Saturday, April 22, 2006



The house rattled Friday night as Marine One carrying President Bush flew over the San Leandro marina. The violent rumble was a sort of pumping middle finger to the Democratic-leaning Alameda County.

Bush, according to an intinerary in today's San Francisco Chronicle, traveled from Stanford to St. Helena around 7:25 last night. At a quarter to eight, the President interrupted the East Bay with an aerial assault that many of us old enough to remember the Cold War were instructed to duck and cover and wait for the alarms to sound.

If I knew at the time, that the disturbance was the President, I would have thrown some rock into the air, or better, would have looked the other way when my Muslim neighbor pulled out his rocket launcher, instead of talking him out of it; because I love America.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bush Finds Leakers: Himself

"I want to know the truth...I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -George W. Bush, Oct. 5, 2003.

If Lewis Libby's grand jury testimony is true, then the collective thud in the background is the unkind weight of history's fate against this president and likely the return of Congress to the Democrats.

At this point, Libby's revelation that President Bush authorized the leaking of former CIA agent Valerie Plame as a reprisal for her husband's scathing New York TImes op-ed piece against the war in Iraq, may not be technically illegal, but is very well the decisive blow of many in the last two years for this administration.

History will view this president not through the lens of 9/11 as many previously assumed, but as this country's most egregious offender of lies and deceit. The President has shielded the country from the truth, fashioned the lies into patriotism and all the while exposed the neck of our democracy on the chopping board.

That the president would stoop to such Nixonian depths comes to no surprise to the majority of Americans. What it will do is completely galvanized the electorate come the decisive November midterm elections. At the moment, the Democrats could trot out candidates in a coma (or, actual liberal ones) and still beat a Republican incumbent.

It's going to take a near miracle for the Republicans to retain Congress and far more than rigging the voting booth this time around.

If the Democrats do take the House and Senate this fall, look for them to even an old score: the impeachment of the president. That's a given.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What Does McCain Moving To The Right Mean?


I would have never thought that Mr. Straight-Talk Express, John McCain, would be the Republican first in line at the Christian conversative gravy train.

McCain's newsmaking the past few weeks now appears to be an orchestrated grab for the very people that he espoused not to represent when he rode a "maverick" campaign and nearly derailed the pre-ordained Bush dynasty in 2000.

During last Sunday's Meet the Press with Tim Russert, McCain continually dodged criticism that he now attains a partnership with the devil in the guise of his newfound relationship with Rev. Jerry Falwell.

If McCain is wholeheartedly pressing for Bush's far right constintuency in the 2008 election, what does it say for Democrats when a unique presidential contender veers sharply to the right?

McCain is undoubtedly the only national figure who can sincerely appeal to either party. Many liberal would happily go along with a McCain presidency if they had to. He has repeatedly reached out to tough issues like campaign finance, torture in Iraq and government waste and done it in a relatively honest manner.

Why, then, would someone like McCain who could grab a piece of the left and most of the right along with all of the center's majority decide to focus solely on the far-right's den of wackos?

It's also interesting that the Demos' supposed frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, from time-to-time acts like a moderate Republican. If she is the nominee, she will likely campaign from nearly the same spot of the political spectrum. If McCain and Clinton basically hover over the same constintuency where will the vociferous left go?

Will they head to the buck-toothed Mark Warner or more likely rush to 2008's Howard Dean, Sen. Russ Feingold. Despite all the talk of the Democrats' revival, the party's elite are still shoveling the same losing formula and dismissing any strategy that pertains to its left-leaning voters.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Republicans Use Immigrants Nationality To Divide America


American Hispanics of every creed are up in arms over the immigrant bill recently toned down by House Republican. Huge protests in Los Angeles, Denver and Phoenix featured angry, yet composed Latinos exercising democracy at its fullest. The tenor and sheer number of protesters most likely accomplished the goal of halting the proposed legislation that would have made illegal immigrants instantly felons and those who aid them the same.

Their calm anger in the streets of the West showed that the power of the people is still alive, but is it our society with which the vigor over this subject emanated?

The number of Mexican tricolores, El Salvadoran and Guatemalan flags to name of few was conspicuous. Assuredly, there were a great number American flags waving through the streets, but the amount foreign banners makes one wonder whether the impetus of this protests came from a deep well of yearning to be American, a direct assault on Latino-Americans of every stripe or, more worrisome, the look of a wholly separate sect of America.

The sight of so many Mexican flags is not on its face aggressive to what many would say is the essence of American patriotism. It does, though divide on a simple level the populace of Americans who already view the swarm of immigrants flowing into thier country as slowly chewing away at society. The perception that Latinos do not readily assimilate into America primarily by means of language and custom rankles many. To see on television, the waving of foreign flags only perpetuates that false stigma.

The true tragedy of this proposed bill is that touches a nerve with Americans who believe in the concept of helping the poor and weak amongst us. It's why the Archbishop of Los Angeles directly challenged Washington and could be accused of flaming the rancor to the extreme we saw in the last week.

At its heart, this is not about foreign pride as the banners would contend, but about the Republican Party turning its back on its burgeoning Latino majority during an election year for the white zealots of its far right. The push-pull of illegal immigration by conservatives has been played before. No business-minded conservative will privately denounce the value of cheap and disposable illegal workers. The rhetoric belies this notion because like the abortion, Republicans will use these issues to repeatedly divide voters. Just as Republicans would be up a creek, if abortion was, indeed, illegal, so too would they be if they didn't have illegal immigrants to kick around, both financially in the form of low wages and long hours, but in demonizing them with bills like the one presented by Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.

It should be remembered that the last time this immigration ploy was exercised in the 1994 California gubernatorial race, Republican Pete Wilson won re-election, but the same shame and anger that the Latino population felt has reverberated to this day. The California Republican Party is in shambles. In the next 12 years, only the moderate-leaning conservative Arnold Schwarzenegger has held a high office in California.