WEINER ROAST

19 06 2011

We all know more than we wanted to about Anthony Weiner, who is no longer a member of the House of Representatives.   What most of us don’t know is who took him down, and what he was about to do when when the Republican spin machine steamrolled him.

Weiner was hot on the trail of fascist Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who, sometimes through the medium of his wife, has apparently been taking a lot of money from people who are involved in cases before the Court.  in other words, big-time conflicts of interest that ought to get him kicked off the court, destroying the court’s right-wing extremist majority.

Oh, and let’s not forget what Republicans forgave Thomas for in order to get him on the Court–can you say, “Anita Hill did too know what she was talking about,” boys and girls?

So Weiner was about to bust Thomas when Andrew Breitbart unrolled the “twitter scandal.”  Breitbart, I hope you recall, is the guy who carefully edited videos of ACORN, Planned Parenthood, Shirley Sherrod, an NPR executive, and several other people to make it look like they were saying things that they were not.  Somehow, the media still take this guy seriously.  I don’t.

It’s worth remembering that, when Eliot Spitzer was taken down in a similar scandal, he was about to bust Wall Street wide open for the behavior that led to the 2008 financial crash.  If he had not fallen victim to that scandal, the country might be in far better shape today than it is, and some prominent Wall Street execs would be some jailbird’s bitch instead of White House advisors.

In a way, I think it’s a shame that these guys’ short legs tripped up their careers.  In another way, I think this country is far too Puritanical–especially since, as Rachel Maddow has observed, it seems to be a lot easier for Republicans to get away with shenanigans than is for Democrats.  I only hope that, in a few years, we will not discover that if only the investigation Weiner was pushing had gone forward, we would be in some massive judicial train wreck similar to the financial meltdown.

Well, enough about sex addiction.  Let’s talk about something far worse and more widespread–our addiction to the American way of life.





REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT

18 04 2008

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is long gone from the news. The Fed’s multi-billion dollar bailout of misbehaving bankers, which Spitzer was poised to contest, has trickled down into offshore accounts, and thousands more people who were conned, bullied, or given no choice about taking subprime mortgages have lost their homes. Hey, Bush said the richest one-tenth of one percent of the American public was his “core constituency,” unless Michael Moore totally faked that shot. The rest of us should be used to getting hind titty by now. But, now that the dust has settled, I think there are aspects of the story that bear further examination.

OK, here’s the story as I understand it:

On February 14, then-Governor Spitzer published an oped in the Washington Post, in which he made the following charges:

Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye…..

….The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the (government) filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.

Throughout our battles with the (government) and the banks, the mantra of the banks and their defenders was that efforts to curb predatory lending would deny access to credit to the very consumers the states were trying to protect. But the curbs we sought on predatory and unfair lending would have in no way jeopardized access to the legitimate credit market for appropriately priced loans. Instead, they would have stopped the scourge of predatory lending practices that have resulted in countless thousands of consumers losing their homes and put our economy in a precarious position.

When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.

This is perhaps the boldest accusation that has been made against the Bush junta by anyone who was actually in a position to do anything about it. Mr. Spitzer must have been in a very good mood that night because, as we now now, he spent several thousand dollars on a prostitute by way of celebration. Less than a month later, this indiscretion, and a string of others, were public knowledge, and Mr. Spitzer chose to resign as Governor of New York rather than fight the charges. The legal challenge he was leading seems to have sunk without a trace.

Those are the facts. Here are some more facts. Republican Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig did not resign. Louisiana’s Republican Senator Jim “Diaper Me” Vitter did not resign. The fact that Dick Cheney’s phone number turned up in the black book of a Washington prostitution ring in the late 90’s did not prevent him from becoming the Vice President of the United States. In fact, that madam’s customer list was suppressed by court order. Republicans regularly cozy up to remarkably vile right-wing preachers and do not get called to account for it the way Barack Obama has had to deal with the aptly-named Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But Eliot Spitzer, and in his own mild way, Sen. Obama, are threats to the established order. Craig, Vitter, and Cheney are the established order. They can do what they please. Male prostitute Jeff Gannon can spend the night at the White House and nobody blinks. That’s the New World Order, folks. Nothin’ unusual goin’ on here. But if you gonna challenge it, you better have all your ducks in a row. All of ‘em, and I mean it.

And here’s another fact: it is highly unusual for the name of a john in a prostitution case to be made public knowledge. But hey, if the Bush junta is willing to leak Valerie Plame’s name and destroy our national security network to get back at Joe Wilson, (and they did get away with it) why, no problem throwing Eliot under the bus to protect the banking class. Nobody that counts is gonna complain.

It is a bizarre spectacle, though–the Bush junta savagely defending a course of action that is destroying the world’s financial system, the US economy, and the lives of millions of middle-class Americans, many of whom probably voted Republican the last time they had a chance. (I don’t mean to ignore the fact that “destroying the world’s financial system” is hurting millions, if not billions, of people worldwide, but I gotta do some focusing here.) Really, the only ones who will see short-term benefit from this larceny are that upper tenth of one percent, Bush’s core constituency.

And long term? Do they think they can get away with this long term? Do they think they are wealthy enough to insulate themselves from the calamity they are creating in their psychotic drive to control everything? Apparently they do. The next question is whether or not they are correct in their presumption. As long as the American political landscape is dominated by pirates like them and milktoasts like Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer, et al, the sad truth is, they probably can get away with it. Eliot Spitzer was not a milktoast, but he had a fatal flaw.

And I think no overview of this American tragedy would be complete without a close, but not prurient, look at Mr. Spitzer and his tailbrain. First of all, I think there both is and is not something inherently wrong with prostitution. The question has to be examined at two levels, the level of the world as it is and the level of the world as it could be.

In the world as it is, there is no reason why prostitution should not be legal. As with the drug question, removing the legal stigma involved would make it much easier to assure quality and prevent abuse. In Mr. Spitzer’s case, I think he was highly hypocritical to have prosecuted prostitution rings and then make use of one, but that’s the thing about men and our tailbrains. We decide what we want to do and our brain gives us reasons why it’s OK. Now, I don’t know the details of what Mr. Spitzer was willing to pay a woman a large percentage of my annual income to do for a couple of hours, but the word from the pimp, I hear, is that it was something “dirty,” probably something his wife said, “not with me, you don’t” about.

Hey, many of us have had to deal with partners who were more, as they say, “vanilla” than we are, and the things some people feel driven to do are sometimes strange and mysterious. Sex change operations often seem to fall into that category. Some guy who’s built like a linebacker decides God played a joke on him and he’s really a her. Hundreds of thousands of dollars and gobs of hormones later, you’ve got a thick-wristed, thick-waisted, broad shouldered person with an innie instead of an outie, and big tits with little nipples….hey, I’m getting way off topic here…probably my own subconscious…

Well, that’s one level of the prostitution/fidelity question. At a deeper level, I think we have to look at male orgasm and see it as the ur-addiction of our species. An addiction, yes. A compulsive, inappropriate behavior that causes more problems than it solves and is then repeated in hopes that it will solve more problems than it creates. Excuse me for sounding like some crazy radical feminist, but very nearly 100% of all men are addicted to orgasm. This addiction objectifies women, turning them into a fix instead of a person, and spawning (excuse the expression) alienation that pushes even the most dedicated lovers apart, not to mention millions of unwanted pregnancies and countless rapes, the institution of prostitution, and smelly, sticky goo in highly inappropriate locations. (think about a blue dress….)

Male orgasm is best reserved for occasions when babymaking is specifically intended, and certain other esoteric uses that are so far off the radar that I’m not going there and probably shouldn’t even have mentioned it. Male orgasm is a psycho-physical short circuit that dissipates concentrations of psychological energy that, if they were allowed to build, would force creative breakthroughs in mens’ psyches and improve the whole human race.

A bit of a disclaimer here. I am not preaching the Green Party platform for 2008 when I say this. But, inasmuch as our sexual behavior is the kernel of our personalities, and politics is nothing but psychology writ large, I think the Green Party had better start thinking in terms of sexual politics if we want to create a real change in America. Listen up, ya’ll!

Now, just as male orgasm is explosive and dissipating, female orgasm is implosive and builds energy. What men need to do is quit focusing on our own show-concluding jollies and learn to feel and appreciate the oceanic nature of female sexual pleasure. You can bet that ain’t what Eliot Spitzer was up to, for all his good points.

And that is just the deep meaning of Mr. Spitzer’s downfall. We can no longer venerate those whose public persona as our saviors and defenders is belied by their selfish and thoughtless private lives. We need heroes who are heroes from the depths of their insides all the way out. It’s no longer enough to be able to give a great speech or pass good legislation or even give all your material goods to those in need. We, and those who would lead us, need to be deeply genuine, a quality no PR firm can manufacture. Perhaps Mr. Spitzer will use his fall creatively, come back from the political graveyard, and use his considerable talents to be of real help. It would be a great second act.

music: Martin and Jessica Simpson, “Down Where the Drunkards Roll.” (song by Richard Thompson)





GREG PALAST RUNS IT DOWN

28 03 2008

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.

This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.

How? Follow the money.

more





THE HIRED GUN WHO WENT AFTER SPITZER

24 03 2008

 from Raw Story:

GOP operative wrote investigators in November

In the 1970s, he was on the payroll of Richard Nixon’s now-infamous Committee to Reelect the President. In the 1980s, he helped George Bush Sr. trounce Michael Dukakis by floating a racially charged ad about the Democratic governor’s role in furloughing a black inmate. And in 2000, he organized the so-called “Brooks Brothers” riot, forcing the shutdown of a recount in Miami-Dade County, Florida, that may have turned the election to George W. Bush.

Last November, his lawyer wrote a letter to the FBI. In it, GOP political operative Roger Stone’s attorney, Paul Rolf alleged that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer “used the services of high-priced call girls” while in Florida, basing his information on a “social contact.”

The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Stone gleaned the information from “a social contact in an adult themed club.”

“The governor has paid literally tens of thousands of dollars for these services,” Rolf wrote. “It is Mr. Stone’s understanding that the governor paid not with credit cards or cash but through some pre-arranged transfer.”

It continued, including particular detail — Stone’s lawyer wrote that the governor hadn’t taken off his calf-length socks “during the sex act.”

more 





THE (CHARACTER) ASSASSINATION OF ELIOT SPITZER

23 03 2008

Or, double standards, part the second.

This video mostly just repeats Spitzer’s Washington Post op-ed in which he accused the Bush Junta of setting up the mortgage crisis, and claims Spitzer was singled out for retribution for this.  (Highly likey, I’d say!)It adds the tantalizing claim that male prostitute/phony reporter “Jeff Gannon” spent at least a couple of nights at the White House…a dead girl or a live boy, as they say….





MORE SPITZER LINKS…comments at end

13 03 2008

Spitzer’s Shame Is Wall Street’s Gain

by Robert Scheer

Tell me again: Why should we get all worked up over the revelation that the New York governor paid for sex? Will it bring back to life the eight U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq that same day in a war that makes no sense and has cost this nation trillions in future debt? Will it save those millions of homes that hardworking folks all over the country are losing because of financial industry shenanigans that Eliot Spitzer, as much as anyone, attempted to halt? Perhaps it provides some insight into why oil has risen to $108 a barrel, benefiting most of all the oil sheiks whom our taxpayer-supported military has kept in power?

Sure, the guy, by his own admission, is quite pathetic in all those small, squirrelly ways that have messed up the lives of other grand public figures before him, but why is an all-too-human sin, amply predicted in early Scripture, getting all this incredible media play as some sort of shocking event? The answer is that, while having precious little to do with serious corruption in public life, it does have a great deal to do with stoking flagging newspaper sales and television ratings.

The sad truth is that reporting on major corruption, say, the rationalizations of a president who has authorized torture, doesn’t cut it as a marketing bonanza. Just days before this grand exposé, the president vetoed a bill banning torture, and instead of being greeted with horrified disgust, the president’s deep denigration of this nation’s presumed ideals was met with a vast public yawn. Torture, unlike paid sex, doesn’t have legs as a news story.

And, in his own write (with commentary by Carolyn Baker):

PREDATORY LENDERS’ PARTNER IN CRIME, By Eliot Spitzer




Wednesday, 12 March 2008

[The following article was published in The Washington Post the day after

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer allegedly engaged the services of a call girl

at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. When one reads Spitzer's

words, one can only wonder if he was targeted by the perpetrators he

was investigating.--CB]

How the Bush administration stopped the states from

stepping in to help consumers.

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in

consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range

of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were

misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to

consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser”

rates that later ballooned  astronomically, packing loans with

undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks.

These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating

effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these

practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem,

the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to

protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose

instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

meanwhile, on Alternet, we have this question:

Why Hasn’t David Vitter Resigned?

Posted by Adam Howard, AlterNet at 10:19 AM on March 12, 2008.

Following nearly three days of intense media scrutiny, which has now led to

Eliot Spitzer’s resignation, Democrats are asking a legitimate question:

What about David Vitter…Dick Morris…Larry Craig…John McCain and for

that matter Dick Cheney and George Bush?:

Karl Rove just added another Democratic scalp to his collection:

Eliot Spitzer’s.

Spitzer has not been charged with any crime. He was railroaded by

the Corporate Media, led by Rupert Murdoch’s NYPost and FOX News,

with Karl Rove’s “loyal Bushies” leaking furiously from Bush’s InJustice

Department.

So what’s the standard here? If hiring prostitutes is a disqualification

for office, then David Vitter must resign today too. In fact, a good chunk

of the men in politics must also resign (and possibly a few women as well).

And a bunch of reporters and editors must quit as well. And pundits too -

yes I’m talking ’bout you, Dick Toesucker Morris.

If adultery is the standard, then Larry Craig must resign today, along with

half the men in politics and the media.

the good news is that David Paterson, who will replace Spitzer, is, in spite of being

a Hillary booster, a pretty decent guy:

In 1999, when New York City activists organized civil disobedience to

protest the police shooting of African-immigrant Amadou Diallo, one

of New York state’s most prominent legislators arrived at police

headquarters in Manhattan to be arrested as part of the a remarkable

civil rights protest.

The veteran state senator who was rising to a leadership role in

Democratic circles took a place symbolically blocking an entrance to

One Police Place and held his wrists out. Police officers attached plastic

handcuffs and led the distinguished gentleman away to be charged with

disorderly conduct.

The legislator’s name was David Paterson.

 

OK, here’s the commentary:

It’s obvious that Spitzer was targeted by Wall Street and the Bush Junta. He has

already cost them bigtime and was about to assume national prominence….likely

would have been a Presidential contender in another few years–Senator, you name it.

And our country’s fundamentalist disgust with prostitution is just plain stupid. And so

was Eliot Spitzer….I don’t know what itch he needed to scratch that his wife couldn’t

handle, but this is where the perspective gets deep.

The great, totally ignored Ur-addiction in our culture is mens’ addiction to orgasm.

This unquestioned addiction is responsible for more stupid behavior than alcohol.

I don’t have time to go into it deeply right now, will try and get something together

for next month’s radio show. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! And that’s all for now….





ELIOT, THERE’S SOMEBODY I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET…..

11 03 2008

There’s a lot I could say (and hopefully will, soon–I’m on my way out the door right now) about all the various ramifications of the Eliot Spitzer case, but I think two words sum it up:

DON SIEGELMAN (linked, in case you didn’t know)

Alan Dershowitz was on NPR today saying he thought it was a bit extraordinary for Spitzer to be singled out in this investigation.  I don’t usually agree with A.D. about much of anything, but I was glad to know I’m not the only one who smells a rat in this persecution…I mean, prosecution…








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