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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Friday-Sunday, September 29 - October 1, 2006
Live Boy - Dead Girl
There is only one way to say this. Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) wants to, and has actively searched for, under-aged boys to have sex with. In this case, the boy was a high-school aged page. Rep. Foley has broken two rules: First, he broke the "you don't crap where you eat" rule; and second, he broke the famed "live by - dead girl" rule. One's political career is over if he (and this is a "he" thing) is caught with either. Does anyone remember former Rep. Gary Condit who was caught up in the death of a former assistant (Chandra Levy) when she went missing, and then was found dead? It turned out that he had an affair with the young woman and has since fallen off the face of the Earth. He was even considered a suspect in the young woman's death.
Foley has been caught with his hand in a sick cookie jar. This isn't about being gay. This is about a sense of invincibility and entitlement that many of today's politicians seem to feel they have. And it seems to be happening disproportionably to the Republicans. Foley, with overwhelming evidence against him. resigned immediately.
I guess absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And get this: The House ethics committee couldn't decide if they should pursue the issue of Foley's chasing under-aged boys for sexual liaisons. Their reasons would be considered funny if they weren't so insulting:
-Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) said the boy's parents requested that the House not pursue an ethics investigation
-Alexander felt as though he had to consult with the House Republican campaign organization, and its leader, Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), not the ethics committee, regarding whether or nit he should keep this whole thing under is hat. To quote Carl Forti, Reynolds's' spokesman, “We are not characterizing conversations that Congressman Reynolds may have had or may not have had with other members of Congress on that subject.” This wasn't their choice to make.
-Foley "personally assured" Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) that he was merely "mentoring" the boy. Shimkus is the chairman of the Page Board which overseas the congressional work-study program.
-And finally, the Republicans who knew about this decided not to let House Speaker, Dennis Hastert (R-IL) know. According to Hastert's spokesman, Ron Bonjean, the Speaker didn't even know about it. I guess the thought process is "LA-LA-LA-LA - I CAN'T HEAR YOU - I CAN;T SEE YOU - LA-LA-LA-LA!), or, as I like to call it, the Sergeant Schultz defense: "I hear nothing; I see nothing."
We are all familiar with the Republicans in congress strategy of doing nothing and only repeating the White House's rhetoric, but this is more than I can stand. It has become a congress of Sgt. Schultz's. Maybe they should use the Bush tactic and state "For the sake of national security...)
Although the Florida ballots have already been printed with Foley's name on them, there is still good news for the Republicans: All votes for Foley will instead go to the new GOP candidate in his now vacant district. The GOP is a shoo-in for the pedophile vote.
“We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe,”
-Hastert, in a "close the barn door after the horses ran away" statement
“Do I make you a little horny?”
“You in your boxers, too? ... Well, strip down and get relaxed.”
-Foley, in an instant message to another male page
-Foley had sent an email to the page from Louisiana and asked how he was doing after Hurricane Katrina: That's a nice thing to do.
-Foley asked when the boy's birthday is: Maybe a little creepy, but, after all, he was his "mentor".
-Foley then wanted a picture of the boy: Now THAT'S creepy.
“I am back in Florida now...its nice here...been raining today...it sounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks...how old are you now?... how are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me an email pic of you ,"
-Foley to the page
And in the most incredible "You can't make this stuff up" moment of this whole affair, Foley is chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. I'd lie to know how this guy gets that appointment. I'd like to know how nobody in congress had any inkling that something looked unusual. In an email to another page in Alexander's office, the electronically molested boy described the Foley email incident as "sick" 13 times.
Asking for my picture, "This freaked me out."
-The page in the email to his colleague
“He’s such a nice guy, acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym...what's school like for you this year?”
-Foley wrote about another boy to the page
“The House of Representatives has an obligation to protect the teenagers who come to Congress to learn about the legislative process,”
-A statement from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (The CREW)
That should go without saying.
Foley should be prosecuted and anyone who turned a blind eye toward these events would be held responsible as well.
"Congressman Caligula" should be in jail and on his own pedophile list.
NIE and LIES
There can be no doubt that the war in iraq, and the Bush administration's poor handling of it, are directly responsible for the growing terrorist activity around the world.
President Bush said he won't
politicize the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). This is the NIE that
stated the actions of the United States, through the policies of the Bush
administration, has made the situation in Iraq much worse. But Bush won't
politicize it. Bush won't release it, except for parts that he deemed necessary
to clear things up. But he won't politicize it.
Isn't NOT releasing the whole NIE, except for parts that "clarify" it to make you and your administration politicizing it? I almost fell out of my chair.
The NIE is "a very severe indictment of, not just the administration, but where we as a country have found ourselves five years after 9/11. It says the jihad is spreading, expanding and intensifying”
-Robert Hutchings, original head of the National Intelligence Council
Releasing the complete NIE would "compromise the independence of people doing intelligence analysis. If they think their work is constantly going to be released to the public they are going to pull their punches,"
-White House press secretary Tony Snow
Where were those word when Valerie Plame's name was released as retribution towards her husband, Joe Wilson? Do the people who were working with Ms. Plame, a WMD expert working covertly, feel safer? Are they even alive?
The Bush policy toward Iraq has made it a "cause celebre" for jihadists,
The NIE is only a "snapshot,"
Funny thing about snapshots. When you keep taking "snapshots" of the same horrific accident, they're all pretty bad.
The "global jihadist movement — which includes al-Qaeda, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells — is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts."
While the Bushies might point to the NIE and say "See? We told you so." and cite it as proof positive that "We need to fight them over there so we dolt have to fight them here," they will never admit to the fact that the growing threat has been fertilized by Bush and the GOP. Simply, it is their fault.
"There is no question that many of our policies have inflamed our enemies' hatred toward the U.S. and allowed violence to flourish. But it is the mistakes we made in Iraq — the lack of planning, the mismanagement and the complete incompetence of our leadership — that has done the most damage to our security."
-Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Instead of attempting to correct the issues which their failed policies have created, look for the Bushies to blame anyone and everyone for their failures. Never admit a mistake and always pass the buck. That's the Bush motto.
As I have said before, a dangerous Iraq is just a license for the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores", including their war profiteering buddies, to steal money.
Lie and Spy
Just another day at the office spying on loved ones. New York State Senatorial hopeful... make that gubernatorial hopeful... I mean attorney General hopeful, Jeanine Pirro had former New York City Police commissioner Bernard Kerik wiretap her husband's phone conversations to see if he was having an affair.
I wonder if, at any time during these taped phone chats, Kerik heard a whisper of a crime that Pirro's husband, Albert, might have been planning. Remember that Kerik, at this time, was a private citizen. Remember, too, that Albert Pirro, and his brother Anthony were found guilty by a federal jury for 34 counts of tax evasion. The sum was about $1.2 billion, or about a week's expenses for the war in Iraq.
Mr. Spirro, by the way, was an influential Republican lobbyist able to use his wife's name to open doors. I guess one of those doors wasn't to their bedroom.
I bet you all want to know how Mrs. Pirro's plan to check out her husband was found out, look no further than the US Attorney's office who overheard a phone chat of their own between the Westchester County District Attorney and Kerik.
As Homer Simpson might say, "D'oh!"
US attorney for the Southern District, Michael J. Garcia, a Republican appointee, said the investigation isn't politically motivated. Mrs. Pirro had this to offer:
It's a “political witch hunt and smear campaign,”
See? They do eat their own.
By the way, it isn't like Mrs. Pirro didn't have reason to believe that her husband was having an affair. After all, he did father a child in an earlier one and, let's face it, isn't the most trustful guy on the planet. But that's still doesn't excuse the Misses from abusing her power and connections, and probably taxpayer money, for a look-and-see into her husband's cheating life.
"WNBC said the conversations included profanity-laden rants by Ms. Pirro about her husband, as well as politically damaging remarks. At one point, according to WNBC, she is said to be heard dismissing the attorney general’s job as a 'been there, done that kind of thing' for her; at another, she suggests she could be governor if not for Mr. Pirro’s baggage. Ms. Pirro had initially run to unseat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, but pulled out of that race late last year at the urging of party leaders.
"Ms. Pirro blamed for the revelations a man far less known to most New Yorkers, Elliott B. Jacobson, an assistant United States attorney who prosecuted Mr. Pirro in 2000 and sent him to jail for 11 months. She said Mr. Jacobson’s motives were “personal and highly improper” and, as a result, federal agents were now 'prying into the personal lives of married couples.'"
-Patrick Healy from The New York Times
"Let me reiterate my disappointment with the United States attorney’s office for allowing an unethical overzealous prosecutor with a partisan political agenda using taxpayers’ money and public resources to pursue a baseless investigation into a marital situation and seek to affect the outcome of an election,”
Hasn't she heard? It's "okay" for the feds to look into her "Stuff". Ask any fellow torture-voting, phone-tapping, personal-info-stealing Republican on the Hill. He'll tell you, Jeanine.
“Because the investigation is ongoing, we will not comment as to its substance, except to say that we do not take politics into account in deciding either the subject matter or timing of our investigations,”
-Garcia, a Bush appointee
Garcia better be careful. You know how the Bushies protect their own... when they're not eating them.
“The political issue is not whether she broke any laws, but the fact that she would think about doing this to her husband raises questions about her judgment and about whether you want that individual as attorney general,”
-Edward F. Cox, a GOP primary opponent and Richard Nixon son-in-law
I disagree... I want to know if she broke laws, Mr. Cox.
Many a politico had a family member they had to overcome. Bill Clinton had Roger; Jimmy Carter had Billy; Ronald Reagan had all of his children; George H.W. Bush had George W. Bush; and George W. Bush has... well... George W. Bush as well. In this case, Pirro needs to overcome herself.
It is a selfless task when an injured partner forgives a spouse for a marital indiscretion. (Unless you're a Republican speaking of Mrs. Clinton. Then it's somehow a character flaw.) But in this case, the flaw might be on both sides of the Pirro family and the children, and the people of New York state are caught in the middle.
Baby Kean Breaks Promise to Military Families
On August 14 of this year, representatives from Military Families Speak Out met with State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. During this meeting, in which he looked into the faces of United States citizens who have family members currently serving in the US military, he refused to answer their direct questions about what his plans were for our troops abroad if he were to win the election in November. Let's make that clear: A man who aspires to the United States Senate refuses to answer the family members of the troops he's willing to send into harm's way. He insisted at the time that he would put his answers in writing, but later changed his mind about that because he was too sure it would be used against him and MFSO wasn't going to vote for him anyway. How can we trust Baby Kean to stand up for us in Washington if we can't even trust him to keep a simple promise to answer questions to the families of the people he wants to send away to die?
His refusal to provide answers to the families of those serving in Bush's illegal and immoral war in Iraq is in and of itself ignorant and arrogant on his part. Does he believe that he would not have to represent these people and only represent "Big Money" Republicans from places like Morris and Somerset Counties? Knowing Baby Kean's background, I can see too clearly where his arrogance grows - since neither he, nor people of his "upper class constituency", will ever have to bleed or even make the slightest sacrifice for this country. They just reap the economic benefits of Bush's war and policies. I believe he has only disdain for the class of people who serve in the Armed Forces, whether they enlist for patriotic or economic purposes.
Like many from that strata of society, they believe that being a senator or governor is a birthright, not something they have to earn. It's telling that Baby Kean never has won an election - neither to the State Assembly nor to the State Senate - before he's been appointed to it. By refusing to deal in good faith with the military families, he is acting like a little Lord Fauntleroy that always had a silver spoon in his mouth. This is certainly not the behavior of someone who deserves to be a U.S. Senator.
-By Ken Dalton (President for the New Jersey chapter of Veterans for Peace, and veteran of the United States Navy), as forwarded by Robert Scardapane
Olberman Points at Fox
Keith Olbermann pulled no punches and launched another smack down on Bush and FOX News… with the following: Special Comment: Are YOURS the actions of a true American?
And finally tonight, a Special Comment about President Clinton's interview. The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong. It is not essential that a past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.
It is not important that the current President's "portable public chorus" has described his predecessor's tone as "crazed."
Our tone should be crazed. The nation's freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation's "marketplace of ideas" is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would've quit. Nonetheless.
The headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.
"At least I tried," he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. "That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried."
Thus in his supposed emeritus years, has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by anyone, in these last five long years.
-The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama Bin Laden before 9/11.
-The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.
-The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."
-The Bush Administration… did… not… try.-
Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest "pass" for incompetence and malfeasance, in American history!
President Roosevelt was rightly blamed for ignoring the warning signs - some of them, 17 years old - before Pearl Harbor.
President Hoover was correctly blamed for - if not the Great Depression itself - then the disastrous economic steps he took in the immediate aftermath of the Stock Market Crash.
Even President Lincoln assumed some measure of responsibility for the Civil War - though talk of Southern secession had begun as early as 1832.
But not this President.
To hear him bleat and whine and bully at nearly every opportunity, one would think someone else had been President on September 11th, 2001 - or the nearly eight months that preceded it.
That hardly reflects the honesty nor manliness we expect of the Executive.
But if his own fitness to serve is of no true concern to him, perhaps we should simply sigh and keep our fingers crossed, until a grown-up takes the job three Januarys from now.
Except… for this:
After five years of skirting even the most inarguable of facts - that he was President on 9/11 and he must bear some responsibility for his,
and our, unreadiness, Mr. Bush has now moved, unmistakably and without conscience or shame, towards re-writing history, and attempting to make the responsibility, entirely Mr. Clinton's.
Of course he is not honest enough to do that directly.
As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him, by proxy.
Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News, Friday afternoon.
Consider the timing: The very same weekend the National Intelligence Estimate would be released and show the Iraq war to be the fraudulent failure it is - not a check on terror, but fertilizer for it!
The kind of proof of incompetence, for which the administration and its hyenas at Fox need to find a diversion, in a scapegoat.
It was the kind of cheap trick which would get a journalist fired - but a propagandist, promoted:
Promise to talk of charity and generosity; but instead launch into the lies and distortions with which the Authoritarians among us attack the virtuous and reward the useless.
And don't even be professional enough to assume the responsibility for the slanders yourself; blame your audience for "e-mailing" you the question.
Mr. Clinton responded as you have seen.
He told the great truth un-told… about this administration's negligence, perhaps criminal negligence, about Bin Laden.
He was brave.
Then again, Chris Wallace might be braver still. Had I - in one moment surrendered all my credibility as a journalist - and been irredeemably humiliated, as was he, I would have gone home and started a new career selling seeds by mail.
The smearing by proxy, of course, did not begin Friday afternoon.
Disney was first to sell-out its corporate reputation, with "The Path to 9/11."
Of that company's crimes against truth one needs to say little. Simply put: someone there enabled an Authoritarian zealot to belch out Mr. Bush's new and improved history.
The basic plot-line was this: because he was distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton failed to prevent 9/11.
The most curious and in some ways the most infuriating aspect of this slapdash theory, is that the Right Wingers who have advocated it - who try to sneak it into our collective consciousness through entertainment, or who sandbag Mr. Clinton with it at news interviews - have simply skipped past its most glaring flaw.
Had it been true that Clinton had been distracted from the hunt for Bin Laden in 1998 because of the Lewinsky nonsense - why did these same people not applaud him for having bombed Bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan and Sudan on August 20th of that year? For mentioning Bin Laden by name as he did so?
-That day, Republican Senator Grams of Minnesota invoked the movie "Wag The Dog."
-Republican Senator Coats of Indiana questioned Mr. Clinton's judgment.
-Republican Senator Ashcroft of Missouri - the future Attorney General - echoed Coats.
-Even Republican Senator Arlen Specter questioned the timing.
And of course, were it true Clinton had been "distracted" by the Lewinsky witch-hunt - who on earth conducted the Lewinsky witch-hunt? Who turned the political discourse of this nation on its head for two years?
Who corrupted the political media?
Who made it impossible for us to even bring back on the air, the counter-terrorism analysts like Dr. Richard Haass, and James Dunegan, who had warned, at this very hour, on this very network, in early 1998, of cells from the Middle East who sought to attack us, here?
Who preempted them… in order to strangle us with the trivia that was… "All Monica All The Time"?
Who… distracted whom?
This is, of course, where - as is inevitable - Mr. Bush and his henchmen prove not quite as smart as they think they are.
The full responsibility for 9/11 is obviously shared by three administrations, possibly four.
But, Mr. Bush, if you are now trying to convince us by proxy that it's all about the distractions of 1998 and 1999, then you will have to face a startling fact that your minions may have hidden from you.
The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton… but by the same people who got you… elected President.
Thus instead of some commendable acknowledgment that you were even in office on 9/11 and the lost months before it… we have your sleazy and sloppy rewriting of history, designed by somebody who evidently redd the Orwell playbook too quickly.
Thus instead of some explanation for the inertia of your first eight months in office, we are told that you have kept us "safe" ever since - a statement that might range anywhere from Zero, to One Hundred
We have nothing but your word, and your word has long since ceased to mean anything.
And, of course, the one time you have ever given us specifics about what you have kept us safe from, Mr. Bush - you got the name of the supposedly targeted Tower in Los Angeles… wrong.
Thus was it left for the previous President to say what so many of us have felt; what so many of us have given you a pass for in the months and even the years after the attack:
-You did not try.
-You ignored the evidence gathered by your predecessor.
-You ignored the evidence gathered by your own people.
-Then, you blamed your predecessor.
That would be the textbook definition… sir, of cowardice.
To enforce the lies of the present, it is necessary to erase the truths of the past.
That was one of the great mechanical realities Eric Blair - writing as George Orwell - gave us in the novel "1984."
The great philosophical reality he gave us, Mr. Bush, may sound as familiar to you, as it has lately begun to sound familiar to me.
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power…
"Power is not a means; it is an end.
"One does not establish a dictatorship to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
"The object of persecution, is persecution. The object of torture, is
torture. The object of power… is power."
Earlier last Friday afternoon, before the Fox ambush, speaking in the far different context of the closing session of his remarkable Global Initiative, Mr. Clinton quoted Abraham Lincoln's State of the Union
address from 1862.
"We must disenthrall ourselves."
Mr. Clinton did not quote the rest of Mr. Lincoln's sentence. He might well have.
"We must disenthrall ourselves - and then… we shall save our country."
And so has Mr. Clinton helped us to disenthrall ourselves, and perhaps enabled us, even at this late and bleak date… to save… our… country.
The "free pass" has been withdrawn, Mr. Bush…
You did not act to prevent 9/11.
We do not know what you have done, to prevent another 9/11.
You have failed us - then leveraged that failure, to justify a purposeless war in Iraq which will have, all too soon, claimed more American lives than did 9/11.
You have failed us anew in Afghanistan.
And you have now tried to hide your failures, by blaming your predecessor.
And now you exploit your failure, to rationalize brazen torture - which doesn't work anyway; which only condemns our soldiers to water-boarding; which only humiliates our country further in the world; and which no true American would ever condone, let alone advocate. And there it is, sir:
Are yours the actions of a true American?
I'm K.O., good night, and good luck
-Forwarded by Victoria A. Brownworth
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