Saturday, November 18, 2006

Your thoughts?

Two Rasmussen polls of interest:

1. Forty-one percents of Americans believe the nation's best days are yet to come, and about an equal number don't.

2. Sixty-one percent believe American society is generally fair and decent.In each case, note the disparity in outlook between Republicans and Democrats, and between young and old.

Your view?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Somebody, stop the madness!

A huge facility at Gitmo, costing $125 million, to hold the military's "show trials" in? Have we gone nuts?

(I've gotten into a habit of asking rhetorical questions, I realize--see previous post. I'll watch this tendency in the future.)

Struck dumb.

That's not Bush, that's me. I find myself unable to formulate words to react to--unable, even, to get my mind around--Bush's statement about the applicability of the VietNam experience to Iraq. Doesn't he realize the "freedom" he's talking about only took root after we were driven out of the country after a decade of slaughter? Was he too busy snorting to read the papers back then?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Watch what he does, not what he says

After pledging cooperation and bi-partisanship with the Democratic Congress, Bush's first acts after the election are to try to get twice-denied John Bolton confirmed for the UN ambassadorship (a "nonstarter," it's said), and just today has resubmitted the names of six bigoted assholes for federal judgeships.

In the linked-to article, Senator Schumer says he hopes this last act isn't a precursor to Bush ideological intransigence over the next two years. Chuck, baby, where have you been for the last six?

Didja ever wonder

how you manage to hold 80 hostages? Are we talking cafeteria lines for food, Porta-potties, rows of cots? I mean, how do you keep secret their location, a group bigger than most art show openings?

You read it here first...or maybe second

This piece in the Guardian lays out what we can expect from Bush about Iraq in the upcoming weeks. Recall, in addition to the Iraq Study Group (the Baker bunch), which is a Congressionally-authorized entity, Bush has lately called together his own studiers, Pentagon-types and Cheney acolytes, to come up with his own report, and the Guardian has the scoop. There will be "one last push" to "win" and after that...defeat.

If I'm an "insurgent" or an al Qaeda fighter in Iraq, this is terrific. I just keep on keeping on and in time I will prevail. If I'm a Congressional Democrat, it's terrific too. I rail against this outrageous waste, and, again, simply wait for it to fail. Terrific, too, for McCain-bashers like me, who want him and his militaristic outlook to be shown for the fakey macho bravado that it is.

But if I'm a U.S. soldier, or an Iraqi, or an American taxpayer--or a decent human being--not so terrific.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Never mind"

This Time Online piece, about the recent "Ooops" statements by NeoCons Perle and Adelman expresses my sentiments exactly. I'll be even more enraged when one or both of them peddles a book, to huge sales, on the subject of the Iraq war, focusing, of course, on how it was mishandled, not how it was wrong.

Three observations about the 2008 presidential election

1. It's two years away, boys and girls, and already the media's pumping the story since they think it will sell ad revenue to do so. Can you imagine how tired we'll be of the story in two years?

2. Barack Obama's rise from a single speech to the Democratic Convention two years ago (he's done nothing, really, in his two years as junior Senator from Illinois--although of course he was powerless) to becoming the media darling is a commentary on how ordinary is the que of Democratic presidential candidates right now. Somebody's got to emerge and catch fire, but not Obama, please. First, he's black; second, he's young; third, he's completely unknown as a politician, and as a person. Get real, Democrats. Not a pretty face, a fancy name. A real person with sound progressive principles that are tested under fire. George McGovern, anyone?

3. We gotta kneecap John McCain before his bandwagon gets too far along. He's an archconservative, benefiting from the few times he's sponsored "maverick" legislation, but make no mistake, he's bad news. His media popularity is overwhelming, based largely on his personality, which is indeed charming, but behind it are views--from agressive militaristim to nasty capitalism--that almost make Bush look benign. Really, I know. McCain was my Senator for years, and I've paid attention. So--to stop the bandwagon, we've got to call attention to these traits right now and repeat them every time his name comes up. I suggest we start with his most recent warmongering message: that we should increase the troop levels in Iraq, to "get the job done." Not only is this wholly out of step with the vast majority of the public and the pols, it is madness, utter madness. So mad, that even Bush/Cheney haven't suggested it. My notion, then, is to label the Senator something like, "Madman McCain" to isolate him and call attention to his crazy position on the war. Now, repeatedly, forever. Because if we don't stop him now, he's likely to be our next president.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Take a coupla minutes

Read and sign Michael Moore's pledge.

(I really like Moore's wit. My favorite is the pledge to allow Republicans to breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water we've created.)

Definitions, please

Bush/Cheney/Condi use the terms "achieving victory" and "success" in Iraq before our troops are withdrawn. Anybody have a clue what these terms mean in that setting? Perhaps a daily body count of Iraqis below twenty?

Surely they can't be saying that our troops remain there until the streets of Bagdad and Fallujah are as safe to walk as Coast Village Road in Montecito; the lately-closed TV stations are reopened and blaring truths; the kids are in school; the hospitals are emptied of corpses and clean as a whistle; the parliament has wide-ranging debate (including nationalizing the oil fields); and the ruling group swears eternal fealty to the US and UK. Surely they can't imagine such an Iraq. Can you? Can you imagine anything like that in the near (or distant) future?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Whither Republicans?

Some months ago, I wrote a post that bemoaned the demise of "liberal" Republicans, those folks who, back in the day, were sensitive to social, civil-rights and environmental issues, but who fashioned themselves fiscal conservatives. Folks like John Lindsay, mayor of New York; Lowell Weicker, Connecticut Senator, and others whose names escape me now. In the sixties and seventies they were a voice that was quite in tune with the liberal issues of the day: abortion rights, separation of church and state, environmental protection.

Well, here's whadup with them. Which means, I guess, that from now on (for the foreseeable future, anyway) the Democratic Party will encompass the center, center left and left (plus quite a bit of the right, in my view) leaving it the majority party in national politics for some time to come. The exception, of course, will be in the presidential race, where for some reason the Republicans seem to come up with the candidate who is more appealing to the media and the great unwashed. Candidates like Bush, Reagan and, horror of horrors, John McCain.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's lonely at the top

Especially for Tony Blair, who has apparently been hung out to dry by his ally, Bush, in Bush's latest machinations to get his own ass out a crack. You haven't heard a lot of "consult and confer with the 'Coaltion'" talk lately, just about how Bush is trying to salvage his legacy (as if there was any legacy to salvage.)

And now, with four Brits dying in Iraq yesterday, I wouldn't want to be toady Tony when next he faces his peers in Parliament.