Saturday, January 08, 2011

Matt Taibbi Is My New Hero

Matt Taibbi's latest offering at Rolling Stone is absolutely savage. Entitled "The Crying Shame of John Boehner" it contains some of the most scorched-earth political writing I've seen since the glory days of Hunter S. Thompson. It's a long piece, but absolutely worth the time it takes to read. Some of the tastier bits:

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.

And that's just the first sentence! It gets better...

The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype — the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the "total package," and that term comes close to describing Boehner's talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He's a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done....

After all, the modus operandi for Bush Republicans like Boehner has always been to talk a good game on spending cuts, so long as the cuts were coming out of the food-stamp program or aid to Katrina victims — but they would never go so far, or be so radical, as to cut overall spending, which would require scaling back the industry handouts they have spent so much time putting together on the golf courses of America...

This was always going to be the model of how Republican Party hacks would deal with the Tea Party: Bash the living hell out of hated blue-state Gorgons like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, jack off the mob by incorporating the Tea Party's Constitution-and-liberty rhetoric, hand the Tea Party those reforms that the GOP's big campaign contributors want anyway (most notably, tax breaks for the rich and deregulation of big business), and then cough up a note from the doctor or some other lame excuse when the time comes to actually cut spending.

Really. Read the whole thing. I think I need to buy this guy's books....

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Grover Norquist: Secret Muslim Agent?

Anti-Muslim wingnuts, ever vigilant for the looming threat that is "sharia law", and keeping a sharp lookout for those Sekrit Mooslims infiltrating our society to pollute our precious bodily fluids, are now turning on each other:

WASHINGTON – Another headache has emerged for the largest annual gathering of conservatives slated for next month.

With the Conservative Political Action Conferenceunder fire for allowing participation by a homosexual activist group called GOProud and for a financial scandal in which some $400,000 was misappropriated under the watch of current leadership, Frank Gaffney, a leader of the conservative movement for the last 30 years, charges that CPAC has come under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is working to bring America under Saudi-style Shariah law.

Gaffney, deputy assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan...told WND that Islamism has infiltrated the American Conservative Union, the host of CPAC, in the person of Washington attorney and political activist Suhail Khan and a group called Muslims for America.

Wait, it gets better:

Gaffney also accuses another ACU board member, leading conservative political organizer Grover Norquist, of helping the Muslim Brotherhood spread its influence in the nation's capital.

Yes, you read that right. Grover Norquist, one of the Uber-wingnuts. the man who, very recently, was vetting potential RNC chairmen by asking them how many guns they own, is a Muslim Agent.

You cannot make this stuff up. It's like Roy Cohn suddenly accusing Joe McCarthy of being a Commie.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Year in Preview, Part II (with Reader Mail From the Party of Love)

Latest Newspaper Column:

Happy Day after New Year's! I hope your post-celebration headaches have all subsided, because here it comes - the Year in Preview, Part II:

July: Members of the so-called "Birther" movement, in an apparent change of tactics in their crusade to prove that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, file a federal lawsuit to nullify Hawaii's admission into the Union. "If Hawaii was never a state," claims prominent Birther Andrew Martin, "then Obama wasn't born in America. So there." The lawsuit cites as grounds for invalidating the admission that there is no specific provision in the U.S. Constitution allowing admission of an archipelago as a state. "Besides," one paragraph reads, "the whole place is full of foreigners."

August: In an eerie echo of last year's Chilean mine disaster, 27 mine workers are trapped by an explosion at the bottom of a mine in Alberta, Canada. In contrast to the Chilean disaster, however, no major U.S. network or news organization sends reporters to camp out outside the mine, and the story is relegated to the back pages of most major newspapers and magazines. "Trapped miners are so last year," explains newly appointed NBC News President Michael Bay. "We need to go bigger. Got anything that's still actually on fire?"

September: Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a former health care company CEO who promised to run the state more like a business, announces that he has solved the state's budget crisis by selling it to an Indian corporation. "It just wasn't cost-effective to remain part of the Union anymore," Scott explains. Millions of shocked Floridians are given pink slips and ordered to clean out their homes by close of business before being escorted to the Georgia border by state troopers.

October: Self-proclaimed investigative journalist Andrew Breitbart releases a YouTube video that he claims shows Attorney General Eric Holder telling an NAACP meeting that "I hate America, love socialism, and wish all white people were dead." Conservative talk-radio hosts and TV commentators immediately demand Holder be fired. Bowing to the pressure, the Obama administration announces Holder's resignation "to spend more time with his family." Closer review, however, reveals that the video is a clumsily edited montage of words from various speeches, as evidenced by the fact that in the 10 seconds of the video, Holder is seen wearing five different suits in front of six different backdrops. "Well, we did edit the video," Breitbart admits. "And no, Holder didn't say any of those things. But that's not really the point. The point is that the Obama administration are the real racists."

November: Right-wing blogger and anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller goes ballistic when she finds out that the menu for the White House Thanksgiving dinner features crescent rolls. Noting that the flags of several Muslim countries contain a crescent symbol, Geller declares the dinner to be "yet another in a long series of capitulations to Islamofascism." Geller's campaign to restore what she calls "freedom biscuits" to the dinner is interrupted, however, when she runs off the stage shrieking in terror during a nighttime torchlight rally after looking up and seeing the moon.

December: Fred Phelps and his tiny flock at the gay-hating Westboro Baptist Church announce their plan to randomly protest pre-Christmas appearances by Santa Claus because, claims Phelps, Santa delivers presents to kids whose parents are (or might be) homosexual. The first demonstration, however, is disrupted when hordes of children charge the protesters and send them running for their lives back to Kansas. "I could've warned them," one parent tells the press. "My Brittany's a sweet little girl, but I'd walk into a threshing machine before I'd get between her and Santa."

Last week, in response to the first installment of predictions for 2011, an anonymous commenter on the paper's website added his own, which was that I would die in 2011 and everyone in my hometown would celebrate. Hey, you never know...

So I suggest that the Union Pines High School Band begin learning this song for the parade: