My Thoughts Exactly

Noble Cause update: “Kick their ass and take their gas”

The courageous Cindy Sheehan famously asked the coward George W. Bush to tell her what was the “Noble Cause” for which her son Casey had given his life as a soldier in Baghdad. Bush was too cowardly to answer, of course, but over on Eschaton, Atrios the dog-barker has a pithy little post that pretty nearly sums it up, and addresses Harold’s question about citizen and “real” journalism at the same time.

So we’ll spend a hell of a lot of money and lose a lot of lives presiding over an occupation and using our military to provide security for the private security which will be guarding the commercial interests involved in oil extraction.

And since it’s against Village etiquette to suggest that we we are engaged in an imperial colonial adventure, it will be almost impossible to debate the merits of our policies in Iraq or even have a vaguely honest discussion about what those policies are.

Like Atrios, I don’t think the war was about oil alone. It was about Bush’s vanity and sociopathy, the Cheney/Cheney cabal’s lust for war and conquest for the sake of war and conquest, the Cheney/Cheney cabal’s lust for war profits, and the Cheney/Cheney cabal’s hatred of the constitution and the idea of demoncracy. It was fueled by the infantile jingoism of a lazy and kitsch-loving populace and a reasonable admixture of patriotic altruism on the part of some of the troops.

But now it’s about the oil, mostly. And Bush’s vanity, and the Cheney/Cheney-cabal lust for war profits. But mostly it’s about the oil. Possession of which satisfies all the other subgoals.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Anti-Shame League holds its annual bash

In the spring of 1980 in Boston there was a murder trial of a notorious pair of thugs, ghetto low-lifes who had raped, murdered and robbed a young nurse in her own home. At the trial, the prosecutor asked one of the murderers about a certain boombox, proved to be the nurse’s, that was in the man’s possession when he was arrested. The exchange went something like this:

Prosecutor: You took that boombox from her apartment.
Murderer: Yeah.
Prosecutor: But when you were arrested, you said that it was your boombox.
Murderer: It is mine.

Now that is what the absence of shame looks like.

For a more recent example of brazen shamelessness, we have the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Cindy Sheehan's Question

So now we’re five years into this goddamn war.

Cindy Sheehan, whose camping out in Crawford, Texas, during the August heat of 2005 did as much as anything to get Americans to see George W. Bush for the puny coward he is, had a very simple question for the man who caused her son Casey to die. Bush had said that Casey Sheehan, Cindy’s son– an Army soldier who was killed by a bullet in the head in Sadr City in April, 2004–had died for a “noble cause.”

Cindy Sheehan asked, “What is that noble cause?”

Rather than answer this question, Bush ran and hid. (Of course. That’s what cowards do.) And then he had some bumsucking speechwriter gin up a response about how the brave soldiers who had been killed in Iraq had died for this reason, or for that. An afterthought, really, but a bumsucking speechwriter can usually be found when George W. Bush needs one.

If you listen to Bush or to any of his apologists or whores or spokespeople, or to war apologists on the TeeVee; to wingnut bloggers, television “news” talking heads & radio oh-so-serious pontificators and teleprompter readers; to Christianist preachers, ingnorami in the street, flagwavers and dolts of every hue and persuasion, they’ll give you some bullshit definition of the so-called noble cause that cost Casey Sheehan his life and Cindy Sheehan her son. But the thing is, whatever bullshit answer they give you, it is guaranteed to be bullshit. It’s not going to be the answer they gave in 2003, or the different one they gave in 2004, or the still different one they gave in 2005, and on and on and on. If it comes from anybody in this administration or from any of its supporters (such as John McBush McCain), it’s going to be the latest bullshit. It’s not going to have anything to do with the earlier, inoperative versions of the bullshit. It’s going to be a hollow, empty lie.

If we ever get a truthful answer to Cindy Sheehan’s Question from a president, such as, “there was no noble cause”, then we’ll perhaps be ready to look at solutions to our current situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Until then, it’s nothing but lies, and sorrow, and waste.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Manny Ramirez fails to make proper curtsy to King George; whiney-ass tittie babies of WEEI go into St. Vitus Dance of Rage. (Or was it St. Anthony's Fire?)

Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez recently passed up an invitation to be a prop for a George W. Bush vanity photoshoot with the rest of the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Evidently Manny didn’t feel like going to Washington, so he didn’t go. Man, did that put the authoritarian fetishists of WEEI sports radio in Boston into a snit. Evidently most of them never got the news flash that the USA is a republic, not a monarchy, and there’s no such thing as a command performance here. Yet.

Yesterday even the more-or-less sane on-air guys were going on about how, at the least, Manny’s doing whatever he chose to be doing instead of putting on a dorky suit and being ritually humiliated by the narcissistic asshole currently in residence in the White House was a “missed opportunity.” Missed opportunity for what, one might ask. A chance to be photographed kissing George Bush’s ass? That’s an opportunity I myself will be happy to miss indefinitely, thank you very much, and it doesn’t surprise me that Manny also chose to take a pass. Manny’s eccentricities are legendary, but in this case I think he was the sanest one in the group.

By what the callers & hosts were saying, I got the impression that Dennis & Callahan, the most overtly fascistic of the WEEI crew, had been apoplectic about Manny’s “unpatriotic” decision to exercise freedom to not do something that he was under no contractual or moral obligation to do. “Freedom” is evidently a very difficult concept for these guys to grasp.

Bush noted Ramirez’s absence with a typically boorish frat-boy joke about the death of Ramirez’s grandmother, which was widely repeated in print and on the air as a telling example of his stellar bonhomie and wit.

I know that after my Superduperbowl(TM) screed I promised to cut loose the WEEI until spring training. But darn it, the Sox were playing yesterday, a Grapefruit League warmer-upper against Minnesota. I just paid the paid the price for tuning in a bit too early.

UPDATE: I rewrote this a little for clarity since posting it this morning.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Romney Bows Out

Mitt Romney, the candidate widely considered an animatronic phony and opportunistic carpetbagger, has bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination. Well, good. The idea of Romney in the White House was scary.

But he’s not all bad. If he ran for Governor of Massachusetts again I would probably vote for him. And I’ve only voted for two Republicans ever, for any office, since the first time I voted 1972.

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My Thoughts Exactly

I, John: One citizen's official response to the State of the Union speech

George,

Who cares what you think?.

End of response.

For the 8th time in a row, I’ve found better things to do than watch our so-called president perform the annual feeding of the ducks, also known as the State of the Union pep rally. I trust that if anything truly wonderful or horrible transpired I’ll find out about it soon enough.

I’ve only read one thing about the speech so far: this guy’s comments seem to be about right.

I swear, there’s no better commentary on the United States Congress during the reign of Herr George W. Bush, peace be upon him, than I, Claudius, which I watched again this year. For a rueful break from CSPAN sometime, check out its brilliant depiction of the cowardly, self-regarding, debauched, oligarchic Roman Senate abdicating its role in governing the republic, ceding power to a succession of vipers, megalomaniacs and madmen whilst holding on to the the perks and trappings of power that come with ostensibly representing vox populi and tell me if that doesn’t remind you of a certain deliberative body currently occupying space in the general Redskins/Nationals/Orioles/Wizards/Hoyas viewing area. To push the analogy further, Is our Georgie more like Nero or more like Caligula? Ah, who gives a fuck. I’m sure I don’t. I’m just waiting for our Claudius to show up. Who will it be? Who will be our calculating idiot-who-wasn’t, who saw all, never missed a trick, bided his time until his country was willing to accept his radical return to her best, noblest ideals? It could have been Al Gore, but alas, we lacked a Praetorian Guard to kidnap him and force him into office, will he or no.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

How The Conservative/Big Business Alliance Bankrupted Air America

Few things raised joyfull cackles among Republicans in the waning days of 2006. Many, however regarded the bankruptcy of Air America as a bright spot in an otherwise dismal fall. Talk radio, it appeared, remained part of the conservative “heartland” where such liberal voices as Al Franken meet a resounding silence.

However, as reported by the New York Times, the story may have a lot more to it then a tale of silly liberals who can’t run a business and have nothing interesting to say. It appears that 90 major national advertisers engaged in a boycott of Air America programming, to the extent that they wanted their advertising stripped out of syndicated material from other sources (here, ABC Radio Network). The interesting question, of course, is why would supposedly dissinterested companies with no motivation to interefere with domestic politics want to drive Air America out of business?

Hahahahaha…..I love it when I ask silly rhetorical questions like that. For a further specualtion on what apparently went on and why I think the new, Democratic Congress might want to do a little investigatin’ into the Case of Secret Boycott, see below….

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Posted in Censorship Public and Private, How Democracy Works, Or Doesn't, Media Ownership, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Christofascists on the march

I just finished reading Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming, the Rise of Christian Nationalism. It’s a short and scary book and I highly recommend it. Goldberg, a reporter for Salon, immersed herself in the Christofascist world over a period of a year, going to their churches, talking to leading preachers and ordinary “believers” in the pews, reading the works of their so-called theologians. She also documented Christofascist ties to the Bush administration, ties that affect everything from stem cell policy to choice of judicial nominees to the enormous ongoing wealth transfer (mostly from — no surprise here– “blue states” to “red states”) under the rubric of the Faith-Based Initiative.

Goldberg does not use the word Christofascism; that’s simply my preferred term for the phenomenon she discusses: a paranoid, anti-intellectual, patriarchal, hate-driven, war and death-loving syncretic cult, nominally Christian, that has an elaborate mythology and symbology derived from crackpot eschatology and an idiot-Disney invented history of the United States of America. This multifaceted cult, which boasts hundreds of prominent, sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating ayatollahs like Pat Roberston and Jerry Falwell, and tens of thousands of lesser clerics, claims George W. Bush (who swore an oath to preserve and defend the Constitution against all enemies) as an adherant, despite having the avowed goal of replacing our constitutional republic with a corporatist theocracy. “Christofascism” may not be the best term for the Christian Nationalist movement, but I can’t think of a better one, and since we’re all going to be bombarded with the Islamofascism “I-word” every day until either the Second Coming or the end of the war on terra (whichever comes first) anyway, I figure I might just as well trampoline off of it.

Goldberg’s tone is reportorial, God love her, but I can’t talk about this stuff in a neutral tone. Something about malevolent sanctimonious kitsch kinda brings out the invective from me.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Every Republican is a Bush Republican

A short political announcement, and then we can get back to the usual Wetmachine technophilc-phobic goodness. (Warning: Extreme Metaphor Mashup Alert!)

Now that Preznit Bush’s poll numbers are permanently pegged in the Nixonian range, and with White House scandals, travesties, abominations and shotgun blasts to the face dominating the news, we see the predictable yet despicable and revolting spectacle of Republicans slithering off the good ship George W. Bush — or trying to, at least.

The Great Republican “Oh Shit!” (GROS) kind of crystallized with the Dubai Ports fiasco, when the warm waters heated up by years of Arab-bashing xenophobia met the cool air of Cheney-Rice Boogeymanophobia and gave rise to perfect storm Hell No. So much potential energy was bound up in Hell No — the equivalent of 30 MegaLou Dobbs — that the very levies of Washington DC were imperiled– and remain so. Iraq teeters on the edge of the abyss, and signs abound that the mythical people of the heartland are starting to wake up and ask what the fuck that’s all about. And so Republicans with hearts full of dread must face the harsh reality that Bush himself has become their New Orleans, and their Dunkirk.

And so they try to make their escape.

Well, let’s just watch them, shall we?

But remember: Every Republican is a Bush Republican. Every Republican is an Abu Grahib Republican, a Katrina Republican, a trillion-dollar-deficit Republican, a Haliburton Republican, a Yellow Cake Republican, a Claude Allen Republican, a Plame-outing Republican, a stonewall-the-911-commission Republican, a Bill O’Reilly sexual predator Republican, an Ann Coulter murder-the-judges Republican, a Jack Abramoff hitman-in-Miami Republican, an 8.8 billion missing dollars in the Green Zone Republican, a twenty-five-hundred dead soldiers Republican.

Mitt Romney is a Bush Republican. John McCain is a Bush Republican. Bill Frist is a Bush Republican. Newt Gingrich is a Bush Republican. Colin Powell is a Bush Republican, and Michael Powell is a Bush Republican. Olympia Snowe is a Bush Republican and Chuck Hagel and Lincoln Chafee too. They’re all complicit in this, the imperial reign of our delusional Nero: any one of them who has run for office in the last five years with an (R) behind his or her name. Now just watch them sing!

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Inventing the Future

President Bush is no Hitler.

I have a number of friends and relations that have supported George W. Bush in the past. It’s pretty hard to admit you’re wrong, and these folks still support him. So I’m going to write this out in one burst, for fear that I won’t have the balls to click “submit” if I bother to make this a coherent argument.

I feel that if we return George W. Bush to office, we’re a bad people. While what the Bush administration is doing is not as bad as what the Nazis did, folks who work to keep Bush in power are doing the same thing in their turn as those who supported the Nazis when they knew what they were doing was wrong. This includes folks who have given a record $200 million dollars directly to Bush’s re-election cause and the untold more to soft money. If you honestly and thoughtfully disagree with me, ok. But failing that, support for Bush’s re-election is equivalent to support for keeping Hitler in power.

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Posted in I Fear These Things, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , , | 7 Comments (Comments closed)
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