Gray Flannel Dwarf

6/27/2006

Dear GOP: For July 4th… Flag Etiquette

An open letter to the GOP:
Hey all… so man! How about that! I know it’s got to be frustrating. One vote short for the flag burningdesecration amendment. I mean, sure, one would think that, just in time for Fourth of July and a mere few months before the 2006 midterm election, people would be energised over this flag issue, right? Man, tough beans.

Well, tell you what. I’ll compromise with you. I agree with you that the American flag is a very important symbol of America, national identity, and what we stand for as a people. For that reason alone, I think now, so close to our nation’s birthday, that it would be a good time to examine what US Code Title 4 might tell us about proper flag usage. Because none of us would want to to be on the wrong side of things regarding such an important national symbol… we’d never dilute the importance of our flag, or be caught doing anything that could be construed as such, right?

Right. So just to be sure…

US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 § 8: Respect for the Flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. (k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

So, um… we’re on the same page right? Great…


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:28 pm

5/23/2006

Cato Instituting an ass-kicking.

When you’re the current administration, perhaps you can take a few of the punches as the tide turns on you over the years. You were able to take Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative lambasting you, around the time of the elections, for your “free speech zones”, and you were able to shrug off the criticism of Pat Toomey and the gang at Club for Growth for the reckless “conservative” spending. More recently, perhaps you could stomach the words of Richard Viguerie, only one of the founding masterminds of the modern Republican party, who called you on your betrayal of the Republican party.

But now, the traditional bastion of libertarianism, the Cato Institute, calls you on your (un)Constitutional arrogance?

Ouch. Just ouch.

5/22/2006

“Wake Me Up When Fitztember Ends”

(with apologies to Green Day)

Springtime has come and passed
Claims like these can never last
Wake me up when Fitztember ends

Leopold is passing gas,
While Wayne Madsen talks out his ass.
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

Here come the claims again
Falling from their jaws
A “source close to the case” again,
What fools they think we are!

As my champagne goes flat
I’ll never forget just what they spat
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

Springtime has come and passed
Claims like these can never last
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

Wring out your claims again,
Like you did when “Plame” began.
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

Here come the claims again
Falling from their jaws
A “source close to the case” again,
What fools they think we are!

As my champagne goes flat
I’ll never forget just what they spat
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

Springtime has come and passed
Claims like these can never last
Wake me up when Fitztember ends

Leopold is passing gas,
While Wayne Madsen talks out his ass.
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.
Wake me up when Fitztember ends.

2/21/2006

Trying not to don my tin-foil hat here…

…but does anyone else have problems viewing these videos on google video search?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2053731645001034711

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4258374615945369026

Both appear, according to their descriptions, appear to be the destruction of munition caches found in Iraq. However, if I try to view the message, I get:

This video is not playable in your country.

Maybe it’s the proxy here… but whiskey tango foxtrot… I don’t have problems with any other google video results…


Tags: , — cswiii @ 3:29 pm

2/20/2006

Blue media outlets need to clean up their advertising.

Sometimes I wish it was as easy as… well, Pie.

Listening to Air America online this weekend, I noticed two irksome things. The first one is the fact that listening to the radio stream while advertisements are played opens browser pop-ups referring to the ad in question. That this happens over and over again — and thus, if you leave your computer for a while, there are twenty new pop-ups for the same thing across your computer monitor — is something of an annoyance. This said, however, it’s a revenue stream that Air America needs, and seeing as it was for a reasonably useful product (internet-based teleconferencing for business), I don’t have such a huge problem with it.
The other ad I heard a lot is problematic to me, and Air America isn’t the only one that seems to be ensnared. Read on…

The other ad I heard a lot on Air America was for the questionable See Clearly Method. One doesn’t have to be an optometrist to know that it’s more than “weak eye muscles” that cause bad vision, and nevermind that the concept is based on a readily debunked 1920s theory, See Clearly operates under the premise that people can miraculously improve their vision… all while having a disclaimer with holes large enough to drive a car through. Another article published by Columbia university takes a more open-mind at the approach, but even one of the most pragmatic doctors interviewed stated:
(All emphasis in the following quotes is mine)

“It’s not just can we peel back your power,” said Press. “It’s for someone who is -1 or -2 and who asks ‘Can I do away with my glasses?’”

…and any such claim is certainly muted by the advertisers of See Clearly.
So why is Air America taking advertising dollars from questionable businesses… and thrusting these ads upon its listening audience?
So, okay. Maybe there are some See Clearly believers out there. Maybe there is a grain of truth and/or hope in their claims. Thus, I guess I could’ve even let this one issue go, however… if I hadn’t read Raw Story today and seen an advertisement about “Americans getting free weekly checks from the Canadian Government!” that went to this dubious webpage. (I removed the referral credits in the URL)
Now of course, the old adage probably holds true… “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” However, I did some research on these claims. Sure enough, it didn’t take long to find some more realistic information…

I suppose what I truly dislike about these programs is that they were tax structures, and those inevitably turn out to be disastrous.
Then, speaking as a proud Canadian who thinks we overall have a superlative capital market, I just cringe when I see U.S.-based Internet marketing of these so-called Trust Programs.
Let me say that, with respect to the latter, I believe there is a direct correlation between the frequency of stock promotion by unlicensed promoters and the probability of fraud.
Many of these securities are businesses that will fail (or materially disappoint) as soon as interest rates in Canada move a level or two higher, or commodity prices fall a level or two lower, or the fast-paced Canadian economy starts to slow.
In other words, there is a level of risk here that traders are failing to recognize.
I think the authorities in the United States would do the world a favor if they were to clamp down on so-called investment newsletters that are stock touts for these “Canadian Royalty Trusts”.
Every cycle is the same at the top. Usually it’s the Canadian penny mining stocks. At the top they have moved from 25 cents a share to $2.50, or maybe $7.50 or $17.50, and then after the broad market bear sets in they fall quickly to less than 25 cents.
What bothers me is that it is not part of the Canadian culture that creates these financial disasters; it is typically (and I mean no disrespect to the country) American stock promoters who are working out of places like Orlando FL and Phoenix AZ and Las Vegas NV, but mostly via shell companies incorporated in places like Antigua, Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and Panama (– Note the list is alphabetical). I speak from years of experience with these people.

Or this posting…

Be that as it may, the income Royalty Trusts have NOTHING to do with Canada’s social programs and are NOT (I repeat) NOT guaranteed by the Canadian Government.

…which reproduces a quite pertinent Globe and Mail article on the topic…

What’s laughable is how the 12% Letter offers up yet another example of the cockeyed view Americans have of this country. But there’s a serious side to all of this, too. With its idealized picture of income trusts as a government-authorized investing bonanza, the newsletter highlights the way in which some investors in Canada misunderstand trusts. It also plays into some of the criticisms that the anti-trust crowd have raised.
According to the 12% Letter, income trusts are being referred to by some financial types south of the border as the “Canadian royalty checks program.” Readers of the newsletter are advised to think of trusts as an example of the great social benefits of being a Canadian.
“You probably already know that Canada is famous for its huge social programs — like free health care, the Guaranteed Income Allowance (otherwise known as ‘The Allowance’) and federal training and employment programs,” the promo for the 12% Letter says. “What you may not know is that there’s a unique situation right now in Canada that is allowing Americans to fund part or nearly all their retirement.”
The 12% Letter is written by Craig Walters, a former equity analyst and currently the managing editor of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, which is based in Baltimore. Those of you who are familiar with the wacky and wild world of investment newsletters will have an idea of what we’re dealing with here. There are headlines about investments offering the moon and stars (43-per-cent bonds, for example) and breathless prose about opportunities.
The information about trusts — sorry, the “royalty checks” program — is a bit, um, garbled. But it does capture the gold-rush mentality that took hold of the trust market just before Finance Minister Ralph Goodale made it clear the government was taking a hard look at the trust sector.

So okay. There are scams everywhere, I know, a sucker is born every minute, etc. However in this instance, in a timeframe of less than twenty-four hours, I’ve seen two questionable business claims that are barely a step up from snake oil salesmen, and both have been seen on left-leaning media outlets.
While there is the question as to what degree of control Raw Story had over these ads — their third party ad agency might not have the scruples to leave such scams out of their rotation — the larger question still remains unanswered: Why are we seeing questionable ads which employ dubious practices appearing on the media outlets that we all read? Sure, “buyer beware”… but isn’t the left supposed to be mindful and protective of the masses, not a predator thereof. Likewise, shouldn’t such a courtesy be extended by the media outlets which promote left-leaning viewpoints?

1/23/2006

Drop it, Virginia!

Looks like someone in the Virginia House of Delegates finally has some sense.

Virginia Delegate Joe T. May, (R-Leesburg) is working to repeal the state’s law making it a crime to possess a radar detector in an automobile. Earlier this month May introduced HB 1120 which would eliminate the $96 ticket police currently issue to those caught with the device — whether it was in use or not.


cswiii @ 4:51 pm

1/5/2006

King George

* Bush spies on American citizens and permanent residents, skirting FISA provisions. He claims that this was legal and necessary under presidential wartime powers. Bullshit.

* Bush signs the supplemental budget bill containing John McCain’s anti-torture amendment with the following signing statement, skirting it.

(excerpted)

The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.

Translation: I’ll do what I feel I (want) have [ the right] to do. Bullshit.

What happened to the GOP mantra of always believing that “the government which governs least governs best”? Nevermind separation of powers.

Fuck every one of you who still levies unwavering support for this administration.


cswiii @ 11:48 am

12/1/2005

George vs. George

Someone on DKos pondered what it would be like if George Washington met George W. Bush. Most of the comments were obvious, GW would lay the smack down on GWB, would criticise him, etc.

Here’s what I think.

You know how people say that if Jesus came back today, he’d be arrested?

Well, if George Washington came back and met Dubya…

* He’d have his phone wiretapped under Patriot Act provisions for being a person exhibiting anti-authoritarian behaviour, as exhibited by his actions in the Revolutionary war.

* He would, in fact, have his military record and heroics smeared. Pictures of him crossing the Delaware river would be questioned as exaggerations.

* He would be criticised as a maverick and would be considered generally unfit for association with those in the White House, ironically due to his non-partisan leanings.

* His ‘family values’ would’ve been called into question. “‘Father of our Country’ indeed, Mr. Washington!”

* He would be attacked as unpatriotic and on the wrong side of “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” due to his opinions on ‘entangling alliances’

* He would be lambasted about being a Deist.

* Finally, after everything was said and done, he would arouse suspicions for his use of hemp, and would eventually be arrested for marijuana possession.


cswiii @ 12:57 pm

11/28/2005

Senate Seeker

If you ever played NationStates, there is another game out there that looks to be pretty cool, if enough people get involved. Senate Seeker is an online game where you run for office and, if elected, debate and vote on bills.

It will be reset after beta stage is over — which is soon — but I’m hoping it picks up in popularity, as it seems like it might be fun!


Tags: — cswiii @ 8:54 pm

11/14/2005

The two-headed donkey.

(Title comes from a cartoon attached to this article from The Economist):

Two-Headed Donkey

My response to a DKos post entitled ‘A Redder Shade of Blue‘:

If you look at the right, it’s moving further and further from centre towards its extreme. GOP players like McCain, Chafee and Specter attempt to bridge divides and make calls for a more normalised stance on things, and they are called splitters, RINOs, what have you.

By that rational, it seems only obvious to me that as today’s neocon controlled GOP shifts more and more to the right that the alienated moderates and indeed, those “middle of the road”ers that exist — even though the “middle” has shifted far to the right — will make a move towards identifying with the Democratic party.

People can talk with derision about the DLC and bemoan the shifting face of the Democratic party, but until the Democratic party starts winning elections again, it doesn’t seem to me that the prerogative should be pushing a 100% blue-blooded agenda.

This doesn’t mean someone has to necessarily be a fan of the DLC, but perhaps efforts should be made to at least take advantage of new blood into the party before shooing them off.

You’re right, in one aspect, illustrating the dangers a party takes when bringing on a new faction, a la the Christian Right. However, it’s something of a false analogy. The Christian right is an ideological sect, which can’t truly be compared to a more middle of the road, populist block.


cswiii @ 4:17 pm

11/9/2005

Elections

Congratulations to Tim Kaine for winning the Virginia Governor’s race. It’s good to see that, for once, dirty politics in Virginia didn’t succeed.

As for you Detroit, it’s too early to call, but if you re-elect Kwame Kilpatrick, you deserve to keep going down the drain.


cswiii @ 12:40 am

11/8/2005

You can’t make this stuff up.

So to recap 2005:

The case for war in Iraq begins to smell fishy. Although this is a matter of national security, the GOP Senate stonewalls investigations.

Plame’s name gets leaked. Although this is a matter of national security, the GOP Senate stonewalls investigations.

Then the WaPo publishes an article about secret US military prisons in Europe!

“Well, behold! How did this get revealed?? This is an issue of national security! Whodunit??”, bleat GOP Senator Frist and House Speaker Hastert. “Commence the investigations!!”

…that is, until it starts to look like it came from within the GOP itself


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 5:14 pm

10/18/2005

You can’t go home again.

Sure looks like the VA Governor’s race is heating up between Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine.

I guess invoking Hitler wasn’t such a good idea after all.

I don’t think I’ll ever quite be able to give up on following Virginia politics… and if Mark Warner gets involved in the 2008 presidential race as many suspect, I think a lot more people will be following along with me.


cswiii @ 11:54 am

10/13/2005

Family Values and Wishful Thinking

The GOP is all about “traditional values”, a term which has been perverted into being family values. I’d wager that personal privacy and indivdual rights are traditional values, and indeed are rights that the the GOP perhaps used to espouse. However, it seems that large bastions of the conservative constituency are quite oblivious to the planks in their own eyes. According to this New York Times article, there are a interesting differences between lifestyle choices between different regions in the US, regions which also happen to encompass a political divide.

Now, I can already see the GOP harping about this… hell, it’s been a favourite for years:

Generally, the study found, states in the Northeast and the West had a higher percentage of unmarried-partner households than those in the South, In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, unmarried couples made up more than 7 percent of all coupled households, about the twice the proportion of such households in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Oh, dear heavens. Living together… unmarried… in sin!! What to do??

Oh, wait a second, though…

On teenage births, the same differences become clear. In New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, about 5 percent of babies are born to teenage mothers, while in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming, 10 percent or more of all births are to teenage mothers.

The study also found that the percentage of births to unmarried mothers was highest in the South.

Compare this to the study that came out a few years ago indicating that the highest divorce levels in the US tend to be in the south (some numbers can be found here), and things become ever more interesting.

Family values, indeed.


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:48 pm

10/11/2005

The GOP Shows its ugly side.

Think the recent GOP tarpits of bad news haven’t dragged down even the most cheerleader sites, like FreeRepublic?
As several have noted elsewhere in the past week, it seems the recent disarray concerning Frist, DeLay and the ever-deepening pile of doo-doo that is the White House CIA leak, FreeRepublic.com has been at a loss in posting its usual barrage of GOP “good news”. The knife cuts deeper than that, however.

A while back, I did an analysis of the thinly-veiled racism that exists througout the FreeRepublic website.  I noted that, whenever stories appear on the site that might have racial undertones, that, “[y]ou can hear the underground buzzing of the swarm really amplify.”

So what happens when there’s a vaccuum of GOP propaganda to disseminate and a history of racism on a website?
The answer is pretty evident… stories that normally get lost in the shuffle end up front-paged by FR users.  What’s more, this was actually the second time the story was posted today, albeit with a much more negative slant.

This entry isn’t so much a case of saying “I told you so”, nor hashing out something that we all probably knew – the inbred racism amongst a good portion of FreeRepublic users. Rather, it’s more an indication that the corruption that the GOP has found itself in has manifested in ugly ways, even amongst the most ardent of GOP websites. Lack of talking points from the GOP results in increase visibility of the garbage that makes up much of the GOP constituency.

Meanwhile, I am suprised that the apparent poster of this story — and ensuing commenter — seems to be using a corporate email account for personal use. Thanks, Google!


cswiii @ 3:26 pm

10/10/2005

Whine and Cheese

What’s with all the “kicked puppy dog” behaviour lately? Emphasis mine, in the quotes below.

White House adviser, on Patrick Fitzgerald:

But the investigation has taken a toll on White House aides, many of whom now fear that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, is intent on issuing indictments.

“Fitzgerald’s office, although very professional, has been very aggressive in pursuing people,” the adviser said. “These guys are bullies, and they threaten you.”

Congressional staffer, on Ronnie Earle:

“I would be a fool to comment on this,” said one Senate aide last week. “Anything could happen to me or my boss.”
Lawyers who deal with the district attorney’s office regularly will talk about Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or House Speaker Tom Craddick — often colorfully — but generally they shy away from remarks about Mr. Earle or his realm.
“It’s not that we are afraid,” said one, glancing around to see if anyone was in earshot, “but this guy has the power. You know, the real power. And he’s known to have been vindictive.


cswiii @ 1:24 pm

9/29/2005

On the Record

Tom DeLay, yesterday:

My defense in this case will not be technical or legalistic: it will be categorical and absolute.

We’ll hold you to that, Tom. No technicalities, no legalistic BS.

Also: Partisan, my ass. A five year-old could look at Earle’s record and know that this isn’t a partisan attack, you partisan hack.


cswiii @ 8:36 am

9/22/2005

A Moderate Shift(s).

For the longest time, there was an addressed, but unstamped, envelope sitting on my kitchen counter. About three weeks ago, it finally got dropped in the mail, and after years of avowed “independence” with regards to political parties, I am, as of last week or so, officially a Democrat.

Maybe to some this has been a long expected move — or perhaps a surprise that it wasn’t already done. But it took a lot of soul searching to do it. I had a knee-jerk reaction after the election and though about doing it then, but realised that would be a dumb reaction. I actually filled out the form and thought about mailing it in after Independence Day — with the symbolism of ‘rejecting my independent status’ vivid in my mind — but waited. When O’Connor announced her resignation, I had the thoughts again, but held back.

I don’t want to say that an act of God like Katrina and the blunders that followed which made me do it, and I am not sure they did, but shortly thereafter, I just felt like it was the right time.

Now, I have to be honest. Such a decision doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t ever vote for Republicans. I still consider myself middle of the road. Nor was this decision a reaction to GWB — at least not directly. It stems from the fact that the GOP itself has shifted so far to the right that “middle of the road” has shifted too. To be somewhere “middle of the road” between the left and today’s GOP is much further to the right than it used to be.

Today’s “middle” might be Repubs Voinovich, Chafee or the Dem Lieberman. Neocon bastions within the GOP already lambast John McCain and anyone from the GOP who might sympathise with the “Gang of Fourteen”. Meanwhile, even Pat Buchanan, whom some once considered more radical — and may still — is calling for Bush’s impeachment. This is a pretty good indication that there has been quite a shift in the GOP paradigm.

The new neocon-run GOP has totally backed away from its traditional virtues of small government, fiscal responsibility, individual privacy and benign foreign policy, despite the last of these being particularly espoused in Bush’s first inaugural speech. Years ago, my biggest fears about the GOP were “guns, tobacco, and the religious right”… and really it’s quite frightening to think that only one of those particularly scares me anymore.

The “old middle” now exists within the realms of the “left”… but it is the ever-fragmented left which needs to unify and welcome those disillusioned and politically abandoned persons. This is why I finally made the move to join the Democratic party. It was not (solely) a reaction to this President, nor necessarily his blunders over the past 4 1/2 years. It is a reaction against the overall political shift within the GOP which threatens not just left and right, but the nation as a whole.

I never joined a political party in the past, because I was quite dissatisfied with both. Now, however, I felt that if I really want to help thwart what I find to be a potentially destabilising force within American politics, I had to chose sides.

I’m a little nervous, but it feels good to be blue.


cswiii @ 11:31 am

9/20/2005

Female Body Investigators

From the WaPo: “Recruits Sought for Porn Squad

The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography — not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.


Congress began funding the obscenity initiative in fiscal 2005 and specified that the FBI must devote 10 agents to adult pornography. The bureau decided to create a dedicated squad only in the Washington Field Office. “All other field offices may investigate obscenity cases pursuant to this initiative if resources are available,” the directive from headquarters said. “Field offices should not, however, divert resources from higher priority matters, such as public corruption.”

Public corruption, officially, is fourth on the FBI’s priority list, after protecting the United States from terrorist attack, foreign espionage and cyber-based attacks. Just below those priorities are civil rights, organized crime, white-collar crime and “significant violent crime.” The guidance from headquarters does not mention where pornography fits in.

Yes, obviously we need to heed the warnings readily broadcast during Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction: If they are large enough, tits and asses will ravage our national resources!

So should there be another terrorist act, has the FBI been given an out? “Sorry, we were stretched to the breaking point, having placed numerous critical resources on a complicated sting operation involving Jenna Jameson, a can of Redi-Wip and a crate full of Chiquita bananas.”


cswiii @ 11:50 am

9/14/2005

Terra Era

E.J. Dionne’s column, “End of The Bush Era” does a decent job in illustrating just how far out of touch Bush is with most of the United States. Yes, people have interests that span the political spectrum, but the battles Bush has sought and fought haven’t, for the most part, been those issues which concern many Americans as much. Likewise, when issues come along that do concern the lot of us, he’s appeared as indecisive and ineffectual.

If Bush had understood that his central task was to forge national unity, as he seemed to shortly after Sept. 11, the country would never have become so polarized. Instead, Bush put patriotism to the service of narrowly ideological policies and an extreme partisanship. He pushed for more tax cuts for his wealthiest supporters and shamelessly used relatively modest details in the bill creating a Department of Homeland Security as partisan cudgels in the 2002 elections.

He invoked our national anger over terrorism to win support for a war in Iraq. But he failed to pay heed to those who warned that the United States would need many more troops and careful planning to see the job through. The president assumed things would turn out fine, on the basis of wildly optimistic assumptions. Careful policymaking and thinking through potential flaws in your approach are not his administration’s strong suits.

And so the Bush Era ended definitively on Sept. 2, the day Bush first toured the Gulf Coast States after Hurricane Katrina. There was no magic moment with a bullhorn. The utter failure of federal relief efforts had by then penetrated the country’s consciousness. Yesterday’s resignation of FEMA Director Michael Brown put an exclamation point on the failure.

The source of Bush’s political success was his claim that he could protect Americans. Leadership, strength and security were Bush’s calling cards. Over the past two weeks, they were lost in the surging waters of New Orleans.

Meanwhile, I was flipping through the channels last night, and saw none other than Bill O’Reilly questioning just what this White House was doing. Referencing (I think) border security, Iraq, gas prices and now Katrina, he mentioned that Bush had done a pretty piss-poor job with all of these. He had Gingrich on, who mentioned that Bush had a chance to turn his legacy around if he handled things right with Katrina, to which O’Reilly responded something to the effect of, “Well, I think you’re a whole lot more optimistic than me.” Now, this isn’t to say that O’Reilly is turning into a raging blue nut, but it more evidence of the erosion of Bush support within his own ranks as seen in polls.

I don’t understand how anyone these days would continue to prop Bush up. Well, honestly I can’t figure out why anyone would’ve for the past few years anyway — but to keep doing it? Is there one thread of decency or progress that has come out of this current administration? Is there anything that this adminstration has undertaken, under good pretenses or not, that has succeeded at anything other than expanding the trenches (and pockets) of a great cronyism? Certainly not, and anyone who can still bring themselves to defend the administration and/or its actions is delusional.


cswiii @ 12:32 pm
Newer Posts »