Just Above Sunset
January 1, 2006 - "This is working out quite well for them."

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World's Laziest Journalist

January 2, 2006

By Bob Patterson


"This is working out quite well for them."


[This is a Texas style column.  Perhaps you've heard the Texas expression "All Hat No Cattle," so this column is all infallible opinion with no facts for the fact checker to assess.]


The beloved editor and publisher of Just Above Sunset (JAS) online magazine, Alan Pavlik, had summoned me to discuss my next column.  I thought he had said it would be my "End of the World" column, but it turns out that he said "End of the Year" column.


We wandered out onto the balcony of the JAS world headquarters building located just a few blocks East of the place mentioned in the song 12:30 (The girls are coming to the canyon…) and, coincidentally, just a little bit above Sunset Boulevard in the City of Angels.


"Yeah, I could write a column that takes a nostalgic look back at 2005," I said.  Alan offered me a bubble gum cigar and poured me some diet Vanilla Pepsi.  It was a scene that was reminiscent of the closing moments of an episode of Boston Legal, except lately the surf is up at the LA beaches.


Alan lit up his pipe and watched as the smoke melted into the evening mist.  "Tell me about 2005."


After 9/11, President Bush had invaded Afghanistan looking for the man behind the outrage.  If you watch the TV cop shows or see all the action adventure movies about a rogue cop, who uses unorthodox methods to achieve justice, you know that when the cops go into a house to arrest a suspect, they always cover the rear entrance to the place, even if it's an 18th floor apartment, but when the Bush Junta went looking for Osama in Afghanistan, they forgot to do that, so the rascal got away via the mountain passes in the Torra Borra region. (Drat!)


Bush led troops into (scratch that make it read "sent troops to invade") Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction.  Haven't found them, yet.  As this column was being written, a pro-Bush group has begun to run ads that assert - "Yeah, we did.  Don't you remember?"  It's a classical example of a kid who refutes an assertion that he fibbed by vigorously using the "did not!" argument as a rebuttal.  Do the ads show any footage of Americans finding them?


Dubya ran for reelection on a promise to do something about gay marriage.  After he got elected, he dropped the issue.  In 2005, when pressed about the wisdom of the regime change in Iraq, Bush said that the 2004 elections in the USA had been a referendum on that issue.  ("Don't you remember?")


In 2005, George W. took time out of his vacation to say,"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," but other than that, he mostly coasted and relied on his list of previous achievements to sustain his popularity with the pundits.


The JAS staff had a good year in 2005.  We covered a flight in a B-17G and a trip in the Goodyear Blimp. 


For Bush fans, 2005 can be compared to the eye of a hurricane, because 2006 looks like it will be a year of major accomplishments for the former governor of Texas. 


Dubya in 2006 will (probably) appoint a new Supreme Court Justice who will help reverse Roe vs. Wade.  Will a Republican-controlled Congress and Senate impeach a Republican president?  Not bloody well likely.  Will the electronic voting machines that don't leave a paper trail play a part in returning a Republican majority to the Senate and Congress? 


One interesting story in 2005, was the one in Rolling Stone magazine that told how one PR expert helped sell the original Gulf War to the world, but the article didn't specify where the money went and/or who played ball and received the money in the "take our word for it" program.


In 2005, a group of conservative bloggers got funding for their online project, while bloggers with a more liberal point of view were left pointing their readers to the Paypal option.


One of the most outrageous stories in 2005 was one about how the American President wanted to bomb some al Jazeera facilities.  To believe that story, you would have to also believe that British Prime Minister Tony Blair talked Bush out of it.  Even some liberal folks don't believe that Blair could talk the famous Texas resident into or out of anything.


For the 800-pound invisible gorilla story award for 2005, this columnist would nominate the Iran Contra affair.  Don't all current stories have a link back to that forgotten item of American history?


[Who was quoted on the cover of Time magazine as saying: "I was authorized to do everything I did?"?\  For the answer check out the July 27, 1987 issue of Time magazine, with a picture of Ollie North on the front page.


Who were the folks involved in the BCCI failure?  Getting the names connected to that particular story, might involve a trip to the library since Google searches aren't as productive as might be hoped.


In 2005, some Democrats became outraged that Dubya didn't seem to be playing by the rules as far as wiretaps were concerned.  Do they think that he will be constrained by rules about term limits in 2008?


According to the conservative talk show hosts, the big election issue in 2006 will be borders.  They seem to have the inside track on the Republican talking points, so they should know.  The Democrats are constantly criticized for being one election behind, as far as the major issue is concerned, so they will probably try to revive the 2004 issue of a referendum on the search for WMD's in Iraq.  If the Democrats continue their trend, they will run on the "too many immigrants" issue in 2008.


When future historians look back on 2005, one of the most amazing items will be the way that the conservative talk show hosts had all the information on what precisely was happening in New Orleans while the liberal media (such as the major networks and the AP) were just trying to establish contact with their reporters in the area.  The talk show know-it-alls had specific details about the looters and snipers, while the major news organizations were reporting that communications with the affected areas were sporadic and intermittent. 


(Could someone, like possibly the Rendon Group, have been helping the talk show hosts with their inside scoops?)


When folks look back at 2005, it will probably be remembered as the year when journalism became known as the paid consort of politics because of things like the exclusive WMD stories from Ahmed Chalabi and the Plamegate leak imbroglio, as well as various minor scandals that involved aspects of opinion for pay. 


(Could some of the talk show hosts, who have earned a fortune and moved into mansions doing radio shows, supported by ads run by various mattresses and gold investment firms, have gotten a bit of added incentive from the aforementioned PR firm that allegedly promoted things like the original Gulf War?)


Will 2005 be remembered as the year when a new impeachment became inevitable?  Will the Republicans go along with it?  [When you were in school, did you ever see the schoolyard bully tire of asking the little guys if they wanted to "give" their lunch money to him?]


Alan seemed skeptical when I offered to quote some Oriental wisdom that is seldom found via Google searches, so I told him - "Black dog tastes best."


At Christmas time in 2005, some lucky folks received the Mozart action figure doll, and/or the Edgar Alan Poe, and/or the "obsessive compulsive" action figurine. 


Personally, my hopes for a Santa spectacular were raised when I learned about the MallettIt seems that a company is selling Pontiac Solstice cars equipped with a high performance Corvette engine.  (Say, didn't Carroll Shelby do something similar to that by putting a Ford engine in the British AC Bristol car, back in the Sixties?) 


Predictions for 2006?  The evening news has said something about how New Orleans used to be a town of a half a million people and now there are only 60,000 inhabitants.  We expect to see a good many southern Democratic congressional representatives be replaced by Republicans next Fall in the South due to two factors:  one, the electronic voting machines and two (we think), white folks will have an easier time casting absentee ballots than some of the other residents (you know - the ones that the conservative talk show hosts noted were too dumb or too lazy to evacuate the area when the hurricane was approaching.)  How can Texas ever thank New Orleans for the new voters in their state?  Will the new arrivals have any trouble registering to vote? 


Won't the Supreme Court overturn quotas in 2006?


It seems like 2006 will boil down to a binary choice: either Bush is impeached, or he will set the groundwork for a third term starting in 2008. 


[Will he step down at the end of his second term?  If the Democrats win the White House in 2008, they could start an embarrassing investigation into the reasons for the invasion of Iraq.  If someone like John McCain wins, would he be a good sport and let Bush off the hook or would he get a bit of "payback" for the nasty tactics in the South Carolina primary in 2000?  Will the acquiescent press let Jeb get the Republican nomination in 2008?  Well, maybe if they are paid enough money to keep their mouths shut, but still that's kinda risky.  For George W. a third term would be the safest way to avoid an embarrassing investigation into the missing WMD's.]


Question for 2006:  If the President shouldn't be shackled by the rules of wiretaps this year, why should he be constrained by term limits from running again in 2008?  [Why not show some imagination and have the nominating convention in a city outside the USA, perhaps Nuremberg?  Shouldn't someone be either subject to the law of the land or above all laws?]


We suggested that the disk jockey have Johnny Horton's hit (the best selling song for the year 1959) The Battle of New Orleans cued up to end this week's look back at the year, 2005, but he said he preferred to play a song that was popular in Germany back in the late Thirties: The World Belongs to the Strong (that's the English translation of the song's title.)  He found a reference to this song and an English translation of the lyrics in a Time magazine from September of 1939.  He thought it would be a more appropriate song for this year-end column.  So while that song plays we will march out of here in a style similar that of folks arriving in Paris in 1940.  Have a Kuhhandel type week.  Auf wiedersehen.




Copyright (including logo) 2005 - Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com





Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

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