January 2, 2015

Punditry for fun in 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:35 pm


















President Obama has a full plate for 2015. He will have to contend with sending new troops to Iraq, the void created by the removal of the American troops in Afghanistan, relations with Russia and Putin, possible war crimes trials for an ally, the debate over fracking, falling oil prices, police shootings and the deteriorating situation in the Pacific Ocean because of Fukushima. The Republicans will take control of Congress this month and could divert Obama’s attention away from national issues by throwing a move to impeach him onto his agenda.

Cynics, curmudgeons and anarchists might think the impeachment tactic is a hilarious practical joke, but some patriotic Americans might want the chief executive to be able to devote his full attention to the nation’s problems and not have to set aside time to respond to a political side show.

Some Republicans have, from the start of Obama’s term in office, dreamed that the only desirable and appropriate result of the historic and president setting Presidency would be to have him removed by the impeachment process and branded as an incompetent bungling buffoon. Why would they let a few pragmatic considerations influence their chance to make their dreams come true and thereby considerably diminish the chances in the future for making a second replay of the history making election a virtual impossibility?

Predictions that Obama will soon be impeached will seem absurd in retrospect if he is not impeached and will be totally ignored if he is. Since the mainstream media is owned and operated by conservatives, any accurate predictions will be ignored and that brings up the question of why bother to write any such fearless political forecasts?

Conservative pundits have a high likelihood of earning enormous financial rewards for their labor but liberal pundits are doing the Cheshire Cat style disappearing act and are vanishing from the pop culture scene.

So if a fellow is attracted to the punditry game by the prospect of fame, fortune, and fun and if conservative commentators are the only ones permitted to earn big bucks and become celebrities; why should anybody want to write critical assessments of the Republican Reich which is just about to begin in earnest?

Is “just for fun” a legitimate reason for getting up early on a Friday morning to bang out a weekly column?

What if the pundit uses the zen approach to maximize his fun quotient?

Obviously, a husband and a family man can’t expect to have a blast doing fact gathering and expect his wife and kids to approve, but when the pundit is a bachelor who has the basic needs (a bunk and meals) covered, why shouldn’t he accept that his mission in life is to be a proxy for the average IrishCatholicDemocrat voter and to sally forth looking for interesting people, amazing sights, and perceptive insights into the zeitgeist of contemporary society?

If he can and does subsidize his expenses no one would criticize his choices for spending the money, n’est ce pas?

If the prediction that Obama will be impeached early this year is correct, then the people who were so busy reporting on the latest police shootings (like the one December 30 in Bridgeton New Jersey? [Do a Google News search.]) will have to scramble to reassess what the consequences would be of such an impeachment.

If Obama is impeached, Joseph Biden would then become President and as the incumbent would have a virtual lock on the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2016. That would mean that Hillary Clinton would be left crying at the alter, so to speak. All the commentary and speculation about a Hillary vs. JEB contest in 2016 would immediately become extinct verbiage.

If a pundit were to make such a prediction and be wrong couldn’t he just say: “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!”?

Big name conservative pundits and commentators will want the maximum “gotcha!” effect of a sudden move to impeach and so they won’t mention any rumblings in Congress that indicate such a move will take place. Liberal pundits use the psychological phenomenon called “projection” to avoid a distasteful subject.

Projection means that since Liberals don’t think that impeachment is a rational move, then they assume that Republicans in Congress will think likewise and so they don’t bring up the possibility.

If a liberal pundit were to approach the possibility from the “How do Republicans think” style of analysis, then they would immediately sound the alarm and shriek: “He’s gonna get impeached          !”

The Republicans would immediately debunk the idea by denouncing it as a “conspiracy theory.” For Republicans, labeling something as a conspiracy theory is like playing the ace of trump in a card game. Check and checkmate!

If a knight errant pundit is going to make long-shot predictions doesn’t he occasionally have to scoop the New York Times to counter act his nuisance value?

In the San Francisco Bay Area radio listeners are being tsunami-ed by ads that say folks with poor credit ratings deserve a chance to buy a used car from the advertiser.

The New York Times recently ran a story about how poor and middle class people are being forced to contend with higher interest rates on the loans they do get.

The World’s Laziest Journalist has heard hints that easing restrictions on credit for used car buyers will produce a situation similar to the fiasco that happened in the housing market a few years back. When enough unqualified borrowers default on their car loans, won’t a bail-out (“too big to fail!”) be sure to follow?

If conservative commentators are too busy to give their audiences a heads-up on this déjà vu story and if liberal pundits are too engrossed in the latest cops shoot a young man stories (do a Google News search for “policie shooting” for the latest) to care about what might happen to the used car market, then perhaps the World’s Laziest Journalist can run an item about that topic and then transition to a non sequitur item about the impact on his life of some information found in the Lonely Planet guidebook for Cuba?

On page 229 of the 2000 edition of the Lonely Planet guidebook “Cuba,” readers learn this about Hemingway’s house: “To prevent the pilfering of objects, visitors are not allowed inside the house, but much can be seen through the open windows.”

WTF? The World’s Laziest Journalist doesn’t think that going to Cuba just to do some Peeping Tom activity at Hemingway’s house sounds like enough fun to rationalize the necessary expenses involved. If we can’t get Castle Cadillac Restorations to be a corporate sponsor for a barn find safari to “the Largest Antique Car Museum in the World” (AKA Cuba) then we may have to reevaluate our level of enthusiasm for seeing Hemingway’s house.

[Note from the Photo Editor: While the columnist tries to find the meaning of last year and the prospects for this year, we selected a photo of a license plate seen in the W. A. (i.e. Western Australia) for the readers to ponder.]

In “The Truest Sport,” Tome Wolfe wrote: “The North Vietnamese and the Russians packed so much artillery in around these two cities that pilots would come back saying: ‘It was like trying to fly through a rainstorm without hitting a drop.’”

Now the disk jockey will play “I’ve got a lot of traveling to do,” “On the road again,” and “Traveling man.” We have to go apply for press credentials to cover the Oscars©. Have a “Eureka!” type week.

November 7, 2014

Waiting for Godot (AKA JEB)

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:29 pm

crop of Singing in Rain

The long march to the historic ceremonies that will officially mark the coronation/inauguration of King JEB I and the resumption of the Bush Dynasty began this week when the news flacks swooned over the implications of the mid-term election results. In retrospect, future historians will realize that this year’s mid-term elections gave the Republicans a mandate to rescind Obamacare, start a new movement to impeach a Democratic President and take care of the Social Security mess. The impeachment of Obama will (in effect) scuttle Hilary’s attempt to gain the Democratic Party’s 2016 Presidential nomination because Joseph Biden will have the incumbent’s advantage for getting the Party’s nomination because he will be inaugurated as President moments after the impeachment is completed.

A radical faction of researchers at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory contends that this hypothetical assertion meshes perfectly with their contention that Obama’s phenomenal rise to the Presidency was a Trojan horse strategy orchestrated by Karl Rove.

Some of the young wisenheimer staff members at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory, while watching the Election Night TV coverage, started greeting each new Republican victory by raising their right arm (with the hand flat and palm) down at a 45 degree angle and shouting: “God bless America!”

Many citizen journalists have a tendency to regard the Internets as omniscient and infallible but we contend that the Internet is fallible and that some facts are missing in action on the Internets.

On Tuesday of this week, the World’s Laziest Journalist encountered a young couple in San Francisco who were perplexed by the construction site for the renovated Transbay Bus Terminal. They had a hand held device that indicated the Greyhound Bus depot was there. That’s where it used to be. We had to practically take them by the hand and lead them to the temporary Transbay Bus Terminal about two blocks away where the Greyhound Bus depot is for the time being.

Seeing the dichotomy when reality differs from information delivered by a computer gave us a specific example of how and why the “conspiracy theory” label will always trump reality and make perceptive punditry a Myth of Sisyphus style task.

In last week’s column, the World’s Laziest Journalist predicted: “ . . . the results of next week’s mid-term elections will only be questioned by conspiracy theory loons.” Sure enough on Thursday, November 6, 2014, the front page of the paper that published the Pentagon Papers (the New York Times) features a story by Jonathan Martin, under a headline asserting: “In States Seen to Be Tilting Left, Voters Defy Democrats’ Forecast.”

[Speaking of the New York Times, we heard a hot rumor this week that the Automobile Section in the Sunday edition will be history by the end of this year.]

If the mainstream media and the most popular Internet web sites say that JEB is the front runner for the Republican nomination, then America will not bother to debate if the Bush brand name has been poisoned by George W. Bush. JEB is the front runner and will get the nomination and forget about any spill over effect from George W. Bush’s unsuccessful military adventures in the Middle East.

The World’s Laziest Journalist has written about a half million worlds for the Internet including a good deal of words predicting that JEB will live in the White House someday.

The audience for such dire predictions is meager at best. Americans don’t want to hear about it. The mid-term election results have convinced us that writing warnings about President JEB Bus is a wast of time and keystrokes.

Apparently the USA wants a Republican led government and a restoration of the Bush Dynasty and columns lamenting the absurd aspect of those two topics is just a waste of time and energy. Perhaps President JEB is exactly what many Democrats want but they just don’t have the cajones to actually say so and to vote that way.

Warnings and analytical based predictions about what the consequences of a Republican surge in the mid-term elections may have been available to the voters but the World’s Laziest Journalist did not notice any such in-depth forecasts.

If voters are suddenly informed that, in retrospect, the mid-term elections were a referendum on the Social Security Program and the need to Impeach the incumbent in the White House . . . then the “caveat emptor” principle may also become a retroactive factor in this week’s election results. What middle class American doesn’t love being ambushed by lawyers? Don’t the folks who get zapped by a foreclosure on their homes readily admit that the bankers won the game fair and square?

Why was it left up to only a few political pundits to point out the long term dangers of a Republican “landslide”? Well, maybe, again in retrospect, these rare and obscure Cassandra warnings can function as a “you were warned” rebuttal to the cries of “foul!”?

Wasn’t a bad guy holding the deed to Nell’s house a leitmotif for a very popular TV cartoon series in the Fifties and Sixties?

Next week’s column may be a review of the Arnold Newman photo exhibition which opened recently in San Francisco or it maybe a review of John Birmingham’s book “He Died with a Felafel in his Hand,” or maybe something else.

[Note from the photo editor:   We used a photo of a Shattuck Avenue panhandler as a visual metaphor for the Democratic Party on Wednesday morning of this week. We also used a photo of two UCB engineering students from Paris (France not Texas) who were dressed up for Halloween as characters from the movie “Clockwork Orange.” They will remind film fans of the treatment Democrats can expect from the Republicans after the new session starts in Jan.]

The closing quote is a variation of folk wisdom supplied by W. C. Fields: “If at first, you don’t succeed; try, try again . . . then quit because there’s no use being a damn fool about it.”

Now the disk jockey will play Nancy Sinatra’s “These (Republican) boots are made for walking,” Cher’s “Don’t come crying to me,” and (of course!) “Singing in the Rain.” We have to go look for a “JEB in ’16” t-shirt. Have a “if you can’t beat ‘em; join ‘em” type week.

crop of metaphor image

June 30, 2011

Captain Queeg in the Oval Office?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:26 pm

Here are the elements, which would indicate that all the ingredients for America’s worst political nightmare, are now simultaneously, in play:
1. Congress has twice in recent weeks gone on record saying that President Obama exceeded his authority and committed a violation of the War Powers Act.
2. President Obama has already delivered evidence that his much vaunted political negotiation skills are overvalued and may be inconsequential at best.
3. The Republicans would not hesitate to use the threat of Impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip in the budget crises negotiations.

The Republicans have delivered circumstantial evidence that they are all in accord regarding a reevaluation of values for the tax structure, Medicare, the Social Security Program, the President’s power to pick and choose America’s wars, the mission of the United States Supreme Court, and union busting (to name just a few). Asking if they are unscrupulous enough to initiate political blackmail to further their agenda seems to be an unnecessary diversion into an irrelevant debating point. Wouldn’t the harshest critics of the Republican Party concede that the disciples of Ayn S. Rand would cheerfully be willing to do anything to achieve their goals?

If President Obama is vulnerable to political blackmail in the form of Republican threats to immediately initiate Impeachment proceedings for violations of the War Powers Act, then his effectiveness as a President is crippled and rendered useless.

If the Congress has twice voted to endorse the idea that he exceeded his authority with his military actions against Libya (which they have) then, at any moment of the Republican leadership’s choosing, they can use the threat of immediate impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip during any closed door negotiating sessions for other issues (such as the debt ceiling).

When that threat was delivered, the President would then have an extremely difficult decision to make: He could remove the Republican advantage by immediately resigning or he could put his selfish instincts for political survival ahead of his patriotic instincts and blithely ignore his own vulnerability to manipulation via extortion and blackmail threats and quietly give in. Using his past negotiating record as the basis for any “tells,” how well do you think he would be able to stand up against any such hypothetical coercion?

At any moment, the debt limit negotiations may turn into a variation of the “Let’s Play Master and Slave” game.

If President Obama chooses to ignore the implications of complete ineffectiveness for his party (and the country); then the Democrats will have a very difficult choice to make. They can either make the impeachment threat themselves “Resign tonight or we will make the move to start impeachment proceedings in the morning” or they can let Obama undertake a kamikaze reelection campaign which will reek of self-destructive hubris.

If the Republicans want to impeach President Obama and have the grounds to do so available today, why would they hold off on making their dream come true? The Sadistic appeal of getting every possible negotiation concession first and then impeaching him should be rather obvious.

An ineffective negotiator who wishes to sell his meager accomplishments as his credentials for reelection might remind some cynical critics of the ridiculous spectacle of an extremely old woman walking down the street in a scanty showgirl’s costume.

The Democratic Party option of using political blackmail to force one of their own to resign from the Presidency may be repugnant but it would give them a slim chance of starting an immediate reorganization effort and a valiant effort to hold onto the Presidency for their Party.

If Obama resigns or is impeached out of office, Joseph Biden would have the monumental challenge of simultaneously contending with the challenges of an administration transition, budget decisions for this and the following year, and (if he chooses) a reelection campaign with about a year until the 2012 Elections would be held.

If Obama does not resign immediately, then the Republicans could use the extortion ploy to gain every possible concession from Obama, then they could cripple his reelection bid with a delayed Impeachment Proceedings for a violation of the War Powers Act.

Early in President Obama’s term in office, columnist Ted Rall called for Obama to resign. Rall may have been a tad premature, but as time goes on it is becoming clearer and clearer to partisan pundits that Rall may have been exceedingly accurate in his assessment.

The conservative partisan pundits will delight in a prolonged period of tormenting the President and his supporters. It would be variation of the concept of a Sadist’s Valhalla.

The progressive pundits will be prone to encouraging a rapid transition and reinvigorating the efforts to produce a larger voter turnout in the fall of 2012.

Columnists who perceive that their mission is to produce a constant stream of disapproval of the status quo will have an abundance of available topics in the next few weeks, no matter what happens.

Have any of the nation’s elite political pundits done a critical evaluation of this year’s football season from the point of view that it might be a part of a coordinated Republican union busting agenda?

Will any of the partisan progressive pundits ask if the air strikes against Libya are being conducted by the Condor Legion?

Will any Democratic Party toady propagandist say when the “not days or weeks” air campaign against Libya becomes an event of longer duration than the Battle of Britain?

Is news in America skewed? How many updates have you seen or heard about the meltdowns in Japan?

Portrayals of the Palin vs. Bachman rivalry as a cat fight between harpies may have great entertainment value, but it also carries the subliminal message that the Republican Party has women (plural) who are qualified to seek the nomination and that, for the men in the liberal media, means it is business as usual to ridicule the women. The implication is that the Republicans are more prone to taking women seriously and they expect women voters to vote accordingly.

Is having a negotiator in the budget talks who has been compromised, better than having no negotiator at all? To some cynical columnists President Obama’s chances of using negotiations to avoid an impending disaster, based on his past negotiating track record, are nil and none.

One more thing before we do the closing quote: The commentators are all noticing the strange Republican behavior. Could their seemingly irrational, arrogant, reckless, and belligerent attitude be explained (by those pesky conspiracy theory nuts) by the idea that they are relying on the electronic voting machines to protect them from any possibility November 2012 Election revenge that any disgruntled voters might wish to inflict on them?

In the book “The American Home Front 1941 – 1942” (Grove Press paperback copyright 2006 on page 3), Alistair Cooke wrote: “It has become the habit of historical narrative in our day to assume that history is an inveterate believer in dramatic irony and throws out to sensitive people, and to journalists with a flair for the dramatic, hints and early symptoms of impending glory or disaster.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Tom Dooley,” “Marie Leveau” and “I surrender, dear.” We have to go watch a fireworks display. Have an “If not now, when?” type week.

June 6, 2011

Should Dems let an impeachable offense slide?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:13 pm

President Obama’s propensity for inept bungling has delivered a no-win choice of profound importance to the Democratic Party’s doorstep. After delivering a rebuke to Obama on Friday for his aggressive policy towards Libya, the Democrats can either take it to the next logical level by impeaching Obama or they can ignore the President’s failure to abide by the War Powers Act and thereby affirm the Bush Administration policy that the Constitution had become obsolete and irrelevant to America.

Has President Obama become the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to be subject to arrest in The Hague for war crimes? We dare him to go there and prove us wrong.

President Obama’s rash decision to oust Col. Qaddafi may have provided the Republicans with an opportunity to make their dream scenario of Impeaching America’s first President of Pan-african heritage come true.

If President Bush’s invasion of Iraq was an impeachable offense, the Democrats can now either move to impeach Obama for ignoring the War Powers Act or they can, by letting a second blatant violation of the law slide past, scrap that inconvenient part of the Constitution.

If Obama failed to get the Congressional approval necessary for the attempt to intervene in Libya’s internal affairs, then it would seem logical that he must be impeached for such a flagrant violation of his oath of office. If the Bush program of using Presidential authority to violate the Constitution and order troops into battle has replaced the method specifically established in the Constitution, then the question of immediate concern becomes: When will the Republicans make the determination of what other parts of the Constitution have also become outdated?

The Republicans, to participate in a move to impeach Obama, would have to completely ignore the fact that George W. Bush set the precedence with the invasion of Iraq and, like a woman with an “A” brand on her forehead giving a speech urging chastity, blithely make the case for the immediate impeachment of the President who has ignored the Constitution and the law of the land.

Such a brazen move would seem to be a bit hypocritical, but, in the past, the Republicans have never let a trivial matter such as blatant hypocrisy inhibit their efforts, so why should they suddenly let scruples hinder their program now?

Lefties and Progressives have always asserted that the Republicans were sanctimonious hypocrites so why should the party of “don’t do as I do; do as I say” stop inches short of the goal line just because of the threat of a bit of name-calling? Didn’t their mothers teach them the axiom about sticks and stones?

The World’s Laziest Journalist has speculated during the George W. Bush “lame duck” period about how long it would take the Republicans to find a basis for moving to impeach the (then) President-elect. Expecting Republicans to let a chance to make their dreams come true pass as a show of good sportsmanship may be a tad overly optimistic.

If the Republicans moved at a slow deliberate pace, they could spend all summer besmirching the President, and then make their move in the Fall.

If they were successful, my former classmate (in first and second grade), Joe Biden, would be sworn in and immediately have to contend with rebuilding the Democratic Party brand while (presumably) running his own reelection campaign and competing in the various primary elections in early 2012, while simultaneously conducting the business of day to day politics as usual.

If they failed to get Obama impeached, he would then have to fight to improve his image of being a Bush family clone, while raising funds for his own reelection, and contending with the various primary elections, which usually are not a high priority activity for a sitting President.

His critics on the Fox Network would be relentless in their unfair and biased condemnation of him for doing what George W. Bush had previously done. Obviously such heavy-handed punditry would generate some “sympathy backlash,” which would benefit Obama, but since most folks are reluctant (especially if they are not of Irish heritage) to assert an unpopular opinion, the majority of the country would be in a mood to treat the President very harshly.

The word temerity (which has the ironical meaning of being “ballsy”) would be bandied about recklessly if the Republicans did try to impeach Obama for doing that which George W. Bush had previously done, but that would be countered by the folk axiom that “Nature favors the brave.” Foreigner Rupert Murdock would make damn sure that Americans were continually assaulted by “pro-impeachment” partisan punditry.

Democrats who feared being tainted by an association with a President facing both reelection and immanent impeachment, would get very tired of hearing Fox talking heads tell the joke in which the Lone Ranger says to Tonto: “Look at all those Indians, Tonto, we’re in a very untenable strategic position!” (or words to that effect.)

Will Uncle Rushbo (will both he and Mike Malloy read this column?) be reluctant to gush about the vulnerability of Obama for impeachment proceedings or will he perceive it as an opportunity to be a leader of the de facto lynch mob?

Progressive bloggers will be reluctant to mention Obama’s vulnerability because they will not want to take the chance that they have inadvertently opened Republican eyes to a gambit they had not already noted. (Karl Rove enthusiastically encourages all underestimations of his cunning and shrewdness. [You don’t believe that? Just ask him if the World’s Laziest Journalist has him pegged with complete accuracy. Go ahead. We dare you to ask him. {He will probably deny knowing me.}])

Cynical columnists, who delight in venturing into taboo territory, might write a spoiler column about this opening for a possible Republican strategy. Any such renegade pundit would probably get more Democratic appreciation if they just inject obscure and esoteric cultural minutiae into their efforts. Such as?

Up until Thursday, June 2, 2011, this columnist had never heard of the writer from Dublin named Charles Lever. On that day we betook ourselves to the location in Berkeley CA which is our secret source of pop cultural delights and bought four books:
Bernard Shaw’s “Major Barbara,” H. G. Wells’ “Tono-Bungay,” Hesketh Pearson’s “Oscar Wilde His Life and Wit,” and Robert L. Heilbroner’s “ The Worldly Philosophers.” We purchase all four for less than a quarter of a dollar.

Two of the books, Pearson’s and Shaw’s, mentioned the Irish writer named Charles Lever. We consulted “The Penguin Companion to English Literature,” edited by David Daiches, and learned about the existence of a 34 volume collection of his work or a 37 volume collection edited by Lever’s daughter.

The four books contained enough raw materials for about a thousand columns in the Life-Arts field.

However, on Friday June 3, 2011, a friend lent us a copy of Douglas Brinkley’s “The Majic Bus,” and since we are very enthusiastic about road books we will have to read that one.

Then we went for a walk and stumbled across a bargain bin copy of Donald L. Miller’s “Masters of the Air,” and since we have a mystical connection to B-17 bombers from WWII, we will have to read every word of that book before writing a review.

That night we finished watching a VHS tape of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and realized there was enough new material in that old film for several columns. The year 1939 is considered by some critics to have been Hollywood’s Halcyon Year and Mr. Smith was nominated for 11 Oscars™. The theme of an honest man fighting a political machine backed by media ownership, might have some relevance for non Fox-addicted political thinkers. The idea that patriotic idealism is preferable to greed and bribery might be worth a column.

Form follows function as any fan of architecture knows so it’s obvious why today’s bloggers are flocking to the “thee dot journalism” style of column writing.

In Atlas shrugged, Ayn S. Rand wrote: “You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island – it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim . . . that a rock is a home . . . reality will wipe him out . . . .” Slyly injecting a problem in semantics into a discussion about morality might fool some Democrats (in an Irish pub?) but teabaggers won’t let such a blatant verbal equivalent of thee card Monty chicanery slid by unchallenged.

Perhaps we should do a column about Ms. Rand’s use of poor logic to confuse the audience? Maybe we could slip some references to James Norman Hall’s novel, “Lost Island,” into the discussion of morality on remote Pacific atolls? Maybe we could couch this debate in a column about the Tiki sub-culture in America? Then again applying the rules of logic to the words of Ayn S. Rand would, as far as her fanatical supporters are concerned, be as futile as trying to pick the fly’s excrement out of the salad. Why didn’t she use “Triumph of the Will” as the title for her book about John Gault?

Didn’t Ms. Rand use her middle name of Sally while performing a bawdy Vaudeville act before her first book was published?

We have just exceeded our self imposed “three e-takes” limit and so we will call the disk jockey in from the bullpen and he will play Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” “It’s All the Same” (from “Man of La Mancha”), and Lynn Anderson’s “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” (Making promises in the Rose Garden isn’t the same thing?)

We have to go buy some more bargain used books. Have an “I, Don Quixote” type week.

November 4, 2010

Fox Insider Comics

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:15 am


January 31, 2009

The Tattlesnake – After Blago the Deluge? Edition

“How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Last Thursday, Illinois Speaker of the House and state Democratic Party Chair Mike Madigan finally managed, with the help of Patrick “Spotless Mind” Fitzgerald, the bankrupt Chicago Tribune editorial board, and their cohort in the national Big Media, to get rid of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 14 articles of impeachment that are quaint and laughable compared to the blatant offenses of Bush and Cheney. Among the horrible crimes Blago committed were abusing his power by making it easier for senior citizens to get their drugs at cheap Canadian prices; bringing health care to uninsured kids, and helping poor women get regular mammograms and cancer treatment. Seriously. Since Blago bypassed, apparently legally, the corrupt lead-asses in the state General Assembly, they called this an abuse of power. Of course the main charge that he tried to sell the US Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama was based entirely on Fitzgerald’s lip-licking public readings of excerpts of wiretapped tapes – the actual full tapes have yet to be released — and remain unproven in a court of law. Here are a few things the BM, in its haste to bury Blago under ridicule, have missed:

– I live in Illinois and have known for years that Blago was not popular with the state Power Elite comprised of corporations, wealthy country-clubbers of both parties, the mortgage-lending industry, the bankers, the conservative Chicago Tribune, and the for-profit health insurance creeps. In fact, these various groups, through their mouthpieces at the Trib editorial board and elsewhere, have been trying to impeach ‘The Rod’ for years, but they needed the supposedly bias-free imprimatur of Fitzgerald’s bizarre press conference on December 9, 2008, following Blago’s arrest – he had yet to indict Blago, and hasn’t to this day — to bring it to a head.

– I also know a trustworthy woman who has worked for various organizations for more than two decades to bring health care to uninsured Illinoisans. She claims Blagojevich was the first Illinois governor to listen and take action, action that would have resulted, eventually, in universal health care for every Illinois resident. This alone, she says, made him a pariah among most IL politicians who rake in campaign contributions from the for-profit health care industry and he had that industry shaking in its boots – universal health care in a state the size of Illinois? It would be the beginning of the end of for-profit insurers across the land. This had to be nipped in the bud before it got out of hand.

Speaker Madigan is an Old-School Chicago machine politician who has amassed immense power in Springfield and committed every public vice he’s imputed to Blago. (If you think Blago has a foul mouth on him, spend a few minutes off camera with Mike or any of Daley’s Army – this is the way pols talk in Chicago.) He also wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois Attorney General, to be governor and Blago stood in the way. Make no mistake, Pat Quinn may have been sworn in as governor on January 29, but the real power is Madigan who controls the purse strings, both in state government appropriations and Dem party politics. That’s how he got many of these State House toads to go along – he no doubt threatened he would throw official Dem party support to another candidate in the next primary, thereby guaranteeing they would lose their cushy seats in the legislature. (Some of these slack-jawed monkeys aren’t fit for much else; a good portion of them might drown in a rainstorm if they looked up.) Of course, he didn’t have to convince the Republicans – they all needed drool cups at the prospect of impeaching Blago.

– You’ve heard the old line that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. Illinois’ rules of impeachment are so lax you can be removed from office for just talking about that ham sandwich on the phone.

– Just in case, as is likely, Fitzgerald isn’t able to prove his corruption charges in a court of law (he may even quietly drop the charges now that the mission has been accomplished), Illinois lawmakers added an extra fillip to the impeachment indictment – Blagojevich is now barred from holding elective office in the state for life, so he won’t be in the hair of the health care apparatus and Corprocracy ever again, even if he’s cleared of corruption charges in court. They thought of everything.


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