Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Terror - It Ain't What It Used to Be!

The following is sung to the tune of the Monty Python hit "Spam" - Terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror, terror - wonderful terror -

You get the idea. The Weasel in Chief is giving another speech on the War on Terror. It feels to me that at this point he's giving a speech on the War on Terror about once a week. Hell, he went to the Far East and, guess what? - gave a speech on the War on terror! I don't know about you, but I'm all terrored out. I mean, let's be real; we've had speeches out the whazoo about the War on Terror, we've had god knows how many elevated threat levels - whatever happened to those anyway; guess he got re-elected and all the threats just went away - and I don't feel any safer from the Preznit's constant reminders that we're at War. I do, however, feel numb from all his talk.

He has given one of these speeches at least once a week now and hasn't said anything new. What's more, it's all talk. There have been no new developments. bin Laden is still running around; Zarqawi is still blowing people up, US troops are dying in both Afghanistan and Iraq daily, London was still bombed, Jordan was bombed, and nothing seems to be getting done - other than possibly the Arab World hates us that much more.

Karen Hughes goes on a mission to fix our reputation in the MidEast; well, she pretty much got heckled. Condi Rice has to run to Israel because they need to broker a deal which has been already brokered. And the Idiot in Chief - he keeps saying the same thing, doing the same thing, because he knows he's the chosen one. I just have to ask, are we really better off now than we were five years ago? I know there are people out there who just love the jackass in charge, but how would they answer that question, I wonder. I know that at this point, I'm all terrored out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


GM announced yesterday that they would be laying off 30,000 employees and closing 9 plants and reducing capacity in 3 others. After all that, many of the people who watch this sort of thing - I admit to being only partially informed - say that this will not bring GM back to profitablity. It will, hwoever, trim GM's workforce. My question is: Has anyone thought about trimming the top?
I wonder how much the Executive Team of GM makes? Do you think there might be substantial savings there if the execs took a pay cut? How much money could GM save just by getting rid of some of the executive perks? And why aren't GM stockholders outraged by this?
Don't get me wrong; I'm not an economist (I don't even play one on TV), nor do I know all the ins and outs of GM. But you gotta figure that the CEO and the other major execs are getting paid pretty well. Does there stewardship of the company warrant that they get paid so well? Are they really doing that good a job?
And let's not forget that exec pay in the US is all out of whack! Why, for instance, should the CEO of Delphi and his team get 448 bonuses when they are asking their employees to take 50% pay cuts? Why, for instance, could K-Mart ask for bonuses for its exces when they had just announced that they were closing over 700 stores and declaring bankruptcy? Have these people no shame?
I had this discussion with someone the other day, and he argued that the market isn't out of whack; it works perfectly fine. But thinking about it, that's so much horse-hockey. For every CEO that proves to be more than competent, you have 10 that can't put their pants on without help. For evey CEO that raises shareholder value, there are at least 10 who think that the company they run is their personal piggybank and the shareholders are their personal loan officers - only they don't have to pay back the loans.
Look, the market is nuts! The oil companies get subsidies - Why? Big Agra gets subsidies - Why? Pharma gets subsidies - Why? Tax policy benefits the richest .01% - Why? Our priorities are so screwed up when it comes to money that we think people who are good at making it, or taking it from others - because let's face it, the CEO is just an employee - are somehow more competent and smarter than those that don't make a ton of it. We need to realign, folks, because if we don't we are going to be thoroughly screwed!

Friday, November 18, 2005


Somwehere in the great scheme of things, there are republicans that actually understand what the words "telling the truth" means. Somewhere, they are doing just that. But, unfortunately, most of these people are not in Washington...
The Bush Administration continues to put forth the arguement that everyone had the same intelligence, so eveyrone is culpable. Two things:
1) Everyone did not have the same intelligence because the intelligence gets filtered through the White House (as they are considered the primary client of the Intelligence Community - nearly everyone with half-a-brain and knows a little about politics knows this), and
2) Does that mean that the White House no longer believes that its reasons for going to War are valid? It certainly sounds like this is what they're saying. They're no longer defending the reasons; they're defending their mistakes.
As to the rest of the GOP; When did the Republican Party decide that they hated the majority of Americans? Have to ask. The latest Spending Cuts Bill - even watered down - hurts the poor, the lower middle and middle class families the most. Don't think so; let's look. Cuts to Medicaid, cuts to Education, cuts to social programs which aid the poor and the middle class.
On the other hand, pretty good to you if you happen to be wealthy or a corporation.
And we're not even talking about the sheer, unadulterated corruption of these people. Tom Delay's No. 1 guy was just indicted on criminal charges. Tom Delay! Mr. Integrity himself! We've got the GOOPer leadership calling most Americans traitors because most Americans disagree with how this War is being fought. We've got multiple examples of corruption in the CPA - two indictments in as many days. We've got Bridges to nowhere - Stevens gets to keep the money, it's just not earmarked directly. We've Bill Frist doing insider stock trading - anyone remember Martha Stewart?
But somehow the Rethugs continue to roll along, chewing up our country and destroying our freedoms, because when it comes right down to it, they just fucking lie so well and so often it's hard to catch them at all of those lies.
This post is all over the place. They just make me so angry. Why can't we have a legitimate government?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Here's what scares me: 73% of people who identify themselves as Republicans still back George Walker Bush, President 43 or George the Third as I like to call him. 36% of people polled still have a favorable impression of Bush! 44% of respondents to a recnt poll seem to believe that Torture is okay in some intsances. Not as a last resort mind you, but in some instances! These things scare me.

After five years of the present administration completely screwng up - New Orleans underwater, huge budget deficits, 45 million people now without healthcare, a poverty rate that is increasing by 1 million people annually, declining middle class income, a declining middle class, attakcs on Science and Education by Religious Zealots who respect neither, and, oh by the way, an increasingly Deadly War in Iraq! - there are still people who think these guys are all right! If Clinton had made just one of the cock-ups that Bush had done, he would not only have been impeached, he would have been found guilty and thrown out of office! But Bush...

How can you be this lucky? How can you be this corrupt, this incompetent, this serially sociopathic and still be considered by the majority of your Party as basically okay? How can people of average intelligence still consider this a legitimate administration when we know for a fact that the Vice President of the United States advocates Torture, something which is against the Law - not just in the Geneva Conventions - but in our Laws as well! How can this administration be considered legitimate when we know for a fact that they lied to the American people simply for the purpose of getting us into a War to fulfill some sort of messianic-matyr complex on the part of the President? How can this administration be considered legitimate when every economic and social action it has taken has been to the detriment of the very people it is supposed to be protecting? And yet...

36% of respondents still think he's doing a good job. 73% of his Party still think he's doing a good job. 44% advocate the use of Torture.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I haven't written here in a long while - a really long while - but it's time to start again. The world just keeps getting weirder and the US just keeps getting stupider (good word, that). If you want proof, all you need to do is look on the front page of the NYT and then look on the list of breaking stories on the online front page of the NYT.

Just look at the headline of this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/15/politics/15cong.html?hp&ex=1132117200&en=1b0f7720627f5fd3&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Senate Republicans Pushing for a Plan on Ending the War in Iraq

Okay, that makes you think the Repubs are actually pushing for a plan to end the war in Iraq. Great; except that they're getting out ahead of the Dems in this. That sucks, right?

Only that's not the story. If you look down to the right on the AP and Reuters column of breaking news, you get this headline:

Senate Approves G.O.P.-Backed Iraq Proposal


Again, it looks like the Repubs are out in front of the curve on this. But read the first three lines of the AP story, and you get a whole 'nother interpretation! Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

"The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday easily defeated a Democratic effort to call for President Bush to outline a timetable for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

Now, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but if you're calling for a plan to end the war in Iraq, doesn't that by necessity also call for a timetable for that plan. And if you're a Repub and you're voting against a timetable, aren't you in essence also voting against planning to end the war?

So what appears exceedingly obvious is that the headline writer for the Times (an editor, probably) is a GOOper apologist who doesn't even read the stories he writes headlines for or does and just ignores the information contained in those stories. This is just the worst kind of jingoist journalism! Whatever happened to the truth! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!