Bush’s Intelligence Deficit

One aspect of last
week’s Bush press conference that seems to have gone unnoticed is the fact
that, more than 4 years after he invaded and occupied Iraq, using our forces
(and even more mercenaries), he still doesn’t have a plan, nor does he
understand what’s happening, or why?

 

This is in response to
a question from David Gregory (no, not the one he wouldn’t answer, which
everyoneBush_dunce
is focused on; this is the one he did answer, after
"allowing" Mr. Gregory another).

 

In
my speech, I made it clear that there has to be a change in security for there
to be reconciliation. And I also said that progress will yield fewer troops. In
other words, return on success, is what I said.

 

(Of course, he
stuttered and stammered trying to remember the exact talking point, but I
digress…)

 

There
are two types of reconciliation, David. One is that reconciliation, that very
visible reconciliation that happens through the passage of law. In other words,
it’s reconciliation that shows the Iraqi people that people from different
backgrounds can get along and, at the same time, that government can function.
Clearly there needs to be work there. In other words, there needs to be the
passage of law. For example, we strongly believe that an oil revenue-sharing
law will send a message to Sunni, Shia and Kurd alike that there is an effort
at the national level to achieve reconciliation.

 

No one noticed this?
So, according to this foreign policy genius, 1400 years of fighting between
various ethnic groups can be settled — even a little — by oil money?

 

This gives you an
insight as to why we’re in Iraq in the first place. It’s not to
"liberate" anyone, or to find weapons of mass destruction. It’s not
even about oil, exactly. It’s all about money! That Bush thinks that an
internecine conflict that is centuries old can even begin to be settled with
money tells us a lot about him and his cronies.

 

He really doesn’t
understand what’s happening over there, and why so many of us were saying
before the invasion, that a full-fledged functioning capitalist democracy in
Iraq is simply not possible. As much as many people are desperately grasping at
Sen. Joe Biden’s plan of splitting the country into three and placing a central
government in Baghdad, that plan is also a pipe dream.

 

What’s happening in
Iraq is the result of meddling. For centuries, one colonial power after another
went into Mesopotamia (and the entire region, for that matter) and shaped it
into their own image. The last version of that resulted in Iraq; a wholly manufactured
country, cobbled together by nations who wanted to split the oil, and damn the
consequences. The result has been a series of dictatorships and "royal
families," appointed by the West, which has kept the bubbling "civil
war" under control. It’s a war that’s been simmering for centuries; it’s
not going to go away just because Bush thinks he can force them into a
democracy, and that well, gosh, democracies all work so well, don’t they? Plus,
we all of those troops and overpaid mercenaries over there; that should keep
them all in line, right?

 

No.

 

Having been conquered
by the Romans, then the Holy Roman Empire and then the Ottomans, and finally by
modern western powers who wanted the oil, why would anyone with half a brain
think that anything like a free democratic society would simply "take hold"
and flourish? Their civil war has been put on hold for centuries, and continues
to simmer under the surface; why would anyone think that invading a country, an
forcing it to democratize would work in such a region. Relatively benevolent
dictatorships have worked in the past, by using force to keep the uprisings
down, and by handing the people a reasonable amount of what they need. Remove
that, and ethnic groups will have to fight things out themselves, and fin their
equilibrium on their own.

 

In other words, if we
want Iraq to be "free," we have to allow them to fight it out, and we
have to accept the fact that it will be bloody. Of course, like I said; this
has never been about "liberation," anyway. It’s about money.

 

Remember when Bush was
running for president? During the second debate with Gore, he said, "I
don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called
nation-building."

 

Think of that as you
read the next part of his response to David Gregory;

 

Having
said that, however, there is a functioning government. And the reason I bring
— I guess my point is this, that in spite of the fact they haven’t passed a
law, there is the sharing of oil revenues on a relatively equitable basis. The
other — and so we’ll continue to work with the government to insist and
impress upon them the need for there to be the passage of law, whether it be
provincial election laws or de-Baathification law or the oil law.

 

That is wrong on so
many levels, it’s difficult to know where to start…

 

First off, he’s
apparently the only one anywhere who thinks the current government of Iraq is
"functioning." They have absolutely no power outside of Baghdad, and
they never pass laws that have any effect on anyone.

 

Second, despite the
fact that there is no law, there is a sharing of oil revenue. Wait! Didn’t he
just say that sharing oil revenues would lead to reconciliation? So, it’s not
the actual sharing of the revenues that’s the key; it’s the magical "passing
of the law" that will work so well. Goodness knows, it’s sure worked here;
the Bushies obey every law as if… um… as if it didn’t apply to them.

 

But notice the last
part of that; we’re "insist(ing)" they pass certain laws that we
think they need? So much for the nation-building prohibition, huh?

 

There
is local reconciliation taking place. I had a fascinating conversation in the
Roosevelt Room earlier this week with members of provincial reconstruction
teams from around Iraq who talked about how people are sick and tired of murder
and violence, and that they expect their local governments and their central
government to be more responsive to their needs, and local governments are
beginning to respond.

 

Part
of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people
are still recovering from Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule. I thought an
interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say,
where’s Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the
Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and
people are recovering from this. So there’s a psychological recovery that is
taking place. And it’s hard work for them. And I understand it’s hard work for
them. Having said that, I’m not going the give them a pass when it comes to the
central government’s reconciliation efforts.

 

Yeah, I know; he
screwed up the line. Mandela’s not dead. He meant the Mandelas who might show
up in Iraq to lead them from their oppression have all been killed. Which is,
of course, ludicrous on its face, although most "journalists" simply
focus on the botched talking point.

 

Nelson Mandela did not
free the South African blacks. The white South African government did. And they
did so because of pressure from the people inside and outside South Africa. But
while Mandela was undoubtedly a great man, had he died in prison he still would
have led his people out of oppression.

 

But the situation was
entirely different. George Bush put himself up as the "Mandela" of
Iraq. He decided what was needed to "liberate" the Iraqi people from
the tyranny of the Saddam Hussein regime. Darth Cheney, before the war, even
claimed that the United States would be "greeted as liberators" by
the Iraqi people. So, isn’t George Bush

supposed to be the "Nelson Mandela" for Iraqis?

 

Of course, the
invasion was not fully planned, an the execution of the occupation has been an
unmitigated disaster, so perhaps what he means is, he’s waiting for a
"Mandela-type" to save Iraq from George W. Bush. Not likely, since 4
million refugees — including many of those with the means to make a living
abroad, and thus, the leadership skills to bring Iraq out of the dark ages —
are no longer in Iraq.

 

I
also said in my speech, local politics will drive national politics. And I
believe that. I believe that as more reconciliation takes place at the local
level you’ll see a more responsive central government.

 

Of course, there’s a
major problem with this idea.

 

In most cases, the
"local level reconciliation" that has occurred (and there has been
some) has consisted of an "ethnic cleansing" of a region, and the
domination of one ethnic group over another. In other words, no reconciliation
at all. Essentially, Bush’s "whack-a-mole" strategy has resulted in
cleaning up one area, only to have "insurgents" (if you have no
actual government, is it possible to have insurgents?) move to the next place
and start trouble there. When the US moves into the next place, the
"insurgents move elsewhere. And on and on and on…

 

Four and a half years,
nearly 4,000 US troop lives, nearly 25,000 US casualties, approximately 500,000
Iraqi civilian deaths, almost a million Iraqi casualties, and 4 million refugees later, and the Bushies are stillDc_and_protest_sept_15_2007_049
hanging onto rainbows for their hopes of a beautiful, violence-free Iraq.

 

This will not end
until Bush is out of office. Period. That should be the only goal; to remove
Bush and Cheney as soon as possible and give President Pelosi the power to
order everyone home. It’s our only chance to save lives…

Stop Blaming the DEMOCRATS! Updated!

Jesus, people! Will you please stop blaming the Democrats for not being able to end the occupation?

Look, I will be the first to admit that there are mealy-mouthed Dems out there, and there are some who act like Republicans a lot of the time. But on Iraq, the Democrats are (mostly) performing admirably.

Let’s start by bursting a bubble. I did this in a precious post, but I need to reiterate, because people are just not learning.

First of all, there are not enough votes to end funding for the Iraq Occupation. It’s that simple.  And if you would put down your signs, shut your yaps and pick up a goddamn newspaper, you’d know why.

Remember a couple of years ago, when Democrats were filibustering Bush’s judicial nominees, and Republicans in the majority wanted to kill the filibuster altogether to stop that from happening? We wrote our congresspeople and shouted and screamed and marched, and we won, didn’t we? We got to keep the filibuster, so that Democrats could stop those pesky Bush judges from taking office.

Well, remember you uncle telling you, "Be careful what you wish for"?

We can pass bills in the House all day long, and in fact, Democrats have passed a lot of bills through the House. The problem is, when it comes to Iraq, Democrats don’t have a real majority, and even if they did, they need SIXTY votes, not 51!

Yes, I said we need SIXTY VOTES, people!

You can WANT the Democrats to do all sorts of things, but without sixty votes, they can’t do any of it.

Republicans — you know, the same ones who pretended to want to kill the filibuster a few short years ago — are setting records with regard to the filibuster. No one else has even come close. And that means EVER. In history. If the Republicans keep filibustering at the rate they are, they will have filibustered more bill than the last two Congresses COMBINED. So far, they have filibustered 51 times, including the Webb Amendment, which would have simply made the rules fair for military personnel serving in Iraq; the same amount of time at home as over there. (I’ll talk about this more later, of course.)

That bill had 56 votes in favor of it, people! And it FAILED! What does that tell you?

Seriously… put down your sign for a moment, take a deep breath and think. If a bill can’t pass with 56 votes, doesn’t that suggest that we need more votes than the 50 we have? Must I remind you, also, that it’s actually 49+ Lieberman? And that 56 was for a bill that shoud have been a stone cold cinch for anyone who actually gives a damn about the troops.

Now do you get it? Having a bare majority in the House is great. Having a bare majority in the Senate is purely frustrating, especially when you have a Republican Party that is as ideological and fearful of the gang in the White House as this group. I don’t know how many Republicans’ puppies and families Darth Cheney has threatened, but the fact of the matter is, they have demonstrated, at least thus far, that they will go off a cliff for their party. I mean, John fricking WARNER voted against the troops on the Webb Amendment. Just after Darth Cheney paid him a visit, too, so you have to wonder — what the hell does the White House have on these guys, that a retiring Senator will go down with their ship? There is something more going on here than meets the eye, especially when it comes to the spending bills. I have a sense that the Bushies are threatening to do things that would actually harm the troops; you certainly can’t put it past them. In the case of this bill, what if Cheney started threatening to make their tours three years? In the case of the spending bills, what if the Bushies told them that they had enough money to keep the occupation going until they leave office, but that they would "pretend" there’s a shortage of money? Can you put anything past these people?

We have to work harder to get as many people on board against this war as possible. Instead of pissing and moaning about the goddamn Democrats, make sure people know that it’s STILL the goddamn obstructionist Republican Party that is gumming up the works here. If it has to do with the Iraq occupation, they are filibustering it, and there are simply not enough votes to invoke cloture. Instead of going all around the country screaming epithets at Nancy Pelosi, go after the REAL bad guys, the Republicans. Especially the ones like Warner, who talk a great game about ending the war, but when it comes to actually voting for it, they wimp out.

I think the Democrats are actually to be commended for putting the Republicans in the position of having to filibuster a record number of times. Stop ragging on them about not getting anything passed. Instead, make sure we have a Democratic president and a 60-vote Senate, and stop these people.

Update (in response to many of the comments I’m getting…)

What do we imagine
will happen if and when "the Democrats" do what you want, and
suddenly cut off the funds, anyway? Does anyone imagine that they have used
every bit of the money that has been appropriated thus far just to Iraq? Have
you noticed that pretty much every dollar that has been sent to Iraq has come
in the form of an "emergency" appropriation, apart from the defense
appropriation? Do we have a full accounting of that money? Do we know how much
they have? In other words, how do we know that cutting off funds will have any
effect on the occupation itself?

 

The short answer is,
we don’t. These are really crafty people, folks; not the bunch of hicks and
hayseeds they pretend to be. There are a few things to think about here; the
first is the fact that most of the work being done in Iraq is being done under
contract, and while Congress can cut off any further money, they can’t cancel
the contracts, because the contracts are with the Department of Defense. Like I
said, there could be quite a bit of money already available to keep paying them
for some time after Congress cuts the money off. Plus, there is Iraqi oil
money, and the Iraqi oil company is being run by Americans, after all. And did
I mention that there has been a discretionary fund built into the defense
appropriation for quite some time, and that for years, the treasury has been
ordering plane loads of cash and shipping it to Iraq?

 

So, here’s the
conundrum Democrats find themselves in. Imagine, if you will, that there is a
possibility — knowing these people, a likelihood — that there is a
significant cash reserve available, to keep the occupation going for quite some
time. If the Democrats lead the charge to cut off funds, who is most likely to
be hurt? Well, the only way they can assure that no money is going to Iraq is
to kill all defense appropriations. Keep in mind that anything else will be
filibustered to death by the Republicans in the Senate. They can’t pass a bill
that provides money for soldiers, but nothing else. They can’t pass a bill that
provides money only for withdrawal, and nothing else. They would have to
filibuster and kill the entire defense appropriations bill.

 

Imagine being a
Democrat, excoriated for years by the right wing, and you then cut off all
defense appropriations during the "war on terr’rrrrr." Can you
imagine a Democrat willingly doing such a thing? Are you crazy? Hell; it would
be political suicide. And if anything resembling a terrorist attack happened at
that point in time, the GOP would be back so fast it would make your head spin.

 

The bottom line is
this; there is only so much the Democrats can do. They are speaking out, but
the media’s too obsessed with OJ and Britney to pay attention. And there is
only so much they can do, when their majority in the Senate is pretty much an
illusion, for all intents and purposes.

 

Be realistic.

“Compassionate Conservative” Bush Tells Poor Kids to Go to Hell!

So, check out this bit of hubris from George W. Bush, the worst president in US History. This was from the beginning of his press conference yesterday…

Good morning.  In just 10 days the State Children’s
Health Insurance Program, known as S-CHIP, is set to expire.  This
important program helps children whose families cannot afford private
health insurance, but do not qualify for Medicaid to get coverage they
need.

I have strongly supported S-CHIP as a governor, and I have done so as
President.  My 2008 budget proposed to increase S-CHIP funding by $5
billion over five years.  It’s a 20 percent increase over current levels
of funding.  Unfortunately, instead of working with the administration
to enact this funding increase for children’s health, Democrats in
Congress have decided to pass a bill they know that will be vetoed.  One
of their leaders has even said such a veto would be, "a political
victory."

Let’s stop there for a moment.

Bush is referring to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who, when asked by the New York Times about the political implications, said, “If the president signs the bill we present to him, it’s a major
accomplishment…. If he vetoes the bill, it’s a
political victory for us. Public opinion polls show strong support for
expanding kids’ health coverage.”

You know, as much as we would like to think politics is somehow a dirty business, and that we are all above it, we live in a constitutional democratic republic, and politics is how things get done. The problem is, Bush pretends he’s not a politician. After 13 years in political office, more than half of that as president, George W. Bush hasn’t figured out that he is a politician. Actually, that’s not true; he knows he’s a politician; he’s just hoping we won’t notice.

As we continue with this crap fest, please make note of the fact that the "Outsider Decider" Bush himself announced a threatened veto of the bill, which in itself is a "political act;" one that he wouldn’t do, were he not expecting some sort of "political victory" himself.

As if this weren’t irresponsible enough, Congress is waiting until the
S-CHIP program is just about to expire before getting a final bill
passed.  In other words, members of Congress are putting health coverage
for poor children at risk so they can score political points in
Washington.  The legislation would raise taxes on working people, and
would raise spending by between $35 billion and $50 billion.  Their
proposal would result in taking a program meant to help poor children
and turning it into one that covers children in households with incomes
of up to $83,000 a year.

Check out his use of the word "irresponsible" above. Isn’t that funny, coming from him? After all, this is a guy who only vetoed one bill in his first six years in office — against stem cell research — while the Republicans in Congress were leading the country off the edge of the cliff.

Here are the facts of the matter here; you tell us who’s being "irresponsible."

The S-CHIP bill, as proposed, would increase from $25 billion now, to $60 billion OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. Yes, folks, that’s $1 billion per month to make sure that all children have health care. And the best part? Every dime of it will be paid for with an increase in the cigarette tax.

This is a guy who gets nearly $500 billion every year in defense money, and then STILL asks for more money, just to pay for the Iraq Occupation. Oh, but not for body armor for the troops; that would suck. And that money he keeps asking for to keep the occupation going will be paid by our grandchildren. Right now, it’s being financed by the Chinese.

The proposal would move millions of American children who now have
private health insurance into government-run health care.  Our goals
should be for children who have no health insurance to be able to get
private coverage, not for children who already have private health
insurance to be able to get government coverage.

What I’m describing here is a philosophical divide that exists in
Washington over the best approach for health care.  Democratic leaders
in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by
expanding federal health care programs.  Their S-CHIP plan is an
incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every
American.

This is the sign of an absolutely irresponsible politician, and a
leading indicator as to why he’s so incredibly incompetent. The issue
isn’t what might happen down the road; you have to deal with the problem as it exists now. And the fact of the matter is, there are millions of children in this country, who don’t get proper health care because the system as it is currently simply doesn’t allow it. The current S-CHIP program doesn’t cover enough people, and Bush’s suggested $5 billion increase over 5 years still won’t cover all children.

If every politician took this approach to every issue, no bill would ever be passed, because there are always  potential consequences to every law. That’s why many laws — like this one — only extend the program for five years. If it doesn’t work, you have room to adjust it.

But think of the unmitigated balls it takes to call a bill that provides money for children’s health care — one that is fully funded by cigarette taxes, by the way, while he’s asking for hundreds of billions of dollars in money that we don’t actually have, to keep throwing down the rat hole that is the Iraq Occupation.

But beyond that, there is a lie here, and that is the bullshit story that imagines a whole slew of people dropping their kids from their health insurance and putting them on this health plan, because it’s "free." I won’t do that, and I can’t imagine very many others will do that. For one thing, while it more than doubles the amount of money in the S-CHIP system, right now that program has barely enough money to cover those who are below the poverty line. It would be up to the states as to who it covers, so his assumption that it will cover kids in families making up to $83,000 a year is, to put it mildly, pulled straight out of his bicycling ass.

But even if a few states or metro areas did cover that much, so what? If both parents in a family are working and making $83,000 a year, and no other health insurance is available to them, I say their kids’ health is too important. Not only that, but the kids who would need a lot of health care are going to get it anyway, and someone will have to pay for it.

The fact is, though, that there are places in this country where $83,000 for a family with more than two children doesn’t really stretch very far. And he doesn’t say how much assistance they’ll get, anyway. You know why? Because the states determine the details in the S-CHIP program. He has no way of knowing how they’ll spend the money, or to whom they will offer benefits, because the guidelines haven’t been set yet.

 

Oh, but his diatribe gets better…

I have a different view.  I believe the best approach is to put more
power in the hands of individuals by empowering people and their doctors
to make health care decisions that are right for them. Instead of
expanding S-CHIP beyond its original purpose, we should return it to its
original focus, and that is helping poor children, those who are most in
need.  And instead of encouraging people to drop private coverage in
favor of government plans, we should work to make basic private health
insurance affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Here we are with the Social Security privatization argument once again. It’s crap, people; there are simply some things that should not be dependent on how much money you happen to have, and one of those is health care. You shouldn’t be forced to stay sick just because you or your parents are poor. And if he’s so concerned about making sure everyone GETS all of this so-called power, then what the hell have he and the Republicans been doing for the last 14 years, since they killed Hillary Clinton’s original plan? Oh, by the way, that plan? It wasn’t "socialized medicine." All of the power was in the hands of individuals and insurance companies were in the loop. Her original plan — and the one she put forth this past week — kept the insurance companies in the loop, and put all decisions in the hands of doctors and patients. And everyone in the country paid into it; imagine that.

Do you know the last Republican who even put forth a health insurance plan for the country? Richard Nixon. And you can thank him for those HMOs we all love so much. But since our health care system has been in crisis — and the crisis is ongoing and getting worse — the Republicans have done nothing to fix it. Think about it this way; Bush is vetoing a plan fashioned by Democrats to get more people insured. What else has he proposed to fix the problem?

Oh wait… there’s more…

My administration will continue working with Congress to pass a
responsible S-CHIP bill.  In the meantime, Congress has an obligation to
make sure health insurance for poor children does not lapse.  If they
fail to do so, more than a million children could lose health coverage.
Health coverage for these children should not be held hostage while
political ads are being made and new polls are being taken.  Congress
must pass a clean, temporary extension of the current S-CHIP program
that I can sign by September the 30th. And that’s the date when the
program expires.

I’ve instructed Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt, who
has joined us today, to work with states on ways to mitigate the damage
that would result if Congress allows this program to lapse.  Our goal in
passing legislation should be getting something done for those in need,
not getting nothing done so politicians in Washington can claim a
political victory.

See, this is Bush’s "the buck stops somewhere else" approach, once again. It’s not his responsibility for vetoing the bill; it’s Congress’ fault for making him veto it.

And then there are the usual scare tactics. Don’t fret, parents of poor children; this program won’t lapse, unless Republicans filibuster the bill to extend it for a few months while they work things out.

The bottom line is, how many more people will George W. Bush, self-proclaimed "Christian" sacrifice, based on his stubborn insistence that all taxes are wrong, and that his ideology is more important than poor children and the men and women in our armed forces?

I do understand why impeaching this crew will be difficult, but we have to try, if for no other reason than to give people the sense that the government still works…

 

It’s Just Not That Simple…

One constant theme
throughout Saturday’s protest in Washington was this notion that Democrats are
somehow just as culpable as Republicans when it comes to stopping the Iraq
occupation, because they somehow hold "the power of the purse" and
apparently haven’t used it sufficiently. According to these folks — and there
seemed to be a lot of them — this is due to the mere fact that they now hold a
slim majority in the House and Senate. As this "conventional wisdom"
goes , because they are now the majority party, Democrats can just cut off all
funding, and thus force the president to simply stomp his feet, scream "aw
shucks!" and bring the troops home.

 

Standing next to this
too-large contingent of lefties is a group who is slightly more realistic, and
suggests that Democrats just need to keep on sending bills to Bush and make him
keep vetoing them. Their reasoning says that doing such a think would "show"
everyone… um… what, exactly? That he’s obstinately sticking by the war,
regardless of what anyone thinks? Yeah! That’ll show…. Um… whom, exactly? Is
there anyone in the country who doesn’t know this already? Constantly sending
the president bills to veto over and over is just childish, and wastes time
that could be spent on actually doing their jobs.

 

Stopping the
appropriations process really isn’t all that simple, anyway. It’s not a matter
of stomping your feet and saying "no more money, Mr. President." It’s
far more complex than that, and to expect it in the current environment is just plain silly and
simplistic. Democrats hold a bare majority in the House, and several bills have
gotten through there already. The Senate is another story, however. Under the
circumstances, Democrats are effectively in the minority in the Senate, at
least when it comes to Iraq. On Iraq, Democrats have exactly 50 votes in the
Senate, and only since Tim Johnson returned from brain surgery; before that,
they had 49. Meanwhile, the Republicans have 49 plus Lieberman, and Darth
Cheney holds the tie breaker. The Democrats can’t just vote away the war; they
really do not have the votes. Republicans may hate this war, and there may be a
point in the future in which Republican Senators hate the war enough to start
voting against it, but to expect them to vote to cut off funding, well… it’s
just not realistic.

 

Even if Congress was
able to cut off funding as of right now, there is no guarantee that such an
action would have the desired effect, anyway. Approximately $500 billion has
already been appropriated for Iraq so
far, and that amount has been appropriated outside of the Defense budget, where
there are tens of billions in discretionary dollars every year. It is unlikely
that every dollar appropriated previously has been spent; there is probably a
significant reserve built up, to keep the contractors happy for at least a year
or two more. Therefore, even if the funding were to magically end right now,
the war wouldn’t necessarily end due to a lack of funding.

 

That said, imagine
that the funding were suddenly cut off. Such a circumstance could potentially
create a political minefield for Democrats, politically speaking. Any increase in violence could be turned
against Democrats in Congress, for cutting off funding. This administration has
been handed more than a half trillion
dollars for this war, but hasn’t been able to find the 20 billion or so it
would take to provide body armor for all of the troops now; a reduction in
funding would assure that they still don’t get what they need. Halliburton,
Bechtel and ExxonMobil will continue to make money from this war; make no
mistake about that. Refusing to fund the troops isn’t just a jingoistic Fox
Noise Talking Point™, folks; the net effect of cutting off funding could be
just that.

 

That is what the
Democrats can’t do. There is a lot, however, that they can do, although they
need our help.

 

Many individual
Congressional Democrats are doing a lot.
They make speeches on the House and Senate floors, and they go onto talk shows
and discuss the war. They tell everyone who will listen to them that this
occupation is illegal and immoral and that it needs to stop. And they are doing
that. Congressional Democrats have been all over the news this year, trying to
drum up support for their bids to end the war.

 

If this war is going
to end, we have to get more Republicans against the war, to the point that even
THEY want it to end. That takes a hell of a lot more than a series of polls
saying the American people don’t like it. There has to be a groundswell that is
so overwhelming that Congressional Republicans can’t ignore it. That will take
letter writing campaigns unlike any seen in years. I am not talking about
e-mail, folks; I’m talking about letters. No petitions, no mass mailings in
which you simply have to sign your name to a form letter. I’m talking about
writing letters to Congress and your local newspaper, in which you express your
disgust with this occupation, and its effects in the United States and the
world.

 

We have to create a
groundswell that makes the average person look up from their busy lives and say
"You know, you’re right! Iraq is a quagmire and a debacle!" to the
point that they, too, write their Congresspersons and make their feelings known,
as well.

 

The fact of the matter
is, we don’t have the votes to simply cut off war funding. That means, we have
to create the votes. We have to make sure that 18-20 Republican Senators feel
that they have no choice but to vote to end this thing. That’s our mission,
folks. If we can’t get enough votes to override a veto, then there is nothing
Democrats can do right now. Take this lesson into 2008, though, and make sure
Democrats have enough votes next time. Right now, we have enough votes to stop the government hemorrhaging, and little more.  We need 60 votes in the Senate; more if a Republican like Bush is in the White House. 49-50 just won’t cut it right now.

 

Constantly passing
bills that are destined to die is not progress. Expecting miracles isn’t
progress. Progress takes a lot of work, and it requires a lot of passion. Not
fake passion, but real passion.

Tucker Carlson: Gay Basher

Hmmm…

Apparently, Tucker Carlson was once approached in a public restroom by a guy asking him for sex, or coming on to him in some way. So, how does he say he handled it? He apparently left the restroom, and then went back in and beat the crap out of the guy.

Now, this has happened to a lot of people. I have never been approached in a public restroom, but I have been approached other places. You know how I’ve handled it? "No thank you" generally works wonders, or if they’re a little more aggressive "Get the f*** away from me," might be a good follow up. But if Carlson had already left the bathroom, obviously, no one held him against his will, and it was his choice to go back into the bathroom and beat the guy up.

In fact, Carlson was asked to account for his behavior. This is from the New York Daily News:

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network called for an apology.

Explaining himself yesterday, Carlson said the man "physically grabbed me."

"I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five
minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men’s room," he
said. "My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security
guard arrived."

Carlson denied he engaged in gay-bashing.

"I wasn’t angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me," he said.

 

Now, there is one thing missing from the above, as you see in the video. In the original video, when he wasn’t being defensive, Carlson claimed he and his friend slammed the guy’s head against the stall door.

How is that not gay bashing? And I find it hard to believe they waited 25 minutes to go back in and get the guy. In other words, Tucker, being a typical right winger, is lying to explain his behavior.

What’s even more bothersome is that Joe Scarborough and Dan Abrams seem to giggle in that  "boys will be boys" that way. Shouldn’t there at least be an acknowledgment that what carlson did was stupid and wrong? And what about the double standard? Should every woman who is propositioned by a guy in a public place beat the crap out of him, because it’s inappropriate? And why are so many supposedly "macho" men — you know, the kind who think beating the shit out of people is the "manly" thing to do, and who think that the more "macho" they act, the more manly they seem — scared to death of gay men who come on to them?

It reminds me of the gays in the military issue. One of the things the anti-gay idiots like to cite is the apparent threat to the average soldier of having a man in the shower checking out his package. In other words, we’re supposed to believe that men who are trained in hand-to-hand combat with armed people bent on killing them, face an imminent threat by a guy staring at their ass.

If you don’t want to have sex with a guy, tell him no. If he insists, or tries to force you to, then you defend yourself. But you don’t get to beat him up, just because he offends you and makes you feel icky.

Be a man, for Chrissakes…

Wingnuts Whine About Press Coverage

Ahem.

The euphemistically-named "Media Research Center" is now whining that Democratic presidential candidates have been getting far more air time than Republicans.

For those of you unaware, the MRC is headed by right wing tool Brent Bozell, and has never once complained about the obvious 24-hour far-right bias of Fox Noise. Go figure…

From: Morning shows criticized for giving Democrats more airtime – USATODAY.com.

A media watchdog organization charged Wednesday that the network morning news shows have spent considerably more time this year on Democrats running for president than on Republicans.

Network news executives rejected any suggestion of bias, and said they have a considerably harder time getting Republican candidates to appear on their shows.

Through July 31, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows devoted 284 campaign segments to Democratic candidates and 152 to Republicans, according to the conservative Media Research Center. Another 81 stories discussed both parties or a possible independent run by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"The double standard has got to stop," said L. Brent Bozell, the group’s founder. "What you hope is that there would be fairness. If you are going to give that much coverage to the Democrats, give it to the Republicans, too."

The disparity was most pronounced in January, with 52 stories on the Democratic campaign and five for the Republicans. That’s the month that the campaign rivalry between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama began.

Has it ever occurred to Bozell that the reason there is more coverage of the Democrats is because they have an interesting field, with a variety of viewpoints, while the republicans are running the dullest field of candidates in the history of presidential politics, and keep reiterating the same "message" over and over?

Seriously; what is the Republican message? "We hate gays, we want a law against abortion, we want to keep the brown people out and we want to bomb the shit out of anyone we don’t like." (Yawn) We’ve heard that before. If you want more coverage, say something newsworthy.

Bill Maher, on last week’s "Real Time," noted that the two parties seem to be running in different countries, and there is some truth to that. Democrats are not only talking about ending the war, but also rebuilding new Orleans, taking care of the poor, creating jobs, and health care.

Did Bozell ever even consider that the reason the Democrats get more coverage is because they’re actually saying things people want to hear?

Republicans — The Party of “Values” — Part 1: Sex (and some Drugs)

So how about this whole "Party of Values" label the Republicans have handed themselves? Isn’t that a hoot? How about the whole "I’m more Christian than you!" tone the right wing has celebrated for years? You evangelicals who worship at the feet of these idiots; do you feel duped yet? There’s nothing even remotely moral about these people, as a group, and I mean nothing. That is not to say there are no moral people who happen to be registered Republicans, of course, but if you look at what your votes have sanctioned over the years, there has to be some soul searching going on in moderate Republican circles.

Face it, folks; you’ve been had.

If it seems at times like the Democratic Party has a hard time getting its act together and acting in unison, it’s because it doesn’t. On the other hand, for most of the last 40 years, we have been led by a Republican Party populated by hypocrites who say all sorts of things that people want to believe, but their actions have in no way matched their words.

Actually, it goes well beyond that. It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to be alone with a Republican man. Apparently, they’re a bunch of freaks. Within the last few months, we’ve had several prominent Republican political operatives, including many who had high profile roles in Republican presidential campaigns, who were caught doing, um, weird things to people.

Let’s start with the more recent freak scandals. Many have referred refer to this stuff as "gay sex," but let’s get real here. I’m not gay, but somehow, I can’t see these activities as particularly normal for most gay men who are relatively secure in their sexuality. These people are freaks, in part because they simply cannot be what they want, and they’re acting out.

Seriously, folks; all of you know gay men. You don’t know many of them are gay, but they’re there, right in front of you. But it doesn’t matter to you, because most gay men are not freaks. I think it’s safe to say that  most gay men do not solicit strangers for sex in a public restroom. I know some of you wingnuts think of gay men as something akin to predators, but most are pretty much aware that most bathroom solicitations will probably result in something painful happening to them. Most gay men find other gay men the same way most of us in the heterosexual world find women; in bars, in church, through mutual friends, on the Internet, etc. They don’t stand outside a men’s room stall and peek longingly through the crack at a guy taking a shit, and continue staring for two or more minutes, before proceeding to the next stall to play footsie. They don’t peek over the stall door and offer the guy inside $20 to give him oral sex. Actually, it’s pretty unusual for anyone to pay to give oral sex, and even more unusual to then claim that you were trying to do it to get away from the "cluster of black people" gathering around the area. I’m pretty sure, if enough menacing people of any race were "clustering" threateningly, offering them money to blow them might get you in more trouble than simply running away. And I can’t imagine a relatively normal gay man ever having sex with another man while he was sleeping, either, especially when the other man was so incredibly drunk and passed out that it didn’t even awaken him. Relatively normal gay men don’t preach against homesexuality during the day, and then partake in crystal meth and male prostitutes at night. They also don’t host hours and hours of television with their wives, preaching about the wickedness of adultery and homosexuality, while going off several evenings a week to be with their male lovers, nor do they pay huge sums of money to hush up said (now former, I presume) lover, in order to keep their hundred-million-dollar television ministry from going under. And normal gay men, despite the right wing stereotype, simply do not get into intimate sexual discussions with underage kids who are supposed to be in their employ, especially when they’re congressmen.

You see, the behavior above is not the behavior of normal gay people; it’s the behavior of self-loathing predators who feel the need to persecute others who are fortunate enough to be comfortable in their own skin, and able to be themselves. If these wingnut Republicans want to be gay, they can be gay. But then, they might have to give up some of their perceived power, and that’s simply not acceptable.

And for those Republicans or their supporters who aren’t gay, aren’t pedophiles, and aren’t criminals, you, too are just as culpable when it comes to the immorality of hypocrisy. Another of the leading televangelists in the country, who praises Jesus while simultaneously supporting those who violate His teachings on a daily basis, actually referred to the predatory behavior of the congress toward the boy pages, as described above as a "joke," and excused — not forgave, mind you, but excused — the above congressman’s behavior as unimportant. Imagine that your child was a congressional page, and you found out that this congressman was talking to him explicitly about sex. I’m pretty sure you’d want to kick his ass. and if someone who proclaimed himself to be Jesus’ representative on earth, and instructed everyone on ethics and morals, excused such behavior with a ‘boys will be boys" kind of attitude, you’d certainly consider him a hypocrite, and you sure as hell wouldn’t go to his church. Yet, this phony preacher has most of the Republican leadership kissing his ample ass. Why?

The Republican sex scandal is not a new phenomenon, either. Back in 1990, the FBI broke up a teenage homosexual prostitution ring that had been active in and around DC for many years; among the ring’s clients were several very high level White House officials. Did I mention the prostitutes were teen boys? Before that, another official working in the White House was forced to resign when it was found out that he had hired gay prostitutes, and used his own credit card to pay.

And those are just the criminals, folks. Among the others who have spent the last 40 years gay bashing, and doing their best to make sure their "base" understands that they don’t "condone" homosexuality, include a very prominent Republican who was "outed" against his will after he voted against a host of bills designed to give gays equal rights; another Republican who spends far more of his time living alone with a male chief of staff in a small Capitol Hill apartment than with his wife,  and several others. There are actually quite a few, but this isn’t about outing anyone, but pointing out the hypocrisy of a party that touts itself as being the party of values, when it is obviously the party of hypocrisy.

I don’t care if anyone is gay, including a Republican. But when someone is gay, then claiming they’re against homosexuality makes them a liar, and actively voting to deny rights to other gays makes them the ultimate hypocrites. And can we all agree that, at the very least, we should expect as much truth and as little hypocrisy as possible from those we elect to lead us?

Besides, the Republican sex scandals aren’t just about "gay" sex. There is plenty of heterosexual freakiness to go around, and for a "family values" group of "devout Christians," there sure seems to be a lot of adultery and an awful lot of multiple marriages.

Several prominent Republican politicians, while they were busy impeaching the President of the
United States for adultery, declaring themselves moral stewards for the country, and expressing remorse for the president having somehow made it "acceptable for teenage girls to give their boyfriends oral sex (despite the fact that said president never talked about oral sex; only the "moral" republicans did), were themselves involved in adulterous affairs, or had been recently. One even later dumped his wife for the mistress he
was sleeping with during the impeachment trial. Of course, this shouldn’t have shocked anyone, since that wife had once been his mistress when he dumped his first wife, while she lay in a hospital bed. Another impeachment-obsessed Republican, who was set to take over as Speaker when the
first adulterer was forced to quit before being kicked out for ethics violations too great for even the Republican Congress, was himself forced to quit, having been identified as an adulterer himself. Not only that, but the leader of the House impeachment brigade was forced
to admit that he, too, had been an adulterer several years before, in what he
characterized as a "youthful indiscretion," despite the fact that he was well into his 40s when it happened. Then there is the Republican politician recently discovered to be a client of a prostitution ring, who apparently has an affinity for wearing diapers.

And it’s not just the politicians themselves. Their most prominent supporters also play the hypocrisy game to the hilt. Who can forget the Republican talk show host (I know, he claims he’s not a Republican, but then, he also claims to tell the truth) who was caught with his pants down, so to speak, having phone sex with a subordinate employee, and describing the unspeakable things he’d do with a falafel. Then there’s the Republican mouthpiece who was caught red-handed, as it were, with an addiction to oxycontin procured for him by his maid, and then later, this paragon of morality (according to him) was stopped at the airport, after a return flight from the Dominican Republic (where he vacationed with several male buddies), with a large vial of Viagra not prescribed to him.

The above is only the tip of the iceberg, folks. There is also the Republican legislator who was convicted of molesting his daughter and her friend for 8 years; a Republican activist arrested on suspicion of having given a 13 year old girl pot and having sex with her; a leading Republican voice against Roe v. Wade, who has been married three times, and once paid for a girlfriend’s abortion; the Republican congressman and anti-gay activist who was charged with having sex with a 16 year old he picked up at a gay bar; the Republican activist convicted of possession of child pornography; the Republican legislative aide who was charged with molesting a 12-year-old boy and possessing child pornography;  the male Republican politician who was charged with having sex with a 13-year-old boy…  I could continue, but I think that’s enough.

 

This is not to say the Democrats are without sin; they’re not. But then, the Democratic party doesn’t strut around, portraying itself as a party of virtue. I am also not trying to say that every Republican is an immoral clod and a sexual freak show. But there are too many instances of things like this happening, for it to be a coincidence. And it’s not a coincidence. What better way for a self-loathing gay man to hide his hated sexuality than to join the Republican Party, grab his crotch, proclaim himself "anti-gay," and pass a bunch of laws that persecute gays? it won’t matter, right, since he’ll always hide his homosexuality, or at least hope to.

Likewise, for the pedophiles and the sexual freaks, what better way to hide your hated sexuality than to cloak yourself in legitimacy, so to speak, and become a Republican politician? After all, no one in his right mind would ever imagine anyone who speaks so brilliantly against "immoral behavior" would ever engage in it themselves, would they? And then they wrap themselves in the cloak of "Christianity" (the fake kind) for added cover.

These are among those leading the Republican charge against "immoral" behavior, folks. I purposely didn’t include names, because this isn’t about them, personally; it’s about the overall issue of honesty and integrity, as well as the veracity of the whole "Party of Values" label and the absolute double standard of these people.

Except for the child molesters and pedophiles, I don’t have a problem with any of the behavior above. I’m not sure I’m too crazy about a guy approaching me while I’m taking a shit, and he’s liable to be, shall we say, startled if he tries, but I think prostitution should be legal, and adultery is between the married couple themselves. It’s not the behavior that should bother anyone, but the institutionalized hypocrisy innate in such behavior.

In the context of everything they say and do within the scope of their job, the behavior begs the question; what are their values, really? Where do they get off being so judgmental of others? Is that what makes someone a loyal member of the Republican Party? Are you, as a Republican supposed to judge everyone else far more harshly than you judge yourself? Are you supposed to hold everyone else up to a much higher standard than you yourself follow? And pretty much every single Republican in office right now holds himself up as a "Christian;" please point to the section of the New Testament that encourages you to judge others more harshly than you judge yourself? Better yet, point to the section where it tells you to deny civil rights to people, based on your disapproval of some aspect of their personal life. And what was it Jesus said; "Do unto others, so that you can get as much money and power as you want, and screw ’em if they don’t like it." What? You mean, he didn’t say that? Well, his followers in the GOP seem to think he said that…

This is just the sex chapter, folks… I have a lot more to cover, and a lot more questions to ask…

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Ted Nugent — Typical Wingnut Scumbag

Ted Nugent is the biggest asshole in the history of a music scene that features a variety of assholes, and the kookiest of right wing kooks.

And apparently, like all right wing kooks, who hold up their guns and proclaim their manhood to all who will pay attention, at heart, he’s a fricking coward.

From: Facing a draft, Nugent bravely wet his pants

:: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Richard Roeper.

So Ted Nugent roams a concert stage while toting automatic weapons, calls Barack Obama "a piece of —–" and says he told Obama to suck on one of his machine-guns. He also calls Hillary Clinton a "worthless bitch" and Dianne Feinstein a "worthless whore."

That Nugent, he’s a man’s man. He talks the talk and walks the walk, right?

Except when it was time to register for the draft during the Vietnam era. By his own admission, Nugent stopped all forms of personal hygiene for a month and showed up for his draft board physical in pants caked with his own urine and feces, winning a deferment. Creative!

Okay, so why do we allow these idiots to proclaim to us how macho they are? Why do we allow THEM to tell us how we should conduct a war, and how to keep the country safe? More importantly, how can assholes like Nugent even begin to proclaim himself any sort of "patriot"?

Nugent’s always been a nutbar; in other words, a typical wingnut. it’s not enough that he disagrees with animal rights people on hunting animals; hell, I disagree with them on hunting animals. No, Nugent’s not content with simply saying that he thinks they’re wrong; he has to go a step further, calling Heidi Prescott of the Fund for Animals a "worthless whore" and a
"shallow slut," asking "who needs to club a seal, when you can club
Heidi?" He was later ordered to pay her $75,000.

of course, like most winguts, Heidi need not have worried, because like other wingnuts, such as Dick Cheney, he’s a goddamn phony when it comes to hunting, anyway. This idiot runs Sunrize Acres, a little operation that specialized in canned hunting, which is a coward’s method of hunting. it’s not unlike Cheney’s "quail-tard" hunts, where he gets drunk and hunts quails in pens by the side of the road. What a manly sport, huh?

Yeah, when it comes to guns, Nugent is a typical wingnut, as well. He talks a great game, but it’s all talk. At the 2005 NRA Convention, Nugent stoked the fires of the cowardly NRA morons in the audience with the following rant:

"Remember the Alamo! Shoot ’em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers
dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters
dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early
release. I want ’em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot
’em."

Yeah! What a man, huh? He shit and pissed himself to avoid Vietnam, but now he’s telling everyone how brave he is. Folks, when are you going to get a clue? We have a president who ran away from Vietnam by scamming his way to the National Guard, and then ran away from the National Guard. He, like Nugent, also seems to have pissed himself at least once, when terrorists hit the World Trade Center.  We have a Vice President who applied for deferment after deferment to avoid Vietnam, who shoots defenseless penned birds and calls it hunting, and who shoots his friend in the face and demands an apology for it. And one after another wingnut proclaims their manhood every chance they get, while actually demonstrating that they’re really just a bunch of big pussies.

Seriously; Ted Nugent threatened Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton a few days ago, and the right wing has been defending him! "I was in Chicago, I said, ‘Hey, Obama, you might wanna suck on one of these, you punk’" as he shook two assault weapons "menacingly." When his audience of assholes cheered, he continued, "Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told
him to suck on my machine gun! Let’s hear it for him." His brain dead audience again cheered and Nugent switched to criticising Clinton.
"I was in New York, I said, ‘Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch!’" By the way, Sean Hannity, another wingnut coward, thought it was funny.

Ted Nugent is more worthless than Hillary Clinton. And you’re also more of a bitch.

Where is the Secret Service when it comes to stuff like this, by the way? If Alec Baldwin had said and done something similar to a Republican candidate (he wouldn’t, of course), there’s no way he would get away with it, nor should he. So why is Nugent getting away with it?

Summers Hedges on Recession Talk

Here’s a guy who knows a thing or two about economy. Of course, he worked for Clinton, so wingnuts willSummers1
dismiss him as a kook…

From: Ex-Treasury chief Summers warns on recession risks on Yahoo! News.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said on Sunday the risks of a recession are greater now than at anytime since the September 11 attacks due to real estate and mortgage market troubles.

"I do not think we yet would have a basis for making a prediction that there will be a recession," Summers said.

"But I would say that the risks of recession are now greater than they’ve been anytime since the period in the aftermath of 9/11," he said on ABC’s "This Week."

Summers headed the Treasury Department from 1999 to 2001. He resigned last year as president of Harvard University. In October, he joined a Wall Street hedge fund group.

I disagree with him, though. We have a basis for thinking there will be a recession. First is the fact that millions of homes are over-valued, and must now be ‘corrected.’ Second, the greedheads are running out of scams with which to dupe the American people into pumping more fake money into the economy. Third, foreign countries are increasingly turning to the Euro, at a time when our government is running huge deficits.

Bush2007
I will not only predict, but I will guarantee… the next president will inherit a recession.

And that will be TWO Bush recessions. And don’t blame the last one on 9/11, because that’s not what caused it.

 

Gonzo Resigns to spend More Time With Jeff Gannon

Gonzalez_terrorism_150
Well, we finally got rid of this twit… but will we really be better off?

From: Embattled Attorney General Resigns – New York Times.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the resignation had not yet been made public.

That’s according to the New York Times. According to CNN:

President Bush will likely nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, senior administration officials told CNN Monday.

Chertoff, 53, previously sat on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, which handles appeals from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania
and the Virgin Islands.

Chertoffbrown
Good Lord…

Two things come to mind. The first one is "be careful what you wish for…" Gonzo was bad, but is "Skeletor" Chertoff any better? Think of the doubletalk after Katrina for a clue…

The second thing is, does George W. Bush know anyone? Has any administration in history recycled the same people more often than this Bush Administration?

We have to get rid of these people… we have to…