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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.
"But the Oil Still Flows, the Plan is on Track ... "

Dreaming of a White House Christmas

by RICHARD NEVILLE

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the White House
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse,
The stockings were hung up by the chimney with care,
And the shredders were humming in the chilly night air

Our spinners and fixers all snug in their beds
While visions of water boarding danced in their heads.
Now Laura in ‘kerchief, and me in a nightcap,
Had settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Agents sprang from their bunks to see what was the matter.
Away to the windows they flew with guns pointed,
Tore open the shutters and were not disappointed.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to a bloodbath below.
When, what to our wondering eyes did unfold,
A nativity play of events rarely told.

First the old torturer, so lively and quick,
Vice President Cheney dressed up as St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his helpers they came,
Carrying gags, hot pokers, sundry handtools of pain.

A replica dungeon sprang up on the grass,
Writhing with suspects, sticks up their ass.
Twas a moving rendition of the CIA’s Mission
A sacred tableau: The American Inquisition!

Habeas corpus we burned at the stake,
Air strikes on Arabs are ducks on a plate.
Five million orphans adrift in Iraq
But the oil still flows, the plan is on track.

And then, in a twinkling, it was heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof,
As three men on camels leapt into the garden;
One was none other than Osama bin Laden.

"Welcome my brother" came Dick’s merry greeting,
"I know we are soul mates and your visit is fleeting".
The pair danced a jig and bowed to the crowd
Sweet Laura asked, "Should this be allowed"?

Now Cheney is sweating from his head to his foot,
And his fat face is tarnished with ashes and soot.
Electrodes and thumb screws he’s flung on his back,
And he looks like a psychopath, poised to attack.

But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Assured all those present they had nothing to dread.
We’ve erased all evidence, he said with delight,
While our tortures continue, late into the night.

The stump of an infant he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

RICHARD NEVILLE has been around a while. He lives in Australia, the land
that formed him. In the Sixties he raised hell in London and published Oz.
He can be reached through his very bracing websites,
http://www.homepagedaily.com/ AND
http://www.richardneville.com.au/