Monday, January 26, 2004

Mojowire for 01.24.04; vol. 2, no. 02

MUSIC: Intro/Jerry Goldsmith, Take Us Out
S9/ FSOL, We Have Explosive
Exeunt/Ministry, New World Order

intro with Goldsmith, Take Us Out

J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, Vol. 2, No. 02... I’m Mojo...

S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, January 24, 2004, Day 1,028 of the Neocon Captivity...

J. And welcome to the Mojohaus election season kickoff with our All-Star, Decision 2004 Election Coverage Spectacular... reporting to you live from our secret, nuclear-hardnend, secure broadcast bunker several miles beneath the campus of UCI with reports coming from our Stealth-Satellite Spy Station high on Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, spinning out the news from the backrooms and buses as we get ready to get our game-on to boot out a corrupt chief executive and his hideous reign of thugs and petty criminals.

S. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus:

J. First this morning, we read the bones from the results of the Iowa caucus last week and attempt to make some sort of sense from the seemingly surprising turn of events that left Howard Dean limping and John Kerry pimping.

S. President Bush formally announced his candidacy for Sherrif of Tombstone Arizona, last week, with what was perhaps the most awful State of the Union Speech ever uttered by a Chief Executive. Watching this State of the Union was a torturous experience, but it provided a clear blueprint of the themes that the Bush Armada will go with in 04.

J. Then Strychnine, who has been stricken dumb with horror for the past couple of weeks, finally regains his voice and takes a good hard look at the likes of the re-energized campaign of John Kerry and pronounces it dead on arrival.

S. Next, we take a gaze ahead at Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and try to get a peak at the man behind the curtain to see who is going to come out ahead, and who will be the next in the field to pull the plug.

J. …Finally, we have a sober reflection of the stakes in this election. Look, it’s simple; this one’s for the species boys and girls. If the Bush machine gets another crack at the helm, then maybe it will be time to ask NASA if they are accepting volunteers for a manned Mars mission.

…So stand by to stand by while we get ready to pull the pin on this election season...

fade in more Goldsmith for five or six count then back out again

J. The Iowans have spoken!

And the results were something of a surprise, not the least of which to both John Kerry and John Edwards who finished a strong first and second during the caucuses. Howard Dean, who finished a distant third later attempted to boister a still hopeful and enthusiastic crowd, which apparently made many in the national press corps feel like their lives were being threatened.

Old school political reporters were filled with terrible images of an old fashioned Mongol clinging to power in his warband after a unclear battle by promising to crush the infidels and to rage across the world in blood and fire conquering all those who oppose the Holy Khan. And the Beltway media reacted predictably.

Ahhh...if only...but we digress.

And while were on the subject, a word about Dick Gephardt. I am reminded of the old Voltaire quote: “To the living one owes respect, to the dead, one owes only truth.” And the truth is that Gephardt’s political career died the cheap, rum-soaked death in the ditch it deserved.

A man incorrigibly pushed about on the winds of his own ambition to the point where he was barely conscious of his own actions, like a drunken frat boy on the last night of Spring Break when he suddenly remembers he totally failed to get hooked up on vacation, and starts careening through the crowds looking for someone with at least a few of the correct body parts who might even be vaguely interested.

No, Gephardt’s shameless implosion after Iowa was sheer poetry, and it can only be said that even with the vicious flesh-eating rodent campaign he waged, that history will be kinder to him than he deserves.

The real question is did this actually create the template for the rest of the primary election season? It's actually a pretty good question, and all seems to revolve around who's reading the bones.

You would not be incorrect in remembering that Kennedy (among several othes) lent their organizational acumen and machinery to Kerry in the waning days before the caucus, and really worked to give him that boost.

But there were two other factors at work. One: The spitting match between Dean and Gephardt that Edwards and (to a lesser extent) Kerry stayed out of in the last 30 days turned off a lot of the uncommitteds. Remember that throughout the last month uncommitteds were far and away the largest group going into the caucus.

And two, the caucus procedure itself, which is all about blatant electioneering there at the caucus sites, as opposed to voting, where there is 100-foot buffer around all polling places.

For those who have never been to, or seen, a caucus, there is little common frame of reference we can use to describe the Roman Circus like atmosphere. It’s almost a combination of the Algonquin Rountable and one of those dark Tiajuana allies reeking of urine and leather where dark men reeking of AgavĂ© and cheap tobacco paw at you from stables filled with blankets, switchblades and Dia De Los Muertos skulls, demanding that you buy something from them.

Instead of casting a quiet and private ballot for the candidate of your choice, you are assaulted from all sides by people who are desperate for you to come sit in their group and make them a viable caucus, and for those candidate’s precinct captains just shy of the magic viability number, they would do nearly anything shy of going upside a atttendees head with a blunt object or having a minion ether them from behind and with a hoarse battle cry, carrying them off like spoils of war.

S. Dispassionate sarcasm aside, it was the combination of a large number of uncommitteds and Kerry’s ability to muster the best and pushiest precinct captains, clearly symbolic of a strong organization, that he was able to pull out the victory.

But moreover, Edwards is the one who's organization has been underestimated. One of those instances where the candidate with less money actually spent it a little better than some of his rivals. He was really the big winner out of Iowa, in our humble opinion, since Kerry had always been the high expectation candidate.

His second place finish was essentially a “get out of New Hampshire” free card. He can absolutely tank in the Granite State and remain viable for at least another two weeks, until he makes it back to the bright, sunny south. But he will *have* to perform there with at least some first and second place finishes for Iowa to be seen as anything more than a fluke for him.

Which brings us to the question of what do the Iowa numbers really mean in the big picture? Well, that all depends on what are you trying to read from the Iowa numbers. On the one hand, no, the Iowa caucus does not mean much in terms of overall electoral math. Moreover, polls show that in New Hampshire, voters are not likely to take much of a cue from the Children of the Corn. Sorry Malachai, get back in the barn, you and your evil demon overlord do not get to choose the Democratic nominee.

However, it means a bit more for those looking for subtext, and who looks like they might have either less game or more than previously thought. There's no way you can slice this that it doesn't look like a tough beat for Dean. Granted, the conventional wisdom says that three tickets traditionally get punched out of Iowa, and Dean got one of them (even if it appears to be the steerage class ticket).

But it may have cost him going into New Hampshire, even while it seemed to light a fire under some of his campaign people there who were just be coasting a bit after sitting atop a comfortable lead for several months...which just goes to prove the old Mojowire addage that polls more than 60 days out from an election mean nothing...

Looking at the Dean numbers in larger perspective, just 90 days ago the pundits were all pretty much conceding Iowa to Gephardt with Dean finishing third or fourth in the polls around Halloween, as we recall. It wasn't until the last 30 to 45 days that Dean made a move in Iowa, and became a presumptive frontrunner there, hence the nastiness from the Gephardt (and secretly, I suspect, other old DLC Clinton allies who don't like Dean).

That is the buzz going around in some circles, whether it seems credible or not. Don Clinton has ordered his capo regime in the DLC to push the button on this pebble in his shoe, Howard Dean. And any thing less than Dean’s career going to sleep with the fishes will be unsatisfactory...and that Don Clinton does *not* forgive.

J. President Bush formally announced his candidacy for Emperor of the Republic Tuesday, with what was perhaps the most awful State of the Union Speech ever uttered by a Chief Executive.

Watching this State of the Union was a torturous experience, but it provided a clear blueprint of the themes that the Bush Armada will go with in 04. You will be glad to know that Truth and Reality have been declared enemies of the State, and have been bundled up in duct tape, hustled into the trunk of a Chevy Nova, and are now presently on their way to Camp X-ray to wait out the election year as a guest of John Ashcroft.

The Stategery for the President’s Reelectification is forged on about three princplenesses. First, use the threat of Terrorism, and the war in Iraq to portray this President as a Wartime President, and thus cast all opponents as vaguely unpatriotic, and their criticisms as giving comfort to the enemies of the United States. The President fired off that scud in Tuesdays Annual Scare of the Union Speech by asking Congress to renew the Patriot Act, to wit:

"Inside the United States, where the war began, we must continue to give our homeland security and law enforcement personnel every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the Patriot Act, which allows federal law enforcement to better share information, to track terrorists, to disrupt their cells, and to seize their assets. For years, we have used similar provisions to catch embezzlers and drug traffickers. If these methods are good for hunting criminals, they are even more important for hunting terrorists. "

First off, is the failed war on drugs the model we are going to use to fight terror?...We hope not...
Like the midterms, the Administration will use the 9/11 attacks to justify all of his policies, even Tax cuts, as essential to the War on Al Qaeda. The cynical perversion of that tragedy is going to be the glue of every Republicans campaign, from dogcatcher all the way up to the Dogcathcher in Chief.

For example, Renewal of the Patriot Act will be a device the President will try to use to cast his opponents as weak on National Security. Although the Patriot Act has generated concern across the Political spectrum, it's renewal will be portrayed as essential to keeping Americans safe from Iraqi Flying Saucers and Al Qaeda Devil Robots being kept at bay by John Ashcroft and the untouchables.

The efficacy of the Patriot Act is unknown, since DOJ has refused to share details of how many of it's provisions have been applied, but that apparently is policy dweeb stuff an alpha male like Junior is too manly for. Let the eggheads at Justice figure it out.

The applause from the Democratic side of the aisle when the President mentioned the Act was due to expire tells you how despised it is by them. Their opposition to it will be cast by the GOP as weakness against Terror. Don't you know that the Executive Branch can blow off the Bill of Rights whenever it wants too, hippie? Rights are dangerous in Wartime, it's in the Bible...Somewhere.....

Second, keep the President above the fray of partisan politics by making vague pronouncements and euphemisms, and viscously attacking his enemies through the GOP"s exclusive Media networks of Talk Radio, allied pundits and editorial pages, and the barely literate hacks at Fox News.

A good example of this strategy is pressing General Clark to disavow Michale Moore’s accusation that Pres. Bush is a deserter. It's pretty clear the Pres. was AWOL, but not that he deserted, in the technical legal sense. General Clark was pushed multiple times on this, and then attacked by GOP drone Fred Barnes (among others) for it afterwards.

S. All the work of attacking the Democrats is done here by proxy, while the President goes on with the business of ruining the country. We find it supremely hypocritical for any of these geeks to push General Clark on Moore’s deserter statement, when congenital liars like Ann Coulter accuse the entire Democratic party of being Communist stooges throughout the Cold War, and no one ever asks the President or GOP leaders to disavow this wretched lie.

So General Clark, who has a silver star for valor is tarnished by right wing loons as a traitor and that doesn't raise an eyelash, and the President’s dubious service record is questioned, and that is pushed by every Right Wing media outlet.

Third, hug the Evangelical Right Wing close to his chest by carefully feeding them the raw meat of gay marriage, supporting the war on the establishment clause, and using evangelical code phrases lifted from the Bible by the Presidents speech writers. The President announced his support for the awful anti-gay marriage amendment being pushed by the homophobes on the religious right with this beautiful piece of subterfuge:

“Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage. (Applause.)”

The President here offers support for the right wing’s obsession over gay marriage, and their deranged fear that it threatens the institution of marriage, without explicity endorsing it. This is exactly the strategy the President used to intimate imminent threat without actually uttering the word imminent himself. The President feeds the homphobia of his base, without spooking tolerant moderates who could be swayed to the Democrats if they actually caught a glimpse of the wild eyed fanaticism that drives these bigoted policies.

The Hypnotizing of the Union contained perhaps one of the greatest deceptions in the history of the Presidency. Last year, the President enumerated specific details of a vast arsenal of Iraqi biotoxins, chemical weapons, and that the Iraqi's possessed a real and operational Nuclear Weapons program. Now, all of that has been reduced to this wonderful phrase: “weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.”

Just chew on that for a moment. Weapons of mass destruction related Activities. What on Earth does that mean? Weapons grade Algebra scrawled on a bar napkin from the Al Rasheed Hotel? The Kay Report, if you care to read it, lays out the paucity of the Presidents claims in the last Screech of the Union. Now it's all related activities. Which turned out to be a couple of flatbed trucks, some stuff in a guys refrigerator, and a centrifuge stuck under a garden gnome in a scientists back yard.

Nice try Mr President, but like your campaign rhetoric in the coming year, it's all worthless garbage that should get you run out of office, along with your gang of sick and slack-jawed lackeys. Let us send you out with the words of columnist Michael Kinsley from Slate, who sums up this Administration quite nicely:

"Bush II administration lies are often so laughably obvious that you wonder why they bother. Until you realize: They haven't bothered. If telling the truth was less bother, they'd try that too. The characteristic Bush II form of dishonesty is to construct an alternative reality on some topic and to regard anyone who objects to it as a sniveling dweeb obsessed with 'nuance,' which the president of this class, I mean of the United States, has more important things to do than worry about."

Uruk Hai out...

cue JAMES music
And now the music is telling me that we have an incoming flash election bulletin from the redoubtable Dr. S9…

J. That’s right. It is time once again for our regular contributor Dr. Strychnine, reporting from his super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay…take it away S9…

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