Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bush To Have Operation On Bottom:
Cedes Power to Asshole

You knew we couldn't resist....

For a short time this morning, the Commander In Chief ceded the powers of the Presidency to Dick Cheney. This is only the second time in American History that a Buttwad has turned over power to an asshole in order to under go a rectal exam. Bush relinquished power to Cheney in 2002 as well.

Perhaps Al Qaeda is up my Butt?

White House Spokesgoblin Tony Snow denied rumors that the President was looking for the elusive Osama Bin Laden. "I can't find him...but I think I know where he might be," the president stated, "Maybe that's why it hurts so much."

At Last!

For a few moments, this morning, Dick Cheney sat in his Maryland armchair and was heard to guietly gloat: "It's mine, it's all mine...whaaahhahahahahaahah! "

No, seriously, I wouldn't..hee, heeRumors that the Vice-President had enjoyed the experience of being President so much that he was exploring ways to retain the office permanently were firmly denied.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The "Bush Defense" and Republican Sex
"It's in the Past"

I go away for the weekend, and when I come back, I hear the news that the "Bush Defense" is already working: It's in the past. We're going to move on.

While I postulated a few days ago that this defense would be adopted by shoplifters and naughty children, the first public example is Republican Senator, David Vitter.

David Vitter is/was a champion of family values...having relased a statement on the sanctity of marriage which said, in part:

“This is a real outrage. The Hollywood left is redefining the most basic institution in human history, and our two U.S. Senators won’t do anything about it.

We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts’s values.

Unfortunately, the Senator got caught with his....ah...phone number in the little black book of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the infamous D.C. Madame.

Now, sure enough the man stood in front of the press this weekend. Reuters has the lead:

A Republican U.S. senator who admitted to "serious sin" after he was linked last week to a Washington escort service apologized for the sex scandal on Monday, but said he will go back to work.

Sen. David Vitter, a social conservative who has routinely touted family values, said his undescribed sins occurred several years ago, implying that his misdeeds were behind him. He accused enemies of dredging up the scandal to hurt him.

Vitter will not stop nagging us about family values, then, despite his wandering ways, and, according to the Reuters article:
Wendy and I dealt with this personally several years ago. I confronted it in confession and marriage counseling, I believe I received forgiveness from God, I know I did from Wendy."

In other words: Yes, I cheated on my wife; yes ,that was in deepest opposition to everything I claim to hold sacred; but no, there is no need to for me to feel the sting of punishment; no need for me to resign my Senate Seat....for after, all, it is in the past.

There was some reaction from Republican officials:
If he doesn't resign, the Republican Party will lose the moral high ground," said Vincent Bruno, a member of the Louisiana Republicans state executive committee. "We have portrayed ourselves as being the moral party."

Obviously this Bruno character is a Luddite: completely out of step with the times. First, he doesn't understand that the Bush Defense trumps all other arguments...once that card is played there is no need to look further at any given issue. It is, after all, in the past. Let us move on.

And second, the only people who think the Republicans hold ANY high ground on this issue are other Republicans....the rest of us have long been wise to their lyin', cheatin' hypocritical ways.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bush Ducks Responsibility for CIA Leak


All I can say about our President is: His Balls must be as Big as Church Bells. He exhibits the sort of bravado and contempt for reality that makes one either a born leader or a born criminal.

Consider the lead paragraph in this morning's AP report:

President Bush always said he would wait to talk about the CIA leak case until after the investigation into his administration's role. Yesterday he skipped over that step and pronounced the matter old news hardly worth discussing.
"It's run its course," he said. "Now we're going to move on."

Back on February 11, 2004, the President sang a different tune::
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. . . . If
the person has violated law,
that person will be taken care
[emphasis added] I welcome the investigation. I am absolutely confident the Justice
Department will do a good job. I want to know the truth. . . . Leaks of
classified information are bad things."

...or did he? Read the statement again, and you'll see that the media paraphrased incorrectly. The American people were left with the impression that the leaker, if caught, would be "Fired"...but Bush actually said "taken care of".

See? The Right-Wingnuts are correct...Bush is not a liar...he told the truth: higher administration officials who may have committed the crime of exposing the identity of an American secret agent seem to have been shielded, and Lewis Libby, who took the fall, has had his sentence commuted.

Bush, that stand up guy, kept his word...the leaker WAS "taken care of." Coddled, in fact, like a babe safe in mother's arms.

At any rate, I really love yesterday's "We going to move on" line...

I highly suggest that shoplifters use it while they are being finger printed by police...

...and that little kids who are caught tying tin cans to the tail of the cat use it when their mothers threaten punishment...

As for me, the next time some snake-handling ditto-head starts whining about Bill Clinton's sexual peccadilloes, I know exactly what to say:LessKillMoreBill

"It's Run It's Course. Now, we're going to move on."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Threat From Al-Qaida Grows

I have an email pen-pal who is very conservative. When challenged (on almost anything political), he almost inevitably responds with a jab toward the "Rad-Libs" (Radical Liberals- a group which seems to include everyone from Jane Fonda to the Clintons to Lee Iacocca and perhaps even including Republican Pete Domenici). In general, the refrain from the right reads as follows: "Well, perhaps you Rad-Libs will realize how wrong you are when Al-Qaida has blown up Boston. You just don't seem to get it: everything you say is helping the terrorists."dipshit

There is news today that will fuel the fires of the debate. The AP is reporting that: "A new threat assessment from U.S. counter-terrorism analysts says that Al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001."

Conservatives will use this report to say: "See? We told you so."

But the real question is: "George W. Bush has had SIX YEARS to deal with this very real threat. During FIVE of those years HIS PARTY held control of both houses of Congress. What the Hell is he Doing? Why is Al-Qaida STRONGER THAN EVER?"

The answer is, of course, that this President is either Inept, or Corrupt, or, most probably, both.

George W. Bush and his administration had the support of the Congress, the People of the United States and most of the World to send our military into Afghanistan, and demolish Al-Qaida once and for all.

Instead, they chose to use their opportunity to invade Iraq and attempt to secure it's oil supply for the United States. At the time of the United States action against Iraq, there was no Al-Quada presence in Iraq. But now, according to the reports:
The Bush administration has repeatedly cited Al-Qaida as a key justification for continuing the fight in Iraq.

"The No. 1 enemy in Iraq is al-Qaida," White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday. "Al-Qaida continues to be the chief organizer of mayhem within Iraq."

In other words, we sent our troops to Iraq to fight an enemy that was not there when we arrived but who managed to get in AFTER we entered. Meanwhile, Bush has allowed Al-Qaida's forces to dribble across the boarder into Pakistan, where we have no political authority to pursue them.

The Clinton Card

Right-wing friends will, at this point, offer up their old Chestnut: Clinton Had Al-Qaida's Osama Bin Laden in his sights and failed to kill him.

Like a lot of propaganda, this is a distortion of the facts wrapped around a tiny nugget of truth. The Clinton White House did have Osama Bin Laden in their sights and did fail to act. MSNBC had the story here in 2004.

Yes, Clinton DID miss an opportunity, no doubt. It will be yet another imperfect spot on his imperfect record.*

However, just because Bill Clinton screwed up- this is no excuse to let George W. Bush off the hook.

As your mother used to say to you: "If Bill Clinton Jumped off the World Trade Center, would you do it too?"

What Now?

The AP article also includes this speculation:
The findings could bolster the president's hand at a moment when support on Capitol Hill for the war is eroding and the administration is struggling to defend its decision for a military buildup in Iraq.

WHY? Why, every time this President Screws up, are the media and the right-wing noise machine able to drum up the argument that, because he has been so horribly wrong for so horribly long, that we need to give him MORE support?


But enough about Bush. This is what Democrats must do:

My right-wing friend is right about one thing: THERE IS A GRAVE ISLAMIC TERRORIST THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES.

This threat must be countered.

In the short term, we need to consolidate our military operations, and refocus the fight on AL-QAIDA...

In the long term, we must, WE MUST refocus our energy policy to find a way to cure ourselves of our oil addiction. As long as we are addicted, militant Islam will be our drug dealer.

That is a plain and simple fact.


And, of course, I'm not going to just sit here and let the "Clinton Chestnut" stand unchallenged. As the MSNBC article points out, when Clinton was hunting Osama Bin Laden in 1998, it was a very different ballgame:
A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: The Clinton administration treated bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.

Bob Kerry, a former senator and current 9/11 commission member, said, “The most important thing the Clinton administration could have done would have been for the president, either himself or by going to Congress, asking for a congressional declaration to declare war on al-Qaida, a military-political organization that had declared war on us.”

In reality, getting bin Laden would have been extraordinarily difficult. He was a moving target deep inside Afghanistan. Most military operations would have been high-risk. What’s more, Clinton was weakened by scandal, and there was no political consensus for bold action, especially with an election weeks away.[emphasis added]

The American Public had not yet solidified their support for an all out war on Al-Qaida in 1998...at that point the largest terrorist attack in American History had not been perpetrated by Islamic Terrorists, but by home-grown right-wing nutballs in Oklahoma. Even the USS Cole attack (in October 2000) was two years in the future.

The situation for Clinton was muddy...and he bungled it.

The situation for Bush was crystal clear...and he screwed it up beyond belief, paying the price with thousands of American Lives.

It is not hard to know where the Lion's Share of the Blame belongs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What If?
Could we have broken our Oil Habit?

It is a sad truth that I buy books much faster than I can read them. Thus, the late John Kenneth Galbraith's 1994 work, A Journey through Economic Time has been sitting on my shelf since I purchased it, used, a few years ago.

This summer, however, it has finally made the the journey from bookshelf to nightstand...the book is full of nuggets, but here is one I just couldn't pass up.

In Chapter 20, "The Dim Years", Galbraith is describing the "stagflation" that gripped the economy of the 1970s: unemployment levels are rising along with prices, while the country is reeling from Vietnam, Watergate, and massive social upheaval. This is the environment which breeds Archie Bunker.

In the middle of all of this, Arab nations flexed their political muscles for the first time, sending gas prices flying and tempers soaring. It is not hard to make the argument that the mistakes we made then, and the policy we set (or failed to set) has helped push us into the current Iraq debacle with which we struggle.

Galbraith describes a meeting of Carter's advisers as they determine how to wrestle with the economic shocks of the 1970s...
Proposals for rationing the supply and the controlling the domestic price of petroleum products, the natural answer to embargo and an external control of supply, were dismissed out of hand. Urging a simple gasoline rationing program at a meeting of economists at Camp David in the summer of 1979 at the peak of the oil-price crisis, I managed only to establish myself as mildly eccentric.

If we had taken that advice then, if we'd broken our oil addiction, and thus the power that the Middle East wields over us...just imagine how different today might have been.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New York City Stories hits the Nail on the head.

In a departure from the norm, friend Russell over at New York City Stories goes political and lets loose with a rant which deserves a rave...

Did you ever think you'd find any redeeming quality in Paris Hilton? No, me either...but NYCStories has got something for your consideration here:

a little post called--"Separated At Prison"

Something New Under The Sun.

[Note: Because I was out celebrating the Glorious Fourth with Friends and Family, I didn't get to post this on my Blog on July 4th. I've always loved the optimism expressed in the following letter. It must be remembered that Jefferson lived through times when the - then young- American Democracy seemed unstable, too. The fact that he could take hope is a suggestion to us: drop cynicism once or twice a year...it will give you courage to face what you need to!

Happy-belated- 4th!]

THOMAS JEFFERSON To Dr. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY Washington, March, 21, 1801

As the storm is now subsiding, and the horizon becoming serene, it is pleasant to consider the phenomenon with attention. We can no longer say there is nothing new under the sun. For this whole chapter in the history of man is new. The great extent of our Republic is new. ...The mighty wave of public opinion which has rolled over it is new. But the most pleasing novelty is, it's so quickly subsiding over such an extent of surface to it's true level again. The order & good sense displayed in this recovery from delusion, and in the momentous crisis which lately arose, really bespeak a strength of character in our nation which augurs well for the duration of our Republic; & I am much better satisfied now of it's stability than I was before it was tried.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Long and Winding Road (through the newspaper): further

After I left the manta ray article, I fully intended to start searching for the Cheney article- but I was snagged again by this headline; "Why Winston Wouldn't Stand For W"
Anyone who knows me knows that my fondness for cigars and spotted bow ties stems from a deep fascination with Winston S. Churchill.
Winston finds most of his admires these days among Republicans, notable recent admires have been Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the P.M. - I realize.
But this is odd, because, in his lifetime, Winston left the Conservative Party as a young man, crossing the aisle to join the Liberals. He returned to the Tories only after the role of opposition was co-opted by the Labor Party (then highly socialist). Churchill made his deepest common cause with American Democrats, and especially Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It's been hard, therefore, for an old fan of Churchill to watch him become co-opted by the Right-Wing (for which I think he would have had very little use- after all, he was Hitler's mightiest opponent.)
And I was especially gratified to find that the author, Lynne Olson, of the book Troublesome Young Men, had drawn the comparison, not between George W. and Churchill, but between George W. and Chamberlain!
Like Bush, Chamberlain also laid claim to unprecedented executive
authority, evading the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain the
office of prime minister. He scorned dissenting views, both inside and outside
Churchill, on the other hand, revered Parliament and was appalled by
Chamberlain's determination to dominate the Commons in the late 1930s. Churchill
considered himself first and foremost "a child" and "servant" of the House of
Commons and strongly believed in the legislature's constitutional role to
oversee the executive...
Just as Bush has done, Chamberlain authorized the wiretapping of
citizens without court authorization; Churchill was among those whose phones
were tapped by the prime minister's subordinates.

Now, that was a detour worth taking!

A Long and Winding Road (through the newspaper)

Every morning, as I stroll to the office, I decide how to deal with the temptation to buy a cup of coffee. Do I? Or Don't I?

The deciding factor usually is: Who's working the counter? If it's the proprietor of the shop, then I go in. Because if he is there, not only will I be warmed with a cup of coffee, but generally there will be a healthy dosage of Democratic Party Outrage to remind me that I, like my coffee guy, am on the side of the angels against the forces of darkness.

This morning the question was: "Dude, did you read the series of articles on Dick Cheney in the Washington Post?" I admitted that I hadn't. "Man, NOBODY I've talked to has read 'em. But you gotta read 'em. Scare the hell outta ya. Dick Cheney: your Vice-President- and so much more!"

Okay, well, I gotta read it. So, with an eye toward doing my civic duty, I go to the Post website- but, before I can start searching the Cheney article, my eye was caught by another headline: "Birth of Manta Ray Sheds New Light on Species".

And, I have to admit, this looks a lot more fun than finding confirmation that Dick Cheney eats babies and owns my house. Plus, this paragraph really got my goat and made me ashamed to be an American:
While America was tracking Paris Hilton's jail routine, Japan was enthralled with video coverage of the birth, which was broadcast nationwide on NHK television.

Oh man, why do other country's find such COOL things to obsess about?

At any rate, I'm off to read more about the manta...maybe later I'll follow the coffee guy's recommendation to check out Cheney...but somehow, I think the Manta Ray story will be much more worth my while.