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Cliff's Corner - The One Year Anniversary Edition

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NOTE FROM CLIFF: So yes Cliff's Corner celebrates its first birthday today. No candles, no party hats, no big cakes with a hooker jumping out - I mean this isn't a Randy "Duke" Cunningham poker game at the Watergate! I thought I'd celebrate in a little more low key manner, by posting the first Cliff's Corner in original form, so we can see how much has changed this past year (you may find yourself frightened by how this reads as if I wrote it today)...Hopefully I have brought a bit of laughter and passion to some of you, while to others, I'm sure this column elicits a similar bodily reaction to that of un-referigerated Taco Bell meat.

Regardless, I wouldn't change a thing. Now on Blitzer, on Prancer, on Foley on Haggard...

The Week That Was 12/23/05

NOTE FROM JOHN: Today we begin a segment called "Cliff's Corner." Every Friday, or so, my friend Cliff Schecter will be writing a post containing his unique take on what's transpired over the past week. Cliff can be quite a pistol, and downright in your face (if any of you remember his appearances on DemsTV). So I think it promises to be amusing, or embarrassing, but unlike conservative Christians I won't deny Cliff, though I may distance myself. Enjoy.

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

This week has been all spying all the time. We found out that President Bush thinks our lives should be an open book (yet, preferably an abbreviated one containing only monosyllabic grunts), so that he and that walking triple bypass of, for and by Halliburton, can snoop into and presumably expose any element of our lives like it's a hooker on a balcony with Dick Morris. (They wouldn't do that, of course, just ask Ms. Plame.)

President Bush, it seems, has been a bad boy, using the National Security Agency in a manner that does not comport with, say, our Constitution, to spy on Americans having phone conversations with suspects abroad. That's the last time I call Roman Polanski.

From where did the President believe he derived such power? From this language: "[Congress grants] all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons [the president] determines planned, authorized, committed or aided" the attacks of Sept. 11, according to Tom Daschle and, well, the actual legislation. So you can see the authorization plain as day in that language... if you are an exceedingly corpulent right-wing talk radio host staring at a pile of crushed hillbilly heroin so high you make Tony Montana jealous.

Our Emperor has been attacked by many prominent conservatives for reading the Divine Right of Kings into our Constitution, with Republicans on the Hill even calling for hearings! They usually don't even think of doing that to one of their own, unless he/she has performed a late-term abortion, while living in San Francisco, while in an interracial relationship with a transvestite who burns the American flag just to light their Cuban cigars. There is even talk of impeachment. But old Charlie Krauthammer won't hear of it, or at least he can't, as he is currently immersed in the pile of rose pedals thrown our way by Iraqis once we liberated them. Better than sex for Charlie.

Speaking of spying -- now make sure to sit down because this is going to be a shock -- The FBI has been secretly looking into those dangers that most imperil us. No, not Ashlee Simpson's singing voice, or Richter-scale-worthy tectonic plate shifts by caused by any movement in Ann Coulter's Adam's apple, but real threats like the Quakers and PETA. Now I know it is annoying to have blood splattered on that new ground-up-rhesus-monkey coat keeping you warm, but getting blown up probably qualifies as a shittier day. So to keep us safe from that danger, we have the Department of Defense spying on law schools that are "objectively" (old Commie term, ask Irving Kristol) pro-gay. Meaning that these universities don't think homosexuals are due a waterboarding any time soon.

So this is what the War on Terror has come to. In Bush's Disneyworld you can, without a warrant, be spied on, plucked off the street, declared an enemy combatant and sent to sunny Syria to meet the locals for a few weeks while shackled to a wall with pins in your finger nails and covered in your own urine. I know, the latter two were Ted Nugent's routine in the 70s, but we don't all want to live like a rock star. And if you don't talk they bring on the heavy guns: They baste you with butter and wall you in the Cask of Amontillado with Jonah Goldberg after he's been denied brunch.

Speaking of war, this week was another bloody one in the War on Christmas. John Gibson was called a liar on television for making up the whole thing, and his head grew to Russertian proportions, and almost popped. Apparently, he threatened the guy who called him a liar over the telephone later. As someone lucky enough to be on air with Mr. Gibson in the past, I can say that this must be false, because all of the times he interrupted me calling me a "left-wing extremist" or "radical" or "Jew who killed Christ and is now trying to execute Christmas," (the last exchange may or may not have happened as I remember it) leads me to believe he could never do such a thing.

But the joke's on him, because on the way back from spray-painting baby Jesus black in every manger display in my neighborhood (that should tick off the folks at Fox TV Carolina) I ran into a fat guy with a beard, and no it was not Brent Bozell. Let's just say I bitch-slapped a few elves and cold-cocked Santa with a rusty wrench. Just because I felt like it. So don't bother staying up on the 25th.

As for Gibson's buddy O'Reilly, he seems to have gone back and forth this week on his Christmas jihad. One moment it's ok to say "happy holidays" the next "secular progressives" are trying to smite Christmas again. It's hard to tie this guy down. In fact, I don't think anybody has done it since Andrea Mackris (ok, I have no actual evidence he used rope, and with the settlement, he'll keep us guessing forever). I guess we'll only find out if we could somehow justify snooping into his personal effects. But how would we justify that?

NOTE: Thanks to all who have read and Happy Holidays. One more thing, I will be hosting a book salon at Firedoglake at 5PM EST on Sunday for my friend Jennifer Abrahamson, who has written a terrific book called Sweet Relief: The Marla Ruzicka Story. Please come by if you are not covered in egg-nog-flavored vomit...

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