Monday, November 29, 2004

The Statutory Rape of Fun By Venomous Playthings

November 29, 2004

Pelican Bay Townhomes
Somewhere in Germantown, MD 20874-5404

Dear Mistress Michelle,
Your blog is becoming increasingly incoherent. The only point of interest in your last postings concerned the vast conspiracy of John O'Neill haters and the Moonie Times reporting that his 527 will receive the 2004 Courage Under Fire award for putting Steve Gardner out of work. The bigger question is this: have you and I gotten to the point where we cannot be more than friends?

Your fear of John Kerry still puzzles me. You never explained it fully. Understandibly, he is the handiwork of the Democratic inner sanctum, but so was Lyndon Baines Johnson and Harry S. Truman. Where do you see the idiosyncrasy?

And just for the heck of it please stop calling me a heat-seeking liberal. I stopped calling you Imelda Marcos with a vocabulary many moons ago, and the least you could do is return the favor. Must I remind you again that I keep a basement office at The Los Angeles Times - I was entertaining Washington correspondent Ron Brownstein on Hermosa Beach the other night for several turbulent hours about starting my own conspiracy theory rag - so when the moment comes to seize the reins of journalistic power I will have a running start. But for now I am still being syndicated all over the world, just as you are, but it is clear that I have superior penmanship, and for the time being I have turned down the offer from The New York Times to replace Safire for its Op-Ed section.

But for all it's worth - and what I hear from your coalition of venemous playthings - I don't figure there's much hope for you and me as an evolutionary pair to succeed Mary Matalin and James Carville. We could have had our own show on HBO or Showtime. But I have my reasons and they are pure. You seem to have gravitated further from reality since your appearance on Hardball, and I hear Bill Maher will no longer take your calls. I truly empathize with your imprecise goals, being what they are - just unfulfilled vindication - but I think you have been led astray by a tough crowd for the high-stakes action. Your thirst to assault liberals with bold accusations no longer humors me. I think you are going on these television and radio shows just so you can see what they write about you at Media Matters for America, which pains me greatly. It will take me a while to lessen the size of my ego because of my recent string of large-headed successes in American Journalism, Inc., but it's only because I am not afraid of the wild highway or a brush with extreme violence in the barrio. Would it surprise you to know that I have fully penetrated the steely confines of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which neither of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams, and have in the space of a couple of days revealed a number of important stories that beg coverage. Words cannot describe the euphoria I get from shaping fertile minds - some day you'll have to come along for a ride in the Lexus SC 430 to see the joy I bring for yourself. But for the moment you are way over there pushing ink and intellectual disease with with a pack of degenerates who never considered disagreement with you. What I think you need to do is come out West and get back in journalistic shape with me as your spotter. We can exchange ideas and advise grass roots organizations in our spare time, then jet off to Palm Springs for weekends of artistic passion in the spas. It will be a challenge for you - but I see big things in your future. In my world you could go from speaking with Indian casino pit bosses to defending African-Americans to working the Private Investigator trade shows to Hispanic causes to the problems of Immigration all in one day - and God willing the bastards won't keep us down. I have come to the point in my journalistic development where I cannot distinguish the differences between repressive Fascism and hardcore Capitalism, or, for that matter, fully actualized French Socialism.

Your approach to this challenge has one terrible flaw - you seem to have lost affection for the iconoclast, the one who cannot be convinced of anything and consequently pushes the button on everything above and below him. He is a creature of suspicion and self-examination, the ever-wise magician of thought and being, a heavy dude with a savvy imagination and the necessary financial freedom to consider every alternative, a great ally or a mean-spirited enemy depending on what tickles his fancy. But still a fundamentally sane and stainless person - or in my case, a sordid Third World element combining Gary Glitter with Holden Caulfield and Sy Hersch. The pig fuckers beat the snot out of Gray Davis in California a couple of years ago, and they are getting primed to stone the Gropinator next. Pity the relentless, because they have no convictions when it comes to politics these days. The only thing missing in California - and across this country, of course - is that people don't have something to vote for, so the alternative is against. As far as I am concerned, I see no land shark on the horizon - on either side of the aisle - so it leaves me to wonder what could happen if we became a team, a real team defining the future on our own. Dubya is intellectual jailbait with the soul of a redneck punk, even you know that. And I'd sooner vote for Donald Trump out of irascibility, but for no other reason.

Anyway, without a change in venue your opinions will be ground into dust. Your points have lost their claws - at least for a rebel like me - and it should already be clear that you need a long shot on this side of the blue states to know just how tenuous the balance of sanity really is. Albert Camus might have been the patron saint of existentialism, but he died just as Jayne Mansfield did. Minds like his get taken from us in every age, before they have enough time to dig into the mean details of implementing their philosophical ideals. They are radicals first, then heroes after death, and then radicals again, once they realize that their suburban, obese kids with face jewelry and black fingernail polish are spouting the same philosophy hook, line and verse.

As for your blog, your commentary seems to paint over the major issues of the day. I never took Maureen Dowd at The Times to be in your class, but I was visibly shaken when I saw that you went for the jugular with that scapel you call a keyboard. It was a like using a diamond-encrusted garrot to kill a peasant, and normally I wouldn't have given a damn - but why would you spend a waking minute to pursue a minor issue in a weak attempt to make a major score?

I can feel that you're in a fit of rage now. But I suppose you know how it feels to be left at the cliff of a huge political awakening, and I am sensing that you need to reach out beyond the clearing of your grassy knoll, and deep into the dirty realities of a world in which the columns just run out, making you free at last. Come give it a whirl out West. And when you finally make it here at last, I promise to have a better bed than the one I had in Redondo Beach - the sliding glass door will close this time, and you won't get awakened by immigrants selling fruit or the scent of fresh shellfish. Recently I moved into a new beachfront place, where there are better possibilities, and by the time you arrive the place should be just divine.

I'll send my personal assistant, Hector, with a plane ticket in a few days. What have you got to lose? And why not? Ann Coulter has jumped way beyond you already and it will take you to at least the age of 45 before you pump out enough literature to be considered equals, and you may have to learn weather maps and pressure systems in Malaysia to earn a buck before long. I am so overcome with fascination over the possibilities of both of us together long last - but then again, presumptive ramblings are within my nature, right? But I have always made reasonable efforts to amuse. In all, my supreme faith in conviction tells me that you are so removed from the pulse of what's happening these days that a chance to reclaim your inner deviant can be sharpened into immediate journalistic context. We can call it the quickening, the whatever you want to call our association.

Many have compared my persuasive powers to John Derek, calling me an intellectual svengali of sorts, a veritable Rex Harrison of mind, body, spirit and soul. But there will be no misogynistic wagers with the boys on whether I can convert you into a passionate woman with firm ideas - I'm in it for bigger things and I think you know what you must do now. Do it before it's too late.

Otherwise, you can always write copy for The 700 Club, and I hear they're looking for scribes.

You had me at hello - IMHO
Team Gonzography

Down and Out in Manhattan by Way of Club Fed

new magazine
The cuisine and local patois at the Federal Corrections Camp in Alderson, W.Va., apparently is nothing to write home about - unless you get a happy heaping dish from new gal pal extraordinaire, Martha Stewart.

Roman Catholic nun Carol Gilbert, 57, who is serving time in the same prison as the famous homemaker, says she enjoys eating with Stewart, although the setting could be better.

"We're not talking about a tea party," Gilbert's attorney, Sue Tyburski, told the Rocky Mountain News for a story in Saturday's editions. "We're talking about a big cafeteria setting with the terrible food."

Gilbert is serving 33 months on convictions of obstructing the national defense and damaging government property for her role in an anti-war protest at a missile silo in 2002. Stewart was convicted on obstruction of justice in May and began serving her five-month sentence at the women's federal prison Oct. 8.

Stewart, 63, is getting "kid-glove" treatment from the guards, Tyburski said. "She's in great demand for people to visit with at lunchtime."

Gilbert bolstered suggestions that Stewart is writing a book about her prison experience. Tyburski said her client she hopes she writes about women who have received lengthy sentences under federal mandatory drug-sentencing laws.

But in her spare time, the gracious yet incarcerated Martha has been organizing prison home economics with new ideas on things you can make with dried fruit items, decorating letters to your attorney, vases made from cigarette butts, colorful gang tattoos you can make yourself and prison decor that matches dull gray prison bars.

martha showroom one

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Wild Ghosts on the Tube, Bright Lights in Fat City

Did you lose your mind all at once, or was it a slow, gradual process?

There are some days when only a terminally crazed madman like Robin Williams could find humor, and this past week was filled with them. The usual cast of characters were in full bloom, for entirely the wrong reasons, and moon was swelling with deviant light. By week's end the beast had roared for more decaying flesh than the downtown morgues could handle, and L.A. Country Jail cells were filling up like cheap strip clubs in Tijuana.

When Williams was faced with a similar plight in The Fisher King, he cried tears of joy and enlightenment, babbled on about being the janitor of God, then bolted off into Central Park with tinfoil sword in hand to slay the dragons of his robust and psychotic imagination. "They [the little people] came to me about a year ago," he explained. "I was sitting on the john having one of those really satisfying bowel movements -- you know the one's that border on mystical."

In fair parallel, there is a whole new mood within the Evangelical brotherhood, bordering on rabid euphoria and hysterical revelations. They have moved shop into national politics with an elan not seen since the days when Racist Radical Cleric Fallwell - otherwise known as RRCF in the reality-based community - started playing witch doctor in the primeval forest that was the Reagan Revolution, and once again they are reeking with a hellish stench of mitzvah and purpose.

The enterprise of providing salvation at light speed has never been a simple exercise - yet there has been a perverse sense of anxiety and ravenous ambition since the 1980s, even amongst the most bitter of the Jesus capo regime, as many of them have come to realize that His far-reaching and omnipotent grace would be better dished out - and be given a NASCAR-equipped supercharger, in the end - if the almighty's humble live-ins took morning coffee in the Oval Office, rather than some plankboard rat's nest of a church in Baton Rouge. They have had such delusions before - these religious berserkers with a built-in excuse - but that kind of true believer never really loses the faith. It is like pagan lust or a bout with Dengue Fever, and there is nothing in this world more magical for a hard-boiled right-wing evangelist to be on speaking terms with the preznut and his senior campaign staff, just like he is with Jesus. The voice becomes officially large, the goals become strategic, and who on God's green earth could dispute a theologian - even if he is a total nutjob who claims to have seen the light - when he has a golden pipeline to the two strongest forces in the judeo-christian universe. Fighting shoulder to shoulder against abortion and gay marriage with the leader of the free world can make even the modest among the flock become dizzy with self-importance.

"Compared to the things I've done for the [preznut]," Racist Radical Cleric Fallwell says, "both Chuck Colson and Frank Sturgis were daffy hedonists."

Pat Robertson had noticed this as well, and started his own campaign to gain favor. He was, of course, Moby Dick in a deep blue of TV evangelist sea monkeys - with a mailing list surpassing that of his closet rival and his own network that could be carried into more than 40 million homes on any given day.

Righteous Pat sat back and studied the landscape for a while, but he was a man given to temptation. Having already used the power of prayer to steer hurricanes away from his Christian Broadcasting Network headquarters in Virginia Beach, it wasn't long before the Lord starting speaking to him again in a haunting voice ... about politics. The words spooked him at first, he acknowledged. But the Big Guy is seldom off-base in these matters, so he formed a tax-exempt board of advisors to test the turbulent waters of the 1988 Republican Party nomination for President. He didn't do much beyond the primaries - receiving more than a few snickers from the campaign professionals at the time - but Robertson was not fazed, not in the slightest bit, because he understands the long game in a way that Dubya never will. The junkyard dog within Robertson fully understands that bright-light politics is nothing more than a new way to push along the collection plate. He might not ever be preznut, but he thinks God appointed him to the position and he's not about to go away - not as long as little white crosses are allowed on private buildings.

Besides that, he is a bonafide faith healer - or so he says - a real fire and brimstone prophet from God. Robertson has said these kinds of things, more than once, and he truly seems to believe in his own mysterious powers. The Christian Broadcasting Network is never in short supply of reformed pimps, hookers who've heard the voice of the Lord, wayward preachers, criminally insane cops, flesh merchants and white slave traders - all of whom need salvation. And Righteous Pat - with his Regis Philbin good looks and sounding like an uncle who dabbles in sheepish pedophilia from time to time - can never back away from the freak show when the ratings game is at hand. He is Jerry Springer with a sermon. Men with body lice and open sores on their arms shaking their canes at the cross are always welcome, because the feeling of helpless ignorance being swayed to the message is what keeps the cash cow fed.

His net worth is between $200 million and $1 billion USD according to the 2002 book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast. Through his ostensibly charitable organization, Operation Blessing International, Robertson claims to have spent $1.2 million bringing aid to refugees in Rwanda. His critics, such as Palast, claim the money was actually spent to bring heavy equipment for Robertson's African Development Corporation, a diamond mining operation.

Robertson's support of former Liberian president Charles Taylor had something to do with precious materials as well. In many episodes of his 700 Club program during US involvement in the Liberian Civil War in June and July of 2003, Robertson repeatedly issued statements of support for Liberian President Charles Taylor. Robertson accuses the U.S. State Department of giving President Bush bad advice in supporting Taylor's ouster as president, and of trying "as hard as they can to destabilize Liberia." He failed to mention in his broadcasts about an $8 million investment in a Liberian gold mine. Taylor had been at the time indicted by the United Nations for war crimes. According to Robertson, Freedom Gold, the Liberian gold mine, was intended to help pay for humanitarian and evangelical efforts in Liberia. Regarding this controversy, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy said, "I would say that Pat Robertson is way out on his own, in a leaking life raft, on this one."

But back to the late 1980s for a moment: Pat Robertson sued Congressman Pete McCloskey (R-CA) and Representative Andy Jacobs (D-IN) for libel. McCloskey, who served with Robertson in Korea, made claims that Robertson was spared combat duty when his powerful father intervened on his behalf. Jacobs repeated these statements publicly. During pre-trial depositions, another veteran who had served with Robertson, Paul Brosman, Jr., spoke of rumors during the war that Robertson had been carousing with prostitutes and hassling Korean women. Brosman stated that Robertson himself talked about his exploits with prostitutes. In the end, Robertson dropped his lawsuit because of scheduling conflicts between court dates and his 1988 presidential campaign, and he was ordered to pay part of McCloskey's court costs.

There is an old wives' tale among pig farmers that says there are only two methods of dealing with a rabid animal - either tie it down to a stake and cut off its head, or drag it behind the barn and put a shotgun blast to its head. Robertston's approach at the flank has not been lost on the White House either, where the only response to his growing influence has been "no comment." Andy Card said nothing as well, and even Eddie Haskell look-alike, Dan Bartlett, has been a deaf mute on the topic. The sheer mention of Robertson's name in the West Wing makes Rethugs yearn for the good old days - when a problem like this could be solved with a quick page to G. Gordon Liddy or E. Howard Hunt, and never more was the issue mentioned.

Come back, we'll rummage.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Kill Them Before They Feast

There is nothing to be joyful about in Greater Los Angeles tonight - certainly not in the twisted bowels of this fire-breathing chasm of political abomination known as Hacienda de los Locos - because, 3000 miles east in the cultured depravity known as the White House, my old Yale cheerleader sidekick, Dubya, is gnashing his teeth with the knowledge that he screwed up ... The hyenas are circling the Oval Office looking for flesh - like he always feared would happen once the dust settled on this latest hijacked election, as a result - and this pains me to no end, to know that I cannot be within him in the same greasy foxhole today, thrashing those filthy congressional rejects like Audie Murphy machine-gunning krauts back into the woods of the French countryside.

Human being
If you bleed
they will say it was destined
They'll be punchin' tickets
For the minute if you fall out of line

A killer remix just popped up from the steel curtain known as the Apple G5 ... then suddenly, CSPAN (Can Somebody Please Audit these Numskulls?) interrupts with another replay of the immediate fallout from the derailed $338 billion omnibus bill: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is stammering like a minister caught with a transvestite street walker in Las Vegas past midnight, demanding that "accountability will be carried out" against whoever slipped a provision into an omnibus spending bill that would have allowed two committee chairmen to view the tax returns of any American ... and John "Batshit as the Day is Long" McCain, the preznut's favorite campaign landmark, is flapping elbows from within the straight-jacket holding his labile mood together, "If there is ever a graphic example of the broken system that we now have, that certainly has to be it. How many other provisions didn't we find in that 1,000-page bill?" ... while Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York called for a "full and complete" investigation into how the language got into the bill, followed by "appropriate punishment" for those responsible ... and the Chimperor is relaxing, as it were, in his mock-up of a real dude ranch enclave in Crawford, Texas, girdled by a macabre assortment of trained government assassins and his normal Secret Service detail ... Most assuredly, you can hear the clinking of ice and Wild Turkey in jelly jars as the team of presidential spokespersons - Ari Fleischer's cursed replacements - manufacture another hastily authored press release absolving the White House staff of everything from inciting the basketbrawl incident in Detroit to Oprah giving away a fleet of Pontiacs to a herd of pre-euphoric pinheads ... and the White House media assemblage is fuming with guilt-raked journalists, ready to attack any new statement like a horde of starving Komono Dragons, to come clean on all the dirt they uncovered but never reported during the campaign when Dubya was riding the crest of his deception wave ...

Why, oh why, does Bobo use bumbling assistants to do his bidding, instead of the cool world of the internets? Why does he let them serve apple martinis instead of Jim Beam, neat? Why does he prefer boxer shorts with the Seal of the President of the United States stitched into the waistline? How can he let them turn his existence into a glum reminder of everything plastic, asexual and unforgiving? Whenever I ponder the the essence of Dubya's White House I get a heavy sniff of outright human withdrawal. The preznut and me appear to approach things from opposite directions on everything - except the NFL, and his fondness for the sport has recently delivered to me a great deal of fresh introspection and the angry conclusion that professional football isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Just about anything that Dubya finds enjoyable has to be suspect. Even barbecue and organized religion.

Now's the time for stepping out of place
Get up on your feet and give account of your faith
Pray to God or something or whatever you do
What I see can make me stop and stare
But who am I to judge the color of your hair
Surely all you're feeling much the same as I do

The final grim revelation from this last election cycle will most likely come back and haunt us: The candidates were clearly defined, and all the major players except Dubya were grilled mercilessly, by so-called experts who demanded to know where each stood on issues like Affirmative Action, Deficit Control, Economic Policy, Healthcare, National Security and Defense, and where they landed on the morality scale with regards to locust-infested wedge matters like Abortion and Gay Marriage. Almost everyone with a brain and a pulse, likely to vote in the November march of fools, understood that Dubya and John Kerry were two extremely different people: not just in the context of their party affiliations, but within their personalities, temperament, intelligence, and even how they spent their free time.

It was not what Chimpy McFlightsuit had in mind when he said, during the bus tour that followed his raunchy coronation in New York, that through the campaign, "people will always know where I stand" - but on a level the preznut will never fully comprehend he was certainly being more honest than even he cared to admit ... because it is Dubya himself who symbolizes that joyless, crooked and hopelessly violent side of the American spirit that every other country on the planet has come to dread and view with horror. Our bastardized Roy Rogers preznut, with his vacant Dale Evans wife and his pair of Barbie Doll nitwit children who are one turn of bad luck from working the soda stand at WalMart, has become America's tale of the Joker grinding Gotham City into dust. He represents the savage villain in all of us: the bombastic bully, the devious defrauder who evolves into something unimaginable, a row of fangs and razor-sharp claws tearing at the belly, on those long nights when the moon gets a little too full.

Just after 2:00 AM in D.C., a rabid green-eyed abomination with the legs of an elephant and the head of a Texan leaps from a window near the Rose Garden and races past the South lawn, pausing briefly to feast on the carotid artery of a Secret Service agent, then charges off into the shadows ... towards the U.S. Treasury, sneering with genuine lust, tearing along the darkened alleyways behind 15th Street, trying to remember if Paul O'Neil kept an apartment close by and settling on a couple more Capitol policemen for an afterhours snack.

Bad dream, there, for a second. But I was scared there. The preznut of the red states would never act this way. At least not until his Inauguration Day was complete. Apocalyptic is not exactly the right word to describe what happens once the November vote is certified and the Electoral votes are finally cast, when one of the most despised politicians in the vast wasteland of American History suddenly jets to Will Rogers status, while his erstwhile underlings and party associates are being caught daily in neo-nazi schemes that would have made Albert Speer blush with embarrassment.

When does this next honeymoon feast finally end, and how long will it be before "deranged extremists" in France and maybe Russia begin referring to us as A Country of Dogs and Fiends? How would the preznut's press people react? Try a couple of no comments followed by a smear campaign on the cable TV talking heads shows. And exactly how would the Chimperor's popularity polls sway if Dubya just went in front of a national television audience and admitted that it was all true?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

It Was You, Howard

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-H.L. Mencken

Terry McAulliffe is gone now, and all his soporific visions have evaporated with him. He escaped town in the days before Thanksgiving, on the same flight with William Hung and the lady with the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich - at least that's what the itinerary said at the bus stop. There was another hot suggestion that had him hitting the road in the witching hour with two Asian personal assistants and a case of Louis Roederer 1997 Cristal Brut in a customized Hummer that he had borrowed from Ahmed Chalabi, one of the filthiest men in the world.

Nobody really knows the truth. He either hopped a flight to Scottsdale or drove off to Miami or checked in into a private spa in the lushness of La Jolla until the holiday season blows over. The people in the San Diego area are very relaxed and don't like to pry into private matters, and people of Terry's ilk are among their favorite kind - cash and carry, and no frantic attempts to validate the credit limit. He can do no wrong in their eyes and will be worshipped like a God-like AC Milan football star, where high-rate tequilla, fresh-squeezed orange juice and honeyglow sunsets are medicine for the soul.

But there is a perverted sense of emptiness now - not like it was a month ago - when Terry's activities were stalked by the national media like the feeding patterns of a great white shark off the coast of Nantucket. In the days following the election, his media coverage became a shrill whisper and no reporters even turned on the tape recorder when discussing the outcome with him. He "no longer speaks for the party," as they say in organized politics, and the big boys were left scrambling in agony for a new target, now that he and Tom Daschle were gone.

Howard Dean is the odds-on favorite for that throne now, the guy with the heart and soul of a front-runner in a line up of candidates that are not as impressive as they are unrecognizable. Most are policy wonks or rank amateurs - Northeast senators and DLC hardliners with a heaping measure of new-age, nitwit Southerner real-politik which could "give the party more reach," as they often remarked in the Party Operative Castle, way back in the good old days, when the men were overtly manly and the women fetched coffee and kept their shoulders relaxed, between answering calls from unions, committee soldiers and the pressroom.

That castle is a pile of rubble today, a monument to scandal and wickedness. The dark areas behind the bar and massage rooms were so darkly vile that even Bebe Rebozo and Fawn Hall could operate without being detected. G. Gordon Liddy kept a small office, Lee Atwater rented some war room space in the basement, Mayor Daley ran a card game or two in the vestibule, and many of the other rooms were leased out to campaign cash cows like Far East import-export, Venezuelan Petroleum Holdings and the Disparate Sanitation Brotherhood of Teamsters with a fat retirement fund that needed skimming.

It was a degenerate's paradise, a sordid and treacherous safehouse for the well-insulated - campaign thugs and creepy shylocks and heinous narks carrying no identification and plenty of chicks. Management looked the other way, the house staff was depraved, and the bed covers in the dank guest rooms were caked and blistered with cigarette burns and nocturnal emissions.

The hardcore have mostly disappeared by now - some off to the march of time, others to Leavenworth or careers on cable TV. Only the strongest low-rent spirits linger: Donald Segretti, John Mitchell, Spiro Agnew, Lester Maddox and the deceased Scores girls sipping mightily from the absinthe bottle. They haunt the stairwells and ripe hallways cluttered with trash and memories of a demonic time in politics, moaning for finger food appetizers and single-malt scotch, and one last sniff of human essence addicted to sex and greed.

McAuliffe is now stuck in suspended animation, and Dean is moving his operation back to the grass roots again, where he discusses issues with the media carpetbaggers on Sundays and speaks to the easily motivated on college campuses for the rest of the week. He was out there again, in fact, amusing a large crowd of journalism students at Northwestern University, pushing the accelerator in his race for DNC chairperson, "The truth is the president of the United States used the same device that Slobodan Milosevic used in Serbia. When you appeal to homophobia, when you appeal to sexism, when you appeal to racism, that is extraordinarily damaging to the country," Dean charged. "I know George Bush. I served with him for six years [as a fellow governor]. He's not a homophobe. He's not a racist. He's not a sexist. In some ways, what he did was worse … because he knew better."

Dean is the uncertified party leader as of this moment - 4 points ahead of John Kerry or John Edwards, 10 points beyond Frau Mistress Hillary and 20 points over anyone else but Scott Peterson, who is faced with mandatory confinement for the foreseeable future, providing he doesn't hang himself first. There are those - political insiders like Donna Brazille and Simon Rosenberg among them - who have visions of going centrist with the message along with Southern governors as candidates, or changing the constitution so that the spirit of "Bubba" could rise again and keep hope alive.

But neither strategy would work. The paradigm for the 1990s Democrat is deader than Ronald Reagan. There aren't enough union votes or yuppie constituencies to raise the level of money needed to appeal to the average people who despise them and exist like drunken hoboes and chimpanzees, on the red side of the tracks. These are unstable and tight-fisted people who go to church because there's nothing good on TV, prone to panic like weasels, and stripped of real values or serious political views.

Howard Dean can crank out more raw energy and loyalty and action out of 20 people in a simple town hall in Manchester than Al Gore could ever dream of inspiring in a week of huge pep rallies in Las Vegas, Miami or New York. In the end, that is what politics are about - and it will be you, Howard.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Killing Pigs and Selling Slime: Extreme Behavior in DC

"This shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children ... for all their sins once a year."—Leviticus 16:34

The Republicans were leading everyone on their Bataan Death March through reality this week. Dubya paid a visit to Chile for a fist fight, Bill Frist made sure he got enough camera time to keep his delusions afire, and Dick Cheney retreated into his bunker long enough to realize that he needed to chase down a few more CIA sex slaves between the normal rape and pillaging briefings on the Iraqi front ... and there was also the leader of the Rat Pack degenerates in the Administration, Donald "Redrum" Rumsfeld.

The Grand Old Party had been giving the saner among us such a vision of Apocalyptic Culture - whipped up every day and night from the transgressions of batshit neo-Nazi's high on greed and night terrors from evangelical creeps like Bob Jones - that America was starting to seem more like a tazmanian devil nest somewhere in the Artic Circle. The Senate was burning the midnight oil on the spending bill, the Joint Chiefs were on the take, the Preachers were getting stir crazy for any signs of social oppression, and even Dubya himself was resisting the urge to invade Honduras and Costa Rica because of el shrub junta chants in Santiago.

Dubya waved it off as silliness, ultimately, but the insiders knew differently. Party infighting was becoming outrageous, the Russians were lining up with the French and Germans, the dollar was retreating even further against global currencies, and perhaps the worst news inside the Beltway, the intelligence bill was getting stalled, Democratic operatives could be seen roaming the halls of power at night all giddy again, while the embattled Secretary of Defense was denying reports Tuesday that he privately campaigned against a proposed intelligence overhaul.

Even though Dubya was tagged with the week's failures - and how much "politcal capital" he would have to expend to keep party factions from rearranging the deck chairs on his demonic cruise liner - Rumsfeld was walking around like a gutter deviant with hypodermic needles dangling from his forearms while ignoring the blood oozing from his track marks.

"Looky here, Redrum - what in tarnation is that red puddle around your shoes? Would that be arterial spray?"

"This stuff? Are you a serious clusterfuck? That would be genuine Iraqi crude, my fine feathered friend. Deep red soothing syrup, for the hack wounds on my shins."

Literally. Before this treacherous amputee tap dance is finished with House and Senate leaders, Redrum will know agonies worse than advanced leprosy, or hoof-in-mouth disease, or scarlet fever, or even a brush with bubonic plague. Rumors of his demise are already flowing amongst the congressional oversight factions and there is talk of abducting him to one of the CIA's secret detention centers in Uzbekistan, where exiled Iraqi physicians can strap him into the Saddam chair, so that tangible effects of electricity on the human nervous system can be further studied.

“It’ll be tougher now because the well got even more poisoned by the senators and their supporters thoroughly criticizing Duncan Hunter (R-Calif) and myself by name on the talking head shows yesterday,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Minn), of Wisconsin, told The Associated Press on Monday. "What we would be doing would be passing something that looked good on a bumper sticker. And the devil is in the details."

God Bless Redrum. He stands right next to the preznut, right or dumb as doornails - until Air Force One leaves American airspace and starts cannibalizing legislation like three iquanas on a feeding frenzy - against the very wishes of his frat-boy master, because it's clear that the Department of Defense has got even more skin in this game. Military officials have long held that losing intelligence agencies to civilian control would threaten the flow of information to soldiers in the field. Redrum has been a loose cannon for a long time now, the only member of the Reich Ministry to speak freely amongst the press corps with his own interpretations of events in Iraq. It's probably a good thing he saved some lampshade and pool table action photos from those mid-summer Crawford cocktail parties or Redrum would be next in line for the slush puppy, an imprecise CIA lobotomy technique performed with topical anesthetic followed by a fishing expedition with ice picks under the eyelids.

The worm has indeed turned on Redrum. All of the sudden he was getting "your call cannot be completed as dialed" every time he tried to ring the Special Forces airstrip at Edwards and order himself a flight to Baghdad or Rammstein, or for a weekend trip anywhere. Before long, he will be given a post to study the military application of UFO's in Kosovo or oversee the implementation of intelligence facilities in Damascus.

For now, Redrum has been isolated and trapped like the Prisoner of Zenda for having impersonated a capable and even-handed Secretary of Defense in time of war. Even his security detail is giving him the evil eye. If Redrum even dreams of getting out of town for Thansgiving he is going to need a multi-colored clown wig and a Gitmo orange jumpsuit.

The bell has finally rung for the hideous maggots feasting on American boys in the Pentagon. The final Day of Atonement cannot be far behind.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Village of the Damned

dubya denial
The decision matrix on vaporizing the insane - even if it was collateral damage - was only one of the explosive questions unearthed by our excursion in Iraq. The pace has been breakneck and the reports from the frontless war were getting grim. Headlines were governed by accounts of madness, rupture and betrayal ... most weeks are pretty slow in the news business. Treacherous things happen to a few people, but overall the workbench is rather bare. Imelda Marcos went into exile with a shipload of shoes, and Geraldo Rivera once made a fool out of himself by pitching a live transmission of Al Capone's vault being opened only to find cobwebs and a low-technology pack of dust that not even Steven Spielberg would have used on the Indiana Jones sound stage.

But these kinds of futility are not the norm. Not even Saddam Hussein is enjoying this simpleton's rant. The howling of Peter Jennings and the simpering garble of Tom Brokaw are not a symphony to the soul of some whiz kid from Columbia or Syracuse who has just spent the best four years of his life studying theoretical journalism, and working the grind for 15 more years in local affiliates covering swine mating season in Des Moines, or the crystal meth craze in the Southlands.

Many thousands of them will get cannibalized by the beast, but there will be a few that will lose their grip on reality and fall into serious trouble. Some will be broken in spirit, and others will be the object of massive grand juries.

Ask Dan Rather - that's the way it goes in American Journalism, Inc.

Some things are understandable - like a sudden rise in mad cow disease in the Western Hemisphere, or a jacked up crack addict fashioning wings out of garbage can lids and jumping off the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in an attempt at human flight - but getting caught with bad evidence in the face of a mean and venomous presidential campaign is the wrong way to ensure tenure.

I was reflecting on this while I drove back in the afternoon haze from San Bernadino. It was good to get home - but when I got there, the television was already playing the bullish eulogy for old Dan, which seemed more like an angry vendetta than it did the other shoe dropping. But truth be told: without the benefits of timing and generally good karma, a smart kid with solid features and great teeth can make more money as a gigolo in Fresno than an average weather reporter in Sacramento, or even one of Rather's news editors.

Old Dan seemed filled with disgust, but it was clear he had no other choice. Not even ruthlessness could save him now, just like it was in the last days of Ferdinand Marcos and Baby Doc Duvalier.

While some, like Pat Buchanan and Chris Matthews, have selected a much more devious path and kept their noses clean - the Smart Money, as it's called in the company of thieves and degenerate gamblers - and bankrolled political insider status to whatever team is in control, for the time being. Crazy Pat and Tweety were part of the power and brimstone cabal in their past, and they now host talking head shows on MSNBC.

Their bloodlines seem to go unchallenged in the trade. Smarter journalistic minds wept openly the day that Crazy Pat landed in the Scarborough slot, while others called it a mockery, like a scene from the Holocaust was dropped into the Dumb and Dumber script.

But tonight there is joy amongst the right wing forces of doom. Screams of anything, just anything to preserve journalistic integrity. Seems we lost it long before Dan Rather ever heard of the Killian documents.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sanity Can't Live at This Altitude

The latest sign of madness just scrolled under the talking heads on MSNBC, followed by a story about the Indiana Pacers and Detriot Pistons gangbanging with some NBA fans, indefinate suspensions and more hard-earned fine money for David Stern's favorite epicurean charity - Club Med with the Laker girls. Then came the news of an unemployeed Ohio automotive worker who was subdued earlier in the day for dropping more than a dozen bowling balls onto Interstate 71 from an overpass because, he explained to state troopers at the scene, "he was killing liberals before they could hatch."

We are living in a repulsive age, and it's likely to become a great deal dicier before we strike bottom. This could happen even sooner than even Hillary Clinton imagines. Because this is, after all, the season of the witch, and close to everyone I speak with seems to believe that we are headed for pockets of extreme bizarreness and abject insanity, of one sort or another. And some already believe we are in the midst of its death grip. Which may be true. Even the hyena cackle of jackass punditry is suggesting that evidence is pointing to strange times indeed ... but way out here in the pseudo-desert that is LA, which is an exact polar opposite of the real and present desert of Iraq, the political meteorology indicates a pressure map that is rising so fast on all fronts that nothing else matters. And now comes this sinful news out of Baghdad that insurgents are fighting it out with U.S. forces in the Iraqi capital while Condi Rice takes the reins over the State Department.

Given her track record for stonewalling, she will pollute the national atmosphere for the next three years and drive us all to haldol injections with her septic ramblings.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph - no wonder that aimless simpleton out there in Columbus went batshit and determined that bowling balls held the mystery of birth for liberals that had to be chucked, in a hurry, into oncoming traffic. He must have been a despondent political activist of some kind trying to send a message to his demented network in Washington DC.

About two days ago, on a local radio station, there were warnings about "a new plague of cat mutilations in Anaheim." The announcer sounded moved and horrified at the mention. "Two more alley cats have been isolated and they are barely holding on to life," she said, "while investigators and crime scene analysts indicate that both felines were victims of the same ferocious madman - a swarthy and hirsuite middle-aged Mexican known as 'Fuego del Gato' - who has tormented cat owners in Orange County for close to six months."

The newscast ended on a bitter note, urging listeners to quit chasing strands of yarn involuntarily until the case could be solved by authorities. "And if anyone in the audience owns a cat," the voice trailed on, "either keep them clear of Orange County or have them euthanasized for their own well-being."

But the madness has not been confined just to Baghdad and Orange Country, you see. And I am not sure that many of you can handle this kind of horror or wanton violence from your computer screens - especially with heads filled with anger, regret and depression from the last electoral sojourn, which for the rational and sane among us - and with great homage to Don McLean - was truly the day when the music died. From here on out there won't be much debate as the Which Side Are You On? polarization exercise continues; this is a technical matter now, run by and for politicians who are hiding their cards at the bottom of the deck ... which doesn't really change the business of government a whole hell of a lot, except that this time the druids are coming in waves and it's going to be so painfully obvious it will be a ballpine hammer on pulverized shins.

So, the point: my appreciation for religious right politics has never been warm, and it's getting worse by the day. Having been in the company of earnest degenerates, my impression thus far is that it has been dominated by thieves, bigots, after hours whoring, warmongers and demeneted yokels with a built in reason for rolling in decomposing sludge. There is the grand inquisitor Pat Robertson who once said that Clinton got elected because "God wanted to bring America to its knees", Jimmy Swaggart and his backstreet ministry of fiendish derelicts, the crazed and diffused Reverend Gene Scott with a satellite dish filled with moronic ramblings, and Jan and Paul Crouch ... whose addiction to shameless opulence make Jim and Tammy Faye look downright charitable.

Toward the end of the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s, the spiritual backbone of this hideous fraternity fell to a white trash dingbat named Jerry Fallwell - who is still with us, in almost every crude form imaginable - and when the curtain finally drops on his Moral Majority, he will certainly go down as the biggest cannibal of them all. Fallwell was the first Baptist minister to recognize that there are just as many angry, dumb bigots beyond the comforts of the Old South as there are within it, and when he made the shrewd decision to "get political" in 1979, he built a Virginia-based commercial enterprise that has since enriched himself and a handpicked collection of cronies. For more than twenty years, Jerry Fallwell has defrauded the national press and terrorized the senior muggers in every presidential campaign.

There is no reason to consider that even the best and brightest of Baptist ministers, as it were, could repeatedly or even more than once ratchet themselves up to the level of absolute fanatical vehemence, engagement and total self-absorption it takes to live in the rushing whirlpool of a national campaign from start to finish. There is not enough baggage room on that satanic flight for anyone who wants to lay back and act human for a while. It is a rendezvous between cutthroat zealotry and adrenaline junkies ... and this was especially true of the last campaign war just waged and now settled. But this time, in the 228th year since The American Promise began, we will see organizations and institutions burnt to the ground, every waking day - on the talking heads shows and in the headlines - because of this rat's nest in which we find ourselves.

"And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
- Jerry Fallwell, broadcast on The 700 Club, September 13, 2001

Still smarting over a final Florida margin of less than one percent and a Supreme Court dipped in rank stupidity, which was enough to put Al Gore back out there on Mean Street, where he's been trapped ever since ... and we still coming to grips with the tragic attack on the World Trade Center, when all of the sudden the viewing public was smacked right over the head with the wild-eyed, yacking hippodrome known as Jerry Fallwell. His hair was bright mongrel, his forehead was caked with make-up, and his pie-hole was moving so fast that the words could not be contained by his rattling jowls as they peaked in a sonic range that alarmed the neighborhood dogs ... "O praise Jesus, my Lord ... isn't this just brilliantly tragic? ... Why yes it is ... O come all ye faithful ... Well, it just goes to show ... "

It can't be! We can't take this vile retard again! Not right now! Here was this savage, this mortifying jacked-up deviant - laughing and delirious and fluttering his arms in the camera like he'd just been elected emperor of the damned. He looked like a pack of vultures ripping at a carcass. I jumped to my feet and backed away from the TV, but perspective didn't change a thing. It was the Real Enchilada before my eyes, and it startled everyone in the room. Even a casual observer would know it, in their soul, when harsh reality presents itself: that more people out there in Lazy-Boy World would believe Jerry Fallwell's interpretation of a heinous event before they would believe their preznut's explanation, which made the bonehead Reverend more important than the mental defective occupying the White House, and somehow Fallwell had emerged from the chaos of 9/11 with yet another return from the dead, and another serious shot of directing the cultural agenda.

Who could have foreseen that a loosely organized plot to ram jetliners into the World Trade Center would have a direct corrolation to The Commonwealth of Virginia's Anti-Sodomy Statute ... while the corporate media butchers in the backrooms of New York, Washington and Los Angeles were arguing about what it all meant. Everyone settled on gloom, pessimism, and a sort of aggressive neutrality.

The dreary task of living through this low-rent trip will fall to the rest of us. It will be a dehumanizing nightmare to be sure; and these rattling cretins will find joy and happiness in our downward spiral. Sooner or later the networks will have spiritual reporters to advise us from Down Under in Lynchburg like Jules Bergman did with the space program. Considering that such an affluent nation can't feed all its children or even conquer potholes, I for one am not holding my breath waiting for Jerry's moment of supreme enlightenment.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Conservative Manifesto

who let the crooks out
The freaks are swirling high in the Big House this week. Dubya - at relentless maneuverings of unspecified party constituencies - has performed the extreme and ritualistic act of nacht der langen, his demented Night of the Long Knives, which should impose a more ideologically pure cabinet and an intelligence community hellbent on defining an atavistic second term of overseas aggression and domestic tyranny.

There are few details available as of yet, but that is no longer the point of a November putsch that has filleted or hacked several government institutions already. As far as impartial observers can tell, it's been the cultural equivalent of putting a Hooters in the Guggenheim.

Neither the media nor the opposition party is sure whether the compassionate conservatives or hardline neo-cons are going to row this boat for the forseeable future. But some have detected a rising tide of sludge wafting from the rose garden, which may be a harbinger of some truly bad news indeed. The Senate upper chamber has the look and feel of a sadistic coterie - armed with pitchforks, torches and chainsaws to feed the basement blast furnace with non-believers by the chunk - where they are mainlining that good old time religion and will soon turn their pious gaze toward the pagans and heathens among us.

The freakish nightmares of our discontent are gathering, my friends, and get out while you still can. The right-wing sump pumps have lost their grip. They vaulted the shark and went psycho on mountain man moonshine or Afghan opium. Run now, before your papers need checking or your relatives suddenly disappear.

It will be a terminally ugly scene and it will be shown on cable TV. The heretics will be marched along the rotunda before being eunuchized by pudgy cardinals and preachers with garden shears for love offerings of a first born son to the military mob. The broadcast will be hosted by Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter - along with Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage for in-depth profiles on the accused - because an exercise such as this requires the intellectual vanity of Klaus Barbie on ritalin. You gotta stay focused when a shock to the system is needed for the good of the State, and a cathartic event like this will blow off the ratings of American Idol and Last Comic Standing combined.

For guys like Klaus Barbie, a mere association with extreme political parties is never enough; they want to pick a fight with someone - anyone - and like the National Socialist Party before them, developing a special hatred in any form is an elixir for brutal efficiency. As an SD (Sicherheitsdienst) undercover agent, Barbie infiltrated whorehouses and homosexual nightclubs, an experience that left him a rabid misogynist and homophobe even forty years later. "Of course I am proud of what I did during the war," he remarked in Bolivian exile. "If it hadn't been for me, France would be a Soviet Socialist Republic by now."

Being a dedicated sadist, he would often pluck random civilians off the street and whisk them away to Hotel Terminus, his headquarters, and torture these hapless people until one of them revealed something of interest or he got bored. Barbie was awarded his first Iron Cross for bludgeoning to death an "enemy of the Reich" (actually a German-Jewish ice cream peddler) in full public view because the man refused salute him properly.

The high court's treatment of such proceedings should be priceless. By the time that the 5 to 4 vote in-favor comes down, the hypocrite murmur of wingnut banshees will have released the free thought death squads upon our nation's finer institutions of higher learning - these measures will, of course, be different in different states; nevertheless, in many of the more liberal areas, the following will be generally applicable.

1. Abolition of natural resources in all forms through the leasing of national parks for corporate purposes.
2. Tax free status to corporations and no more tax-deductions for the masses.
3. Abolition of capital gains taxes.
4. Confiscation of the property of all rebels and heathens, thereby recognizing that Jesus is the only way to power.
5. Centralization of credit by means of a national corporate banking system with no state capital and an exclusive monopoly to the federal government. 
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of privatized military corporations. 
7. Equal mandates for everyone to work. Establishment of extended military forces and penal colonies for the purpose of forced labor.  
8. Mergers of corporate agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all distinctions between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country. 
9. Free education for all children in public schools as long as the parent pays taxes. In lieu of this provision, the government will institute children's labor as an alternative, combining education with industrial production, etc. 
10. Labor unions and guilds will be abolished for the advancement of democracy in all areas of the country, in accordance with a common plan.

In short, Christians and Conservatives everywhere will support this revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.  Messy examples will be made of a few, for sure, and some pesky erudites will test the limits of moral contempt and religious tolerance. But there is no boil on the American flesh that cannot be lanced. There is strength in numbers and the creeps are long in the patience department, dedicating themselves to a personal hubris the likes of which we have never seen.

It hasn't been since the years when South American dictators used soccer stadiums as human butchery clinics that we have witnessed an assault on liberalism this energized. Screams of jeffe and beloved junta will echo from the belly of the six humped beast until its leaders have been reduced to eternal ambiguity. The manifesto openly declares that their end can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of everything weak, disturbed and enlightened. All believers in the cause have nothing to lose but their chains.

Nobody in the Big House seems to know exactly what happens next, except that Arlen Specter was beaten down like hooker on crack for daring to intervene. At a press conference soon thereafter, the hideous, stinking, half-terrorized, mind shattered animal had to pass between two new Senators-elect who were pecking at his heels as a reminder, paying little or no attention to this thing that they didn't even recognize as Candy Crowley of CNN.

The next time Arlen jumps the fence for a sneak peak, he will be covered in festering hatchet wounds and two armed Secret Service agents will be prepared to take him into the food chain for good. But rats never die.

The rest of us are going to learn that lesson the hard way.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Crank Time in Fallujah: The Death of Fun

There wasn't a moment of laughter today, just the sounds of doom and violence and failure - a steady drip of death alarms over the wire: from the television news, on the talk radio shows, in email alerts, in the sky, but mostly from an aura of unreeling funk in the air. The world has been consumed by the death of fun, unraveling at its feet, shrinking, deflating, draining away in the shadows of night like gripping a fist of liquid metal. Open your hand and the substance races between your fingers in an instant, leaving a cold and poisonous sheen on the skin.

On the very day that Lt. General John Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Fallujah, boldly predicted that the U.S. offensive in Fallujah has “broken the back of the insurgency” in Iraq, disobedient members of the opposition were not watching CNN and began attacking the governor's office in Mosul amid increasing bloodshed in the northern countryside.

Speaking as if he were addressing the Iraqis directly and sounding more and more like the 1972 edition of Westmoreland in Saigon, the general was quick to add, “Now you are scattered. … You’ve been flushed from your hide-out. You have no friends in the area you move into. You must make new contacts.”

“Each and every time we can force these individuals to go to new locations, expand their circle of friends — if you want to call it that — to include some that they don’t know and they don’t trust, they’ll bring in rookies, more junior people that will, in fact, make mistakes. And that’s why I mentioned that this has disrupted them, I believe — my personal belief — across the country. This is going to make it very hard for them to operate. And I’m hoping that we’ll continue to breathe down their neck,” Sattler said.

Sattler also indicated that 51 U.S. troops had been killed during the offensive with another 425 wounded. He said eight Iraqi government troops had been killed along with 43 more wounded. He said about 1,200 insurgents were killed, and that U.S. forces hold about 1,025 prisoners.

Nobody needs this, of course - but apparently some delirious schizoids want this dismemberment parade to continue, and from the very beginning in 2001, there were a few of us who had vibes that September 11th was the end of American life as we knew it. No common urge for reason or basic nature could have persuaded the war puppets that their huge, desperate and loosely crafted ship of fools already barking for blood would not be welcomed with anything but glee, ecstacy and gratitude by Hell's despotic family. The World Trade Center was but an appetizer and Fallujah has become Charlie Manson's tossed salad, while the Administration trots out a never-ending supply of Barbie-doll Squeaky Fromme's to tangle the scent with implants and bleached teeth.

* * *

The satellite keeps beaming the pig-like screaches every twenty or thirty minutes, bracketed by bursts of automatic gunfire on MSNBC - with embedded reporters surrounded at all times by hundreds of paranoid reservist troops with a license to kill at anytime, or anybody, for any reason because the operation has been sanctioned by supreme practitioners of Faith. Those are the truly violent ones, and always the most dangerous because they absolve the gore-stained fanatics of guilt.

But that's not what's in the cards for me, dog. It's why I live near the ocean in a blue state with a flag on my porch and thick, crystal techno samples grinding it out on my glassy Harman-Kardons. Guess some of us are born under a good sign, and it's commerical-free entertainment. Some would say it's God's pervasive plan - at least those would be the words that Dubya would use - and that is also why I am addicted to proving this theory wrong. Sooner or later, the bastard children of the religious right and the terminally braindead wing of the ultra-conservative movement will crash into the rocks. It might take another attack from Osama Bin Laden or a spin-off from the original series, but it will happen. Who really ever knows how these things will play out in advance? Still, one thing is for certain: it is a terribly piss-poor idea to commit wide-scale combat operations without having a tremendously colorful bogeyman to chase around the planet.

Sooner or later the merciless combatants are lined up at the gates of The Hague or Nuremberg and executed for borderline stupidity - just ask the Serbian Office of Ethnic Cleansing.

At times like these, when the blitzkrieg drums start thundering to a Wagner-like crescendo and the trumpets howl for revenge, I often wonder how Caligula would have handled this mess. Sparkling crazy Caligula. He was a sleaze magnet for treachery at every turn, and his savage appetites were pure - or that's what is said about him and what history tells us, but it is also worth pointing out that he did not even make the top ten in favorite Roman emperors.

And neither would Dubya, according to most historians, and I should take them at their word. But this miserable little mutation will keep us at war for "a very long time" because he wants every gas pump filled and every sympathizer sent to the backwoods of regret.

Military officials and scholars will explain that five years is actually a short time in the span of most armed conflicts - which is not to be debated - but history also illustrates many of examples of how ten years of martial law and a wartime economy will feel like a lifetime to people under the age of thirty. These unlucky bastards were born in precisely the wrong time and will never know the concept of unlimited education, boundless opportunity and a true sense of freedom that comes with the irresponsibility of youth. Generation Z got the hot side of the tailpipe to suck and they are doomed to be the first American generation to arrive at the wholesale cost of "don't worry, be happy" and get handed a price tag marked up by their parents.

That is an extremely sordid tale for another time, and it will take twenty years for the disease to seep in. The last years of the 20th Century will seem like an endless orgy of happiness and looting compared to what's coming next. The game is up, people, and the scum ponds are rising. The time has come for loyal red state Americans to take up their arms and sacrifice, serve and kill the infidel - at least that Christian version of the infidel, known in fellowship programs as islamic heathens. But sacrifice is the word heard most in the halls of power, and nobody has yet to determine what it all means.

Military disinformation in network news will seem as predictable as the black kid getting ostracized on MTV's The Real World and the fifth guy on the transporter beam getting chomped up by an extra-terrestrial beast on Star Trek reruns. Censorship will be an artificial truth serum poured over breakfast cereal. The emergency broadcast system test pattern will be a night light for an entire generation out of range of a satellite dish. The next and last casualty will be the deep reality of manufactured truth. As Chuchill once said, "that is the first casualty of war," and it provides a glimpse at how serious this is going to get.

It will be a nasty, barn burner of a story to report, especially given the swamp-like treachery found in Washington politics - assuming that Dubya can sustain his constant need for humiliation which has yet to be fully gratified. The fate of the child preznut, in the end, will be nothing more than a muffled explosion from the White House announcing that another scumbag has been handed a death march back to the ranch - which for the rest of us will be a strange and suffocating orgasm of long awaited deliverance that will wind down instantly to rabid depression, like we were yanked back at the shirt collar just as the amusement was giving us a thrill.

Some things are unavoidable, regardless of party affiliation, and the selection and inside job that put Dubya back in the Oval Office is one of them. A petty crook who couldn't get elected junior pimp of Albania. They would whisk him off the streets and take away his pager and restrict him to the company of gypsies and - maybe - let him supervise needle exchange programs in the park. If we survive these next four years without becoming radioactive, chalk it up to blind luck.

But for now we are in a deep tunnel. It's been really dark, and it's going to stay that way for a while.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Monday Night Mandingo

touchdown sheridan
One of the things that you are forced to deal with in the television sports business is being bludgeoned by brainless executives and standards freaks. It's just a fact of life and the vermin come at you like waves of rolling meat. On some days they can be found gnawing at your ankles, and on others they scheme up treacherous lawsuits while groping at themselves like baboons in corner offices lit by ultra-violet lava lamps.

Such things happen more often in the NFL. Not everybody puts on a show like Regis and Kelly. The game plays out like a depravity fest as crooked as Joe Theismann's leg, but only a few of the athletes make it to a four-year career, and no one in the televised audience really cares when a bone suddenly erupts through a linebacker's flesh. It's all part of the glitzy package of girth, speed, sideline titillation, hitting, public drunkenness and humiliation - where insanely chiseled physiques with two-percent body fat can cover forty yards in little more than four seconds. Imagine a stampede of wild rhinos approaching a filled playground at 35 miles an hour, and you begin to see the glamorous picture of today's gridiron combat operations.

Everyone who touches the game is a victim of its slime, in one way or another.

Most nights are slow during the Monday Night Football schedule, but every once in a while you get a nail-bitter, a seesaw blood and guts battle that keeps Michaels from reaching for his flask of vermouth and Madden out of the cliche tank.

It is a malignant romp, on most nights, and nobody with common sense could defend it ... except maybe Dubya, who seems to be dumber than a carton of rocks these days. But he is - boys and girls - Our Preznut. He can declare war on Tulsa on any day of the week and have anyone who protests him arrested. Not a bad gig, in a stagnant job market, and it appeals to some magnificient questions about creeping meatballism in the White House. It is like calling Eagles star receiver Terrell Owens a fool for earning a zillion dollars a year for watching a white woman take off her towel.

While the same does not go for the Preznut - or the president of Mattel, for that matter - there is no need for an NFL wide receiver to be smart. He just has to show up for game time and beat down the secondary like an annoying wino scrambling for spare change. The problem for Terrell Owens, however, was the pre-game show.

Two days after ABC aired a steamy intro to the Dallas-Philadelphia game featuring Owens and actress Nicollette Sheridan, coaches and players are still talking about it. Indianapolis coach, Tony Dungy, a far better human being than he is a X's and O's strategist, beloved and respected by every player he has managed, was brave enough to rise above the declarations of erotic innuendo from the religious right windbags to tell it like it really is: an outright, racist vaudeville act straight from the maniac bowels of Madison Avenue.

"To me that's the first thing I thought of as an African-American," Dungy said Wednesday.

"I think it's stereotypical in looking at the players, and on the heels of the Kobe Bryant incident I think it's very insensitive. I don't think that they would have had Bill Parcells or Andy Reid or one of the owners involved in that,'' he added, a reference to the coaches in the game.

ABC's intro showed Sheridan wearing only a towel and provocatively asking Owens to skip the game for her as the two stood alone in a locker room. She drops the towel and jumps into Owens' arms. Owens is black and Sheridan is white, and the rest of the marginalized world - the blue states - were left to consider the plot summary for 1975's Mandingo, a disturbing and homoerotic film treatment of a salty book, emphasizing long, bloody and gruesome fights between black men for the pleasure of Old South whites. Curious minds want to know the reaction if it was Brett Favre and Beyonce playing out the same scene - that's right, it never would have been taped.

"If that's what we have to do to get ratings, I'd rather not get them," Dungy said. "I realize that ratings pays us in this league, but if that's what we have to do, I'm willing to take a pay cut."

As Gambino Crime Family capo John Gotti once put it -- "Any friend of Tony's, is a friend of ours!"

In the mean time, keep popping down those Levitra like crack covered candy corn, wash it down with a six pack and order some pay-per-view porn off the satellite dish. And while you're at it - buy a couple of Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendars while you're waiting for scratch tickets in your local 7-Eleven. You'll find them next to the condoms and butane lighters.

Indeed, there is no end to this garbage heap of madness, and the cranks never sleep. But we are coming upon the Year of the Rooster, and the religious fundamentals are going to run into a deluge of cotton-mouth and trenchfoot. By February, once the holiday credit card bills come due, it will signal the end of time for the white trash rejects who own the agenda. Trust me on this. I have supreme insight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Say Hello to My Little Reich

baghdad buffoon
"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."
-- Adolph Hitler, My New World Order,
Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin,
February 1, 1933

So let's be real clear about it right from the get-go: this pansexual cowboy of a preznut is a loud and absurd mongrel of biblical proportions. He is an ignoramus. He does exactly what he is instructed to do - speaks only the words that he can remember from the index cards - stands with a pathetic tough-guy expression because it's the way he was told to pose for the cameras. He is a stooge in the way that Clinton was a smarmy womanizer.

This is not an easy thing to say about a preznut. Watching him soil himself - and us - with that sickening, waxy grin is as pathetic as studying a moth banging itself to death on a heat lamp.

No. No freaking way. It cannot be. The preznut can't be a hopeless reject. Not at this moment in our history - when the last remnants of the American Promise are at a crossroads. This is not the time for a gutter ball thrown by a mental midget when we need a true prince in the White House.

We need the Jack Lord of Hawaii Five-O to shake down our enemies, but instead we've got Jethro Bodine with a slingshot and a broken condom. So if the preznut uses his distortion police and acts giddy about putting another one over on us - if he did it to underwrite a reason for mass murder on a scale of Pol Pot to ensure that we would no longer have to compete with the Chinese for oil reserves - he is a dipshit by its very definition, a treacherous and blatant animal with no practical brain and no guts.

To even hint that this goofy little moron is looking more and more like Ronald Reagan in the summer of 1984 would be a wholesale slander on The Gipper.

Lord Jesus! Did that actually come out of my head? Is it remotely possible that a tin-pot Nazi whore-thing of a child preznut could actually make Reagan seem like a Moderate?

* * *

The capacity of these savage retards in power for the next four years will commit a form of terminal damage that is far beyond Reagan's worst day with Alzheimer's. Reagan was a certifiable monster who deserved a Shah-like exile for looting the treasury and appointing dominionists like James Watt - who once tried to have ketchup classified as a vegetable so that it qualified as one of the four main food groups - but the prevailing quality of politics was freer and far more open than it is today in this depraved year of Our Lord 2004.

Reagan was at least smart enough to comprehend why so many honest and simple folk despised his very being. He was comfortable with being a liar and "not recalling" the facts. Coming clean was not in Ronnie's nature. When things looked bad he would call on his spiritual friends and give a throwaway, Peggy Noonan speech glistening with Christian fables like "blessed be the peacemakers in the State Department," "turn the other cheek" and "good will toward junk bonds."

The difference between Reagan and the heinous freak at the controls today is the schism between a peep show deviant with erectile dysfunction and a mescaline-crazed sexual predator: The deviant sits in the dark and thinks about sexual behavior with every living thing, and the predator does what every deviant ever thinks of committing. He takes down the innocent - he decussates them for greedy pleasure and changes their being forever.

Ask any woman between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five and she'll tell you that she's been the object of a deviant's warped affection. It's part and parcel of growing up in American society, just like paying taxes and bitching about the cost of gasoline. Being a victim of a predator's demented "rapture" is more like dying. Innocence is stripped bare. Penetrated and left in despair, the prey becomes a deviant in their own cognizance, and it's just a stone's throw from homicide.

Reagan crossed that line from time to time when he began murdering Central Americans in the name of "family values" - but Dubya took it to a new level when he tip-toed into the Oval Office in 2000 and began vaporizing dark-skinned Arabs in the name of Jesus and a bastardized generation of American gluttony.

We are now mutant Nazis in the eyes of the civilized world - a sex-crazed collection of barbarians and creeps who would rather drop a bomb and wipe it clean from out conscience before settling on the utterance of peace. To them Americans are not only midnight cowboys for power and petroleum, but killer sluts with extreme hate and fear in our souls. We have become the personification of human filth, and that is how they judge us now. Nothing redeeming. No social value, just unadulterated whores. Get the fuck out of sight, or one of us will stab you to death.

So who exactly voted for this vile band of shitheads? Who are these assault gun-packing chowderheads who call themselves "values voters" and applaud the torture of civilians because a pack of fanatics drove planes into the World Trade Center? These flag-waving defectives who get hustled and jerked around by daffy, towel-snapping frat boys like good old Dubya? They speak for everything that is amoral, bloodthirsty, idiotic and vicious in the pre-Apocalyptic version of American society. They are the closet racists and hate-savages among us - and this has been the secret formula of neo-conservative movement. Appeal to the reckless, bad boy self-image of a frightened schoolyard punk who lies rather than explains, who defiles rather than debates, who finds satisfaction in getting something for free as long as the next guy knows he's been ripped off. Politicians and CEO's and journalists steal all the time - so who cares about rules and laws that were meant to be broken, or, at least, salted away?

Just don't let us feel any pain for being this way. And just because we tell you that we have "moral values," it doesn't mean that we actually use them.

Yes, we have erected a little Reich that looks and feels like Jerry Springer nation. And if you don't like this next generation Klan rally ... fuck off. Because we've got values.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Nailed Up and Bleeding

adios, colin, you've been had
Elections are about fucking your enemies. Winning is about fucking your friends.
- James Carville, 1991

Finally ... the worst kept secret of this corrupt administration is over now; it ended on a dank November afternoon with all the pomp and circumstance of bleach-filled balloon tossed off the rooftop of a greasy tenement on Skid Row - splashing on the pavement and scaring the narcotic haze out of the addicts in range, starting with the ones who ended up with white spots all over their dumpster clothes to the collection of "willing media pushers" who still can't explain his bitter disgrace.

His fall was epic; and there is a weird, unbalanced, painfully fragmented tone to this entirely tragic episode. Within the bowels of Washington power tonight there is the stink of a massive ideological battle that no one really won. Colin Powell has been broken, skewered and neutered in one swoop, but even for the corridor deviants there is no actual elation or wonder in having been presented with front-row seats to the suicide, the Grand Appeasing, the freshest example of modern political seppuku where a Secretary of State has been drawn and quartered in slow motion and tossed into the rat hole with all the other common geeks and degenerates.

Reviewing the final few months of his tenure, it is very easy to see that Powell was doomed from the outset - or at least from that moment when he sat before the UN Security Council and forced a showdown with a cooked slideshow on Iraqi munitions capabilities and allegations of ballistic missile sites throughout the Iraqi countryside.

Powell certainly knew the truth, but not even the crazed beheadings of Feith, Rumsfeld, Perle and Wolfowitz could make this hideous exercise go away. And when like-minded officials began to challenge the Preznut's right to defy the UN weapons inspections process, the march of doom was a wave of wretchedness engulfing the State Department. And from this point forward, it was clear to all the authorities except Powell himself that a bizzare deathmarch through Baghdad was suddenly at hand; it was just a matter of time. And it was just about then that Colin Powell began losing his grip on reality.

"I am no expert on centrifuge tubes, but this is an old army trooper. I can tell you a couple things."

But even as he prattled on in the Security Council, there was a hollow air of paranoia in his voice, as if he could already hear imaginary Romans erecting a cross in his name. Like some stone-washed pariah, he had become an ill-fated mannequin of a diplomat right there on the edge of insanity.

The Preznut and his neo-cons were whooping with delight: The steaks and the beer were flowing freely in Crawford that day and Cheney was on his knees thanking his no-bid contract maker. "Wonderful news!" he shouted. "I just knew we'd pulling this thing off, Mr. President! Even without the Frogs and the Krauts. It's no mistake that we tabbed Powell to run the white ops to those other dumb bastards in the UN!"

That the Preznut and his personal Gestapo actually believed in this perverse endeavor is a measure of the insanity formula that Cheney took down in the bunker with him when he knew it was time to get serious about Hussein.

Those were the salad days of the marketing operation, before the fateful Senate vote that ruined a generation and Senator Kerry's campaign before it even caught wind, when the Preznut's Reich Minister of Information - ex-White House spokesman Ari Fleischner - was developing a false umbrella of stoic certainty around the administration by clipping the dissenters in the back alleys, along with a daily chorus of headline-parsed statements on victory in the Middle East, and reaching out to "knee-jerk liberals in Congress" who weren't cutting the Pentagon's way. Night after night, in a stroke of Texas gutter genius, Rove fenced the intelligence leaks to The New York Times with the guts of a master jewel thief, while the press acted like a bunch of retarded inbreds on the payroll and set forth to do battle with the short voices of dissent.

Everyone knew it was coming - the press, the Congress, the "public," all the armchair quarterbacks in DC and even the Preznut's own executioners - but everyone had different timetables for Powell's D-Day, and when his rising star finally went dark, it occurred so quickly that nobody uttered a kind word for the last frame of his public life. The Powell Doctrine never really had time to crumble, except with the benefit of firm, retrospective analysis. In reality, it just ruptured, with all the speed and violence of a shotgun blast to the cranium suddenly tearing away the flesh and bone of what was once a hugely promising political career, with no limits in sight.

Americans may vary on the tawdry details, but the baseline approach never changes in politics: "I may be more guilty of lies and treason tomorrow than I felt yesterday. But in reality I had no other choice: The machine has turned me into what I am and, by God, the world is gonna pay for its creation."

And so the megalomaniac cycle rages on. Both the politician and sacrificial lamb that was Colin Powell is judged to live on like a strung-out junkie upon His maker's cross, addicted to the foul, mutant energy of his own dalliance with true power. It was a cheap run with the down and dirty, on the darkest side of shame.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Jerry Equates Homosexuals with Very Bad Things

When Jerry Fallwell stands before the stained glass window and gazes out upon the non-church going public, he doesn't see personal freedom, he sees criminals, deviants and dangerous hedonists. Christ Jerry is so diligently evil that he seems to glow at night. His political instincts are so dangerous that he makes the politics of total opposition a noble trade for the next two generations of the best and brightest young minds in America. He gives no mercy and expects none in return. But he is fun, in the way that an institutionalized nutjob is fun in the bank line ... and Dubya is now the deranged pastor's personal whipping boy. Our hapless, fratboy preznut is "liked, but not very well liked" amongst the Christian right, because not even his best friends and allies believe a word he says. Dubya projects a sense of loyalty that recalls the afterhours taste of a degenerate who might go on a double-date with Jimmy Swaggart in the French Quarter and settle on a transvestite because it was convenient.

When Christ Jerry finally retreats back to the shadows from which he came, he will only be missed for the ghastly clarity that he delivered to the stagnant air known as modern American politics, and for the abject rage he inspires in so many others. He brings out the best in the opposition, and when he has gone home to Hell, let there be no delusion about his scurrilous impact on the political process. The Reverend is an evil being - evil in the way that people look back at Idi Amin - albeit without the machete and the blood addiction - and to those who believe in the physical existence of Satan can explain his stain of religious superiority. He is utterly without decency or moral compass or any pedestal of truth. Nobody in organized politics trusts him - except maybe some gun-totting bible druids in the Old South where lynchings and public whippings still seem like a good idea.

When Fallwell finally leaves this wretched Earth, it will be like Lester Maddox on his deathbed being told that his final appeal for heaven is denied and that Hell was leased out to a gang of angry negroes in a prison bitch kind of mood. It couldn't come soon enough for the gay community. During a recent interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Christ Jerry denied ever having equated homosexuality to "smoking crack and bestiality" -- a comparison he has in fact made on several occasions.

From the November 5 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
COOPER: I know in the past you believe homosexual behavior is immoral, a sin, you've equated it with smoking crack, bestiality. But what is the threat to you? What is -- I mean, two men saying that they love each to each other, what's the threat?

FALWELL: Well, I haven't equated it to anything, but I believe that the scripture makes it clear that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong, whether it's heterosexual promiscuity or homosexual activity.


COOPER: On homosexuality, I mean, you say you don't equate it to anything, but you do equate it to -- I mean, you have in plenty of interviews equated it to, you know, immoral behavior, smoking crack and bestiality.

FALWELL: Well, it is immoral behavior, of course. No, not bestiality, not crack -- taking crack. Those are different things, but homosexuality is sin.

But, after digging in the dirt - where Christ Jerry can be found most days rolling around in the pig slop that is known as his malevolent ministry - the delusional preacher has indeed equated homosexuality with smoking crack and bestiality. From Media Matters for America:

FALWELL: Well, look, first of all, Mr. Bush did not make this a 2004 issue. The Massachusetts Supreme Court did, the San Francisco mayor, the New Mexico officials, et cetera. This was made an issue when the Supreme Court gave constitutional protection to sodomy. So here we have now same-sex marriage. What's next, polygamy? ... Why not? And why not bestiality? [CNN, Wolf Blitzer Reports, 2/24/04]

FALWELL: I don't want anybody in my bedroom any more than you want anybody in your bedroom. But I think this privacy issue goes too far. Is this right to privacy going to legalize prostitution, or bestiality, or the use of cocaine or heroin as long as you do it in your bedroom? Privacy can be taken to a great extent. ... [I]f we're going to do that, then why don't we just legalize bestiality since it's done in the privacy of one's home, perhaps? [MSNBC, Hardball, 6/27/03]

INTERVIEWER: Then when you say, "Love the sinner but not the sin," aren't you saying that person is "less than?"

FALWELL: Absolutely not. We work with and help crack and alcohol abusers. That's not saying "You're less than." But we're saying that, right now, you're about to reduce yourself to where you cannot be useful, and where you have no joy in life...

INTERVIEWER: And most gays would say that being gay has nothing to do with living on crack.

FALWELL: It depends on the gay you're talking to. I could bring to you literally thousands of ex-gays who would tell you that they were in a destructive lifestyle until they came to Christ and got out of it. [PBS, Frontline, 2/15/00]

In [his] latest letter, the Baptist minister [Falwell] said more money must be received to keep the Moral Majority newspaper and broadcasts going. "Perhaps the most disturbing situation is that our lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., to keep Congress from legalizing sodomy, bestiality, fornication, homosexuality and other perversions is also in danger," the letter added. [Associated Press, 10/23/81]

No wonder the Rethugs were keeping him on the sidelines for this match. Not even the panic line to Lynchburg was secure enough for Karl Rove.

The demonic reverend has a history of denying his own remarks regarding homosexuality. In 1985, he publicly denied having verbally attacked a gay community church until a videotape showed him calling members of the church "brute beasts" and "part of a vile and satanic system [that] will one day be utterly annihilated," the AP reported on September 25, 1985. When Falwell was ordered to pay $5,000 to a former pastor of the church, he responded: "This situation is only one more example of harassment by a militant homosexual group."

So keep you skin clean and your thoughts tight - especially youngsters of able bodied draft years. As if there isn't enough to make progressives queasy on these long, dark nights, check out the rationale for the Iraq War through the funhouse mirror that shapes the view of the religious right. To surmise: the fundies have been watching islamic terrorists for thirty years with genuine greed in their hearts because they want their own Christian Jihad, and somebody in the heathen part of the world is gonna pay up or cash out.

We're stuck in the middle of "God's War," and Satan is directing the traffic.

Tricky Dick Redux

Vice President Repo left a hospital Saturday after tests revealed he had no abnormalities. He was hospitalized after complaining of shortness of breath. Results from an electrocardiogram, or EKG, were normal, aides told FOX News. A readout of Cheney's ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, showed that it had not been activated, indicating that his heart rate hadn't fluctuated.

"Tests ruled out any cardiac cause of the Vice President's symptoms," said a statement issued by Cheney's cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. "Tests also ruled out pneumonia and other pulmonary causes."

A thread on Free Republic (link now pulled) had provided an alternative explanation, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel capturing his "biggest asset" back in September, and the appearance of which became the talk of a local morning show: "It's like a Scud missile, for crying out loud."

Thanks to Team Gonzography (and browser cache), the text of that posting remains in tact (picture here via patriotdude):

Joining Dick Cheney's motorcade in Green Bay, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan hoped to capture a unique image during an otherwise scripted campaign visit in September.

Did he ever.

Jumping on and off the press bus, Guldan says he took hundreds of pictures at well-orchestrated photo opportunities.

On the way to Milwaukee, however, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr convinced Cheney to make an unscheduled stop to Glendale to visit local favorite Kopp's Frozen Custard, according to New York Times reporter Rick Lyman.

When Cheney ordered a decaf coffee and sat on a concrete ledge, Kopp's manager Scott Borkin graciously brought him a sample of frozen custard. "The guy came all the way from the White House," Borkin says. "He's got to try our custard."

The normally serious Cheney flashed a winning smile for Borkin, and Guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the September 11 Metro section.

Guldan got a call from readers the next day. "Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?" the reader asked.

Upon closer inspection, it seems the Vice President's smile was not his, ahem, biggest asset.

"You're not imagining it," Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.

Let's just say the snugness of Cheney's pants left little to the imagination, and we're not talking about his waistline.

One Journal Sentinel reader pointed out the blooper in an e-mail to Dave Luczak, Carole Caine, and Kevin Brandt, who had a hoot talking about it during their popular morning show.

"It's nice to have someone of that magnitude in the White House," Brandt joked.

"He's got a porn career right there," Caine snickered.

"Now we know where his unmitigated confidence comes from," Luczak quipped.

We've seen the photo, and it's hard not to notice something so, well, unmistakeable.

Guldan explains that he took 100 to 200 photographs that day with a digital camera, chose six to eight images for possible publication, and didn't notice anything odd in the Kopp's image because Cheney sat in the shadows. Incredibly, a dozen or so editors saw the photo before publication, and no one raised the red flag.

"I got a chuckle out of it when I noticed it, too. If I had noticed it sooner, I would have cropped it," Guldan says, referring to the standard practice of trimming a photo without altering the accuracy. "I wasn't out to put him in a negative light."

While such a photo of the VP is clearly inappropriate, it's also a harmless mistake and could be seen as - dare we say - flattering. Just ask WKLH's Caine, who dug through her recycling bin to find the photo.

"It's like a Scud missile, for crying out loud," Caine said.

Want to see the picture for yourself? Catch it while you can at your library periodical desk, because chagrined Journal Sentinel officials are not in a sharing mood.

The paper denied our request to reprint the copyrighted photo, saying it had decided not to release the image to the public.

You won't find it on either, though there are photos of every other Cheney campaign trip to Wisconsin since April. Matt Stanton, jsonline design editor, promised to look into this curious omission, and that was the last we heard from him.

Meanwhile, Mark Hoffman, deputy photo editor, suggested we try the paper's Photo Sales Service. Don't bother. To check its availability, we ordered and paid for a color copy of the Cheney photo, only to get a call the next day voiding the deal.

Journal Sentinel: "That photo is not for sale."

Which begs the question: What got the Vice President so aroused? We understand that the custard was firm, supple and enraptured, but there had to be a more substantial reason. Well, Gonzo-ites, we think it has something to do with his wife, Lynne Cheney, a Senior Fellow in Education and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, reading from one of her early 1980's, one-handed ribald classics, Sisters, during National Spousal Appreciation Day.