Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hillary & Gore Tag Team The White House

2006 Mid-Term Election Season Begins

Former VP Al Gore and the presumptive Democratic nominee for President--Hillary Clinton--fired extremely blunt and pointed remarks at the Bush White House yesterday.

So begins the Democrat's election assault on regaining Congress.

Political Science is such riveting and ever-changing discipline that sometimes requires more couth than rambunction. Did Gore and Hillary go too far in labeling the White House as criminals?

The short answer is probably yes. By being so aggressive they risk alienating the moderate to conservative voters that they hope to woo to the their side. The legitimate question is: What if the charges are correct?

Gore said this:
At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.

Gore is not out of bounds with this statement. He prefaces it by detailing exactly what various publications have uncovered regarding the spying scandal. The President knowingly broke the law of the land when he ordered wiretapping of Americans under the cover of 9/11 without the knowledge of Congress or without a court order. This is blatantly illegal and if allowed will become so invasive that the very fabric of American could be destroyed. Amazingly, as Gore points out, Bush has owned up to the crime and continued to urge Americans to allow its use.

Sen. Clinton, in a surely coordinated effort with Gore's comments, compared the Bush Adminstration's aversion to dissent to that of a Southern plantation and predicted its place in American history.
"We have cronyism, we have incompetence. I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."

Hillary's comments seem more antagonistic than Gore's whose were more thoughtful and grounded in facts. Gore's speech sounded like an concerned American worried for the country's direction. Hillary's was far more political and portends greatly to an aggressive Democratic campaign at painting the Republicans as doing unprecedented and historic harm to the country.

It's definitely a tactic that is widely pervasive in the electorate's collective mind and littered with unbelievable examples of poor and illegal behavior. The Democrats have, again, successful drawn the lines of the conversation with the voters. If they can consistently stay on this message quite a bit of the excessive power the Bush Administration has garnered and abused will be checked.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dr. King's Message Has Been Silenced

Dr. Martin Luther King
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
As America commemorates, or in some states tolerates, the birthday of arguably the greatest American of the 20th century--Dr. Martin Luther King--the past year has shown that the advancement of African-Americans and the poor, in general, have been merely cosmetic.

First, this national holiday in honor Dr. King should not be characterized as a "black" holiday as it is too often. The vision of Dr. King was, indeed racial harmony and equality for all blacks, but also and specifically for the poorest and indigent of Americans.

This overlooked aspect of Dr. King's beliefs--beliefs that he died fighting for--have not been realized, but a gap between rich and poor has widened greatly.

The working poor in America has grown exponentially since the late 1960s and President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.

As we stand today, the minimum wage has not increased in nearly 10 years. Corporations are cutting pensions for loyal retirees and health benefits are non-existent. America still functions without a health care program. People get sick and fall into deeper despair.

For those unfortunate and few, the mounting debt and tension rises with no end. This past year, the Republican Congress made it harder for Americans to file for bankruptcy. To this Administration there is no second chance in America, especially when it's their money.

Invariably, a talk regarding Dr. King cannot be given without mention of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

The country and the world saw the still seething divide of race and poverty in America. This is simply a regime in Washington that gives short shrift to the poor. Katrina showed that human decency is not contained in the hearts of men who run this country.

But, should we expect anything different? This is, after all, the same government that spied on and sought to end Dr. King's dream, if they didn't literally, with a bullet. And their dream to rid the country's conscienceness of his noble deeds is still with us today.

An assault on Dr. King's legacy surrounds us everyday. First, this day, as mentioned before, is linked to the black struggle. Second, popular culture is devoid of anything related to Dr. King. Have you ever noticed that there has never been a big-budget Hollywood biopic about Dr. King? Why is that? Hollywood can make one for Malcolm X and Johnny Cash, but can't tell the heroic and fascinating story of a Southern preacher changing the way American lived?

The past year has weathered an assault to the issues that Dr. King stood for and today is day that we should regroup and rekindle the fervor and enlightenment that he stoked in America over 40 years ago.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cheney's Condition May Be More Dire Than Reported


The New York Times, like most in the media, reported the morning hospital visit of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Most exhibited slight concern over his long-term health and, of course, John Stewart on the Daily Show led the chorus of standard guffaws regarding Cheney's ticker, but buried in the Times' story might be a tidbit to tuck away for future reference.

The Times' editors apparently found the newsworthiness of Cheney's hospital visit to be low, placing it on page 14 of the Tuesday's front section, but note the medical analysis at the end of the article.
On Monday, Dr. Christopher P. Cannon, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School, said the fluid retention possibly indicated Mr. Cheney's heart was decompensating and "teetering on the edge of congestive heart failure." The fluid retention does not necessarily indicate a worsening of his heart condition.

Time will tell whether this would happen in the absence of this event or whether he could stay in compensated heart failure, as he has been," Dr. Cannon said in an interview. He also said it was unlikely that "a healthy person would get short of breath" from taking a nonsteroid anti-inflammatory.

The fact that the VP's ticker may be on the verge of congestive failure seems like big news. In addition, the good doctor must be a Democrat. He goes out of his way to refute the Administration's argument that Cheney "only" had a shortness of breath.

Maybe this isn't news. We've all known Cheney has very little heart and compassion for very anyone not white, not rich and not dedicated the rule of Beezelbub.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Serial Marriager Passes GOP Lies As Fact


The Republican family values machine is so hot that it's looking to the mass-wedding guru, the Rev. Sun Myung-Moon and his loony rag--the Washington Times--for ammunition.

A story in the dubious Times reported that the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate--Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada--was supposedly in the "top-tier" of suspects that the Justice Department is investigating regarding fallen uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty last week to bilking just about everyone in Washington.

Of course, the Republicans ran with it all day, and rose a loud cackle of hypocrisy from its constituency. This is the effect that the GOP masterminds wished for when they unleashed what we now know is a false story.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported shortly after the Washington Times' story that, in fact, Reid was not a focus of any investigation nor has been contacted by the Justice Department.

More telling is that the article mentions that creating a tier system for possible lawbreakers and the fact that the twice-indicted Tom DeLay was not even mentioned in the Washington Times story cast extreme doubt on its veracity.

It doesn't matter to the Republicans, anyway, because hearing a story--whether true or false--regarding Sen. Reid, who has repeatedly pounded away at the corruption in the Republican-led Congress, will stick in the minds of misinformed conservatives across the country.

It's a lose-lose situation for Reid--at least--until the real crooks in Washington are ferreted out into the open and believe me, they'll see the light of day sooner than later.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Robertson Strikes Again; Taunts The Near Dead


What God is Pat Robertson exactly referring to today. Robertson claimed that Ariel Sharon's grave condition is the after effects of the Israeli PM's intention to clear land for Palestine.

Watch the video here courtesy of Salon.com.

Supposedly with His backing, Robertson, a few months back, called for the assassination of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and before that called Muslims evil.

What makes today's statement so callous is that Sharon currently lies in a medically-induced coma after suffering a major stroke this week. This leads to two questions: Who exactly subscribes to this sort rhetoric in Christian America and what's the "Inside Baseball" with this latest controversy?

The first answer is hopefully nobody, but realistically, based on the evangelical support of the President in the 2004 election and the wealth and steady television ratings of Robertson's 700 Club quite a few Christians were nodding their heads in agreement with his outrageous sentiments.

What's far more worrisome is that with Robertson's extremist quotables the already remote prospects of any social reconciliation between red and blue states suffers and begins to resemble the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.

The chicken-necked Robertson may say stupid things but he's shrewd in his timing and knows to honor certain interests that benefit his organization--the Jewish lobby.

To have Robertson utter these non-sensical ideas over the airwaves goes to show just how firmly entrenched certain factions of the Israeli government lie within the Bush administration.

With much of the current administration exhibiting a distinct neocon look it's not hard to imagine the Republican party being opposed to any approachment to the Palestinian desire for an independent homeland.

It makes me wonder--What would God say about Pat Robertson? Unfortunately, Lucifer will probably get the first interview.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Alito As The Endearing Nerdy Nominee


That convenient White House anonymous source reared its ugly head on page one of today's New York Times referring to the recent demeanor of Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito.

The Times' source leads us to believe the rehearsals for Alito's upcoming confirmation hearings aren't going well, because, you know he doesn't possess a polished public persona. Voila! Alito isn't coming across as cuddly and well-spoken as John Roberts, therefore, his rough edges are spun to be that of the "everyman"
"He will have a couple hairs out of place," one participant said. "I am not sure his glasses fit his facial features. He might not wear the right color tie. He won't be tanned. He will look like he is from New Jersey, because he is. That is a very useful look, because it is a natural look. He's able to go toe-to-toe with senators, and at the same time he could be your son's Little League coach."

Little League coach? C'mon!

It's ironic that the White House is trying to paint this picture of a harmless egghead when his record is, in fact, littered with a hostility towards women and signifies the increased liklihood that Roe vs. Wade could be overturned within this generation.

The Times' story also suggests the possiblilty that Alito may mouth off to Democratic senators. Such an outburst or rant could become fodder for 20-second soundbites and rally female liberal groups. This "New Jerseyan" predilication to fight is somewhat foreign to the West Coast, unless Alito plans to break out into Springsteen tunes on the Senate floor.