The Bush Stall Tactic (Petraeus)

Aquarian Weekly 9/19/07 REALITY CHECK

FOUR CORNER PETRAEUS Cowboy-In-Chief Plays Keep Away Until He’s Safely Out Of Dodge

Before a knuckle-dragging mutant by the name of Bobby Knight surpassed him, Dean Smith commandeered more victories than any coach in college basketball history. He was not a particularly articulate man, nor did he possess anything close to a personality. He claimed to be religious and like girls, but no one knew anything about that. Dean Smith was a basketball coach, nothing more. Still, they called him a genius and not only named a building after him while he was still alive, he actually coached in it. General David Petraeus

For a long time, a really long time, Smith could not win the big one, even with a ton of talented teams at North Carolina University, which was and is by all sane accounts a basketball factory. It wasn’t until a kid named Michael Jordan showed up and hit a jump shot in the waning moments of a championship game against Georgetown University in 1982 did Smith finally win the big one, 21 years after he began what turned out to be an illustrious 36 year career.

Smith may never have won the big one if not for Air Jordan and something called the Four Corners Offense, a ridiculous nightmare of a strategy that simply spread a rotation of players on the corners of the court to pass the ball around in a kind of bizarre pitch and catch keep-away fest until the clock ran out. Earlier that March, North Carolina defeated the favored Virginia Cavaliers for the ACC championship by holding the basketball for the final 12 minutes of the contest, an exhibition in stalling so painfully boring the National Broadcasting Company’s network switchboard received a record number of complaints by game’s end.

The next season the NCAA, deluged with ridicule over Smith’s mockery of the sport, reluctantly adopted a shot clock and the three-point field goal.

Smith may or may not have been a genius, but he sure as hell banked his reputation, his livelihood, and his entire legacy as a coach on one enduring, immutable fact: as long as you’ve got the ball, you cannot lose.

No one, not even his most ardent sycophants, has ever accused George W. Bush of being a genius, but without a unified congress to override a veto and an unchallenged control of the United States military, he has the ball, and he’s going to keep it until the clock runs out.

Even a feckless weasel like Harry Reid knows there is no shot clock in the colonization of a sovereign nation. Shit, there’s no clock at all. It can go on for a long time. How long? Well, unless my high definition signal failed me, I heard our Boy President say this Thursday night: “Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship.”

Enduring. Begin. Building. Relationship.

Pass to the corner, back to the top, over to the other corner, back to the top, over to the corner…

A sedentary shell game is the finest strategic ploy this mangled foreign policy has showcased. What else could a lame duck commander-in-chief with dismal approval ratings and a daily bloodbath half a globe away expect to gain but to play keep-away from those who would pin this lunacy on him while he was still “in charge”.

In a staggering eighth Oval Office address since the beginning of military action in Iraq, the president went on to list further benchmarks for a “return on success” set to unfurl in March 2008 after another “fresh assessment of the situation” and then later in July for a ramp-down of a few thousand troops to approximately the pre-surge level of 130,000. What happens then is as clear as it has ever been these past four plus blood-soaked years.

“This vision for a reduced American presence also has the support of Iraqi leaders from all communities. At the same time, they understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency.” Absent the slightest hint of an end game or definition of victory beyond not losing Iraq to radical Muslim fundamentalists, there will be much passing of the ball around until the president either hands it off to another Republican who might be stupid enough to endure the bad guys or a dumbfounded Democrat who will either yank the troops in disaster or engage in almost certain doomed negotiations with a tattered make-shift government.

Either way, by “extending beyond my presidency”, Captain Shoo-In cannot lose Iraq. Therefore, in some kind of warped homage to Dean Smith’s b-ball abomination, Bush wins. Somebody might lose, but not him, bubba.

For months the coming of David Howell Petraeus was as anticipated in Washington D.C. as Julius Caesar’s triumphant return from Gaul. The news was not good for the Senate then, and it’s not good for the Democratic-controlled Senate now. “All is well,” Petraeus told a dubious congressional tribunal this week. “But not so well that we can leave.”

So The Surge now becomes a Wait, just like the expunging of a tyrant and the stripping of his not-so weapons became democratizing the Middle East. It’s been a stall all along. The Four Corners.

Genius.

A sedentary shell game is the finest strategic ploy this mangled foreign policy has showcased. What else could a lame duck commander-in-chief with dismal approval ratings and a daily bloodbath half a globe away expect to gain but to play keep-away from those who would pin this lunacy on him while he was still “in charge”. As my friend Pat Buchanan said late last week; “The Democrats have been defeated horse, foot and dragoons. There will be no cutoff of funds. There will be no deadlines imposed. What they’re likely to get is a token withdrawal maybe of one brigade around Christmastime.”

Pat, who knows a thing or two about hair-brained presidential foreign policy wig-outs first hand, continued; “The president of the United States will have a major army in Iraq by the time he leaves office. He has won this battle. And I’ll tell you what’s next. He’s gearing up right now. Having defeated the Democrats, he’s looking at phrase three, which is the attack on Iran.”

Holy shit.

Yes, from Four Corners to Damn The Torpedoes, a neck-wrenching u-turn if there ever was one.

Now Captain Shoo-In can sit back and chuckle like LBJ did at Dick Nixon’s escalation of a war in South East Asia he foolishly campaigned to end. Maybe dump the whole shebang on another Clinton as his daddy dumped Saddam Hussein on Big Bill.

Junior might never win the big one, and General Petraeus is no Michael Jordan, but not losing is a kind of winning.

Pass to the corner, back to the top, over to the other corner, back to the top, over to the corner…

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Senator Larry Craig & Gay Rights

Aquarian Weekly 9/12/07 REALITY CHECK

POT & KETTLE REVELATIONSLarry Craig’s Curious Case Advances The Cause of Gay Rights

Larry CraigWhy does Idaho Senator Larry Craig have to resign? Tell me. You can’t and he doesn’t. It’s ridiculous. Tapping one’s foot in a bathroom stall does not a high crime make. Misdemeanor? Speeding is a misdemeanor. Is Craig morally corrupt for trolling bathroom stalls for sex when he is a married man? Of course. Is that why he’s getting shit? Nope. He’s getting shit because he’s queer. Period. He’s a fag. Yeah, let’s dogpile on the fairy. Disgusting! Lewd! Unnatural! Evil! Think whatever you wish, but none of it is unlawful, at least not as unlawful as denying the civil rights of American citizens, but then Mr. Craig knows something about that.

The morning I write this Craig says he’s going to fight this thing, despite being a staunch Republican who has made a career of whipping his Bible frenzy into a fear mongering anti-gay constituency. He refuses to resign because he just realized flirting with men in an airport bathroom is not grounds for expulsion from the federal government. Hell, the vice president shot a man in the face. I’m not gay, but I might choose a bathroom stall hummer over getting flying hot lead in the kisser.

But I digress considerably.

The fact is Craig’s actions have nothing to do with his being either a competent or lousy lawmaker, just as the sexual orientation of taxpaying, law-abiding adult citizens should not deny them their constitutional right to civil union.

Saint Paul called this an epiphany.

I call it poetic justice. Poetic or not, it’s justice.

Craig still claims he’s not gay, but he is definitely stupid. Last month the senator immediately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct without consulting an attorney. He should have fought it then. He didn’t. He was instituting the Clinton Plan: Lay low and hope no one, least of all his wife, finds out. It’s a wonder these guys make it out of high school much less places like Oxford while stumbling into high office.

However, stupidity is not a crime either. We have diligently covered that possibility here for several years and apparently no one’s buying.

Is Craig morally corrupt for trolling bathroom stalls for sex when he is a married man? Of course. Is that why he’s getting shit? Nope. He’s getting shit because he’s queer. Period. He’s a fag. Yeah, let’s dogpile on the fairy.

So, let’s review: Larry Craig is gay, stupid, an adulterer, a hypocrite, and busted for lewd behavior in an airport restroom. Any of these may be considered reprehensible behavior, but certainly not high crimes or grounds for forced resignation. He could be censored or reprimanded, but not booted. He is an elected official, therefore the people should decide Craig’s fate, not the legislative branch. Undoing a vote is a dangerous game.

That much settled, how exactly does this mess advance the cause of gay rights?

I present for your disapproval the recent and lurid tale of Louisiana Congressman David Vitter, whose name appeared in the phone records of a DC prosititution ring. Prostitution is illegal in Washington DC. Guess what? Vitter is still a congressman. He committed a crime, albiet tecnically dismissed on a statute of limitations (Vitter was smart enough to actually contact a lawyer). He got shit, made a fancy consiliatory speech with his humiliated spouse by his pathetic side, and waddled off into the sunset. How is that possible you ask? He’s not gay.

Hetero guy who commits a crime stays.

Gay guy who commits a low-grade misdimeanor goes bye-bye.

So I ask you fair citizenry of these United States, home of the brave and free, where we are all created equal and spread our good will across the globe, how is the above contradiction not the greatest argument for a spurious, unfounded, bigoted denial of basic civil rights? Worse still; how is it not the very definition of not being equal in the eyes of the law?

I hope Craig fights this, but my guess is he will cave; convinced his exit is for the good of the team – the Republican team that uses as its platform a blatant abuse of the Bill Of Rights. If that doesn’t work they’ll threaten him silly. If Craig wants to keep his sexual denial afloat he probably shouldn’t fight. That would take courage and conviction. Craig has shown no signs of possessing these attributes thus far.

But know this, if he does fight, there is no other way to do so without claiming he’s been railroaded for a “type” of behavior and not merely the behavior. It is a solid defense, but an argument that must be made by a gay man fighting a system that denies him a fair playing field.

This is a far cry from former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey’s ludicrous claim that he was forced to resign because of his sexual orientation, when in reality his administration was high crimes central.

It is also an interesting dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans obviously wish to see this go away quickly to rebuild faith in defending Craig’s empty seat by the next election cycle and to put as much distance between themselves and flag-waving anti-gay voices who also happen to be closet homosexuals. Interestingly, Pennsylvania Senator Arlene Specter, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has reportedly urged Craig to fight on.

Demorats would also love to see Craig exit and grab his seat in the process. However, if there is any friend of gay rights in the Capital it is the Democratic Party. Do Democrats support Craig’s fight on the grounds of fairness or do they go the predictable mud slinging route? Not surprisingly thus far the latter has won out.

Coincidentally, Craig’s current all-star legal team is headed by Billy Martin, who represented Michael Vick in his dogfighting case. Activists used Vick’s celebrity and the ubiquitous media coverage to advance the cause of animal rights. Why can’t gay activists make Craig’s faux pas about gay rights? Because they hate the gay-bashing hypocritical Craig? If this is true than it is shortsighted and leads to a deadend. Politics makes strange bedfellows (pardon the pun) and right now the movement may have no better martyr than Larry Craig, persecuter of homosexuals.

I already mentioned Saint Paul, right?

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The Blame Game

Aquarian Weekly 7/25/07 REALITY CHECK

THE BLAME GAMEPowerless Senate Debuts Finger-Pointing Show

Now that the latest surge of U.S. troops to Iraq has reduced our boy president to a cold-blooded murderer, we have the flaccid legislative Charge of The Lightweightsbranch of our government, which had its chance to refuse funding this slaughter months ago, join in as willing accomplices. The final indignation came this past week when the senate had the gall to turn what is fast becoming the most egregious mishandling of military operations in this nation’s sordid history into political theater. Complete with spine-tingling video of cots being rolled in and pizza deliverymen rushing up the Capital Hill steps, hapless CSPAN speechifying and spin-room garbles, an exercise in futility was allowed to go on for 20 useless hours ending with nothing.

Meanwhile, the United States Army parades into its fiftieth month of policing genocide with no mission beyond keeping its collective finger in the dam. What is left of the Republicans claim there is still a war going on, one that is imperative to save the planet, while the Democrats, many of whom voted for this invasion in the first place, hope to wash their hands of blood. And it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is not a solid majority among them that can offer a binding decision on any of it.

People whose job description is to song-and-dance have rarely exhibited a more self-serving showcase of gutless pabulum. Considering the hilarious history of congressional dog-and-pony filibuster acts, this is not an easy benchmark to reach, but reach it they did on 7/17, when for all intents and purposes the directionless Democrats called out doom-struck Republican hawks in a clumsy schoolyard blame game.

Every day I sit down to pen this nonsense; I’m prouder than ever to be an American.

I’ll say one thing, if I were a soldier in Iraq or the family of someone over there right now, I’d never pay another dollar in taxes again, vote anymore, and before moving off this continent, burn everything that reminds me I was an American citizen.

Can you imagine the level of horror and disgust in these people as they watch their elected officials convene for an endless debate on a fantasy bill submitting a spring deadline to the president for the withdrawal of troops when every one of them knows there is no way they’d even come close to enough votes for it?

Can you fathom the stinging bile that would be rising in your throat when you realize that this jockeying for position on who will be the architects of the inevitable face-saving pull-out next year or the year after, and which party might be better poised to gain the White House, appears far more important a goal than the safety and/or sane deployment of yourself or your loved ones?

Entering a fifth year of puttering around in the middle of a kill-fest, the American people, who have sacrificed family, life, limb, and billions in taxes deserve better than posturing, filibustering, and shameless name-calling.

Assuming, and this is a big assumption these days, that every senator understands the parameters of their position in the framework of this government, what other conclusion could a relatively objective observer come to but this staged event was nothing more than posturing?

This is as high an insult as a government can pay to its citizenry: “We know you have little idea and care even less how your system works, so we’ll make a mockery of it to appear sincere and hope you’re stupid enough to feel emboldened by our effort.”

And now for the Reality Check portion of our presentation…

At this juncture of waging war or using troops to colonize a nation, the congress has no recourse to cease it unless it cuts off funding. The congress can declare war or hand over the power of using military force to the commander-in-chief when the subject is broached, as it was in the spring of 2002 when 296 representatives voted in favor of it, 215 of which were Republicans and 81 Democrats. The only other true power the congress has after this is to fund said conflict, which they continued to do by supporting the recent “surge”. Of course they did so with a laughable non-binding resolution “disapproving” of the action; “I disapprove of you using this bat to beat the shit out of me, but here you go, sport.”

Bills, resolutions, debates, and staged harangues are tantamount to feeding an unstable fellow a blotter of acid, handing him the keys to your car and daring him to hit 100 mph. Then as you’re both careening off a cliff, you turn to him and plead for cautiousness. Oh, and to complete this stirring analogy, just before you plunge to your death, you make damn sure he knows this is all his fault.

Entering a fifth year of puttering around in the middle of a kill-fest, the American people, who have sacrificed family, life, limb, and billions in taxes deserve better than posturing, filibustering, and shameless name-calling.

I may have been mistaken or half-asleep or doped up, but I could swear Hillary Clinton has been running around giving speeches that the reasoning behind her 2002 vote was to merely allow the president the right to use force only if absolutely necessary. That’s not even decent Clintonian double-speak. Is it possible that this drool is what Democrats now call an anti-war strategy? “I may have given my car keys to an acid head, but I was stunned he drove it off a cliff!”

Look, everyone without shit for brains knows that four years of exit strategy is as bad as it gets. The over-matched president, who no longer has to run for office, has checked out of the Hotel Reality. The sickly vice president is likely to be dead by next year. The secretary of state has pitched her tent on Denial Mountain. And now it looks as though congress, those of whom are not busy running for president, is so ill prepared to deal with its neutered position, you wonder why they show up.

Meanwhile this prop of an Iraq government takes August off, the press pays lip service to backtracking generals, and kids die day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day.

I’m sure if any of them were here, they’d be glad the architects of this abortion consider this is some kind of spotlight for their guilt, a soapbox for ideology, and have gone through so much trouble to fill a rotunda with blame.

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Dick Cheney Power Abuse

Aquarian Weekly 7/11/07 REALITY CHECK

SONG OF THE DYING WHALE How A Decomposing Beached Sea Mammal Came To Bury A Presidency

Why did the president of the United States today interfere in a legal trial and do something he found deeply distasteful and hurtful? Three explanations. One, the war party, the neo-cons, demanded it as the price of staying behind him. Two, the vice president of the United States went in and called in all of his chits for his buddy. Three, the president or somebody in there feels that Scooter Libby behind bars is a walking time bomb. – Pat Buchanan 7/3/07

The Almighty DickWhile I am of the opinion that the law is bullshit (please refer to two of the past three entries to this space for ample proof) I am a sucker for the U.S. Constitution. It is the only part of this boondoggle democracy that separates the American people from being completely screwed by its government. In it, the vice presidency was originally framed as the second-leading receiver of votes in a general election. In other words, if things were not amended in 1804, John Kerry would be our vice president today, and not Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney, who has been allowed to infect every part of the fantastically bungled presidency of George W. Bush.

But, alas, the advent of party politics diminished the roll of the vice president, reducing the office to pretty much nothing; nothing and the occasional crumb as president of the senate, which is maybe a two to three day a year gig.

To put it more directly, these past six years of twisted machinations emanating from the vice president’s office, from advocating war on a whim to the financing, running and clean-up of the thing through his buddies and jacking around the CIA to cover it up, is not only highly irregular, but downright stupid, which goes a long way to crushing these crazed leftist fantasies of a conniving, evil Boy President.

The Dick Cheney power-grab intimidation weight-throwing extravaganza has gotten so out of hand that not even the most ardent supporters of the now sadly debunked Bush-Is-In-Charge theory have to run for cover. If Captain Shoo-In had been anything but a vacuous walking suit, the rogue nature of the state department, secretary of defense, and especially the vice president would not have sunk his legacy in a sea of “old men clumsily attempting to capture the glory days” blunders.

Cheney is by definition of the constitution and the framework of our government an insignificant lump of flesh waiting for the president to die or the senate to be tied on some bill. His is a job best described as beached whale, but through some incredible malfeasance of reason he has been allowed to not only rule, but rule with mind-bending haphazard dumbness.

Cheney is by definition of the constitution and the framework of our government an insignificant lump of flesh waiting for the president to die or the senate to be tied on some bill. His is a job best described as beached whale, but through some incredible malfeasance of reason he has been allowed to not only rule, but rule with mind-bending haphazard dumbness.

John Adams was our first vice president. He deemed the position as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” Thomas R. Marshall, who served under Woodrow Wilson, once mused; “Once there were two brothers. One went away to sea; the other was elected vice president. And nothing was heard of either of them again.” When the animated statesman, Daniel Webster was offered a place on Zachary Taylor’s ticket, he declined, saying; “I do not intend to be buried until I am dead.” And before quitting in disgust, John Nance Garner, FDR’s first vice president, aptly described the position as not being “worth a pitcher of warm piss”.

So how is it that a slowly decomposing Washington lifer like Dick Cheney has survived long enough to become one of the most vocal, influential, vilified, dastardly, inept, and unilaterally unlucky men to ever hold the vice presidency? How did a relatively innocuous Bush Sr. cabinet member, who left politics a bitter and beaten man, morph into the most powerful vice president since another Dick ran the coma that was the Eisenhower administration?

There is only one answer: The president, completely overwhelmed and weakly qualified, allows it.

The second those towers fell in Manhattan on 9/11, Cheney has been an utter disaster for this absentee president. Somewhere between the Halliburton mess, the fiasco over “enriched uranium from Africa”, and a host of misnomers on the war as in “We will be welcomed as liberators” and “The insurgency is in its last throes”, to this ill-conceived Scooter Libby nonsense, the shooting of a man and covering it up, and now these bevy of “top secret” documents his office is hiding, Junior has allowed a man with no power nor a precedence for the claiming of power to hammerlock his authority and run the White House into the ground.

The president’s commuting of Libby’s sentence this past week is further evidence he has no say in his own administration. There is no good reason on the heels of having his immigration legislation summarily squashed by the right wing of congress, after it was openly derided by every conservative mouthpiece living, to hand out a gift like this. It is especially troubling when you consider Bush has been on record as loathing the commuting or pardoning of more questionable and harsher sentences while governor of Texas, and, most telling, became a viable candidate for president by running on some corny “restoring dignity to the presidency” hoo-ha.

No, Libby avoids prison to halt further legal battles and a final humiliation for this sad-sack second term. It is also not coincidental that Libby was not granted a complete pardon, which keeps him from having to testify in the pending civil trial by Ambassador Joe Wilson. If Libby were imprisoned, he’s likely to squeal. If he were a free man, he could be subpoenaed and squeal. So the commuting of his sentence makes it patently obvious a deal was struck to have him take a bullet for the shenanigans of his boss, Dick Cheney. The trial was a fraud, taxpayer money was wasted, and the law…everyone say it with me…is bullshit.

But there is always the Constitution, and if this milquetoast Congress could grow some stones, we might have ourselves the kind of lengthy and painful investigations that will all but cripple this already hemorrhaging swindle of a presidency.

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The Nifong Chronicles

Aquarian Weekly 6/27/07 REALITY CHECK

THE NIFONG CHRONICLES

Mike NifongIn our continuing series on “The Law Is Bullshit”, fresh from our Paris Hilton harangue from a week ago, we cast our collective eye on the sad and sordid tale of Michael Nifong, former Durham County District Attorney of North Carolina. Nifong, as nicely put as possible, was over-zealous in his attempt at trying a dubious but celebrated rape case against three Duke University lacrosse players. The more apt description would be that Nifong is a self-promoting sociopath, who used blatantly dangerous race-bating and sacrificed the good name of three relatively innocent children, clogging up the courts, breaking the law, pissing on his and the reputation of North Carolina law, and wasting a boatload of taxpayer cash for his mad pursuit of fame and fortune.

Nifong is the “former” district attorney because he resigned last week during his ethics trial with a weepy soliloquy that would green the envy of any self-defacing thespian. Not surprisingly, the same doom-struck instincts that had him withholding, creating, hiding evidence or lack thereof and publicly humiliating his suspects in front of any camera pointing his way led him to figure that by blubbering like Jimmy Swaggart and resigning his post would keep him out of prison.

This is similar to you deliberately burning down your place of employment, and then in a desperate attempt to avoid arson charges, you quit.

But unfortunately Nifong isn’t going to prison for being stupid. This, like celebrities and the wealthy covered last week, is no crime. If it were, there wouldn’t be a continent large enough to store them. No, Nifong should go away because he is an insidiously aggressive drain on society at large. People who use our courts as an American Idol audition, especially those who represent said courts, need to be punished, severely; disbarment for starters, then maybe a crash-course in actual rape in lock-up.

Turns out Nifong never had a case. Never. About a week after their arrest, DNA tests exonerated the three suspects of any rape charges, and about a week or less later it pretty much turned out the stripper “victim” was as trustworthy a source on her own abduction as the latest spokesman for the Pentagon on the results of military surges. Which is not very good, or to be honest, fucking horrible.

Nifong should go away because he is an insidiously aggressive drain on society at large. People who use our courts as an American Idol audition, especially those who represent said courts, need to be punished, severely; disbarment for starters, then maybe a crash-course in actual rape in lock-up.

But on Nifong went, for months, evidence and credibility be damned, and on the Durham court system let him run. Why? Well, for starters it was a slam-dunk glitzy case: Three lily-white, rich, allegedly wild and wooly college boys with tarnished behavioral records ordered up a poor black woman forced to take off her clothes to make ends meet and had their way with her. Throw in the stressed racial tensions in the Durham area, ninety percent of which is comprised of poor minority communities surrounding one big, fat bucolic and smarmy Duke campus. And folks, you’ve got yourself juice.

Predictably, the 24-hour news stations, radio pundits, newspaper columnists, crazed activists, and you name it descended like vultures on the scene. Many of whom festooned the campus and surrounding areas with defaming and slanderous posters and manifestos calling the accused Nazis, sex fiends, Klansman, and monsters. All the while, Nifong and the courts kept the charade up, even when it was obvious to the most empty-headed TV talk show host that the thing was a hoax.

But, hey, as is our custom here, we don’t pin any collateral damage on the media. Sure, the 24-hour news channels and radio bilge-pumpers, even media whores like Jesse Jackson, who saw fit to ignore the time honored Bill of Rights adage and decided guilty until proven innocent was the fashion of the day, can be forgiven. The media exists for one reason, to sell beer and cars and dumb shit you don’t need, not to provide plausible information. For some reason people hold these outlets to higher standards, but even Jackson and his ilk have become such sad parodies by now, the lowest of standards is wasted on them.

Oh, and not shocking either, is the behavior of Duke University, so high and mighty and armed with condescending falderal, the powers that be folded like cheap boy scout tents and decided to cancel the remainder of the lacrosse team’s season. Yes, and then maybe everyone would forget the unconscionable lunacy these idiots had displayed publicly for months prior to the bogus charges. That behavior was tolerable, but being falsely accused is not. In other words, kids, as long as you keep your stripper gangbangs on the down low, then lacrosse yourselves silly.

So after months of complete torture and ridicule and jailing and laughable travesties of justice, the kids are set free and now get to sue everything and everyone in sight. So don’t cry for them. They will get there’s, again and again and again. No human with the last name of Evans, Finnerty or Seligman will ever have to suck ass to get in or pay outrageous tuition for their nifty Duke educations. That is if they want to slum at Duke. When they’re done suing the state of North Carolina, they can buy Harvard and Yale and turn them into competing strip joints.

And Lord knows I don’t need to see some muscle-headed 230-pound goon lacrosse jock asshole whimpering like a schoolgirl because his mommy thought he raped someone. No, it’s true. He did this. Until she heard the news mom was bursting with pride that her baby boy shattered the beer-funnel record while simultaneously snorting coke off the stripper’s tits.

Viva La System!

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Independence ’08

Aquarian Weekly 6/13/07 REALITY CHECK

INDEPENDENCE ’08

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. – John Quincy Adams

Al GoreNow that the Democratic-controlled Congress has scurried away with its collective tails tucked neatly between its legs and our Boy President has his hefty slaughter budget, perhaps the majority of the U.S. citizenry will see it clear to finally look outside the infinitely neutered two-party system for a chief executive. Polls indicate this is a distinct possibility. Of course, after the 2004 presidential election results anyone who views any poll as anything more than a hollow mind-screw can only blame themselves. But I dabble in politics here. And politics is silly with polls. Polls that mean even less than nothing 500 days from pay dirt with half the possible 2008 candidates still pussyfooting around Hollywood and the Bible Belt. Long way to go, buster. A long painful way.

But for the sake of fun and frolic, I give you the latest Gallup poll, which paints a split electorate: Republicans, 27 percent; Democrats, 34 percent; independents, 38 percent.

Anyone who has endured this nearly decade-long rave-clutter I send to press every week knows I’ve been ringing the “independent candidate” bell since 1980 when a young and smarmy jc headed to the voting booth and yanked a lever for John Anderson. Since, I have mostly voted for independents save a few vengeance votes thrown in to skew the bell curve. So, one might consider these recent poll numbers, however vacant they appear to my battered logic, bringing a measure of joy to a miserable shit like myself.

Nope.

It’s a fixed game. The Electoral College is not set up for mavericks, outsiders, and alternatives. It is a system. And by definition it has its limitations and rules and restrictions, making it nearly impossible, no, sorry – impossible for anyone to bring about a systemic shift. Pat Buchanan told me this in 2000, Ralph Nader in 2004, and in way, although not as directly or grumpily, the humorlessly ill-fated 1992 Ross Perot campaign, which garnered 19 percent of the popular vote and yet not one Electoral notch, resounded it to the rafters.

Hell. No matter the freak-show, we aim to plug it, flaunt it, and vote for it. If you can’t beat it, dismantle it.

Meanwhile, we choose from the predictable pot. A pot which could become even more crowded if Al Gore and Fred Thompson listen to the hue and cry.

Sure. The potential candidate is always sexier than the fifty we already have to choose from. It’s the back-up quarterback theory: At any level, the guy starting and stinking makes the unknown commodity on the bench a blooming rose. The problem nearly always arises when everyone is sadly reminded why the back-up is a back-up.

Despite spending much of my waking hours in the wretched and unforgiving summer and autumn of 2000 bribing, spitting and penning for the downfall of the vice president, I invite Al Gore to run. For nothing else but to see the Clinton Machine, his former champions, slice and dice him to gory shreds. What would James Carville do then? What kind of rift would it cause? What measure of contemptible flotsam would it produce? Oh, the joys of big-time party politics.

Gore is this year’s white elephant, a Ted Kennedy-type specter hovering over the proceedings, playing the polls and the media, keeping his name alive for the last remnants of his fifteen vainglorious Tinseltown minutes. And although he reeks of defeat and sore-loserism, he is also a delicious choice for those who felt cheated by the 2000 Florida shenanigans and a prime cut candidate for those who bleed Clinton but realize that a woman has no chance to carry the South or Midwest, especially the key battleground states that John Kerry so flippantly pissed away.

But it’s easier to be the pundit, the specter, the back-up, as long as you don’t have to produce. And all of us awake enough to recall his first go-round do not wish that on the most hated of our enemies. Gore is better on the sidelines with windbags like Newt Gingrich, who are pithy and witty and full of grit as long as they don’t have to win anything anymore. That train left the station without them many moons ago. Their tickets have been punched. Nostalgia is one thing, but civic victory is a twisted bitch mistress with fangs.

Once bitten…

Fred Thompson? He’s a tease. An actor. This is a plus for presidents, especially conservative Republican presidents, but only those in the game; governors of big states, not has-been dilatants who abandoned Washington crying about boredom. But according to Politico.com, Thompson has already decided to run and will likely announce within the month, grabbing him a huge chunk of the pro-life, anti-gay contingent not hoarded by religious zealots and human asterisks. This is especially bad news for Mitt Romney, who was already a few weeks from tattered, and worse news for anyone not singing Thompson’s right-wing tunes come primary season.

Remaining are the independent teases, which now either land on those of the expanding pack of Democrats and Republicans who could pull a clever Joe Lieberman ruse or this rather interesting Internet fad called Unity ’08.

Basically Unity ’08 surmises a combined Republican/Democrat hybrid ticket matching together all the tired over-hyped agendas of these party dinosaurs to make it seem new, like these laughable attempts of slop-house fast food chains whipping up the odd “health food” menu to keep the watch-dog wolves at bay. The only truly interesting odd-couple combo would be this proposed rabid anti-war/global warming Bloomberg/Hagel ticket, for no other reason but that NYC’s mayor is a billionaire four times over and would saturate the political landscape with so much white noise neither entrenched party could escape unscathed.

Hell. No matter the freak-show, we aim to plug it, flaunt it, and vote for it. If you can’t beat it, dismantle it. This has been our raison d’etre here, and we see no reason to stop.

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Frat House Fracas

Aquarian Weekly 5/16/07 REALITY CHECK

FRAT HOUSE FRACASA Month Of Peeling Back White House Mayhem

George TenetHave you left me the lastOf the dum dum daze Then the sun goes down And the boys broke down– Iggy Pop

This is truly a country run by lunatics.

It is the only explanation.

The days of discussing the evil intent of the body politic, the corruption of power, and the insidious nature birthed by the grievous land-baron history of this great but flawed republic are finally buried beneath an avalanche of Herculean incompetence. It’s official. The Bush Administration rivals the most dysfunctional parade of rogues ever to tread the halls of this government. No small feat when considering some of the scabrous cretins to hold this nation’s most cherished titles. In one month, give or take, the house of cards held together by the flimsiest of shreds has tumbled down in an almost humorous heap on the head of our flatlined Boy President.

Let’s start with this nonsense surrounding embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has spent weeks awkwardly defending himself and the justice department against flaccid charges of political intrigue, when all he had to do was tell congress to fuck off. What kind of lawyer is this idiot? What is he hiding? Agenda? Agendas make up the whole of Washington. No one goes to the toilet without ulterior motives in DC. Presidents have absolute power over the federal government’s law officers. He can fire one for denting his car. No explanation necessary.

For reasons only known to those in charge, Gonzales is on trial for defending the administration’s honor. Honor? Again, I ask, what kind of lawyer is this jack ass? Just because he kept Bush from political oblivion in Texas by hiding a goofy DWI does not make him attorney general of save-face. Forget what you think of the spirit of the law or political agendas, you want the head of your nation’s justice department acting like a sixteen year-old girl with a pocket-book full of speed and condoms jabbering out cheap excuses about holding them for friends?

Gonzales is so pathetic under cross-examination he makes his predecessor, John Ashcroft, a vapid troll who once lost a Missouri senate election to a corpse, look like Honest Abe.

Bush was the mediocre elite’s last shot at greatness. He was our boozehound coke fiend C-student who would run America like a Texas ho-down. It was to be a freewheel, but then he mucked it up by bringing in his daddy’s has-beens, recycled fossils who saw one last chance at the brass ring.

On the heels of this freak show another Bush reject, Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank, whose dim-witted fantasies fueled the ill-conceived Iraq invasion, is busted handing over a cushy job and a huge pay hike to the woman he’s currently screwing. Soon he will join the growing list of administration boobs who were forced to resign as miserable failures.

Fast forward to former CIA Director George Tenet and his laughably exploitive tales of woe and finger pointing in At The Center Of The Storm, wherein the author comes off as a holy amalgamation of Saint Paul meets Gunga Din. But as with all fiction there’s a core of truth within, one that has been echoed in this space for nearly seven years now: Stupidity and hubris out duels fiendish scheming every time in Bushland.

True, Tenet is as gutless and wormy as Richard Clarke, who also claimed to know and warn and bellow everything known to modern souls only to continue to cull a government pay check while remaining silent until booted. If there is such a thing as guilt, it falls on him, as it falls on the others who not only bungled everything since 9/11, but the months leading up to it.

Again, as written here mere days after the towers went down, of course Bush and Rice and Cheney and Powell and the CIA and the FBI knew about a potential attack on a major American city. They fucked up. Big time. Blood is all over these people, and that’s how the job goes. Run a nation, nation is attacked, you’re to blame. No matter how many countries you bomb. Plenty of blame, jack. But once again these petty smear campaigns and the endless back-biting childishness is a glaring reflection on how things are running and have been run around here – like some soused frat house bungle wretched with blind cronyism and kegs flying through windows, bad boys dick-fighting and puffing chests, stumbling around hallowed halls fist-fucking the constitution.

And it’s too bad.

Bush was the mediocre elite’s last shot at greatness. He was our boozehound coke fiend C-student who would run America like a Texas ho-down. It was to be a freewheel, but then he mucked it up by bringing in his daddy’s has-beens, recycled fossils who saw one last chance at the brass ring. Not a one of them could keep from dragging our hero and his puppeteer, Karl Rove down with them.

I was rooting for Rove. I was. He helped defeat one of the vilest of human diseases, Al Gore, by cheating and stealing everything this country claimed to hold dear. It was a thing of brutal beauty, half-mad, half-genius. Rove was as close to invincible as a democracy could hope to produce; a chronic masturbator with a weakness for jellow-shots and The Stooges’ “Raw Power” on vinyl, but someone mistook him for an intellect and gave him the keys to the president’s brain, which he recklessly commandeered into disaster.

Now Bush’s approval ratings flounder somewhere in the mid-20s, close to a Watergate low. Stunning, even for a monumental screw up. His war is now officially a suicide anvil roped around his neck and Jesus has abandoned him. He no longer speaks in private anymore, at least not anything close to coherent. In public he manages to burp out weird things like “internets” and some Seussian nonsense about “Victory is not no violence.” Insiders say he lives in constant fear there’s another Scooter Libby stumbling drunk and angry through the White House looking to dump more foul odors on his office. Key aids are on 24-hour notice to keep him informed if the vice president shoots anyone else.

And no one who used to make decisions around the man has a clue why the Secretary of State is running around Syria trying to get warlords to put the hammer down in Iraq. Talk is she missed a sign or is bunting on her own, because it’s madness-squared and will put us in further debt to religious goons, the very reason we’re in this shit storm in the first place.

Hey, laugh if you wish. I know I’m laughing. You can’t make this stuff up. Believe me, I try. Every day. But it pales. Nothing comes close to this mania. Nothing.

I’ve got it on pretty good authority that the president’s dog has been appointed Secretary of the Interior.

Tell me you think that’s a joke.

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Republican Candidates 2008

Aquarian Weekly 3/21/07 REALITY CHECK

A RELUCTANT GUIDE TO CAMPAIGN 2008 Part II – The Republicans

Rudy GiulianiTime for the Conservative/Religious Right movement to step aside and allow the mavericks a crack. Prepare for the Year of the Republican Social Liberal trying to act more button-down and holier-than-thou. This is especially key for the two frontrunners, both of whom have suddenly found old-time religion and scramble to-and-fro to allay the fears of the GOP’s Big Money. They needn’t bother. With a wounded lame-duck commander-in-chief and a possible recession on the horizon, pretty soon anyone who has the charisma and guts to take on the surging opposition party will be embraced like the Prodigal Son when the bell tolls. And it’s tolling, son. It’s tolling.

The following is the tale of the tape for the more-or-less legitimate hopefuls 18 months from pay dirt. Take from it what you will. We only aim to serve.

REPUBLICANS

Rudolf Giuliani

Key Word: Perception

The image of the Country’s Mayor is clear in the minds of every American. Giuliani’s rock-solid response to and inspired leadership during his city’s nightmare of 9/11 matters now more than ever. Apart from any candidate in the race, Democrat or Republican, Uncle Rudy actually inspires thoughts of victory during these troubled times. It is not a rare breed this Perception Candidate. You will find them in all previous winners: Bush 2 – Righteous. Clinton – Caring. Bush 1 – Reagan Monkey. Reagan – Optimistic. Carter – Squeaky Clean. Nixon – Tough. Etc.

Key Strength: Ruthless

A real arrogant toughness (not the country goon type we currently endure) is especially welcomed in these times, and Giuliani flaunts it with a weird kind of pride. As NYC’s mayor, he took on special interests and the mob, state judges and the Republican Party, and unlike most all-talk politicians he succeeded in nearly all of these battles. Dogfights normally call for big dogs. Here’s your pit bull.

Key Weakness: Loose Canon

Divorced three times, a long record of civil rights abuses, and first amendment pogroms litter Uncle Rudy’s resume. He is a political enigma: a GOP darling that happens to be pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-gun control, and as mentioned above took on his own party in 1996 by backing Democrat and Uber-Liberal, Mario Cuomo for governor over George Pataki.

Creepiest Moment Thus Far: Roe vs. Wade Dance When confronted recently on his pro-choice stance and its stigma entering a Republican primary, Giuliani bristled and made some off-hand remark about appointing the proper conservative judges.

Outlook: Right now he is The Man, but a closet full of personal skeletons and a shoot-from-the-hip style that served him well running the worlds’ greatest city may wound him on the national stump. But with the entire field faltering around him, could prove the perfect celebrity to fend off an expected Obama or Clinton rush.

John McCain

Key Word: Desperate

The darling of the Independents in 2000 is now the lone hawk in a coop of cooing doves, which has moved him as far right as he could possibly go – including sucking up to every religious nutcase across the fruited plain. He’s been a party lackey for too long and taken back seats to enough thrill-seekers. It’s his turn and he is not apologizing for anything he has to do to grab the brass ring.

Key Strength: Loyalist

McCain’s unwavering support of the troop-surge and manic campaigning for two Bush victories has basically labeled him the incumbent by default here. Therefore he has the odor of the Bush Administration about him, for good or ill. This will garner him much support with Republican insiders and help him in a primary run, (assuming things stabilize in Iraq – a huge assumption) but in the same breath will render him a punching bag for the Democrats in the national race. But it does get him direct access to Karl Rove and other brilliant vipers like him.

Key Weakness: Retread

Fair or not, with the heavy air of “change for change sake” still in the air, McCain is old news. Almost every other candidate beyond Democratic John Edwards is brand spanking new to the arena, and in 2007, new is in. But with a river of time to pass, he may be seen as a steady influence. Again, however, something good has to happen in Iraq and nothing bad could possibly befall the economy, or, again, by default, he will bear the brunt.

Creepiest Moment Thus Far: Letterman “Wasted” Gaff

Announcing his candidacy on a talk show was hokey enough without the slip of the tongue about troops lives being “wasted”. Followed up by the predictable backtracking and qualifying of “wasted” as “sacrificed”. But the message is clear – Mixed. How does the one candidate who defends every crazy war decision the White House sends down make a public Freudian slip about their victims?

Outlook: Time will tell, but for now McCain must continue to move right and force Giuliani to defend every social ideology he espouses.

Mitt Romney

Key Word: Paradox

Romney is a Mormon who used to support gay-marriage and was pro-choice. Now he is openly anti-gay and vehemently pro-life. Some of the weaker sorts might call this flip-flopping, but we won’t lower ourselves to such cheap name-calling. Key Strength: Zealot Romney has transformed himself into the Religious Right’s poster boy in the midst of all this wacky social liberalism. It will be extremely interesting if voters will choose his lack of “electability” over his more appealing ideology like the supposed anti-war crowd choosing pro-war Kerry over less attractive true anti-war candidates in ’04.

Key Weakness: Boring.

If Uncle Rudy is the wild man and Papa McCain is old school, then it only leaves Romney with the scraps. A rare candidate can muscle his/her way into a comfortable niche. Bad news is he does not appear to be one of those.

Creepiest Moment Thus Far: “Meet The Press” Squirming Tim Russert read every bigoted quote attributed to Romney on gays in the past six months and Romney refuted none of them. Instead, he predictably hid behind the Bible.

Outlook: Romney will have a place in the party’s emerging platform, but if he is to be a serious threat, the frontrunners first need to crash and burn, which is not out of the realm of possibility.

Dark Horse: Chuck Hagel – Slyly waiting in the wings to let the early nonsense recede, Hagel is the rarest of breeds, an anti-war Republican candidate. This sets him apart from the pack and gives voice to a growing angst in the party against the doomed Iraq occupation.

Long Shot: Duncan Hunter – Arguably the one true fiscal conservative in the bunch, Duncan could wreck things by screaming about NAFTA and the WTO (jobs), Illegal Immigration (jobs) and insane government spending (money). The Money/Jobs card always win the day.

No Shot: Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, et al.

Democrats

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Democrat Candidates 2008

Aquarian Weekly 3/14/07 REALITY CHECK

A RELUCTANT GUIDE TO CAMPAIGN 2008 Part I – The Democrats

Eyes on the PrizeI tried to avoid this. I really did.

We’re 11 months from a primary and 20 months from the actual 2008 Election Day, and yet almost every news source, annoying blog, damnable 24-hour news channel, and political media outlet is hemming and hawing about the candidates. There must be 40 of these people, of which about five have the cash, balls, or the will to endure the nearly two-years of repeated and vicious beatings from the press and each other. In some cases it has already begun. And in a current media climate wherein a Britney Spears haircut and the death of an airhead spawn front pages and ’round-the-clock coverage, it’s as juicy as juicy gets.

Granted, this time it will be as different as any of us have ever seen much less covered: No incumbent. Hopefully Dick Cheney will be dead by then, but if not, pretty much as useless as he is now. He’s a doddering old maniac as it is; can you imagine if he had to sell himself as a legitimate candidate? Wow. Many smart constitutional historians are on record as stating if a monster like Cheney even considered running for president the very concept of democracy would fold in its wake. He is the sole reason Captain Shoo-In will never be impeached.

So assuming cat litter would torch the vice president in an election, the field is wide open. The parties are currently in flux. Republicans are still licking their wounds from this past November’s disaster and will be straddled with a lame duck Frat Boy in the Oval Office who, if track record is any indication, will likely be in the low teens in approval ratings by summer’s end. The Democrats, wild with enthusiasm now, seem on a collision course for populist fall-out, and must make a better stand against the Iraq occupation or face a hiccup in their momentum.

This is the real reason I was reluctant to cover the candidates so early in this thing in the first place. Sixty days is a long time in Washington. In 600 days there might not even be a Washington.

But the pull is strong. We do not make the news here, we comment on it. And far be it for me to turn my back on the pomp and bull that has already begun on the campaign trail. And so, for our first commentary on the 2008 presidential race, we give you the early tale of the tape:

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Key Word: Ambition

The most dangerous of all candidates because she thinks she deserves this. Years of eating her husband’s shit for this opportunity has made Clinton angry and determined. She has more money behind her than any candidate in history already.

Key Strength:

Mean Senator Rodham has the worst kind of humans running her campaign, not the least of which is her morally bankrupt husband and the demon Terry McAuliffe. Both men have no souls and are as wicked as homo sapiens get during campaigns. This will serve her well dismantling all comers.

Key Weakness:

Calculating The former first lady is the most hated among front-runners. She rubs people the wrong way because she is disingenuous at the least and a flat-out lying machine at her worst. Her shifty move to the center on the Iraq occupation has alienated a good many Democrats and will make securing the primary against anti-war sentiment tougher.

Creepiest Moment Thus Far:

Internet Launch Anyone not getting the willies watching that “Let’s have a chat” announcement of her candidacy on the nifty web site evidently enjoys watching kittens strangled.

Outlook:

Although she is manlier than Dennis Kucinich, she does have a vagina. This is extremely troubling to a majority of this backwards, puritanical nation of goobers. Good luck.

Barack Obama

Key Word: Untainted

Obama has been in Washington for 15 minutes, and he will remind you of this repeatedly because the bellow for change in ’06 and backlash over bipartisan bickering has reached new heights in the supposed “fragile national psyche”. This also makes him the media darling, for now. Remember so was Howard Dean weeks before the primaries, and in a mere hundred hours was road kill.

Key Strength: No Record

The new kid on the block means having no nasty, binding voting record, or even the kind of vacillating, flip-flop debate-addled nonsense that killed the Kerry ’04 campaign. No one knows what the hell this guy stands for, really. He can make it up as he goes, which, for a while, keeps him fresh and desirable. But, again, time has a way of marching on, or in the case of Teflon candidates, marching over them.

Key Weakness:

Lofty Expectations

Right now Obama is perfect: Young, optimistic, handsome, a completely new hybrid of race, personal metal, and enthusiasm. In other words: Completely impossible to live up to over the long haul. The littlest sheen is removed and the sharks come a-courtin’. Check out the whole David Geffen fall-out. Insiders are already questioning his silly; “I will not play politics of personal destruction” craziness. And well they should.

Creepiest Moment Thus Far:

Lincoln Reference Obama standing on the steps of the Illinois Courthouse invoking the name of Lincoln makes even the most starry-eyed of his worshipers cringe. It’s not bad enough this guy is compared to a young JFK, we have to start the Lincoln parralells now?

Outlook:

Okay, someone needs to point out that a preponderance of the national voting public finds it impossible even considering liberal Democrats, a black guy named Obama with the middle name Hussein is asking a lot. Good luck.

John Edwards

Key Word: Populist

Edwards is the perfect presidential candidate: A white lawyer from the South who promises roads paved with gold. They may as well just have picked him from central casting. He has more experience (on the national stump and in congress) than any other front-runner, and has, thanks to disasters like Katrina and many of the middleclass not benefiting from a steadying economy, captured the populist “Two America’s” concept well.

Key Strength: Not black or a woman.

Key Weakness: Already a loser as VP candidate once

This is a tough comeback for anyone not named Nixon. Creepiest Moment Thus Far: No one could forget those kissy-face sessions masquerading as debates between Edwards and Cheney. Outlook: Least exciting candidate for primaries, but history and voter trends put him as the most electable. I’ll believe change when I see it.

 

Dark Horse: Bill Richardson – Most qualified, great record as governor (governors normally get elected) and sits in the weeds during these vacuous, almost meaningless early months. But can he raise enough money to combat the big boys and girl?

Long Shot: Al Gore – I have spent an adulthood comparing him to Nixon. If he comes back and people naively recall his 2000 near-win as something of an omen and there is a logjam at the top, he could (gulp!) make a run. No Shot: Joe Biden, Wesley Clarke, et al.

NEXT WEEK: Republicans

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Bush – 1 Democrats – 0

Aquarian Weekly 3/7/07 REALITY CHECK

BUSH – 1 DEMOCRATS – 0

The president needs a check and a balance. This president hasn’t had one, hasn’t listened to others, including his top military commanders, and it’s about time he did. Harry ReidAnd Congress, I think, has the responsibility, not just the power, the responsibility to speak out and to change the course when you have a failing course, which is what we’re on in Iraq. – Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan “Meet The Press” 2/24/07

The public is saying, ‘We hired you to get out of Iraq – now figure it out.’– Tom Matzzie, Washington director of the anti-war group MoveOn.org

Yup. And yup.

Guess what?

Coming up on six weeks now since Nancy Pelosi dragged the kid-props up to the rotunda on Capitol Hill with her nifty gavel, and she is, along with dozens of her fellow Democrat freshman congressmen, officially full of shit. This shatters the Republican Revolution’s record set in 1995 by nine months, an amazing feat of deceit even by my low-ball standards. Somewhere Newt Gingrich is green with envy. He is no longer the king of shallow congressional promises. Long Live the Queen!

Why is Pelosi Speaker of the House? The Democrats control Congress. Why do they control Congress? The Republicans have stunk up the joint, spawned several deviants, and the Iraq occupation has turned out to be one of the most egregious embarrassments in U.S. military history. What did all of the Democrats promise if they took power? Make the president accountable and force his hand in continuing this strategic atrocity. Have they done this? No.

The collective reasoning? We tried, but there is too much opposition from Republicans and not enough support or votes or a scintilla of a sane idea or plan from us…yet. What a shocker! Campaign promises gone awry. Wow. I am stunned. Democrats weak, unorganized and ill prepared? Hard to fathom. Nothing is going to change? Holy Kick-Boxing Jesus you can knock me over with a feather.

At the time of this writing, Congress has given up trying to curtail this president’s murderous folly to spike troop numbers into an all-out civil war. This is bad news for voters (suckers) who sent these lying sons of bitches to do the work of the American people in the first place. As usual, the concept of voting has failed us, leaving the only solution promoted by this space for close to a decade: Ready your muskets.

As usual, the concept of voting has failed us, leaving the only solution promoted by this space for close to a decade: Ready your muskets.

Man, I never tire of writing that. It rolls off the tongue like “Be all you can be” or “Where’s the beef?” or “The greatest show on earth” and all the other hyped folderol that separates us from our money or limbs.

How much longer before we have a draft, kiddies? How much money is left in the coffers to dump into this suicide mission? How much more damage can the architects of this four-plus-year fiasco be allowed to cause?

Christ we ask a lot of questions. Maybe we should just accept this spectacular string of incompetence with a song and a smile.

Well, at least we finally have prominent employees of our government coming to grips with the brutal truth we’ve been tossing around here for years now: The mess in Iraq can no longer be rationally referred to as a war but an occupation. The “stay the course” policy, while genuinely hokey and broadly stupid, has registered nothing in the way of stabilization much less victory, and whatever becomes of the chaos and destruction we’ve ignited in Iraq if we abandon ship, it can no longer include American lives without defining it as cold-blooded murder.

Senator Levin’s impressive if not uneven appearance on “Meet The Press” notwithstanding, we still have but a flaccid non-binding resolution from the Democratic-controlled Congress and more cowardly filibustering from wounded Republicans, and our Boy President still gets to push his chips (military lives) onto the table blindly hopeful of dealing into an inside straight.

I would give anything to be on Jack Murtha’s payroll right now. Just so I could see the crimson begin to fill his pallid features. Oh, yes. It is an ugly sight, made uglier only by what is happening to Ted Kennedy’s exploding head.

“Iraq is going to be there – it’s just a question of when we get back to it,” announced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week.

All righty, then. Why doesn’t Mr. Reid tell that to the soon-to-be slaughtered kids ushered off to this meat grinder? Iraq may still be there, but unfortunately they have no such guarantees.

And why don’t those gutless Republican jack-offs who keep blocking any debate on a diverse plan of attack join them. Mike Castle, Howard Coble, Tom Davis, John Duncan Jr., Phil English, Wayne Gilchrest, Bob Inglis, Sam Johnson, Ric Keller, Mark Steven Kirk, Steven LaTourette, Ron Paul, Tom Petri, Jim Ramstad, Fred Upton, Jim Walsh, among others are trading on more lives and tons of our tax dollars to save the obliterated legacy of this aborted presidency. All of these men should never see another term in the service of this country. And we will lend all of our undying support and meager resources to seeing them destroyed.

I know why George Bush has to remain steadfast. As stated ad nauseam in this space for years now, it’s an all or nothing proposition for him. Everyone with half a brain save Dick (keep your sunny side up) Cheney – insert your own joke here – believe things will turn out well if the clock were to buzz on this disaster. As long as Captain Shoo-In keeps it alive, no one can say he officially lost. But this is the very reason why the most nationally focused mid-term election since 1994 swept in a new party, a party that ran crazy on anti-war rhetoric, but has come up dismally short. And now, instead of some semblance of order, a lean on the never-ending madness of King George, we have more of the same.

“House Democrats met for an hour and a half behind closed doors trying to figure out what exactly the Democratic position on Iraq is,” says our pal, Tucker Carlson. “Democrats say, ‘we were elected on our position on Iraq’, but isn’t this the kind of thing they should have thought through as a group maybe before the election?”

And once again we say…yup.

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