They took a pay cut for this?

I have often wondered why Republicans compulsively abuse their power, often gratuitously and at some political expense, when doing so flies so blatantly in the face of their constant hosannahs to small government, even lately   producing rightward dissidents like Ron Paul, whose candidacy was a small disaster for them (of many, thank god…)   I usually assume it’s because, well, they’re bonkers and they can’t help it, but that couldn’t possibly explain it all.  Honestly, they land a job like President of the United States, look around,  and like a spoiled teenager contemplating his 16th birthday sports car, wearily intone, “not powerful enough.”  The heart bleeds with pity.  But perhaps their disdainful rhetoric about government, right down to the abominably low pay they receive for such crappy work, tells us all we need to know.  Dreary and annoying as it is, democracy isn’t going to disappear by itself, and one could hardly expect the rule of law it flush itself down the toilet, so Republicans subject themselves to the indignity of it all, like sort of a boot camp on the way to one’s proper sinecure in the “Defense” industry, solely for personal and group gains.  To repeat the names of the members of the Bush Administration who have personally profited from government endeavors, expenditures, and political favoritism would literally take all day…  Instant Corporations appeared like mushrooms after a rain designed for no other purpose than to fleece the taxpayer.  Every well-connected but not yet established Republican moved into “security,” and look what security they found there, particularly compared to the rest of us.  No one could have predicted, indeed.

It’s doubly infuriating, of course, to watch them find the institution they derided as crummy and useless turn out to be a quite valuable tool when it comes to enriching themselves, empowering outlaw industries, and silencing their critics.  After all, that’s the way they ran things at Enron, Exxon, Halliburton, and on and on, in the hallowed halls of every other industry whose very operations are so grossly  against the public interest that they need extravagant government indulgences to survive.  All this baloney about the free market is just that.  The real money is where government and business join, and Republicans have always known this.  And with both business and government, bigger is better.  All the better to squish people like bugs.

Wars are good too, because what could be more ideal than being able to call even the mildest critics traitors, when having to put up with naysayers is the sort of thing could lead to a bunch of insolent babble about that no-bid contract your company just got, or maybe that environmental, antitrust, you name it, waiver that turned out so timely/helpful.  That stuff’s nobody’s business, and ol’ Cheney’ll take your ass to the fucking Supreme Court to prove it, (if you will).  From Nixon on, all Republicans have used wars for every reason other than to achieve any tangible gain to US security, generally quite the opposite, but always at great expense and invariably with blithe indifference to “enemy” casualties.  No sensible business would run its operations in such a manner, but lo and behold, when the government does, a lot of businesses do just happen to do quite well, and a whole new generation of “Pioneers” and “Rangers” are made.  God helps those who help themselves, and all.

It’s the second oldest profession, probably, belonging to a grasping and parasitical elite that has wrapped itself around a bloated and corrupt government, and making it look new, even on FOX, has its obstacles.  Especially when it seems to be ending up about the same way it always does, too…  Okay, have your country back; too bad about the money.  We needed it more than you did.

Cheney will send you a post card from Dubai.


  1. rmp says:

    Thanks for posting the pix from my Japanese friend. What a shame to have a view (almost- short hike) like that from a condo.

    My short answer to the question you posed is: incurable, selfish hypocrites who use any means to an end.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    The picture came out nice, though, don’t you think? Thanks for it.
    And on topic… Yes, that’s it. And the squeamishness about being so obvious has fallen away.

  3. Meremark says:

    “… they’re bonkers and they can’t help it, but that couldn’t possibly explain it all ….” Why not?

    “… solely for personal and [cohort] group gains ….”

    Sure self-seizure explains it all, and the emerging psychological sense in brain scans increasingly documents it all. ‘Bonkers’ is a brain bent (pathologically and visibly) unthoughtful. Rightwing ‘conservative’ (un)consciousness can be expertly diagnosed as reliably as autism … and in congruent profiles: same details, different degrees.

    In simple superficial cases of ‘conservative’ consciousness, (mimicry acquiescence or silent consent to it), one intervention remedy for such brain warps is knowledgeable treatment with information doses. Indeed, the ‘brain warp’ factor is proportional to the misinformation impinging on the patient. That’s how and why (and where) media matters.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Obviously, you’re right Meremark… RWA types are positively laden with sociopathology; the need to dominate, the arrogance, the utter rejection of criticism, it’s all there. But here they are, having their fantasies play out, and still making money, even on the down side. That’s the most nauseating part, to me.
      And indeed, the fact that the media has joined the chorus, most lavishly and unabashedly here lately, is a big part of the problem.

      • Dirigo says:

        hag, I think the most amusing bit in the film – “Frost/Nixon” – was when Nixon, as a gambit in debate, observes, before an interview session, that Frost is wearing Italian shoes with little gold buckles, and says, “Kind of effeminate, aren’t they?”

        Frost does a semi-double take, but unabashed, keeps on plugging away with his cross-examination of Tricky Dick, eventually nailing him.

        At the end of the film, Frost, saying good-bye to the former president, gives him a new pair of the same Italian shoes. Nixon strolls the patio at San Clemente, wondering about the meaning of it all, including the shoes.

        Frank Langella will win the Oscar for Best Actor. Take that to the bank.

        And then there’s Blackwater. They are re-branding. Perhaps they will go into the mushroom business: cultivating mushrooms; researching techniques to improve not only the size of mushrooms but also the productivity of giant mushrooms; and, with the power inherent in their previous profile, provide security for all mushroom shipments within the country – from sea to shining sea.

        I support Eric Prince in his new endeavors.

        • rmp says:

          You’re wrong about Langella Dirigo. Micky Rourke will win. It looks like a great performance and comeback both of which Hollywood loves. Langella may deserve it but deserving it is not usually what wins at the Oscars. The other factor for Rourke is that he used his life experience to form his character and I suspect Langella was just acting. I haven’t seen either movie but from the clips I have seen, Langella seems to be overacting to me.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Me, too. Mr Prince’s talents are clearly unappreciated. “Xe,” (pronounced “Z”) indeed. Just spell it right on the check.

          • Dirigo says:

            “Just acting?” Well, I’ll leave it at that.

            I know the smart set, in Oscar terms, is picking someone besides Langella, but it may not be Rourke.

            I can’t comment on Rourke. No thanks.

      • Meremark says:

        ‘Hag, hoping maybe for you as for me, it helps to stay mindful of the percentages. This might qualify to coin as the ‘Law of Lottery.’

        Yes, ‘there they are, making money on the downside.’ Ahhh, but there are so few of them. At least endangered, yet, with one good wicked backhand: extinct.

        And, ‘the massmind media is the chorus.’ Yet again, a paltry minority splinter faction, only outsize LOUD. Worse (for them), with a known place of residence. No need to attack there, particularly — just the opposite: avoid there. BOYCOTT Pay TV (cable or dish) … pass it on. But keep your monthly subscription fee to yourself — in your purse.

        The ‘pass it on‘ part is a two-fer: It spreads the BOYCOTT, and it builds the personal network of communication which supplants broadcasting.

        … speaking of (personal) networking, y’wanna know something ‘Hag? You’re rising in ‘local’ eminence here with your blog, just because it’s smart. In a meritocracy, Cherished words RULE! And Passion holds court.

        ‘Hag of my heart — I love that melody.
        ‘Hag of my heart — bring back that song for me.

        We were rough and ready guys
        But oh, how. we. could. harrr-mo-nize

        The whole ‘economic collapse’ is coming so brutal and abrupt, it ain’t worth a worry for the (TV-)featured fools that fall. Their fates are so miniscule. A suffering you wouldn’t want; let them to it.

        Here’s a blog about it — The Oil Drum .COM. Beat the drum slowly.

        • cocktailhag says:

          It’s true, Meremark… Those babbling about “mental recessions” and “losers” literally don’t know, much less care, whether or if others are suffering. Nor do they care how few they are compared to the many out there. Have a blintz while your face gets powdered, then firmly intone at the red light before you, “Suck it up, America.” Nice work if you can get it. (Not so great for a hag, though, what with HDTV and all….)
          Proud to say, I have never owned nor subscribed to cable or any other TV. If I want to rot my brain I have to think of some other way, and I’m fairly resourceful.
          Thanks, of course, for your kind words about chez Hag; you’re helping to keep it smart, too.

  4. Karen M says:

    Please don’t let it be Rourke!

    • Dirigo says:

      This may be cheeky on my part, but as someone who does “just act” once in a while (not pulling your chain here, RMP!), and as one with a concern about the direction of the “culture” – such as it is; I think Mickey Rourke, while acknowledging his his comeback kid story, is a “debased coin.”

      Langella may not win an Oscar for best actor; and that’s okay for Hollywood. I didn’t see his turn as Nixon on Broadway, but people said it was extraordinary. The stage is the stage, and film is film.

      Regardless, I agree with you, K: “Don’t let it be Rourke!”

  5. cocktailhag says:

    Forgive me, for I don’t follow these things much, but is Sean Penn up for his role in “Milk?” That was some performance.

    • Dirigo says:

      Yes, and he may be the favorite.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Of course, I’m partial to Penn because of his politics. I’ve never forgotten a full-page ad he put in the NYT against the Iraq war. A bit rambling, perhaps, but he said everything that needed to be, and wasn’t, being said.
        He’s a compassionate, thinking man, and a fantastic actor, too.

        • Dirigo says:

          Back OT, Rachel Maddow has a segment up on her site about how Richard Perle is now denying he was a neo-con and that in fact, shazzammmm! – there may never have even been neo-cons roaming the earth.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Is that at Air America, or MSNBC? I can believe it, of course. These people all just make shit up as they go, knowing it will be parroted, and never questioned, in the media. Why didn’t he just say he was one of the Dixie Chicks? The bobbleheads would have gone along.

  6. Dirigo says:

    MSNBC (Is she still doing the Air America gig?).

    Recalling an episode from my checkered career in journalism, I interviewed Perle once when I was in New Haven and covered things at Yale.

    I kept asking the Bonesmen about Geronimo’s remains and they kept slamming the door to the tomb in my face, but one day I interviewed Richard Perle.

    It was some foreign policy pow wow, held in one of the fine, wood-paneled dining halls of Old Blue, and I was assigned to ask him some questions about Israel. There was some provocation; can’t recall what. But I do recall how matter-of-fact he was about bombing the shit out of Iraq.
    He just thought it was as normal as changing your sweaty shirt and throwing it in your wrestling opponent’s face. I remember the hubris about him.

    I wanted to bonk him on the head with my microphone.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Barring any unforeseen dark horses, you win the Hurl Check/Ewwww Award for this thread, Dirigo. You were close enough to Richard Perle to touch, or worse, smell, him? The stupidest fucking guy on the face of the planet? Gross. I’m glad I went into remodeling. The ickiest dry rot, the foulest chemical, the most enormous vermin infestation, could never match that. I marvel at your fortitude.

      • Dirigo says:

        An annoying thing about him, as I understand it, is he’s done very well for himself, such that he has a place in the south of France.

        See what being a groveling sycophant, “acting” as a foreign policy expert, can get you!

        I didn’t like him when I met him. You know how you can just tell? And, since I was “acting” as a reporter, I could sense he didn’t like me either.

        On a deeper level still, I disliked him because he was one of those in the higher reaches who opined about the efficacy of military power, yet had no record of service.

  7. Dirigo says:

    hag, three other episodes from my days of rage covering New Haven, and Yale, involved Gary Hart, Robert Bork and William F. Buckley.

    When Hart got caught in the Monkey Business caper, he appeared at Yale Law School after dropping out of the 1988 presidential race. The main lecture hall was packed. Questions. Questions. Questions: from the reporters, and people in the SRO crowd.

    “What the fuck happened, Gary?” everyone seemed to say. Hart’s wife stood next to him gamely and bravely.

    I had my radio recorder rolling, took notes, but didn’t ask a question. It was kinda like the weird press avails involving Alex Rodriguez over the last few days, with that sort of discombobulation. Huh?

    I went back to the station that night to chop things up into nice, bite-size pieces for the next morning’s drive-time cycle.

    A day or two later it struck me that I didn’t ask Hart the question that should have been asked (no one else did either): “Senator, might you get back into the race?”

    As you’ll recall, Hart did get back into the race.

    During the flap about Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, I went to one of the humongous Yale dining halls (the kind where there are big shields and coats of arms hanging up, the kind of place where you could imagine wild boars being carved up and served back in the day), where Bork was a featured guest (and somewhat honored alum). He was to give a speech, though I understood it was on something very arcane and not necessarily an attack on Ted Kennedy, who stuck a splinter in Bork’s eye over the nomination. But I was there to ask about that very thing. I approached the door to the hall and talked with the school’s media relations flack. I was told I couldn’t put my microphone on the lectern where Judge Bork would soon address the rapt attendees as they lingered over their tapioca, coffee, and mints. I explained I was radio and I needed sound. The “aide” said I could take notes only. I said thanks, and left the campus.

    On another occasion, just after the missile attack on the USS Stark, I was able to interview Buckley about that. He was the commencement speaker one day at Albertus Magnus College, a Catholic women’s school which is in the Yale neighborhood. I asked him about the Stark and what he thought Saddam Hussein’s intentions were. I was taken aback when WFB suggested that Hussein really didn’t mean to provoke the United States, that it was some sort of misunderstanding. I resisted the urge, in seeking a follow-up question, to preface it by saying, “Are you shitting me, Bill?” I thanked the great man, and left as he flicked his tongue and smiled.

    • cocktailhag says:

      That would be tough… stuck in situations like that where the limitations are so severe, and competing questioners so many. But quite a lineup: here on the PSU campus, our speakers are a bit more ordinary. (Sam Adams recently cancelled a speech about ethics in gov’t, though…)

  8. Meremark says:

    Oscar shmoscar.

    Got food? … clothing and shelter? … social graces and the connectivity of it?

    In Steve Martin’s (character’s) immortal words: First, we get a million dollars.

    But then what? What’s on second? Maybe back to square zero, and start over, borrowing the memorable words of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers … friends will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no friends ….

    • cocktailhag says:

      I heard a variation of those words, back in the 70′s, but “dope” was used in place of “friends.” I suppose it could be either.

      • Meremark says:

        That’s the “borrow” (‘friends’ for ‘dope’). Fabulous Furry Freak Bros was a less-erudite imitation of, and in the style of, R. Crumb comix.

        keep on truckin’
        truckin’ those blues away