Friday, November 30, 2007

Bad News Teddy Bear

Let's face it, this isn't about Mohammad.... "Crowds demand Teddy bear teacher is shot".... this whole sorry episode in Sudan is about religion-inspired hatred of the West, in this instance, the British.

This molehill made international incident is but a glimpse of the lunacy fostered by power-hungry religious fanatics .... "Thousands of people wielding clubs and knives marched through Khartoum after Friday prayers denouncing what they termed the lenient sentencing of a British teacher for insulting Islam and calling for her to be shot..... and 'Shame, shame on the UK.' "

All because her students named the class teddy bear after the most popular student.... Mohammad..... the crowd wants the teacher killed.

This medieval anger is being fueled by a leading cleric, Sheikh Abdul Jalil Karuri, who accuses the school teacher of naming the teddy bear Mohammad "with the intention of insulting Islam."

Ridiculous, you say? We in the West shake our heads in disgust.... yet, are our own religious fanatics any different?

The ones who say 9/11 was God's punishment for homosexuality and abortions. The ones who interfere with a husband's right to make decisions for his brain-dead wife. The ones who picket the funerals of our soldiers shouting obscenities and waving hate signs in the name of their God. The pass-the-plate religious charlatans who bilk the savings of widows?

No different. Because you see, it's not about religion at all.... it's about power. Who will wield it, keep it, and profit from it. And, the government that allows its laws to be superseded by such religious dogma.... dominionism.... becomes nothing more than a pathetic, and dangerous, sham government.

Our slide toward dominionism has been set in motion by The Decider. We must not allow the God-over-Constitution candidates running for president to bully us over the "teddy bear" cliff.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Actually, the South is Heading Here

Talk about your double meaning, the Washington Post headline reads.... "Signs Are Pointing South on Wall St."

Of course, they mean the south of a serious downturn in the U.S. economy.... the subprime-fueled housing crisis, worsening credit crunch, stock market plunge, weakening dollar, soaring oil prices, and the gutting of U.S. manufacturing... not to mention the monstrous trade deficit and national debt devouring our national solvency.

However, the south could also point to much of the cause of the downturn.... the invasion in the millions of cheap labor across our southern border by demandingly needy illegal immigrants.... lowering wages, and taking jobs U.S. citizens will do, while gobbling up taxpayer-funded health, education and social services.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that our economy is collapsing at about the same rate as our culture as it plunges toward Third World status, bulldozing our economy in order to meld into The Decider's dream of a borderless North American Union.... formerly known as the nations of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

So as you watch the dollar collapse along with your portfolio and way of life, remember that you have the political moral squalor in D.C. to thank for our national decay.

Vote to purge the country of the corporatist, neoconservative ideologues. While we still have a country.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Trent Folding His Tent

Shocking.... sudden.... even stunning....those were the reactions when GOP Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi announced today that he will retire from the Senate effective late December. (WaPo)

Many are asking why is he leaving barely a year after winning re-election to a six-year term.... especially after rising from his "stupid remark" eclipse as Senate majority leader to the position of GOP whip, the number two post in the Senate leadership.

Lott went out of his way to reassure everyone that he has no health issues. He leaves the impression he is resigning out of disgust for the get-nothing-done political infighting on both sides of the aisle.

After 35 years in Congress Lott says, "It's time for us to do something else." Translated.... make some real money. At least he didn't say he wants to "spend more time with his family." That remark usually portends a forced resignation.... which Lott's isn't.

There is a little matter of the New Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (S.1) which places lobbying restrictions on former members.... as of January 1, 2008 a Senator must wait two years before lobbying Congress, and his staff must wait a year.

Lott denies his timing has anything to do with these new "cooling-off" period limitations.... and, if you believe that you must be skipping down a yellow brick road.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

1986: When U.S. Was Arming Iran

For those of you who only hear the GOP rewriting of history.... especially the Ronald Reagan presidential-greatness fable.... today is a perfect time to shine some sober light on the myth.

On this day 21 years ago.... November 25, 1986.... Reagan finally fessed up in a press conference.... he had not been in full control of his administration's Iran policy, and as a consequence up to $30 million intended to pay for American arms had been secretly diverted to rebel forces in Nicaragua. (NYTimes)

At the same time, another now mythical figure was also outed as Reagan announced that Lieut. Col. Oliver North had left his post after "serious questions of propriety had been raised."

Yes... Reagan's administration had been shipping clandestine arms to Iran and the money from this sale of arms to Iran was diverted to the Nicaragua contras.... even though Congress had barred military aid to them.

Attorney General Edwin Meese, Reagan's Alberto Gonzales, was quick to shield Reagan, announcing that "The only persons in the United States Government that knew precisely about this--the only person--was Lieut. Colonel North,".... but when asked if he would name a special prosecutor to examine the matter Meese answered with a quick "no."

Meese contended that the first United States-sanctioned arms shipment to Iran took place in 1985 without Reagan's knowledge and was approved by the president only after the fact.

A distinction without a difference it would seem to all but the White House.

A tense Reagan devoted less than four minutes to this revealing and explosive press conference and then briskly walked out of the briefing room, leaving Meese to field questions.

Here ended the Reagan fairy tale.... and, our country did not live happily ever after Reagan's "shadow government," budget-busting administration.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Iowa's Purple Passion

Today Iowa shows New Hampshire how it's done.

No, it's not time yet for the caucuses.... that contest is still five+ weeks away.

It's time for the #1 seeded University of Northern Iowa (11-0) to host the #17 University of New Hampshire (7-4) at the UNI-Dome for the NCAA Football Championship Division playoff opener.

Kickoff is at 6:30pm.... in the Des Moines area you can watch it on Mediacom Channel 22. So, tune in and watch Northern Iowa's first round in their quest for the national prize.... go Panthers!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stopping the Religious Lash....

She is 20 years old. She and a male acquaintance were sitting in a car, they were kidnapped from the car and gang raped by 7 men. She and her companion were convicted on morals charges and sentenced to receive 90 lashes for being alone in the car.

After her lawyer, Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, objected to her sentence, both victims sentences were increased to 200 lashes and six months in prison. Lahem's license has been revoked, accused of "belligerent behavior, talking to the media for the purpose of perturbing the judiciary, and hurting the country's image."

The country is Iran? Wrong. Afghanistan? Wrong. Pakistan? Wrong.

No, it's the country of The Decider's great oil buddies, Saudi Arabia.... an absolute monarchy where the official Wahhabi religious establishment follows a strict interpretation of Islam, and the country follows Islamic law... many of which are not codified, giving judges wide latitude in sentencing.

As a Saudi human rights lawyer, Lahem has been fighting against this medieval judicial system. Defending clients whom other lawyers refused.... a school administrator suspended for criticizing the religious establishment, a man convicted of promoting homosexuality for saying it was genetic, three political reformists seeking a constitutional monarchy, and the first Saudis suing the country's powerful religious police.

The lesson. In Saudi Arabia you see the consequences of allowing religious laws supremacy.... or dominionism.... and the difficulty in confronting and ridding a country of the grip of nationalistic theology.

The sentencing fourth-century-throwback Saudi court told this woman the reason for her increase in punishment was because of "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media."

WHTMC would nominate Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem for Time's "Man of the Year"... for risking everything to defend those who are victimized by Saudi Arabia's all-powerful monarchy and their religious laws. But, such a move might only increase the harsh treatment of the 20-year-old gang rape victim.

Instead, let's examine the pronouncements of some of our presidential candidates regarding their fundamentalist beliefs.... denouncing homosexuality, rights to privacy, evolution.... in government, education and the courts.

Whether it's the assault on science from global warming to evolution battles, the tearing down of the constitutional protections to privacy or the wall separating church and state.... relentless religious radicalism is on the march our country.... after being given almost unfettered political, legal and monetary advantages by The Decider.

But, unlike the tyranny in place in Saudi Arabia, Americans can still do something to halt the authoritarian ambitions that lie behind the moralistic posturing of the religious right. If you cherish your freedoms, deny them a place at the table.

As Tocqueville said in 1840: "Various forms of religious madness are quite common in the United States".... but still he thought that democracy could contain the danger.

It can... but only if you exercise your freedoms and vote. Otherwise, you or your children could someday feel the lash.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scotty Beams Up....

Not only are the rats deserting the Ship of State, but some are squealing once safely away.

The latest, and maybe loudest, squeal comes in the form of a pre-publication excerpt from a memoir by former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan.... "WHAT HAPPENED: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington," to be published next April....

"I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true.

"I had unknowingly passed along false information, and five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

McClellan says he was in that position because he trusted the president: "The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Restore the credibility of The Decider and the White House by suggesting to the press day after day that Rove and Libby had no involvement in the publication of the name of covert CIA operative Valarie Plame.

While McClellan did finally take this baby step toward full disclosure.... these events happened in the summer of 2003. He's coming forward only now, after the Plame investigation and Libby's conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice, and after Bush pardoned Libby. Where's Scotty been?

This story just broke, the shock waves are just hitting. It's impact while as yet unknown could very well affect the upcoming elections and end careers. Stay tuned....

Turkey Pardons Turkey

It's sad really, The Decider spares a turkey the usual sentence of the season, while allowing two U.S. Border Agents to remain wrongfully imprisoned.... even though an enraged public has been clamoring for their pardons.

At least the Mexican drug smuggler the agents were trying to apprehend, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, is finally under arrest, and now facing charges for smuggling drugs into our country numerous times.... even during the agents' trial using the immunity border pass issued to him by U.S. Attorney Sutton for his testimony against the agents.

So, until the agents' appeal is heard, and this travesty is overturned, remember these few things to be thankful for:

"Snowflake" Defense Secretary Rummy got the axe.

Political manipulator Rove flew The Decider's coop.

Attorney General Gonzo no longer gobble-gobbles for his White House dinner.

And, be especially thankful that starting next January we set into motion the means to rid ourselves of the "foul" Bush.

Wishing all a hopeful Thanksgiving.

Polls... Reflecting or Affecting?

Here's the problem with, "For Democrats, Iowa Still Up for Grabs" based on a recent Washington Post/ABC News Poll calling it close for the three top contenders, Barack Obama (30%), Hillary Clinton (26%), and John Edwards (22%)..... only 500 likely caucus voters were polled, and no one owning just a cell phone was polled, i.e., a large group of voters under 40 were ignored!

In a word.... can one trust these polls?

Will cell-phoners support Clinton or Obama? Seems like that edge would go to the younger Obama supporters.

Is illegal immigration the third-rail this election, or of little importance as the liberal-sponsored poll suggests. Many reports say it's a wedge issue, at least in Iowa. Just ask Obama who was skewered on this issue at a recent campaign stop. Or, any candidate taking unscripted questions from Iowans railing against illegal immigration.... emphasis on "illegal."

Is 4th place Bill Richardson actually polling better than Joe Biden? Especially on Iraq, an issue on which even the other candidates defer to Biden who shows up in 5th place.... and, especially since Iraq is the number one issue with the voters, according to the "polls." Doesn't add up.

It's an old trick, using polls to try to shape public opinion.... no use supporting such and such a candidate, he doesn't have a chance.... no one thinks such and such an issue matters, no use deciding based on that issue. Mind games.

Even naming the top three candidates the year before the caucuses.... who decided that? Big media, big money... and "polls."

Forget the polls. Forget front runner and second tier slotting. Support the best candidate for the job.... the one whose values and policies best reflect you. Otherwise, the pollsters and kingmakers decide.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Queen Hillary's Been Bzzzzzy

In last week's Democratic presidential debate, when her opponents questioned Hillary Clinton's record, she used her most-punishing imperial disdain to accuse them of "throwing mud."

Well, she should know.

The Saturday Robert Novak column carried this tidbit, "Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed."

Talk about mud-slinging.... from ambush with unidentified sources, even an unidentified "scandal."

Of course, Novak.... who readily lent his column to the GOP outing of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame whose husband tried to shine light on the Bush administration's murky slog toward the invasion of Iraq.... has shed any pretence of being a journalist, and is willing to be used as a plant, no matter the cost.

So we can dismiss Novak's implied "scandal," but should take seriously the skulduggery coming from the Clinton hive.

In the same underhanded, mud-slinging vein, "Truth Hunter" was push-polled Sunday.

That is the polling technique whereby among the political polling questions being asked are ones designed to throw a negative light on a candidate. In this instance after being asked a lot of leading questions about the adverse impact of trade agreements and corporate favoritism on our economy, there came this ringer, "Did you know that Barack Obama voted for a trade agreement this year...."

I can think of only one campaign that would feel a need to conduct a negative push-poll against Obama.... Queen Hillary and her busy bee operatives.

Well, Queen Hillary, here's the latest buzz. While you may be hurting Obama, you're hurting yourself more. You're reminding us of the eight nation-rending "scandalous" Clinton years, which were followed up by seven more destructive and divisive years presided over by "the ends justify the means" Bush administration.

Really, we've had enough. Enough slick campaigns with an army of handlers, planted questions and dirty tricks. Enough special-interests bought-and-sold, business-as-usual candidates.

In Iowa next January 3, Queen Hillary may feel the caucus-goers' sting.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Dollar is Teetering....

Why are we worrying about Iran getting nukes.... they don't need them. They can destroy our county from within.... through our Bush-decimated economy.... and are making moves in that direction.

The first paragraph, in "Saudi minister warns of dollar collapse" in the current issue of London's The Business Magazine, is chilling.... "The dollar could collapse if Opec officially admits considering changing the pricing of oil into alternative currencies such as the euro, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister has warned."

He didn't mean to warn.... but Prince Saud Al-Faisal's microphone was accidentally left on during a private meeting at an oil cartel conference in Riyadh.

What he said in part was... "My feeling is that the mere mention that the Opec countries are studying the issue of the dollar is itself going to have an impact that endangers the interests of the countries.... we don't want the dollar to collapse instead of doing something good for Opec."

Besides the dire warning, it's instructive to hear that The Decider's good Saudi friends interest in our well being is simply self-serving good business, not in our survival as a nation.

Opec members Iran and Venezuela are the ones pushing for oil to be denominated against a "basket of currencies."

Meanwhile, the dollar and the British pound continue to weaken. Bush's monstrous policies have led us to the precipice....

Friday, November 16, 2007

What Happens in Vegas....

Most post-debate political commentators focused on the fireworks last night between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the start of the CNN Democratic fracas in Las Vegas, but the real "gotcha" moment came near the end of the debate.

Clinton: I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle class families and seniors. If you lift the cap completely, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don't think we need to do that.

Obama: Hillary, I've heard you say this is a trillion dollar tax on the middle class by adjusting the cap. Understand that only 6 percent of Americans make more than $97,000 -- so 6 percent is not the middle class-- it's the upper class.

And you know, this is the kind of thing that I would expect from Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani-- where we start playing with the numbers..... No, no, no, no, no. This is too important.

Hillary, looking like a deer caught in the headlights, was rescued by a favorable audience who hooted, even booed, any of her opponents who dared catch the Queen in parse, or fudging mode.

And, that was the biggest problem with this debate. It was conducted like a high school football game complete with cheers and unruly fans, and Clinton was the home team. The visiting team was Obama, while John Edwards, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd were the sidelined second-stringers, and Dennis Kucinich the ignored water boy.

Referee Wolf Blitzer lost control of the debate at the git-go when Clinton and Obama scrapped like cats in a bag, ignoring Blitzer's attempts to redirect the action. It set the tone for a rowdy night. When cornered on her record, like her vote recently to support Bush on his Iran policy, or Edwards' accusation that she is a corporate Democrat, Clinton stiff-armed with accusations of "mud slinging."

Biden gave his usual strong performance on foreign policy.... instead of giving Bush the Clintonian wink-and-a-nod on his Iran ambitions, he revealed that he told The Decider privately that if he went to war against Iran he would move to impeach him. Kucinich unsuccessfully tried an impeachment maneuver in the House last week.... but, such a threat from a no-nonsense Biden is a different matter.

Biden also scored on the issue of Supreme Court appointments, and Roe vs. Wade as settled law, saying that he would "not appoint anyone who did not understand that Section 5 of the 14th Amendment and the Liberty Clause of the 14th Amendment provided a right to privacy."

It's difficult to watch Richardson debate. He seems to have some difficulty expressing himself, so he tries to make up for this with continuous expansive gestures as he tries to articulate. It seemed at any moment he would take flight.

While Hillary won the "supporters in the audience" edge, she lost the "sartorial splendor" award. Hillary.... ditch that "asbestos" Tinky-Winky-designed pantsuit. Truly, what was worn in Vegas should stay in Vegas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Deadly Middle East Meddling

Here we go again!

Regime change to solve a problem.... like the U.S.-supported shah of Iran. And, we all know how that turned out. Iran now has a radical Islamic controlling party and the United States is the enemy.

Learning nothing from history, The Decider tried regime change in oil-rich Iraq. So far what that has gotten us are countless U.S. and Iraqi casualties, a virtual tsunami of national debt, and an unstable warring nation bordering on, and largely politically controlled by, neighboring U.S.-unfriendly Iran. With no good resolution in sight.

The United States had one "friend" in this Middle East cluster, military-coup president Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. He "supported" the Iraq invasion while dealing with very unstable Islamic elements in his own country.... obviously not very successfully as al Qaeda and The Taliban relocated and revitalized their command and control operations to Pakistan's mountainous northwestern region, even infiltrating and overrunning some cities.

So..... a meddling Bush twisted Musharraf's arm to allow exiled former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan in order to forge a power-sharing government. A government pleasing to the United States. This set the stage....

When those negotiations not surprisingly broke down, rather than relinquish his dual role as president and head of the military, Musharraf declared a national emergency.

You see, the "term of Pakistan's current government expires on Thursday, and it also would have been the final day of Musharraf's current stint in office had he not extended it by declaring emergency rule." WaPo

So now, this nuclear-armed nation is coming apart at the seams, and rival leaders are under detention or have been "carted off by the police." NYTimes

Opposition politician Imran Khan, a popular former cricket player, appeared at a university anti-Musharraf protest Wednesday. You probably saw the media accounts.... signs that read "No to Emergency" and "Go Musharraf, Go." Not the "Go" rallying cry of football games, but the "Go" of leave office now.

What you may not have seen were the students at the protest affiliated with the radical Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami who were chanting slogans against President Bush and the United States. Kahn was seized by students belonging to Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. They detained him until he was arrested by police.... obviously the radical Islamics are emboldened by recent events.

So, here is the "shah of Iran" showdown once again.... and Musharraf, by aligning himself with the United States, is the enemy of the radical Islamists, but has also alienated the Pakistani moderates with his suspension of the constitution and national-emergency strong-arm tactics....

But this Pakistan showdown is deadly different from Iran's uprising..... for whoever controls Pakistan controls a nuclear-armed nation.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

American Ayatollah Chooses Rudy

He was a Republican candidate for president in 1988, winning the Iowa caucus. An influential evangelical guru to the religious fundamentalist movement who espouses the "dominion" mandate.... that Christians are called on by spiritual warfare to "Christianize" the country's social and political institutions.... his fevered vision as laid out in his book The New World Order.

And, that barely scratches the surface of the Old Testament Biblical law agenda of this seemingly grandfatherly founder of the Christian Coalition of America.... Pat Robertson.

Today, Robertson endorsed the candidacy of GOP former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.... who, ironically has broken many of the Biblical laws Robertson says are so important to him. But, not as important, evidently, as standing front and center with the perceived Republican nominee for the presidency.... power trumps all.

This pretty much wraps up Robertson's ayatollah-take on governing... "Individual Christians are the only ones really -- and the Jewish people, those who trust God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- are the only ones that are qualified to have the reign, because hopefully, they will be governed by God and submit to Him." (Robertson in his address to his American Center for Law and Justice, November, 1993.)

Ah... but not just any Christians.... "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." (Robertson on his "The 700 Club" program,January 14, 1991.) He doesn't like Masons either, referring in The New World Order to freemasonry as a Satanic conspiracy.

After the 2004 election, Robertson proclaimed that "George Bush has the favor of heaven." And he recently reaffirmed his belief that judges appointed by Democrats are a greater threat to the United States than Al Qaeda, Nazi Germany, or the Civil War.

And, this from a fundraising letter, 1992.... "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."

Robertson's take on marriage.... God's pattern is for men to be the leaders, both in the church and in the family.... "Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them." (From his book Bring It On, quoted in the New York Times, February 28, 2004.)

Just in case you're still not scared, here is Robertson's "law" in action regarding what should happen if a Christian blows up an abortion clinic or kills a doctor who performs abortions. In a September 1984 edition of The 700 Club, he suggested that a special church tribunal should be called, and if it could be determined that the perpetrator had received an authentic word from God which compelled him to break the civil law, then the church tribunal would have the civil authority to provide immunity from prosecution.

This is the arguably dangerously-unbalanced religious fanatic who today endorsed Giuliani. Really, Rudy, you have no shame.

The next chapter of this political season's endorsement farce, failed Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback.... who espouses creationism and champions homophobia.... is slated to endorse GOP candidate John McCain today.

Supporting these wingnut panderers in their crawl toward the presidency will only encourage this theocratic nonsense. We can do better.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bush's Foreign "Friends"

So grandiose is The Decider's opinion of himself, and his influence on other world leaders, that he has based much of our foreign policy on his so-called personal relationships with those leaders, leaving the good of the people of those nations, and ours, to choke on the effluvia of his egomaniacal "spreading of Democracy" rhetoric.

The Decider's "good friends" like.... Mexico's former president Vincente Fox who described The Decider as the cockiest man he ever met and speaks Spanish like a fourth grader; Russia's president Vladimir Putin who is grabbing Soviet-style power while Bush is gazing into Putin's soul; and Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki who is firmly lodged in Iran's back pocket while pimping American lives and treasure.

Or, nuclear-armed Pakistan's president Gen. Peverez Musharraf who is ignoring the admonishments of the White House to stop his martial-law-enforced grip on power. These leaders are at the ready for Bush photo-ops, but their actions scream their disdain.

Bush gets no respect, because he's earned no respect.

The dangerous oligarchs lying in wait just beneath the surface of nations.... usually restrained by a commanding president of a strong U.S.... have taken arrogant Bush's measure and judged that as long as they give lip service to The Decider's neoconist worldview crusades they can unleash their dictatorial ambitions without retribution.

The perfect example is Pakistan. Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 with promises of a civilian government. Because The Decider wanted Musharraf's support for his "war on terror," he looked the other way... and slipped Musharraf a mostly unaccounted for nearly $11 billion. Musharraf tested him by repeatedly breaking promises to move toward democracy, forcing his rivals into exile, being vindictive, and intimidating anyone who tried to stand up to him.

Now Bush's dependence on his perceived "relationship" with this man has blown up in his face.... Musharraf has suspended the constitution, is rounding up judges, beating and jailing lawyers and journalists, arresting members of his opposition, and has silenced the media.

Moves that will embolden extremists in The Decider's war on terror like Al Qaeda and the Taliban who are resurgent on Musharraf's northern borders, while fueling anger and mistrust among Pakistani moderates.

Musharraf said his actions were necessary to preserve Pakistan, and compared himself to Abraham Lincoln during our civil war. Please.

The truth of the matter is that after "winning a sham ballot last month, General Musharraf was awaiting a Supreme Court decision on whether his election, while still serving as army chief of staff, was legal.... he asserted military powers after getting word that the court would rule against him." (New York Times)

It's plain....Musharraf is preserving his power.... although he did throw the bone of a "promised" election in January. Will there be another "emergency" to stay that election? Elections held by a tyrannical government have but one outcome.... either no election, or the "election" of the tyrant.

Just as we have watched world leaders gutting their sham democracies while seizing unlimited state powers, we have also watched The Decider, by virtue of presidential directives and an acquiescent attorney general and lawmakers, vastly expanding the powers of his office.

Is Pakistan's perilous state just a chilling preview of November 2009?

The answer may lie in whether or not The Decider takes strong measures to restrain Musharraf by plugging his U.S. piggy bank, protecting the popular former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and insisting on open elections.... a real foreign policy effort, not a nod-and-a-wink accommodation for his "friend."

Could it be that the most dangerous leader is the one elected to office for the national common good, who instead uses it to undermine individual rights while pursuing his ego-directed globalist ideology.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Days of our Discontent....

A snapshot of the week ahead.... former congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this morning. Perhaps in recognition of his relentless crusade against women's right to choose, or, as the House of Representatives chief prosecutor in President Clinton's impeachment proceedings over his adulterous affair with a White House intern.

Of course....hypocrisy, thy name is GOP..... during the Clinton witch hunt Hyde admitted to Salon magazine in 1998 that he had carried on a five-year sexual relationship with a much younger married woman that ended when Hyde's wife found out about it.

And.... tomorrow morning the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the confirmation of Michael Mukasey, The Decider's nominee for attorney general. With spineless Democrats like Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Charles Schumer (NY) giving the nod to Mukasey, it seems assured he'll gain the approval of the committee and the full Senate later this month. So, we'll have another attorney general who can't say if waterboarding torture is illegal.... it's still what the meaning of is, is.

Mukasey should have asked Evan Wallach, he explains it all in his piece today "Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime." (WaPo)

He reminds us that after "World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war." Of course, under the Bush administration, the days of national moral behavior are just a memory .... perverted by a flurry of The Decider's directives and his last political-enabler, attorney general Alberto Gonzales.

Looks like this isn't the week that will restore our tattered national honor.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Our National Shame

Our children are under siege.

Whether it's lead in their toys, Super Bugs in their schools.... or a president intent on pouring billions weekly into Iraq while vetoing expanded health insurance for children in poor and middle class families (SCHIP), or threatening to veto the increase in diagnostic and research funding for the epidemic of autism.... dangers are daily stalking our children.

The latest estimate is that as many as 1 in 150 children have some form of autism.... a disorder which steals emotional warmth and communication skills, replacing them with unsocial and angry behaviors.... heartbreaking and devastating for families.

One in 150.... !

The increase for autism-related funding in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations (LHHSE) 2008 appropriations bill? Just $37 million.... a blink of the eye in Iraq spending terms.

And the Super Bug? It is now estimated that drug-resistant infections will become the third leading killer in the U.S.... exceeded only by cancer and heart disease.

Uninspected children's toys from China continue to flood the country, even after the discovery of life-threatening lead in such toys. It's an outrage.

Because the entire LHHSE appropriations bill has $9 billion more in discretionary spending than The Decider asked for, he's promised to veto the bill, thus threatening the much needed budget increases for such national health agencies as the Center for Disease Control, and programs like that of autism for diagnosis, treatment and research.

This disgraceful president, while running up truly historic debt only vetoed one bill during the six years of a GOP-controlled congress.... for vital stem cell research.... is now standing by with veto pen at the ready for legislation passed by the the Democratic congress.

Could the real reason for El Presidente Bush's veto of the LHHSE appropriations legislation be because the bill also scuttles other policies he's been pushing? The bill does refocus some of the administration's priorities back to U. S. citizens.... such as, barring the Social Security Administration from processing claims for retirement benefits that are based on illegal work

From Iraq to Mexico, too many White House priorities put the welfare of our citizens, and especially our children, last.

Do your part to thwart The Decider's continuing disregard for the welfare of our citizens, and especially our children under siege. Contact your legislators and urge their support of the 2008 LHHSE Appropriations bill.

As Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said of this legislation.... "This appropriation bill has no rival for greater importance to America because it deals with our nation's capital assets: health, education, and labor. It is my hope the president signs this bill into law in the interest of the nation's general welfare."

Friday, November 02, 2007

"Everyman" To The Rescue....

Here's a "feel good" story to take you into a crisp fall-football weekend and remind you that the disgraceful government in Washington isn't the American people.

Here are the American people.... "Civilians aid injured officer, subdue suspect." (Des Moines Register)

A Des Moines police officer whose hand was hurt in a scuffle with a Dahl''s grocery store shoplifting suspect, was pinned down on his back by the suspect who was on top of him trying to get to the officer's gun.

Without hesitation, the suspect was set upon and subdued by six bystanders including several shoppers, the store manager and someone who was driving by the store and saw the officer's plight.

As The Decider's nominee for attorney general sits in his confirmation hearing parsing the meaning of torture; and the former attorney general of New York, now governor, is trying to give illegal aliens a drivers license, setting the stage for massive voter fraud.... the everyman knows a crime when he sees one and acts to uphold the law and protect their fellow man.

Cheers for America's "everyman!"

Thursday, November 01, 2007

GOP Gay Glass House

Republican conservative policymakers must be reeling.... their "moral authority" shtick and gay bashing hypocrisy are laid bare once again as "GOP State Rep Resigns Amid Sex Scandal." (WaPo)

Washington State lawmaker Rep. Richard Curtis, who voted against gay rights, resigned Wednesday after "he was quoted in police reports as saying a man he had sex with after they met at an erotic video store was trying to blackmail him."

And, according to police reports, he didn't have gay sex at just any old place, but at a hotel room in Spokane during a GOP retreat. The blackmail? According to the other man, Cody Castagna, Curtis reneged on his promise to pay him $1,000 for the sex.

Following the lead of other GOPers caught out.... Curtis, married with children, now declares that sex was not involved and "he was not gay."

On the lunatic right fringe of the GOP, more gay bashers are getting their comeuppance. "$11M Verdict in Funeral Protesters Case." (WaPo)

This fundamentalist Kansas sect pickets military funerals waving placards bearing vile messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."

The courts have at last acted against their hate speech.... they have been ordered to pay nearly $11 million in damages to the grieving father of a fallen Marine after their protest intruded on his private funeral ceremony.

The sect.... the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka.... led by Fred Phelps and his two daughters, believe that U.S. deaths in the Iraq war are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality, and hide behind the First Amendment to justify their vitriolic behavior. No more.

The far-right "religious" czars in the GOP need to sit up and take notice.... their days as the self-promoting gay-bashing hacks of the "moral majority" are over.... their clay feet have been exposed, and real "values" upheld by the courts.

Eyes were opened with fundamentalist mega-church leader Ted Haggard's revelation of his gay activities, sending shock waves though out the conservative movement. From creepy page-stalker GOP Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, to GOP Sen. "Widestance" Craig of Idaho.... the mounting gay-baiting hypocrisies have washed up on the beach of their pretensions.

The current crop of self-annointed gay-baiting GOP power brokers.... like "Third Party Threat" Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; Gary "humping in corporate accounts" Bauer of American Values; and James Dobson of Focus on the Family and SpongeBob-SquarePants-is-pro-homosexual fame.... are nothing more than shallow, opportunistic money lenders in the political temple.

Evangelicals and the Republican party would do well to drive them out.