Saturday, September 10, 2005

George W. Bush Can Shampoo My Crotch

Does anyone else find it ironic that after years of constant demonization of the "Hollywood Limousine Liberals" as being radical, unpatriotic and out of touch with "mainstream American" by the GOP propaganda machine and conservative commentators, it was Sean Penn, arguably the most outspoken liberal in all of Hollywood, riding around New Orleans in a boat rescuing people from flooded homes while Dick Cheney was buying a $2.9 million mansion in St. Michaels, MD, where "Wedding Crashers" was recently filmed?

Then there is this revealing comment from Barbara Bush on the Hurricane victims seeking refuge in the Astrodome in Houston: "What IÂ?m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this [she chuckles slightly] is working very well for them." If it weren't for the multi-syllabic words, this sounds like something that Paris Hilton, not a former first lady, would say.

Thomas Friedman in the New York Times: "An administration whose tax policy has been dominated by the toweringly selfish Grover Norquist - who has been quoted as saying: 'I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub' - doesn't have the instincts for this moment. Mr. Norquist is the only person about whom I would say this: I hope he owns property around the New Orleans levee that was never properly finished because of a lack of tax dollars. I hope his basement got flooded. And I hope that he was busy drowning government in his bathtub when the levee broke and that he had to wait for a U.S. Army helicopter to get out of town."

A word on "mainstream Americans": whenever I hear these two words coming out of some conservative douchebag's mouth, an image of flannel-wearing, gun-toting, pickup-driving, Bible-thumping, homogenous white people pops up in my mind. And why is it that the word "All-American" is never used to describe blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, atheists, gays, liberals, etc., etc.? Aren't we all Americans? Hell, I haven't even heard of it being used to describe Native Americans. I've lived in the South (New Orleans), the East (New York), the Midwest (Minneapolis), and the West (San Francisco) and I can't say I have seen that many people who fit the Bill O'Reilly "mainstream America" profile. Granted, New York and San Francisco are famously liberal, but it takes a few red states to match the population in these two cities.

Speaking of Bill O'Reilly, here's a quote : "The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina should be taught in every American school. If you don't get educated, if you don't develop a skill, and force yourself to work hard, you're most likely be poor. And sooner or later, you'll be standing on a symbolic rooftop waiting for help." This is coming from a guy who constantly trumpets his "working-class background" despite evidence to the contrary:

"While hardly well off, the O'Reillys - mom, dad, Bill Jr. and his younger sister, Janet - weren't exactly deprived, either. Both children attended private school, and the family sent Bill to Marist College, a private college in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., as well as the University of London for a year, without financial aid.

O'Reilly's father was a frugal man and a wise investor. His son acknowledges in his book that his father bequeathed 'a very nice chunk of change' to his mother upon his death in 1986. As for Dad never earning more than $35,000, what O'Reilly doesn't mention is that Dad retired in 1978, when a $35,000 income was the equivalent of $92,000 in today's dollars... As for his used car, it's a Lexus."

Something Yan pointed out to me today: the controversy surrounding FEMA lame duck Michael Brown's padded resume, which listed him as an "assistant city manager" when he was an assistant to the city manager is disturbingly reminiscent of this exchange in an episode of "The Office":

Gareth: "I'm the assistant regional manager."
Brent: "Assistant to the regional manager."


Gareth: "Will you be needing a road manager?"
Brent: "I manage myself."
Gareth: "I could be the assistant road manager."
Brent: "Well, assistant to the road manager."