March 1, 2011

Koch Industries In-House Magazine


August 9, 2010

The Tattlesnake – Drunk or Stupid Edition

It’s time to play the popular home game ‘Drunk or Stupid?’ wherein contestants watch TV and decide from the public statements and general demeanor of various politicians and pundits if they are such persistent imbibers it has softened their corrupt little minds to the point of retardation, or if they are just naturally dumb as a result of ignorance and flea-bitten ideology. Of course these terms are not mutually exclusive; some of these miscreants are both drunk and stupid, but here we are gauging which mode predominates in their media appearances and what passes for journalistic efforts.

Names were picked at random from a tricorn hat while I was nursing a hangover and appear in no particular order; the obvious idiots – Beck, Limbaugh, et al – were ignored:

Joe Lieberman
Drunk. On MSNBC recently, he kept calling Gen. David Petraeus ‘Darren’ Petreaus and mispronounced, or Freudian slipped, Rolling Stone as ‘Ruling Stain.’ Of course, if you’re as crooked and backstabbing as Joe, you have to go heavy on the MD-20/20 just to stand shaving every morning.

Sarah Palin
Stupid, in the unique way only ex-beauty pageant contestants can manage. (Google Carrie Prejean and Miss Beverly Hills.) Hubby Todd is likely the drunk in the family, along with all the little Palin photo-ops, and who can blame them?

John Boehner
Drunk, with bells on. Catch the GOP Bonehead late enough in the afternoon and he’s liable to gush all sorts of hilarious head-slapping crapola while he stares bewildered and baggy-eyed at the camera, like a dripping-wet old Lothario who’s trying to think up a reasonable excuse on the spot for why he was caught skinny-dipping with the neighbor’s wife at dawn. No doubt he pours them down as he rests in his coff – uh — tanning bed every morning. There are suspicions he was born with the face he has now and had to be hidden in the attic until his body caught up to his weathered mug, but that’s just the loosest of rumors, no doubt spread by one of his many detractors.

Mitch McConnell
Drunk, on waning power. Yet another failure of modern plastic surgery, at least that form practiced in the hills of Kentucky. McConnell found the recipe for making lemons out of lemonade, and then, obviously, ate them all in one sitting. His wrinkles are embarrassed to be seen with his archaic ideas these days. Rand Paul, Mitch, Rand Paul…

Chris Matthews
Drunk, with an attractive excess of saliva and a penchant for spitting when he’s excited – and he’s usually excited about something. (Guests who sit across the table from him on his show are rumored to be armed with ample supplies of Kleenex and zinc cough drops.) He also has the drunk’s penchant for mispronouncing a word and then insisting his mistake is the correct pronunciation. (‘Chee-knee’ for Cheney, for instance.) After embarrassingly blubbering over the greatness of Junior Bush in the early part of the twenty-first century (“Americans just love this guy!”), and verbally ass-grabbing various young women on his show, as well as showing a streak of mean for Hillary Clinton that is inexplicable, he’s now steered to the left in order to boost his ratings, aping the success of Keith Olbermann, but his past follows him like the iron shackles that should be encircling the legs of the now literally heartless Dick Chee-knee.

David Gregory
Stupid. He’s an affable, ambitious yuppie who walks around with a permanently moistened index finger stuck in the air, or somewhere. ‘Dave’ thinks he’s posing a tough question when he asks John McCain to give his ‘real’ opinion of Sarah Palin. He’s perfect for NBC’s Sunday morning nod to subtle parody, ‘Meet the Press,’ but I detect a certain jealously of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert since they are allowed to present actual news segments more often than Gregory, and they don’t have to smooch pampered Washington posteriors to keep their jobs.

Candy Crowley
Stupid, but just barely, as it’s rumored she can put a double shot of 100-proof Georgia moonshine between her ample breasts and drink it without spilling a drop while doing a nude hula dance. Unfortunately, she has failed to display this prodigious talent in front of CNN’s cameras, preferring to bore her audience to tears with her tedious ‘Republican-pretending-to-be-liberal’ act. Candy is the Judy “What will we – I mean the Republicans — do to win New Hampshire?” Woodruff of her generation.

George ‘Eff’ Will
Drunk as a lord. Take him out to the ball game but make sure you have enough sturdy lifters to carry him home. Even stupidity couldn’t possibly explain some of his well-worded but gaseous and error-laden opinion pieces. The Doric columns of the Capitol building could be crumbling to dust before his eyes and ‘Mr. Will’ (as his friends call him) would write a column the next day praising the lasting architecture of Washington. A devoted acolyte of Ronald Reagan, George Eff never let ‘The Gipper’s’ sunny geriatric optimism infect him; he did, however, apparently contract Conservative Alzheimer’s from his late friend, a disease that has spread like a plague throughout the Republican Party. The symptoms are an inability to admit mistakes, a total disregard for historical fact, a whooshing sound in the ears from air continually filling a vacuum, and the necrophiliac’s tendency to romantically embrace ideological corpses.

Sharron Angle
Drunk, on ‘Situational Lemonade’ and the Lawd. It’s tempting to dismiss her as merely dumb, but that discounts the self-righteous zeal with which she has pursued her particular form of delusional right-wing fringe insanity. For that kind of breath-taking goofiness, you need more than just stupidity, you need God working with you in one of his many ethereal jokes. Karl Marx once said that religion is the opiate of the masses; in that regard, Sharron is a bust-out junkie without a hope of redemption.

David Broder
Not merely drunk, but embalmed. The Rufus T. Firefly ‘Dean’ of the Washington Press Gang hasn’t had an opinion that makes any sense in years, but he forges on, wallowing hog-like in alcohol-induced dementia while his snide colleagues cheer him on. The Old Fudd not only sees pink elephants, he celebrates them in print and tries to inveigle his readers into stumbling with him down Wet Brain Lane. Apparently the Washington Post has been afraid to tell him he’s been dead for a generation, at least as far as any political or cultural relevance is concerned.

Rand Paul
A board-certified drunk, but nearly as stupid. Only a dedicated souse could have this many half-baked opinions and his single-minded dedication to terrible ideas of the past that have proved unworkable. Besides, he hangs out at a plush Kentucky country club and apparently doesn’t play much golf. There is only one other thing white people who frequent country clubs do, and it’s usually shaken not stirred with a hint of vermouth and consumed by the pitcher. Remember, Rand, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

Wolf Blitzer
So drunk you could get snockered sucking on his beard. The Blitzkrieg’s premier contribution to modern journalism – that is to say, advertising the Empire — is knowing from US intelligence sources, prior to the Iraq invasion, that Saddam Hussein had no WMD (he admitted it on a small public radio station in D.C.), yet withholding that little nugget from his CNN audience and obediently flogging WMD fear on behalf his pals in the Bush-Cheney War Room. His other offenses against reason and veracity are too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say that he’s now probably in the Susan Powter range of daily consumption, necessary to rinse the bitter taste of corporate swill out of one’s mouth, and the image of the elephant feces-spattered circus clown from one’s mind.

© 2010 RS Janes.

October 18, 2008

The Tattlesnake – McCain the Rudderless Old Fool Edition

“Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”
– Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822.

“Across this country this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners…”
– John McCain, at a campaign rally on Oct. 8, 2008 in Bethlehem, PA.

McCain’s Freudian slip was not only a nod to those who still support him – frightened hoodwinked hostages of vacuous Republican fanfare, convenient for-profit warmongering, and obdurate personal delusion, traveling on the GOP Bridge to Nowhere in faith it’s still the Yellow Brick Road – but to his own status as the decrepit and pathetic protagonist of a Russian novel, a man who has abandoned every conservative principle he previously claimed to hold dear, and scrapped every ounce of honor or dignity he may have once had to embrace his former abusers and speak drivel he knows to be false; a prisoner of his burning ambition to be president that has become an ugly and embarrassing obsession.

It’s said McCain loves to shoot craps; unspoken is that he often loses. In August, his dwindling audiences yawning and his poll numbers shrinking, he gambled his campaign on an inexperienced first-time governor with a lean resume from a state with three electoral votes, hoping that one throw of the dice would put him in the lead. While it temporarily gave him a boost, his numbers had started sinking, contrary to the Pundits spin, even before the depth of the economic crisis became the Big Media daily news lead. Now Palin has passed the barrier into public punch line while McCain himself attracted snickering at his last debate performance from not only Democratic and independent voters, but even Republicans.

McCain, at the head of one of the most deceitful and detestable campaigns in living memory, has abased his honor and integrity to the point of promoting palpable falsehoods, from the pitiful Joe the Plumber fiction and the ACORN ‘vote fraud’ distraction, to peevishly ridiculing his opponent’s popularity, all the while defending his beauty pageant running mate’s lightweight experience and outright lies connecting his opponent to domestic terrorists, and bizarrely grinning at his effort. McPalin are not just an insult to what’s left of the nation’s intelligence, they are an insult to the history of civilization as well.

So dismal, debauched and hideous is the McCain-Palin monstrosity that even formerly staunch conservative outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, a Republican newspaper that has never supported a Democrat in its 161-year history, just endorsed Obama, along with conservative-icon William F. Buckley’s kid Christopher, and none other than Reagan debate coach George F. Will.


September 29, 2008

The Tattlesnake – McCain’s Bonfire of the Inanities Edition

The ‘Stop Making Sense’ Campaign Just Did

“Never mistake motion for action.”
– Ernest Hemingway

In one of the topsy-turvy, fun-house-mirror aspects of this election, the hypothetically conservative Palin-McCain bid for the White House is being run as the most post-rational, incoherent, chaotic, image-driven, short attention span, non-factual, theatrical, emotional, ‘truthiness’-spewing political campaign in our history, worthy of the amorphous meanderings of a liberal French deconstructionist or a parody of reactionary outrage by Stephen Colbert.

Sure, we know that the Bush neocons like to create their own reality and let the rest of us catch up but, eventually, as has happened to King Junior, reality does come thundering down — as it has in Iraq, in Katrina, in our economy — where it can’t be ignored anymore, but the wildly lurching Palin-McCain extravaganza has decided to tempt fate and test the limits of the public gag reflex one more time by resurrecting every sordid, dishonest battering of reason and civility that Atwater and Rove have ever dreamed up.

Like the TV show “Seinfeld,” it is really a campaign about nothing: McCain’s economic policies – cut taxes and wait for a miracle – are a sour joke that we are feeling the punch line to as BushCo asks for a $700 billion bailout for trying the same thing; McCain’s phony Surge – which was really mostly just bribing the warlords to keep quiet — has worked successfully to keep our combat forces tied down in Iraq with no end in sight; his health care proposals will actually cost middle-class families more money for health insurance, and on and on it goes. Slip the rug out from under the rubes and call it real conservatism while you soften the fall of your rich cronies with golden parachutes – McCain should more accurately use the campaign slogan, ‘Country Club First.’

That McCain, a man who once campaigned against the interference of religion in secular politics, signed on as his Veep pick a born-again Christian zealot who knows more about the Rapture than she does the world she lives in and wears her narrow-minded ignorance and screwball religious beliefs as a badge of pride, to cynically solidify his hold on what remains of the Republican base says more about the current corrupt state of his character than five years in a POW camp in North Vietnam thirty-five years ago.

So, this is the shell game McCain and Palin are running: It’s not about what he or she would do as president or vice president – that’s archaic thinking — but rather the two-word message and the photo-op – McCain putting ‘Country First’ by suspending his campaign, yet still airing ads and keeping his campaign offices open, and jetting to Washington to appear for the cameras as if he’s already president, supposedly to deal with our economic crisis that he helped create and still doesn’t fully understand. That he just sat on his hands with no real authority is a reality trumped by the man-in-motion image – or so his Rove-trained advisors hope. There’s Palin, now appearing in several interviews and displaying her keen memory for brief neocon clichés and homey aphorisms provided by her handlers, but little grasp of what she’s babbling about, culminating in the low spot of her performance thus far, appearing in frothy TV talk-show spots with Hamid Karzai, Bush’s installed president of Afghanistan; a bulbous and lethargic Henry Kissinger, and a bemused President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, wondering if this insipid woman will help him get more foreign aid if he cooperates. She discussed babies with Karzai, emitted vacuous platitudes with Uribe, and flattered Kissinger’s obese ego in his blubbery senility. (Perhaps, for a fleeting moment, he thought he was dating Jill St. John again.) She increased her knowledge not one iota, but she ‘knows’ world leaders – see we have pictures!


September 25, 2008

The Tattlesnake – October and Other McCain Surprises Edition

Or, St. John and His Cowardly Lyin’

“Presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”
– Barack Obama, Sept. 23, 2008, as quoted by Business Week.

All politicians lie to some degree; it’s a gloomy fact of national politics in America, and the higher the office sought, the more likely and frequent the infractions of the truth.

Some self-servingly shade reality intermittently, others cross their fingers behind their backs and deliver the quasi-whopper occasionally, and then there are the full-out Nixonian scoundrels who’ll tell a lie at the drop of a hat in the ring.

John McCain, in his conduct since becoming the Republican nominee, has crossed the Nixon threshold of deceit, most recently by calling David Letterman at the last minute and telling him he couldn’t appear on his show September 24th because he had to urgently drop everything and fly to Washington to delve into the bailout crisis.

McCain’s prevarication to Letterman blew up in his face when the talk show host discovered McCain was still in New York City for many hours after that phone call; indeed, McCain was being interviewed by CBS’ Katie Couric not far from the theater where Letterman tapes his show and could easily have stopped in and kept his commitment to Letterman. As Dave said sarcastically, showing a live feed of McCain talking to Couric, “Need a ride to the airport, Senator?”

This is self-destructive blowback of the first order: Letterman reaches tens of millions of viewers across the land, many of them the politically semi-literate that McCain is trying to reach with his over-simplified messages of ‘maverick reformer,’ ‘reliable leader’ and comfortable ‘regular guy,’ and Letterman spent most of the show last night, including his notorious Top Ten list, savaging McCain for his absence, his suspension of his campaign, and asking the pointedly mocking question of why Palin couldn’t simply step in and take McCain’s place. He even had McCain’s harshest Big Media critic Keith Olbermann on to further pound the stake into the Republican candidate. Presidential campaigns in America are really won or lost in the comedy sketches of the late night TV hosts and viewers form their opinions of the candidates’ characters based on the kinds of jokes disseminated – by that measure, millions of late night TV viewers now know that McCain is a bald-faced liar; a treacherous old codpiece willing to deceive their trusted TV friend Dave. Hmmm, what else might he lie about as president? Not only was this a nuclear one-night hit, but McCain has now made a foe of David Letterman, an enmity that will carry on until the election – it could very well make the difference in November.

Something else that will make a difference, and also presents McCain as a perpetual dispenser of falsehoods and humbug, is his bizarre abandonment of his former friends in the Big Media and Punditrocracy. McCain’s campaign has lately made it a badge of honor to snub and treat with contempt the very same ‘Guys and Gals on the Bus’ who protectively guarded and excused McCain for his gaffes and deceptions in the past. Once heralded for his access to the media, now only pre-tested loyalists are invited to speak with the coddled candidate on his campaign jet, and the rest are shuttled off like cattle to stand behind a shield of sour-faced campaign staff. The turning of opinion amongst the press corps is growing obvious.


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