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    • The Torture Culture
      Ok, here’s the deal: Torture does not work to get information. Period. You do not torture people to get information, you torture people to send information, or rather, to send a message. What is that message? (Originally from Dec 16, 2010, but it seems worth re-upping for a new generation of readers – Ian.) We Torture People […]
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Conflucians Say- Forcing Favreau

No, we haven’t forgotten.  Jon Favreau still has to go.  There are so many reasons for him to leave the White House that I really have to wonder why Obama hasn’t done it yet.  It almost seems like he is gearing up for a war on women, along with his slavish media whores.

So, here’s another good reason to add to the pile, which includes the very real danger he poses to Hillary’s role as Secretary of State: he creates a hostile work environment for his female co-workers.  If he acts this way at a party, that kind of gossip gets around.  And if he stays at the White House. he might as well be strutting with impunity.  He won’t be held accountable for anything.  Very, VERY bad situation for his female co-workers who may be subject to mockery and derision by the likes of Favreau and his drinking buddies.  It’s very hard for any woman to be taken seriously and deliver on the job when her suggestions and work are not given the attention or respect they deserve. Now, they will be faced with an extra degree of intimidation because as a gender, they are held to a higher standard than Favreau and his buddies.  Is this really the message Obama wants to send?   So, Favreau has to go.  I still think he would learn a lot at State working for a hard working, intelligent, disciplined, dedicated Hillary Clinton.  *Hint-hint*

Heidi Li of is raising money to buy an ad to call attention to Favreau.  If you want to get in on the action, check out this page at PUMAPac and let’s shove Favreau out the door and into Foggy Bottom.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

And join me tonight at 10 PM EST for Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio, PURrrrr

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Thursday: The Village, SIDS and everything

I’ve been searching for a plot summary of the 2008 election and the four years to come.  What explains the way things have played out?  What are the forces at work?  Who has the true power?  I can say with assurance that if the DNC had gone with Hillary Clinton, the party and the country would have been better off, even if the economy and government were in a shambles.  Instead, we have something that is dead before it begins.

But first, a little diversion.  Back in the day, when certain kinds of high powered workstations were new and groovy, they were also prone to failure within a few weeks after delivery.  The technical support specialist would come on site, open the sucker up, poke around a bit and say, “I hate to tell you this but your elunium pu36 explosive space modulator has SIDS and we’ll have to swap it for a different one.”  Hmmm, I would say, perplexed.  What happened?  The TSS would smile thoughtfully.  “It just left the factory that way.  It has a flaw.  Sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes it’s another.  It happens.  We test them before they leave but we don’t test them long enough to catch everything.  If the unit is going to fail, it usually does it within the first month and it’s probably a major failure.  So, we don’t even bother trying to fix it.  We just replace the whole unit.”

Conflucians, the Obama administration has SIDS.  It is already a failure.  It has a flaw in its design.  The flaw has been there since the beginning but the product was so shiny and new and promised to make our lives so much better that many people overlooked it.  The sucker is version 1 and no one in their right mind buys version 1 unless it comes from Apple.  And even then, you make sure you buy it with your platinum VISA with the extended product purchase warantee and a direct line to some geeky Genius.

The QC test for the Obama administration is the Villagers, that little bastion of political pundits and DC courtiers with the narrow minded collective conscious that is stuck in the fifties.  They are the status quo.  They are the power.  Piss off a Villager and your job is misery for four long years.  The Clintons know that the Villagers never forget.  Their memories are lonnnnnnng.  Their grudges never ending.  They pass judgement on everything: Your marriage, your clothes, your children, your interns, your policies that might cost them a teensy bit more in taxes or anything that might make THEIR lives uncomfortable.  You can’t do anything in DC without the approval of the Villagers.  They control the horizontal and the vertical.  Step out of line and your ass is glass.

Both Hillary and Obama knew that.  But where Hillary was willing to take them on and was actually succeeding, pressing forward inch by inch against the hurricane force gusts of Villager hot air, Obama decided to gain their confidence.  He bravely marched over to the Villager side and adopted all of their conventional wisdom.  Hillary was a monster, women should be seen, not heard, the new FISA law is good, telephone companies were viciously maligned, the Iraq War isn’t nearly as bad as we thought, Michelle will make a great “Mom-in-Chief”.

Obama bowed and dipped and flattered and danced a merry little Pavane.  All was cheery and delightful.  He was the perfect solution to their civil rights dilemma.  Why, he is just like them, except a little darker.

Meanwhile, David Axelrod and David Plouffe fluffed the nation’s nipples in extended foreplay, whispering sweet nothings into our ears about how good it was going to feel when Obama finally won.  There would be multiple orgasms across the nation.  It kept building and building and many waited in breathless anticipation for the next big thing, the new electronic gadget that we all had to have by Christmas time.

Well, we’ve got it.  But it will never work right.  Because in order to get the presidency, Obama had to play the Villager game.  And these people might be stubborn in their foolish consistencies but they aren’t stupid.  They know the creature that Obama is.  He’s b-b-b-bad to the bone.  He’s corrupt as all get out.  They know and he knows that Blago knows where all of the bodies are buried.

Now, Obama can make all kinds of promises and policies and have Jon Favreau insert “hope!” and “Change!” into every speech but Obama knows that if he proposes anything to displease the Villagers even one little bit, he’s going to be slung with a big, stinky albatross called Milorod Blagojevich for the duration of his four long years. And we have seen that Obama is very reluctant to court controversy.  He’s not a fighter.  He’s a “get out of town on the day of a tricky vote” kinda guy.  He will not stand up to the Village because he is afraid of them.  Before he can sign one bill into law, Obama is already a non-functioning unit.

So much for hope and change.

As for Hillary, well, we can’t look back.  We can only look forward.  It’s not a good year for her.  It seems like she’s got enemies everywhere but she actually had only one- sexism.  I’ve tried to figure out what it is that would cause her to lose so spectacularly and nothing else makes sense.  It can’t be arrogance because the powers that be tolerated a surfeit of that from Obama.  It’s not stupidity.  She outshined her opponents.  Ruthlessness was hailed in Obama but condemned in her.  I think we have to acknowledge that sexism is at the root of all evils that befell Hillary this year.  It’s the kind of sexism that emanates from political scions like Ted Kennedy, whose own family had issues with women who were a bit too unorthodox.

The Jezebel wore Scarlet

The Jezebel wore Scarlet

His own sister Rosemary was lobotomized, not for mental retardation, but because she was an angry young women who didn’t fit in with her wealthy social climbing family.  Think about that for a sec.  Women in Kennedy’s family were kept in a convent and parts of their brains were removed because they threatened to ruffle the smooth facade of the Kennedy mysitique.  We shouldn’t forget this.  The Ted Kennedy generation of his family is full of socialites with charitable causes, debutantes and women who married for titles.  Women were  definitely subordinate and objects of affection, or non-consensual sex for the likes of Ted Kennedy’s generation.  This is the man who put all of his lever pulling to work for Obama and to the detriment of Hillary Clinton.  This is his mindset.  It’s sexism.

But she nearly beat the old dudes.  Nearly wrested the power away from them.  Nearly banished the Villagers from court.  If it weren’t for the corruption, the flaw, that lies at the core of Obama’s meteoric rise to fame, she could have pulled it off.  Instead, we have a president who will be frozen in amber by that corruption.  Stray but a little from the edge of a knife and he will be the victim of Villager backlash. And they will be vicious.  Blagojevich will be blackmail that keeps Obama in line for the next four years.  Even if Obama had initially courted them with the intent of defusing them with legislation later, this latest scandal with Blagojevich threatens to make that impossible.  It’s already out there and the ties are there, like faint silvery lines just waiting for the press to do its job and illuminate them.  At its own convenience, of course.

The Obama administration has SIDS.
Update: Kudos to Joseph Cannon for bringing us a little Fitzmas.  He’s done a stellar job following the Blagojevich indictment.  Today, he rewrites The Little Drummer Boy and Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel!  Deeelightful!

In Honor of Clowns Everywhere

This was originally posted as a brief comment on Klown Haus, the blog of
myiq2xu, author on the Confluence and master of the midnight shift.
He and I seem to have in common a cold realism about how the world
can be.

I never expected to be writing a poem about clowns. Perhaps I was just intrigued
at the boldness of using the clown persona as a way to confront and communicate. Hastily editing these words, I see that affectionate comments are already coming in about myiq2xu. If they hadn’t, the poet
would be the one looking like a *clown* right now. Here’s to myiq and to *clowns*
everywhere. We’re all *clowns* tonight.

As children, we were entertained by a clown,
A smile on our face he’d coax from a frown,
But then we grew up, and became less enthused
At his act, and he stood discarded and used.

An artist once sang of the tears of a clown,
How sad the expression, how dreadful the noun,
That he who amusement to others once gave
For himself, and in private, his tears have to save.

Show me a man, who when he was down
Never once shed the tears of a clown,
If such a man, forsooth, could be shown
He’d seem unlike any I’d ever known.

If a clown says his IQ is twice that of yours,
Judge him not harshly, the poet implores,
For perhaps he had only spoken in jest,
And of nothing thought but entertaining the rest.

If he says he’s twice as smart as us all,
His interlocutor he’d still not appal,
With bravado his reputation he earns,
But then to his solitude he returns.

So let a clown’s tears be wiped from his eyes,
Let the sun set and a new dawn arise,
Let out the old and let in the new,
The night rains have fallen; behold morning dew.

Let an old era end and a new one begin,
Let out the past and the future let in,
When the clock strikes midnight, the old day is done,
‘Ere long, a new day will have begun.