Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Aren’t Republican Failures Evolving Into Authors?

Dear Danny Boy:

Apparently, you failed to take under advisement some of my suggestions that could’ve delayed the inevitable (That being your client Christine O’Donnell’s ghost-written pissing and moaning about losing the 2010 Delaware Senate Election winding up in the bargain bin at Wal-Marts, Targets and other fine right wing Big Box stores). I say this with sincere regret because Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks book sales, reports that Ms. O’Donnell’s highly-anticipated memoir has sold only 2000 copies (although it's a known fact this does not include sales at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club or elsewhere in Mr. Sam's empire. Otherwise, with the likely literacy quotient of your typical Wal-Mart purveyor of Chinese-made goods, the sales from Wal-Mart could've bumped her up to 2100).

It doesn’t augur well when Senator Rand Paul’s own deathless prose, I Was Not Named After Ayn Rand, which had sold a whopping 6000 copies, beat Ms. O’Donnell’s book sales by 300%. No doubt, the key to actual sales lies in actually winning elections. Take Dick Cheney’s own autobiography, If You Don’t Like Torture, Then Go Fuck Yourself, which came out just a few days ago. Mere days after its release, IYDLTTGFY is the #1 selling book on Amazon. The former Vice President/President of Halliburton Contract Procurement’s secret to literary success is obvious and one that Ms. O’Donnell should’ve copied on Election Night: She should’ve named herself to the Senate regardless of the will of the people.

To be fair, Ms. O’Donnell can take heart that her recent book signing at a Barnes & Noble in Naples, Florida attracted five people (including a presidential candidate). It’s promising because, by coincidence, five is exactly the number of people who’d showed the slightest bit of interest in literary lion Joe the Plumber’s book in 2009. At her signing, Ms. O’Donnell offers through her book and example valuable advice on politics, which is somewhat akin to single mom Bristol Palin giving abstinence advice to teenage girls.

How much would it suck to be disinvited by the very same people who in the past have invited to their rallies people like Joe the Plumber and Victoria Jackson? Granted, she didn’t help her own cause by once asking, “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?” But at the time, who knew this would be singled out for examination and ver batim reiteration by the liberal mainstream media considering the other idiotic statements by Tea Bagger darlings and other Flat Earthers?

In spite of being the most godly woman in America, it’s obvious that the Lord does not want Ms. O’Donnell to be an author in spite of yours and St. Martin’s Press’s most valiant efforts in the interests of what liberals call “wingnut welfare.” Perhaps He’s waiting for her to actually win an election and make something of herself before investing His energies and good graces toward future literary masterpieces.

In the future, let me take an unread page from Ms. O'Donnell's neglected masterpiece and offer you a bit of advice: Before body-tackling the next Republican loser of an election a mere 31 days after a non-concession speech and cynically trying to hustle a fast buck by fast-tracking their ghost-written book while the iron's still hot lukewarm, stop, consider and ask yourself:

"Does America really need yet another ghost-written memoir by another right wing brain transplant candidate?" You might also wish to ask, "How big of a douchebag can I be as both a literary agent and a human being before God finally notices me, pinches me by the penis and dangles me and my eternal soul over the mouth of Lucifer?"

Except, of course, we all know you'd already long ago sold your soul to the Giver of Light for a huge seven figure advance and 15%.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Katrina: The 6 Year Itch

It would be easy to dismiss the failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in New Orleans six years ago today on Monday, August 29, 2005, thusly:

It was a storm of virtually unprecedented size and ferocity, so much so that levees, pump stations and emergency preparedness plans were immediately overwhelmed. And, up to a point, that was true. Katrina's rainfall extended from the Gulf Coast up to, amazingly, much of northern New England and even Canada. In terms of sheer, destructive, landscape-altering power, the likes of Katrina hadn't been seen since 1969's Hurricane Camille.

But, of course, it doesn't explain all the failures of local, state and especially the federal government. As disaster tends to do, the heroism of individuals came to the fore, such as that 21 year-old man who essentially commandeered a bus and drove dozens of refugees all the way to Houston.

And, as far as police, media, military and government authorities, Katrina brought out the worst in them as well as highlighting their real attitude and ultimate agenda toward a vulnerable citizenry. In short, Hurricane Katrina was a harsh headmistress instructing us as to how not to conduct an emergency response and she betrayed the shocking inhumanity of those in power toward those not in power, including passive and active racism that resulted in the deaths of nearly 2000 innocents.

Since Irene made landfall and hit New England just yesterday right after being downgraded to a tropical storm, I think I speak for millions when I say we breathed a sigh of relief not only at the far lesser damage she'd left in her wake than her big sister Katrina but relief that we didn't have to rely on Uncle Sam to bail us out.

It would literally require a book or a long miniseries documentary to list all the failures in judgment and humanity before, during and after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.

These failures actually began to quietly rack up back in 2002 when George W. Bush denied the necessary funds to the Army Corps of Engineers the money they needed to fix the levees and pump stations. By this time, the New Orleans levees was a stereotypical government project: Ongoing for roughly 80 years by Katrina's landfall, it still had never been completed. Later, the Army Corps of Engineers, not the Bush administration, was sued for its negligence. Years later, the Bush administration had the chutzpah to request that Louisiana pay the ACOE $1.5 billion to help complete work on the levee.

Just a year before Katrina, a computer simulation was done to see how a Category 5 hurricane would affect New Orleans. The fictional storm, Hurricane Pam, provided the scientists with data that would prove stunningly prescient: The simulation predicted that 80% of the city would be under as much as 20 feet of water and would pack winds over 150 mph. The only miscalculation was that Katrina, at the height of her fury, was packing winds of 185 mph.

The Bush administration paid a GOP-friendly New Orleans consulting firm, IEM or Innovative Emergency Management, $500,000 to draft out a disaster evacuation plan that was apparently never written. “We can’t find your plan. Neither can FEMA,” the BBC's Greg Palast told an IEM representative who was hiding behind a glass wall. “I guess it’s kind of hard to evacuate a city if you can’t find the plan itself.”

Meanwhile, back in Crawford, in between ignoring Cindy Sheehan and going to GOP fundraisers, Bush was getting briefed by Michael Brown, head of FEMA (by now long since demoted to below a Cabinet-level position) and NHC's then director, Max Mayfield, tried to brief the "president" about the storm's likely outcome, including the topping if not the breaching of the levees. Bush then cut his vacation short... to go on another GOP fundraiser in San Diego so he could compare himself to FDR.

Was this a lapse in judgment on Bush's part? Sure. But there were several. The day Katrina made landfall, Bush helped John McCain celebrate his 69th birthday and had cake with him. He also got a guitar and played it while hundreds drowned, thereby becoming the Nero of the 21st century.

Then, when his vacation was officially over, Bush did flyovers to view the damage but not low enough to see the half-eaten corpses of African Americans and alligators floating in the streets of the French Quarter in highly toxic water nor to see the coffins that had been washed from what was supposed to be their final resting places.

Then Bush landed, thereby grounding rescue helicopters so he could tell former horse inspector Michael Brown, "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie."

Geraldo Rivera of Fox News September 5, 2005 in perhaps his finest hour from a dark and damp Convention Center packed with 25,000 refugees. The Convention Center wasn't built to take in even one.

Sure, part of Geraldo's conduct was theater but underpinning that was a shocked disbelief shared by many of us that our government could be so cruel, callous and essentially worthless in the face of a storm. That same night, from the Super Dome, Shep Smith had a similar epiphany and was practically screaming at the injustice of the horrors he was witnessing while host Sean Hannity sat in his climate-controlled sound stage 1500 miles away and calmly but idiotically asked Smith for "context." 55,000 people were packed into two large buildings with no food, water or medical aid while all those things and more awaited them on the other end of the bridge.

Meanwhile, Blackwater, arriving in New Orleans unannounced, would eventually get $70,000,000 of "security" contracts from the Bush administration while Halliburton would get billions in cleanup contracts over local businesses and would qualify for small business tax breaks simply because the oil services behemoth didn't ordinarily get cost-plus no-bid cleanup contracts. Then Bush tried to suspend the Bacon-Davis Act so that the people doing the actual cleanup would get paid under minimum wage.

The USS Bataan sat off the coast waiting to have their 800 hospital beds filled and saw not one occupied. The ship also had the capacity to desalinize daily 100,000 gallons of salt water yet was not used.

70 nations had pledged and offered well over a billion dollars in money and aid and we'd refused it with the arrogance of a pirate captain who would not allow his crew to be rescued by another ship. Wal-Mart trucks trying to deliver water and ice were diverted from where it was needed the most to where it wasn't needed. It looked, for all the world, as if the Bush administration was committing genocide under our very noses.

The aftermath was hardly any better. Charter schools began replacing the public schools so that the children who'd once attended those schools could no longer afford to go to them. Houses and entire neighborhoods were razed and replaced by luxury condos. The gentrification had begun and Mardi Gras suddenly started looking a lot whiter.

The former residents of NOLA were shunted to tiny trailers bought by FEMA that contained dangerously high levels of formaldehyde. Right wing cocksuckers like Neal Boortz began calling the victims "scumbags" for being unfortunate enough to get in the way of Katrina and embarrassing the Bush administration. Their jobs were gone, their homes were gone and, in many cases, their families were gone.

Then in 2009, just days before leaving an office that he'd shamelessly stolen while being stupendously unqualified for it, Bush snarled at mild media criticism over Katrina and claimed that he'd rescued 30,000 people as if the 1800 deaths were unavoidable and unworthy of mention. Let me know if I've forgotten anything because I know I have.

The overall impression we were getting from both the media and the government was that, at the slightest sign of anarchy, black people would immediately resort to barbarism and rape, kill and loot at the first opportunity. The facts speak otherwise: It was the white people, especially those in unaffected Algiers Point and the New Orleans Police Department, especially at the Danziger bridge, who were the ones who'd resorted to barbarism.

Note that I am not providing the usual linkage because these and many other clusterfucks, the countless hundreds of moral, mental and administrative failures are, I would hope, eternally etched into our collective memory. These and many other stories that didn't make the grade for the 5 and 10 o'clock news should serve as a referendum that our government, especially when run by right wingers, is far more prone to position itself rather than the infrastructure and its citizenry for damage control.

And when the government's credibility is impugned, no matter who's in power, we the people will be snarled at and eventually deemed expendable.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Caption Contest

Personally, I would've preferred impeachment but as long as we got Rep. Pete King out of Congress...

Consider this an open thread. Tell me about your Hurricane (or tropical storm) Irene stories. Posting will be light while I work on the new Assclowns of the Week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dear Chairman Rinsed Penis, Pt. 6

I always say that a day without a Pravda-esque announcement by Republican National Committee Chairman Rinsed Penis that other wild and crazy Republican guy out of Wisconsin is like a day without sunshine. This landed in my inbox last night, courtesy of Mrs. JP:
Dear ,

Our Party has a great slate of conservative candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination who can defeat Barack Obama's Billion Dollar money machine and reverse the damage his left-wing agenda has inflicted on our economy and freedoms.

, you and your fellow Republican grassroots leaders will determine through primary voting who our nominee will be. But right now, I need an update on who you would vote for if the primary in your state were held today.

So please take a moment right now to do two very important things for me:

1. Cast your vote in the RNC's Presidential Straw Poll. This is your opportunity to voice your support for your favorite candidate.
2. Make a special campaign contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to help our Party lay the foundation to elect your choice for Republican president and more GOP candidates in your state.

Your individual vote will not be shared with any of the possible Republican presidential candidates. Only compiled results will be released -- when you contribute you can see the results in real time.

Barack Obama will raise over a BILLION DOLLARS. The RNC is the ONLY Party committee permitted by federal law that can help counter him by providing direct financial support to our presidential nominee. Regardless of who our eventual nominee will be, there is truly no more important priority for our Party -- or our country -- than recapturing the White House in 2012.

In just over two and a half years, President Obama's radical leftist policies have led to the loss of more than 2 million jobs, over 6 million foreclosures, $500 billion in higher taxes and yearly trillion dollar deficits.

Now he's raising money hand-over-fist -- $86 million in just three months -- to secure another term in the Oval Office so he can fully implement his socialist schemes that will ultimately bankrupt our country, lead to the government takeover of health care and the demise of Medicare, and put us in hock to creditors like communist China for generations to come.

Obama and the Democrats had their chance to lead -- and they failed miserably. To turn our country around, we must elect a Republican President of the United States in 2012.

So please take this opportunity to make your voice heard by participating in the RNC's Presidential Straw Poll... and then help our Party take back the White House, regain complete control of Congress and elect more GOP governors in 2012 by making a campaign contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to the RNC today.

, your commitment and generous support is the only way we can make Barack Obama a one-term president and stop his liberal assault on our country's prosperity and freedoms. Please let me hear from you today. Thank you.

Dear Comrade Penis:

As borderline hot lesbian Rachel Maddow pointed out a week ago, "I know that hypocrisy is the crime that has no punishment in politics." And in that respect, Republicans have been very prolific criminals in berating the President for going on a summer vacation from their golf clubs despite Mr. Obama having taken a third of the vacation time as George W. Bush at this time in his first term. And, of course, as Maddow also pointed out with her usual liberal vitriol, the Republican who screams the loudest about Obama's Canadian Darth Vader bus will get their own.

But you, Mr. Chairman, are continuing that proud Republican tradition of hypocrisy with impunity by preemptively screaming from the rafters about Obama raising a billion dollars when in fact he's yet to raise even a tenth of that amount. And how dare our Chief Executive even think about raising any money to keep his job? That's something allowed only by Republicans, such as George W. Bush collecting over $200,000,000 just for the GOP primary in his reelection bid in 2004 and over a third of a billion overall.

Indeed, Mr. Bush's top 20 campaign contributors from 2004 reads like a Who's Who of the SEC's Top Ten Most wanted:
Morgan Stanley $603,480
Merrill Lynch $586,254
PricewaterhouseCoopers $514,250
UBS AG $474,325
Goldman Sachs $394,600
Lehman Brothers $361,525
MBNA Corp $350,350
Credit Suisse Group $326,040
Citigroup Inc $320,820
Bear Stearns $313,150
Ernst & Young $305,140
US Government $295,786
Deloitte LLP $292,250
Wachovia Corp $279,310
US Dept of Defense $279,157
Ameriquest Capital $253,130
Blank Rome LLP $225,150
US Dept of State $223,330
Bank of America $218,261
AT&T Inc $214,920

Note that Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are, sadly, no longer with us despite them giving nearly $675,000 to an administration that left them to twist in the wind and to be made an example of to prove just how serious the 2008 financial meltdown was.

However, the other top 20 contributors, including Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wachovia, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, subprime mortgage emperors Ameriquest Capital, AT&T, Inc., MBNA, Credit Suisse Group, Deloitte LLP, UBS AG, Citigroup and Ernst & Young all enjoy colorful reputations to this day that are beyond reproach.

Mitt Romney, who would surely bring about a second golden age of the corporate presidency that had served us so well between 2001-2009, raised more cash from lobbyists than all the other Republican contenders combined.

As for the "great slate of conservative candidates" opposing the Socialist Obama (under whom Wall Street somehow valiantly manages to turn a handsome profit quarter after quarter), indeed, we are faced with such a dazzling array of conservative worthies as to plunge the entire nation into comfortable numbness and paralysis. Indeed, when a virtual unknown such as Jon Huntsman can "inject excitement" into the presidential race by quitting his job a la Sarah Palin, then the indecision regarding we Republican voters is understandable.

I remain yours, Comrade Penis, in solidarity and unthinking loyalty.

Your humble and obedient servant,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Escapades From New York

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)

"In a Democracy, nothing good has to happen in secret; and nothing good ever does. Secrecy is the enemy of Democracy. The more we allow our government to act outside of public accountability and the Rule of Law, the less it is our government, and the more it becomes instead an authoritarian occupying police state." - VoiceofV

"(I)t’s always a good day when you can bag a sand nigger." - NYPD cop after unlawfully arresting Prof. Ravi Shankar

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. - Misattributed to Sinclair Lewis

In a somewhat gentler, more trusting age, John Keats in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" synonymized truth with beauty. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know."

Unfortunately, with industrialization and the inevitable acceleration of destructive technologies, the resultant paranoia and geopolitical intrigue, the truth is often not as beautiful as Keats preferred to think in 1819. Often, it's downright fucking hideous with enough bad guys, good intentions and shortcuts to Hell to fill both Snake Plissken movies.

The front page, above-the-fold story on the Huffington Post was a disturbing one even to people who keep as suspicious an eye on the NYPD as it keeps on those in the New York/New Jersey area. The United States, at least technically and officially, does not have a national police force (not even the FBI qualifies but more on them later). Yet this "mission creep" on the part of the NYPD, often operating an hour or more beyond their jurisdiction (New Jersey) but given unprecedented latitude by the federal government, is but the first step in the establishment of that dreaded national police department. And the establishment of a national police state is surely one of the unmistakable hallmarks of the beginning of Fascism. But before we can begin to fully appreciate the emerging and self-denying fascist state of affairs in the Land of the Free, we must first begin to remember when America really was a democracy in which due process and the rule of law was actually respected and enforced.

To begin with, the National Security Act of 1947 forbade the CIA from domestic surveillance, a fact that the CIA, even on its website, seems loath to admit it, as does, strangely, the Wikipedia entry on the subject. It was possibly the most important or at least the most transformative legislation ever signed by President Truman. It established the creation of the US Air Force, and federalized both the military and intelligence communities into much the same organizational framework that was in place until George W. Bush came along 55 years later with his own transformative but far less efficacious agenda.

The CIA's handcuffing on domestic matters did nothing to temper their desire to tamper in them and the names of their operations and general attitude was one of contempt for both the legislative (which funds it) and executive branch. It's no longer the realm of conspiracy theory to say that the CIA had funded assassination programs abroad (Operation Phoenix, which, contrary to popular reports, was not shut down at the end of '72 but continued through to the 80's in Iran). More widely-known but less understood was the now-infamous MK ULTRA assassination program barely touched on in the opening chapter of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine.

The Central Intelligence Agency had overthrown several left wing governments and helped install corporate-friendly right wing dictatorships, most notoriously Pinochet's Chile on September 11, 1973. Ergo, it only follows that the CIA would establish its tentacular reach within our borders and get around the National Security Act by working in collusion with city law enforcement agencies such as the NYPD.

However, the NYPD, rather than being a mere proxy for the CIA in its domestic surveillance and racial/religious profiling, is also overstepping its jurisdictional boundaries, often operating across the river in New Jersey, an hour beyond its jurisdiction. At some point, the NYPD will reach a point of entropy beyond which they will cease being as effective as they as an intelligence-gathering apparatus. But no one as yet knows where that point is, much less where their extrajudicial jurisdiction extends. Yet where ever that is, often it does so without the knowledge of state or city government and even the FBI is left in the dark.

The usually supine New York Times, of course, chose not to get in on this action although another article in the US section that also came out this morning reveals that the FBI, which has been locked out from this CIA/NYPD connection, was nevertheless engaged in the same activity and, for the most part, pulled up a wide but empty net, even resorting to instigating and entrapping terrorism suspects. But, at the very least, it shows that the nation's top law enforcement agency and top intelligence agency are on the same page whether or not they know it.

But the CIA's recent meddling in domestic affairs is certainly not a new one. Just 20 years after Truman's National Security Act, the CIA developed Operation Chaos, not to be confused with the equally farcical KAOS of Get Smart infamy. Operation Chaos was intended to investigate foreign influence upon student demonstrators and other antiwar activists.

In today's time, such blatantly illegal racial profiling has resulted in countless violations of civil liberties of countless citizens, such as the arrest, release and paying off of Ravi Shankar (no relation to the sitar master). We've known for years the TSA under the advisement of the intelligence community, has put well over 100,000 Americans on terrorist watch and No-Fly lists, including the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. When one adds up the tote board, the safest rule of thumb for one to adopt is, If it's a government agency, it's out to get you.

Escapades From LA

Now, let's consider Posse Comitatus, the 1878 law forbidding (Ha, ha) the Commander in Chief from putting federal troops on the streets of America. It was barely over three years ago that we were treated to this shockingly clueless (no one once ever mentioned Posse Comitatus) and brainlessly breezy news report about 2300 Marines landing in Indiana and all over the Midwest for what was obviously martial law exercises.

The militarization of our urban police since the creation of SWAT teams in the 1960's is due largely to the sale of items ranging from handguns to tanks between the DoD and law enforcement agencies such as the NYPD and LAPD. This is a legitimate concern that crosses ideological boundaries. 14 years ago, it was addressed by World Net Daily's Joseph Farah in "The militarization of the domestic police." Said the usually factually- and lucidity-challenged Farah:
What gives? Why is all this deadly hardware purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars to fight foreign enemies now being turned on unsuspecting American civilians at the very moment they are being disarmed by local, state and federal governments?

The militarization of local police departments is getting so brazen even many local governments are having second thoughts about the program. In Los Angeles, for instance, one of the nation's biggest police departments is saying it was a mistake to accept the bayonets and is shipping them back to the Army.

More than 6,400 surplus bayonets went to law enforcement agencies between Oct. 1, 1996 and Sept. 30, 1997, according to the federal Defense Logistics Agency in Washington. But what on earth would domestic police departments do with bayonets?

For once I agree with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Farah's outrage was obviously channeled through a purely libertarian/2nd Amendment prism ("at the very moment (we) are being disarmed by local, state and federal governments") but his concern is nonetheless a very valid one shared by both sides of the Great Ideological Divide. Why were 6400 bayonets sold to local law enforcement during that year?

And, it only follows whether or not one has corroborating evidence, that a Central Intelligence Agency that would act complicitly with the NYPD would also do the same thing with the other massive police presence on the other coast: The LAPD. We know the government has heavily militarized the LAPD. Why not use them to spy on Latino communities and even to exterminate them by arranging drug trafficking by coordinating with the LAPD (Anyone who's even heard the late Gary Webb's name knows what I'm talking about)? If you're going to violate the letter of a law as large and as important as the National Security Act, you might as well get your money's worth and go for broke. And why stop at the coasts? Why not also involve other large police departments in the flyover states? Frankly, I'm amazed the authors of the HuffPo article never even raised that all-but-certain possibility that the CIA is spying on the entire United States through local law enforcement proxies. We've known for 6 years that the NSA was doing so with the collusion of the telecom giants and at the behest of the Bush administration.

The CIA's incredibly cynical view of minorities in South Central and East LA in coordinating with the LAPD, since the Bobby Kennedy assassination widely seen as "a lapdog for the CIA", borders on genocide. In using the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure a steady flow of drugs coming into LA, the CIA thought it was establishing plausible deniability that it had been violating the National Security Act.

Meanwhile, Uncle Sam's jihad against Muslim communities continues regardless of a recent Gallup poll that stated 93% of American Muslims remained loyal to the US government that has merely ramped up surveillance and entrapping them. If you insist on drawing blood and you pick at the same patch of skin long enough, then eventually you'll get your wish and draw blood.

The FBI, aided with all sorts of dodgy, PATRIOT Act federal laws that criminalize noncrimes by prefacing them "conspiracies to commit...", has set up a Minority Report setup whereby previously innocent men are tempted to commit terrorist acts and charged with crimes they hadn't actually committed. Considering that bigotry and cynicism to which ordinarily law-abiding Muslims have been subjected have already embittered them, an asset or paid informant (of which the FBI has many, such as Agent Provocateur Hal Turner) wouldn't have to work very hard to radicalize them. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yet once word gets out at how much Muslim Americans are maligned and religiously profiled by the very government to which they inexplicably swear unswerving allegiance, the FBI's post COINTELPRO actions could eat up that patriotic capital very quickly. And then we'll have a very real Muslim problem with which to contend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Trouble in Little Parnassus

Dear Danny Boy:

When you’ve lost CNN.com’s Brent Bozell, a man who is to the great issues of the day what flatulence is after a ten course Tex Mex dinner, you know you’ve strayed from the beaten path and are tripping down that road less traveled. Perhaps in an attempt to defend the network that had given him the wingnut welfare so cherished by Republicans and those that love them, Bozell the Clown said your client’s behavior on Piers Morgan's show was “downright bizarre.” He also ended his jeremiad by writing,
O'Donnell had no right to walk off the set. But in a sense I'm glad she did -- if it means she'll never come back. Conservatives do themselves no favors by defending this woman and she is doing conservatives no favors by going on national television programs to talk about -- God only knows what she'll talk about, or not talk about, next. Please, Christine O'Donnell, call it a day.

Ouch. And considering that O’Donnell’s Amazon sales ranking is going down faster than Mark Foley on a congressional page (it’s now at #11,907 in Books, down almost 10,000 places from her peak on her release date of 2800), and since she got herself banned from Morgan's show for life (which, considering his ratings, boils down to the end of the year) I think it’s time to batten down the hatches, sound the General Quarters alarm and do some serious damage control. Because it's rather obvious by now that the poor girl is way out of her depth (I'm thinking of an intellectual kiddie pool or Petri dish) and that allowing her to violate the self-publicity clause of her contract is like sending out a one year-old chimpanzee to supermarket chains to sell Chiquita bananas.

So here are my ideas to shore up book sales and to restore some bloom to the literary rose that is Troublemaker:

First off, we all how know Sarah Palin's literary masterpiece, Going Rogue, became a runaway bestseller. It was bought up in bulk by right wing organizations (including by SarahPAC itself) and distributed for free or sold at right wing functions meaning that relatively few sales were actually made in the brick and mortar stores (shrewdly selling the book at below cost certainly helped). I say we contact other right wing organizations such as the John Birch Society, the various chapters of the Tea Party movement and anti-masturbation factions and ask them to buy Troublemaker in bulk so they can distribute them at White Supremacy rallies, gun shows, tax revolts and whereever Glenn Beck finds himself (I heard he'll be in Israel doing a "Mormons Love the Jews!" rally. Think of the important market that you can open up there, provided Trident's foreign rights agents can sell the Hebrew translation).

Secondly, you need to be more proactive and to not relegate this work of literary genius (which one Amazon reviewer glowingly referred to as "a wobbly table stabilizer infrequently shot through with basic literacy") to the middle of the page of your new releases for July/August. I would recommend you give O'Donnell complete control of Trident Media's index page much in the same way that your client Stephen Colbert took over Major League Baseball's Twitter account for a day (Btw, I'm not sure that you're aware of this but Colbert isn't a real conservative). Think of the possibilities, Danny Boy.

Thirdly (and, admittedly, this would be tricky), we could claim that Christine O'Donnell is actually a close relative of the far more popular, better-informed and saner Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC. I know, I know, the network that employs Joe "Dead Interns Society" Scarborough and Pat "America was founded on caucasian principles, dad gummit!" Buchanan is a liberal bastion and evil twin of Fox News. But with a bit of persuasion (and perhaps a lifetime membership in the Hair Club for Men), I think we can get O'Donnell to play ball and claim they're siblings or first cousins and that they just wanted Christine to succeed, and spectacularly fail to succeed, on her own merits.

#4: Your newest client's 42nd birthday is coming up in four days. You might want to mention that on your website so she can get some much-needed pity sales.

#5 You might want to enlist the aid of every coven in America to put a hex on anyone who refuses to buy Ms. O'Donnell's book. Perhaps your other clients Penn & Teller can help you with that.

#6: Might I humbly submit my own book proposal (I know you often prefer to sell books at auction sight unseen to unwary publishers such as St. Martin's Press but hear me out), Bedazzled: The True Story of the Man Who Stood in Line Behind America's Most Beloved 42 Year-Old Virgin at a Sex Shop While She Was Buying a Medieval Chastity Belt. After all, since your proposed upgrade of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann has proven to be so lucrative (at least in the first 24 hours of her book's release), I am sure that a book by anyone even remotely affiliated with Christine O'Donnell will sell like hotcakes (witness Joe the Plumber's fabulous success after his nation-shattering Obama rope line conversation, as well as Bristol "Dancing With the Real Stars" Palin and promising porn star Levi "Hizzoner" Johnston).

In summation, I'm sure, Danny boy, that if you were to take even half these suggestions under advisement, Christine's plummeting book sales will begin to rise again like the penises of horny, lonely Republican men in their Ford pickups and plumbing vans who love her for her common prejudices.

Your humble and obedient servant,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Assclowns of the Week #88=Heil Hitler edition

It’s just a happy coincidence of timing that the 88th edition of ACOTW would dovetail at exactly the same time that the fascist Republican Party (5) would be taking the President to task for taking a much-needed vacation as if he was some field nigger taking an unauthorized break from the cotton plantation.

And, with the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coming around soon, I wouldn’t be screaming about presidential vacations, if I were the Republican Party.

Also on the spit this week: Congressman Louis Gohmert (10) for reacting the same way to black that bulls do to red; Rick Perry (2, 1) for reminding us that sex and violence are also traditional family values and Tom Coburn (4) for his desire to turn the Senate floor into the OK Corral.

So let's hop on our little Nazi motorcycle sidecars and tour the 4th Reich of the Fatherland and much, much more!

10) Rep. Louis Gohmert

Republican Darth of facts. I never thought the movie Idiocracy was a work of prophecy yet here we are, déjà vu and all.

The only thing that doesn’t surprise me is that the racists of the GOP who’ve been criticizing the president’s bus haven’t been making snide Rosa Parks references. Louis Gohmert, last week’s #10 placeholder, again makes the bottom spot for being among the first to say something second by parroting Paul Brandus of the West Right Wing Report. Brandus was the one who created the Obama/Darth Vader meme on his twitter account and everyone in the racist right wing ran with it like so many dung beetles rolling little balls of shit.

“It’s a Canadian bus!” Forget the fact that the bus is still American-owned by Hemphill Brothers and sold to the Secret Service. Plus, George W. Bush used a bus bought from the same Canadian company (Prevost) seven years ago

Then, of course, there was the fact that it was even blacker than Obama, revealing the GOP’s obsession with skin color that rivals their obsession with sex. Exhibit B: Fox “News”: Spook my Ride (No, no double racist entendre there.) Plus, there’s no evidence that Darth Vader and his imperial storm troopers even rode on a bus, much less owned one.

OK, OK, aside from that one time during Comic Con.

So, bottom line, we now live in a country where baldheaded cretins posing as members of Congress are parroting the tweets of other right wing cretins on national TV in ridiculing the president for going on vacation instead of creating jobs while they themselves are on vacation after having cost us jobs rather than creating them.

9) Rep. Michele Bachmann

"My campaign slogan? 'A light bulb in every house!' You like it? I like it! You like it, too? I love it!! Honey, where's the drill? I'm getting another migraine."

Where’s Michele Bachmann been for the last two decades? Obviously not in libraries or history lecture halls.

Just a few days ago, Bachmann said on a right wing radio show,
What people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward.

And we thought we had something to worry about when three years ago John McCain repeatedly made references to a Czechoslovakia that hadn’t existed for 15 years.

Even considering the Minnesota Congresswoman’s genius and aptitude for history, one almost anticipates future jeremiads against the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Achaemenid Empires.

8) Gov. Sam Brownback

At first, the headline, ‘Pro-Life’ Republican Kansas Governor Guts Funding For Dying Infants may seem a tad dramatic. Then again, this is the latter-day Republican Party we’re talking about. It’s pretty tough to overdramatize much less satirize their inherent cruelty over the last decade.

Catholic Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t made this list since he left the senate years ago but he made the grade in a big way for this:
Another supposed “pro-life” governor has decided that children outside the womb are less important than those inside the womb. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is gutting the agency responsible for child protective services, child support enforcement, and child, adult and family well-being services, after a failed attempt to slash funding for Head Start.

Despite being able to find enough money to fund faith-based initiatives, Brownback is closing 8 Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services centers, citing agency cost savings. A ninth center was saved because of public outcry.

Word from the Vatican is that the Pope is seriously thinking of primarying Brownback to kick him out of the Roman Catholic Church.

7) Christine O’Donnell

Either Christine O’Donnell, the world’s sexiest spinster, thinks that Bill Clinton is still in office or she's been watching old Ken Norton movies too often.

The day after walking out on CNN’s Piers Morgan, O’Donnell was addressing the Women’s National Republican Club to pimp her new book, Double, Double, Toil and Troublemaker (courtesy of Olympic-class douchebag literary agent Daniel Strone and St. Martin’s Press), and she had this to say about President Obama:
“In the 2008 campaign, no one would have dared ask Barack Obama, ‘How are you going to control your libido. You’re a strapping young man. What are you going to do around all those interns?’ But people can ask Michele Bachmann about her migraines.”

This is the same ditz who essentially torpedoed her own publisher by walking out on a nationally-televised interview designed to sell her book and accusing Morgan of “borderline sexual harassment” for simply asking for her views on gay marriage. O’Donnell’s reluctance to even talk about it and her narrowly identifying gay rights with mere sex shows the GOP’s obsession with it in general, especially gay sex.

Now she’s openly speculating on the President’s libido and casting aspersions on his trustworthiness of being within arm’s reach of his aides (you know, unlike Mark Foley or John Ensign). Not only does this once again highlight her obsession with sex (without, seemingly, any provocation) but this is more than “borderline” racist in inappropriately referencing the libido of an African American man who happens to be the President of the United States in her dark, Mandingo fantasy world. Who's sexually harassing who, now, Crissie?

Way to go, Daniel Strone and St. Martin’s Press, you money-grubbing douchebags. If there’s anything America desperately needed more than anything else, it was another book ghostwritten for another post-literate right wing failure. You owe the United States about a million trees just for this latest pistol-whipping and prison-shower buttfucking of basic literacy, you avaricious cunts.

6) Peter Thiel

Paypal Founder Peter Thiel’s Seasteading Project may have been inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged but it sounds more like it’d been inspired by Ian Fleming’s Dr. No, instead.

Seasteading is actually an old concept that goes back 30 years and essentially boils down to the fine art of running away without paying your taxes. Thiel, who’s already sunk a million and a half into this scheme, envisions a floating society in the middle of the Pacific in which there’s no taxes, no welfare, no government oversight and no middle class. No doubt, the hyper-rich passengers will be shuttled to this paradise on their private billion dollar ocean liners.

Among the “innovations” of his little utopia are the relaxation of building codes, which is a corker of an idea considering the middle of the Pacific is one of the safest spots on earth and never sees hurricanes, typhoons, undersea earthquakes or tsunamis. One idea for such a project is to build it on top of an oil platform.

Such as this one, for instance:

Another bright idea is the concept of manmade islands, which, as it was reported earlier this year, worked out real well for the super rich in Dubai.

Is anyone else getting the impression that this Ayn Rand wet dream has yet to benefit from a comprehensive feasibility study? Hey, whatever. If that's where they want to retire to, who am I to criticize them and try to stop them?

Man, and the right wing is accusing Obama of acting like a movie super villain?

5) Republicans

Note to Sarah Palin: You might have a little more credibility while lambasting the man with the most stressful job in the world for going on a summer vacation if you didn’t quit halfway through your own term of public office.

Palin is just the one of the latest of Republican hypocrites taking President Obama to task for going on a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Mittens Romney said,
Now, Martha’s Vineyard is in my home state of Massachusetts, so I don’t want to say anything negative about people vacationing there. But if you’re the president of the United States and the nation is in crisis — and we’re in a jobs crisis right now — then you shouldn’t be out vacationing. Instead, you should be focusing on getting the economy going again.

(Note to Mittens: Just because you were the 70th Governor of Massachusetts, it doesn’t make you a native of it. You’re from Detroit, Michigan so stop trying to rekindle your already-damaged relationship with the Bay State.)

What the President’s Republican critics have yet to explain is how he’s supposed to unilaterally create jobs when Congress is also on vacation? Or would unilateralism and showing up the Republicans on job creation be considered an impeachable offense? Jesus tap-dancing Christ, what the fuck does Obama have to do to please you racist psychopaths? Bleach his skin white like Michael Jackson?

4) Sen. Tom Coburn

Sorry, Tommy boy, we'll get over your Death Wish fantasy when you can pry the memories from our cold, dead ears.

Perhaps Senator Paul Kersey was channeling fellow Appalachian Rick Perry when he “joked” about not being able to bring a gun to the floor to the Senate. In fact, a few days ago the Death Wish senator said, “Tell ‘em to get over it. It was a joke and everybody laughed. That’s all I have to say about it.” Well, sure, everyone laughed because racist and gun-clutching Republicans laugh at the darnedest things. But Coburn displays his disconnect from reality yet again by being surprised and openly hostile at liberal bloggers for being shocked that a senior federal lawmaker and physician would make such a joke (such as the time he openly prayed for Senator Robert Byrd’s death before an upcoming vote).

Tell you what, Tommy Boy: Next time you hold a speech or a fundraiser, let’s invite a bunch of gun-toting lib’rals to attend just for laughs and then we’ll see how you like your 2nd amendment and our version of humor, OK?

3) Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh in Hawaii after his heart attack. After his discharge, he made the hospital staff honorary Caucasians.

If Rush Limbaugh was any more offensively racist, his long-suffering bed linen would take out a restraining order on him. On August 17th, this is what Limbaugh said on his conservative talk radio show bile-delivery system:
It’s a “Triple Double” Oreo. Do you like Oreos, is that…? Well, what it’s going to be here, it’s actually a biracial cookie. You’ve got three of the chocolate wafers, and then you’ve got the white vanilla cream, and then there’s a chocolate cream. So you’ve got three… The thing is, there’s Oreo on it, the wafer. And then you’ve got the white cream, and you got another chocolate wafer, and then you’ve got the chocolate cream and then you’ve got the bottom wafer. The Triple Double Oreo. You wait, it won’t be long before it’s going to be called the “Obameo” or something like this. Well, it’s a biracial cookie here!

I guess with the President and Congress on vacation it must have been a slow day for Limbaugh so he justified his bloated $50 million annual salary by resorting to tired and clichéd racial references by clumsily tying Oreo cookies with our biracial president. Even if Limbaugh was merely being whimsical, as some had excused away his comments that Planned Parenthood was doing the job of the KKK, it still shows the man, for want of a better word, is obsessed with race. And even if Kleagle Rush was being merely facetious, we still know that many a true, or sincere, word is spoken in jest.

What I’m wondering is why aren’t we going after Limbaugh’s sponsors like we did Beck’s and Melanie Morgan’s?

2) Texas Gov. Rick Perry

When you’ve lost the support of the flaks of your spiritual and political twin, you know you’ve strayed from the party line. Last Tuesday, Karl Rove went on Fox “News” to blast Rick Perry (R-Yosemite Sam) for coming thisclose to saying that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke committed treason and that they’d “treat him rough” in Texas.

Well, the maximum penalty for treason nowadays isn’t necessarily execution but possibly life imprisonment after sentencing by a federal judge. Yet, Perry’s intent was obvious to the goobers in attendance and he was merely trying to burnish his image as a cowboy gunslinger meting out frontier justice.

What’s ironic was the close of Rove’s statement:
It's not smart politics, either. Governor Perry is going to have to fight the impression that he's a cowboy from Texas. This simply added to it.

Gee, Turdblossom, who cultivated that “cowboy from Texas” image that catapulted your boy from national obscurity into the Oval Office and who groomed Perry to warm Bush’s old seat?

1) Gov. Rick Perry

Politics and shady business investments make for strange, er, bedfellows.

Witness pornmeister Rick "Gov. Matted Hair" Perry praying side-by-side in Houston with the same AFA who had complained to the DOJ and others about Movie Gallery, the very same porn distributor in which Perry had invested $5,000-10,000 in 1995, according to personal financial disclosures. So, was it merely a matter of an injudicious investment made on the Governor’s behalf without his knowledge by an investment manager on a par with Michael Moore’s stock in Halliburton? Uh, sadly, no. Says Sarah Jones,
Rick Perry later passed laws to help companies like Movie Gallery avoid “frivolous” tort suits, after they were sued for allegedly violating the law by illegally distributing porn across state lines. This move was seen by some as a move to protect his investment in Movie Gallery, as he used the very word Movie Gallery used (“frivolous”) regarding the lawsuits they were fighting at the time.

But surely, once he became aware that he was one of the biggest porno distributors in Texas, he immediately divested himself of his stock, right? Uh…
Given the heady pressure that the AFA started exerting on Movie Gallery, in 1998 Perry moved his investment in the company to a blind trust, which means they're sealed. For all anyone knows, he's still got stock in them.

So he deliberately moved his stock in this porno distributor to a blind trust like Bill Frist’s HCA stock so he could plausibly claim ignorance and that they couldn’t be revealed in future personal financial disclosures and then introduced legislation to protect his investment from “frivolous lawsuits” while quoting the company to make his case?

No doubt, any day now, we’ll hear of Perry divesting himself of his stock in Movie Gallery but he’ll still have to explain to his prayer buddies at the AFA and to the crucial evangelical vote as to why he’d protected and invested to begin with in a porno distributor that lists among its august titles, Teens With Tits, Bisexual Bareback, Teens Never Say No and Big Tit Brotha Lovers 6.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Joe Bageant's Toxicology Report: A Delayed Literary Post-Mortem

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

The late, legendary Joe Bageant, who died of cancer this past March 26th, had been called many things, including "the Woody Guthrie of the Typewriter." Whatever honorific you wish to append to his surname and whatever muse you think it was that drove him to alacritous irascibility, one thing was obvious: His patron saint was not his publisher, distributor nor the toilet paper salesmen and eponymous executives who run the publishing and bookselling businesses but simple, good ole fashioned word of mouth.

Joe was part of that tried-and-true, time-tested and tiny fraternity of trusted scribes of whom others, all of them well-read and discriminating, would say, "You ought to read him." There are few others, among them Naomi Klein for The Shock Doctrine and the late Howard Zinn, largely for A Peoples' History of the United States. After some inexplicable, muted tragedy of ignorance or apathy or whatever, you begin to feel compelled to buy their books to get in on the secret as if finally discovering some state-censored samizdat that will forever change your thinking.

Then, when you finally get that manila envelope in the mail or riffle through the pages at your local bookstore, only then do you "get it."

And, oddly enough, when people would nudge me toward whereever in the world he was, whether it be Italy, Mexico, Australia or his native Winchester, VA, they were always imploring me to read not his books such as Deer Hunting With Jesus or Rainbow Pie but his blog. I cannot speak for every working writer but my guess is that a published author would look at their blogging as a necessary sidelight, a harmless and communicable addiction that gets people hooked not on phonics or a certain political ideology or dialectic but on ideas. However elevated the level of writing in their blogs, my guess (and I'm speaking as a political blogger, myself) is that they consider their books their true legacy and that their blog posts are a merely entertaining sideshow to tide us over until Amazon's marketing machine nudges us to alert us of the next book. And I suspect I speak for many when I say that it would never occur to us to put our blog posts between covers.

But Joe Bageant was special. Not unique but certainly rare in the regard that his blog posts were an elevated form of the diaries kept by Samuel Pepys and Henry Crabb Robinson but more eminently readable. The main value of the great diaries of antiquity were largely if not exclusively historical records and the aim was certainly not political or social commentary except in the most happenstantial and incidental degree.

But blogging, especially of the political variety, had given previously obscure, pre-9/11 writers such as Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher, d r i f t g l a s s, the Rude Pundit and others a national stage in which the size of one's readership wasn't determined by Amazon tags or marketing and PR strategies (or lack thereof) but through writing talent, unique and piercing perspective and a savviness for self-promotion. With few exceptions, Bageant had no peers.

Bageant was, in a way, a more countrified version of Hunter S. Thompson, the kid on the swinging bench in Deliverance only one armed not with a banjo but a half dozen instruments playing a symphony of outrage for the Ronnie Coxes of the internet who'd drop in for a spell. Bageant was no more a liberal than Thompson and the two men had a passion for guns and the right to own them and both took literary aim at each side of the Great Ideological Divide. If Bageant and Thompson more often took aim at different eras of the Republican Party it was simply because they saw more destructive evil on the right side of the aisle.

His last, epic, post, "AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUMB?", written on appropriately the date the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, will likely go down on record as being the greatest swan song in the brief history of bloggerdom. It's a damning indictment on not one political party or another but largely on the post-cultural American people who pride themselves on their level of ignorance. In this extended rant, perhaps sensing the end was near, Bageant bids farewell to a nation that's lurching more and more toward the post-apocalyptic America of the satire Idiocracy.

He makes many of the same points I've been making for years in my own writing, that America does not have a culture at all but, if we ever had one, has been supplanted with hyperactive consumerism. He references junk technology and the untold tragedy of all this information at our fingertips even as we sink deeper into our own ignorance, in his own words, "like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit."

And, behind the curtains and pulling levers like the Wizard of Oz on speedballs, the political and corporate Powers That Be who play some endless musical chairs game where the object is to occupy a seat in another sector before it gets cold.

Bageant didn't have to name names in this article. He didn't have to mention the Koch brothers or Dick Armey or the Bilderberg Group or ALEC or any of the usual suspects because he trusted we already knew who they were. Joe was smart enough to know that the unconverted don't easily convert or that there was a certain rate of recidivism and was content to know that eventually, the converted would nudge the gentiles over to his corner of Appalachia, those who would whisper in the ears of others, "You really ought to read this guy." One of the most crucial steps in the confidence-building of a writer is to know that your true and devoted readership, however great or small, will eventually find you.

In return for a faithful readership, Joe entered into a pact with us that he would always respect our intellects and just assume, as he said in his opening paragraph, that we'd ask the right questions and, if not always get the right answers, it wasn't through lack of trying.

He was the kind of guy who'd abruptly drive off the beaten path and through a farmer's field or on a dirt access road when he was supposed to be taking you to the corner store or the nearest gas station. That was his greatest and perhaps only failing as a writer. But, however extended the detour, he always made it entertaining, always took the scenic route and you suspected that you'd be the poorer in your life without that detour. He didn't have the pompousness of a Glenn Greenwald, the laziness of an Atrios, the shrillness of a Jane Hamsher nor was he dessicated by his own wit and intellect as James Wolcott.

Yet he remained an effective writer and social commentator to the very end and did so without any crippling affectations. Joe Bageant was, as are we all, unique, but Joe was more unique than others.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Little Sow's Ear That Could

Dear Danny Boy:

Man, you sure know how to pick 'em. Like, wow. How much positive publicity will your new client, masturbation Nazi Christine O'Donnell's ghost-written book, Troublemaker, get after she walked away from a high profile interview on Piers Morgan's show on CNN the day after St. Martin's fast-tracked her book past other worthy titles represented by your agency? I'm speaking, of course, of future English class fodder such as Always a Witch (IMHO, a more suitable title for Ms. O'Donnell's book than the more eponymous Troublemaker) and Crossroads (featuring on its cover a half-nude Sarah Palin going after a Caribou with a crossbow).

How much easier will it now be for Ms. O'Donnell's media liaison to get more high-profile media exposure after she'd shown the heroic qualities that would've made her, give a measly 17 points, a Tea Bagging member of the United States Senate? The poor woman is so busy pimping her new book that she can't even stay in her seat before having a flak stand in front of a camera while she modestly disrobes herself of her earpiece and clip-on microphone. If nothing else, perhaps this ought to teach lolly-gagging phone hackers such as Piers Morgan to get on the ball and ask his Gotcha questions before she flits off the sound stage at the very mention of teh gays.

It's surprising that such a literary luminary such as Christine O'Donnell isn't included in your client list of other scribblers of deathless prose such as Penn & Teller, Cedric the Entertainer and everybody's favorite conservative, Stephen Colbert.

And I hope that you do the right thing by Ms. Donnell and defend your client from the shabby treatment she'd received tonight by giving Piers Morgan a piece of your mind (actually, a text to anyone else will do. One way or the other, he'll read it.). Because God knows the woman needs a payday until the next election cycle when she can once again live off campaign contributions "magic money" under the nose of the FEC and with the blessings of the Justice Department.

So keep sending out those form rejection letters to the rest of us who have readily apparent talent and can actually write our own books. Who needs literacy, Danny Boy, when right wing whining about the liberal media costing Tea Baggers elections by quoting them ver batim can rake in so much more moolah in the short term?

But as incidentally lucrative as flash-in-the-pan book deals are (even though the 15 minute flash pretty much fizzled out about nine months ago), it must give you an even warmer feeling in the pit of your stomach akin to a Mexican dinner in Andrew Breitbart's gut at midnight that you singlehandedly, in the generous and selfless act of body-tackling Ms. O'Donnell, turned a sow's ear into a silk purse. Ms. O'Donnell, if nothing else, will remain an enduring inspiration to every right winger who aspires to be an author in spite of not being qualified to draw a hopscotch grid with sidewalk chalk.

Your humble and obedient servant,


P. S. Crissy's book has collected quite a lot of surprising and unexpected tags from meanie lib'rals. Go to her Amazon page and check it out. The top 9 tags are: keeping america stupid, nut job, dishonest, witches, wingnut welfare, political grifter, grifter, paying bills is for little people and, ironically, dildo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Battle of the Douchebags

Watching Piers Morgan and Christine O'Donnell duking it out and trying to establish moral and intellectual supremacy is like watching a more boring Freddy vs Jason matchup. On the left, you have a Simon Cowell wannabe who apparently has no problem with cell phone hacking. Then on the right you have the proverbial sow's ear trying mightily to act like a silk purse, someone who wants yet doesn't want to talk about policies.

Right now, her douchebag literary agent Daniel Strone, CEO of Trident Media Group, must be tearing his hair out at O'Donnell walking out on a high profile interview just the day after her ghost-written piece of shit, Troublemaker, was fast-tracked and extruded through St. Martin's asshole barely more than nine months after she lost the Delaware Senate election by 17 points.

Silk purses and sow's ears and all that, Danny boy. You'll be hearing from me again soon.

Anarchy's Pets

"Let's wind the clocks back a year. These cops and lawyers wouldn't dare cross any of you. I mean, what happened? Did, did your balls drop off? Hm?" - The Joker, The Dark Knight

The terrorists have not only won, my fellow Americans, they're continuing to win. They've been running the fucking table for a decade and are on a winning streak even the 1998 Yankees could only envy.

I know it's tough to stomach and it even makes me sound borderline treasonous and seditious but the plain fact is we're a nation of cowards and shrewd opportunists who know how to capitalize on that manufactured terror. That's why the bad right wing joke depicting President Obama as the Joker is so ironic.

It's ironic because, at best, the 44th president is all about maintaining the status quo in this charade of bipartisanship that, at the very least, intends to keep the government open for business, to keep the establishment humming. The Joker was the exact opposite.

Just before the Joker blows up a hospital in Gotham, he tells Harvey Dent,
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just... do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon's got plans. You know, they're schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are... It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and look where that got you... I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm?

Substitute "city" for "country" and you pretty much have the radical Republican / Libertarian agenda. Far from our centrist, quasi-Republican president being the Joker, it's the madmen flying under a convenient Tea Bagger banner who are the real Jokers, the actual agents of chaos. Because there's lots of money to be made in chaos, which, in a way, makes them even worse than the Joker since the Joker wasn't interested in money or power. To the Joker, chaos was both a means and an end, its own reward. All the Joker was interested in was in Chaos leveraging itself for more until anarchy, grossly, existed within its own self.

The PNAC neocons, with the benefit of hindsight, almost seem like a quaint group of old patriots who only wanted what was best for this nation and its national defense. As we all know, many of the PNAC signatories in that January 1998 letter imploring President Clinton to invade Iraq are the ones who gave us such fascist abominations as the Department of Homeland Security and the USA PATRIOT Act.

The Joker in The Dark Knight was pure ideology, a maniac who at least could say his motives were pristine and untainted by gross ambitions and desires such as political power and avarice. But this new breed of Jokers we're now seeing present a combination of ambition, greed and love of controlled anarchy more dangerous than diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate.

Or perhaps I should say thermite.

Because only thermite bombs such as the ones planted in the Twin Towers exactly a decade ago could've melted the steel girders. Not burning jet fuel, a thermite bomb laced with massive amounts of sulphur. Only 3000° F heat could've melted those girders (according to senior management of the steel beams' manufacturer, Underwriters Laboratories). Burning jet fuel would've produced no more than 2000° F. And no skyscraper in planetary history had ever collapsed as a result of a mere fire.

And you can plainly see in this picture of the North Tower between the 8:45 impact and the 10:30 collapse, the fire is plainly out, meaning the temperature, regardless of any ancillary accelerants, could've only gone down after the fuel burned itself out.

But when a building demolition expert pointed out that burning jet fuel alone couldn't've weakened the steel beams to the point of collapse, he was forced by a person or persons unknown to recant and to revise his statement that only a controlled demolition could've pulled down WTC 1 & 2 and WTC 7 in their own footprints at free fall speed. Suddenly this expert was now saying, "Well, on second thought, maybe the girders could've collapsed in 2000° heat..." This story, which was originally published under the title, 'Explosives Planted In Towers,' New Mexico Tech Expert Says was disappeared almost immediately by Reuters.

Meanwhile, the pilot who'd shot down that jet over Shanksville, PA had been imprisoned and may still be, according to Susan Lindauer. Satam Al Suqami's (Not Mohammed Atta's) passport landed in pristine condition on a Manhattan street just a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. The FBI had begun descending on the al Qaeda-contracted flight schools in Florida mere hours after the attacks, flight schools that were owned by Dutch nationals who were paid assets of the CIA.

And don't even get me started on the "plane" that hit the Pentagon.

All in all, when one juxtaposes the official narrative with the facts, it's obvious the 9/11 "truthers", as they're derisively called, have much better unanswered questions than the government has answers. The official narrative has holes in it big enough to fly a 767 through. And the Obama administration, obviously, is no more devoted to getting the truth out there than the Bush administration that tried, twice, to block the formation of a 911 Commission.

From a purely law enforcement viewpoint, one has to ask, Who benefits the most from the atmosphere of fear that directly rose from the ashes of 9/11? As Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein in that parking garage in 1973, "Follow the money."

It seemed at one point that virtually every other psychopath in the military industrial complex (uncharitably referred to by peacenik liberals as "war profiteers") found themselves in the Bush government, many of whom in the highest positions. Dick Cheney's name is synonymous with Halliburton, a corporation whose stock has exponentially increased in value and split too many times to count, especially since the invasion of Iraq. Former Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff and his employer stands to profit quite handsomely from the sale of high tech machines designed to invade our privacy in the name of security.

And that's just the tip of the tip of the iceberg that's sinking this ship of state economically, socially and diplomatically.

All happy coincidences, as the Republican Party would love for you to believe.

The one thing that we haven't done in our mad dashes under tables and beds is ask our parents and grandparents what they did after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and declared war on the United States. I wasn't around back then but I know how to read history. And, at least as importantly, I know what's not in the history books to read.

For one thing, FDR and Congress didn't immediately begin stripping their fellow Americans of their Constitutional protections and civil liberties. FDR was all too well aware of Hitler's Enabling Act (the forerunner of the USA PATRIOT Act) and the thought of setting up a fascist dictatorship swaddled in the American flag never occurred to him.

It never occurred to FDR to set up a Department of Homeland Security that would then prove spectacularly inept at catching terrorists.

And the government didn't depend on war profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater and Kellogg, Brown and Root to fight these wars, there was no creation of InfraGard that would be duly deputized by the Justice Department to kill American citizens. There was no circumvention of posse comitatus that gave FDR a loophole to put federal troops on our streets.

And you want to know why that was unnecessary? Because we were actually allowed to defend our homeland through civil defense agencies, neighborhood watches and air wardens. Because, you see, back then, our grandparents had balls and fought for those same protections and liberties that their fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and so forth died for.

They didn't cower in their doorways and hope the bombs didn't hit them in the suburbs, they didn't allow themselves to be publicly groped by ill-trained, minimum wage-earning losers or kick mothers off planes over breast milk or bottles of shampoo.

And if FDR had tried to sign into law any of those things, it would've undermined everything we were fighting for on three different continents. And wouldn't that have been silly, taking away freedoms that millions of men and women were fighting and dying for overseas that the government would then indefinitely suspend?

Yet that's exactly what we saw here in the United States under Bush. And you let him. You let the son of a bitch by puling, "Oh, please, Mr. Bush, keep us safe from the turr'ists at least until I pay off my house or exercise my stock options or until I find out how the last season of Lost pans out."

Anything, anything for safety and security for ours and our own. Because we forgot those prophetic words of Thomas Jefferson when he said that the tree of liberty had to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Because we forgot Ben Franklin when he presciently said that anyone who gives up their rights for security deserves neither.

And if you still hold out hope that Obama is going to relax the grip his fascist predecessor began in 2001, that he's going to wipe out the PATRIOT Act and give us back our rights and liberties, then you deserve to suffer under that man for another four years.

We've been plunged into a time share of hell, renewable every four years, happily being led on a short leash attached to a tight collar because we're the pets of anarchy, dim shadows of our ancestors who found a way to beat the Axis powers 70-75 years ago with actual ingenuity, determination and courage.

And somewhere along the way, as the Joker said, our balls dropped off.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
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  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
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  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
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  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
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  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
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  • Wikipedia.
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