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Thursday, August 31, 2006

You Must See This


From Keith Olbermann ----






Please connect to the video at Crooks and Liars ---

Here.

My posts from Tuesday and Wednesday echo some of the same sentiments.


Great Job, Keith!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Pot Calling the Kettle Beige OR Karl Rove Part II

R i i i i i ght.

First, get the nation divided, and then blame the Democrats for the nation’s problems and lack of unity on ( the War on Terror / the Iraq War / supporting the TroopsCHOOSE ONE).

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are still on the attack, but the rhetoric changed yesterday and today.

The game plan remains the same. Please read my earlier post.

FDR and Orwell would be pleased that someone has read their works.

And appalled.

Let Me Be a Law

Thanks, again, to our friends at Crooks and Liars

Please sit back and watch.

Enjoy!

George W. Bush AND God's Gift to the World

I have been considering authoring a post on the Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush for some time now. I will probably do so very soon. One of the themes in my post would have been Mr. Bush’s disregard for the Constitution and the laws that Congress pass and the President signs. However, I just can't hold it in....

The entire process of how a law is made seems simple enough for most folks to understand. Somebody gets an idea that we need to do XYZ to benefit our country. Any citizen may ask a member of the House of Representatives or a member of the Senate to consider making the concern about XYZ a law. If that member of Congress agrees, then the matter of XYZ is presented to Congress as the XYZ Bill. The XYZ Bill is debated, and a vote is taken. If both branches of Congress agree, the proposed law is presented to the President. If he or she signs the XYZ Bill, it becomes the “law of the land”. If the President disagrees with the XYZ Bill, he will use a VETO and the XYZ Bill does not become a law. However, Congress can disagree and pass the law, only, if they can get enough votes to “override” the President’s veto, even if the President disagrees.

Simply, eh?

At least that was what I was taught in elementary school, 9th Grade Civics, 12th Grade Problems in Democracy, and college Political Science 101. We are all supposed to obey the law. When the President signs the XYZ Bill it is a law that the President must, according to our Constitution, enforce.

But, wait!! What the hell? George W. Bush has signed hundreds of Bills into law and attached some beastly statements to the new “laws” telling us that when it is convenient or when he has some particular burr up his ass or when the moon is blue, the President does not have to OBEY the laws of our country – even after he signs his name to the holy parchment that becomes a recorded law.

I guess my public school and expensive private university education failed me? And, after all of the years I spent teaching in a public school – I indeed must have been misleading my kids about how our government is supposed to work?

Bullfeathers!!

What the hell is going on in Washington? The President does not have a line-item veto. The President does not have the authority to disregard the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

Oh, yeah – that’s right – 9/11 changed everything. We are at War.

More freaking bullfeathers!!

But, yeah, it’s all good. The Congress and the Supreme Court are supposed to be a President’s “checks and balance”. Right?

What? They have their heads where? The Republican Party controls what? How much corporate and special interest money do they get? Big oil? The banks and credit card companies? The pharmaceutical industry? When did they get to make the laws around here?

When is the next election? Let’s throw the bums out!!

.....

We are supposed to have high moral standards in this nation. We obey the law. We are supposed to take care of the “least of these” among us. We defend our Nation.

We do not torture prisoners – not ever! We do not wage pre-emptive wars. We do not choose to go to war so we may impose our beliefs on other peoples. We do not go to war to enrich the treasury of those that build the machinery of war or rebuild the places we destroy. We do not become complicit in the deaths of over 40,000 civilians to spread freedom to another region of the world.
.....

Thanks for letting me vent.

Please take a look and listen to what I found on Crooks and Liars today. A tip of the hat to Unclaimed Territory’s Glenn Greenwald. Glenn debates a lying Rovian political hack about King George’s disregard for the Constitution and the laws of our Republic.

Another Chuckle

Here is - Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish - "YouTube of the Day".

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Infamy

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used what are famously known as Fireside Chats to communicate directly to the American people during a time of great national turmoil. He attempted to bring a sense of calm and resolve to help his fellow Americans through the Great Depression years and during World War II. When the war in Europe began, he reassured the American people of his desire to not enter into the war. He often spoke of the enemies of democracy and boldly pledged to help our brothers, sisters, cousins, and neighbors in Canada and our allies in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

I find the following passage to be quite profound and possibly even prophetic. During his radio address on Sunday, December 29, 1940, FDR warned:

Let us no longer blind ourselves to the undeniable fact that the evil forces which have crushed and undermined and corrupted so many others are already within our own gates. Your Government knows much about them and every day is ferreting them out.

Their secret emissaries are active in our own and in neighboring countries. They seek to stir up suspicion and dissension to cause internal strife. They try to turn capital against labor, and vice versa. They try to reawaken long slumbering racist and religious enmities which should have no place in this country. They are active in every group that promotes intolerance. They exploit for their own ends our own natural abhorrence of war. These trouble-breeders have but one purpose. It is to divide our people, to divide them into hostile groups and to destroy our unity and shatter our will to defend ourselves.

There are also American citizens, many of then in high places, who, unwittingly in most cases, are aiding and abetting the work of these agents. I do not charge these American citizens with being foreign agents. But I do charge them with doing exactly the kind of work that the dictators want done in the United States.


Karl Rove, President Bush’s so-called “boy genius”, may have improved and somewhat perfected the manipulation of language (It’s a death tax, stupid, and not the Democrat’s inheritance or estate tax!) and the practice of mass mailings that solicit contributions to guard, protect, or fight against someone’s cause de jour. However, Rove’s genius may not be due to any original thoughts but, derived from historical records and political science fiction.

Conceivably Karl Rove borrowed someone’s Cliff Note guide about FDR and George Orwell’s “1984”. Karl Rove’s grand design is not new or original, or worthy of high praise. Rovian tactics have enriched all those who have adopted and utilized his language and letter format to spew half truths, outright lies, baseless accusations, and slanderous inferences.

Organizations based in actual buildings, dank basements, and postal drops have been complicit with religious and political leaders in crushing, undermining, and corrupting so many many people. They and their kind will live in infamy.



Genius [ jeen – yuhs ] 8. a person who strongly influences for good or ill the character or conduct or destiny of a person, place, or thing. Rasputin, the evil genius of Russian politics.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Daily Shows

Night after night, I watch and wait for the one news story that will put him over the edge.

Every night I wait to learn about that one hypocrisy, that one inconsistent and incredibly nonsensical event.

One night he will share that final report about how the government of these United States will cross the line from sheer incompetence to outright stupidity.

I do not trust my VCR.

Therefore, I must be there.

I will be there -- the night when the head of LOU DOBBS explodes.

Lou Dobbs is one of America’s jewels. He is a hero. He has had the audacity to challenge George W. Bush for a number of bone-headed actions. He has vented and voiced his disgust with our Do-Nothing Congress. He rages against the corporate goons that only care about their financials interests while factories close and jobs are shipped to China. He reminds us that our ports are not secure and that the Do-Nothing Congress has shirked their oversight responsibilities by allowing foreign operation of America’s ports and other vital pieces of our infrastructure.

The War on the Middle class continues. Lou Dobbs is on the front line exposing the corruption, the arrogance, the ineptness, and the complicity of big business and our elected leaders to bring this nation to ruin. The hopes and dreams of every American are at risk. Lou stands vigilant as “who knows who” and “who knows what” enters our country through our porous border.

Yes, I watch Lou Dobbs. He brings me the news that really matters.

And, at the end of the day, when I need to put aside my anger and discontentment, I watch The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I crave Jon Stewart’s fake news and Stephen Colbert’s interpretation of a pompous Bill O’Reilly/Rush Limbaugh windbag. You see, at the end of some days, I need a good laugh to keep from crying.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Best Democracy that Money Can Buy


I am a registered, card carrying, socially liberal, Libertarian leaning, and Barry Goldwater-Conservative Democrat. I was one of the first of the Baby Boomers to exercise the right to vote (and drink – for a time) at the age of eighteen.

I thought of myself as a Republican and voted for mostly Republican candidates for many years. I disliked many of the Democratic Party leaders that existed in my youth. The Democratic Party seemed to be held hostage by conservative bigots. The politics of George Wallace and Lester Maddox made me cringe.

Nowadays, it seems that the narrow-minded, the corporate lackeys, the big-government expansionists, and the right wing Christian Taliban control the Republican Party. Perhaps, the leadership in the Democratic Party has “never seen a spending program that they couldn’t vote for” or a socially liberal cause they could not support. The Democratic Party brokered our civil rights laws. And, yes, we have government programs that provide assistance to the “least of these” among us.

Many Americans seem to believe that it is okay to lie, cheat, and steal or buy one’s way into the Governor’s Mansion or the White House. I do not. Here in Michigan (and in parts of southern Ontario, Canada) television viewers have been bombarded with false and misleading political campaign ads from the beginning of January to the present. Dick DeVos is hoping to be the next Governor of Michigan. Ads in January, new ads in February, more new ad in March – it is simply “ad” nauseating.

Dick seems to be trying to buy his way to the Governor’s Mansion with misleading deceitful advertisements. What else is new?

But, wait – here is a real chuckle (Thanks to matt at Michigan Liberal.com)!!

Malice and Ignorance

Each day we are faced with new challenges. Most of those challenges are met with decisive action. Some of the challenges we encounter are problems that we may or may not want to address. Ignorance of a problem seems to excuse us for not acting to resolve or mitigate the problem. It seems that once we learn about the problem we are wholly accountable for our actions or lack thereof.

The word “malice” came to mind one day as I reacted to the nonchalant statements of a police officer on one of my favorite television shows. It was something that I had heard many times in television dramas and in movies. It seems to be one of the underlying themes in the HBO production of Oz -- prison rape.

I would like to believe that our system of justice does not overtly condone the injury, harm, or suffering of those convicted of misdemeanors and felonies. Yet, we seem to know that many inmates are assaulted, murdered, and raped within the walls of jails and prisons. Prison rape is routinely spoken of and used as a threat by police officers and detectives in our televised dramas and in major motion pictures. “Don’t drop the soap in the showers” and “find a big guy to take care of you” are phrases used as humor. Prison raped is not a comical prank. Prison rape is a loathsome act of violence.

When someone is convicted of a crime and sentenced to months or years of incarceration, do our judges also mention in open court that the defendant may be subjected to humiliation and degradation? And, yes, of course, they may be beaten, stabbed, or raped. The State of Texas or the State of Michigan or the Commonwealth of Virginia or the Federal Government allows this added burden? Are juries told that the defendant, if found guilty, may be punished with time behind bars with the added bonus of possibly being a victim of brutal crimes? Are incarceration and rape meant to be a deterrent to crime?

Ezra Klein has written about the subject of prison rape. He sums it up here.

The attitude that someone convicted of a crime “gets what they desire” is nothing short of malice.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Malice Toward None

On March 4th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln’s concluded his second inaugural address with this plea:


“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan -- do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
In this age of “us versus them”; Israel versus Hamas and Hizballah; Right-wing Conservation Christians versus non-Christians and Christians from all denominations; Shia versus Sunni; Neoconservatives versus True Conservatives, Moderates, Libertarians, Progressives, and Liberals; Muslim Extremists versus their “near enemies” (other Muslims) and “far enemies” (the non-Muslim world); and Republican versus Democrat; we seem to have never-ending conflict. Couldn’t we all take a deep breath, re-read the words of Lincoln, and apply them to the current strife?

We would have a better world if we approached our neighbors without malice and with charity, and then decided to work together to “achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”