Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Emperor's Clothes

President Bush held a press conference today. Announcing that despite the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) claim that Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weapons in 2003, Iran remains a threat to our national security and international interests.

Why does the NIE have information in it that is supposedly not available to our President, who claims to have only seen this information this week. Why has it taken this long to discredit the President's erroneous claim?

Bottom line, Iran was not and is not looking to start World War III like our President claims. If not them, then who? I'm going to ask the man in the shiny new suit of clothes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Iran Stopped Weapons Program in 2003

I don't really remember what happened in 2003, I had to Google it. Here's a refresher in case you forgot. The Raiders were in the Super Bowl, and lost to Tampa Bay.

What else happened in 2003? Oh yeah, the invasion of Iraq. The Department of Homeland Security was founded. It was a banner year for the administration. Karl Rove and Scooter were destroying the careers of Valerie
"Fair Game Plame and Joe "Eat your yellowcake" Wilson

The drumbeats should fade away along with this administration and their deceptive ways. Iran is not a real threat. There is a good probability that Ahmadinejad will lose his election. What kind of threat is Iran now?

The real crime here is that there will be no investigation into what happened with Iraq intelligence, or who was making energy policy in the Vice-President's office, and why is there a continual string of intelligence that has no backing in reality? Who created the Iran threat?

Here's a hint, it wasn't Iran.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CNN Democratic Debate

Hillary and Obama are really getting at each others throats. Health Care wanking, or is that wonking? Obama drew a few hecklers and they made him pause. Not a good response, he should have ignored them and kept punching the old lady right in the asbestos pantsuit

Now Hillary is cackling at Sen. Biden's jokes (it's like nails on a chalk board, not going to be able to take that for four years).

This is going to be good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Aberrant Chronicles Pt. II

With very little money, McCain still pushes on in this marathon of a presidential campaign. McCain has not done well in the post-debate polls this season, but he's still around, tight-roping on the moderate line. Romney's numbers look good, but Juliani is the current Republican darling leading most preliminary polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Huckabee finds resurgence, but the lack of foreign policy experience thing may serve up damaging public fodder in the press.

The game right now, however, is pure politicking. During the last Republican debate it was clear that the Republicans focused their vitriol on one person: Hillary Clinton. It was as if the RNC dispatched discrete communique to have the party focus directly on Clinton's proposed policies. They're framing her as the likely nominee and respect her as a true threat to not only the presidency, but to congressional horse races as well. The distinct possibility of vast Democratic wins in 2008, including the presidency, has the conservative establishment deeply concerned.

Iowa is becoming more and more important. Obama is head to head with Clinton so Obama's handlers are scrambling to drum up a clear flash point between him and Clinton; one that sets him way apart. This strategy could go either way--can an academic representing the south side of Chicago throw down?

No matter how desperate the times are (which is indicative by the lengthy campaign season) raw politics are inevitable. Position, polls and for some, pussy, dictate which narrow path to take to power. When we see clear and shared strategies come out of party debates, it creates a dangerous perception. Polling still informs campaign/party strategists, yes, but the perception of respective party winners this early in the game tells the all important caucus voter that maybe, just maybe the final showdown should be Clinton and Juliani. This slippery notion effectively excludes any viable chance for righteous Democracy. Maybe I'm being dramatic. I will say that having a long campaign season perhaps changes the nuts and bolts of presidential politics, leaving serious questions about the level of influence national party establishments like the DNC and the RNC have.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beer and the Beloved Topic of Iran

I've just finished my first beer. Much better now. Where was I? Ah yes...Iran. Old news by now, but worth the reflection. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the ivy league juggernaut of Columbia University in late September, no one knew just what to expect. More antisemitism? Threatening religious prose of the 12th Imam returning for Armageddon? It was simply unclear. The President of Columbia provided a cold welcome to Iran's de facto leader as he was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly. The visit to the school was part of their international affairs seminar series, which invites domestic and world leaders for "dialogue." The visit from the Iranian President was unusual; but the importance with the event rested with what he had to say.

There were the usual ambiguous jabs to the "imperial" powers that exist in the world; that Western media has him all wrong, and his unfortunate vague response that further research should be conducted on the holocaust possibly implying--again--that it didn't' happen. Awful shitbag. The poor fool went as far as to claim that no homosexuals exist in Iran. This was quintessential simple minded utterance, which in a weird and twisted way gives a firm preview into the foreign policy logic Iran rolls with.

We are not dealing with the typical world player living in modernity. What we have on our hands is a deeply paper religious, flawed, racist, former revolutionary. The Ayatollah Khomeini and his closest clerics must want this fiery player around. He moves the country to the right, whereas the youthful majority inch closer to the West. The nuclear situation is learned chess from small Siberian hamlets aggravated by the Bush Cartel. Does Bush know the intricacies of chess? I'm not denying they have the bomb, I'm simply claiming they're leveraging the fuck out this whole thing.

The second beer is now open.

Our very own Dark Horse VP is the proverbial gasoline for this fire. A refocus of carrier groups just west of the Straight of Hormuz; vitriolic public statements; avoiding Frontline interviews; things like that. Modern justice, it appears, resembles an old west duke-out of two town idiots. My fear is, there is a final agenda item before January 20th, 2009.

The Columbia Experiment was interesting. The press was mixed, but there was a consensus that the Experiment was a case study in modern, post 911 democracy; that free speech possibly exists in subterranean circles against the ironic backdrop of warrantless wiretapping and sanctioned domestic spying. In the end, this vile game is hard to push the line on, but the possibility is there. That's the marbles were stuck with (don't drink beer while blogging).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Aberrant Chronicles

We are approximately 110 days until Super Tuesday--heading into possibly one of the earliest presidential primary seasons in our nation's history. Why is that? In sick and attention-hungry fashion, many States have decided to move thier primaries up, which may force more of the attention on the heavily populated states. The Candidates know this. In previous political cycles, States like New Hampshire and Iowa were significant to win because they are the "early" States. With the first state caucus scheduled for January 14 and 8, possibly 12 states, moving thier primaries up to February 5th, we're geared up for a lightening bolt of a primary season. February 5th could get quite national. No time to think, react or, more importantly, raise money.

As an ironic result, wins in the small early states like New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina now have deep media importance in the big states, which is substantial considering there will be no time to raise large sums of money for those races. Recent reports show the early states moving up earlier; Iowa is seeking a January 3rd caucus date! This is a certified, large scale pissing contest with the various States channeling scenes from Dante's Inferno. Similarly, the pundocracy have mobilized in quick lock step with the premature debate season and have already issued inventive names for the premier policital kick off day: Tsunami Tuesday, Super Duper Tuesday to name a few.

In the end, the big ticket candidates with gold in thier teeth stand a chance. The marathoner(s) with deep pocket media power can survive this lengthy campaign season (which is largely taking place in Iowa and New Hampshire) and position themselves for the early win and big state voter attention.

It appears this presidential election means something. Half the nation has finally come sun up on the stone realization of thier drastic mistake back in November 2004. The desperation for competent (and sane) leadership is at all time high and the American public is so keyed in to foreign policy, security and alcholism that a fever of hyper-concious voters is now inevitable. An unfortunate reflection of the Nixonian duma, which has posited many of the same actors into the current Bush Cartel should be enough to wake us the fuck up. If this robust campaign season and early primary jockeying has showed us anything, it has demonstrated in dramatic fashion that the States, the Candidates and now potentially the Voter, are fully aware of what's at stake.

Sources: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept 11

It's almost already become a cliche. I know that I am tired of being asked, "where were you on Sept. 11th?" Ok, not very many people ask me, and I don't ask anyone, but I do remember that day very well. In terms of significance and importance to American politics and history, it is on par with Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, etc. It is a watershed moment. A moment that you can point to and say, "everything changed after that."

I was woken up by my girlfriend. She called telling me to turn on the TV. The first tower had already been hit a tower. I turned the television on just in time to see the second jet hit the tower. I remember when the towers collapsed. I don't really remember what I thought or felt at that time. It was shocking, but we should have expected it. I was amazed then at how fast they were able to credit the attack to Osama bin Laden. I was also amazed at how fast they were able to get pictures of the suspected terrorists (they all perished unfortunately and were not able to stand trial) on television.

Arrogance is a word used to describe someone or something who is so caught up with themselves that they do not pay attention to the world around them. Arrogance is what allows all of us to think that something like that could never happen here, even though it had in 1993. How long did we think that we would stay shrouded, untouchable to the rest of the world? Aside from one attack during WWII when was the last time that we were attacked from the outside? 1812?

In hindsight I wish that we would have been reborn on Sept. 11th ever more vigilant, more fervent citizens of our Republic. Instead we became even more gullible. We became more susceptible to accusations and threats. We bought the Iraq war hook, line, and sinker because we were all told that Saddam could empower more terror attacks.

Another cliche is that a citizen is the most important "office" that anyone can hold in a democracy. I am sorry to say that this is little more than something that is told to civics classes. It is still my hope that citizens take their responsibility seriously, but it is a lot easier to swallow the dreck that is put on the cable news than to think for yourself.

Farenheit 9/11 and Loose Change have both examined the ties, or motivation, that the powers that be had in allowing, or planning, an attack on our own citizens. It's tough to call any of it "proof." They are some rather unique coincidences, but I fear that we will never know the truth. Even faced by the truth it is doubtful that the public would accept it anyway.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Shia in Iraq

The Economist commented on the British withdrawal in Basra.
The departure of UK forces from Basra Palace, their last base within Basra city limits, is likely to precipitate a free-for-all among rival local groupings for control in Iraq's second city. Although violent confrontations between the various powers in the area have been taking place for some time, the withdrawal of the British—claimed as a victory for Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army—will allow these Iraqi groupings to concentrate solely on each other. However, the Shia dynamic is extremely complex, and alliances and rivalries differ not only at the national and local level, but can also vary from governorate to governorate.

Fearing Shia chaos in Iraq

With the British leaving who fills their role? Muqtada al-Sadr?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Iraq revisited

The General Accounting Office, the *ahem* non-partisan branch of Congress, has released a study of 18 benchmarks that are being used to grade the progress in Iraq. Three of the benchmarks are currently being met.

1. Committees established that support political, media, and economic aspects of the security plan.

2. Thirty-two of 34 planned joint security stations are established in Baghdad.

3. Rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi Legislature are protected.

Not bad. Those are important first steps. Four have been partially met.

1. Law passed on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions, to be implemented in 2008.

2. Three Iraqi brigades to support operations are trained, but effectiveness is limited.

3. Security forces are established, but militias have infiltrated them.

4. $10 billion in Iraqi revenue has been allocated, but is unlikely to be spent on reconstruction projects.

Ok, so the rubber isn't hitting the road, but maybe it just needs a little bit of a tune-up.

11 of those benchmarks are not being met. Not sure about my math, but I'm pretty sure that those marks won't get you a "C" in college, not even at Yale.
1. Establish a Constitutional Review Committee.

2. Provide de-Ba'athification legislation.

3. Ensure equitable distribution of oil revenues.

4. Establish an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.

5. Establish amnesty legislation.

6. Create a militia disarmament program.

7. Increase the number of Iraqi security units capable of operating independently.

8. Stop Iraq's political authorities from undermining Iraqi security forces.

9. Have Iraqi commanders make tactical and operational decisions in the pursuit of extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias.

10. Have Iraqi security forces provide even-handed enforcement of the law.

11. Reduce the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminate militia control of local security.

Ok, this isn't exactly news. This has been the problem the whole time. Iraq needs to stand on its own, the question is whether or not we can give them the help that they need? Speaking of benchmarks, doesn't anyone care if children can get to school safely or that citizens of Iraq can get a fair trial?

That seems to be the obvious question. What happens if we leave? Do Iran and Syria gain more influence in Iraq if we leave? Does that further destabilize the region?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn Dies

Jennifer Dunn passed away today in Alexandria, VA. The former Congresswoman had an embolism that proved to be fatal. Jennifer Dunn in so many way personified the so-called "Reagan revolution" and provided a rather striking contrast for the parade of these "so-called" white men that must be mass produced at the Republican party factory candidate factory. In the other Washington (you know, where Maria Cantwell makes swimsuit team, imagine 20 years ago) Dunn must have really stood out.

Dunn was beautiful and successful woman and she became the FIRST woman to chair the state republican party and later the FIRST to hold a Republican leadership post in Congress. Dunn, and her image, still represents a rather prickly problem for Democrats. If there is an anti-Hillary it would probably look like be Jennifer Dunn. 2004 showed how dependent the Democrats are on voting women. The only problem is that suburban moms feel safer leaving their kids with Dubya than John Kerry. Women like Jennifer Dunn take offense at Hillary. They bristle when they hear Hillary dismiss trivial pursuits like baking cookies for children as beneath her. They whisper in the beauty salon, "can you believe it?" "if she was giving Bill what he wanted." "well, can't say that I blame the girl."

Oh the humanity.

The Democrats are lucky that she didn't have ambitions for the Senate (hands down the best candidate that could have run against Murray or Cantwell) or (who knows) the Presidency, she would be formidable. She had charisma, empathy, and remained likable, which are all of Hillary's weakest points. If not for catching her husband's spotlight she would not be where she is. All you can do is give her credit for keeping the audience's attention after the star left the stage.

The PI ran a side piece on the wikipedia and how quickly it responds to, and apparently leads, the news cycle. It took less than 10 minutes after they pronounced Dunn dead for her entry to be updated. Don't believe me? Read about it the PI.

Oh, and her former Congressional seat is squarely in the crosshairs of the state Democratic Party once again. It looks like Rep. Dave Reichert vs. Darcy Burner (again). Will her spectre influence the outcome of the race? Tune in next week . . .

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Conservative Christian Quote

While reading up on the Larry Craig thing at the Christian Science Monitor, I ran into this nifty line from Gary Bauer:
If my choice is between being governed by hypocrites and being governed by people who will be very consistent in what they put through – same-sex marriage, condoms, and birth control pills in the schools, etc., etc. – that would be a horrible choice, but I'd still go with politicians who are willing to vote for the correct things.
Let me get this straight. Gary Bauer is saying that he would rather be governed by hypocrites than by people who are highly consistent because he disagrees with the idea of educating teenagers about sex.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

What to think about Larry Craig?

So, this Larry Craig story. I'll admit that I, like virtually everyone else, initially saw this as another example - a particularly egregious example - of party hypocrisy. But the more I read, see, hear about this, the more I think it's just really sad.

I'll not detail the history of this story. Ya'll can use Google as well as I can. But in a nutshell: Craig solicited other men for sex going back to 1967. He denied having sex with under-aged congressional pages in 1982. He has been under heavy scrutiny and investigation by the Idaho Statesman since 2004 when several men, some highly credible, some not, stated they had been solicited for sex or had sex with Craig.

Despite his denials, the guy is gay. Duh.

The hypocrisy is obvious. Craig has been a staunch social conservative his entire congressional career. He was a major proponent of the Defense of Marriage Act and of the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Further, Craig pled guilty to the charges of lewd conduct 6 months ago, the discovery of which sparked the current media firestorm. He is now, of course, denying that he was guilty. I could go on and on with this.

But, the sad part. Here's a guy who is obviously gay, but feels he is unable to simply say so. I would venture to guess that he grew up a conservative Christian and genuine believes in his socially conservative rhetoric. I'm sure he also believes that his homosexual thoughts and behaviors are sinful and feels guilty as hell.

I'm not gonna say I feel sorry for the him. Be a man and buck up. At least be honest with yourself. And if you can't be honest with the rest of us, then resign already. (Yeah, he already has as of this morning.)

I'd love to hear everyone else's take on the Larry Craig situation. Please leave comments.

with friends like these . . .

Apparently Rep. Brian Baird has been taking some heat from the liberal establishment in SW Washington. Apparently Moveon.org is using this opportunity to kick Rep. Baird in the shins and is running an ad on Youtube against him. One of the local news channels described the over capacity crowd in a Vancouver, WA high school gym as an "angry mob." (watch the clip) Apparently there was a "robo-call" that went out before the town meeting.

I am unclear about how running an ad against an entrenched Congressman furthers the cause of ending the war in Iraq. Baird has won his last two elections rather handily, I do not believe that this little stunt by his "base" is going to cause him any more heartburn than strawberry milkshake from Burgerville (a small chain in Oregon and SW Washington, at the risk of editorializing, they are delicious). Russell Shaw on Huffington Post had this to say:

There are three truths about Rep. Baird the NetRoots tend to forget.

First, he is on your side on most of the issues: an environmentalist with a thoughtful conscience, pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-public education and more.

Second, you may think he was "brainwashed," but I'd argue that brainwashing is rarely successful with someone of his particular professional qualifications and persuasion. That'd be Brian Baird, Ph.D. in psychology.

Third, although the Washington Third District leans slightly Democratic and Baird got 60 percent of the vote last time, this is still a swing district. Beyond the hip areas of downtown Vancouver, Wash., and the quite liberal enclaves of Olympia (where Rep. Baird is from), the district is full of small towns full of gun-loving, pious Republicans who listen to Rush, Sean Hannity and Lars Larson. These are people who only love spotted owls for dinner, have doubts about evolution but no doubts that Saddam was in on 9/11.

Rep. Baird was the one of the only members of the Washington State delegation, besides Sen Murray and Rep Inslee, who voted against the war in Iraq in the first place. People have very short memories don't they? Baird gave a rather impassioned floor speech on the war during the vote for the "surge."

The point is that the war in Iraq is regrettable, but that is about it. It has been a disaster with no end in sight. The closest analogy that I can think of is buyer's remorse. We were never told of the possible risks involved with invading and running the country ourselves. We botched and bungled the whole thing, but that doesn't mean that we should just quit.

The decision to withdraw prematurely doesn't really matter when Iraq is already pregnant about to burst at the seems with conflict. Rival factions are competing for a stake in the new country, conflict is inevitable, they aren't going to agree on everything and fighting for what you want is what politics is all about. Stability is what we seek in Iraq, that should be the goal now that we already decided to go to war. We are no longer the primary target that we were when the war started, although we are still a target. This war is going to be between the Sunnis and Shiites and the Kurds and is going to be fought for territory and resources (revenue).

Politics is about the establishment of values, war is about removing loyal opposition. Iraq needs a solution that embraces both of these truths without copping out to more soundbite political ads that are designed only to make people look bad.

I've always held Rep. Baird in high regard, this puts him up even further in my opinion. It takes courage to stand up against the war in the first place (which was the right thing to do) and it takes courage to stand up to popular sentiment against the war and seek an end to war with dignity and most importantly stability.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Alas, the Mariners have been swept. Our best three pitchers against the Angels, and swept. A 2-5 home-stand. Seriously, who cares about politics right now?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rep. Brian Baird - "Our troops have earned more time"

Rep. Baird has an opinion piece running in the Seattle Times today.

read it here.

Rep. Baird did not vote for the war in Iraq. He has recently returned from Iraq and has seen some progress.

"You may think you can walk away from Iraq," I was told by one leader. "We cannot. We live here and have to deal with the consequences of what your nation has done. So will you eventually, if the Iraq conflict spreads and extremists bring us down as well."

I do not know the details of what the September report will contain, but I trust and respect Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. I have seen firsthand the progress they have made, and I firmly believe we must give them the time and resources they need to succeed.

Though we would all wish this conflict would end tomorrow, it will not. We are going to have to begin to withdraw troops next spring because our equipment and our soldiers are wearing out. However, even with the progress that has been made of late, we will have a significant military and civilian role in Iraq and the region for some time to come. That is the price we must all pay for the decision to invade. We cannot shirk that responsibility.

I hope that you all read the honorable gentleman's words in print today. They are not awe-inspiring or optimistic, but they are heartfelt and even a little tough. There seems to be a real problem with telling the truth in our political process, even when the problems are staring you right in the face. Social Security is the perfect example of this. The problem is well known and there can be only two correct answers, raise taxes or cut benefits. What do you do if neither option is politically possible? Wait until the problem further develops and defines itself.

Iraq is in many respects similar. The problem is that we went in and destroyed a country for weapons that weren't there. Tore down every single social institution so that we could rebuild them again. We essentially destabilized the country to the point where there is no civil order. This is the kind of environment where violence thrives. There is no check on aggression by society, it could only come from individuals.

One thing that Rep. Baird understands is that a vote to withdraw is not the same as a vote to go to war. Peace activists seem to think that they can put humpty-dumpty back together again if they remove the US from the equation. Iraq already had a power vacuum after we removed Baathist from the bureaucracy and disbanded the military and police forces. What will the next power vacuum be like if we were to abandon the war and leave nothing to assume our role?

Typical Party Response

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Primary Election

Does anyone think that this is a story?

Nothing really noteworthy in the results that I have seen so far. It looks like the Port of Bremerton is going to have a change. There was an incumbent, Mary Ann Huntington, who lost the primary but will still be on the ballot for the general. The challenger, Larry Stokes, wound up taking 56% of the vote in a three-way race. There was a tax increase levied by the Port that was unpopular to say the least and the current commissioner will lose her job over it.

Here's the story in the Kitsap Sun

Kitsap SEED is going to be in the hot seat, I would be surprised if the Port of Bremerton took on any other new projects.

Please post comments as to other primary results that others may find interesting.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Which way out of Iraq?

Congress is home for its August recess, time to explain what has been going on in (Washington) D.C. and what is going to be done in Iraq. All of the easy answers have been exhausted. What do we do now?

Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington's 3rd Congressional District has recently returned from Iraq. Apparently he see signs of progress from the surge effort. Iraqi factions are starting to cooperate and Rep. Baird satisfied that we are moving in the right direction. At least he is convinced that it is a better option than just leaving.

One, I think we're making real progress. Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility ... and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security.

Seattle Times August 18, 2007

Here's another quote from the Seattle Times, this one is from David Postman's blog

We have to really remind the American people that we destroyed their civil government, their police force, the military, their infrastructure; we left the borders unguarded and open ... and we also shut down most state industry, leaving people out of work and filled with resentment.

Postman did a follow up piece on some other Democrats who have a view on the war that is not shared by the *ahem* "liberal-blogger-elite" or "netroots" crowd. I think that Rep. Baird is correct in his stance, There are legitimate risks, that are more than just probable, that could destabilize the Middle Eastwe'll have to see if Cindy Sheehan files to run against Rep. Baird as well as Speaker Pelosi.

Meanwhile Sen. Obama has stated that the military cannot win this war. What he actually said was, "there is no military solution to this war." A bit of a gaffe, a little to easy to spin that top. Is he right? Saddam Hussein was able to keep Iraq together by force, isn't that a military solution?

I understand that his point is that a "political" solution is needed, consensus is needed between the factions in Iraq and they need to have a shared stake in Iraq's future. It is a fine line between war and politics. War is the most basic way to establish values, and that is politics. Saddam established values, Paul Bremer established values; the difference is that one of those people established order and stability. At least there was electricity, running water, and the trains ran on time. This is the "political" solution, create social institutions that create stability and provide basic services for the citizenry.

Ol' Tom Hobbes set this out in his classic work Leviathan. Our state of nature is in conflict with each other for resources and survival. Hobbes postulated that all people recognize this on some level and willingly give up a portion of their freedom to the "Leviathan" in exchange for stability. Hobbes' idea of a social contract was a deal with the devil, but it is still the appropriate analogy about life in America and in Iraq post-September 11th.

A Thank You to Karl Rove

Dear Turd Blossom,

I'd like to give personal thanks to you for your service to the American people. Your single-mindedness and hubris have been inspirational.

Since your days at the U of Utah, you have worked tirelessly to promote the Republican agenda. Even when you dropped out, it was to go to work for the College Republicans. You stuck-it-to-the-man by dodging the draft, saying you were in college, but weren't. Brilliant. And I'm awestruck that you avoided Watergate investigators after your boss and mentor Donald Segretti went down, then documentation that your trainings for campaign workers included breaking in to Democratic HQ's and "going through the garbage."

Of course, you met the Bush family through your coup of the College Republicans and later went to work in God's favorite state. You worked for James Baker then helped Bill Clements become the first Republican governor of Texas in over 100 years! You formed your own political consulting company specializing in direct mailing. One of your first clients: none other than Phil Gramm, then a Democrat, later a Republican. (Did you have anything to do with that?)

You were the architect of innumerable campaigns, primarily in Texas. You handled everybody who was anybody from Clements and Gramm to John Ashcroft to ... wait for it ... George W. Bush! Yee-hah! I won't even go into all the detail of your Bush campaigns, everybody knows of your sage leadership.

Then you left the campaign-world to become a part of the policy-world. A first of it's kind! As the Senior Adviser to the President,
your true talents really came to light. You were able to do everything from increase the terror alert level whenever a political opponent gained ground, to helping form the White House Iraq Group with Dick Cheney. Your ability to influence policy for partisan reasons was unheard of. How ridiculous were all those left-wing-radicals who had the audacity to question your motives in creating and pushing policy agendas? I mean, duh. You were trying to make the world a safer place -- for Republicans!

You successfully put Joseph Wilson in his place by leaking the name of his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, to the press.
(That really showed that yahoo in the Reagan campaign who fired you for leaking information to the press.) Of course you remember when the Families of September 11 said, "stop trying to reap political gain in the tragic misfortune of others," criticizing your comment,
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
So you put them in their place by having W state it was "somewhat puzzling" because you simply pointed out "differences in philosophy." How do you do it?

And one more thing. No matter what, you never apologize. Never. In fact, you put responsibility on others. I mean, the election of 2006: how could that be your fault? That was totally because of the leftist mainstream media harping on the Mark Foley and Jack Abramoff stories.

And now, as the Bush Administration's time winds down and his approval ratings are the lowest of any president ever, your defiance of the lefties is a real inspiration. I just want to tell you that your moxie, your drive, your denial of the obvious, show all of us what real leadership is.

Thank you Mr. Blossom. Thank you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Peace Activist Sheehan Launches Assault on Speaker Pelosi

Cindy Sheehan announced her candidacy against Speaker Pelosi. Sheehan first attracted the attention of the national media when she began her crusade to meet with President Bush at his ranch while he was on his annual working vacation. Sheehan's son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Sheehan could easily be portrayed as a catalyst, if not embodiment, of the public sentiment against the Iraq war. This also shows the fundamental problem of the modern Democratic Party, it simply cannot do well enough to keep its "base" content. It is never enough.

The Democrats don't have a great answer on Iraq. Hillary Clinton has speculated that troops will be in Iraq well into her second term. It is unclear just where most of the other candidates stand on the issue, although safely and quickly seem to be the adverbs of the week for speech writers.

I do not believe that a quick withdrawal is the best thing for anyone currently involved in Iraq. Iraq desperately needs stability. People need to feel secure in their future before they can focus on anything else. We owe it to the "Iraqi people" to at least give them some semblance of stability and order, or hand it off to someone who can, before we head off to our next big adventure.

Pelosi should survive this challenge easily, some of the more cynical have suggested that it makes her less susceptible to attacks that she is too liberal. I doubt that this means that they are going to stop calling her liberal because Sheehan is running against her. There is no way that this helps the Democrats in anyway. Pelosi needs to be campaigning for other candidates who need to be saved or who can give her another seat.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What next?

The President and Congress have left Washington to head to the home states and districts that they represent for the August recess. Several unresolved issues still linger on the national agenda and all of them are the minds of most Americans, foreign nationals, and *ahem* other.

The economy, particularly housing, has created some concern among policymakers. Housing is suffering a slow-down. Mortgages are lent to homebuyers by banks, the banks then sell bonds on the open market to move the debt off of the books so that they can lend more money. The problem has been that there have been a significant enough number of foreclosures and defaults on mortgages that the bonds have stopped being purchased on the secondary market. As a result lenders have tried to tighten up their loan guidelines to make the bonds more appealing, it's unclear if it is having much of an impact. There seems to be some confusion regarding what the solution to the problem is, some have suggested direct grants to homeowners that are in danger of foreclosure, others have suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (two government run corporations) be allowed to purchase more bonds on the secondary market, they are fresh off their own accounting scandal.

It is too early to tell what is going to happen, the problem is not well defined at this point. But there are a lot of people running for President and all of them have their own ideas of what will strengthen the housing sector.

Illegal Immigration is still lingering. No surprise there. It's been an issue for several years, the government is unable to enforce its own laws or change the laws to something more workable. Will they crack down on employers or will they tighten security at the border? Amazing that in this heighten security environment that we don't have any grasp on who enters this country. What's all the fuss about anyway?

Iraq. I am taking a pass on this one. There are finally some candidates who are at least talking about the risks associated with redeploying troops or withdrawing from Iraq altogether. None of the options are particularly pleasant.

It is not clear to me if politics is receiving more attention with the lead up to the presidential election or if it just more interesting to me. Is anyone else more interested or is it just me out here?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour


I mean WOW! In case you didn't read my comment on Ron Paul I think that this could be a part of the reason why USA has such a "bad reputation" as interventionist religious zealots.

On July 16, I attended Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain. In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.

For the record, I don't think that God needs any help from mere mortals with his plan . . . but when so many people think like that it's no wonder we have been doomed from the start.

Here's the link to the rest of the story along with video on the Huffington Post

YouTube --D'sTank

Not to digress from the high level thought and political theory of the previous posts, but I cannot help but to be mildly entertained by the YouTube/CNN debates this week. I eagerly anticipated the responses from the candidates, but was disappointed with the canned responses of what could have been an opportunity for democrats to appear to be human. As much as I hate republicans, the inability of democrats to show any form of emotion, while dealing with the human issues the conservatives ignore, drives me nuts. Don't get me wrong, there were some decent responses, especially (I hate to say it) by Dennis Kucinich--who evidently is the only candidate that can answer "Yes" or "No" to yes or no questions. Another missed opportunity for the democrats to set themselves apart. We could have the first "Black" president, the first "woman" president; How about the first Independent president? Please God!?!?!

See link for full transcript of debates: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/23/debate.transcript/index.html

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Smedley Butler

The BBC has a excellent report on a coup on the FDR administration that would have emulated the fascist governments in Italy and Germany in the early 30's. Some of the names that are mentioned as being behind the coup are the DuPonts, JP Morgan, Standard Oil, and Prescott Bush (who also has ties to Nazi Germany through the Hamburg America Lines) through a lobbying group known as the American Liberty League.

Listen to the program on RealAudio

General Smedley Butler, author of War Is a Racket,was chosen to be the new military leader of the United States by a group of industrial leaders and wall street tycoons who thought that fascism would pull our country out of the depression. Of course the New Deal had them pretty upset too, mostly because it was aimed at redistributing their wealth, but that is a little too obvious for conspiracy theorists.

Sounds eerily like other think tank groups like New American Century or the The Carlyle Group.

Hold on there are storm troopers at the door . . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And for the runner up . . .

All this talk of the Vice-President has sparked my interest in a long forgotten piece of political trivia. There was a time in our nation's history when the Vice-President was not part of a "ticket" running for President. It was a long time ago. Here is an excerpt from that bastion of knowledge and democracy, wikipedia:

Under the original terms of the Constitution, the members of the U.S. Electoral College voted only for office of president rather than for both president and vice president. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president. The person receiving the greatest number of votes (provided that such a number was a majority of electors) would be president, while the individual who was in second place became vice president. If no one received a majority of votes, then the U.S. House of Representatives would choose among the five highest vote-getters, with each state getting one vote. In such a case, the person who received the highest number of votes but was not chosen president would become vice president. If there was ever a tie for second, then the U.S. Senate would choose the vice president.

So what does all of this mean? It means that there used to be a consolation prize in our "first-past-the-post" electoral system. I never realized that electors were given two votes in this system, which is even better .

This system would be more conducive to a third-party candidate, there is actually something to gain by coming in second place. Presiding over the Senate is the primary function of the VP, there might not be a place in the President's cabinet for an outside party, but I'm sure that the government would function as well as it ever did.

Our political system has grown stale, everyone knows the answers to solve our pressing problems. Reduce CO2 emissions, get the cost of health care under control, stop illegal immigration (or change the law), "save" social security by either reducing benefits or raising the payroll tax.

Why is it that the simple and obvious answers are neglected and ignored until it is too late?

The institutions we have created can no longer be counted on to create useful answers or solve basic problems. It is way past time for a change.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How the Constitution did us Wrong

I know...I shouldn't make shameful fun of a life or death matter, but the timing of the Bush colonoscopy (sp?) and this shit storm war we're currently in is right out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Player Piano to be exact. If they would have found a 6th polyp--you could name that one Little Nixon. Why? Because it was Nixon, and to some extent Reagan (perhaps the 7th polyp), who created and cultivated the current crop of misguided, egomaniacal skulls that are running our executive office.

As pointed out, Cheney assumed temporary Presidential powers, during, and shortly, after the President's operation. If our Constitutional authors, at the time of the signing, recieved an evangelic premoniton of a future dark hore Vice President such as Cheney, they would have immediately scrubbed that quill stroke. The operation was indeed important, but not serious or long. If anything, it highlights how we must do everything to keep this President healthy because our option is the dark horse. On a serious note, the press could have had a little more fun with the headlines; for instance, publication sales would have exponentially increased with the headline: "BUSH'S BUTT SCOPED, CHENEY ASSUMES THE POSITION."

Seriously, the coverage of this event further emphasizes the pervasive distraction from the war our media still perpetuates. Certainly lessons were learned in the world of journalism since the invasion, but the emphasis should be centered on dialogue about ending our occupation in Iraq not the President's ass. It was all over cable news and I thought to myself, "During Vietnam, the press were all over war as well as the social movements that tried to end it!"

What' next in this bizzare third act? Valerie Plame's civil suit getting dismissed? Wait......that happened!

Five Polyps Removed

President Bush had five polyps removed after or during the course of his colonoscopy. I'm naming them Dicky, Donny, Condi, Ari, and Wolfie. I call them, (drumroll) the "Neo-Cons on the Block." They have a big new hit foreign policy strategy coming out, "Hangin' Tough."

So, I was a little paranoid about Cheney having the reins of power (again), but I cannot believe the amount of criticism that is being drawn against him. These are all things that have been said before about the Vice-President, but this time it is in Time and Newsweek and not some "alternative" publication.

At least I don't have to worry about being targeted by Cheney's goons, they have bigger fish to fry obviously.

I want to see an investigation into Cheney and the contracts for Iraq as well as the energy policy negotiations that were taking place under his watch. I don't care if he is out of office. Somebody needs to pay for these transgressions.

Ken Lay is dead, he got off too easy.

Let's take it all out on Cheney.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cheney to Handle Reins of Power

I heard this on the radio just about an hour ago. It is the single most disconcerting thing that I have heard all day. Apparently Bush is going to be under anesthesia while he has a colonoscopy at Camp David.

You can read the story here.

Ordinarily I am not to prone to conspiracy theories but this is Cheney we are talking about here. I mean Mr. Shadow government. Dr. No Bid Contract.

I cannot believe that this man has not been investigated. He was in the Nixon White House and it is also rumored that Cheney is trying to restore executive power to the pre-Watergate era.

While most of this is not clear, it is certain that Cheney wields more power than any Vice-President in recent memory.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day

July 4th is the day that the declaration of independence was signed in 1776. It is now 2007 231 years and counting. If it was tough to celebrate a proud day in America's history it really didn't seem to show. it seemed like almost every other 4th of July that I had ever been to. People really didn't seem interested in what was going on in Iraq, or why we were there in the first place. Or that the Democrats who were swept into Congress can't seem to stop the war. I suppose that it doesn't really matter as for the day, it is a celebration after all.

It was nice that every one had the day off, and that is such a rare thing. Well almost everyone. To those of you who rang up my beer, I salute you. I hope you got holiday pay too.