Sunday, May 2, 2010

Assclowns of the Week #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition

¡Hola! It's been a while since the last edition of ACOTW but then again it's been a while since the forces of evil have scored so many victories over the beleaguered forces of good. And how could your pissed-off prehistoric porcine remain silent with all this assclownery afoot?

Because in short order, British Petroleum (2), in the spirit of the competitive open market, outdid Exxon in oil ejaculations into the ecosystem; Fräulein Jan Brewer (1) and the AZ state legislature sent progressives and liberals scrambling to their histories of Nazi Germany; the Usual Suspects of Goldman Sachs (3) testily testified before Congress and the Obama Pentagon (4) is making up war crimes laws to charge child soldiers even if no crime had been committed.

So hop in the trailer and let's cross the border from sane to insane (and have your papers ready) as we review this week's assclowns and much, much more!

10) Texas Gov. Dirty Perry

The guy that the late Molly Ivins called "Governor Goodhair" made a startling admission to the AP this past week: That he'd shot and killed a coyote while jogging last February. OK, that may not be big news in Texas but Perry admitted shooting the animal with his Ruger .380 semi-auto. That had a laser sight. And hollow point rounds. Like that other good-haired adventurer Indiana Jones, apparently the Governor is afraid of snakes.

So what was the animal's unforgivable transgression? Staring. Apparently, it's a capital offense to best the Governor or any Texan in a staring contest even if you're not making any threatening gestures.

Of course, knowing Roadrunner Rick, it could've been a show of solidarity with Arizona and Perry thought he was killing another kind of coyote.

9) The Times Square Car "Bomber"

Speaking of Wile E. Coyote, where did the Times Square bomber get his materials? Acme? And what is it about NYC that attracts these wouldbe "terrorists" who seem to take their cues from Woody Allen movies? A tee shirt vendor saw smoke coming out of the vents of a Nissan Pathfinder van late last Saturday night. When the NYPD bomb squad got there, this is what they found:
Inside, they discovered three canisters of propane like those used for barbecue grills, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, consumer-grade fireworks — the apparent source of the “pops” — and two clocks with batteries, the mayor said. He said the device “looked amateurish.”

Mr. Browne said: “It appeared it was in the process of detonating, but it malfunctioned.”

...Kevin B. Barry, a former supervisor in the New York Police Department bomb squad, said that if the device had functioned, “it would be more of an incendiary event” than an explosion.

Nonetheless, it was serious enough for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to hold a press conference near the scene with the requisite somber-faced hangers-on behind him and to alert the President.

Bloomberg, a militant reformed smoker, said that if the plot had been successful, "it could've theoretically lit up to 100 or more cigarettes or 50 cigars."

8) Medina County, Ohio Republican Party

How Democrats view Rep. Betty Sutton.

How Republicans view Rep. Betty Sutton.

And that pretty much sums up the Republican Party's attitude toward women in general. What else is there to say about a county GOP chairman who mails fliers to 15,000 households saying they should "put her back in the kitchen"? The "her" is Rep. Betty Sutton of Ohio's 13th District.

The trogs in the GOP would probably celebrate with brandy and cigars in the den if Congress ever took the vote away from women. Medina County Party Chairman Bill Heck is the kind of passively misogynistic pig who'd probably boycotted the Susan B. Anthony dollar. When the uproar arose over his mailer, Heck said, "I saw it, but I didn't think there was anything particularly wrong with it."

Well, Bill, while you're having your little kitchen debate, then you won't think there's anything particularly wrong with us having a good laugh over your party's unintentional shot in the foot over the cartoon of the pig next to your sexist gibe. Because your party couldn't've chosen a more apt symbol for itself if it tried.

7) VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

In true wingnut fashion, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli doesn't have much of a problem at all with violence but has a problem with boobies or anything even remotely sexy. In fact, he recently handed out among his staff buttons showing his revision of the Virginia State Seal. So what was the revision?

The long-forgotten Roman goddess Virtus is now standing on the back of tyranny with both her boobies covered up, whereas the original seal, traced back to Jefferson, reveals one breast. It's notable that, unlike the original State Seal when Tyranny is unconscious and on his back, in Coochie Coochie's rendition Tyranny is starting to get back up. 96% of people in a newspaper survey said the idea sucks.

The only wonder is that he didn't opt for a burqa.

6) The US Chamber of Commerce

What will $400,000 buy the US Chamber of Commerce, the new financing arm of the radical right wing? A racist campaign ad spewing easily provable lies and spreading dog whistle stereotypes. The big fiction: That Bill Halter's company, WebMethods Inc., shipped US jobs overseas. The fact: No, they didn't.

This piece of racist crap aimed at Arkansas Democratic Senate candidate Bill Halter was officially extruded through Americans for Job Security, the fleshy mask allegedly humanizing the newly-empowered corporate world. And just the very fact that the US Chamber of Commerce is going to bat for corporate love doll Blanche Lincoln is alone enough incentive to vote for Halter in the primary.

The stupid fucks who made this ad couldn't even hire any authentic Indian actors with authentic Indian accents. Because how hypocritical would it have been to outsource those acting jobs to India hiring real Indians unconcerned about presenting themselves as stereotypes to scare redneck voters with more guns than teeth?

5) Sarah Palin

This Think Progress headline says it all: Journalists Must Donate To Anti-Choice Organization In Order To Cover Palin’s Speech. On the 29th, Palin spoke at the invitation of Heroic Media, an anti-choice organization and one of the criteria the press had to honor was this:
Heroic Media will try to prohibit video and audio recordings of Palin’s appearance, and news organizations wishing to cover her speech must buy a ticket, the proceeds of which will go to Heroic Media.

You read that right. Reporters had to pay to get in and cover her blatherings, such as how her unwed teen mother Bristol had "made the choice" to have her kid. Imagine the howling we would've heard if Bill Clinton or John Edwards barred reporters from covering their speeches unless they donated to Planned Parenthood.

Heroic Media's strategy:
Heroic Media utilizes an online strategy to purchase top listings on search engines, such as google, so when teens “google” the word “abortion,”… “I think I’m pregnant,” … or “terminate pregnancy,” one of the top web sites they’ll see is our partner web site

Uh, no they won't. In fact, it isn't even mentioned in the top 50 searches.

Fucking Republicans are so hard up for money they have to resort to jumping on Tea Party bandwagons and getting faith-based contributions by coercion at the expense of the 1st Amendment. And speaking of desperation...

4) The Obama Pentagon

Aside from Jeff Kaye's diary on Firedoglake, I know of precious few people who are writing about Obama's War Crimes Commission actually rewriting the law so that they can convict child soldiers for war crimes even when no war crimes had existed.

Granted, there are probably some wingnuts, and I'm thinking of the four neocon assholes on the SCOTUS who'd voted to execute children as young as 14, who think that this doesn't go far enough. Because I can perfectly imagine Scalia or Alito arguing, "This doesn't even address the even larger problem of child generals, ones commanded by child heads of state. Why aren't we holding them accountable?"

But more progressive-minded people have more of a problem with this tortured reasoning, or they would if they knew about it. David Frakt, former Gitmo defense counsel and current law professor at Western State University College of Law wrote a piercing analysis of the tack the Pentagon is taking. Here's the money shot:
Now, the Department of Defense has once again attempted to revive this discredited interpretation of the offense with a slight twist. In the new Manual the following official comment has been included in explanation of the offense of Murder in Violation of the Law of War: "an accused may be convicted in a military commission. . . if the commission finds that the accused engaged in conduct traditionally triable by military commission… even if such conduct does not violate the international law of war." Astoundingly, according to the Pentagon, a detainee may be convicted of murder in violation of the law of war even if they did not actually violate the law of war.

You got it: Activist generals under Obama are now rewriting international law making formerly nonactionable crimes retroactive crimes. This isn't just stacking or marking the deck: It's tearing the old deck in half and reprinting one containing nothing but jokers. The Obama administration twisting international rules of war to try and convict child soldiers who are largely forced into such a life bespeaks of a desperation to win any convictions for war crimes.

3) Goldman Sachs

Warren Buffet coming out swinging for Blankfein only reinforces my standing adage: Never Trust a Billionaire.

Because what else besides loyalty through massive investment could explain anyone taking the side of a squeaking little rat fuck like Blankfein who treated senior United States senators during his bank's hearings as if they were lice-riddled bag ladies? How can anyone with any self respect or a shred of credibility advocate for a rapacious little bag o' douche like Blankfein, a man who most certainly knew that betting against toxic assets would make billions for his bank?

Indeed, Goldman Sachs is so reviled and so obviously guilty that it seems only people who have $5 billion tied up in their bank would ever publicly take Lloyd Blankfein's side.

2) British Petroleum

There are now three manmade things that can be seen from outer space: The Great Wall of China, Rush Limbaugh's toilet seat and British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil slick oozing its way toward New Orleans.

This Halliburton-built rig that's the bastard child of Dick Cheney's push for petroleum deregulation caught fire, killing 11 rig workers, sank and is still spilling approximately 20,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. And what was it that our grandmothers used to say about a stitch in time saving nine and an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure? It's since come out that for a paltry price of a half a million dollars, BP could've set up a remote acoustic system required in other countries that would've immediately capped the well in an emergency but refused to spend that much for a rig that already cost $560,000,000. Now it's costing these clowns $6,000,000 a day to (unsuccessfulyl) battle the oil spill.

But you have BP, its lobbyists, Dick Cheney and the Obama-era Minerals and Management Service, the Dept. of the Interior bureaucracy regulating the petroleum industry, to thank for 11 people being dead and an air, land and sea-polluting oil slick large enough to be seen from outer space.

To give you a glimpse of the sheer size, scale and scope of this disaster, those little dashes in this blown-up NASA satellite photo are ships. By my best estimate, that detail of the southernmost lobe of the oil slick, according to the legend in the lower left corner, is between 6000-6500 meters wide or approximately 20,505 feet, which is almost 4 miles.

And this isn't the first time this has happened to a BP offshore derrick, as this July 2005 picture of the BP/Exxon-owned Thunder Horse rig testifies:

In fact, BP has a pretty shitty record for worker safety, environmental stewardship and they've even been found guilty of manipulating propane prices, resulting in a $300,000,000 fine paid to the DOJ.

Basically, we're seeing the same old, same old reminiscent of similarly-shiftless coal companies that have gotten countless miners killed. Yet 11 workers are dead, the Gulf coast's flora and fauna is already getting decimated and the local fishing industry has been paralyzed. Yet, thank God, BP's executives won't have to so much as give up their chocolate brioche during their board meetings.

1) AZ Gov. Jan Brewer

I guess, by dint of some tortured intellectual gymnastics, one could indirectly blame President Obama for bringing about the "immigration bill" recently signed into law by Arizona Gov. Eva Braun Jan Brewer. After all, it was Obama who named then Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to be Homeland Security Secretary, giving the corner office to then Secretary of State Jan Brewer.

Here's the first draft of the Arizona House version of the immigration law:

Translated, it says,

This, in turn, essentially translates to, "We have the right to detain you for being melatonin-challenged from the moment you set foot outside your door." Of course, it isn't illegal immigrants that's at the real heart of this bill, it's the legal ones. And if you don't think that the reliably Democratic vote of Latinos has anything to do with this bill, I have a bridge in Lake Havasu you may be interested in.


At May 3, 2010 at 12:58 AM, Blogger D. said...

Um, "melatonin-challenged" just means sleep-deprived; you probably meant "melanin-challenged" there, and more probably "melanin-richer."

Good for what ails, anyway!

At May 3, 2010 at 1:56 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

And all of this will pale by leaps and bounds if we don't get the hint now that "state of the art technology" cannot save us from oil spills OR... nuclear accidents.

And I'm certainly not waiting for anyone visible to even mutter that analogy, let alone make the argument (save Helen Caldicott).

At May 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM, Blogger nunya said...

The "Obama Pentagon?" Sounds like you need to read Blowback by Chalmers Johnson (c) 2000.

At May 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

No, this is Obama's Pentagon doing this, Nunya. Bush never did anything like this. This is Obama's idea. You know, the Constitutional law scholar?

Where've you been for the past year?


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