CorporateMofo’s Reagan eulogy

A lovely reimagining W’s eulogy to Reagan, seemingly rewritten in the style of his Correspondent’s Dinner speech.

A sample:

Of course, his leadership was back in the 1980s and I was too drunk and fried to remember much. But I understand that while I was face down in my own vomit he saved the world from evildoers. This is a subject close to my own heart. And also to my Vice President’s heart (which isn’t worth a damn these days, but hey, he doesn’t use it anyway. . . heh-heh).

Um, but I have a note from my mom!

Marti sends this along, with her deepest professional censure. This is apparently the kind of quality the Bush administration offers up for the Federal appeals court in Washington. “I just forgot” is as good as his excuses get for why he served for years as Brigham Young University’s general counsel for three years without being admitted to the bar in Utah. Oh, and he had previously let his D.C. license lapse as well. If you can forget professional necessities like that, it would probably be easy to forget, oh, the First Amendment. Or the Fifth. Or the Fourteenth. Hmmm… perhaps this is what they administration has in mind!

Bush’s crib notes

Gotta love Atrios… a reader sent him a photo that allows us to see Bush’s notes from his post-Cabinet Meeting press op yesterday, much like those “OJ’s Legal Pad” books of some years ago. In addition to his “key themes” (uh… terrorists evil, we strong, don’t say “torture,” etc.) it clearly shows that even after three years Bush doesn’t know the names of even the top WH press corps. So much for the comparisons to Reagan, who knew the names of their kids and dogs. Since the “major league asshole” episode during the 2000 campaign I had at least thought W recognized them. I guess it’s just the loyal stenographers he cares about.

Rummy must go

Or this administration shields war criminals. (Which we know they do, but Rummy needs to go first. Actually, they should be hauling his ass to The Hague.)

Spokesman: Rumsfeld ordered secret detention

Spokesman: Rumsfeld ordered secret detention
By Associated Press
Thursday, June 17, 2004

A Pentagon spokesman says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the military to secretly hold a suspected terrorist in Iraq.

The spokesman says the Iraqi has been held since October without an ID number and without the knowledge of the Red Cross. Both of those conditions violate the Geneva Accords on prisoners of war.

The spokesman says CIA Director George Tenet asked Rumsfeld to make the secret detention while the intelligence agency tried to determine the suspect’s “precise disposition.”

The Pentagon spokesman says the prisoner will be given a number and the Red Cross will be formally notified soon.

It’s the end of the world as we know, and W feels fine

Now, I know it would be disingenuous for me to claim that I don’t have a streak of conspiracy theorist in me, or that I’m not prone to at least a little bit of paranoia about the underground dealings of the people that run this country, even in the best of times. But I’m generally also a bit blase about the whole thing. I mean, I kind of believe some of the conspiracy theory stuff I’ll spout every so often (like who I think was really behind Sept 11), but I’m not really sure I actually believe it. Essentially, how most of us probably feel about the more believable alien plot lines on the X-Files.

But I am really trying hard not to believe any of the stuff in Neal Pollack’s Stranger piece today. I really want to believe that Neal has developed an unnatural fascination with Agent Scully and it’s addling his brain. But I can’t, because as unbelievable and terrifying a lot of what he covers in the article is, knowing good ol’ W, it’s probably true.

And I had read the bit about Bush consulting with the freakshows of the Pentecostal church to change US policy toward Isreal in attempt to bring about the apocalypse in the Village Voice a few weeks ago. So, I can’t really accuse him of making that one up.

And, a fair amount of the scary shit he covers he got from Frontline’s “The Jesus Factor,” which I missed (for better or for worse) but which also provides some ample evidence that Bush is pretty much on his way to turning the whole of America into New Jonestown.

And I guess I missed where Rumsfeld decided to rename Abu Ghraib prison, Camp Repemption. But the Guardian covered it, too, so Neal didn’t pull that one out of his paranoid fantasy either.

I’ll tell you, I nearly shorted out my computer keyboard this afternoon by spitting out the swig of soda I’d just taken upon reading that undersecretary of defense Jerry Boykin, after September 11 went around on a preaching tour of Christian churches claiming that “George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the U.S. He was appointed by God.”

If that’s not enough to scare the pants off everyone of you, then you need to start watching more X-Files reruns, people. The man is nuts, and what’s worse, he’s surrounded by Jesus freaks foaming at the mouth imagining themselves as heros of the next Left Behind installment. He’s crazy as a loon.

Of course, if he was appointed by God, then I guess it’s reasonable for him to claim that he’s not bound by the laws of men, either.

But in the end what really scares me is how many people in this country will gladly take that cup of Kool-Aid when he hands it to them.

Signal Orange: amazing idea, amazing execution

My good friend and colleague Kevin has launched SIGNAL ORANGE ahead of the GOP convention in New York. Check out the site… it’s just amazing. Priority for participation is New York, but if you really want to get involved, I could probably talk him into agreeing to a Seattle chapter.

Working with people this smart and committed is probably the best part of my job. Kevin is also the guy who got the Virginia site its kick-ass blog postings.

Cheney’s smoking Halliburton gun

Time has apparently proved me wrong, and officially removed any benefit of the doubt I might, foolishly, still be tempted to give the Bush Administration. Like an idiot (and John Kerry), I thought I could believe the President about WMD, and for that reason actually supported the war (if not the unilateral rush to war).

But even after all that has happened, of all the charges about Iraq war profiteering, I was perhaps most skeptical of the idea tha Dick Cheney actually influenced the awarding of no-bid contracts to Halliburton (of which we was, disastrously, CEO before becoming VP). After all, Halliburton is one of a very few companies equipped for the huge and specialized task of restoring Iraq’s oil production. And I know first-hand that Halliburton has highly skilled and ethical managers, particularly in its core oil-services operations. (My uncle is a high-ranking Halliburton executive overseeing operations in the former Soviet Union.) But most of all, I assumed that Cheney was too smart to do something so stupid, knowing that every administration skeptic was on the lookout for oily hands in the post-war cookie jar.

Apparently, though, he was both that stupid and that arrogant. The email discussed in the Time story is as good a smoking gun as you get. Feith and Wolfowitz have been doing Cheney’s bidding on everything else, and it’s now clear that Halliburton’s no-bid contract was just another drop in the bucket.

So after the yellowcake distortion, the “45 minutes” lie, the Plame affair, the illegal diversion of $700 million from Afghanistan to Iraq, the Chalabi clusterfuck, Rumsfeld’s madness in denying the Joint Chiefs the number of soldiers they requested, the complete and total mismanagement of the post-“Mission Accomplished” mission in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib abuse and coverup, and now this… how could anyone trust this administration to do anything right, doubt any accustation of corruption, ineptness, madness or malice? It boggles the mind. But Bush is still polling at a dead heat with Kerry.

If this administration wins re-election (or, uh, election), we will know, officially, that the nation has ceased to function as a democratic republic. While no doubt some fault for the current dire state lies our institutions and the media, we really have no one to blame but ourselves. We are a population no longer competent (or perhaps no longer interested enough) to safeguard government by the people and for the people.

Thinking about Bush, Cheney, and their disgusting junta makes me think invariably about the Ben Franklin quote Gore Vidal cited when David and I heard him speak in January, saying that our form of government, however successful for a time, “can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

It gets scarier day by day

Oh my God! And true to form I don’t recall any of the mainstream media picking this up. This is the kind of shit that scares me tremendously. The kind of shit that makes me worry that even moving to another country might not be sufficient to escape this.

Why is it Slate, Salon, BBC, the Voice, can uncover really, truly scary stuff like this, or damning evidence like the stuff about Bush lying about his service in the Guard, and the mainstream media never covers it for the rest of the country to see. Yet they do think Clinton’s personal indiscretions are scandal-worthy? Evidence that the president is a nutcase (and taking policy advice from even bigger whack-jobs! What’s next, a memo on Fred Phelps meeting with W to give advice on same-sex marriage policies?) and a liar are apparently less disconcerting than stains on a dress.

Look, I realize that lots of people in politics feel a need to believe in some religion (though why people need the threat of hell to make them act as good people is beyond me), but I like to think that for most of them it’s a tradition and something that has a personal place in their lives, not the basis for policy making. It scares me when reason in law is replaced by superstition and FREAKING DOOMSDAY CULTISTS!

I want to hear just one more pundit bring up the “liberal” media. Liberal, yeah, if by liberal you mean that they’re in the pocket of the right-wing administration.