Rummy shows us using Geometric Logic that a “miss” and a “mile” and “complete victory” are, surprisingly, all exactly this long.
Rummy always struck me as one of the "Quint-from-Jaws" guys of this Administration.
Deranged shark-hunter who’s working out God-knows-what personal demons by taking a boat that’s way too fucking small deep into lethal waters, and once the peril of following his lunatic plan becomes clear, he decides the best course of action would be to smash the radio.
You can just imagines him pumped up on testosterone until it’s squirting out his tear ducts, bragging to Bush, “I'll catch these terrorists for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycocks. …
And most especially, “I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”
Difference being that Big Don hasn’t ever actually been on a boat, or hunted Great Whites, or floated in the water and watched friends die. He’s nothing but a swagger-and-thesaurus manure dispenser with bulletproof job security because the one guy who can fire him is also the one guy who is actually stupid enough to keep take big bites out of Rummy’s guano-burgers and ask for seconds.
But now, as is transparently obvious to all but the Red State Kool-aidians, he and his President and have stranded us in some very deadly deeps indeed, with no plan except more of the same.
So taking a great deal of license with Himself’s comments on the Mouse Circus last week, and a couple of Q&A lists on Sharks off the web, I started to wonder what Rummy might say about the recent apparent rise in Shark Attacks, if say, the Administration had declared a full, global war against the so-called Axis of Chondrichthyes.
And it wasn’t going so well.
Q: For starters, Mr. Secretary, how many species of sharks have been known to attack man?
RUMMY: You know, the suggestion that things go nicely or good in a war is just not the case. Wars are tough things, and I think the concern on the part of the public in every war, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the World War--two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam--it's always been a case. And it's understandable.
So the American people are basically seeing almost all of the violence and the negatives but very little of the positive side. So it's not surprising. Polls go up, they go down. If you try to chase them, I think it's a mistake. We have to be aware of that fact, but I feel that solid progress is being made.
Q: Actually, I didn’t ask anything about the polls.
RUMMY: Fuck you, you were thinking it.
Q: Chuck Hagel, a Republican, said this: "Shark attacks aren't getting better, they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. ...It's like they're just making it up as the go along."
RUMMY: That's just flat wrong. We are not. And if you think of what General Casey and General Abizaid and General Myers said this week in congressional testimony, the allegation that it's some sort of a quagmire and progress isn't being made just isn't true. And they feel very good about the progress that's being made.
Sharks have no vision. They have no Ho Chi Minh, they have no Mao, they don't have any cause. Most sharks don’t even live around here, or pay any taxes. They're killing people and they're opposing an elected government. That isn't any long-term formula for success.
Q: The Times of London reports this morning that there have been two meetings between U.S. officials and some number of sharks, both Squaliformes and Squatiniformes. Even Heterodontiformes. Is that accurate?
RUMMY: Oh, I wouldn’t doubt it. I think there have probably been many more than that. I mean, not the ones with blood on their teeth, but the others. I mean, that’s what we’re saying. Wer’e saying in the Pacific “Hey, come into the ecosystem. Let's stop eating swimmers," and the same thing's going on in the Atlantic.
Q: Is that, by definition, negotiating with sharks?
RUMMY: No, no. Look, look, you've got a situation where you've got Bad Man-eating Death Machines, and over here you've got Good Man-eating Death Machines. Good Man-eating Death Machines haven't decided what they're going to do. Maybe they can be persuaded to bring swimmers drinks and yummy-yummy banana bread, and are willing to maybe at some future date consider giving up the whole “eating swimmers" thing. The goal is to get got Good Man-eating Death Machines to all move the in the general direction of the whole “not eating swimmers” initiative, and it isn't a matter of negotiating with sharks. There's no one negotiating with Bad Man-eating Death Machines or the one’s that are out bite people's heads off.
And I think the sharks are going to choose a path of lightness.
There's…Look, the sweep of evolutionary history is for NOT eating people. Look at what's happened with the saber-tooth tiger and the T-Rex; we defeated them both, and now have democratically elected governments on both Saber Island and Rexonia.
Q: Actually, didn’t the last saber-tooth die out, like, 20,000 years ago before people were even a big deal? And weren’t the dinosaurs all extinct tens of million of years before the first humans even came into existence?
RUMMY: That's just flat wrong. Ask James Dobson.
Q: Let me show you a graphic, which represents how consistent shark attacks have been over time. Since the beginning of Operation Undoing Freedom, they haven’t been going down at all. Does any of that represent, in your mind, misjudgments made by you or the Administration about the nature of sharks generally, or your plans to address the problem?
RUMMY: Well, you know, you have to remember that in every shark thingy, your diving cage doesn't survive first contact with a Great White. It's just reality. These sharks are perfectly willing go and eat innocent people, and anyone who wants to eat people tend to get away with it. Cheney eats 3-4 people a week. A week!
And I think that our shark fighters are the finest on the face of the Earth. They are the best trained, they are the best equipped, they're the best led, and they're doing a fine, fine job for our country. And progress is being made politically and economic, but I see people look at it and say, "Well, my goodness, what about this? What about that?"
This is the reality of the sharking business: that there's violence and it's tough and it's terrible. And that's why it's everybody's last choice.
Q: But there are a lot of Americans and members of Congress who believe that fundamental misjudgments were made. The whole notion of how sharks would react -- a few days before the invasion, I had Vice President Cheney on this program. And this is what I asked him and what his answer was. Let's watch and come back and talk about it.
(Videotape, March 16, 2003):
Q: Do you think the American people are prepared for many, costly and bloody shark attacks?
VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, because I really do believe the sharks will be greet us as liberators.
Q: Do you think that was a misjudgment?
RUMMY: Well, you never know what's going to happen. I presented the president a list of about 15 things that could go terribly, terribly wrong regarding sharks.
-- Sharks could, for example, suddenly, radically evolve and start shooting the place up with weapons they salvage from sunken battleships.
-- Sharks could take over major American corporations and outsource millions of jobs to Tierra Del Fuego.
-- Sharks could start showing up in the White House Press Room disguised as manwhores and start asking hard questions.
But I emphasize that NONE of these things ever happened, and I credit our brave shark-hunting men and women for that.
Q: Was “sharks attacking swimmers“ on your list that you gave the president?
RUMMY: I don't remember.
Q: I think the concern that many people have is that if we were wrong or misjudged that, are we making some other misjudgments now? This is how The Washington Times reported in exchange before the hearings. "[Sen. Carl] Levin asked whether the chief Shark Attackologist thought the attacks were in their `last throes,' as Mr. Cheney said ... last month. `In terms of the overall numbers and lethality, I'd say it was the same as it was' six months ago."
For the sake of clarity, on behalf of the American people, once and for all, would you please for the Love of Almighty God just give me ONE straight fucking answer about shark attacks? Are we on the Last Train to Throes-ville, or are the man-eaters as alive and well and vibrant and strong as they were six months ago?
RUMMY: Well, there are various ways to measure it. If you measure the number of incidents, it's gone up…now it's back down. I am, in fact, developing my own trademarked version of calculus and geometry to measure things and I’m tellin’ ya, its very exciting.
You can divide by zero and everything!
So if you look at lethality of those instances, it's up. Now, what does that mean? Does it mean that the sharks are stronger? Or in some kind of “last throes”? The last throes could be violence, as you well know from a dictionary standpoint.
And from an anagramatic standpoint, “last throes” could also mean… “Lather Toss”, which I can personally attest you shouldn’t even bother to ask Jeffy Gannon about unless you’re packing serious coin. You know: Halliburton-bank.
Or “Tot Slasher”.
Or “Shots later”, which ironically is what George and Dick and I have lined up for this evening.
Or even “Hatless Rot”.
You see how complexifiable even the simplest question can become? How I can actually drop my pants and slap my SecDef wang in your face?
You know why?
Two words, beyotch: Man Date. And that’s all I’m sayin’.
Q: But would you say the sharks are on their last legs, or is still dining on our last legs?
RUMMY: Who can say? Who among us mere mortal men can pierce the veil of the Maya, defy Causality Itself and steal the Holy Fire so as to know these things? Some things, after all, Man was not meant to know.
Q: Congressman Harold Ford said he was told that to meet the shark menace, which may or may not be throe-ing or growing or whatever your new Unified Fuckup Theory says, the hard god-damned numbers are we would need 107 combat-ready, shark-ateers, and that there are only three now. Is that accurate?
RUMMY: See what you have to do is look at the shark-ateers force and what its role is and then define it. And we have very few shark-ateers forces, that are capable of, y’know, actually fighting sharks. But that number is going up every day, every week, every month, and yet we do have shark-ateers that are extremely effective at all of the support functions like answering phones, or making banana bread or giving a war-weary Sec Def a soothing Thai body-body with happy ending at the end of a long day.
Q: But if we only have three shark-ateers that are fully ready and we need 107, aren’t we are in for a very long fucking haul?.
RUMMY: Well, we're going to have, I think something in the neighborhood eleven in October.
Q: How many of those will be fully ready to, y’know Fight Sharks?
RUMMY: Well, you can't do it that way. Your forgetting the yummy-yummy banana bread! And the tatting. Many, many tea cozies to be tatted to cover the teapots holding the beverages that keep our boys combat-ready. And the plush-toy-making. And there’s a surprising amount of re-grouting that has to happen each and every day. And, as I said, the body-body and the bareback blowjobs.
Seriously, without being serviced every day by 13 Thai ladyboys in an Olympic-sized pool filled with Liebfraumilch, I don’t know how I could face the grueling work of inventing whole new and exciting geometries to prove how effective we are being.
It’s the soft things – the soft, pink things – that are considerably more important.
Q: Are sharks more likely to attack humans at night than in the daytime?
RUMMY: There’s no way of knowing, but I can tell you that had shark attacks proved to be more prevalent during daylight hours, we had plans to add up to 400,000 or 500,000 hours of sunlight to each week if we needed.
Q: OK, now you’re just making shit up, right? Just pulling random sentences out of your ass? I mean either that, or you’ve completely lost your mind, or did fifty hits of blotter acid before this interview and are peaking your mad ass off right this minute.
RUMMY: That's just not correct. You could probably find someone in the Pentagon who thought that. But if you're talking about the Pentagon, meaning the Joint Chiefs and the secretary of defense and the president and the National Security Council, that's just not true.
I'm sure there was somebody who said, "Gee, the Old Man’s all-night tranny-and-ether frolics, and the live-fire Gitmo 'hunting parties' are really getting way the fuck out of hand. I mean, last week I told him that we were running out of Liebfraumilch and would Merlot be OK? Well first he did that excellent Paul Giamatti going-ape-shit-over-Merlot scene from “Sideways”, but he’s never seen the movie. Then he said that if I didn’t wast to see my kids harvesting the poppy crop in Tora Bora, I’d better start drawing up plans for the invasion of the Rhineland most riki-tik.”
And they do that all the time, the planners. And then someone gives that piece of paper to a reporter, and he runs it and says the Pentagon wanted this. Well, it's just not true.
Q: So OK, broadly speaking, exactly how many kinds of sharks are there? Also, how many of them are man-eaters, and which species are the most dangerous?
RUMMY: Who knows? Time will tell.
Q: Well then, as to cost, you said that this whole Shark Hunting Adventure was going to take about a week, and cost us no more that the average Happy Meal? But the fact is, Lawrence Lindsey, one of the chief economic advisers to the president, was fired because he said it would actually cost $100 billion. We're way past that.
RUMMY: I don't think he was fired for that reason.
Q: Oh, go back and read very carefully what happened.
RUMMY: My understanding is that Mr. Lindsey was fired due to an incident involving four gallons of bathtub absinthe and some degree of dwarf tossing.
Q: I think they prefer to be called “little people.”
RUMMY: I can have you killed. Did you know that? Y ou and your whole family and anyone who ever had lunch with you. Just, Bang! Fast or slow...and you'd never see it coming.
Q: I was just pointing out…
RUMMY: The dwarfs too. I could have one of them “You Must Be This Tall to Ride the Screaming Eagle” signs put up on every street corner in the country and give everybody under, oh, let’s say, 5’1” forty-eight hours to move to wherever the little fuckers come from. Oompa-Loompa Land or wherever.
Donna Shalala – Dead!
Bob Reich – Dead!
Billy Fucking Barty – Dead!
Q: Actually I think Mr. Barty is already…
RUMMY: Wouldn’t cost much either. About the price of a Happy Meal, I’d think. And wouldn’t take more than a week.
Q: OK...so back on the subject of cost, did you make a misjudgment about the cost of this Great Shark Hunt?
RUMMY: I never estimated the cost of anything. Never. Never ever. No one in this Administration does, which frankly is why we were all such cock-headed losers in the in the Private Sector. Thank God we had Old Man Bush’s Rolodex to leach off of!
I mean…a barrel of oil? Who the fuck knows how much that costs? Nine dollars? A billion dollars? Hell, I paid over $7,500 for this cup of Sterno I’m drinking right now.
Did I overpay? Underpay?
So how can one estimate the cost of anything? I've avoided it consistently, so how can that be a misestimate?
We've said that there are always going to be unknowns, and that the unknowns themselves might have little Unknowns, which might fall in love and get married and have a whole passel of third-generation inbred Unknowns. And then they form a tribe, and then there’s the misunderstandings and a power grab. A schism. And then before you know it the two halves of the formerly happy Unknown Family start making war on each other.
So those that are running around saying that we're losing or that it's a quagmire are flat wrong.
Q: I, uh, never said the word “Quagmire”.
RUMMY: Fuck you, you were thinking it.
Special Blog Post Update: From the Chicago Tribune..
(Insert ripping-fast morse-code soundtrack)
Attention Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea:
July 1, 2005, 10:33 PM CDT
BOCA GRANDE, Fla. -- A shark bit an Austrian tourist on the ankle Friday while he stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico, the state's third shark attack in a week.
Armin Trojer, 19, of Baden, Austria, was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Fort Myers, where he was in fair condition, hospital spokeswoman Pat Dolce said. He underwent surgery Friday evening to repair some ligaments, tendons and blood vessels on his right ankle.
"It is a confirmed shark attack," Lee County sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi said. "Someone else in the water saw a shark."
(Damn! Hurry Rummy! This one's an ankle biter! )