“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, June 02, 2006

bliss it was to be alive...

LI’s faithful reader, Mr. New York Pervert, left a comment a few days ago about the Homeland Security redistribution of Homeland Security money away from NYC and Washington D.C. and towards St. Louis and Kansas City – on the premise that the heartland is threatened with imminent attack, whereas whose ever heard of a hick place like New York City?

The woman who headed the “defund the places that we are supposed to secure” project for Homeland Security, Tracy Henke, is a piece of work. I mean, in the sense of a joy forever. The Bush culture has produced its flashes in the pan, but one can only hope that Henke is as immortal as, well, Ponzi. There was a bit about her in the Washington Post that has not, I’m surprised to see, been circulating around the bloggysphere. So, doing my part, here’s the cherry of it:

Henke had caused a ruckus last year when she demanded that a Justice Department report on racial disparities in police treatment of blacks in traffic cases be taken out of a news release. A respected career employee was demoted after protesting the move.
But indications are that Henke's working hard and handling her new post -- an important job to make sure scarce anti-terrorism money is spent effectively across the country -- with appropriate priorities.
Take this e-mail she sent to staff members last week:
"Another item I mentioned during the All-Hands meeting was the need to seek suggestions on how we can neatly encapsulate what we do at G&T to help others understand (inside and out of the department)," Henke wrote. She went on to say that when she was at the Justice Department her job included handing out money, being a contact beacon for states and local communities and helping victims of crime. "I used the 'Santa Claus, Batman and Mother Teresa' analogy" to sum up the functions.
But here's the problem. "Mother Teresa won't work for G&T," she wrote. "I requested that you think about and submit suggestions for another analogy to fill in the blank 'Santa Claus, Batman and ______.' This analogy is not for publication, but to be used in conversation to assist individuals in understanding the great work, activities and possibilities of G&T. Several of you have sent suggestions. Thank you for your interest and great ideas.
"To make certain that everyone has the opportunity to participate and to be involved," she wrote, "I have asked Anne Voigt [an aide] to chair a short-term committee to work on this for me. If you could please e-mail your suggestions to Anne . . . she will assemble the options. I ask that if you are interested in helping her, please e-mail her your name by COB on Tuesday, March 7. She will put the names in a hat (bowl or anything else we can find) and we will pick the other individuals to serve on the short-term committee with her.
"This committee will narrow the options down to no more than three and we will then have an all-hands vote to select the 'Santa Claus, Batman and ?' The individual whose suggestion is selected will be invited to lunch with me," she wrote, "my treat."

Feel safer already, don't you?”

Oh, what bliss to be ruled by people like this! The worst, the most idiotic, the most incompetent, the most mendacious, the one’s without a single redeeming social virtue, have created a sort of amusement park in D.C. for their own kind. My cold spectator’s heart brims with joy – every day, they simply give. And give some more. My only complaint -- and it is a teeny one -- is that they live on this planet. It would be nice if they were ruling another planet. That's all. A minor complaint, but I thought I'd put it out there.


new york pervert said...

'have created a sort of amusement park in D.C. for their own kind. My cold spectator’s heart brims with joy – every day, they simply give. And give some more'

Damn, you're funny. I hadn't known any of this 'drawing names' business and had forgotten she was the one handling the racial profiling in that inimitable my job=my ass sort of way that has been perfectly mastered by anyone in the Bush adminstration who hasn't gotten fired. I really think that when my write-in of 'Harriet Myers' (oh sweet jesus, what they did to that poor woman, people are just so insensitive to other people's feelings, I just never have seen anything like it) is chosen as just the right one to replace that ungainly nun, that I will tell Ms. Henke that, why, she is such an inspiration to all of us that I am going to memorize 'I Speak for Democracy' (maybe she'll let me recite it) and that she doesn't even have to pay. I'll do my own poll! (Success breeds success, tee hee..) I'm going to ask my circle (our local home demonstration agent is in it!) whether they think I ought to contact Fawn Hall's or Anne Gorsuch's living relatives to see if there is a grandmother's heirloom recipe to keep the real-cute theme going--and I'll surprise her whole awffice by passing around Iran-Contra Brownies with Ollie North Plaid-Sweater Frosting or Jello 'n' Insectitutinous Peanut Butter cookies (EPA-approved, which means the insecticides won't bother you just because they're there) served on Vermin Direct Plates and eaten with carcinogenic VD Flatware! (If I do Anne Gorsuch, I'll try to find out if the family was inconvenienced and confused when the press segued into 'Anne Burford' without explaining what had happened well enough for them to be sure it was somebody else other than their beloved bureaucrat that had to leave that EPA place.)

roger said...

Mr. NYP -- we are cracking each other up, man. But -- I must insist, only Crofton's steelware, re my campaign to make the Crofton spam pay dividends, re this LI post:

new york pervert said...

Oh, it's that 'waterless steelware' that I'm interested in, because I think it could be used to make spittoons such as were at my childhood barbershops that wouldn't show. However you do work the spam, though, you know I'm all in favour of dividends. I like dividends so much, I don't even care if somebody else is the recipient if I've still got some dividends of my own, too.

About 1982-3, there was a Dallas socialite on some show about Southampton, she had a place there. The interviewer asked her if being a part of Southampton was just a matter of 'having a lot of money.' Her response was, in fact, brilliant, not at all like Ms. Henke's dizzy nonsense. Instead of bullshitting about 'oh no, it's personality and talent and a lot of things besides money', she said 'No, not having a lot of money, but how you handle the money that you have.' It seems like nothing, but I have never forgotten it. Off-topic, but she had cultivated all the usual stereotyped styles, and yet she ended up saying something that was surprisingly useful even if it just sounds simple. There was a curiously unexpected element of kindness in it. I hope she got all the his 'n' her things from Neiman's I know she wanted when she wintered back home... a toute a l'heure..

new york pervert said...

roger--a final NYC word. John Tierney worth checking out today--proves he's far more dangerous than Brooks or Friedman, more pure cold blood. This talk of the rich renters of rent-controlled and -stablilized apartments is one thing they still talk about carefully, because the numbers and power of these tenants is still too large for them to defeat yet. So therefore they never mention the much larger population of non-wealthy and even downright poor who would not be able to live here without rent regulations. Donald Trump did the same thing in his late 80's book, outing ballerina Suzanne Farrell for paying 'too little' for a big apartment. But the end of the piece is startling: Tierney says that 'rentocrats' secretly feel guilty because they are stealing from the landlord, that they are squatters. Another inscrutable thing in the nonetheless familiar pattern: I definitely thought he'd say something about that rent-regulated tenants felt guilty about cheating some vague entity like 'taxpayers' or some other abstraction like 'slowing growth.' That they would feel guilty about cheating the real estate interests is, once again, that uncanny way of being quietly violent--because there is not a single tenant who feels that particular guilt. Note also that while Nora Ephron 'outs herself' as a 'selfish' rent-regulated tenant, Tierney was also, as he calls it a 'rentocrat.' Both feel so much better about not being rentocrats any more--that NEITHER has decided to pay back to their previous landlords what, in this logic, they clearly still owe their old landlords. Friedman and Brooks are disgusting, but they are not completely devoid of humanity. This is the kind of person who truly frightens, and it took nearly a year of reading Tierney's atrociously-written pieces to even figure out where he stood. This is the chilling cutthroat 'today's man.'