Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sucking Koch

Okay, I will admit that the headline caught my attention, not only for its prurient-interest value but also because I am such a lifelong devotee to word play.

Nevertheless, it just goes to show ya ("just shows to go ya") that the rethugs are capable of pretty much anything tha the Koch Brothers are willing to whip out...

Check out "Republican Governors Caught Sucking Koch" for the down-and-dirty (nyuk nyuk) on this.

Jeez, I oughta be sorry for this, but I'm not. After all, they started it...

Batshit Crazy AND Pants on Fire

Michele Bachmann, who has suddenly shot to the top of RepubliCON polling, scares me. Well, not her, but the people who are willing to blindly follow her, despite the demonstrable facts that she is not only batshit crazy but also apparently unwilling -- or unable -- to tell the truth.

PolitiFact has the facts, and they are not pretty:

1. One. That's the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office.
2. Small businesses that have "$250,000 in gross sales for the business. They're the ones that are looking at massive tax increases.
3. Speaker Pelosi ... has been busy sticking the taxpayer with her $100,000 bar tab for alcohol on the military jets that she's flying.
4. Page 92 of the House health care bill "says specifically that people can't purchase private health insurance after a date certain.
And these are just the ones that are so egregiously false that they earned the coveted "pants on fire" rating by Politifact. There are lots more, so many in fact, that I've come to believe that she really can't help it. She is a pathological liar who would just as soon make something up than tell the truth.

FactCheck also has a lot of stuff on Bachmann's reality-challenged appearance on the Sunday Talking Heads shows. Here's a sample:
· Bachmann falsely claimed that she and her husband "have never gotten a penny" from a family farm that received federal subsidies. But she reported income from the farm in 2006, 2008 and 2009 — the most recent year available — on her congressional financial disclosure statements.
· She claimed she had been "faithful" to her pledge not to request federal earmarks. But she requested $40 million in transportation earmarks in the 2009 fiscal year budget after taking the pledge, later claiming such projects should not be subjected to her promise. She withdrew her requests after the House Republicans took a party position in 2010 not to seek earmarks.
· Bachmann wrongly blamed President Obama for increasing the number of federal transportation workers who earn more than $170,000 from one to 1,690 during the recession. At least two-thirds of those employees were receiving more than $170,000 before Obama took office.
Okay, she would be totally laughable as a serious candidate for president in normal times. But these are not normal times.

We would do well to heed the advice of Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi when it comes to considering Michele Bachmann, from "Michele Bachmann's Holy War":
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don't laugh.
. . .
Michele entered one of the most ridiculous learning institutions in the Western Hemisphere, a sort of highway rest area with legal accreditation called the O.W. Coburn School of Law; Michele was a member of its inaugural class in 1979.
Originally a division of Oral Roberts University, this august academy, dedicated to the teaching of "the law from a biblical worldview," has gone through no fewer than three names — including the Christian Broadcasting Network School of Law. Those familiar with the darker chapters in George W. Bush's presidency might recognize the school's current name, the Regent University School of Law. Yes, this was the tiny educational outhouse that, despite being the 136th-ranked law school in the country, where 60 percent of graduates flunked the bar, produced a flood of entrants into the Bush Justice Department.
Regent was unabashed in its desire that its graduates enter government and become "change agents" who would help bring the law more in line with "eternal principles of justice," i.e., biblical morality. To that end, Bachmann was mentored by a crackpot Christian extremist professor named John Eidsmoe, a frequent contributor to John Birch Society publications who once opined that he could imagine Jesus carrying an M16 and who spent considerable space in one of his books musing about the feasibility of criminalizing blasphemy.
There's a lot more to this analysis of Bachmann, but it's well worth the read. She might be a batshit crazy pathological liar to those of us in the Reality-Based community, but she has a following over on the Wingnut edge of things, plus she is on a mission -- a crusade -- to bring a "bible-based" interpretation of our laws.

So it's goodbye to the Separation of Church and State, and hello to the American Mullahs of the Christian Dominionist movement. And people like me -- and I suspect you, Constant Reader -- will be among the first to be executed for such crimes as "blasphemy"...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Remember Abe Fortas? Clarence Thomas Doesn't

Those of us of a certain age can vaguely recall, if we try, the career of jurist Abe Fortas, who was a star in the judicial firmament thanks in large part to his friendship with Lyndon Johnson, who appointed him to SCOTUS in 1965.

Fortas streaked across the judicial sky like a meteorite, and burnt out just as fast. When Johnson in 1968 took the unusual-at-the-time step of trying to elevate him from being just another justice to the Chief Justice position on the retirement of Earl Warren, the shit hit the fan.

Powerful Dixiecrat members of the US Senate, including the powerful racist and anti-Semitic (Fortas was Jewish) chairman of the Judicial Committee, Mississippi's James Eastland, along with help from our old good buddy Strom Thurmond, put the skids to the appointment.

It seems that Fortas had accepted some $15,000 for nine speaking engagements at the American University School of Law. These were paid for not by university funds, but through a "business interest" that represented 40 businesses. Thurmond in particular went ballistic, saying that cases involving these companies "might" come to The Court and that Fortas "might" not be objective.

It sounds like pretty thin stuff now, but back then apparently it wasn't. Fortas was not only denied the Chief Justice job (it went unfilled until the incoming president, Tricky Dick Nixon, appointed Warren Burger) but the next year, after it was discovered that he had taken at one time a $20,000 retainer from the family foundation of a Wall Street banker, he was in trouble again. Even though when the banker's case eventually came before the Supremes Fortas recused himself, he was still ultimately forced to resign from the court in shame.

Shame. That's a powerful motivator, but apparently it doesn't work any more. At least not when it comes to the Supreme Court. Let's look at Clarence Thomas.

Thomas, while sitting on the court, has become a poster child for not only judicial activism of a rightwing nature, but also bad judicial ethics. According to William Rivers Pitt's description, Thomas has

turned his position on the court into a license to print money for himself, his family, and a few choice friends.
Conservative corruption is nothing new in Washington, but Mr. Thomas has taken the practice to bold new heights, and finally, people are beginning to sit up and take notice. Thomas has been playing fast and loose with judicial ethics for a long time now, and though Supreme Court Justices are not technically beholden to judicial rules of ethics, his behavior has become so egregious as to warrant deep attention, and in my opinion, removal from the high court.
For example, Thomas has a bust of Lincoln (why I do not know, since everything Lincoln stood for appears to be antithetical to what Thomas seems to believe) given him by the leader of the American Enterprise Institute in 2001. The bust was worth 15,000, yet when in the intervening years the Institute filed briefs in SCOTUS cases, Thomas refused to recuse himself.

When you add the half million dollars his wife got to set up her Tea Party, the fees for speaking at rightwing meetings, etc etc., the list adds up to some pretty shameful behavior.

Not that old Uncle Clarence feels any shame. He's been workin' in the white folks house for so long that he looks down on the rest of us out here in the backwaters of the Great Unwashed. If we can't get our own share of the millions of dollars being doled out from the vast resources of the vast rightwing conspiracy, well, shucks, that just our own damn faults...

It's time for Clarence Thomas to go. He is an embarrassment to the nation, to the court, and to the law profession.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Kennedy Detail: Book Review

I don't ordinarily do book reviews except for my Book of the Month selections, but I have to talk about this one.

I just read The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence by former Kennedy-era Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine (cowritten -- i.e., ghostwritten -- by Lisa McCubbin).

As you might expect, it's basically a cover-your-ass account of the inner workings of the Secret Service White House detail leading up to, at the time of, and immediately following the JFK assassination. We don't get any breathless accounts of Kennedy's womanizing, for example, or any real behind-the-scenes gossip. Instead, the authors take great defensive pains to cover up or explain away the many failures of their protection of the president, and to support the official Oswald-did-it-and-did-it-alone Warren Report version of events.

Except for one notable exception. Taken from the narratives and reports of the actual boots-on-the-ground Secret Service agents who were actually at the scene, two of whom were in the death car and four of whom were on the outside of the followup car, it becomes clear that they all agree that two different shots hit JFK and John Connally.

This is almost buried in the almost-too-much-extraneous-detail of the events in Dealey Plaza, but it is a bombshell. Or it should be, if the media was doing its job.

Even a casual student of the assassination knows that if JFK and Connally were hit by two different bullets (which is what Connally said all along and which is what a careful examination of the infamous Zapruder film shows), then the flimsy fabric of the Warren Report is left in shreds.

Here's why: The Warren Commission found that only three shots were fired (this was a foregone conclusion even before the commission was set up, since the FBI "established" that there were only three empty shells and stated without a doubt that Oswald was a lone assassin. There's also the basic physics involved. Given the obstructions provided by a large signboard and a couple of trees, there just wasn't enough time for more than three shots to be fired with the weapon found in the building).

One shot went wide and hit a curbstone before wounding slightly a bystander named James Teague. One shot -- the final one -- blew off Kennedy's head. That leaves only one bullet left, which had to do all the work of going completely through JFK, making multiple entries and exits through various bones in John Connolly before ending up in his thigh, only to emerge later, "found" at Parkland Hospital, in almost pristine condition. (Connally's thigh wound, it should be noted, contained more lead than was missing from the bullet.)

The bullet became the notorious Commission Exhibit 399, and you can see why even supporters of the Warren Commission's conclusions call it the "Magic Bullet".

It was physically impossible, given the self-imposed restrictions of the commission ("Oswald did it alone") and the physical restrictions of the crime scene, to account for two men getting hit by different bullets.

If the agents are right, then there were four shots (witnesses testified to hearing more than three shots but they were slighted or ignored) fired.

Which means at least two shooters.

Which means a conspiracy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome Back KO!

I've been away from the news for a few days and didn't learn until just a few minutes ago that Keith Olbermann is finally back! I've been waiting for this for months!

He's on the Current TV channel, which isn't available everywhere -- you have to have a cable or satellite provider willing to carry it -- but check out their website and see if you can get it.

Fortunately I have the Dish Network satellite service, and they carry it on channel 196.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Child Indoctination Camps

They used to have a different name for this...

Something called the "Tampa 912 Project" is sponsoring some summer camps for children ages 9-12 to indoctrinate them into what they consider our nation's founding principles.

Okay, sounds pretty harmless... Until you find out that they are pushing an ultra-right Any-Rand-economic and fundo-religious agenda, including the canard that this is a "Christian Nation" and that government can't "force people to be charitable" (this is code for "excessive" taxation to help the unfortunate, i.e., the homeless, the hungry, etc., including anyone who can't "take care of themselves").

Read all about this shit and, as the story says, "pray for these children"...

Oh, and what they used to call this? That "different name" was ... Hitler Youth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Rational Voice ... from Tulsa(!)

Today's must-read piece is from Barbara Santee, a Tulsa-based PhD. It asks -- and answers -- the question, How Can "Christians" Be Filled With so Much Hate and Violence?:

The politics of hate didn't begin with Obama. It didn't begin with Clinton, or even Kennedy. It began much earlier than that. In the 1930's, there was a fear-monger named Father Coughlin. Charles Edward Coughlin was a controversial Roman Catholic priest who was one of the first to use the radio to reach a mass audience of more than thirty million. He called for monetary reforms, the nationalization of major industries and railroads, and protection of the rights of labor. Although this appeared to be a populist agenda, he began to attack Jewish bankers. He used his radio program to spread anti-Semitic hate speech, and later to rationalize some of the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. He was stirring up violence against Jews, and finally his political tirades were silenced by his superiors. Glenn Beck is the modern-day equivalent of Coughlin in that he is constantly talking about conspiracy theories and blaming various elements of our society in an attempt to work his supporters into a political frenzy against those people
. . .
When the conservative Christians took over the Republican party, they brought with them, not only their values, but their mindset. They see the world in a binary manner - black or white, right or wrong, good or evil. And they brought this thinking into our political arena. Hence, you could no longer simply disagree with them on an issue in a civil and mature manner. Anyone who disagrees with them is defined as "evil." How many times have we heard that phrase used by Republican politicians to smear the opposition? When an issue or person is framed as being "evil," that shuts the door to rational discourse. It doesn't take long for a very tall and thick wall to build up between opposing viewpoints. The "carriers of light" become entrenched in their positions because they are literally, "on God's side." Consequently, there can be no rational discussion.
It just goes to show you that Oklahoma, the second-reddest state, still has some rational people in it. There's a lot more to her article and it is well worth the read. As I've often said, we ignore these people at our peril.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Know Much About History...

Or so goes the line from a Sam Cooke song that was popular in my youth... say 100 years ago or so...

But it's a sad commentary on the state of the world -- and the future of it -- that today's students truly don't know much about history.

According to a Reuter's story, less than 25% of teens are proficient at US History.

And that is a shocking statistic. If you don't know your history, then you don't know shit, and consequently you are much more likely to fall for anything that "sounds reasonable"...

Which goes a long way towards explaining why idiots like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann can get away with the moronic mangling of American history (Palin; Bachmann) to suit their own ends.

Shit, they probably don't even know where they are wrong. After all, they are in the mix along with everyone else. But I'd guess that they are probably at the bottom end of that continuum (a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean), the 5% that don't know shit and don't care... And are proud of it!

It bodes ill for the future, not only of the US but also the world.

No wonder Holocaust Deniers can get the kind of traction they are getting. The farther we get from WWII and the less people know about it, the more the historical revisionists can work their evil magic...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Congratulations to the Graduates

Two of my grandchildren graduated high school this year and I could not be prouder of them. With a national dropout rate approaching 19 percent for their demographic, they still held on, stuck to it, ignored the manifold distractions that our I Want it All and I Want it Now/Instant Gratification Takes Too Long culture provided for them and made it through the long haul.

Now they are both off to college this fall and we have every indication that they will do well there, too.

Congratulations December and Skylar. It's your moment to shine, so make like the human diamonds that you are and have a great summer!

--Your loving Grandfather Farnsworth.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thank You Paul Ryan

Here, from the Don't Tea on Me website, is the full text of a letter to US Rep Paul Ryan (R-Idiot) from Dr. Quentin Young, of Physicians for a National Health Program:

Representative Paul Ryan
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

May 25, 2011

Dear Rep. Paul Ryan,

Our organization, Physicians for a National Health Program, is strongly supportive of Medicare, recognizing it as one of the premier legislative achievements in the history of the United States. Therefore, I am writing to express our gratitude for your role in eliciting the overwhelming support that the people of our country extend to this important social justice program.

Since you succeeded in securing virtual unanimous support from the Republican majority in the House of Representatives for your voucher program, the rejection of your plan has been demonstrated nationwide. The spectacular defeat of Ms. Corwin in the 26th district of New York on May 24, 2011, is clearly the earliest expression of the vital importance our nation attaches to a single-payer comprehensive health plan for the elderly, Medicare.

I can think of no other political act that could match your voucher program “reform” in mobilizing public support for Medicare going forward. The collateral damage to the Republican aspirations for power is immeasurable.

Thank you very much,

Quentin Young, M.D., M.A.C.P
National Coordinator
Physicians for a National Health Program

Who am I to argue with this guy? Here's hoping he's right and this was the Waterloo of the Rethuglicon Party. It certainly has every opportunity to be the end of the GOP as we know it.

Weiner Just a Wiener Wagger

Come on the guy Weiner was a freakin' piker when it comes to a side-by-side meat shop comparison with the offenders on the ReThuglicon side: (From"):

  • Tom Ganley, former Republican Congressional candidate, and current "Family Values" hypocrite, is facing three felony charges of gross sexual imposition, and single counts of kidnapping, abduction, solicitation, and menacing by stalking, according to Ryan Miday, a spokesman for County Prosecutor Bill Mason. No arraignment date has been set. Mr. Ganley allegedly groped a woman in his car dealership and attempted to insert his fingers in her vagina after sticking his hands down her pants. See the original complain here.
  • Alan David Berlin, 40, a longtime staffer for a Republican state lawmaker, was charged on May 29, 2009 with a first degree felony for unlawful contact with a minor. He is also charged with criminal attempted sexual exploitation of children, criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children, all second-degree felonies, and other offenses. authorities say Berlin suggested dressing up in animal costumes during online sex chats with a 15-year-old boy. During a search, agents found wolf- and cat-type costumes in his home.
  • Republican sex offender & former Regent University law school assistant dean Stephen L. McPherson, who was indicted June 7, 2008 on 13 felony sexual assault charges involving two girls, has entered a guilty plea to two counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of object sexual penetration. He is set to be sentenced May 22. There was no agreement on a potential sentence, except that prosecutors will recommend a cap of 18 years and six months.
  • Republican sex offender and former North Country assemblyman and current state Parole Board member, George "Chris" Ortloff, 61, was arrested on Monday, Oct. 13, 2008 on federal charges that he used the Internet to solicit sex with minors. He was arrested following a sting operation at a Colonie motel and had allegedly arranged for a date with a minor he met on the Internet. '' The New York Post reports that he had child pornography and sex paraphernalia in his possession when he was arrested. State Police reportedly searched Ortloff'''s home in Plattsburgh and a computer had been seized from his Lake Placid real estate office, officials said. Ortloff, married with two sons, retired from the Assembly in 2006 having represented the 110 th District. '' He was appointed to the part-time position on the Parole Board, a six year term which expires in 2012, a position paying him $102,000 a year.
  • Republican sex offender & Missouri State Rep. Scott Muschany, (R)-Frontenac, was indicted today, Aug 6, 2008, in connection with a reported sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl on May 17, the day after this year’s Legislative session ended. The alleged victim is the daughter of a state employee. The girl’s mother and Muschany, a married father of 2 children, were romantically involved, the woman said. (Aren't "Family Values" a wonderful thing?) In a morbid twist of irony, Muschany was a co-sponsor of legislation that toughened sex offender laws in 2006. According to his legislative biography, Muschany and his wife were licensed as foster parents with the Division of Family Services.
  • Republican sex offender & longtime stalwart Republican operative Peter Hong was arrested July 23, 2008 for solicitation of prostitution. Police spokesman Peter Panos said that the arrest came during the first day of a two-day sting operation during which "johns" and prostitutes responded to ads placed on the Internet and in print. Thirty-five people were arrested Wednesday and Thursday, Panos said today.
  • Republican sex offender & candidate for Mineral County (W.Va.) Commission Wilton Frederick Bland, 30, of Bayberry Place, was arrested March 23, 2007, after police received a complaint concerning a juvenile boy who said Bland had wanted him to appear nude on the Internet. Bland charged last year with 136 counts related to sexually based crimes against children has been sentenced to a possible total of 85 years after pleading guilty in both Grant and Mineral counties. was charged at the time with 73 counts of possession of child pornography, 45 counts of sexual assault in the first degree for allegedly having sex with a child under age 11, nine counts of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, seven counts of display of obscene matter to a minor and two counts of employing a minor to do sexually explicit conduct, according to the West Virginia State Police.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Go read the full list and then come plock back here with your paltry ideas of equal parity between Rethugs and Democrats.

What a bunch of arrant bullshit. But they all seem to be lacking one of the things needed for civilized man to get along with his fellows: A fully developed sense of shame.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Big Pharma Pot? Yeah, That Figures...

The hugely influential pharmaceutical industry, known generically as Big Pharma, has never been known to avoid any potential profit possibility, is poised to cash in on so-called "legalized marijuana" in many states which have legalized the medical use of pot, my own state included.

According to a story in the Salem (Oregon) newspaper, the DEA has verified that 55(!) as-yet-unnamed companies have been granted licenses to grow marijuana, i.e., cannabis sativa, (aka "pot", aka "mary jane", aka "dope", etc etc) in the US:

It appears as if the upswing in federally approved pot farming is about feeding the need of pharmaceutical companies who want to produce a generic version of THC pill Marinol and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.
In other words, if big corporations grow dope with the government and put it in a pill, it's medicine. But if you grow it at home or at a city-permitted pot farm and then put it in a vaporizer, it's a felony.
"They've got to realize, as a political issue, this is going to raise a red flag," said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for medical marijuana lobby Americans for Safe Access.
"Here we have companies cultivating marijuana on a mass scale to produce generic Marinol. It's going to force the government to answer more questions than it wants to."
It's a weird piece of news that comes at a strange and contradictory time for the drug war. As US attorneys send threatening letters to states and cities, including Oakland, warning them against "commercial cultivation" of marijuana, the DEA is quietly handing out licenses for commercial cultivation.
Big Pharma? No thanks. I'll get mine the old-fashioned way -- that way I'm contributing to the local economy and keeping local farmers in business and off the dole.

Really, no need to thank me... It's my civic duty.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Paul Revere, Sarah Palin and "Gotcha" Journalism

By now everybody knows about the historical faux pas committed by the Queen of Alaska during her spoiler bus trip to Massachusetts. It's being played -- by Sarah Palin herself -- as an especially noxious example of "shoutout 'gotcha'" journalism on the part of the Liberal Mediatm.

Even when confronted by a friendly questioner, Faux "News" Chris Wallace, who asked her gently, "you realize you messed up on Paul Revere, don't you?", Palin did the expected thing and went into victim/denial mode. After floundering around almost as badly as her shoot-from-the-lip response to a local reporter's question, she blamed the "liberal media" for its "gotcha" style of journalism and claims and stated, "I know my American history".

Yeah, uh-huh...

Poor Sarah, I almost feel sorry for her. Okay, no, not really.

And, BTW, here's the exact transcript of that "gotcha" question she was asked: "What have you seen so far today, and what are you going to take away from your visit?"

Oh my god, if that isn't a prime example of a leftwing shoutout-gotcha-question, then I don't know what is. The fucking nerve of that goddam leftie "reporter".

To make matters worse (if that were possible) the Palinistas lost no time in vandalizing the Paul Revere page on Wikipedia to make the "historical record" appear to be in line with the crackpot stumbling idiocy of America's new historical maven.

Finally, the Wiki people had to put a lock on the page so no more "creative history" could be added to it.

But that hasn't stopped them. Enough "experts" are now on board to protect the reputation of their darling MILF.

There's only one thing more to be said. The Iron Lady herself, Maggie Thatcher, today told Palin not to bother dropping by when she's in England.

The reason? And I quote an anonymous source in the news story: "Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts." [Emphasis added. Gladly.]


Jeez, in all the excitement yesterday, poor Little Ricky had to take "hind tit" at the news media, but I didn't want his ambitious presidential aspiration announcement to go unremarked upon.

All I need to say about it is this. Head on over to The Google and type "Santorum" in the search box. Then hit the "search" button and check out what the very top entry is...

A word of caution, however: It's not pretty...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Welcome to Wienerama -- All Wiener, All the Time

Hello, my name is Anthony and I'll be your wiener server today. My I recommend our special, The Wiener? It's served fully clothed but delightfully presented behind a gray cotton base, with those fully erect bulges that we are known for.

Okay, enough of the jokes. It's shooting fish in a barrel, really. They pretty much write themselves.

I've actually seen the offending photo, and while I can say that while it looks pretty impressive behind those gym shorts, it's still no big deal. Okay, maybe a poor choice of words. But like Jon Stewart said, back when he knew the congressman, he was a lot more Anthony and a lot less wiener.

Like I say, the jokes pretty much write themselves, but the bottom line (yuk yuk) is that Wiener Boy pretty much fessed up today, and even went beyond the pale with his confession-is-good-for-the-soul breakdown about his misadventures in the Internets. Which is appears that he needs some training in.

Jesus, don't we have more to concern ourselves with than the state of the Anthony Wiener? But on a day when Sarah Palin managed to garble the actual history of the famous ride of Paul Revere into something you'd see on the Cartoon Channel (except they are way more factual), the only thing that matters is the size of the Wiener wiener.

But the SCLM just loooves it some political scandal, and even a fully-clothed wiener is good for the "breaking news" coverage/ratings.

Still, you gotta give it up for the Rethugs. They know how to work a wiener. They wouldn't allow a fully-clothed wiener into their party, not even, say, a certain notorious mens room at a Minneapolis airport or the appointment book of a famous DC madame. No!

I'm Back -- With Lessons Learned

I've been sort of AWOL for a week. But I've learned some lessons. Chief among them being this: "Dude, you are not in your 30s any more, so stop partying like you were!"

I'll let my more imaginative readers fill in the details. Except for this one: It is kind of weird when you realize that some of your grandchildren are old enough to drink legally... and can, in fact, drink you under the table.

Anyway, I'm back now and fully recovered from my visit to a town less than two hours away, where I spent a good portion of what inadvertently turned into a loooong weekend celebrating my youngest daughter's 39th birthday.

Which is actually today! So happy birthday, "Little B". And don't expect me to do the same thing next year. I really am too old for this shit!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Book of the Month: Family of Secrets

June's book of the month is Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years by Russ Baker.

Think you know George Dubya Bush? Think you know his daddy, Old Number 41? Junior was a swaggering half-moron serial liar and Poppy was pretty much an amiable preppy dipshit, both of whom struggled to string together enough words to make a comprehensible sentence, right?

Well, it turns out we don't know Dick about the Bush Family Evil Empire.

The Bush Family Evil Empire. The BFEE. That's a phrase that I've used a lot since I started this blog six years ago, but I really didn't know how true it really was until I read this book.

Baker, an investigative journalist, skillfully takes us back to the early days of the Bush dynasty and shows the shady, extraordinarily complex, and continuing, ties between the Bush family and the intelligence empire, starting even before the famous OSS and its notorious offspring, the CIA.

Everyone knows that George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA during the Ford Administration, but it's been a well-kept secret that he was involved with The Company years earlier. There's a strange web surrounding the Bush family, Big Oil, the Saudi royal family, and various extra-legal and sinister happenings in the world, and Baker's well-researched and well-footnoted book nails all of them.

Including Poppy Bush's mysterious phone call to the FBI office in Houston shortly after the JFK assassination in which he fingers a local Republican party gofer as being responsible. What the fuck? was also my initial response to learning this little fact, but Baker carefully accounts for the reasons behind this strange call.

The only two people who couldn't remember where they were when JFK was shot were ... E. Howard Hunt and George Bush the senior. Interesting, isn't it? Go ahead and ask anyone you know who is over 62 or so where they were when JFK was shot and I'll bet you that everyone will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they got the news. (Within reason, of course, so I don't want anybody to come back and say that they asked their senile and/or crazy Aunt Edna, who doesn't even know her own name...)

There's also an FBI memo from J. Edgar himself which puts George Bush in the CIA at the time of the assassination, a fact which the family, for various reasons, has taken great pains to hide.

The book also shows that Bush's Brain, aka Karl Rove, was affiliated with the Bush family from very early on, despite the stories that we've been fed, and that the media were -- and still are -- a bunch of lapdogs when it comes to coverage of the Bush family. It was so easy for the family to dismiss pretty much anything negative -- the whole Bush AWOL fiasco comes to mind -- as being just another "conspiracy theory".

Remember, in Orwell's 1984, the key to control of thought was control of the language. "Conspiracy theory" is a short and grabby way of dismissing anyone who asks hard questions about the major discrepancies in the whole Bush Family Dynasty biography.

This book is a major exposé of the crimes of the Bush family, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to achieve a major understanding of the evil reach, the invisible manipulations and secret machinations of one of the most powerful political families the world has ever known.