Saturday, December 25, 2021

It's Christmas! Let's roast some media chestnuts!

Through the years, the true spirit of Christmas never changes!

It's time to roast the chestnuts!

By Isaiah Thomas
Chair, Board of Editors

Jack Frost is nipping at our heels here in Massachusetts, and when Mr. Frost starts biting, it makes us think (for some reason) about roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

2021 has brought a bumper harvest of chestnuts served up to us by all media savants. They've dished many of them up for years, but to be fair they've also brought forward some new ones.  We can't let Christmas pass without roasting a few of the most fatuous ones hawked by the usual media suspects.

1.  Finally, the Former Loser Grifter Alienates His Base.  We'd have to vote this 2021 number one chestnut if only because it blew up so quickly.

Let's go back 1,000 years ago to January 2021, when a defeated President hatched any number of stratagems designed to topple democratic government in the United States.  After terror, death, and bloodshed, the violent insurrection was quelled by brave outmatched police forces and the election results ratified by the Congress.

It was clear to the meanest intelligence (by which we mean Republicans) that although many whack jobs had a hand in the mayhem, it was propelled and supported by the Tangerine-Faced Traitor himself.  As the entire nation recoiled in horror, we were told that this outrage had finally sundered the enduring romance between the depraved corrupt orange bigot and the Republican Party.  Here's The New York Times reporting on how the plutocrats who had profited so richly by investing in the GOP were now abandoning the party:

They'll never support violence, amirite?

But last week seemed to be a breaking point. Big business could evidently tolerate working with Mr. Trump despite his chauvinism, his flirtations with white nationalism and his claims of impunity, but the president’s apparent willingness to undermine democracy itself appeared to be a step too far. [Thanks, fellas – Ed.]

“This thing was a little different. I mean, we had sedition and insurrection in D.C.,” said Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. “No C.E.O. I know condones that in any way, shape or form. We shouldn’t have someone, you know, gassing up a mob.”

The fallout has been swift. After the president exhorted his supporters to march on the Capitol, chief executives used their strongest language to date to repudiate Mr. Trump, and some of his longtime allies have walked away. Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and an ardent supporter of the president, renounced Mr. Trump, telling CNBC, “I feel betrayed.”

Oh, did he? But then a funny thing happened:

On Friday, supporters of Mr. Trump swarmed Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, at...National Airport, calling him a “traitor.”

“You know it was rigged, you know it was rigged,” a woman yelled as he was ushered away by a security detail. “You garbage human being. It’s going to be like this forever, wherever you go, for the rest of your life.”

A similar scene unfolded Tuesday night in the Salt Lake City airport as Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, sat waiting to fly to Washington. A maskless woman approached and called him a “disgusting shame” for not standing with the president. Once on board, Mr. Romney was greeted by supporters of Mr. Trump chanting “Traitor!” 

And when rabid Republicans lean on spineless empty suits like Graham and Romney, well, you know the rest

Republican revulsion toward the riot was, however, short-lived. Arceneaux and Truex, in their paper “Donald Trump and the Lie,” point out that Republican voter identification with Trump had “rebounded to pre-election levels” by Jan. 13. The authors measured identification with Trump by responses to two questions: “When people criticize Donald Trump, it feels like a personal insult,” and “When people praise Donald Trump, it makes me feel good.” 

As a result, the formerly outraged Republicans lined up to cover up the January 6 insurrection and pretend it never happened. This cover-up continues today, powered by the same angry white supremacist base that has kept the Republicans in office since 1968.  

Well, that media chestnut has been roasted to ash.  Let's look at one that's perpetually on the grill.

2.  Republicans are Angry Because Coastal Elites.  How can the Republican base hold on to views as insane as vaccines are really Bill Gates's microchips or the 2020 election was stolen?  It can't be that their views are warped by unjustified grievance and frustrated white supremacy.

It has to be the fault of those coastal elites.  And this media chestnut flourishes because you can get ancient Democratic hacks like Mr. Mary Matalin to parrot it:

Which coast was Viola Liuzzo from?

But if you’re asking me, I think it’s because large parts of the country view us as an urban, coastal, arrogant party, and a lot gets passed through that filter. That’s a real thing. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it — it’s a real phenomenon, and it’s damaging to the party brand.

Let's ask somebody who has actually studied real data instead:

Racial attitudes among all Americans best explain the gap in vote choices between rural and urban areas. Controlling for racism denial, the gap in vote choice between rural and urban Americans drops to just eight percentage points. In other words, the different rates of racism denial among rural and urban Americans appears to explain about three-quarters of the urban-rural gap in voting for Trump. 

So it's white racism that accounts for the Republican love of extremist grifters like the FLG?  Not those chardonnay-sipping coastal elitists blithely trying to get health and child care for all?  Better get that media chestnut off the grill.  It's toasted.

3.  The Search for the Good Republican.  Some people search for decades for Sasquatch;  others for intelligent life in the universe of Real Housewives.  For the media, it's the search for the Good Republican, by which they mean any white man in a suit who can talk without spitting and screaming.  Over the decades, the search party has discovered a wide variety of corrupt or reactionary clowns from Nixon to – John Thune.

And yet the search continues.  Here's a recent example from that Niagara Falls of Conventional Wisdom, Das Politico.

The flaming responses to this ludicrous puff piece reduced this particular chestnut to a cinder:

That would be Stuart Stevens, who spent his adult life trying to elect Good Republicans. Let's just say his views on this one have a great deal of – validity. But we'll make one prediction: wait 10 minutes, and some media ham-and-egger will announce that he has finally, after years of searching, found The Good Republican!  

4.  Don't Worry, He'll Go Quietly.  This media chestnut was served up repeatedly in 2020, right up to Insurrection Day, 2021, whereupon it self-immolated.  Here's an example from the boy no one would have lunch with in Leverett House (and really can you blame his housemates?):

5.  Technology Will Save Us!  This chestnut has been served up since the days of DDT [No one will get that reference – Intern] and it continues today, along with lionization of the lucky white men who made hundreds of billions out of it, whether through timing, inheritance, rapaciousness, or some combination of them all.

Time Magazine, in a year when humanity was saved by tireless health care workers and researchers, had the audacity to make one of the most odious tech bros its Man of the Year.  Elon Musk, an exploitative employer and a terrible human being, offered this vision of the future:

In the future Musk envisions, no one tells you what to do. Robots perform all the labor, and goods and services are abundant, so people only work because they want to. “There’s, like, plenty for everyone, essentially,” he says. “There’s not necessarily anyone who’s the boss of you. I don’t mean to suggest chaos, but rather that you’re not under anyone’s thumb. So you have the freedom to do whatever you’d like to do, provided it does not cause harm to others.” 

And Time duly printed these chestnuts.

In addition to robots, rockets, and cars that drive themselves off the road, the latest tech miracle is the Metaverse, which means you and others making cartoon avatars of yourselves and then doing whatever it was you were doing.  This is supposed to usher in a new exciting era some touts are calling Web3.  Kara Swisher (who actually knows tech and reports on it) isn't so sure:

Web3 is supposed to be anathema to kings and other powermongers. But before you start imagining some digital utopia, many (with some justification) think the Web3 movement is also rife with hype, windbags and more than a little grift.

Despite the utopian chestnuts proffered by Silicon Valley brown-nosers, we'll agree with Ms. Swisher.  Our guess is that the Metaverse, like the Internet itself, will be a boon to three basic human instincts: (1) porn, (2) grift powered by anonymous untraceable fake currency, and (3) more billions for Lord Zuckmort made by strip-mining every movement and utterance you make in his metaverse for ad dollars.

And that's just a few of the chestnuts the media expected us to swallow without question in 2021. There were so many more: the fake battle about cancel culture, the meretricious assault on “wokeness,” and the supposed Republican concern, vanished after the Virginia election, about “education.”

Please enjoy these roasted chestnuts as our Christmas gift to you, at least while you're waiting for the Chinese restaurants to open.  Don't worry; next year there will plenty more chestnuts to be roasted, courtesy of the media gasbags desperate to gloss over the plight we are in.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Good and Dead: Destroyer of Boston Neighborhood Who Gave A Bit of His Loot to Harvard

The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy

By Luke Reschuss
Obituary Editor

A very rich man died recently in Boston.  His name was Jerry Rappaport.  From the first obituaries, you would think that he was the embodiment of righteousness and generosity.  Here's the fatuous Boston Globe eulogy:

Barely into his 20s, Jerry Rappaport was an academic prodigy who had finished Harvard College and Harvard Law School in about four years when he helped John B. Hynes defeat James Michael Curley in the historic 1949 mayoral election that changed the course of Boston history.

Though he quickly moved into powerful government posts, Mr. Rappaport soon realized his true path lay elsewhere — as a developer reshaping the city’s neighborhoods and skyline.

A whole neighborhood was destroyed
to enrich Jerry Rappaport

“Early on, I decided there’s a limitation in changing politics that I couldn’t do,” he said in an interview three weeks ago. “It was easier to rebuild the city than to change its politics.” 

That's one way of putting it.  Another way would be to describe how he actually made his fortune.  Joan Venocchi of the Globe summed it up pretty well:

When he died earlier this month, at 94, Jerry Rappaport was hailed as a great philanthropist who also played a key role in developing a gleaming new Boston. A more complete picture of his legacy can be found at the West End Museum at 150 Staniford St.

The museum...tell[s] the story of a neighborhood demolished in the late 1950s in the name of urban renewal. This home to working-class Bostonians was ultimately replaced by Charles River Park, the luxury housing complex developed by Rappaport. A young Rappaport won the bid to redevelop the neighborhood after a stint in the administration of Mayor John Hynes. Afterward, .. the city allowed the Rappaport team to change the project terms. A set-aside for affordable housing was eliminated; instead, all units were designated for luxury apartments. To build them, about 53 acres of land were taken by eminent domain, and some 7,500 West Enders were displaced, in what is now considered a textbook case of urban planning gone bad.

Pre-Vulcan, he grew up in the West End.

That seems ... different.  A political insider finagles his way to destroying a thriving neighborhood for personal gain by lying about building affordable housing. 

Indeed, if you want to see Rappaport's monument, swing by Charles River Park, which, true to the original grift, was build like a public housing project with pastel balconies glued on.  It's as hideous today as when it was built in the 1950's.

What was the West End, anyway?

The West End Museum remembers:

The history of the West End is one of a largely immigrant neighborhood displaced or destroyed by ‘Urban Renewal‘ in a campaign that saw a third of Boston’s downtown demolished between 1958 and 1960, but it’s also the history of a diverse community that produced several influential people, boasted a unique culture and included many places of historical significance. 

If a diverse vibrant urban community had to be sacrificed to enrich a greedy ruthless pol from . . . the Bronx, well, that was a small price to pay.

With the fortune that he made by mobilizing the power of government to line his own pockets, Rappaport devoted himself to passing himself off as a beloved philanthropist who gave millions to among other schnorrers Harvard for the study of, wait for it, state and local politics, which he had manipulated so expertly to his advantage.

With the fawning that accompanies any scoundrel who tosses a little pelf its way, Harvard remembered the old grifter thusly:

Harvard, working hard for the money, went on:

In the 1980s, Rappaport found himself in a position to pay it forward. As he noted: “I sent a letter [to Harvard] saying that I wanted to establish a Rappaport Fellowship for an elected official from Greater Boston…. I wanted people to understand that it was extremely important to understand how to create and implement public policy. Shortly after, I expanded the fellowship to include appointed officials. And the Kennedy School picked up and expanded this effort.”

This was the beginning of his significant philanthropy to Harvard, which also included funding to establish the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston in 2000. The University-wide entity, housed at the Kennedy School, works to improve the governance of Greater Boston by strengthening connections among the region’s scholars, students, and civic leaders.

You've got to hand it to Jerry: He was shameless. Even John D. Rockefeller didn't endow an institute for the study of predatory monopoly. 

Harvard did take a pass at describing rather incompletely the sordid source of Rappaport's largesse:

Charles River Park, a 48-acre development that broke ground in 1960, later became contentious because it razed a neighborhood and displaced low-income residents. He told Nantucket Magazine last summer that “[t]here was a sense of community that could have been handled better. But you have to understand that there wasn’t any experience with relocation at this size or scale.”

Nantucket Magazine? *chef's kiss*

Rare photo of Jerry Rappaport prior
to Boston City Council vote

By the way, lots of urban renewal projects involved destroying thriving urban neighborhoods.  But in most cases at least some public housing was built on the ruins so some of the former residents had a place to live.  But razing a neighborhood and replacing it with rich white people?  Truly that had never been attempted on the scale of Jerry's Charles River Park. Or with such brazen disregard for the interests of those who lived there.

We can't prove it but we suspect that Jerry Rappaport provided the inspiration for Mel Brooks's great villain, Hedley Lamarr, who wanted to destroy the village of Rock Ridge to make money from a new railroad.  He explained his problem to his loyal henchmen, which was the exact same quandary Jerry handled so deftly:

Unfortunately there is one thing standing between me and that property - the rightful owners.

And if you thought Harvard would ever spend one penny to compensate the victims of Rappaport's campaign of urban annihilation, then you're as clueless as the residents of Rock Ridge.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Republican Pestilence: A New Disease or Just a Variant?

By Political Editor Izzy Stone
and Health Correspondent Vincent Boom-Batz, M.D.

America will shortly reach an appalling tomb – [Surely, milestone? – Ed.] in the COVID pandemic: 800,000 lives lost, most unnecessarily.

Every real scientist has told America that the best answer is mass vaccination: if everyone is vaccinated, then the ability of the virus to kill, injure, mutate, and spread is crippled.  Further, the vaccines have proven to be almost utterly devoid of threatening side effects.

And that's why every single Republican Senator voted last week to cripple the mass vaccination program by blocking President Biden's rule that large corporations must ensure, among the other rules that apply to them regarding the health and well-being of their employees and consumers of their products, that their employees are either vaccinated or tested weekly.

Every single one.  That includes lovable moderates like Senators Wilfred M. “Profiles in Courage” Romney, Susan “He's Just Playing With It” Collins, Lisa “It's Grim Up North” Murkowski and even Republican Senators who have decided to hang it up and thus cannot blame their votes on political cowardice, like Senators Portman, Burr, and Toomey.

How could an entire party vote to prolong the nation's pandemic agony and promote an agenda that if allowed to take effect will kill tens if not hundreds of thousands more with no offsetting benefit?

Let's ask the man with all the wrong answers:

This week, he put down his sopprasata sub long enough to agonize in the Atlantic about the broader related question, which was what happened to the rich philosophical world of American conservatism.  Let's just say his concern is pretty rich itself.

He starts out with a tired trope: the failure of (many) postwar housing projects as a symbol of the failure of liberalism and the endorsement of the conservative program to address poverty with “benign neglect.”

These initiatives failed according to the Conservative Mind because  “Human society is unalterably complex....If you try to reengineer it based on the simplistic schema of your own reason, you will unintentionally cause significant harm.”

Of course, that's not what was going on at all.  Chicago public housing was segregated by order of well-known liberal Mayor Richard Daley. That same lovable liberal and his henchpersons did nothing to address the systemic racism that had blighted the lives of the Black tenants in Chicago public housing. Instead they perpetuated it. So when the buildings, but not the systemic racism, crumbled, it was a triumph of Conservatism!

In Brooks's fanciful and fatuous retelling, “I was enchanted by their [Conservatives, apparently] way of looking at the world. In conservatism I found not a mere alternative policy agenda [which was what? – Ed.], but a deeper and more resonant account of human nature, a more comprehensive understanding of wisdom, an inspiring description of the highest ethical life and the nurturing community.”

He must have been deeply impressed when the Conservative Messiah, St. Ronald of Bitburg, offered inspiring descriptions of the highest ethical life and nurturing community by inveighing against “welfare queens” and “strapping young bucks buying T-bone steaks with food stamps.”  Or when Crooked Dick Nixon's designated Deep Conservative Thinker, Pat “Just leave the bottle ” Moynihan proposed to replace discredited Great Society programs with – nothing.  

If you get the impression that the Conservative thought project had no room in its nurturing community for a critical examination of race and class in America, and how they worked together to oppress and immiserate communities of color, then we'd like to buy you a Italian cold-cut sandwich, unless you are a lower-class minority group member in which case you get a taco instead.

When American Conservatism had good ideas.

Now that you, the humble Atlantic reader, have grasped the beauty and ethical rigor of Conservative ideology, you can share Brooks's shock at seeing what it has become: “what passes for the worldview of “the right” is a set of resentful animosities, a partisan attachment to Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, a sort of mental brutalism. The rich philosophical perspective that dazzled me then has been reduced to Fox News and voter suppression.” 

Because one thing you can say about Republicans like Dick Nixon and Spiro Agnew or their intellectual flacks like William Safire: they never trafficked in “resentful animosities.”  If you forget about the Safire/Agnew attack on the free press as “nattering nabobs of negativism,” or Nixon's celebration of the National Guard execution of unarmed protesters at Kent State, or white construction workers who attacked antiwar protesters on Wall Street, etc., etc.

In fact the Republican Party and its Conservative deep thinkers have done nothing but promote “resentful animosities” since 1964.  They called it the “Southern Strategy,” and like most Conservative ideas it was simple: stoke the anger of white racists, causing them to transfer their loyalty to the party that embodied their racist “nurturing community.”

And of course a well-educated observer of politics and society has figured out the linkage between the racist Republican appeal of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and the insanely violent white backlash insurrection that is the Republican Party of our time.

If that's the answer you wrote down, no sub for you!

Brooks instead is doubling down on the conservative drivel of his youth, while being careful to isolate its words from the reality of white racism and unregulated predatory capitalism:

I recently went back and reread the yellowing conservatism [sic] books that I have lugged around with me over the decades. I wondered whether I’d be embarrassed or ashamed of them, knowing what conservatism has devolved into. I have to tell you that I wasn’t embarrassed; I was enthralled all over again, and I came away thinking that conservatism is truer and more profound than ever.

Oh, boy.  Let's skip his efforts to trace American Conservatism to 1562 (as it more properly dates from 1619).  Let's cut right to what Brooks sees as its last stand:

Mitt Romney?  What's that glorious salmon in the great stream of Conservative Thought up to these days? 

It seems like a long time since this piece began, but we think he's the same Mitt Romney who we  met earlier voting against a vaccine-or-test mandate scientifically designed to limit the carnage of a pandemic that has removed 800,000 Americans from their nurturing communities.

It's also the same Mitt Romney who has refused to back the revival of the Voting Rights Act to protect democracy from the unrelenting white supremacist attack that will stop at nothing, legal or otherwise, to establish its perpetual dominance of American government despite the inconvenient fact that most people don't share its views.

So on two of the life-or-death issues of our time, that pillar of Traditional Conservative Values is firmly on the side of death, disease, and disenfranchisement.  If he's your best advertisement for your values, either you need better PR or, more likely, your values always sucked.

The lost Burkean glory days of American Conservatism

It's pretty to think of American Conservatism as Hamiltonian unicorns and Jeffersonian rainbows gamboling in the Burkean flower beds, but in a deeper sense it's pretty disingenuous.  Does Brooks really think he can overlook 421 years of institutionalized racism, including Jefferson's own slave labor colony, and we won't notice?  It's not his first marriage, it's history.

He must also be oblivious, or hope that the rest of us are oblivious, to real American Conservative thought articulated by real Americans (unlike Burke whom we remember as an English fellow).

We remember William F. Buckley, Jr., widely hailed as the Plato of modern American conservatism, arguing against the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the basis of pure racism.  

We remember the strain of paranoid conservatism embodied in the John Birch Society that saw Communism behind every drop of fluoridated water and every chord of a Pete Seeger concert.  

We remember how American Conservatives sought then (and now!) to destroy public education because it was either Socialist or the kids might learn something (like slavery was a bad thing, no matter how adorable Scarlett O'Hara was).

And we also remember how in the 70's and 80's conservatives used jibber-jabber about the absolute importance of culture to blame poor people for their own plight, an almost weekly argument put forward in proud Brandeis grad Marty Peretz's wretched New Republic.

But guess what – that particular bit of American Conservative nonsense Brooks remembers:

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s brilliant dictum—which builds on a Burkean wisdom forged in a world of animosity and corrosive flux—has never been more worth heeding than it is now: The central conservative truth is that culture matters most; the central liberal truth is that politics can change culture.

(Maybe if Pat didn't kill off a fifth of Johnnie Walker every night, he wouldn't have suffered from so much corrosive flux.)

Culture matters most was the attack line used to destroy the welfare state on the grounds that the poors were so uncultured they would just waste public assistance on beer and Doritos, so let them rot in underfunded and unmaintained public housing. This blaming-the-victim argument held sway for decades in American life.

If only the poor were cultured, like Marty

Unfortunately for this overripe bit of misdirection, we have learned that the culture of the non-poors, most recently exemplified by their attack on the U.S. Capitol and their attempted lynchings of the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, leaves something to be desired as well.

It also turns out that culture doesn't create poverty, but poverty and hopelessness create all the terrible things American Conservatives warned us about, although when white people do them, somehow it's not so bad.

For all that, Brooks and his fellow American Conservatives were on to something, although they of course got to the exact wrong answer.  A culture of racism, of misogyny, of unearned white male grievance, of gun violence, and of predatory capitalism manipulated by billionaires acting out of insatiable greed and vanity does resist all political efforts to change it and improve the lives of those harmed by that culture.

At its extreme, such a culture chooses authoritarianism over democracy, mob violence over the rule of law, and pervasive disinformation over educating its young. In its current insane incarnation, American Conservative praxis is now engaged in sacrificing the lives of hundreds of thousands of American lives by opposing worker safety regulation in a time of pandemic.

So David and Pat may lift a glass (in Moynihan's case, the entire bottle) to the supposedly great tradition of American Conservative thought.  But when we think of the lives lost, ruined, and at risk today thanks to the modern expositors of that very tradition, like Mitt Romney, we'll skip the celebration.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

News from Zontar: 20 years of progress and democracy

Editors’ Note: Every so often the Spy Deep Space Desk gets a transmission from the mysterious planet of Zontar, located in the Remulac galaxy millions of light years from Earth. The planet is apparently populated by a race of intelligent alien life forms whose communications, while largely incomprehensible to those of us here, may shed some light, however dim and distant, on the thought patterns of these bizarre creatures. In the spirit of cosmic understanding, we present the most recent data from – [They get the drift – Ed.]

By Luke Reschuz
Obituary Editor
The New Zork Times 

Ralph Zader, the consumer rights crusader whose selfless decision to pull out of the 2000 Presidential race led to the election of President Al Gorz, died today. He was 482. 

Zader, widely criticized as a spoiler in the race, decided in late October that the country could not afford the consequences of electing George Z. Bush and urged his supporters to vote for then-Senator Gorz. As a result, Gorz carried New Hampshire and went on to a successful two-term Presidency. 

Chief Justice Zonia Zotomayor hailed Zader as a “visionary leader whose unselfishness led to two decades of social progress in this country, including universal health care, paid parental leave, enactment of the Equal Rights and Electoral College Abolition Amendments, protection of voting rights, and enshrining the rights of women to control their own bodies into law.” Asked if she agreed with Chief Justice Zotomayor, Justice Zanita Hill said only “Me, too.” 

The new home of the Supreme Court

President Zillary Clinton called for a National Day of Mourning in honor of the passing of what she called a “truly courageous and principled Zamerican patriot.” She spoke at the opening of the new National Capitol Childcare and Family Services Center, located across the street from the U.S. Capitol in the imposing marble building that once housed the Supreme Court, until it was relocated to the former Youngstown Sheet & Tube steel mill in Youngstown, Zohio pursuant to President Clinton's “Spread the Jobs” program. She was joined by D.C. Governor Zusan Rice. 

“Can you imagine what might have happened had George Z. Bush been allowed to eke out an Electoral College victory despite decisively losing the popular vote?” she mused. “We could have been saddled with a Supreme Court dominated by religious zealots that would have destroyed generations of political progress and human rights in this country.”

“Who knows what would have happened to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote and have their vote counted in fair districts? And the fundamental right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy, instead of being available to all women at no expense thanks to President Zobama’s universal health care initiative, could have depended on whether the woman had the bad luck to live in a s***hole like Zexas instead of Mazzachusetts,” she said. 

Clinton then excused herself, saying she had to prepare for the upcoming signing of the Ziran-Ziraq-Zaudi Arabia Peace and Cooperation Treaty, which her Administration had shepherded through years of tortuous negotiations. “There’s no such thing as being too prepared,” she said with a laugh. 

In gracious remarks, George Z. Bush interrupted his toe painting career to hail Zader as a “true patriot.” He admitted that it was “just as well” that he lost the 2000 race because he would not have been able to foil the al-Qaeda terror ring before it could wreak havoc in the United States, as President Gorz had done. 

But not all the comments from Republicanz were as measured as Bush’s. During a break in his most recent sex-trafficking and rape trial, bankrupt supplement huckster Donald Drumpf said that Zader had paved the way for the destruction of the American way of life, citing the election of a black President as further “proof” of his widely-ignored conspiracy theory of “stolen” elections.

Had Republicanz taken over the Supreme Court,
women would have become second-class citizens.

Around Drumpf, a small claque of supporters and hangers-on echoed similar deranged extreme views. Drumpf’s driver, disgraced former Supreme Court Justice Clarenz Thomas, who was removed from the bench for lying during his confirmation hearings, called Zader “the pubic hair on the Coke can of life.” 

Drumpf’s lawyer, former Third Circuit Judge Sullen Sam Zalito, muttered, “Zader started it all. If he had stayed in the race, we could have transformed the country into the reactionary Catholic theocracy intended by Torquemada and the other founding fathers.” 

The press generally lauded Zader for his service, although discouraging notes were heard, even in the pages of this esteemed publication. Columnist Maureen Zowd complained for the 281th time that Gorz’s victory paved the way for Clinton’s, who turned her down for an interview in 1995. Her colleague Ross Zaywhat mourned the genocide of 1,400,000 embryos and fetuses a year and wondered why the women who committed these murders in cold blood failed to appreciate his brilliant irrefutable arguments against abortion rights. 

In the Senate, the session opened with a moment of silence for Zader, led by its Presiding Officer, Sen. Pat Zillman (R – Arizona), who was not killed by his own troops in a senseless war of lies.