Tales from the Cheney Crypt

Liz “Mini Darth” Cheney has a new non-profit-except-to-its-board to pimp, and Lynne “Mrs. Darth” Cheney has a book (on James Madison) to sell, so they’re dragging the Dark Lord out on the hustings. Jim Newell, at Salon, did a pretty good job reporting what attending Politico‘s free lunch was worth. But Mr. Pierce at Esquire was positively magisterial:

Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He’s made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle.

It’s not just that TBOTP invited the Manson Family of American geopolitics to come together for an exercise in ensemble prevarication. It’s not just that the account of said exercise is written in the kind of cacophonous cutesy-poo necessary to drown out the screams of the innocent dead, and to distract the assembled crowd from the blood that has dripped from the wallet of the celebrity war-criminal leading the public display. And it’s not as though this was a mere interview—a “get” that could help you “win the morning (!).” In that, it might have been marginally excusable. No, this was one of Mike Allen’s little grift-o-rama special events—a “Playbook lunch,” sponsored by that noted mortgage fraud concern Bank Of America. There’s an upcoming TBOTP “event” in L.A. that is sponsored by J.P. Morgan. I know what Mike Allen is, but I am so goddamn tired of haggling about the price…

I wonder: Has anyone ever seen Renfield and Mike Allen in the same room?…

69 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Do wish Mr. Pierce would provide his real opinion and not sugarcoat it so.

    But I kid. :)

  2. 2
    amk says:

    Is there a bigger bw media whore than mike allen?

  3. 3
    Not Adding Much to the Community says:

    Yeah, I almost OT posted that Pierce link in an earlier thread. That is some serious polemic.

  4. 4
    Botsplainer says:

    I saw a blip on CNN when I walked by the receptionist yesterday – something about Cheney says that Carter was better than Obama.

  5. 5
    Jewish Steel says:

    Wait. John left and TBogg took his place?

    I swear, you turn your back on this blog for 2 seconds…

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Unlike Amy Winehouse, Cole said yes to rehab.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Google is developing a contact lens version of Google glass.

    I for one welcome our new cyborg overlords.

  8. 8
    EconWatcher says:

    I sometimes like Pierce, but am I the only one who thinks that piece is overwrought, overwritten and melodramatic? Adjectives and adverbs are not powerful weapons for a writer on the attack. Facts and precise prose are.

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    I don’t read him regularly. I’m not as much of a fan as others are. But I like very few people.

  10. 10
    Botsplainer says:


    Nope, you’re not the only one. For me, he’s too frequently hyperbolic.

  11. 11
    Baud says:


    Yeah, I have the same issue with Pierce. There’s nothing worse than hyperbolic writing.

  12. 12
    EconWatcher says:


    I see what you did there.

  13. 13
    Rosalita says:

    Snark meet creative writing… love Pierce. raison d’erp LOL!

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    Actually there is plenty worse that hyperbolic writing. I’d start with the endless lies and disinformation that comes from Cheney and the blogs that support his ilk. I do not read Pierce regularly but often enjoy the pleasure he seems to take from eviscerating those bastards completely. I don’t think I would enjoy reading him every day a sometimes his passion corresponds nicely with my mood and nobody does it better.

  15. 15
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Needz moar Henry Kissinger.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: Obama: “Cheney is worse than Jack the Ripper.”

  17. 17
    Marc says:

    @EconWatcher: No, you’re not.

    “The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks” – this is Tom Friedman levels of awful, except he uses foreign phrases and Latin terms so you know he’s a liberal ‘intellectual.’ (Also, if you want to accuse someone of “starfucking” then fucking own it.)

    Deep breaths, Charlie. One joke at a time.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EconWatcher: Me 4.

  19. 19
    Dolly Llama says:

    OT: But according the to NYT, Rupert Murdoch has made an offer to buy Time Warner.

  20. 20
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Someone once said of Rumsfeld that he was a ‘blood gargling psychopath.

    Perhaps of the Cheney tribe of grifters headed by a war criminal it could best be said they are a tribe of ‘blood drinking psychopaths and sociopaths.’

    Dick Cheney will go down in history as one of the leading figures to bring ruin to this nation, playing a major role in totally undermining the rule of law, and having the blood of millions of innocent civilians in the Middle East, and thousands of American soldiers, on his blood stained hands and soul.

  21. 21
    barry says:

    Dick Cheney’s contribution to fighting inflation in the 1970s was to have people wear buttons that said “WIN” (Whip Inflation Now) and wage and price controls.

    President Jimmy Carter’s contribution was to appoint Paul Volcker as FED Chairman and supported his policies that extinguished inflation so the Saint Ronald could claim credit.

    President Carter also did all humanly possible to make stealth technology operational by 1981 so the Saint Ronald could again claim all the credit.

  22. 22
    danielx says:


    Yeah, I’d have gone with ‘weeping pustule’ instead of ‘thickly pustulating chancre’.

    Facts and precise prose are necessary, but invective has its place as well. By comparison with wingnut propagandists who regard facts as superfluous, Pierce is accuracy and precision personified.

  23. 23
    mai naem says:

    @Dolly Llama: The offer was rejected. CNN would be spun off. I think its a bad idea because CNN probably doesn’t make money and if you spin off CNN on it’s own you would have major cutbacks, like as if we haven’t had enough news media consolidation.

  24. 24
    khead says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Yeah, apparently a person misses a lot when they skip a few night shifts around here. I had to go back and do some reading to get caught up.

    Also, loved the response from Don Surber to the Barro tweet. The butthurt is still strong with this one.

  25. 25
    another Holocene human says:

    Shame on Charlie Pierce. Sea slugs, aka Nudibranchs are beautiful, delicate, diverse and accomplished creatures. They’re also hermaphrodite members of Mollusca. They have evolved the ability to nip of the ends of sea anemone tentacles and migrate the stinger cells to their own backs. They are also the show stoppers of the ocean floor.

    Now, sea cucumbers are ugly, have a simple body plan, and vomit up their own poo. Perhaps these bottom feeders are what Pierce had in mind.

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    This Road Work Made Possible by Underfunding Pensions
    JULY 12, 2014

    The Federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in August. So, naturally, Congress is debating a temporary fix that involves letting corporations underfund their pension systems.

    Of course, we could replenish the fund by raising the federal gasoline tax, which is its primary source of financing. That’s what Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, and Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, want to do. But increasing gas taxes is unpopular, so Congress hasn’t done so since 1993, which means that the tax on gas has actually fallen 39 percent over the last 21 years after you adjust for inflation. Instead, Congress has used a series of gimmicks and shifts to keep the fund solvent as highway construction costs have risen.

    The latest proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, works like this: If you change corporate pension funding rules to let companies set aside less money today to pay for future benefits, they will report higher taxable profits. And if they have higher taxable profits, they will pay more in taxes over the 10-year budget window that Congress uses to write laws. Those added taxes can be diverted to the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

    Unfortunately, this gimmick will also result in corporations paying less in taxes in later years, when they have to make up for the pension payments they’re missing now. But if it happens more than 10 years in the future, it doesn’t count in Congress’s method for calculating budget balance. “Fiscal responsibility,” as popularly defined in Washington, ignores anything that happens after 2024.

    Letting companies underfund pensions so they pay more taxes is a dumb idea, but it’s not a new one: A similar strategy was part of the last bipartisan highway bill, which passed in 2012. The new proposal would simply extend the underfunding that was already allowed in the 2012 bill for a greater number of years.


  27. 27
    WereBear says:

    @EconWatcher: Geez. Those are the facts.

    It’s like saying Stalin was a paranoid dictator who murdered millions. Ya know?

  28. 28
    Cervantes says:

    @another Holocene human: Yes, sea slugs are beautiful, delicate, etc., but Pierce was talking about moral character.

    Anyhow, meth-whoring on the Singapore docks may be bad but it’s still less destructive than what these Politico hacks get up to. My question is: how do we punish them for their hackery? Is there a mechanism?

  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    I was talking with my 18 year old about how people like Cheney and Kristol and the like continue to get media gigs even though they have been demonstrably wrong and disastrously so every time. It doesn’t matter how much human misery they have facilitated. His take, and I think it is really accurate, is that the right wing has turned their political ideology into a religion. They believe what they believe no matter the facts, the science, the observable outcomes, the math, etc.

  30. 30
    ArchTeryx says:

    @MomSense: I’d say is as much class tribalism as it is religion. The Cheneys are rich, powerful people, so of course the rich journalists covering D.C. gravitate toward them, as do all the wannabe bootlickers hoping for a crack at the next sweet, sweet million-a-year Sunday gabfest host job.

    It’s class all the way down.

  31. 31
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @another Holocene human: Now, sea cucumbers are ugly, have a simple body plan, and vomit up their own poo.

    And are a delicacy in, IIRC, Taiwan. I will eat and perhaps even enjoy almost any food or food-like substance. But sea cucumber? Once per lifetime is more than adequate, thanks.

  32. 32
    debbie says:


    It’s also ratings. Cheney’s a guaranteed draw in the same way people stop to watch train wrecks and car accidents.

  33. 33
    Lee Hartmann says:

    @Marc: Yes, it would be much more effective to simply point out all the death and destruction due to Cheney’s lies and say that belongs in The Hague. Except that has already been said with little effect. I think, actually, there is little hyperbole here, especially as much of it is directed at Mike Allen. And finally; have you really ever read Friedman? You can’t be seriously making that comparison.

  34. 34
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And are a delicacy in, IIRC, Taiwan. I will eat and perhaps even enjoy almost any food or food-like substance. But sea cucumber?

    In Japan, shiokara (or konowata) is fermented, salted sea-cucumber guts, downed with a sake or whiskey chaser. An acquired taste, even among the Japanese.

  35. 35
    Alce_y_Ardilla says:

    @Baud: but in this case is this truly hyperbole, or understatement?

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:


    am I the only one who thinks that piece is overwrought, overwritten and melodramatic?

    No. I think Pierce’s writing detracts from the piece. Stick with one or two zingers and let the facts make your case.

    Mike Allen’s grift-o-rama is the point, right? (And that’s a memorable phrase.) Clean up the drama and say that in 4 sentences. The “get” and “winning the morning” are what drive me nuts about Politico.

  37. 37
    Culture of Truth says:

    Good writing there.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: Yeah, no thanks. I’ll leave it all for you.

  39. 39
    gf120581 says:

    Regardless of Pierce’s writing style, we all must give him credit for giving Politico the more appropriate title of Tiger Beat on the Potomac.

    Along with “goggle-eyed homonculous” for Scott Walker and “zombie-eyed granny-starver” for Paul Ryan.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You don’t like whiskey?

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gf120581: I give Pierce credit for a lot of things, not least of which is being correct most of the time, I just can’t read him on a regular basis.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cervantes: Why would you ruin good whiskey with a sea cucumber?

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    Pierce’s blogpost would be better if it were half as long. The meat of what he is saying is irrefutable.

    And he gets in some good licks (The Manson Family of Geopolitics, the absence of The Gay One being the family scandal of the day, where the real scandal of large-scale deaths and a fake war that didn’t need to be fought don’t get mentioned).

    And Politico is there, to fellate and report.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The latrine that is Politico epitomizes why the Village needs to be annihilated.

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:


    But I like very few people.

    But you like us don’t you? Your BJ compatriots?

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WaterGirl: He doesn’t even like himself. ;-)

  47. 47

    @Baud: I thought you liked me. Now, I has a sad.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    …according the to NYT, Rupert Murdoch has made an offer to buy Time Warner.

    God help us all if that happens.

  49. 49
    piratedan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I am just as guilty as the rest, I simply don’t read those fuckers at Politico anymore unless somebody links to them from the other blogs that I read. I do think that we have to do a better job of promoting other sources that are out there doing the real journalism and honest analysis, places like Lawyers, Guns and Money, Angry Bear and Stonekettle Station. We could do more to focus and promote people that are attempting to problem solve (like the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Proposal) and less on the outrage whores (damn near any GOP politician who says anything in public). That’s a damn hard slog though, pimping folks that are fighting the good fight.

  50. 50

    @EconWatcher: Me five, or is it six. In addition to the hyperbole, some of his pop culture reference sail right over my head. I think it was Satanic Panic who said that liking Pierce was somewhat of a generational thing.

  51. 51

    Speaking of journalists who get on my nerves. Paul Solomon who covers economics for the Snooze hour annoys me, a lot. His condescending tone is off putting and his knowledge of economics is shaky at best. Can’t the Snooze Hour do better?

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: I do enjoy whiskey (and whisky,) just without salted worm guts.

  53. 53
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: Pierce’s blogpost would be better if it were half as long.

    That’s more work. My mother was a writer for several newspapers and magazines, and always said it’s much harder to write a short article than a long one.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Your mother — and Pascal:

    Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.

  55. 55
    moonbat says:

    I find Pierce’s invective refreshing and inventive. He reminds me of H.L. Mencken, another political observer who wasn’t afraid to whip out the vitriol in a good cause. And as others have pointed out he’s always right there with the facts to back it up. I read him for the same reason I read John Cole, he brings his anger as well as his facts to the party. Totebaggers may find it unsettling but as one who is STILL pissed off that Cheney got off with his Halliburton millions and no criminal prosecution, this hits exactly the right tone.

    The same people who complain about the left being too mealy mouthed in the face of the 27/7 RWNJ noise machine should bless Charles Pierce and wish we had more like him.

  56. 56
    Athenawise says:



  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @moonbat: I don’t waste time criticizing Pierce for his language, but defending him by reference to the Sage of Baltimore may not work, either. It was, in fact, while delivering a Mencken Memorial Lecture that Lewis Lapham observed thus: “I cannot imagine that anyone would publish his work if he were writing it today.”

  58. 58
    bemused says:

    Bah! At least 99% of Republicans in office are venal and vile, being generous. Mutter, mutter.

  59. 59

    @moonbat: I don’t get Pierce’s sense of humor, is all. I don’t care that he is rude to Cheney and Cheney spawn. They deserve that and more.

  60. 60
    Karen in GA says:

    I never read Politico to begin with. I remember when Jim Vandehei was at the Washington Post, and his intertubez nickname was Pool Boy. When I heard he was leaving to start Politico I knew where it was headed and didn’t waste my time, I can understand why other people read it — it’s good to know what these clueless bastards are telling each other — but I just don’t have it in me anymore.

    ETA: I agree that Pierce overdoes it, but that’s just his style, and I appreciate it for what it is. As long as he gets his facts right — and he does — I’m fine with it. Just IMHO.

  61. 61
    Paul in KY says:

    @EconWatcher: I think he could have been more florid with his descriptors of the slime that is the Cheney family.

  62. 62
    Mike E says:

    No references to puppy blood, kitten brainz…FAIL

  63. 63
    moonbat says:

    @Cervantes: I didn’t mean to imply that I endorse everything Mencken ever wrote, but I do admire his willingness to take a literary baseball bat to the wrongdoers of his time. Journalism was a completely different game back when The Sage of Baltimore was practicing his craft. Lots of what was written back then, not just Mencken, wouldn’t be published today.

    However, one of the constants in the comments on most of the political blogs I read are people bemoaning the fact that we lose the political rhetorical game because we’re “too nice.” The RWNJ message machine counts on it. The more Pierces we have, reporters and commentators, who are not only accurate but who are righteously angry about the literally criminal behavior that the Village media routinely elide over, the better chance we have of pushing this nation back to sanity. The fact the he is darn funny on top of that is just a bonus.

    I mean “zombie-eyed granny starver” deserves a Pultizer, no?

  64. 64
    kc says:


    That’ll be awesome for locker rooms.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    I mean “zombie-eyed granny starver” deserves a Pultizer, no?

    The fact that you assert this means it will never happen, because the Pulitzers are fully coopted by the Village to reward Villagers, not to acknowledge actual merit on the part of those critical of vile Village scum.

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @moonbat: I like Pierce. I’ve been reading and listening to him for decades. When he has commented here, I’ve agreed with him.

    As for Mencken, about his own work he once wrote:

    It is full of rough stuff, perhaps too cruel — but, after all, it is foolish to be polite to frauds.

    It’s not difficult to imagine that he’d like Pierce.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: They probably could, but to do so would undoubtedly upset corporate sponsors and the rest of the Villager slime they employ, such as BoBo Brooks, whose body, in order to improve the human race, should be found broken in an alley somewhere.

  68. 68

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yesterday Solmon was covering the so called artisanal economy in Brooklyn and was dripping condescension when interviewing the young people who had started those businesses but was appropriately respectful when interviewing the Harvard professor who coined the term “artisanal” economy.

  69. 69
    Marc says:

    @Lee Hartmann: Yes, and I would say Pierce is desperately in need of his own Matt Taibbi. His heart is in the right place but he always steps on his own best lines.

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