Richard Nixon and the Cloak of Credulity

May 18, 2012 in Capital Punishment, The Undead-American Perspective, Working Stiffs

Program note: We’ve lost the legal battle to reclaim the Western White House and the Foundation won’t surrender the keys to the helicopter even though it’s simply sitting out behind the Library collecting layer upon layer of Yorba Linda dust. Consequently we’re relocating to more cordial climes where we hope to be better appreciated. Regular dispensings of wisdom will resume in about 10 days; until then we’re on a catch-as-can schedule.

You can’t imagine how popular the Harry Potter series is. We have weekends; everybody running around pointing sticks at each other, shouting “Levicorpus!” and giggling hysterically. Henry Asquith, who introduced me to The Mekons, does a brilliant Snape.

(I know what you’re thinking, the answer is no.)

There’s this fellow Charlie Pierce who writes at Esquire, reminds me somewhat of the late Hunter Thompson; subtract the fixation on guns and drugs, less a little apocalyptic fancy, and you get something similar. I like him better even though the things he says about me are similarly cruel if not to the level of the obituary Thompson wrote for me. I’ve seen mafia hits less bloody than that.

Pierce wrote something today that embodies a problem one sees a lot. People begin down a road and arrive at a point beyond which they simply will not go because their beliefs force them to see a brick wall despite that the road stretches on for miles.

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Is there nothing that man won’t steal from me? More anti-Communist Obama hysteria hilarity

May 11, 2012 in Politicking, The Communist Menace

Man stole my insurance reform, stole my secret plan to end the war and now he’s boosted my campaign slogan. Well, Ike’s, but it was my idea. Didn’t look like the Pepsi logo back then.

That’s from our ’56 campaign, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the reactionary right went off on it.

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“Hands up, peasant motherfuckers!”

May 9, 2012 in Capital Punishment, Working Stiffs

You know, you hear a lot of talk these days about “shared sacrifice” and “austerity.” Let me make one thing perfectly clear: That’s all bullshit.

It is bullshit. It is code for “Hands up, peasant motherfuckers.” It is code for “Your money and your life.” At best it is theft from people who are just making do, by people who don’t have to; at worst, it’s pure murder.

It is not a sacrifice for a millionaire or a billionaire to pay a few cents more on the dollar in taxes in exchange for cuts in programs everyone has paid for and many require to live in any kind of comfort.

It is not a sacrifice; it is an inconvenience. “Shared sacrifice” would require the wealthy to live as do the people who are injured by what’s stolen from them.

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The President’s job is to make them afraid and sometimes to kill them

May 7, 2012 in Capital Punishment, Politicking

President Obama isn’t raising a lot of money from Wall Street and the bankers. They shelled out big for that first campaign but this time they’re going with the favorite son. They know President Obama has a good chance of winning but they’re hardly bothering to tithe, never mind pay anything resembling tribute.

That’s because they have his number. They’ve seen that what he says about them isn’t connected with what he does about them. They’re not afraid he’ll take material offense at their lack of respect.

This is absurd. Bankers and brokers were worried before the election. They should have been terrified following it. Instead, they’re cocky.

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Kent State

May 4, 2012 in J'accuse, The Communist Menace

Three of the most powerful photographs in our country’s history are the product of our war in Vietnam: the 1968 Eddie Adams photo showing the the curbside execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém in Saigon; Nick Ut’s 1972 photo of nine-year-old Kim Phuc aflame from American napalm; and John Filo’s 1970 photo of the young runaway Mary Vecchio screaming over the body of Jeffrey Miller at Kent State.

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the shootings at Kent State. Someone asked me if I have any reflections. Nothing that can’t be called banal, really. The protests never affected my conduct of the war; neither did the deaths of those kids.

I suppose that’s my reflection: there wasn’t enough blood to change anything. There were too many sides. You can’t stop a war without a revolution.

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The endorsements begin to roll in: Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Nixon’s the One

May 4, 2012 in Journal Entries, Politicking

This is exciting. You can feel the momentum building. From Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s New York Times column today: “Richard Nixon … will … end this depression we’re in.”

The Krugman nod follows the endorsement of noted political historian Eric Alterman, who sang my praises to Bill Moyers on the latter’s program two weeks ago.

We’re on our way, people.

Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential dilemma

May 3, 2012 in Politicking

Obviously this is a situation with which I’m intimately familiar from both sides. I salvaged my own candidacy for Vice President in 1952 by going on live national television and asking the audience to vote me in or out. That’s right: I invented American Idol and won it on the same night. In ’56 I practically had to clamp down on Ike’s leg like a goddamn bulldog to stay on the ticket. That man hated me, he really did.

But we’re not talking about me; we’re talking about Romney. Group of folks tried to foist his dad off on me at the ’68 convention, but I was settled on Agnew. Bear with me for a minute or two while I give you a picture of how horribly fucking wrong this process can go.

Agnew. Ted seemed like a nice guy and we thought he might pull a little from Wallace in the South without pissing off the Rockefeller brigades up north. Did he? Probably not. If the Democrats hadn’t gone up in flames that year we would have been in real trouble. Hubert wound up with Ed Muskie; safe choice but uninspired.

Then ’72. Oh, my goodness.

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Drawing a line in the sand on Social Security cuts

May 3, 2012 in Cat Food is Expensive, Politicking, Working Stiffs

Democrats marshaling forces to ward off Republican attempts at undermining the New Deal and Great Society? Don’t be fucking silly.

With President Obama and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer on the record in favor of benefit cuts, it’s crucial that Nancy Pelosi, the most progressive member of the Democratic Leadership, stand strong and draw a line in the sand on cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Liberals again, begging the most “progressive” member of the “Democratic” “leadership” to protect the signal Democratic party accomplishments of the past century from other leading Democrats. Even McGovern could have taken me down in ’72 if I went around advocating this stuff.

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Loyalty Day is come and gone; get moving on that forelock for Fealty Day

May 2, 2012 in The Communist Menace, Working Stiffs

I wish I’d thought of this back when I was President, but it was Representative Henry Hyde who came up with the idea in 1997 and got it through Congress and signed by The Right Reverend Seamus Shagnasty there in the White House. The first day of May, officially celebrated in dozens of other countries as International Workers’ Day, was from 1999 forward designated in the United States as “Loyalty Day.”

You see the sheer, vicious, deliberate irony of it, making a boundary-breaking day celebrating the rights of workers across the globe, a day with origins here in the US, into a day of saluting the state and its vehicles. For of course May Day began as an annual remembrance of the striking workers massacred by Chicago police in Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886.

Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued annual proclamations of Loyalty Day every year since. Here are the ones issued by President Bush; here, the ones by President Obama. They range from militant to mawkish, sometimes both on the same short page.

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