Monday, July 30, 2007

White House PTSD

So, first the President goes in for a Colonoscopy. They scope him out and remove some polyps. To quote a friend: "It's the first time in his life that he wasn't full of shit." Then Cheney goes in for a heart tune up. Or perhaps a heart implant. At least they caught it in time. Luckily, he was in a meeting when someone heard him mutter "oil can." Meanwhile, Tony Snow is back, looking as white as, well, snow, but the debilitating Chemo hasn't kept him from doing his job, as long as he follows doctor's orders by avoiding alcohol, fatty foods and answering direct quesitons.

Now, perhaps this is all just part of the natural aging process? Or perhaps, looked at symptomatically, they're a signs of a deeper problem: White House PTSD, triggered by cumulative anxiety, the result of years of flagrant, boldfaced lying. Anyone who's told just a single lie -- white or otherwise -- knows the mental acrobatics required to keep the story straight, just in the face of a skeptical friend or inquisitive co-worker. Imagine having to run a 6-year string of bullshit past the eyes of the world. Day after day. Press conference after press conference. Not to mention keeping one's poker face under the searing, armor-piercing questions of Larry King. This kind of thing would have to take a physical toll on any person of normal strength and intelligence. Who knows the effect it's having on the President and Veep. One's old and mean. The other's selfish and stupid. Just imagine the mental and physical exhaustion involved in keeping up this level of mendacity for so many years...

Compassionate Conservativism. ("They both start with "C," which Karl says is good. Like a rhyme. It makes us sound like we give a crap about poor folks, but we really don't. Neat.")
No Child Left Behind. ("Education? Right. Just call me Veto Corleone.")
Restoring integrity to the White House.
We need to privatize Social Security.
Harriet Miers would make a terrific Supreme Court justice.
The jury's still out on Evolution.
The jury's still out on Global Warming. ("Wanna see some greenhouse gasses? Pull my finger.")
We're going to git Osama. We're gonna hunt him down. ("I look tough holding this megaphone. Gives me a boner.")
I really don't think much about Osama.
Pakistan? ("Musharraf says he's not there. He went down to them caves personally and yelled out "Marco." And no one said "Polo." I think that's pretty clear.")
Saddam attacked us on 9/11.
9/11 was perpetrated by "evil doers." ("Like that scary, bony-lookin' guy in Star Wars.")
Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Chemical, biological, and nucular.
Saddam bought yellow cake uranium tubes from Niger. ("I like yellow cake. Especially when it's got that chocolate frostin' on it. I like to lick my finger and scoop it up when no one's lookin'.")
Don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. (Sung with Cheney and Condy Rice in 3-part harmony.)
We'll be greeted as liberators.
We're fightin' a war on terror.
The war will pay for itself.
Mission Accomplished.
We didn't know about the levees.
Heck of a job, Brownie.
We're bringing Democracy to the Middle East.
Our brave fighting men and women will get the finest care in the world.
Walter Reed? ("I ain't got money to fix a hospital; I'm fightin' a war, dammit.")
I will await the findings of the 9/11 commission.
("Screw the 9/11 commission.") I don't care if everyone in the world except Laura and Barney disagree; I'm still not pulling out.
The Federal prosecutors were fired for poor job performance.
If anyone in my administration leaked a CIA agent's name, they're gone.
No one in my administration leaked the name.
Take a walk, Scooter.
Ok, someone in my administration leaked the name, but let's move on.
It's not the Congress' job to run the war.
It's not an escalation; it's a surge. ("Karl says 'surge,' is a good word. People will like it. Makes us sound tough. Like we got a boner. Everything with him lately is boners.")
I'm the decider.
General Petraeus is the decider.
I have full confidence in Alberto Gonzalez. He serves at the pleasure of me.
Harriet Miers is not testifying. (She's so short, I told her to crouch down real low so they can't find her. Can't serve her if they can't find her.)
Al Qaeda in Iraq is part of regular Al Qaeda. ("It's like a franchise. Like Dairy Queen. Don't you see? They even wear
those snow cones on their heads.")
We need Guantanemo. ("The evil doers have the secret battle plans and they ain't gonna give 'em up, voluntarily.
Waterboarding? Surfboarding? Hell, all sounds like a day at the beach to me. Still don't git how we got a base in Cuba. Maybe it's like some kind of Commie time share.")
I swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Exhausting. And I'm just working from memory. Imagine if the entire world had you on camera every step of the way and you're sitting there trying to remember which lie you told, when, and to whom. It would have to be exhausting. Now, maybe the President did just have a routine Colonoscopy. And maybe Cheney just took a trip to Replicant Jiffy Lube. Or maybe this is what happens when people have to juggle this many lies for so long. Eventually, it would have to grind you down, haunt your dreams, and plague your every waking moment-- like the Tell Tale Heart-- and that could manifest itself physically.

So, if the President should suddenly come down with a case of Shingles. Or if Cheney's power source should misfire and sparks start to fly out of his head, like Yul Brynner at the end of West World. Or if Karl Rove's ED should recur. Or if Alberto Gonzalez should become the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Perhaps they're the cumulative signs of White House PTSD. As a nation at war, we can only watch...and wait...and hope.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


By now, all the comics at all the Improvs all over the world have exhausted their topical "the president got a Colonoscopy, they found his head up his asshole" jokes. It's just too easy. But while his doctors biopsy the polyps looking for any signs of malignancy, compassion, or intelligence, the truth is if they really looked, they would have found something else up there -- the top-secret think tank working on a name for our Iraq exit strategy. That's where the real work is being done. Out here, it's all just for show.

All the "give the surge a chance" posturing is just the White House playing for time, waiting for the marketing guys safely ensconced in the President's small intestine, to come up with a slogan. A little over 30 years ago, we couldn't withdraw from Vietnam until Nixon and company came up with "peace with honor" as a way of justifying another war that shoudn't have been fought in the first place. So, critics, be patient, we'll be out soon enough. And it won't be strongly-worded editorials in The Times, nor biting sarcasm from the Lefty blogs that will make it happen. Because this president is impervious to sarcasm and immune to facts. He safely and happily floats in the womb of the oval office, dining on the placenta of his own ignorance. There's no need to poke him with information, nor prod him with invective. Our exit strategy from Iraq is in the works. At this very moment, deep within the walls of the president's bowels, Karl Rove works round the clock to come up with a slogan that will pacify the nation by cleverly repackaging this villainy as victory, so that we can bring our brave men and women back home with parades and marching bands and waving flags, and we can all come together in that good old-fashioned American "mission accomplished" feeling, secure in the notion that it all just hasn't been a profound waste of money and human life that served no purpose other than turning up the heat and the hate in the Middle East.

So that quizzical look on the President's face while attempting to parry his way through a direct question about the war is not the product of duplicity or evasion. The truth is, he knows we're getting out. He's just waiting for Karl Rove to emerge from his asshole with a marketing hook that will be simple and direct enough for him to wrap his mind around and sell to the American public. My vote: "We Did Our Doody--Let's Go Home."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The only surefire way to put an end to this imperial presidency -- this unholy Bush/Cheney/Rove triumverate -- is to elect a Democrat in '08, but how many more people will have to die before that happens? The Libby fiasco is simply the latest in a continuing series of lies told by this administration, each of which clearly demonstrates the utter contempt they have for the American people. And to send Tony Snow, who now has become the personification of the cancer in the White House to host this shadow play masquerading as a press conference adds even more insult to the injuries. With his trademark smugness and non-denial denials, one wonders why the press even bothered to attend as direct questions were only met with platitudes, evasion, and talking points, while citing all the pardons Bill Clinton awarded while in office. Though I don't recall a single one of them for which the crime emanated from the administration itself.

These people lied us into a bottomless pit of a war that will not only further destabilize the Middle East but, as the recent events in London and Glasgow demonstrate, provide the emotional and intellectual justification for more terrorist attacks in the future. The alleged "war on terror," is a misnomer. More Rovian Newspeak. You cannot bomb a mindset out of existence. You have to solve the problem that creates that mindset, and that problem has been in the Middle East for half a century. We need diplomats. Statemen. Peacemakers. This is the world's problem and it will continue to metastasize until brighter minds control the world stage.

Sane voices may eventually prevail and the 2008 election may deliver a Democratic president. But will the reward for 8 years of disservice be an honorable discharge, a fat book deal for his memoirs and fund-raising effort for the George W. Bush presidential libery? Not since Nixon has an administration shown such disdain for public opinion but even Nixon was brought down, not simply by the press or public outcry, but ultimately by his own arrogance and sense of invincibility and no matter how he was tarted up in his later years, the stain of Watergate will be attached to his name forever, serving as a reminder of the punishment for the misuse and abuse of power.

This long national nightmare needs to be over. The only way to demonstrate to these people that their conduct is unworthy of holding high office is to impeach the bastards now, and whether it sticks or not, it will at least serve as a symbol of public outrage that you can't lie to all the people all of the time.