Category Archives: Bush

Eight Years Later…Nothing Has Changed.

Picture From Z-Mation.com

Picture From Z-Mation.com

Well, it’s September The Eleventh again. Let’s see how we’re doing on All Matters 9/11, shall we?

Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks, is still alive and free, despite self-serving claims to the contrary by some in Pakistan.

The 9/11 Memorial is still unbuilt. (Gonna be lovely sometime, though. 2021? 2031?)

Al Qaeda is now in Iraq, where before, Saddam Hussein’s regime had kept them at bay.

Our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan continues, and Congress has just approved another request for $128 billion to keep the pointless quagmires going. Meanwhile, the Taliban now has a presence in 97% of all the regions of Afghanistan.

There are still no body bags or coffins on the TeeVee. The dead of Iraq and Afghanistan can still be “out of sight, out of mind,” as Donald Rumsfeld decreed.

Last November, we elected a man President based on his promises of “Change,” and so far, he has done nothing but embrace the war policies and the Unitary Executive theory of his much-despised predecessor. Worse, he has protected the members of that OTHER Administration from the consequences of their actions. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condi Rice remain unpunished for their launch of a war based on lies. Bush and Cheney’s other criminal actions, like torture, the outing of Valerie Plame, rendition and warrantless wiretapping, also have cost them nothing.

In this Obamafied, kumbaya, “post-partisan” atmosphere of no accountability ever for any Republican politician, is it any wonder that Tom DeLay is on “Dancing with the Stars,” and Mark Foley, MARK FOLEY of the underage intern scandals, is going to have his own radio show?

When will we ever learn? And when, please tell me, are things going to change?

All my sympathies go to the families and friends of the victims of that fateful attack so many years ago. I can’t help but feel that they would be not pleased by what has been done in their names. I hope that one day we will be able to remember them without guilt and shame for our collective insanity.

Uncle Richard Bruce Explains it All: A Play in One Unbalanced Act.

Hes Got the Whole World In His Hands...

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands...

AUTHOR’S NOTE: When I heard yesterday that Unka Dick was writing a book criticizing George Bush for “going soft” on “their” policies in the final year of his Presidency, I couldn’t help imagining what he would say. This is the result. Enjoy!

 

THE SCENE: Dick Cheney’s secret bunker, erm, house. It is lushly appointed in Modern Dungeon, with grey walls mimicking the look of concrete, medieval torture devices tastefully displayed in gleaming mahogany cabinets with recessed lighting, and an old electric chair given pride of place in a prominent corner. Pictures of Cheney with Nixon, Kissinger and other reviled figures of the American past are positioned artfully on the walls. There are some obvious empty spaces where the pictures of Dick and Dubya used to hang. On the mantle over the stone fireplace are family pictures in black ebony frames; the 75-inch flatscreen TV is perpetually tuned to Fox News. The whole place seems like a museum, and a rather uninviting one at that.

DICK is seated in a leather armchair by the fireplace, waiting impatiently, sipping on a bourbon and water. He is half-drunk, as usual. Finally, his wife LYNNE enters the room with another woman, in her early sixties, and well-put together.

LYNNE: Dick, here she is. What did you say your name was again, honey?

WOMAN: Mrs. Cheney, my name is Frances Wood – I’m here to help Dick with his book.

LYNNE: Well now, Frances, I think you’re going to work out just wonderfully. I’ll leave you both to your work. I just know it’s going to be a huge best-seller!

(LYNNE exits.)

DICK (motioning to a chair opposite him): Well, sit down, Frances, sit down. Tell me about yourself. Do you have a lot of ghostwriting experience?

FRANCES: Actually, yes. I write all of the books for Regnery Press. You know, the conservative publishing house? Michelle Malkin, Bernie Goldberg…folks like that.

DICK (impressed): Well! It looks like I’m in very good hands then.

FRANCES (faux-modestly): I like to think so. So, Mr. Vice President –

DICK (interrupting): Call me Dick. Everyone does.

FRANCES: Well, uh, Dick, where would you like to start?

DICK: At the beginning, of course! Chapter 1: The Nixon Years.

FRANCES: Perfect! May I turn on my tape recorder?

DICK (panicking): NO! No tape recorders! I get to wiretap you, not the other way around!

FRANCES (shocked): Uh, what?

DICK (recovering himself): Oh! Sorry. Just a reflex.  Ha! Well. Where was I? Ah yes. Chapter 1: The Nixon Years. (leaning back in his chair and reminiscing) Ah, Dick Nixon was a great man. He had a problem with the drinking, you know: but otherwise, he was really on the right track.

FRANCES (encouragingly): In what way?

DICK (taking a sip of his drink): Remember when he said “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal?” That was brilliant! Yes, if only he’d taken that farther, we would be in a much better place here in America. (abruptly standing, snarling) But no, that stupid Commie bastard Ford had to come in and ruin everything. PARDON Nixon. For what? A stupid burglary? That was child’s play, a nothing. The only mistake G. Gordon made was getting caught!

FRANCES (eagerly): Wow! This is great stuff, Dick. Please continue.

DICK (basking in her praise): Well, we can flesh that part out later. What I really want to talk about is how I developed my philosophy for world domination, and how that weak, drunken fool (air quotes) “Dubya” ruined everything!

(sitting on the arm of the chair, deliciously remembering his glory days)

DICK: It all began with a group of dreamers. Me and some guys from the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, we decided that after President Reagan caused the USSR to destroy itself in Afghanistan, we needed a new focus for American foreign policy. At the same time, we realized that as much as we love our oil men in Texas, their time was coming to an end. Pretty soon the U.S. of A. was going to need all of that oil in the Middle East in order to survive. And of course, we knew that with the rise of that wimp Al Gore’s (air quotes) “internet,” nuclear weapons were going to start proliferating in countries that were very unfriendly to our interests.

And so was born – the Project for the New American Century!

(A fanfare bursts out in the room.)

FRANCES (jumping up, startled, hand on heart): Oh my goodness!

DICK (confused): Huh? (light dawning) Oh, that! Oh don’t worry, Frances. I’ll have it  turned off. The house is wired for certain..special effects. (Presses a button under the arm of the chair) There! That should be the last time you hear it.

FRANCES (calming down, but now confused in turn): Special…effects?

DICK (embarrassed): Ummmm, yes. You see, it’s hard for some people to understand my speech, so we have a Cheney to English translater built into the house. (gesturing) My words are processed as they exit my mouth, so you can better receive my wisdom. But that’s not why we’re here, so let’s get back on track, shall we? We were talking about – my glorious vision! 

(sits back down in the chair)

FRANCES: Yes, tell me more about (looks around apprehensively), um, PNAC?

(No fanfare. FRANCES sighs with relief.)

DICK: Yes, PNAC! Well, we understood that weak-minded, lily-livered hick, Bill Clinton was destroying America with all that so-called peace and prosperity. We knew it was time to do something quick! So here it is: Our Statement of Principles, from 1997. I can recite it from memory, of course.

(declaiming)

“We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.”

(DICK looks expectantly at FRANCES. She is spellbound, but then, comes out of it to give DICK a round of applause.)

FRANCES: Bra-vo, Dick! And how did PNAC proceed after that?

DICK: Well, we wrote a letter in 1998 trying to convince ol’ Billy Boy to invade Eye-Raq. We had some of our Congressmen do the same. But it didn’t work. He couldn’t see the opportunity and the danger of Saddam’s evil regime. But when we got Georgie in the White House, we knew we had struck gold. And 9/11, well, that was just great for us! It was the perfect excuse to do what we had wanted to do from Day One. We even put one of our members in charge in Afghanistan! Allahu akbar, baby!

FRANCES (smiling, tactfully): Uh, Dick, I might not put that in the book. I mean, we want people to like you and sympathize with you. Right?

DICK (standing abruptly, thundering and pointing his finger): LIKE me? Do you think I give a shit about that? This book is about being RIGHT and setting the record straight. I can still influence the direction of this country and keep it from descending into complete chaos! It’s my duty as an American!

(taking a deep breath, calming himself)

Now, if you will excuse me, I think I need a break. We’ll continue in an hour or so. Please feel free to help yourself to whatever you need in the kitchen. The maid will be along shortly to give you a tour of the house.

(DICK exits.)

(FRANCES, mindful of the bugs in the Cheney home, turns up the sound on the TV. She furtively takes out a cell phone and makes a call.)

FRANCES (in a stage whisper): Hello? Laura? It’s me, Frances. It’s working out just like you said it would! Dick is even more nuts than you told me! (listening) Yes, I heard the fanfare. (listening) Trust me. When I’m done with Dick Cheney, your husband George is going to look like a saint! (listening) You’re welcome, honey. Anything for a fellow Kappa Alpha Theta! KAT Forever! Bye, honey!

(FRANCES hangs up the phone happily.)

(LIGHTS OUT.)

Media Malfeasance Open Thread

The corporate media, as many of us have noted time and again, is a total disgrace. They covered up for the unqualified fraud George W. Bush, they shoehorned the unqualified fraud Barack Obama into office, and they are now covering for the patriarchy’s newest tool (pun most definitely intended) in an ever-more desperate and transparent manner.

Many on the left insist that the Israel lobby runs American foreign policy. Ever since 9/11, who actually runs it has been painfully clear.

Wuv, Twue Wuv

Wuv, Twue Wuv

and now:

American dependency on foreign oil is, indeed, a national security issue. Given that 15 out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi Arabian, as is Osama bin Laden, why did we invade Iraq? Afghanistan I understood, because bin Laden and his Al Qaeda cadre were actually there at the time. But once the 9/11 mastermind escaped into the mountainous area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it boggled my brain that the media was able to sell the neo-con, oil-centric agenda of an Iraq invasion at all. Even worse, the media never held BushCheney to account for allowing Osama bin Laden to escape in the first place, and in 2002, when Bush made the mind-boggling statement that he was not that concerned about bin Laden, we dissenters heard nothing but crickets from our teevees.

Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia (also called “Bandar Bush” because of his close ties with the Bush family) was privy to the plans for the Iraq invasion. In fact, he saw them before Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, did. Can anyone say the same about Ariel Sharon? And before the election of 2004, Bandar promised George that he’d lower oil prices to make the American economy seem strong, in order to help Bush win a second term.

When the media lies, we all lose.

This is an open thread.

Cross-posted at Partizane

Georgie Writes a Book: A Play in One Authoritarian Act

Im A Famous Writer!

I'm A Famous Writer!

(NOTE: This play was inspired by this quote from Dubya about why he’s writing a book about his time as President:

Bush said it will be fun to write and that “it’s going to be (about) the 12 toughest decisions I had to make.” 
“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice (emphasis added) saying exactly what happened,” Bush said
.

Thanks, George – and thanks, M3, for the quote!)

THE SCENE: Dubya’s swank new house in Dallas, Texas. No more fake ranchin’  and clearin’ brush for this Connecticut Cowboy! George is sitting in his home office, which is decorated in Rawhide Chic and covered with pictures of him in all his Preznitial glory. He is leaning back in his brown leather office chair and playing with a pencil, apparently in deep thought.

A knock is heard at the door.)

GEORGE: Come in!

(Dubya’s wife, LAURA, enters.)

LAURA: How are things going, honey? How’s your first day as a writer?

GEORGE: Well, Lumpy, I have to admit I’m having a tough time with gettin’ started. Turd Blossom says I have to pick my twelve hardest decisions as President and write about them. Heck, all my decisions were easy. I just followed my gut and listened to Dick. I slept like a baby every night!

LAURA: Well, the Jack and Coke cocktails didn’t hurt there!

(Both laugh.)

GEORGE: Yeah, you mix a mean one, Lumpy! But seriously, you were a librarian – you know about books and things. Do you have any suggestions? I’m kinda stumped.

LAURA (sitting down in the wing chair opposite his desk): Well, honey, you could always hire a ghost writer. That’s what most people do.

GEORGE (sharply): No! I don’t want to do that. I want an – an authoritarian voice telling people EXACTLY what it was like to be in my shoes on 9/11. If you want an authoritarian, you gotta go with me!

LAURA (dryly): How true. Well, then, let’s try to make a list of your best moments in office. Let’s not worry about if they were tough decisions or not. Let’s show the people just how great you were at being The Decider!

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A Tempest in South Texas?

I wonder if anything will come of this. I’d sure like to see these guys in orange jumpsuits.

McALLEN, Texas – Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been indicted on state charges involving federal prisons in a South Texas county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles under the outgoing prosecutor.

The indictment returned Monday has not yet been signed by the presiding judge, and no action can be taken until that happens.

The seven indictments made public in Willacy County on Tuesday included one naming state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and some targeting public officials connected to District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra‘s own legal battles.

Well, they got Al Capone for tax evasion…

Will The Powell Endorsement Impress Voters, Or Just The Media?

Media Haka

Media Haka

The Beltway Punditry was beside itself with joy over Colin Powell’s Sunday endorsement of their Beloved Barack. They are still bubbling and spewing about it today.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, a move the media today is seeing as both a major boost to Obama and a serious blow to Sen. John McCain. The New York Times reports in a front page story that Powell called Obama “a ‘transformational figure’ who has reached out to all Americans with an inclusive campaign and displayed ‘a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity’ and ‘a depth of knowledge’ in his approach to the nation’s problems.” The endorsement “was a major blow to Senator John McCain, who has been a good friend of Mr. Powell’s for decades.” The AP calls the endorsement “a stunning rejection” of McCain. USA Today says the “long-anticipated endorsement” is “perhaps the campaign’s most coveted.” McClatchy reports that “political analysts” said the endorsement “was a serious blow to McCain’s candidacy, particularly in swing states with large numbers of undecided voters.” The Wall Street Journal reports Powell’s endorsement gave Obama a “major boost” and dealt “a blow” to McCain. The Politico says Powell’s move “stunned both parties” and is “likely to help Obama convince skeptical centrists that he is ready to handle the challenges of commander in chief, and it undercuts McCain’s argument that he is better qualified on national security issues.”

It seems the endorsement impressed its intended audience quite a bit.

But I wonder who else this is supposed to impress. The fauxgressive Obamasphere, who claimed that their vitriol towards Hillary Clinton was because of her AUMF vote? I would imagine that most of them would be quite horrified that the man who sold the war to the American people with a vial of sugar and some cartoons was endorsing the only man courageous enough to be against the war before it started!!!1111!!!

Whoops. Apparently no principle is too dear to be thrown under that bus.

The Obamaverse appears to be assuming that Republicans will suddenly conclude that Barack Obama is more ready to be President because Colin Powell says so. But this endorsement strikes me the same way as all the other high-profile endorsements of Obama did in the primaries. Every time he felt under siege (and the polls are tightening quite a bit among likely voters using traditional modeling – only a two-point difference), he would pull another Democrat out of his hat. He courted Democrats then, because he was looking for our votes. Now, he wants Republicans to vote for him, so he’s pulling out a Republican, whose “national security” credentials he and his running mate appear to believe will magically rub off onto him. But remember John Edwards’ endorsement of Barack Obama, which the media thought would help in Kentucky? Clinton went on to win the state by 35 points.

Personally, Colin Powell revolts me. As if his incredibly damaging lies to the U.N. were not enough to disgust me, it was recently revealed that he was in on the high-level dicussions in the Bush White House which resulted in the decision to legalize torture in America. He did not prevent the Geneva Conventions from being discarded, nor did he finally balk at lying to the U.N. and hundreds of millions of Americans about Saddam’s non-existent WMD’s.

I really wonder if a lot of Republican minds will be changed by his endorsement at this point. Judging by the likes of Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh (I won’t link to them, but they’re easy to find on Google), the base is unmoved. The key will be those Independents. Do they still venerate Powell? Will this push them over the edge?

In the end, it’s important, PUMAs, to remember that the only thing that matters is how you vote on November 4th. The media can tell you the election is over as often as it likes. But, much to their regret, they cannot change how you mark that ballot once you get into that private booth.

So keep the faith. The only voice that matters in the end is the voice of the people. Even Colin Powell can only vote once.

PUMA POWER!!!

Cross-posted at Partizane

Friday Activism: Will Shame Do What Party Affiliation Won’t?

Do Not Let Him Take Our Freedom Away!

Do Not Let Him Take Our Freedom Away!

Having garnered only pro forma support from some of her Senate colleagues (with the notable exception of her frequent partner, Senator Patty Murray) in her efforts to prevent George W. Bush’s HHS from denying millions of women access to birth control, Hillary Clinton joins with the president of Planned Parenthood and takes her case to the media:

The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD’s and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified “other medical procedures” that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.

Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of “other medical procedures.” Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

The Bush administration argues that the rule is designed to protect a provider’s conscience. But where are the protections for patients?

The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule runs until Sept. 25. Everyone who believes that women should have full access to medical care should make their voices heard. Basic, quality care for millions of women is at stake. (emphasis added)

Folks, this is the real deal. This is how the Republicans plan to make abortion illegal – not by overturning Roe v. Wade, but by chip-chip-chipping away at the words and the framing that contains the debate over reproductive freedom for women. I say, they can only do this if we let them. We made the mistake long ago of allowing the most extreme, restrictive factions of the anti-abortion population to entitle themselves “pro-life.” As Hillary implies, is it really pro-life to deny important medical information to women who need it? What about the life of the mother?

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