Posts Tagged ‘JEB’

“We just live in it . . .”

February 24, 2012

The assertion that President Obama may have botched his chance for reelection in November because he didn’t start a war during the week of February 19 to 25 may sound absurd as that week comes to an end, but how will the President’s spin specialists respond if, right before the 2012 Presidential Election is held, the Republican candidate tells the voters that it is too late to stop Iran from developing an atomic weapon and that the last chance to prevent that development came during the last full week in February?

Usually avoiding American involvement in a new war is portrayed as a wise course of action, but with the Republicans this year the standard rules of political conduct seem to be in disarray, if not total chaos, and that leaves open the chance that the candidate who eventually wins the Republican Party’s nomination and who will attempt to limit President Obama to one term in office may not hesitate to point back at the last full week in February of 2012 and say that was when President Obama had the last chance available to use a surgical military strike to put a halt to the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

During the week of February 19 to 25, pundits and or journalists suggested thatIranmight want to use a preemptive strike to protect their own country.  The news media in theUSAran a story suggesting thatIranhad individuals inside theUSAdoing scouting reports for possible terrorist activity. 

If a President has solid intelligence asserting that another country is going to launch a preemptive strike against theUSA, doesn’t that mean that the President should launch a preemptive strike against them to defendAmericafrom a new Pearl Harbor-type attack?

Some altruistic personalities were suggesting that the week would have been a good time to launch humanitarian air strikes againstSyriato protect their citizens in much the same way as the war for humanitarian reasons helped diminish the carnage inLibyalast year.

Now that the principle of war for humanitarian reason has been established (by President Obama) can any Democrat rationally defend a choice to skip waging a new war for humanitarian reasons? 

The Republicans love to frame the issues and debates for the Presidential elections and so if they make the assertion that a surgical strike against Iran should have been launched this past week, then the Presidential campaign might be based on the idea that the winner should be the one who can most duplicate the war-like attitude of George W. Bush.

Wouldn’t it be über-ironic if George W. Bush’s brother used that bit of inverted logic to win the Presidency in November of this year?

If President Obama doesn’t attack some country soon, his fall reelection campaign might sound like a flashback toSan Franciscoin the Sixties.  “Make Love, not War” and all that.

It seems that Occupy San Francisco has faded into history.  The Republicans love to treat a problem by removing the symptoms.  Where have all the Occupy Protesters gone?

Page one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wednesday, February 22, 2012 edition, reported “Peter Cukor, 67, was killed at his home inBerkeleyminutes after reporting a trespasser.  Police were responding only to emergency calls at the time.”  Since the Berkeley Police Department was busy monitoring an Occupy Berkeley Protest, critics immediately demanded a complete investigation into the BPD response to the citizen’s call on the non-emergency line.

OccupyCalhas been moving a protest encampment around to different locations on theBerkeleycampus.

OccupyOakland, Occupy San Francisco, and Occupy Berkeley encampments have been dispersed.  The news media seems to have become distracted away from any questions about where the Occupy protesters have relocated. 

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) had members of the local clergy present a letter to a representative of Wells Fargo Bank asking their bank to put a halt to foreclosure proceedings in the state of California until a study could determine if the paperwork had been done carefully and legally. 

Would the clergy’s protest have received more news media coverage if any of the Occupy groups had provided additional protesters?  There were no San Francisco Police Department officers in riot gear monitoring the possibility that the clergy protest might get out of hand and necessitate numerous arrests.

The Occupy San Francisco protesters have disappeared and news coverage of the possibility that the city will host theAmerica’s Cup yacht races has become the hot controversy for local political observers.

To some cynical observers, it may seem that the politicians inSan Franciscoare giving away too many concessions to various parties.  To others, theAmerica’s Cup races promises to bring additional tourist revenue to the area.

If some averageSan Franciscocitizens were to suddenly have the chance to do the tourist routine inFremantle,Western Australia, which would they rather see:  Bon Scott’s statue or the Museum with a yacht that won theAmerica’s Cup?

Recently the World’s Laziest Journalist noticed what seemed to be a T-shirt with a typo.  It read:  “Beat me up, Scotty!”  Then we realized that was aSan Francisco(Republican?) thing.

This week, folks in fog city learned that tickets would soon go on sale for a local venue for “<a href =>Shatner’s World:  We just live in it</a>.”  Wasn’t that predicted ages ago by the Mayan calendar?

Former area resident (and columnist) Hunter S. Thompson has been quoted as saying:  “I wouldn’t recommend alcohol and drugs to anyone.  But they have always worked for me.”

Now the disk jockey will play The Iron Butterfly song “Beyond the Milky Way,” the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Scott McKenzie’s “What’s the Difference?”   We have to go see if flower power is still happenin’.   Have a Haight & Ashbury type week.


Is Democracy dead in the USA?

October 2, 2011

If Hitler had intended from the very beginning to install a small elite group of supporters in a position of authority in a democratic country, which mostly disagreed with his basic premise that only a limited number of citizens were qualified to run the affairs of state, would it have been a wise course of action for him to candidly admit from the start what his ultimate goal was; or would it have been more expedient for him to do a bit of prevaricating and then use the principles of democracy to subvert the very system of government which he was trying to eliminate?

Didn’t he explain in detail, before he started in earnest, how he would achieve his nefarious objective by reducing all issues down, via über-simplification, to a basic slogan and then coast to an easy win?  Were some Germans caught off guard when he did exactly what he said he was going to do?

If a country had a political party that had openly announced that they swore allegiance to the country’s flag and were fully committed to returning to that country’s founding principles; would anyone who fully understands the meaning of the word “Republic” really be surprised to learn that such a party was working to disenfranchise citizens they deemed ineligible to vote?

Could they secretly have a broad mental reservation about not being obliged to adhere to election results that they considered invalid?  If they did, could they openly announce an effort to challenge the system’s validity or would it be better for their ultimate goal if they ostensibly asserted that democratic values were so important that they would send their kids into battle to earn and keep those principles, while secretly working to restore the right to vote only to men who owned land?

Obviously their efforts would initially be better served by very loud assertions of their belief in the method they hoped would become obsolete rather than being so crass and blunt as to proclaim:  “Vote for us so we can disenfranchise you!”

Reducing the issues down to absurdly simplistic slogans (as Don Imus would say:  “bumper sticker it for me.”) might seem to streamline the debate, but more often than not it means “the lowest common denominator” rather than providing “a level playing field.”

For example could a pseudo intellectual liberal pundit who resorts to long complex sentences, with subordinate relatives clauses and numerous prepositional phrases which would challenge a tea bagger’s analytical ability and stymie any effort to correctly diagram it on the chalkboard, be dismissed by a diabolical troll for being “rambling and incoherent”?  Surely Hitler would bestow kudos for such a “slip the punch” response.

In the film “Point Break,” the surfing guru Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) advises an FBI agent:  “Think it through, Johnny.”  In politics the conservatives prefer to toss out a hot potato and offer the advice “Think fast!” with an accompanying smirk.

Conservatives would not dare to say:  “Don’t worry folks, the only thing at stake here is . . . the future of your country!”  Nor would they be very likely to admit the relevancy of the advice from William Claude Dukenfield (AKA W. C. Fields):  “If a thing’s worth having; it’s worth cheating for.” 

Recently some Republicans inFloridabroke ranks with the national party to reschedule their state’s primary election date.  While it is easy to dismiss all the intricate maneuvering as some silly frat boy game playing (the quarterback reads the defense and calls and audible) but the reality is that the only thing at stake here is . . . the future of the country.

OstensiblyFlorida, which is a bastion of teabag party values and acolytes and which traditionally forecasts the person who will become the Republican Party’s Presidential nominee indicated a preference for Herman Cain. 

Will hisFloridamomentum carry him to a quick Florida Primary win or will there be some second thoughts which cause the Sunshine state to pin their hopes on some other dark horse candidate?  Is it remotely possible (“All things are possible through prayer, my son.”) that a former governor of their state could be persuaded to accept a win in an effort to revive the old “favorite son” ruse?

Since there is a lot of disgruntle teachers (especially inWisconsin?) out there waiting for their chance to vote for the next President and since one former governor of Florida can easily be branded as the “education candidate” (isn’t his family’s name an integral part of the history of the “No child left behind” movement, and didn’t he do great things for education in his state?) maybe he can be persuaded to give it a try? 

Before any representative of the Columbia Review of Journalism magazine or the American Journalism Review voices strenuous objections saying that the free press might howls of indignation in response to such a (admittedly bucking great odds) hypothetical election result, we would ask them to remember just how quickly the mainstream media (like a dog and pony show) responded admiringly (and submissively?) to the idea that Howard Dean, in one rash soundbyte, had forfeited his “frontrunner” status to Sen. John Kerry because he had manifested symptoms of being emotionally unstable.

The Fox Views team proposed the idea that Dean had suffered a mental breakdown in public and the Free Press of America, which is normally completely paranoid about being vulnerable to damages for liability lawsuits, quickly seconded the motion without a single instance of a quote from a reliable knowledgeable source about the psychological soundness of the candidate’s state of mind.  (Does that mean that the gullible journalists were actually guilty of practicing medicine without a license?  Whatever.  It’s too late to worry about the validity of the 2004 Election frontrunner substitution now.)

Does the World’s Laziest Journalist really think that the quality of news in America today is so decrepit and unreliable that the mainstream media would meekly follow the lead of some invisible, diabolical Svengali to say (on cue) that by winning the Florida Primary, the Republican Frontrunner for the 2012 Republican Election no longer had to counter a negative (family) brand name image?  Yes.

Wouldn’t such a travesty of journalism indicate that the Free Press in America (and one of the reasons for starting the Revolutionary War) was now as extinct as the California Golden Bear (<I>Ursus arctos californicus</I>)?  Yes.

Isn’t a free press necessary to permit informed citizens to make intelligent voting decisions?  Isn’t that precisely why Hitler clamped a censorship lid on the newspapers in the country where he served as chancellor-for-life?  Did he say:  “Elect me and I’ll start a state run news agency”?

Has the Fox Views audience been informed bout the latest news developments at the Japanese nuclear reactors?  Has the Fox audience heard the stories about the feral dog packs now roaming in the Fukushima area?  Do they know the latest developments in the Murdoch hacking scandal probes in theUSAandEngland?  Did they get stories about “Occupy Wall Street” before the arrests began?  Was the Fox Views audience informed about the recent <a href =>massive oil spill off the coast of Sweden</a>?

DidAustraliasend troops to aid with the invasion ofLibya?

How many American troops were killed this week inIraq?

InAfghanistan, how many American troops were killed this week?

Hitler specifically made listening to foreign new broadcasts punishable by death.  (Were Murrow’s Boys that good?  Yes.)

Back in the day, the newsstand in the Pan Am building inNew York Citycarried the current edition of Paris Match.  Can New Yorkers still buy that publication there?

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, a promotional event for the publication of the 2012 edition of the Project Censored book was held at Moe’s Bookstore inBerkeleyCA.  One of the problems presented to the editors for this year’s installment in the book series, was fitting it all into the book.  They used smaller type but still it sets the record the most number of pages for any of their annual publications. 

Of course if some tea bagger troll (speaking <I>ex cathedra</I>) says that Project Censored is “just” a collection of “Best of” articles substantiated by “scientific evidence” from crackpot sources, that should be sufficient to prove that the 2012 Project Censored book will be regarded by conservative pundits as the latest product from the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory.  Murdoch’s lap dogs will be expected to automatically “second the motion.”

Isn’t it so easy to refute the implication thatAmerica’s Free Press (which may have been worth the cost of some of your family members’ lives during World War II) is DOA?  All you have to do is point to Fox Views as living proof that Journalism is alive and well in theUSA.

The debate over the death of Anwar al-Awlaki was put to permanent rest when Herman Goering said:  “Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.”

The disk jockey thinks that the Tea Bag party needs an official song and therefore he will humbly offer his suggestions by playing us out with the Horst Wessel song, the 1938 hit (in Germany) The World Belongs to the Strong, and Richard Wagner’s <I>Liebestod</I> from <I>Tristan und Isolde</I>.  We have to go (to try to) buy a copy of today’s issue of the <I>Volkische Beobachter</I> newspaper.  Have a “<I>Die Dreigroschenoper</I>” type week.

“Chicken Little” Syndrome

March 2, 2011

If an online columnist can not convince one of his friends that there is a credible possibility that JEB Bush not only can be, but will be elected President in the November 2012 Election, should he persist in expending time and energy writing material to post online that continues his attempt to call attention to what the blogger thinks deserves serious consideration from Democrats?

The thought that he will be the only blogger to have exclusive rights to the “I tried to warn you” assessments on the day after that election is held, can have a certain seductive appeal to a fellow who has always enjoyed the role of the rogue in nature and society.

If people are reminded of the fable of the duck who thought the sky was falling, they should also remember that just about everyone thought the Jets couldn’t win Super Bowl III.

It’s one thing to have a crazy idea that comes from left field, such as “this lottery ticket I’m buying today is going to be the winning ticket,” but when a columnist adds up the factors that lead him to make an unpopular political prediction and the only conclusion that he can see after making a new attempt, is the one that others don’t see as even a very remote possibility, then . . . the worst that can happen if he says “I’m going to explain my thinking one more time” is that he gets fired by the blog-plantation owners who don’t pay for content.

Is there any liberal pundit who thinks that both the 2000 and 2004 elections were won fair and square by George W. Bush?

Is there any one of those who do who can give a rational, logical reason why the Republicans wouldn’t do it again in 2012.

In the past we have written a column or two explaining that in the hustler’s world (pool shark, poker player, or what have you) you can’t win all the time or the intended victim will suspect cheating.

Recently the governor of Wisconsin indicated that there were other newly elected Republican governors around the USA who were set to put a similar attack into play if he managed to bust the unions in his state.  Did it seem to imply that all the Republicans might be participating in a coordinated effort?  If so, who could possibly be the figurative quarterback calling the plays or should the question be:  “Who is the coach calling the plays from the sideline?” 

Next question:  “Weren’t there some stories online recently claiming that Karl Rove is orchestrating the attempt to bring Julian Assange to the USA to face criminal charges for his online journalism accomplishments?” 

Does anyone think that Rove is working to bring about a victory in 2012 for a generic Republican ticket such as Sarah Palin and the Wisconsin Governor?  If Karl Rove is working behind the scenes isn’t it logical for a rogue columnist to suggest that he might be still working for the Bush family (as he did from 1973 until . . . either now or 2008?) and if so who does that leave as the most likely person to rekindle the Bush Dynasty stories?

Back in the late thirties almost any American journalist who reported from Europe was sending frantic dispatches warning that Hitler should be taken seriously?

Granted that one lone rogue blogger, who is desperate to advance the idea that the next person to be elected President of the USA will be JEB, might not deserve to be compared to Murrow’s Boys, but back then journalists were free to issue dire warnings. 

In today’s media world, do you see big media stars being as aggressive with the Republican politicians on talk shows as they are with the Democrats? 

Does Bob Schieffer’s brother’s past business relationship with George W. Bush explain an appearance of Republican favoritism in Bob’s questions and coverage? 

Could Chris Matthews employer want to rein in any aggressive criticism of the Bush military adventures?

Could one blog manager have toned down her posse in an attempt to push up the sale price that would eventually be paid by a conservative buyer?

Look in the political section of a Borders Bookstore (while you still can) and see if there isn’t an impressive array of anti-Bush items available.  Could it be that liberals are more likely to buy pessimistic progressive books than teabaggers? 

If conservative corporate moguls are trying to suffocate the progressive point of view would they be in favor of a meltdown of the bookstore fad? 

A shrill blogger’s warnings about JEB may seem more like the efforts of Hans Brinker than of any of Murrow’s Boys, but for a fellow who enjoys playing the part of a blogger who is trying to (to use the phrase that an old coworker admitted he “borrowed”) “column as I see ‘em,” it beats going to the closest Senior Center and playing cards.

Obviously the biggest and best known Blog Plantation owner won’t send such a rogue an invitation to “join her team.” 

The conservative talking points folks at Fox News have marvelous opportunity the past few weeks to crow about how George W. Bush may have a right to claim that his prediction that the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan would unleash a tsunami of change in the Muslim world and yet there doesn’t seem to be one of them seizing a golden opportunity to do some Republican bragging.  The liberals were so vehement while disparaging George W. Bush when he issued that forecast, why aren’t the Fox Folks playing the “paybacks are hell” card? 

Could those “told-ya” opportunities be a symbolic ace of trump card that Karl Rove is holding until it is time for JEB to become the new smirker-in-chief?

In the opening of John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charlie,” he reported on a chance meeting with John Gunther that he had on an airplane trip.  Gunther specialized in doing books by talking to the leaders of countries in various parts of the world.  Steinbeck preferred to use the Ernie Pyle approach to journalism and talk to the locals about politics and the foot soldiers about the war effort.  Steinbeck based the “Travels with Charlie” book on material he gather in a vagabonding trip he had always wanted to make.

It’s probably nice to chat with folks who are frontrunners in the next election and the journalists who have that kind of access should always be aware that they can become pawns to be played by their sources.

Writers who gather their material without access to the in crowd can only make their best guess as to what is happening and how things will occur.  It’s as if they were their own version of a low level CIA analyst. 

The World’s Laziest Journalist will (most likely) not talk to one serious contender for the Republican Party’s next nomination to run for President.  Piecing together our impressions from the scant information we have available is the best we can do.

If we divert our efforts to completely extraneous and irrelevant topics, such as a critical evaluation of an automobile museum in Oxnard, we’ll try to portray it as a change-up column done so as not to sound as if we are obsessed by the JEB prediction.  We may even do some “in the field” reports from Europe.  It’s just one fellow’s attempt to amuse, entertain, and (when possible) inform the readers. 

Speaking of being obsessed, is any other political pundit going to do a column on the disappearance from Venice CA of the hippie/homeless crowd as a possible new facet in the Republican war on the poor and middle class? 

Being the World’s Laziest Journalist doesn’t mean that we don’t do any work (that’s why the rules committee has decreed that the Fox Follies are ineligible for consideration for the claim), it just means doing as little as possible . . . but we do have to do some.

If we ever get the chance to submit a quote to Jon Winokur for one of his books of quotes, we’d submit this sentence (a repudiation of a Charles Buskowski book title) from an unpublished item written by this columnist:  “The days crawled by like wounded worms on their way to the elephants’ graveyard.”

Now the disk jockey will play the best of Duane Eddy album, Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” and the Best of Roy Orbison album.  We have to go check out Eurail Pass prices.  Have a “This is London Calling” type week.