Libby

In the office at my day-job, the e-mail is generally reserved for business. However, when you’re a block from K Street in Washington, D.C., some pol on your staff is bound to forward on the big ones. Thus, yesterday, a co-worker forwarded the Libby verdict news at 12:22 p.m.

Five minutes later, another shot back: And yet, nobody has even been charged with intentionally identifying Plame. Five minutes. Five freakin’ minutes of peace and quiet before some dummy in my office piped up with that little fact bender.

No, sir, nobody has been charged, specifically. Yet. Because someone was, how you say, lying, perjuring, and obstructing justice, thus the conviction on the counts of “lying, perjury, and obstruction of justice.” Look, I don’t know about you, but as an American, I’d like someone to keep sniffing around about this. Hello? All signs point to yes, the current vice-president, who specifically told voters that his crew, and not the competition, was the right choice to keep America safe from the evil-doers, led a deliberate effort to show a CIA operative to the world because her husband dared to write what he knew in a newspaper. And, by the by, don’t give me that guff about how she wasn’t no CIA operative, that she just had a desk job and just sharpened pencils and made coffee. I don’t care if she mopped the floor. You don’t write about or discuss an agent’s employment. I’ve got a federal agent in my family, should I write to the Post about it? Stupid asshat Novak. Why isn’t he breaking bricks somewhere?  

I personally think that if your curiosity about the subject shuts down at “well nobody was actually charged” regarding this issue, you should be compelled by law to retake your citizenship test. This isn’t a partisan issue and it’s not a crusted stain on a pretty blue dress. It’s yet another sign that the folks who barked the loudest about providing national security didn’t. So I hope you’re practicing cowering under your desks because duck-and-cover may just be all we’ve got left.

Incidentally, speaking of caked DNA: Liberals, arm up for the inevitable comparisons to the Bill Clinton impeachment. I know and you know that anyone who finds the two to be alike probably also scalds themselves in the shower a lot, but it always comes back with these people to “buh-buh-but Clinton!” Don’t forget: Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice and perjury. But he was NOT convicted. He was acquitted. Which is the opposite of what Lewis Libby was.

There are many things that could and will happen next. Libby’s legal team is already planning to ask for a new trial, and, failing that, an appeal. The Wilsons are readying their civil suit. And somewhere, in an underground bunker, the current vice president is lying in a coffin and planning his next steps as well.

(“#1 Douchebag” graphic stolen shamelessly from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.)

Meatwad the Bomb Among Other Absurdities

:: This rant is for Molly Ivins, one on my short list of people I always wanted to be like when I grew up. Hell, I still do. God bless her. ::

As a sometimes fan of the Adult Swim television program called “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and as a never ever fan of the current administration and the “war” on “terror,” I adore the recent news from Boston.

That Lite-Brite-like frames portraying Ignignokt and Err flipping the bird could lead to such absurd depths, it has many tasty levels to it. It’s like when some conservatives took Stephen Colbert seriously. It’s like when Ashcroft erected the big curtain to cover up a boobie. What it’s like is, that only a narc would discover a graphic of the Mooninite Marauders and conclude that it’s terrorism.

The only reason it isn’t as absurd on its face as it could be is that it stands in comparison next to the larger effort that spawned it, the phrase that forces me to break out the scare quotes, the “war” on “terror.”

America, I think, was too quick to swallow this monstrous absurdity. We’ve declared war on poverty, on cancer, and on drugs, but each of those declarations comes with an implied understanding that these “wars” on inantimate objects and concepts are somewhat hyperbolic. The current president has actually declared “war” on a tactic, a war that’s unwinnable on its face since you lose so long as there’s a boy and a bomb and a dream anywhere in the world and since success can only be gauged by what doesn’t happen.

Nearly the whole of what makes George W. Bush such an intriguing character is that it is close to impossible to ascertain if he is merely stupid, or if he, in the immortal words of Homer J. Simpson, “sucks like a fox.” Was it mere incompetence and stupidity that led these people to fire all the Baathists and send them unemployed and poor into the economy we’d just wrecked, or was it planned chaos, established so masked men in three-piece suits could plunder the country? Was the current president just stupid and therefore asleep at the switch when the airbuses plowed into the towers, or, as some believe, was there some nefarious design to it?

The answer is that the current president is merely stupid.

When the Supreme Court gave him the office, the current president had come that far in part due to the profound superstition that, because Bill Clinton had allowed a woman to suck his penis, Bill Clinton was a bad president. The current president said he would “restore integrity” to the White House, the most ironic thing that has ever been said in the entire history of the universe. The current president decided that the way to accomplish that was to declare it to be Opposite Day in America. He withdrew from international treaties. He disengaged from the Israel peace process. He condemned by executive order clinics overseas that even said words that rhymed with “abortion.” In the spirit of Presidential Opposite Day, the current president and his administration directly flouted direct advice from his predecessors regarding a lanky idiot called Osama Bin Laden.

Actions such as the one we saw this week in Boston and the absurd declaration of a “war” on “terror” are simply hyper-super-duper-overcompensations for a president who was asleep at the switch on and before Sept. 11, 2001, that he rolled his eyes at the August PDB, that he found Richard Clarke to be an annoying loon, that he dismissed the credibility of his predecessors’ dire and sadly accurate warnings because of a weird national superstition about a president who let a woman suck his penis. From that, we get illegal wiretaps, Abu Ghraib, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the swift action of those sworn to protect and serve at cartoon characters run amok.

It does roll downhill. It really does.

And You Thought Dick Sr. Was Scary

Liz Cheney’s opinion piece ran in yesterday’s Washington Post, but it is worth reexamining today. I am not certain that one central idea therin has sufficiently terrified the lot of us.

Here is what the daughter of the current vice president wrote: “America faces an existential threat. This is not, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed, a ‘situation to be solved.’ It would be nice if we could wake up tomorrow and say, as Sen. Barack Obama suggested at a Jan. 11 hearing, ‘Enough is enough.’ Wishing doesn’t make it so. We will have to fight these terrorists to the death somewhere, sometime. We can’t negotiate with them or ‘solve’ their jihad. If we quit in Iraq now, we must get ready for a harder, longer, more deadly struggle later.”

Liz Cheney is a very good writer.

Never before have I seen the Neo-Warhawk’s position distilled so eloquently, so effectively stripped down to its habeas corpus. We’re
going to have to kill them all eventually, she warns, so we might as
well kill them all right now.

I am well aware of Godwin’s Law. But I think my risk of admitting
default defeat is nil by suggesting that, once upon a time, 5,032 miles from here, a guy with a funny mustache and a penchant for wolves, eagles and Richard Wagner had a similar idea.

War without diplomacy, without any hope for a political solution, without superior intelligence, without support, faith, and required sacrifice from the bulk of your people, war that insists that victory can only be achieved through attrition, that brand of war is not war. It is only killing. And this form of killing, the sort of killing where one society decides that another society is the problem and takes the initiative to wipe that society from the face of the Earth, it has a name: Ethnic cleansing.

I am not arguing that the United States is in the business of ethnic cleansing per se, though I do believe we are probably supporting it directly and indirectly within some of Iraq’s nooks and crannies. However, I am arguing that Liz Cheney’s opinion piece and the thinking that served as its engine perhaps reveal that the people who are still banging away on the war drums don’t really have a problem with it or wouldn’t even recognize it if it bit them in the nuts.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry said this: “I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history. And the Republigoats pointed at him and called him a faggot. It’s three years later, and our outcomes regarding the “war” on “terror” are mixed to tragic.

Methinks that Liz Cheney and her ilk need to start realizing that he was right.

Question One About Iraq

I don’t know about you, but I find the release today of the Iraq Study Group report to be utterly annoying. After all, it says what Democrats have been saying for a few years now only to be pointed at and called “faggots.”

More annoying than that, though, is that its purpose is to address question three, while not even attempting for a moment to talk about question one.

Sorry, skipped ahead: There are three essential questions about Iraq.

The third question, addressed by the ISG report, is: “Well, now what?” It is obviously an important question, though I think questions one and two are just as important.

Question two is nicely discussed in Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. It is: “Well, if you’re going to do that, shouldn’t you at least do it right?”

The first question, the one that’s been resolved the least effectively but the one that’s still vital, one many Amercans have just given up on or even one that they’re ashamed for some reason to want addressed, is: “What the hell did you do that for?”

Question one should be tattooed backward onto George W. Bush’s forehead. He should have an iPod stapled to his head looping nothing but Cindy Sheehan saying “What the hell did you do that for? What the hell did you do that for? What the hell did you do that for?” (which is, essentially, what she wanted to ask him in the first place). He should be forced to write a 500-word essay titled “What The Hell I Did That For,” and points will be taken off for spelling and grammar.

Because as of today, the number of Americans killed in this Dirty Big War has passed 2,900.

That’s the population of Hampshire, Ill. It’s the number of people killed in coal mining accidents in China. It’s 151 more people than were killed in the World Trade Center.

We watched George W. Bush and his closest staffers mouth like synchronized swimmers that, if we hesitated, the smoking gun could become a turnip truck. I mean, mushroom cloud. And they had to Zamboni away from that rationale and on down the road, until now, when, as noted in my first graf, all they’ve got left is to point at their opponents and call ’em homos.

We are nowhere near coming close to answering question one. We’re not even asking it anymore; we got shamed out of asking it anymore. But we can’t just shrug our shoulders anymore and figure that we broke it and bought it and had it bagged and that we’re on our way back to the car now so we might as well not ask what happened. It’s still relevant. It’s still important. It is still indeed Question Number One. So jot it down and stick it in your wallet for in case you run into your congressman or your mayor or your president tomorrow, so you can look him right in his eyes and go, Sir, I have an important question for you: What the hell did you do that for?  

 

O.J. Simpson for UN Ambassador

(Writer’s Note: Some phrases and central ideas in this were blatantly stolen from Air America Radio’s Rachel Maddow Show, 6-8 p.m. weeknights on your local AAR affiliate or XM167.)

JOHN BOLTON leaves big shoes to fill, big, stinky, gooey, angry shoes with an ugly mustache. Who should fill them? Who, who, who?

One report has it that none other than fresh ex-incumbent Rick “Man-On-Dog” Santorum might be nominated, a development that might prove nearly as entertaining as that video clip of Starr Jones getting beaned with a football. If said report is true, or even if it simply smacks of truthiness, the intended trend is clear and should come as no surprise to the administration that launched a thousand “Brownies You’re Doing A Heck Of A Jobs.”

After all, there’s not one person on-board at the White House today who didn’t pee a little upon first hearing the oft-quoted quoth from Grover Norquist that he’d like to make government so small he can drown it. Surely you’ve heard the rumor that they sometimes go paintballing and make Danny Quayle dress up like Big Government. That was, after all, the idea of sticking JOHN BOLTON at the UN.

You see, JOHN BOLTON padded his resume for the job with the following quote: “There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining
superpower, which is the United States.” At which point, fire erupted from JOHN BOLTON’s nostrils and left his mustache bizarrely and permanently grayed.

So you see, the most sterling qualification a person can have to work with this administration is to despise the very thing you’re being asked to serve. JOHN BOLTON is perhaps the best example of this principle at work EVAR.

If you can’t choose someone who hates the institution so much that they may very well be tempted to thrash it and pee on it, then you can settle perhaps for a captain of the represented industry, who can at least work to stack the deck while he’s in so he can benefit from fewer regulations and more loopholes on his way out. Or, you can just staff the position with someone so hopelessly incompetent and unqualified for the job that he’ll make the entire agency look so woefully horrible that you can tear the whole thing down and start over and hope nobody notices while you’re extracting its canines in the process.

I think, however, that in these bleak times for the lame-duck low-approval-rating Bush administration, there’s another option that has yet to be exercised: Use the nomination to convince the country that you’re raving lunatic batshit crazy and then remind everone that you’re the one with the launch codes. You nominate Orenthal James Simpson to be the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations.

Hey. You could do worse.

(Namely: Congress could have approved the nomination of JOHN BOLTON.)

Begone The Dog And Pony Show

I have discovered two terms that distinguish different forms of mind-boggingly stupid statements made by Republigoats and their accomplices.

A “Tartlets Tartlets Tartlets” is a phrase or idea that is so unfathomable that if you attempt to argue it to yourself long enough, it loses all meaning. See “Friends,” “The One With The Stoned Guy,” guest starring Jon Lovitz. President Bush’s stance on stem cell research is an excellent example of a Tartlets Tartlets Tartlets.

An “If It Weren’t For My Horse” is a phrase or idea that is so utterly stupid that it should cause you to heed comedian Lewis Black’s warning about it: “Don’t—don’t think about that sentence for more than three minutes or blood will shoot out your nose.” If you’re unfamiliar with this iconic comic routine, please search for it at YouTube.

The notion fermenting that the Democrats who bulldozed the Republigoats were “conservative Democrats” is an If It Weren’t For My Horse—as is that idiocy’s twin idiocy that Madame Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi is some kind of Communist Goon Hippie Dope-Smoking Communist Faerie Communist Goat-Humping Pagan Communist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). No, friends, what happened was that the Democratic Party stopped taking America’s pulse with its thumb.

There was nothing more striking about the 2006 mid-term drive than the strident message against the President’s Dirty Big War. I can’t recall a single Democratic TV spot I saw that didn’t tout the candidate’s stance against the Iraq war and that didn’t accuse the opponent of licking the President’s belly button.

Contrast this election season with 2004: Dennis Kucinich said “the war is wrong,” and all the other candidates looked around and said, “Who farted?” And then Howard Dean bellowed, “The War Is Wrong!” and started getting results, so all the other candidates started trying to say the same thing but couldn’t quite hold their mouths right, so they ended up saying weird things like “The War Has Cheese!” And then Howard Dean got up in front of a crowd and transformed into a giant horny lizard creature and had to drop out of the race, leaving all the other candidates to run around in scatters screaming “The War Has Cheese!” “The War Has Cheese!” “The War Has Cheese!” And then John Kerry went snowboarding, causing George W. Bush to “win” “reelection.”

Remember?

Anyway. No way in Topeka did the Democrats win this by wearing Duncan Hunter masks. The ideas that swept the Democrats in were overwhelmingly “progressive” and do not in any way resemble the ideas put forward by the Republigoats. Sorry, Bob Schieffer.

Pelosi has some excellent stuff tacked to her clipboard, including the idea of fully enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations. A novel idea: America needs to stop flapping its gums about that tragic event to actually manage the problems that were caused and revealed by it.

And we’ll do it, no matter what labels they’d like to slap on the Dems who are taking the saddle.

Get ready. Stuff is about to happen.

(Also published at The Smirking Chimp.)

A Coarse Course

Now that the Bush administration has abandoned the moronic phrase they’d pounded into our heads for years and has in fact attempted to claim they never actually used the phrase—these dirty rotten Stalinist hogfuckers—I can’t help but sit down and try to create new, innovative ways for them to wriggle out of this one.

My first idea was to propose a compromise, possibly between the erstwhile phrase and the accusatory and shamefully purposely inaccurate phrase, “cut and run.” I initially proposed “cut the course.” But of course that makes no sense. So a friend cut in with thus: “The new bipartisan slogan incorporates themes from all sides of the debate: ‘Let it run its course.'”

One could, of course, claim that what the President meant to imply was that there really isn’t a war, that what we’re actually doing in Iraq is competing in an obstacle course. Or, perhaps, that he was actually offering to feed every American a nice meal, as in, “Stay. Please. Have another course.” He might have been actually trying to say that the United States would have to stay rough and tough, as in, “We’re going to stay coarse.”

Where, oh where do these people come from?

Doubleplus Ungood

We got so stirred up with other issues here at KIAV (such as the odd protuberance that was dangling from the undercarriage of the company car) that we neglected to mark the signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the resulting odd bloody death of that pesky concept of “recourse to the law.”

Well, here he is, the “President of the United States” signing the law, hovering over yet another sadly misleading banner. What is it with this administration and the little banners written in newspeak? Whatsamatter? “Doublegood Noexplode Oceania” didn’t fit?

You see, from my perspective, signature of a bill that provides beefed up security at chemical plants, or that improves container inspections at our ports, or that creates a new plan of evacuation of the West Coast in case of an earthquake, those are some ideas about how we could, you know, protect America.

Giving the President of the United States godlike powers is, to me, you know, sort of the direct opposite.