First, the rats or as I like to call them, the reds.
It seemed to start a couple of weeks ago, when the 520 page report entitled "A Failure of Initiative" was released from the almost completely red, House of Representatives, committee on the "national failure" that was the government's "Response" to Hurricane Katrina. "Passivity did the most damage," the report stated "The failure of initiative cost lives, prolonged suffering, and left all Americans justifiably concerned our government is no better prepared to protect its people than it was before 9/11, even if we are." The hearings that followed had reds like Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), the Congressman who led the inquiry, saying "It remains difficult to understand how government could respond so ineffectively to a disaster that was anticipated for years and for which specific dire warnings had been issued for days,".
Not since the ridiculous nomination to the Supreme Court of Harriet Myers, has the administration met with such opposition from its own party. A party that has controlled congress for eight years, the presidency for 5+, and the Supreme Court now more than ever. Why the change? Why the separation from the man "god" told to run for president? Maybe it's the new 34% approval rating of president george w. bush, or the 18% vice president cheney received. Maybe it's having a company, controlled by a country with a "checkered" past when it comes to al qaeda and the taliban, controlling six of our Major ports. Or maybe it's the increasing "sectarian" violence in the “neo-con”, “pre-emptive”, “bush doctrine”, war of choice in Iraq. For whatever reason, real or spun, reds seem to be distancing themselves in advance of the Congressional elections of 2006. But as much as I enjoy seeing the current administration hung out to dry, it's the sinking ship that has me worried.
The mistakes, poor decisions, incompetence, and dishonesty of this administration affect all of Us. How can an administration that failed to plan for an oncoming category 4 hurricane plan for the climatic change due to global warming, illustrated again last week by reports of rapid ice melts in Greenland? How can an administration that failed to plan for their war to continue passed it’s “shock and awe” campaign be expected to plan for Our security as a people, Our future as a Nation, or the re-establishment of Our place among the industrialized and civilized nations of the world. Our nation's reputation has never been as bad, especially in the "Muslim" world we have been taught to fear, as it is today. And at home, by typing the word al Qaeda into the text of this rant, the NSA is now allowed to tap my phones and read all my emails without a warrant, even one received 72 hours after the tap. And when they arrest me, they can arbitrarily call me an "enemy combatant", send me to Guantanamo Bay, and hold me without charge or lawyer for as long as they like. Adherence to the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions or the Army field manual as it pertains to torture (or anything else) is not something this president, this attorney general, this vice president, or this secretary of defense give a good god dam about, except to give lip service to when they're backed into a corner while avoiding being put under oath.
This president and his administration act as if there is no law they can not usurp, under the auspices of National Security or their undeclared war. They are dangerous to Our system of government, Our treasury, and Our values as Americans. The person in charge of and responsible for this administration and all of its actions is the president of the United States. Onward pushes the impeachment movement.
"We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal-known to be armed and shown to be dangerous"
- Lewis Lapham “The Case for Impeachment" Harper's (March 2006 issue) Read it here or in a barnes & noble lobby near you.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The problem isn't the vice president's accidental shooting of his republican donor friend at a bush pioneer/lobbyist 's private ranch. It isn't the fact that the victim had a "mild" heart attack from shrapnel (or should I say birdshot) shot from the gun of the vice president. Nobody wants an involuntary manslaughter or negligent homocide charge, and it would never happen for a hunting accident in Texas. The problem isn't the fact that the vice president wasn't interviewed by police until the next day. And it isn't the fact that he didn't have the neccesary open bird stamp on his license to make the hunt "legal". The problem is the decision of the vice president (and not, at least for the first hour, Our "elected" president) to withhold information from the citizens of the United States of America. The owner of the "farm" releasing information to a small local paper does not a national public announcement make. It is this administration's love of secrecy and disdain for the press. That is the problem. An angry scott mclellan dodging, in no subtle way, questions while there is no word/explanation from the vice president is not the way you run a country by and for the people.
A lot is being made of this hunting accident. The jokes are funny. Letterman and Stewart have a lot of material. But more importantly, it sheds light on the secracy of this administration, and vice president cheney in particular. It further opens the door to questions into all that they withhold from US.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
From a president, whose load of a State of the Union speech had fellow conservatives PO'ed, comes a budget proposal that not only significantly cuts funds to medicare, education and public broadcasting, but also sneaks in the president's social security private accounts program, and omits the ongoing cost of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Hard to believe, not really.
It is hard for me to believe that the riots in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the “Muslim” world are the result of cartoons and cartoons alone, even if those cartoons depict the holy religious icon, Mohammad, with a bomb in his turban. Pardon the Pun but was this editorial just the “straw that broke the camel’s back”? Muslims in the region are more orthodox and devout than most, if not all, of us in "money is god" America, but aren't the recent "protests" more a pot that has been boiling for years finally boiling over. Ignited, and arguably incited by these images, but this anger is deep and has been building for years. Almost equally as hard to believe was the “preemptive strike” “shock and awe” president of the United States calling on the nation’s of the world to “stop the violence”.
But how can we be expected to believe a man who says “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breech of the levies” after being told (in Crawford, TX) the morning of the storm that the levies were breaking. This is in addition to computer model Hurricane Pam, and other warnings given months, weeks, and days, before the hurricane hit, and claimed at least 1,417 lives. The federal FEMA scapegoat passing the buck to the Department of Homeland Security in front of Congress last week may get us closer to where the buck actually stops, at the president of the United States.
A president who once said that anyone connected to leaking classified information would be fired. Maybe Halliburton will take you back, Dick.
We’d love to believe that the president wants us to use “75%” less of the foreign oil we get from the “middle east”, but how can we when the day after he proposes it his minions are out denying it.
An ex-CIA chief coming out saying the administration “cherry picked” intel to push their Iraq policy is just more proof that what this administration believes in is not the truth. It is all politics, and no policy with these campaigners in charge. They are secretive, manipulative and continue to avoid being placed under oath. Whether it’s divulging classified information pertinent to our National Security, having a “pioneer” lobbyist sell access to the president for $25,000 a pop, using fake “journalists” or paying “real” ones to push their propaganda, or selling off Our Nation’s public lands, this president and his administration continue to treat their position as that of a monarchy and not as one of the Three Branches of Our government, using the US Treasury as a way to make their friends and, quite possibly their future selves, richER while they bankrupt every government program that does not perpetuate violence.
Oh yeah, and the vice president shot a man while hunting birds at a private "farm" in Texas, lodging "bird shot" in the man's face, neck, chest and heart. No it wasn’t Justice Scalia. It was 78 year old lawyer and major red contributor Harry Whittington. Maybe cheney could have used some military training instead of all those deferments after all.
Guns don’t shoot people, the vice president shoots people.