Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mr. Rove and the Winter Meeting


Rove Experiment OVER!, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

Mr.Rove and His Marching Orders

So Karl Rove is at the Winter Meeting of the Republican Party! He's in a boastful mood! (Which is a surprise, because he hasn't shaken Fitzpatrick off, and had a Very Bad Year in 2005.) Yet here he is, talking trash about how the Republicans are right, how they are ''spreading freedom,'' how the American people are behind them and how lowering taxes was the magic bullet that created economic paradise, (They didn't lower it for you and me, but Rove SAYS they did!) and how during the Supreme Court hearings, the Republicans were the model of civility and the Democrats were wanton meanies to the sterling character of Roberts and Alito.

Whooh! I transcribed the speech. A lot to get through, but l did it quickly. And yes, I did find a copy eventually on the net, but I took him down verbatim, not second hand. I'm not clear about whether or not I'm violating copywright if I put my version on the web, hence the link in the title. One thing though, during Rove's preening in front of his homeys, I could distinctly hear the sound of Republicans lying to themselves! There's what the Republicans tell us and maybe themselves, and then there’s the truth.

Here’s Rove on Bush's record on fighting terrorism:

" President Bush has established a remarkable record. He is winning the war against terrorism, promoting liberty in regions of the world that have never known it, and protecting America against attacks. "

What record? The war on terrorism is unchanged. Osama still eludes us. There is little better than a stalemate in Iraq. Those "vital successful elections in Iraq," merely increased the fissures that will split the country by a civil war. As for national security: Our borders are broken. I wonder how many terrorists and drug mules can get across a Southwestern U.S. border? Mexico spits in our faces and sends more illegal aliens across the border.

But don't worry Bush & Co. know what this country needs, tax cuts:

"President Bush believes the role of government is to create an environment in which the entrepreneurial spirit flourishes, and where small businesses can grow, where people can dream about owning their own home, and turn it into a reality. The President doesn't believe government creates wealth. He believes that's done by American workers and farmers and entrepreneurs. And the President believes the American economy grows when the American people are allowed to keep more of their own money so they save and invest and spend as they see fit not government."

Well, apparently according to Bush and Rove, only 1% of Americans know how to "save and invest and spend as they see fit," because they got 80% of the tax cuts in 2004. Of course, they don't really NEED those tax cuts, and the 61% of us DO, but, we'll get by on the 13% of those tax 2004 cuts they left for us!

And of course, Mr. Rove very conscientiously castigates us "irresponsible'' Democrats for furthering the suffering of Americans. We are nothing but "tax and spend" liberals.

"The Democratic Party on the other hand, seems like it has an allergy to tax cuts. Sometimes it seems as if they never found a tax cut they were for, or a tax increase they were against. Many Democrats seem to view higher taxes as more than an economic policy. They see higher taxes as a sign of virtue."

Now Mr. Rove mustn't be inconvenienced by the fact that we Democrats believe that the only fair tax cut is the one where 60% of the population gets the largest tax cuts.

Karl Rove knows that what's best for the country is to take care of that 1%:

"To those Democrats who want to take money out of your pocket by opposing making the tax cuts permanent, our response is: 'No you don't!' To those Democrats who want to raise your taxes in order to increase the size of government, our response is: 'No you won't!' And to the Democrats who say they can spend your money better than the American people can, our response is: 'No you can't!'"

Rove won't let nasty Dems reduce fat cat profits! But Bush added a whole new tier of management to government, the Department of Homeland Security. Though proposed by Democrats, the creature that lives today is wholly Bush's creation. Oh, and then there's the war, you know, the one Dubya started in Iraq to look for non-existent WMDs. Believe it or not, it cost s us more than the figurative "arm and a leg" as many a Marine could tell you, and Iraqi oil - just isn't paying, not to put too fine a point on it!

Now Karl wants to speak to a grave problem - "activist" judges.

Here's a good rule of thumb to follow Karl:

An "activist" judge is a judge who contradicts your ideology or, more to the point, acts contrary to your Party's political interests.

And yet:

"In Roberts and Alito, the American people saw the kind of individuals President Bush wants on the Court and they like what they see. Most Americans want judges who will strictly apply the Constitution and laws, not legislate from the bench. They want judges who believe in self-government, instead of those who are determined to undermine it. They want judges who will stand against judicial activism and for Constitutionalism. This important debate over judges will decide whether we will treat the Constitution as the governing charter of our country, or whether we will treat it as if it was made of hot wax, pliable, inconstant and easily changed."

I thought "constitutionalism" would mean belief in what is constitutional or what is in keeping what the spirit and values are behind the Constitution, but ever watchful Karl knows better!

I thought we had a ''living Constitution," not a Country Club charter that remains unchanged for generations, but Rove implies that we Democrats treat it ''as if it was made of hot wax, pliable, inconstant and easily changed," and Karl is "an honourable man." *

Am I really so sarcastic? Rove brings the acid out of me. And what he and his ilk are doing to this country make me spit venom. Rove is a duplicitous bastard! On the one hand, he can "Swift Boat" an honorable man like Kerry, yet still In speaking of Alito, Rove have the actual nerve to accuse the Democrats of using smear tactics! And it was all part of his spin, which began with this statement:

"Now I admit, the Democrats talked a whole lot longer, particularly about themselves, but John Roberts and Samuel Alito spoke a whole lot better."

Which in Rovespeak is the code for evading questions, convenient memory lapses, and just plain ol' fudging. Then he gets to the good stuff:

"It's also worth noting the old special interest playbook just didn't work this time. Every effort to smear the good names of these two men blew up in the faces of those making the malicious charges. "

Karl, Karl, Karl... Its not a smear when you're judging a man's character by the choices he made, and the actions he took, especially when he took them for the advancement of his career. Those actions, like belonging to a racist, bigoted alumni group for 18 years and using your membership in it to pad your resume for a higher job in the Reagan administration signifies a mercenary nature at best when Alito tries to put some distance 'twixt himself and his past.

And is it a "smear" to say that Alito lied when he said that he would recuse himself from Vanguard in which he owned stock, Three years later he heard a case involving Vanguard without said recusal.

And if it was a "smear" to tell the world that Alito belonged to an alumni group based on bigotry, then why did he continue to belong to that group for 18 years, and referred to this group in a letter of referral when he applied for a higher position in the AG's office?

"In Roberts and Alito, the American people saw the kind of individuals President Bush wants on the Court and they like what they see."

Realistic Americans see that Dubya wants "his men" in the Court and are frightened by what they see. Bye bye civil liberties.

Well, the time was coming well-nigh that Karl had to depart, so he decided to remind the loyal subjects who their beneficent leaders were:

"The President and Vice-President played indispensable roles in our success. You know this, they've appeared in countless events in your states on behalf of candidates working hard to avoid a lonely victory. They came here to get something done. And now it's easier to get things done when you have your friends and allies in the House and Senate."

And, of course, I LOVE this part, may I repeat?:

"And now it's easier to get things done when you have your friends and allies in the House and Senate."

That's the MONEY line for me! Now lets do away with bi-cameral legislatures, checks and balances and BRING ON that Unitary Executive! Let every fat cat come now and feed at the trough!

And though he was proud of them, Rove had admonish his children not to be irresponsible!:

"The GOP's progress during the last four decades is a stunning political achievement. But it's also a cautionary tale. It's a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party, in this case the Democrats, when it's thinking becomes ossified, when it's energy begins to drain, when an entitlement mentality takes over, and when political power becomes an end in and of itself rather than a means to achieve the common good."

Wonderful line!: " and when political power becomes an end in and of itself rather than a means to achieve the common good."

I love that! Ask the people of Florida and Ohio if political power wasn't the neocon's "end in and of itself," when their votes were stolen!

As for ''ossified'' thinking, your feudal ideology Karl, is what's ossified. We Dems stood for the people. And if that's "ossified," then put me in a rubber room.

In the end Mr. Rove in order to further educate, saw fit to borrow the guise of a genuine honest man, and quoted Lincoln, but then I think when Lincoln educated on how to win political power, he forgot to add Mr. Rove's fine touches. You know, the part where you have to do some real smearing, not that imaginary stuff he accused us Democrats of. The part where you play upon people's fears and rig the votes - all for the good of the Party, er... excuse me, the country.



On my Podcast:

I'm reading a list of Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, from the Randi Rhodes Newsletter. It is a distillation of his article "Fascism Anyone?"

Washington Post: Rove Offers Republicans A Battle Plan For Elections

* an alliteration to Shakespeare's "The Life and Death of Julius Ceasar

Spring 2003 edition of Free Inquiry "Fascism Anyone?"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Corruption Is Rampant

Why is it that we have a congress and an executive branch residing in the hands of lobbyists who do not represent our interests but only those of corporations who continually feed our officials money for elections and reelections? The same may be said for every state government in the Union. * “Between the early 1970's and the mid-1980's, the number of trade associations doubled; in the first half of the 1980's alone, the number of registered lobbyists quadrupled, according to The Washington Monthly. A study by the Center for Public Integrity found that in the early 1990's, political donations from 19 major industries – including pharmaceuticals, defense, commercial banking and accounting - were split about evenly between the two parties. By 2003, the Republicans held a 2-to-1 advantage. Since 1998, the center found, more than 2,200 former federal employees had registered as federal lobbyists, as had nearly 275 former White House aides and nearly 250 former members of Congress. Many rules governing their conduct remain deliberately vague, and the House Ethics Committee has been paralyzed because of dysfunction and partisan disputes. In 1995, Tom DeLay famously compiled a list of the 400 largest PACs, along with the amounts and percentages of money they had recently given to each party. Lobbyists were invited into DeLay's office and shown their place in "friendly" or "unfriendly" columns. ("If you want to play in our revolution," DeLay told The Washington Post, "you have to live by our rules." (The K street project was born). Today's Republican entanglement with corporate lobbyists like Jack Abramoff is not an accident. It's not a matter of a few bad apples. And it's not something that happened gradually as Republicans got overly accustomed to power and lost their revolutionary zeal. It was a deliberate strategy, conceived by the leaders of the 1994 revolution as part of their fundamental governing strategy, and pursued relentlessly ever since.” The only way to clean up federal, state, and local governments is to drastically overhaul campaign financing and to insure transparency regarding corporate dealings with all government officials.
* Excerpted from The Washington Monthly
Jerry Lotierzo

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Philosophical Differences

The underlying discernable difference, yet so apparent during the hurricane Katrina catastrophe, between the present administration of conservatives and those of us who are labeled progressives is that we believe in a community founded on a covenant of mutual responsibility. This gang of robber barons believes we are all in this alone. What is equally astounding is how their fundamentalist Christian allies also ignore Christ’s overriding entreaty to be their brother’s keeper. The covenants that bind us, those upon which we all share the burden according to how much we have, no longer apply to the leaders and followers of the Grand Old Party. The GOP has aligned itself with the likes of James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Cal Thomas, and the assassin Pat Robertson. This is the party of Barbara Bush, her sons, and her husband. It’s the party that wants to follow Grover Norquist’s entreaty and “drown” all government programs except those that fill the coffers of their rich comrades. FEMA’s leadership was gutted and replaced with Bush’s cronies who had absolutely no experience dealing with disasters. Why fund those programs that come to the rescue of the rest of us when your rich constituents can fund their own escapes from disasters. It’s all about personal responsibility, isn’t it? This president is the most inept head of state in the history of our great republic. He has young people dying in the Iraqi quagmire, dismembered the helping hands of the government, increased the gap between the rich and the rest of us, and ransomed our future to the government in Beijing. The list of follies that Bush, Rove, and Cheney have wrought is too numerous to print. We have got to take our country back from these charlatans. We owe it to our children.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Age of Darkness

The Age of Darkness

Are we truly headed towards the apocalypse? Are we really dissolving into a theocracy? Is hatred of those who are not from a Judeo-Christian tradition being tolerated and eagerly embraced? Listen to this radio host when he spews out such filth and hatred with comments like this. "The religious left in this country hates and despises the God of Christianity and Catholicism and whatever else.” This is what the high priest of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, said on his April 27th, 2005 show. "They despise it because they fear it and it's a threat, because that God has moral absolutes, that God has right and wrong, that God doesn't deal in nuance." Whose God is he talking about and has he ever read the New Testament? The absolute he believes in is his own absolute certainty. Do we really want to enshrine a particular religion as the official religion of the United States? Do we really wish to follow those countries whose state religion must be adhered to by all or else and whose laws are based on it? What does this do to those who practice a different religion or no religion at all? We are witnessing now how their faith triumphs over science. Evolution is heresy because their literal understanding of the bible disproves it. The overwhelming majority of scientists believe evolution explains how man came to inhabit the earth. Creationism, also known as intelligent design, is not science but a literal interpretation of the Old Testament. If you accept all those creation stories then you better be ready to accept all the other written tales or maybe you should start reading and understanding what biblical scholars have to say about those stories. Religion and science are not incompatible. Only the extremists in Christianity believe so and unfortunately they inhabit the seats of power and influence in our government. It is time for the rest of us to tell those people they are a minority and we, the silent majority, must take back our country. We have enormous problems facing us and we need leaders who are not bound by a mediaeval understanding of the human condition.

Gerald R. Lotierzo
1-8-06

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bad Ralphie


Ralph Sanctimonious, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

The Antichrist Wannabe



From the Providence Journal:

"Ralph the righteous

01:00 AM EST on Saturday, December 31, 2005

Once upon a time, Ralph Reed opposed gambling. Or so he said. As the fresh-faced director of the Christian Coalition many moons ago, Mr. Reed called gambling "a cancer on the American body politic" and an enemy of "family values."

Mr. Reed left that job in 1997, while being investigated for helping a direct-mail company overbill the Christian Coalition. He then founded a political-consulting firm and started working with scandal-covered lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Now the walls of scandal are beginning to close in on Ralph Reed, too.

Mr. Reed basically conned Christian groups in the South to oppose certain casinos on moral grounds. But his real objective was to help other casinos retain their monopolies.

The money didn't travel in a straight line. In 2000, a casino-owning Indian tribe in Mississippi sent $1.15 million to Americans for Tax Reform, run by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. The Norquist group then sent $850,000 to the Christian Coalition of Alabama -- to be used to kill a casino proposal in that state. Although Mr. Reed had led the Coalition members to believe that they were stopping the spread of gambling to Alabama, they were really just preserving the casino profits in next-door Mississippi.

The Senate's Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), has released some remarkable e-mails passed between Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Reed. In one, Mr. Reed reported that he was looking to the Christian groups for more funds to basically help their opponents. "We will be doing all we can to raise money from national anti-gambling groups, Christian CEOs, and national pro-family groups," he wrote.

In Texas, meanwhile, Mr. Reed received a reported $4.2 million from the Abramoff organization to rally Christians to close Indian casinos in El Paso and Livingston. After they were shut down, Mr. Abramoff offered to help the tribes reopen them. The owners of the El Paso casino actually hired him.

Mr. Reed denies knowing that the millions handed to him were for the purpose of helping Mr. Abramoff's casino clients. And now he claims to have had no idea that the money came from casino proceeds.

Senate investigators are estimating that Mr. Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have defrauded their Indian clients of $80 million. Mr. Scanlon has already pleaded guilty to various charges and is cooperating with the investigators.

What makes Mr. Reed tick remains a bit of a mystery. We cannot fathom the mentality that would so cynically double-cross the very religious conservatives he was supposedly representing -- other than one of avarice.

Mr. Reed professes his innocence in all these transactions. And in an intriguing act of arrogance, he is now seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia!

We doubt that Mr. Reed's wall of denial can stand much longer."

Providence Journal December 31st "Ralph the Rightoeous"