Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Libby's Indictment

Five indictments for Scooter Libby; none (so far) for Rove, Cheney or their sockpuppet named George. OK, so it wasn’t the Holly Jolly Fitzmas that liberals were hoping for. But it’s a little early for conservatives to start going “neener neener neener.” Nobody’s out of the woods yet.

Perhaps Scooter Libby was just a wayward employee, doing illegal activities on his own, and Rove, Cheney and Bush would’ve been just shocked — shocked! — if they had any knowledge of this. And if you believe that, I can get you a great deal on some oceanfront property in Kansas.

So where do we go from here? Will Libby do the honorable thing and fall on his sword? Will he sing like a canary (or make a noise like a pig, whichever metaphor you like better)? Will he plead guilty to avoid a trial, and then be pardoned by Bush?

Did he act on his own, without any knowledge of his longtime bosses, or was he just following orders? Let's take a closer look at just who I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is.

One of his nicknames is Dick Cheney’s Dick Cheney: a quiet but powerful force behind the scenes. In other words, the man behind the man behind the curtain.

He was one of the main architects of Bush’s policies in general, and the Iraqi invasion in particular. He’s a longtime protégé of World Bank President (and Grand Wizard of the Neocons) Paul Wolfowitz. A former co-worker described him as “a deep thinker and problem-solver who gives ‘discreet advice.’”

In 1992, Libby and Wolfowitz co-wrote a policy guidance document for a post-Cold War defense posture. This document stated that the U.S. should actively deter other nations from "aspiring to a larger regional or global role," use pre-emptive force to prevent countries from developing weapons of mass destruction, and act alone if necessary. Sound familiar? This version of the document was quashed after it got leaked to the New York Times, but its main ideas are clearly alive and well 13 years later.

Before the Iraqi invasion, Libby provided “evidence” of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and a connection between top Iraqi officials and al Qaeda. Both claims have been discredited.

Like Bush, Libby went to Yale; graduated in 1972. Like most members of the Bush Administration, he’s a fierce armchair warrior who’s willing to fight to the last drop of someone else’s blood.

He joined the State Department during Reagan’s first term. He worked in the Pentagon during Bush 41’s term. He also used to be a managing partner in the law firm of Dechert, Price and Rhoads. One of his better-known clients was Marc Rich, the fugitive financier whom Bill Clinton pardoned in 2001.

Libby is one of the founding members of the Project for the New American Century, a rightwing think tank created in 1997. This organization expands on the ideas that Libby and Wolfowitz first formulated in their 1992 document.

In addition to acting alone and using pre-emptive strikes, the PNAC advocates: developing and deploying a global missile defense system; developing a “strategic dominance” of space; controlling the “International Commons” of cyberspace; and vastly increasing defense spending in order to pay for all these far-reaching ideas.

In addition to Libby, members of the PNAC include almost the entire roster of American Empire-builders: Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Eliot Abrams (one of the architects of our 1980s adventures in Nicaragua), Jeb Bush, and William Kristol.

When Judith Miller was serving her 85-day prison sentence for refusing to name her source in the Valerie Plame investigation (which turned out to be Scooter Libby), Libby sent her a letter. There was lots of speculation that maybe this letter contained some sort of secret code. The letter said in part:

“You went to jail in summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover ...Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work — and life.”

Well, what do you think? Secret code or just bad poetry?

Libby’s trial — assuming he doesn’t have a mysterious “accident” beforehand — promises to shine some light on the most secretive and unaccountable administration in our nation’s history.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bush on Iraq: Light at the End of the Tunnel

As the saying goes: when you’re in a hole, stop digging. At this low point in Bush’s reign, almost anything he does will probably just sink him deeper and deeper.

Scooter Libby has received five indictments. Bush’s poll ratings (and public support for the Iraqi war) are at an all-time low. Harriet Miers ran off with her tail between her legs, mostly because of constant sniping and yelping from Bush’s own “friends” on the Far Right. We brung this boy to the dance and by God he’s gonna dance with us!

And how does Bush deal with all this? He's still trying to drum up support for his disastrous failure in Iraq. Stop digging!

If conservatives are puzzled that Iraq keeps getting compared to Vietnam, all they have to do is listen to their own rhetoric. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel” (Vietnam) has evolved into “the terrorists are on their last legs. See how desperate they are.”

As soon as the first few American soldiers were killed in Vietnam, the rallying cry was “we can’t let these deaths be in vain. We have to keep fighting.” In his radio address today, Bush said “the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and win the war on terror.”

A local letter to the editor summed it up. If we pull out of Iraq now, there’ll be civil war and bloodshed. If we wait and pull out of Iraq later, there’ll be civil war and bloodshed. It’s their business; they’re gonna do whatever they’re gonna do. How many Iraqis died in our civil war?

In Bush’s speech, he continued to blur and confuse “the war on terror” with our invasion of a country that had nothing to do with al Qaeda or 9/11. And he kept referring to the “great sacrifice” being made — like he’d know.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Richard Pombo: More Assaults on the Environment

Richard Pombo has already established himself as the most rabid anti-environmentalist of the past few decades. He makes James Watt (Reagan’s Interior Secretary) look like a treehugger.

He can slow down and quit gunning for new records any time now. But he probably won’t be happy as long as there are any messy trees or yucky animals still polluting his world.

Pombo has added an amendment to a House budget bill. This amendment would open up part of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

His amendment will also jeopardize the entire West Coast’s longtime moratorium on oil drilling. Most residents of California, Oregon and Washington — regardless of their political views — are united in their opposition to drilling off the coast. A Sierra Club director said “this is the first time that we’ve seen a member of the California delegation selling out the California coast to off-shore drilling.”

California has had a moratorium on offshore drilling since 1982. Since then, similar moratoriums have spread to almost every coastal state.

If Richard Pombo is California’s answer to Benedict Arnold, Florida has their own version. Baby Brother Jeb has endorsed Pombo’s legislation, shattering the longtime alliance of coastal states. The Bush Crime Family must have some sort of backstabbing gene.

Following the standard Republican M.O., Pombo has attached his bill to a federal budget package, instead of allowing the bill to be voted on separately. The legislative director of the Alaska Wilderness League said “what he’s really saying is, ‘I’m afraid to do this in the light of day, and I want to sneak it into the budget process.’ ”

The co-chairman of the National Outer Continental Shelf Coalition said “you have a carefully constructed assault on every coastal state. It’s pretty much the oil and gas industry’s wish list.”

Nick Rahall, D-W. Virginia, said “I cannot comprehend the brilliance behind opening up our federal coastal resources to the whims of cash-strapped states. I was under the impression that destructive forces threatening our coastal resources and communities originated in the Atlantic Ocean, not Washington, D.C.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Onion Makes Bush Cry

George W. Bush has been unable to capture Osama bin Laden. The budget surplus we had five years ago is now a record deficit. Our cakewalk in Iraq has turned into an endless quagmire with over 2,000 American soldiers killed. The gap between the richest 2% and the rest of America's population is wider than in most Third World countries.

But first things first. Bush has finally tackled this urgent problem: The Onion, a well-known satirical newspaper. The Bush Administration has been the butt of some of their jokes (who hasn’t?) and Little Boy Blueblood is having a tantrum.

Technically, the White House is complaining that The Onion uses the presidential seal on their website and has asked them to stop. I think the dainty little Spoiled One just can’t take a joke. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush heard about a website that was making fun of him and demanded that it be shut down. He was genuinely dumbfounded that the authorities couldn’t shut down a website just because the heir to the White House was offended.

If our Delicate Douchebag gets offended so easily, he ain’t seen nothing. If he thinks The Onion is making fun of him, he should look here, here and here, among other places.

Or, if he happens to have a shred of decency or integrity (riiight) he could think about the 2,000 American soldiers killed, and the fact that it was his lies and deception that killed them. Now that’s offensive.

But Nooo!!!! He’d rather just pout and bury his head in the sand and pretend everything’s just fine. As we speak he’s probably having a little sulking party with his closest friends: Jim Beam, George Dickel, I.W. Harper (no relation), Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels…

Is Bush planning to crack down on other people who’ve made fun of him? Uh oh, I’ve written a few uncomplimentary things about him. Hmmm, now just in case something should happen to

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Big Brother is Spying on YOU, With YOUR Help

In 1994 and ‘95, the term “Unfunded Mandate” was the Republicans’ favorite buzzword. Those were the days. Looks like the party of local autonomy and limited government did a Big 180 somewhere along the way.

The federal government is now requiring hundreds of universities, libraries and cities to overhaul their Internet computer networks. This will make it easier for law-enforcement authorities to monitor online communications.

Purchasing the necessary Internet switches and routers will cost universities at least $7 billion. That amount doesn’t include the installation or the hiring and training of new staff to run the new equipment.

And guess who’s paying? The universities of course. YOU will finance the government’s new improved ability to spy on YOU.

This order was issued by the FCC two months ago. It’s an extension of a 1994 federal wiretap law. The law is now being extended to include universities, libraries, airports providing wireless service, and municipal governments that provide Internet access to residents.

Spring of 2007 is the deadline for complying with the new order.

The American Council on Education is planning to appeal the order before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Another legal challenge is being filed by the non-profit Center for Democracy and Technology.

A spokesman for the American Council on Education said “this is the mother of all unfunded mandates.”

Limited-government Conservatives: Where’d you all go? Anybody out there?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Religious Fanatics, Armed and Dangerous

Does the rest of the world want to live with a well-armed country that’s run by religious fundamentalists? That’s a heady combination — armed to the teeth and all fired up to remake the world in its own image.

In 1979 Iran became a bloodthirsty theocracy under Ayatollah Khomeini. In the ‘90s the Taliban took over Afghanistan and went Medieval on the whole country.

On September 11th, 2001 we were attacked by a band of religious lunatics who hate everyone that disagrees. They even hate people who agree with them but aren’t fanatic enough.

Pretty bad idea, huh? Ah heck, let's give it another try.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

In DeLay's Pocket

Now that Tom DeLay has been forced to step down because of his indictment, you probably think the problem has been solved; the tumor has been removed.


DeLay’s corruption and contamination have metastasized throughout the entire House of Representatives. The entire body is sick. The patient is in critical condition.

Or you could compare DeLay to a computer virus. You think you’ve eliminated it, but then other programs and functions keep getting hijacked and corrupted. Your antivirus and anti-spyware programs keep telling you “no infections found” even while your computer is infested with spyware, adware and viruses.

Or think of that famous line from Poltergeist: “This house is clean.”

Now, help is on the way. This site won’t cure the illness, but it gives you a clear look at just how far the tumor has spread; which body parts are diseased. Or (whichever analogy you like better) you can see exactly which programs and processes have been corrupted by the virus.

Don’t get complacent and think “I live in a blue state; DeLay doesn’t have any influence here,” or “my local representative is cool; he/she wouldn’t have anything to do with that douchebag.”

You need to brace yourself and look at the x-ray and see exactly where the damage is. The home page of this site lists the top 25 offenders in the House — who’s received the most campaign money from DeLay, who’s contributed the most to his defense fund and what percentage of the time they’ve voted according to The Hammer’s instructions.

Another menu shows a state-by-state rundown of which reps have been corrupted by The Sickness. Check it out. Forewarned is forearmed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

UFO in the Senate: A Spine???

What were those mysterious objects spotted in the U.S. Senate yesterday? A spine? A conscience? No! Is Hell freezing over yet?

Both Democrats and Republicans were asking Condoleezza Rice some very blunt questions about the Iraqi failure. She was one of the main architects of the Iraqi “strategy” (or lack thereof) and she had some ‘splainin’ to do.

Or maybe it was just a little hazing ritual, since she might be getting promoted soon. If the rumors are true, she’ll be our Vice President after Cheney gets frogmarched off to meet his new husband.

One could be cynical and wonder whether spines and consciences were really the cause of yesterday’s questioning. With Bush’s web of lies starting to unravel and his poll ratings sinking lower than the temperature in Greenland, it doesn’t take much courage to be dissing his top assistants.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee spent more than 3 hours questioning Rice yesterday. She was reciting the usual flowery rhetoric about Halliburton and Exxon democracy flowering in the Middle East, etc. But the senators weren’t buying.

Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., said the American people “don’t want the job of rebuilding the Middle East on the backs of our brave men and women and the taxpayers of the United States.”

Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said “Let’s say that the Iraqis, after all is said and done, really don’t want to have a united country…. Some Americans would say, ‘why are we there, if these folks not only don’t appreciate us, but they’re hashing the whole thing up, they literally don’t want to have the sort of Iraq that was envisioned by the British and French years ago?’ ”

Lincoln Chafee, R-Rhode Island, referred to the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction by saying “It was all a joke and the laugh was on us.”

That about sums it up. Unfortunately this “joke” has killed 2,000 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pass the Buck to the Peons

When the going gets tough, pass the buck. Dump the burden on those least able to afford it. It’s human nature of course, but this approach has just been more blatant than ever since January 2001.

If you don’t have a multi-million dollar lobbying group to bribe the government on your behalf, you don’t count. This cartoon is a perfect illustration.

Between our ongoing quagmire in Iraq and providing relief for Katrina survivors, our record deficit has gotten more bloated than ever. Any chance of holding onto the Estate Tax, or canceling / postponing the next round of tax cuts? Hahahahaha! Riiight.

Step up to the plate, peons. Fun’s over. You've had it way too easy.

General Motors is the latest example of a quadruple-chinned 400-pound bloat-a-thon telling a scrawny emaciated laborer to tighten his belt and start pulling more weight.

The company has reported a $1.6 billion loss this past quarter. How can they make up the lost money? Let’s see…executives with 6-figure salaries and 7-figure bonus packages…hmm, can’t seem to think of any — Yesss!!! Healthcare benefits for 750,000 blue-collar workers, retirees and their families. Of course! They won’t mind. Hell, they should be grateful they still have jobs and pensions.

GM will be cutting $1 billion from annual health care benefits, in order to offset their losses. The United Auto Workers union has tentatively agreed to this.

Who will be next?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Hero of the Far Right

The indictments will soon start rolling in, and our corrupt disgraced “leaders” will become more preoccupied with, uh, “other” matters. Who will be there to carry the torch for the Far Right?

The Governor of Missouri looks like a contender. He acts and talks like the lovechild of Tom DeLay and James Dobson. Governor Matt Blunt spews out all the right soundbites and buzzwords, from “activist judges” to “family values.”

A Missouri inmate, 16 weeks pregnant, wanted an abortion. She didn’t know she was pregnant at the time of her incarceration. Missouri law prohibits prisons from assisting women with abortions. The inmate — known as Jane Roe — wanted to be taken to a Planned Parenthood office in St. Louis.

A federal judge initially OK’d the transfer of Jane Roe to the Planned Parenthood clinic. The State of Missouri then requested an “emergency” intervention by the Supreme Court. Clarence Thomas handles emergency applications from the circuit that includes Missouri. He issued an injunction to prevent the transfer of Jane Roe.

On Monday the full Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jane Roe. The inmate will be allowed to visit Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. And this was when Missouri governor Matt Blunt flew into his best Tom DeLay imitation. He is “extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision. The decision is highly offensive to traditional Missouri values.”

Governor Blunt didn’t say whether he himself was willing to adopt this inmate’s baby and raise and nurture him/her, or whether he was just interested in spewing rhetoric. What would you guess?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Northwestern Washington: Vanishing Farmland

This is a local issue which is duplicating itself all over the country.

The formerly quaint agricultural town of Sequim, WA is undergoing the same ugly transformation that’s happening everywhere. Surrounding farmland is being plowed up and turned into malls and housing tracts, at a blinding pace.

Most of the newcomers to Sequim are California transplants who’ve made a financial killing selling their homes in California. They’re coming to Sequim in droves because of the cheap (compared to California) housing prices.

Now there’s an initiative on next month’s ballot: a tax of one half of one percent will be paid by the buyers of property in Sequim. If someone buys a $200,000 house, the tax will be $1,000. This is expected to generate millions of dollars over a ten-year period.

The money will be used to purchase development rights from willing landowners. It will make it profitable (that is, possible) for farmers to keep farming, instead of having to sell their land to developers in order to survive.

Needless to say, real estate interests from all over the country are uniting to fight this initiative. There’s a phony “grass roots” organization calling itself Stop Taxing The American Dream. (smirk) If there were a contest for Euphemism of the Year, these assholes would win hands down.

So far, outside interest groups have contributed $125,000 to Stop Taxing The American Dream. There’ll be a lot more money coming in the next two weeks; count on it. They need to spend tons of money to conjure up these folksy, touching images of first time home buyers being shut out of the housing market because of this evil tax.

Hopefully the ads won’t fool anybody, since everyone knows most of Sequim’s newcomers have just made a jillion dollar deal from selling their California homes.

Real estate interests are terrified that this trend will be duplicated all over the country if it succeeds here. More and more people are starting to wonder where our food will come from if all the farmland is converted to condos and Wal-Marts. The real estate industry is willing to spend whatever it takes to nip this in the bud.

Let’s hope the voters will be smart enough to see through this phony grass roots campaign waged by real estate interests.

Friday, October 14, 2005

War on Drugs vs. Katrina Aid

Two problems: A) We’re wasting hundreds of billions of dollars trying to enforce somebody else’s “morals” on the entire population. B) Aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina is going to cost hundreds of billions, and nobody knows (or agrees) where the money will come from.
Hmmm…disjointed images are swirling around…thoughts are forming…Wait! Let’s test our priorities.

It’s more important to: A) Spend hundreds of billions of dollars to make criminals out of people whose only “crime” was to offend someone else’s sense of “morals.” B) Help the hundreds of thousands of victims of one of our worst natural disasters ever.

If you chose B), you can make a difference.

Here and here are just two examples of the twisted insanity of our War on Drugs.

Tell Congress how you feel. Just fill in the fields and click on Send. You will be asking your Congressional Representative to cut out some of the wasteful spending of the War on Drugs, and use the money instead on helping the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Bush and Republicans in Congress would rather trim some of the “fat” (as if there were any) from social and environmental programs, and state and local funding for everything from libraries to police departments.

If you think our gazillion dollar War on Drugs is where most of the fat is, please send this e-mail to your Representative.

Let’s try injecting a little sanity into our spending priorities.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pat Robertson and Hugo Chavez

As we all know, this past summer Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. He’s “apologized” since then, but he still has Chavez in his crosshairs.

Robertson is privy to some incredible intelligence information that nobody else has. Where does he get this info — from God? According to Robertson’s secret hotline, Chavez tried to donate money to Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. He’s also trying to obtain nuclear materials from Iran.

Sounds like a variation on “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein has sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Is there a pattern here? Let’s see, “Weapons of Mass Destruction!” has already been done. Let’s change the wording a little.

Robertson said “The truth is, this man is setting up a Marxist-type dictatorship in Venezuela, he’s trying to spread Marxism throughout South America, he’s negotiating with the Iranians to get nuclear material and he also sent $US 1.2 million in cash to Osama bin Laden right after 9/11. I apologized and I said I will be praying for him, but one day we will be staring at nuclear weapons and it won't be (Hurricane) Katrina facing New Orleans, it’s going to be a Venezuelan nuke.”

In addition to getting exclusive intelligence information — from God or whoever — Pat Robertson is also a meteorologist. The forecast: fire and brimstone, hurricanes, earthquakes, leading to the End of Times — and then The Rapture. Hallelujah!!

Now, is Pat Robertson just an oddball, a wacko has-been televangelist who’s barely tolerated by our government? Or is there a method here? Maybe Robertson is serving a purpose. Instead of the Bush Administration having to do even more saber-rattling — leave it to someone like Pat. And if anyone calls him on it, they can just say “oh, come on, nobody listens to that doddering old fool. Just let him ramble. He’s harmless.”

Our government is very concerned about Hugo Chavez. That is, the corporations that have our government by the shorthairs are threatened by him. He’s a Leftist; his ambition is to redistribute wealth and reduce the gap between rich and poor. This is intolerable to Bechtel, Halliburton, the oil companies and the international banking cartel.

OK, so his government sucks. He’s taken away a lot of freedoms that Venezuela has enjoyed since 1958. Do you think that’s why our government is worried about him? Riiight.

Venezuela, along with Bolivia to a lesser extent, has been thumbing its nose at its corporate colonizers. Like most of Latin America, there’s a huge gap between Venezuela’s rich and poor. The wealthiest people are mostly of European ancestry, and the poor — who make up the vast majority — are mostly Indians. Chavez is trying — without much success so far — to remedy this.

Venezuela is experimenting with the kind of “socialism” that Guatemala was trying in the early 1950s. The CIA organized a coup and overthrew their government in 1954.

If our government is terrified of communism spreading throughout Latin America, the best way to counter it would be to rein in the excesses of the corporations that control this region. When millions of poor people are treated like just so much raw material by their colonizers, communism or socialism might sound like an alternative. The grass is always greener…

Our “leaders” probably won’t drum up much interest by talking about the rights of Halliburton and the oil companies to acquire even more wealth. It makes a much better sales pitch to push the right buttons — Communism is spreading like a cancer throughout Latin America! Venezuela is acquiring nuclear weapons from Iran! Chavez is donating money to Osama bin Laden!

Well, whaddya think? Shall we topple Hugo Chavez? Come on, it’ll be a cakewalk. Our soldiers will be greeted as liberators. They’ll be showered with candy and flowers by throngs of grateful Venezuelans.

Cross-posted at Bring It On!

Monday, October 10, 2005

FBI Hires Potheads!!

Oh my God, it can’t be true. Everything we’ve ever known, everything that’s Holy, is being violated!! Blasphemized!! What in God’s name is going on?!? What’ll be next — George W. Bush appointing a (gasp!) woman to the Supreme Court?

Oh!!! (gulp!) Uhh, I’ll get back to you on that…

Fellow Godfearing decent Americans, brace yourselves: the FBI might start hiring potheads! NO!!!

Do you understand this??? Degenerate lowlife hippies who have smoked Marywann — Mareejwanna — uhh, Pot — just might could be the newest generation of FBI agents protecting us from, from evil. From them!!

Now, we all know what marijuana does to people. We’ve known since the 1930s. You name it, this evil weed does it. Hair on the palms of your hands, blindness (oh, sorry, self-gratification does that, oops), violent uncontrollable behavior, insanity; the list is endless. For God’s sake, 98% of all heroin addicts started off on marijuana!!

What is our great nation coming to??? If you call the FBI for an emergency, what sort of agent are you gonna get? Some acid-drenched hippie having flashbacks? A shell-shocked Vietnam veteran who smokes pot all day? (Come on, they all do — you know it, I know it, the American people know it.)

This is a serious health hazard. Is the FBI going to drastically expand their health care coverage for their new employees (at taxpayer expense)? They’ll need to. Think about it. The host of mental problems that people get from smoking pot — too numerous to mention. If a seemingly-decent FBI agent comes in to work one morning wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt and blubbering about Jimi Hendrix or Satan, will this person be eligible for medical coverage?

And that’s just the beginning. Once these pothead perverts progress to other drugs — and you know they will, they’ll be smoking LSD, shooting cocaine and snorting heroin before you know it — the entire house of cards will start collapsing.

I don’t know which 1960s degenerate hippie demonstrator has brainwashed Barry McCaffrey (former White House Drug Czar) — but somebody got to him. He seemed so nice, so decent. This is just sad.

Now he says he “understands” the FBI’s current dilemma. Nobody uses the word “understand” in that context except spineless wimpy liberals. Oh God, if they can get to him, who’s next? Our formerly cleancut, pro-American, decent drug czar actually said “But there should be no hard and fast rule that suggests you can't ever have used drugs.”

What?!?!?!?! Oh, sure, why don’t we just hire the next drug-addled, flashbacking, immoral pussie that comes in to fill out an application? Country Joe McDonald, Jack Kerouac, George W. Bush, Abbie Hoffman? OK, I exaggerate. Surely none of those drugged-out pervs would ever be hired by our government.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oregon's Death With Dignity Act

As you probably know, the Bush Supreme Court will be deciding whether the federal government can abolish Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act.

What is it about Far Right extremists that they just have to steamroll their way into people’s most private painful decisions? They get themselves elected and re-elected with constant slogans about “individual freedom” and “limited government.”

And yet this same Taliban behavior pattern keeps repeating itself. A woman is agonizing over whether to terminate a pregnancy. A family is bitterly divided over whether to withdraw life support from a loved one who’s spent years in a vegetative state. A terminally ill cancer patient decides that life is no longer worth living because of the agony and disability.

In each of these cases, armies of bookburners and snakehandlers will come charging into a family’s most agonizing moments. What these assholes really need is a time machine so they can travel back to the Salem Witch Trials.

Our new Chief Justice John Roberts has shown some incredible ignorance about how our government is supposed to work. He asked “if one state can say it's legal for doctors to prescribe morphine to make people feel better, or to prescribe steroids for bodybuilding, doesn't that undermine the uniformity of the federal law and make enforcement impossible?”

John, John, John. Our new vocabulary word for the day — Federalism:

"A system of government in which power is constitutionally divided between a central authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). The two levels of government are interdependent, and share sovereignty."

George Will has gotten all poetic about “fifty individual experiments in democracy.”

Conservatives spend half their time yelping about “states’ rights” and the other half saying “oops, there’s a state doing something I don’t like. Oh no you don’t.” CRUNCH.

Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act (aka the Assisted Suicide Law) was passed overwhelmingly by the state’s voters. A Duke University law professor and former Supreme Court clerk said “It is a wrenching issue. It’s one of the most difficult decisions any family needs to make. There’s a lot of discomfort with having the government at any level get involved.”

A cancer patient from Salem, OR said “There is a real human need” for control over one’s life. “We are terminal and we know when we have a few weeks left. We know when we’re unconscious. We know when we’re at the end.”

This is totally unscientific, but in our local Sunday paper, the weekly question was whether the family or the government should decide the question of physician-assisted suicide. All eight respondents said it should be up to the individual (and his/her family members), and not the government.

This is clearly a consensus issue which cuts across all political lines. Just in case that matters.

filed under Rightwing Nutcases; Spanish Inquisition

Friday, October 07, 2005

Anti-Torture Amendment

George W. Bush’s authority to torture prisoners is soooo important —
How important is it —
It’s soooo important, he’s willing to veto a $440 billion defense spending bill if it contains an anti-torture amendment by that well-known America-hating tree hugger, John McCain.

This amendment was approved by a Senate vote of 90 to 9. Uh oh, where’s our boozing drug-addled playboy president’s political capital that he’s been bragging about?

McCain’s amendment would prohibit “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held. What, we can’t even do fraternity stunts like shocking their testicles or hanging them by their broken shoulders?? Damn, what sort of pussies have taken over the Senate?

The irony, of course, is that if Bush or any of his fellow sheltered chickenhawk babies ever had anyone even squeeze their arm too tightly, they’d start blubbering and spewing and singing like a parrot on acid.

And yet these same delicate pampered bluebloods will actually turn around and say “what, we can’t even torture ‘em? C’mon, it’s just a few fraternity pranks.”

The sponsor of this amendment, John McCain, was a political prisoner during the Vietnam war, and suffered unspeakable tortures during his captivity. George W. Bush’s version of torture was the time he stubbed his toe on the beach at Kennebunkport, or when he tore a fingernail in his hurry to open a Jim Beam bottle.

McCain’s radical proposal requires all military personnel to follow the Army Field Manual when detaining and interrogating all suspects; no exceptions. Bush says this would limit his “flexibility.” Flexibility?!?! If our Saddam Hussein wannabe “president” wants to be “flexible” he can take up Yoga.

“Flexibility” — riiight. “Damn, Ah need to squeeze me some Ay-rab’s balls and make him sing. Sheeit, what Ah really need is for mah old lady to get out of mah way and let me suck on my (George) Dickel.”

Lawmakers from both parties are saying U.S. troops must be provided with clear standards for detaining, interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects. Even if nobody in the White House is perceptive enough, some senators have finally gotten the general drift from the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay torture scandals.

McCain said “We demanded intelligence without ever clearly telling our troops what was permitted and what was forbidden. And when things went wrong, we blamed them and we punished them. Our troops are not served by ambiguity. They are crying out for clarity, and Congress cannot shrink from this duty.”

The Senate hasn’t yet voted on the overall defense spending bill, and the House version of the bill doesn’t contain this amendment. At some point our government will have to decide whether they want us to be America or a Third World dictatorship.

And whatever they decide, American voters will vote accordingly in 2006.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seattle and Puget Sound in Republican Crosshairs

Bush and Congress are launching yet another attack on the environment. Again they’re turning the Katrina devastation into a political football. Bush is getting better and better at his trademarked reasoning of “I dropped the ball again. And because of my big screwup, we need to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do all along.”

State and local environmental laws are annoying speed bumps on the Bush steamroller’s path to more drilling, more tankers and more oil spills. Once again the party of “States’ Rights” (remember that quaint concept?) is launching a federal assault on Puget Sound. This is also an assault on the will of most Washington residents, regardless of their political views.

California residents — regardless of their political differences — are almost unanimously opposed to oil drilling off the California coast. Federal lawmakers who try to bulldoze Washington’s environmental laws will discover the same unified opposition here. They’re about to stick their hands into a hornets’ nest.

Since 1977, Puget Sound has been protected against supertankers weighing more than 125,000 tons. This law was passed by both Democrats and Republicans. Most of Washington’s population lives near Puget Sound. It’s not only an environmental treasure; it’s vital to Washington’s economy.

The oil industry — through their favorite call-girl, Joe Barton, R-Texas — is pushing a federal bill which will roll back this 28-year-old state law. Undoubtedly Barton will do whatever his favorite john tells him. He’s had a long sensuous career of being fisted by the oil industry.

If this oil industry giveaway gets passed by the House, it will have a much tougher time in the Senate. Washington’s two senators — expressing the will of most Washington residents — will see to it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tom DeLay: A Lifer?

This time last week he was one of the most powerful, self-righteous, unaccountable “leaders” of our government — “The Hammer.” Today he has two indictments against him. One of those charges carries a possible life term in prison if he’s convicted.

Is this a great country or what? We’re a nation of laws, not men. Every once in awhile (now more than ever) this fact needs to be driven home. A nation of laws, not men. It isn’t just an empty phrase we memorized in high school history class.

So far there haven’t been enough briberies, crony appointments and Patriot Acts to derail our democracy. Yet. Let’s keep it that way. Richard Nixon, King George 41 and Newt Gingrich (among others) all thought they were invincible and flew too close to the sun. Now it’s DeLay’s turn.

His two newest charges are money laundering (punishable by up to life in prison) and conspiring to launder money (up to 20 years). Life has no sympathy for derailed would-be dictators. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Calling all inmates: Fresh Meat!!

DeLay has been flailing and spouting more and more frantically. If he were an Iraqi insurgent, Bush and Cheney would be saying “he’s on his last legs.” “See how desperate he is — he’s losing.”

DeLay said in a statement: “Ronnie Earle has stooped to a new low with his brand of prosecutorial abuse. He is trying to pull the legal equivalent of a ‘do-over’ since he knows very well that the charges he brought against me last week are totally manufactured and illegitimate. This is an abomination of justice.”

“An abomination of justice”? Some people might think that DeLay’s corrupt, above-the-law, power-crazed political career was “an abomination of justice.”

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bush in Free Fall

OK, here's a little fun for the whole family. Just click on Dubya and use your mouse to control his direction. Make him zoom up, down; make him go ’round in circles. Shake him from side to side like a dog playing with a toy.

Or just do nothing and let him keep fffaaaaaalllllliiinnnngggg!!!!!

Thanks to B12 Partners for featuring this.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Oil Drilling in Protected Areas

One of Bush’s biggest talents is turning every embarrassing failure, every tragedy, into an argument in favor of his agenda. 9/11 (and every other terrorist attack) “proves” that we need to invade other countries and dismantle the Constitution here at home (i.e. the Patriot Act).

Now, even the Katrina aftermath (in spite of Bush’s spastic “handling” of the crisis) is playing into his hands. Bush (with a little help from his bitches in Congress) is pushing for a Congressional vote on opening up protected coastal areas for oil drilling.

How much chutzpah can one disgraced president have? Every fuckup is an opportunity to plug his agenda. How does he do it? We’ve all seen positive thinking articles about turning setbacks into opportunities. No problem exists for which the solution isn’t already within you. Etc.

Karl Rove must have found a way to pervert this into “how to spin your colossal failures into opportunities.” “Your lies have killed thousands. This is your golden opportunity to ___________.” “While you dithered, an entire region was destroyed. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to _________________”

So now Norman Vincent Peale’s twisted sister wants to spin the Katrina tragedy into another excuse for trashing the environment.

Drilling off Florida’s coast could set up a fight between Boy George and Jeb. Whatever Jeb’s personal convictions are, oil drilling in Florida’s protected areas could be his political death knell. Come on Jeb, kick his ass.

The House Resources Committee has already approved legislation to lift a ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, “other coastal waters” and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Energy conservation and improved gas mileage were among the issues not being discussed in Congress.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Tom DeLay and Karma

What goes around comes around. The Exterminator gets exterminated. Hoist with his own petard.