Saturday, September 22, 2007

Democrats Or DemocRATS?

It’s almost hard to believe such a big deal ensued over a pre-emptive ad by in the New York Times. Almost, but the allure of politics of distraction has never been stronger in our Babylon on the Potomac. The ad was titled, “General Petraeus, or General Betray us?” The liberal group reasonably questioned whether General Petraeus would give a fair and accurate report on the effects of the surge in Iraq. And, come on, how likely is it that the general hand picked by Bush would ever say anything off script? The president is running out of generals who are willing to cluck along with the chicken hawk squawk.

Since the obstructionist Senate Republicans are unwilling to debate anything concerning Bush’s Iraq war, they quickly fell into their usual lock-step behind their Fearless Chicken Hawk-In-Chief.

Bush was given the softball question at the end of Thursday’s press conference. When asked what he thought of the ad, he spurted indignantly, “I thought the ad was disgusting.” He then twisted all logic out of the matter by claiming the ad was, “an attack not only on General Petraeus, but on the U.S. military. And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad. And that leads me to come to this conclusion: that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like, are more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the U.S. military.”

True to his chicken hawk nature, the AWOL President hid behind the military while accusing the Democrats once more of disloyalty to the troops. Absurd as this was, Bush was right about the Democrats being afraid.

When Texas Republican John Cornyn wasted our tax dollars and time pushing for a Sense of the Senate vote to condemn the ad, nearly half the Democrats cowardly caved in to side with the Republicans. Free speech was kicked in the groin by a 72-25 vote in the Senate. All Bush has to do is say, “Boo,” and half the Democrats flee like rats from a sinking ship. Of course the ship isn’t even sinking, but they always give up the helm in a pathetically predictable panic when they get challenged on any little non-issue.

When the Republicans need a break from their filibuster threatening, they will come together with the Democrats and advance some legislation. Then they can proudly demonstrate their bi-partisan magnanimity. Unfortunately, it will only be for additional war funding. And, of course, an increase in NAFTA-type favors for their corporate paymasters. This is where the Washington vermin unite to gnaw the heart out of our country.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

News Round-Up

There’s so much news lately and so little time to absorb and assess what it’s all about. Let’s take a look at some of the important matters unfolding in our world.

We have both the Petraeus report and the president’s address providing us all with the happy spin of, yes, even more progress in Iraq.

We hear something about the mercenaries of Blackwater USA enjoying an old-fashioned Viet-Nam style free fire zone into Iraqi civilians. Who does the Iraqi government think they are, saying they will expel Blackwater for slaughtering its citizens? Who could believe these mercenaries operate outside the law? They must be under the delusion of believing they’re a free and sovereign nation or something. Do they honestly buy into the wild notion that this mess is about Iraqi freedom?

We hear about a court ruling that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional in allowing the Feds to secretly demand customer information from telecommunications companies without legal authorization. Ho, hum.

And what’s the deal with the Senate Republicans obstructing the restoration of habeas corpus? Why do Republicans hate the Constitution, anyway? I guess it’s because Bush doesn’t need it. ‘Nuff said!

And if we look very carefully, we can even catch a glimpse of something about Howard J. Krongard, the State Department's inspector general. Did he really interfere with fraud and abuse investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan? Could he have suppressed and covered up less-than-flattering reports? Why would he impede an investigation of Blackwater’s illegal smuggling of weapons into Iraq? Why do those clueless Democrats think an inspector general is supposed to inspect things?

But wait! Lookit, everybody! Never mind that boring old politics and war gibberish. OJ’s been ARRESTED again! He’s even in JAIL! Now we have something to talk about.

Yes, that’s news we can all use. What could be more exciting? We gotta see how this one turns out.

Now, let’s get to the good news. I hope everybody felt safer when we heard the president tell us “…we are seizing the initiative from the enemy, and that the troop surge is working.” It gets better. “Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home.”

At least we’ll see the returning troops who were supposed to rotate home in the first place. Hooray! We are going back to the number of troops we had before the triumphant surge.

Bush also tells us, “Yet Iraq's national leaders are getting some things done. For example, they have passed a budget. They are sharing oil revenues with the provinces. They are allowing former Ba'athists to rejoin Iraq's military or receive government pensions.”

This makes me so happy. Can this all be too good to be true?

Bush said on Aug. 18. “The Iraqi government in Baghdad has many important measures left to address, such as reforming the de-Baathification laws, organizing provincial elections and passing a law to formalize the sharing of oil revenues.'"

I’d almost call this contradiction a flip-flop, if anybody other than our president said it.

Speaking of oil, didn’t we hear Alan Greenspan say something about the war in Iraq being primarily about oil? How could that be? Don’t tell me Bush’s old buddy and big money donor Ray Hunt just made a sweetheart of an oil deal with the Kurds. That wouldn’t exactly be helpful progress with “sharing oil revenues with the provinces,” would it? Why shouldn’t we just believe the president when he said he didn’t know anything about this?

Oh, my goodness! Come quick and listen! There’s a TAPE of OJ in Las Vegas. It’s on all the channels. Wow, can you believe it?

Where was I? Oh, Yeah. Did anybody see General Petraeus’s reply to Senator John Warner’s question about whether America is safer because of the current strategy in Iraq? He said, “Sir, I don’t know, actually.”

Hold everything! What’s this about some liberal group’s ad in the New York Times? Gasp! They have a lot of nerve to pose the question, “General Petraeus, or General Betray us?” What more proof do you need to see that liberals hate the troops? It’s such a good thing Senator John Cornyn stepped in to address this injustice. The Republican from Texas called upon the Senate to vote to condemn personal attacks against the president’s favorite general and political propagandist. Thanks to the Republicans and a few Good Democrats, the vote passed.

The GOP senators bravely tackled this grave issue amidst their already busy agenda. It can’t be easy, what with blocking habeas corpus rights of detainees, and supporting the troops by forcing them to spend more time deployed in Iraq than at home with their families.

Hey! Check what’s on Fox News! OJ’s out on bond! We have a great aerial view of OJ’s car leaving the jail. Look, they’re interviewing the helicopter pilot who flew over OJ’s famous low-speed chase back in 1994. Man, this is how the news SHOULD be covered.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bush's Freedom Institute

As Congress returns from vacation to resume its duties of subservient ineptitude, there is nothing like a new book about our Fearless Leader and Decider to cheer us up. You just know there would be a few nuggets of truth revealed that would embarrass the administration. Journalist Robert Draper interviewed Rove, Cheney, Laura Bush, and many senior White House and administration officials. He was even granted six interviews with Bush.

In "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush," Draper writes that Karl Rove told his boss that he knew nothing about CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. This was after Rove and others leaked her identity. An indignant George even told us he would investigate and “take care” of the leaker. Draper writes, "When Bush learned otherwise, he hit the roof." Amazing. They even lie to each other.

We also learn what Bush is planning on doing after he leaves office. It’s uplifting to know that, besides his wish to "replenish the ol' coffers" by giving paid speeches, he wants to build a “Freedom Institute.” Yup, that should do quite nicely to reflect his glorious legacy. A grateful nation (or shall I say planet?) will be blessed with the George W. Bush Freedom Institute.

I can picture it all now. We approach the magnificent structure, perched like a shining city on a hill. We tingle in anticipation of beholding the many gifts of the eight-year George W. Bush Presidency. Out in front is the beautiful Fountain of Conservative Justices, reminding us that democracy needn’t be all about having more votes than the other guy.

As we first solemnly pass through the Twin Portals of Shock and Awe, we are almost overcome by our own insignificance. Then we move into the foyer where we wipe the mud from our shoes into the Bill of Rights Doormat. We check our coats at the Closet of Conservative Compassion. Be sure to notice the sign saying, “Not responsible for lost or stolen liberties.”

Fittingly, we then climb to greater heights on the Staircase of Stolen Elections. We now enter the Corridors of Unchecked Power.

As we pass through the Photo Op Gallery we see the Mission Accomplished Flight Suit Display. Gosh, it still swells us with the power of pride.

Take a hard turn to the right and we peer down the long Hall of Surveillance, ending with the Wall of Secrecy.

Moving on, we find the Permanent War Pavilion, with its two seemingly endless wings. Enter the Operation Enduring Freedom Wing or the Operation Iraqi Freedom Wing. Either way, you’ll find nothing but the fruits of freedom. Don’t get lost or mired on the way, we need to advance past the Office of Unaccountability to the largest room in the building. We gasp in astonishment as we gaze at the cavernous Library of Lies.

I’m sure by now we have gained quite an appetite, so we head over to the Cooked Intelligence Café for a taste of whatever they want to feed us.

Our tour now takes us past the Scooter Libby Monument to Obstructed Justice, and down into the lower levels.

Be careful not to fall into the Al Gonzales Memory Hole as we approach the Cheney Bunker of Undisclosed Locations. Unfortunately we are locked out of this exhibit.

As we venture deeper into the darkest recesses, we see that the Saddam Hussein Torture Chamber is closed, too. And since we’ve just eaten, maybe we will forego the Dungeon Diorama of Alternative Interrogation Techniques. Oh, well. It’s better left a secret. We don’t want to embolden the enemy, do we?

Not to worry, the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo Welcome Centers are still accepting visitors. And if you’re curious, the Texas Execution Chamber is always busy.

As we prepare to leave the George W. Bush Freedom Institute, some of you may want to stop and browse at the Millionaire Donors’ Tax Free Gift Shop. Maybe you can pick up a couple souvenirs for your friends. Don’t worry if you don’t see any price tags on the gift items. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.