Friday, September 30, 2005

Today I was Pompous and my Sister was Crazy.

Go see the movie Serenity . It is great fun. Hollywood looks at opening weekends, let them know we want more like this. It has heart, action, humor and Kaylee.

Most fun I've had at an adventure movie in years. Maybe later I'll address some of the themes in the movie, but for now, go see this move. If you don't have a good time I'll gladly refund your money in quatloos.

The Shining: The Modern Version

We all know that trailers can be cut in various ways to appeal to different audiences.
Here is a re-cut of the trailer for "The Shining" to attract a new demographic.

FYI. Imeem is a way for folks to set up their own private networks of blogs, files and IMs. As one of the brilliant PR people I work with said about it, "It's like a gated community for the internet." Semi-disclosure: I've worked with them. Nice people. Interesting product. A good solution for folks who want to blog, share files and photos or IM but don't want to open the kimono to any Tom, Dick or Mary on the Internets.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Another Boring Story about Bombs

Simultaneous car bombs kill 62 in Iraq (link to the good Dr. Attaturk then to the jerks at CNN)

Remember the guy who said that nobody reads stories about car bombings? Even he had only read the ones he wrote?

So maybe he could juice up his story and make it more interesting. Maybe he could ask this question: We have technology that can stop car bombs. Why aren't we using it? We know you used it to protect Paul Bremmer, why can't you use it for all the troops?
Please explain why it wasn't used to the parents of the dead soldiers in the most recent IED.

Kilgore Trout and the power of Great Ideas
I just read a Kilgore Trout type SF book about Nano technology (Title? Nano. How clever!) I call these books Kilgore Trout books (Vonnegut created the character) because like Kilgore’s books, they are often poorly written, but contain interesting ideas to ponder. The book mentioned a 30 Billion dollar experimental plane. I thought, "They will spend billions to make one sexy war toy, to fight the last cool war. But right now Russian isn’t a huge threat, why aren't the big brains tasked to do something about a simple tactic that is killing people every god damn day in Iraq.? Not enough fun? Not enough funding?

It’s not a moon shot, it’s a new product launch
We don't need a Manhattan project. We don't need an Apollo project. We just need some of the smart guys and manufacturing dudes who launch a new cell phone every 2 months! Get your big brained boffins in a room and say, "These are the IEDs. These are how they are made. This is how they are triggered. How can we stop them? If we have to have multiple methods to stop them then what are they?"

The White House pretends to love private industry (but they really just love THEIR PRIVATE industry.) Why not go to Phillips or Nokia and say, "I need you to make 150,000 IED detection devices. Make me scramblers, detectors, trackers." Then go to the guys who have all the key hole satellites and say. "Today I need you to figure out how to track back to the sources these bombs. These are the dates and times. Analyze back several hours and then forward several hours and report back.”

Next go to the guys who make bioengineered corn and say, “I need a water soluble tracking device in these drinks. I want these guys to glow in wavelengths only we can see.” Then you can start tracking the next round of IEDs.

The odds are that all of these things (or variations on these) have been thought of and maybe even done. And it's probably classified. But what if they aren't doing these kinds of things? What does that say about Donald Rumsfeld and Cheney? If we are going to execute a war then figure out how to do it better! What a failure of leadership and vision.

Remember, we defeated the Borg
The insurgents are like the Borg. They learn, adapt. They are not stupid. We need to learn and adapt too. Again, maybe the government is already doing this. I'll go over to Opt. Truth and ask. The projects are probably classified though. I’m sure my friends at the NSA, Groom Lake, and LL Labs would love to help, but haven’t been tasked with this job.

If this technology is classified. Should it be? Maybe. But I simply want to know, are they working on methods to defeat these bombs? If not could it be because that would be admitting a problem?

Also, if they use their shiny new technology to save grunts, (and not just for the Paul Bremmmers of the world) are they concerned that the Insurgents might figure it out and they can't use it again? Well Boo Fucking Hoo. Make more! Make different types. Be creative! Use science!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dear ABC7Listens. Listen to this

Just took a survey for ABC in SF. I orginally signed up to take political and news surveys. The pulled the old bait and switch on me and had me take the VALS survey (used to catagorize people for ad sales.) under the guise of a news survey. Wankers.

This pissed me off. After taking the survey I sent them this letter:

Hi ABC Listens people:

What a BS survey I just completed for you! Now that I have completed your little VALS survey are your Ad guys happy? Will it help them sell more ads? I guess as VALS type "Innovator" you should be happy I am a "very active consumer." ( Seriously, VALS? How 1980 of you.

You should at least have been honest about why you did this. This isn't for some news story, unless you are doing a story about using outdated consumer classification surveys to help sell TV ad space to stupid advertisers. I doubt you are doing a news story on "how people are really consumers and not citizens or voters in today's world". I'm sure that you didn't have us take the survey in order to tie my opinion to what kind of consumer I am.

I'm guessing that someone in sales said, "Hey, we have a captive audience who said they'll take any surveys! Let’s give 'em the VALS survey so we can tell our advertisers what kind of audience they are buying. It's an Easy Focus group for us!" And the person who actually works on the news side of the house objected, "But these surveys for are people’s opinions on issues of the day! They are for news stories! We’ll lose our credibility as a research dept if we tell them we are doing the surveys for news but then turn it around and use it for our own demographic sales data!" he was probably told to lighten up, know one will notice. That is if there even WAS anyone there from the news/research biz overseeing this.

Look, I signed up for your surveys to add my opinion for news stories. I believe it is good to have representative samples for surveys. I hate the unscientific surveys that some shows run. And frankly I don't even mind if you also needed data for your ad reps. But you sold this survey under false pretenses. From your letter, "We're not sure when the results of this poll will be broadcast on ABC7 News" and then later: "In a couple of days, you'll receive an invitation to the first of our extensive series of polls on the November Special Election."

Sure sounds like you have positioned this as a news opinion poll.

How you approached having us take this survey and even having Dan Ashley reading us the instructions gave us the impression of NEWS. If you had the station owner or head of sales on it would have sent a different message to us. Dan was used on purpose to lend credibility and to mislead people into thinking that this is all just part of a legit survey for news. How did I figure it wasn’t going to be used for news? You know and I know what VALS is used for. It’s used to put viewers into buckets to show to potential advertisers.

Frankly I think maybe the “I Team” should do a little investigation on this.
Did the sales staff co-opt the News staff’s database of people willing to take news surveys for their own purposes? Does management know about the lack of firewalls between the news research group and the sales staff? Does anyone even they care what impression that might give the people in the news survey database?

Mr. Spocko

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

3 Brazilian Soldiers

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed in an accident'

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the
President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a Brazillion?'

(Thanks to Mr. Bzzy for the joke. Hopefully he will become a regular reader, since we both think Paul Krugman is brillant. Coming soon, photos of me and Professor Krugman hanging out at EschaCon discussing economic theory.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

I hate it when the Airlines Misplace my Grandparents!

Military members evacuate elderly and sick patients onto cargo aircrafts at Port Arthur Regional Airport in Texas. (Washington Post)

Alternate headlines:

"Solynent Green is PEOPLE! Old People!"

"Sleeper car meets tram. Heaven on Wheels"

"Quit bitchin', at least we don't have to use our Frequent Flyer miles"

"Look lady, it's either this or the exploding bus."

"Old people. Now available in 2 stackable sizes!"

"Instructions: Please load White People on Top."

"The White Zone is for loading and unloading only.?"

Calling Dr. Attaturk! Caption contest on line one. Stat!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Spinning of The President's Drinking

This is from the National Enquirer via Buzzflash. What is interesting to me isn't the story or the anonymous sources, which I always find interesting, but the word choice used by the sources and by the writers. As our alert reader M2O would surely point out, both sides of the story are included here, but perhaps not in the same terms. I've highlighted a few of the word choices and positioning statements made.

What does this mean? When confronted by a story that might get out, the spinners place it in a context that makes it as acceptable as possible.

The typical order is to deny then divert, question the reputation of the source, then smear the source. If these methods have been exhausted the goal is to put a sympathetic spin on it. Especially if the information is true. Have a president who can't speak extemporaneously because of brain damage caused by chronic drug and alcohol abuse? Position him as a "man of few words, a simple talking, straight shooting kind of guy"

Have a president who has begun boozing again? Instead of positioning his drinking as a weakness, use it to show his deep felt emotions over the human suffering caused by natural events. This positioning is about keeping the moral righteousness of the right at bay. They don't want people asking,

Why did he reach for the bottle instead of the bible?
Why didn't he reach for the phone to get more relief instead of relief for HIMSELF?"

Now of course you could be thinking "Ol' Spocko ain't satisfied unless the W is trashed by every story." Well you are right, Fox and the SCLM are doing a fine job of being fair and balanced, my job is to point out less obvious bias.

Frankly I don't think an official story of Bush drinking will ever see the light of day. This may be some deep cover story planted by people who want to protect the president from rumors. Do I think that the White House (aka Karl Rove and his team) are capable of planting this kind of story in advance of something negative leaking out? Yes. Is that the case in this instance? I don't think so. But keep in mind, this isn't some crazy communication method. It is all about pro-active placement and depositioning of a rumor. If an actual source comes out and reveals this data (which is highly unlikely) then I'm pretty sure that said person will be smeared, or the reporter who was chosen to GET the data has some huge skeletons in his or her closet which can be used to discredit them.

Time will tell. Now since it's 5:00 SOMEWHERE have a drink and read the story. The paper has a tiny circulation of about 1. 6 million readers. Mostly from people wearing track pants who live in Red States and by aliens with pointy ears (we try and keep up with the fake news AND the real news).


Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal.

Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe.

Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.

His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."

Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.

"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!"

"Laura gave him an ultimatum before, 'It's Jim Beam or me.' She doesn't want to replay that nightmare — especially now when it's such tough going for her husband.

"Bush is under the worst pressure of his two terms in office and his popularity is near an all-time low. The handling of the Katrina crisis and troop losses in Iraq have fueled public discontent and pushed Bush back to drink.

A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital.He's been in a pressure cooker for months.

"The war in Iraq, the loss of American lives, has deeply affected him. He takes every soldier's life personally. It has left him emotionally drained.

The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope."And now with the worst domestic crisis in his administration over Katrina, you pray his drinking doesn't go out of control."

Another source said: "I'm only surprised to hear that he hadn't taken a shot sooner. Before Katrina, he was at his wit's end. I've known him for years. He's been a good ol' Texas boy forever. George had a drinking problem for years that most professionals would say needed therapy. He doesn't believe in it [therapy], he never got it. He drank his way through his youth, through college and well into his thirties. Everyone's drinking around him."

Another source said: "A family member told me they fear George is 'falling apart.' The First Lady has been assigned the job of gatekeeper." Bush's history of drinking dates back to his youth. Speaking of his time as a young man in the National Guard, he has said: "One thing I remember, and I'm most proud of, is my drinking and partying. Those were the days my friends. Those were the good old days!"

Age 26 in 1972, he reportedly rounded off a night's boozing with his 16-year-old brother Marvin by challenging his father to a fight.

On November 1, 2000, on the eve of his first presidential election, Bush acknowledged that in 1976 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents' home in Maine. Age 30 at the time, Bush pleaded guilty and paid a $150 fine. His driving privileges were temporarily suspended in Maine.

"I'm not proud of that," he said. "I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much, and I did that night. I learned my lesson." In another interview around that time, he said: "Well, I don't think I had an addiction. You know it's hard for me to say. I've had friends who were, you know, very addicted... and they required hitting bottom (to start) going to AA. I don't think that was my case."

During his 2000 presidential campaign, there were also persistent questions about past cocaine use. Eventually Bush denied using cocaine after 1992, then quickly extended the cocaine-free period back to 1974, when he was 28.

Dr. Justin Frank, a Washington D.C. psychiatrist and author of Bush On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President, told The National Enquirer: "I do think that Bush is drinking again. Alcoholics who are not in any program, like the President, have a hard time when stress gets to be great."

I think it's a concern that Bush disappears during times of stress. He spends so much time on his ranch. It's very frightening."Published on: 09/21/2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Morally Repugnant Brian Sussman: 1907 dead in Iraq. Heck, that's nothing!

Dear Parents of Dead Soldiers:

If you are feeling blue about your dead son or daughter look on the bright side. In the overall scheme of things it's not that bad! Our favorite radio host, Brian Sussman (6-8 pm on KSFO, 560 on your AM dial), said tonight that a lot more people died in World War II. So, by comparison, your dead children are really just a tiny drop of blood in a historically huge bucket. Feel better? Sure you do!

And by the way, if your son, daughter, husband, wife, mom or dad died in a non-combat related way while in Iraq, they count even less! According to, The Suss Man, the fact that they are even part of the 1907 death toll is because those mean ol' liberals are trying to make the death count seem worst by counting people who weren't killed in actual combat (even if they were in a combat zone). Of course people who die because of wounds sustained in combat don't count either, but the military doesn't like to talk about that number.

And for those of you serving in Iraq, don't worry! According to Brian Sussman, since 250,000 soldiers have rotated through Iraq, your chances of dying are less than 1%! (Brian doesn't talk about your chance of getting your arms and legs blown off, but I'm sure compared to say, the Bataan Death March, losing your arm is like prickly heat on the butt of one of "Brian's Kids".)

So, Brian Sussman, for your ability to minimize death for radio ratings and craven political purposes, Spocko's Brain gives you the coveted Morally Repugnant Human of the Month Award! Congratulations!

We salute you!

I do wish I had taped his comments, but when I tried, my computer vomited up the bits. I guess even inanimate objects find his comments morally repugnant!

Want to extend your congrats to Brian? Send him email at

Or call him. KSFO Local Bay Area Phone: (415)(510)(408)(707)-808-5600

Karl Rove Slams Head of Gulf Coast Reconstruction

September 20, 2005 Washington -- SBNewswire --

In calls to select members of the White House press corp, deputy chief of staff in charge of policy, Karl Rove, questioned the qualification of...Karl Rove.

Reporters who were called and given the information on "deep, deep background" and only after agreeing to conditions of anonymity, were told that perhaps Karl Rove should NOT be in charge of the reconstruction. The idea floated by Rove suggested that another person be placed in charge of the project who didn't have such close connections to the President.

Reporters who were called spoke to SBNewswire on condition of anonymity. One said he was stunned by Rove "Swift Boating" himself.

"At first I couldn't figure out why he was questioning his own qualifications for the job, and was suggesting others for the massive reconstruction program. Then I figured it out. Rove knows that this will be a huge albatross around the President's neck if it doesn't go well and will hurt the Republicans in the '06 elections. The SOP for the GOP is finding someone to blame. Karl didn't want to be the one blamed."

It was also suggested by others (including one anonymous White House reporter who is in jail) that Rove only knows how to protect the president by tearing down the reputations of others and it would put him in an awkward position during the next election if he had to give the president advice to tear down the reputation of the head of the reconstruction project.

Finally, these calls also indicate that Rove might be in a more tenuous position regarding a possible indictment in the Valeria Plame controversy than currently believed by White House insiders.

A Spocko's Brain Newswire exclusive!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Phrases I hate. #1. Armies of Compassion

I want to say to Bush, "Stop trying to make Armies of Compassion happen!"

And to Karen Huges, who no doubt created it, "Quit while you are ahead, sister.
You had a winner with the bullshit phrase compassionate conservative, put a fork in this one... "

How do I hate it? Let me count the ways. To me it takes the transcendent power of compassion and grafts on to it the hulking brainlessness of some mindless military. It is onward Christian Soldiers for the new century. These words are not two great tastes that taste great together. It bastardizes the word compassion. It cripples the power of the word Armies. Knock it off.

Think about it, can you image armies of compassion marching toward you? It would scare the shit out of me. I envision big ghoulish, Jimmy Swaggart type smiles peering out from their Kevlar Nazi helmets. Maybe some are wearing goth makeup as they weep and wale in compassion while trampling the heathens on the way to good Christians.

# 2 Phrase I hate. The Homeland

If you are like me, the first time you heard this you wanted to hurl. "The Homeland? The HOMELAND? What are we, fucking Germany during World War II? No one in the HISTORY of America had every referred to America as "The Homeland" until some dweeb in a brainstorm session came up with this. What's wrong with just plain ol' America? Who likes this phrase? Anyone? Hearing it just makes my skin crawl. It makes me want to wash my ears out with Borax.

This was probably Karen Huges again. She is the queen of crappy catch phrases that get stuck in your head like bad songs.

Hey Karen, do us all a favor and go listen to the Bananaphone Song for awhile. Now you know what is like for us when we hear your phrases used.

I dedicate this post to a long lost friend who called me out of the blue the other day. If you are reading this sing out, sign on and give yourself a nickname so I can count you as my 16th reader.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Karl Rove Will be In Charge of Reconstruction

Who SHOULD be in charge?
Jimmy Carter

Just a thought. He knows about building. Rove knows about tearing down. But of course it is always opposite day at the White House.

My second Martini ... reply

martini_2olives said...
I guess it all boils down to we see what we want to see.

Depending on your party affiliation, you either see someone who has at least attempted to take some responsibility or someone who is using PR as a means to avoid responsibility.

BTW you can BUY these great SF Martini glasses! Made in SF by Asta Glass.

Dear Martini 2 Olives;

You are, of course, partially correct. And it is a good point, thank you for stating it. I often ask myself, "Am I simply looking at the data that supports my view point? Am I missing something because of ideological blinders?"

And, without context, it would seem I'm being churlish or childish. "I don't care if he DOES claim he is responsible! I'm going to hold my breath until he also admits he has made mistakes and resigns!"

But Context and historical actions MUST be taken into consideration. Especially with this president where we HAVE the ability to look at his past behavior.

A number of good hearted people on the left said, "I'm going to give this president the benefit of the doubt on his response to 9/11. He couldn't have known! We weren't in those briefings. He was new to the job!" Then when we found out that there WAS data that said, "OBL determined to attack in US" and that there were multiple times that Condi and Bush KNEW that planes might be used to attack (most notably the G8 conference. I did a whole video with a jazzy spy music sound track about who told them and when they told them.) We found out that what he says and what actually happened were not the same.

Then there was the whole WMD debacle. Forged Yellowcake anyone?
So he and Condi say, Mushroom cloud! And it turns out that info is based on forged data. Data that they knew was discredited. So that is yet another instance where what they say, when looked into, is simply not true. And then, as I pointed out, Rummy's actions on Abu Ghraib, they talk about responsibility but there actions are not what a reasonable person would expect. Now we could get into a discussion of WHAT we should have expected, but to demote only ONE high level person for Abu Ghraib is really a sham.

In the famous words of the president "Fool me once shame on you, fool me can't be fooled again."

The days of giving them the benefit of the doubt are over.

I see the lies behind the "news" every day. I know how it is created and I know how the spin is developed, spun and placed. Yes people see what they want to see. That is why I will acknowledge bad things done by democrats. But I also know that Rove and the media love to set up false equivalencies so that the media can appear "fair".

I won’t spend a lot of time lashing out at Nagin and others at the local level, if you want to find a place to see them bashed I'm sure there are plenty of places for that.

Do you hear Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity saying, "You know we have to consider that Nagin was overwhelmed and did ask for help."?
No. They feel no obligation to see the other side of the story. I will at least acknowledge it, but maybe even that isn't necessary. Why? Because in this kind of discussion the right just doesn't care to consider the context. To them that would be admitting failure. You want to talk about seeing what you want to see, watch the clip of Hannity arguing with Shepard Smith, "But we have to put this in perspective..." Sean didn't want to see, didn't want to listen because it was practically impossible to see what he wanted to see in the face of images and a devastated man on the ground. But he did anyway.

And if they can scream at the left, “Yeah but you didn't give the president credit for saying ‘I'm responsible’”, they will. They use this tactic directed at the left all the time, yet it is never incumbent on them to do the same.

The fairness doctrine doesn't exist in the broadcast media anymore. The legit media clings to a structure of
"This side says this and then this side says that“ as a way to appear balanced. But if you have:
- multiple, full-time paid spokesperson (Hoover, Heritage, AEI, etc. etc. etc.)
- most of the "experts" on your payroll
- an army of people harassing the media every day for so called "liberal bias"
- bogus extreme cases developed for the express purpose of making less extreme positions seem fine.
It's not a fair game.

Now I don't want to say, "Mark my words!”, because you actually did (which was very nice of you, btw). But based on what we have already seen and based on experience with this administration, I expect to see the same crap in the reconstruction here as in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Watch for:
No-bid contracts
Work going to outsiders instead of the people in the region who could benefit from the jobs.
Lots of unaccountable missing money.
Cost plus contracts where a 3 dollar hammer costs 300 dollars.
Focus on getting oil going before people's lives (we have already seen that with a story about a hospital going with out power for 24 hours so that an oil refinery could get going first)

I even expect some covering up of real environmental data like the EPA did on 9/11. "That air is fine to breathe!” Will become, “That sludge if just fine to play in!"

I think the media might do its job this time, but I'm sure that with each story that they run about corruption, incompetence and still horrific conditions, we will hear from that idiot Hannity, the sexual deviant O'Reilly and the drug addict Limbaugh that we aren't hearing about "The positive stories! All the schools that have been reopened! The families that have been reunited with their loved ones!"

I'm not against some happy stories from the zone, goodness knows we need some, but if you have 900 crappy stories to tell about shit that hasn't been fixed and contractors that are getting contracts because they know the president's college roommate and aren't really qualified for the job, One story about little Mary Sunshine getting a new bike, is just mathematically, percentage-wise wrong.

But Rush and Hannity will demand it because the just don't want to hear any bad news that can be attached to the president or FEMA (unless they can blame "Big Government"). They will talk about “The buses!” (Driven by whom? Evacuated women drivers, who left with there families?) They will repeat discredited info about who did what when. “She never asked for help!” And they will mischaracterize the role of the various agencies are whenever they can (as our very own dear Jim picked up on about FEMA).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What will "responsibility" look like? or Let a thousand New Corporate Carpetbaggers bloom!

martini_2olives said...

I read this the other day and I thought it was relevant: "People always like to quote Harry Truman "The Buck Stops here",
but I don't know if people realize how radical that was at the time and how rare it has become in this government. The first impulse with politicians is NOT to take responsibility. This applies to MOST politicians, but again as Olbermann states, this admin has been touting that they are the ones that can handle this, "The Grown ups." Grown up take responsibility, they don't blame the kids for not knowing how to do everything perfect."

I understand that you aren't a Bush fan and I don't have a problem with that. HOWEVER, it is my opinion that you can't have it both ways. You can't bemoan the fact that he wasn't accepting responsibility and then when he does blast him for doing it.

Just pick one gut reaction and go with it.

Hi Martini_2olives:

Thanks for posting. Sure I can. Just like Don Rumsfeld said, "I take responsibility for Abu Ghraib." and then NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED. I've read the Schlesinger Report, the Taguba Report and the Fay/Jones Report. Lots of people should have been fired/court marshaled based on those reports. At least 50 people including Rumsfeld should no longer be part of our government.

That is what should have happened when Rummy "took responsibility". But those actions didn't happen.

That is the issue. What are the ACTIONS? What Will be the actions? I'll reserve judgment until I see them. Will the contracts to rebuild be no-bid? Will they pay the going wage? Will they be non-crony? Will an independent commission find out what went wrong? Will changes be made so that future disasters avoid the tragedy in the Hurricane K. zone? Will people be fired? Or will only people at the lower levels be blamed, as happened at Abu Ghraib?

Then, where is the PERSONAL responsibility? Did he say, "I should have paid closer attention to the news while on vacation. I should have read the reports. I was mistaken when I said no one anticipated the levees breaking. Had I read the reports I would have seen that it was very well documented that anything above a Cat 3 would need massive Federal support in the form of helicopters, trucks, buses and the national guard to help evacuate the city. I should have let my aides interrupt me while I was bike riding and playing guitar. Because I was so disengaged, people died.”

I think this is what Bush thinks of when he hears Truman's famous phrase:

Now I know you might think, "Oh, Spocko's never satisfied." And you may be right, it is because time and again they have used these PR techniques to avoid taking true responsibility or pay the price for their mistakes, so now just saying the words (like Rumsfeld did) doesn't mean much to me.

Interestingly, I think that the rightwing pundit infrastructure will do exactly what you did and say, "See? He took responsibility. What more do you want?" I want people fired. I want him to realize that he's not up for the job and quit. Although I would really enjoy him, Cheney, Condi, and Rumy to all be impeached for gross incompetence, profiteering and influence peddling. I might also like to see them at The Hague for war crimes.

That would be taking responsibility. Those would be the actions that lead to accountability.

But, like a magic phrase that buys you time until people stop noticing, nothing is REALLY going to be done. Or it will be done, but with the standard, “Let my cronies get some of those sweet, sweet no-bid contracts.

Let a thousand New Corporate Carpetbaggers bloom!”

Now I could be wrong, but already the wheels of no-bid contracts and pushing the blame down are in motion.

In the past Karl realized that accepting responsibility or admitting mistakes was something that the BASE didn't feel Bush needed to do. They LIKED the "I'm the stern father figure and saying I'm sorry is for weak women and crybabies like Clinton."

In their mind saying you are sorry didn't WIN them anything. They didn't get any real points from their base and the opposition wasn't going to cut them much slack, so the theory was, "Focus on the attitudes of the base. They are the only opinions that count. They don't want to admit mistakes so we won't." And frankly they were very clever and largely correct in this assessment.

Only now even the crazy base think that maybe, just maybe things could have gone better. And they will take the blame out on BIG GOVERNMENT. Not the president and his incompetent administration. So blaming the failure of the GOVERNMENT is okay. But just as long as they don't say, THIS ADMINSTRATION’S EXECUTION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT is BAD.

They like to do that, they blame "the bureaucrats" as if they can' t do anything with all the power they have in the three branches of government. They can cut through a lot of red tape and get bills passed when it comes to one comatose woman in Florida, why can't they use some of that efficient bill passing power when it comes to fixing the south? But of course they will say that they can't help unless they get all these environmental and wage concessions. Why not work WITH the two groups? I'm sure they want the south to be reconstructed just as much as you do, only they want to do things that might make the lives of the people living there better!

Let's not pass another Patriot Act bill. Remember, Reconstruction is very different from Disaster relief. But of course they will bully their way through a bill that has both and if anyone objects it will be, "Why do people who oppose 'The Southern States Rebuilding Act' hate the South? Don't they WANT to have more homes?
They must WANT people to keep living in the Thunderdome.

If they don't vote for this act they are saying 'Screw you" to Hurricane Katrine Disaster victims.

/God I hate it when I predict this stuff. I'm right 2 out of 3 times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush Takes Responsibility -- What's the Catch?

Wow! Does the buck actually stop? Nah. Check out this article from the AP and my analysis below.

We know how this Government works. Karl Rove's nickname, "Turd Blossom" is one of the most accurate nicknames W has ever given. Disaster happens, either natural or a political one made by George himself. Karl sees the pile of cow flop and thinks, "How can I turn this around?"

Turd: Hurricane K.
George is late responding, lots of mistakes at the state and local level as well as a massive screw up at FEMA. W looks BAD. Rove cares first and foremost about the images. Can't control the box. Tried, didn't work too well. What next? Look around at who has been disloyal, who can be blamed or cut loose. “Brownie, fall on your sword, we'll get you a job as a lobbyist for a Kentucky horse stud farm.”

But the next step is saying, "To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Yippee! Now of course the right wing pundit infrastructure has a response to their imaginary liberals who they argue with on the air, "See! The president TOOK RESPONSIBILITY! What more do you DEMs want? Him to resign for the mistakes of the Mayor of New Orleans, the Governor of Louisiana? See, the libs won't be happy until the President quits, EVEN if the PRESIDENT DOES WHAT THEY WANT! Why don't we hear the Mayor of N.O. take responsibility?" Spin. Spin. Spin.

Blossoms: ALL GOVERNMENT IS BAD. Private Contractors are good. Dems are to Blame.

Karl thinks. “Okay, Bush AND Government screwed up. What if W says "I take responsibility" what does that mean? NOTHING! He just has to say the words and magically the heat comes off. AND --and this is the Turd Blossom part of it where he earns his nickname.
BLAME THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! W. doesn’t have to blame HIMSELF! It’s that pesky bureaucracy!

Now for those of you who think I'm overreaching with this explanation. One other thing about Karl and the Turd Blossom Machine is that he has set into place SO MANY others who will pick up this cow flop and run with it. Third parties will fall all over themselves to support this and the press will quote them. Watch, IT IS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH of this story.


"Some federal officials have sought to fault state and local officials for being unprepared to cope with the disaster.”

See, the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISN'T REALLY IN CHARGE, Because as everyone knows, they SUCK
He said the federal government would look increasingly to state and local officials for guidance on rebuilding the devastated communities along the Gulf Coast.

"The federal government can't drive permanent solutions down the throats of state and local officials," Chertoff said. "I don't think anyone should envision a situation in which they're going to take a back seat. They're going to take a front seat," he said.
It’s a sop to local control and also an opportunity to shift blame. Chertoff is actually quite good at this stuff.

Watch this Turd Blossom fans! Notice the PRE-SPIN Damage Control
Chertoff said that teams of federal auditors were being dispatched to the stricken areas to make sure that billions of dollars worth of government contracts were being properly spent. "We want to get aid to people who need it quickly, but we also don't want to lose sight of the importance of preserving the integrity of the process and our responsibility as stewards of the public money," Chertoff said.

"We're going to cut through red tape," he said, "but we're not going to cut through laws and rules that govern ethics

More pre-spinUNLEASE RUMMY THE THRIFTY! Rummy the "150K troops will be enough for Iraq"
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that some military aircraft and other equipment may be able to move out of the Gulf Coast soon.

"We've got to the point where most if not all of the search and rescue is completed," (Based on what intelligence, Don?) said Rumsfeld, who is attending a NATO meeting in Berlin. "Some helicopters can undoubtedly be moved out over the period ahead."

He also said there is a very large surplus of hospital beds in the region, so those could also be decreased. (Yes, but leave those body bags before you take off, folks.) The USS Comfort hospital ship arrived near the Mississippi coast late last week. Rumsfeld added that nothing will be moved out of the area without the authorization of the two states' governors, the military leaders there and the president.

Turd Blossom your PR skills are legendary. They have been honed over years of planting flowers in the cow dung of George W’s mistakes. You were a bit slow out of the blocks on this one, but I'm confident you will get another beautiful turd blossom for your smelly garden. Why? Because the lazy press still hasn’t seen past your standard tricks, the people who want to believe will believe no matter what and, lucky for you the poor dead people have no voice in this game. This time they have a smell, but fortunately for you we don’t have smell-o-vision yet.

Oh and Karl, before you run off to the next turd to plant flowers in, remember the dead make nice fertilizer for your garden.

This post inspired by The Rude Pundit and Nim, the world's most cynical lawyer.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

This Disaster was Politicized the day Bush cut the 71 million for the levees.

It was politicized the day Bush diverted National Guard troops to Iraq instead of protecting our Nation.

At Eschacon someone made a very insightful comment. The Bush Administration likes to bend time after they fail to react. Watch for it and don't let them get away with it.

The reason they are so slow on disasters? Because they loath doing anything that looks like what Bill Clinton would do, "We hate that 'I feel your pain' shit." So when they are slow to react they try and pretend they are "gathering data."

The don't do policy, the do politics. Policy is prep and response. Politics is prespin and re-spin until the narrative they want is out. They will use all their resources to push the blame elsewhere until they finally get their act together.

Watch for them as they pull the "We couldn't have known, it's an act of God" shit. Well guess what. Bush and Fema have access to the most sophisticated weather forecasts in the world. Global Weather Central is used by the military to provide the best weather info money can buy, because troops lives depend on it. They KNEW and didn't DO. If they didn't know then the are so incompetent they should all be fired and impeached. No Medals of Freedom. Handcuff and manacles.

Do you think that any other President in our history would have been goofing around during the run up to this storm? Is it because they don't believe in science?

I heard some asshole call up ESPN and try and blame the people for not leaving. Fortunately the SPORTS reporter had head some FACTS about the resources of the people and questioned the caller. "Sir, do you have a car?"
"Yes, but these people...
SIR these people don't have cars.
But if I was there I would have done whatever to get out of town
SIR do you have money to get of town,
Yes, but...


4,164 troops from the National Guard of LA are in Iraq. Do you think that they and their resources might have helped.

Instead of letting "The Market" decide what to do about Gas prices why doesn't the Government say, "Caps on Gas for the duration."
No construction profiteering.
As the most wonderful Athena said over at First Draft, this would require leadership and an admission that Government is good for something. That is what they do not have and will not do.

Bush to rename rebuilt French Quarter "Freedom" Quarter

Haliburton has the 1.7 billion dollar no-bid contract for the job.

"I never liked the name French Quarter anyway," said the President "It is too sissified. The new Freedom Quarter will be a tougher,more muscular American place. Where you can drink a beer and look at white college girls go wild."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

EschaCon! In which I get to meet NTodd in person!

I'm off to Philly and EschaCon! I hope that I get to meet some of my blogger favorites! I'm not going to be "live blogging it" because I hope to do a lot of listening and talking. But it should be fun.