Watch:
Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow,
Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Lewis Black

Listen to:
Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes,
Tom Hartman, Ed Schultz, Mike Molloy

‘I AM THE DENIER’

November 9th, 2010

Well, now that Pres. Dubya has published his book, it’s all over the airwaves.

I was watching some replays of Matt Lauer’s interview with the former president, and I was struck by the fact that this man is totally in a bubble.  I don’t know if this is part of his conversion, of being born again, of being certain that God is guiding his hand, or if it’s just pathological.  That’s not to say that they are mutually exclusive.

I was dumbfounded when Lauer confronted Bush with the conclusion, stated by a Republican member of the 9-11 Commission, that the White House cherry picked intelligence leading up to the second invasion of Iraq.  This was the conclusion that an extensive investigation by a bi-partisan committee came to: Bush and Cheney got the intel they wanted, information that supported their goal of starting a war, and ignored the overwhelming evidence that opposed that goal.  Bush’s statement?  “He wasn’t there.  He doesn’t know”.

When Lauer pressed him further, asking if in retrospect he might regret the decision, that perhaps he was wrong about invading under the pretense of searching for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) Bush dodged the query, and answered a question that wasn’t asked, saying that he did think the world was better off without a bloodthirsty tyrant like Saddam Hussein.

I’m wondering if the hundred thousand or so Iraqis, and the thousands of civilian and military of the US coalition killed in the US’s longest-running war to date, would agree.

While the world was perched near the zenith of a bubble, the prosecution of these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mashed the accelerator to the floor, hurling the world toward a global fiscal meltdown.  The continuation of those wars has had a multiplying effect, hogging resources needed for recovery, enriching an entrenched but dying energy infrastructure, and widening the divide between the rich and the rest of us.

I didn’t like the draft.  But maybe if we’d had compulsory service, and if the rich and the middle class had skin in the game, maybe there would be less complacency about engagement.  One thing has been missing in this era of conflict: a sense of purpose and shared sacrifice.  When we were attacked, George Dubya Bush told us to go out and shop.  That meant burn more oil to go shopping, and spend to support a struggling economy that’s 2/3 based on consumption rather than production.

I wonder what the next two years are going to bring?  The Republicans claim a mandate; but the fact is that the economic quagmire - brewed and begun by the Right - was what was voted on, and the anger that Pres. Obama couldn’t turn around eight years of degradation in 18 months was what motivated the vote.  Unlike previous mid-term reversals, the Republicans only took back the lower house of the legislature.  The President and the Democrats still control the Senate.

But if the Republicans could wreak such havoc while not having a majority in any branch of government except the Supreme Court, imagine what’s possible now?

Will voters hold them accountable and be accountable themselves?

Or will they be just like George. Deniers. Angry deniers.

May the Higher Power of your choice guide and sustain you in these turbulent times.

SHOCKING! Presidential Scholars Give Bush ‘Thumbs Down’

July 8th, 2010

CommonDreams.org published an article on the latest Presidential performance survey from the Sierra College Research Institute (SRI), and here’s the headline: George W. Bush is among the five least accomplished U.S. presidents.  

Are we surprised?

According to the newest survey of the top 238 US presidential scholars, the Bush administration approach to foreign policy, health care and human rights was marginal to disastrous, and among the biggest foreign policy blunders are the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

In a sadly common pattern of behavior, Bush & Co. ignored recommendations and warnings from military and intelligence sources alike, embroiling us in these two conflicts that pushed us to the brink of breaking our military and our economy. 

Wow.  Stop the presses.

The failed oversight of government regulatory agencies, stuffed with ideological appointees, finished the job.  And while we’re in the throes of a delicate recovery, jobs are still vaporous, new safeguard regulations are being eviscerated in Congressional dealmaking, and Democrats have been woefully slow to understand that bi-partisanship is illusory. 

As noted in the article, “The presidential scholars ranked the U.S. Presidents on six personal attributes (background, imagination, integrity, intelligence, luck and willingness to take risks); five forms of ability (compromising, executive, leadership, communication and overall abilities); and eight areas of accomplishment including domestic affairs, economic, working with Congress and their party, appointing supreme court justices and members of the executive branch, avoiding mistakes and foreign policy.”

Whether you’d like to have a beer with them didn’t really make that list.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/06-0

I think that one of the major “successes” of the Bush Administration was in the arena of Supreme Court and judicial and administrative appointments.  Those appointments clearly tilted the courts to the Right, and crippled the regulatory efforts of countless government agencies, including those tasked with oversight of the financial and environmental sectors.  While many of these took place behind the scenes, I often contemplated bashing my head against the wall while watching John Roberts and Samuel Alito in their confirmation hearings.  And I hold the Democrats responsible for giving these two Weapons of Legal Destruction to take lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest court.

This is not Barry Goldwater’s conservative movement.  It’s Karl Rove’s, Dick Army’s and Roger Ailes’ neoconocracy.  Reagan established the beach head, but George W. Bush supplied the shock troops.

It’s nice to be confirmed in a long-held judgement.  Unfortunately, it’s a little late for the rest of the world.

May the Higher Power of your choice guide you successfully through another day of this brave new world.

Happy Birthday, Dubyah

July 6th, 2010

Today, July 6, is the birthday of our former President, George W. Bush.

I was struck by the total lack of fanfare about one of the more notable birthday boys on this Independence Day plus 2, and you’d think there was an NSA blackout on it. 

Have we really gotten to the place where we think this guy is irrelevant, and that his policies - and their global impacts - are so forgettable?

As I look around today, I see a global economy still in turmoil, teetering on the brink of a double dip.  This was spawned by a financial meltdown directly connected to the fiscal policies of the Bush administration, as well as the slash-and-burn approach to regulatory downsizing.

I see one and a half wars consuming blood and treasure, leftovers from the Bush banquet for contractors and warmongers.

I see the Gulf of Mexico awash in fossil fuels the Bush family embraced, along with the Saudi princes they adopted as “family”.

I hear a nation whose confidence in the future is lower than at just about any point since the Great Depression.

So I think it’s worthwhile noting the anniversary of George W Bush’s birth.   Because when we forget history, we lose our access to that history and the lessons to be learned from it.

Speaking of history, here’s a bio from History Central on George W Bush, Candidate for President.  If you look at the predictive descriptions compared to the outcome, you’ll laugh.  Or vomit.

George W. Bush
Republican Candidate for the 2000 Presidential Election 43rd President of the United States

“George W. Bush is the 46th Governor of the State of Texas and the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Now in his second term as Governor, Mr. Bush has earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shapes policy based on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control. On March 14, 2000, Governor Bush earned enough delegates to become the Republican nominee for President.

“During three Texas Legislative sessions, Governor Bush has worked in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation with statewide leaders and members of the Texas Legislature to enact historic reforms to improve public schools, put welfare recipients to work, curb frivolous lawsuits and strengthen criminal justice laws. In his five years in office, Gov. Bush has delivered the two largest tax cuts in state history, totaling nearly $3 billion, to Texas taxpayers.

“Governor Bush’s first priority is the education of our children. He has worked with the Legislature to increase the state’s share of funding for schools, to restore local control, to strengthen the state’s accountability system, to give parents and students greater choice of schools, and to foster competition and creativity through charter schools and an expanded menu of educational opportunity. His most profound goal for Texas is that every child will learn to read by third grade and will continue to read at grade level or better throughout public school.

“As President, Governor Bush will pursue the same common sense agenda in the same bipartisan way that he has in Texas. Governor Bush has proposed bold initiatives to ensure that AmericaÕs prosperity has a purpose. He has propose plans for improving our nationÕs public schools by strengthening local control and insisting on accountability; reducing taxes on all taxpayers, especially those on the outskirts of poverty; strengthening the military with better pay, better planning, and better equipment; saving and strengthening Social Security and Medicare by providing seniors with more options; and ushering in the responsibility era in America.

“George W. Bush was born July 6th, 1946 and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelors degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. He began his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975 and worked in the energy industry until 1986. After working on his fatherÕs 1988 presidential campaign he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989 and which later built the Ranger’s new home, the Ballpark at Arlington.

“He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. In a historic re-election victory, he became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms on November 3, 1998 winning 68.6 percent of the vote.

“In 1998 Governor Bush won 49 percent of the Hispanic vote, 27 percent of the African-American vote, 27 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of women. He won more Texas counties, 240 of 254, than any modern Republican other that Richard Nixon in 1972 and is the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the heavily Hispanic and Democratic border counties of El Paso, Cameron and Hidalgo.

“Governor Bush and his wife, Laura, a former teacher and librarian who grew up in Midland, reside in the historic Governor’s mansion in Austin with their 18-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, their dog, Spot, and their two cats, India and Ernie.

“Governor Bush is a Methodist and has served on the boards of various charitable, business, and civic organizations. “

DYNAMITING FISH…

November 19th, 2009

I realize this is lazy, but I sometimes can’t resist dynamiting fish in a pond.  And for some reason, WP or my server is not allowing me to insert graphics today.  Damn!

From a Facebook rant:

WingerNutter: “IT IS NOT THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO INTERVEIN, REGARDLESS OF THE ISSUE. ”

Mois: Fine. Then CHOOSE TO FOLLOW YOUR OWN PRINCIPLES, AND NOT TO GET THE GOVERNMENT INTO FORCING YOUR SOCIAL VALUES ON ME.   A gay couple next door doesn’t affect my property values.   A woman’s right to control her body and reproduction doesn’t affect my stock portfolio.

WingerNutter: “Just like the GREEN BS it shouldn’t be policy or legislated.”

Mois: If you knew your “arse” from a hole in the ground about GREEN you wouldn’t be such a joke. I’ve worked in environmentally-sustainable transportation for the past 9 years, and you’ve never seen such Charlie Foxtrot of corporate interests being shoved down our throats to our detriment.  Paul Zane Pilzer - multi-millionaire, entrepreneur, author and economic adviser to Reagan and Bush 41 and NO LIBERAL - made the point: between 1998 and 2008, American automakers scored virtually zero in areas of innovation involving safety, efficiency and economy, aided and abetted by a Conservative dominated government that sheltered them from increases in CAFE standards and granted them 100% tax credits for vehicles over 6,000 GVW.

In the meantime, our competition, unfettered by the burdens of healthcare, advanced considerably in all those areas, driven by concerns over fuel prices and greenhouse gases.

They ate Detroit’s lunch.

And George Bush’s legacy is eating ours.

Okay, no more WingerNutter posts.  It’s just that George has been so dull since he became a motivational speaker, and we’ve been so sidetracked with the economy and healthcare that we haven’t gotten around to prosecuting and incarcerating any of these Bush Crime Family members.

Vince Bugliosi: Get the jet and convict those bastards!

May the Higher Power of your choice sustain you through these “interesting times”.

Liars: Baldfaced and Otherwise…

September 5th, 2009

George Walker Bush and John Robert Bolton II are peas in a pod.

However you want to slice it, dice it or describe it, they did not tell the truth in the period leading up to the Iraq War.  That said, why would we put any faith in anything that they said?

This is the sad truth about the Bush Administration, and one reason why I support former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s efforts to secure an indictment by a district attorney or attorney general regarding the crimes committed in our name.  If it were Barack Hussein Obama in his place, I’d advocate the same.  Because those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

In this case, the lesson would be “we can do anything or say anything we want, because the Congress doesn’t have the stones to impeach, and the next administration won’t have the stones to investigate.

That’s a lesson we don’t want to pass on, because no administration, no government official should be allowed to LIE to the American public or LIE to the Congress or DISTORT the truth in matters of policy, particularly when they involve the lives of American servicemen, or the lives - physical or financial - of average American citizens.

To do so not only emboldens future elected officials to go down that path, it also empowers their supporters to do likewise; because the lie, repeated often enough, becomes the truth.

We’re seeing this in the healthcare reform debate.  The special interests and the ideologues who oppose changes in our healthcare system, particularly providing expanded public options, are willing to say and do anything to head off progress.

The stakes are huge: our nation spends more and gets less for its money than does any industrialized nation in the world, most of which have either government health programs or government insurance coupled to private providers.

The fearmongers and hatemongers are out in force.  It’s up to the real majority in this nation - the ones who believe that healthcare must be reformed and that a viable public option is the only way to keep private providers honest - to hold Congress and the administration accountable.

We have got to empower them to do whatever it takes to get that first foothold.  It can’t be any deal: it’s got to include at least two things: a viable public option, and an expansion of coverage that includes almost if not all of the uninsured.  It should also provide for portability, so that people aren’t trapped in dead-end jobs because of benefits.

Wednesday will be a real test for Pres. Obama and this Democratic Congress.  Take this opportunity to contact your representatives, and the White House, and voice your opinions.  If you don’t believe how important this is, just know that there are services pandering to the Right that will, for a fee, do just that in opposition to healthcare reform.  The Right Wing learned long ago that fear sells, and they’ve found a ready audience that’s willing to pay them to send messages, to bus in protestors, to create commercials that fabricate “truth” to achieve their obstructionist goals.

Pick up the phone, go to your keyboard, and let Washington know in now uncertain terms:

PUBLIC OPTION

EXPANDED COVERAGE

PORTABILITY

With your help, we’ll carry the day.

May the Higher Power of your choice spur you to action and guide your message to the target.

The Wack is Back!

August 13th, 2009

The Wack is Back!  Make that plural.  They’re back in force.

Spooky times... Beware the Lunatic Fringe!

Spooky times... Beware the Lunatic Fringe!

The Right Wing wackos that were out in droves during the Presidential campaign are back. They’re weirder! They’re more vicious! They’re pretending to be “grassroots” while many are special-interest funded! And they’re trying to derail healthcare reform!

What a fun bunch of kids!

Maggie Thatcher and Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. would be proud!

To be honest, I believe “Original Female Poster” and the others cited below when they say they used their own resources. But there are others who aren’t, and there’s a track record of these faux grassrooters in the “tea bag revolt” movement. Recent news reports have shown direct links and coordination. This is not the grassroots movement they claim it is.

More to the point is the attitude of absolute conviction and certainty that only they - and Fox News Corp. - can be right, and that the duly elected President, our elected representatives, and the vast majority of people who want healthcare reform are cons or dupes.

This modified transcript from an exchange on a popular social media site illustrates that point. It also made writing this latest blog entry easy and fun - they did most of the work for me their own selves - which is after all, the most important thing, right?

Although I don’t know the others, I do know the “Original Female Poster”. Her identity, like all the others, has been edited out in favor of a generic label.

Hope you find this enlightening.

Sincerely,

Your Humble Narrator

==========================

“Original Female Poster” posted a link.

France Fights Universal Care’s High Cost - WSJ.com

Source: online.wsj.com

Soaring costs are pushing France’s universal health-care system into crisis. As the U.S. fights over whether to be more like France, France is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.

“Female Poster #1″

Seems they know more about this and are showing us that gov’t health care in not the answer! Thanks (”Original Female Poster #2″).!~

“Male Poster #1″

Apparently, the French government has been deliberately cutting back funding to deliberately turn their health care system into a bonanza for private corporations.

I wonder if the big health companies have been floating some money around politicians there?

Naaaah. They wouldn’t do something like that, would they ? :)

Your Humble Narrator

My ex-wife and son lived in Norway, and while she was between jobs, he needed an emergency operation. No delays, no mess, no bills. Norway’s economy is thriving - their financial rules didn’t allow banks and securities firms to engage in gross fiscal stupidity without oversight - and their health system is sound. Hmmm… maybe a sound overall government fiscal policy and social policy.

Germany is suffering record unemployment and fiscal cramps; but they’re not going toward “free market” free-for-all in their economy: they’re ratcheting down the rules on overly adventurous banks and securities traders who cash in when the markets good by investing the public’s money, then turn to the government for bailouts at the tax payer’s expense when their bets don’t pay off, collect their bonuses and leave investors holding the bag. And their healthcare system isn’t imploding.

(Germany, along with France, that other socialist gulag according to the Rightsters, seem to be emerging from the recession, according to recent reports.  Stimulus that worked without allowing massive layoffs and national health plans?  Who woulda thunk it?)

The US is the only major industrialized nation that doesn’t have a public option. We spend more on health care and rank lower than some third tier economies. We pay more, get less, and cover fewer. The people who HAVE coverage can get decent though not excellent health care in this country; but I know several people who are trapped in jobs they really hate because they desperately need the benefits. With a public option, they would not be locked into that condition. People without coverage can look forward to a life of public clinics, emergency rooms and charity care, unless they’re poor enough to qualify for government welfare care.  And guess who pays for that?

If government’s so incompetent at running anything, put up a public option: no one will take it, right?

“Original Female Poster”

Gregg, this is the same argument I have day in and day out with people who don’t understand why we don’t like Obamacare. I won’t have this conversation with anyone who hasn’t read the ACTUAL BILL - all 1,018 pages. Then we can talk. And I don’t mean listening to the flat out LIES from the White House regarding the contents of the bill. I mean … the ACTUAL BILL that I will happily send to you.

The WSJ called Obamacare “the worst piece of legislation they have ever seen in Congress” and it is. I am all for health care reform, starting with the elimination of fraud. And I have no problem providing insurace and or health care for the REAL number of people without it. 11 Million LEGAL citizens. But it’s ridiculous to destroy the best health care in the entire world for something that can be fixed another way.

Obamacare has nothing to do with what you think it does. And you CAN’T keep your own insurance and doctor. That’s a lie. And healthcare will be severely rationed.

Your Humble Narrator

I’m interested in your analysis of the 1,018 page document. I could find no reference to the statement you quoted. If you have a citation, I’d love to see it.

The WSJ is a BUSINESS journal, and not unbiased. This is an ideological dogfight, a partisan bar brawl, as noted by the “Waterloo” comments of Republican legislator DeMint.

Rationing and euthanasia of the elderly are fear buzz words. That’s what the GOP lives on these days, and there’s a huge industry built on the politics of fear. You might want to read the NY Times bestseller, THE WRECKING CREW, by Thomas Franks, for an in-depth history of that phenomenon If the conversation is limited to those who’ve read the bill AND understand it, then I’ll live by that.

“Original Female Poster”

They’re not buzz words Gregg. They’re very real. You need to stop watching people like Rachel Maddow for your news. And, by the way, it’s about 50% DEMOCRATS at the protests, in fact the genius dems used a video of a DEMOCRAT to show the horrors of people asking questions of their … Read Morereps, which they are entitled to since they pay them. This isn’t idealogical and it seems rather odd to make comment on a document you have never read. Why would you do that?

Common sense tells anyone with forethought that adding an entire beaurcratic staff to determine which benefits you might get and when is a mess. And adding millions of people to health care with no added medical staff, doctors, etc. means for anyone thinking that health care will be rationed. But, of course, they took care of that and put it in the bill for us. I also think it’s rather silly to cut 500 Billion in Medicare for Seniors, so that we can pay for free abortions, free sex change operations, etc. you name it for 20 Million ILLEGAL ALIENS. Why does that make sense? My mother gets to die for that? Not going to happen. Ever. I did speak to one of the Blue Dog Dems who said he was trying to get the ILLEGALS out of the bill, but Pelosi and her crew won’t budge. It’s that La Raza voting pool I guess. Never mind the will of the people, or what’s right and good for America.

“Original Female Poster”

No conversation is limited to anything. But if this is a GOP attack because American is speaking and doesn’t want the Obamacare bill, then, yes I urge you to get up to speed with those protesting. We already debunked the filthy lies by Maddow about the protestors being funded by the GOP. That’s just pathetic.

“Female Poster #2″

hahahaha Socializism never works. And you seriously think Governement Healthcare won’t still be sending people to the Free clinics? Give me a break! The long hours waiting in the ER the months that will pass waiting for an operation. Why won’t the Government take this plan? Do you NOT listen to Obama’s past remarks about his plan? Really? Have you even bothered to READ the bill? We need Healthcare Reform, But no way like this!

“Female Poster #2″

Obama is USING that FEAR! He is NOT listening to the People! He works for us! I can not believe you people still drinking the damn Kool-Aid! Get real! And YES I do know how the Government RUNS healthcare! They make cuts on it and you can’t find a Dentist who will take it! It’s not easy finding a good Doctor to take it either. NO WHERE in the Constitution does it give the Government the RIGHT to take over our Healthcare! Stop Watching Rachel Maddow and research and get the real facts! WOW…

“Female Poster #2″

Obama is USING that FEAR! He is NOT listening to the People! He works for us! I can not believe you people still drinking the damn Kool-Aid! Get real! And YES I do know how the Government RUNS healthcare! They make cuts on it and you can’t find a Dentist who will take it! It’s not easy finding a good Doctor to take it either. NO WHERE in the Constitution does it give the Government the RIGHT to take over our Healthcare! Stop Watching Rachel Maddow and research and get the real facts! WOW…

“Female Poster #2″

WOW Bett is he that ignorant? The Congress NOR the Obamaman has READ THE BILL

“Female Poster #2″

OMG I haven’t read your comments BETT and we said the same thing hahahaha

“Female Poster #3″

Sorry I showed up lated for the debate.

Guess Moscoe ran out of MSLSD talking points.

SNIFF

“Female Poster #2″

Well in case he comes back maybe he will read this, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/03/what_right_to_health_care_97742.html

Your Humble Narrator

No, (”Female Poster #3″). I just get tired of listening to people who seem unable to stick to a point till it’s resolved without engaging in personal attacks and talking with certainty about things of which they have no knowledge or personal experience. If you’re up to it, take your best shot.

As for (”Female Poster #2″)’s article, it’s another piece of puffery without documentation. When he cites the “ruinous lawsuits that force medical specialists into insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year” it shows not only bad syntax but also a complete ignorance, or more likely a desire to ignore the fact that market returns had a far greater impact on malpractice premiums than lawsuit awards (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CYD/is_5_38/ai_98830098/). If he’d submitted an article of that quality to any reputable journal, they’d have circular filed it. I suspect he will have a long career as an associate professor - or maybe a community college instructor - if that’s what he publishes.

Your Humble Narrator

As for the alleged debunking of organized Right involvement with the “spontaneous grass roots protests”…

http://dallaspeacecenter.org/node/4457

“FreedomWorks is chaired by former Congressman Dick Armey, a Texas Republican who joined the prominent law firm DLA Piper. Armey also became co-chair of Citizens for a Sound Economy, which in 2004 merged with Empower America to become FreedomWorks….

“FreedomWorks launched its campaign to block health care reform earlier this year — the same year DLA Piper received $830,000 to lobby on behalf of the pharmaceutical firm Medicines Co., according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The pharmaceutical industry has been spending millions of dollars on lobbying efforts in recent months to influence the health care reform debate.

FreedomWorks has come under fire before for what critics call “astroturfing” — creating what appear to be grassroots campaigns that in fact represent corporate interests.

“For example, the website Angryrenter.com was launched last year during the debate over the mortgage crisis and claimed to represent “millions of renters standing up for our rights.” But a WALL STRRET JOURNAL investigation found that the site was actually created by FreedomWorks.”

So when someone claims a grassroots basis for widespread campaigns … Read Morethat are remarkably similar in tactics and message, look behind the curtain and see who’s pulling the levers. The health care reform opposition is being funded by two of the largest special interests in this nation: big pharma and insurance, neither of which wants to see the gravy train grind to a halt. When it’s cheaper to import American drugs from Canada than to buy them here, when government health care is precluded from negotiating pricing based on volume, you know something stinks in American health care.

“Female Poster #4″

@Gregg, I can find no pleasant way to say this, so here goes… as far as these protests go, you have your head up your ass. I guess you haven’t figured out yet, that the people who are really the AstroTurf are the cadres of thugs that have been paid from funds of upwards of $87 million by Soros & Company. You know, the ones wearing the purple and … Read Morered shirts, carrying the four-color laminated placards delivered, handed out the day of the event? The ones that are dimwitted enough to use video of their own throttling a black man for handing out Gadsden flags in Mo. to claim that anti-Obamacare protesters were the violent ones? And just who went to jail and who went to the hospital with broken ribs? Sorry ignorance I can take, but an ignorant elitist like you, I have no patience for…

“Female Poster #4″

I MADE MY OWN SIGNS, IS USED MY OWN GAS, I TOOK MY OWN TIME AWAY FROM MY BUSINESS, AND MY WHOLE HEART STANDS AGAINST THIS ABOMINATION….

“Female Poster #4″

And - BTW - a moving picture is worth a billion words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3QeH-z2CbU

“Female Poster #2″

(”Female Poster #4″).. There is no way of getting through to people like him. He is going to believe the Liberal MSM. I have read actual parts of the Bill and it is an Obamanation for sure. The left can’t handle that we are rising against this Government controlled disaster. Healthcare is not a right given by Our Constitution. It will Cost Trillions of Taxpayer … Read Moremoney. They are going to cover the illegals. Look what that has already done to our Economy. I don’t even understand why Bett keeps this guy on her friends list.

“Female Poster #2″

I know me myself and more people than I can count have nothing whatsoever to do with Freedom Works.

“Female Poster #4″

(”Female Poster #2″) - Ditto everything you said. Thanks! Our Republic is on life support and Dr. Evil has his hand on the plug with the Emanuel Bros. standing at the ready to “clean up” the scene. I am so disgusted, I’m gonna need a spittoon next to my chair.

Your Humble Narrator

“There is no way of getting through to people like him. He is going to believe the Liberal MSM”.

(”Female Poster #2″), try standing in front of a mirror when you speak those words, because they’re just as applicable to you and yours.

“Gregg, I can find no pleasant way to say this, so here goes… as far as these protests go, you have your head up your ass. I guess you haven’t figured out yet, that the people who are really the AstroTurf are the cadres of thugs that have been paid from funds of upwards of $87 million by Soros & Company.”…

(”Female Poster #4″), as above, except change the corporations to virtually every major US and multinational corporation who have funded Gucci Gulch for decades.

When you can do nothing but vilify your opposition, you’ve clearly run out of arguments for your position.

“Female Poster #4″

Ummm…but I thought the new plantation master was going to do things “differently,” you remember that “change” thing, hmmmm?

Your Humble Narrator

If you lot are so unhappy with the state of the Nation, you might want to look at the experience of the only country in modern times where the ideals of the far Right have existed: South Africa.

It required a subjugated near-slave class to support the ability of the white minority live that life. Early support for the extreme U.S. Right’s organization and development of its fundraising machine came from the South African government when the regime was under extreme pressure due to international sanctions.

You can read about this history - heavily documented with extensive annotation and research - in Thomas Franks’ THE WRECKING CREW. He didn’t dream it up, he just collected the existing documentation from scholarly and press sources, as opposed to the previously cited associate professor from Duke….

If you can cite another nation existing today where those values are in existence, I’d love to hear about it.

Your Humble Narrator

Well, apparently you guys think he is, else what’s the sturm und drang about?

“Female Poster #4″

Milton Friedman had it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

Your Humble Narrator

Milton Friedman” LOL. He’s about as credible as Alan Greenspan. The Einstein and Ford examples are perfect examples of specious arguments: Einstein worked in an academic environment supported by public funds, Ford worked in a controlled market regulated by government with a growing middle class that only appeared with the rise of the Industrial Age.

Who put a satellite in orbit first? Without the jaw-dropping, spine chilling feat of those soulless Commies, we would likely not have gone to the moon, or if we did, not for decades to come.

Anyone who thinks that ANY form of government, philosophy or religion - particularly their own - has all the answers, definitely has their head right where you suggested mine was. …

So where does that leave you? And your head?

“Female Poster #4″

@Gregg - What is your definition of “Far Right?” Are you saying that by railing against Socialistic policy, that we are touting slavery as a solution?

“Original Female Poster”

Gregg, your comments are ridiculous, sorry. That moronic shit from Rachel MadCow about FreedomWorks has already been debunked. I can’t believe someone comes to a thread, insults people, and uses such journalistic hacks to do it. Please at least once and a while go to real facts, like the actual contents of the legislation. Bashing the GOP is … Read Moreold, tired crap and the normal people ar moving past those overall, blanket hate devices. I’m not coming back to this thread because I can’t argue with someione who spews lies, inaccuracies and hate. Good luck destroying America.

PS Who the F**k do you think you are? Really? So someone like you thinks you have the right to silence dissent by the people who pay for your free ride? We’re supposed to STFU, pay the bills, hand over all of our income, rights and freedoms and if we open our mouths about it we are UnAmerican, astroturfing scum? My God, just who the hell do you think you are? You’re what’s wrong with America, that’s what.

Your Humble Narrator

A quick and convenient answer would be that the far Right is the crowd saying… “If you let the Liberals have their way, the sky will fall.” When you leave no room for anything but your way, you become extreme. Reagan pushed tax reform; but the guy who crafted the foundation of the legislation was a senior Democrat from New Jersey, Bill Bradley. And you may decry Democrats and Republicans equally; but until you get a party that can swing some clout, you’re pretty much SOL.

“Female Poster #4″

@Gregg…yeah…Commies put the first satellite in orbit alright, all the while the citizens were standing in lines for basic necessity. How the hell is that justice?

Your Humble Narrator

That moronic shit about Freedomworks came from the Wall Street Journal, not Rachel Maddow. What’s your source for the debunking?

Insults people? Have I indicated people had their heads up their asses or were idiots or morons? No. But I’ve gotten plenty of it from the other side. As I said, when all you can do is insult or vilify the opposition, you’ve pretty much run out of arguments.

Your Humble Narrator

When were you talking about justice, (”Female Poster #4″)? Was that when you were proposing how to get basic healthcare coverage for millions of LEGAL Americans? I may have missed your plan for change.

“Female Poster #4″

My source for debunking is showing up on the scene, asshole.

Your Humble Narrator

Re: Milton Friedman http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-chimonetarism.htm

“Monetarism reached the peak of its popularity during the 1970s. In the 80s, however, it suffered a sudden reversal of fortune, and today economists generally agree that “monetarism is dead.” Friedman stands virtually alone now among top economists in his belief that it contains … Read Moreany merit…. Monetarism was tried in Great Britain during the 80s, under Margaret Thatcher, and it proved to be a disaster. For almost seven years, the Bank of England tried its best to make it work. According to monetarist theory, the British economy should have enjoyed low inflation and high stability. But in fact, it went berserk. The economy sank into a deep recession, while lead economic indicators zigged and zagged. Although inflation came down, this was at the price of rising unemployment, which soared from 5.4 to 11.8 percent. Between 1979 and 1984, manufacturing output fell 10 percent, and manufacturing investment fell 30 percent.”

“Female Poster #4″

Gregg, it is apparent that your are in favor of Communism/Socialism or whatever you want to call it. So, pack your bags, we’ll take up a collection, and send you first class travel to Cuba, alrighty then?

“Female Poster #4″

Patriot - OUT!

Your Humble Narrator

No, (”Female Poster #4″), I’m not a socialist or a commie. My family’s from Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas, those Red States. I paid my own way through two degrees at USC, which is not a cheap school. I started working at 13 and have continued since.

Have you EVER been to any of the countries whose systems you guys criticize? France? Italy? Scandinavia? Sampled the life and talked to the people? Had occasion to use the systems? I have. So, I HAVE showed up on the scene. I’ll omit the expletive you inserted in your post.

If you want to take up the collection, I’ll go visit Cuba. Unlike some people, I think first hand knowledge is an asset, not a liability….

Like I said, (”Female Poster #4″), when your only fallback is insult and vilification, you’ve pretty much blown your wad.

“Female Poster #4″

My cousin was in Cuba about 7 years ago. She brought back some of the most beautiful pictures of squalor and misery.

Your Humble Narrator

My brother inlaw went to Cuba with his kids and brought back pictures and video of amazing people who’ve had to struggle under a totalitarian regime, but have a fabulous culture. He helped get the film BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, about legendary Cuban musicians, distributed worldwide.

What’s your point? I never said Cuba was heaven. Why don’t you pack your bags for South Africa? Oops. They don’t have that lifestyle anymore. Guess you’ll just have to make do here.

Your Humble Narrator

By the way, my brother inlaw just died at age 50 of gastric cancer.

He had access to the best medicine available in this country, and in 7 months he went from a vibrant, athletic, successful, happy guy who was at the top of his game to a skeletal victim of a horrid disease. Money was not an object.

What would someone among the working poor in this country - legal citizens without coverage - have had in their time of need?…

We shouldn’t be wasting time over how it gets paid for. A great nation like this one should be able to provide that level of care for all its citizens, not just its government workers, military and legislators. If you’re a real entrepreneur, you create more where nothing existed, you make the pie larger, not fight over the scraps.

Or as that famous Communist Bobby Kennedy said, you don’t ask why, you ask why not?

======================

Two observations before we sign off.

1) When they get stumped by a real argument, the wackos throw in a subject change but never come back to the issue at hand.

2) As I’ve noted frequently, when you can only vilify or insult your opposition, it means you’ve run out of ideas or facts. That happened frequently, and I was on the receiving end of a lot of nastiness.

Thanks for your attention. Hope you found this educational, and that it perhaps inspires you to take action now in this critical time.

Not only do we Progressives have to fight the battle against the opposition, we also have to hold our own guys’ feet to the fire, so they don’t trade away the farm, gutting the legislation and leaving us with a garden patch spread thin to make it look like a real farm.

May the Higher Power of your choice guide you to recommit to positive action. Whichever side you’re on, action is what moves us ahead.

What George Hid About What They Heard

July 11th, 2009

According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, the Bush White House’s secret surveillance program not only went well beyond the stated parameters, but the whole program was more or less vetted by a single, lower-level attorney with strong ties to Bush and his inner circle.

The Evil Empire Must be Unmasked

The Evil Empire Must be Unmasked

The article cites a government report that revealed on Friday more about the workings and origins of the updated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act program, but revealed little more about the actual parameters of the often-illegal surveillance conducted under what has become known as The President’s Surveillance Program.

Attorney John Yoo in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel was largely responsible for assessments about the programs’ legality, authoring a series of memos legally blessing the program even though his superiors and most top officials were uninformed about it.

Meanwhile, an investigation through the inspectors general included interviews with more than 200 top officials and front-line agents in defense and intelligence agencies.  Views of the effectiveness of the warrantless wiretapping and other still-secret activities were mixed.

Also, the selective and often confrontational way in which the Bush administration sought and procured legal authorization for its post-Sept. 11 programs came in for criticism.

So, what we have is an unprecedented intrusion on the privacy and civil rights of millions of American citizens ostensibly to fill critical gaps in our national intelligence effort to combat terrorism with results that are occasionally positive, but more often not.   We fell for the old shill’s chant, “Three for a nickel, two for a dime,” trading our precious rights of privacy for information of questionable value.  The shill offered a better deal by far.

Normally, one might point the finger at the watchdogs; but The President’s Man Yoo queered that path.  The most bizarre episode in that arema involved the middle of the night visit to a hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card.  Their attempt to get the medicated AG to sign off on a program extension was foiled by the timely arrival of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who - along with FBI Director Robert Muller - had threatened to resign over the plan to continue the controversial program.

As noted in the Times, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said the report added a sense of urgency to establishing a nonpartisan “commission of inquiry” to probe Bush administration programs.  Unfortunately, President Obama opposes such a commission, evidently preferring to spend his precious political capital on dealing with the economy and health care.

The report illustrates how the Bush White House not only manipulated the public and Congress to get its way, but also its own officials.  And yet we still don’t know the extent to which our rights as citizens have been violated.

How much evidence do our leaders need to take the kind of action necessary to get at the truth, to shine the glaring light of public scrutiny into the shadowy recesses of this Dark Empire and expose Darth Bush and Cheney the Hutt?

Contact your representatives, or follow Vince Bugliosi’s advice and contact your district attorney or your state attorney general.  Urge them to start the process, to get the ball rolling.  President Obama has another agenda, one that is necessary and important.  But shunting the deceits and manipulations of the Bush Administration off to the side is unacceptable.  Light a fire under your representatives.  It will take a sustained grassroots effort and no time like today to start.  We have to take the responsibility.

May the Higher Power of your choice spark a sense of urgency in your heart today.  These matters are too important to be left in the hands of politicians.

Independence Day: Really? or Really!

July 4th, 2009

I believe... in us

I believe... in us

This is a major milestone.  The first Independence Day when the “Leader of the Free World” is a non-Anglo guy who reads.  Who woulda thunk it?

When I was born, my home town in Oklahoma was still a “sundown town”: the sun didn’t set on a black man in that nice little hamlet.  There wasn’t a synagogue, much less a mosque there.  A few decades before, there’d been a race riot and massacre in Tulsa, about 90 miles away.  The “N word” was common, and gays were queers and homos.  “Dirty Harry” Calahan would have fit right in, except he was one them Califernians.

It’s amazing to me that so much has changed, and it’s gotten good enough that, strangely, many people don’t remember how bad it was and how much sacrifice was required to move the ball down field.

So, when things aren’t perfect and racism rears its ugly head, it seems a lot of people throw up their hands in despair.  Some people turn to guns and religion.  Some turn to drugs and crime.

And in the middle of this, Michael Jackson dies at a tragically young age.  The impact and the hype surrounding his death are amazing.  Within hours of the promoters at AEG putting a registration link on the Staples Center web site, over half a billion people had gone there.  The prize was a lottery for 8,750 tickets to his memorial service.  I wonder what a pair of those would go for on Ebay?

While his death is tragic, I couldn’t help imagining the front page of a fictional newspaper.   The headline blared “Michael Jackson Dead at 50.”  The following stories were, “500,000 Children Die of Hunger, Disease”, “467,000 US Jobs Lost”, and “GM Exit from Bankruptcy in Doubt”.  There’s a question of balance here…

My point is, the 24-hour newscycle is like a constant feed of McInfo, throwing “news-like data” and gossip in front of us in a frenzied search to bolster sagging ratings and profits.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

Private enterprise hasn’t made peace keeping or nation building cheaper, news and television better, or food more nutritious.

Big daddy government doesn’t solve all the world’s problems either, though from the conflicting stories it’s hard to tell whether it’s because they do it too well - stifling free enterprise and the free market - or incompetently - allowing free enterprise and the free market to run amuck.

In these days of racial and ethnic polarization, isn’t it worth thinking about the concept of all the Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and all the rest of us as… just Americans?  Treating each other in that way.  Laying down our arrogant claims of knowing what the Founding Fathers meant and just dealing with each other as fellow countrymen and women, as neighbors, as members of communities small and large?

“Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” seems inconsistent with the mindset of the modern-day Minutemen.  The concept of caring for those less fortunate, either through direct action or through government programs, seems to be an idea that is contested.  You can protest against or target abortion clinics, but do you really offer an alternative?  If you’re trying to deprive a woman of her choice, are you walking the walk by offering to help?

We will never truly be independent until we are able to see that those below us are not the threat.  The threat comes from those who seek to widen the income gap, who would deprive labor of the right to collective bargaining, who seek to undermine the value and existence of a thriving middle class.  Who outsource and shelter offshore the jobs and profits that should be enriching this society, in pursuit of higher profits and stock prices.

If you take anything away from this scribble, take this: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and the battle for a vibrant American society that can once again be an inspiring light to the world is fought everyday, in every town, in every workplace by people who care, not just what their country can do for them, but about what they can do for their country.

May the Higher Power as you know him or her make this a joyful day for you and your loved ones, wherever they may be.

Victims of Frontier Justice: Wilson and Plame

June 23rd, 2009

We’ve been shown again an important long-term cost of the 2000 and 2004 elections: court stacking by ideologs.  Jason Leopold’s The Public Record notes a significant legal development that we should all pay attention to.

Wrong Roberts, but you get the idea...

Wrong Roberts, but you get the idea...

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case brought by Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, about the “outing” of Plame as a CIA agent by members of the Bush Administration.  The Wilsons had brought a suit against Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Cheney’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and former Deputy Sec. of State Richard Armitage for violating their civil rights.

Despite discovery by federal Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Bush Administration officials had attempted to discredit and retaliate against Wilson for his statements criticizing the manipulation of intelligence leading up to the Iraq war, a variety of conservative jurists went out of their way to thwart the Wilson’s case.

  • A District Court judge dismissed the case, characterizing Plame’s outing as a form of rebuttal exercised by the defendants to counter Wilson’s criticism.  (This sort of overlooks the obvious, that exposing a CIA agent’s identity is a crime.)
  • The Republican-dominated DC Appeals Court turned down their bid for appeal on a 2-1 vote.
  • The Republican-dominated Supreme Court has declined to hear the case

The Wilson’s case could have further peeled back the veil of secrecy surrounding the Bush Administration, which was successful in shielding the higher-ups after tossing one of the hired help to the wolves.  Separately, Libby was convicted on four out of five charges related to the incident, getting sentenced to 30 months.

“The Wilsons and their counsel are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, but more significantly, this is a setback for our democracy,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an attorney representing the Wilsons. “This decision means that government officials can abuse their power for political purposes without fear of repercussion. Private citizens like the Wilsons, who see their careers destroyed and their lives placed in jeopardy by administration officials seeking to score political points and silence opposition, have no recourse.”

And what about George?  He initially denied any knowledge of this, blustering at one point that any Administration official shown to be complicit would be fired.  Bush’s backtracking on this very public pledge ended with Bush commuting Libby’s sentence, so Scooter dodged jail time.  Why he didn’t just pardon him is curious, since his Vice President, Dick Cheney, had lobbied strenuously for a pardon.  Perhaps a belated concern about his legacy stayed Bush’s hand on the pardon pen.

If anyone doubts that the battle for good governance and the requirement of civil vigilance are daily necessities, the plight of the Wilsons should stand as proof that the fight can never stop.  A recent decision by the Obama Justice Department to continue the Bush policy shielding transcripts of Vice President Dick Cheney’s meetings during the period emphatically punctuates the argument that we, as citizens, can never ever stop demanding that our representatives be accountable and that our government be transparent.  When the courts are stacked, we lose a valuable tool in that pursuit.

May the Higher Power of your choice inspire your civil pursuits in protection of the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

A Father’s Day Question: Where’s George, and What’s Up in Iran?

June 21st, 2009

George Bush’s profile is lower than an armadillo’s belly.

Mike Scott, NewJerseyNewsroom.com

Mike Scott, NewJerseyNewsroom.com

My searches and alerts to keep up to date on what the world-breaking ex-POTUS is doing brings up nothing more interesting than historical references and quotes from the past.  I guess he’s hunkered down in Der Fuhrer Bunker in Der Dallas.  Right next to the Armadillo Republic capital of Waxahachie.

Since this is Father’s Day, a day I observe with relish, I will make this post short by referring readers to an article from NewJerseyNewsroom.com that, while not elegantly styled, draws some interesting parallels and makes interesting observations between the situation in Iran - past and present - and the Great Election Robberies.

When Dubya stole elections, Democrats threw up their hands after wringing them mightily.   In Tehran, they’re taking to the streets and paying a price for a liberty they don’t even have yet.

Food for thought.  The fight goes on every day.

May the Higher Power of your choice make this a happy and memorable day for you.  Rest well, and take up the battle for American Democracy again tomorrow.


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