Thursday, May 15, 2008

GOP's "Bold Agendas" and The Junk Man Cometh

This from the Southern Political Report this morning:

US Rep. Tom Cole (OK), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), acknowledging that “a large segment of the American people doesn’t have confidence” in the GOP, urged his party’s candidates for Congress to put forth a bold agenda for change. In a telephone conference call with reporters today, he cited the example of presumptive GOP nominee John McCain for establishing his own identity and running substantially ahead of a generic Republican in opinion polls. Cole said voters like candidates “who are bold, take strong positions, and are honest with the American people,” qualities he associated with McCain. He urged Republican congressional candidates -- incumbents and challengers alike -- to run with and to emulate their presidential nominee.

Cole, however, did not urge any major change in policies by either the White House or Republicans in Congress. Specifically, he did not agree that the President should be more receptive to Democratic proposals. “I don’t think the President should be blackmailed into signing legislation” he does not believe is in the nation’s best interest. He also stated that the people did not disagree with Republican values, but there was “a loss of confidence in the American people that we will do what we say we will do.”


Odd two paragraphs, eh? One cancels the other, but that ought not be too surprising to anybody who has been paying attention. I'm reminded of that stunning GOP defeat in the 1st Congressional District of Mississippi on Tuesday. The 'safe' GOP seat held since 1993 was taken by the Dems even though [because of] Vice-President Cheney flew down there to campaign for the GOP incumbent. Seems the people there have been paying attention too.

Bamboozled by the GOP ought to become the catch-phrase this election year. Some of us weren't bamboozled at all back in 2000; for others, it was 2004. Slow learners. However, after 8 years of bamboozlement, the citizens at last figured it all out.

There are still some sad sacks who think that the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld junta was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, they really aren't true Republicans in the Eisenhower-Taft-Rockefeller tradition. They are neocon slugs who have hosted on the GOP like a parasite.

The GOP rolled out its same bag of dirty political tricks in this Mississippi election, but the voters already watched that tired old B-movie. The race card and the liberal card were trumped by the bamboozle card. 'Get out of town, clown!'

GOP pundits are wringing their hands these days wondering what they can do to stop the landslide that is forming against them this November. One of them on a talk show this morning touted 'values' as the key. Values. Right.

The odd thing about the word, value, is that one man's treasure is another's junk. Folks ain't buying junk these days; been there, done that, lives more miserable than ever. No, the con man, the charlatan, the snake oil salesman have all visited the town and scammed the folks once maybe twice. But, they ain't buying it for a third time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Olberman Nails Bush Again

Poor George Bush- he had to give up playing golf as a sacrifice for the War on Iraq. No kidding, that's what he said in an interview with Politico. It didn't look right for the president to play golf while mothers and widows brought back their sons and husbands in a box from Iraq.

He also told Politico that somebody told him that there were WMD's in Iraq and that's why he launched Shock 'n Awe. Someone told him.

Olberman is outraged by the ignorance and insensitivity of this man. Listen to his Special Commentary.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Camp Bucca Iraq

Standing in the middle of the desert is the main U.S. prison [detention center] of Iraq. Camp Bucca is "significantly over [its] intended maximum capacity while the guard force is undermanned and under resourced". Thousands of suspected 'insurgents' are locked up in the facility, many having been transferred from Abu Ghraib.

It is a breeding ground of hatred for Americans and does little to enhance our image as 'liberators' rather than occupiers.

Interestingly [and cunningly] 'Bucca' is the name of a NYC Fire Marshal who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. No doubt the name is part of the Cheney attempt to link Iraq with 9-11. He and Bush know how to play the politics of war.

Drawing guard duty at this facility is perhaps the worst lot of our military. Of course, as with most aspects of this contrived 'war,' many things here were badly botched. The facility is under-staffed according to reports and is extremely volatile due to both the nature of the men incarcerated there as well as the circumstances of their arrest. They must find it odd that they are imprisoned in their own nation while fighting to drive out to occupying forces running the prison.

The numbers and kind of units deployed to the prison indicate the difficulty the U.S. Military faces in maintaining it: Security Forces squadrons, Military Police companies, infantry regiments, field artillery units, signal battalions, as well as National Guard units from several states. Although we will likely never know the exact figures, many American military suicides have resulted from men stationed at this facility. PTSD is a frequent outcome of having served duty here. A few of the suicides have resulted from having been re-deployed to this facility.

PTSD is a plague on this nation and we've only seen the tip of this iceberg; it will continue to haunt our society for decades. The now-infamous remark made by Donald Rumsfeld is a harbinger of the problem military men and their families are facing: "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

This is the later time. Five years later and re-deployment is the name of the Rumsfeld-Cheney-Bush game. It was the wrong war at the wrong time with the wrong plan. And we as a nation will reap the disasters of this political war for a long, long time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

USA Farm Bill

House of Representatives will begin open debate
today and thru the week on a new agricultual bill.
Recently, Bill Moyers' Journal spent two entire
hour long programs on how Congress rips off the
world and US consumers with pro-large farm business
support under the guise of benefiting the Us
farmers and foreign/domestic consumers of US
agricultural products. Moyers' second program
clearly showed how congression subsidies in the
farm bills have mainly gone to the large agricutural
businesses and very large farmers.( will point out
here that this policy has been considered a primary
reason for the fall of the Roman Empire. It is
called the "latifundia" agricultural system.)

Therefore, two points are in order. Go to the
transcripts of the Bill Moyers Journal and read the
two programs. Secondly, tune in to C-Span's coverage
of the farm bill which is scheduled to begin on
Tuesday, unless the leadership changes procedure.

There are many threads to follow with the Farm Bill
because it is so huge and perfect for giving the
agricultural lobbyists and congress people the ability
to have their way in farm legislation. I have already
heard a representative of the joint House-Senate
committee to reconcile the two versions say that the
bill will increase ethanol production by 30% by giving
incentives to produce more corn. There they go again!
We already know ethanol is not clean energy and is one
of the main culprits in the large spike in food prices
here and abroad as the corn is used fuel cars and not
food for the livestock. More acreage in corn means less
in wheat, oats, barley, soybeans, rice, etc. Already
some stores are rationing rice. So, if Congress gives
farmers more incentives, subsidies, to plant 30% more of
their available land into corn, what does that do to the
price of meat and the other grains?

At the same meeting, there is Iowa Senators, Harkins(D) and
Grassly(R), speaking highly in favor of the Bill...You see,
"not a dimes worth of difference in the two parties."

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