George Bush Giving You the Finger -- The picture of Bush giving the finger to a television camera -- Can you grasp that? Have you ever -- ever -- seen a picture of a president of the United States doing anything even remotely as vulgar and coarse? Imagine any other president in that mode -- not just giving someone the finger, but giving it to a TV camera. And he's a "public servant"! Not an iota of discretion or humility.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
May Day, 2005
One Word of Caution -- Bush's presidency is looking pretty bad, about as hopelessly lackluster as it did about... September 10, 2001, right before he "hit the Trifecta." (See www.whitehouse.gov) Just before a catastrophe suddenly catapulted him into a position of nearly absolute power. Just remember, never "misunderestimate" Bush. It is a mistake to underestimate the ruthlessness, the relentlessness, the utter lack of moral restraint of the Bush Neocon faction, the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove/Wolfowitz cabal with their thug underlings like Negroponte and Bolton and the armies of the most murderous group of "Christians" since the Crusades. All they need is another attack to enable them to lock down martial law like you never dreamed possible. All their ducks are in line. Intimidation Fading -- ABC News was brave enough to come out and say: "Bush's Social Security Plan Cuts Benefits", even though the White House was threatening the New York Times for saying that. Why Bush would feel he has to own up to that is mysterious. He rarely has seemed to feel the need to tell the truth about anything in the past. "For first time, Bush backs benefit cuts to help bolster Social Security’s future... Bush's words fail to quell political storms," says SF Gate Buy my program for lower benefits for you! How does Bush think he is going to sell that proposition. Is he crazy? Does he really believe his own propaganda about the American people loving him so much he can do anything he wants. "Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer says the White House plan for private accounts, the heart of his reforms, is on life support. Free-market activist Stephen Moore, who in January felt 'the stars were aligned' for Congress to adopt private accounts, now says the 'window has slammed shut.' Even Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, and a chief architect of private accounts, said he thinks it will take another congressional election before President Bush has a realistic chance of enacting the centerpiece of his second-term agenda. 'I don't see the momentum in Congress right now,' he said. Boston Globe Arnie's Plastic Sheen is Fading -- According to the SF Gate, "Schwarzenegger is on the down side of a major statewide poll for the first time: 47 percent of likely voters surveyed by the Public Policy Institute disapprove of his job performance, while 45 percent approve, and 8 percent are undecided. In January, the poll found 60 percent approval for the governor and 33 percent disapproval." According to Salon "Bush's second-term agenda was so unapologetically bold -- he wanted to privatize Social Security, flatten federal taxes, remake the courts and, on the side, democratize the world -- it bordered on the revolutionary. In November, as liberals were sunk in the delirium of defeat, their in boxes buzzing with comic maps dividing North America into the United States of Canada and Jesusland, it seemed that nothing could rein the Republican president in. Six months later, Bush is the dog that didn't bite. He approaches the end of the first 100 days of his second term with approval ratings that fall below those of all other reelected presidents in the modern era. Americans aren't happy with the direction in which the country is heading. They don't like the economy, and they don't like the war. They also don't like Bush's plans for the nation. If it isn't already dead, Bush's signature domestic-policy effort, the plan to privatize Social Security, is in a persistent vegetative state; hated by Democrats, independents and even Republicans, only divine intervention can save it." Couldn't happen to a more deserving corporate entity -- According to the AP via the Boston Globe, "CLEAR CHANNEL PLANS SPIN-OFF AS PROFIT SINKS -- The nation's top radio broadcaster said profit fell by more than half as its plan to shorten ads and commercial breaks during programs dragged down revenue. The company also announced plans to spin off its live-entertainment business and launch an IPO for 10 percent of Clear Channel Outdoor." Clear Channel, the broadcasting megacorporation, speerheaded by a Texan Bush crony, practically owns broadcasting: owns hundreds of radio stations, including four or five in New York alone; owns a worldwide empire of outdoor advertising; buys up local stations and substitutes standardized, centralized broadcasts so that the cities no longer have local news or any local personality; forces musical acts to sign on with its concert promotion business if they want to get airplay on Clear Channel stations; organized CD breaking hate rallies against the Dixie Chicks because Natalie Maines expressed the feeling of millions of decent, patriotic Americans. Clear Channel is typical of a corporate empires that are little more than a gigantic financial institutions that are good at owning, controlling, wielding big bucks lobbying clout in Washington, leveraging financial power to force competition out of the marketplace, but they are bad businessmen because they don't know their product or their market. They have no feel for their audiences because they are soul-less, unprincipled moneymaking machines. They have lost touch with the basic principles of business, how to attract customers by making a good product, marketing it effectively, creating good customer relations, being creative, caring about what you do, actually liking your customers. The Nerve! White House Queer Prostitute Poser Journalist Gannon/Guckert is miffed he wasn't invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner, according to the New York Post he said, "It seems to me to be odd to exclude the one person who has brought more attention to the White House press corps than anyone else in years." Who Wants to Know? With no explanation, "The federal judge overseeing the prosecution of admitted al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has blocked an attempt by the Justice Department's inspector general to release a report on FBI missteps prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a ruling unsealed yesterday." Washington Post
May 6, 2005
Smoking MemoJoe Conason in Salon on "a 'smoking memo' that confirms the worst assumptions about the Bush administration's Iraq policy, but although that memo generated huge pre-election headlines in Britain, its existence has hardly been mentioned here ... What the minutes clearly show is that Bush and Blair secretly agreed to wage war for 'regime change' nearly a year before the invasion -- and months before they asked the United Nations Security Council to support renewed weapons inspections as an alternative to armed conflict." According to the memo a British operative identified as "C" reported back from talks in Washington that "there was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the U.N. route ... There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." As Conason points out, this was very different from what Bush was saying publicly. "When Bush signed the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq on Oct. 16, 2002 -- three months after the Downing Street memorandum -- he didn't say that military action was 'inevitable.' Instead, the president assured Americans and the world that he still hoped war could be avoided. 'I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary,' he said at a press conference. 'Hopefully this can be done peacefully. Hopefully we can do this without any military action.' He promised that he had 'carefully weighed the human cost of every option before us' and that if the United States went into battle, it would be 'as a last resort.'"
May 10, 2005
Media Credibility Declines, according to The Pew Research Center. "Today 32% of those able to rate CNN say they can believe all or most of what they see on the cable network. This is down from 37% in 2002, 39% in 2000, and a high of 42% in 1998."
May 12, 2005
Larry Flynt, John Bolton, and Republican Family Values -- Flynt presents evidence that Bolton was quite a player. Slander lawsuit to follow? Don't bet on it. Raw Story, Outside the Beltway Filmmakers are leading the way to the revolution against corporate tyranny. See Video the Vote, a great video exposé of voter suppression in Ohio election 2004. The voting machine manipulation may be abstract and hard to put your finger on. But the long lines, the reduced numbers of voting machines, the people who were kept from voting is very tangible, visible. The Biggest Story of Our Lives -- Great series of articles on the Huffington Post vote fraud, starting with Jim Lampley, who says the election fraud was "the biggest crime in the history of the nation, and the collective media silence which has followed is the greatest fourth-estate failure ever on our soil." Then he was answered weakly by right winger Byron York. Lampley answered again. Then Rep. John Conyers chimed in. And in Conyers message, he links to the movie Video the Vote and his report: " Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio?" When Pigs Fly -- Amazing that Tom Ridge came out saying that the Bush administration pressured him to issue terror alerts when there was no threat. (USA Today, DIRELAND) Not amazing that they did that, but amazing that Ridge is breaking ranks, coming right out with a claim that the White House defrauded the American people with phony terror alerts. Tom Ridge is saying this!! United Airlines stole its employees' pensions. Airwise.com. The CEO made some sanctimonious speech about how the employees have to keep the company going and keep thinking about the customers. While the corporation steals their pensions, forces them into destitution. The CEO's multimillion dollar pension is not being taken away. When Enron top dogs stole the pensions of Enron's employees, there was no company to go after, no one to strike against. But United is making a big mistake if it wants to stay in business by robbing the people whom it depends on to keep running. Good luck. Is your arrogance really that far out of control, or are you just stupid? You think you're having trouble now?
May 13, 2005
True Christianity -- The great act of Christianity is to forgive, and if I could ever find it in myself to forgive George Bush for lying and manipulating the American people into fighting a war on false pretenses, then I think I would have reached a very evolved spiritual state. But for now, it is only something to strive for in some future time, some distant future when he is no longer wreaking such havoc on my country and the world. Letting Loose the Bull -- CBC: "Bush suffers blow on choice of UN envoy" All the Republicans on the foreign relations committee voted to let the vote for Bolton go to the floor of the Senate. But one of them articulated a brilliant case for Bolton's rejection once it gets there. Senator George Voinovich of Ohio said Bolton is "arrogant and bullying" and is "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be." Hell Bent -- Delay's troubles are getting seriously worse, and there is an inevitable momentum that would be impossible to entirely stop, even for the great and powerful Bush. See National Journal It took a few days for it to happen, but CNN reported on the little item that 89 Congressional Democrats signed a letter asking Bush for an explanation of the minutes of the British intelligence meeting in which it was reported that Washington had made up its mind to attack Iraq early on and just manipulated the facts to justify the policy. Ducks in Line -- Editor & Publisher reports that the New York Times mistakenly misnamed the model for the charaacter Kurtz in the movie Apocalypse Now, which was a Vietnam Era adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness. After the Times published the error, Time magazine, NPR's "Fresh Air" and "All Things Considered" and London's Sunday Mirror all reported it, based on the Times' word. Shame -- Great letter admonishing the New York Times for not paying attention to the minutes of the intelligence that explicitly stated the Bush administration made up its mind to go to war, then devised a justification. See Buzzflash: The letter was addressed to NY Times Executive Editor Bill Keller. "Dear Mr Keller, I just spoke with your secretary, who says nobody has seen the minutes wherein Blair's Intelligence Chief reported that Bush, in July of 2002, had already decided on war with Iraq no matter what and that '... the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' Let that sink in. '... the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.' How do you define High Treason? Would that include, oh, subverting the Constitution? Waging a war under false pretenses? Maybe lying under oath? Your paper sure was shocked, just shocked, at Clinton's lies. Is one semen-stained dress important, but 30,000 blood-stained American uniforms of no real consequence? We need this story, above-the-fold, day after day, in all its details (remember Clarke, O'Neill, the October 2000 PNAC 'global-dominance through war paper,' all the testimony that Bush wanted Iraq, the 'evidence' based on drunks and forged documents etc. etc). Cover it or watch your sales hit the trash-can, if appeals to honor and defense of America carry no weight with you or your paper." Bush kills the middle class -- US real wages have fallen at the fastest rate in 14 years. Financial Times Junkyard Blues -- In a Gallup Poll, only 35% of Americans approve of Congress. One third. Editor & Publisher.
May 15, 2005
The Wall Against Inquiry into Election Fraud -- Oliver Dawshed writes about election fraud in response to an article on TomPaine.com about election fraud. Tom Paine isn't publishing the letter, but it can be read at Failure is Impossible. After a week delay, the Washington Post decided to cover the story about the British intelligence memo, as it is being called, the minutes of a meeting, that shows clearly that the Bush administration was planning to bend intelligence to justify their plans to invade Iraq, back when Bush was saying they were still looking for any alternative to war. Stop the crime of the century -- "Did you know that there now exists in the public domain a 'smoking gun' memo, which proves that everything the Bush administration said about the Iraq invasion was a lie? If you live in Britain you probably do, but if you live in the United States, chances are minuscule that you would be aware of this. Think about that for a second. Apart from 9/11, has there been a more important story in the last decade than that the president lied to the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, and then proceeded to plunge the country into an illegal war which has alienated the rest of the world, lit a fire under the war's victims and the Islamic world generally, turning them into enemy combatants, locked up virtually all American land forces in a war without end in sight, cost $300 billion and counting, taken over 1600 American lives on top of more than 15,000 gravely wounded, and killed perhaps 100,000 Iraqis?" David Michael Green at Information Clearing House
May 17, 2005
Distraction -- Now that the Bush administration has carried out major aggression based on false pretenses and the whole world knows it except for Americans, and Bush himself has said he doesn't consider people in Guantanamo worthy of the human rights of the Geneva conventions, the White House is now blaming Newsweek magazine for the hatred of America in Afghanistan and around the world. It was all because Newsweek said U.S. interrogators defiled the Koran, the White House says. Newsweek has ruined the US image abroad. And though the Newsweek said it got its information from a high government official, there is now doubt as to whether it was true. Not like the case of Bush's justification for war, which is clearly documented to be a lie -- but it was Newsweek who got the world riled up against the US. Yeah, I believe that. Right. More media intimidation. White House says Newsweek must do more than apologize for story that may have had wrong information attributed to a "high government source". Sound familiar? Was Newsweek set up? NBC30 Takeover -- You can hear Bill Moyers speech at the conference for media reform in St. Louis in which he describes how PBS was seized by the right wing. See Democracy Now AWOL crisis in US military -- "The most recent Pentagon figures suggest there are 5,133 troops missing from duty." Independent The Lunatic on Camera -- Frightening Bolton video. Old American Century
Friday,This wasn't Bush as a 12-year-old. This Bush was old enough to be Governor Bush, if not President Bush. What arrogance could make someone in a position like that stoop so low and do it so flagrantly for a TV camera?
May 24, 2005
This is the same guy who couldn't name the names of more than a few of the major world leaders, but he had no problem feeling entitled to invade other countries and bomb them and kill their people. He just happened to have the authority to order an army to do his bidding. That Bush!
I recently channel surfed onto a bit of documentary footage about prisoners in Leavenworth Prison a century or so ago and one of them was a nasty bastard who had murdered 20-some people, been convicted of about as many rapes, and was absolutely without remorse or the slightest bit of softening. When they led him to the gallows and asked him if he wished to make a last statement he hissed, "I wish the whole human race had only one neck so I could strangle it."
Such men are dangerous.
I Like Ike -- This quote is attributed to Eisenhower: "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
*President Dwight D. Eisenhower, l952.
Daily Kos, Free Republic, barbrastreisand.com
Does anyone need any more convincing that the modern Republican party has nothing to do with Eisenhower or Lincoln or any other respectable Republican in history?
Billionaire Moron -- Mayor Bloomberg went on TV and said blithely that a paper trail is not necessary for voting machines -- no receipt! Just trust us! Bloomberg said, "If you're worried about honesty in computers and their reliability, don't get on the airplane, don't get on the subway, don't get in your car, don't bother to turn on the lights or the water. Everything is controlled by computers and they're phenomenally reliable." (NY1) Yo Mike! We may be stupid but we ain't totally deaf and blind. Would you, Billionaire Mike ever consider doing any important transaction without a receipt? Would you put a million bucks in the bank without a receipt -- whether it was a computerized teller or a human one? What a bunch of bull! If your answer to that is yes, I've got a bridge to sell you. Just pay in cash -- and don't worry about a receipt. Just trust me.
You jerk! That's our democracy you're talkin about!
Popular Fuhrer -- A USA Today/Gallup Poll says 40% approve of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, 40% his handling of the economy, and 33% his program for Social Security.
Warren Beatty for Governor of California -- Terminate the terminator. US Berkeley News A Pseudoconservative Coup on its Last Wretched Legs -- "America’s post-9/11 behavior was not a transformation in, but merely a symptom of, the Bush administration’s fundamental personality. That personality has us cornered because it’s a reckless one -- both authoritarian and pseudoconservative. Those terms, used in the post-WWII era by philosopher Theodor Adorno and historian Richard Hofstadter, loosely applied to McCarthyite types with a crypto-fascist streak who were much less “American” than those they denounced." PM Carpenter Laura Bush heckled in Jerusalem -- How emotional people are here, she said. Yahoo!
May 27, 2005
Real Conservatism -- In case you were wondering whatever happened to real conservatism in the midst of the takeover by the radical lunatic right, see William S. Lind, Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation shows the intellectual integrity that can lie beneath real conservatism. Here are some irresistible snippets: "Two weeks ago, a small, single-engine plane inadvertently strayed into the closed air space above Washington. The result was panic. Both the White House and the Capitol were evacuated, with police shouting 'Run! Run!' at fleeing staffers and visitors. Senators and Congressmen abandoned in haste the floors of their respective Houses. Various RIPs (Really Important People) were escorted to their Fuehrerbunkers. F-16s came close to shooting the Cessna down. The whole episode would have been funny if it weren’t so sad... I suspect that more than a few of our soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, enjoying as they do a daily diet of IEDs, ambushes and mortarings, were less than amused at watching Washington flee from a flea. More importantly, what message does such easy panic send to the rest of the world? Osama bin Laden has whole armies trying to kill him, but as best I know he has shown no signs of fear. Here again we see the power of the moral level of war. In cultures less decadent than our own, few men are likely to identify with leaders who fill their pants at one tiny blip on a radar screen. The episode also reveals what has become one of the main characteristics of America’s 'homeland defense:' a total inability to use common sense.... There was also a message to the American people in the Cessna affair, and from a Fourth Generation perspective it was not a helpful one. The message was that the safety of the New Class in Washington is far more important than the safety of other Americans." And the clincher: "As I have said many times before, what lies at the heart of Fourth Generation war is a crisis of legitimacy of the state." LewRockwell.com Delay Loses -- A Texas judge ruled that Tom Delay's campaign violated Texas broke the law by not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign contributions. Of course it was just one of those devilish, librul judges who will soon be out of the picture entirely, perhaps shot and replaced by some Bush crony. A dying breed. Associated Press