Bush Administration


Quite The Contrary

Fiddle Dee Dee, I’ll think about that tomorrow. So says Mitt Romney on how he’ll balance the Federal Budget. First he’ll cut taxes by, oh, four-five trillion dollars and then he’ll square the accounts by eliminating loopholes, cutting waste and fraud and other specific government programs. None of this adds up, of course but when pressed to give specifics, Romney demurs saying all will be revealed after he is President. Just wait.

Anyone with half a load on (and that is you Dear Reader) knows that it will require a combination of tax increases and program cuts to achieve a balanced budget. It will involve cuts to the military and Medicare for sure. Age requirements for Social Security will be raised and SS payroll tax rates will be increased as well. What has to be done isn’t that complicated except for the political will to do the unpopular. Neither political party speaks candidly to the nation about realistic solutions for fear of alienating specific voting blocs.

What absolutely slays me is how any American considers the Republican Party the party of fiscal sanity or responsibility. What a joke. The Republican economic mantra—brayed long and loud—is “Cut taxes and job-killing regulations” for a stronger America. Kids, we’ve tried that and how’s that working out for you?

We deregulated Wall Street and banking (a big mistake Bill Clinton) and got the economic debacle of 2008. Bush 43 cut taxes, predominantly for the wealthiest Americans and here we are today coming out of a Republican-induced recession, and the GOP has the unmitigated gall to claim that if only, if only we cut taxes further and eliminated all those troublesome business regulations, all would be right as rain. Republicans, ironically enough, support taking government out of the boardroom yet think nothing of putting it in our bedrooms.

Again, how’s that Trickle Down Economics working for your family? Clean water? Clean air? A clean environment? At the expense of jobs? What? Are you un-American? Republicans would allow soot in our air and the deterioration of our water and call it progress.

We Americans should be slapped in the face for thinking so short term. Perhaps we have been collectively “slapped in the face” by this recent recession. We should be throwing the spear down the field ten or 15 years (minimum) and developing strategies for achieving long-term sustainable prosperity. Lifting the entrenched impoverished out of “their” circumstances has to be pursued (over decades) from a multi-generational approach. What will America be like once the bulge-in-the-python Boomer generation passes (by 2040)? Do we really need/require another 150-200 million Americans in the lower 48 states? How do you balance generational needs (education vs. healthcare for example)? Is it possible to have a sustainable economy that is environmentally green (healthy)? Could money spent on an imperial foreign policy (war) be better invested at home, in America?

Should we respect today’s Republican Party? Is there a “we” in their vocabulary that is inclusive of all Americans? Or, has the Republican Party devolved into “we” vs. “them?” You know, them—the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Once upon a time America stood for something besides the next quarterly earnings report. Remember.

Mitt Romney has been good at making money but it does not follow that he’d be good for America. Quite the contrary.

An Affair With Himself.

It’s a comfort, it is, that poor taste, bad judgment, infantile behavior and narcissism is such a universal male quality. I mean, what if Jewish boys never acted stupidly or childishly? What if outlandish behavior was, well, strictly a Catholic or Southern Baptist “thing?” But nooooo, being a sexual doofus is just as much a Mormon quality as it is Presbyterian. Blessedly.

Not only that but “it” crosses political lines. When do Republicans and Democrats come together in, uh, agreement? Well, it seems when they are marginalizing women while thinking only with their Johnson’s.

I am so sorry Anthony Weiner isn’t a Republican, you know, one of those “family values” Republicans. Actually, is there any other kind of Republican? I just love Republicans for their family values, don’t you? Particularly when they cut state/federal programs for children and women’s healthcare. Preferably poor children and women.

I really admire Republican family values when they are so publicly at odds with their pious proclamations on the sanctity of marriage. Newt Gingrich set the bar quite high in this regard. His current wife, Tiffany, ur, Callista was Newt’s at-the-time, twenty-something limo-knob-polisher. Newt was, of course, leading the impeachment of President Clinton for lying about sexual improprieties. All the while Newt hypocritically practiced infidelity himself.

Weiner, however, has affairs only with himself. Women want (so I understand) intimacy and fidelity. Weiner offered or violated neither of those. If you’ve read any of the conversations between Weiner and his untouched (by him) paramours, intimacy was not on the agenda, was not the topic of discussion. Organs were described in various stages of turgidity and/or liquidity. There was, at times, graphic dialog as to how and where organs and orifices (all) would be displayed and/or engaged. The language lacked creativity and imagination with no feelings of genuine ardor. What strikes me is the infantile quality of the exchanges.

I do not know whether the Weiner’s will remain married. The wife is a high-powered, accomplished women who signed-up (married) for a much different scenario. I believe the only way Weiner keeps his wife is if he keeps his Congressional office. If he resigns, he potentially loses much more than a job.

What exactly did Weiner do that he should resign? He sex-texted (not even cleverly) women other than his wife. He sent pictures of his bare-naked chest and his Johnson (Atten-hut!). He publicly lied about doing so. He engaged in idiotic exchanges. He appears infantile and profoundly needy (insecure). He did all this while married and a U.S. Congressman.

Personally, I think he should resign but I understand the arguments why he should not. If lying about insipid, juvenile and tasteless behavior sufficient cause for censor and expulsion from Congress, well, how many men would actually remain in office?

I can list a myriad of legislative and executive examples of behavior I find more egregious. Consider President George Bush’s immoral, unjustified invasion of Iraq killing 4,000+ Americans (dying for what?). Reflect on the lies and misrepresentations associated with that war and the resulting death and carnage.

But that is not the issue. Congressman Weiner is a distraction and a joke. He is a buffoon. Pride would suggest he pursue another course. But for all his puffery (and chest-beating), pride is in short supply in the man. Profoundly, obviously so.

Zombies, Republicans and Other FRightwing Plagues of the Night

I can’t yet determine whether Florida Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott is Dr. Frankenstein or the monster he created. Put a doctor’s smock on him and the guy is downright ghoulish. Little Willy-Billy McCollum could play his go-fer/yes-sir flack of an assistant. “It lives! It lives,” scream both candidates! Of their political campaigns.

Before I dissect the dead, I’ve a Hot Arts Tip #3625. Run to your computer and order “MINGUS AH UM” by Charles Mingus. Recorded on Columbia Records in 1959, this jazz album will blow you away. From beginning to end this music does not disappoint. It rocks. It’s soulful. It’s toe-tapping melodic. It’s a must hear. As is WUCF, 89.9 FM. Best Jazz station in America and it’s right here in ol’ O-Town! Get Mingus. Get 89.9!

Now back to the living dead. I once talked with a woman at a parteee who owned-up to voting for George W. Bush. Twice. It was the twice part that stopped the conversation. Everyone looked at her as if she had just soiled her pants. The “stank” was staggering. It’s the type of situation where, out of embarrassment for the person, you politely look away.

Not me! I said, “Hmmm? I’m a forgiving person. While I’d sooner have voted for a dead dog as George Bush, I’ll give-ya one mistake. What was it about his first term, however, that had you giving him another crack at it?”

This gal should have been able to read the tea-leaves of the room. But she was one of those big-haired, self-righteous Republican women (so very popular in Texas and Floreeeda. Southern belles, don’t-cha see.) who troth their devotion to gawd in the same breath as trashing the grubby poor. You know, those godless, abortion-spouting, mind-your-own-business pacifists, those tree-hugging leftists who see a legitimate role for government.

She fluttered her mascara-ladened lashes just as her eyes rolled to the back of her head. She stuttered out some incomprehensible gibberish (simplistic rightwing banality) and abruptly excused herself to find her hubby. I was tempted to follow her just to see what kind of a man marries such an unthinking airbiscuit. But I already knew what kind.

Primarily, aging white-boys. Soft around the middle, thus matching their brains. Not the Tea-Party kind of daftness. HEAVENS NO! Those unwashed masses!! Hoi polloi! No, the plaid-panted, country-club Republican chap who is torn between voting for Ricky Frankenstein or his doppelganger of an assistant, Little Willy McCollum.

Conflicted. If only, if only we had lower taxes and less government regulation, Florida might then rival the economic miracle known as Mississippi or Bangladesh. If only. It’s those treacherous brown-skinned aliens. They’re destroying America. They’re stealing our jobs! Card check’um! I expect any day now that one of the Republican gubernatorial dynamic-duo to call for mandatory rectal exams for all of Floreeeda’s little brown people! Why not? Can we be toooo safe? What are “you” hiding?

And as Frankenstein snaps on his rubber gloves, Little Willy tells the cowering immigrant, “This von’t hurt ze bit. Ve vant to know if you are von of us.”

This is not an election to sit out. Darkness approaches.

BABIES & BUCKS REDUX.

As a reflective individual, I am at a loss to understand why the 2008 presidential race is as close as it is. I write this Monday morning. I simply do not get it.

I don’t get why my fellow Americans aren’t madder than hell that we were misled into our abominable war in Iraq. We were lied to and manipulated by a messianic simpleton of a Republican President and his dirty-dawgs-of-war administration. Over 4,100 of our troops have died for a lie.

I don’t get why my fellow Americans don’t up and hurl over the accusations of socialism leveled against Barack Obama. We just had the biggest economic intervention in our history, initiated by a Republican President and his Republican Treasurer and Obama is the socialist? It’s Orwell’s BIG LIE writ large! Time and time again, it is the Orwellian lie!

Right now, what is left of the Bush administration is accelerating its gutting of our federal regulatory agencies, payback for longtime industry support. In the dark of the night, during the heat of this campaign, our gaze distracted, scurrilous little Republican bureaucrats (picture “W” button-wearing MBA cockroaches with green eyeshades) of the same ilk that produced the Katrina debacle are further emasculating what remains of our air, water and land use standards. Why? The almighty BUCK trumps public good. Why? Because the fox has run the hen house for years and we’re surprised our economy has tanked? Oversight is what? It’s un-American. It’s Godlessness manifest. It’s socialism! What hypocrisy. What stupidity. To our everlasting sorrow and chagrin.

I don’t get some of my fellow Americans. We’ve let ideology trump good government practices. Do you recall how our invasion and occupation was going to be a cakewalk? You remember? The war was to be short-lived. We’d be greeted as liberators. It would pay for itself. But do you remember that some folks were put in charge in Iraq based on a conservative litmus test of ideological purity? Your stand on abortion was somehow germane to administering Iraq’s currency. We’re in the war of our lives and whether or not you support a woman’s right to abortion is an impediment to America fielding its best team? Unbelievable. Doctrine trumping competence. Shame on us, America.

We’ve given stupidity and ideology a crack at ruining, ur, excuse me, running, running the nation and oh, boy, have we been rewarded. Hey, you in the electorate, America’s loyal brain-dead who remain committed to ideology trumping competence, have you had enough yet? Can we hear, “Uncle?”

Nah, every sperm is sacred, every egg, too and our unfettered financial markets (AYN RAND Unleashed!) a gift from God and that is all that counts in this life, in this world. Babies & Bucks! Can ya give it up for Babies & Bucks!?! Oh, you will. Imagine? Palin (Babies) & Romney (Bucks) for 2012. Babies & Bucks Redux! You’re salivating aren’t you? C’mon, you are.

I write this Monday morning, November 3, 2008. And while I feel and want Barack Hussein Obama to be President, it’s close and if Jupiter aligns with Mars, John McCain could be elected. And I repeat, how could this be?

You know what? I would willingly drink champagne (or a Guinness) with either man. Easy. I think both would be engaging, good conversationalists and storytellers, too. Both are capable of abstract thought. Both see shades of gray.

But McCain, unfortunately for him, is a conduit for the same partisan, incompetent ideologue that we’ve experienced these past eight years. There is accuracy to the charge that John McCain is a continuance of George Bush.

Someone early on asked me about what Obama brings to the office. And I described it by what he doesn’t bring. And I used for an illustration, Rolodexes. I’ve had a Rolodex right next to my computer screen since the 1970s. I’ve been in offices of men and they’ve had Rolodexes the size of golfcart tires, multiple ones.

Who owns ya? That is the (a) question we want to know about our leaders. From city council, to county commissioner, mayor, zoning committeeman, legislator, governor and president—who owns ya, boss?

It’s important to know people. Lots of them. I believe there is a chance for Obama to enter office and bring with him a smaller Roldex of must-return calls. Among your callers, who do you talk to? Those you owe or those that own you (please notice the distinction)?

We need to change Rolodexes in Washington. That is what this election boiled down to.

For the last eight years we’ve had a government run by tractor tire-sized Rolodexes of Babies & Bucks ideologues and they’ve guttered the nation, blew the wheels off the car and have the passengers (us) dazed and confused. America has been in a preventable, avoidable accident, a horrible, off-the-cliff crash. Some of us have died unnecessarily and America’s economic future, horribly muddied. All brought to by the Conservative Coalition of Babies & Bucks (the CCBB, Big Brother by any other name, ironically enough). They’ve ditched the nation and expect America to say, sure, yea, YOU BETCHA!, carry on Ol’ Chap! And the Rolodexes keep on spinning, Righteously Right.

What’s the expression? If you keep getting deeper (Bush), quit digging the hole (McCain). No, that’s not quite it. If you’re up to your neck in alligators, first drain the swamp. Yes, clean the CCBB vermin, as best you can, out of Washington.

Start there. And then?

Hope for the best, that is, if you don’t pray.

PS May Connecticut Senator “Weasel” Lieberman be forever banished to the Senate broom closet.

When Pigs Fly

There are two international examples (models) I offer as appropriate options for dealing with America’s financial “crisis.” One is Japan, the other is China.  Both are acceptable to me.  Both include death and humiliation.

In China, when confronted with gargantuan issues of fraud and malfeasance, the executive responsible is summarily executed.  I particularly like this approach for its salubrious affect on business practices.  If greed and corruption become the standard operating principles, what better way than execution for eliminating such cancers?

In Japan, we have examples of company executives performing seppuku (better known in America as Hari-Kiri).  This ritualized ceremony consists of the humiliated business executive to voluntarily get on his knees, take a razor sharp knife of suitable proportions and insert said knife inches above the pubic bone and pull up with force into the chest cavity and if this is done correctly the offending businessman then falls neatly onto his knife, completing the act of contrition.  It saves the nation court costs and the offending family members continued humiliation.  A win/win situation.

I lean to the Chinese model of dealing with “greed.”  As an aside, I have a local example that if I were emperor for the day (or Pope) I would employ the Chinese standard.  It became cruelly apparent after the deluge of Tropical Storm Fay that there are numerous Florida housing subdivisions that had no business ever being approved and built (Think: in Debary & Deltona).  Why not hang a few government officials (former city council members, county commissioners, water management district administrators, etc.) for approving said subdivisions as well as the owners of the development corporations.   Granted, some of these gentlemen may no longer be living, but those that are, let’s hang an appropriate number. I recommend right at the entrance to the submerged, destroyed subdivisions.   Leav’um up till the crows pick their eyes out.

Long Live The Emperor!  The Emperor is dead.  Capitalism is dead, folks.  Whatever myths you have been operating under, let’s put this one to bed.

Capitalism (American corporate style) is when, by gawd, you leave business the hell alone.  Get rid of the onerous regulations, the oversight and let the Adam Smithian, invisible hand of unfettered markets unleash the power of the American worker!  Let capital flow.  Let profits ring forth and build that shining city on the hill!  Can you feel it? Is the spirit in ya!  GA-LA-Glory. Hallujuah!

Well, uh, Golleee Gomer, we done gotter-tit in a’ringer!”  And the pigs are flyin!

Hey, all you lemmings who once so proudly put “W” bumper stickers on your cars, what do you think of your President Bush now?  Oh, I know he got us into (and you so support it!) the never-ending war cycle America so loves and seemingly requires to keep its Mo-Jo.  War Yesterday!  War Today!  War Tomorrow!  War Forever!  Think:  the invaluableness of amorphous terrorism.  (Please recall now Eisenhower’s January 17, 1961 exit speech.)

But what do you think of capitalism now?  Your Republican President calls for and is going to preside over the biggest act of governmental intervention (socialism?) imaginable. Oh, let’s call it what it is: a bailout.  Capitalism had a bit of a stumble, don’t-cha see, and now requires a crutch or two just for a bit.

Yes, let me see how this is going to work.  Capitalism is good when it is good for “me,” particularly. Bad decisions were discussed, planned, voted upon (or not) and implemented.  The wheels came off the car (America).   And, Golleee Gomer, we shore do need da’ family car.

Solution: take the banks' bad loans, giv’um to America (that’s you and me, kids), express contrition, take the regulation (It’s only temporary don’t-cha see).  And be real, real sorry and say, “I’ll do better, boss.”  Oh, and publically perp-walk a couple of the more egregious financial types (preferably a Jew and a Wasp) and call it a day.  Take everything they have and get a picture of the pampered wife, crying, forced to move into a doublewide in Santa Barbara.   Sigh.   Soooo sad.  (Wipe tears now.)

That seems to me what is going to happen.  We assume the bad debts.  The banks (financial institutions or iterations) express contrition and reluctantly accept regulation.  And, if the stars are aligned, and the gods are distracted or supportive, we’ll survive.  America will pull-up its boots, we’ll pull-in our financial belt and put the spurs back on and get back to focusing on our real enemy.  Terror!  Islamic fascists!  WAR! Now and forever! (Question: How many armed troops does China have in the Mideast and they pay what, for their petroleum?  Hey now!)

What is it that is said about paying the Piper?  To do anything in America takes money. Save the wetlands. Pave the roads.  Hire the police.  Even to wage war.

America’s financial house seems out-of-order.  In so many ways.  Get America’s brightest businessmen and women together, ones who first have a conscience for their employees and their nation and “plan the work and work the plan” to right our economic house.  I nominate Warren Buffet to be a Team Leader.  And legitimately, government is a player.

When pigs fly.  If you said George Bush would someday willingly preside over the biggest corporate bailout in American history, many “W” Republicans would have said, “When pigs . . .”

Well.  No matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, my “W” Friends, you’re wearing it, too, you, you socialistic liberals, you.

Welcome to the barnyard, citizen.   Lemme hear an, “oink!”  C’mon, pucker up.

Fondly recall now, comrade, that timeless question playfully asked of Ned Beatty in the movie, Deliverance

More lipstick?

09.25.08

Judgment Daze For John McCain.

Judgment Day.  Many of America’s evangelical churches have annual Halloween events called “Judgment Days.”  They show what happens to little boys and girls who have been naughty, who stray from the word.  They depict hell and what it takes to get there.  Women who have abortions, things like that.  Regardless, I like the name of the event because Republican presidential candidate John McCain asserts he has the judgment to be president and his opponent, Barrack Obama does not.  Let’s examine the claim that McCain is man of “good” judgment.

In his 40s.   John McCain chased his current wife, Cindy around reception tables.  He was married at the time.  He had returned from Vietnam battered and beaten but so was his old wife, Carol.  Carol McCain had been in a serious car accident approximately 18 months before John McCain came back from Asia.  Carol McCain has had 23 operations to mend her body.  She is actually five and one-half inches shorter than before that accident—so horrific have been the corrective surgeries.  What’s a man to do?

At age 42, John McCain jettisoned his broken down old wife for a new younger (age 24), and oh, so wealthy model.  McCain (before he was a senator) met Cindy (Budweiser Beer distributor heiress) Hensley at a reception in Honolulu.  This is what Cindy McCain said on the Jay Leno "Tonight Show." She joked about how the Navy captain pursued her. "He kind of chased me around . . . the hors d'oeuvre table," she said. "I was trying to get something to eat and I thought, 'This guy's kind of weird.' I was kind of trying to get away from him."  Isn’t that fun?  Ha! Ha! Say it over and over with a Julia Child accent. “He chased me around the hors d’oeuvre table.”   It gets a lot funnier.

Ross Perot didn’t think it was funny.  He had been paying for Carol McCain’s rehabilitative surgeries.  This is what Mr. Perot says about John McCain, “After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.” Perot goes on to say, “McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory.”  Oh, Ronald and Nancy Reagan were also disgusted with McCain’s judgment.

Carol McCain the old discarded wife said, “My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25.”

In his 50s.  John McCain was formally rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” for intervening with federal regulators on behalf of John Keating. POOR JUDGMENT!  Isn’t that what McCain is running on? His judgment?   His peers, the ones who know him best tag him with “poor judgment.”  The Keating Five scandal revolved around the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association of Irvine, California. Lincoln’s chairman was Charles Keating who ultimately served five years in prison for his corrupt mismanagement of Lincoln.  Keating poured money, trips and favors on McCain.  Keating called in his chits by having McCain and four other legislators intervene with federal regulators. They were caught.  Keating got five years and McCain got off with “bad judgment.”

In his 60s.  Speaking of bad judgment.  McCain supports Bush’s illegal, immoral war and occupation of Iraq, a nation that was not a threat to America.  McCain totally missed that the Bush (Cheney) administration was fabricating a war, that none of the reasons for America’s pre-emptive war of choice were legitimate.  Over 4,000 dead servicemen.  Thousands horribly maimed. Dead and maimed for what?  Bad judgment.  Dead because of poor judgment. And please don’t trot out how McCain was the first to criticize the war’s faulty execution or that he was the first to castigate Don Rumsfield or that he got the surge right.  That is so much spin.  It was his judgment to war in Iraq in the first place.  He was the good soldier, he fell right in line.  Some judgment.

In his 70s.  Is it judgment or just an old guy’s faulty or selective memory that has John McCain forgetting how many homes he actually owns (seven)?  He couldn’t even offer a rough estimate, “Uh, well, ummm, six, no, maybe eight.  I’ll have my man, Jeeves get back to you on that?”

McCain rants mindless, empty rhetoric about Russia’s invasion of Georgia and he’s the toast of the town in rightwing circles.  He chants, “Bomb, bomb Iran (Think Beach Boys melody),” and folks just laugh.  Not funny.

Joe Biden summed it up succinctly, “These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader.”  McCain has demonstrated for decades that he does not have the good judgment to be a wise leader.

For a better America, I invite all of Winter Park and Maitland to an Obama Rally on Friday, September 5th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the parking lot outside of the new Obama office located at 200 North Denning Ave, Winter Park 32789.  The phone number is 407. 975.9111.  Jazz singer Jacqueline Jones and her band will perform. It’s free.  It’ll be fun.  Be there for America!

 

08.28.08

Millions To Minneapolis!

Republican Party spokesman Rush Limbaugh is on to something.  He dreams (in this case, yearns) of rioting at the Democrat Party National Convention to be held in Denver in August 25-28, 2008.

This is the vision America’s Republican Right has for Democracy in America.  You can catch Rush Limbaugh at noon daily (Orlando, Fl.) on Radio 540 AM.  Rioting is part of Limbaugh’s program.  He now includes it as a front in his Operation Chaos, an agenda heavily promoted by Limbaugh to disrupt the Democrat Party as it selects its Presidential candidate.

"Riots in Denver, the Democrat Convention would see to it that we don't elect Democrats," Limbaugh observed during an April 23, 2008 radio broadcast. He suggested that would be the best thing that could happen to the country.

"There won't be riots at our convention. We don't riot. We don't burn our cars. We don't burn down our houses. We don't kill our children,” Limbaugh asserted of the Republican National Convention. “We don't do half the things the American left does."

That’s right, the left doesn’t get us into (and leaves us in) a three trillion dollar Islamic hell-hole that does kill our children and sap our strength (our house).

This past weekend I had the bleakest thoughts about where I feel America is poised, why and what we can do about it.  As a student of history I have an overview of bleak human times.  Of plagues and hundreds of years of goofy, deadly religious wars.  Of famines and migrations and Holocausts. Nothing lasts. Governments, nations pass. Even whole people.

Yet, everyday, absolutely everyday that America continues as a democracy is one for the record books.  We are the longest running democracy in history. (I will now pause while we all give praise and clap for America.) But that doesn’t mean we can’t “muck it up” so to speak.

I was in a post office line on Friday and struck up a conversation with a man wearing an MIT t-shirt.  He was in his mid-60s.  His petite wife stood by his side.  I confirmed he was an MIT graduate and the conversation quickly moved to my question, “Well, who ya likin’ for president?”

This highly educated man said, “McCain,” and Miss Diminutive nodded in agreement.

I’ve given up (this month) trying to talk to Republicans about the morality of being in Iraq, the lies, the fraud, the deceit that has us in Iraq.  Republicans want to move on from that.  They do. Really. Really.

So, I’ve been trying a new tack, “How are you going to pay the three trillion dollar price tag for the war?”  That seems like such a Republican concern, don’t-cha know.  Republicans are always asking and questioning the price of some social service agency that costs America 72 Hours In Iraq.  Ha!  It could be a Movie! “They know the price of everything, the value of nothing. See modern Republicans war here, cut taxes there. . .”

I put it to Mr. Elitely (You know, elite.)  Educated.  What’s the proper method for paying for the Iraq War? “Uh, um, um,” and the little Mrs. stood silent.

I asked, “No, I am serious.  How do you propose to pay the three trillion dollar bill for this war?”

Understand, of course every nickel, every penny has been borrowed, essentially from China.  Gollllleeee Gomer, Who’d a thunk ‘dem Republicans would cripple America so, whi’ch such a terrible debt?

Standing behind my fiscally challenged McCainnite stood a guy that mumbled something unintelligible and then burped (or rather, regurgitated), “9-11.”

“What does 9-11 have to do with Iraq,” I asked.  “How are you going to pay for the war?”  He got belligerent on that, as if to suggest, I’m radical to require an accounting (in every sense) of this war.

I eventually just turned around, bought my stamps and left.  This kicked off my weekend and funkified my thinking. It got progressively worse.  Ha! Progressively worse.  Get it?

And I thought of Limbaugh and the Republican Right. This bloated (no bloviating, no that’s O’Reilly) Republican icon is preaching riots in the streets of America and saying it will be good.  Sounds suspiciously biblical.

America’s left, America’s progressives are weenies compared with the Limbolites.  I think that is a fitting name for Limbaugh listeners (myself on occasion).  Limbolites.  Simple. Certain. Infantile. Dare, I suggest, idiotic.

If Limbaugh dreams of a return to the 60s, let’s, as that famous warrior, President George W. Bush so eloquently put it, “Bring’um on!”

If the Republican Right (and the Limbolite Minions, oh, what the hey, Morons) is going to double down on America in order to win the White House, America’s left has no choice to meet, if not up the stakes. If Republicans want riots in Denver, let’s bring peace to Minneapolis from September 1-4, 2008.

This election is about life and death.  Of our servicemen, of our nation.  This is going to be a vile presidential campaign. We cannot shirk because it’s not pretty or intellectually pure.  America can stumble my friends.  We are not at all immune from history.  War ultimately destroys the victorious.  There can be a step(s) back economically.  Freedoms are at risk.  The choice(s) are clear.

Rush Limbaugh's words prompted Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to volunteer, "Anyone who would call for riots in an American city has clearly lost their bearings."

If America’s left doesn’t gain its bearings, it will be the nation that is lost.

There are millions, millions of Americans living within driving distance of Minneapolis.  Let’s go (fly, drive, bus, train, walk, bike) and sit and march and clap (stand-up) for America. During the Republican Convention.

This is not the 60s folks.  This is some fresh horror. Only worse.

Millions to Minneapolis!

Reach Jepson at: Jepson@MEDIAmerica.us

05.01.08

 
There’s Wrong.
And There Is Dead Wrong.

Judge a tree from its fruit; not from the leaves.  Euripides

Jack Webb as Dragnet’s Joe Friday used to say with a straight face, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Hillary Clinton is campaigning to be President of the United States based on her experience to be commander-in-chief.  So is Republican John McCain. Hillary ran an advertisement in the last series of primaries (March 4th) attacking Barack Obama for his inexperience in such matters.  The ad features sleeping children and a persistent ringing phone with a serious voiceover asking whether "someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world" will answer it.

The advertisement ends with, "It's 3 a.m., and your children are safely asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"

Hillary Clinton’s biography consists of her being First Lady and a Senator for one term.  That, in a nutshell, is Hillary’s claim of experience, such that she brazenly claims she is prepared to be commander-in-chief and Obama is not.  Being First Lady and a one-term Senator are the “Right Stuff,” and Obama obviously not being a former First Lady lacks the necessary experience to handle the job.  Is that Hillary’s argument?  I jest. Slightly.

Republican John McCain makes a different, yet similar claim, “I was a POW during Viet Nam and I’ve been a Representative and Senator since 1983.” Both McCain and Clinton claim that they have something Obama does not.  Experience (government and the intangible – Hillary as First lady and McCain as a POW) is what Obama lacks they both assert.  I am unsure the exact connection between having served in Vietnam and imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for five years, how that translates into sound and wise judgment today but McCain vigorously stakes the claim.

It is pro forma at this point that I acknowledge John McCain’s service to America.  To suggest that John McCain is not the man for the presidency is construed in some circles as a personal attack on him (and his service).  Hardly.

Neither John McCain nor Hillary Clinton are my choice to be President.  In the most consequential Congressional vote of the past 50 years both John McCain and Hillary Clinton got it wrong.  Dead wrong.  Both voted with President Bush giving him the authority to unilaterally attack Iraq, a nation not at war with America, a nation posing no threat to America, a nation on its knees dramatically weakened by UN sanctions and American military action.

Five years later, we have 4,000 dead service men and women, tens of thousands horribly wounded and a three trillion dollar bill for a war that has left America immeasurably weakened and more vulnerable to attack.  George Bush, Hillary Clinton and John McCain (and others) foolishly and imperially took America to war.  They did so when the evidence was not solid, when many reasoned and intelligent voices were counseling caution and with Osama bin Laden still at large, uncaptured.

Is this the kind of leadership you want answering the phone at three in the morning?

America is broke, our military grievously hurting and these two “experienced” leaders were right there, obediently saluting the flag as President Bush drove us into that dessert swamp, an Islamic quagmire that will make Vietnam look like a day at the park.

Just the facts, ma’am.  Clinton and McCain cannot effectively spin their votes on Iraq as something they are not.  McCain, Bush and Clinton got it wrong on Iraq. Dead wrong. Their votes and actions have so grievously wounded the nation that the toll to America is almost unimaginable to calculate.

To argue, either of them (Clinton or McCain) that Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief I ask you, “What did John McCain’s vaunted experience provide him? Did his cool, collected judgment have him speaking out forcefully, opposing the idiocy, against the craziness of a protracted land war in Muslim world?  So, too, Hillary’s experience as First Lady? Where was all the wisdom she garnered serving tea to the Sultan of Burnei?”

Sure experience is great.  But I’ll take judgment.  Bush, McCain and Clinton had none when it came to Iraq. We will live with and pay for the rotten fruit of Iraq for decades. Obama opposed this war from the beginning.  So much for the argument that experience necessarily informs judgment.

There’s wrong.  And there is dead wrong. Bush, Clinton and McCain were wrong on Iraq.  Dead wrong.

Reach Jepson at: Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US

03.13.08

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

I couldn’t bring myself to listen to President Bush’s last State of the Union speech. I find him such a pathetic leader. He was too small a man for the job.  Small in mind.  Small in stature.  He has so harmed the long-term interests of the nation that we’ll be calculating our losses for decades.  When I read that Republicans still give him approval ratings over 70%, I am dumfounded.  What is it that is said about foolish consistency (Please See Essay Title)?

Speaking of which, I’d like to address a few words to my fellow Democrats. First my disclosure:  I willingly voted for Bill Clinton twice. He left the country in better shape than he found it.  He’s bright, articulate and he’s history.  If Hillary Clinton wins the Democrat Party nomination, I will vote for her.  I will even host a fundraiser in my home to raise a few bucks to further her victory.

That said, Hillary is not my first choice for my Party’s nomination. Not by a long shot.  I’m closing in on my 60th year.  I’m now an older dude.  My friends are older. The women I know of my generation are understandably supporters of Hillary Clinton.  My sister characterizes it as, “An emotional attachment.”

They grew up observing the lives of their mothers and grandmothers. Some were first hires in prestigious East coast law firms and lived through incredible hazing and idiotic male aggression.  Most experienced (experience even today) a ceiling of “lower” opportunities (pay). In Hillary they see a bright woman, who by every standard, could legitimately be President of the United States. A woman whose election would signify once and for all, that women are as smart and talented and as capable as men.  Period. End of story.

That such a political statement is necessary is more an indictment of American History than any reflection of the capabilities of women.  We all know that.   At least the rational among us do. But, alas, Hillary is not the best candidate for what America needs now. Her candidacy is divisive, not unifying.  Her very being, rightly or wrongly, conjures up the past.  She is so aligned with her husband, Bill Clinton, that you legitimately cannot separate the two.  That may be unfair but that is reality.

For some,  Bill Clinton lying about sex with an intern (I have not met one man, ever, who would voluntarily confess to such an accusation) is far worse, morally, than President Bush’s war that has bankrupted our future, weakened our national security and killed 4,000 of our servicemen. Those are family values?  Who knew. That is my take on the Bush legacy. Yet Bill Clinton (and by association Hillary Clinton) is/are reviled by large segments of the American population.

And Bill, bless his soul, is out working hard to win a Clinton Restoration when America actually needs a Reformation.  I do not fault the Clintons for campaigning hard, for trying to win the Democrat Party nomination.  They are tough, resourceful politicians.  But, America so needs to move on from the politics and divisions of the past. A New Morning in America?  Ha!  Sound familiar?  Check your horoscope.

Bill Clinton lost sight of the opponent.  His comments about Barack Obama were not only wrong, they are divisive. For Democrats.  For America.   Sure, Obama gigged the former President with his observations about President Reagan but, please, Bill, let’s not lose track of the goal.  Bigger Democrat majorities in Congress and the White House.  A free, better, safer, more prosperous, more literate, healthier America.  Let’s not, as the expression goes, eat our own.  Firing squads don’t typically form a circle, Bill.

I am not sure Hillary can win.  I feel/think/believe Obama can. Hillary, if you believe polling numbers will never get above 51% or so of electorate votes.  Her negatives are that pronounced. I do not want a fall presidential campaign so deep in the mud of “got-cha” history that, yet again, large blocs of American voters chose to sit it out. So putrid the stink.

To my Democrat friends, let us move on from the Bushs and the Clintons, let us turn a page and shift our visions forward.  I get it!  Your consistency of support for Hillary.  Yet, your minds are infinitely larger than that.  Now, let go of the emotional.

Let that hobgoblin go. Put it in the past where it (the Clintons, the Bushs) belong.  Obama is America’s future.

Here’s a plug for a great community amenity  (ACAJ Approved):  Tonight (31st) at Rollins College is the beginning of the "2008 Winter With the Writers, A Festival of the Literary Arts."  Michael Cunningham, 1999 Pulitzer Prize author of the “The Hours,” speaks at 8:00 p.m. in the Tiedtke Concert Hall. Free Admission.   Nuf sed.

Reach Jepson at:Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US                                                                                                01.31.08

Apocalyptic Overload

The California fires put me over the top.  If Al Quaeda hit America now, we’d go into a collective funk.  It’s a “at our wits end” sort of malaise.  If you’ve half a brain, you’re out-of-sorts about how we could’ve arrived here.  How could we be living the absolute highest on the hog kind of lives (relatively & literally speaking) yet feel such dis ease?

The Fornia-Fires is the dot in the exclamation point. It’s the glaciers melting.  It’s the greening of Greenland.  It’s a known future of dead polar bears and trillions in debt for a horrible, crazy war.  It’s dead sons for no reasons.  It’s dead sons for bad decisions.

It’s if America does everything right environmentally, it’s totally negated by just a few dozen of the new coal-fired, pollutant sputing power plants (out of the hundreds) China’s bringing on line.  Bees are dying.

It’s shabby television.  It’s congressmen foot-tapping on our futures with bloated, unbalanced budgets.  It’s the tiresome Religious Right insisting that America is about truth, not freedom.  It’s about putting God first, but Mother Earth could stand a little reverence and adulation.

Sure, go ahead, respect Dad, but love your Mother, too.  If metaphors are what-cha need.

It’s a goofy world that has us spending billions on security yet where’s our sense of security.  It’s Blackwater.  What is that?  Blackwater! America awards its security to hell’s agent on earth? Why not Deathwatch, Inc.?

It’s mindless sabre-rattling, the relentless drum beat for more mayhem, it’s a cowed media, it’s an oblivious public that thinks history doesn’t happen to them. It’s our political leadership that isn’t rising to the times. Where’s our Roosevelt?

It’s, why can’t we get off this race thing?  Why is any American ever hanging ropes (nooses) for any of us?  Who the hell cares what someone’s skin color is, her sexual preferences, whether they’ve been saved or not or if they want or don’t want to be married?  My gawd, isn’t your own personal life so “rich and full” that humbleness alone would keep you from every being prescriptive about such matters?  But the truth, Chris, the truth!

Yea, keep your truth to yourself.  Try that on for a while.

It’s Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly pouring the craziest nonsense imaginable into maybe 25% of America’s noggins. Lest you forget, these men are entertainers first. These men juggle the “truth” for amusement at great personal profit.  And, America suffers.

It’s knowing. We’re the first generation of human beings to know exactly how lethal we are to the planet. Mother Dearest.  Let alone to one another.  There is so much sadness associated, for me, with that awareness.

It’s that Connecticut doctor’s family, the mother and two daughters who were stalked, raped and lit on fire in their own home while the good farther was bound and gagged in the kitchen.  I saw pictures of these women.  They had such light in their faces, such happiness and joy that you wonder, “How could this occur!  What is the point of that?”

Lit on fire.  Our children. Our lives.  Our homes. Our states.  Our world is on fire. But mostly it’s that damn war of the President’s.  It colors everything.  2.4 trillion dollars of projected debt.  Bush took America to war (to fight this generation’s Nazis) and put it on the card.  Uh, waiter, put this on my grandchild’s back. No? Oh, yes, of course, around their necks.

My part of the debt is $8k.  So is yours on a per capita basis. It’s a staggering amount of money.  It could have solved America’s homeless problem. Funded Medicare. You pick a program.  Fixed our infrastructure.  Nearly all of it.

How many dead now?  Closing in on 4,000.  And, the actual wounded?  If the debt is staggering, the loss of body parts (and minds and spirits) is beyond tragic, made more so by the how (deceit) and why (ignorance and hubris) we came to be in Iraq.

Of tainted courts and tainted products. Of lost jobs and homeless souls. Of drying rivers and burning forests. Of decimated cities and impoverished ghettos. Of corrupting lobbyists and corrupted congressman.  Of scapegoated aliens.  And on, and on and on.

Of an American future of unrelenting Neo-Con terror and failing infrastructure. Of fear. Of a Balkanized, South Africanized America where them that gots, get. Of mediocre leadership and spineless opposition.

Today, this moment I’ve got the Apocalyptic Overload Blues.  The Americanized edition.

But you can dance to that, too.  Might as well.

Yet, what did Emily D. say, “Hope” is the thing with feathers . . . and never stops — at all —

Sigh.

Reach Jepson at:Jepson@MEDIAmerica.US

11.01.07

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