Friday, October 21, 2005

If you've got a coupla minutes

you may want to read this fine essay (a review of a recent book, actually) that attempts to answer the question why, if the polls show that the American public hasn't really shifted rightward in the last two decades, their politicians have. Really incisive analysis of the means by which the Republicans have gotten their arch-conservative agenda to become a "majority rule," notwithstanding that the majority of Americans say they want something different.

My take on the issue adds this slightly-mentioned piece: The media, especially the broadcast and cable television news. It's not hard to gain power when the major institution that's supposed to question authority doesn't do so and indeed is part of your power structure.

I'm not making this up

This AP account, found in Yahoo! News, about Bush's buddy Karen Hughes abroad, in Indonesia this time. What the hell?

Dropping like flies

I know y'all regularly check in at this site that keeps tracks of casualties in Iraq, but in case you haven't visited it lately (and you certainly haven't heard about it on the MSM), as of today, this month's (October's) rate of daily deaths of American troops is the highest since November 2004.

They have no WMD's, Saddam's in custody and on trial, they've got a government in place and they've adopted a constitution.

Why--can anybody tell me--why are our troops still dying over there?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's official

This survey of American polls tracks graphically various trends, including Bush's approval/dispproval ratios. According to the latest entries, including Fox and Wall Street Journal and other less-than-liberal polls, Bush's disapproval percentages now unanimously exceed 50%. A minority president.

So where, you ask, is the "Silent Majority?" Ask Congress and the mainstream media.

Iraq fatigue

We've been reading lately ab0ut "donation fatigue" or "disaster fatigue," resulting in diminished giving by Americans to charities because of the unending series of catastrophes in the last year or so. The result, no doubt, will be that the 60,000 or so (but who's counting?) dead Pakistanis and Indians who are still buried under earthquake rubble will just have to wait until the US and other nations can get it together again to assist. (But with a new hurricane to watch, there may be no further aid forthcoming, and certainly no more news coverage on the television.)

But that's another story. I'm suffering, instead, from Iraq fatigue and I may be one of the last to catch the disorder. I haven't quite quit counting our dead soldiers (1987 as of this morning, five killed yesterday), and I still read the stories on the various websites, but it's hard to maintain the outrage day after day, outrage after outrage. So, when a post appears on this blog dealing with Iraq, I assure you it's been interiorly vetted by me, the least outrageous developments have been filtered out, leaving only the worst--the very worst--developments for reportage here.

Here's today's outrage: Condi Rice's latest concept, "clear, hold and build." Under this scenario, as far as I can tell, our troops will take over an area by force, guard and assist construction people as they rebuild what we've destroyed. If this isn't VietNam all over again, I don't know what is. Remember the phrase "fortified hamlet"?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A word to the wise

So far I've stayed away from (aloof from?) the speculation/hype about Fitzgerald's grand jury. Sure, it could indict everyone from the lowest-ranked malefactor (somebody in Libby's office who manned the fax machine, or something) to Cheney or even Bush, who, unlike Nixon, wouldn't be named just an "unidicted co-conspirator." Criminal charges, amounting to treason, against the highest elected officials in the land, to be followed by impeachment proceedings. Wowzer-dowzer!

Okay, something grand like that could happen but in my experience such matters (with the notable exception of the spectacular Saturday Night Massacre in which Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, and then two Justice Department bosses, Elliot Richardson, the AG, and his underling, William Ruckelshaus, resigned, only to be supplanted by Robert Bork--later to fail in a bid for the Supreme Court--who fired Cox), simply aren't part of the political scene in Washington. We're much less dramatic than that, most-times.

But I gotta admit, something's afoot and it feels like it's something pretty big. Even so, since I can't do anything about it but stayed glued to my 'puter (and, I suppose, my TV), I elect to sit back and click my mouse and remote and smile, vaguely, knowing that no matter how much less than fulfillment of my wildest fantasies eventuates, Fitzgerald and his secret jurors are giving me--all of us Lefties--a hell of a ride.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The other newspaper in Washington

We all know that the Washington Times (as opposed to the Post) has heretofore been a rightist rag, owned by a corporation that's owned by the Moonies. But now, it seems, the Rev. Moon may have had a change of heart and the Times may reflect that change, leaving the NeoCons in Washington with nowhere to print their mad ravings.

Of course they still have Faux News, the Wall Street Journal (most times), and a bunch of magazines and think tanks. But it's a start.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Two Days in October

I commend to you, without reservation, a PBS documentary on The American Experience, called “Two Days in October.” Please view it if you can. Tape it too, to show to your friends and kids and anyone whose values you value. And then join me at the barricades to stop another two days in October. Not, this time, about the war in Vietnam in October, 1967. About Bush/Cheney's "war on terror," about two days that started today.

Okay, let's get serious

This is the billionth warning to the Democratic party to get its act together, finally, to cease their chickenshit politics.

It takes time for any movement, any idea, to get seeded, to grow roots and thrive. It took years for the opposition to the VietNam war to get a foothold; and years more for it to lead to our withdrawal. But we don't have that much time anymore. The madmen (and women) who control our government are moving too fast, closing in on Armageddon with deliberate pace.

There's no time, either, to form a third party and have it hold sway. The Democrats are all we have--and it's time to remind them who they are. The party of the people--us--the folks who built this nation. We hate war, we want freedom, we help our fellows, we are good and kind.

Come on Democrats. Take back America.

Numbers don't lie

Okay, I've so far watched Bush's declining poll numbers without comment (difficult not to gloat, I gotta tell ya) but now I must observe this: The oldest, most revered poll is Gallup, now merged with CNN and USA Today, and here's its most recent results, listed along with other recent polls on Bush's approval/disapproval percentages: 39% approve, 58% disapprove.

These numbers are awful for Bush. But even more awful is the fact that in its previous poll two weeks ago (also shown on the same webpage) Gallup/CNN/USAToday was among those most favorable to Bush, with a disapproval/approval spread of only 50% to 45%.

This means that Bush has lost more than 7 Gallup percentage points in just two weeks, all after he made countless trips to New Orleans, all after his incessant speeches and appearances to bolster his image as leader.

It could well be that, as happened to Truman after the war, the public has just quit believing in the guy.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The first good idea I've heard in a long time

Walter Cronkite's call for a midterm Democratic convention. Let's find out who's gonna run this party: the human beings or the schmoozers.