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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Desperation Row

dr. elsewhere here

Many of our "rows" are often found along the waterfront, near the loading docks, at the ports. Think Cannery, and Desolation....

My friends, we are swimming in scandals. Just too hard to keep up with, can't even tread water. I personally find myself wondering just how those folks who have been furiously doing the backstroke up that Egyptian river for lo these many years manage to keep their heads above reality. But still, they flounder on.

Whereas to us, the above-water reality-based folk, we're all feeling something beyond desperation in high gear, something like either inundation or hydrophobia.

The thing is, the sheer numbers of scandals is almost as impressive as who they involve and what this will mean for the Republican money machine.

Think about it. Abramoff and DeLay represent two of the largest money sinks and laundries ever, and they are now unable to provide for the party. Moreover, these guys are now hosting legal defense funds, along with Scooter's. In other words, cash flow has reversed itself.

Now, we all know the Repugs are by nature and design either hoarding or envious of ('scuse, me; entitled to)money, and they can count some of the world's richest amongst their ranks, so it's not as if they're, like, broke. But still, they are going to need some powerful political capital to feed their powerful (but hemorrhaging) political machine to reverse the sinking polls and make Campaigns '06 at least look legit. Because, in order for their election frauds to work, the polls need to show close races, or else it's just way too, um, fishy.

From this angle, I'd have to say - again - that these folks must be getting pretty darn desperate. And they're beginning to behave like it, as I alluded to earlier, these idiots are not doing the cocky swagger thang much no more; they be scramblin'. And one thing they have got to be scramblin' for is money. And not just tax money or income or anything that's legit like that, nothing you'd have to actually work hard and honestly for. They need invisible money, like they were getting in such volume from Tom, Jack, and Ralphie.

Enter the ports.

Jeff Wells at takes us way past politics by linking to this Village Voice piece from Wednesday. The Voice asserts that the port deal with the UAE is all about their "management" of the very cargo that Dubai is so famous for trafficking, namely drugs, guns, and money. Invisible money. At the center of this intrigue is a ruthless Russian arms dealer named Victor Bout, accused by the UN of selling arms to all manner of tyrants, including the Taliban. One wonders if he might have run into Tom and Jack on their Russian excursion. Somehow I think Vic must have been the inspiration for Nicholas Cage's character in Lord of War, who was Ukrainian and struggled with his conscience, but close enough for Hollywood.

This port deal, then is so important that Bush has threatened for the first time to use his veto if it is denied by Congress. So important that Karl Rove made a rare (of late) and brusque (typical) appearance expressly targeting the correction of public opinion on the ports deal. Karl Rove - maestro of all things power, getting it and keeping it - pokes his bald little beany out of the bunker long enough to make a statement on this issue, the ports and all that desperately needed invisible campaign money. Otherwise, nary a peep from the creep since the SOTU, really, except to share his vision for the big '06 campaign issue.

Which will, of course be.... That's right, you guessed it! The War on Terror!

Dang it, where is my copy of Wag the Dog when I so desperately need a good escape to reality?

"They're selling postcards of the hanging..."

I was at the Forest Hills Stadium concert where Dylan debuted his Highway 61 album. The first half of the concert was acoustic, but after the break he re-emerged as a rocker, with full electronic gear and a back-up band. Much of the crowd were folkies, booing and rushing the stage in anger at his betrayal of the cause. Dylan was non-plussed. At precisely the right moment, he leaned a bit to his mike and said, "Awww..", and the rest of the full stadium all erupted in laughter.

That was the first time I ever heard Desolation Row. My God, I was transported. A masterpiece of imagery and existential emotion.

Uh-oh. Am I OT?
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