Sunday, February 27, 2005

Let the Cheap Freaks Pick Over the Carcass


Christopher Matthews (a.k.a., Tweety)
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112

Dear Chris:

Thanks for your comments on my Hunter S. Thompson tribute piece about two posts down on the Gonzography blogroll. I've been underground from three weeks of harsh escapist reality, and could have easily done another several more, when the good Dr. Gonzo passed on due to karmic events beyond his control, and thus I was left with the odd bit of luck to discover your most recent and unedited email.

That said, however, I'd be more than honored to write a few words for you. Has your producer finally allowed you to share what you have in mind? My prime turf has been the world of Dubya, with an occassional sale to publications in Buenos Aires and Slovakia; that should give you a hint as to where my thought process is at, although the blogworld is just as fun and entertaining as your book, American: Beyond Our Grandest Notions, appears to be. Overall, I tend to gravitate more towards the path less tread, offbeat types of stories, the kind of journalism that seems to float just beneath the surface for weeks at a time, and anything dealing with a society drenched in hypocrisy, pointless military build-ups, vacant political leaders, and failures of our intelligence apparatus on a biblical scale. I have done some movie and book reviews for some far out rags, but the fly-over state crowd keeps sending me nasty emails from Scarborough Country, saying that I gave them a wrong turn on books like Richard Meltzer's LA is the Capital of Kansas, recalling the worst recommendation to date. The rednecks and fundies didn't seem to enjoy that one in the least.

There are any number of storylines to which I could add commentary for your show.
  1. An expose on the rampant homosexuality surrounding the GOP. Out here in California, being gay is really no big deal at all and you can even find work in retail or a call center that hasn't yet been outsourced. So far today I met several gay people and none of them asked me to marry in the spring. The idea behind this one is to disturb red state idiots into acceptance by tracing Dubya back to his homoerotic days back at Yale with the former Mayor of Knoxville, and how it shaped administration policy on providing Jeff Gannon (who has kicked off his newest online adventure) an unspeakable level of security clearance for the White House Press Corps, along with the appointment of Ken Mehlman as the new chair of the GOP. This doesn't mean that we are "outing" anyone of note here, but the more we juxtapose homosexuality with the party in control, the sooner gay people can marry without the fear of Moral Majority re-education camps. Somehow I don't think your network will jump at this story.

  2. A tragic piece on the state of race relations in "The Sixth Reich," as Hunter once wrote about Las Vegas. I haven't come to a final theme with this storyline just yet; but let's just say that a number of Italians have declared themselves as having a tribe called The Rigatonis and they're moving into formation around the American Freak Kingdom known as The Bellagio.

  3. Some sort of seedy examination on the lack of sex scandals in Washington, in light of Condi Rice's apparent state of androgyny whenever she is surrounded by the troops. All of which is very interesting because you can actually watch her behaving in this terrible way, but you can't control the impulse to kick in the TV screen.

  4. An in-depth study on "the precarious geography of the mainstream media now that progressive thinkers have tuned out the idiot box and have begun to take over the internet where the agenda is being defined in the next century." This leitmotiv was the subject of a much debated progressive idea seminar with all the big names in attendance - along with a few smaller but louder voices - people like the real conservatives who see the real bullshit being spouted from the mouths of neo-con base, moderate democrats with real diversity in their hearts who can reach out and revitalize minority constituencies who have been shown the backdoor every time they vote, and grounded liberal minds who are tired of being labeled as a block of "activists" who would rather fall on the swords of their causes than move the agenda forward. We'll need some guaranteed publicity in order to attract average people to our movement, like your network did for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth last summer, which clearly made their message relevant and extremely newsworthy, just because of your news organization's constant free advertising of their claims. It wouldn't take long to organize and the cost to MSNBC would be minimal with the exception of my first class airfare, hotel accommodations, some spending cash and an overactive room service bill once I touch down in New York City.

  5. Several of us are considering a trip to Thailand and Indonesia this spring to see how the tsunami relief efforts are going now that nobody is paying much attention. By the time that you receive this email I think many of the players should be set in stone, so just tell me if this story interests MSNBC ... we can cross-charge the expenses for some exclusive coverage now that David Shuster is a persona non grata for the required pre-screening and vaccinations.

That's about all I have to share for now. Your email was a wonderful surprise, of course. I tend to not pay much attention to MSNBC anymore, mainly because of Joe Scarborough and Ron Silver and Pat Buchanan, I suppose, but your occassional story with Seymour Hersh does receive some TiVo time on the voodoo box. As it was with Hunter before he went on to the great beyond all Hemingway-like, the pictures out of Abu Ghraib finally sealed the impression in my mind that The Fourth and Fifth Reich were the CIA and the Pentagon, making Las Vegas its Sixth. Give me a ring on the wireless when you have some time to discuss these and other matters.

Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.
Team Gonzography

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Speaking in Trainwrecks With a Pack of Vidiots

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself — Well...How did I get here?
- "Once in a Lifetime", The Talking Heads

Can you imagine if my name had been Mungo Bush?
- Dubya taking shots at a reporter's son's name, while with European journalists at the White House, February 18, 2005

As Somerset Maugham once said, the facts never made a story truer. The delusional and - sometimes - ribald tales of Dubya B. Moron have made for a compelling study into the mind of a 1970s failure turned corporate might-have-been who soon became a fortunate deceiver (while racking up a death toll approaching Idi Amin's), and his is among the most brazen political administrations since ... oh, well ... since Saddam Hussein was found in a spider hole clutching to the hopes of escape from an American unit on patrol in a modest home in a small village, and not in a spider hole as announced by the Tommy Franks wing of the FOXNews junta abroad. At first glance, the story of a brain-dead ferret son of a successful political figure - who in his own words said, "the Oval Office is the kind of place where people stand outside, they're getting ready to come in and tell me what for, and they walk in and get overwhelmed in the atmosphere, and they say, man, you're looking pretty" - will never be regarded as a profoundly thought-provoking or moving political dissertation.

Unless he turns out to be the result of a CIA “mind control experiment” who Daddy traded off for a few greedy years at the top of the food chain, having killed a few enemies of the state in the dark and shadowy world of Cold War espionage during that timeframe when - according to most accounts - he went AWOL from the Air National Guard and reportedly went under the wagon for a couple of strange and recalcitrant years. Even then, at its lowest form, his biography places a harsh and interrogatory light above the American Dream, with America's undying obsession with two of its major forces as its white hot theme: the unbridled power of TV packaging and the government's intelligence apparatus, each of which seems to reach into the dark corners of the other's cottage industry these days, sharing a point in the middle termed, "message convergence".

Dubya has drawn us all into his shady netherworld of half-lies, outright lies, scandal and murder, a world to which he's both addicted and fascinated. He's caught between the Jesus Christ who forgives him and the abject sin he's driven by. And he's torn between the demands of the job of preznut and the light television entertainment he provides on a nightly basis. There isn't a more conflicted man in America, now a prisoner of his own hopeless self-destruction and self-loathing once the long shadows pass midnight in the happy confines of the Big House. His supporters say he has this homespun tell-it-like-it-is vulnerability that gets him into trouble at times, but those of us grounded in reality know the bitter truth. Under that thick veneer of morbid dreadfulness, Dubya still manages to infect them with his own bizarre wavelength of enthusiasm ... which means nothing more than "he was the horse that brought us to the cliff, so we might as well jump off the ledge and join him in the ditch ... because he has been at the helm long enough to realize that it's best for us."

The only flaw in this sense is that Dubya never seems to have aged beyond 25 years, remaining unusually static for a preznut who has been under attack by a terror group, conducted an unpopular war, been torn down by 48% of the people and won a re-election bid by too close a margin to invade anyone else. With such charismatic customers as Redrum Rumsfeld, Condi Rice - and even Allawi, Karzai and Osama Bin Laden in brief cameos - it would have been easy for The Chimperor to take a back seat to the heavy hitters while the complex details could be ironed out between mulligans on the back nine. But Dubya can play his part, too, and he has delivered a breakthrough academy award performance as an undeniably simple and vacant character in the tradition of Chauncey Gardiner from Being There or Forrest Gump where the lovable, benign vidiot extraordinaire grows up amongst the pimps and pushers and fixers and fiends ... then he wakes up to discover that he has become The Preznut of the Red States with all the grace and tone of Jethro Bodine on crank when he told Uncle Jed that he was a "double-knot" spy.

The world of Dubya has become a funny, strange, sad, violent and wonderful daydream, brimming with bold performances by Washington insiders and over-their-head advisors while designed and staged by his political svengali - Karl Rove - with an expansive Speilberg-like cinematic imagination. At the lunatic fringe of the narrative, it might seem like nothing more than a lightweight bedtime story or an over-the-top remake of Smokey and The Bandit with Dr. Phil playing the Jackie Gleason role: A compendium of dumbass sound bytes, spring break girls with more plastic than Mattel and always those bright American colors - greed, fear and gold - but the longer you ride along with the ridiculous vibe the more it seems like an expose on the American soul in all its paranoid, romantic, damaged and delusional wonder.

"Now, if you're a worker who earns 35 dollars a year over your lifetime, and this system were in effect where you could put 4 percent of your payroll taxes in a personal account, and you start at age 20, by the time you retire, your personal account would grow to $250,000. That's compounding rate of interest."
- Dubya, calculating some seriously compounding interest that not even Larry Kudlow could validate! Raleigh, North Carolina, February 10, 2005

In the end - its payoff, if you will - this extraordinary administration is itself a biography of a marginal conman with a sexual identification problem straight out the J. Edgar Hoover School of Overcompensation, haunted deeply by a mad childhood of extreme expectations and petty regrets, who's most likely a nut-job of the highest order. In the stark moonglow, when he's alone, standing before the full length mirror in his skin-tight silk pajamas, Dubya almost wants to admit it: He's careening out of control. Overwhelmed. Wondering when the rumors will finally catch up to him. What remains, though, is something much stranger and extravagant than that: a crazed tale of deception gone terminal, a Horatio Alger tale of bootstrap success thrown a curveball by way of a blind trust fund, a Greek drama on cocaine or methodone.

Dubya's fantasies about being a Jesus Christ's intelligent agent - while butchering the very gospel he repeatedly leans upon, now that Jeff Gannon has retreated to the ... ahem ... bowels of the White House spin operation - are so overblown and ridiculous that they don't even seem pathetic. These vain attempts at justification are just about as linked to reality as the strikingly similar delusions suffered by Pol Pot or Osama Bin Laden; in each case there is some exotic combination of deep-seated mental illness and a powerful, tormented brain feeding on uncontrolled guilt and shame. The good news for the Rethugs has been that Dubya was the guy who realized that game show politics and Jerry Springer-style punditry hadn't arrived at the lowest common denominator in the Year of Our Lord 2004, and that the average American's political thought process hadn't evolved much beyond a vile hunger for salaciousness and rank humiliation, which at that fork in the road became the quest to destroy gay marriage, when a normal heterosexual would probably take some advise from Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No".

But considering that this is a story about Dubya, there's never even a hint of freak-show condescension from the normal media outlets, nor the heavy-handed moralizing that Clinton's indiscretions would have brought to the subject. Not even a whimper of regret, as our Will Rogers of American trash kills off what's left of our national credibility with the same level of dignity and compassion that John Wayne Gacy did for the deceased.

[ edited on March 9, 2005 ]

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The King is Dead; Raoul Duke Cashes His Check

"George W Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn't vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today - and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads?"
- Kingdom of Fear, 2003

"At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on the one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going."
- Paul Kemp, The Rum Diary, 1959

"At one point during the campaign I mentioned Pat Buchanan at McGovern headquarters, for some reason, and Rick Stearns, perhaps the most hardline left-bent ideologue on McGovern's staff, sort of chuckled and said, 'Oh yeah, we're pretty good friends. Pat's the only one of those bastards over there with any principles.' When I mentioned this to another McGovern staffer, he snapped: 'Yeah, maybe so ... like Josef Goebbels had principles.'"
- The Great Shark Hunt, 1975

"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers ... Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls ... not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked in a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can ..."
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Son-of-a-bitch! But what we want to keep in mind is that "principles" is a very relative term in and about Washington these days - with the diabolical claws of the Neo-Con agenda poised to strike down everything that was once proud and good about being a player in the American Century, at any hot and ruthless instant - so when Dr. Gonzo slipped out the backdoor in an eminently reasonable fashion from within the confines of his rustic home on the outskirts of Woody Creek, Colorado, he must have had an idea just how appropriate a day on which he decided to take his life, resulting in the abject theft of almost every headline on an otherwise non-descript President's Day.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Hunter is Gone story has been the way that the mainstream press has handled his passing: Thompson was the black sheep of the family who drank a little too much and drove a little too fast and hung around with a too tough crowd, so the subtext of his death was more a form of resignation than anger, depression or outrage. What had begun at the Kentucky Derby in 1970, as one of the finest essays on the decadent and depraved American experiment, was soon surpassed, by then, into what is the most thoroughly and most horrifically revolutionary pieces of American literature since Henry Miller first hung out with Anais Nin in Paris. It was his signature work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a toxic combination of straight reporting and mystical storytelling which has pushed the envelope on outlaw journalism and inspired the counter-culture for more than 30 years. Surely, critics with a long standing grudge or revisionist motives or total misunderstanding have long maintained that his later years were "wasted" and "meaningless," but such is the way for authors who have accomplished so much at a young age - which the Good Doctor did in spades - and in many ways it seemed that he lived his life until it became joyless and still, once the cinders became too many to endure and the golden fire just burned out.

"I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time," he once told Ralph Steadman, his creative collaborator, who was first paired up with Thompson for the Scanlan's Monthly article at the Kentucky Derby, and remained a lifelong friend.

Nobody but his friends believed it, of course. High-powered media types immediately took to the airwaves to consider what had really went wrong with Thompson ... but the rest of us, no longer pimped by the right-wing media machine or the fast-approaching terror of another election cycle without a fair-and-balanced system to count the votes, all too simply shrugged at the news of his departure for the sweet hereafter and moved along to our own personal form of combat against the voices of the doomed and the damned. There was nothing unusual, it then seemed, about Dr. Gonzo finally calling it a lifetime before another law enforcement official banged on his door with a pink slip demanding his surrender to a treatment facility or a court-ordered psychiatric exam. And if the truth was worse than the image that he tried to sustain ... heck ... there would indeed be nothing earth-shattering there either, because Thompson simply knew it was time to go on, perhaps his final way of taking control of things before they got out of control or too messy to contain.

"By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once and there were 13 times I almost and maybe should have died," the Good Doctor once said, and who would have doubted him. Suicide was an act that seemed a fitting, if tragic, end to one enormously singular existence.

His next release after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 - perhaps his crowning achievement, and the one that will be read for generations to come - a vicious and down-low manifesto on the US presidential electoral process in which he wrote that "Nixon represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise". Thompson was right then, as he is now, about our current Child Preznut - as logical and ideological benefactor to the Nixonian style of addition-by-subtraction politics with a touch of Orwellian hyperbole and vile circumlocution - who has already transformed the concepts of security and freedom into fear and ignorance. At this intolerable rate of profound stupidity and separatist language not seen since the build up of live batteries at Fort Sumter, the AARP will be rounded up like a pack of Taliban anarchists and branded with a supporting-gay-marriage scar while the Rove dysinformation robots auto-fax talking points to the FOX News puppets about the choice Americans must make between body armor for the troops and grandma eating cat food stew while waiting in line all Soviet-like for toilet paper.

All of this rages on while the Good Doctor is sitting beyond the horizon sucking limes at the bar between shots of Sauza and dips into his sack of blotter acid, taking it all in for sheer gallow's humor, along with Hemingway and Mencken and Faulkner and Miller, remarking how network news moguls are no longer hungry for stories involving lonely nights of investigation and minimal camera time for the newsgals with bleached teeth and tummy tucks - particularly at a time when almost every American is about to get taken for the final ride to the fiasco that will be Dubya's legacy. Both the networks and the print journalists are wrapped up in the deception now, and the "first teams" often involve former party insiders once the election cycle draws to a close with an almost sociopathic precision, beating the drums on September 11 minus the Homeland Security color chart every time they get painted into a corner now that the truth has become a commodity like talking head spin, campaign finance and message control. Everything that Dubya ever stood for - if we were to venture a guess as what exactly these things are beyond his ideological vassals and corporate cronies and God-is-a-Terrorist-unless-you-share-our-values crowd - is going up in flames right before our eyes. Like Richard Milhous Nixon before him, and the disturbing parallels are really not that extreme when you line up the players, The Chimperor has been largely successful for the same reasons that he will eventually be drawn and quartered in public. He could not keep himself from dividing, pushing, dividing, pulling, dividing, proding - and, eventually, he will push, pull, prod and divide all the wrong people, causing them to come for blood and a White House Girls With Air Force One Gone Wild video romp with the twins. This is the other end of the proclivity-spectrum that overtook me once I realized that Dr. Gonzo won't be rolling over in his grave, only because he spent so much of his time telling it just this way and we have been warned.

The Good Doctor was a lot of things to many different people - making the Nixon Enemies of the State List, among other notable places - and he was also called a hero, a madman, an outlaw, the first blogger, absolutely deranged, a son-of-a-bitch, a degenerate gambler and a hopeless drug addict. He was all of these things and in the mylar atmosphere of American Journalism, Inc., it made him a hero, an icon, a reason to wake up and smell the coffee. My lasting memory of him was an appearance at the Somerville Theater during the Generation of Swine book tour in the late 1980s - and much to the audience's chagrin, he was about 90 minutes late that night, apologizing upon his arrival by offering a lame excuse that he was out looking for an ammunition-slash-liquor store. He spoke wildly about the corrupt Reagan (pronounced "Ray-gun") Revolution, Ed Meese, Daddy Bush and Pat Robertson and he topped off the evening by signing every hardcover copy ... only ... with a familiar quip on the inner sleeve, "Wise Up ... HST." Mine caught fire from a wave of his lighter and he shook it madly to put out the flame while puffing on his trademark Dunhill tucked neatly in a white cigarette holder.

He was the first and last of his kind - because he enjoyed the role of libertarian dissident and living on the edge. Part Jack Kerouac and other parts H.L. Mencken, with the Book of Revelations thrown in for good measure and dramatic effect, he will outlive the Carl Bernstein's and Bob Woodward's of the cloth because he remained true to himself and never wavered, even at the bitter end when the lights went low.

Thompson was the first journalist to clearly note that a story becomes more believable when the reporter takes the time to honestly chronicle his or her own failures, and how those idiosyncrasies become a refracting lens separating what is truth and what is schlock and spin. He changed the face of journalism - whether the right wing forces of doom want to accept it or not, or whether there exists a journalist in America these days who has the cajones to speak freely without a care about the consequences ... and I think not ... giving the next generation of political thinkers and satirists a foundation upon which the truth will be further dissected and revealed for all its utter insanity. After all, freedom is something that dies unless it's used harshly, repeatedly and shamelessly.

"To hell with Fun. I shit on the chest of Fun. Look what it did to Charles Manson. He had too much fun - no doubt about that - so they put him away for life."

Mahalo, Dr. Gonzo. Res Ipsa Loquitur

Friday, February 04, 2005

Dubya Jumps the Shark While The Reign of Terror Begins

"O liberty! How they have played with you."
- Moderate girondist Mme. Jeanne Roland de la Platiere's last words before her death on the guillotine.

"Domestic carnage, now filled the whole year
With feast-days, old men from the chimney-nook,
The maiden from the busom of her love,
The mother from the cradle of her babe,
The warrior from the field - all perished, all -
Friends, enemies, of all parties, ages, ranks,
Head after head, and never heads enough
For those that bade them fall."
- William Wordsworth

There will never be a quiet part of the world until somebody knocks the patriotism out of the human race ... and it is nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind. These were the first thoughts that rang through the preznut's Horticulture Festival Wednesday night, watching Dubya jump the shark during the State of the Union conundrum - and it was a rather powerful thing to witness from the vantage point of a red state hotel lobby. It had a greasy and aberrant pace to the delivery that seemed more NASCAR pile-up at turn two - not unlike most oratory endeavors for the Chimperor - where the squeal of bleached tires and screech of twisted metal fills the air and the crowd at home is all glued to the television screen for signs of carnage and the pit crews bite away at their bottom lips from sheer stupidity.

The hammer came down rather suddenly, just as Dubya was finished basking in the glory of a "spontaneous" moment with a red-haired Iraqi woman who looked more like Elizabeth Edwards with a skin condition. After 15 minutes of rambling around with a list of meaningless drivel, which approached the dull stammering velocity of a borderline retard assembling Nerf ball kits at a Goodwill Industries sweatshop, our child preznut reached back and jumped out swinging ... The whole thing was, of course, televised nationally, from the moment he man-kissed Joe Lieberman back to Tel-Aviv and cited Iran and Syria as "sponsors of terrorism" and wandered along the tone of "democracy can't be bad for the Middle East because it selected me" when the system was thrown a monkey wrench in the forms of baby brother and Kathryn Harris in Florida, until some mere 45 minutes later when Herr Cheney and Kommander Hastert could be seen reaching for shin splints caused by repeated shifting to their feet while Democrats were hissing their way to dreams of a felony bust for Dubya's number two - and, even perhaps, Redrum Rumsfeld - that would result in at least four or five years in a plexiglass cage like the one they used in Silence of the Lambs to keep Hannibal Lecter separated from culinary experiences with human flesh.

It was a scandalous development. Dubya had just received notice from his Rethug politicos that not even the party could withstand another assault on Social Security without sending a good junk of the base to the blue corner, but the Chimperor pushed ahead undaunted so fast that not even the moderates could get him to temper the sound bite. Sitting in the audience was Doktor Bill Frist and Marshall John McCain, two perceived front runners for 2008 - if there could be some at this point, as long as the nation made it to the finish line on Dubya Incorporated - which is a highly dubious proposition at the dawn of 2005, because it is clear that this preznut is going to leave the cupboard bare for the next unfortunate selection to the Big House, assuming that he doesn't declare martial law and dub himself Sultan of Saudi Arabia West.

That was the fallout from Wednesday. Dubya could hardly contain himself for the next crisis of his tenure and ordered the Big House kitchen staff to get him a case of Jim Beam for the cabinet ... and then he called Daddy down in Texas, who warned him about Reagan's second term.

"What problem?" said Dubya, like he had just been jerked by the collar. "Ain't it all wine and roses from here on out?"

"Hell, no," Daddy shot back. "You've got about three weeks on this Social Security idea. Before guys like McCain and Frist and Lugar start running their mouths on the Sunday shows - and begin to leak evidence on all the indictable stuff you thought Cheney washed under the rug."

Dubya went hard and silent, then tossed himself to his knees like a crack addict looking for stray rocks and cried in front of his staff, who by then figured that the Big Guy was running low on his thorazine level.

The fuel tank holding his political capital is now on empty. And even as his weeping and screaming echoed through the hallways that night, while the White House staffers hunkered down for afterhours strategizing - which turned to shouts and accusations and threats and pure bitching by the next morning - the talking heads had already taken to the airwaves, with sardonic takes on the Iraqi-Army Mom choreography and rumors of Social Security reform failure even before the preznut's mobilization effort could gain steam. And after the payola scandal that rocked Armstrong Williams' career - which is sure to implicate others once the political tide finally turns into a whirlpool - there is not even one respected voice who would reach out for a cash settlement in advance, much like what happened before the administration considered that it needed more spin for No Child Left Behind and the Post-911 World garbage that has squeezed an entire generation from all sides.

"Remember a thousand points of light, my boy," his daddy emailed the next morning. "Might as well be a string of redneck beads on dental floss."

Dubya jumped the shark, for sure - jacked up on slick egotism and an overactive megalomaniac cycle that painted him in the corner in which he sits today - and a voice in the darkness with a really precise sense of political destruction is sitting in the weeds, painting the target with a laser beam that could cause utter "catastrophic success" at any moment.

It was the same day that reports of a recent memo, drafted by a senior White House strategist, hit the pages of The Los Angeles Times, in which it is alleged that the Rethugs are hoping to achieve an ambitious political objective: Ravaging the money stream and key voters from the Democratic side and cementing GOP dominance for years after Dubya cuts, ducks and runs for his fancy pansexual dude ranch in Crawford ... err ... on the outskirts of Houston.

One of the clearest examples is an effort to limit jury awards in lawsuits against doctors and businesses. The caps might not only discourage "frivolous" lawsuits, as Bush argues, but also deprive trial lawyers of income from damage awards that they could then give to Democrats.

"If we could succeed in getting some form of tort reform passed — medical malpractice reform or any of part of that — it would go a long ways toward … taking away the muscle, the financial muscle that they have," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who ousted Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle last fall despite a heavy flood of trial lawyer money backing the Democrat.

[ ... ]

Are we doing it because it creates more Republicans? Or are we doing it because it's the right thing to do, and by the way, it also happens to create more Republicans?" asked Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and a frequent advisor to Karl Rove, Bush's chief political advisor. "It's both."

"Every one of the ideas for the most part has merits on its own, so … they're defensible," said Stephen Moore, a conservative activist who plans to raise $10 million this year to advertise on behalf of Bush's Social Security plans. "But I think, altogether, this was devised as a Karl Rove grand plan to cement in place a Republican governing coalition that could last for a generation or more."

So the bizarre story goes, and Dubya's strange collection of associates are devising even newer ways to prosper. The memo in question, authored by Peter Wehner, director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, has been drinking from the same bottle as his master, acting all Robespierre-like by igniting Dubya's Reign of Terror against labor unions, frivolous lawsuits, the legal rights of citizens and the Social Security trust fund, rationalizing a windfall to Wall Street who would be able to further erode worker's rights and get fat on the advantage of personal retirement accounts. Not surprisingly, this balkanization of the current partisan minefield will become a prime example of Gresham's law of political morality: the bad drives out the good as everyone becomes corrupted ... while political life becomes not unlike the Hobbesian war of all against all in "a perpetual and restless desire for power, that ceaseth only in death." And in the end, the Rethugs will have no one to thank but themselves ... once the 51% of the misinformed public that votes for Dubya wakes up to the cold reality that the boos and hisses and special prosecutors that were aimed at William Jefferson Clinton will finally come home to roost on the head of The Chimperor. They will all blame the political "third rail" - which is the Social Security entitlement - but it will be more of an indictment on Dubya than it will the AARP, the ACLU, the DNC or the so-called liberal media.

By the time that the Social Security agenda hits the Senate floor his brain will have folded onto itself, from the constant taste of Jim Beam in his gills, and during the nights leading to his end it will be a White House aide who will be the only living thing that keeps Dubya from getting busted for public urination or violating the DC sealed container laws.

Our child preznut already seems to have no friends - only Condi, who telephones him every morning with fresh news on the crazy Arabs and disloyal Euros in her new role as rubber stamp to the doomed and freakish neo-con legacy.

"Terror is nought but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is less a particular principle than a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to the most pressing needs of the fatherland."
- Maximillien Marie Isidore de Robespierre Address, National Convention, 1794