The Piano That Broke The Camel’s Back

I have not posted in light of the recent Washington Post articles that suggest that Richard Cheney believes himself to be a supreme being, not so much a human being as a theoretical concept, a beam of light, if you will. I have been busy trying to figure out how to recover my jaw from the floor.

Many years ago, a gentleman by the name of Paul O’Neill wrote a book called “The Price of Loyalty.” I purchased it and read it voraciously. I said at the time that it would be the first of many unflattering tell-alls regarding the current president. Little did I know.

Seven months ago, the Democrats won a slim majority in the House of Representatives. At the time, I wrote in this blog, “Get ready. Stuff is about to happen.” It is happening. Too slowly for many. Many think that Pelosi and Reid are wimpy and aren’t pushing hard enough. But I think Congress is making a case and is preparing to topple. And the Post articles certainly do appear to add fuel to the fire.

What can one say. When it rains, it pours.

Million Dollar Bookmark

The works of Ayn Rand are to its readers like apple pie is to Jim Levenstein. You know. It’s a substitute for the real thing that you’re in the middle of screwing the hell out of in the kitchen when your father walks in.

Um. Something like that.

I call them “Atlas Slugs,” young impressionable Americans with their noses buried deep in these Ayn rants, little Robbie Goulds with their notes in the margin, convinced that their lives are being altered forever for the better by the garbage they’re consuming.

I have argued for years that these works of fantasy ought to be held behind the counter and only sold to those who can produce I.D. verifying that they are 35 years or older. They are pornography, more obscene than any film you’ve never seen depicting the Cleveland Steamer or midgets with egg beaters or whatever you’re into. They are the reason Republigoats today are so fond of obvious strawman logic. Rand’s books create worlds that do not exist and circumstances that are not even plausible and attacks from that vantage point the sensible idea of the commons. They are ridiculous books that have been taken seriously only because they weigh more than the average human head.

I saw an Atlas Slug on the subway recently. He was overdressed for his youth. He was about 3/4 of the way through “Atlas Shrugged.” He held his place in the book with a laminated, fake million-dollar bill. Yowsa. Now, I have trouble telling a guy when he has schmutz on his chin. How am I supposed to tell an Atlas Slug that he’s poisoning his brain?

Fortunately, the current president has provided tangible evidence that Rand’s “philosophy” is horseshit. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has provided these free market worshippers with the ultimate laboratory. They fired the whole of the country’s civil servants. They established a flat tax and capped all future taxes at 15 percent. They suspended tarriffs. They opened Iraq to foreign multinationals for investment and sold off 3/4 of state-owned endeavors. As Joshua Holland noted on AlterNet nearly a year ago:

“The reality is that the economic policies we imposed on Iraq were not some generic form of ‘capitalism’; they included the most radical business-state rules imaginable—policies that developing countries have vehemently resisted for over a decade. What’s more, imposing them at the point of a gun appears to have violated both international and U.S. laws. There’s nothing ‘normal’ about it.”

The free market approach regarding the occupation of Iraq has done little but to run the country further into ruin. Iraq was just recently been ranked as the second least stable state in the world. Stuff that has managed to be built in Iraq is already due to be rebuilt. And, as a 60 Minutes rebroadcast reminded us Sunday, people have been leaving the country with their pockets lined. Meanwhile, the terrorists we’re keeping over there by fighting them over there? The YouTube has footage of them graduating suicide bombers and talking about, well, coming over here. Great. Ayn Rand might end up stopping the engine of the world after all.

The free market is an excellent way for a society to distribute goods and services, to reward labor, and to feed its economy. But it is not the problem taker-awayer the Atlas Slugs think it is. History says that unbridled capitalism tends toward the disasterous and that sensible regulation and use of a commons for some purposes are necessary.

How anyone can look around at the world and think otherwise is beyond me.  

War Pigs

Television can ruin lots of things. Thanks to television, for instance, we snicker at Ozzy Osbourne these days and/or hold him simultaneously in esteemed affection. We forget that the man sang inspired protest lyrics once upon a time.

“Politicians hide themselves away. They only started the war. Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor, yeah. Time will tell on their power minds, making war just for fun. Treating people just like pawns in chess, wait till their judgement day comes, yeah.”

War pigs. Yeah. Who would have thought that one of the fellows we prayed for to get us out of this mess in 2004 would turn out to be one of the oinkiest stinkiest war pigs of them all? How many stars do you think McCain’s big hit “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” has in Lieberman’s iTunes listing?


Lieberman: I think we have to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.

Schieffer: Let’s just stop right there. Because I think you probably made some news here, Senator Lieberman. You’re saying that if the Iranians don’t let up, that the United States should take military action?

Lieberman: I am.

Schieffer: Wow, Joe Lieberman, you are one batshit crazy motherfucker. Why in the wide wide world of sports do we keep asking you to be on our program? 


If only. Instead, Schieffer was all all wink-wink and “Ha-ha! Whoa! I think you just made some news there, Skippy! Hold on there! Whoa!” Why are Schieffer and the other Sunday morning yappity-yappers still suffering fools like Lieberman? Why do the lame brains who brought you the immoral, illegal, foolish, and not to mention poorly executed invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation still have caché? How is it that Bill Kristol hasn’t been laughed off the edge of the flat Earth in which he and his ilk believe?

This is why it is vital to fill vital leadership positions now with candidates who were and have been always stone-cold opposed to the invasion of Iraq. It is why “If I’d known then what I know now” is simply not good enough, Hillary. We have slightly altered the pendulum’s path, but it is still lopsided and kicking over all the wrong posts. We need leaders unassailable in the path of the cold weird eyes of Joe Lieberman and his hawk allies, leaders who don’t need to cop to moral relativism, leaders who today resemble brilliant visionaries rather than political opportunists, who saw the bullshit and called it bullshit. Because even in the face of all the tons of evidence that the invasion of Iraq was wrong on its face, morally, practically, exestensially wrong, even with the polls where they are, even with the death tolls conveying ever-upward, the media still doesn’t get it, the Congress still doesn’t get it, and the current president, fuggetaboutit.

It’s all enough to lead one to understand why Ozzy bit the head off of that damned bird.

The One To Be Frightened Of: Giuliani

If you haven’t yet, go out and pick up the current issue of Rolling Stone, the one with Amy Winehouse on the cover, and read Matt Taibi’s article, Giuliani: Worse Than Bush. It is, without a doubt, spot-on. It argues effectively that of all the Republigoat beigebots running for prezident, Rudy is the one to be asceered of. I agree. Of the whole slate, he seems to have been most infected by the Insane Juice Enema that is given to each of these guys. I suspect that most of the candidates are pleased enough with the results to only have the treatment once a week. Rudy, I suspect, takes it twice daily and quadruples the dose.

Did you see the mad way he took off on Ron Paul for suggesting that, perhaps, it might behoove the Untied States of America to learn about the stated motivations of those who turned our Pentagon into a square? He is more adept at Swiftvotering than anyone I’ve ever seen. He has a real knack for Strawmanicide and more than excels at the finely honed art of False Moral Indignation. He is brilliant at this stuff, brilliant enough perhaps to be considered no longer the student but now the master.  And, unfortunately, Swiftvotering works.

Anyway, please do check out Taibi’s analysis. He’s right. I hope the Democrats will start working to run him off the road.


Here’s the answer I gave this MoveOn survey.

The Founders said impeachment was for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” I am no legal scholar, but I believe what this means is that a president doesn’t have to be caught with the bloody knife handle in his hands and the bloody knife handle in the body (I could use a similar analogy regarding the cigar and the intern, but ewww) to be considered for impeachment. I think impeachment is to be brought if a president has violated the terms or the spirit of his office. In this context, I think it is quite appropriate to bring impeachment proceedings forward. I think one could open several dozen thousand conversations showing that the current president has in some instance or another violated the terms and the spirit of his office and of American democracy. I do not need to list them, and nor would time and space allow me to do so. Our Congress needs to grow a pair and start the proceedings.

Not Really.

The Politico today sez that the Jefferson indictment “complicates Democrats’ Campaign Strategy.” They sez the indictment “…provided a political opening for Republicans to fight back after being battered for months by guilty pleas from Republican lawmakers, aides and lobbyists linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal.”

It doesn’t have to. Not if the Democrats do the right thing and drop this guy like a hot potato.

Today’s “Thom Hartmann Program” is well worth listening to. Thom fill-in Peter B. Collins walks you through an entire fundraising call with the Republigoats, who were unfortunate enough to have contacted him. It is some damned good radio, especially in the context of the recent firings of Republigoat phoners. It’s about an hour fifteen into the show if you’re looking for it on your AAR Premium podcast.

Weird. Just weird.

How damned weird is the case against Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson (D – La.)? $90,000 on ice? $90,000 on ice? I just hope some of the deliberation of this case and/or trial will be heard publicly so we can know what the hell this was all about.

Duly noted, though: A Democrat has been indicted. Good. If he was crooked, good. We need to purge the truly corrupt from our system. On this side of it, tho, I will say that it appears on the surface that Jefferson’s motivation was pure, simple self-enrichment, rather than the more complex,  more skeevy motivations of the stuff we’ve seen from that other political party, consolidation of power, ideological zombie-ism, theocratic passion and enrichment of self and of self’s friends. Not to say that our guy’s smell’s better than your guys’. But unfortunately, even poop can be analyzed for consistency. 

How about that Mike Gravel? The man has too much Admiral Stockdale goin’ on to run very vigorously, but he is for certain standing up on those stages telling the full truth.

By the way. If you get an opportunity to listen to the first hour of The Randi Rhodes Show today, please do. She makes a keen observation about Sunday’s Democratic debate. As in: How Biden, Clinton, and Obama may have formed an alliance in the Big Brother house, how Biden took one for the alliance with his war funding vote, and how Edwards is most soitenly not involved in said alliance…

By the way, does it say good things or bad things about Brit Hume of Fox “News” that he apparently does not know what the term “spearchucker” is usually meant to indicate? I’m really not sure.