Elvis Has Left The Building

September 15, 2012 at 11:24 am | Posted in Foreign Affairs, Obama!, politics straight up, Reality Bites, State Department, terrorism | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When I saw the story teaser — “Why Can’t Muslims Remain Calm?” — I was expecting more “they’re subhuman” bullshit that’s popular again after the killings of Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, and three members of his staff. The teaser misled me. This is the gist of the author’s argument:

Tombs of the Mamluk Sultanate (photo c1867-1899, courtesy of Library of Congress)

“This week’s events have certainly reminded us that there are Americans who hate Muslims, and there are Muslims who hate Americans. And if friendship between Egypt and the United States is contingent upon no American ever saying anything that will offend the religious sensibilities of Egyptians, then it is time to declare that friendship dead. President Obama can no more control anti-Muslim bigotry in America than President Mohammed Morsi can put a lid on anti-Americanism in his country. But the haters don’t have to win the day. In this, Egyptians (and, more importantly, their political leaders) could take a lesson from the United States.”

While I believe the author is correct that the American government led by President Obama has reacted in a measured way to recent events, he gives Americans too much credit. America only appears to be better behaved.

Just as politicians and political actors in Egypt and Libya are playing on emotions to control power, the Bush/Cheney administration used the emotions of the American people after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to justify what turned out to be an enormously expensive (both in money and lives) yet ultimately failed attempt to move Iraq’s assets into the hands of a small group of people. Americans aren’t marching in the streets, throwing rocks at foreign embassies, but we don’t have to. We outsource the violence. We can — and do — sit comfortably in our Barca loungers while drones drop bombs on the people we hate. Americans are, in the end, no more adult than Egyptians or Libyans. We are just as easily manipulated by those who foment hate as a means to their particular end.

Advertisements

How stupid are Democrats?

July 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Bush, civil rights, law, politics straight up, Reality Bites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pretty fucking stupid.

Deaf and Dumb Asylum, Jacksonville, Illinois. Between 1880 and 1901. (Library of Congress)

Even a Fox News legal analyst — former New Jersey district judge Andrew Napolitano — thinks Bush and Cheney should have been indicted for “for torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrants.” But the Obama administration, not wanting to be seen “politicizing politics,” turned its back on the rule of law, figuring that if a Democratic administration didn’t pursue criminal charges against the Bush, Cheney and other members of their administration, somehow Republicans would feel constrained from attempting to impeach another Democratic president for lying about getting his cock sucked, or some other manufactured hysteria.

Darrell Issa is making plans now to “investigate” the “corrupt” Obama administration.

What have Democrats accomplished by not doing the right thing and criminally indicting Bush and Cheney for crimes against humanity? Nothing, except to prove again that nice guys finish last. As an added bonus, they license future Republicans administrations to pick up where Bush/Cheney left off.

Did no one learn anything from the ill-conceived pardoning of Richard Nixon?

This is perhaps the most egregious example of Democrats making a huge concession in exchange for bupkis, but as we have seen with health care and financial reform, it’s the way this administration rolls.

Remembering Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911– June 5, 2004)

June 4, 2010 at 1:45 am | Posted in Bush, God machine, Historical, palin, politics straight up, Reality Bites | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
St. Ronnie

Campaign poster, 1984 (Library of Congress)

What we saw during the Bush/Cheney administration was not a fluke or an anomaly, but the murderous crest of an authoritarian/plutocrat movement that was born in sin and began its aggressive descent into ignorance, bigotry and willful blindness not five months or five years ago…but was well underway 40 years ago, was radically amplified by a man named Ronald Reagan, and had been gaining barbaric force and momentum ever since.

It was, after all, none other than Ronald Reagan — the very Fountainhead of all Conservative Good Things — who first blew up the deficit. Wheee!

It was Ronald Reagan who rode to power over the bodies of civil rights workers, in the back of the imaginary Cadillac of a fictional welfare queen, to the thunderous applause of Klansmen, Birchers and theocrats.

It was Reagan who kicked the door open and invited the crazies onto the dance floor. Reagan, who opened the floodgates to the GOP lining its electoral pockets by demonizing gays. And uppity women. And minorities. And imaginary hippies.

It was Reagan who crushed residential mental health programs, programs to provide legal help to poor people, food programs, unions, you name it.

It was Reagan who unleashed Total Class Warfare aimed squarely at those citizens who were poorest, weakest and least-able-to-defend themselves.

It was Reagan who began the Republican War on the Middle Class that is now approaching its Gettysburg.

It was Conservative icon Saint Ronald Reagan who supercharged the efforts to methodically transformation of the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Jefferson Davis begun under Conservative Richard Nixon. Who oversaw the cynical escalation of the cultural war from Conventional to Nuclear.

It was Reagan who conducted a flatly illegal war and told his critics to fuck off when his crimes were discovered. It was Reagan who dallied with terrorists and laundered their money to pay for that illegal war. And it was Reagan’s vice president who 20 fucking years ago turned the despicable Lee Atwater loose to run one of the most nakedly racist campaigns in modern presidential history, and who then went on to make sure that all of Reagan’s criminal co-conspirators got pardons.

All of which and so very much more has been whisked down the memory hole by Mr. Sullivan, because his particular shell game only works as long as everyone agrees to pretend that the Palinites, the Bushies, the Cheneyites and all the other slavering, wingnut zombie hordes from which Mr. Sullivan now cringes in horror are some random freaks of recent vintage …

It’s also a function of Fox News creating a national ideology through a national propaganda arm of the RNC. Well, they will reap what they sow. At least I hope so if real conservatism is going to one day find a comeback in American political discourse.

Sister Sarah

… and not a generation of stunted, smug, pig-ignorant Conservatives who were deliberately spawned and suckled by the Republican Party in the radioactive wasteland created by Mr. Sullivan’s beloved Reagan Revolution.

Because any Acknowledgment of Paternity which establishes Ronald Reagan’s as the political father of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin would completely fuck up Mr. Sullivan’s lucrative scam.

So, shhhhhh!

Driftglass, 2/8/10

Dick Cheney: Petty, Dishonorable and Treacherous

December 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Bush, politics straight up, terrorism | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,
Dick Cheney the Puppet-Show-Man

Engraving, which formed the frontispiece to "A Second Tale of a Tub : or, the History of Robert Powel the Puppet-Show-Man. c.1715 (Library of Congress)

The Dick had this to say yesterday:

As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war.

But let’s remember how his puppet, then president, responded to an almost identical terrorist attempt:

Eight years ago, when a terrorist tried to blow up an airplane under nearly identical circumstances, then-President Bush waited six days before making brief, cursory public remarks. Five days after the attempted terrorist attack, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused substantive comment altogether, telling reporters, “That’s a matter that’s in the hands of the law enforcement people.” A White House spokesperson would only say at the time that officials were “continuing to monitor events.”

And where was Bush during those six days? On vacation. He was absent from office from December 22, 2001 until January 7, 2002.

By early March 2008, the War President, as he liked to refer to himself, had spent 918 days on vacation. By January 2009 Bush had spent 487 days lounging at Camp David.

Was there outrage when Bush didn’t cut his Christmas vacation short and made little comment about the “shoebomber”?

The media also seemed to have little interest in pressing Bush about the bombing, or the fact that the incident had revealed a previously unknown vulnerability in airplane security — that shoes could be used to hide chemicals or explosive devices.

An Agence France-Presse story was one of the few to call attention to the silence from Bush and other top officials.

Those pesky French!

The most dangerous terrorist threat facing this country comes not from overseas but from snakes like Dick Cheney.

Republicans Obstructing Justice.

January 22, 2009 at 12:10 am | Posted in Department of Justice, senate, torture | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Removing An Obstruction

Removing An Obstruction

Marc Rich was the first excuse and lasted longer than the trip down memory lane to revisit the Elian Gonzalez drama.

But the real reason Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback of Kansas, John Cornyn of Texas, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jon Kyl of Arizona are caviling on the confirmation of Eric Holder?

They want him to say “whether he will prosecute intelligence agents for torture if they were following orders and acting within what they believed to be legal guidelines.”

“Part of my concern, frankly, relates to some of his statements at the hearing in regard to torture and what his intentions are with regard to intelligence personnel who were operating in good faith based upon their understanding of what the law was,” said Cornyn.

Apparently the good senator has never heard the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Or, for that matter, “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

If the standard Cornyn seeks to have applied here were at work everywhere, the prisons would be empty. Then what would Dick Cheney do for his pocket money?

UPDATE (1/23/09):

(WhiskeyFire) Anyway, all you need to know about the Republican party is that the first fight they’re willing to pick with the new administration is quite literally based on the moral principle that nobody should be prosecuted for torture. That’s actually quite a radical, dare I say extremist position to be taking, except of course from the point of view of an apparatchik for a vicious totalitarian regime or a member of the Washington Post editorial board.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.