Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Resignations, rubber stamps, and campaign ideas

So bush’s chief of staff, andy card, has done what others (most recently secretary of the interior, gale norton) have done. He has resigned from the administration of bush, cheney, and rove. His replacement is Director of the Office of Management and Budget, joshua bolten. Under “yosh” the Federal debt has shot up $1.8 trillion (another failure promoted). Andy wasn’t the one responsible for what secretary of defense rumsfeld (the man whose resignation has been called for by both sides) has called a "D or D+" in the “war of ideas” in Iraq. It has been said that he was at the helm for the failed Social Security overhaul. But while we sit here and learn of new British memos that prove the president is currently LYING about what he was saying, thinking, and wanting during the rush to his war of choice in Iraq, and Our vice president is lying on TV about things he said on TV, its hard to believe card's is the right resignation. The bush family has profited from the war along with cheney’s buddies at halliburton who get paid for over charges and under producing. The bushies profited off Our Nation’s greatest natural disaster and its worst disaster response with Hurricane Katrina. At least there’s Afghanistan, right? Where opium production is way up and they prosecute their citizens for leaving Islam. That’s the government we’ve installed and paid for. I like to call it a democratically elected “leader” ruled by a Islamic theocracy. It almost makes one think of Iran.

It’s no wonder New Jersey’s red Congressional candidate refused to be pictured with cheney. This is an election year, and an important one. Under the rubberstamp red control of Our current no show House and Senate, no one has been held accountable for anything, from lying about costs for Medicare programs, to the pushing of propaganda, to the Katrina disaster, to the misleading of a Congress and a Nation into a war of choice in Iraq, to the mishandling of that war (after in the president’s ridiculous, misleading, or grossly incompetent words “major combat operations in Iraq have ended" 1,062 days ago). Just imagine if you will what we could do with the $250,000,000,000+ that this war has cost us. Maybe we wouldn't have to sell off 300,000 acres of National Forest. Not to mention the lives of almost 2,310 soldiers we've lost in Iraq. The Democrats need to win for there to be any accountability in this administration. It will take a Democratic Congress to put this “rich, privileged, arrogant, perennial cheerleader” under oath.

My advice to Democratic candidates stress words like responsibility, accountability, Our Democracy, the widening of the gulf between rich and poor, the lack of a response to the Katrina disaster, illegal spying on US citizens (and it was illegal, what they are debating is changing the law AGAIN), and of course IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ, the rush to, the case for, the lack of planning, the mistakes made prosecuting, the condoning of torture, deficiencies in equipment, the cost and where that money is or is not going. The relatively new hot button issue of immigration is also a good one for Democrat. No matter how you fall on this debate, the divide it creates for the reds is far greater than the one it creates for the Democrats.

My guess is we will see relatively significant troop withdrawals by election time 2006, however they try to spin it. Shiites in Iraq are beginning to demand it already, especially after what’s being called a massacre on Iraqis by US in a mosque in Baghdad. National Security has always been the strong suit of the reds, but the repeating of the fact that this administration wanted to give control of six of Our busiest port to a company Owned by the United Arab Emirates may have started to quell that blind faith, which is based primarily in rhetoric and the over use of fear by the officials in this White House. The recent successful attempt to bring a dirty bomb over the border may help as well. And who knows what the trials of Scooter Libby and Jack Abramhoff will bring. The “culture of corruption” angle is another good one for the Democrats this election cycle, after all power breeds corruption, and the reds have had all the power. One last thing the Democrats might want to think about doing is an absentee voter drive in places like Houston where Katrina victims were shuttled to and never left, mainly because they still have no home to go back to. Its just an idea.

A quick couple of updates:

1. The man who was being "prosecuted for leaving Islam" has been released after US pressure and being deemed "mentally unfit".

2. What was "being called a massacre" is now being refuted by US military as Shi'ite groups of moving the corpses of gunmen killed in battle to encourage such accusations". In related news, Shiite groups are now saying that bush opposes the Iraqi Prime Minister.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hold them Accountable

After watching the repeat of Harper’s forum on the Case for Impeachment on C-Span 2, I got to thinking. There are two items of immediate concern. One is holding the people responsible for the predicament we find our country in (i.e. Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, vanishing jobs, etc.) accountable. The other is to reaffirm Our government as the three separate branches by, for, and of the people that Our Founders put in place to defend a Nation and its people against despotism. The despotism of what Louis Lapham refers to as bush’s “tyrannical executive” becomes more apparent as the weeks and in fact days go by.

The president, admittedly, broke the law. He signed off on over 30 warrant less wiretaps of American civilians. He did so without receiving approval within 72 hours immediately following the taps, as provided for by FISA. He did so without asking Congress. He did so without asking anyone. The president, despite what bush might believe, is not a monarch. Not yet at least. As Senator Robert Byrd has said "We are not a nation of men, but a Nation of law"

It is no surprise that the red suck ups, and pseudo-renegade suck-ups, will not buck this white house, whose support among the American Public has never been lower. Party trumps the United States Senate for them. Party trumps the American People for them. Party means power, campaign money and golfing jaunts to Scotland. And, of course, money and power trumps everything.

This administration’s recent push against whistleblowers, and the journalists they talk to, further illustrates a secrecy to rival Nixon or any other. They want no free press unless it presses their point of view. They want no free speech they can not tap without having to get approval of the court or anybody else. They want it their way and don't give a damn about what the public, the Congress, the Courts, or the Law has to say. Take the statements made by this president, just to quote a few.

"It's not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance."

"I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it."

What they want is a presidency that is above the law and without reproach, and because of an apathetic, fearful, and lapdog Congress that is what they have. And the courts? It was the Supreme Court that made the unprecedented appointment of a president back in 2000.

Power corrupts. And the red party in power is certainly no exception, leading the race for the most corrupt in this 109th Congress. Red representative Duke Cunningham was sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery. Ironically, red representative tom delay, indicted for corruption, won his primary this week in Texas (what a mess is Texas). It should be noted that he did so with a much slimmer margin than he has in the past. Ex-CFO of Enron, fasted, testified that bush’s friend “kenny boy” knew the company was defrauding so many. And speaking of pension yanking Enron, how about treasury secretary snow dipping into the federal civil service pension fund so bush’s spending policies won’t surpass the debt ceiling. Maybe instead of bush giving out tax breaks to the rich, he could ask them for a loan, instead of China. And now the former top domestic policy adviser of this president was arrested for shoplifting? In other news from bush’s “robust economy”, GM is cutting the pensions of 42,000 of its workers. Don’t you miss American manufacturing? But manufacturing's pension and job losses don't affect those that receive bush's tax cut for the rich. It affects regular, blue collar Americans. The current administration does not care about regular people. To quote, of all people, pat buchanan:

"But to Bush, it does not matter. That one in six manufacturing jobs has vanished during his tenure, that real wages of working Americans are falling, that trade deficits are reaching $800 billion, that dependency on foreigners for vital necessities of our national life is growing – none of this matters, as he mutters on his prayer rug the mantra he was taught: "Free trade good, protectionism bad."

Then there’s breaking of federal and international law by okaying the torture of prisoners captured during war. Of course the semantics are very important here. We, the United States, hold hundreds of people in places like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib without charge. Using dogs, sexual humiliation and brutal beatings as “interrogation”. Red Cross agents have said “between 70% and 90% of the person deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake”. Through extraordinary rendition, prisoners are being sent to countries like Syria where torture is allowed and is even more brutal than the pictures we've seen from United States prisons in Iraq. Yet no intelligence has lead to bin Laden who remains "wanted dead or alive", to be fair the search for him has been, at least partially, shelved since bush decided to invade Iraq. More terrorists are being created than destroyed, and we are in more of a quagmire in Iraq than we were before.

There are so many other scandals more worthy of censure or impeachment than lying about an extra marital affair or spying on your political rivals. Integrity is something bush tied his presidency to in the beginning and Iraq is what he tied his legacy to. He and his do not appear to have much in the way of integrity. And we are still waiting for the mission to be accomplished in Iraq. Hell, I'd settle for a consistent mission (with an "exit strategy") instead of more rhetoric like we've heard and will continue through this Third Anniversary of bush's Invasion of Iraq and beyond.