Friday, March 14, 2008

Weird and Scary GOP Lawmakers Out West

No, I'm no talking about sex-deviate Larry Craig from Idaho, although one might wonder why he's still in the Senate. How about two other oh-so righteous and oh-so Christian folks such as Sally Kern from very red Oklahoma and Iowa's Steve King. Charming men and women and such 'good' Republicans.

Sally Kern has gotten press from her anti-gay remarks while her fellow Republican Steve King has angered many Americans with his anti-Muslim remarks aimed at Barack Obama.

What happens 'out west' to people who cross the Mississippi? By the way, which side of that river does Louisiana senator David Vitter live on? He's still in office although, like NY Gov. Spitzer, they both used prostitutes.

I guess that being a Republican these days means you never have to worry about the consequences of your words or actions. You can be an adulterer, a sex-deviant, a religious bigot and a gay bigot and still come to work each morning. Apparently the GOP has now become the 'all-inclusive party.'

Time Now for Hillary Talk to Pennsylvania About the Economy

She often reminds my of that little boy yelling "Wolf! Wolf!" Distraction. You know, the race thing and the 3 AM phone call. George Bush did that quite often too with those sudden and non-specific 'terrorist plots' that would creep into the conversation at just the right time.

The citizens of Pennsylvania want to know about their wallets and pocketbooks: that's security issue number one these days. They're not worried about a black man or an al-Qaeda terrorist entering their home at 3 AM; their money, their livelihood, and their future has already been stolen by this administration, this war, this Congress. It's family survival- that's the issue.

Hillary's blame game isn't going to work, either. Pennsylvanians don't care much who caused it: they want it fixed. Today's papers speak of record oil prices, soaring gasoline prices, the falling dollar, the shrinking job market, and the continuing fallout from the mortgage crisis. People's lives are at stake; their homes are either falling in value or are in danger of being foreclosed. Supermarket bills are moving up the same as the prices at the pump. Blaming Bush doesn't solve their problem. He's on the way out.

Rather than dropping little cluster bombs here and there on Obama, what does Hillary Clinton have to offer the people of Pennsylvania? Why should she be up 18 points in the polls? The race and al-Qaeda scare factors may be the appetizers, but what's the main course for these people?

Here are the links to both sites on The ISSUES. Compare the plans that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have to get this nation back on track. See who really has a plan for all Americans to become more economically secure in the next four years.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bush Snookered the Evangelicals has posted a 3-part essay titled, Bush's Evangelical Politics. It is an easy read and was written by Jacob Weisberg, author of The Bush Tragedy. Weisberg chronicles the politics of religion that George W. Bush began to explore while helping his father get to the White House. Weisberg says, "Bush does not appear to surrender himself to the will of God in the way a conventionally religious person does. If we look closely at his relationship to religion over a period of two decades, we see him repeatedly commandeering God for his exigent needs. His is an instrumentalist, utilitarian faith that puts religion to work for his own purposes."

As one reads all three sections of this piece it should not surprise any but those fundamentalist/evangelicals that George Bush used religion for his own political purposed, including getting elected as governor of Texas and as president. Having watched him for more than 7 years in the White House, few people would accuse him of following the path that Jesus laid out.

Only the ever-faithful evangelicals will not let go of their image of him: that he is a born-again, active Christian man who puts Jesus first in his life. Of course, these people love to worship and idolize authority figures, and so it is only natural that they would become victims of cunning politicians like George W. Bush. The trouble for the rest of us is that they voted him into office for these miserable eight years.

Kitchen Sink Racism

Barack Obama needs to duck quite often these days as the kitchen sink is thrown at him from every direction. Big mouth right-winger Bill Cunningham using his middle name as if it were his middle finger and that nutcase GOP representative [which one?] in Iowa warning of al-Qaeda dancing in the street. Speaking of big mouth GOP-ers, Rush Limbaugh telling the Republicans to switch over to the Democratic primary slate to vote for Clinton. Twenty-five percent of the white Mississippi Republicans [read: racists] did just that on Tuesday. Add to this the Oklahoma bigot and the comments of both Bill Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro and the result is that Obama has been dodging bullets from all sides for the past few days.

Reminds me of the black young adult male walking down a street in a 'good' neighborhood who has to 'justify' his presence in 'that' neighborhood. Were it Ottawa Hills, the cops would have already stopped and questioned him. He shouldn't be in that neighborhood, you know. Safety and all. You know how they are and you know perfectly well what they are up to. Why don't they stay in their own neighborhoods!

Racial profiling, I'm afraid, is alive and well all across America. We're not ready for one of those to become President. Up here in Northern Ohio I've lived with racial prejudice all of my life. It took quite a lot of prodding to have my mother use the term, blacks, rather than 'colored people' in her references. She said the word oddly just to show us that she dislike the term. My father, dead now for nearly 40 years used the n-word, although not maliciously, if that can be imagined. That was his word for 'them.' My uncle used 'pickaninny.' Charmingly rude and bigoted.

My wife and I taught tolerance to our children and so the family use of terminology abruptly changed with their generation and the next one too. My grandchildren do not categorize the children in their school by skin color which is refreshing.

Nonetheless, there are very many Americans my age and younger who see skin color as a barrier to housing, employment, social standing, and politics. Right here in Toledo we elected our first black mayor in 2001. He served but one term before the citizens voted in the previous white and quirky mayor once again. The city's reputation and financial situation has suffered greatly through that bigoted decision by the voters. His popularity now is in single digits.

Toledo's county, Lucas, was the only county with a large city that did not give the edge to Obama. Folks in the white suburbs preferred Clinton and/or followed Rush's Republican mandate to give her a 52 - 47 edge in the primary. White voters came out in heavier numbers than black voters to counter the black central city vote.

Subtle racism abounds here in Ohio and in Pennsylvania especially as the hard economic times continue to eat up jobs and savings. Scapegoat-ism rears its ugly head not unlike it did in Germany in the late 30's. Lower class whites have traditionally targeted blacks for the ills of society, because, except for the illegal Mexicans, blacks endanger their 'way of life.' Pecking order.

I expect this race issue to continue through these next ugly primary weeks as Pennsylvania approaches. What did I hear about that state? Blue in Philly and Pittsburgh and Alabama in between!

I just picked this up from Americablog. The author of this video will back up each and every one of his points at his site-

This is quite interesting. A former John McCain supporter, and 40-year Republican media consultant, is now running a campaign - - to educate the public as to how radical and how shifty John McCain has become.

For nearly 40 years I have been a campaign media consultant working exclusively for Republicans. My first spot was created for Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970 when I founded Spencer-Roberts Advertising for Reagan's two top political gurus, Stu Spencer and Bill Roberts. I was 23 at the time and went on to documentary filmmaking, television news, and ultimately, back to politics, working for moderate Republicans for the U.S. Senate, House, governors, mayors, and on one of the several Dole for President campaigns.

I have always taken a low, or no, profile in campaigns, as I learned long ago not to become an issue myself. But as I approach 62, the impact of another Republican in the White House on my 9-year old daughter, my 39-year old son, and 1-year old grandson, drives me ever deeper to the radical center.

I admired and supported the John McCain of 2000, less so the John McCain of 2004. And, now I barely know the man, who he is or what he really stands for, and against.

As my medium is visual and my message, visceral, I have produced this brief video to take you to the website. -- where anyone and everyone can be a "political consultant."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iraq Has Too Much Money: Can't Figure Out How to Spend It

Just after we learned that the Bush/Cheney War on Iraq is costing the tax payers $12 billion a month, we read this from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iraq isn't spending much of its own money, despite soaring oil revenues that are pushing the country toward a massive budget surplus, auditors told Congress on Tuesday.

The expected surplus comes as the U.S. continues to invest billions of dollars in rebuilding Iraq and faces a financial squeeze domestically because of record oil prices.
"The Iraqis have a budget surplus," said U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. "We have a huge budget deficit. . . . One of the questions is who should be paying."

Funny stuff, as always. But nobody cares except a few folks who may read this.

Why Does the GOP Love to Impeach Democrats for Sex?

The Republican head of the New York Assembly boldly stated , He would bring impeachment charges against NY Governor Spitzer if he didn't resign in 48 hours!" Bill Clinton suffered a more grand punishment for his sexual indiscretions as the Republican Congress brought impeachment papers against him. Republicans must really be God's Own Party! They know what to do about public figures who engage in sexual liaisons while in office: get rid of them!

Funny, though about Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Both of them stood with their humiliated wives, one denying his sexual escapades and the other asking for forgiveness. They both are active members of Congress.

Double standard? Surely I would never accuse the GOP of that.

Christian Right Looks For Leadership

Dobson, founder of the fundamentalist organization, Focus on the Family,is concerned about the future leadership of the Christian Right. He points out that the leaders
are old and dying. He refers to Falwell, Kennedy,Graham, Robertson, Swindoll, and Colson. Dobson is 71.

He said, "It causes me to wonder who will be left to carry the banner when this generation of leaders are gone." He was speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville. He continued, "the question is, will the younger generation heed the call? Who will defend the unborn child in the years to come? Who will plead for the Terri Schiavos of the world? Who is going to fight for the institution of marriage, which is on the ropes? What will be the impact on the conservative Christian church when the patriarchs have passed?"

He is concerned that the religious right is shifting from national leaders to local leaders.

President Bush spoke as well at the convention. He received loud applause when he said that the Presidential race would not affect how he will run the Iraq war. Maybe we got a preview that same day of the Bush-Cheney-Republican Party next war, as later in the day he accepted the "resignation" of Admiral Fallon, as reported elsewhere on this blog. Do I hear "Onward Christian Soldiers"?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adm. Fallon Out as Bush Sings Honky-tonk

The top US military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan resigned last night after weeks of behind-the-scenes disagreements with the White House over the direction of American foreign policy. Admiral William Fallon, the head of US Central Command, left his post a week after a profile in Esquire magazine portrayed him as a dove opposed to President’s Bush’s Iran policy.

The CENTCOM commander. A navy admiral who knows the whole story about this neocon gang that strangles our nation. I wonder if his forced-resignation will dislodge any more top military brass, open any more mouths of dissent, cause awakenings of conscience to call out this boob of a president?

Colin Powell was the first victim because he did not open his mouth. He's history, career down the drain. I'm wondering if there are any more generals out there who value their nation more than this president? We'll see.

Meanwhile Bush was 'singing' a song about Scooter Libby and FEMA's Michael Brown to the laughter of the assembled crowd. Imagine laughing at an incompetent at the height of one of the worst hurricanes in our history! Imagine laughing at the outting of a CIA agent and his pardon by the co-conspirator. Laugh at that?

Sick, sick people.

The Fading Jihadists: Blowing a Hole in the McCain Campaign

David Ignatius, writing in the WP, discusses "The Fading Jihadists," a theory put forth by Marc Sageman in his book, Leaderless Jihad. Sageman is a former CIA agent and was a case officer running spies in Pakistan and then became a forensic psychiatrist. He has studied scientific data on more than 500 Islamic terrorists -- to understand who they are, why they attack and how to stop them.

His theory is that we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat -- and then by our unwise actions in Iraq making the problem worse. He attacks head-on the central thesis of the Bush administration, echoed increasingly by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, that, as McCain's Web site puts it, the United States is facing "a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists" spawned by al-Qaeda.

If this theory is, in fact, dead-on correct, then John McCain ought to pack up and go back to Arizona and enjoy the time off.

Obama Plucks 10 California Delegates Out of Thin Air

Who's keeping score? Apparently whoever is miscounted the Obama delegates from California and it appears as Obama picked up 10 more delegates. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:

Sen. Obama may make up all that lost ground [from Ohio and Texas] in the media counts that are the closest this race has to an official scoreboard. A California politics blogger has argued that Sen. Clinton won 36 more pledged delegates in the state than Sen. Obama, rather than the 44-delegate margin that has long been included in the news organizations’ tallies. A spokesman for the state party confirms the blogger’s numbers.

The shift, if validated once the state certifies its election results this week and the party chooses its delegates, is a reminder that the commonly reported delegate totals are mere estimates, subject to change as states finalize election results. It also highlights how a blogger with intense focus on the numbers may be faster than the established delegate counters.

I suppose that this Clinton loss will mean even more negative remarks from her campaign towards Obama as her hopes fade even more. I understand that in a conference call yesterday, one of Clinton's advisors said that Obama is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Apparently she is because of her 8 years as First Lady. I guess at least she knows where the red phone is located.

Monday, March 10, 2008

DISSENT: Voices of Conscience

UPDATE: I wrote an accompanying piece on Toledo Talk this morning

I spent a fascinating two hours at the University of Toledo Law Auditorium this evening listening to retired Colonel Ann Wright document the take-over of our government by a small knot of cunning idealogues bent on using our military might for their own purposes.

The subtitle of her book, Dissent: Voices of Conscience is: Government Insiders Speak Out Against the War in Iraq. Her book names these brave and patriotic Americans and details what punishment they incurred for speaking the truth.

One such person was army Specialist Joe Darby who was given a CD of photos taken at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. After seeing the disgusting photos he handed the CD to the Criminal Investigative Division of his command. From there the photos made it up the ladder and into the news. For revenge against the soldier, Donald Rumsfeld used his name on national TV and immediately his life and that of his wife back in the states was in danger. He had to be flown out of Iraq and is now in the Federal Protection Program with a new identity and lives outside of the United States.

Lieutenant Commander Matthew Diaz, a Navy lawyer in Guantanamo, was court martialed, given a 6-month term, and dishonorably dismissed from the Navy because he released the names and home countries of the prisoners there.

These are but two examples of the way whistle-blowers were silenced and punished for telling the truth about this phony war. The author, a 29-year veteran of the Army, was arrested while demonstrating against the war on two occasions found her entry to Canada blocked when she tried to fly there late last year. "You have been arrested," said the Canadian customs agent. These were misdemeanors, carrying fines of $35 which she paid, but she was on the government watch list.

Colonel Wright wonders why detention centers are being built in various locations all across America. Will they be used for illegals or for citizens who have been 'identified' by the government as suspect. One man said to me at the end of the program, "Did you think of NAZI Germany during her remarks?" Indeed I did.

Next week is the 5th anniversary of the preemptive invasion of Iraq and there will be many events in the Toledo area to recall that ugly March day in 2003.

• Arlington Midwest [set up of 5000 wooden tombstones] 11 Am March 18 Lucas County Courthouse

• 5th Anniversary Ceremony March 19 Lucas County courthouse 8AM; candelight vigil 6:30 PM

• Sir! No Sir! Thursday March 20 6:30 PM Sanger Library [film remembering Vietnam War]

• Rally and March for Peace 11 AM Saturday March 22 Jefferson and Summit

For more information visit the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition website:

Did Republicans Give Hillary Her Victory in Ohio?

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman of TheFreePress ask this question, and so do I. It was a curious win for Senator Clinton especially because it turned out to be such a large victory. Polls the day before showed Obama closing in on her, narrowing her margin to 4 to 6 points. Her large victory defies the polling. Wasserman and Fitrakis believe that cross-over bvoting from Republicans may explain the victory margin.

They say, "Whatever the case, there is concrete evidence in Ohio that Republican cross-over voters did, in fact, play a significant role in delivering the Buckeye primary votes to the Senator from New York."

The authors believe that Republicans would rather see a Clinton v. McCain presidential fight rather than an Obama v. McCain match-up in the fall. The authors supply much data in their opinion piece such as this one:

"In Clermont County, there were 14,496 are registered Democrats and 37,714 registered Republicans, as reported by the Enquirer. In the primary, 26,279 people voted Democratic. One Clermont County presiding judge reported running out of Democratic ballots and turning away at least 30 people, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "

Who would doubt sleezy GOP tactics? Who would doubt that Clinton enjoys whichever way she can get the nomination. "She's a monster!"

Hey Right-wingers: Tell me about wasteful tax-dollars

I've never known a right-winger who doesn't use the line, "...wasting our tax dollars!" Seems that they are always vigilant about the correct ways to spend these precious dollars. Of course, they don't like any taxes and, Like Bush-McCain, want to keep the generous tax cuts for the wealthy permanent.

Odd stuff; odd people. They are the kind of people who know where the tax dollars ought NOT to go. You know, that cloaked racism: those damned welfare cheats! Schools too: those bloated teachers' salaries and all. The bootstraps mentality.

They remind me of a home owner who caulks the windows during winter but leaves the back door wide open. The back door in this case is the George Bush War on Iraq. Twelve billion dollars a month is the price tag for that phony preemptive war. Twelve billion tax dollars. Quite a few welfare mothers, eh?

"We will never surrender!" shouts John McCain, receiving applause from the audience. Surrender? That's an odd term. Who is the enemy to which we would 'surrender'?

Twelve billion dollars a month, and the right-wingers don't give a damned. Real Americans, real patriots.

2000 Redux: Stealing Florida

On CNN this morning a spokesperson from the Hillary Campaign was asked whether she supported the idea that surfaced yesterday and supported by DNC Chair Howard Dean: mail-in votes for Florida and Michigan to legitimize their primary. Rather than answering that question, the surrogate began a spin not unlike we saw at the end of the 2000 vote in Florida. "The voters have spoken, the election should stand." Recall that line? Bush spinmeisters.

She would not answer the question asked but said, "A record number of people came out in Florida to vote and their wishes should count." When CNN's Kira Phillips said, "Republicans outnumbered the Democrats in that vote," the spokesperson spun that to, "Senator Clinton got more votes than John McCain."

Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasties are alive and well and looking to continue ruling America.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bush-McCain Vote for Torture

The chameleon POW John McCain, now that he has secured the GOP nomination, panders to the most base levels of his party by voting for waterboarding as a torture technique. Although a majority of Senators thought that technique was morally reprehensible and would hurt the image of our nation as a moral authority in the world, John McCain thought it would help get him votes in the Fall.

Naturally Bush vetoed the bill. Sick men like him enjoy causing pain in others, much like his enjoyment during his youth of torturing frogs at the family's pond during his youth. Odd isn't it, although he likes to inflict pain in others, he needed alcohol to mute his.

I understand, sadly, that McCain has hired Karl Rove as a political adviser. Now, if elected, we'll have 4 more years of Rove-Bush. It has a nice sound, doesn't it: Bush-McCain-Rove.

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