Saturday, September 29, 2007
Ongoing investigations currently underway by Rep. Harry Waxman, chair of the House oversight committee, very clearly shows how George Bush and his corporatist cronies have been using the conflict in the Middle East to fatten their wallets.
According to reports, Waxman is investigating whether the Inspector General of the State Department, Howard Krongard, the chief auditor on overseas contracts, may have threatened the jobs of whistleblowers in the State Department who have complained that Krongard has prevented any examination of corruption by Blackwater and other private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If true, and I have read enough on this over the past few years to convince me it is, think about the implications.
George Bush thinks it is wasteful to help uninsured children get medical insurance. Yet he sees no reason to make sure that the billions earmarked for his Iraqi incursion are actually accounted for.
Why would you not want accountability for the firms that you are entrusting taxpayer money to? Further, what is the economic sense to have no-bid contracts? Additionally, why would you appoint somebody as Inspector General with no background in the State Department. And why would this person be against accountability, which is the essence of his job description?
If any other event in the news more exposes the truth about BushCo and our involvement in Iraq, I can't think of it. Now let's see how the media handles the truth.
The Los Angeles Times report on the story can be found here. The Washington Post also has a good report on it here.
To follow the story directly from Rep. Waxman's committee, just point your browser here.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's official. This week the curtain has been pulled back and the Democrats have revealed themselves to be nothing more than the 'GOP lite.'
The Dems don't have the numbers, nor the political savvy, to challenge George Bush on Iraq. Yet, they are so cowed by the opposition that the only legislation they can pass is an attack on MoveOn.org.
Today, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning MoveOn.org by an absurd vote of 341-79. When Max Cleland and John Kerry had their military records and patriotism attacked, was there a vote of censure? When Bush and his minions said that a vote for the Dems was a victory for the terrorists was there legislation passed calling the GOP out on their vile strategy?
Of course there wasn't.
There is a pretty clear record of Bush using the military to misrepresent reality to the American people, or have we forgotten the lessons of Gen. Colin Powell's selling of the war? I do not believe that Gen. Petraeus is accurately depicting the war as it is. What I do believe is that he is the lead salesman for BushCo. We now learn that the Democrats are in collusion with the Republicans to continue this occupation.
It's The Oil, Stupid!
You see, it's all about oil and corporatism and those corporations not only have the GOP in their hip pocket. They have the Dems as well.
In addition to their shameful vote on MoveOn, the Dems have allowed an anti-Iranian resolution to pass in the Senate which will make things much easier for Bush to invade Iran. I must say, I find the ineffectiveness of the Dems fairly shocking and demoralizing.
Hey, I am not a fan of Iran. I think Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a bit of a moron. In that respect, he is the intellectual equal of George Bush. But why are we simply going after Iran when it is clear that the Saudis are supplying munitions to Iraq? The Saudis get away with everything they do (feel free to include 9/11) because they have been longtime business associates of the Bush family.
Assuming that former Vice President Al Gore chooses not to run, I have already made a personal decision to only support Rep. Dennis Kucinich for President (at least through the primaries) and only contribute to candidates with proven progressive records. For the first time I have made a contribution to MoveOn. I will never give another dime to the DNC. Or any other organization that represents the party.
The bottom line, the Democrats could not have done more to turn me off to the party if they had tried...and I am definitely somebody who has been a core supporter and a progressive activist. I assume I am not alone in feeling betrayed.
Give the Republicans credit. At least they have the courage of their convictions. The Democrats, on the other hand, are spineless panderers.
UPDATE: In a story that crossed at about 10:15PM, the AP reports on tonight's Democratic candidate debate with the following lead line:
"The leading Democratic presidential hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by 2013, the end of the next president's first term."
Could Clinton, Obama and Edwards have confirmed my assessment of the Dems any more clearly?
Monday, September 24, 2007
The fanatical, neo-con right continues to encourage the absurdist foreign policy of a pre-emptive strike on Iran.
Check out this alarmist advice by right-wing extremist Dan Friedman on the American Thinker website:
"..Now for the good news. All the damaging consequences of all the blunders the President has committed to date in Iraq are reversible in 48- to 72-hours - the time it will take to destroy Iran's fragile nuclear supply chain from the air. And since the job gets done using mostly stand-off weapons and stealth bombers, not one American soldier, sailor or airman need suffer as much as a bruised foot.
"Let's look downstream the day after and observe how the world has changed.
"First and foremost, there's this prospective fait accompli -- and it changes everything. The Iranians are no longer a nuclear threat, and won't be again for at least another decade, and even that assumes the strategic and diplomatic situation reverts to the status quo ante and they'll just be able to pick up and rebuild as they would after an earthquake. Not possible.
"Next, the Iranians would do nothing -- bupkes. They don't attack Israel, they don't choke off the world's oil supply, they do not send hit squads to the United States, there is no "war" in the conventional sense of attack counterattack. Iran already has its hands full without inviting more trouble. Its leaders would be reeling from the initial US attack and they would know our forces are in position to strike again if Iran provokes us or our allies. They would stand before mankind with their pants around their ankles, dazed, bleeding, crying, reduced to bloviating from mosques in Teheran and pounding their fists on desks at the UN. The lifelines they throw to the Iraqi insurgents, Hezbollah and Syria would begin to dry up, as would the lifelines the double-dealing Europeans have been throwing to Iran. Maybe the Mullahs would lose control.
"Strong tremors would be felt throughout the Islamic ummah. "Just as we feared, they finally called our bluff. We pushed America to the limit and America pushed us back twice as hard. Looks who's the dhimmi now! Uh, maybe we need to rethink this 7th century Jihad crap -- as well as the Jihadist idiots around here. This is all turning out to be more trouble than it's worth."
"Miracles would be seen here at home. Democratic politicians are dumbstruck, silent for a week. With one swing of his mighty bat, the President has hit a dramatic walk-off homerun. He goes from goat to national hero overnight. The elections in November are a formality. Republicans keep the White House and recapture both houses of Congress. Hillary is elected president - of the Chappaqua PTA.
"Going forward, with Iran's influence blunted and the insurgents cut off, we end the war in Iraq on our terms. In his first hundred days, the new president reads Iraq the riot act and tells its leaders if they don't pull themselves together by a date certain, America will decide they're not worth the candle and we're going to get out."
"From that point on, with our arms free of the quicksand, we can fight the war on terror the way it should have been fought in the first place. Using our enormous edge in weapons, intelligence and technology, and building on it, we launch quick, lethal, ad hoc strikes wherever in the world we determine terrorists are working to harm us, shooting first and asking for permission later."
That sort of assessment is right up there with the fantasy that our invasion of Iraq would lead us to be treated like heroic liberators!
If that sort of advice scares you, consider this....it is exactly the sort of advice Goerge Bush is getting from Dick Cheney.
Knowledge is power and knowing the scary foreign policy that is being dictated from the neo-con right-wing is the first step in insuring that they don't realize their objectives under their usual shroud of secrecy and darkness.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Thank heavens for Keith Olbermann. After putting up with the surreal political news of the past several days, I was desperately in need of a respite.
I mean seriously, the Senate can't prevent a filibuster on providing fairer leave for our soldiers overseas....we can't vote on any meaningful solution to the occupation of Iraq....yet we can unite to denounce an ad from moveon.org?!
Thanks to the absurd reaction to that advertisement, I contributed to that organization for the first time. I hope others will do the same.
Olbermann, on his return to MSNBC following the removal of his appendix, was devastatingly brilliant, as usual. Progressives cannot fail to be impressed by his honesty, fierceness and passion. It is so lacking in today's faux news universe that one can't help but be blown away by this great orator's skills.
As for Keith Olbermann's Special Comment, I will let his words speak for themselves. I am providing the text of the first few minutes. For the complete text, click here. You can access the video here.
Special Comment: The President Of Hypocrisy 9-20-07
So the President, behaving a little bit more than usual, like we'd all interrupted him while he was watching his favorite cartoons on the DVR, stepped before the press conference microphone and after side-stepping most of the substantive issues like the Israeli raid on Syria in condescending and infuriating fashion, produced a big-wow political finish that indicates, certainly, that if it wasn't already -- the annual Republican witch-hunting season is underway.
"I thought the ad was disgusting. I felt like the ad was an attack not only on General Petraeus, but on the U.S. Military.
"And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad.
"And that leads me to come to this conclusion: that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like Move-On-Dot-Org -- or **more** afraid of irritating them, than they are of irritating the United States military."
"That was a sorry deal."
First off, it's "Democrat-ic" party, Sir.
You keep pretending you're not a politician, so stop using words your party made up. Show a little respect.
Secondly, you could say this seriously after the advertising/mugging of Senator Max Cleeland? After the swift-boating of John Kerry?
But most importantly... making that the last question?
So that there was no chance at a follow-up?
So nobody could point out -- as Chris Matthews so incisively did, a week ago tonight -- that you were the one who inappropriately interjected General Petraeus into the political dialogue of this nation in the first place!
Deliberately, premeditatedly, and virtually without precedent, **you** shanghaied a military man as your personal spokesman -- and now you're complaining about the outcome, and then running away from the microphone?
Eleven months ago the President's own party -- the Republican National Committee -- introduced this very different kind of advertisement, just nineteen days before the mid-term elections.
And Zawahiri's rumored quote of six years ago about having bought "suitcase bombs."
All set against a ticking clock, and finally a blinding explosion... and the dire announcement:
"These are the stakes - vote, November 7th."
That one was ok, Mr. Bush?
Terrorizing your own people in hopes of getting them to vote for your own party has never brought as much as a public comment from you?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My hiatus from posting is now officially at an end.
The shocking non-reaction of Sen. John Kerry as a protesting student gets tasered by cops should sound the death knell of his political career.
It so happens that I am in the middle of reading the book that student was holding up, Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast.
Today, the cowardly Kerry issued a mealy-mouthed denial that he did not know what was going on. Oh really?
All Kerry had to do was insist that the cops let the student alone, but in typical Kerry fashion he did not.
I would like to know the criminal statute that allows uncomfortable questions to be answered with tasers. I hope this kids sues the living daylights out of that police department and that school.
As I e-mailed Kerry's office today, I will actively support whoever runs against this man in any future election.
Welcome to Nazi Germany. It's closer than you think.