Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Can't Hit a Moving Target

Say what you will about the Republicans, but Dubya's one strong suit is his loyalty to his teammates. It must hearken back to his cheerleading days at Yale, when those bully boys pulled together for the common good, like piling up for a pyramid at halftime, or a leading a locomotive during the frenzied final moments of the fourth quarter.

So despite any rumors you hear about the growing discontentment with what Bush refers to as "my government," and the Republican pressure to drop Cheney just before or just after the 2006 Congressional elections, (depending on who you're talking to), Bush has asked Karl Rove to create a series of alternatives to the current Cheney model, all the while maintaining the Dick's paterfamilias stature in His government. The idea here is that if one Cheney look won't do, we'll just keep re-inventing him and count on public amnesia to take care of the rest. He's going to be the Madonna of the administration.

Once the nasty questions about Elvis and pills and fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches start to surface, as surface they must, Rove's next strategy will be to invoke the Where-Everybody-Knows-Your-Name look.

Norm-ie has a lot to offer the Dick. His one-of-the-boys demeanor will erase some of that Loser Who Extinguished Lynne's Flaming Batons in a Mayo Jar aura that has clung to him since high school. The thick Normie curls will warm his head in winter and put women voters in the mood to run their fingers through them. The beer may remind a few people of that unfortunate Seasoning incident, but we think overall that since beer is such a Guy drink that he will broaden his NASCAR appeal. Add to that Norm's basic kindness to that paragon of the Postal Service, Cliff Claven, and you'll have someone who reaches out to the little people in government.

Rove may have a winner here, but should any questions arise about Norm's problematic employment history or indifference toward his wife, other incarnations lie just a little farther back in the Message Bin.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Rove's New Strategy

If there's anything that's become passe, it's that tired old humor about Dick Cheney and his shotgun. Thank God we can move on. Quail, lawyers... who gives a rat's ass? What's important is what The Dick has to offer his country.

We have --who else?--Karl Rove to thank for moving things along. With his eye ever on the twin balls, sotospeak, of the man and his image, he has rehabilitated the Dickster. The pink tie having produced a storm of instant analysis, Cheney/Rove have forged a bold new direction. A quick call to Memphis, and voila!

There's no arguing with a sure-fire fashion statement: white to symbolize purity, spandex to... um... provide an accounting of sorts (1, 2...) the overall look to trigger a wave of untold sentiment and affection for a fallen hero. Ha-ha-hu!

Welcome back to the land of the living, Dick! No one can, um, dick around with you now!

And many happy returns, Sparkle.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Selective Democracy...

...means never having to say you're sorry.

The Bush Administration and the state of Israel, having recoiled at the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections, are now planning to withhold support in an attempt to destabilize the region. In order to do this, the Dynamic Duo will withhold traditional support to the Palestinian people. One Israeli official declared that it was time to put Palestine "on a diet."

Great message from these paragons of democracy: you didn't vote the way we wanted you to, so we're going to starve you out. Next time you'll vote the way you're told.

Once again we strut our ugly stuff on the global stage.

The news seems to contain a zillion disparate entries for the Asshole Olympics: Sunnis and Shiites bombing one another's sacred spaces; fanatics detonating themselves among the innocents. We Americans, of course, dominate many fields, snagging gold after gold for delusional democratization.

I listen to the news as I drive to work and shout, "Stop! Stop!" to no one in particular as I hear each travesty put on the public record. Why I still listen is beyond me.

The ravings of an erstwhile world citizen.

Monday, February 13, 2006


If I Had a Hammer...

(Please feel free to sing along): I'd hammer in the morning... I'd hammer in the evening... I'd hammer at justice. I'd hammer at the Constitooo-shun... I'd hammer out of pimpin' to the rich folk, all over this land.

A sparkly new day, and I'm filled with anticipation. It's morning in America!

Did you miss it? On page A20 of last Thursday's New York Times came the happy news. Tommy has been restored to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and, best of all, to the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, "which is investigating the influence-peddling scandal involving the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers."

It turns out that DeLay was able to get back to the Appropriations Committee because of a vacancy created after the resignation of Rep. Randy Cunningham, Republican of California, "who resigned after pleading guilty to charges related to accepting $2.4 million in bribes for government business and other favors." Talk about a seamless transition! Your government in action!

No wonder DeLay's mug shot is so perky! You'd think that he was wearing that orange jump suit to his junior prom!

Perhaps the orange jump suit should replace the tux. Orange is certainly a great color for The Hammer, don't you think?

The American Dream is alive and well.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Wotta Dick!

That venerable sportsman and shadow-president, Dick Cheney shot a friend on a quail hunting trip in Texas on Saturday.

Harry Whittington, a prominent Texas lawyer and supporter of Cheney's right-wing Republican Party, suffered shotgun pellet wounds and was taken to a hospital in Corpus Christi, where he was being treated for non-life threatening wounds. Since Whittington is not a liberal, he is expected to make a full recovery. Cheney mistook Whittington for George Allen and Jack Reed.

Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong told Fox News that she saw the shooting from a distance. She praised Cheney's technique, which she compared to seasoning Whittington, 78. He was "peppered pretty good" but treated immediately by Cheney's security and medical staff who were waiting nearby.

Cheney, who has a long history of "seasoning" his friends, is regularly accompanied by a medical team.

Doctors indicated that though Whittington was in some pain, Cheney found the experience invigorating.

"His blood pressure levels and heart rate are doin' better since the accident," an observer said. "He ain't felt this good since the pigs et his little brother."

Friday, February 03, 2006


They Got That Right, Sort Of

Freedom ain't free, but the bumpersuckers seem to have missed the point.

While it is indeed costly to go to war, especially for the soldiers on the front (and the taxpayers back home), the real investing in freedom needs to come long before the Dubyas of the world start bullshitting about WMDs.

Investing in freedom means understanding our Constitution, that document Dubya thinks is only a piece of paper. It means understanding the balance of powers laid out by the framers. It means knowing that the Bill of Rights is a necessarily difficult document. It means casting
informed votes. It means insisting that candidates debate issues, not haggle over their parties' lies and innuendos about each other.

Investing in freedom means understanding the importance of a free press and vibrant public debate. It also means understanding that the media are vast business corporate enterprises in whose interests certain stories will be tucked away, never to breathe the fresh air of discourse or even see the light of day.

Increasingly, investing in freedom involves introducing other cultural perspectives into our comparatively rarified environment. It means understanding that our high standard of living is often at the expense of someone else's survival, never mind comfort, and weighing for ourselves the possible costs of privilege.

Investing in freedom does not mean racing halfway around the world to impose our systems on other peoples. Our systems are an outgrowth of our own values. If we can be of any service at all, it's to help other peoples to develop systems that grow out of their own values, or failing that, to stay the hell away. It means knowing that our actions affect others, whether we like it or not, and that our unwise decisions will have consequences we can't begin to imagine.

Alas, investing in freedom involves turning an increasinly jaundiced eye on the motives and actions of our leaders. It means thinking critically. It means being more creative than they are and holding them to higher expectations than those that they hold themselves.

If we don't put some energy into our idea of active citizenship, no numbers of bodies, no bundles of tax dollars will pay the ultimate price of what it takes to keep us worthy of freedom.

Otherwise, we'll be only as free as caged beings can be.

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