The New Yorker arrives even later in the week here than it did in Indiana, so it was Saturday before I finished Sy Hersh’s debriefing of Gen. Antonio Taguba in re: Abu Ghraib. This was Saturday morning; I was lying on a lounge poolside, waiting for Kate to swim her event in the Lakeside Swimming Association meet. (Breaststroke; she came in second.) When I finished I put the magazine aside, fumed for a few minutes and then flipped open my phone and started going through the address book, vowing to call the first person who was likely to be awake — it was still early — and tell them how much I have come to loathe the Bush administration and everyone in it.
Lance Mannion’s wife, the Blonde, has a first name that starts with A. So I called the Mannion Manse, in the faraway Hudson River valley. The Blonde answered, and I said, “Have I mentioned lately how much I fucking hate the Bush administration? Have I?”
It occurred to me that I was sitting within earshot of a bunch of other parents, and they may not hate the Bush administration. This is a suburb, after all, and not the sort with a gay pride parade. I recently went through my zip code’s political donations via one of those websites that tracks such things, and discovered I live within walking distance of a lot of people who gave four-figure sums to Rick Santorum and George Allen. Scary. It also occurred to me that even though there were no children nearby, they might not be comfortable with the sort of casual profanity people use in zip codes more supportive of Barack Obama and stricter CAFE standards. I made a quick decision, dropped the profanity, continued the harangue. I mentioned Gen. Taguba, the wholesale looting of the national forests, the castration of the FDA, what an evil evil evil man Donald Rumsfeld is, and so on. (I left out Santorum and Allen, but only because I couldn’t find a news peg.)
“George Bush’s approval ratings are in the 20s?” I barked. “They should be in the teens. In the single digits. Name Redacted, Name Redacted, a few more right-wing feebs, and that’s it.”
The Blonde agreed with everything I said, of course. We affirmed one another’s narrow viewpoints, discussed the kids and the jobs for a bit, and hung up.
And now I have another reason to despise the party in power. They have turned me into that which I hate — a raving loon howling into a cell phone, disturbing the peace in a pleasant setting on a lovely, cool June morning.
Well, they started it!
That was Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon we went to a family reunion/birthday party down Ohio way. It was thrilling to see Alan’s cousin Joanne, always sure to enliven the joint. She used to be chancellor at Fort Wayne’s IU/PU branch campus, and told a funny story about having to defend a purchase order for a few gross of unlubricated condoms, an item that set phones ringing at every stop on the line. They were to hold water samples for a student’s research on declining water levels in Lake Chad, selected because they were cheap, clean, sturdy, could be written upon with a Sharpie, stacked in a carton, etc. Alan’s family is aging at the same rate everyone else’s is, and when the conversation veers into who died, who’s dying, who needs a donor kidney, etc., it’s nice to have someone around who can make small talk about Trojans.
My life is so boring, I should join a book club.
Do I have bloggage? A bit:
Serena Williams can kill a man with her thighs, and don’t you forget it.
Don’t wear your nice jewelry around the plumber. Especially when he has a rap sheet.
I can’t tell you how often I dodged golf balls around Foster Park, a public course that attracts a lot of, shall we say, not-Tigers. I wonder how many cyclists they’re hitting today, with those big drivers. When the gardeners have to wear hardhats — a cautionary tale for those who live near the fairways. (Note: Broken link fixed.)
I’ll be more awake later, when the coffee kicks in.
4dbirds said on June 25, 2007 at 9:21 am
I hate them too. So passionately that I can’t read or watch anything about them else I turn into a sick person consumed with anger. Need I mention that I have boy wearing the uniform of this country at this very moment to make that hate very personal?
Dorothy said on June 25, 2007 at 9:42 am
The link about the hard hats/gardeners takes you to the plumber/jewelry story. I’m glad I don’t have any nice jewelry!!
nancy said on June 25, 2007 at 9:43 am
Thanks, Dorothy. I fixed the link. Who knew the golf story would be the one everyone clicked on today? I thought I’d come home and find we were hip-deep in comments about Serena’s bikini.
Dorothy said on June 25, 2007 at 9:59 am
Well I checked out Serena’s picture too. She’s a formidable woman!!
John said on June 25, 2007 at 9:59 am
Serena is quite the woman! But I’m guessing that I am more likely to be struck by an errant golf ball, then I am to be in Serena’s posse.
And I’m waiting for some outrageous comments from Dorothy and Marcia this week.
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 10:36 am
Y’all suck. W is brilliant.
MichaelG said on June 25, 2007 at 10:49 am
I feel the same way as Nance and 4d. If you didn’t dislike those people before, the currant WAPO series should certainly raise an eyebrow at minimum if not your blood pressure. I have a son-in-law in the Army. In fact, I’ll be going back east on Wed to visit he and my daughter and grandson for a week or so. He’s been to A’stan but has been lucky enough to avoid Iraq — so far. I’ll be carrying out my grandfatherly duties. It’s my job to teach the kid to drink, cuss and smoke cigars.
Nance, with your mentioning Serena’s potential lethality, can I assume you saw “Lust in the Dust” with Divine illustrating how such a fatal event might occur?
MichaelG said on June 25, 2007 at 10:53 am
Make that current WAPO series. Isn’t a currant some kind of raisiny thing, all small and dark and crinkly?
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 11:07 am
And Dick Cheney is an absolute genius.
But his daughter is going to burn in hell.
John said on June 25, 2007 at 11:58 am
OMG! “Lust in the Dust”…Tab Hunter, Cesar Romero, Lainie Kazan, and DIVINE! Just about the funniest western ever made (just shy of “Blazing Saddles”).
Props to MichaelJ to work it into the blog-o-sphere.
John said on June 25, 2007 at 11:59 am
Dorothy said on June 25, 2007 at 12:00 pm
I’m going to drive over to Brian’s house and rearrange all his furniture and hide the remote controls. Try and stop me, buddy!!
And I second everything Marcia has said today.
ashley said on June 25, 2007 at 12:53 pm
Marcia, is she going to burn in hell because she’s gay, or because she gave birth to a child out of wedlock?
Or because she supports her father?
I swear, when I saw that pic of Serena, I thought for a second those thighs belonged to Earl Campbell.
derwood said on June 25, 2007 at 1:03 pm
I love telling my uncle that HIS president has screwed things up so badly it will take a generation to sort it all out.
Serena: I think i remember her playing in the Australian Open(I think)and all I could think is; How does she move with thighs that big?
Joanne Lantz: What an awesome lady. I worked at Fort Wayne National for 11 years before National Shitty bought us. She always came to our Christmas Party.
Danny said on June 25, 2007 at 1:03 pm
Look at what Brian … has … created …
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 1:43 pm
Don’t mind me. I’m just sitting here wrapped in my American flag, basking in my intolerance.
And speaking entirely on behalf of Brian.
Hope those Hershey bars are good!
jcburns said on June 25, 2007 at 1:52 pm
I am so buoyed by your outrage, Nance! A hearty me too on the Hersh piece, and don’t forget the four-part Washington Post series on Cheney: Today’s installment is part 2.
Cynthia said on June 25, 2007 at 4:29 pm
I decided to actually read the Hersh piece before I categorically dismissed him as one of the first to suffer from the Bush Derangement Syndrome epidemic. It’s no big surprise that Hersh would write an article slamming Bush. Hell, Hersh would write an article slamming (insert Republican name here) just for his personal orgasmic pleasure.
That being said, I found the first half of his article compelling and with the ring of truth. I find no reason for Taguba to lie about this and I’ve no doubt that the chain of command knew a lot more than they admitted. It’s too bad that good guys like Taguba end up screwed.
The second half of his article was a lot of unsubtantiated innuendo. Lots of ellipses in the quotes, implications without facts. Why do quotes need to be truncated? Why not just include the entire quote? Not hard to figure out the answer there.
But what really gets me is this sense of so-called outrage. Of course, people in gov’t are going to hide whatever bad news they can. And this in a time of war! Oh my! Of course, gov’t is going to deny, obfuscate and spin like crazy. If you’ve ever worked for a big company, you know this goes on all the time within management. We’ve all hidden something disgusting about ourselves from someone, somewhere, sometime.
One more thing, if the article was about President Gore and Secretary of Defense…Ted Kennedy, say…. this article would never have been written much less engendered such a reaction like yours, Nancy.
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 4:31 pm
Um, is Cynthia for real, or is she too in the make-believe comment section?
Danny said on June 25, 2007 at 5:14 pm
I don’t know. I partially agree with what Cynthia says. Not the part about letting government off the hook, but the part that touches on bias. Most of us on this blog are reasonable most of the time, but we all have our biases. And what I was trying to point out last week was that even Nancy sometimes lets her biases overwhelm her normally moderate tone.
About Abu Ghraib, though. Not in regard to Hersch so much as the whole saga. On the one hand it really, really sucks that things happened there that should not have and that this enraged the Muslims further(though our mere existence seems to suffice for that). And that there was tacit if not explicit approval from upper level government types who went into full-on CYA mode very quickly. But, on the other hand, look at what really happened there. Making guys stand on boxes in their underwear with hoods over their heads. Ohhh, the agony!
nancy said on June 25, 2007 at 5:16 pm
I have this crazy idea that President Gore’s military wouldn’t have been torturing people, but that’s just me.
And Danny, please: The abuse went far beyond standing on boxes in underwear. Unless you consider shoving things up rectums to be somehow less than agoniing.
Scout said on June 25, 2007 at 5:51 pm
Oh yes, Cynthia, let’s DO converse about that durned left wing librul media (d.l.w.l.m.) we must suffer. It’s evvvvverywhere. Between kvetching about John Edwards’ haircuts and Al Gore’s weight, they are certainly on the job doing their fourth estate part.
Somehow, I tend to believe that Mr. Hersch’s outrage is more than “so-called” because I happen to share it. I am also outraged that this information is passed over in favor of all-Paris-Hilton-all-the-time coverage from that d.l.w.l.m.
Brian said on June 25, 2007 at 6:48 pm
I love Paris Hilton!
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 6:49 pm
Damn, my attempt to log in as Brian has garnered moderation. I guess I’ve reached the limit of humor at his expense.
Brian's_next_wife_Dorothy said on June 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm
Now why didn’t I think of that, Marcia??
Danny said on June 25, 2007 at 7:34 pm
Scout, you may have missed it, but I asked you a few weeks back about what is the minimum resolution at which one should scan hardcopy photos if one wants to preserve their stuff from the pre-digital era. And I know you offer more than just scanning. I may be interested, though your politics are all wrong (just kidding).
Marcia, what combos have you tried so far?
Totally Cool Brian Stouder said on June 25, 2007 at 7:38 pm
Hey, ‘sup my peeps! Shouts out to M Kilroy-was-here Kilpatrick and to Dot-the-I’s-Cross-the-Tees Dorothy.
Danny said on June 25, 2007 at 7:41 pm
N, give the “Totally Cool Brian” a hand.
Marcia, I know you weren’t joking about al of us sucking and W being brilliant.
Jolene said on June 25, 2007 at 7:41 pm
Not only is it more than panties on the head, it’s more than shoving things up the rectum too. Detainees have died in custody in both Iraq and Afghanistan–and not of natural causes.
Nine detainees are known tohave died in U.S. custody in Afghanistan—including four cases already determined by Army investigators to be murder or manslaughter.
CIA interrogators apparently tried to cover up the death of an Iraqi ‘ghost detainee’ who died while being interrogated at Abu Ghraib prison, Time magazine reported today, after obtaining hundreds of pages of documents, including an autopsy report, about the case.
The death of secret detainee Manadel al-Jamadi was ruled a homicide in a Defense Department autopsy, Time reported, adding that documents it recently obtained included photographs of his battered body, which had been kept on ice to keep it from decomposing, apparently to conceal the circumstances of his death.
Danny said on June 25, 2007 at 7:56 pm
Nancy and Jolene, I am corrected and further informed. Some of that story took so long to come out (in total if we even have it all to date) that I turned my interests elsewhere.
Cynthia said on June 25, 2007 at 9:30 pm
I’d like to clarify something. I’m not letting gov’t off the hook. I was as disgusted about Abu Ghraib as anyone else. Taguba was ham-strung about his investigation from the start, or so he says. I’d be very happy if the brass was brought in for court-martial, as well as the fall guys they did get.
The point is, big organizations and big bureacracies and the people who head them cover up crap all the time. It’s a BIPARTISAN & HUMAN characteristic.
As for media bias, you betcha the MSM favors the Dems more than the Republicans. Not only is it noticeable by what you read in their publications, but even more so by what you don’t read. If I want to find out what’s really going on in Iraq or in the rest of the world for that matter, I read the internet and posts from lots of people who are on the ground there. Believe me, they tell it all. Good, bad and ugly.
Hersch is one of the most biased writers out there. Never, ever will I believe 100% of what he writes. And don’t get me started on the New Yorker. I can’t believe you pay good money for that elitist rag. At least read it at the library, if you must.
Marcia said on June 25, 2007 at 9:32 pm
Um, would whoever is Totally Cool Brian Stouder reveal yourself, please, ’cause you’re freaking me out a little bit in your stalkerish way. I don’t post with my last name as a rule.
No offense, Danny, if it’s you.
SV said on June 25, 2007 at 11:24 pm
If you want a funny story about condoms, read “Last Chance to See” by the Late Great Douglas Adams. He has a chapter in there where they’re trying to make underwater recordings of Yangtze River dolphins. They needed a way to waterproof the microphones, for which condoms were the preferred solution. But they didn’t have a translator with them when they tried to buy condoms and had to, um, pantomime what they wanted…
Jolene said on June 26, 2007 at 12:39 am
If you are looking for a fight, you might want to read DailyKos. The posters there are as convinced that the MSM favors Republicans as you are that it favors the Dems. Poke around a little. You’re certain to find someone making exactly the same points you’ve made, except that all references to parties, sides, wings and such will refer to the groups you believe to be victimized (or misrepresented or whatever) in the press.
If there is any occupation that gets beat up more often and from more directions than journalists, I can’t imagine what it is. And the righteousness of the critics, despite the obvious absurdity of their claims in the face of contradictory claims from the other side of the political divide, is truly amazing.
Can we have a little humility, people?
some guy in poland said on June 26, 2007 at 6:01 am
The media is as liberal as their Republican owners allow them to be.
Marcia said on June 26, 2007 at 6:46 am
Okay, I’m done playing. For now.
Jolene, great comment.
Danny said on June 26, 2007 at 8:57 am
Marcia, sorry. It was me. I didn’t know you had a prohibition because your blog had the email address or something like that and Irish names just stick in my head.
Danny said on June 26, 2007 at 9:12 am
If there is any occupation that gets beat up more often and from more directions than journalists, I can’t imagine what it is. And the righteousness of the critics…
Um, IRS employees, DMV, and lawyers. Hey at least journalists are more popular than those three (barely). LOL!
Marcia said on June 26, 2007 at 9:43 am
No problem, Danny. But my husband is from a band of Scottish lunatics, not Irish.
LA mary said on June 26, 2007 at 2:56 pm
I AM Paris Hilton. You have a problem with that?
Brian said on June 26, 2007 at 4:25 pm
Hey there LA mary.
LA mary said on June 26, 2007 at 5:04 pm