Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It’s Kind of Sweet…

…in a sad, adolescent sort of way when people who want to appear blasé and wearied of being smarter and more intelligent than the rest of us say the world has always been corrupt and now is no worse than ever (sigh). Or that, foreign corporations have been running our ports forever (yawn) so what’s new? Or, nothing really matters, no one can do anything, politics is stupid (knowing sneer) so why get involved? Truth to tell many of the faux bored and seen-it-all folks are on anti-depressants, so it’s well to consider the source. But the point is that NEVER in the history of the United States has a political party EVER been as malignant, treacherous, double-dealing and underhanded as the present Bush administration. And giving the devil it’s due, never has a political party been able to use its power (whether real or perceived doesn’t matter) as effectively as the Bush administration. Even though this Dubai deal carries with it the stench of rotting corpses, not to mention the sacrificed integrity of some very good men, the Bush administration has managed to force high-placed Republicans to eat their words of concern. The Bush administration has been incredibly effective at selling the United States to the highest bidder. That's because it is the only way this White House can keep the nation afloat since it needs $4 billion A DAY in FOREIGN MONEY to make up for the budget and trade deficits. Representatives from the US and China are meeting this week. The US says its trade deficit with China was $202 billion US dollars in 2005. China says the deficit in 2005 was $114.17 billion US dollars. The discrepancy is important. The US wants China to change its exchange rate to benefit the US. But China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said, “China will not succumb to foreign pressure in the exchange rate issue.” Translation: you are dependent on our money so screw you. What to do? What to do? Why it’s simple. Borrow billions more dollars every day from foreign countries to pay for the war in Iraq and sell 21 (possibly 22) of our ports to an Arab country. The thing that cannot be refuted is that the Bush administration’s plan to keep the US afloat is working. We’re still here and no bread lines have formed. The rich are getting richer and the poor aren’t any more miserable than they were in 2000, they are just poorer. But selling off our birthright bit by bit cannot work forever. The reason we invaded Iraq was to get control of Middle East oil, which would have done wonders for putting the US on firm financial ground. But alas, the grand plan to steal Middle East oil for ourselves DID NOT GO AS PLANNED. And no matter how many US troops are killed in Iraq, no matter how many Iraqi citizens are murdered, no matter how long we stay in Iraq and no matter how many lies are told about why we are in Iraq, we are not going to get control of Iraq oil, or Saudi oil, or Iranian oil. What to do? What to do? Again, it’s simple. We pull out of Iraq and give up the idea that Iraq oil is our oil. And for sure, we stop saying we want to bring democracy to the Middle East. We don’t. We never did. It will be a long time before our economy and our deficits are repaired, because the Bush administration has been shortsighted, ignorant, deluded, ham-handed, self-absorbed and arrogant. Very likely our economy and budget deficits can never be repaired. But not spending $6 billion a month on the quagmire in Iraq would help. So what am I suggesting? I am suggesting that the US get out of Iraq and stop financing the Carlyle Group’s investment in war machinery and military operations; that the US stop rattling sabers and telling lies about making other costly wars in other parts of the US; that the US stop trying to steal Middle East oil. Is it feasible that the Bush administration will do any of the above now that it has thoroughly compromised our national security out of greed? No. But the US can get out of bed with the Arabs who attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. OMG! Looking back on the way Prez Bush and his cronies have comported themselves in the last five years, you don’t think they had something to do with the 9/11 attack do you? Just asking.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Blackmail Pure and Simple

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who is running as hard as he can for Prez in 2008 said something provocative on George Steph’s This Week show yesterday. And for McCain, who comes across like a Method Actor doing a “bland and boring” exercise, provocative is a stretch. However, McCain was babbling on about the Dubai deal being just fine and that even though the UAE wasn’t our friend before 9/11, it became righteous immediately after 9/11 and now the country is benign and never ever would harm us and is our new best friend blah-blah-blah. Then he said that the UAE had helped the US out in another way. For some reason George Steph did not press McCain for details. WHAT exactly is this other way that the UAE has served the US? More to the point, what has the UAE done that makes it incumbent on George W. Bush to hand over US ports without a murmur? After spending the weekend with execs from Dubai Ports World, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services John W. Warner (R-VA) said, “We cannot mess this deal up…if the U.A.E. felt that they're being mistreated, and were to pull back that support, where would it shift? We know not." So McCain implies the UAE has done classified who-knows-what ops for the US that are so important (unmentionable) that we owe turning over our ports to them. And Warner comes right out and says if we don’t do whatever the UAE asks of us, the UAE will give its support to our enemies. Warner added, “We as the United States are dependent on countries like the U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, all of them there, to give us the support to fight this war on terrorism." Last Tuesday the Prez said, "This is a company that has played by the rules.” Out of the murk and double-talk, a picture is beginning to emerge. And that picture is worth a thousand words like “blackmail, extortion, hostage, ransom, payoff, threat, coercion, knee-capping and cement shoes”. Apparently, the UAE (and Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and all of “them”) are willing to play by the rules as outlined by The Carlyle Group, the Pentagon, the White House Iraq Group, William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century, and Karl Rove’s plan to make an ignorant mental defective King of the World, as long as the US pays its respects and ponies up the required vigorish. Which, in the Dubai case means acting as though the UAE is a friend and turning over our ports to Dubai Ports World. It’s called the Protection Racket. And the entire GOP is in on it. But the GOP is pissed that the deal wasn’t handled with more class and finesse. Sorry guys, class and finesse just don’t go hand in hand with 60-year-old hookers stinking from five-minute-dates in foreign legation rent-a-cars.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Anti-Arab? So?

Even the NYT sounds doubtful this morning that it was the magnanimous decision of the UAE to delay it’s takeover of US ports. The NYT said, “The White House plans to portray the action as the company's own decision, giving administration officials a face-saving way of backing away from President Bush's repeated declarations in recent days that there is no security risk in having the port terminals operated by a company controlled by the emir of Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates.” When the UAE totally backs down and out of this unholy alliance, you can bet your sweet ass it won’t be the UAE that makes that decision. But let’s talk about all the holier-than-thou, pious, politically correct, more-ethically-righteous and more-morally-pure-than-God horseshit about opposition to the Dubai deal being “anti-Arab”. If opposition to letting an Arab government that aided in the 9/11 attacks run our country is anti-Arab, what’s wrong with that? If the US has become anti-Arab, what has made the US anti-Arab? When George H.W. Bush used Saddam Hussein as a paid CIA assassin, were people in the US anti-Arab? When Little Georgie Bush was cavorting around with his best friend Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, were people in the US anti-Arab? When the entire Bush family was bedding down with the entire bin Laden family, was the US anti-Arab? When GHWB jumped into the Kuwait debacle and waged his little Gulf War to protect US oil interests, were people in the US anti-Arab? Could it be that the Saudi attack (with help from the United Arab Emirates) on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 has had something to do with a US anti-Arab bias? Could it be that the unnecessary war with Iraq that the Bush administration forced on the people of the US has had the effect of making people in the US anti-Arab? Is it possible that 2290 American soldiers dying in George Bush’s war in Iraq has made people in the US feel anti-Arab? It is galling to hear ignorant assholes who prate about the sacred rights of a zygote while defending the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, now cluck their tongues and say it’s anti-Arab bias to oppose a plan to sell our country to an enemy state. If some people in the United States feel no visceral twinge of mistrust for the Arab world, that’s fine. But by me, it’s just as fine, appropriate, understandable and psychologically sound for US citizens to be inclined to count their fingers after a handshake deal with anyone in the Arab world and particularly with the UAE.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Any Bookies Taking Bets on the Prez Cave-in?

I’ve sent an e-mail to PaddyPower to see if it’s giving odds on when Bush will cave re the Dubai deal, but I haven’t heard back. I would think there would be interest all over the world in placing bets on the date when the President pulls his clodhoppers out of this latest Bush administration cowpie. The NYT reported this morning that Dubai Ports World had issued a statement saying, "DP World will segregate P & O's U.S. operations while it engages in further consultation with the Bush administration and, as appropriate, Congressional leadership.” In other words, the UAE blinked. Dubai Ports has agreed to own our ports’ management contracts but won’t manage them during a cooling-off period. And Karl Rove blinked. He said that although Dubai Ports would be in the final stages of acquisition next week, "there's no requirement that it close, you know, immediately after that." Like, no requirement that it EVER close, Karl? The Asshole in Chief can save himself a world of embarrassment by suggesting to Dubai Ports World on the QT that it withdraw its offer to buy our ports. That’s what happened last year when Communist China made an offer to purchase Unocal (Union Oil Company of California). China eventually recognized the wisdom of withdrawing its offer. If the decision to walk away from this ill-conceived plan to increase US trade revenues would come from the UAE, it would look a whole lot better for the US. An article about this Dubai deal wound up in the Business section of the LA Times this morning. Which is exactly where it belongs. LA Times writer Evelyn Iritani said, “Unless America takes steps to address the growing tensions between open economic borders and national security, trade experts predict that there will be more of these conflicts, given the emergence of new players from the Middle East and China and the growing internationalization of the U.S. economy. And that could be dangerous for a country that needs roughly $4 billion a day in foreign capital to cover its budget and trade deficits.” And there you have it in a nutshell: The Bush administration is whoring for business deals with an Arab country that supported the 9/11 attackers because the Bush administration is bankrupting the US with a foolish and unnecessary war in Iraq. I am assuming the State Department and every other Department in George W. Bush’s cabinet got an earful from Israel when the President said that treating Dubai as less trustworthy than Britain “sends a disastrous signal to the Middle East”. What about the Prez acting like a pimp for a country that refuses to recognize Israel as a sovereign state? What kind of signal does that send to the Middle East? Yesterday, US trade-watchers suggested a perfect face-saving reason for Dubai Ports World to withdraw from this controversy. The trade wisemen said US policies were beginning to look “anti-Arab”. Whatever. How about March 15th for the date the UAE will decide it doesn’t like the Dubai deal? Beware the Ides of March and all that. Or March 17th? There’s that lovely symbolism about snakes being driven out of the homeland.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Whatever the WH Says About UAE, It’s a LIE

For the last twenty-four hours, the White House flacks have been dancing as fast as they can. Now they are saying they should have informed members of Congress about the Dubai deal sooner. Now they are saying the good folks in Voterland should have been properly indoctrinated about the sale of US ports to the UAE. Some Republicans in Congress are already prostrating themselves and murmuring, “Yes, Master, if you had informed us, we’d have no doubts. I’m bending over, Master, do what you will.” The lube job was starting to work, and then the Grand High Glorious Ruler of the Royal Order of Sons of Assholes blew it again. Speaking from the Baboon Lodge yesterday the Prez said he knew nothing of the Dubai deal until he learned about it from news reports. This is the first truthful thing George W. Bush has said in five years. But it is astounding that the White House assumed the American people would find solace in a President who not only knows NOTHING about ANYTHING but having admitted his ignorance then vowed to veto any measure by Congress that would mitigate his profound stupidity. Supervised leaks from the White House are beginning to appear. Note this AP item: “According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, under a secretive agreement with the Bush administration, a company in the United Arab Emirates promised to cooperate with U.S. investigations as a condition of its takeover of operations at six major American ports.” Uh-huh. Notice that this well-timed revelation says “secretive agreement”, not secret agreement. It’s total and complete bullshit. Last night CNN’s Lou Dobbs was on the right track when he said, “President Bush's family and members of the Bush administration have long-standing business connections with the United Arab Emirates, and those connections are raising new concerns and questions tonight in some quarters about why the president is defying his very own party leadership and his party in defending the Dubai port deal.” CNN’s Christine Romans was even more enlightening. She said, “The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser and is a who's who of former high-level government officials. Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government-backed buyout firm, invested in an $8 billion Carlyle fund.” Romans went on to say,“Another family connection, the president's brother, Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from the UAE investors. A call to his company was not returned.” “Then there is the cabinet connection,” Romans said. “Treasury Secretary John Snow was chairman of railroad company CSX. After he left the company for the White House, CSX sold its international port operations to Dubai Ports World for more than a billion dollars. “In Connecticut today, Snow told reporters he had no knowledge of that CSX sale. ‘I learned of this transaction probably the same way members of the Senate did, by reading about it in the newspapers.’” Romans continued, “Another administration connection, President Bush chose a Dubai Ports World executive to head the U.S. Maritime Administration. David Sanborn, the former director of Dubai Ports' European and Latin American operations, he was tapped just last month to lead the agency that oversees U.S. port operations. “Now, some members of Congress, some of whom have already confirmed Sanborn, say they'd like to take a closer look at this nomination. But it's not just administration connections that Dubai has in this deal, Lou. It's now aggressively lining up representation on the Hill, bipartisan representation. The United Arab Emirates not only has friends in high places in government, it also has high-powered lobbying connections. This oil- rich nation has been lavishing hundreds of thousands of dollars on K Street, lobbying friends to push its point of view and its goals. One of those friends we found out today is none other than Senator Dole, former Senator Dole.” A big question that should be asked, is: How is Dubai Ports World going to finance the $6.9 billion bucks it will take to buy P & O (Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company)? Frank Gaffney, Jr. in his Washington Times article “Ports of CFIUS Call” says the UAE intends to raise nearly the whole amount from international capital markets. Who will these foreign investors be? Gaffney asks. And what if their intentions are not honorable? And if the UAE comes to American investors, will Americans be told? “For that matter,” Gaffney said, “Will the underwriters, Barclays and Deutsche Bank, reveal to prospective funders the real risk that the deal will ultimately fall through?” By the way, Dubai Ports World, the new owners of P and O, will be in charge of heavy armor, helicopters and other military materiel that go through the Texas seaports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi. Do you think our enemies who just happen to live in the UAE nabe might like to do damage to those shipments? Let me repeat: Anything the Bush administration says about the Dubai deal has been and will be a lie.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Dubai Deal Is About “Free Trade”?

The current explanation for the Dubai arrangement is that the UAE and the USA have been engaged in free trade talks since 2004. This so-called free trade pact would allow companies to own and operate businesses in both countries. Selling of the US ports to Dubai Ports World, the explainers say, would go a long way to setting the free trade wheels in motion. It’s true that the Bush administration has never met a corporation it doesn’t love. And it’s true, the Bush administration says its first priority is to fight terrorism and make America secure. Except where Big Business is concerned. For Big Business, the whores in the White House are prepared to encourage terrorists to take over, own and run American corporations. But why all the secrecy if this whole sorry exercise in government by fiat is simply to pave the way for global deregulation of corporations? Why was everyone blindsided? Surely if the Dubai deal were coming out of free trade talks then the entire Republican power-elite in Congress would not have been caught unawares. I believe the UAE cabal is something a whole lot murkier, uglier, more underhanded and smellier than a free trade pact. I think (yes, I prefer to think) the White House is paying off the UAE for some nasty and unspeakable shit it performed at the behest of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, the White House Iraq Group and Ahmad Chalabi. I believe the UAE has presented a bill to the President of the United States for services rendered re the US gaining rights to Middle East oil. And I think George W. Bush is frightened out of his wits that if this covenant doesn’t go through, he’s going to wind up with his balls stuffed in his mouth. It’s certainly a tantalizing scenario. Abject fear is the only thing that sufficiently explains why the President of the United States would go to the mat for a foreign government that has demonstrated it willingly cooperated with 9/11 terrorists and is fiercely anti-Israel into the bargain. Lest you forget, this is the UAE track record: 1) The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. 2) The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya. According to the New York Times, the UAE was “the main transshipment point for Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani nuclear engineer who ran the world's largest nuclear proliferation ring from warehouses near the port, met Iranian officials there, and shipped centrifuge equipment, which can be used to enrich uranium, from there to Libya”. 3) According to the FBI, money was transferred to two 9/11 hijackers and was laundered through the UAE banking system. 4) After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts. 5) The UAE does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state. This goes a little farther than holding hands with an Arabian prince. Now the Prez is the entire UAE’s bitch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Deadly Dubai Deal

What’s it going to take, guys? We should be mounting a full-scale protest! We’ve got President George W. Bush who can’t find his ass with two hands and a Senate probe because he’s mentally incompetent, not because he drinks, which he does. We’ve got Vice President Dick Cheney who has just shot a man in the face because he does drink even though he’s had two DUI’s and is so medically impaired he has to keep an emergency medical team on-tap to monitor his meds and the second-by-second status of his diseased heart. We’ve got Dick Cheney’s advisor, Scooter Libby, who was indicted and resigned and now says Cheney ordered him to leak Valerie Plame’s name. We’ve got the President’s advisor Karl Rove, who is being investigated by a grand jury. We’ve got the State Department forcing employees to support White House policies or get fired. We’ve got 2,277 American soldiers who have been killed in the Bush administration’s ill-conceived, badly managed and unnecessary war in Iraq. We’ve got 16,549 American soldiers officially counted as wounded in Iraq, but the number may be as high as 48,000. We’ve got everyone in the world hating us, and perhaps even worse, laughing at us. And now, would you believe? We’ve got the rat-faced, squeak-voiced, shifty-eyed, bungling head of the impotent, useless, limp-dick Homeland Security Department, Michael Chertoff, telling us that selling six East Coast ports to the United Arab Emirates is a good and proper thing and is for our security. Inconceivable as Chertoff’s position may be, our incompetent, grandiose, narcissistic president who also has to be mega-medicated lest he throw a hissy fit at any given moment on any given day has said that the secret negotiations for the sale of the ports to Dubai Ports World is final and will go forward on March 2nd no matter what. This entire country is acting like it has battered woman syndrome: He said he’ll protect me, he’ll kill me if I complain, he’s really thinking of my best interests, he has to be tough to show he loves me, I’m scared of him, I have to sleep with him and he rapes me, he drinks, he’s mean, what can I do? And NOW: He sold me to a bunch of slimy Middle East businessmen as part of an oil deal...waaaaahhhhh!!! Wait until Dubai says to the Prez, “Don’t mess with us, girl!” Because unless the people in the United States who still can think for themselves DO SOMETHING, that’s exactly what is going to happen.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DUBAI? Are They Kidding? DUBAI?!

No. The United Arab Emirates are not our friends. The Saudis are not our friends. And Dubai is not an ally. Michael Chertoff, the putative head of Homeland Security is a weasel-faced, ass-kissing, Bush administration know-nothing flack. He has defended the ill-conceived plan to give Dubai control over six American ports. The transactions with Dubai Ports World were examined by a committee (including his own people), Chertoff said and Dubai is considered an American ally in fighting terrorism. The six ports are in: Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami. This plan to turn over US ports to Dubai is not just insane, it’s Bush administration treachery. Dubai is one of seven individual states in the Arab Peninsula ruled by emirs. These seven states formed a federation in 1971 and called themselves the United Arab Emirates. Formerly, they had been known as the Trucial States. The Trucial States were founded between the 7th and 8th centuries. In the 19th century they granted the United Kingdom control of their defense and foreign affairs. Those treaties ended when the seven emirates merged and became an independent entity. The UAE is made up of five states on the Persian Gulf: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qayuayn and Al Fujayrah on the Gulf of Oman. Ra’s al Khaymah, which is on the Persian Gulf, joined the other six in 1972. And why are these emirates a continuing terrorist concern? 1) The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. 2) The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya. 3) According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system. 4) After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts. At best, this plan is a shortsighted strategy to salvage the US reputation in the Middle East and to bolster our influence. At worst, the Bush administration is once again selling us down the river with its cockamamie schemes and political miscalculations.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Cheney Shooting as Metaphor

Dick Cheney Is No Sportsman Former-senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) says Vice President Cheney is a “crack-shot”. Most of the people who have been interviewed about Cheney’s accidental shooting of Harry Whittington say that Cheney loves to hunt. Both statements are undoubtedly true. But Cheney likes to hunt in situations where the hunted are kept in cages and released en mass in order to be killed. Cheney likes to hunt game that have been raised for him to kill. I can remember pheasant hunting with my dad in Illinois when I was nine or ten years old. We would go to the woods that were five or six miles from my little hometown. It was my dad and his shotgun against the pheasants that would get flushed out of the brush as we walked through the woods. We stuffed a couple sandwiches in our jacket pockets for lunch. We would bring home two or three pheasants from the day’s shooting. I had the honor of picking up the dead birds by the neck and carrying them to the car. Dad cleaned the birds when we got back home. Mom cut them up but never found all the buckshot. We were advised not to bite down hard on any of the pieces or we might break a tooth. The birds were frozen in our refrigerator and we usually ate them the next Sunday for dinner after church. Dad never offered to teach me about guns and shooting. And to tell you the truth, I wasn’t that keen to learn. Dad usually came back from hunting with a big bruise on his shoulder from the gun’s recoil. But this is the way Cheney goes pheasant hunting. In December 2003, Dick Cheney and his hunting party went to a private hunting club in southwestern Pennsylvania. In a controlled shoot Cheney and his bunch fired their guns when pen-raised pheasants were released from cages. It was reported in newspapers that Cheney shot down the most birds—70. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) was along for the day’s hunt and characterized it as a slaughter. Simpson said that on shooting parties with Cheney, hired men cleaned the dead birds and packed them in dry ice for the flight back to Washington. On the day of the Whittington shooting everyone gathered under an oak tree for lunch. They had sweetbreads, two kinds of salad and charbroiled nilgai (Asian antelope raised and shot on the Armstrong ranch). Cheney supposedly had one beer at lunch. It sounds like the scene from “Citizen Kane” when Kane decides to have a picnic. The picnic involved huge tents, a catered feast and a caravan of equipment, lackeys and servants. Cheney may like to show off his marksman’s prowess, but more than that, he has no patience with a fair fight. Cheney prefers to have the advantage over the game. For Dick Cheney to enjoy a hunt, the prey have to be caged and released like clay pigeons. Which is exactly the way Cheney, Rumsfeld and Little Hitler from Texas fought the unnecessary war in Iraq. You cannot change a man’s nature.

Friday, February 17, 2006

NYT: Bush Satisfied With Cheney Explanation

That’s odd, I’m not. But would Bush live to tell it if he weren’t satisfied? WMR (The Wayne Madsen Report) is always thought provoking if a little out there. On February 13th, Madsen posted this interesting item: “WMR has learned that this incident is not the first involving Cheney and hunting accidents. According to informed sources on Maryland's Eastern Shore, two years ago Cheney was shooting at ducks from a duck blind in Trappe, a Maryland Eastern shore town where former Secretary of State James Baker III maintains a residence. The sources reveal that Cheney nearly accidentally shot half of his hunting party and Secret Service detail. Eyewitnesses to the Maryland duck hunting incident claim that Cheney is ‘trigger happy’ and a ‘maniac with a gun.’” Heart attack patients are known for being irascible. Cheney is on a medication to lower his cholesterol. If he’s taking a statin-type med like Lipitor, Zocor, or Pravachol, they can cause severe irritability. I wouldn’t want to be within a country mile of Dick Cheney and a water pistol, let alone a shotgun. Dick Cheney was arrested for drunk driving when he was 21. He was arrested again for drunk driving when he was 22. Dick Cheney is on god-only-knows how many medications due to his four heart attacks, angioplasty surgery, defibrillator implant, stent implant, gout, skin cancer and high cholesterol. And yet, Cheney drinks. And apparently he drinks while hunting. And while drinking and hunting he shoots indiscriminately and promiscuously. Is the shooting of Harry Whittington by Dick Cheney going to be forgotten because George Bush says Cheney handled the matter “just fine”? The Harry Whittington shooting has the same chance of disappearing as Spiro Agnew’s tax evasion when Agnew was Nixon’s Vice President. Agnew resigned the Vice Presidency and he was disbarred by the state of Maryland.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is Cheney Allowed to Drink Hard Liquor?

Whether his doctors sanction it or not, we now know dick Cheney drinks. Get a load of this item that was in an Editor and Publisher article yesterday about Brit Hume’s interview with Cheney: “CNN today reports that Armstrong had told CNN she never saw Cheney or Whittington ‘drink at all on the day of the shooting until after the accident occurred, when the vice president fixed himself a cocktail back at the house.’” The sombitch drinks. He drinks even though any man with his serious medical conditions should not drink. Cheney’s health problems: 1978 - Heart attack #1 (age 37) 1984 - Heart attack #2 1988- Heart attack #3 1988- Coronary bypass surgery 2000 - Heart attack #4 2000-Coronary stent placed 2000- Abnormal heart function 2001- Unstable angina 2001- Coronary angioplasty 2001- Cardiac defibrillator implanted 2005- Popliteal artery aneurysm repair Has episodes of gout Has been treated for skin cancer Was arrested twice for drunk driving when he was young And yet, the man drinks. And he drinks when he’s stressed. There’s very little else we need to know about Cheney and booze. Cheney lies and Cheney drinks. Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus. It’s easy to assume Cheney lies about when he drinks, how often he drinks and how much he drinks. The LA Times has an article this morning about the besetting sin of the Bush administration, “Critics See a White House Failure to Communicate”, which has been perfectly epitomized by the way the Vice President’s office handled the Whittington shooting. Not surprisingly, LA’s main newspaper chose a favored movie quote in its headline. In “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) the Captain of a prison camp chain gang (Strother Martin) says the line to Luke (Paul Newman) when Luke won’t bend to the Captain’s will. The Captain beats Luke within an inch of his life and then says, “What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach, so you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men. “ Although the MSM, Democrats, some Republicans and most of the people living in the United States are frustrated by the Bush administration’s communication failures re the war in Iraq, Katrina, illegal wiretapping and now the Cheney shooting, Cheney is frustrated by his failure to communicate that he’s boss. Like the Captain in “Cool Hand Luke”, Cheney can’t understand why he has failed to convey that what he says goes, that he doesn’t need to abide by any rules any time, anywhere, anywise. And like the Captain, Cheney is prepared to strongarm, intimidate and bully to get his point across. The two top men in our government have a drinking problem. One is stupid and drinks because he is failing to communicate that he’s been anointed by God to run the world. The other one drinks, drunkenly shoots people in the face and refuses to communicate anything to anyone except that he is the power behind the one who was anointed by God to run the world. The world is laughing at us. I wonder why.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

White House Sleight-of-Hand

The amazing disappearing news. Yesterday MSNBC reported that Katharine Armstrong said there had been a few beers at the quail-hunting party on her ranch where dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington in the face neck and chest. In a trice, MSNBC excised that bit of info. And any allusion to alcohol and the hunting party evaporated as though it had never been. Last night, I read an updated news story in the NYT explaining in detail that doctors who reported that a BB had moved through Whittington’s body into his heart were in error. It never could have happened that way since birdshot is about the same size, if not larger than, the veins/arteries it would have moved through. Ergo, the pellet was shot into Whittington’s heart. This morning there is no mention that the early diagnoses were wrong. There is no detailed account that birdshot could not have traveled through Whittington’s body. We only read that a pellet lodged in Whittington’s heart. But at least they finally got that right. Last night, the NYT said Cheney shot from 6 to 200 pellets at Whittington. This morning the NYT says “more than 5 but less than 150-200 pellets”. This morning the LATimes is still saying a pellet migrated though Whittington’s body and lodged in his heart. CBS radio reports give a thumbnail headline saying that a pellet lodged near Whittington’s heart and then traveled into his heart, but the actual news report says a BB lodged in Whittington’s heart when Cheney shot Whittington. All news stories make sure we know that Whittington had “a minor heart attack”. Some say it wasn’t an actual for-real heart attack at all. What Whittington had was something like a heart attack. WaPo calls it “a cardiac event”. Mr. Ratfucker would like to clear up this muzzy/fuzzy bad reporting for you. Mr. Ratfucker feels that the American public understands there was booze and plenty of it at the quail-hunting party on Katharine Armstrong’s ranch last weekend. Mr. Ratfucker is sure that thinking Americans realize that megabucks/Republicans/Texas and ranch translate into drinking-up-a-storm-oh-you-betcha and that suggesting otherwise is an insult to the average American’s intelligence. Mr. Ratfucker has never understood, and he suspects many Americans have never understood why Vice President Dick Cheney shot his birdshot into the weeds. Birds gotta fly, Mr. Ratfucker has reasoned out. Therefore, if Dick Cheney shot his load prematurely into brush where he couldn’t see Mr. Whittington, he did so because he was blind drunk. Mr. Ratfucker seriously doubts any of the reports coming out of Texas or Washington. Mr. Ratfucker seriously doubts Deadeye Dick shot Whittington from 30 feet away. Mr. Ratfucker’s plain good sense tells him Deadeye was about six feet or less from Mr. Whittington when he heard a noise and in his drunken stupor he fired his gun. Furthermore, Mr. Ratfucker says he can’t believe, nor indeed should anyone believe one word that proceeds from Katharine Armstrong’s mouth. She’s a Texas politician, and a Bush crony. Which, by definition, means she couldn’t tell the truth to save Kay Bailey Hutchison’s soul. However, there is one thing Mr. Ratfucker does believe concerning this latest tawdry and unseemly Republican scandal. It’s reported that Vice President Dick Cheney is praying for Mr. Whittington. Mr. Ratfucker has no doubt Dick Cheney has been fervently praying for Whittington’s quick recovery and continued good health. If Whittington dies because of the VP’s drunken escapade, there’s a nasty charge of manslaughter hanging over Cheney’s head. Mr. Ratfucker would like to remind Americans that all White House doctors are liars and that for all we know, Cheney’s weakened heart didn’t survive this debacle and a look-alike is playing Cheney’s part until the Prez decides he and God can rule the world alone. We just don’t know diddly, do we? Mr. Ratfucker said.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I was watching CNN and that gibbering toad Dr. Sanjay Gupta actually downplayed the fact that Harry Whittington had a heart attack due to the unacceptable shooting MO of our draft dodging, yellow-streak, scumsucking, lying, bag of crap Vice President, Dick Cheney. Gupta said, and I kid you not, that it was only birdshot lodged in Whittington’s heart. (Excuse me, you blithering quack! ONLY?) It was not a real heart attack, Gupta said, birdshot lodged in the heart is a fairly benign situation that mimics a heart attack. GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!!! Is that the script the Loony Tunes team--Karl-Girlyman-Rove and Eva-Braun Matalin--are handing out? Well, it’s over girls, turn in your Stupid-R-Us cards. At least we know why Harry Whittington was in Intensive Care while Republican mega-whore Katharine Armstrong said he was just knocked silly but that he was fine and that the bb-s didn’t get in his eyes or anything like that. No. They just got in his heart. It’s over, Dick. Don’t let the ambulance door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Whatta Valentine! Thanks Dick!

VP Cheney is a sick dreary old man but he’s been fairly successful at covering up exactly how sick dreary and old he is. But now we know about the platoon of medical people and ambulances following him wherever he goes. Which may include, as Jon Stewart suggested, the entire cast of ER. Cheney likes to be known as an outdoors type who loves to hunt. But now we know he favors shooting quail that have been especially raised to be let loose and shot by sick dreary old men. Cheney may well be the deadeye Dick alluded to by former senator (R-WY) Alan Simpson, but as Simpson said, now people will only remember this incident in South Texas. Right you are, Alan. People will definiately remember that Vice President Dick Cheney mistook an old Texas lawyer for a tiny fleeing game bird and drilled him with birdshot. And they’ll remember a few other things: Although Cheney was the guest of Katharine Armstrong who George W. Bush had appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, which regulates hunting. And although Cheney’s loudmouth flack and advisor, Mary Matalin, couldn’t wait to claim that Cheney had all the permits, sanctions, approvals, licenses and necessary accouterments and documents to allow him to hunt tiny caged birds trying to flee for their lives, still, he didn’t have the $7 stamp that said he could hunt especially-raised quail on a 50,000 acre ranch in South Texas owned by Katharine Armstrong. How come? Although Katharine Armstrong said Harry Whittington was just fine, and that he may have been a little dazed but he was really and truly fine and there was hardly any blood at all, Whittington has been in intensive care. How come? Although the White House staff, including the medical team, brace of ambulances, secret service cadre and assorted flunkeys and yes-persons say that it was up to Katharine Armstrong to inform the press that the Vice President had shot a Texas lawyer in the face, neck and chest, it took 24 hours for Cheney’s office to officially inform the public that the Vice President had acted like a 12-old with his first BB gun and had blasted an old man in the face, neck and chest. How come? Maybe this is the way Cheney’s world ends…with a bang and a whimper.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Funny Story: The VP Shot a 78-Year-Old Man

Dick Cheney was quail hunting and he accidentally shot his hunting companion, 78-year-old Texas lawyer Harry Whittington in the face, neck and chest Mrs. Katharine Armstrong who was in the hunting party said Mr. Whittington came up from behind the vice president and another hunter and that “Whittington didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself. The vice president didn't see him. The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it…and by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good." See, that’s the way they talk down there in South Texas where men are men and women just love all that shoot-'em-up dead-or-alive cowboy stuff. And yes, of course Katharine Armstrong was in the hunting party, it took place on her ranch. You remember the Armstrong 50,000 acre spread don’t you? It’s known as “one of the largest private properties in Texas” and GOP bigwigs like the Bushes and Cheneys go there for R&R all the time. Or, as the Washington Post put it, “The Armstrong family has a deep history in Texas Republican politics and has been close to the Bush family, as well as to the vice president.” Katharine Armstrong is the daughter of Tobin Armstrong who died last October at the age of 82. She’s heir to the Armstrong and King Ranch fortunes. You can’t read anything about her mother, Anne Armstrong, that doesn’t have the lead-in paragraph, “Anne Armstrong is Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s best friend.” Anne Armstrong got Hutchison’s political career going when she saw to it that she became the RNC co-chair in 1971. Hutchison returned the favor by giving Katharine Armstrong’s hubbo, Warren Idsal, a job as her top aide. Something happened there, though. I don’t know what. But Hutchison fired Idsal after a very short time. So did Katharine Armstrong. She had three children by Idsal, dumped him and took back her maiden name. And so here we are, back at the ranch. And Katharine Armstrong is saying things like “Mr. Cheney didn’t see Harry Whittington.” Katharine Armstrong told reporters the VP was using birdshot in a 28-gauge shotgun. She said the pellets broke Whittington’s skin. “They knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that...fortunately, the vice president has got a lot of medical people around him and so they were right there and probably more cautious than we would have been. The vice president has got an ambulance on call, so the ambulance came." Not only did Katharine Armstrong seem to be babbling, but Mary Matalin, Cheney’s adviser and White House Iraq Group member who usually sounds like Ken Mehlman in drag, seemed a tad distracted when she said, "The vice president was concerned. He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the…he didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do." In other words, dick Cheney was right to shoot, and Mr. Whittington was wrong to get shot. The Armstrong ranch is where GOP cronies go to practice their good ol’ boy accents and to buddy-up with other GOP cronies. When George Bush was Texas governor he appointed Katharine Armstrong to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, which regulates hunting if and when hunting gets regulated in Texas. And in 1999 then-Gov Bush appointed Harry Whittington to the Texas Funeral Service Commission. That appointment got in the news because the former executive director, Eliza May, sued the state saying she’d been fired for investigating a funeral home chain owned by a Bush friend. It was Armstrong's decision to alert the news media after the Cheney shooting. No surprise, Cheney's office made no public announcement for 24 hours and only confirmed that Cheney had shot Mr. Whittington after Armstrong alerted the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. This morning, Anne McBride, Mr. Cheney's spokeswoman, said, "The vice president visited with Harry Whittington at the hospital today and was pleased to see that he's doing fine and in good spirits." Which is a good thing. But the point, folks, is: dick Cheney did nothing wrong because he never does anything wrong. And Harry Whittington is an old fool who got in Cheney’s line of fire. So let’s don’t forget there’s a war on. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges. If you’ve got a gun use it. Shoot first, ask questions later. Don’t mess with Texas. Rules is for fools. Yee-hah!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

You Jail Mine, I'll Jail Yours

Now we know one of the things the Republicans threatened the Mainstream Media with if it didn’t ballyhoo the reckless war in Iraq with the proper enthusiasm and lies: The GOP would mount a prosecution against the uncooperative newspapers for violations of the Espionage Act and claim they were compromising the war on terrorism. Back in GWB’s first term, this would have been a formidable threat. People hadn’t figured out yet that the President, the Vice President, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, most Generals, the head of the CIA and the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) lied every time they opened their mouths. It wasn’t until Bush and Co. began losing favor that the MSM found the ca-jones to oppose the GOP and to start exposing the truth. The NYT reports this morning: “Federal agents have interviewed officials at several of the country's law enforcement and national security agencies in a rapidly expanding criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a New York Times article published in December that disclosed the existence of a highly classified domestic eavesdropping program, according to government officials… People who have been interviewed and others in the government who have been briefed on the interviews said the investigation seemed to lay the groundwork for a grand jury inquiry that could lead to criminal charges.” The Prez says the NYT leak was a "shameful act." And CIA director Porter J. Goss says he hopes “reporters will be summoned before a grand jury and asked to reveal the identities of those who provided them classified information.” When Goss spoke at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on February 2nd, he said, “I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserve nothing less." So, truthtellers and whistle-blowers are treasonous scum who are endangering the populace and they must be found and rooted out. What a crock. Whether this ploy is going to work or not depends on whether it can be proven that revealing the existence of illegal wiretaps has put the US in peril. In trying to show that the government has been stopping terrorist acts in the US, the Prez made a ridiculous claim the other day that a planned attack of the Library Tower in LA had been thwarted. Which was immediately shot down as silly and untrue. But the government’s main argument is that you can’t prove a negative. As in, we haven’t been attacked again because illegal wiretapping has nipped the plans in the bud…go prove otherwise. It sounds like the old wombat joke: There aren’t any wombats roaming New York City because a sorcerer in the South Bronx put a hex on wombats. But wombats only live in Australia. See….the hex worked. The NYT reported that Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., who has represented The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, said: "There is a very strong argument that a federal common-law reporters' privilege exists and that privilege would protect confidential sources in this case. There is an extremely strong public interest in this information, and the public has the right to understand this controversial and possibly unconstitutional public policy." How well this tit-for-tat ploy will work for the Bush administration is up for grabs. Fitzgerald has a grand jury, the GOP is getting a grand jury. The Dems say Cheney committed a criminal act by telling Libby to go forth and leak information. The GOP says the NYT committed a criminal act by leaking wiretap info. Sounds childish? It is. But nobody ever said the government is run by intelligent adults.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What Do These Four NYT Headlines Tell You?

Ex-FEMA Leader Faults Response by White House Ex-CIA Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted Republican Speaks Up, Leading Others to Challenge Wiretaps Auditors Find Huge Fraud in FEMA Aid Actually, the real question is: What do the stories under the headlines NOT tell you? They do not show that the GOP is getting a backbone. First, it’s Saturday and getting people to buy a paper on Saturday calls for startling headlines. So forget what may appear to be a trend toward Republicans becoming responsible legislators. Second, it’s an election year and Republicans will say anything to get elected. Third, better read the articles because the headlines have nothing to do with the facts. The stories about FEMA are both so-whats. Michael Brown is having another temper tantrum and the fraud story is about Katrina victims allegedly perpetrating fraud not about the fraudulent FEMA agency or the fraudulent GOP. The ex-CIA official, Paul R. Pillar, who retired in October as national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, said "What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence on Iraq is not that it got things wrong and thereby misled policymakers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in decades." Although Pillar later says, "Intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions that had already been made,” his complaint is that in order for the US to get rid of Saddam who was a threat to the US, the US misused intelligence. He’s not saying that the Bush administration patently lied to start a war in the Middle East. Pillar added that some of the administration’s allies accused Mr. Pillar and others of “trying to sabotage the president's policies,” so analysts began to "sugarcoat" their conclusions. Sugarcoat? Jesus! Same old same old. Heather A. Wilson (R-NM), the Republican who is “speaking up” has been getting a lot of press lately for supposedly opposing the Prez and saying she has “serious concerns” about his order to wiretap American citizens. However, at a private retreat with White House Republicans in Cambridge, Md., when Ms. Wilson rose to ask a question of the Prez everyone expected a confrontation. But she merely thanked Mr. Bush and said that everyone wanted to catch terrorists. What a fraud. She’s just another GOP flunky wanting to get re-elected on November 7, 2006. The “others” who supposedly are challenging the wiretaps are Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Hagel, (R-NE), Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME). How much are they challenging? Not so much. Hatch says that Gonzales and the GOP have “more than made a persuasive case. The real question is how do we do oversight?” Hagel says, “We want the president to succeed, but the fact is we are a coequal branch of government and we have serious oversight responsibilities." Graham says, "There's an abandonment of you-broke-the-law rhetoric by the Democrats and a more questioning attitude about what the law should be by the Republicans. And that merges for a very healthy debate." Susan Collins is the only Republican with balls. She said, "There is considerable concern about the administration's just citing the president's inherent authority or the authorization to go to war with Iraq as grounds for conducting this program. It's a stretch." Saturday headlines to the contrary, nothing but nothing has changed.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Prez Wins One-Day Lying Trifecta

Yesterday, disclosures showed Bush lied on three separate issues: 1. The Prez says Library Tower in Los Angeles was the target for a 2002 attack. Untrue from the git-go. 2. The White House knew the New Orleans levees had been breached the night it happened even though the next day the Prez said New Orleans had “dodged a bullet”. 3. E-mail from lobbyist Jack Abramoff confirmed that he met at least twelve times with George W. Bush. Of the three lies, the one about a foiled Al Qaeda attack on Los Angeles is the most reckless and most reeks of George W. Bush’s Narcissism and grandiose fancies. Interestingly, when Bush made his claim yesterday that an attack on the Library Tower in LA had been foiled, he couldn’t even get the name of the building right. He called it the Liberty Tower. In 2004 the FBI’s counterterrorism director John Pistole said he didn’t know what the CIA was referring to when it claimed a few aviation attacks had probably been prevented since 9/11. In spite of that disclaimer, the Prez, needing positive reinforcement for extending the Patriot Act, went ahead and told his lie anyway. I remember back when the rumor was circulating around LA that tall buildings might be of interest to Al Qaeda and that the Library Tower might be a target. At the time, a contact of mine in LA said the consensus was that Al Qaeda probably researched the Library Tower for its 9/11 attack but that the World Trade Center was picked because it was a more potentially devastating site. The idea that subsequent attacks would feature suicide bombers and tall buildings didn’t make sense since all security measures would be focused on airplanes and tall buildings. Plus, the Library Tower in LA (now called the US Bank Tower) most particularly didn’t make sense because it was constructed to be earthquake-resistant and would be unlikely to collapse. The US government did not foil an attack on the US Bank Tower. If anything, the tower architects foiled an attack even before the Tower could have been seriously considered a potential target. So the GOP Plan A is to keep telling lies that only its lunatic base will believe, and then the whole Bush administration will be swallowed up in the ooze of moral and ethical slime? And Plan B is to let the Prez say such idiotic things that he’ll be carted off to a lunatic asylum and dick Cheney will choke on his own bile and have a heart attack? Excellent.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The White House Contortion Contest

Or, how many positions can the Bush Administration assume at the same time? Condi says Syria and Iran have used the Danish cartoon flap to incite unrest and “the world ought to call them on it”. Bush says, "We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press.” Rumsfeld says criticism from the press has made “our people reticent and uncomfortable” and if we lose the war on terrorism it will be the media’s fault. What does Condi mean, “the world ought to call them on it”? The world should bomb Syria and Iran to smithereens? What does Bush mean, “we reject violence” regarding what’s printed in a free press? For the last five years Bush has rejected a free press. What does Rumsfeld mean that it’s the fault of the press if we lose the war on terrorism? Rumsfeld started the war on terrorism when he mounted and mismanaged an unwinnable war on Iraq. It’s hard to choose the winner of the White House Contortion Contest. So I’ll wimp out and declare a person outside of the United States as Grand Master of the World Contort-and-Distort Competition. There he is, inside out, upside down and flying up his own asshole. And the winner is, French President Jacques Chirac who said: "Anything liable to offend the beliefs of others, particularly religious beliefs, must be avoided.” Thank you, Grand Master Chirac. You have topped Little Hitler Bush, Condi the Boots-and-Whips Queen, and Donald Stuff-Happens Rumsfeld. Although, some attention should be paid to runner-ups who twisted and over-reached and fell off their high-chairs, like George Deutsch. Deutsch is a 24-year-old Bush-appointee flunky at NASA who told a NASA Web designer to add the word “theory” to every mention of the Big Bang. But someone found out the twerp had lied on his resume when he claimed he had a degree in journalism from Texas (of course) A&M. Deutsch has resigned. And there's the old-fool category, like bloated and beleaguered Karl Rove who is trying to get back in the jerk-and-arm-wrestle evemt by threatening Republicans with cutting off White House political and financial support if they oppose the Prez on his illegal wiretapping. Yo, Karl, it’s not a good sign when you lose a Bend-Twist-and-Distort contest to Jacques Chirac.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Another Puppet: Attorney General Gonzales

Yesterday, when AG Alberto Gonzales testified for seven hours in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee which is investigating the wiretaps ordered by President Bush, it was John Choon Yoo’s arguments that were heard, not those of Gonzales. Woo is the ultra-conservative University of California law Professor who wrote a memo on September 25, 2001, which said “no statute passed by Congress can place any limits on the president's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing and nature of the response." Gonzales doesn’t seem to be smart enough or wily enough to formulate twisted readings of either Congressional actions or the US Constitution. But John Yoo can contort and torque the law better than the best legal mind not on the Supreme Court. When Gonzales was not channeling Yoo, he was saying either that he didn’t know the answer to the question asked or that he couldn’t divulge the answer because it would imperil the security of the United States. Which of course was baloney, but sounded properly cautious and in-the-know. Gonzales/Yoo said there were two laws. One allows the wiretap surveillance ordered by the Prez, the other forbids it. Gonzales/Yoo argued that a Congressional action of 2001 overrode a law of 1978, which forbids domestic surveillance without court permission. The resolution of 2001 says the president can use “necessary and appropriate force” to prevent acts of international terrorism against the US. Those who claim that Bush has done nothing illegal contend that those few words about “force” give the President the right to do anything he likes. Those who argue the other side say that the Congressional action of 2001 was far too general and unspecific to override the 1978 law. They say that for one law to take precedence over another law, the second one has to be specific and must spell out exactly what is being changed. But the capper on the Gonzales/Yoo argument is that even though there may be two diametrically opposed laws, if it’s “fairly possible” that the Bush administration might possibly be right in its interpretation, then the executive branch opinion takes preference over everyone else’s opinion because, get this: There is a doctrine called “constitutional avoidance". The constitutional avoidance doctrine states that any reading of statutes that creates a constitutional conflict must be avoided if another reasonable interpretation is possible. Of course the stinker here is that the Bush administration could and would claim that ANYTHING is fairly possible and then they’d invoke constitutional avoidance. This kind of legal nonsense is pure Yoo and it's not going to happen. A group of 14 constitutional scholars and former government officials sent a letter to Congress last week saying that "FISA is not ambiguous on this subject, and therefore the constitutional avoidance doctrine does not apply." Gonzales's main argument against getting court approval for wiretaps seems to be that it is just too much trouble. John Yoo probably wasn’t the progenitor of that defense…it’s too direct, honest, and not convoluted enough. We’ll get to hear Gonzales spout his Yoo arguments more fully in the coming weeks. The judiciary panel will hold at least two more open hearings. In addition, the Senate intelligence committee is meeting behind closed doors this week to hear from Gonzales and a former NSA director, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Can the GOP Be More Out-of-Touch?

Top Stories this morning: “The Pentagon is tripling its spending on an effort to combat homemade bombs that are the No. 1 killer of American troops in Iraq.” Here’s a suggestion for combating homemade bombs that are the No. 1 killer of American troops in Iraq: LET’S GET OUT OF IRAQ…NOW!!!! That would solve the problem, you warmongering, ignorant, treasonous Bush administration assholes!!!! Big Story No. 2: Prissy, bitchy Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman says Hillary Clinton is “angry”. Miss Mehlman told George Steph yesterday, "I don't think the American people, if you look historically, elect angry candidates.” Oh dear me! Angry women are so UNattrative. Nobody likes angry women, I mean, women are supposed to be sweet and supportive and bake cookies and help their little boys with their makeup and sew clothes for their Barbie Bush dolls. “Hillary Clinton seems to have a lot of anger”, Mehlman said. Oh really? Well you seem to have a lot of unresolved rage against women, sweetie. Are there some emotional problems lurking in your closet? And what, may I ask, would Mehlman call Zell Miller’s venomous speech on September 3, 2004? What was Dick Cheney when he said “Fuck off” to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)? And what does the RNC Chairman call Condi Rice’s annoyed, irritated, sour mean puss whenever she talks to foreign governments? Word to the wise, Mehlman: You give yourself away when you act so prototypically. If you’re not going to come out of the closet, then you mustn’t go around sounding like a vicious woman-hating queer, dear. Them’s the rules.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tell Me Again, Why Are We In Iraq?

Before we invaded Iraq, it was a very corrupt country run by a very corrupt dictator. Now that we’ve spent over $238,000,000,000 supposedly to teach Iraqis the beauty of freedom and democracy, Iraq is an even more corrupt country run by an egregiously corrupt bunch of Iraqis and Americans. Donald Rumsfeld told us the war might cost $50-60 billion. When Bush’s economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey said the true cost would be $200 billion, Bush fired him. As I type this, the Iraq War Cost Clock says we’ve spent $238,754,475,063 and the cost goes up every second. Of course, the true cost of the Bush administration’s war is even higher, when you factor in the programs the US can’t afford to implement because we’ve mortgaged our souls to pay for the Bush administration’s unnecessary war. The NYT has an article this morning on the corruption in Iraq (“Oil Graft Fuels the Insurgency, Iraq and U.S. Say”) by Robert F. Worth and James Glanz. The lead paragraph says: “Iraqi and American officials say they are seeing a troubling pattern of government corruption enabling the flow of oil money and other funds to the insurgency and threatening to undermine Iraq's struggling economy.” If the Iraqis running the Iraq government didn’t already know all the tricks and refinements of corruption and graft, they could have learned from masters of the art, the disgraced Halliburton Co. which was formerly owned by VP Dick Cheney. Halliburton reaped over $10 billion in Iraq contracts, did shoddy work and over-billed our government $199 mil into the bargain. And now, it was reported on February 3rd that Halliburton’s subsidiary, Kellogg Brown, and Root just got a $385 billion contract to build temporary detention centers for Homeland Security. The NYT article says, “The reports of corruption have set off a major reform effort in recent months, with American advisers assisting internal investigations and promoting new rules like requiring financial disclosure forms for government officials.” That American advisers are assisting an investigation into corruption in Iraq is as funny as the CIA mounting a campaign to promote ethics among spies, which it did, and the military conducting its own investigation into Abu Ghraib abuses, which it did. And speaking of masters of the art of corruption, sleaze and cronyism,if you didn’t watch “Meet the Press” this morning with Tim Russert interviewing Tom DeLay’s house majority leader replacement John Boehner (R-OH), then get hold of a transcript for the show. (BTW, although it’s tempting to pronounce Boehner’s name Boner, it’s correctly pronounced Bainer.) The interview showed clearly that it would be business as usual with Boehner as majority leader. The only difference will be Boehner’s Midwestern-general accent instead of Tom DeLay’s Texas twang.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Those Danish Cartoons

More censorship. Practically all American media sources have agreed not to publish the Danish cartoons that have insulted Muslims. The rationale is that out of respect for Islam, it’s been decided Americans can’t see what is outraging Muslims. (ABC ran one cartoon.) Fuck that! We deserve to see what the rest of the world is seeing without Big Brother deciding it’s not in the best interests of United States policies…whatever they may be. Here are two sites where the cartoons can be seen: http://www.humaneventsonline.com/sarticle.php?id=12146 http://www.michellemalkin.com/ I would like to know the real reason why the Bush administration has muzzled the MSM…again. Is the Bush administration so in league with oppressive regimes that terrorists get to dictate censorship guidelines to our dictator? Knowing we cannot defend ourselves against another attack because our military resources have been squandered in Iraq, is the Bush administration so lily-livered and afraid that it’s censoring cartoons? Whose side is the GOP really on? Just asking.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Daily Kos: About 10% of US Watched SOTUS

Kos says that roughly 10% of our nation’s population watched the State of the Union Speech. Nielsen (Nielsen Media Research) has the figure slightly higher at 41 mil. And although the TV industry decides whether shows will live or die based on Nielsen ratings, Nielsen counts viewers who tune in at some point during a broadcast, not people who watch from the beginning to the end of a show. I’m siding with Kos and his estimate that only 33 million people in the US watched the Prez on Tuesday night. Why is George W. Bush so unwatchable? Is it that he never says anything new? Is it that he always lies and what’s the point watching a liar lie? Is it that whatever he proposes is either unworkable or silly? Is it that he’s stupid? Is it that he’s boring? Of course, all the above are true. But you can say the same things about Pat Robertson and his little ol’ 700 Club. And even Robertson gets 922,000 viewers a day, which translates to 28 mil viewers a month. What’s the real reason that 266,160,721 people in the US would rather watch ANYTHING than the President? It’s because George W. Bush has the mannerisms of the sneaky bully we all hated in high school. He makes inappropriate jokes. He fidgets, he smirks, he falters and fumbles, he can’t find his place on the idiot sheet and needs to get cues from his earpiece. Even when he’s memorized parts of his speech he uses wrong words and doesn’t know it. He grins like a hyena. He sounds insincere. His eyes look dead. He’s uneasy and nervous. He needs a drink and shows it. George W. Bush is a mean, sadistic, insecure, phony, alcoholic sociopath. That’s why the American TV-loving public, which will watch anything that moves or simulates movement, including American Idol, can’t bear to watch an American Idiot when he pretends to be president.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hint To The GOP: The Saudis Own Your Ass

The Bush administration wants to delete from history the fact that it was Saudi hi-jackers who slammed two planes into the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001. The reason the Bush administration has tried to write its own fictional account of 9/11 is two-fold: 1) The Bush clan has been in bed with the Saud and bin Laden clans for over twenty years. This is an undisputed and verifiable fact. 2) The top three countries the US imports oil from are Canada (1,776,000 barrels a day), Mexico (1,658,000 barrels a day) and Saudi Arabia (1,267,000 barrels a day). On Tuesday when Bush said the US had to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman nearly went into cardiac arrest. Mere hours later, Bodman said the Prez didn’t really mean what he’d said, it was “purely an example”. And then Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, got in a snit. Prince Turki said that he would have to “seek an explanation” from the Prez. Turki said, "We still have to inquire from the president's office what he exactly meant by that,” adding that he wanted to know if the US planned on reducing its oil imports from Mexico, Canada and Venezuela as well. Venezuela is number five on the list of oil exporters to the US. We import 1,009,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela. But we import only 572,000 barrels of oil a day from Iraq. The geniuses in the White House felt it was better to start a war with Saddam than with the House of Saud. And gaining control of 572 thousand barrels of oil a day was not to be sneezed at in any case. However, the Bush administration can’t have it both ways. It can’t ass-kiss the folks who want to have done with our smarmy affair with Middle East oil, while at the same time bending over for the folks who brought us the WTC disaster. One or the other faction is going to get its nose out of joint. Which is exactly what has happened. Saudi Arabia is well and truly pissed. Diplomatically, the nonsense about ethanol, wood chips, stalks and switch grass replacing Middle East oil imports is a nightmare. And the advantage of suggesting we can rid ourselves of dependence on Middle East oil is tiny compared with the shitstorm the proposal is causing. However, the Bush administration is counting on its sycophantic and ignorant base nodding dutifully and saying Amen whenever Little Hitler talks out his ass, no matter how foolish his prattle may be. The fact is, Bush may speechify about replacing our energy sources by 2025, but neither he nor any person in the GOP gives a damn about 2025. The Bush administrations only is interested in strategizing for tomorrow or at best a month or two ahead. Bialystock and Bloom Productions in the White House plan to sell 125,000% of itself to easily duped investors. And “Springtime for Little Hitler” will no doubt be its biggest hit come April.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

“If You Tell a Lie Big Enough…

…and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Hitler’s propaganda meister, Joseph Goebbels, made that statement. It didn’t take long for President Bush to bring up September 11 in his State of the Union speech last night. He said, “On Sept. 11, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country.” If the Prez was referring to Iraq as perpetrating the 9/11 attack, it’s a lie which he well may have come to believe. God knows, he tells it often enough. If he was referring to Saudi Arabia, the country of origin of the hi-jackers who piloted the suicide planes, he’s on shaky ground reminding us of that horrendous fact. The Prez was a long-time hand-holding buddy of Saudi Prince Bandar, and the Bush administration helped 40 Saudis flee from America the day after the attack. That Saudi Arabia is an oppressive state is true. That it brought murder and destruction to our country is also true. But it is far from a failed state. And since the President has continually claimed that Iraq was behind 9/11, it’s a good bet he was telling that lie again. The Prez said that his tax cuts have helped the worker bees in America. He said, “In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left $880 billion in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses and families.” Not true. OMB Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to “promoting accountability in government” says the two new tax cuts “will primarily wind up in the pockets of the rich, who have already benefited enormously under Bush--such as those with annual incomes of over $1 million who have received an average windfall of $103,000 in 2005 from the president's first-term tax cuts.” Supposedly, the Prez was going to tell us about new health care plans. In fact, he devoted one paragraph of his speech to health care and it was pie in the sky. “For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors. We will strengthen health savings accounts by making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get. We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance.” Uh-huh. Exactly how and exactly when is this going to happen? The day after never? He said, “A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency and stays at it until they are back on their feet.” What a crock! Congress voted to cut Medicaid to the elderly and poor last week. He said, “A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like H.I.V./AIDS which can be prevented and treated and defeated.” The easiest way to defeat AIDS in Africa is by promoting the use of condoms, which the Prez won’t allow. He said, “Human life is a gift from our creator, and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.” And yet, as of yesterday, 2,243 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq because the Bush administration wanted to take over the world and decided to start its global aggression in the Middle East. But the capper was when he said, “To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another, and I will do my part.” First, Mr. Twitch-Tic-and-Smirk, you have to stop lying about acting in a spirit of good will and respect.