Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Solution for Iraq

This week we learned that the bi-partisan (cough - cough) Iraq study group will report their findings next week. We also learned the Pentagon's new slogans for the next faze of the Iraq debacle as they floated - "Go long", "Go Big" or "Go Home" - which was recited countless times by the dutiful corporate media.

Now everyone who reads our blog knows that Seenos and I are quick to use sports analogies to make a point. However, we are just ordinary citizens trying to make people think. The men on the ISG are statesmen with years of foreign policy experience. Those at the Pentagon are career millitary professionals. Their solution should be bipartisan, thoughtful and complex. Instead it seems they may have boiled our national strategy to fix one of the most colossal foreign policy blunders in U.S. history into a two word slogan.

And how long did it take them to do it? 9 Months!

Then, President Bush announced on Thursday that he would not withdraw troops from Iraq no matter what his hand-picked Iraq Study Group suggests.

So after much deliberation, here is my solution to end the Iraq war - and it involves sending only one more troop into harms way.

Find the biggest female soldier we can and send her to Baghdad as soon as possible.

Because everyone knows................

It ain't over til the fat lady sings!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bush's Legacy: An Alternative to the Think Tank!

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After pondering George W. Bush’s plans to raise $500 million to build a library and think tank at SMU in order to “shape how history views Bush’s legacy,” I can’t help but wonder how this is going to help.

On the surface, I think Arianna has it right when she says that the donors need to be transparent, but really – how is a think tank going to help “polish” a Bush legacy which will consist of little more than failure in Iraq and a bleak economic future for all but the wealthiest Americans?

Here's a better idea that might actually work:

First of all, Bush should go ahead and raise the $500 million.

Then, he should take $499,995,000 of it and set up a trust fund to help the families of troops injured or killed in Iraq.

Finally, with the the other $5,000, he should use it to set up the George W. Bush Presidential Dunk Tank!

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What else is he going to do when he is no longer President? Travel the World building good will toward America like Bill Clinton? Work on projects to house and feed the poor, like Jimmy Carter?

I don't think so!

At least this way, he can give the ordinary Americans who were hurt by his policies the chance to feel good again, if only for the time it takes to throw a couple of balls!

Also posted at Daily Kos.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What I Think the Iraq Study Group Will Find.

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If you look at the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, what do you see? James Baker, a noted Bush family fixer; and Lee Hamilton, the same Democrat tasked with giving a “bipartisan” look to a 9-11 Commission that was determined to reach a politically acceptable, if not thorough, conclusion on what should be done in response to the terrorist threat.

Is there any reason to expect anything more with this group? I’ve heard lots of talk about how the ISG will serve as a vehicle for a change of course in Iraq, basically an excuse to give up “staying the course” without being seen as “cutting and running.” TPM has posted a good overview of the predominant assumptions about what the ISG will do. They mostly involve coming up with a miraculous new solution that will save Bush’s bacon.

So what can the Iraq Study Group recommend that will be of any benefit to the Bush presidency? Most experts see Iraq continuing to deteriorate, at least over the next few years, no matter what we do. So, for George W. Bush, who has to ride out the next two years of living with his failed policies, a miraculous solution will have to be political and not tactical.

Here is what I expect to happen.

Much like the 9-11 Commission carefully detailed preventative steps to head off future terrorist attacks, but without drawing any attention to the secret desires personal failures of the Bush administration that led to 9-11, the IRG will detail some strategic adjustments that US troops can perform in Iraq to minimize the violence over the remaining two years of the Bush presidency, presumably with the goal of ending US troop involvement “as soon as possible.”

This will serve several political purposes hidden behind the tactical sounding recommendations. It will validate, at least from Bush’s perspective, the decision to stay in Iraq for the remainder of his presidency. It will allow him to continue looking forward and ignoring the lengthy string of blunders and lies that led us into war in the first place. If the Democrats push for a more rapid withdrawal, and are successful in that effort, he will be able to blame any short-term decline (that will most likely occur throughout the rest of his term in office) on the Democrats.

If he is successful in using the IRG report as justification to stay in Iraq rather than admit incompetence defeat, Bush will be able to pass on the responsibility for choosing to withdraw troops to his successor. In other words, if things go badly once troops are removed, he can claim it was because his successor didn’t stay long enough. If things go well, he can say it was because he followed the recommendations of the IRG and set the stage for a successful withdrawal of troops.

Bush has already gone on record as saying he believes we will be in Iraq beyond the end of his presidency. His recent call for “one last big push to win in Iraq” is yet another indication of his “run out the clock” strategy. He is going to make sure that when it comes to leaving the chaos created by his war, he’s not going to be the decider!

And neither is the Iraq Study Group!

Unfortunately for the troops who will continue to die or be injured in the meantime, the only miraculous solution that would be of benefit to them is one that gives no consideration to politics!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Meet the New Conservative Jon Stewart!

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Apparently Fox has scoured the country to find the best conservative comedic talent available, and the here’s the guy they think will balance out the biting satire of The Daily Show by mocking the ridiculously hilarious blunders made by Democrats – like trying to raise the minimum wage, provide affordable health care to lower and middle class families, and stopping our troops from being needlessly killed in Iraq!

Sounds like quite a task, so Kurt Long must have a stellar resume to be trusted with such responsibility. I decided to check it out as posted at the website of his talent agency, Omnipop. Now Kurt Long may be a really funny guy, given the chance to work with good material, but nothing on his resume suggests that he’s ever been given that chance! Of the two major roles for which I was able to find a plot summary, the humor potential sounds a little sparse.

Soiree (Film)
On his 30th birthday, David tries to reconcile with his estranged wife Angela, but she brings another man to the party. In front of their friends, Angela informs her husband that she will have open affairs with other men throughout the remainder of their relationship. David murders his wife and goes to prison where he is forced to spend the rest of his days as a "cell bitch". Or does he?
I suppose I should note that Long did not play the lead role in the film, so I can only assume that he must have played David’s wacky prison sidekick!

Games Across America (Television)
Comedy reality series that travels the United States in search of our nation's oddest events and craziest competitions. Hosted by funny man Kurt Long, the series has been in production for almost 2 years and has covered everything from Beer Pong in Manhattan to Roller Derby in Texas.
OK, so Beer Pong sounds like a barrel of laughs, but Roller Derby? I guess it might have been one of our nation’s oddest and craziest competitions – if the show were airing in the early 70’s!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything related to his lead roles in the films “Tightie Whities” or “The Lay Off.”

But then, I might just have been looking on the wrong websites!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Who's More Delusional? (The Sequel)

In an earlier post, I posed one version of this question.

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Is it John Mark Karr, who thinks he accidentally killed JonBenet Ramsey despite negative DNA tests, and witnesses who insist he was 600 miles away at the time of the murder?

Or is it the President of the United States, who gave the following answer (with my emphasis) to the first question asked by Brian Williams in an “exclusive” interview from the streets of New Orleans?
I will tell you this, that when it's all said and done, the people down here know that I stood in Jackson Square, and I said we're gonna help you, and we delivered.
Today, I pose a similar question.

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Is it OJ Simpson, who thinks it appropriate to publish a book entitled “If I Did It, Here's How It Happened” about two murders he still claims he did not commit?

Or is it the President of the United States, who made the following assertion from Vietnam, the site of a 15-year war that we never really won, about his war in Iraq.
We'll succeed unless we quit . . . The Maliki government is going to make it unless the coalition leaves before they have a chance to make it.
I’ve got more to say later about why the President is so determined to stay in Iraq, but I couldn’t resist asking this question again in the meantime.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hey, That's Not Cool Dude!

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On the eve of the big game between #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan, I couldn’t help but notice this article about probably the most politically incorrect rock concert in history.

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Sure, Bo Schembechler had maintained a sense of humor about the hardcore band, The Dead Schembechlers. But now that he has died, what was perhaps one of the great band names of all time is not so funny anymore. At least for a while! Of course, it is a moment that was destined to come sooner or later, and according to this description of Schembechler's medical history, the safe bet was sooner.
"It was probably not a heart attack; it just stopped working," Dr. Shukri David said. Schembechler had a heart attack on the eve of his first Rose Bowl in 1970 and another one in 1987. He had two quadruple heart-bypass operations, and doctors implanted a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat after he became ill during a (radio)taping on Oct. 20.
So, unfortunately for The Dead Schembechlers, the band will have to carry the baggage of having a particularly un-cool name for a while. That is, unless they follow my suggestion, which is to temporarily rename the band, at least until Schembechler’s memory is suitably honored, and his body is laid to rest.

Perhaps they could go by something like:

The Dead Cheneys!
Al Franken Having Fun......d

Here is a great clip of Al Franken taking apart John Fund on HardBall. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Joe Lieberman's Current Extortion Scheme



Let me get this straight. First, Joe Lieberman assures Connecticut voters that his intention to caucus with the Democrats is a "closed issue." Then, he goes on Meet the Press to emphasize that he considers himself an Independent Democrat – with a capital “I,” and a capital “D” - and points out that when Jim Jeffords switched from Republican to Independent, he was allowed to keep his seniority and committee chair positions. Then, he reveals that he “would not rule out the possibility” of switching to the Republican Party!

Clearly, this is all part of a plan to extort his way into making sure that he loses absolutely nothing by being rejected by his own parties’ voters in the primary, and then flipping them the bird in a selfish attempt to retain his seat by appealing to Republicans.

To this strategy, I have only one piece of advice to the Democratic leadership.

DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH EXTORTIONISTS!

Really – who cares whether the “Independent Democrat” caucuses with you as long as he is going to vote with the Republicans whenever his “independence” tells him that another Bush rubber stamp is in order? The bottom line is that a “paper majority” in the Senate means nothing if the votes go the other way!

Realistically, legislation won’t be passed without the agreement of a strong Democratic majority in the House anyway, so even if Lieberman were to defect and give the majority back to the GOP, it would not mean that all is lost. In fact, such a move might even solidify the determination of voters to keep on surfing the current wave of GOP revulsion by voting for Democrats in 2008!

Besides, after what just happened to the six GOP incumbents who were just swept out of the Senate, how hard to you think it will be to pick off a few moderate Republican votes from those who are eyeing their own re-election bids in 2008? In other words, who needs Lieberman when his presence in the Democratic caucus may well be the equivalent of a football team allowing an opposing defender into their huddle?

SCREW THAT GUY!

Oh yeah, and as to Holy Joe’s pledge to push for the creation of a Federal Office of Public Integrity, I’m all for it! Why don’t we have them start with an investigation into the conflict of interest created when congressional spouses work as lobbyists?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Did California's Major Newspapers Bet Their Lives on Schwarzenegger's New Image?

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After most of the major newspapers in California endorsed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election bid, it was a foregone conclusion that he would return for another term as Governor. Clearly, he is still such a media darling that editors were willing to overlook political flip-flops of the highest order, believing only the latest sweet nothings that Arnold decided to whisper in their ears.

Here’s a quick run-down of opinion from some of the major publications throughout the State:

Los Angeles Times:
In the last year, the Republican has formed relationships with legislative leaders that focused the usually fractious and often obstructive Democrats on a productive agenda. . . If he is re-elected, the governor says, "we're going to continue in a bipartisan way."
Sacramento Bee:
In a time when the nation is wracked by deep partisan divisions, he is the candidate most likely to lead California away from partisan warfare and into a future focused on entrepreneurship, education and opportunity.
San Francisco Chronicle:
The climate of cooperation in Sacramento can be traced directly to the conciliatory tone struck by Schwarzenegger on the night of last year's special-election debacle. . . . Schwarzenegger said the message from voters was "you fix it" -- by working with legislators -- in Sacramento. The most dramatic adjustment was to his attitude.
San Jose Mercury News:
Schwarzenegger's conversion involved process, not principles. He is an ambitious man who likes to win. He discovered that success as governor lies in being a collaborator, not a Terminator. We'd expect more of the same in a second term.
Clearly, all of these newspapers are betting that the real Schwarzenegger is the moderate, bipartisan, leader that emerged during the 2006 campaign season. Personally, I still think it is more likely that Arnold’s preferred agenda is the one promoted shortly after he assumed the Governor’s office in the first place! This was when he thought he could force his desires on political opponents through his personal popularity and the initiative process! The major media, on the other hand, seem to have accepted the idea that Arnold came into office and started with “Plan B,” but then later reverted to “Plan A!” If that assertion turns out to be wrong, there will be very little credibility left for these media outlets to sell.

Here’s what my local newspaper, to which I have subscribed for the last 17 years, had to say as they endorsed Schwarzenegger for another term:
The Schwarzenegger of 2006 has shown the moderate, problem- solving approach that made him popular in the first place.
Since he can’t run for another term, it will not matter to Arnold if all of these newspapers are wrong in anticipating more of the “Schwarzenegger of 2006.” However, if Schwarzenegger reverts back to his previous agenda of attacking working families and public employees - in favor of corporate interests - I hope it will matter to these newspapers!

If that happens, I will begin the process of expressing my disgust by cancelling my long-time subscription to my local newspaper - as their reward for choosing to enable another Schwarzenegger con job!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

VOTE

EVERYONE VOTE!!!!

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[Ed Note: I've been saving this image for the right moment, and somehow this seems like it - seenos]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

An Open Letter to REI

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[Ed. Note: This letter was e-mailed to REI on October 30, 2006. There is a response from REI indicating that their inclusion on the list was a mistake and that they have asked ABC Radio to remove them]

I have been a member of REI for many years, and have always considered your stores to be among my favorite shopping destinations. Your website was one of the first ones that I ever placed in my favorites list. I have owned Visa Card sponsored by REI for the last decade - so in addition to speaking highly of your company to my entire social network, I advertise for you every time I use my credit card! I greatly appreciate your selection of merchandise and the high level of enthusiasm and expertise among your employees.

In short, I have always viewed your organization as a model company in every respect.

However, I am deeply troubled at discovering your name on a list of advertisers, like Microsoft, McDonalds, and Wal-Mart, who have specifically requested that none of their commercials air during Air America programming!

I realize that you have a right to advertise where you choose, and frankly I don't hear a lot of your ads on any radio network - but if REI, in fact, took action to specifically avoid advertising on Air America, there can be no other interpretation of this action than as a political statement (since your products certainly seem to appeal as much to those on the liberal end of the spectrum as the conservative end, if not more so!)

Do you also restrict your ads from radio stations that air conservative programming?

As a long time member and supporter, I would like a response that assures me that I am not supporting a company that discriminates against radio programming that is consistent my political views.

Otherwise, I will have no choice but to put great stock in the fact that companies like Campmor and Sierra Trading Post do not appear on the same list!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another FOB (Friend of Bush) Outed as a Hypocrite!

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To borrow a phrase from the President, when the history of this election season is over, John Kerry’s botched joke “will be merely a comma!”

Looks like the most recent conservative scandal is fully capable of dominating media coverage over the next 5 days. Reverend Ted Haggard (almost rhymes with Swaggart) – an evangelical leader on a par with James Dobson in terms of White House access, and a gay basher of the highest order - has been accused of paying a "male escort" for sex for the last 3 years.

According to 9 News in Colorado, Haggard has stepped down as pastor of the New Life Megachurch, but is denying the charges. However, the accuser, Mike Jones, claims to have recorded phone calls and a letter to back up his story, and has agreed to take a lie detector test.

This article from Harper’s Magazine describes the full influence of Rev. Haggard, and includes the following revelation.
Pastor Ted, who talks to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday, is a handsome forty-eight-year-old Indianan, most comfortable in denim. He likes to say that his only disagreement with the President is automotive; Bush drives a Ford pickup, whereas Pastor Ted loves his Chevy.
I guess you can add one more disagreement to the list, Pastor Ted, because it looks like you also drive a male escort with a full head of hair!

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[Update] OK - so Pastor Ted isn't denying ALL the charges! I guess the lesson to be learned is that, when it comes to Republican scandals:

Today's Denial = Tomorrow's Confession.

Oh yeah, and I wonder what James Dobson has to say today!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tony Snow is an Idiot!

Today in the White House press briefing Tony Snow continued to claim that John Kerry was insulting the troops as the the gathered media laughed out loud.

In one answer Snow showed just how stupid he is:

Snow :"Why doesn't Senator Kerry, rather than saying, I meant to put in the word, "us" -- and you try to put in "us" here, left out the word "us" -- and if you don't -- if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq. Where does "us" fit in? You don't "us" get stuck? I don't understand. It just -- it doesn't scan here.

No you dumb F--K. "YOU DON"T GET US STUCK IN IRAQ"

And you used to call yourself a journalist.

Is anybody buying this crap?