Saturday, December 27, 2008


George W. Bush is tired. So weary is the Chief Executive of Bad Judgment that last week he granted a pardon to a real estate developer who defrauded poor people. Oy. And it gets worse. The pardonee in question, one Mr. Isaac Robert Toussie of Brooklyn, is just the kind of standup guy you would want your President to unleash on civil society. Toussie pleaded guilty in 2001 to using false documents to get federally insured mortgages, and in 2002 to mail fraud for selling land to Suffolk County at twice the appraised value. Still, were it not for the fact that his father Robert Toussie made the maximum contribution of $30,800 to the Republican party a few months ago, the younger Toussie might be a free man. Unfortunately, with egg – no, let’s say eggs Benedict on its short-term face, the Bush administration was forced to rescind the pardon a day after it was granted.

I’m just saying Bush & Co. are tired. So tired. So tired they forgot to check to see if pardonee Toussie’s family had donated large to the cause. (The cause would ostensibly be the Republican party, with a thinly-veiled hidden agenda to get Jr. out of hock). But here at the end of 2008, it seems everybody’s a little tired. As long as we’re talking Republican fatigue, can somebody please explain Republican National Committtee (RNC) candidate Chip Saltsman? Saltsman’s holiday greeting
to the Committee members was a CD that included a song titled, “Barack The Magic Negro,” set to the tune of “Puff The Magic Dragon.” “We Hate the USA” is a satirical collection of songs by songwriter Paul Shanklin, that also features such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”

Note to Chip: First, there are certain words that we deliberately eliminate from the language. We eliminated Negro about 40 years ago, and these days, when you’re trying to snag a seat on the RNC, the way to fast track yourself to oblivion is to revive “Negro.” Second, in case you forgot, people are kind of keeping a sharp eye on RNC activities since the big RNC email scandal of 2007, when it was discovered that White House officials were using RNC email addresses to conduct governmental business – which, Chip, you should know is a no-no. If the email scandal got lots of media coverage, didn’t you think maybe a CD calling Barack Obama a Negro might garner a little attention, too?

I’m telling you – it’s that end-of-the-year malaise. Maybe the tryptophan in turkey has long term effects. Even our holy St. Oprah of Chicago is tripping on tryptophan. Get this: Remember the whole James Frey debacle with the memoir that turned out to be largely fictionalized? And Oprah had to have the guy back on the show to incur her highly-incensed wrath? Well, the buzz is that there’s a Frey Redux happening, but this time the author is a holocaust survivor who claims me met his wife while he was in detention, and that she lived on the other side of the camp’s fence. Supposedly they met years later in Brooklyn and were married. Now people are questioning the veracity of the author, Herman Rosenblat.

Let me see if I have this straight: The world economy is tanking, a new U.S. President is about to say “I do,” urban crime is peaking, Americans are losing their homes and their jobs in record numbers, and we are supposed to get excited about an elderly Jewish guy whose memory of what happened in a German prison camp 70 years ago might be a little hazy. Count me out.

But add me back in when you get to the part about Chrysler reportedly spending upwards of $100,000 on full page ads in major dailies including Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and USA Today. The ads are headlined with “Thank You America,” and include long-winded copy that thanks America for investing in Chrysler. Other than the time CEO Bob Nardelli took a private jet to D.C. to beg for a bailout, this has to be about the most thoughtless, ill-founded idea any of the Big Three automakers has drummed up this year. You go to Congress asking for some loan cash, and then you spend a big chunk of it thanking them for their “investment.” Billionaire Mark Cuban is pissed off about it, and…well…so am I.
Note to Bob Nardelli: Why not take the $100K and financially thank some workers who were laid off? Or, Nardelli, if you’re not feeling quite that benevolent, why not take the $100K and put it toward research and development of fuel-saving technology? Or here’s a novel thought: Why not spend it as it was intended to be spent, re-energizing the company so that it can once again show some muscle in the marketplace? Bob, we citizens out here are happy right now just to be able to pay the light bill. So you have to know we’re watching with eagle eyes every move you make in Detroit, since the U.S. government has spent billions bailing you out, but not a penney to ensure that we will have a roof over our heads. Don’t spend thousands saying “Thanks.” Build a better buggy, make it run on corn or soybeans or whatever, and put some people back to work. Capiche?

Listen, it's been a tough year, right? Why wouldn't it end with whacked-out Presidential pardons, tasteless holiday greetings, murky memoirs and a CEO who's got his financial head buried up his assets? I'm tired, too, aren't you? I need a drink. So do you. And put a damned umbrella in it and call it Happy New Year. Here's to ya. It's got to be cocktail hour somewhere.


Nicole and Mon Voyage said...

Speaking of end-of-the-year blunders, I know one of those 16,000 Katrina people whose info ended up online. It made for a crappy end to the year, what with the added worry about identity theft. Given that all this falls under the dept of Homeland Security--part of whose purview it is to protect the internet infrastructure from malicious hacking--doesn't it make you feel safe? Just like they made all those people at the convention center feel safe with no food and water for days?

Joan Eisenstodt said...

Reading this was so depressing .. not that I didn't know it and even tho' I'd seen the Chrysler ad and thought WTF .. why are MY tax (w/o representation) dollars going to pay for ADS .. but how can this all happen? I hope in-all-but-swearing-in-name, President Obama has one MAJOR magic wand. I'm ready.