Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Friday, November 05, 2004

Losers

As I expected, the right wingers are as bad at winning as they are losing which proves they are still losers. They cannot get over their addiction to whining about the media, about liberal elitists, and about the people in the arts. In other words, they don't like intellectuals because intellectuals understand the nuance in the real world. The right wingers either are, or want everyone to believe, that the world is balck and white and we, America, are never on the wrong side. Okay, most of that is for other arguments...onward.

I have come across many articles, blog posts, and comments stating that Bush won the election in spite of the mainstream media (MSM, for the unitiated). After investigative reporting blew the lid off of the Nixon administration and its criminal ways, the right wing began a tizzy about the media being against them. They pushed this for years and years until people actually started to believe them and the press itself began to quiver at the onslaught. So, the press went looking for balance where there was none to be had giving in to the right wing idiocy that everything was just spin and, in order to placate these morons, let them on to spin the facts. Got that? The media turned cowards and let the spin become reality instead of just reporting the facts.

Okay, folks, hear me out. The mainstream media used to print facts and left spin and opinion for the editorial pages. Now, the spin is on every page thanks to the right wing terrorists ruling every branch of our government and dominating the screeching perches of the country. The media has been biased in favour of the GOP for the last 12 years, as evidenced by its attempts to spread the endless rumours of Bill Clinton during his presidency and the fact that they didn't let facts get in the way of their little chats with President W. In the latter case, this is due to a president too afraid to answer for his actions and the press corps was afraid to push him lest their careers be ruined by a punitive, childish action from thie White House. The threats were real early on in the administration. At the end, prior to the election, the press finally pushed and the White House and the right wingers were not happy that the facts were finally going to print.

The facts themselves are against this president and at the end of the next four years (or, perhaps 2), America will realize what a danger it is to have a simpleton president with no creative impulse, no sense of responsibility, little maturity, even less sincerity, and a personal agenda that puts power, peers and party above country.

The facts are indeed SHRILL!

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Real Americans (Part 2)

Last week I posted about the GOP's abuse of Americans by claiming some are "real" and some are the latte-sipping, Volvo driving, etc., etc., people from unreal America.

From today's Salon, by Janet Sullivan:

By the time I had gone to bed, the chorus of pundits had fixed on a single tune, as they always do, and remarkably quickly, too. (Do they watch one another's feeds in the green room?) They had dusted off the old theme that the Democrats need to "reach out" more to the "heartland." Reach out? How, exactly? Forget that these folks blindly ignored all objective reality -- and their own best economic and national-security interests -- and voted for Bush. Look what they did at the Senate level. In Kentucky, they refused to use even basic sanity as a litmus test, and reelected a guy with apparent late-stage dementia; in Oklahoma, they tapped a fellow who wants to execute doctors who perform abortions, who was sued for sterilizing a woman against her will, who pled guilty to Medicaid fraud, and who largely opposes federal subsidies, even for his own state; in Louisiana, they embraced a man who has made back-door deals with David Duke and who was revealed to have had a long-running affair with a prostitute; in South Carolina, they went with a guy who thinks all gay teachers should be fired; and in Alaska, they reelected a woman who was appointed by her father to the job after a spectacularly undistinguished career as an obscure state senator. And compared with the rest of the GOP Class of '04, she's the freaking prom queen. These are the stellar elected officials that the "heartland" has foisted on the rest of us.

So what are their issues, anyway? They're "cultural and moral values," we keep hearing. Well, they voted in a president who ran up the largest deficits in history, saddling our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt to pay for a tax cut that largely skewed to the wealthiest Americans; underfunded his own education initiative by $9 billion; threw more than a million more families into poverty; lost more jobs than any president since Hoover; saw 5 million Americans lose their healthcare on his watch; demoted the office of counterterrorism and ignored months' worth of dire warnings about an attack in the months running up to 9/11, and after 9/11, fought the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, fought the formation of the 9/11 Commission, and diverted hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of troops away from the war on terror to fight a war of choice in Iraq, where we've lost more than 1,000 young Americans. Those soldiers who are lucky enough to make it home face cuts in their benefits and combat pay, as well as veterans' hospital closures.

And how, exactly, are the Democrats supposed to counter this? Out-pander Karl Rove? Out-lie Dick Cheney? Out-fearmonger George Bush? Even if the Democrats were inclined to do all three -- and after this election, I'm betting they'd be willing to give it their best shot -- what are the odds, really, that they, or anybody, could succeed?

To me, the heartland of this country is anywhere that people work their asses off to make their lives better for their families. They stay true to their better angels no matter how miserable things get or how much easier it would be to succumb to hate and irrational fear. They read, and listen, and look for the truth and stay informed about what's really going on, no matter how grim the news. They don't live in Fox News cocoons, they don't blast Rush Limbaugh from their pickups, and they don't vote blindly for the guys whose prejudices most neatly line up with their own. Their concerns are genuine, their values are consistent, their principles are rock-solid, and their hearts are true.

They may not go around saying, "God bless America," but these days, they're probably praying that He'll save America. Because God knows the people in the "heartland" won't.

And, yesterday, Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger, reminded us of this gem from Josh Marshall while he writes about people who vote against their own interests because they are wrapped up in the values issues:

This is the arsonist in your house telling you that stranger outside with the hose can't be trusted.


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Don't Let Them Break Out the Broom

While we're busy wringing our hands, they're busy with their shredders provided to them by the liberal media. Let's not forget we still have: c. 370 tons of missing dangerous explosives, a Majority Whip being brought up on charges, a damning CIA report about the administration, unanswered responsibilities recommended by the 9/11 commission, FBI investigations into Halliburton's abuse of taxpayer money, a SecDef responsible for one of the worst blows to our moral standing kicking the blame down to the most defenseless, a continuing rogue intelligence operation in the Pentagon, an Energy Task Force set of documents that is still being held in secret by the Vice President, a President who won't tell us what his economic plan his, a military horrendously overstretched in the middle east, a President who cannot describe a future foreign policy, and people being held for reasons still unknown in Guantanamo, inter alia.

Feel free to help out with the inter alia part.

Now, get busy. Ask questions, send questions to the media and find out why they aren't holding the administration's feet to the fire, fire your TV and start reading behind the front pages of your newspaper; get on the phone, get on email, get on the fax, and ask the media why the hell they aren't doing their job, then fire them and find a reliable source.

Get to work, we have a very busy 4 years ahead of us. Given that the Reagan White House was the most criminal in our history (judging by the number of people brought up on indictments) and many of those people are back in this White House, we are going tohave a lot to follow in the next four years.

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Relaxed

Okay, I feel more myself today and slept a normal night's sleep for the first time in a month or so. Today, I am the person most people know me as. I am angry and cynical which is a good thing. This is my natural milieu and it feels like home. Ahhhh... The optimism felt over the past six months was strange, I believe, for me and most of those around me. Not to worry, I have returned and am ready to tell the whole world, once again, FUCK OFF!!!

So, why the anger and cynicism? As if you didn't know...I feel good and have already started laughing at the fact that the GOP and America get to reap what they have now sown with no excuses available for their miserable failure. Can't blame obstructionist Democrats in Congress, can't blame Clinton, can't blame the press, and can't blame a divided public. We are all fucked and will have to rely, as we have for the last 100 years or so, for the progressive policies to rescue the country out of its dismal failures.

Not only did the GOP win, the terrorists have a clear victory. A president and a party who needs fear to rule and who, therefore, will not take out the outside threat so it can grow into something truly terrifying while America sits in front of its televisions or Playstations or goes out and buys shit it doesn't need, and notices nothing until it goes BOOM!

As Strummer, Jones, et al, said:

THIS SOUND DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE INTERNATIONAL PLAN
IN THE PSYCHO SHADOW OF THE WHITE RIGHT HAND
THEM THAT SEE GHETTOLOGY AS AN URBAN VIETNAM
GIVING DEADLY EXHIBITIONS OF MURDER BY NAPALM

Hey, GOP!! Enjoy it while you got it and be sure to move it fast offshore because payback is going to be one hell of a royal bitch after 2008!



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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Values

While watching CNN, I saw they did a poll of voters and what issues are most important to them in voting for their chosen candidate. Kerry supporters ranked the economy first, terror/Iraq second, and health care third. For Bush supporters, first place went to values and second place to terror/Iraq. There was no third place for Bush supporters because so many had elected for those first two.

Values? Something that is intrinsically personal and the state should have no business legislating except where it violates the rights of another citizen? This is what the Democrats are up against: people who think legislating personal values is more important than freedom. And, as long as Republicans control government offices, there will be attempts to teach theocracy, at least, alongside factual history and empirical science (the most glaring examples are creationism being accepted as an acceptable teaching v. evolution and that the founding fathers of American democracy wanted religion as an inherent part of its constitutionality v. the very real arguments that led to them rejecting that idea and wanting a clear separation of church and state).

Freedom or theocracy? Dostoevsky wrote in "The Brothers Karamazov" in a section titled "The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor" that people clearly would prefer happiness to freedom. Now, the choices of course, are not that clear cut but the idea is true. Freedom means responsibility and choice but it isn't easy. Absolute happiness means living in the care of someone else who makes decisions for you.

As long as Americans think god participates in its experiment with democracy, all three are diminished.


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One Reflection

No matter the result, the fact that it is even close leads my wife to say, "I'm embarrassed for America." She further wondered if Americans really could be that stupid? When I told her that the youth vote, which was expected to have a very high turnout for once, didn't materialize, she replied, "All those fat young people in America have their own cars. Is it really too difficult to get in a car and drive to a polling site?" When I explained also that there were attempts to intimidate, mislead, and misdirect minority, immigrant and poor voters, and that many voters had registrations thrown out in about 5 states by a company closely connected to the GOP only to have the courts say, "Tough luck," enraged, she said, "Democracy in America has so atrophied? People aren't fighting about this?" She then made the same observation that I have made numerous times on this blog that democracy in America is no example for the rest of the world and is closer to what they call democracy here in Ukraine than the rest of the developed world.

As any who know her, my wife is no wilting flower and doesn't follow my lead. She has listened to my propaganda for more than three years and has alternately laughed at my rants or told me to shut up. However, in the end, she does agree with me that people like Bush are bad for democracy and people like Kerry are good for it. She is more distressed than anything, like most foreigners/immigrants I suppose, about the fact that America doesn't care about the rest of the world or trying to be one of the community of nations, indeed merrily boasts that it knows nothing of the rest of the world.

It's not over yet and I hope the Democrats fight for the rights of all voters and make sure everything is counted. If the will of the people is heard, the Democrats win. If the GOP is successful in shutting out voters who don't tend to agree with them, they win and the world will turn its back on America and let it rot from the inside out.


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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Prosecutor, Please

This comes from a brief exchange with other readers over at Rising Hegemon.

So, according to initial exit polls it looks like America is coming to its senses and kicking Bush's ass for being an idiot and acting on a mandate he didn't have. A stupid war didn't help, either. So, with all the investigations Ashcroft has refused to pursue and that the GOP Congress was too chickenshit to conduct about the alleged criminality of so much of Bush's presidency, anybody wonder if the investigations will all of a sudden open up? This way, they get to have the investigation cursorily, find the parties innocent or guilty and, in the latter case, Bush gets to pardon them before he leaves office.

The (allegedly) criminal bunch in W's administration must be quaking in their boots that Kerry might become president because he was a prosecutor and has had his successes as a senator investigating BCCI and Iran-Contra. The guy likes justice and would have a fun time with this bunch. Of course, several of the Iran-Contra figures are now working in Bush's administration and I am sure Kerry would love to get an investigation going into these guys to finally nail them without a GOP president around to pardon them.

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What He Said, Part 2

As you've heard me say before, here, be nice until it's time to not be nice. We can be gracious if we are victorious but, of course, it remains to be seen how they will accept that graciousness. Publius gets it right again:


"But as much as I reject this administration, and as happy as I will be to see them go (I trust that I've earned credibility on that point), I also see enormous potential in a Kerry victory for all of America. But that can only happen if we are good winners.

And if these people see a bunch of Democratic gloating, it will only harden the partisan divide that is poisoning America and American politics.

One of the lessons of 9/11 for me was that there is a deep longing - an intense craving actually - for national unity. People are so sick of the polarization. And Bush had his chance after 9/11. If he had struck a more centrist tone, and treated terrorism like a national challenge rather than a political tool to punish Democrats, then he would have won 45 states. But he blew it.

When Kerry wins, it's going to be time to make a case for something rather than against something.

The point is that disillusioned center-conservatives should stop conceptualizing the Democratic Party the way it was in the 1970s - or in the way that decades of GOP media strategists have constructed it. It's got a great deal to offer. The people you hate (Michael Moore) have been marginalized, and don't have any real influence with the government (unlike the equivalent GOP wing). And despite Kerry's past, he's such a political creature that I predict he will try to imitate Clinton's centrism. Frankly, this seems a lot more appealing to me than the increasingly theocratic GOP under Rove. To me, the post-Clinton Democratic Party strikes all the right balances. It's pro-business, but with a heart. It's pro-jobs, withoug being corporate whores. It's pro-military, but not jingoistic. It's pro-values, but doesn't gay-bash. It's inclusive, and its policies are, to me, more consistent with the tenets of the world's major religions. In short, it's what a majority of Americans would prefer if they would just stop viewing everything through the socially constructed lens of "liberal vs. conservative."

But we have to make that case. We have to see this election as a window of opportunity to convince and persuade, not gloat and point fingers. What we should not do is view anything as our "due." Finally, we may have an opportunity to show why our party (or the party I'm currently aligned with - for now) governs better. This election is a beginning, not an end. An olive branch would go a long way in soothing the burn of tonight's election. And you catch more flies with honey."

And, as reader Doctor BioBrain points out, remember that history taught us the punitive justice handed out to Germany led to WWII. The alliance building after WWII, and the rebuilding, helped build lasting friends and democracies.


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What He Said

We need to get James Wolcott out of the exclusively cultural milieu and use that storehouse of cultural knowledge for more political writing like this.

"Don't let anyone con you that New Yorkers are so tough, resilient, unphased by adversity; practically everyone I know is a neurotic basket case over this election, ready to call their mothers to see if they can have their old womb back should Bush win."

"If Kerry wins, do you think conservative Republicans are going to take to their beds for soul-searching? They have no souls to search, most of them. No, they'll be scheming to ratfuck a Kerry presidency, and if history is a reliable guide they'll have allies in the elite media who can't wait to start snarking over Teresa as First Lady and the timidity of Kerry's cabinet picks, whatever. Reporters and pundits who've paid scant attention to the casualties and carnage in Iraq will suddenly find their consciences tucked away in a file drawer, and start wondering when Kerry will show the strength and resolve we expect from our leaders. They will hound him about Bin Laden in ways they never did Bush."

"To focus on whether or not the Bin Laden tape would give Bush a boost while thousands upon thousands of Iraqis die and Fallujah is about to pulverized without the slightest debate in this country is an indictment of our media, our political class, and the phony Christianity that so many of our dumpling patriots profess."

It's so easy when someone else says it all for me.

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Monday, November 01, 2004

Righteous Anger

A few days ago I expressed my admiration for righteous anger and the fight against bullies. Publius lays out a good case today that angry people vote and W's administration has been very good at sowing anger on both sides (but our side has greater numbers) and will reap its return. I would state that I believe this is something that has been coming since 1994 when the GOP took over Congress. I didn't think it was a bad thing at the time though and that there needed to be some cleaning up in the people's house. However, they immediately took to the task of thwarting public opinion by relentlessly pursuing and hampering Clinton instead of getting on with the people's business thus sowing the seeds of the bitter partisanship we now see today. The comeuppance should finally be sealed in 2006 when we have Congress return to Democratic hands after investigations of the past four years, and Republican complicity and complacency in the face of the Bush White House, bring light to America's eyes. Let's hope the Democrats can be better stewards of the public faith than they were at the end of their congressional reign and better than the GOP Congress has been before and after the one-year hiatus (01-02). This is why the GOP is fighting so hard. They know they have fucked up at the leadership level and those who have seemingly placed absolute faith in their righteousness will be more severe in their repudiation than those of us in the other camp and the current leadership does not want to face that.


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No Resolution...Yet

As expected, there was a clear winner on Sunday but he won't go through just yet. Yuschenko, the good guy (not Bush's ally but America's), won a plurality but not a majority (in a poll of the exit-polls; in two of them, he did win an outright majority). The run off between Yuschenko and Yanukovych will determine the future of Ukraine.

No unrest as of yet although there were some problems at some of the polls and problems with some of the paperwork in voting. If there is unrest, it will occur after the runoff if Yanukovych wins. Why? Because Yuschenko got, at the least, 45% of the vote this time around. That means he only needs a gain of 6% to win and many of the other parties have already said they will throw their vote in with him. It will depend on turnout, though.

UPDATE: The figures quoted above are based on the exit polls done yesterday. That was, of course, before Bush's allies had a chance to go to work on the numbers. My wife and I just watched this morning's run down on an oblast-by-oblast basis. After the government got to work on the numbers overnight, it seems their candidate leads 41% to Yuschenko's 36%. This is of course complete bullshit but we'll see whether they can hand out enough vodka and lower the price of bread enough to keep people quiet. I suspect that this time they cannot but time will tell.

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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Voting Day in Ukraine

Have fun. I'll be laying low. The authorities, the allies of Bush who are nonetheless running an anti-American campaign, have said they will not allow even peaceful protests against their fraud and voter intimidation (they are Bush's allies afterall). My wife wants to lock me in the apartment to make sure I don't take part in any protests but I may need the practice for our upcoming trip to the US.

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Happy Birthday!!

Now starting his 33rd year on the planet, i.e., he's 32 today for all the Republicans out there, ConnMan!!

Happy birthday, dude, and thanks for being such a good friend for the last 7 years.

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It's Gonna Be a Bumpy Landing

If the election is indeed close and America did not come to its senses and give Kerry a blowout, it's going to be a fun time to see where democracy in America is going. As my bloghero Attaturk has done, I am stealing from DailyKos:

Ashcroft Sues to Limit Suits Over Vote Fraud, Bush:America like a "10 Year Old"by Troutfishing
Sat Oct 30th, 2004 at 19:53:55 EET

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, September 1, 2004 ''It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," Card said. ''I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children." "...The comment underscored an argument put forth some by political pundits, such as MSNBC talk-show host Chris Matthews, that the Republican Party has cast itself as the ''daddy party." : "There there, little voters, Papa Ashcroft and Daddy Bush will sort out those nasty little vote fraud disputes." - Bush Adm. sues to give Ashcroft authority over voting disputes under the HAVA Act. "...would reverse decades of precedent..... Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, individuals have gone to federal court to enforce their right to vote.....in legal briefs filed in connection with cases in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, the administration's lawyers argue that the new law gives Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft the exclusive power to bring lawsuits to enforce its provisions."

And, as reader digital drano points out:


VOTING rights belong to THE PEOPLE!

Our government has 3 branches:
The Executive
The Congress
The Judicial

Voting rights belong to none of these branches. Voting belongs to WE THE PEOPLE!

If the Executive branch overrides the rights of the people during an election, then the Constitution is dead. This is a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. For the incumbent to even consider that he should have the exclusive authority to oversee his own election is ridiculous in a democracy. It is a total violation of power. Overseeing election outcome is not the perogative of the executive. It is the perogative of a DICTATOR!

Let us remember the powerful words of Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This proposal is concommitant to DESPOTISM. How dare the Bush administration even broach this idea. How would they be any different than Saddam Hussein, feigning democractic process while controlling the outcome

If the courts give the executive branch the voting rights of the people, they have colluded to HIGH TREASON. Both executive and judicial branches should be impeached of this is allowed to happen!

To repeat:Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Damn!!

I finally watched the Eminem video "Mosh" and almost had a tear in my eye. I've always had a weak spot for righteous anger and for those willing to stand up to bullies. Isn't that the true nature of America, though, standing up to bullies and fighting from righteous anger?

I'm ready...are you?

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