Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Conscience at the FDA

The good news: someone at the FDA has a spine and a conscience. The bad news: that person is resigning. Lately the FDA seems more interested in Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell than in protecting the health of American citizens, and at least one of their members has had enough.

Susan Wood, Director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health, announced her resignation today. This was to protest last week’s announcement by the FDA: they will hold off indefinitely on approving over-the-counter sales of Emergency Contraception.

Confirmation hearings were held earlier this year for Lester Crawford to head the FDA. The Bush Administration promised, in writing, that the FDA would decide by September 1st whether to approve Emergency Contraception. They made this promise so that Senate Democrats would approve Crawford.

Last week’s announcement was yet another broken promise by the Bush Administration.

Emergency Contraception has a 90% effectiveness rate if taken within 72 hours. It can be a Godsend for rape victims.

Susan Wood’s resignation message was “I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled. The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women’s access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions, is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women’s health.”

Anti-abortion activists were jumping for joy over the FDA’s rejection of Emergency Contraception. Unfortunately these people don’t have enough functioning brain cells to make a simple connection: reduced access to birth control means more abortions.

“Pro-Life” activists: please recite the previous sentence over and over and over until comprehension occurs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bush Administration: Another Broken Promise

The FDA was supposed to make a decision by September 1st on whether to approve Emergency Contraception (aka the morning after pill). This was a written promise provided by the Bush Administration. What, Bush would lie?!?

During the confirmation vote for Lester Crawford to head the FDA, Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray (D-WA) put a hold on Crawford’s confirmation. When Crawford was the temporary head of the FDA, he voted against making Emergency Contraception available without a prescription.

During Crawford’s confirmation vote, the Bush Administration promised that if the two senators released their hold on his nomination, the FDA would in return make a decision by September 1st. This past Friday the Bush Administration announced they would be delaying the decision indefinitely. Lying sack of shit!

Most of the FDA’s doctors and scientists (as well as the general public) are in favor of over-the-counter access to Emergency Contraception. If the FDA would rather listen to a few well-organized Bible-thumping organizations, the agency should change its name.

You can make a difference. Please click here. You can sign a petition asking the FDA to approve Emergency Contraception. This should be a decision made by doctors and scientists and the majority of the voters who agree with them.

The number of unintended pregnancies would be reduced by 50% with Emergency Contraception. This is extremely important for rape survivors. Not that the book-burning speaking-in-tongues community ever had much empathy for rape victims.

Make the Bush Administration keep its promise (for once).

The Economy is Booming! Uh, that is, If…

George W. Bush was right. These tax cuts and corporate subsidies have stimulated the economy. Times are good!

What, you’re not one of those class warriors, are you, sniveling about low wages? Come on, join the Ownership Society. A rising tide lifts all yachts.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"Move America Forward"

You may think the pro-Bush protesters who traveled from California to Crawford, TX were a spontaneous gathering of concerned citizens. Just a little ol’ grassroots movement to express solidarity with our troops. Wrong!!

This protest was engineered and orchestrated by a high-powered public relations firm from Sacramento, CA. Russo Marsh & Rogers (RM+R) have been creating fake “grassroots” conservative movements for several years now. Here’s a quote from their own website: “When it comes to winning elections, few firms can match the success of Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc... At RM+R we think outside the box and we don't stop until you win.”

Yup, that sure sounds like a populist groundswell of dedicated volunteers.

Move America Forward was formed in June 2004 for the purpose of banning “Fahrenheit 9/11” from American movie theaters. They tried to intimidate theater owners with threats of a nationwide boycott. It didn’t work.

And now the spontaneous "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" bus caravan to Crawford is the latest “grassroots” effort of Move America Forward.

Before they founded Move America Forward, Russo Marsh & Rogers instigated the “grassroots” recall effort against California Governor Gray Davis in 2003 (a Democrat). Davis had just been re-elected several months earlier, and several wealthy conservatives decided to orchestrate a “populist” groundswell of discontent against Davis. What happened to that Republican mantra of “you lost, get over it”?

Before they decided to spit in the faces of California voters, Russo Marsh & Rogers were involved in the defeat of Rep. Barbara Lee. She was the only member of Congress who refused to vote in favor of a “war on terror” resolution after 9/11. A spontaneous groundswell of voter outrage was needed, and it was up to Russo Marsh & Rogers to manufacture it.

So, the next time you hear about a spontaneous demonstration by concerned conservative “everyday people,” look below the surface. You’ll probably see a high-powered PR group orchestrating every detail and pulling all the strings.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

You Owe $145,000. Pay Up!

All right, pay up! Now!! You owe $145,000. You and every other man, woman and child in America. And the amount is going up every day.

Our current debt and deficit adds up to $43 trillion. And your share is $145,000.

Our government’s nonstop borrowing could lead to financial disasters — plummeting home values, skyrocketing interest rates, and massive job losses. Government services — health care, law enforcement, you name it — would be jeopardized. Hey, it’s 1929 again!

David Walker, the U.S. Comptroller General, said “I believe the country faces a critical crossroad and that the decisions that are made — or not made — within the next 10 years or so will have a profound effect on the future of our country, our children and our grandchildren. The problem gets bigger every day, and the tidal wave gets closer every day.”

The trade deficit is the highest it’s ever been. This year Americans will spend $680 billion more on foreign goods than overseas buyers will spend on American goods. Too many Americans are deeply in debt and spending beyond their means. Too many people want tax cuts and increased government services.

As one economist said, “we’re living beyond our means and we have to get our act together.”

Now, if you really want to feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place, check out this cartoon. Which do you think is more effective, your yellow ribbon or the money you're sending to the Middle East? Fill 'er up!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Fear and Loathing in Crawford

The 700 residents of Crawford, TX must be wondering just how much further into the boondocks they’ll have to go to get away from all this. Don’t you just hate it when a spoiled heir / playboy / presidential appointee moves into your small town? There goes the neighborhood.

Bush has returned to his Crawford vacation — after coming back from his vacation-within-a-vacation in Idaho. Three thousand Bush supporters have decided that since the Army is dangerously understaffed, the most productive thing they could do is enlist and join the fight. They’re going to back up their pro-war rhetoric with more than just bumper stickers and yellow ribbons.

Hahahahaha. OK, you didn’t fall for it. Actually, three thousand Bush Supporters are heading for the school football stadium in Crawford to demonstrate in favor of Bush and his quest for oil. This will be the culmination of the “You don’t speak for me, Cindy” tour that started in California.

That name kind of insults the intelligence. Unless these warbots have children who were killed in a war, Cindy Sheehan sure as hell isn’t speaking for them.

This will be the largest counter-protest since Cindy Sheehan first camped outside of Bush’s ranch on August 6th.

The pro-war demonstration is being coordinated by Move America Forward. This is the same freedom-loving group that tried desperately to ban Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” from being shown in American movie theaters. And speaking of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the last time so many people converged in Crawford was last summer when the movie was shown on a screen at the football field.

Hundreds of people will be meeting at Cindy Sheehan’s camp for a somber ceremony honoring soldiers in Iraq.

A new poll shows that 90% — 90%!! — of Americans support people’s right to protest the Iraqi war. What?!? This can't be true!?! What about “if you don’t support the war you don’t support the troops,” “war protesters are undermining American soldiers’ morale,” “people who protest the war are aiding and abetting the enemy,” and so on. It must be a tiny minority that spouts this drivel. Unfortunately, most of them are rightwing politicians, columnists and bloggers.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Tragedy of George W. Bush

Do you get jealous when you think of George W. Bush’s sheltered, pampered upbringing? After all, Little Georgie got everything he ever wanted; got bailed out of every embarrassing drug and alcohol incident during his playboy years. And every time another business venture failed — “Hello Daddy?!? I made another mess. Hellpp!!!”

And now, he has his own Human Shield of Handlers to protect him from the public he’s alienated. Isn’t he lucky?

Then again, would you want THIS to happen to you?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Your E-Z Guide to the Valerie Plame Scandal

Here it is: your Quick Reference; your Official Cheatsheet. Everything you ever wanted to know about the outing of Valerie Plame. And remember, Valerie Plame is the center of the storm. This website is an excellent guide to the whole can of worms: the Downing Street memos, all of the fake “intelligence” for justifying the Iraqi invasion, and the incredible sales and marketing effort to sell this war to the American people.

This site is worth bookmarking and keeping. It brings in a whole host of characters, from household names to the “Who?!?” category.

Here are a few examples:

Scooter Libby. No, this isn’t somebody’s great-nephew who’s still too young to drive. It’s a grown man who’s been Dick Cheney’s right-hand man since the Year One. And he played a large role in “convincing” the CIA that, yes, Saddam Hussein had indeed gone to Niger (and everywhere else in the world), knocking on doors, screaming at everybody “I want yellowcake Uranium so I can Nuke America. And I want it NOW.”

Now, back in a quaint earlier era, the CIA provided the intelligence; they weren’t told in advance by politicians what their intelligence findings would be. Somehow that earlier version just sounds a little more sane and rational.

In September 2003, the Justice Department informed Electrodes “Alberto” Gonzales, White House Counsel at the time, that there would be a criminal investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent. Gonzales was instructed to immediately tell the White House staff to preserve all documents relating to the case. Instead, Gonzales went to Andrew Card, White House Chief of Staff, and told him about the order from the Justice Department. Gonzales didn’t inform the rest of the White House staff until 12 hours later.

Card had a 12-hour window to tip off the White House staff. Hmmm…12 hours. Whooeeee!!! Shredding Party!!

Card also founded — and participated regularly in — the White House Iraq Group. This group had weekly meetings to coordinate the selling and marketing of the war in Iraq — how to drum up the proper hysteria among American voters, which slogans and hot-button rhetoric would be most effective, etc. Karl Rove and Scooter Libby were also members of this group.

Joseph Wilson of course is the diplomat whose article debunked Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein bobbing for uranium in Africa. The day after Wilson’s article was published, Ari Fleischer (White House Press Secretary at the time) received a phone call from Robert Novak, the columnist who printed the information about Wilson’s wife being a CIA agent. Ari Fleischer is one of the names that keeps popping up in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.

John Hannah, Aide to Dick Cheney, is one of the “major players” in the Plamegate scandal, according to investigators. Investigators are really leaning on him: name names or do hard time (just like in the movies).

Dan Bartlett, former White House Communications Director, has worked very closely with Karl Rove since the early 1990s. In 2003 he urged reporters to investigate why the CIA sent Joseph Wilson to Niger. Bartlett was also a member of the White House Iraq Group.

In July 2003, President Bush, Colin Powell and several other Bush administration staff were on an Air Force One trip to Africa. Several staff members on the flight viewed a State Department memo which contained a paragraph marked “S” for Secret. This paragraph mentioned “CIA Officer Valerie Plame.” Fitzgerald’s investigation has subpoenaed the phone records of that Air Force One flight, to see if anyone made a call from the plane to reveal Plame’s identity.

Karen Hughes, White House Aide, and a member of the White House Iraq Group, had a major role in drafting Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Speech. This is the speech that contained those infamous 16 words: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” She also led the character assassination attack on Richard Clarke — Bush’s former top anti-terrorism adviser — after Clarke left the Bush administration. When Clarke said publicly that Bush was neglecting the war on terror because he was so obsessed with finding a link between Iraq and 9/11, the White House released lots of formerly classified documents in an effort to smear Clarke.

Four of Dick Cheney’s staff members — Scooter Libby, John Hannah, Mary Matalin, and Catherine Martin — have been implicated in the leak. According to sources inside the investigation, “Cheney seems to be the common denominator.” Cheney and Libby used to visit CIA headquarters and talk directly with CIA analysts and try to “suggest” what their findings would be. This tactic is completely unprecedented in the CIA's history.

Bush has not been personally implicated in the leak. But there’s the broader question of whether he was aware of any of his aides using Valerie Plame’s identity to undermine the credibility of her husband. And of course Bush has “progressed” from wanting to get to the bottom of this scandal, to promising to fire anyone who had anything to do with it, to promising to fire anyone who was connected to the scandal if that person was convicted of a crime.

So that’s a brief glimpse. But there’s lots of information here. With Plamegate and Downing-gate continuing to unravel, this little cheatsheet will come in handy.

And since this is such a tangled web, we’re all bound to get confused about who said what to who when. “Hmmm, what did Karl Rove say to Robert Novak?” “Let’s see, who tried to strong-arm the CIA into ‘fixing’ their intelligence?” The answers are just a click away.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fetuses Dissed By Godless Scientists

First Galileo insulted The Church by saying the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth. Then Charles Darwin said that God didn’t create the world in seven days — some newfangled theory about "Evolution."

And now it’s the end of another myth: the Silent Scream — the agonizing death throes of unborn children being murdered by their pagan mothers.

According to a new scientific study, the fetus doesn’t feel any pain until the final months of pregnancy. Oops! Time to revise the ol’ belief system again.

Right now federal legislation is pending that would require doctors to provide “fetal pain information” for women seeking abortions after the 5th month of pregnancy. The law would also require that anesthesia be given to the fetus after the 5th month. Several states already have this law.

But now this report, from the Journal of the American Medical Association, says administering anesthesia to the fetus can endanger the mother’s health.

According to this study, fetuses start feeling pain around the 7th month of pregnancy. The brain structures involved in perceiving pain are not functional until the 7th month.

The journal’s editor-in-chief said there was no political agenda for publishing the findings. “Oh please. If I had a political agenda, I wouldn’t pick fetal pain. We publish data-based, evidence-based science.”

About 18,000 abortions are performed in America during or after the 5th month.

And now, in a related story, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts had some advice in 1985 for the California Pro-Life Medical Association, who wanted to perform a memorial service for aborted fetuses. He told them their plan was “an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy.”

Looks like our Culture Wars will be heating up again, just in time for the 2006 elections. Pat Robertson has his work cut out for him. After he gets through assassinating the President of Venezuela, he might as well just keep on huntin’ and shootin’. We got us a few of them heathen scientists that need a little Bible lesson.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Joan Baez at Crawford; More Abu Ghraib Photos

Nobody conjures up the 1960s and Viet Nam more than Joan Baez. When she played a concert near Bush’s Crawford ranch, she really brought home the parallels between Iraq and Viet Nam. All we need now is Jane Fonda and the Chicago Seven (whichever ones are still alive) to descend on Crawford. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Emperor kept on cowering inside.

Joan Baez doesn’t quite push the Hate buttons of the Far Right the way Jane Fonda does. People of all political views probably have a grudging respect for Joan Baez. She has strong pacifist convictions, and she actually lives these convictions. She practices what she preaches. She walks the walk.

She played for about 500 people. She said “in the first march I went to (opposing Vietnam) there were 10 of us. This is huge.” She performed on a 1-acre lot near Bush’s ranch; the land is owned by an opponent of the Iraqi war.

Nearby, about 150 people decided to enlist in the Army to show their support for the Iraqi war held a pro-war pro-Bush demonstration. They waved banners saying “God Bless Our President” and “I’m an able-bodied adult who should be fighting in this war since I believe in it. Isn’t this pathetic?!?!!God Bless Our Troops.”

Cindy Sheehan is expected to return to Crawford in a few days. Undoubtedly she’ll stir up a new round of hatred and fury from rightwing columnists and bloggers.

There's been an ongoing battle between the ACLU and the government. There are more unreleased torture videos and photos from Abu Ghraib. The ACLU is suing — under the Freedom Of Information Act — to have them released. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned of worldwide outrage and violence if these photos are released.

There are some contradictions here. OxyContin “Rush” Limbaugh and other badass warriors of the Chairborne Division have dismissed the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo tortures as “harmless fraternity pranks.” And at the same time, General Myers says there’ll be global outrage and violence if these photos and videos are released.

OK, which is it? There’ll be worldwide outrage and rioting if we release pictures of harmless fraternity pranks?? Maybe America’s favorite blathering chickenhawk and General Richard Myers could get together and try to reach a consensus — is it torture or just a little harmless fun? The world will not erupt into riots over pictures of fraternity pranks. What are our “leaders” hiding?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Four More Years!

No, this isn’t a political rallying cry or a re-election slogan. It’s how long the Army expects to remain quagmired in Iraq.

General Peter Schoomaker has said our current troop level is expected to remain in Iraq through 2009. Right now we have about 138,000 troops over there.

The Bush administration has been hinting that troop levels might be reduced, depending on the progress of the Iraqi constitution and future elections. Then again, these are the same people who were yelling “Mission Accomplished” 2½ years ago, and “don’t worry, it’ll be a cakewalk” before that.

Schoomaker didn’t mention anything about Bush’s speculations, but said he was confident the Army could provide the necessary troop levels to keep fighting the Iraqi insurgency for many more years. Hmmm… Operation Yellow Elephant comes to mind…Again. Come on, all you armchair patriots. Time to quit hiding behind your flag decals and yellow ribbons. Your country needs you. Call your recruiter.

Schoomaker said “We’re staying 18 months to 2 years ahead of ourselves” in planning which active-duty, National Guard and Reserve units will be needed. The National Guard has seven combat brigades currently in Iraq.

August has been the deadliest month of the Iraqi war for the National Guard and Reserves; 42 deaths so far this month.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bush: Governing While Intoxicated?

We’ve all seen the warning “Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery” after taking this or that medicine. Unfortunately there aren’t any warnings about operating a country while under the influence.

George “Boozin’” Bush has been off the bottle for a long time; that’s the good news. Now the bad news: The President of the United States is high on drugs. He’s driving (our country!) while intoxicated! Now does this explain a few things or what?!?

He’s taking anti-depressants to control his mood swings, erratic behavior and paranoia. The prescription drugs are administered by the White House physician. Bush’s aides have admitted privately that these drugs can impair mental and physical faculties and his ability to respond to a crisis.

One aide said “It’s a double-edged sword. We can’t have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally.”

The medication was prescribed about 6 weeks ago after Bush threw a tantrum during a press conference. A reporter asked Bush about his relationship with Enron’s Kenneth Lay, and Junior lashed out. He screamed at an aide: “Keep those motherfuckers away from me. If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can.”

Even before that incident, there’s been increasing concern among Bush’s aides and other insiders about the President’s mood swings. Supposedly, e-mails between staff members contain “weather reports” to warn of the president’s current mood, or to find out whether it’s safe to approach him. A psychiatrist from George Washington University has diagnosed Bush as “paranoid megalomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” whose “lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad” showcase Bush’s instabilities.

“I was really very unsettled by him and I started watching everything he did and reading what he wrote and watching him on videotape. I felt he was disturbed. He fits the profile of a former drinker whose alcoholism has been arrested but not treated. President Bush is an untreated alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies.”

This psychiatrist, Dr. Justin Frank, has a book entitled “Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.”

One long-time Republican consultant — for some mysterious reason he doesn’t want his name used — has said he’s advising Republican candidates to keep their distance from Bush. He said “we have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes. That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”

NOTE: I saw this same topic on another blog several days ago, and I can’t remember which site it was. If anyone knows which site it was — or any other bloggers who have posted on this topic — please mention them in the Comments section so they can get credit.

I did a web search for “George W. Bush + mood swings” and found a gold mine of information.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Justice Sunday — Back By Popular Demand

You probably remember “Justice Sunday” from this past April, that huge gathering of the Spanish Inquisition prominent Christian Fundamentalists and Dominionists. They all congregated to inform The Faithful that God does not want the next Supreme Court nomination to be filibustered by evil Democrats.

It was such a booming success, there had to be a sequel — Son of Justice Sunday. It was held last Sunday in Nashville.

Bill Frist, formerly the fair-haired boy for the Salem Witch Trials Christian Theocracy movement, was not invited to the party this time. Apparently he dropped the ball. His Mission From God was to permanently eliminate the filibuster. And instead he compromised — Compromised! — with godless liberals. And of course he flipflopped on stem cell research. Bye Bill — you didn’t get into the fraternity. You’ve been officially blackballed by Tau Kappa Jesus.

Tom DeLay was there; he needed a break from fending off Grand Juries and reporters. He told the crowd “All wisdom does not reside in nine persons in black robes. The Constitution is clear on the point that the power to make laws is vested on Congress.”

With John Roberts’ hearings beginning in early September, DeLay needed to remind everyone of the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Filibuster.” Ironically, some conservatives are now concerned that Roberts might actually be too liberal for the Supreme Court. Hmmm…Awkward…If they end up voting against Roberts because of his “liberal” views, how will they spin this?

James Dobson was there (of course!). He said America’s highest ranking judges are “unelected, unaccountable and arrogant.” Dobson speaks not only with God, but also with our Founding Fathers. Hot Damn! — talk about sitting at the Popular Table. In his speech, he claimed to know exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted.

Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League, spoke in favor of a constitutional amendment stating “unless a judicial vote is unanimous, you cannot overturn a law created by Congress.”

Another speaker said “Activist justices — we’re trying to find out what we can do to stop that activity. Our laws are based on the Ten Commandments.” Oh.

Fortunately, there were some other religious groups protesting against Son of Justice Sunday. An organizer of Community of Faith and Unity Gathering said “this is so Americans can see the ’Justice Sunday’ sponsors and Tom DeLay don’t have any exclusive hold on religion.”

The founder of Faith Voices for the Common Good said “those people meeting with Tom DeLay, Chuck Colson and Jim Dobson think they own the Bible and that God speaks only to them.”

Monday, August 15, 2005

Pro-War Demonstrators: Call Your Recruiter

It gets more unbelievable and infuriating all the time — all these gung ho bloggers and columnists who keep cheering for Bush and the Iraqi war. Sure they have a right to express their views, but the contradiction — the irony — is just so glaring, so blatant, it’s shrieking at them at 500 decibels.

And now, we have pro-war demonstrators gathering in Crawford, TX to counter-demonstrate against Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. Ooookay. A pro-war demonstration??!!? What able-bodied, non-military person could possibly attend a pro-war demonstration without being hit over the head by the sheer irony, the madness?

Let’s see, on the one hand we have constant news reports of army recruiters not meeting their quotas, and often using sleazy and desperate methods of persuading people to enlist. And on the other hand we have self-proclaimed “patriots” — who aren’t even in the military — writing and shouting and demonstrating in favor of the Iraqi war at the exact same time that the military doesn’t have enough manpower to accomplish their mission.

Hmmm…two and two not being put together…dots remaining unconnected…dingdingdingdingdingding ENLIST Goddamnit!!

Jesus F#$%&! Christ on a crutch, how can people be so simple-minded and oblivious?!? “Uhhh, Duuhhhh, I’m sitting here at my computer terminal, blathering on and on about our Great War in Iraq” or “I feel so strongly about President Bush and his brave decision to invade Iraq, I’m gonna go all the way to Crawford just to demonstrate against that woman whose son was killed over there.”

“What? No, I’m not in the military. No, I never have been. What, a contradiction? Irony? Whaddya mean?” Duuuhhh!!!!

Now, for all pro-war demonstrators who are at least capable of feeling shame or embarrassment, and might be able to see themselves objectively, here is how you can help your country and your self-esteem. This website enables you to contact the nearest army recruiting office, and leads you step by step through the process of enlistment.

Isn’t this great?!? No longer do you have to hear yourself pontificate over and over about loving America and supporting our troops, and then have that sinking feeling every time you look in the mirror and see that flabby pathetic chicken hawk staring back at you. Aren’t you tired of this?

OK, maybe you’ve already served in the military and/or you’re too old to enlist. But wait — the more desperate the army gets, the higher the enlistment age goes. Before too long army recruiters will be scouring retirement communities and bingo parlors, looking for potential enlistees. If you can walk and breathe, you’ll be able to enlist. It’ll be as easy as getting a driver’s license in Miami Beach.

AND, if you’re too old to enlist and/or have already served, you probably have friends and relatives and coworkers and acquaintances who join you in cheerleading President Bush and His War, and condemning those America-hating Leftists who disagree with you. If that’s the case, please refer these people to the above website. You can help them gain some self-esteem and a positive self-image, and you’ll be helping Your President at the same time.

Your country needs you Now. It’s time to put down that megaphone and put on a uniform. Or else shut the fuck up.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

As we all know by now, a woman whose son was killed in the Iraqi war is staging a vigil outside of The King’s Palace President Bush’s ranch. She wants to meet with Bush in person and ask some questions about the Iraqi war. Real questions, not the gentle softball questions lobbed by the White House Press Corps. Uh oh.

All of a sudden, a president who’s fended off every opponent using the most sophisticated propaganda techniques available, is squirming in the limelight. This is making his handlers and puppetmasters very uneasy.

What’s a wartime president to do? Hmmm…a dilemma. Don’t laugh — put yourself in his position. You’ve pulled off an invasion, using a sophisticated combination of fake “intelligence” reports, suppression of real news reports, and the Big Lie technique. And it’s going fine. The deaths in Iraq, the sinking poll numbers? Just blame that “liberal media” for not reporting any of the good news coming out of Iraq.

The Big Spin is working.

And then, some two-bit woman (she doesn’t even belong to a country club for God’s sake) starts whimpering about her son who was killed in the war that you masterminded.

Uh, Karl — Help! I already met with this woman once, gave her one of my stock one-liners — I think it was “well, who am I honoring today?” And now she wants to meet with me again, and she’s gonna ask some real tough questions. This is awkward. Karl, what should I do? I’ve already cleared all the brush and re-read My Pet Goat. I’m running out of things to do. Can I just keep hiding here? This damn woman is ruining my vacation.

Hmmm…What will our Commander-in-Chief do? Well, if you’re a trust-funded safety-netted blueblood and you've been nurtured and coddled all your life, the answer is clear. Unleash the hounds. Bring in the character assassins.

Some unsophisticated types might wonder what possible spin/assassination method anyone could use against a woman whose son was killed in the Iraqi war, and now wants to talk to the president. Not to worry — small potatoes for Karl Joseph Goebbels Rove and his puppet.

“Get Over It” seems to be what this wingnut is saying.

And you can predict what Michelle Malkin is saying about her.

Falafel "Bill" O'Reilly also jumped on the bandwagon.

Sending the Character Assassination Squad after a bereaved mother who just wants to talk with President Bush — what a brave administration we have. How proud they must be.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Farmers' Markets

I just came back from a meeting of the City Planning Commission (Port Angeles, WA) about extending the permit for the Farmers’ Market. Everything that’s nasty and personal about national politics had its counterpart at this meeting.

First of all, Port Angeles is one of those small cities (20,000) that’s lucky enough to have a thriving, vibrant downtown. There’s a Wal-Mart two miles away, and a few malls, but these haven’t sucked the life out of the city center.

Two days a week, the city closes off one block — right downtown — for the Farmers’ Market. The whole town really comes to life during these two days. Hundreds of pedestrians are fanning out in every direction, shopping in downtown stores, patronizing the bars and restaurants. It’s great.

Well, at least most people think so. A few merchants are claiming their business goes down during the Farmers’ Market because of parking problems. Other merchants, including some that are located on the exact street that gets blocked off, say their business goes way up during the Farmers’ Market.

The plot thickens: the Farmers’ Market is near the end of a temporary 1-year permit. The few squeaky wheels that have been complaining are now trying to prevent the permit from being extended. So the City Planning Commission had a stormy 4-hour meeting tonight, which resolved nothing.

The most colorful part of the meeting was the Chairman of the Planning Commission, who seems to think his title is actually Commissar of the VIPs. There was thunderous applause after several impassioned speeches in favor of continuing the Farmers’ Market’s permit. So the Emperor Chairman commanded that there be no applause or any other outbursts after any speeches. Mr. VIP needs to be reminded that his salary comes from the taxpayers he was ordering around like a drill sergeant.

Out of the 25 to 30 people who spoke, only about four were against extending the permit. Supposedly 60 merchants had signed a petition against the Farmers’ Market. Where the F&%$#! were they?

Whenever someone spoke in favor of the Farmers’ Market, the Caliph Chairman would constantly interrupt with “let’s stick to the subject,” “what’s your point?” or “you’ve gone over the time limit.” When the four opponents were speaking — and they all rambled and dithered and huffed and puffed for eternity — for some reason there was no time limit, no calls of “Focus!” or “Get to the point!” Hmmm, I wonder whose side the Chairman was on.

Like they say, Think Globally, Act Locally. All politics is local. Etc. And local politics is every bit as colorful and contentious as Tom DeLay and Dick Cheney cussing at Democrats. And local politics is just as full of sleazebags, 800-pound gorillas, and self-absorbed prima donnas who think the world revolves around them.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sam Brownback for President?

We’re close enough to the 2008 election for everyone to be speculating about who it’ll be. Some of the favorites (or worst nightmares) include Jeb, Hillary, Condoleezza, Frist, Kerry (forms his 2 index fingers into a cross), among others.

The name Sam Brownback doesn’t usually come up. Even if you’ve heard of him, you probably don’t think of him and “president” in the same sentence. But it’s a strong possibility. If you’re salivating at the thought of Evangelical Christians establishing a pure blissful sin-free government, Brownback is your savior.

If you’re not in that group — Red Flag!

Brownback is a senator from Kansas; he got elected in 1996. During his run for the Senate, his campaign staff played heavily on the fact that his opponent was Jewish.

Brownback is Pat Robertson's favorite candidate for the White House. Millions of Christian Right voters got whipped into a frenzy during the 2004 campaign, and they’re still champing at the bit over abortion and gay marriage. And Brownback is in a good position — with Uncle Pat’s help — to reap their votes.

Where does Brownback stand on abortion, stem cell research, abstinence-only education? You can pretty much figure that out — just pretend you’re asking Pat Robertson or James Dobson. One of his campaign backers has publicly compared gays and lesbians to shoplifters and drug addicts. Yup, this guy is White House material!

Brownback has a 100% approval rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Christian Coalition. He gets a 0% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and the AFL-CIO. The ACLU gives him 20%.

Here’s a glimpse into Brownback’s devotion to the Almighty Fetus. Referring to voters 18 to 25, he said “They were born when abortion rates were highest, so many of them feel they’re the survivors of a holocaust: one in four of their compatriots are not here.”

Wait, it gets even better. Brownback is a member of Opus Dei. Yes, there really is such a group, and they’re way more secretive and ruthless than “The Da Vinci Code” makes them out to be. They’ve worked closely for decades — behind the scenes of course — with Fascist governments and movements, including Francisco Franco, Spain’s dictator from WWII to the mid-1970s.

And speaking of secretive Christian/Fascist alliances: The Fellowship is also closely allied with Brownback. This group is so secretive and below-the-radar, a lot of its members won’t even admit the group exists.

The Fellowship was founded in the 1930s. Even though their founder was a minister, this group mostly just used Christianity as a front — they were closely allied with various Nazi organizations in the 1930s and ‘40s. The Fellowship also engineered the anti-Communist hysteria of the late 1940s and ‘50s, which paved the way for Joe McCarthy’s reign of terror.

Brownback is The Fellowship’s favorite candidate for the White House. What’s this say about him?

Brownback is also one of the sponsors of the Constitutional Restoration Act. The Constitutional Restoration Act will reduce the “tyranny” of godless federal judges and “acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law.” One of the authors of the Constitutional Restoration Act is former Chief Justice of Alabama Roy Moore. You remember him — he’s the one who insisted on displaying the Ten Commandments at his courthouse no matter how many judges ruled against him. Alan Keyes (the anti-abortion fanatic who insulted Dick Cheney‘s daughter in front of millions) is also one of the authors.

This bill is quietly working its way through the Senate (SB 520) and the House (HR 1070). As usual, our “liberal media” is too pre-occupied to bother mentioning it.

If you’d like to have the Taliban replace our centuries-old system of laws, the Constitutional Restoration Act is just what you’ve been clamoring for.

So what do you think — Sam Brownback for president? Some of the most powerful Christian Right groups want to put him in the White House. Do you?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

“Moderate" Republicans?

The Republican Party has moved so far to the right —
How far to the right have they moved? —
They’ve moved soooo far to the right that a Republican governor can veto a birth control bill and still be labeled as a “moderate.” Moderate??! Compared to what?!?!

New York Governor George Pataki has vetoed a bill that would have made the morning-after pill available without a prescription. The morning-after pill (also known as emergency contraception) has a 90% success rate in preventing pregnancies.

George Pataki is considered a “moderate.” Fortunately he’s still pro-choice on abortion (unless that’s changed too).

Now, there’s a clear, simple connection between birth control and abortion. For people who are against abortion and birth control, let’s connect the dots: If birth control is made less available, there will be more abortions. OK? Nothing complicated here.

Pataki is hoping to gain favor with the Far Right and still be considered a moderate Republican. Good luck.

Similar birth control laws have been vetoed by the Governors of Colorado and Massachusetts. A line needs to be drawn in the sand — politicians will have to decide whether they want to reach out to moderate mainstream Americans, or the far right.

Or, maybe the Republicans have pushed the envelope so far to the right that the moderate position has moved to the right too. Everything’s relative. So now a Republican governor can veto a birth control bill and still be considered “moderate.” If this is the moderate position, what’s the extreme right position? How about sentencing women to Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib for trying to obtain birth control pills?

Now try this on: how much further to the right will the Republicans push the envelope before the next election rolls around? By then, maybe anti-abortion extremists who blow up abortion clinics will be “moderates” as long as not too many people were killed.

Perhaps “moderates” will try to raise the enlistment age to 70 and expand the Iraqi war to include Iran, Syria, Sudan, Chechnya, Pakistan… This will seem moderate compared to the Extreme Right position, which will be …(don’t even go there).

Presidential hopefuls like Pataki need to understand that they can either reach out to moderate voters or they can be painted into a corner with the Taliban wannabes. And Republican voters need to decide what they want for their party:

A) The traditional Republican philosophy of limited government, states’ rights, self-reliance; or

B) An expanding all-powerful unaccountable Christian theocracy.

You can’t have both.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Republicans: “We Don’t Need No Steenking Science!”

In the 1600s Galileo was thrown in jail when his scientific discoveries clashed with The Church. Things have sure changed since then, right?

Four hundred years later, some of the most powerful Republicans are bringing down their wrath on scientists whose findings are a threat to the Powers That Be. In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences completed a research project detailing the effects of thirty years of energy development in Alaska.

PopeSenator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, demanded to see the report, and threw a tantrum when he read it. Stevens has retaliated by threatening the future funding of the National Academy of Sciences.

Even worse is Congressman Joe Barton, R-Texas. He’s basically a prostitute; the oil industry is his pimp. He’s trying to derail the work of three of the country’s top climate researchers. Barton is demanding that they hand over to him a complete record of all financial support they’ve ever received. This includes speaking fees, grants, organizations they’ve done research for — you name it. Barton is even demanding the “exact computer code” they used which generated their findings.

It takes a lot of time and manpower to research decades’ worth of records — how much was I paid for that speech I gave 12 years ago, what was the fine print on that grant I received nine years ago, etc. These are manhours that obviously won't be spent doing scientific research. What a clever way for Big Business to keep the messenger quiet.

When America’s top scientists get thwarted by government thugs, America’s competitiveness suffers. More and more scientific breakthroughs may start coming from other countries, while American scientists turn into Yes-men for corporations who don’t want facts getting in their way.

Two of Barton’s fellow Representatives have condemned his sleazy tactics: “We are very concerned that the tone of your letters indicate that these were not requests for hearing background materials, but rather an attempt to intimidate …and discredit peer-reviewed scientific research.”

Things will get pretty grim if scientists start keeping quiet for fear of losing their funding, or if they start spending so much time searching for subpoenaed records that they don’t have time to do research. It’ll be Paradise on Earth for a few CEOs, and a bleak hellhole for the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Parents TV Council: Get A Life!

The Parents TV Council — talk about people with too much time on their hands. When you hear about gazillions of people complaining about a naughty word on TV, this is the group you can thank.

The slogan on their website is “Because our children are watching.” Here’s an idea: if your children are watching TV, you can monitor what they watch, instead of relying on a government wetnurse to do your parenting for you.

The Parents TV Council website makes it so easy, they’re practically begging you to complain about something. Just click on several fields, click on Send, and — Presto! — you’ve just filed a complaint with the FCC. Your favorite program might be canceled just because several thousand people made the minimal effort of several mouse clicks.

But now, the Parents TV Council has met their match. TV Watch, a group of media executives, is using a free-market approach to fighting censorship. It’s about time. There’s nothing more absurd than conservatives’ schizophrenic approach to government regulation. If you need to declare bankruptcy, or your HMO won’t pay for that operation you need — “Tough shit. Get a grip. Suck it up.”

But if you don’t even have enough initiative to pick up your remote and push the channel button, the party of self-reliance says “Aww, we understand. You don’t like that program and you’re too lazy to use the remote. Dry your eyes, we’ll take that terrible thing off the air so you won’t have to be offended.”

TV Watch is encouraging parents to make full use of the ratings system and the V-Chip to monitor what their children watch. This is the only sensible approach for people who claim to want “individualism” and “limited government.”

The clash between the Parents TV Council and TV Watch is creating a rift between major conservative groups. This censorship issue is putting a strain on the cozy relationship between free-market conservatives and the Religious Right.

A spokesman for TV Watch says “Why should we trust government to come up with the standards? Standards for who? I can’t even agree with my wife about what we ought to watch on television. Do you really think government is going to be able to come up with a standard for all of us?”

Some prominent conservative groups are agreeing with TV Watch. In addition to media executives, this includes the American Conservative Union and Grover Norquist. Describing the zeal of some people to control what we watch, Norquist said “It’s socialism…dressing it up and getting a minister to say it doesn’t change that. It’s still socialism.”

The Parents TV Council and TV Watch are both gearing up for major campaigns. This could create an awkward position for moral crusaders who talk about "limited government" while actually pushing for more government. Make them squirm.