Posts Tagged ‘Cheney

20
May
09

Pelosi Schmelosi

Normally, I don’t speak on behalf of all liberals. But, today I’m going to. Because I feel like it.

Throwing Pelosi in front of the bus won’t help Republicans, but they can enjoy using her as a punching bag as long as the media thinks there’s a story in it. Whatevah. Liberals really couldn’t give a shit.

We’re not huge fans of hers in any case, numero uno. Numero dos, I’m a proponent of term limits, so anything that can knock congresspeople who have been at their post over 8 years, I’m in favor of. I feel the same way about Harry Reid.

And, in reality, the Repubs like Pelosi right where she is – with the big crosshairs on her forehead. The Right thinks attacking her boosts their numbers. And they may be right in the short term. Ergo, forcing Nancy out is not in the game plan, gnawing on her slowly decaying remains, however, is.

And, with this whole “Did she know about the occuring torture?” is such a red herring, it’s laughable.

We will not stop discussing who tortured, who ordered it and whether or not it produced actionable intelligence and who knew about it – Righties and Lefties alike. We will not stop trying to assess whether Cheney and his beasties ordered the torture of an Iraqi in an effort to prove a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam, with which to sell the Iraqi War. The discussion will not go away. This is part of our heritage and our history and these determinations will have great effect on our future.

Furthermore, we want all relevant memos released as well – we’re generally for transparency in government. All this keeping shit secret for the safety of the country is bullshit. When the government is hiding something, it’s to benefit themselves, not the people. The best decisions and opinions are made with an overabundance of information, not underabundance.

Remember Patrick Henry’s 1775 call: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death saying? Liberty means transparency. It means the government not spying on you. It means the government abiding by the law, no matter the identity of the person with whom they are dealing. When you do not protect the freedoms and rights of another, it will be your rights the government will come after next.

Right Wing: Go throw sand and Nancy all you want – it doesn’t matter to me. But when your little schoolyard fight is through, we’ll still be marching our call for solid answers on the questions of torture.

And, for the record, the CIA does lie at times. Especially under the Bush administration, who used the organization for politically motivated purposes. That’s reality. If the Right wants to rave their hands like asylum inmates in defense of the CIA and insist that speaking of the organization in realistic terms to shade the discussion, fine. This is a topic of conversation, not a strategy. And no one said the CIA lies “all the time” or “systematically,” Giuliani, or said they were not doing their job or that they did not do a phenomenal job. But the CIA has fudged the truth in a number of instances and if certain Righties cannot tell the truth about the topic, if they cannot acknowledge reality (for political purposes), they are an irrelevant participant in the discussion and a hinderer of progress.

In other words, grow the fuck up.

10
Apr
09

Why Bush, Cheney – and those damn Tea Partiers – Aren’t Smart

Forgive me for stating the obvious.

In the April issue of Real Simple magazine, science writer Jonah Lehrer pens an article entitled, “10 Ways to Be a Better Thinker.” It was quite interesting. My favorite was #5 – Take Long Showers, which says “moments of insight often arrive when you’re not aware that you’re thinking of the problem.” This is probably why my best blog ideas come to me right before I’m about to fall asleep and there’s no way in hell I’m getting out of bed. Suffer for my art? Please.

But #8 and #10 were the most interesting to me in terms of analyzing our political leaders, which I’m wont to do quite often. The eighth suggestion is to Study Your Mistakes, “One common trait of successful people is their willingness to focus on their fumbles.” And, on a similar note, Ten advises us to Think About Our Thinking, “Metacognition, as this is known, is a crucial skill. Many scientists argue that the best predictor of good judgment isn’t intelligence or experience; it’s the willingness to engage in introspection.”

These appear to be simple, basic concepts regarding the quality of thought. Yet, when you look at the majority of our political leaders, you will find a demographic either devoid of the capability of such improved mental activity or you find people simply unwilling to admit fault and self-analyze. So many of these dolts seem to have one speed of thought, with self-imposed blinders preventing them from the most important of decisions: how to change for the better.

We are witnesses to such blocks of immovable concrete when we see Republicans on television refusing to understand the realities and results of the decisions of the last eight years. They keep calling for lower taxation for the upper economic echelons and increased deregulation. There is absolutely no acknowledgment of fault or quality instances of introspection.

W. Bush says in Dead Certain, a great look at the man’s presidency by Robert Draper, that he HAD to believe that his decision to go into Iraq was correct. He would never allow himself to even consider the idea that perhaps the war had been a mistake. When you’re playing with thousands, perhaps over a million people’s lives, this attitude seems almost criminal for those with their fingers over the red button.

But that was the biggest criticism of Bush, wasn’t it? That the man wasn’t intellectually curious, probably due to the fact that he wasn’t introspective. His foot was on the accelerator regardless of whether there was a brick wall in his path or not (while the rest of us are in the back seat). It was only a “disappointment” that weapons of mass destruction weren’t found in Iraq. When asked what went wrong with Katrina, Bush immediately asks whether he should have landed Air Force One instead of simply flown over the area.

There is a grave, almost developmentally challenged inability by Bush to analyze situations in their totality or through the lenses of those with differing opinions. And his supporters have the same problem. Even now, many across the media’s various forms insist Iraq was a success and is now doing fine. Five soldiers died today in Mosul in a suicide truck bombing. There is widespread violence still and the region is extraordinarily unstable. Ask an Iraqi if they think the war was a success. It’s their country, after all. And these are real people! Over a million Iraqis have died since the war started and Bush talks about them like they’re little Lego men in one of his Lego forts. It’s despicable.

This lack of critical thinking skill is also what led Cheney to declare in May of 2005 that the Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes or that Obama is making us less safe because he is changing Bush’s policies. Cheney will never acknowledge that their administration’s policies allowed Iran’s influence and power to increase exponentially and caused an explosion in global hatred toward America.

People can disagree with Obama’s policies, as I do with some, all they want. But read the man’s books, look without prejudice at his decision-making process and you will see an increased capacity for deliberation, introspection, intellectual curiosity, consideration of mistakes, and appreciation for not only differing views, but everyone’s views. That’s why we elected him. Whatever you say about his policies, the man’s process is an ocean of improvement over our last commander in chief.

And all these little Tea Party shenanigans Fox seems to be orgasming over – the ones calling for the impeachment of Obama before he has even been in office 100 days – reveal how simple-minded the radical fringe of the Bush supporters are. None of them would give you a decent assessment regarding the mistake they made reelecting Bush. Nor would they be introspective enough to appreciate change or understand that the rest of us deserve a president who

This is what Im talking about. Reality has left the building.

This is what I'm talking about. Reality has left the building.

represents us as well. None of them would ever recognize that the policies they support, the ones that were instituted over the last eight years, have brought our country dishonor, ill-repute, economic woe and autocratic policies. They have committed a great harm and the rest of us have stood up and said no more.

I understand the pendulum swings politically. Right now, the Far Right Wing should have some dignity, grace and allow the rest of us – the majority of us (for now) – to institute the policies we believe will not only rescue us from this iniquitous past, but improve our now and our future. They should be a little introspective and come to grips with the fact that most of us do not agree with them, most of us support Obama at this point, and we have a right to resist the oppression they would impose.

26
Mar
09

The Problem With Ideology

Let me set the stage. During the last eight years of governance, the Republicans supported their party leader and the Democrats checked their spines at the Capitol doors whilst Bush and Cheney did their patent best to lead this country off a cliff. Almost all the Republicans I know refuse to defend Bush’s record and repeat over and over that they had no idea Bush would be such a wretched president. Disappointment knew no boundaries.

So you would think, after the last 8 years, there would at least be some shift in the Republican message – especially after the trouncing the majority of American voters gave them in the last election. But no, they are hanging on to their failed ideas and policy as though the last eight years were just a dream.

Why would they be so clueless? Why would they be so clinically in denial regarding not only the failure of their policies, but the fact that the majority of Americans wish to change course away from Right-wing lunacy? The answer: ideology, or the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc.

The Republicans are a party of ideologues. Right-wing commentators are ideologues. Religious leaders are ideologues. Uneducated, anti-intellectuals are ideologues.

The problem with an ideologue is that they tend to focus on the theories inherent in their adopted ideology without regard given to potential or realized negative repercussions of said ideology. No matter what may occur because of the practice of that ideology, negative results are blamed on external factors and positive consequences are credited to the ideology. The ideology is never wrong.

Obviously, progress of humanity is determined by the species’ ability to learn and adapt. Actions tend to have positive or negative consequences and learning helps one to avoid negative consequences. Evidence and data are drawn upon in the decision-making process and thus, improve decisions and development.

Not with ideologues. Evidence and information are disregarded in strict adherence to the core, fundamental theory presented in the ideology. Reality has no weight, no bearing in the presence of ideology.

Here are some examples:

  • The gross misconduct of the financial sector was enabled by the freeing of the market by ideologue politicians. Despite the globalized economy, despite the proven nature of many men to serve his greed when times are ripe, despite every indicator of human behavior, free marketeers still believe that capitalism in its purest form (which is an impossibility) is the answer to all economic questions.
  • Abstinence-only education has been proven to increase teen pregnancy and abortion. Yet, pro-lifers insist that sex education, and the information such education  proffers, should be excluded from school curricula. Sex education = less abortions. Abstinence only = more abortions. Yet, their ideology prevents them from adopting the wiser of the two educational options.
  • U.S. guns laws are so lax, that 90 percent of the guns used in Mexico’s drug war, which is spilling across the southern U.S. borders, come from America. The selling of arms at gun shows is so unrestricted that even a drug cartel member could easily attend one of these conventions and purchase arms to take south. Yet, should one member of the national government even suggest limiting access to assault weapons – just assault weapons – the gun lobby goes ape shit. Obviously, the more the government limits access to arms, the fewer arms will be in the hands of criminals. But gun lobbyists are ideologues. Why the feel the need to allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to own an AK-47 is beyond me and the data that this policy endangers far more people than it protects is widespread. But ideology is strong and blinds people to the obvious effects of their decisions.
  • The legalization of marijuana would weaken drug cartels, increase the use of intensely beneficial hemp plant, help multitudes of medical patients, bolster the economy in certain geographic areas, increase efficacy of police forces and decrease prison populations. Marijuana overdoses, unlike those of alcohol, are unheard of. And the criminalization of marijuana has more to do with this country’s cotton lobby history that protecting its citizens. Yet an antiquated ideology regarding the substance prevents the majority of the population from recognizing the benefits of its legalization.

Ideology hampers progress. It hampers positive change and forms a mental prison around those comforted by stale and erroneous memories. It is a crutch for the weak-minded and those afraid to recognize reality and make painful, unfair decisions that might improve circumstances and take us beyond that which holds us back.

Remember, if you were taught an ideology vehemently by your elders from the time you were an infant, and believe it with the entirety of your heart as an adult, without question  – it is probably wrong. And handicapping. And your insistence on holding on to this crutch, this blindfold, hurts all of us. Consider evidence, information, data, reality to the contrary.

Ideology thrives on the limiting of information and lack of education. Take North Korea, the Taliban, the FLDS, Jonestown, Bloods and Krypts, Branch Dividian, white supremacists, child-molesting priests. Strict adherence to ideology is and was the lifeblood of these cults, religions, predators.

That’s why Democracy is such a good system of government. By shining the light of information into dark corners and allowing people to think for themselves, educate themselves and separate themselves from the bounds of ideology, better discussions and debates are had and better decisions are made.

Good decisions are good simply because their results are constructive, not because they help prop up some useless ideology.

05
Feb
09

Politicians: Corporatocracy Whores

It seems most politicians are members of three clubs: former big biz, lawyers, and academics. Of course, there are exceptions. Ron Paul, Bill Frist, Howard Dean, and Tom Coburn were also doctors. California offers up actors from time to time, and Jesus give us his peeps:  Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Mike Huckabee. Sarah Palin crawled out from under a rock in White Trashville, as will have Joe The Plumber when he undoubtedly attempts to run for some public office.

Maybe we need to take a closer look at where our politicians come from and what type of background offers the most successful selections. By successful, I don’t mean longest-serving or highest-ranking. I mean most effective, the politicians that benefited the American people the most.

In pondering this topic, the most pessimistic observation regarding the state of our government is that there is an undeniable rotating door between government and big business. As I’ve said, this is not a democracy, but a corporatocracy. Lobbyists and politicians are one and the same and this is true of both Republicans and Democrats.

Sure, this is a well-known reality. So, what could have triggered my need to blog on the topic today? Well…

On Morning Joe this a.m. Joe Scarborough, in his usual pithy tone of egotistical disgust and certitude, derided Obama who, just like Bernanke, Joe said, is a professor. They’re just professors. And this is true. But maybe, just maybe, it’s not a bad thing.

Yesterday, Robert Scheer pointed out in his Huffpo blog entry, Runaway Wallstreet, that Geithner’s choice for top aide is Mark Peterson, Goldman Sachs VP and lobbyist. “It was confirmation that Goldman Sachs runs the Treasury Department–no matter which party is in power.” He also sites The NYTimes’ “The Guys From ‘Government Sachs'”, which details Goldman alumni in the government – Paulson, of course, but also Joshua B. Bolten, Neel T. Kashkari, Robert Rubin, World Bank Pres. Robert Zoellick, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and a BUNCH, bunch more.

Goldman Sachs is one of the many Wall Street, financial institutions with a revolving door between itself and the Treasury Dept., the Fed, the SEC and more. What about Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg? And, most recently John McCain was greatly considering naming shamed former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain – you know the one who spent $1.2 million redecorating his office – for his Treasury Secretary. How can our government be expected to enact the best policy when they are all big biz wankers who have no priority over increasing wealth among their ranks?

The financial industry isn’t the only extreme conflict of interest in the government. Remember Dick Cheney? Yes, that ex-Halliburton CEO called in major energy execs to help write the government’s energy policy. No wonder Bush thought Kyoto was a bad idea. No wonder Bush wouldn’t let California set high fuel emissions standards. No wonder Detroit refused to acknowledge the growing demand for greener autos. No wonder Halliburton, its subsidiaries, and other companies close to Bush & Cheney received no-bid contracts in Iraq worth billions while our underfunded military continued to fight wars on two fronts. Nothing new – former head of Enron Ken Lay would trip over himself licking the heals of Bush I, leaving little surprise that the company was able to get away with manipulating the California energy market before its bubble collapsed.

Where do you think Tom Daschle went after his senate career? Yeah, a lobbying firm with clients in the health care sector. He would have made a great health care secretary. No conflict there. And you know how recruited him? Bob Dole. Even Bill Frist went to work for a health care investment firm after leaving the senate.

And there’s always a new crop of big biz lackeys knocking at the door all the time: Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina, and  Meg Whitman are biding their time, waiting to make their big break on the national circuit. But it’s not just the politicians – it’s their spouses, their children, congressional aides, government inspectors for the FDA, SEC, CDC and more – everyone around these politicians are in bed with lobbying firms and corporations. Lower level government employees, eying big dollar jobs in the private sector, push their bosses toward pro-biz legislation and deregulation. The mainstream media, dependent on sponsor dollar, rarely publicize the siamese twins our government and big business have become.

And the American people suffer for it. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry mandated the vaccination of teenage girls with Gardasil – interesting because of his ties to Gardasil’s maker, Merck. The governor thinks he can issue executive orders regarding the health of our children, ordering them to take a new drug with multiple questions regarding its side effects. The man should be jailed. He also tried to rush the building of coal plants before new “clean coal” (cough, cough lie) regulations were put in place. Yeah, we got a winner down here in Texas. Hey Perry – this isn’t a fucking autocracy! Asshole.

Now, sure most of the Democratic politicians are lawyers  – funny how they want to study law before becoming professional legislators. And many other government participants are academics. The main attack line against these people – and we heard it quite a bit this last election – is that they never ran anything. Somehow the recent big biz execs are winning elections to become today’s politicians on platforms that they were in charge in the business sector. And the last eight years have been the most pro-biz in recent history. Do you see what I’m getting at?

Maybe before we jump to criticize these professors and lawyers, we should take a look at how well the big biz peeps fared. Last I looked, our civil liberties were greatly reduced, we spent far more on a war sold with lies than we did on education the children of our country, a credit bubble formed and popped, health care costs became astronomical, unaffordable and the leading cause of bankruptcy, speculation drove oil & gas prices sky high and unemployment reached record levels.

At least the top 400 richest people doubled their wealth while Bush was president. The poverty sector grew by leaps and bounds, but who cares about those people? We have a corporatocracy on our hands and until we establish policy on data, information, evidence and reality and leave ideology and theory in the books where they belong, we will continue to suffocate the middle class. And without a healthy middle class, a healthy American economy cannot exist. The idea of a free market has become a joke, a myth. There’s nothing free about our market. It’s very, very expensive. And it’s not the rich who are paying for it.

26
Jan
09

Quickfire Mpressions – Rush, Guantanamo, Govt. Spying

Rush Limbaugh: Says he hopes Obama fails. Joy Behar said on Larry King last week that anyone with a brain knows Ann Coulter is a wackjob. The same can be said of Limbaugh. He’s trying to stay relevant in a new era of reality and common sense and, to borrow the words of Obama, he’s on the wrong side of history. For Obama to fail would mean continued job losses, economic mire and an attack on the U.S. – meaning, Rush is anti-American success and progress. He’s merely a pimple on the ass of the U.S., no more. Buh-bye, you suck and thank you for not pro-creating. It’s the most American thing you’ve done.

Closing Guantanamo: It has to be done. Under the American Flag, everyone in U.S. custody is entitled to a fair trial. Period. If military authorities do not have evidence against these men, or have evidence obtained illegally (I’m talking torture, people), they must be released. If they go back to fight our military, so be it. And everyone who doesn’t want these combatants held in their backyard should sign a waiver giving up their right to a trial should they be held against their will. When you do not stand up for the rights of others, it will be your rights that are taken next. It is reprehensible that we have held these people for so long without even attempting to give them a fair shake at justice. Do unto others, people… Justice is not pretty. It is not comfortable. But it is necessary.

Cheney upset Libby didn’t get a pardon: Shut up, you fool! You helped set in motion the outing of a CIA agent. Even North Korea wouldn’t out one of their own. You should be tarred and feathered and placed in stocks in the public square so that we all might have a kick in your in the ass. You sick fuck.

Govt. spying on journalists: NSA whistleblower Russell Tice explained to Keith Oblermann’s last week that the warrantless wiretapping is being used for purposes other than listening to people talking to terrorists. Yeah. Big surprise. When you give the government the opportunity to run roughshod over the Constitution (right to privacy), you cannot be surprised at the subsequent raping and pillaging. In this instance, the government targeted journalists – so called, watch dog of the government. Here’s the interview:

What’s really interesting is that hardly any news program has covered this revelation. I guess those impartial journalists don’t want to get on the wrong side of Big Brother. We all saw what happened to Dan Rather. And you Obama lovers (I voted for him, too) need to remember that Prince O voted for FISA.

In response to the reckless and unconstitutional behavior, I resolve to use red flag words, like jihad and martyr and bomb and allah and more, during my wireless phone conversations. I urge you all to do the same.

States where presidents come from: Cool little piece by the NYTimes says states have to wait on average 70 years before one of their citizens is on a national ticket for president or vice president. This year, four first-time states contributed nominees: Hawaii (B.O.), Alaska (S.P.), Idaho (S.P.) and Delaware (J.B.). I love fun historical shit like that.

19
Jan
09

With Less Than 24 Hours to Go, I Say NEVER AGAIN

With just one day to go all I can say is I never thought this day would come. This is my long accounting of George W. Bush and that which he wrought upon our nation. It’s not a full catharsis, but merely the start so that we may say Never Again.

2000 Election – My Confessional

I can remember exactly where I was the moment the news stations called the 2000 election for Bush. On a treadmill in Perth, Australia. Everyone in the gym looked in my direction to see what the lone American thought of her next president. Mind you, this was before the news stations realized they had committed the media blunder of the century and we’d have to wait for characters like Katherine Harris and hanging chads to become famous before the Supreme Court decided who our next president was.

Having recently graduated college and, thus, deciding to party like a rock star, I was too clueless to get my act together and send in an absentee ballot to participate in the election. It’s the only one I’ve missed and will carry the shame until dementia erodes my cognitive abilities. I would have voted for Bush, though. Gore was such a lame douchebag (not to mention Lieberman) and I had yet to fully shed the Republican shackles of my youth. Hell,as a University of Texas student, Bush had been my neighbor. No one knew the gravity of the election and most people I knew were eager to see our governor succeed.

During the campaign, Bush kept saying the U.S. had to stop being the world’s policeman and scale back our military entanglements around the globe. Having recently studied the Vietnam War, international diplomacy, nuclear weapons policy and the fall of the Soviet Union – his rhetoric hit home with me. How was I to know he’d do a 180 once he had his finger over the red button?

This was before the convenient days of Google and Wikipedia. And I was clinging to the bubble of youthful ignorance with full force, which meant I did not research W’s history. I did not discover that he was an utterly failed businessman who had skated through early adulthood like many rich kids on his daddy’s name without forging a worthy identity or principle. I did not know the man was a hollow shell with only a pre-determined ideology and a daddy complex to steer decisions that would determine the fate of millions.

2004 – Was Bush Sent to Make this Nation Atone for Sins of its Past?

By 2004, it was glaringly apparent that Bush was incapable of the necessary consideration and deliberation to benefit this country or any other. In the primaries, I voted for Wes Clark, thinking him to be the only Democrat candidate who could reasonably compete with Bush for votes while the Iraq War of choice was being waged. Instead, John Kerry walked away with the nomination and I knew Bush would be reelected. Kerry was a non-starter, running on an “I’m Not Bush” platform, echoing the dismal reality that the Democrats had no voice, no testicular fortitude, no message.

Our country was to be held hostage for another four years by the evangelical, anti-intellectual far right and their moronic leader. I truly believed (living in Oklahoma, at the time) that the majority of this country were actually uneducated hicks who cared more about their guns than community service and thought it more important to have a big dick than humility. It was as though the America I thought existed was being suffocated by the intolerant and selfish and stupid.

I immediately bought a “01.20.09” bumper sticker, proudly displaying my patriotic desire to alter the direction of our nation. I wasn’t alone. Every time I saw another car sporting the same sticker – more than you’d expect here in north Texas – my heart leapt for joy. The peeps were waking up.The tide was turning, biatch.

THE WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY

It has been a most painful four years. Gay marriage bans, attempts at abortion redefinitions, no repentance for sending thousands to die for a war of choice – a war based on lies and deceit and salesmanship, and almost every department under the Executive Branch in ill repute for either illegal activity or preventing progress.

Bush is so smug with pride over the fact that the U.S. has not been attacked since 9/11. “I’ve kept America safe,” he repeats. But another leader of higher caliber could have kept us safe without sacrificing our dignity, integrity and honor. A better leader would have questioned his decisions, would not started or outsourced a war designed to establish a legacy. A better leader would have known things are not so simple, not so black and white, and not easily designated “good” and “evil.”

How many Americans did Bush keep safe from Alzheimer’s and diabetes and paralysis by supporting the limitless possibilities of embryonic stem research? How many teenage girls turned to abortion because Bush decided federal funds would support abstinence-only programs proven time and time again to fail, aptly demonstrated by the 2008 Republican V.P. nominee herself? Bush’s legacy entails auctioning off national protected lands (why?) and hindering the listing of many species (including polar bears) from the endangered species list.

At every turn available, the Bush administration sold out this country and it’s citizens to the mega-corporations designed to bleed every penny we have and every penny we’re approved for from our shrinking wallets. He sold the war and soldiers’ safety to Blackwater, Halliburton and myriad of other war profiteers. He sold our energy policy to the energy companies, the EPA to business hell-bent on raping the environment. Even the FDA is a joke, a corporate gimp with a failed record for protecting the consumer.

Under Bush, our nation became a budding autocracy who spies on its citizens at home and abroad. The Justice Department was politicized, the State Department was a Yes Man, the Defense Department was the epitome of incompetence, Homeland Security is a theatrical presentation, FEMA is a mythological black hole, the CIA is a plaything of the Executive.  The FCC has multiplied its interference in our “freedom of speech” a thousand-fold.

There has been no shining light from this President. No progress. No national greatness achieved. He came to office promising to unite and instead tore our country asunder.

With less than 24 hours to go it almost doesn’t seem real. Probably because it will take a generation repair the endless damage that clouds the horizon.

Obviously, I do not believe history will smile on George W. Bush. Unlike others, I do not think that his legacy will mirror the future of Iraq. The Iraq War empowered Iran like nothing else could for centuries – and history knows. In this age of information, ALL the destruction by this administration is on record and serves as a reminder that it does matter who the President of the United States is. Their character and integrity and intellect matter. Their decision-making matter.

We must remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. We cannot let time sweeten the memory of the last eight years. We must record it and remember it for the sake of future generations. So that we may say with conviction: NEVER AGAIN.

Is it real? It doesn’t feel real.

17
Jan
09

Bush Needs To Fight the Law and the Law Needs to Win

I hope a lot of things.

I hope Journey gets back together.

I hope my husband develops an unusual penchant for household chores.

I hope UT dominates March Madness.

However, I’m realistic about the likely outcome of all these lofty wishes.

One of the big hopes I have saved in my hidden inner chamber of possibility is that Obama is lying as he quells calls for him to focus any attention toward the prosecution of the Bush administration for any of the multitude of crimes committed over the last eight years.

Any Constitutional Law professor (a.k.a. Obama), any two-bit ambulance chaser, could spot the illegal maneuvering of Bush cronies in the areas of warrantless wiretapping, Dept. of Justice politicization, no-bid contracts in Iraq, and torture – to name a few. And I don’t know if it was illegal to shovel billions of dollars to contractors as our military and veterans struggle grossly underfunded, but it should be.

The Bush administration hired a bunch of smarty-pants followers of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and fall-in-line, kill-the-enemy NeoCons whose sole purpose was to lace together intricately fragile arguments claiming legality of their bold molestations of power.

It is clear in Bush’s repeated and insistent claims in his last few media appearances:

Bush’s Last Press Conference Jan. 12:

And then we start putting policy in place — legal policy in place to connect the dots.

To Brit Hume Jan. 12:

And so however I interpreted the Constitution, I kept in mind what the Constitution said, the legality of what my decisions were…

And I said, are these tools deemed to be legal. And so we got legal opinions before any decision was made…

And all I can tell the American people is we better have tools in place that are legal and that can help us protect the American people from an enemy that still exists…

Everything this administration did was — had a legal basis to it, otherwise we would not have done it.

To Larry King Jan. 13,

No. No. Everything we did was — you know, it had legal legal opinions behind it…

And I got legal opinions that said whatever we’re going to do is legal.

Doth he protest too much? Yes, I think he doth. If nothing else, his insistence makes him suspect. The last president I remember asserting incessantly that activities under his leadership were legal was Nixon. And we know how history judged him.

As I watch Obama tell Georgie-boy Stephenohcrapmynameislong,

“And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

I just hope he is keeping his rhetoric bland and calm so the little Bushies don’t run around as as the clock ticks away destroying every document (which is illegal) having to do with every questionable transgression. They’d have to burn the house down and those librarians at Congress would be muy picante, if you know what I mean.

Obama will have hundreds if not thousands of employees at his disposal. I think a few should be allotted the quiet task of investigating the slanted activities of the worst commander-in-chief this country has known. Lest the next commanders-in-chief take a que that they do not have to justify their activities to the American people and their Constitution. That would be wrong.

Will he give us a few lower-level prosecutions to try and satiate the public outcry? Undoubtedly, there were so many crimes committed, that shouldn’t be too difficult. But an administration that would out a CIA agent, make the EPA a mortally hypocritical organization, and encourage the SEC to unbuckle the country’s seat belt as its economy veered over a cliff, certainly has much to answer for. Behind bars. And not in white collar, conjugal visit prison. I’m picturing a prison where you really need to keep an eye on your cornhole.

I wouldn’t call my urges for Bush administration prosecutions blood lust. I simply want justice after an 8-year period where that word was practically meaningless inside the walls of our Executive branch. I don’t believe in Bush’s lord and savior, but if he exists, I can’t imagine he would be anything but gravely disappointed by one of his most public followers and the one least like him.

One of the biggest proofs that Christianity is hooey is that its rules dictate Cheney would go to Heaven while I go to Hell. Well, that ain’t bloody happening. But please, before Cheney and his boss head anywhere, let them sit in front of a judge. And then behind bars. Lest history repeat itself.

15
Jan
09

As We Say Goodbye To Bush, No More Asinine Politicans – and that goes for you, too, Palin!

**gag, I’m watching Roland Burris being sworn in.

The recent media blitzes by outgoing #43 (thank christ) and national spokesperson for “keep your ass in school” Sarah Palin have confirmed that the Alaska governor is a spectacularly enhanced version of our ridiculous monkey of a president. Yes, yes, they share fallacious confidence, lack of introspection, intellectual impotence, devotion to ideology over reality and inability to comprehend and utilize 8th grade English language skills. In short, they are bone-heads. They just don’t “get it.”

And that’s something everyone can understand. It’s easy to spot. Bill Clinton “just didn’t get it” that you’re not supposed to stick cigars up interns’ no-no special places when you’re president.Larry Craig “just doesn’t get it” that we all know he’s a closet-gay who wanted some innocent, anonymous, illegal fudge-packing. We get it. They don’t.

That Bush and Palin just don’t get “it” is as obvious as the fact that Dick Cheney’s soul has already departed to the nether-regions of the after-life.

A few examples:

During the Jan. 13 interview with Larry King, our president – yes, it’s hard to believe he is – said, “And they say, well, why didn’t the Bush administration connect the dots? And then we started putting tools in place within the law to connect the dots. And then after we got far enough away from September the 11th, they said why are you connecting the dots, you know?”

What?? Are you a fucking idiot?! Oh, yes, that’s right. You are. It’s widely accepted as fact. You just don’t get it.

No one, not one pinky of any person ever questioned why Bush’s administration was “connecting the dots” after 9/11. No one. Perhaps they were wondering why Bush was lying about the dots. Or using the dots to justify a war of choice. Sure, many of us questioned his abandonment of the Geneva Conventions in areas such as torture and prisoners of war. But connecting the dots? Nope. Nuhuh.

The statement is one of the most asinine statements the man has uttered recently, and that’s saying a lot.

And then there’s Palin. Pah-fucking Palin. Who has been running her mouth far and wide while her constituents freeze and starve and need some damn birth control. This governor, who couldn’t make it through a Katie Couric interview, yet somehow thinks she’s capable of being president of the United States, complaining of her media treatment, said, “Even hard news sources, credible news sources — the comment about, you can see Russia from Alaska. You can! You can see Russia from Alaska. Something like that — a factual statement that was taken out of context and mocked — what you have to do is let that go.”

She doesn’t get it. No one was disputing the views from Alaska’s shores. The “credible news sources” were questioning Palin’s use of Russia’s vicinity to Alaska as foreign policy credentials. And her inability to consistently speak in complete sentences.

All I am saying, good people of America, is that as we say good-bye to one bastion of imbecility, let’s not let another one – a worse one – in the door. Even you ladies in Florida who were spotlighted on one of the news channels during your coffee and prayer group get-together saying that Palin would fit right in with you. I don’t want you as president or senator or in any elected office for that matter. You shouldn’t want you either.

Let’s let go of wanting politicians who are like us and demand politicians who are better than us. No more foolish, evolution-questioning cusses who would score lower than most of us on standardized tests. Please. Alaska, are you in?

Thank you,

An anonynmous, pathetic, bored blogger who is grateful as hell that there’s only 5 days to go before this nightmare is over.

and P.S. To Laura Bush who said to Larry King that she was upset some of the ridicule of her husbans was personal, I say, that the people who died in the Superdome after Katrina took it personally. And the soldiers who have died for your husbands war of choice have taken it personally. Your husband mistook this country for an autocracy and has wrought havoc that will last generations. You sit by him with your blind confidence in the righteousness of his leadership as I suppose you have to. But your penance is to listen to the heartache he as caused America and you will have to listen to it the rest of your days. I don’t pity you an ounce.

06
Jan
09

On The Blogging Road Again

I’m back, kids! My fingers must have been itching, because they readily retained the memorization of my WordPress password  – a good omen I suppose for my return to the ubiquitous blogosphere, my favorite cranny being the neighborhood of dark, naughty angry liberals. Yes, yes, I’ve been gone a while and most of those who know me personally and scanned my writings from time to time have asked, “When are you going to blog again??” Now.

For reals, yo – I was suffering from major blog fatigue. Last year’s election placed us in a historical battle to reclaim the good that The States once were. The stakes could not have been higher and we were literally at the brink of a national, knife-edged decision between a hopeless, abysmal rejection of progress and simple possibility. Every blog, every comment, every opinion and assertion felt not just like sharing my voice – but helping to wage an effort bigger than all of us to help put our country and the world right. Shut up, you cynics – you felt it, too!!

And we triumphed. We whooped some old white man, religioner, anti-intellectual ass! To me, it wasn’t sooooo much that we elected Obama (indeed there will be blogs a-plenty de moi criticizing, constructively, many of Obama’s decisions) – my savored elation had more to do with the rejection of McCain and his joke of a running mate, Palin. To have elected them would have wrought irreparable damage at home and abroad to the pursuit of an improved, tolerant and beneficial community most of us glass-half-fullers choose to foresee.

In those months and moments leading up to Obama taking Pennsylvania and claiming victory, I wrote blog after blog – read innumerable others, gorged on news sites of every persuasion and sought every uncaptured sprinkle of information in a quest to comfort my nervous inner prognosticator. Certainly, I was quite confident from 2007 the Democrats would take the election. The multiple stellar Democratic candidates had the edge on the best the Republicans had to offer – none of whom could satisfactorily unite the anti-intellectual evangelicals with the small government, fiscal conservatives.

But fear of the unknown resonated in my bones and it seemed the only way to quell my anxiety was to participate – to blog.

The blog, however, consumed me. No doubt this government major loves to produce political analysis. But I found myself bound to the blog in ways I had not imagined. Visitors to the site became like crack to me and I counstantly found myself refreshing my page to scan visitor numbers, what searched terms pointed visitors my direction and if any other bloggers linked to my site. The computer had become my pipe.

Everyday, I felt the need to blog. The call was constant and the obligation heavy – akin to laundry, if you will. If we want to change the world, we have to participate and this was my clarion call for the 2008 election. I am a creature of freedom, however, and the obligation to the blogoslavedriver made my enjoyment level wear thin. My ass was sore and my eyes stung from sitting in front of the computer for ungodly amounts of time. I looked at myself on Nov. 5 with jail pale from lack of sunlight. Oh – and finding out I had a hormone deficiency.

So, when the knockout punch was delivered Nov. 4 – the call to blog slackened and I turned to the freedom of days not being psycho, not checking every single one of my bookmarks, not commenting, not needing to find solace in reading blogs espousing views similar to my own, not having anything else to talk about but the election and painfully pretending to be interested in other topics of conversation when interacting with fans of McCain.

I understand I am not alone. Television news ratings are down, talk radio has lost listeners, blog readership has slackened. We all needed to take a collective sigh and wallow in the release of tension built by a two-year presidential election season and the possibility of Sarah “You Betcha” Palin being a heartbeat away from the 3 am phone call. We needed to lick the wounds inflicted by the hypocritical masses of religioners oppressing homosexuals and tarnishing the good name of our country.

While away, I have enjoyed my respite – full of Festivus poles, delicious holiday meals, ungodly amounts of alcohol consumption and a crazy-ass college bowl game series (wtf, Texas Tech and Alabama?!! At least my Longhorns squeezed out a victory against Ohio State. I almost had a MFing heart attack!! We seriously need a college football playoff system).

It’s time to get back on the horse. Riiiide the pony. We only have two weeks left of mistake-of-the-century Bush II – which is amazing and unbelievable and fanfuckingtastic. It’s going to be hard for Obama – he has a monumental task ahead of him and choices to make for which there are no right answers. He will make mistakes, already has actually, and we must respond by voicing our opinion. This is our country, too (remember that, gay-haters).

Bush and Cheney thought the presidency belonged to them and they were wrong and now leave their posts in shame. The presidency belongs to us and we must remind Obama of this as the bubble engulfs him and his position on the pedestal skews his perspective.

Needless to say, I’ve never been afraid to say what I think. Bottom line: I’m back, baby!

And now I’m going to log out so I don’t constantly check viewership numbers. What the hell was wrong with me??

08
Sep
08

Finally, Honesty About the Surge

Sunday was a good day for those of us wishing our politicians and media were a bit more candid about the success of the troop surge.

First off, Biden was on Meet The Press. Hopefully, when Palin is finished in political boot camp and learns where she stands on all the issues, she’ll go on there as well and we can see how well she regurgitates all her new policy stances. Like Biden said,

Well, in, in the sense I know Mitt Romney and know his positions, and I know Tom Ridge and I really respect them. And–but you know, I, I’ve debated an awful lot of tough, smart women. A woman who’s a judge here in our superior court was one of my toughest opponents ever for the Senate. And there’s a lot of very tough, smart women in the United States Senate I debate every day. So in that sense it’s not new. But what is new is I have no idea what her policies are. I assume they’re the same as John’s. I just don’t know.

The most important comments he made to Tom Brokaw, however, were in reference to the Iraq War, during this exchange:

MR. BROKAW: But it’s a process, and it’s beginning, and the surge made that possible, did it not?

SEN. BIDEN: No. The surge helped make that–what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I’d suggested two and a half years ago: gave local control. They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, “We promise you, don’t worry, you’re not going to have any Shia in here. There’s going to be no national forces in here. We’re going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda.” And that you–what you had was the awakening. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.

MR. BROKAW: Cooperating with the Shia.

SEN. BIDEN: Willing to fight. Cooperating with–no, they weren’t cooperating with Shiite. They didn’t cooperate with the Shiites.

MR. BROKAW: Once the awakening got under way.

SEN. BIDEN: No, no, no. No, they didn’t cooperate with the Shiites. It’s still–it’s a big problem, Tom. You got–we’re paying 300 bucks a month to each of those guys. Now the problem has been and the, and the promise was made by Maliki that they would be integrated into the overall military. That’s a process that is beginning in fits and starts now, but it’s far from over. Far from–look, the bottom line here is that it’s–let’s–the surge is over. Here’s the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We’re in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They’re doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops. We’re about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that’s going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we’re going to set a timeline to draw down our forces. The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain’s saying no timeline. They’ve signed on to Barack Obama’s proposal.

Finally, a politician mentions the payoffs we’re giving the Sunnis – and it’s more than just 300 bucks here and there. The continued payoffs and ability for the Shia government to modify their behavior toward the Sunni militias will have a big impact on the success, or lack thereof, of our troop withdrawal – which is why it is so important for our government and military leaders to publicly acknowledge this strategy. All the lefties demanding troop withdrawals need to understand the U.S. government’s pouring of cash into the region as well as the hundreds of thousands of refugees waiting to return. The Iraqi government must stand up and decide if they want peace and progress or simply cultural domination.

On to our next revelation of the Iraq War, this time brought to us by Bob Woodward on 60 Minutes regarding and the new information he has of the development of the surge as a strategy and its success.

Asked what the generals at the Pentagon thought when presented with the idea of a surge, Woodward told Pelley, “They think that it won’t work. And the president actually at one point goes and meets with them. And the Army chief of staff, General [Peter] Schoomaker, says ‘You can’t add five brigades, it will take many more,’ ‘What about another crisis?’ ‘We don’t have troops for this,’ ‘What about the damage your doing to the force, the young kids who see nothing but endless rotations?'”

“What does General Casey, sitting in Baghdad, think of having additional troops?” Pelley asked.

“He thinks that Baghdad is a troop sump-a place you can put endless numbers of troops in. And he does not want to add force,” Woodward said.

“The president, who has said in public, endless times, that he relies on his generals to tell him what they need, is actually going his own way here,” Pelley remarked.

“That’s right,” Woodward agreed. “The records of the joint chiefs show that the idea of five brigades came from the White House, not from anybody except the White House.”

(Later, Woodward says about General Casey) “Casey told one colleague privately that the president’s view is almost reflective of ‘Kill the bastards. Kill the bastards,’ and that way we’ll succeed.”

Alright, so what we have here is Bush wanting to add troops to Iraq and the generals disagreeing with him. I’m not sure if McCain, at this point, was supporting a surge – but if he was, he was also disagreeing with the top generals. Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney have said repeatedly that they aren’t taking into account public opinion (polls) or political ramifications – they listen to the men on the ground, the generals, before making their decisions. Obviously, this is not the case. And none of those men fought in a war. Now, we are considering whether to appoint McCain Commander-in-chief. It seems, at least when it came to the surge, he was not listening to the men on the ground – the generals – either. If McCain didn’t listen then, he certainly won’t if he’s president. Dangerous decisions when you’re playing with the lives of thousands.

Bob Woodward also reveals a new strategy, comparing its influence to the addition of the aircraft or tank to warfare,

But beyond all of that, Woodward reports, for the first time, that there is a secret behind the success of the surge: a sophisticated and lethal special operations program.

“This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs,” Woodward told Pelley.

“But what are we talking about here? It’s some kind of surveillance? Some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you’re looking for? The leadership of the enemy?” Pelley asked.

“I’d love to go through the details, but I’m not going to,” Woodward replied.

The details, Woodward says, would compromise the program.

“For a reporter, you don’t allow much,” Pelley remarked.

“Well no, it’s with reluctance. From what I know about it, it’s one of those things that go back to any war, World War I, World War II, the role of the tank, and the airplane. And it is the stuff of which military novels are written,” Woodward said.

“Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?” Pelley asked.

“Yeah,” Woodward said. “If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you’d get your ass outta town.”

What an interesting revelation. It reminds me of a quotation I recently read in A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy,

Successful high command has little or nothing to do with masculine attributes like brute force, bravado, machismo, arrogance, or even courage, except insofar as it may be necessary to advertise these from time to time to inspire the troops. Rather, it has to do with what one might regard as more feminine characteristics — sensitivity, subtlety, intuition, timing, an indirect approach, an ability quietly to assess strength and weakness (based perhaps on an intuitive grasp for the opponent’s likely behavior as much as factual information) to avoid and baffle strength, to flow around it, to absorb its force and strike unexpectedly at the weak spot at precisely the right moment.

Basically, in President Bush, we have extremely unsuccessful high command. Only through the military’s development of ground-changing “feminine characteristics” of warfare was the surge able to succeed. Not through the simple addition of men on the ground. McCain continues to pressure Obama to acknowledge the success of the surge – so much so, that Senators Graham and Lieberman are trying to bring legislation to the Senate floor demanding a vote acknowledging the success of the surge – yet will McCain acknowledge that there where other, possibly bigger elements at play than the simple addition of brigades to Iraq? Especially at a time when our military is far over-extended, rotations have grown protracted and numerable, and the war in Afghanistan is faltering severely?

I hear over and over that Obama is not ready. But he will listen. He will listen to our military leaders and allow them to help him make the best decisions in his foreign policy. McCain is not ready, either – nor will he ever be. He did not listen to the generals on the ground when calling for the surge and does not recognize the entire complex situation when chanting about the success of the surge.

By the way, Bob Woodward will be on Larry King tonight and Meet the Press next weekend.

01
Sep
08

Amoral Republican Ticket

Wow.

John McCain, the adulterer, obtained a marriage license for his second marriage before his first marriage was over. His first wife, disfigured in a life-threatening car accident while he was a POW, gave him a trouble-free divorce after John agreed to pay her medical bills for her life. Or, after Cindy agreed to pay her medical bills for life. McCain was also one of five senators bribed by Charles Keating to help protect his Lincoln Savings and Loan Association from investigations by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Cindy’s father was an ex-con who made money in beer distributing and was looking for some legitimacy on the Arizona social scene, which led to Cindy’s marriage to John. Cindy says she was an only child even though she has two half-sisters. The daughter of her father, Kathleen Portalski was at the Hensley home regularly for birthdays and holidays and Cindy’s father even gave Portalski away at her wedding. For some strange reason, Cindy’s father left Portalski out of his will except for a few thousand bucks. Cindy has never offered to share her father’s fortune with her father’s other daughter or even acknowledge her, but John’s son from his previous marriage, Andrew, is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Hensley & Company. Cindy had an addiction to painkillers in the late 80’s and early 90’s and had a doctor at her non-profit write illegal prescriptions to feed her addiction.

Sarah Palin is under investigation for having the boss of her brother-in-law fired after he would not fire her brother-in-law who was embroiled in a difficult divorce with Palin’s sister. Now, Palin’s 17 year-old daughter is pregnant despite Palin being an advocate of abstinence-only education, which has been proven not to work – as illustrated in Palin’s own case. So, Palin has an infant son with Down Syndrome and a five-month pregnant daughter in high school and thinks she should be spending her time campaigning for McCain rather than focusing on her family.

The Republicans have really offered up some winners this year.

Now, the Conservatives will claim again and again as each of these little landmines emerge that these private affairs have no bearing on their ability to lead the country.

Do you think they would have the same reaction if even a fraction of private poor-judgment was shown on the Democratic side? Remember how they tried to tear Clinton limb from limb? If John Edwards were on our ticket, those fundamentalists would be throwing stones from their glass houses without hesitation.

How hyprocritical, yet typical, that in the face of all these unchristian activities by those who head their political party, the Conservatives and Republicans ignore these issues, sweep them under the rug or even congratulate these people.

McCain’s slogan is “Country First” yet he completely abdicated such values when he chose Palin – the political equivalent of a second-grader – for his running-mate because he thought her uterus could help him win yet knew her empty head wouldn’t challenge him. He did not put Country First, he put his own political ambitions first.

Repubs – open your eyes for chrissakes. It’s time stop lying and ignoring and have the strength to call a spade a spade. McCain is not only bad for your party, he’s bad for the country and the sooner you realize this the sooner you can stop perpetrating these attacks on the American way of life and the American Dream by electing unConstitutional, amoral douchebags like Bush, Cheney, McCain and, now, Palin.

25
Aug
08

Note to the Clintons and the Clinton Crackheads

This blog calls for an ice-cold beverage. Since I’m drinking one while writing, I expect you to be drinking one while reading. Preferably alcoholic, but that should go without saying. Unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I simply say: you poor, poor bastard.

Firstly, let me just mention that McCain economic adviser and ousted CEO of HP Carly Fiorina told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC that she had recently met with Hillary supporters in Pennsylvania, including one of CLINTON’S BROTHERS, who were considering the switch to McCain.

Secondly, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said yesterday that the media coverage of Obama during the primary was “embarrassing” and “MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign.”

Lastly, a group of Hillary supporters calling themselves PUMAS (Party Unity My Ass) is staging a protest outside the Denver Convention holding McCain signs.

Now do you see why I think we both need a cold beverage?

To The Clinton Crackheads:

McCain’s policies are drastically different than Clinton’s and his administration would echo Bush’s rather than imitate a Clinton’s. You should know this and probably do. The problem, however, is that your head is stuck in your uterus. Instead of wanting a president with character, you simply wanted a woman president. You probably wouldn’t bat an eye if it was Leona Helmsley before you rather than Hillary.

I want a woman president as well, and I am sure I we will have one soon. Hillary, however, lacks judgment and character and just a bit of good research will illustrate this. Might I recommend Carl Bernstein’s A Woman In Charge?

The media coverage Hillary received was negative because she was negative. Claiming McCain would make a better president than Obama was reprehensible and an obviously invaluable tool for the Repubs. So, the media covered it, as they should. Hillary lost way too many primaries too early to be a viable candidate and led an intensely dysfunctional campaign. So, the media covered it, as they should. Hillary told 60 Minutes Obama was not a Muslim as far as she knew. The media covered that bullshit, too.

They also heaped coverage on the Jeremiah Wright issue. They drenched airtime with the sound bite of Michelle Obama saying she was proud of her country for the first time. We heard no end of Obama’s guns and religion comment.

Hillary’s media coverage was due to her behavior and her comments and unyielding ambition over judgment. So, stop blaming the media – it’s too Clinton-cliché. Why don’t you do something original and hold your candidate accountable for her actions.

Your inability to “turn the page” this far into the game with the stakes this high speaks to your judgment and it is easy to understand why you would want the Clintons back in the White House. They’re like you. Poor judgment, unaccountable, irresponsible and self-centered.

The idea that any of you would vote for McCain and want the Supreme Court stacked with more right-wing, civil liberty killers disgusts me. The idea that you would use the vote people died for as a revenge tactic is so distasteful, the awesome beer I’m drinking right now is barely washing the flavor out.

Shame on you. You’re worse than any uninformed voter or straight-ticket Republican. You are not helping progress this country past the deep wounds of Bush and Cheney, but trying to entrench us in a widening wealth gap, worsening environment, increasing isolationism, and freedom poisoning fate. You’re despicable.

To The Clintons:

Stop playing the victim. You are not the victim. You do not own the Democratic Party and you never will. Your self-centered obsession is hurting the Democratic chances to get this country back on track.

Bill, you are a condescending, megalomaniacal narcissist. Your tone and message in the early weeks of 2008 permanently switched my vote to Obama. Your actual words cost your wife my vote. Not the media’s coverage of your words. Not any imaginary Obama claims of racism you continue to harbor. Your words. I could not imagine your worldwide boning once again giving the Republican Death Squad ammunition. I did not want Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton to be the reflection of our democratic culture. I just want you to go away.

Hillary, you admit you are not doing all you can to help Obama. You simply stated you were doing more than anyone in your position had done before. Well, boo-fucking-hoo! Get over it. This is not about you or your feelings. This is about record foreclosures and credit crises and wire-tapping and birth-control being labeled abortion and assaults on endangered species and offshore drilling and getting the fuck away from Bush and McSame.

If the whispers that you want Obama to fail so you can run again in 2012 are true – and I do not believe them – let me give you a little dose of reality. The percentage of voters who want Obama to win far, far outnumber the bitter supporters still hanging to the erroneous notion you were robbed. I warned during primary season you should clean up your act, lest you be blamed for a Democratic failure in November. And what do you think will happen if Obama falls short? It’s on your shoulders. You handed the Republicans a playbook against Obama and now you and your husband are flaming the divisive flames with your insincere support of Obama.

You will be blamed if Obama loses and the rallies against you if you run in 2012 will be large. Let go of your ridiculous ownership of the Democratic Party and do what’s right for your country. If you’re worried about your legacy, the best way to rectify the image you damaged is to pull out all the stops for Obama. I don’t think you’ll do it. I think you too selfish for the high-road.

You did yourselves in and until you realize your own actions led to your downfall, you will never fully be able to reclaim the glory you once enjoyed. Of course, it’s clear glory was all you ever cared about. Why not giving a shit for the actual state of the nation for once?

Time to get another beer. I sincerely hope I do not have to blog on this topic again.

04
Aug
08

National Geographic Explains Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Ambitions; and Why We Should Check the War Mongers

National Geographic featured a cover story this month on Iran, offering a brief, but in-depth look at the history and culture behind what the Bush administration so ignorantly termed one of the members of the “axis of evil.” While much of author Marguerite Del Giudice’s observations are significantly enlightening, I found a few passages poignantly relevant in today’s heated atmosphere.

When discussing how well-treated she was by the Iranians, Del Giudice expounds:

It’s a part of a complex system of ritual politeness — taarof — that governs the subtext of life here. Hospitality, courting, family affairs, political negotiations; taarof is the unwritten code for how people should treat each other. The word has an Arabic root, arafa, meaning to know or acquire knowledge of. But the idea of taroof — to abase oneself while exalting another person — is Persian in origin, said William O. Beeman, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Minnesota…

Being smooth and seeming sincere while hiding your true feelings — artful pretending — is considered the height of taarof and an enormous social asset.

The explanation of cultural mindset and behavior has in many ways answered a question gnawing at me for some time. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s smiling, lying, side-stepping-of-issues manner with which he engages interviews has long confused me. I first noticed the way Ahmadinejad presented a perfectly docile and respectful personage during a 2006 60 Minutes session with Mike Wallace. Since the Wallace interview, I have watched CNN’s Christiane Amanpour engage Ahmadinejad and, most recently, NBC’s Brian Williams.

Why a person with such ugly words – the denial of the Holocaust, wiping Israel from the Earth – would smile so sweetly while avoiding answers and delivering untruths was frustrating. He has provoked international consternation and heightened multilateral tensions on various global fronts, and yet he sits demurely and humbly with each accusing question. We want to understand Ahmadinejad and his motivations, but our Western ways have clearly misinterpreted his behavior – as is represented when interviewers point out his smiling to him as if it is oxymoronic to his words. It is not. He is, to paraphrase Del Giudice says, being smooth and seeming sincere while hiding his true feelings. Viola! A light bulb has perpetually displayed above my head since reading this piece in NG.

But it goes even further to give context to Iran’s current activities. Of the historical Iranian empire:

‘We have nostalgia to be a superpower again,’ said Saeed Laylaz, an economic and political analyst in Tehran, ‘and the country’s nuclear ambitions are directly related to this desire.'[…]

The empire once encompassed today’s Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the Caucasus region. ‘The borders have moved in over the centuries, but this superpower nostalgia, so in contradiction to reality,’ he said, ‘is all because of the history.’

Whether right or wrong, our destruction of Iraq gave Iran the perfect opening to widen its regional influence and begin the steps to regain much of its historical glory. History has already sadly begun to acknowledge the volumes of considerations Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Wolfowitz, Feith, Luti, Hadley, Perle and the rest of the architects of the Iraq War failed to take into account when launching their unnecessary war. With dollar signs in their eyes and revenge in their hearts, the war-mongers ignorantly ignored the potential implications and results of such a conflict. Many of these eventualities could have easily been foreshadowed, and perhaps even prevented the war itself, if these people had only asked the right sources the appropriate questions and sought all relevant knowledge on the region rather than just knowledge on the invasion.

And many of our Right-wing, Neo-Conservates are committing the same egregious sins all over again with Iran. At issue is their short-sighted “Might Makes Right” contention that only the U.S. should be armed to the gills and unworthy nations must yield authority on many matters, but mostly nuclear weapon development. It is true that irrational actors are one of history’s leading causes of war. However, the U.S. is slowly losing its economic might as India and China emerge and massive reserves of hydrocarbons are found on foreign soils. As our hegemony wanes, so does our might. Instead of acting like the wise big brother deserving respect in these times of transition, uneducated and foolish men mostly on the Republican side of the aisle are pushing the U.S. to be the schoolyard bully – shouting orders and stomping feet and dropping bombs to coerce others to do our will. This is a dangerous policy that has already yielded death and destruction and would continue to do so to our detriment.

Despotic rulers are eventually overthrown and if the U.S. insists the world must listen and obey our voice – we will see more terrorist plots succeed. When men like Sean Hannity spout repeatedly that the United States is the “bestest” and greatest country god gave the earth, he is insulting the other 6.3 billion people on this earth his “god” gave us. This isolationist arrogance will only cause us to fall harder as other countries assert their dominance on the global stage. As Karl Rove’s “Permanent Conservative Majority” was an exercise in rejection of reality, so is the notion the United States will always reign supreme. Every empire has fallen – Egyptian, Iranian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, British, etc. This is not an alternate universe and the United States cannot escape its eventual fate, whether in our lifetimes or beyond it. We must lay the foundation of respecting other nations and progressing together.

Neo-Cons believe the Iranian situation is on either/or footing. You either abide by our terms or we will bomb you into oblivion. The neo-cons forget we already have two wars in play, one of which we’re winning by buying off insurgents and the other we’re losing. They’re those boys who touched the stove even when they’re mothers told them not to and they knew it was hot. Only this time, their stubborn insistence to refuse common sense or acknowledge reality will burn us all.

The closed minds demanding bombs and war bring millions of us ever closer to a greater shame and more death than the Iraq War has. Their continued refusal to acknowledge or understand the entire situation will have dire consequences if we do not check the intentions of these relics and stifle their incorrect presumptions of the will of the American people. These men have already harmed the United States and the rest of the world with the Iraq War – a conflict they so pathetically did not understand would create a power vacuum and give birth to Iran’s new ambitions of greatness. These war mongers should not be permitted — under any circumstances — to lie their way into another deadly conflict and untold disasters that they will only leave to the next administration to rectify.

25
Jul
08

McCain ’08 Campaign Obituary

In 3 1/2 months, the 24-hour cable news channels, the major newspapers, the sea of blog-happy political junkies and basically every Republican voter will be speculating ceaselessly over “what went wrong” with the McCain Campaign. Remember the week of rehash after rehash of Rudy Giuliani’s failed primary strategy skipping Iowa and New Hampshire? Remember all the talk of Hillary hitting her stride too little, too late? That’s what we’ll be going through just as soon as the election returns present a modicum of decisiveness on that first Tuesday in November. This time, the focus of all the pity, all the shoulda-woulda-couldas, all the tsk-tsks will be McCain and the campaign managers he bet his lot on.

Presently, the McCain campaign is ridiculously painful to watch – he has become the Britney Spears of presidential nominee trainwrecks, complete with a tawdry adulterous past the press and leftie-527’s have graciously left outside of their coverage – if for no other reason than that they haven’t needed it. In much the same way Britney chomped on her gum and cried over her treatment by the paparazzi (despite having courted those very photographers while in search of Madonna-esque pop fame), McCain – through his surrogates – stomps his feet and shamelessly whines over a media lack of concern that is only seen by those who want to see it.

It is already clear this Grand Old Candidate and his crippled elephants will lay the blame at the feet of everyone but those with scarlet “M”s on their chests. The question, however, of the day seems to be “Is McCain even capable of presenting the political passion and potential even us lefties once worried would challenge our chosen candidate?” Well, that’s my question.

To be clear, despite his Mav reputation, his presidential hopes seemed DOA last year. And, yet, miraculously enough – he pulled off a primary victory; though it is still unclear whether he would be representing the Right had Giuliani not perpetrated one of the worst political fumbles in recent history.

In truth, I was hoping McCain would bring it home on that side of the aisle. Of all the Repub candidates, McCain – incorrectly or not – seemed to have a shred of character the other front runners lacked. My husband and I gave serious consideration to moving abroad if Romney or Huckabee clenched any shadow of success.

Perhaps I was being naive, but I truly thought he would give the Democratic nominee a run for their money. Sure, with this political atmosphere, almost ANY Democrat could beat a Republican – Hell, I’d put my 7 year-old Quaker nephew up against any of those pretend “limited government” schmoes – but this ain’t McCain’s first rodeo. And despite the fact that he’s separated from much of the team he worked with in the past, I thought the septuagenarian would be primed for this contest. But, it is unendingly surprising what a terrible candidate John McCain has turned out to be for the Republicans.

And, dammit, I’ll say it: Romney would have been an exponentially better candidate (speaking in a politically scientific manner). Even with all of Romney’s hollowness and cheap mix of flip-flopping and pandering, he would have been new, hopeful and, at the very least, coherent.

But here we are and, face it, Republicans, you have hit the motherload of crappy campaign candidates.

They would have lost in November anyway, but at least Republican hopes would still be alive at this point in the game. With McCan’t, all the Republicans in my vicinity (which is quite a bit, being in Fort Worth) reluctantly sigh that it looks like Obama’s gonna win. And they’re right.

The first sign that McCain wasn’t up to snuff was his failure to take advantage of the lengthy Democratic primary. Instead of presenting a litany of hopeful ideas, solutions and alternatives to the reality presented to the American people by Bush, he cozied up to our failed leader in a predictably bungled effort to curry favor with evangelists and Bush family donors.

Though it was difficult to compete with the press and voter obsession of the duke-out between Hillary and Obama, McCain didn’t even try to be a transcendent page-turner. With a plethora of problems assaulting the assumed American way of life – housing crisis, decreasing dollar, increasing gas prices, attack on civil liberties, growing concern for the environment, disapproval of the Iraq War – McCain’s answer was nada, nada, nada, nada AND nada. Without exaggeration, McCain had every opportunity in the world to own the forefront of the presidential race.

Instead, his focus was in the rear view mirror – the 2000 loss to Bush (sign Rove up even after all his evil shenanigans), the lack of command of the evangelical base (even with his pro-life stance) and his stubborn refusal to cede national security to the economy as the most important issue of the campaign.

This past week, more than any other before it, has brought to the surface McCain’s inefficacy and inability to present a galvanizing and motivating political force. The obvious geographical and historical gaffes need no explanation. Certain realities should be so inherent in a presidential nominee’s subconscious, one should NOT say “Iraq/Pakistan border.” Nor should they mistake the chronology of the single subject upon which they are basing their credentials.

And, worst of all, at a time when his opponent is out of the country and he has been served on a silver platter an unchallenged opening to present a unique, original and energizing plan to take this country beyond the reality before us and heal the deep wounds wrought by Bush and Cheney, he and his campaign resort to nitpicking at Obama’s heels and pettily chant “I was right. He was wrong.” about a topic Americans relegated to “who cares?” a long time ago.

At this point, surge, surge, surge is to McCain as 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 was to Giuliani. And none of us believe – including the least informed of Repubs – that he authored the surge; so his incessant claiming of credibility for the strategy is old, stale and distasteful. At least he’s off the teleprompters that just ruin any ability for the audience to perceive McCain as vibrant and presidential.

McCain is over. So over a VP announcement can’t save this clusterfuck. Even if it is Old Spice Romney. Ain’t nothin gonna help this political Titanic. The Convention in LarryCraigSexInABathroom Headquarters of Minnesota won’t even provide a blip on the electoral poll radar. And, let me let you in on a little secret. When polls routinely suggest that Obama is only 6 points ahead of McCain, they are not polling just REGISTERED VOTERS or those likely to vote. Merely polling Americans of voting age does not provide a proper sample upon which to base candidates’ likelihood of success. It’s easy to SAY you’d vote for McCain, but to actually do it is a different thing altogether. He’s done. I’d say stick a fork in him, but I don’t know that he’d survive it.

The bottom line is that, as a presidential nominee, you have to give Americans a reason to get off the couch, walk through the rain, wait in line and deal with the volunteers from the old folks’ home to practice a voting power they have long taken for granted. All told, this is not an easy feat. I would suggest $50 gift certificates to Wal-Mart, but I believe that may violate some obscure ethics laws.

My main concern now is the potential development of a new vocabulary of verbs, nicknames and childish titles referring to the McCain campaign failure. Political junkies well know “Willie Horton” and “Swiftboated” without any context whatsoever. Gaffe-gate? Gaffe-o-rama? Gaffe-a-rusky? The Night the Lights Went Out in Old Timersville? Smackdown of the Septuagenarian? Obama’s Octagon of Hurt on the Old Man?

I have no idea. We’ll probably have to leave it to the results of a top-secret meeting between the nude, bald leaders of cable news in an intensely foggy steam room of some exclusive health club in Manhattan. Apparently, their most recent meeting yielded an abdication of any mention of Sunni payoffs by the American government. Good times.

Perhaps this obituary is presumptuous. I don’t care. This is reality blogging, baby, and I’m through retching over “reputable” news agencies failing to acknowledge the current state of this election. It’s time we realize which direction our future is headed and start holding Obama’s feet to the fire of political righteousness. And let’s start with a rethink of the FISA vote. The clean-up of W. will call into question many Constitutional breaches and Obama needs to remember that we are through with unaccountable Executives.

UPDATE: 07.28.08 – Every sound bite the media plays of McCain is McCain criticizing Obama. He went to the gym instead of visiting troops (McCain campaign ad). Obama’s meeting today with economic leaders was just a photo op. Obama doesn’t want to drill. Obama this, Obama that.

Who are the yahoos in McCain’s campaign who think this is helpful? Any political neophyte would know that McCain is allowing Obama to determine the discussion because all McCain does is “respond” to Obama developments. McCain must try and LEAD the discussion. And, yet, every time he’s in front of a microphone, he’s yapping about Obama.

This is a LOSING strategy. He should know this. His surrogates should know this. And his campaign staff sure as hell should know this. Pathetic.

24
Jul
08

Live Blogging of Obama’s Speech in Berlin

Chris Matthews said yesterday that Obama’s trip had gone so well, he just skip Germany and just come home. This has to be one of Matthew’s larger brain farts. Can you imagine how pissed the Germans would be if Obama canceled on them last minute? Furthermore, the speeches given by JFK and Reagan in Germany will be remembered throughout history. For Obama to squander such an opportunity at such an exciting time would be a massive mistake. Minus 10 points, Chris!

Here we go,

  • Speaker is echoing. If this goes on the whole time…let’s just say, “Chinese Water Torture.”
  • Speaking not as a candidate, but as a citizen of U.S. and World.
  • He just laughed at a crazy yell from an audience member. So perfect that show of humor.
  • Talking about his father dreaming of a better life and someone in American answered his calls.
  • Recalling when U.S. & Germany histories became intertwined 60 years ago.
  • All that stood in the way of the Soviets marching across Europe and perhaps starting another world war was Berlin. The airlift began.
  • “People of the world, look at Berlin. Where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other.” And make good beer!
  • NATO – the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security. Take that, isolationists!!
  • Good speech writing, Good delivery cadence.
  • The 21st Century has revealed a world more intertwined than at any other time in history. (paraphrasing) This new closeness also brings new dangers.
  • The terrorists of 9/11 plotted in Hamburg.
  • Climate problems.
  • The poppies in Afghanistan come to Berlin as heroin.
  • We cannot afford to be divided… No one nation can defeat these challenges alone.
  • Sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny.
  • In America, there are voices that deny Europe’s role in our security and our future.
  • Global citizenship.
  • “Greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from each other.”
  • We must tear down walls dividing rich/poor, races, religions.
  • I hope Americans are remembering that Germany is having massive race/religion issues. Their lax immigration laws have created tension with their growing population of Arabs and Muslims. In many ways, America has outpaced European in progress of race relations – I noticed while living over there.
  • Now is the time to join together across the globe.
  • “This is the moment we must defeat terror and dry up the well that supports it.”
  • The camera has closed up on his face – good staging.
  • NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders, Afghanistan, must be accomplished.
  • He said tal-ee-ban again. One of his handlers needs to get on that.
  • “We must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Ahmadinejad, can you hear me?
  • We need a strong European Union.
  • If I were a betting person, and I am, I’d say he’s obviously going to win the election if, for not other reason, than he’s the polar opposite of George W.
  • Passing responsibility to Iraqi govt. and finally bring this war to a close.
  • Crowd started chanting Obama! Obama! with a European accent. giggle.
  • Must reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.
  • “This is the moment to give our children back their future.”
  • The world will watch and remember what we do with this moment.
  • He’s addressing problems in more countries than George W. can probably name.
  • When we reject torture and stand for the rule of law.. (attn: Rummy, Cheney, McFlipFlop etc. etc.)
  • There are time when U.S. actions do not live up to our best intentions. — Is he saying W. and Cheney had good intentions? Objection!
  • All free people everywhere became citizens of Berlin. Jeez, that’s a good line!
  • Conclusion: I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope with an eye toward the future, with resolve in our heart. Let us remember this history and answer our destiny and remake the world once again. Thank you, Berlin!

Andrea Mitchell is reporting German officials say the crowd is more than 100,000 strong.

Compete with that, McCAN’T. Booyah.

McCain says he’d like to give a speech in Berlin as president (suggesting it’s inappropriate for Obama to give the speech as just a candidate). Won’t happen, John. Sucks to be you today.

UPDATE: Huffpo is reporting the Foreign Service barred it’s employees from attending the Obama rally. Is there any freedom left the Bush administration hasn’t tried to curtail?? There has never been an administration in the history of the United States that has so strongly attacked our freedoms, liberties and right to pursue happiness. How does that man Bush hold his head high every day as he marches our country toward an autocracy? I have never been more thankful for term limits than I am at this moment. Of course, I suppose it wouldn’t matter if Bush could run for reelection. The landslide would smother any hope he would have of continuing his disastrous political career.

17
Jul
08

U.S. Establishing Diplomatic Presence in Iran?

Here’s my theory:

A younger, well-read student of history disguises himself as an older, white male Republican. Imagine a light navy suit, white shirt with the collar that buttons down at the corners, bright-red tie, over-sized American flag lapel pin, light brown hair – slightly graying – that’s been calling for a clip for a week. Somehow, this Navy Suit gains audience with the president – the specifics aren’t important – and extracts a thin, hollow tube from his pants – no, not that tube! – a bamboo tube.

Without notice, a dart tipped with the Secret Serum of Logic (found at one of the oldest, unnoticed library’s in the U.S.) is loaded into the thin tube. The Navy Suit raises the tube to his lips and, much like we’ve seen on TV or even practiced ourselves with paper-wrapped straws, emits a sharp, intense breath into the elongated apparatus, forcing the dart from its launching position into the neck of the President of the United States of America, who unfortunately carries the name George W. Bush and dreams of spooning Dick Cheney in the nighttime.

Not-so-coincidentally, soon after the so-called “Dart Incident,” Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik says U.S. ground troops will be “mostly finished” in Iraq by mid-2009.

Most stunning of all, a week later The Guardian claims the U.S. will establish a diplomatic presence – “a halfway house to setting up a full embassy” – in the capital of Iran, Tehran. After 30 years of relatively cool relations between the U.S. and Iran, George W. Bush has chosen a bold strategy of reaching out to Tehran in an effort to slow the Middle East country’s development of nuclear technology.

Such out-of-character developments originating from the White House cause hopeful brows to furrow in consternation over the sharp 180 (can a 180 be sharp? anyway…) in U.S. foreign policy. Theories of all kinds have emerged to explain such an enigma:

  • With a little less than 200 days left in office, Bush is grasping at straws – or logic, as we call it in the left-wing blogosphere – in a desperate effort to save the embers of his legacy after a tumultuous tenure at the helm of the American government.
  • Bush no longer feels beholden to his voters, donors, supporters – most of whom suffer from chronic headupassness – and is grasping at all straws in sight to have a least one, true success before leaving office.
  • Bush was kidnapped and water-boarded by former Secretary of State James Baker who convinces the current Executive to thank Iran for helping us with Afghanistan in the early days following 9/11.
  • Bush will want to ride the coattails of potential positive policy utilized by the next president, Obama, and claim that the strategies this new president has found beneficial were actually introduced by Bush. No one will believe the failed oilman who duped a small majority of the country into believing he’d be the best leader to steer the U.S. into the next century.
  • Presidential candidate John McCain has angered Bush by trying to forge a gap of reputation between the two old, white Republicans – prompting Bush to initiate policies that follow ideology spouted by Obama, not McCan’t.
  • Or, conversely, Bush wants to initiate these more leftist strategies he mistakenly believes will fail, allowing McCain to distance himself from Bush and garner voter approval after these Democratic tactics fall short. First of all, too little too late for McCain and secondly – most surprising to Bush, these strategies actually WORK. Tally-ho!
  • Bush wanted to plant a diplomatic effort in Iran to cover for a spy-team meant to infiltrate Iran’s confusing and secretive government hierarchy. Little did he know that President Obama would actually use the diplomatic team for diplomacy, goshdarnit.

Nevertheless, as the global population sits stunned over their morning coffee, reading rumors of the U.S. actively extending a diplomatic hand to Iran under the direction of W, the young, well-read student of history chuckles to himself in fond memory of his morning with the president and the dart that changed history.

02
Jun
08

Let’s Talk Scott McClellan

I waited to comment on the whole Benedict McClellan issue until I seen a few of his interviews and how the media reacted and, I have to say, I’m disappointed in our journalistic brethren – but when am I not, really? He’ll be on Hardball later today and I’ll watch that without expectation that Chris Matthews will somehow cunningly extract new revelations from our little Texas pudge muffin.

scott mcclellan

One of the most important, yet eentzy facts when addressing What Happened? has only reached my ears once amid the media and political brouhaha the book has stirred. He repeatedly says he’s from a political family and, as a Texas resident, allow me to offer you a little history. His mother is Carol Keeton Strayhorn, a well-known politician in our state having served as first female mayor of state capital Austin, state comptroller of public accounts, as well as the first woman on the Texas Railroad Commission (which largely regulates the oil and gas industry) and, lastly, having run for governor in our last election. She started out as a Democrat (most rural Oklahomans and Texans are old-school Democrats from the times before the parties swapped demographics decades ago), but caught up with the times and became Republican in the 80’s. Recently, she opted to break from the state Republican party, who currently suckles at the teat of Gov. Rick Perry (Bush’s Lt. Governor and arguably one of the worst governors in TX history) and register her gubernatorial campaign under the Independent banner. She claimed she wanted to set partisan politics aside. Now we’ve been hearing that theme from her son as one of the main reasons he served Bush and continued to serve Bush while disagreeing with him on weighted issues such as the war of choice that has developed into the quagmire of Iraq.

carole keeton strayhorn

I’m not questioning the sincerity of their claims of detestation of the partisan politics – in fact, I’m glad to see long-established Republicans breaking from the good ‘ol boy system we have in Texas. However, those in search of an understanding of the motivations behind What Happened? as well as McClellan’s seemingly openness to an Obama vote must look to his status as mamma’s boy, rather than as former press secretary for Bush.

keeton-mclellan celebration

(that’s scott on the left – found the photo in The Austin Chronicle)

One of the assertions I have found helpful in my few efforts to understand Scott McClellan is that he was misused as press secretary and simply wasn’t a good candidate for the position. I concur. Having watched many of his press conferences, his inability to communicate effectively with the press corps and adversarial relationship with it made it painful to watch as he inartfully dodged question after question. Robert Draper, author of Dead Certain (I’ll submit a review of this book soon), characterized Scott McClellan as, “looking like nothing so much as a terrified if well-fed koala bear as he peered out from behind the press room podium and recited his message lines as if at gunpoint.”

While it is true the administration simply used the position of press secretary as merely a buffer from the intrusion of the media and not as a way to effectively reach the American people, Scott still clearly misunderstood the priority of the podium. He repeatedly, almost certainly, used plausible deniability as a justification not to push for information from the administration and clearly underestimated his responsibility as message-deliverer. While he states in his book that Bush convinces himself of whatever he needs to in order to stick to his guns, Scott obviously did so as well.

The mere fact that there is so much “pot calling the kettle black” in this book is quite unsettling. Also, upon hearing the style of speech and grammatical mistakes in McClellan’s interviews, I am almost positive he used a ghostwriter as the quotations I’ve read from the book are incredibly poignant and well-written. Many people write much better than they speak (especially with the help of an editor) and it is not a huge deal to use a ghostwriter, but it is an issue I think he should address in his media campaign. While many of these memoirs use ghostwriters, I doubt Dee Dee Myers, George Stephanopolous, Doug Feith or Ari Fleischer relied so heavily on someone else’s pen. As a writer, I feel this makes a difference in the sincerity of the book.

I do agree that Scott McClellan should have had the fortitude of character to leave the administration, or raise his voice, if he felt so out-of-step with the direction toward warfare Bush and Cheney so vehemently veered. Having not done so, the publishing of his critical memoir before the exit of Bush (and I’m no fan of the guy) is questionable. Obviously, he’s angry about the whole Plame debacle, as well he should be. But his memoir delivers no new evidence of the wrong-doings by the snakes in the White House. It’s simply a case of too little, too late, bubba. Anti-climactic and irrelevant.

The reaction out of the administration and its former members is so paltry and fake, however, it only lends credence to the memoir itself. Even those no longer in the employ of the administration stuck to the set talking points so deliberately, they should have just put Perino’s comments on replay. The reaction, no doubt planned during the month the White House had access to the memoir before its existence was leaked, only issued meager character assassinations of Scott rather than refuted a single fact in the book. Gag.

The subject is a tired one and won’t remain in the top news categories much longer, if it still is. I have no idea where Scott goes from here besides aiding his mother’s possible run for Austin mayor next year. It’s still undecided if he’d be an asset to anybody at this point.

I suppose I’m glad Scott decided to write openly about his misgivings during his tenure in the Bush administration. Better late than never. This however, shouldn’t be a celebration for us lefties, but more a sad realization that the plague of acquiescence in the government during run up to the Iraq War has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, untold collateral damages as illustrated in the rise of commodity prices, and should never, ever be duplicated by anybody in the government or military claiming to have a spine and the ability to reason.

16
Apr
08

Meredith VETO: “Dead Wrong”

I LOVE Bill Maher’s “New Rules” segment on his HBO show. I’m pretty sure he has an army of clever little writers continuously hopped up on coffee who largely get off by making each other laugh. I can totally relate.

The segment is so good, in fact, Maher’s “New Rules” book was a smash. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are a few Rules from his website:

New Rule: Whenever you combine a secretive compound, religion and weirdos in pioneer outfits, there’s going to be some child-f*cking going on. In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as “God’s infallible wing man” here on earth, lock away the kids.

New Rule: If I’m paying four bucks a gallon for gas, that TV in the pump has to show porn. This way, I’m not the only one at the pump taking it in the ass.

New Rule: If you’re in college and not drinking beer, you’re doing it wrong. Students at Utah State have taken to playing the drinking game, Beer Pong. With root beer! Instead of beer, root beer! And instead of laughing and partying and trying to get laid, everybody wishes they were dead. Hey, Mormons, if you’re going to ask kids to believe in magic underpants and posthumous baptism, don’t you kind of want to get ’em half in the bag first?

New Rule: Politicians must stop saying, “The American people are smarter than that.” No, they aren’t. If the Bush era has taught us anything, it’s that voters want a president carved from their own image. [photo of Bush making funny face] Someone who doesn’t like to read will believe anything he’s told, and is easily distracted by bright, shiny objects.

God, I could read those all day. Funny shite.

Well, as any intelligent American who watches the news coverage of our domestic and international goings on, I find certain things – words, phrases, behaviors, tendencies – drive me to the edge of reason and make me want bitch slap many of those who brave the bright lights and big lenses, exposing their idiocy for all the world to see.

No, I will not sit quietly as lawmakers, pundits, commentators, reporters, strategists, surrogates and the rest of the incestuous family of our political culture parade one ignominious annoyance after another. I veto those annoyances. In the same vein that Bill Maher erects rules, I shall have the veto.

That’s right, Meredith’s VETO, biotch.

And for my first VETO, I ban the use of the phrase “dead wrong.”

Examples of use:

Joe Biden: “There was no confirmed connection or even serious connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam, two things the vice president continued to push and continues to push which were flat dead wrong then, flat dead wrong now.”

Dick Cheney: “With respect to the charge about the president, I just think it’s dead wrong. I’ve gotten to know this man very well. I work side-by-side with him every day, seven days a week, you know, 24/7, as they say. He has a great capability that I think is absolutely essential in an effective leader, and that’s the ability to cut to the heart of the issue.”

And it’s been around a long time –

G.H.W. Bush, SOTU 1991: “But the world had to wonder what the dictator of Iraq is thinking. If he thinks that by targeting innocent civilians in Israel and Saudi Arabia, that he will gain advantage, he is dead wrong. If he thinks that he will advance his cause through tragic and despicable environmental terrorism, he is dead wrong. And if he thinks that by abusing the coalition prisoners of war he will benefit, he is dead wrong.”

Simply because one decides to use “dead” as an adjective that describes the adjective “wrong” doesn’t make the “wrong” any wronger. Same rule applies when you use “flat” in front of “dead” and “wrong.”

It’s not just politicians flinging “dead wrong” around, either – I’ve heard David Gregory recently use it and Tim Russert has bandied it about as well.

Politicians, if you use the phrase “dead wrong,” it doesn’t make you more right. It doesn’t make you the expert or your certainty warranted. It only reveals your asinine inability to prove your opinions with facts, forcing you to resort to meaningless sensationalist hyperbole and annoy those of us who fall victim to your airtime.

Why don’t you try:

I don’t agree with him.

He’s full of shit.

He’s an asshat.

His mother was whore.

The use of any of these substitutionary phrases in lieu of “dead wrong” would keep my interest and increase your stock of credibility with many of us voters and television watchers looking for someone to just speak from the heart.

Just my humble veto. The first of many.

15
Apr
08

Prosecuting the Bush Administration

This morning is a beautiful morning, if a little chilly. And it only improved when I clicked on The Huffington Post and read the headline “Obama Would ‘Immediately Review’ Potential Of Crimes In Bush White House.”

The HuffPo basically provided an excerpt from The Philadelphia Daily News’ Will Bunch’s Attywood column in which Obama said:

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.

Now, there have been plenty of crimes committed by the Bush administration, whether it was illegal domestic spying, no-bid contract assignment in Iraq, torture, the illegal destruction of mountains of documentation and more. It would give me untold satisfaction if Congress or the next administration conducted effective investigations of the goings-on under Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. I have little faith that such investigations will proceed as most politicians are in the re-election business and obviously care more about the preservation of their careers than carrying out their fundamental duties as lawmakers and designated check-and-balancers.

Furthermore, I have not allotted my general election vote as of yet and am seriously considering marking the box next to Nader’s name. If Obama gives serious commitment to investigating criminal activity in the Bush White House, he will greatly increase the odds I will vote for him. But, he wants to be a uniter and that probably entails glossing over most of the illegal activity or going after smaller potatoes than those at the top of the administration. Also, Bush will most likely strategically hand out pardons, as he did with Scooter Libby, that will help prevent investigation of his activities the way his father did at the end of his term regarding his participation in the Iran Contra affair.

It’s enough to make me want to win the lottery and buy an island in the South Pacific on which to live and wear a sarong for the rest of my days.

You know what else makes me want to go native among palm trees? This comment on The Huffington Post:

“In the end, elitist liberals are impotent and embittered by that fact. They cling to fantasies such as prosecuting righteous, upstanding American patriots. They fall back on empty rhetoric such as “I’ll fight for the common man, because they know in their own feeble, prejudiced minds, that they don’t have the courage to fight anything evil or anything with the capacity to fight back.

They denigrate core beliefs such as Christianity, because they are empty vessels, devoid of any faith other than weak dependence on the wished-for power of twisted liberal government to FORCE their will upon those made of real and stronger stuff. They are deathly afraid of true faith because they have none. They are terrified of tools such as guns because they generally don’t know how to use them to feed themselves and are too afraid to use them to defend themselves.

They are everything in reverse that Obama tried and failed to heap disdain upon with his elitist mumblings in San Fran. No, we know who they are and what they lack; and they know we know, and that’s what really destroys them.”

To which I responded, complete with typos:

“wow. you are seriously living in fantasy-land. and your one-sided, close-mindedness makes me shudder because your zeal presents you prime meat for the those politicians who would take advantage of your brainwashed, sheep-like desire to follow and believe the lies you are fed.

Committing torture does not make you a patriot. It makes you an immoral hypocrite.

We have faith. Faith in reason, logic, common sense. Not unfounded fairytales only constructed as a tool to control. It is a good thing to question everything. And I’m not deathly afraid of anything except profound ignorance.

And I’m from Texas, honey. I KNOW how to use a gun.

Remember, discussion and debate is always a good thing. No one is right on ALL the issues and when you are certain you are right and no one else, it is time to retire. For your mind is petrified, you can progress no more and are no longer useful.”

I should proofread, I know, I know…


13
Apr
08

Just Finished My 2007 Taxes!! Woohooo!

I just finished my taxes and feel excellent. It’s beertime, fo’ sho’!

And let me just say that I’m sooooooo happy this Iraq war is costing our household $100 a month. It’s great the the government sees fit to use our hard-earned cash to assign profiteering contracts to favored companies while they try to stop the bleeding in Iraq. How excellent that this military effort has refocused our endeavors away from Afghanistan and Bin Laden and left our military de-moralized and stretched beyond any ability to respond quickly or effectively to an unforeseen event. Magnificently, the Iraqi infrastructure is in shambles, with water and electricity function merely based on hope and luck.

It is just such a privilege for me to contribute my income to one of the biggest military blunders in world history and allow Bush and Cheney to perpetuate the fairy tale that they felt the responsibility to spread U.S.-flavored Democracy to the Middle East. How funny that their culture doesn’t adapt readily to our philosophical governmental institution. ESPECIALLY, since you can barely call U.S. government a functioning democracy.

Ah yes, I have much to be thankful for. Just like all those blessed Iraqis.




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