Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Life is just a Bowl of Priorities

Few things are simple. Decisions made with a group are not decisions at all but compromises. The divorce rate is high but I'm amazed anyone stays together because each half wants something the other does not. So marriages either become bastions of compromise or long suffering "for the children." Which usually means for the money. Staying in a challenging marriage is chosen over a lower standard of living.
So you can imagine the difficulty as a legislator, trying to spend the taxpayer's money. They have to make decisions to please thousands of constituents enough to get reelected or at least not make too many angry enough to work against them. That has to be tough.
What got me thinking about this was the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota. That's one of our bedrock states, you rarely hear of bad things coming out of Minnesota. They have Garrison Keillor and Mary Tyler Moore's alter ago, Mary Richards. It may be cold a lot but the people are sturdy. The bridge that collapsed got a 50 out of 100 and was in line for repairs, but not considered dangerous. Half-empty or half-full? No one seems at fault and so far at least no one seems to be finger-pointing. But it does bring up the subject of infrastructure.
Infrastructure is not sexy. If you do it well no one notices. After all, it's not news when a bridge doesn't fall. It's the way its supposed to be. Hurricane Katrina didn't flood New Orleans even though those in charge would like it so - the levee splitting and spilling thousands of gallons of water did. That levee was man-made and man-repaired, by our own government's Army Corps of Engineers. Turns out it was designed badly and maintenance ignored. No wonder George W. Bush didn't want to go anywhere near the area following the disaster, then distancing himself with, "Heckuva job, Brownie." I'm sure his "cover-my-ass" advisors told him that much.
Politicians need to spend money for things that bring votes. Pork - a smelly name - is now "earmarks", i.e., I've earmarked a few choice things for my district. Sounds like they saved us a piece of cake.
The Iraq War is running a tab of trillions - a billion here a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money - and so far at least serving no purpose except killing people. Yet still they continue, no one quite able to figure out how to disengage. It's a complete shambles, where to start. Even if someone said get out tomorrow, an army can't move that fast and you can't do it gradually and leave the remaining unprotected.
But all the money spent on Iraq would have paid for all our country's infrastructure repairs with enough left over to give health insurance to all. The critics say they don't want another government program. What do they think the Iraq War is, if not a government handout to the so-called military industrial complex? That's a large umbrella - food, vehicles, clothing, equipment, construction, etc. Not only tearing apart a country but rebuilding it, too. Huge profit there. And now it seems that 30% of our weapons went missing, presumably in the hands of enemies. We are not only spending our tax dollars on arming the US military forces but the Iraqi ones, too, or worse, our future enemies. Maybe even al Queda. That's some irony.
I've always paid the rent first then the other ongoing bills then decided what I could afford to splurge on. As a result I have money in the bank, good credit, a home and most of all, security for my future. Those are my priorities honed in me by my Dad, an exemplary saver, as many in his generation were. He'd seen poverty during the depression and never wanted his children to suffer for lack of money. To him, having an old car or TV was not suffering, but not having money to buy necessities, that was. My Dad took care of his family because he understood that was his job.
If only our politicians cared more about taking care of their constituents and not just about getting their vote. If only they did their job.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Declare Independence from King George..... Again

I'm already tired of the Scooter Libby pardon ranting. Not because I don't agree with the cries of hypocrisy and the potential detriment to our justice system, but because few are doing anything concrete about a president that cares little about the American process. Neocons are not Americans, they are power-mongers. They want to rule and they want all the spoils. In their eyes, might is right, no subtlety. This is not new information; in fact it's been 6 years of voter abuse beginning with the election.

Talks shows play into this, everyone gets to be heard but in the cacaphony does anyone have an answer? Or the will to pursue that path? Everyone today is a pundit, some are loud, some are thoughtful, most want to make money from it. Chris Matthews of Hardball was more interested in whether the Joseph Wilson's attorney thought the sentence for Bill Clinton was fair than in anything she might say on the Libby pardon. I began to wonder if he socialized with Libby, since he loudly and consistently pulled the topic away. She's representing Valerie Plame in her career meltdown thanks to a few people in the Bush Admin. and not representing the Clintons. Her opinion doesn't matter unless you want to keep her from pointing out the obvious: that whether the Bush Admin broke the law or not, they ruined a career CIA agent. It's okay, say the Bush defenders, because she wasn't covert. The CIA says otherwise but regardless, how about serving her country? That's not worth protecting?

Matthews then let a Papa Bush Justice offical ramble on and on about the bad things Clinton did, and the good things Libby did, and how nothing was proved. In other words retrying a case that had already been through the jury system. I used to respect Matthews; no more, he seems to want to fill Bill O'Reilly's shoes of blustering non-sequiturs. O'Reilly has been lessened since the love affair with Bush is so over.

So why is everyone still afraid? Because bullies are scary. They know that and use it to their advantage. Republican politicians are caught with their knickers in a twist, to be sure. Their constituents are getting frustrated but to go against this gang of thugs will see the money dry up. It's hard getting hit from both sides but they have only themselves to blame. They were in lockstep for 6 years partly from fear, partly the perks and partly from the Repub distaste for criticizing their own. Even when Bush did that to McCain way back when they still followed him. Did it never occur to them he was never a true Republican, that was only the label his gang of thugs used to suck up votes? Or were they afraid that Bush would attack them as he did McCain?

The Democrats are not much better. A few hearings, a lot of press conferences denouncing the White House and excuses about not having the votes. Congressional leaders want to keep their power just like everyone else. Keep the noise coming because it drowns out those who might actually accomplish something. We elected Ronald Reagan because he told us what we wanted to hear. We felt secure. Bush used that same premise and promised to keep us safe from terrorists. But who will keep us safe from him?

This week we celebrated the day that the Declaration of Independence was written. Specifically, it was to free us from the tyranny of King George. I think it's time we did it again.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hypocrisy walks among us

The immigration debate is heating up again, now that the war issue has chosen up sides and continues forward, no one really interested in stopping it. Those facing reelection pretend they are or will or might and speak loudly but carry a little stick.

Same with immigration. I lived in California for 40 years so I'm pretty familiar with illegals and the advantages and disadvantages. The difference now is that the problem isn't limited to large coastal cities - easily ignored - but has permeated the heartland. They tend to welcome the first wave or at least treat them with benign neglect. Soon, however, as it goes from dozens to hundreds to thousands of poor people that impacts everything: schools, traffic, emergency rooms, shelters, neighborhoods.

Feeling isolated, needing to say under the radar, these groups congregate in ever growing numbers. People take notice and begin to worry. Yes, they add value by filling bottom-rung jobs but why so many. Because everyone benefits - schools are paid for every child, legal or not. Anyone with a rental soon learns they can look the other way as 20 people live in one unit and then charge more while ignoring repairs. Then get outraged that the two families they rented to soon brought over four more families to sublet. It's equal opportunity sleazy behavior.

Forged documents aren't even a challenge to get. Anyone wandering a border town or certain parts of LA will be approached with an offer of $500, the going rate for social security card and drivers license. This protects the employer from prosecution.

Take away the jobs, take away the illegals. But ask communities where that was done. The economy suffers. Plenty make money off the cheap labor. Many can't find replacement workers at the same price. It's a trickle down effect. So while people complain that it's a problem few are willing to lose the benefits.

There aren't enough border agents to do the job. President Bush says he's fighting terrorism but our borders are porous, thousands traipse across daily with forged or stolen documents. Soon enough terrorists will figure out that learning Spanish will get them into our infrastructure.

The Iraq War is costing us billions if not trillions of dollars and accomplishing little. In fact, it's arguably making the Middle East more unstable and long term even more expensive. Again, while many discuss it, look at the cottage industry sprung up around this war, the books, the pundits, the consultants, the talk shows. The soldiers over there risking life and limb are almost an afterthought, a political sound bite. "If you don't support this war you are putting soldiers in harms' way!"

What if we had put all that money, all those billions into hiring and training border guards and airport screeners and the latest techno-gadgets so that we can track every person in this country? Not big brother-like, invasion of privacy, just knowing who is not supposed to be here. A person with an expired visa would be dispatched home because the State Dept would be given the resources to do so.

This war is a black hole sucking up money. We don't want to fight terrorists or stop illegal immigration, we just want to feel good about doing something. That ambivalence opens up a great wide vacuum for our politicians and our pundits to offer us sound bites instead of solutions. As citizens we don't want to be bothered, with 300 cable channels and phones that go with us, we got stuff to do. We want illegals to clean up after us and serve us but not march and demand basic rights. Now, realizing they are 12 million strong and infiltrating every industry, they are beginning to realize they can demand. Politicians see voters, business sess cheap labor, neighbors feel superior, human rights workers see purpose.

So really, what's the problem?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bill Richardson Rocks

Jay Leno introducted New Mexico governor Bill Richarson as "the most qualified candidate you've never heard of." Don't get me wrong, I think Obama's terrific, and would love him as veep since he's a tad inexperienced, and Hillary, well I'm just tired of her and her husband. He did well, now move over. John Edwards hasn't quite managed to soar above the crowd even though he's been campaigning full time since last election. The others.... there are others?
So I signed on to Richardson. He's a grownup after years of posturing oedipal complexes run amok.

Check out Bill Richardson's Blog - he's one of us!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jerry Brown Sues EPA

Jerry Brown continues to be at the forefront of the issue of global warming. As governor of California he presided over one of the first Earth Days. He has continued to speak out and now as Attorney General he is suing the Bush Administration for their lack of effort to protect our climate.

Disclaimer: I worked for his first gubernatorial campaign during college, followed him into the Governor's office, and learned a great deal about politics and life. His passion for making the world a better place continues.

Newsweek has a nice interview. Jerry Brown speaks on California's efforts to lower vehicle emisions

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Nothing will come of nothing…..

This is a quote describing:

1. King Lear’s admonishment to daughter Cordelia
2. The Bush troop surge
3. Alberto Gonzales’ brain cells

Cheerio, fellow bloggers, I’m off to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a spot of theatuh.

More specifically, I’m going to see a long-time acquaintance, Sir Ian McKellen, whom I’ve seen many times on stage long before he was Gandalf or Magneto.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is doing the entire works all year and my schedule did not allow me to see as much as I wanted to so I chose some highlights, specifically Ian doing King Lear. When I first met him he’d just done Hamlet and was taking Acting Shakespeare on the road. I must’ve seen that show two dozen times, including my “star turn” as a dead French soldier complete with a stage bow. I was hooked.

For the next weeks I will be wallowing in classic English and feeling quite posh. I won’t be near a computer or newspaper and maybe when I return the Bush Admin will just be a bad dream. Hey, they did it on Dallas and Newhart!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pundits Unite!

Freeway Blogger from my home state has a contest for public displays about Free Speech. A picture and a few words can really bring it home. Check them out.

Picture this

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How Low Can He Go?

I saw a quote from Bush on Huffington Post. He said, "Either we'll win in Iraq or we won't." Even for Bush, it's a new low of awful. How can someone who invested so much time, money - huge amounts of money - and lives more or less shrug off the results? As if he's saying: Oh, well, I failed again, no biggie.

I don't get him, or anyone who still thinks he's functional. And they exist, they call in to C-Span. As if we just have to give this war a chance. As if 5 years isn't enough time to see something worthwhile. As if.

This gang of thugs put all their energy into taking the election spoils and what's the best spoil of all? The War machine. Big money in wars if you're part of the military industrial complex. Since Viet Nam, defense has suffered the same downsizing as most of America. Except when you control the Pentagon you have more clout than if you're a union guy in Detroit.

Usually the War Machine at least brings some money home. In this case, they took it to Dubai. Yes, I mean Halliburton. Cheney, who orchestrated this war by all accounts, used to head it. His pals. They cranked up the PR machine, doused anyone who questioned the logic and sold it as patriotism. They left no opening for commone sense. If I were a conspirist I might even wonder if they helped the Bin laden group along the way. There are subtle ways to foment rage, especially in young males eager to make a mark.

Or maybe they just found a horse to ride, that it was a plan all along merely waiting for a perfect storm of opportunity. And after 30 years of peace folks forget, a new generation ignores - after all there's no draft, which is what really started the opposition to Viet Nam.

I'm sad for all the opportunity this country has lost and the victims of Katrina who still don't have their lives back because their government has other priorities. Sad for people who think this war was about fighting terrorism and not just a more macho pursuit rather than a softer pursuit of diplomacy. George W. Bush was raised a super rich kid. Daddy had power and money. He was given companies to run, none successfully.

And now he shrugs yet another fiasco off, his presidency. He knows failure, it's followed him all his life, with no repercussions. He seems to no longer care. For George W. Bush, there is no there there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Last one out turn off the lights...

Wolfowitz A Disgrace

Now it's Wolfowitz' turn to be frog-marched out, with his dingy caught in the wringer. Literally, apparently. As the head of the World Bank, the gang that dispenses help to poverty-racked nations, he first made sure his friends got the good jobs when he arrived, to his most recent abuse of power: jacking up the cost of hiring his girlfriend. Irony used to be funny, now it's frightening.

He only landed at the World Bank after a topspin slam from the pentagon after presiding over the worst disaster ever of a warplan. Just when you think this group can't sink lower, look out here comes another fresh one. Hell, it's like following a herd of cows with diarrhea.

I said once about Nixon, "yeah, but at least he's smart." You sure can't say that about anyone in the Bush Administration.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The State Totters.....

The news is full of the Virginia Tech shootings. Nothing is more horrifying to a parent. Somehow it makes the current state of politics seem less urgent. It's tempting to find a correlation between a corrupt government and an insane person. Thanks to the conservative right-wing we-demand-our-guns culture it's easy to purchase one but I imagine it's far more complicated.

The war rages on, with no one having a solution, Alberto Gonzales is in the death throes of his job, Paul Wolfowitz failed horrifically in designing the war and was then put in charge of world bank whereupon he promoted - along with a huge salary bump - his mistress. Where are the days when miscreants turned in their resignation immediately? Both Gonzales and Wolfowitz should be gone by now. Don Imus, a total jerk to be sure but not killing soldiers, was out in two weeks, because of the public outcry that this time he really had gone too far.

Imus has bosses that answer to the market and advertisers were cancelling in droves. But the government is a different animal. We can't withhold our taxes to protest. We can hold signs, call our reps in Congress, make lots of noise but ultimately we are powerless to change unless those in charge care about our opinions.

The Republicans are not listening, they are fighting back. They took the loss of last November and went on the offensive. A few have said the war is wrong and Gonzales should go but the majority are hanging tight, believing that will salvage what is left of their pathetic reign.

It's a troubled world and what troubles me most is that I think America, who as the lone superpower should be a leader to stand tall and proud, instead has become a bully, preening with might. It's what brought down Greece and Rome and Britain, all who once reigned supreme.

Bush and Rove offend me. They act as if the American people are necesssary but unwanted impediments to their arrogant power-grab. They couldn't win the election on their ideas so they calculated to steal it, by discretionary cleansing of voter rolls, by reworking districts aka gerrymandering, and by placing loyalty above competence. They speak of spreading democracy in the middle east even as they abuse it at home.

Shakespeare in The Tempest had Prospero say, "The state totters." He said it best.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Make him repeat over and over, I'm an Ass, I'm an Ass....

I won't speak to the racial aspect, others do it better. But how many listeners of Imanas would like their daughters called a "ho", and think it all in fun? Especially a daughter who has managed to get into a good college and play college-level ball. Hey, jerk-off, it ain't easy! Easy is sitting in front of a microphone and spewing idiotic remarks. Any ass can do it.

A few pundits who appear on his show to flog their book or for the money and/or recognition so they can write a book to flog, tried with a straight face to say what a great guy he is and how remorseful. And yet this "remorseful" man managed to call a group of young women who narrowly missed winning a championship "ho's".

That's just mean. Remember what your mother told you? Pick on someone your own size? Well, his size is teeny tiny, and the Rutger team's is huge. They showed more class in one press conference than he has in a lifetime. They will survive, and probably thrive. They are motivated and will put this behind them because after all, who really cares about this buffoon's thoughts?

I applaud the advertisers who are boycotting. I think free speech is important and had he said it about public figures - say, millionaire pro ball players - it might have been a bit tasteless but still his right. But a team of teenage basketball players? Who'd just narrowly missed winning a big championship? Obviously he is missing the decency gene.

That's why to me, the race card is not as important as that target. It's a valid argument that rap music spews the same virtriol. But this was personal, this was directed at an innocent few, and is therefore far different than free speech and racism, which can use a lot of discussion about boundaries.

As a parent, I'm angry. As a human being I'm appalled. This isn't about being a shock jock, testing boundaries, it's about being a dirty old man.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Change, I want Change

I've been away for a week, visiting the kids. I return, check my usual blog pals and what's going on, and yes, they got the troop withdrawal deadline into war appropriations bill. I'm not sure how much of a victory that is, the more we learn of profiteering - Time Magazine, Cheney on cover - about the Blackstone security company and how much money they get for services. Much more legitimate than Halliburton to be sure, but - again - due to bad planning this Administration has to pay top dollar for security services.

Gonzales is still not out. It's bound to happen but as scandals unfold so rapidly it's also possible he'll dig in his heels and slip back under the radar. I'm not sure what he did was so far out of line, it's the general incompetence he should be removed for. Firing attorneys because you disaagree with them, even when you appointed them, is bad form and needs to be handled better. Also in Time this week - yes, I get my news from many places but as I said I was traveling and take the latest issue with me - is the Texas Connection in this White House and how long time buddies and supporters were hired, not competent people. Does the name Harriet Miers ring a bell?

The War is, if anything, worse. And still this President rages on about it. True, if he lets go of "terrorism", he has nada, nothing, zip, bupkus, zero to sustain his presidency. History will point to him as a major setback in foreign relations. So he charges on, like a desperate gambler, telling himself he's just one hand away from a big score and salvation, when everything points to the contrary. Does the name John Bolton ring a bell?

The big news, though, in our house is Al Gore running for president. Oh yes, we are hot for that. He's seasoned, no longer stiff, certainly experienced and wise, and frankly won the election 8 years ago. It was the Bush Machine - brother in FL, father's Supremes - that maneuvered us almost to a constitutional crisis. At this moment in time I lean to Bill Richardson. Hillary has lots to favor but completely blew it on the War, and years ago on health care, too secret. So while she's politically bright she can also go tone deaf. Obama is a joy out there and I could happily vote for him, but I've followed too many bright stars over the years who can't sustain the full exposure of a national campaign. Richardson, though, isn't quite lighting up the horizon; still, he's got what it takes. Edwards, too, a great person I'm confident would do a great job but seems to still be on a high learning curve on the national scene. But Gore, he's got it all and more. What he lacked the last time he's got now in triplicate - Star Power.

My daughter made me promise that Al Gore would run. She worries for her children's future. So I told her he's doing everything correct for a run and that yes, he would.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Valerie Rocks

With her movie star good looks and a career most people only dream about, a handsome husband and twins at home, I'm betting this woman will be the final nail in George W. Bush's presidential coffin. Scandal after scandal has weakened him, to be sure, but she will be the one to remove the curtain that reveals the fakery of Oz.

Her testimony was succinct and clear. Until her appearance before Congress, she kept silent. The bottom line is that whether or not she is determined to be covert according to the statute at the time of her outing, her career in intelligence was ruined by her own government, a gang of thugs determined to have their own way, damn the consequences. In order to start a war they were determined to have, she was, as Rep. Waxman said, collateral damage. On the heels of the horror at Walter Reed, Alberto Gonzales inept fumbling of his department - maybe Karl Rove has been too busy to coach him - she is a very bright light shining into their very dark corners.

She also has a book coming out, and the resultant book tour. She will be everywhere, telling everyone that this Administration had only one goal, to rush into war. And they were willing to expose an fearless and dedicated American intelligence agent to do it. She did nothing at all to deserve what happened to her; she was merely a bystander as her husband exposured their lies. Discredit him by discrediting her.

The Wilson's are photogenic. That should not be an issue but it tends to make people more credible. They are also rational, intellingent and charming. Just looking at her, you feel she got real secrets for us, a credit to the CIA. How many men would resist? And now it's over, she's done. Sure, she'll be a celebrity for a while, the book, then a movie, all the while Bushies will be twisting in the wind.

I'm sure if the Wilsons had a choice they would return to anonymity. They had a good life. But Rove or Cheney, or both, decided not to honor years of service to our country. Their arrogance at making that decision will ultimately be their undoing. Cheney looks more like the devil each time he appears, Rove keeps smiling like some wooden dummy as everything he thought he built derails, and Bush, well Bush looks as if he's the class loser in the dodge-ball circle, twisting and turning while he gets pounded.

The Wilson's may not come out of this better for the experience - she chose as she said, a "below the radar" career. He was an ambassador and appears to have an easier time talking about it. And they have small children, that tends to overrule all else in a family. They will be fine and they will likely be the final push that brings down this president as people grasp the enormity of what was done to them. But I don't think they will ever say it was a good thing. But they will be able to say they survived, and most of all, that they did the right thing. Who can ask for more?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

History is a Tough Taskmaster

The Bush Administration is wasting a huge amount of energy dodging left wing bullets. And it's entirely their own fault. First, the recent election was a referendum not just on Iraq but the Iraq that sprung from secrecy, bully pulpit and arrogance. I am against this War. I want us out. That was my position from the beginning. A preemptive attack is wrong. It lessens us.

However, I happen to agree with some of the principles laid out to go into war. Terrorists are a threat to the world and after 9-11 specficially to our homeland. We have a right to protect against future attacks. Also, peace in the Middle East is an honorable goal. The fact that it goes back generations and the causes are convoluted beyond comprehension, even by the participants, doesn't mean we should just give up.

The Bush Administration failed on every single effort to achieve any kind of positive result. First, they rushed. They knew better than the UN, our allies, common sense, their own military leaders. They bullied our allies into a watery support, only Tony Blair jumped in with any enthusiasm. (And is now forced to leave office because of it.)

Due to the rush, and minimal military preparation, relying on National Guard members who train on weekends for local emergencies, great people all but rushed into full-time service. They rose to the challenge but were given minimal support in the field, without effective body armor, vehicles to withstand bombs, military leaders afraid to speak out - the ones who did were put out to pasture. Still, their patriotism heroically persevered.

Then non-bid contracts went to Halliburton. If your bathroom suddenly springs a leak you don't worry about getting the cheapest plumber but the one who can come immediately. This mega-corporation, VP Dick Cheney's prior job was as CEO, sucked up money like Hoover's best windtunnel vac. Talk about giving your friends the combination to the vault. No one actually looked at the receipts, too many too fast. Question anything such as Joseph Wilson did and the Bush Admin came at you stronger than they did the enemy. Because if you so much as said, "Maybe there's a better way," you WERE the enemy.

A country founded on free speech was in danger of losing it. Anything was okay as long as the world terrorist was used as justification. This wasn't leadership, this was a schoolyard bully.

Incompetence was covered up, ignored, spun into a bizarre web of lies and verbal attacks. It was all spin. The emperor had no clothes and everyone became afraid to say so. Until Howard Dean dared and it turned out plenty wanted to say so. Bit by bit the fraud and negligence and incompetence, the power-hungry, the crooked, the morally bankrupt were exposed.

The Walter Reed scandal stands at the top of this toxic heap. When you send soldiers to war and then don't prepare for their return you are soulless. Wounded, they are of no use, either return them or ignore them. Those who gave the most now receive the least. Yet this Admin does not know shame. They repeat, almost daily, "Mistakes were made..." as if that absolves them. Sure, we botched the war, they seem to be saying, and care for the wounded and put us into debt doing it and ignored everything else that still matters but let's do it again.

It always comes down to what Lincoln said, "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Maybe had Bush read history books instead of drinking his way through college, or actually done his duty in the National Guard rather than drinking his way through Alabama, he wouldn't be dodging so many bullets now. His bullets are metaphorical but for our soldiers they are real. And he is not protecting them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mistakes were made....

I'm getting really tired of that phrase even as I wish I'd had it to use as a teenager. Because it's beginning to seem a lot like confession. Sin like crazy all week, spend a few minutes doing penance with your priest, without any real remorse.

Face it, if you don't do anything wrong, you don't need to confess. And doing the right thing is not that hard. Unless that's your purpose.

And it's been said many times - it's not the crime it's the coverup. You will get caught. But now it appears there's another step. Get caught and say, "Mistakes were made, but...." meaning all will now continue as usual.

It's not mistakes, it corrupting power and/or incompetence. If taxpayers acted like shareholders these "penitents" would be gone. That's the price of mistakes.

Let's start using the phrase, "You're outta here...."

Monday, March 12, 2007


I listen to C-Span a lot, which I suppose makes me a Wonkette, and my favorite is Washington Journal. Although it's on from one a.m. HST, and I prefer sleep since I get up at 6am for work, it started when I couldn't sleep and turned on the TV to keep from replaying how tired I would be. Now when I wake up it's the first place I go.

I mention this because at first I listened to the call-ins because I couldn't figure out how George Bush had any support. It was so clear to me that he was leading us down a really awful path. He was tromping on Democracy at home in order - he said - to bring it to the Middle East. Okay, sure that was an easy lie, it was oil, and Halliburton, and UAR buddies and all the rest of the war machine corporations. Plus, he's just a wannabe cowboy. Raised with money, hell-raiser at Yale, alcoholic they cleaned up to enter politics. Who supported him, and why?

Those who now call in and say, "Yes, mistakes were made, but...." Ya think? Mistakes that cost our servicemen and women their lives, a divided country, trillions of dollars spent to destroy a country and our reputation. Katrina is almost a bigger shame. Because that's within our border. Our citizens. The waste and fraud and stupidity and incompetence can all fall at his doorstep. They keep calling him the commander-in-chief. Had the national guard been on standby in Louisiana instead of in Iraq, lives would have been saved.

Of course the dam failed because of years of neglect from pretty much everyone, but the cleanup is all this Admin. FEMA was a throwaway, of no interest, so they put in a low level supporter with zero experience. A good fall guy. Lots of good fall guys for this Administration. And still they support him.

Have people gone stupid? Just to protect themselves from gay rights? That right wing group, afraid of what a few gays can do are willing to support a man who probably has zero interest in gays one way or another, but panders to them to get elected. That was the swing vote. Sure, his swagger looked tough after 9-11, we were scared, easier to believe he knew what he was doing. But what's the excuse now?

His approval rating is at 30%. And still he serves. He cost Tony Blair his job. He put us into so much debt it will be a decisive factors for years.

I still wonder why anyone at all supports him.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

onward and upward

I'm feeling really good right now. It's not that I wish all the evils that have befallen the Bush Admin - and now the Justice Report says FBI overstepped, the same month they fired attorneys because they could. This group is just a gang of thugs. Libby found guilty. So what if he was a scapegoat, doesn't make him innocent. Sure he tried to use his a puppy dog expression to win sympathy but he's really the runt of the litter. In other words, the country is paying attention. What looked like strength was really bullying. Karl Rove is not a political genius, he's simply a mathematician who counted electoral votes and then picked the state for the showdown. Another Bush state. And Daddy's supreme court. Then start a War because that's the fastest way to get you rich and pay back those who helped put you in office.

Whoops, some cynicism crept into that. Hard to avoid. I feel we as a country are now listening and debating and righting our ship of state. But it's also one reason I don't like Hillary. The Clinton juggernaut has all the makings of left wing thugs. The win at all cost mentality may work but the cost keeps mounting, the dike begins to spring holes faster than can be repaired.

But for now, this beautiful Saturday morning in Hawaii, I'm listening to the score of Gladiator, it's amazing music, and did my yoga and am feeling as good physically as I have in a long time. I've been careful about diet, as much organic as I can find, fresh not processed, cutting portions - more later if I must but not all at once. Vitamins, sleep, diet, exercise - hey, it works. Not a quick fix, I've been slogging along to varying degrees of success for quite a while now but as I age, and bits of creaky creep into joints, I had to clean up my act.

I savor the moment. As an added bonus I got a chunk of change back from taxes on my Prius I got last year, my political statement on wheels. Life is good. I wish you all the same. Make a decision to go forward, one step at a time.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald: GUILTY..!

From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald: GUILTY..!

All Things Must End

No, not me. I learned to blog From the Desk of Patrick J. Fitzgerald and while he may move on to other things I hope to keep my voice up. Blogs are a great thing. Everyone who wants to gets a say. What is more important to democracy.

Today the person who kept up the PJF blog announced his retirement. It's understandable. It was so well done, so comprehensive that it sucked up whatever air he (or she) had. I find it hard to imagine anything more interesting out there but probably there's plenty. Life doesn't end because one foolish and corrupt member of the current Admin is found guilty on 4 of 5 counts. (Or as Stephen Colbert, my other idol put it, "Innocent of One Charge!")

So to any of you who wander in from the PJF blog, maybe wanting to be a PJFlygirl, welcome. Come back. I posted my email. We're all still out there, there is plenty more to do, keeping an eye on government never stops because the players all think they can get away with it. Power corrupts, and no one ever learns it's actually the cover-up that brings them down.

Onward and upward, to all of us. A Merry Fitzmas toast to us all, whoever we are.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Handicapping is fun

Everyone else seems to be weighing in on the 2008 election and who's hot and who's not. So here goes.....
Hillary Clinton - I'm just tired of her. Too many incarnations. Something. Standing by her pig of a husband - mind you I thought he was a pretty good president, but the moral fiber of rope. She said she wasn't just standing by her man like Tammy Wynette and then she stood by her man, but even Tammy Wynette got out of that one to her cheatin' George Jones. But more than that, the secret health care initiative that busted because it came out like a burst dam scaring everybody. Bad. Aren't we all furious at George W. for his secrecy vis a vis Iraq? I think she's a good Senator, but when you get too ambitious you get too programmed and forget why you're running in the first place. She's reached that level, she's got a plan - the good news - but it's whatever the polls show - the bad news. Plus she rammed Obama because of what David Geffen said. Hey, he's a gay billionaire, beholden to no one, he can say what he wants.

Barack Obama - I live in Hawaii, and grew up - age 7 to 15 - in Kansas. I feel like we're practically related. Then again, most people after listening to him, feel that way. He touches everyone. Sure, not so many specifics - but the Bush Admin is nothing if not specific and look where that got us - and maybe not so much experience - I repeat, the Bush Admin.... you know the rest. But he's bound to make some blunders along the way, being a newbie and honest, and I've watched - and worked for - many shining stars that flamed out. But I wish him well, for all our sakes.

Bill Richardson - a personal fave. Experienced in the good way, but having actually done the work. Solid, steady, hard-working, what the real America is, or thinks she is anyway. He's even Hispanic, should be that growing - and growing - group into the polls for him. We can do far worse than another Bill, President Richardson. Let the movement start here! (okay, he started it, but I can be a groundswell.)

John Edwards - he's just not connecting. He has all the right moves, a perfect family story, a good guy, wonderful wife, and maybe that's the problem, he's too good, thinks running for president is like student council. If it were a Richardson/Edwards ticket, the winner would be America. Except for the far right. They're only happy if no one has any fun or common sense.

John McCain- sold his soul to the Devil Bush. Or more accurately Karl Rove, who told him he'd be in his corner if he lockstepped the prez on Iraq. Because McCain's change over was just that fast, deal made. Perception if not reality. But I don't see Rove in his corner, already reneged and barely started. What, he's holding back until Giuliani trounces him?

Rudy Giuliani - loved him as prosecutor, a good figurehead after 9-11, tough, in charge, but his personal life makes Bill Clinton look chaste. That baggage will need a freight car to haul. Plus, they jumped on Howard Dean for one excitable whoop. Rudy's temper is lengendary, he won't be able to stop it.

The others? They're just there for the fun of it. Oh sure, they dream big, and some are decent beings, especially Joe Biden, but mostly it's an open field and they figure why not, get some name recognition, try again or earn big bucks on speaking trail, or lobbying. Besides, you get all those secret service people, and advance people, you get driven and fussed over, hey we should all get to run for prez, it's exhausting but great fun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

McCain speaks with forked tongue

I agree completely with Senator McCain, that Donald Rumsfeld is the worst defense secretary in the history of the world. His skill is as a political infighter not battle. But his recent incompetence overcame even his skill at that.
However, Senator, this appears to be a bit of jumping on the bandwagon, trashing the man after he's gone, disappeared from sight. I would respect you a lot more if you had done it while he was actually committing these atrocities. After the fact does no one any good and makes you look like a cowardly bully who stands back and yells, "Me, too!"
And as to your calling on sending more troops, that's just the other side of incompetence. Too few to get the job done early on, and too many after it's too late. The reverse had a chance of success, and it's way past military action now. Bush waged war to prove his balls were bigger than his father's; are you now wanting it to prove your goverment should have sent more troops to Vietnam and saved POWs?
War is nasty, no one wins. Sometimes there really is no choice, but usually it's a political reason and it has to do with oil and profit. And trying to rally a base to become president.

Monday, February 19, 2007

So now Google owns the world

So after a few false attempts I moved my blog over to Google. It was some trouble, reading more stuff, and I wrote a perfectly nice introduction then during preview I accidentally closed it and lost my very first blog on Google. I was perfectly happy before, now I'm not, because I have to write it all over again and I've forgotten how I said it. Besides, I liked what I said and it was several paragraphs and if I have to spend more time, then I'll become a blogger without a life. Usually you get a box that says are you sure you want to lose everything, but I didn't, so I did.

Change can be good or it can be a nuisance. It's usually the latter. Because those who force it upon us, like Blogspot, are at the top of the chain and don't think of the little things. I debated even sticking with it, why bother, if I had to start over, go somewhere else, but in the end I fell into step, it seemed easier. And would have been if not closing the window to return to previous page rather than click back arrow hadn't lost it all.

A cozy blog versus a snippy one. All because I HAVE TO change to Google or go away. Not their fault, they didn't MAKE me click the wrong arrow, they just made me read pages of stuff to be sure I wasn't agreeing to something weird. Just more marketing. They can probably check my web browsing, send me "personalized" messages to buy and join and otherwise limit my span. Some days I think the Internet hasn't expanded our horizons, just given marketers better ammunition to blindside us.

I no sooner got Windows XP on my computer than here comes Vista. Is it better? Sure, if you're a budding movie maker or can't take less than a thousand pictures of your kid to throw out there, so that he/she's famous just for eating. Do we all want Paris Hilton as a child? Ooops, pardon, she's more famous for not eating.

I'm going to go read a book. My web life is being sold and used for the purpose of others gaining wealth. But my easy chair is mine alone.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An exciting election

Sure, it's supposed to be too early and lots can and will happen to change the dynamics but the rich field of candidates should excite everyone. I mentioned Obama previously but I'm also excited about Bill Richardson and John Edwards will hopefully do well. He was saddled by Kerry's lack of clear insight last time, and his own inexperience against Cheney, but may now have the maturity needed. I would still go with Richardson, the most experienced in the field.

As for Clinton, I know she's the fave, but frankly she's been all over the map re the War. She has many fine qualities, not least of which of first really formidable female candidate, but that's not enough. Ultimately I doubt she will prevail, she just dooesn't have that comfort zone personality voters lean toward.

The depth of the field, adding Joe Biden, is awesome. Biden is definitely a class act but I don't think he can go all the way. But the dialog ought to be the best we've ever had in an election cycle.

I hate to say it, but maybe we needed Bush to bottom out so we could wake up and pay attention. I thought I was going to throw a heavy object at the television when in his state of union address he said we had to get the deficit under control. You mean the deficit you created? That reminded me of the definition of chutzpah - a guy kills his parents then asks the court for mercy because he's an orphan.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Barack in 2008

In Hawaii, Barack is a native son. He may be a Senator from Illinois but he was raised here, we made him. Okay, his family too - and what a near-perfect melting pot, that says more about America and our future. So for a whole bunch of reasons he will elevate the dialogue and the stakes in the 2008 election.

Maybe it's time for a grownup to run - and hopefully win.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


'Tis the New Year and Nancy Pelosi has - gasp - a plan, something we haven't seen in Washington in a while. While it may not all pan out and there's a ways to go, it's so refreshing to see grownups at the helm.

Bush's so-called "plan" seems to be, "Hell, it didn't work before, so let's do it again!" If more troops were the answer, why not do that a year ago, or three?

So I am chuffed to begin a new year on such a hopeful note. Voters tend to get the government they deserve and it finally seems they're paying attention. A cowboy at the helm may remind us of our wild and woolly days - great fun in the movies but not so great in actuality. Our Founding Fathers were intellectuals who took their responsibility very seriously. I don't know if this group is up to those standards but at least they are trying to restore some order after years of chaos.

Is it always the Dems that have to clean up after Repubs or does it just seem that way?