The Moment of Truth — June 24, 2004

Good Gravy

Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the one dolphin that can actually talk and that saves the world from destruction.

Christopher Hitchens says of Farenheit 9/11: “To call this film a piece of crap is to begin a discussion that can never rise above the excremental.” He should know. His name contains two esses, four aitches, two eyes and two tees. That’s twice the manure, plus a 4H club’s worth of immaturity. To put it briefly, I can’t imagine a discussion that couldn’t rise to a level well above anywhere Christopher Hitchens decided to begin. And if he decides to begin in a pile of crap, that’s his own fecal matter. Stuart Klawans has always been more fun to read, and he gave the movie a great review in The Nation. In fact, Klawans might be the only film critic I agree with more than 30% of the time. I myself have not seen the movie yet, though I’m going to see it today. I do hold firm to my conviction, however, that Hitchens’ support for the policies of the Bush administration are an attempt by a lonely lush to drive sensible people to drink. I think it was Andrew Sullivan who said, “Christopher loves company.” Or maybe it was Alexander Cockburn who said, “Misery is Christopher Hitchens.” Or maybe it was Stephen King who said, “I’d like to chop off his feet and make him write like he did before.”

It is clear that the shock of 9/11 drove many people crazy. It also drove many an opportunist to jump on a military/industrial/Christian Right bandwagon. I completely understand that. But how do we explain this:

June 8, 2004

CBS) The Department of Justice reportedly has thousands of hours of Enron employees recorded during the West Coast power crisis. Now, some in Congress want all the tapes released.

“I want to make sure that no federal agency suppresses this information, makes the case harder for us to get relief,” says U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

After CBS broadcast the voices of Enron energy traders gloating over the crisis they helped create, more tapes were released.

In one tape, an employee says, “You gotta think the economy is going to f–––g get crushed, man. This is like a recession waiting to f––-g happen.”

The tapes show Enron tried to bring California to its knees.

Elsewhere on the tapes, another employee says, “This is where California breaks.”

“Yeah, it sure does man,” says another.

And they proposed to do that by exporting energy out of the state so the company could drive up prices even more.

“What we need to do is to help in the cause of, ah, downfall of California,” an employee is heard saying on the tapes. “You guys need to pull your megawatts out of California on a daily basis.”

“They’re on the ropes today,” says another employee. “I exported like a f–––g 400 megs.”

“Wow,” says another employee, “f–k ‘em, right!”

Traders can be heard manipulating the market, using now-infamous schemes with names like death star, ricochet and fat boy.

One employee is heard asking, “You want to do some fat boys or, or whatever, man, you know, take advantage of it.”

In fat boy, Enron traders used fake power sales to hide megawatts, shrinking the supply of energy and driving up prices. They also used the oldest trick in the book: lies.

“It’s called lies. It’s all how well you can weave these lies together, Shari, alright, so,” an employee is heard saying.

The other employee says, “I feel like I’m being corrupted now.”

The first employee adds, “No, this is marketing,”

“OK.”

The tapes could affect dozens of cases already filed against the company by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

“If these are ever heard by a jury, they’re going get strung up,” says Lockyer.

After hearing the tapes, the state’s two U.S. senators demanded an immediate $8.9 billion refund.

At a recent hearing Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. said, “All I can tell you is you have to listen to what’s happening out there to ordinary people who you are responsible to help through this.”

With Enron and other major energy companies in bankruptcy, big refunds are unlikely. But the tapes could provide the evidence states and cities need to break contracts they were forced to sign at the height of the energy crisis.

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Break contracts? Listen, that money’s somewhere, it didn’t disappear. I say, take it out of the corporate leadership’s pockets, and the pockets of those who helped loosen controls on energy traders, like Wendy Gramm, a good friend of George W, who also serves with Newt Gingrich and the unjustly nondisgraced Richard Perle on the highly partisan, pro-corporate defense advisory committee, helping figure out how to make Bush and Cheney and their friends more money by killing Arabs.

Or make them work it off. Make them loosen regulations, create a useless corporation to stand between the people and their resources, break laws, lie, defraud, and then give all the money they scam to charity! How come that never happens? Why don’t corporate criminals ever do this on their own initiative? Why do I have to demand that the GOVERNMENT step in and do it? Is that what America’s come to? Where I need to rely on the GOVERNMENT to punish corporate criminals? They won’t do it themselves? Like in the old, laissez-faire capitalist days all libertarians pine for?

How about this? When Cheney goes back into the private sector to collect his rewards for helping his friends make money on the blood of Iraqis and American soldiers and creating more terrorists than anyone thought it possible for one administration to be directly responsible for ≠ when Cheney goes back into the private sector to collect all his rewards for being the most lawless, ruthless, conscienceless, greedy pig in the history of the US government ≠ let’s make him give all those pay-offs back to the state governments he helped rob to pay for his slutty war. The man’s a slut for war! He never met a war he wouldn’t do, if it meant money money money. What a sick pig! Could that pig be any sicker? Could that slut be any piggier?

Here’s an interesting factoid. Right after the Oscars last year, Jay Leno had best actor winner Adrian Brody on, and said, “When you won, that was the high point. Michael Moore, that was the low point.”

So last week, David Letterman had Michael Moore on to plug Farenheit 9/11. Leno clearly wanted to counter attack. So whom did he have on that night? The anti-Michael Moore, that incredibly wonderful Adrian Brody? Well, no. First of all, Adrian Brody became an instant nobody after the Oscar smoke cleared. Second of all, Adrian Brody said on the Leno show that he LIKES Michael Moore. So whom did Leno have on to counter Michael Moore?

Dennis Miller. Is that pathetic enough? Talk about a discussion never rising above the level of crap.

Dennis Miller would be the Christopher Hitchens of stand-up if he had anything but the most simplistic analysis of events. Still, he is the equal of Hitchens in the level of his discourse, and his slavish support of an administration so obviously barren of credibility that even Republicans wish someone else were running this year ≠ not because they think Bush will lose, but because they think he’s a bad leader. Who ever thought a Republican could distinguish between good and bad? Who would ever have thought that a Republican could evaluate a man in any honest way, if that man were wrapped in a flag and talking about Jesus? Who would have thought a Republican would rather see his party out of power than in power with the wrong man in charge? Who would have thought a leader of such low quality could ever get elected? Well, he didn’t.

I think Jack Ryan should challenge Bush at the convention. Republicans hated Clinton, but secretly they still envy him. They envy his Life Force. They envy his high poll numbers, higher than Reagan’s. It was clear during Clinton’s terms that what mattered to them most was the sexual nature of his bodily proximity to women. They certainly couldn’t have argued with many of his policies, since the major ones he managed to succeed in implementing were all planks of the GOP. So this year, they could run their own candidate whose presidency would be dominated by sexual issues. The media could have another president they could sexualize, whose body and appetites were all they would use to define his character. Jack Ryan could be the second black president of the United States!

For those of you who don’t know, Jack Ryan was Illinois’ Republican candidate for the senate seat vacated by a Republican whose name escapes me because he has no dick. Jack had to drop out when his divorce trial transcripts became public. They portrayed a man whose passionate obsession with an improbably-breasted refugee from a hostile alien hive mind in a quadrant of space far far away led him to take her to Paris where he tried to browbeat her into having sex with him in public. Hard to believe, but true. Allegedly. Anyway, he was running against a black man, so he was bound to lose once the focus of the campaign became purely sexual. That’s why he, as they say in Penthouse Forum, “pulled out.” But surely Jack Ryan could be more sexually powerful than John Kerry. I mean, John Kerry’s no Bob Dole, but come on. Kerry shows no appetite for life. I think he married the ketchup heiress because he prefers condiments to solid food.

Speaking of appetites, now that Clinton’s autobiography is out, Monica’s back, calling Bill a liar. Wow, there’s a news flash! I guess sales of her fashion line were flagging. Welcome back to the media slut-o-rama, Monica. Always room for one more.

That’s the Moment of Truth. Good day!