Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A MeanMesa Fiction - "The Candidate"

The Story's "Quick Intro"

MeanMesa isn't the only one sitting in a state of horror while watching the now famous, relentless, endless, Republican "debates" on the old tele.  Public opinion for the GOPCon party brand has not yet mortally "crashed and burned," but only because viewers are too shocked to answer the phone calls from the pollsters.

So, what could be more fun than a little "comic relief?"  Let's tell the tale of the latest GOPCon candidate on the morning he discovers that he's lurched forward in GOPCon Primary Voter Appeal to "first place!"

Well, perhaps we have all wondered just what it would feel like to suddenly be thrust to the number one position.  What could possibly ruin the wonderful day when the entire GOP field became a "cherry on your tree?"

Let's spend a few minutes with "the candidate" on the morning that the great news rolls into the executive office of his campaign.  It wouldn't bother MeanMesa in the least to just go ahead and attach a name to "the candidate," but if that were done, it would permanently date the whole story because they change so often.

The Candidate

Saturated with an over spent luxury only possible with a giant Citizens United PAC money war che$t, the full executive staff of the campaign was milling around excitedly, waiting for the candidate to arrive from his pent house suite on the floor below.

Finally, the bedraggled Republican tottered into the room, immediately receiving a cup of morning coffee from his overly beautiful administrative assistant, Ms. FullBlossum-Eagerly.  Her ever so slightly post teen age face was sparkling and excited as she breathlessly informed him that the campaign's manager was waiting for him in the candidate's palatial office -- waiting for him with some great news!

As predicted, the campaign manager stood as the candidate entered his executive office.  The candidate absent mindedly punched the red button at his expansive desk, activating the anti-bugging electronics and shutting off the automatic recorder his largest campaign contributor had insisted on wiring into the place.

He settled in the $5,000 chair behind his desk and took the first sip of his morning coffee.

"Okay, Smithers, what's come up now?"  the candidate asked with the woeful expectation of being confronted with the latest political crisis.

"Good news, sir.  In fact, spectacular news!  The latest polls of Republican Primary Voters are in, and, and, we're on top!  We moved up 6% points over night, and now we're 3% ahead of the old front runner!"  Smithers exploded gleefully.

"Oh NO!  We're at the head of the pack??!!" (image source)
His face suddenly stone grey, the candidate thumbed his intercom switch to Ms. FullBlossum-Eagerly's desk in the office outside.  "Put in an emergency call to my therapist, Dr. Calmer."

Slowly returning to consciousness, the candidate mechanically turned to face Smither's.  "Christ almighty!!  How could you let this happen, Smithers?  Has Rove or someone put out a hit on me?"

"How could you let this happen??!!" (image source)
Coursing through the candidate's mind were images of all the other Republican candidates who had, at some unfortunate point in their campaigns, arrived at precisely the same horrible place.  He was a man squarely facing the deathly prospect of being the next victim of the meat grinder.

The candidate knew all too well the only outcome possible for a "front runner" when the wheel chair riding serial killer tea baggers got their first, unapproving glimpse of his new status.

"Smithers, you know we decided that we wouldn't take this chance until we were inches away from winning the primary!  Now, here I am, pitched out like raw pastrami in the waiting line to the candidate cemetery!"  yelled the candidate, now sobbing.

"Some of these people were my friends, Goddammit.  Now look at them!  Hell!  Now look at me?  How long do you think we're going to last once those impossible conservative purity tests start rolling in?"  the candidate murmered in a disconsolate mumble.  He placed his head in his hands as his thoughts became even darker.

The candidate's special, secret, safe place.(image source)
"They're going to eat me alive.  Josef Goebbels couldn't get through something like this.  Smithers, they cheered when they brought up the executions!  They cheered when they decided that the sick 30 year old guy had to die because he didn't have health insurance!"  the candidate lamented.

"Dammit!  I've done a lot of savage, brutal stuff during my political career.  I always thought that it would be enough to satisfy them, enough to keep me safely under the horizon long enough to maybe win the primary.  But no!  They want blood -- pure neo-con blood -- and they won't settle for anything less!"  the candidate continued.  Smithers was beginning to look worried.

The candidate stood, staring pensively across his office.  

"Maybe if I were to just flip-flop on a few issues that meant nothing to our contributors, the polls would break back, returning us to second or third place.  We could creep back up from there just in time for the first few state primaries." he mused.

"I'm afraid it's too late for that.  Once news like this hits the airwaves, it spreads like wildfire.  And, once they've heard your name, the tea bags will be happy and relieved for a few minutes, then they'll start in on you.  You know how this works."  Smithers offered.

"They won't remember anything about you or the campaign once they hear that their cousin or some right wing bartender doesn't like you.  They won't know why, but once the killer instinct is aroused, they won't quit until the next front runner falls into the trap."  the aide turned to the door of the office because of the growing noise outside in the staff room.

"What's going on out there?  What's all that noise?"  the candidate asked in  a blank sort of dejected monotone.

"That's the media.  By this time the entire place is packed with paparazzi.  FOX News might have been there first, but by now every network has shown up with a camera.  We won't be able to get out of here without facing them and their questions."  Smithers grumbled, looking worried.  He noticed that the candidate had become totally fixated, his empty eyes staring at the 13th floor window behind his desk.

"Why doesn't the staff shut them up?  Why hasn't security thrown them all out of here?"  the candidate asked desperately.

"The staff is gone.  They all had jobs lined up in case this happened.  The only two members of the campaign still left are me and Ms. FullBlossum-Eagerly.  She's only here because she was too stupid to run for it.  Plus, she was probably emailing the last of my resumes when the reporters broke through."  Smithers answered.

"I wouldn't worry about her, though.  She's a knock out, and she'll find a home somewhere in no time now that she's got experience." the aide added nonchalantly.

A new thought was clearly moving into the candidate's mind.  His constant stare at the picture window was beginning to be quite unsettling to his campaign manager.

"It was Gingrich.  They resurrected that old corpse from his sepulchre after they got so freaked out by Romney.  He set this up -- it's just like him!  The old bird fired up the dirty tricks squad, and they did this to me!  God, how did I miss it?  I should have seen it coming."  the candidate muttered, his eyes bulging as if they were on fire -- the only remaining sign of life on his now morbidly sallow face.

The Gingrich grave had been opened -- again.
Smithers was almost amused that his old boss had taken so long to see through the scheme.  In fact, he was smiling broadly as he opened the door to the outer office.

"The candidate will see you all now."  he announced matter-of-factly to the mayhem awaiting access to the latest front runner.  Stepping aside quickly, he could see the candidate struggling to lift his executive office chair high enough to break out the window.

Deep behind those bloodshot eyes, a final thought coursed through the candidate's last moments.  "Maybe I should have called my wife."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keeping Your "Occupy-Self" Safe

Responsibility and Apologies

The videos have hit the net in a delightfully viral frenzy.  Millions of Americans have watched in horror as the UC Davis "police" sprayed sitting Occupy protesters with pepper spray.  Millions of Americans have watched the ever so sincere Chancellor of UC Davis (Where did this woman come from, anyway?) "apologize" for the "incident."

Happily, as can also be seen on another viral internet video, the Occupy and students gave UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi a profoundly moving "silent treatment" as she walked to her car.

Well, Chancellor Katehi, "responsibility" means "responsibility."

Let's see how this works, ChancellorYou were the one who signed all the checks to buy those police of yours their fancy "soldier" outfits, including the super-gigantic spray cans of "crowd control chemicals" they used on your fellow citizens.  You are also the one who clearly happily sat by while your police department saturated themselves with toxic FOX drivel as the gradually transformed into anti-democracy thugs who thought such actions were "just fine."

You were the one who these "little soldiers" of yours thought would roll over in their defense when they sent along the criminally falsified report that they "were surrounded."  Hmmm.  How did your little soldiers ever get an idea like that?

In fact, Chancellor, it's really a "bad turn of luck" that you decided to go "thug" the same week that the Seattle police thugs pepper sprayed and roughed up a pregnant Occupy protester, causing her to miscarry her baby.

The gosh darned "little people" in the United States have a really unfair, bad habit of consolidating stories like these all into one big stinky thing.

Which it is.

The MeanMesa Solution

Of course, all this complaining could not merit its own MeanMesa posting absent some plan to mitigate future, similar outrages for our visitors.

So, if you, valued visitor, have plans to do a little Occupy protesting, MeanMesa would like to invite you to join our national staff!  You job duties will require basically nothing -- the bar is, obviously, quite low here at MeanMesa.  And, of course, your pay checks will be just as gaseously immaterial as your work requirements.

However, you will get your very own MeanMesa PRESS PASS!  You can flash this baby at just the right moment and -- maybe -- avoid one of those now famous, anti-democracy beatings.

Just open up the jpeg below, insert a nice photo of yourself, fill in your name and print it up on a bit of card stock.  Scrawl your signature in the "issued to:" line and laminate it with tear gas proof plastic.  The preprinted form of this beauty is already signed by the NM Director of News Management, Ms. Pepper Spray.

Downloadable MeanMesa Press Pass

Of course it's a bold faced forgery of a document which doesn't actually exist, but it might give you that all important "moment of hesitation" in the mind of the guy who is getting ready to beat your brains out for America.  Feel free to offer copies to your Occupy friends so that they can individualize their own PRESS PASS with their own photos and name!

Have fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Cold Look at Perhaps the Media's Last November

Why Keep Commenting of the US Media Sell Out?

Long before this post had reached even its "zygote" stage, literally volumes had been written about the disastrous state of the US "Fourth Estate."  The media wide collection of irrelevant gobbledy-gook vomiting out of the last, stinky remnants of the commercial media cadaver during this month may be a salient, morbid reminder of precisely what happens when your news corporation -- probably along with the lost souls who used to be the editors -- is finally bought out entirely by the oligarch class.

"I said clean that mess out of the studio.  The next network news editor is here, and we have just received today's facts.  By the way, where's my peacock?""   (image source)
Clare Higgins in Clive Barker's HellRaiser

Of course, all this "victimhood-style" complaining is nothing new -- or rare.  Americans have already moved quite a way beyond the cheaply disguised "objective credibility" sham of the domestic networks.  However, once again -- darkly -- MeanMesa will climb back on the broken down horse for one more visit to the discouraging subject. 

"News Bending" By An Obedient Media

Rather than simply ranting and raving with arms full of more gaseous generalities, maybe it would be fun and educational to consider some specifics.  Although a complete list of such examples would easily exceed the band width limits of a little blogspot like this one, here are a few of the most recent cases.

1.  Taking the Republican "debates" and the Republican "candidates" seriously.

Naturally, such a news extravaganza could not be ignored completely, but hour after hour of self-immolation and embarrassment?    The Republican strategists are jumping out the windows while the 2012 Republican hopefuls just keep staggering forward through the land fill they've already created for themselves, feet in mouth.  Not even the usually effective chit chat about the liberal media is working.

2.  Pretending that a majority of American voters are actually "moving to the right." 

How many times have we heard this bit of nonsense being injected into pundit analysis on a different topic?  The majority of Americans are wounded.  Not only this, that majority knows what happened, who did it to them and why no one reasonable can fix it.

3.  Constantly promoting the idea that domestic austerity has anything to do with anything.

The official GOPCon line is that the 99% must volunteer for even more suffering.  They know that they can't govern and can't make good on their promise to create jobs or help the economy.  They know that their record is the ultimate, toxic candidate killer from hell in a general election.  MeanMesa estimates that the recent PR "spending cuts" gizmo has persuaded 5% of the voters who didn't need persuading anyway.

4.  Down playing everything which could possibly lend credence to the Occupy movement.

For example, even the usual "marble in a mayonnaise jar" BBC treatment of American news included an interview on November 18 with some plucky Brit "expert" who categorically announced that the Occupy was already dissolving and that it would amount to nothing by spring.  MeanMesa, always anxious to help out the BBC, suggests that this interview be saved on a hard drive for future reference.

5.  Pretending that the "super committee" on debt reduction was ever expected to actually reduce debt, much less help the economy.

Wringing their hands like the parents of a fourteen year old girl out on her first date, the media has spent hours with the "Oh dear, will they, or, won't they?" question, trying to instill even a tiny bit of relevancy -- or interest -- in the issue in the minds of jobless Americans who are losing their houses this week.  Worse, any time the public response to this effort becomes too discouraging for them, the story immediately descends to the Greek and Italian debt crisis.  Yawn.  The "super committee" was never intended to do anything.  It will probably succeed with accomplishing that "low bar."

6.  Medicare and Medicaid are routinely imaged as irresolvable conflicts for the budget which must now be sacrificed.

Both programs were initially funded just fine.  Since then, Republicans have "followed orders" from the bosses who have always thought that Medicare and Medicaid money belonged to them.  When the autocrat loaded Medicare's heavily sabotaged Part D Pharmaceutical borrowing -- plus interest -- to the mix, both were destined to bankrupt themselves while his friends were salivating over privatizing the $2 Tn trust fund.  There is nothing wrong with either program which cannot be fixed.  Social Security contributes absolutely nothing to the national debt.  It is totally funded for years.

7.  There are always "two sides" to everything, and the paralyzing Republican obstructionism is only criticized for political reasons.
This line probably worked for a while.  At the time of this posting, polls show 76% of voters no longer buy it.  Even a majority of Republicans answered "yes" to the poll question:  "Are the Republicans purposefully sabotaging the economy to win the 2012 election."

8.  There is absolutely no mention of the amount the Republican "spending cuts" have reduced the national debt or the number of jobs the Republican "jobs plan" have helped create.

The answer to both questions is not surprising.  Republican "spending cuts" have been primarily "drive by attacks" on ideological targets. The amount of real debt reduction amounts to peanuts.

As for jobs, the number of jobs is zero.  The Republican "jobs plan" has not created a single job.  In fact, no one who pays attention to anything beyond FOX News can even tell you what the Republican "jobs plan" actually is.

Opinion polling suggests that voters are slowly realizing both facts.  The media has meticulously worked to counter this growing realization, either articfially contradicting them or simply avoiding any mention of them.

9.  Reporting about the Occupy Wall Street Movement always contains right wing talking points, over reporting of usually "perpetrator incited" incidents and conclusions that Occupy is basically without merit and meaningless.

These are some of the most expensively repeated and cheaply uniform talking points in any campaign conducted recently, both signs that the "people" who can place specific "words" into otherwise banal news stories are quite concerned.  The BBC "reporting" on Friday, November 18, is a good example.

The BBC "expert" brazenly reported that "very few" protesters remained active in the movement, that it was quickly dying off and that it never meant anything in the first place.  On November 17, there were more than 12,000 protesters in New York.  That figure is from police estimates, but neither Reuters, CNN/US, The Examiner nor The Washington Post included that number in their reporting.

Instead, all these "news" services noted that 300 protesters had been arrested.  MSNBC used the word "thousands" in its description of the Day of Action.

10.  The "uprisings" in Wisconsin and Ohio are routinely characterized as ineffective "labor movements."

Of course, labor unions are involved in the protests in both places, however during the show down in Madison, well over 100,000 Wisconsites appeared at the Capitol in Madison.  Equal coverage was given to 300 tea bags who were bussed in by the Koch Brothers' American for Prosperity money funnelled through Dick Armey's California Law Firm, Freedom Works.

It will be interesting to see the orders for media treatment of the successful recall of the Koch Brothers' Wisconsin Governor, now officially under way.  The recall petitions took in 60,000 signatures during the first 48 hours.

The election in Ohio merited the chortled smile of PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff.  She was "shocked, I tell you, shocked!" It was, no doubt, discouraging to Judy to see all of her efforts at such a careful bias falling to ashes before her face.  The actual facts of the story rose up in highly visible contradiction to an election which had been continuously presented as a "non starter."

11. Media reporting constantly downgrades the scope of carefully engineered voter suppression and preparations for election fraud in states with Republican governments.

The anti-democracy tea bag "backlash" is easily visible in the draconian addition of registration and identification obstacles put in place in nine states so far.  Although there is no evidence of wide spread voter fraud, hundreds of thousands of legal voters are being disenfranchised with the new requirements.  The media dutifully repeats the lie that voter fraud is a gigantic problem.

In Texas and a few other states, Republican redistricting plans which would eliminate voting blocks of minority Hispanics and blacks are all headed directly for court action established under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  Oooops.

12.   Language:  Pay attention to how often the word "trying" is attached to reports of President Obama's efforts to do anything.

We had to have at least one example of the contextural bias which is being so artfully inserted in "news" stories.  The one selected here is the word "trying."  When the President undertakes any effort whatsoever, his actions are described by adding the word "trying" to the reporting.

The President is trying to move his jobs bill through the Congress.  The President is trying to convince European leaders to establish a bail out fund.  The President is trying to restore the economy.  After listening to literally hours of "trying," the FOX talking point that the President is ineffective is tediously reinforced, creating a stronger and stronger, shadowy foot hold in the subconscious minds -- even the minds of those viewing the commercial media.

Of course, cheap tricks such as the "trying" gimmick are never challenged by sources more concerned with their image than MeanMesa is.  Should a reasonably adept reporter take note of such a sinister, cheezy subtlety, he would worry that either no one would understand his point or that a hired chorus of FOX monkeys would manage to embarrass him.

MeanMesa suspects that the relentless over use of this word probably won't end until November of 2012.  The language based propaganda examples are legion.  The commercial air waves, now with FCC licenses unfettered by the annoying old "public good" clause or any detectable interest in honest reporting, manufacture these little things in hordes -- like fleas in a puppy mill.

(A MeanMesa note:  the yellow background was selected for these examples in keeping with a design format for "yellow press.")

The Conclusion:  A One Liner

The Democrats can lose the 2012 election to the media.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MeanMesa's Occupy Sign

Responding To the Police Attacks

Of course we have all heard the careful admonition from the General Assemblies concerning non-violence.  Unhappily, the local police are too busy dressing up like soldiers to attend.

So, MeanMesa has designed a simple little sign which can be revealed after the local police act badly. 

Further, the same idea can be incorporated into cards which are small enough to hand to individual policemen "after the aftermath" of one of the attacks.

Take care of yourselves.  Don't get hurt fighting for the wrong hill.

Here's the link to the company advertising the key:

Friday, November 18, 2011

How 99%'ers Can Add "Faces" to the "Story" of the 1%

Are Oligarchs an "Urban Legend?"

Are they like the cinematic vampires and demons or do they represent actual people walking among us?  Of course, they are not "walking among us."  They are nibbling arugula and baby spinach sandwiches locked behind the gates of all sorts of cozy, private places.

Let's just assume that "walking among us" means that they are on this planet somewhere.  To them, "among us" only means close enough to continue to extract what's left of our wealth and deposit it in their tax protected cash bunkers in the Bahamas.

Why the Sacred "Mystery of Wealth Inequality"
Is Not An Urban Legend

From MeanMesaAn American Oligarch Watches the Arab Spring

All this, including an admittedly cheap plug for a previous MeanMesa post, is "yesterday's news" thanks, largely, to the work of the Occupy.  However, the ghostly corporate and oligarchic villains in the tale remain faceless.  We may talk about "them," but we know only a few of the names which go with those faces.

How could  the rest of this crowd of economic sociopaths be illuminated?

MeanMesa has a suggestion.  It is fast, simple and essentially fool proof.

Two easy steps:

1.  Let the Dow Jones careen back to 6,000.
2.  Don't bail them out.

The "walking wounded" of the wealthy will show up at our front door in no time, hats in hand, deposit slips for banking our tax money at the ready.  Remember, no matter how tragically plaintive these cries of "wealth trauma" may seem as we listen to this inevitable chorus of impending doom and well practised, desperate, ideological hysteria, this bunch of the rich are not that way as a result of capitalism.

It is also no feature of capitalism about which they will be complaining.  Instead, the theme of all this crying will have everything to do with injuries to their imagined entitlements, the gaseous myth that they deserve all this money by the modern version of the old "divine right."  

Whether blessed by Great Nature with the good fortune of emerging from a $12 digit uterus or simply enjoying the immense, grotesque pay back from all the hard work they've done purchasing the Congress, there remains not a whisper of free market legitimacy in those bulging bank books.

The oligarchs will take care of Step 1.  A Democratic Congress could be persuaded to take care of Step 2.