Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why Wasn't Robert Novak Threatened With Jail?

Now We Know. Time's up, Judge Thomas F. Hogan of New York's Federal District Court said in effect today. Hogan will put Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper in jail in one week if they don't give the grand jury the names of their sources. Last October, Judge Hogan said the two reporters would be jailed up to 18 months (or until the grand jury completes its work) for not revealing confidential sources. Judith Miller of the NYT and Matthew Cooper of Time mag said they'd rather go to jail than name names. This whole firestorm started when former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson disputed a statement made by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech. Bush said Iraq had tried to buy yellow cake (an ore that is rich in uranium) in Africa. Wilson said he'd been sent to Africa by the CIA the year before and found that Iraq had not tried to buy the nuclear material. Wilson published an article in the NYT on July 6, 2003 stating his position. Eight days after Wilson's article, syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak reported that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was "an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." Novak said two senior administration officials gave him the information. Cooper wrote an article about Plame that appeared in Time mag after Novak outed her. Miller wrote an article for the NYT but it was never published. The New York grand jury is investigating the identities of the senior officials who gave info to Novak, Miller and Cooper. Patrick J. Fitzgerald is the special prosecutor on the case. Miller and Cooper said through their lawyers today that they would elect to go to jail rather than rat out their sources. Judge Hogan says the grand jury will be finished with its investigation in 120 days, so the most the reporters would be in jail would be for 4 months, not 18 months. However, everyone has been wondering why Novak emerged unscathed. The NYT reported very clearly this morning the reason Novak isn't going to jail: “Since Mr. Novak appears not to be facing jail time, he presumably supplied information to Mr. Fitzgerald. It is not clear why that did not conclude the investigation. Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Novak have consistently declined to discuss the matter.” This sleazy, unprincipled, craven, loud-mouth, neocon stooge, Robert Novak, not only put Plame in jeopardy by divulging her undercover status, but then without batting an eye, told Fitzgerald and Co. who his informants were. Now that we know for sure that Novak is a low-life lying fink and coward, the next question is: Since Novak immediately rolled over and named names, why did Fitzgerald demand Cooper and Miller's sources?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Prez Bush Suits Up as Cheerleader Again

Trouble was, during Bush's 30-minute Sis Boom Bah speech last night no one got fired up. The Fort Bragg, North Carolina soldiers who were used as props and back drops sat stoically silent until one of the White House advance men started to applaud and the soldiers had to join in or be reprimanded. Forcing the soldiers to applaud was such a dud it was tried only once during the speech. The President's ineptitude at extemporaneous speech-making is well known. But he's always been able to flawlessly read speeches from teleprompters. Or at least repeat the words piped into his earpiece. But last night he faltered three times and had to restart or rephrase sentences. Perhaps even blockheaded, ignorant, insensitive, over-medicated and self-absorbed George W. Bush felt embarrassed about the nonsense he was spewing in front of military men who knew it was bullshit. Bush said September 11th five times, using the attack on the World Trade Center to bolster his rhetoric in the same way he was using Fort Bragg as a stage set. He said fighting terrorism in Iraq has made us safer since 9/11. "We are fighting against men with blind hatred...they are trying to shake our will in Iraq - just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail," the Prez said. George W. Bush is such a mindless tool of the White House that he may actually believe this lie. But the WTC attack had nothing to do with Iraq. And Iraq only became a breeding ground for terrorists after we illegally invaded it. A few facts of history must be reviewed. Fifteen of the 19 September 11th hijackers were Saudis. The Bush family has been best-buds with the Saudi royal family and the bin Laden family for years. George Tenet (ex-CIA chief) saw to it that the Saudis who happened to be in the US on September 11, 2001 were given secret safe passage out of the US. So for President George W. Bush to keep implying that Iraqi terrorists spawned the 9/11 atack is re-writing history at its worst. Our invasion of Iraq has morphed from a pre-emptive strike against a country the US feared might attack us into a red-white-and-blue crusade to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East, and now it's become a fight against terrorism to insure that Ameicans are safe. Why did terrorists attack the World Trade Center? I surely don't know, and the true story may never be known. What is certain is that the GOP's greed for Middle East oil, the Bush family's ties to the Saudi Royal family and the bin Ladens, GHWBush's having been head of the CIA, his using Saddam Hussein as a paid assassin and his Gulf War in 1991 had more to do with the attack on the World Trade Center than any threat from Iraq. You want to blame somebody for the mess we're in? Blame the Bush clan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Let's Get Something Straight…

…”this kind of thing” definitely does happen in small towns and always has. As the BTK killing spree of Dennis Rader in Kansas started to become known, the familiar phrase was heard from everyone who lived near his hometown, Park City, a Wichita suburb. And news anchors picked up on it, as usual. The litany never varies when people are interviewed after a horrendous event in a small town. “This is a quiet town…we're respectable people…we were so shocked…this kind of thing doesn't happen here…that's why we moved from the city.” And then the reporter says the townspeople always left their doors unlocked, that they trusted everyone, but no more, alas. So goes the myth about small towns. The one true thing about the small Illinois town I lived in, is that we did leave our doors unlocked. Three thousand people lived in my hometown. It was smack in the middle of cornfields. It was a quiet town. A very pretty town and it still is. It's a typical midwestern town. My hometown was 99% Republican. But I always suspected my mother was a Democrat. She never said so directly but she refused to vote in primaries where she would have to own up to her political preference. There were ten churches in my little community. They were all packed on Sunday mornings. However, for all the quiet, pious, upright, forthright teaching going on, stuff happened. During the 20 years I called this town home back in the 40's and 50's, the stuff included incest, molestation of children, shootings, and gay highschoolers. The newspaper editor contracted syphilis when the circus came to town, there were pregnancies in high school, some ended in abortion, football players got drunk after games, the Catholic priest and his housekeeper openly lived as man and wife for 25 years, two boys in my class in high school dated and slept with two female teachers, a respected matron was put on probation for prostitution, and my uncle smuggled cocaine in his wooden leg. Crimes and misdemeanors have not suddenly appeared in rural communities. Ask your grandmothers if you don't believe me. The new wrinkle is that the bad stuff is not being kept secret anymore. There never was a simpler time. There never was a time of innocence. And the reason is that towns, big and little, are populated by human beings. Human beings are the same all over. And they have not changed in 6,000 years, if the Old Testament is a true testament of human shenanigans. Five thousand church-goers will be as adulterous, murderous and thieving as five-thousand unchurched citizens. Five thousand yokels will be as lustful, immoral and sinful as five thousand city folks. Only one thing has changed, people lock their doors now. Why? Because they believe another myth: a locked door will protect them from humans acting like humans. It won't.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Three Interesting Facts

1. China Owns Us The White House blusters about new defense programs, about new nuclear programs, hints at the possibility the US will attack Iran or any country having the effrontery to disagree with us. And yet, our military is so weak we can't defeat a country like Iraq-which, it should be noted, we picked to attack because it was weak and vulnerable. But the most awkward truth about the helpless state of the United States is that we are owned by China. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has an eye-popping column today reporting on the US indebtedness to China. “Power usually ends up in the hands of those who hold the purse strings", Krugman says. “America, which imports far more than it exports, has been living for years on borrowed funds, and lately China has been buying many of our I.O.U.'s. Until now, the Chinese have mainly invested in U.S. government bonds. But bonds yield neither a high rate of return nor control over how the money is spent…So it was predictable that, sooner or later, the Chinese would stop buying so many dollar bonds. Either they would stop buying American I.O.U.'s altogether, causing a plunge in the dollar, or they would stop being satisfied with the role of passive financiers, and demand the power that comes with ownership. And we should be relieved that at least for now the Chinese aren't dumping their dollars; they're using them to buy American companies.” China is buying Maytag and is trying to buy Unocal. Krugman is not bothered by the sale of a quintessential American company like Maytag. He says, “Although Maytag is a piece of American business history, it isn't a prestige buy for Haier, the Chinese appliance manufacturer. Instead, it's a reasonable way to acquire a brand name and a distribution network to serve Haier's growing manufacturing capability.” Krugman says Maytag stockholders will gain from the sale, and fewer American workers will be dumped than if Maytag stayed in the USA. But Unocal is a different matter. Krugman says Unocal is “exactly the kind of company the Chinese government might want to control if it envisions a sort of "great game" in which major economic powers scramble for access to far-flung oil and natural gas reserves. (Buying a company is a lot cheaper, in lives and money, than invading an oil-producing country.) So the Unocal story gains extra resonance from the latest surge in oil prices.” As WaPo recently put it, “the US dollar is now at the mercy of Asian governments." That would come as a great surprise to the Bush-enamored uninformed far-right zealots who reside in the red states and idiotly believe the United States is its own master and is the most powerful nation on the planet. Krugman ended his column by saying, "If it were up to me, I'd block the Chinese bid for Unocal. But it would be a lot easier to take that position if the United States weren't so dependent on China right now, not just to buy our I.O.U.'s, but to help us deal with North Korea now that our military is bogged down in Iraq." 2. On June 13, 1971 the NYT started publishing the Pentagon Papers (the secret history of the Vietnam War). WaPo began publishing the papers that week. In order to find dirt on Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the papers, the “plumbers” burglarized Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office on September 3, 1971, which started the whole Watergate debacle, ending in Nixon's resignation on August 8, 1974. 3. The Downing Street Memos are every bit as important as the Pentagon Papers.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Real Randy Cunningham's (R-CA) Quote

I put out an APB and asked anyone who had tivo'd The Daily Show last Thursday to report exactly what Congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA) said re amending the Constitution to ban flag burning. An eagle-eyed reader tells me that she viewed the film clip, and this is what Cunningham said: "Ask the police and fire that stood on top of the World Trade Center. Ask them and they will tell you, pass this amendment." She also said, referring to my claiming that his words didn't synch with the way his mouth moved, “that's what I heard and those are the words I saw pass his lips.” And I thank this reader very much for clearing this up. Now, the quote is simpleminded. First, no policemen or firefighters stood on top of the World Trade Center after the attack. And second, who is Randy Cunningham to presume to speak for the NYFD and NYPD? But the real point is, how come there are so many versions of this silly quote? When words are put within quotation marks, they supposedly are the exact words that were spoken. Associated Press reported the quote this way: "Ask the men and women who stood on top of the Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment." CNN used AP's quote but expanded on “Trade Center” : "Ask the men and women who stood on top of the [World] Trade Center," said Rep. Randy [Duke] Cunningham, R-California. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment." The Moderate Voice used the AP quote, "Ask the men and women who stood on top of the Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment." Centerfield, A Weblog of Centrist Voices in American Politics reported that these were Cunningham's words: “Ask the men and women at Walter Reed or Bethesda. Ask the police and fire(fighters) that stood on top of the Trade Center. Ask them and they will tell you: 'Help pass this amendment.'” But it's important to note that all the writers kept their version of Cunningham's words within quotation marks. The more stupid the speaker, the more journalists will try to make them sound intelligent. It's an occupational hazard. Writers cannot help creating simple declarative sentences that make sense. Fine. But amending quotes to make them sound better, no matter how small the amendment, is wrong. The quotation marks should be removed when a writer changes the exact words in any way. If writers are assisting an inarticulate and no-account Congressman like Randy “Duke” Cunningham to sound less like the boob he is, we can only imagine what they are doing for George W. Bush when he speaks off-the-cuff.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Film Clip of Randy Duke Cunningham

Did any of you out there Tivo The Daily Show Thursday night June 23rd? I don't Tivo. But when I watched the film clip of Congressmen Randy Cunningham's stupid statement about flag burning, I swear it had been altered. By whom, I have no idea. On the clip, Cunningham says (but his mouth is out of synch) “Ask the brave firemen and policemen on top of the World Trade Center”. And yet, the quote that was all over the Net Thursday morning (Daily Kos and CNN) reported that he said, “Ask the men and women on top of the World Trade Center”. Was I hallucinating? Check it out for me. In any case, getting back to The Daily Show Thursday night. Democratic National Convention Chairman Howard Dean was Stewart's guest. When Dean was vague about what the Democrats actually plan to DO with regard to fixing the mess the GOP has put us in, Stewart had a wonderful suggestion. Every day when the White House makes a statement about its plans on any specific issue, the Democrats should publish a detailed account of what the Democrat Party would do if it were in power. It's the best Idea I've heard so far. We should let the country and the world know where we stand. Howard Dean said he would like to appoint Jon Stewart as Secretary of State of a Democrat Shadow Government. Also a very good idea. For God sake, let's TAKE A STAND and publicly state NOW how the Democrat Party would proceed if we occupied the White House.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Flagburning Non-Issue

Acting as a cheerleader for a bill to amend the US Constitution to ban flagburning, Congressman Randy (Duke) Cunningham (R-CA) made a monumentally silly and offensive comment yesterday--par for the course for Cunningham. ''Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center,'' Cunningham said. ''Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment.'' One assumes Cunningham means those who died in the 9/11 attack and not the people who patronized the Windows on the World restaurant atop the WTC. What a moronic statement. Is Cunningham implying that he has polled the dead and we should do likewise and that he now is their spokesman? The final count of those who died in the WTC attack is 2,749. Is Cunningham saying that these victims have turned into mindless zealots beyond the grave? I have never believed the American flag, which is merely a symbol of the USA, is in need of constitutional protection. No war has ever caused me to believe that the Constitution should be changed to protect the flag. And it's offensive that Cunningham is saying that had I been killed in the WTC attack, I would now, having come to my eternal reward, appoint him as my intercessor on earth to demand that the Senate amend the constitution re flag burning. This push to amend the Constitution to ban desecration of the flag so close to July 4th is simply another GOP attempt to turn attention away from the real issues plaguing the Bush administration: 1) The war in Iraq is a disaster 2) The US army can't bribe, intimidate, or kidnap new recruits. 3) The public wants the WH to pull our troops out of Iraq. 4) The GOP Social Security reform has tanked. 5) President Bush's approval ratings have tanked. 6) The economy has tanked. 7) Thanks to the Bush administration, respect for the US has tanked. And President Bush is showing increasing signs of being mentally unstable and over-medicated. What to do? Trot out the old Amend the Constitution and Save Our Flag issue. It's pure gold because it cranks up both pro- and con-responses. And when people object to it, they can be called traitors. But, as usual the GOP doesn't know when to quit. Congressman Cunningham, who said he would have no problem with lining up Vietnam protesters and shooting them, has polled the dead. California Democrats had best keep an eye on Cunningham. He may try to claim those 2,749 votes as his constituents.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dear Tom Friedman:

Why do you depict George W. Bush as though he has a functioning brain? Your Op/Ed column in this morning's NYT, “Run Dick Run” credits George Bush with making policies, with making decisions and with being a leader. The title refers to the fact that you feel George W. Bush's main problem is that he has no heir apparent (as in, Cheney is not going to run in 2008) and therefore George W. seems aimless. I assume you saw the news clips of President Bush yesterday in a press conference with Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker the current EU president (a politician from Luxembourg), the current EU commission president Jose Manuel Barroso (a politician from Portugal) and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana (a politician from Spain who sided with Colin Powell when Powell lied to the UN). They were in Washington for annual talks. During the press conference, President Bush made inappropriate jokes and snide remarks and laughed and snickered and looked like a fool. You saw that, didn't you, Mr. Friedman? A Q&A period followed the politician's canned remarks. One questioner directed this query to President Bush: “President, we were told that you planned to sharpen your focus on Iraq. Why did this become necessary? And given the recent surge in violence, do you agree with Vice President Dick Cheney's assessment that the insurgency is in its last throes?” Bush laughed. Yes, he openly laughed and grinned and mugged while Barroso cringed. You watched that, didn't you Mr. Friedman? Then Bush pulled himself together and said: “I think about Iraq every day -- every single day. Because I understand we have troops in harm's way and I understand how dangerous it is there. And the reason it's dangerous is because there's these cold- blooded killers that will kill Americans or kill innocent Iraqis in order to try to drive us out of Iraq. I spoke to our commanders today -- Commander Abizaid today and will be speaking to General Casey here this week, getting an assessment as to how we're proceeding. We're making progress toward the goal, which is, on the one hand, a political process moving forward in Iraq and, on the other hand, the Iraqis capable of defending themselves. And the report from the field is that, while it's tough, more and more Iraqis are becoming battle-hardened and trained to defend themselves. And that's exactly the strategy that's going to work. And it is going to work. And we will complete this mission for the sake of world peace. And you just heard, the E.U. is willing to host this conference with the United States in order to help this new democracy move forward. And the reason why is, many countries understand that freedom in the heart of the Middle East will make this world more peaceful. And so, you know, I think about this every day -- every single day. And I will continue thinking about it, because I understand we've got kids in harm's way. And I worry about their families. And, obviously, any time there's a death, I grieve. But I want those families to know, one, we're not going to leave them -- not going to allow their mission to go in vain; and two, we will complete the mission and the world will be better off for it.” These are the remarks of an idiot, Tom Friedman. And yet you write your articles depicting George W. Bush as though he is a man who is leading our country. President Bush answers a serious question about Iraq by saying he “thinks about it every day…every single day”? He thinks about it? That's the answer of a man who has no power or clout whatsoever. That's the answer of a man who is not even in the loop. Everyone else in the White House makes decisions and acts. George W. Bush is not even consulted. George W. Bush simply thinks about Iraq every day. And I would certainly hope he thinks about it! Driven by his egomania and narcissistic personality disorder, George W. Bush has allowed the real movers and shakers in the White House to put his face on an illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq. So I would hope he thinks about it. Because, as of yesterday, the war in Iraq has murdeered 1726 American soldiers. But can George W. Bush DO something about it, Tom Friedman? Of course he can't. When are you journalists going to tell the people who really is running the country?

Monday, June 20, 2005

American Airlines Flight 77, September 11, 2001

From CNN's Chronology of Terror: “9:43 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.” On October 12, 2001, Lyric Wallwork Winik (great name and it's for real) interviewed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for “Parade”, the little insert mag that is enclosed in many mainstream Sunday newspapers. She asked an embarrassing question. It was so embarrassing and unexpected in fact, that Rumsfeld answered it. “How did a war targeting civilians arrive on our homeland with seemingly no warning?" Winik asked. "There were lots of warnings," Rumsfeld answered. He went on to explain that the US had been warned and the Defense Department and the intelligence community couldn't figure the warnings out. It was up to the FBI, state law enforcement and local police to uncover and prevent the worst terrorist attack in US history, Rumsfeld said. Then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said, "It is a truth that a terrorist can attack any time, any place, using any technique and it's physically impossible to defend at every time and every place against every conceivable technique. Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filled with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center. The only way to deal with this problem is by taking the battle to the terrorists, wherever they are, and dealing with them." Missiles? What missiles? That's just one of the questions that comes up when you read the actual timelines and eye-witness reports re the 9/11 attack that are available on the net. Flight 77 had 58 passengers and a flight crew of four. It was a big Boeing 757-200. What happened to the bodies? What happened to the wreckage? What happened to the 11,489 gallons of fuel that a Boeing 757 carries which would have splattered everywhere and everywhichway? Why was the hole that the plane made when it crashed into the side of the Pentagon so small? How come one of the alleged hijackers survived and is alive and well? And…WHAT MISSILES? Now that the mainstream media has apparently come to the conclusion that the Bush administration is so impotent that it can't do any real damage to newspapers that tell the truth, it's time for journalists to investigate the September 11th attack. There's too much evidence that the White House has engaged in some “Wag the Dog” fakery regarding the info it released to the public. And, the Bush administration being what it is, they did their fakery on the cheap. Questions are being asked. And since the Bush administration's producers of fake news are incompetent and the Pentagon didn't pay for professional-looking bogus productions or good forgers, the answers are available to any journalist who wants to find them. Investigating exactly what slammed into the Pentagon is a start. Because it's certainly beginning to look like it wasn't a Boeing 757. And since Rumsfeld said “missiles”…it looks a lot like it was a missile. And that brings up the question: What happened to the real Boeing 757 and its passengers and crew? Me…I have no idea what the real story is. But the baloney we've been told doesn't add up. Why would the White House lie regarding ANYTHING about 9/11? And if they've lied about Flight 77, have they lied about EVERYTHING?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Condi Rice, the Worst Possible Diplomat

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in the West Bank yesterday to help negotiate a peaceful withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip in Palestine. This morning the New York Times described her demeanor this way: “The Israeli "disengagement" - the withdrawal of 9,000 settlers from Gaza and 800 from four settlements in the West Bank - is to begin in mid-August, and there was impatience in Ms. Rice's voice as she implored the Palestinians and Israelis to act on the points of contention, largely the status of the Israeli-owned houses, greenhouses, public facilities and other infrastructure to be left behind. Also in dispute are the Gaza crossing points.” Condi is impatient. We all know how Condi looks when she's impatient-like a frustrated pursed-lipped schoolmarm talking to unruly third graders. I'm sure that attitude went down well, coming from a Bush administration female fascist flunky and directed toward a group of paternalistic rulers in the Middle East. But even more interesting than Condi Rice's arrogant irritated manner, is the change in her (that is to say, her puppet-master's) position on Israel's “disengagement”. Back on March 28, 2005, the CBSNews headline read, “No Gaza Pullout Vote in Israel” and one paragraph said, “Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, meanwhile, sharply criticized the United States after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated support for Israel's plans to keep large Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank. "This (U.S.) policy is completely incomprehensible," Qureia told reporters Monday.” But on Friday, April 8, 2005, the Associated Press reported “On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel not to engage in 'wanton destruction' of the settlers' homes. Under Mofaz's new plan, the settlement synagogues and ritual baths would be dismantled and moved to Israel. The mezuzahs _ religious objects attached to door frames _ would also be removed. The buildings will be handed over, either to the Palestinians or to a world agency, once the evacuation is completed, according to the plan. The army bases would all be destroyed.” And now today, June 19, 2005, Condi is impatient because the leaders in the Middle East can't arrive at a peaceful meeting of the minds fast enough to suit the United States which bombs the bejesus out of any Middle East country it disagrees with. Condoleezza Rice's impatience, no doubt, stems from the fact that she has no problem with 180-degree turns, if that's what the White House tells her to do. In March she says the US agrees with Sharon that Israel will not pull out of the West Bank. And in April she says Israel should pull out and not “engage in wanton destruction” into the bargain. Condoleezza Rice is a perfect White House flunky. It makes absolute sense to her to switch from one hotly contested position to exactly the opposite hotly contested position and then be annoyed when the US favored stance du jour doesn't happen fast enough. What Condi Rice doesn't realize is, the world doesn't really give a mink-dyed rat's ass what the US thinks. The White House may have convinced itself that the world respects us because we are big and powerful, but watch nation after nation turn its back on us as soon as we quit putting big bucks on the bedside table. And by the way, Condi, since you're the designated Madam for the White House whorehouse, you should learn some sweet-talk moves. Give George Bush's friend, JimmyJeff Gannon a call...he could teach you a lot. Because most guys don't go for that dominatrix crap.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Desperate and Stupid

I used to think the most destructive character combination a person could have was stupid and arrogant. George W. Bush is stupid and arrogant. His arrogance doesn't allow him to see how stupid he is and his stupidity doesn't allow him to see how arrogant he is. But his brother Jeb's character flaws may be worse. Jeb is stupid and desperate. Florida Governor Jab Bush who sanctioned the Florida voter frauds of both the GWBush I and GWBush II elections, now is trying to save face for shamelessly using the Schiavo family's grief to pander to religious fanatics in the Republican Party. Jeb Bush tried to generate a groundswell of support for keeping brain-dead Terri Schiavo alive in order to build a base for his own presidential ambitions in the future and to shore up his brother's downward plummeting approval ratings. How stupid and desperate can one person be? Support for the President has tanked BECAUSE George W. has catered to fundamentalist fanatics and BECAUSE the public doesn't like the path he is following. It would seem obvious that being a booster for that which has caused the GOP's problems would not be a winning option. But that is the option that stupidly desperate Jeb Bush has chosen. Now that the autopsy report on Terri Schiavo is out and proves that her brain could not function in any way and that she was blind, Jeb is claiming that Schiavo's husband, Michael, did not act promptly 15 years ago when Terri collapsed and went into a coma. Of course there is no validity for making this claim but Jeb wants to conduct an investigation anyway. No doubt Michael Schiavo simply wants the autopsy report to put an end to a faction of the Republican Party trying to use a family's grief for political fodder. But I personally wish he would sue the pants off everyone involved in this reprehensible witch-hunt. And another thing. I am sure a law could be passed, requiring that any Bush attempting to run for office anywhere in the United States has to pass a literacy test, and a psychological evaluation to prove that their gene pool hasn't been so degraded as to make them unfit for public office. We could call it the Preemptive Strike Against Bush Syndrome Law.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Is the WH Really Committed to Peace in Israel?

The WaPo has an interesting Op/Ed piece this morning by President Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and a senior member of his staff William B. Quandt. The article assumes that President Bush makes his own decisions, which, we all know, is not true. A committee in the White House decides what President Bush thinks and what President Bush will say. However, accepting the myth for a moment that Bush thinks for himself, Brzezinski and Quandt say in the article that “the statement President Bush delivered at the conclusion of his recent meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deserves serious attention”. The President said, "Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes road map obligations or prejudices final-status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. . . . A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity of the West Bank. And a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today. It will be the position of the United States at the time of final-status negotiations." This clearly outlined restatement of America's long-held position regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict is important and necessary at this particular time, Brzezinski and Quandt say, if the Bush administration truly has a goal to promote peace in the Middle East. But the important thing is for Americans to keep an eye on what President Bush (that is, the Bush administration) actually does in the next few months. Bush has seemed to back Sharon's adamant refusal to ever pull out of the Gaza strip. So, does our White House actually feel that Israel should pull out, or does it agree with Sharon that it never should pull out? Brzezinski and Quandt say that it's all well and good for the White House to sound as though it believes peace can only come to Israel/Palestine if the armistice lines of 1949 are adhered to, but let's carefully monitor what Bush and Secretary of State Condi Rice actually DO in the next few months. As all the recent polls show, President Bush's approval rating on all major issues has sunk to a new low. An AP report this morning says that Bush will make a speech on June 28 (the one-year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty from U.S forces to Iraqis) to calm fears about Iraq. He also plans a major public relations campaign in the form of radio addresses and personal appearances to try to shore up his sagging popularity and to gain support for his policies. This means that President George W. Bush will be telling monumental lies and saying anything, no matter how untrue and preposterous if it will rehabilitate his image. Therefore, we must particularly be mindful that the Bush administration's recent backtracking to former Presidents' views on Israel/Palestine may only be public relations hype and should not be taken seriously. Watch and see what the Bush administration actually does regarding Israel. But don't for one minute believe a word George W. Bush says between now and January 2006. The White House is desperate and it will promise anything.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Are Ignorant Fools Worse Than Smart Liars?

Here are three astonishingly stupid statements from three of our political leaders Senate Majority Leader, Dr. William Frist (R-TN) who is a heart surgeon said on March 17 after viewing a videotape of Terri Schiavo that it was clear she was responsive. "To be able to make a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state - which is not brain dead; it is not coma; it is a specific diagnosis and typically takes multiple examinations over a period of time because you are looking for responsiveness - I have looked at the video footage," Dr. Frist said. "Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond." Congressman Tom Delay (R-TX) who faces the prospect of being jailed for fraud, said on March 20th, "Ms. Schiavo's condition, I believe, has been misrepresented by the media…Terri Schiavo is not brain dead; she talks and she laughs, and she expresses happiness and discomfort. Terri Schiavo is not on life support." And after reading the autopsy report this morning stating that Terri Schiavo's brain had atrophied to half the size of a normal brain, that she had been incapable of responding to anything, that she was brain dead, that she was blind and that she had not been abused by her husband, President Bush's Press Secretary, Scott McClellan said, “It doesn't change the position that the president took…the president believes we should stand on the side of defending and protecting life." These three statements are so stunningly fatuous they are nearly beyond belief. But of the three men, George W. Bush is the only one who can lay claim to true stupidity. Frist is willing to seem to be dimwitted and to put his integrity as a medical man on the line in service of his far-right zealotry. And DeLay is so corrupt and immoral that he will sell his opinions to the highest bidder on any issue, large or small. The question is, though, is stupidity-real or feigned-as bad as or worse than making outright false statements? Or does it amount to the same thing? Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair knowingly and with malicious intent lied to get worldwide support for America's illegal attack on Iraq. George W. Bush also lied to get us into the war, but his lies were because he was too dumb to realize they were lies. Frist and DeLay lied about Terri Schiavo in order to push forward their own political agenda. George W. Bush is so mentally addled and incompetent that he believed last March and still believes today that keeping a dead person on machines that simulate life is protecting life. However, a third category even trumps stupidity and lying where political misconduct is concerned. And that is the category of power-mad moguls who use those who are mentally deficient and/or religious fanatics to advance their own political agendas. And in that category, we have Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox Network, UK's Times and the New York Post), Reverend Sun Myung Moon (mastermind of the Unification Church and owner of the Washington Times and United Press International), Karl Rove (owner of Puppet President George W. Bush, the White House fascist team and the Pentagon men who like to play soldier). It may be difficult to determine who is capable of the worst public depravity-stupid people who have gained political prominence, sociopaths who stay politically prominent by lying, or power-crazed heads of corporations who will do anything to gain political prominence. What we do know is that all three categories of immoral leaders run the Bush fascist regime.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dear Thomas Friedman: What're You, Nuts?

This morning in your Op/Ed piece, “Let's Talk About Iraq” you outline everything that has gone wrong in Iraq, but your conclusion is that we should not give up on Iraq. In every other area of life, had corresponding events taken place, you and any cogent onlooker would say, “This situation is not salvageable” and then you would kick out and/or sue the perpetrators. 1) A relative has an incompetent doctor who doesn't want to waste valuable antibiotics, so he uses half-doses on your relative. Because of this, the relative loses his legs, loses his job, loses his apartment, has to go on welfare, gets mugged, and now is near death. Would you say, “The doctor didn't use good judgment, but my relative can be made whole if we give that doctor more money and better equipment”? 2) Your gardener advises you to tear out your entire garden and let him design and plant a new garden for you. The gardener destroys your garden, uses a cheap fertilizer that renders the soil infertile and charges you $500,000, which you pay. Would you say to the gardener, “You goofed, but let's start over, put in new soil, and here's another $500,000”? 3) You own an apartment building you want to sell. You ask your lawyer to handle the transaction for you. Your lawyer wants $100,000 in advance. You pay him. He hires a senile real estate agent who uses cheap roach bombs, forgets to evacuate the building, forgets to turn off the gas, and the building blows up. Do you say to your lawyer, “The real estate agent used bad judgment, but ask him to find a buyer for the land…oh…and here's another $100,000”? If you think you are a voice people listen to, Tom Friedman, you should be demanding that the Bush administration fire Donald Rumsfeld. You should be demanding an investigation into why Tony Blair and the Bush administration invented reasons to invade Iraq in the first place. Yesterday's American soldier death tally was 1708. And yet we see US Army ads on TV showing a young black man telling his mom that he has found someone who will pay for his education. He wants to be an engineer. “It's time for me to be the man”, he says. He's going to join the army. If you think you are a voice people listen to, Tom Friedman, you should be shouting out against these US army ads. You should be saying, “That young black man will go to Iraq and get killed. He is NOT going to get an education because senile men like Donald Rumsfeld are going to see to it that he re-ups over and over and over and stays in Iraq whether he wants to or not.” You should be reminding gullible young men that the men responsible for the illegal invasion of Iraq--President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and fascist spinmeister Karl Rove--all did whatever they had to do to avoid going into the army. First, Tom Friedman, Donald Rumsfeld and all those military men connected with the illegal invasion in Iraq must be fired. Then, columnists like you must start telling the truth about why we got into the war. Then, maybe you can start talking about what can be salvaged in Iraq. Then again, maybe not. After you do your truth-telling, people may just decide, The hell with it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson

Members of the jury are now stating to any journalist who asks that they believed “something was going on” between Jackson and the little boys but that the evidence was not sufficient to find Jackson guilty beyond a doubt. And actually, as much as I wanted Jackson institutionalized, I have no problem with the jury. I can even commiserate with the dilemma that faced them. It may be that given the rules they were constrained by, they had no choice but to find him Not Guilty. But the fact remains: Jackson is a pedophile (who thus far has been able to elude conviction). So of course he will molest boys as long as he's alive and not put in an institution. He stated publicly that he would rather be dead than not be surrounded by children. That is an unambiguous statement for a pedophile to make. He has been accused over and over of child molestation. One has to ponder, what pathology allows parents of little boys to let their kids go to Neverland? How ignorant or craven would a parent have to be to make the decision that the potential of a little fondling is no big deal when compared with all the goodies the kid will get? It's very possible that the parents of homely, unattractive, fat little kids can let their children visit Neverland with not a moment's hesitation. Perhaps only blond, adorable, waiflike or sick kids who visit Neverland are in peril. But Jackson will do it again. And who can we blame for the fact that Michael Jackson is still at large? Do we blame law enforcement for not being able to catch this celebrity pedophile in the act? Do we blame parents for being ignorant and greedy and too willing to turn their little boys into prostitutes? Do we blame Michael Jackson's father for abusing MJ when he was a little boy? Do we blame little boys who themselves are celebrities and whose parents are so morally bankrupt that they won't let the kids rat out a celebrity child molester? It's futile to try to point the finger of blame in the Michael Jackson trial. There are too many culpable people. But here's the upshot. Every morning Michael Jackson has to get up and look at himself in the mirror. No, that's not exactly true. Every morning, Michael Jackson has to take a load of medications and mood elevators to be able to abide looking at himself in the mirror. This situation will not get better as he ages. We are told that a big portion of his nose has fallen off because of his excessive plastic surgery and he has to attach a fake nose to his face before showing himself to the public. Then he has to put on his wig. His scalp was burned in 1984 during a Pepsi commercial when his hair literally caught on fire. Hair won't grow on a large portion of Jackson's head. Then he has to put on his makeup. Now, I ask you…what child of his own volition would want to have a sleepover now with this horror show? This is not the last time we will hear of Michael Jackson and his pedophilia. He will only become more desperate, more of a freak, more hideous to look at and less able to be cautious and guarded about his perversion. This Not Guilty verdict is a very bad thing to have happened because now Jackson can keep on molesting children while he ages and falls apart (literally) before his public's eyes. Michael Jackson will be caught in the act. But the worst thing for him is that he has to look at himself in the mirror every day.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Must-Read: Ted Koppel's NYT Op/Ed Piece Today

Koppel says in his “Take My Privacy, Please!” column that the Patriot Act and its potential for abuse is very small potatoes compared to the potential for abuse of OnStar, TiVo and the VeriChip. After I saw the new version of the “Manchurian Candidate” movie, I said that since we all were going to have to live under the Bush administration fascists for four more years, a brain implant making us docile and compliant would be a blessing. Now, apparently, the VeriChip, which is a tiny implant inserted under a pet's skin and allows owners to track the pet if it gets lost, can be used on people with Alzheimer's syndrome. Can compulsory ID chips and mood elevators be far behind? Any political party that routinely abuses the privacy of citizens, such as the current GOP, would not be above using seemingly benign microchips and tracking devices for its own nefarious ends. Read Koppel's piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/13/opinion/13koppel.html?th&emc=th). He's right. The Patriot Act is the least of the abuses of our privacy just waiting to descend on us--particularly with the immoral bunch inhabiting the White House now.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

When Will the GOP Dump the WH Fascists?

Our parents had an expression that answers that question. Republicans will boot out the far-right religious zealots, homophobes and control-freak snoops running the White House when their ox gets gored. As long as the infringement of rights is a theoretical issue that can be exploited in order to get votes, the GOP will continue to infringe on the rights of Americans, because the oppression will be to “them” and won't hurt the power elite. But it will take only a handful of Republicans in Congress to be investigated by the CIA, FBI and IRS, or to be kept from getting a legal abortion for a 12-year-old daughter, or to have a son beaten and murdered for being gay or to be excommunicated by the Roman Catholic church for supporting a pro-choice agenda, and trust me, the Republicans will suddenly see the light. There will come a time when Senator James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) (chairman of The House Patriot Act panel) will take exception to the tone of a fellow Republican and will turn off the Republican's microphone as he did yesterday while Democrats testified about the abuses caused by the Patriot Act. There will come a time when Sensenbrenner or one of his GOP cohorts will gavel a GOP hearing to a close in order to shut down whistle-blowing Republicans. And suddenly, the Republican-controlled Congress will understand what they have wrought. It's inevitable. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” (Lord Acton, letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 5, 1887.)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Is the President Too Stubborn?

AOL's Welcome Screen often asks a provocative question and polls the answers from AOL users. Yesterday, the Welcome Screen asked: Is the President Too Stubborn? The majority of responders said Yes. But the question is beside the point. It makes it sound as though this symptom of George W. Bush's mental disorder is a quirk, a tic, a benign personality trait. And George W. Bush's inflexible obstinacy is anything but benign. The President cannot be moved from any position he chooses to take because he's a Narcissist and Narcissists cannot ever admit they are wrong. Let me repeat the nine signs of a Narcissist: 1. Feels grandiose and self-important, exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements. 2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequaled brilliance, bodily beauty or sexual performance. 3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique, that he or she can only be understood by, treated by, or should only associate with other special, unique, or high-status people. 4 Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious. 5. Feels entitled, expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment, demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations. 6. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends. 7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others. 8. Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her. 9. Arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted. The Narcissist is not in love with himself, he is in love with his reflection. A Narcissist's image is the important thing. The image of himself that is reflected back to him is the only “self” that matters. There is no real self other than the reflection. Narcissists rarely seek psychiatric treatment. The Narcissist will never and can never admit he is wrong. We don't have a President who has a few annoying mannerisms. We have a President who has a full-blown personality disorder. George W. Bush is not "resolute". He is not "committed to a course of action". He is not "firmly persuaded". Our President is unmovable because he is mentally deranged.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Yessiree! Watch Jon Stewart and Get the News

First, on The Daily Show last night we were shown a clip of the President of the United States in his June 8th press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bush looked and sounded like a mentally challenged fifth grader trying to remember what he'd memorized for his Weekly Reader report on the dire situation in Africa. And, predictably, this grade-school moron who is pretending to run the world, had trouble forming simple declarative sentences, even when (as a clip of GWB from 2000 proved) he was using exactly the same weasel words he'd used five years before. Then we saw a clip of the Prez pledging $674 million for famine relief in Africa. It was helpful to be shown a film byte of Little George during his election campaign promising Condi Rice that Africa would be big on his Presidential To-Do list. Particularly since Jon Stewart figured out for us that the $674 mil would be a puny 3% of the total 25 billion Tony Blair said was needed to aid Africa. THREE PERCENT! That's surely the loudest Fuck You to be delivered to Africa since Jefferson kept slaves. But the best was yet to come. Stewart's guest was Colin Powell. I had great hopes and you could tell The Daily Show audience had great hopes that this four-star general who had been Secretary of State during the first GWB administration would have, by now, seen the light. Here he was on The Daily Show. Didn't that indicate he might come forth with, if not a few mea culpas, at least an admission that the US is being lead in the wrong direction? Not on your life! Powell actually defended his scandalous lying performance in front of the UN that pushed us into the war in Iraq. The man defended GWB's administration, I and II. And he even talked about the President making decisions and that it was the duty of the President's cabinet to follow the President's lead. President George W. Bush makes decisions? Who did Powell think he was talking to? A bunch of rednecks in a red state? It's not possible that Colin Powell actually believes that intelligent people buy the nonsense that George Bush--the mental defective who smirks, grins and mugs because he can't remember what he was told to say--makes any decision more complicated than whether he'll take a ride on his mountain bike. What kind of fools does Colin Powell think watch The Daily Show? Note to Colin Powell and his minders: The Daily Show is the wrong venue for disseminating GOP propaganda. The Daily Show is the wrong place to defend the warmongers currently running the White House. The Daily Show is the wrong vehicle for a lying gutless toady like Colin Powell to kick off a 2008 Republican Presidential campaign. Note to Colin Powell: The folks you were talking to last night are different from the folks you usually talk to. We think. We read newspapers. We research facts. We come to our own conclusions. We can tell the difference between the simple truth and a truckload of baloney. As of this morning, 1684 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq by you, Mr. Powell. I just reread your speech of February 5th, 2003 in front of the UN Security Council(http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html). This was the speech you gave after you were reported to have said, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit." But you did give that speech. You didn't believe a word you said, but you delivered that speech. And last night you defended the fact that you lied us into a war. You're a war criminal and a disgrace, Colin Powell. You blew it!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

WH and Pentagon Happy With Iraq Progress

Bush is “pleased”, Cheney says the Iraq insurgency is in its “last throes” and Rumsfeld says the number of attacks has gone down but the number of deaths has climbed. That's the latest word from the insane asylum on The Hill. David L. Phillips, a consultant on Iraq for the State Department who resigned in 2003, wrote a book called “Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco”. Phillips has a more realistic view of Iraq than the White House and Pentagon. He was quoted in a June 5th WaPo article (“Bush's Optimism On Iraq Debated”) saying, “It's dangerous when U.S. officials start to believe their own propaganda." The world cannot maintain it doesn't know the truth about the Bush administration's unnecessary war of aggression in Iraq. British national security aide Matthew Rycroft's memo (“The Downing Street Memo”) has proved that Tony Blair and George Bush invented reasons to go to war out of lies and rumors. This morning's tally on American Soldier deaths in Iraq is 1677. The majority of people in the US are against the war in Iraq and all of the Bush administration policies. We have two alternatives to bring down the fascist nutcases now running the White House. We can call for impeachment or we can charge the bastards with war crimes. But for God's sake, let's mobilize and do one thing or the other.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Far-Right Old-Age Brigade

Turns out, National Review editor William F. Buckley knew about all the corrupt and illegal shenanigans of the Nixon White House and kept his mouth shut. And Buckley says in an NR June 3rd editorial that he's mad as hell that W. Mark Felt didn't do the same thing. According to Buckley, Felt should have given his info to acting head of the FBI, L. Patrick Grey, or alternatively, he should have divulged everything he knew to the head of the Justice Department, Attorney General John Mitchell. That is to say, Felt should have done nothing. L. Patrick Grey was Nixon's handpicked successor to J. Edgar Hoover, and John Mitchell was so in Nixon's thrall that he was convicted and put in jail for his illegal acts on Nixon's behalf. Mitchell is the only AG ever to be put in jail. So far. And there are quite a few high-profile freepers who believe Felt should have gone to Grey or Mitchell: Among them: FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy who supervised the Watergate break-in and went to jail; Nixon Special Counsel Charles Colson who went to jail for his complicity in the Watergate crimes; E. Howard Hunt, Liddy's accomplice in the Watergate break-in who went to jail; and Robert Novak who should be in jail for his role in outing CIA operative Valerie Plame. They all agree with Buckley that Felt should have played ball with the criminals running the White House in 1972. I'm not sure why these over-the hill third-rate spooks are having such outraged hissy fits--Buckley is 80, Liddy is 75, Colson is 74, Hunt is 86 and Novak is 74. They should be ecstatic in their golden years that the current GOP White House has returned to the Nixon values of oppression, secret schemes, surveillance of ordinary citizens, condoned brutality in government and criminal and illegal activities. Could it be that these old fools are scared to death the same thing that happened to Nixon and his criminal cohorts is inevitably going to happen to the Bush administration? One of the more interesting items in the Buckley article is that Buckley says his old friend and boss at the CIA, E. Howard Hunt, told him that one of the break-in felons was ready and willing to kill journalist Jack Anderson if he was told to do so. Buckley kept his mouth shut about that too. Buckley says he doesn't believe Anderson's life was in peril. Buckley's tag line in his editorial is: “Mark Felt, posing as an incorruptible agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was advancing his own drama. And now he wants some money for it.” Fact Number One: Anderson's life absolutely was in peril. Fact Number Two: E. Howard Hunt is alive and well and plans to sell his book, “American Spy” in 2006. So let's see, how does it all add up according to William F. Buckley? 1) Never divulge information about criminal activities in the White House 2) Never divulge information about plans to murder journalists 3) Cultivate alliances only with felons who lie and cheat for the GOP 4) Only Republicans should profit from being a spy

Saturday, June 04, 2005

John Tierney Tells It Like it Isn't

It's hard to know why Tierney wrote his NYT Op/Ed column today. Perhaps it was merely to complain that whatever is going on at the moment is wrong. While the subtext of “Show Him the Money” is to natter about the fact that Woodstein and the book and movie producers of “All the President's Men” made pots of money, the main message seems to be that Mark Felt and his family should have been paid by some publication for the story that came out this past week revealing that Felt is Deep Throat. Okay. Fair enough. But Tierney also seems to be saying that since journalists are craven and greedy, sources should be paid for giving them info. Or is he just being cute and making a passive/aggressive slam at the people he calls “keepers of journalistic ethics in America”? I despise the way Tierney writes, I don't read him regularly, and I admit I'm not good at reading between the lines of a Tierney piece. But I do know this. He got his facts wrong in his first paragraph this morning: “I hope Mark Felt and his family get the big payoff they want, but they've already hurt their chances by ignoring his famous advice as Deep Throat. They didn't follow the money.” The famous advice to “follow the money” was movie dialogue. Hal Holbrook said it in “All the President's Men”. Mark Felt never said it. I don't say it's not good advice. It's perfect advice. But how about crediting the correct source, Mr. Tierney?

Friday, June 03, 2005

A Comforting Thought

In the past three days since the identity of Deep Throat was revealed by “Vanity Fair” to be W. Mark Felt, we have seen clips and bits and pieces of the movie, “All the President's Men” over and over. The film was based on the book by the same name by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and chronicled the scandalous malfeasance of the Richard Nixon presidency, which had been reported by “Woodstein” in the Washington Post. As Jon Stewart said in his June 1 Daily Show segment, the new Deep Throat revelation has let us see the “shlumpy” real-life Woodward/Bernstein duo again instead of the glamorous movie portrayals by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. In the future, there will be movies about the scandalous behavior of the Bush administration. And whether, as in “All the President's Men”, the President will be seen as Himself in real news footage, or he will be depicted by an actor, filmmakers will have no choice but to show President Bush as he is. Else, reviewers will point out the discrepancies and will gleefully refer to real news footage of the real George W. Bush who invariably has acted like the mentally impaired fool he is. For certain, among the choice moments in any film about George W. Bush will be his May 31, 2005 press conference in which he blasted Amnesty International's report that his administration had established “a new gulag” of prisons, which didn't conform to laws or accepted rules of decency. It was a low moment for the President of the United States when he branded the report of this respected worldwide organization that fights for human rights, as “absurd”. But George W. Bush outdid himself in proving he's truly a hopeless moron. He said the report was based on “the allegations of people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble-that means not tell the truth.” The stupidity and arrogance of the man is beyond belief and it was caught on film. To wrongly say disassemble instead of dissemble and then to explain the meaning of the word as though his listeners were more stupid than he takes ignorance and hubris to a new level. This most recent moment and his seven minutes of catatonic inaction after he was told of the 9/11 attack are both on film. And these damning flashes of truth will assuredly turn up in any film about GWB's presidency. The difficulty for filmmakers will be in choosing which gaffes and embarrassing moments to use because there are so many. Any film attempting a mythic and glossy view of GWB will have tough going. There is film footage of events when the White House tried to make GWB look heroic…the “Mission Accomplished” fiasco, for instance. But these fake-news productions only show him to be a second-rate actor in a third-rate film. If George W. Bush has any delusions about being remembered as a great president, it's just one more proof he's not in full possession of his faculties. A two-hour movie could be made right now, today, using real film of George W. Bush's blunders, malapropisms, mispronunciations, missteps, ignorant statements, ill-informed explanations, inarticulate rambling and non-sequiturs. And another shorter film could be made showing his gradual decline in the last five years from a vital energetic stupid man to a whining, ineffectual, incoherent stupid man. The definition of a short book used to be, “Italian War Heroes”. That quip can now be replaced with the definition of a short movie: “The Wisdom of GWBush”. There are many who say the events that led up to the demise of the Nixon presidency could never happen today. No newspaper would give reporters the free rein and unlimited time to investigate the story that the WaPo gave Woodstein. That may be true. But it wouldn't be necessary today. The real George Bush, the real shenanigans in the White House, the real scandal of the war in Iraq is all on tape. And it's available to any filmmaker who wants to make a movie.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

“It Helps Him on the Way to the Bank, I'm Sure”…

… ex-Editor of the Washington Post Ben Bradlee said when asked whether the Felt family's disclosure about W. Mark Felt being Deep Throat would help Bob Woodward. The question, posed in an article in the New York Times this morning, related to whether Woodward's reputation was enhanced now that the actual existence of Deep Throat had been proven. And outspoken Bradlee, at the age of 83, is still getting to the heart of the matter. Woodward is a millionaire, mainly because of his reputation as a journalist since he and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal in the Washington Post 33 years ago. Woodward has stayed at WaPo during the intervening years since Watergate. He's the assistant managing editor now and because of the power that comes with his status as investigative journalist par excellence, he can write at his own pace and he can break stories or hold them back. He also has written 12 books since his heady Deep Throat days. The identity of Deep Throat is a story Woodward had pledged to hold back. Even in the face of W. Mark Felt wanting to own up to being Deep Throat, Woodward had reservations about whether 91-year-old Felt was mentally competent to know what he was doing. Woodward clearly didn't want Deep Throat's identity to be divulged until Felt died. We're told the Felt family wanted money for the elder Felt's confession. We're told Woodward was in the process of writing his own story about Felt, to be published after Felt's death. We're told there were so many leaks about Felt being Deep Throat that it soon would have been impossible to plug the holes. In the end, there will be scores of books written about the true identity of Deep Throat. Many people will get tons of money. Bob Woodward will benefit, Carl Bernstein will benefit, the Felt's will benefit and a host of bottom-feeders will also be helped on the way to the bank, I'm sure. Fine. But the real benefit for us all is that a lying, power-crazed, criminal Republican president, Richard Nixon, was booted out of office because Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein followed a story wherever it took them. And they were aided by a man known as Deep Throat. W. Mark Felt was and is a hero. And it doesn't matter how many people make money off this saga. And a fringe benefit is the hilarious sight of Robert Novak, Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy fulminating on-camera that W. Mark Felt should never have gone to journalists but should have made his information available to the powers that be in the GOP. G. Gordon Liddy and Chuck Colson went to jail because of their criminal activity on Nixon's behalf. And Robert Novak is so devoid of morals that he outed an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame, to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for telling the truth about the Bush administration. A good horselaugh is worth millions.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Why Would Woodstein & Bradlee Lie?

Now that John D. O'Connor has revealed in an article for the July issue of “Vanity Fair” that Deep Throat is W. Mark Felt, the game afoot on the Net is to claim that Mark W. Felt is not Deep Throat. Even Aaron Brown was playing the game for fun last night on CNN. But why would reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and Editor Ben Bradlee lie? These are the guys who broke the Watergate story in the Washington Post over 30 years ago. These are the only people who knew Deep Throat's identity. And these men have now corroborated that Deep Throat was W. Mark Felt, the FBI's No. 2 man who funneled info to them. If Felt isn't Deep Throat, I don't understand why the only ones who knew his identity would lie. The only plausible reason to make the claim that the four people who knew Throat's identity have now lied, is to keep the game going. I too felt let down when the news broke yesterday. I too thought, Is that all there is? It's so anticlimactic to know once for all that Throat is not any of the most highly-favored names in the Deep Throat lottery. It's such a letdown that the biggest mystery in politics in the 20th century is over. It's done, and alas for that. Some of the funniest comments are coming from people who went to jail for their part in the Watergate scandal, like Chuck Colson. He said last night on CNN's NewsNight that Felt shouldn't have leaked his information but should have reported the evil-doings to the proper authorities. Yes, and everyone who has damning information about the Bush administration should blow the whistle to Karl Rove who will make sure the criminal activity stops. Which brings up the most serious consequence of the revelation about Deep Throat's identity. And that is, the universe hates a vacuum and will always fill it. It's as inevitable as red wine on white pants. The stage is now set for a Bush administration insider to spill the beans and bring down another corrupt Republican dynasty. No wonder old-guard right-wingers are claiming we still don't know who Deep Throat is.