I'm Not Ignoring Comments

I see comments have been left but HaloScan or my net connection isn't allowing me to open them to view them. I promise I'll get to them ASAP.

Bush Starting to Rub Off on Cheney?

From CNN:

Vice President Dick Cheney raised eyebrows on Friday for wearing an olive-drab parka, hiking boots and knit ski cap to represent the United States at a solemn ceremony remembering the liberation of Auschwitz.

Other leaders at the event in Poland on Thursday marking the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, wore dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots.

"The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower," Robin Givhan, The Washington Post's fashion writer, wrote in the newspaper's Friday editions...

"And, indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults," Givhan wrote.
God forbid Cheney dress respectfully.

But a bigger problem is that I wonder if 60 or 100 years from now, Muslims will be holding their own "Auschwitz" style memorials about whar the U.S. under Bush has done to Muslim countries.

As a child, as I became aware that this terrible atrocity had happened to so many Jews, Catholics, and dissidents, I felt some hope in the idea that the world would learn from this horror. But watching the Middle East and our approach to Muslim countries now, I'm not sure any of this crew understands The Holocaust or their role in creating a new one, this time featuring Arabs and Muslims. Sure, we don't have gas chambers but these people are still dying en masse. We might not be killing them specifically for their religion, but for their geography.


The Bush Admin's To-Do List Just Keeps Growing

From RDF at Corrente (and well said):

They’re intent on destroying Social Security.

They’re in absolute denial that invading iWaq was a criminal mistake, while they make plans for the next illegal invasion.

They’re guilty of international war crimes and a long list of domestic crimes.

They approve of torture.

They’ve hijacked the language in a way that would make Orwell shiver.

The list goes on and on.

Now, we’re back to protecting what’s left of the wilderness (again):

Citing a need for domestic energy, the government plans to open for exploratory drilling thousands of acres on Alaska's North Slope that have been protected for decades because of migratory birds and caribou.

God Bless Karlo at SwerveLeft

I like his take on this. Go read the whole thing:

Have you ever seen those bumber stickers that proclaim GOD BLESS AMERICA. This has always struck me as an odd sentiment. Why would Christians be urging God to bless America? With hearts full of altruistic compassion, you'd think they'd be asking God to turn his attention to more troubled parts of the planet, to Sierra Leone or perhaps Bangladesh. Apparently, God operates much like the Republicans, constantly giving blessings to the well-heeled while harassing the poor with war and pestilence.

Iraq Not Under Control

From Cursor:

Amid "intense pre-election violence," the New York Times' John Burns reports that "Baghdad is not under control, either by the Iraqi interim government or the American military," adding that while the "American military command has cited surveys purportedly showing 80 percent of Baghdad's residents are eager to vote ... In one Baghdad office, only one of 20 people who were asked said he intended to vote."

A Project on Defense Alternatives briefing report calls the Iraqi elections a case of "bait and switch," in which "most Iraqis will go to the polls expecting to achieve one thing" -- ending the U.S. occupation -- "while actually legitimizing a different outcome." Plus: "Here Comes 'The Freedom.'"

Stop the Propaganda Act? I Wish

As noted by Oliver Willis from this piece:

In response to continued revelations of government-funded
"journalism" -- ranging from the purported video news releases put out
by the drug czar's office and the Department of Health and Human
Services to the recently uncovered payments to columnists Armstrong
Williams and Maggie Gallagher,who flacked administration programs --
Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
will introduce a bill, The Stop Government Propaganda Act, in the
Senate next week.

"It's just not enough to say, 'Please don't do it anymore,'" Alex
Formuzis, Lautenberg's spokesman, told E&P. "Legislation sometimes is
required and we believe it is in this case."

The Stop Government Propaganda Act states, "Funds appropriated to an
Executive branch agency may not be used for publicity or propaganda
purposes within the United States unless authorized by law."

"It's time for Congress to shut down the Administration's propaganda
mill," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It has no place in the United
States Government." The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Durbin
(D-Ill.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.).
I am 157% for this. However, it won't fly.

Today, I was reading on CNN that the GOP is soliciting HUGE donations to promote Bush's "vision" which they insist can't get promoted because of the "liberal media". Liberal media? Practically all we're getting on TV and many newspapers is the swill the Bush folks are touting.

No one except the left has yet to acknowledge that the payola to Armstrong and now Maggie Gallagher is even slightly improper. If we think it's just these two people taking tax dollars to promote this crap, dream on. Neither of these are A list players. So one has to assume the really big bucks are going to A and B list people. So we're spending yet more tax money - not on health care or educating kids or securing our ports - to pay people to lie for the Bush administration. And nothing will come of it.

Death, Death, and Yet More Death

The media seems very careful to make it sound like the deaths of 30+ Marines and one Navy man in Iraq yesterday was weather related. But does that really make it any better?

Mr. Bush himself was so damned defensive yesterday in his remarks about it, clearly worried some of his Kool-Aid drinkers would switch to some sobering coffee. He should be defensive. This is a horrific mess of his own making. By keeping Rumsfeld on as Defense Secretary, he's basically saying that Rummy has a blank check to run all military operations - and the soldiers involved with them - into the ground.

Then he gets on Arab TV and threatens Iran. Fucking amazing.

Where I've Been

I've actually been wrestling with a novel I'm writing about the war but more specifically the impact of it on the families back home, from soldiers coming back missing limbs and functioning brains, to payroll screwups, to financial disaster, and beyond.

But it's at the point where I'm starting to send this out to agents. So wish me luck.

We're Flying Missions Over Iran

That's the story from today's Democracy Now program, saying we're deliberately violating Iranian air space so we can identify - so we can later take out - their radar installations.

Unfortunately, I am becoming increasingly concerned that we'll be in a war with Iran very soon, very much as Sy Hersh has said. I don't see how we do that without a draft. But the draft is just one issue. The more we're hated in the world, the more likely it is that your son, daughter, father, mother or you will end up fighting Bush's war of empire, voluntarily or not.