Why Your Life Sucks As Your Country Goes Down The Tubes
July 6, 2012

Wanna see the truth about your politicians? One of the truths anyway. The truth about why you have no voice, why they don’t hear your voice, why your life/job/finances/economy pretty much sucks. Take a look at the Upworthy site.

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Musings on Murder and Contempt
June 21, 2012

The Drone Murders

The Pakistanis make much of the fact that the United States is sending military drone aircraft into its airspace to kill Pakistanis, including women and children who inconveniently happen to get in the way of Obama’s murderous toys.

The Pakistanis bluster and complain and threaten, but they don’t do the one thing any rational government might do. Shoot the damn things down.

Pakistan has an air force. It has radar. It has air defense. It has missiles. The drones are military aircraft of a foreign nation invading Pakistani airspace and killing civilians. Drones are not the most nimble or speedy craft. Start shooting them down. Yemen, similarly besieged by the D.C. killers, should take similar action.

Otherwise some among us might be tempted to think that these countries enjoy being the killing ground for the primary terrorist state in the world today.

Contempt of Congress?

How amusing is it that a committee of Congress has decided to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress?

That would be a House Committee chaired by one of the uglier Republican partisans, Darrell Issa. The short version is that he and his treacherous friends have decided to attack the Presidency for doing pretty much the same thing the last Republican President did. To add to their hypocrisy, it was their Attorney General under that last Republican President who corrupted the entire Department of Justice, but Issa and his crew of thugs (that would comprise the entire Republican Party as it commits a street mugging of American democracy in broad daylight) had nothing to say about Republican corruption of the Justice Department.

But the amusing thing is that any committee of Congress would hold anyone in contempt of Congress.

Some eighty percent of Americans hold Congress in contempt of the American people.

I’d go further and say Congress is in contempt of the American people, the Constitution, the laws of the country, international law, and reason itself.

These people should be running for the hills and hiding under rocks. Unfortunately the people who sent them to Washington are not smart enough to chase them out. In the end there’s just plenty of contempt all around and hardly a bit of functioning brain matter in American politics, especially the Washington version of politics.

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Congress Comes Back. Will Dems Fight Or Will They Count Votes?
September 4, 2007

There’s a couple of givens in Congress right now.

One is that the Republicans will continue to support whatever Bush wants. They’ve decided to put party over country, personality over reason, despite having a genuine nutcase in the White House. He’s their nutcase, so that makes it okay.

Second is that the Democrats do not have the votes to overcome Republican immorality and anti-Americanism. The Republicans will filibuster anything the Democrats propose that might end the insanity we’re committing in the Middle East or that might actually do something positive domestically. After all, it’s Republicans calling for an end to aid to New Orleans and hurling barely disguised racial slurs at the people of New Orleans.

So what will the Democrats do?

If they count votes and decide that if they can’t win a vote then there’s no point in pursuing the issue, then they’re dead meat.

Obviously they can’t overcome a filibuster.

Obviously they can’t overcome a veto.

And waiting for some Republicans to change sides is nothing if not defeatism. Democrats will be playing Didi and Gogo, but without hope as nothing but an illusion of Godot lies over the horizon.

Waiting for Republicans to do something good or right simply plays into their hands.

But to fold? That’s craven cowardice. That’s abandoning the country. That’s ceding the field to the enemy.

If the Democrats can’t vote down a filibuster, then let the Republicans filibuster. Let the onus be on the Republicans. Let the country see that it’s the Republicans keeping the war going, denying help to America and Americans, continuing insane policies here and abroad. But don’t let them get away with threatening a filibuster and then not forcing them to carry it out.

Same for a veto. So what if the Chief Nutso threatens a veto. Let him carry it out. Let everyone see that he’s responsible. Stop giving him a free ride.

Drag these people out into the light of day. Drag their irresponsible, destructive, mean-spirited views and actions out into the sun.

We don’t care if the Democrats don’t have to votes to carry the day. We know that already. But goddammit we expect the Democrats to fight. We expect them to kick and punch, we expect them to plant their foot hard in the crotch of the enemy, we expect them to keep kicking and punching. They don’t have to win in order to gain respect. But they have to fight, they have to get down in the gutter with the Republicans and slug it out, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until the Republicans are bloodied and beaten, and remain nothing but a foul stench of a memory in American politics.

The Republicans traffic in lies, in delusion, in bigotry, in hatred, in racism, in greed, in hypocrisy. If the Democrats refuse to attack them at the gut level of these practices, then there is no point in the Democrats bothering to show up.

But if they continue to fold and to compromise with political evil, then they’re done, we’re done, and the country is done.

Republicans Have A New Idea: Limit The War So They Can Stay In Office
July 30, 2007

Anne Flaherty of the AP writes a piece in the Globe today about Republicans in Congress dissatisfied with their hero’s conduct of the war, and so on.

The basic motivation for Republican discontent isn’t that the war is wrong on its face, or that it has been conducted incompetently, or that it has been a tissue of lies and blood operating directly against the interests of the United States.

Nothing so subtle.

The Republicans are just afraid they’re going to get their butts kicked in the next election if they stick with the Bushbaby.

But they don’t want us to think they’re actually sticking with him, so they come up with ideas for legislation like this bit of genius from Collins of Maine:

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, favors binding legislation that would order Bush to restrict the mission of US troops to counterterrorism, training Iraqis, and protecting US assets.

Clever, isn’t it? She wants to insist that Bush change from what he’s been doing to doing what he’s been doing.

That’s how Republicans solve problems.

By the way, when she says ‘US assets’, she must mean Iraqi oil that Bush is trying to co-opt for American oil companies. After all, they’ve got nothing else that we think is ours.

Worm Of The Year: Gonzales
July 25, 2007

It’s hard to comment on the Attorney General and his latest bullcrap show before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s like watching slimy bugs and worms eating offal.

I think he and Bush must get together evenings to practice smirking.

Has there ever been such a collection of people so utterly lacking in integrity, in honesty, in respect for the law and the Constitution and the people of this country?

I watch this sleazy little man and I know I can never trust anyone in the justice or law enforcement system again. Not cops on the street. Not lawyers who have to deal with the system to survive. Not prosecutors on any level. Not Federal agents involved in investigations and enforcement.

That’s what Bush and his worm Gonzales have done.

If they had set out to deliberately destroy Constitutional government, to corrupt our representative republic beyond repair, they couldn’t have done a better job.

Watching Gonzales, I think it is not possible to come to any other conclusions than that what he has done is deliberate, and he has done it on the orders of his boss.

These two are blatant criminals, with Bush already having confessed to criminal acts. And the Congress sits on its hands and whines. And Republicans continue to put party, power, and broken ideology over flag and country.

Time is running out.

Devil’s In The Details: The Details Are The Dead
July 14, 2007

Notes from an Associated Press piece by Lee Keath:

  • American soldiers killed six Iraqi cops and seven gunmen in a firefight after the Americans arrested a police lieutenant. The lieutenant was, according to the Americans, helping to organize attacks on U.S. troops.
  • Gunmen attacked the Interior ministry in central Baghdad. They killed five guards and wounded nine.
  • Four mortar rounds were fired into the Green Zone, killing two Iraqi soldiers.
  • Police found six bodies dumped in Baghdad, including an 11- year-old girl.

Anne Flaherty of the AP writes:

At the Pentagon, meanwhile, Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that the number of battle-ready Iraqi battalions able to fight on their own has dropped to a half-dozen from 10 in recent months despite heightened American training efforts.

The Iraqi parliament will take the month of August off.

The United States Congress will take the month of August off.

George “We’re Making Good Progress” Bush will continue doing what he’s been doing.

Good people will die.

The Bathos of G. W. Bush
July 13, 2007

A long story in the Globe today, by Michael Kranish, discusses the House vote on the war yesterday and Bush’s comments and reactions. But the key paragraph comes at the very end:

The president told reporters he welcomes advice from Congress but leadership of the war should be left to him and the commanders in the field. He suggested reporters would one day visit his Texas ranch and find him at peace with his decisions. “When you ever come down and visit the old, old, tired me down there in Crawford, I will be able to say I looked in the mirror and made decisions based upon principle, not based upon politics,” Bush said.

George Bush, who through lies, deceit, and hypocrisy, aided and enabled by a blind and ethically corrupt media, a man who made no decision that was not political, chose to start an unnecessary war, and is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the maiming of hundreds of thousands more, and now wants us to feel sorry for his old, tired self in retirement at his ranch.

It would be laughable except for the fact that he should spend his last days locked in a prison cell and likely dosed daily with anti-psychotic drugs. But it is doubtful that even such punishment will cure him of his delusion that he has principles acceptable to decent and civilized people.

$8,000,000 Worth of Legislative Stupidity, Courtesy of The NRA
July 9, 2007

Over the last seven years the NRA (that’s the National Rifle Association, the gun people) has spent eight million dollars buying legislators with campaign contributions. 

They’re up for another payoff from Congress, a little thing called the Tiahrt amendment, given birth by Kansas Republican Representative Todd Tiahrt.

The TA is a provision in the Justice Department’s appropriations bill. We can assume that Mr. Tiahrt is owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the NRA, else he wouldn’t put out such a sick amendment.

The amendment forbids ‘police and local officials from seeing comprehensive federal data that traces guns used in crimes’, according to an editorial in the Globe today.

That’s your NRA at work. Give everybody a gun and handcuff the police so they can’t solve crimes involving guns.

In the United States people use guns to kill eighty-three other people every day. Every day. The NRA tells you that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Isn’t that a warm and friendly saying?

If all those people killing those other people had knives or baseball bats instead of guns, maybe we’d have a lot fewer NRA-approved corpses on the streets.

The Senate has already accepted the Tiahrt amendment. The House has a chance to reject it. Give your Representative a call today. Maybe he’s taken blood money, but he wants to keep his job. Make him choose.

P.S. All you gun freaks who can’t stand the criticism, go ahead, speak your piece. I love it when you make yourselves look like bloodthirsty, brain-damaged idiots in print.

The Slow News Day Blues: Brian Williams and NBC News
June 25, 2007

David Bauder of the Associated Press, writing on the shrinking audience for NBC News and Brian Williams, notes some numbers, and then writes:

To be fair, the nightly news audience traditionally drops when warm weather arrives, and it has been a slow news period.

Bauder, and by extension, NBC Nightly News, has apparently missed a few issues, including that the United States is fighting at least two wars; that a Presidential campaign is underway with a couple of dozen candidates; that the President is disliked and hated by more people every day; that the world faces an environmental catastrophe that could wipe out life on the planet; that Congress is embroiled in an incredibly dangerous series of battles with a power-hungry and oligarchic Presidency; and that the press and the media have sunk to a level of competence that makes Mike Brown of Katrina fame look like a frigging genius.

Slow news period? Jeez, Bauder, someone ought to make you put your journalism credentials back in the cereal box from which you stole them.

Corn or Ethanol? Do You Want to Eat or Drive?
June 15, 2007

As soon as the really smart people down there in D.C. started hopping on the corn ethanol bandwagon, I knew we were in trouble.

Corn is a basic food and a basic ingredient. Turn over a tin can and you’ll find corn products mentioned on the label. But now that the Congress has blessed the farmers with a new and ignorant profit center based on the utterly inefficient process of turning corn into alcohol, we are all screwed.

Prices on everything are going up. Why? Not enough corn to eat and drive at the same time. People who point to other countries using ethanol always fail to point out that none of them are using a primary food source to provide fuel.

This could have been avoided of course, but the Neanderthals in the Republican Congress decided in 1995 to close the Office of Technology Assessment, which provided Congress with realistic information about this sort of thing. From the Princeton site http://www.wws.princeton.edu/ota/:

The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment closed on September 29, 1995. During its 23-year history, OTA provided Congressional members and committees with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues of the late 20th century. It was a leader in practicing and encouraging delivery of public services in innovative and inexpensive ways, including distribution of government documents through electronic publishing.

This corn nonsense would at least have gotten a good factual analysis. Of course I don’t know that it would have mattered to an administration that sees science and facts and evidence and honest analysis as tools of the devil and goes out of its way to sabotage them every chance it gets.