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The Last Bastion of America's Liberal Media

18 Aug 2003

Turd of the Week

George H. W. Bush, in your 1990 deregulation frenzy, you let Enron outsource the Niagra-Mohawk electric grid maintenance. 50,000,000 customers and bazillions of dollars later, things are a little shaky. In vengeful irony, the Iraqis are now offering New Yorkers tips on how to deal with Electricallessness

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Civilian casualties update
This data is an accounting of civilian deaths in Iraq to date.
See Iraqbodycount.net for statistical methodologies


Growing fat off juicy Iraqi rebuildin' contracts. Did you know the bin Laden group is one of our top investors?

screw all the other stockholders, we're cashing out!

Hey, what do you know? We make money from American militarily screwed up countries in the Middle East!

We're already negotiating with the “new Iraqi democracy” for oil rights!

Selling weapons all over the globe to ensure civilian death and instability which in turn ensures a strong market for years and years...


Blackouts are not Just for Intelligence Reports
So, one squirrel kamikazes on a transformer in Toledo and the whole north eastern seaboard, upper rustbelt and industrial Canada collapse? Uhhh, not exactly. Of course you'd expect the crap sickened pundit to trace this back to the Rhinestone Cowboy, and in this case (and many others) the trail is pretty easy to follow.

Back in '92, Poppy Bush pushes through a bunch of energy deregulation legislation, as part of his swan song. The private sector, cheaper, better, blah, blah, blah. Citing the unquestionable success of Houston Natural Gas overseeing Britain's de-reg power grid, it all looks great.

A few years later, GOPsters push for state level energy dereg for Texas and Californee. The energy lobby spent $37,000,000 telling people how they'd save 20% on their energy bills. There was even legislation passed in Sacramento guaranteeing the 20% savings, just to undercut the liberal complaints. Californee went first, and based on the hype from Maggie Thatcher, they handed it the whole enchilada over to Houston Natural Gas, known by this point as "Enron." Of course, San Diego, the first to get privatized saw the 20% legally mandated drop in charges, but a 300% increase in surcharges.

In the subsequent "free market bidding," Enron low balled everybody by massive amounts, promising to deliver Saks 5th Ave power for Wal-Mart prices. Awarded the contracts, Enron quickly was unable to deliver and blackouts began to sprinkle throughout the Golden State. Enron came up with fantastic excuses, blaming the old infrastructure (which was now theirs to command) and oil prices, but ultimately admitting they couldn't deliver the juice.

With California's economy held hostage, Enron and several of its sister corporations were able to extort $6,200,000,000 above and beyond the contractually obligated pricing from poor powerless California. Mind you, this is all before you factor in the accounting scandals, in which investors, including much of the California State Employees Pension Fund, lost pretty much everything. All the stockholders in the know, however, had already cashed out royally on the phony deal-making and concomitant accounting fudgery.

Fed up, Clinton takes an afterglow break to sign an executive order to impose price caps and ban Enron from the California market. 3 days fresh into his new office, George W. overrides the order, thereby letting Enron, the number one contributor to his campaigns (imagine the odds of that coincidence!), back in business.

Then Bush and Pataki pushed hard for privatization of the Niagra-Mohawk power system. Rights were sold to a British corporation, 800 workers were laid off, rates went up, maintenance was cut back and last week, the Northeast embarked on an involuntary power-saving initiative. The right fawning media is quick to blame the squirrel, but it kind of makes you wonder if anyone might want to put squirrel contingencies in the planning.

...and who is the Governor who stood up to the pirates who created California's energy/economic disaster? Gray Davis.

Schwartzenegger Vows to Boost Usage of Hackneyed Hollywood Catch Phrases
In the ongoing media circustravaganza that has become California politics, Golden Staters are showing a strong preference for Arnold Schwartzenegger over all other opponents. Analysts determined the reasons for this don't have a goddamn thing to do with overseeing the government of the most powerful state in America, equivalent to something like the 8th largest economic power in the world. But there you have it.

Experience in the realms of reality is a liability these days. But the appeal of cliche'd Hollywood bromides is truly timeless, or as least makes us forget about the ugly complexities facing those who seek to educate children, build roads, take care of the less fortunate while addressing the "victims of overtaxation." So Arnold has built a formidable lead by leveraging a resume of sentence fragments uttered in a thick accent designed to underscore his interpersonal dominance. "Hasta la Vista Baby!" (Wild cheers).

In a world that is becoming increasingly seduced by quick solutions to deeply confounded problems, nothing could be more comforting than turning decades-in-the-making problems over to someone whose professional identify is defined by problem resolution via smashing. A killing machine whose only purpose is to kill its victim, regardless of the means of achieving it? Hey, that's the guy we want determining California's future!

The enormous hurdle of $3500 and 65 signatures has ensured that only those who realize $3500 buys a who-o-ole lot of free publicity to one's cause and/or product while it totally weeds out those who cannot forge six and a half dozen signatures with different color pens. Estimates of election costs are soaring past the $67,000,000 mark, exacerbated by the rapid influx of fringe candidates which bloat the vote registering process beyond its current strained capacity.

For those still engaging in denial after the Florida election theft of 2000, it is now irrefutable that the Grand Old Party has become the Terminator, programmed to destroy its victim, Democracy, by any means necessary.

Good News! Bush Administration is Optimistic About Jobs!
Surrounded by the genius patrol who figured out that bankrupting the federal budget on the backs of the poor and the next generation of taxpayers would create an economic utopia in America, the vacationing Bush took a break from skeet shootin' to announce that he's "optimistic about job creation." Well, given the current state of the job market, there's plenty of room, even if not much basis, for optimism. Economists are using the term "Jobless Recovery" to describe the current state of the economy, which begs the question: if the recovery is jobless, what exactly is it we're recovering from?

Eventually, manufacturers deplete their inventories and must cautiously purchase more supplies to meet the tepid demand generated by the jobless recovery. This produces a modest boost in economic activity, but business requires significantly more confidence in the economic future to commit to hiring again. and that ain't happenin' despite the Rhinestone Cowboy's rose colored view from the hill country. Sayin' it may make it so for war justification, but it ain't happenin' for job creation.

America Sends a Strong Message to Liberia
...and that message is we don't really give a damn about you or your insignificant human rights. While still defending the utter emptiness of Iraq's pressing threat to the free world, the Bushies love to defend the war on the basis of securing the human rights of Iraqis from horrific conditions. As bad as those conditions may have been, there isn't a Liberian left who wouldn't trade their lot in life for a pre-war Iraqi's. So we've sent in 7 troops (seven, precious readers) to analyze the situation, with a warship floating offshore. There are 80 troops already deployed, but they're protecting the embassy.

NEWS FLASH: Bush is getting "serious" and has infused the war-torn nation of Liberia with 200 soldiers for what is described by military spokespersons as "limited in scope and short in duration," a brief show of power for a few days until more Nigerian peacekeepers arrive later in the week. "At that point, the reaction force will depart," state the spokespersons. So, sending 200 soldiers (probably not enough to restock Charmin in the Porta Potties in Tikrit) into Liberia for a few days demonstrates Bush's lasting commitment to Human Rights.

Look, I'm not sure that sending troops into Liberia is a good idea. The place is a nightmare world where the current generation of young people have been raised on a culture of unspeakable violence, torture and cannibalism. Moral values have long been crushed by bands of killers who kidnap children to raise as the next wave of killers, brandishing entrails of their victims as spoils of war and battle charms. It is an absolutely atrocious situation that is only addressable by a long and deep commitment, atypical of the America quick fix mentality.

But... Bush's evasive reluctance to ameliorate the Liberian situation perfectly portrays his lying hypocrisy. All the reasons for invading Iraq that have withstood the harsh light of reality exist a hundredfold in Liberia: horrific human rights abuses, leaders who subject their people to genocide, civil society tossed aside in a psychotic power grab. Anything you've got in Iraq, you got a hundred times more in Liberia.

Oh, except oil.

Crime: Aiding and Abetting Iraqi Children
For some of us armchair fumers, complaining at the state of the world while sipping Starbucks infused with a splash of cream is about as activist as it gets (mea culpa). For some truly committed to the cause of peace, the Starbucks cafe gives way to huts in Iraq. Peace activists were making a steady stream into Iraq in the months leading up to Bush's glorious assault on the Iraqi people. Their purpose? To assure Iraqis, especially the children, that America is not unanimous in its military ambitions.

Well, it turns out the State department considers communicating words of peace to Iraqi children to be aiding and abetting the enemy. To that end, the Treasury department is tracking down those peacefreaks and punishing them with up to $1,000,000 in fines and 12 years in federal prison. Turns out a quick capitulation to the feds will trim the fine to a penny-pinching $10,000, which of course can be garnished from paychecks, social security or retirement savings, what have you.

These charges are not contestable. There is no trial. There is no opportunity to be hear in front of a jury or judge. You are charged, sentenced and punished without redress because you exercised your freedom to demonstrate directly to the Iraqi people that not all Americans support the military hegemony of the Bush administration, which is supposed to bring freedom to the Iraqi people.

Welcome to American justice, Bush style!

Six + Four = Trouble
So, some redneck judge from Alabama (state motto: "A Half Step Ahead of Mississippi!") is defying federal court orders to remove a five thousand pound monument of the Ten Commandments from his courthouse, drawing battle lines between the fundamentalist Baptists of Alabama versus the lone state Jew, an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Stating the Heston hefted tableture as "the moral foundations of our law," Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy "Bo-cephus" Moore is ready for a showdown against Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Billy Graham's ne'er do well great nephew Chad, a goth skateboarding freshman at Auburn.

These guys who espouse Christianity-up-yer-ass just don't get it. What is the problem with the government publicly espousing divine prohibitions on lying, infidelity, killing, materialism, stealing and dishonoring one's parents? NOTHING. THAT'S FINE!! What is the problem with the government publicly espousing divine prohibitions on polydeism, idol worship, taking the Lord's name in vain and desecrating the Sabbath? EVERYTHING IS WRONG WITH IT BECAUSE IT IS RELIGIOUS DOGMA!!!

Jesus, what is so hard for these spiritually arrogant assholes to understand? 6 out 10 are fine, the other 4 belong in a church and in the hearts of those who choose to embrace them, but not in a government building. In other words I DON'T WANT GOVERNMENT TO TELL ME RULES ON HOW TO DEFINE MY SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH KRISHNA, ALLA, BUDDHA, OR THE CAT NEXT DOOR THAT GIVES ME DIVINE GUIDANCE.

Let's just change the name to Talibama.


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