Category Archives: conservative

Calling Things Aright

Inspired by both Southern Beale’s comment on my previous post and Dirk Gently’s post yesterday, I’d like to say a few words about framing.

The Republics are fantabulous at framing. One reason is that they are authoritarians, and are thus much more given to groupthink than we rebellious liberal-progressives are. Another is that they still have the biggest microphone in the country. They own most of talk radio, several influential newspapers and this country’s Pravda, Fox “News” Channel. But we cannot discount the fact that our elected representatives do not seem to have a clue, in this day and age, as to how to sell their ideas…with which 70%-90% of Americans are in total agreement. Mon dieu!

Being a girl who has some marketing background, I’d love to give our team a little advice. Here goes:

1) Do not play the other team’s game. In this case, do not give their words power by leaving them unchallenged.

Case in point: We should not call our economic system the “free market,” since the last thing these criminals want is free and fair competition (which might keep them from getting billion-dollar no-bid contracts.) We shouldn’t call it privatization, since the word “private” has positive connotations to many Americans. We should call it by its true name: Cronyism. Doesn’t that just encapsulate the true nature of the Bushies, especially since yesterday’s discovery that the Inspector General who refused to investigate Blackwater has a brother on Blackwater’s Advisory Board?

2) Figure out how to phrase your ideas so they make sense to our infantilized populace.

Let’s face it. We Murkins have been treated like children so often that we have become children. When Bush told us to go shopping after 9/11, what did we do? Did we scream “What the fuck are you talking about? What kind of soulless monster are you?” No – most of us said, “What a wise and wonderful man he is!” and went about our business.

Democrats keep thinking that intelligence, good ideas and being Not Republican will get them elected. Because of the extraordinary horribleness of today’s Fascist party, that worked in 2006 and it will work in 2008. But what about when the new Democratic President and Congress get blamed for four years straight for the mess that Bush and his Cronies and Lackeys have left us? Seriously, Democrats, once you’re in power, are you really not expecting the press to cream you day after day, night after night, just for having D’s after your names? Where the hell have you been for the past 30 years?

What sells is emotion. What sells is simplicity. Give a little (taxes); get a lot (free education and health care for everyone). Stop the wars. Save the children. Save the earth. Support the troops. Stop Cronyism. Protect our economy. Protect our food. People power. Trickle-up economics. Jeebus fuck, is it that hard?!

If the Democrats don’t learn this lesson, and soon, they will risk the rebirth of the Fascists in 2012. And this time, they won’t go away without taking us all the way down the road to the Fourth Reich.

The Point of Barack Obama’s Campaign

I have not said anything about the Democratic candidates in a while. I’m already tired of discussing the implications of every single word they say, and most of the “stories” about them are ludicrous. (Hillary didn’t tip well? Barack didn’t salute the flag? Hillary put a professional hit on CATS? Edwards got a haircut? Dennis’ wife has a tongue-stud and he sees UFO’s? PUH-lease.)

But I cannot keep silent on the bullshit coming out of Obama’s campaign any more. I didn’t say anything about his come-to-Jesus tour of the South, where he insisted on including an anti-gay gospel singer because we “need to reach out” to the homophobic community. I didn’t say anything about his holier-than-thou crap in the latest debate, where he all but accused Senator Clinton of being a liar when she tried to outline a complex immigration issue in 30 seconds. But with his latest line of attack about Mrs. Clinton, can anyone doubt what his real message is?

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama sparked a generational fight Wednesday by trashing White House rival Hillary Clinton for being too old to unite America, saying she and others her age have fought the same tired fights for too long.

Experts and opponents pounced, saying Obama’s remarks could offend the most reliable voters, people older than 50 – especially in early-voting Iowa. “You are counting precisely on an older group of Democrats in Iowa,” said Iowa State University’s Steffen Schmidt. “You can’t tell them they’re backward-looking. Somebody should be fired in his campaign.”

“I think there’s no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Sen. Clinton can’t deliver on, and part of it is generational,” Obama, 46, said on Fox News. “Sen. Clinton and others, they’ve been fighting some of the same fights since the ’60s, and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done.”

“Experts,” get a clue. Obama is not saying that Hillary is too old. He’s saying that she’s part of the eeeeeeeeeevil 60′s! And guess where he’s saying this? On Fox News.

The right wing in this country is notoriously, loudly, proudly anti-gay. So who is Obama courting when he refuses to fire a proudly homophobic singer from his tour?

The right wing in this country longs for that fictional 50′s America, when the country was white, prosperous and Christian. To them, the 60′s were the worst thing that ever happened, and they’re still trying to reverse the good things that came out of that time period. (Perhaps the Senator has forgotten he’s African American, but I’d like to see how far he would have gotten running for office without the Civil Rights Movement.) So who is Obama courting when he says that Hillary belongs to that generation?

Let me also ask, how many Democrats watch Fox News? Who is Obama courting when he goes on Fox to spread his message of unity with the right wing?

It’s so clear to me, as it has been from the beginning, that Obama is far more right-wing than any of the other Democratic contenders. That is the point of his campaign: I can unite America because I’m a conservative Democrat – never mind the color of my skin. I’m certainly not a scary 60′s liberal like Senator Clinton! It’s the Harold Ford strategy, and it’s a disappointing (and losing) one.

Any Democrat but Obama, please.

FEMA Decides They’re Doing a Heckuva Job

From the Are You Fucking Kidding Me File:

FEMA stages fake news conference with P.R. people playing the role of journalists

Those weren’t reporters questioning the deputy chief of FEMA earlier this week, they were federal employees playing the role of journalists during a televised briefing on the wildfires in southern California.

An agency spokesman tells The Washington Post that they didn’t have time to wait for real reporters to come to their office near the U.S. Capitol. “We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute,” Mike Widomski, FEMA’s deputy director of public affairs, tells the paper.

This has been a horrible, horrible week for the victims of the wildfires in San Diego and the surrounding areas. How must they feel, knowing that their government is so disingenous, so terrified of its own constituents, that it feels it can’t even face the milquetoast, cowed traditional media at a press conference? That its incompetence would blaze so bright that even Fox News Channel might be forced to point it out?

Perhaps they had a clue when Bush showed up for his 4-hour photo-op yesterday and said this:

“We’ve got a big problem out here,” the president said near the end of his quick, four-hour visit. “We want the people to know there’s a better day ahead – that today your life may look dismal, but tomorrow life’s going to be better,” Mr. Bush said. “And to the extent that the federal government can help you, we want to do so.”

To the extent that the federal government can help you? We WANT to do so? Talk about parsing. Talk about the “meaning of ‘is’.” Gee, is it me, or does it seem that Bush actually promised NO HELP WHATSOEVER?

Yes, this is what you get when you buy into the neo-conservative idea that government shouldn’t do anything to help people – a guy who thinks that the government shouldn’t do anything to help people. Do we understand yet how bankrupt, how immoral, how completely and utterly WRONG this philosophy is? Or do the victims of Katrina and Rita have to be drowned all over again? Do more bridges have to collapse? Do we have to bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, as John McCain would quip?

What is it going to take for the press to stop giving these neo-con, fascist freaks valuable time and money, to realize that their point of view is not valid and is, indeed, harmful to the United States – and for them to state these truths on the front page and on the Teevee?

The original story in the Washington Post was on page A-19, and I’ll be shocked if any news program other than Countdown with Keith Olbermann picks it up. You’d think that fake news would be a huge story, reminding people of Pravda and all, but apparently, it’s more important that Britney Spears did something or other today. Or was it Lindsay Lohan?

If I were a California resident who had lost my home, I would be both hopeful and pessimistic today. I’d be hopeful because the state has a Republican governor; but I’d be pessimistic because FEMA will not be coming to my aid. Not now, not ever – unless I want to live in a formaldehyde-ridden trailer. And that is a tragedy of American proportions.

Perfection

I haven’t mentioned Ann Coulter’s mind-blowing statements on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch, mainly because it’s taken me a while to process my outrage and horror. But here’s how I feel about it.

Jesus said, “Turn the other cheek.”

Ann Coulter said, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”

If Ann’s version of “Christianity” is perfection, then thank the Giant Green Lizard this Jewish woman hasn’t reached it.

Cold War III – Now with Better-Looking Dictators!

Thank the Giant Green Lizard we’ve already won the War on Terror(TM), because it’s now time to prepare for…Cold War III (This Time They’re Angry!).

MOSCOW (AP) – President Vladimir Putin has dissolved the Russian government on the request of the prime minister, the Kremlin said Wednesday, a major political shakeup that comes less than three months before crucial parliamentary elections.

In announcing the dissolution, Putin said “indeed the country is now approaching parliamentary elections, which will lead to presidential election. You may be right that we all must think about how to build the power structure so that it better corresponds to the pre-election period and prepares the country for the time after the parliamentary elections and after presidential elections.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said he made the decision to request the government’s dissolution based on “the approaching major political events in the country and a desire to give the president full freedom in making decisions, including personnel.”

The shakeup comes ahead of crucial parliamentary elections scheduled for Dec. 2, followed some three months later by presidential elections.

The dissolution is expected to result in a new head of government, who will be seen as Putin’s choice to succeed him after he steps down next spring.

Thanks, neocons, for turning our entire world back 40 years. We’ve got Vietnam going on and Russia is becoming a terrifying nuclear power once more.

Let’s hope our very own Dictatoror doesn’t get any ideas from his bestest buddy Pooty-Poot.

I Can Has New Deal?

It’s the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall today. How are those conservative economic policies working out for the residents of New Orleans, I wonder?

New Orleans then:

New Orleans now:

I remember watching CNN after the levees broke. It was the first time that the traditional media had dared to criticize the naked emperor. Too late, of course, for so many dead in terrorist attacks, needless wars and man-made disasters like the flooding that destroyed the Ninth Ward.

And too late for the tens of thousands who are still living in these:

On September 19, 2005, in a speech given at Brown University, Senator John Kerry said this :


Rarely has there been a moment more urgent for Americans to step up and define ourselves again. On the line is a fundamental choice. A choice between a view that says “you’re on your own,” “go it alone,” or “every man for himself.” Or a different view – a different philosophy – a different conviction of governance – a belief that says our great American challenge is one of shared endeavor and shared sacrifice.

Over the next weeks I will address these choices in detail – choices about national security, the war in Iraq, making our nation more competitive and committing to energy independence. But it boils down to this. I still believe America’s destiny is to become a living testament to what free human beings can accomplish by acting in unity. That’s easy to dismiss by those who seem to have forgotten we can do more together than just waging war.

But for those who still believe in the great tradition of Americans doing great things together, it’s time we started acting like it. We can never compete with the go-it-alone crowd in appeals to selfishness. We can’t afford to be pale imitations of the other side in playing the ‘what’s in it for me’ game. One thing we know: the last thing America needs is a second Republican Party.

Instead, it’s time we put our appeals where our hearts are – asking the American people to make our country as strong, prosperous, and big-hearted as we know we can be – every day. It’s time we framed every question – every issue — not in terms of what’s in it for ‘me,’ but what’s in it for all of us?

And when you ask that simple question – what’s in it for all of us? – the direction not taken in America could not be more clear or compelling.

Let this tragic anniversary be a reminder that conservatism is not just a philosophy that favors the rich over the poor; it is an evil virus that kills all those whom it infects. And our country is on its last gasp. The rule of law – broken, as top government officials commit treason and war crimes with no accountability. The separation of church and state? Almost gone. Economic justice? Please. Education? No, George, our children is NOT learning. Energy? We have solar and wind technology, but we’re still invading and occupying countries for their oil.

Do we need a new direction? No. We need to go back to the old one. The Founders based our Constitution on the concept that government exists to improve the lives of its constituents. The only way to do that is to invest in people, not corporations – what I call trickle-up economics.

To do otherwise is to create Katrinas. And Iraqs. And poverty. And housing crises. And…

Senator Larry Craig Update: Conservatives Don’t Hate Teh Gay. Really!

Via Eschaton, Glenn Greenwald at Salon details the psychotically hypocritical rightwing reactions to the news that the “family values” stalwart, Republic Senator Larry Craig, is in fact teh gay. And not only teh gay – the kind of teh gay that solicits anonymous sex from undercover police officers in airport bathrooms. Helllllooooooo! (Why Senator Craig doesn’t just go to a gay bar like a normal person, I will never understand.)

When Larry Craig was first outed by blogger Mike Rogers in October of 2006, the rightwing was nothing but supportive. One of the most unbelievable conservabot claims was that they are “indifferent” to whether someone is homosexual or not. (Tell me again – how many Republics voted for the “Defense of Marriage” Act?)

A virtually unanimous chorus on the Right furiously insisted that nothing could be more irrelevant than whether the married family values Senator had sex with men in bathrooms (acts that are simultaneously criminal and adulterous). The same political movement that impeached Bill Clinton and which has made a living exploiting issues of private morality for political gain insisted that Rogers had reached a new and despicable low in politics even by reporting this.

Ah, how the worms have turned!


Various right-wing commentators are competing with one another to see who can express the most visceral disgust for Larry Craig’s behavior (behavior which was so irrelevant just a few months ago that it was despicable even to report it). Mark Steyn echoes Hewitt’s demand that Craig resign and then proceeds to spew adolescent mockery comparing Craig to George Michael. The Corner’s David Freddoso registers his “obvious disgust” for Larry Craig and muses on “how rotten a job that plainclothes officer has.”

And Jonah Golberg — who last October penned one of the most pious condemnations of Rogers, calling the Craig story “wicked” and insisting that such tactics will “haunt [liberals] in unexpected ways in years to come” (notwithstanding the glaringly contradictory fact that Goldberg’s entire public existence was foisted on our country by his and his mom’s sleazy joint feeding off of the Clinton sex scandal) today pops up to make sure that everyone knows that he is repulsed by Craig’s behavior: “I don’t know what Larry Craig’s been doing in men’s rooms. And it sure sounds like I don’t wanna know either.”


Meanwhile, Diaper-Wearing, Leopard-Dress-Marrying Republic Senator David Vitter of DC and New Orleans brothel fame, remains largely unindicted by the ratwing mouthbreathers.

It couldn’t be because Vitter’s dangerous liaisons were with women, could it?

Why Bush Compared Iraq to Vietnam

Most of America – and the world – is shaking its collective head in pure disbelief.

What was George W. Bush thinking when he spoke to the VFW and compared Iraq to Vietnam, despite years of pretending the parallels did not exist, and despite the fact that he was AWOL in Alabama during that time?

To this bloggista, it seems the Preznit is still following the Rovian playbook by both playing to his base, and re-writing history to ensure his legacy. This time, he is trying to appease the neocons, who are still mainly behind his Iraq strategy, but some of whom are getting a bit frustrated with what they perceive as Bush’s incompetence in prosecuting the war. With this Vietnam analogy, Bush hopes to bring them back into the fold in order to perpetuate and legitimize the Bush/neocon doctrines of pre-emptive war and American exceptionalism.

As difficult as it is for sane people to believe, the neoconservatives feel that Vietnam could have been won, if only the American people and the media had been willing to give it another 400 Friedman Units or so. Take this article from David Gelernter of the American Enterprise Institute:


The United States must finish the job in Iraq and demonstrate that it will never again abandon its soldiers and its friends.

Not long ago, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post wrote a column about Iraq headlined “As in Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty All over Again.” The Vietnam analogy has been part of the Iraq war story since the fighting started (in fact, since before it started). The Bush administration often deals with its critics by ignoring them. This time it can’t. Too much rides on the president looking these critics in the eye and telling them: Damned right this is Vietnam all over again. Only this time we will not get scared and walk out in the middle. This time we will stand fast and repair a piece of the American psyche that has been damaged and hurting ever since we ran from Vietnam in disgrace way back in April 1975.

It is well worth noting that as a rule, none of these delusional fuckwads ever served in Vietnam. And they also have a history of stating that those who were truly psychically wounded – the Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – were exaggerating or not actually sick at all.

But I digress. Let’s go back to the poor widdu conservative in the corner, sucking his thumb and whining because liberals and war protesters dared to suggest that Daddy U.S.A. wasn’t perfect:


American character is on the line. For the sake of this nation–of its good name, its big heart, the sacrifices of its many brave defenders, the genius of its creators, of its greatness, in short–conservatives had better not lose this fight.

The administration was wrong to let Americans get the idea that Iraq would be easy. But it was right to fight. And because Iraq is exactly Vietnam all over again, our eventual victory will not only be good for Iraq, the Middle East, and peace on earth. It will repair American self-respect. And it will turn the Friends of Cowardice, the U.S. Mothers for Despair, and all their allied groups back into the peripheral players they always used to be in this country–until Vietnam.

This is where it’s all coming from. This is what it’s all about. The warmongering, the hysteria and hatred and calls of treason towards the majority of Americans who want peace, prosperity and a better life for themselves and their families; it’s all because of Vietnam. The neocons just can’t deal with the fact that we FUCKING LOST VIETNAM, so they simply have to recreate it over and over again until we win.

Worst. Groundhog Day. EVER.

Well, I happen to disagree most violently with Mr. Gelernter and his fellow neoconservatives. I am heartily sick of this pathetic, mindless, puerile form of patriotism being used as an excuse to steal our treasury, rape our Constitution and kill hundreds of thousands of people. It is the likes of the American Enterprise Institute, the Project for the New American Century, and the Bush Administration who will soon be relegated to their proper place on the periphery of this country.

The neocons are on their last dying breath. Unfortunately, this makes them more dangerous. And if they see victory as possible in Iraq, it’s small wonder they’re pushing so hard for bombing Iran. After all, we can’t possibly lose Vietnam THREE times, right?

In Which I Realize that Bruce Fein is Not Always Right.

Okay, I knew that already. But I was astonished to read what my conservative BFF, Bruce Fein, had to say about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

Yet motivated by partisan concerns over the 2008 elections, the new speaker is following President Bush around like a sheep while he solidifies an imperial presidency and diminishes the Congress into irrelevancy. Just look at the latest ACLU advertisement targeting Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The only thing Pelosi has retained for the Congress is small-minded earmarks to attract political contributions.

Um, WHAT?

What about the 100 hours legislation that the House passed, much of which the Senate signed off on too? (If Bush vetoed it, that certainly redounds to Bush, not the Speaker.) I may be naive, but legislation to help end lobbyist influence in Congress, enact the 9/11 recommendations, legalize and fund stem cell research, cut interest rates for college loans in half, roll back subsidies to Big Oil, and raise the minimum wage seems neither small-minded, nor directed towards gaining earmarks.

As for the FISA legislation, which the majority of Democrats voted against, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not support the Administration’s position on FISA, and voted against the passage of the bill. In fact, even though it sunsets in 6 months, Speaker Pelosi wrote John Conyers and Silvestre Reyes right after the law was passed, and stated her intention to revisit the legislation immediately upon Congress’ return in September.

I haven’t seen much press coverage on that letter, have you?

As for weakening Congress, bear in mind that the Republics have been rolling over for Bush since Day 1 of his Preznitcy. The Democrats inherited very slight control of a house rotting from within for the past 6 years. Is it their fault that the timbers are still weak after only a few months of shoring up?

But I’m not really being fair to Fein. Despite his claims that Pelosi is more interested in earmarks and the 2008 elections than her duty as Speaker, his real issue is impeachment. Excellent! It’s time for me to shout Amen! again! For I, too, believe that impeachment should be back on the table, for the good of this nation – even if it eventually fails in the Senate. Agreement at last!

Well…..not exactly.


If Pelosi persists in her imperious, mean-spirited, and myopic thinking in disregard of her oath to support and defend the Constitution, members of the House should replace her with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.


Let me just pick myself up off the floor for a second. Did he say Steny Hoyer? The guy who runs his own Democratic version of the K-Street Project is less interested in earmarks than Nancy Pelosi? And he believes somehow that Steny Hoyer is going to start impeachment proceedings immediately? Perhaps he’s referring to this article, which, I hasten to add, begins “Another source says this is fiction, but….”

Wow. I guess that’s what I get for agreeing with a conservative….

In Which I Admire a Conservative.

Yes, it’s true. There are a few conservatives I actually listen to and shout “Amen!” when they speak. One of these is Bruce Fein, the architect of the Clinton impeachment.

I know, I know. But he also wants to impeach Dick Cheney and George W. Bush! And, this morning on the Sammy and Army Show (I know, I know) he offered the best dissection I’ve ever heard of why executive privilege doesn’t protect the Preznit and his criminal cohorts from Congressional subpoenas. Mr. Fein summed up these arguments in a July, 2007 article in Slate:


The president’s claim of privilege pivots on a false assumption wrongly endorsed by the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon: namely, that the president will not receive candid and unfettered advice from subordinates absent a guarantee that their communications will remain confidential. What nonsense. I have worked in and out of government for 38 years. I have never heard any high or low executive-branch official so much as insinuate that presidential advice had been or might be skewed or withheld if confidentiality were not guaranteed. The gravity of advising the president universally overcomes anxieties over possible embarrassment through subsequent publicity. Moreover, every presidential adviser knows that confidentiality is never ironclad. Presidents routinely waive executive privilege in jockeying with Congress; confidentiality is always subservient to a criminal investigation or prosecution under the Nixon precedent; and leaks to the media of confidential presidential memos or conversations overflow like the Nile. Indeed, President Bush has himself waived the privilege repeatedly in the ongoing U.S. attorneys investigations by the two committees.

Executive privilege is a concoction, then, to protect secrecy for the sake of secret government, while transparency is the rule of enlightened democracies to insure political accountability and to deter folly or wrongdoing.

Good on you, Bruce. It’s nice when former sinners see the light.

And by the way, if Dick Cheney is not a member of the Executive Branch, as he continues to argue, then it follows that he is not covered by Executive Privilege, no?

Something tells me that Darth Cheney should have gotten a better lawyer, because if I can figure that out, I’m sure the lawyers in Congress can too…