Atlas Frugged

March 4, 2009

After the Hieronymous-Bosch-Meets-The-Island-of-Dr. Moreau spectacle that was CPAC, followed by the entirely predictable news that RNC chairman Michael Steele has leased a long-term parking spot for his lips on Rush Limbaugh’s butt cheeks, I thought the conservatives had topped up their crazy tank and would spend the rest of the week chilling out in their padded cells.

Silly me. Now the flappers are talking about “going Gault.” Let’s trek into the fever swamp and listen as these strange creatures gather around their favorite salt lick:

  • I shut down my online businesses in early November, I don’t remember why. I’m now a net user of Obama Cheese. I may even apply for food stamps.
  • Small businesses will lay off employees, and I hope the first to go are the ones that voted for bho. They wanted ‘hope and change’, well you got it. These bho voters have NO idea how much more taxes they are going to be paying. I just hope those bho voters have their IRA, 401k and stocks cratered as much as those who DID not vote for bho. Such(sic) it up kids!
  • I’m starting my victory garden this spring. My sister is expanding hers and in exchange for my helping with that I will be able to claim some of the produce. I’ve been couponing for over a year now and have a nice stockpile of food for when things get really, really bad. I can’t believe that my country is on this path. From Ronald Reagan to this Marxist in the span of one generation. Unbelievable.

I trust the Ayn Rand reference is already clear.

Weekend Bookchat

February 15, 2009

This space is frequently used to ridicule conservatives and Republicans, but in honor of the atmosphere of love and affection generated by the Valentine’s Day weekend, Weekend Bookchat will take this opportunity to step forward and praise Wingnut Nation for its leadership role in recycling.

 Because when one surveys the illiterary annex of the winger aviary, it becomes clear that there is no conservative argument so tired, so lame, so overworked or so played out that some ambitious illiterateur won’t scrape it off the bottom of the aviary and repackage and yet another bold, fresh pile of right-wing thought. Consider, for example, Andrea Peyser’s suavely titled new — that is, “new” — book Celbutards, an attack on Hollywood  liberals. As Steve M. puts it:

Wow, a right-wing attack on the likes of Rosie O’Donnell, Barbra Streisand, and Sean Penn. What a blazingly original book idea.

No, seriously — I bet this is a great book. After all, it was a great book when Bernard Goldberg wrote it and called it 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37). And it was an even greater book when Laura Ingraham wrote it and called it Shut up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN Are Subverting America. And it was an even greater book when Michael Savage wrote it and called it The Political Zoo (“Serving as resident biologist and zookeeper, Dr. Savage asks that you watch your step when approaching the widemouth copperhead Ted Turner [also known as Mouthus desouthus], do not feed the ego of stuffed turkey Alec Baldwin [Notalentus anti-americanus], and please keep your children with you at all times around wolf boy Bill Clinton [Fondlem undgropeum]”).

Bloody hell, do these people have any new thoughts? Do they think this stuff is funny? Still? “Hanoi Jane”? Still?

“Still”? Of course still! If there’s one thing you can count on parrots to do, it’s take to the air in a flock to fly around in circles making identical screeching noises. No sooner have you wiped away the wingnut complaints about press being biased in favor of Barack Obama than Bernie Goldberg’s A Slobbering Love Affair:  The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media is deposited on the shelves of your local big box.

Which is why I can predict that  no matter how great Peyser’s book may turn out to be, it will only be dwarfed by the sheer awesomeness of aspiring New Media tycoon Roger Simon’s Blacklisting Myself, an attack on — yes! — Hollywood liberals. Because after conservatives have lied us into a disastrous war, destroyed the economy and laid the foundation for future disasters, what else is there to do but wheel out some creaky Jane Fonda jokes? Or tell everybody that Michael Moore is fat? After all, Dinesh D’Souza did it ahead of them all with The Enemy at Home, and he can leave his gated community without being pelted with eggs, so where’s the downside? 

* * * * *

A look at conservative labor relations. Is jazz dead? Like the man said, that depends on what you know. And leave it to a science fiction writer to come up with a big new idea for writers and authors.

Librul Media Bias

February 4, 2009

It’s just so insidious, I tell ya.

Steeley Scam

February 2, 2009

Like Field and Nordette, I find myself a bit underwhelmed by the choice of Michael Steele to chair the Republican National Committee. As a matter of fact, I find it pretty hilarious and unconvincing, even if the David Dukes of the world are getting their white sheets in a twist.

Steele may be sitting on the throne, but his behind isn’t the one Republicans are bending to kiss.

Oh well. I wouldn’t want to pre-judge the man, so let’s see what his backbone is made of, but something tells me it will be something a lot more pliable than steel.

No matter how tough a day I may be having at work, I know there’ll be a smile waiting for me whenever a NewsMax e-mail alert appears in my in-box. Whether it’s an  investment scam, a call to arms  against another mythical threat to the winger talk radio aviary, a  morsel of  quack health advice, another Dick Morris toe-sucker bulletin or a hustle to buy a hand-cranked emergency radio (“Terror chatter is high — protect your family!”) NewsMax bulletins are like a CNN Headline News broadcast beamed directly from the conservative Id.  Since the conservative mind consists solely of Id — no Superego, just a lot of Egos and  Super Egos — we may assume that NewsMax bulletins function as an EEG of conservative brain activity, with its cyclical bursts of psychotic frenzy and long stretches of flatlined unresponsiveness.

Perhaps a better metaphor would be a diner with an extremely limited menu and staff ranging from incompetent to indifferent. At the NewsMax Diner the food is indigestible, the pies are always half-baked and the crockery is never clean, but the stupid is always brewed fresh and served straight-up, piping hot.  

Now I see DougJ has discovered this reliable source of grins, and I wish him much fun with it. He should bear in mind that they’ve been predicting that war with Iran since Mitt Romney was considered a shoo-in for the presidency, but the NewsMax Diner never stocks anything with a clearly dated shelf life.

In the aftermath of the multiple conservative-engineered disasters on the financial, moral, military and electoral fronts that we are now struggling with, there was a great deal of talk about “soul searching” among “thoughtful” conservatives, who would try to find ways to bring right-wingers back to “true” conservatism.

It’s a laudable goal, but from where I stand, most conservatives seem less interested in coming to grips with their failures than in redefining them so that actions undertaken by Dubya with the enthusiastic support of conservatives suddenly become examples of liberalism, the sort of thing the sainted Ronald Reagan would never have dreamed of doing.

On the local front, Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine has been forlornly trying to redefine Bush’s invasion of Iraq as “liberal do-gooder internationalism,” while railing against “the essentially left-wing views of Bill Kristol, John Podhoretz and the Fox News crowd,” thereby giving us a taste of what might have resulted if George Orwell had offered Groucho Marx a chance to rewrite Nineteen Eighty-Four.   

Now I see that one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers has decided to see Mulshine on the Iraq War and raise him:

A reflexive abhorrence of violence of all kinds (war, torture, even the death penalty and abortion) is inherently conservative – part of any meaningful definition of conservatism. 

Having spent the last couple of decades hearing conservatives grunt about liberals being a bunch of pacifist hippies, and the last few years being called all kinds of nasty things by drive-by wingers with “Whack Iraq” and “Kick Their Ass, Take Their Gas” bumper stickers, I can only laugh at this attempt to retrofit conservatism with dove’s wings, much less the notion that Bush has somehow degraded the Reagan legacy.

For the overwhelming majority of conservatives, and middle-of-the-roaders who never offered more than token objections, Bush’s invasion of Iraq was going to be Reagan’s invasion of Grenada writ large — a little dodgy in moral terms, sure, but hey it was all going to be over quickly and once the smoke cleared we’d have loads of oil to burn.

When it came to running up huge deficits, undermining public safety through deregulation, packing government positions with cynical operators and using American might to stomp on ninety-pound weaklings, Bush and Reagan were and are more alike than different.

Face it, wingers: When you got Bush, you got everything you’d ever dreamed of having, and the result was poison. Now be a bunch of dears and go play your word while the rest of us try to restore a measure of sanity and stability. Hey, why don’t you check in with Jonah Goldberg? He’s been redefining words in all kinds of interesting ways.

Top Ten Iraq Myths

January 2, 2009

From “Iraqis are safer because of Bush’s war” to “Bush invaded Iraq because of bad intelligence” and beyond, here’s your clip’n’save hit parade of lies and their corrections.

Nobody Likes Dubya

December 30, 2008

But it’s not his fault! He just couldn’t change the tone in Washington because of that darned recount business.

Of course it had nothing to do with him acting as though he’d won in a landslide, then proceeding to lie us into a war, let a city drown and generally screw things up.

WSUV

December 22, 2008

I realize that mass-market talk radio has long been a right-wing aviary, but is adding more conservative parrots really the shrewdest move in the aftermath of a Democratic landslide? Especially when the radio market is already shrinking?

In this, I guess, the radio networks emulate the auto industry, which kept gorging on the profits from sport-utility vehicles instead of diversifying and improving its brands, even after it became obvious the situation would evaporate as soon as fuel prices rose. The difference is that while the collapse of the auto industry is a national concern, the end of the radio business will affect hardly anyone. Are there any radio stations left with a noticeable local or regional identity?

The Final Fantasy

December 9, 2008

Leave it to Peggy Noonan, the magic dolphin lady herself, to articulate the last and most comforting lie to be cherished by conservatives as their nasty little boy prepares to toddle out of the White House:  “At least Bush kept us safe.”

I realize that the winger time sense is quite elastic, which is why they’re blaming Barack Obama — whose presidency hasn’t started yet — for a recession that began when Larry Kudlow was still squealing about a “Bush boom.” But anyone willing to look at a calendar can seen that it wasn’t Bill Clinton who was in the White House when the World Trade Center fell and the Pentagon shook. It wasn’t Clinton who laughed off the clear warning that al-Qaeda was ready to strike within the U.S. It wasn’t Clinton who sat like a doe-eyed child in that elementary school classroom while the worst terrorist attack in our history was carried out, and it wasn’t Clinton who let the mastermind of that attack get off scot-free.

I realize the conservatives insist on grading Bush along a pretty shallow curve, but in a sane world where wingers didn’t dominate punditry and Bush wasn’t being fellated around the clock by FoxNoise,  9/11 would have been grounds for impeachment, not celebration.  So the sentry allowed 9/11 to happen, but nothing of equal horror has happened since so we’ll just let that little mistake slide? Not on your life.

Magic thinking is the default mode of modern conservatism, so it’s hardly surprising that Bush’s supporters are constructing a Tolkien-style fantasy in which Dubya was the last king of Gondor and Obama will be the inept steward under whose watch all kinds of bad things will happen, until another great white daddy can be found to reclaim the throne. And if he carries the reforged Sword of Milton, maybe the magic marketplace fairies will come back, too.