Slacker Friday

Slacker Friday

On New Hampshire, Young Boozer and the failure to learn.


My new Think Again column is called "Springtime for Hitler" and it’s here.

My new Nation column," Israel Agonistes" is here.


Hey Doc:

"I can tell, the wind is risin’/the leaves tremblin’ on the tree." Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "The Storm’s Passing Over" (The Campbell Brothers) — I am conducting a seance in which the ghosts of 10,000 brown pelicans rise from the dead, sit on Tony Hayward’s front lawn, and caw in unison how much I love New Orleans.

Part The First:

This woman is considered to be important by a very large chunk of our political and journalistic elite. Remember this before you ever say anything snotty again about Louis XVI.

Part The Second:

Nobody notices New Hampshire between presidential elections, but the state has gone purple-towards-blue in the past over the past decade. Former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte was supposed to reverse that trend in the Senate race. Except that all hell has broken loose in a scandal that really is very hard to follow. However, stories about it do contain the phrase, "missing e-mails," which is never a good thing.

Part The Third:

Thanks to Thers at Whiskey Fire for bringing me the best of all possible news. And if Gleeson doesn’t himself play the Pooka MacPhellimey, I’m going to be very sad. All together now — "In times of trouble and lousey strife/you still have a darlint plan/you still can turn to a brighter life/ A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN!"

Part The Fourth:

I probably don’t agree with this guy on any possible issue but, my friends, gaze in awe at the greatest name in American politics. (He immediately goes into the historic Hall Of Fame with Elihu Root and Thurlow Weed.) And he’s a winner, too!

Part The Penultimate:

I know the president can’t stop the oil spill, and I don’t want him to be as angry just so Maureen Dowd can get moist, either, but, dammit, he can step in and tell BP to knock this shit off.

Part The Ultimate:

I don’t know if anyone else missed it, but the previous president of the United States admitted to complicity in a war crime the other day In fact, he bragged about his complicity in a war crime the other day. (He also announced that his greatest disappointment was that he didn’t get to wreck Social Security the way he helped wreck the rest of the economy and the constitutional order. The man remains an almost limitless vista of ignorance. He’s also a sadistic pig.) This, of course, is in no way a scandal on the order of The Sestak Affair or anything. This, of course, is what you get when all you want to do is Look Forward, Not Back. (And also what you get when you — shh! — pretty clearly want to keep your own options open.) I was thinking just the other day what towering lies we tell ourselves everytime a major, genuine scandal comes to a conclusion about the lessons we all have learned from the events in question. Bullshit. We learn nothing. Ever. Watergate is almost 40 years ago now, and a guy named Andrew Breitbart hires a smarmy little arachnid and turns Donald Segretti’s ratfucking into a career. He even draws an overly laudatory profile in Time magazine. Do we even have to count the number of ways Iran-Contra taught us next to nothing? Hell, the only people who learned anything were the criminals themselves, and all they learned was how not to get caught the next time, which can fairly be defined as The Bush Administration. We didn’t even really learn anything from the useless pursuit of Bill Clinton’s libido. We still fall for the same kind of grifters and poltroons who were the grist for The Arkansas Project. (Watch what happens if the Republicans regain the majority in the House.) We are progressively less mature as a self-governing political commonwealth almost by the hour. And now, a guy we elected twice can get paid big money to brag about his complicity in crimes for which we hung Japanese generals, and nobody bats an eye, let alone calls a cop. Donald Segretti, alas, died too soon.

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