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November 24, 2009

War Libs

I believe the federal government could achieve significant cost savings by getting rid of presidential speechwriters and replacing them with a Mad Libs-like form.


Barack Obama today:

"I will be making an announcement to the American people about how we intend to move forward [in Afghanistan] is my intention to finish the job."

George W. Bush on June 18, 2005:

"We're moving forward [in Iraq]...When America says we'll do something, we are going to do it and finish the job."

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 24, 2009 04:19 PM

But the Obomb has such a deep, smooth,(contrived) voice. Thus, he is the Lesser Evil. Just wait until his second term, dude. Take one for the team! He's faking right to go left. Or, if he goes right long enough, he'll get to left. Something.

And don't forget, this is the Good War. Those are freedom-loving obombs that Blackwater, I mean XE (there's some Change for you, you cynical bastards!) is dropping on Afpak. It's pragmatic, duh!

Gooooo Donkeys!!!

Posted by: Marcus at November 24, 2009 04:46 PM

Excuse me, but, er, wouldn't bringing all our troops home be the actual move forward that finishes the job?

Am I missing something?

Posted by: 99 at November 24, 2009 05:25 PM

I've been saying Obama is Bush's second term, but thanks to the Kool-Aid Kid's Blog spot [See OL]I just realized I've got it all backwards...

Bush is Obama's first & second term...

Posted by: S Brennan at November 24, 2009 05:51 PM

It is a government of the people by the people for the people no longer; it is a government of corporations by corporations for corporations.
~ Rutherford B. Hayes

(Hi Neuf, love your blog)

Posted by: Oarwell at November 24, 2009 05:54 PM

Obama is worse than "the Chimp", part 3.

He's Raygun's Third term.

Worst part: He TOLD y'all.

Posted by: woody at November 24, 2009 06:03 PM

Where are you, NE, it's been over an hour since I fired a shot across the bow of Lesserevilism and you haven't issued a dissertation yet.

Posted by: Marcus at November 24, 2009 07:11 PM

For those that haven't yet read Paul Street's latest znet article...terrific as always.-Tony

"Obama, As Predicted."

Posted by: tony at November 24, 2009 07:39 PM

For maximum effect, shouldn't there be a third photo - Alfred E Newman? Why stop at 2 look-alikes when you could have 3? A triumvirate of assholes, though one would have integrity.

Posted by: Harpfool at November 24, 2009 07:42 PM

Obama clearly has better posture. I'm glad Americans elected a president willing to lead by example in the war against kyphosis.

Posted by: weaver at November 24, 2009 07:49 PM

Mr Schwarz, I'm disappointed that you didn't actually create a Mad-magazine style "War Lib" as the post title had me expecting. I demand more comedic content at no cost to me and no pay for you!

Posted by: Cloud at November 24, 2009 07:53 PM

99, while you are on the right track, I suspect 'finishing the job' means ruining the country.

Posted by: grimmy at November 24, 2009 08:14 PM

Obama sucks!

(I hope that makes you feel better Marcus.)


That's a great quote by Rutherford B. Hayes, and damn, I realize that I don't know diddly about him. (I'm appalled with myself!) I bet Hayes was talking about some court holding that the 14th amendment applied to corporations.


That would be finishing HIS job.


Quite funny even though one of my sons has kyphosis (among other things). Not just anybody can make a kyphosis joke. That takes a special gift.

Posted by: N E at November 24, 2009 08:59 PM

Sorry to hear that.

Posted by: weaver at November 24, 2009 09:07 PM


thanks. you'd like him. he's funny too.

Posted by: N E at November 24, 2009 09:34 PM

Glad to see so many coming to their senses about the worst Democratic President in a long, long time but...

...what'a yah all intend to DO about it, eh Podjo?

Posted by: A.Citizen at November 24, 2009 09:48 PM

Glad to see so many coming to their senses about the worst Democratic President in a long, long time but...

...what'a yah all intend to DO about it, eh Podjo?

Posted by: A.Citizen at November 24, 2009 09:49 PM

“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

~ George Orwell

Posted by: Oarwell at November 24, 2009 09:58 PM


That's another good quote, and generally right, but the bankers were very distressed about WWI breaking out, and no one had really expected it because it was widely assumed that it would lead to financial ruin for everyone involved. (Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed)

I mention that just to show off and take up more space.

Posted by: N E at November 24, 2009 10:44 PM

. . . Wait, i knew there was another reason. We're headed toward a similar situation where it will soon again look like a great power war, such as with China or Russia, would be financially ruinous and so economically insane and so won't happy.

Don't count on militarists to think that way.

Posted by: N E at November 24, 2009 10:48 PM
Obama sucks!

Good N E good! Baby steps, man. Baby steps.

Posted by: empty at November 24, 2009 11:29 PM

Thanks, Oarwell. Your screen name makes me laugh.

And, yes, grimmy and N E, I know, I know, but I can never quite get over that old Hollywood movie idea about greatness... about doing the right thing... and, even though I did not think I was going to be very happy with Obama, it just blows my mind how rosily optimistic my supposedly-cynically low expectations have already turned out to be. It sets me on stun sometimes and those old movies creep in to try to pull me back together. I wish I'd listened to Rutherford B. Hayes.

Posted by: 99 at November 25, 2009 03:51 AM

What do you guys think about the Obama/Palin/Britney sex tape and how it affects 2012?

Posted by: Marcus at November 25, 2009 05:34 AM

What do you guys think about the Obama/Palin/Britney sex tape and how it affects 2012?

I don't know that I even care about 2012 anymore, but I do think I would pay money for that tape.

Posted by: NomadUK at November 25, 2009 07:22 AM

Welcome to the Palindrome.

Posted by: Oarwell at November 25, 2009 08:57 AM

Palindrome: An endless recursive loop of endless loop recursions.

A recursive definition of a function defines values of the functions for some inputs in terms of the values of the same function for other inputs.

As Denis Johnson notes in his wonderful novel 'Tree of Smoke,' "Consider the possibility that a coterie or insulated group might elect to create fictions independent of the leadership's intuition of its own needs." He notes the possibility (!) that "career-minded power-mad cynical jaded bureaucrats (might) use intelligence to influence policy."

So if output function is "kill," and input function is "they did it," even if "they" is false, output function remains constant.

A Valkyrie of the tundra, an endless recursive loop of death and profit.

Succubi draw energy from men to sustain themselves, often until the victim becomes exhausted or dies.

Posted by: Oarwell at November 25, 2009 09:18 AM

Oarwell, thank you for mentioning that Denis Johnson novel, which sounds remarkable as described in the Jim Lewis NYTimes review I just read (sept 2 2007).

Posted by: N E at November 25, 2009 09:49 AM

There were two copies of "Tree of Smoke" on the shelf at my local library five minutes ago. Now there is only one. So far I've read the front inner flap, which states:

THIS IS THE STORY of William "Skip" Sands, CIA --- engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong --- and the disasters that befall him. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war where the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, this is a story like nothing in our literature.

The names "Bill and James" make me think of the psychologist William James, whose brother was the novelist Henry James.

Opening the book at random, we find, on page 250,

Orwell - 'Politics and the English Language'

As far as intro -

OK, I'm sold. Coincidentally, I just downloaded that essay by Orwell today (again - as I found when I went to save it). I'll check the book out and keep it on the library books shelf at home for a while.

I just want to add that the "two functions" comment leaves out the third function of the clandestine services, that is to say praxis - funding magazines, killing politicians, blowing up buildings, etc.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at November 25, 2009 03:44 PM

Yo Mistah C:

You opened it very close to my pull quotes: part of an essay by a character called Colonel Sands. I can't help but thinking (story on its own, probably) that Johnson had the Vulcans in mind: Feith, Libby, etc. The guys who are described in Ron Suskind's 2004 article that we all know by heart: "The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' " The aide told Mr. Suskind, "That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Anyway, the book has some awful imagery, but wars tend to do that, hmm? I was just reflecting on how the home audience is never allowed to see the real images of war's violence, what mortars and HE and WP does to human flesh, and how the home audience remains fascinated by the vicarious substiute: Saw and Hostel and Freddy Krueger, etc. Of course, in the permissible alternate reality in which the home audience bathes its consciousness, the heros always walk away intact and happy, babe on arm. If the home audience saw even 10 photos of what war really does wars would end, very very quickly. Home audience is given quick glimpses of freakish violence, like Oprah's chimp woman, but never is their eye allowed to linger on war's reality.

We live in a fantasy world, Neo. Wait, different alternate reality, sorry, although the truth almost surfaced long enough to catch its breath in that one.

Posted by: Oarwell at November 25, 2009 05:56 PM