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Monday, August 14, 2006

Look who's blogging!

This blog has been highly critical of President Bush and rightfully so. however sometimes, its refreshing to take a step back and put things into perspective, things could be worse, Mahmood Ahmadinejad could be our President instead of being the president of Iran. Ahmadinejad has recently started to crack down on our blogging brothers and sisters in Iran and to add insult to injury he has started his own Blog, were you can "get into the head" of one of the most dangerous people on the planet. With a little bad luck a Ahmadinejad Myspace page could be on its way. He seems like the type a guy who would add a bunch of people and bands as his friend, just to rack up the numbers and pretend to like cool movies to seem a lot cooler than he really is. Sorry Mahmood nobody buys your "love of Donnie Darko and Spike Lee". What a loser

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Rove-Lieberman connection

according to George Stephanopoulos

"a close Lieberman adviser, the President's political guru, Karl Rove, has reached out to the Lieberman camp with a message straight from the Oval Office: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do"."

This would be the biggest mistake Joe could make. If Lieberman joins forces with Rove and company, he will completely alienate what Democratic support he has left, it would be a pathetic and shameful end to his political career.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Civil War This, Civil War That

Brushing aside concerns expressed by some of his top generals , President Bush commented on the possibility of civil war in Iraq with the following non-statement at a press conference

"“You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box."

well,if thats the case it's beginning to feel an awful lot like a recall. Its kind of like the whole Grey Davis thing but with IEDs and car bombs. I obviously hope the President is right, but as usual I find his casually dismissive nature very disturbing(you would think I would be desensitized after five years of this kind of behavior, but nope it still hurts my head).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Iraq: The Reality Kobayashi Muru

In keeping with tradition, the news out of Iraq has not been great with several American generals as well as the outgoing British ambassador all sharing a rather pessimistic outlook on the situation. There seems to be an emerging consensus that Iraq is entering into a critical phase one in which the possibilities of a full blown Civil War seems to be near the top of likely scenarios. Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee "Iraq could move toward civil war" if the violence is not contained,and that "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it". The US has also come under attack from members of the Iraqi government who think that a big part of the problem is that the US "won't let them get the job done" i.e. a counter insurgency mounted Saddam style and that we are just holding them back from all the torture and brutality needed to "get things done right", which once again makes me proud to be an American where we only dabble in torture.

What to do, what to do. It does all feel alot like the Kobayashi Meru no win scenario from Star Trek II(am I making a Star Trek reference because I am geek, no way, rather I am doing it because I am pretty sure much of the Iraqi insurgency is unfamiliar with the Wraith of Khan and I don't want them to be "in the know"),

If we leave Iraq in chaos, all of this would have been for nothing, sure Saddam was removed, but big deal, removing a dictator is only a victory if what replaces him is an improvement and in the long term that remains to be seen, I certainly hope the moderates and proponents of Democracy in Iraq prevail, but at this point I wouldn't put my 401k in it.

If we stay in Iraq, we serve as a rallying point for the radicals and are highly visible targets. Perhaps we are simply wood for the fire.

I guess the best we can hope for is that we provide enough short term security until the Iraqis are able to formulate their own vision of the future, one with any luck inspired by atleast some of the values we tried to cut and paste on to them. God knows the insurgency doesn't really offer up a real alternative, so what we need is a Iraqi uniter with a clear and resonating message that transcends sectarian lines. I hope that person is out there and I hope they are not alone.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How did this happen?

A recent poll showed that 50% of Americans believed that Iraq possessed WMD. This is a startling(and disturbing)14 point increase since the same question was asked in February 2005. 64% also believed that Saddam Hussein had "Strong Links to Al Queda" the exact same number as the February 2005 poll. This is mind numbing to me. My theory: Things are so bad in Iraq that people are nostalgic for the "good old days in Iraq" which sadly exist only as a pile of lies

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sen.Inhofe, you Sir are the idiot of the day

"All of the recent science...It confirms that I was right on this thing...This thing is a hoax"

what "thing" is Sen.Inofe(R-OK) talking about on CNN you might ask, Global Warming. This is a classic case of the freedom to lie. He couldn't be more wrong, and yet here he is on CNN declaring some kind of imaginary morale victory. Its this type of nonsense that slows down any real progress and retards the entire situation. So thank you Sen.Inhofe, for your shameless lies in service of big business. I am sure your great- grand children will be very proud of you.

News Flash: Bush administration a non-constructive player in Middle East Diplomacy

They might make a couple of phone calls here and there, but the reality is this administration is far less engaged in Middle East diplomacy than any earlier administration and while Condi is heading to the region on Sunday, its a far cry from the intensive shuttle diplomacy employed by earlier administrations of both Parties. The lack of urgency says a lot, this administration does not see war as such a bad thing, on the contrary its the tool they are most comfortable with. While I recognize the right of Israel to protect itself and offer nothing but condemnation for Hezbolah's rocket attacks on civilian targets it is still a horrible and tragic situation with suffering felt on both sides. It is this suffering that I suspect simply does not register with the President and those in his inner circle. Safeguarding security and a vigorous effort to minimize human suffering are not mutually exclusive. It is not an either or question. I am not naive enough to suggest that one can wage war with 0 civilian casualties(although that should always be the goal) but it is the cavalier indifference to human suffering that is so much the trademark of this administration. Whether in Iraq,New Orleans or Lebanon this administration has failed to grasp empathy and the world continues to pay the price. Obviously, unlike some of the other problems in the Middle East, President Bush did not create this problem nor is he the direct cause of it. However, indifference and inaction in the hands of the most powerful person on the planet can only serve to prolong the crisis. Once again President Bush has demonstrated that he is bold when he shouldn't be and timid when he is put in a
real position to lead.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Newt Gingrich's World War III(or my World War VI)

In what is obviously designed to get a little more mileage out of the Right wings scare tactic machinery, Newt Gingrich has been pushing for the President to officially declare that we are in World War III. Granted, I thought most neocons considered the Cold War , to be World War III thereby making the war on terrorism World War IV(unless you just want to clump the cold war and the war on terror together, which given how loose a definition of world war the conservatives have that would probably work just fine). I obviously do not support such a label. Certainly we live in dangerous and uncertain times, but declaring this to be a war of cultures and World War III with Muslims getting the prestigious Nazi role will do nothing but add anxiety and fuel to the fire. The Right's obsession with connecting the dots to produce self serving pictures is as dangerous as it is simplistic. If this World War III thing gets any traction whatsoever, which I seriously doubt it will, I will be forced to respond by offering up my own, equally unnecessary World War numbering system, here it goes folks

World War I=Seven Year War
World War 2=Napoleonic Wars
World War 3=World War I
World War 4=World War 2
World War 5=Cold War
World War 6=War on Terror/Global Warming/globalization and Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD

is my plan stupid, yes,but no more so than Newts.
Fema suppressing Katrina victim's free speech?

There is a very disturbing report coming from the First Amendment Center regarding the severe limitations being put on residents of a FEMA run trailer park. The articles states that the residents are not allowed to talk to the press without an official escort(somewhere the old Soviet Union is smiling). The article also explores FEMA's wasting of resources and inability to help local parishes get in touch with dislocated former residents. Believe me I am not inherently anti-Fema, obviously they do a lot of good work, but any organization is only as good as its leadership and well, there lies the problem I suppose.

What's the deal in Utah?

Survey USA just posted a 50 state breakdown of Bush's approval ratings and the good news is that there are only 3 states in the Union where Bush's approval is over 50 percent(with Texas just shy with a 49 percent approval rating). These states are Wyoming(50), Idaho(54) and drum roll please Utah with a whopping and unexplainable 57% approval rating for the President. Mind Blowing.

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have New York(28%), Massachusetts and Vermont(27%) and Rhode Island with a "sounds about right to me" approval rating of 23% congratulations to the People of Rhode Island for their excellent grasp on reality.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

One Veto after 5 and a half years

So its happened and President Bush has cast the first Veto of his entire, horrible presidency. Let's take a look at the veto count for the past couple of Presidents

Clinton 37
Bush 44
Reagan 78

what does this say, well it says Bush Jr. has faced less opposistion than any other President in modern times. This what happens when your checks and balances go unbalanced. We get an administration emboldened to do all kinds of wacky things that would be hard to imagine under any other administration. What a nightmare!This why the Democrats need to capture SOME branch of government this November.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

McCain playing all sides

David Ignatius wrote an interesting Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post about John McCain’s political balancing act and questions some of McCain’s centrist appeal. You can check it out HERE

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Our Man Colbert

My hat goes off to Stephen Colbert for making things uncomfortable for President Bush at the White House Correspondents Association dinner and its all very true, reality does indeed have a rather liberal slant to it. Its always interesting to see how the President responds to moments of unfiltered reality, always interesting, never pretty.

Where there are low Poll Numbers there is Hope

Sorry it has been awhile, luckily while I have been gone a growing number of Americans seem to be waking up to the gross incompetence of the Bush administration, With his Approval rating hovering at record low levels in the low thirties it makes me think that after five years of painful degeneration, mismanagement and deception by the Right that
Middle America is finally waking up the reality of the Republican nightmare and the true state of affairs. The backlash to their reckless power grab has begun. It’s like what I( along with millions of others have been saying all along)

What have they done right?

What have they not screwed up?

When have the facts ever emerged to support them?

Not counting their hugely successful campaign to grow the wealth of the rich at the expense of the middle class and dismantle transparency and accountability for the executive branch of government. They have done nothing but ruin and undermine nearly every pillar of American values and strength.

Arrogance is no substitute for leadership.

And in these complex and dangerous time, we need real leadership, not in the Bush variety of bloated executive powers. We need an open national discourse on the challenges we face both at home and abroad and the formulation of a realistic national policy that can transcend both party and Presidents. Not unlike America’s cold war doctrines which to a great extent enjoyed bipartisan crafting and support. For the first time in a long time, I feel we have a chance to turn things around, undo some of the damage and restore America’s trajectory. In order to do this we need to dismantle the right’s monopoly on power. They have shown what they will do when uncontested and it has been a disaster. The Democrats are imperfect, but a bandage is better than a gunshot wound anyday.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When Even George Will has had enough

Here are the thoughts of conservative commentator George Will on the Presidients's latest Supreme Court pick. It almost makes you feel all warm and bipartisin

Senators beginning what ought to be a protracted and exacting scrutiny of Harriet Miers should be guided by three rules. First, it is not important that she be confirmed. Second, it might be very important that she not be. Third, the presumption -- perhaps rebuttable but certainly in need of rebutting -- should be that her nomination is not a defensible exercise of presidential discretion to which senatorial deference is due.

. . . [T]he president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution. . . . It is important that Miers not be confirmed unless, in her 61st year, she suddenly and unexpectedly is found to have hitherto undisclosed interests and talents pertinent to the court's role. Otherwise the sound principle of substantial deference to a president's choice of judicial nominees will dissolve into a rationalization for senatorial abdication of the duty to hold presidents to some standards of seriousness that will prevent them from reducing the Supreme Court to a private plaything useful for fulfilling whims on behalf of friends.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bush, Katrina and Brownie

Hey Gang,

Its been awhile since I have done any ranting from the land of the Progressive Centrist. But rest assured there has been plenty to rant about. Obviously Hurricane Katrina has been a human tragedy of horrendous magnitude and unlike some, I have no real desire to exploit it for cheap political gain, with that said, Old W has totally blown it. Granted there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the planning and response from all levels of government. But come on his whole “Brownie your doing a heck of a job!” what was that all about? Or his post reconstruction plans to hang out on Trent Lot’s new porch, all of these statements(let alone the remarks of his mother) demonstrate an almost unfathomable lack of empathy and understanding of the suffering of average people. I suppose this is what happens when you don’t watch the news or read newspapers, heaven forbid that our supreme commander be exposed to a reality unfiltered by his aides.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Korea dumps the American Enterprise Institute

The Korea foundation which operates under the South Korean foreign Ministry has decided to stop funding our neocon anti-pals at the American Enterprise Institute. The Korea foundation had provided the right wing think tank with such famous alumni as Dick Cheney and John Bolton with over a million dollars in funds over the past 12 years but things have recently soured between the Korean government and our neocon buddies at the AEI. I know It's hard to believe the lovable nuts at the AEI could alienate anyone

read the article from the Digital Chosun(English edition)
This is not exactly a new revelation, anyone who watched coalition air activity before the invasion of Iraq could easily see that the activity went above and beyond what was needed to maintain the no fly zones, what is new about this story from the Times is that an American General is openly speaking about the pre-war air campaigns .Lieutenant General Michael Moseley states that the coalition flew over 21,000 sorties and dropped around 600 bombs on "carefully selected targets" which contradicts the ever popular Bush administration claim that American aircraft simply "responded when fired on". This does raises some(more) legality issues for the coalition.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bush's Empathy Squeeze

An Interesting article by Arlie Hochschild on a subject that I have often found fascinating(in the most awful way) How conservatives are able to enlist the support of the very people their actions hurt the most. A Good, Short read about a phenomena that every Democrat and Independent need to understand.

Bush's Empathy Squeeze