Monday, September 05, 2005

DANGEROUS INCOMPETENCE

The words of Cindy Sheehan:

"George Bush has been an incompetent failure his entire life. Fortunately, for humanity, he was just partying his way through school, running companies into the ground and being an alcoholic and cocaine abuser for most of that time and his incompetence was limited to hurting the people who worked for him and his own family. The people in his life who were hurt by his incompetence probably have been able to 'get on' with their lives. Now, though, his incompetence affects the world and is responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction. How many of us did not foresee the mess he would make of the world when he was selected the first time? We saw what he had done to Texas. How many of us marvelled and were so discouraged and amazed when he was 're-elected' the second time? We saw what he had done to the world. Dangerous incomptence should never be rewarded, let alone be rewarded so handsomely as in George's case."


It's hard to believe how even George W. Bush's "base" can still support this administration. The facts cannot be ignored: A disasterous $100 billion a year war in Iraq; an "improving" economy where real wages of working people have stagnated for years; an insensitive and incompetent response to the Katrina "attack" on America, led by a FEMA head whose previous claim to fame was that he was forced to resign as the head of a horse association; the hugh tax gifts to the very wealthy, while underfunding essential programs like education reform and FLOOD CONTROL IN NEW ORLEANS. The list goes on and on.

Enough. The country cannot take much more of this!

Friday, September 02, 2005

BLAME THE VICTIMS - AGAIN

Once again, the Bush administration deflects criticism from itself by blaming the victims.

The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates.

"Unfortunately, (the death toll) is going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.

"I don't make judgments about why people CHOSE not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said. (Emphasis mine)

Hello! They "chose" not to leave, Mr. Brown, because they COULDN’T leave. They are POOR, and, oh yeah, they are mostly black, too. Oh, wait a minute; I get it. If you're poor and black in this country, it's all your fault and the rest of us, as represented by the people in charge of our government, just don't give a damn.

We'll just go on living in our secure gated communities. Better to let "them" die and "reduce the surplus population" (apologies to Charles Dickens)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

PRIORITIES

I have often wondered how middle class, blue-collar voters can continue to support Republicans when doing so is clearly contrary to their own economic self-interest. Well, now we can add health, safety, and disaster preparedness to the long list of fiscal policies of the current administration and congress – policies that were destined to hurt the less than rich among us.

While no one could have prevented the powerful and terrible hurricane that struck the Louisiana and Mississippi shores this week, it seems that the New Orleans Times-Picayune had published numerous stories during the past two years about how unprepared city and federal officials were for this very thing.

First of all, some 7,000 soldiers from the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard are stationed in Iraq. These soldiers comprise 35% of Louisiana's and 40% of Mississippi's total National Guard strength. They include more than 3,000 members of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, a unit based in and around New Orleans. And, don't forget all the trucks, humvees, and helicopters that go along with these troops.

Yet, not until yesterday did President Bush finally take decisive action to provide military reinforcements from other parts of the country or even from regular Army bases in those states.
By then, one of our greatest cities was under water and being evacuated; tens of thousands of its poorest residents were stranded and facing catastrophe; millions were without power, and looters had already waded off with all that could be taken.

The newspaper's articles also revealed that President Bush was making huge cuts to an Army Corps of Engineers project meant to shore up the levees and pumping stations that protect Delta residents from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi. That project, known as the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, has been in effect since 1995. But spending on it has been reduced substantially since 2000.

"It appears the money has been moved into the President's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price that we pay," the emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, La., told The Times-Picayune in June 2004. "Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished."

Earlier this year, Bush, this President who is spending more than $1 billion a week on this mess in Iraq, proposed less than $11 million in new funding for Louisiana's flood control project. The Army Corps of Engineers wanted at least $62 million.

Among the items the White House cut from that flood control budget was money to study how New Orleans could cope with a Category 5 hurricane.

How's that for irony!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

WE DID IT FOR THIS, PART II

President Bush speaks about women's rights in the new Iraq constitution:

"There is not, as I understand it, the way the constitution is written, is that women have got rights, inherent rights recognized in the constitution, and that the constitution talks about, you know, not 'the religion' but 'a religion'."

Good grief!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

WE DID IT FOR THIS??

Let me see if I have this right. The new Iraq constitution currently being drafted establishes Islam as the framwork for legislation. Islamic law treats women as second class citizens. indeed, married women are little more than their husband's property.

Conversly, under Sadam, brutal as he was, Iraq was the most progressive nation on women's rights in the entire mid-east, except for Israel.

It is for this that tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, as well as nearly 2,000 American men AND WOMEN!

I think I'm going to be sick.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

PERFECT SYMMETRY

We're back! Now that our California trip is over, I hope to resume my weekly rants. It was nice to soak in some good progressive California karma, Arnold you-know-who notwithstanding.

Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn about Walrus Man. Walrus Man is our new "recess appointment" ambassador to the United Nations. This is a good thing because the U.N. is comprised of people from all over the world who live in countries that, for the most part, really hate us. That makes Walrus Man the perfect choice for the U.N. position because he doesn't think much of the rest of the world either. You see, perfect symmetry!

Let's try to analyze this. John Bolton, who would have had a hard time getting confirmed by the Senate; John Bolton, whose vicious temper is well-documented; John Bolton, who lied during his confirmation hearings; John Bolton, who Republican Senator George Voinovich called a "poster child for who should be a United nations Ambassador;" John Bolton, who has frequently articulated utter disdain for the U.N., will now join the list of distinguished statesmen and women who have previously represented this nation in what Ambassador Ralph Bunch once called "our one great hope for a peaceful and free world." I speak of Republicans and Democrats like: Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., two-time presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, former Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, former civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman Andrew Young, academics and public intellectuals Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Jean Kirkpatrick, Madeline Albright and Richard Holbrook, former State Department aide and New Mexico Congressman Bill Richardson, former Missouri Senator John Danforth.

And so, the "I'm a uniter not a divider" President has finally succeeded in putting an ugly face on his ugly foreign policy. I want to be sick.

Then, again, it IS perfect symmetry.



Tuesday, July 05, 2005

THE HITS KEEP ON COMING

Rove is a political low-life Part II. It’s looking more and more like our ol’ buddy Karl is THE ONE who outed Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative while trying to discredit her husband, administration critic Joseph Wilson. Revealing such information is a felony under federal law. Wow!

According to Lawrence O’Donnell, senior political analyst for MSNBC, materials turned over to the Grand Jury investigating the case, by Time, Inc. reveal that reporter Matt Cooper’s source for the information, forst published by administration lapdog Robert Novak, was none other than Bush’s political strategist and master mind Karl Vader, er, Rove. O’Donnell says that, since he revealed the information on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country last Friday, an additional reliable source has confirmed the information.

OK, so Rove will probably not go to jail, even though he deserves it. Even so, an indictment will most certainly separate him from the President. He will have to resign from his White House position as head of domestic affairs. More importantly, this incident will further reinforce the developing national opinion that the people running this country are a vicious, ruthless band of power-hungry beings who also consider themselves above the law. Not only will they lie to achieve their goal of consolidating the power of the Attila the Hun wing of the Republican Party, they will do anything to ensure that no one will have the capacity to expose their lies.

Of course, some of us “sore losers” have known this for a long time. Now that the American people are realizing it, it’s going to be over for these guys. The only thing keeping me from becoming positively giddy is the long-range damage this country may experience before this is over.

Supreme Court appointment, anyone?