Sunday, December 28, 2008

Assclowns of the Week #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition

The crystal ball in Times Square won’t be the only one dropped in 2008, as the GOP once again saw their rosy predictions defied by the will of the people. As 2008 draws to a close, we’ll be bidding a not-so-fond adieu to several Republican assclowns in both Congress and the White House. No doubt, on January 20th, Washington, DC street sweepers will be cleaning Pennsylvania Avenue of discarded shoes that were riotously flung to salute the end of our third Bush term (hereafter referred to as the Third Reich) that ended not with a bang but a wingtip.

Many, alas, are still among us and will continue to be even after Inauguration Day, such as J. Kenneth Blackwell (9), who, like Rodney King, wonders aloud why we can’t all just get along; scumsmuggler Chip Saltsman (10), for passing along to RNC HQ good-spirited racist humor; SEC Chairman Christopher Cox (7), who thought the password was “obliviousness” and the world’s most revered terrorist state, Israel (1) for reminding us once again that one Israeli life is worth over 200 Palestinian lives.

So let’s ride that Republican crystal ball down, down, down until it shatters to smithereens as we review these assclowns to round out 2008 and much, much more!

10) Chip Saltsman

I don’t know about you but when I hear about a song set by Republicans to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon” and retitled “Barack the Magic Negro” accompanied by other titles such as “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish Banner”, the very last thing I’d think of is racism.

Former Huckabee campaign manager and Republican National Committee candidate for Chairman Mark “Chip” Saltsman thought it would be a good idea to get in the good graces of the racists of the GOP by passing along a two year-old CD that valiantly attempts to lampoon liberals, one written by Tennessee redneck and former house cleaner-pest exterminator Paul Shanklin.

The title song, “We Hate the USA” (who says Republicans don’t have an attraction to irony?) starts off with this chorus:
If tomorrow all of this were gone
The American way of life
And I had to start again
I'd be sure to ditch my wife

The 41 track CD was sent to Rush Limbaugh, which he gleefully played on his radio show on March last year. Which I guess is a step up for Limbaugh, who isn’t above using a 10th grader’s 12 year-old essay to attack Obama.

What was originally thought to be a coal sludge spill in Tennessee actually turned out to be Chip Saltsman leaving his house to deliver “We Hate America” to Republican National Committee HQ.

The RNC has since repudiated the CD and was appalled, appalled, I tells ya… about 22 hours after Saltsman delivered it. Yeah, you read that right. They’re pillorying Saltsman, the fat redneck slob who merely passed the CD along instead of Shanklin, the other fat redneck slob who’d actually wrote and sang the songs.

If you don’t mind washing your eyes out with sulfuric acid afterwards, here are the lyrics to “Barack the Magic Negro.” Saltsman’s African American rival for the RNC’s chairmanship, Michael Steele, has been unavailable for comment. His other African American rival? Well, that’s another story altogether…

9) J. Kenneth Blackwell

J. Kenneth Blackwell, has defended Saltsman, thereby officially making himself the self-loathing token Uncle Tom in this Republican minstrel show.

And we all know, especially since the 2004 election, that Blackwell’s no believer in Affirmative Action or even giving his fellow blacks the right to vote. But that’s all right because, as with Barack Obama and his insistence on using Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation, Blackwell prides himself on reaching out and embracing those with differing viewpoints, such as when he spoke to the Council for National Policy, a super secret organization made up of homophobes, xenophobes, neonazis, Klan leaders and other right-proper, right-thinking folks who half a century ago would’ve lynched Blackwell just for looking at one of their women.

Still, Blackwell’s sermon of tolerance of racially-targeted humor seems to be in direct contradiction to a speech he’d given in 1990 during Black History Month at the Heritage Foundation, in which he’d blasted the GOP for not communicating a more positive message to the black community from whom he would later take back the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Then again, what can be more positive than humor, even if it targets blacks and other minorities?

8) George W. Bush

“Hey, how’re ya doin’? Sorry to call ya’ll durin’ dinner but, boy, have I got an offer for you or anyone in your family who’s been convicted of a crime that’s given money to the GOP…!”

What’s worse? Rod Blagojevich selling a United States Senate seat or the Bush White House circumventing the DOJ’s pardons attorney to give clemency to Republican money men?

Julia at Firedoglake perfectly deconstructs what has got to be the most awkward of George W. Bush’s 191 pardons, one that seemed to have been greased with a piddling $28,500 given to the GOP until the public outcry got too loud for even Bubble Boy to ignore. The man in question, Issac Toussie, had close to eight years ago pleaded guilty “to using false documents to get mortgages insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” And who’s Toussie’s mouthpiece?

Bradford Berenson, a former running buddy of David M. Barrett. You remember him, right, the Republican spendthrift who not too long ago blew 21 million taxpayer dollars so he could prosecute a former HUD Secretary over his mistress to get $10,025 in fines out of him (Patrick Fitzgerald, by the same token, spent only $611,491 in FY 2004.)? Berenson also worked in the WH Counsel’s office for a couple of years during the early years of the Bush administration, even helping Cheney ramrod a memo claiming that the administration could indefinitely detain terrorism suspects without charges.

But even without using this angle, Julia ties it all together with a nice Christmas bow:
So Mr. Toussie, who has confessed to defrauding HUD, hired a lawyer who's pretty much spent his career investigating a Democrat for allegedly defrauding HUD to get him a pardon for admittedly defrauding HUD.

And she sticks the landing!

Alan Maiss got off even more cheaply until Bush revoked his pardon, too: He’d given Bush $1500 for his re-election campaign. Tony Fratto said, “We do not look into political contributions…We think it would be inappropriate to do that. They should have no influence over our decision-making.”

Issac Toussie’s father Robert and Bush. One’s the president. The other one’s obviously the client.

Which decision-making would that be? The ones that pardon criminals or the ones forcing the overturning of pardons when the pardoner was slipped money by the pardon-ee? Either way, maybe it would be very appropriate if they did look at money and pardons.

7) SEC Chairman Christopher Cox

Cox suckered. Film at 11.

Chairman Chris Cox is a modest man, a humble man, a self-effacing man. Either that or a very stupid and lazy man. Because this man that Bush installed to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to his official SEC biography,
has made vigorous enforcement of the securities laws the agency's top priority, bringing ground breaking cases against a variety of market abuses including hedge fund insider trading, stock options backdating, fraud aimed at senior citizens, municipal securities fraud, and securities scams on the Internet.

Yet in an interview with the Washington Post, Cox said that regulating these fat, greasy hedge fund managers “wasn’t the SEC’s job.”

In fact, it is, because the first paragraph of the SEC’s own mission statement states,
The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.

And that, children, is how Chairman Cox got sucked into the howling maelstrom of the current economic meltdown, obliviously presiding over the $50 billion Madoff/Ponzi pyramid scam, one of the most massive and destructive frauds in American financial history. You know, the one that bilked investors, did not maintain a fair, orderly and efficient market and did the opposite of facilitating capital formation.

So why was Chairman Cox so “restrained” in regulating these captains of industry? Again, I quote from his official SEC biography:
From 1978 to 1986, he specialized in venture capital and corporate finance with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he was the partner in charge of the Corporate Department in Orange County and a member of the firm's national management.

Oh. That’s why. Apparently, this former Password champion’s word of the day is “pro-corporate shitheel.” OK, so that’s two words. Maybe three.

6) Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter gets the Cloven Hoof in Mouth Disease Award of the Week for her recent column that not only extolled Sarah Palin by making the failed VP candidate “conservative of the year” but for this:
Palin was a kick in the pants, she energized conservatives, and she made liberal heads explode. Other than his brave military service, introducing Sarah Palin to Americans is the greatest thing John McCain ever did for his country.

Can’t fault her there because Palin proved to be McCain’s biggest road block to him doddering into the White House. Good call, Ann. I agree that putting Palin on the GOP ticket was more courageous than enduring 5½ years of torture in a North Vietnamese POW camp.

Elsewhere in her sadistically long screed, Coulter ascribes to Obama several gaffes, finally coming clean and saying, “As you probably know -- or guessed by now -- none of these gaffes were uttered by Palin. They are all Obama gaffes.”

In truth, Obama didn’t say half those things but by some of his campaign people and the rest were taken out of context. Besides, Annie, you don’t want to go there after all the gaffes that came out of both Palin’s and McCain’s pieholes. Such as stating, over and over, that Czechoslovakia still exists. Such as claiming, over and over, that Iran is helping al Qaida. Such as saying that Iraq and Pakistan border. Such as not knowing what the Vice President does. Such as thinking that living so close to Russia naturally gives one foreign policy experience. Such as… well, you get the idea.

So Sarah Palin’s single biggest contribution to America, in Ann’s addled mind, was in making liberals gnash their teeth (in fact, we welcomed her on the GOP ticket with alacrity, while her fellow Republicans grew to loath her, starting with Karl Rove).

Yes, that’s certainly a consolation considering that the GOP’s odious presence in Congress just shrank even more and lost the White House in the same election. Who needs to reach out and develop solutions to our nation’s problems, right, Annie? And as proof of Palin’s magnetism among those who obviously sport metal plates in their heads…

5) Team Sarah.Org

When you read the comment sections of Team, a new blog that supports Sarah Palin’s political metastasis outside of Alaska, you get the uncomfortable sense that, no, Virginia, Ann Coulter may be among the sanest of Palin’s supporters. The HuffPo’s Geoffrey Dunn, God bless his intrepid soul, gave us a glimpse into the twisted collective mind of true madness, one that may actually be as toxic, if not moreso, than the cellar in Freeperland.

The Team Sarah blog is a product of the Susan B. Anthony list and access is strictly regulated, confined to only the most batshit insane conservatives (One of the questions asked during the sign up process is, “Do you love Sarah Palin, or what? What do you like the most about Sarah?” To which my response was, “She's got the kind of face you gotta stick your cock into.” I haven’t heard back from them with any confirmation email. Maybe my proposed screen name “Mandingo” tipped them off.)

So until I get confirmed as a BFF of Sarah, we’ll have to go by what Dunn had gleaned on his own as to the kind of element Team Sarah attracts. They seem to be at their best when discussing the Inaugural ball:
Wendell: I just can't wait to see the Inaugeral ball... I heard the Presidential Waltz will be replaced by Barack and Michelle "Crumpin".
tami: I am sure michelle will dance like a horse
Wendell: followed by the new cabinet break dancing...
Christopher: Not trying to get too racial, but I have never met a black woman who could not dance.
tommykb3grz: the 4th of july watermellon roll on the south lawn
Wendell: a 4-inch diameter Presidential Seal in gold hanging from Obama's neck

The site also attracts the most politically and socially astute, not to mention those who revere political correctness:
And negroes are pretty conventional when t comes to values. Most are rather conservative, which is why I can't understand for the life of me why the vote for democrats.

Yes, every now and then they forget Obama and extol the virtues of Sarah Palin while glorifying the name of Susan B. Anthony, a champion of women’s suffrage who’d earlier fought tirelessly against slavery and racial discrimination against African Americans.

Once again, folks, these people have the right to vote. Which is why you need to exercise yours.

4) Dick Cheney

In an interview with Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune, Dick Cheney was asked to explain his low approval ratings. His answer? “I don't have any idea. I don't follow the polls.”

I have to agree with Cheney. I’m at a loss to understand his perennial unpopularity after authorizing torture, was involved in the outing of a covert agent, funneled money to Sunni insurgent groups, ordered power to be turned back on for the post-Katrina Gulf coast refineries instead of hospitals, told Sen. Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself, declared the OVPOTUS separate from the executive branch, practically took point in invading a country with no WMDs, enriching in the process his “former” company Halliburton beyond even their wildest dreams of avarice.

So why is Dick Cheney the most hated man in America?

Once again, I’m as stumped as Cheney.

3) Condoleeza Rice

Luckily, Dick Cheney isn’t the only one who doesn’t religiously swear by polls. Take Condi Rice, who thinks that George Bush’s “Let’s Ignore Them Until They See Things Our Way” style of foreign policy deserves an A+.

Uh huh. It seems every country in the world can’t wait until Bush gets out of office, if this video from the last G20 summit is any indication. Note how many world leaders shook Bush’s hand.

(Yeah, I’ve seen CNN’s “debunking” of this incident. According to them, Bush had met with all the other leaders yet the leaders hadn’t had a chance to meet earlier. That doesn’t explain why Bush got snubbed when everyone else shook hands. It also doesn’t explain why Bush would ignore these world leaders after meeting them the day before.)

According to Rice, “In two of the most populous countries, China and India, the United States is not just well regarded for its policies, but well regarded.” Sure we’re well-regarded by them- We’re shipping all of our skilled jobs to them so corporations can get around the trade unions and laws and we’re borrowing two billion dollars a day from the Chinese while they’re benefiting from the most massive trade imbalance ever between any two countries. Bush had also devalued the dollar by allowing China to revalue its yuan.

Why the fuck wouldn’t they like us?

Except almost 60% of China still views us unfavorably, according to this Pew poll. Hmph! And we call the Iraqis ungrateful after everything we also did for them.

Then again, when you start two wars and slowly lose both of them, putting a strain on the economies of the Mouse That Roared countries that made up almost all of the Coalition of the Willing, they tend to view you as less than favorably, Condi.

2) Chris Ortloff

Here’s another bifurcated Republican for you: A tough, no-nonsense, law-and-order politician and parole board member who was tough on sex offenders (as was Mark Foley) but who was nonetheless open-minded enough to skulk on the other side of the law to see how the other half lives.

Last October, former Republican New York Assemblyman Chris Ortloff was arrested in a sting operation at a hotel hoping to have sex with two little girls aged 11 and 12. Ortloff, while trolling online, thought he was talking to the mother of the girls when it was in fact an undercover officer.

A few days ago, Ortloff admitted to police to having had sex with underaged children in his own neighborhood.

Hopefully, he’ll find in prison not inspiration from Jesus but from fellow child molester John Atchison.

1) Israel

Here we go again.

It only follows that after the bread is served, the circus begins. On the 27th, Israel, after making a pretense of opening up the borders and allowing humanitarian supplies to come into Gaza, began a bombing campaign that so far has claimed over 200 lives. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called for Palestine to stop the bombing that has claimed exactly one Israeli life. It’s strongly reminiscent of the bombing campaign in South Lebanon in July of 2006 that supposedly started when two Israeli soldiers were captured there.

Palestinians lift a wounded woman to a vehicle after Israeli air force attacked Gaza City December 27, 2008. (Photo and caption courtesy Suhaib Salem/Reuters.)

The Bush administration that exists only in a constitutional sense roused itself from its Christmas vacation in Crawford long enough to call for a ceasefire, even though they seem to be blaming the Palestinians for the whole affair. In fact, Gordon Johndroe, an NSC spokesman, said, “These people are nothing but thugs, so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people.” Not surprisingly, Israel seems to be completely ignoring Junior, vowing to widen the attacks “if necessary.” Forget the fact that behind the “thugs” are impoverished people who are eating grass in order to survive.

And what kind of a comment is it on Israel when Palestinians, in a free, Democratic election three years ago, entrusted their defense against Israel to Hamas terrorists?


At December 28, 2008 at 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always amazed and astonished at your perfect political criticism. No other 'liberal' of 'progressive' blog even comes close to the always-correct insight that you have, JP. Simply the best.

I will have my local bookstore order me a copy of your book the second it's released!

At December 29, 2008 at 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not with a bang, but with a wingtip."

Great phrase! Did you come up with that, Pork-man? I can see why Dangerfield would buy your gags.

At December 29, 2008 at 7:05 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Yep. I can come up with my own stuff. Don't forget, I'm a novelist.

At December 29, 2008 at 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good tid bit on Israel and excellent map of the shrinking of the WB and GZ strip.

Cheap labor. Whevever you can find it.

At December 29, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

great job jp! i loves me some assclowns. excellent work again

link up

At December 29, 2008 at 11:27 AM, Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

really right on!

At December 29, 2008 at 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bombing of Gaza - our tax dollars at work!

Great post !

At December 29, 2008 at 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Mandingo! You're too

At December 29, 2008 at 11:33 PM, Blogger Serr8d said...

You've some great stuff here, dude.

I'm so..impressed..that I've need for some relief.

Much better now, thanks~!


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