the major media are in a sort of semi-conscious pact to obscure the truth about the election, which in an odd, Oedipus Effect way, helps to change or shape the truth about it. Not so incidentally, they did the same thing in 2000, and 2004.

The truth of all these elections, is that the Republican candidate was and is obviously and grossly unfit for the office. Bush is an unprincipled simpleton, as was obvious to any sentient, impartial entity, the Democrats should have won in a cakewalk. And as Saint John has shown often, he is Bush III, only "meaner and dumber." But the commercial media's mainstream journalists have every reason to obscure the ridiculously lopsided nature of every "race". First, they are reluctant to counter the wishes of their archly Republican billionaire paymasters, who grow ever richer from the carte blanche the GOP gives them gratefully. Second, and more importantly, if they were to speak the simple truth: "They've gotta be kidding! The Republican candidate is a corrupt, incompetent stooge!" -- the story is over. People would tune out, just as they do when the Superbowl turns into a blowout. The journalists would find themselves having to find other stories, real news, or else become irrelevant. And they cannot have that. Above all, above truth, above professionalism, about patriotism, is the neurotic need for people to pay serious attention to them. (They're like three-year-olds in this.) Therefore they keep finding ways to regard egregious ass-clowns as acceptable, even competitive candidates.

It is in this spirit that MSNBC has launched The Race for the White House. The media geniuses at that network have evidently decided it's a safe bet that, no matter how badly things crater from the numberless Republican crimes and fuckups of the last 8 years, come November, it will still be a "race" and so the whole brand of the show won't be a joke. Watch how hard David Gregory works to make sure that it stays a race. Today for instance, he devotes some air time to How Clinton Can Still Win, because that makes it still a race. For a change, folks at The Politico make more sense, explaining why Clinton is, and has been toast, but nobody will report it. Here's the basic point:

"....she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else. People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet."

If Hillary gave a damn about the party or the country she'd drop out now, and get behind Obama. But she doesn't. She cares above all that people go on paying serious attention to her. Therefore she's going to do everything she can to claw Obama down the drain with her, in the futile hope that she can somehow show McCain up for the mean, stupid, corrupt chickenshit he's degenerated to, and pull some kind of Pyrrhic victory out in November. This will never happen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Right to Privacy? What Right to Privacy?

So, Condi's Kids have been rooting around in Obama's private passport files, but it's "not political". Yet more evidence that the Rovians are determined to use every resource at their disposal, even if it means making America a police state, to their political advantage.

And these are the people who want broader spying powers under FISA-Lite.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Inconceivable Deviance!

Just imagine you are a rich and powerful man, a politician. You've been married for several decades and you love your wife and children. But your marriage is now sexless; it's undergone the hetero equivalent of bed death. You may not be wholly blameless, of course, but for reasons not entirely clear to you, your wife's skin now crawls when you touch her. She sometimes looks at you like you're her deviant uncle. You've talked about it, but that just seems to make it worse. She wants to want you doesn't work that way. You're hurt; you're angry; you're frustrated and horny. You despair. You love your wife but you're not ready to swear off sex. You don't want to divorce or have affairs, or take a mistress (as they do in some Old European countries) so you decide to go the route that makes for least emotional entanglement, least bad faith and so, to your way of thinking about it, least infidelity -- straight cash transactions at a rate which should buy confidentiality, and which maximizes your pleasure and minimizes your sense of victimizing anyone.

The whole thing blows up in your face. And everyone wants to know why your wife stands up with you at the press conference. It's almost as if she felt somehow complicit or responsible.... People just find it inexplicable. What a mystery....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The News Is Still Dead

After about five years construction, the Newsoleum will be opening soon here in DC, a fitting tribute to as aspect of American culture more or less dead since the Carter/Reagan race. Just in case one needs a reminder of how dead, there's this from Greg Mitchell and Mother Jones. A key quote and reminder of Colbert's brilliant turn at the dinner for the White House "correspondents":

Stephen Colbert's routine at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in April 2006 is remembered for the in-his-face mockery of President Bush—but he also spanked the press, perhaps one reason his mainstream reviews were mixed at best. Addressing the correspondents directly, Colbert said, "Let's review the rules. The president makes decisions; he's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell-check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know—fiction."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Name Calling

Samantha Power, the best-named campaign advisor of them all, felt she had to resign becuase she called Hillary Clinton "a monster. " It's all over the media! A huge blunder for the Obama side! Of course Republican shill Roger Stone can call Hillary a cunt and it doesn't even cut down on his network schedule.

I suppose in fairness Hillary is just another human being - an unprincipled, hypocritical, opportunistic, narcissistic, blunderer who just happened to vote for the Iraq War, and couldn't be bothered to vote against retroactive immunity for the telecoms, but a human being, not a monster. Unless of course Ms. Power was speaking metaphorically, making a point about a more than normal degree of cynicism apparent in Hillary's actions.

I confess I am embarassed to find myself in sympathy with the Dittoheads' hatred of Hillary. They hate her for the wrong reasons, of course, but their instinct seems more and more right.

She's a repugnant candidate, and would be a hideous President. Say hello to Emperor McCain.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Darwin Award for Congressional Democrats

George W. Bush's approval ratings are in the toilet and swirling, even the pantywaist brigade at 60 Minutes summoned enough gumption to point out that the Mayberry Machiavels are willing to use the Justice Department in criminal fashion to hinder the Democrats, Vanity Fair has a brand new story about how W himself insisted on backing and arming torture-loving assholes in Palestine (which policy blew up in his face) giving us the ascendance of Hamas; basically everything W touches turns to shit, and yet the Democrats can't wait to shake his hand and give him telecom immunity. They don't even want to find out if they've been spied upon and ratfucked as a result, which, given what the Bushies have done with "Justice," seems entirely likely.

Anyone who votes for this disgrace is forever unfit to hold public office.