Monday, May 29, 2006

Molly's in Great Form, as Usual

If you haven't read Molly Ivins lately, take a moment to do so today. I'll start you out.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Last week, Bush visited Yuma, Ariz., to tour a portion of the U.S.-Mexico Border by Border Patrol buggy. Maybe Jorge was doing a little measuring for the $3.2-million-a-mile fence the Senate recently approved, which I guarantee will be really helpful.

Are they insane? As Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano observes, "Show me a 50-foot wall, and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder."

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate have constructively declared English the national language. That'll fix everything. Every foreigner at our borders will stop and say: "Gosh, ma foi! English is the national language here. Good thing to know. I'll begin speaking it immediately."

Yes sir, you want a solution, call a Republican.

Of course, I am enchanted to discover that the entire project will be turned over to Raytheon, General Dynamics and other military contractors -- think Halliburton with noncompetitive bids, anyone? Because this outsourcing stuff is just working like a charm. Another Republican solution.

Then continue on yourself, here.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day - Remember Those Killed in the Admin's War

As of yesterday, 2,464 American troops have died in the Iraq war. 17,648 have been wounded.

As of yesterday, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld still have their jobs.

I dream of a day of justice.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is That a Subpoena in Your Pocket? Or Are You Just Happy to Be on the Hill?

House offices are unsearchable when the representative is hip deep in bribe money? I don't blame the Republicans for arguing so hard that congressional offices must be off limits for searching. After all, Jefferson may be a dirty Dem, but look at all the Abramoff buddies on the right-wing side of the aisle who are waiting for their turn.

Well That Certainly Makes Up For Everything

Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling have been found guilty as sin. No surprise there. Problem is, apparently the death penalty isn't available for this.

Too bad.

Oh wait, that's right, I'm opposed to the death penalty. Ok, how about this, anyone who gets convicted of lying, cheating and stealing to line their pockets while bankrupting their employees gets a free ticket to Iraq where they get quick training in finding and disarming IEDs.

Have fun boys.

Sorry, So Sorry.

Bush said that he regrets challenging people with his cocky "bring it on" comment in 2003. Apparently that is the lesson he's learned from the last 3 years of war.

So, on the one hand, cheers to the man who I believed was unteachable. He seems to have learned something.

On the other hand, THAT is what he learned and regrets, those three words?

How about taking the country to war with lies and deception? Any regrets for that?

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Senate is sur le qui vive

Thank goodness for our Senators, who are always on the job for us American people and have just decreed that English shall be the lone official language of these United States. Now that we have this precious piece of legislation, I just know I'll sleep better because it will be in clear violation of the law of the land to turn in papers with gems like this: "Under Stalin's idea, the generalisimmo propsed to Impact the end of the Cold war in a copacetic way." That might be something that looks like English, but no one I know talks like this. They only WRITE like this, and it should be against the law.
If persistent Spanish speakers are to be prosecuted, persistent writers with phraseology like this will also be nabbed, right? Right??

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Should We Provide an Amnesty for Conservatives?

As the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfled/Rove/GOP approval numbers continue to plummet, while the group at the top continue to support their murderous misadventures in the mideast and call for more and more public funds to support it, while their friends in the oil industry gather in record profits and the GOP senate & house members take whole pigs home to their friends, we're seeing an interesting phenomena -- conservatives fleeing their lord and masters in disgust.

Should we, as a nation of immigrants, offer amnesty to these turncoat conservatives? Men and women who did all they could to sink the Kerry campaign and keep their boys in power? Men and women who pushed for the war, for the GOP-controlled Congress, no matter what?

Men and women who have finally woken up to see what their blind devotion to the Bush/Cheney/GOP cause has bought us in the way of record deficits, plummeting world opinion and a rise in anti-Americanism across the globe. Men and women who threatened to run us over when our bikes got too near their Hummers, who laughed at global warming until it started sending record hurricanes into their laps, who would do, say and pay anything to keep their boys in power.

I'm a kind-hearted person, but I say there is no room in my America for those conservatives now fleeing the results of their own mindless opportunism. But I hear the weather in Mexico is almost always sunny. I'm willing to work out a trade.

I Take a Short Break and George Bush & Ted Kennedy Agree?

Apparently my break has led me somehow to a parallel universe. Although in this parallel universe, the US president & ruling party have laughingly low approval ratings, so some things don't change.

So in a brave attempt to reach out to . . . well, anyone who was listening, apparently, Bush outlined his plan to try and raise his poll numbers by sending 6,000 national guard troops to the southern US border. Do we HAVE 6,000 national guard troops left? Aren't most of them in Iraq and Afghanistan? On the plus side, when the hurricanes hit, the border troops will have shorter flights to take to reach the gulf coast.

I know I was in the parallel universe when Bush said "America needs to conduct this debate on immigration in a reasoned and respectful tone" and that "We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain."

This WAS a parallel universe. This was NOT the Bush I knew from my own universe, the one who, with Rove and thie GOP, took great joy from inciting people to anger AND playing on their fears, exploiting just about anything they could for political gain.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Where's the upside here?

There was an interesting cri de coeur the other day in the Boston Globe concerning Secretary of State Rice's upcoming commencement address at Boston College. An adjunct professor of English decried her invitation, claiming that her selection does not reflect the humanitarian values that all Jesuit colleges profess. I don't know about that, but I do wonder why the Secretary gets such consistently adulatory press, considering that she has been wrong about virtually every major decision/issue in which she has been involved. She told us after 9/11 that no one imagined that people would try to hijack and crash planes into buildings, when there had been at least two such plots foiled before the attacks. She told us that we had to attack Saddam pre-emptively, lest the "smoking gun" of WMD become a "mushroom cloud." Hers was among the voices assuring us that we would be greeted with flowers and celebration by a grateful Iraq since we would be "liberators" and not "occupiers." When it was clear that there were no WMD in Iraq, she helped change the subject to democracy promotion and liberating millions of people from dictatorship, failing utterly to admit that the administration had made a real mistake. She was among those who insisted that the Palestinians hold elections, yet now excoriates them for choosing the "wrong" people. And now she seems to be leading the chorus demanding an aggressive response to Iran and its intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Where has Secretary Rice made a positive contribution here? Maybe I am missing something.
Nonetheless, there are people who vote her onto the list of "most admired women" in America, ask her to write profiles of Oprah Winfrey for Time magazine and even want to draft her for the 2008 Republican Presidential campaign. There are ads on all the major newspaper sites for the Draft Condi campaign. I freely admit she is intelligent, articulate and well-dressed, but where has she used these gifts to a positive end? Where? Are you automatically a most-admired person and potential Presidential candidate because you have name recognition and a good acquaintance with the elements of Style?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Symmetry? Fearful?

Having just gone through the Cold War class yet again, I'm struck by the similarities between the Cuban Missle Crisis, mediated by the dueling Ks--Kennedy and Khrushchev--and the Iran nuclear showdown, featuring the rhetorical bomb-throwing President Akhmadinejad and our own, actual bomb-dropping President Bush. President Kennedy, alarmed by the apparent victory of Communism in the western hemisphere, okayed a dubious plot in the spring of l961 involving Cuban emigres. who would invade Cuba and topple Fidel Castro. Gee, when in recent history have we had trouble with rosy scenarios designed by emigres? Nevermind. The ensuing fiasco--the invasion went terribly wrong and failed-- gave Khrushchev the opportunity to sell Castro an "insurance policy" against further US military action--a set of nuclear missles. Once President Kennedy and his advisers learned of the missle installations being built on Cuba, they confronted Khrushchev and demanded the removal of the offending projectiles. The affair--and all our health and welfare--turned on a couple of letters, one threatening and bellicose, the other conciliatory, seeking a way out of the confrontation. President Kennedy's brother, Robert, suggested they respond only to the conciliatory letter, and that ended the most serious crisis of the nuclear age--Khrushchev agreed to remove the missles in exchange for President Kennedy's pledge not to invade Cuba and a promised removal of missles from Turkey.
Just think about the course of the current crisis with Iran. President Bush identifies Iran as a member of the "axis of evil" in the infamous 2002 State of the Union speech. Iran goes public with its intentions to develop a nuclear bomb, with which it can threaten Israel. An insurance policy, one might think. President Bush declares a nuclear Iran unacceptable and maintains "all options are on the table," including military action. Then comes a rambling letter from Ahmadinejad with some pointed questions for President Bush, followed by another letter, a pointedly conciliatory one, from one of Iran's clerics. One wonders who is in charge there, exactly, but nevermind. The question now is, which letter will President Bush answer, if he wishes to play President Kennedy in this drama? And what about a guarantee that "regime change" won't be coming Iran's way if the spectre of the bomb disappears? Will anyone try this option, even consider it? Are there any grownups in the room?
Let's hope that this symmetry won't turn out to be fearful, as in the image of the Tiger, burning bright.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Short Break

For my faithful readers (you know who you are) :). I'm on a short break this week in honor of having a visit from my dad. So let's all do our best to think positive thoughts and hope that the bush and his bushettes don't do anything too harmful to the world for a couple of days.

31% approval. I still want to know who those 31% are and what planet they're living on.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

No, I Can't Make a Difference, But Thanks for Asking

Maybe it was seeing two of them in a row. You know the ads, something horrible is happening, or is going to happen, and only YOU can stop/curb/change/whatever it by contacting your Congress person or Senator NOW.

Except we can't stop it, can we. I mean we all sort of guessed that before, but Abramoff and the meger bites into congressional ethics misbehavior by the press (and I do mean meger) shows us that it doesn't really matter if we flood a rep or senator's office with telegrams to the point of drowning them in paperwork. If it's our thousands of calls for justice vs. $$$$ from the opposition. Guess who is going to continue to win.

We all know it, and we accept it day to day. The press is impotent, the public is apathetic, and wrongs continue to go unrighted because those who benefit from the status quo fund those who set the rules.

Sometimes I just live with it fine, and go through my day.

Sometimes it pisses me off. I think I'll write my representative.

Oh, wait, I live in DC. My rep doesn't have a vote in Congress.

I guess I'll go back to watching tv.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Humorless Cohen

I can't name the exact date I stopped paying much attention to Richard Cohen, it's been several years now since I discovered this old liberal voice had, in fact, become an aging and scolding curmodgeon. I didn't realize he'd also lost his sense of humor until a reference to his article on Steve Colbert's scolding here at the Hinkley Hilton last week caught my eye.

So I read the piece. Cohen joins those reporter scolds who say that Colbert shouldn't have made fun of the president (as one said, it's a place to make fun of onceself and others, not just others).

So my question to the people who hired Colbert is -- have you never watched his show?!!!

Cohen starts out his piece by saying that " I am a funny guy" then goes on to call Colbert a rude bully, quote Colbert, "Colbert made jokes about Bush's approval rating, which hovers in the middle 30s. He made jokes about Bush's intelligence, mockingly comparing it to his own. 'We're not some brainiacs on nerd patrol,' he said. Boy, that's funny."

Actually Dick, it is pretty funny. As was most of the rest of Colbert's act that night, which I caught on ol C-Span.

I think part of Dick's humor problem may be what has brought such odd reviews out from other journalists about Colbert's performance that night. Something they don't mention much is that he also took THEM to task for their miserable reporting skills. Chidding them for letting Bush get away with the WMD and other lies.

Apparently to these journalists, it's not so funny when we point out that they weren't (and still aren't) doing their jobs.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day - Lots Going on Today

Have you sent a card or flowers to someone in the Bush administration to wish them happy 3rd anniversary on their Mission Accomplished in Iraq? Isn't it great to have all that over and done with now for three years, instead of a war that kept going on and on and on with no visible end or hope in site? Thank goodness we didn't fall into THAT quagmire!

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants took the day off today to sit back, relax, and enjoy the love and admiration of a country that has a giant statute of a woman welcoming immigrants into the country with the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . . "

And finally, the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled in favor of Anna Nicole Smith.

No, really, that last one is really true.

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