Assclowns of the Week #64: Wake Me Up When September Ends Edition
It’s kind of like the Goddamned picture of Dorian Grey, isn’t it? Old Glory and Lady Liberty never changes yet the administration that’s supposed to represent the nation just keeps getting fuglier and fuglier.
Assclowns of the Week has been on permanent hiatus since early last April but the perfidies of this administration that are coming this week have been so huge, well, how could you expect your progressive porcine to give them a free pass?
And who would ever think that the world in general and our nation in particular could become an even darker, more uncertain and dangerous place after Karl Rove announced his resignation? For instance: Indications that Petraeus the Presidential Pet may not heel this time as expected since we’re hearing that the Bush administration (1, 3) will have the GOP minority ghostwrite his report and slap his seal of approval on it and that, years ago, the Treasury Department had become a cash cow and major financial backer of GOP campaigns; That hound dog mainstream media (4) once again put Karl Rove’s cloven hooves to the, well, warm glow of nostalgic admiration and the United States government (2) for treating the recent FISA extension bill as if it was an Arthur Miller play the night before a book report and Don Young (7) is at it again.
So climb aboard the flaming hand basket as it’s hurtling to Hell and enjoy the scenic route of the nine circles and much, much more.
10) Fred Thompson
Is there anyone else out there who wishes that Fred Thompson would stop being the GOP’s answer to Mario Cuomo and just announce his fucking candidacy already? Until the day the coyness end, he’s barely fair game.
How ironic is it that among the flesh that Thompson would press in Iowa would be that of the Queen of Pork? And you have to almost pity the gawping idiots in Iowa who clustered around him as if he was the Second Coming (even if only as far as Thompsons go).
It wasn’t all that long ago when Thompson was loafing his way through the Senate yet the rural voters of Iowa obviously forgot that just seven years ago Thompson voted against the Rally for Rural America at a time when American farmers were hurting (in fact, Wrong Said Fred was the only Senator to vote against it). And just five years ago, Thompson also voted against the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act on the grounds that it was tantamount to pork barrel spending.
Apparently, the voters of Iowa haven’t even got the short term memories of goldfish because Thompson’s shamelessly bragging about wanting to cut needless entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, things that bloated wealthy fucks like Thompson obviously don’t need. All they’ll remember is the truck… and how down-to-earth it made him look until he ditched it around the corner for his luxury gas guzzler.
And yet, they cluster around him, these Iowans who are saying, “Give us Hell, Fred!”, and forgetting that by voting for him they’re voting against the interests that will even modestly maintain them when their farms foreclose because Republicans like Thompson likewise keep voting against them.
It ought to be mentioned that Thompson wouldn’t exactly work wonders for poor and middle-class working families in that other primary state known as New Hampshire.
9) The Corporate World
Winston Smith lives to rewrite history another day.
We’ve grown accustomed to hearing stories about government agencies lifting from reports, especially scientific reports and studies, information that could be considered embarrassing to the Bush administration. But it wasn’t until a computer science graduate student created software that traces changes on Wikipedia back to their source that America found out when and by whom many of the countless thousands of changes are made daily on that research website.
As it turns out, the delete key-crazy corporations involve Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Diebold and even the CIA got in on the act. Classically, the CIA’s job is to collect and protect classified information, not to expunge it from the face of the earth. But that was before 1984 came to the 21st century.
But why delete potentially damaging information when they could just tell their side of the story on Conservapedia, which uses among its unimpeachable sources Fox “News”? And how can you not trust the people that Dick Cheney trusts?
Ya know, if China were to revalue its currency or China is to start making say, toys that don’t have lead in them or food that isn’t poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now, they’re keeping prices low and they’re keeping the prices for mortgages low, too.”
OK, I don’t understand where China comes in regarding the mortgages that are not only not low but are skyrocketing and are symptomatic of the collapse of the credit and home lending industries.
But here’s what Erin seems to be saying in a nutshell: If Wal-Mart has to raise prices so the Waltons can continue making their customary billions per year, then we’re all screwed. We, our children and our pets being poisoned is just a price we’ll just have to deal with. But China is continuing to support the dollar so your patriotic silence is much appreciated, comrades and let’s continue our fine work in basing our entire national economy and chances for survival on Wal-Mart’s constantly falling prices.
OK, I’ll admit it: Erin Burnett is pretty. But she’s eye candy and lately she sounds as if she’s been ingesting a lot of antifreeze during her morning dental care routine. And candy will rot your teeth just as surely as Erin will rot your mind if you watch this right wing Free Market Mouseketeer for extended periods of time.
…the Highway Interchange to Nowhere.
But then it is not every day that an Alaska congressman surprises a Florida community with the gift of a highway interchange that just happens to abut the property of a major political fund-raiser.
Nanook the Crook of the North received $40,000 from a Michigan-based real estate developer and GOP booster named Daniel J. Aronoff. Shortly after that, Young had language inserted into the already-passed transportation bill an earmark that would provide a highway interchange that would greatly benefit Aronoff since he owns property that would abut the interchange.
Now, it’s bad enough when pork meisters like Young appropriate a half a billion dollars in needless projects for their own home states. But it’s highly irregular for even this stupendously corrupt Congress to tuck into already-ratified bills earmarks for other peoples’ states (the GOP congressman for that Florida district never even asked for it).
“Unfortunately, the real story is getting lost in this funding debate,” an Aronoff spokeswoman, Elizabeth Hirst, said.
Which is, what? That if you stack enough money at Don the Ho’s cloven hooves, he’ll repay you with legislation that’ll financially benefit you?
6) The Federal Reserve
I admire Jimmy Carter and his work for Habitat for Humanity and all but I was really disappointed in him when he went on CNBC and started railing about the crisis on Wall Street at a time when the Federal Reserve was busy bailing out the wealthy by cutting the prime while middle class people were losing their homes.
According to Brent Budowsky,
(H)e was not referring to underpaid American troops, or homeless American poor, but the banks, hedge funds and private equity deal-makers whose hundreds of millions of dollars have been reduced to hundreds of millions of dollars.
In fact, the great pain suffered on Wall Street is this: At the market close this past Thursday, the Dow Jones average was up 3 percent, down from an all-time record high only several weeks ago.
These are tough times for the wealthy.
Now, to give you an idea of how astoundingly heartless some of Budowsky’s readers, your fellow Americans can be, here’s just one comment from the comments section:
Brent: Get in line when the government guarantees you a right to a home. It will become like health care in Canada where you have to wait in line. After the Civil War African-Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule. Most of that land was lost along with the mule because anything given is often not appreciated and valued. You ridicule Erin Burnett for stating that you do not have a right to a home, which would prompt me to ask you, when did you buy your home? Did you get a loan? If so, would you give that home away to someone that doesn’t have one? Or, would you be willing to pay a huge portion of your income to provide someone else with a home? By constantly ridiculing Erin Burnett you are simply attacking the messenger. The point is should the government hand out free housing? Look what happened when the government created public subsidized housing. In almost every instance it turned into a crime ridden ghetto. People who earn their way usually treat the property they pay for with more respect. As far as fair wages, your education determines that. While you’re complaining about the plight of people you should be first in line to complain about public schools. They obviously fail to give students the skills they will need later in life and the worst schools of all are usually located in inner cities, controlled by democrats. Instead of blaming it on the financial system and Erin Burnett, put the blame where it belongs.
Naturally, what our wingnut friend elects to not mention is a helpful hint as to where that blame should be assigned.
One gets the impression that it’s the homeowner who buys a home at a manageable finance rate at, say, 7% only to see it unaccountably skyrocket by seven points or more within the first year and a half of home ownership, making refinancing and filing for bankruptcy an impossibility and foreclosure all but a certainty.
This is the same, tired old spiel that we get from right wingers who rail about “socialized” health care run by the government and a corrupt pyramid scheme that is our system of credit, because that would smack of class warfare.
And heaven forbid we can’t hold the government accountable for anything, now can we? Next thing you know, you’ll see a scenario like the good, white people of Gretna faced when them desperate darkies tried to cross that bridge after Katrina hit.
It‘s one thing to censor antiwar protestors. It‘s something entirely to then deny that censorship even took place even in spite of photographic evidence. CBS might as well stand for “Censorship Becomes Standard.”
Last Friday, CBS did their Early Show in Kansas City and many war protestors had shown up carrying signs. To make a long story short, CBS sent out one of their flacks and told the protestors that they got a permit to broadcast in the park and that they wouldn’t tolerate any anti-war activists. When asked to provide the permit, the CBS woman left and came back with a cop who relegated the protestors to one of those 1st amendment-stifling free speech zones.
However, the network America trusts didn’t mind showing signs that said, “Go Navy.”
The woman you see above was placed in handcuffs when she brought her illegal sign to the park. A local radio show got wind of the incident and called CBS to ask for their side and they then denied that censorship had ever taken place. Furthermore, the CBS spokeswoman even asked the radio station how they even knew the woman in question ever worked for CBS.
Says proud2Blib, “Well I saw her nametag that clearly said ‘CBS’!!! (No I didn’t take a picture of her nametag.) So we know for a fact that CBS asked us to leave a public park because of our political signs.”
So treat yourself and send CBS a nice, polite email telling them what you think of their Orwellian censorship, intolerance for the opinions of the majority, respect for the 1st amendment upon which they completely depend for their lucrative livelihood and their yellow-bellied, wet-legged cowardice at not even having the stones to own up to and stand behind their jackbooted tactics when confronted with it.
4) The Mainstream Media
What does it say about our mainstream media, especially our electronic MSM, when we have to leave it to GOP flacks like Chris Wallace to ask Karl Rove all the tough questions about some of his dirty deeds done in the name of George W. Bush?
This Sunday Rove did the talking head circuit and was interviewed by the likes of CBS’s Bob Schieffer, David Gregory and, of course, Fox News’ Chris Wallace. With the occasional exception of Wallace, neither of the other two hosts on either Meet the Press or Face the Nation challenged Rove on anything substantial while allowing him to use one of his last national TV appearances to ejaculate more venom at Democrats who have essentially laid down and died for Dear Leader and to say that he has no regrets leaving the White House for committing the very crimes for which he was never given an indictment or even harsh enquiry.
Yet Rove maintained that “they’re after me.”
Yeah, I’m sure his grandfather’s bestest buddy, Adolph Hitler, felt the same way in his bunker. Except Hitler wasn’t paranoid at that point.
Next up, Hillary Clinton’s 59 year-old breasts…
3) The Bush Administration
Dan Froomkin, that gloomy, unpatriotic, cynical lib’ral, thinks that Bush doesn’t trust his little tin soldier to stick to the talking points. So the Petraeus (rhymes with Betray-us) Report, so we thought, was to be written by White House speechwriters.
Uh oh. Turns out that next month’s Winston Smith opus will, instead, be written by those brave insiders known as the Congressional Republican minority. With nary a word of protest raised by the Congressional Democratic majority who just gave Bush another hundred billion to extend this war for another year.
So what’s with the lowered expectations that we’re being told to make since the Republican chickenhawks will be providing the Republican critics with an emphasis on the positive, such as us spending ten billion dollars a month to fix bicycles for Iraqi kids?
Thank God we took back control of Congress, huh?
The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought. It also offers a case study in how changing a few words in a complex piece of legislation has the potential to fundamentally alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a landmark national security law. Two weeks after the legislation was signed into law, there is still heated debate over how much power Congress gave to the president.
It stands to reason that an impatient and criminally reckless Congress that can’t be bothered to read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting to go to war with Iraq also couldn’t be expected to more thoroughly read before passing it a FISA renewal and revision that essentially sodomized the fourth amendment.
Basically, this provision that allows illegal physical search and seizure completely eradicates the 1995 FISA amendment installed by President Bill Clinton that included temporarily warrantless search and seizure when the occupants weren’t present. And let’s not forget that another little-known and (obviously) little-read provision opens the door for the FISA renewal to last not for six months as widely reported but into virtually the rest of the Bush administration or 18 months
The Bush version of this would, let’s face it, knock FISA out of the equation entirely, which was always the intent of this bill. And yet Republicans squawk about separation of powers when their own homes and offices are raided with warrants.
Maybe the editors of the Onion are prophets. Or maybe they just know something that we don’t. I recall reading in that publication a few years ago a satire of Karl Rove taking time from his busy day to engineer a win for a high school Republican running for class president. Then I read this in Sunday’s Washington Post:
(I)t played out in its most quintessential form in the coastal Connecticut district of Rep. Christopher Shays, an endangered Republican incumbent. Seven times, senior administration officials visited Shays’s district in the six months before the election — once for an announcement as minor as a single $23 government weather alert radio presented to an elementary school.
I never thought I‘d live to see the day when the Treasury Department that was created by the great Alexander Hamilton would become a welfare agency for down-and-out Republicans outside the corporate sector.
And, really, what did systematically violating the Hatch Act through the complicity of virtually every federal agency gain the GOP after five and a half years? Salvaging one congressional seat in all of New England and a newfound minority in both chambers of Congress. And the Republican party has Herr Karl Rove to thank for it.
Let’s just hope and pray that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman, after investigating all these crimes of the Bush White House, doesn’t die of exhaustion before all the subpoenas are handed out.
Dishonorable Mention: Finally, I leave you with this image from two months ago, courtesy of wonkette:
Hmm. Could it be that the daughter of the Sexual Abstinence President (or SAP) has to get married to the Virginia Republican scion (pictured second from the right) who’d assisted Karl Rove in voter caging in 2004? If so, I could easily see Blackwater USA getting the contract to keep the shotgun on Hager’s back as they’re walking down the right side of the aisle. That is, unless Uncle Dick wants to save us some money and do the honors himself.
That’s it for this week. Come back tomorrow for another fun-filled day in Pottersville.