Friday, June 24, 2005

Old Script, Same Shit 

Giuseppe Abote comments:

Rove would love us to start a shitstorm on this. Anything to change the topic back to 9/11. The "apologize or resign" angle is good because it keeps the focus on Rove, not on 9/11 (or at least not directly on 9/11).

I'll never forget cowering in my apartment on the morning of 9/11 like a terrified fool and watching footage of burly cops running for their lives. The Fox network (yes, I was watching Fox) had brought some reporter down to like Canal Street and the cops were literally shoving this reporter out of their way as they fled the scene. That was when I realized the enormity of the situation, that even the people we paid and trained to protect us were scared shitless. Then came that garbled videotape left by the president on the run, the panicky claims that 4 more hijacked aircraft remained in the air, etc. No one knew anything and no one had a plan. The entire country was freaking out. There was no clarity, no resolve, aboslutely none.

Mr. Abote is absolutely right. Which is why it's that much more sad and pathetic when John Kerry blasts out an email quoting his speech yesterday on the Senate floor:

"None of us here will ever forget the hours after September 11... and the remarkable response of the American people as we came together as one to answer the attack on our homeland.... [I]t brought out the best of all of us in America.

"That spirit of our country should never be reduced to a cheap, divisive political applause line from anyone who speaks for the President of the United States.

"I am proud, as my colleagues on this side are, that after September 11, all of the people of this country rallied to President Bush's call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats, there were no Republicans, there were only Americans. That is why it is really hard to believe that last night in New York... the most senior adviser to the President of the United States [was] purposely twisting those days of unity in order to divide us for political gain."
Does anyone know what the fuck Kerry is talking about? Does "the best of all of us in America" consist of panic, paranoia and helplessness followed by blind submission to the irrational and authoritarian agenda of a cowardly leader? Does "Bush's call for unity to meet the danger" mean Bush's proceeding to loot the treasury with tax cuts for the rich, bludgeoning political opponents with carefully orchestrated attacks on their patriotism, and plowing ahead with an Iraq war plan that was conceived before the terror attacks?

Maybe Kerry recalls (fondly, it seems) a time when "there were no Democrats," but I don't. And I'm pretty sure Rove would contest, with a smile, the claim that "there were no Republicans."

Why is it that Rove snaps his fingers and Democrats, including Kerry, start reciting parrot-like from an old script authored by their avowed enemies?

God blew up the troops / I made it to Arlington 

This is a story about a 22-year-old from Iowa who got killed in Iraq. His 19-year-old brother, also in the military, killed himself just before the older brother's funeral.

Now which is more sick--this:
About 50 yards away from the funeral, six protesters held signs that said such things as "God blew up the troops." All six were relatives of the Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. They contend that God is punishing the United States for bombing Phelps' church a decade ago.

The group has held similar protests at soldiers' funerals in Idaho, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Illinois. It plans to go next to Kentucky.

Or this:

[Sgt. Casey Byers'] hourlong funeral ended with a song by country singer Trace Adkins, written from the perspective of a soldier who will be laid to rest at Arlington.

"I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property," the song blared out to Byers' family and friends. "I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company. I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done. I can rest in peace; I'm one of the chosen ones: I made it to Arlington."

How can "Trace Adkins" really understand the "perspective" of a soldier "who will be laid to rest" unless he lays himself to rest? Why doesn't he blow his brains out in order to improve his creative songwriting? Or why isn't he at least fighting in Iraq?

The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show 

Courtesy of The Fixin's Bar, scary christian puppets.

Let's just hope the guys at Guantanamo Bay don't get ahold of this.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Preparing for Therapy 

Giuseppe Abote writes:

Bush's chief political adviser, Rove said in a speech Wednesday that ''liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.'' Conservatives, he told the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, ''saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.''"

Evidently Rove's man George W. Bush--he of the flight jacket and the tin of Skoal outlined in the back pocket of his blue jeans "exuding" "charisma"--is not a true conservative. When Bush saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks he cowered in a grade school classroom. Are we supposed to forget that?

It's true that some conservatives saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and prepared for war. But war against who? Here is how Jerry Falwell prepared for war on the September 14, 2001 edition of "The 700 Club":

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

But wait. Was that "preparing for war" or "preparing indictments"? Maybe Falwell isn't a real conservative either.

Who the fuck were these conservatives preparing for war? Was the conservative mayor of New York City preparing for war when he tried to reassure the city, in a manner not unlike that of a therapist, that we would rebuild bigger and better? By warning the citizens not to attack Muslim Americans in reprisal, which he eloquently noted was precisely the type of hate that had just struck us, wasn't he urging just the sort of restraint and understanding that typifies Rove's idea of liberal calumny?

No one was preparing for war. People were doing lots of other things, like running for their lives, weeping, looting, giving first aid, donating blood, posting "missing" notices for loved ones they had to know were sure to be dead, and generally stumbling around in a state of dumb shock. Laura Bush and her sow daughters were popping bon bons in their "safe places," not preparing for war. The dufuses presiding over the "Fox and Friends" morning television program shrugged off the savagery of the 9/11 attacks to continue promoting the virtues of the American peanut, at an event sponsored by a consortium of peanut lobbyists, with the help of female pro basketball star Lisa Leslie. In other words, Americans saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and responded just about the same way they do to everything: with a mixture of denial, greed, idealism, opportunism and straight-up fear. No one -- not a single solitary American -- was preparing for war. It is a relief to hear from Karl Rove that there aren't any conservatives in this country, after all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Do you think Oprah should be the Democrats' nominee for president in 2008? Why or why not?

Giuseppe Abote writes:
An episode of Oprah a few years back featured real-life mothers who were coming forward to admit that being parents made them miserable. The bravery of these women impressed me. Do you realize how taboo it is in our society to acknowledge that motherhood is often a source of anguish and misery? You just can't say it, but Oprah let them say it.

The truth is that work and family drive a lot of people nuts. But if you are a D. Brooks-style red-stater, you are supposed to venerate these institutions even as you know they are quietly crushing you. Where's the outlet for your suffering? Well, perhaps after a week of office dread you open your paycheck to discover that a third of your money was lost in taxes. Voila: you're miserable because of taxes. And who do those taxes benefit? A pack of layabouts who don't even *want* to work!

Perhaps after many years of stale marriage you turn on the TV and see jubilant homos in the urban coastal areas forming whatever associations please them, shacking up willy nilly! How is that fair? Why do you have to fuck the same fat woman until you die, but these liberal artistes get to invent some alternative to marriage that gives them access not only to unthinkable sexual gratifications but also to the mantle of righteous victimhood? Presto: you are miserable because of the gays.

Only Oprah has the credibility to go about the country and remind folks that many of us are frequently plauged by feelings of sadness, a lack of fulfillment, even despair. And that is OK. And only Oprah can remind the people that if you are unhappy, it is really not the fault of gays or taxes or abortion. It is because American life is not always exactly what we say it is, that at times the relationships and institutions we value most also make us feel bad.

The country needs to realize that it is sometimes an unhappy country, and that this kind of unhappiness can't really be remedied by policy. Tax cuts are not the appropriate solution to an unfulfilling job. Gay bashing is not the answer to a crap marriage. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not extinguish your secret doubts that motherhood is not very fun. And maybe once we stop trying to treat our government as though it were an oversized antidpressant pill, perhaps we can start thinking about sensible policies that will actually deliver measurable benefits. Thus, Oprah in 2008.

Westward Ho 

Most of you were probably not even aware of yesterday's biggest news story: Iowa Governor and First Lady Tom and Christie Vilsack were in NYC! Their message: come back to Iowa! Especially if you're interested in the health, science, and other professional fields. The Vilsack-engineered jobs boom does not, however, seem to extend to graduates of the Writers' Workshop. Christie Vilsack's message to a young poetess (not pictured) who was in attendance: Try flipping burgers at BK.


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