Friday, October 26, 2007

Waxman's Investigations are driving them NUTS!

Waxman's Oversight
Wednesday, October 24, 2007; 5:16 PM

Since the Democrats took control of Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) has been involved in virtually every major issue, from the war in Iraq to global warming, from rising prescription drug prices to allegations of White House abuse of power.

Feb. 7: Waxman summons former Iraq occupation administrator L. Paul Bremer to explain how billions of dollars in cash simply disappeared in Baghdad.

"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?" he asks.

(“It’s easy for you to sit there and play Monday morning quarterback, Congressman. Do you know how hard it is to even *weigh* that amount of cash before dropping it into the middle of a civil war? And may I remind you once again that sanity is in the eye of the beholder--”)

Feb. 9: Waxman digs into the U.S. Coast Guard's fleet overhaul, which produced a new flagship cutter that doesn't float.

(“We’ve got thousands of boats that *do* float, and you’re zeroing in this *one* that doesn't. Oh, yeah, that’s fair. Real fair, Waxman.”)

March 2: Waxman introduces legislation to force disclosure of contributions to presidential libraries, toughen the Freedom of Information Act and rescind a Bush executive order on presidential papers.

(“Why are you even wasting our time with this? What do you want to look through a bunch of old presidential archives for? Is that a “big Saturday night,” for you, Waxman?”)

March 17: Waxman summons Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA officer at the heart of a four-year political furor over the Bush administration's leak of her identity. "They made you collateral damage," he tells her. "Your career was ended. Your life may have been in jeopardy, and they didn't seem to care."

(rubs thumb and forefinger together: “You know what this is, Waxman? This is the world’s smallest violin, and it’s playing a sad, sad tune for Valerie Plame. Yes, this administration blew her CIA cover when her husband reported one of the frauds that got us into this effin’ war. Are you trying to tell me that she didn’t the job was dangerous when she took it? *Grow up*!)

April 25: Waxman's committee summons the family of Pat Tillman, the NFL safety-turned-soldier-turned-casualty, to discuss how the Army painted his death in Afghanistan as heroic, despite knowledge that he was killed by friendly fire.

(“This accident wouldn’t even have made the papers if the kid wasn’t in the NFL. And you think that’s gonna make his family feel better, to learn that he was killed by his own troops? My God, don’t you have any human feelings at all, Waxman?”)

April 26: The committee approves a subpoena for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser, to answer questions surrounding forged documents attesting to Saddam Hussein's attempt to purchase uranium "yellowcake" from Niger.

(“You’re calling Condoleeza Rice down to answer questions about national security? HA! That shows how little you really know about how this administration works, Congressman. What a joke.”)

May 4: Waxman weighs in on crop insurance, as the House considers a massive farm bill.
"Over $8 billion in taxpayer funds have been squandered in excess payments to insurers and other middlemen" since 2000, he says. The House-passed bill cut billions from the program.

(“What, now “middlemen” don’t have to eat, Waxman? Middlemen are the financial backbone of this country, Congressman. One family’s “squandered $8 billion dollars in taxpayer funds” is another family’s beach house and second BMW, I think you’re forgetting that, Waxman.”)

May 13: Oversight Committee investigators release new tabulations showing private insurers in the new Medicare prescription drug program losing their leverage over drug manufacturers and prescription inflation.

(“That’s big news to you, prices for prescriptions are too high? How much of our money did you spend to find *that* out, Waxman? Any little old lady could have told you that for free!”)

June 7: John B. Buse of the University of North Carolina Medical School tells the Oversight Committee that officials at SmithKline Beecham intimidated him when he raised alarms about the safety of the company's diabetes drug Avandia..."post-market studies have not been done to say conclusively whether Avandia increases or decreases the risks of heart attacks. That's a major failure of our system," Waxman says.

(“Oh, help, I’m intimidated, oh, I’m a victim, somebody somewhere might have a heart attack because we didn’t do enough testing—My God, what is happening to this country? Do you think that Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone and John Wayne ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, because there wasn’t enough testing going on? “Testing, testing, we need more testing before we settle the Old West.” Jesus H. Christ, Waxman—“)

June 14: Waxman summons General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan to respond to an allegation that, at the conclusion of a White House presentation to GSA political appointees about the November 2006 elections, she asked how they could "help our candidates."

"I don't see any other course of action that will protect the interests of your agency and the federal taxpayer," he tells her. "I would urge you to resign."

(“Congressman, don’t you realize that this woman wouldn’t even *have* a job if it weren’t for political cronyism? And if we're in the business of urging people to resign, all of the sudden, then I would urge *you* to resign, Waxman, how do you like that? How does that make *you* feel, when I say that to *you?*)

June 22: Waxman blasts Vice President Cheney's refusal to comply with an executive order governing the handling of classified information. "He's saying he's above the law," he says as he releases correspondence detailing the issue. "It just seems to me this is arrogant and shows bad judgment."

(“Boy... I thought it was pretty clear to even the *stupidest* observer by now, Waxman, that Vice President Cheney *is* above the law! (to the rest of the room) Do you believe this guy? (to Waxman) Get with the program, Congressman! Use your mentality, wake up to reality.”

Late June: Waxman writes to White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding, saying senior presidential adviser Karl Rove's "deliberate or negligent disclosure" of classified information should disqualify him from a security clearance.

(“That’s rampant bullshit, Waxman! No one can keep a secret like Karl Rove, when he wants to. You’d know how stupid your position is, if you knew all the serious crime shit he's sitting on *at this very minute!*”)

July 11: After former surgeon general Richard H. Carmona says Bush administration officials interfered with his work, Waxman weighs in: "We shouldn't allow the surgeon general to be politicized. . . . It is the doctor to the nation. That person needs to have credibility, independence and to speak about science."

(“Oh, good’re mad that we’re suppressing medical and scientific findings because they conflict with our political agenda? Let me ask you something, Waxman—in your wildest fantasies, do you even dream that *your* doctor is telling you *every little thing* about your health? Most of us wouldn’t even *understand* half that shit! We’re not in the business of adding to people’s worries, Congressman. It’s the Office of the Surgeon General, not the Office of INCESSANT FEAR!”)

July 18: Waxman releases documents indicating that White House officials arranged for top officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help as many as 18 vulnerable Republicans with their reelections.

(“It’s people...HELPING...other people. Is that so wrong, Waxman? Is that really *so* wrong, people helping other people? That’s what this administration is here to *do!* That’s compassionate conservatism in a nutshell! Is that what you’re against, now? Compassion?”)

On the same day, Waxman finally extracts documents on the energy industry's role in Cheney's energy task force, after a six-year struggle.

(“There! There it is, ya happy? You got some six year old documents about how Cheney let the oil people write the nation’s energy policy. After six years, you finally got it. There’ll be biiiiggg celebrating among the Waxmen of the world, tonight I bet. Whoopee! (makes “pop!” noise by putting finger in mouth and popping lip.) And I hope you're happy, because guess what, buster—that policy you’ve been demanding is now *six years out of date.* Whatta a biiiggg victory...)

July 20: Waxman reveals that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had suppressed warnings since early 2006 about health problems experienced by Hurricane Katrina victims living in FEMA-provided trailers with levels of formaldehyde 75 times the recommended maximum.

(“Oh shut up, Waxman. After the way we handled that disaster, those people are lucky to be alive, and they damn well know it! A little more formaldehyde than usual is a like a cold beer on hot day, compared to what these poor bastards have been through. And I’ll tell you another thing, smartass—formaldehyde isn’t destructive, it’s a PRESERVATIVE. Come on, what else you got? You got nuthin', Waxman. Nuthin'”)

And the article about all of Waxman's work goes on and on and on...hey, where can I get a Congressman like this Waxman guy?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Which GOP candidate is the most conservative?

Answer: None of them are real conservatives, so why debate it?

It's sort of like hearing a bunch of worms debate about who is the most "snake-like." But that didn't stop them from debating the question.

GOP rivals argue who's most conservative

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer Sun Oct 21, 1:27 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidates vied Sunday over who is the real conservative, ahead of an evening debate in Florida where they hoped to put their conservative credentials on display.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he is the conservative with the best chance of defeating Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a claim often made by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. GOP rival Mitt Romney, meanwhile, deflected charges that he has flip-flopped on abortion and other social issues important to religious conservatives...

..McCain chided Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, for changing his views on issues "with the political season," embracing liberal positions when running for office in Massachusetts and more conservative ones now.

(...And McCain doesn't do that; doesn't shift with the season? He's a Newt Gingrich/Rush Limbaugh Republican all of the sudden? That's got to be news to Newt and Rush.)

Romney "basically has changed positions on every .. on many major issues" to appear more conservative, said McCain on "Fox News Sunday."

"Look, you can't con the voters," McCain said. "If you want to win their respect, you've got to give them your respect."

(I disagree. I think you can con the voters. Look who's president, and how he got there.)

But Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and one-time Baptist preacher who has gained some ground in the GOP race, said McCain has a "solid record" on many of these issues, but that his conservative credentials are more real than those of the other candidates.

(He is isn't a Gingrich/Limbaugh conservative, either. He's in bed with the evangelical right.)

While not naming Romney, Huckabee, a sentimental favorite among religious conservatives (whoomp,there it is! "sentimental favorite" means the evangelical political movement(EPM) would *like* to support him, but doesn't think he has hope in hell of winning), said: "I'm a conservative that hasn't had but one position on a lot of key issues. ... Nobody's going to find some YouTube moments of me saying something radically different than what I'm saying today," a reference to the popular video-sharing Web site.

(YouTube--doing what the mainstream media won't--tracking flip flops in candidate positions. Props, from Huckabee!)

The GOP candidates were meeting later in the evening for a debate in Orlando, Fla., sponsored by the state Republican Party and televised by Fox News Channel.

Their degree of conservatism was expected to be one of many topics discussed during the 90-minute debate, being held at the same time as the deciding game in the American League championship series between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians.

(There are probably more real conservatives on the Cleveland Indians. That's why I expect the game to swamp the latest debate in the ratings.)

McCain on Sunday defended his position on immigration, including amnesty for those in the country illegally, and his push for campaign finance reform. GOP conservatives have criticized him on both issues. He maintained that Romney held "the exact same positions ... 18 months ago."

("Sure, I'm an asshole in the eyes of conservatives on these issues. But *this* guy was, too. And at least I have the courage to stand by my liberal views, while at the same time claiming that I'm a conservative.")

A bunch of worms, claiming to be snakes, because they can't get to the White House without the snake vote. The irony is that this is the first time in decades that a *genuine* snake isn't doing well enough in the GOP polls to win the nomination.

Snakes everywhere would make better use of their time by watching the ball game.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rudy tries to charm evangelicals

This is a biiiiiig weekend. This is the weekend where Rudy is making his pitch to the evangelical political movement (EPM) to see if he can counteract the vow their leaders took to stop his GOP nomination. If he can persuade them to “get on board”—he stands a chance of winning the nomination and then the presidency.

If he can’t: he may still win the nomination, but he won’t win the presidency.

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Giuliani Appeals to Evangelical Voters

(Actually, the headline is inaccurate. Rudy’s problem is that he *doesn’t* appeal to evangelical voters. They’re not so high on Romney, either, but he’s more determined to cater to them and bring them on board.)

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 20, 2007; 12:44 PM

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani implored an audience of religious and social conservatives to look beyond their differences over abortion and other issues as he sought to allay their fears that his nomination would mean the abandonment the GOP's core principles.

"I come to you today as I would if I were president, with an open mind and an open heart and all I ask is that you do the same," Giuliani said Saturday. "Pleases know this, you have absolutely nothing to fear from me."

(Giuliani: “Yes, I’ve had more than one wife. But I haven’t had more than one wife at *the same time*--I believe that’s wrong, unlike *some* candidates. And I worship the *true* Jesus Christ, the one mentioned in the *real* bible. Not some “knock off” version of Jesus dreamed up by some fugitive from the law out in Pennsylvania a hundred and fifty years ago. The Jesus *I* worship—IS Lord! Can I get an “amen?”
Crowd: AMEN!
Giuliani: When I get saved, I’m goin’ to heaven when I die! Not some phony space heaven dreamed up by a bunch of guys who want to legalize bigamy! Can I get an amen?
Crowd: AMEN!
Giuliani: I’m voting for Giuliani! Can I get an amen?
Crowd: A—(they stop short.)
Giuliani: Heh heh heh. Almost gotcha. Just kidding, I know we got a way to go here. Okay, turn on the power point. Now about me wearing that dress—there’s a perfectly innocent explanation for that—)

Giuliani used his highly anticipated appearance at the Family Research Council's Values Voters summit to reach out to a community that stands as the most significant obstacle to his hopes of becoming president...

(The Family Research Council; that’s the James Dobson group. Dobson and other prominent members of the Council for National Policy (CNP) resolved to stop a Giuliani candidacy, by forming a third party if necessary. “Giuliani’s too liberal; and Dobson hasn’t forgiven him on the air for serial infidelity, the way he did with Newt Gingrich. The CNP are the most powerful players in the unholy alliance between evangelical Christians, GOP powerbrokers, and former John Birch Society millionaires.)

...Giuliani argued that he and social conservatives (note: that awful media euphemism again; they are not “social conservatives”, they are “right wing evangelicals”) share more areas of agreement than disagreement. But he made no effort to disguise or downplay their differences. "Isn't it better to tell you what I really believe than to change my positions to fit the prevailing winds?" he said...

(Actually, Rudy’s becoming famous for doing just that. This week he met with the rabidly anti-tax Club for Growth in D.C. and told them that he would not support tax increases for any purpose. Only a month ago he was open to a possible tax increase to shore up SS, but apparently there was a “wind shift...”)

Giuliani was followed by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, an ordained minister who was quick to remind the audience of his longstanding commitment to their issues. "I come today not as one who comes to you, but as one who comes from you," he said.

(“Not like that *last guy* on the podium, who shall remain nameless. Give *me* the money.”)

Huckabee urged those in attendance not to be swayed by the issue of who is the most electable candidate but to remain true to their conservative convictions. Better to support candidates who "sing from their hearts," he said, than to follow those who "just lip-sync the lyrics from our songs."

(Ouch, that hurts. Just call him “Rudy Vanilli.”)

Huckabee said conservatives should never soften their positions on the issues of abortion and gay rights, noting that some things are not negotiable. "Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics," he said. "Not now. Not ever."

(“And gays who have abortions? Fuggedabouddit!”)

Giuliani drew applause with his commitment to keep the country on the offense in combating threats of terrorism, defending Israel and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. "Our goal in Iraq," he said, "should be clear: victory."

(Yeahyeahyeah, if you gotta plan you been keepin’ back, you shoulda shared it by now, Rudy. That woulda been patriotic. Anyway, here’s that drag photo of him again, in case you missed it the first time:)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dick Armey:"Forget it, GOP--Hillary WILL be president."

Look at this:

Republicans opinions vary greatly on candidates, presidential race

Posted: 10/12/2007

The political horizon for conservatives is bleak and will get worse before it gets better, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey said Thursday.

In an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Armey predicted U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the presidency next year, saying no Republican candidate is strong enough to beat her.

"The Democrats will win," Armey said. "I don't see any way that Hillary Clinton won't be president...

This is not a Koolaid *drinker* talking--this is one of the guys who made the Koolaid in the first place. This is Dick Armey, one of the leaders of the army of dicks who voted in Bush and the Republican Congress--and he's saying, a year before the election:

"It's over. We're done. Are you another conservative billionaire who's thinking about putting money into the Romney or Giuliani or Thompson campaigns? Forget it, you're pissing your money away. You might as well put your money up your ass this time, for all the good it will do you, you right wing oligarchs. It's over before it's even begun. I'm announcing it publicly,now, more than a year before the election.

No matter what happens between now and election day next year--even if we invade Iran, even if peace breaks out in Iraq and it rains gold there--it's Hillary.

We are well and truly fucked, conservatives. I'm sorry, you spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars through the last ten election cycles, and bought us our own political media. You delivered us a terrorized corporate media, 30% of the electorate that will never abandon us no matter how badly we fuck up, you delivered us the White House, the Congress, dominance in the federal judiciary--you put us squarely in the driver's seat, and we drove the car straight into a fucking brick wall of failed warfare, staggering debt, corruption and idiotic sex scandals.

"Sorry 'bout that," as Maxwell Smart used to say. The Limbaughs and all the Limbaugh knockoffs, the Murdochs, the Scaifes, the Hunts, the Coors, the Council for National Policy and the religious right--you bought us the country, as little as four years ago we still had it all sewn up, all the necessary votes and incumbencies and media and power to rule for decades to come. But we couldn't govern for shit, and seventy per cent of the voters know it. Put a fork in us, we're done, for the foreseeable future. Believe me, I know. I was one of the architects of the conservative Republican hegemony. I can count votes, and I'm here to tell you--we are fucked. Hillary's president, and the end result of twelve years of Republican dominance will be what we call "socialized medicine": health care for the American working people that we despise."

Look at that guy eat shit, after a lifetime fighting for the triumph of evil and selfishness and bigotry and division in American life. All that money, all that wicked propaganda for 27 years, and the end result is a Dem lock on the White House. Look at that guy announcing publicly that he believes that White House conservatism is as dead as a dinosaur, next election. Don't ever tell me that there's no real difference between the major parties and that the fight is for nothing.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why so depressed?

"Why are you walking around with that long face," as I once said to John Kerry. Look at this report on the most depressing jobs in the United States:

Oct 13, 8:16 PM EDT

Report Ranks Jobs by Rates of Depression

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who tend to the elderly, change diapers and serve up food and drinks have the highest rates of depression among U.S. workers.

(Eeeeyew! That would be a depressing job, going to work every day and changing some old guy’s smelly diapers, listen to him babble nonsense, and making sure he eats his pureed broccoli through a straw. That’s why I won’t work for the Fred Thompson campaign.)

(That was my cheap gag for tonight. My cheap gag for last night was when a guy wrote in and told me: “Al Gore IS a third party!” I thought to myself: that sounds like some kind of cheap gag about how much weight Gore has put on. “He’s so fat, he IS a third party!” But I kept that remark to myself, because we were in the midst of a serious discussion. Anyway, back to depression on the job:)

Overall, 7 percent of full-time workers battled depression in the past year, according to a government report available Saturday.

...The lowest rate of depression, 4.3 percent, occurred in the job category that covers engineers, architects and surveyors.

(So they’re the happy ones! Who knew? “I’ve designed a wonderful new bridge, Tom!” “That’s great, Al! I’ll draw up the blueprints! Whoopee!” “And I’ll survey the site!” “Great, Tina!” “Oh, I’m so happy!” “Me, too!” “Me three! Say, I know...let’s have a three-way, right here on the old drawing board!” “That’s a great idea!” “I’ve got some lubricant!”—I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t face those people at work every day.)

Government officials tracked depression within 21 major occupational categories. (Including “pig shit grader.”) They combined data from 2004 through 2006 to estimate episodes of depression within the past year. That information came from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which registers lifetime and past-year depression bouts. (Oddly enough, the second most depressed group of people in the work force (right after the stinky old diaper changers) were “the government officials who gather data on depression.”)

Depression leads to $30 billion to $44 billion in lost productivity annually, said the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

(So this is some serious stuff we’re talking about here. With the money we’re losing on these depressed working people, we could launch another war in Iran. So think about that, the next time you’re about to bitch and complain about your job impersonating a cartoon mouse at a children’s pizza parlor.)

...Just working full-time would appear to be beneficial in preventing depression. The overall rate of depression for full-time workers, 7 percent, compares with the 12.7 percent rate registered by those who are unemployed.

Well, that is a worthwhile finding. If you *have* a job, you’re less likely to be depressed. If you’re unemployed, you are more likely to be depressed. That finding blew me away.

What kills me though, is that last statistic. Only 12.7 percent of the unemployed are depressed? That means that 87.3 percent of the unemployed are well-adjusted. They’re facing foreclosures and gas at $2.78 a gallon—with a smile?

Must be the medication.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Bar patrons to Thompson: Don't stand in front of the TV!

"...we're tryin' to watch the game, ya jackass."

Look at this, from a list of candidate gaffes:

When Republican Fred Thompson stopped by a Manchester, N.H., sports bar recently, the customers were more interested in watching the New England Patriots than shaking hands with the "Law & Order" actor.

"Down in front," one voter joked to the former Tennessee senator as the 6-foot-5 candidate blocked his view of quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots.

The disruption — he and the throng of journalists standing in front of a big-screen television — prompted Thompson to take his cheeseburger back to his bus and forced his host, Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, to offer up his untouched light beer to a nearby table.

What kind of a six-foot-five idiot stands up to block a big screen TV broadcasting a Pats game in a New Hampshire bar--because he thinks that will win him votes?

And brings a bunch of reporters with him, so no one can see anything? Jeez, would it have killed him to wait for half-time? Or a commercial, even?
What an inconsiderate dope. He's really losin' it, if he thinks that's the way to "charm" these guys.

Here's the link to article, a lightweight piece about candidate mis-steps.
Hillary and Obama get off pretty easy, although I think it's a mistake for Obama to talk to farmers about the big money to be made in the arugula game. Ethanol, Barack.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Hopelessly Juvenile Project

This post has no links, no quality content, no redeeming social value.

But the one I sent to the Daily Kos a couple of nights ago did. And it turns out that one of the Kossacks who wrote in had the following handle:


"Dick Cheney--Before He Dicks You."

Ah, that takes me back.

When I was a little boy, not much bigger than you are now (here, come up and sit on my knee) Richard M. Nixon was president of the United States. Yes, he was. And well-bred people in the United States back then didn't start sniggering if you told them that your first name was Dick. Really! They didn't, that's the way it was.

There was no obscene pun raised, in educated and polite circles; no chuckles, no off-color jokes. The president's friends were proud to know him personally as "Dick Nixon." There wasn't even a hint of impropriety associated with the name.

Until he actually started governing. Then a bunch of dirty anti-social hippies and yippies, all of them about ten years older than me and eligible for the draft, started printing up obscene T-shirts with the legend:

"Dick Nixon--Before He Dicks You."

Well, I was about nine years old. The first time I saw a long-haired hippie wearing a shirt that said that, I nearly died. I laughed til the snot flew out of my cute little nose. The idea, that someone would make an irreverent joke like that, about the President of the United States--rocked my little world. LiteBrite and GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip lost some of their lustre.
When I saw that I lived in a country where people were free to make a rude joke like that about the leader; I knew intuitively--even then--that someday the time would come to put away childish things.

And as the years flitted by, I saw that there was more to this rude joke than just its rudeness. The sentiment was vindicated, as Nixon pursued the Viet Nam war instead of making peace, as he expanded it into Cambodia, as he dragged the nation into the mire and disgrace of Watergate. The dirty hippies with their t-shirts had been right. We had failed to dick Nixon before he dicked us, and suffered the consequences.

The reminder of how that t-shirt had helped to politicize me at a very tender age, and of how prophetic that juvenile sentiment had been, inspired me to play around with the names of our present Republican leaders in the hope of "recreating the magic." So I spent part of the afternoon on it, but the best I could come up with was this:

"You voted twice for a Bush and a Dick--and you're surprised we all got f****d?"

Perhaps you can do better. The point is to confront conservative and Republican voters with an offensive but trenchant sentiment or warning.

I hope that at least some of you will join me in "the quest." You, out there--on your farms, in your office cubicles, your college campuses, behind the counters of your convenience stores, driving your kids to school, serving in our armed forces--if we all try together, WE CAN DO THIS. We can come up with something for the present administration as pithy, offensive and accurate as the original "Dick Nixon--before he dicks you". And if we do, it will live on in time and memory, as that slogan has--as the emblem of an era.

I think we owe it to the present generation of young people.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Business to GOP: "You're fired."

Well, it’s about time. I was wondering how long big business was going to put up with the GOP’s crap job performance—my God, they’ve been employing the GOP for what, a hundred and forty seven years now? Anyway the day of reckoning has come.

GOP Is Losing Grip On Core Business Vote
Deficit Hawks Defect
As Social Issues Prevail;

October 2, 2007; Page A1

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party, known since the late 19th century as the party of business, is losing its lock on that title.

New evidence suggests a potentially historic shift in the Republican Party's identity -- what strategists call its "brand." The votes of many disgruntled fiscal conservatives and other lapsed Republicans are now up for grabs, which could alter U.S. politics in the 2008 elections and beyond...

It’s a very long article. But what it doesn’t tell the business community is *how* they can fire the GOP--which is a major omission, because this is obviously going to be emotionally difficult for both parties. The business community and the GOP are both notorious for their historical loyalty and fairness. So we offer this “How to fire the GOP” guide to the business community (which I copied and adapted from some asshole’s website) to help them through this difficult time.

Name of pamphlet: “So...You’ve Got to Fire the Republican Party”

Step One
Make sure your documentation ducks are in a row before you fire their ass. Have important paperwork with you, such as previous performance reviews, probationary warnings or other relevant personnel material.

Business: Sit down, GOP. I want to talk to you.
GOP: Say, did you see how well the economy’s doing? We’re—
Business: Can the bullshit, GOP, I’ve got the figures right here in front of me. (Wave papers.) We owe the entire goddamn country to Red China. You’re devaluing the dollar and killing us with this debt you’ve run up. We hired you to exercise economic discipline.
GOP: (looks at performance reviews, says nothing.)

Step Two
You should work out the details of the employee's departure before you terminate him. How long will he have to clear out? Does he have a company car or a laptop to return?

Business: Now I don’t want to embarrass you. You can hang around, stop off by the water cooler on your way out and tell everyone you're leaving over a matter of principle. Save face, whatever. But I want the keys to the company car and that laptop we gave you.
GOP: What, right now?
Business: Gimme the keys and the laptop.
GOP: If you don’t mind, Larry Craig’s got some stuff on that laptop we’d rather delete before we returned this—
Business: We’ll take care of that. The keys.
GOP: How are we supposed to get home?
Business: That’s your problem. I understand there’s public transportation.

Step Three
Arrange to have a human resources representative present. Not only can the representative give the fired employee information and answer questions about severance and continuation of benefits, but she can also ensure that the meeting follows the company's HR guidelines.

Business: This is Rochelle, our HR person. She’s here to make sure this termination goes according to the book. She’ll guarantee that this process is fair and—
GOP: (screaming) Fair my ass! We’ve worked for you for a hundred and forty years, you can’t just shit can us and get away with it! (whips out pistol) You must have forgotten that we’re the party of the NRA—if we’ve got to go we’re taking some of you bastards down with us! This is a real gun I’ve got here—
Business: And that’s a real gun Rochelle is holding on you, right now.
Rochelle: Drop it, motherfucker. Ain’t no one gonna miss you, if you make me pop your ass.
GOP: (drops gun, breaks down sobbing.)
Business: Thank you, Rochelle.

Step Four
Get right to the point. The employee's fate has been decided, so just say it.

Business: You’re fired, asshole. You’re through. Terminado.
GOP: (cries like John Candy)

Step Five
Take responsibility. Even if you're not the one who decided to take the action, if asked directly, "Whose decision was this?" be prepared to say, "Mine."

GOP: (through tears): Whose decision was this?
Business: Everybody’s.

Step Six
Offer whatever assistance your company provides in the way of outplacement, counseling or other services, no matter how acrimonious the parting.

Business: If you need help getting your shit out the door, we can do that for you.
GOP: (sniffling) Is there any kind of help with outplacement?
Business: Yes. If you and your shit aren’t OUT of this PLACE in twenty minutes, a crew of burly private sector security guards from Blackwater will come and get you and PLACE your ass OUT side.
GOP: What about counseling?
Business: I suggest that when the security guards show up, you go quietly. That is my “counsel” to you.

Step Seven
Communicate the essentials of the employee's departure to other members of the department. Avoid details about why he was let go.

Business sends intra-office email: “Attention everyone! This is Big Business. We have just fired the GOP. For fucking up big time. Don’t let this happen to you, Democrats! That is all. Have a nice day.”


Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Woman Who Knows What She Wants

A friend sent this to me today. (Yes, I have friends.) Is this a hoax? It's supposedly a personal ad sent to Craig's List, with a reply. It's said to be very popular reading on Wall Street, these days:

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful
(spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy.
I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at
least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind
that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think
I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could
you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around
200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get
me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married
to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as
I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I
get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars,
restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east
side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have
nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead
gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment
banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they
hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest
way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front
about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't
able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a
nice home and hearth.

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or
other commercial interests

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully
about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.
Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your
bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I
see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a
cr@ppy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you
suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring
my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my
money will likely continue into fact, it is very likely
that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't
be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning
asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation
accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty
hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in
earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy
and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense
to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case
you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were
to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's
as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So,
I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful"
as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to
believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K
hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then
we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way.
Classic "pump and dump."
I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of
lease, let me know.

The sad thing is: if this isn't a hoax, I wouldn't be too surprised. But I appreciate the astonishing candor of both parties.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So--You Follow Politics--And You STILL Don't Know What The CNP Is?

The Council For National Policy (CNP) is the nerve center of the evangelical political movement. The “religious right”, the “Christian Right”, whatever you want to call it—their de facto leaders belong to the CNP. Members also include people who aren’t necessarily associated with the evangelicals; there is significant crossover between conservative and GOP leaders and the CNP. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney represent only a few of the prominent American politicians that have addressed CNP conventions, courting their support.

The CNP membership list is officially secret, but you can get some idea of the organization breadth and influence by reading the following article from NPR:

Election 2008
Giuliani's Abortion Views Risk Third-Party Revolt
by Mara Liasson

All Things Considered, October 1, 2007 •
A group of prominent social conservatives say that if Rudolph Giuliani is the Republican Party's presidential nominee, they will consider bolting the party and fielding a third-party candidate.

The former mayor of New York City, Giuliani has liberal views on a number of social issues, including abortion. He has continued to lead the Republican presidential field in national polls, and he even receives a plurality of support from white evangelical Protestants.

This weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, a group of leading social conservatives — all members of an organization called the Council for National Policy, agreed on a resolution: If the Republican Party nominates a "pro-abortion" candidate, the group will consider running a third-party candidate.

Growing Frustration Among Conservatives

Veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie, author of a book called Conservatives Betrayed, was one of the participants...

...Christian conservative leader Gary Bauer, who joined the Salt Lake City meeting by phone, says he understands the frustration, but worries that public threats about a third-party candidate could backfire...

...Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) is the Giuliani campaign's national co-chairman. He says he doesn't believe conservatives will bolt.

"I believe, at the end of the day, that these conservatives will recognize that, if it's the priority to ensure that we don't see Hillary Clinton become president of the United States, then Rudy Giuliani is the man best equipped to win," Dreier says.

(Note that Dreier seems to equate “these conservatives” in the CNP with “conservatives.” That’s not much of a stretch. The membership of the CNP has included and includes some of the most familiar names on the religious right—Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Tim LaHaye, James Dobson, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council—but it also includes many who are not usually identified with evangelicals in politics—Viguerie, Phyllis Schlafly, Tom DeLay, Nelson Hunt, Jack Kemp, Ed Meese, Paul Weyrich, Jack Abramoff—many, many other prominent Republican and conservative spokesmen and activists.)

..."All my political life, liberal Republicans have tried to scare conservatives into supporting liberal Republican candidates, and it has never, ever worked," Viguerie says. "It didn't work in 1948 with Dewey, Nixon in 1960, Ford in 1976, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and it won't work this time."

In all those elections, he says, conservatives stayed home.

Stopping Giuliani's Momentum

That's the message this group of conservatives is trying to send, says Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Although he's a member of the Council for National Policy, Land was not at the meeting this weekend.

...David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says the group was trying to stop Giuliani's momentum now, while they still can

(Keene has also been identified as a CNP member.)

...Many analysts and many conservatives had assumed that, as rank-and-file Republicans learned about Giuliani's liberal views, his support would evaporate. But it hasn't. And once the whirlwind of primaries starts, these conservatives fear, it may be too late to stop him.

Well, let’s hope they’re right. Because if Giuliani runs without the support of the CNP, it’s very unlikely he’ll win—whether there’s an official split or not. It’s accepted political wisdom that “values voters” (politicized right-wing Christians) put Bush well over the top in the 2004 election. Evangelical radio stations around the country sang his praises in 2000 and 2004. Salem Communications, one of the largest Christian radio chains, is directed by CNP members. It is highly unlikely that any GOP candidate can take the White House without their enthusiastic puffing, and open denunciation of a GOP candidate by CNP directed media would spell disaster for any conservative candidate.

But it is misleading to confine reporting of the CNP’s influence to the national election. This is an organization whose members can promote and elect their own candidates to congressional, state and local political offices.

My current Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann (MN-06), is a CNP protégé. In just seven years, she went from a failed candidacy for a local school board to a seat in the U.S. Congress—a theocrat running a stealth candidacy as a conservative Republican in the tradition of Ronald Reagan. I am sure that many voters around the country can tell you similar stories about their local elected officials. The CNP is real, it has its roots in extremist organizations like the John Birch Society, it’s nationally organized and directed, it was a key factor in putting Bush into the White House (twice) and it is interested in putting more candidates who will serve its agenda in elective office—all around the country.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Another stupid Larry Craig piece

The "who set up Larry Craig?" mystery--solved!

Sen. Craig's Fall May Benefit Salmon

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The surprising fall of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, removes a longtime obstacle to efforts by Democrats and environmentalists to promote salmon recovery on Northwest rivers.

(Cut to: Magnificent exterior shot in Idaho, Rockies in the background, river roaring in foreground, school of salmon swimming, fighting their way upstream. On the soundtrack we hear their salmon voices: “Yay!” “Yahoo!” “We win!” “Craig’s out!” “Yay!” “Whoopee!” “Let’s go get the girls!”)

Craig, who was removed from leadership posts on the Senate Appropriations and Energy committees after a sex scandal, is known as one of the most powerful voices in Congress on behalf of the timber and power industries. Environmentalists have fought him for years on issues from endangered salmon to public land grazing.

(Six months ago, at a police department in St. Paul, Minnesota: A detective is being bawled out by his superior for not catching more closeted gay men having sex in public restrooms. The detective’s cell phone rings, he answers.)
Watery voice: “Got a tip for you, Sherlock.”
“Who is this?”
Watery voice: “A friend. You want to see gay men having sex? Stake out the airport. The airport men’s room, the one near the food court. Get me?”
(Detective snaps at someone in the office:) Trace this call, I’ll try to keep him talking. (back into phone) That’s...uh... very interesting. Tell me more.
Watery voice: That’s all you need to know for now, Sherlock—
Other watery voices: Tell him about Senator Craig! Tell him about Craig—
First watery voice: (to others) Shuddup! I’ll handle it—
Detective: Who’s that there with you?
Watery voice: Never you mind that! You just stake out that restroom at the airport? Get me?
Detective: Something sounds wrong with your voice, you sound like you’re gargling—
Watery voice: We’re talking through a handkerchief to disguise our voices. Never mind that, you just stake out that restroom at the airport. And don’t forget that name! Senator Craig! Senator Larrrrrry Crrrraig... (he really “gargles” those “R’s”, as do the other voices on the line, who start chanting “Airrrrporrrrt rrrrrrestrrrrroom, Larrrrrry Crrrrraig...”)
Detective: Hello? Hello? (turns off cell) He hung up. (to an officer) Did you trace that call?
Officer: It’s no good, Sarge. It was from a public phone booth, out in the middle of nowhere—the Snake River in Idaho, or some wild-ass place.
Detective: Hmm. Sounds kind of fishy, to me. Still... it’s something. Better put a man on it.
Officer: Right, chief.
(Cut back to that magnificent exterior shot in Idaho, Rockies in the background, river roaring in foreground, school of salmon swimming, fighting their way upstream. On the soundtrack we hear their salmon voices: “Yay!” “Yahoo!” “We got him this time!” “Boy, we fucked *him* for a change!” “Yay!” “Whoopee!” “Let’s go get the girls!”)