The Fifth Horseman: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 

Casualties of the War

There have been reports that the Administration has offered Iraqi Sunni leaders $75 million dollars if they sign the Iraqi Constitution.

Granted, these reports are, as of now, unconfirmed. However, if these reports are true they will prove very telling, especially in light of the recent disaster on the Gulf Coast.

Bush had $75 million for bribes, yet not a penny for levee stabilization in New Orleans.

Even if these bribe rumors prove unfounded, my point still stands. Dubya's unnecessary War of Aggression has placed a colossal strain on the nation's budget. To meet this massive strain, funds have been diverted from numerous crucial domestic programs, including levee stabilization.

Sadly, thanks to the President, the State of Louisiana is lacking in

The War in Iraq is currently costing the nation $186 million a day. That breaks down to an average of about $5.6 billion a month.

How much good could even one day's worth of War Funds have done for the people of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina slammed into them? $186 million can pay for a hell of a lot of levee stabilization.$75 million of bribe money could have shored up the levees enough to save the city.

In addition to insufficient funds, 35% of Louisiana's National Guard is deployed in Iraq. That amounts to around 3,500 Guardsmen that won't be available to help with the rescue effort. Now, the Louisiana National Guard claims it has sufficient strength to aid in the rescue effort...but 3,500 extra pairs of hands sure as hell couldn't hurt.

However, thanks to Dubya's War, the State of Louisiana can't have sufficient money or Guardsmen. Bush has made his decision: the Iraq War takes precedence over everything else. And now the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are paying for that decision with blood.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 

"It's Over for New Orleans"

Donate to the Red Cross Relief Fund.

If you're reading this, you have enough money to spare. And, if possible, give blood. I'm sure there will be drives in your area.

Between Biloxi and New Orleans, it looks as if the death toll is going to climb into the hundreds. But more urgent is the plight of those still alive and stranded. So donate. Give blood.

If you want more info, CNN has been providing an excellent running update on the worsening situation.

I'm not going to put a political spin on this update. The situation has become too dire. I'll spin later. For now, just donate.

However, sometime in the near future, after all the people are evacuated, there will need to be some accountability. Some policies that contributed to this disaster will need to be reexamined.

But that will come later. For now, donate and give blood.

 

New Orleans: Victim of the Chickenhawk Brigade

Dubya has some explaining to do to the people of New Orleans. Earlier this year, Bush denied the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funds to shore up the levees in New Orleans.

Now the people of New Orleans are paying dearly for this mistake. A two-block section of the vital 17th Street Canal gave way yesterday, allowing water to pour into the city. As of now, 80% of the city is covered in up to 20 feet of water.

Widespreead evacuation orders have now been issued for the entire city. Additionally, widespread, blatant looting has led to the declaration of martial law and an order for all journalists to leave the city.

Sadly, much of this could possibly have been prevented if Dubya hadn't refused to meet the budget requests for the New Orleans levees. It seems that all domestic programs, no matter how vital, have taken a back seat to the financial needs of Dubya's War of Agression. Thanks to Dubya's money-hungry war, the city of New Orleans didn't have enough storm protection to withstand Hurricane Katrina.

This war has caused untold misery to civilians, first in Iraq, and now in New Orleans. Would New Orleans have been spared if Bush hadn't diverted funds away from storm protection? I don't know for sure, but I've got a hunch that some extra government funding sure as hell wouldn't hurt.

However, apparently Halliburton contractors in Iraq are more important to Dubya than the lives of the people in New Orleans. Compassionate conservative, my ass.

Since Dubya hasn't been much help to the people of New Orleans, I guess it's up to us. Donate to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Effort.


That's all for today, folks.

Monday, August 29, 2005

 

Hurricane Katrina: The Iraq Connection

I saw an extremely interesting Hurricane Katrina story on Daily Kos today. Apparently, Bush has been cutting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District hurricane protection budget every year since 2001.

Now, as a liberal, I have been accused of using Bush as a scapegoat for everything. And that's not true. Not everything is Bush's fault...just most things. And this is one of those things.

New Orleans Storm Protection is simply another victim in a long line of programs that have had their funding cut by the Chickenhawk Brigade. Ever since its start in 2003, the Iraq War has been draining vast amounts of funding from crucial domestic programs. Sadly, Hurricane protection for New Orleans has been one of those programs. And now the city and all of its inhabitants are paying for it.

Speaking of disasters, let's move on to my next topic: The Iraqi Constitution. In case you haven't heard, a draft of the Iraqi Constitution has been signed in committee.

But don't pat yourself on the back yet.

The Sunnis are still pissed. According to leading Sunni clerics, negotiations were conducted almost exclusively between the mostly Shiite United Iraqi Alliance and the Kurdish Alliance. Saleh al-Mutlag, head of the Sunni negotiators, said:

The situation is not balanced. We came here on the basis that there is compromise but it doesn't exist.


This is, needless to say, a bad thing. The Sunnis are the main driving force behind the increasingly violent insurgency. We don't want them to feel excluded from the government. If they feel excluded from the government, they'll have more motivation to blow up U.S. troops and other Iraqis. This Sunni anger is a bad sign for the future of the Iraqi nation and the U.S. troops stuck in the mess.

And, despite its apparent optimism, it seems that the Administration is finally beginning to realize the severity of the situation in Iraq. In face of missed goals and resounding failures, the administration has began lowering its goals for success in Iraq.

From the New York Times:

Lowering their sights, administration officials said Sunday that their task now was to keep the political process alive, even if the constitution was rejected in October, and thereby keep the disaffected Sunnis from helping to stoke more violence.

"It's a legitimate position for some Iraqis to decide that they don't like this document," the State Department official said. "That is still within the democratic process. I don't buy the idea that thousands of people will flock to the colors of the insurgency because their just demands in a constitution were turned down."


This is a far cry from the days when Bush espoused his undying confidence in the Iraqi constitution.

In other Iraq news, the Chickenhawk Brigade has continued with its amusingly shrill attacks upon Cindy Sheehan. For your amusement, here are some quotes from the Far Right:

"But Cindy Sheehan has powerful shields that block negative publicity. The shrill voice of the anti-war left is back in Crawford, Texas, accusing Bush of "murdering" her son who died in Iraq on a volunteer rescue mission."
--JackLewis.net

"This woman, this woman like truly makes me sick, you know. Though, you know, what's sicker is that the mainstream media, along with her fellow Crawford crusadors[sic], continues to exploit someone who truly needs some serious emotional assistance."
--Jerkasaurus.com

Of course, we all know what these tirades mean by now. These angry response from the Far Right mean that Cindy is having an impact upon the hearts of the American public. Also, by continuing to angrily denounce Cindy, the Chickenhawk Brigade is simply giving her and the entire pro-peace movement free publicity. So keep it up, guys!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

 

Right Wing Crazies Crash Funerals

Today is a special day. I usually don't update the blog on Sundays, but events today have forced me to break with that tradition. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the Right-Wing Crazies are at it again.

This time, members of a Baptist church in Kansas are contending that soldiers in Iraq are being punished by God for allowing gays in the military. These protestors have even staged their anti-gay rallies at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.

This is despicable. Not only are the protestors crossing the line by interrupting private funerals, they are also spreading a hateful message of anti-gay rhetoric. Absolutely despicable.

Now, if I was at all like Ann Coulter, I would use this incident as evidence to prove that all Right-Wingers are crazy gay-bashers that want to use a family's grief as an opportunity to spread their homophobic agenda. Luckily for you, I'm not at all like Ann Coulter. I know that the views of these hateful people don't represent the views of most conservatives. These people are Far-Right extremists, of the ilk of Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum. Most of the country is composed of moderates, not lunatics.

That said, this protest does raise an interesting question: will the Right Wing condemn these protests? This question is especially interesting when asked in the context of the Recent protests by Cindy Sheehan in Crawford. Ever since the start of her protest, the Far Right has been accusing Cindy of desecrating the memory of her son by using his death for political purposes.

And the truth is: Cindy Sheehan has been using the death of her son for her own purposes. However, Cindy is using her son's death to spread a message of peace. These protestors are using the deaths to spread a message of hate. There's a big difference between the two situations.

So, if this story develops legs, things could get interesting. Will the Right Wing condemn these hateful desecrations, like they condemned Cindy's protests for peace? If they have any shred of decency, they will. However, these are the same people that demonized a woman for advocating an end to a senseless war of destruction. Unless they can get some political gain from it, I doubt they'll condemn these protests. These people have done too much evil in the past five years for me to expect anything less of them..

Saturday, August 27, 2005

 

On Contraception, The Daily Show, Crooks, Liars, etc.

First up, on today's report, is some healthcare news. By now, you've probably heard that the FDA has, yet again, delayed its decision on sale of the morning-after pill. Putting politics before science and common sense, Director Lester M. Crawford yet again delayed the decision. His reasons?
According to the New York Times:

Lester M. Crawford, the commissioner of food and drugs, said in a news conference that his agency had decided that the science supported giving over-the-counter access of the drug to women 17 and older, but that the agency could not figure out how to do that from regulatory and practical standpoints without younger teenagers' obtaining the pills, too.


So, sale of this pill has been delayed because Lester is afraid of teenagers having safe sex? Sorry to break it to you Lester, but denying teenagers the morning-after pill isn't going to keep them from going at it. They'll continue to got at it, and just get pregnant more often, brining young infants into a world of poverty and scorn. Meanwhile, women that actually need emergency contraception are suffering for Lester's stupidity.

Now, let's move on to a lighter, more amusing topic: Thursday night's Daily Show. For those of you that don't already know, Jon Stewarts guest on Thursday was conservative writer Christopher Hitchens. Over the course of the interview, Hitchens and Jon eventually got into a polite, yet heated debate over Bush and the Iraq War. Jon then proceeded to politely rip Hitchens a new asshole. If you missed Thursday's show, I recommend that you watch the clip here at Crooks and Liars.

Now, let's move on to another subject that's dear to my heart: Cindy Sheehan and the peace movement. According to a new AP-Ipsos poll, nine out of ten Americans support Sheehan's right to protest the war. This is in sharp contrast to the right-wing crazies, many of whom seem to believe that Cindy's protest borders on treason. Luckily, the American public does not share this viewpoint. 90% of the nation disagrees with the Far Right with regards to Cindy Sheehan. These right-wingers are not in the main stream. They can't even see the shore from their position.

Now, let's move on to my final topic: The Pat Robertson Fatwa. A real Christian public figure has finally stepped forward, in the form of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and called for the FCC to fine Pat Robertson for his on-air call for murder.

The sheer fact that the FCC hasn't yet fined Robertson is, quite frankly, ridiculous. A brief glimpse of Janet Jackson's breast for five seconds on CBS was enough for the FCC to fine the network $550,000. Yet, Pat Robertson advocates cold-blooded murder, and he doesn't get so much of a slap on the wrist?

Now, I'm opposed to censorship. I believe that, no matter how twisted and misguided Robertson is, it was in his rights to say that. And yet, I find it hypocritical that the FCC fines a network for exposing a breast, yet it won't fine Robertson for calling for murder. Where's the consistency? What would have happened if Robertson had called for the murder of an American President? Would he have been punished? You bethca. He would have been ran out of his job on a wave of angry, right-wing, moralistic outrage. And yet, these same moralistic nuts who almost ran Clinton out of office for a blowjob, won't say a thing about Robertson threatening a foreign Head of State.

Where is the justice?

Friday, August 26, 2005

 

More Right-Wing Fantasies

This just in: The Right Wing is completely out of touch with reality. Either that or they're lying. Both of those are distinct possibilities.

First up: The Quagmire in Iraq: Like Nero, fiddling while Iraq burns, President Bush continues to speak glowingly about progress in Iraq, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

What evidence am I talking about? I'll tell you:

Did somebody say civil war? That's right ladies and gentlemen, sectarian violence between rival militias has soared in the past couple weeks. In fact, the toll from Iraqi infighting has reached over 100 killed in the past two days alone. I don't know about you, but that hardly sounds like "progress" to me.

Also, the Iraqi Constitution has failed to meet its third deadline. In fact, relations between rival Shiite and Sunni factions have deteriorated so much that Bush was forced to intervene to try to broker a last-minute deal.

I don't know about you guys, but I get the feeling that this Constitution wasn't very well though-out. First of all, hoping to end centuries of strife with a constitution written over several months is foolhardy, at best. Second of all, any constitution in which a foreign head-of-state intervenes is hardly going to represent the will of the people of that nation. It also doesn't help when that same Constitution includes laws that nullify women's rights and establish a theocracy.

And yet, the President continues to speak glowingly of both the phony Constitution and the War in general:

"The establishment of a democratic constitution will be a landmark event in the history of Iraq and the history of the Middle East...It will bring us closer to the day that Iraq is a nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself."

This can only mean one of two things: either the administration is completely out of touch with reality and actually believe things are going well, or they know that things are going downhill, but they're lying to save face. So, Bush is either deranged, or simply a liar. Either way, it's bad news for the rest of us.

In other war news, Cindy Sheehan has returned to her vigil in Crawford. However, even while Cindy was with her mother, away from Crawford, Right-Wing smears continued:

"She has joined forces with an Unholy Alliance on the other side in the epic battle for freedom in the Middle East and has shown that she will do and say anything to discredit the United States and its commander-chief -- acts which serve the enemy and endanger American lives. She is a disgrace to her brave son who gave his life for the freedom of ordinary Iraqis and the security of his countrymen. She has betrayed his sacrifice and embraced his enemies."
--David Horowitz

"[Sheehan's statement's]...have to be attacked because they are libeling America, endangering America, and they are untrue from beginning to end."
--Charles Krauthammer, Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume

Of course, we all know what these angry tirades mean. The sheer venom of the Right Wing's attacks upon Cindy Sheehan mean that her protest is actually doing some good. Keep it up, Cindy.

For more such gems, visit this site.

I guess I'll finish up this rather lengthy entry with a story that I find simply amusing: The Pat Robertson Fatwa. Pat Robertson finally issued statements apologizing for his call to kill Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. This story has caused me untold amounts of amusement. Now, I could use this story as an opportunity to rant about the hypocrisy of the Religious Right, but I've done that already. Instead, I'll just use this as an amusing story of right-wing hypocrisy to wrap up my entry.

That's all for now, folks.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

 

Mixed-Up Priorities

I've got a couple of different subjects today, so I don't want to waste any time introducing them.

First up: Cindy Sheehan.

Remember, a little while back, when Bush refused to talk with Cindy Sheehan? I believe his words were:

"I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."

Apparently, the President was simply too busy to meet with Cindy. That sounds reasonable, right? I mean, the President surely has important matters of national security to deal with, right? Wrong, dead wrong.

Not only did Bush have time for a leisurely bike ride with Lance Armstrong, he also had time to go on a PR tour through Utah and Idaho to help bolster public support for his failing war. To add insult to injury, Bush has also managed to find time to meet with the families of 19 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So he'll talk to these families, yet he still won't talk to Cindy Sheehan. Why?

Because Cindy opposes the war. According to Dubya, unless you agree with him, you don't matter as a human being. If he can't use your grief to bolster support for his War of Aggression, then your grief doesn't matter to him.

On to my next topic: the mixed-up priorities of bloggers and the Main Stream Media. Just for kicks, let's examine the Top Ten Searches on technorati.com:

1. “Pat Robertson”
2. Ajax
3. “Lance Armstrong”
4. “Intelligent Design”
5. “Cindy Sheehan”
6. “Six Feet Under”
7. “Able Danger”
8. “Utah Rave”
9. Linux
10. 心湖荡漾

You know what I don't see on that list? The Downing Street Memo. Remember that? The smoking gun that proved that Bush lied to us in the months leading up to the Invasion of Iraq?

The Administration stonewalled, refusing to launch an investigation, in the hopes that the public would grow bored and lose interest in the story. Which it did. However, even while the public's attention turned to other topics, an independent committee of congressional Democrats has been working day and night to launch a thorough investigation into the Memo.

As I mentioned, support for an investigation has been confined to Democrats. The 11 senators and 131 congressmen supporting the Resolution of Inquiry have all been Democrats. Until now. Yesterday, Republican congressman Jim Leach announced that he would cosponsor the Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Memo. This story is huge. Between this and Senator Hagel's criticism of the War, it seems that Republican unity is beginning to unravel at the seams.

This is good news for all of us principled left-wingers, and bad news for Dubya and the Chickenhawk Brigade. And yet, other than some coverage of Chuck Hagel, this story has barely generated a peep of response from the Main Stream Media and blogosphere.

Come one, guys. I know that the MSM is pretty much gone forever, but there's still hope for bloggers. It's up to us to generate buzz about the scandals not covered by the MSM (i.e. Karl Rove, The Downing Street Memo, Tom DeLay, etc.).

There are plenty of scandals. We just have to bring them to the light.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

 

More Bad News For The Chickenhawk Brigade

This week hasn't been going well for the conservatives of the Chickenhawk Brigade. Not well at all.

Perhaps most encouraging of all is the fact that Bush has finally stopped ignoring Cindy Sheehan. In fact, Bush actually took the time to smear Cindy in a speech in Idaho yesterday. In the speech, Bush accused Cindy, and other supporters of peace, of attempting to weaken America:

"She expressed her opinion. I disagree with it. I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake.

I think those who advocate immediate withdrawal from not only Iraq but the Middle East would be -- are advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."


It seems that the Administration has finally recognized Cindy as a threat, and started doing what they do best: smearing her credibility. However, they only do this when they feel really threatened. Obviously, Cindy's protest is doing some good by damaging the Administration. Keep it up, Cindy.

In other news, the White House has been attempting to distance itself from Pat Robertson after he recently advocated the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected President of Venezuela. Could this spell the end of the Christian Coalition's enormous political clout? I doubt it. But we can hope.

Although it's doubtful that Pat Robertson will be held accountable for his remarks, one conservative has been rewarded for his hateful speech. Conservative D.C. Radio host Michael Graham. Graham had long used his radio show as a platform for hateful attacks upon Muslims, such as this gem, uttered July 25:

"We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam..."

This all ended on Monday when Michael Graham was fired for refusing to apologize for his hateful remarks. At last, we have some accountability for a conservative hate-monger. Next on my wish list: a similar loss of employment for Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

The next item on my list is not only bad news for the Chickenhawk Brigade, but for everyone in Iraq and the United States as well. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about the new Iraqi Constitution. If you listen to the Administration's hollow propaganda, you might believe that this constitution will be a shining beacon of freedom, motivating the rest of the Muslim world to throw off their bonds of oppression and establish democracy in the Middle East.

Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, many secular Iraqis are protesting the Constitution, which they say will curb civil rights in the new Iraq. Quoted from an article in the New York Times:

"The draft constitution, these secular Iraqis say, clears the way for religious authorities to adjudicate personal disputes like divorce and inheritance matters by allowing the establishment of religious courts, raising fears that a popularly elected Islamist-minded government could enact legislation and appoint judges who could turn the country into a theocracy.

The courts would rely on Shariah, which under most interpretations grants women substantially fewer rights than men."


I don't know about you, but this hardly seems like "freedom on the march". In fact, chances are this new government could be more dangerous to the United States than the old government under Saddam Hussein. Hussein was an evil dictator, but he was a secular evil dictator. Saddam cracked down on radical Islam under his rule. However, with a theocracy in Iraq, such as the one we are currently establishing, this will not be the case. In fact, we have currently created a recipe for destruction ten to twenty years down the line. Between the influx of foreign militants and fledgling theocracy in Iraq, we are creating a situation eerily similar to that of 1980's Afghanistan. Thanks to this foolhardy war, President Bush has succeeded in creating the next generation of terrorists and radical Islamic extremists.

Good job, Dubya. Freedom on the march!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 

Man of God? Gimme a Break...

Oh boy, have I got an update for you today. I've got so much stuff, I'm going to have to break it up into individual items. In fact, I don't even have time for an into. So, without further ado...

Item #1: Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson proved the extent of his madness yesterday when he called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. On his batshit-crazy show, "The 700 Club", Robertson told his viewers about Chavez: "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it..."

Now this hardly surprises me, as I already knew that Robertson was a loonie. What surprises me is the people who continue to watch his show and admire him as a "Man of God", even after he advocated breaking what is possibly the greatest law of his faith (i.e. "Thou shalt not kill.").

I will never understand Right-Wingers.

Item # 2: Bush Compares Iraq to World War II. That's right ladies and gentlemen, Dubya dared to venture out of the safety of his ranch to speak to an audience of elderly veterans in Utah, the most conservative state in the Union. In his speech, Bush actually compared the Invasion of Iraq to World War II.

Yet again, this only proves that the President is completely out of touch with reality. If the man had any sort of coherence or sense of reality, he would realize that this war has absolutely nothing in similarity with World War II. Dubya would be able to see this if he took the time out of his schedule to walk a little bit down the road outside his ranch, where he could see Cindy Sheehan and her supporters protesting his War of Aggression.

Item # 3: Supreme Court Upholds Eminent Domain Ruling. This is, quite frankly, an outrage. The Supreme Court refused to revisit its decision on Eminent Domain yesterday. I am surprised that this hasn't generated more outrage in the Blogosphere. This decision, which the court refused to overturn, gives local governments the power to seize and demolish homes for private economic development.

Now, I'm no right-wing nut, and I realize that seizure of homes is a necessary evil for public works projects, such as interstates. However, seizure of homes for private economic development, such as Wal-Marts, is simply too much. The government has overstepped its authority on this one. I'm just saddened that a ruling with such ominous implications as this one hasn't generated more outrage from the Blogosphere and Main Stream Media.

Come on bloggers, quit slacking off.

Monday, August 22, 2005

 

More Conservative Criticism of Bush's War

That's right ladies and gentlemen: Conservative criticism of the Iraq War.

And I'm not just talking about Chuck Hagel. Between Cindy Sheehan, CNN's "Dead Wrong", and the President's apparently oblivious outlook on the Iraq War, conservative solidarity has began to unravel around the edges. Let's examine some quotes from right-wing bloggers and Talking Heads:

"It's time for us conservatives to face facts. George W. Bush has pissed away the conservative moment by pursuing a war of choice via policies that border on the criminally incompetent."
--Stephen Bainbridge

In a Washington Post column, George Will commented on the foolishly ignorant optimism of the White House:

"Regarding Iraq, the hope is that the democratic transformation that took centuries in much more promising social settings can succeed in Iraq, given another week."
--George Will

"...SecDef Rumsfeld (and therefore the President) made some key miscalculations in regards to how to handle the complexities of Iraq sans Saddam. Clearly the entire assessment on what would happened was far too pollyannish..."
--Dr. Steven Taylor

Additionally, Bush took a hit with the release of a new poll from the American Research group in which his overall approval rating dropped to 36%. In fact, at 58%, more Americans disapprove of Bush than approve of him.

What does this mean for Democrats and principled left-wingers? Between conservative in-fighting and plummeting approval ratings, all of us principled left-wingers and Democrats have been presented with a golden opportunity. Now is the time for the Democrats to come together behind a unified, pro-peace policy. With the public, and many conservatives, on our side, it could be possible to actually get some answers and accountability from the Chickenhawk Brigade.

Of course, this is easier said then done. The current Democratic party is hardly a unified, monolithic block. But the GOP is hardly any better. Now is as good a time as ever for the Democrats to establish themselves as a pro-peace alterntive to the Chickenhawks on the far-right.

 

Bad News for The Chickenhawk Brigade

This summer hasn't been very kind to Bush and the Chickenhawk Brigade. Between Cindy Sheehan, increased opposition to the war on Capital Hill, plummeting approval ratings, and an increasingly hostile media, Bush's Iraq War policy has been taking a lot of flak.

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has, over the past couple weeks, become one of the most prominent critics of the Administration's Iraq policy. In addition to comments last week and in June, Hagel spoke harshly of the administration yesterday on ABC's "This Week":

"We should start figuring out how we get out of there...but with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."

Even more encouraging is the recent behavior of the Democrats. It seems the Democrats are finally establishing themselves as a pro-peace alternative to Administration war-mongering. Yesterday on NBC's "Meet The Press", Democratic Senator Russ Feingood called for his fellow democrats to establish a firm pro-peace position:

"...the Democrats are making the same mistake they made in 2002, to let the administration intimidate them into not opposing this war, when so many of us knew it wasn't a good idea."

In addition to increasingly harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle, the Chickenhawk Brigade has started to take some damage from the Main Stream Media. Beginning with the MSM's constant coverage of Cindy Sheehan, the MSM has stepped up its barrage upon the Bush Administration in the recent weeks. Perhaps most damaging of all was CNN's special report entitled "Dead Wrong", which aired last night. "Dead Wrong" chronicled, in depth, the intelligence failures that led up to the invasion of Iraq. Although CNN revealed little to no new information, the program is still a promising sign for us principled left-wingers. The sheer fact that CNN would air a program such as "Dead Wrong" during Prime Time indicates that the Main Stream Media may actually be ready to ask some real questions of the Administration.

As feeble as CNN's initial effort was, it is nonetheless encouraging that they even tried to do a serious investigation of the Administration. However, this will mean nothing unless CNN and the other networks (except Fox, of course) will pick up this vein of investigation as well. We can only hope.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

 

Rove, Taft, and other Crooks

It's been my experience that the list of Top Ten Searches at
technorati.com provides a pretty decent indicator of public interest. So, today, I have decided to post Technorati's Top Ten Searches, so that we may examine what the masses are buzzing about:

1.“Joe Ranft”
2. Ajax
3. Dell
4. “San Francisco Explosion”
5. “Cindy Sheehan”
6. “Able Danger”
7. Gaza
8. Krugman
9. “Intelligent Design”
10. “Jude Law”


Interesting, very interesting. Cindy Sheehan is still on the list. That's a good thing, as this means that she is still drawing attention to important question (i.e: "What the hell are we fighting for?).

However, I have a couple problems with the list. There are several topics missing from the list. These are important topics that deserve plenty of buzz and public outrage.

What topics am I talking about? I'll tell you.

Karl Rove and Bob Taft.

Let's start with Bob Taft. Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you probably know his story: Taft, the Republican governor of Ohio, was convicted of four misdemeanors this week, for accepting unreported gifts. However, Taft has vowed to remain in office.

This upsets me for two reasons:

1. Taft refused to resign.
2. The public outrage over this is slim to none, even in Ohio itself.


The hypocrisy of the Right Wing in this story is infuriating. President Clinton had an affair with his intern, which is completely legal, and was almost run out of office on a wave of Right wing outrage. Yet Clinton committed no crime. Taft has admitted to committing four crimes, without so much as a ripple on the outrage meter.

This relates quite well to the Karl Rove leak scandal. We have conclusive proof that Karl Rove leaked the name of a CIA-operative, putting her life in danger. And yet, the outrage swiftly died down, without so much as a sniffle. Clinton never put anyone’s life in danger, yet he was almost hounded out of office by angrily moralistic right-wingers. These same right-wingers have remained silent while the GOP has run rampant with corruption and crime (Rove, DeLay, Abramoff, Taft, etc.)

However, this indifference is hardly limited to far right-wingers. In fact, both the Main Stream Media and Bloggers seem largely indifferent to the rampant wrong-doings of the Republican Party. Yet, these same people almost ran Clinton out of office for a blowjob.

Where is the justice, people? Where is the justice?

Friday, August 19, 2005

 

Conservative Criticism of the War

Ah, how I love when things go poorly for the President. Over these past few months, political junkies (such as myself) may have noticed an interesting trend on Capital Hill: the widening gap between the Republicans in Congress and the Republicans in the White House.

Perhaps most encouraging of all is a story about Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska. On Thursday, Sen. Hagel strongly criticized the Administration for its handling of the Iraq War and treatment of Cindy Sheehan.

You can read the full story here: http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/18/hagel.iraq/index.html.

For your reading pleasure, I have posted some of Hagel's more aggressive criticisms of the Administration.

Hagel started off by mocking Dick Cheney's June assertion that the insurgency was in its "last throes":

"Maybe the vice president can explain the increase in casualties we're taking...if that's winning, then he's got a different definition of winning than I do."

Hagel then went on to discuss the emerging parallels between Iraq and the Vietnam War:

"The longer we stay in Iraq, the more similarities will start to develop, meaning essentially that we are getting more and more bogged down, taking more and more casualties, more and more heated dissension and debate in the United States..."

Hagel also defended comments he made to U.S. News an World Report in June in which he said:

"...the White House is completely disconnected from reality"

Hagel then went on to criticize the President's callous handling of Cindy Sheehan, saying:

"I think the wise course of action, the compassionate course of action, the better course of action would have been to immediately invite her in to the ranch. It should have been done when this whole thing started. Listen to her."

Funny, Hagel's comments eerily resemble my own from yesterday's entry. (http://lunchtimesedition.blogspot.com/2005/08/fantasies-from-right-wing.html) Yesterday, I asserted that the White House, and the Far Right as a whole, was completely out of touch with reality with regards to the growing quagmire in Iraq. Several conservatives posted angry comments, asserting that I, and all liberal in general, were defeatist and out of touch with reality.

However, it is now impossible for those same angry conservatives to simply attack us principled left-wingers, as powerful conservatives are finally criticizing the Administration's complete loss of touch with reality.

Perhaps, finally, we can bring Dubya's fragile house of cards tumbling down around his ears.

 

Ann Coulter: Raving Lunatic

Ann Coulter is a hate-spewing, unstable, raving bigot. She also happens to be one of the leading figures of the Far Right movement.

This seething, blonde cauldron of hate finally jumped on the conservative bandwagon, and joined in the Far Right's new favorite past-time: Cindy Sheehan-bashing.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, in an entry on her website (anncoulter.org), Coulter angrily denounced the grieving mother and her pro-peace cause. Just for kicks, here's an amusing tidbit:

"To expiate the pain of losing her firstborn son in the Iraq war, Cindy Sheehan decided to cheer herself up by engaging in Stalinist agitprop outside President Bush's Crawford ranch. It's the strangest method of grieving I've seen since Paul Wellstone's funeral. Someone needs to teach these liberals how to mourn. "

Excuse me? Stalinist? So, by protesting for peace and an end to the war of aggression that took the life of her son, Cindy Sheehan is comparable to a 20th century dictator that murdered millions of his own people?

This is why Ann Coulter has no credibility.

This is my message for Ann Coulter and the rest of the right-wing crazies: keep it up.

That's right guys, keep attacking Cindy Sheehan like the stark, raving lunatics you are.

Why? Because the more vicious the right-wing's attacks on Cindy become, the better Cindy looks for sticking to the high road. Honestly, the woman is staging a peaceful vigil, and the Far Right is attacking her as if she was Satan incarnate.

So, keep it up guys. Keep attacking the peaceful, grieving mother. I'm sure it will do wonders for your reputation.

On to my next topic: The Forgotten Scandals. It's time for a blast from the past. Since Bush was inaugurated for his second term, several instances of Republican wrong-doing and corruption have come to the public's attention. And yet, thanks to pretty blonde teenagers lost in Aruba and other stories, most of these scandals seem to have faded into the background.

For instance, whatever happened to coverage of the Karl Rove leak? Or the Downing Street Memo? Or Tom DeLay's wrongdoings? The administration and GOP leadership has been dragging its feet in investigating these scandals, in the hope that we would forget about them.

And you know what? Most of us have forgotten. Don't let the White House get away with it. It is the duty of every American citizen to demand answers from our government and hold them accountable when they overstep their authority.

It's the most patriotic thing we can do. So, come on bloggers. Let's get the public outrage rolling again.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

Fantasies from the Right Wing...

If there's one thing the Iraq War, and the Cindy Sheehan protest specifically, has taught me, it is this: The Far-Right is completely out of touch with reality.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (mounting death tolls, sectarian infighting, increasingly sophisticated guerilla tactics, etc), many right-wing crazies still insist that we are winning the Iraq War.

In order to get a feel for the depths of their depravity, let's examine some right-wing quotes about the Iraq War:

"How do you want to be remembered in history? Do you want to be part of an America that faced terrorism down, and established democracy where evil men would rule, or do you want to be part of an America that quit?"
--The Confederate Yankee

"All of us must demand victory. Things aren't going well, improve. Sure, war is hell, but wars are won by those who are smart and tough."
--Bill O'Reilly

"Pulling troops out prematurely will betray the Iraqis. Our mission in Iraq, as I said earlier, is to fight the terrorists, is to train the Iraqis. And we're making progress training the Iraqis."
--President Bush, August 11th

"I believe that Iraqis will save Iraq..."
--Lt. Gen. David Petraeus

Hmm...if you listen to the words of the right-wing, it would seem that we are winning the war in Iraq. However, the facts beg to differ.

This raises one interesting question: does the Right Wing actually believe that we are winning in Iraq, or are they simply distorting facts to save face?

Sadly, I suspect the latter. Why?

Despite the Right Wing's optimistic words, its actions indicate that they realize the Iraq War is unwinnable. Follow this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300853_pf.html.

In the end, it all boils down to this: there are really only two explanations this inconsistency. Either the Far Right is completely out of touch with reality, and believes we are actually winning in Iraq, or they realize that the situation is becoming worse, yet refuse to acknowledge their mistakes to the public.

Either way, this means bad news for the rest of us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

The Continuing Saga of Turdblossom

That's right ladies and gentlemen, today I want to talk about Karl Rove.

Now, lately, the media has been covering Cindy Sheehan and her protest in Crawford quite extensively.

Don't get me wrong: this is a good thing. Cindy Sheehan has finally drawn the media into coverage of the most important question of the Bush Administration: what are we fighting for?

However, all this media coverage of Cindy Sheehan has come at the expense of coverage of another important story: Karl Rove and the Plame Leak.

Now, these two events aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. It's not impossible for the media to cover both of these stories at the same time. In fact, these two stories are very closely related. The stories of both Cindy Sheehan and the Karl Rove scandal ultimately come back to the same question: What are we fighting for?

Although more prominent with the case of Cindy Sheehan, this question also plays a fundamental role in the saga of Karl Rove and the Plame leak. If you recall, the scandal first began with a New York Times Op-Ed piece, penned by Valerie Plame's husband, that undermined the entire justification for the Iraq war by revealing the inherent falsehoods in the Administration's intelligence. Karl Rove retaliated by leaking the name of Mr. Plame's wife to the media, thus blowing her cover as a CIA operative, and possibly placing her live in grave danger.

However, since then, media coverage has paid little attention to the root cause of the scandal. Over time, coverage became more confusing, as the story became increasingly complicated. Eventually, coverage and uproar died down almost completely, and the Rove scandal faded into the background. Now, it seems that coverage of Cindy Sheehan's protest in Crawford has completely overshadowed coverage of the Rove scandal.

The saga of Cindy Sheehan raises important questions, and deserves all the media coverage it is currently getting. It is doing a lot of good, by bringing the inconsistencies in the Administration's justification for war to the attention of the public. However, it is distracting us from the scandal of Karl Rove. With the public's attention diverted away from Rove, it is all to easy for the White House to find a way to weasel out holding Rove accountable.

This is a bad thing.

So, come on bloggers! Keep attention on Cindy Sheehan, but don't forget to devote some time to Karl Rove. What we need now is a two-pronged media blitz on the Administration. They're weak and the media smells blood in the water. If we keep the pressure on, we might actually get some accountability from the Crooks on Capital Hill.

 

Compassionate conservative? Give me a break...

Remember Bush's 2000 campaign pledge to be a "compassionate conservative"? I knew it was bullshit. However, a large part of our nation seems to have bought this lie...until now.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to the efforts of Cindy Sheehan, the rest of the country finally knows Bush's "compassion" for what it really is: a bald-faced lie.

Let's examine Dubya's "compassion" in action. Being a "compassionate" man, the story of Cindy Sheehan, grieving over the loss of her son, would surely move the president deeply. His "compassion" would move him to talk to Cindy and personally console her, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

When inquired recently, by a reporter, as to what his reason were for not speaking with Cindy, our compassionate President replied: " I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."

Essentially, the president just said: "Screw you Cindy."

How's that for compassion?

But wait, you say. Surely the president has a good reason for not talking with Cindy. Perhaps his duties as president make him simply too busy to talk with this poor, grieving mother.

That is a possibility. So, let's do some investigation, and examine the president's busy vacation schedule... Over the past couple days, the President has had time for:

And yet, the man can't seem to find any time to have a chat with a grieving mother.

If there's one thing that this affair has taught us, it is this: Dubya doesn't care about you. Unless you're rich, or a mindless yes-man, Dubya doesn't care about your opinion. Unless your grief can be used to his political advantage, he doesn't care how you feel. The man is a pure political animal.

Here is what Dubya cares about:

Nothing else.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

 

The Sheehan Effect

Well, Cindy Sheehan has definitely been having a vicious effect upon the right wing. Her vigil in Crawford, Texas finally seems to be doing some serious damage to the right-wing Chickenhawks.

How can I tell? I'll tell you why.

The right-wing's increasingly shrill attacks upon Cindy Sheehan reveal how much damage she is doing to their cause.

Just for kicks, let's examine some of the right-wing's juicer tidbits of shrill whining:

"She doesn't love him. I have no sympathy for charlatans."
--User on Right Thinking Girl (rightthinkinggirl.typepad.com)

"However, she's also a moonbat and somebody needs to tell her to stuff a sock in it."
--Right Thinking Girl


Perhaps more entertaining than the typical shrill insults, are the right-wing's attempts to take the high road. Several right-wing bloggers have attempted to insinuate that Cindy Sheehan is simply a pawn in a wider left-wing conspiracy to bring down the President. Observe the following quotes:

"The right has not used people like Lynn Kelly, Linda Ryan, or hundreds of others, to make their case in our current war. It would be decent if the left stopped using Cindy Sheehan to make theirs."
--Chrenkoff (chrenkoff.blogspot.com)

"There's no question that far left ideologues are controlling access to Cindy Sheehan..."
--Bill O'Reilly


Amusing, very amusing. However, in addition to its pure entertainment value, these shrill, right-wing rants are very telling.

The sheer volume of the right-wing's attack on Cindy Sheehan proves that she is doing some good. Additionally, no matter how much the right-wingers call for Cindy to be silenced, their shrill cries are only lending momentum to Cindy's story. Combine this free coverage with mounting death tolls in Iraq and growing public discontent to create a recipe for a Democratic upset in the 2006 midterms. All the Democrats have to do now is establish themselves as a pro-peace alternative to the Republican Chickenhawk Brigade.

Now, there's only one story that need some more coverage: The Continuing Saga of Turdblossom. Remember him? He still hasn't been brought to justice, folks. Don't forget about Karl Rove. The man is still a crook.

Let's put him behind bars.

Monday, August 15, 2005

 

Vietnam: Version 2.0

Things have been looking pretty bleak for Dubya and the Chickenhawk Brigade. Between plummeting approval numbers, Cindy Sheehan's protest in Crawford, and increased discontent over the Iraqi Quagmire, things are beginning to look a lot like 1969.

That's right, folks: 1969...Vietnam.

Now, hysterical left-wingers, such as myself, have been comparing Iraq to Vietnam for a while. However, we are no longer alone in this feeling.

In fact, the Main Stream Media has been uttering the V-Word quite a bit in the past few weeks.

Indeed, Henry Kissinger himself has compared the Iraq War to Vietnam. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/15/us.iraq/index.html)

Kissinger drew several parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. Perhaps most chilling of all was the complete lack of any sort of objective. In his interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Kissinger said "...we cannot begin with an exit without having first defined what the objective is."

This is the same Catch-22 that kept our troops deployed in the Vietnam Slaughterhouse. Despite a lack of any sort of clear objective, LBJ kept U.S. troops deployed in Vietnam. This is exactly what is happening now. First the objective was finding the WMD, then the objective was building a stable Iraq democracy. When stability turned out to be impossible, the mission shifted to its current objective of "force preservation". Essentially, our troops in Iraq have the mission objective of "not getting killed".

What kind of mission is that? Wouldn't that mission be a whole lot easier if we brought the troops home, away from the war zone?

This is the question that Cindy Sheehan, and others like her, are asking President Bush. What are we fighting for? The administration still has yet to give the American people a straightforward answer to that question.

Our children are over there getting killed for nothing. Almost three years later, and the White House still hasn't told us what they're dying for.

It's time that we get the answers we deserve.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

 

Things are getting ugly...

Right-wingers are an odd bunch.

Seriously, I can't understand them. They choose the oddest things to become outraged over, like Cindy Sheehan, for example. The right-wing crazies on the blogospehere have been practically foaming at the mouth over Cindy's vigil in Crawford. For amusement's sake, let's examine some of today's jucier quotes, and see if we can observe a pattern:

"In the end, [Cindy] only hurts, her brave son's brothers-in-arms, and their sacrifices, and fine Iraqi people...who risk their lives every day to try to bring freedom to Iraq."
--The Confederate Yankee (http://confederateyankee.mu.nu)

"I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this [publicity] and also for the responsibility for the other American families who lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel this kind of behavior borders on treasonous..."
--Bill O'Reilly

"...our enemy, Islamists all over the world, is loving every minute of Cindy Sheehan's fifteen minutes, and the Left's craze to extend her time as long as possible. "
--Freedom's Zone (http://www.freedomszone.com/)

Are you seeing the pattern. Apparently, according to the right, utilizing our right to protest is treasonous and causes the deaths of American soldiers.

What kind of twisted logic is that?

Whatever happened to civil discourse and protest? Things have gotten so bad in this country that it's impossible to demand that the President be held accountable without being branded as a traitor and unpatriotic.

If anyone is the traitor, it's these right-wing crazies. They are betraying the dearest principles of our country, namely freedom of speech, by trying to supress the voice of a grieving mother. They are the real traitors, and Cindy Sheehan is the true patriot.

One of the core components of American democracy is limits upon government, imposed by the nation's citizens and press. When the government oversteps its authority, as it did in lying in the months before the Iraq War, it is the duty of every citizen to demand answers from the government.

It is not unpatriotic to demand that our nation's leaders tell the truth. Nor is it unpatriotic to question a war that is consuming the lives of our children. These are simple facts any high school Civics student could tell you. Sadly, it seems that most of our right-wingers failed this class.

That's why it's our duty to educate them.

Friday, August 12, 2005

 

The Other Moms

First of all, I would like to start my entry by giving a hearty congratulations to Cindy Sheehan. Through her vigil in Crawford, Cindy has single-handedly managed to bring media coverage back to the most important question of the Iraq War: what are our children dying for?

That said, I would like to devote the rest of this entry to some other parents of fallen soldiers. Although Cindy has been getting the most media coverage, she is far from the only military mother taking a stance against Bush's War. There are dozens of other military mothers (and wives) finally speaking out against the war that took the lives of their sons (or husbands). In fact, some of these other pro-peace mothers have started to finally get some media coverage of their own.

Mary Ann MacCombie lost her son in 2004. Her story was picked up here: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/0805/12iraqmom.html

KCEN-TV, the local NBS affiliate for Central Texas, talked to Cathleen Fox and her son Christopher. They both came to Crawford to support Cindy. Christopher is shipping back to Iraq in a few months. http://www.kcentv.com/news/c-article.php?cid=1&nid=7719

Valerie Fletcher's son is currently deployed in Iraq. Valerie is on her way to join Cindy's vigil in Crawford. http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/NEWS01/508110362/1095

WISH-TV, the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, interviewed Jari Sheese. A military wife, Sheese also proclaimed her support for Cindy. http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3712723&nav=0Ra7dF2x

These mothers and wives have joined Cindy in asking the question that is on the lips of sensible people everywhere: What the hell are we fighting for? The White House has still failed to provide a consistent justification for the war that is currently devouring the lives of young American men and women.

As you read, a car bomb is killing Iraqi civilians. As you read, one of our children is being pinned down by enemy fire. As you read, a young man is struggling to walk with a prosthetic leg. As you read, a suicide bomber is strapping on an explosive vest to kill Americans. As you read, men, women, and children are dying.

Why?

That, my friends, is the question that these mothers and wives are asking of President Bush. And that's the question we all need to ask, as well.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

 

Congressional Pork and Cindy Sheehan

I have two topics I'd like to talk about today: Cindy Sheehan and the new highway bill. First, let's talk about the highway bill.

As you may or may not know, Dubya officially signed the massive, new $286.4 billion highway bill into law today. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. In fact, spending money to improve our highway system is, in my book, actually a good thing. However, the billions of dollars devoted to Congressional special projects is a bad thing. Highway improvement was far from the only thing on the law signed yesterday: the massive bill was fraught with rampant pork from both sides of the aisle. Just for amusement's sake, I am going to list some of the more extreme examples of irresponsible spending on the bill:

$600,000--Horse riding facilities in Virginia
$5.9 million--A snowmobile trail in Vermont
$8 million--Parking for New York's Harlem Hospital
$532,000--A bicycle and pedestrian trail in Tennessee
$1.25 million--A daycare center and park-and-ride facility in Illinois
$3 million--Dust control mitigation for rural Arkansas
$2.75 million--The National Packard Museum in Ohio
$200,000--A historical trolley project in Washington
$2.3 million--Landscaping on the Ronald Reagan Freeway in California

Come on guys, this is ridiculous. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a liberal, so I'm not rabidly opposed to government spending. In fact, I think that government spending is a good thing, as long as it's done responsibly. What do I mean by "responsible"?

I mean spending money on projects that will benefit the common good and improve the lives of everyone, not just special interest groups. This new Highway Bill is clearly not an example of responsible spending.

Now, on to my second topic: Cindy Sheehan. Those of you with a high pain tolerance may have noticed a prevalent trend in the conservative media lately: bashing Cindy Sheehan.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen: right-wing crazies have been rallying in a multi-media attack against Cindy Sheehan on all fronts: television, print, internet, and talk-radio. For amusement's sake, let's examine some of the right-wing's recent attacks against Cindy:

"I think Cindy Sheehan is being used by far left elements who object
to our way of life."
--Bill O'Reilly

"I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior."
--Michelle
Malkin

"Like the second prostitute in I Kings 3:16-27, once her
child was dead, Cindy Sheehan, didn't care about the deaths of other
mother's sons. Her child is dead, and damn all others that would stand
between her and her revenge."
--The Confederate Yankee (http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/)

"[Cindy is] a liar being pimped out to the media by another
liar"
--Moorewatch.com


Interesting. Very interesting. What does all this right-wing anger mean?

This means good news for all of us principled-left wingers. This heated reaction from the right-wing means that Cindy's vigil is doing some serious damage to the Administration Chickenhawks. The right-wing is, basically, giving Cindy and the pro-peace movement free PR. In their efforts to discredit Cindy, the right-wingers are only adding momentum to her story.

This pleases me. Now all we need is some renewed coverage of Karl Rove and Treasongate to make things almost perfect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

 

The Indictment is a Hoax: Stop Writing About It!

Wow, just wow. Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you probably know about this Bush Indictment hysteria. For the past 24 hours, the words "Bush Indictment" have held the #1 search slot on technorati.com. This rumor has, of course, been established as entirely false.

So, here's my message to everyone out there: stop writing about it. Every well-intentioned liberal blogger that writes an entry speculating about the indictment hoax is simply fanning the flames of hysteria and doing great harm to the cause of principled left-wingers everywhere.

Why? I'll tell you why.

This uproar over the false indictment is distracting attention away from the real scandals.

We're wasting our time writing about some pipe-dream that will likely never come to fruition. I want to see Bush behind bars as much as anyone, but I know that it will likely never happen. So, since writing about a fake story is simply a complete waste of time, we (i.e. all us principled left-wingers) should focus our liberal outrage where it can do some good.

For your blogging convenience, I have composed a list of more suitable topics, which we should write about instead of the Indictment hoax:

1. Karl Rove
2. The Iraq War
3. Social Security
4. Cindy Sheehan
5. The Downing Street Memo (remember that!?!)
6. CAFTA
7. Stem Cell Research


So start writing about those topics. Stop writing about this false indictment: it's distracting us from the real issues.

P.S. I realize the hypocrisy of this entry in that my main topic was, in fact, the Indictment Hoax. This means that, to some extent, I too am fanning the flames of hysteria by keeping the topic alive. Therefore, I vow that, from now on, I will write about this Indictment Hoax no longer. All the other bloggers would do well to follow this advice. Let's keep the pressure on the real scandals, people, not the fake ones.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

 

Fun with numbers...

I've seen this in two of my favorite magazines (The Nation and American Prospect), and I love statistics. So, without further ado, I present....

Dubya's America: By the Numbers

1--Number of mothers protesting the war in Crawford, Texas. (Let's hear it for Cindy Sheehan! Wa-hoo!)

20--Percentage of time Dubya has spent on vacation as president. The highest of any president--ever.

34--Number of American soldiers killed in Iraq last week.

41--Dubya's approval rating, as of last week. His lowest ever.

759 -- Number of days since Karl Rove leaked Plame's name, without the White House taking any corrective action.

1,835--Number of American soldiers killed in Bush's War.

23456--Minimum number of Iraqi civilians reported killed by U.S. military.

26559--Maximum number of Iraqi civilians reported killed by U.S. military.

$186,382,344,309--Current cost of the Iraq War.

$7.8 Trillion--Current national debt.


******* ****** ******* ******** *******

Well, that's enough statistics for now, on to my next topic...

I noticed something interesting on technorati.com today. The #6 search on their top ten list was this: "Bush Indictment.” Holy piss. This is too good to be true.

This stimulated my interest, so I did some research and found this quote on the topic (source:http://www.arcticbeacon.citymaker.com/):

"Sources close to the Chicago federal grand jury probe into perjury and obstruction charges against President Bush and others said indictments were handed down this week, but a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois refused to comment.


“We are not talking about any aspect of this case and our office is not commenting on anything regarding the investigation at this time,” said Randall Sanborn from the office of U.S. federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, the attorney conducting the grand jury probe into whether Bush and others in his administration violated federal law in a number of sensitive areas, including the Valerie Plame CIA leak case, involvement in 9/11 and the illegal nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "


Wow...just wow. Seeing the words "Bush" and "indictment" together honestly made my heart skip a couple beats. Seriously: seeing Bush behind bars is my dream. But we shouldn't get our hopes up. In fact, it's wise to take any claims of this sort with a hefty grain of salt. 99.9% of the time, they turn out to be complete bullshit. Plus, even if the info does turn out to be true, Bush probably won't be indicted. And even if he is indicted, he'll simply find a way to weasel out of it.

But we can still wish. We'll always have hope, my friends. We'll always have hope.

EDIT: Well, my suspicions were correct. It was bullshit. Still, I had a glimmer of hope for a second there, no matter how faint...

Monday, August 08, 2005

 

Let's talk about the war...

Well, the Iraq War has been attracting a lot of attention in the media today. And rightfully so, this pointless war of aggression is now costing dozens of American lives a week. That's right: dozens. 34 U.S. soldiers were killed in this first week of August. Thanks to this death toll, and the efforts of a few brave Americans, it seems that the Iraq War is finally getting some of the harsh criticism it so richly deserves. Observe the top then searches on technorati.com:

1. “Peter Jennings”
2. “Aq Khan”
3. Wmd
4. “Cindy Sheehan”
5. Audioscrobbler
6. Eplatform
7. “Air America”
8. Chile
9. “Fernando Flores”
10. “Lubos Motl”

At #3 is WMD. Status: still non-existent. They were never there. Saddam destroyed them years ago. Iraq was no threat to the United States.

So, what are we fighting for?

At #4 is Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier slain in Iraq. Cindy has been staging an anti-war protest outside of the Dubya's vacation grounds in Crawford these past few days. This protest has attracted the attention of all major media outlets: television, bloggers, the press, and talk radio. In fact, I heard Cindy talking on the Detroit area's local Air America station this morning, explaining her opposition to the senseless war that took the life of her son. Cindy deserves a hearty pat-on-the-back from all of us principled left-wingers for again bringing the Iraq war back into the national spotlight. Good job, Cindy.

There's only one downside to all of this Iraq war coverage: it's drawn fire away from Karl Rove. Don't forget about Rove, people: the crook is still at large. Don't let the White House weasel out of this: keep the pressure on Rove! Don't stop covering the Iraq war, but keep make sure to cover Rove too. Remember: There is never only one scandal. This administration is a hotbed of corruption and iniquity. Let's keep the bastards sweating.

Friday, August 05, 2005

 

Let's talk about Treasongate

If you're an avid Treasongate-scandal watcher like me, then these past 24 hours will have been absolutely thrilling for you. Indeed, several interesting developments have emerged in the past couple days. Perhaps most exciting of all is a pair of encouraging new polls that have been released to the public by CBS News: (source:theleftcoaster.com)

"There is currently a grand jury investigating whether a crime was committed when a CIA officer's identity was revealed to reporters. How important do you think the investigation is to the nation -- of great importance, some importance, or very little importance?"

Great: 41 % Some: 39% Very Little: 15 % None: 1 %

"In their statements about the possible leak of the CIA officer's identity, do you think members of the Bush Administration are telling the entire truth, are mostly telling the truth but are hiding something, or are mostly lying?"

Truth: 12% Hiding Something: 55% Lying : 22% Unsure: 11%"


This is very encouraging as it reveals two things:

1. The public wants answers from the administration
and 2. The public isn't falling for the administration's lies.

There is one other development that has excited me, although this one for its entertainment value. What am I talking about, you may ask?

Bob Novak's explosion on live television.

Follow this link to view the amusing video: http://mediamatters.org/items/200508040004.

All in all, a good day for us principled left-wingers. The public has shown that it's still interested in Karl Rove, and Robert Novak's amusing explosion has provided some entertainment. Now all we need is some more coverage of Treasongate on the networks and blogs to make it perfect. (A conviction of Rove would also be nice, but I suspect that's asking for too much).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

 

Come on, people!

We need to get our priorities straight. Stop paying attention to the wrong stuff! Let's examine the top ten searches on technorati.com:

1. “Intelligent Design”
2. “Yahoo Audio Search”
3. Ajax
4. “Steven Vincent”
5. “Audio Search”
6. Oscon
7. Ipod
8. “Air France”
9. Podcast
10. “Office 12”

This is shameful. Why, you ask?

Because the two most important topics aren't on the list.

Those topics are: the new energy bill and Karl Rove.

Yesterday, Congress broke a four-year deadlock by passing a new multi-billion dollar energy bill. This by itself is not alarming, however, a closer examination of the bill will reveal several shady provisions. Most shocking of all is the fact that the bill grants 2.7 billion dollars in tax breaks to the largest oil and gas industries. This is completely unnecessary, as Exxon-Mobil corporation on its own made 7.6 billion dollars in pure profits this quarter alone. Clearly, the tax breaks are only a blatant political maneuver to keep these rich donors in the GOP camp.

And yet, this bill has not received nearly as much outrage as it deserves from the major news networks. In fact, some of the strongest criticism for the bill came from John Stewart on last night's Daily Show. It's a sad day when Comedy Central provides more reliable and relevant news coverage than the major networks. Very sad.

This brings me to my second topic: Karl Rove. It seems that all the media, televised and bloggerized, has forgotten about Turdblossom. This is exactly what the Bushies want: don't let them get away with it. Karl Rove is a criminal and deserves to go to prison. This will only happen if we keep the pressure on the White House to bring him to justice.

This means you, fellow bloggers. Keep frothing at the mouth and writing strongly worded letters in true liberal fashion. Therein lies the path to victory, my friends.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

 

Let's hear it for the fighters...

Well, Paul Hackett has lost. Barely. Hackett barely lost the election for a seat in Congress to Republican Jean Schmidt by a vote of 52% to 48%.

Now, you may ask: what is so special about this? The man lost, didn't he?

Yes, Hackett did lose. But before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you a few things about this election.

The district is a Republican stronghold: 64% of its constituents voted for Dubya in 2004.

Hackett has said some pretty inflammatory things. He has been recorded calling Dubya a "son of a bitch" and war-supporters "chickenhawks". Yet, he still almost won a Congressional seat in a heavily conservative district. How is this significant? I'll tell you how.

This means that people are sick of their congressmen pussyfooting around the issues. Hackett is a straight-shooter: he told the truth about Bush and the war-supporters.

This should serve as a lesson to all Democrats. By taking a clear stance on the Iraqi war and the competency of the President, Hackett won more votes in the district than the Democrat's 2004 Presidential candidate. If they want to have any hope of taking back some seats in the 2006 midterms, the Democratic leadership needs to follow Hackett's example.

This means taking a firm stance against the war in Iraq. This means toughening up the language and rhetoric. This means going on the verbal attack against the GOP and strengthening the grassroots. So far, I've only seen this in one powerful Democrat: Howard Dean. And every time Dean does something right, the rest of the party distances themselves from him.

That needs to stop too. We're not going to win the 2006 midterms by playing nice and complimenting the President. This is a dirty game, and we're going to have to learn to fight dirty.

Hackett wasn't afraid to attack the president and play dirty: he used these tactics in the Congressional election and it almost worked.

What the Democrats need to do more than anything else is develop a clear and unified position against the Iraq war. Only then can we finally begin to take back the reins of government and start putting this country back together.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

 

I've got to be careful what I wish for....

I remember an entry a couple days ago in which I urged my fellow bloggers to concentrate on issues other than Karl Rove alone. Today, I got my wish, and more than I bargained for...

Now, it seems that we're concentrating on everything but Karl Rove. We've allowed ourselves to be distracted by the Bolton nomination, which is exactly what Bush wants to happen. Observe the top ten searches on technorati.com:

1. “Mighty Mouse”
2. “Paul Hackett”
3. “Harry Potter”
4. Linux
5. Flickr
6. “John Bolton”
7. Bolton
8. Oscon
9. “Six Feet Under”
10. Beer

Bolton occupies two of the spaces, while Rove occupies none. It has been like this all day!

This is ridiculous, people. Sure, the Bolton appointment is an outrage, but the fact is that there is nothing we can do about it. The Karl Rove scandal, on the other hand, we can do something about by pressing the administration to bring him to justice.

It would be wise for us to quit worrying about the things we can do nothing about and start focusing on the things we can do something about. We need to focus all our attention on fanning public outcry for bringing Turdblossom to justice. We can't fall for these cheap ploys of distraction anymore.

So start fanning the flames of outrage so we can bring Turdblossom down.

I know you can do it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

 

Keep your eyes on the ball, people!

Well, Bush has officially appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the U.N.

This is bad for the U.N. and American diplomacy, blah, blah, blah....you get the picture. I'm not going to focus on Bolton today.

Why? I'll tell you why.

This appointment is simply another ploy distract attention from the real scandal: Karl Rove.

The early nomination of John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court failed to distract the public from the Rove scandal enough, so the administration is trying this new ploy.

Don't fall for it.

Sure, Bolton is an awful choice, but at this point there is little to nothing any of us can do to stop Bolton's nomination. All of us principled left-wingers would be wise to focus our wrath on something that we can make a difference with: Karl Rove. We have to keep the pressure, and the main attention of the masses, on the immoral antics of Karl Rove.

We finally have a chance to do some damage to Rove and the administration: let's not squander it. Let's hound Turdblossom into an early and unexpected retirement.

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