Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Promoting Patriot Minutes

J. Edgar Hoover, father of Unwarranted Wiretapping in a happy moment

  I have to confess that when I took a job with the vast right wing conspiracy (VRWC), I thought it was going to be a better deal than it was.  Among other things, there’s no union, no prevailing wage, no health benefits, no daycare, no provisions for repetitive stress injuries, and no overtime.  Elaine Chao did invite us to her house in Kentucky once though and it was really nice to see her close connection to ordinary working people in person.  They didn’t even charge for the valet parking. There are other perks as well.  Bill Frist has been known to give really good stock tips now and then and I’ve heard if you work for the VRWC for a while there are some technically legal real estate deals you can get in on.  Though both assume that you have money to invest in the first place.  
One perk is that we get to beta test a lot of their ideas for America.  Sure, it’s not always a good thing.  Last year, a couple of my coworkers got sick from some tainted meat that met the current “no obvious” signs of contamination rules and one or two of them had daughters get pregnant while at abstinence camp, but we all know that that’s just the price of freedom and personal responsibility.  I did, however, draw the line at far right oncology for an aunt who had a malignancy.  As far as I could tell, the doctors at the Intelligent Design school of medicine looked a bit too much like Oral Roberts.  One of my favorite perks though has been Patriot Minutes.  

I first heard about Patriot Minutes when Dick Cheney comped me to a visit last weekend to the VRWC Production facility sometimes also known as Industrial Might and Magic (IMM).  This is the place where they make, among other things, vote counting machines, the black box used by the President in his first debate in 2004, and the prototypes for Sith Mind Control that already work with some thirty percent of the people answering opinion polls.  My favorite was the red screen.  If you know much about special effects, you know that Hollywood uses a blue screen where actors do things like fly over the moon on  a bicycle or get blown down a hillside by a tornado.  

The Red Screen doesn’t produce visual effects, though it can.  Instead, you can use the red screen on any media and make any set of facts appear momentarily favorable.  Primitive versions of the device used to always make people say “Clinton did it”, but it’s gotten more sophisticated than that.  Now it applies a variety of “hot buttons” like “9/11”, “anti-Christmas”, and “hidden tax” in seemingly random fashion to make the effect of the red screen technique less obvious. The red screen can do some amazing things though, for instance, when was the last time you saw the Downing Street Memo? Or how about this trick with The Rest of What Iraqis Think.  Still, I think the most amazing thing was the way the red screen made some 2150 flag-draped coffins disappear without a trace along with 16,000 disabled veterans.  Just see if Siegfried and Roy could manage that one.

It truly was nice of the Vice President who genuinely seemed to feel guilty about our misunderstanding over my project to condense the Constitution to two hundred words so Americans would actually read it.  As you may remember, Dick Cheney and I got in an argument over whether my side deal to also edit the Bible was a separate document from the Constitution and thus two contracts.  The Vice President had spent most of the nineties driving very hard bargains with his principal client and I think it was difficult for him to get out of that mode.  

In any case, we never got to the business about a separate Bill of Rights and they then made the mistake of getting one of Charlton Heston’s speechwriters to replace me.  For the last four years, the President used that version of the Bill of Rights as his reference.  Rather than actually condensing the document, the Heston speechwriter cut corners to bring his version under bid and just cut out all but the second amendment.  Sadly, no one warned the President so he simply didn’t know about the first or fourth amendments for instance. Even worse, the President had to depend on Harriet Miers's memo to explain separation of powers. As Jack Abramoff once told me at the president’s Crawford horse milking party, “You get what you pay for.”

At the time, I wasn’t sure if he was referring to legislation or the president himself.  
Anyway, after I got to play with the red screen for a few minutes, Dick Cheney was nice enough to offer me some new writing assignments for the VRWC.  BTW, the red screen technique works wonders for the vice president.  In person, he keeps mentioning things like his support of the Contras, his vote against the release of Nelson Mandela, and making jokes about that whole energy task force business.  On the red screen, all of that disappears and the Vice President looks like someone’s favorite rich uncle instead of the lunatic who told us that the insurgency was in its death throes a mere five months ago.  A couple people there mentioned that you don’t really want to see Anne Coulter without the red screen, but I didn’t really believe that stuff about the fangs and the scales.  

Dick and I talked about my career in the incredibly competitive world of left-wing blogging and I told him that I thought my hope of getting even a few hits a day was a lost Koz.  Dick explained to me how right wing bloggers do better and they don’t have to write very well or actually be funny.  “We even send you your ideas and talking points,” he told me, “You don’t have to do any analysis on your own, in fact we discourage it.”

  Somehow, we got on the topic of warrantless searches and FISA and I had mentioned that warrantless searches were like ticketless airline travel.  “Who wants to wait in line when they can just go to a machine feed in all their personal information and save a few minutes?”  and then a light seemed to go on for the Vice President.By the end of the afternoon, I found myself as the lead strategist for promoting Patriot Minutes should the need to bypass FISA fail in the court of public opinion.

The premise behind Patriot Minutes is simple. They already exist in another form.  Should you go to Safeway or any other major market, you’ll be asked if you’re a Safeway club member.  Instead of paying exaggerated prices for items, you just pay regular retail if you let them track every single grocery purchase you make on their database.  I’m fairly protective of my own civil liberties, but I’ll do anything for a three percent discount.  VRWC research has found that 98% of Americans will give up any semblance of privacy for about a one and a half percent discount.  The beauty of it though is that it’s not really a discount at all.  They’re just charging you regular price, it’s the people who want some semblance of privacy who pay extra.

Patriot Minutes are part of a cell phone “Freedom Plan” that gives the government the right to tap all of your conversations in exchange for paying your normal monthly rate.  If you decide to  “Rove”, thus insisting that your calls from say Time Magazine reporters not be logged under the plan, you get surcharged for ten times your normal rate.  There is a setting on any cell phone that will keep you from “Roving”.  This should never be confused with “Roeing”, you will find that you can not, for instance, call Planned Parenthood with your phone set to Rove.  This though is a small price to pay for freedom. For the especially patriotic, there's even something called "raving minutes" for when you jam talk show lines. I do have to admit that I’m not sure how the government proposes to translate all the conversations they get through Patriot Minutes.  When I asked the vice-president about Sibel Edmonds and her claims that no one was translating most of the wiretaps in Turkish or Arabicanyway, he didn’t have much to say.

One of the beauties of the “Freedom Plan” is that there’s no reason not to use your Patriot Minutes.  Should you not want to use Patriot Minutes, it would be a clear sign that you have something to hide.   That’s why only people actually named “Rove” or who are designated by anyone named “Rove” who choose to “Rove” under the plan or who refuse the plan go on a special customer list.  If you have something to hide then you obviously are a terrorist and shouldn’t be entitled to privacy on your phone line anyway. In other words, everyone gets their phone tapped.  Under the “Freedom Plan”, as you accumulate Roveing minutes, you will win free trips to undisclosed locations in Eastern Europe where your privacy will be so completely respected that it will be impossible even for your family and closest friends to find you there, one of the many hidden benefits of the freedom plan  These trips not only come at no extra charge, they come without charges.

Although I’m still working out the details for promoting Patriot Minutes via ads featuring Judith Miller and Bob Novak (I already use mine and I didn’t even have to sign up), Dick Cheney has already approved my slogan,
“Patriot Minutes, the cost of freedom is cheaper than ever.”


At 12/20/2005 09:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This piece is my fav ever, cl!!

I guess I can tell you seeing as you are One of Us -- just vow never to rat me out to the hoi polloi. Oh the VRWC makes me feel so patriotic and proud -- it is this kind of work that is almost as thrilling as the good old days bombing abortion clinics.

VRWC has me taking your 200-word Constitution & breaking that down to a Red State Freedom Cookies line of Constitutional Quips. "Our President has Unlimited Powers to Protect Us!! Praise him!" The rest of the verbiage in the Constitution is just window-dressing for bleeding heart liberals to nitpick about.

Those so-called Quakers have always been a cover for pinko defeatists, and it's time someone stood up and said so. Also if we'll infiltrate the granny traitors, the rest of them tree-huggers know they better not get too uppity.

I think you're going to go far in the VRWC. I myself haven't met with Uncle Dick yet. Please remember me when you rise to the glorious top.

I'd like your advice. Our Lord Cheney never ruffles a scale when he BigLies. He is stolid and seamless, clearly a master. But Bishop Bush still has twitches and leans forward and cocks then juts his jaw out when he BigLies. I don't think the viper press has got on to it yet, but I'd like to get it fixed before they do.

At 12/20/2005 11:49:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Karl sometimes asks about you, some business about intertwined Aspen roots.

The red screen technique doesn't work quite as well on W because he has a shorter attention span, thus is less able to hold still.

For someone with unlimited powers, the guy sure isn't doing very well with them.


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