My friend, and I mean that, I value your opinion but I think you’re wrong to toss your vote aside to the Fit of Pique party.
I think last night’s election was not an endorsement for Obama but a message to republicans that people are tired of the rhetoric with nothing to back it up. Fiscally conservative? Not a chance. Socially conservative? That is not what the country cares about anymore.
Where you see none I see a mandate from a solid majority of voters of half or more of the states in the union for a return to more liberal policies and a demand for tangible results. These voters gave us a majority in the electoral college that George Bush never enjoyed. People on both sides of the public divide want a strong economy, full employment, safety, security, jobs, quality education, health care, and many other necessary basic services. The argument is how to get it done.
We can well afford a return to and strengthening of the New Deal policies that led us to all of the above conditions and successfully maintained them until the private profiteers, the opportunists, the financial buccaneers and the Chicago School with their trickle down voodoo convinced the weak minded, spineless and venal in Washington to give away the public treasury. (more…)
“Five Keys to the State of the Union Address,” reads one headline, “What Obama Should Say at State of the Union,” reads another. From cable channels, to the opinion pages and across the tubes of the internet, the dominant babble, today, yesterday and tomorrow is the SOTU.
Provided for in the constitution in article 2, the state of the union address is among our most treasured and enduring annual exercises in political theater and pointless blather.
Article II. Section 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In my reading of this section I fail to find the words “interminable and boring” but over the years those two terms have come to describe the event that has become a deeply entrenched tradition on the 3rd Wednesday in January.
Steeped in protocol, (the actual Latin word for bullshit) the President enters the great dome of our hallowed national chamber of public corruption, along the way receiving hugs, kisses, and handshakes from dozens of people who despise him. Every movement of all parties involved is meticulously scripted and choreographed as if the event were a royal wedding directed by the high priests of some obsessively constipated Druidic cult. (more…)
The “Hitler comparison” should be shouted from the rooftops, as should the Goebbels comparison, the Himmler comparison, the Mengele, Stalin, Torquemada, Beelzebub comparisons and all the rest. If it struts like a Nazi, talks like Nazi, tortures like a Nazi and wages aggressive and illegal war like a Nazi… it’s not a duck.
Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post comparing Bush, Cheney and the boys from PNAC to Hitler, to the Nazi hierarchy and to the wonderful folks who gave the world kristallnacht, the terror bombings of Guernica, of London and conducted history’s magnum opus of human carnage, the holocaust, the destruction of two thirds of the Jews in Europe and millions of other “undesirables.”
I took a moderate amount of heat for what one local (Dayton) commenter called my “classlessness,” and received a few surly EMails from people who are probably, to this day, driving around with “Bush/Cheney” bumper stickers on their Cadillac and Lexus SUVs but since I want so badly to be loved and admired, (or at least not ignored) I resolved to try to avoid using the “Hitler Comparison” after that.
I saw it used by others on the blogs and, guardedly, in the MSM, witnessed their reception of similar treatment and I realized that a taboo (see Godwin’s law) had been created. “Disrespectful to the office of the President,” some cried, “diminishes the horror of the holocaust and the brutality unleashed on Europe’s Jews by the real Hitler,” cried others, “the ultimate ad hominem attack,” wrote one academic seeking to show that such comparisons were childish , demeaning to those who offered them and “kills dead,” scholarly internet discussions.
I am sick to death of all the pussyfooting around the subject that has occupied the media for the duration of this premeditated, illegal war of terror that we the people of the United States have allowed to be waged against the people of Iraq, in our name, for the last several years.
No matter how much lipstick and rouge we smear on the face of this war no matter how we attempt to dress up the evil and bestial acts that have been performed in its unholy name, it still has the hideous countenance of an evil swine from hell.
It is an illegal war, begun and conducted under false pretenses, by a group of criminal liars and thieves in the United States Government, abetted by a cowardly congress who abrogated their constitutional duties in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds and furthered by a complaisant press that ignored their obligation to remain independent from government, from their sponsors and report the facts.
The members of the completely rogue executive department acted in their own self interest in a quest for personal power and wealth, in concert with the usual domestic and international corporate pirates who, in the depths of their insatiable greed, continually amplify human conflict to their own ends and bring poverty, war, suffering and death down upon the world.
There is no such animal as extraordinary rendition, nor do I know of the existence of any beasts called enhanced interrogation methods.
The first is kidnapping, it is illegal, a felony and the second word is torture, its meaning is clear:
The progress being made in our 4 1/2 year war of terror on Iraq is phenomenal. So impressive are our recent gains that the “top tier” Democratic candidates who have lined up in competition to become the heirs of this great struggle for freedom, for Middle Eastern democracy, for oil and gas rights for western corporations and of course for lucrative contracts in arms sales and private security for campaign contributors, last night went way out on a limb and declared their goal of removing our troops from the quagmire in Mesopotamia by the end of their first term in office in 2013.
Despite their boldness, they did not report whether or not they could guarantee the colonization of Mars, a cure for cancer, or flying pigs within that time frame.
The Congress of the United States of America, a legislative body established by the American Constitution over two centuries ago has declared itself to be toothless, spineless and ultimately meaningless. Yesterday they condemned a reputable political organization for running a completely truthful newspaper ad and voted to declare the military of a sovereign nation a terrorist organization in order to present their Fuhrer with a gift wrapped excuse for his next adventure.
They were asked by Bush’s Defense Secretary for an additional 190 billion ($190,000,000,000) dollars to continue their criminal enterprises in Iraq and Afghanistan and despite the fact that a sizable majority of the people of our country want to end this war, the cowardly swine will approve it. That will bring the total publicly reported expenditures to 800 billion dollars ($800,000,000,000). Most of this has been spent, squandered, swindled, bamboozled away since our chief arrogant little asswipe stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and declared that the mission had been accomplished.
Draftees At Drill Preparing For The War To End All Wars 1917
Lieutenant General Doug Lute, the “War Czar” known around the White House as the “General of least reluctance” is talking “Draft.” Expressing his concern at the stress and strain of repeated lengthy deployments on the troops as well as their families the General said:
As an Army officer, this is a matter of real concern to me. Ultimately, the American army, and any other all-volunteer force, rests with the support and the morale and the willingness to serve demonstrated by our ? especially our young men and women in uniform. And I am concerned that those men and women and the families they represent are under stress as a result of repeated deployments.
General Lute, who accepted the position of War Czar after the rest of the General Staff either fled in stark terror at the prospect of accepting such a potentially career ending position or simply hid out in the Senior Officer’s head in the Pentagon until the position was safely filled, did not actually use the “D” word, but, in response to questions from National Public Radio’s Michele Norris on Friday in an interview for “All Things Considered” he definitely left the door wide open in this exchange:
I had a fight with a friend yesterday, not a fight actually, more of a one sided shouting match with me doing the shouting. It wasn’t my proudest moment.
He was seated a few barstools away from me in our mutual watering hole and talking to someone else when I heard him say, “We need to fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here.”
I saw red. “There is no “we” involved here, you and little George and all the rest of the chickenhawk pukes that keep repeating that stupid and completely wrong bullshit should be taken out and shot for repeating it.” “And you can take George Bush and stick him up your ass,” I said calmly, at the top of my lungs. Again, it wasn’t my proudest moment, although I thought the argument sound, on it’s face.
Now, I have known this guy for several years and he’s a very decent guy, hard working, fun to be around, I like him in spite of the fact that he thinks he’s a Republican. (That Reagan thing again.) He gets this crap from talk radio. (Bill Cunningham, in his case,)
Normally we joke around and rib each other about politics and it’s all in fun and enjoyable but yesterday I was writing a piece on the National Intelligence Estimate and the crypto Nazi language contained therein. I had been worrying over it all day and by beer thirty I was thoroughly pissed at the State of the Union and, I guess, emotionally locked and loaded.
Americans are just giddy over this “Homeland” thing.
We judge the US Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years. The main threat comes from Islamic terrorist groups and cells, especially al-Qa’ida, driven by their undiminished intent to attack the Homeland and a continued effort by these terrorist groups to adapt and improve their capabilities.
The statement above comes from the “National Intelligence Estimate” (NIE) which was issued today by the office of the director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell.
I read the so called NIE this morning and the most interesting thing that I learned was that the word “homeland” was used eleven times in a page and a half. The 766 word document that probably cost millions to compile, print, bind and distribute informs me of ….. nothing new. al Quaeda is a threat and will continue to be, and so on, they still hate us. Pardon me, but ho hum.
I discovered this morning that the Bush presidency is a success.
Boy, was I surprised.
Bill Kristol explains it all in an article at The Washington Post that gets my recommendation for the Fatuous Nonsense of the Week Award.
He opens by admitting that such an assertion may expose him to some “harmless ridicule” and proceeds to offer two pages of proof as to why such ridicule might be justified.
“Let’s step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let’s look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil — not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy — also something that wasn’t inevitable.”
Sure Bill let’s examine the Bush presidency by not looking too closely at the “unlovely trees” by which I assume that you refer to the death and destruction that follows everything this administration has touched or even glanced at in the last seven years. Every time I hear that bromide about “no second attack on US soil,” I’m reminded of the old elementary school joke about keeping the elephants away, and the punchline, “you don’t see any elephants around here, do you?
Preaching to the choir yesterday in Martinsburg, W Va, Bush recited the same sermon he and his handlers reserve for these carefully controlled and completely choreographed appearances before the faithful.
“We give thanks for all the brave citizen-soldiers of our Continental Army who dropped pitchforks and took up muskets to fight for our freedom and liberty and independence,” Bush said. He added: “You’re the successors of those brave men. . . . Like those early patriots, you’re fighting a new and unprecedented war.”
I wonder if anyone else noticed that our Revolution against the tyrannical rule of that earlier George, the occupation of our cities and provinces by British troops, his interference in what we regarded as our affairs, and the general mistreatment of our citizenry was, in fact, the polar opposite of our invasion and occupation of Iraq and the mistreatment, maiming and murder of their citizenry.
We have been at war in Iraq for over four years, in Afghanistan for nearly six, at the same time we have conducted and continue to conduct covert operations in other countries throughout the Middle East including Iran and Pakistan, as well as in several African countries.
The EDSA Revolution, also referred to as the People Power Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986, was a mostly non-violent mass demonstration in the Philippines. Four days of peaceful action by millions of Filipinos led to the downfall of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and the installation of Corazon Aquino as president of the Republic. EDSA stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the main highway in Metro Manila and the main site of the demonstrations.
In the last year or so I’ve posted more than a few articles protesting various aspects of the Cheney/Bush administration and their ill conceived, illegal and insane policies and on several occasions I’ve led the pieces with pictures that cast Cheney and Bush in Nazi uniforms. I have no facility with Photoshop so I “borrowed” the images from here and there around the web. My apologies to those unheralded graphic geniuses whose work I “borrowed.”
The pieces were generally well received around the liberal blogosphere but locally, here in Dayton, Ohio I took no small amount of heat for comparing Cheney/Bush and his criminal minions with Hitler and his henchmen. I received some very unflattering comments, some hate mail, more than a few invitations to an ass kicking, mine was intended I believe, and one grammatically challenged death threat.
1st Armored Division Soldiers conduct a combat patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq in their M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon
Editors note: The photograph above was taken in February 2006 at a time when Bush was reporting Tal Afar as an Iraqi success story.
I think Bush saw the city as an example of the Iraqi version of “no child left behind.”
The headline reads: “Gunmen Go On Rampage In Iraqi City” above a story by Joshua Partlow in this morning’s Washington Post. It seems that the Malaki/Bush/Cheney/Halliburton Democracy left a few legal and procedural fundamentals out of their Police Academy training manual or perhaps they are using a revised Middle Eastern version of the Chicago Police manual which allows for the summary execution of Sunni suspects following violent episodes.
In the Chicago version you’re only allowed to beat them up, in Tall Afar though, this is civil wartime, and the Shiite police and their auxiliaries have gone on yet another orgy of reprisal and revenge, killing as many as 70 Sunni suspects, men, women and children, some as young as fifteen, with a bullet to the back of the head in the Mesopotamian democratic tradition so reminiscent of other great democratic leaders like Saddam and Stalin.
Twice a week I have a physical therapy session at the Dayton VA Hospital. I had a heart attack last March 15, (beware the ides?) in October they referred me to cardio pulmonary therapy to build me up for whatever years may lie ahead. They have done an excellent job and I am pleased with my future prospects.
I have been treated at the Dayton VA several times over the years, have volunteered there performing Veteran’s memorial services as part of an honor guard, and three years ago said good bye to my father who died in the VA hospice at the age of 80.
My experiences with VA medical care have been almost entirely positive. The medical staff has been competent caring and willing to communicate with me. My physical therapist (Kinesiologist) whom I refer to as Ms Torquemada has enabled me to return to a relatively normal life and I love her for it. The hospice ward is amazing, they treated my Dad with the dignity and respect he deserved in his final days on this planet and were equally wonderful with my family. The people in the ER and Cardiac Intensive Care wards saved my life which fact may leave me with some bias on the issue at hand.
I have personally witnessed the operations of this facility during the current federal administration as well as during the Clinton years and I have seen a noticeable decline in the state of the physical plant and the attitudes of some employees during the Cheney/Bush era.
What once was a well funded and squeaky clean facility has deteriorated noticeably and budget cutting has caused serious staffing problems. I believe that this decline is due to the penny pinching policies of the knuckle heads who are passing themselves off as our government.
The blame for conditions at Walter Reed and other problems throughout the veterans health system must be placed firmly at the feet of those who set the policies. For the last six years those feet have belonged to George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. To lay the blame on anyone below the the level of policy maker and budget controllers would be wrong.
After nearly four years of bombings, from the air and from roadside ditches, after four years of blood, death, murder, torture, rape, beheadings, and a host of other unspeakable acts perpetrated on a daily basis by one faction, or militia or clan, or sect upon a rival clan or sect or militia, the Iraq study group is talking of threatening the Iraqi Government with….Ready?…Sanctions?
This from the Iraqi Study Group’s “Executive Summary:”
“If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government,” the report’s executive summary says.
This, in a country where the electric power is on for maybe six hours a day, clean water is sometimes available, three thousand people a month are being slaughtered, major portions of the physical and social infrastructure have been destroyed , remain unrepaired and the National Regatta is a Sunny Saturday spent watching bloated corpses drifting lazily down the Tigris.
I believe that this is where I came in, where we all began four years ago, with Sanctions.
“Mister Manners,” George Will (pictured above in the second grade) asks:
“Can’t We Wage Aggressive War, Kill Thousands of Innocent People,
Destroy American Liberty And Still Be Civil?
By now everyone has heard all about the “Teapot Tempest” surrounding Senator-Elect James Webb’s alleged rude treatment of the President of the United States at their recent meeting.
Webb, who was awarded the Navy Cross for valor under fire and two Purple Hearts for wounds received in Vietnam has a son serving in Iraq. When President Chicken-Hawk asked Webb how his son was doing, Webb replied that he wished that the troops would soon be leaving Iraq. When the president responded with the comment “that’s not what I asked you,” “how’s your boy?” Webb replied, “that’s between me and my boy Mr. President.”
George Will, our “Mr. Manners,” remarked on this event in the Washington Post a couple of days ago, writing:
“Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor. Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency. Webb’s more gross offense was calculated rudeness toward another human being- one who, disregarding many hard things Webb had said about him during the campaign, asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another.”
The nearly always erudite, often boring and constantly pompous Mr. Manners, who has been described as a “wax figure” and who, I suspect, carried a briefcase to school in the second grade, seems to have gotten his shorts in more of a wad than usual over this incident.
I don’t remember having heard heard that expression since Myrna Loy used it in describing someone to William Powell in an old “Thin Man” movie from the ’40s.
My fellow Americans
After spending nearly 400 billion dollars ousting Saddam and the Taliban, eradicating al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations and creating a Model for future Middle East Democracies in Iraq, after vastly improving the lives of the Iraqi people by turning on their electricity and water service, creating a safe and secure environment for them to pursue their lives, rebuilding their schools and hospitals and other critical infrastructure and after getting their oil flowing freely to the export markets, to enable their return to national solvency, you might think that they would be grateful.
But no, last week they returned to their old ways, proving that Iraq is still the center of the axis of evil just as Dick and Rummy and Wolfie and Me and Turd Blossom have said from the beginning.
Now this is hard work, in other words we’ve been working hard to defeat the haters, the evil ones, I like to call them the Islamo-fascists. The ones who hate freedom.