Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Green Bay man gets
six years for roasting
ex-girlfriend’s Pekinese.

I am hardly an authority on publicity. I basically despise publicity and those who deal in it. But if it is true that all publicity is good publicity (and I’m afraid may be correct), I think Rachel Maddow is being sucker-punched by Scott Brown, the freshman Senator from Massachusetts. If you have not followed this story, Brown has claimed that Rachel is going to run against him for the Senate. He also has said that the Democratic Party in Massachusetts has asked her to do so. Neither of these claims is true, they are demonstrably and absolutely false. Maddow, of course, denies it, as no doubt she should. She keeps insisting on her show it is not true she is running, she has not been asked to run, and Brown has just made the story up to aid him in fundraising. I have little doubt this is true. Rachel demands that he stop lying about this, a reasonable demand given that he has, in fact, been lying consistently about it. However, Rachel seems to have lost sight of the basic premise that all publicity is good. The more she complains about it and insists it is not true, the more publicity Brown receives. In fact it doesn’t matter in the least whether Brown is lying, he’s getting far more attention than he could possibly get otherwise, millions of dollars worth of publicity, simply by the fact that he is being mentioned on Rachel’s show night after night. The fact that he is lying, which Rachel rightly thinks is wrong, is basically irrelevant. Nobody will care if he is lying, all they will hear is Senator Scott Brown’s name over and over and over. So Rachel, as much as I adore you and your show, you are the one who should stop. Just ignore him, he’s taking advantage of you. You are right, he is a liar, and he is indeed capitalizing on your name, but you are unfortunately helping him. It’s just like our dear departed Lyndon Johnson said, “I know he didn’t have sex with a goat, but I want to hear him deny it,” or something to that effect.

“The proof,” I guess, “will be in the pudding.” That is, I’m still not too enamored of the Health Care Bill. I want to believe that it has good things, and some of the things do seem to be truly fine: 30 plus millions more insured, no refusal for children with existing conditions, no longer a limit on benefits, and so on. But with no public option, no real control over premiums, health care costs could presumably just keep on spiraling up and up forever. If this should happen it will be a disaster. If, on the other hand, we end up with a public option, or even more sensibly, with a single-payer system, it will be an absolute triumph. But as I have said before, until the insurance companies are dealt out completely, it will not constitute real reform. I wonder why it is so easy to understand why banks and lending companies should not be allowed to act as unnecessary middle-men for student loans, while insurance companies are allowed to continue as unnecessary middle-men for health insurance. I suspect the billions involved in the student loan case are probably a pittance compared to what the insurance companies will harvest.

I hate being kept in the dark about what is going on here and there in the world. I strongly suspect I am not being informed about why we are in Afghanistan. I don’t like believing that President Obama is stupid, but if there is not some reason we are in Afghanistan I don’t know about, I think he must be. First, it is known that Afghanistan has long been the “graveyard of empires.” No one, including Alexander the Great, managed to conquer this rugged, tribal land, nor could England or Russia. Second, there is no obvious reason we should continue to be there, al Quaida is apparently gone, third, we claim no territorial demands, fourth, the Taliban are not a threat to us, fifth, it is now clear that attempting to train a functional Afghan army is a total disaster, sixth, the government we are trying to support is completely corrupt, and seventh, The Afghans don’t want us there. It must have something to do with oil, or at least keeping oil from central Asia from flowing to China or somewhere we don’t want it to go. But, if this is true, we are never told this. We are just told it is to insure our security, a claim that is so hollow it is pathetic. Or, failing the oil hypothesis, we are there for no other reason than to keep a “war” going to feed our greedy, insatiable, military/industrial/political complex. The one thing I am absolutely positive about is that we are not there for any humanitarian motive. Humanitarian motives might provide a pathetic excuse for our infernal meddling around the world but they do not exist in our aggressive and misguided attempt to rule the world.

Have you ever seen anything as pathetic as Silly Sarah trying to sell an increasingly senile old man to the voters of his home state? With that awful shrill voice and the utter hogwash that pours virtually non-stop from her mouth she just manages to make McCain look older and more useless than he is. He will probably win because his Republican opponent is so much worse, and the voters in Arizona will probably get what they deserve, but it is truly painful to watch. There is nothing like watching one complete phony try to sell another one. McCain did enough damage to our country when he insulted us by picking this nitwit woman as his running mate and gave her a national stage, he should retire before doing any further damage. As far as Sarah goes, having had her greedy moments of fame, she should take her money and return to her rightful status as feisty but basic brood mare. I confess I cannot stand her, cannot stand the sound of her voice, cannot stand her abysmal ignorance and pretentiousness, and most of all I cannot stand what her dangerous lies portend for the future.

There are three intolerable things in life - cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women.
Orson Welles

The Olmec, and perhaps others in the Americas, invented a wheel, but used it only on toys.

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