Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fait Accompli

I agree it's a national tragedy in the making that the Supreme Court has removed the "constraints" of corporate political sponsorship.

We can only imagine the nightmare of corporate conformity and control that now awaits our innocent political system, not to mention our heretofore unmolested way of life.

I, for one, applaud our new insect overlords. At least they, unlike us, actually get what they pay for.

Super Bowl Shuffle

I think it's swell that Rod and Maud Flanders are exercising their free-speech rights and James Dobson's wallet. Good for them. Can't help but wonder, though, what the reaction would be from the Flanderses, and the folks they're dog-whistling to, if Planned Parenthood were to run a pro-choice ad. You might suddenly hear about how people just want to watch a damned football game. It's precious and obnoxious and completely uncalled for; other than that, I'd have a hell of a time figuring out how to care any less.

A small but niggling question: what exactly is the deal with a loudly-proclaimed evangelical (and proud virgin) spending his college career at the nation's top party school? Seriously. The kid lives by his principles, and I can respect that, even if the notion of a chaste college football player surrounded by horny coeds is incomprehensible to me.

But it points to the fact that all the top college programs are party schools, in which case it's either a moral compromise or a spiritual test for Tebow. But modern Christianity in all its stripes is mostly about getting your way while pretending that the mean ol' snakepit of a world is keeping you down. Yeah. Someday a person of faith will be allowed to rise to higher office, and talk about their sky-buddy on the public's dime, yada yada. Till then, they walk the iron path.

Whatever. The most interesting thing about Tebow will the rude awakening he's going to get when the Rams draft him and he finds out the hard way that you can't run the shotgun formation every single play.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monotheism and Its Discontents

So let's see if we have this straight. Last week's upset victory by the new Senatorfold from Massachusetts marks the end of the brief era of wonderment that Hopenchange had brought unto our heretofore benighted land. A vitally needed health-care reform bill would now be brought to its bony, spavined knees because, according to the new-new math, 41 > 59, especially when you have no balls. Worse yet, the fearsome claque of jabbering teabaggers has now been empowered to reclaim what Obammy stole from them. And so forth.

I mean, hell, do these people ever listen to themselves? Not everything is a sea change, folks, nor do things necessarily possess the semiotic heft you ascribe to them in your political fever dreams. Maybe Martha Coakley was simply a phenomenally dreadful candidate, running on fumes and entitlement, a hack who couldn't even make sure the name of the state she was running for was spelled correctly on her own campaign ads, who thought a two-week vacation in the Caribbean during a close race was a good idea.

Regardless, now we are apparently on the verge of national catastrophe because this supposedly-better-than-nothing industry-written monkeyfuck might get filibustered to death, because the Democrats simply don't have the stones to actually force the minority party to make good on their threats. A party with some imagination and courage would make sure to heavily promote such proceedings; the spectacle of borderline retards like Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn expounding at length of the post-apocalyptic moonscape of Obamacare would be worth its weight in comedy gold. Only a party shit-scared of its own shadow, preoccupied with its incessant cat-herding, would fail to see this.

Not to mention that even had Coakley somehow figured out a way to retain a seat that a slow ten-year-old could have held for the Democrats, her role in the "reform" bill would simply have been that of caretaker -- that is, ensuring along with the rest of the people's delegates that nothing untoward would affect the health and pharma industries' revenue-gathering capabilities.

The hand-wringing is really pretty embarrassing, and I'm sure Scott Brown will turn out to be every bit the mediocrity he appears to be, but that was never going to redound to Coakley's advantage. If there is any lesson to be drawn from this, it is that sometimes people lose because they deserve to, because they fail to make a case for why they are even in the room, and are inept and tone-deaf to boot. The fear that it is also a party failure is justified, and on an even simpler basis -- it's not that they failed to do what they said they were going to do, it's that they didn't even try.

Monday, January 18, 2010


It's a bit late to worry about it now, but as 2009 came to a close, I considered the idea of doing some sort of de rigueur end-of-year (or, and I really have no interest in the pedantic "when does it really begin?" dispute, end-of-decade) list. Since The Beast seems to have gone out of commission, I mostly thought about poaching their always-excellent "50 Most Loathsome People" idea, perhaps shortening it to 20 or 25.

But in the end it seemed like it would have been as much a tedious reiteration as a recapitulation. Does anyone need to be reminded that Richard Bruce Cheney is a loathsome tool who needs to be frog-marched off every cable-news podium onto which he skulks; that Nadya Suleman is a parasitic head case who needs to be forcibly sterilized; that Joe Lieberman is an unprincipled ratfucker who should be thrown from a bridge into a vat full of pig parts and droppings; that Barack Obama turned out be just another dime-store politician after all, even with all the populist political winds at his back? They're all loathsome in their own special way, but it's nothing new to readers of this or any other blog. It's just a matter of breaking out the thesaurus and finding innovative ways of saying "You really suck" to people we already disparage on a routine basis. Who needs it?

That said, it is somewhat useful for everyone to take stock of what the last year or ten years or whatever held for them, their families, communities, etc. I think most of us, unless we happen to be oil futures speculators or hedge-fund thieves, would like a do-over on many things. And yet, what would "we" do with it, Kemosabe?

Probably the most salient point to really be driven home over the past decade is how brute stupid so many people really are, and how technology has tended to empower them in that, rather than to allow or encourage them to unscrew their heads from their sphincters. It has enabled them, counterintuitively I think, to wallow in it and become even dumber and meaner, just when that seemed impossible.

Blogs and chat fora at least had a fairly equitable chance of raising or lowering discourse; for every virtual room of tubthumping dipshits, you had decent odds of finding people who could argue substantively, and even with some measure of intellectual honesty and good faith. Even a blog maintained by a halfwit troglodyte at least requires some small bit of discipline and persistence. All you need with a Twitter account is a lack of self-awareness, the assumption that someone, somewhere, actually gives half a shit what you had for breakfast. (Me, I had the usual Sunday Special of tequila and Pop-Tarts. Don't knock it till you try it, preferably with your taste buds pre-coated from last night's bender of hydrocodone washed down with RBVs and purple drank.)

Knowing that yahooism reigns and having it confirmed in ever more ways with ever more frequency are two different things. You can grok the dilemma of understanding just how dumb the average American is, and that by definition it means that half the people aren't even that smart, and still have be almost a surprise just how high it turns out you had that "average" bar set. The rise of Twitter and the prevalence of cable news networks attempting to keep pace with that nonsense only drives home the sad fact that all this technology democratized the people's ability to speak their mind, only to demonstrate that most of them had nothing useful to say, nor the means to even comprehend it.

What kind of moron watches CNN to listen to the news reader recite viewers' tweetstwits? Is it more or less the same kind of doofus that still contributes money to a moral cretin such as Marion Robertson, or the farm animal that watched Sarah Palin on Glenn Beck's Playground o' Decompensation, or do new times call for new taxonomies of dangerous retards?

In the end, maybe that's what the Naughts were all about -- confirmation, not revelation. They confirmed that there are vast swaths of people that really will fall for or put up with anything, and some of them are college-edumacated Democrats. There's a difference between them and the unrepentant yahoos of the Palin/Beck set, but only in degree. No one seems able to quite explain this compelling reason why the Democrats must retain Ted Kennedy's Senate seat or regain California's goobernatorship, seeing what they've done this past year.

So the Democrats are spineless and flaccid, even with a supermajority, and the Republicans are openly gleeful at any prospect to profiteer and make war on the backs of the poor. (Not that the Democrats aren't fine with those prospects as well, they just have the good grace to not be as open about it.)

The latest class I'm taking has begun with a rather protracted discussion of ethics in general, and the corporation's need to be socially responsible in particular. Snapshots of overworked South Asians and Caribbeans slaving for six cents an hour amongst piles of $120 logo shirts proliferate next to scenes from the ritual death of the factory farm. Woven throughout is the plaint that the eeeevil corporation squeezes its profits out of the hides -- sometimes literally -- of the weak and powerless, abusing them mercilessly to find that extra one-tenth of a cent per unit in profit.

What's ignored is how deeply symbiotic this ugly scenario is. Every successful business has gotten that way by giving people what they want. Anyone who is still in the dark about where their clothes or their meat or their kitchen cleansers come from is either too stupid to breathe, or knows exactly what the deal is, and is just fine with it.

It's not exactly a secret that people tell themselves little lies to get through the day all the time. So will they bravely put up with abused chickens and exploited Pakistanis and unbelievably polluted rivers in China, in order to save a buck on the next Costco run? Hell yes, even at the expense of the jobs and communities they used to have. It has always been thus, but the past ten years seem to have compacted and accelerated that nasty dynamic.

Oppression and malfeeance, lies and chicanery, in whatever nefarious forms, simply cannot continue without the complicity of some portion of the victims of those tactics. For example, violent pro-life activism would not exist without the involvement or tacit approval of at least some women. Fox News and its ordured heap of screeching daemons could not thrive without the viewership of the bamboozled, the very people who are being tricked into voting against their own rational self-interest over and over again. The Democratic Party would be thumped without the support of dead-ender bien pensant libruls who will back them at any and all costs -- as they are about to find out the hard way later this year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Schmidt Happens

It's always great when a disgruntled operative airs dirty laundry.

Sarah Palin believed that Sen. John McCain chose her to be his running mate in 2008 because of "God's plan," according to a top political strategist in the Arizona Republican's campaign.

In an interview with the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes," Steve Schmidt described Palin as "very calm -- nonplussed" after McCain met with her at his Arizona ranch just before putting her on the Republican ticket. McCain had planned to name Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., as his vice presidential choice until word leaked, sparking what Schmidt called political blowback over picking the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Schmidt said he asked Palin about her serenity in the face of becoming "one of the most famous people in the world." He quoted her as saying, "It's God's plan."

It's too easy to point out that Palin is either a barking loon, a raving moron, or a cynical opportunist (or some combination thereof). The sick part is that some of the target audience for this article will read it unironically and nod their heads at Saint Sarah's affirmation. It doesn't occur to them that if that's "God's plan", then He's running this thing even worse than Al Davis runs the Raiders. The Big Guy needs a GM, and pronto.

Schmidt credited Palin with being a quick study and for giving a great speech at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., but he said it soon became clear that she often was not accurate in her remarks.

By "being a quick study", obviously Schmidt means "able to memorize and regurgitate standard talking points, albeit with great effort and syntactic awkwardness". By "not accurate", he, who are we kidding? She's an idiot, pure and simple. Schmidt knows better, and has to have a shit-eating grin just to utter such a preposterous phrase.

Even after a full year in the spotlight, with nothing but time to prepare, Sarah Palin is still catastrophically unqualified for any national office. That's not mean, it just is. Most people are, it's just that most people aren't telegenic enough to bamboozle millions of slack-jawed yokels into buying into this fucking nonsense.

Schmidt conceded that had Palin not been on the ticket, "our margin of defeat would've been greater than it would've been otherwise."

Well, yeah, they did better than they would have with Lieberputz, whom Republiclowns and conservatards put up with for his apostasy, but despise nearly as much as the other side does. But so what? They might have done even better with Carrie Prejean as a running mate, at least until the masturbation videos came out.

As bad as the Dummycrats are -- and christ, they are fucking awful -- the Republitards are an endless mine for comedy gold. I'm surprised Lincoln's shade hasn't risen to renounce any association or mention with these shameless reprobates.


Apropos of nothing, this odd story manages to highlight something interesting:

Earlier on Sunday, a close friend of ex-DUP leader Ian Paisley repeated his view that Mr Robinson's position as Northern Ireland first minister was "untenable".

Free Presbyterian minister David McIlveen stressed that his opinion was not that of Mr Paisley.

His church has also said he was not speaking on their behalf.

"He has a problem with solving his family difficulties and I cannot take the view a person's private life does not affect their public life," he said.

Now, as politically incorrect as it may be, I actually agree with this philosophy. It's pretty simple -- it's hard to respect somebody enough to allow them to make big-boy decisions, when you know they've been cuckolded by a fucking barista and been unable to do anything about it. But then we're talking about a bunch of poncey fops who are still reminiscing about the thrashings they received in boarding school. It's just sad that a long-standing serious, violent political situation is affected by this nonsense.

Fuck the Patriots

In the neck. With a rusty fork. Nice win (their first over New England) by the Ravens; the only complaint is that they couldn't keep that 24-0 first quarter momentum going full throttle. Aside from the field position for their first touchdown, not even the refs could help the Patsies out of this one. If there's a team more sorely deserving of a 96-0 thrashing than the Tuck Rule Sillynannies, I'd be surprised. May they go 0-16 for the next decade.

On the other hand, the Packers. Epic shootout, tremendous game. The Cards actually have a decent chance against a fading Saints team, but assuming the Vikes beat the Cowpies, would probably not win in Minnesota. Fun stuff. The main thing is the Pats are out, maybe for some time.