Daily Archives: July 8, 2004

Children With Mental Disabilities Jailed

The consequences of the radcons ‘starve the beast’ strategy can be ugly. In a recent speech, Bill Moyers said:

These deficits have been part of their strategy. Some of you will remember that Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan tried to warn us 20 years ago, when he predicted that President Ronald Reagan’s real strategy was to force the government to cut domestic social programs by fostering federal deficits of historic dimensions. Reagan’s own budget director, David Stockman, admitted as much. Now the leading rightwing political strategist, Grover Norquist, says the goal is to “starve the beast” — with trillions of dollars in deficits resulting from trillions of dollars in tax cuts, until the United States Government is so anemic and anorexic it can be drowned in the bathtub.There’s no question about it….

No, there isn’t, and in the real world, not the FantasyLand of Publican ‘optimism’, this is what it means:

WASHINGTON, July 7 – Congressional investigators said Wednesday that 15,000 children with psychiatric disorders were improperly incarcerated last year because no mental health services were available.The figures were compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Government Reform in the first such nationwide survey of juvenile detention centers.

“The use of juvenile detention facilities to warehouse children with mental disorders is a serious national problem,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who sought the survey with Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California.

The study, presented at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, found that children as young as 7 were incarcerated because of a lack of access to mental health care. More than 340 detention centers, two-thirds of those that responded to the survey, said youths with mental disorders were being locked up because there was no place else for them to go while awaiting treatment. Seventy-one centers in 33 states said they were holding mentally ill youngsters with no charges. (emphasis added)

Social Darwinism in action is not a pretty sight. It isn’t forgivable, either.

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Republican Attack Machine Focuses On Edwards

Boy, is this a mistake.

Hoping to offset what they acknowledge is the fresh-faced political appeal of Mr. Edwards, Republicans are trying to make the case that in a dangerous new world, filled with marauding terrorists and nations racing to go nuclear, he is not ready to step into the Oval Office should events require. They argue that he does not even have a full Senate term under his belt, that he is responsible for no significant legislation and that his service on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Democrats say amounts to far more experience than many candidates have had, hardly amounts to adequate preparation.”He may have left some footprints on the beaches of North Carolina, but you couldn’t find any on the floor of the Senate,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the No. 2 Republican, who said he could not “think of a single thing” memorable about Mr. Edwards’s Senate service.

That’s right, ask McConnell who hasn’t said anything good about any Democrat since he praised Bill Clinton’s hair 11 years ago. McConnell is snide, arrogant (the word of the day, apparently), a serial liar, and a rabid ultra-right radical parrot. Naturally, the NYT would go to him first. But Edwards isn’t Gore, as they will soon discover.

“His proliferation speech was probably the best foreign policy speech of any candidate during the primaries,” Samuel R. Berger, the national security adviser under President Bill Clinton, said Tuesday. “And when 9/11 came along, he probably knew more about the terror issues than most members of the Intelligence Committee.”On Capitol Hill, that theme was echoed with a jab at President Bush. “John Edwards has a lot more Washington experience than George Bush had four years ago,” said the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota. “But secondly, it isn’t the length of experience in any case, it’s the quality of the experience.” Moreover, Democrats argue, Mr. Kerry’s depth of experience makes it far less important that his running mate do for him what Mr. Cheney did for Mr. Bush.

The last word on this belongs to Kathy at Random Thoughts (‘Safire’s Silly Logic’). In a short-short she mentions Safire’s recent column introducing the Edwards-is-a-lightweight meme for the Mighty Wurlitzer, and disposes of it in ‘short’ order.

“When Bush chose Cheney in 2000, that expressed confidence in victory: Cheney was seen not primarily as a campaigner, but as an active participant in the coming administration, which even his fervent detractors admit he has been. Bush was then filling in a gap, too — his foreign policy inexperience — but his pick was directed at governing, not campaigning.” Does Safire realize that he’s saying Kerry simply needs help campaigning while Bush needs help governing? Geez.

No, Kath, he doesn’t.

Arrogance Is Busting Out All Over

In a burst of less-than-charming arrogance, Junior, the strain starting to tell, got nasty in North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Claiming the home state of the new Democratic vice presidential candidate as his own turf, President Bush on Wednesday brushed aside the political threat posed by Sen. John Edwards and asserted that he would again sweep the South because he shares the region’s values.Bush, abandoning the cordial tone he struck when Edwards was named to the Democratic ticket a day earlier, suggested the one-term North Carolina senator could not measure up to the stature of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Asked to compare Edwards with his own No. 2, Bush said: “Dick Cheney can be president.” He then called for the next question, indicating that he considered his case closed.

Bush’s pointed response highlighted a primary line of attack Republicans intend to use against Edwards: that he is too inexperienced to become commander in chief, if necessary.

But Sen. John F. Kerry had a quick retort for Bush’s implicit criticism of Edwards. Referring to Cheney’s image as one of the most powerful vice presidents in U.S. history, the Democratic presidential candidate told a rally in Dayton, Ohio, that Bush “was right that Dick Cheney was ready to take over on Day One, and he did, and he has been ever since, and that’s what we’ve got to change.”

This is yet another mistake. Another mistake artising out of arrogance, pique, and the Ef U state of mind brought into the open by Cheney on the Senate floor last week when he told one of the longest-serving and most respected Senators we have to go Ef himself for daring to question the propriety of Dick’s deal with Halliburton and then, adding insult to injury, went on tv and crowed about how much better he felt and how his ‘colleagues’ thought it was about time somebody did it. Of course, one has to remember that Dick Cheney surrounds himself with sycophants, not ‘colleagues’. As a standard corporate CEO, he keeps his yes-men close at hand in case he needs propping up.

The thing is, once the virus was unleashed, it spread. The gloves are off; they don’t seem to think they have to hide any more. So the Nice Guy was replaced in NC by the Frat Boy bragging about how popular he is. Out of touch? These guys live in outer space. Arrogant? Not just arrogant, mean arrogant. They act like the election is all sewn up, like they can do anything, say anything they want and it won’t affect them. Is this more of their standard blind hubris? Or do they know something we don’t know?

Is the fix already in?