Frontier Former Editor

January 19, 2009

Like the two French diplomats reportedly said at Compiegne in May 1940 . . .

“A relief.”

“Yes, like crapping your pants.”

That should sum up George W. Bush’s departure tomorrow. I wouldn’t care if the inauguration was the Second Coming along with a burning bush, the parting of the Potomac, tastefully-done pillars of salt, Maccabees, Purim and Genesis (not with Phil Collins): George W. Bush has left this country with a vast landscape of scorched philosophical, spiritual and physical earth. In my darkest corner of my heart, I find more good in Richard Nixon’s evil persona than in Bush’s good old boy emptiness.

I hope Obama can start to bring the ship of state around to a calmer, more rational course, but it’s going to be awfully hard given what Bush and his puppeteers have left for us.

Not to mention what we allowed the stupid bastard to do and be conned into doing. Maybe he can stay locked in his now-gated community and start reading Tom Clancy as fact.

Please, George, please don’t let the door hit you in the ass Tuesday.

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January 15, 2009

Even better than a ‘Simpsons’ rerun!

Our soon-to-be-ex-president makes a live speech to family and friends at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Guess he needed a sympathetic laugh track .

Just the other day, MSNBC ran parts of his press conference in defense of his presidency. The national lack-of-command-of-his-faculties authority defended the federal response to hurricane Katrina, noting that 30,000 New Orleans residents were rescued from their rooftops.

Let’s see. Thirty thousand people recovered from rooftops, as opposed to evacuating them – and thousands of others stranded in the city – before the hurricane. That doesn’t sanctify the federal response. It does, however, speak volumes of the courage of hundreds of military helicopter aircrew who risked their lives to rescue the victims of criminally stupid municipal, state and federal government officials.

Enjoy your speech, Dubya. If there was any justice on January 20, you’d get nothing more than a car ride to the train station so you could buy your own train ticket home.

December 30, 2008

I’m almost impressed with Blagojevich.

Filed under: 2008 election, blaxploitation, Election '08, scumbags — Tags: , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:29 pm

I didn’t think a white politician in the U.S. had the gall anymore to hold a public sacrifice of a black man.

Granted, Blagojevich didn’t lynch him, drag him by a chain from the back of a pickup truck, let him loose in the woods to be killed by a pack of hunting dogs, or shoot him.

He did worse. He appointed him as U.S. Senator and ensured that he would die politically at the hands of those who swore they would not allow Blagojevich to blaspheme the process.

There just might be a job opportunity in hell for this towheaded shitbird yet.

December 21, 2008

Assume the position, and not the Senate seat . . .

Bend over, Ill drive - courtesy of Chicago Tribune

Bend over, I'll drive - courtesy of Chicago Tribune

In a touching story bound to replace ‘A Christmas Story’ in our collective heart, some guy in Chicago painted a portrait of Rod Blagojevic assuming the position before checking into a federal correctional institute.

The only shame is that he’s not doing one of Cheney checking into confinement at the Hague.

From the Chicago Tribune (talk about a bunch of guys in the newsroom saying ‘Bend over, Governor!’):

“I was stunned when I found out what that criminal complaint [outlined],” Elliott said as he examined the painting in his Old Town studio. “Hopefully, someone is going to find this irreverent.”

Irreverent hardly begins to describe it. The scene imagines Blagojevich handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit pulled down to his knees.

Among the onlookers is a guard, with a look of grim determination, pulling on a rubber glove.

The painting, which is taking Elliott a little over a week to finish, is titled: “The Cavity Search.”

Bet the artist is channeling the late Mike Royko.

November 4, 2008

Vote, dammit!

Filed under: 2008 election, politics — Tags: , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 8:27 am

For those few who read this blog, you probably already do vote and I thank you. Sorry I haven’t been particularly active here the last few days, but I got an idea for a project and I’m trying to get a decent start on it.

For the rest of you who stumble on this blog, stop reading it and go vote. I don’t care who you vote for. Just vote.

If you’re a U.S. citizen and haven’t registered to vote, shame on you. Tomorrow, go to your local registrar’s office and register to vote so you don’t miss out on the next opportunity to vote in an election.

If you’re registered to vote and don’t vote today, I don’t want to hear any of your whining about how our next president is worthless. You had a chance to vote for him or her, and you didn’t. Therefore, you have no moral right to gripe about it.

If you vote, you have every right in the world to cuss, hiss, spit, cast the evil eye, bitch, moan, cry and repeat. You voted.

Vote. Vote. Vote. (Preferably once, since more than once is a violation of federal and states’ election law. Except, of course, in Louisiana, Florida and perhaps Ohio and Illinois.)

And in a personal aside; Jim Gilmore, I voted for Mark Warner in the sincere hope that you will realize that your attempts to regain any elected office are a sick joke at the expense of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please, just go home and take up fly-tying or ship-in-a-bottle making or something that will keep you from any more publicly embarassing displays of the kind that got George Allen in the hot water he so richly deserved.

And yes, jim, you can still vote.

October 12, 2008

Read this and make up your own mind . . .

I would like to state for the record here and now that the reservations I have held regarding Barack Obama have been solely based on his level of experience. Looking at those reservations, I think I fall in the same category of many who expressed concerns over Abraham Lincoln’s suitability of experience before the 1860 Republican presidential nominating convention.

No concern about his race, religion, creed or gender. Just his experience.

Given that, I should state that, in 2000, I voted in my first Republican primary because I thought that George W. Bush was a threat to this country and that John McCain was a counter to that threat. Until McCain began supporting the war in Iraq, I still had hope that he might one day prove a counter to neoconservatism.

So much for that idea.

Secretly and not so secretly, I’ve been hoping for some return to reason and gravitas in how this country conducts its affairs. Admittedly, that return might involve a trip in the wayback machine to George Washington’s election.

I haven’t seen much hope in that return among the ‘mainstream’ national Republican machine. The reasonable ones are in a wilderness between the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. When Barack Obama attempts to elaborate his positions – many of which seem fairly reasonable given a framework of logic and rationality and acknowledgement of the American social and political landscape – any debate gets lost in a spiral of irrelevant verbal feces generated by McCain staffers and that nitwit Palin.

There’s been no policy debate in this country during the election cycle. There’s been a lot of noise about patriotism, innuendo about name, race, inexperience and modern-day Red scare tactics.

I hadn’t run across this until this morning – mainly because I never thought that ‘Rolling Stone’ still had it in them – but it is worth a read. There’s nothing really new in it, but it does sit down and recount much of what has been out in the public for most of four decades. Before reading it, I’ve questioned McCain’s stability for several years jokingly and in darker corners of my mind. After reading it, I found that I’m not the only one asking some of those questions.

To Barack Obama:

No matter what my vote next month, please know that your race, creed, religion or name don’t enter into my thought process.

Just work on convincing me that you are a reasonable, rational and upright person who will listen to and work with other reasonable, rational and upright people to get us moving away from the center of the domestic and international messes in which we sit.

I have no illusions that you and others can solve it all in one or two terms. It would take decades to do that. Just show me that you’re willing, able and committed to doing it.

 

To John McCain:

I don’t know anymore, but I do know that you are what my father – a retired Navy senior chief petty officer – would call a bullshit artist.

Your vice presidential running mate is also a bullshit artist.

Your campaign staff, if examined by art scholars, would be given their own section in art textbooks as the ‘bullshit art’ movement.

The national Republican Party organization backing your try for the White House obviously knows its taste in art: bullshit. Even compared to many in the national Democratic Party leadership, your national backers have a superb eye for bullshit.

 

One of my blogging acquaintances told me a year or so ago that there’s nothing wrong with America that what’s right with it can’t fix.

I really hope so.

October 4, 2008

On voting . . .

I’ll save you some of my normal ranting; Max’s monograph on the topic was so much better and less bitter than I could muster.

I was reading the Virginia official elections and voting site this evening – probably the first time I’d done so since I was in the newspaper biz – and found some interesting tidbits in preparation for my trip to the optical scanner in November.

Our longtime Democratic congressional incumbent is unopposed for the first time since 1982. That’s 13 election cycles and 26 years, and I covered 7 of those elections in some form or another. I can also say that, in all but two of those elections, he was effectively unopposed because of the quality of candidate.

Virginia actually has six slates of presidential/vice presidential candidates. Besides the Republican and Democrat doom and gloom, the slate is damn near a political Baskin Robbins with Green, Independent Green, Libertarian, and whatever the hell Ralph Nader is calling himself this year.

Oh, Nader’s an Independent. How cute.

Maybe I won’t have to write in Eisenhower and Nixon this year after all.

For our city council (and I use the word ‘city’ loosely, since this place has less than 4,000 residents, shares its court and clerk system with the surrounding county, and somehow manages to keep a city charter it bogarted from the Virginia General Assembly in 1954 – a city it ain’t.) I see two people with whom I went to high school and college, respectively. They’re both reasonable folk, so I’ll probably choose them over the asshole scion of the now-dead owner of the local Pepsi bottling franchise and the guy of whom I know little other than the fact that he ran for council once before and left the same impact of a 5.56 mm bullet against titanium plate armor.

Our last asshole former Republican governor Jim Gilmore (as opposed to the prior asshole former Republican governor George Allen – Google ‘macaca’ for more) is running for U.S. Senate against the next to last Democrat former governor who did a pretty good job of cleaning up Gilmore’s immediate toxic political spillage. When two senior Republican legislators and a rather honorable former Republican governor (and father-in-law of the current Democratic governor) appear in ads and campaign appearances to endorse the Democrat, one would think that Gilmore would have gotten the message.

This, of course, merely proves that Gilmore is, in fact, an asshole and a not-very-smart one.

And then there’s the ‘city’ school board race. I used to cover that school board. I think I’ll write i, “Consolidate with the county, finally!”

With all the heartburn from reading the site, all I can say is that I can still cuss, spit, gripe and – in the end – go down and vote about it without the fear of being spied upon, trailed by state security, picked up, interrogated or executed.

Unless, of course, I vote in Florida.

If any of you reading this live in Virginia, you have until close of business Monday, Oct. 6, to go register to vote in this November’s general elections.

Do it.

September 6, 2008

Manifest Destiny, as manifested by Sarah Palin . . .

Apparently, Sarah Palin seems to agree with Jake Blues . . . .

We’re on a mission from God.

I know all you all look down on National Public Radio as the last refuge of a liberal, but sometimes they have a nasty habit of running factual information:

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=94332540&m=94332496

An excerpt:

“Palin now goes to a nondenominational Bible church when she’s in Wasilla, but her years attending Pentecostal churches, including the one she currently attends in Juneau, have no doubt shaped her faith and, possibly, her view of world events.

“For example, at the same service, Palin talks about the war in Iraq.

” “Pray our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country — that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” Palin said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.”

“Poloma says some people might hear that and say Palin believes this is a holy war, or that Pentecostals think this is a holy war.”

Now I know who else Palin reminds me of . . .

 

James K. Polk, Manifest Destiny exponent extradordinaire. From Wikipedia:

“As a Democrat committed to geographic expansion (or “Manifest Destiny“), he overrode Whig objections and was responsible for the second-largest expansion of the nation’s territory. Polk secured the Oregon Territory (including Washington, Oregon and Idaho), amounting to about 285,000 square miles (738,000 km²) then purchased 525,000 square miles (1,360,000 km²) through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War.”

The only difference between Polk and Dubya? Polk was arrogant and competent.

Maybe Palin should remember that many a nation has claimed a holy alliance with God, as a central European nation once proudly declared . . .

 

Belief in God doesn’t make me nervous, despite or maybe because of my avowed agnosticism. What makes me nervous is politicians tossing around the concept of God as a symbol of support and justification as certain as the current day’s Gallup/CNN/MSNBC polls

Good night, Sarah, and remember the ark.

September 2, 2008

More background on Sarah Palin . . .

thanks to Vicus‘s posting on Nick Clegg, we now have photographic evidence that a younger Sarah Palin either hawked t-shirts or was some sort of management assistant . . .

Now for a warning to the Republican National Committee. After all these years we’ve had to listen to the pro-life wing of the party go on about promoting abstinence and family values, either you, the RNC, better lay the f**k off about declining moral values or make Sarah P and her daughter wear scarlet ‘A’s’.

Buncha hypocritical political opportunists. And that goes double for Grover Norquist!

I’m having a Lewis Black moment . . . .

except that I’m not as lovable and funny as Lewis Black is when I’m stunned, dazed and ultimately pissed off.

What have I missed in the Republican Party in that black hole starting with Dubya’s nomination for President in 2000? The post 1970’s Republican Party has, of course, gone through an evolution where it has adopted pro-life principles, except of course, when it comes to lower-class people.

In that case, the Republican Party attempted to undo the damage wrought by a mutated Great Society welfare program by the simple expedient of doing everything possible to dismantle social welfare programs and tell zero-income people to get a job and low-income people to get a better job. Having watched this concept in action in Virginia – as implemented by a Republican legislature led by Virginia’s favorite racial schizophrenic George Allen – I can also add that critics of it constantly received two responses: Stop coddling welfare queens and frauds, and don’t worry because cutting welfare will mean lower taxes and greater distribution of wealth from the upper levels of the private sector.

What those responses always seemed to lack was the answer to another question: just how is the economy going to improve when you start getting thousands of people – after weeding out ‘welfare queens’ and ‘frauds’ who either can’t work or who have been unable to find a job – into gainful employment with a salary adequate to cover medical and child care expenses as well as food, shelter, heat and transportation to and from work, medical care and child care?

I won’t go into how well trickle-down economics worked during and after the Reagan administration, but suffice it to say that even Arthur Laffer admitted that he supported Bill Clinton’s economic policies.

In several cases I saw as a reporter, the resulting ‘workfare’ programs as often as not ended up with local and state governments subsidizing employment and training for participants as the economy shambled toward the conditions it now faces.

But back to the ‘pro-life’ portion of today’s post.

Sarah Palin’s minor daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock (and this is in no way a judgement upon her daughter) and Palin drones on about how her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law are facing a tough choice but with the support and love of their familiy. Meanwhile, the Republican Party goes on with its pro-life call to arms without realizing just how economically frightening it has made this society as a place to survive and raise children. And, of course, there’s still the traditional stigma that modern conservatism (as practiced by modern conservatives like Rush Limbaugh et al) attempts to place on everyone else who has a child out of wedlock or before reaching legal adulthood.

Lest you think that I’m a big-time supporter of Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Great Society,’ I think it merely reinforces the saying about paving practices on the road to hell. But seeing a political party which blathers on about life and economic well-being but declares war on terrorists and then diverts its effort away from where the terrorists are?

Well, the Democratic Party has done damned little to inspire me this year, but the Republican Party in the form of John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee can take all their warm fuzziness about the sanctity of life, defense of liberty and recovering economic trends and blow it out their ass. I’ll say it now. Sarah Palin’s selection as vice presidential candidate was nothing more than a cynical trick similar to that of Iran’s president saying that ‘we only want to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.’ It does nothing more than place the Republican Party in the position of saying, “Why, some of my best friends are women . . .”

To those who would say, ‘Well, FFE, what about the Democrats choosing Geraldine Ferraro as the vice presidential candidate?’ I would say that Ferraro was not much more than a third-rate ward politician herself.

As big an idiot on applied foreign policy as Condoleeza Rice is, she’s far more qualified than Sarah Palin or John McCain. And as bad a taste as she leaves in my political mouth, Hillary Clinton is a better adapted political animal than Sarah Palin might hope to be in the next four years.

Hell, Lucretia Borgia was a better political animal than any of the afore mentioned women.

If the Republican Party wanted a qualified woman in a position of responsibility and power, they surely did it in a half-assed way.

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