Anyone who worked in business during the ‘90s is probably over-familiar with Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a thing for a while and transformed regular workers all up and down the ladder into pioneering Paradigm Shifters.
The world of business is particularly susceptible to pop psychology fads, ideally presented at a fourth-grade level, that promise to revolutionize the work environment in ways that just happen to flow right to the bottom line. The book also happened to spawn a cottage industry of workshops, book sequels, videos and probably action figures that made the highly effective Mr Covey quite wealthy, indeed.
Covey’s 7 Habits for those who don’t have them tattooed on their inner arm, are:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Easy enough? Well, lately I’ve been noticing traces of a deviant strain that appear to have infiltrated the 21st century Republican Mind.
Mr C. W. Cooke [with an “e,” if you please] is a young British gent who has come to America to seek his fortune telling Americans how to do American better. He does this important work in the pages of National Review and via occasional guest appearances on conservative thought leadership outlets such as Fox News, The Blaze and The Washington Times.
Now, aside from the fact that Mr Cooke, at 30 years old, has been in this country for only a grand total of two years, he is an Oxonian [British for a graduate of Oxford University] who has spent considerable hours swotting away [as they say] at Modern History and Politics.
So. That makes him a very smart fellow indeed who has found his niche lecturing Americans on free speech, the Second Amendment and American Exceptionalism. Obviously, young Mr Cooke is hankering to be an exceptional American himself.
Okay. We have a story that seems to have consisted of one flawed source with no corroborating eyewitness, whose book has been recalled and will be pulped, I guess. And there must be some indignity, no doubt, in 60 Minutes now being fact-checked by WND. They point out that Dylan Davies, who went by a pseudonym “for his protection” in the piece and as a nom de plume, was mentioned as having left town in a Telegraph story a year ago. This is really rather embarrassing for them, you’d think?
Or maybe they’d simply prefer not to dwell on how they got this one wrong. I do not know that it’s true, as fired former 60 Minutes exec Mary Mapes speculates, that they did this story specifically to appeal to a right wing audience, but I agree with the lesson that this is “instructive”, in the sense that just because there are people pointing to something, doesn’t mean that something is really there. I also don’t know whether a former Fox News honcho now with CBS had much to do with green-lighting the piece, except to agree that it is fascinating how stories can seem to serve certain biases, hm?
The mea culpa here seems a bit insufficient in this case particularly, though, in that the ongoing appearance of a bigger story has been the basis for a certain senator holding up Obama administration nominees--not that the spoiling of this particular line of inquiry has any effect. But all the same—if the organization is interested in getting it right, and fails, maybe they should try caring about making it right?
(And as an aside, regarding Sen. Graham’s continued quest to appear relevant in the face of his primary challenges, would it be entirely possible for him to appear actively obstructive if not foolhardy if his stand continued to turn up nothing of note? After all, if the Administration’s position as of 9/12/12 was no different than what anyone else knew at the time, you’ve not really got evidence of a cover-up at all, so much as the Administration’s failure to be omniscient—a standard that most people would agree is mighty high to expect of mere humans. I dunno. Maybe Graham is a romantic at heart and has always been prone to the menacing of aerial turbines. But this is shall we say, a Quixotic act—not realpolitik.)
Now that Dick Cheney has a new heart, he’s ready to resume his role of international power-broker who leaps tall buildings in a single bound. As such, he’s taking his act on the road to renew old acquaintances with the global moneyed elite who might come in handy when La Lizzie starts campaigning hard in Wyoming.
It’s not easy, though, for a convicted war criminal to globe-trot. You are forgiven if you spend most of your time in America the Beautiful and that little-known factoid escaped your attention. But, actually yes, this all happened, last year.
In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
The Prince of Darkness, Dick Cheney, has been throwing shade again, and I was kind of going to go into why what he’s saying doesn’t even make sense or go into how getting bin Laden probably couldn’t even be kept a secret and any intelligence gathered would have an expiration date and he’s just jealous anyway, but look. Let’s just get this out of the way—his relevance is as a historical figure, a member of the administration that blew off the intelligence that bin Laden was poised to strike on American soil and embraced bad intelligence about WMD’s in Iraq. He is respected by connoisseurs of a very particular art in politics because of how good he used to be. But let’s look at how he plies his particular forte these days:
He lies about whether he has fished with Senator Mike Enzi, because his darling little girl and fifth deferment wants the man’s job. Did the senator think they were any kind of friends? Huh. Well. Henry Whittington was a friend of Dick Cheney’s, too.
Now, maybe the former Vice President simply forgot whether he was part of a fly-fishing tournament with Enzi, because it’s not like angling is such a great passion of his (maybe compared to shooting little birds by the barrelful it isn’t), and besides, the man can forget a thing or two, can’t he? Like how often he might have met former Senator John Edwards when he dissembled about that during the 2004 campaign. No, it’s not quite as bad as the way he had repeated lies about, say, Saddam Hussein and yellowcake uranium, or the non-existent Mohammed Atta-Iraq connection. It’s a sign, however, of how petty he’s willing to be.
To the extent he acts trifling—he is trifling. He has managed to, in his retiring years, become the EF Hutton of bullshit, and I can’t imagine why anyone listens anymore.
Well, boys and girls, it’s that time again. Treasury tells us we’re about to reach our debt limit in the Halloweenish time frame, so the House Sons of Anarchy Caucus is gearing up to prove just how masterful they are at political mind games even if they can’t get out of their own way on matters legislative.
Many of us mere mortals of the “represented” class have it on good authority that this is a dangerous game that can result in credit downgrades, Wall Street volatility and all sorts of other, more localized economic mayhem. That is why the Congressional Record reflects a long and relatively serene history of periodic debt limit rises, as the need arose.
But that was then, and . . . well, you know the rest. Things are a lot different today, now that a subset of Exceptional Americans have decided that, if government involves community organizer black people in the White House, fewer guns, more abortions and allowing every Tom, Dick and Harriet to vote, then they just don’t want none of that “gummint” stuff anymore. So they’re fixing to blow it up and the debt limit is the perfect IED.
By a 44-22 percent margin, Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling . . .
A poll like this is analagous to asking your mailman, pastor and the cafeteria lady whether you should go for chemo and/or radiation for your brain tumor. The answers that those folks give you may make you feel less alone but they won’t even come close to solving the problem.
And, BTW, what’s up with the math thing, NBC/WSJ guys? What about the missing 33%? Are they the ones who laughed in your faces, the ones who gave a NSFW response to such an idiotic question. You do realize that your results indicate nothing useful to the real people wrestling with this “problem” that should be a no-brainer?
These numbers are significant only in that they demonstrate everyday Americans’ woeful ignorance of how their a) government b) global economy and c) national budget process work. But ooh Baby! do they love giving their opinions anyway. The thing that’s most exceptional about Americans, IMO, is that they are literally fearless about appearing stupid. If they don’t understand something, they’ll never admit it—they’ll pretend they have advanced degrees in whatever it is and demonstrate their ignorance in a thoroughly American, thoroughly dramatic way.
Oh and one more thing it demonstrates . . . it shows how people like some of the ignorant miscreants currently gumming things up in the US Congress get elected.
Dana Perino is tired of pushy atheists and thinks they should leave the country if they don’t like having their lives saturated with Christianism. Because that’s what America’s all about, right? Love it or leave it, majority rules, etc, etc.
The reason Ms. Perino is troubling herself with this? a current case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in which atheist lawyer David Niose argued that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violate the Equal Rights Amendment of the state’s constitution.
I’m tired of them. I remember working at the Justice Department years ago when I first started right after 9/11 and a lawsuit like this came through, and before the day had finished, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives had both passed resolutions saying that they were for keeping ‘under God’ in the pledge.
If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.
Former Breitbart rent-boy James O’Keefe must think the word “veritas” means “punch myself in the face:”
I’m no expert at “gotcha” video production and editing, but it seems like a bad idea to lead with three-plus minutes of the target establishing utter and complete pwnage. What’s he going to do for an encore, pour kerosene on his crotch and light a match?
It looks like The Donald is being The Sued over a kind of “get-rich eventually” program that he was kindly enough calling a school. Trump is of the opinion that this suit against him is politically motivated, because…hm. He could be a somebody. He could be a contender. Instead of a bum, which is what everyone who notices that he is a bum makes of him on teh internets. But let’s hear what he has to say:
Oh. Wait. What does his spokesperson have to say?
“The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising,” Cohen said. “This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money.”
State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show. An outspoken conservative, Trump himself flirted with a presidential run last year.
“Donald Trump will not sit back and be extorted by anyone, including the attorney general,” Cohen said.
I am astonished that wealthy people in America donate to campaigns ever, or are concerned that their money bought them influence. Why do they even bother? It’s nonsense, is what it is. Clearly, extortion is that thing of when, you thought you bought protection, but oh no, You “bought” people who bring legal cases against things you might have done that were illegal like it was their job. Huh. Maybe attorney generals are not good investments if you are running a “get rich eventually” scheme.” Also not a good investment? The word “University”. Don’t bother copyrighting that one, you shan’t use it legally.
What I’m saying is, once (as in not) and future (as in not) Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is kind of a grifter. As in duh. But I bet he is still popular with the sort who likes his kind of…
Oh what the fuck—remember Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? (It was MTV Cribs for ‘80’s celebrities.) That’s all of his appeal. Otherwise seriously. Ask him about anything. Besides whether any politician is a legit citizen. And let the derp ensue. (Not that I think he won’t be faux elevated in the press again, because I do—which is why I point out his “duh”.)
One of last week’s lighter political moments was the RNC tantrum over the runaway liberal bias of the lamestream media’s plan to immortalize Hillary Clinton [as only a TV bio-pic can] who might, or might not run for president someday.
Now, this is pretty funny stuff on a number of levels. For example, it is my contention that IF Hill decides to run, Republicans have a whale of a lot more to worry about than a three-year-old cable film tipping the scales.
And, despite the fact that FOX was in the running for production, excitable Republicans were just sure that the film would be a love-letter to Hillary. But, as those of us who remember the real-time rise of the Clintons know, there’s a lot more dirt in their past, than fluffy white clouds, for a dramatist to work with. Just ask Kenneth Starr, Monica Lewinski, Newt Gingrich . . .
And, while you’re at it, ask Newt how well that impeachment thingy went for the GOP. Remember? Newt expected the Republicans’ “divine intervention” in the Clinton presidency to guarantee a pick up of at least 30 seats, in the House, during the 1998 mid-term elections. In actual fact, a fairly disgusted America rewarded Republicans with a net loss of 5 seats instead.
And, then, of course there is the modern Republican candidates’ propensity for on-air political hara kiri, in which the clean-cut, All-American posed in front of an American flag opens his/her mouth and magically transforms into a far-right wacko-bird . . . to use a Republican-coined term.
So. It is what it is and we’re all pretty used to it by now BUT—a new idea was born in the minds of wily Republican strategists for a new way to self-immolate: the Limbaugh-moderated primary debate. Delighting conservatives and Democrats in a rare bipartisan moment.
Well, it’s official, the Republican National committee is carrying out its threatened punishment of CNN and NBC over the networks’ plans to air a movie on imaginary 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. After getting wind of the film project, the RNC’s Prince Rebus sent protest letters to the heads of both networks, followed up by a protracted media-blitz pout.
Here’s a taste of the letters:
[A]s American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.
And the “unkindest cut of all”:
If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14[, 2013], I will seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.
WASHINGTON DC—July 30, 2013— With millions of consumers making the move to glass houses, stone concessions—kiosks that dispense hefty rocks suitable for hurling through plate glass—were thought to be part of a dying industry, a relic like typewriter ribbon production plants and “Wite-Out” factories. But a new piece by WashingtonPost.com “On Faith” columnist Sally Quinn has unexpectedly breathed life into a waning economic sector.
In a column entitled “Blaming Huma Abedin,” Quinn outlines her objections to Anthony Wiener’s wife’s decision to stand by the pixyish peen-pix purveyor rather than doing something more dignified, such as finding a rich, married managing editor to hump and then parlaying that opportunity into a lofty nepotism perch from which to lord it over the Beltway social scene for the next 50 years.
“I’m telling you, this industry was on its last legs, what with the loss of privacy thanks to the Internet and people’s growing sense that they could attract an incoming barrage if they let stones fly at a neighbor’s glass house in a particularly hypocritical manner,” said Bash Brickbat, proprietor of Ye Olde Stone Shoppe, a colorfully painted pushcart on K Street.
“I mean, everyone is a little hypocritical, but come on. Sally’s column landed like a meteor in the side of the Hoover Dam, just sending hypocrisy gushing through the wall and flooding the valley,” Brickbat continued. “This is emboldening a whole new bunch of eye-mote removers with beams of their own. It’s like that time Bill Kristol accused someone of being wrong about Iraq.”
When read the following excerpt from Quinn’s column, several throwing-stone industry analysts responded with incredulity and terminated a reporter’s call, concluding that they were victims of a prank:
I have nothing against Abedin. I like her: She is a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman. I ache for her need to come to the rescue of this man who has betrayed her so often and will likely do it again. I ache for all women who find themselves in this position. And yet, there she stood in front of the cameras, this modern American career woman, by her man, saying she had forgiven him, loved him and believed in him. Just what exactly does she believe in? The only thing she can believe in for sure is that he will continue his infidelity.
Though her friends say she is strong and resolute and defiant, sadly she makes all women look like weak and helpless victims. She was not standing there in a position of strength. It was such a setback for women everywhere.
Other analysts urged caution at the prospect of a tossing-stone industry resurgence sparked by Quinn’s column:
“Look, the Washington Post shunted Quinn off to their online edition years ago because she’s such an embarrassment,” said one analyst, under the condition of anonymity. “You can think Wiener’s an eFlasher who would make a terrible mayor, and you can believe Abedin’s an idiot for putting up with his bullshit.
You can even imagine that Abedin’s choice somehow reflects badly on every other woman on the planet, though to make that leap, it helps if you’re psychotic. But you don’t publicly tut-tut ‘infidelity,’ not if you’re Sally Fucking Quinn.”
It took a little over 24 hours for Jennifer Rubin to catch her breath, after the conservo-gastic news broke that the Cheney Dynasty lives and plans to run for public office. It was then, that a reborn Rubin tapped out her homage: Liz Cheney How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways to grace the pages of The Washington Post.
And what a load of fluffy crap it is. Rubin settled on the lazy journalist’s friend, the listicle-format, to sketch in her Top Ten Reasons that Liz Cheney is a great Senate candidate—and it’s pretty obvious that she ran out of steam (and nice things to say about Cheney) somewhere around Item #4. If these are her top ten, we really don’t want to see the rest of the list.
Also, I should note that Rubin knows she’s somewhat out on a limb with this particular viewpoint, here’s how she opens her article list:
The clubby Senate and many in the press already are snickering at Liz Cheney’s run for the Senate.
But, of course, Rubin sometimes likes to be all maverick-y, despite her past slavish devotion to Willard Romney, the Wonder Bread of the GOP.
This is a clip from an interview with Juror B37 from the Zimmerman trial who was given a pretty soft interview by Anderson Cooper. She has a book deal lined up to discuss a variety of things, like, I guess, how she made up her mind before the trial, and how she thinks that peaceful demonstrations that actually got a trial to come about were “riots”, how this trial was certainly not about race (Heavens!)and a whole lot of other odd foolishness compelling details.
In America, one can sometimes be assured of getting a jury of one’s peers.
I think it’s interesting that she referred to the defendant in the trial as “George” throughout the interview and that she wholly believed the testimony of a man who did not testify. I will look forward to seeing her story on the remainders table at the 99Cent Store.