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Category: insecurity (Page 2 of 8)

olbermann has it right: bush must resign

Tonight’s Countdown featured Keith Olbermann’s most pointed, focused and necessary commentary on the corrupt folly and danger that is the presidency of George Walker Bush that has ever been set to video or audio archive.

Olbermann’s point: Bush must resign to preserve what’s left of this delicate union we call the United States of America.

And I agree with him 100 percent. And just to make things right: Cheney should resign, too.

And both should be tried for crimes against the United States and the people of this great country.

Crooks & Liars has the full video, as well as a full transcript of Olbermann’s powerful piece, and I urge everybody – Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, American or non-American – to watch the piece, hear it out, and simplydo something to bring back a true moral center to the United States.

Bush and his theocon friends have so warped the definitions of what “morality” is that it’s no wonder that the United States is no longer held in high esteem by most of the world. Recent elections in France and Germany, and the turnover of power in the United Kingdom, point to this reality: the world is no longer willing to take our word on anything. We are no longer “The Greatest Nation”; rather, we are listing ever closer to the edge of irrelevance on the world political stage.

Since taking office in January 2001, the Bush administration has done more damage to this country than any foreign or separatist power ever managed to do before. The Constitution is in tatters. Civil liberties are mostly a thing of the past. Intelligent reason is damned by the powers that be, replaced by pseudo-religious zealotry and closed-mindedness that borders on the cult-like.

And congress needs to wake up and take action.

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the good, the bad and the birthday

Three things to ponder – not all of them beautiful:

  • The cheering section along Park Central Road in Catoctin Mountain Park was reminiscent of a moment in Le Tour. These folks must’ve cheered on every rider on our club ride, and made us all redouble our efforts as we clawed our way to the summit. The shot of adrenaline and dopamine from the cheers makes even the most awful climbs a lot of fun.
  • After Sen. Joe Lieberman’s appearance on Face The Nation yesterday where he called for military strikes against Iran, I think it’s high time that Sen. Harry Reid remove him from any and all committee leadership positions. It’s this kind of reckless swinging of swords that makes the United States less credible in the eyes of the rest of the world. Joe: if you want to go against the majority of your claimed “party of allegiance” and side with the same dimwits who think that the war in Iraq is still a good idea, you might as well wear the emblem of the pachyderm, rather than the ass. Why the people of Connecticut sent this clown back for another term is beyond me, as he’s an embarrassment to the state’s political legacy.
  • A happy 48th birthday to Hugh “Bertie Wooster” Laurie, comedian and actor extraordinaire.

how the dems can regain the upper hand

Since Bush vetoed Congress’ Iraq funding bill – with Congress failing to override the veto – the Dems are in a bit of a tizzy. Some are willing to retreat to the useless and already-proven-pointless benchmarks approach: setting a timetable for the Iraqi government, while continuing an all-military approach toward getting the U.S. out of the war.

But this won’t work. It’ll play into Bush’s hand, and totally betray the will of the American people.

That’s why I really like what RockRichard has to say about a different approach. This approach seemingly gives Bush and the theocons what they want, while dragging them through the mud repeatedly during election season:

Sending the same bill back to the President is a viable option. However, I do not put the President above holding the troops hostage in a war zone without funding so that he can save himself face. Hell, he’s kept us in a war zone for four years just to save face. So this is what I propose: Give the President a “clean” bill with no strings. No deadlines. Exactly what he wants. But the bill should only authorize funding for 45 days. This way, Republicans (usually from rural districts who provide most military recruits, and are most personally affected by the war) who are facing reelection in the other election next Fall will have to go on the record supporting the President and his failed policy. We continue the cycle. Every 45 days we pass a withdrawal bill, and if the President vetoes it, we send a “clean” 45 day bill. Repugs will grow tired of the President dragging their names through the mud. I assure you, we will only need to this twice before we have enough votes to override a veto.

Yes, he resorts to some name-calling, but I like the concept: every 45 days, force the Republican theocons to justify and re-justify their support of the war, and during an election season where being seen as a supporter of the Iraq war is an increasing liability.

It might be worth a shot.

naïve politicians

Want proof of a naïve voting populace? Look no further than the zany antics of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who resorts to non-creative name calling about western politicians who speak truth to power.

Yup – Shurtleff still buys into the beat-to-death and entirely untrue argument connecting Iraq, 9/11 and Al-Qaida. He beats on a tired, worn-out drum, and look like a fool doing so. Let’s face it: he’s no Rocky Anderson in terms of conviction, and this silly lip-flapping exercise was completely out-of-character for an AG who isn’t known for taking a stand on anything.

So when he does take a stand, he looks like an out-of-touch dimwit. He doesn’t get what Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) says in his latest campaign ad: “stubborn is not a good foreign policy.”

Even the people of Utah – the “reddest” state in the union – aren’t buying the “Iraq war is good” mantra that BushCo has been trying to force-feed to the people since 2001.

And a major tip ‘o the hat to the BYU students and other Utahns who protested Vice President Cheney’s commencement speech at the private LDS university. Thank you, dear protesters, for showing that there are free-thinking people behind the “Zion Curtain” – and showing that their numbers are growing.

I can’t wait for 2008….

lieberman should shut the [email protected]#% up about iraq

Watching Sen. Lieberman (CFL-CT) on Meet The Press shows that he doesn’t know a thing about international affairs. Seriously: he knows nothing. He doesn’t understand the way the Middle East works, he doesn’t understand how the war in Iraq has done nothing to improve the security of the United States, or of his beloved Israel, or of the Middle East, as a whole.

And now Joe is once again saying that the people of the United States oppose Bush’s “new” Iraq strategy (and its not-so-veiled threats against Iran and Syria) at their own peril. Joe, you’re dead wrong. Lieberman is simply out of touch with reality. All the war has done is destroy the United States’ credibility in all matters foreign – something that this country can ill afford, and something that will likely take decades to rebuild.

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quick rants

Three things I feel a need to address:

  • To the guy in the black Impala who blared at me through his window while I rode south on MacArthur Boulevard this morning: shut the #@$% up! He yelled at me to “stay in the f—ing bike lane.” There are two problems with that: the bike lane is littered with glass right now, and I was going 22 miles per hour. A quick check of the Montgomery County regulations shows that the speed limit on the multi-use path on the southbound side of MacArthur is 15 miles per hour. This is the case because it is a bi-directional, multi-use trail. I could encounter other cyclists, joggers, walkers, or even folks on horseback, and the rule is there to try and keep the maximum closing speed for any two users 30 mph. As it was, my fellow cyclist and I were observing all rules and regulations for road use, and were riding between 20 and 25 mph on a 35 mph road. This user simply wanted to bomb along at 50 mph with “a little room for error.” The thing is: going 50 on this stretch of MacArthur will save most drivers less than one minute of commute time – hardly worth the effort this driver exerted to yell at me.
  • To the folks who cheered, whooped and hollered at the Blue Angels’ fly-over at President Ford’s burial in Grand Rapids: the cheers were inappropriate. The pilots were doing a missing man formation, a sign of reverence toward a fallen soldier or commander. It is meant as a solemn, silent sign of respect – not a stunt show. Yo, spectators: the fact that the honor guard was standing at attention while “Taps” was being played – all while the jets flew overhead – should’ve been a clear sign that cheers were not appropriate. Is it any wonder that other countries see us as hicks without manners?
  • To Cindy Sheehan, who took it upon herself to disrupt a press conference on domestic issues being held by the incoming Democratic House leadership: your 15 minutes are over. In continuing to monkey wrench, protest ad infinitum, and otherwise try and steal the spotlight at completely inopportune times, you do a disservice to the cause you claim to support. You are – to borrow from The Bard – “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Please, Cindy: pass on the torch, or at least take a more mature tactic to heart. Butting in on the incoming house leadership during a news conference which had nothing to do with the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is simply foolish – shame on you, Cindy. And shame on the liberal blognuts who continue to deify Ms. Sheehan and her misguided actions.

moved to tears

Never in my life have I been moved to tears – of sadness, anger, passion – by a broadcast journalist’s commentary.

Until tonight.

Keith Olbermann’s commentary on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was the ticket. Olbermann, using tones not heard on the U.S. airwaves since the days of Edward R. Murrow, fired on all cylinders: damning the Bush administration for giving the terrorists a victory in suspending habeas corpus, and damning the American people for allowing such things to happen without resistance or question.

Crooks & Liars has video and a transcript of Olbermann’s masterwork – please take the time to watch, listen, read and, above all, think.

As President Bill Clinton said today at Georgetown University, there is a marked difference between those who live by philosophy and those who live by ideology. He pointed to the danger of ideologues, who believe they “have all the answers,” and “attack those who disagree,” rather than listen and engage in dialogue. He voiced hope that a common good – where leaders listen, think, learn and then act – will take hold again, starting with the election that’s 20 days away.

Olbermann, himself near tears, pointed out that the Military Commissions Act is the natural outcome of having an ideologue in power – something that’s technically no different than having a fundamentalist zealot, or a popular socialist, or a strident fascist in power.

And as Olbermann pointed out, Bush didn’t look too far into the future when he signed this legislation, as under a future administration, he and his cronies could be detained under its auspices. Perhaps that’s why Bush just bought a big parcel of land in South America….

So please: vote for reason on November 7 – and vote for philosophy, rather than ideology.

(P.S. – and be very wary of the Dems who supported this treasonous act. If you live in Connecticut, that means it’s even more important to send Joe home, and elect Ned Lamont. And if you live in Utah, please help end the reign of Orrin Hatch, and vote for Pete Ashdown.)

no, mr. bush, the u.s. does not own outer space

“President” Bush signed an order today that prohibits other countries from using outer space for hostile endeavors, and gives the U.S. the power to stop said activities.

Never mind that Bush is one of the leading proponents of a space-borne missile defense system that is, in all fairness, a hostile use of space. So do as Bush says, not at he does – very pedantic, Mr. Bush. You might as well take the next shuttle or Soyuz up to orbit and start peeing all over the place to mark your territory.

Okay, fess up: who actually voted for this clown to be our president?

hope that the president is in a good mood….

…..because if you are arrested for anything that could be seen as a crime against the United States, you can kiss your rights goodbye. Thanks to today’s signing of new detainee rights legislation, the president now has sweeping powers over prosecution of persons detained during anti-terrorist or so-called “wartime” activities. Habeas corpus be damned – at least that’s what BushCo thinks.

The GOP rubber-stamp congress passed this legislation with almost passive disinterest, and now it’s law. And all citizens of the United States are now at risk, both at home and abroad, thanks to the signature of a spineless, gelding oaf who believes he is the emperor or “Americaland” and the world.

Standing behind Bush at the signing were other war criminals: Vice President Cheney, one of the architects of the botched military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq; Attorney General Gonzales, who openly advocated torture (potentially to the point of death) as an “effective tool” of interrogation of suspected enemy combatants; and a slew of Senators and Representatives, all of whom apparently don’t have any family members fighting on the front lines (of course they’re not – no well-heeled theocon would dare let his kids be put in harm’s way – leave that to the urban and rural poor).

A footnote: the writ of habeas corpus has been suspended before, during the Civil War and reconstruction. In 1861, President Lincoln suspended habeas in order to quash riots in western Maryland and parts of southern Indiana. This temporary suspension of the writ allowed Union forces to maintain prder in Washington.

In the early 1870s, President Grant suspended habeas corpus to assist in protecting freed slaves against the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina. This was done to allow the freed slaves equal access in polling places and to government services – something that, as Keith Olbermann pointed out tonight, still hasn’t entirely happened in this country.

And an additional footnote: don’t believe for a second that I think that the Democrats come off all rosy over this legislation, as some voted for it, and far too many who voted against the legislation did nothing to speak out against it – the “miracle” of poltical triangulation in an election year.

Fellow Democrats who are running for office, both now and in the future: show your convictions, grow a spine, and speak out!

bush has no spine, balls or brain

Of course, I’ve felt this way about the “president” for years – since he was elected annointed in 2000.

He came in clueless – like a frat boy who was having the ultimate keg party.

Then 9/11 happened, and at the one point where he had both political parties, as well as a majority of the world, behind him, he blew it – big time. The military action against the Taliban and Al Qaida was botched from the get-go.

Then he attacked Iraq, based on false pretenses and flat-out lies. The country was never a threat to the United States, did not (at the time of attack) harbor Al Qaida terrorists, and was likely going to undergo an organic turnover of government within a year or two of our attack.

The United States, under Bush and his cronies, has continued to play the “vote for us or the terrorists will win card” since 2001, to great success for the Republican party, but at great expense to the United States and its standing in the global community. Forget the fact that Afghanistan was botched, and that Iraq military action is now a quagmire nearing the scale of Vietnam; Bush claimed that the Democrats (and centrist Republicans) were going to let the terrorists into the U.S. and that’s that.

And don’t forget that, since 2001, the U.S. has worsened its stewardship of the environment in order to line the pockets of big businessmen in obsolete industries.

BushCo kissed up to the most radical and devisive of his supporters – especially the so-called evangelical right – and played them for votes, even if he had no intent of paying them any more than lip service.

But as we’ve all learned, that’s how Bush works: he’s in his own world, he doesn’t read the news, he doesn’t listen.

And now he might be creating his own “fear factor” for the upcoming elections: since he hasn’t been able to capture a terrorist leader with a failing renal system, it looks like he might be sending a naval battery to attack Iran on the eve of the election – and like he might be paying new lip service to the evangelicals from whom he is losing support more and more with each passing week..

If Bush does this, I will have no choice but to label him a member of his own “axis of evil” – as if he isn’t already a member of said club – and hope that the voters see through his petulant tantrums.

No, Mr. Bush, the U.S. population doesn’t trust what you, your advisers, and your party have done to this country. In order to save what’s left of the tarnished dignity of this country, it is vital that we insert a check into your power by voting in a Democratic majority into both the House and Senate this November.

Mr. Bush, you have no spine: you insist on attacking anybody and everybody who doesn’t think like you, and can’t stand up to basic attacks on your lack of compassion. Compassion, Mr. Bush, requires more of a spine than wielding overpriced weaponry on helpless civilians and failing foreign governments.

Mr. Bush, you have no balls. You refuse to admit that you have failed in your basic mission as president: “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Instead, you’ve taken the way of a coward: eroding civil liberties and rights of the people you claim to defend, while trying to push the same rights into a culture that doesn’t subscribe to the same basis of “morals” as you.

Mr. Bush, you have no brain. You can’t see the forest for the trees. And you treat your consitutents like they don’t have brains, either. You are a disgrace to both Yale and Harvard – and I’m sure the only reason you got into the former was due to a family legacy. A self-admitted “C+ student” should not be the leader of one of the most powerful countries on the face of the Earth.

Let the me no misunderstanding, Mr. Bush: you are a failure as president, as a leader, and as a role model. You should be ashamed.

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