The Importance of Being Eric
-Art Buchwald, 1971
I can't even begin to explain to you what a major drag it is to wake up this early (4:18 AM) on a Sunday morning to find myself forced to come to the defense of the likes of Eric Holder. But there's a job to be done and - dag nap it! - someone's gotta do it. If you could somehow put a face to my disappointment in the Obama White House thus far, Holder's would be the perfect image. That's not meant to imply that as Attorney General he has been worthless (Ed Meese he's not) it's just the unfortunate fact that there are scores of men from the previous administration who should be rotting in federal prison at this moment. That's never going to happen. One of the failures of Barack Obama and his team is that, from day one, they wanted to remain "above it all". It's doubtful that none of the Bush Mob will ever be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.
I guess Nixon was right in his famous interview with David Frost: "When the president does it, it is not illegal". When Obama was inaugurated he reached out to the GOP by putting so many of them in his administration. It's now laughably obvious what a HUGE mistake that was. Let's hope he learns from that mistake. Wishful thinking I'm sure.
GET THIS! Barack Obama and Eric Holder (two dark-skinned guys) concocted a scheme that would have forced good white people everywhere to voluntarily give up their guns. The plan was to run MILLIONS of weapons into Mexico. The spread of violence as a result of all those firearms would surely spill over across the border onto American streets - resulting in the countless murders of innocent white children with red hair and freckles and names like "Rusty" and "Muffie". The result of the carnage would force the American people to demand a ban on all guns. It's an evil, liberal plot, you know.
The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today
And black's white today
And day's night today
This is the story that the Republicans are putting out there. The NRA and FOX Noise are also are also holding onto this fiction for dear life - with faces as straight as a warehouse full of two-by-fours. Congressman Darrell Issa has called Obama's "the most corrupt administration in American history". Where the hell was this guy between the years 2001 and 2009? Good's bad today. Day's night today.
A number of years ago the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms developed this nutty scheme that allowed American guns to go into Mexico. Once inside that country the feds would somehow be able to "track" the weapons. It went tragically wrong. To no one's surprise the guns in question got lost from view. One of them turned up in a skirmish in which a US border patrol agent named Brian Terry was killed. A congressional investigating committee headed by Representative Issa wants a partial investigation of the history of this program - from January 20, 2009 0nward - but not a single day before. You see, "Operation Fast and Furious" (as it is called) began during the administration of George W. Bush.
Eric Holder is being held in contempt of congress by a contemptible jackass like Darrell Issa. Isn't that funny? The House will be voting on the matter this week. You can guess which way they're going to go with this one. Holder does not want to handover to Issa documents he is legally forbidden to produce - applications for wiretaps and grand jury transcripts for instance. Holder won't budge and Obama is citing "Executive Privilege". "What are they hiding?" goes the cry. It's nothing more than a political witch hunt; a desperate attempt to discredit the Obama administration just in time for the November election. Are enough of the voters going to be stupid enough to swallow this bullshit without so-much as a chaser? Judging by their pathetic history the answer to that question is a resounding "YES".
"Neither Fast and Furious nor Issa’s fake fury justifies the looming crisis between the House of Representatives and the Obama administration. This politically inspired dispute diverts attention from issues of real consequence. That’s the shame of it all."
-Colbert I. King, Washington Post, 22 June 2012
For all that he lacks as a zealous prosecutor of political crimes, Eric Holder had been putting up a pretty good fight with respect to Wall Street corruption and voter suppression. And what has been the response of the plutocratic handmaidens who are supposed to be representing us in Washington? They're coming down on him - fast and furious. This is what is known as "Payback Time". Anyone who even thinks about bringing justice to the thugs who have raped our economy is going to get stomped silly. Welcome to the new reality of American politics.
Did you ever - in your wildest and stupidest dreams - think that the fall of a civilization would be such a rib-tickling thing to behold? Not me! You can almost smell the rotten stink of America's decomposing, civic flesh. Why am I laughing? Because it's funny, that's why. It's too funny for words.
If I were to place a bet on who was going to win the Big Prize this November the sixth, I would be placing everything I had on Mitt Romney. That's what my gut instinct tells me from the vantage point of June 24, 2012 anyway. Who knows what will transpire between now and then. As they say, four months is a lifetime in politics, due in large part to the hideously low attention span of the American people. But of this I am beyond certain: the campaign of 2012 will be remembered as the weirdest in the history of American electoral politics. That's something we can all look forward to. To quote Bill Murray (or was it Hunter Thompson?) from the film, Where the Buffalo Roam, "It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me."
The Declassified Eisenhower
By Blanche Wiesen Cook
Domestically, Eisenhower was one of our best presidents. As far as foreign policy is concerned he was one of the worst (second only to George W. Bush). Over a half century after he left the White House America is still paying a heavy price abroad for the grim foundations laid by Ike and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. Ms. Cook lays it out in chapter and verse.
This is one of the earliest color videotapes known to survive. It is from May of 1958 and shows President Eisenhower at the opening of an NBC broadcasting facility in Washington. Here is a link to watch it on You Tube:
The signal is so clear and crisp that it looks like a live feed. It's staggers the imagination to think that it was shot slightly over fifty-four years ago - three months before I was even born!
One of the great comic character actors of the twentieth century died on June 18. His name was Victor Spinetti. He is best remembered for the parts he immortalized in three of the Beatles' films: the uptight director in "Hard Day's Night", the mad scientist in "Help", and the gibberish-spouting military man in Magical Mystery Tour". That's a photograph of him on the left, taken with John Lennon on the set of Help in 1965. Victor was as good (and as lovable) as they get. As fate would have it, he checked out on Paul McCartney's seventieth birthday. God rest his silly soul.
For every one that goes before me I fear it less and less.