Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Even a Goldfish

Baseball’s my game, not football . . . ever, at all. Even so, I can’t avoid knowing that Michael Vick has helped the Philadelphia Eagles clinch the division in the NFC East with his amazing record of 21 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions, among other impressive stats. And so, apparently, does our soi-disant sportsfan president. Mr. Obama likes Da Bears, too, and why not, when you think about it? He’s a Chicagoan, of sorts, and they’re having a winning season, and everyone likes a winner, even Mr. Cool.

It’s good to know he’s keeping up with football, especially after he embarrassed himself (if such is possible) a while ago throwing a baseball like a chick and recounting how as a “South Sider”—as if that were somehow akin to being a denizen of South Central, or of Southie—“you’d get vertigo sitting in the nosebleed seats” at “Cominskey Field”, y’ow, being such a White Sox fan and all, as opposed to Wrigley, where “Y’ow, there’s white wine interspersed with the beer.” As if, to repeat myself, it were possible to envision this quintessence of privileged self-congratulation guzzling beer in the nosebleed seats and looking down his hemorrhaging proboscis, all offended populism, at a gathering of effete interspersers of white wine watching the Cubbies in their topsiders just up the road.

But the president has now surpassed any (abstract) personal embarrassment and embarrassed the office of the presidency by his fawning congratulation—or “phoned-in fist bump,” as the Daily News deliciously puts it—to the Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie for offering dog-slaughterer Michael Vick a “fresh start”:

“He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was . . .  passionate about it,” Lurie told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “He said it’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”

Yes, it might have ended in sobby Aristotelian tragedy for the quarterback ex-con—and the Eagles—had Philly not provided Mr. Vick a second chance by signing him to a multimillion-dollar contract almost immediately upon his emerging from prison after having served 18 months for the major downfall of breeding and training Pit Bulls for the fight ring at his Bad Newz Kennels and torturing and killing the ones that just didn’t pan out. Oh, and betting on the whole enterprise. It’s a form of sport, according to some (if a felonious one), though naturally the president does not approve:

Bill Burton, a White House spokesman, said Obama “of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of, but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.”

Now Mr. Vick has joined Mr. Obama on the level playing field of his rehabilitation, and he’s got a plan: “I would love to get another dog . . . I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now.”

Here’s an alternative plan for the Vick household: You want a pet? Get a cockroach.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Biden Addendum

Bad Rachel, I almost forgot. Don’t Ask Don’t Tel-a-brate Good Times Tonite! It’s called progress, and our first Muslim president just delivered! Boom! Gays in the Military. The haters in the GOP hate. We govern. That simple. That’s my 2016 campaign slogan. “They Hate. We Govern.” Here’s something you gotta know about The Gays. They love Biden. Think I’m fabulous. And I tell it to them right back. I am Betty White and the other Golden Girls all rolled into one helluva vice president. That’s Joe Biden. 1,000 percent for The Gays. Thank me for a being a friend. Joe Biden 2016.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Faux Joe's Got His Mojo Back

Hello Bad Rachel. Its been too long, I know. But old Joe has been busy. Busier than a Queen bee in honey season. Barack tells me he wants the CDC to clone another Joe, so he can put me in charge of the economy, too. New government in Iraq? Who ya gonna call? Joe-Busters! Moving on. What’s that—the Republicans are gonna sink START and the Russians are going to kick us out of Kyrgyzstan? No problemo. Call me, Mr. Fix-it. 

But first I want to talk Afghanistan. I dont know if you noticed in between all this hype about the tax deal, but I won the Afghanistan debate. We now say 2014. But it might as well be 2024, if you know what I’m saying. Me and General Petraeus see eye-to-eye on this one. Af-Pak forever. I can’t wait to see Nancy Pelosi’s face when I tell her about our new permanent bases in Yemen and Somalia. Somalia was my idea. Yemen was my new best friend, Stan McChrystal’s idea. We put him in charge of the top secret wars we’re not even allowed to tell Woodward about. Hell, Stan asked the other day if I had a contact for Adolfo Calero.

Now I know what your readers are thinking: Didn’t you guys just get rolled on tax cuts? That’s one way to look at it. But let me let you in on a little secret. At this point just as many rich guys give money to us as the give to Republicans. Don’t tell Nancy and Harry, but we stopped caring about working families at the White House last February. It
s all about the Benjamins now. So tax cuts were a big win for us.

Now look at this START treaty. Truth of the matter is, we haven’t had inspections for a year. We don’t know what the Russians are up to. We have no idea where these nukes are right now. Heck, they
re probably refitting those warheads with some kind of biological nuclear cyber bug. Take out a city in an EMP/Anthrax mushroom cloud. That’s what freaks me out, knowing Putin the way I do. You see, I remember him when he was a KGB colonel. He tried to recruit me. I told him, “No Way. Take it across the street, pal. Who do I look like, Chris Dodd?” But I got to know him over several meetings back then, when I was a junior guy on the Judiciary Committee. And I just want to make this perfectly clear: Putin is Bananas. He is an evil, crazy man. So you don’t cross him. He’s like that guy muttering under his breath at the truck-stop bar about Vietnam. Stay Away. Don’t provoke him. You gotta treat him like a wounded animal. If we screw up this treaty, it’s like a poking a stick in the eye of that Vietnam vet at the truck stop. Just dumb.

I try to share these insights with my good friend Jon Kyl. But he doesn’t care. He can’t stop talking about missile defense and counting rules. My head hurts. On and on. Now, I love Jon Kyl. He is a great American and a good man, but these arms-control shenanigans are going to tip off a thermonuclear war with EMP/Anthrax mushroom clouds. I tell him, “Jon, you are starting World War Three.” But he doesn’t listen. It reminds me of when Barack kept saying we had to drone our way out of Afghanistan. 

Anyway, things are great over here at the Naval Observatory, or, as I like to call it, the Real White House.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

There Are Hardly Words For This Abomination

Two sentences of explanation, courtesy of the Jerusalem Post, will do: “A Kashmiri Shiite Muslim boy bleeds as he flagellates himself during a Muharram procession in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. Muharram is a month of mourning in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It’s Like Capitol Hill Vote-Whipping, Only On Lockdown

In a marvelously rewarding tripe-athon of socio-anthropological exploratorio, the New York Times reports that for thousands of convicts suffering the carceral depredations of the state of Georgia (that’s our Georgia, as in peach, not the Caucasian Georgia, as in menaced by Russia), relief could be just a few days and a “non-violent protest” away. “[U]sing text messaging and word of mouth” via contraband cellphones—a modern-day underground railroad, if you will—internees of every stripe and inclination have spent months communicating prison-to-prison, organizing what the newspaper of record, ever the sober-sided analyst, christens “a grass-roots movement behind bars.”

Inmates said they would not perform chores, work for the Corrections Department’s industrial arm or shop at prison commissaries until a list of demands are addressed, including compensation for their work, more educational opportunities, better food and sentencing rules changes.

Next stop, UNION! (But “sentencing rules changes”? Too many jailhouse lawyers—and Times reporters—without enough educational opportunities, methinks.) 

(Can one be forgiven for wondering, by the way, just how much the compensation-deprived members of the Brown Side Locos, MS-13, the Dixie Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Crips, the Bloods, or the Five Percenters, to name but a small sampling of the whole dappled and various throng of prison gangs that have been brought to such togetherness by this prospectively peaceful enterprise, would enjoy the educational opportunities, not to say the food, of Tehran’s Evin Prison, or Cuba’s Combinado del Este, or the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Zimbabwe?) 

In the meantime, all that inter- and intra-prisoner cellular bonding has been accompanied by a little extracurricular bonding, as well, notably with the New York Times’s own proud self:

Reached on their cellphones inside several prisons, six participants in the strike described a feat of social networking more reminiscent of Capitol Hill vote-whipping than jailhouse rebellion. . . .  “Anybody that has some sort of dictatorship or leadership amongst the crowds,” said Mike, one of several prisoners who contacted The New York Times to publicize their strike. “We have to come together and set aside all differences, whites, blacks, those of us that are affiliated in gangs.”

If all goes as planned, and the lockdowns that have already been instituted by wardens who are very likely wary of grass-roots movements and Capitol-Hill vote whippings behind Georgia bars are rescinded, the strike of the cons against the inadequate circumstances under which they are forced to do their time will take place this weekend. And, needless to say, they have a consultant: 

The inmates’ closest adviser outside prison walls is Elaine Brown, a longtime advocate for prisoners whose son is incarcerated at Macon State Prison, one of the other major protest sites. . . . A former Black Panther leader who is based in Oakland, Calif., Ms. Brown helped distill the inmate complaints into a list of demands. She held a conference call on Sunday evening to develop a strategy with various groups, including the Georgia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Nation of Islam. 

The strategy? The Times doesn’t stoop to say, but where there’s a gathering of Panthers, the NAACP, and the Nation of Islam, can a protest—of whatever kind—outside the prison walls be far behind? 

And just in case the whole prison peace-movement thing comes a cropper, and the non- falls off the violence, rioters can always beat their cellphones into shivs.