Is this Spector's Revenge?

Apparently at the prodding of Arlen Spector, Larry Craig is reconsidering his resignation from the Senate. The effect that this has had on Republicans has yet to be fully determined.

One thing for sure, Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans, can't be happy about this. It contradicts his original demand that Craig resign and undermines McConnell's control of the party. Then there are Craig's colleagues like McCain and Coleman (and Mitt Romney who ditched him from his campaign) and the other Republicans who did not leap to the defense of a possible homosexual rest-room cruiser in their ranks. This "reconsideration" effects them and the upcoming election as well.

It got me to thinking about the way Spector upended an attempt to get him out of his committee leaderships after the 2004 elections (when they couldn't get him voted out of his Pennsylvania seat, either). Spector had to agree to all kinds of behavioral concessions to keep his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee and, as he was coming out of an extreme battle against cancer at the time, he wasn't any too happy about it.  It was McConnell and friends who pressured him then. This could be Arlen's Revenge now.

Politicians are often too closed minded to see that actions they carry out could hurt themselves in the long run. Personally, I like to believe this is a calculated ruse by Spector that will help dump any number of conservatives in 2008.

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The biggest danger of the early campaign...

It is now a very long time before the Democratic and Republic National Conventions, and the dates for the primaries are now set to be earlier than ever. By the time Labor Day rolled around, the candidates had already had a handful of debates and had been attacking the media for several months.

All of this emphasis on the early campaign is forming a release valve of sorts for the concern of the public. We are already encouraged to push one candidate or another and we spend less time watching the substantial issues of war and economics which the Bushies are actively pursuing.

More time is spent watching New Hampshire and Iowa right now than watching what is happening relative to Iran, for instance. We will hear Petraeus' report on Iraq and, believe it or not, it will include something about Iran as the supplier of terrorists and weapons. Iran will be necessary to add the twinge of added fear to a fear dominated war strategy.

Our Senatorial candidates will not be carrying out their overview of the Administration because they are more concerned with getting nominated. This is particularly troublesome in the case of Dodd, who we really depend on to debate foreign policy, and Clinton and Obama, who represent major states, are not focused on Washington, either.

Let's face it... the press is distracted enough with Wide Stance Larry and the White House resignations of minor characters... when you add it to the campaigns, they're not watching the pending creation of an Iran conflict, either.

Perhaps it is not too late to veer toward impeachment - as long as it is of BOTH Bush and Cheney - as a method not of getting them out of office, but to keep them occupied instead of aimed at Iran.

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Bush visits Iraq. Surprise!

I watched the "surprise visit" by Bush to Iraq today, after having watched Katie Couric in Iraq this morning.

Katie wore a bulletproof vest as did the soldiers who escorted her. Bush came bubbling off the plane in a short sleeved shirt with no obvious bullet protection. This, of course, was to make us see how "safe" the Surge had made Iraq.

Of course, this is why the visit was a surprise. No one was to know he was coming so no plans could be made.

I can just see the "aides" around Bush on the plane gearing him up to go out...

"What, no armor?..."

"Now, Mr. President, we've got to show that the Surge has done its job. We've told Petraeus not to wear any vest and he's as scared as you..."

"The things I do for you guys..."

Of course, what is televised is what they want us to see. Not what the GAO report contends. Not what the soldiers who spoke with Bush apparently told him... that they were under-equipped and their trips home were too short. And not the response of the American soldiers to the report of the British pullout.

I guess we can admire the gamble Bush took that he wouldn't get shot at. It doesn't look like he stayed very long out in the open.

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Labor Day is coming: A salute to Unions

I hope we never forget why we celebrate Labor Day. Although the number of Union workers has fallen off sharply over the years and the influence of the working American has become much weaker vis a vis our government, we can see why the labor vote is still necessary to preserve the country.

For some reason, especially since Reagan, American workers have been misled into thinking that the things Republicans have done in breaking up unions, putting more control into the hands of international corporations, changing the tax code to favor the wealthy, turning health care into a profit-making enterprise, and so many other atrocities, are favorable to labor. All along they have been losing their middle-class status, have seen their expenses rise, and now face a world where their children will not do better than they did.

This must change and change radically. Unfortunately, the average American suffers from a sort of political Attention Deficit Disorder... their attention span is short and their response to 25 years of propaganda has made them blind to the things that liberals have tried to bring to their favor.  I consider it a function of the expanding blogosphere to bring this change about, competing openly with the Limbaugh world.

The continued corruption of Republicans has brought a new sensitivity to this need for change which we must take advantage of... not by pushing out our own misleading propaganda, but by continuing to speak truth to the lies of corporations, lobbyists, Bushies and the rest of the right.

Have a nice Labor Day and don't forget to express your views to the politicians soliciting your votes and support at local parades and events.

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The Great Iraq Swindle... If you do nothing else, read this article!

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone has written a thorough and maddening article on the billions of dollars that OUR OWN FELLOW CITIZENS have stolen from us as contractors in Iraq. And the government has not only done nothing about it, but has participated in the fraud and corruption.

I warn you that the language is sometimes rough, but YOU MUST READ THIS ARTICLE: ry/16076312/the_great_iraq_swindle

And after you've read it ask yourself this: Now what am I going to do about it?

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The Finding Jesus Strategy

I watched the news on TV briefly tonite only to hear Michael Vick apologizing for what he did to dogs and seeking forgiveness. And when asked why he felt he deserved forgiveness (and perhaps an unspoken plea for a return to football someday)he stated that he had "found Jesus".

I remember when Duke Cunningham tearfully admitted his crimes and corruption before being sent to jail that he had also "found Jesus"... which wasn't so uncommon, come to think of it. Going back to Watergate I remember that John Erlichman "found Jesus", as did several others of his contemporaries.

Is the assumption that if any of these guys had "found Jesus" that they wouldn't have done their wrongdoings in the first place? I doubt it.

Karl Rove, who admitted to many friends and former colleagues that he was an agnostic has now, in a dispute with Bill Moyers as outlined by Chris Matthews, has apparently found Jesus, too.

How many lawyers are now offering this strategy to their clients? Does it mean a shorter sentence?

When Karla Faye Tucker on Texas Death Row claimed to have "found Jesus", the born-again death provider, George W. Bush, had her executed anyway. And he made a joke about it, too. I guess finding Jesus only really works if the person you are aiming your strategy at has also found Jesus (but until he is convicted of something, he has no reason to say so.)

Back to Vick. While he admitted his regrets and said he had "found Jesus" he also neglected to apologize to all the dogs who died and who he tormented. Jesus doesn't cover dogs, it seems.
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Gonzales Resigns... But does he get away?

The headline in the NY Times this morning produced mixed feelings: I'm happy that Gonzales is actually resigning, but I'm concerned that he gets away scot free from all the potential crimes he has committed while in office. It is not clear at this point whether the House or Senate committees will go after him for the lies he apparently told them in any number of hearings.

My guess is that nothing will happen to him. This is unfortunate.

If Gonzales is not made to admit his mistakes publicly, he will join Rove and others who leave the administration which has made a mess of America without taking any responsibility for his actions.

And then there is the concern over who Bush will appoint in his place. The rumor around Washington is that it will be Chertoff, who will be pulled off the department of Homeland Security. It is doubtful that Bush will go outside his current team for a replacement... it is too late in his declining term and Chertoff is a former judge and has the legal background that AG requires.

And the Bush administration goes on....

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The Deathmonger

Having such a long run-up to the Presidential nominations (which, by the way, includes this push to earlier primaries) is a disastrous and divisive situation for America. The focus it puts on arguing over persons as opposed to problems makes it that much easier for a corrupt and dangerous administration like that of George W. Bush to get away with  pure murder.

I watch as the kid who enjoyed killing frogs for fun, the Governor who broke records for state executions (with the help of his buddy Gonzales), and the President who created a war in Iraq through lies and misdirection to bring on the deaths of some of our youngest and brightest squeezes the last ounce of enjoyment out of his god-like control over lives. It is hard to endure.

Now Bush and Gonzales are trying to get the policy changed on executions of Federal prisoners who are sentenced to death to eliminate their chance to appeal. As President, he has not had the same opportunity to hold that life and death decision over that one category of individuals and it must be making him ache inside.

And we put our attention more to which of the 14 or 15 potential candidates from either side  can sort out the mess of the world and ignore the Emperor of Death who spies on, arrests and tortures people without the protection of habeas corpus, letting and unknown number die in secret prisons or at Gitmo. How do we ignore this?

I'm tired of death everywhere. I'm tired of violence as the American way. And I'm tired of a President who makes it our National Image (while hiding behind the face of  seeming incompetence and idiocy).

November of 2008 cannot come soon enough.
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Truth or Consequences

The revelation that the Administration continues to make foreign policy based on misrepresentations and outright lies, with consultants who are actually paid by biased agencies with fixed goals outside the will of the people, has done two things. First, it has given us another reason to praise Glenn Greenwald for keeping us informed as to the corrupt nature of Bush's minions. Second, it affords information which the democratic candidates may be able to use when discussing their own proposed foreign policies.

The problem I see is that very few of them are coming forward to make their understanding of the current situation clear. I don't for the life of me know what Hillary Clinton is trying to do: she has, in the past week, affirmed progress in The Surge, justified the extreme participation of lobbyists in creating government policy by insisting that they represent "the people", and shown support for a very long withdrawal, if any, from Iraq. Since she has done all of this with the usual political language which never touches directly on anything, and has relied on what seems to be a sewn up amount of inside-the-beltway supporters and money is frightening to me.

We have learned in the past six years that if we are not told the truth we are left to bear the consequences. Will the Democrats realize this and give us a forthright statement on Bush's corrupt Iraq policies... or will we suffer the consequences of their hiding the truth?

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What must historians think of Bush?

We are far enough away from Viet Nam that a great many historical examinations have been written and discussed and analyzed. Unfortunately, however, the President does not seem to have reviewed any of that scholarly investigation before making his VFW speech yesterday.

What he has created in his own mind is a conflict which ended too early and which seemed to have inspired Viet Namese communists to follow us home after we pulled out.

He then compared Iraq to the Korean conflict, saying that we created an "Asian Tiger" by staying and holding against the North. Again, the historical comparisons are outrageous.

He somehow misses the point that we are in the middle of a religious civil war in Iraq. In making it equivalent to the Cold War battle against Communism he has elevated the Al Qaida terrorists from criminals to a government entity.

So what do historians think of Bush... and what will future historians think of his activities?

I'd like to see their comments. Any out there?

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