Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Gauntlet

George Bush has thrown down the gauntlet with his latest act of treachery, namely the use of the NSA to spy on American citizens. Regardless how many partisan hacks come to his defense claiming he has the right to do this because he is a war president, it does not change the fact that his actions are in direct violation of the FISA law. And though he is claiming legal and constitutional justification for his ongoing program of surveillance, he is most certainly aware that none exists.

This act, and his pathetic argument for its legality, is meant to exert an authority he is well aware he does not possess and to gauge public acceptance of limitless executive power. Bush’s administration has exceeded all previous presidents in exercising questionable authority and gaining acceptance of what was once unacceptable. Without the necessary checks and balances upon his powers he is unencumbered in expanding them beyond any previously conceived limits.

Congress, including bush’s partisans, apologists and water carriers, has been slapped in the face by this president who feels he is beyond their control. Those who have spoken out against him, as well as those who have spoken up for him, have been put on notice that he does not recognize their authority and is in defiance of the role of executive oversight. They must take positive action against the president now, or accept their new role as factotums with diminished capacity and heightened insignificance.

If Congress chooses the latter there will be no impediment for the president to overcome in claiming even greater authority including omnipotence. Considering the arrogance he has demonstrated thus far, it is no longer inconceivable that he would suspend elections and remain in office.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


The spiraling descent of democracy under the Bush administration has just picked up speed and now appears to be unsalvageable. We have witnessed the decline of the liberties that make our nation unique, and we have experienced a corporate coup that has changed the United States from a country governed by the people to one governed by profits. Add to this the anti-constitutional surveillance Bush claims to have the legal right to perform, without warrants as mandated by the FISA Act and the remaining vestiges of democracy are being extinguished.

Democrats are raising a fuss over these illegal acts and believe their ability to regain majority control in either the House, the Senate or both is enhanced because of the public’s objection to Bush’s miserable leadership. However, no one seems to want to acknowledge the extremes to which this administration has gone and what that might mean to Democrats chances in upcoming elections.

The Republican majority in both houses of Congress have steadfastly refused to perform their constitutional duties and have barred Democratic attempts at oversight of the Executive branch. This is in stark contrast to the over zealous oversight they insisted on during the Clinton administration for rumored offenses, mostly existing in the minds of certain Congressmen, and of far lesser importance than the well founded accusations against, and obvious extralegal activities of the current administration. The invasion of Iraq is the principal example of the administration’s use of deceit to obtain a preordained objective but, by no means the only instance in which laws were ignored and lies were employed.

Republicans have demonstrated their willingness to exploit legal grey areas, employ misleading talking points, and ignore traditional procedures to obtain a strategic advantage over the Democrats. More recently, they have engaged in less than ethical activities as evidenced by Tom DeLay’s Gerrymandering of Texas voting districts and the use of Homeland Security to hunt down Democratic legislators who left the state to prevent a quorum and block the redistricting vote. Most telling however, is their complicity in Bush’s lies and refusal to investigate his illegal actions. This is imperative for the Republicans if they intend to maintain and increase their advantage in Congress.

It is my view that the Republicans have put themselves in a position, by submissively obeying party leaders and cowing to the whims of the administration, they can not get out of nor afford to have exposed. Their complicity in many of Bush and Cheney’s illegal activities, if exposed would jeopardize their careers if not their very freedom. Neoconservative zealots within their own party have convinced many, and forced others, to go along with actions they knew were outside of the law. Now, a Democratic majority in either House of Congress would initiate investigations that would expose their clandestine activities.

For that reason the Republicans must remain in power and to do so they will continue to exercise their dominance of the electorate through the use of voting machines running corrupt software, state officials willing to usurp the voting rights of their own citizens and enacting laws making it impossible for many predominantly Democratic supporters to vote. We saw this happen in 2000 when Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court and again in 2004 when the Ohio exit polls did not match the vote outcome for the first time ever.

If we want to continue to live in a free country and enjoy the liberties of democracy then we need to take action now. Everyone who is concerned about what the Republicans have done, and continue to do, to our country need to start calling their Senators and Representatives, writing letters to the local newspapers, writing letters and emails to local and state officials insisting on a fair and transparent system of voting. Demand this as a constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenry and do not allow them to ignore your demands or play them off with some non-committal response. Organize neighborhood and citywide groups and contact your representatives as a citizens group for fair elections. Search the internet for groups doing the same thing.

Do not stand by and watch totalitarian miscreants, like Cheney and Bush, disassemble the most successful democracy known to mankind. Do not mistake the agenda of those opposed to democracy for less than what it is, an assault on our freedoms. Do not under-estimate the conviction of those in power to do ANYTHING to remain in power.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We don't need no stinkin' warrant!

The media’s response to the astonishing news that the Bush administration has been, and continues to, spy on American citizens, has been less than stellar. In fact, some members of the press are expressing the view that only liberal extremists are speaking of impeaching the president and that these views hold no credibility. Of course, this denies the fact that Republicans enthusiastically lowered the bar for impeachable offenses when Bill Clinton was in office.

What is even more telling about the media’s incompetence, or perhaps its actual complicity with administrations criminal activities, are even more under-reported stories that point to the politicization of the NSA by Bush & Company.

The first is a report by Raw Story that points out that NSA documents now show that then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice authorized “President Bush’s and other top White House officials plan to wiretap the home and office telephones and monitor private email accounts of members of the UN Security Council in early 2003 to determine how foreign delegates would vote on the UN resolution that paved the way for the U.S. led war in Iraq.”

The other is a dairy entry from Lapin, a contributor to the Dailykos website. The report states that the NSA spied on then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden. It started with information requested by former Under Secretary of State, John Bolton. “It was revealed by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) during Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.”

Bush and Cheney have committed felonies by using the NSA to perform espionage activities upon American citizens. Now it is also evident that they used the NSA to gain political advantage over members of the UN Security Council to ensure there would be an Iraq war. And they have used the NSA to spy on members of the opposition in Congress, powerful Democratic state leaders, and even members of their own cabinet like Secretary of State Powell.

The only way to end this tyrant’s misdeeds is to ensure Congress does their duty by impeaching him, removing him from office and trying him in open court where he should be easily convicted and sent to prison for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Voted....So What!

An insider with Diebold Election Systems has come forward with information about the touch screen voting systems that have been such a great concern to the American voting public. According to the whistle-blower known as “Dieb Throat” an environment of corruption exists within Diebold and little if anything is being done about it.

If you followed the Ohio and Georgia voting stories, you’re aware that all indicators pointed to a result of those elections that was not even close to the result the Diebold machines rendered. In Ohio, a continuous stream of scandals has been reported by the Toledo Blade, involving election officials, bribery and illegal influence by outsiders. Yet, few in the main stream media (MSM) have bothered to follow up. California decertified their Diebold voting machines because the vendor had broken state election laws. They later tested the systems away from public scrutiny and claimed a failure rate of only 3%, an unbelievable improvement from the 30% failure rate reported previously.

Since our right to vote, and have our votes count, is elemental to the democratic system of government we are supposed to have in this nation it does not seem possible that any meddling would be tolerated by the public or its elected officials. So why have so many questions been raised regarding Diebold and ESS voting systems that have been ignored, falsely justified or hidden from public scrutiny? Why are our elected officials not charging around the halls of Congress demanding reform or initiating investigations into accusations of voting manipulation?

I believe the answer can be ascertained by an honest review of our government since George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court. Under his leadership a cabal of radical conservatives has assumed top level government positions and has had immense influence within the administration. These are the Neoconservatives whose agenda has been held in check by previous, more responsible administrations. Bush is an extremely weak leader with no practical experience and very limited imagination, so it has been relatively easy for Vice President Cheney and others to maneuver him in the direction they themselves want the country to go. Cheney, being a complete Big Money whore and totally owned by and vested in corporate interests, does not have the slightest concern for justice, fairness or equality. He is operating as a completely unethical Chief Executive without having to worry about concealing his activities because the pathetic Justice department is under his thumb and just as involved.

The number and frequency of abuses and outright criminal acts that have been committed by this administration on behalf of corporate interests would be near impossible to conceal when the next administration takes over. It is, therefore, imperative for the Republicans to maintain control of the White House preventing any Democrat from being in a position to uncover misdeeds and conduct an honest investigation that could result in the imprisonment of many Republican officials, expose the depth of corporate corruption, and stem the flow of largesse to which these officials have become accustomed.

The solution for the Neocons was obvious. If you can’t afford to loose an election, you must be willing to pay any price to win. In this case the price is not only monetary cost, since the money will come from our taxes anyway, but the loss of democracy as the electorate looses its voice in government to the pre-determined outcomes of elections orchestrated to satisfy the corporate masters.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Looking Forward

Today’s unprecedented chaos that defines the White House is concurrently a positive signal for Democrats seeking to unseat enough Republicans in either the House or Senate or both to regain the majority. Yet, the perception of the Democrats is of a party with no plans and much dissention, an image enthusiastically carried forward by the national media.

Is the Democratic Party capable of taking advantage of the administrations recent drop in the polls? Normally, it would be a forgone conclusion that certain gains could be made by the opposition party when the party in power runs into trouble but, how likely is that scenario today? As chaotic as the Bush administration has proven to be, the message the public continues to hear is of the divided and disorganized Democratic Party. When and if, the media does regain any modicum of credibility we should expect an equality of criticism or praise of both parties, honesty and accuracy in reporting and facts reported faithfully from a viewpoint of impartiality.

In spite of slanted media coverage, Democrats are still in a position to make gains in the 2006 elections and should do everything in their power to avail themselves of the opportunity. Senator Joe Lieberman’s recent speech advocating Bush’s talking points is an example of what Democrats must not do. Lieberman’s failed Vice Presidential campaign and his failure to acknowledge the immorality of the Iraq war and the dishonesty of its conception has rendered him ineffectual in government and pathetic within his own party.

It is vital for Democrats to endorse credible candidates with established qualifications and a publicized aversion to Bush’s war agenda. Certainly, Democrats stand for much more than opposing the Iraq war, but without holding majority control in Congress they will not be able to get anything accomplished. Their success in the coming campaigns will require unity and a central message that will resonate with all Americans, and of all the issues that face us today, none is more crucial, more devastating or more important to the country than the ongoing debacle in Iraq.

This undeniable truth is regrettably overlooked by several leading Democrats, several that could be contenders for their party’s nomination for president. This is the case for both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Although both of these senators enjoy strong support and would mount a strong challenge to any opposition candidate, they are both less than stellar advocates against the war. And neither should receive their party’s support for the nomination unless they reverse those positions.

I may be more disappointed in Hillary than I am in Biden. After all, Biden sold out his own constituents, along with the rest of the nation, on the bankruptcy bill and no one believes that it had nothing to do with the immense presence of MBNA, the bill’s primary lobbyist, in his home state. His proven pliability to corporate pressure should warn potential supporters that Biden’s vote is for sale to the highest bidder.

Hillary has become an unbelievable disappointment after having shown incredible promise as a true Liberal. Her principled advocacy of national health insurance earned her massive vilification by the Republicans and the big pharmaceutical companies, but elevated her status among average citizens. But, now she has decided to ally herself with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and join them in their support for the Iraq war.

The DLC is nothing more than the business interests attempting to take over the Democratic Party the way the energy, pharmaceutical and other corporate interests have taken over the Republicans. The DLC has been called Republican Lite, but it should more accurately be called "Demonizing Liberals Constantly". They are so close to the conservative agenda it is hard to differentiate one from the other. So, if Hillary believes she needs to ally herself with people like these and take up the banner for continued carnage in Iraq, I for one support her choice as long as she runs for office as the Republican nominee.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

International Consequences

Now that Democrats are beginning to voice their opinion about the Iraq war and the administration lies that lead us into that war, perhaps we will learn the real reason we are there. Of course, that information will not be supplied freely by those who know the answers. Instead, it will be uncovered by investigations such as that of independent prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and possibly other congressional committees if the Republicans are finally prepared to allow an actual non-partisan action to take place.

For the American people, this information is gravely overdue and it is their right to be informed truthfully about the facts and determinations that propelled us into war. Nothing we were originally told turned out to be true, no WMD’s, no alliance between Iraq and Al Qaeda and no reconstituted nuclear program. Information uncovered since the start of the war is also very disturbing. The alleged torture of prisoners, imprisonment of supposed terrorists denied all legal rights and held without benefit of legal representation or even told the charges for their detention. Finally, the abuse of the system by well connected corporations like Haliburton and other war profiteers who also enjoy immune status granted by Congress.

The damage inflicted on our democracy by this irresponsible administration is incalculable but, we will need to determine the extent of it as best we can so that we can begin the task of correcting it. This includes the United States’ relations with the rest of the world. Bush’s cowboy policies have estranged us from other nations and taxed our friendship with traditional allies. If we are to mend these and other issues caused by Bush’s arrogance and unilateralism we must be willing to openly investigate all aspects of our government’s actions and be resolved to hold responsible all those who have violated U.S. and International laws.

However, America’s actions and their consequences are not confined to our country alone. We, as a country, attacked another sovereign nation for less than truthful reasons and solicited the participation of other nations in doing so. International intelligence agencies have been implicated for faulty information and falsified documents have been exchanged between certain countries which contributed to the decision to go to war. Because of the international involvement and the strife it has caused citizens of certain other countries it is only fitting that the findings of any investigations and the resultant charges, if any, should be tried in an international court of law.

To accomplish this, it is necessary to undo one of Bush’s first acts as president which was to withdraw from the United States from the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction by cancelling an agreement signed by President Clinton. The reason for Bush’s action becomes clear now that his agenda has been exposed for the imperialistic power grab it has proven to be. Also disconcerting is the recent senate vote (49 to 42) to overturn the US Supreme Court’s 2004 ruling that permits Guantanamo detainees to challenge their detentions. This effectively removes the rule of habeas corpus which prevents the government from simply detaining its opponents. You can be damn sure no Republican would have voted for this if the Democrats were in the majority. However, it is not just the Republican Party that is in control of the executive and legislative branches of government but, it is a Republican majority led by a Neoconservative faction intent on keeping power and re-structuring government into a single party system with monarch style authority.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sponsored this legislation that signals the death of civil liberties of Americans due to the demands of the “Global War on Terrorism”. In the Neoconservative view, what are civil liberties but legal tricks that allow criminals and terrorists to escape? Graham wants the power to imprison anyone the government considers dangerous, without explanation and for as long as they see fit. To give this authority to an administration that has already demonstrated its willingness to misinform the public by “news” clips produced by the government, to smear anyone that disagrees with their policies, and to heap one lie on top of another, all with amnesty assured through the criminal inactions of a complicit congress, is truly an act deserving of impeachment and conviction for violating his oath of office. If he has forgotten what that oath was, the salient points are “To protect and to defend the constitution of the United States of America”.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What's the message

With the recent indictment of Vice Presidential Chief of Staff, I. Lewis (scooter) Libby, it has become undeniable that this administration has, at the very least, looked the other way when illegal activity has occurred or has actively promoted such activity as part of its overall strategy. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has broken through the Neoconservative iron curtain of secrecy just enough to give us a glimpse of what kind of nefarious activities have been taking place in lieu of the business of government.

Republicans have defended Bush and his administration from allegations of improprieties since he took office and in doing so, many have gone to extents they would not have previously been comfortable with. The discipline within the ranks of the Republicans has become well known and demonstrated by their strict adherence to conservative talking points, on message dialogue, and coerced party line voting actions such as the one on the Medicare Bill that earned the Hammer, Tom DeLay a rebuke from the faint-hearted ethics committee.

However, as more people come to the realization that the war in Iraq is not going well and that there is not now, and never has been a plan for victory nor an exit strategy for our troops, the haze of misjudgment slowly clears from the minds of many former Bush supporters and questions begin to arise as to how they were able to be taken in and what made them so adamant in their support of this administration. How could otherwise law abiding, patriotic citizens like themselves have come to accept the attack upon a sovereign nation that had done nothing to provoke such an attack? How could they continue to support the war and occupation when it was discovered the reasons for going to war had been manufactured. How could they justify putting the lives of our young men and women of the military into serious jeopardy in furtherance of a political policy of aggression that the majority of Americans despise and the majority of the world community is at odds with?

There have always been a certain number of hard right conservative wing-nuts supporting Bush and who would continue to do so if he were to conduct beheadings of Democrats in front of the Washington Monument. There is a like number of extreme leftists that will never be satisfied as well. These are not the groups being reflected in the changing poll numbers though. Those numbers are more accurately reflecting the mood of the American moderates.

The moderates are the swing votes of the local, state and national elections because they remain open minded instead of backing candidates simply by party affiliation. The extreme elements from either political end of the spectrum are not the people that can be easily, if at all, influenced by the messages from the other party. Moderates can be and are affected by the messages, the daily events in the news, the opinions of their families and friends, their faith and concern that the country is moving in the right direction.

And the polls tell us that these moderates are dissatisfied with the war in Iraq. With each new bit of information uncovered through tenacious reporting, the foreign press or Fitzgerald’s investigation the poll numbers drop further for Bush and his failed policies. It is this group of voters who will have the greatest effect on the next presidential election.

Both Republicans and Democrats are pursuing this block of voters, but the Right is doing so by attempting to scare them into believing the lies about the war on terror that have caused them to rethink their position in the first place. Democrats are pursuing them as well, but is the message the right one and are they making themselves heard? We will find out in 2006.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Democracy Fights Back

Throughout the Bush administration tenure an unceasing assault has been conducted against democracy. Starting with September 11th, 2001, Bush and the Neoconservatives have taken advantage of Americans' insecurities to restrict and/or eliminate freedoms previously taken for granted. A non-stop onslaught fought on cable news networks against "Terrorism" has been used to keep people in fear of future attacks so that Constitutional liberties could be restricted with little complaint.

A central and important weapon used by the administration to accomplish this has been the unprecedented secrecy in government. It has been routinely reported in the news that the Bush White House is the most secretive in history. This has been a crucial strategy in limiting access to information about government activities and enabling power to go unchecked at the upper levels. The result has been heightened immunity enjoyed by the administration and an increased belief that there was little they could not get away with.

However, the investigation into the outing of CIA agent Vallerie Plame has put one large dent in their suit of armor. It is not only the outstanding investigative job being conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald and his team, it is also the interest and encouragement of the American people for justice that has played a large part in the success of his efforts. It is the concern by the majority of the people in this country that the liberties, for which many fought and died, are being jeopardized by a cabal of unpatriotic, class conscience, profit hungry corporatists who have never and would never perform the duties for their country that they expect from everyone else.

The American spirit that has been wrongly called upon by Bush and company to support its self-serving agenda, has been stirred to action instead to salvage Democracy from the grips of the Neoconservative zealots. It has taken several egregious acts by those who consider themselves above the law to spur the more complacent among us to action, however that is what appears to be happening. Although the unrepentant wing-nut contingent has taken to railing against Fitzgerald, accusing him of criminalizing politics, more folks are following the investigation with an open mind and a willingness to hold people responsible for their actions.

This is the Democratic spirit that first brought this nation into existence, which sought to throw off the reins controlled by another George, and the spirit that will not allow the country of the American people to be turned over to a few extremely privileged and power hungry tyrants.

George W may have just presented us with his single redeeming feature. He has successfully presented the country the best possible reason to get rid of him.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Who Represents Us

The majority of Americans are not in favor of Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq and an emerging majority favors immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. With this polling information coupled to recent public outcries over federal incompetence in response to hurricane Katrina, Democrats do not appear to be able or even interested, to take advantage of the public’s discontent.

Of course, there have been sniping remarks occasionally but, no constructive plan has been set forth by Democrats. Many are still in the Bush Iraq war camp and continue their lame attempts to justify their support for the illegal occupation. Can this be due to their having given Bush the authority to invade and now, don’t want to be seen as incompetent or even complicit?

That does not appear to be the case when Democrats like Joe Biden appear on news shows to claim Bush is wrong while insisting that the U.S. can not leave Iraq. Hilary, the other high profile Democrat, takes the same approach in regards to Iraq as part of her plan to strengthen her appeal to moderate and moderate-conservative voters.

So, what are the choices for the growing number of voters displeased with our involvement in the occupation of Iraq? Republicans refuse to even consider leaving and may be preparing additional invasions into Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc. Democrats offer increased number of troops to stabilize Iraq but, so far have not indicated their predictable support for further invasions.

Since the majority of Americans find neither party’s policies acceptable, why are politicians ignoring voters and avidly advancing an unpopular agenda? Isn’t this a representative government? Aren’t the wishes of the voters supposed to be advocated by the people we elect to public office?

The answers to these questions will be disappointing to anyone believing we still live in a democracy or to those who believe this government is “of, by and for the people” of our once great country.

The political process is awash in corporate money and has evolved into a “Pay to Play” type of commerce. Politicians advance the agenda of the highest bidder, and then attempt to sell it to the voters as good governance. Our system of representative government survives but, the definition of who is represented has changed from the people that elected the politician to the corporation that financed that politician’s campaign. Lastly, politicians elected to office are suppose to represent their constituents but, often find it difficult or even in contrast to the agenda of the corporation financiers they are indebted to.

For our democracy to survive it is absolutely imperative that we remove corporate involvement from the political process and hold our officials accountable to the electorate and not the agenda of big business.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Main Stream Media Getting It

Never are so many eyes opened as there are in the event of a natural disaster, especially the type we are all susceptible to. The people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have been dealt a shattering blow from Mother Nature and are having to deal with the aftermath the best way they can. This task is not made any easier by the federal government’s lack of an appropriate response. The main stream media has even taken to challenging the excuses and glowing predictions of relief agency leaders. Anderson Cooper, of CNN, literally attacked the Governor of Louisiana for her blubbering gratitude for victim relief that there was absolutely no evidence of as reported by Cooper, himself.
Perhaps, the excesses of the administration has gotten to the reporters in the MSM, since there have been so many so often. The media began reporting on Hurricane Katrina days before it made landfall on the Gulf coast. They were simultaneously reporting on Bush’s lengthy vacation and occasional day trips to promote more of his ideological agenda. The contrast of these photo op joy trips with the increasing severity of the storm bearing down on the coast and little or no preparations taking place seem to have been too much for many of them. When the storm hit with such fury and widespread destruction, yet not severe enough to pry Bush away from his vacation, reporters began asking questions about the lack of assistance for the victims and the left wing blogs mounted a non-stop assault on Resident Bush for remaining on vacation in a time of a national emergency. It was these forces, and not any concern on Bush’s part, that caused him to curtail his vacation (by 2 days) and return to Washington, D.C.
Unfortunately for Bush his personal sacrifice, of actually returning to the White House to do his job, came too late to prevent the MSM from pursuing the embarrassing story of mismanagement that caused the fiasco taking place in New Orleans, Biloxi and all over the Gulf coast. The devastation being aired on both cable and networks have people rightfully upset and the media is not letting this one fade away. Also, because of the high profile of this event coupled with the compassion for the victims felt by those seeing the suffering on the 24/7 coverage, Bush’s and Rove’s standard tactic of blaming the victims is falling flat. The usual culprits, Limbaugh, Barnes, Hume, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc., have been issued their talking points and are dutifully attacking those who stayed in New Orleans because they didn’t have the resources to leave, as being too stupid to receive any help and responsible for bringing this upon themselves. Of course, there are a handful of lunatics that buy this crap and would continue to worship the coke snorting deserter-in-chief regardless if he was raping their daughters in front of them and saying it was for national security. That handful is growing smaller along with the Bushs approval rating.
Yet, with all the noise and babbling from the right, some sanity is making onto the airwaves like the interview Keith Olbermann had with Al Sharpton on MSNBC. I found the following diary on Daily Kos weblog by mcolley:
Olbermann remarked that he had heard Rush Limbaugh earlier today saying that those that were still in New Orleans deserved what they had gotten, as they had chosen to live there. Olbermann went so far as to call him, "that Limbaugh". Denouncing the inherent inconsiderate nature of such a statement.
But Sharpton made the point that struck me: The Right, as embodied by Limbaugh, Frist, Bush, Hastert, DeLay. They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.
He really hit the mark with his description in regards to the culture of life: This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can't, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.

We will just have to wait and see if Bush’s performance in response to Katrina is enough to cause some of the loyal right wing to open their eyes to his uselessness and ineptitude. His continued presence in the White House jeopardizes the people of this country and other countries that depend on our prudent leadership.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is there a strategy?

It is possible that the Democrats have chosen to keep their own counsel while the effects of the Bush administration take their toll on the country and the world. After all, Bush's own policies are causing his poll numbers to fall as fast as the price of oil is rising. So, why should Democrats offer strategies or opinions that are sure to be ridiculed by the corporate pundits and take the country's attention away from the administrations self immolation?

As much as I would like this to be the case, I am more of the opinion that Democrats find themselves at odds with the war in Iraq. The front runners for the presidential nomination are Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden, who have both stated their belief that we must see the war through and warned of dangers by removing the troops immediately. Isn’t this the same song and dance we heard from John Kerry in ‘04’ and can’t we expect the same results?

A scant few Democrats have taken a position in opposition to the war while most keep to the sidelines, making their critical observations in relative safety. But, now there are several Republicans who have come forward to criticize the war and voice their opposition to their own party’s policies in Iraq. The Democrats are now in jeopardy of being behind the curve as more Republicans find their spines and dare to defy Resident Bush’s war policy.

Even the most faithful republicans are approaching their limits for the abuses of power carried out by this administration. The list of atrocities stretches from the administration’s initial disregard of any and all warnings and intelligence offered by the out-going Clinton team, to the current morass of CIA outings, lying to Congress, misleading the country to go to war, wrecking the economy, the environment and America’s reputation around the world. Moderate Republicans are beginning to realize that their political careers will be at stake if the Democrats regain the presidency, and considering the degree to which this administration has taken liberty with policies, laws and the constitution, they certainly can not feel their positions will be secure. In fact, some may be realizing that they can be judged complicit with some of the transgressions perpetrated under Bush, et al.

Democrats need to take a strong stand against the Iraq war and demand the administration take immediate steps to remove our troops and replace them with an international force. They need to take responsibility for abdicating their duty and voting to give the president the power to declare war with Iraq. They need to demand investigations of the Bush administration’s actions leading up to the war and not be afraid to issue indictments to anyone found in violation of US or international law.

In other words, they need to start doing the jobs they are being paid to do.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Suggestion for Democrats

The Democratic leaders need to understand that rhetoric like that of Senators Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton is not what their party wants to hear:

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) reason that success in Iraq at this point is too important for the country. Washington Post

The very Democrats that have complained that Bush has never defined his strategy for Iraq and has no benchmarks for success, are now claiming the importance of achieving it, but have not themselves attempted to define success.

From the WaPo article above an argument is made that Democrats who voted for the war now cling to the belief that we must stay the course in Iraq. "Clearly Democrats are not united in what is the critique of what we're doing there and what is the answer to what we do next," said Steve Elmendorf, a senior party strategist whose former boss, then-House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), voted in 2002 to authorize the invasion of Iraq. "The difficulty of coming to a unified position is that for a lot of people who voted for it, they have to decide whether they can admit that they were misled."

I have a suggestion for the Democrats described by Senator Gephardt. First, re-read the Constitution to familiarize yourselves with whom the responsible party is for declaring war. They will learn that - Article I, Section 8 specifies that Congress alone must "declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."

Next, they should re-read their oath of office - I, Loyal Citizen of the Republic, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Finally, they should contemplate the obvious conflict between having sworn to uphold the Constitution in their capacity of office holders in Congress and the abandonment of that duty they committed when they voted to give the authority to go to war in Iraq to the president. If and when they are able to admit to shirking their responsibility, they should reassess their position on the war based on its legal and moral issues and not its impact on their political careers.

Once they have admitted to having made a mistake they can take action to correct it. If they continue to deny their responsibility, they should not be considered seriously for any office.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ode to a Tyrant

There once was a boy from New Haven
Who by nature was reckless and craven
But he came from a clan
With an imperial plan
So his treatment of others was raven

His family was invested in oil
So the boy for a living wouldn’t toil
He would live off his name
Impervious to shame
And less fortunate lives he would spoil

His dad became second in charge
The boy, Texas governor at large
Since in business he failed
On to politics he hailed
Though all his faults wouldn’t fit on a barge

Then the country elected his dad
For their leader, but he turned out so bad
He claimed “no new taxes”
But that ain’t what the facts is
So one term is all that he had

The new century found the boy in control
Appointed since he lost at the polls
But his ass needed cover
As a democracy lover
So dad’s cronies got all the top roles

9/11 changed the rules of the game
A chance for the boy to win fame
But, once we knew we’d been had
We were already in Baghdad
Though the reasons he gave were all lame

Now he rules over the land like a king
War and torture are now his big thing
Yes, he has broken the law
But claims that God oversaw
But the nation’s opinion he can’t swing

Monday, August 08, 2005

Stop the Presses

Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and the rest of the right leaning commentators in the media love protesting the Liberal media and its dominance in the press and over the airwaves. This always amuses me since they are part of the media and must be part of the calculation to determine the media is liberal. Also interesting is the criterion used in determining what qualifies as liberal.

A pet phrase of the conservatives over the past 25 years has been “the liberal media” when referring to any coverage they did not like. The New York Times, LA Times and the Washington Post have been their favorite targets and branded as the “Liberal media elite”. However, any comparison of the so called liberal media with media outlets deemed acceptable by the right wing demonstrates that the main difference is that those labeled as liberal are guilty of covering both sides of an argument. They also have the audacity to include liberal viewpoints along with conservative columns on their editorial pages.

The conservative assault on the liberal media has been a disciplined and long term effort that is now paying dividends in a big way. Either through intimidation by the right, or by corporate influence of the mega-businesses that have acquired the major media companies, news organizations have shown reluctance to cover stories that might leave them open to further ridicule. All of the news outlets, cable and networks, now invite far more conservatives than liberals to discussion panels or to supply political analyses. Press releases from the White House and from Congress are reported uncritically and often with little editing and minimum if any research to corroborate the information supplied.

This environment, created by conservative effort to suppress news that is not to their liking, enabled the abuse of trust introduced by the Bush administration in the form of fake news stories using fake reporters, but aired without informing viewers of the source or the story or who was paying for them.

The most telling example of the conservative take-over of the media is the comparison between news coverage of the Clinton and Bush administrations. You will recall that for nearly eight straight years, every lead, rumor, and unconfirmed hearsay tidbit was headlined by the press. A special prosecutor, Ken Starr, was assigned to investigate the Clintons, but after $80 million and years of investigating not one charge could be proven against them. Had it not been for Clinton’s own indiscretion with that intern, the Republicans would have never been able to foist the circus they called impeachment upon the public. Yet, there is a plethora of evidence to show Bush lied to the American people to garner support for a war with Iraq but, more criminally he lied to Congress and submitted a signed letter to congressional leaders justifying his invasion of Iraq based on these very lies.

Congress has not seen fit to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate these much more serious charges and the reason for that is that the Congress is in the hands of the Republican Party and is in lock-step with their despotic leader. Bush and his accomplices have ridden to power on the torrent of corporate donations which they secured through quid pro quo arrangements with the corporate raiders who want maximum influence in government, exoneration from prosecution for wrong doing and greater profits. This last item is not just greedy but absolutely frightening. Corporations are raking in record profits thanks to Bush’s willingness to sacrifice individuals’ safety and legal rights but, also by encouraging big business to view federal tax revenues as a source of untapped wealth that is theirs for the taking.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Get Real

It's about time that we stop the charade, the pretense of politeness we have been following for the purpose of political correctness and just start to "call 'em as we see 'em?" Primarily, I'm referring to the completely disingenuous description of George W. as anything other than a complete idiot. I am so tired of hearing congress and the media giving him credit for being a savvy politician, or brilliant statesman. Even Democrats followed suit to show deference to the Commander in Chief, but we can now dispense with this sham. The man is a total shit-head who, left to his own devices, couldn't make an informed decision about anything.

That leads us to his other claim that he surrounds himself with smart people with whom he can consult when making these hard decisions. That would mean he is surrounded by Karl Rove, a truly discomforting image.

What about Dick Cheney, you ask? - Dubya consults his Dick when the weighty decision involves energy; otherwise Dick is left to Halliburton hand jobs, vulgar attacks on opponents and trying not to die in case Bush's brain Terri Schiavos from lack of use and the facade of power falls to him.

How about Don Rumsfeld? - Not even Dubya will take seriously anything from the anally retentive chicken hawk who famously said "What we know, what we know we don't know, what we don't know we know..." or something like that.

Alright, Colin Powell? - Had Powell been allowed any input within his first year as Sec. State it could have been useful. But, since his presentation to the UN after swilling the kool-aid he has nothing of interest for Dubya & Co.

What about Condi? - Right! Ms. Rice is, in fact Dr. Rice, a learned professional from the halls of academia who pulled herself up from humble beginnings to achieve the pinnacle of her profession. However, she has effectively overcome this drawback within the Bush administration by prostituting her principles and propagating lies and misinformation in furtherance of the Iraqi war.

No, the pin-head in charge gets his marching orders from Rove who works the deals with the captains of industry who pay unknown costs in campaign funding, confidential access, favors and other considerations for the privilege of enacting their own legislation.

No one of sound mind really believes that our nation is being run by this inarticulate, mentally challenged, mouth-breathing, Darwinian throw-back. The difficult thing to believe is that the American public has tolerated the deception foisted on them by the Neo-Conservative Reichstag without rising up in armed rebellion. Instead, we are witness to the effectiveness of their continuing efforts to pare away individual freedoms by focusing on patriotism, a diversionary tactic used by most of the world's worst dictators.

It is more likely that Dubya is the modern day Lee Harvey Oswald, the infamous patsy set up to take the wrap for the conspirators behind the Kennedy assassination. Dubya is being used in much the same way since he will be the focus of the ire and discontent of the public if the ongoing coup upon democracy fails and the Neo-cons are not able to sweep it away entirely to be replaced by the fascism they so revere. If the international community demands charges be brought against the United States for war crimes and crimes against humanity, whom do you suppose they will want to answer those charges. Of course, the rest of the world hates Cheney and Rumsfeld, but it will be Bush they will want in the hot seat.

In the end, if justice is to be served and democracy saved, Dubya will have to answer for his actions even though he was just following orders. Halliburton and other contractors who raped the government and abused the Iraqis will most likely get a slap on the wrist. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi, Powell, etc. will be seen as lesser figures deserving of lesser penalties, leaving dumb-ass Dubya as the main villain. And then won't he regret his lack of sympathy for the execution of the mentally challenged?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Memo

I add my voice to the rising tide of discontent with the Main Stream Media for the abrogation of their duty to inform the public in regards to the “Downing Street Memo.” However, that is only part of the issue. An even greater concern to the public is the lack of action by Congress, now all aware of the memo and, more importantly, its evidentiary value as proof the Bush administration committed crimes against humanity. Why has no legislation been introduced in the House demanding accountability? Ms. Johnson! Mr. Simmons! Mr. Shays! Taking no action in the face of this information is nothing less than condoning Bush’s crime, and it approaches complicity if any foreknowledge exists.

The majority party in Congress spent eight years and $80 million investigating Clinton for any whiff of impropriety and found nothing until Clinton did himself in with an act of adultery and the lies that followed, but nothing that rose to the level of crimes Republicans accused him of. Now, with one of their own in power, the Republicans block any investigation of similar and far graver accusations against Bush, choosing partisanship over justice.

To avoid being partisan myself, let me ask what action Democrats have taken to bring this situation into national focus. No legislation has come from their side of the aisle either. Of course, our outstanding congresswoman, Rosa DeLauro, has stepped forward and signed Rep. John Conyers’ letter to President Bush demanding answers about the memo. But John Larson’s signature was not one of the 89 courageous, patriotic representatives. Why not?

Senator Chris Dodd has been vocal and visible on Bush’s failings and needs to continue in these efforts, but he also should be concentrating much of his effort on this issue as well. As for Lieberman, well let’s just say that he surrendered his Democratic credentials when he sided with the administration and against the people of this country. The Downing Street Memo severely damages Joe’s support for the Iraq war and for Bush.

For those reading this who are not aware of the Downing Street Memo, please see the opening sentence of this article. There is little awareness because the media in the U.S. has not covered the story while every other major nation has.

Please consider adding your signature to Mr. Conyers letter found on his web log. Let’s get the answers we deserve.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Who is to Blame?

Pension plan – Don’t count on it. Social security – Targeted for extinction. Medicare/Medicaid – Nearly bankrupt. Healthcare benefits – Being sacrificed for corporate profits. Continual war and a failing economy – The new reality!

But don’t be despondent, after all the war on terrorism is going well. That is if the loss of over 1,600 American lives for a war based on our own government’s lies doesn’t bother you.

So, how did we get to this point? Who is to blame for deceiving the public about taxes, job outsourcing, environmental policies, the war and the economy? It is far too easy to lay the blame for all or this on the current occupant of the White House, after all it is our fault that he is there. Besides, Preznit Bush is an entirely invented persona and a facade for the true powers in the administration to operate behind. He is the result of equal parts nepotism, marketing, ideology and stupidity. Bush is a Texas cowboy born, raised and educated in the liberal Northeast (to the never ending chagrin of Yale). A member of the CEO class who never ran a successful business (at least not without being bailed out be the likes of Osama bin Laden’s brother). A “war president” who evaded his own military responsibilities. A former drunk and drug abuser who now enforces the harshest policies on the same. And in his own words: "I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office."

We should also not assign total blame to the religious right. Bush and his cronies would have mismanaged the government with or without them. Bush was not a creation of the Evangelicals, rather Bush wandered into their camp with an empty bottle, a cocaine hangover and an ultimatum from Daddy to find sobriety or be disowned. The Christian Taliban has been riding his bandwagon and whipping him relentlessly to stay their course ever since.

It also would be wrong to blame the media, although their coverage of Bush (the man, the candidate, the ideologue) could serve as a role model for ineptitude. Network and cable news consumers have not done a good job of watch dogging the media in recent years. News suppliers would not feel justified cutting away early from, or not covering at all, major political events if the consuming public had voiced their objections. Taking action instead of mindlessly enduring another low budget/high profit reality show might cause the media to take their responsibility to inform the public seriously.

Then there are the Neocons, those self-righteous anti-intellectual parasites who infest the underbelly of government in appointed positions where they lie dormant awaiting an opportunity to strike at any vulnerability of their host. These cretins the likes of Wolfiwitz, Armitage, Libby, Rumsfeld and others rode the federal gravy train at taxpayer expense while networking with other like minded opportunists with a mutual hate for democracy. But we can not put the blame entirely on them because we have always known of their existence and were guarded against their accumulation of power.

And finally, congress, the executors of checks and balances on executive power. Despite the fact that most current members have debased what should be a noble and honorable office through concessions to powerful special interests at the expense of their constituents, they too can not be blamed entirely for our sorry state of affairs. That’s because it is our right and duty to remove from office, by election or impeachment, any member of congress not governing by our consent and by placing the concerns of special interests over those of the electorate.

Not one of those mentioned is completely to blame for the erosion of democracy, but each has contributed generously to its demise. What remains a mystery is why they all seem to be at their most active just now.

Could it be that with the election of George Bush the extreme right feels the time is ripe for them to finally enjoy the results of their 25 year venture to drag the nation to the political right? After many years of hearing conservatives employ the word “liberal” as if they were expectorating, years of their describing the political spectrum as beginning in the center and becoming increasing radical the further to the left it goes, years of their complaining about the media’s liberal bias evidenced by their unfair attacks on all things conservative (when merely facts were being reported), and years of their persistent adherence to talking points in a show of party unity, has the time now come for the Neoconservative drivers of this agenda to step forward and claim their perceived place of leadership over the Republican party and the nation?

One final ingredient would help to solidify the Neocons grip on the political process and allow them to complete the nation’s transition to Fascism. That is the incorporation of Mega-businesses into the government, as Mussolini did in pre-World War II Italy. Gee, I wonder if they can pull it off?

Monday, January 31, 2005

Bush as Leader

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence."
Charles Austin Beard

Much has been said regarding the despotic approach to government we have experienced under the Bush administration, but the above quote by Charles Austin Beard nicely illustrates the degree to which we have deluded ourselves by allowing this administration to remain in the White House for another four years.

At what other time in our history have people been so deeply divided by issues such as we face today? Other than the Civil War, can you think of one? Then, the nation was severely divided over the issue of slavery to the extent that war was unavoidable.

Yet, in 2001 the United States had come together unlike any other time in history as a result of the attacks we suffered on September 11. The camaraderie was apparent everywhere you looked. Flags on house fronts, stickers on car bumpers, editorials in the papers. You could not escape the certainty that the people of this nation were as one against the perpetrators of this attack. We would pay any price, face any hardship, and go to any lengths to protect our families and our countrymen.

With near unanimous consensus, the people of the United States wanted an explanation of how this had occurred and assurances that everything would be done to prevent future attacks. Many demanded retribution against those responsible for the numerous deaths of their friends and family members. They all looked to the White House for leadership and direction and counted on the character of the man who had been elected president of the world’s most powerful nation to set the tone and a course of action for the country.

Instead they found George Bush who did not have a clue how to lead this country because he is not a leader. He is merely the mask covering the apparatus that runs the country. George was given his lines and tutored on his mannerisms and temperment to augment his public image. Then he was placed with crowds friendly to his message to exhibit him as a strong, patriotic leader. But by himself, he was incapable of making the most basic decisions, such as what to do immediately after being informed of the attacks. Even the president’s detractors attribute to him the capacity for bad decisions, however this is not the case. The president’s decisions, bad or otherwise are not of his own making. His agenda has been produced for him, making him just another actor following a script. He delivers rhetoric devised to keep him “on message” while ceaselessly advancing the days “talking points”.

The leader that the country looked to on 9/11 for leadership was himself being lead. And the people leading him were not the least interested in what the citizens of this country wanted. They were interested only in how they could use the events of that day to their advantage. A small group of Neoconservatives had been advocating war against Iraq since early in the Clinton administration and viewed 9/11 as the answer to their prayers. Many influential members of the energy industry, already enjoying preferential treatment owing to their association with former Haliburton CEO and current Vice President Dick Cheney, considered US involvement in the middle-east as a welcome matt for expanding their own operations. A growing yet still minority group of religious right wing fanatics saw their opportunity to exploit a relationship with the self-professed “born again” chief executive in the midst of his “crusade” in the heart of the Muslim world.

It is difficult to see how a deception of this magnitude is possible, difficult to understand how it has not been exposed in a free and open society like ours. It is difficult because we have learned to expect our government to be held accountable for its actions. Because we believe that our elected officials would not compromise their integrity by failing to challenge others whose actions and policies are constitutionally debatable, adverse to national security or risk people’s lives unnecessarily. And also because journalists, until recently, were at liberty to tenaciously pursue the truth from those elected to represent us. Nevertheless, George W. Bush is unquestionably the marionette president and those pulling his strings have contributed exorbitantly for the honor.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Alberto Gonzales was vilified for referring to the Geneva Convention as “Quaint”, and rightfully so. His zeal to play tough guy with prisoners completely ignored the protection this policy insured our own soldiers. However, at the risk of incurring similar wrath, I feel the term is more accurately used in reference to our government.

Our leaders in the executive, legislative and judicial branches have all been reduced in stature due to the ever increasing involvement of corporations in the workings of government. Unlimited access by lobbyists to the halls of Congress, appointment of industry leaders to influential political positions, access to committee members by the industries they are supposed to regulate have all become innocuous. But, beyond the obvious cliché of the fox guarding the hen house, this unholy alliance is robbing the citizenry of its voice.

The officials we elect are our representatives, but we the people have the least access to them once they take office. Politicians do go among the people to campaign, but the issues they champion are the result of market research tailored to elicit the correct response from the targeted demographic. The limited access the public has to a candidate during campaign season has been well orchestrated to prevent any in-depth dialogue of “off message” topics, emphasize “on message” topics and portray the candidate as concerned, involved and a true voice of the constituency.

Once in office they are expected to satisfy those major contributors to their campaigns with favorable appointments or legislation (quid pro quo), entertain an unending procession of special interest lobbyists, attend obligatory fund raising events, endure political peer pressure designed to fashion the new officials as the compliant bureaucrats corporations expect them to be. This leaves precious little time for our representative to act on our behalf. Yet, when they do take action in the form of authoring and promoting the passage of a bill, they are assisted throughout the process by lobbyists representing special interests who stand to benefit from the new law.

Along with this infiltration of government by moneyed corporations comes the logical conclusion that a politician’s greater assets would be malleability over intelligence, myopia over vision, banality over ingenuity, and notably the ability to be marketed to the public via name recognition, a folksy appeal, and being completely corruptible.

Corporations and their executives are not elected by the general public, but due to their excessive influence within government the officials that were elected by the people do not answer to those that elected them. Instead they act in the interests of the corporate donors who financed their campaigns. This defies the entire concept of representative government and effectively renders it Quaint!

How is it possible for corporations to have gained such immense influence over elected officials considering that corporations do not have the vote? The primary method is inducement by means of cash contributions, far in excess of any amount an individual voter could hope to match. Since all politicians require cash to campaign for office it is easy for the corporate benefactor to play candidates against each other. This we see in the platforms of the candidates who attempt to out do each other by promoting ever more “business friendly” legislation. Politicians who want to be seen as important players on any number of policy issues can gain the assistance of corporations who will gladly sponsor an event, host a gathering or fund a junket to the hot spot du jour. Of course, for their assistance the corporate donor will expect a favorable ruling on an issue before the committee chaired by said politician, or some other action he or she has within their power that will directly or implicitly benefit the corporate supporter.

Can this really be a surprise to anyone following the news even with a casual eye? It has become common-place for industry officials to be appointed to prominent political posts, having the potential to effect rulings and regulations that significantly impact their former industry. Often, as soon as a law that they sponsored or promoted gains passage, they leave their appointed position to return to their former position within the private sector, but a position which should be much more lucrative without the pesky regulations that they helped eliminate.

Inasmuch as the corporate bigwigs have involved themselves with the operation of government, the elected official has become less involved with the act of legislation. Even as its spokesperson they are fed sound bites and talking points by those actually engaged in the creation of the bill. For all actual purposes, the elected official no longer represents the people who elected him/her, nor perform the functions of a lawmaker, nor contribute to the workings of government. They have achieved a level of insignificant figure head that corporations will sooner or later do away with for profit considerations.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Progress vs. Congress

It appears that our elected officials are intent on confirming Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Judge Al Gonzales. Does anyone else get the feeling that our course is nearing the point of no return? George Bush and company are forging ahead with even more extra-Constitutional policies that are sure to set back democracy decades if not centuries. The list of this administration's assumed powers continues to grow at an alarming rate, yet congress refuses to rein them in and the news media will not hold anyone accountable for fear they would lose their access. With the confirmation of Al, the torturer, to top man in justice it is a sure bet that no one in the administration will ever be held accountable for any transgression.

The notorious “torture memo” that Gonzales produced confirmed for W what he already assumed. That he can do as he damn well pleases and that he is above the law. Thom Hartmann pointed out in his news-letter that even though there is a provision for exempting the rule of habeas corpus, it is a power only held by congress. W does not have the authority to incarcerate and hold citizens indefinitely, without a trial, or charges, or legal representation, regardless of what Gonzales believes.

The confirmation hearings is the ideal place for the democrats and like minded republicans, if they exist, to put W on notice that his days of uncontested power grabbing are over. Actually, they are going to need the practice for the approaching battle over Social Security Reform (read “elimination”). Allowing Bush and company to forge ahead as they have, without forcing them to fight for each inch of ground, can only embolden them for even greater constitutional infringements.

If we desire to change the direction in which this administration is leading us, as we must, then Congress has to take the responsibility of challenging policies and behaviors that are inconsistent with the constitution. For us to move ahead, Congress can not be the opposite of Progress.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Thank you Barbara Boxer

1/10/05 - Barbara Boxer can be very proud of herself for being the only senator with enough courage to stand up against certifying the electoral vote for G.W. Even knowing in advance that the effort would not succeed, at least she elevated the awareness of the issue over the voting irregularities.

This effort alone will not convince those in the Bush camp that he does not have a mandate from his victory. That can only be accomplished through the continuing efforts of those committed to preventing him from further destroying democracy. Rep. Conyers started the ball rolling by conducting his hearings on the Ohio vote, but we all need to support the on-going dissent and contribute to those investigating the irregularities discovered by Rep. Conyers.

If you are like me you are questioning how this president could have possibly won re-election. His first term “accomplishments” are more deserving of impeachment than re-election yet, Karl Rove tells us he inspired the GOP base to come out in force in support of the values championed by the Bush administration. Which may cause you to ask yourself, “Are there really that many people who feel that disregarding or defying the constitution is a good thing”?

It has become abundantly clear that the republicans managed to steal the 2000 election for Bush. Yet, most people do not feel that way about this past election. This is what I can’t understand. The republicans were not in power during the 2000 elections and they still were able to over power democratic attempts to ensure a fair and legal counting of the votes in Florida. Now that they have been in the White House for 4 years and came into the majority in both houses in 2002, no one thinks they had the ability to control the voting process? Please!

My fear is that this will continue to happen unless we are able to eliminate the privatization of the voting process. The only thing about voting that should be secret is the ballot cast by the individual voter. The counting of the votes and any and all technology used in the process must be transparent if we are to ever again trust the results. ~