Monday, July 21, 2008

in my dreams

Kucinich would get his way and soon. One great bonus of having both Bush and Cheney disgraced and escorted out of office would be that all the bums Bush is sure to pardon on his last day in power would instead face at least some of the justice they have coming to them.

UPDATE: Just like I told you, isn't it? Write your representative and your senator and pester Pelosi: we must tie this bum's hands with impeachment proceedings IMMEDIATELY.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Help wanted, must have strong stomach

photo credit:
Republicans in desperate need of $ for the Bush Presidential Library.

By the time you read this, the covers may have been peeled off of more of Stephen Payne's web of influence. TPM Muckraker, for one, has a link to the Times of London Jul 13 article which has video of Payne soliciting a bribe...but there is so much more slime on this guy and Lindsay Bayerstein did the digging to find it. You will need a large sheet of paper to graph all the dotted lines of little-disclosed influence and conflict of interest.

If you read Lindsay's post, you will get a sense of the depth and breadth to which influence peddling permeates the Bush much so that Republicans are inured to it and can't understand what the fuss is all about. The lesson here, as far as I am concerned is not for the Republicans, who are highly resistant to lessons and will be paying for their ethics in government with a long retirement. It is for Obama: he must take an ax and a chainsaw to the list of contractors and the organizational structure of DHS when he takes office. The extent of the connections and of free loading free enterprise advocates that has encrusted our government in the last 8 years will take colossal effort and require those who can temper their outrage enough to effectively deal with the red tape and lawyers that have been wrapped around vital government functions like the windings on a mummy. DHS in particular has become a massive waste of money. I always thought it was a waste of money. How obvious must it be, how much outrageous and scandalous crap do you have to hear of about that department's doings before you have voter's revolt? The last thing that bunch of grafters has done is actually make anyone safer. Ask the survivors of Katrina....if you can locate them. Does DHS actually stand for Department of Habitual Scamming?

How do the Republicans manage to still wield so much unethical influence two years after they lost congress and saw half a dozen of their heaviest hitters indicted or even convicted? For the Republicans there appears to be a corollary of their "less government oversight, less government period" mantra and it might be phrased "more tax money for private and unaccountable corporations and institutions to collect under the guise of providing the services shorn from federal and state mandates". In a word, graft. The mechanism that they seem to use as well as the public offices they took over is a network of shadow government bureaucracies and think tanks: the PNAC did what the State Department should have been doing, Shirlington Limo supplied the babes, Black Water did what no one should do. Oops, those weren't the government services we cut! Sorry America! Vote for McCain, who continues the Republican blindness to where the line should be between private and public interest and maybe some Republican will finally get it right. Whadda ya think? Don't you suppose exactly repeating the ethical tone of the last 8 years could some how improve our nation's prospects?

The remnants of Republican powerful will have all retreated into the woodwork, buried in civilian contracting organizations and lobbying outfits and it will be difficult to touch them in those hideouts because we do have freedom of speech, at least, rich conservatives do. The only salvation will be to ruthlessly cut government use of private contractors, severing the connections by which Republican's shadow government calls many of the shots.

Note the theme: Payne is a long time friend of George Bush the second and Wilkes and Foggo were chums since their high school days in San Diego. One thing to be watchful of then is the use, officially or unofficially of long standing social connections to form parallel connections via which money can flow from tax payers pockets.

Also requiring great intestinal fortitude:
And what, would that bribe sought by Mr. Payne have paid for? Why, its the glorious new Dubya Presidnetial Library!

I hereby open the comments for any suggestions of appropriate materials to place in that library. One way to keep down the costs [and I suspect only a few oil patch buddies are likely to chip in so cost is an issue] would be to limit the books to volumes written by historians in praise of the president's guidance of our nation and books George Bush has actually read.

Of course photos of high points of Bush's illustrious service will be a big part of the collection. I am fond of the image you all may have seen of Dufus in chief yanking on a wall panel in China which he took to be a door. But my current favorite is this touching recent image of Bush finally finding someone who can't say no to him and with whom he can safely do what Fox News considered a terrorist code gesture:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What "too old to run a country" will look like:

photo credit: Huffington Post
Phil Gramm was never smart enough to run an economy and had a lot to do with ruining one. John McCain was never smart enough to run a country either. Habit replaces vigor. McCain is just snapping back instead of thinking. I say that though I am pushing 60 myself...tough. But being either too afraid or too stupid to admit a mistake shows an ossified soul, a mind brittle with age. Nobody being perfectly smart, I'll take the one who can admit mistakes. The ability to lead with humility or the lack of it is, despite a determined but futile campaign to paint Obama as "elitist", showing up as a strong differentiator between the choices we are offered for president. If it is not elitist to tell voters they are head cases for thinking the economy is in the toilet, telling them in effect that they are to blame, then I don't know what that word means.

McCain sounds like any other senescent old fart: self satisfied with his recollection of his glories and good deeds, his missteps visible to all but himself, striking the poses from memory but grown quite vague on the purposes. You can get a speech like his at many an assisted living facility.

If Politico has unpublished a reaffirmation of that idiotic pronouncement, then the ministry of truth over in McSame land is reaching hard to expunge the "mental recession" remark from every record they can reach. Lets see if they get HuffPo to take it back. Or me for that matter. When I search "mccain gramm 'mental recession'", in Google news, I find 461 matches...the truth machine over at the McSame HQ better get busy. When I first read an AP or Reuters headline on the gaff [it was a mistake? Are you sure? is McCain sure?] I thought I'd got the Onion by mistake and they were coining a euphemism for McCain's intellectual deterioration or the collective IQ of his economic advisers. Hmmm, that latter may be the case, Onion or not.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Its not funny

Underneath all the gales of laughter among the handful of people who even noticed this news item, there is the nasty little fact that someone in YOUR government actually considered the application of mandatory tracking devices that would treat all air passengers worse than a dog wearing an "invisible fence" collar.
I can't blame people for not taking this very seriously. The WashTimes is a Moonie-owned rag that few bother to read. But their writer Jeff Denning appears to have done his homework, even if he did it at that Halloween party we call the Department of Fatherland Homeland Security.

I eventually noticed that I was adding almost nothing to the general outcry against the corruption, incompetence, war mongering, bankrupting of the republic, pollution and scuttling of science that the Republicans embrace, represent and champion. The look likely to face at least some of the defeats they so deserve without another word from me. I go back and forth about posting at all for that reason. But I have to point out the fit-to-pattern when there is an in the flesh example of the "culture of corruption" with which progressives generally charge the Bush League.

If you read the article, you see the taser bracelet is real, the DHS official's letter expressing interest in the device is real and you have to assume that saner minds somehow prevailed in keeping this contraption from showing up at the security checkpoints of your local airport. Who would be stupid and fascist enough to think this disgusting idea would fly? Who would be stupid enough to hire the person who was stupid enough to entertain the idea in the first place? Who would take a congressional mandate to coordinate domestic security in the form of new cabinet level department and turn it into an opportunity to waste billions by appointing nitwits who have no respect for their fellow human beings?

Its just a symptom, people. You can't laugh it off. You have to clean the wound in your political establishments, cut out the infections of greed and selfishness and corporate privilege. You have bind the wounds with transparency and deep commitments of government, both in its persons and its processes, to work for direct benefits to common citizens [jobs, health care, transportation, education] rather than vague promises to attack abstract synthetic urgencies like "security" that have so far only benefited the purveyors of guns, planes, mercenary security forces, missiles, toxic house trailers and religiously motivated editing services who would censor scientific papers. Its not one damn bit funny.

Monday, July 07, 2008

How convenient for the Republicans

Lost your house to foreclosure? Guess what! You lost your vote too!

If there's Election Day disorder brewing for 2008, it might well be rooted in the nation's mortgage-foreclosure crisis. In Columbus, across Ohio and in other key presidential battlegrounds, more people losing their homes means more registered to vote from addresses where they no longer live.

And those would be exactly the people Sen. John McSame wants desperately to keep away from the polls: people who have felt the full crushing weight of Republican neglect and screwed up priorities. The stats in Ohio are that less than half of those who are forced to move succeed in reestablishing a proper voter registration.

[hat tip to Mark Crispin Miller's News From Underground.]