Monday, March 28, 2011

Closetgate: What if Cheney did it?

Yeah, I know...the whole "what if Bush/Cheney did it" thing is getting rather threadbare, and generally speaking, the answer is always the same: the media would be howling about [insert latest outrage here] for days.

But with "Closetgate", as the story of the hapless press pool reporter confined to a closet during VP Joe Biden's appearance at a fundraiser has become known by some on Twitter, the answer I think would be "it wouldn't have happened in the first place".

During the eight years of George W. Bush's administration, I don't recall this kind of deliberate isolation from the media. In the little more than two years that Obama has been in office, we've heard one story after another of "the most transparent White House in history" holding the media at arm's length or being prevented outright from covering White House activities.

The story of Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers being confined to a closet -- and guarded -- during a fundraiser at which Biden was to speak is just the latest example of this administration's contempt for the media. This White House is like a college fraternity with a passel of pass-around chicks (if you'll forgive the crudity) who hang out for parties while the frat brothers take their turns with them in a back bedroom. This is effectively what happened to Powers...a low-level White House functionary kept him hidden away while all the beautiful people swilled cocktails and fed on delicacies until Joe Biden wanted to take him out and play with him for a few minutes, after which he was once again hustled off out of sight. But you can bet that just like the pass-around chick, that reporter will be back for more.

Maybe the reason there was so much media coverage of the Bush White House's various fumbles compared to those of Obama's is that the Bush White House actually let the press cover them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Noted Democratic loudmouth dumps on middle America

It's no secret that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is often a hysterical douchebag in Congress. The guy obviously loves the media attention he gets from his temper tantrums, and in fact I often find him pretty amusing. But maybe it's time his handlers kept him away from Twitter:

Weiner's smear was directed at Iowa Republicans who booed him when Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) mentioned his name at a conservative conference in Iowa.

A word of advice to Mr. Weiner: You're not in high school any more. You're not tweeting anonymously at night about the ruffians who doubtlessly doled out daily wedgies and swirlies to you. You represent New York's 9th fucking Congressional District in Washington and need to start acting like it. I've no doubt that with this tweet you managed to offend the 40% of your constituents who didn't vote for you in the last election, but who you still represent.

Grow the fuck up, Weiner.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

About that "Odyssey Dawn" thing...

As a long-time military guy, I've always hated military operation names that seemed hand-crafted for public consumption and subsequent printing on t-shirts and bumper stickers. "Desert Shield" and its follow-up "Desert Storm" come immediately to mind. "Just Cause", the operation to invade Panama and capture Manuel Noriega, was to me a particularly unsubtle bit of salesmanship, and operations "Iraqi Freedom" and "Enduring Freedom" are particularly egregious examples of bad names for military operations.

World War 2 saw such cryptic names as "Market Garden", which was the Allied operation to secure bridgeheads and strategic positions along rivers in Germany and the Netherlands. Now that's a good name for an operation. The Allied invasion of Normandy was called simply "Overlord", another good name for a military operation. In more recent history, Israel dubbed its operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip "Cast Lead".

In the 1980s, we had names for exercises under 9th Air Force that all seemed to begin with the word "Coronet" followed my some apparently random noun. They were all horribly boring and mundane, and therefore good names.

As operation names go, "Odyssey Dawn" doesn't completely suck by my standards. While I suspect some general officer somewhere thought it sounded cool (and thus potentially t-shirtable), at least it doesn't smack of some PR flak's idea of a marketable name.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fair wages

Courtesy of my buddy "Big Dog" Mike, who sent this via e-mail:
The Alabama Department of Labor discovered a dairy farmer was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate.

"I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them," the Department of Labor employee said to the farmer upon arriving at his dairy.

"Well, there's my farm hand who has been with me for three years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board," the farmer explained. "Then there's the mentally challenged worker. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally."

"That's the guy I want to talk to, the mentally challenged one," the Department of Labor employee said.

"That would be me," the farmer replied.

Monday, March 14, 2011

CNN's subtle lie

CNN's web site betrays their editorial bias with this headline, screen capped here for posterity just in case they change it. The headline accompanies this article, which manages to contradict the headline right in the first paragraph:
P.J. Crowley abruptly resigned Sunday as State Department spokesman over controversial comments he made about the Bradley Manning case.
So, over what issue did Crowley resign? Was it a principled protest over Pvt. Bradley Manning's treatment as the headline implies, or was it in disgrace over his comments about his treatment? Clearly, CNN would prefer you believe it was the former, and hopes you won't actually read the article which makes it readily apparent that Crowley was fired.