March 12, 2007

A few thoughts and observations

How far did the Dispatch have to scrape to find something negative to print about Obama the day of his visit to the Quads? Well, they had to dredge up a silly issue that had been raised and quickly dismissed weeks ago and try to put a local spin on it.

They noted that "pundits" question whether Obama is "black enough", whatever that means. Since when has what pundits think been fodder for banner headlines, number one. And the fact is that it was only one black woman who prominently raised the question to begin with, and pundits chewed on the question for about two days at the time, and that was.... two weeks ago or more. As far as pundits go, the issue is long dead. Did the Dispatch editors just sit on the story in order to wait and publish it when Obama appeared in the area? I doubt it, but it's very strange indeed.

The reporter did a good job of trying to get a local angle and write about a rather ridiculous subject, but the fact remains that her assignment was idiotic.

There's nothing to it, Obama's black support is strong and growing at an amazing rate, and it's simply a non-story beyond it's novelty weeks ago. Yet in their apparent desire to cast Obama in a questionable light the day of his appearance, the editors at the D/A felt the need to put this dumb story on the front page and in a banner headline.

Makes ya wonder.


Little Bushkin has often warned us in apocalyptic tones that the so-called war on terror is the biggest threat we've ever faced and that the fate of our entire government and way of life is at stake. The "terists" want to kill you and your little dog Toto too.

Then why does he continue to insist that literally trillions of dollars in taxes be cut, rather than raised for this monumental and cataclysmic struggle? And why should anyone take him seriously when he slashes taxes for millionaires and billionaires, essentially putting hundreds of thosands of dollars into the pockets of people who don't need it in the slightest, while sending troops into battle with inadequate armor and providing inadequate support for the wounded and psychologically damaged when they return?

Why are the very wealthiest in the country, many who stand to make even more millions from this "war" both directly and in the stock market, asked to contribute LESS, rather than more, towards what Bush always contends is a war of biblical proportions?

Which is it? Titanic struggle, or such a minor matter that we can cut trillions out of the tax base?

Could it be that the elite profit from this war, and the best way to do so is to both keep the public scared and inflate the threat and ensure that it's the poor and middle class that does all the fighting and dying so that they can then reap the profit, while suffering none of the pain or sacrifice, from the death and destruction?

I think at first companies salivated over all that Iraqi oil and the classic scam of having taxpayers pay hundreds of billions of dollars in order to demolish an entire country and then them getting to go in and rebuild what we just paid to destroy and for obscenely high profit. That worked for a while. Remember the billions in cash that was shipped there on pallets and distributed from the back of trucks?

Now things aren't quite going as planned, so they're lining up to get contracts to do what the military has always done, as well as getting paid millions to provide services, and then never provided them, to send empty semis up and down dangerous highways because they get paid by the trip, not the load, and so on. And of course, when you're under a money waterfall from Iraq, it's that much sweeter when you're exempt from all tax, as are companies operating in Iraq. And when as a millionaire or billionaire invested in these companies, you're personal taxes are cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars.


The revelations last week of the results of an FBI investigation into it's own abuse of surveilance powers granted by the Patriot Act is EXACTLY what opponents of the bill predicted would happen if this reckless and un-checked power were granted to the administration.

They found evidence of hundreds of requests to pry into people's e-mails and other business where there was insufficient reason and about a hundred cases where they were digging around in the private communication and financial records of the wrong persons to begin with.

Congress should need no more proof that many of the excessive power grabs contained in the Patriot Act should be repealed as soon as possible.


Bush's poll numbers are lower than a snake's belly and have been for some time. Every new poll brings even worse news, with only a fanatical (and delusional) third of people still thinking he has any credibility or knows what he's doing about anything at all.


Dick Cheney is a really strange person who has caused this country immeasurable harm by his pushing his hard right ideological theories into practice. It's been an utter disaster and has already caused so much death and destruction, screwed up our government, established an administration that doesn't know how to do anything but lie and decieve, barracade themselves behind the biggest wall of administration secrecy in history, and attack anyone who even appears to be trying to question their actions.

This administration, guided largely by Cheney and aquiesed to by a dim-witted Bush, has turned treasured American values and ideals on their head and plunged the country into a spot which will take generations to overcome. No matter what the area of government, this administration has been an utter failure. Their accomplishments have all been routinely negative and unproductive at best, and horribly destructive at worst for the country, liberty, and the health and well-being of the majority of the citizens of the United States.

What was it again that is so great about conservative principles such as "trickle-down" economics and a "screw-em" pre-emptive, beligerant and violent foreign policy?

And just how stupid are people that we fell for that "slash taxes on the rich, pile them on the middle class, slash social spending and public safety, increase military spending by gargantuan amounts" myth a second time after it was a proven failure under Reagan and Bush I? How many Republican presidents telling people that making the rich very much richer and slashing support for the poor and middle class will really be great for everyone will it take before people call BS?

How much longer are people going to be duped into supporting a government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporations?

Are we truly safe from falling for this sort of non-sense again?


The American public is largely unaware of the enormous degree to which this "war" has been outsourced and privatized. There are several corporations, such as Halliburton and Blackwater, and hundreds more, who get HUGE no-bid, unlimited cost contracts paid for by YOU. And nearly all of them are started or headed by former CIA or military figures or those with close ties to the oil industry and Bush administration.

The degree to which the line between government and crony corporatism has been obliterated is a major scandal, and one which the country has been kept ignorant about.

These companies have their employees stationed with our military all around the globe, and they're utterly unaccountable to the government and they don't have to report what they're doing or what they've done. They're outside the government, yet raking in billions of dollars doing what the military has always done up until this point.

The country and congress needs to do some major investigation and debate the efficiency and effectiveness of this radical departure from the way things have always been done.

The mere fact that it was done without any debate or public input is a scandal in itself, as is the fact that the press has largely been utterly silent on the subject, as if it's taboo.

How much money are we paying these mercenary corporations? Where will it end? Are we simply going to hire the army in the future? Is this what this is all designed to result in? Private prisons, private Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines?

Is this simply another example of corporations gradually taking over more and more of the government in keeping with conservative dogma that the private sector will always do a job better and at less cost than the government?

And it's now been noted many times, including when I mentioned it in a post a week or so ago, but all of the Democratic presidential contenders have gotten married and stayed married to the same person. Among the candidates of the party of "family values", just Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Newt Gingrich alone have had EIGHT wives between them! (3,2,and 3 marriages respectively)

And the funny part is that the only guy in the race with only one wife is the Mormon.


At 3/12/2007 12:05 PM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

Good post! Well said!
If the Republicans run a twice divorced candidate it will be interesting to hear the rationalizations from the "family values" crowd for why a Republican vote is a vote for "family values."

At 3/12/2007 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God forbid that a newspaper post anything but glowing comments about Obama!

Haleburton (1) receives some no-bid contracts because they are the only one capable of doing some of the projects that need to be done, and (2) it is well documented that the Clinton White House had a similar (if not worse) record when dealing with Haleburton.

The only issue with Haleburton is the fact that they have grown so big that they perform functions that no one else can - thus both Democrat and Republican administrations are somewhat obligated to deal with them.

At 3/12/2007 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was ridiculous to see Focus on the Family founder James Dobson gushing over Newt Gingrich last week; here's a guy who will go after anyone and anything (SpongeBob SquarePants included) that threatens "family values" now playing apologist for a twice-divorced (one wife divorced while hospitalized for cancer, the other divorced via fax), disgraced former Congressman as he admitted his numerous marital infidelities. Anyone with half a brain knows that these guys don’t give a flying shit about “family values,” but when their two-faced scheme in the face of anyone paying attention just makes me sick.

At 3/12/2007 10:48 PM, Blogger Stan said...

It'll be interesting and disgusting. In '04 they smeared a Democrat with a Silver Star & 3 Purple Hearts and said their chicken hawk was the toughest guy and the best one to defend us.


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