Friday, May 30, 2008

How We Know Scotty's Still Full of Shit

Scotty McClellan either deserves the Darwin Award for Denial, or he’s simply lying about the Plame affair. Back in the day, you might recall, Bush promised an investigation into the leak of the CIA agent’s identity, but of course there was no White House investigation. Still, Bush alleged an interest in knowing or duty toward the truth of the matter and he spoke to Karl Rove every single day at that time. Is it reasonable to believe that the subject never came up? It's more likely that Bush never asked him Rove the leak, just possibly Bush already knew the truth, since he, Rove, Scooter, Dick, et alia, had already enjoyed a big frat-asshole laugh about how they were going to smear Joe Wilson as a girly man, and fire a warning shot to anybody in the intelligence community who was thinking about jumping ship. Could it even be that's why he kept moving the goalposts on doing anything? Even if Scooter and Turdblossom lied to Scotty, Bush had to know they did it, and still he let Scotty say otherwise. So either Bush himself deliberately fucked Scotty, or Scotty knew himself all along and is still lying. There's no plausible other choice.
Nonetheless Scotty gets to run around blaming the system, the "partisan rancour" (as he did yesterday on NPR) for the culture of deceit. As I'evg said before: we can't know whether Bush knows the truth or dislikes the truth, but we know absolutely he almost never tells the truth. If people wan't to get past partisan rancour a good place to start would be by admitting such things, and calling for some accountability. Short of that, Republicans, you have the right to remain silent....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Meditations

I was at the Lobbyist's pleasure dome again last night, as she tried with all her wiles to learn the top secrets of my powerful agency and thus turn that mighty ship to her purposes. Alas, all I know is where they keep the toner and how to bang the vending machine just right for a free Diet Coke.

We were nonetheless kept awake by the snarling Harleys of the Rolling Thunder something-or-other as they prepared to ride in Memorial Day memorial of the fallen, MIA/POW amd otherwise SOL. I suppose it makes some sort of elliptical, atavistic sense, parading around with all that overloud, impractical power between your legs in honor of the war dead etc. But mostly it's just fat, mustachioed guys on bikes. Bikes are what they have instead of physiques.

Perhaps there is something laudable in this straightfowardly macho presentation of self -- for better or worse, this (and what it implies) is what I am and stand for. If what you see is what you get. What purpose that has in today's world, I dunno. And how much of it is inauthentically tied up in sentimental fantasies about knights-errant or maverick cowboys, likewise I dunno.

Maybe my reservations are just shamefully elitist. Or maybe elitism gets a bad name -- when disassociated from noblesse oblige.

Let's just hope the Preznit isn't pissing his prissy lies all over the graves at Alrington again this year.

Memorial Day

On Saturday, big, black-booted men mass on snarling Harleys
– big, kidney-shivering symbols, loudly announcing their power
between the knees – processing to a Memorial of the Lost Cause,
a cause being lost again to false memory and revisionist myth:
the Myth of the Liberal Backstabbers sapping the will to win,
the Myth of the Hippies Spitting on the better men who went
to war in their stead – as if we hippies had that much gumption.
There is something very dumb about these big bikes they ride;
they’re expensive, heavy, uncomfortable, and for all that power
not that fast or agile; the Germans and Japanese build better ones,
but the Harleys are American-made which must mean something.
But after all, it is a symbol, like a sailboat or a mink coat, nothing
to do with function, and doesn’t all fun embrace something dumb?

On Sunday, our Virginia trip is arrested just north of Memorial Bridge
– under the massive neo-classical statue Valor: two-gilt bronze nudes,
a bearded muscleman riding a Clydesdale and his Valkyrie bride
striding out beside him, small-breasted, big legged, like the women
in the R. Crumb comix – by two jodhpured troopers on Electra-Glides,
the outriders for the princely progress. A cop-chopper chatters back
and forth across the bridge and Mall tying to spot snipers or plotters
against the indispensable President, on his way to eulogize at Arlington,
where he will cheapen everything he mentions with his vapid platitudes.
After five or ten or fifteen traffic-snarling minutes of this, someone says
it’s safe and a platoon of troopers rides by, all lights and sounding sirens;
then we get the SUV’s packed with sharpshooters and machine-gunners;
then the limos, black as anthracite, flying little flags from front fenders;
then the many back-up body-guards, mobile command-posts, radio-vans,
ambulances, et cetera, all moving at high speed with sirens, charge
of the blue-light brigade, the President’s posse of permanent emergency.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Task Is to Remember

Might it be time to revisit that top secret Cheney Energy Task Force? Maybe people will wonder about it and/or start to make interesting associations and/or wild intuitive leaps between that little confab and $4 gasoline (and $36 billion in quarterly profits for American oil). Maybe there's nothing suspicious, but maybe that top secrecy won't sound so kosher to Joe Sixpack anymore.

And as long as we're in the WayBack machine, it's kinda fun to visit with Eric Hoffer (via Pat Buchanan in New Yorker) who says, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” This is meant to be pertinent to the current GOP and "conservatism" in general, but nothing as banal as Republicanism can be rightly termed a "great cause." Still, it should be abundantly clear to all who are not ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, complicit, or various combinations of these, that the GOP is now just an criminal enterprise, that enriches its contributors with government contracts or favorable regulation (or deregulation) and enriches itself with kickback "contributions" and corporate sinecures for the revolving-door flunkies.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dogs, Ponies, Shows

A weird moment this morning, as even the participants noted, when Keving Spacey was on Morning Joe talking to Pat Buchanan about Recount. Of course much was made of Buchanan's admission that most of the old Jewish folk who voted "for" him in Florida 2000, were actually trying to vote for Gore. The clown posse couldn't get enough of it, "You're a good man, Pat, a good man," they crowed in unison. Jesus.

I can't exactly figure out why Spacey is, on this little promo tour, reducing the number purged from the voter rolls wrongly from 54,000 to 20,000 -- but maybe that's the number of people who were both purged and actually in the state. Spacey seems pretty good at this, promoting and while implying but not coming right out and saying, "The Republicans stole the election."

I was getting dressed for the day and half-listening by this time, but it seemed to me that there was some reference to Florida today and the idea that the primary voters were being similarly disenfranchised again. Spacey seemed to suggest that Hillary's fight for the votes she won by campaigning in Florida despite the pledge not to, was a result of lessons learned in 2000. "Republicans know how to win," he said. "And Democrats are learning how to."

I wish, for several reasons he wouldn't say things like that, because, as the stakes are very high in matters like this, so it's not a sporting matter; ergo it's more a matter of, "Republicans know how to steal."

Also, through a champagne haze, I remember Spacey, in 1996, on stage with the Clintons at the Tennessee inaugural ball in Union Station, so maybe he has a dog in this hunt. Not that it really matters.
Spacey was perhaps at his all-time best in Swimming with the Sharks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Target Rich Environment

I've been paralyzed a bit by overchoice lately, there are just too many instances of pop journalists sinking to atrocious new depths to keep up the Story, y 'know The Story, the story of the wisdom of the people as expressed by the two-party system in a delicate counterpoise of checks and balances, making things ever-better and better in the free market of ideas so that American remains The Best Nation Ever! Of course this story can only be told in denial of the brute fact that the GOP has devolved to the most morally and intellectually bankrupt racket since the KKK -- with which lately it has all sorts of overlap.

Or you can just ignore the facts for happyface crap like this steaming load from the also devolving New York Times. With the headline "Dancing the Night Away, for a Higher Purpose," the Grey Lady plants a big wet kiss on Purity Balls -- a really queasy, twisted form of no-boundaruies parental micromanagement, wherein fathers and daughters gather in large numbers, pantomiming romance, abasing themselves before the cross, and making elaborate promises about what the little princesses will and won't be doing with their genitalia. The little bitches will doubtless feel free to be the kind of hateful, greedy, backstabbing, manipulative, incurious, self-important assholes our society raises up in such vast numbers, but hey they won't be fucking -- so Jesus won't have to cry. To her credit the reporter notes that, "....studies have also shown that most teenagers who say they will remain abstinent, like those at the ball, end up having sex before marriage, and they are far less likely to use condoms than their peers." So, besides being sanctimonious, they're also stupid, insisting on being "swept away" into sexual activity, instead of treating it more rationally. Purity balls, indeed -- insert joke here about the plight of their prom dates.

Of course the Washington Post has been doing its damndest in the pop journo limbo contest, publishing yet another Cult of (Closeted) Masculinity screed by the Brownshirt Feldhure Kathleen Parker, several days after she squeezed out for Townhall one of the most idiotic racist manifestos since Mein Kampf. Ann Coulter has a worthy colleague in Parker at Townhall. In Her Post appearance Parker tips her hand a bit, showing the quintessential Christofascist obsession, a mortal fear that someday, someone will take Christ at his word (Mat 19:24) and suggest that greed is not good. God forbid that the rich tithe back to the system that made them rich; of Obama and Edwards, whom she has just called faggots, Parker quips:

The question -- should this duo have its way -- isn't "When will the poor be wealthy enough?" but "When will the wealthy be poor enough?"

What a wit! Keep up the good work Fred Hiatt.

On the other hand, here's some real journalism from across the pond, a hard hitting story about Tesco's training pole for pre-teen strippers. It seems some don't approve. Me, I'll remember this come Christmas.
And finally, here's still more video proof that McCain is dense enough to bend light. And more proof!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush's Legacy

Chief chickenhawk and lifelong momma's boy Jonah Goldberg wants to know what Bush's legacy will be. Well, let's see... what's the opposite of legacy?

A hideous metastasis of kleptocratic power.
A similar expansion of Moslem fanatacism.
A $multi-trillion hole in the treasury.
A similar diminishment of American prestige and, worst, honor.

That's about right.

You can send your answer to Mr. Doughy Pantload at

Friday, May 09, 2008

John McSame: Another Unprincipled Princeling

A callow, drunken young man jumps over thousands of better qualified applicants and gets a covetted spot at a top university because his father and grandfather were both VIPs. Sound familiar? It seems John McCain and George Bush have this, among other things, in common.

Also being kinda vaguely on the take, despite his claim of being lobby-proof as the even the WaPo reports. Read too here about how St. John limited the investigation into the now imprisoned uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, so as to keep damage to the GOP minimal. And here's a compendium of McCain sleaze.

And say, did you know that St. John somehow managed to have five of the taxpayer's aircraft he piloted for the navy completely destroyed? Granted some of them can't really be shown to be his fault, but it seems like a bad omen, bad juju, or a metaphor going somewhere to signify.
Here's a fun place to read about Saint John. Did you know he's actually a complete dick? Fun quote:
Like his father and grandfather, McCain enrolled in the United States Naval Academy. There, he earned over 100 demerits. His reaction was that it was "bullshit."

But it was in his off-base activities that McCain truly excelled. According to one classmate, "being on liberty with John McCain was like being in a train wreck." It is unclear what being with McCain during his presidency would be like for the nation. Unfortunately, America has no direct experience from which to draw with a president who was a temperamental son of a distinguished military man and who in college was a temperamental fuckup who liked to party. What could possibly be so dangerous about that?

McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, ranked 894th out of 899. As historians have noted, there were five people in his class who were actually bigger fuckups than McCain, but none of them are running for president.
More of St. John's lies, more fun facts to come.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Arts and Crafts Project

I was surprised at lunch the other day when several of my artsy associates had kind words for John McCain. This has inspired me. I think I'll make up a couple of little cards to have with me so as to add some corrective truth to the right-wing din; they will be called something like Ten Significant Lies by John McCain, and Ten Things You Didn't Know About McCain. Maybe it would be good if other people would do the same thing, hand 'em out to friends and family so as to debunk the Straight-Talking Maverick Bullshit, and help people see St. John for the mean-spirited, dim-witted spoiled little Princeling he's always been.

Anyway, there will be more to come, but I'm compiling the data now, inspired by this little list from Arianna Huffington:

.... John McCain has a long history of issuing heartfelt denials of things that were actually true.

He denied ever talking with John Kerry about his leaving the GOP to be Kerry's '04 running mate -- then later
admitted he had, insisting: "Everybody knows that I had a conversation."

He denied admitting that he didn't know much about economics, even though he'd said
exactly that
to the Wall Street Journal. And the Boston Globe. And the Baltimore

He denied ever having asked for a budget earmark for Arizona,
even though he
. On the record.

He denied that he'd ever had a meeting with comely lobbyist Vicki Iseman and her client Lowell Paxon,
even though he had. And had admitted it in a legal deposition.

And those are just the outright denials. He's also repeatedly tried to
spin away statements he regretted making (see: 100-year war, Iraq was a war for
oil, etc.).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Post Posts Another Zombie Lie

One of the most cherished undying zombie lies of the last decade is: “Bush has principles.” The fact that this bullshit flies at all is vivid proof of our time’s moral bankruptcy. Today the Washington Post ran that lie up the flagpole on the front page in article headlined:

For Bush in Last Year, It's the Principle
As Influence Wanes, He Stays Resolute

Now the writer, Dan Eggen, admits that Bush is increasingly irrelevant, unpopular, and ignored,

Bush faces particularly daunting obstacles. He is waging an unpopular war, battling an opposition Congress and, for the first time in more than half a century, does not have a vice president at his side yearning to succeed him. His popularity has also reached new lows. A CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday showed that 71 percent of the public disapproves of how Bush is handling his job -- the highest figure since the question was first asked in the 1930s.

Nonetheless Eggen is happy to carry water for those in the bunker with W, putting out the sycophants’ spin on things as if it were objective reportage:

Presidential aides characterize Bush as intent on pursuing matters of principle, regardless of the polls. Democrats accuse him of needless stubbornness at the expense of improving a battered economy and addressing other problems.

Once again, it seems to Eggen, reasonable people will disagree about the facts; it’s totally a he said/she said situation. What Nancy Pelosi calls “stubborn,” Bush flunky Patrick J. Griffin calls “principled.”

"They're at a moment where their concern about a legacy is much bigger than how much legislation they pass," Griffin said. "He's defining himself as a man of principle and obviously not caring about the polls, not caring about what's politically expedient. Based on those criteria, then he's doing it just right."

As usual, it might useful to dissect the terminology here, to see just how W is “defining himself” when he defines himself as principled. Surely he wants to see himself showing, as Webster has it, “a devotion to what is right and honorable.” But if W has such a view of himself it can only be maintained through a global-self deception. Anybody even remotely familiar with W’s rap sheet knows he has nearly no concept of, and even less devotion to, the right or honorable. He has all his life been content to have things handed to him, to take places that rightly belonged to others; he’s been content to let others do all the work and take all the risk, content to dodge responsibility through outright lies, content to cheat, content to even steal from those who trusted him, as in his Harken energy insider trade. Since he has gotten to the White House he has probably never stepped before a microphone without uttering a lie; he clearly, literally feels absolutely no duty to tell the truth. And there is no honor without truth. So, it would seem, that in the in the ethical or honorable sense of the word, George W. Bush should be in the dictionary next to “unprincipled.” But that’s not how the Post sees it.

There is another sense of “principle” under which one might make sense of Bush’s biography: “a governing law of conduct: an opinion, attitude, or belief that exercises a directing influence on the life and behavior.” It is highly doubtful that Bush, or anyone else, could articulate an ethical or honorable “law” that could plausibly be said to influence his behavior. At times W has claimed Christianity as such, but in what way has the vindictive, deceitful, warmongering, plutocrat been Christ-like? W is a travesty of Christianity.

In another mood Bush might claim to have been governed by “conservative principles,” buy even many self-proclaimed conservatives are beginning to wonder how credit-carded trillion-dollar experiments in nation-building could be “conservative.” We might well wonder, in any case, if there are, in fact, any principles among self-described conservatives to day. Hasn’t “conservative” become just a tribal identifier, no more meaningful than say, “Hokie,” or “Wahoo,” “Terrapin” or “Hoya”. Increasingly one’s “conservatism” may have implications for one would regulate the conduct of others, but its correlation with one’s own behaviors is haphazard at best, and more likely negative.

It seems increasingly to me that one ought not describe oneself as conservative; that is best judgment for others to make. Conservative has become such a degraded and yet also cheaply valorized and self-congratulatory term that whenever some yahoo says “I’m a conservative” it sounds mighty pretentious to me, equivalent to the claim, in different times or different circles that “I’m an artist,” or “I’m a genius,” or “I’m a leader.” The savvy listener to such a proclamation will start looking for the door, because in almost cases it means, “I’m special, so The Good is what’s good for me.” As John Kenneth Galbraith put it, “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

Given this, it’s clear that the “conservative” (read “selfish”) attitude directs W’s life – what’s good for George Bush is The Good period. This might occasionally include such gestures as allow him to believe himself a “compassionate conservative,” if only because a good self-regard is good for George Bush too, provided it doesn’t compromise his power, privilege or impunity. Indeed, W has always been about one thing: getting his way. That’s not changing; why should it? He’s never been held accountable for the crimes licensed by this attitude and he’s not likely to be now.

As for any mental distress caused W by inklings of his failures, inadequacies, atrocities, well, surely they are alleviated by his view of himself as embattled man of principle, a regular Profile in Courage. Even the librul Washington Post says so, how can he doubt it.
A more thorough reporter might at least have considered the possibility that Bush’s intransigence is the product neither of “principle,” nor or mere “stubbornness” but is rather, as many have speculated symptomatic of his psychopathology, of his Narcissistic Personality Disorder, of his Dry Drunk Syndrome et cetera. Then again, that would have tasked the reporter with courage, imagination, investigation, and that just doesn’t really happen at the Post much anymore.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mission Accomplished Miscellany

Let's see, it's the five-year anniversary of Commander Codpiece's Mission Accomplished stunt. Also, by W's Royal Proclamation, it's National Law Day, although W will reserve the right to break, ignore, secretly modify, and selectively enforce laws at will, effectively making the law pretty much extinct, which is of course consistent with the Preznit's Orwellian flair for naming things in diametric contradiction of their brute reality. Hey, it's also National Prayer Day. Here's my prayer: Dear God: please kill all Republicans with the slow, agonizing bone cancer they deserve. Thanks.

On a related topic: Obama is having trouble with Rev. Wright. Well that's what happens when you mix yourself up with Bronze Age voodoo. People who believe in magic will tend to fuck up , and fuck you up right along with everything else. Oops.

Last weekend they gave a "Promise Keeper" thing on the Mall here, only now it's call Reign Down USA. Sounds a little Royalist to me, but hey, maybe that's just because like Lincoln's Americans, liberty is my religion. Also I noted nobody came. The gospel echoed forlornly all afternoon off the rows and rows of unused PortoSans. Suppose they gave an Asshole Fest and nobody came? Hey, they did!

Here's another spirtual offering:

Upon Hearing Scripture Bullhorned from the Capital Steps

God judgeth the righteous; and is angry every day.
Psalms: 10:11

A prayer in public’s like a curse in church,
the context toxifies the words.
The Truth’s enacted though an inward search,
it’s prostituted if it is coerced.
I believe the Devil loves faith worn on sleeves,
showing whose refusal he need not believe.
The spawn is always pain, death, hate,
when gods and government miscegenate.