Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Go White Sox!

Barbara Bush: the Poster Gorgon of the Astros

by JACKIE CORR

According to Texas papers, when the Cards/Astros’ baseball playoffs opened in Houston, ( Saturday, Oct. 15, game 3), the ex-president and ex-first lady Barbara Bush arrived 45 minutes before game time, drawing a loud ovation as they settled into their seats in the front row behind home plate.

Coming from a family that has yet to pass up a chance to mix patriotism and vulgarity, Bush Sr. waved, then stood, took off his navy blue sport coat raising it high over his head.

The crowd roared.

The lining of his coat was an American flag.

Then, obviously incapable of being embarrassed, George and Barbara sat behind home plate and later smooched when they were featured on the big screens of what the Astros call the "Kiss Cam,"to the delight of the crowd.

And there is more. During all three playoff games with the Cardinals, the Bushes, along with Astros’ owner Drayton McLane were seated so they were visible on every pitch during every inning. 

Owner McLane is also a big cigar in the Texas Republican Party. A billionaire and one of Wal-Mart’s largest shareholders, McLane was honored as a "Pioneer" ($100,000) in Bush’s successful 2004 re-election
campaign.

And I must add that Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News outfit is televising the playoffs and world series. And we know how unbiased they are.

But if you don’t know it,  Fox is the news channel that you see at the White House. Even Dick Cheney admits he spends a "lot of time" watching Fox because of its accuracy.

Of course, Barbara, the poster babe of the Astros, hairdo and all, was the most prominent on the screen. As the Chicago Sun-Times Mark Brown noted, Mrs. Bush’s seat was so close to home plate "you can see her head during every pitch of every at-bat."

Which means there was no escape for television viewers. Every single pitch of every single inning and there’s Barbara Bush.

Now some fondly remember Barbara for her tasteless remarks about the Katrina homeless stranded in the Astrodome. This is the same Barbara who earlier said on national television she was not going to use her "beautiful mind" worrying about "body bags and death" as a result of her sons barbaric and unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

Then there is the ballpark itself, now called Minute Maid Park. Did you know it  was called Enron Field until June of 2002?

But there were no reports of Ken Lay sightings during the playoffs in Houston.

So it’s Barbara Bush and the Houston Astros in the World Series and brought to you by our friends at
FOX.

What more could you ask for?

Go White Sox.

JACKIE CORR can be reached at jcorr@bigskyhsd.com