I'm not saying Rosie has key insight, she doesn't, and she talks about things she really has no idea about, like the two things I mentioned above, but talk about overkill on the anti-Rosie stuff. She's "anti-military," as if Rosie is any match for a $439 billion, high tech killing machine. That's not a knock on the military, it is a mock of the Pit Bull versus Yorkshire Terrier nature of that fight, and how the right feels the need to wrap themselves up in the flag, eliciting all the emotion of most every war movie ever made, and protect "the military" against her on Memorial Day Weekend. They're so shameless. I can just see the military history books: Scaled 100 meter cliffs under heavy German fire at Pointe Du Hoc in the Normandy Invasion, fought a desperate and crazed Japanese army at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and Saipan, pulled off a daring invasion in Incheon, Korea, cowed by mild criticism from daytime talk show, so needed to call in reinforcements from Fox News for political pandering to ward off total obliteration. We've gone from defeating the Nazis and Imperial Japan simultaneously, then staring down the Evil Empire to warding off mild attacks from Rosie about a war the vast majority of people in the world, other than the Kooks as Bill O'Reily would say, oppose. What's that old saying about judging yourself by your enemies.
Most disturbing is seeing Dennis Miller on Fox News as a Right Winger now. You can't possibly be a comedian with any credibility and do fundraisers with the president and ride on Air Force One, and say of Bush: "I like him, I'm going to give him a pass. I take care of my friends." He explains his conversion as: "Nine-11 changed me. I'm shocked that it didn't change the whole country, frankly."
I just want to know how someone as smart as Miller can see Bush reading My Pet Goat after being informed the country was under attack, invading the wrong country and setting a presidential record for vacation time, and think yeah, that's the answer right there. That's the decider for me! Look at that face! It's like a guy who went to medical school at the University of Phoenix and all of a sudden, he's got a real patient, who needs real surgery and he can't fake it anymore. He looks as perplexed as Mike Tyson on Celebrity Jeopardy. This is what happens when you mock "Elites." You get faces like this in a crisis.
Andy Card informing Bush about 9/11: "We're under attack, but keep reading, I must know what happens to the goat!" - Jon Stewart
Back in the day, I thought Miller was great, and it wasn't because he got his laughs mocking Right Wingers like Bill Maher does so well now, he didn't, he was just funny. His Black and White special was seminal. His follow up from Washington was great, too. I don't recall them as being political, and to the extent they were, they were mocking Clinton. His stand up specials in Aspen before 9/11 when he admitted he "changed" and in Las Vegas, post 9/11, were spectacularly unfunny. Again, not for politics, just for being unfunny. This was what I said at the time as well. I loved Miller's comedy prior, so his comedic downfall wasn't something I enjoyed. Here is a great write up on this strange turn of events on Miller from SFGate.com:
"Everyone used to think of him as cool and articulate and hilariously
hyperintelligent and able to dissect relatively complicated issues with
deliriously inspiring rants that were able to sub-reference Nietzsche and
Bela Lugosi and chaos theory usually all in one sentence. What a pathetic
and moribund loss. What a sad blow to articulate thinking. What bilious and
dank forces of right-wing fearmongering and neurosis and tax-break bullshit
must've attached themselves like rabid leeches to Miller's seething soul to
suck him so far over to the Dark Side. Dennis Miller, the new
RushHannityStern of the Right. How sad."
Here's my take Miller style:
I hate to get off on a rant here, but I haven't seen such a spectacular fall from grace since Dirk Diggler started a new career giving handjobs for money in a discount store parking lot and got the shit kicked out of him by some closet cases at the end of Boogie Nights. You used to be a comedian with an edge, now you're Carrot Top meets Bob Novak without the street cred. You give it up to the man with greater alacrity than a freshman sorority girl on her ninth Everclear Jello-Shot at Homecoming. I haven't seen someone turn over to the dark side like this since Obi Won gained the high ground at the lava pits of Mustafar. When you went all Robert Johnson and sold your soul to the devil at the crossroads, your skills should have improved -- but you're as funny now as a trauma ward in Darfur after a plate of ebola laced cocktail franks. Was it that hard to keep writing jokes? If middle age means going from edgy to agent of dishonest, establishment idiots, you might be the first reason to smile that Hendrix never saw 28. Like Cobain passing out in Rome, the warning signs were there when you fake laughed to Dan Fouts' jokes on Monday Night Football. Now you're more machine than man. Maybe your kids can one day defrost your frozen integrity from that block of carbonite Jabba the Limbaugh keeps hanging in his heavily medicated apartment. Congrats on finding a way to still get a paycheck and rest in peace, Dennis. Of course that's my opinion, I could be wrong.
All the crying is over, and the CNMI finally has a minimum wage hike. This is a done deal. It is now law. There will be a .50 cent increase in 60 days and another a year later and every year until 2015. That increase means $20 a week per worker in 60 days. If $20 per week per worker was the difference between staying open or not, you probably weren't going to make it anyway. It also means that $90,000 for a lobbyist to stop this long overdue increase was a total waste of money. As Angelo said, imagine what Beautify CNMI could have done with that $90,000. Well that money just got flushed -- great work Capitol Hill.
First, the garment factories were gone anyway, so as soon as that cancer is gone, the CNMI can start to restore its reputation, and make a fresh start. The sooner Saipan isn't associated with Abramoff, exploitative wages and sweatshops, the better. Tony Muna was on television saying the government is anticipating a total end to the industry anyway for budgetary planning purposes. Good bye and good riddance. Bree wrote a great post on this in her blog. It provides some great insights into the problems of the local economy.
I'm thinking of all the businesses where I spend my money most often: Java Joes, Blockbuster Video, Joeten Susupe, Joeten Dandan, Wild Bill's, Spicy Thai, ELS Auto Shop, Bobby Cadillacs, Godfather's Bar, Shell Gasoline, Casa Urashima, Daycare, my apartment. I won't buy any retail commodities here other than food because those places treat us all like idiots. I can't imagine any of those businesses being impacted in a significant way other than maybe the Daycare center, and if those people make more money and it costs me more, they more than deserve it.
This model we've had is flawed for the vast majority of locals and foreigners alike and everyone knows it. Let the healing begin. And incidentally, if this means that Filipinos go back to the Philippines and Chinese back to China, then that is actually probably a good thing for them to start fixing the problems in their own countries. I was in the PI in March, looked at the employment pages, and they are all about leaving the PI. No country can prosper with the best and brightest leaving it. Filipinos, including those here, need to fix their own country, not just flee it - and I realize that is a very hard job that won't be done overnight. Even if the workers here got U.S. citizenship and could therefore make more money, yeah that is good for you, but it does nothing to solve the myriad problems in the Philippines -- it just pushes the problem to others.
The debate over whether Bruce Bateman is evil continues with both sides mixing it up. Dengre sneered at us progressives a little bit for not hitting Bruce hard enough. As I said before, Bruce is not "evil." When I think of evil, I think of Hitler, Stalin, Cheney, the Khmer Rouge and the guy who invented Karaoke. A politically incorrect Milton Friedman disciple and Saipan Tribune columnist who has donated time and money to the arts, the soccer team and the CNMI teacher of the year, doesn't crack that Murderer's Row. His economics are extreme. His joke was crude and unnecessary. Evil he's not. There are shades of grey.
I agree with 90 percent of what Ricky Delgado wrote today's, but I'm not as quick to give Fitial a pass as Delgado is. Fitial isn't the worst person who could be in that job, which is a surprise given his long career as errand boy to the garment factories. I think he's trying to do the right things sort of on efficiency. I would bet the world he won't run again. From what I can tell, he's too sick, too old and too unpopular, and I've heard through the grape vine he has said he won't run again. He barely won last time against a wildly unpopular incumbent and then doing many controversial things now. That don't run again path lets him do the right thing, straighten out the mess and be remembered well down the line. Or it gives him the opportunity to rob the store as best he can and give it away to his friends with impunity if he chooses the dark path.
The problem is he lied through his teeth to get elected promising a surcharge reduction he could never pull off, and in fact making CUC rates much higher. He also clearly lied about supporting the schools. He hasn't done anything, and in fact, has funded education much less. I never believed either promise for a second, so it bothers me less than it bothers others. He loses fiscal credibilty with the Jesus Camacho patronage and the $90,000 flushed down the drain on a lobbyist, not to mention the junkets to Hawaii and the mainland by a large legislative delegation, which I suppose isn't Fitial's fault, but it does blend in with waste during this fiscal emergency. Fitial also has no mandate at all, having not even won Saipan. Delgado's letter suggests Fitial was some kind of outsider inheriting all these problems. Fitial was speaker of the House. He had a huge stake in this goverment before he became governor. I agree with him strongly on the poker room versus casino point, Article XII and the need for citizen involvement.
To end on a cheery note, here is a link to picture of one hundred plus young, naked Japanese girls. My favorite part, given the lack of even a C-Cup, is the fact that naked or not, they are all giving the standard peace sign Japanese girls use in every picture they ever take.