Monday, January 30, 2006

Condi Rice: “Nobody Saw It Coming”

Miss Shopping-for-Shoes-While-Katrina-Raged says nobody could have foreseen that the Hamas party in Palestine would beat out the American-favored Fatah party. Let’s see. That’s number what? that nobody could have foreseen except a blind mentally challenged deaf person? Only those outside of the Bush administration’s band of sycophants and ass-kissers who screamed warnings could have foreseen: The attacks on 9/11. That Iraq and those who live there are different from Texas. That Iraqis would not welcome being attacked. That more troops were needed in Iraq from the git-go. That WMD’s would not be found in Iraq. That the justification for the Iraq war was a huge lie. That American troops would be required in Iraq for decades. That the levees in New Orleans would fail if a huge hurricane hit. That Katrina was the hurricane that would defeat the levees. That the White House plan for Social Security reform was stupid. That Terri Schaivo was brain dead and even if she wasn’t, the United States government had no business getting involved. That Ahmad Chalabi is a shit. That the Sunnis were not big favorites in Iraq. That Israel and those who live there are different from Texas. That Palestine and those who live there are different from Texas. That the entire Middle East and those who live there are different from Texas. That Jesus was a Jew from the Middle East not a born-again Christian from Texas. That people in the Middle East don’t want to be saved, see no reason to convert, and think their land is their land, not the 51st United State of America. That Palestine and Israel would not kiss and make up when Arafat and Sharon died even when a dominatrix from hell said, Be nice because that’s what America wants. That Abbas had no control in Palestine and Hamas was just waiting in the wings. "I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her staff that didn’t realize the power of Hamas in Palestine. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse." The expression, Miss-Whip-and-Chains, is “having a finger on the pulse” of the situation. You and your submissive male coterie have a pulse all right. The problem is, your pulse only surges when you issue orders. And by the way, you do realize now that nobody is listening when you put on your ugly face and crack your little whip, right? Here’s a clue, Miss Condi-in-leather, as to why you and the Bush administration constantly get blind-sided by painfully obvious conditions that you don’t see coming: The whole world is very happy to take money doled out by the United States and to make whatever promises necessary to keep the money coming. However, the world consensus is that impotent fools run the Bush White House and there is no reason to follow-through on promises because the Republicans have made the US too weak to retaliate. I am very sure you haven’t seen that coming either, have you?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Latest Poll…Go Figure!

WaPo/ABC conducted a telephone poll from January 23-26 among 1,002 randomly selected adults across the nation. What’s called “the fieldwork” was done by TNS of Horsham, PA. The moron who is supposedly running the USA, George W. Bush, did not fare well in the poll. The complete and detailed results are in this morning’s Washington Post. Bush came up short and looking like the terrible president he is on every question except three: Do you approve or disapprove of the US campaign against terrorism? 52 % approve, 45% disapprove. Who has stronger leaders, Democrats or Republicans? 47% said Republicans, 41% said Democrats Is Bush a strong leader? 52% said yes, 48% said no So…the poll showed that Bush has his head up his ass on the situation in Iraq, prescription drug benefits, ethics in government, the economy, immigration issues, health care and taxes. It also revealed that folks say he isn’t honest and trustworthy, he doesn’t understand the problems of people like them, and that they don’t approve of the way he’s handling his job. AND YET, these same folks approve of the US campaign against terrorism, they believe the Repubs have strong leaders and that Bush is one of them. And, get this: They think Bush can be trusted in a crisis. What in hell is that? This is the man who sat around with his thumb up his ass after 9/11, couldn’t be found when Katrina was raging at its worst, has had more time off (read, had his brain re-wired and his meds changed) and taken more vacation days than any other president in the history of the United States, believes God put him in office, and illegally ordered wiretaps on American citizens. This man can be trusted in a crisis? This man is a strong leader? This man is leading a good campaign against terrorism? It’s not like the questions in this poll were tricky or weighted to illicit biased answers. The questions were straightforward: “Please tell me whether the following statement applies to Bush or not. He can be trusted in a crisis.” And 53% said he could. No, you blithering ninnies, George W. Bush CANNOT be trusted anytime, anywhere or anyhow. In any given crisis, whether he caused it, whether he’d been thrust into it, or whether a storm randomly rages on a part of the earth, President George W. Bush cannot be trusted to so much as call 911. In any situation, the Prez does not know what to do. And in lieu of taking action immediately, he will stare vacantly, make a joke in bad taste, and smile like an idiot. I can only think that the 53% who said Bush could be trusted in a crisis, were actually saying, Oh God! I surely hope so! Well fuhgeddaboudit and face facts. You cannot ever trust George W. Bush about anything.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

That’s Another Thing, Mr. President...

It’s easy for me to blame all the ills in the world on the Bush administration. That’s just the way I see it. So sue me. And now, the unethical situation in the book publishing biz, so perfectly illustrated by the James Frey book, “A Million Little Pieces”, is the latest example of the White House leading planet Earth down a rabbit hole into corruption and wickedness. It’s the lying, you lizard-brained idiots. Don’t you see that? Don’t get me wrong, I know the human race told lies before George and Barbara Bush brought their nasty crooked hooligans into the world. But the example the Bush administration has given for leadership goes beyond run-of-the-mill horse-trading common in politics. The Bush administration has consistently lied because they are sociopaths and they like to lie. They’ve strong-armed and intimidated opponents like thugs. They’ve blatantly broken laws because they can. And they’ve made a mockery of democratic principles. Lying and deception may have had its sub-rosa place in politics in the past, but it was always in bad odor. That is, until the Bush administration promoted THE BIG LIE as an acceptable alternative to truth and candor. The Bush administration openly endorses the concept that lying is just as good as being honest and having integrity, and it’s a quicker means to the desired end. Edward Wyatt’s New York Times article today, “Questions for Others in Frey Scandal” makes the blood run cold. We’ve been told that Frey told huge lies about how addicts were treated at the Hazelden rehabilitation center in Center City, MN. It’s been widely reported that Debra Jay, who was trained as an addiction counselor at Hazelden, said, "His (Frey’s) description of treatment at Hazelden is almost entirely false.” And yet people are buying the book and saying they don’t care that he lied. Wyatt wrote, “It is not clear that the public always cares. Kate Anderson, 30, an elementary school counselor, was at a Borders bookstore in Atlanta yesterday, buying the book on her day off. Her book club had recently decided to read it, despite Mr. Frey's admitted falsehoods.” Wyatt said, “During a second segment of Ms. Winfrey's show, which ran yesterday on "Oprah After the Show," on the Oxygen cable channel, Mr. Frey said, as he has in the past, that he and Ms. Evashevski, who works at Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in Los Angeles, had offered his book to some publishers as a novel and to others as a memoir. "The book went to different publishing houses as different things," Mr. Frey said, according to a transcript of the show provided by Ms. Winfrey's production company. "It did go to some as fiction and some as nonfiction. “Asked if the same agent was telling one publisher the book was fiction and another that it was true, Mr. Frey replied, "All through the same agent, yes." The publisher doesn’t care, the editors don’t care, and the readers don’t care. Lying is just as good as telling the truth. Wyatt said, “Aaron Curtis, the buyer at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Fla., said he did not feel duped by the book, but thought it should have been promoted as a novel. ‘It's still a good book,’ he said. ‘It loses something knowing a lot of it is fabricated, but it doesn't make it a bad book — just different.’” It LOSES SOMETHING? Oh, you damn betcha it loses something. It loses any shred of believability as a memoir. But so what? It was peddled as a memoir or a novel, take your pick, it doesn’t matter to me, the author. Does it matter to you the publisher? No? Well then, what the fuck, let’s sell it as the truth. Which is exactly the way the Bush administration proceeds. Yessiree and yes indeedy! I blame the Bush clan, the Bush White House and the Bush way of doing business for the woeful situation in publishing, in corporations, in politics and in the world. And when your little angel looks you in the eye and says, “No, honestly, I didn't copy that report off the Internet." And you know he did, what’s your response going to be?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Finally! Oprah Finds Her Backbone

It took two weeks for Oprah Winfrey to go from “it’s much ado about nothing” to fighting back tears and displaying anger at James Frey for making up major portions of his book “A Million Little Pieces” which she had touted on her book club. And what caused the sea change? Oprah’s reputation was getting kicked in the ass. On January 11, Oprah called Larry King while he was interviewing Frey. She defended the “essential truth” of the book and said the facts didn’t matter. But yesterday she said, "I made a mistake and I left the impression that the truth does not matter. And I am deeply sorry about that, because that is not what I believe." Uh huh! Defending Frey and his lies. Defending the truth. Defending lies. Defending the truth. Hmmmmm. What is better for me? Oh-oh! The scales are tipping in favor of defending the truth. Okay…that’s the way I’ll go. Oprah and the Bush administration assume that the public has the attention span of a fruit fly and that folks will buy whatever they heard an hour ago. VP Cheney says if they had authorized wiretapping of Americans sooner, maybe 9/11 wouldn’t have happened. That’s funny. The NSA was wiretapping before 9/11 and the Bush administration ignored all kinds of info about a possible attack and that's why 9/11 happened. The Prez says we should take Osama seriously because he surely takes Osama seriously. Which is amazing. The Bush administration didn’t take Osama seriously at all before 2001 and Osama was the same sonovabitch and a mega threat then. But nevermind! It’s all about what is said today. Yesterday, two weeks ago, five years ago is so far back. Who can remember? The White House and Oprah Winfrey may be in for a real shock. People do remember. People hate being lied to. And people can be very unforgiving when they’ve been conned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Is Anyone Actually Watching the Prez on TV?

George W. Bush has precious little to smile about. But he’s smiling anyway. And for no discernible reason. It’s goofy. I happened to catch his act yesterday when he was in Manhattan, KS, which is not far from Ft. Riley. He was doing one of his convince-the-natives-speeches explaining that illegal wiretapping of Americans is legal and necessary. This speech was kindly called a “lecture”. It took place in a coliseum full of 7,000 students, soldiers and invited guests who laughed and applauded on cue. When the President said, “I want you to know, I can remember what it was like to sit through lectures,” the audience acted as though it was the funniest laughline they’d ever heard. There was some monumentally unfunny banter about a tie and the audience howled with laughter and applauded. But it was when the Prez began to answer questions that I got the willies. A Hispanic man who had trouble with English asked a long and involved question about the US protecting its borders. The Prez dismissively said, “I got the question -- immigration.” And the audience laughed and applauded. Bush’s answer went like this: “First of all, bienvenidos (pause, smile). And we have an obligation in this country to enforce our borders (pause, smile). And there's huge pressure on our borders (pause, smile). It's been a long border, obviously (pause, smile), with Mexico, and a long border with Canada (pause, smile). And the biggest problematic area right now (pause, smile) is the border with Mexico, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (pause, smile). The issue is not only Mexican citizens (pause, smile) who are coming across the border illegally (pause, smile), but it's other citizens who are coming across the border (pause, smile). And so it went for the entire length of the convoluted and fuzzy answer--pause, smile. The upshot was this Presidential conclusion (pausing and smiling all the way): “And so, here's my position, and that is that, if there is someone who will do a job an American won't do, then that person ought to be given a temporary worker card to work in the United States for a set period of time. “I do not believe that any guest worker program ought to contain amnesty because I believe that, if you granted amnesty to the people here working now, that that would cause another 8 million people or so to come here. “I do believe, however, it is humane to say to a person: You are doing a job somebody else won't do. Here is a temporary card to enable you to do the card (sic).” And 7,000 handpicked idiots applauded. When Katharine Hepburn was having trouble with the monstrous character of Violet Venable in “Suddenly Last Summer”, director George Cukor advised her to say her nasty lines while smiling. The end-result was chilling. George Bush’s smiles have the same effect. Jumbled syntax, empty rhetoric, dead eyes and inappropriate smiles. CREEEPY! In July 2004, published Carol V. Hamilton’s article, “Being Nothing”. It likened George W. Bush to Jerzy Kosinski’s character, Chance Gardiner, in Being There. Hamilton said in her opening paragraph: “In Jerzy Kozinsky's 1970 novel Being There, a character named Chance the Gardener, whose entire existence has been restricted to watching television shows and tending a walled garden, is suddenly thrust into the outside world. Here he acquires admirers who rename him Chauncey Gardiner, mistake his ignorance for profundity, and take his horticultural allusions for zenlike koans. His intellectual limitations and personal inadequacies become social and political virtues. At the end of the novel, the President's advisors gather to consider a candidate to replace the current vice-president. One of them suggests Chance. "Gardiner has no background," he declares. "And so he's not and cannot be objectionable to everyone! He's personable, well-spoken, and he comes across well on TV". Although Being There is over 30 years old, it is eerily pertinent to the current political scene. Only in one respect was Kozinski's prophecy too cautious. Writing during the reign of the uncharismatic, unphotogenic, yet canny and intelligent President Nixon, Koskinski was apparently unable to imagine Chance as a sitting president.” Like the audience in Manhattan, Kansas yesterday, we continually give George W. Bush credit for having attributes he does not possess. Hamilton said: “This article appropriates ideas from Being There and Baudrillard's Gulf War pieces in order to propose that George W. Bush is a simulation, a virtual figure upgraded from a prototype like that of Chance the Gardener. I am not interested in George W. Bush's corporeal being but rather in his flatness and in the way that his obvious deficiencies are "spun" by supposedly disinterested media pundits. Bush's estrangement from the real -- evident in his unfamiliarity with geography, history, ordinary English syntax and semantics, and a fund of common knowledge -- stems from his own lack of reality. George W. Bush does not exist.” The tics are all there is.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The WaPo Deborah Howell/Ombudsman Flap

While Deborah Howell continues to defend herself against the storm of protest caused by her Jack Abramoff article, it’s interesting to re-read two WaPo articles. But first, the obligatory explanation paragraphs: Deborah Howell is the new (as of October 23, 2005) ombudsman at the Washington Post. On Thursday, January 19, 2006, WaPo Executive Editor Jim Brady turned off the reader comments feature. He said the comments had become personal and abusive attacks against Howell because of her January 15th article about Jack Abramoff. One sentence in Howell’s column set off the firestorm: “(Lead WaPo reporter Susan) Schmidt quickly found that Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties.” When Howell tried to back-and-fill in her next column and wrote that what she should have said is that Abramoff “directed” the Indian tribes to make contributions to both major parties, it only served to intensify the protests. Howell’s scenario is not a likely Abramoff tactic. Plus, her job is to ameliorate not infuriate. The word ombudsman originated in Scandinavian countries. It comes from the Old Norse “umbodh”. The “um” means “regarding,” and the “bodh” is “command”. An ombudsman typically is a person “who investigates complaints and mediates fair settlements, especially between aggrieved parties such as consumers or students and an institution or organization.” The two above-mentioned WaPo articles are 1) “Howell to Become Next Post Ombudsman” by WaPo staff writer D’Vera Cohn on February 25, 2005; and 2) Howell’s first WaPo column, “Who I Am -- and What I Hope to Do” on October 23, 2005. The advance hype about who Deborah Howell was and what she would do at WaPo are a far cry from who and what she turned out to be. Cohn said February 25, 2005, “Deborah Howell, the Washington bureau chief and editor of Newhouse News Service, was named ombudsman of The Washington Post yesterday, a job in which she will serve as independent critic of the newspaper on behalf of its readers.” Cohn also said, “Howell, 64, is a veteran of the news business who is active in national journalism organizations and has described herself as ‘feisty and aggressive’”. Cohn said Howell “also oversees Religion News Service and the Newhouse Minority Scholarship Program.” Oh, and she was born in Texas. In her first column on October 23rd, Howell said, “I took the job, leaving a company (and its owners, the Newhouse family) I loved, because I believe I can use a lifetime of journalism experience to deal with many of the perilous issues faced by newspaper journalism, the journalism that I know and love best. “Another reason is that I care about readers -- all kinds of readers. I read at least three, and sometimes more, newspapers a day; I started reading newspapers as a kid and wish we had more young readers today. The Post is a fine newspaper, and this region is lucky to have newspaper owners willing to spend the money it takes in a tough economy to provide deep local, national and international coverage -- as well as to support an independent ombudsman.” But in her WaPo column Sunday, January 22, 2006; she said, “To all of those who wanted me fired, I'm afraid you're out of luck. I have a contract. For the next two years, I will continue to speak my mind.” Yo, Deborah Howell: You were not hired to be a WaPo Op/Ed columnist speaking your mind and spewing forth subjective views and opinions. You were hired to be objective and to be “an independent critic of the newspaper on behalf of its readers”. Howell says she’s tough and thick-skinned. Wrong. She’s bitchy, thin-skinned, defensive and worst of all, she whines. And when she says she’s got a contract and suggests she cannot be canned, she is also deluded. If Deborah Howell becomes an albatross around the neck of the Washington Post, watch how quickly the WaPo legal department finds a loophole just big enough to shove Deborah Howell and her contract through and onto the newspaper writers' ever-expanding Persona Non Grata list. On Sunday, Howell said, “Keep smiling. I will.” I sincerely doubt that.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Finally, Someone Talks Sense About Abortion

An article in the New York Times (“Three Decades After Roe, a War We Can All Support” by William Saletan) gets at the heart of the issue. The problem for the pro-choice crowd, he says, is that “It’s bad to kill a fetus.” Abortion is so terrible a solution, in fact, that not one pro-choice group will even use the word in its name. And as Saletan says, there isn’t a woman in the world who has had an abortion who wouldn’t have rather avoided the pregnancy in the first place. And that’s the war the pro-choice folks need to fight: Campaigning for the use of contraception. And for those who feel they cannot use contraception, then abstinence. In another NYT article this morning (“States of Confusion”), William Baude contends that if the Roe v. Wade battle is lost and the right to have an abortion goes to state level, the conflict will only have begun all over again. States that don’t allow abortion could conceivably prosecute their citizens who go to other states for the procedure by using the so-called long-arm jurisdiction. The point is that whether Roe v. Wade is retained or overturned, abortion has not solved and will not solve the main problem of dealing with unwanted pregnancies. Saletan writes that, “Nearly half of the unintended pregnancies in this country result in abortions, and at least half of our unintended pregnancies are attributable to women who didn't use contraception. The pregnancy rate among these women astronomically exceeds the pregnancy rate among women who use contraception. The No. 1 threat to the unborn isn't the unchurched. It's the unprotected.” “In the moral arc of history,” Saletan says, “abortion was a step forward from infanticide. Abortion pills that act early in pregnancy are the next step, followed by morning-after pills, which prevent implantation. The ultimate destination is contraception or abstinence.” By me, the big hurdle is the ignorance and bigotry of pro-lifers who are vehemently against contraception. I applaud their belief in abstinence for themselves as the only way to avoid pregnancy. But to insist on it for others is the height of intolerance and fanaticism. Preventing conception violates no code of ethics. It is a tenet of some religions that a woman and man must be willing to beget a child every time they have sex. Fine for them. But it makes no moral or social sense to the rest of us. Contraception cannot be legislated against and it has no place in politics. And for people who have no strong moral objection to contraception not to use some form of protection when they aren’t seeking to get pregnant is ignorant and irresponsible. Abortion is another matter altogether. Aborting a fetus is repugnant, grisly, and heartbreaking. There is no one who will say otherwise. The campaign that must be waged is for contraception and against religious fanaticism. As Saletan says, “A year ago, Senator Hillary Clinton marked Roe's anniversary by reminding family planning advocates that abortion ‘represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women.’ Some people in the audience are reported to have gasped or shaken their heads during her speech. Perhaps they thought she had said too much. “The truth is, she didn't say enough. What we need is an explicit pro-choice war on the abortion rate, coupled with a political message that anyone who stands in the way, yammering about chastity or a "culture of life," is not just anti-choice, but pro-abortion. If the pro-choice movement won't lead the way, politicians just might.”

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Slug Has Crawled From His Hidey-Hole

By some mysterious reckoning of White House tealeaves, Karl Rove is being allowed out in public again. He was made to vanish following Scooter Libby’s October 28th indictment and in anticipation of his own indictment. But Die Herren Rove and RNC Chairman Mehlman blustered forth yesterday full of plans and warnings. Rove and Mehlman spoke at the Republican National Committee winter meeting which was held in Washington, DC January 19 and 20. They issued admonitions and said the GOP plan was to keep on doing exactly what it had been doing for the past five years. And, of course they said they would diligently pursue GOP evildoers and terrorists living and working right here in the US of A. Mehlman said, “If Republicans are guilty of illegal or inappropriate behavior, then they should pay the price and they should suffer the consequences." Howard Dean quickly responded, "Karl Rove only has a White House job and a security clearance because President Bush has refused to keep his promise to fire anyone involved in revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative.” He added, "The truth is, Karl Rove breached our national security for partisan gain and that is both unpatriotic and wrong." So what are these two up to? Same old same old. Describe GOP misconduct as though the Democrats had committed the offenses. Then stand in front of the world with CORRUPT POLITICIAN printed on their foreheads and point fingers at everyone else. Rove warned Republicans about getting smug. "The GOP's progress during the last four decades is a stunning political achievement. But it is also a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party -- in this case the Democrat Party -- when its thinking becomes ossified, when its energy begins to drain, when an entitlement mentality takes over, and when political power becomes an end in itself rather than a means to achieve the common good." Or, to say it another way: I am not a fat pig, sleazoid, rent-boy humping, lying, warmongering, thieving, sack of shit thug, you are.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Justice Department: Prez Is Above The Law

If you ever wondered how the Bush administration sees itself, this morning’s New York Times made it clear. An article by Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, “Legal Rationale by Justice Dept. on Spying Effort”, tells the tale. Alberto R. Gonzales, the yes-man ass-kisser who was appointed Attorney General after the born-again ass-kisser John Ashcroft resigned, decided to counter the recent negative uproar over the NSA wiretaps with a proclamation from on high. The Congressional Research Service found that Congress did not intend to authorize warrantless wiretaps when it gave Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan. So Gonzales had a 42-page report drawn up by the Justice Department which says the prez had been placed “at the zenith of his powers” at the time he had authorized the wiretaps. Therefore it was totally legal and prudent to order the NSA to eavesdrop on American citizens. Obviously, the Justice Department got down on its knees in the preferred Bush administration position and serviced Gonzales like a $2 hooker in a back-alley trash heap. The NYT says the JD report cites the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Republican and Democratic presidents, scholarly papers and court cases to justify the wiretaps. And into the bargain, the JD gave the President all the authority of king, czar and little Fuhrer when its report claimed, “some presidential powers, particularly in the area of national security, are simply beyond Congress' ability to regulate.” So there it is. Throw out checks and balances and shit-can advice and consent of the Senate. The Justice Department has just ratified autocratic rule by a delusional mental defective who gets his orders from a bunch of criminally insane imperialists. Will it fly? No. The dean of the Temple University law school Robert Reinstein said that the eavesdropping program is "a pretty straightforward case where the president is acting illegally." Reinstein said the administration’s legal arguments were weak. He said the court would ultimately shoot down the wiretap program as unconstitutional. So why was this report from the Jusitice Department ordered by the Attorney General? Is it because end-runs must be attempted to satisfy the big-money fans rooting in the stands? Or is the entire Bush administration loony as the psycho ward at Bellevue? I’m going to go with loony.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

About Lying

There are two reasons not to lie. 1. It’s morally wrong. 2. You’ll probably get caught and have to suffer consequences. Most people don’t lie because of No. 2. The Bible and preachers use the fear of hell and eternal consequences to keep people in check. Over the millennia fear has worked better than yammering about moral wrongs. When the stories that make up the Bible were set down, the world was ruled by theocracies. The religious faction that had the biggest and strongest army got to reign supreme. And morality was on a sliding scale: Whatever worked was moral. The ruling faction of the moment claimed God was on its side. If Kings had to justify lawbreaking or lapses in ethics they said God understood because the masses had to be forced to abide by God’s laws. As long as religions ruled over governments, leaders could say, “God says so” and the people had no choice but to act as though they believed it. The Protestant Reformation changed all that in Europe. First, in 1520 Martin Luther held that the church was under secular authority. And second, in 1534 England’s Henry VIII put religion under the authority of the crown when he enacted the Act of Supremacy and established a state church. Now the Bush administration would like to establish a theocracy in the United States because it would bring back the old sliding scale of morals. Killing is right and just because God wants to strike down the ungodly. Women are under the thumb of men because that’s God’s law. The Supreme Magnificence who sits at the head of government makes all decisions after God tells him what to do. And lying isn’t lying because God knows it’s for the greater good. Ergo, lying is morally right. I’d be more afraid of a Bush theocracy if the White House hadn’t put our military might in Iraq. Instituting martial law to enforce the immoral laws of Little Jesus George would be equivalent to calling forth the Texas Longhorn Council of Boy Scouts. But still, the most serious and lasting wrong visited on mankind by religions and governments has been the lying. It’s the lies that have been written down. It’s the lies that have lived on and have been accepted as truth. In the past, the excuse for not blowing the whistle on lies has been that the liars could cause punishment and/or death to their subjects. Now the only reason to accept our government’s lies is because we are stupid or because it’s easier than doing the right thing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Elie Wiesel Subtly Rebukes Oprah and Frey

The backstory: Oprah Winfrey selected a memoir by James Frey, “A Milliion Little Pieces", for her book club. Frey’s book is about his recovery from drug addiction. But it turns out major portions of the book are lies and were made up out of whole cloth. A PR nightmare followed the revelation. Nevermind. On January 12th Oprah went on Larry King’s show and said the lies were unimportant. The "underlying message of redemption” was more important than the truth, she said. Now Oprah has announced that her next book club selection is “Night”, an autobiographical account of life in Nazi death camps by Elie Wiesel. Wiesel is a Nobel Peace Prize winner whose mission in life is to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. And Wiesel has no interest in weighing in on the Frey controversy. As a matter of fact, he says he hasn’t read the book. However, it is very clear how Wiesel feels about a writer’s obligation to be truthful when purporting to use autobiographical material. In an interview yesterday, he said that some reviews (including one in the New York Times) describe his memoir as a novel. “I know the difference,” he said. “It is not a novel at all. It’s a memoir and my experiences in the book - A to Z - must be true…all the people I describe were with me there. I object angrily if someone mentions it as a novel." This morning, WaPo’s columnist Richard Cohen said in his article “Oprah's Grand Delusion” that when Oprah selected "A Million Little Pieces" for her book club, it “literally sent the book flying off bookstore shelves and into the stratosphere. About 2 million sold after her endorsement. Recommending the book was one thing. No one expects Oprah to fact-check every book she urges her audience to read. Sticking by it is quite another matter. Even after the Smoking Gun smoked Frey, Oprah told Larry King that no matter what, the book still retained its 'underlying message of redemption.' Instead of getting a magisterial rebuke, Frey had been pardoned.” Cohen said Oprah is not only wrong but she is deluded and needs a session with Dr. Phil. Cohen says Dr. Phil might tell her “there is no redemption without honesty. Treatment, as one expert told me, begins with ‘owning your life’ and not embellishing it for the sake of others or yourself." “Fame and wealth has lulled her (Oprah) into believing that she possesses something akin to papal infallibility,” Cohen said. “She finds herself incapable of seeing that she has been twice fooled -- once by Frey, a second time by herself.” It’s a memoir and it must be true. Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Think George is Out of Touch? Listen to Laura

The First Idiot’s First Idiot is touring West Africa with the President’s nanny, Condoleezza Rice who masquerades as the US Secretary of State. This morning they attended the inauguration of president Ellen Johnson-Sireaf, Liberia’s first female elected head of state. Before going to Liberia, Laura Bush talked to reporters in Ghana. One reporter said critics of President Bush’s AIDS program in Africa felt it relied too heavily on abstinence rather than the use of condoms. Laura Bush answered by saying, "I'm always a little bit irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100 percent effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease.” She went on to say that one in three people had a sexually transmitted deadly disease in Africa and “girls feel obligated to comply with the wishes of men”, therefore, they need to know that abstinence is a choice. Dear Mrs. Ninny, wife of the worst President in US history: In a part of the world where one in three people have a sexually transmitted deadly disease and where girls feel obligated to comply with the wishes of men, where female genital mutilation is still practiced, where wife burning, dowry-related violence, rape, incest, wife battering, killing female infants, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, summary execution of women and prostitution are still taking place and where the incidents of rape have escalated astoundingly during the last two years since the civil war in Liberia ended, women DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF SAYING, “NO, I’D RATHER NOT.” What a moron. Just before landing in Ghana Laura Bush said that the US is right to eavesdrop on Americans, adding "I think the American people expect the United States government and the president to do what they can to make sure there's not an attack by foreign terrorists.” She obviously knows as much about the people in the US as she does about women in West Africa. Oh…and wasn’t it cute of her, being in Africa to tout nominally black Condi Rice as a future President of the US? And did she know she sounded about as sincere as Pat Robertson praying for Sharon’s health? What a total and complete moron.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

NYT: Dems “Disheartened” By Alito’s Success

DISHEARTENED? More like PLAYING DEAD. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said, "To stop a president on judicial nominations, you either need a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate or moderate Republicans who will break ranks when it's a conservative nominee. We don't have any of those three. The only tool we have is the filibuster, which is a very difficult tool to use, and with only 45 Democrats, it's harder than it was last term." STOP WHINING! We need Democrats with the balls to speak out and raise hell and call ‘em as they see ‘em. It also would help to have Democrats stand firm and refuse to vote for Republican yes-men like Alito. And it would further help if “several Democrats” weren’t seen sniveling and “expressing frustration” over being upstaged by Alito’s weeping wife. God knows Mrs. A’s private moment would have done her proud in a session at the Actors Studio. And God knows it was a whole lot more fun to watch her dramatics on TV than to watch Senator Kennedy’s timeworn act. But whose fault is that? Martha-Ann Alito managed to take attention off the hearing even though, as Jon Stewart noted, she looked like she was wearing her grandmother’s sofa. And, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde: One must have a heart of stone to read about Mrs. A’s tears without laughing. Still, the fact is, she got the TV coverage and the GOP strategy for having the world LOOK OVER THERE worked once again The Democrats have to smarten up and stop whimpering and moaning about how painful and unfair it is to get buggered by a bunch of bullies. Of course it hurts. But who laid down and said, Fuck me? The entire Democrat contingent, that’s who. There are Republican voters who are aching to hear straight talk about why they should never again vote for a Republican. There are elections to be fought for and won in 2006. There are criminals to be jailed. The Democrat Party needs to rise up off its crying couch and get down to the business of saving America from the fascists. The Dem Party needs to do whatever it takes to get back in the game. As in, WHATEVER IT TAKES. Nota Bene to Senator Biden: Stop rambling and ranting and shut up! You’re an embarrassment and you are hurting us.

Friday, January 13, 2006

What Are Evangelicals?

It’s true, Pat Robertson and his PTL (Praise the Lord) 700 Club and Jerry Falwell make all Evangelicals look bad. The idea that Robertson and/or his ilk would be allowed to construct a so-called Christian theme park in Israel makes my flesh crawl. BTW, if you’re wondering where the “700” came from, it goes back to a fundraiser in 1962. Robertson hosted a telethon to keep a Christian TV channel that was about to go belly up on the air. He said he needed 700 members to contribute $10 a month to support the channel. He got the money, the channel stayed in business and the name stuck. But what are Evangelicals? One thing is certain, for every religious group that claims to be “evangelical” there is a separate and distinct definition of the word advocated by that group. And the definition typically is long and composed of many parts. But in the interest of brevity, some things are true of all Evangelicals. The word comes from the Greek word for 'Gospel' or 'good news': evangelion (good angel/good message). An evangelical is devoted to spreading the good news message of the New Testament. Evangelizing entails preaching the gospel of the New Testament and converting non-Christians to Christianity. Although details may differ, the core beliefs of Evangelicals are: 1. The Bible is inerrant. That claim has caused dispute among some evangelical sects, but all have a belief in the authority of the Bible. 2. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus and not good works. 3. Individuals (above the age of accountability—roughly,13) must personally trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. 4. All Christians are commissioned to evangelize. So the point is, Evangelicalism is about Christ and the New Testament. Christ could not have been the entity he was had he not been a Jew with a comprehensive knowledge of Jewish law and teachings. That is why all Evangelicals say they have an abiding respect for Judaism. But let’s get down to the nits and grits. Many Evangelicals believe as many Jews believe that Jews are God's chosen people. They support Israel believing that God gave the land to his people. Evangelicals believe that Christ will return to earth when the Jews have reclaimed Israel and then the final battle at Armageddon will begin. According to the Evangelical interpretation of Zechariah 13:7-9, all the Jews in the world will emigrate to Israel, two-thirds of them will die at Armageddon and one third will convert to Christianity and accept Jesus when he returns. That will start Christ's thousand-year rule. Evangelicals don’t hold out a particularly rosy prospect for Jews: Die or convert. And Evangelicals are not in the God-business to promote union between religions. They are not in the God-business to attest that Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Muslim faiths are on an equal footing with Christianity. A Mission Statement of an Evangelical group may say that one of its reasons for being is to work for Unity. But that means Unity within the Christian faith. Evangelicals are in the God-business to bring everyone in the world to Christ and to preach that the Christian faith is the only way to salvation. What is salvation? Going to heaven and eternally abiding with God. As opposed to? Well now, that’s something of a semantic problem. What do modern Evangelicals say about hell? It’s for sure you will go there if you are not saved, but do the eternal burning fires of hell still ravage the unsaved soul forever and ever? Pat Robertson would say yes. But other Evangelicals would say that being without God for all eternity would be worse than being burned in hell forever. Whatever. The promise of the Evangelical faith is that only Christians will eternally abide with God and Jews will die or convert. It’s simple as that. Evangelicals say they love, honor and respect Jews. I guess you’d call it tough love.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Israel Gets Offended By Pat Robertson…But…

Ido Hartuv, Israel’s Tourism Ministry spokesman said, "Evangelicals are the best friends of Israel and they are very, very welcome here.” Is he out of his mind? Yes, Evangelicals have pumped money into Israel because all things sacred to their religion and to Jesus Christ are in Israel. But Evangelicals hate Jews. And they preach hatred for everyone who adheres to any religion that does not espouse the fear and bigotry advocated by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. It was Robertson’s remarks about Sharon’s stroke being divine retribution that caused Hartuv to say, “We cannot accept these statements, and we will not sign any contracts with Mr. Robertson." Robertson had been in negotiations with Israel over a proposal for an evangelical pilgrimage and tourism park near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is believed to have lived and preached. Amazingly, Hartuv said Israel would be willing to continue the negotiations but without Robertson. Hartuv never brought up the hideously bigoted and criminal suggestions Robertson has made in the past--suggestions which evangelicals accept as appropriate remarks from their prophet. Robertson said about Sharon’s stroke, "It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, now he's dead…God considers this land to be his…for any prime minister of Israel who decides he will carve it up and give it away, God said, 'No, this is mine’…I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course.” Continuing negotiations with or without Robertson for a $48 million "Galilee Heritage Park" that could draw 750,000 to 1 million new tourists annually would be a sign that Israel and its tourism ministry have no problem with previous Robertson statements. 1. Pat Robertson on a The 700 Club broadcast, December 30,1991: "The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening." 2. Robertson said in his “The New World Order,” page 218: "When I said during my presidential bid (1988) that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" 3. Pat Robertson in an interview with Molly Ivins,1993: "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." 4. On October 8, 2003, Pat Robertson said a nuclear device should be used to wipe out the State Department. He repeated his comments on his 700 Club broadcast on October 9th, saying, "What we need is for somebody to place a small nuke at Foggy Bottom.” 5. Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, August 22,2005: “There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. And what did the United States State Department do about it? Virtually nothing. And as a result, within about 48 hours that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in. He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent…you know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war…we have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.” 6. On November 10th, 2005, when the people of Dover, PA voted out all seven members of the school board who supported “intelligent design,” Pat Robertson said on The 700 Club, "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city…and don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there.” These are the beliefs that Pat Robertson has been promulgating and preaching. And these are the beliefs of the Evangelicals who Ido Hartuv says Israel will work with in order to bring a Pat Robertson theme park to Israel. With or without Pat Robertson, this kind of bigotry must not be supported in Israel. The people of Israel and all Jews all over the globe must never forget that Evangelicals want to claim the birthplace of Jesus as their kingdom and they hold Jews and all non-Christians in contempt. Robertson equates the fact that people don’t agree with his hateful and bigoted religion with the Holocaust and the killing of 6,000,000 Jews by the Nazis. What are you thinking, Hartuv? It’s a no-brainer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is Alito Lying? Oh You Bet!

Yesterday, during the confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. for the Supreme Court, Alito said, "no person is above the law, and that means the president, and that means the Supreme Court." But he added he didn’t have enough info to say if Bush had broken the law when he ordered wiretaps of American citizens. Oh really? How much more info does he need? Alito admitted he once believed there was no constitutional right to abortion. He said he was only "a line attorney in the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration," but he vowed he would “keep an open mind” if the abortion issue came before him on the Supreme Court. We should live so long. Although Alito has said, "racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed,” he claimed he couldn’t remember being an active member in Concerned Alumni of Princeton even though he listed the group on a 1985 job application. CAP opposed affirmative action and coeducation at the University. A few Princeton alumni suggested Alito might not have been a member but that he might have put it on the 1985 job application to appeal to a personal connection in the Reagan administration. Oh, that’s great. Alito can’t be accused of being a member of CAP; he can only be accused of lying to suck up to the GOP. During yesterday’s hearing, Alito was asked to offer an opinion on the Supreme Court decision that made George W. Bush president in 2000. He said he had not given the case enough attention to give an opinion. This is a man who is so right-wing and law-and-order obsessed that he believes it’s right and proper to strip-search a ten-year-old girl, and yet he was disinterested in a Supreme Court decision that put the GOP in power in 2000? I am so sure. As willing as Alito is to dissemble and deceive, he cannot come close to the downright lies President Bush told to his audience of Veterans of Foreign Wars last night in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Please read this speech. A transcript is available at: “Our goal in Iraq is victory,” Bush said. “Today, I've come before you to discuss what the American people can expect to see in Iraq in the year ahead. We will see more tough fighting and we will see more sacrifice in 2006, because the enemies of freedom in Iraq continue to sow violence and destruction. We'll also see more progress toward victory. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy. Victory will come when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens. Victory will come when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks on our nation. And when victory comes and democracy takes hold in Iraq, it will serve as a model for freedom in the broader Middle East.” There was a moment in the beginning of his rant, when Bush made a patented Bushism due to his mental disorder. He said: “You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas [sic] and under fire.” The speech had nothing to do with what is actually going on in Iraq. It was a total fabrication based on what the Bush administration would like to be occurring in Iraq. Still, there was one sentence of truth: “Dictatorships seem orderly -- when one man makes all the decisions, there is no need for negotiation or compromise. Democracies are sometimes messy and seemingly chaotic.” But the rest of the speech was pure fantasy, including this gem: “And I want to report to our fellow citizens that we've got a fantastic health care system for those who wear the uniform.” Little Adolf saved his diatribe against people who disagree with him until the end: “There is a vigorous debate about the war in Iraq today, and we should not fear the debate. It's one of the great strengths of our democracy that we can discuss our differences openly and honestly -- even in times of war,” Little Adolf said. “Yet we must remember there is a difference between responsible and irresponsible debate -- and it's even more important to conduct this debate responsibly when American troops are risking their lives overseas. “The American people know the difference between responsible and irresponsible debate when they see it. They know the difference between honest critics who question the way the war is being prosecuted and partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people. And they know the difference between a loyal opposition that points out what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right. “When our soldiers hear politicians in Washington question the mission they are risking their lives to accomplish, it hurts their morale. In a time of war, we have a responsibility to show that whatever our political differences at home, our nation is united and determined to prevail. And we have a responsibility to our men and women in uniform -- who deserve to know that once our politicians vote to send them into harm's way, our support will be with them in good days and in bad days -- and we will settle for nothing less than complete victory.” Yes indeed, dictatorships do indeed seem orderly -- when one man makes all the decisions, there is no need for negotiation or compromise.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Opening Bullshit Phase of The Alito Hearings

Yesterday, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. said during the opening day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings: “A judge can't have any agenda, a judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge certainly doesn't have a client. The judge's only obligation -- and it's a solemn obligation -- is to the rule of law. And what that means is that in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires. Good judges develop certain habits of mind. One of those habits of mind is the habit of delaying reaching conclusions until everything has been considered. Good judges are always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief that they read, or the next argument that's made by an attorney who's appearing before them, or a comment that is made by a colleague during the conference on the case when the judges privately discuss the case.” And if Judge Alito has no agenda, no bias, no preconceived skewed beliefs, it must be a pure coincidence that the GOP opted for another Roman Catholic to fill Justice O’Connor’s vacated seat, which will bring the count to five Roman Catholic justices out of nine if Alito is confirmed. An interesting comment was made by a fan of James Frey. Frey wrote “A Million Little Pieces” and he’s been accused of fabricating huge portions of his tell-all. Oprah Winfrey is in the unenviable position of having chosen the book for her book club. The NYT reported that a woman named Julie posted this comment on Frey’s web site: "Even if his story is fake, he opened up the eyes of so many people. How about if we all focus on that instead of accusing him of being a liar?" There you have it in a nutshell. That’s the problem when a society becomes inured to lies. The Bush administration has lied about every issue it has touched, a Supreme Court nominee is already lying and he hasn’t been confirmed yet, journalists are told to lie for the good of the infant democracy in Iraq, doctors lie about the health of the President and Vice President, sports figures lie about using drugs, manufacturers lie about everything from autos to zircons, pharmaceutical companies lie about results and side effects, and now the fan of a liar says lying is okay if there is a universal truth in the lie. Yo, truth benders and liars: The one universal truth is that lying is always wrong. And don’t give me that crap about God blessing a lie if it feeds a hungry child. Nobody knows what God blesses or doesn’t bless. It’s a lie for any human being to claim to know what God wants. Humans can only know what they want God to want. Lying is always wrong. And the end never justifies the means.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Yo, Odds-Makers…Who Will Be The Next VP?

Little Adolf’s Herman Goring is not looking very robust this morning. Bush hasn’t been getting along with Cheney for a while, according to White House snitches that won’t give their names. And since the White House Goebbels has disappeared, I’m betting Little Leni has been putting forward her name. Whaddaya bet that CondoleezzafuckingRice is named Vice President when Cheney makes his final trip to the hospital in the not too distant future? Bush has made 17 sneaky appointments while Congress has been in recess. We know that qualifications do not matter to the Bush administration. Loyalty matters. So qualifications for a new Secretary of State wouldn’t enter the mix when Condi becomes VP. Who does Little Adolf owe the most to, not counting his mother and brother Jeb? There you go. Karen Hughes will be the new Secretary of State. And while I’m tossing airballs…a new Department of Defense appointment is going to come up before the current White House bites the dust. Rummy is toast. Who would make a good Himmler? Jeb seems to be wearing out his welcome in Texas. Little Bro looks good for Secretary of Defense. And I hear Chertoff is in bad odor now. Head of Homeland Security sounds perfect for Mom who seems to be a mite bored lately. There it is: the Fourth Reich is taking shape with members who are totally unqualified and loyal. And who is going to say NO when Little Adolf has a tantrum and screams, This is what I want because I am the Great I Am? Seriously, guys. Who is going to say NO?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Drug Plan Stinks, Jeb’s Plan Ends, DeLay Folds

Another rotten week for the GOP. Turns out, the Medicare Drug plan is even worse than feared. Not only is it cumbersome, unwieldy and confusing but it is so unworkable that in its first week of operation, four state legislatures (Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont) rushed in to save the day, else their low-income elderly and disabled would not have been able to get their prescriptions. George Bush’s little brother Jeb considered his school voucher plan to be his crowning accomplishment as Gov. of Florida. That is to say, the crowning accomplishment he could speak about. His real crowning accomplishment was the fraud he and his cohorts perpetrated on US voters that put George W. in the White House in 2000. In any case, on Friday, the Florida Supreme Court decided Jeb’s school voucher program was an illegal use of taxpayer money and it was outlawed. Tom DeLay gave up his fight to remain House majority leader while the courts decide whether to slap his lying ass in jail. A secret Pentagon study was made public that said 80% of the deaths of marines in Iraq could have been avoided if they had been issued proper body armor. The nonpartisan research arm of Congress, the Congressional Research Service, decided that President Bush did not have the authority to order wiretaps on American citizens. A Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq early this morning, killing twelve Americans. The total number of American soldiers killed in Dictator George’s war is 2,198.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Prez Loooves Our Troops So Much That…

A New York Times article this morning (“Pentagon Study Links Fatalities to Body Armor”) by Michael Moss reports, “A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.” As of January 5th, 2193 American soldiers have died in Iraq. President Bush, who won’t allow flag-draped coffins to be photographed and who hasn’t used his considerable power as dictator to ensure that our troops have the body armor they need, has loudly proclaimed that Americans who rail against his sorry war are traitors. And yet, it increasingly looks like George W. Bush is the biggest traitor of all. The NYT article says, “For the first time, the study by the military's medical examiner shows the cost in lives from inadequate armor, even as the Pentagon continues to publicly defend its protection of the troops.” In addition, the NYT says, “The Times obtained the three-page Pentagon report after a military advocacy group, Soldiers for the Truth, learned of its existence. The group posted an article about the report on its Web site earlier this week. The Times delayed publication of this article for more than a week until the Pentagon confirmed the authenticity of its report. Pentagon officials declined to discuss details of the wound data, saying it would aid the enemy.” Not only is the Pentagon at fault in the deadly errors and delays of getting proper equipment to the troops, the military can also be blamed. The shipment of special trucks with a V-shaped hull that deflects roadside bombs has been delayed because the Army asked that their vehicles be delivered before the Marine vehicles. That senseless internecine tiff interfered with production, the NYT says, “until the Army agreed to get back in line behind the Marines”. The Little Dictator in the White House yesterday crowed for 40 minutes to 13 former secretaries of state and defense about how well the war in Iraq was going. Madeleine Albright suggested that since the war was "taking up all the energy" of the Bush foreign policy team, the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea were out of control and the Bush administration had neglected Latin America and China. His Wee Eminence blustered in response that his administration "can do more than one thing at a time.” Certainly an unfortunate choice of words, calling to mind as it does that the Prez can barely put on his socks and remember his own name at the same time.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Unlimited Terms for Presidents? Yikes!

Today’s Op/Ed writers for the NYT, James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn, want the 22nd Amendment to be revoked. In their column today, “No More Second-Term Blues”, they suggest that “second termitis” (the tendency for presidents to lose their way in their second term) is due to term limits. In 1947, Republicans pushed through the 22nd amendment, which limits a president to two terms because they were scared shitless another Democrat might go on forever. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been elected to an unprecedented fourth term in 1944. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage two months later at age 63. At the very least, a proposal to allow presidents to have unlimited terms at this particular time in USA history is stupid in the extreme. George W. Bush has shown he believes he is above the law and that he possesses the authority to rule like a dictator. The last thing the majority of American people would welcome is the opportunity for election fraud to keep a president in power for decades. The fact is, Burns and Dunn may be right that the reason second-term presidents fall prey to ill-conceived excesses like Reagan’s contra scandal and Clinton’s spicy sex life is because they have, in effect, been fired. But the solution, if there is one, is not to enable a corrupt administration like the Bush administration to break laws and empower itself to rule without control and with impunity for years on end. The slight tremor you may have felt this morning is a few billion people in the world shuddering at the prospect of the Bush administration cheating its way to a third, fourth and fifth term.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hitler, Nazis And Fascists

A few months ago when The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart chided people for likening anything or anyone, even the Bush administration, to Hitler and the Nazis, I agreed. Hitler and his stormtroopers who murdered six million Jews were too singular to use for comparison, and the holocaust too specific to describe anyone and anything else. At that time, I said I would no longer make allusions to Hitler when speaking about the White House. But I am breaking that vow. The recent arrogant admission by George W. Bush that he had broken the law and ordered the National Security Agency to wiretap American citizens and that he had the right to do so because he was President, was the statement of a dictator. The majority of American people have always agreed with Jews who said NEVER AGAIN about Hitler and the Nazis. And yet, here we are. We have allowed a fascistic government to gain so much power that it has made an insane delusional man president of the United States. We have allowed that fascistic government to subvert our Constitution and our laws. We have allowed the Nazis in the White House to spy on American citizens in order to further their aims of totalitarianism and global rule. Yesterday I quoted a man without attribution that I said would understand the way our government is running our country. That man is Adolf Hitler. He said: The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one; strength lies not in defense but in attack; how fortunate for leaders that men do not think; who says I am not under the special protection of God? Our government has ignored the Never Again rallying cry when dictators and fascists run riot in other parts of the globe. Our government always has an excuse, not a plausible excuse, but an excuse, and perhaps it suffices to salve the consciences of Americans. But we know in our hearts we should have stopped the genocide in Rwanda. And we know we should be stopping the genocide in Darfur. But now, we are the people at risk. Now, attention must be paid. We have a Hitler and Nazis running our government. The comparison is apt. On November 4, 2005, President Bush said, “I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals.” What was he really saying? How far is the Bush administration willing to go to eliminate those who don’t share its goals? The Bush administration has already trashed the Constitution, broken laws, and claimed it has the authority to rule without checks and balances. The Bush administration has already used the label "traitor" for people who don’t agree with its policies. And it has said anyone who makes its criminal activities known is aiding and abetting the enemy. What next? Internment camps for registered Democrats? Don’t bet against it when Hitler is your president.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Deny Deny Deny Then Accuse

Oh…and for good measure, after denying and accusing, use the sentence, “most Americans understand that…”. Yesterday, the GOP used all three prongs of this strategy. When the Prez visited wounded soldiers in San Antonio he denied wrongdoing re the NSA wiretaps. He said, "The N.S.A. program is a necessary program. I was elected to protect the American people from harm. And on Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was attacked. And after that day, I vowed to use all the resources at my disposal, within the law, to protect the American people, which is what I have been doing and will continue to do." Senator Mitch McConnell (RR-KY) said yesterday on Fox News that the main focus on the NSA wiretaps should be on finding out who leaked the information. "This needs to be investigated, because whoever leaked this information has done the U.S. and its national security a great disservice." And then the President used the most-favored, beatified and canonized locution in the GOP lexicon when he said, "I think most Americans understand the need to find out what the enemy's thinking, and that's what we're doing," In the past the Prez has affirmed that,"Americans understand we fight not a religion; ours is not a campaign against the Muslim faith. Ours is a campaign against evil." He claimed that all Americans want to own something or should want to own something: “All of us here in America should believe, and I think we do, that we should be, as I mentioned, a nation of owners. Owning something is freedom, as far as I'm concerned. It's part of a free society... It's a part of … an important part of America.” After the election, he said he knew what Americans expected, “With the campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results.” Although he admitted he would ignore that expectation when he added, “I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals.” Bush informed Jim Lehrer that he knew what Americans want to know: “I think the point that Americans really want to know is twofold. One, are we doing everything we can to protect the people? And two, are we protecting civil liberties as we do so? And my answer to both is yes, we are.” Deny, accuse and claim to know what people want. Does it work? The man who made the following statements knows whether it works or not: The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one; strength lies not in defense but in attack; how fortunate for leaders that men do not think; who says I am not under the special protection of God?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Today the Prez Will “Set The Tone” For 2006

Here’s what’s been going on down there in Crawford, TX: The Prez has been in quiet isolation for the past six days. And while he’s been mountain biking and brush whacking, he’s been thinking. Or rather, the geniuses that do the president’s thinking have been thinking. And the thinkers decided GWB should come back from his quiet Christmas isolation early this year in order to “set the tone” for 2006. According to the New York Times, the way the Prez will set this tone is by giving speeches that have been written for him for four weeks and then on January 31, he will deliver a canned State of the Union speech. This plan makes one wonder if there is anyone in his right mind in the Bush administration. The tone for 2006 was set long ago, you gnat-brained incompetent morons. The tone was set when the Prez’s approval rating sank to 37%. The tone was set when Scooter Libby was indicted and the White House master bastard Karl Rove became one of the disappeareds to prepare for his own indictment. The tone was set when the Prez said he would continue sending American soldiers to be killed in Iraq until he decided not to send American soldiers to be killed in Iraq. The tone was set when the Prez admitted he’d broken the law and had ordered the NSA to wiretap American citizens. The headline of David Sanger’s NYT article today is: President Uses a Quiet Vacation to Prepare His Agenda for 2006. LMFAO! President George W. Bush couldn’t prepare a grocery list without a cue card. So let’s talk about that. George W. Bush will be POTUS for three more years. Can he fake it for that long? Do we have another President in the throes of Alzheimer’s? More and more people are comparing the articulate George Bush who defeated Ann Richards in the Texas Gubernatorial election in 1994 with the George Bush of 2005. They are two different men. For ten years, there has been a steady downward spiral of memory loss, misstatements, paranoia, confusion and incidents of falling down. Early onset Alzheimer’s runs in families. Both of George Bush’s grandparents on his mother’s side had Alzheimer’s. But whether it was the early onset variety is not spoken about. Has an agenda been mapped out for King George to rule from a funny farm? Given the fondness the White House has for staged photo-ops, it will be a very bad sign if the two-bit production team starts watching “Dave” over and over.