Daily Archives: June 11, 2004

Grover Norquist: Reconstructing The Toad

I don’t usually call people names on this site but today I’m going to make an exeption.

Grover Norquist is a toad.

A right-wing wacko so far out on the fringes that if he takes one more step he’ll fall off the Cliffs of Sanity into the Void, Grover has been a GOP political op since his college days. He has never–NEVER–had a real job, never had to face any form of observable reality, never had to demonstrate that any of his loopy theories have even the most marginal real-world validity, and never to my knowledge said one thing that didn’t add evidence for the view that he’s clinically crazy as a bedbug.

  • “We will hunt [these liberal groups] down one by one and extinguish their funding sources.# My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
  • “I want to reduce the size of government in half as a percentage of GNP [gross national product] over the next 25 years. We want to reduce the number of people depending on government so there is more autonomy and more free citizens.”
  • “Every time you cut programs, you take away a person who has a vested interest in high taxes and you put him on the tax rolls and make him a taxpayer. A farmer on subsidies is part welfare bum, whereas a free-market farmer is a small businessman with a gun.”
  • “In the old days, George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway and told children they could not come in. Today, the foes of school choice stand in the doorway and say to the grandchildren of George Wallace’s victims, ‘You cannot get out.'”

He is an extremist’s extremist, a radical conservative’s idea of radical. Continue reading

Ray Charles Dies

John McKay and poster Mike Huber say it all at archy:

John–Ray Charles died this morning. To me, this is a far greater loss than Ronald Reagan.

Mike–There have been 43 Presidents. There will be more. There has only been one Ray Charles. There will never be another.

Rock on, Brother Ray, wherever you are.

Reagan Redux Reduxed Again

Considering that they were a prime target of Reagan’s cruelest characterizations and policies, black leaders have shown in the way they’ve responded that they’re a class act.

Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Mich., told BlackAmericaToday.com: “I, like many Americans was saddened to learn of the passing of President Reagan. Over a quarter century of service to his country, the president led with resolve and courage, and showed those same qualities in his personal life, as he battled Alzheimer’s. He will be remembered for many things: a great communicator, devoted husband and an unflinching patriot. But although I didn’t agree with him on every issue, I will remember him most for reminding America that when we are at our best, very little can deter or defeat us. Thank you , Mr. President, and God bless you.”As for Reagan’s record specific to African Americans, Ford said: “It will be checkered. I’ve been on record over the years expressing my differences with the president – on soaring deficits and disregard about the nation’s safety net. There will be time to analyze that. On the day we grieve his passing, I would want people to focus (on other things). Just like I pass, I would hope people would focus on the things that I did to make the public space better. He will have a legacy with the conservative movement that differs slightly or in a big ways with others in the country, including most Democrats and African Americans. There are things that he did well and there are thing he should be applauded for doing. His legacy as it is scrutinized and probed for years to come, we will be able to pull from the good and reveal things that are not so good.”

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (courtesy of the Detroit Free Press ): “He’ll have two different legacies. He’ll be cemented as the symbolic political leader of conservatives forever. It’s no secret that African Americans didn’t have a strong affinity for his policies, like trickle down economics. That decimated urban areas. But he also was a president of the greatest country in the world and I send my condolences to his family.”

Actor Danny Glover at an anti-war rally in Los Angeles (courtesy of the Associated Press via the Chicago Sun-Times ): “We all know Reagan’s legacy, from the Iran-Contra affair to the funding of the Nicaraguan military in which over 200,000 people died. The groundwork for the move steadily to the right happened with the Reagan administration. People want to elevate him to some mythic level; they have their own reason for doing that.”

All things considered, I doubt I would be able to be that gracious if I had been in their shoes during those years.

(Thanks to Rox Populi for the link)

The Family Steering Committee Reports on the 9/11 Commission

We saw them on tv. Most of the time they didn’t look happy. The Commission they had badgered into existence was, they seemed to be saying, wimping out, not asking the hard questions or even the right questions. Those were our impressions and they weren’t wrong.

The Family Steering Committee remains dissatisfied with the quality of questioning during the Commission’s public hearings. In particular, we are extremely disappointed with the 9/11 hearings that took place in New York May 18th and 19th.Public hearings serve a valuable purpose. First, they should educate and inform the American public about the work of the Commission and the performance of public and private officials leading up to and including the day of September 11th. Second they should serve to restore confidence in our government that was unprepared for the events of 9/11. Third, they should serve to garner the nation’s support for the Commission’s future recommendations.

The Commission promised the 9/11 families and all of America that there would be public hearings on all topics covered in their mandate. However, due to imposed time constraints, at least 4 previously scheduled hearings were cancelled by the Commission, making the few public hearings that remained all the more significant.

The recent set of hearings in New York failed to serve much if any of their purposes. While the Commissioners stated that they had questioned witnesses in private during prior interviews, their collective failure to use this public forum for either “fact finding” or “fact displaying” of the answers previously procured during closed sessions with the witnesses, resulted in a hearing that produced little more than frustration. This frustration was clearly evidenced in the public outcry during the Giuliani testimony, as families sought to hear testimony regarding the non functioning FDNY radios and other failures of communication, coordination and emergency management which could have saved hundreds of lives on 9/11.

The Commission’s continued lack of aggressive questioning and its production of staff statements that overlook matters of serious probative value raise concerns about the credibility and value of the Commission’s final report.

There’s more, including a remarkably restrained answer to Rudy Giuliani’s testimony, given how self-serving it was.