Friday, December 21, 2007

3 Things I learned Tonight

Perhaps learned isn't the correct word. From the NewsHour tonight.

Harry Reid is not a leader. Leaders extol the virtues of their side, their vision, while highlighting the incorrectness of their opposition. Harry Reid is not proud of his party or its values, because he never talked it up during the painful interview with Ray Suarez. Even Suarez didn't know what to do with Reid, he is such a lame interview.

Given every opportunity to defend his party and place the "blockage" squarely on the shoulders of the GOP, Reid failed. Harry, the problem is that the GOP refuses to change their position. While you, Senator, have flopped and prostrated the Democrats trying to appease the inflexible Republicans. I guess the values of the Democratic Party aren't worth fighting for, the evidence seems to indicate that the Leaders of the Party are more concerned with moving towards the positions of the GOP than fight for your values.

The second thing I learned was that the Democrats simply are too inexperienced in being a majority party after 13 years, that they've discovered that it's easier to block the other party than to pass your own legislation. Which they should have known, seeing as how they did that to George W Bush so many t i m e s s s , in t he p... a. s .. t 7, oh never mind.

And third, there are a lot of obvious questions being left out of the CIA Tapes case. Like, why weren't these two al Qaeda operatives at Gitmo in the first place? That seems like an easy way to get around US laws, doesn't it? Like, why would they only tape two al Qaeda operatives interrogations, and not all of them, or at least some of them, like Khalid Sheik Mohammad, or should we just take them at their word? If Harriet Meiers was there when they were discussing destroying the tapes, she being the Presidents legal counsel at the time I believe, why would we believe that Bush knew nothing about the tapes or their destruction when his personal legal representative was in the discussions?

Could we suppose that the fact that they were discussing this at such a high Administration level suggest that perhaps somebody recognized that destruction of evidence could be construed as obstruction, as a cover-up, that whatever dubious legal excuses they offered to the judge today, that maybe somebody knew this was inherently wrong, and the meetings were meant to provide cover for those involved-see we said they shouldn't destroy those tapes-as well as work on a good and unified storyline to explain it?

Too bad the press never asks those questions. Like given how this latest revelation has played out over the past two weeks or so, why should anybody have the least bit of confidence in an internal investigation by the same agencies involved in the cover-up, like how could this Justice Dept investigation have any credibility, given the immeasurable lies and I don't recalls that they have pawned off on us?

That's the perfect lawyerly counter to whatever justifications the Bushies give for conducting an investigation, in fact. Seeing as how so many of you can't recall much of anything in the way of names, dates, actions, meetings, e-mails, advice, arguments, policies, practices, and so on, it's clear that you couldn't possibly conduct a thorough investigation. We need an outside and credible investigator for the job. And not George Mitchell, please.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Let's dump the horserace notion, please

[Cross posted over at Daily Kos]

I posted this comment on the recommended thread about the tip heard round the world.

How does her (Hillary) tip story relate to her stance on Global Warming? Or Healthcare? Or her stance on the Constitution? Or anything else for that matter?

Stupid obsession with parsing every word somebody says, every body movement, every event or location they physically appear in, it's beyond meaningful. IT SERVES NO PURPOSE, except to sell crap on teevee and does nothing for the political process.

Just like if John Edwards doesn't win Iowa he is done. How many delegates does Iowa have? And how many are needed to win the nomination?

[ed-this is expanded from my comment hereon down] This is not a game, people, let's try treating it appropriately.

Yet Iowa could destroy his campaign, ACCORDING TO THE NEWS MEDIA and parroted all over the blogs like this one (Daily Kos, not mine fer dogs sake!!).

How does that serve democracy? How does that benefit me? Or you?

Rather than debate whether somebody's healthcare plan plays well with this or that group of voters, lets debate about how to make it happen, what are the best mechanisms or programs or POLICIES that can provide us with national healthcare for all Americans.

Because that's the kind of thing that matters, not who has the best soundbite, the best debate performance, who looked effing "Presidential" under the glare of the camera and under the inane and disgusting self serving questions of lazy fat assholes like Tim Russert.

I hear that somebody is working on making ethanol from tree farms, how does that affect agricultural policy, is ethanol the best route to go for cutting greenhouse gasses and our dependence on terrorist oil? Not the same issues, btw, greenhouse gasses and oil dependence.

Why does it matter if a candidate criticizes another candidate? On their policies, that's what I want to know, it doesn't mean anything except that they don't agree. This isn't the schoolyard, people, yet that's how everybody acts, and it's stupid and serves no purpose except the media narrative. And the media, people, is out to kill us, they are as much the enemy as bin Laden, scrath that, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

Iowa and New Hampshire do not represent me, and I'm tired of the news media and then all the campaign experts and political operatives who have no real deep abiding values, allowing those states to decide who my parties candidate will be. They did it to Howard Dean, and we got John Kerry, who still beat Bush if everything had been done properly. They did it to Al Gore, they're doing it again, and I say that THIS MUST END.

So long as you all insist that money is the defining aspect of a political campaign, and that's what all this momentum bullshit during the early primaries is all about, then we will continue to get lackluster, half assed, timid politicians, and no leadership.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Here's irony for ya

This perfectly describes the Bush disconnect from reality:

"You can't be the president and the head of the military at the same time," Bush said Wednesday

Four to five days seems to be about the standard Bush reaction time, gives time for the corporations or the Saudi's or whoever is benefiting from the situation to take care of immediate needs before the Worst President Ever opens his yap. And to be clear, he's the Worst President Ever because he does nothing that satisfies the job description, unless they've slipped corporations all over the place into the Constitution, via some signing statement.

I was watching some show about Reagan's assassination attempt, the medical surgery aspect of it. Reagan, whose nearly every policy was wrong in the long run for this country, was at the least, a leader who recognized his responsibilities. Why, on the day he was shot he was giving a speech at an AFL-CIO convention, can you imagine Bush doing that?

No, I'll say it again, Bush was set up to destroy our government, and aided by stupid Democrats who still think he's an American interested in the fate of our country, who can't imagine that Bush/Cheney doesn't care about people or the nation, that is just exactly what he's done.

Look at Katrina. Look at Iraq. Look at the State Department, backlogged and undermanned, forcing people to work in Iraq because they don't have the bodies to do the job. Look at the Army's stop-loss policies. Look at the Justice Department. Look at Lurita Doan's GSA. Look at the Defense Department. Look at the Budget deficits. Look at the wage gap. Look at how the Veterans are treated.

See any improvements anywhere?

Monday, October 22, 2007

San Diego Burning

Well my friends, once again San Diego County is on fire, fires to the North of me having burned 145,000 acres and hundreds of homes, a fire to the South of me 20,000 acres and unknown how many homes, but one life has been lost in the area where it started, Potrero.

We're fine, I don't think that the fires are going to head my way, but I'm keeping my eyes open just in case.

A quarter of a million people have been ordered to evacuate, or have evacuated, you never can be sure which it is. But it's a big mess, a true disaster, you look at pictures of the wind whipping the fire, it just doesn't look real, but look at this slide show for yourself. Look at that picture, 16, fire from side to side. Look at some of those pictures of this huge billowing cloud of smoke looming, boiling, on the horizon. Look at that blood red sunset picture.

All real. I've seen that tower of smoke so many times in my life, but somehow the last couple of times have just been disastrous to the people of the county. I remember the Laguna Fire in '70 as a young lad, the air brown and thick with ash, I remember the Cedar Fire in '03, the flames creeping down the hillsides by my house, I remember the canyon behind my Dad's house burning every other summer fior some reason (damn kids and firecrackers, a cherry bomb one year I know because I heard it go off!) and let me tell you, this shit ain't no fun.

But that's how it goes, I always knew that summer was over when the fires started up in the mountains, that's just the cycle we live by in San Diego. Only when I was a kid nobody lived in those areas. Now, they either are subdivisions like San Diego Country Estates, or people building on their remote properties to get away from the subdivisions and housing tracts.

Right now people are setting up camp with their animals, horses and dogs and cats, you just don't realize how many people have horses in this area, but they're all over the place, there are just so many rural areas in San Diego, it's not just this big ol beach town and biotech metropolis at all. The High School by my house is setting up, I'm going to go take a look and see if they need stuff, I'll give an update when i get back.

For now it's all quiet, but like Sunday afternoon, it can go from nothng to something in a matter of moments. Right now they're evacuating the northern beach cities, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, so the Northern fire, the Witch Creek Fire, has gone from the mountains to the ocean in a day, not sure when it's going to stop. Pretty freaky.


Nobody needs stuff, everything seems pretty calm in my neck of the woods. That's it, not much of an update.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Our Name, Do Not Try This At Home

Just picture this in your neighborhood, think about what that would be like in your own town, and consider how that might influence your neighbors thinking. I'll highlight the key sentence from this article.

U.S. forces backed by airstrikes raided Sadr City, Baghdad's main Shiite district, killing 49 militants on Sunday as they targeted a militia leader accused in high-profile kidnappings, the military said. Iraqi officials said women and children were among the dead.

The US military is bombing a city, just consider how that works in reality, try to picture yourself on the ground as these innocuous sounding "airstrikes" start falling all around you in the middle of the night.

It's not a particularly comforting image, and it's why we will never "win" in Iraq, not just because there is no description of what "winning" is, but because the Iraqi people will never accept the American presence in Iraq. Look at how long the Jews and Arabs have been fighting in Canaan, do you think the Iraqi's are going to forget what we are doing to them now?

We will be paying the price of Cheney's and the Oil Lobby's stupidity and greed and fear for a long time to come. Thanks to one and all who made this possible.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Why Democrats Lose Arguments

In response to Mary's post at the mothership, I commented on the article about why the FISA Telcon debate matters. And it's long so I thought to immortalize it here for my edification. With some editorial improvements or additions.

Frankly, I have a HUGE problem with Dean's article, or rather Solove's article.

Yes, it's fine as an intellectual exercise, an underpinning of the philosophical in a broader context.

But that's the god damned problem. It's why people think the Democrats are weak and feeble. And they are. Because they never get practical and down and dirty. They still don't tell people why "I've got nothing to hide" completely misses the point and why it matters to YOU.

Privacy is namby pamby amorphous bullshit. How about it matters because the government can use the information they gather to ruin your life? Give your confidential business affairs to your competitor? Twist your innocent e-mail into a rendition trip to Kazakhistan? Find out about your health issues and use that information as leverage to shut you up?

Suppose you're a random blogger, and the Bushites want to shut you up. You haven't done anything wrong. But they can use information gleaned by spying on you to make you late for a Doctor's appointment, or let your red necked boss know about your political activities, and he can fire you for some bs reason.
They could say, "Steve, we know what schools your kids are going to, we know who you work for, we know what things concern you the most, and we can make sure that those things happen to you."

"Congressman McNerny, we can ruin the business you built, we can make sure that freeway offramp goes by Mr. Issa's car alarm shop, we can find out your scheduled flight and get it cancelled, we can find out where those runaway Democrats went from the Texas Statehouse, and get one of them to switch his vote by threats and pressure and demonstrations of crossing Tom DeLay because look at what power he can access from the NSA, even though he hadn't done anything wrong."

They can threaten to expose reporters sources unless the reporter stops asking questions, it goes on and on and on.

Yes, Solove is correct, that defense only works when you assume that privacy is only used to hide wrong doing. And yes, a lot of what we do is nobody else's business, i.e teenage angst, And yes, a leering, lurking government watcher inhibits freedom of expression.

But that doesn't account for the practical abuses, and that's what the republicans specialize in. Remember, republicans are, at their core, stupid and/or ignorant (at least the ones we have to deal with today). They don't trouble themselves with high notions or concepts. They only want to know how they can make MONEY from the deal. Who is on your side and who isn't. Who is helping Blackwater set up shop in Potrero, and who is working to stop them

Give practical reasons for why this spying must stop. Not because it's wrong, and runs completely counter to the basic core of the Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights, which it is and which it does, but because they can use it to screw over innocent Americans who get in the way of their greed and lust for power.

Why do you think republicans always seem to get the best deals, the best contracts, the best jobs? Dumb luck? Because they earned it? Please.

So, to sum up, don't just make the philosophical argument, make the practical argument, and make the practical argument first, then buoy it up with the deeper underpinnings. I'm sure you all can think of real examples of how all that gathered information can be used against perfectly innocent Americans, so use them instead of the touchy feely weak ass stupidity that Democrats usually use and lose with.

Thanks, rant off.

Friday, October 12, 2007

San Diego's own Bush

I'm tellin ya, readers, the rest of you got nothin on San Diego.

Long ruled by Building Developers, we're finally getting to the point of unsustainability. Everybody wants to live here because of the weather, never mind the realities that make it possible to actually live here, like water and housing and infrastructure. There were plenty of jobs thanks to the Navy, airplane pioneers like Ryan and Lindburgh, Jonas Salk, and others. There was lots of open land to build on, and so we grew, and grew, and grew, 600,000+ when I was a lad to 1.2 million today, just for the city mind you, county population growth is even bigger.

Lots of changes, twists, turns, as America's Finest City has become Enron by the Bay. And you might have seen the sinkhole/landslide/slippage recently in La Jolla, up on Mt Soledad specifically, CNN had it I'm sure, and like all good teevee journalists, they showed the disaster, then left.

But what really happened there? Did this just suddenly appear overnight? Were there no warnings? Mountains (okay, it's a tall hill, covered in houses) generally don't just move on their own, so what preciptated the move? Mayor Sanders was quick to deny City culpability, that evil bastard City Attorney Mike Aguirre said we better look into it.

Could it be that maybe the developers have built in places they shouldn't be? Like on an earthquake fault, hillside slip zone? And could it be that the bought and paid for mayor, former Police Chief and Savior of the corrupt Red Cross of San Diego is working overtime to protect the developers and the city from assignation of fault? Because if the city gets assigned the blame, more questions arise, like who let them build there, who wasn't doing their jobs, and how much money did the developers spend to get their way?

Look at these e-mails and tell me that the City, and by extension, the Mayor, weren't aware of a looming problem on the Mountain.

The designated area of concern, the 5700 block of Soledad Mountain Road, is on the verge of possible catastrophic failure due to continual ground movement caused by an unknown condition...

Which is why they were letting a quarter million dollar sole source request for monitoring ground movement in the area, on 9/27/07. And the slide occured on 10/3/07, and the city's responses had been band-aid at best.

After all, they were getting reports about problems since June, there had been serious slides in the area in the past, and yet, the Mayor was vacationing, er, sitting in a classroom, sorry, lobbying in Washington DC when the slide occured, and nothing had been done to address the problem, or prepare for an inevitable problem.

So the next time you think you have it bad, think about San Diego. We have the worst President ever, the most evil Vice President ever, a horrible actor as Governor, and Mini Me Jerry Sanders Bush as Mayor, a real trifecta if there ever was one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Corpirate America

I typo'ed that title but it seems appropo so I left it!

Looking for something to do? Strike a blow against the corporations. Just got a Cisco proxy material in the mail, perusing the Board of Directors to elect, I had recently decided to just vote no against all directors regardless, but then when I was looking at the list I thought that might dilute the impact of my no votes, so I did my due diligence.

Anything to do with Wal Mart ever, "No" vote. Stanford University, until they repudiate Rice, "No" vote. Bankers, "No" vote. Too many boards already, "No" vote (although none of Cisco's fell into that category. Michael Powell, "Noooooooo" hold on, can I vote twice?

Yes, that feckless, soulless, lever on Dad's soul, Michael Powell. They list the committees the members sit on, and guess what, Michael Powell doesn't sit on a committee. He just gets his $50,000 fee and $69,699 option award to do nothing, to show up at a couple of posh board meetings and agree with everybody else and pocket over a hundred grand.

So, my fellow ducklings, if you happen to own Cisco stock and get to vote your proxy, please vote no against Michael Powell. And should you happen to be at the shareholder meeting, ask them what it is that he did to earn that money.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Airport Security Isn't

This story just outrages, me as it does you all I'm sure. There's just no excuse for this kind of crap happening in this country, just imagine if that had been Bob Filner getting treated that way, as it probably almost was.

Authorities have said Gotbaum, who was handcuffed and shackled to a bench, may have accidentally strangled herself Friday.

Does that sound like a likely scenario, shackled to the bench and handcuffed she somehow managed to strangle herself?

Just another dead American to chalk up to the Republicans fear and cowardice and greed.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Free Trade with Columbia on CNBC

Yes, I'm still alive, faithful readers.

Just watched a bit of debate about the looming free trade agreement with Columbia. What I love the most is that the reporter had a pro and con and some business talkers on, and as soon as the con started talking, she, the reporter, had to talk over and interrupt her because she wanted to argue with what the woman was saying. Was I watching O'Leilly all of the sudden?

Say what you will about Jim Lehrer (I won't, much) but the strongest part of his show is that the reporters DO NOT become part of the report. When they do, they get axed, like Stuart Taylor did some years back to be replaced by Jan Crawford Greenburg.

Back to CNBC. The great Gen. McCafferty said, "Polls, schmolls" when asked to comment on the fact that the majority of Columbians oppose the agreement, because the business community is all for it. And we know who matters in the world, right, great General? Then some Wall Street guy started talking about how it helps keep cheap, low cost goods available for Americans. To which I say, WE ALREADY GET THAT POISON FROM CHINA, why do we need somebody else's?

Then the reporter was all happy, at which point I cursed the teevee and turned it off. Better Democrats, better reporters, how about better JOURNALISM SCHOOLS?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's Going To Be a Long Campaign, People

Talking Points has this discussion about some comment that Bill Richardson made about God and Iowa the other day. I would be happier if god were not a part of our elections at all, in fact the more irreligious the candidate the more I like them, which pretty much leaves me out in the cold these days, so I have to go by other criteria.

I won't even characterize Richardson's comments as a mistake, dumb, bad joke, whatever, it's just a comment that the bloggers want to blow up into something else. Tongue in cheek or irreverent sarcasm perhaps. Yet, people on the left are attacking one of our own as if it's the worst thing ever said. Today. Brilliant! (Which reminds me, is it too early for a Guinness?) Well, I posted a comment, which I'll repost on MY blog, that pretty much sums up my feelings about the matter. Then can we move on to more important matters, like attacking the Republicans and trying to get OUR Democratic Senators and Congressmen to stop Bush from attacking Iran? Huh, how about it? Please.

What Malangali and Not the senator said. We need to stop with the Alpha Girls behavior, let these people talk, and stop getting your panties, that's right, PANTIES, all in a wringer because a candidate said something imperfect or unfunny or unappealing or what you found offensive.

Jeebus effing christ, parse this! They all say crap like this, if they don't there's something seriously wrong with that person. I do not want a robot as president, an uptight, scripted, automaton (Hillary) who never speaks in a more direct manner to people, who calculates all.

In fact, that's the problem with our politics today, the candidates get placed on some sort of platform where all of their utterences are given such weight, that they lose their connection to reality. I want a guy who, yes, I said GUY, because that's my generic for person, christ give ita rest already, might speak more directly and colorfully, maybe stumble and mumble once in a while, not like a retard like Bush, and yes, I said RETARD coz that's the euphemism for god damned effing idiot in my book if that's okay with you, so get off the guys back already.

For those who don't remember, here's a reminder, read it and weep at what might have been if not for this bs:

Al Gore and the Alpha Girls

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We Have the Wrong Book

My commute to work lately has gotten ugly. It's not parking lot commute, worse, traffic moves, but everybody out there seems intent on driving in my way, I'd go so far as to say they're all out there trying to kill me! And on the way home, it's worse, they all have nothing better to do than sightsee, yack on their phones, anything that keeps them on the road in my way, and not at home.

That sounds like somebody, and since I'm reading the book again, I know who. Yossarian

Early in the book, Capt. Black, bitter over the fact that Major Major was given the squadron replacing the dead Major Duluth, embarks on a power play, The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade. And here's the clincher

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squandron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that "The Star-Spangled Banner" was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

We've been thinking it was an Orwellian World, in reality it's a Catch-22 World. Pessimist has a great piece there, I just googled the GLOC and that was the number one listing. It's been a while since I read Heller's book, where Orwell is more matter of fact and ironic, Heller is much more deeply insane, capricious, careless, selfish. And that seems a better fit for the Bush crowd, as we approach Katrina's 2nd anniversary it's pretty clear to me that what we have, if you just look at their operations, is no government whatsoever. Just little fiefdoms operating at the whim of whichever petty little tyro Bush has annointed to destroy the function of that particular department.


He hasn't earned the least bit of respect or admiration, he sucks as a CEO, as a leader, as a spokesman, as a cheerleader, as a judge of character, his impeachment and conviction and unceremonious kicking to the curb won't damage our American Psyche, split the nation asunder, or destroy our way of life. Au contrare, it will be the first step back to sanity and away from the insanity of Catch-22

Monday, August 27, 2007

John Edwards

I'm in. Sen. Edwards is the only candidate who wants to take on the forces that need to be brought to heel, the corporations and the top 1 percenters. And who has the chops to do it.

This speech lays it out:

[The system is] controlled by big corporations, the lobbyists they hire to protect their bottom line and the politicians who curry their favor and carry their water. And it's perpetuated by a media that too often fawns over the establishment, but fails to seriously cover the challenges we face or the solutions being proposed. This is the game of American politics and in this game, the interests of regular Americans don't stand a chance.

Can Hillary say that? Does Obama get direct like that? Does Dennis Kucinich have any sort of chance to win the nomination? Does Chris Dodd have that fire? Does Bill Richardson have the rhetorical skill and presence?

Don't get me wrong, I like all of the candidates, they all have many great qualities, strengths, values. They have experience, knowledge, and by Spaghetti Monster if we elect an idiot ever again in this country instead of somebody with an IQ higher than their blood pressure we deserve every bad thing that happens, but they also have issues. Edwards has shown to me that he is right on target, and has correctly identified the problems that face this country. And they aren't a bunch of religious manipulators trying to take control of their own part of the world. And he's willing to fight them.

And that's what I want, somebody not afraid to go after these things, these leeches and viruses destroying our freedoms and our way of life to preserve their mammon worship.

Things to Consider

Michael Vick made his statement, and the little piece they put on the teevee news showed him speaking, not reading, what he had to say. I'm going to give him some consideration for his statement, he did seem to recognize his mistakes, not sure if he recognizes the wrongness of his actions, but hopefully he will. And he should never play professional football again, as sorry and redemptive as he may be, just because he found god suddenly does not cut it, but he needs to be a role model for how money can corrupt you.

If professional sports can learn that giving these kids this kind of money is in some ways unconscionable, if they address the absurdity and warped priorities that puts so much wealth into these games, then maybe some good comes of all this.

There was a rally in support of San Diego's KLSD Air America Radio station today, a couple hundred people, maybe more, showed up to challenge Clear Channel to keep one progressive radio station in San Diego County. It was a pretty good turnout and event given the 4 days we had to prepare for it, organized, orderly, passionate.

Now, if only we owned some radio stations and wouldn't have to subject ourselves to being at the mercy of some corporation, that would be progress. Keep pushing them, sign the petition, something, call Clear Channel and tell them of your support, call or write advertisers tell them you're glad they advertise on KLSD and will look favorably on their business for doing so.

Let's see, Mike Vick gets a $130 million dollar contract, and we can't keep one lousy radio station because of what, $10-20,000 a month? A fraction of what one guy gets paid to star in the NFL.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Clear Channel Silencing Free Speech in San Diego

Rumors have been flying about San Diego's Air America station, 1360 KLSD, home to The Stacy Taylor Show and all of that liberal /progressive talk in a region of 3 million people and no liberal media save this one. Here's a link to an action page of sorts for info and things to do.

Clear Channel seems to be intent on shutting down Air America and all that liberal talk in San Diego, and many people are determined to stop them. Do what you can, contact their sponsors and nicely encourage them to put pressure on what is really a bad business decision to alienate one third of the San Diego market.

3 million people, 1/3 Dem, Indy, repub, that's a million potential customers with no radio station to listen to. Is that good business sense?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Media Hackery, West Coast Version

Via Atrios and TPM, this editorial by a journalism professor is a fine example of just what is wrong with the news media today. Because if a professor is teaching people what he's demonstrating in this editorial, the news media, as we all know, has some problems. I was suitably moved to write to the Times in response, and as The Offspring might say, "it came out sounding something like this."

That's a lovely paean to journalism, and a rather gratuitous and un-informed slap at bloggers Mr. Skube has written. For the record, I'm a blogger far down the list, but people might know my handle if they saw it. But not today.

Debate is going to save us? And too much information is a bad thing? I'm reading this in the LA Times, but discounting it as quickly as possible.

What nonsense. Given the near absolute secrecy of the Bush Administration, given the manufactured and empty debate that the news media is giving us for the past 30 years or so, you would think that a reporter might thank the bloggers for carrying on an actual debate of issues, he certainly isn't going to get it from the journalists of the news media, for the most part.

On today's politics page there's this: "Ah, those fickle Nevada Republicans" reporting on POLL Numbers, "Key is that since March, Romney has gained 24 points while Giuliani has dropped 20 points" and Oprahs Obama party instructions and something about the Supreme Court Justices and their "funny" robes, and a no doubt breathless piece on Fred Thompson's hometown getting ready to capitalize on his impending candidacy announcement.

I could go on, but do you see the debate there? Or you could go to Daily Kos and see debate on psychologists and torture, the real meaning of the Minnesota bridge collapse and the Utah mine disaster and some solutions, debates on student loans, NASA, Iraq, and of course all of the presidential candidates.

If you have paid the least bit of attention the past six years you would realize that the news media truly does need watchdogs. Reporters have been in turn uncritical of the GOP; cheerleaders and enablers of the Bush Administration; threatened, terrorized, and corporatized.

The abuses and failures at Walter Reed didn't just happen in 2005, yet until a blogger talked about it, nobody knew. If it weren't for bloggers asking questions about the firings of the United States Attorneys, we wouldn't even know about how Karl Rove has politicized the Cabinet Departments, how Gonzales tried to manipulate a sick John Ashcroft to sign off on what had been declared illegal wire-tapping, that they were decimating the ethics division of the Justice Department, and so on.

I quote here from your article, '"What democracy requires," Lasch wrote in "The Lost Art of Argument," "is vigorous public debate, not information. Of course, it needs information too, but the kind of information it needs can only be generated by debate.'

When all you get from the White House is countless legalistic variations of 'I don't remember,' 'That's under investigation so I can't tell you', 'Homeland Security,' and 'Executive Privilege,' there is no public debate. Except on the blogs, where, funny enough, the public debates. And sometimes that debate spills over into the physical world or the journalism world, and actually furthers the cause of a badly abused democracy.

And on an aside, could Mr Skube kindly either, a) identify who "Some" are who reject that label, or, b) stop using that dishonest and uninformative and meaningless argument. Last time I looked, "Some" could be anybody or any number of body's, and a professor of journalism ought to know that terminology has no business being in a piece of journalism, opinion or otherwise.

That Primary Schedule

Ms D and I were watching Rep. Oberstar try to explain why the House hadn't done anything about fixing our bridges since some bill he had passed as the chairman of the Transporation committee in 1987. Yes, 1987. Which sent Ms. D off on how the D's aren't all that either since they've had the chance but hadn't done anything, which prompted me to say that we need to primary these people, Better Democrats Please should be our refrain right alongside Impeach Bush, which got me to thinking.

Suddenly it occured to me that one of the consequences of this ridiculous primary train wreak that both parties are creating is, in reality, a massive incumbant protection plan. Think about it for 10 seconds, if you haven't already.

Incumbants already have cash on hand, but challengers do not. And all the fund raising of the campaign committees is really geared for the general election in November 2008. So who will benefit the least from a compressed election priimary schedule?

That's right, challengers of incumbants. When Oberstar proposes a damaging and regressive and oh so typical solution to the sudden bridge crisis in this country, raise gas taxes, and thereby demonstrates his uselessness to progressivism, when Steny Hoyer and company utterly fail to protect the Constitution by either gross incompetence, ignorance, or cowardice, or worse (and I haven't bought the conspiracy argument yet), and we see the need for shaking up their complacency and ineffectiveness with primary challenges, we wake up and realize it may be too late, the primary is right around the corner and reasonable challengers are hard pressed to raise funds and build name recognition in their communities, there's just not enough time, and Steny Hoyer in his $1000 suits is safe for another 2 years of bad job performance.

What can be done, I don't know, but if somebody is on the fence thinking about running a primary challenge, the time to get off the fence is now, not later.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mine Safety-The Bush Legacy

We remember the Sago Mine disaster as rescuers continue to look for the 6 trapped miners in Utah. George W Bush's MSHA is a different entity than the one of Bill Clinton's.

Consider this:

“This mine [Sago] should have been closed… the record is very clear,” says Jack Spadaro, former director of the National Mine Safety and Health Academy.

Instead, MSHA continued issuing fines and the managers at then-owner Anker Mining Co. simply wrote them off as a cost of doing business on the cheap. It made perfect sense for the corporation's bottom line; the fines for those 205 violations total about $25,000. This was a pittance to Anker, never mind International Coal Group (ICG), which bought the Sago mine last November. ICG's most recent quarterly earnings were $158 million, meaning the average fine levied in 2005 -- about $150 -- equals a few seconds of income.

Don't kid yourself that Bush putting a mining executive in charge of the Mine Safety and Health Administration is any better than putting Heckuva Job Brownie in charge of FEMA. Because protecting the corporate bottom line trumps all.

And look what's happened. More miners die. And add on to the men trapped below, this tragedy utterly preventable. It sounds as if this mine was even more recklessly operated than the Sago Mine, and the mine owner as care less to the safety of his miners as they were back in the 10's and 20's and 30's.

What I understand is that the miners leave pillars of ore to support the roof, and as a mine plays out they start mining the pillars on the way out the door, as it were. This sounds incredibly dangerous, a mining practice that should exercise the highest level of operational safety actions. Yet that doesn't appear to bethe case, and for this big time Bush supporter, people die because of his failure to place the safety of his employees above the profits from his mine.

That's the Bush Way, my friends. Ms. Duckman was telling me that somebody said, I think it was on Kudlow and Cramer this afternoon regarding the stock market correction, that the best solution (as if there is something wrong with a stock market correction) for this market volatility was, yes, to do away with all regulations.

Well, that's what we've pretty much had for the past 6.5 years, how's that working out for us all? Do you think that guy has the guts to ask the family of that rescue worker? Or some Iraqi family brutalized by some Blackwater Mercenaries? And I could go on and on. The Bush Legacy-Death and No Taxes for the Rich.

Jon Stewart Shames the Press-Again

While Broder is whining about how bad partisanship has been, I guess he means that since the GOP has been stuffing partisanship down the country's throat as one of their many legacy's that makes the GOP bad for the country, right? Well, whatever, while that's going on in the Preserve OUR Corporate Cash press, Jon Stewart shows us yet again how an honest interviewer could approach a topic, and even with his obvious bias, still do his job.

Stephen Hayes was on talking about his book about Dick Cheney, and Jon had just gotten done, ala Timmeh Russert, showing old clips of Dick Cheney from 1994 talking about why we didn't go into Baghdad after Desert Storm.

Because it would be chaotic and deadly and would not end up with any kind of clear resolution that would advance American interests in the region.

Stewart hit on the clearest point, not that Cheney lied us into the war, not that Hussein wasn't a threat to the US or that he didn't have WMD's, not that 9/11 changed the world view or situation that faced our interests in the region. No, he stuck to what Dick had said, to demonstrate the essential truth of Bush/Cheney's actions after 9/11.

"Given all of that, given that he knew that in 1991 removing Hussein would lead to chaos and unforseen consequences in Iraq and the Middle East regardless of the circumstances at that time, why would they not plan for what they knew would happen if we 'took out' Saddam Hussein?" [I'm paraphrasing here-DGR]

And when the author tried to defend Cheney, Stewart would have none of it, and kept repeating that point, if they knew bad things would happen, why is there a total absense of any kind of effort to plan for and act accordingly? And Cheney's admission of miscalculation and mistake does not qualify as a satisfactory answer in any way.

Their failure to do so tells you everything you need to know about what their intentions were/are in Iraq. How they few human life, Muslims, Iraqi's, geo-politics. Like Josh Marshall keeps saying bout Romney and Guiliani, they don't have the least bit of comprehension about the area, and the White House doesn't have one either, nor do they care.

Such callous ignorance makes you wonder what the hell they're doing over there in the first place. And like I told Ms. Duckman this evening, they're there for the oil, in one way or another. And that is an impeachable offense, and contrary to the Geneva Convention.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Barry Bonds and Bud Selig, Rummy and Saddam

I can't help it, but when I see Barry Bonds getting snubbed by Bud Selig, I see and hear Donald Rumsfeld raving against Hussein. Then I see this picture and see the hypocrisy and complicity of the Republicans in this nightmarish facade of lies and greed.

Just like Barry Bonds is getting denigrated by Official Major League Baseball, not Henry Aaron who is perfectly well within his rights to snub Bonds, but the greedy owners and their Executive Committee, you need to remember that once upon a time Bud Selig and company turned a blind eye to the destructive actions of some of their players, to save their precious toys and their even more precious investments.

Because it’s high time, too, for the suits running baseball to come forward and admit complicity in a scandal they did little to stop and everything to profit from.

Maybe Bud is doing it because George W Bush wants to get tough on steroids. Maybe because he doesn't like a cheater. Maybe because he has no way of reconciling his past actions with the present situation created by those actions. I think that's what they call cognitive dissonance.

I realize that the crimes aren't the same, baseball being a game slowly having the life squeezed out of it by people like Selig and Sandy Alderson and the Corporations and ESPN, while the lives being squeezed in Iraq are real, once living and breathing, now dead at the hands of George Bush and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and all the rest of the enablers, Bremer and Kristol and Kagen and Limbaugh and Drudge and all the rest.

Yeah, Bonds cheated. But his bosses told him too, one way or another. He'll get the record, for how long is debatable, but at a personal cost way out of proportion to that deserved by his arrogant and sometimes churlish behavior. Ken Caminiti paid for it with his life, Manuel Noriega rots in a Miami prison, Iraq is ripped to shreds, it's all a matter of scale, but the motivations seem pretty much the same.

We're just tools to be used, abused, and tossed onto the garbage heap when they're through with us. Because they have the power.

We need to take that power away. Every way and every day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Larry King and Sicko

The vice president, who'd you think I was talking about?

I watched King's interview, he does ask questions, just doesn't follow up real well, but just listening to Cheney, Dick sounded much more like a sick old man than the LegoExecuto of Death he normally sounds like.

And as for what he was saying, we've heard it all before, the guy is just so full of crap it's amazing to me that it doesn't ooze from his eyeballs. Hillary has no business asking for operational details on any evacuation plans, when that really isn't what she asked, now was it? (my bolds-DGR)

Dear Mr. Secretary:

On May 22, 2007, I wrote to you to request that you provide the appropriate oversight committees in Congress - including the Senate Armed Services Committee - with briefings on what current contingency plans exist for the future withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq. Alternatively, if no such plans exist, I asked for an explanation for the decision not to engage in such planning.

Pretty clear there, isn't it? Tell what kind of plans you have, and if not, why not. But Cheney can only twist words to make them fit his delusioned reality, he must attack and destroy anybody who opposes him, because that's all he has, that's what he is, a sick, dying, terrified old man. Did I mention selfish? And since the world is centered on him, if he's scared, than we all must be scared.

Even Larry King can expose the man what for what he is. Larry wasn't scared of the guy, he seemed pretty skeptical really. Yet the Democrats can't beat this guy?


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Feingolds Censure Violates HIS Oath

Sen. Feingold sent me an e-mail, talking about his latest attempt to censure the President. I will add this argument, then post what I sent him in reply.

If you're going to take the time to do something, you ought to do it right. Censure is meaningless, Impeachment is not. My response follows.

Dear Honorable Senator Feingold,

Your response to the actions of the Bush Administration is deeply disappointing.

How can telling President Bush and Vice President Cheney that what they are doing is wrong, and that they should feel really bad about it, have any impact whatsoever on their actions? How can it be that censure, which has no real consequence, holds them accountable for anything?

We all know who the President and Vice President are, we all know the absolute lack of regard these men hold for the institutions of this government, how could telling them that they've been bad little boys have any impact whatsoever?

The fact is, and I quote, "the blatant disregard President Bush has shown for the rule of law on which our country was founded" tells you exactly what their reaction to censure will be, doesn't it? If they disregard the Constitution, the highest law in the land, what is a meaningless rebuke going to do?

You argue against impeachment, I say you are dead wrong. Is there really any doubt that what they are doing goes far beyond high crimes and misdemeanors; look me in the eye and say otherwise.

I argue three points on impeachment. One, since it is clear that they have violated their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, that they have usurped the powers enumerated in said Constitution rightly the provence of the House and the Senate, that their lies and cover-ups have led us to this miserable failure in Iraq, YOU, Senator Feingold, would be in violation of YOUR oath of office if you did not impeach the President and Vice President.

You have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, these men are violating it and destroying it on a daily basis, and you think it isn't in our nation’s best interest to UPHOLD YOUR OATH? That there are more important things to do than that?

Two, you say there are more important issues that would be delayed were impeachment to go forward. Like what? Since your friends and respected colleagues, the Republicans, are filibustering most Democratic Legislation, and that anything you do pass is going to get vetoed by the President, and sustained by the Senate, or, even worse, is a priority of the President, the Constitution violating President, I cannot think of any issues that shouldn't be put on the back burner. We can’t pass ours, who wants to pass theirs? And as for Presidential appointments, from a man who violates the laws of this country daily, none should be approved, so, again, what issues are there that cannot be put aside?

Three, while that man remains in office, what guarantees are there that he won't initiate military actions against the State of Iran on some Gulf of Tonkin type incident? Or that he won't pardon every member of his administration prior to any potential indictments or impeachments? Or that he won't use illegal wiretaps and other illegal means to violate the rights of innocent Americans who are working in opposition to the Bush White House, to include Senators like yourself, financial supporters like a George Soros, members of the press like a Dan Rather, so as to maintain their control of Executive Power even after an election?

Who is to say, given their past actions, that such a thing would not pass? And who would allow such a thing? By not taking the proper, right, and Constitutional action, that would be you Senator. Because you and your colleagues did not fulfill the terms of your contract with the American People, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. You wrote: "Some may disagree with that, but at a minimum we can agree that censure resolutions, holding the President and his administration accountable for the actions I've outlined above, are needed." I wholeheartedly disagree. Censure is a total waste of time, means nothing, does nothing. By what mechanism would it hold them accountable? Shame? Embarrassment?

The American People have figured this out, and we're not asking you to lead us in this, we're asking you to do your job, fulfill your oath.

Most Sincerely,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Young Republicans-Worse Than the Adult Form

Watch this video, think about it, and figure out who might benefit from watching this video of Young Republican Values, and get them to watch it.

Not fellow Democrats, but fellow Americans, Teachers, Professors, Psychologists, Grocery Store Managers, College Recruiters, somebody who can make use of this view of the basic cowardice of those young people, and do something about it.

Somebody is giving those people scholarships to go to college. And that is a tremendous waste of money.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Disturbing Game

I just watched the end of a truly disgusting baseball game, and I'll tell you why. To recap, the Padres were winning in Arizona 4-1, All Star Chris Young had just completed another stellar outing, and the vaunted bullpen was taking over. A scratch single, 4 line drive hits and a sac fly, and it was tied. So much for Chris Young and his great effort.

The Pads come up after blowing the lead, and the middle of the lineup meekly gets out 1,2,3. The Diamondbacks come up next and double, single, boom, Snakes take the lead, the Pads do nothing in the ninth (I didn't watch, for obvious reasons), Arizona wins.

The disgusting part? Tomorrow, they'll go out and play like nothing happened, win some lose some, we're professionals going about our business. When what should happen is that somebody gets at least as pissed off as I was watching them lose a game they should never have lost. But they won't. Neither the team Leaders nor players and coaches have shown they have the passion and desire to win it all. They might win the division with their pitching and defense, but they'll never win the World Series, they just don't show the heart or the will.

I've seen the teams that do. The Red Sox, the Yankees under Joe Torre's leadership, the Mets in 1986, all, at some point, refused to lose and broke the other team with their own will to win.

Just like the Democrats. Yes, they'll investigate and issue subpoenas, and, yes, they'll force Republicans to vote for Bush's War, but they've yet to DEMONSTRATE that they have the fire, the desire, the passion, the Will, to do what it takes to save this country from the corporatists, the brainwashed, and the traitors to our Constitution.

Ms. Duckman was saying to me this afternoon, Pelosi needs to remember, her and all of the old men, that they have taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and that making a political football of it to score points for the Democrats isn't a whole lot better than what Bush and Cheney and Rove do.

It isn't their failure to act that bothers people as much as their failure to show they care about the their Oaths of Office. We're all furious with what these criminals and psychopaths are doing, why can't the leadership get a little fired up? We can't make them take action, lord knows we've been trying, we can't impeach Bush ourselves, or load the troops up in the back of the pick-up and bring them home, all we've got is our passion, and trying to get the Leadership to reflect that, to show that they feel as strongly about the Constitution and our Violated Rights as we do.

Playing politics isn't cutting it. Toothless Senators waving meaningless subpoenas in the air isn't doing it either. People will forgive a lot if they think you're trying, we love the less talented guy who makes up for it with hustle and desire and sacrifice.

Nobody thinks you're trying, Democrats. That's why you poll at slightly above Dick Cheney. So what are you going to do about it?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Brooks Reveals a Bit of Truth

On tonights News Hour David Brooks exposed yet another angle on Bush's Presidential unfitness, an unfitness I talked about the other day. Consider what he's saying here:

DAVID BROOKS: That's a good point. And as I was listening to the president today, I was remembering a past interview. And he said, "General Casey is a good man." You know, there have been a series -- and the president, when you hear him talk about world affairs, he looks at other people. And he sees it as, "Do I trust that man? And if I trust that man, he probably has the right views." Well, it could be you could trust somebody and they don't have the right views, so it is a bit of a crapshoot.

I've bolded the critical parts. All Bush's talk about the Generals, and he's run through quite a few trying to find one that tells him what he wants to hear, boils down to his trusting them, as Bobo said, and their judgement.

The problem here is that Bush is totally reliant on that judgement because he has no sense whatsoever, no capacity to judge for himself, no real savvy on what would actually work, or even a rudimentary grasp of the issues involved.

Think back on America's past. FDR led the war effort, he had a pretty good sense for what was right, the strategic imperatives and implications on the ground, the goals and strategies to employ. He knew, for instance, that the focus had to be on Hitler, that Japan, because of the geographical situation and the size of the forces engaged in China, could not threaten the Soviets or the Allies in Egypt and the Middle East and could be held off with the forces at hand, 4 Aircraft Carriers, a Division of Marines and a handful of submarines.

As Brooks has pointed out, Bush, not so much. It's a pity that the Corporate Whore Press is, well, what they are. Perhaps after the Revolution we can fix that. Let me close with this beautiful summation from The Freeway Blogger.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Maybe Another Democratic Senator


If GOP Family Values Vitter has to go spend more time with his real family, will Governor Blanco appoint a Democrat to replace him?

Coz the Gopper thugs will go overboard trying to pressure her to appoint a like minded Gopper to replace Vitter even though if the shoe were on the other foot a Republican Governor wouldn't hesitate to appoint a Gopper to replace a Democrat, why it happened in California with our Democratic Secretary of State who resigned, and we even had Democratic Majorities in both State Houses, and we still got a Gopper replacement.

Does Blanco have enough sense to take advantage of the situation, or will she go all noble and stupid and give a criminal administration yet another handout?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Failed President 5 Years and 9 Months Later

Here in San Diego County we have a Blackwater Problem. The President of the East County Democratic Club, Ray Lutz, is LEADING opposition to Blackwater. Ray sent out a notice about a referral proposal for employment opportunities with Blackwater, here's a link to the Blackwater job posting Ray references. Read this language and see if it sounds like they're training security/police forces.

Dear Friend,
In order to staff a current contract, Blackwater Worldwide is offering a $1,000.00 referral fee for a limited time.



Note -These are hard requirements! Please do not apply if you do not not meet these basic requirements.

· 8 years of Military service with qualifications in one of the following: US Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces or Rangers, Marine Force Recon, Air Force PJ or CCT
· Must have or be eligible for US Government Secret Clearance. Must be a US Citizen!
· Must have a minimum of one year experience in Iraq or Afghanistan
· Must be proficient in small arms and be in excellent physical condition

Air Force PJ's are Pararescuemen, "the only Department of Defense specialty specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional or unconventional rescue operations." And CCT's are highly trained certified air traffic controllers who are an integral part of the Air Force's ground combat team, that specializes in unconventional missions.

These people are not going to be guarding corporate execs or flatbed trucks, now are they? This sounds like Blackwater is gearing up for military black ops in Iran, recruiting highly trained elite troops fully versed and experienced in military action behind the lines. Maybe Blackwater has won the contract to "capture" bin Laden, maybe they're going to participate in strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, whatever it is, this is not a group of flatfoots patrolling a beat or guarding high value targets.

How does this relate to Bush, you ask? Well, Ray sent a link to a YouTube split screen video showing Bush in action while the Two Towers were being destroyed by those sick Saudi religious fanatics. I watched Bush again, knowing the futility of telling people how this proves he's inadequete for the job. We know that. But I want to put it into a context of what we have today, and why Bush needs to go.

5 Years and 9 months, that's how long it has been painfully obvious that George W Bush is profoundly unsuited to be president. And that's how long Rove and Cheney have been working on creating their unaccountable co-presidency.

Why else do they keep every document they can away from the light of day?

Rove knew he had a crisis on his hands, he used all of his twisted skills and cronies to prop up a lifelong failure; maybe the country really needed the image of a stable presidency after 9/11, maybe not, you have to think we're stronger than that after all, but Rove, lacking basic humanity and empathy, not understanding people's fundamental decency, did what he knew best, deceit and division and cronyism. Hence the priorities and messianic cultism of Bush in the early years of his "presidency." Up until his response to Katrina DEMONSTRATED Bush's true nature.

Cheney, on the other hand, just took advantage of the realization of just how unsuitable Bush was to advance his own corporate neo-con lunatic agenda, all the while succumbing to the corruption of near absolute power. Dick Cheney is a very sick man, dark and twisted, rotted by the power that he felt he had to assume from the incompetent puffed up frat boy creation of Karl Rove.

That's what I saw in that video, even before Card spoke to Bush about the 2nd plane; you can see the barely contained panic in Bush's eyes, and afterwards, that empty stare as he realized he had no idea of what to do, even not having the sense to get up from the classroom and returning to DC poste haste.

That's why we have to deal with a mercenary army trying to gain a foothold in my backcountry. That's what leadership does to us, be it good leadership or bad. That's what all of our battles with the Bush/Cheney regime are rooted in, the fact that Bush is a figurehead who thinks he's in charge, and that we have to deal with two power centers, one an amoral and heartless little schemer who lacks human depth, and the other a deeply bitter man, probably brain damaged from his heart problems, paranoid and corrupted by too much unchecked power.

Rove and Cheney have unleashed the worst of our American impulses, racism, greed, a yellow press, robber barons, Manifest Destiny, you name it, that's what their leadership has wrought.

And that's why people are so mad at the Democrats, not because they're just like the Republicans, tho some may be, but because they won't provide forceful and effective leadership against these fools. We don't want simply incrementalism and investigations, we want bold, broad strokes, an overarching theme, a goal to put a man on the moon (I have seveal fine candidates for a return mission to the moon) as it were. That's the appeal of Al Gore, and not the appeal of the Democratic Field, except for Edwards maybe.

That's what a failed President has given us 5 years and 9 months later.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hamas and What Could Have Happened

McClatchey has this article about BushCo in action, this time in Palestine. It's like what reporting should do, expose government actions to the scrutiny of somebody in America. As we all know, BushCo isn't about governance, they're about furthering the interests of their sponsors, Corporations. At the same time though, they show us how costly and tragic such a government is for the people they're expected to govern.

I think Athenae touched on it yesterday, others today. The government of Jefferson and Madison and Hamilton and Adams et al, has been taken over by a bunch of maniacs of two versions; one, the greed mongering MIC supporters, whose world view consists of quarterly reports and the amoral and immoral and impractical ravings of a movie character, one Gordon Gecko, and; two, the foaming ravings of neo-cons like the much beloved Elliot Abrams, a world dominion of the mighty American Exceptional Empire, and in the process of achieving that goal completely forgetting, nay reversing, the very things that make us exceptional, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and our freaking principles as embodied by the Declaration of Independence.

McClathcey looks at Palestine after the Hamas electoral victory and BushCo's deft handling of the situation. While they didn't say it, as good reporting doesn't tell you what should have been done, they let you figure it out on your own. And I figured it out at the time, and I'll repeat it here.

Embrace Hamas, congratulate them for their victory, give them the aid they needed to make the lives of the Palestinian people they were representing a little bit more tolerable, and see if we could co-opt or ameliorate, or at the least, engage them in dialog regarding their relations with Israel. Be mature and respectful from the get go, not be forced or shamed into doing the right thing, but do it because it is the right thing, like it or not. Because by all accounts that election was perfectly valid, even more so than our elections of recent memory.

But no, that wouldn't have fit into the needs of the BushCo crew, no, not at all.

Hamas, a violent Islamist movement whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, had won Palestinian parliamentary elections — elections that were deemed free and fair and a cornerstone to President Bush's initiative to bring more democracy to the Muslim world.

For the next 17 months, White House and State Department officials would undertake an all-out campaign to reverse those results and oust Hamas from power.

Instead of undermining Hamas, though, the strategy helped to exacerbate dangerous political fissures in Palestinian politics that have delivered another setback to the president's vision of a stable, pro-Western Middle East.

At its heart was a plan to organize military support for Abbas for what opponents of the strategy feared could have become a Palestinian civil war, according to officials in Washington and the Middle East, and documents.

What would have happened, do you think, if, instead of immediately ostracizing and blockading the legally elected Hamas Government, the US had accepted the results of the election, and worked to ameliorate Hamas’ more egregious stances, against the State of Israel, and their radical religious underpinings?

You only have that first opportunity, that first impression to establish a foundation for future interactions, what signal does cutting Hamas off at the knees send as opposed to releasing foreign aid after the successful election and starting a real dialog with them on the subject of Israeli recognition?

Imagine your own life. You’re asking your Supervisor for some time off. Your Supervisor wants you to get all of your work done before you go. So you finish your work, let’s say you work in an accounting office in the Payables section. Alas, your Supervisor gets pissed off at you for spending all of the companies money before you go on vacation, and as punishment, denies your vacation request, and what’s more, starts sending negative reports to your manager on your job performance, negatives not necessarily true or on items already addressed in the past.

And then your Supervisor dumps a load of work on you and expects you to do it right away, accurately and correctly.

What are you going to think of your Supervisor? And more importantly, how are you going to work with the asshole?

Real diplomacy could have worked with Hamas, because underlying all of their bullshit, their shelling and suicide bombings, their religious ravings, is the abject poverty of the people of Palestine. Most of those people just want to live in peace, have a decent way to raise a family and live their lives, eat 3 meals a day, get out of the heat, have some social activity, get a decent nights sleep, and dream of a better live for them and theirs. Address that and the anger melts, the fanaticism fades, the death grip of religion weakens.

But there's no profit in that, is there?

Long term, the U.S. effort to oust Hamas has further deepened doubts in the Middle East about the administration's understanding of the complex region.

"America is so far away, they are completely misinformed about what is happening," said Munib Masri, a Palestinian businessman allied with Abbas. "The more they do against Hamas, the more power they (Hamas) get from the people."


But Abbas argued that elections wouldn't be credible without Hamas, and Washington went along, said one of the senior U.S. officials, who agreed to be interviewed only on condition of anonymity due to White House-imposed ground rules.

Was that a mistake?

"Maybe," he said. "The question was debated at the time."

Once Hamas was elected, the White House gave almost no thought to accepting the results and trying to co-opt the hard-line Islamist group, which the U.S. government deems a terrorist organization, current and former U.S. officials said.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, "I don't think it was ever possible emotionally, ideologically ... for this administration to consider reaching out, probing" Hamas, said Aaron David Miller, who advised six secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations.

Instead, Rice orchestrated an international financial boycott of the new Palestinian government, an action that failed to weaken Hamas or force it to moderate its views.

Destroy the village to save it, all over again. It's like when the troops kick down the door of some Iraqi's house, turn over the place, wave guns around, push and shove, break a few things, then give the kids a candy bar. Friends for life, right? G Gordon Liddy's jack booted thugs that the extreme right wing racists hate so much, should they expect any different kind of reaction from the Arabs and Iraqi's and whoever else in the Middle East?

But, then again, there's nothing like a little civil war for stirring up some business for GE and friends, is there?

But we shouldn't impeach Cheney and Bush because that might be too radical for some people, too overarching, too divisive, right?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Media, Bush, Betrayal

Now we know why the Washington Post printed this wretched, pathetic, absurd article about Bush.

To show him as a deep thinker, so that when he commuted Libby's conviction to nothing but tax cut chump change, really so Libby could still plead the fifth, we might feel his anguish as he struggled with the decision of what to do about his loyal aide.

What a pity party Baker's article is, a pity party and a stand-up routine of jokes that strain only our credulity, not our bellies.

Bush has read 3 bio's of George Washington. Bush convenes nightly debates with leading scholars and experts and thinkers on weighty subjects like the nature and meaning of good and evil.

Not generally known for intellectual curiosity, Bush is seeking out those who are, engaging in a philosophical exploration of the currents of history that have swept up his administration.

Not generally known? You could say that. And Bush is comfortable, according to this article explaining what happened, sortof. Note that this time though, the great thinker Bush acted quickly to commute Libby's sentence when the judge ordered him to start serving his time. And nobody knows what Cheney was telling Bush, or Rove, like they hadn't already discussed the possibilities?

Bush the Mighty Thinker, that's going to be his legacy alright.


ACTIONS OR WORDS, what'll it be?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Another Media Genius

Michael Barone was on C-SPAN today, I was working outside but listening and here's all you need to know about Barone.

He's a blogger.
Well, he's a blogger with an editor, according to Barone.

He cited a blogger as an example of good blogging.
It was Instapundit.

He has an opinion on Dick Cheney.
He thinks the charges and coverage is overdone.

Barone writes for US News and World Report.
And he contributes to Faux News as well.

Barone wrote an article on how we pick vice presidents.
But he managed to not talk about how Dick Cheney yanks Bush around like a cat with one of those catnip balls on a string. And he closes the column with a totally gratuitous slam on John Edwards, coming from that multi-loser Bob Shrum.

Gratuitous? Yes, because he mentioned every other VP choice since 1972 without a signle comment about them, not Eagletons psychiatry, not Quayles stupidity, not Liebermans sanctimony, no, just a slam on Edwards from a self serving source of little trustworthiness.

Broder is shocked that Cheney is running Bush like Harvey Keitel ran Jodi Foster in The Taxi Driver, Barone ignores Cheney altogether except to disparage one of the Demcoratic challengers for President, yes, the DC Pundits really further the principles set out by Jefferson and Madison and Paine and Adams et al, if you think that Corporations and Elitism were what those men were writing and dying about some 231 years ago. Yes, George Washington and Nathanael Greene would be proud of the patriotism and honor that the DC Beltway Pundits shower on our country; as brave soldiers die needlessly in Iraq, for a war sold on a pack of treacherous lies promulgated by said pundits; as an elite class built on accumulated wealth gains greater control of our country thanks to the Orwellian writings of the aforementioned DC Pundits (Death Tax anyone?); yes Barone is a great patriot, isn't he?

C-SPAN runs these turds all of the time, Heritage and AEI hacks, it shows that we have a long ways to go, but putting pressure on these people helps. So write Barone, maybe one of his editors will notice.

Friday, June 29, 2007

And it's one, two, three, What are we fighting for?

That's what Country Joe and the Fish asked in 1968, and Wednesday, (I just heard it this morning on the SPAN) that fraud of an expert, Fred Kagan, when asked by the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs whether Iraq had posed a terrorism threat to the US before the invasion and occupation, told the subcommittee chaired by Mr Ackerman, No, they did not.

Now, I've heard of flip flops, but that one was a size 16 double E one, since bush and cheney and rice and powell et al were all telling us what a threat Hussein was prior to this disastrous for America War of Aggression. kagan, being one of the architects of this nightmare, and much to the surprise of Mr. Ackerman, repudiated all of those lies, the whole bush strategy, from Invasion to Mission Accomplished to the Surge, and nobody really seems to have noticed it. Ackerman paused after kagan's answer, he should have tossed in an oh really but didn't, then proceeded, but the words had been spoken, the lies revealed, the pointlessness, in the real world not bush/cheney's corporate fantasy world, of the death and destruction laid bare.

It's not often that I quote from bush's website, but here you go:

Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.

We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability -- even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.

Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons. Since we all agree on this goal, the issues is : how can we best achieve it?

There you have it, Hussein is terror and threat of the most horrible sort, yet, one of the brains behind this operation just told us he wasn't.

And that is the foundation of this most base and profound wrong this nation has undertaken, as bad as the mistreatment and genocide of the Native Americans, the Slave Trade, the War against Mexico, all of it. This time the lie was the justification, even though economic gain was the goal as in all the other cases, everybody knew that at some level. This time, all of the people were fooled all of the time, until now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

GOP Exposed as Incompetent

Yes, you have to love the California GOP. Okay, you don't, I certainly don't, but you have to love that Ron Nehring, one of the GOP's golden boys is, well, not really very smart.

How else to explain that he picked Michael Kamburowski, an Australian immigrant who served as the California Republican Party's chief operating officer, and also served some time as a guest of the State of New York, is an illegal immigrant, isn't an American Citizen and can't vote in an election, but he's the best that Nehring could find to fill the job of COO for the State GOP. And make no mistake, he's Nehring's boy.

The 35-year-old Australian citizen was handpicked for the post by Nehring, who became party chief in February.

Kamburowski is a former registered lobbyist for Americans for Tax Reform and a top operative for the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, both founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist. Nehring -- also a former senior adviser and consultant to Norquist's Washington, D.C., operation -- worked with Kamburowski at Americans for Tax Reform in the 1990s.

That's Nehring's claim to fame, Grover. Nehring, who as a board member of the Grossmont Union High School District wants to privatize the district, charter schools they euphamize it as, but privatize is what it is, disorganize the district the better to run his cronies and contractor favorites into the public trough being the goal.

Always keep that in mind. That's what they do it for, to perpetuate the Rove machine, the culture of greed and power. At the Left Coaster, the talk is about the predator class, that sounds as good a desription for these creeps as any. I remember the Enron tapes of those guys laughing at Grandma Millie, smiling as they killed. That is the GOP of Rove and Cheney and GE and Exxon et al. Never forget that.

Sure, their incompetence isn't always an advertisement for the evils of government, sometimes it's just the level of their fundamental stupidity coming to the fore. Not only is their Party COO illegal, but their Political Director is a Canadian here on one of those coveted H1B visas. Another American Job outsourced, even as the California GOP rails on and on about those illegals taking our jobs, hell, immigrants in general taking our jobs. But it isn't hypocrisy, because that would require a human belief system, an assumption that government has a role, that unbridled capitalism cannot solve every ill or problem.

Nehring's belief system was instilled into him, one of Karl Roves Little College Republicans thoroughly brainwashed into a good little soldier following orders. Without that crap drilled into Nehring's brain, Nehring would be a nobody of consequence. Instead, ironically enough, that anti government banner he operates under is making him an agent of destruction for the California GOP.

Now, if we can only get him off of the school board...

[update 6/26/07 11:02 pm-As the anonymous commenter so smartly points out, Nehring is not on the Board as of the November election, so, poof, presto, he's off the school board, yee-haw. Now, if we can only get him out of the State of California...]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

An Apple A Day

Mom, Apple Pie, Red White and Blue, with the 4th of July what could be more patriotic than that eh?

Oh, about those apples, eat 'em if you got 'em, apparently they're going to be coming from China pretty soon. Which makes great sense, given the impending devastating effects of global warming, for us to import a product like apples that we grow in abundance here already, right? Right!!!??

That's the thrust from this AP article. Needless to say, I will not be buying apples from China to further that insanity. But of course, since corporations are involved, they start with a less redily defined product, apple concentrate. Used to sweeten processed foods, make juice and jelly and pies and lord knows what all else.

Questions come to mind regarding this. In light of the melamine scare, what assurances are there that the concentrate from China is any safer than the feed and wheat gluten coming from China?

How would I know where the concentrate is coming from?

And most importantly, who really is profiting from these imports from China? Because that seems the critical question. China didn't just decide to flood our markets with apples and apple products, now did they? Increase their apple production 400 percent in 10 years or so? This sounds awfully a lot like another offshoot of the glories of Wal Mart driving prices down with no consideration of the consequences long term.

Buying locally is what we need to do, is part of the solution to not just Global Warming, but impending energy and food crisis-if all of our corn goes to ethanol production, what is Kellogs going to make Corn Flakes out of, or where are our corn bread and corn tortillas going to come from?

[T]he prospect of China flooding the U.S. market with their fresh apples -- an event many believe is inevitable, even if it could be years away. That is the problem, why is such a thing inevitable? Well, so long as all of the costs are not factored into the economic decisions of corporations and governments, maybe so. Who champions us against these inevitable and inaccurate economic assumptions and events? That's who we need to pressure.

Who are the many in the article who think it inevitable, I have to wonder, big corporations unconcerned with the harm this sort of globalization causes, like Wal Mart, the Chinese, who? Let's figure out that answer, then maybe we can start having an effect on Global Warming and Big Oil, Big Corporations.

Maybe the guy I heard on the SPAN this morning, John Perkins, has some answers on who "They" are?.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Extra Constitutional Cheney

What strikes me about this latest revelation about Cheney, is how consistant it is with all of the most serious issues and events that have occured during this long national nightmare.

When Dick Cheney, as head of the Bush Campaigns Vice Presidential Search Committee tabbed himself as the one, we should have done more than laugh it off as a typical Republican manuever, which it, admittedly, was. It was just Phase One.

Having seen how easy it was to just do something that a reasonable person might view as wrong, Cheney continued to seize power, just by taking it. That is how those things work, the person running the search committee is unimpeachable because of his total disinterest in the position. Yet Cheney managed to tab himself as the best choice. That's what those Sarbanes-Oxley rules are all about, so that the CEO doesn't sit on the compensation committee and give himself and his crony's big fat raises. Sure, the level of disinterested on Wall Street Boards is open to debate, but that's for another day.

During the Florida Vote Fight, Cheney just plunged ahead as if he were indeed victorious, picking officials and department chiefs, planning galas, the whole nine yards. Bush/Cheney had won, of course he knew because he had essentially counted the votes himself, after all, so no time like the present for making hay. Energy Companies, let's talk, nobody will ever find out, unless one of you talks, and that would be very bad for your health.

Every time someone asks for documents from the VP, he snarls, fuck off, and refuses to give them up. When he deems it necessary for a policy for torturing possible terrorists, despite every law imaginable making it illegal and un-American, he tells that "Law Professor" Yoo to make something up, then he tells Heinrich Himmler reincarnated (Gonzales) to implement it, by just doing it. And thus Gitmo and Abu Ghraib were born.

They just make it up as they go along, with absolutely no regard for laws or precedent or decency or reason or anything else even remotely in line with the laws and norms of society. Whatever they want, he wants, they just take it. Signing statements, that's just a sop for Georgies senses. No matter what he does, shoot a guy in the face, then run away til the booze wears off, no problem, like the commercial says, they just do it.

Now, what that makes Cheney remains up to debate. Sociopath, Megalomaniac, Driven, Socially inept, I don't know, but whatever it is, it's time that the Democrats really force this misshapen little man to face the reality of life. He really is not an entity of the Executive Branch. And that cannot be borne in a free and democratic society.

Congress needs to defund his office immediately, since he is not a part of the Executive Branch, nor the Legislative Branch. Then, predictably, when he just keeps doing what he does, hopping in Air Force 2 for some back stabbing and double dealing, don't fuel the plane. Take away his limo. Take away his desk, jhis undisclosed locations, his defibs and his healthcare plan. Take everybody in his office by the scruffs of their necks, and I'll bet you can get some DC Police to do the job, and throw them out onto the street. Let Dick snarl away, let him run to Fat Timmeh, but make it clear that the monstrosity that has become Dick Cheney can no longer be tolerated. But take away his money first, that'll really get his blood surging.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Corruption looks like

I was reading about Sen Stevens and his upcoming fall from grace over at TPM's Muckraker blog and I wanted to read that article where Stevens said this:

''We invite people we think can afford to put a contribution into the till,'' [Stevens] said, ''and people they want to meet.''

Did he really say that? On the record? This is why the corrupt culture of money and lobbyists is so pernicious, so like arundo is in our local waterways, choking out the natives so it can propagate itself in perpetuity.

Clicking on the hoped for link, though, led me to something else. The sponsors for this fishing "event." Just look at that list of sponsors, for a fishing tournament to save a sportfishing river. Think about this for a moment, if you will. The 3 Generals, GE, GM, GD, Big Oil, Boeing, United Technology, SAIC, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, quite an impressive list so that a bunch of fat cats can continue to sports fish on their Alaskan River, something beyond the reach of most Americans I'd presume to say.

Compare that group to this group, for Stan Humphries Charity Golf Tournament. It's a pretty big event, proceeds benefit Rady Childrens Hospital, the sponsors are mostly local, lots of service and consumer goods corporate sponsors, but you don't see the Big Oil, Big Military Industrial Complex types, many based in San Diego, on the list of sponsors, do you.

It's this sickening contrast that tells you where the priorities lie, plain as can be. Buy a Senator, the Big Boys show up. Help children, you get just some people who care a little, who at the very least, realize that it is for a "good cause" and well worth the cash they toss at Stan and Childrens Hospital.

Marshall notes that Stevens didn't just suddenly become corrupt, on a whim as it were, no, he's been as vile and un-American as can be for quite some time. And the reporters are just now glomming on to that?

How the hell do you think republicans keep getting elected in this country, because of their good works, their good deeds, their wonderful legislative records? Their generosity and compassion as evidenced by their actions to help out the victims of Katrina?

Nope, it's by having slush funds all over the country, fattened by the policies they push, the tax cuts and business opportunities overseas that mark the ways and means of the Bush Presidency. How they sleep at all escapes me, how they justify their crimes defies me, but someday, somehow, these people are going to get theirs. Ted Stevens is in a race with Doolittle and Lewis for the next gopper thug pol to go down, I'm rooting for a three way tie.

Wanker of the Day

The guy on MSNBC talking to the Dem and Gopper Thug "Strategists" about the Democratic candidates at the AFSCME forum in DC today.

He spews talking points from Drudge like we spew CO2, he gives that Gopper apologist more time to talk and cuts off the Dem when he tries to interrupt, he's everything wrong about the media, and he has no name here because I have no time to pursue it. Just this one bit. He said that the forum allows the candidates to make their campaign speech, as if that speech is some entity that exists outside the body politic, and that giving that speech is a bad thing.

Those campaign speeches summarize what the candidates stand for, what they hope for, what they want to change and want to keep, and are important anchors for what kind of leaders they hope to be. Expanding on their stump speeches in a less formal manner is critical in explaining themselves, even under the gentle ministrations of Chris Man Crush Matthews. It's called communications, it's too bad that the people in the communications industry have such contempt for America that they only desire one way communication, them speaking from on high, as opposed to dialogue and debate.

Wankers all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Rebrand This, or, How to Get Out of Iraq

[cross posted at Daily Kos]

In response to a Left Coaster post, I posted the following comment. It’s an improved version of that comment, edited for clarity, and with additional content. In short, we need the Democrats to do the savvy and politically brave thing.

Okay, that may be a problem. My comment follows:

Steve, I can't agree with that redeployment branding bit. Except for the Media, incapable of doing news, branding is all they know, so anything "branding" related, well, that's got to be IT!

And it isn't a refocused effort to catch bin Laden either, they never tried in the first place. I remember Tora Tora Bora.

We used a handful of Special Forces troops and let the Northern Lights Alliance do the hard work, some story about respecting their sovereignty and strengthening our alliance and tales of how hard it would be to get a large force of Americans into the region quickly enough to catch OBL.

And besides, how fast could the guy run hooked up to a dialysis machine?

No, the solution for the Democrats is simple.

Bush had no intention of catching bin Laden, he just wanted to turn the Middle East into a nightmare cauldron of death and destruction, of hate and fear, of nationalism and fundamentalism and vengeance, for in such chaos is great opportunity for the right man, the right man with the WILL to stride across the stage of history and prove his greatness.

At least that's what Karl "Edgar Bergen" Rove must be thinking.

The Dems need to pound the notion that there is no war on terror (which is as stupid as it gets anyway), and that if there must be a war, let it be a war on al Queda. They need to say out loud and repeatedly that Bush has failed us in dealing with their threat, as in all things, failed us (but not his corporate masters I point out yet again), and everything we stood for as Americans. Look, American Exceptionalism isn't per se a bad thing, certainly not a bad ideal to aim for in a proper form, clearly, and with horrible and tragic predictability, the great comic book thinkers of the Right have no conception of what the proper form might be.

The Dems need to pound the reality, that al Queda is not a threat to Democracy and America and our way of life, that they have no intention of "following us home" when the goal of the 9/11 attacks have already been realized, to manipulate us into uncorking this nightmare, currently NOT playing itself out on your teevee screens I add, in the Middle East by removing the largest military and secular force in the region, just so OBL can play out his own insane fantasies of overthrowing the Sauds and putting his name on the throne and the oil. Perhaps 1984 is the wrong Orwellian analogy here, maybe Animal Farm might be a more appropriate one for at least some of this madness.

Okay Democrats, keep it simple. Yes, there is that wee little problem the Democrats need to overcome, and it's a problem that they keep repeating. Please. STOP DIGGING!! Put the shovel down and back away. Now. Acknowledge that you were wrong about supporting Bush and his illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, admit that all of your votes to "support the troops" were politically done and horribly misguided, well intended as they were, and that the only prescription for the region is a withdrawal of all of our forces from Iraq and a redeployment to Afghanistan where we would rebuild the country as we should have to begin with; an end to our blind and foolhardy support of the Likudniks in Israel; and massive support of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Hamas included, and Jordan; and finally, real diplomacy conducted by people of character, people like Jimmy Carter and Bill Richardson and Bono, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth perhaps, I'm trying to think of a Republican of true character but I'm sorry, none come to mind, but that's what the Dems need to do.

They've so undermined themselves with their stupid support of Roves Rhetoric that they lack credibility without full recantation, but, there we are, we've gotten into a pretty huge hole, it's going to take some serious changes in the way we operate to get out, or a razing to the ground of the established house and rebuilding from the ground up.

Listen up now, this is important.

We have got to stop buying Roves rhetoric, that's all there is to it. Bush can no longer be allowed to describe what the situation is. The Democrats need to start making the narrative, no more copying notes from the stupidest kid in the class, and however they can do that, all the albatross carcasses hanging around their neck notwithstanding, that's how we're going to stop Bush and Cheney and the Corporations, by essentially ignoring Bush and his heralding strumpets, er, trumpets, and just telling our own story. Not in response to Bush and Limbaugh and Drudge and Couric and Blitzer, but on our own merits, like Frankie says, "My Way."

This countries foundation is okay; it's all the binding lies and cathedral monuments to glory and the rotten incestuous organization charts piled up on top of it that's causing the problem. Adding to it won't help.

Whichever American starts telling their own story and never mind the harpies right left and center, who truly rejects the stupidity and fear and cowardice that erupted after that day, when the black smoke of death still stained that incongruously beautiful blue of that fall morning, and does it with a serious plan for fixing things that really addresses our problems, is the one who takes home the prize. Or else we get whoever can buy the most shit.