Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Mario Piperni’s Illustrated Late-Night Humor

December 2, 2011 By

Via Political Humor

“You know, I don’t know what the Republicans are crowing about. Losing Barney Frank is the worst thing that could happen to conservatives. He is the perfect avatar of everything they hate: gay, Jewish, Taxachusetts, arrogant, condescending liberal. He’s your everything bagel.” –Jon Stewart

“The star of the debate was Herman Cain. He didn’t talk much because the debate was about national defense and his area of expertise is pizza.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“A woman claims she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. You know what that means? While he was fooling around with those four other women, he was cheating on his mistress.” –Jay Leno

“With Herman Cain we’re up to he said, she said, she said, she said, she said, and she was paid not to say.” –Stephen Colbert

“Herman Cain’s latest accuser, a woman named Ginger White, said the affair with Herman Cain lasted for 13 years. She knew Herman Cain was married. Just as the other four women who accused him of sexual harassment, they knew Herman Cain was married. In fact, the only one who didn’t realize Herman Cain was married was Herman Cain.” –Jay Leno

“The Christmas season has officially started. Today I saw Herman Cain wearing his mistletoe belt buckle.” –Jay Leno

“Mitt Romney admitted in People magazine that as a teenager he experimented with alcohol and cigarettes. He said at that age he could have gone either way…much like his political positions today.” –Jay Leno

“If you think that’s bad, Jon Huntsman is now admitting that in college he experimented with parting his hair to the left.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“This is the 14th Republican debate and there are still 12 more to go. The plan, I think, is to keep debating until somebody recognizes Rick Santorum on the street.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“When are these Republican debates going to stop? I mean, this would be the very reason to call for a dictatorship, just to put an end to these.” –David Letterman

“Well, the inside talk is that Sarah Palin is going to endorse Newt Gingrich. If you think Newt is happy, you should see Mitt Romney.” –Jay Leno

“Newt Gingrich wants to repeal child labor laws. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the man that we need to lead us into the 18th century.” –David Letterman

“Tonight was the 14th republican presidential debate, or as Barack Obama has started calling them, campaign ads.” –Jimmy Fallon

“A woman in Southern California pepper sprayed her fellow customers on Black Friday at Wal-Mart so she could get an advantage while shopping. But the good news is, today she was offered a job with the UC Davis police department.” –Jay Leno

And the winner is…

“It’s Cyber Monday, when everyone shops online. As soon as I woke up I pepper sprayed myself.” –Conan O’Brien

Greg Palast Feasts on Vultures

Romney’s Billionaire Threatens BBC Investigative Reporter

“We have a file on Greg Palast”

by Greg Palast for Truthout/Buzzflash
Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores. See Palast live on stage in New York, DC and other cities..

Last Monday, a call came in to BBC Television Centre, London, from the office of Mitt Romney’s billionaire backer and “advisor” Paul Singer.

Singer, top donor to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee had a message for the news chiefs at the prestigious broadcaster:

“We have a file on Greg Palast.”

I bet they do.

The purpose of the Singer call was clear: to smear the reporter whose broadcasts from Africa for BBC Newsnight, The Guardian and Democracy Now! had identified Singer as a “Vulture,” a speculator profiteering from misery, mayhem, corruption and civil war.

Apparently, the Republican Presidential front-runner would prefer his sugar-daddies be known as “job creators,” not predators.

And the Vulture really, really, doesn’t like his starring role in my new book, Vultures’ Picnic. I bet he doesn’t.

Is BBC going to let Palast continue to investigate? The Romney money man added an unsubtle threat, “Palast has been sued before.”

Neither BBC nor The Guardian are backing down, bless’m.

What is in the file Mitt’s billionaire has on Greg Palast? I’ll show it to you myself, right here, if you have a little patience.

But it’s not what’s in Singer’s file on me that’s important — it’s what’s in my file about him.

You need to know: BBC has identified Singer as the Number One donor of the Republican Party in New York. His fundraising, in coordination with the Koch Brothers through a strange little group of far-right billionaires, is the cash-locomotive of the GOP.

How Singer “The Vulture” got his feathers, got that money that fuels the Romney and Republican causes is not a minor matter. Romney and the whole crew from Newt to Cain are selling us the line that Occupy Wall Street has it all wrong: calling for taxing or controlling the One Percent is a misguided attack on “job creators.”

Indeed, one of Romney’s demands is that I change the name of my book from Vultures’ Picnic to Job-Creators’ Picnic. [OK, I made that up.]

Let’s begin with how Singer got his feathers.

I didn’t give Singer the name “Vulture.” His own banker buddies did—with admiration in their voices. Like any vulture, he feasts when victims die. Literally. For example, Singer made a pile buying an asbestos company, Owens Corning, out of bankruptcy. Owens had knowingly allowed thousands of its workers to get deadly asbestosis, then concealed it. You don’t want to die of asbestosis. Your lungs turn to mush and you drown inside yourself.

Singer, the Job Creator, used his political muscle to screw down the compensation workers would get. Offered them peanuts. And dying, they took it. With the asbestos workers buried or bought, the asbestos death factories were now worth a fortune . . . and Singer made his first “killing.”

Then it was on to Peru where Singer had, through a brilliant financial-legal maneuver too questionable for others to attempt, grabbed control of the entire financial system of Peru. Most important, he seized the President’s jet. When the scamp of a President, Alberto Fujimori, decided it was a good idea to flee his country (ahead of his arrest on murder charges), Singer, Peru’s lawyer told me, let Fujimori escape in return for the Murderer-in-Chief ordering Peru’s treasury to pay Singer $58 million.

But that’s nothing. What really sent Mitt’s man up a wall was my report from the Congos (there are two nations in Africa called ‘Congo’) where there’s a cholera epidemic due to lack of clean water. Singer paid we’re told about $10 million for some “debt” supposedly incurred by the Republic of Congo. Congo would pay the $10 million, but Singer had begun seizing about $400 million in the poor nation’s assets.

The former Deputy Secretary of the UN said about the vultures, “you are causing babies to die.”

It’s legal, it’s sick, it’s Singer.

Well, not legal in most of the civilized world. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said about Singer and his fellow crew, “I deplore the activities of so-called Vulture Funds, [they] are nothing short of scandalous.” Britain has outlawed Singer’s re-po man seizures (after all, it’s ultimately the aid money we give Africa). In the UK, and in much of Europe, Singer is a finance outlaw. But in the USA, he’s a “job creator.”

Look, I’ve only scratched the surface from BBC’s four-year investigation of Singer who says he’ll talk with us, “Never, ever.”

* * *

You want to get the whole story—and you damn well should—then read the book. Don’t want to pay for it? Alright, I’m putting up most of the Singer material online. Though I don’t mean to pick on Singer alone. The whole book is an investigation of the One Percenters, including Singer’s sicker buddies in the Vulture club. (Yes, they do have a club.)

* * *

Warning 1: Singer’s mouthpiece says that Vultures’ Picnic is “chock full of errors.” He’s refused every opportunity to meet with us. Even the character leaving the threat on the phone won’t talk with us. OK, then send me the list of errors. If I’m wrong, I’ll change it.

And I want to give you an opportunity, Mr. Singer, to make your case. I am giving a talk in Manhattan, on Monday not far from your penthouse at 7pm. You be there, and I’ll share the stage with you. Maybe we’ll share a beer and some carrion afterward.

Warning 2: Yes, they have a file on me. It’s in Vultures’ Picnic. Yes, I was caught going “undercover” on an investigation with a comely young politician to get information. (Got the story . . . and my photo on the front page of the Mirror.) There. Read it all and see the photos in Chapter 9. Now you have it. Now I’ve taken away their favorite bullet: character assassination.

Turkey vultures living in trees defend themselves by vomiting on their attackers. Apparently, so do the Vultures living in penthouses.

******

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, released in the US and Canada by Penguin.

Mario Piperni on Michele, Ma Belle

A New Michele Bachmann Meme Is Born

December 2, 2011 By

Do they get any dumber than this?

Jane Schmidt, a student at Waverly High School, in Waverly, Iowa, recently asked Michele Bachmann, “Why can’t same-sex couples get married?”

They can get married,” Bachmann responded, “but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.”

How accommodating of her. Bachmann will allow gays to marry as long as they enter a heterosexual relationship before the wedding. And that includes Iowa where same-sex marriage has been the law of the land since 2009.

Stupid…even by Bachmann’s low standards of intelligence.  WP reporter, Alexandra Petri, has got a little meme going…

Q:  “Why can’t Rosa Parks sit at the front of the bus?”

Bachmann:  “She can sit. She can sit at the back of the bus.”

Q:  “Is there a way for people in wheel chairs to access the sixth floor?”

Bachmann:  “There’s a way. They can take the stairs.”

Let me try a few of those.  Looks like fun.

Q:  “Is it alright for people to write with their left hand?”

Bachmann:  “Yes.  As long as they use their right hand to write.”

Q:  “Should Muslims be allowed to serve in government?”

Bachmann:  “All Muslims can serve in government if they’re Christian.”

Q:  “Should women have the right to end an unwanted pregnancy?”

Bachmann:  “Yes, as long as they carry the pregnancy to term and give birth.”

Easy. Apparently anyone can be a fucking moron once they put their mind to it.

Mario Piperni on Controlling the OWS Message

Manufacturing Consent – Republicans Worried About Occupy Wall Street

December 1, 2011 By

Frank Luntz, master of political communication professional liar, told a meeting of Republican Governors how deeply concerned he was about the impact Occupy Wall Street is having on political discourse and American’s view of capitalism. Imagine having people realize that capitalists don’t always have their best interests at heart. That would do serious damage to that ‘job creators’ image conservatives have so carefully crafted over the last while.

Luntz outlined his strategy on how conservatives should best deal with lie to and about the movement. Chris Moody has the full list.

  • Don’t say ‘capitalism.’:  “I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”
  • Don’t say ‘taxes the rich’:  “If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  ”if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”
  • Don’t say ‘middle class’:  “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”
  • Don’t say ‘entrepreneur’:  “Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”
  • Blame Washington for everything:  Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

Noam Chomsky, co-author of the 1988 book – Manufacturing Consent, understands only too well propaganda of this sort.

The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must — namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

It all comes down to corporate interests (by way of media and politicians) manufacturing knowledge as a means to shape public opinion. With the help of shameless politicos like Luntz, Republicans have mastered the art form.

On the bright side, the fact that Republicans feel they need a plan as manipulative and deceiving as the one outlined by Luntz tells you that OWS is making a difference. The big boys are worried…and that’s a good thing.