Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick? Or Treat?

Depends on which side of the current political landscape you call home, I guess.

People for the American Way says: "the judicial philosophy of Samuel Alito is far to the right. In fact, he has been given the nickname “Scalito” by some who practice before him and liken him to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He has demonstrated hostility toward the principles undergirding a woman’s constitutionally protected right to govern her own reproductive choices – most notably in the Third Circuit’s attempt to limit or overturn Roe v. Wade in the context of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case. In addition, he has issued a number of troubling opinions that seek to undermine established civil rights law, especially in the areas of gender and race, and that seek to severely limit the federal government’s ability to protect its citizens. Alito claimed that the federal government could not apply the Family and Medical Leave Act to state employees, a decision effectively reversed by the Supreme Court, and even argued that Congress could not enact a ban on the possession of machine guns. It is clear that Alito’s confirmation would seriously jeopardize Americans’ rights."

On the other hand, MSNBC is reporting that Pat Robertson has called the nomination "A grand-slam home run."

For what it's worth: I think this is exactly what I predicted would happen. Bush has offered the Conservative's a golden boy. Someone with impeccable Conservative credentials.

In other words: Pro-business, anti-rights, anti-women.

Just what we need to hasten this country's race down the toilet bowl.

Some liberals bloggers are saying that this nomination is a gift, and I agree:
Absent a 'consensus' nomination, we at least have a judge with actual judicial history. At least now we know where this guy stands.

So the question now becomes: Do we have any Democratic Senators with the balls to dissent?

Yeharr

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rehab for Republicans

As a Burned Out Paranoid Democrat in good standing, it’s easy for me to demonize Republicans, especially in light of all the indictments. (I mean, they make it so easy!) But obviously, they are not all chum-sucking idiots. Jim Ramstad is an example. He’s a Republican representative from Minnesota. He’s pro embryonic stem-cell research, increased health care for our soldiers and government sponsored alcohol and drug addition treatment programs.

He’s also against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and voted against The DeLay bill that would have allowed creeps like Tom DeLay to keep their posts even after a felony indictment. But what I really love about this guy is what he said after Libby’s indictment was announced:

"It's time to stop the leaks and spin and turn Washington into one big recovery meeting where people say what they mean and mean what they say."


Now Ramstad is a former alcoholic so he knows a lot about recovery meetings. So I think he would agree with me that it’s time to do an intervention with all the Republicans who are getting ready to line-up behind Scooter and the Bush White House. It’s like any addiction. Republicans are addicted to power.
And the only way they are going to get better is to give it up – cold turkey.
Otherwise, how can Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, DeLay, Frist - ad nauseum (and I do mean nauseum) ever hope to rejoin decent society?

They need to stop lying, spinning and pretending they’re good guys when they’re not. And the best way to help them, is to get them into Rehab and show them some tough love - vote them all out of office or send them up the river, whatever’s appropriate…

BTW: Ramstad was a big Reagan fan. Oh well, nobody’s perfect…

Friday, October 28, 2005

How do I indict thee? Let me count the ways…

It seems like the perfect time for an indictment recap...

Today, Scooter Libby was indicted on 5 charges. 1 count of obstruction of Justice, 2 counts of perjury, 2 counts of making false statements. A potential 30 year prison sentence. If he goes to the Big House, the name Scooter will take on a whole new meaning…

Tom Noe, former Bush Pioneer, indicted on 3 counts of violating federal campaign finance funding limits. Illegally funneled $45,400 to President Bush’s re-election campaign. This whole escapade in Ohio is as surreal as it can be. If you haven’t been reading the Toledo Blade, who busted this whole affair, you must. Because you won’t friggin’ believe how crooked (and unbelievably stupid) that whole state is under Republican control.
Read the articles that cover the whole 7 month investigation here.

Jack Abramoff, Washington lobbyist and Republican kiss-ass has been indicted in Florida on 5 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy bank fraud.

David Safavian
, former chief of White House procurement (Pimp?) was indicted on 5 counts of lying about his dealing with Jack Abramoff.

Bill Frist
is under formal investigation by the SEC for insider trading. His trust was blind – not!

Tom DeLay, former pest control expert, (Too bad he never turned the bug juice on himself) indicted on conspiracy to violate campaign financing laws and 2 counts of money laundering. Texas Association of Business and Texans for a Republican Majority also indicted.
32 indictments in all…

Shaun Hansen
of Spokane, Washington, was indicted for taking part in a Republican scheme to jam Boston Democrats’ get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election day 2002. Chuck McGee, former executive director of the Republican State Committee and Allen Raymond, GOP consultant from Virginia pleaded guilty. McGee got 7 months in Federal Prison, Allen Raymond got 5 months.
James Tobin of Bangor Maine, and regional director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (and former Bush campaign chairman) pleaded innocent to violating federal telephone harassment statute and depriving voters of a constitutional right to vote…his trial will begin Dec. 6.

Wow, this is an impressive Rogues Gallery. This party has NO credibility anymore as the law and order party. Or the party of national security. The decent Republicans should purged their party of its criminal element. And the media should never ever, take anything they say at face value. These people cannot be trusted.

PS. Isn’t Tucker Carlson a whiny little Bitch for the Republicans?
I’d love to snap his pretentious bow tie.

Oh, and of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty…

First Time in 135 Years a Senior White House Official is Indicted

Haldemen, Erlichman, even Nixon shot out of office before the indictments and impeachment came down. It's telling that these white house staffers hold on to the last second, disbelieving in their own accountability, convinced that they've rigged the system so completely in their favor that there is no moral conscience or rule of law to answer to.

It's disgraceful. You know, Libby got a letter yesterday about it, he could have saved face, still he probably couldn't believe it and just waited for the shoe to drop. On him.

Moral values, that's what got them in, right?

Or was it just the appeal of Bush as "born again" so that his past "indiscretions" were wiped clean, he was a blank slate, and he could not be held accountable because he was "saved" and could now do no wrong?

It's a nice fairy tale, but an insult to all those who truly have a moral faith, isn't it? As Bush clearly does not.

Alterman has a brilliant take on this.

Either way, Bush is finished as a force in American politics. How he ever got to become president in the first place -- not once, but twice -- will remain a subject social scientists will study and debate for decades to come. Because there was plenty of evidence that George W. Bush was a made man. He had accomplished nothing in his adult life on his own -- not one thing.

Click here for more of this article -
(Click here for more on how little Bush has accomplished on his own.)

Rove is up next, the the rumor is that he's working furiously behind the scenes to change it. Raw Story reports that an indictment was pending, but somehow got scuttled at the last minute...

RAW STORY also reported that Fitzgerald had intended to charge Bush's deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, but last minute deals appear to have derailed the indictment for now. Rove will remain under scrutiny.
Here is more on that.
Link

Hard Right Ahead

With Harriet Miers relegated to her normal position of fawning adoration of The Worrst President in History, we are still short a Justice on the Supreme Court. The two factions who voiced the most displeasure about the Miers nomination were Conservatives and the Reality-Based Community.

And we know how the President feels about those two groups.

So, in picking his new nom, who do you think Dubya's gonna try his dangdest to please?

Charles Krauthammer, the Conservative columnist who predicted that Miers would withdrawal on the grounds of protecting Presidential Privilege,* ** has now predicted that the new nom will be so much of a wingnut that Democrats will wish we had Miers back.

There's going to be a battle ahead.

Yeharr

*On Bush: He nominates a woman with even less of a paper trail than Roberts, then acts pissed off when the Senate asks for what little documentation is available? What the hell did he expect to happen here? Is this guy so out of touch with reality that he really thinks that the country will agree to his choice just because he says so? Well, I guess that a guy who thinks that getting slightly more than 50% of the popular vote is a mandate might think like that. Boni's right: delusional.

**on Krauthammer's prediction: Even a blind pig can find an acorn every now and again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

How about a little intolerance, people?

Yep. That’s right. Intolerance. I think right about now, we could use some real, down-home, deep-seated discrimination.

Oh sure, on many levels our country often embraces intolerance. Like when it's directed at gays. Or race. Or even people who are overweight. (“My God, she’s so fat! Why is she wearing Spandex?)

But there’s one very important area where we have a serious prejudice deficiency:
We’re not discriminating enough against politicians who lie.

And they lie about everything:
Why they sat in a classroom for 7 minutes on 9/11.
About being compassionate.
Campaign contributions - how much and from whom.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Iraq war.
Blind trusts that turn out to have 20/20 vision.
They never had sex with that woman.
Who told them about Valerie Plame.
How many votes they got.
That they care about the poor, the children, or seniors.
And hey, perjury is no big deal. Right?


They say they’re going to do one thing and do exactly the opposite.
They pose as concerned citizens and they could really give a flying F about us.
Lying is so second nature to them, they’ll look you (or the camera) right in the eye and spew the most blatant falsehoods. And then turn around the next day and deny they ever said it.
They’ll ask you to trust them and then stab you in the back.

And millions tolerate this kind of aberrant behavior every single day. We tell ourselves:
That’s business as usual.
That’s politics.
That’s Washington.

But, that’s no excuse. I wonder, how did we get so jaded? So...tolerant? If your spouse was this pathological, you’d call a divorce attorney. If your boss told these kinds of whoppers you’d blow the whistle on him. If some store clerk jerked you around like this, you’d never shop there again.

What politicians do day in and day out is criminal dishonesty. And I say, during the next election, we eradicate this behavior - with extreme prejudice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

With Apologies to C&C Music Factory...

These are some things that are currently making me go "Hmmm:"

  • I haven't done any research, but I'm reasonably sure that two of Tom DeLay's favorite targets over the years have been Democrats and trial lawyers (remember tort reform?) Yet when he gets into trouble, he hires a trial lawyer who's a Democrat? Hmmmm...
  • DeLay is asking for a new judge for his trial, because the current presiding judge contributed to MoveOn.org during the 2004 elections. He says that he won't get a fair trial because of the judge's politics. At the same time, Republican loyalists are going around trying to convince the Conservative base that Harriet Miers is truly a Conservative. Why can one person not be a judge because of politics, but another person CAN be a judge because of their politics? Hmmm...
  • According to Daniel Schorr, if any indictments are handed out in the investigation of the Valerie Plame outing, they will be for perjury and obstruction of justice, but not for the actual breaking of Federal laws pertaining to the exposure of a CIA agent. I wish I could find it again, but I saw one Conservative commentator write that this is just a 'technicality.' So perjury is enough to attempt to impeach the President of the United States when he's a Democrat, but when it's a Republican official that lies, it's just the "Criminalization of Politics?" Hmmmm....
  • The Wingnuts over at Little Green Footballs think that the death of 2000 Americans in Iraq has somehow made those of us in the Reality-Based Community happy, because there are many groups--the American Friends Service Committee in particular--who staged vigils to mark this sad fact. They even are so callous as to call them 'parties.' I have not met a single person from the left who looked forward to this happening with anything other than a dreaded resignation. But over on the right, the folks at Little Green Footballs think it's so funny that they're making Photoshopped pictures mocking Americans who are mourning. Does anyone think that's funny?
hmmm....


Yeharr

Talking Points

Democrats need solid talking points, that address the real concerns of voters day life. People are out of work, can't pay bills, don't feel safe. "Culture of Corruption" is not emotional. We need to hear: "Safety, Security, Salary". That should be a Democrat mantra to their constiuents.
"Democrats will Bring Safety to your communities, Security to the country, and a Salary to your family. We want to run the country, not just run for office. Vote Democrat."
That will give us majority control.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Our Narcissistic Administration

Having Bush as President is like having a boyfriend you’ve grown tired of, but – for whatever reason - can’t quite break up with yet. So, until you find someone better, (or until you can elect his replacement) you start arm-chair analyzing him. Why is he so dysfunctional? Why is he so stubborn? A liar? A phony?

So I went on the Internet and found a great site that explained personality disorders - Link.
And it’s my hypothesis that Bush and most of his arrogant administration, (Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz - even Rice) is simply a bunch of Narcissists. Now, you’re probably thinking “Narcissists? Hey, that’s not so bad. At least they’re all not paranoid schizophrenics.” But, Narcissists can be very harmful, especially when they are in control…

So sit back, relax and read through the following list of narcissistic traits and see if Bush and his gang don’t manifest most if not all of them…I'd be curious to see if you can think up any other examples to go along with what I've found...

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.
Bush was an average student at Yale. In the private sector, he mismanaged companies until they crashed and burned. He went awol at the National Guard. Doesn’t like to follow current events and wants loyal aids to spoon feed him information. Yes, he was Governor of the big state of Texas, but the Lt. Governor there is the one who actually does all the work. And after all that, Bush ran for President as a can-do CEO. Based on what, exactly? A C average in business school?
At high school in Utah, Karl Rove was known as a nerd and a motor-mouth, unpopular but irrepressibly opinionated. While his peers were fixated on girls he became obsessed with school politics, campaigning for student positions in a precocious jacket and tie. Although his parents were apolitical, he was a vocal Nixon supporter from the age of nine. Like Dick Cheney, he avoided the Vietnam draft with a college deferment, but gave up his education to work on Republican campaigns, and never got a degree.
Link

Narcissists must be seen as superior or otherwise, they feel worthless. And they will do anything to protect they’re superiority. They are (a) extremely sensitive to personal criticism and (b) extremely critical of other people. Narcissists will say ANYTHING, they will trash anyone in their own self-justification. The malicious outing of Valerie Plame and co-ordinated attacks on Joe Wilson are great examples. So are the attacks on Paul O’Neil, General Shinsecki, Richard Clark, and John Kerry.

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
Gee, why do you think Bush ran for President in the first place? Or why Karl Rove put him there? Bush still believes in his tax breaks for the rich, that Saddam Hussein was involved in 911, the war in Iraq, his lame-ass campaign against Social Security and his own brilliance. Think about his goading the Terrorists with his ill-conceived comment “Bring it on”.

And he’s often commented on how he’d like to be a dictator:
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." Describing what it's like to be governor of Texas. Governing Magazine 7/98

"I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," From Paul Begala’s book Is Our Children Learning?

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it," Business Week, July 30, 2001

Link
Remember Bush in his flight suit landing on that aircraft carrier outside of San Diego with that Big Banner – Mission Accomplished? Narcissists love settings like that where they can parade their fantasy in front of an adoring audience. (Someone actually created a flight-suited action figure of him from that incident. I wonder what landfill that ended up in?)


3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

As we now know, Palestinian Leaders allege that Bush told them God speaks to him and tells him which countries to invade and bomb. Religious Narcissists believe that they are God's special favorites somehow; God loves them, so they are exempted from ordinary rules and obligations: God loves them and wants them to be the way they are, so they can do anything they feel like -- though, note, the narcissist's God has much harsher rules for everyone else, including you. Did you see him pretend to comfort the common folk in New Orleans? It was scary. Did you see him try to hold a hammer at the Habitat for Humanity photo op? No matter how much he likes to pretend he’s just a regular guy, Bush is an elitist and his homies are the very wealthy and Big Business.


4. Requires excessive admiration
Translation: Narcissists want lots of praise, brown-nosing deference and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. This is why he surrounds himself with ass-kissers, cronies and sycophants. That certainly explains Harriett Miers! Why Bush is the most brilliant person she's ever met!!! (Obviously Harriet needs to get out more.) He holds these phony town hall meetings where people have to sign an oath of allegiance before they can attend. That’s intense and quite nuts.



5. Has a sense of entitlement

All hail the privileged son of George and Barbara Bush. Narcissists expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they're doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated. White House Aids practically soiled themselves when they had to tell him the terrible news about Hurricane Kristina. Bush once said loyalty is more important to him than experience. No wonder.


6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends.
Think about all the millions of people he’s duped with the Clean Skies Initiative. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Think about the horrors the Iraqi people face everyday. The toll the war has taken on our National Guard and our military. The uncertainty the American people face with our economy.

7. Lacks empathy
Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people's feelings and needs. They "tune out" when other people want to talk about their own problems.
When no weapons of mass destruction turned up in Iraq, Bush tried to make a joke out of it and actually pretended to look under furniture.
According to Cindy Sheehan, when Bush came in to console her family about her son’s death in Iraq, Bush acted like it was a social event. He didn’t refer to their son by name, just the term “loved one”. When they tried to talk about their son, Bush changed the subject.
When Bush finally cut his vacation short and landed in the New Orleans disaster area, he talked about how when he was younger he used to party there. Then he complimented Brownie for doing a heck of a job.


8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him

I think Bush has always been jealous of his father. Unlike Bush Jr., his dad actually accomplished things in his life. George H. Walker Bush was a real fighter pilot. Head of the CIA. Vice President and then President. He had the intelligence not to invade Baghdad. Bush Jr. seems intent on trying to do everything better than his father. Another Narcissistic fantasy that doesn’t seem to be playing out.

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes
Translation: They treat other people like dirt. Watch Bush during his press conferences. When he’s sarcastic with someone. When he’s on the defensive. Lately he’s playing up the liberal media angle a lot. And don’t forget his macho swagger.

So, what does this all mean? I had too much time on my hands this afternoon? Maybe. But at least in my mind, Narcissism helps explain both the swagger, the intolerance, and the fear I now see in his eyes when the world isn’t a reflection of his narcissistic fantasy.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Wheels on the Bus Come Off, Off, Off, GOP sends administration back on Warranty repair

Boy do they now wish they had spent the extra $60 on the four year extended warranty, don't you think?

I mean, the wagon was so red and so solid just ten months ago, steamrolling to mandate victory, riding the crest of that 3% Tsunami in the 2000 vote.

"...Political capital..."
Bush had said that he earned it, and was going to spend it.

Now, if he said he was going to spend it like a drunken sailor on a three day black-out binge after four years at sea in a submarine with a full crew and no shower, that would have been one thing. Who would have believed him? Because that's what he did.

I mean, the war along is costing a billion dollars a day and he has no interest in pulling the troops out. Does anyone have a clue as to the size of that number and what it means? A billion dollars? A DAY?

Do you all realize how deep we are in deficit? That to keep this country going - and to keep this country at war - right now we are borrowing all the money we're using - from all the countries that lend to money? It means we technically have no money of our own any more, and that we're borrowing like mad, spending on a virtual mammoth credit card and pretending there's no limit, and just paying on the percentage, forget the principle.

Sound fiscal policy?

Any of you out there remember that Bush bankrupted both companies he headed in his pre-political days, and that Daddy bailed him out of trouble?

Daddy can't write the check for this one.

That's never happened in the history of this country, by the way. Waging a war on credit. What do you think would happen if the creditors decide they've had enough and Bush's "bushit" (no typo there), and shut down the credit card? Because that's where we're potentially headed. Bush is handing all our power to all the countries that extend us credit, by bankrolling our activities every day.

And those countries wouldn't have to pull the plug, just have a delegation show up at the white house with a list of really good ideas they'd like America to do - right now - so the plug isn't pulled. How do you think that would affect policy?

Okay, back to what Bush did say about his mandate.
"Keep those big tax cuts permanent."
and
"Fix social security. Privatize it, and make private accounts for everyone."
And so far, he's 0-2, both of these second term agendas have tanked. They were tanking on their own before Katrina, because they were bad ideas to begin with that even his blind faithful had to pause a moment and go - "he did actually graduate from Yale? Or did he leave that early too and have those records destroyed also?"

Then Cindy Sheehan shows up outside of Bush's ranch, and doesn't go away. And Bush is afraid to talk to her. Then "Camp Casey" forms around her, the beginning of a very public anti-war movement, and Bush's big response is that sure he understands she has a right to her opinions, but he has to -
"get back to his own life."
Man, is that the leader of the free world hiding from a - mom? In retrospect you know what this is?

The first wheel coming off the bus.

Show's what a coward he really is. Then his "ham-handed" response to the deadliest hurricane in our nation's history, and the thorough crony-ing up of FEMA, appointing unqualified, untrained sycophants and a clueless leader, and New Orleans is wiped off the map and ignored for about the time it took God to create the Earth.

And what is also revealed, is just how unprepared we are to really do anything regarding our Homeland or our Security, and this was the second wheel to fall off the bus.

The public outcry was so intense that they shelved social security reform permanently, permanent tax reform too has taken a back seat.

As I said, two wheels off.

Then DeLay gets indicted. Twice, and Frist at first reveals he's being investigated by the SEC, oh yes, and that he's been subpoenaed too. Seferian's arrested, let's see, Abramoff too...hmmm...all the Republicans are in trouble with the law.

Third wheel comes off.

But that doesn't stop the President from continuing his terrific leadership: and nominate Harriet Miers, a lawyer who ran the Texas Lottery Commission, is a Texas Right to Lifer, and never failed to blow a kiss to Bush's rumble seat at every opportunity, as the next supreme court justice. Even the Right took offense at this, and isn't promising an easy process.

At the same time the real leaks begin to spring forth from Fitzgerald's investigation which point fingers at Rove, Libby, Cheney and others in the Valerie Plame leak investigation, and what surfaces is that this has been going on for weeks and weeks, and it's why Karl Rove's tight hand of control has been flabby, because he might be indicted, as might all the others, all this allowing George to talk in front of a mike on his own, without the tight leash of talking point control, explaining many of W.'s mis-steps in the last six weeks.

And wheel four comes off.

The bus is flat on the road. 'Aint going nowhere fast. And it took only seven weeks from hot rod to junk heap.

And poor W. is only in month eleven of this second term.

The GOP were feeling so untouchable, I don't think they even signed up for AAA.

I was looking for a big change in 2008, but the real news is that the winds of change are coming in 2006.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Planet Bush

How far away is it? And where the hell are we? And if he's so far away form us on another planet, how come we can see him on TV?

I mean, the guy is seriously not down here with the rest of us, or perhaps he looks like he is, but he's just not in his own body. Because there's something going on and I think I finally got a handle on it.

He's on Planet Bush. And on Planet Bush all continues to go well. The historical level of arrests and indictments in the top tiers of Republican government are just - wait for it -
"...background noise..."
Yes, actual quote from Bush on Planet Bush (the actual quote - see link). Now remember, Abramoff was arrested, Seferian was arrested (he was the guy that allocated Federal funds from the government to whoever he wanted to, big job ), DeLay has been indicted and you got to see his mug shot today on AOL, Frist has been indicted - and folks - the Republicans control all branches of the government! This isn't Clinton Time - when he was a Dem President and a GOP congress was in control and out to get him. The Republicans are running this show and they're still dropping like flies! That's some major background noise!

But not on Planet Bush. Because George follows up with:
"the American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to."
First of all, at this point, the 39% that seem to still think he should show up at work, must have had a problem understanding the pollster on the phone. But assuming they're good with his track record, the 61% who think our ship is sinking are probably just crossing their fingers and hoping he's not going to have to do any more of his particular brand of on the "job" training until his time runs out.

But what is the President's job on Planet Bush?

Is it to chide his most trusted advisor, Karl Rove, about the embarrassment and potential massive criminal fallout and future office cleansing of the Valer Plame outing? Of course it is! But not that what he did was wrong, merely that he got caught! See link. Apparantly he expects Karl to chat with the press and leak what's neccesary, as they've done through their entire rise to power, but Bush was angry at him for the
"...ham handed..."
way in which this particlar leak was done. Allowing it to be lead back to Rove and the White House. (This is quite a stunning article in the Daily news, actually, not a page one either, but it quotes sources at the White House who are admitting now that Bush has lied for the past two years in saying he did not know of the leak, who leaked what, and that Rove told him to his face he did was not involved.) More to the point, the author of the article is one who has written a book supporting Bush, and has known the family for years, so this is not some journalist's idle chatter, but a loyalist with access.

Rats do leave a sinking ship. Even on Planet Bush. So the fact that insiders are talking in such a damaging way is telling.

Speaking of insiders talking, how about that Lawrence Wilkerson! Ex-chief of staff to Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell and his "scathing attack"? He said on the record yesterday - in part -
"Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world" - ouch!
This guy is definitely not on Planet Bush any longer, but has come back home. He added:
"And I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita and I could go on back, we haven't done very well on anything like that in a long time. And if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government." Yowchers!
Click the dude's name for the whole story.

See, and you thought I was just paranoid and burned out. Got to tell you, I'm not exactly thrilled at being vindicated. It would be much much better for all of us if everything was fine, and I was merely paranoid.

Oh yes - more background noise details: Scooter Libby, Cheney's #1 guy and Rove can't keep their lying straight, blaming reporters for having leaked Plame's name to them - but they're coming up with conflicting dates and times of their various lies, so red lights are going off on Fitzgerald's legal pad, because it's obvious someone's lying the question is; a few of them, or all of them? And believe me, Fitzgerald's not sacrificing his career to a benign report this late in the game, with such public attention and a week to go. I think someone's going to get a bad report card. A report card that will definitely not be brought home on Planet Bush.

Also worrisome for Libby, Judith Miller (recently sprung NYT reporter) told the grand jury that Libby told her a classified report (pre-iraq war) showed even more damning evidence supporting WMD in Iraq, leading her to write one of her various page one NYT articles very pro war, very pro WMD, and helping push the country to war - and 10 days later the actual classified report Libby refered to is published - and it's 180 degrees opposite of what Libby said, little evidence to support WMD's. Fitzgerald hears this and realizes there are major conspiracy issues and potential charges, in addition to the perjury. So.

Cheney's going to need a temp. Kelly Girl D.C.

But everything's okay on Planet Bush, thank God. Woops - wrong again:
Howard Fineman writes for Newsweek: "George W. Bush rose to power on the strength of a disciplined, aggressive, tightly-focused, leak-proof spin-machine -- one that took issue positions and stuck to them, divided the world (including the media) into friends and enemies, and steamrollered the opposition with ruthless skill while the candidate remained smilingly above the fray....

....But the machine they built may have run amok -- at least that seems to be what Fitzgerald is examining...

...in the meantime...tightly-knit groups rise together, but they fall together. If the inner circle is small, it takes only one insider 'flip' to endanger the rest."
Seems to me, there's a lot more giong on here than background noise, doesn't it?

Don't you think somone at the grand jury is out to save themself and screw the rest? Isn't that what you do when a boat is sinking, really sinking? You try to save yourself?

I think the offices on Planet Bush are going to be much emptier very soon.

So what do do? Lie to yourself and say everything's fine. It's worked so far.

So on Planet Bush pathological lying is rule of the day. Because at the end of the day, it's probably the only way he can get through the day and live with himself and the historic level of disasterous policy decisions, lives lost in war and natural disasters, quality of life eroding for those not yet killed by the adminsitration, and the bright future of our country permanently damaged and dimmed.

For real.

And I wish I were really kidding.
Link

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Can you impeach a President for having his thumb up his ass?

Bush got elected on the platform of being a CEO President. The implication being, that CEOs are smarter, sharper, and shrewder than the average politician. Well Bush is a CEO like Paris Hilton is a Nobel Prize winner. Too bad a lot of voters out there in election land didn’t pay much attention to Bush’s sad, private sector resumé which included running two oil companies into the ground and being bailed out repeatedly by his Daddy's pals. Link
And his current record as CEO President isn’t any better:
• Terrible, crazy war in Iraq
• Condones torture
• Skyrocketing deficit
• The murder of the middle class
• Killer hurricanes every time you turn around (Not much any CEO could do about this, but, c’mon, having Bush as President just ratchets up the fear factor)
• Paralyzed and ineffective Federal Emergency Response
• Looming bird flu crisis.

If Bush were the CEO of a major US corporation with this kind of record, most Board of Directors would have him drawn and quartered. Graydon Carter, Editor of Vanity Fair wrote this about him:
First of all, what sort of C.E.O. works in a bubble?
What sort of C.E.O. surrounds himself almost exclusively with yes-men and women? What sort of C.E.O. doesn't read the newspapers, or even watch the evening news? What sort of C.E.O. wants to hear only good news? What sort of C.E.O. makes drastic, life-altering decisions based on flimsy due diligence, or outright faulty research? (See also: weapons of mass destruction; Saddam's links to the 9/11 hijackers; and the impression that Americans would be welcomed in Iraq as "liberators.") What sort of C.E.O. makes bold announcements of victory long before a battle is over? What sort of C.E.O. bullies his competitors and allies alike? What sort of C.E.O. pays more attention to public relations than to actual operations? What sort of C.E.O. plunges his company into historic debt levels in order to reward the wealthy backers who put him in the job? What sort of C.E.O. has the vacation mind-set not of a Fortune 500 mandarin but of a French civil servant?

Link
And I would add, what sort of CEO President confuses photo ops, and phony, staged townhall meetings attended by Stepford Wives - with actually governing and directing a country?

The answer to all of the above is: The worst kind of pretender. Let’s not enable this guy any more. Bush doesn’t deserve our respect or the office. Like all those greedy corporate tycoons from WorldCom, Tyco and Adelphia – Bush should be indicted and imprisoned. That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The best laid plans, oft get laid

Well, thank God we had that historic vote in Iraq. Don’t you all feel better? Safer? My gosh, even my sinuses feel clearer. I mean, this is the vote that’s going to bring peace and democracy to Iraq. The same vote that’s now under suspicion because an unheard of 99% voted for the referendum on their reconstituted constitution. Wow, 99%! Now that’s a mandate, right? Wrong. Because you see, we never get the whole story. We continue to get the spin. Even Bill O’Reilly - King of Spin himself - was chiding Codoleeza Rice on his show the other night, when she said it was better in Iraq. He said,
“How can it be better? Fox reporters over there have to stay in the Green Zone. They can’t even venture out to get a cup of coffee.”

I’m attaching two interesting sources I’d like you to check out. One is the Riverbend blog, written by an Iraqi women who struggles every day with the horror over there. It is a real eye-opener. You want to know what is really going - the power outrages, the lack of water, the kidnappings, the on-going brutality – visit this link. Here’s a sample of a recent entry:
The referendum is only hours away and the final version of the constitution still hasn’t reached many people. Areas with a Sunni majority are complaining that there aren’t polling stations for kilometers around- many of these people don’t have cars and even if they did, what good would it do while there’s a curfew until Sunday? Polling stations should be easily accessible in every area.

(Hmmm, curfews, not enough polling stations…and they still got a 99% turnout?)
This is like déjà vu from January when people in Mosul and other Sunni areas complained that they didn’t have centers to vote in or that their ballot boxes never made it to the counting stations. Link
American media is trying to make it sound like Sunnis have suddenly been mollified with the changes made in a flurry of covert meetings these last few days, but the reality is that the only Sunni party openly supporting the constitution is the Iraqi Ilamic Party which represents a very, very small percentage of Sunnis.

The Guardian Unlimited in London also has an article about how swell it is over in Iraq. Makes me just want to take my frequent flyer miles and go there for a little visit.
Last week I returned to Iraq for the first time since the end of 2003. If the essence of "getting better" is security then things are incomparably worse. I could no longer walk the streets or visit friends. Anyone associating with foreigners risks execution. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, academics are fleeing abroad for fear of kidnap. The National Museum has closed. Visiting VIPs must go everywhere by helicopter. The Iraqi head of Baghdad's military academy must change into civilian clothes before leaving his base. After nearly three years of American rule, Baghdad is simply the most terrifying city in the world.
…Bringing democracy to Iraq? We claim to have done that already. Bringing peace and security to the country? You must be joking. Rebuilding the Iraqi army? Of 113 paid-up battalions, the Americans regard just one as reliable in a firefight, and that after two years of recruitment and training. The fact is you can train an army but not motivate it. That it must do for itself.

To read the whole article visit this link:

It’s astonishing, really. Our country and our lives are in the hands of the most shameful, dishonest, incompetent, administration ever. They are madmen. Everyday there is a new revelation. It’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion. You think the Iraq war is bad. You think Katrina was a disaster. You better pray we don’t have to watch what happens if the bird flu ever gets here…

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Negative

Do you know why there's so much negative campaigning in elections? It's not because it ever causes a majority, or even a large minority, to change their minds about the candidate being smeared. A recent poll showed that, all other factors being equal, only 3% of undecided voters said that a negative campaign was likely to cause them to vote against the candidate being smeared. 35% said it would probably sway their vote toward the smeared candidate.

The rest didn't know what to think. 62% gave some version of "I still don't know what to think."

And that's the plan.

If you're a campaign manager, you look at the electorate and see three basic groups: with your guy, against your guy, and the undecideds.

Undecideds are the crucial link to close elections. They're the wild card.

So, if you're a campaign manager who thinks your candidate will win, especially if it's a close margin, what do you do with the undecideds? What buttons can you push to get them to vote for your candidate? Unfortunately, these undecideds fall into a wide socio-econo-political spectrum, united only in their inability to shit or get off the pot. The buttons you would push to sway one bunch of undecideds to vote for your guy will most likely alienate an equal number of undec's. And of course, you can't say one thing to one group and its opposite to another, since the one thing modern journalists can do is compare transcripts. And this would alienate a large bunch of folks.

It's the ultimate in cat-herding.

So, if you can't control this large group of folks, what do you do with it? What can you do?

Here's an idea: Prevent it from voting. And that's the beauty of negative campaigning--it has the ability to turn people off--not just for or against your candidate, but against the whole process.

So, for the sake of argument, let's say you have a White House that is particularly adept at this sort of politicking. In fact, it is so adept at it, that it has taken it to new heights. Or depths, depending on your point of view. Let's take it further--let's imagine this group's agenda is so selfish, so destructive, and so unAmerican that it should cause the country as a whole to rise up and run this cabal out of Washington, and perhaps even into prison.

How could you possibly sell this to a watchful public?

'Well,' the hypothetical campaign manager-turned presidential advisor says, running his pudgy little fingers through his thinning blonde hair, 'what if we continue to baffle them with bullshit? what if we continue to run a negative campaign, against those who oppose us, including journalists? What if, while we on the whole make their lives harder to live, offer them tax cuts, giving them hundreds of dollars, while taking millions for ourselves?

'What if we run a negative campaign against America?'

What do you think the results would be?

Yeharr

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Few Good Men?

Here's a recounting of one of the techniques used by the guards on 'unruly' prisoners of war...er...enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay:

THE WORST punishment for prisoners was a “forced cell extraction” by a group of six to eight guards called the Initial Response Force. The troopers called it IRFing.

I witnessed my first IRFing after a military policeman had performed the “credit card swipe” — pressing his fingers inside a detainee’s buttock crack to look for a weapon. This type of physical contact is not acceptable under Islamic law and the detainee had pushed the guard away. But prisoners were not allowed to touch an MP and immediately eight guards were summoned.

They put on riot protection gear — helmets, heavy gloves, shin guards and chest protectors — before forming a huddle and chanting in unison, getting themselves pumped up. Still chanting, they rushed the block, their heavy boots sounding like a stampede on the steel floor. Detainees throughout Camp Delta started to yell and shake their cage doors.

When the IRF team reached the offending detainee, the team leader drenched him with pepper spray and opened the door to his cell. The others charged in. He was no match for eight men in riot gear. The guards used their shields and bodies to force him to the floor. With his wrists and ankles tied, he was dragged down the corridor to solitary confinement.

When it was over the guards high-fived each other and slammed their chests together like professional basketball players — an odd victory celebration for eight men who took down one prisoner.

IRFing was used with extraordinary frequency. Seemingly harmless behaviour could bring it on: not responding when a guard spoke or having two plastic cups in a cage instead of the regulation one. Invasive body searches occurred daily and were a constant source of tension leading to IRFing. I came to believe that the searches were done solely to rile the detainees. The prisoners had been locked in cages for several months in a remote area of Cuba. What could they possibly be hiding?


This was written by an Army Chaplain. Now, read about how he was treated:

Naked, I had to run my hands through my hair to show that I was not concealing a weapon in it. Then mouth open, tongue up, down, nothing inside. Right arm up, nothing in my armpit. Left arm up. Lift the right testicle, nothing hidden. Lift the left. Turn around, bend over, spread your buttocks, knowing a camera was displaying my naked image as male and female guards watched.

It didn’t matter that I was an army captain, a graduate of West Point, the elite US military academy. It didn’t matter that my religious beliefs prohibited me from being fully naked in front of strangers. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been charged with a crime. It didn’t matter that my wife and daughter had no idea where I was. And it certainly didn’t matter that I was a loyal American citizen and, above all, innocent.

This is the story of Captain James Yee. Remember him? Read his story, and keep repeating to yourself, "We're the good guys. We're the good guys..."

Yeharr

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Who, Then, For the Dems?

Note: I fixed the link

I've been having lots of conversations with fellow burned-ou paranoids where we all come to a conclusion that then elicits further questions:

Because of [insert litany of egregious, immoral, and downright godawful things the current regime is currently either denying or trying to shove down our throat], it's pretty evident that the GOP is apt to collapse under its own mismanaged weight.

Question 1: Why in the hell isn't the so-called liberal media going after this group?

Questtion 2: Who on the left--Democratic party member or otherwise--can we rally behind?

To answer both, I submit a quote:

"The news divisions - which used to be seen as serving a public interest and were subsidized by the rest of the network - are now seen as profit centers designed to generate revenue and, more importantly, to advance the larger agenda of the corporation of which they are a small part. They have fewer reporters, fewer stories, smaller budgets, less travel, fewer bureaus, less independent judgment, more vulnerability to influence by management, and more dependence on government sources and canned public relations hand-outs. This tragedy is compounded by the ironic fact that this generation of journalists is the best trained and most highly skilled in the history of their profession. But they are usually not allowed to do the job they have been trained to do.

The present executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations: from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. They placed a former male escort in the White House press pool to pose as a reporter - and then called upon him to give the president a hand at crucial moments. They paid actors to make make phony video press releases and paid cash to some reporters who were willing to take it in return for positive stories. And every day they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President.


Al Gore for President.
Eight years late is better than not at all.

Yeharr

Monday, October 10, 2005

From Brad Blog

One of the forerunners in the blogosphere to investigate and police the vauter fraud in this country in 2000 and 20o4, a great blog, recognized by Congressman Conyers and others, and this was just too good to let it pass by without a nod:


Who hits zero first?

Latest Bush Approval Rating: 37% (and falling)
Latest Diebold Stock Price: $34.25 (and falling)

Blogged by Brad on 10/6/2005 @ 7:56pm PT...
Link

Saturday, October 08, 2005

He's Going Back for a Fourth Chat

Prosecutor Fitzgerald is bringing Turd Blossom back yet again. He was caught lying, apparently - surprising that. Turd's lawyer defends him saying "he hasn't received a 'target letter'", which is the document stating that you are going to be indicted and must appear before the grand jury. But that's a lawyer's trick - if you voluntarily agree to testify when asked, then you're not subpoenaed - and a target letter is only ever attached to your subpoena. So Rove's lawyer can say that to make things appear fine and dandy, but it's meaningless.

And Fitzgerald has said to Rove's attorney that he can not promise that Rove won't be indicted. That, apparently, the Prosecutor has to say to a witness who may be in trouble, upon asking that witness back to testify. Legal protections against self-incriminating statements kick in if the witness is not aware that they are potential targets of indictments, and their testimony may hurt their own case. Thus, the prosecutor must inform them up front that it's possible, and then everything is cool and the witness can blab away. So - he was warned. Thus - there is a big chance Mr. Blossom may be receiving some nasty legal documents in the mail.

Link

International Merchants Have No Country, Bush is One of Them

Thomas Jefferson said it best.

"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.

Bush is beholden to the guys who are raiding the treasury, literally, he's one of them. Part of the Carlyle group, the oil/gas cartel whose mammoth profits determine geopolitics. He's in bed so thick with the Saudis he gives them every consideration, and a hands off approach to thier foreign policy. He gives tax breaks to every internation corporation who throws money at him for re-election. Hey, who cares about America when you're floating in the wealth generated by pleasing the companies who lobby the GOP? And just so no corporate coffer be put out, Bush is using the social security fund to keep the government going, as past administrations have done, except this adminstration has no intention of paying it back.

So to try and curtail the spiraling deficit, currently at 7 trillion, and refusing to include any of the war operations budget into the fiscal budget, which is beyound maxed out, he's decided on cutting government spending and services to the poor and middle class all the way across the board as the way to go to keep things in the illusion of checked and balanced.

Because the bottom line is the dollar. Keep the money, and take the money, from whever you can, and hold it for yourself and your friends.

So cutting taxes again and again, and getting the no bid contracts for their buddies, for the wartime disaster and the natural disasters, is business as usual. And the way to keep that going, is to take away the people's funding: Schools that work, hospitals that work, police forces that are large enough to work, medical coverage for the elederly that works, watch it all start to crumble, with what Bush's government is now planning to cut it down to.

And four years after 9/11, the only thing that seems to have come from all the government re-organiztion, the creation of Homeland Security, and the rainbow colored disaster codes, is that they can't manage a disaster very well. They can, however, make an excellent profit at the disaster, doling out the countracts to favored companies and friends, and keeping the clean up in the privatizing theme. Once again, taking great care of their own, and screw you if you're not part of the club.

And America is very gib and their club is very, very small. If you're reading this, you're not in it.

Hell, I thought America was the club. The greatest country in the world, the one everyone wants to get to, be a part of, buy a part of, emulate the artists of, happy just to be a citizen of.

Not to these guys. America can go screw itself, while Bush retires to his ranch and Cheney to his new estate. But they'll take our money.

Don't you think their own greed will be their own destruction? Private sector has to make a profit, has to cut corners to stay in the black, and thta's why we still have bodies in NO, morgues backed up because FEMA shuts the morges early, etc. etc. , it's tragic - but they are standing on the stilts of profit, and sawing the stilts off below their feet to be used as even more new-found money! That's how these guys think. Nothing is sacred.

'Taint gonna work.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Supreme Cushion a.k.a. Half-Baked Court

There are some interesting theories abounding lately as to the rushed nature of Bush's Supreme Court nominees. John Roberts aggresive inability to answer questions not withstanding (one was lead to believe that even "how are you feeling?" could be met with an answer along the lines of: "answering that question might jeapoardize a future moment when I might be asked "how I was feeling", revealing the nature of how I might answer that question, and prejudicing my own answer as to how I answered previously, or signalling to the questioning party how I might already feel, suggesting they mightnot ask how I feel, so I won't answer that question"), he at least was a judge. Harriet Miers has the advantage of never having ever been a judge, avoiding the messy paper trail that could indicate any beliefs or belief system she has at all, except for her undying gratitutde and allegiance to the President, particularly when he apointed her to run the Texas State Lottery Commission.

Lottery Commission. You read correctly. That's who George has picked to become a Supreme Court Judge. One of nine judges in the land who have the final say on the law of the land, their purpose to be independent of the Executive Branch, to interpret law, untangle complex decisions rife with philospphical questions of the modern age, that would make the framers of our Constitution heads' spin.

And she reigned over the Lottery Commission. Just what John Adams, Jefferson and Ben Franklin would have hoped for. (Not to mention she very likely will be the deciding vote against legalized abortion in this country if she makes the bench - see "With Miers Bush Gets Fifth Vote Against Roe") (And not to mention, she may have helped hide W's National Guard derelcition of duty days.)(Woops)

At the same time, and seemingly on a parallel track, manequin-journalist Judith Miller, who has spent 86 days in jail protecting her source on the Valerie Plame investigation (the investigation to discover the origin of the leak that "outed" her once uncercover CIA operative status to the US media, who's husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, was on a then anti-Bush tirade against their faulty intelligence justifying the then unstarted war agaisnt Iraq), suddenly voluntarily decides to suddenly un-protect her source, pop out of jail and testify in front of the grand jury, allowing Fitzgerald to finally close his case.

Well, a leak from the grand jury about the leak case has fingered Dick Cheney himself, and his chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby as potential indictment targets.

It's very possible the indictments will come down, and very possibly for some very real jail time and loss of power will rear its heads for some very real high level players in this government.

Unless...we are to look at the timing.

John Roberts is voted in as Chief Justice. Making it a very conservative majority ofthe now eight judges on the Supreme Court. And Judith Miller pops out of jail the next day like a piece of over done toast, allowing Fitzgerald to close a case that had been in limbo, waiting on her testimony.

Because if indictments come down on Cheney, and Libby, for some very real jail time for the very real crime of "outing" a CIA agent, there is only one recourse to protect them?

Presidential Pardon.

And that would create an outcry in half the population of the land, and be fought immediately in the Federal courts of Wasthington, who would not want the hot potato of course, or even if they did would find the case immediately appealed if the Govt. lost, which would bump the case up into the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court.

Where sits Bush's newest crony, and now awaits the next one.

And what if this new George Bush Supreme Court were to rule that the Presidential Pardon in this case were legal? Check Mate. Cheney and Libby are free, no crime has been committed. Everyone go back to raiding the treasury.

The Political Right in this country has always been two to three steps ahead in their game of political chess. Lacking a moral compass, they are quick to throw caution, common sense, tradition and precedent to the wind, as long as they can stay in power. (See Tom DeLay and his indictments) And it's sometimes hard for the rest of us to imagine the next move in their game of Souless Stratego, as it's only about keeping the power.

If this is indeed the plan, it's brilliant in it's empty Machiavellianism, but bufoonish on the face of it, as even extreme conservatives Trent Lott and George Will have had it with this administration's blatant attempts at self preservation to the point of desecrating the country's branches of government. When these Righties have to draw a line in the sand at W.'s lack of familiarity or appreciation of this country's great history in selecting law makers, one really has to sit up and take notice.

The Texas Lottery Commission.

Really now, is the President that stupid? That he thinks he can just put in all his friends and neighbors to the most important posts of the country with no training, and not have the country fall apart? The bottom line, of course, is that he just doesn't care.

Small man in a big job. Small selfish ideas win the day. Big problems come later down the line. He shrugs. We suffer.

The fall of his house of cards started with Katrina. I'm praying it's not forced to fall to the ground before he's stopped. Because we live in his house of cards.
Link

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ah, Dude!!!

Daniel, one of the blog’s regulars, asked what we thought about the posting of dead from Iraq on a porno site.

Here’s my two cents. I’m appalled by it. I know that there’s always some fringe
Bizarro element in the military - creeps that like to cut off ears and such. I know war can do ugly things to a person. But, posting dead bodies so you can get free porn - now that’s enterprising. Talk about killing two birds with one mortar round. I just wonder who these guys are? Our lovely volunteer army. A few good men. A few psychopaths. What’s the difference, right? Did the military put an ad in Mutilation Monthly to get these rejects? Are these all-American boys who believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of twisted obsessions?

And let me say this before I get a bunch of wackos saying I don’t support the troops.
I support good people who are doing the best they can in a needless war our crazy administration saw fit to pursue. But I will not support people getting their freak on posing next to dead, charred bodies, like they just scored a touchdown at the homecoming game. There is no honor in this. It's sick and depraved.

Even more appalling? It doesn’t look like the military’s going to investigate.
So let’s just wink and look the other way. And someday, these guys are coming home. Lock up your daughters…

The problem is, our behavior only fuels their behavior.

On a related topic, you should see what some people have gotten through emails.
Today, I saw a video of an American pilot blasting some people in Iraq into oblivion.
The dialogue between the pilot and his base went something like this:
PILOT: I see a number of individuals coming out onto the street. Should I take them out? (On the video, you see about a dozen small figures walk out of a doorway onto the street. They're not running. They're leisurely walking. You can't even tell if they are men, women or children.)
BASE: Affirmative
PILOT: 10 seconds...(The pilot launches a missile at them)
Then a huge explosion envelops these people.
But the kicker is what the guy at the base says. He must have had a simultaneous video connection. He sees the explosion and says:
Ah, Dude!!!


Ah, Dude!!! Like awesome man! In his mind, the pilot just racked up huge points in the ultimate video game. What are we fighting over there? Bill & Ted’s excellent adventure in Fallujah?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bush in Free Fall

When you click on the link, you'll see a brilliant piece of animation that my friend Gerry turned me onto. I don't know who Planet Dan is, but after seeing this, I would bear his child. It's very cathartic. When Bush gets hung up in the animation (You'll see what I mean when you watch it.) just drag him free with your mouse. And send him on his merry way...Enjoy!
Link

Fight or Die!

New Slogan for the Democratic Party?

A Republican calls the DNC for help with a dying woman from NO in his residence, as his endless calls for help to his own party go unanswered. This true and very moving story from a DNC staffer (link from Democratic Underground).

"At 10 a.m. the phone rang, and while I usually only get calls from the press, this one was different. A man identifying himself as a lifelong Republican was on the line. I began to prepare myself for whatever harsh words he was about to unleash, but to my surprise he said, "I need your help." So I asked him "What do you need?"
More.
Link

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gulf Coast Update

Taken from Aimee's Blog:

Yesterday we tried requesting a new insurance adjuster because ours is wet being the ears, plus we had a Builder's Risk policy & that is supposed to cover ANYTHING that goes wrong during the building process. Our adjuster had no experience, much less experience with this particular type of policy. Not only were we denied the request for a new adjuster, but the insurance company is giving us the run around on getting us the paper saying we're denied any type of compensation (we need this paper to give to FEMA.)
Ahh-FEMA. They told us today that we do not qualify for any type of assistance. We can't get an SBA loan on the place we were living, because we were renting & we can't get a loan for the new place we were building because it wasn't our primary residence yet. So once again we're bureaucracy is bending us over & having their way with us.
So since the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease...we called the bank our construction loan is with, Dicky Scruggs' office, the MS Attorney General's office, Gene Taylor's office, the MS Insurance Hotline & I'm going to call the FBI to put in a complaint about FEMA. So far no luck. But our story needs to get out there. We can't be the only ones in this situation & no one will know that young, hard working couples like us are being screwed if no one speaks up.
Also, I would like for someone to explain something to me. My bil (Darren's brother) had a tree pushed into his house by the wind. His insurance is going to pay him for everything. We had water pushed into our house by the wind & our insurance company is telling us to go fly a kite. What makes a tree more worthy of insurance money than water????
I wish I was in a position to do something about this. Right now, I'm wracking my brains, trying to see if I can't find someone in a national news operation that might be able to tell her story.

Because the sad truth is what Aimee alluded to: The government, and the insurance companies, will do their best to deny as much coverage to the victims of Katrina as they possibly can.

This is the problem with small government (or in this case, humongous government running a massive deficit). This is the problem with Dubya's 'private sector' approach to assistance. At some point, private sector concerns say "Hey, we have to think about the bottom line." At some point, all the promises of huge amounts of assistance given at the podium run up against the bean counters who say "From were do we get this money?"

I don't want to overly politicize this. I have no idea, nor do I care, what Aimee's politics are. But the fact of the matter is: she's just one of thousands in the same predicament.

Let's help these people.

Yeharr

Oh, and one other thing: the ever-excellent Greg Saunders rips Bill Bennet a new asshole (passing right through the New Republic's Andrew McCarthy along the way) at This Modern World. Worth a read.