Daily Archives: July 14, 2004

The ‘9/11 Changed Everything’ Excuse

charlie at BiteSoundBite takes direct aim at the Pubs’ use of 9/11 as a political football and all-around excuse for whatever unconscionable depredation they want to inflict next.

The immediate reaction after 9/11 was (appropriately) outrage, and often merely RAGE. Americans were scared. The tendency thereafter was to believe that the entire world had changed. Nothing on Earth was as it should be. America had new responsibilities. It was time to go to places far more dangerous than here and rain down missiles and bombs upon those who dwelled in these shadowy regions. It was time to round up conspicuous looking people (whose names bore a superficial resemblance [meaning they looked Arabic] to the names of those who’d made us recognize that America is of this violent world, and whose conspicuous look fit the racial profile). This was a new age. A dark time. Special methods were needed. Old ideals of rights and liberties were romance and fantasy. We had to shoot first and ask only appropriate questions at appropriate times. Questions like “How will we get these terrorists out of their holes, will we smoke them?” Yes, yes, we will. We have to. It is a new era. It is midnight in America.

charlie then digs out Andy Hiller’s infamous pre-election interview with Junior in which he asked if Bush could name a couple of leaders in flaming world hot-spots.

Hiller asked: “Can you name the president of Chechnya?”
“No, can you?” Bush replied.
“Can you name the president of Taiwan?” Hiller asked.
“Yeah, Lee,” responded Bush, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.
“Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?” asked Hiller, inquiring about Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf, who took over last month in a military coup.
“Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?” replied Bush.
Hiller replied: “No, it’s four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.”
Bush said: “The new Pakistani general, he’s just been elected-not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that’s good news for the sub-continent.”
Hiller persisted, saying, “Can you name him?”
Bush said: “General. I can name the general. General.”
“And the prime minister of India?” asked Hiller, inquiring about a man who was recently re-elected and who last year tested a nuclear bomb.
Bush said: “The new prime minister of India is-no.”
At that point, Bush responded in kind to Hiller.
“Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?” asked the governor, whose home state borders the Central American nation.
The reporter replied, “No sir, but I would say to that, I’m not running for president.”

Ample evidence in hindsight of the arrogance, stupidity, ignorance, and warped, mean humor we have come to know so well these past 3 years. Georgie-boy, charlie adds, didn’t get that way overnight.

In order to reconcile the GOP’s seemingly hypocritical rationale that Edwards is not ready for the Presidency at a time when foreign policy expertise is at such a premium, one has to accept the flimsy premise that Bush was not the novice he appeared to be in 2000, or has somehow, in four years time, developed into a leader with an astute understanding of geopolitics after devoting a lifetime of feckless indifference toward such matters. This requires a running leap of faith, and it seems to me the country has followed GW off one too many cliffs already. No, if we are to accept that Edwards is unqualified to be on a national ticket b/c of his lack of foreign policy making experience, then even the laziest student of American presidential politics (I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer), would have to assume that it was a mistake to nominate, campaign for, and vote for GW Bush in 2000, that we have been living with an unqualified President ever since, and that it is dire that we get a qualified man to take over post haste.

Indeed. Go read the rest.

Chain saws trump sound forest policy

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD

Grab the chain saws, rev up the bulldozers, open the federal Treasury to subsidize construction of more logging roads.

The Bush administration has made its decision on continuing former President Clinton’s protection of millions of acres of roadless areas in national forests. It prefers not to.

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman tried to disguise her profligate giveaway of environmental protection, wildlife habitat and federal authority as promoting greater cooperation. Fine idea, but there’s reason to worry about her definition of cooperation.

Veneman said she wanted to settle lawsuits. That follows the administration’s pattern of taking a fall when it faces anti-environmental court actions.

In an absurd twist, the new policy would leave it to governors, whose states have frequently abused their own lands, to decide whether to ask for federal land to be protected. Governors do not own federal lands; all Americans do.

Under the administration, only governors who want new logging roads should expect their views to be respected. Witness what happened in Oregon’s Klamath-Siskiyou region where the Forest Service just approved a huge timber sale, much of it in a roadless area despite pleas from Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

As he promises, Gov. Gary Locke should seek protection for all the roadless areas in national forests here if the rule is finalized before he leaves office. But, as Locke recognizes, the administration’s policy is a sellout of the public interest.

And they didn’t even get a decent price.

Gay Marriage–Pubs Listening to the Voices in Their Heads Again

As expected, the discriminatory anti-gay marriage amendment is DOA. Even a majority of the Pubs themselves are against it. Meanwhile, Repub Sen Rick Santorum, the guy who can’t tell the difference between a gay man and a dog, was one of several to repeat things only he has heard.

“Marriage is hate. Marriage is a stain. Marriage is an evil thing. That’s what we hear. People who stand for traditional marriage are haters, they’re bashers, they’re mean-spirited, they’re intolerant. … Well, we’re not,” he added.

Heard where, Rick? Nobody ever said ‘marriage was evil’. We said you are intolerant of gays because you are. None of us, outside the confines of your fevered brain where tiny voices tell you to kill, ever said marriage was a ‘stain’. It’s just you. Rick.

Meanwhile, Wayne Allard, Repub from Colorado, had his tinfoil hat locked down with sheet metal screws.

“There is a master plan out there from those who want to destroy the institution of marriage to, first of all, begin to take this issue in a few select courts throughout this country at the state level,” said Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo. Pointing to rulings in Vermont and Massachusetts, he said that “once they get their favorable rulings from activist judges … they want to take it to the federal courts and they’ll eventually move it to the Supreme Court.”

Yikes! A ‘Master Plan to Destroy the Institution of Marriage!’ Where’s Superman? Where’s Spiderman? We Must Stop These Dastardly, Evil Villians, Else They Will DESTROY CIVILIZATION!

Wayne. Babe. Get a grip. You gotta start reading something besides comic books, man. They’re warping what little brain you’ve got to work with. Your gray cells are oozing pus, atrophied from disuse. Try getting through at least one book without pictures this summer. It’ll do you good. Therapy might not be a bad idea, either.

Jaunty Bill Frist promises we ain’t seen the last of this, no sirree.

“This issue is not going away,” Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said in a virtual concession that the measure would fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance past a Wednesday test vote. “Will it be back? Absolutely, yes,” he added.

Meanwhile, back in the House, Denny Hastert was moving swiftly to keep the pandering to wacko right-wing Xtians alive in the months before the election.

The Senate moved toward a showdown as House Republicans pursued a different plan — seeking to pass legislation rather than an amendment.

Except of course that without the Amendment, the legislation is un-Consitutional. Or it is until Big Tony Scalia goes to shoot some more tame ducks with Little Dick.

You know, it’s impossible to satirize insanity.

(Thanks to northstar at The People’s Republic of Seabrook who warns:

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE CAT LITTER! If Republicans succeed in heading down this slippery slope, where will they stop? Who will stand up for you when they come knocking on your door?To me, this is not about whether or not gays should be allowed to marry (hey, if you’re opposed to gay marriage, don’t have one….). It’s about ensuring that Republicans are not allowed to nibble away at the civil rights of an entire class of Americans. When they are done there, do you really think they’re going to stop? Not if you have anything resembling a grip on reality.

Amen, bro.)

Bears in the Senate?

ThatColoredFellasweblog, which is based in Chicago, reports that the Pubs have found themselves another celebrity to run for office. Mike Ditka, ex-Bears coach and a man with a reputation for, shall we say, a bit of a temper? is the apparent subject of a draft movement hoping to have him take over Jack Ryan’s recently, um, vacated US Senate seat.

I opened my email today, to find two messages from the DraftDitka.com organizers. You may not be aware, but former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka is a staunch and outspoken Republican. I have only read and heard a couple times where ‘Da Coach’ has been quoted on the subject of politics, a performance that makes Bush look like Billy Graham. I am not going to dismiss the success of this effort out of hand, because all it takes is just one of these local ‘infotainment’ stations masquerading as local journalism, to then package it nicely for national cable and network news. As of 4pm CDT on July 9th, the site counts about 9,000 signatures to its Draft Ditka petition.

So, go have some fun and do your part to make this a reality! Help feed the buzz and stoke the hype. These yahoos think they are getting another Jesse Ventura.

But, believe me. Ditka will make Charles Barkley sound articulate.

Look out Ahnud–Da Coach is breathing down your neck.