Friday, September 16, 2005

Where is our leadership?

Seriously -- in the wake of the Katrina disaster, with Bush's approval rating at 39 percent -- where is our emerging leader? Yes, yes, I know Howard Dean's saying great things. But he's not saying enough, loud enough. He's not going to run for president.

If anybody is even trying to emerge, please post some evidence here. I'm really frustrated with the Dems -- I mean, come on!

What is F@#king Wrong With These People???

Via the Daily Kos we get this from Brian Williams about the return, and removal of, power in New Orleans last night.

Who is to blame for New Orleans? Environmentalists... Apparently

Via the must-read Americablog comes this bit from the Clarion Ledger about the new phase of the 'Blame Game' that Bush Co. said they wouldn't engage in:
Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.

The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

[snip]

Shown a copy of the e-mail, David Bookbinder, senior attorney for Sierra Club, remarked, "Why are they (Bush administration officials) trying to smear us like this?"

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups had nothing to do with the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina that killed hundreds, he said. "It's unfortunate that the Bush administration is trying to shift the blame to environmental groups. It doesn't surprise me at all."

Federal officials say the e-mail was prompted by a congressional inquiry but wouldn't comment further.
What total Bastards.

The Next Big Thing

It just never ends does it? Like a child that screams for a toy they must have only to lose interest in it after playing with it for a few hours, TIME's article on the Bush Bubble has this disturbing passage:
Bush has always said the Presidency is about doing big things, and a friend who chatted with him one evening in July said he seemed to be craving a fresh mission even though the one he has pursued in Iraq is far from being on a steady footing. "He was looking for the next really important thing to do," the friend said. "You could hear him almost sorting it out to himself. He just sort of figured it would come."
Ugh.

Rovism

Some interesting thoughts over at NewDonkey.com on how conservatives have killed the idea of 'accountability':
In fact, I would argue that their most important tactical consideration has been to destroy the possibility of accountability by short-circuiting all the signals whereby a healthy society normally judges its leaders. Any source of objective measurement has been systematically discredited as inherently ideological: scientists are secularist fanatics; the media are elitist liberals; the judiciary is full of anti-Christian activists; the opposition party is anti-American. We've all had much fun with the conservative characterization of "liberals" as "reality-based," but it's no laughing matter: the essence of Rovism is to eliminate any zone of rational persuasion and force Americans to pick sides in an identity politics of real and perceived privileges under imaginary assault.
All true and very scary. Read the rest for yourselves, there's some interesting thoughts there.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Rich Man's Religion?

You have to love how the folks at the Daily Kos articulate the religion of the conservatives:
These people honestly don't give a crap about the American population. Doesn't enter their heads. Their agenda is so far removed from even basic logic that it can only be compared to a religion. Conservative is less government philosophy than it is Rich Man's Religion. Gotta Cut, if it doesn't affect me personally. Gotta Spend, if I get a piece of that pie. Gotta Proselytize, if it convinces the poor suckers over the county line to check the box next to my name. Gotta Vote the way the party tells me to, or the money spigot gets turned off.
That about sums it up for me...

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle...

Indeed. Wankers.

John Roberts Scorecard

Oh Slate.com, how often I forget you only to find that so often you do have just what I need. Here's their re-cap of Roberts positions on things:
He won't answer questions about any case currently pending before the Supreme Court (abortion, right-to-die);

He won't answer questions about any case that might someday conceivably be pending before the Supreme Court (separation of powers, contested presidential elections);

He won't answer questions he's decided on the court of appeals (since they may someday conceivably be pending before the Supreme Court);

He won't answer questions about prior nominees (Robert Bork) because that is not appropriate;

He can't answer questions about general legal doctrine because they are too general;

He can't answer questions about specific legal doctrine because they are too specific;

He can't answer questions about his early memos because a robot wrote them.
A robot eh? But just 'a robot right? I mean, he's not a killer kind of robot from the future sent to destroy us all? Hate those.

There's also "Evasion of Privacy: The phony humility of John Roberts" that is worth your time.

Why Does David Brooks Hate America?

I really don't know what to do with this one:
On the September 11 edition of NBC's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, New York Times columnist David Brooks revealed that he has learned from private conversations with Bush officials who "represent" what "Bush believes" that from its earliest days, the Bush administration adopted a policy of shielding itself from political damage by never publicly admitting any mistake -- even if it meant lying to the media and the American public. The fact that Bush doesn't admit mistakes has been reported by the media for years. For instance, in the September 11 edition of The New York Times, David Sanger reported, "Mr. Bush, his aides acknowledge, is loath to fire members of his administration or to take public actions that are tantamount to an admission of a major mistake." Brooks himself has previously noted the Bush administration's unwillingness to admit to mistakes. But what Brooks's September 11 account adds is that Bush is being intentionally dishonest -- in Brooks's words, "totally tactical and totally insincere" -- in resisting such public admissions and in blaming others when failures are too obvious to deny.

Moreover, on the Matthews Show, Brooks disclosed that "from Day One," the Bush White House "decided our public relations is not going to be honest," and that "privately they admit mistakes all the time." Brooks's revelation would appear to be of major significance, particularly in light of recent attempts by Bush administration officials to shift culpability in the Hurricane Katrina disaster away from the White House.
All I know is this: it's Clinton's fault.

George's Problems

Hmmm, this doesn't sound like the Mainstream Corporate Media at all... but the force is strong with W. and Karl Rove, so I wouldn't count them out yet. That said here's a list of things ABC's 'The Note' thinks differentiates the Katrina aftermath from everthing else W has faced before:
"How is the situation President Bush faces tonight different than on all other nights since 9/11?":

He has never seen his poll numbers take this kind of hit among Republicans before.

He has never seen his poll numbers on "strong leader" and "can handle a crisis" take such a hit before.

He has never seen his efforts to build the Republican Party among African-Americans be so thoroughly undermined before.

He has never been rolled by Nancy Pelosi before.
HA HA HILARIOUS!
He has never been without Dr. Rice or Ambassador Hughes down the hall during a crisis before.

He has never had two open-ended spending commitments of tens of billions of dollars before.

He has never had to take "responsibility" for such death-infused tragedy before.
Or take repsonsibility for anything else for that matter. Just credit. Lots and lots of credit.
He has never had to rethink whether he has put fully qualified people in critical jobs before.
Or just 're-think' anything... that's a new experience for him.
He has never had so many well-meaning Republican strategists and Administration aides whole-heartedly agreeing that the White House was too slow off the mark in dealing with a crisis before.

He has never had to dial back on his view that "it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life" — at least in public — before.
Oh don't be naive: he hasn't dial back that view at all... he just has to remember to use his little inner W voice for that one.
He has never had to be dependent on an inexperienced Democratic governor of a poor state for his own political health before.

He has never faced the possibility of long-term blame for something (the rebuilding of New Orleans and other devastated areas) that is to a large extent beyond his control — and which he will say tonight should be left largely to the choices of local people — before.

He has never had to be so deeply self-conscious about tossing off sarcastic remarks, half-baked cracks, and casual comments before.
But if our so-called 'liberal media' had been doing their job maybe he would have been self-conscious of these long long ago. Wankers.
He has never been so denied the cushion of his nonchalant confidence and relaxed superiority before.

He has never been perceived as such a potential liability by others in his party looking to hold their seats before.

He has never lacked The Other — an enemy to demonize and to contrast with himself and his policies in the eyes of the media and the public before.
D'oh!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Republicans' Other War...

Chris Mooney, the author of "The Republican War on Science," was on the Daily Show Monday (click the link to watch the video of it) and while he isn't the most exciting interview ever, it is still pretty scary. Why? Because the Republican's are willingly undermining science to advance their various agendas. Here's some stuff from Salon.com:
"The Republican War on Science" is nothing short of a landmark in contemporary political reporting. Mooney compiles and presents an extraordinary mountain of evidence, from several different fields, to demonstrate that the conservative wing of the Republican Party has launched an unprecedented and highly successful campaign to sow widespread confusion about the conclusions of science and its usefulness in political decision making. Using methods and strategies pioneered under the Reagan administration by the tobacco industry and anti-environmental forces, an alliance of social conservatives and corporate advocates has paralyzed or obfuscated public discussion of science on a whole range of issues. Not just climate change but also stem cell research, evolutionary biology, endangered-species protection, diet and obesity, abortion and contraception, and the effects of environmental toxins have all become arenas of systematic and deliberate bewilderment.

Mooney quotes an internal strategy document from the tobacco company Brown and Williamson, written around 1969: "Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." B&W and the other tobacco giants achieved no better than a stalemate in their long battle against government regulation, but whatever chain-smoking, skinny-tied executive wrote that memo ought to be beatified by the conservative movement. With those two sentences he became its accidental Karl Marx, launching an antiscientific counterrevolution that rages around us today.

No matter how much you think you know about Republican distortion and misuse of science, Mooney's account will startle and perhaps terrify you. Many conservatives, he argues, have stopped regarding science as an objective search for truth (conditional as that truth necessarily is). Instead, they see it as just another realm of naked power politics or, less cynically but more ominously, as a contest between a pseudo-socialistic, tree-hugging worldview and one that is avowedly pro-Christian and pro-capitalist. Furthermore, right-wingers have mystified this conflict almost completely, cloaking it in self-defined terms of "sound science" (i.e., science that agrees with them, or reaches no conclusions at all) versus "junk science" (anything that might impinge on corporate profits or conflict with the most extreme version of Christian morality).
Why should this matter? Oh I don't know...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Lie of Republican Christianity

Don't know who this guy/gal/group is, but I like what they have to say:
The Christians who, in their compact with the Republicans sold out nearly every other value of Jesus Christ for the sake of one he never uttered--a fetus' right to life--are left with nothing again. Those who were asked to value the so-called "right to life" and abandonned love of peace and the poor to try to achieve it are left with nothing truly Christian at all, just a senseless war, a contempt for the poor and afflicted, and a Supreme Court that will continue to honor Roe v. Wade.
In other words: SUCKERS!!

Wow. Wish I could write like that. I also wish I could fly like Superman (with a nod to Ray Davies) but that is sort of beside the point.

I don't agree with the main thesis though, because I do believe that, no matter what the Gentleman Roberts says, Republicans are Hell-bent to do away with abortion rights. Nothing indicates the contrary to me.