Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Dominoes Continue to Fall

Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve Drilling plan DROPPED from budget bill.

WASHINGTON - House leaders late Wednesday abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday....

...The actions were a stunning setback for those who have tried for years to open a coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil development, and a victory for environmentalists...

--msnbc (link from crooks and liars)
Wow. Shouldn't someone set up a net to catch the falling poll numbers, second term agenda hallmarks and empty phrases like "political capital?"

Getting the feeling that Bush is a little bit radioactive? And that his own side is beginning to sidestep and shuffle away from him? "Who'll join me on my photo op in Pennsylvania? Show of hands? No one? Hello - the room's empty?" (Rick Santorum has already made a point of stating he's not joining Bush in his own state on Veteran's day - Democratic Underground,) Hello, Rick is the #3 Republican in the Senate.

(Also New Mexico GOP has said they don't want Bush to come right now and campaign on immigration...these will be the first of many)

I mean, you can't top showing up to campaign for your GOP brother, the candidate for Governor of Virginia, and then he loses the next day.

You know the old Laurel and Hardy joke when they're soldiers in a long line of soldiers and the sergeant asks for volunteers and everyone else takes a step back except them? Watch the GOP step back from their genius leader.

Politics is rarely pretty, and selfishness and me-first is not uncommon. But the GOP has so drenched themselves in the coating of "values", "unity", "if you're not with us you're against us" "America first - we're here for you", that their sudden fractious splitting and everyone running for the hills, seems to play with a particular hypocrisy.


Blogger boni said...

Saw this today on It's called tomcurry's diary. Here's what he saw in his corner of the Philadelphi suburbs:

This is a very Republican area. Reading the local election results I could not believe my eyes. It was a long list of one Democratic upset after another, read a few:

Hatboro, PA: The Democrats have not held a single seat on Hatboro Council in 14 years. In one day, yesterday, they took a super-majority on the council and upset a Republican Mayor who had been in office for two decades.

Doylestown Borough, PA: As of Monday, all nine members of Doylestown's council, and its mayor, were Republicans. After election day, Democrats took three of those seats and the mayorship.

Doylestown Twp, PA: Two Democrats defeat Republicans for open supervisor seats in very conservative township.

Hatfield Twp, PA: Republicans lose their 4-1 grip to a 3-2 Democratic Majority.

Chalfont, PA: Two Democratic challengers took spots on the borough council.

Warminster, PA: A Democrat wins the job of township supervisor for the first time in more than a decade.

Warrington, PA: The board of supervisors was 4 for 4 republican. After big upsets last night, it stands at 2-2.

Quakertown, PA: Republican Borough Council President ousted by a Democratic challenger.

The Democratic momentum is happening, but we can't forget how unscrupulous the other party is, and how they're willing to disenfranchise voters across the country. We have to remain vigilant through 2008 to make sure we turn the tide completely.

7:35 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Yes - and hopefully 2006 paves the way and gets people up to speed.

8:29 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger steff81 said...

I agree that the Repulican party does have some major players that aren't exactly making the majority of the people proud. But lumping all Republicans into one big waste of space group isn't the right thing to do. And at the risk of stepping on toes, remember that pride comes before a fall. Your guy eight years ago wasn't exactly the picture of honesty and integrity so cautious optimism might be in order for 2008.

11:16 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger boni said...

Our guy -I guess you mean Clinton. Wow, I would take that finger your wagging and stick it back in your pocket if I were you.

Phil's right. The GOP has drenched themselves in a thick coating of values. Primarily sexual values. (although if you read Scooter Libby's and Lynne Cheney's books you'll find out just how kinky and twisted the GOP can be. Where on earth did Libby get the wild scene about a young girl having sex with a bear so that she would turn frigid, therefore becoming a better prostitute???? Now that's a vivid imagination.) Funny how some in the GOP doesn't seem to have a problem with fudging ethics, outright lying and subverting the constitution whenever it suits them.

Frankly, I would take Clinton over Bush, Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearl, Rice, Lott and DeLay, Libby and Abramoff - any day.

And you know why? Yes Clinton lied about having sex with that woman. But in the scheme of things, he didn't lie about a war. Or weapons of mass destruction. He didn't take 5 week vacations every time you turned around. He didn't appoint fawning sycophanting idiots like Brown and Chertoff who don't have a clue how to do their jobs. He didn't drive up a devastating deficit. No - he created a record SURPLUS. (Which Bush and Crew have destroyed) He didn't ignore the poor and the disenfranchised.
He didn't have a Vice President running his administration.
He didn't rely on propoganda and PR. And, he didn't try to force his religious views on us...

Clinton actually governed like a President.
Bush is no more running this country than his dog, Barney.
The world admired Clinton. The world is now scornful of Bush.
Should Clinton have kept his pants zipped up? You bet.

Do I hate all Republicans? Not at all. I'm actually very fond of
Rep. Jim Ramstad from Minnesota. But, I do scorn the liars, the cheats and the hypocrites in any party. Including yours.

12:25 PM, November 10, 2005  
Anonymous peter said...

Instead of complaining what the GOP's not doing for you, ask instead: what the hell are the Democrats offering? Hillary? If that's all, then you guys should be really worried: microwave oven ideas from the '90's. Pretty sad.

3:17 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger boni said...

Ok Peter,
What exactly are the Republicans offering? More scintillating theories like Intelligent Design? More tax cuts? More deficits? More invasions of privacy? More war? More dependency on oil? More secrecy? More stonewalling? More...lies?

6:37 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

democratic ideas: help the vets medical coverage and post-war support, stop torture, stop the war, improve FEMA, bar right wing judges from the supreme court so they don't limit freedoms, stop ANWR drilling (done!), stop social security "reform" and destruction (done!), stop continued tax cutting or making the 5 tax cuts signed into law for the rich and powerful permanent (done!), demand accountability on Plamegate (done!), demand accountability on the 9/11 report (Reid shut down congress and got the GOP to give a deadline - done!), seems they're doing okay by me so far. Peter can list a few GOP second term agendas if he can find any, I think they've all been dropped to the cutting room floor.

11:22 PM, November 10, 2005  
Anonymous peter said...

I love the hysteria surrounding left-wing "thinking": "More secrecy? (and Clinton didn't have secrets? Especially the kind involving rape?) ... More... lies?" Tell me boni, do you still see the boogeyman too?

Philip, you sound like a sound individual (I know you guys don't really like that word), but instead of stopping, or to use a boni expression "stonewalling" on things like social security, how are the Dems offering a solution to a seriously crumbling system? Are they thinking outside of the box on these or other issues that they seem to be "stonewalling"? Or is it more of the same...?

Problem is the Democrats seems to be a boring organization out of touch with the rest of America (outside of La-La Land, NY, Mass). In truth, any other party in any other country should be destroying the GOP, but, I fear for you fellows out there on the left, in '06 and '08, nothing will change. Why? The Dems are simply out of touch.

2:02 PM, November 11, 2005  
Blogger boni said...

Gee Pete, if the Dems are so boring, so out of touch, how come I can smell the fear in you from where I'm sitting?
I know the democrats are making headway when guys like you crawl out of the woodwork and pitch a hissy fit.

4:43 PM, November 11, 2005  
Anonymous peter said...

sorry boni

I'm not in fear, nor crawling out of the woodwork.

I'm just tired of people like you bemoaning the fact the world you live in, the country you live in, is so horrible.

You wax about the deaths of 2,000 soldiers, tragic indeed, yet men and women who chose to serve the U.S. Who chose to protect their country. Who all died for a cause. Now, do me a favorand peek to your neighbors, in Montreal Canada, who saw a tragedy this past spring/summer where 1,800 people lost their lives because of a virus that spread through a couple of hospitals. A virus they could have prevented through proper hygiene. 1,800 people. Spring through summer.

Or what about North Korea?

Or what about the poets, homosexuals and others in Cuba? Locked up in jails. For what?

The United States is far from perfect. This administration less so. But to hear you and the people like you, you would think the sky is falling.

5:24 PM, November 11, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally! someone on this sight with a smidgen of intelligence!

8:20 PM, November 11, 2005  
Blogger boni said...

Smidgen of intelligence - minuscule is more like it. And learn how to spell "site" while you're at it.

I don't believe our world or our country is horrible. But I do think our leaders, are. And thanks to our great Democracy, I'm entitled to that opinion. I'll continue to bemoan the fact that thousands of soldiers have died and tens of thousands have been horribly maimed in this stupid war. Because Iraq was never an imminent threat as Bush so deceitfully implied. See I've got immediately relatives who have served in the military. And I'm just blessed that they were lucky enough to come home safe and sound. So if you're going to send troops somewhere, you better have a damn good reason to risk their lives and their families futures.

I don't think the sky is falling at all. Are you kidding? I'm giddy with optimism. Bush's 36% approval rating has given me hope.
(That statistic is according to Fox News so you know it's true, right Pete?)

So if Bush is right, how come Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to George H Bush and Gerald Ford
think he so wrong?

The first Gulf War was a success, Scowcroft said, because the President knew better than to set unachievable goals. "I'm not a pacifist," he said. "I believe in the use of force. But there has to be a good reason for using force. And you have to know when to stop using force." Scowcroft does not believe that the promotion of American-style democracy abroad is a sufficiently good reason to use force.

"I thought we ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes," he said. "You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it."

The neoconservatives -- the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war -- believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. "How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize." And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism.

And what about Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell? This is what he had to say in a commentary that blows the whistle on this administration:

"In PRESIDENT BUSH'S first term, some of the most important decisions about U.S. national security — including vital decisions about postwar Iraq — were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

When I first discussed this group in a speech last week at the New America Foundation in Washington, my comments caused a significant stir because I had been chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2002 and 2005.

But it's absolutely true. I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less. More often than not, then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice was simply steamrolled by this cabal.

Its insular and secret workings were efficient and swift — not unlike the decision-making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy. This furtive process was camouflaged neatly by the dysfunction and inefficiency of the formal decision-making process, where decisions, if they were reached at all, had to wend their way through the bureaucracy, with its dissenters, obstructionists and "guardians of the turf."

But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well.

The administration's performance during its first four years would have been even worse without Powell's damage control. At least once a week, it seemed, Powell trooped over to the Oval Office and cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet. He held a youthful, inexperienced president's hand. He told him everything would be all right because he, the secretary of State, would fix it. And he did — everything from a serious crisis with China when a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was struck by a Chinese F-8 fighter jet in April 2001, to the secretary's constant reassurances to European leaders following the bitter breach in relations over the Iraq war. It wasn't enough, of course, but it helped.

Today, we have a president whose approval rating is 38% and a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled military forces. We have a secretary of Defense presiding over the death-by-a-thousand-cuts of our overstretched armed forces (no surprise to ignored dissenters such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki or former Army Secretary Thomas White).

It's a disaster. Given the choice, I'd choose a frustrating bureaucracy over an efficient cabal every time."

Scowcroft and Wilkerson are not liberals. They are dyed-in-the-wool, hard-core Republicans. They know whereof they speak. Unlike you.

(Proper Hygiene????)

1:04 AM, November 12, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Oh brother. Boni lobbed a great point there Peter, two previously embedded GOP supporters decrying Bush/Cheney's endless screw ups. Why do they hate America so much? Isn't that your point? Clearly, these chief of staffs and national security advisors are not patriots.

Or is it just me if I make the same points?

Just asking.

"I'm just tired of people like you bemoaning the fact the world you live in, the country you live in, is so horrible."

Okay, so if my dad spends my allowance money, do I get to point that out and say - hey, wrong move? But if I do, do I hate my dad? Of course not.

You think any dissent equals complete hate? Your ground rules for feedback and critique is NO feedback and critique? Just trying to get a ballpark sense of your reasonsing.

"You wax about the deaths of 2,000 soldiers, tragic indeed, yet men and women who chose to serve the U.S. Who chose to protect their country. Who all died for a cause." Noble, beautifully said. Yet what makes it so tragic is that they were all lied to, we were all lied to, and congress was lied to, so it's not the invasion of Normandy anymore and literally saving the free world. It's dying for Bush's narcissitic game of let me one up my dad in the history books and get those oil fields.

"Now, do me a favorand peek to your neighbors, in Montreal Canada, who saw a tragedy this past spring/summer where 1,800 people lost their lives because of a virus that spread through a couple of hospitals. A virus they could have prevented through proper hygiene. 1,800 people. Spring through summer."

Yes - you're comparing this to the loss of Americans in the war? Is that right? Trivializing their brutal deaths as they ran head first into fire zones to protect YOU, with an epidemic in Canada? Your point is - what? People die? Like the 10,000 who've died from the FEMA failure in NO? Yes, people die. It happens all the time. So why ship healthy youn innocent Americans who've dedicated their lives to their country into a charnal house based on fraudulent intel? I think that's the point. You can't get away from a deadly flu if it's in the room with you, or a hurricaine the size of rhode island if you're poor or disabled - that's not your fault. You can avoid being shot by the locals if your government did it's homework and didn't send you into the wrong country. that's what I'm pissed off about - aren't you? Why not? Don't I get to say that?

"Or what about North Korea?" - yes, nuclear power we ignored, refused to have relations with and Bolton antagonized. Your point? They suck? You're right. So?

"Or what about the poets, homosexuals and others in Cuba? Locked up in jails. For what?" For all the wrong reasons. Like half the prisoners at Abu Ghairab. That's what kills me about the prisons there, we're becoming country that you hate for reasons that you just posed like about Cuba. Doesn't that piss you off? And Cheney wants torture, wants to add a rider to McCain's ammendment against torture stating "unless it's absolutely neccessary" thereby cancelling it out? You know McCain's response? "I was tortured. It doesn't work."

"The United States is far from perfect." I think mos of the US if fine. "This administration less so." Ah - we agree on somehting.

"But to hear you and the people like you, you would think the sky is falling."

Well, when Clinton had a record surplus, job growth, high tech sector, lowest interest rates in decades, highest conusmer confidence, going full steam, to hear people like you go on about his personal life screw up, you would think the sky was falling. I'm getting nostalgic for a President who I felt knew what the hell he was doing in office.

I"m thinking you might too with your "any other party in any other country would be tearing the GOP apart" line. You read Bucanan lately? He's just taken a hatchet to Dear George. The guy's just bad news. I think you feel the same way to some degree. Endless blind support is beginning to come off as just looking well - what was it you said? "out of touch." yes, that was it.

1:59 AM, November 12, 2005  
Anonymous peter said...

fortunately Clinton's record ran with Regan-nomics; any original idea he had was shot-down before fruition (medicare, anyone?).

But most of all, Islamo-fascists failed to attract much attention from the Clinton Administration, even after the WTC bombing, embassy and military attacks and even Usama coming straight out and saying "We are at war with America." Not even that could rouse Clinton away from his double Big Macs and Cigar collection!

I wonder, how would Clinton handle 9/11? Bomb a few asprin factories in Afghanistan, as he did to IRAQ during Monica-gate? Iraq...? Hmmm, interesting...

What other country could be attacked on home soil, right in the financial heart of the country and rebound? What's unemployment and job growth at right now? Please, have a look. Then please, check to the closest neighbors: Mexico and Canada: high unemployment, standard of living that is far below that of Americans. While you're at it, check out the more enlightened European countries, France and Germany.

Most of the world could not sustain such an attack as 9/11, yet you compare the relative (blind) peace of the Clinton era and the wake-up call post 9/11!

Clinton knew about the threats, hell most of the world did as well. But he chose to ignore it...

6:42 AM, November 12, 2005  

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