.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, September 23, 2005


Dial "E" for Evil

Robby Reed's comics nostalgia site Dial "B" For Blog is always good. But today it's very, very good. To see the "good" Robby at his best, try here, here, or here. But really, you should visit every day.


Thank You Sir. May I Have Another?

Following up on Dave's thoughts below (so read that first): Why can't the Post make like the Times and put their columnists behind a firewall, so guys like David Ignatius would vanish from the online discourse?

I've had a lesson in our unpopularity in Egypt, where I've been hearing anti-American broadsides from activists who should be thanking the Bush administration for its pro-democracy stance. These are people who, but for the administration's pressure over the past few years on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, might well be in prison. But do they appreciate President Bush's help? Not on your life.

Along with Mike Reagan's column, this seems to be turning into a mini-trend for the Right. Hated? Mistrusted? Blamed? Fuck no, we should be congratulated. And if they can't take a joke, fuck 'em.

Ignatius is either disingenuous or stupid if he thinks the rabidly anti-U.N. Bush administration ever wanted to be "loved" by anyone but the Jeebus-lovers here at home. His main point is that the U.S. should not worry about its unpopularity abroad (a convenient psychological defense mechanism for the terminally unpopular--one with obvious domestic implications) and simply pursue its policies regardless of how badly it alienates allies, sows discord or subverts those policies' stated intentions. Well, maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit. Ignatius actually suggests that we should emulate the "cool disdain", "haughtiness" and "brutal indifference" empires like Britain, France and Soviet Russia showed to their satellites. Um, can anyone point out the historical flaw here?


American Duck

My parents came out to visit recently (to see their second grandchild for the first time) and on a walk with my father talk turned to politics. My dad is a committed Democratic voter, prone to angry outbursts against the Bush administration. As time passes his ability to discuss the Republican party without becoming visibly angry decreases. I only mention this to establish that this is not a person who is going to deviate much from standard "liberal" positions.

So I was pretty surprised to hear that he is leery of pulling out from Iraq immediately. He fears, probably not unreasonably, that leaving now will result in a quickening of the coming civil war and many more Iraqi civilian deaths. My position was that the U.S. has lost all credibility in Iraq with Iraqis, a growing proportion of the U.S. population, and the citizens/governments of other countries. We've lost the initiative and anything we do is just a holding action that only delays the inevitable, whatever horrible variant on gruesome bloodbath that turns out to be. Why waste American lives and resources? It's not that I don't care, it's that I don't think anything we do will ultimately make much difference.

Before long, our conversation turned to Bush's declining popularity and his apparently early movement toward lame duck status. I explained to my father that although it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, I was a little worried to have a President with such limited power. What if the country needs leadership and we don't have anyone in charge? My father replied that when Bush did have political capital he used it all in the service of policies both he and I thought were terrible for the country. He had already proven his unwillingness to provide leadership on issues that might actually better the lives of the majority of U.S. citizens.

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Although there are not international voters who elect the U.S. "leader of the free world", we seem to have managed to achieve an international lame duck status. I think this is due to our current situation of one party rule. There isn't a credible opposition for the world to look at and say, well I don't like the President, but the U.S. isn't all bad - here's another leader who appears to be on the rise who will set things right.

The Republicans appear to be losing control of the country, but without a recognizable compensating ascendency on the part of the Democrats. We've managed to become the American Duck.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Jack Kirby Haiku Wednesday

Haiku "brain bombs" inspired by the comics of Jack "King" Kirby. Quality assured.

This week, a salute to the villainous conspiracies of Silver Age Marvel comics:

Hydra has many heads
cut one off, three more will rise—
rise to take its place

A.I.M.-bred, this Mental
Organism is Designed
Only for Killing

awake the Sleepers
evil constructs, five to fight
in the final war

Monday, September 19, 2005


Kids Say The Most Demented Things

Abe, age 2:

"I'm going to invite the King to my wedding. The King of Poop!"

"I guess I kill chickens. That's okay."

"I make you bald. I drink down all your hair in one gulp!"

"Get away! I poke you!"

"I chop you up and put you in the oven. That's alright."

"Mom, your neck is nice and round. Just like a poop!"

"I like teeny babies. Dad, you a teeny baby. I throw you out window. That's fine."

"I am Dr. Doom! That my evil plan! Dr. Dooooooom!"

"Dr. Doom took my socks."


The Words That Killed The Bush Presidency

It's not the 16 words on yellow cake in the State of the Union Address. Neither "Mission Accomplished" nor "Bring it on" did the trick. It's this little seven-word, $200 billion sentence, on Katrina reconstruction:

"It's going to cost whatever it costs."

Can't you just hear the Republican wallets (and testicles) tightening? Sure, Iraq is a sexy money pit; a couple hundred billion down the hole there is chump change, in service of Democracy! Freedom! Pax Americana! But that kind of money pointed even dishonestly in the direction of poor Americans? Ahem, well, the stuff doesn't grow on trees, you know. Of course you and I and Bush realize that the bulk of the proposed flood of cash--just like Iraq--will go straight into the pockets of the GOP's contractor pals and assorted right-wing opportunists. A billion or two may just disappear. Whoops! But George knows he can't come out and say that.

Bush and his boys may be furiously denying the possibility of tax increases, but apparently, a big chunk of Bush's base just read his lips. He's actually down in the polls since his phony FDR/LBJ moment, with a shrinking 63% of Republicans now approving of the administration's handling of the hurricane. When's the last time only 63% of his party backed him on anything? After all the judo this administration has performed, I was skeptical that this disaster would really damage them. But now that they're forced for the first time to risk alienating their base, I really don't see where they go from here, except down.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?