And then, there’s Republican Corruption

Of course, republicans aren’t just dropping like flies through attrition. there is also the corruption component. Uncle Ted Stevens is just the latest in a long line of sleazy Republicans who thinks his job entitles him to a little extra "welfare…

From: Feds eye polar contract in Stevens probe on Yahoo! News.

Federal authorities investigating Sen. Ted Stevens have turned their attention toward a federal contract that made millions of dollars for one of the senator’s friends, a wealthy Alaska oil field contractor.

The Justice Department recently asked the National Science Foundation for records related to VECO Inc., the company at the center of a sweeping corruption investigation. VECO’s founder, Bill Allen, has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska lawmakers and oversaw a complicated home renovation project at Stevens’ house in 2000.

VECO and its subsidiaries have so far gotten more than $50 million from the science agency for contracts to provide transportation, equipment and other support for Arctic researchers. The contracts could be worth much more in the coming years. They represent the company’s most lucrative federal contracts, according the federal procurement data.

I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the current Justice Department investigating this. How long before "Fredo" tries to kill it, thus saving his party — which he places way above his country — a much-needed Senate seat.

On the other hand, if anyone does try to short-circuit this investigation, then it will be obvious just how corrupt the Republicans actually are.

Another Vulnerable Republican See Writing on the Wall, Gives Up

First, Denny Hastert saw the writing on the wall, and decided to "spend more time with the family." Now it’s Deborah Pryce’s turn.

There are a few relatively intelligent Republicans, who get that their time is done, and the wingnut domination of the party has killed its chances for a while…

From: 8-Term Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce to retire on Yahoo! News.

U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce, once the most powerful Republican woman in Congress but nearly a casualty of the 2006 Democratic surge, said Thursday she would not seek a ninth term.

The announcement confirmed reports of Pryce’s departure and set both parties scrambling to replace her in one of the most competitive districts in the country.

Pryce, 56, said she has two elderly parents and a daughter who starts kindergarten next week.

"There’s never a good time to leave a job you love, but for me the right time is now," she said in a news release.

Republicans could have trouble finding a top-flight candidate for an open seat in the competitive district. Attorney General Jim Petro and state Sen. Steve Stivers have been mentioned as possibilities.

Democrats are backing Mary Jo Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner who lost to Pryce last year by 1,062 votes out of 220,000 cast. A re-count delayed the outcome for weeks.

Spy Satellites — They Can Find Us, But Not Osama

So, the real reason we spent so much of our kids’ tax money on spy satellites was not so that we cold use them to track the enemy when we’re at war. The real purpose of such satellites, apparently, was so that our nanny state can spy on us remotely, from another room, while they sit there with their feet propped up, eating ice cream.

From: BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US agencies boost satellite use.

The US is giving its domestic agencies greater access to images from spy satellites, in a move strongly criticised by civil rights groups.

The images will be used to boost national security, disaster response and law enforcement, US officials said.

Use of the satellite imagery will be managed by a new office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Some US agencies already had limited access to the images, but many were restricted to scientific use.

The DHS says it wants to use the imagery to improve the quality of surveillance on borders, ports, bridges and other infrastructure.

So, let’s see what we have so far. We have a political party that came into office promising to reduce the size and influence of government, creating a bloated bureaucracy that has already demonstrated itself as completely ineffective, making itself even bigger and more ineffective by creating another new office within the sprawling bureaucracy.

it gets funnier, though…

Officials believe the satellites could identify and
follow targets by their physical traits, and could be used to respond
to disasters such as the 2001 attacks or Hurricane Katrina.

Okay, so we have technology that can identify and follow targets, but we still can’t find a 6-and-a-half-foot tall Arab in the mountains of Pakistan?

As for the alleged ability to respond to disasters, um… I’m pretty sure we had pictures of those disasters, and Bush peed his pants when the WTC was attacked, and he went on a campaign swing for Republicans as pictures of people drowning in New Orleans were plastered all over the place. And both times, there were plenty of warnings, and the warnings weren’t heeded. Having pictures of things didn’t create a political will on the part of the Bushies before, and it won’t create one if the pictures come from a really nifty satellite.

No, the problem isn’t being

The Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for
intelligence analysis, Charles Allen, told the Washington Post the
programme would be particularly useful in policing land and sea borders
and in disaster planning.

Officials say use of the images for domestic law
enforcement will be allowed only in limited cases, and a general ban on
domestic spying by the CIA and the Pentagon will remain in force.

"This is not a system for tracking Americans," Mr Allen said.

Remember, this is a top official in the Bush Administration. Do YOU believe him?

Our Friend Pakistan…

Apparently, in addition to everything else, the Bushies may be backing the wrong horse in the "War on Terrrrrr…"

From Raw Story:

Pakistan, one of President Bush’s stalwart allies in the "War on Terror," gave substantial military support to the Taliban in the years leading up to 9/11, according to newly released documents.

Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, the documents provide a striking contrast to the Administration’s portrayal of Pakistan. They show that Pakistan not only supplied arms and troops to train and fight alongside the extremist group.

Okay, sloppy editing aside, what we have here is that Pakistan armed and trained the Taliban. But this gets better.

When the Taliban seized Afghanistan in 1996, Bin Laden forged an alliance between the new rulers and al-Qaeda. His fighters trained alongside — and integrated — with the Taliban army. Bin Laden provided the Taliban with economic support, and his group was thought to have played a part in the assassination of the Taliban’s strongest internal military opponent.

After the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa, the Taliban refused extradition requests from the United States.

The National Security Archive calls the documents the "most complete and comprehensive collection of declassified documentation to date on Pakistan’s aid programs to the Taliban, illustrating Islamabad’s firm commitment to a Taliban victory in Afghanistan."

The documents largely predate Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, who uses the title of President and took power in a 1999 military coup. On Sunday, Musharraf acknowledged diplomatic and economic links with the Taliban but denied direct military aid.

Okay, if you’re a wingnut, and you have to support Bush, you’re going to argue, "but, it all predates the current leadership of Pakistan. of course, as usual, you’re not seeing the logic. Not surprising, of course…

Musharraf’s claims are just not credible, but even if they were, diplomatic relations gives the Taliban credibility, and economic aid gives them the money to buy weapons. The Taliban currently controls most of Afghanistan, since Bush deemed it less important than reigniting a civil war in Iraq, and al Qaeda has demonstrated themselves to be more than willing to funnel arms to their buddies.

What this information shows us is that Pakistan, our supposed allies, are two timing us, and actually enabling terrorism. Think about it; they give the money to the Taliban, al Qaeda supports the Taliban and vice versa. Therefore, he is directly supporting the Taliban, and indirectly supporting al Qaeda.

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Wingnuts, that was a rhetorical question…

China says No Reincarnation Without Permission

Yes, the following is an absurd example, but this type of thing is why we should keep church and state absolutely separate.

This is extreme, but how is it different in principle from making everyone say "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, or by doing what the fundies want to do, and return forced organized prayer to public school, thus indoctrinating non-Christian kids into a faith their parents may not approve of?

Link: China Regulates Buddhist Reincarnation – Newsweek Beliefs – MSNBC.com.

In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation." But beyond the irony lies China’s true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region’s Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

And Bush has populated his Administration with incompetents, who just happen to believe the same things he does. How is that better?

I don’t want a president forcing his religious dogma on the rest of us, and the religious folks wouldn’t appreciate it if Hillary Clinton chose the president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

We should get back to the way the Constitution mandated things, in which "a religious test" was prohibited. Otherwise, we will end up like China; it’s just a matter of time…

 

Republican Law Again Puts the Rich Ahead of Hurricane Victims

Here’s yet another example of the Republican right wing legacy — rich developers using tax money meant to help Katrina victims rebuild, to build luxury condos near the University of Alabama, which isn’t really all that close to the Gulf Coast.

From: Katrina Aid Goes Toward Football Condos – The Huffington Post.

With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama’s football stadium.

About 10 condominium projects are going up in and around Tuscaloosa, and builders are asking up to $1 million for units with granite countertops, king-size bathtubs and ‘Bama decor, including crimson couches and Bear Bryant wall art.

While many of the buyers are Crimson Tide alumni or ardent football fans not entitled to any special Katrina-related tax breaks, many others are real estate investors who are purchasing the condos with plans to rent them out.

 

And they intend to take full advantage of the generous tax benefits available to investors under the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, or GO Zone, according to Associated Press interviews with buyers and real estate officials.

Now, you’re thinking, here’s another case of the rich taking advantage of a loophole, in order to screw the poor, right?

Think again. The bill that created these GO Zones was written to their advantage.

The GO Zone contains a variety of tax breaks designed to stimulate
construction in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. It offers tax-free
bonds to developers to finance big commercial projects like shopping
centers or hotels. It also allows real estate investors who buy condos
or other properties in the GO Zone to take accelerated depreciation on
their purchases when they file their taxes.

The GO Zone was drawn to include the Tuscaloosa area even though it
is about 200 miles from the coast and got only heavy rain and scattered
wind damage from Katrina.

So, here’s the deal. The Republicans in Congress created a bill, ostensibly designed to help the victims of Katrina, and drew up the affected area, so that developers in other areas could take advantage. Not only that, but why are they helping real estate developers, and not individual homeowners, anyway?

The answer is deceptively simple, folks. It’s because they simply don’t care about average people. They only care about how their rich supporters do. They claim to be in favor of the "free market," but they’re all about limiting opportunity for those who aren’t already making millions or billions of dollars in it. In the past, the government would have offered loans and grants to people to rebuild their homes and to small businesses. But the Republicans have even corrupted  that concept, funneling your tax money to people who don’t need it, in order to build things that most people don’t need and can’t afford.

These are the same folks who rail about welfare for the poor, as if a woman getting a few hundred a month to feed and clothe her kids was the worst parasite there ever was. But rich developers who use your tax money to build million-dollar condos for Alabama football fans aren’t parasites at all?

Poor single mothers living in squalor in the inner city aren’t the "welfare queens," folks; it’s the rich Republican developers who are siphoning money away from the rest of us who deserve our scorn. Do they really need money meant to help people rebuild after a natural disaster to make even more money for themselves?

Karl Rove — Now That He’s Leaving the White House, Let’s Find Him an Orange Jumpsuit

I’ve never understood why anyone would consider Karl Rove a "genius." He’s a bully and a sneak and an asshole, but there’s no way he’s a "genius." George W. Bush has never actually won a presidential election, not even as an incumbent running for reelection. I’m not just talking about the thefts in several states both in 2000 and 2004; I’m talking about Al Gore and John Kerry throwing away those two elections,Rove
and making them close enough for the Republicans to steal.

Basically, Rove has one talent, and that is as "enforcer." He’s the guy who does the dirty work; the guy who makes the decisions to smear the hell out of people, and carries it out, daring people to stop him. if Dick Cheney is the Don Corleone of the current Bush Administration (you didn’t think it was Bush, did you?), Karl Rove is the Luca Brasi. Everyone’s afraid of this guy, including the entire Republican Party and more than a few Democrats. A case can be made that the current crop of Democrats are afraid of their own shadows, but nothing is scarier to them than the prospect of Karl Rove revving up the scandal machine and attacking them with it.

That’s absurd, of course. There is nothing fearsome about Karl Rove except for his enigmatic persona; he intimidates people because he has other people attack for him, and the fear of the unknown is a powerful tool. The reason he has other people go on the attack in his stead, however, is because he’s just a big pussy, and I don’t mean that in the "Sopranos" sense. The "Big Pussy" in that was named so ironically; right wingers don’t even get irony. Rove attacks through surrogates, because he has no principles, and he stands by that. Though Bush referred to him at today’s announcement as "friend," the term doesn’t fit, at least in terms that the rest of us would understand. You see, people like Rove and Bush don’t have "friends." They have "people who do things for me" and "people whom I will do things for, because they have done things for me." Oh, sure, Rove and Bush probably hang out occasionally, ripping the flesh off the bones of dead cows and pigs and saying nasty things about minorities, but that’s not friendship.

When you look at Rove’s life, you can see that friendship is not something Rove excels at; he’s a bastard, and one gets the sense that he’s a bastard even with people he refers to facetiously as "friends." He’s probably not a bastard while you’re doing what he wants you to do, but when you cross him, he will have no problem with ruining you. he’s the epitome of the "You’ll never work in this town again!" type of blowhard, which is not frightening in most professions, but for some reason politicians fear that more than anything.

Rovess
Rove’s first political encounter, of course, came when in 1960, when he was working on Richard Nixon’s first campaign for president. He was nine years old at the time, and claims that he was beaten up by a Catholic Kennedy supporter, who just happened to be a girl.  "There was a little girl across
the street who was Catholic and found out I was for Nixon, and she was
avidly for Kennedy. She put me down on the pavement and whaled on me and gave me a bloody nose. I lost my first political
battle," Rove told the Deseret News in 2002.

Rove was supposedly a great debater in high school, and was elected student body president, at the same time he describes himself as a "total nerd." His relationship with the Bushies began in 1973, when he ended in a virtual tie with another brownshirt as the College Republicans chair. He was then chosen by George Herbert Walker Bush as chairman over his challenger, and Bush, Sr. became his mentor.

So, one has to wonder why someone who was so skilled that he was able to go from "total nerd" who was beaten up by a girl to chairman of the College Republicans, became a behind-the-scenes hatchet man, and eventual treasonous clown?

The answer is simple, of course. Karl Rove is a classic wingnut, like Bush, Cheney, et al, who could never be accused of putting America first. To these people, Karl Rove chief among them, ideology comes first, the Republican Party is the mechanism by which they implement their ideology, and the country is little more than the "mark"; the sucker who can be taken for as much money as possible, and who will sit stillHallbushbarney
while they turn the government into a state that is far more useful to the corporate oligarchy that they so favor. There is nothing to them except power. They don’t care about the people of this country, they don’t care about the Constitution… wait… let me restate that… they think the Constitution is a barrier to their ideology, and they have spent 6 1/2 years trying to undermine it. And through every attempt, Karl Rove’s hammy fingerprints are all over it.

Rove headed the White House Iraq Group, which created the strategy that led to war with a nation that was no threat to us at the time. He was one of the masterminds of the "rotating rationales" strategy, in which various reasons were given for going to war in Iraq, and they were rotated according to the audience and the necessity of the moment. No thought was given to fighting terrorism; in fact, the WHIG made it clear that they didn’t give a rat’s ass about going after the people who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. No thought was given as to the troops and their families. The only concern was how to spread the military as thin as possible, and how to distribute the billions of dollars in defense contract money, while at the same time cutting taxes, and providing cover for cutting programs they deemed "unnecessary," such as school lunches and health care for children.

In fact, Rove turned even that horrible tragedy into a political football, when he is famously quoted as saying:

“Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare
indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. (Wingnuts) saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and
prepared for war.”

Rove is all about the money, folks. Make no mistake; public service has never entered his mind throughout his political career. He holds lots of phramaceutical stocks and regularly meets with drug company lobbyists. When he held $100,000 in Intel stock, he helped broker a merger that benefited him financially. And just like his buddy, Dick Cheney, Rove participated in those infamous energy policy meetings that are still secret, despite the fact that he held plenty of energy stocks.

The  "faked" documents that CBS News cited regarding Bush’s National Guard "service" — you remember, the ones that contained no false information, but were simply not absolutely authentic, and which resulted in Dan Rather’s firing? They probably came from Rove. Rove had a very direct connection to the source of those documents.

There is also no doubt that Rove engineered the US Attorneys firing scandal and especially the cover-up. The cover-up is pure Rove; there was technically nothing legally wrong with the firings, and Bush would have been within his rights to fire the US Attorneys. But Rove knew that such firings, especially given that all of the attorneys were apparently fired for political reasons, would be political suicide for the Republican Party and the wingnut ideology. Remember; the ideology comes first; they want to destroy the government as it is, and remake it without the commerce clause; God forbid the United States government actually perform its Constitutionally mandated duty and regulate commerce.

But the worst thing Karl Rove did while working at the White House had to be to direct the outing of the identity of a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame, and then order its cover-up. Basically, when Bush lied during a State of the Union address, and claimed that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy yellowcake in order to build his nuclear program back, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson revealed the lie. The Bushies, led by Rove, were incensed, and they proceeded to reveal to the press that Wilson’s wife was a covert CIA operative, in a show of "power" that was the most astonishing abuse of power in the history of the United States. And it was all engineered by Karl Rove.

Rove_arrested
I am glad to see Karl Rove gone from the government, but it’s simply not enough. When Congress comes back from recess, they should follow through with their subpoenas, and demand that that fat little "Turdblossom" be held accountable for his actions in undermining this country.

We shouldn’t be satisfied until Rove is frog-marched into Leavenworth…

GOP Candidates Foot-in-Mouth Disease

The Republican presidential field is so incredibly weak, it’s remarkable that the party doesn’t just pack it in and call it an election. Seriously, when Fred Thompson and Ridy Giuliani are among your "bright spots," it’s pretty much time to "turn out the lights."

Witness the sheer volume of faux pas last week alone, as Republican candidates each took turns jumping up and down and shouting "Pick me! Pick me to lose big in 2008!"

Mitt Romney had to "apologize" because he pretty much said flat out that his sons were just too good to
go to Viet- er, Iraq. You know, because of all them brown and black people  are already over there fighting, they can serve the country better by working on his campaign.  Five large, strapping, healthy American sons, and not one of them thinks enough of his country to serve it. It also makes you wonder how  seriously Mitt will consider getting us out of Iraq, given that "everyone else" is fighting it, as he sees it…

From: Print Story: Romney, Winner in Iowa, `Misspoke’ About Sons’ Military Choice on Yahoo! News.

Mitt Romney, who won the Iowa Republican straw poll yesterday, said he “misspoke” when he suggested that his sons’ work on his presidential campaign was comparable to serving in the military in Iraq.

“I misspoke,” the former Massachusetts governor said today on “Fox News Sunday.”“It’s not service to the country, it’s service for me, and there’s just no comparison there.”

At an event in Iowa last week, Romney was asked why his adult sons hadn’t enlisted in the military and responded by saying: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president,” according to the Associated Press.

Romney said today that he “didn’t mean in any way to compare service in the country with my boys in any way. Service in this country is an extraordinary sacrifice being made by individuals and their families.”

Aww, isn’t that sweet? Don’t ya just love how they say something they really feel, and when people reject it out of hand, they think a half-assed "apology" will absolve them?

No wonder "none of the above" is winning the Republican primary race.

By the way, is this any way to treat your supporters? The following is from the same article, talking about his straw poll "win" agains no one else in Iowa:

“We’ve turned our people out,” Romney told Fox News. “I won. Can’t do better than that. That’s exactly what I was hoping for.”

Ewww… There’s a mental image no one needed.

Of course, Mitt’s little faux pas has nothing on Rudy Giuliani’s braggadocio, such as his claim to have spent as much time at Ground Zero as all of the rescue workers on 9/11. Well, he kinda sorta apologized, too, and lied his ass off while doing so.

From: Print Story: Giuliani: I misspoke about ground zero on Yahoo! News.

Republican
presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he misspoke when he
said he spent as much time, if not more, at ground zero exposed to the
same health risks as workers combing the site after the Sept. 11
attacks.

"I think I could have said it better," he told nationally syndicated
radio host Mike Gallagher. "You know, what I was saying was, ‘I’m there
with you.’"

Um, bullshit.

Notice he had to "correct the record" on the show of a right wing tool with a microscopic audience. And they were discussing the health effects of the aftermath of the terrorist attack; that was not what he meant, and anyone with half a brain knows that. Hence the use of Mike Gallagher’s program…

The former New York mayor upset some firefighters and police officers
when he said Thursday in Cincinnati that he was at ground zero "as
often, if not more, than most of the workers."

"I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same
things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them," he
told reporters at a Los Angeles Dodgers-Cincinnati Reds baseball game.

See, this is the false bravado that marks the entire content of his presidential campaign. The entire reason that Rudy Giuliani thinks he’s qualified to be president is because of his actions on a few days in September, 2001. Nothing he did up until then, or even after that, makes him qualified to be president. And frankly, he’s not even close to "one of them," if that means the wonderful people who put their lives on the line to help the victims. Oh, did he mention WHY he was all over the media barking orders on 9/11?

Fire and police officials responded angrily, saying Giuliani did not do
the same work as those involved in the rescue, recovery and cleanup
from the 2001 terrorist attacks, which left many workers sick and
injured.

On Friday, Giuliani said he was trying to show his concern for the
workers’ health.
"What I was trying to say yesterday is that I empathize with them,
because I feel like I have that same risk," he said.
"There were people there less than me, people on my staff, who already
have had serious health consequences, and they weren’t there as often
as I was," Giuliani said, "but I wasn’t trying to suggest a competition
of any kind, which is the way it come across."

Seriously, does he really think we buy this sort of "apology"? And if he’s so concerned for workers’ health, then why has he done nothing about it. As self-appointed spokeman for them, and given his close relationship to the president, he’s in a phenomenal position to help. Yet Michael Moore has done more for them that Rudy has.

Just curious, Rudy and Mitt; how dumb are you?

 

Bush to Lose his “Brain” at the End of the Month

It seems that Bush’s erstwhile "brain," Karl Rove, is going to leave at the end of the month, to go back to Texas and plot his next government takeover, or perhaps to begin to pen his memoir, in which he apologizes for foisting Bush, Jr. on the world.

Of course, it also means that "Executive Privilege" will no longer be a barrier to getting him to testify. Kind of makes you wonder what he really has up his sleeve.

From: Karl Rove announces exit – CNN.com.

Karl Rove, U.S. President George W. Bush’s senior political adviser, is to resign at the end of August, CNN has confirmed.

Rove, who has held a top position in the White House since Bush took office in January
2001, is to stand down on August 31.

"I just think it’s time," Rove told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). "There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family."

He told the newspaper that he would leave Washington to return to Texas and that he had first suggested the idea of leaving a year ago.

However a series of problems for the Bush administration, starting when the Democrats took control of Congress and then as immigration and the Iraq war topped the agenda, made Rove stay on.

But the hand of one of President Bush’s most trusted advisors (sic) was forced when White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten announced that any senior staff that were working past Labor Day (September 3) would be expected to stay on until the end of Bush’s term in January 2007.

Does anyone else think of Joshua Bolten forcing Rove’s "hand" as anything but hilarious?

Bye Bye evil Karl, hello massive hearings on everything. We have to figure out what’s really been going on in our White House for the last six years…

Romney Demonstrates Why GOP is Over…

If you want to know why the Republican Party is, and should be, done for, this is one of the shining examples….

From: Romney Speaks Up for Sons’ Decisions – The Huffington Post.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons’ decision not to enlist in the military, saying they’re showing their support for the country by "helping me get elected."

Romney, who did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number, was asked the question by an anti-war activist after a speech in which he called for "a surge of support" for U.S. forces in Iraq.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, also saluted a uniformed soldier in the crowd and called for donations to military support organizations. Last week, he donated $25,000 to seven such organizations.

 

"The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it," Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. "My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard."

He added: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation
is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president."

(…)

The woman who asked the question, Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan,
Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action
for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had
served in Iraq.

"Of course not," Griffiths said when asked if she was satisfied with
Romney’s answer. "He told me the way his son shows support for our
military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and
help him get elected."

I have never understood why so many people support the Republican Party in its current incarnation.Romneyfamilyphoto_2
Seriously, all they give a damn about are gays and women who have abortions, and they only give a damn about them because it gets them votes. Why does it get them votes.

This isn’t about the military, folks; it’s about elitism. It’s about thinking that you and yours are better than anyone else out there, and maintaining the status quo.

We had a legitimate reason for going into Afghanistan; to raid al Qaeda, and rout as many of them as possible. On the other hand, Iraq is the greatest misuse of the military in US history, and that includes Vietnam. So, the issue is not the use of the military; it’s the elitism inherent in Romney’s characterizations of the people who joined the service, and this is a running theme throughout Republican politics. It is always "us" vs. "them" with Republicans these days.

Apparently, to Romney, the Iraq occupation is good enough for her brother, but for none of his five sons. Isn’t the number one problem with our current government that everything they’re screwing up — and they’re screwing up almost everything — being screwed up because they simply cannot relate to how average people live their day-to-day lives? I mean, we have Bush telling a woman who has to have three jobs just to make ends meet that a great thing about America is that a woman can get three jobs to make ends meet. We have Bush’s mother, Barbara, suggesting that being in the Astrodome is a step up for the poor of New Orleans after their homes were wiped out by Katrina. We have an administration that has shown complete disregard for working men and women in this country — do we really need more of the same.

Again; this isn’t about the military. John McCain is a Republican, and one of his son’s is due to be deployed to Iraq soon, and I wish him all the luck in the world. It’s about Republican elitism, and this sense of entitlement they possess; a sense of entitlement that demonstrates no regard for average people. This country cannot continue to elect leaders who have no dog in the hunt, and who cannot relate to average people in even the most basic way.

How can anyone support the Iraq occupation, as long as "they" are fighting in it, and not "one of their own"?

Welcome to the Republican Party of 2008, folks.