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Obama Victory 2012

 

Aquarian Weekly
11/14/12
REALITY CHECK

THE JOE COOL STOMP II
Barack Obama Doubles Down On History

That was fun. Eighteen months of hard campaigning, billions of dollars spent, hundreds of speeches, rallies and whistle stops, trillions of words spewed from every avenue of punditry, and here we are: President Barack Obama, Republican Congress, Democratic Senate.

How did we get to status quo?

Obama VictoryFirstly, this was about Barack Obama. Beyond the distractions of his opponent’s mostly sub-par to at times atrocious candidacy, this victory cements his place as the most impressive Democratic presidential candidate since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It’s not even close. Truman barely survived Dewey. LBJ quit. Kennedy was murdered. Carter never had a prayer. Clinton failed to win the popular vote twice. Joe Cool stomped the terra. Took the names and buried the comers. In my lifetime, this was the domain of Republican candidates. Until Obama.

Obama achieved the impossible, twice. Just by getting elected as the first African-American president in the first place; not to mention as a northern, liberal, two-year senator, and then, weakened and vulnerable, repeating the achievement as the owner of the highest unemployment as any victorious incumbent from either party since 1936. Thirty years from now journalists and head-scratching Republicans will have to listen to the myths of Barack Obama the way we’ve had to endure those of Ronald Reagan. He is the liberal pillar to Reagan’s conservative one; both men overcoming recession, harsh and unfair attacks from opponents, and a mid-term congressional dump to win an impressive re-election.

Just like the old liberal establishment of the early twentieth century failed to comprehend the pall of the Depression Era, the fatigue of world wars and the yolk of government had faded into the yuppie gore of the 1980s, there is an equally fervent rejection of reality by the Cold War, trickle-down nerds who have been living in a nether world of falsehoods that finally came home to roost on November 6, 2012.

Republicans will argue, and it is starting right now as I write this, four minutes before Mitt Romney’s concession speech, that the candidate merely sucked. He did suck. But if so, he’s sucked for seven years, and despite a TEA Party uprising in 2010 that brought the GOP back from a post-Bush funeral, he, and not a true conservative became the party’s overwhelming choice. And with more disposable cash than any candidate in American history, he was trounced.

Turns out, Romney’s high watermark was that evening in Denver when his campaign was ditched and he boldly unleashed the biggest ass kicking anyone is likely to see in a presidential debate again. Before that his team was deeply divided and the candidate’s performance poor. His desperate lurch to the center and then to shamelessly mirror his opponent in the final debate confused anyone paying attention for more than a few weeks. And perhaps keeping him from any interviewer, radio microphone or television camera for the last 45 days of the race made it impossible for the electorate to embrace him.

But this was not a Romney problem. For weeks nearly every conservative commentator fell over one another to tell us that all the polls were wrong and “momentum this” and “enthusiasm that”. “You’ll see!” they all said. They just didn’t have anything to back it up, like polls or data; not unlike their candidate’s economic math or dozens of other campaign promises that were devoid of detail. It is this kind of disconnection from reality that has plagued the Republican brand for years now, whether in matters of social, cultural or economic concerns.

No campaign, especially those that Rove’s $400 million-plus American Crossroads miserably failed to rescue, can ever make the mistake of ignoring this reality again.

A lot of people got a kick out the Republican Primaries, it was great political theater, but they also scared the hell out of many more. Fighting against gay rights with religious nonsense, dismissing women’s health care as promiscuousness, treating the human element of immigration reform as if rounding up cattle, laughing at climate change and trashing the government you’re auditioning to run was a recipe for November 6, 2012.

This parade of nonsense helped build on Obama’s overwhelming demographic dominance, putting the onus on the GOP to expand its ever-dwindling voting block — working-class whites, religious fanatics, married white women, neo-cons, and fat cats. Fact is right now there is a pretty good chance the next 20 years of trends whether ethnic, social, or gender will land squarely in the opposition party’s column. An entire generation of young people has now come out to vote for a Democratic president twice. The old adage is that three such elections and you have that voter for life.

The Obama Machine, which gained its fangs in those drag-outs against the mighty Clintons in 2008 and designed the nation’s finest grass roots ground game ever, has set the standard. Pinpoint inner polling, a Herculean get-out-the-vote discipline, county-by- county retail political sweeps, and heavy demographic targeting as precise and lethal as a military engagement will be the norm now, not the exception. Fossils like Karl Rove, Michael Barone, George Will, and Dick Morris, who were all sure Romney would win, (Morris predicted a landslide) applied the last vestiges of the loser’s lament; wishful thinking, when well-researched and irrefutable arithmetic were readily available to them. Rove, once the boy genius of a time now long past, was so flummoxed election night he openly fought on the air with the FOXNEWS statisticians until the cold reality of his folly had stripped him bare. No campaign, especially those that Rove’s $400 million-plus American Crossroads miserably failed to rescue, can ever make the mistake of ignoring this reality again.

And finally, the statistical matrix of the race, specifically the superstar, Nate Silver and his 538 blog, with its weighted poll system and de-junking of antiquated systems, has turned a heretofore unreliable prognostication tool into a dead-on indicator of voter loyalties and leanings. This has changed the very landscape of politics forever. Dismissing this data or failing to use these tools as vital measuring sticks to victory for candidates by any campaign or the media from now on will be done at their peril.

Silver is the great revelation of this 2012 presidential campaign. His miraculously stellar 2010 prediction odds were only outdone by the nearly six months of consistent and illuminating polling data that never once gave Mitt Romney a more than 30 percent chance of victory, and as late as Election Day provided Barack Obama a 92 percent probability rating, based solely on fastidiously balanced internal state numbers that failed to waver but only for a few weeks in October and then settled back out to the original and ultimately finishing totals.

Never has polling data been so reliable and in-depth at providing not only the correct outcome weeks even months ahead of time, but factored in all the information politicos, the press and the public would need to know about the electorate at large. Covering or following the ebb and flow of a presidential campaign will never be the same again. It is the political junkie’s equivalent of Einstein, Edison, you name it. Compared to Silver, the rest of the field was using sticks and rocks in an atomic age.

In many ways the 2012 election cycle was historic. Whether this results in competent governing is for those in the wishful thinking category. We feel sufficiently pleased that cold, hard reality won over bullshit for now. We take our victories where we can get them.

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Attorneys General Rogue Past

Aquarian Weekly 6/27/12 REALITY CHECK

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH U.S. ATTORNEYS GENERAL?

History lesson, kids.

Ready?

Okay, can you name a single United States attorney general that has not broken some kind of major law in the past, I don’t know, let’s say half century?

I cannot.

Eric HolderWell, there are a few, William B. Saxbe, Griffin Bell, and maybe two other guys. There’s also the technicality of what a certain attorney general did before taking the office, like Nicholas Katzenbach, who as deputy attorney general drafted the infamous memo to the dubious Warren Commission that cast light on a government cover-up of the JFK assassination: “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he had no confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial…Speculation about Oswald’s motivation ought to be cut off…Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat–too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.)…We need something to head off public speculation or Congressional hearings of the wrong sort.”

Be that as it may, the list of attorneys general, the chief law officer in the nation, having made mincemeat of some portion of the U.S. constitution is long. Very long.

For the purposes of current events, let’s first discuss the sitting attorney general, Eric Holder, who has been in the news for the Fast & Furious mess that has sullied his status, career and reputation. Without delving too deeply into Holder’s shenanigans here, there is absolutely nothing, not some, nothing that is legal about what Fast & Furious was supposed to achieve. Handing over a spectacular cache of weaponry to Mexican drug lords to track their use that ends up in the murder of an American border patrol agent is hardly murky. It’s indefensible. He simply belongs in prison for this. Not sure what has kept him working all this time. Election year? The possession of nude pictures of the first lady?

Holder’s screw up in all its drug running gun toting glory is a doozy, no question, but what I’m after is bigger; an explanation on why these top level law officers, specifically during my lifetime, have shown a complete disregard for the law. It’s as if by merely representing a concept, it is an invitation to flout it.

Power grab? Circumstance? Bad luck?

It is not coincidental that there has been a spate of attorneys general that for one excuse after another ignored their station — national security being the niftiest excuse — to better treat the law of the land as toilet paper.

Most recently was George W. Bush’s Alberto Gonzalez, who was for all intents and purposes using the Department of Justice as a political tool to launch trumped-up investigations of Democratic congressmen.

Before Gonzalez, John Ashcroft’s Patriot Act was so blatantly unconstitutional it was almost surreal, the only thing that topped it was the complete capitulation of the electorate, including yours truly, figuring that it was so off the charts loony that there was no way to actually enforce half of it. This of course turned out to be true, as the hundreds of lawsuits brought against the government has been successful. It became so messy for Ashcroft, he had to bail after memos circulated amongst his staff that the Justice Department handed iron-fisted powers of surveillance and torture to the executive branch, which included ignoring of the Third Geneva Convention, the ABM Treaty and the convenient sidestep of the First and Fourth Amendments under the auspices of “national security”.

It is not coincidental that there has been a spate of attorneys general that for one excuse after another ignored their station — national security being the niftiest excuse — to better treat the law of the land as toilet paper.

Janet Reno, serving as Bill Clinton’s attorney general, acted on flimsy intelligence about “militia groups” and presided over the massacre of 76 Americans in a compound outside Waco, Texas. For reasons only know to her, a lunatic preacher and his wisecracking and heavily armed Branch Davidians (many of them women and children) deserved to be eradicated with full military force. Later, Reno was held, as is Holder, in contempt of congress for withholding documents implicating the justice department for failing to pursue investigations of known Democratic donors.

That brings us to my favorite, Edwin Meese, as terrible a human being, assuming he was one, as has ever held high office in this land, and that, my friends, is saying something. Funny thing is he isn’t close to the worst attorney general. Meese was charged but not convicted (a technicality at best) and later resigned in disgrace over the Wedtech Scandal, wherein a company he was culling a paycheck from was given easy access to Department of Defense contracts that cost taxpayers millions. But that pales in comparison to the unmitigated contempt Meese held for the First Amendment, which he attacked ceaselessly by harassing every avenue of free expression above and beyond any sane description of his job. And should I bother going into his shameless manipulation behind the scenes to successfully, for a time, keep the dirt off his boss, Ronald Reagan for the outlandishly illegal Iran/Contra affair?

Reagan’s previous attorney general, William French Smith was another in a long line to be held in contempt of congress. This time it was Smith’s turn to withhold documents during an investigation of General Dynamics Corp., a weapons company in the pocket of the federal government for decades.

But Reagan’s clan was not nearly as roguish as Dick Nixon’s.

First, there’s John Mitchell, who paid money to everyone under the sun to commit a series of covert spying crimes against American citizens and sitting government officials, amongst other “national security” concerns surrounding students, protestors and private churches. Mitchell was clinically insane and was sacked by Nixon to parade in a cabal of attorneys general to keep the president from going to jail, including Richard Kleindienst, whose silence in the face of several pay-offs for a phalanx of criminals launched from inside the White House during the Watergate crisis lead eventually to Robert Bork, who carried out Nixon’s manic “Saturday Night Massacre”. This included, among a host of many others, the firing of his predecessor, Eliot Richardson, who had the job for five months.

This was what they call in the law business, the golden age of mayhem.

Then there is the curious case of Robert Kennedy, who had never tried a single case in any court in any land. In a case of nepotism run amok, Kennedy was given the post by his brother as payback for his father’s fixing the 1960 general election in at least five states. And although never outwardly breaking the law, RFK used his position and unusual access to the highest office in the land to heights never intended for attorney general. These include the covert negotiations with Soviet diplomats over the deployment of U.S. missiles in Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis and ushering prostitutes and starlets for JFK’s favor to and from the secret White House pool.

Not sure any of the above has to do with interpreting the law unless it is to interpret it through the prism of, at best, questionable behavior, which is what Eric Holder is now doing in the great tradition of the office.

 

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Look Away Dixie Land

Aquarian Weekly 3/28/12 REALITY CHECK

LOOK AWAY DIXIE LAND

In human history a moral victory is always a disaster, for it debauches and degrades both the victor and the vanquished. – H.L. Mencken

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton Old times there are not forgotten Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land. – Daniel Decatur Emmett

Ah, the South. Lincoln’s great mistake; not allowing a full and complete secession from the Union to stand, providing the free-market mechanism to eventually take from it the power, ideology and half-baked customs that has been the bane of the American existence for lo these many decades. By crushing the South militarily, it not only cost the 16th president his life, but it left the defeated with a sense of martyrdom and the pangs of vengeance which has filled volumes of American literature, sordid history and rancorous expression for 147 long years. Since, the South never disappoints when it comes to shenanigans of all kinds — political, social, racial, religious; it remains our witless cousin; the one the money people like the Kennedys or the Romneys would keep in the basement and feed dog food and tell the neighbors was a bad rumor.

Trayvon MartinOh, but the South is not a bad rumor. It is real.

Well, as real as the South gets.

Apparently in our most southern of states, Florida, a certified legal and binding prefecture of these United State — where law breeds a hazy mystical sludge and civil rights are up for debate on color, sexual orientation, gender, religious affiliation, patriotism, media outlets and celebrity — you can kill another citizen and not be incarcerated. Joining Texas, South Carolina and Mississippi for this nation’s highest under-prosecuted murder rate and by far highest hate-crime per capita, the Sunshine State takes front and center this week for its ham-fisted legislative racketeering and obligatory confederate axiom to shoot first and figure out the motivation much, much, much later.

Much later.

Twenty-six days later by the time of this writing.

The shooting of a17 year-old African American boy named Trayvon Martin by a civilian that carried the vague title of Neighborhood Watchman, which in the real world and not that of the South means vigilante, has yet to include an arrest. The alleged killer, George Zimmerman, who has a criminal record and a history of domestic violence, reported on a 911 call that Martin “looked suspicious” and then for reasons only known to Zimmerman gunned the boy down with nothing more than a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea on him.

Whoops.

Whoops that end in the death of a citizen, whether black, white, green or purple, whether teenager, infant, cross-dresser, priest or octogenarian in the real world and not that of the South usually ends in at first a manhunt, and especially in this case, wherein there is a full admission of guilt, an arrest.

This is not merely a South problem it is humanity’s problem, however the environment, the aura, and the acceptable social behaviors of these states and their region of origin do not legally sanction such arbitrarily deadly behavior.

What is keeping Zimmerman a free man is a very interesting law (not in the real world and only that of the South) passed by the Florida state legislature and signed into law by its then governor, the honorable Jeb Bush in 2005. Called “Stand Your Ground’, this law allows citizens to carry automatic weapons and use them at their discretion if feeling threatened. According to statistics released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, since the law was enacted seven years ago, justified homicides in Florida have jumped threefold.

Whoops.

Yes, and while I have to say that I am certainly on the fence about such a law in that if it had been available to me, along with an automatic weapon of my choosing, in the Bronx from 1962 to 1972 and central New Jersey from 1972 to 1982, and certainly in Westchester, New York from 1982 to 2001, and here in the great mountains of New Jersey from 2001 to the present day, there would be a phalanx of bodies piled up behind me from the proverbial here to the probable there. Oh, yes. I felt threatened, was threatened, and beyond that all-out assaulted by every manner of cretin known to civilized man. Having the opportunity to shoot these people might have appealed to me then, especially if the law allowed it, and the law, in Florida (not in the real world and only that of the South) indeed does.

Whoops.

Okay, so maybe as Zimmerman and the confused and beleaguered Sanford city local government and police force maintain, he was threatened, assaulted or put down by a 17 year-old kid and his buddies armed with sugar water and fruity candy, then maybe, according to the law, he has a case. He has done nothing wrong. Justice? For what, protecting his personage against onslaught — real or imagined? Remember the law clearly states that all one needs is to “feel threatened” by someone “looking suspicious”. Justified killing on a feel and a look is regional dialect for not in the real world and only that of the South.

Or…

The South shall rise again.

So now, as with Louisiana during Katrina and Texas during Waco and Mississippi during the 1960s with the murders of Medgar Evars and Martin Luther King, burning of black churches, killing of voter rights protestors — sheesh, I have no room for all of Mississippi’s bullshit — and on and on and on, the federal government, already broke, and the American citizenry, always the collective fall-guy for this nonsense, will have to pay for a proper investigation.

This is, after all, Florida, which gave us the constitutional crisis known as the 2000 presidential election (orchestrated by, you got it, the honorable Jeb Bush) that took federalist comedy to new lows. But even for a fairly screwed up political system, this is a pretty substantial clusterfuck. Dead kids are bad for business. Dead black kids, well that’s bad for everyone everywhere, especially in the South.

Look, no one is claiming that if such a law were to make it through the New York state legislature or in Minnesota or Massachusetts or Illinois that people wouldn’t be “feeling” like shooting each other “under suspicion” hourly. This is not merely a South problem it is humanity’s problem, however the environment, the aura, and the acceptable social behaviors of these states and their region of origin do not legally sanction such arbitrarily deadly behavior.

This is what goes on in the South.

Whoops…it’s legal.

 

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Victory For Gay Rights & America 2010

Aquarian Weekly 8/11/10 REALITY CHECK

VICTORY FOR LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ALL How the Fight for Gay Marriage Remains Alive & Well

Tradition alone cannot form a rational basis for a law.– Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker upon overturning California’s Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage unconstitutional

God bless America.

It is the greatest nation on the planet, for its governed by the rule of law and not that of majority moral conviction, religious fervor or the whims of the elite or the blather of ignorance and fear. It has stood fast against the forces of enslavement, civil injustice and a strangely reoccurring superstitious perpetuation of discrimination. The echoes of Thomas Jefferson’s most precious ideal; that “all men are created equal” may have been ignored at first, diluted by the times, manifest in period and geographic prejudices, and fueled undaunted by the disdain of the status quo, but was soon exalted, as it must in a country boasting from on high that its land be made free.

Rights For AllHere is a rather important portion of Article XIV of our beloved Constitution (which some crazy people are currently pitching to repeal, because they have horse dung for brain tissue): “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Yee-Ha!

These core ideals, the very fabric of a cause of liberty and a noble Bill of Rights, solidified in the ever-evolving Constitution of these United States (the above “Equal Protection Clause” was added in 1868) gives rise this week to the most important court ruling since the Civil Rights era; the complete and utter rejection of California’s ridiculous Proposition 8. A child with the most basic understanding of middle-school civics could have come to the same conclusion as that of Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who has ruled that Prop 8 is “unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.”

Of course it is.

Of course denying basic civil rights to tax paying members of this purported free society is not only a blight on our trumped-up sense of national pride, it makes a mockery of our veiled but continued attempt to lecture a good portion of the rest of the world on their human rights abuses. For the entire dozen-plus years I have been filling this space with my bent ideas and half-baked concepts, there has never been a more perplexing case; this denial of basic civil rights, which for some unseemly reason has been cast in votes (in 31 states over 10 years) and debated in churches and private sector forums. It’s a goddamn Right, not the placement of a traffic light or the disbursement of funds to irrigation valleys. Why are we voting on who has access to the Bill of Rights?

Guess what, jack?

In his 135-page ruling, (in this author’s judgment, a more wonderfully thought-provoking and masterfully worded screed of constitutional interpretation has yet to be compiled) Judge Walker, a G.H. Bush appointee, stated that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry the person of their choosing, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, because “describing marriage as being simply between one man and one woman is an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life.”

Bing-fuckin’-O.

The very idea that we allowed votes on this fundamental issue of basic civil rights is one of the great embarrassments of this or any century around here. And to think, it was never even denied on the grounds of the most outlandish understanding of the law or the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, or a goddamned thing this republic was founded and continues to persist on; liberty and justice for all.

Therefore, again — of course — the argument for denying the rights of American citizens based on some atavistic, superstitious, (gulp!) religious notion has so little merit it becomes a form of grotesque tragic comedy performed by the most irrational among us.

“That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 9 is irrelevant.” writes Walker. “Fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

In fact, Walker correctly ruled, “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”

Reason trumps Moral Private View; got it.

Enter stage right, the Equal Protection Clause, which was the key to another landmark ruling last month in Massachusetts in which a federal judge also ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Constitution.

Moreover, as a key part of his ruling, Judge Walker goes on to discuss social matters of gender and race inequalities, both of which litter our recent history of civil rights abuses (until as recently as 1967, men and women of different races were forbidden to marry in 16 states) and which sadly the majority of Americans supported.

The very idea that we allowed votes on this fundamental issue of basic civil rights is one of the great embarrassments of this or any century around here. And to think, it was never even denied on the grounds of the most outlandish understanding of the law or the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, or a goddamned thing this republic was founded and continues to persist on; liberty and justice for all.

Evidence of this appears throughout the 138-page ruling, which recounts in stirring detail a parade of incredulous testimony by unsubstantiated “experts” that made no attempt beyond moral outrage and dire predictions of fires in the streets and Satan laughing. (I shit you not, read the damn thing). The Emperor was not only butt naked; he was certifiably insane and had the balls to wield a measure of unchecked power.

Not anymore, bub.

And now, it is on to the Supreme Court — the ultimate destination for this imperative civil rights decision, and for the two attorneys that chose to defend liberty, Ted Olson, who represented G.W. Bush in the famous 2000 general election Gore v. Bush battle, and his partner, the opponent in that very same case, David Boies. Not only does this politically bi-partisan legal team expect an appeal, they welcome it, as hinted in several places of Judge Walker’s ruling, wherein he evoked the name of Supreme Court Judge Anthony Kennedy, who over the years in several disparate cases has steadfastly decided on the side of gay rights. Not to mention the 80, that’s right, fans of the “crazy knee-jerk judge usurping the will of the people and moral superiority”, 80 detailed statements of fact.

And so August 4, 2010 becomes another in a long line of seminal dates in the spiral of American history; a victory for all Americans, who are perhaps a few years from saying we’re closer to providing all citizens with the rights granted by the blood, treasure, and maverick brilliance that beats in humanity’s finest experiment in liberty.

It’s about time.

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Labron James Play Basketball

Aquarian Weekly 7/14/10 REALITY CHECK

LEBRON JAMES PLAYS BASKETBALL

Tell me, Britney, why did the chicken cross the road? Because he wanted to be seen. The chicken is smart, he is cool. He is making a sound investment in himself — unless he is drunk, and then he has no future. But he wins either way. If the chicken is Flamboyant as he crosses the road, he will soon be rich and famous. If he is bitchy and neurotic, he will be eliminated. This is the Law of the Road.

– Hunter S. Thompson Stadium Living In A New Age

It is 3:25 pm on the eighth day of a brutally hot first week of July in NYC, and by all accounts among many of the sporting, national and celebrity press, LeBron James is the most famous man on planet earth. The pro basketball star’s brief but much ballyhooed free agency from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers has pushed him into the Babe Ruth/Muhammad Ali realm of sport celebrity with hardly the resume or the personality to warrant such lofty comparisons. Although the league’s reigning MVP, displaying an almost blithe afterthought to his glimpses of magnificence (this space once described him less athlete than artist, his performances more akin to Jimi Hendrix than Pistol Pete Maravich), James’ greatest gift may lie in simply being famous.

The KingMore than mere fame, James is the ultimate capitalist in a socialist construct.

The National Basketball Association aka the Magic/Bird/MJ Enterprise is one of three major American pro sports which utilize a salary cap, putting a limit on otherwise free market organizations to what they can pay their employees, who also uniquely double as the product. Worse still, the NBA enforces a “hard cap” that is practically impossible to circumvent, as say the more laissez fare National Football League cap, which is mostly a joke considering the pathetic lack of a player’s union and no guarantee of payment should a player get brutally injured and can no longer produce to the agreed-upon salary’s level of performance.

James pisses on this.

The King will not only get his somehow, either through sweetened deals that involve part ownership or piggy-backed marketing deals and merchandizing sweeteners, but also, as has never before been seen in sport — the balls to broker deals with players from other teams, like-minded free agents, and hungry general managers, who have and will restructure their previous plans for one guy’s personal and professional happiness.

Atlas shrugs and we cannot get enough.

This is why it is fitting James waltzes around in a NY Yankees cap, the most successful and powerful franchise in the only pro sport not completely communistic in formation, despite its mostly unconstitutional and laughably irrational anti-trust exemption and the dipshits who own the Red Sox whining like bitches every year. This has allowed baseball to be run as a drunken land baron haven for decades — denying civil rights and promoting every form of cheating known to the art of gaming. The Yankees, who are forced to pay an exceedingly un-America luxury tax as a consequence of running the most outlandishly fantastic competitive business model ever conceived by the most brilliant titans of industry, continue to buck every system and traverse every era with unprecedented domination.

But again comparing LeBron James to the NY Yankees would be like putting your sixth grade science project up against the Atomic Bomb.

Having said that, not even the world’s greatest sports franchise with 27 titles, a billion dollar price tag, and a brand spanking new grandiose stadium can best the self-promotion machine whose very nickname, King James only hints at the spectacular level of narcissism he has achieved in a remarkably short time. Some seven years removed from his High School senior prom in a nowhere town in Ohio, James has parlayed his extraordinary skills into something akin to the Age of Vaudeville meets the Kennedys.

Money, Fame, Power: This is Horatio Alger on a John Galt jag worthy of Ulysses, jack.

For the past week, the nation’s, and in some cases, the world’s major newspapers, web sites, blogs and television programs from the Today Show to Nightline has either lead, plugged or speculated about his every move, mood, and machinations. And have there ever been machinations; from clandestine entourage meetings and strangely devised leaks to stock spikes (Cablevision shares — owners of the NY Knicks — exploded on a vague rumor he might choose Madison Square Garden to ply his trade).

Five or six franchises, the chosen few that could hope to afford him monetarily or accommodate him with the best plan for winning, wheeled their entire operations — owners, front office personnel, marketing firms, public relations departments, former players and in some cases jock-sniffing celebrities — to Ohio to woo his services.

Throughout the proceedings major stars of every major sport commented, tweeted, and weighed in on his “Decision”, which coincidently became the name of a one-hour “live network special” on ESPN later tonight. The James’ camp pitched the idea to the more than eager all-sports network to eat up 60 minutes of airtime smack in the middle of Major League Baseball season and days from the World Cup Finals on the whim of one man.

Money, Fame, Power: This is Horatio Alger on a John Galt jag worthy of Ulysses, jack.

No one denies James is a fine pro basketball player; perhaps casual fans would consider him the best in the game. Closer inspection by more astute followers of the sport would rank him considerably below former league MVP and five-time world champion, Kobe Bryant, after his pedestrian performance in key moments in an unceremonious ousting by the Boston Celtics in this year’s play-offs. At times it looked as if James had already begun his exit from the poor win-starved hamlet of Cleveland, as he walked around half stunned on the periphery as far less famous and powerful types chucked up an agonizing series of putrid shots to doom his season. At one point the cameras caught him on the bench during a time out with his eyes closed, as if in a Zen-like state of centering his chi on grander notions.

Those notions, it appears to all in the know, ended up in Miami to play in one of the worst sports towns in America for the Heat simply because his two favorite Olympic teammates, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the latter of which is currently a contracted member of another team, held the league and their teams hostage to form an unholy bond. By the time the words “take my talents to South Beach” left his mouth, James’ jerseys and parts of downtown Cleveland burned, the Westside of Manhattan began to formulate interesting ways to chant “pussy” and the south side of Chicago sighed with relief they wouldn’t have to be pissed at him for not being Michael Jordan.

It was all part of a monumental plan hatched by the most famous capitalist in the world.

This week.

 

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TEA Party Fun

Aquarian Weekly 3/17/10 REALITY CHECK

THE CURIOUS CASE OF “THE AL QAEDA 7”Defining the Enemy in the Age of Hypocrisy

Here we go again; more political agenda masquerading as public outrage with cheaply framed ham-fisted watchdog techniques. As boring and antiquated as James Madison’s smear campaign against John Adams during the 1800 presidential campaign against his boss, Thomas Jefferson, its methods reek of American tradition, often misunderstood in its time by neophytes and professional chicken littles as uncharted calamitous abuse of power, treason and other grade-school malarkey passed off as editorial comment.

Keep America SafeThis week another in the long line of innocuous watchdog groups, made legitimate merely by its Internet presence, decided to take on the Justice Department for its failure to release all nine names of lawyers hired by the federal government despite their history of defending members of al Qaeda, in so doing ostensibly putting into question their patriotic loyalty. An ad run on YOUTUBE by Keep America Safe, founded by so-called journalist and full-time whiner, William Krystal and the unfortunate offspring of the polluted Cheney genes named Liz, strongly suggested a cover-up, neatly dubbed The Al Qaeda 7.

Ignoring the fact that these idiots vehemently defended the first president to suffer a significant attack on two major American cities by foreign intruders since the War of 1812, Keep American Safe has every right to besmirch the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder by calling into question the legitimacy of its federal employees. Its members and founders are American citizens, and as such pay their salaries. They deserve, as we all do, the transparency of our government, its agendas, and its effect on its citizenry. Transparency or bust! I get it.

The problems with this half-assed ad hominem attack begin to emerge when you consider the fact that just four short years ago the KAS founders argued tooth-and-nail the right for then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to dismiss over two dozen federal attorneys on political and not performance grounds. And when pressed on the issue of the highly unconstitutional Patriot Act, run rather illegally by the very same Justice Department they are now criticizing, with its fancy spying on American citizens, again, a stringent defense on the grounds of, get this, national security.

Whew, the hypocrisy meter just busted. Let’s pause to adjust the sucker and continue if we can keep the laughter to a minimum.

All of a sudden transparency is tantamount, whereas before it was something close to treason to suggest the government tell us what the hell it’s doing. Nifty.

All of a sudden transparency is tantamount, whereas before it was something close to treason to suggest the government tell us what the hell it’s doing. Nifty.

Oh, and by the way, it is important to point out at this juncture in the rant that anyone can and has uncovered the names of these lawyers merely by surfing the Web.

And lest we forget the steaming pile of hypocrisy offered up by the other side, we now have scores of liberals up in arms that anyone, never mind conservative axe-grinders, dare question the integrity of the Justice Department, which was rightfully battered for years during the scarred Nixon and Reagan administrations.

Questionable backgrounds of lawyers? Shit, this is tidily winks for the Justice Department, the home of the most heinous rogues to ever chair a position of power in the guise of law enforcement, offering a gaggle of attorney generals so completely undaunted by such nonsense as constitutional rule their names and deeds echo terror in the hearts of those unlucky to remember.

In my lifetime alone we have the president’s little brother, Bobby Kennedy, who not only sat on the assistant counsel of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under the drunken monster that was Joseph McCarthy, but also had the audacity to take the mob to task after its machinations put him and big bro in power in the first place. Then there is the always hilarious lying to the Soviets about the removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey whilst the entire eastern seaboard of the United States stood in peril. Oh, and who can forget the always fun-loving John Mitchell, who not only fought to enforce civil rights laws in the South and sought conspiracy charges against protestors of the Viet Nam War, but also merrily bankrolled Dick Nixon’s multi-million dollar domestic spying, smear and surveillance schemes before being shuffled off to prison.

Why stop there?

The legend that is Edwin Meese III, whose murderously ill-conceived crackdown on student protestors in Berkeley as then Governor Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff made him the perfect dupe for the bungling crimes of Iran-Contra, which only succeeded his unlocking the door for the social conservative movement that summarily wrecked the Republican Party and allowed a bunch of voodoo men to gain power over the ensuing decades.

And there’s barely any space left to discuss Janet Reno’s massacre of lunatics in Waco, Texas with a war-time arsenal of tanks and bombs, John Ashcroft’s post-9/11 use of the FBI as some weirdly formed Gestapo with a questionably legal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the sacked Operation TIPS that is so incredibly criminal it is far too complicated to detail here.

Business as usual.

Then there is the question of why any member of a terrorist cabal, especially a non-citizen, has a right to an attorney under U.S. law, which this space has already weighed in on more than once. To summarize: Anyone with a lust for martyrdom fueled by religious fantasy to destroy property, life and limb, has — to any reasonable estimation –officially checked out of society anyway, U.S. or otherwise. Fuck them.

But the thing is we can’t really “fuck them”, because whether Left or Right, America must stand for a rule of law or we as a nation, as a people, would be no more civilized than the bleating scum who aim to tear us down. Even if these wretched sons of excrement were tried in a military court, which some argue is better than a civil setting, representation must be provided, and assuming these attorneys are American citizens, they would have to be present. Does this make them terrorists? Does it make them sympathize with terrorists?

You see, Keep America Safe is just another “group” that has to find another “group” to paint with a broad brush as “evil” or “wrong” to justify the standing of their group, just as John Adams’s enemies painted him as a backstabbing Tory for his defense of British soldiers following the infamous Boston Massacre, perhaps the one incident that cemented in the minds of the colonists a spark of revolution; a revolution, mind you, championed as no other by Mr. Adams.

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Jimmy Carter’s Race Illusion

Aquarian Weekly 9/23/09 REALITY CHECK

THE RACE ILLUSION Jimmy Carter’s Insult As Excuse-Making

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. – Jimmy Carter

Jimmy CarterJimmy Carter, America’s political equivalent of Liz Taylor, who emerges every so often to stammer out the most insane gibberish known to freethinking man, used the NBC Nightly News this week to offer his derision of Southern whites and summarily branded the opposing voices to this president, an African-American, and his policies as racist. The former president’s descent into dementia was evident a few years ago while promoting a book on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, unfortunately entitled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, when an otherwise brilliant thinker haphazardly framed an almost amazingly infantile argument that would please many half-wits comparing the current Healthcare debate to Nazi Germany. And so it was then that Carter clearly established a preternatural need to turn vague comparisons into unflinching accusation, as if it were as simple as comparing a headache to decapitation.

Thus, his latest half-baked comments to a visibly flabbergasted Brian Williams, who was caught somewhere between the glee of a man with a scoop on his hands and an empathetic character wishing somehow the old fool would trail off into the sunset, has a familiar ring to it: Disrespect for the office of president, his policies and his authority, is nothing less than veiled racial discrimination.

Bad move. Not constructive. Distracting.

The thing is, although it was as cheap and weak as the defenders of the last president calling everyone unpatriotic, I get Carter’s point. He is a proud Southerner, born and bred in a time when Jim Crow laws ruled and a random lynching was part of the Sunday morning church activities. He’s nauseated by and sensitive to these issues, like say, Bill Cosby, who also felt the need to weigh in on the subject; a proud black man, who was wrongly denied his rights in a time of segregation and systemic violence against his people. I get it. We all get it.

However, nobody needs Jimmy Carter and Bill Cosby comparing those with opposing views to a sickeningly large number of card-carrying racist dummies in the South and by proxy their representatives like Joe Wilson from South Carolina, who has spent his entire time down there defending the flying of the Confederate Flag above the state capitol as some kind of noble Southern legacy, instead of what it actually represents; the total and utter defeat of America’s greatest crime against humanity.

This is all common knowledge, but how it reflects on the current debate about Healthcare or any other discussion of our current president’s policies, or how he is “treated” in the face of them, is patently unfair and frankly further muddies an already sludge-filled river of nonsense emanating from all sides.

This president, this time, and this place are all the beginnings of a healing period on this subject that has rarely been as pivitol in the national politic.

Not to mention that broaching racism now flies in the face of the most momentous and game-changing elections in our great country’s tarnished history. A mere nine months after a substantial majority of Americans of all race, creed and color were dancing in the streets, shouting soliloquies from rooftops and filling the columns of major international newspapers with well-deserved celebration, and after a remarkable number of whites, suburban, urban or otherwise (48%, in fact) voted for the first African-American to lead a major ticket for president of the United States, its suddenly all about race now?

Ill-timed. Ill-conceived. Insulting.

Especially in defense of the very man who while running for the nation’s highest office never initiated the playing of the race card to curry favor or defend his right to lead. Only after ridiculous charges of terrorist sympathies and cloudy origins and a strange middle name was he forced to identify the elephant in the room; and even then he balked at the chance to challenge why his opponent, John McCain spent years trying to deny and eventually voted against making Martin Luther King Day a national holiday.

This president knew the score better than any of us when he decided to take on this challenge two years ago, something his Democratic opponent, a woman, didn’t get until it was too late. Not being the white, Anglo-Saxon cookie-cutter would be an easy target, but at the same time cannot be touched for fear of being labeled, and to be labeled in this country is the nastiest of things. It keeps us from offering opinions that we really mean and then retract post-backlash.

What is most disturbing about posing even the most extremist dissent as racism is it lends itself to the promotion of Victimhood, another American staple. Oh, poor Mr. Obama. He has no chance against the rowdy, gun toting, Bible freaks! What? He’s the fucking president. He was chosen as such during the most widely reported and highly attended election on record. He has the Constitution at his back and the army at his disposal.

Secondly, and most importantly, this entire mess completely ignores the main tactic used against presidents by their opponents; a scheme as old as the powdered wigs capping the skulls of the founders of this grand experiment. It is Politics 101, and it has been used against every chief executive since I’ve been sucking air — Kennedy was a Roman Catholic beholden to the Pope, Reagan was a doddering old fart capable of incinerating us all, Bush senior was a wimp and his baby boy a dim bulb, Clinton was a slick hippy and our beloved Jimmy Carter a dumb hick.

The stereotype the opposition has laid on Barack Obama is less about his color than he being this media-created myth, a neophyte who is incapable of leadership and thus a tool of the Democratic machine. Who knows anything about this guy? The unknown newbie, ushered into an office he barely deserves to steal bald eagles and piss on the Constitution.

Blah, blah, blah.

No one in recent memory had flown into the White House on the wings of such reverent falderal as Barack Obama, and because of this the opposition must mock, deride, and take the guy down a peg or two. It is the very core of what we do here in this space; peck away at the two-dimensional facade and see what remains. Whining about it only emboldens the charade. This is why the president immediately derided Carter’s comments as not constructive and hardly representative of his stance.

Race?

It will always play a big part of what’s going down; but to reduce it to a political tactic equal to the boorish attacks it faintly hopes to defuse is amateurish at best and at its worst plain ugly. This president, this time, and this place are all the beginnings of a healing period on this subject that has rarely been as pivitol in the national politic.

Women and minorities received their day in the public arena like no other this past November. It was rousing success. One I thought impossible. To return now to the standard hue and cry is tired 20th century thinking.

It’s the equivalent of painting those of us who think Sarah Palin a voodoo simpleton as misogynistic hate mongers.

Nice try.

 

 

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Obama Presidency Under Microscope

Aquarian Weekly 1/28/09 REALITY CHECK

THE CHANGE EXPRESS The Obama Presidency Under The Microscope

When the Kennedys rolled into Washington in the winter of 1961, there was some fanfare, much trepidation, and a long road of uncharted territory, but it was nothing like this. Cold War, Catholicism, youth, inexperience, and controversial election results aside; what Barack Obama walks into now is beyond anything Saucy Jack had to experience. It is quite simply unprecedented. Super BarrackSome of it is good; he is the first candidate since Ronald Reagan to win a significant victory with the “new” credential tag, he has the majority of the country’s demand for “change” in his back pocket, and is following a disastrous predecessor. The rest of it is bad, really bad; a stretched military on two fronts abroad and a broken economy the likes of which has not been seen in over half a century at home.

Pressure.

If the inauguration week was not enough of a pressure-cooker, wherein a tsunami of ethnic, special interest, celebrity and counter-culture voting blocks exposed their nerve endings over days of hyperbolic pomp, then the first hours on the job with nearly every single move dissected and analyzed should do it. The most asinine minutia surrounding a second “swearing in” for what the administration has called an “abundance of caution”, which ended in the predictably ridiculous harping on all-things Bible.

There is not much argument that even in its first hours, this is a presidency like none other, and not because the commander-in-chief is the most inexperienced since Abraham Lincoln or the first truly Liberal or obviously the first African-American, but because the Information Age, which has threatened to break down the doors of governance for decades, is in full swing. But what do you expect from a 24-Hour harangue of sound bites, borrowed clips and endless chatter on some ten year-old falling down a well in Fargo? When real news hits we need updates, explanations and scrutiny.

Pressure.

Big time.

Can you imagine if in the first ten months of The Change Express we’re attacked or if the new guy dares solicit blowjobs from the help? Not on your life, fella. Barack Obama can do nothing wrong, save his decision-making, which is always up for fair debate. But pulling an Iran-Contra or a “Read my lips” moment is hardly an option here. Not this time, and not now. What were considered nothing more than carefully structured mi culpas from Big Bill and a colossal host of “disappointments” for Captain Shoo-In will be nothing short of catastrophes for Joe Cool.

 

First time. One time. Every time.

This is what happens when an entire generation goes bust. The Boomers were supposed to “change” everything, but instead ushered The Sixties well into the 21st century with the Clinton and Bush failures. The chasm caused by the Kennedy/Nixon battle, up through the culture wars, civil rights marches and women’s movement, to the interminably long and outlandishly criminal Viet Nam conflict muddied their political genes; a divided country for forty-plus years culminating in the closest most contested and ambiguously decided national elections in U.S. history. So now here comes Joe Cool, not only a new ethnic face, a new ideological face, he is the face of a new and untested, unblemished generation.

Pressure.

This is why the pragmatic, almost robotic nature of Obama has been on display the second his ass hit the Oval Office chair. Beginning the Gitmo shutdown and outlawing any mode of torture, freezing government pay, banning members of his administration from lobbying, and expanding the parameters of the Freedom of Information Act amounts to more than a fair start. It certainly beats the hell out of minor tax cuts and midnight basketball. But if every president is judged on whom he chooses to accompany him on the ride, there is already much to deconstruct.

Firstly, the president’s cabinet is anything but Liberal or big government. Instead it is pockmarked with moderate Democrats and Republicans and even one former Bushie. The alarming preponderance of ex-Clinton types mock the “change” mantra, but appears as the lesser of the possible evils for the nagging “experience issue”. The best that can be said about this assemblage is its blatant ignoring of southern accents.

However, a few specifics offer red-faced embarrassment and outright Sarah Palin lack of vetting. Most pressing is the appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, which by any measure of objectivity reeks of political expediency and Democratic cronyism. And speaking of Clinton nightmares, the Eric Holder choice for attorney general with the stank of the abominably wretched Marc Rich pardon on him does not make it easy to forget the eventually disgraced John Ashcroft having once been bested by a dead man. And let’s just call tabbing Tim Geithner, a smarmy tax evader, for Treasury Secretary a bad joke and be done with it.

Call them hiccups or screw-ups based on your side of the ideological fence, but agree that they will not go away. These people, Joe Cool’s people, cannot be inept or sneaky or politically motivated or self-righteous or act merely out of self-preservation. They MUST function. This is not a rehearsal or a test or a weird kind of experiment. Barack Obama is the leader of the free world in a time when for the first time the United States of America is weaker economically, militarily, and ideologically than it has been since its great leap fifty years ago.

Excuses are past for dupes, half-ass types with insider connections, or daddy’s gaggle of mutants mucking up the joint. This is not the deal we signed on for, Mr. Obama. No surprises. No bate and switch. No mediocrity. No quarter.

First time. One time. Every time.

Pressure.

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So Long George W. Bush

Aquarian Weekly 1/21/09
REALITY CHECK

SO LONG CAPTAIN SHOO-IN: OUR BEDEVILED BOY HOWDY
A Reality Check Trip Down Memory Lane Covering The Bush Cabal

So Long, Captain

I feel for Captain Shoo-In. He is in over his head. Badly. But he cannot and will not stop. I could see it in his resolve, hear it in the quivering of his voice, and feel it in my bones. This is one Texan who is going all the way, staying at the table and waiting for the once-in-a-lifetime straight flush, banking on nailing the Trifecta or biding his time until Monday Night Football. As long as the bookie answers the phone, there’s a chance. This is why wars, like casinos, run 24-hours.HIGH STAKES — BAD BREAKS: 4/21/04

The final epitaph to the tenure of our 43rd president is that he was far more adept at procuring the job than actually performing it; manifested most glaringly in his rare public appearances when it seemed as if his brain experienced sharp stabbing contractions, a searing ache that dulled the reasoning centers allowing only facile gurgles to escape. This bizarre malady provided him with an unprecedented carte blanche to hand over his most pressing tasks to “pals” or more entrenched Washington types that proceeded to avail themselves of the most incredible streak of power mongering known to the office. What will be written in the years to come, as it has been in a record-shattering number of published mea culpa tomes for the past few years, is that the George W. Bush Administration presided over an impressive stretch of bad luck, poor execution, and finally, the ultimate dare to future presidents to prove themselves more inept.

The federal government failed us on 9/11. Its primary purpose is to protect our borders. The leader of this government happens to be the president. The president happens to be George W. Bush. The Electoral College decided that two Novembers ago. The Supreme Court upheld it. I defended its decision. Therefore I defend the right of the people of this republic to blame its leader for the death of its citizens and destruction of its property during a full-scale terrorist attack.THE BLAME GAME: 6/5/02

Any sober review of the Bush years is obliged to lead with 9/11/01 and his administration’s criminal lack of defense of the nation’s borders — specifically its greatest city — and the resultant actions of its fallout. Massive deficits, imploding economy, occupation of Iraq, domestic spying, predatory abuse of executive powers by the vice president, spectacular incompetence at several and varied levels of federal governance aside, the unconscionable tragedy of 9/11/01, and everything thereafter, is on Captain Shoo-In.

It was a name this space gave the governor of Texas in the summer of 2000, when we joined forces to halt what seemed like the inevitable march to power for Albert Gore Junior. Captain Shoo-In was part mockery, part prestige; carrying with it a purpose, more formula than man, more pomp than distinction. It is also how I referred to “the candidate” when I told his soon-to-be-famous puppet-master, Karl Rove, half-soused and thirsty for blood, that come autumn it was Go Time.

George W. Bush is a dumb ass and will no doubt be a useless leader in the fumes of this barely legal victory, but he won. Al Gore lost. To write that is divinely real, like Fitzgerald’s “high white note.” His stupidity notwithstanding, Bush will forever stand as the symbol of a two-party system joke rendered on a populace sure that it spits out the worst humanity can offer. But he is not Al Gore. He lost.REQUIEM FOR A LIGHTWEIGHT: 12/20/01

The world was before all of them then, the political madness, eerie paranoia, and foolish pathological waves of volume lying unfurled as if a red carpet of fantastic possibilities. Who knew it would present itself with alarming regularity over eight long, painful years; particularly the final half of those years when what was left of The Bush Legacy reeked with rampant humiliations culminating in being pushed to the curb by his own party during the 2008 presidential campaign and having shoes tossed at his head by rogue journalists in the country he bet his nuts on?

Gnashing of teeth is in vogue at the Pentagon these days, where they are heard weeping down the corridors, each one of them wondering what the hell happened? How did we, the strongest, richest, nation on earth wage a war so ineptly, so myopically, as to render what was a wounded, vengeful, united nation into a mass war protest? This was a popular war, now it appears to be the worst kind of murderous sham. PUNCHLINE IRAQ: 12/13/06

One For The ThumbCaptain Shoo-In never saw it coming. This was not his thing. Detail was like gum on his cowboy boots, which he proudly sported that fateful Year of The Golden Dragon. The Captain would not trail in 2000. He was as he had been from birth, a Frontrunner, and 2000 was a fine year for the dynamic pairing of money and name recognition. The first weeks, months, and long campaigning dénouement of our foray into the 21st Century was always Junior’s for the taking, and to his ultimate credit and our dire consequence, he took it, or rather he paid for it, along with the Supreme Court, where he fired his first salvo against what would be the final gasping breaths of modern conservatism; allowing the judicial system and not the Voice of the People to decide The Decider.

Today, if Goldwater saw a Republican president of the United States signing off one hundred percent of the domestic spending for six consecutive years, funneled to him by a Republican Congress handing over nearly half of the national budget on rebuilding the ideological face of entire regions across the globe, while getting re-elected on “moral” grounds and not performance record, he would never stop puking. CONSERVATISM VS. FUNDAMENTALISM: 11/8/06

Being handed the free world by the judicial branch was a faux pas Junior could live with, but it cast a bitter precedent on All-Things Bush for the foreseeable future; whether in the ludicrous entitlement rush of the infamous Medicare Bill or the ridiculously liberal No Child Left Behind, the queerly designed emancipation of illegal aliens, the colonizing of a sovereign nation, or as a consequence the most bloated domestic spending ever. There was not a bill Baby Bush would not and did not sign, and somehow those on the Right, the real Right, not the lapdog party bagmen, barely spoke out against it. This is what high times at the top of the ticket bought for The Watchdogs — a reconsidering of their precious ideology.

But, alas, they were not alone. Lord knows the press never said a word for most of All-Things Bush, at least not until it was far too late. The Bush Years will be credited with the Death of Modern Conservatism, but far more egregiously for its healthy participation in the Death of Journalism. It was, those first two crucial years after 9/11/01, a stand-down policy in the national press; sans the frenzied attention paid to surreptitious chemical warfare and shadow-men at airports and weird scenes from the mail system. It was a time for flag lapels and yellow ribbon pins and keeping the hard queries to one’s self in a manic ramp-up to war, its subsequent military operations or whatever expensively homicidal fiascos transpired afterward. It is why George W. Bush and his cabal of nincompoops were allowed to wreak havoc for so long: They would soon be cast as the rancid gore of evil by the same lazily jingoistic press corps that allowed them unmitigated free reign in the first place.

Ahhh, the ugliness has now hit home. It ain’t the media after all. We came late to the dance. We gave this gaggle of hubris-mongers a free pass, and now lookie here! It’s a goddamn gaffe and the approval ratings are Nixonian and Carteresque, and soon when the history comes due on this rampant disjoint generations will wonder who the hell was minding the store. MR. MOJO SINKING: 4/5/06

Turns out that despite the late-to-the-party hue and cry, none of the has-beens that doomed The Captain were evil or insane; they were nothing more than The Mediocre Elite. This is what passed for the Best & Brightest in the Bush Years; Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, George Tenet, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney; inefficient retreads from our botched past dragged from the ashbin of history to crack the very foundation of democracy. It is, if nothing else, an impressive line-up of abject failures. There isn’t enough space in a thousand volumes to recount their dumbness. Suffice to say it was never pretty or particularly artful, but it did help to make All Things Bush appear as if it were scratched together by an army of third graders jacked up on a steady diet of Pixie Sticks chased with Mountain Dew.

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.FRAT HOUSE FRACAS: 5/16/07

'Splainen'Ultimately, the Bush Administration’s hard right turn from the muted campaign jargon of “compassionate conservatism” and “humble foreign policy” into saviors of the moral, cultural, and political universe unraveled beneath a torrent of substandard denizens and most disturbingly a steadfast adherence to The Plan; whatever the hell that was. From the State Department, attorney general’s office to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the age of Bushies — policy-minded drones who wore their allegiance as a badge — ignored minor details such as civil liberties, the anonymity of CIA agents, separation of church and state, freedom of dissent, etc. But they did it for love; of God, country, and legacy, all of which turned to sewage on our dime.

Americans want to relate to the fantasy model of the Everyman. They want a man who believes, whether it’s asinine, insane or astoundingly feral. Kennedy believed the bullshit. So did Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. These were believers. They had it down. That’s why they won national elections. George W. Bush is a believer. He is president, again. John Kerry pretended to believe. He is going back to the senate.Second Term Madness:11/10/04

There will always be a sweet spot in the heart of The Desk for Captain Shoo-In. We covered his every move, and sometimes even agreed with one or two; especially the attempt to privatize Social Security and expunge America’s Mistake, Saddam Hussein from power. The argument that 9/11 “had nothing to do with Iraq” has always been hog dung. You don’t meddle around in “holy land” with Arab sovereignty and muscle your way into the ancient order of tribes with your nifty Desert Storm and expect it to go away quietly. It had to be done, but it had to be done efficiently, which was beyond George Bush or any of the people paid to make it happen.

Today, mere hours before he exits into ignominy, the 43rd president leave a nation fatigued and broke after six years of war and occupation, a record deficit and a hemorrhaging economy. There is a distrust of government now that rivals the dark times of Nixon, and the Republican party, his party, is broken into a billion pieces. The Age of Reagan; tax cuts, deregulation, global manipulation, and passive aggressive buffoonery is done.

Mission Accomplished.

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Oh Nine: Year Of The Guilty

Aquarian Weekly 12/31/08 REALITY CHECK

OH-NINE: YEAR OF THE GUILTY

Two-thousand nine will be the year of The Guilty.

Rod BlagojevichExoneration is in the air. Free rides. Hard promises. Credentials for all; particularly those who don’t deserve them — the powerful, the beautiful, the twisted and the onerous. It will be especially productive for the onerous, where the beating of the chest will pass for intellectual currency. Balls will be all the rage in Oh-Nine; big, shiny pairs — and those unable to acquire them or flash them in a pinch will be in the shit-can.

It will be the year of Blogojevich, the Man From Illinois, who has joined the long line of criminally insane governors, but in Oh-Nine there awaits Retribution. Listen to him now; “They have nothing. I will fight.” Shit, yeah. In Oh-Nine fighting will take the place of half-assed lying. Double-speak is not going to cut it. Shuck-And-Jive will have its place, but there will be less to exploit with bullshit when raw defiance is readily available. It will be a time to go all-out, not pitter around making excuses for putting into practice the fundamental principles of good old-fashioned Capitalism: Play To Pay is back. Skinny ties, pastels, mash-ups, liquid speed balls, and Cash On Hand; An Ayn Randian/ Ubermensch kind of free-wheeling.

Blogojevich will be the shining symbol of the New Year’s proud stomp; a staking of claims and a sober revision in Ignoring The Sidelines. This, of course, will mean that Oh-Nine will be silly with shameless entrepreneurship. Shame is not an option now that the bottom has dropped out of the pocket-pickers game. Demure malfeasance is passé. It will be a Blogojevich fire-sale milieu; everything has a price and someone will pay it. No more haggling. All choices will involve money; faith, love, the whole gamut of existential concepts will be readily available on the cheap. The line forms on the left, and you had best get there early; because once the kitty is empty, that’s it, jack.

Always the impatient act-first-ask-questions-much-later progressive, the president has gotten a head-start on Oh-Nine by rolling out his first of several lists of pardons for The Guilty, where Scooter Libby is its most fortunate beneficiary. The vice president’s bagman can breathe easier now. The days of apologizing for doing the bidding of The Cowardly have passed. In Oh-Nine, The Guilty will no longer be pariah. Each and every Backstabber will be expected to walk proudly in the glaring light of day; stand tall and wave a symbolic fist. The Cowardly have no place in Oh-Nine. Cheap frauds and moral goblins like Dick Cheney may have to euthanized to clean the slate.

Shame is not an option now that the bottom has dropped out of the pocket-pickers game. Demure malfeasance is passé. It will be a Blogojevich fire-sale milieu; everything has a price and someone will pay it.

Ninety percent of Talent is showing up. Woody Allen said that. He was trying to be both funny and philosophical, but it turns out he was mostly prescient. Showing up will also be all the rage in Oh-Nine. Ask Caroline Kennedy, who has emerged from a lifetime political cocoon to wave Camelot aloft once more. Succeeding in making it less wretched to sell a Senate seat in Springfield than it is to hand one to American royalty in Albany, the Kennedy brand has made yet another comeback.

Not to be undone, the Cuomo’s fancy offspring is also throwing his hat in the ring. How about Pataki’s daughter? She’s cool. I used to work with her in Westchester. She’s smart and attractive and has the right last name to beg her way to Capitol Hill.

But, shit, by the time the Nepotism Twins make a bid for Washington, Oh-Nine will be in full swing, and so shall our familiarity with Realistic Expectations, the mantra of the new president of the United States. Barack Obama’s first 100 days of rescuing the national economy, rebuilding international relations, and gutting the federal government’s incredible mass of dead weight, will be pushing the great “Proving I Am Not The Christ” syllabus.

Realistic Expectations is an important ingredient to survival when failing to come with the H-Two-O party tricks, shuffling upon it or making with the wine. Many of the Oh-Eight holdovers are waiting patiently for Change to give way to Divinity. This bodes well for another comeback in Oh-Nine; Crucifixion, which, like Jell-O, one can always anticipate finding room. In Oh-Nine, the stakes in modern politics will be that high. Politicians, now reviled and run out of town aflame with derision will be expected to perform miracles. Sadly, for those living on Cloud #9, the president-elect is merely a politician. This can hardly be denied. He will not escape Oh-Nine anymore than we can.

Oh-Eight was an excellent example of Rejection. We rejected antiquated notions of jingoism, racism, phony Republicanism, and the Baby Boomer Lie. It is a new time for a new generation. But as the utterly defeated George W. Bush will tell us, The times do not often jibe with The Plan. If not for terrorist invasions and hurricanes or economic implosions, a dunce can make a pretty fancy chief executive. But Times trump Plans, and when the Kumbaya chorus has died down and things get kicking in Oh-Nine, The Guilty will replace The Cowardly, and politicians may have to raise the dead, but it will be anything but boring.

I’ll see you there.

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