Friday, November 02, 2007

George Bush's Successful Administration

It is time to concede this simple fact. The Bush Administration has been a successful presidency. I think at this point seven years into his incumbency there can be little doubt.

Granted for the first six years he had a rubber stamp Congress only too eager to hitch their own stunning corruption to his wild brand of success.

The gains he made in destroying the public commonweal from the surplus to public education to Medicare prescription benefits to almost but not quite Social Security were astonishing.

But even since 2006 in the true test of adversity George Bush has been almost singularly successful.

He turned the Department of Justice from an institution internationally admired for its impartial adherence to the rule of law to – excuse me, words fail me here – the closest I can come to it is stalinesque,

Evisceration of Constitutional guarantees of Habeas Corpus? Ditto.

A feeble FEMA? enough said.

A mercenary military? Blackwater - aka Hessians R us.

Not to mention the implicit but oft constitutionally upheld right to privacy. He has been singularly successful there. George Bush turned your telephone into his earphone and your Congress can barely stifle a yawn.

Now that is success.

But it is was ability to make torture the official policy of the United States that has been simply elegant.

I admire the man. Really, I do.

Poll after poll says that George Bush is a President as despised as Richard Nixon was at the nadir of the Watergate scandal. A majority of our fellow citizens say this country is on the wrong track. Measure after measure. Issue after issue.

But does Congress act to compel this man to actually honor his oath to “protect and defend the Constitution”?

Nahhh! To actually believe that stuff is for the simple people like you and me. Not those we elect to office. They know better. I sometimes forget my place in this democratic ecosystem and wonder why.

But surely it is not meant for people like our senators. Mine are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. They like to be called moderates. They must be. They certainly use their Constitutional office to hold a lawless and outright criminal administration to account pretty moderately. I don't expect your's do any better, But I do wish mine would decide to spend more time with their families.

No, our Congress has become bi-partisan. That means giving your telephone company immunity for illegally giving George Bush illegal information he was not legally entitled too is reasonable. Even though they all had a way to do it legally if it was necessary. That was a law called FISA. But you can forget I said it because that will be an obsolete acronym soon enough.

Why is it that “reasonable” with these people always ends up meaning selling out the Constitution?

Ahh but then there is torture.

That is George Bush's crowning glory - so to speak. Since the very founding of our nation torture has been the one area that we have steadily held to be the very the definition of Scum of Humanity. If you do it you are Scum. It really was that simple. For hundreds of years our civilization the one that bore this nation held torture beyond contempt becoming more and more certain in its determination that that was so. Even when that belief was breached it was eventually corrected. Often by hanging.

We hung Nazis to prove we meant it.

In those times the United States – our country- drove the efforts to outlaw torture forever everywhere no matter what. These efforts became the third and fourth Geneva conventions. We created the international institutions that recognized torture as the abomination that it is.

We even explicitly made those conventions our laws.

These days our government still can criticize those governments we don't like that do torture but how George Bush keeps a straight face, I don't know. The man is a genius. And certainly the world only laughs at us.

Somehow George turned it all around. We torture.

You and me and the guy next to you – we all do it. We do it in Guantanamo. We do it in the CIA's black sites. We have Syrians and Egyptians do it for us and wherever else we can KlubMed those we want beaten to within a heartbeat of their lives without the rule of law getting in the way.

Because George Bush made it OK. Need more proof?

The likely next Attorney General will be just like the last Attorney General – Fredo - in being completely happy to let you and your country torture people.

Senate Question: Waterboarding?

Nominee Answer: That's personally abhorrent.

Senate Question: “Is it torture? “

Nominee Answer: Wink Wink...

Senators Diane Feinstein and George Schumer: “Well, that's enough for me.”

And your Congress will happily go along.

Oh sure they will make long faces and talk about the rule of law before they vote to approve his nomination but that is talk for the simple people like you and me.

Chalk another win up for President Bush.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sometimes a useless fuck is a ...

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.

Press kit: Watch til you get it. Criminy what does it take?

Who is this national self?

Josh Marshal say this: "Tancredo doesn't cut much of a figure in the progressive blogosphere. But in the mainstream media circles he's treated as a respectable if rather outlandish figure. But it's worth pausing play for a moment and recognizing the guy as we would if read about him in the history books: a hate-peddler and huckster, the dark side of our national selves.

But I am developing a problem with this kind of observation.

Yeah Tancredo is a cretin.

Yeah his supporters are cretins.

But how exactly does he represent some (implicitly ) dark side of our national selves?

Our national selves have acquiesced in building a virtual fence along the border to keep out "those people".

Our nation selves have allowed a war criminal president and his war criminal minions to torture whomever he likes. And Our national selves do not stop him.

Our national selves have stripped a millennium old rule of Habeus Corpus from our national protections. And our national selves do not stop it from happening or correct it.

Our national selves are about to allow the telecoms to walk away from abetting a lawless, unconstitutional and criminal regime from commandeering information that they were constitutionally and legally required to protect. And our national selves do not demand that they stand up to their obligations.

Our national selves have allowed the rule of law to become the rule of fiat by the ruling party. And our national selves yawn.

Sure we have had able assistance from a Republican party whose members seemingly in every office and every position of responsibility have chosen a Stalinist one-party system over the Constitution. But our national selves tune into their prurient lies.

And sure we have had the miserable assistance of the Democratic majority in the House and Senate who have chosen - frankly I don't know what they have chosen but whatever it is, it superseded their oath to support and defend the Constitution.

SO no, I don't understand what "dark side" Josh Marshal is referring to. As near as I can figure. Tancredo and the rest are representing us pretty faithfully.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

irony 101

From the AP
"I think there is too much concentration of power in the Kremlin. I have told the Russians that. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary. There are clearly questions about the independence of the electronic media and there are, I think, questions about the strength of the Duma," said Rice, referring to the Russian parliament.

I just don't know what to freakin say. Has she even seen the Daily Show - let alone Saturday Night Live over the last million years - and she can't even see the irony in her stupidity? The AP didn't say anything about Rice struggling to keep a straight face. But I guess that's why she's the Secretary of State. Ask Colin.

And yes I know that Gawfabid there is a hint here that I am comparing our Perfect Republic(tm) to the horrible bunch-o-ruskie bastards but still.

Has she never talked to Alberto in the last 6 years?

This is exactly the kind of thing that the criminal Bushism opens us to. Who the fuck is going to take any criticism we say seriously (I can't even do it for crissakes and I think Putin is a major creep) when since 9-11-changed-everything we can't even say that we AREN'T ourselves doing exactly what Rice says Russia is.

Seriously in the quote above change "Kremlin" to White House" and "the Russians" to "President Bush". Is there a note of cognitive dissonance?


Secretary Rice, all I can say to you is get bent.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What a dope

What deserves congressional attention?

Well, none other than the Move On scandal of course. Like Terry Schiavo I guess.

Here is GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia. He sent a letter to Oversight Committee chair Henry Waxman demanding a probe into the "scandal."

It is time for The New York Times to answer publicly, on the record, and under oath for its conduct," Davis writes. "You have repeatedly challenged the public statements of administration and private industry officials and sought testimony under oath. It is time for you to give equal treatment to The New York Times.

He of course neglected to mention the times that Attorney General, and various other military and executive employees weren't sworn in. I guess because they are of the better sort. You can tell him

he's a dope - in a nice way of course - here
Tom Davis, you are a dope

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dear Harry Reid

Below is text of email to the Senator:

I've been thinking about the stupid censure of Move ON that you and your leadership team allowed the Republicans to pull. And I think turn about is fair play.

Here is a link from a blog -

It's ok it won't hurt you. You can click on it and read it and everything.

It's from Digby's blog Hullabaloo. In this post she lists a number of times when the right played the Obama/Osama name game.

Now this is just a small selection of things that if it had been aimed at a Republican would have made you allow a censure motion to show the dastardly culprit.

But instead you can use these as a starting point. Here's the idea: each day offer a censure motion to be you know just to be fair and balanced.

With a little thought you could add to the list I am sure. Pull some Swift Boat quotes and slurs aimed at Max Cleland - shucks just read Ann Coulter for a week and you would have a mother load (no pun intended).

That way you can cave to the Republicans and avoid making them actually have to filibuster whenever they threaten to and you with each (update: edited because the actual note had gibberish here) vote you lose you will still carry a message more potent than whatever pointless Iraq resolution you come up with to please Republican Moderates (ha-ha-ha) to plead with President Bush to please like uphold his oath to the Constitution.

Just trying to be helpful here,

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Verizon part II

Oh just by the way - - -

I can't get passed the Verizon contact page to register my issue directly. They seem to have required STATE but then have disabled the STATE field.

It fails on both Firefox and IE.

I can see that I am up against real customer service professionals here.

So if you or anyone you know has a contact within Verizon who can, you know, pass a note please let me know.

It's a wonder that the Department of Homeland Security can anything out of these guys.

You ask what do I think of Verizon?

I was talking to a friend on my Verizon landline. In the middle of the conversation the connection was lost. It was on my end. There was no dial tone - - nada. I picked up my Verizon Wireless phone (always a dicey operation at my house) and called my friend, but that was ok. For a while.

Then the wireless died. But in the meantime my landline signal came back. So once again I called my friend back on landline. Landline died again - no dial tone. So back to wireless. We are going on an hour of this game now. Technical problems - I understand.

We talk on my wireless. I check periodically on the landline - no dial tone. Finally we hang up on the wireless - I must say hadn't failed that whole time.

So. I check the landline. It lives. I want to know the status of phone service in my area. Is this storm related? We've had heavy rains. Is this caused by a car that decided to take out a pole? I dunno. So I check.

I discover the contact number on the verizon website. I use the word "discover" deliberately, it is not obvious. I should have at least been given a cookie for my efforts but then again I probably got a cookie. That part of the interaction is always well thought out.

I play tone tag with the automated "assistant". Finally "she" tells me the office is closed.

So... I look up the help number in the F***ing phone book. That's the one that is supposed to have all the phone numbers in it.

I call the number.

I play some more tone tag with the automated assistant.

I am placed on hold.

They seem to have an endless supply of Steely Dan.

Then I wait on hold.

Then I do a refresher. I relearn playing Mary has a little lamb on the keypad.

Then I wait.

I learned how to play "For the Good Times" on a keypad: 1 5 8 5    ##  8 58#.
It's not perfect but keypad fidelity sucks too.

All tolled I listened for 45 minutes.

I cave.

They beat me.

I didn't get a person to ask what was going on with my phone service.

I didn't get a recorded message saying - "service in your area has been experiencing technical difficulties."

Whatever it was was evidently fixed because they kept me on hold for nearly an hour and I never lost the line.

One hour plus of Steely Dan.

So who wins?

Well. I have my phone back.

But now I am infinitely pissed at Verizon. And not even because of the phone outage. I can understand that.

What I can't understand is :
1 - THERE IS NO SIMPLE EASILY DISCOVERABLE STATUS help line online or in the phone book.
2 - Verizon's website SUCKS.
3 - Verizon's website SUCKS.
4 - VERIZON'S CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS. No I am being unfair. Verizon Customer Service may be the best in the world. I'll never know. I NEVER GOT THAT FAR. I do know their queuing algorithm or their HUMAN RESOURCING SUCKS.

Why should I have to wait an hour plus and then hang up in frustration because I NEVER GOT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE SERVICE STATUS IN MY AREA?

Here Verizon, this will save you easily a million bucks in consulting fees easy - I SHOULDN'T. Discount my bill.

What I really want to know is:

Why did you Verizon find it acceptable to piss me off on such a trivial matter? My landline - the phone that everyone relies on when even the electricity is out - dies and all I want to know is why. And you made me hate you for trying to ask.

After this experience I decided that it is time I found another phone service.

All I can say to Verizon is:
1 5 8 5    ##  8 58#.

Verizon, call me back ok, if you want to discuss? My number's in the book.

I just bought Kris Kristofferson's greatest hits special. It's playing on my answering machine.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Can you thread the needle?

Atrios says If I were a Democrat running for president I wouldn't be looking forward to inheriting this mess and would be working to end it sooner, not later.

I suppose a good point in the abstract but even Nixon running against Johnson couldn't do a frontal assault against the Viet Nam War. And he went to China for chissake!

Nixon ran with a secret plan to end the war. Of course that plan was a fiction but ending the war was everyone's goal. He stipulated "Peace with honor" never defining peace or honor as I recall.

Gene McCarthy (in the primary) and then later McGovern said they would just get out more-or-less and they got creamed - Gene taken out by soon-to-be-dead-Bobby and Humphrey. McGovern taken out by a straight up election of the enlightened electorate.

How does anyone expect a politician to not learn a serious lesson from that. No matter how stupid the war is. No matter how dishonest and corrupt the motivations or machinations that created the war - once in you can't just say we need to get out. That makes you a peacenik - and then you are fucked.

tells you all you need to know

Romney Headquarters Burglarized They took his TV and some computers. Is that redundant?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Words to live by

Atrios says all that needs to be said about actually most of the past 7 years of horseshit here when he says:

The fact that some people failed to have "foresight" does not mean that those who did were only correct in "hindsight."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Draft 2.0

Talk about conflicted that is me.

According to this story in the Guardian,,%5C,%5C-6841959,00.html the draft is on the table.

As one who survived the embrace of the draft during Viet Nam (4F - for reasons that baffle me still), I cannot decide what I think of the draft.

On the one hand it gives this vicious government - the same government that can intern, murder, torture, and disappear unhindered and now thanks to our Democratic Congress ,spy in all manners of ways on Fredo's say so- the bodies to go kill also on its unimpeded whim. But then it seems to have those anyway.

On the other hand there is nothing like getting drafted to get your attention, and all those who care about you, about going to fight a war.

If you are gonna be drafted during a war, you want a damn good reason for that war. It is not like a volunteer force where you decide to accept the risk and it is still less like our current mercenary auxiliary - almost as numerous as the actual soldiers on the ground approximately 120,ooo strong with fully 20% of those in combat roles (and over 1000 dead) - who do it for whatever reasons they have.

Viet Nam proved that a draft cannot prevent a war but more than anything it proved that you can stop a wrongheaded war once it was going. Granted 50,000 soldiers had to die. And yes they died in vain. Let me say that again - in Viet Nam they died in vain.

Just like every military death in Iraq has been in vain because stupid people made stupid decisions and We The People were too stupid to stop them when we could.

So let General Lute, our War Czar - remember when we used to call that the President? - say a draft is "on the table" (another mushy run-it-up-the-flagpole locution that seems to have become a well-honed exercise for this criminal regime).

All I can say is go ahead - re-invigorate the draft.

Until now the new progressives have dissed open protest - taking to the street as being a gauche hippie thing or something.

The right has people whose entire careers are dedicated to making the left a laughing stock for any protest no matter how meager.

We now have "Free Speech Zones" where those who might disagree on the street can disagree in corrals set up by local police and political operatives impersonating law enforcement officials harass lawful participants in public meetings and everyone does surveillance.

So, yeah, see what happens when you force every kid to try to Cheney his way through deferment after deferment or to Bush his way through through an AWOL by another name.

Yeah just see...

Maybe this War Czar - unlike the previous one - can do some good.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

So this is the best the Democratic Majority can do?

WTF is going on with this Democratic leadership?

We saw in the span of less than one week both the Senate and the House get completely rolled over the FISA Deconstruction Act of 2007. In God's name who in any position of oversight authority can think that it is a good idea to take the review of Constitutionally sensitive intelligence operations away from an independent judicial review and place it in the hands of not only an executive that has dope-slapped you ohhh a million times but put the decision directly in the hands of his attorney general who has all but pissed on your chairs before you sat down on them.

I thought that once the Democratic majority was in place we would at least see a halt to further erosion to civil liberties caused by the Bush junta. I wasn't looking for miracles. No Bush impeachment, no Cheney impeachment, no Rove frog-march. That was all too much to ask but simple adherence to the Bill of Rights - now that I thought was doable. Silly me.

God how I long for a Tip O'Neil at this moment. If he was around we would not have seen a cave like we experienced over the FISA bill.

No long before now we would have seen Gonzale's balls hanging from the fools cap that Tip would have made Bush wear on national TV.

Christ I hate these people.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Her impeachment speech ( link ) was delivered July 25 1974 - yet here is a paragraph pulled out.

"Common sense would be revolted if we engaged upon this process for petty reasons. Congress has a lot to do: Appropriations, Tax Reform, Health Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, Housing, Environmental Protection, Energy Sufficiency, Mass Transportation. Pettiness cannot be allowed to stand in the face of such overwhelming problems. So today we are not being petty. We are trying to be big, because the task we have before us is a big one."

Read it and weep

Barbara Jordan on impeachment. Also audio with that glorious voice.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I join my colleague Mr. Rangel in thanking you for giving the junior members of this committee the glorious opportunity of sharing the pain of this inquiry. Mr. Chairman, you are a strong man, and it has not been easy but we have tried as best we can to give you as much assistance as possible.

Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: "We, the people." It's a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that "We, the people." I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in "We, the people."

Today I am an inquisitor. An hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemnness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

"Who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves?" "The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men."¹ And that's what we're talking about. In other words, [the jurisdiction comes] from the abuse or violation of some public trust.

It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn't say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the legislature against and upon the encroachments of the executive. The division between the two branches of the legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers -- and the judges the same person.

We know the nature of impeachment. We've been talking about it awhile now. It is chiefly designed for the President and his high ministers to somehow be called into account. It is designed to "bridle" the executive if he engages in excesses. "It is designed as a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men."² The framers confided in the Congress the power if need be, to remove the President in order to strike a delicate balance between a President swollen with power and grown tyrannical, and preservation of the independence of the executive.

The nature of impeachment: a narrowly channeled exception to the separation-of-powers maxim. The Federal Convention of 1787 said that. It limited impeachment to high crimes and misdemeanors and discounted and opposed the term "maladministration." "It is to be used only for great misdemeanors," so it was said in the North Carolina ratification convention. And in the Virginia ratification convention: "We do not trust our liberty to a particular branch. We need one branch to check the other."

"No one need be afraid" -- the North Carolina ratification convention -- "No one need be afraid that officers who commit oppression will pass with immunity." "Prosecutions of impeachments will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community," said Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, number 65. "We divide into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused."³ I do not mean political parties in that sense.

The drawing of political lines goes to the motivation behind impeachment; but impeachment must proceed within the confines of the constitutional term "high crime[s] and misdemeanors." Of the impeachment process, it was Woodrow Wilson who said that "Nothing short of the grossest offenses against the plain law of the land will suffice to give them speed and effectiveness. Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest may secure a conviction; but nothing else can."

Common sense would be revolted if we engaged upon this process for petty reasons. Congress has a lot to do: Appropriations, Tax Reform, Health Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, Housing, Environmental Protection, Energy Sufficiency, Mass Transportation. Pettiness cannot be allowed to stand in the face of such overwhelming problems. So today we are not being petty. We are trying to be big, because the task we have before us is a big one.

This morning, in a discussion of the evidence, we were told that the evidence which purports to support the allegations of misuse of the CIA by the President is thin. We're told that that evidence is insufficient. What that recital of the evidence this morning did not include is what the President did know on June the 23rd, 1972.

The President did know that it was Republican money, that it was money from the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, which was found in the possession of one of the burglars arrested on June the 17th. What the President did know on the 23rd of June was the prior activities of E. Howard Hunt, which included his participation in the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, which included Howard Hunt's participation in the Dita Beard ITT affair, which included Howard Hunt's fabrication of cables designed to discredit the Kennedy Administration.

We were further cautioned today that perhaps these proceedings ought to be delayed because certainly there would be new evidence forthcoming from the President of the United States. There has not even been an obfuscated indication that this committee would receive any additional materials from the President. The committee subpoena is outstanding, and if the President wants to supply that material, the committee sits here. The fact is that on yesterday, the American people waited with great anxiety for eight hours, not knowing whether their President would obey an order of the Supreme Court of the United States.

At this point, I would like to juxtapose a few of the impeachment criteria with some of the actions the President has engaged in. Impeachment criteria: James Madison, from the Virginia ratification convention. "If the President be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him, he may be impeached."

We have heard time and time again that the evidence reflects the payment to defendants money. The President had knowledge that these funds were being paid and these were funds collected for the 1972 presidential campaign. We know that the President met with Mr. Henry Petersen 27 times to discuss matters related to Watergate, and immediately thereafter met with the very persons who were implicated in the information Mr. Petersen was receiving. The words are: "If the President is connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter that person, he may be impeached."

Justice Story: "Impeachment" is attended -- "is intended for occasional and extraordinary cases where a superior power acting for the whole people is put into operation to protect their rights and rescue their liberties from violations." We know about the Huston plan. We know about the break-in of the psychiatrist's office. We know that there was absolute complete direction on September 3rd when the President indicated that a surreptitious entry had been made in Dr. Fielding's office, after having met with Mr. Ehrlichman and Mr. Young. "Protect their rights." "Rescue their liberties from violation."

The Carolina ratification convention impeachment criteria: those are impeachable "who behave amiss or betray their public trust."4 Beginning shortly after the Watergate break-in and continuing to the present time, the President has engaged in a series of public statements and actions designed to thwart the lawful investigation by government prosecutors. Moreover, the President has made public announcements and assertions bearing on the Watergate case, which the evidence will show he knew to be false. These assertions, false assertions, impeachable, those who misbehave. Those who "behave amiss or betray the public trust."

James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: "A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution." The Constitution charges the President with the task of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, and yet the President has counseled his aides to commit perjury, willfully disregard the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, conceal surreptitious entry, attempt to compromise a federal judge, while publicly displaying his cooperation with the processes of criminal justice. "A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution."

If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that 18th-century Constitution should be abandoned to a 20th-century paper shredder.

Has the President committed offenses, and planned, and directed, and acquiesced in a course of conduct which the Constitution will not tolerate? That's the question. We know that. We know the question. We should now forthwith proceed to answer the question. It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.

*I yield back the balance of my time, Mr. Chairman.*

Monday, July 23, 2007

youtube debate?

Watched it - mostly. Mostly ok. Mostly the questions were like real questions - good and bad and lame. Biden got best line - "If that is that guys's baby, he's got a problem".

Cooper stayed out of the way mostly.

How do they pick what videos to show? Can't wait for more "production values" to seep into the format.

Man our Republic is a mess. We have the most democratic video medium in history in a presidential debate and it is mediated by what? A corpora-cratic news medium. The worst part is I don't know if that is progress or not. I sorta feel like it is 20 minutes later but I don't know for sure.

Iv'e been thinking about where we are in our political moment. Wondering mostly. As I see the wanton lawlessness of the Bush syndicate I think back on the earlier crises in my political awareness. OK yes, Nixon. But really before that. I am thinking of the days of Rampart Magazine. A wild-eyed national - imagine that! - leftie rag. They as I recall anyway called the lie on the Viet Nam War long before the establishment - now called the MainStreamMedia - caught on.

Maybe my pattern craving mind is too facile but I see our moment as about 5 years from a major correction. Meaning the W walks. The prick. The next president does something stupid - like takes advantage of what W has wrought - and gets nailed.

This isn't predicting a Republican victory in 2008. What it is predicting is that it doesn't matter. Power begets power - you got it you use until you can't. In 2008 the dems will get a veto proof Congress and a bunch of Chairmen who are now Chairmen who are not "movement" certainly not like the RICO wing of the GOP and will not owe anything to whoever occupies the white house and who will want some of that mojo back that the 106th-109th Congresses gave away to Bush like sex for crack.

So I figure 2011 - 2012 we will start to see the re-emergence of the Republic. Serious Congressional hearings, a president in disgrace - who might even be aware that he is... Will it require "the young people" to take to the streets? I dunno.

History is an accurate mirror but never a perfect one.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Everybody knows

I was asked by my local daily as a “man on the street” just last Sunday about Bush and Putin meeting in Kennebunk Maine, not far up the coast from where I live. In my snap response I called Bush "wrong headed" and Putin a "thug".

Once again I misunderestimated George Bush, for just over 24 hours later he did the most thuggish thing of his entire presidency: he commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence for obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to a grand jury.

President Bush has so little shame or fear that he will be held to account for what is itself a willful act of obstruction that he didn't even bother to make up a good story.

“Excessive” he called the sentence – not pretending to challenge the correctness of the verdict, even though the sentence meted out to Mr Libby was within the bounds of the law that he has supported.

“Excessive” he called it even though in a nearly identical case decided two weeks ago by the Supreme Court, a decision in the case of Victor Rita in nearly all aspects identical to Scooter Libby's (except Rita is not an administration insider) was held neither excessive nor warranting any remedy – Rita is doing the time.

In one short statement late on a Monday afternoon George Bush finally became a gangster. Mark the date: July 2, 2007. For the second time President Bush has deliberately derailed an investigation into the actions of his White House. The first was by denying his own Justice Department investigators the security clearance necessary to pursue allegations of illegal wiretaps.

Now he has willfully short-circuited a case decided in a federal court in public trial; a case that turns on national security issues that legally stops nothing short of treason. That is of deliberately outing an undercover CIA agent.

Left standing is the guilty verdict itself until of course President Bush issues a pardon – which he has deliberately not ruled out doing. Left standing is a 250,000 dollar fine which Libby will never have to pay thanks to an over 5 million dollar defense fund fed by Bush's minions.

In short left standing is the tattered shreds of a verdict that is not worth the paper that it was written on. And most importantly, left standing is Scooter Libby's silence in a matter that could show that the chief executive of the United States and his vice-president have committed treason.

"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." President George H.W. Bush.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The zen of New York

From Overheard in New York -

White guy with dreads: Think about this -- taking a shit is the one thing in which all people of all races, sexes and religions are truly equal.
Hippie girl: Not exactly. Some people shit on solid gold toilet bowls while others shit in a bucket.
Little boy at next table, standing on booth seat: I shit in my pants! Hahaha!

--Wo Hop, 15 Mott St

Overheard by: Big Larry

sometimes it really is that simple

The Rude One nails it - A shamelessly too easy pun but really what else can you say?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The News Blog says it

Steve Gilliard seems to have sucked the marrow out of every military campaign since Napolean decided Russia would be a pushover and I think he sums up Bush's "plan" pretty well - it ain't one.

"But in the end, it doesn't matter if the surge happens. It won't change anything but who dies in Iraq." (

As some of the few remaining supporters of this disaster (usually these are Joe Lieberman) like to say - "Freedom isn't free". But in Iraq you can still die for nothing.

Don't hide anymore

Chick Hagel stock goes up. Sure he was maybe just a stomach rumble in the great fart that was the Rubber Stamp 109th but now he is pissed: at Bush and his colleagues the Great Enablers. This tirade directed at Lugar.

"I want... 100% of us to look in the camera right there and tell our people back home what we think."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Lieberman Death Tally

I guess we can call this the first day of the Lieberman War In Iraq.
It links back to an NPR interview but here is the money quote (also from KOS)

MS. BLOCK: Can you imagine a scenario where you would join in with a Republican filibuster to stop the resolution, if it comes to that?

SEN. LIEBERMAN: I can because I think that it – this is this important.

So there you have it. Mark it Friday the 19th of January 2007.
According to this site: there were 2 deaths on the Lieberman War on that day.

Today the 20th there are 21 more reported. Already St. Joe has 23 deaths and that doesn't even count the 3000+ assists.

Oh yeah and, Thank you Connecticut for sending the Great One back to the Senate. A Grateful Nation casts its eyes upon you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

from the AP

• House Dems Close the First '100 Hours'
• House Dems to Support Iraq Resolution
• House Democrats Beat 100-Hour Clock
• House Rolls Back Oil Company Subsidies

Top 4 AP headlines at 7:30 p.m.

I guess they ain't used to a Congress that actually tries to do something other than fetch George Bush's paper.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blowing the 2 year warning

In 2 years (and 36 hours and 49 minutes) as I write this will be the Constitutional end of the Great American Bush Disaster. Oh, not that we'll be done with the legacy of George W Bush. We're gonna live with that shit for the rest of my life and in a generation they will still cursing the Bush legacy - a phrase that will be uttered with the same staccato spit that one uses when saying "Nixon Presidency" - back in those days president's didn't have legacies they just tried not to fuck things up too much.

But anyway, on Sat January 20 - this Saturday - it will be exactly 2 years to when Bush turns over the throne to another - that is of course if he doesn't in his deciding decide to stay.

But anyway, being the 2 year mark to that glorious day (plus 2 years) I think the occasion should be marked. Like maybe with that most emblematic of all Bush sounds - the fart. He does like him some fart jokes that jolly old sport of a president of ours .

No wait that probably won't work. Probably won't make much of impression on anyone other than the guy standing next to you even if you do it while shouting "Only 2 more stinking years of George Bush!" at the top of your lungs.

But you will want to mark the day when George Bush - the war criminal - loses whatever immunity he has as a sitting head of state and can be arrested in whatever country he visits. I realize the chances of the notoriously incurious George actually leaving the US once he leaves office is pretty slim. But to live is to dream - no?

But anyway, it might be interesting on that day to use the other Bush sanctioned noise machine, I mean of course the automobile. Well, the horn really, no one will notice the noise of your normal car unless you rip the muffler off. You have fixed that muffler haven't you?

But anyway, perhaps it is worth a beep while you are out and about on Saturday. When you are in traffic driving along or passing a gaggle of pedestrians. you can use you own judgment what to make your horn do but might I suggest SOS? In morse code that would be ... --- ... or 3 shorts, 3 longs, 3 shorts. Why SOS? Because it will take a foreign country to bring this criminal to justice. God knows our own Congress will never truly do their Constitutional duty and bring this rogue administration to heel.

Or don't like SOS? You can try this ----- that's 5 longs. That's morse code for zero which exactly equals George W Bush.

Happy 2 and counting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

semiotic first blush

Bush throws his Hail Mary and it MUST be important. How do I know? There was no American flag (except the old lapel pin). And he stood in front of real (apparently) books.

George Bush? In front of books? Is he serious? Oh yeah, he must be. There are books.

Finally and most important, George Bush did not say "Good night and God bless America."

That, or some variant has been, if my memory serves me, in every presidential speech since at least His Goodness Ronnie Reagan if not before. Absent that phrase there was NO mention of god in this speech. He did refer to the "author of freedom" but hell that could have been Thomas Jefferson for all we know*.

Once again, the staging is more important than the speech itself. Bush and his team want us to know that there really is no room for political code here. Is the absence of code, code?

Well. Let's look at the history. Everything the Bush Administration does is political. That is Karl Rove's job and legacy after all. There has not been one staged event from Mission Accomplished to Katrina where George Bush did not stage it without absolute attention to detail.

This is one more. The message this time? George Bush grows up.

Of course in both those cases as a MAJOR HISTORICAL WAR PRESIDENT and as a MAJOR HISTORICAL REPAIRER OF NATURAL CATASTROPHES George Bush has shown that the pictures he makes never measure up to the message and most importantly to the actions he achieves.

So we can expect that George Bush as a MAJOR BIG PERSON will fail.

Let us be clear what this speech was all about. George Bush the consummate jock is playing out the clock. On Jan 20th 2009 at 12:01 PM the Iraq war will be someone else's war to lose.

* I was most amused by George's ability to keep a straight face while he was talking about responsiveness of the Iraqi government and the need for freedom while of course His Highness has done everything in and out of his power to defeat same in his own country. Nice touch George.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bush wants earmarks cut in half for fiscal 2008 - day 1

So the George said.

Yet the George Bush War In Iraq has been run almost completely off the books (i.e. as an earmark). According to the National Priorities running tally The Bush Earmark has spent $355 billion on the Iraq fiasco. Much of it off the books. In other words, if you were a budget wonk and took all the earmarks by the the 109th Congress - The Most Corrupt Congress in History (tm) I would guess you would have to build a lot of bridges to nowhere ($315 million) to match what George Bush has achieved.

George Bush is of course full of shit. If he wants to control spending, he has the power to begin - even within the Constitution. How's that for a change! When was the last time you got to think "George Bush" and "acting legally" in the same thought?

He can stop pissing American lives and money into the earmark called "Iraq".