Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

WELCOME, PHARYNGULITES!

I typically reserve this space for political pummelling, but this announcement regarding the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards cannot wait. My darlings… PZ Myers has given us the nod.

This is a carnival after my own heart: the first Carnival of the Elitist Bastards. They’re mean, cranky, and wonderfully charming.


PZ Myers rules the world!

Alas, Science Blogs is returning a Page Not Found error when I try to link directly, but if you view today’s posts on Pharyngula, you’ll see it. I’ll update the link once the page is working. Update: fixed. Go show PZ some love!

Thank you, PZ! You’ve just made us the happiest Elitist Bastards on earth!

Now, on with Happy Hour Discurso, because the stupid never sleeps.

And the amusement from Scott McClellan’s confessional book and tour just keeps on coming. Today, it’s Celebrity Death Match: McClellan vs. Rove!

Much to no one’s surprise, Turd Blossom is still a lying sack of shit:

On the May 27 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, Fox News political analyst Karl Rove said he would not “add to the public record” on the Valerie Plame leak case, but then added to the misinformation in “the public record” offered up by him and others connected with the case, in disputing former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s reported claim in his new book that Rove had misled him regarding Rove’s involvement in the leak of Plame’s identity as a covert CIA operative.

Co-host Alan Colmes asked Rove, “What about this specific charge that he is claiming that you misled him about your level of involvement in the Valerie Plame case?” Rove replied, “That’s simply not true.”

Oh, really, Karl? I call bullshit.

In fact, Novak has identified both Rove and Armitage as the sources for his July 14, 2003, column, which publicly revealed Plame’s employment with the CIA. Former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper also named Rove as his source who identified former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife as a CIA agent during a telephone conversation on July 11, 2003.


Heh. Imagine that. I was right.

Now, just to dispose of one of Karl’s more ridiculous semantic tricks, a scenario: If I told you Bill Clinton’s wife was running for President, you’d have no trouble identifying the woman in question as Hillary, would you? No? I didn’t think so.

McClellan hits back hard:

McClellan writes in his book that Bush backpedaled to protect Rove, a point McClellan repeated in the [Meet the Press] interview.

“We had higher standards at the White House,” McClellan said. “The president said he was going to restore honor and integrity. He said we were going to set the highest of standards. We didn’t live up to that. When it become known that his top adviser had been involved, then the bar was moved.”


I’ll say it was. And while I think McClellan knew exactly what lies he was pushing on the public when he was Press Secretary, I still applaud his coming forward and starting to hit the Bush regime where it hurts now. Mostly because it’s such incredible fun to watch.

Keep slugging, Scottie!

Now, on to the “will miracles never cease?” category. Newsweek, much to my astonishment, commits some actual journalism on, of all people, John McCain’s national campaign general co-chair:

I’d hoped, in vain, that Phil Gramm’s role in the McCain campaign — which became a more serious issue this week — would generate a bit more media attention than it has. We learned earlier this week that Gramm was chiefly responsible for shaping John McCain’s housing policy in the midst of a mortgage crisis, despite the fact that Gramm was also serving as a lobbyist representing a foreign bank (UBS) that would make a fortune as a result of the awful policy.

But the story made only a minor splash. In the new issue of Newsweek, Mark Hosenball moves the ball forward.

UBS has recently written off huge losses in subprime-mortgage-based securities, and last week liberal bloggers noted that Gramm was a registered UBS lobbyist on mortgage-securities issues until at least December 2007.

NEWSWEEK has learned that UBS is also currently the focus of congressional and Justice Department investigations into schemes that allegedly enabled wealthy Americans to evade income taxes by stashing their money in overseas havens,
according to several law-enforcement and banking officials in both the United States and Europe, who all asked for anonymity when discussing ongoing investigations.


Smell that journalism! Heady stuff, isn’t it? I’m inclined to trust these anonymous sources, seeing as how they’re not Bush lackeys looking to pander their propaganda. And there’s more where that comes from:

McCain’s campaign is already distancing itself from some of Gramm’s other work for UBS: his involvement in attempts to sell financial products known as “death bonds,” which BusinessWeek described last summer as one of “the most macabre investment scheme[s] ever devised by Wall Street.”

Not long after joining UBS, the Houston Chronicle reported, Gramm helped lobby Texas officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to sign on to a UBS proposal in which revenue would be generated for a state teachers’ retirement fund by selling bonds, whose proceeds would in turn be used to buy annuities and life-insurance policies on retired teachers. UBS would advance money to the retirement fund, then repay itself, compensate bondholders and pocket profits when insurance companies paid off on retirees who died. According to a banking-industry source, who asked for anonymity when discussing a sensitive matter, Gramm was involved in efforts to pitch similar UBS products to other financial institutions.


This is ambrosia, my darlings. Absolute ambrosia. Methinks that after a major Newsweek article, with juicy detail such as this wafting out scents sure to set even the most dull media moron’s mouth a-salivatin’, we should see this one blow up in St. John’s face quite beautifully.

In light of all of the above deliciousness, I officially pronounce today perfect. Drinks are on the house!

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Happy Hour Discurso
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