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07 February 2006

Liar Liar Pants on Fire: Molly Ivins tells press corps to Do Your Job & Straighten Up & Fly Right

What follows -- and I hate to admit this -- is said better, and more bravely, than I could have said it, so I urge you very strongly, after reading Vleeptron's introductory words of wisdom, to read this column by the Texas newspaper columnist Molly Ivins. (In particular, make sure you read the last paragraph.)

But read my stuff, too. Thanks.

Because Vleeptron says things Molly Ivins won't say. Like blow job.

President William Jefferson Clinton lied about getting a blow job from a woman he wasn't married to. Also I think he stuck a cigar up her Nether Regions. (Please do not ask Vleeptron to explain the Sexual Desires & Habits of the Mighty, Vleeptron is largely clueless about these mysteries.)

So anyway, by this time, the Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives, so two of the three branches of the entire federal government of the United States of America had to shut down for a year because he lied about a blow job. And I guess the third branch had to shut down, too, because the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court had to preside over the Impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

The Republicans had a majority in the Senate, too.

But Clinton got acquitted. He got to keep being President of the United States.

(When it came down to it, I think every male Senator and maybe the female Senators too figured out that having to go home to Hillary after all the blow-job tabloid publicity was more than punishment enough.)

But he lied. He lied under oath about the extramarital blow job.

So the Republicans said: He lied, so he must be Impeached, and removed from office. No man who lies under oath about a blowjob can possibly be allowed to keep on being President. We need to restore Integrity and Honesty to the White House.

The previous president who did not survive his Impeachment -- he hopped the helicopter and left town before it even went to Trial -- wasn't in the hot seat for blow jobs with a non-wife. He was on the hot seat for burglaries, warrantless wiretaps, sodomizing a presidential election, really weird stuff with millions of dollars of campaign cash, lying and covering up little things like that. He was a Republican, and the Democrats had the majorities in the House and Senate, but he hopped the helicopter when his fellow Republicans began screaming for his head on a pike. (There was a very nasty huge war going on in Asia during his presidency, too.)

Is there a chance this President might get his sorry ass Impeached? What has Bush done that could possibly justify Impeachment hearings in the House, followed by a Trial in the Senate?

Well, maybe that Lying thing ... his fellow Republicans in Congress made it absolutely clear just a few years ago that they absolutely cannot allow a President to lie.

I hope they were talking about Any President, not just Bill Clinton. If they were talking about Any Liar who happens to be President of the United States ... well, then we got some Hot Times Ahead.

And when it comes down to a vote, and individual Senators, of both parties, have to make up their individual minds ... it might come down to this:

President A: Lied about his knowledge of burglaries, wiretaps, money-laundering, criminal interference with election campaigns ...

President B: Lied about a blow job because he was terrified of his wife.

President C: Lied about the Weapons of Mass Destruction he used as reasons to start the Iraq War, lied about warrantless domestic wiretaps ...

Well, I'll just stop there. Democratic Senator, Republican Senator ... how will they vote when they compare the High Crimes and Misdemeanors in the Articles of Impeachment of President C?

Liar, Liar, pants on fire
Your nose is longer than a telephone wire

Oh, by the way ... Nixon pulled that "National Security" and "War President" shit, too, didn't help him in the end. Every time he sent his lawyer to the Supreme Court to argue "I am the President of the United States, I am Above The Law," the Supreme Court said that was total constitutional bullshit, usually by a 9-0 vote.

Of course first the American people have to figure out that the scoundrels who comprise the Bush administration are just lying their fucking brains out, about everything, constantly.

Molly Ivins points out that first, America's professional journalists -- the Talking Heads on TV, the people who wander around newspaper editorial pages, the White House press corps -- have to face up to the fact that the Bush administration is just lying their fucking brains out, about everything, constantly.

We have elected (or done something to end up with) a president who is a pathological liar and surrounds himself with pathological liars. That's the White House, that's the Cabinet. It would be nice if CBS News or CNN or ABC News or NBC News could just admit it, could just shake themselves out of their hypnotic coma of Respect for (and Fear of) the Mighty and say it out loud.

Because that's a journalist's job: When the journalist knows something's a lie, the journalist is supposed to say it's a lie. Out loud. The journalist is supposed to tell the people who read, watch and trust the journalist.

================

syndicated newspaper column
Tuesday 24 January 2006

Bush administration
no longer a credible source


by Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas
-- We live in interesting times, we do, we do. We can read in our daily newspapers that our government is about to launch a three-day propaganda blitz to convince us all that its secret program to spy on us is something we really want and need. "A campaign of high-profile national security events," reports The New York Times, follows "Karl Rove's blistering speech to national Republicans" about what a swell political issue this is for their party.

The question for journalists is how to report this. President Bush says it's a great idea and he's proud of the secret spy program? Attorney General Gonzales explains breaking the law is no problem? Dick Cheney says accept spying, or Osama bin Laden will get you?

Or might we actually have gotten far enough to point out that the series of high-profile security events is in fact part of a propaganda campaign by our own government? Should we report it as though it were in fact a campaign tactic, a straight political ploy: The Republicans say spying is good for you, but the Democrats say it is not -- equal time to both sides?

Perhaps we have some obligation to try to sift through what it means that our government is spying on us in violation of the law and the Constitution.

Then there's the problem of reporting within the context of this administration's other propaganda efforts. "We do not torture," and, "We are not running a gulag of secret detention centers," are two of the more recent examples, superseding the golden oldies -- like the smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.

Furthermore, the Rove offensive is not to admit that we are indeed running a gulag of secret detention camps, but to attack those who point it out and put them under investigation for revealing government secrets and helping the enemy. Even without the intimidation, how do you report something claimed by George W. Bush as though you hadn't recently heard him say he would support John McCain's amendment barring torture -- and then turn around and claim that he has the right to violate that law?

I genuinely appreciate the response by real conservatives on this issue -- the libertarians, the true heirs of Barry Goldwater, the all-government-is-bad grumps. It's called principle. But I am confounded by the authoritarian streak in the Republican Party backing Bush on this. To me it seems so simple: Would you think this was a good idea if Hillary Clinton were president? Would you be defending the clear and unnecessary violation of the law? Do you have complete confidence that she would never misuse this "inherent power" for any partisan reason?

The warrantless wiretaps reportedly covered thousands of calls, and the information obtained was widely circulated among federal agencies. I know one guy who is now on the federal no-fly list. His sin? Co-authoring an unflattering book about Karl Rove. What a menace to national security he is.

One of the odder features of our time is that much of our political debate is cast in "moral" terms, with such helpful authorities as Pat Robertson holding forth on whom we should assassinate next. A more useful contribution from this direction comes from Jimmy Carter in his new book, "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis."

I am a great admirer of Carter's and glad to hear his soft Southern Christian voice once more. But it occurs to me that in his quiet way, many of his arguments are as pragmatic as they are moral.

As one with considerable faith in the common sense of Americans, it occurs to me we may yet rescue ourselves from this bootless skunk match over morality by using plain sense, instead. Many of Carter's points center on the fact that our war on terrorism is not working. Iraq is not working (hard to even count the ways). Major terrorist attacks themselves more than tripled from 2003, to 655 attacks in 2004. Our support in the Middle East sinks lower and lower. The region is not becoming more democratic.

What would happen if we had not a political, but a pragmatic debate about all of this: We have made a horrible mess of this entire war on terrorism, now how do we fix it? What do we do? I realize it's a bit simplistic of me after all this time, but I really think one of the best things we could do for ourselves is deal honestly with the facts. Because we have made a mess of this does not mean we are a pitiful, helpless giant -- the United States still has more sheer military power than anyone else on earth. But using it is not necessarily the best way to get the results we want.

Because we are stuck with this administration for another three years, I think it important to begin to get past the defensiveness and drawing attention away and blame games that big messes provoke. And part of that calls on American journalism to get over reporting the Bush administration as though it were a credible source. We need to face facts.

© 2006 Creators Syndicate

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a normal person possessing a security clearance lied under oath -- as Clinton did -- he or she would instantly lose their clearance and access to all classified information.

And think about the risk of a President having an illicit affair represents - such a person is ripe for blackmail or worse.

Although, after the China/Loral/ICBM deal and the 9/11 attacks, I'm not sure it could have been any worse than Clinton.

05:37  
Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Okay, well, first of all, Vleeptron is very pleased to receive Anonymous Comments, but not so pleased to get "Driveby Comments" -- by the time we read your Thoughts and your very reasoned Argument, you have Vanished, never to be heard of again. The entire matter is finished and done with and dead and buried as soon as you press [LOGIN AND PUBLISH]. That's not Dialogue or Debate.

My familiarity with Security Clearances is pretty intimate. I had a clearance in the Army during a war. I will now tell you the purpose of the Security Clearance system: It is used as a blackmail and extortion tool for military intelligence to ceaselessly hunt down and destroy the lives of gay and lesbian soldiers. That's what it's all about.

Every 5 years or so throughout the Cold War and continuing to this day, the military, the intelligence community and the FBI catch a senior career spook with super access to supersecrets who's been spying for another power for decades, sometimes for money, sometimes for ideological reasons. Most of the reason they never caught him is that 90 percent of America's anti-spy energies are devouted to catching queers. And their justification is always: "Such a person is ripe for blackmail or worse." Well. They're lying.

Make that stop and maybe I'll give a slight amount of credence to your security clearance argument.

From memory, a quick and very incomplete survey of presidents who have had extramarital affairs, and kept it as quiet as they could: Jefferson (with his slave Sally Hemmings, while he was a widower); Harding; Franklin Roosevelt (from the 1920s to his death, all the press corps knew about it and never spoke a word); John F. Kennedy. (I'm guessing I've missed at least eight more.)

The citizens and bodies politic in most of our closest European NATO allies just assume their prime ministers have (wives and) girlfriends, and if they get evidence or proof, they don't go ballistic, they don't fire the prime minister, they don't shut down the government for a year to hold a He Lied Circus. In some very civilized and very successful nations, a politician's sex life is his own goddam business.

All of which convinced me pretty instantly that the Clinton impeachment was entirely a political partisan attack by Republicans to cripple the Clinton presidency. With majorities in both houses, the Republicans still couldn't remove him from office. The American people were threatening to vote them all out of office if they did -- not out of love for Clinton, but because the whole impeachment on the grounds of a sexual affair smelled like four-day-old partisan sushi.

News From The Real World: 99 percent of married spouses (both genders) who have a sexual affair will lie under oath and say they didn't. (Dear Abby actually advises guilt-ridden adulterers and adultresses not to run to their spouses and confess. In other words -- Lie, and don't do it again.)

The most notorious loss of a security clearance was J. Robert Oppenheimer's. He was a youthful and well-known Communist hanger-on, and conducted an extramarital affair throughout the Manhattan Project. But neither was the real reason his clearance was yanked; these were just nasty bits of mud. After creating the A-bomb, he was convinced, on political and scientific grounds, that America should not push ahead to develop the H-Bomb. Led by his rival Edward Teller, his political opponents cooked up a bogus "security investigation" against him.

09:03  
Anonymous Jim Olson said...

Bob:

Until someone Very High Up in the Administration begins to state publicly that the Emperor Has No Clothes, nothing will come of this. Bush and his cabal will continue to lie to the American people...sometimes, I think, they lie just to see how much they can get away with.

I have no trust in the government any longer. They have already lost the moral high ground if people are even asking the question. Americans know that the Government doesn't tell them everything, we generally like it that way..we elect these people to keep us safe and a little ignorant of the real dangers around us. But to deliberately lie to us about things we DO want to know is beyond the pale. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the whole pack of lying bastards should be tried.

Sitting watching Gonzales lie to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week was amazing. It will, of course continue unabated. Perhaps the midterm elections will return one or both of the Houses of Congress to the Democrats, but only if they get off their asses and start using the crises and scandals that the Republicans keep handing to them On Silver Platters.

10:33  
Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Lord knows the Republicans en masse have done everything in their power the last few years to make the voters return at least one of the houses of Congress to Democratic control in 2006. The GOP will be going into the 2006 election with more scandal baggage and more White House stench than at any time since Nixon. This is epic stench rising to the historical level of the Harding administration (Teapot Dome) and poor U.S. Grant's administration. (Great general, sorta clueless as president.)

So the GOP hands control of one or both houses to the Dems on the silver platter.

That's when my worries begin.

Santorum's an ass, a real meanspirited jerk. But to defeat him, Hillary just sent his opponent a nice hefty campaign contribution. Only one problem ... the Democrat running against Santorum is Pro-Life. It's an ugly bellweather that winning the election for the Democrats is caustically de-focusing the Dem leadership from the Pro-People Message that the Democrats are supposed to represent. The Dems win -- and their new Senator from Pennsylvania uses his new powers and prestige to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But look at how ripshit the Republican Specter is about the warrantless domestic wiretaps. Just as it was in the Nixon End Times, a President asserting that he's omnipotent and Above the Law breaks down party barriers, and Bush is starting to assemble a nice crowd of important anti-Bush Republicans. This is far more a libertarian (small l) issue than a Dem/Rep issue.

With Hillary the most famous and influential national Democrat, the Dems stand an excellent chance of blowing the '06 election. And if they win one or both houses, they stand an excellent chance of turning that victory into nada, bupkis good for the American people or the world.

But at least she's working to stop the virtual toon teen non-existent pixel videogame porn.

10:51  

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