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.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Saw a piece of Chuck Schumer bashing Gonzales, and all I can say is, well, impeach him.

I don't know if Senate Rules allow for filibustering or not on an impeachment, but hey here's my game plan.

The House impeaches Gonzo, since the Dems can pretty much do whatever they want in the House, they've got the Rules and the Votes, so they impeach Abu innumerable counts of perjury, for dereliction of duty, for ignorance of the law, for gross incompetence in running the Justice Department, for a failure to properly manage his department and for his repeated failures to uphold the laws of this country.

I think a case can be made on those charges. So then, it goes to the Senate.

Again, we have the Rules and the votes, if todays toothless exercise is any indication. During the impeachment proceedings you make the case for his failures, so that by the time it gets to the Senate, the public has gotten a good taste for what a miserable excuse of a human being Gonzales is, for what a miserable excuse of a lawyer, a manager, an officer of the Court, an upholder of the Constitution, and so on, he is.

If the GOP wants to filibuster, let them talk all about how wonderful Gonzales is, what a great lawyer, how competent he was in upholding the laws of the land when he advocated for warrentless wiretaps on Americans, when he advocated for the denial of habeus corpus, when he advocated for torture of innocent people as it turns out, when he arbitrarily and without standing dismissed the Geneva Conventions, oh yes, let us let the Republicans talk all about a defense for Alberto Gonzales and his actions.

If they would rather not filibuster, fine, we can still talk about all of his high crimes and misdemeanors, his violations of the Constitution and the Laws of the land, his pathetic management of the Justice Department (which we all realize is purposeful, right?), and his politization of the Justice Department to benefit Republicans at the expense of more than half of the country's population, you know, Democrats and Independants and all parties not GOP.

After his conviction and removal, of course, comes the hard part. Telling Bush that his replacement will be someone to the Democrats liking, someone like John Edwards, not someone like any Republican that exists mind you, and sticking to that demand.

See, isn't that simple? And it works on many levels of simplicity and complexity, and I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of it happening. But it should.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I was watching the NewsHour tonight and Kyl-R AZ and Menendez-D NJ, were talking to Lehrer when Kyl, at one point, told Jim and Bob that Bob's amendment wasn't going to pass. Very matter of factly as if Kyl were in charge of the committee or the Senate itself.

A more apt DEMONSTRATION of why the Democrats should not work with Republicans I could not think of.

Why are the Democrats working to give Republicans victories for their 2008 campaigns? Why is Obama saying in that last debate that George Bush has done some good things?

Why are the Democrats so god damned stupid when it comes to politics?

I guess it takes a long time to hone political skills, but c'mon, people, this is ridiculous. We're so tied up in trying to do the "right" thing, like this immigration bill, that we fail to do the right thing, and the right thing, as the blogs have been saying from day one, is to oppose the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. It's really that simple. We don't need bipartisan, we need a party that DEMONSTRATES our principles of fairness and equality and freedom, of acceptance and diversity and recognition that someone else may have a better idea, or that their way may be just as good as your way even though different, that life isn't fair but that if we work together or support each other it's a lot easier to bear.

Is it fair that Steve Gilliard is dead at the age of 41? I don't think so, yet the support of the blogosphere will sure help Jen and Steve's family deal with this tragedy. I'll bet his folks had no idea how many people he's touched in his too short time, and it has to be of some comfort to know your kid did pretty good with the time he had.

I'm pretty much done with the Democratic Party for now, until they start doing the right thing, or until Al Gore gets into the race for the White House. Because when he does, and the best thing about it, is that he won't really need the Democratic Party, the DLC, the useless consultants like Shrum and Carville (the snake who signed Scooter Libbys appeal letter with his compassless wife)(sorry snakies) and Brazille, ABC or CNN, none of them, because he's going to have an army of volunteers and supporters unlike any candidate we've ever seen.

Until then, good luck with that cuddle up to the Republicans Democrats, whatever you do, don't kick them when they're down, by all means give them a hand up, heck, bend over and pick up the shiv they were going to stick you with and hand it to them and then turn around for them, yeah, that strategy always works.