Tag Archives: Joan Walsh

Perry is scary — and YES, he COULD win the White House

Texas Gov. Rick Perry bows his head as he leads a  prayer at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Perry attended the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads thousands of “Christo”fascist zombies* in “prayer” in Houston yesterday. The widely wildly misunderestimated Perry is No. 2 in recent nationwide polls of Repugnican Tea Party traitors regarding whom they want to be the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate. In most of these polls Perry is only two or three percentage points behind long-time front-runner Mitt Romney.

Every time I hear some smug, “liberal,” baby-boomer “expert” — like Salon.com’s Joan Walsh or MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell — pontificate that Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Rick Perry has zero chance of becoming the next president of the United States of America, I cringe.

While it is true that former Texas Gov. George W. Bush lost the popular vote in the presidential election of 2000 — and that he became “president” only through fraud** — it is chilling that an abject dumbfuck like Bush even came close enough to be able to steal the 2000 presidential election. It is even more chilling that Americans just allowed BushCheneyCorp to blatantly steal that election.

And do we really have good reason to believe that Americans wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, that Americans have learned their lesson, even after all that the unelected Bush regime put our nation through?

I suspect that because “liberal” elites like Walsh and O’Donnell can’t imagine themselves or anyone they know voting for Rick Perry for president, they believe that there’s no way in hell that Perry could muster enough votes even to be close enough to be able steal the 2012 presidential election like Bush did back in 2000.

Methinks that Walsh and O’Donnell and their ilk, to put it as Bush might put it, dangerously misunderestimate the stupidity of the American populace.

No doubt, a Perry presidency would be another disaster upon disasters, but to believe that this fact is blatantly obvious to a majority of Americans is a huge mistake.

Where to begin as to what a Perry presidency would look like?

Someone who claims, directly or indirectly, that he (or she) governs based upon how God instructs him (or her) to govern — well, I see precious little difference between someone like Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann (or George W. Bush) and an “Islamofascist” cleric where it comes to the claim that one has a hotline to God. The only difference I see is that one theofascist claims Islam and the other theofascist claims Christianity. (To be fair and balanced, plenty of Jews are into theofascism, too. Look at Israel.)

No one has a fucking hotline to God. (The fact that there is no fucking anthropomorphic God aside.) One who makes that claim is either mentally ill, delusionally believing that his or her own thoughts and impulses are God-given, or is a fucking liar, purposefully falsely claiming that he or she takes marching orders from God in order to be able to get what he or she wants. (Perry strikes me as belonging to the latter category.)

The past American decade — a lost decade, for sure, and this decade is shaping up to be another lost American decade — has been one of war and war profiteering in the Middle East, which has come in no small part because the United States of America is a “Christian” nation. With a majority of Americans calling themselves “Christians” — without even being familiar with Jesus’ actual words as printed in black and white in the New Testament, so that being a “Christian” in the U.S. is much more about identifying with a tribe or a team than it is about actually being a Christian, if we define a “Christian” as someone who knows and who at least tries to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ — the indiscriminate slaughter of Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East has been A-OK with most Americans.

It long has been our “defense” spending that is killing us here at home, that has made us a debtor nation. So entrenched are the treasonous looters of the U.S. treasury who comprise the military-industrial complex, however, that when it’s said that we must slash the federal budget, slashing the bloated-beyond-belief “defense” budget rarely is mentioned. Instead, it is programs that actually help Americans here at home — instead of programs that slaughter Muslims and Arabs abroad for the war profiteering and the corporateering of the treasonous, plutocratic few — that are put on the chopping block. 

So — would a President Perry end the wars in the Middle East that have drained the United States of America of its lifeblood to benefit only the blood-sucking plutocratic parasites? If President Hopey-Changey hasn’t done so, we could expect another former Texas governor to do so?

Not fucking likely.

A President Perry would escalate our wars for the war profiteers and the corporateers and would escalate the deep decay here at home. As shitty as things are now, under a President Perry things would get much, much, much worse.

But would that stop Americans from putting Perry into the White House?

No. I don’t think so.

Americans are dipshits. They know so little about politics that when things aren’t to their liking, they just vote for the candidate from the other party.*** They weren’t happy with Gee Dubya’s second term, so in November 2008 they voted for Barack Obama. They aren’t happy with Obama’s first term, so yes, I can see them in November 2012 voting for Rick Perry (or for whomever the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate turns out to be).

In normal times — we haven’t had anything like normal times since the 1990s, so it’s hard even to remember what normal times are like — it is probably true that a radical right-winger like Perry couldn’t make it to the White House, but these aren’t normal times.

George W. Bush got into the White House the first time through fraud (made possible by widespread American apathy) and the second time through fear. The traitors who comprised BushCheneyCorp milked 9/11 for political gain for as long as they could (it probably wasn’t until August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, that BushCheneyCorp no longer could use 9/11 for political gain; by the time Hurricane Katrina hit, the unelected emperor was quite nude).

As our economic meltdown continues — in no small part because the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have done their best to keep the economy in meltdown, because they figure that that is the best way for them to recapture the White House and both houses of Congress — panicky voters are more likely than they otherwise would be to vote for an obvious fascist like Rick Perry.

It is true that Barack Obama didn’t create the nation’s economic mess. He inherited it from the BushCheneyCorp, which for eight long years of nightmarish, unelected rule, wrecked the nation just as Gee Dubya had wrecked the state of Texas before he stole the White House.

However, Obama has handled our nation’s economy shittily. Rather than having enacted left-wing economic policies that have lifted the nation out of an economic ditch before (think FDR), Obama instead has enacted only half-assed, weak-hearted, “bipartisan” measures or he has just given the Repugnican Tea Party traitors the items on their Ayn-Randian economic wish list, such as trillions in federal budget cuts (except for “defense,” of course) without any tax increases for the rich and the super-rich.

In the process, Obama has alienated his own base, something that George W. Bush, as incredibly stupid as he is, never would have done. Obama and his spokesweasels have referred to those of us on the left as “the professional left” and as “sanctimonious.” Obama repeatedly has claimed that he is emulating Ronald Reagan, one of the figures most hated by the left. I don’t remember George W. Bush ever claiming that he was emulating John F. Kennedy. What the fuck?

With Obama working overtime to lick the asses of the “swing voters,” to convince them that he’s not one of the left-wing crazies, but that he idolizes Ronald Fucking Reagan, why in the fuck should the “swing voters” vote for him, then? If Obama is a “Democrat” who is claiming to be a Repugnican Tea Partier, why in the hell shouldn’t the “swing voter” just go ahead and vote for the actual Repugnican Tea Party candidate?

No one respects Obama’s “bipartisanship.” They can only see him for what he is: an unprincipled political sellout who thinks that he’s so fucking smart that he can fool everyone into voting for him, regardless of where he or she sits on the political spectrum.

I surmise that if Obama would stick steadfastly to a side, he’d find a lot more respect — even from many (if not even most) of those who disagree with him. At least they could respect his conviction. No one respects a milquetoast sellout.

But Obama’s unfounded arrogance is infectious. He has plenty of Obamabots, like Joan Walsh and Lawrence O’Donnell, who apparently are in denial over Obama’s weakness, proclaiming that there’s no way that Obama can lose re-election.

Oh, but he can.

Let’s recap:

  • Obama has lost his own base, the “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left” who, in addition to voting consistently, actually give money, time and energy to Democratic campaigns (as opposed to those who just call themselves “Democrats” and who maybe consistently vote for Dems)
  • Obama, by diddling the “swing voters” so much, has basically told them that he’s so much like the Repugnican Tea Party traitors that they might as well vote for an actual Repugnican Tea Party traitor (as much as 20 percent of the electorate appear to be in the “swing voter” category)
  • Probably at least 40 percent of the electorate is going to vote for the Repugnican Tea Party candidate, whoever it is, and would rather die than cast a vote for Barack Obama no matter what he says or does (true, most of these are just racists/white supremacists, but they probably comprise at least a good one-third of the electorate) 

Yet, given all of this, Obama’s re-election is assured?

Yeah, I don’t fucking see it.

And neither, I assure you, does this guy:

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2011, file photo Texas Gov. Rick Perry gives a thumbs up as he takes the stage at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis in Houston. The GOP electorate has made clear in polls that it wants more choices, perhaps a conservative who is strong both on economic and social issues, leading Perry to consider a White House bid. A nationally televised debate, a test vote in Iowa and a candidacy by Perry, should he decide to seek the GOP nomination, could shake up the Republican presidential race in the coming days. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Associated Press photo

*Photographic evidence for my use of the term “zombies”:

Participants sing and pray at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to attend the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Joy, who did not want to give her last name, prays at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to attend the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Worshipers pray during The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry attended the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A woman prays at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry attended the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A man raises his Bible as he prays at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick  Perry attended the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Lucy West, of Killeen, Texas, prays at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to attend the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Associated Press photos

**Gee Dubya’s brother Jeb at the time was the governor of the pivotal state of Florida, which Gee Dubya “won”; Florida’s chief elections official, Katherine Harris, had sat on the state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya, in a blatant conflict of interest; and the Repugnican-stacked U.S. Supreme Court decided to just crown Gee Dubya as president, regardless of the American voters’ intent.

***In the voters’ defense, self-interested sellout assholes like Barack Obama don’t exactly help them to see any fucking difference between the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Tea Party, which I have come to think of as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party.

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Stop lynching Cornel West and hold Barack Obama accountable for once

 Harsh words: Professor Cornell West, seen here with then-senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail in New York, has turned on the president

So many black progressives have been thrown under Barack Obama’s bus (Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, et. al.)  that the bus no longer can move an inch. Let’s not add the corpse of Cornel West (pictured above with Barack Obama when Obama was campaigning for the White House) to the under-bus body count.

Left-wing activist and scholar Cornel West is under fire for, among other strong statements, recently having called President Barack Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats,” adding, “And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

I have no real problem with those words because I have no problem with the truth. The truth is the truth, even if only one person in a thousand (or ten thousand or a hundred thousand or a million or…) is willing to utter it in a sea of lemmings. (Or, as Ted Rall aptly calls Obama’s allegedly left-of-center followers, “Obamabots.”)

The only exception that I can take to calling Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats” is that I don’t know that it’s necessary to emphasize “black.” A mascot of Wall Street oligarchs or a puppet of corporate plutocrats is a problem, regardless of the mascot’s or puppet’s race, sex, sexual orientation, religious orientation, age, etc.

Maybe West emphasized “black” because at least on some level he expects a fellow black man to be progressive, like he is. But, as West himself has acknowledged, Obama “[grew] up in a white context,” so “all he has known culturally is white.”

Because Obama is not the descendent of African slaves and because he was raised by his white mother’s family, it is unfair for descendents of African slaves, like West, to expect Obama to be a carbon copy of themselves*, and, it seems to me, because he is half white and half black, it always has been Obama’s own prerogative to embrace one half more than the other, even if he had a choice in the matter, but, given his upbringing, I don’t see that he had much of a choice. (Children don’t get to pick who raises them.)

My problem with Obama is that he has betrayed his progressive base. He made campaign promises — promises that I took seriously, not cynically, as in the assertion that all politicians make and then break their promises, and so you’re stupid if you believe otherwise — and then he systematically proceeded to break his promises, denouncing his left-wing critics as hopelessly delusional about political reality as he did so (and his “bots” dutifully, blindly follow his lead in that).

Obama promised “hope” and “change,” and because of his promises I gave him hundreds of dollars and my vote. But instead of “hope” and “change,” we still have an economy in shambles, we still hand over billions of dollars to corporate welfare recipients, and we still give the war profiteers billions of our tax dollars via the bogus warfare in the Middle East and elsewhere while the American empire rots from within here at home.

Oh, but we got Osama bin Laden! But that and a quarter won’t even buy us a Coke and a smile.

I don’t claim to agree with West on everything, because I don’t know everything that he has proclaimed, but I like him. I saw him speak here in Sacramento (where he was raised) some years ago, and I was moved by his talk about the black American experience to the point that I got tears in my eyes. (Unfortunately, I was one of the only white people in the audience, and maybe even the only one, and brother West was, for the most part, preaching to the choir; those who really should have been there, who really needed to be there, were not there. [But doesn’t it almost always seem to go that way?])

Yes, I consider Cornel West to be a brother, but I am concerned that perhaps he and I define the term “brother” differently. I consider someone who shares my progressive values and worldview to be my brother or sister, regardless of his or her race, age, sexual orientation or even religious orientation. As a fellow democratic socialist, I consider West to be my brother. But, because I am white, would West call me “brother”? I would like to think so, but I’m not certain.**

I can’t know what it’s like to be a descendent of black slaves, and I would never, like Bill Clinton or at least John Kerry did, insinuate that I, who although I’ve always been middle class was born into some degree of white privilege, truly feel black Americans’ pain. I have not walked in their shoes, so I cannot, and so I do not, make that claim. (Bill Clinton was called by many as “the first black president,” and Kerry once stupidly stated that he wanted to be “the next black president.” I find such faux familiarity to be disrespectful as well as false.)

Even if he would not call me “brother,” I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of throwing Cornel West under the bus like Barack Obama threw his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, under the bus, and then Van Jones and then Shirley Sherrod. I think that such rhetoric as that of Salon.com editor Joan Walsh (who was a staunch Billary Clinton ’08 supporter before she became an Obamabot) that West has had a “tragic meltdown,” not only is overblown but is deleterious to progressivism.

Walsh writes of “the unrealistic left” (which is, I surmise, akin to the Obama administration’s “professional left”) and proclaims:

I’m on record saying that despite my disappointments on the economic and civil liberties front, I support Obama’s re-election: He’s as progressive a leader as we’re able to elect right now, and if you have issues with him – as I do – it’s time to work to elect strong Democrats at the state and local level. I’m pro-Obama – and also pro-reasonable organizing efforts to push him left.

“[Un]reasonable.” “[Un]realistic.” These are interesting terms. Fucking fact is, Obama had the nation’s good will and both houses of Congress controlled by his party for two fucking years, and he squandered that rare opportunity to push through a progressive agenda.

For that alone he does not deserve re-election, but sellouts — Obamabots — like Walsh, who actually make such statements as “despite my disappointments on the economic and civil liberties front, I [still] support Obama’s re-election” since Obama is the lesser of the politically viable evils, are destroying what’s left of the left.

How can we actual leftists have “unrealistic” expectations when so-called “Democratic” sellouts like Obama don’t even try? How can you know what’s possible and what’s impossible to achieve, what is realistic and what is unrealistic, when you surrender from the very fucking beginning? The establishment Democrats almost always surrender before the game even begins. Meanwhile, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors roll out such radical ideas as decimating Medicare. Yes, they are stupid, but they’re bold.

As the Repugnican Tea Party traitors succeed in pushing the nation’s politics further and further to the right, Obamabots like Joan Walsh help the wingnuts by contributing to the rightward drift of the Democratic Party, which began under Bill Clinton, by excusing anything and everything that establishment/Clintonesque Democrats do or don’t do, simply because they use the “Democratic” label — and because these Democrats in name only are, the Obamabots assert, the best that we can do. (And besides, what do you want? A Repugnican president?)

That Barack Obama isn’t as bad as are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who want to be president just doesn’t fucking cut it for me. He’d have to do much better than that for me to give him another penny or my vote again.

Obama’s new campaign in which you can buy a T-shirt or a mug displaying his birth certificate and the words “MADE in the USA” under his portrait —

— is clever, but the nation needs an awful lot more than more clever Obama campaigns right now, and on the heels of having been punk’d by the “hope” and “change” campaign, I, for one, am just not in the mood to fall for yet another clever Obama campaign. (Although if I were working on the Obama campaign, my snappy slogan might be something like: “Barack Obama 2012: Really This Time!”)

I suppose that I have to give props to Team Obama for finding a way to turn the pathetic and racist birth certificate bullshit into a fundraising campaign, but I cannot, in good conscience, give Team Obama even a penny, as clever as the new campaign is.

At some point this sellout shit has to stop. I, for one, don’t want to be responsible, even minutely, for its perpetuation — even by buying one of the clever T-shirts or mugs.

But back to brother West.

Let’s not make him into a scapegoat for the serious failings of Barack Obama as president of the United States of America. Instead, let’s continue to talk about identity politics versus political ideology and what roles they have and what roles they should have in rescuing the American experiment from the edge of the abyss.

As a gay man, for instance, while it would be great to have a gay or lesbian president, I’d much rather have a heterosexual president who actually is progressive than a gay or lesbian president who, like Obama, is too cowardly or too personally comfortable (or both) to pursue a progressive agenda.

Similarly, I’m not impressed by the mere fact that Obama is the first actual (half-)black president. There are plenty of wingnutty black men, such as (not in any certain order) U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Clarence Thomas, recently booted Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele, former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (who delivered the pivotal state of Ohio to George W. Bush in 2004 much as how Katherine Harris had delivered the pivotal state of Florida to Bush in 2000), and presidential aspirants Herman Cain and Alan Keyes, and I’d never want any of them anywhere near the White House, not because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character. (On that note, I once saw Al Sharpton speak here in Sacramento [in early 2005, I believe it was], and I still remember his quip that “Condoleezza Rice [yet another black wingnut, as well as a war criminal] is of my color but is not of my kind.”)

The problem with Barack Obama isn’t that he isn’t “black enough.” The problem is that he isn’t progressive enough — and that he had promised to be progressive, but broke that promise.

That is the discussion that we need to be having instead of kicking around brother Cornel West.

P.S. I highly recommend the article on Cornel West by Chris Hedges that stirred the West brouhaha. It is here. In the article, Hedges quotes West as having said other things that are making people butt-hurt, such as that Obama “feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,” which to me more or less seems to be true, whether it’s considered politically correct or not, but Hedges also quotes West as having said other things that aren’t being repeated as much as are his “controversial” statements, such as

“This [Obama’s presidency] was maybe America’s last chance to fight back against the greed of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, to generate some serious discussion about public interest and common good that sustains any democratic experiment.

“We are squeezing out all of the democratic juices we have. The escalation of the class war against the poor and the working class is intense. More and more working people are beaten down. They are world-weary. They are into self-medication. They are turning on each other. They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful.

“It is a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe. I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out. But he lacks backbone.”

and

“Can you imagine if Barack Obama had taken office and deliberately educated and taught the American people about the nature of the financial catastrophe and what greed was really taking place?

“If he had told us what kind of mechanisms of accountability needed to be in place, if he had focused on homeowners rather than investment banks for bailouts and engaged in massive job creation, he could have nipped in the bud the right-wing populism of the tea party folk.

“The tea party folk are right when they say the government is corrupt. It is corrupt. Big business and banks have taken over government and corrupted it in deep ways.

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful. It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire.

“I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties….”

Yup. This perhaps was our last chance to turn it around, and Obama thus far has only blown it. Ironically, West could have been talking about himself when he noted that the people “are turning on each other,” “scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful,” because right now they’re scapegoating West instead of confronting Obama, who apparently likes the presidency only for its perks. He certainly has no stomach for the hard work that a truly progressive president has before him or her.

Anyway, I also recommend Chris Hedges’ book Death of the Liberal Class, which is about “liberal” sellouts like Joan Walsh who in their cowardice, laziness, selfishness and hypocrisy aid and abet the right wing in the right wing’s destruction of the nation and the planet.

*West also remarked that “Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, [with] white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

“Deracination”? Is an identification with a history of slavery required to be considered to be black? Is Obama really required to identify with the descendents of black slaves when he is not such a descendent and was not raised by the descendents of slaves? Is this not demanding too much of Obama?

**West has referred to economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman as “brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman,” and so I tend to believe that his definition of “brother” is about ideology, not race, but he also has referred to Obama as “brother,” yet rather clearly disagrees with Obama’s politics, so I am uncertain as to his own personal definition of the term.

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Envy is a blogger without a book deal

I started blogging back in the latter part of 2002 on Salon Blogs. It was a great time to start blogging; in the wake of the destruction wrought by the unelected Bush regime and in the midst of the regime’s impending launch of its bogus Vietraq War, the Internet and its newish “blogosphere” were buzzing with progressives who loved civic engagement (and e-catfights; more on that later…).

I immediately found blogging to be user-friendly — if you can word process, you can blog — and rather addictive. The idea that whenever something pisses me off or whenever there is just something that I want to say, I can post it on the Internet, where anyone in the world can read it — I still like that idea.

I probably would continue to blog no matter how small my audience. Blogging to me is what dancing is to a dancer or painting is to a painter.

Having an audience is great, especially when, like I do, you think that you’re a pretty fucking good writer. But, like any other artist who primarily does it for the love of it and not for the audience, I continue to blog even with a small audience.

But those bloggers who get book dealsarrrggggghhhhhh!

There is Dave Cullen, who, like I did, started out with Salon Blogs. Truthfully, I found Dave’s blog to be rather mediocre. He wrote about the “reality” television show “The Great Race” or whatever in the hell it was called, for fuck’s sake. After each episode, of which I never watched a single one, he’d feverishly let all of us know his every thought and impression of it. Barf bag, please! (If memory serves, Dave’s obsession with the show primarily was because one or more of its cast members he found to be a hottie. [I think it was that one cast member with the Nazi-sounding name… Third Reichen or something like that… Yeah, you know, I just can’t get past a Nazi-sounding name…])

When he wasn’t writing feverishly about his favorite reality TV show, Dave feverishly was writing about his favorite reality TV politician, Howard Dean. I, um, supported John Kerry from the very start, figuring that although Kerry wasn’t my ideological favorite of the Democratic bunch for the 2004 presidential nomination (that wild and wacky Dennis “Snowball’s Chance in Hell” Kucinich was), with his military background Kerry was much more likely to defeat BushCheneyCorp in 2004 than was peacenik Dean. (Unfortunately, 9/11 was still lingering in the national consciousness — endlessly stoked by the BushCheneyCorp, replete with its false color-coded terrorism risk alerts, of course — and I knew that the Repugnicans would make mincemeat of Dean.)

Thankfully, Dean imploded in the snows of Iowa in January 2004 and that was that. But Dave, who had even invaded Iowa with the throngs of other Deaniacs in their tacky bright orange caps, didn’t appreciate my gleeful blogging on Dean’s demise, and if memory serves, that is where it really devolved between Dave and me.    

Dave and I always had fought over Dean vs. Kerry, but after Dean’s demise after the scream heard ’round the world, Dave and I had such serious e-catfights via our blogs’ comments sections that we had to call it quits lest law enforcement officials get involved…

Anyway, if memory serves, I found Dave to be a mediocre writer with waaay too many typos and misspellings, but sometimes compelling, like car accident images on the Internet can be compelling; you know that you probably really shouldn’t look at the spectacle, but you just can’t help yourself. (I seem to remember that I especially enjoyed reading about Dave’s parallel implosion with Dean’s implosion on Dave’s blog. Dave wrote some rather surreal stuff about his Dean-related devastation, if memory serves.)

Anyway, so of course Dave later landed himself a book deal. His book Columbine (a subject that doesn’t interest me; Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” pretty much satisfied that itch for me) as I type this sentence is No. 3,007 on amazon.com, but the book, timed for the 10th anniversary of the suburban teenaged massacre of April 1999, was on amazon.com’s top-100 best-selling books list for at least a little while.

I hate you, Dave. You’re a mediocre writer but you got a book deal. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

No, OK, fine, congratulations, I don’t hate you, really I don’t, in fact, contgratulations, yeah, what-eeever. After all, I just linked to your book on amazon.com and I just might get you another sale or two or three. If I hated you that much would I have done that? No, I think not, Dave.

(If you want to argue about it, Dave, leave a comment on this post, bitch. It would be just like old times. I dare you!)

Even more successful than Dave (ha ha, Dave!) is former Salon blogger Julie Powell. I don’t know her at all — although I was aware of her blog when she and I were fellow Salon bloggers, I never read her blog because I’m not into cooking and her blog was about cooking — but I hate her perhaps even more than I hate Dave because not only did she get a book deal, but she got a fucking movie deal, too. Her book Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously is now a frigging movie tie-in paperback with Meryl Fucking Streep on the cover and is No. 54 on amazon.com’s top 100 best-seller list as I type this sentence.

I’m not linking to Powell’s book because once you have Meryl Streep on your resume, you just don’t need any more help, do you?

(Dave, if you get a movie deal, I’m going to find you, and maybe I will massacre you, Columbine-style, and I will use your flesh in one of Julie Powell’s Julia Child-inspired recipes. [Then maybe I could get a book deal…])

Anyway, Salon.com’s editor, Joan Walsh, makes this admission in a rubbing-it-in-my-face blog piece that she posted today about how some Salon bloggers went on to make it big: “The Salon Blogs program was worthy and innovative, but it didn’t get the attention it deserved —  most notably, from Salon.”

Exactly. We Salon bloggers plunked down our $40-a-year fee for our blogs with Salon’s promise that Salon would support us, even promote us, and Salon didn’t. Salon picked a few Salon bloggers, almost seemingly at random, to give some attention to, but the rest of us were ignored.

I guess that in order to have gotten my Salon blog noticed I would have had to have blown former Salon managing editor Scott Rosenberg, who then was in charge of Salon Blogs and whose own Salon blog was lackluster at best (if memory serves, he primarily wrote about technical computer crap, which even I, with my great writing talent, probably couldn’t make interesting — probably).

I did contact Rosenberg a few times to see if he’d promote my blog, but he steadfastly refused. Probably because his own blog sucked. And because he also was one of the Lemmings for Howard Dean and I was one of the few bloggers for Kerry. (OK, so maybe I was the only blogger for Kerry…)

I gleefully note that Rosenberg’s book on — w a i t   f o r   i t — blogging, which was released last month (I won’t help him by even giving you its title), as of right this moment is No. 9,530 on amazon.com.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, Scott!

Oh, I don’t think that they’ll be making a movie out of your book!

So that’s at least two mediocre bloggers who got book deals, one of them with a book about blogging. 

Anyway, so yeah, as Joan Walsh admitted today, Salon abandoned its bloggers. At one point Salon stopped even mentioning the Salon blogs on Salon’s home page, and then at another point Salon stopped accepting new blogs, and now, at the end of this year, the blogging platform that Salon blogs utilize, Radio UserLand, is going kaput.

At the end of October I switched from Salon Blogs/Radio UserLand to WordPress. I am much, much, much happier with the WordPress blogging platform. Aside from being FREE, WordPress offers a lot more functionality that Radio UserLand ever did. (I can enumerate on one hand what Radio UserLand has that WordPress doesn’t, but I could enumerate on my pubes what WordPress has that Radio UserLand doesn’t.)

Anyway, so I’m happier on WordPress, and I rarely use “I” and “happy” in the same sentence.

But, unfortunately, my readership on WordPress isn’t any larger than it was on Salon Blogs.

And I still don’t have my book deal yet — but I think that I can come up with something for Meryl to do.

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