Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oh, right, the blog

Frankly, there's just been too damn much going on to choose what to talk about. The whole Kerik nomination/de-nomination thing has been heartening; I wasn't surprised at all that the guy turned out to be such a goon, or that the media was so quick to give him a pass on his goonhood, but I'm delighted that enough stuff actually came out to make him an untenable candidate even for the Bushies. A piece in today's NYT attributes this collapse primarily to a) Bush's own enthusiasm for Kerik and b) Alberto Gonzalez's gross incompetence, which bodes well for the office of Attorney General over the next four years.

James Wolcott has a hilarious/scary description of Kerik, whom he met in person, on his blog (which I highly recommend):

Kerik exuded too much quiet authority and dramatic effect, trying a shade too hard to convey that he knew things he couldn't speak of and was working from the deep inside, privy to secrets that he carried locked inside the bank vault of his barrel chest. I could see how this tough-guy shtick--which obviously wasn't entirely shtick, but a tough streak that had been refined into an urban lawman persona--would impress fake swaggarts like, well, George Bush, who likes to play dress-up as a range hand and fighter pilot to show what a Hungry man entree he is.

I hesitate to say the system "worked" in Kerik's case, but the fact that it did manage to vomit him up before he could do real damage is an encouraging sign (though I still caution that there will be no functionaing security appparatus in this country for the next four years). And there are others: The WaPo has a story today on powerful groups that allied with Bush in the past but are actively opposing his current fiscal bacchanal - the AARP being one (and it's the least they can do to atone for supporting the obscene profit-windfall for pharmaceutical companies commonly referred to as the prescription drug benefit plan). The happy idea of making businesses pay taxes on the health benefits they give employees appears to be dead already. More and more attention is being paid in mainstream media to the overwhelming evidence of continued, planned, systematic abuse of prisoners, sanctioned at high levels.

Perhaps, if we haven't hit bottom quite yet, we are almost there?


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