Tuesday, December 08, 2009


12 Great Years

Sept. 1997 - Dec. 8, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Our Long National Nightmare is Over

As we near the end of the Bush administration, the words of Ford following the corrupt Nixon administration seem appropriate: "Our long national nightmare is over." Of course, Ford said this in the context of pardoning Nixon, and there's no excuse for Bush's record. Here are some highlights:

--Politicized every government office, including installing political appointees in the Justice Dept. who actively worked to hire only "right-thinking Americans" (aka Republican loyalists)
--Has overseen rampant cronyism, mismanagement in many government agencies like FEMA
--Stayed on vacation and let New Orleans drown for several days while he did nothing
--Allowed energy industry to write US energy policy
--Allowed political appointees to rewrite environmental policy
--Filled EPA positions with former oil lobbyists and Forestry division with former timber lobbyists

--Signed legislation designed to benefit pharmaceutical industry against interest of the American people
--Signed legislation designed to benefit banking & credit industry against interest of the American people, thus leading to the current crisis
--Deliberately withheld true cost of Medicare bill from Congress, threatened job of actuary who wanted to reveal truth
--Prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies
--Has sabotaged clean air and water regulations in favor of industry and to the detriment of the environment

--Abrogated multiple international treaties the U.S. had signed and long honored, allowing torture
--Allowed illegal wiretapping of innocent Americans
--Administration blew cover of CIA operative in retribution for operative's husband exposing Bush lie about Iraq
--Lied about obtaining court warrants for wiretaps before the program was made public
--Lied excessively about his reasons for authorizing illegal wiretaps
--Pretended to speak to the American public but closed events and only allowed in supporters even when taxpayer dollars funded events
--Removed protesters to "free speech zones" far from appearance areas or even travel routes
--Had protesters arrested on bogus charges even when they just wore T-shirts critical of him

STARTED UNNECESSARY WARS (and ignored real threats):
--Ignored memos that predicted 9-11 and that planes would be used to strike US targets
--Failed to capture Osama bin Laden
--Has enabled al Qaeda to make massive recruitments
--Lied about Iraq having "massive stockpiles" of WMD
--Lied about Iraq's ties with al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's involvement in 9/11
--Established dangerous and unethical policy of pre-emptive warfare
--Mismanaged the War in Iraq from the start
--Failed to prepare an exit strategy from Iraq
--Failed to send enough troops as per the advice of the generals
--Failed to supply troops with necessary gear, especially armor
--Lied about the cost of the war
--Has allowed massive corruption and mismanagement causing billions of US tax dollars to be stolen

--Turned a historic budget surplus into a string of record deficits
--Has overseen weakest overall job growth in nearly a century
--Anemic "recovery" from recession is the weakest and latest-coming in more than half a century
--Has overseen a surge of McJobs: low-paying and benefit-free employment exploding
--Has given multiple massive tax cuts and payoffs to wealthy individuals and to industries while short-changing lower- and middle-class Americans

Bush's Record

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Debate Follow-Up: Obama 1, Grumpy Old Man, 0

I agree with much of the analysis of Friday's debate, which noted that--while the debate, arguably, could have been declared a draw in terms of substance--McCain lost points on style, with Obama exhibiting the more presidential temperament. McCain came across as old, grumpy, and angry, and you half expected him to yell at Obama, "Get off my lawn, kid!"

But while I was irritated with McCain constantly and arrogantly telling Obama that he was naive and "didn't understand," I thought Obama had a good comeback in his interview today with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation:

SCHIEFFER: Senator Obama, it seems to me that the whole debate came down to a couple of questions. You questioned Senator McCain's judgment repeatedly, he repeatedly said you just didn't understand; that you didn't have the knowledge or the understanding to deal with these issues, both the financial issues and foreign policy issues.

Sen. OBAMA: Right. Well, the interesting thing is he kept on asserting I didn't understand, but beyond saying the line never indicated what exactly I didn't understand. It's true I don't understand Senator McCain's positions on a whole host of issues, because given how the Bush administration has created an extraordinary crisis in the economy and considering that we remain bogged down in Iraq--al-Qaeda is resurgent, Iran is developing nuclear weapons--that our foreign policy is, if not in a shambles, then certainly not in a place that I think anybody is comfortable with. Given those facts, what I don't understand is that Senator McCain continues to promote them. There was not one instance where Senator McCain could support his assertions with some indication that, in fact, he had some secret understanding of what the Bush administration was doing that made sense. In fact, he essentially is defending a status quo that is not working for the American people.

SCHIEFFER: Some Democrats said that they thought he was being condescending to you. Did
you take it in that way?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, I think it was a--it was a debating trick, which is to essentially just keep on asserting that because of my vast years in Washington, somehow I'm better qualified to be president. And one of the points that I've made consistently in this campaign is that if the length of tenure in Washington is a measure of your wisdom, then people should vote for somebody else. But I think the American people understand that the conventional wisdom in Washington, which John McCain has followed for the last eight years, is exactly what needs to be changed.

Obama: "No Welfare For Wall Street", Nominee Is Inclined To Support Congress' $700B Bailout Package If It Also Protects Main Street - CBS News


McCain's Suspension Bridge to Nowhere

Great op ed by Frank Rich in today's NYT:

On McCain's "stunt" to suspend his campaign:
"When John McCain gratuitously parachuted into Washington on Thursday, he didn’t care if his grandstanding might precipitate an even deeper economic collapse. All he cared about was whether he might save his campaign. George Bush put more deliberation into invading Iraq than McCain did into his own reckless invasion of the delicate Congressional negotiations on the bailout plan."

On McCain's (lack of) knowledge of economic issues:
"To put these 24 hours in context, you must remember that McCain not only knows little about the economy but that he has not previously expressed any urgency about its meltdown. It was on Sept. 15 — the day after his former idol Alan Greenspan pronounced the current crisis a “once-in-a-century” catastrophe — that McCain reaffirmed for the umpteenth time that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” As recently as Tuesday he had not yet even read the two-and-a-half-page bailout proposal first circulated by Hank Paulson last weekend. “I have not had a chance to see it in writing,” he explained. (Maybe he was waiting for it to arrive by Western Union instead of PDF.)"

On McCain's close ties to Freddie and Fannie:
"What we were learning — through The New York Times, Newsweek and Roll Call — was ugly. Davis Manafort, the lobbying firm owned by McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, had received $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac from late 2005 until last month. This was in addition to the $30,000 a month that Davis was paid from 2000 to 2005 by the so-called Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy organization that he headed and that was financed by Freddie and Fannie to fight regulation."

I can hardly wait to see what the next gimmick or campaign stunt will be. October surprise, anyone?

Op-Ed Columnist - McCain%u2019s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com


What's the Matter with GOP voters?

Four years ago, born-and-bred Kansas conservative-turned-liberal, Thomas Frank wrote a popular book called _What's the Matter with Kansas?_ In the book, Frank explored why Republicans--particularly low-income or middle-class individuals--choose to vote against their economic interests. He posits that they have embraced cultural wedge issues over the economic good of the country.

I have long wondered why people like my family, who are squarely middle class, would embrace a Republican free-market ideology--like the one that has led to our recent financial crisis--or why they would look down on welfare to the poor but avert their gaze when it comes to corporate welfare. And honestly, unless you are making over $250K and will gobble up even more tax breaks from a McCain presidency, why wouldn't you vote for Obama, who will give tax breaks to 95% of US citizens?

Puzzled by this seeming disconnect, I've set out to answer the question, "What's the Matter with GOP voters?" Here's my attempt at a response at why anyone would vote McCain/Palin:

1) You are a rich CEO enjoying "voluntary regulation" and the privatized profits and socialized risks that go along with deregulation (which McCain promoted);

2) You are part of the 24% who still think Bush is doing a good job, and you want to see a continuation of the disastrous policies that got us where we are today;

3) You are part of the "values voters" who are more interested in the fact that the Pentecostal Sarah Palin can speak in tongues than whether she can speak coherently about any other domestic or international issues;

4) You are woefully misinformed and only listen to right-wing talk radio, FOX news, or WorldNet (Nut) Daily and therefore have a very warped view of reality and along with a deep hatred of anyone who is different, which leads to my last point:

5) You are a racist who would never vote for a black man for President, even if the alternative is a doddering old white guy who has spent 30 years in Washington and failed to change it and who picked a frighteningly inexperienced running mate and put her a heartbeat away from the presidency--all for a gimmick and not the good of the country.

Online NewsHour: Economic, Social Issues Play Part in Voters' Decisions -- October 28, 2004


Palin Piles On the Gibberish

Following calls from right-wing conservatives, like the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker, for Sarah Palin to step down "to spend more time with her family," comes this scathing article from Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek, who is usually pretty moderate. Here's his lede:

"Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony?"

Citing the recent interview with Katie Couric, Zakaria notes that "Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers, simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. ("We mustn't blink.") But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly, gibberish."

In fact, she's so much of a joke, that on SNL last night, Tina Fey--doing a spot-on impersonation of Palin--was able to recite direct quotes from the interview. Instant comedy! Here's Palin's actual answer to a question from Couric re: the bailout:

"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the—it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."

Huh? Gibberish indeed. This would be hilarious if it weren't the case that this woman is one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the Presidency. Great call, McCain--way to go in putting "country first."

Fareed Zakaria: Palin Is Ready? Please. | Newsweek Voices - Fareed Zakaria | Newsweek.com

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Palin at Cheney's Undisclosed Location?

Today McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that Palin won't give any interviews until she is "comfortable" and "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference." At the moment she is off being "tutored" at some undisclosed location and is not ready for prime time (or even a softball interview from her Friends at Fox). That's pretty scary to contemplate--two months from the election, and Palin is being prepped on foreign policy and the challenges and tasks facing this country.

As Josh Micah Marshall points out, "That's really all we need to know" about whether she is prepared to be a heartbeat away form the presidency.

At least Cheney waited until _after_ the campaign to hide out at his undisclosed location.

Talking Points Memo | Not Training Wheels We Can Believe In


"Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage"

Frank Rich nails it in his column today. While "fact-checking" Palin's speech and noting that, far from what she claimed, she actually supported the "Bridge to Nowhere," hired lobbyists to secure earmarks (negating one of McCain's biggest platforms), did not sell her jet on eBay, and is under investigation for abuse of power, he notes that the issue is not just that Palin is not qualified to be VP, but that it reflects negatively on McCain and his decision-making qualities:

"[McCain's] speed-dating of Palin reaffirmed a more dangerous personality tic that has dogged his entire career. His decision-making process is impetuous and, in its Bush-like preference for gut instinct over facts, potentially reckless.

As The New York Times reported last Tuesday, Palin was sloppily vetted, at best.... There was no F.B.I. background check. The Times found no evidence that a McCain representative spoke to anyone in the State Legislature or business community. Nor did anyone talk to the fired state public safety commissioner at the center of the Palin ethics investigation. No McCain researcher even bothered to consult the relevant back issues of the Wasilla paper. Apparently when McCain said in June that his vice presidential vetting process was basically “a Google,” he wasn’t joking.

This is a roll of the dice beyond even Bill Clinton’s imagination. “Often my haste is a mistake,” McCain conceded in his 2002 memoir, “but I live with the consequences without complaint.” Well, maybe it’s fine if he wants to live with the consequences, but what about his country? Should the unexamined Palin prove unfit to serve at the pinnacle of American power, it will be too late for the rest of us to complain."

When is the media going to start vetting McCain?

Op-Ed Columnist - Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Thursday, September 04, 2008


10% Change?

I'm listening to the last of the RNC speeches, and I'm still waiting to hear about some substantive policy ideas--particularly ideas that vary from the failed policies of the last 8 years. So you like wars and recessions? McCain-Palin promises more of the same!

First there was Rudy Guliani's speech, in which he led the crowd in a rousing speech (no kidding) of "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Surreal. (And sick.)

Then there was Palin's speech, which was just red meat for the conservative base, forsaking ideas for sarcastic one-liners and sophomoric attacks on Obama. Then again, she doesn't have much substance to run on, so they had to fill the speech with something, and we all now how well Republicans do hate and vitriol. Yes they can!

McCain is speaking now and, in the midst of a lot of cliches, is promising "change" in Washington. Um, John, you do realize that the Republicans have been in charge for the last 8 years, right? And I think you've been in Washington over 30 years, haven't you? The only "change" I can detect is that McCain shifted from a "maverick" who sometimes stood on principle instead of partisan politics to a politician who totally sold out and embraced all of Bush's policies, even policies (such as defending torture) that are beneath a POW (who should know better). From a guy who voted with Bush 90% of the time, I'm not sure 10% change is enough of the change this country needs.

Are Republicans really buying this?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A Tale of Two Jokes

Joke #1: Bernie Mac apparently told an off-color joke during a recent Obama fundraiser. Seems like much ado about nothing.

Bernie Mac makes off-color joke at Obama event - omg! on Yahoo!

Joke #2: John McCain tells a "joke" about killing Iranians, drawing condemnation from the Iranian government.

Iran condemns McCain for cigarette joke - Yahoo! News

One joke offends the sensibilities of some of the guests at a fundraiser; another joke offends an entire nation and further ignites hostilities and increases tensions.

Which "joke" gets the most media attention? Ding, ding, ding! That's right, the inconsequential one.

Real joke = The mainstream media.

Friday, July 11, 2008


McCain versus McCain

McCain may be "McSame" as Bush, but he's not McSame when it comes to his own varied and constantly-changing stances on domestic and foreign policies. Hilariously, while the media tries its best to construct a narrative of Obama as flip-flopper, McCain has reversed himself on no fewer than 61 (and counting!) positions (detailed in the link below), including rejecting his own legislation on campaign finance and lobbying reform (oops--don't mind all those lobbyists he hired to run his campaign!). Worst of all, he has reversed his principled position against the use of torture, which is pretty sickening given that he himself was a prisoner of war. If he'll change his perspective on his own legislation and reject what his own experience should tell him is right and moral, what won't he do to bend (over) and shift with the political winds?

Jack Cafferty of CNN notes that McCain's attempt to maintain his "maverick" independent stance while also appealing to the Repulican base is "a delicate dance. And if McCain’s not careful, ‘he’s liable to break a hip.’ Of course, any doctor will tell you a broken hip can be very difficult to recover from.”

I'm sure the corporate-owned media, which will only continue to profit from the corporate whoring of a Republican administration, is only to happy to assist in McCain's recovery.

It%u2019s a delicate dance, and John McCain is %u2018liable to break a hip%u2019 - The Carpetbagger Report

Saturday, May 03, 2008


This Stinks

Clearly not following the Bush administration mantra of "Industry first, consumers last," an administration official was fired for trying to do the right thing. How dare an EPA official take on Dow Chemical and try to influence them to clean up a contaminated dioxin site? She clearly has her values (consumer health over industry profits) all wrong for this CEO-run government.

EPA official ousted while fighting Dow -- chicagotribune.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Lies, Lies, and More Lies

935 lies to be exact.

The Center for Public Integrity carried out a study that found President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

TPMmuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Today's Must Read

Sunday, January 06, 2008


George McGovern Piles On

You know it must be bad when a former senator who did not join impeachment proceedings against Nixon has now chosen to speak out for Bush and Cheney's impeachment. George McGovern, former senator, presidential candidate and WW II combat veteran, creates a vivid image of the piles of crap left in the wake of the disastrous Bush/Cheney administration:

Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team's assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged -- perhaps even by a congressional investigation.

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion -- by far the highest in our national history.

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?

Short answer: No.

Why I Believe Bush Must Go - washingtonpost.com

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


"Restoring Honor & Dignity": Load of Crap

Bush's promise to "restore honor and dignity" to the White House has ended up being such a load of crap it's hard to know where to begin. The reporters over at Talking Points Memo, however, have kept a comprehensive list of scandalized administration officials, with 10 Bush Administration officials on the "Indicted/Convicted/Pled Guilty" list; 24 officials who have "Resigned Due to Investigation, Pending Investigation or Allegations of Impropriety"; 5 officials whose Nomination Failed Due to Scandal; and 3 officials "Under Investigation But Still in Office." Take a look at the most scandal-ridden, corrupt administration since Nixon.

TPMmuckraker | Talking Points Memo | TPM�s Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

Friday, December 14, 2007


YDB Daily Crap: Republicans Back Polluter Industry

Congress finally passed an energy bill, one weakened considerably by Republican capitulation to their buddies in the oil industry. From the NYT:

"The oil industry conducted its own campaign of opposition to the tax provisions, arguing that it would impose burdens on the industry when it needed all the resources it had to find and develop new sources of energy."

How's that development of new sources of energy coming along?

We'll never have more progressive energy plans until we replace the Bush/Cheney Big Oil Presidency with someone more progressive.

Industry Flexes Muscle, Weaker Energy Bill Passes - New York Times

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Daily Crap: Bush Vetoes Healthcare for Kids

It doesn't get much crappier than vetoing healthcare for poor children:

Bush Vetoes Kids Health Insurance Bill - on The Huffington Post

This should make everyone, not just kids, sick.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


YDB Daily Crap: CIA Destroys Torture Evidence

The CIA's destruction of tapes showing harsh interrogation techniques stinks to high heaven. But I guess obstruction of justice charges are looking better to the CIA than violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Democrats Call for Inquiry in Destruction of Tapes by C.I.A. - New York Times

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?