Monday, January 19, 2009

8 things I learned in 8 years of the Bush nightmare

Following was penned by my buddy, the brilliant jazz guitarist Phil Lewis.

Eight Things I Learned in Eight Years of George W. Bush’s Presidency:

1. Anyone can become president – and I mean anyone. Even the most undistinguished, insipid, vapid, angry troll of a man can become president if he is born into the right family.
2. At least half the US population is far stupider and angrier than I had ever imagined.
3. No one is above the law – except the president, vice president, the cabinet, etc., right on down to just above Scooter Libby.
4. Truth is irrelevant, what matters is perception.
5. What we have been funding as the “Dept of Defense” is in fact the president’s (and vice president’s) personal arsenal -- even the National Guard is available to fight the president’s proxy wars and petty disputes. (Who woulda thunk?)
6. So-called “free market economics” is merely a ruse for funneling more wealth to the wealthy. (This I had previously suspected.)
7. Congress is as spineless as it is corrupt.
8. The national news media is in actuality the personal PR agency of the president.

And just for good measure…
9. A new word for torture (“enhanced interrogation techniques”).

Lady Caroline Accepts Her Title

When I was kid, I was told that America was different from Europe because we didn't have a peerage. If that's so, then why do we have a House of Lords (and Ladies)? And the other choices for that apparently inherited seat* were Cuomo and Chelsea? From OTHER dynasties?! Well, at least Lady Caroline will feel comfortable with her $100 million Uncle Ted, Lord Jay Rockefeller, Count Kohl, Admiral of the Beer Distributorships McCain, Baron of the Brothels Vitter, the two oil suckups from Oklahoma, Jillionaire John Kerry, Diane "Money Bags" Feinstein, Chuck "What Can I Do for Wall Street" Schumer, and all the other Senatorial swells who allegedly represent the common man.

Below are some more Senate Silver Bags. Sorry the figures are 5 years old (2003) and some jillionaires have stepped down (Edwards, for example, and Frist, thank God) to be replaced by others (Countess Hillary Clinton, Obama, $7 million, but at least he and Edwards are self-made money bags). The estimates below are absurdly low. Anyhow, you DO get the idea, dontcha? Kerry is married to hundreds of millions. Edwards fortune is over $30 mill, Ted K has $100 mill, easy, and so on.

So is America's government a plutocracy, or an aristocracy of inherited privilege, or...? Just don't try to tell me it's a democracy, please. We field hands gots to depend on de massas' noblesse oblige 'lessen we gets sold down de river....

Senate millionaires:
John Kerry, D-Massachusetts: $163,626,399Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin: $111,015,016John Rockefeller, D -West Virginia: $81,648,018Jon Corzine, D-New Jersey: $71,035,025Dianne Feinstein, D-California: $26,377,109Peter Fitzgerald, R-Illinois: $26,132,013Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey $17,789,018Bill Frist, R-Tennessee: $15,108,042John Edwards, D-North Carolina: $12,844,029Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts: $9,905,009Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico: $7,981,015Bob Graham, D-Florida: $7,691,052Richard Shelby, R-Alabama: $7,085,012Gordon Smith, R-Oregon: $6,429,011Lincoln Chafee, R-Rhode Island: $6,296,010Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska: $6,267,028Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee: $4,823,018Mike DeWine, R-Ohio: $4,308,093Mark Dayton, D-Minnesota: $3,974,037Ben Campbell, R-Colorado: $3,165,007Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska: $2,963,013Olympia Snowe, R-Maine: $2,955,037James Talent, R-Missouri: $2,843,031Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania: $2,045,016Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire: $1,916,026John McCain, R-Arizona: $1,838,010James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma: $1,570,043John Warner, R-Virginia: $1,545,039Kay Bailey Hutchison, R - Texas: $1,513,046Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky: $1,511,017Harry Reid, D-Nevada: $1,500,040Sam Brownback, R-Kansas: $1,491,018Thomas Carper, D-Delaware: $1,482,017Ted Stevens, R-Alaska: $1,417,013Maria Cantwell, D-Washington: $1,264,999Barbara Boxer, D-California: $1,172,003Orrin Hatch, R-Utah: $1,086,023Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana: $1,080,014Bill Nelson, D-Florida: $1,073,014Charles Grassley, R-Iowa: $1,016,024

*so why do they even BOTHER with elections? Oh, I know. So the chumps, I mean, citizens, will think THEY had something to do with picking these swells. That way, they, I mean we, are less likely to revolt and overturn the honeypot. Funny joke, eh? And it's on us. And yes, there IS a solution. Don't make Senatorial and Congressional and Presidential elections so dependent on campaign funds. But do you think we can count on these folks to reform THEMSELVES? On the plus side, Obama made a real connection to the common man in the last election and small $ contributions over the Internet were critical to his success. So maybe I should stop being so cynical on the day before the very hopeful beginning of his administration. If one near-miracle can happen, maybe we're in store for more.