Two For The Price of One

By: Thursday July 19, 2012 8:00 pm

When Ann Romney haughtily declared this morning that “You People” had better well quit nosing around in her family’s affairs already, I was reminded of my mother’s perennial and typically generous comment regarding couples who were either startlingly unattractive or otherwise even less appealing together than the sum of their parts: “Well, at least they found each other.”

Indeed.

 

The Politics of Lying

By: Sunday April 29, 2012 8:00 pm

One of my favorite authors, David Wise, published a book in 1973 called The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy, and Power. At the time, of course, Watergate was rapidly unfolding, and the first President since Andrew Johnson was about to be impeached for, well, lying. I know it seems quaint today, when actually telling the truth about anything is seen as more politically damaging, but back then, people were still offended about being lied to, for which reason liars at least had some fear of getting caught.

Late Night FDL: Happy Earth Day

By: Sunday April 22, 2012 8:00 pm

It’s painfully ironic that Dagwood Bumstead finally got around to celebrating Earth Day today, by napping instead of mowing the lawn, at the same time Earth Day became more of a wake than anything to celebrate. Thanks to our brain-dead media and bought-off politicians in both parties, fewer Americans than at any time since the 1970′s give a tinker’s damn whether or not our planet turns into an uninhabitable, sweltering, toxic cesspool.

Late Night FDL: Game Theory

By: Thursday March 22, 2012 8:00 pm

A chorus of unconvincing shock arose when Mitt Romney’s flack so blithely admitted that whatever bonkers positions he’s taken to appeal to the craziest of Republican primary voters could simply be shaken away like the scribbles on an Etch-A-Sketch, and general election voters would be none the wiser. Although Romney’s desperate and flailing rivals evidently cleaned out Toys-R-Us to capitalize on this supposed gaffe, in fact his statement is anything but controversial; from Karl Rove’s K Street money-laundering shops on down to the lowliest Mississippi trailer park, Republicans applaud lying, as long as it wins elections. And for them, anyway, the lying tends to pay off.

Promising one thing and delivering its diametric opposite has a long and hallowed tradition in Republican politics.

And, On Piano, Dick Nixon: Music and Anarchy

By: Sunday January 22, 2012 9:30 am

When then-President Richard Nixon sat down at the piano on the stage of the Grand Old Opry in 1974, he was reinforcing a conservative, polemical wall of sound to help contain several decades of transformational popular music, from blues and jazz to rock & roll. Music was the last thing on his mind.

As part of his notorious race-based “southern strategy,” Nixon led the efforts of conservative elites to co-opt American country-western music. He got the idea from George Wallace’s 1968 campaign, which Wallace had filled with country stars like Hank Snow and Hank Williams Jr.

Late Night FDL: Second Acts or Bidness as Usual?

By: Saturday January 7, 2012 8:00 pm

While F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “There are no second acts in American lives,” in US politics and public opinions it sometimes seems there’s nothing but second acts. I am old enough to have seen Richard Nixon go from “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” to his election as president as a “New Nixon” in 1968.

The last few weeks, I have seen a few articles about two individuals making their personal pleas and tours for redemption/second acts.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Wise, Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War with China

By: Saturday August 13, 2011 1:59 pm

The United States spies on China as it does on many nations of geostrategic significance – but thus far at least, the Chinese book publishing arena hasn’t yet produced anything as sizzling about its own world of spies and spymasters as David Wise has in his page-turner, Tiger Trap: America’ Secret Spy War with China.

John LeCarre – writing fiction – mastered the art of taking shadows of real world sophisticated spycraft and turning them into some of the best novels of the last generation. What David Wise has done is zero in on and reveal the stories of America’s real George Smiley’s – only problem is that most of them have none of the competence or the layers of complexly organized subterfuge that LeCarre’s principal character had.

Compensate the Victims! 50th Anniversary of Start of US Chemical Warfare Program in Vietnam

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 5:03 pm

As Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Marjorie Cohn notes at CommonDreams, “Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare program in Vietnam without sufficient remedial action by the U.S. government.” More than 3 million people, including Vietnamese, Vietnamese-Americans, US veterans, and their children have either died, sickened or been disabled, and their children may, too, as the result of the wide-scale use of chemical agents by US forces during the Vietnam War.

The Anarcho-Rightists

By: Sunday July 31, 2011 11:53 am

The President thinks he can do business with anarcho-rightists. It won’t happen. The wreckers will destroy the economy rather than “do business”.

Strange Tales from a Strange Time: Nixon, Ailes, Cameron, Murdoch

By: Friday July 22, 2011 6:00 pm

Watching the fall of Rupert Murdoch play itself out has brought back old, old memories. Memories of the only political scandal I’ve experienced in my homeland that comes even close to what’s been unfolding in the UK right now: Watergate. And to judge from this British piece and this Canadian one, I’m not the only person to be thinking of Watergate in connection with all of this.

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