Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why they want Craig to disappear. Now!

Several Republican Senators and Representatives, along with a unified chorus of right-wing media mouthpieces and the homophobic "religious" organizations metastasizing through the body politic, are screaming for Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign his Senate seat immediately. Read this if you don't know the story.

At first blush, you might think that the GOP is aghast at the thought of a Senator convicted of a crime sullying the spotless reputation of the Senate, and that the others calling for his head are doing so because they truly hate gays and don't believe God intended for abominations like Craig to exist, much less hold a position of high office in a Christian nation. But things are rarely as they seem, and you would be wrong.

All these fine folks are concerned not with his homosexuality or his guilty plea, but something far different, and far more self-serving.

They simply will not tolerate anyone whose actions expose their fraud, putting their vote-getting and money-making operations at risk, and they are in full damage control mode. Can't have cracks in the foundation lest the house fall down.

To give you an idea of the amount of money generated by religious groups that spew inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric, read this article by Jon Ponder at Pensito Review, here.

To put the GOP's position in perspective, consider that these religious groups turn out in huge numbers to vote for the party that espouses their version of "family values". It is even fair to say that Bush would not be President if not for the "hate" vote turning out in Ohio in 2004 because there was an "anti-gay" amendment on the Ohio ballot. Without their votes, all of the voter fraud and suppression perpetrated by the Republicans would not have been enough to keep the state from going to John Kerry.

So, the Republicans and the organized homophobes are acting solely out of pragmatic self-interest to prove their "righteousness" to the believers and keep them in line. But wait! There's more!

If Craig doesn't resign, the Republicans will almost certainly lose his Senate seat, beacause even the "idahomophobes"will be pissed off enough to vote for a Democrat if they have to stare at Craig for another year. If he does resign, the Idaho Governor can appoint a Republican to replace him, giving the GOP a better chance of retaining the seat.

Democratic Representative Barney Frank, an openly gay man from Massachusetts, is calling for Craig to finish his term. Frank is a nice guy, and may be showing solidarity with Craig, but he
more likely wants him to stick around as a kind of "necrotizing microbe" eating away the right-wing base. Smart cookie.

Fred Phelps to deliver Senate prayer

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) has so far resisted demands from Senate Republicans that he resign in the wake of news that he had been busted for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in an airport restroom.

By wild coincidence, Reverend Fred Phelps, internationally renowned homophobe, who rumor has it hates fags, will deliver the invocation opening the Senate's daily session on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) denies any attempt at coercion, saying that Phelps' appearance was scheduled months ago, and that Phelps preaches a Christian message that all right-thinking Americans should take to heart.

Senator Craig said he welcomes Phelps because "I hate fags too, ya know".

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Larry Craig claims Mr I Da Ho crown

Republican Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) sits on the board of the NRA and is one of their strongest supporters in the Senate, but is more famously known for his long political career as a "gay-basher", who has worked tirelessly pushing punitive anti-gay legislation. He is a career right-winger who made his "bone" playing to the hate crowd.

However, turns out the NRA's front man can't even handle his "pee-shooter". The poor guy was caught attempting to bite off more than he could chew. He was arrested in a few months ago for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport restroom. He pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge, paid a $500 fine and got a years probation. Read all about it, here and here . You may also want to watch the supermarket tabloids for the headline Cop Nabs Knob-Copper in Restroom Caper.

The only real point to all this sophomoric sarcasm is simple-- I take great pleasure in demeaning every right-wing hypocrite that gets exposed for what they are. I truly don't give the slightest damn about his sexual preference, but the lasting harm done by his lies bothers me to the point of shaking rage. This SOB "crotch potato" is too cowardly to admit what he did, and is coming up with tortured excuses and denials to save his political skin. In light of the arresting officer's compelling testimony, Craig's excuses are really pathetic, and the voters in Idaho might now realize that his claimed moral authority is more like an "oral authority".

With Larry Craig maybe blowing his career, and Bill Sali, a Republican representative from Idaho exposed as a "Christian reconstructionist" who won't hesitate to shred the Constitution, The State of Idaho has some serious problems.

If Idaho continues to elect dangerous scum like these two, it might be necessary to force them to secede from the United States. I hope they clean house and blast these "spudniks" from orbit before it's too late.

UPDATE: Carpe Baloney has just learned that Larry Craig, whose official residence is Eagle, Idaho, also owns property in the cities of Boysee and Pokeafellow. A visit to the addresses we found shows the properties to be un-improved except for a portable toilet on each lot.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Premier Nikita Cheney and the GOP Politburo

Every so often I fall into an introspective funk, where my natural tendency for trying to understand other people without being judgemental does battle with my loathing for everything the Bush/Cheney/GOP power structure stands for.

I've ranted and raved, pissed and moaned, gnashed my teeth and beat my breast for a long time now, enraged over what I see as the dismantling of our Constitutional government exemplified by an unconscionable Executive branch power grab abetted by a compliant Congress.

I actually spend time though, wondering if I'm off-base, being too harsh with my criticism, and just not seeing things correctly. Well, I needn't bother any more.

Read the Think Progress article, here.

As expected Senator Leahy is losing patience with the White House refusal to hand over documents, and things are slooowwwly coming to a head. Another 15 months maybe. But that's not what has upped my dander. It is this:

Leahy said that the administration’s stonewalling amounted to “contempt of the valid order of the Congress,” and pointed out that these subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes. In fact, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the conservative-led 109th Congress, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) also attempted to ask questions about the program’s legal justifications. But Vice President Cheney personally barred him from issuing subpoenas:

In fact, we were about to issue subpoenas then and one of the senators came to our meeting and said that the vice president had met with the Republican senators and told them they were not allowed to issue subpoenas.

In the 109th Congress, when the Senate Judiciary Committee was led by Arlen Specter, they intended to issue subpoenas to get information about the NSA's citizen snooping program, Cheney BARRED them, told them they couldn't, and so they didn't.

DAMMIT ANYWAY! For one thing, no officer of the Executive branch has the right to tell anyone in the Legislative branch what they can and cannot do. That's what the separation of powers is all about! For another thing, why did those cheesy spineless bastards let him get away with it? Is Republican party discipline is so strong that they are willing to destroy our democracy rather than risk offending Bush and Cheney? Apparently so.

Not one of them exhibited the courage to place duty to our country over party loyalty. If any of those senators had any ethics, any integrity at all, they would have issued subpoenas and articles of impeachment before Cheney's ass had hit the exit.

But no. To a man, they treated the oaths they took at their swearing-in ceremonies as nothing more than formalities to be gotten out of the way so they could begin partying with their campaign donors.

Screw 'em all. They're lower than dirt.

Sali's apology rings hollow.

Freshman Representative Keith Ellison(D-MN) is the first Muslim in Congress. He has , at least so far, comported himself well in the face of the right-wings vicious attacks based on his religious beliefs. He is a man of peace, and it shows.

However the attacks haven't let up, and the most recent, by Rep. Bill Sali(R-ID), may be the most disturbing of all. Read about it here, here, and here.

Sali apologized for his anti-Muslim remarks, way after the fact, but never backed down from his stated belief that the U.S. was founded on Christian principles. His own website makes it very clear that he is not your ordinary bigot, but a man who holds the belief that Christians should rule this country.

I am upset for several reasons. His statements about our Founding Fathers are patently absurd and untrue. Anyone with a shred of intellectual curiosity can discover for themselves in about a minute that the framers of the Constitution were determined above all else to prohibit the rise of a national religion. They were in the main not Christians but deists, and the principles they espoused were not Christian but universal principles found in most of the worlds major religions, and which in truth evolved from the dawn of humanity, and were merely codified in religious texts such as the Bible.

The reconstructionists, like Sali, are "hellbent" to overturn our Constitution. That Sali swore an oath to protect and defend our Constitution, and says flatly that he respects the right of others to practice any religion they choose sure sounds good, but his stated beliefs belie his words. He can't have it both ways, and cannot be trusted . If he is ever made to choose between our Constitution and his beliefs, how do you think he would act? That he didn't have any qualms about attacking another member of Congress should give you a clue.

Which brings me to my next point. How did he get elected? Are the majority of voters in his district stupid or traitorous, or both? The scary fact is that Sali aint flying solo here. There are millions of Americans who buy into this dangerous reconstructionist rot, goaded and encouraged by their "religious " leaders, and other authority figures such as Bill Sali who fan the flames of Christian superiority.

It might be that Idaho's 1st Congressional district is simply overloaded with these people, and Sali's election was a statistical anomaly, or maybe there was enough voter fraud and suppression to tilt the vote count his way, but regardless of the reason, our democracy is ill-served by him and others like him. They are a "real and present danger" to our freedoms.

I certainly don't intend to disparage the good citizens from Sali's district, but I call on them to move back from Oregon (where they have likely fled) in sufficient numbers to ensure that Bill Sali is limited to one term.

In the meantime, I'm laying off potatoes. Maybe the starch clogs your brain.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Arkansas taking "child care" to a new level

From the AP via Yahoo News:

Error in Ark. law allows kids to marry

By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer

[LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A law passed this year allows Arkansans of any age — even infants — to marry if their parents agree, and the governor may have to call a special session to fix the mistake, lawmakers said Friday.

The legislation was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry but also allow pregnant teenagers to marry with parental consent, bill sponsor Rep. Will Bond said. An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it.

"It's clearly not the intent to allow 10-year-olds or 11-year-olds to get married," Bond said. "The legislation was screwed up."
The bill reads: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage."
A code revision commission — which fixes typographical and technical errors in laws — had tried to correct the mistake, but a group of legislators said Friday the commission went beyond its powers.
"You're either pregnant or you're not pregnant," Sen. Dave Bisbee said. "Rarely will that be a typographical error."
The Arkansas Legislative Council asked the independent commission to reverse its correction. Several lawmakers said a special session may be necessary.

"We need a special session to fix this," Sen. Sue Madison said. "I am concerned about pedophiles coming to Arkansas to find parents who are willing to sign a very young child's consent."

Before the new law took effect July 31, girls could get married with parental consent at 16 and boys at 17.
The Legislature formally adjourned its session in May and is not scheduled to meet again until January 2009, unless Gov. Mike Beebe calls a special session. Beebe said he wanted to look at all options for correcting the error before deciding whether to call a special session.]

HA ! They just say it was a mistake. This law was a collaboration between the Arkansas Tourism Council, the State Board of Education, and the fundamentalist Christians.

The Tourism Council is desperate to have "strangers" spend money in the state, The Board of Ed sees it as a way to reduce the rolls, and the fundamentalists see it as a way to preserve the "sanctity of marriage".

What's not to like. Me--I'm already packing.

"And if Christ says one word, kill him !"

The Federal government is training "clergy response teams" to "quell dissent" in the event of a declaration of martial law. Read the AlterNet article and watch the accompanying video here.

This is kinda neat, in a way. It shows that the government recognizes the importance of our religious leaders and their traditional role of calming the flocks on the way to the slaughterhouse.

However, I admit to some trepidation when I remember that the clergy has also been enlisted to help the Feds with a program called "Fugitive Safe Surrender", described in my exceptionally insightful post from 2/25/07, Theocracy on the March.

They're working the takeover from a lot of different directions at once, and it makes it hard to focus on on it because their are so many different aspects, but that doesn't make it any less real, only more dangerous.

How long before these "men of God" are armed?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Snarky Friday

YAY !! Jenna Bush, one-half of the dissolute Bush twins, is getting married. Her daddy plans to invade Tasmania and give it to her as a wedding present. Jenna's intended, a dashing young man from well-to-do Virginia Republican stock, is on cloud nine. His name is Henry Hager, and he asked for Jenna's hand so that he could avoid military service in case the draft is re-instated. Sometimes a guys gotta' do what a guys gotta' do--even if he finds it distasteful.

From the Houston Chronicle comes word of a 75 yr old veteran who decided that he'd like the Purple Heart he'd earned in 1952 while in the Marines. What he got instead was a form letter from the government stating that the Purple Hearts were "out of stock". He was given the option of re-applying in 90 days or just going out and buying one, which he did--for $42 + tax from a surplus store.

I can't imagine why our government was out of stock on these medals--it's not like we have any servicemen and women getting wounded anywhere. My guess is that the last batch came in from China coated in lead paint.

The New York Times published an article, which I picked up from Raw Story, about the stock market tumble. This stuff is really serious, but I was drawn to a comment by H. Lee Scott, Jr, CEO of Wal-Mart, explaining why they missed their earnings forecast--"Many customers are running out of money at the end of the month."

Well, DUH. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the U.S. Maybe if they paid a living wage, the employees might have a better chance of buying something from the company store after the 10th of the month. Sorry, Mr. Scott, but you're reaping what you sow.

I wish I was making this up, but...

A company in Massachusetts, is selling the very latest accessory for our school kids, a "must have" for the cool kids. For only $175.00, they can get their very own bulletproof backpack, in a choice of colors.

OK all you concerned parents, if you love your children, you'll get one of each color to keep them safe. God forbid that outfit should market something that might offend the gun lobby, like a bulletproof gun?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kennedy claims Dem Senators are victims, too

This is the text of an e-mail I just received from Senator Ted Kennedy, writing on the letterhead of The Committee for a Democratic Majority. Senator Kennedy is on his high horse about the expansion of Bush's wiretapping program, and wants me to sign a petition telling the White House to stop taking away our rights. Read it. (Emphasis added)

Dear John,I don't trust Alberto Gonzales with the power to spy on the American people – and neither should you.
In recent months, Gonzales has been under increasingly heavy fire for his shameful role in a number of shocking scandals, including the Bush Administration's illegal eavesdropping program and his refusal to come clean about what he has done. He's lost the confidence of the American people, and many -- myself included -- have called for his resignation.
But rather than holding Gonzalez and other members of the Administration accountable for breaking the law, the White House pushed for legislation that legalizes their actions.

Two weeks ago, the Bush Administration and their rubber-stamp Republican allies in Congress forced revisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to expand the government's right to spy on American citizens without outside oversight.

Once again, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez are taking the Bill of Rights into their own hands. Tell the White House to stop scaring the American people into surrendering their basic rights:'s no doubt FISA had serious gaps that Congress needed to close. But as the New York Times stated, the new FISA law goes "far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists."
Under the new law, any conversation between an American citizen and a foreigner can be monitored without a warrant.
Any conversation at all!
But even worse, there's no accountability for this massive new surveillance program. The Bush Administration will set the rules about who gets spied on, and will also have the responsibility for determining whether they're complying with their own rules.It's like taking a test, and then getting to grade it yourself.Each of us wants to do everything in our power to protect America from the threat of terrorism. But the Bush Administration refuses to draw any line between fighting terrorism and violating basic civil liberties.Together, we can draw the line. Sign the petition, letting Washington know that you don't want Alberto Gonzales spying on honest, hard-working Americans like you: is the same Administration mentality that gave us Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Again and again, Alberto Gonzalez, Dick Cheney, and George Bush have thumbed their noses at the Constitution and the rule of law, and then demanded that Congress condone their abuses and trust their judgment.Not this time. We owe the nation a better approach, and you can help us do it.Sincerely,

What a goddam smoke and mirrors con job this is. TOTAL bullshit.

The last time I checked the Democrats held a majority in the Senate. The ONLY way this gross treasonous stripping of our civil rights could possibly have happened is if "my" Democratic majority allowed it. And, as it happens, that is exactly what occurred.

Every Republican, as expected, voted for this bill (including Joe Lieberman). But it would have come to nothing without the votes of FOURTEEN DEMOCRATIC SENATORS :

Evan Bayh (Indiana); Tom Carper (Delaware); Bob Casey (Pennsylvania); Kent Conrad (North Dakota); Dianne Feinstein (California); Daniel Inouye (Hawai‘i); Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Nancy Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas); Claire McCaskill (Missouri); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Bill Nelson (Florida); Ben Nelson (Nebraska); Mark Pryor (Arkansas); Ken Salazar (Colorado); Jim Webb (Virginia).

I am SO disgusted with the behavior of the Democrats I could spit, and now they come up with this bs to cover their asses. This is the political party that we have turned to out of near-total desperation. The party that we elected to a majority last November to lead the recovery from the Bush takeover. The party that was going to get us out of Iraq. The party that was going to call the Bush Crime Family to account. The party that that was going to save our constitution and our democracy. The party that was going to pass social programs to help all of us citizens.

And now, this. The one thing that has always defined Republican politicians, the one thing that
REALLY hits my outrage hot-button, is their blatant lies and hypocrisy. And here comes Senator Kennedy blaming George Bush and the Republicans for something the Democrats helped happen. SHITSHITSHIT!!!! I just can't make excuses for them any more.

If Senator Kennedy is serious about the damage this rotten law is about to inflict on us, then I would suggest that he turn around on his high horse and start kicking the 14 Democratic road apples named above.

Protecting the Homeland, Bush style

"Psst! Wanna make a 'dirty bomb'? Well, c'mon in and we'll fix ya' right up".

Yes, it's almost that bad. After Bush has spent years scaring us with the spectre of terrorists attacking the U.S. with low-yield but highly radioactive nuclear bombs, after telling us that he's the person that God has personally chosen to keep the terrorist infidels away from our shores, after telling us that he will keep us safe, and after scamming untold billions from our treasury to back up his words, any reasonable person would assume that he meant it. Right?

You would assume that every government agency, and every person in that agency, would be 100% vigilant and dedicated to ensuring that we were safe from dirty bombs and anything else that could inflict death and destruction on our citizens. At least, you'd assume that safeguards would have been put in place immediately and followed scrupulously to eliminate any chance of radioactive material falling into the wrong hands. Right?


Read this little article from Raw Story, here.

Man, did they make it look easy, or what? How much evidence do you need in order to understand that the Bush regime has neither a care nor a clue about "homeland security"? How much evidence do you need to understand that it's all for show, and that you've been played for fools?

What part of "HE REALLY DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR SECURITY" don't you understand.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's a poor( legislative) body to do?

So far in the 110th Congress, Senator Harry Reid and the boys have been made to look like eunuchs, thanks to a unified Republican strategy bent on holding up virtually every piece of legislation that comes their way, even some the Republicans want passed, too.

The Democrats razor-thin majority doesn't allow the luxury of employing bullying tactics to get legislation through, and the Republicans use of the filibuster threat has been enough to get Reid to cave in every time.

The House isn't saddled with the filibuster rule, or "super-majority" rules, or or any other of the Senates cumbersome procedures, so a great deal of good stuff is passed in that chamber, only to get held up in the Senate. The result of course is that nothing becomes law. Bush stays happy because a gang of obstructionist Senators march in lockstep to orders from the White House. This is true "tyranny of the minority".

The use of the filibuster threat, which is on pace to triple the record for any previous Congressional session, makes the Democrats look like stooges (not far off the mark, either), and the public perception of Congress is reflected in their 14% approval rating. The Republicans, so far, are winning this battle, because the Dems, as the majority party, are getting most of the flak.

The one time that Harry Reid decided to stand tough, forcing an actual filibuster on the Levin-Reed Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill, which would have set a firm timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq, the ex-boxer stupidly telegraphed his punch when he announced that he would only force the filibuter for 24 hours. Good grief, I could hold out against CIA torture for that long, and as expected the Republicans held ranks through that dog and pony show and won the day. Reid pulled the bill from the floor.

Well, there actually is a way to turn the tables on the Republicans. Ady Barkan has written a very good article for The American Prospect, showing how it can be done. Read it here.

The solution is fairly simple. If the Democrats want to pass legislation through the Senate, they have to force the Republicans hand, and force them to filibuster for as long as it takes; days and weeks if necessary, while the country watches the Republicans holding up Senate business. Be kind of hard to blame the Dems for that, wouldn't it.

Senator Jim Webb's bill, which would require that troops are rotated home for at least as long as they were deployed, would be an ideal vehicle for a test of Republican resolve. How long do you think they will filibuster a bill helping the troops, and proving how little they care about them, before they collapse?

Another way would be to bring popular Democratic legislation to the floor attached as an amendment to a bill the Republicans desperately want. Something that would send their base into spasms of joy, like a bill to militarize our border with Mexico. How would the Republicans look to their voting base if they filibuster that one?

It can be done. It should be done. Reid doesn't need big cojones to do it- grape nuts would be enough.

Karl Rove - The man with the plan

All the news outlets are reporting that Karl Rove is leaving the Bush White House on August 31st. Supposedly, he's going back to his Texas ranch to spend more time with his family. He says he doesn't have any firm plans, but would like to teach someday and intends to write a book about George Bush (My Pet Idiot?).

Well, I don't believe a word of it ! Do you think for one minute that Rove, a diehard Republican shithead who has devoted his entire career to establishing a permanent Republican majority in this country is simply going to walk away? A man who has broken countless laws in pursuit of his nefarious goal? A man with a blanket pardon already safely tucked away? Hell, no !

I have it on good authority (mine), that he is a man with a plan, a plan to continue his work from a different direction, one that will bear Republican fruit even faster than all of his work to date.

Oh, he'll go home for a few weeks or a month, just for show, but then he'll start. Slowly at first, slinging propaganda for a few dozen right-wing think tanks, then he'll do analysis for Fox News. You know, just the kinds of things you'd expect from a retired "political animal" still in demand for his insights.

But, all that will just be cover for his real job.

He's going to be working directly with the Democratic Leadership Council ( the Republican wing of the Democratic party), advising and devising strategies so that they can complete the fracturing of the Democratic party while pretending to stand for traditional Democratic principles. It would be weakly analogous to Rudolf Hess parachuting into Britain to negotiate with the British during WW II, except for the fact that he'll get a better reception from the DLC.

He'll advise the DLC on how to really pick up the big bucks from fat-cat donors, how to ensure that the weakest Democratic candidates run against hard-line Republicans in close contests, how to go all out against moderate Republicans,teach them all the worst things to say to the voters, and best of all teach them how to assist the Republicans voter supression efforts. The DLC already knows much of this strategy, but Karl still needs to help them fine-tune and tweak it here and there.

With the DLC working completely in-synch with the other Republicans, a quick completion of the takeover will be assured.

Rove is a diabolical genius. The Einstein of Machiavellian politics. He is known as a "trickster", but come to think of it, so is Satan.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Billy Graham worries about Bush

Billy Graham, the old Baptist evangelist who conducted "crusades" all over the world, leading millions of lost souls to Christ, and has been a sort of spiritual advisor to our last eleven Presidents, has written a new book, due out shortly, called The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House.

One of the highlights of the book, reviewed by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, is what Graham has to say about Iraq: "I'm getting a little depressed about Iraq... Think of what it is doing to Bush. There doesn't seem to be any way out".

Admittedly, I'm assuming that the reviewer's quote is contextual, and if it is, I've got some issues and feel the need to unload.

By all appearances, Reverend Graham is a stupid, shallow man to worry about what the Iraq war is doing to George Bush.

What about the one million Iraqi's who have died so far?
What about the 3,700 soldiers who will never come home to their loved ones?
What about the families of those who have fallen?
What about the thousands upon thousands of injured and maimed?
What about the trillion dollars spent so far that future generations may never be able to repay?

Wouldn't you think that Reverend Graham's worry would be better spent on those things rather than on their cause? It's like worrying about what the Second World War did to Hitlers emotional and spiritual health. That's some serious tunnel vision.

I think that the Reverend Graham spent so many years cherry-picking quotes from the Good Book that he never got around to understanding the basic message. In that regard he's just like all the other evangelists who do what they do because it's a helluva good living.

A virulent pox on the lot of them, and "Father won't forgive them, for they do know what they do".

Bush leads the world by example

Countries around the world whose citizens enjoy a modicum of civil liberties can thank President George Bush as they watch those liberties take a hike. He has become the person that leaders point to when they justify ripping personal freedoms to shreds, the rationale being that "if Bush can do it, we can do it, too".

The latest example is Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has just signed into law a little number known as the Interception of Communications Bill, which gives Mugabe's government the authority to eavesdrop on Zimbabweans phone, internet and regular mail communications.

Here's the story from VOA News via Crooks and Liars:

Zimbabwe President Signs Eavesdropping Bill
By: Nicole Belle
on Saturday, August 11th, 2007 at 10:03 AM -

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday signed into law the controversial Interception of Communications Bill, which gives his government the authority to eavesdrop on phone and Internet communications and read physical mail.

The legislation has drawn outspoken opposition from the political opposition and civil society organizations as trampling on the civil rights of Zimbabweans.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai called it an addition to “the dictator’s tool kit.”[..]
Human rights lawyer Otto Saki told VOA that the law interferes and undermines the enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution and is a sign Mr. Mugabe wants to consolidate his power by “any means necessary or unnecessary.”

But Communications Minister Christopher Mushowe said Zimbabwe is not unique in the world in passing such legislation, citing electronic eavesdropping programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

Wannabe dictators look at Bush's success here in the U.S. in stripping away the civil rights guaranteed to us in our Constitution, aided by a very compliant Congress and an equally compliant media, and are emboldened to pull similar shit on their people. How can anyone object? Isn't the United States the greatest democracy on earth? No complaints are being heard from us, so its gotta be all right. Right?

This may be Bush's true legacy, as the "Father of Tyranny" for the modern age, earning a place in history along side others of his ilk, a pantheon that includes Genghis Khan, Vlad Dracul, Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Joe Stalin, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, and of course, Caligula.

What a shame and a pity that we continue to allow Bush to remain in power. As you can see, his actions have far-reaching effects. It's not just us sliding into darkness, but much of the world, too.

U.S. pays religious right to watch porn

Untold millions of religious conservatives are selflessly volunteering their time to help root out internet porn, thanks to a grant from the Department of Justice.

"It's hard", said a spokesman who reluctantly stopped his search long enough to talk with me, "but watching vile sex acts for hours on end is God's work, and I feel close to Heaven every half hour or so while I do it".

Thanks to UPI for the story:

Anti-obscenity program not a success
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. Justice Department grant designed to root out obscenity on the Internet has resulted in 67,000 citizen complaints but no prosecutions.

The $150,000 a year grant awarded to the conservative religious group Morality in Media is the result of an earmark inserted into a spending bill by Congressman Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., The New York Times reported Friday.

Under the program, citizens are invited to report material they believe is obscene so it can be investigated and possibly prosecuted.

Two former law enforcement officers troll the Internet for sexual web sites and review complaints filed by citizens who register on the Justice Department site.

Clicking on the site to make a report takes the user to ObscenityCrimes. org that is run by Morality in Media.

Stephen G. Bates, a Harvard-trained lawyer and journalism professor, has criticized outsourcing the search for obscenity, saying it makes “a mockery of the First Amendment, chilling freedom of expression.”

So Rep. Wolf slides an earmark into a funding bill allowing religious conservatives, the group with the largest number of sexual hangups of all time, to get their jollies while claiming to guard my morality. Talk about sucking up to your base. And on the government (and your) dime.
And, of course, encouraging these idiots to focus on sex keeps them from focusing on the true obscenity epitomized by the very Justice Department funding the venture. Morality in Media will never bite the hand that strokes them.


We have all wondered for years who this person might be--the one person in these here United States who exemplifies all of the best characteristics of those who listen to Rush Limbaugh on a regular basis. The one person who lives, breathes, and excretes Limbaugh and everything he stands for.

I thought it would be someone like the laborer in the Oxycontin factory who loads the drums of pills headed for Limbaugh's house, or the unsung vigilante who patriotically catches illegal immigrants in leghold traps, or maybe a guy who proudly waves the flag and shouts "I'm an American and George Bush is my President" when anyone explains how and why Iraq became a killing ground. I thought it might be anybody who hates blacks, fags, or liberals and can't tell the difference between 'em.

But no, it's no one like that. Turns out it's just a guy living in Pittsburg, Kansas living his day-to-day life the "Rush way", quietly setting the standard to which all "dittoheads" constantly strive.

From Crooks and Liars:

Limbaugh’s demographic
By: Steve Benen on Saturday, August 11th, 2007 at 5:02 AM -

Michael Crowley notes an unremarkable human-interest story out of Joplin, Mo., about a middle-aged man who has a home, but prefers to live in his car. Apparently, the man, Steven Graham, is annoying his neighbors quite a bit, “disturbing the peace with loud music and obscenity-laced tirades.”

A neighbor said, “Every day he’s out there. He never goes into the house. He sleeps out there, he eats out there, he watches TV, he plays guitar….

Everything that you do in your house, he does out there.”

Graham acknowledges that he spends most of his time in his car, but says there’s a reason.

An extension cord runs from the house to the car, providing power for a 13-inch TV
that rests in the passenger seat, an oscillating fan and a radio.

“I get better reception there than I do in there,” he said, pointing at the house. "I listen to Rush (Limbaugh) every day just about.”

I think that Limbaugh, now that Mr. Graham has been thrust into the limelight, should do a live broadcast from Graham's car and devote an entire show to "what it means to be a dittohead".

There is a nagging "cause and effect" question, though. Was Graham a boorish, un-hygienic nutcase before he started listening to Limbaugh, or did he achieve all of his good qualities through Rush's influence?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Senate Republicans stall lobbying reform

The House of Representatives has passed a lobbying reform bill by a vote of 411-8, and similar legislation in the Senate, while expected to pass, is being blocked by some Republicans who either don't want their gravy train disturbed or are simply following the RNC strategy of blocking every Senate bill by filibustering to keep it from coming up for a vote.

Even Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says that the filibuster won't work and that the bill should pass this week. Of course, Minority Leader McConnell is one of the worst of the worst when it comes to sucking up lobbying money, and has been a steadfast supporter of every Bush/Cheney policy, and as a result is going to face a tough re-election fight next time around, so he may be trying to save his political ass here.

The New York Times and the Washington Post both ran articles on this legislation. Read them here and here.

I'm not going into the specifics of the "reform" legislation but wish to say that while it has it's good points, it is only a baby step in the direction of honest government. Our legislators have left, as always , enough loopholes to supply one side of a Velcro factory for years.

They will never voluntarily clean up their act totally, but will only offer dribs and drabs to make it appear that they are not "on the take".

Don't get me wrong, though. This bill is a good thing- the problem is that our legislators don't want us to get too much of this good thing. That will never happen until we the people dictate their rules of conduct.