Monday, January 31, 2005

Remember the Scorpion and the Frog Story?

One day a scorpion was walking along the riverbank trying to find a way across the river that separated him from his desired location when he came across a frog sitting alongside the riverbank. The scorpion walked up to the frog and asked the frog if he would take him across the river. The frog quickly replied, "No, I would not give you a ride." The scorpion then asked him why. The frog replied, "Because Mr. Scorpion if I gave you a ride on my back you would sting me and I would drown." Quickly the scorpion replied, "But Mr. Frog, if I stung you then you would drown and if you drown then I would drown also." The frog thought for a moment and then said, "I guess you're right, then I will give you a ride." The scorpion jumps on the frog's back and they start crossing the river. Halfway across the river the frog suddenly feels a sharp pain in his back, as the scorpion stings him. The frog immediately starts to panic as he feels the venom race through his veins and he quickly begins to become paralyzed. Just as he is taking his last breath and is about to go down, the frog looks at the scorpion and asks "Why did you do it? You promised not to sting me! Now we are both going to drown!" The scorpion replies, "I'm sorry sir, but I could not help it--it's my nature.” Yesterday, as more people died in Iraq and the number of US soldiers killed rose to 1,431, President George W. Bush said the election in Iraq was a “resounding” success. People of Iraq, remember this: President Bush has lied to you in the past. The White House has lied to you in the past. President Bush will lie to you in the future. The White House will lie to you in the future. Lying is their nature.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Today Iraqis Vote; 1,430 US Soldiers Have Died

Yesterday, national security adviser Stephen Hadley wrote in an op-ed article in The Washington Post: "Instead of exaggerating any imperfections, democrats around the world should celebrate the election as both a milestone in the advance of liberty and a source of profound hope to all the people of Iraq.” We might feel that way, Mr. Hadley, but for the fact that we didn’t attack Iraq to bring them democracy or liberty or freedom. The original reason that the fascists in the White House attacked Iraq was because Iraq was an easy target for kicking off their plan of global aggression. That plan was hatched in 1997. When it came to fruition in 2003, it was cloaked in the term, “preemptive strike”. Preemptive strike meant: Now that the Republican party is in power again, when the GOP decides a country has resources the US wants, the US will attack that country and call it defending the world. This type of defense of the world was articulated by the Project for the New American Century on June 3, 1997 ( The PNAC statement of principles was signed by: Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J.Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C.Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Webe, George Weige, Paul Wolfowitz Bush I began in January 2001 with the BushMen already having decided to attack Iraq. When was the question. The answer: As soon as possible, came with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And the sub-text was to blame Iraq’s Saddam Hussein even though Osama bin Laden had orchestrated the WTC bombing. After 9/11, the secret plan to attack Iraq morphed into a US proclamation that Saddam had to go in order to free the Iraqis. When the Iraqis did not fall down and worship the United States, the 1997 plan received yet another, even brighter and shinier justification. The BushMen claimed that the US had invaded Iraq to bring democracy to Iraq. Mr. Hadley, your predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, with the help of Secretary of State, Colin Powell lied us into a war that Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Florida’s Governor, Jeb Bush planned in 1997. Democrats don’t have to exaggerate the imperfections in the war in Iraq. The imperfections have existed since 1997 when the PNAC developed its plan for ruling the world. What many of us democrats can’t understand, Mr. Hadley, is why anyone would celebrate anything going on Iraq today or any day since the US invasion on March 20, 2003. We can only mourn the deaths of 1,430 American soldiers who have died in a war that signaled the White House fascists' plan for global supremacy had begun.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

GOP Bows to Carlyle Group, USA Screwed (Again)

Yesterday, the Lockheed Martin Corporation, whose web site calls itself “an advanced technology company” beat out Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft for a $6.1 billion Navy contract for 23 security helicopters for the President's presidential fleet. So what...that’s business. The so what is that Lockheed's partners are based in Europe and the main transmission, the rotor blades and several other components for the helicopters will be built in Europe. The so what is that the Bush administration has out-sourced a six billion dollar contract to a company that has never built a helicopter in its long defense contract life. In January, 2004 Sikorsky proudly announced its bid for the helicopter contract. Sikorsky listed its “all-American team” and said, “Our company has a 45-year track record of safe and outstanding service to the President of the United States, and these are the American companies we have selected to help us extend that record for another generation." Sikorsky Aircraft has built the presidential fleet since 1957 Ah yes, but Sikorsky didn’t count on the clout of The Carlyle Group. Some of the most powerful figures in Washington have worked for The Carlyle Group, including former Secretary of State James Baker, former President George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci and former FCC Chairman William Kennard. The Center for Public Integrity investigation into Department of Defense contracts found that the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm was the ninth largest Pentagon contractor between 1998 and 2003, The Carlyle Group doesn’t manufacture anything. It offers no services directly to the Pentagon, and has no defense contracts. It manages investments. According to its web site, it has more than $18.9 billion under management from 600 individuals and entities in 55 countries. The Carlyle Group was founded in 1987 when it began investing in defense and national security companies. By taking over companies with billions of dollars in defense contracts, it became a top US military vendor. After September 11, it cashed-out many investments when the price of stock of defense companies rose. The Carlyle Group also made huge profits from the defense buildups for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It other words, the Carlyle Group is a war profiteer. It was former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci (Carlyle Group managing director from 1989 to 1993 and chairman from 1993 to 2003) who made the small private equity firm a mega-force among defense contractors. It’s interesting that Carlucci and Donald Rumsfeld went to college together. And here’s some dandy info about the Carlyle Group’s Thomas A. (Tom) Corcoran, straight from the Carlyle web site. “Thomas A. Corcoran is a Senior Advisor to the aeropsace and defense group. Mr.Corcoran assists Carlyle in developing strategy and identifying investments in Washington, DC In addition to his role as a Carlyle Senior Advisor, Mr. Corcoran is President of Corcoran Enterprises, LLC, a management-consulting firm. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Corcoran served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Air Cargo where he led a successful business restructuring. Before Gemini, Mr. Corcoran was President and Chief Executive Officer of Allegheny Teledyne Incorporated. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Lockheed Martin’s Electronics Sector from 1995 to October 1999. Prior to the 1995 merger of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporation, he was President of the Electronics Group of Martin Marietta, a position he assumed in 1993 following the sale of GE Aerospace to Martin Marietta. He began his career in 1967 at General Electric Company where held various senior management positions. He joined GE Aerospace in 1983 and, in 1990, he was elected as corporate officer and rose to the number two position as Vice President and General Manager of GE Aerospace Operations.” Thanks to investigative reporter Leuen Morel, a wonderful factoid appeared in the San Francisco Bay View on November 7, 2004. “Lockheed Martin Marietta is 70% owned by the Carlyle Group”. The stench coming out of the Bush administration is becoming overpowering. This latest collusion between the Carlyle Group and the Carlyle-bought-and-paid-for GOP would be beyond belief if the proof weren’t so blatant and damning.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


A new dance? No. Just George Bush yesterday doing a Press Conference One-man Tango. The 47-minute press conference made clear that the President of the United States cannot answer a simple question on his own. It’s not so much that George Bush wants to dance around issues and misinform the public. It’s that in a press conference setting, he is incapable of answering the questions thrown at him because he doesn’t know the answers. Yesterday, he constantly consulted his notes. Which, no doubt, are a comprehensive FAQ list drawn up for him to address possible questions. But failing to find an answer, he either answered a question that had not been asked, or he went for one-size-fits-all cliches. Unless the details of White House policies are written for him, such as in the upcoming State of the Union address, George W. Bush cannot tell us what he plans to do. Because he doesn’t know. Or worse, he can’t remember the plans the White House has laid out for him. There are two possibilities concerning what is going on in the Bush administration: 1) The White House doesn’t keep the President in the loop because he’s too stupid to retain information, or 2) George W. Bush’s memory is so impaired by medications and mental problems that he cannot remember the instructions he gets from his minders. Take your pick. They are woeful options. If given his druthers, or if he could remember what his druthers are, it may be that the President would have opted to bring up the subject of the horrible helicopter deaths in Iraq yesterday. But Prez Bush only says what his minders authorize him to say. Thirty Marines and one Sailor were killed in the helicopter accident. Coupled with the deaths of four soldiers in Anbar, one soldier in Dulurya and one soldier in Baghdad, thirty-seven of our men died yesterday. It was the worst death count since the beginning of the war. And it brought the total American soldier deaths in Iraq to 1,420. But Prez Bush said nothing because he hadn’t gotten the go-ahead from the White House to say anything. When prompted by a question from a journalist he said, “We mourn the loss of life.” Later he said, ” We honor the memory of our loved ones by completing our mission." What a hideous, insensitive, self-serving moronic thing to say to the mothers and wives of 37 men who were killed yesterday by the Bush administration’s war of aggression. After the press conference, we were treated to amplifications of what the President really meant, when “communications strategists”, nameless “advisors”, the president’s “counselor” Dan Bartlett and WH press secretary Scott McClellan all scrambled to re-write and rephrase the Presidents remarks. New York Times writer Elizabeth Bumiller reported this morning that a Bush advisor said it was “part of a long-standing White House practice to avoid having the president mention some American deaths in Iraq but not others.” Another nameless advisor said they “did not want Mr. Bush to be consumed by headlines.” And Dan Bartlett said, "If a helicopter were hit an hour later, after he came out and spoke, should he come out again?" Yes, I would say so. I would say the Prez should make a very big thing about helicopter deaths, and all deaths in Iraq. The Bush administration caused these deaths. How about facing up to the consequences of war? We also were told that the press conference was a hastily-planned event and was the President’s idea. Which of course is a total load of crap. If the President were capable of having an idea on his own, which he isn’t, it wouldn’t manifest itself as desiring a press conference which he fears more than he fears debates without an earpiece. The president’s advisors say they are planning a “communications offensive” to coincide with the State of the Union address on February 2nd. One hopes one of the people communicated with will be the President...but it isn’t likely.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Stop Comparing Iraq with World War II

Last night on the PBS Lehrer Report, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented on the Democrats’ mini-revolt re the Condoleezza Rice confirmation hearings. Senator Edward Kennedy and a few other Democrats are holding up the Rice confirmation on the grounds that Rice was one of the Bush administration faithful who lied us into the war in Iraq. Senator Mitch McConnell countered the list of reasons that Rice should not be confirmed. He said that if there had been the numbers of cameras and commentators at Omaha Beach (the nearly disastrous first assault by US soldiers on D-Day, June 6, 1944) that are trained on Iraq today, General Eisenhower would have been sent packing before he had a chance to be victorious. What on earth does World War II have to do with our attack on Iraq? World War II was a righteous war. We had a draft but men also willingly enlisted. We sacrificed on the home front. We had rationing. Women went to work in war plants because there were no men left at home. We were unified in a common goal. We put aside personal comfort because Europe, the Soviet Union, Poland and the US all were at risk. We won the war. But there were 16,112,566 men in the war, 291,557 Americans were killed and 670,846 Americans were wounded. There was a terrible cost to our entering that war. But there was no doubt in the minds of Americans that we had to join the fight and we had to win. And the soldiers, wives, mothers, sisters, brothers, children and lovers knew the deaths, privations and heartache were worth it. On the other hand, we have the unnecessary war in Iraq which George W. Bush, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice lied us into. Nevermind the faulty intelligence, these three knew they were lying about WMDs. Had Americans known the truth, we NEVER, NEVER, NEVER would have condoned the war. It was a war started by the fascists in the White House because of revenge, greed and an insane desire to rule the world. How can the unconscionable war of choice in Iraq be compared with World War II? The only thing that is comparable is the sacrifice of soldiers lives and the maimed who come home: As of today, 1,413 US soldiers have died in Iraq so that George W. Bush and the BushMen can correct God’s error and recreate the Middle East in their image--white, Christian and Republican. Today, Iraq. Tomorrow, the world. Does that ring a bell? Mr. Ratfucker has a PS. Mr. Ratfucker says he has figured out how the President controlled the left side of his face during the inauguration speech: He didn’t smirk. Mr. Ratfucker was watching The Daily Show last night and Jon Stewart showed a clip of the President saying he hadn’t read the Sy Hersh piece in last week’s New Yorker. After bragging about his ignorance, the President smirked. Oops and oh dear! There went his face. The left side drooped and the right side smirked. Mr. Ratfucker feels the President should forgo smirking now that his disability has left him impaired. But Mr. Ratfucker knows, as we all know, His Bushness will never give up the royal smirk.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The WH Spin on the Spin on the Original Spin

How they whirl! On September 17, 2001 Bush stood before the world and said we had to find Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. And bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization had to be stopped in order to save the world. By all accounts Osama bin Laden is still more alive than dead, and Al Qaeda is still terrorizing the world. On February 5, 2003, in order to justify the US preemptive attack on Iraq, Colin Powell stood before the UN and presented anguished rhetoric and documents, including a vial of fake anthrax, to prove Saddam Hussein had biochemicals and weapons of mass destruction and had to be stopped. By now the BushMen were implying it was Saddam who had attacked the World Trade Center not Osama. On March 20, 2003 we attacked Iraq . No WMD were found. On May 2, 2003 Bush claimed our mission in Iraq was accomplished. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001, and still goes on,” he said. Immediately after declaring that the all-out, boot-stomping, fire-and-brimstone, beat-the-devil-into-submission war on evil had been accomplished, the war was revised by the White House re-write crew into a mission to bring democracy to Iraq. On January 24, 2005, the Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin wrote, referring to the inauguration speech, "Bush advisers said the speech was the rhetorical institutionalization of the Bush doctrine and reflected the president's deepest convictions about the purposes behind his foreign policies. . .It has its own policy implications, but it is not to say we're not doing this already,' said White House counselor Daniel J. Bartlett." Having trouble wrapping your mind around WH-speak? Dan Bartlett said that Bush’s prime directive has always been to bring freedom and liberty to the entire world. So just erase any memories you may have about the BushMen using lies and deceit to destroy Iraq in their mission to rule the world. The BushMen have a long way to go before their version of history is accepted. Even Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan who writes for the Wall Street Journal is not convinced. This morning quoted her reaction to the inauguration speech. "The speech did not deal with specifics -- 9/11, terrorism, particular alliances, Iraq. It was, instead, assertively abstract. Ending tyranny in the world? Well that's an ambition, and if you're going to have an ambition it might as well be a big one. But this declaration, which is not wrong by any means, seemed to me to land somewhere between dreamy and disturbing. Tyranny is a very bad thing and quite wicked, but one doesn't expect we're going to eradicate it any time soon. Again, this is not heaven, it's earth." I’m betting the next WH spin is going to be something like this: Our vision thing is to bring peace, freedom and liberty to the world, but the world may not be ready for the sweetness and goodness of Bush II. Therefore, we may, alas, have to wage more wars and annihilate more countries before we can make the world ready for Jesus’s return. The resulting devastation and misery is your fault, not ours.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Another Death-Fest...But This Guy Is Worth It

I am so sick of the MSM turning itself into a Mourning Machine with non-stop 24-7 Obituary Specials that go on and on and on as though death is an event that happens only to very special public figures. But yesterday a very special public figure died and he deserves every minute of every memorial and retrospective the media can crank out. Because Johnny Carson made us laugh. Ronald Reagan did not make us roar with laughter. Oh well yes, he made Republicans smile and after he became noticeably incompetent he made everyone snicker behind his back. But that did not give him the right to a week of enforced public mourning from a meekly submissive news media. And the next President, ex-President or religious leader who dies will not deserve the shutting down of regular television programs for days on end to let the MSM faun and shed fake tears and be ponderous and pious and tiresome. But Johnny Carson deserves whatever time his death gets on TV. It will be a joy and privilege to remember and savor those moments on the Tonight show when for thirty years he made us fall out of bed laughing. Politicians might take note: If you can make us laugh as much as comics are making us laugh at the Bush might have a chance to heal this country and the world.

Sunday, January 23, 2005’s snowing...

It’s snowing and it’s cold. There, I’ve done the current big weather story which has been occupying TV news and column one in newspapers for the last three days. And while everyone’s attention has been riveted on pictures of falling snow, the tally for American soldier deaths in Iraq is 1371. And Johns Hopkins University estimates 100,000 civilians have died either directly or indirectly as a result of the unnecessary war. This morning, our National Debt is $7,594,000,000,000 (trillion!). As of January 17th, the war in Iraq has cost US taxpayers more than $150 billion and the Pentagon spends $4,500,000,000 (billion!) a month on its doomed campaign in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld drew up the plans for the Iraq war. He failed to produce the promised shock, awe, or bouquets of gratitude, but accomplished only chaos, disaster and defeat. Now he has been put in charge of the Bush administration’s plans to attack and subdue any country that doesn’t want to be freed and liberated in the Iraq mode. While the BushMen congratulated themselves on the above accomplishments, their giddy followers made merry at nine inauguration balls and prayed to their wholly-owned Jesus that the next four years would be as stellar and successful as the last four have been. As if the grim thought of another four years of BushMen success and victory is not sobering enough, the poster boy for the Republican-style hostile takeover, George W. Bush, is dogged by Washington DC insider whispers: He’s drinking again, using cocaine again, is bipolar, uses serious anti-depressants, or has had a stroke. And the dollar is now so weak that the US no longer can borrow money based on the strength of the dollar and sales of our goods abroad. The world does not want anything made in America. Now that we’ve weakened and impoverished ourselves we have nothing to offer except lies , deceit and insane fascist leaders. Only Nero and the BushMen could exult while their empire goes down in flames.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Bush’s Good Ol’ Boy Shuck and Jive

Bush conned only half the voters in the US and no matter how much he shuffles and dances, he’s having no success at all in Europe. As the New York Times reported this morning regarding Bush’s gestures of good will to Europe, “The initial reaction was generally cool. European commentators asked what new war Mr. Bush might embark on in the name of his idealism, and portrayed his global bid to eliminate tyranny as hubris or hypocrisy.” The biggest blow to the White House’s assumption that the world will happily bend over for a butt-hump from the USA is Bush’s pick for Secretary of State. Condoleezza Rice said, during her confirmation hearings this past week, “When judging a course of action, I will never forget that the true measure of its worth is whether it is effective.” Translation: If I give three cents, I want four cents back from Americans, and a full nickel from the rest of the world. Rice says that as Secretary of State she will use diplomacy in her dealings with the world. She doesn’t know how. Actually, her tenure should be fun to watch. When Condi Rice smiles it’s like watching a hyena lick its chops before making a sneak attack. An executioner wearing a black hood would be a more effective diplomat than Ms Rice. For Bush, the good news about his close association with Condoleezza Rice is that no one could ever imagine extracurricular canoodlings going on. (My computer just involuntarily wrote Eeeuwww!) The consensus around the world is that when a country wants to free itself from tyranny, the impetus has to come from within. But the White House plans for ending tyranny in the world are like that of a piranha, or more precisely, like the Borg’s bitch-queen in the Star Trek Voyager series whose mantra was , “Resistance is futile”. Nota Bene to the Bush/Rice duo: Lose the Freedom/Liberty baloney re your plans to take over the world. Nobody’s buying it.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Did You Watch the Inauguration Speech? Oh My God!

The thrust of the speech was that George W. Bush during the next four years is going to force freedom and liberty on the whole world. As Jon Stewart hilariously chronicled on last night’s Daily Show, the Bushmaton’s speechwriters invoked the word “freedom” 27 times and “liberty” 15 times during the 21-minute inauguration speech. Which would be fine and laudable except that the man who delivered the speech is chipping away at the liberty and freedom of every American in the United States and has plans to impose his idea of freedom and liberty on the entire world whether they want it or not. Totally forgotten in the rhetoric and the public policy now being put forth by the White House is the fact that we attacked Iraq because we lied and said Iraq had Weapons of Mass destruction. Bringing freedom and liberty to the Iraqi’s was an afterthought that sounded good and played well with knee-jerk Republicans, but it was not the main reason we invaded Iraq. Totally forgotten and pushed under the rug on Inauguration Day 2005 was the fact that the second reason we attacked Iraq was in order to kill Saddam Hussein who had embarrassed the Bush family. And the third reason we attacked Iraq is that the White House wanted to gain control of Iraq’s oil. In its overriding arrogance, the White House assumes it has wiped from the pages of history and the minds of Americans the real reasons that, as of today, 1371 American soldiers have died in the Iraq war. But according to the Bush’s inauguration speech, which never mentioned Afghanistan or Iraq, it is the duty of the United States to forcibly bring our form of government to all countries of the world because, he said, ” We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.” Jeff Greenfield, Senior Analyst on CNN’s News Night, who usually sits on the fence was very forthright last night. He referred to the inauguration speech saying, ”...if it (Iraq) was a big deal before this speech, it's going to be an even bigger contentious deal after because Bush's critics are going to say, "Fine, we know your theory. The first place you tried this is in Iraq. How's that working out?" Bush said, “My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people from further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve and have found it firm.” Have the Bush speechwriters forgotten that the people who attacked us got away with it? America’s firm resolve hasn’t meant jackshit to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda who were the ones who flew planes into the World Trade Center. Our firm resolve has only been demonstrated on a country that did not attack us. Our firm resolve has been demonstrated on a country we attacked for the most venal reasons and on whom we have waged an unwinnable and unnecessary war. Bush said, “Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.” Oh really? What have we done for the Sudanese in Africa where genocide once again is being perpetrated on a whole nation? The newly-anointed Savior of the World is so in thrall of his delusions that he believes the horrifying global aims he announced for the world yesterday are worthy goals for the United States to pursue. And he believes he can overhaul the world in his image in four years. The Social Security system may take a little longer.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

How Long Can We Ignore the President’s Health?

I grant you, the deterioration in George W. Bush’s mental acuity is not as easy to pick up on as it would be say, if Peter Jennings slurred his words and hesitated before making the most simple declarative sentence. Still, the signs are there that the man who at noon today was sworn-in as our 43rd president (again) is impaired in a very real way. The truth about George W. Bush’s medications and his disability(s) will come out. The time has long passed when secrets about a President can be kept from the public by a few loyal insiders. The time has long passed when questions about a president’s mental and physical health can be stonewalled forever. According to a scandal sheet compiled by Peter Dizikes at, there have been 34 major scandals during the past four years that the Republicans have to answer for. I will add a 35th. Keeping the facts secret concerning George W. Bush’s declining mental and physical health is a huge scandal. And because of the nature of all health problems, the facts will come out...must come out. Unfortunately for President Bush, it will probably be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

And Then the President Said...

But before we get into what the President said last night when CNN’s Sr. White House Correspondent John King interviewed him on News Night, I just want to say I really enjoy watching George W. Bush these days. I used to avoid his TV appearances. But now watching him has become a great pleasure. And I have to give him points for not drooling. I don’t know how he does that. Whenever either side of my face doesn’t work because of a dentist’s shot, I have the worst time keeping the drooling in check. And here our President has the problem all the time because of his disability. But somehow he’s mastered not drooling. Or at least he’s mastered not drooling on-camera. Way to go, Mr. President. And I also have to say, he was very personable last night on News Night. He smiled alot, and put forward that down-home regular guy persona he has come to rely on as being, if not intelligent, at least tolerable. And it probably was a very annoying interview for him. The camera crew positioned him so that he had to keep his left side toward the camera. But in spite of the fact that his droopy mouth was such a riveting eye-catching sight, he seemed in good spirits. Of course ass-kisser John King lobbed soft balls at him. I don’t know what’s happened to John King. He used to be a newsman. But he’s become a brown-nosing Bush sycophant who wouldn’t ask a hardball question to save CNN’s soul. A perfect example of the King suck-up was when he said: “You have spoken about working with your new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a public diplomacy campaign in the Muslim world. I want to ask what you think has failed in that regard so far in the sense that the State Department did reach out and hire a Madison Avenue ad executive to try to help. You had an office of global communication here in the White House, at one point offices in London and Islamabad. We've created an Arab language television network paid for by the taxpayers in the United States. Where have we failed so far?” Bush answered, “The propagandists have done a better job of depicting America as a hateful place, a place wanting to impose our form of government on people and our religion on people and it's -- we're behind when it comes to selling our own story and telling people the truth about America.” So our only failure in Iraq has been that the war hasn’t gotten the right spin. But Condi Rice is going to solve that problem. Condi Rice-- whose hair-trigger anger gets ramped up to a snarling, lip-curling, meaner than a snake, fuck me? fuck you! piss-off faster than Colin Powell can tell ten lies--is going to use diplomacy? That will be right after she and Rummy start World War III. As far as lessons learned are concerned, Bush said, “I think this time around it will be a little different. I'll be a better spectator than I was the first time.” And why not? Now that the White House has caused total turmoil throughout the world, with this morning’s estimate of the percentage of the planet who hate us at 58%, the President’s plan for the next four years is to kick back and survey the wreckage he has caused. But back to John King. Being on the White House beat, it’s possible he has received instructions that the President is incapable of handling difficult questions. With Bush acting like a clueless moke from down the block, and John King acting like he’s afraid the Prez doesn’t know his name anymore, there was only one WHOOPS moment in the interview. That moment came early when King opened his segment of the program saying, “I thought one of the more interesting points is when I asked the president if he could just do one thing, just one thing to improve our homeland security, our defense in the war on terror what would it be?” The President’s answer: “The human intelligence, the ability to get inside somebody's mind, the ability to read somebody's mail, the ability to listen to somebody's phone call...(pause)...that somebody being the enemy.” And the enemy is us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

You Can Trust Sy Hersh...Can You Trust the Pentagon?

Seymour Hersh exposed the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in an article in the New Yorker in 2004. He has a 5,600 word piece, “The Coming Wars”, in the current double issue of The New Yorker (January 24 and 31) that will blow your socks off. You can download it now or print it out. It’s a must-read. Once again, Sy Hersh is causing agida in the Pentagon. So much so that even the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia quoted a statement written by Pentagon spokesman and defense department apologist Larry DiRita. DiRita denied the facts in the Hersh piece. “It is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed,” DiRita said. Which means, of course, that the Hersh piece is absolutely true and factual and you can take every word to the bank. Back in 1969, Seymour Hersh received a Pulitzer for his reporting of the My Lai massacre and the US cover-up during the war in Viet Nam. He started out as a police reporter in Chicago, was a correspondent for both UPI and AP, a reporter for the New York Times Washington Bureau and has written eight books. Larry DiRita is a veteran of the Navy, was on Colin Powell’s Joint Staff, became Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s (R-TX) Chief of Staff and joined the Department of Defense in 2001. DiRita usually can be heard calling complaints about the DOD “frivolous” or defending DOD blunders--such as the Abu Ghraib scandal and General Boykin’s anti-Muslim remarks. Interestingly, DiRita does not refute Hersh’s claim that the US has authorized covert operations in as many as 10 nations in the Middle East, South Asia and Iran. Hersh says the goal is “to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids." Bad enough that this morning’s count of American soldiers who have died in Iraq is 1,369. Bad enough that this morning’s tally of the cost of the unnecessary war in Iraq is $150,464,000,000. (Billion!). In fact, the Pentagon's plans for the future are much worse. And the worst part of the information in the Hersh article is not that we’re looking to bomb 36 targets in as many as 10 more countries. The worst part is that since the Bush administration has removed all government checks and balances on the Pentagon, and made the CIA impotent, Donald Rumsfeld has been given total power to do whatever he wants. As Hersh says, Rumsfeld can run his war operations “off the books”. He doesn’t have to ask Congress or the American people for a by-your-leave. Read the Seymour Hersh New Yorker article, “The Coming Wars--What the Pentagon Can Now Do in Secret” before January 20. And while you watch the BushMen get high on their $40 million dollar inauguration parties, understand what their smiles and gloating really means: We have insane, sociopathic men running our country. If you don’t see a similarity between the Bush White House and Hitler’s Third Reich, then you have willed yourself to be blind. The world said, NEVER AGAIN! Remember? The Fourth Reich has to be stopped.

Monday, January 17, 2005

1,365 American Soldiers Have Died in Iraq

What with the MSM giving us round-the-clock coverage of tsunami dead, the coverage of the war in Iraq has gone begging. But the only real data we need to know about Iraq is that 1,365 American soldiers have needlessly died in George Bush’s unnecessary war. While our guys die, the Bushmaton is gloating over his narrow-squeak election and is spending $40 mil for inauguration parties for himself. And he continues to misspeak, leaving it to Dan Bartlett (Bush’s consigliere) to pick up the pieces. In an interview with The Washington Post published yesterday, Bush said many senators did not see the need for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage because a law known as the Defense of Marriage Act was in place. Bartlett had to quickly explain Bush’s gaffe on Sunday morning news shows, saying that Bush was referring to “the reality of legislative vote counting and was not suggesting that his support for the amendment had diminished”. In the same WashPost interview Bush bragged that “the American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and they chose me”. He said the public’s decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath. And there you have it. George W. Bush is never wrong, never makes mistakes, never reflects. He gloats, he brags and he makes merry. And he maintains he was "re-elected" when in fact the Supreme Court appointed him President in 2000. But there is one fact that cannot be spun or managed or made less true or more easy to hear...1,365 American soldiers have died fighting this buffoon’s unnecessary war in Iraq.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Dear Tom Friedman...TMYFK!

New York Times Op/Ed Columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, outdid himself today with his continuing refusal to see the US domination in the Middle East for what it is. Ever since his February 17, 2002 NYT article, “An Intriguing Signal From the Saudi Crown Prince”, in which he wrote about his meeting with Prince Abdullah, Friedman has seen himself not as a columnist but as a world leader. A world leader whose words can change the course of events in the Middle East. Get over yourself, Mr. Friedman. The world sees you as slightly less cogent than Al Sharpton...and a lot more ego-driven. Your prose is not going to alter history. we go...this morning’s latest Friedman idiocy: Friedman said our tsunami aid to Muslim countries was not going to make us better loved by Muslims. “If the fact that American soldiers have risked their lives to save the Muslims of Bosnia, the Muslims of Kuwait, the Muslims of Somalia, the Muslims of Afghanistan and the Muslims of Iraq has earned the U.S. only the false accusation of being ‘anti-Muslim’, trust me, U.S. troops passing out bottled water and Pop-Tarts in Indonesia are not going to erase that lie.” That lie? The false accusation? Oh please! There is not a single born-again Christian who has been in Iraq who is not anti-Muslim. And let us not forget born-again Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, who said in 2003 when discussing a battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." This is the General Boykin who last year said, "We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this.” So what was Boykin’s plan for a born-again Army of God in Iraq? Does a Christian Army of God risk death so Muslims can worship Allah, or have these soldiers "been raised" to fight a crusade against Christ’s enemy? The Bushmaton is as fervent about pushing his Christian beliefs in the Middle East as he is about giving aid to the rich in the US. Being a born-again means your belief system is anti-Muslim. This is unarguable. It is also indefensible. You cannot be a born-again--born-agains believe all who have not confessed Jesus Christ as their savior are going to everlasting hell and deserve to go to everlasting hell--and not be anti-Muslim. The reason born-agains want Israel to prevail over Palestine is so that the Judeo/Christian prophesies will prevail. It has nothing to do with right, wrong or supporting Jews. It is so that Muslims will not control what born-agains believe is their God-given right to control the part of the world where Christianity was born. We are not in Iraq because we want to promote freedom and democracy. We are in Iraq because the White House thought it was a good place to begin its drive toward global supremacy. And into the bargain, the WH wanted to control the oil business in Iraq. Our being in Iraq is economic and political. But in order to get the simple-minded Bushmaton on board (not to mention Bush’s chief speech-writer born-again Michael Gerson, and warmonger-born-again Attorney General John Ashcroft), the prophets in the White House preached to their born-again faction that invading Iraq would drive forward the evangelical far-right conservative agenda to rid the world of the Anti-Christ--Islam. The real political/economic reasons for the US zeal to control the Middle East may not be anti-Muslim. But the powers in the White House are using to their advantage the anti-Muslim prejudice inherent in the born-again belief. Politically, the US is not in Iraq to save Iraq’s soul. But the US is a Christian nation and many Christians believe Muslims are enemies of Christianity and need to be exterminated. When Islam is defeated, then Iraq can emerge as a country worthy of a Christian god. And, Mr. Friedman, although born-agains are tolerating the Jews in the Middle East and the rest of the world, it is only until they can be converted. Jews also are non-believers who will go to hell unless they confess Jesus as their Lord and their Savior. So don’t think you’ve been let off the hook by all those pious, freedom-and-democracy-preaching conservative, evangelical born-again Christians who are out to save the Middle East...unless you plan to carry the cross of Jesus in the foreseeable future. “U.S. foreign policy for the last 15 years has been dominated by an effort to save Muslims-not from tsunamis, but from tyrannies, mostly their own theocratic or autocratic regimes,” Friedman says. The only thing the US and Great Britain has ever wanted to do in Muslim countries for the last 100 years is to replace Muslim theocratic and autocratic regimes with US and British theocratic and autocratic regimes. Pull your head out desert sand, Mr. Friedman. Have a good look at the real world.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

What’s Wrong With the Left Side of Bush’s Face?

Yesterday, the Bushmaton acknowledged that he probably was “too blunt” a couple of times during his first term. But, he said, he got that trait from his mother. During this peculiar confession, all TV news reports showed two clips of Bush. The first was on July 2, 2003 when he said, “Bring ‘em on”, answering anyone who suggested US forces might be attacked for bringing democracy to Iraq. The second was his “Wanted Dead or Alive” remark on September 17, 2001 which stated his druthers regarding Osama Bin Laden. Since Bush seemed to be saying that he might possibly have been wrong to make these low-class comments, we also were shown a clip of Bush during his second debate October 8, 2004 with John Kerry. Kerry asked Bush to name three instances in which he had made a wrong decision, and Bush could not think of one instance. Seeing the sound bites of Bush on July 2, 2003, October 8, 2004 and January 14, 2005 two things were obvious. Most views of Bush were filmed showing the right side of his face. But on all three clips when he was filmed from his left side, the corner of his mouth drooped and the entire left side of his face from his nose to his jaw looked like he’d been given a shot of procaine which is an anesthetic that blocks facial nerves during dental procedures. On January 13, 2002, George W. Bush fell off a couch; on June 13, 2003, George W. Bush fell off a Segway; on May 22, 2004, George W. Bush fell off his bike. We are being lied to about the state of George Bush’s health. Either he’s back on the bottle...which he may be, but that doesn’t account for the partial paralysis of his face. Or he’s had a stroke. These conjectures have been made before. Particularly after photos were displayed of his battered face the day after he supposedly choked on a pretzel, fainted and fell off a couch. But seeing the film clips from July 2, 2003 to yesterday, it’s clear that something is wrong with the nerves and muscle control of the left side of George W. Bush’s face. My money is on the Bushmaton having had his first stroke on January 13, 2002 and that he has had two TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) since that date. There are many reasons why George W. Bush is unfit to govern, but the state of his health looms larger all the time as the biggest reason. Just watch his television appearances. The man is impaired. We all need to acquaint ourselves with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution which deals with a President becoming physically or mentally (or morally) incapable of performing his duties. Of course the question arises, would Cheney be a better US President for the country and for the world than Bush? No, he wouldn’t. But when President Bush is relieved of his duties because he is too ill to perform them (and has been too ill for a long time), at least the Republicans in the United States (the world already knows this) would have to face up to the fact they have been lied to from the get-go by everyone about everything.

Friday, January 14, 2005

They Think We Are Stupid

They--all corporations, all utilities, all world governments, the Bush administration I and II, all TV news programs, all newspapers, all Internet Service Providers, all banks and all cable companies. And maybe they are right. Maybe we are dumber than a bag of dead batteries. This past Wednesday, Verizon’s DSL service (digital subscriber line) melted down in Pennsylvania and Delaware. All Verizon had to do was put out an advisement that a stupid underling had been trying to upgrade Verizon’s software and deleted the service instead. But even though the outage happened at 6:30 AM, Verizon made no announcement whatsoever. DSL users assumed their computers were at fault and tried to make their own repairs. When Verizon did admit they were at fault they sent out an announcement that they were “experiencing difficulties” and the service would be up and running shortly. “Shortly” was 12 hours later. What does Verizon, or any corporation or government entity for that matter, think will happen if they tell the truth? Do they think we will love them less? Newsflash to all corporations, all news groups, all governments: WE DO NOT LOVE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. If you tell us the truth, we can’t think less of you than we already do. We have the least possible regard for all of you on your best day. Everytime we get suckered into believing a piece of PR hype, such as, “the problem will be fixed shortly”, only after hours and hours do we remember that the phrase is baloney. Why do we believe the lies? Dumb no doubt plays a role. But it’s also because understanding that a faceless corporation or government has lied to us, can only lead to the conclusion so favored by lawyers: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus--false in one thing, false in all. As a nation, we have a fairly positive outlook, we don’t want to think we are being lied to by everyone all the time. Some lies some of the time, is the policy that has worked in the past. However, the BushMen showed that Americans will buy into horrendous lies and swallow outrageous PR hype during times of upheaval, and other powerful entities in the world--corporations, utilities, banks, news groups, etc.--are having success using the WH ploy. If Americans are kept afraid, they can be sold anything by anyone. The White House now is saying there never were any WMDs, but they thought there were and that’s why we went to war. No they didn’t think there were WMDs. They thought we would buy the lie that there were WMDs. There is documentation that the Bush administration was told early on there were no WMDs. The WH went to war because they wanted to go to war. Armstrong Williams, who received $240,000 from the GOP to hype the White House “No Child Left Behind” program on-air and in print says he’s a fledgling in the news game and didn’t know that being paid to support a government program was wrong. Liar, liar, pants on fire. He well knew. As the New York Times Frank Rich reported on January 13th, “Mr. Williams has spent an undue amount of time appearing as a media ethicist on both CNN and the cable news networks of NBC”. Verizon knew they screwed up immediately after their DSL service went down but they left subscribers to twist in the wind. The MSM knew our war in Iraq was based on a false premise but they are in the GOP’s back pocket so they wouldn’t tell the truth. CNN knows Bob Novak is a slimeball guilty of telling lies about the CIA’s Valerie Plame and John Kerry’s Viet Nam record, but CNN won’t hold his feet to the fire. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is an MD who said AIDs can be transmitted by tears and sweat. He admitted on Meet the Press that AIDs cannot be transmitted in this way. Here’s what it boils down to. The 48% of the American voters who voted for John Kerry know everyone and his grandmother is lying to us all the time. Say 10% of Republican voters have now become enlightened because the BushMen are such egregious assholes. That’s 58% of American voters know everyone is lying to us all the time. The Democrats do not have to become more like Republicans. The Democrats do not have to kiss the ass of the born-again faction. The Democrats do not have to learn how to be sleazier and play more dirty tricks than the GOP. Democrats could probably just sit and wait for the Republican policy of lying and deceit to fall apart. But while waiting for the inevitable, Democrats need to show that Americans want to know the truth. That shouldn’t be difficult. Americans hate being lied to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

George W. Bush Is Kidding, Right?

Monday, the Bushmaton said the United States would remain committed to tsunami-recovering nations over the long term. But he asked Americans not to "shortchange" the poor at home and abroad by letting their contributions to tsunami relief replace their giving to other parts of the world. George Screw-Everyone-But-the-Rich Bush had the balls to tell Americans not to shortchange the poor? George Bush and the White House BushMen have cut programs benefitting children, have given tax cuts which only benefit the rich, are at this very minute telling lies to the nation about Social Security in order to sell their privatizing scheme which would make life a living hell for the elderly poor, they have instituted a drug plan which penalizes the middle class, and they are telling Americans not to shortchange the poor? The Bush administration gives as little as possible to alleviate (not cure, just alleviate) the AIDs epidemic in Africa. The Bush administration defends drug companies that gouge the destitute in Africa by charging exorbitant prices ($1 a dose is exorbitant for most Africans) for drugs that would save children from dying of malaria. The Bush administration has chosen to turn its back on the genocide in Sudan. The Bush administration had to be shamed into finally forking over a pitiful $350 mil toward the tsunami relief effort. And this fascist puppet President of the United States has the nerve to tell Americans not to shortchange the poor? The BushMen have shortchanged our soldiers in Iraq by not giving them proper equipment, by not having anything like a plan or enough men to fight their unnecessary war. There isn’t a solitary person in the world, at home or abroad, that the BushMen have not shortchanged. And yet, George W. Bush has the gall and effrontery to stand before the world and tell Americans not to shortchange the poor at home and abroad. If the Bushmaton weren’t so self-absorbed, psychologically unstable and terminally ignorant, one would wonder if he were laughing up his sleeve when telling Americans not to shortchange the poor. But his grandiose delusions don’t allow for introspection or reflection. George W. Bush has slipped into his own Wonderland where he is King and his twaddle makes sense.

Monday, January 10, 2005

TV Drama,“Boston Legal”, Tells Truth Re Sudan

There is something so weird and unsettling about a TV law-firm drama nailing the US for inaction in Sudan, Africa. Last night, “Boston Legal” was spot-on re the US noninvolvement in the atrocities occurring in Sudan. But wouldn’t you think the same information, the same issues, the same outrage would be coming out of our newspapers and TV news programs? Wouldn’t you think our MSM would be demanding that the US get involved? “Boston Legal” is exec-produced and written by David E. Kelley, who has more writing credits to his name than I have room to list. “The Practice”, “Ally McBeal” and “LA Law” are a few of his high-profile shows. All of these dramas including “Boston Legal” have quirky, jaw-dropping, eye-popping, hilarious and credibility-stretching plot lines. And yet, last night, when Candice Bergen was introduced as the newest member of the cast--Shirley Schmidt, a left-leaning liberal partner in the Crane Poole Schmidt law firm--in a segment called “Schmidt Happens”, her turn in defending a Sudanese native suing the US government told more plain honest facts than you will read in our hallowed MSM. The facts of the atrocities which are occurring in Sudan cannot be disputed. And, sadly, it also cannot be disputed that a suit such as the Sudanese man wanted to bring against the United States would go nowhere. But seeing the plot played out where a government official defended our inaction, and hearing the reasons why the US should intervene and probably won’t, again made me ashamed to have George W. Bush represent the United States in the world. By the way, since the newspapers and TV news have decided that the only thing worthy of our attention is all-day-all-night-24-hours-a-day blanket reports on tsunami victims, do not forget that as of today, 1356 American soldiers have been killed in the Bushmaton’s unnecessry war in Iraq.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

More Spin...the Indictment Game

Yesterday the Justice Department indicted David Rosen, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's former finance director, on charges that he filed fictitious reports re a Hollywood fund-raiser for Senator Clinton. The indictment says he misstated the amount of the contributions. Last September, a Texas grand jury indicted three of Republican House Majority leader Tom DeLay's political associates on charges of using a political action committee to illegally collect corporate donations and to funnel them to Texas legislative races. The group, Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, is closely associated with DeLay. DeLay says he has not acted improperly. What are the chances that Rosen’s indictment is a quid for the DeLay quo? And what are the chances the Rosen indictment is going to get as much play as the DeLay charges? It has been alleged that Rosen deliberately understated the Hollywood fund-raising costs so it would have more money to spend on Senator Clinton’s campaign. The indictment says the fund-raiser cost more than $1.2 million, but that Rosen reported contributions of $400,000. Okay...that’s the quid. Here’s the quo: DeLay’s illegal fund-raising in Texas gave Republicans the majority they needed to redistrict the congressional delegation which produced a swing of five more GOP congressmen from Texas. DeLay got the Republican Ethics committee to change its rules to state that an indicted legislator could keep his post even though he had been indicted for malfeasance. Will Rosen go jail? He could. Will DeLay go to jail? Not in a million years. Last week when DeLay was encouraged to rethink the Republican Ethics Committee rule change that benefitted him, the turn-around no doubt came at the price of a promise he would not be indicted. The big problem for Republicans is that although they can keep on engaging in reprehensible behavior for the foreseeable future because they have the power in the Senate and the House to do so, their shenanigans will eventually reach the tipping point. It happened to Senator Joseph McCarthy. It happened to Nixon. It’s a bad day for the Republican party when they can’t find a Democrat with flaws that even comes close to the criminal behavior of their majority leader. It’s a bad day for the Republican party when even a tsunami can’t wash away the stink coming out of the White House

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Prez Donates $10,000 to Tsunami Victims

The banner headlines around the world trumpeting the Bush donation emphasize that the donation came from Bush’s “own money”, or from his “personal funds”, or “from his own pocket”. I would hope so. After making so much noise urging Americans “to send cash donations to reliable charities to help those affected by the disaster”, it would not look good for the Prez to pull a few miscellaneous bucks out of a WH slush fund to donate in his name. Press Secretary Scott McClellan wouldn’t say exactly which organizations the Bush donation favored except that “he chose groups listed in the USA Freedom Corps Web site” and that “the checks were mailed Wednesday”. Bloggers on the Japan Today site are having a discussion about whether Bush is filthy rich or just rich, or maybe not even rich at all since he took a pay cut to be US President. As I’ve mentioned before, according to the Wall Street Journal, George W. and Laura Bush had an income totaling $822,126 last year, and their net worth is between $7.7 and $18.9 million. How much the President and Mrs. President donate to charities, and whether they tithe (give 10% of their income as outlined in the Bible) isn’t as interesting as how the sum of $10,000 was decided on. With that much money in their personal coffer, it would be prudent for the Bushes to give a chunk, a big chunk, to charities--it’s deductible. But why $10,000? Wouldn’t $100,000 look better when spread out over many organizations? It probably was a dilemma wrangled over for many hours by the WH wise guys. But since the Bushmaton is a man of the people, a regular guy, a virtual Joe Six-pack in a suit (albeit badly tailored according to the bulge apologists), then 10,000 smackeroos is a sum the Nascar crowd can understand. And $10,000 it is. It’s such a ticklish thing, deciding these issues. At first the freepers were outraged at the suggestion it would have been a good political ploy for the WH to give lots and lots of money to aid the tsunami victims, since many of the affected people were Muslims. How dare anyone suggest that this disaster be politicized, the freepers cried. But now Colin Powell is saying that aiding Muslims shows what a good and upright and ecumenical nation we are. So now politicizing the tsunami is good, right and proper. And we may see the President’s donation upped, depending on what the press does with the information. If it’s found the nation and the world can handle the idea that President Joe Six-Pack is filthy rich, then the donation may be upped a lot. I mean, it’s all about spin, isn’t it? As of today, 1342 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. That’s being spun, if only by ramping up the tsunami horror and getting Iraq off column one. The US is stingy/isn’t stingy. That’s being spun as we speak. The Republicans are thugs who have turned the Ethics Committee into the Boys in the Back Room. That’s definitely spinnable. Politics as usual...that sort of thing. The Republicans are starting to hate Bush as much as the rest of the world hates him. That’s a tough one. Got any thoughts on that, Mr. Rove?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Worst Devastation Colin Powell Has Ever Seen

"In more than 40 years in the military and as a high-level government official, I've been in war and I've been through a number of hurricanes, tornadoes and other relief operations, but I have never seen anything like this," Secretary of State Colin Powell said after flying over Banda Aceh. Interesting. New York Times Op/Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote this morning that more than 165,000 people die of malaria every month, most of them children and most of them in Africa. That makes two million people (mostly children) who will die of malaria this year. Although it may be 3,000,000, we really don’t know the exact number. To save money, “African children are given medicines that cost only 5 cents a dose but aren't very effective,” Kristof said. “The medicine that would actually save their lives is unaffordable, at $1 a dose.” Where are Powell and wannabe-tagalong-Jeb Bush when Africa needs them? In 2001, Powell went to Africa and strutted around in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe preaching to the poor about democracy and calling his aides “troops” like the two-bit general he is. He saw the devastation wrought by AIDS then. But when the people pleaded with him to help make drugs available to Africans, he defended drug companies’ right to make a profit. “One has to remember that an investment is made to produce these drugs, to do the research. And if you don't have some return on that investment pharmaceutical companies won't do it,” Powell explained to reporters. At that time, the UN had set the figure needed to fight AIDS in Africa at $10 billion. But the rich and powerful US government contributed $200 million. And our compassionate Secretary of State Colin Powell said, “It’s $200 million more than there was the day before.” Kristof says Americans give 15 cents per day per person in official development assistance to poor countries and that the average American spends four times that on soft drinks daily. We not only are stingy, we are hypocrites. We weep and moan and show our full-blown caring bleeding-heart face to the world for a week or two after a disaster. Then we go back to our fuck-you everyday worlds and conveniently forget the world’s needy who die from neglect day-in-day-out twenty-four-seven 365 days a year. So what is Jeb Bush doing trotting after has-been ass-kisser Colin Powell like a dutiful go-fer? It makes no sense. As an Associated Press article reported yesterday, Jeb Bush can’t possibly be thinking of running for Prez in 2008...the US is in no mood for another Bush in the White House. But the White House needs to provide some kind of Bush presence at the scene of the worst natural disaster in 100 years. And since the President is busy getting revved-up for his inauguration parties, Governor Jeb, who is the worst disaster to have hit Florida in a hundred years, got the nod.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

As Many as 139,000 Heart Attacks Linked to Vioxx

Last November Dr. David Graham, a drug monitor who had been with the FDA for 20 years, blew the whistle on the FDA’s policies of protecting drug manufacturers instead of the public. The FDA suppressed Graham’s report on his findings regarding Vioxx and an FDA official even sent e-mail messages to Lancet, a medical journal, to attempt to convince the journal not to publish the data. Yesterday, the FDA belatedly gave permission for Graham to publish his research. However, the FDA denies Graham’s allegations. Graham says as many as 139,000 heart attacks were linked to the use of Vioxx. And as many as 40% (55,600) of those heart attacks were fatal. Interesting numbers to ponder: Deaths from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean may reach 150,000. Before the US was shamed into upping its aid to $350 mil, the White House decided that giving aid in the amount of $35 mil would be plenty. The Bush administration is spending $40 mil on its inauguration parities on January 20. The cost of the US occupation of Iraq is $350 mil every 38 hours. As of yesterday, 1337 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. But back to Dr. Graham’s scathing report on Vioxx which the FDA tried to hush up. The deaths of as many as 55,600 people were due to the greed of pharmaceutical companies protected by the federal Food and Drug Administration. And I don’t hear anyone in any part of the world, particularly the United Stated mounting a campaign to give aid to the families of these people. I certainly believe the tsunami survivors and victims’ families deserve as much aid and relief as the world can send. But let us not lose sight of the acts of aggression, neglect, and malfeasance being committed by the Bush administration which are causing death and destruction. Deaths due to FDA blunders and the GOP war in Iraq could have been avoided. It would be a little naive to suppose that the GOP’s change of heart last night regarding proposed Ethics Committee changes was due to Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert having crises of conscience. The blatant attempts to change ethics rules to allow a thug like DeLay to remain in his post even if indicted simply was not working in the Republicans’ favor. It’s probable the WH made a devil’s pact with DeLay that he would not be indicted if he pretended to be behind the change in tactics. But even this small concession that public opinion matters is an indication that the GOP’s use of mob tactics to control Congress is a bad idea. That the FDA is allowing Dr. Graham to publish his findings shows that protecting favored industries is not winning converts for the GOP. That the Bush administration finally unlocked its money vaults to give a larger pittance than the original pittance to the victims in South Asia also shows that public opinion can even make Republicans flip their policy flops. So will the WH stand firm on killing our soldiers in Iraq so that the Bushmaton won’t have to admit he was wrong? Don’t count on it.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Do People Buy the White House Crappola?

The BushMen have banked their political lives on the premise that Americans are stupid. H.L. Mencken said, “No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” Which means that the people who voted for George W. Bush may actually believe the White House moonshine. But the rest of the world isn’t buying it. December 31, 2004-The Star,Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, “Speaking publicly for the first time since Sunday’s tsunami...Bush said the initial US pledge of US $35mil in direct financial aid was “only the beginning of our help”...Bush’s remarks followed several days of criticism that the United States had not been as swift or as generous as other countries in its response...Bush was criticised for not taking a break from his vacation until Wednesday to address the issue in person and for offering only US$15mil in assistance initially...The administration was also pressed to explain the timing and amount of its relief pledge...The current US aid is also significantly lower than in other recent natural disasters...After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, when about 9,000 people were killed and three million left homeless in Central America, the United States provided US$988mil in relief assistance.”  January 1, 2005-Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia “Bush increases tsunami aid tenfold...President Bush, under pressure over the pace and scale of American aid to Asian tsunami victims, abruptly raised the US contribution to $US350 million on Friday, 10 times the amount pledged just two days ago...The increased assistance was only the latest step of the Bush administration and Congress to bolster America's contribution to relief efforts amid criticism that its initial response had been slow and miserly...But the larger number did not insulate the Bush administration from critics...Critics quickly compared the dollar sum to $US13.6 billion in aid for hurricane-battered US states that Congress passed speedily in the run-up to last month's US elections.” Daily Kos put the $350 million figure in perspective on December 31st when Kos wrote, “While $350 million sounds like a lot of money (and it is), in fact, it's the cost of 38 hours of operation in Iraq.” It’s anybody’s guess why Colin Powell is allowing himself to be treated like the White House errand boy. He offered to stay on as Secretary of State and was told, No thanks, we prefer someone totally unprepared and incompetent for the job, we prefer Condi Rice. Why Powell is once again running from TV show to TV show to defend White House errors in judgment is a mystery. Why the Secretary of State of the United States meekly allowed himself to be ordered to drop the Times Square ball New Years Eve is an even bigger mystery. But the biggest puzzlement is: Why is Colin Powell sitting still for pissant Florida Governor Jeb Bush to accompany him to Indonesia and Sri Lanka? Jeb Bush lived through a few hurricanes in Florida. He has no more tsunami expertise than the editor of the Tinytown News has the expertise to run The Washington Post. The Amen Corner of the GOP may think it’s fine for the WH to heap scorn on some of their best men like Colin Powell, Paul O’Neill, and John McCain. And the gullible right-wing may believe the silly White House press releases. But the rest of the world, including 50% of the American public, doesn’t believe a word the BushMen say.