Saturday, April 30, 2005

Bush's Bubble Burst Will Make Dot Com Bust Seem Like a Pin Drop

Photos of the dead soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are finally released by the Pentagon, pressured by a FOIA filed by Ralph J. Begleiter, a University of Delaware professor and former CNN correspondent. It doesn't get any more real than this, a reality the Bush White House has been preventing America from seeing since the first bomb was dropped. Fascinating historical footnote: the policy of banning the release of photos of military coffins was signed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney under Bush the First. Well, you can go to all the pre-screened rallies you want, and listen to the cheers as you talk about how well the war goes and how bad social security is, but reality is just a bubble burst away, and it won't be pretty for George when the real world comes rushing in to W's protected virtual America where he's always right, and he's always the smartest guy in the room. Joke: How many Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: Why do you hate freedom?! Get it? The smoke and mirrors aren't going to work anymore.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Prime Time Embarrassment/The Press Conference

Well, let's go down the list of embarrasments. Appearing in prime time like the star he thinks he is (current approval rating 44%), the lame duck President offers tired and failed ideas on energy improvement (coal works lets use more of it, how about drilling for oil on closed army bases?), shrugs his shoulders about gas prices (talked to my friends the Saudis, they said they can't do anything), stubbornly stands behind the inane and failed social security deconstruction plan (it's a real crisis!)(Actually Medicaid his GOP congress just cut the funding for is the crisis about to cut the poor a very deep and uncaring wound as many will lose coverage), and then chides the press that they have to wrap up or cut into prime time programs...that last one really gets me. The leader of the free world ducking and running from tv shows that he knows the networks will cut to over him. (He uses the excuse that he doesn't want to hurt the economy by going over time. Hasn't he hurt it enough already? An annonymous network source points out if he cared so much about the economy, his prime time hour cost the networks tens of millions of dollars). And CBS, NBC and FOX all bailed before his final word anyway as the George Bush show wasn't pulling the ratings it needed to stay relevant. I'm looking forward to it being canceled. Read David Corn's great summary here. LA Times talks of how difficult Bush is to schedule here:

Bush Country

In this great interview from Raw Story, Jim Moran D-Va, slams the Republicans for the uncaring fat-cats that they are. Social Security? The Right's one chance to try and bust the one great Democratic program. Crisis? If you want to talk crisis, talk Medicaid which the GOP just cut the budget to and will leave the poor in this country high and dry with no way to pay medical expenses. You want to talk ideology then let's talk about how to shatter the government, remove all taxation of the rich, put the brunt of supporting the country on the working class. Now you're talking Bush country talk, GOP ideology and Bush's current interests.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hastert raises the white flag

Dennis Hastert agrees to take a step back from the new GOP rules in the ethics committee. They Democrats have effectively locked the committee up since then refusing to offer any votes on anything. Why? Well, it's actually a Democratic victory. GOP realized that Tom DeLay is out there, blowing in the wind, a negative charge of scandal all around him, and he's unable to clear his name if the committee is locked up. But new chairman Lugar will do all he can to clear DeLay, after the old chairman was fired by Hastert, Repbulican Joel Hefley R-Colorado, for admonishing DeLay three times last year. Democrats can savor the victory for sixteen seconds until the next round of bait and switch. Remember the new GOP is all about the agenda. Agenda at all costs, regardless of agreements, handshakes, signed contracts or promises.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fristian or Christian?

Beaming in to join the lunatic Christian fringe, one that already speaks from the White House and parts of Congress, and continues to broadcast daily from the mulit-million dollar pulpits of the tele-evangelicals, Senator Frist sells his soul to guarantee that his presidential campaign coffers will be packed to the brim with bigoted, extremist, exclusionary Fristian dollars. He joins "Justice Sunday" from satellite arriving like some Mighty Religious Right Wing wet dream, the Senate leader, in their house, denouncing the other party as "democrats against faith". The seat of Congressional Power hand in hand with the seat of Religious money power. Why is this exactly? When the judiciary is already predominently Republican? Because there is no maybe in Religious teaching. It's either God's law, or it's not. So you either vote with us, or you're against us in all things religious and judicial, right? Woops - hang on, the reactionary judges that Bush is putting up are also pro-corporate and anti-consumer. Could this be all it's about once again? The bottom line? The dollar and corporate donations as well? Frist must be a genius, siphoning money from both the corporate donors and the reactionary Christians by promising both the same thing - we'll get the judges we want on the bench and protect the courts to vote in our direction on all things. The Fristians get to madly tear up Gay rights and Abortion Rights in an orgiastic feeding frenzy, and the corps know these judges will side with them again and again and save them billions. The only ones who lose, of course, or all of the rest of us in the country. Don't be fooled. If Jews, Moslems, hey, even if the Rotary Clubs were this well organized and this rich, promising campaign cash and votes, do you know how fast Frist would be showing up at Bar Mitzvah Sunday, Ramadan for Justice? In a heart beat. The coat room at the Congress now says "Please check your coat and your ethics here".

Monday, April 25, 2005

If You Have A Heart, It Breaks

Beleaguered warriors of E company suffer heavy losses because their scrap metal rigged humvee, protected only by make-shift home made protection, wasn't enough to stop the shrapnel from the stationwagon that had been turned into a rolling bomb by the daily insurgents. "Two years into the war, and the armoring program is yet to be completed," says this New York Times article. The Gop has the House, has Congress, got us into this war, pounds the desk that we need war, thrums and rallies that we are winning the war, but could give a rat's ass about the troops. They cut medical benefits to the troops too, did you know that? We have the greatest army in the world, with the best technology and fiercest warriors, and the GOP is more upset that President Bush may not get the 10 radically conservative judges he wants this year. What about the dead soldiers, fighting his war? What about their families who have three months to get their affairs in order and move out of base housing when a fallen father dies? How do they take their values and parade them around, scream about them, point their fingers at everyone else who doesn't have them to secure the vote, then put their values back into a box they hide under the stairs so they can walk up to their bedrooms and go to sleep at night?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

If a Democratic Tree Falls in the Republican Controlled Foreign Relations Committee, Does it Make a Sound?

Even the White House Admits the Bolton nom is in trouble. Nice to know the Dems can still have impact, and that the other side is not completely robotic. Some of these people still have free will and are using it. Not to be one upped the corrupt and remotely controlled chairman Senator Luger is forced to delay the vote on Bolton, that suddenly, unexpectedly, would have failed, and now holds private interview with yet another civil servant belly aching about Bolton, but doesn't let the Democrats in to hear it. And this is after some Republicans are wavering on the vote. Doesn't he think this behaviour will bother the dissenters all the more? Isn't it about how some of these allegations of "serial abuser" may be true and the fierce White House attempts at controlling the spin are cracking? So locking out Dems and trying to control the spin yet again seems like a good thing?

Irony; the Republican dissenters, who are doing the right thing, are now being attacked by the same wacked out 527's that went after Kerry and others, even before the Bolton vote. Well, that's life riding to victory on the coat tails of the ultra-religious ultra-conservative right-wing hit squads. Don't they think this may weaken their own party's candidates when they come up for re-election? Of course not, why think about tomorrow when today can be so full of fun tearing down the next piece of meat?

Note to Tom DeLay and the far-right: when galvanizing the "mob", remember that it takes on a life of its own, and as a new life form wants to survive, so it will feed on any dissent to further propel its righteous mania and continue its life.

These Republican dissenters are doing the right thing, and being victimized, to the detriment of their own party. Tom DeLay is discovering other Republicans may want to cut him loose and run before the damage vibe spreads past him. Hey Tom, welcome to your kind of politics, where the new food on the table might be you.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Bush on Global Warming: "We Need To Look Into It"

The house has rammed through the President's energy bill because of these darn high gas prices. Not surprisingly, the bill has nothing to do with gas, or high prices, or helping the consumer in any way. It is chocked full of goodies like giving the thumbs up to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve - and after 10 years of environmental damage, we'll sell that oil to China for the profit. Other cheery tidbits allow coal burning plants to essentially keep their mercury levels and pollution levels the same for the next ten years, by rolling back limits and asserting private responsibility in meeting pollution ideals. This all adds up to the fact that the south pole is disappearing, and the ocean's temperature is projected to rise 2 degrees this century. Bush's legacy: less real estate everywhere there's a coastline.

Even Rome Wasn't This Stupid

Looks like Voice of America, Reuters and other news agencies are taking a cue from George Bush's America and outsourcing their workers to foreign lands to make money. Hang on, their workers report on America, don't they? Sure, but now they'll do it in a fiscally sound way, as these new reporters will be stationed in Hong Kong and India, logging U.S based stories, working at minimum wage, and writing cutting edge first hand accounts about daily life in our streets from 9,000 miles away. Rome fell with less, didn't they? At least Rome still had a soul when the plague hit and the barbarians were at the gate. When they come to invade America, there won't be any resistance. The land will still be here, but no one will be able to find America anymore. The spirit will have been long dead if we stay on the Republican road to estate-tax free, Christian's for corporate control, campaign donors get out of jail free card - America.

Dobson and Perkins Kissing in a Tree

Big time media preachers, flush with cash from their bretheren, the loonies of the far right are caught off the main stage with their squeaky clean images, where in front of their hardened frothy mouthed supporters they talk about stripping funding from the courts that are not aligned with their policies. Forget impeachment of judges, too slow. You want conspiracy? These guys make the JFK assassination look like a simple line from point A to point B. They want to be behind the scenes in the shadow world of budgeting for the courts, and pressure every Republican Senator and the President to remember "how they got where they are" and to keep the pressure on to kill any opposition. Kill the courts in question with lack of funding and they're gone. Kill the filibuster to snuff out opposition. Put the pressure on the conservative judge selection, put the pressure on their own party, Republicans must vote completely partisan every vote, or they're not Republican. There's no room for vacillation, questions, moral dilemma or ambiguity. Just vote the way they want you to. That's what it means to be Republican. Wow. Republicans are really working on that big tent thing, hmm? About the size of Bolton's hair piece. Is it a hair piece? Or just a sovereign nation sitting on his head?

Friday, April 22, 2005

"My job is not to be a fact-checker" Yowch.

Eric Alterman takes apart John Cloud on his attempt at journalism writing Time's c over story on Anne Coulter.

And the Revolution Will Be On Radio

Reports of Air America's early death have been greatly exaggerated. Every right wing hate monger laughed aloud as they counted the seconds for the upstart radio network to perish. How things have changed in just a few short months. Turns out there's a great hunger out there for liberal talk. And from it's start date to today, it could be considered one of the most successful roll outs of a nationally syndicated radio "network" ever (even counting the fumbling first months). Check out both links, both show the turning of the tide. link.

Haute Coulter

Okay, so everyone's roiling over Anne Coulter on the cover of Time Magazine, how this elevates her to the revered status of media icon, as opposed to the loopy, some would say bat-s&%t crazy reactionary extremist she is, who uses violent verbiage in all manner of configurations against the left, and does it in a flippant way so when confronted she brushes it off as a joke, and why is everyone so sensitive?

But the real issue is why she was on the cover, and why Michael Moore was on the cover. Jeff Bezos was on the cover too, remember that? Relax. Time magazine is no longer a new magazine with political insight, it's become a moderately refined People, and the barometer for cover page is REVENUE (see previous post Value vs. Revenue). Coulter's on the cover because she's had four best selling books (filled with inaccuracies, by the way). Moore was there because his documentary soared over 100 million dollars in box office receipts. Bezos was there because he made a dot com giant. Cash talks, doesn't matter how you make it. Next liberal to make a mint gets the cover too.

And sometimes it's good to shine the light on the darkness, brings bigger attention to all the mistakes in the details they used to build their own success. More fodder for us to bring them down with. Don't despair, use it well.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Right Turn, Exit Here

Some predicted that when the Right had all three power blocks, the white house, and both houses of congress, and there would be no one else to fight, namely the opposition party, they'd start fighting themselves. Now we're watching Republicans calling for DeLay's exit. It was also predicted by some that as the leaders of the Right have surged to power on the backs of the Extreme Right, they have made that deal with the devil, as it were, and are now beholden to that constituency. And here we are, first with DeLay calling Bush back from Texas to sign the Schiavo bill, now with Frist blasting Dems as anti-Christian. Can't think of a better way to galvanize that tiny 49.5 percent of voters on the other side. Hang on, polls show Republicans are pissed off too. Some polls show as many as 80% disagreed with the moral value meddling in the Schiavo affair, and a majority are now disenchanted with the dumping on any people's faith, even if they're the opposition. Play with fire, you get burned. The party of the Righteous Republicans may experience a righteous backlash sooner than they think. Watch, they will be blindsided by it.

Violating the Frist Amendment

Won't matter that DeLay will soon be out as long as we still have barbaric, anti-moral, anti-value, divisionist, wedge-ist, hate mongers like Frist in power:

From my friend Boni:

"Senator Bill Frist is planning on addressing a huge group of Christians on
4/24 to lobby for killing the philibuster and according to CNN, he's
planning on telling them that Democrats are against people of faith.

I find this frankly outrageous and polarizing and an out-and-out lie.
I called his office in Tennessee to tell him so. And I said it as a person
of faith and told them that, too. If you are as outraged as I am, please
call today and tell him so.

Tennessee office 615-352-9411
Washington 202-224-3344


Alternative Energy, Alternative Administration

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the way to stop this administration. People are tied to oil and we unwittingly support Big Oil every time we buy gas. We make them stronger every day. So the moment alternative energy comes in, and we don’t pay them, they get weaker – and our need for them vanishes. It's frightening for them, and essential for us. And it's not just a good idea anymore, it's crucial for the survival of our way of life. Because the old sources of energy are going to diminish and only get more expensive.

It's what Ghandi did in India. The Brits ran the salt production and trade, the Indian workers were dependent on them for their salt, and for their livelihood. Ghandi showed them how to make their own salt, how to make their own clothes. Suddenly the locals didn't need to work for the Brits anymore. The salt industry faltered, and it didn't matter how hard the British fought to try and restore the old order, an Empire's hold on its people was broken.

Sound good? We need to do that with big oil.

One Party Rule

Is this where we're going? This article by Geov Parish at lays out One Party Republican rule pretty sadly. Call me a burned out paranoid, but haven't some of us been sounding the horn about this? For years? How do we stem the tide? It's not going to happen at the top, it has to start at the bottom. What do we do? Stop whining and leave ideas. Thanks to the Balloon Pirate for the link.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It's Going to be All About The Oil, Because All The Oil is Going

Bush comes out today talking about how he needs Congress to move on the Energy Bill because of the country's fuel issues. But OIL will bring down the Republicans, just as OIL's donations brought them up. For example, if we drill in ANWR guess who's going to get it? Not us. The Chinese, because we can charge them more for it. Good plan, isn't it? Big Oil gets richer, and gas prices continue to head north of three dollars - FOREVER.

People vote from their pockets. When it was all about the tax cut in 2000, and people thought they would get five more dollars, you got their vote. So even though the Governor from Texas seemed like a tongue tied yahoo, everyone wanted that extra five dollars. But now they're taking money out of your pocket. In this car culture? If gas prices are your fault, you will lose. Now the Dems, have to get into it.

However the Puppetmaster is already in action. In Bush's speech today he refers to the gas price increases as if it's almost like a "tax" on the American people, that will affect their quality of life. It's a brilliant play to protect Big Oil, isn't? The Big Oil that he is born of and beholden to? He wants you to think that the oil companies aren't raising your gas prices, it's just like a tax. Something the government levy's on you. Something that he's cut, by the way. But it's not a tax. It's the price of doing business with his donors and supporters. Why are the prices of gas going up so mercilessly? It's the price of doing business in the gas culture with demand going up internationally. It's also the weak dollar, brought on by the immense deficit, and the War in Iraq. But notice, if the fuel issue is so unbalanced, why haven't the Gas companies posted losses? We continue to pay, while he'll continue to protect Big Oil, and they'll lavish him with the millions he needs to keep protecting himself.

So make no mistake. The next election will be about oil. Because we're all about to have our lives changed forever by the high price of oil. Plane fares will inch up, meaning less travel and a harder summer for those relying on tourism, the truck industry will suffer, who keep all of ours stores so well stocked 24/7 365 days a year, which means our consumer goods all go up, even summer trips in the car will have to be rethought as we're all counting the pennies.

So the first person to point the finger and say - it's not bad luck, it's not like a "tax", it's just Big Oil and how protected they are. And the first one to point that finger and say they do this to you, and I won't do this to you, will win the next election.

The New Pope

Do you remember when Cardinal Ratzinger from the Vatican laid down the law in the United States (and not in any other country, mind you, just here) in May 2004, smack in the middle of the campaign, that there would be "no eucharistic communion for politicians who systematically campaigned for abortion?" And that Kerry was a catholic politician who was pro-choice? Ratzinger's memo goes on to say if you vote for a candidate that supports abortion, even if you don't, you should not receive communion. If you don't receive communion your mass is not complete, you don't go to see your God when you pass on . This memorandum to US Bishops, that could have affected the election, swaying the catholic demographic to vote Republican so that they wouldn't burn in hell, was issued by Cardinal Ratzinger. He's the new Pope.

It's Just Nuts and Bolton

John Kerry acted more like a hero today than he did in two years of campaigning when he steadfastly countered Senator Richard Luger (Foreign Relations Committee Chairman) assertion that there were 10 Republicans on the committee and they all knew how they were going to vote, (and against the 8 Democrats) so delaying the Bolton vote didn't matter regardless of new information on him, so why not get down to it? And Kerry continued uninterrupted saying new information had come to light about Bolton that continued to question his integrity, that good honest government workers had come forward with this information and it deserved to be looked at, but if Luger didn't want to, if he wanted to vote blind, that was his choice. Not surprisingly, there wasn't an immediate response from the Senator. Then things started to go south when Senator Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he didn't feel comfortable voting today, and then Chafee (R-Rhode Island) and Hagel (R-Nebraska) agreed, Luger had to cut and run and save the vote. So, not surprisingly, he suddenly agreed to postpone the vote to do some serious damage control. Congratulations to Kerry, Boxer et. al. for the passion and fire we all so desperately need.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Why the DeLay?

Embattled Tom DeLay still in power, back against the wall, is still cashing a government paycheck that we're all paying for. Why? Well, for starters, he's fired back with a mailer claiming that he's never done anything wrong. Before that, the the Republicans changed the rules in the House Ethics Committee to make it more difficult to start an investigation. I thought never having done anything wrong was the best way to stop an investigation. Then the White House, shamed by such visages of moral perfection as Trent Lott reminding them to actually speak up for the guy, steps forward. Puppet Master points out that DeLay is a good friend, and that the Democrats are attacking because they have no ideas. Well, time out but don't the Republicans own the White House, have majorities in the Senate and the House? What are they waiting for ideas from the Democrats for? Isn't this their chance to show everyone how to lead? Don't they hate Democratic ideas and ideals anyway? But now they want our ideas instead of attacking the admonished DeLay?

Point is - they can't lead, they don't know how to. They just know how to fight. And they fight to the death to win. Here's the problem, having won, they continue to fight to win the next point, to win next poll, to win next campaign contribution.

There's no one actually leading the country. The White House and senior leadership are leading a group of winners around by rings in their nose to continually divide, wedge and browbeat the public to keep winning at all costs. And all the time there is one murmur in their collective ears: stay in power, control the flow of money, control the message and keep winning.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bush Boos

Unable to vet 46,000 people as decidedly pro-Bush, and therefore allow them access to listen to the President in public, the fans at the Washington Nationals inaugural game on Thursday gave the most accurate public reception the President has had in five years when he threw the first pitch. Cheers and some boos. How refreshing to hear the honesty. Where's that mandate again?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Value vs. Revenue

It's about how we've lost touch with a touch-stone of our society's core principle. And the heart of the matter is ethics, conduct, doing the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do, and not because it gets you an extra two cents because you screw 6,000 employees. I'm watching re-runs on TCM the other night, and whether it's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or Mr. Deeds, or whatever heartfelt drama is playing from a lost time in America, the key turning point always hinges on the character doing the right thing, the selfless thing, the thing that helps others first, and in so doing helps himself the most. And it used to feel so good to watch - and I watch it now, and it doesn't ring true. "No one would do that," I hear myself saying.

Ethical conduct is handed down to us from the English tradition of honor and nobility, the Greek notion of education and governance, ancient religious doctrine. Socrates pursued the definition for "what is virtue?" his whole life. Certain established ideas about civility have always been about following the "rules" of conduct. No the system isn't perfect, and you'll always find rotten apples in the barrel, but at least there was a barrel. I'm talking about a system that at its core connected to the idea of teaching "right from wrong. Because deep down we all know the difference.

You used to value a person based on their values. How they conducted themselves. If they would do the right thing, not only when it was easy, but when it was hard.

Now we care about revenue. About one more dollar for me, give me more, and however I get it, my personal value has increased because of my net worth. My conduct doesn't matter. Even if I'm caught and arrested, "at least they caught a millionaire" you can hear them whispering in the hallways.

Kids today admire Paris Hilton because she's a billionaire, not because of how she chooses to act as a person. Because if you're a billionaire you can act however you want. Isn't that point?

Well, that that is the point.

Because we used to admire a person who did the right thing. Because we were taught that was the highest value a person could have. Now we admire the person who makes the million dollar contracts, the billion dollar stock sales, or just inherits the estate. Like the President. Because a person's value is linked directly to their dollar value. And damn the steps that got them to sign on the dotted line.

What happened to the barrel? The barrel is an inconvenience to Bush, because it conflicts with his need to get the job done. And the job is to get more for himself and his donors, more for the military establishment, more for the oil companies, more for rich corporations, and make sure everyone else has less - "because if you're not with us, you're against us." So I'd better make damn sure you're weaker than I am. So he gives to his side relentlessly, and takes from every other side.

His 2% of the population will indeed have higher net worth, but begin attacking each other like sharks in bloody waters when there's no one else to take from except themselves. And the other 98% of us will feel the pain when the barrel collapses completely.

Governance vs. Politics

From my friend The Balloon Pirate. I couldn't say it better:

"Here's my view: there are two parts to running a society: governance and politics. That's the way it has always been; even when the turtle-god chose Thag over Ogg to run the tribe of the smelly swamp, you can bet there was somebody behind Thag's rock of power whispering: "Our campaign to make Ogg look soft on disembowellment work like charm."

So it has been, so it will always be. It's a two-stage process: Politics gets you to the power, and once there, you start governing. Of course, since we elect our governors, there is always a need to do some politicking, even when in power. And since we have a two-party system, the party that's not in power will often play an adversarial role. It's called loyal opposition.

So politics does play a role in governance, and that's cool; the give-and-take of ideas, and the negotiation of projects makes for a stronger system.


Right now, we have in power a group of folks who don't seem to give a flying fig about the governance part of running the country. The Republicans of the Bush-Cheney-Rove ilk have discovered that if they politick correctly--which is incessantly and ruthlessly--they don't actually have to govern. Perhaps this was by design; more likely it is because of a perfect storm of money, amoral ambition, and a newsmedia that's trying to fill a 24-hour newswheel. Whatever it is, we're no longer living in a democracy or a bureaucracy--we're living in a politocracy. The Bushies have no more idea of how to 'fix' Social Security than they did on how to 'win' a war on terror. They have no ideas at all. They don't need to: all they need is messages, and some one to point out as being the bad guy. Bin Laden, Hussein, Clinton, Kerry, 'activist judges'--it doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if the bad guy is a former ally--as Tom DeLay is about to find out. It also doesn't matter if their current message is completely opposite to a previously stated message. Because there will be another message coming along as soon as a different enemy can be found. No new enemies? Recycle an old one.

"But BP," you say, "This means there's no one actually running the government. Their inattention to the actual work of running the government--governance--can lead us to disaster."


So what do we do?

Well, as I see it, there are two choices. One: continue on as we are going, and let the whole damn thing collapse and hope that something better comes out of the ashes--that is, if anything or anyone actually survives.

Two: STOP PLAYING THEIR GAME Or, more precisely, stop pretending that the Bushies are playing by the same rules as everyone else. (Notice I say Bushies, not Republicans. I feel that Bushies are a bizarre sub-sect of the Republican Party. The Bushies are to the GOP what the KKK is to Christianity. I'm not a Republican; in fact, I disagree pretty much across the board with most Republican viewpoints. However, I can't bring myself to believe that half the country is as hellbent for personal gain and destruction as the current regime).

Stop playing their game. That would be my message: They're not govening; they're politicking. They have no plans. Point this out. Give every Democrat and Democratic sympathiser the same message: "They are not governing." Repeat it over and over. Use specifics. Respond to every attack with a question: "Why aren't you governing? Why aren't you going for the long view?" If they come back with Social Security, respond with a variation of the statement: "The reason you don't give us specifics is because you don't HAVE specifics."

I'd tell the Democrats: Make it clear that you're not playing their game. Don't be angry. Don't be retaliatory. Be concerned. No one is governing. Everyone is politicking. Where are the specifics? What are your plans? What are your plans for energy? What are your plans for the middle east? What are your plans for the economy? What are your plans for the ecology? You've got the Presidency. You've got the House. You've got the Judiciary. Don't wait for me to offer my plans. I'm not the one in power. What the fuck are your plans?

The Emperor has no clothes.

At any rate, that's the view from the high seas of hypocracy.


Conspiracy Revealed - McClellon Tips His Hat

Mike Malloy of Air America Radio plays McClellon's answer on why Bush hasn't put out specifics to his Social Security plan. Bush just barks out endless blather about private accounts that don't seem to add up, and when his numbers are crunched, guarantee your check being cut smaller. McClellon's answer as to why no specifics?; we have all ideas on the table, we want everyone, Democratic leaders too, to come forward and present their ideas, so we can look at all of them. Sure, because they so often stretch their hand across the ailse, right? Because they believe in bipartisanship? Wrong. Point being - the moment Dems present a plan the Republicans have the moment they were actually trying to get to demonize and trash the Dems Social Security plan, so that America gets a chance to watch/listen to it crash and burn on 450 right wing hate shows, then in lieu of it, support the Republican plan! Truly brilliant, cunning and devious in its two-faced pretense of all working together under one tent. But the Dems haven't presented a plan. Nada. Because they don't need a plan. Social Security if fine. So the Bush is swinging in the wind and looking like an idiot and no one's going for it. Kingpin-head and his polls continue to drop. Finally, something the Democrats have done right!

Bolton, a true U.N.-American

Part of the conspiracy of world domination, putting this passionate ideologue who nurses at W's teet as our ambassador to the UN. Bolton, a fierce partisan in the 2000 election debacle, who was on the team of liars about weapons of mass destruction and tried to have intelligence analysts fired when they disagreed with him, now beligerantly promises to be fair minded in his dealings with the UN, an organization he is already on record saying he thinks it's outdated, outmoded and should be put out to pasture. Democrats only hope is to convince Chaffee (R-Rhode Island) on the Foreign Relations Committee to vote against him. As it's 10 Republicans to 8 Democrats on the committee, it would be the tie that prevents the nomination. Of course Chaffee has yet to be confronted by the "Rethuglicans".

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bankruptcy Bill! Just In Time For April 15

This malicious, felonious bill which will cripple the American who is financially devastated by extreme or chronic illness, fighting in Iraq, returning from Iraq with injuries and unable to work, and various other noble and politically neutral maladies of life, is essentially a wish list by the credit card companies to squeeze the last drop of blood out of everyone that has ever owned a credit card. DeLay and his evil twin Frist are strong arming it through their respective houses. The tainted paper passed through the Senate with the support of no less than 14 democrats. It's now up at the house for it's immediate and final vote. CONTACT YOUR REP IMMEDIATELY and let them know how you feel from this link. Or go to for phone numbers to call!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What's Next? Prepare To Walk The Rope With No Net

I think the future of this country is in micro-economies, as Bush has effectively poisoned the major economic landscape with his domestic war on the middle class, and his foreign policy of over-extend and over-spend.

I think we'll begin to see many short lived cycles powered by the internet or fads. It'll be a major change and people will have to adapt readily, but I believe the days of - go to school, get a job, know you have a career and retire in 30 years with a pension and put your kids through school are history. Because in Bush's corporate donor world, the corps raid their pensions, crush their unions and ultimately outsource the entire company. Workers left high and dry will be desperate to become a part of anything that works, even if it's "just for now". The pick up line "so what do you do?" will evolve into "So what do you do right now and keep it short."

I'm wondering how people will surf this world, and if part of the new media for connecting, networking and reporting on this world may be starting with blogs. We'll see the small email mags/and the rise of internet micro tv shows, or other bits of business, things that may only live for a few days/months/years at a time. This will become the new independently owned media, literally powered by a subscription base and not dependent on advertisers - as the hulking goliaths of media are, and are now pussy whipped by the same.

How tight will the cycles be? Some people who make a killing in a new cycle will bail and leave others in their dust, I'm expecting, sure. But just like patterns of living organisms intertwine in nature, the little economies will help grow new ones before they die, some will live longer, others very short, etc. Wouldn't be surprised if it has some kind of mathematical expression like that.

Point being, if this is our brave new world, brought on by the loss of Federal protection, de-regulation, an immense deficit, and the Republican shaving of every Federal safety net, who will be looking out for the people of America? The Republicans have made it clear, it won't be their party. Just another reason to think outside the box.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

What Does Walmart Really Cost?

Walmart has long been a small business destroyer, a little city home-wrecker. Like a heat seeking missile these super stores land like bunker busters and devastate local economies by closing out the local businesses, hiring the newly unemployed for minimum wage with no health insurance, then when the locals have no money left and can't buy anything in these monster stores, they close them up and leave town.

And of course they're ranked as the number one retailer in the company this year, again. But that's America. Money talks, and common sense walks off into the sunset.

Check out this thoughtful insight from the Cranky Yankee. He starts:
"So you save a buck on some cheap goods made in China by virtual slaves. Apart from the hit our collective Karma when we allow worker abuse like that in order to enrich ourselves, the cost to the local community is higher than you might think.

The economic impact of a Walmart on the local and state are substantial and often under-reported. A Congressional report was released in 2004 that was commissioned by Rep. George Miller of California for the House education snd Workforce Committee. The report concludes that a Walmart with 200 employees will end up costing taxpayers $420,750.00 annually for things like public health care and housing assistance because Walmart employees can't afford them because of low pay and expensive healthcare benefits. These costs include --"

(n)e(o)conmy about to explode

That witty and painful title form, the link is through them too - but read the biggest story out there that no one is talking about. When the end comes, it will be televised, but we'll all be screwed. Remember, Bush doesn't care about the end on Earth because he's preparing for salvation in heaven. The rest of us poor bastards will have to declare bankruptcy, and then be in debtors prison for the rest of our lives as indetured servants to the credit card companies because of the bankruptcy bill - about to be passed in the house (April 14th). Write, call, email your reps immediately.

Who's Out to finally Get DeLay?

Great insight from After the wall street journal published this op ed piece trashing DeLay (finally), they posit - why the hell does the WSJ give two rats' dumps about Republicans being either corrupt or stupid? They've supported, glossed over and glided past every Republican fiasco since innaugural day 2000. Unless someone asked them to. Aha. One doesn't have to rove too far to guess who. Puppetmaster isn't going to chance Kingpin-head to slip even further in the poles if he can help it. Time to cut one rotten apple from the diseased tree and hope the media follows it down.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Gannon Iritates, Still No Investigation

Remember this psuedo journalist, got into the white house press room for two years, with his day passes touting employment from the store-front Talon News Service, now defunct? (mysteriously off-line when you go to, a division of GOPUSA). With a crowd control and press control like no other white house in the last 50 years, Gannon's access is no accident. And it came either from Scott McClellon, white house press secretary, or some other high level post (Rove?). It is a disasterous lapse of security to have a neofyte, unschooled partisan writer claiming he's a journalist. It is a disasterous lapse of security to have anyone enter the white for two years on a day pass. Why is there no independent counsel? Oh, yes - because the Republican's chair each committee in the house as they have majority in the house. Don't expect accountability. Remember, "Republican = no accounatability." Time for traditional conservatives and progressives to take back the congress and the white house.

Senator Martinez has a Predilection for Finger Pointing

Media points out Sen. Martinez habbit of blaming his staff and getting away with it:

"Prior to the 2004 Florida senatorial primaries, Martinez's campaign mailed fliers to voters that referred to his Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, as "the new darling of the homosexual extremists," a reference to McCollum's support for federal hate-crime legislation. After Martinez won the primary, he apologized to McCollum for the smear, blaming it on "a couple of young turks" in his campaign. Miami Herald reporter Michael Putney wrote in a September 22, 2004, article:

''We made mistakes,'' Martinez told me after a news conference on the banks of the Miami River. ''A couple of young turks in my campaign went further than they should have. They didn't even have to do it, for gosh sake, we were ahead at that point. But I'm totally responsible for what happened, and I regret it.'' He added that his smearing of McCollum doesn't accurately reflect ''who I am or what I stand for.''
Read more at -


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Time to re-paint the Republican

The symbol for the pentagram was once benign, a positive symbol indicating the five elements that make up man (fire, air, water, earth and psyche). It was used freely in the middle ages in other religions until the church, threatened by these other religions, declared a symbology war against them. Painting this and other symbols as evil, dark, anti-church and therefore unacceptable to the Christian culture, the campaign punished offenders and created strict ideology to decry it. The campaign was clear and succesful. The stance was -- either "you're "with us or you're against us." Sound familiar? It's a phrase Bush likes. The term "liberal" has gone through a similar branding since the Reagan '80's. Liberal has been linked with weak on defense, big on spending, anti-war (which implies anti-American because we're AT war there therefore must be JUSTIFIED), etc. The term liberal is decryed by the Right Wing, and used "liberally" on any political opponent. The term has been so successfully tarnished, it's now used as a weapon. So this campaign was also clear and successful. The stance is - - either you're with "them liberals" or you're with "us" (everyone else, I suppose). Time to do the same. It's time to re-paint the term "Republican" for what it is. Right-wing Religion wearing politicians clothes. "Republican" means the legislation of your moral values, "Republican" means bringing the government into your life and death with their new laws. "Repblican" means skyrocket the deficit, "Republican" means spend out of control, "Republican" means cut your social security check, "Republican" means can't conserve. They can't conserve the budget, can't conserve resources, can't conserve the national treasure of our environment. "Are you with them? Or with the rest of us?" True conservatives of both parties want to conserve the environment, conserve the economy, conserve the laws that founded this country. Conservatives can leave the Republicans behind. Because maybe, just maybe, conservatives want to get our country back too. And maybe, just maybe, working together, we can do it. Conservatives from both parties can find a home with the Democrats, before our home is legislated into a church by the Republicans.

Get the Facts

If you're not sure how to wipe the muck of the spin cycle off the stats of social security, check here.

I'm Sorry I Pirated The Congress, Let's Move On

At what point is saying "I'm sorry" just not enough? Senator Martinez makes a big apology when it comes to light he blew the whole secret of the Schiavo Memo himself by handing it over to a colleague. A talking points memo drafted by his own legal counsel, of the same Alexander Group that gives legal advice to Tom DeLay as well. No wonder DeLay had the same talking points! Where was Martinez when the pundits in the media were speculating all last week that the memo was a Democratic forgery? Hiding of course, pleased the heat was off of him. The entire legislative branch of our country was hijacked for politcal purposes, not to create any meaningful legislation, not even to help more than one Terri Schiavo, but to help Republican Senators fill their coffers with more donations from the right-to life wing of the GOP so they could say, look what I did, I'm on your side! Where's an indendent counsel when you need one?

The Memogate Moment

Senator Martinez of Florida and the talking points memo. The one that outlined why Terri Schiavo was excellent prey for the Republican machine to inflame the right, create a wedge in the country, generate new campaign income.

And how the right spun like mad pointing fingers at the left and insisting it was all a forgery. It's another Rathergate! An annonymous forgery?

Washington Post reports that the Freshman Senator had it in his pocket, and handed it over by accident to Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) (on the senate floor). Senator Harkin says that Senator Martinez said "these are talking points," as he handed it over. Though now Martinez says he never read it. Perhaps the full quote by Martinez went something like "These are talking points on this one page memo that I haven't read yet," Busted.

Martinez now said his legal counsel wrote it, Brian Darling. Who he then fired. But Schiavo's name is mispelled at the top of the document. I thought lawyers instinctively double checked details like that before hitting "print" lest a briefing be thrown out of court. Or did Martinez write it, and after so ineptly handing over his own secret partisan plan, just had to find the fall guy?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

He Nails It.

Please read this brilliant piece by Robert Freidman.

Monday, April 04, 2005

No Exit; Jean Paul Sarte sums up Iraq

Existence, for Sarte, was the ability to project an image of yourself into the future. The inability to project an idea of yourself into the future was hell. "Hell is other people," the lead character of the play says. Well, I think the Bush administration would agree with it all. Why have an exit strategy that will leave a vaccuum that will implode in the first moments US soldiers leave Iraqi soil? Why not just project an idea of a free Iraq into the future and never talk about leaving? That's a future that makes sense, a future the administration can still sell to the public and siphon support from. It's clearly hell because of the insurgants and nothing we're doing wrong. Not the 14 planned permanent bases in the new $82 billion reqesuted war funds, not the dangerous elections which have yet to result in any new government, not the lack of relief for any of our own brave young men and women (relief required by the Pentagon's own rules) who are fighting and fighting and fighting. And dying. We're stretched too thin. We're draining our resources. Bush will bring town two countries. Iraq. And America.

Who says all Conservatives are Republicans?

The blogger "the cunning realist" poses a great point. Who says all conservatives are Republicans? Who says that being a conservative ties you a priori to the Republican party? There is a great conservative movement in this country, and a great conservative history of doing literally that - conserving. Protecting the economy, checking the deficit, conserving the environment. There are many conservative Democrats. I long for the day of the traditional conservative. Faced with these new Republicans, these millionaire self-appointed religious crusaders who have co-opted the Republican party, every initiative seems to be clearly assigned into one of two clearly defined categories. 1) How to shore up their own wealth, and 2) how to continue to shore up their own religious support guaranteeing more wealth and bodies in the voting booths. And damn the traditions of the GOP, damn the torpedoes, damn the rules and damn everyone else who has a problem with that. Time for Democrats to start addressing conservatives directly, not by party. There are horrified Republicans out there, guaranteed, who would jump ship just in the interest of self preservation.

Great blogs, Check 'em Out

Where is the Outrage?

The Republican congress blocked the nomination of 60 judges during Clinton's presidency. We blocked eight in Bush's first term. But now that they are firmly in the power position, why risk allowing the Democrats to do the same? Bill Frist enters the democracy shattering legislation this week that will allow for a judge's passage by a simple 51 vote majority in the Senate. As they have 55 Republicans to our 45 Democrats it will be a slam dunk to ram every hard wired reactionary judge straight down our throats. Is everyone so fat, stupid or anaesthetized by television out there that they don't realize what's happening? Are the Republicans secretly thrilled at the passing of the Pope this week so that the castrati of the media are distracted anyway? Where is the outrage?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Enemy of My Own Conservative Judge Is My Friend

The tireless non-stop goose step of the right wing conservative party takes no pause even in the wake of Terri Schiavo's passing. Even as we breathe a sigh of relief that she's taken her final breath and is at peace, watch as they nail her to a cross. Her memory will be used to manipulate the establishment to swing judicial appointments more conservative, or cut back on Judge's powers, or ram through new legistlation to once again control the population and reduce our freedom.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

DeLay Uses Bully Tactics of Bush

Tom DeLay recently uses threatening language against Judge Briggs, the ruling judge for the Terri Schiavo case: DeLay issued a statement asserting that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." He later said in front of television cameras that he wants to "look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president." (this from
This comment has had other law-makers (Ted Kennedy and others) demand he specifically retract or make clear he's not inciting violence. No comment from Mr. DeLay. President Bush in his continual head-banging-against-cement-push to convince people his threatening Social Security Bill must be passed, has begun to use threatening language against his opponents as well. "Bush said during the social security push: "I think there is a political price for saying, `It's not a problem, I'm going to stay away from the table.' Is this the way to run a government? Bully boy tactics? Why is there no willingness to dialogue? Because ideologues have no room for any opinions other than their own, or because at the core of each initiative is a basic lack of integrity and emptiness?

Osama the Time I Remember Why We Got Into This War.

Now that we're selling F-16's to Pakistan's dictator, who rules over an islamic country with no free election system, that is probably sheltering, or at the very least is incompetently searching for Osama Bin Laden, it makes me think back to the bastard that started it all. The bane of American citizens shattered by the events of 9/11, why is there such an amazing lack of interest in the Bush administration to talk about it, and deal with it? More disturbing, they seem happy to keep it off the radar. It's a news cycle they can't control, and since they only deal in black and white ideas with a beginning and an end, the reality of his elusiveness and continuing threat to the country could only hurt the President's image. "We'll smoke him out," said Bush. Remember that? This is Bush's third defeat and should be dealt with so by the media. (one is social security, two is the attempt to reverse the Florida courts decision to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, three is the failure to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice).

Hail The Everyman Leader, wealthy screw up, man of values

Great quote from my buddy the BalloonPirate:
"No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor will they call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce.' But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'" -- Dorothy Thompson, 1935

Friday, April 01, 2005

Am I Being Too Paranoid? Again?

First the Inspector General Raymond Lemme, investigating the vote fraud in Florida, commits suicide in a hotel room - woops, I mean the police re-open the case and maybe it's not suicide. And now Joan Kennedy is found on the ground, bruised and broken, no witnesses to the accident, and so Patrick Kennedy drops his intention to run against Senator Chaffee to care for her, (a race which would have had the GOP sweating about losing a seat in the still precarious Senate.) Now they can rest easy, Chaffee will handily beat any other Dem. Coincidences? Or....?