Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tell All Tells Nothing

Just from reading this AP article on Little Spinnin Scottie and his book, a couple of simple truths leap out at me.

First of all, this really shouldn't be news. It's certainly not news to me or anybody who paid attention or followed Holden and his Gaggle reporting.

Now consider this statement.

Bush's presidency "wandered and remained so far off course by excessively embracing the permanent campaign and its tactics," McClellan writes. He says Bush relied on an aggressive "political propaganda campaign" instead of the truth to sell the Iraq war.

They're still writing about the tactics, the process, and not about the substance. And that has been the biggest problem with the media coverage of this nightmarish presidency. All we get is how they do things, or not, but no discussion on whether these are worthwhile things to be doing and why. It's just like that Bill Hemmer thing from the other day, where the "reporter" noted the death threat without condemning it in any way, just transcribing the words without thought on the content. And that's pretty much all we're going to get from McClellan: bad choices, bad tactics, bad results, but no thought as to whether the fundamental ideas were right or wrong.

And clearly, in my mind, they are ALL wrong, in every way imaginable.

And of course, there's the comedy angle. "'We are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew,' said Dana Perino."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Negotiating With The Enemy

I want to go back and revisit the charges made by Bush/McCain that Sen. Obama would negotiate with terrorists if elected, and how that would be such a terrible thing to do. Consider this quote, in all of its Republican trollishness:

McCain showed no such restraint. [He] claimed Obama was "unfit" to be commander-in-chief because of his willingness to negotiate with terrorists, and called on him to explain why he'd meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "a man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for the killing of brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map, who denies the Holocaust."

Take away those last two points and ask yourself where would John McCain be today if Nixon hadn't negotiated with the North Vietnamese, state sponsors of the Viet Cong and responsible for killing 58,260 brave young Americans?

That's what Ms. Duckman asked me, and it would be nice if someone were to ask McCain that same question.

Beyond that, maybe we can find out what he thinks about US troops "negotiating" with terrorists on the ground in Iraq like they have done in Anbar province? Yes, there's a difference between ground troops and political leaders, but how much of a distinction really is there? Of course in Bush's black and white world there is none, and in the minds of many of the GOP faithful there is none, a convenient situation that McCain's hypocrisy will capitalize as best he can.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pretty Embarrassing

How else to describe the image of George W Bush lecturing "the Arab world Sunday about everything from political repression to the denial of women's rights."

Better still is one of his proscription for achieving peace in the Middle East, "to stand by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora against Hezbollah and to shun Iran over its nuclear program."

Irony was invented with Bush in mind. How else can you process things like this:

"He called on Arab governments to free all "prisoners of conscience" and open up political debate, saying Washington was "deeply concerned" about repression of democracy activists and the closure of newspapers and civil society organizations.

[skip] Nour, who unsuccessfully challenged Mubarak in Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential elections in 2005, is serving a five-year jail term for fraud. He says authorities fabricated the case to block him from politics."

We will not fix the problems in the middle east until the war mongers who are prosecuting this ill begotten misadventure in Iraq to further the profiteering of the Global Warming Corporations and the fundamentally flawed world vision of Dick Cheney leave the stage. The problem is that the damage they have caused will make it profoundly difficult for who ever follows to make any progress, let alone undo the damage.

But they must, and they must by engaging all of the parties. Iraqi or Hamas suicide bombers don't grow up with suicide as their career path, it's thrust upon them by their situation and the miserable old men that "lead" them. Yet those old men are the ones who we have to deal with if we want to stop the insanity of suicide bombers.

Those old men, and the poverty and suspicion and betrayals and heavy handedness of the colonial powers still present today, the poverty and over population, an illegal occupation, the exploitation by the Oil Corporations, all of that has to be addressed by the next President. And you won't get that by ignoring the "terrorists," who exist not for the fun of it all, but because of their desparate situation. So long as we continue to ignore that reality, Senator Obama, the killing and dying will go on, this monumental waste of life and treasure will continue to stain the American character throughout the world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Polar Bears as GOP Tools

Well, that's how I explain the performance of the latest lying republican to show up on my teevee this evening. Lyle Laverty from the Interior Department, take a bow. He was so gutless he wouldn't even look at Jeffrey Brown when he spewed his lies. His purpose seemed to be to deny gobal warming while acknowledging that there's a problem that needs further study, and in the meantime please don't stop the oil companies activities in the region.

The statement from Kempthorne really bears that out. (My bolds throughout,my comments in italics)

I have also accepted these professionals’ best scientific and legal judgments that the loss of sea ice, not oil and gas development or subsistence activities, are the reason the polar bear is threatened.

Polar bears are already protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act ... The oil and gas industry has been operating in the Arctic for decades in compliance with these stricter protections. The Fish and Wildlife Service says that no polar bears have been killed due to encounters associated with oil and gas operations. Which is a totally irrelevent fact.

The most significant part of today’s decision is what President Bush observed about climate change policy last month. ... “The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change.” And that is all that matters, to provide an excuse for not taking action.

The President is right. Listing the polar bear as threatened can reduce avoidable losses of polar bears. But it should not open the door to use the ESA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources. That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act. ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.

The [ESA] neither allows nor requires ... Fish and Wildlife ... to make such interventions. The Service must articulate a causal connection between the effects of any action and loss of a polar bear. As the U.S. Geological Survey has advised me, the best scientific data available (That they care to look at) do not demonstrate significant impacts on individual polar bears from specific power plants, resource projects, government permits, or other indirect effects of activities in the lower 48 states that are potentially reviewable under the “consultation” requirements of the ESA.

And there you have it, why it matters who manages the Federal Government. Because these people are managing it for interests other than our own.

Logic, science tells us one thing, that the loss of sea ice is the reason the polar bear is threatened. And the cause of that loss of sea ice is global warming. And global warming is caused by the unchecked and massive burning of oil and gas, period. So projects that produce oil and gas for eventual burning, are in fact, causes of global warming.

Their argument that the ESA has to show causal effects from specific sources rests on the same thin ice as the polar bears. If the Spotted Owl can have its habitat preserved from deforestation, er, logging, by the ESA, then so too can the Arctic be preserved from further oil patch activities. Remember, people, if it comes from the mouth of a Bush Adminitration official, the odds are it's a corporate serving lie.

Watching the execrable Mr. Laverty lie and refuse to provide even the simplest of answers to straightforward questions is just yet another reason why leaving Bush in power unchallenged by the threat of impeachment was as big a political blunder as unilaterally disbanding the Iraqi Army after our illegal invasion was a military one.