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.

January 11, 2009

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

A presidential welcome for USS George H.W. Bush

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090110/D95KGCRG0.html

“What do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything he has ever needed?” asked President George W. Bush from aboard the Navy’s newest ship. “Well, an aircraft carrier.”

It’s always disturbed me how the naming of American aircraft carriers got away from the old system of naming after American Revolutionary War and Civil War era battles and warships and drifted into naming after congressmen and presidents, even when some of those presidents deserved remembrance.

This one just smacks too much of dumbass son trying to give daddy a birthday gift.  Not to impugn father Bush’s own wartime bravery but, if they were going to name it after a wartime naval pilot, how about Edward O’Hare or Jimmy Thach or Richard Best or Wade McCluskey or legions of others who made decisive and fundamental contributions to wartime survival?

If to name it after an American politician, how about George Marshall?

Or even better – go back to the old system. The names were supposed to remind us of our history and values and sacrifice – not to be birthday or Christmas presents.

October 19, 2008

W.

I went to see the movie ‘W.’ It was like a five-year old sachertorte. It could have been delicious, but it was five years too late.

I just finished reading ‘Hubris’ by Michael Isikoff and David Korn a few days ago, and much of the film’s 2002-2005 moments track pretty well with that book.

Scott Glenn’s broad-brush portrayal of Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Dreyfuss’s Bela Lugosi-like depiction of Dick Cheney were enjoyable in an “I-told-you-so” way, and Thandie Newman was a well-done characature of Condoleeza Rice.

Toby James as Karl Rove; What an inspired piece of casting! Rove as a malignant Truman Capote.

Josh Brolin as Shrub – it deserves an Oscar for its depth in portraying someone so intellectually shallow.

As for Oliver Stone? Stone is pretty restrained here. Given the proven outlandishness of the real-life cast of characters inspiring, Stone didn’t have to resort (much) to methods already used in ‘JFK’ to move that version of events.

Most of the people I saw in the theater were, based on their demeanor and appearance, probably Democrat. The film’s appeal probably will be partisan and may have little if any real impact on the election.

But it still would have been better for this movie to have appeared before 2004.

May 8, 2008

Sliding scale of public indignation . . .

Filed under: bald white guys, Bush, doomed to repeat, Dubya, history, old times, semi humor — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 9:55 pm

or, I’m feeling rather derivative today.

First, to get warmed up for all of this, go read the post and thread over at Max’s blog. It’ll warm your heart if you’re over 40 and give you a valuable cultural lesson if you’re under 40.

Second, go to Raincoaster, get a dish of calamari, and read up on some of the hijinks (a and b) of my favorite Russian carp/megalomaniac prince of Mother Russia.

 

Okay, now back to Kolchak.

One of the more delicious TV scandals of my youth was the hue and cry – especially in TV Guide – about “The Night Stalker” episode “Chopper.” All of that outcry that week in 1974 or 1975 was over a scene in which a head rolled – literally. You couldn’t really see that it was a head, just a blurry suggestion that someone was decapitated . It was as if the Hays Board came back to life and was ready to decree that married couples couldn’t appear on television in the same bed unless each spouse had a foot on the floor.

Three decades later, the FCC is levying fines for bare ass on the ABC network show ‘NYPD Blue’ – five years after the scene appeared on the air. If you’re particularly interested in the scene, go here (NSFW). It really won’t tell you much that you probably don’t already know about human anatomy.

 

Now for Prince Vlad.

Long before Putin, and a fair while before the KGB and the Soviet Union, there was an interesting Russian character – Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister under Tsar Nicholas II. Stolypin, like Putin, had a clear vision of what he wanted Russia to become, and he executed that vision so well that he even had a fashionable piece of neckwear named after him: the Stolypin necktie. His necktie was usually displayed on large wooden racks on platforms with handy trapdoors.

Now, for the purposes of this post, I’m not passing judgement on Stolypin or Putin for their methods, but comparing their respective methods leaves a couple of conclusions. Putin is behaving exactly as one could expect a Russian to behave, and Bush and Cheney would make pisspoor Russians.

 

Tonight’s moral: if something makes you outraged or indignant, take a deep breath. It’s probably happened plenty of times before you were born and will probably happen several times more after you die.

March 23, 2008

Sunday entertainment . . . .

One of the few things I miss about living in Northern Virginia 20 years ago (aside from the fantastic French bakery run by the Vietnamese couple just up the road from my apartment; being able to get Chinese food at 2 a.m.; two great family-owned hobby shops within less than a half-hour’s drive, and; riding the Metro) was getting a Washington Post on Sunday and spending the whole day wading through it. The crossword puzzle and the Post Magazine could take up half the day alone.

These days, I can still get a hard copy of the Post – three days late – but surfing and blogging are a fair substitute.

Something to share while I got do a crossword (online, since my local Sunday paper hasn’t made it here yet) is this little tidbit from Your Three Cents (via that radio babe who definitely doesn’t have a face for radio, Miss Cellania)

 And to be fair to our president (I still refuse to capitalize the title while that f**kwit’s in office), our own former governor Jim Gilmore showed his own continuing fiscal prudence in the news last week.

Who’da thunk that, after running Virginia’s transportation system into the ground and adding another $100 million annual burden to our state budget, that Gilmore would have been given a chance to preside over another good financial screwing?

(fom Associated Press, via Yahoo News)

RICHMOND, Va. – Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who was criticized for his handling of state finances, was chairman of a Bear Stearns subsidiary set up to market some of its highest-risk securities tied to the home mortgage industry meltdown.

One money manager said Gilmore’s involvement in Everquest Financial Ltd. reflected his “naivete” in finance. Gilmore, a Republican, is now running for U.S. Senate.

Two troubled hedge funds managed by Bear Stearns owned a 60 percent share of Everquest when it was created in 2006. Everquest withdrew its bid for an initial public offering last June amid criticism of the hedge funds — which saw the mortgages underlying the bonds in some of their holdings fall sharply in value because of increased mortgage defaults.

I can’t wait to see the vote tally in our senatorial election.

Stilletto can appreciate this little side story. I got to watch one of the final public appearances of Jim Gilmore in our fine corner of Virginia before that idiot sailed off into hopefully permanent public oblivion. After presenting a big foam core check for some funding with which he had essentially noting to do with obtaining, Gilmore stood around for an hour in a chapel at what was then Clinch Valley College. He and his aides picked at the table of refreshments, half-heartedly nibbling at mini-muffins or cookies and drinking canned soda while waiting for the fog to lift so they could catch a plane out of town.

Several lawmakers who attended the event didn’t stay to talk with the governor – they beat it as soon as the presentation was over. After a few folks who just wanted to be able to say they shook hands with the governor did so, the chapel emptied in about 5 minutes.

Hemingway might have written; “His party stood alone. In the chapel. In the fog.”

I would have written; “What goes around comes around, with an extra 200 knots.”

March 20, 2008

Five years ago last night . . . .

Filed under: Iraq, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 10:17 am

I was  standing in a sports bar, interviewing folks about how they felt that we had just begun strikes against Iraq.

Pretty much every person we talked with and/or photographed said the same basic combination of things

Iraq shouldn’t have supported al Qaida

Iraq shouldn’t have tried to build nuclear weapons

God bless our soldiers

God bless President Bush

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