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August 06, 2005
For Immediate Release
President's Radio Address
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Like me, many across this great land are taking lengthy vacations this month, to escape the roasting hot weather made possible by my bold policy of global climate enhancement. However, it has been brought to my attention that a relatively small number of families are not enjoying the summer nearly as much as I am, because their fathers, mothers, brothers, sons and/or daughters have been wounded and/or killed in the War of Heroic Action against Terrorism for the Future of a United Christian Kulture -- or, as my NSC counterterrorism experts sometimes call it: WHATtheFUCK?
All of us here in Crawford mourn the loss of these brave but ultimately expendable men and women -- although if Cindy Sheehan thinks I'm going to let her anywhere near my house, she's out of her freaking mind. However, I will now honor the sacrifices made by our slaughtered troops and their annoying families with this brief moment of presidential silence. (Pauses briefly.)
Fortunately, the minor casualties sustained in Iraq over the past week have not materially affected the fantastic economic progress being made by the wealthier members of our great society! Corporate profits continue to grow at double-digit rates, while retailers catering to the luxury market report record sales. In more affluent regions, home prices are soaring -- a trend which is enriching real estate speculators and encouraging millions of upper middle-class Americans to borrow heavily against the skyrocketing values of their suburban mini-mansions. As a result, the personal savings rate has fallen to zero, and household debt levels have reached yet another all-time high. Clearly, the properity of our socioeconomic elite now rests on a sound and stable footing.
True, the latest economic reports also show a modest share of this prosperity is finally trickling down to America's working families. But rest assured: the Federal Reserve is on the case, and will raise interest rates as high as necessary to nip this dangerous inflationary trend in the bud. America's true heros -- the CEOs and billionaires who control our giant multinational corporations -- deserve no less. We must not fail them in their hour of obscene prosperity, and as long as I am president, (sobs) we will not.
You know, we've been through a lot these past four years (and when I say "we," I am, of course, speaking hypothetically.) War, terrorism, recession, a major stock market crash, corporate accounting enhancements -- all of these things happened on my watch, and yet, with God's mercy and the blessings of the Ohio Republican Party, I was re-elected. Truly, in America all things are possible.
Now, my administration is bringing that same can-do spirit to our nation's energy policy. We're ignoring the whiny pessmists who claim today's sky-high gas prices are just a taste of the economic and environmental chaos that could result if America doesn't curb its insatiable thirst for imported oil. Are these not the same effete and unpatriotic voices who predicted the failure of my bold campaign to make Iraq safe for Iranian influence? They were wrong then and they're wrong now.
As you may know, Congress recently approved my new energy bill, which will fatten the wallets of hundreds, if not thousands, of needy oil company executives and their elected representatives in Washington. Surely, if the history of this great nation has taught us anything, it's that massive government subsidies can accomplish anything -- whether it's finding a cure for cancer or building a safe and reliable space shuttle. I'm confident my pork . . . I mean, my energy bill will be every bit as successful.
At the same time, though, we're making bold efforts to safeguard America's foreign oil supplies by stepping up our campaign to bring the blessings of democracy to the culturally backwards nations of the Middle East -- by endorsing the ruling royal dynasty in Saudi Arabia, for example.
There are some who feel the corrupt Saudi monarchy cannot survive much longer, and will eventually be overwhelmed by the forces of Islamic fundamentalism it has promoted and protected for decades. This, they say, could easily cause oil prices to double again, throwing the global economy into recession and revealing the fragile foundations of our weakly regulated financial system.
Well, my answer is: Bring 'em on. The Saudi National Guard and secret police have the forces necessary to deal with the security situation. And even if they don't, there is no policy blunder so catastrophic that our gigantic military machine can't bail me out, somehow.
After all, isn't that the most important lesson of WHATtheFUCK?
Thanks for listening.
August 04, 2005
Greg Saunders :
Jesus Hates Democrats
Well, apparently John Roberts is pro-gay and Bill Frist is pro-choice. I wouldn't get too excited about either one of these speculations, but anything that'll piss off the self-righteous culture warriors on Crybaby Sunday is good news in my book. With the program's stated theme of "God Save the United States and this Honorable Court", I wonder now how they'll react to this revelation about Roberts knowing that it might mean trading Roe v. Wade for "Adam and Steve". Considering that the host of the previous theocratic pep rally is the subject of a big "Fuck You" on the homepage of the Family Research Council, I suggest that Judge Roberts shine his ass-kissin' shoes and start studying Leviticus.
1 : Just reading this trumpery makes me gag a little. I can't imagine actually sitting through this bullshit.
2 : You've gotta wonder how all that research has been going.
August 03, 2005
The Murder of Mowhoush
The Washington Post has looked at the classified documents dealing with the death in custody of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, and today has an article with a great deal more information about that death than we've previously known. Like a lot of people I'm almost numbed by the brutality, which is probably why I find myself more shocked by the dishonesty:
Okay, maybe "shocked" is the wrong word. The death of Dilawar was initially attributed to natural causes as well, and The Lancet reported almost a year ago on how medical personnel had covered up the cause of Mowhoush's death. Why should it be surprising that the military lied about the circumstances under which he came to be detained?
Maybe the biggest shock here is that anyone still believes them.
The other thing that interests me about this article is that the headline -- Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs -- is quite misleading. Although it starts with the story of how a soldier, on his own, came up with the idea of stuffing a severely injured man in a sleeping bag and tying him up with electrical cord, it's very clear that culpability goes way beyond that grisly improvisation:
There isn't a huge leap between suggesting a claustrophobic situation and stuffing someone into a sleeping bag. It wasn't the creative soldier who ordered the harsher treatment of the prisoner.
Moreover, even though Mowhoush died in the sleeping bag, it looks like his death had at least as much to do with his treatment the day before by the CIA and a CIA-trained and funded Iraqi paramilitary group, code-named the Scorpions (more about them in another must-read piece in today's Post). And they are definitely not improvising.
No, it's round
You know, if I were trying to satirize someone as clueless as Thomas Friedman, I might portray him hawking a book/metaphor called "The World is Flat." But only if I were feeling lazy and/or uninspired, and needed to go for the obvious joke. So it's really quite astonishing that the real Thomas Friedman is actually hawking said book/metaphor, and seems quite proud of same.
At any rate, Siddharth Varadarajan is unimpressed:
Ever since I experienced, at first hand, Nato's bombing runs over Belgrade in the summer of 1999, I've had little time for Thomas Friedman or his ruminations.
Speaking of Flatman, don't miss his column today, in which he argues that what America really needs is...better cell service. I kid you not.
As I have mentioned before, I have a Sirius satellite radio, which has come in handy now that I no longer live in a major media market. For awhile, I've been using it to listen to Air America while I work, but this summer I've found myself migrating back to the various NPR shows (I mostly listen to the radio during the day, and at a certain point, I realized that if I had to sit through one more "Oy Oy Oy" show--well, let's just say that you can have too much of a good thing and leave it at that). The point being, I've only recently discovered that Air America has given Sirius satellite subscribers the shaft and hopped over to XM. And yes, I'm getting comped, but a lot of people invested in Sirius equipment and subscriptions specifically because of Air America, and on their behalf, I'd like to send out a big "fuck you" in the general direction of the business genuises behind that little decision. (...I'm aware that you can stream audio online, but I mostly find the glitches too annoying to bother.)(And streaming doesn't really help people who installed satellite radio in their cars, does it?)
Anyway: these days, when my tedium cup overfloweth with the calm, measured rationality of NPR, I find myself doing what I did more often before AAR came along--wandering around the batshit crazy wingnut side of the metaphorical dial. Yesterday, for instance, I had the distinct pleasure of listening to G. Gordon Liddy's son Tom, who is filling in for the "G-Man" this week (and yes, he really calls his father the "G-Man"). And one of the topics of the day was how hard it is for women to stay home and raise children if that's what they choose to do--not only because of the unbearable scorn of the dominant anti-family liberal media, but because of all that darned government taxation, which takes away so much of your money, yadda yadda, blah blah blah.
Excessive taxation is a staple of right wing talk radio, but one which forces hosts to tread carefully, given that what they are actually talking about is excessive upper income taxation--the solution to which generally requires an ever increasing burden to be borne by the host's own oblivious audience. And since the host and the callers are, by definition, actually carrying on two distinct conversations at cross purposes with one another, confusion often ensues. Yesterday, for example, a woman made it on to the Liddy show and after telling Tom what a fan she was of his father, she pointed out that a lot of people she knows need two incomes because, well, they just don't make very much money.
(This is often the problem with the elaborate theories of the right: they are usually in direct contradiction to the actual life experience of anyone who's ever tried to get by on the minimum wage. So the host's unspoken question becomes: who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?)
Tom tried to gently steer the conversation back to the evils of taxation, but the woman charged on, unaware of the damage she was doing. "At that income level, they really don't have too many taxes," she said blithely, threatening to undercut Tom Liddy's entire fictional construct. You could almost hear the klaxon bells ringing as he allowed that, well, yes, poverty is a problem, and the only thing you can do is, er, try to get better jobs, and church groups can sure help. And on to the next caller!
You have to love it when the audience wanders off script.
(Speaking of talk radio, I also heard the insufferable Laura Ingraham mocking Al Gore for his new television project, which apparently invites viewer interactivity. "They want the audience to do all the work for them," cackled the talk radio host, apparently oblivious to the irony of her own words. But then, they always are, aren't they?)
August 01, 2005
I was away for the weekend and now I've got a cartoon to write. Everyone else with keys to the site is either on vacation or laying low. Bear with us, we're on a reduced summertime schedule here at thismodernworld.com.
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