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The Seven Dirty Words Live On

Old LadyComedian George Carlin used to do a gag called, “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV“. He used the words prolifically to make the point that they were simply words - not bombs nor bullets nor anything else that might cause lasting harm. In fact, I’d say that 99% of the adult US population has used at least one of those words at some point and the remaining 1% are liars.

So here we are, several decades down the road. We’ve weathered wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, and dozens of other momentous events, but we’re still apoplectic when poppa says a bad, bad thing. In fact, a bad word slipped just this morning. It was the word that begins with a “c” and ends in “unt”. It happens to be the title of one of the monologues in the Vagina (not “va-jay-jay“  ) Monologues and that is exactly how Jane Fonda used it when she let it slip on the Today Show.
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The World Has Changed Forever

On September 12, 2001, George Bush stood atop a pile of rubble in New York and announced the world had changed forever. For the most part, it’s changed in ways few foresaw and without many rational, presumptive changes ever quite taking root, but it has changed, just as he promised.

For most of us, the biggest change has been in how little Dear LeaderTM cares for the individual freedoms he swore to defend and protect. For others - most notably families that lost someone that day - the world changed in a more fundamental and visceral way. Now, these seemingly different types of loss have converged.
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666: The Earmarks of the Devil

Lobbyists, my heart aches for thee.

The doyens of K Street fear an industry-wid e crisis akin to the subprime mortgage meltdown. With Vito McVeto promising a 50% reduction in earmark spending, K Streeters face a future devoid of 12 martini lunches, strip poker games with hookers, and doling out a lil’ sumpin’, sumpin’ to their Congressiona l marks. Like many other things in Washington, the cesspool is so deep even the recipients of lobbyists’ largess understand someone has to go down for their corruption.
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When Greed Isn’t Good

I’m not sure whether to be worried or not, but I found myself agreeing with Mike Huckabee this week. For a man who thinks the planet was created last week, he’s remarkably astute about the stimulus package both parties are currently flogging.

The Huckster hit the nail on the head when he said that we’ll go hat-in-hand to China and borrow the money to fund the tax rebates. The folks who qualify for the rebates will then spend it on something frivolous, like food or clothing. They’ll run down to the local Walmart and buy Chinese-made underwear or toxin-laced tomatoes.

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The Orwellian Thermostat

Orwellian ThermostatBack in the day, monopolistic utilities were benevolent dictators. In exchange for guaranteed profits, they provided reasonable service at reasonable prices. Also back in the day, citizens could expect minimal intrusion into their privacy in exchange for simply requiring government to follow the Constitution . We traded these reasonable and symbiotic relationship s for deregulated utilities that pillage their customers at will and government that intrudes any time it damn well pleases as long as President Buttmunch signs off on it. A recent proposal by the California Energy Commission borrows the worst traits from both.

They plan to put remote-contr olled thermostats in homes to cut power use during summertime electricity shortages. It’s not that controlling energy consumption is an unnecessary thing. It’s good for the environment, it saves money, and everyone gets a taste of precious wattage at a time when it’s scarce. But like many things that seem good on paper, this crapulent plan falls apart in the details.

A Big Comfy Quilt of Money
Previous experience shows that regulators and utilities already snuggle in a bed covered with a quilt of big money. It’s not a far-fetched notion that utilities would manufacture shortages to cut costs and regulators wouldn’t lift a finger to stop them. The late Ken Lay made a despicable art of this corporate rape.

The plan is also one more example of government dictating to its citizens instead of the other way around. We’re already listened to, filmed, monitored, and forced to disrobe to get on a frickin’ airplane. I’m in no mood for any more of this crap and judging from public reaction to this harebrained scheme, neither is the public. We’re not teetering on the edge of a slippery slope, we’ve slid to the bottom and shot off into shark-infest ed water like a watermelon seed being spit out at a redneck convention.

Electricity ala The Third World
Because of public reaction, regulators have scaled back the plan to make it optional. This is a tiny wiggle in the right direction, but highlights the stupidity of the plan. Currently, shortages are relatively rare. By and large, most people voluntarily honor the requests to conserve when needed and we avoid rolling blackouts like a war-torn, Third World country.

Personally, I don’t trust Big Business or Big Government. Unchecked, both institutions allow charlatans to take control and become menaces to society. I’m a big boy and don’t need the government to tell me when to turn my thermostat up. Pacific Gas & Electric also doesn’t need one more potential advantage over consumers - especially since they’re bumping jiggly bits with Big Government. If ever there was a domestic Axis of Evil, this unholy marriage of business and government is it.

To paraphrase Jerry Garcia, “Someone has to do something, it’s just incredibly sad it has to be us.”

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The Bush Legacy Will Live On

The Bush MemorialTime is mercifully running out for the duck who shall be named lame. After seven years of steadfastly refusing to seriously reflect on anything he’s ever done, he now seems interested in his legacy. Of course, it’s a lead-pipe cinch that Lil’ Napoleon’s vision of his great gifts to the world will vary considerably from what contemporari es and future historians will see, but that’s quotidian Bush to the core.

He’s off to Israel this week to demonstrate his legacy of peace and democracy in the Middle East - closely guarded by 10,000 police to protect him from the peaceful, loving embrace of a suicide bomber. In preparation, George has launched a charm offensive to let Middle Eastern journos know just what an important cog in the machine of history he will be.

“I would hope, at least, at the very minimum, people would say that George W. Bush respected my religion, and has great concern for the human condition; that he hurts when he sees poverty and hopelessness  ; that he’s a realistic guy,” he told al-Arabiya. “(And that) he helped present an alternative, and that was one based upon liberty and the rights of men and women in a just and free society.”

Damn! If not for their obvious irony, those words would be almost Lincolnesque . I could easily envision a white marble monument containing a statue of George. He’d wear a cowboy hat, chew a sprig of straw, and be picking cow shit off his presidential boot heel. Ringing the inside of the symbolic marble barn would be the words, engraved in gold, “He helped present an alternative, and that was one based upon liberty and the rights of men and women in a just and free society.” There wouldn’t be a dry neocon eye in the house.

But, George doesn’t have a lot of support for his case legacy-wise. Only one percent of respondents in one poll - presumably the one percent with all the money - consider him a “great” president, and that’s from his own people. Many Middle Easterners are equally blunt, “In Arab streets, many blame Washington for the plight of Iraqis and Palestinians . Bush’s presidency has been disastrous,” said an Egyptian journalist who received a National Endowment for Democracy award from George. It makes one wonder what he would have said had George stiffed him for the award.

There’s no doubt the Bush presidency will be remembered as an important time and there’s no arguing that it won’t influence the world long after he’s gone. His policies, his personal idiosyncrasi es, his remaking of the very fabric of the republic are far and deep reaching. However, George makes the same mistake many megalomaniac al despots make - that influential automaticall y equals good.

And by the yardstick, George W. Bush is a midget among giants.

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Father Knows Best

AT&T Wiretapping Your WorldFinally, a Democrat grew a pair. Instead of Harry Reid, the cajoneless wonder, Chris Dodd stepped up and threatened a filibuster over retroactive immunity for telecommunic ations companies spying on behalf of the government. The Knight of Shining Hair didn’t put the vote off forever, but he did delay action until after the first of the year, leaving enough time to win a few more rational senators over. But more importantly, he highlighted just how meek and timid the current crop of Reidsters really are. Harry doesn’t just look like the kid who got has ass kicked every day in gym glass, he put the “kick me” sign on himself and dared bully George to kick him. And as bullies are wont to do, George routinely kicks his empty crotch with relish at every opportunity.

Many will claim Chris’s backbone grew as he grasped at straws to keep his woe-begotten Presidential campaign going. My response is “big frickin’ deal”. The man took the right stand and it doesn’t matter to me if it was for all the wrong reasons or not. We are no longer standing on a slippery slope when it comes to eroding our once-sacrosa nct civil liberties. We’re sliding hell-bent for leather down the world’s longest mud slide directly toward a brick wall a million times worse than anything America’s Evilest Home Videos has to offer. Someone has to put the brakes on, and strangely, mild-mannere d Chris turned out to be the man.

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The Great Pencil Sharpener War

Female Pencil SharpenerA few days back, the inestimable Blue Gal did a great post about sexism, harassment, and what constitutes those things. It referenced a series of posts (more here, here, here, and here) about whether a pencil sharpener with the body of a woman doing it doggie style with a pencil was simply a pencil-sharp ener or a full-fledged attack against women.

I’ve never seen one of these posting threads that didn’t quickly disintegrate into commenters taking sides, heading to the fox holes, and preparing for pop-culture Armageddon. This thread is no exception. These posts generally play out after no one has changed sides and everyone is exhausted, or simply stunned, by the effort spent on something a stupid as a pencil sharpener with a yellow No. 3 stuck up it’s butt.

I’m Anti-Social
I’m not a feminist, nor am I a men’s rights (masculinist  ?) advocate. I’m not anti-racist, pro-bigotry, anti-religio n, pro gay-rights, or anti-wiccan - hell, I’m even OK with most Republicans. I’m not a joiner of exclusivist groups because, quite frankly, I’m anti-social and don’t play well with others. Instead, I’m a “peopleist” who believes life is a dark ride and everyone gets the shaft in some way. I’m dedicated to understandin g problems rather than crashing a server farm with posts about pencil sharpeners (although I seem to be doing just that right now).

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The Hypocritical Dems

Nancy and Harry

As much as I hate to say this, Democrats are every bit as hypocritical as their Republican bottom-feedi ng cohorts. After being elected on a promise to clean the swill from the halls of government, all they’ve done is take out big mops and liberally spread it farther.

Not surprisingly  , nearly every day brings some new allegation of egregious behavior from the Pipsqueak-in -Chief or his Coalition of the All Too Willing in Congress. The Democrat response is a call for one more investigatio n to join the dozens already underway. The Republicans hurl charges of playing politics and wasteful spending on the unnecessary investigatio ns. And you know what? The Republicans are right - except for that “unnecessary ” part.

If Congress isn’t going to do anything with the testimony and other evidence, they shouldn’t bother. Just tell the people your pussy is bigger than Jenna Jameson’s and you’re too skeered to force the issue. If you subpoena someone, don’t embark on endless negotiations over what they will deign to reveal. Take the arrogant asses to court where they belong. Remember, we’re supposed to be a nation of laws and that means Karl, Harriet, and all the rest of the WH vermin. When the Dunderhead-i n-Chief threatens a veto, break out the crayons and let him scrawl right ahead.

I’m not an idiot. I’m quite aware the Dems don’t have the votes to override vetoes or even get much legislation to the floor, but they’ll never get any help from the people if all they do is put on two-faced Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi masks and say, “Gosh darn it Mr. President, we’re sorry about not proposing exactly what you want. It won’t happen again. Really. Would you like some soda to go with those pretzels? We wouldn’t want you to choke.”

The Dems are afraid they’ll be cast as “soft on terror” or “obstruction ist”, which are pretty specious claims when you consider the Republicans are scared of a cave-dwellin g hermit (NSFW) who shoots amateur terror porn and are twice as obstructioni st now as they ever were while in power.

Congressiona l approval is in the toilet because a majority of the electorate wants Congress to do the job they were sent to do. Yes, they’ll be pissed that many important pieces of legislation may not pass, but not one-tenth as pissed as seeing the Dems cower like cornered rats. The Democrats need to get a notion of principle, and fast. It’s better to try to do the right thing - and fail - than to sit around eating bon bons and ignoring the masses who put you there.

Nancy, Harry, et al, that face you see in the mirror really is a crapweasel wearing a Bush mask. It’s not some hangover you got after partying hard with Congressiona l pages. It truly is you and you should be ashamed.

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Maxwell Dumb Keeps His Secrets

Maxwell DumbThe Manhattan Project had nothing on Dubya and the Ball-Gagged Gang when it comes to secrecy. No shred of information is too small to escape declaration as a closely guarded, national security secret. I’m surprised they aren’t referring to the Big Dick as “Waylon Flowers” and Dub as “Madame” or bought some new-fangled stealth technology to make 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue look like an empty lot. All we need is a modern day Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the tableau would be complete.

Although the administrati on was given a court order last year to provide records about Jack “The Black Hat” Abramoff’s visits “without redactions or claims of exemption”, the DoJ has decided once again that our laws are for the peons and not the lords. According to them, producing what the court legally requested “would reveal sensitive information about the methods used by the Secret Service to carry out its protective function.”

Now considering the Malibu-sized smoke coming from this affair, you’d think the Bushies would want to clear their names. This latest roadblock has the cloying smell of burning records about it and even the conservative Judicial Watch doesn’t buy it. Their president Tom Fitton says, “This is an extraordinar y development and it raises the specter that there were additional contacts with President Bush or other high White House officials that have yet to be disclosed. “We’ve alleged that the government has committed misconduct in this litigation, and frankly this is more fuel for that fire.”

The DoJ defense? A 1976 appellate ruling about the raising of a commie sub that allowed the CIA to refuse to confirm or deny its ties to a Howard Hughes-owned ship, the Glomar Explorer. Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m not seeing the connection between raising nookular subs and simple lists of visits by a crooked lobbyist. But then, I’m no Alberto Gonzales, or Michael Muckasy, for that matter.

There’s some secrebilitat in‘ going on with Plamegate too. Henry Waxman is all up in the White House’s shiznit about releasing the information collected by Patty Fitzgerald during his Plame probe. Fitz is all for it. The public is all for it. The White House, not so much. So much, not so much, that the number of “missing” emails at the White House has been upped from 5 million to…wait for it…10 million. Damn! Where’d those pesky things get to?

With the administrati on’s track record in these matters I don’t even see why they file legal briefs or put up even token excuses like these. They might just as well crank up their nookular-pow ered shredder and get rid of all the evidence while telling the American people, “Screw you! We don’t need no stinkin’ laws.”

The Shredder-in- Chief once said that his job would be a lot easier if this were a dictatorship … as long as he was the dictator. It looks like he’s truly gotten his wish.

 


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