Friday, December 29, 2006

The very short list of things stupider than sending 20,000 more American soldiers to Iraq.

• Wearing fire hats
• Repeatedly stabbing your penis with an ice pick
• Attending a Yanni/John Tesh concert
• Handing out sticks of dynamite to Halloween trick or treaters
• Shaving your pit bull with a straight razor
• Paying for a vowel on Wheel of Fortune
• Attempting to conquer Mt. Everest in the nude
• Marrying Mike Tyson
• Trusting George Bush

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Failed human #356,532,5338,907

Working on Andrew Getzman (Getz) was always amusing. Probing the poor human’s mind was like being lost in the labyrinth of Rummaltus—there was something fascinating and repulsive around every corner. How such an inept, unremarkable human had been chosen for harvesting was a question no one in the clinic could answer, nor would they try, for it was a decision made very, very far away.

The team always took a short break from sperm extraction and tracking device implantation to watch Getz’s latest lurid fantasy on the monitor. Over the years, the group had been treated to an encyclopedia of human sexual frustration and fetishes, yet there was always a thread of pathos in his personal fantasies that made them more intriguing than most.

During this visit to the galactic out-clinic, the theme was premature ejaculation. Every time he glanced at a woman’s foot he instantly became stiff and came in his pants. The scene repeated itself several times until after another embarrassing eruption, Getz began screaming as he had been staring at a goat’s hoof. Everyone around the operating table yipped several times, shook their large gray heads in pity and went back to work.

Getz saw himself screaming then realized he was screaming, sitting upright, drenched with sweat. He threw off his covers and jumped out of bed, walking around the room and stopping in confusion like a human bumper car.

It had happened again. Abducted. Right from his freaking bedroom. Just like all the other times when the grays came through the wall like micro-ninjas with helium-inflated heads to sedate and kidnap him. Words and phrases angrily erupted as he paced in his underwear.

“They got me again. Fuck.”

He stopped suddenly, stretched out the top of his briefs and inspected his genitals. Swooning, he reached down with one hand and pulled up an object to inspect it. His face contorted with agony as he stared at a smiley-face band-aid.

“Those bastards.”

He angrily threw the band aid at the wall, and then reached behind his neck, tearing off another band-aid.

“Scooby Doo?” he moaned, falling face down on his bed. “Oh God, what did they do to me this time? What did they do?”

Getz had given up trying to get help several abductions ago. No one took him seriously. Sure, he could show the band-aids to his shrink and say, ‘Look. Here’s your proof,’ but all he’d get for his trouble would be a condescending smile and another bill he couldn’t pay. He knew exactly how it would unfold.

“Andrew,” Dr. Eggers would say as he rested his chin on his fingertips. “A person can buy these band-aids at any Wal-Mart in America. Do you think the aliens shop at Wal-Mart?”

“If they cared about saving money, they would.” The moment this came out of his mouth, Getz new it was all wrong. Dr. Eggers laughed like a braying donkey. “I meant,” Getz continued, trying once again to make Eggers see the all too obvious web of connections, “the aliens would probably buy supplies like band-aids on earth. Maybe from Wal-Mart. They couldn’t let me go walking around with an actual alien band-aid stuck to my body. Now could they?”

Realizing that Getz wasn’t laughing with him, Dr. Eggers quickly transitioned back to his well-worn serious continence, although the jolt made him cough uncontrollably.

“I am…very sorry, Andrew, but I thought you were—”

“Joking. I know.”

“Perhaps you should start coming in twice a month.”

Thursday, December 21, 2006

George Will: The last serious man

Like a Christmas goose stuffed to overflowing with breadcrumbs and celery, George Will is completely full of shit. Unfortunately, we can’t put him in the oven for three hours to cook. I guess that would be considered murder.

In today’s column, Will bemoans Time magazine’s selection of person of the year, which happens to be everybody who uses the Web. Like a bewigged seventeenth century French aristocrat, Will arches an eyebrow and sneers at bloggers and others who dare to think that their lives or opinions are anything but an absolute snore.

“The most capacious modern entitlement is not to Social Security but to self-esteem. So Time's cover features a mirror-like panel. The reader -- but why bother to read the magazine when merely gazing at its cover gives intense gratification? -- can gaze at the reflection of his or her favorite person. Narcissism is news? Evidently.”

Will believes that 99.9% of what’s on the Web lacks seriousness. That is, of course, a ridiculous statement, but here is one that is not: 99.9% of all conservative commentators and pundits lack intellectual seriousness. Will tries to camouflage his vacuous ideas in professorial prose. Others, like O’Reilly and Limbaugh prefer intimidation and shouting. Nonetheless, on the intellectual seriousness meter, all fall below the “laughable” line.

Being the hopeless elitist he is, Will feels threatened by the Web. I’m sure George is convinced that only he and a handful of other syndicated columnists have anything useful or profound to say. The threat, however, comes not from any intellectually superior scribes, but from the sheer mass of writers who steal attention from the traditional, serious thought leaders.

“Most bloggers have the private purpose of expressing themselves, for their own satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with that, but nothing demanding or especially admirable, either.”

So there is nothing admirable in my desire to express myself. He’s right of course. Why would I want to express myself when I can read George Will expressing himself? He’s serious, you know.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush stuns world with press conference remarks

At a press conference today, President Bush said that insurgents in Iraq thwarted U.S. efforts at "establishing security and stability throughout the country'' in 2006. As reporters fell silent in shocked disbelief, the president went on, claiming that the sun is hot and that bears do shit in the woods.

The astonishing revelation that insurgents were hampering the U.S. effort in Iraq has reverberated around the world. British Prime Minister Tony Blair fainted after being given the news. Italian President Carlo Ciampi reportedly soiled himself. Other world leaders expressed disbelief.

In a second explosive observation, Bush declared that we are not winning in Iraq, but we’re not losing, either. The already shaken press corps tried to make sense of this statement. A reporter asked, “If we’re not winning and we’re not losing, what are we doing?”

The President responded: “We are winosing. It’s a combination of winning and losing.”

President Bush then tried to clarify a statement he made in November that the United States is “absolutely winning” in Iraq. “What I meant was that we were winning in my mind. When I think we are winning, that means we are winning. Now, I think we are winosing, so that’s what is happening now…in reality. Sometimes I get the two mixed up.”

Several reporters tried to ask follow-up questions, but were told to “shut your pie holes” by the President, who then quickly left the room under very tight security.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bush is desperate. Dems need to pay attention.

In a last ditch effort to save face (after all, what could be more important than that?), President Bush wants to send 15,000 to 30,000 new troops to Iraq, over the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

We all wondered what a desperate GW would do when all the cards came tumbling down, and now we know. He’s going to send more people to kill and be killed. Why didn’t I think of that?

Unfortunately for all of us, the madness of King George is not being taken with nearly the seriousness it deserves by Democrats in Washington. Still busy patting each other on the back after the November election, the Dems continue to treat Bush as if he is the legitimate Commander and Chief, and not the deranged demagogue he truly is.

The last six years have been a series of “Who could believe” moments. Who could believe national elections could be stolen? Who could believe that an inarticulate mental midget would hold the reigns of the last superpower on earth? Who could believe that any President would openly display such disdain for the people who elected him? Who could believe that the United States would become the Evil Empire to the rest of the world?

After all of this, why is it so hard to believe that we have a deranged and dangerous President sitting in the Oval Office; a President who wasn’t capable of making rationale decisions to begin with, but who is now under intense pressure to do something about the mess he created? The Democrats should not treat Bush’s present mental state lightly.

Sending more troops to Iraq is madness and must not be allowed.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My predictions for 2007

The Bush Twins will show up in an Argentinean porn film

Donald Rumsfeld will host a FOX News talk show called, “Grumpy Old White Men.”

San Francisco will be asked to secede from the Union

Dick Cheney will completely disappear

Iraqis will rebuild Saddam’s statue

The first verifiable alien-human contact will be caught on videotape at the Delmar, Iowa Gas ‘N Go.

The Republican Party will be declared a criminal enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and forced to disband.

Oprah will buy Chicago

The National Enquirer will break the news that George Bush was caught in gay tryst under the headline, “Brokeback Rose Garden.”

Barak Obama will take the stage name B-Prez and make a Hip Hop CD

The U.S. will invade Iran with forces made up primarily of Boy Scouts, security guards and motorcycle gangs

Tofu will be deemed an illegal substance in three southern states with stiff fines and prison terms for distributing

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Satangate rocks the nation's capital

Recently leaked visitor records from Vice President Cheney’s office reveal a startling number of visits by Satan over the past six years. According to the records, the Vice President saw Satan more than 23 times since 2000.

Asked about the numerous meetings between the VP and the Prince of Darkness, a White House spokesperson said, “Vice President Cheney always meets with a wide variety of dignitaries and thought leaders to gather input prior to decision making. Satan is one voice among many. The relationship between the Vice President and Satan goes back many years, and Mr. Cheney respects the unique perspective Lucifer brings to the issues that face our nation.”

The Devil was not immediately available for comment, but his office provided a brief written response to our queries.

“Satan considers Vice President Cheney a close personal friend and has made himself available for consultation on occasion. Contrary to rumors, Satan has never ‘written policy’ for the Vice President nor have any deals been struck or contracts signed between the administration and the Evil One.”

Democrats are calling for an investigation into what is now being referred to as ‘Satangate.’ House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she was shocked by the revelations.

“If true, this is outrageous. Satan is a huge contributor to the Republican party and has benefited in many ways from the policies of this administration. To say these meetings were nothing more than a yakfest between old friends truly insults our intelligence. I am calling for a thorough investigation of this issue to begin as soon as possible.”

Satan is not a stranger in Washington, D.C. and is often sighted at parties given by the Capital’s A-listers.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are the Democrats in Congress listening?

The irony never ends in Bushworld. George, who seems intent on turning his Iraq horror show into a world-wide catastrophe, has been on a listening tour. A listening tour?

Helloooo. George? How about listening to the American people? They are telling you in no uncertain terms to pull our troops out of Iraq. They are screaming, “STOP THE MADNESS.”

Unfortunately, Bush only takes his fingers out of his ears for people who agree with him. He didn’t like what he heard from the Iraq Study Group (“I can’t hear yoooou”). He certainly doesn’t like what he hears from poll after poll on what Americans think about the war. So he’s scouring the country to find bobble heads who will confirm his delusions. It should be called the “selective listening tour.”

Odds makers are betting he will send more troops to Iraq, which is—in keeping with a long established pattern—exactly the wrong thing to do. Hey kids, let’s put out the fire by pouring gasoline on it. Let’s win the hearts and minds of Iraqis by killing them.

Congress must stop King George from committing more life-ending blunders. Nancy. Harry. Please, put impeachment back on the table, and soon. The people are talking to you, too. Are you listening?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not Roses and Tears

A lady in red dances on your grave

Her bare feet are sore and dirty, but you…you are dead

Can you feel her twirling, leaping, rolling on the grass above you?

She seems exuberant that you can no longer move

Flailing arms, kicking legs, she snaps her head at the moon

It is all sinewy muscles stretching and retracting with beautiful tension

So quiet you can hear her joints singing

Is it cold down there?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas gift ideas for George Bush

A new watch to help him tell time…as in, it’s time to leave Iraq. It’s time to stop going with your gut. It’s time to listen to people who are smarter than you (this would include most Americans).

A shovel and hip boots

A heart transplant

A six-week stay at the Baghdad Hilton

A subpoena

EFL (English as a First Language) lessons

One-way ticket to Paraguay

A bicycle with training wheels

A subscription to “Out” magazine

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bush's response to the Iraq Study Group's report

The statement of President George Bush on receiving the Iraq Study Group report at a White House meeting today.

“Let me just say that I had the report read to me last night and believe me or not, I stayed awake through the whole thing. While it doesn’t contain the eternal truths found in “My Pet Goat,” or the bible, it is quite dramatic in its own right. I will definitely put it in my library. Now, a lot of people have said that I would disagree with the conclusions of this report, and they’re right. Leaving Iraq, even talking about leaving Iraq, anytime over the next two years is simply handing the country over to the enemy. After two years, who cares? But that is my point. I am not going to abandon the Iraqi people while I am president. They are evil, godless heathens, but I will not abandon them. That’s not what I’m about. It’s a great report. A wonderful report. But I urge all Americans to ignore it. For now. Thank you.”

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bye, bye, Bolton

John Bolton, the man who once quipped that if the U.N. lost ten stories it wouldn’t make any difference, and who was subsequently nominated to be U.N. ambassador (it makes perfect sense in Bushworld), has resigned. What’s Bolton to do now? Here are a few suggestions for the contentious, quick-tempered conservative:

Radio talk show host. “Oh yeah? My moustache could kick your ass.”

Marriage counselor. “He’s ugly and you’re fat. Can we agree on that?”

Good humor man. “Officer, the kid tried to stiff me for a quarter. He’s lucky a baseball bat was all I could get my hands on.”

Cowboy. “Whataya mean, have I ever seen Brokeback Mountain?”

Waiter. “Your soup’s cold? Here, let me piss in it. That’ll warm it up.”

Sunday school teacher. “I don’t care what your mommies and daddies said. You’re all going straight to hell. Any questions?”

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The George W. Bush Center For Children Who Can't Think or Speak Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

Bush is trying to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

A library and a think tank.

What could I write that is funnier than that?

However, I do offer a name suggestion: The George W. Bush Center For Children Who Can't Think or Speak Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.

What’s even more galling is that there is no attempt to hide the purpose of this enterprise, which is to refurbish Bush’s reputation for future generations (a Herculean effort to be sure). They’re going to hire ideologically sympathetic scholars, all three of them, who will write glowing books and papers about the Bush presidency.

In other words, they’re going to rewrite history.

Black is white. Good is bad. Welcome to the Bush Library.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yes, in MY backyard. Yuck.


A man is accused of having sex with the carcass of a deer that he found lying beside the road – but his lawyer denies that he committed bestiality, on the grounds that a dead deer isn't an animal any more.

20-year-old Bryan James Hathaway of Superior, Wisconsin allegedly had sex with the deer corpse after he found it on the roadside on October 11 this year. Authorities say he told police that he noticed the deer lying in a ditch, and then moved the corpse into the woods.

He is charged with 'sexual gratification with an animal' – but in a magnificent piece of legal footwork, his attorney argues that he can't be guilty of that crime, because a carcass isn't an animal, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Public defender Fredric Anderson filed a motion last week that claimed: 'The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass.'

He said that if you try to include corpses in the category of 'animals', then 'you really go down a slippery slope with absurd results.' The only clear place to draw a line in the definition of what is an animal, and what isn't, was at the point of death, he argued.

He gave the example of a roast turkey – with which it would be illegal to have sex under the broader interpretation of the law – claiming that it was unreasonable to suggest it should still be classified as an animal for the purposes of law.

In response, prosecutor James Broughner argued that a deer carcass is still an animal – pointing out that in his statement to police, Hathaway called the corpse a 'dead deer,' demonstrating that he still thought of it as an animal.

Judge Michael Lucci noted when hearing the arguments that: 'I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case.'

If Hathaway is convicted, he could serve up to two years in prison, because of a previous conviction in 2005 for shooting dead a horse called Bambrick. So that he could have sex with it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A son only a father could love

That’s Going Too Far! obtained this transcript of a phone conversation recorded from an unsecured line between George Bush junior and his father on Wednesday, November 8.

Georgie? You There?

Dad. Uh, Dad?


I…I screwed up the country. Bad. Could use a little help here.

This isn’t the best time, Georgie. Your mother and I are in Palm Springs golfing. Isn’t Uncle Jim there yet?

Yeah, he’s here, but he’s always in meetings. I can’t get him to stop and talk to me.

George, that’s very reassuring.


He’s there to help you. We’ll get this Iraq thing figured out—

Dad, there’s nothing to figure out about Iraq. I’ve told the American people we will stay until we achieve victory.

Right. Hold on… (in the background) Babs, you don’t want to use a four iron here. Jesus, somebody get her the right club. Okay? (back on the phone) Son, you’ve got to let go. Iraq’s going down the shitter faster than grease through a goose. You’re going to have to make some compromises.

(loudly) Compromises? You want me to compromise with the terrorists?

Don’t you raise your voice to me, young man. This is your dad, not some fawning blowhard from FOX.

But the terrorists are out there. Waiting for me.

Waiting for you to what?

Just waiting for me.

Son. Are you drinking?


Listen. I have to tee off now. You just do whatever Jimmy tells you to do. Okay?

But Dad, I’m the President.

Listen to your Daddy. (talking to someone nearby) Yeah, It’s Georgie. No. He’s fine. Everything’s fine. He’ll call you later. (back on the phone) Call your mother tonight. You hear?

Yes, Daddy.

How’s Laura?


Your wife.

She’s okay, I guess.

I have to go now. Just don’t get into Uncle Jim’s way. He’s got a lot to do.

Okay, Daddy. Bye.

Goodbye, Mr. President.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Conservative ideology is a house of cards

Post-election analysis is running hot and heavy. I have my own theory about what happened this past Tuesday, and it’s one you won’t hear from the mainstream media.

Conservatism, as embodied by Bush, Cheney, Rove and, unfortunately, millions of Americans, is simply unworkable in a democracy. The backward-looking philosophy of today’s religious conservatives has as its foundation a house of cards: superstition, self-interest, cynicism, conventional wisdom, bigotry and a penchant for violence. No ideology so built on lies and ignorance can withstand the power of the people indefinitely. There is only one option for the Bushes and Cheneys and O’Reillys to make their worldview seem to work, and that is to do away with democracy.

The frightening thing is that key people in the Bush administration know that democracy is the enemy of their beliefs. That’s the reason they spent five-and-a-half years working night and day to give the President more and more singular authority. You see the only way you can implement the political philosophy of the religious right is through a dictatorship.

Untenable ideologies require a strong man, a father figure with absolute authority, to tell you what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. There is no room for criticism in a dictatorship, nor is there room for non-conforming scientific results, schools that teach children to think on their own or opposing political parties. A dictator is never wrong.

It is clear the administration was taking advantage of a Republican House, Senate and judiciary to push for dictatorial powers. Their beliefs could not live in a world of competing ideas, thus only a society without competing ideas would do.

It still seems unbelievable that we came so close to losing our country in such a relatively short time, historically speaking. We have been saved for now by the success of the Democrats in the mid-term elections, which will finally put the brakes on this out-of-control administration. However, we need to begin now to patch the cracks in our political system that let this nightmare happen in the first place, from election fraud to overhauling campaign financing, there is much work to be done.

Thankfully, we can get started in January.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election reflection

On the national level, today’s results couldn’t make me happier. Election day saw the American people wrestle Congress back from the self-serving, corrupt cabal of Bush yes-men. They sent an unequivocal message to the Bushoviks that this administration’s policies and positions are not just unpopular, but wrong, and they won’t stand for it anymore. Bush refused to listen to the people until yesterday. Now he must. And it was a great day for new Democratic governors and state legislators, too.

Here in Minnesota, however, it was a good news/bad news scenario. On the bright side, Democrat Amy Klobuchar gave Bush lap dog Mark Kennedy a well-deserved roundhouse kick to the head and is on her way to Washington. We are sending the first Muslim to Congress. And a tough, smart Lori Swanson is the new attorney general.

On the down side, the RNC pumped in just enough millions of dollars to help the mentally unbalanced Michele Bachmann go to Congress. The woman who speaks to God and eagerly submits to her husband’s will should get along smashingly with GW. They can hold three-way conversations with the Almighty in the Oval Office.

For me, the biggest disappointment of the evening by far was Pawlenty’s win over Mike Hatch for governor. It was so close well into the early morning hours that we all held out a sliver of hope that we’d wake up in the morning to the tune of a Hatch acceptance speech. Unfortunately, that was not to be. I did have a personal interest in the outcome of this race, and it was very tough to watch the best man lose. Mike is pure Minnesota through and through and would have made an outstanding governor. Democrats were looking forward to a governor who would work hard for the teachers and cab drivers and short order cooks and the poor; in other words, all Minnesotans. Instead we got Pawlenty, the conservative ideologue behind the boyish grin who is much more comfortable around corporate CEOs and special interest groups than the people who maintain the grounds at the governor’s mansion. This was a very tough loss.

We move on. America has suffered through a long night of corruption, cynicism, ignorance and fear, but with yesterday’s results, there is reason to hope that the sun will rise again and we can then rediscover the progressive democratic principles upon which this country was founded.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day: When pundits attack

Desperate Republicans are pulling out all the stops on this election day.

Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham today told listeners they should jam a voter protection hotline with calls. And this was one of the milder suggestions from personalities on the political right.

FOX pundit Bill O’Reilly said people who vote Democratic should be given armbands and patches brandishing a large capital “D” that they must wear at all times in public.

Michael Savage claims he is taking a county sheriff with him to a nearby voting location to have every Democratic voter arrested for treason.

Never one to be upstaged when it comes to advocating violence, Ann Coulter is bringing her three pit bulls with her when she votes. She claims the dogs can, “smell liberal meat,” and will attack at the slightest whiff.

And then here is former comedian Dennis Miller, who, having thrown away his career and his pride, says he will, “Go down today as a martyr for America.” Miller would not furnish any details.

Finally, Sean Hannity of Hannity & Colmes, issued a press release this morning stating that Michael Moore is now a prisoner in his own house and there are only two ways he can escape the detonation of a small nuclear device and certain death. He must either saw off both of his legs using only the brim of his baseball cap or register and vote as a Republican.

Good luck, Michael.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bush to clear brush on his Paraguay ranch? What's behind this escape clause?

I continue to find the report of Papa Bush’s large land acquisition in Paraguay intriguing. Of course, the story immediately brings to mind images of 43 and his entourage scurrying onto flights in the middle of the night and heading south. And that may be exactly what the land is for, but I also wonder about the circumstances under which such a drastic measure would be taken.

Over the last five plus years, Bush and his administration have lied and blundered their way from one mess to another. There is no question in many people’s minds that this is a totally corrupt syndicate of politicos that has only one goal: self-enrichment. Bush has committed many sins both large and small during his tenure, and I have no doubt whatsoever that some are impeachable offenses. But there’s the rub.

Even if Bush is impeached during his last two years, which is doubtful, it only means he must forfeit his office. Impeachment in and of itself does not mean jail time or civil trials even when the President is found guilty. Now many will argue that President Bush and his crew have committed crimes that could result in criminal trials, war trials and possibly jail time. Perhaps, but Bush and Co. have money, tons of it, which means access to the best lawyers on the planet who will use every delaying tactic known to man. In addition, trials like these often can stretch out for years, possibly decades. Bush could live a long, prosperous life and never see the inside of a jail cell.

The Paraguay solution, if it is indeed an escape hatch, has to be thought of as an absolute last resort. It means leaving behind home, friends, family, associates, business interests, etc. So think about it. Of all the problems that Bush has caused over the years, and I’m sure there will be many more uncovered after he leaves office, what crime could he have committed that would be so horrendous, so shocking to the American people, as to necessitate leaving the country on a midnight plane to a remote South American country?

One comes to mind.


Attention Minnesotans! Vote Hatch.

Vote for Mike Hatch for governor on Tuesday. Don't let the Republicans buy, bully or steal another election.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hand me my tinfoil hat, please

I keep bumping into the Twin-Towers-were-brought-down-by-explosives 9/11 conspiracy theory during my online travels. As I have said before, I am a sucker for conspiracy theories (pun intended), and this one is certainly intriguing. The most interesting question I have about the events of 9/11, and the one I don’t think has ever been adequately answered is, why did the building known as WTC 7 collapse, exactly as one would expect if it were being demolished, even though it was not hit by a plane? There were some fires in the building, and it was damaged by debris, but if you watch video of the building collapsing on that day, it simply pancakes straight down into its own footprint.

I’m not a physicist or engineer, but there are plenty of experts who argue that the impact of the planes on the two towers that were hit and the resulting fires could cause the buildings to collapse. This conclusion is debatable, but it has no bearing on why WTC 7 collapsed. The official explanation that fires caused the building to fall simply defies logic.

The larger point I want to make is this: Why are people so eager to accept the government’s explanation of events when we know that our government has lied to us many times in the past, and the current administration lies every time it speaks? Why do people think it’s okay not to be skeptical of the “Official Story?” Our recent past as a nation is replete with real, honest-to-goodness conspiracies.

There was a conspiracy to keep the American people from knowing that our CIA was assassinating foreign leaders and interfering in the political affairs of sovereign nations during the 1950s and 1960s. There was a conspiracy to conceal what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which was nothing. The story that catapulted the US into a bloody war costing 58,000 American lives was a lie. The Pentagon Papers. The Iran-Contra affair. CIA drug running. The run-up to the Iraq war. We know these were conspiracies because they were exposed. How much shit like this goes on under the radar?

Skepticism of the government’s explanation of things is healthy in a democracy. Unfortunately for our democracy, the corporate pundocracy in America is programmed to instantly heap ridicule on anyone who questions the party line. The attacks of 9/11 are a case in point. Questions exist, serious, large questions, but the blanket of political/corporate interests has been thrown over the questioners and all most Americans hear is a muffled cry. The truth is what George Bush says it is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Do Americans deserve democracy? Stay tuned.

Has Rove lost control of Bush’s brain? Not that trying to make an imbecile sound coherent and thoughtful was ever an easy task, but there are signs that Rove has taken his hand off of the lever that controls the flow between Bush’s brain and his mouth. Bush seems to be thinking for himself, which means he sounds loonier than ever. Either that or the Republicans are so pathetically desperate they’ve hired Michael Savage to write Presidential speeches.

Think Progress, one of my current favorite sites, reports that Bush said to Sean Hannity that the worst thing about being President was the ugly tone in Washington, noting “I really don’t think it’s fitting for the president to drag the presidency into that kind of a mudslinging.” That was Tuesday. A day earlier on Monday, campaigning around the West, Bush told a group of supporters that his opponents, the Democrats, want America to lose and the terrorists to win.

Democrats want the terrorists to win? What’s going to be the theme of Bush’s next stump speech, “Democrats are coming to kill your babies?” I swear, if the Republicans manage to keep control of the House and Senate based on moronic scare tactics like this, there will be no question in my mind that we have the government we deserve.

I keep wanting to give the American people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to intelligence. I want to believe they are smarter than their actions indicate. The people in my life, at work, in my social circles, understand that Bush is an idiot and a grave threat to democracy. We aren’t intellectuals hanging our in Harvard square drinking espressos and smoking foreign cigarettes. We’re just working stiffs who take our kids Trick or Treating, shop at Cub and struggle to make ends meet every month.

Other than the spinmeisters at FOX and a few talk radio clowns, who in the hell takes Bush seriously? Evidently, quite a few people, which begs the question: "How can we have a functioning democracy when millions of Americans are too stupid to know they are being lied to over and over again by their own government?"

Maybe we can’t. We’ll find out in five days.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stolen elections. Who knew?

There are already reports surfacing that electronic voting machines in Texas and Florida are “flipping” votes from Democrat to Republican candidates. It’s Déjà vu all over again. Every national election in America between 2000 and today has been mired in controversy, often related to voting machines, and the current experience indicates this election will be no different. The internet is thick with conspiracy theories, and now I will take this opportunity to add one more.

Here is an excerpt from Bob Woodward’s latest book “State of Denial.” The conversation took place in 1999.

“But there was also bad news about Bush. "For some reason, he thinks he's going to be president," Armitage told Powell. It was like there was some feeling of destiny. Bush talked as if it was a certainty, saying, "When I'm president..." Though not unusual for candidates to talk this way in speeches, Bush spoke that way privately with his advisers. It was as if Bush were trying to talk himself into it.”

Now a lot of people would dismiss Bush’s certainty about being president as a character trait (or flaw). Once he’s made up his mind about something, it then becomes reality in his head. His stubbornness has been displayed in many ways during his presidency from the Iraq war to global warming to tax cuts.

But could there be another explanation? This conversation happened about a year away from the November election of 2000. I won’t go down the list of problems with the touch-screen voting machines during that chaotic November day, but as more and more evidence accumulates related to how easy it is to breach the security of electronic voting machines and manipulate data, one has to wonder whether Bush’s certainty wasn’t based on more than positive thinking.

If, in fact, the electronic voting machines were tampered with prior to the 2000 election, it’s safe to say that a nationwide conspiracy of this magnitude wasn’t conceived and carried out on November 7. There had to be months of planning and coordination among the conspirators well before the machines were put to use. Could there have been communication, perhaps even collusion, between the machine hackers and Bush’s election team? As we know, several owners of companies that manufacture the touch-screen machines are big Republican supporters. The guy from Diebold bragged he would deliver Ohio for Bush.

Was Bush innocently willing himself to be president? Was he responding to the prophetic voice of God he claims to hear from time to time? Or did he know that preparations were underway to assure his presidency? If the Republicans manage to steal this upcoming election, and indications are they are actively trying to do just that, we will never know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Republican Animalia

Sheep – Always drive the speed limit. Not overly religious, but go to church because that is what’s expected of them. Don’t question authority. They are followers. Susceptible to simplistic emotional appeals and buzzwords (“No new taxes.” “Fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” etc.). They don’t like to have their beliefs or prejudices challenged.

Swine – The rich who believe they deserve everything they’ve got. Rationalize their wealth and privilege in many ways, more and more often through religion. Have little to no respect for the less well off. “If I can do it, anybody can do it.” Consume without conscience. Social Darwinists. Hate environmentalists.

Vultures – Loud, obnoxious, bald-headed scavengers who are content to let everyone else do the hard work. They love the military, guns, and tough-talk, but when asked to kill dinner, or serve in a combat situation, they have other things to do. They have no problem letting the young and the poor make the kill, or be killed, and then exploiting the situation to their advantage.

Snails – Slow moving slugs out of pace with the rest of society. Live in their own world. Drive 55 in the left lane in their rusted out American cars. They carry their armor with them as if constantly expecting to be attacked. Dull witted and paranoid. Literalists who love slapstick humor and don’t get satire. Often getting stepped on by those up the food chain but can never grasp who’s doing the crushing.

Flies – Flies are born and grow up in things like decaying flesh, animal dung and pools of stagnant water. Republican flies are born and grow up in houses with decaying minds, racist attitudes and religious intolerance. As adults, they prefer the smell of bullshit and dead, decaying ideas. They are highly irritating as they buzz in your face (and some will bite) and can make enjoying the outdoors impossible. Their filth-covered appendages can lead to the spread of ignorance and hatred, which they seem to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

If you think these guys represent family values, I’d hate to see your family

A funny letter to the editor in today’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune, my hometown paper. “I still feel the American people will have the good sense to keep Republicans in control of the House and Senate. If family values voters get out and vote, that will easily be accomplished.” I would like to know whom in the House and Senate represents “family values” to this letter writer.

Would that be pedophile Mark Foley?

The Republican members of Congress who kept quiet about Mark Foley’s activities?

The greedy, self-serving Randy (Duke) Cunningham?

The many partners-in-crime of Jack Abramoff?

Philanderer and woman-beater Don Sherwood?

The racist George Allen?

The corrupt, power-mad Tom DeLay?

The sleazy, opportunistic Bill Frist?

The bribe-taking Bob Ney?

Maybe the letter writer meant Mafia family values.

More examples of compassionate conservatism

After seeing a commercial with Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox advocating increased stem cell research, Rush Limbaugh said, “I stated when I saw the ad, I was commenting to you about it, that he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all."

Immediately after their televised debate, Wyoming incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin walked to Libertarian candidate Thomas Rankin, who had criticized her for receiving contributions from Tom Delay, and said,
"If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face." Rankin is disabled with multiple sclerosis and uses an electric wheelchair.

From talk-show lunatic Michael Savage: “I can just imagine them at an Ethiopian restaurant what they must carry on. Do liberals go to an Ethiopian restaurant? Could you imagine they're eating food from that area? What do they eat down in Ethiopia? I never went in one. There was one in San Francisco. Why would you eat in an Ethiopian restaurant? The people down there have flies around their eyes. What would they -- what kind of cuisine comes from Eretea [sic]? I never went into an Ethiopian restaurant. The Ethiopians come here to eat American food. You don't need to wind up with flies in your baby eye -- baby's eye.”

Spread the word

Let’s create a new epithet: Limbaugh. When ridiculing a person for being stupid, instead of calling him a moron or a Homer, call him a Limbaugh. Example: “Hey Limbaugh, try using your turn signals.” Or “He’s the biggest Limbaugh I’ve ever met.” Come on. It’ll be fun.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pelosi wrong on impeachment

In an interview with 60 minutes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that impeachment of Bush is off the table if Dems win big in November. She thinks the Republicans would "love the waste of time" of impeachment proceedings.

Waste of time? Bringing a criminal to justice is a waste of time? So once again, from my own party, politics trumps what's right. Pelosi's logic is clear enough. Voters are tired of partisan bickering and may not vote Democratic if they think the next two years will be taken up with impeachment hearings instead of the peoples' work. Is this true? Well, we have one example in recent history from which to draw.

Let's look at the impeachment of Bill Clinton: a ridiculously trivial offense of playing "where's the cigar?" shameless, hyperbolic charges by Congress; proceedings at odds with public opinion; a monumental waste of time and money that accomplished nothing. So it really hurt the Republicans. Right? Wrong. One year later, admittedly with help from the Supreme Court, Bush walked into the White house with both houses of Congress in his back pocket.

Then there is the highly irritating fact that George W. Bush has never been held accountable for anything in his life. Not for the wild partying of a privileged brat, not for using his family's position to duck going to Vietnam and getting him into Yale, not for dereliction of duty in the service, not for a variety of bad business deals, nothing. And now, with Pelosi's help, he's not going to be held accountable for purposefully attacking the Constitution and claiming powers that are not his to claim.

There is no doubt in my mind that Bush would be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors if impeached, and I think he knows that, too. There have been a number of signs recently that Bush, with the help of his family, is preparing for the eventuality of impeachment or jail time after his presidency is over. One-way tickets to Paraguay, please.

Pelosi should not have made such a definitive statement about impeachment. Who knows what administration crimes will be uncovered if there are real hearings in Congress?

Would somebody somewhere please hold George Bush accountable?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weapons of Mass Disappearance

What do you fear? AIDS? Nuclear holocaust? Dick Cheney? Forget it. The greatest threat to civilization as we know it is now reality.

The Cloak of Invisibility.

Scientists have created a cloak that can make physical objects invisible. According to an article in the most recent issue of Science, “In their first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder.

“It's like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead and behind an image of the sky.

"’We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction,’ said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University's electrical and computer engineering department.”

Oh, the horror. This invention has the potential to turn human society into absolute and utter chaos. Think for a moment. Ask yourself: “What would I do if I could be invisible?” Now, as horrible and perverted as that might be, consider if Jeffrey Dahmer or Pat Robertson or that crazy little guy from North Korea had cloaks of invisibility. What if Al Qaeda had access to cloaks? What if CIs fell into the hands of college fraternity brothers or Republicans?

Do you see the magnitude of the threat? You would never feel safe again. You’d never know when someone was watching you. Not that you or I have anything to hide, but you can bet others do. Privacy would be all but eliminated.

There is only one solution other than mass hysteria. We must demand that these same scientists who invented the Cloak of Invisibility work simultaneously to create the Anti-Cloak of Invisibility. A device that can detect people wearing the cloak. This must be done.

If we fail in this effort, we will never be able to look ourselves in the mirror again…because we’d be invisible. But you know what I mean. Cloaks of Invisibility must never see the light of day. Aaargh. Sorry.

Maybe there are uses for CIs after all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bumper stickers for the deaf, dumb and blind

Bumper stickers for the 30 percent of Americans who in poll after poll think George Bush is doing a good job as President.

I’m a moron and I vote

Bush/Cheney 2008

I just don’t give a shit!

I support our Presidant

God, Guns and George

If you can read this, thank George Bush

Yes, the rich are better than me

He may be the village idiot, but he’s our village idiot

Na, na, na, na…I can’t hear you…na, na, na…

I voted for Bush twice and I don’t make mistakes

Jesus voted for Bush. He told me. Honest.

Intelligence is overrated.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Plan B: A midnight flight to Paraguay

Well, this is interesting. According to a South American news source, the Bush family has bought nearly 99,000 acres of farm land in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

Golly, what could that be all about? We’re not talking about a little hacienda with a few chickens in the yard. By my calculations, that’s an area of land larger than the state of Rhode Island.

But let’s get honest. Paraguay. Argentina. Havens for fascists and despots. I think Poppy is reading his tea leaves and preparing for first son to have sanctuary in a dictator-friendly country. Hey, it never hurts to have a plan B.

With all that acreage, Bush could have his own mini-country where he and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice can all live in the lap of luxury with the money that you know is being sent to offshore banks as you read this. They can make the peasants serfs and live out their long wished-for monarchy. Princess Condaleeza.

El Presidente Bush. It has a…natural ring to it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Did Bush know what Foley was up to?

It now appears that the White House new Foley was radioactive as far back as 2004. Foley emailed brother Jeb wondering why he was getting the cold shoulder from Bush. The essence of his whining was ‘How come I’m never invited to stand with the President when he comes to Florida?’ Good question. Why indeed, unless they knew what Foley was up to? And if they did know, we can add the White House to the growing list of pedophile enablers.

The Republicans involved in the cover up make me sick. They left kids at risk so they could maintain power in Congress. That’s a real bucketful of family values if your family is the Mafia. The morally confused Rethugs would be more than happy to put some poor schmuck in jail for smoking a joint in his living room, yet when it’s one of their own no transgression, including molesting children, is too damaging.

How in the hell do they live with themselves?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pssst. Blame the Dems. Pass it on.

Bill O’Reilly claims that North Korea is “causing trouble” in order to influence the November election, presumably in the Dems favor. Dennis Hastert and others have asserted that the Foley issue was timed to go public in order to benefit Democratic candidates. Numerous wingnut pundits claim that every election cycle Al Qaeda members take time out from their bomb making duties to root for Democrats. Everyone hates conspiracy theories unless it’s their conspiracy theory. That’s Going Too Far! has cataloged several other accusations making the rounds of the Right Wing spin-o-sphere:

• The head veterinarian at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom is suggesting that African elephants have vasectomies to control overpopulation. He has invented a 5-foot tool he claims can do the job. The Republican National Committee dispatched a memo today arguing that, “This radical procedure, without the animal’s consent by the way, is intended to symbolically castrate the beloved symbol of our party and is a blatant attempt to insert voodoo practices into the upcoming election. Snip the elephant, a Republican crumbles. We won’t stand for it.”
• Republican senatorial candidate from Minnesota Mark Kennedy claims that the three straight losses by the Minnesota Twins in their playoff games with the Oakland As was a Democratic “fix” to take attention away from moral Midwest values and focus the electorate on the liberal, anything-goes San Francisco Bay Area. “These Democrats will do anything to win in November, and they don’t care at all if they destroy the great American game of baseball to do it. Somebody gave the As extra mojo, and it sure wasn’t Dick Cheney.”
• Dennis Miller has charged that his failing career as a conservative comic is the result of a coordinated underground attack by Democratic operatives. “It’s all so obvious,” noted Miller. “The lack of work, the shows that bombed, there really is only one explanation, and that is Dem dirty work. I’m as funny as I ever was, maybe funnier, but I can’t get a mall opening. They’re very afraid of me.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Outing the October Surprise

Everyone’s making predictions about the Rove/Bush October surprise. War with Iran? A terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Capturing Bin Laden? While all of these prognostications have some merit, “That’s Going Too Far! has received some scintillating inside info about the real pre-election blockbuster.

George Bush will come out of the closet.

It’s the era of outing and with so many top Republicans turning out to be gay, Bush will join the club with an announcement prior to November 7.

The spin?

If you’ve ever seen the 1997 comedy “In and Out,” you’ll remember that Kevin Kline plays a small-town English teacher who is beloved by everyone until he is forced out of the closet. Coming out ruins his wedding (to the hilarious Joan Cusack) and turns the principal of his school against him. However, at a school assembly, students and townspeople come to Kevin’s aid by all declaring “I’m gay,” effectively blunting the stigma of gayness.

Hence, George Bush will stand up and say, “I’m gay.” His (Rove’s) reasoning is that it will 1) take the focus off of the Foley scandal, 2) generate sympathy for him, Hastert and others, and 3) put his name in the headlines for weeks.

It will be another brilliant Rovian tactic of attacking one of the Democrats’ strengths and disarming it. What can the Democrats do? Ridicule Bush? All they can do is sympathize and praise him for his courage. It’s going to turn a Democratic slam dunk into a Republican rout.

Immediately after the election, the White House will announce that Bush has undergone an operation at Walter Reed that completely restored his heterosexuality. Viola. Homosexuality can be cured.

Are these bastards good or what?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Brain farts

Liberals look at the facts and adjust their worldview. Conservatives look at their worldview and adjust the facts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Limbo not in limbo anymore

The Pope just abolished Limbo. Not the “How-low-can-you-go,” back-snapping dance popular in the sixties. This is Limbo, the after-death destination for good persons who died before the resurrection of Jesus and unbaptized infants.

Damn it.

Limbo was my loophole. My Plan B. Okay, I’m not Catholic. I’m not even Christian, but I am half Italian, which means my Catholic creds go back generations. And if you haven’t been baptized, you can’t be a Catholic, but you can get into Limbo. Come my personal judgment day, I was going to ride that train to the station.

“Hell? Uh, uh. I’ve got a ticket to Limbo.”

I have no idea what I’d do there or how long my stay would be. To me, Limbo sounded like a layover in Des Moines. Not a lot to do, quiet, lousy weather, but not the worst place you could be by far. Everyone would be issued a big calendar and diary.

“Day 4,264. No resurrection. Made brownies and watched final episode of ‘The Bachelor’.”

One can certainly imagine the conversation centuries ago that got the Limbo ball rolling.

“Holy Father, I am here on behalf of my King, who seeks the Pontiff’s support in his upcoming battle with the eastern hordes, and who will send a sizable fortune to guarantee such a commitment. However, the King has one question he would like answered before this deal is consummated. Is there no recourse for a good and honest unbaptized man after death other than Heaven or Hell? Something in between, perhaps?

“How sizable a fortune are we talking about?”

So Limbo is history and a person’s options after dying are…limited. But wait, Catholic doctrine has more loopholes in it than a Congressional tax bill. Limbo may gone, but there’s still purgatory. More Salina, Kansas than Des Moines, but I’ll take it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Foley Fiasco

Will the Foley Fiasco be enough to wake up a slumbering electorate to the criminal enterprise known as the Republican party? Will it serve to separate honest conservatives (there have to be a few) from the current mafiacons who work in the shadow of the elephant to line their pockets and run their scams?

I am becoming more and more convinced that those who represent the Republican party in Washington are criminals in the literal sense who really have no understanding of, nor care about, public service. De Lay, Abramoff, Ney and others were the gumbas who got overly greedy and dipped into the cookie jar one too many times, but their concept of politics as a money-making venture runs like blood in the veins of this administration.

Foley is one sick puppy, but the cover-up is what we should all be concerned about. Like all common criminals, the instinctive reaction of Hastert, et al, to having a pedophile in their midst was to cover up, conceal and dissemble. That they should force Foley to quit for the safety of the pages never crossed their dark, dank little minds. The Republicans in Congress are not good and honorable people.

There could be more revelations before this is over. As usual, the mainstream press is doing everything it can to excuse, forgive and forget the story, but this may be the rising tsunami that finally overwhelms the current ship of state and sends the rats in Washington scurrying for their lives.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pawlenty. Hatch. Taxes. The governor's race in Minnesota

I envision Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty getting up every morning, pouring himself a cup of Joe and going to his computer to check on the day’s talking points from Comrade Rove. The Timster barely has to glance at the e-mail, however, because he knows what it will say, as it has every day for the past umpteen years — TAXES.

Pawlenty, like all good Republicans running for office, is hammering the issue of taxes. He won’t raise ‘em. His opponent, Mike Hatch will. End of story. Perhaps the only other single word in all of American politics with as much emotional bang as “taxes” is “communist.” I just crossed myself, and I’m not even Catholic.

Yes, Repugs own taxes. Every election, they go to the electorate pool, slap a few dollar bills on a hook, and cast away. And every year the voters bite hard and bite often. Like carp with brains the size of a period, people can’t seem to stop themselves from taking the bait.

Republicans want voters to believe that taxes are a socialist invention, and, to an extent, that is correct. But when you take this idea to its logical conclusion, “family” must be straight out of Das Kapital. A family is, after all, a group of people who work as a unit, each sacrificing some individual goals and desires for the good of the whole (theoretically speaking, of course). The family is a socialist enterprise. Yet Repugs cannot make the simple leap necessary to realize that what’s good for the family is good for the community, the state and the nation. Shared sacrifice.

Taxes are the relatively small sacrifice we pay for the good of the whole. In Minnesota, we pay higher taxes than many other states. I have lived in other states, and, when I compare the schools, highways, snow removal, etc., I am convinced it’s worth it. My fantasy (the one that is PG) is to take busloads of Taxpayer League of Minnesota members and their families to Alabama or Mississippi and force them to live there a year. Let their children experience the public schools in a state with low taxes. Let the I-hate-taxes group try and get the social services they need or the medical care they take for granted here. Do they really want Minnesota to emulate Alabama?

The “No New Taxes” chant from Pawlenty will grow louder and louder as election day approaches, drowning out other substantive issues that deserve discussion. Unfortunately, like negative advertising, it works. Hopefully, Hatch will be able to convince Minnesotans (who are better educated than many other Americans because they have good schools) that you get what you pay for. End of story.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sean Hannity: GM's new bitch

General Motors has chosen Sean Hannity to be its spokesman for a new marketing effort. The helmet-haired, ranting liar of FOX’s “Hannity and Colmes” is going to represent one of America’s best-known companies to the world in the, "You're a great American" campaign. GM products—Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, etc.—will now carry the stamp, “Wingnut Approved” on all models. I think droopy-faced Pat Buchanan would have looked far more natural behind the wheel of a Hummer chasing illegal immigrants through the Arizona desert, but nobody asked.

The question is, how will Ford counter? Perhaps they can get Ann Coulter to try and jump the Grand Canyon in an F100 (Ah, she missed). Or hire Michael Savage to spearhead the “If-you-don’t-own-a-Ford-you’re-an-Al-Qaeda-sympathizer” campaign. Can you imagine the boardroom conversation that lead up to the Hannity decision?

“How about this? Let’s get one of the most ignorant, hate-filled, divisive characters on television to sell our products.”

“Great idea, J.B. Brilliant.”

A boycott should spring up over this. It is very discouraging. As we try desperately to wrench back our country from the dangerously inept dictator-in-chief and his minions, GM goes out of its way to confirm to everyone in the world who owns a TV set or looks at a billboard that, yes, we really are a country of reactionary morons. And we’re damned proud of it.

Maybe, just maybe, there is a way to fight back.

“Hello, Peugot? I’ve got Michael Moore on the line.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mainstream media continues its retreat from reality

It is so discouraging hearing reporters in the MSM provide cover for the disastrous Bush administration night after night. As part of an ABC newscast, George Stephanopoulos made the following comment regarding the partially released NIE report critical of the situation in Iraq. “But the report also does offer some validation for the president's military strategy. It says success in Iraq is a key to containing the threat. It also says that political reform, democratic reform, is a key to containing the threat. The president's made both those points.”

This line of reasoning is straight from the Republican talking points memo sent out that day. There was no terrorist threat from Iraq prior to our invasion. Every expectation the administration had regarding Iraq has proven wrong. The country is now a breeding ground for terrorists because of the administration’s poor post-war planning and complete lack of understanding of the religious situation in the Middle East, and has nothing to do with strategy of any kind. The “threat” emanating from Iraq is Bush’s fault, yet Stephanopoulos makes it sound as if the President is the great hope for peace in the region.

George Bush is the problem, not the solution.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dems, do you want to win? I can't hear you....

Okay, here’s American political reality in a nutshell: Republicans are in power for two reasons. One, they cheat. If there’s a fight, they point over your shoulder and say, “Hey, who’s that?” and when you look, they kick you in the balls. End of fight. You lose. Unfortunately, Democrats fall for it every time. For a variety of dark reasons—ends justify the means, it’s okay ‘cause God’s on my side, losing is for suckers, I’m white with a one-syllable name— conservatives are more than willing to cheat and lie to win.

That’s difficult enough for an opposing party that 1) keeps wanting to play by the rules of common civility, and 2) are too cowardly to stand up for themselves, let alone for what’s right, but Republicans have a second and more powerful weapon: the money continuum.

The money continuum is very simple yet highly effective. Money is the key to power in the United States. You need lots of money to win elections. Who has lots of money? Very rich people and very large corporations. So for you to get money from them, you need to be on their side and stand up for their interests. Hence, the modern Republican Party.

Large tax breaks for the wealthy result in large campaign donations from these same people. Bending over backwards to help the Halliburtons and the GEs and the Cargills increase their profits means lots of open checkbooks at election time.

It’s all about the money. The great mystery that has been discussed by “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” author Thomas Frank and others is this: Why don’t common, every day Joes and Janes see the blatant disregard Republicans have for average working-class folks? Mom and Pop are getting screwed and asking for more. It is one of the astounding feats of political slight-of-hand to watch Republicans hand John Doe five bucks in a tax break and then take five hundred bucks from his pension, health care, property taxes, energy expenses, etc., all to benefit large donors to the Republican Party.

The Rovian approach is simple, sinister and successful. What can we do about it? My solution is neither novel nor clever. Democrats simply need to stand up bravely for their convictions. Like the perennial weakling getting sand kicked in his face, it’s time to stand up and say “No more.” Stop calibrating. Stop triangulating. Stop equivocating. Start using the power of the truth. Say it loud and say it proud. It’s simple but by no means easy to do, which is why too many Democrats run scared from it. The time to stop running is right now.

Democratic candidates for office, please keep in mind one thing this year. It’s not about winning an election; it’s about rescuing democracy. Start believing it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Post-administration Traumatic Shock Syndrome

Dr. Melvin,

Here is the list you asked me to make. Some of my goals fall into the “aspirational” category, but others are very practical in nature. And you were right. I do feel more confident about my future having done this exercise, but I also feel slightly aroused. Is that bad?

Things I want to accomplish in the coming year:

• Start my intimate shaving business
• Choose a new personal catch phrase to replace “Remember 9/11.”
• Stop wasting time trying to get the Olsen twins’ address and phone number
• Sharpen 335 pencils in one hour
• Cancel my subscription to “Babes ‘n Bikes.”
• Have my condo fumigated
• Make eye contact and speak to my neighbors
• Discover and punish my feminine side
• Turn OFF the Cartoon Channel
• Find my brand

Thank you again, Dr. Melvin. I really feel that my life is moving in a new direction as a result of your work. Wish me luck.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bush locked in a cell of his own making

Whenever those of us living in the reality-based world hear Bush speak about the Iraq war, we are always left shaking our heads in wonderment. What FOX pundits and Christian Fundamentalists see as moral conviction and steadfastness, the rest of us see as the arrogant denial of a disturbed mind.

We might both be wrong. What are George’s options?

With his lies, blunders, missteps, mismanagement, ignorance, arrogance and absence of curiosity, he has built an iron cell around himself from which there is no escape. All habitual liars eventually become prisoners of their lies. Even if the impossible was possible and George was totally in control of his mental facilities (I know. Bear with me), and his moral compass was pointed in the right direction, he has no other options now but to stick with his “stay the course” blather. What else can he do?

How does one say, “I’m sorry” for the needless death of thousands of Americans, tens of thousands of Iraqis, the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, alienating our allies, torturing people, spying on innocent Americans, blah, blah, blah? Should we even expect that from a man with no personal courage or character?

George has no choice but to pretend his cell isn’t real, that black is white, that failure is success. No amount of logic will reach him behind his mental bars. Clinging to a cynical world of religious mumbo jumbo and super-sized national icons is the only thing that keeps Bush from washing down the whole bottle of sleeping pills.

Others in the administration have their own reasons for feeding George’s fantasies, with staying out of jail being at the top of the list. George’s denial goes much deeper, though, to a place where huge mistakes grow larger and larger by eating at the soul as they wait to be set free by confession. Unfortunately for all of us, it is a confession that Bush will never have the courage to make.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New ABC shows currently in production

Everybody Hates Bill
Everything former President Bill Clinton does is wrong, and his wacky friends, family and neighbors never let him forget it. Criminally insane wife Hillary only adds to the comic chaos.

Set in the Old West, a lone cowboy arrives in the dying town of Deadwood. Run for years by a socialist cabal, the town is slowly being crushed under the weight of repressive taxes, over-regulation and social programs run amok. Our hero, known only as Newt, hires on as the new sheriff and pledges to clean up the town and restore traditional American values.

Law & Order: Extreme Punishment
The scum of the earth are brought to justice in this gritty police drama. Fired from the NYPD for using excessive force, former detectives Hannity and Driscoe establish their own EP (Extreme Punishment) Unit and begin cleaning up the city using any force necessary. The rulebook goes out the window and Miranda is sent packing as the two vigilantes break bones and bust heads for true justice.

Heaven’s to Betsy
What would America be like if it were truly a Christian Nation? In this heartwarming comedy, Betsy Armstrong and her family find out when a national religious leader overthrows the elected government and institutes biblical law. Dress codes, mandatory church attendance and stoning are all part of daily life in the fictional town of New Eden.

The Ann Coulter Show
Powerhouse pundit Ann Coulter showcases her charming and witty side in this all-American variety show. Ann sings, dances and executes illegal immigrants during an hour of fun family entertainment. A few of Ann’s guest performers will include the Marine Corps Band, Daughters of the American Revolution Choir, Charleton Heston, and the rock band, White Pride Riot.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The true lesson of 9/11 in pictures

Thanks to Stop George at Daily Kos.

Friday, September 08, 2006

One for the good guys

It appears today that the ABC docudrama “The Path to 9/11” may be pulled before its scheduled airing this weekend. This would be a major victory for America’s left, which has had very few things to cheer about in recent years. I wrote to ABC, Scholastic, and a sponsor, Edward Jones, asking them all to reconsider their involvement in this very flawed project. Even though I was only one of tens of thousands of voices, I feel a part of this victory. We took a page from the Right’s playbook and used it against them.

We were heard, but it was a Herculean effort that included the direct intercession of former President Clinton. The victory is all the sweeter because it is a constant uphill battle for progressives on every political front. With Republicans in control all three branches of government, most cable news programs and, to a certain extent, network news, the entire power structure of this country is aligned against us. Yet “people power” is still alive and kicking thanks in great part to the internet. If you compare the amount of coverage given the ABC film in the mainstream media to the coverage happening on the net, you get a clear picture of the influence blogs are having on the political process.

“The Path to 9/11” may be the first real battle of the campaign season. Let’s hope it’s the first of many victories in our efforts to reclaim American democracy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Should you vote?

Note everyone who is eligible to vote should vote. That may sound like heresy in a democracy such as ours, but the fact is that careless, unthinking votes can be more harmful than not voting at all, as recent elections have clearly demonstrated. Think about it. Just because you can hold a scalpel doesn’t mean you’re qualified to do brain surgery. Likewise, simply because you can pull a lever or punch a chad doesn’t automatically make you qualified to vote.

What follows is a self-assessment exercise for potential voters. Through this brief quiz, you will be able to determine whether or not you are mentally fit to cast your ballot for a candidate or referendum. We hope you pass the test, but if you do not, please use the results as motivation to become a thoughtful, well-informed voter.


The current Vice President of the United States is:

a) Donald Trump
b) Harry Potter
c) Richard Cheney
d) Denzel Washington
e) Lon Chaney


The three branches of government are the executive, the legislative and the…?

a) binary
b) olive
c) corporate
d) judicial
e) Christian


The Bill of Rights includes the first 10 amendments to…?

a) the Constitution
b) my will
c) my Master Card bill
d) the Boy Scout oath
e) the Magna Carta


The first amendment to the Constitution discusses the issue of separation of church and…?

a) casinos
b) state
c) reality
d) toxic waste sites
e) his conjoined twin


The President of the United States is also:

a) the parade Grand Marshall
b) an alcoholic
c) allergic to latex
d) king of the road
e) Commander and Chief of the armed forces


What happens on the second Tuesday in November every four years?

a) Spider monkeys mate
b) Americans vote for President
c) A solar eclipse
d) The rugs are cleaned in the White House
e) Michael Jackson issues a comeback CD


Each state has ___ senators.

a) too many
b) 365
c) a shitload of
d) potential
e) two


I have to pay a fee to vote.



Iraq is in…?

a) the Middle East
b) Middle Earth
c) Midtown Manhattan
d) Africa
e) Iowa

If you missed 1 – 3 answers, please abstain from voting in the next election. You may retake the test in six months. If you missed 3 or more answers, you must turn yourself in to the nearest substance abuse or mental health clinic for immediate intervention.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Con U

Dear Mr. Andreini,

Thank you for your interest in the Media Pundit program at the deWhite School of Broadcasting. We take great pride in being #1 nationally for producing graduates who go on to positions at the cable news networks as political pundits and talk show hosts. The list of dWSB alumni is a virtual Who’s Who of cable and radio talkmeisters, and our job placement rate is an impressive 48 percent! Ann Coulter recently described dWSB as the Right Wing’s “School of Assassins.”

Enclosed in this packet of information about dWSB is a class schedule, financial aid information, a campus map and a sports calendar. As a prospective student, we invite you to attend a free intercollegiate volleyball match between our Lady Buckleys and their arch rivals, the Deer Bottom Tech Shivs.

The Media Pundit program is a finely tuned balance of classroom learning and on-air experience. All students entering the program begin with a series of core courses:

1011 Cutting Off Callers
1099 History of the Ad Hominem Attack
1298 The Bully: Misunderstood American Icon
1300 The Fine Art of Ridicule
1339 Public School Deprogramming
1366 Studio Tantrums and Tirades

From there, you will select a specialty field as your major. These include:

Battle Bitch
Corporate Lackey
Insufferable Antagonist
Blowhard Know-it-all
Moral Scold

As you can see, there are any number of academic options from which to choose. Yet dWSB isn’t only about lectures an tests. As a resident student, you’ll find an active campus community with numerous opportunities to become involved and develop your leadership skills. Our clubs and organizations include:

Campus Republicans
Earl Turner Theatre Troupe
Drill Team
Pistol Club
Rifle Club
Bazooka Club
Ground-to-Air Missile Club
FOX Fan Club
Debate Team
Campus Christians for Christ
Exotic Weapons Society
John Birch Memorial Men’s Choir

And of course, you’ll enjoy cheering on the Buckleys. We are part of the National Confederate Athletic Association and field men’s teams in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, wrestling, sword fighting, dueling and paintball. Women’s teams include volleyball.

Our gated 12-acre campus/compound is located near beautiful Hinton, West Virginia, which was ranked by the National Review as “one of America’s most livable cities.”

Thank you again for considering the deWhite School of Broadcasting. See you this fall!


Wendell Schmitt
Dean of Admissions

Rummy goes rabid

America’s crankiest old man Donald Rumsfeld is at it again. Before a sympathetic crowd of VFW flag-wavers in Reno, Nevada yesterday, Rummy basically called everyone who disagrees with the administration’s Iraq policies cowards and losers. That would include over two-thirds of his fellow citizens. Perhaps even one or two in his audience.

The Bush administration has branded me and virtually all of the people I know as cowards and America haters. How does it make you feel to be thought of by your government as something akin to a traitor for your views? We are nothing less than enemies of the State. Patches and ID tattoos to follow.

Rumsfeld has bungled every aspect of the Iraq war from troop strength to equipment to the post-war insurgency. The military leadership hates him, conservative pundits have called for his resignation, yet we are the cowards. This is a country turned upside down.

Americans are caught in the perfect storm of political incompetence. In any other administration in any other time, Rumsfeld would have been fired or reassigned, but when you’re a President with Congress and the Supreme Court covering your back, you can pretty much do as you damn well please.

Perhaps Rumsfeld’s alienating rhetoric is a sign of panic in the White House. Maybe the wheels are starting to come off the war wagon. We should be so lucky. In reality it is simply one more cynical, Rovian attack on what most of us like to think of as the democratic process. The only cowards in this sordid affair are those in the Bush administration who are unwilling to admit mistakes, but very willing to send other people off to die as a result of those mistakes.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Proud to be an American

I wake up every morning and thank my lucky stars that I’m an American. Every time I watch the news I’m reminded that the United States is the best place on earth. Think about it. I could be living in one of those horrible Middle Eastern countries where

The news is controlled and filtered to provide only the government’s viewpoint,

The people are superstitious and poorly educated,

Foreigners are not trusted,

Intellectuals are marginalized,

The government uses fear to retain power,

Education is a political tool,

Politicians reduce complex problems to emotionally volatile slogans,

Religion is used to divide people,

The government encourages corporations to rape the environment,

Political dissenters are attacked as unpatriotic,

Religious leaders preach hate and intolerance,

The government spends an inordinate amount of money on its military,

Elections are rigged,

Science is subservient to religion.

On second thought, I’m going back to bed.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bush: Will he snap?

The speed at which Bush is descending into the abyss of denial and delusion seems to increase daily. He recently dismissed the comments of his top general regarding the situation in Iraq with this incoherent babble: “You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box.” The only use for a ballot box in Iraq now is for something to hide behind when the bullets start flying.

Bush is dangerously out of touch and he’s getting worse. Rove, Cheney, Rice—those closest to Mad King George—know that they can’t stop feeding his delusions or the house of cards will surely come tumbling down on all of them. And that, to me, is frightening.

We’ve got two years left. The question is, within that time frame, will there be a convergence, a “come to Jesus” moment for Bush when his Apocalyptic visions, arrogant self-righteousness, male insecurities and reality collide in some kind of mental nuclear fusion? Will he be sitting in a dark corner of the White House at 2 a.m., sipping on a gin and tonic, when he suddenly understands that the only way to save the world is to destroy it…now? Something snaps. The floor gives way. George calls for the man with the briefcase.

On the other hand, Bush may simply be too stupid to have a mental breakdown. There may be no alternative viewpoints in his tiny pointed head that could possibly intrude on his own one-dimensional vision of reality. The irony is that Bush’s comatose brain may actually be our best hope for survival.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

MSM momentarily befuddled

What’s interesting about this morning’s coverage of Lamont’s win over Lieberman in Connecticut are the news headlines I’ve read. The ones I’ve seen focus on Lieberman and what he plans to do about losing. “Lieberman Plans to Run as Independent,” is the preferred line. So typical of the media to spin it this way. How about, “Lamont Upsets Democratic Incumbent”? Or “Anti-war Lamont Defeats Lieberman”? Or, better yet, “Lieberman Succumbs to Bush’s Kiss of Death.”

The MSM seems momentarily discombobulated by Lamont’s victory. How could the establishment lose? Who threw the wrench into the political machinery? Over the past few decades, they have paid little to no attention to “the voice of the people,” instead parroting government-approved pundits and conventional wisdom. They will attempt to minimize the importance of this election by portraying it as an anomaly, a mere blip on the political radar.

I believe, I hope, Lieberman is the first domino to fall in a long line of Bush apologists and that events over the next few months will prove the MSM wrong. Again.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mickey goes to war

Are we a militaristic nation? I don’t think many Americans would characterize us that way, yet our compunction to solve the world’s problems with bullets and bombs, our almost spiritual reverence of those who fight our wars and the continuing attempts by the NRA to arm every man, woman and child has to make one stop and wonder. And now this.

Today’s Washington Post reports that the Army “[is] considering allowing a private developer to build a 125-acre entertainment, hotel and conference center complex next to a national Army museum at Fort Belvoir that could draw more than 1 million people a year to traffic choked southern Fairfax County.”

It’s a military theme park, complete with M-1 tank rides for the kids and an entertainment district “…with bars like the “1st Division Lounge.”

The “visitor destination concept,” as the Army euphemistically refers to it, is actually a stroke of malevolent brilliance. How better to fill the ranks of the military in the future than by starting to indoctrinate the fertile minds of pre-schoolers today? “Mommy, when I grow up I wanna fly a Cobra Gunship.”

What appears to be left out of the plans for this Disneyland in fatigues is the actual consequences of war—death and destruction. The Post didn’t mention anything about the M.A.S.H. unit tour, where families can “…wallow in pools of blood as surgeons saw off limbs and cram intestines back into body cavities.” Or the ever popular, “Enemy Village Ride,” that takes you through a recently bombed hamlet and past the grotesquely broken and burned bodies of women and children.

Glorifying war and violence? Naw, it’s all good, clean fun at the Bloodiest Place on Earth.

Monday, July 31, 2006

They can't stop lying

So New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg lied about why he wouldn’t let protestors gather in Central Park during the 2004 Republican Convention. It wasn’t about security or potential environmental concerns. It was political. What a surprise.

Republicans are habitual liars. Why? Ask Michael Corleone.

One of the many subplots in “The Godfather” movies was the gradual deterioration of the marriage between Michael Corleone and the outsider Kay. From the very beginning of their relationship, Kay is uneasy that Michael is evasive about his family’s business. As the saga progresses, Michael’s continuing lies about his illegal business dealings eventually push Kay out of his life.

In Michael’s world, there was no alternative for him but to lie, because telling the truth—that he was a bloodthirsty mobster who had people killed, including his own brother—would shock and alienate most anyone who wasn’t also a mobster. In other words, the lies were necessary to cover horrible truths understood by only a small group of initiates.

Which brings us to today’s conservatives. Why do they feel the need to lie, even at times when the truth would serve them better? The reasons are the same as their Mafioso brethren. Bush, Cheney, O’Reilly, Coulter, Robertson, Frist, et. al., have a horrible truth that can only be concealed by perpetual lies: The ideology to which they swear their allegiance is rotten at its core. Beneath the thin veneer of public service and fair and balanced is a dark, corrupt system powered by greed, hatred, cronyism, militarism, bigotry and selfishness. You won’t win a lot of votes with this agenda, so you lie.

You lie and you lie and you lie. You wrap your lies in religious images, patriotic slogans, family values and American flags. Twenty-first century conservatives won’t generally stand up at a podium and say, “I’m a racist.” They won’t admit that all of their tax cuts for wealthy individuals and large corporations are intended to buy support in elections. No political commercials will reveal that the Constitution doesn’t fit into their future plans for America.

So they lie. And they lie to cover their lies. Just as Michael Corleone could never be honest with his wife Kay, today’s Conservative politicians, pundits and prayermeisters can never be honest with the American people. The one difference is that Michael actually loved Kay.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Today's letter to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reader rep

I would like to understand the rationale behind your “Is that a fact?” series. So far, you’ve analyzed a misleading Republican ad and a misleading Democratic ad. And the point is?

The fact that both parties twist and distort the positions of the other is hardly enlightening or helpful, and may have the opposite effect you desire by reinforcing the widely-held opinion that because all politicians are liars, voting is irrelevant.

What I see in the “Is that a fact?” series is one more unfortunate example of the MSM’s addictive adherence to “balance.” In its attempts not to offend anyone (subscribers), the media continuously goes to extreme efforts to treat every subject as if there are always two legitimate sides to consider. In reality, there are not. The earth is not flat. Period. The earth revolves around the sun. Period. One political party lies and distorts the truth more egregiously and more often than the other. Period.

What would be far more helpful in educating readers than your current, “They said/they said,” approach would be an analysis of positions taken by each party with a discussion of which positions are backed primarily by facts and data, and which positions are backed primarily by ideology and wishful thinking.

Among the scientific community (those who actually know what they’re talking about), there is virtually no argument that global warming is the result of human activity. However, in its effort to balance the discussion, the media continue to print misleading articles and editorials by conservatives calling into question assertions about global warming. In this case, “balance” is resulting in a confused electorate and a dangerous delay in seeking remedies to a very serious problem.

Your goal of educating voters is worthy, but the tit-for-tat approach of “Is that a fact?” merely reinforces the biases of the party faithful and the cynicism of the undecided.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Noonan the nattering nabob

In a Wall Street Journal editorial today, Peggy Noonan attacked the scientific community over global warming, if you can believe it. It is, of course, one more attempt by the Bush Administration and its media propagandists to throw sand in the eyes of Americans. The questions Noonan asks have already been answered. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of 1,000 of the world’s top experts in the field, have stated without reservation that the warming trend over the past 50 years is directly related to human activities. What other gathering of “the world’s great scientists” would Noonan want to convene? Or did she mean “the world’s great scientists who agree with President Bush and the energy industry CEOs?” Noonan could hold this meeting in her living room.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It can't happen here, part XII

“The President is always right.”
Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel at a July 11, 2006 Senate Judiciary Committee meeting

The Fuhrer is always right.
Article 6, Nazi Party Organization Book (1940)

8. Mussolini is always right.
From the Fascist Decolague, the Ten Commandments of the Italian soldiers under Mussolini

“The thoughts of Chairman Mao are always correct.”
Lin Biao, Defense Minister, 7,000 Cadres Conference, 1962

Napoleon is always right.
Boxer, in Animal Farm by George Orwell

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

President Hillary Clinton and the unitary executive theory: A Republican nightmare

There are reports of yet more secret U.S. intelligence operations emanating from the White House that have not been reported to Congress. The Great Decider continues to believe that he can decide to do whatever the hell he wants, and damn the Constitution. It’s the antidemocratic unitary executive theory in action, folks; a theory embraced by many Third World dictators and exactly two Americans. Unfortunately for us, those two individuals are members of the current administration in Washington.

The unitary executive theory embraced by Vice President Cheney and his Consigliore David Addington gives the President almost unlimited powers during war. We all know how well that’s working. Despite the fact that this theory flies in the face of everything the founding fathers tried to establish in the Constitution, it seems to be this administration’s governing framework.

It is a theory that begs for continual war. If a President can have almost unlimited powers simply because there is a conflict somewhere in the world involving American soldiers, hey, why not? And who says when the war on terror is over? That one could be squeezed for decades.

The question I’ve had since I first heard of this bizarre interpretation of executive power is this: what do theory supporters think is going to happen when there’s a Democratic president?
Are the Congressional Republicans actually willing to give up their power to reign in a President when that person is, oh, just for argument’s sake, let’s say, Hillary Clinton? I mean, that scenario has to be their worst nightmare come true.

Or, as difficult as it is to believe, do they think there won’t be another Democratic president? Ever? Now, as inept as the Democrats have proven to be over the last thirty years, there will come a day—maybe not in my lifetime—but there will come a day when a Democrat is in the Oval Office. If Cheney’s and Addington’s vision of the nearly infallible President were allowed to stand, their political heirs may one day get the finger from Al Gore.

My guess is that once GB leaves office, either for Texas or a jail cell, the unitary executive theory will evaporate like a raindrop on a Phoenix sidewalk in August. Having seen what happens when you hand over the steering wheel of a speeding car to a chimpanzee, few in Congress from either party will have the stomach to argue for unrestrained executive powers, war or no war. This will be good, since I’m sure the founding fathers are tired after five years of spinning in their graves.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cheney gets under my skin

Dick Cheney may be one of the most sinister characters in American politics. He is the second most powerful elected official in the country (some will argue the first), and he does not believe in democracy. His view of an imperial president who is not accountable to anyone for anything is so far from the founding father’s idea of a government of and for the people, it resides in a parallel universe. He is a highly experienced liar and manipulator who routinely places his ideological agenda ahead of the nation’s best interests.

Cheney is the Neocons Neocon. Rigidly dogmatic, he is never in doubt about any course of action in which he’s involved, which makes picking out a tie in the morning easy, but running international policy virtually impossible. More than any other administration official, Cheney continues to argue about long resolved issues relating to pre-war Iraq, and, I don’t believe, has ever conceded that anything the administration said or did in the lead up to the war was a mistake.

When I think of Cheney I’m reminded of Henry Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the physically infirm, soulless capitalist who was an expert at exploiting the weaknesses of the good-hearted people of Bedford Falls. He revels in being the object of fear and never lets anyone forget who’s really in charge. Like Cheney, I imagine Potter never served in the military when he had the chance, yet enjoys shooting small animals from the window of his big black Cadillac.

The VP has been quiet of late, mostly popping up here and there to raise money for the GOP machine. It’s almost more unnerving when he’s not visible, because you know he’s lurking behind the curtain, whispering into George’s ear. Keeping close to the bunker. Hanging around, waiting for the sun to set.

Friday, July 07, 2006

To the streets or the liquor cabinet?

I just read a wonderfully written but seemingly fatalistic article by Mark Morford at It’s essentially a rumination on Bush fatigue. Mark has it. I have it. Virtually everyone I know has it. After nearly six years under the rule of the Neocon Nero (“He strummed while New Orleans drowned.”), there is little left to do, according to Mark, but let the virus run its course and look to better days down the road.

As a draft-age young man living in the Bay Area during the late 60s, I can vividly remember the television images of nearly constant anti-war rallies and protest marches in Oakland specifically, but around the world in general. I was not politically mature enough in those days to join them, but they were a part of my life and times, and I know that they ultimately helped bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Now in my fifties, I look at what’s happening in Washington and wonder why the streets are empty. Yes, there have been some large protests over the past five years, but nothing of the duration or intensity of those during Vietnam. It’s troubling to me, because I believe that the current political situation—the dismantling of the principals upon which this country was founded—is fundamentally far more serious than even an illegal war. The conundrum is that there is such widespread and deep resentment toward the Bush administration in this country, but it is not being vented in any cohesive, dramatic way.

Well, John, you ask, why aren’t you organizing something? Why aren’t you out there with your clever banner pounding the pavement? Those are good questions. The anger and outrage are there. The desire for change is there. What’s not there is an expectation that I may be able to actually effect change by taking to the streets. It sounds defeatist, and maybe it is, but the bad guys control everything right now, the executive, the judicial and the legislative branches, as well as the media. Who would hear our shouts and drums banging but ourselves?

Morford’s conclusions are not easy to swallow, and I’m not sure I’m ready to accept them yet, but he may in fact be right that the most productive course we can take is to gird our loins for two more nightmarish years and start planning for the reconstruction now. And drink a lot.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What really happened to Kenny Boy?

A heart attack? Right. Not buying it for a second. How can a person without a heart have a heart attack? Facing the possibility of 30 years in jail at his October sentencing, Ken conveniently up and dies from coronary heart disease while vacationing in Colorado. All a coincidence? I don’t think so, and neither do a lot of other people. So here, then, is my list of theories as to what really happened to Ken at his house in Old Snowmass, Colorado. Some of these conjectures can be found elsewhere in cyber space, and some are my own.

1. He faked his death, had plastic surgery, and will live out the rest of his life farming radishes in Lichtenstein.
2. He was murdered by government agents to keep him from bargaining for leniency at sentencing time with “embarrassing” information about his oily acquaintances.
3. Over the last four years he had some of the world’s best scientist working in his basement laboratory creating Ken Clone, who now lies in a casket.
4. He’s hiding in the sub-basement of the White House and meets with Cheney daily.
5. Moments before death he was sealed in a cylinder of cryogenic preserving fluids with his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth.
6. Overcome by the thought of never seeing his true love again, he committed suicide and can only be brought back to life with a kiss from Condi Rice. His body lies in state on a marble slab in a forest clearing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Republicans say and what they mean

Say: “The American press has a liberal bias.”
Mean: “If I believe something is true, I don’t want some Goddamn newspaper telling me it isn’t.”

Say: “Support the troops.”
Mean: “Shut up about the Iraq war already.”

Say: “I don’t agree with the way Ann Coulter says it, but I think she’s fundamentally correct.”
Mean: “You go, girl.”

Say: “Affirmative action is reverse discrimination.”
Mean: “I don’t like black people.”

Say: “Tax cuts help all Americans.”
Mean: “If we don't keep our major contributors happy, there won't be a Republican party.”

Say: “We need to take a tougher stand on immigration.”
Mean: “I don’t like brown-skinned people.”

Say: “If we don’t fight the terrorists over there, we’ll have to fight them here.”
Mean: “If terrorists ever get this far, it would force those of us in power to actually sacrifice something, like our children, and that is unacceptable.”

Say: “Democrats don’t understand the average, hard-working American.”
Mean: “Democrats don’t understand how to manipulate the average, hard-working American.”

Say: “Everything changed after 9/11.”
Mean: “We’re in control, suckers. We’re the deciders.”

Say: “Flag burning should be a federal crime.”
Mean: “Don’t look behind the curtain. Look over here. Hey, over here.”

Say: “We must stay the course.”
Mean: “We don’t know what the hell we’re doing, but there’s a chance it’ll go our way.”

Say: “The Republican party is a big tent where everyone is welcome.”
Mean: “Join us on the Dark Side.”