Saturday, November 24, 2018

News from Zontar: Coalition of the willing to fight global warming

Editors' Note: Every so often the Spy's Deep Space Bureau receives transmissions from the alien civilization on the planet Zontar, in the distant Remulac galaxy.  Because of the principles of electromagnetic wave theory (so much more complicated than good old steam!) these transmissions often take years to travel through the vastness of interstellar space.  For example, this dispatch was beamed from Zontar in 2002 but just reached us Earthlings yesterday.

By Zudith Miller
The New Zork Times

President George Z. Bush astounded official Washington, D.Z. yesterday when, in a major policy about face, he announced that he would divert resources away from a planned war on Zaddam Hussein to combating global warming, which he described as the “the number one threat facing the country and the world.”

The decision represents the culmination of a thorough interagency review of all threats facing the nation headed by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.  Sources close to the review praise her for insisting on a rigorous fact-based inquiry over the objections of Defense Secretary Donald Rumzfeld and Vice President Dick Zheney.  The two old whackjobs had been urging what they called a “brief and glorious war” against Zaddam's regime, which they said would lead to quick, bloodless victory that would transform the Middle East.

The President was shocked to see a simulation of
what could happen to Houston in the next 15 years
However, in a lengthy White Man Paper released today by the White House, the President said that “the intelligence showed that the threat from Zaddam was negligible and could be easily contained by the current regime of international inspections and sanctions, while the threat of global catastrophe due to human-caused global warming was obvious to the even the meanest intelligence, like mine.”

The President was shocked to learn that the estimated cost of removing Zaddam from power and restructuring his country as a stable democracy could reach or exceed $2,000,000,000,000, when all costs, including caring for hundreds of thousands of wounded and crippled veterans for the rest of their lives, were factored in.

Asked what the same $2 trillion could do if earmarked to the battle against climate change, the President was told that it would make a decisive difference in achieving a transition to carbon-free energy, focused on solar, wind, other renewables and most crucially improved battery technology that would enable electric cars to travel over 200 miles on a single charge by 2018.

In a gesture of bipartisan unity, sources close to the President admitted that he had had several private meetings with the man he defeated for the Presidency in 2000, former Vice President Zal Gore.  “The President understands that he did not win the popular vote and therefore should take careful note of the views of the man who did,” explained Presidential flack Nicolle Z. Wallace.

Although former campaign manager Steve Szhmidt warned the President that moving away from carbon-based fuels like coal might harm the ZOP in mining states such as Wezt Virginia and Wyomingz, the President was said to have been so alarmed by his sessions with Zal Gore that he brushed aside partisan political considerations.

The White House released shocking science-based estimates
of sea level increases
The President was said to have been especially stricken by Gore's depictions of likely future climate catastrophes if the current rate of global warming continued.  Gore was said to have warned the President that great cities like New Orleans could be devastated by hurricanes whose power was magnified by warming Gulf waters.  He even warned the President that climate change could bring a drought in California so severe that Kim Kardazhian would lose her house in a wildfire.

“Not Kim Kardazhian,” the President was said to have responded, adding “We need a whole new strategery to save our nation!”

The President is expected to lay out his ambitious war on global warming in his upcoming State of the Union Address.  He plans to refer to coal-generated power, gasoline engines, and deforestation as the new “Axis of Evil,” according to Presidential speechwriter and proud Torontonian David Frumz.

The ZOP conservative base has generally been supportive of the new policy.  “Any intellectually honest review of the facts would prove that Zaddam is not nearly the threat that global warming is,” said former Dan Quayle coatholder Billy Kristolz.

But the broader American electorate has not traditionally been engaged by the threat of global warming.  For that reason, aides to the President plan a “shock-and-awe” campaign to educate the public about the imminent threat of human-caused climate change.

They may have their work cut out of them.  Asked for his view about global warming, busto casino owner and reality TV star Donald Z. Trumpf, reached at a golf course in the Zierra Nevada Mountains while his wife was giving birth to their son back in New Zork, said, “You bet it's going to get warm tonight.  I've lined up a beautiful squad of porn stars to f***.   All tens.  Maybe there's an eleven in there, I don't know.  Tell me what's hotter than that?”

Monday, November 19, 2018

Jsut when you thought it was safe to cross Independence Avenue again

By Isaiah Thomas
Chair, Editorial Board

When the weather is right and the wind blows from the northeast, you can hear in the streets of this forlorn occupied city the sounds of distant gunfire.  The immiserated inhabitants of Washington City sense that the hour of their liberation is at hand, whether from the new House of Representatives or a juicy stack of sealed indictments filed by the Special Counsel's office.

Like Paris in August 1944, Washington is stirring, and the various factions of the Opposition are already at each other, eager to take credit for the glorious hour when President Tiny Toadstool's Reign of Terror is no more.

The anti-U Bum Republicans are coming back, and they still want your brains
But some of the most preposterous claims are coming from those that had the least to do with the coming liberation: the anti-U Bum Republican conservatives who are ready to demand for themselves the rewards coming to those who resisted.

Yep, like zombies in an AMC series that's gone on about three years too long, the Republicans are baaaack, and they're just as horrifying and lifeless as they ever were.

So before we admit zombies like Billy Kristol, Max Boot, Toronto's Own Davey Frum, Nicole “Stop the Recount” Wallace, Ana Navarro, Steve Schmidt, and the rest of the gang of Republican gunslingers who brought us forty years of stagnation, not to mention war crimes, back into the corridors of power, let's stop to consider what they have done to earn their Persilschein.

First, can anyone name a single winner on Election Night who owes his or her victory to the tireless efforts of anti-U Bum Republicans?  One?  If the past three years have taught us anything, it's that the Republican Party is as close to to the Tangerine-Faced Grifter as his cheeseburger.

Not a single living Republican office-holder has broken with him, no matter what the outrage.  Not one of the very fine white bigots talking to credulous reporters in diners in East Bumf**k, Pennsylvania has been persuaded by the stirring Tweets of Billy Kristol or the impassioned rumblings of Steve Schmidt.  Not a f***in' one.

And what exactly did they do in the war?  Did they oppose huge tax cuts for rich?  Appointing a sex criminal to the Supreme Court?  Gutting the Affordable Car Act?  Adding more coal to the fires of climate change?  Of course they didn't.

Why should they?  They've worked for decades flacking for Republican schmucks whose policies are indistinguishable from those of the Grifter-in-Chief whom they claim to loathe with all their tiny hearts.

Denying climate change and promoting the wasteful use of fossil fuels?  Anyone besides us remember St. Ronald of Bitburg's condemnation of “killer trees” or George W.'s refusal to enter into meaningful international agreements to address global warming?

Appealing to white racists and mouth-breathing bigots?  That's as Republican as tax cuts for the rich.

Doing nothing while America's schools, concert venues, and houses of worship are turned into killing zones?  Hey whatever happened to that assault weapons ban that ol' W. was supposedly ready to sign?  We're asking you, Nicolle, stop smirking.

Showing callous indifference to their concerns of women, especially those who have suffered sexual abuse and harassment?  Come on down, Justice Long Dong Thomas, appointed by beloved former President David Cop-a-feel Bush.

Supporting affordable health care for all Americans, even those not rich enough to buy a Presidential Medal of Freedom or a Harvard education for their unpromising offspring?  Right.

And speaking of corruption and abuse of power, does it get much worse than firing U.S. Attorneys because they refused to file false voter suppression cases, and then erasing the e-mails that would have inculpated lovable Karl Rove?  I guess the answer is it does a little, but the difference is more a matter of tone.

We could, like Mr. D. Glass and others, go on, but no matter where you look, the animated corpses of past Republicans sinners, no matter how lifelike they seem on the op-ed page of The Washington Post, are intent on only one thing: gobbling our brains and returning us to the Republican glory days of needless war, torture, plutocracy, and corruption.

Former Iraq warmonger Max Boot, who has shown some recognition of past sins, is out seeking redemption by peddling a book with the ridiculous title The Corrosion of Conservatism.  An accurate title would be The Culmination of Conservatism.

So before you let the zombie Republicans back into American political life to promote God knows what  – war in Iran?  the bold leadership of Wilfred M. Romney?  cutting Social Security?  arming the Contras?  – best look into their cold dead eyes and ask yourself if they represent a more plausible future for what's left of our democracy than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressly?

Then drive a stake right through their Twitter feeds.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Maureen discovers that Republicans are hypocrites, but you read it first in the Spy

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

All of Georgetown was abuzz this morning, wondering if Maureen Dowd had been kidnapped and replaced by a newly-discovered good twin.

The speculation was sparked by her column in the Sunday New York Times.  Not only was there a complete absence of snarky putdowns of Hillary Clinton and crypto-racist ones aimed at real President Barack Obama, but she actually took on an important issue and got it right.

I know, we can't come up with any other explanation either.

Her topic was the enduring fatuity of loyal apologists for the war crimes of Bush and Cheney reinventing themselves as U Bum scolds who suddenly have discovered a hitherto-unknown fealty to truth and the rule of law.  What the hell, we'll let Maureen kick ass and name names:
The architects and enablers of the Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are still being listened to on foreign policy, both inside the administration (John Bolton and Gina Haspel) and out. NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote the Washington Post op-ed after the election telling conservatives not to work for Trump; Max Boot, who urged an invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam was involved in 9/11, is now a CNN analyst, Post columnist and the author of a new book bashing Trump; John Yoo, who wrote the unconstitutional torture memo, is suddenly concerned that Trump’s appointment of his ghastly acting attorney general is unconstitutional.
She missed a few of the leading suspects like Nicolle “Shut Down the Recount” Wallace and Sarah Palin campaign manager Steve Schmidt, but now that they are earning a living as bloviating gasbags, maybe it was just a matter of professional courtesy.

Of course, she didn't come up with this all by herself; she had to have it explained to her by some alt-Hollywood filmmaker who might be in a position to finally produce her great script about a smart, sexy Irish Catholic girl from Annandale, Virginia who takes Washington by storm in the 80's.  But she finally gets the point:
After a screening of “Vice” Thursday, I asked McKay [the Hollywood guy] which of our two right-wing Dementors was worse, Cheney or Trump.
“Here’s the question,” he said. “Would you rather have a professional assassin after you or a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver? I’d rather have a maniac with a meat cleaver after me, so I think Cheney is way worse. And also, if you look at the body count, more than 600,000 people died in Iraq. It’s not even close, right?”
Leaving aside the moderately hilarious irony of our staunch feminist ceding her column to a mansplainer, we wonder why it took a Hollywood medium-shot to explain the truth to Maureen when she could have read it a long time ago in – you guessed it – the Spy.

While we can't green-light her script we can note that the hypocrisy of Never U Bum Republicans and the continuity between the lies and crimes of W. and Cheney and those of the Tangerine-Faced Grifter has been an increasingly tedious staple of these pages.

We made the point as long ago as last month regarding war criminal apologist and former CIA Director John Brennan:

Has Maureen Dowd been replaced by her good twin?
To those eager to canonize Brennan because of his recent criticism of the Grifter-in-Chief, exhuming the broken bodies of various unlucky detainees may seem like whataboutism: an effort to change the subject to an unrelated topic.

But is it unrelated?  The Republican culture of destroying democratic norms didn't begin in 2017; it goes back at least to the glory days of Bill Buckley's man crush, Joe McCarthy. Sometimes the American system manages to rid itself of these evildoers, like McCarthy or Nixon.

And sometimes it doesn't.  Bush Republicans stole the 2000 election by a vote of 5 to 4 and never paid a price for it.  Indeed the recount rioters now pose as concerned citizens, right, Nicolle?  Then those same Republicans lied us into needless war and engaged in grotesque tortures and war crimes, and again never paid the price, unless you count being relegated to the daytime lineup.

When outrages are buried and unpunished on spurious grounds like national security, the tears in the fabric of the Republic become normalized and accepted, both weakening America and providing a model for those who would rip new holes in it, like President U Bum.  When such subversion is overtly supported by majorities in the House and Senate, the web of norms that supports our democracy become ever more tenuous, until, as is the case today, it appears ready to collapse into threads.

Those who now properly sound the alarm about obstructing justice and accountability when a critic like John Brennan is mugged by a corrupt President might be asked where they were when justice was waterboarded at CIA black sites, and accountability frustrated by the man who now claims it as his birthright.

Or June:

One conclusion leaps out: as long as conservative “intellectuals” flap their gums about their past glories and current indignities, we'll never lack for material.

Former George W. Bush flack and coatholder David Frum, come on down!

Instead of starting as he should have by apologizing for lying this country into a bloody war of choice and the commission of heinous war crimes, he deploys one classic strategy of conservatives unable to defend their past or present views: whataboutism.

There's no difference between the Grifter-in-Chief and Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders because all three have a dangerously “messianic” appeal?  Of course, the same smear was deployed against Barack Obama in 2008, to no avail.

We wonder if David Frum would admit that there is a difference between politicians who seek to inspire their followers and those who seek to inflame the racism, bigotry, and unjustified sense of grievance of their hate-filled mobs while undermining democracy with graft and authoritarianism.

 Or one of our favorites, a where-we-they-then piece (on gun control) from March:

David Frum was a little closer to the action at a Washington think tank, but he seemed to be too busy with his mission with the Hot Air Force promoting the endless disaster of the Iraq War to notice the real danger to Americans on the shelves of Wal-Mart.

We heard Steve Schmidt on the cable raging about the failure to control assault weapons, so naturally we inquired as to his whereabouts in 2004.  It turns out he was a high-level flack and henchman in the Bush re-election campaign, in the course of which he lauded W. as a “steady and principled leader.”  We guess it's a case of those who can, do, and those who can't, flack.  We would have said teach, but the teachers are dead.

Speaking of overexposed on cable, what about long-time gasbag Joe Scarborough?  Incredibly enough, he was already blathering on cable news in 2004.  One month before the assault weapons ban lapsed he was observed “standing and applauding numerous times during the president's speech.”  That's President George W. Bush.

Due to pressures of time and increasing nausea, we can only cover one more stalwart post-massacres opponent of assault weapons.  Come on down, former Florida recount rioter Nicolle Wallace!  By incredible coincidence, she was the Communications Director for the often tongue-tied Texan under her former name, Nicolle Devenish.  In 2004, in that senior policy-level position, she communicated her deep concern for human life by slamming John Kerry for refusing to support a bill making harming a pregnant woman a crime against the fetus.

Of course, that legislation, unlike renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, wouldn't have protected the massacred children of Sandy Hook, because in 2004, they hadn't even been conceived, much less born.

On the plus side, though, she has her own daily cable news show. 

We could go on but you get the point.  And at long last, apparently Maureen (or at least her good twin) does too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The post-midterm column you'll never read

The lesson of the 2018 midterms:
Republicans must move to the center

By ChuckDavidJoeTom Toddbrooksboraw
Political Editor, [insert name of media outlet]

Despite their luck with a favorable red-state Senate map, there's no doubt that the Republicans have lost the midterm election.  The voters have sent their message and the losing party should take heed: it is time for Republicans to move to the center and seek common ground with their political adversaries for the good of the nation.

In the months ahead, the Republicans will no doubt be tempted to leverage their increased Senate majority and hold on the White House to advance their agenda.  But this would be a mistake.  The past two years have showed us that the public is sick of Republican extremism in all its forms, from cozying up to white supremacists and wannabe Nazis to borrowing from our children to give the richest Americans (including the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) a tax cut they did not need or deserve.

ChuckDavidJoeTom Toddbrooksboraw
They should temper their partisan urges and find common cause with the Democrats.  For example, Republicans should work with Democrats on a real infrastructure bill, not a fake bill that auctions off our public patrimony to the highest bidder.  They should collaborate with Democrats on responsible oversight of Executive Branch officers, fulfilling the historic oversight role of Congress.  They should show respect for the rule of law by supporting an orderly completion of Mueller's Russia probe and by nominating and voting for mainstream judges who exhibit a nonpartisan judicial temperament and consistently treat potential romantic partners with respect or at least not feloniously.

If the Republicans refuse to abandon their hyperpartisan extremist approach, they will only give ammunition to Democrats who claim that Republicans are too extreme to govern or even that Republicans don't share broadly-accepted American values.

Republicans would do well to remember that this nation was founded on, and has pursued, bedrock principles such as respect for the dignity of every human being regardless of their background or parentage, the rule of law, the value of honest, responsible government, and the belief that the rewards of a market economy should be enjoyed broadly rather than pocketed by a wealthy few.

When Republicans pursue their radical agenda of insulting and demonizing members of a particular religion or ethnic group, proposing wildly bigoted constitutional revisions to treasured fundamental laws like the 14th Amendment, or even subverting a core Constitutional provision like the Census, they appeal to their angry hard-core base but at the cost of imperiling our precious nation itself.

A Republican Party willing to work collaboratively with Democrats on vital national priorities such as ensuring affordable health care to all, providing a long-term path to citizenship for those brought to this country as children, and protecting our planet from the coming scourge of unchecked global warming would do much to ease the current climate of polarization and gridlock that has prevented sensible bipartisan action.

It is time for Republicans to put country above party and reach across the aisle.  If Republicans are willing to put their extremist past behind them and work on issues that I myself care about then they will show that they have truly taken on the lessons of the midterm elections and are ready to unify our nation.

ChuckDavidJoeTom Toddbrooksboraw's latest book, “The Greatness of American Greatness” is available in remainder bins everywhere.  His podcast “An Inside Look at the 2020 Elections” begins tomorrow.