Halloween XXVII

Is there any such thing anymore as a Republican deemed unworthy of opining on the news of the day?  Is there any conduct so aberrant, lie so flagrant, hypocrisy so astounding, nor unbroken record of utter failure enough to get these blowhards off the TV and Op/Ed pages once and for all?

No, Virginia, there isn’t.  Though they represent a tiny and rather unhinged minority, the wackiest righties, often sounding like the yammerings in a nursing home dayroom, are adorned with pancake and trotted out yet again, despite their personal failings, glaring corruption, and documented decade (s) of disastrous error.  Want to talk about Obama’s UN speech?  Who better than the infamous John Bolton, whose “career” at the UN was one brief yet infuriating embarrassment for everyone except FOX viewers, and who also publicly advocated “eliminating” several floors of the UN building itself, prior to his never-confirmed appointment?  Evidently Liz Cheney was unavailable.

The Washington Post’s “editor,” Marcus Brauchli, fretted in a memo today that the paper was not sensitive enough to conservative viewpoints, unintentionally revealing that he is illiterate, and no doubt causing laughter everywhere except in the Graham “salon.”  Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan’s grandfatherly, Thurmondesque racism is always given a respectful hearing, and military matters are referred, of course, to Victorious, decorated  General Bill Kristol, as he selects which wars we’ll lose next.  Bring on General Petraeus for “balance,” if none of the Pentagon-contracted military “experts” can get home from Belize or Monaco fast enough.

In this down-the-rabbit-hole world, John Yoo is urgently queried on issues of torture, Tom Friedman, he of the units, vies with Michael O’Hanlon for bookings as they hyperventilate about the constantly endangered glory of their many wars, and Karl Rove, blinking like a bald and jowly ground hog into the red light, declares that Democrats are partisan, and don’t fight fair, either.  What’s next?  Sarah Palin addressing an international business conference?  Oops.  Yeah.  While there is no evidence that David Vitter has signed a multimillion dollar advertising contract to plug Pampers, at least at press time, such an endorsement would be considerably more credible than guys like Rudy, Newt, Ensign, Sanford, et al popping off for the umpteenth time about the sanctity of marriage.

Is there something irresistibly alluring about people so thoroughly and roundly discredited that draws eager viewers, gawking just as they would at a more than usually grisly train wreck?  Can Statesman/Media Darling status only be painfully garnered through the cleansing flames of every typically nutty and overconfident word you’ve ever spoken going up so gloriously in smoke?  Is it possible to get on television without at least making a complete, epochal, world-changing ass of yourself at least once?  Not so much, it appears.  Especially on Sundays.

It seems that once the media embraced the the empowering narrative of ennobling upward failure to exalt the Boy King, they promptly claimed it for themselves, since that’s so much less arduous and socially inconvenient than actually doing anything, and it’s always annoying to have to waste valuable cocktail party time talking to a bunch of grubby, boring, unfamiliar people, when David Brooks is such a kick in the Green Room, and Tom DeLay looks so good in high heels.

The McCarthyites once considered the term “premature antifascist”  an identifying feature of the anti-American domestic “commies” they incessantly smeared and hounded, and darkly declared those early, prescient opponents of Franco, Mussollini, and Hitler to be clearly untrustworthy, and worse, “liberal.”  Today the media, performing McCarthy’s role with disturbing amnesia, are just as dismissive of those “prematurely” correct about the most recent wars, controversies, and disastrous failures, and their choice of spokesmen makes this almost comically clear.

You can be right, or you can be on TV.  Not both.


  1. Pedinska says:

    Hit that nail dead on, grrrl.

    Your title, and this:

    Karl Rove, blinking like a bald and jowly ground hog

    Makes me want to take a trip to the local costume emporium to see if the above is adequately represented in mask form. ;-}

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Admittedly, that funny popped into my head during the revision process, but thanks for noticing…

  3. Karen M says:

    via Twitter…

    Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words. -Dorothy Parker

    Too much truth here, CH! We laugh so hard we cry and cry so hard we must laugh, too.

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s how I try to approach these things. If not to laugh, then what? It’s not like crying changes anything. As I’ve often told those losing their cool, “Your attitude is the only thing about this situation you can control…”

  4. Karen M says:

    One more…

    In anything funny you write that isn’t close to serious you’ve missed something along the line. -James Thurber

    btw, these were courtesy of The Paris Review

  5. I’m tempted to quote Colonel Nicholson, i.e. Madness! Mad-ness! It’ll come to all of them eventually, once we finally get ’round to blowing up their latest bridge.

    (A bit of trivia to make the bad news go down more easily: Sir Alec apparently took every penny Hollywood paid him for The Bridge on the River Kwai, and invested it in The Horse’s Mouth, one of my favorite movies of all time.) I’m too lazy to IMDb tonight, but If I remember correctly, he directed as well as starred. Joyce Cary’s book was lovely, but this was one instance in which I actually preferred the film.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve never seen that movie… I’ll bump something else off my always-lengthening list, WT.

      • Karen M says:

        While your lengthening your list, CH… have you seen any of Dorothy Sayers’ “Lord Peter Wimsey” series?

        I’ve watched the three episodes available on NetFlix InstantView twice each, and I really enjoyed them. It is important, in this case, to watch them in the proper order:

        1. Strong Poison2. Have His Carcase3. Gaudy Night

        …because of an ongoing story line.

        • Karen M says:

          I now share William’s disenchantment with current html…

          I think I saw something online about a move to be made by google that will force MS to incorporate html 5.

          Perhaps that is the issue.

  6. heru-ur says:


    Please read the following and tell me what you think.


    It is related to your theme of this post; although not directly.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’m not going to read any more denialist hogwash, Heru.

      • heru-ur says:

        Ok, I can see that a statement of facts by the National Review on a scientific controversy surrounding the very data your faith is based on would no be something that you would care to read.

        “… Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded: …” — Damn fake scientists — asking for the raw data!

        What other myths are so sacred to you that reading anything contrary is more than you can take? I’ll try to not mention them if you give me a list.

        • cocktailhag says:

          It’s not that anything is especially “more than I can take,” Heru; it’s just a question of time. Because the anti-global warming action lobby is so well-coordinated as propaganda, anything you offer me to read I’ve probably heard a dozen times already. I’m a busy Hag, you know, what with the day job and a blog to write….
          Esteemed or not, if the guy is a climate change disbeliever, I don’t have time for him. Like Pacific Gas and Electric of California.

          • heru-ur says:

            That is ok. The story is about scientists unable to see the raw data that you base all your beliefs on. I was trained that science had to be open and others got to see the data.

            As for “timing”, I have followed this story for months.

            Oh well, I’ll not bother your again.

        • Gordon Ginsberg says:

          Got anything debunking “evolution?” How about the current “recession?” “Gravity?”

  7. retzilian says:

    The first thing that comes to mind is that the omnipresence of these scoundrels actually legitimizes them to the public. The public sees them so much, they are so familiar, they have to be credible, right?

    It’s like Top 40 music. If you hear a really bad song often enough, if it becomes so familiar, you tend to like it after awhile. So much bad music from our childhoods comes to mind. When we analyze such bad songs from an artistic and musical standpoint, we realize these songs SUCKED and we only like them because they’re familiar or evoke some sort of happy memory.

    The same with the pundits and commentators – they are shoved down our throats like bad Disco and we become inured to them.

    Just a thought.

    • Karen M says:

      LOL, Retzilian. That doesn’t work for me. My childhood was anything but idyllic. Music that should be nostalgic just makes me feel really, really sad. Most of the time. Books, however, are another story.

      The more I see of the likes of Tom DeLay, the worse I feel. Of course, I don’t watch reality tv, so I’m only exposed to the headlines and photos online.

  8. rmp says:

    OT This is the most creative idea of how to use a half-finished building that I have ever come across. Actually, my scientific-minded son found this as he does other stories like it.

    Attack of the Algae: The Latest Trend in Eco-Architecture

  9. nailheadtom says:

    Gee, what’s the beef with John Bolton? Stuff like this: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODA2YzJmNTkwYmFmZDk4MTQwNWFkYzJjNzM5Y2MwMmE= seems to indicate that he’s one of the few in the beltway circus that has his head screwed on straight.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thanks for reminding me again why Bolton is nuts. Being “American” doesn’t mean being an intransigent, violent bully, to me at least. Nor does it mean kissing Israel’s belligerent, increasingly theocratic, ass. We are only more hated worldwide because of people like Bolton, and hence more at risk of terrorism, which necessitates, to the addled, more war. See a pattern?
      I didn’t think so.

      • rmp says:

        I refuse to even look at a Bolton video or article. The amount of incalculable damage that man has done makes him one of the most disgusting War Hawks we have and the competition for that is fierce.

      • nailheadtom says:

        Israel has Arab MKs. How many Jews are in government in the 22 broad-minded Muslim theocracies?

        • cocktailhag says:

          How these countries are governed is of no concern to me, and certainly no strategic importance. I don’t approve of these theocracies, but neither do I fear them or think we should bomb their citizens because we don’t like their leaders.

  10. nailheadtom says:

    “We are only more hated worldwide because of people like Bolton, and hence more at risk of terrorism, which necessitates, to the addled, more war. See a pattern?”

    Nobody in the rest of the world, or even the overwhelming majority of Americans even know who John Bolton is. I dare you to ask the first ten people you meet on the street today, “Who is John Bolton?” They’ll either answer that he’s a character in a soap opera or a pro football player. Literally no one in the trans-oceanic unwashed mass has any idea who he might be.

    The pattern that I see is that fundamentalist Muslims seeking paradise credentials look at the US and see a society that embraces, even encourages, that which is anathema to themselves, homosexuality, women’s rights, pornography, alcohol, pork, dogs and abortion. They don’t care about John Bolton. They know the meaning and utility of force. They despise our values.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The reason most Americans don’t know who John Bolton is is that so many of them are stupid; people elsewhere know all about him and his neocon ilk. As far as our “values” are concerned, I fail to see the difference between fundamentalist Muslims and our very own home-grown kind, except regarding dogs. The phobias are all the same, and as we’ve seen a lot lately, the willingness to kill for these “values” seems to be another thing the Christian Right has in common with the “terrorists.” And they did happen to run the country for eight years….

      • nailheadtom says:

        “We are only more hated worldwide because of people like Bolton, and hence more at risk of terrorism, which necessitates, to the addled, more war. See a pattern?”

        I guess I missed the news that day that the Republicans crashed planes into skyscrapers and then blew themselves up in pizza parlors because they disagreed with the utopians. What I’m saying is that the servants of Allah hate you and the other godless utopians far more than they despise the likes of Bolton or any other so-called “neo-cons”. They can understand the ideas of the right. The concepts of the “neo-communists” are rejected summarily.

        At one time in the middle east, there was an attempt by the communists to take the lead in the Arab grievance derby. It never got any traction because even an ignorant Bedouin shepherd knows better than to swallow the mumbo-jumbo of Marx and Engels. Yet relatively affluent Americans still support the troops in class warfare. That’s because they’re LOSERS. And it can’t be their own fault. It can’t be that they’re intellectually unequipped to compete in the open market, they’re not dwarfs trying to make it in the NBA. No, the system is lined up against them. The “rich” somehow cheated. It just isn’t fair that some should have so much and others so little. So the plan for the losers, who haven’t the integrity or fortitude to simply steal the assets of the winners, is to elect a government that will do the stealing for them, in exchange for votes. That’s the kind of people that are hated worldwide.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Yeah, and Bush missed that day, too. When warned that terrorists wanted to hijack planes and crash them into buildings, he decided that some brush needed clearing back at his quickly-dumped fake Presidential ranch at Crawford, then read to children, hid out on planes, and skulked back to his JOB mnay hours after 3,000 Americans got killed. And then he set about scaring easily scared people like yourself. Interesting how few New Yorkers, who actually experienced 9/11, share your misplaced fears…..
          And, I wearily add, the rich have cheated. They’ve been allowed to grow so bloated that they have nothing left to buy but the government and media, and buy they have.
          Few other countries on earth, civilized ones that is, tolerate the insane income inequality that we do, and none waste so much money on their cuckoo dreams of empire. The two are related.
          Whether some foreign, or domestic, crazy person “hates” me or not matters not a whit; the only dangers I face, from 9/11 forward, are borne of the relentless provocations of my own government’s wasteful, violent, and fruitless endeavors.