Monday, October 31, 2005
CLICK ON THE BUTTON TO LISTEN TO "WALLS"
Welcome back to the Monday Night Lunatic Fringe Lounge. Tonight amidst scandal the Lounge thought it would be nice to serenade our fallen president.
Tonight's selection is a Tom Petty song, titled, "Walls".
What it's saying to poor Georgie is "You don't have to be such a tough guy. You're a sweetheart, man--it's time to show it." It could also be interpreted as--literally--the walls are falling down, bro.
Friday, October 28, 2005
At the end of the day, the announcement of five indictments against the Vice President's Chief of Staff had empty feeling of the Democrats winning a big game but losing a player to injury in the process.
Is Scooter Libby the only White House official to be prosecuted? Will we ever know who exactly leaked Valerie WIlson's name to columnist Robert Novak?
For defenders of the what's right in this country, the unmasking of dirty business in the Bush administration had a solemn comeuppance. Having our government shaken by scandal is not beneficial to this country. On the other hand, rooting out criminal activity is.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was very coy and intelligent during his nearly one-hour press conference. But his answers were easily parsed by reporters for their real meaning. This is what we know other than Cheney's righthand man and assistant to the President, Scooter Libby, was indicted on five felony counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statement.
Vice President Cheney and Libby both knew that Valerie Wilson was undercover before they spoke to reporters
On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Divison. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.
As Josh Micah Marshall said in the Talking Points Memo, both Cheney and Libby had vast experience working in the realm of National Security
The mysterious "Official A" that was contained in the 22-page indictment against Libby has been indentified by the Associated Press as, indeed, Karl Rove, who came away unscathed, at least, for now.
There was much speculation throughout the day that Rove was "Official A" or the "senior official in the White House". Fitzgerald did not answer questions about possible indictments against Rove, but Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, offered that his client is still under investigation.
The recent flurry of investigation from the special prosecutor's office involving, for one, reports that Valerie Wilson's neighbors and friends were asked whether they knew of her secret life. Ominously, Fitzgerald opened his press conference by using the words "blew" or blown our cover" twice in reference to Wilson's status as an undercover CIA agent.
While the possible crimes that Fitzgerald were chartered to find were evident in today's announcement, there's room for more speculation for another shoe to drop. Fitzgerald left opened the possibility that another grand jury could be convened for more evidence.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews noted that it's Fitzgerald's modus operandi to squeeze the number two man to get to the big fish. Apparently, he did it in the Chicago mayor's office. Who this "big fish" is nobody knows. Is it Rove or someone else under the radar?
In the end, this investigation is far from over. The indictment leaves important questions open, such as, who is the leaker? The narrative seems to suggest this "official A". If it's Rove, as the AP reports; where does this leave us?
Thursday, October 27, 2005
NBC News' Norah O'Donnell speculated as to why neither Karl Rove or I. Lewis Libby have not resigned before possible indictments from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
It was a major point that even knocked MSNBC's Chris Matthews off guard. Most White House advisors resign before indictments are levied. The rationale being that an underling's criminal problems should not interfere with the administration's ability to govern.
A cynic might point out this is evidence that indictments are, in fact, not going to be passed down on Rove or Libby. While this fact may be possible, it's still remote.
Regarding the fallout after indictments, it seems that President Bush will continue his blind loyalty to his advisors. He fought back critics who called for him to dismiss Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, after the Abu Ghraib photos and fiercely resisted firing anyone regarding the CIA leak investigation even after vowing to fire the "leakers".
Unless Rove or Libby or some other possible counsel resigns tonight, the prospect of indicted members of this administration advising the President is imminent.
What this will do is foster outrage on the left and further an unhealthy reverance of President Bush's loyalty even when his friends are in despair.
There's another ominous sign by the lack of resignations. It would make one wonder exactly what is this adminstration hiding other than lying about the reasons for war.
It's quite possible that these other elements are what Fitzgerald is looking into near the end of the grand jury's time. If not, why is the special prosecutor looking towards Italy and the forged documents claiming that Iraq bought uranium yellowcake from Niger?
It would serve the Bush administration well, on a political level, to cut ties with indicted members of their team. For the country, we can ill-afford to have our President's hands tied for the next three years because of it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
BERKELEY--Senator John Edwards (D-NC) spoke to students at the University of California-Berkeley about the issue of poverty in this country, while sounding like he hadn't lost his campaign spirit since last year's Presidential election.
Looking tan and rested in faded blue jeans and a light blue poplin shirt, Edwards told the audience that was comprised of mostly college students that poverty is the "great moral issue of our time." He spoke on everything from the Bush administration's handling of hurricane Katrina and the role of poverty in the disaster to the view other countries have of the United States.
"With Hurricane Katrina, America saw the face of poverty," said Edwards, "Some people asked 'Why didn't they leave?' They couldn't leave. There was no way. They don't have a car. They don't have a bank account. They don't have a credit card. There was no way to take care of themselves if they left."
He added, "There's two groups in poverty. Those with serious mental and physical disabilities and the vast majority who either work or want to work. This isn't about chartiy. This is about justice, about fairness."
In a jab to the Bush administration, Edwards said, "The last thing we should do is give billion dollar contracts to mult-national corporations, instead, we should be giving people jobs.
According to Edwards, 37 million people live in poverty in the United States and nearly one million have joined the ranks in the past year.
"If you have capital, you'll survive. If you don't--and this is most of the country--you'll struggle," said Edwards.
Edwards also tried to illustrate the difference between the haves and have nots when crisis hits. In Edwards case, his wife's battle with breast cancer.
"Something bad happens to everyone all the time. In my case, your wife get sick and, by the way, she doing fine. Your child gets sick or some financial problems might happen," said Edwards, "The difference between me and you is that I'll get through it. For the poor, there's no way to get out of the ditch."
The inequity of wealth among racial groups in America is a problem Edwards is trying to tackle with these series of speeches on college campuses throughout the country.
According to Edwards, the net worth of blacks in this country is $6,000, while it's $8,000 for Latinos, as opposed to over $80,000 for whites.
"This gap means something and will take a lot less than a hurricane to put them in a ditch," said Edwards.
Part of Edwards' plan for alleviating the issue of poverty is to pour money back into social programs that have either been eliminated or limited by the Bush administration.
His plan includes raising the minimum wage, which Edwards called "a disgrace". Expanding the Earned Income Credit to single working families. Allowing for housing vouchers to the poor that would allow for greater mobility to better areas and schools. Creating assets for poor families where their savings would be matched by the Federal Government to help make a down payment on a house or regular house payments. Edwards also believes that the government should help send kids to college and equated much of his success to school and government programs.
"Some say if you only work hard, you'll succeed. That's a lie. The truth is I could not have gotten by on my own. I had great teachers. I had the benefit of a great state university system and I had my parents, "said Edwards.
Many in attendance echoed the Edwards' sentiments.
"It's hard being a student, you know. Unless you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth like the President, you're going to need some breaks along the way," said Cal student Justin Schwartzman.
"The government is supposed to help people, not just leave them hanging," said Alicia Bates of Berkeley, "The Republicans just want to help the rich and leave the rest of us to fight for the leftovers."
Edwards also touched upon the view of America across the world when it comes to taking care of our own and the spirit of the American soul.
"We have a void of moral leadership in this country," said Edwards, "We have shamed our country with the reponse to the victims hit by hurricane Katrina.
There's genocide in Darfur, Sudan where people are killed because they're black. Where is America? After Rwanda, we said this would never happen again."
He also added, "Where is America's voice? do yo think the planet is watching? It matters because the world will follow America."
Edwards took a brief moment to remember the passing the civil rights hero, Rosa Parks, before his speech. "She showed what strength and character can do for the nation," said Edwards, "She sat down and, in the process, stood up."
Here's more photos from Sen. John Edwards' speech Tuesday night in Berkeley:
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Wilkerson was the Chief of Staff for the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. His comments last week while speaking to the New American Foundation have rocked the inner-White House and provided a visible fissure between those in favor of invading Iraq and those, like Powell, who sought a diplomatic solution. Is this the beginning of a string of White House dissidents who will finally speak out against this administration?
The case that I saw for four-plus years was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process. What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made, said Wilkerson.
Of course, this is exactly what everyone outside of the Beltway and epecially Democrats have been saying since 2003. To have a White House insider fire these verbal rockets at Vice President Cheney and Rumsfeld is monumental and portends for more who have either muzzled their opinions out of loyalty and job security or those like Powell who have had their personal reputation sullied for the folly of war in the Middle East.
Sure, this investigation began innocently enough for a single crime of outing an intelligence officer, but ultimately the beginning will become less important by the time history sorts out the legacy of George W. Bush. Wilkerson spoke out at the precise point where indictments from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald are a certainty and, more importantly, the job approval of the President is sinking to record lows.
This administration is in a free-fall and in the case of most free-falls; panic ensues and people start talking. Wilkerson has set the tone for others and they will follow in throwing dirt on the coffin of this presidency.
As he said this weekend, "as a citizen of this great republic" it's his duty to speak out. Assuredly, others will also be overcome by this same righteousness in the days and weeks to come.
Monday, October 24, 2005
The editorial in today's Wall Street Journal betrays belief and jettisons the reader to some bizarro world where the circumstances involving President Clinton's impeachment are twisted to conform with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's current investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
To the WSJ and numerous Republicans, this burgeoning mega-scandal is about business-as-usual in Beltway politics and as the editorial states in its tagline, "Patrick Fitzgerald is really investigating a policy dispute."
The mendacity that the WSJ possesses to label this investigation, even with its firm roots in whether the decision to go to war was under false preteses, as a quibble over policy is truly off the charts.
Calling this a policy dispute would be akin to calling World War II a military skirmish.
The overriding tone of the CIA outing case is the tip of the iceberg that delves deep into the dealings of Bush's White House in the same way that Watergate shined a bright light into the corruption and dirty tricks that grew in the dark during Richard Nixon's time in office. This is anything like a policy dispute unless you think like a fascist intent on acquiring as much political power as possible with designs on suffocating the opposition party into oblivion. The "We agree to disagree tone" of the WSJ editorial is as much condescending as it is implausible.
Americans were lied to during the run-up to war by undermining our sense of fear. Even when their ever-shifting reasons for war were refuted they continued to defy the nation's collective knowledge. Vice President Dick Cheney still maintains that a nuclear strike from Saddam is still possible despite zero evidence of weapons of mass destruction. If this is a policy dispute to Republicans then their reputed love for "Family Values" does not include honesty and reason.
The majority of the WSJ's editorial deals with Ambassador Josepth Wilson. Of course, blame the messenger, right?. In fact, the first instances of a switching of party offensives is offered where Wilson is made to look like a willing conspirator with an agenda to inject the war in Iraq into the Sen. John Kerry's campaign. Welcome to the reworked "Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy" model hatched during Clinton's impeachment.
It also treats Fitzgerald as some sort of prosecutor with a political agenda when he has shown very little of anything to anyone. How can Republicans say anthing about Fitzgerald anyway? He's the guy who indicted Osama bin Laden for the first World Trade Center bombings.
It also glosses over any mention that Fitzgerald was appointed by the Bush administration. The WSJ portrays this appointment as "panicky" and sets the tone for possible defenses toward some possible laws that might be broken. In a nutshell, all of them are either unworthy of Fitzgerald's time or laws that everyone in Washington breaks everyday during the cycle of governing.
The WSJ ends its editorial by calling for President Bush to hold off dismissing anyone because even if there were laws broken they were doing it for his benefit. Loyal solider until the end, I guess.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE BUTTON TO HEAR "NOW MORE THAN EVER".
Welcome back to the Lunatic Fringe Lounge! This week's song is an old John Mellencamp song from his 1991 album, "Whenever We Wanted".
These are times when everything seems so big, so unwielding and so helpless. My government lies to me. I do nothing about it. It costs $60 to fill my tank with gasoline. Does anybody tell me why it costs that much? Yet, I do nothing about it. It's way more than apathy, it's un-American.
While our leaders trample on the document that makes us unique in the recorded history of man--the Constitution--we are also complicit when we don't exhibit the fighting spirit of the Founding Father's and allow our voice to be heard.
These problems have existed since the beginning of our country, but never have they been more important than today. Now more than ever...
Friday, October 21, 2005
Washington is in a tithers over a new website set up by the office of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. A new website? This is news?
It is when you have a U.S. Attorney with a leakproof inner circle as good as the Bush adminstration's and pundits chomping at the bit to piece together Plamegate.
Presumably, this new website from the Department of Justice is proof that charges are due soon and they need somewhere to post them on the internet.
Even before this ominous bit of reporting hit the wires this afternoon there was the announcement that Fitzgerald would not issue a report on the case. Insiders took it that the case was nearing its end and indictments were now assured in lieu of a report.
The media coverage of investigation in the last week has devolved into your typical tabloid story. The New York Daily News even jumped in with a dubious report that the President Bush rebuked Rove two years ago, but in standard soap opera fashion later forgave him. In addition, you have every television pundit in their swami costumes--not getting ready for Halloween--but reading those ubiquitous tea leaves for what lies next.
Grown men are running down Pennsylvania Avenue screaming and manically waving their arms.
"Will Karl Rove be indicted?!", "Who is actually the source of the leak!?" even the old standby, "What did the President know and when did he know it!" has been bandied about.
Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has so primed the Washington punditry pump that when indictments are actually issued the entire capital just may explode like a geyser.
It's been well established that the so-called "fair and balanced" Fox News is far from the truth. Face it, it's nothing more than the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. We know that.
Despite this conventional wisdom it's hard not to take a quick peek at what the other side of thinking. While the media--newspaper and broadcast networks--are in a tissy over whether high-level White House operatives will be indicted, Fox News has sought to cut out all that unimportant news and carve its own niche: Around-the-clock live coverage of Hurricane Wilma!
Throughout the day, Fox News featured continuous radar coverage of Hurricane Wilma on the screen; now somewhere over the coast of Cancun, Mexico. The graphic was shown constantly in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen along the ticker running along the bottom and a patriotic American flag waving in the upper left-hand corner.
As Shephard Smith was talking about a new medication for breast cancer there was Hurricane Wilma doing what hurricanes do in the middle of the ocean--uh, swirl?.
There was John Gibson talking about San Francisco lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, and his murdered wife and, just so you known, Hurricane Wilma just decreased its speed from 124 mph to 122...and, guess what?.. still swirling!
What will Fox News do when the hurricane degrades into sprinkles over Miami? Maybe, a continuous surveillance camera in the corner of the screen showcasing possibly infected chickens with the avian flu.
If you want to gauge the actual political climate try something other than the Fox News weather and poultry channel.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
This notion is grounded in a inability to see past the very near term. The drag of the bumbled hurricane relief and possible indictments of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby or even the remote possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney resigns will not discourage the Republican regime.
Today, there's an internal split within the party, not a struggle against a retooled Democratic Party, though. Democrats have chosen to, hopefully, allow the GOP to implode itself, rather than risk making a mistake on the offensive.
By next summer, though, Republicans will, again, trot out fearmongering and divisive topics like guns, gays and terrorists. Most likely, they will have to incredibly distance themselves from a President with scandal hanging around his neck.
No problem. A possible plan of attack would involves bringing in an old and familiar name that easily unites the the GOP every time.
Hillary Clinton. Likely Democratic Presidential nominee.
It goes like this: As Labor Day approaches, the possibility that the Republicans could lose either Congress or the Senate or both becomes very real. Even though, the presidential campaign is still a year from heating up, the name Hillary Clinton as President and Democrats ruling all of Washington will get the Bible-thumpers, abortion clinic terrorists and big game hunters all fired up.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Welcome to the premiere of the Lunatic Fringe Lounge. Tonight's first song is my first original tune. I suppose, I had my muse the day I wrote this song. I took me ten minutes to write after I had the chorus in my head for a couple of showers. Showers, by the way, are a very effective conduit for creativity and cleanliness.
This song was written from the point of view of a downtrodden young woman. She hasn't made the right decisions and maybe never will, but, she still thinks love and all the good stuff that comes with it will eventually be hers. She's a tragic optimist, I guess. Love and happiness probably won't happen for her because, frankly, she craves the danger and scary situations that the man in this song can only give. It's a classic catch-22.
I would also like to thank my collaborator, Brian Augustin, who also plays the acoustic guitar on this song. He's my Keith Richards. I had written the song two weeks ago and heard Brian strumming the eventually melody and, like that, the song came together in our minds. He's a genius. Here's the lyrics and sing along if you like. See you next Monday!
WOUND ON MY HEART
Written by Steve Tavares
Music by Brian Augustin
You got me thinking
The closest thing to love
Is the closest thing to sinking
The leader of the pack
I won't bother you
The only time I lead is in the sack
But I cry and cry
And wave bye bye
But I hurt you back
And then you take a hack
Wound on my heart
Wound on my heart
The pain of which has yet to start
I'm the cattle, you're the butcher
Wound on my heart
In my dreams the sun is fuzzy
The morning crisp as a wad of money
You're smiling there
Is that smile a frown
Or am I upside down?
Wound on my heart
Wound on my heart
The pain of which has yet to start
I'm the cattle, you're the butcher
Wound on my heart
Oh Ah Oh
Hey, I think I'm goin' stay
And carry, I'm going to carry
this wound on my heart
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Starting tomorow, October 18th, the Lunatic Fringe Report debuts a new weekly feature, The Lunatic Fringe Lounge with host, Uncle Remus.
The Lunatic Fringe Lounge will feature original songs and covers of songs with a particular liberal message every Monday for the next six weeks.
Monday's premiere features a new song by Wonderbread74 entitled "Wound on my Heart"
Critics have already labeled its influences in Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Neil Diamond along with a dallop of Milli Vanilli. Others have written that the haunting lyrics recall the anguish of "Humpty Dumpty" and "Little Red Riding-hood".
Saturday, October 15, 2005
After some research, a few things became known and others given further proof:
1) Women visit the blog more than men.
2) Men complain that the postings are too long and enjoy more pictures.
3) Most important, a vast majority of women say that they don't read the sports-related stories.
The whole idea is to get people to read what you have to say. Any blog writer will tell you that. To rectifiy this disconnect and to allow the Lunatic Fringe Report to become more inline with the "traditional" single-topic model the blog has split into two specific sites.
The Lunatic Fringe Report will continue to have the same vitriolic view of the Republican empire of America and its ruler, Emperor Bush II, along with some brow-raising lunacy, only without the equally crazed world of sports.
For that, The LFR's Tailgater was created two weeks ago and has already predicted baseball's Division Series along with bringing in a cool $100 with 3-0 parlay in the NFL.
Here's a preview of the some of the changes:
The Lunatic Fringe Lounge will feature original and acoustic covers of songs every Monday morning starting October 18, 2005. Just click on the button contained in the post and enjoy with your host, Uncle Remus, as he guides you through this online lounge.
Blue vs. Red. I will scour the blogoshere for conservative blogs to harrass and challenge them to blogging duels. My first battle against Conservatives Unite became one-sided and sad when it becames obvious the author was a single, Christian conservative from Texas probably pushing 70.
Thanks for reading my blog and for your continued support
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Judge Marilyn Milian: Future Supreme Court Nominee?
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Republicans are ready to implode and the Democrats are in silent glee over the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
The GOP should just scrap the whole Miers nomination and start over.
Part of the discontent in the Republican Party is due to their lust for remaking the Court in their ideological viewpoint. Others clamored for Bush to appoint the first Latino to the Court, in addition to replacing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's slot with another woman.
Why not Judge Marilyn Milian from the People's Court?
Sounds preposterous, but Milian has some surprising links to the administration and a far more accomplished record than Miers.
According to Milian's bio on The People's Court website, she has ties to Florida Governor, Jeb Bush; the younger brother of President Bush. Milian was appointed to the Miami Circuit Court in 1999 by Bush.
Milian would fit the search for both a woman and a Latino. She would also garner the support of Democrats, alike. Former Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles and former Attorney General under President Clinton, Janet Reno, both appointed her to posts.
Furthermore, Milian's record on the bench is far more accomplished than Miers whose judicial record is bare.
Bringing Rusty the Bailiff along as security would be a nice touch, too.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Today's New York Times shows that during her time as Bush's personal lawyer in Texas and her stint heading the state's Lottery Commission, Miers was enamored with the young governor, albeit in language befitting a smitten high school girl.
"You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect," she wrote to the then-governor and sent a greeting card where she wrote, "Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool' - as do the rest of us."
Some liberal bloggers point to these papers as proof that Bush's nominee severely erodes the Supreme Court's separation of powers because of her close relationship to the President.
Assuredly, it illustrates that fact, but the adolescent language that Miers uses when writing to Bush as governor and client fuels the notion that she does not possess, not only the judicial experience, but the sort of intellect the electorate expects in a justice.
Another aspect of this story is the propensity of older, never married, professional women fawning over the President like some homely girl dreaming about the high school quarterback.
Can you imagine Miers and Condoleeza Rice in a catfight on Capitol Hill?
Monday, October 10, 2005
Some Christians claim the back-to-back hurricanes that hit the Gulf last month was proof that the Almighty was peeved with the perceived immorality and gluttony of New Orleans.
If you take that sort of convoluted thinking and apply it the massive earthquake that hit Southern Asia this weekend you'll get an odd, but exciting worldview.
Maybe God is mad at everyone. The United States, the Pakistani-Indian border; where the two countries flirted with nuclear disaster or, just maybe, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes happen because of logical scientific reasoning.
Alas, reading a science textbook is so difficult. Here, in San Leandro, CA, it's so difficult that they only teach it half of the year in middle school.
Instead, the parables of angry Gods firing their wrath at mere mortals is as old as the ancient Greeks and far more easily comprehensible, I guess.
I say let's make a movie about it and then license it out to a video game company.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
When the heat signals the White House fire alarm's there's always the same refrain:
9/11! 9/11! 9/11! Did I say, "9/11!"
Suddenly as the stench of diry business pervades the capital with indictments returned for several high-profile Republicans and more likely to arrive in the next two weeks, the specter of terrorists breaching our heavily-fortified borders has again been hatched.
The Bush administration loves to deflect their poor governance with faux terrorists alerts. The reports that a terrorist plot due to be executed this Sunday is another blurring of the notion of giving Bush the benefit of the doubt or ignoring his propaganda all together.
Most, by now, realize that nearly all of Bush's rhetoric is smokescreen. From being a compassionate conservative to not participating in nation building to fighting terrorism in Iraq because of WMD to vowing to end business as usual in Washington; all have been lies to placate the masses while aiming to do the opposite.
Bush's politcal version of the boy who cried wolf has wearing thin with Americans. Bush has waved the 9/11 banner numerous times with zero evidence of any impending attack but mounds of wrong-doing on his administration's part to steer the fearful American public's attention.
I suppose this is trade-off Americans grapple with in their minds. The saintly W. and his cohorts can plunder the treasury and confidence of this country with their corrupt ideology in return for the impression that they are safe from terrorist.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Here's my salvo:
First of all, I know that you are not black OR poor because of your rationale for the poor (i.e. blacks) not leaving New Orleans quickly enough. By believing the local government was to blame for not deploying transportation to get those people out is a comment unwittingly from someone who has no idea what it means to live in poverty.
The facts are that a vast majority of the citizens of New Orleans left when the mayor ordered them. The upscale French Quarter reported few problems, but the outlying poorer sections of the city did. If you could only imagine what it means to live in poverty, you would realize that those homes and the possessions inside were all they had. Would you leave if that's all you had and nowhere to go?
Second, you give your segregated views away when you end your tame diatribe by shooing me and liberals away from your foolish beliefs. The essence of the internet and blogs, specifically, is to produce ideas for all, not just red state white folks. Your comments are reminiscent of President Bush. His intolerance of others ideas and comments is well rooted in your ideology.
What it comes down to is this: Believing the doctrine of the GOP is an exercise, by definition, in selfishness.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that they want back over $27 million in wrongly rewarded aid during last year's hurricanes in Florida 10 months ago. (Read it here.)
Over 6,500 hundred families received notice to return money that FEMA contends was wrongly given to Floridians suffering from four hurricanes that decimated their coast in August and September of last year, which, coincidently or not; was a hotly fought over swing state during last year's presidential election.
What Bush and FEMA are attempting is akin to giving someone your used car and then nabbing it when your own is in the shop. It's called Indian giving in playgrounds across America.
Bush deliberately used the natural disasters in Florida to grease the palms of the electorate of Florida. There were reports in the Sun-Sentinel as far as a year ago that detailed lavish amounts of aid that was given to the people of Dade County. The only problem is that none of the four tropical storms hit the closely fought, Democratic-leaning county.
According to that story FEMA approved aid that totaled over $21.5 million of the $27 million that it wants returned today.
Is this what happens when the Bush administration loots the national treasury? They ask people to return their political bribes? It's not like the $27 million bribe went to waste. He actually "won" this election.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Democratic strategist, Bob Shrum, had a provocative theory on President Bush's Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers during today's Hardball with Chris Matthews.
Shrum, the man who seemingly advised Al Gore how to lose to George W. Bush in 2000 and has had a hand in the last seven Democrat defeats, thinks many should dispel the idea that Bush is in the dark with his nominees political beliefs, especially regarding Roe vs. Wade.
Miers, who is currently the White House legal counsel and former personal lawyer for Bush in the 90's, should be well-known to this president who is especially fond of close and loyal friendship, or so we're told.
Shrum believes that if Miers becomes a so-called "stealth" nominee such as David Souter famously was when the elder Bush picked him in 1990 it will be because Bush wants a liberal to moderate justice on the court to actually preserve the Roe vs. Wade decision.
What? Bush would pick someone from the liberal darkside (we tend to think of it as the illuminating side)?
Shrum's statement seems ludicrous at first glance. Why would the momentous choice of radically changing the nation's Supreme Court be squandered over a choice as neutral as Miers?
The dwindling support of the war in Iraq, a laughable handling of a national disaster and the frequent occurrence of impropriety from a laundry list of Republicans, seems to be sucking the energy out of the GOP's aim to swallow America whole.
Like no time since 9/11 has Bush had to play from the position of weakness. This pick of blatant cronyism is a capitulation due in large part to a chorus of Republican legislators who find the prospect of running on Bush's tails from here to November 2006 as perilous.
What makes Shrum's statement so interesting, though, is that it cuts to the conspiratorial spirit of the Bush and Karl Rove plan for holding power.
If conservatives had their druthers and a pro-life jurist like Harvie Wilkinson or Michael Luttig was nominated by Bush, the prospects of Roe vs. Wade being overturned would be high. The question is: "What then?"
The mighty conundrum with Republican politics lies in this smokescreen. The GOP cares little about the entire abortion question. Instead, it milks the controversy to divide the public and uses its volatile nature to turn attention from the real problems for which they have scant answers.
Bluntly, Bush and Rove have no desire to elevate a pro-life justice to the high court. The ramifications of overturning Roe vs. Wade would be catastrophic. Not only would they lose one of the three greatest smokescreen tools (the others are gays and guns), they would also lose elections all over the country. Despite their calls for repealing the legality of abortion, the majority of Americans still support its practice.
It is and will always be solely about holding onto power at any cost for this administration.