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THE NEW MEDIA MAFIA—ALL IN THE FAMILY! (WOOF Daringly Exposes Incest in Post-journalistic America!)

In "The Media are the Massage" forum on February 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm

media mafia splashIt is difficult nowadays, especially as one casts one’s mind over the nearly endless inventory of impeachable offenses that Barack Obama has committed in office, and casually shrugged aside with the full complicity of the American press, to focus one’s mind on the fact that Richard Milhous Nixon was hounded from power because a group of third tier staffers bungled an effort to bug the Democrat campaign headquarters after which Nixon engaged in an upper tier effort to cover up the “in-house” nature of the operation, and also because he was silly enough to turn the tapes of himself orchestrating the cover-up over to the prosecution. Today, you could ransack America’s institutions of higher learning without discovering a single student capable of describing the follies and sins that culminated in Nixon’s expulsion from office—but they would all tell you he was evil, evil, evil….and because it fits their professors’ template, they all regard him as a conservative, never mind the patent ridiculousness of the label. It is a supreme irony, WOOF submits, that the man “who killed Joe McCarthy” (to borrow William Bragg Ewald’s chillingly ebullient phrase) was ultimately and even more spectacularly destroyed by the same liberal media that previously helped him undermine the Junior Senator.

Dick contemplates  ike's orders to shut down McCarthy--well, the guy IS a nuisance!who got the marching orders to

Dick contemplates
Ike’s orders to shut down McCarthy–well, the guy was a nuisance!

But while the vagaries of Nixon’s collapse can be argued –and have been argued—prolongededly in histories of the era, the most significant aspect of his demise goes generally unremarked—and that is the degree to which Nixon’s resignation inaugurated the epoch within which the radicalism of the late ‘60s began to institutionalize itself, subtly but surely, in the mid ‘70s.  The remarkable thing about the epochal shift that swept American culture was how casually it overcame us. Adult hair became lush, mustaches sprouted, ties became broad, music became puerile (remember “Disco Duck”?) and the economy began to malfunction (in the wake of Nixon’s Bretton Woods miscalculation).  Car companies quavered, Coke surrendered to Pepsi and issued “New Coke,” and a general sense of things Spenglerian filled the air—but nothing really seemed too different…nothing really seemed alarming.  Democrats still reminded us of Jack, Bobby, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Republicans? Well, they were still of the Bob Dole, John Warner, Howard Baker variety with a little bit of Goldwater for sorely-needed color. The evil ones had been expelled–and while President Gerald Ford might have been seen as a  benighted yawp who hailed from Grand Rapids, fell down entertainingly and wore madras trousers with white socks, he was certainly not a villain…except that he pardoned the execrable Nixon,which was ultimately deemed unforgivable…by the press.
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But television reporters didn’t seem that different. Not yet, anyway. They had bushier wigs and mustaches and thicker ties and maybe flared trousers and they wore side-zipping boots with big heels instead of shoes, but they just reported the news and the weather and the sports, same as ever. It would have taken a sociologist, and a particularly adept one at that, to accurately perceive the tectonic shift to the Left that locked us in its grip as Nixon gamely flashed his digital V-signs and lifted off aboard the Presidential helicopter for his final flight into ignominy. (Actually, he wrote two good books after that– but that’s not important now.)

As the great Irish poet Yeats once put it,Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; anarchy is loosed upon the world; The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” The center, you see, was cowed, confused, and propagandized into a sullen acceptance of its own desuetude in the 1970s, and one of the most vital elements of that center was the original 4th estate,  which, like the academy before it, crumbled like a termite mound in a stampede of wildebeests. When America decided the hip children of the ’60s could teach it more than Burke’s community of souls, the ’70s were a leftwing shoo-in. 

bob

Race guilt writ large on his countenance, Costa seems barely able to stand upright under the cumulative ancestral  guilt of centuries– a sportscaster haunted by his nation’s illicit, immoral existence– won’t somebody–anybody–help the man?

Have you noticed that even sportscasters are left wingers these days? Witness Bob Costa’s sanctimonious sermonizing at half time during a Redskins football game to the effect that the team’s name is “…an insult, a slur.”  How did this come about?  Why, for that matter, is ESPN a consortium of leftwingers? How come Kenny Mayne  can tweet dopey jabs at Sarah Palin with impunity while his colleague Adam Scheffer is free to  twitter wrathfully  against Republicans whom he believes to be attempting “a looming government shutdown,” but when the hapless golf pro Paul Azinger tweeted that President Obama seems to play more golf than he, Azinger, does, ESPN called him on the carpet and warned him to keep his politics to himself.  Yes, WOOF really needs a sports-watcher to keep an eye on the slide of American athletics into the fever swamps of leftist conformity—but for the purposes of this screed, we are willing to view it as part of the larger phenomenon.

It’s a family affair mafia_ii__that__s_amore_by_shadowcat2503-d34rjrr

The problem with the Liberal Establishment Media is far worse than we tend to consider, perhaps because it is qualitatively different from what we assume it to be. That we sense a problem at all is remarkable considering the fact that we are never told by the Liberal Establishment Media how bad the problem has become, or what it amounts to, or even that it exists. As survivors of journalistic epochs in which some news source was always babbling the dirt about one or another politician or political scam while exciting the notice of at least a few other news sources, it remains hard for us to grasp how utterly short-circuited this process is by the Obaman stratagem. A few years ago a New York  Times reporter refused to attend a press conference featuring military personnel, scientists, at least one astronaut and myriad credible witnesses of UFO phenomena from respectable walks of life because, he said, if there were any truth to UFOs, he would have read about it in the Times.  Similarly, during the Cambodian genocide following the collapse of South Vietnam, early refugees from the mass slaughter held a press conference in Washington DC to warn America of Pol Pot’s plans to reduce the Cambodian population by two-thirds and the reporter for the Washington Post walked out, telling folks in the lobby that she wasn’t interested in hearing anymore CIA lies. The Harvard Crimson was quick to back her verdict, declaring that “Stories of a bloodbath, as reported by other news agencies, cannot be verified and there is every indication that these accounts are lies.” [Full asinine story available here]

Caligula and his sister, Drusilla--these things almost never work out!

Caligula and his sister, Drusilla–these things almost never work out!

This, in a larger and more public context, is the mind set that blockades most Americans from grasping how far their trusted news networks have fallen into a mutated reification of what John Kerry, in far less plausible circumstances having to do with far less threatening events, called “a coalition of the bribed, the bought, the coerced and the extorted.” This purposeful and efficient dismantling of the American 4th estate would be the biggest news story in America, bar none, if there were any news operation willing to cover it (except us of course!)  But the biggest aspect of the story as it now stands vis-à-vis the Obama regime, is that an addition to Kerry’s epigram is essential.  Today’s lock-step, liberal news distorters are no longer merely motivated by bribery, coercion and extortion—no—there is now an even seamier element at work.  It can be recognized where the social and vocational cohorts of liberal politics and liberal journalism join hands–where the “second estate’s” Ruling Class and the “fourth estate’s” reportorial elites run toward one another in hoaky slow motion, and melt into one another’s arms as the background score escalates into a salacious crescendo and the two estates become one , locked in shared infatuation; in what Bernie Goldberg indelicately but memorably described as “a slobbering love affair.” The word for this is incest. Yes, it’s a metaphor as thus invoked, but barely. It bespeaks a singleness of purpose between the power elites and their supposed watchdogs in the media that has all but placed the two once disparate interests in the bouncing bed of nuptial unity—and in many instances, as you’ll note,  this is not a metaphor at all!  In fact, the Chicago Outfit that paraded into the White house with unprecedented levels of support from the drooling news media, has joined hands with those supporters and formed a “Family” in the strict Chicago style—although WOOF does not mean to imply any actual Mafia involvement—the Mafia, for one thing, is nowhere near as liberal as the media factions upon whom we bestowed the label by extension—and noticeably less devoted to multiculturalism.

“…worst president ever…”

WOOF's new friend: James Goodale

WOOF’s new friend: James Goodale

James Goodale, the former general counsel of the New York Times during its legendary battle to the death with the Nixon administration said recently that “President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.”  Will pass him, James? He left Nixon in his dust during the first six months of the first term! A particularly brave effort has been made by the highly respected Committee to Protect Journalists, typically an organization concerned with abuses of press freedoms in military dictatorships and third-world backwaters, to expose the menace we now confront domestically. The Committee recently issued its first ever warning about American press freedom, authored by no less a hand than former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr. who lamented “the deterioration of journalism in the United States,” powerfully underscoring “just how extreme is the threat to press freedom posed by this administration.”  The report offers a comprehensive survey of the multiple ways that the Obama presidency has clamped down on the free press, instilling a paralyzing climate of fear, concluding that “In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press.”  And nobody reports it!

But George Will went way too far

Will pictured pre-dinner party --obviously conniving how best to convert Reagan to conservatism!

Will pictured pre-dinner party –obviously conniving how best to convert Reagan to conservatism!

Where fear is useful, coziness is often twice as effective. In the early ‘80s there was a tremendous outcry that ABC commentator George Will should be fired or at least severely reprimanded for having the Reagans as his dinner guests at his private home. How, the talking heads clamorously inquired of one another, could one expect to report objectively while supping with the very plutocrats upon whom the criticality of the oppositional media was morally obliged to be focused? Of course, George Will was brought aboard at ABC precisely because he was a well-known conservative whom the network  tasked with offering conservative views as a conservative commentator, the utter novelty of such an inclusion having, ABC reasoned, a certain piquancy so long as the conservative remained outnumbered and assurances obtained that Sam Donaldson would interrupt him a lot whenever he ventured to establish an argument.  The idea that one of the most articulate defenders and purveyors of conservative opinion in America might have his reportage suborned over a glass or two of California Pinot Noir was so laughable that even NBC and CBS could not sustain their faux hysteria beyond a news cycle, and Will remained at his post. But here we are, three decades later, with the entirety of mainstream journalism either hob-nobbing with Obama, overlty supporting him, or directly –or by a very few degrees of separation– employed by him!  Employed by him? The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe has semi-regularly kept tabs on the number of reporters working for Obama’s administration, counting 10 in May 2009, 14 in 2010, and 13 in 2011. The Washington Examiner’s Paul Beddard counted 19 reporters working for “Team Obama” in February 2012. Remember, these reporters have not turned in their press passes for chauffeurs’ uniforms or feather dusters—no, these mavens and mavenettes remain in the business of giving you the news! Nor are these reporters the sort who might otherwise be written off as silly Jimmy Olsen types. Beddard linked them to CBS, ABC, CNN, Time, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times just as a few examples.

Yet none dare call it incest!rose-family-in-nm-c.-92

For that matter. should it worry you that the president of ABC news, Ben Sherwood, is the brother of Elizabeth Sherwood, a top national security adviser to Our Beloved Leader?  Or that the President of CBS News, one David Rhodes, is the brother of top Obama adviser Benjamin Rhodes? If Ben’s name sounds familiar, that is likely due to his reported role in the editing of the now infamous Benghazi talking points—you remember: The ones that had to be re-written thrice because the first ones made no sense and the second ones were demonstrable lies. Or should it concern us that Tom Nides, who served as Hillary Clinton’s top adviser on security matters is married to Virginia Carpenter Moseley, who happens to be the producer for CBS News in Washington?

Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts (major liberal fatcat) has donated $76,000 to Democrats since 2006, while keeping numerous golf dates with his buddy Barack—he is no stranger at White House meetings about technology and appeared at a number of White House discussions of “business technologies”–you know, stuff like your cell phone, your computer, smart energy and information sharing.  So we could pick out of our hat just any old major presidential crime or misdemeanor, like, oh, maybe leaving our guys to be slaughtered at Benghazi while their Commander in Chief played spades with an aide far from the Situation Room (as we now know him to have distracted himself during the crisis) and okay, now think about this: Hillary can’t be found (and turns out to have bumped her head, or to be lost in preparation for bumping it) leaving Tom Nides at State to oversee the butchering of our forces—but nobody ever quite figured out where he was either, nor did any intrepid reporter ever bother asking, not even his wife who’s in charge of ABC news, remember? CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both have siblings that not only work at the White House under the direct control of Valerie Jarrett (and, titularly, President Obama), but who share ties to the National Security Committee on Foreign Policy Issues, which is in turn tied directly to the Benghazi scandal

Once more, Benhazi on the left, Ben Gazarra on the right. (Another WOOF service for the uniformed voter.)

Once more, Benghazi on the left, Ben Gazzara on the right. (Another WOOF service for the uniformed voter.)

That Valerie Jarrett, the Islamo-radical, Iranian-born Communist, who is. of course, the President’s principle adviser in such matters, saw no cause for action and may well have considered the slaying of Americans in Libya that night an exercise in social justice, is nauseously plausible; but could not Obama have sought a slightly more American point of view on the efficacy of letting Benghazi burn while rescue forces were repeatedly told to stand down? That Jarrett would not permit input from chief advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood, (whose vaunted specialty was her well-orchestrated “Preventative Defense” plans for exactly such regional contingencies) on the night of the 11th seems strange on the surface of it, and stranger still when it transpires that nobody can place Dr. Sherwood in the situation room either. No, Dr. Sherwood’s whereabouts on the night of the eight-hour battle of Benghazi are also a mystery—and any chances she had that night to speed help to our abandoned forces go unrecorded—and do you think it’s strange that the media never looked into this? Maybe you should ask Dr. Sherwood’s proud husband, Ben Sherwood, the president of ABC news.

Only Charlene Lamb, who denied additional protection to the consulate prior to the attacks, admitted monitoring the ensuing battle in real time. She doesn't seem to know where anybody else was during this 8-hr period. She has just been promoted.

Only Charlene Lamb, who denied additional protection to the consulate prior to the attacks, admitted monitoring the ensuing battle in real time. She doesn’t seem to know where anybody else was during this 8-hr period. She has just been promoted.

nakoula

“So, I;m guessing you boys didn’t enjoy the film, huh?”

How, apart from the cooperation of a large, loving, leftwing news family could anybody get away with what Susan Rice was allowed to blather for a full two weeks following the massacre? Weeks during which she and Hillary (whose bumped-head problem seemed to ebb and flow) spread with equal alacrity the irrational flapdoodle that a massive public uprising replete with rocket launchers and zeroed-in mortar support had suddenly fallen upon our defenseless consulate in Benghazi because of a video. The attack, the White House insisted, occurred only because four months earlier and 7, 120 miles away, an utterly unknown Coptic Christian immigrant named Nakoula Bassesly Nakoula screened an incoherent 13-minute video that purportedly showed Mohammed in a bad light to an audience of no better than nine curiosity seekers in a rented theatre on Vine Street in Hollywood. Armed with this fantasy, Rice trooped doggedly across the sets of every available weekend news program, bemoaning the film’s anti-Muslim tone and fingering it explicitly as the cause of “spontaneous popular uprisings” that overwhelmed the consulate and could not possibly have been anticipated. So utterly ludicrous were Rice’s talking points that the merest cub reporter untethered from the administration or unobligated by purblind ideological conformity to repeat the proffered idiotisms would have seen through them in an instant, but only the dextral blogosphere raised this point initially, and the “professional” newsreaders smiled condescendingly and spoke in charitable tones of the paranoia on the radical right.

What is especially interesting is that three of the White House officials implicated in the Benghazi fiasco are related in some way to mainstream media big shots. Tom Nides was then the number two at State and a close friend and confidant of Hillary’s—and the devoted husband of CNN executive news producer Virginia Moseley. Also at State, top advisor Ben Rhodes (later of the talking points debacle,) and a top security adviser to Barack Obama throughout the Benghazi catastrophe and beyond is the brother of one David Rhodes—you know, the president of CBS News.

Ari and Michael-- where CNN and the Administration hold hands.

Ari and Michael– where NPR and the Administration join hands.

And the there’s Jay Carney, cub press secretary, out there doggedly dodging any stray journalistic interrogatives (nonetheless annoying for their rarity) while mainly just troweling out the tripe du jour for the pabulum besotted Washington Press Corpse. Did you know that Jay has the good fortune to be married to Claire Shipman–veteran reporter and senior national correspondent for ABC?  And you may rest assured that Mrs. Claire Carney Shipman thinks that Jay is doing a superb and utterly professional job on each occasion that he appears at his podium to spread more malarkey. National Public Radio’s Ari Shapiro has been listening to the same malarkey from this white house for four years as his network’s top correspondent assigned to presidential coverage—so how did he miss noticing it? Is it possibly because his “husband,” boyfriend Michael Gottlieb, just finished a 4 year hitch as a Special Assistant to the president and as Associate White House Counsel, specializing in national security?

It’s all in the family!

archie

Well good night, nurse!!

Yes, we’ve come a long way since that thunderstorm of concern in the early ‘80s  that George F. Will might have lost his credibility as a broadcast journalist after an evening’s exposure to the Reagans’ table talk—and we haven’t thought about it much, it seems. The media are left wing, and that’s the way it is in life—in fact, we are confidently informed it is only to be expected inasmuch as liberals are smarter than conservatives, and bright young men and women hanker to become news reporters. The absence of any indications of brightness among the current throng is rarely cited by way of rebuttal—but the illogic of the position would require an honest news media before it were exposed as ridiculous—and there is no expectation that this is about to transpire.  But nothing short of politico-philosophical incest is at work in American journalism, and incest is notorious for spawning deformities of form and intellect–and this is no less so with the progenies of illicit liaisons between our first neo-Constitutional president’s crowd and the current bevy of unnaturally entangled propagandists who pose as objective journalists on our TV screens. It is on America’s TV screens that the fruits of journalistic incest are rotting on public display—but the ones who should be reporting the decay are busy doing the rotting.

The  distraction of myself…rick

It is the critical faculties that perish first in such instances—followed rapidly by the canons of taste. Take Rick Sanchez, ever a stranger to wit and decorum, who was finally let go by CNN after implying that Jews controlled television news. And what of Soledad O’Brien, who never made headlines until she was caught on camera reading from a leftist blog during a confrontational interview with Paul Ryan, while insisting she was holding documents from a Senator’s office. But Soledad persevered, running  CNN’s morning news program Starting Point so far into the weeds that in February, 2013, CNN had to yank her. The network graciously euphemized that O’Brien was leaving to develop her own company, but Soledad missed the cue and raised a stink about being dumped. (She does in fact now helm the Starfish group where her clients include  Al Jazeera America and some sports show on HBO.)

Keith Olbermann, who was originally fired by FOX Sports for being “crazy,” relocated to MSNBC where his melodramatic boil-overs provided consistent evidence for the comedic value of combining sanctimony and witless fustian. His histrionic run was undeniable fun for oglers, but Olbermann eventually got on everyone’s nerves and agreed to take his show on the road—switching to Albert Gore’s pathetic Current TV where he managed to draw an average of 100,000 viewers in the 25-54 age demographic making the program competitive, embarrassingly enough, with CNN.  But even Al Gore pronounced Olbermann unbearable and canned him. Today, of course, Current TV is Al Jazeera …but so far they haven’t hired Keith back.

oblbermannimages

And what of the British hosts who were imported by the Liberal Media Establishment in the apparent hope that billingsgate, if enunciated with an English accent, would be interpreted as sophisticated commentary by American yokels? Martin Bashir famously opined that Sarah Palin should be required to ingest excrement, which controversy hung in the air through enough news cycles that Bashir was finally called to the office of MSNBC’s network president, after which he announced his resignation, adding “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.” Meanwhile, Piers Morgan –the fugitive from British justice who replaced Larry King at CNN—continues to lead that network’s ratings into the gutter…albeit with a fetching British accent.

American petions to have British CNN liberal Piers Morgan deported have inspired British petitions refusing him re-entry into England. So far, the British seem to be winning.

American petitions to have British CNN liberal Piers Morgan deported have inspired British petitions refusing him re-entry into England. So far, the British seem to be winning.

Anderson Cooper, who lacks a British accent and may be the least endemically interesting person in television history with the possible exception of Wolf Blitzer, remains relatively unwatched, despite his “courageously” coming out of the closet a while back. His AC 360 Later program (what does that even mean?) is now officially yanked, although Cooper will remain the anchor of CNN’s eight o’clock hour. Variety ascribed AC 360’s departure to “flailing viewership,” which is a frightening image—we sincerely hope they intended to say “failing.” but so far new owner Jeff Zucker hasn’t found anything unfailing to put on the air, and thus might be said to be flailing, should Variety wish to rehabilitate its verb. But expecting the Liberal Establishment Media to fail because it is widely scorned by viewers is a mistake—it prevails andersonbecause it represents a growing interweave of sociopolitical interests that are forming into a single, symbiotically enriching power elite part of which commands sufficient financial support to keep it babbling at us while establishing daily and weekly templates (like global warming, or amnesty for illegal aliens, or whether Ted Cruz is destroying the economy). Stuff, in other words, about which most Americans would never otherwise waste a thought, but stuff about which visiting Martians would assume every man, woman and child in America cares passionately given the din of the news shouters.

berieBut the problem with the Liberal Establishment Media has never been that they are simply run by professionals who haven’t gotten the hint yet—who haven’t gotten around to noticing that a bunch of left-leaning ideologues are slanting their broadcasts in ways that turn off even moderates and the storied “independents.”  The problem isn’t even that the management itself is so stolidly liberal that they would rather march into ratings oblivion than moderate their reportage—although this is a major factor, to be sure. The greatest problem now is that the management and service-delivery classes of “media” have socialized, flirted, necked with, and in many cases inter-married with the very politicians and power drivers upon whom they supposedly report—and nowadays, as we have noted above, the distinction between politician and reporter may be so completely blurred by the travesty of inbreeding as to amount to the creation of a new species: The political reporter who is imbedded not with a military unit, but with an administration—or who is married to someone who is thus embedded. The implications of this are nothing short of horrifying. There is no need for a totalitarian dictatorship to shoot reporters, open fire on TV stations or arrest newspaper owners in order to establish a government-controlled information monopoly if the same thing can be accomplished by fraternization with, and marriage among, a new-journalistic class of pie-eyed sympathizers who were in any case taught beginning with their earliest journalism classes that liberalism’s and journalism’s aims are one and the same.

media

Should another TV news franchise, just one other, take a libertarian or conservative editorial position in light of FOX’s extraordinary success, the board would be fully in play. Should Beck’s BLAZE venture obtain a more practicable conduit for its message, the playing field would be dramatically readjusted. And why shouldn’t this come to pass? The liberal media are already choking each other for viewers even as their ratings, albeit fitfully, continue to drop.  It is unlikely that any major network could shake so free of its liberal encumbrances as to fill this roll—it will almost certainly come from outside, but it seems an irresistible likelihood that such an endeavor will manifest. His realization of how potent a factor this could prove undoubtedly informed Al Gore’s otherwise unaccountable decision to refuse a higher dollar offer from Glenn Beck, and accept instead a slightly lower sum from Al Jazeera to acquire his failing and hopelessly dull Current TV channel.

"Al" Jazeera!

“Al” Jazeera!

Technological advances have broken the stranglehold of the Left on the business of “news,” and as progress continues, that hold will grow weaker still. Advocates of a free republic and a strong Constitution must make all possible efforts to spread the message of conservatism via the blogosphere, the AM and FM bands, and by all other means available while we await a second televised media outlet to widen our prospects on the boob tube. And it goes without saying, if any ridiculously wealthy benefactors are inclined to lavish funds upon us, WOOF TV could easily lead the way—if we can broadcast from our cave…we don’t know what the technicalities would be exactly, but we’re pretty sure we could overcome them with enough money…

Ready to broadcast!

Ready to broadcast!

What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

In 1987 Dan Rather said he was accosted on Park Avenue and beaten up by an assailant who continually demanded, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” Unlike many of the stories Dan has reported over the years, this one actually happened. It transpired that Dan’s assailant was a schizophrenic named Tager who believed Rather was bombarding his brain with evil electronic signals, which may well have been the case if Tager owned a television. But Tager may have inadvertently given right-minded broadcasters of vision and courage an interrogative akin to Ayn Rand’s John-Galt riddle—and as we grow in power and scope, we must remember Tager, and his schizophrenic insight, more actual than he could possibly absorb–and we must continue to ask of all the banal, bleating zombies of the mainstream media who bombard us with their agitprop–  What’s the frequency, Kenneth?  What’s the sound of one wing flapping?  And ultimately, all you moral relativists and blown-dry rascals –all you painted up progeny of Axis Sally and Lord Haw Haw, now that televised journalism is deadwhat’s the name of the game?

rubens

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Pipeline Dreams and Luddite Schemes: Big Oil vs. the Keystone Cops

In "Unfinished Waffles" forum on February 4, 2014 at 12:34 am

pipe-dream-1-postcard

Hubbert, Hubbert?

Ever hear of Marion King Hubbert? No, he’s not the narrator of Lolita. He was a geologist for Gulf Oil who created a method for gauging how rapidly oil supplies would be consumed and when their depletion would eventuate in exhaustion. He expertly evolved a quantitative technique (the Logistical Growth Curve, more commonly called the Hubbert Curve) by which he scientifically predicted at what juncture the world’s oil reserves would run dry. Problem being, Hubbert presented this theory first at the 1956 meeting of the American Petroleum Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and predicted that the availability of oil in the United States would peak in the early ‘70s and diminish rapidly thereafter, hitting the dry dregs by around 1980. His estimates, though intellectually impressive and honorably motivated, were wrong, but they inspired the legions of doomsayers who followed, many of whom did not scruple at insisting that planet earth would be drained of fossil fuels within “the next ten years,” counting from whenever they happened to be issuing their dire warnings.

Hubbert

Hubbert

Casting our gaze rearwards long enough to embarrass all of the geologists, environmentalists,politicians and pop-cultural speechifiers who took it upon themselves to write petroleum’s death warrant over the bygone decades would be amusing, to be sure, but unnecessarily time consuming.  Suffice it that only one expert got things exactly right, and he was a guy who infamously appeared in movies with a chimpanzee—yes, he was Ronald Reagan who took the contrary position, rasping unconcernedly that we were floating on a sea of oil—an observation that earned him so much scholarly pique and popular derision that he might as well have said we were well supplied with marshmallow bushes and lemon drop trees. Still, we are not, even today, confronted with a crisis of depleted oil supplies; only the problem of liberal interference with their extraction and transport, which seems eternal.

steam cupWOOF knows “fossil fuels” (if that’s even what petroleum is) will still be derivable from mother earth long after its inventive denizens (assuming they have not inventively blown themselves up) evolve more efficient and less labor-intensive methods of propelling themselves hither and thither—yes, WOOF predicts that better sources of energy will be discovered and profitably developed for general use by the free market, just as they have always been—like, has anybody made a speech about “King Steam” lately? So don’t give up on your flying car—it’s not too wild a dream. But while we await coming breakthroughs, we still need to drive cars and heat our homes; and many of us are not fortunate enough to live near nuclear power plants. Thus, we require fossil-based energy to stay warm, commute, and listen to our old Jackson Browne LPs. For this reason, a source of readily available oil is imperative. And just as obviously, this is not obtainable through an obsequious reliance on oil production in Arab countries whose leadership and populations hate our guts. 

North to Alaska!

wayne fabian One of the facts that eluded poor Hubbert back in the day was the coming inclusion of the magnificent state of Alaska in the American union, and the construction of the Alaskan Pipeline. If you are young, it might astonish you to discover that during the early ‘70s Atlantic Richfield, a hated and despised private oil company, suggested building a pipeline running 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska, thereby conveying a veritable ocean of crude oil from the frozen wastes to energy-dependent American motorists and homeowners, with enough left over to sell internationally.

Despite much ignorant stereotyping, most native Alaskans are an attractive and friendly people.

Despite much ignorant stereotyping of their culture, most native Alaskans are an attractive and friendly people.

Naturally, then as now, this idea struck American liberals as horrendous. Alaskan Natives (that’s how we say “Eskimos” nowadays) were understandably concerned that the proposed construction would traverse land traditionally claimed by a variety of native tribes without any economic benefits accruing to the indigenous peoples. Conservationists (which is how the media prefer to say “environuts”) were angry about everything—as always—insisting that the proposed project would squish arctic trees, pollute the tundra, and devastate the native herds of caribou, whose migratory and grazing habits would, they argued, be irretrievably hobbled, probably resulting in almost instantaneous extinction.

nature tv

Liberal American citizens worried that the vast acreage of Alaska and the majestically bounding caribou that they so adored watching on PBS specials would vanish from the screens of their color TV sets, swept away by an all-consuming tsunami of yucky pollution directly related to the heartless connivances of “Big Oil.” These and other arguments were just as ridiculous then as President Obama’s “concerns” about the building of the Keystone Pipeline are today. But that didn’t keep environmentalists from hogging airtime and press coverage together with their Democrat mouthpieces in congress. In fact, a ready supply of crude from the hyperborean vistas of the Land of the Midnight Sun (to quote Johnny Horton) might have proved a pipe dream and nothing more, were it not for the swift and timely intervention of a large consortium of  Arab sheikhs.

OPEC to the rescue! opec two

Fortunately, Americans were neither quite so stupefied by the media nor quite so propagandized by the environmental Left in the ‘70s, besides which the oil-producing nations of the Middle East rode to the rescue of the pipeline, however unwittingly. In 1973, when the “Yom Kippur War” (one of the serial endeavors to eliminate Israel launched by its genocidally-inclined Arab neighbors) ended badly for the invaders,  OPEC (your friendly neighborhood Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) endeavored to punish American support for the embattled Jewish state by imposing an oil embargo against the United States.

Caribou, as it turns out, pay almost no attention to the Alaskan Pipeline.

Caribou, as it turns out, pay almost no attention to the Alaskan Pipeline.

The embargo proved successful at first (until greed peeled the signatory members away one by one) causing the price of oil and gasoline to skyrocket in the U.S.  This entirely fortuitous occurrence led to President Nixon making passage of pipeline legislation a White House priority. Even extremely liberal Senate and House members came under tremendous pressure from their constituents and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act passed both houses allowing the hated oil companies to ink a deal on January 23, 1974, permitting work to start. Happily (even in the strict adverbial sense) the native peoples whose lands were thus traversed, recouped a bundle in the process. And, of course, despite a 1,300 page document submitted by the environmental lobby detailing each of the plagues that pipeline construction was bound to unleash upon Alaska and the environment in general, the trees are doing fine, the rivers are flowing cleanly, and the caribou are frolicking blithely—but even in that slightly-less-irrational day, the battle to win an uninterrupted flow of petroleum for the American public was, to borrow the Duke of Wellington’s phrase, “a damn close run thing!”

A collection of the particularly naive anticipate O's fulfillment of his word on the environment--does frustration wait them?

A collection of the near-criminally naive anticipate O’s fulfillment of his word on the environment–does frustration await them?

Obama’s green dreams….

You would have to be a determinedly uninformed voter (and yes, they are legion, we know) to avoid grasping President Obama’s adamant opposition to any form of utile, cheap energy (except the kinds that don’t work), and in particular his opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. When he isn’t conniving to drive coal down the chute, (sorry), or to eliminate nuclear power as a viable option (by closing down the Yucca Mountain nuclear-storage site at the same time that he laughably asserted his desire for “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country”), he is hard at work attacking our sources of oil. Beyond his proscription of drilling in the Gulf, and his nonchalant dismissal of a federal judge’s order to suspend the proscription, he famously bollixed construction of the Keystone Pipeline, making its rejection a veritable centerpiece of his energy policy, as well as a rallying point during many of his aggravatingly sing-song public addresses.

Well--they say a picture is worth a thousand solar cells...

Well–they say a picture is worth a thousand solar cells…or was it brain cells?

In January of 2012, insisting that “safety is key,” President Obama flatly rejected  TransCanada’s bid to build a $7 billion oil pipeline stretching from the tar sands of Alberta for 1,700 miles across seven states to American refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is the idea anathema to Our Beloved Leader owing to the lower energy rates it would engender, it also threatens to create approximately one-hundred thousand new jobs, which must viscerally revulse the First Marxist, and thus he declared in January of 2012 that, “the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”

So take that, Canada!

Albert Arnold Gore, pondering the wonderfulness of being...well...Albert Arnold Gore.

Albert Arnold Gore, pondering the wonderfulness of being…well…Albert Arnold Gore.

The threat of a pipeline project resurfaced in 2013, causing an especially histrionic Al Gore to denounce the idea as “an atrothity” and raising the dander of the Natural Resources Defense Council (to nobody’s surprise) which exclaimed that tar-sands oil is “dirtier and more corrosive” than conventional oil (which, in any case, the NRDC also abhors), and is certain to cause high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, speeding our deaths by global warming, and, of course, killing many of us while we await death by global warming through dread spills that will leave us wallowing in “immense lakes of toxic waste.” That this has not occurred in Alaska is of no matter—nor is it worth considering that pipe-building technology may have advanced over the intervening 40 years even beyond what worked in Alaska. No, if we let Keystone go through, we’ll be swimming in guck and baking beneath a relentless sun within the decade! And Our Beloved Leader is keenly aware of these concerns, besides which he’s had one or two revelations of his own. In 2013 he let a reporter know that, “The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline – which might take a year or two – and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.” As if that weren’t sufficiently ridiculous to rock the press back on its heels, (had they so much as the collective analytic prowess of a bed of freshwater bivalves) he added blame canada untitledthat the pipeline would not lower gas prices, and might, in fact, drive them upwards. The assembled press members dutifully wrote this down as Rappin’ Preezy took full voice, appending his view that, “I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere–and there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.” So take that, Canada, you polluting barbarians! And enter the reliably-unctuous Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, to assure an increasingly desperate citizenry that “The Obama Administration remains committed to the production of clean, renewable energy from homegrown sources, and to the businesses that are hard at work to create the next generation of biofuels.” (Yawn.)

EPA Secretary Gina McCarthy--whose football career was not widely known until this informative NRDC campaign.

EPA Secretary Gina McCarthy–whose football career was not widely known prior to this informative NRDC ad.

And that brings us to now, as in the present, where it begins to get really interesting. The State Department ruled last March, curiously enough, that the pipeline would not increase greenhouse gas emissions –but the Environmental Protection Agency, in a strongly worded letter, called for a more detailed study one month later. (If this seems odd, turn immediately to our ingenious explanation of cabinet-level Three-card Monte published last month.) And while you’re checking that out, ask yourself this puzzler: What’s going on with State and its developing war of words with the EPA?  Are these two branches of the Obaman power elite actually at odds with each other? Why would a reliable liberal hack like John Kerry (who served in Vietnam before he was against it) enter into an unnecessary tussle with so refined an exemplar of sinistral flimflammery as EPA archduchess Gina McCarthy, (about whom WOOF can think of nothing good to report apart from her having a cool last name)?  So striking were the State Department’s assurances that the pipeline would not poison Americans to death that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell roused himself from his chronic torpor long enough to declare, “”This report from the Obama administration once again confirms that there is no reason for the White House to continue stalling construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, so, Mr. President, no more stalling — no more excuses.”  Say, that’s some dazzling rhetoric all right, Mitch, thanks!  But WOOF will not be in the least shocked should the EPA, or possibly the Department of the Interior (find the little lady and win the dough), respond with further forecasts of death, doom, and disaster, lobbing the ball back toward State’s court, as it were.

Internecine conflict? Nope--just another round of "Monte" for the masses!

Internecine conflict? Nope–just another round of Three Card Monte for the masses!

Is this internecine warfare? Nonsense! Bureaucracies are bovine entities of course, especially governmental ones, and momentary displays of cross-purposed verbiage are only to be expected. But now, State has come back with an iterance of its view that Keystone raises “no major environmental concerns,” and you can imagine the chaos this report is causing among those shrill defenders of the permafrost whom Edith Efron used to amusingly dismiss as “those save-the-fishies people.” Strange days indeed!

Okay, here’s your explanation for this apparent dichotomy, and it’s at once simple and entertaining, or we wouldn’t bother with it! The fact is, Barack Hussein Obama wants to okay the Keystone Pipeline about as badly as he wants to start a chapter of the John Birch Society. He has frantically sought options to doing the obvious—even to the extent of clearing the way for the opening of a (comparatively insignificant) Oklahoma-to-Texas line created to alleviate an oil bottleneck at a Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub. Oil began flowing unrestricted down the lesser pipeline last week, but it would have done so with or without Rappin’ Preezy’s okay because its 485-mile length crosses no U.S. borders despite the fact that TransCanada operates it. This is a classic Obaman beau geste…graciously granting his approval of that which is in any case inevitable, and as a sop to American voters and the Canadian oil industry it probably barely registered. Meanwhile, the sound of impatient American feet tapping has waxed thunderous, and the Canadians are showing signs of annoyance too. Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver read over the most recent reports and huffed, “The benefits to the U.S. and Canada are clear. We await a timely decision on this project.”  Timely? Leviathan will not be rushed.

Canadian Minister Joe Oliver--where is that neighborly smile?

Canadian Minister Joe Oliver–where is that neighborly smile?

Now, the afore-mentioned Barack Hussein Obama would typically scoff at these demands for oil, timeliness, practicality, jobs—and all that other stuff he finds so irritating; and the disdain this will earn him from Canadians bothers him not a wit more than the fact that most of Europe, Great Britain and the Middle East consider him an irretrievable boob. He has bigger fish to fry, dear readers, and believe us when we tell you: we are those fish! So in any other circumstances the president would stick to his guns (not that he owns any, but figuratively speaking), and let Mao take the hindmost. But not this time out, because there is more at stake here than previously. The quick-witted among our readers (and we confidently assume this is everyone) will say in chorus with us: Ahhh, yes, the Senate!

The president sticks to his guns--or gun?--since he's carrying no shells, we assume he's handed a different shotgun every couple of rounds.

The president sticks to his guns–or gun?–since he’s carrying no shells, we assume he’s handed a different shotgun every couple of rounds.

Politico freaks out

Dan Flood--did you think we were kidding?

Dan Flood–did you think we were kidding?

According to a story in the reliably liberal Politico last week, Democrat financiers are pulling their millions out of looming races for the House of Representatives infrank acknowledgment that recapturing that body in 2016, barring some unforeseeable game changer, is a lost cause. So powerfully have the American people reacted to their sadly-belated discovery that Obama’s promises about his healthcare program were a raft of dejecta, that many long time Democrat socialists in the House are simply dropping out of the game, the most recent example of which is the unbearable Henry Arnold Waxman, U.S. Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district, serving in Congress since 1975. Long heralded by the obedient press establishment as one of the most influential members of congress, Waxman was a leading loon in the fight to ram socialized medicine down the throats of Americans, but he suddenly lost his feistiness last week, declaring himself out of the running in 2016, because, gosh darn it, “It’s been frustrating because of the extremism of tea-party Republicans”  (which phrase, translated into real-speak, means “I’ve seen my current polling data and there’s no way I’m getting re-elected after what I pulled with Obamacare!”). Thus, the House is losing not only a liberal kingpin, but also the least attractive member of that body since Dan Flood (D-PA) decided to grow a mustache out of his nose. (Ugh, why did we remind ourselves of that?)

waxman

Henry Waxman–another victim of the extreme right?

Waxman’s welcome departure exemplifies a growing panic on the Left, according to the leftists at Politico, that 2016 will be another 2010, resulting in the Senate shifting to Republican control. Threatened in this regard, the multimillionaires of the fashionable Left have begun focusing their contributions on the Senate, in hopes of hanging onto that chamber, or at least keeping the Republican numbers low enough that a Lincoln Chaffey-style defection or two can be engineered as a make-up exercise.  Politico states that even some of the leftist elites whose donations were aimed at reuniting Nancy Pelosi with her whack-a-mole speaker’s gavel have lost heart and adjusted their fire to have maximum effect in the upcoming Senate races. The cool slang for this on the Left is “triage,” and WOOF would certainly prefer to see liberalism doing triage than dancing Snoopy dances—but this is not true of our Dear Leader. Okay, we know what you’re thinking: What does this Democratic panic, no matter how appealing, have to do with the disagreement between State and the EPA about the advisability of building the Keystone Pipeline? And here’s the partial answer: POTUS is also terribly afraid that the Senate may go Republican…do you find that implausible? We mean, implausible that he would give a tinker’s damn?

Why would a president whose clinical narcissism drives him again and again to ignore even his most sympathetic critics while tossing even his most devout followers under the proverbial bus whenever circumstances make doing so exigent, give a darn what happens to the Senate?  Let them go down in flames, right? They were too small for the Obaman Vision!  More Republicans on the Hill just means more candidates for the president’s patented version of the blame game. Why should he give a flying fleep?

Again, dangerous visions…king

Well, he does—give a flying fleep that is–and here’s why: WOOF knows (and we don’t say that unless we do) that Our Beloved Helmsman has been hard at work lately—not protecting the constitution or presiding over the proper functions of the executive branch, but rather holding lengthy meetings with legal experts and a handful of (perhaps ironically sympathetic) constitutional scholars regarding the removal of the biggest obstacle to his future happiness, namely the 22nd Amendment.  This bothersome Republican legislation prevents any president from seeking a third term, whether concurrently or following a hiatus from office—it just cannot be done constitutionally. And Rappin’ Preezy is doing his best to seek a means of repeal so that he can oversee the utter and complete ruination of the republic. Really. And you don’t have to be Thomas by-God Sowell to figure out that the Bamster isn’t getting anywhere—anywhere at all, without a left-wing Senate to back his perversities!

We rest our case.

We rest our case.

Now, you may well say, gentle readers, that no American in his right mind would vote to invite Barry Obama back for a third term, with or without the repeal of the 22ndamendment, but consider two distressing factors. First, Obama cannot bring himself to believe this, and even apart from his unbounded egomania, he has a finely tuned ground game ready to roll whose particular specialties are voter fraud and intimidation. Also consider: No matter what you or we in the WOOF cave may think, there are plenty of Americans still flaunting their “Obama for me!” bumper stickers and aching to vote a third time for the nation’s first communist president. If no American in his right mind would vote for the man, how did he win a second term despite all the disasters, lies, and excuses, compounded with interminable economic recession and skyrocketing unemployment?  But we digress…

Good cop, bad cop….

Keystone...cops...we tell you, this stuff just writes itself!

Keystone…cops…we tell you, this stuff just writes itself!

So here is where we find our explanation of the strange disconnect between the State Department and the EPA when it comes to the Keystone Pipeline. Normally, the First Marxist would simply say no to the pipeline—sneering with his customary hauteur that he will eschew all such environmentally destructive, jobs-neutral endeavors aimed at lining the pockets of Big-Oil magnates along with their fellow Republican fat cats—and blah blah blah.  But it is beginning to look to the POTUS (and to innumerable analysts and strategists) as though he cannot afford to just say no. It is beginning to look as though politics militate for the pipeline’s construction, lest the democratic brand in the Senate be further tarnished by the obdurate Luddite in the Oval Office. And it is WOOF’s position on this that the obdurate Luddite has not yet resolved himself to build so detestable a thing as an oil pipeline—especially one, the construction of which, comes with the additional nightmares of more jobs and more gasoline for the cars of Americans who should be trained to rely on mass transit. But on the other hand, Mr. Obama is also unable to shake the gnawing conviction that axing the Keystone Pipeline at this juncture might also drop the ax on any hope his party retains of holding the Senate. If he says yes, his fringe environmental wing tears him to shreds, which has a ripple effect among the college-age voting block of professorially-and-parentally brainwashed robo-students who vote for “cool.” But if he says no, the country seethes at this latest manifestation of incompetence and puerile stubbornness. What is a Bamster to do?

Default position: Bamlet!

A fellow of infinite beau gestes?

A fellow of infinite beau gestes?

He does his Hamlet act, of course–pretending to wrestle in torment over whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged environmental lobbiests or take arms against a sea of oil emerging from TransCanada’s accursed pipeline, and by opposing end it?  Okay, sorry—but you get the idea—the image that the public and the always gullible news media must now be shown is that of “lonely-at-the-top” Barry, weighing all the issues and finally cowboy-ing up and taking a stand. The dichotomous views of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of State are a chimera specifically engineered not only to reflect this “profound” internal torment, but to afford the president cover no matter which way he decides to decide—this is the only function of the pantomime—to give Obama cover for a decision he is not yet certain how to finesse.

three-card-monte

This is, in fact, what we previously referred to as cabinet-level Monte, played to a fare-thee-well. The fact, of course, being that Obama desperately wants to kill the entire capitalistic annoyance, but cannot bring himself to take quite so outrageous a political stand when the result might be the loss of the Senate and his hopes of kinghood along with it. This is why the EPA is playing unabashed “bad cop,” ready to stand by the president if he is forced to turn TransCanada (and the American people) down flat out of his fidelity to left-wing extremism, while the State Department, you will kindly note, stopped short of actually recommending pipeline construction, precisely to play “good cop” while leaving ample room for knifing the project without much suggestion of official discord. In this manner, State’s relatively glowing report will give cover to POTUS if he decides he has no choice but to hold his nose and side with Canada and the United States.

The shape of schemes to come…

Known to employ both Erst Stavro Blofeld and Dr. No as fashion designers, Valerie Jarrett always cuts a figure! (The "Reds offstage" have not submitted a photo).

Known to employ both Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Dr. No as fashion designers, Valerie Jarrett always cuts a figure! (The “Reds offstage” have not submitted a photo).

What will he ultimately decide? (What will Valerie Jarrett and the Reds offstage ultimately decide?) We probably don’t have long to wait before we find out—but the possibilities here seem to be limited to a yes, a no, or another ploy to extend the time requisite for the government’s already painfully protracted perusal of Keystone’s merits until after November, 2014, which is still uncomfortably distant. To this end, it might be that some other constituent of the Obaman uni-cabinet will be mustered into action, thus the Interior Department may suddenly develop a set of concerns and insist on a new study, or perhaps the Department of Energy. Why not?

Well, In this regard, WOOF has not availed itself of the services of our very own in-house psychic, the illustrious and at-least-mostly clairvoyant Dr. Gootensteiner Johannes Walters, vaunted head of our award winning Occult Divinations Division (ODD), headquartered in beautiful downtown Zug, Switzerland. Unfortunately (as we see it) the Doctor’s fearless prediction of last May to the effect that Obama’s administration would somehow or other fail to outlast the year (which see ) has clearly come a cropper by almost six weeks. WOOF, therefore, is uncertain whether to further enlist the Doctor’s services, and did not, in any case, inquire of him regarding the present matter. He may consider himself on probation.

Dr. Walters in Switzerland--accepts probation philosophically; continues to insist he will soon be vindicated.

Dr. Walters in Switzerland–accepts probation philosophically; continues to insist he will soon be vindicated.

All of which means, we aren’t entirely certain how the president will resolve his pipeline predicament, and neither is he—but although it seems a decision must not be long in coming, given the pressures both left and right, we must recall that POTUS spent his career in the Illinois state senate voting “present” 129 times and showed little willingness to take a stand on anything controversial beyond the usual liberal agenda items, although as a United States Senator, it must be acknowledged, he took a leading role in safeguarding the right of doctors to crush infantile skulls postnatally. Basically, however, Mr. Obama is not a man who likes to make decisions—and one senses that the major decisions of his presidency continue to be made for him.

With all this in mind, it will be interesting to watch how the rehash of the 2012 decision on Keystone, itself a kind of reprise of the 1973 controversy over the Alaskan pipeline, plays out over coming days and weeks.  Only yesterday (as we go to press), Obama confidently assured moderate TV commentator Bill O’Reilly that his decision on  Keystone awaits only the go-ahead from the Department of State–which seems odd, since he already has it in the form of State’s report. No, we at WOOF cannot predict this one with certainty (although we sense increasing uneasiness among the environuts)! We can only predict one thing with complete confidence: When Our Beloved Helmsman announces his long-awaited decision…there will be blather!

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