CHARLES PIERCE

NEWTON, MA.

Hey Doc:

"Turkey in the straw/Turkey in the straw/Roll ’em up and twist ’em up/A high tuck a-haw."

Short Takes:

Part The First: Because it’s the week that it is, and because she simply will not go away and leave me and English syntax alone, I thought, well, hell, why not bring back the greatest live shot in the history of American POLITICS(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJd_vm9VhpU). And, the best scene in the history of your buddy Sorkin’s PROGRAM.

Part The Second: THE saddest story of the week. If you don’t know why, you weren’t at Marquette University in the 1970’s. My god, we had fun. Be well, Dream.

Part The Third: Here’s a Fun Holiday Game.Please count up the number of far-too-obvious straight lines containedin this single blog POST. Sometimes, the fish are too big and the barrel is too small.

Part The Fourth: The Youthful Quota Hire goes unicorn HUNTING. Sorry, lad.

You have attached yourself to the PartyOf Stupid, and it is the Party Of Stupid because you and it have beenproduced by the Movement Of Stupid. (There’s this BOOK that explains how this happened. Ask Santa for it.) Also, PAUL RYAN, has been known to play to The Stupid. People laugh at him, too. Youreally gotta get out more.

Part The Penultimate: Apropos of last week’s visit to Doc’s JOINT, I present the Gobsmack Of The WEEK. Nice hire, fellas. Really.

Part The Ultimate: It is early days, surely, but, at the moment,there is absolutely no way on god’s earth that I would vote to re-elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. I always had my DOUBTS. But I was willing to ride the train in order to keep the government out of the hands of a bunch of undereducated paranoid lunatics, which I didn’t see as very high a bar, truth be told. I do not underestimate the size of the problems he was handed last January with two badly run wars and one badly run economy. But, all Lilly Ledbetters aside, it is becoming increasingly plain that the man is not up to the most important job he was elected to do–which is to wring the accumulated viciousness, ignorance, and hackery of the past eight years out of the various parts of the United States government–and to do it brutally, if necessary, which it is. One of our two major political parties has completely lost its mind. This should be a political issue. It is incumbent upon the other party to eliminate that party’s influence until it purges itself and comes to its senses again. It also scarcely needs to be said that the sane party has to watch its own ranks for people who seem to be enabling and abetting the goals of the crazy party. Otherwise, as Ezra Klein memorably put it this week, every attempt at bipartisanship winds up as "a hostage negotiation." President Obama–and does anyone but me notice that he gets the honorific conspicuously less often on TV than the last guy did?– ot only seems unequal to this task, he doesn’t even seem to recognize the task at all. He wasn’t elected to change the tone, dammit. He was elected to change everything because everything needed to be changed. So it’s a hard goddamn job. So what? He didn’t know this coming in? Now we’re going to feed 34,000 more American kids into the meat grinder in Afghanistan because we’re America and we can do anything we set our minds to? Hell, we can’t even keep our own citizens alive by breaking the power of the health-insurance industry. We can’t right our economy because it’s stillin the hands of Wall Street grifters, and the government has fallen into the thrall of a bunch of banker-morons I wouldn’t trust with a potatogun. Some people needed to be crushed politically. Some people needed togo to jail. Some people needed to be exiled forever from the seriousbusiness of self-government. It’s Black Friday, and I’m shopping for another candidate. I’m beating the rush.

Name: Reed Richardson Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

Here’s to Pierce, for correctly calling the Ole Miss defeat of LSU last Saturday (though they didn’t cover) and, more importantly, to the Ole Miss student body for shouting down the clutch of racist knuckleheads who crawled on campus on game day for reasons that only make sense in their sick, twisted world. Watching them slink away in defeat after a mere ten minutes does a body good.

And while we’re handing out game day accolades, here’s one more shout out, to WBRZ Channel 2 News in Baton Rouge. After LSU head coach Les Miles blatantly lied during his post-game press conference in an attempt to hang his team’s last-second defeat on anyone else but himself, WBRZ’s straightforward, evidence-based reporting was refreshingly candid, pulling no punches about what really happened.

But what does it say about the state of the American media when the most notable instance in recent memory–mine, at least–of journalists directly refuting a public figure who is lying takes place in the sports department of a local Louisiana TV station? Alas, if only SEC football were rivaled in importance by something like, say, the health care of 300 million people…

Name: El Cid Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Hey, the military portion of the Honduran coup government just announced they would be rounding up all privately owned firearms during the runup and immediately after the elections, whether or not one is licensed, and supposedly the weapons are to be returned "as soon aspossible" afterwards.

Does this at all interest the U.S. gun rights activists who are continually complaining that left wing governments are plotting to take their private guns?

Or does it not matter when a right wing government *actually* begins rounding up private guns?

Name: Michael Green Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

With Harry Reid having delivered the Democratic caucus to get a health care bill to the floor–a monumental achievement when you consider that, unlike Republican senators, Democratic senators actually have their own opinions now and then–I wondered whether the MSM would focus on Reid’s success or that he dared to suggest on the Senate floor that David Broder is meaningless. My money is that his comment dismissing Broder will get more attention, when he actually should have said that Broder is a liar, and that he is himself the proof. Broder wrote a column claiming that Democrats wanted to replace Reid as leader.The entire caucus signed a letter to the Washington Post countering that. Broder’s response in a webchat was to say something like, well, of course they would say that but he was right in his column. Well, Reid is still the Senate Democratic leader. And Broder’s sad decline, which increasingly appears to be due either to his loss of mental power or his loss of scruple, continues.

Name: Tim Kane Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

In regard to the "Think Again" piece on the cost of the Bush Presidency, particularly the Iraq war, it’s not JUST that it cost asmuch as $3 trillion.

I distinctly recall reading at FactBook, the CIA’s nicely done online almanac, that the GNP of Iraq in 2002, the year before boy wonder invaded, was $56 billion.

At that point in time, GM’s net value might have also been around $56 billion (then again…). The damage Bush did to the United States can’t be completely tallied unless you include the value to the economy of all the vaulted, seemingly indestructable economic institutions that melted away, along with the Twin Towers, the Flood barriers of New Orleans and the bridges of Minneapolis.

But back to Iraq’s GNP of only $56 billion. We are paying trillions of dollars and thousands of lives for a country that could have been acquired lock, stock and infrastructure in tact for less that a billion dollars in well placed bribes (and perhaps a house on the Riviera with a new identity for some of Iraq’s former elites).

Here’s to hoping that future historians take a comprehensive accounting of all the cost and the massive missed opportunities of the tragedy which we know of as the Bush Administration.

Oh, for the want of 600 more ballets in Florida in 2000.