Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Then and Now

Seven score and ten years ago today...


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863


How things have changed from then to today.

Now the far Right Republican Party is openly hostile towards the concept of "government of the people, by the people, for the people"

They are legislatively suppressing democracy itself, doing their utmost to discourage and restrict voters from registration and poll access.

Their goal is an inverted totalitarianism, domination by the elite minority, a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.

Their words and behavior show us how they truly resent "government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Here, reduced to the simplest terms, is the GOP's Grand Oligarchy Plan:

Every man for himself, and let the powerful wealthy elites dictate our laws.

That's what it boils down to.

And of course, a healthcare system that amounts to "Let 'em die", as cheered in a Republican Presidential debate.

And shame on the Democrats!  They are abetting Republicans, and conceding the people's Constitutionally provided general welfare away from them, while doing the bidding of the economic elites.  

The Wal-Mart heirs have as much wealth as the bottom 40% of ALL Americans. Their employees are paid so poorly they need public assistance.

Can we ask that something be done about this?

And whose vision are we following as a nation? What is the government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich doing about this neo-feudalist economic travesty?

The Republicans tell us the Wal-Mart heirs deserve MORE tax cuts. And that food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits should be slashed.

What would Lincoln see in his Republican Party today? What would he see in his nation; one he'd given his life to preserve?

Something would be familiar. He would see similar hateful divisions in our people. Divisions nurtured by powerful economic interests that have no use for liberty and equality for all, but an antagonism for "government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Lincoln would be enraged, and then weep, at what the Republican Party has become.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Not Racist

Thank you, Aasif Mandvi of the Daily Show. Your interview of Buncombe County North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton was fascinating.

“Well, I been called a bigot before,” admitted the persecuted Don ”Not a Racist” Yelton

For some nuance Don informs us, “I had a picture one time of Obama sittin’ on a stump as a witch doctor and I posted it on facebook.”

Hmm. Nothing racist there, unless it’s done by a liberal, of course. So maybe those “not racist” Obama witch doctor pictures at Tea Party rallies were not all planted by liberals after all.

Whodathunk? Just don't forget Rush tells us, "You know, racism in this country is the exclusive province of the left."

Don clarifies a crucial point for us:  “Now you have a black person using the term, ‘Nigger this and nigger that,’ and it's OK for them to do it.”

You tell ‘em Don. Never mind Mandvi reminds you, “You do know we can hear you?” Don pays no attention to this strange remark.

Now about those voter restrictions..er, I mean voter ID laws, we’re seeing the GOP frantically enacting.

“The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt. If it hurts a bunch of college kids [that are] too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it...if it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

So there it is, straight from the Southern Republican conservative’s mouth. So be it, all you “lazy blacks” that want the government to give you everything. Take that.

And just for the record, let’s be fair and balanced, shall we, Don?

“As a mater of fact, one of my best friends is...black.”

Well, then. What better proof can we have Don is not a racist?

So why was this innocent “not racist” ever called a bigot? I just don’t get it. Must be those damn liberal lies.

There’s no justice for Southern ‘not racist” white guys, is there, Don?

It seems, for some racist liberal reasons, poor Don is now former Buncombe County North Carolina GOP precinct chair.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Liberals, Commies and Nazis, Oh My!

California Republicans, dwindling species as they've become, are on the move.

Their three-day convention focused attention on recruiting new Republican voters, specifically women, the Associated Press reported. 

They even had cool buttons to entice new female converts to their cult.

KFC Hillary Special
2 Fat Thighs 2 Small Breasts
One Left Wing

Yeah, that should do the trick. Women just love that misogynist kind of stuff.

But they didn't stop there. They had to goose-step even further to the radical Right. They just couldn't restrain their hate.

I Still Hate Commies...
Even After They Changed Their Name To

“Commies” and “Liberals” are in red letters, of course.

And there you have it. The Koolade Cult bubble in all its radical hateful essence.

Assholes like these want a one-party dictatorship, and its time for Americans to wake up.

Theses nuts make Nazis look like liberals...literally. The Cult leaders have decided to tell their dupes Hitler’s “National Socialism” was really liberalism, the same as government public health programs or Social Security. 

Yes, they say Nazis were liberal socialists, as well as liberals are commies. And the cult chugs that koolade down.

One koolade cult member even challenged me with, “Nazis were for socialized health care, you ok with that?”

Never mind Germany had socialized health care decades before the Nazis.

For those not in the koolade cult, we refer to the Jewish Virtual Library:

In April, 1920, Hitler advocated that the party should change its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Hitler had always been hostile to socialist ideas, especially those that involved racial or sexual equality. However, socialism was a popular political philosophy in Germany after the First World War. This was reflected in the growth in the German Social Democrat Party (SDP), the largest political party in Germany.

Hitler, therefore redefined socialism by placing the word 'National' before it.

Yes, Nazis and commies too, according to the cult, were nothing but liberals.

So... If it’s fair to compare liberals to commies AND Nazis... then it’s more than fair to say:

“I still hate Nazis, even after they changed their name to Republicans”.

Sounds almost as crazy, right? Except Nazis hated, and still do hate, liberals, just like Republicans.

In reality, in addition to Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and communists, Nazis rounded up liberals. Even socialists. Imagine that.

Did you know Nazis partnered with big business? They worked with Krupps, Siemans, BMW, even Ford while they could. They even got rid of unions, and that pesky minimum wage that Nazis and Republicans dislike so much.


Fascism n. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism. – American Heritage Dictionary

Yup, just like Republicans do today with the Koch Tea Party, FOX(R) Tea Party, etc. Ever see a Tea Party rally against the Patriot Act? How about a rally against the Roberts appointed conservative FISA court?

No. They hate liberals and call a public health program communism.

Nazis hated and demonized liberals, college professors, teachers, real socialists, journalists and unions. Yup, just like Republicans do today.

“Papers, please”, has gone from a stereotypical Nazi demand to a Republican mandated stop and checkpoint phrase. “Stop and frisk” has only been temporarily declared unconstitutional. It will be back with the next GOP leadership. That’s a promise.

Nazis also hated democracy. They took power and overcame the will of the people with a minority of votes.

Likewise, the Republican Party in our time.

Bush v Gore overruled the will of American voters. “HALT! ze vote count! “ And Bush “won”.

The House of Representatives is controlled today by Republicans through gerrymandering. As with Bush v Gore, the American voters cast about a half million more votes for their Democratic candidates.  And of course the Tea Cult now preposterously claims to represent the “will of the people”.


The Republicans are also actively working to suppress voter registration and poll access in the states they control.
“Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done." - GOP State House Majority Leader Mike Turazi (R-Allegheny)

"We do make it convenient for people to vote," Senate Republican Mike Bennett, from Bradenton said. "But I have to tell you, I don't have a problem making it harder. I want people in Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who walks 200 miles across the desert. This should not be easy”.

Former Florida governor Crist testified in the Senate that there was voter suppression in Florida:

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer said he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.

“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.

“They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”

The Republican Party’s opposition to democracy is clear.

Nazis hated to compromise too, just like Republicans do today.

And finally, as their Nazi forbears, Republicans are making it party policy to accuse liberals of being communists. Do they require reading “Mein Kampf” for membership now?

As every sane person knows, government public health programs and safety nets do not constitute communism. “Sane” being the operative term.

But it is getting very difficult to discern radical Right Republicanism from fascism. They see, or at least portray, liberals as communists out to destroy America.

And they seek, and stop at nothing, to gain absolute power. In light of this cult’s terrifying mission, we need to ask this question:

If the radical Right seizes their one-party dictatorship, what measures would they take to impose their final solution to the “liberal problem”?

You know they would if they could.

If they don’t like being compared to fascists, then they should stop acting like fascists.

Democracy by ballot is their enemy, and our only hope is to vote the neo-fascists out of our government. Then we go to work on their appeasers in the Democratic Party. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Individual Rights

In our political discussions, certain words are usually tossed about.

Capitalism. Communism. Socialism. Fascism.

And now more lately, Corporatism.

There’s an intriguing bunch of “isms”. The definitions, theory, and practice of these “isms” have taken on numerous forms and functions; and they often stir up a lot of confusion and anger.

According to some definitions, I am both a capitalist and a socialist.

Just to help navigate through this discussion, I include as footnotes, definitions of the four “isms” from both Miriam-Webster and the American Heritage dictionaries. Corporatism is still being defined, but as they say of porn, we know it when we see it, where corporations have more rights than people.

Socialism as theory can be rigid, but is very flexible in practice. The same is true with Capitalism and Communism.  Fascism and Communism can be very rigid in both theory and practice, yet capitalistic and socialistic aspects endure under them. Dictatorship under any “ism” results in democracy being crushed, though.

This is exemplified by the corporate/government nexus we have that is tightening its grip as we speak. Yes we have fascistic mechanisms too. What we see growing in the US is antagonism for democracy. We have corporations and government eager for war, building a surveillance state and militarizing police departments.

We need corporations and business. But we need them to mind their own business, not meddle in our public elections.

It is not anti-business or anti-capitalism to want free public elections. I have a 401k and other investments. Does that make me a capitalist?

I've always thought we need regulated commerce. Is that socialism? Does that make me a Socialist? I've agreed that government should provide for the general welfare. Is that socialism? Does that make me a Socialist?

Is the Constitution a manifesto of Socialism?

No. But these are clearly socialistic. No nation is exclusive of capitalistic or socialistic systems. They would not function as free societies without a blend, or checks and balances, of “isms”. All “isms” can be exploited and twisted for abuse.

Socialized public service is not the same as a socialized economy. We don't have a system of worker ownership of production. We have been doing quite well with that mix of democracy, socialism and capitalism.

 But we have rigid ideologues who can't see this simple reality.

Democracy, voter registration, and poll access are being restricted, not the right to private property.

There’s a Forbes article called “Is Obama a Socialist?” (To them, of course Obama is a socialist)

A comment that follows makes a good point.

Obama does not advocate for the elimination of private property so he is not a socialist.

Conservatives do not do themselves any favors labeling everyone they don’t like “socialists”. The ordinary American has largely come to think of “socialism” as “A government that helps people” and “capitalism” is “A government that does not help people”, which is fundamentally incorrect but the inevitable result the conservative attack upon any who advocates for the government helping the ordinary citizen being labeled a “socialist”.

Sound familiar?

Americans are caught in an ideological war between two extremes where only one exists in reality. We don’t have a socialist economy or a socialist government. There’s no movement to abolish private property. We do have crony, cutthroat and corrupt capitalism waging a war on democracy from within the government.

The fictitious “socialist” agenda of no private property is being attacked by a real agenda that wants to accumulate ALL property, wealth and political power. They also want their financial risks socialized but their profit privatized. Hello Wall Street.

This is the real threat and danger of unregulated capitalism. The only cure is a socialized system of balance, with regulation of commerce and promotion of the general welfare. And I don’t mean corporate socialism where we keep bailing out the failed capitalists.

Banks’ Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)

Now what are we going to do about banks writing their own legislation and regulations? Let the “free market” decide? Vote for the next candidate in their pocket? Or regulate them?

Giving banks and corporations the privilege of person-hood and citizenship, allowing them to use bribery money as “free speech” is the recipe for more disaster. Citizens United v FEC has wiped out McCain-Feingold. We need a law that both limits private campaign contributions, and addresses the issue of corporate money in our public elections.

I suggest we let the Constitution guide us. We agree a corporation is an artificial (man made) group of persons, property and money, a collective bound by their shared interest in productivity and profit. All we need is a law that says, regarding elections, a corporation is not a person, and not entitled to the same rights as we the people. I include unions. A union is also not a person.

Corporations, unions, and other artificial entities may keep their right to free speech in advertising their products and services, legal representation in court, and even lobbying politicians. Those are enough rights for a collective.

So with such a law, not one living soul would have his rights restricted. Some fat cats will bitch because their privilege of having their additional collective right to political speech will be gone. Their individual rights would be the same as yours, mine and every person.

Who was it who said:

“At the root of all their conceptual switches, there lies another, more fundamental one: the switch of the concept of rights from the individual to the collective—which means: the replacement of “The Rights of Man” by “The Rights of Mob.”

Since only an individual man can possess rights, the expression “individual rights” is a redundancy (which one has to use for purposes of clarification in today’s intellectual chaos). But the expression “collective rights” is a contradiction in terms."

Yes, that was none other than Ayn Rand.

Individual rights. This is what equality means.

Rights are individual, or not at all.

This is what Americans need to learn. This is what democracy needs to survive.


From Miriam-Webster Dictionary:

Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

Communism : 1. a: a theory advocating elimination of private property
b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
2 a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian
 party controls state-owned means of production
c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
d : communist systems collectively

Fascism: A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2 . a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

Socialism: 1: various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2:a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property

b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

From The American Heritage Dictionary:

Capitalism n. An economic system characterized by freedom of the market with increasing concentration of private and corporate ownership of production and distribution means, proportionate to increasing accumulation and reinvestment of profits. 2. A political or social system regarded as being based on this.

Communism n. A social system characterized by the absence of classes and by common ownership of the means of production and subsistence. 2. A political, economic or social doctrine aiming at the establishment of such a classless society. 3. The Marxist-Leninist doctrine of revolutionary struggle toward this goal, the political movement representing it, or loosely, socialism as practiced in countries ruled by Communist parties.

 Fascism n. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.

Socialism n. A social system in which the producers possess both political power and the means of producing and distributing goods. 2. The theory or practice of those who support such a social system. 3. Under Marxist-Leninist theory, the building, under the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the materiel base for communism

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Of Cheneys and "Friends"

“I thought we were friends,” said the blindsided Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming

He was speaking of Liz Cheney, who has decided her ambitions require her taking Enzi’s job.

When asked about Cheney’s aspirations to the Senate, Enzi stated, “Well, she said that if I ran she wasn’t going to run, but obviously that wasn’t correct.”

Chalk up another sap who learned the hard way what friendship with a Cheney entails. It could be worse. 

At least he wasn’t shot in the face like Harry Whittington. And he wasn't convicted of obstruction of justice, covering up Dick's "fair game" outing of a CIA operative, like Scooter Libby was. 

The price of a Cheney's “friendship” can be steep.

Ever the “compassionate conservative”, Liz explains, “I think Sen. Enzi may be confused.” Or perhaps, as she’s also suggested, he’s “too old”. 

Well maybe, Liz, since Reagan was the same age as Enzi when he was elected president.

I’m afraid the conclusions are narrowed to three possibilities:

1. Liz Cheney is a treacherous liar.
2. Senator Enzi is “confused”.
3. The Republicans are both liars and confused.

I’m guessing the blame falls on the poor Senator, because as we all know, Cheneys never lie. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

A "Good Man"

At the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, President Obama praised “a good man” with “incredible strength and resolve”.

Maybe Obama is still under the delusion that the sentiment behind this unctuous remark will be returned by Republicans when his library is opened. Yeah, right.

The Washington post reports that Bush: joked that there was a time in his life when he “wouldn't have been found at a library, much less found one.”

That would be a joke alright, if the truth is a joke.

The Post also informed us:

Clinton joked about the newest facility in the presidential library system, calling it the “latest, grandest example of former presidents to rewrite history.”

And as I said, that would be a joke alright, if the truth is a joke.

Thanks to Bush remaining largely out of the media and silent on issues, as well as the famous lack of memory in the American public, Bush’s approval rating has gone up from the 30’s to the 40’s in percentage points.

I should add that this is due in no small part to Obama’s “looking forward” and his refusal to investigate torture and the reasons given for invading Iraq. Maybe he thinks that will cover his ass when his misdeeds are revealed. It should. Bush and Cheney have proven that an American Administration can get away with launching a war based on lies, building a surveillance state, subverting the Fourth Amendment and various other crimes against humanity and freedom.

Bush is in his glory now, praised for his “principles and “incredible strength and resolve”.

We can forget the crashed economy and skyrocketing unemployment the great “Decider” left us.


You’d think the guy actually accomplished what he claimed. Remember all that talk about defending and “spreading freedom”?

He sure didn't do that for the United States. The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, the FISA Amendment, etc., with the warrantless surveillance of Americans and arrest and incarceration without charges and counsel haven’t exactly protected our freedom.

How about all that freedom spread over in Iraq and Afghanistan? Turns out:

Iraq’s political rights rating declined from 5 to 6 due to the concentration of power by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and increasing pressure on the political opposition, as exemplified by the arrest and death sentence in absentia of Vice President Tariq al Hashimi, the country’s most senior Sunni Arab politician.

Maliki is obviously less brutal than Saddam Hussein, but still, that’s not exactly the ideal result. As for Afghanistan, it’s a similar story. Hamid Karzai is a step up from the Taliban but the country is still “not free,” according to Freedom House.

Last Tuesday political violence in Iraq killed at least 56 people

Ugly, very ugly. But forget about all that.

Let’s go back to fantasy land; that happy world where we see Bush’s dream of building a “freedom Institute” come to fruition.

As I reported on Tuesday, September 4, 2007:

The George W. Bush 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.

Let’s conclude our trip down "Memory Hole Lane" with some of the wisdom and “compassionate conservatism” our great Chickenhawks left us.

“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.” - George W. Bush

 “One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade…, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.” – G.W.B. 1999

“Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way..." – G. W. B. 4-20-04

"If we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again." – Dick Cheney’s ’04 election “advice”.


Lucky for us, Bush is “a good man”.


Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. War is Peace.

God bless America

Monday, April 22, 2013

Eek! A Mouse!

The firearm background checks bill is dead. So much for our “democratic representative republic”.

The Senate ignored “we the people” and cowered before the cash and lies of the NRA, weapons manufacturers and right wing gun nuts.

The shrill cries still echo. “Obama’s coming to take our guns!” “It’s imposing mandatory gun registration!” “Eek a mouse!”

Instead of being dead or in jail as he promised, Nutball Nugent declared Obama is “an evil and dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom.

While I’m more annoyed at Obama for his free handed war making, surveillance state and Wall Street coddling, I admit he was right about this:

"They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter."

"The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill," Obama said. "There were no coherent arguments as to why we couldn't do this. It came down to politics."

It was about money and the “free speech” of money over the clear will of the people.

Once again our Senate has proven the majority of Americans are not who they represent. A clear majority of Americans approve of more background checks at gun shows and for internet sales. 

The House is even more anit-democratic. More Americans voted for Democratic representatives than Republican, but who cares? Not Big Money and the ruling minority of elites.

If on-line and gun show background checks dissuade criminals or unstable people from owning AR-15's then that is a good thing, right?

What's the problem with that? There wasn't. That is, until the “Black President” took office and supported the idea.

Before it became a political power game and tool for instilling fear of the Black President for weapons lobbyist Wayne LaPierre, he was on record supporting background checks. But in typical Right Wing fashion, as soon as Democrats, or especially Obama, support a GOP idea, then we see the GOP/NRA disavow their stated positions.

When will we see a coherent argument for that behavior?

Pandora ’s Box is open. There may be little we can do to prevent mass murder short of imposing a police state. But that is no excuse to not do what little we can is it?

In October 2012, a Wisconsin man who was prohibited from buying a gun because he was subject to a restraining order bought a gun from a private seller over the Internet without undergoing a background check. Two days later he used that firearm to kill his estranged wife and two other women. Four other people were wounded in the attack. The perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre specifically sought out private sellers to obtain firearms so that their straw purchaser would not have to undergo a background check.

Private commercial sales of firearms without a background check have been linked to gun crime generally. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, gun shows are "a major venue for illegal trafficking" of firearms. The ATF specifically connected this assessment to private sales at gun shows, which have been taken advantage of by traffickers who supply weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

As an April 17 New York Times article notes, online "unregulated bazaars" where private gun transactions are completed are used by individuals who cannot pass a background check. According to 2011 investigation by New York City, online private sellers had a 62 percent "fail rate" in agreeing to sell a firearm to an undercover investigator who said that he or she could not pass a background check:

In the meantime, terrorists, the mentally ill, and criminals who will buy guns without a background check, and they most certainly will, have the NRA, the Republican Party and the cowardly Democrats to thank.

When will we see a coherent argument for allowing that?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Progress...And The Opposite

"It's ridiculous (this) is something we're having a conversation about in this day and age....I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference...But I'd never marry a guy I didn't like." – Willie Nelson

Like it or not, same sex marriage is winning over the public’s support.

It’s either a sign of significant social progress, with less intolerance and bigotry...or it’s a sure sign of the end times. 

For the extreme Right, I’m guessing they hope for the latter. But for a society that values equal rights and civility for all, the former seems to be indicated.

In 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a 57% to 35% margin.

Today, there is slightly more support for same-sex marriage than opposition to it, with 49% in favor and 44% opposed.

This is encouraging. Maybe the next national trend will be reversing the demonization, bigotry and prejudice against liberals, non-whites, immigrants, atheists and Muslims.

What’s that? Obama was re-elected? I’m not sure that means much more than the nation is fed up with Republican presidents. Well, that’s somewhat heartening, but he too is one of the corporate friendly politicians who only recently discovered his “evolving” stance on same-sex marriage.

A moderate is the best we can get for now.

The problem is Obama's all too willing to cut safety nets as a concession to the radical Right, while being far too unwilling to demand a small tax on stock market transactions. When will his stance “evolve” on corporate welfare, warrantless surveillance, drones over America, targeted executions without trial, the war on drugs and the military empire occupying the globe?

Who knows, maybe some day we might actually have a liberal president and congress...

Naww.. Who am I kidding? Ain’t happing soon.

Not with corporations being “persons” controlling the national media, and wielding billions of dollars in “free speech” and lobbying money.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing corporate media is “liberal media”.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing liberals are godless America-hating commies who have no “family values”.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing suppressing voter registration rights and restricting poll access is needed to stop "Mickey Mouse" from committing voter fraud.

The other biggest problem for liberals is they have a disproportionately small voice in public policy and representation.

The House is controlled by Republicans through gerrymandering, despite the fact more Americans voted for Democratic representation in the House.

The Senate is even more unbalanced. The conservative voters of less populated states also have more representation per capita in the Senate than the liberals of large states and the rest of the country.

Couple these factors with the filtering of information by corporate media and the dominance of lobbying and "free speech" cash by Big Money interests, and we are left with a Right Wing government for a left leaning population.

The only hope for liberals is for them to be as motivated, united, and funded as the Right in mid-term elections.

But I don't think most liberals get it. Unlike the Right, they don't have their own corporate saturated radio and TV media. We don't have mega-media conglomerates urging the public to vote for the public good against the exclusive interests of the economic elites.

We don’t have national media that broadcasts and prints the basic fact that one party is largely, while the other is exclusively, in service to the interests of Big Money.

I wonder why...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ten Years and Nothing Learned

Ten years ago today the US went to war.

War with Iraq had been on their minds since before the 2000 election. Bush spoke of being a “war president” in order to have “political capital”.

All the chickenhawk warmongering talk had done its job. Half of America believed Saddam had something to do with 9-11, that he had a nuclear weapons program, (complete with “nukular aluminum tubes) and vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

The corporate media had dutifully parroted, without question, every line from Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and all the other wrong-headed Neocons.

Time for the Fearless Chidkenhawk Decider to lead America to glory.

The corporate media quickly and cowardly fell in line. Here's a snapshot of what the corporate media had to say ten years ago this week.

March 18, 2003:

Bill O'Reilly makes a promise on ABC's Good Morning America:

“If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again, all right?

March 19, 2003:

War based on lies is launched.

John Burns of the New York Times writes: "The striking thing was that for many Iraqis, the first American strike could not come too soon."

NBC's Tom Brokaw: "We don't want to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq, because in a few days we're gonna own that country."

March 20, 2003:

Oregonian editorial: "In our view, President Bush has built a strong case for the invasion of Iraq, a case that will be overwhelming with the inevitable discovery of the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein is hiding."

March 21, 2003:

The New York Post reports that talk radio is solidly behind the war: "And if you were looking for a debate on 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' fuhgeddaboudit." The paper reports Don Imus saying, "We got stabbed in the back by those assholes in France and the rest of them. Enough of Tom Daschle, who is disgraceful, and all the rest—enough of that."

The Post also quotes Rush Limbaugh proclaiming on his show: "I'm not messing with people who want to say this attack is illegal, it's not warranted, it's not justified--I'm not going to argue with you people anymore. Take your propaganda to somebody else who might believe it." And adds: “It's beyond me how anybody can look at these protestors and call them anything other than what they are: anti-American, anticapitalist, pro-Marxist communists.”

March 23, 2003:

Fox News Channel posts a headline that reads, "HUGE CHEMICAL WEAPONS FACTORY FOUND IN SO IRAQ.... REPORTS: 30 IRAQIS SURRENDER AT CHEM WEAPONS PLANT.... COAL TROOPS HOLDING IRAQI IN CHARGE OF CHEM WEAPONS." ABC's John McWethy promotes "one important new discovery: U.S. officials say, up the road from Nasarijah, in a town called Najaf, they believe that they have captured a chemical weapons plant and perhaps more important, the commanding general of that facility. One U.S. official said he is a potential 'gold mine' about the weapons Saddam Hussein says he doesn't have."

NBC's Tom Brokaw described the story thusly: "Word tonight that U.S. forces may have found what UN inspectors spent months searching for, a facility suspected to be a chemical weapons plant, uncovered by ground troops on the way north to Baghdad."

The next day, a Fox correspondent in Qatar quietly issues an update to the chemical weapons story: The "chemical weapons facility discovered by coalition forces did not appear to be an active chemical weapons facility." U.S. officials admit that morning that the site contains no chemicals at all and had been abandoned long ago

The Associated Press runs a story on war protests, the title of which sets up a dubious dichotomy: "Protesters Rally Against War; Others Support Troops."

March 28, 2003:

The Washington Post reported that broadcast news consultants are "advising news and talk stations across the nation to wave the flag and downplay protest against the war." Advice includes patriotic music, avoiding "polarizing discussions" and ignoring protests, which "may be harmful to a station's bottom line," according to tests conducted by one firm. The same firm "advised clients to find experts in some 30 categories --including 'veterans of Desert Storm,' 'Former G Men,' 'Military Recruiting Offices' -- most of whom would be unlikely to offer harsh criticism of the war."

- Thanks to FAIR:

Wow. That's some "liberal media" we had there.

Since there was zero accountability for the politicians, officials, and pundits for being wrong, let along punished for treasonous lying to congress and taking us to war on falsehoods, this scenario will in all likelihood be repeated.

Iran will likely be the target.

Why? Because Bush called Iran a part of the “Axis of Evil”. They are surrounded by the US military, and the Israeli Right is rattling its sabres. For wanting nuclear weapons as a deterrent against the US and Israel, Iran will be demonized as a threat to us.

Never mind that no other country has been as threatened as Iran for developing such weapons. The USSR did it. China did it. Pakistan did it. But for Iran to do the same? Hell No! This means war!

And who cares whether they have a weapon or not? Since when does reality matter in our wars? 



So how did the Iraqis celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Neocon Crusade?

By midafternoon, the numbers had stacked up: 57 dead and nearly 190 wounded in separate attacks that included 17 car bombs, 2 adhesive bombs stuck to cars, and a killing with a silenced gun.

We can only wonder, when are they going to erect that statue of their "liberator" on George W. Bush Boulevard?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

CPAC Lunacy Alert:

Yes, it's that crazy Conned-servative CPAC time of year again. The wild-eyed hate club of the radical Right is once again gathered for our entertainment. 

Here’s a little quote not heard on the one and only season of realty TV show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”.

“Remember no drama Obama? Now we have all drama Obama. We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington. We have reality television.”

Yeah, that was a funny one alright. 

The irrelevant and oblivious Quitter in Lipstick continues the shameless projection that the radical Right has been so famously spewing for years now.

One thing we'll never hear of is a "No Drama Palin".

I highly recommend the excellent movie “Game Change” starring Julianne Moore, Learn why her handler Nicole Wallace couldn't bring herself to vote for Palin. 

Spoiler alert: Drama from you-know-who. 

And I really must add this little gem of conned-servatism.

A panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Republican minority outreach exploded into controversy on Friday afternoon, after an audience member defended slavery as good for African-Americans.

The exchange occurred after an audience member from North Carolina, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.

The regressive conned-servatives of CPAC want "their country" back. Back to the 19th century.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Both Sides Do It"

“Both sides do it” sums up the corporate media punditry assessment of the Democrats and Republicans. Equivocation, meet false equivalence.  

It is certainly true that corruption and dishonesty can be found within both of our corporatist parties.

But one party is 100% in the pocket of Big Money while the other is somewhat less.

Both sides do it, but one side does it exclusively.

Don’t expect corporate media to ever discuss this difference.

And there are plenty of other examples of false equivalence from corporate media.

One party is actively working to suppress voter turnout. One party is actively working to rig their states electoral system to give the presidential election to Republicans by overruling the majority of Democratic voters.

One party controls the House of Representatives even though more Americans voted for the other party.

One party is openly antagonistic towards democracy and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment:

“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Racial profiling, gerrymandering, voter registration restrictions, ID restrictions, limiting access to polls, and let's add Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s personal assault on the Voting Rights Act as "racial entitlements", are a but a few of the weapons used by the Right in its war on democracy.

So, do both sides do that?

I suppose so, if you believe limiting large high fructose beverages in New York is oppression. But that’s not an issue now. The ridiculous ban has been blocked by a judge. I’ve never seen that as one of the foundations of liberalism anyway.

The corporate media’s false equivalence is addressed most eloquently by David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

Atkins wrote:

“But, the critics say, doesn't the left do the same thing?

Well, no. There are two big differences.

First, the progressive left doesn't even begin to have the same influence or funding that the far right does. Even if we wanted to play the Club for Growth's game, we have neither the power nor the reach to do it. And the media barely notices.

But the second and more important difference is that the far right is advocating deeply unpopular and objectively crazy and immoral policies. The left simply isn't doing that.

Cutting Social Security is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. Cutting Medicare is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. Giving the ultra-wealthy more tax breaks is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. Invading Iran is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. Refusing gun background checks is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. Perpetuating breaks for the fossil fuel industry is unpopular. It's also bad public policy. The list is endless.

This is why journalism that prioritizes balance over truth is so harmful. If the press isn't able to stand up and tell the public who is right and who is wrong, all that's left is a tug-of-war among seemingly bickering infants. If the press isn't able to say that one side is utterly bought off by corporate interests, and the other side is mostly bought off by corporate interests but less so, then apathy reigns supreme.

If the press were as interested in bipartisanship as they claim to be, the first step would be to start telling the truth about public policy.”

I couldn't have said it better.

A side note, that’s definitely related, is a comment from former Republican senator Alan Simpson.

“In an interview with The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty, former senator Alan Simpson(R-Wyo.) gives his thoughts on the state of conservatism ahead of CPAC this week.

 Alan Simpson on the state of conservatism: It's 'goofy,' 'rigid'.

Goofy, rigid... and hostile towards democracy.

Perhaps that's because Republican Right Wing Conservatism is not really conservative. It's more conned-servative.