Gobble, Gobble

Gobble, Gobble

The strange death of Peace

 © Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 22, 2012

 How hard up is the right wing media in the wake of the collapse of their credibility in covering elections?

Matt Drudge, in his never ending search for anything to use against Barack Obama, had this as his top “below-the-fold” headline, a fairly prominent listing: “

Turkey pardoned by Obama euthanized…

If you follow the link, it takes you to the webpage for WPTV, an NBC affiliate in Florida. They, in turn, were running a story written by one Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer. If he’s a Senior Producer for -the- CNN, then he’s obviously a very important man who has been assigned to the former White House Poultry Stage Props division. However, the NY Daily News has an expanded version of the same story under the byline of one “By Christine Roberts / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS” – a periodical that is something of a hen house.


The headline writer at WPTV is a bit more honest than Drudge, and so you learn right away that the turkey that was euthanized was not one of the ones Obama “pardoned” yesterday; it was one of the two he pardoned last year.

Our intrepid tom reporter, Mike learned of the mysterious death of the turkey named “Peace,” who was the “understudy” (tom reporter Mike’s word) for “Liberty” (yes, really. Liberty). How he learned this isn’t clear. Perhaps CNN has roving bands of interns whose job it is to track the fates of White House pets, mascots and props. Don’t laugh. Not in this economy. If someone is stupid enough to pay you to do something like that, you’ll do something like that. Children are starving in Indiana.

Tom reporter Mike spoke to an official.

Aha! Thinks the discerning reader. He went to the White House, and got something big. They don’t know where Obama was the night Peace died. Or maybe they’re trying to claim that the REAL Peace is on Rush Limbaugh’s Thanksgiving dinner table, and they murdered an innocent turkey with the same name in order to make Obama look bad! All we know for sure is that Peace was not in Gaza.

Tom reporter Mike spoke to an “official” at the Mount Vernon Estate, which is a turkey farm and not to be confused with the palatial abode of any dead white Presidents, although there is one on this particular turkey farm. Ben Franklin, who wanted the turkey to be the official bird of the United States, would have approved.

The “official” was a PR flak who was pretty clearly confounded that any reporter would bother asking about the death of any turkey at the turkey farm, even a turkey that has met Obama.

“Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, confirmed that Peace had been dead after a weekend ‘illness.’ But Aloisi knew neither the nature of the illness, the manner of death, nor what had been done with the remains of the large, edible bird,” wrote tom reporter Mike.

That “edible” is key to understanding tom reporter Mike’s thinking. There’s a scandal here, he’s thinking. Someone, possibly Obama himself, defied the presidential pardon and ate Peace.

There’s a lot of things that can kill a turkey that would make the bird inedible. If you take a turkey carcass, dress it out, and hang it up in a butcher shop with a big sign reading “Died of Natural Causes,” chances are good it will still be hanging there on Black Friday. Or maybe not; this is America, where tens of millions of people on food stamps try to live on $3/day for food, and it’s fairly late in the month. A lot of Americans are eating roadkill at this point, and won’t be too fussy about a turkey that doesn’t look like it died of AIDS.

Tom reporter Mike found it vaguely sinister that Rebecca Aloisi didn’t know exactly how Peace was put to death, or what became of his carcass. She noted that they had about 500 acres of turkeys, plus George Washington’s old home, which suggests that she probably wasn’t on a first name basis with many of them. But she was probably wondering just what this crazy reporter wanted from her, which by itself would confuse nearly anyone.

Tom reporter Mike ends his story on an ominous note, which doubtlessly is why Drudge elected to make it one of the top news stories of the day.

He wrote, “But now Peace is dead. And two new birds pardoned by President Obama will be put on public display until early January, and will then be retired to live out the rest of their natural lives, spared the feast. If that’s what you choose to believe.”

My gawd, is there no bottom to the evil depravity of Barack Obama? Did he, in fact, slip into the turkey farm in the dead of night, slit Peace’s throat, and bring him home as a Thanksgiving treat for Bo?

Or might it just have something to do with the fact that few domestic turkeys, particularly the poor morbidly obese and unexercised creatures that are shoveled, by the hundreds of millions, into the gaping maw of Thanksgiving, live more than a year? They can’t fly, they can barely walk, and most of them are stuffed full of hormones designed to raise water retention, the anti-Lasix for the poultry set so people can enjoy tender and juicy meat. They don’t get much in the way of life expectancy.

Now, the right wing has been real testy over the whole thing about politicians and Thanksgiving turkeys, ever since Sarah Palin let herself be filmed for an interview in front of a scene of turkeys being slaughtered. They desperately need a turkeygate of their own, and have been probably pushing the media for a taint of tryptophan trespass.

Maybe there is something dark, sinister and possibly even relevant to this story of the strange death of Peace. Maybe Obama looked at one of the birds he ‘pardoned’ and chuckled and whispered, “I’ll be seeing you again at Christmas Dinner or Eid al Fitr or whatever it is us socialist Moslems celebrate.”

Maybe Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer, did find a real story, and this will reestablish CNN as one of the most reliable and important news sources in the world.

If that’s what you choose to believe.





Peace, turkey pardoned by President Obama last Thanksgiving, euthanized

Officials insist timing of death not suspicious



A turkey pardoned by President Obama last year was euthanized Monday, and officials are insisting the timing of the death — days before the Thanksgiving holiday — is not suspicious.
Copyright Getty Images

Posted: 5:52 AM
Last Updated: 6 hours and 11 minutes ago

  • By: Mike M. Ahlers, CNN Senior Producer

Washington — Peace, one of two turkeys pardoned by President Obama last year, was euthanized Monday, according to an official who insisted the timing of the death – days before the Thanksgiving holiday – was not suspicious.

Rebecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, confirmed that Peace had been dead after a weekend “illness.” But Aloise knew neither the nature of the illness, the manner of death, nor what had been done with the remains of the large, edible bird.

“I appreciate where you’re going with this,” Aloisi told CNN. “But I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for.” The decision to euthanize the bird was made by a veterinarian in consultation with Mount Vernon’s livestock department, she said.

Peace had served as the understudy for Liberty, another turkey, at the 2011 pardoning ceremony by President Obama. Obama chose to pardon both birds to spare them from the fate of the plate.


But pressed on details about Peace’s death, and what was done with the carcass, Aloisi deferred. “Honestly, I work in marketing,” she said, defensively. “We have a 500-acre facility.”

The facility – historic home of President George Washington – includes a landmark mansion, farm, wharf and the Mount Vernon Inn.


Asked if the inn serves turkey, Aloisi hedged. “That’s a good question. I assume so,” she said.

The inn, in fact, boasts of “costumed servers” who serve “delicious regional and colonial cuisine” including a “Roast Turkey Dinner” for $17.50, according to the inn’s web site.

Aloisi said turkeys have short lifespans, especially those bred for eating. The timing of the death was “curious,” Aloisi allowed, but not suspicious.

“I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don’t know the mechanics,” she said.

Mount Vernon anticipates receiving more turkeys following this year’s pardoning ceremony. “We were very prepared to have all four birds live here,” Aloisi said.

At the Nov. 23, 2011, pardoning, President Obama said Peace was “going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon – the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.”

But now Peace is dead.

And two new birds pardoned by President Obama will be put on public display until early January, and will then be retired to live out the rest of their natural lives, spared the feast.

If that’s what you choose to believe.


Gaza Redux

Gaza Redux

It’s only the blood of children

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 19, 2012

 “Our enemy is drowning in the blood of [our] children.”

That statement, delivered by Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, sums up the utter futility and madness of the conflict in the Gaza zone over the past week.

Juan Cole, speaking in a different context, wrote, “Images of dead babies would inflame the Muslim world and cause huge headaches for the US.” The heartlessness inherent in that statement isn’t Cole’s; he was describing how the civilian casualties expected would raise the political stakes and make a general war in the region more likely.

Both, however, touch on the deepest tragedy of this conflict. It’s mostly men, women and children who are non-combatants, who are dying. When the media report that Israel is making surgical strikes, they’re lying through their goddamn teeth. These are flying bombs, landing in densely-populated areas nearly at random. And there is no real equivalency here: The rockets that some shadowy figures in Gaza fire into Israel are little more than toys, a statement born out by the low Israeli casualties.

Netanyahu claims the latest assault by Israel was provoked by these rocket attacks, and most likely Netanyahu is lying. He’s defensive in the wake of the American election, where he put his bets on Romney, all but anointing the cold little plutocrat the new American president without waiting for the formality of a vote, and becoming more and more derisive and disrespectful to Barack Obama. Like most fascists, he was convinced the Republicans had the White House in the bag, regardless of what the American people wanted.

Continue reading “Gaza Redux”

Mister President, You Have a Mandate

The American people are behind you: Do your job

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 9th 2012


When the Electoral College count moved above the magic 270 mark on its way to an eventual 332, your victory, Mister President, was far bigger than most people realize.

For the past two years, I had been saying that you would win an honest election. There was never any doubt in my mind about that. What I wasn’t so sure of was if you could win a dishonest election, one in which the GOP and their corporate masters managed to stack the entire deck against you.

Well, they did manage that, we had a dishonest election, and STILL you won.

They spent over $2.4 billion for their corporate causes, these glinty-eyed, secretive, paranoid plutocrats with their compensatory contempt for the rabble. The Kochs, the Adelmans, all these vicious and imperious bastards, spent and spend and spent, giving the professional liars they employed the means to create a vast river of bullshit, calumny, deceit and fear-mongering.

And still you won.

Faux News and Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh and the thousands of other outlets for the vast rightwing circus that serves as a disgraceful parody of a free press spewed lies and hate and racial innuendo, swearing that supporting you was socialist and anti-Christian and anti-American.

And still you won.

Continue reading “”

The Morning After

The Morning After

What does the Obama victory mean?

 © Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 7th 2012


While last night’s victory was hardly a smashing victory for liberalism, a lot of liberals are crowing with delight today. It’s not because it was a big win, but because what was defeated was so utterly vile.

First, there was Mitt Romney himself. The man seemed to have no concept of truthfulness, or any basic core values. Politics is known for attracting flip-floppers and con men, but he stood out, smarmy, empty, so vacantly dishonest that it was hard to tell if he cared, or even knew, when he was lying.

Then there were the Teabaggers. They had a bad night last night. Their chief harridan, Michele Bachmann, was able to get reelected, but only by the slimmest of margins, and in an area redistricted to her advantage. Had it been the same configuration that she got elected in three previous times, she would have lost. Others from the teabag fringe did worse: Alan West, Mourlock, and Akin are all gone. Scott Brown is gone. So are quite a few of the remaining Blue Dogs.

Faux News took a ringing slap to its credibility amongst its faithful viewers. It had been promising a Romney landslide for the past few weeks, with various pundits projecting Romney getting between 300 and 365 Electoral Votes, and up to 16% margins in the popular vote. When it didn’t turn out that way, Karl Rove effectively had an on-air melt down. He managed to stop just short of screaming “But this can’t be happening! The fix was in!” but it was pretty clear that he believed his own prognostication of 330 Electoral Votes for Mittens. Despite what his own polls were telling him.

Continue reading “The Morning After”

Election Eve

Election Eve

Turn off the TV, and read your voter guide


© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

November 3rd 2012


There’s an election next week. You may have heard mention of it on your TV. Obama versus Romney, which is mediocre versus horrible. Neville Chamberlain versus Hitler.

OK, Romney probably doesn’t deserve to be compared to Hitler, although the comparison might be apt with some of the people supporting him. You have the teabagger crowd looking for ways to legitimize rape. Others want to toss the American people to the tender mercies of large multinational corporations. His own VP candidate champions a libertarian dystopia where the existence of every working American is at the whim of his boss, and if you don’t work, you can’t expect much in the way of an existence. One Republican candidate even called for executing children who disobey their children.

Four years ago, we made “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” jokes about McCain. I don’t think it occurred to anyone that there might be a candidate crazy enough to suggest that it would be alright for McCain to enforce the sanctity of his lawn with an AK-47. That was then. This is now.

The two party system sucks. The electoral college sucks, as anyone trapped in the avalanche of ads in any of the “battlefield states” can attest. I’m guessing most of my readers don’t feel represented in any meaningful way by either party, or either candidate, and are basing your votes on the one least likely to turn your life to shit.

Continue reading “Election Eve”


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