Saturday, April 29


Maha does it again.

"I am the living death, a Memorial Day on wheels. I am your Yankee Doodle Dandy, your John Wayne come home, your Fourth of July firecracker exploding in the grave." - Ron Kovic, Vietnam war hero, author of Born on the Fourth of July

More chills. WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUT? Our people (not to mention the Iraqis) are coming home (if they're lucky) to their families disabled, with lives torn apart, and for what? Bush's (and the neocons') grandiose dreams of glory, power, control of their oil, and pseudo-godliness?


I finally watched the Bill Kristol interview on the Colbert Report.

I didn't think it was a smackdown. Kristol was in good humor, and seemed to be having fun. A humorous attitude deflects a lot of criticism. Billy boy laughed as much as the audience and never seemed on the defensive -- he cheerfully agreed to Colbert's every assertion about the PNAC.

What nobody's mentioned is that Kristol predicted that Dems would win the House in '06 but Rethugs would hold the majority in the Senate. BK said that's the best thing that could happen to Rethugs, having Pelosi as Speaker, etc. so McCain, Giuliani or Mitt Romney could win the presidency in '08.

heh heh


Mahablog capsulizes it brilliantly.



The film is riveting. It is great movie-making. But how will audiences react?

It seems to me that they should say, and feel, "Why haven't we (the U.S. government) pursued single-mindedly the planners and supporters (since the actual perpetrators are dead) of this heinous act instead of diverting our national resources to a budget-busting, deficit-increasing, military-destructive attack on and occupation of an unrelated, non-threatening, threat-contained nation (Iraq)? I would think that audiences would exit the theaters in a rage against the Bush administration for squandering the opportunity of capturing Bin Laden and his cohorts in Afghanistan and allowing them to continue, and grow exponentially, their anti-American legions throughout the Middle East, and the world.

But so far, my canvass of those who have seen the film reveals that they come out of the theater as more pro-Bush and pro-Iraq war than they were before they saw the movie.

What are you hearing?



My 22-year-old daughter just called to ask if I could babysit for my little grandson so she could participate in a protest tomorrow re the Darfur situation. I told her, "You bet."

Parenthood can be so gratifying.

A good idea from Upper Left.


Another really creepy Rethuglican.

So much for "authenticity." Here is a portrait of a chateau-raised, Copenhagen-dipping racist who was suspended from his California high school for writing graffiti aimed at inflaming racial tensions, who had no Southern heritage yet sported a Confederate flag pin in his high school yearbook picture and drove a Mustang with a Confederate flag decal -- and who just might be the next Republican presidential nominee.

A glowing National Review cover story, to take one recent example, trumpeted Allen's preternatural fluency in the sports metaphor-laden language of American masculinity. This gift for communicating in the vernacular of John Madden doesn't just distinguish him; it makes him the ideal vehicle for a particular brand of Republican campaign strategy.
There is a graveyard of old Allen personas--unpresidential personas, downright ugly ones--that could threaten his political ascendance. Even his authentic self--or, rather, the man described by his own family--might prove just as great a liability. His identity crisis has created the most intriguing duel of 2008: Before he runs for president, George Allen has to run against himself.
But, while Allen may have genuflected in the direction of Gingrich, he also showed a touch of Strom Thurmond. Campaigning for governor in 1993, he admitted to prominently displaying a Confederate flag in his living room. He said it was part of a flag collection--and had been removed at the start of his gubernatorial bid. When it was learned that he kept a noose hanging on a ficus tree in his law office, he said it was part of a Western memorabilia collection.
One night, his brother Bruce stayed up past his bedtime. George threw him through a sliding glass door. For the same offense, on a different occasion, George tackled his brother Gregory and broke his collarbone. When Jennifer broke her bedtime curfew, George dragged her upstairs by her hair.
The book paints Allen as a cartoonishly sadistic older brother who holds Jennifer by her feet over Niagara Falls on a family trip (instilling in her a lifelong fear of heights) and slams a pool cue into her new boyfriend's head. "George hoped someday to become a dentist," she writes. "George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession--getting paid to make people suffer."


Latest t-shirt offering from Dallas KLIF 570 wingnut radio talk show host Darrell Ankarlo. You see, only Hispanics don't "get it."

No prejudice here, compadre.


A must-read from Xpatriated Texan.


Eleanor Clift's interview of Al Gore. There's so much here that's interesting, but I found this Q&A particularly enlightening. Al talks about why some political issues generate no media coverage:

Q: In 2000 and in 1988 when you ran, you really didn’t talk about the environment that much. I think you were counseled that it was not a good issue. Any regrets about that?

A: That’s the conventional wisdom that I want to challenge because in both cases I talked about it extensively. And to take 2000 as an example, there were numerous speeches and events and proposals and multipoint plans that were not considered news, and if a tree falls in the forest and it’s not heard, then later on people think it didn’t happen. John Kerry went thru a very similar experience in ’04 because the way the issue has been covered has been plagued with some of the adjectives that you began with—it’s marginal, it’s arcane, it’s irrelevant, ridiculous—and so if a daily news cycle is devoted to that issue, then one candidate has his message out there and the other is mysteriously missing. There’s another factor that’s often overlooked in 2000. Then governor George W. Bush publicly pledged to regulate CO2 emissions and to forcibly, with the rule of law, reduce them—and publicly said "this is a serious problem and I will deal with it." Now, the other way that issues get covered in the media is if there’s conflict, and if there’s a sharp difference. And one is tempted to conclude that [Karl] Rove crafted those positions that were immediately abandoned after the election—in the first week after the inauguration, the first week—one is tempted to conclude that Rove wrote those positions in order to take from that issue any sense of contrast or conflict and thereby make it non-newsworthy. It certainly had that effect, whether it was intentional or not. I can’t look into their hearts—I’ll let the grand jury do that. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.

Clift speculates on a Gore run for the presidency:

“It’s like the [line in] “Mrs. Robinson”: ‘Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you’,” says a Democratic strategist recalling the Simon & Garfunkel song from the movie, “The Graduate.” [Emphasis mine]

Oh, yes.

Tags: , ,

A thought about high gas prices.

My company announced first quarter financials after the market closed on Wednesday. We declared operating earnings of $1.9 billion ($1.3 billion net earnings) on $14.4 billion in revenues. My assistant (a Fox News addict who's always challenging me on political issues) said to me something like, "That looks about the same or greater margins than the oil industry announced, so why are you griping about them?"

My reply was, nobody's forced to buy our product. Try getting along without oil and gas.

But it was a fair question.


Duh. As I told The Sage last night, I talked to an oil and gas analyst yesterday (a conservative, mind you) who told me that the increased demand for oil by China and India was factored into higher price projections quite some time ago, and that should have given us an increase in oil prices from $25 per barrel to a maximum of $45 per barrel. The $70+ per barrel price we are now experiencing is a direct result, he said, of Bush's warmongering, first in Iraq and now by market fidgets about the possibility of an attack on Iran.

Friday, April 28


Does it bother anyone else that high gas prices and illegal immigration might be the issues that bring Bush and the Rethuglicans down?

I mean, compared to an illegal and immoral invasion and decimation of a nation that posed no threat to us, lying repeatedly to the American people, the destruction of our military, the blatant opportunistic stripping us of the Bill of Rights, violations of the Constitution, outing of a covert CIA operative, institutionalizing torture, tacit approval of corruption in high office, a total lack of attention to the true issue of national security, etc.?

My company this week produced its first video news release. We're guaranteed 900+ plays by local television stations across the nation.

Now I ask, how can that be?


This is so ridiculous, I can't believe it. Wingnuts are making a fuss over some Hispanic singing stars recording a version of our national anthem in Spanish (you can listen here. It's a subject on all right-wing talk shows today. Heaven forbid! How dare they! Even the pResident opined that the sacred song should only be sung in English.

Howard Dean on Hardball: "I'm a patriot, I'm pleased to have our national anthem sung in any language, I'd be proud to have it sung in German."

[On a different subject: "The president's guest-worker program is indentured servitude." Go, Howard!!!]

I'm sorry, but I was taught in school Christmas carols in German, Spanish and French. Was that a sacrilege? I'm pleased and proud to have any songs praising our national values and character sung in ANY language. Does anyone seriously object to Elvis', Whitney Houston's, or even Roseanne Barr's (heaven help us musically!) versions of the Star Spangled Banner because they were not school-choir conformist? If Selina had sung it in Spanish, we would have been thrilled to hear her concert crowds singing along.

How could this possibly be objectionable? It simply gives more validity to the belief that the whole subject of illegal immigration is another Karl Rove-type distraction from the real issues confronting us.

As a patriot, I am, as Dean said, pleased to hear praise and loyalty to our nation sung in ANY language.



The indispensable Sidney Blumenthal. "The president doesn't care that he is reviled. He is a martyr, and someday all will see his glory. Meanwhile, he's got Karl doing his dirty work."

Will Dubya welcome piercings of his body?

As always, a must-read. And an education for me, on one point: who would have guessed that "the base" translated into Arabic, is "Al-Quaida"?

Tags: ,


Grueling day yesterday. Up at 4 a.m. to make a 6 a.m. flight to Kansas City from DFW. Spent the morning in KC and Overland Pass, KS, then caught a six-seat Beechcraft to Orange City, Iowa, bouncing up and down in an alarming way the last half hour of the trip. I'd never been to Iowa, and the manufacturing/distribution facility I was visiting was constructed right there next to the tiny airport, which was surrounded as far as the eye could see by corn fields. The smell of fertilizer was overwhelming, even with the gusty wind. Back to KC in the late afternoon and on to Dallas, getting me home around 11 p.m.

A mere 24 hours spent without watching, listening to or reading the news gets you really out of touch! Seems there've been LOTS of doings, and I'll try to catch up tonight.

Wednesday, April 26


Did you know that "the base" means, ironically, "al-Qaida" in Arabic? I didn't. There's something deeply symbolical about that, I think. Sidney Blumenthal:

Besieged by crises of his own making, plummeting to ever lower depths in the polls week after week, Bush has assigned his political general to muster dwindling forces for a heroic offensive to break out of the closing ring. If the Democrats gain control of the House or Senate they will launch a thousand subpoenas to establish the oversight that has been abdicated by the Republican Congress.
But Rove's elaborate design for Republican rule during the second term has collapsed under the strain of his grandiosity. In 2004, Rove galvanized "the base" (ironically, "al-Qaida" in Arabic) through ruthless divide-and-conquer and slash-and-burn tactics. But with Bush winning the election by a bare 50.73 percent, he failed to forge the unassailable Republican realignment that he sought.
So Rove must depend on the tricks of his trade -- arousing fear of gays and other threats (Hollywood) to traditional family values, as he did in 2004; spinning national security to cast the Democrats as weak and unpatriotic, as he did in 2002; using well-financed front groups and his regular corps of political consultants to outsource smears and produce them as television and radio commercials, as he did to destroy John McCain in the Republican primaries of 2000 and John Kerry in 2004; and conducting whispering campaigns about the personal lives of those he seeks to annihilate, as he has done since his devastating rumor-mongering about then Texas Gov. Ann Richards as a "lesbian" helped install his patron in the Lone Star Statehouse in 1994 as the springboard for the White House.
Frustrating congressional oversight is essential to preserving executive power. Checks and balances are the enemy of the Bush White House.
The more beleaguered Bush becomes, the more he is flattered by his advisors with comparisons to great men of history whose foresight and courage were not always appreciated in their own times. Abraham Lincoln is one favorite. Another is Harry Truman, who established the framework of Cold War policy but left office during the Korean War deeply unpopular with poll ratings sunk in the 20s. Lately, Bush sees himself in the reflected light of Winston Churchill, bravely standing against appeasers. "Never give in -- never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in," Churchill said in 1941 as Britain stood alone against the Nazis. "Bush tells his out-of-town visitors to think of how history will judge his administration 20 years hence and not to worry about setbacks in Iraq," conservative columnist Arnaud de Borchgrave writes.
The greater the stress the more Bush denies its cause. In his end time he has risen above his policy and is transcending politics. In his life as president he has decided his scourging is his sanctification. Bush will be a martyr resurrected. The future will unfold properly for all the wisdom of his decisions, based on fervent faith, upheld by his holy devotion. Criticism and unpopularity only confirm to him his bravery and his critics' weakness. Being reviled is proof of his righteousness. Inevitably, decades hence, people will grasp his radiant truth and glory. Such is the passion of George W. Bush.

[Emphasis mine]

Tags: ,


Wheeeee dogies. Democratic Underground has posted a letter to RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman from a big Republican donor who has "sober(ed) up." I especially like his phrase, "Illegals are taking wages Americans won't -- not necessarily jobs they won't do."


I’ve observed that the RNC is basically a creature of the Bush Administration at this time, i.e. we seem to be expected to sing from the same hymnal as the President on virtually every issue. While I hope it will prove “worth it”, I don’t think I’m alone in the major donor community feeling disappointed that Iraq took on such a singular priority on our watch to the near exclusion of other issues. And, I have never really gotten over the blow to my confidence caused by the nomination of Harriet Miers – I think the polls started dropping then since many likewise saw it as a case of inexplicably poor judgment, and wondered how that case might relate to decision-making in general.

I believe the Administration’s championship of a long-term “guest worker” plan is another poor decision for the country as well as for the Republican Party. Illegals are taking wages Americans won’t – not necessarily jobs they won’t do.
As much as I would like to continue supporting the Party at this level, I can’t in good conscience write another $25,000 check at this time. So long as I have personal reservations, I can’t be effective asking others for money, so I need to resign as one of the Eagles chairs. I hope the President will reconsider his position on immigration reform. I look forward to supporting only candidates who will stand up for American sovereignty, and I hope to support the national Republican Party again when it is no longer aligned with only one Republican’s views.

Best regards,

Jack Overstreet

P.S. I hope you will pass along this note to Karl. I hate to see the electoral coalition you guys so remarkably assembled be destroyed as we wrap it up. The faulty position on “guest workers” is likely to create the unusual spectacle of our base not bothering to vote this fall, and it comes at a time when most of our supporters are pretty unimpressed with us in general. While I have never seen this President willingly modify any position once adopted, there’s always hope. Do you really understand the depth of the problem when check writing junkies like me…sober up?


Frightening. The wingnuts are starting to advocate attacking Iran.


Interesting. National Journal looks into the sources of Hillary's strength among Democratic voters.

She polls out of sight against John Kerry (57% to 30%), Al Gore (57% to 29%), John Edwards (52% to 33%) and "flavor-of-the-month" ex-Governor Mark Warner of Virginia (61% to 15%). She's got a whopping 78% favorability rating with a 40% "strongly favorable."

An optimist's way of looking at the results of the "why" question about Clinton is that nearly half said they either agreed with her positions or believed she'll work in a "bipartisan" way. That sounds awfully reminiscent of what these Democrats would say they miss most about Bill Clinton.
Her support is clearly deep enough that she can afford to lose voters (hence her comfort in moving to the right whenever she can). And considering how much money she'll have for her campaign, it would take a monumental blunder to knock her off the front-runner perch any time in 2007. To think she's already the first or second choice with a majority of Democrats this early in the process shows that she's got a floor of support that's higher than most of her rivals' ceilings.

Of course, they didn't match her up with Evan Bayh, Mark Feingold, or Joe Biden -- but they say they selected Kerry, Gore and Edwards because they have a similar name recognition factor to Hillary's.

Tags: , ,


Republican leadershp caves in to lobbyists.

The House Republican leaders managed a new feat of cravenness during the recent recess, hollowing out their long promised "lobbying reform" bill to meet the dictates of — who else? — Washington's power lobbyists.

During two weeks of supposed inactivity, the leadership bill was chiseled down at the behest of K Street to an Orwellian shell of righteous platitudes about transparency and integrity. The measure to be debated this week has been stripped of provisions to require full disclosure of lobbyists' campaign fund-raising powers and V.I.P. access in Congress. The measure buries all attempts at instituting credible ethics enforcement in the House.

Tags: , ,


An article in American Conservative magazine suggests that Bush's pro-democracy rhetoric may be a deliberate undermining of Iranian moderates to supply a pretext for attacking Iran. I've been suspicious of the same thing myself.

Team Bush carries on undeterred, continuing to cast elections as sacred events that automatically confer vast blessings upon a nation. Yet last June, Bush effectively urged Iranians not to vote, deriding their pending presidential election for ignoring “the basic requirements of democracy.” Bush declared that the elections would be “sadly consistent with this oppressive record” of the Iranian government. U.S.-financed television and radio stations, broadcasting in Farsi, also effectively urged a boycott of the election.

The U.S. government’s actions contributed to the defeat of Mohammad Khatami, a comparatively moderate reformer, and the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fire-breathing hardliner. Ahmadinejad’s subsequent comments on Israel, the Holocaust, and other subjects sound almost Hollywood-scripted to help Washington persuade other nations that the Iranian government and its nuclear program must be suppressed at any cost.
It is unclear whether the Bush administration honestly wants to advance democracy in Iran or whether it is merely creating another pretext to start bombing. If the Iranian regime responds to Bush’s brazen intervention by rounding up reformers, further repressing free speech, acting even more paranoid, it may help Bush sway Americans on the need to bomb Iran in the name of democracy.
The administration seems to have learned nothing from its democracy debacles of the last four years. But perhaps the rhetoric has all been a ruse. Perhaps invoking “democracy” is simply a smokescreen in pursuit of the neoconservative goal of “benevolent global hegemony.”
Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to

Tags: , ,


It's been fun listening to wingnut radio talk show hosts this week trying to convince their callers who are disenchanted Bush voters not to vote Democrat in protest.

"I understand! I share your pain/anger/whatever! I've criticized Bush also! But you can't vote Democrat! All you have to do is imagine a Speaker of the House Pelosi! A President Hillary! A Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid!" is the theme.

When a Mike Gallagher caller said he found himself agreeing with Dems on more issues than he did Rethugs, Mike challenged him to name one Democratic politician he could support. The caller couldn't (Mike suggested Barack Obama as the only possibility), so Mike triumphantly said, "See? See?"

Of course the issues weren't discussed, just personalities. The Rethugs have lost the American people on the issues, and the cult of personality that has shored up George Bush's approval ratings in the past is quickly diminishing in power. Expect the personal attacks to increase in number and volume. It's the only tactic they have remaining in their bag of tricks.

Except, of course, there's always another war.


I used to fantasize about moving to Canada to escape the Bush-Cheney-engineered destruction of my country -- but the new government appears to be eager to follow in Dubya's footsteps.

"It's a very fine balancing act the prime minister has to manage, communicating to Canadians that Afghanistan is not Iraq," Griffiths said. As reports of Afghan civilian and Canadian military casualties mount, "it's going to transfer that negative image of a bungled enterprise, of hopelessness, from George Bush to Stephen Harper."

The comparison came quickly Tuesday after the government ordered journalists away from the Trenton, Ontario, air base when the coffins of the four soldiers arrived.

"Mr. Bush instituted the policy of not allowing the caskets to be open to the media, and now Mr. Harper has lifted a page from George Bush's book," Ujjal Dosanjh, a member of Parliament and the Liberal Party's point man on defense, said in an interview from Ottawa. "This is absolutely unacceptable and un-Canadian. You don't build support with Canadians by trying to hide casualties."


Historian Max Hastings opines that the revolt of the generals is nothing new and shouldn't be surprising. The only thing new, he says, is that post-WWII technological advances have made civilian micromanagement of military actions possible, and so "It is unlikely that field commanders will ever again enjoy the operational latitude they once possessed."

But in truth, retired soldiers have always been outspoken about the alleged blunders of successor warlords, uniformed and otherwise.
The post-Vietnam generation of U.S. generals is much more cautious about overseas operations, especially against insurgencies, than were their predecessors of the Westmoreland -- never mind MacArthur -- eras. Once, generals were notoriously gung-ho. Today they are haunted by fear of failure. By a notable historical irony, enthusiasm for using troops is far more prevalent among civilian ideologues than among professional warriors.
If commanders are denied the power to manage campaigns as they think right, it is unjust to allow them to accept blame when these go awry. In the new world, the generals' revolt seems a legitimate response to political mismanagement of operations. If a civilian such as Donald Rumsfeld seeks to exercise from Washington functions that were traditionally those of soldiers, he should take the customary consequences. The most conspicuous historical example of a politician presiding over a military fiasco was that of Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty. He sponsored the 1915 Dardanelles campaign -- and was forced to quit.

Rosa Brooks has a great op-ed on the subject of the generals:

They even had me nodding along there for a few minutes. After all, every student of recent history knows that if you dilute civilian control of the military, you end up with fascism or a Latin American-style military junta. Because constant security threats are necessary to maintain the power and credibility of a military regime, a nation that lacks civilian control of the military gets ensnared in unending, pointless wars, often against an increasingly vaguely defined threat. Gradually, the broader society becomes militarized. Dissenters are denounced as cowards or traitors, and domestic surveillance becomes common. Secret military courts and detention systems begin to supplant the civilian judicial system. Detainees get tortured, and some end up mysteriously dead after interrogation.

We definitely wouldn't want that kind of regime to control the United States, would we?

IT WAS AT THIS POINT that I got the joke — because, dear reader, we're already well on the way to having that kind of regime. If Rumsfeld thought he could get away with calling himself Il Generalissimo, don't you think he'd do so in a heartbeat?

In the looking-glass world the Bush administration has brought us, it's the civilians in the White House and the Pentagon who have been eager to embrace the values normally exemplified by military juntas, while many uniformed military personnel have struggled to insist on values that are supposed to characterize democratic civil society.



So Tony Snow is in. I'd love to see the White House press corps ask him to explain some of his more critical remarks about Bush. Now THAT would be a gaggle.

On the other hand, wingnut radio talk show hosts are notoriously flexible with the truth. So I expect the telegenic Snow will find a way to creatively reconcile his past commentary with a newly discovered confidence in the Bush due to his now-insider knowledge.


Tuesday, April 25


This tale of an Iraqi construction project gone bad is a metaphor for the entire Bush-Cheney adventure in Iraq. Waste, mismanagement, faulty strategy and decision-making, cover-ups, you name it.

The project, called the Fatah pipeline crossing, had been a critical element of a $2.4 billion no-bid reconstruction contract that a Halliburton subsidiary had won from the Army in 2003. The spot where about 15 pipelines crossed the Tigris had been the main link between Iraq's rich northern oil fields and the export terminals and refineries that could generate much-needed gasoline, heating fuel and revenue for Iraqis.

For all those reasons, the project's demise would seriously damage the American-led effort to restore Iraq's oil system and enable the country to pay for its own reconstruction. Exactly what portion of Iraq's lost oil revenue can be attributed to one failed project, no matter how critical, is impossible to calculate. But the pipeline at Al Fatah has a wider significance as a metaphor for the entire $45 billion rebuilding effort in Iraq. Although the failures of that effort are routinely attributed to insurgent attacks, an examination of this project shows that troubled decision-making and execution have played equally important roles.

Here's the money quote:

An independent United States office, The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, began an investigation of the project and issued a report earlier this year. It sharply criticized KBR for not relaying the problems, and concluded that "the geological complexities that caused the project to fail were not only foreseeable but predicted."

The company received a slap on the wrist when it got only about 4 percent of its potential bonus fees on the job order that contained the contract; there was no other financial penalty.

It's an amazing piece. Read it all.

Tags: , ,

Monday, April 24


GOP faces stormy weather. Deservedly.

The poll found that 41% of those surveyed thought that this Congress had accomplished less than its recent predecessors — the most negative evaluation of Congress' record since 1997.

GOP leaders in the House and the Senate hope to counter that complaint by racking up legislative accomplishments in the coming months. But it won't be easy, because many of the problems before them — such as high gas prices and continuing instability in Iraq — are largely out of their control. Other issues, such as immigration and the budget, deeply divide the party.

Of course, the Rethugs have in their back pocket plans to attempt other, more party-uniting but general-citizenry-polarizing legislative wins in the state legislatures, such as anti-abortion measures and bans on gay marriage.

Republicans worry that because their party is dominant in Washington, they will bear the blame for high gas prices.

"The Republicans are in power; Bush and Cheney are identified with the oil business," Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's not a hard issue for a Democratic challenger to demagogue."

Demagogue? (First of all, Bill, as a professional writer you should know that linguists frown mightily upon the use of "demagogue" as a verb. Were you the one who first called Dubya "the decider"?) Why should such a claim be characterized as demagoguery? It's no appeal to prejudices -- the Rethugs ARE firmly in power, THEY'RE the ones who allowed oil industry executives to write energy legislation, they've consistently underemphasized conservation and development of alternative energy sources, and they've thus far allowed oil company profits to soar while granting those same companies unnecessary and expensive tax breaks.

House GOP leaders will have a tough time passing a budget, which stalled before the recess amid party infighting. Moderate Republicans objected that the proposed budget allowed too little for education and other social programs; conservatives complained it provided too much. And Republicans on the Appropriations Committee objected to a crackdown on earmarking money for pet projects. ... The House also is scheduled this week to take up legislation overhauling its ethics and lobbying rules, a response to the scandals that have roiled Capitol Hill.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The ethics legislation that is most likely to be approved by Rethugs will fall well short of that which would actually produce anything like lobbying and ethics "reform".

The short and sweet of it is that this GOP-controlled Congress is unlikely to do anything substantive to improve the lot of the American people, and the voters are threatening to hold them accountable for it. Their only response is to distract voters from the real issues by campaigning on wedge isssues and use the specter of a showdown with Iran to once again scare voters into sticking with the "devil they know."

Tags: , ,


I like this post on Sully's blog today:

If Jesus Christ had not existed, it would almost certainly not have been necessary for the Church to invent someone like him. What does the Church want with a man who plainly despised ritual? Can you imagine the man who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey wanting anything to do with bells and smells and frocks, with gilt and silver and semi-idolatry, and repetitive chants and chorused inanities? The man who said he had come to break up families being paraded as a paradigm of family values? The man who had absolutely no interest in politics or administration and preached forgiveness, not 'the rule of law', wanting anything to do with the Conservative party or the Third Way? ...

When we consider all those painfully counter-intuitive sayings and parables - the Prodigal Son, the idea that it is no good restraining your actions if your thoughts are bad, the impatience with good works ('the poor always ye have with you') except as a means for personal purification - and when we consider how Jesus keeps saying ... the wrong thing, it becomes even clearer that he must have been real: if Jesus had been a hoax, the Church could have invented someone so much more convenient."

And Sully adds: "Of course, contemporary Christianists are trying exactly that: to rectify Jesus' obvious and embarrassing gaffes, and His clearly misplaced priorities."

Tags: ,


Here's an interesting little tidbit in the har-har category. Mick Jagger refuses to give up his hotel reservation to accommodate George W. Bush.

Tags: ,