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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Friday-Sunday, May 5-7, 2006
A Bush Quote n the Lead
"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best,"
"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402 kilos) perch in my lake,"
-Bush when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001
The highlight of his presidency was catching a fish? What can I say, I am dumbfounded.
Privilege and Abuse
The Number One story on the news this past Friday night was that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and his ex-wife Joan crashes his car. Although the Capital police report said that the younger Kennedy's eyes were "watery" and his speech was "slurred", the Capital police didn't give the representative a field sobriety test. He has admitted an addiction to prescription drugs and is seeking help.
By the way, both Joan and Ted have admitted past problems with alcohol. In recent years, it should be noted, Senator Kennedy has taken steps to improve his life and take better care of himself. His wife, Victoria Reggie, and his attitude seem to be the things that have turned him around. He is noticeably thinner and apparently healthier in both mind and body. Patrick should follow his father's lead sooner rather than later. In admitting a problem, he might be taking that good, real first step.
A few weeks ago, Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself Cheney shot a friend in the face when he mistook him for a quail. (Or is that Quayle, as in former VP Dan Quayle?) Admitting having one drink, the man who was twice arrested (cited?) for drunk driving, and has never received or sought any help for alcoholism refused to see police the evening after the shooting and, in fact, didn't offer the police any of his time until ten o'clock the next morning, more than enough time to get the alcohol blood level down to legal limits. From my knowledge, the VP hadn't taken a field sobriety test even then.
It should also be noted that Cheney didn't accompany his friend, the man he shot in the face at close range (a fact they lied about originally, saying that Harry Whittington, a lawyer, fundraiser and contributor to the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party was a greater distance away than he actually was), to the hospital. The only reason I could think of not accompanying one of my friends to the hospital after I shot him is that I wouldn't want to be in a place where doctors could look at my gait, hear my slurred speech and test my alcoholic's blood.
President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush has admitted to certain indiscretions as a youth. His family name has gotten him out of several predicaments of his own, including a drunk driving charge in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Both of the Bush (43) daughters have been "in the news" as well. Both have been spotted while drinking under the legal age of 21, and have been known to be closer to their father, the frat boy, than to their mother, the seemingly squeaky clean first lady, Laura Bush.
And what of Laura Bush? A descendant of President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), the first lady has her own past that was swept under the table. On a clear, dry night in 1963, Laura Welch (Laura Bush) ran through a stop sign at (at least) 50 MPH and rammed her car into the Corvair of her "friend" Michael Douglas. The rumor surrounding the accident was that Miss Welch was dating Mr. Douglas and, that day, Douglas broke up with Miss Welch. That evening the accident occurred. at the time, there was the relationship between the two teenagers resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. Their breakup was Douglas' idea. There were no hard questions asked of Miss Welch. There was no field sobriety tests given to her either. The accident was ruled just that... an accident.
"It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large. To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it."
-Andrew Malcolm, the first lady's spokesman, in 2000
But Mrs. Bush did speak about it.
"I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing ... for the family involved and for me as well."
-Mrs. Bush, March 2000
I guess not wanting to talk about the death of an old boyfriend that you had caused, and using that same death for political spin are two different things.
The second story of the night was the Friday-afternoon-so-we-miss-the-weekday-papers story that former Representative and now-ex-CIA Director, Porter Goss (R-FL) is resigning his position as chief of the beleaguered spy agency. There was no reason given for Goss' departure.
I guess Mr. Goss doesn't want to spend more time with his family.
"He has led ably. He has a five-year plan to increase the analysts and operatives."
-Bush, with Goss right next to him
Then where is he going? Why is he gone after not even two-fifth of his five year plan is completed?
"I believe the agency is on a very even keel, sailing well. I honestly believe that we have improved dramatically."
Didn't we just get "terror warnings" from the department of homeland security? Aren't we involved in a "global war on terror" as President Bush and his cronies constantly remind us? Where is he going?
"As a result, this country will be more secure. We've got to win the war on terror, and the Central Intelligence Agency is a vital part of the war. So I thank you for your service."
WHERE IS HE GOING? WHY IS HE GOING?
The ties between Former Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham and Goss might be a coincidental accident, but we all know what Freud said. "There are no accidents."
As it turns out, "co-conspirator 1" from the Cunningham indictment has been identified as Brent Wilkes of ADCS Inc. Wilkes is "the college roommate at San Diego State University and long-time friend of a top CIA official promoted by Porter Goss... K. 'Dusty' Foggo"
(thanks to http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/003168.html).
Cunningham and Goss were on the House Intelligence Committee together and contracts were given to Wilkes' ADCS without much discussion. Wilkes was a huge "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party contributor and from just after the Fourth of July, 2003 through New Year's eve the following year (December 31, 2004), Wilke's gave in excess of $71,000 to various GOP PACS, candidates and causes.
Is this guy a pioneer money or what?
Mitchell Wade, former chairman of defense contractor MZM Inc, and another co-conspirator was a consultant to Wilke's company. It should also be noted that Wilke's other company's private jet was lent to both Cunningham and former GOP big shot Tom DeLay.
There are rumors of prostitutes in relation to Goss and Cunningham and a transportation company with contracts appropriated through the House Appropriations Committee responsible for things like that. Cunningham and Goss were both on that committee. All of the expenses necessary to run the house go through that committee and it is responsible for billions of dollars in expenditures. When DeLay left his post as House Majority Leader, he tried to eek his way back onto the committee (he was on it before). I guess it's hard to pass up on a good thing or just one more fling.
As I look at the failings of our leaders in Washington, DC I can't help but separate them into Red and Blue. It seems, at least of late, that when the Blue Democrats make a mistake they stand up immediately and take personal responsibility for their actions. Then they take steps to improve themselves.
When the Red Republicans are caught with their pants downs, so to speak, they deny, deny, deny; pass the buck; or simply blame the Democrats.
As I watch the main stream media Patrick Kennedy crucify y for his personal failings that hurt no one but himself, I wonder how they are going to make the young representative into a scapegoat for all that is wrong with the Bush administration.
They must wonder how they're going to keep his name in the papers and on TV until November.
More on Porter Goss
Josh Marshall alleges that privatized intelligence companies along with foreign intelligence agencies have been secretly conducting political operations INSIDE the United States. He believes this is at the heart of the Porter Goss resignation.
Warning, warning, warning - White House is rumored to be nominated General Hayden from NSA to replace Porter Goss. Hayden is the fascist behind the NSA wiretapping.
From Josh Marshall:
"Wilkes has deep ties into the CIA. The focal point of those ties is to Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the man Porter Goss appointed to the #3 position at CIA when he took over the Agency last year. Remember, Wilkes' scam was getting corrupt contracts deep in the 'black' world of intelligence and defense appropriations, where there's little or no oversight. Foggo was in the contracting and procurement field at the CIA. So you can see how he and Wilkes, who have been friends since high school, had plenty to talk about.
"The CIA wasn't the only place Wilkes and his protege Wade plied their corrupt trade. There were also in the mix contracting on the Bush Pentagon's extra-constitutional spying operations. And I am told that senior appointees at the DOD knew about their corruption but overlooked it.
"Now, since the Cunningham scandal got under, and particularly of late, there's been a big tug of war between federal law enforcement and the CIA over whether to really go after Wilkes. Probably a little more specificity is in order there, folks at CIA in the orbit of Foggo and presumably Goss."
Dear Mr. President:
Please let me take the time to hail the exit from government of Porter Goss and Scott McClellan.
The announcement of Porter Goss's resignation on Friday afternoon is very noteworthy. In business, this would indicate a firing. We can hope that Mr. Goss' departure represents a newfound willingness to hold poor performers accountable, but we must fear that Mr. Goss is merely being fed to the sharks to whitewash yet another Bush fiasco.
Mr. McClellan, in his last press conference, televised on C-Span, asserted that the public's confidence in the economy is increasing. As dumb today as he always is, Mr. McClellan does not recognize that this assertion is a tacit admission of the public's extreme anxiety and concern over the direction President Bush and the GOP controlled legislature has lead us in.
It is more likely the current upturn is the result of the shortness of time remaining for Bush and the GOP Congress to hurt us more than it is from any beneficial effects of Bush's policies. With only 2 1/2 years left of Bush, it is finally safe to invest in America again.
The government and the American people will be far better off without Mssrs. McClellan and Goss' impact as public officials.
THE ANTI-WAR MARCH THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN ACCORDING TO THE MEDIA
It was my democratic honor to participate in the jammed packed anti-war march in NYC last weekend. I jotted down some of the sentiments on signs, t-shirts, outfits, etc. that caught my eye. There were so many I only got a few…
-Bush is the Decider but we Need Someone Brighter
-Fighting for Peace is like F___ing for Virginity
-Drop Tuition Not Bombs (Brooklyn College students)
-Osama bin Forgotten
-Peace is Hot Bush is Not
-Drop Your Pants Not Bombs (think this was from college students as well!)
-No Child Left a Dime
-They are the Right Wing – We are the Rest of the Bird
-Leave No Billionaire Left Behind
From Daily Kos:
In the October 8th, 2001 CBS poll, Bush had 90% approve, 5% disapprove.
In less than 55 months, Bush has gone from 5% disapproval to 65% disapproval. For some reason this election stealing bastard was once very popular, but he blew it.
DISAPPROVAL UP 60 POINTS!!!!!!
Bush always said he was a uniter.
Health Care Crisis Growing Worst
More workers are passing when it comes to their companies' health insurance benefits because they can't afford the cost, a study says.
The percentage of eligible employees who enrolled in their companies' health insurance plans declined from 85.3 percent in 1998 to 80.3 percent in 2003. During that same time, insurance premiums for individuals jumped more than $1,000 nationally - from about $2,400 to about $3,400 a year.
Employers bore the brunt of that increase. They continue to pay 83 percent of the costs of their workers' health insurance. But workers are finding it harder to come up with their share, said the report, which was published Thursday and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota analyzed the numbers for the report and broke them down state by state. They looked at surveys that the federal government conducts each year with employers. They found the largest declines in coverage of private-sector workers occurred in New Jersey, 11.7 percent; Nebraska 10.5 percent; and Wisconsin, 9.4 percent.
-The Associates Press
The health care crisis is getting worst. By the way, the Rethuglicans in Congress are at it again. They are once again trying to pass legislation that prohibits state regulation on the health insurance companies. The excuse they are using is that state regulation makes it hard to form association health plans (AHP's). Such a change is likely to negatively impact everyone's insurance coverage. Typical Rethuglican response to a crisis - get rid of regulation and let the business that is gouging do even more gouging!
-In response to "Bush's March To War With Iran", Billie M. Spaight writes:
Nuking the Nukes: The Hypocrisy of WMD
I was catching up on this and saw Robert Scarpadane's comments about Iran. I totally agree with what he is saying. In fact, back when the whole WMD argument was being put forth by the Bushies about Iraq, what struck me was the total hypocrisy of it.
It never made sense to me that we are allowed to own lots of WMD and yet it is "bad" for other countries to have them. If it is wrong to have them--and I believe it is wrong--then it is wrong for any country to have them. Some countries should not be "more equal than others," as George Orwell would put it.
If you (I mean a hypothetical "you") live in a bad neighbhood and you are small and some big bully gets a set of brass knucks, are you going to just hide or get your own set of brass knucks just in case to protect yourself? Well, from Iraq and Iran's perspective, that's the situation. I'm not saying I like their governments or that I like their rhetoric. I don't. But I don't think our government or rhetoric is a whole lot better either. They have fanatical Muslims and we have fanatical Christians....where's the difference?
If we are supposed to be "superior" and take the "high ground," we cannot afford to say anything about anybody's else's WMD until we completely dispose of our own. You know the line about removing the mote in one's eye....
And the idea of nuking anybody is simply unthinkable, let alone nuking somebody else's nuke!!! Any of these things detonated is going to cause a lot more death and destruction than anybody bargained for. The direct hit area will be completely vaporized. The surrounding areas will be rubble and the people for many, many miles will suffer from the effects of the radiation. And then the weather will get messed up from the particles. (They don't call these things WMD for nothing!)
And, to nuke a nuke would double the effect. We'd not just be wiping out Iran but also the surrounding countries including our allies, such as Isreal.
And, does anybody want to face a nuclear winter? I don't. But if we nuke a nuke with a nuke, we are going to get that.
Didn't we learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Required Reading--John Hersey's book on the subject. It's enough to make anybody swear against nukes forever!
In response to Robert Chapman's "people coming here for honest gainful work as if they are doing something bad," Robert Scardapane writes:
Coming into the country without a visa is breaking the law. I suppose Robert Chapman believes in open borders. If he does, can we finally have a debate on open borders?
1) Are open borders practical from a security perspective?
2) What would open borders do to our economy?
3) Can our cities and towns manage the growth that would result from open borders?
4) Can our nation's infrastructure support unlimited population growth?
These are all valid concerns. The open borders advocates need to answer these questions honestly. I am a supporter of higher levels of legal immigration but I think there are practical limits to how many people our nation can accommodate at any given time.
In response to "It isn't like big oil is losing money over this gas crisis without a shortage (have you seen any lines at the pumps?). They're doing just fine," Pat Thompson writes:
Just you wait, there will be lines. And once Americans have experienced "NO GAS TODAY" and have to line up overnight to get some in the a.m., they will be ready for $4 a gallon. Does anyone remember the 70's? It's a tool they will use to get us "accustomed" to the new higher prices. And don't expect this government to do anything, because this is what they were put into office to protect -- and you "dance with who brought you".
In response to "In the wake of the scandals of the Bush administration, (the special counsel's office, which is being phased out) will be necessary again", Pat Thompson writes:.
So true. We will surely need an independent counsel again. It will take the election of a Democratic President in '08.
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