Bush and Paulson to Nation: “UP AGAINST THE WALL, MOTHERFUCKERS!!”

If you’re not reading Atrios as the class war goes into high gear (the money class has the virtual Panzers and hellfires fired from drones and legions of off-the-books Blackwater goons, but to quote the late great tripped-out lizard king himself, ‘you got the guns but we got the numbers’), you really should be. I love this dog bark: Nationalize it all, baby. It’s Kapitalism with a kapital k! Fuck yeah! And don’t forget to bail out Phil Graham’s foreign bank while you’re at it.

This is fun! The Republicanism of the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Norquist era has always been about nihilism, the pure joy of fucking shit up, vandalism, destruction, and setting loose the dogs of war. But until now they’ve pretended it was about other stuff. As the movie comes to its climax, Dracula is showing his fangs: no more pretense of being a misunderstood minor aristocrat from foreign Transylvania. It’s bloodsucking time, suckas, and you sure look tasty to me!

Man, I’ve got to find my old Jefferson Airplane records. There’s a song a need to hear, the perfect soundtrack for this rape and plunder, the New Republican Anthem :

We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are, we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves
Up against the wall
Up against the wall, motherfucker
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls

But please, President Bush, don’t be so totally mean. I mean, don’t bogart that joint, dawg. Everybody needs to get toked up to watch this show, dontcha think?

NPR takes its cue from Howie Carr: Blame it on the Negroes!

The other day I was listening to the exasperating Howie Carr’s talk show. Carr is a Boston-based populist Republican who purports to be an Independent. Like all Republican talk-show hosts, he’s an asshole. However, he does have his good points. For one thing, he took on the corrupt and dangerous Bulger brothers, risking his life to do so (Whitey Bulger is the model for the Jack Nicholson character in The Departed). For another, Carr, who is Catholic, took on the Catholic Church over the child rape scandal and helped drive Cardinal Law from our shores. And finally, he is relentless in exposing corruption and hypocrisy among Democrats in office, especially those in state or city offfices. In a corrupt one-party state like Massachusetts, this is a valuable service.

But he’s basically a Republican shill, and his commentary on the Big Shitpile crisis has been horrible. Last week he was going on and on about how the problem was that so many mortgages had been written for poor people in innner cities (Black people, that is, by obvious implication) who got in over their heads and defaulted, so now banks were failing and Wall Street could collapse, taking our whole way of life with it. And all because of the Negroes! And the Libruls, of course, who forced the banks to make these loans by way of “anti-redlining” laws promoted by Joe Kennedy and his ilk.

And I heard similar stuff on National Public Radio yesterday.

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Ayn Rand in Heaven

Ayn Rand was a muddle-headed thinker who wrote wooden prose, “novels” that were really merely polemics .1 She maintained the beliefs that all wealthy people merited their wealth, that all poor people merited their poverty, that selfishness was a virtue, that the myth of Robin Hood was pernicious because Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Because she did not believe in history (or complexity or nuance), Rand did not count as important that Robin Hood lived during feudal times. In her philosophy, it does not matter to her how wealth and poverty were distributed in feudal times, nor how the wealthy got wealthy. Her fictional world is ahistorical. In her world, government is synonymous with force, but in her worldview, the only legitimate use of force is to take from the poor and give to the rich. She loathes democracy and thinks well of plutocracy. The current Bush/Cheney government of plutocrats would be very much to her liking, I think.

She is a high priestess in the Cult of the Market Gods.

Ayn Rand’s writing is known be esteemed by, among others, Alan Greenspan (“the whore”, as my father calls him), and by impressionable teenage boys with little social success. I don’t know if Dick Cheney is a fan of Rand, but he is the epitome of a Randian hero.

Anyway, Rand is dead, presumably in Heaven. From whence she must be beaming down upon us with great joy at the developments of the past few weeks, when a hundred billion dollars was taken from the treasury and given to the investor class, all in the name of “stabilizing the market” (Market gods angry! Market gods want eat money! Must feed market gods! Paulson! Bernanke! Feed market gods more money! Now!) The wealth transfers of the “Resolution Trust Corporation” bailout of the S&Ls under the Reagan regime, the Bear Stearns and Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac handouts of more recent times were as mere hors d’oeuvres before the meal of the Great Investor Class Bailout of 2008. It’s about time for a Randian beatification or maybe even apotheosis, wouldn’t you say.

UPDATE: I forgot to include a link to this diary entry over on Daily Kos, which got me thinking. I agree with the post 100%.

1. When the woman who is now my wife and I were first dating, we found ourselves talking about Ayn Rand novels one afternoon. I had read Atlas Shrugged and one or maybe two others, but not The Fountainhead. She summarized it for me in one memorable sentence: “In this one he’s an architect.” Really, if you’ve read one of her novels, you’ve read them all.

Retroactive Immunity for Criminals? Paging Doctor Feld, stat!

Many many moons ago, when I was just a young dad with lots of responsibilities and not very many dollars, I found myself sitting at an outdoor lunch table with a bunch of my colleagues from work who were single and evidently without the kind of financial concerns that I had. They were talking about sunglasses. Each was wearing a pair of pricey shades that cost about as much as I was spending per month on food and diapers. The whole conversation was absurd to me. Eventually somebody asked me what I kind of sunglasses I favored, to which I replied,

I dunno. Whenever I need something like that I just wait until they put it in a McDonald’s Happy Meal(tm).

Similarly, whenever I need an opinion on an issue that has to do with telecommunications policy, privacy, the First Amendment, cowardice and chickenshitosity in the Congress, or fear mongering and criminality in the Bush/Cheney administration, I generally just wait for Harold Feld to put an article up on Wetmachine/Tales of the Sausage Factory to tell me what I’m thinking. I know how I feel about an issue, more or less, but a good Feldian rant always brings it into focus — and often gets me to call or write my congresscritters.

Lately I’ve been really steamed about all this talk of passing a bill that will grant immunity to the telecommunications companies for illegally spying on their customers, Nixon-style, since way before the magical “all laws cease here” date NineEleven (peace be upon it). From what I can tell, the chickenshit Congress is making noises about going along with Lord Voldemort’s, I mean Bush’s request to make time-travelling the law of the land, at least when it comes to giant corporations spying on citizens on behalf of who-knows-who.

So, I’ve been kinda waiting for a duly appropriate, incendiary, and legally impeccable disquisition from Harold on this. The fact that he has not yet weighed in leads me to think that either yes, what I’m saying is as obvious as “water is wet” and this does not merit a TotSF article, or, perhaps, that I’m missing something.

It is worth mentioning that the week after that aforementioned conversation about sunglasses, I stopped at a McDonald’s and purchased a Happy Meal. There was a nice pair of sunglasses inside, which, moreover, almost fit.

Harold, we await your rant.

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Congratulations Senator-Elect Webb! Congratulations Senator-Elect Tester

Congratulations to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid! Great day in the Morning! Hallelujah!

Congrats of course to winners everywhere (most especially to those in the mainstream, majoritarian party, the Democratic Party). A Democratic-led House of Representatives! Speaker Nancy Pelosi! A Democratic majority in the Senate! Hoo-boy. Some hope, at last, that we may pull back from the brink.

In Virginia the Republican candidate for the Senate is the racist thug brownshirt liar George Felix Allen, and in Montana the Republican candidate for Senate is the corrupt firefighter-hating Abramoff flunky Conrad Burns. They’re backed by the full force of the Repubiican Bush/Cheney/Rove crime family, er, national party who rightly fear marginalization if not impeachment, trial and conviction if two more Democratic senators are seated, so don’t expect them to go down without a fight — a nasty, dirty, dishonest fight. But Tester and Webb and Reid are no patsies, and a fair count will prevail.

It will be easier to concentrate on my day job today. Somehow the dread is much, much less oppressive this morning.