From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
In My Time…
- I was a huge war hawk, happily sending other people's kids to war, but I "had other priorities in the '60s than military service" and got five deferments.
- Saddam Hussein was a friend before he was an enemy.
- I happily did business with Iran, Libya and Iraq as CEO of Halliburton.
- I held secret White House meetings with oil companies to expand their influence and profitability, and suppressed information about the health effects of global warming.
- As a Congressman I opposed the Department of Education and economic sanctions against South Africa's apartheid government.
- I started a trillion-dollar war based on cherry-picked intelligence and outright lies, including "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
- I said that "There's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government."
- I insisted that the war would be over in less than six months.
- I warned in late 2004 that if John Kerry won the election, "…we'll get hit again, and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating."
- I supported the torture of human beings. I still do.
- I stayed on vacation for days after hurricane Katrina hit.
- I had no objection to tossing the writ of habeas corpus into the garbage disposal.
- I couldn't find Osama bin Laden
- I responded to the American people's concern about the Iraq war with: "So?"
- I drank a beer and then shot a lawyer friend in the face because I wasn't following proper gun safety rules. I never apologized.
- I told the FISA court to go fuck itself---we can spy on Americans without a warrant anytime we feel like it.
- I left office with a 13 percent approval rating, for which you can all go fuck yourselves, too.
Preview over. Now buy my book, suckers.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Note: Today's note has been eated by a ravenous elk. We understand it was tender and delicious.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til school starts here in Portland: 6
Days `til the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire in Providence: 10
Percent increase in the number of Hispanics ages 18-24 going to college between 2009 and 2010: 24%
(Source: Census Bureau)
Length of the recently-discovered river that flows 13,000 feet under the Amazon River: 3,700 miles
(Source: Brazilian scientists)
Percent chance that a vial of Pope John Paul II's blood is on display at a public JPII exhibit in Mexico City: 100%
Percent chance that the exhibit includes a "Find the Pope in the Pizza" exhibit: 0%
Current number of candidates running in Portland, Maine's first mayoral election in 88 years: 16
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Mid-week Rapture Index: 183 (including 5 Debt & Trades and 1 deep-thinkin' philosopher gaggle). Soul Protection Factor 8 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Happy ending
JEERS to the new chick on the horizon. With Irene leaving behind (as of last count) 43 dead and over 2½ million without power, I have troubling news: get a load 'o Tropical Storm Katia. Nobody wave. Maybe she'll go away.
CHEERS to Googling Santorum. So I have this fun "Crazy Things People Say" 2010 calendar a Kossack gave me last Christmas, and yesterday's entry stopped me in my tracks--- a delicious bon mot from presidential candidate Rick Santorum that sounded too bad to be true. The calendar cites "A Lecture on Islam" at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, at which he purportedly said:
"The Quran is perfect just the way it is, and that's why it is only written in Islamic."
I couldn’t believe it, so I hopped on my Googlesantorum scooter and…yep, it’s real. Santorum, invited to speak at a major university in 2009 as an expert on Islam, doesn't know that the Quran was originally written in Arabic. Furthermore, Santorum's lecture reportedly excited the crowd. From what I hear, the biggest applause line started with, "And in conclusion…"
P.S. So, if, say, a professor at the University of Nebraska gave a really important test on Islam the next day, and it included a question about what language the Quran was originally written in, and everyone wrote "Islamic" because they'd listened to Expert-on-Islam Rick Santorum the night before, and they all got it wrong, should they get a do-over? Answer: Yes. But the time they wasted attending a Rick Santorum lecture? No matter how hard the plead, they'll never get that back.
CHEERS to the secret of the universe's success. How to give a scientist a spontaneous orgasm in one easy step: just walk up behind one and say, "Hey, wanna touch my asteroid dust?" Yes, indeed, a robotic thingy-doo crash landed in Australia last summer after successfully gathering
two scoops of raisins samples of asteroid dust. Analysts in white lab coats say the dust is yielding clues about the nature of our solar system. Such as:
[M]ost meteorites on Earth originate from stony S-type asteroids like the one sampled, confirming what scientists have long theorized, but had never been able to prove. Through actual, physical sampling of the dust particles, less than four thousandths of an inch in length, researchers were able to confirm that the dust is identical to material that makes up meteorites.
However, they still have no idea what to make of the dog hair or the couch lint.
JEERS to cutting and running from the rabble. You'll have to forgive me if I seem to be beating up on Republicans more than usual lately. It's just that, from their candidates to their policies and legislation to their willingness to blow the country up if it means getting rid of the scary Democrat in the White House, they truly do suck, and shame on voters who let 'em swagger back last November, before they were ready to emerge from the wilderness. I mean, for heaven's sake, they can't even lie to their constituents' faces anymore:
All across the country, Republican members of Congress have done their best to duck their critics this August, traditionally the month when town halls can become heated and policy agendas shifted. But with congressional and Republican approval ratings way, way down, it seems the GOP is preoccupied with quieting those who might criticize them over facing the music back home.
Now playing on GOP iPods: Runaway, Coward of the County, Don’t Talk to Strangers, All By Myself, Leavin' on a Jet Plane, Beat It, Missing You and Nowhere Man.
CHEERS to seeing things close-up. On this date in 1842, the U.S. Naval Observatory was created by an act of Congress. Their first weekly report was brief: "We see London. We see France. We see President Tyler's underpants! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!" Now you know why #10 scowled so much.
CHEERS to weapons of mass…discretion? Here's a good example of how a government policy (total-body scanners at airports) can be put into place and, based on constructive feedback, improved upon. You'll be glad to know that boobies, hoo-haws, wee-wees, and cabooses won’t show up on screeners' scanners anymore, thanks to a little tweaking here and there:
The machines no longer produce [a] revealing x-ray type image. Instead, the screener sees a cookie-cutter outline. "Under the new system. the image is generic and is viewed right at the checkpoint," said Jim Fotenos, TSA spokesperson.
Just one little snag: Here's what the new cookie-cutter images look like. Back to the tweaking board, TSA…
Five years ago in C&J: August 31, 2006
JEERS to bad chemistry. What do you get when you mix an apathetic public with the "first Information Age President" who also turns out to be the "first Information-scrubbing President?" According to columnist Leonard Pitts, trouble in the democracy lab:
From its 18-hour blackout of news that the vice president had shot a man, to its paying a newspaper columnist to write favorable pieces, to its habit of putting out video press releases disguised as TV news, to its penchant for stamping top secret on anything that doesn't move fast enough, this administration has repeatedly shown contempt for the right of the people to know what's going on. At a time when information is more readily available than ever, this government is working like 1952 to enforce ignorance.
And the people, too many of them, shrug and say okey-dokey. As if we learned nothing from Abscam, Iran-contra, Vietnam and Watergate. As if it's OK for an arrogant and paternalistic government to decide for us what we get to know.
One wonders if most people get this. One suspects that most people do not. How can you get it and not be outraged? How can you get it and not feel fear? Apparently, some of us don't understand the stakes here.
And some of us do: 68 days 'til the midterms…and counting.
And just one more…
JEERS to same hypocrites, different year. I've been going back through old C&Js this week to re-read what I wrote about Katrina in 2005. Yesterday I struck this bit of wanker's gold, which puts the current wankery of Eric Cantor and his "fiscal hawks" into perspective. Follow me into the Great GOP Money Pit:
Those poor "fiscal conservative" Republicans. They Approved $54.4 billion for the Iraq War (enacted in April 2003)...plus $70.6 billion (enacted November 2003)...plus $21.5 billion (passed as part of regular appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2005)...plus $58 billion (enacted April 2005). Our war of choice is costing us $5.6 billion per month and that's just peachy to them.
They rammed a $530 billion Medicare bill through Congress in the middle of the night and that felt soooo goooood. (the original price tag, you might remember, was $400 billion. But what's $130 billion among friends?)
This was nice: a $14.5 billion energy bill that, according to the president, doesn't do a damn thing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but does give financial hoochie-koochies to the oil companies which they can stack on top of their record-breaking profits. Suh-weeet!
How about $2.2 trillion with a T in tax cuts for the rich---during wartime even! Or a pork-laden $286 billion transportation bill. That's orgasmotastic!
And while we're at it, let's not forget Social Security privatization, which would toss at least another $1 trillion onto the pile.
But...funding for relief efforts to help victims of the worst natural disaster in our nation's 229-year history? Well...that's cause for grave concern by Republican "fiscal conservatives." From The Chicago Tribune:
"We have to be there for the families and the communities, but we also have an obligation to the rest of the American people and to future generations," says Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana). … "When figures start flowing up to $200 billion, I have concerns. $1 billion is a lot of money," says Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).
God Bless the Fiscally Conservative United States of America.
Why is the GOP still a viable political party, Mommy? And where was the tea party back then, when all this profligate spending was saddling the country with so much soul-crushing debt? I know, I know…best to not clutter up my pretty little head with such unanswerable questions.
See ya next month. I have a great idea---let's make it better than this one. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
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Review: Bill in Portland Maine is all grown up