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Monday, October 31, 2005


Senate Majority Leader Frist today downplayed new Bush nominee Samuel Alito's radical appeal to the Bush base and called for "...a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote..."

The change in the Republican litany from Harriet Miers is as radical as Alito's judicial opinions.

In essence, the Republican leadership is now saying: "Give Sam Alito what we denied to Harriet Miers...."

Bush-era hypocrisy is alive and well....

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Lisa Anderson writes in today’s Chicago Tribune that recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup polling shows 53 percent of adults surveyed said "God created humans in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it." And polls consistently show a majority of Americans favor teaching both evolution and creationism.

Perhaps this explains another mysterious poll finding. In the latest AP-Ipsos Poll in which only 1/3 of Americans gave congress “Good” ratings for its ethics and honesty, the vast majority of those 1/3 are Republicans. I extrapolate this to mean, the 1/3 of Americans who consider congress to be ethical and honest are mostly those “Family Values” voters who helped to re-elect George Bush in 2004.

Will Lester, Associated Press Writer, filed a story today on those Poll findings. Lester writes:
…Republican pollster Ed Goeas said recently that it's lucky for the GOP that voters won't be focused on elections for another 10 months. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to take a positive view of the honesty and ethics of Congress.

"I hear so many people talking about how dishonest they are, but I have a hard time believing they're as bad as people say," said Krista Gneiting, a Republican from Caldwell, Idaho. "I have not heard much specifically about Bill Frist and Tom DeLay."
(Emphasis added)

So, it seems, that superstition coupled with ignorance is the glue binding the Bush Base together.

What this means, of course, is that as long as Bush and congress is perceived by these Americans as serving a larger, Divine purpose, the corruption and duplicity of his administration are not only tolerated—they are excused. "I'm Not Perfect, Just Saved" so goes a smug bumper-sticker, popular with Evangelicals. So Bush and Congress are not Perfect either. And we have it on Karl Rove's well-orchestrated assurances that Bush is "Saved". Adding to the smugness of salvation is the unifying theme of persecution. In case you haven’t noticed, Christians consider themselves the victims of persecution at the hands of a scheming, godless Left cabal. That cabal includes all of those carping Liberals and overzealous prosecutors picking on DeLay and Scooter Libby.

Average Americans who get their news from sources other than James Dobson might be surprised to hear that those who effectively control both houses of congress and the presidency—the evangelical Right-- see themselves as victims of political persecution.

But keep in mind; Krista Gneiting has a “…hard time believing [congress] is as bad as people say”

....Keep in mind; Mississippi legislators stated, for the record, with straight faces, that Hurricane Katrina was visited upon the Gulf because it was God’s Wrath for the Gambling Casinos that were prospering on the coast.

I wonder what these portentous observers of the American scene make of this story out of Waco, Texas today:

WACO, Texas - A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning after grabbing a microphone while partially submerged, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water up to his shoulder in a baptismal at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted, said Jamie Dudley, a church business administrator and wife of another pastor there.

Doctors in the congregation performed chest compressions, she said. Lake was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said he was pronounced dead.

The woman Lake was baptizing was not injured, Dudley said.
Since I am not a believer in intelligent design or a person who can interpret Divine Signs like the average Mississippi Republican state legislator, I would say that meaning of this story is “…Thou shalt not grab an electric microphone when the cord of the microphone is in the holy waters…”

But keep in mind; I’m a secular humanist who doesn't trust George Bush or congress as far as I can throw them, so what do I know...?

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Republicans Vote To Cut Food Stamps by $844 Million. Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte defended the decision saying that the cuts represent only a "sliver" of the Food Stamp Program.

...Here's a guy who won't be dismayed by the cuts in food stamps! In a file photo Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and CEO Lee Raymond laughs during a news conference in Dallas, Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest publicly traded oil company in the world, on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005, said third-quarter profit surged, buoyed by higher crude-oil and natural-gas prices, even as the period's hurricanes hampered production. Revenue grew to $100.72 billion from $76.38 billion in the prior-year period. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

....and Speaking of food, "Villages are on the brink of widespread starvation," World Food Program Country Director David Stevenson said in a statement issued in neighboring South Africa. "There is no maize, wild foods are exhausted, and there's very little food aid on the way for the next six months unless the international community steps in now with cash to stave off a humanitarian catastrophe." An estimated 12 million people in six southern African countries are expected to need food aid before the next harvest in February and March due to crop failure and the rising cost of grain. In Malawi alone, up to 5 million people — 40 percent of the population — are facing shortages. Meanwhile The New York Times reports that a spat between Congressional Republicans and the White House over how to provide food aid is preventing U.S. food aid from reaching the starving Africans. Read "African Food For Africa's Starving Is Roadblocked By Congress". Celia Dugger points out that Congress, at the behest of Archer-Daniels Midland, is opposing a State Department initiative to purchase food product in the hemisphere where the food is produced to save money and speed deliver. Unfortunately this runs against the interests of some powerful contributors to the Republican Party:

Just four companies and their subsidiaries, led by Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, sold more than half the $700 million in food commodities provided through the United States Agency for International Development's food aid program in 2004, government records show. Just five shipping companies received over half the more than $300 million spent to ship that food, records show.
Congressional Republicans remind me of St. Paul's meditation upon the irony of our relationship with the Super-ego and the Id (which he called God and the Devil): "The good that I would I do not; the Evil that I would not, that I do..."

The Republicans, largely composed of Bible-believing Christians, just cannot seem to do Good. Instead of clothing the naked, healing the sick, and feeding the hungry, they do the bidding of the Rich and the Powerful. The Republicans cut the taxes of the rich, subsidize their companies and use our military to confiscate the resources of other lands for the benefit of the multinational corporations owned and run by them.

When fiscal conservative Republicans and Democrats in Congress tried to address the deficit by cutting farm subsidies, the response was immediate and intense from agribusinesses and from the heartland of America and the core of Red State America: DON'T CUT OUR FARM SUBSIDIES! The Republican leadership in congress responded by proposing a cut in the foodstamp program as an alternative to cutting farm subsidies.

My Bible must be a different version than the Republican Bible. Perhaps it is a Democrat Bible. But in my Bible, Jesus Christ washes the feet of the poor, he doesn't kiss the butts of the rich!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


In light of the growing chorus of whining as more and more of the Bush Circle of Jerks get trapped by their own hubris, I decided to revisit the treatment of the Clinton Administration friends and associates during the Whitewater "Investigation". So this weekend I checked out a copy of THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT, The Ten Year Campaign To Destroy Bill Clinton. The documentary is based on the book by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason. It is available from any Movie Store or library. Check it out. Watch it. For me, it really put in relief the irony of the current Republican outrage at the relatively tame efforts of a state prosecutor and the federal special counsel in the Plame affair when compared with the outrageous behavior of the Clinton-haters ten years ago.

Justice DeLayed.

Tom DeLay's lawyer Dick DeGuerin tried to serve Texas Prosecutor Ronnie Earle with a subpoena today. The subpoena was not signed by a was a "toy subpoena" ginned up by DeLay's mouthpieces for the publicity value. DeGuerin wants Earle to answer 12 questions about conversations he had with grand jurors, including whether the prosecutor became angry when a grand jury decided against an indictment of DeLay and why that decision was not publicly released.

Earle, leading a Texas campaign finance investigation that indicted DeLay and two political associates, went to three grand juries. He presented evidence on DeLay's alleged role in funneling corporate money to Texas legislative candidates in violation of state law.

The first grand jury indicted DeLay on conspiracy charges, the second failed to indict and the third indicted him on an allegation of money laundering. DeLay has said he is innocent of wrongdoing. DeLay has accused Earle -- a Democrat -- of pursuing the case against him for political reasons. Earle has denied any political motives.

In a motion filed last week, the defense team said that from Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, Earle and his staff "unlawfully participated in grand jury deliberations and attempted to browbeat and coerce" the grand jury that refused to indict DeLay.

The motion said Earle then attempted to cover up and delay public disclosure of the refusal, and also "incited" the foreman of the first grand jury to violate grand jury secrecy by talking publicly about the case -- in an effort to influence grand jurors still sitting.

That Grand Jury foremen referenced by DeLay's attorneys told the media today that the allegation of influencing and tampering with the Jury was a "...bunch of Bullshit..."

Nevertheless, DeLay's lawyers have generated enough fodder for the dittoheads on Yakkk Radio to wax indignant. O the weeping...O the wailing...O the gnashing of teeth as the well-oiled machinery of the Right-Wing media spin the situation to make DeLay actually appear to be the victim.

IRONY. The irony here can be summed up in two words: KEN STARR. Remember him? The Right-Wing attack machine funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and Uncle Sam funded a $50 Million attempted Coup d'Etat to overthrow the presidency of Bill Clinton. They left in their wake dozens of damaged lives, including one person who spent two years in prison because she refused to go along with a fabrication created by Starr and his crowd.

The outrageous behavior of Ken Starr has never been fully acknowledged by the crowd that now fulminates over poor Tom DeLay. Many of them were in political office at the time, including Sugarland's favorite pest control magnate, Tom DeLay.

Scooter Putz
...Meanwhile the Right-Wing whine-line on Scooter's release of confidentiality to Judith Miller is that it was "coerced". What did Patrick Fitzgerald, the US Attorney in Chicago appointed by then-Attorney-General Ashcroft as special counsel to investigate the leaking of a CIA agent's name by the White House do to "coerce" tough-guy Libby who, along with Rove, run the White House mafia?

Did he threaten to expose them to endless tax audits like Ken Starr did in his investigation? Did Fitzgerald threaten to ruin Scooter financially with multiple indictments on cut-and-paste evidence like Ken Starr did? Did Fitzgerald fabricate a story with the complicity of a dying man who was afraid to die in jail and then threaten to drag scooter in front of a Grand Jury if he didn't cooperate, like Ken Starr did?

Whatever did Fitzgerald do to poor Scooter Libby that has the bowels of Limbaugh stirring with category 5 fury? Fitzgerald said, in writing to Libby, that he would "appreciate" Libby restating his release of confidentiality to Miller and would consider it "cooperative".

That is VERY abusive...

Judy Martyr Miller
So Judy Miller spent three months is Jail for refusing to testify before Fitzgerald's Grand Jury because it would require her to 'reveal her sources'. Her three months in the slammer were fully managed by the New York Times who saw to it that she had what could only be considered luxury lock-up conditions. She had access to a cell phone, which she used to blab to anyone willing to listen to her. She had a constant stream of visitors and was accommodated in every way. Judy, for those of you who do not know, is the Bush Administration's resident propagandist embedded with the liberal flagship paper, the New York Times. Judy Miller was the conduit for getting the WMD lies of the Bush Administration in print. Judy's 'source' Ahmed Chalabi, funneled to her through Cheney's office, is now, like Judy Miller herself, discredited by the passage of events. Nevertheless, given Miller's preening before the cameras upon her release, one might think that Judy Martyr Miller still had credibility. One might think that Judy Martyr Miller had actually been punished, like Susan McDougal. When Susan McDougal was incarcerated she was put in maximum security and required to wear the same red prison uniform worn by women who were in prison for murder. Many the women in prison for murder are implicated in the death of their children. So Susan McDougal was lumped in with what other prisoner's called "Baby Killers" and she endured isolation and abuse while serving time for not testifying before a grand jury. At various times, she was spat on, urinated on, and she suffered other indignities. The New York Times didn't keep a watchful eye over Susan McDougal. In a very real sense, they and the rest of the media establishment helped to put her there.
There is some Irony in hearing the Republicans howl about the treatment of their priviledged characters, is there not?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Madness Of King George.....

"I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."
-June 2003 conversation among Bush and former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President.


Thursday, October 06, 2005


The GOP-controlled Senate voted 90-9 on Wednesday to back an amendment to the Defense Spending Bill that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held. Sponsor John McCain said that the United States is losing its Moral Authority in the War on Terrorism in the eyes of the world, particularly in the Arab-speaking World.

Alaska's Senior Senator Ted Stevens was the only Senator to speak against the amendment. An embarrassment to Alaska? Yes. But the Senior Senator, whose snout is famously buried in the loamy soils of Washington D.C. (as documented so well by the Los Angeles Times [1]), is not the only embarrassment to Alaska. Senator Stevens' Son, Ben, has inherited the arrogant snout-gene from his Dad and he is well on his way to building a career in Alaska leveraging his father's power into a personal fortune. This is currently being well-documented in the Anchorage Daily News.
[1] Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper. "Senator's Way to Wealth Was Paved With Favors." The Los Angeles Times. December 17, 2003,


The Top 10 Reasons Ben Stevens Should Go To Iraq
10. Experience life someplace where he is properly appreciated;
9. Apply the vast knowledge gained from shoring up his own reputation to an equally improbable task: the reconstruction of Iraq;
8. Take a risk more challenging than day-trading
7. Provide a replacement for someone who deserves to come home;
6. With the vast numbers of maimed children of the War, Ben could help organize and then consult for an Iraqi Special Olympics Committee;
5. Ben's charisma and sparking sense of humor could be a real morale boost for our troops;
4. Ben could drive his SUV along the Iraq Airport Road clearing the roadside bombs for our troops;
3. Ben would learn to take orders from someone other than his dad;
2. Ben would be remembered for being something other than a corrupt politician;
...and the No. 1 Reason why Ben Stevens should go to Iraq....

...if Ben gets captured, he can say "thanks, Dad" over Al Jazeera!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Letter From A 14-Year Old

[Metanoia2k Note] This letter was found by a friend and forwarded to me. It was written by her then 14-year old son in 1998. The boy had composed this as a letter-to-the-editor in response to some public display of patriotic puffery by a couple of community ideologues. I was struck by the letter in part because I was his age when I began writing letters-to-the-editor. So I see a kindred spirit here. Mark Twain said that "...Truth is like cool mountain tastes clean and right." This sure tastes like Truth to me. It was Truth then; it is Truth now.


I would like to respond to the recent letters supporting [the teaching of] patriotism from _____and _____.

The armed forces have indeed fought for our “freedom,” and I’m sorry so many died for so little.

I cherish what freedom we have in this country, but what about the poor people here and the unbelievable numbers of people in the rest of the world much worse off. They’re struggling to get food (and even water) to make it through the day. Where’s the freedom in that?

Our wonderful nation doesn’t do much to help them.

Our government looks the other way and even supports corporations when they enslave third world countries. They stop progressive action and create puppet leaders in the countries where they can’t buy off the leader in place. If someone should rise against the government, we’re there to help stop them—not necessarily in the form of U.S. troops, but financially, or with weapons or training.

I don’t think we need to be teaching or supporting patriotism to an oppressive, hypocritical world superpower. We the people have very little say in the way our government is run. This comes from a media that is controlled by the corporations that have their investments in oppression. The media is selective with the truth that they feed us. What we get is propaganda that supports these crimes against freedom. What is even worse is that almost all of us believe it, and we let it help shape our beliefs.

We also have come to believe that our country is a viable community and society. It is not. Global communication is important, but we have to realize that a community has to be much smaller. Get involved in your neighborhood and community council. Listen. Think. Discuss. That’s where revolution will start.That’s where we the people are.

In case you’re still skeptical, here’s a quote, “I will never apologize for America. I don’t care if it’s right or wrong.” That was George Bush responding to a question about why our super-accurate, never fail missiles hit seven out of eleven hospitals in the city of Baghdad during the Gulf War.

Hooray for patriotism at work.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sturm und Drang On The Right Over Miers: Some Predictions!

Harriet resigned, as predicted. She lasted three weeks instead of two. While Bush appears to have caved in to the Right, I still believe this defeat will cause him to retaliate, in some form, against Frum, Norquist et al, the Trolls who brought Harriet down. I can dream, can't I?

O the weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth from the Trolls over president Bush's nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to replace Justice O'Connor.

It has the all the markings of a tropical depression. It is a storm feeding upon itself, drawing heat from the waters even as the coolness at the edge of the air mass churns around it's center, causing the highly compressed air to spin the self-defined mass around and around and around....

The Right-Wing is filled with tiny storms centers: the egomaniacal and agenda-layered air masses that hover just out of reach of shore, hoping to catch a wave, perhaps, or more. There is the scrawny storm-shrike Ann, there is bilious blowhard Pat, and the lispy wind-shear David--all raging in foamy fury about this terrible, terrible thing that George W. Bush hath done: he nominated a Supreme Court Justice without consulting them!

Ann Coulter sniffs about Harriet Miers "..mediocrity";
Pat Buchanen bleats that she is neither brilliant nor qualified;
David Frum whines that she is a "...taut, nervous, anxious personality".

All analyses, ironically, are dead-on self-descriptions.

I PREDICT that the Trolls will continue to whip themselves into a lather, then into a whirlwind, then into a hurricane that will threaten to lay waste to what remains of Bush's credibility.

I PREDICT that, within two weeks or so, that Harriet Miers will withdraw. She will be so brutally beaten up by the extremists at the edges of the Bush base that she will no longer be able to abide the abuse.

I PREDICT that Karl Rove will come to Bush on October 18th or 19th and tell his increasingly bitter and isolated president that the Storm on the Right has now become dangerous and life-threatening.

I PREDICT that Karl will have Miers' signed Letter of Withdrawal already prepared.

WHEN THE NEWS OF HARRIET MIERS' WITHDRAWAL is announced, the Trolls will cheer a victory against their president's better instincts and the sound of the Right-Wing Troll blood-dance will thunder from the hills...

Take a moment to consider this consequence of your hubris. Harriet is a friend of the president. This is something HE wants. By denying him this, I PREDICT that you will force him, finally, after five years in office, to become a REAL president--not just one he plays on T.V.--independent of you and your influence.

Wouldn't THAT be interesting?

Let the Sturm und Drang begin...