Monday, March 29, 2004

Chicken Fried Rice 

Condi -- testify. Testify under oath. Testify under oath before Congress and the American People. You can squirm and evade all you want, and claim some precedent, but the simple truth is you must testify, publicly, with the penalty of perjury dangling over your head.

"No sitting national security advisor has ever testified under oath before..." I paraphrase, and respond, "Well, no hijacked commercial airliner ever slammed into a skyscraper before."

Unless you want everyone to think you're a liar who's covering up for her bosses, then testify. You seem to have time to talk to everyone else. As John Kerry said, if you have time to do 60 Minutes, you have time to appear before the 9-11 Commission.

Or, I have a better solution. Since no sitting national security advisor has ever testified, why don't we impeach your ass and then subpoena you as a private citizen? Would that make you happy?

Meanwhile, it's certainly fun watching the administration frantically try to spin L'Affair Clarke. Trouble is, the faster they spin, the further they screw themselves into the ground.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

"Under God", My Ass... 

I don't know why people get their panties in such a twist over the idea of removing the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. First off, they're a recent addition, jammed in during the McCarthy Era in the mistaken belief that Communists wouldn't be able to say them and would, therefore, out themselves. Well, that wasn't the case. About the only people outed by this inclusion were Jehovah's Witnesses. If you've ever lived in a suburban neighborhood, you know that these people don't need an excuse to out themselves.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Jehovah's Witnesses..."
"Sorry, didn't see the accident."

Anyway... there is absolutely no place for these two words in the pledge of allegiance, for two reasons -- one religious, one secular. Tackling the latter first, no matter what arguments the religious apologists make, "One nation, under God" is a profession of religion, no matter how you slice it. And, I'm sorry, as a card-carrying atheist, I don't buy this bullshit. Yeah, if you support this crap, you may want to tell me, "Well, it doesn't really mean anything." Believe that? Then let's change it to "One nation, under Allah" or "One nation, under Krishna" or "One nation, under Buddah."

Still feel that it's innocuous? It's all a matter of perspective, darlings -- and this country has 250 million of them, many of which do not include "god" in the equation. Personally, I find "One nation, indivisible" to be a much stronger statement.

Now, for the truly religious (i.e. Christian) among you, ask yourselves this -- is it appropriate to include a profession of god in an oath to a piece of material, to a flag? In fact, this would seem to be worship of a graven image and, in fact, were you truly following your religion, not only would you not want your god included in the statement -- you'd want good christians to not say the pledge at all. That also applies to good Jews and, while I'm not up on the theology, I'd also suspect that Muslims would have a problem praying to a piece of cloth. So you're all barking up the wrong tree. If anything, you'd support Michael Newdow's attempt to secularize the pledge, and then you'd sue courts to make your kids stop saying it in school.

Of course, the way I dealt with it as a kid (atheist even then) was to say the pledge but, at the "under god" line, loudly state "indivisible," so as to drown out the sheep. That, or just refuse to say the damn thing. Okay, so I managed to go to school in the last days when students still had spines. But, nowadays, there really is only one answer...

Get this "god" bullshit out of the damn pledge, out of our schools, out of anything related to the government. Read the First Amendment again. "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion..."

If adding "Under God" and "In God We Trust" to our pledge and our coinage isn't an establishment of religion, I don't know what is. Michael Newdow is right. I only hope that the asshats on the Supreme Court can see it his way.

Although, of course, it being an election year, they won't. And that's sad...

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Saturday, March 27, 2004

Buy Your Own... 

Yep, this administration sure takes care of the military, doesn't it? How anyone can read this article and still think that Bush and Company value our soldiers is beyond me.

Yeah, boys. We'll send your asses over to Iraq on a slim pretense, but we won't do jack shit to make sure you don't get killed by a sniper.

Fucking pathetic...

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Friday, March 26, 2004

When "National Security" Doesn't Matter 

...apparently, when you want to nail a political opponent. Considering the tight-fistedness with which this Administration handles anything classified, it should come as a surprise that House Majority Leader Bill Frist is calling for the declassification of certain 2002 testimony Richard A. Clarke gave to House and Senate intelligence committees.

Oh wait... it's Richard Clarke. A political enemy that the administration is trying desperately to destroy. I guess, in that case, secrecy and national security don't matter.

Too bad the Republicans don't give the same regard to the truth when it comes to anything that the administration has done. Which is ironic, considering that Scott McClellan's comments on the matter fit his bosses to a T:

"With every new assertion he makes, every revision of his past comments, he only further undermines his credibility," McClellan told reporters.

Asked about Bush's personal reaction to the criticism from a former White House aide, McClellan said, "Any time someone takes a serious issue like this and revises history it's disappointing."

Replace "he" and "someone" with Bush, and McClellan would be telling the truth.

For once.

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Selective Details... 

Compare this USA Today story with Drudge's coverage of it.

It'll take a while to find what Drudge is so pissy about in the story. In fact, you won't find it until the last paragraph, as a throaway. In case the links are gone, here's the short version: the news story is about various Democratic leaders gathering at DNC National HQ to give their support to John Kerry. It's a generally spin-free story, and the tag is somewhat humorous, a final detail on the description of the new headquarters building.

It seems that the DNC HQ has a door mat with W's face and the words "Give Bush the Boot." Rather innocuous and, frankly, far more benign than any of the mudslinging the Republicans have done. (Compare this sentiment with any of Ann Coulter's typical columns, in which she frequently calls for the death of liberals.)

And yet, Matt Drudge gets his little panties all in a twist, going so far as to track down a photo of the door mat. Gosh. Makes me wonder what he'd make of the T-Shirts and other items available here...

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

And the Hypocritical Bullshit Continues to Fly... 

Republicans have a lot to say about scandalous behavior -- until it's committed by one of their own. To wit, John Kerry has already commented on George Bush's lame jokes concerning WMDs. In short, Kerry rightfully wonders how a president can make light of the non-reason that brought this country to war. Imagine if FDR had made public jokes about Pearl Harbor -- "Gosh, where'd our battleships go? Oops. They're all underwater. Heh heh heh..."

Of course, the second Kerry (or Clinton or any Democrat) is reported (secondhand) to have said anything controversial or humorous, or whatever, the Repugs are ready to jump on it with judgment. Which is why a reporter's recentexchange with Donald Rumsfeld concerning the matter is so telling. Here's the money quote:
RUMSFELD: I think you would have to -- to know what I would think, I would have had to be there. I think the context of those evenings -- I wasn't there, as you said, but I think I've attended in previous years on occasion and I just am not in a position to be judgmental about that.

Indeed, Mr. Rumsfeld, if you weren't there, you are in no position to be judgmental. Just remember that the next time John Kerry is reported to have said anything -- and then shut the fuck up.

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Into the Washington Machine, Out of the Spin Dryer... 

Hello, and welcome. As the 2004 Presidential race kicks into gear, I can't help but be appalled by the lame attempts of the Republican Party to try to spin everything their way. Hence this blog, in which I'm going to deconstruct their efforts and reveal them for the smoke and mirrors (read: bullshit) that they always are.

Spin: (v) to interpret another's words or actions in a way favorable to your side; to cover your ass by trying to divert attention from your own flaws; (n) the interpretation put upon an opponent's words or actions in order to cover your own ass.

In the days that follow, I'll be adding more here live as it happens, but in the past week, we've seen a flurry of failed Republican spin over Richard A. Clarke's comments on 60 Minutes. First, he was portrayed as a vendor of sour grapes, bitter over having been demoted in the Bush II administration. When this was disproven, he was claimed to be out of the loop. Only trouble was, he was quite in the loop.

The last desperate measure, about four news cycles in, was to claim that Clarke's resignation letter praised George Bush's handling of terrorism. Unfortunately, as the purveyors of this story failed to note before disseminating it, this is actually an argument in Clarke's favor. What would make someone who is apparently loyal to an administration suddenly roll over and point out their failings in a very public forum? Generally speaking, it tends to be the truth that inspires such actions. And it does not bode well for this administration that so many conservative loyalists of late have started speaking out in public.

No matter how hard the Republicans try to spin it their way, they're just hanging tinsel on the Titanic. It may look all glittery and pretty, but the whole shebang -- economy, environment, war on terrorism, war in Iraq, credibility -- is sinking beneath the waves. Ironically, what this administration thought to be the champagne bottle that christened their venture is actually the ice berg, and it's called 9/11.

Peace out.

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