Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Senator Craig Stays in Washington for His Appeal

"I da ho" Senator Larry Craig remained in D.C.'s "hallowed stalls" of government based on advice from his attorney. Had he attended his legal challenge, the Senator may have passed the now famous airport men's room. Such an event would certainly mean hordes of camera clicking "popperazzi". It doesn't do to return to key facts in the case, umless you have the right attorney. "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Let's hope Larry's attorney doesn't ask the arresting cop to bend over.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Clinton Supports Bayh's Golden Goose

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh endorsed Hillary Clinton for President today. He waited for her to reveal her health care plans and rightfully so, Mrs. Susan Bayh sits on the board of WellPoint, the huge health insurer. Exercising options the last few years added considerably to the Bayh family's household income. My guess is he would have thrown his ample support behind another candidate if Hillary really wanted to cut out the middlemen, which happens to be the family's $1.3 million golden goose since 2004.

Recall Senator Bayh had his name in the Presidential hat for all of two weeks. The manufactured reason for quiting was "he dropped out of the race amid evidence that Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois were building formidable campaign organizations." Yet a later article spoke of the formidable organization Evan built in Iowa, now benefiting other candidates. So Evan dropped out for another reason. Did it have to do with the serious money Susan made flipping her WellPoint options? The timing is suspicious. No matter what, Evan's grateful, even magnanimous. Feel the goose, Hillary? Could this be the beginning of a long term relationship?

(I tried to post the Bayh WellPoint tie on CNN's Political Ticker endorsement piece but the moderator scrubbed it. It seems the Clinton team runs a tight media ship, capable of coming out with guns ablazing.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It Isn't Coming, It's Here!

The Bush administration wants Congress to give it broader spying powers so it can pre-emptively arrest and taser any students simply owning a copy of Greg Palast's "Armed Madhouse", much less asking questions of the losing candidate in a manipulated election at ground zero of the voter fraud. Agents of government will be able to enter one's home and turn on the sprinkler system to prevent the dreaded brown lawn. This is just in case any 70 year old great grandmothers decide that's not a useful way to spend their meager Social Security checks.

And to keep prisoners from reading any library material that could "discriminate, disparage, advocate violence or radicalize", convicts will no longer have access to any such printed information, much of it religious in nature. However, they will live next to other hardened prisoners 24 hours a day in a verbal graduate school of crime, broken into gang oriented classes.

Just as the armed forces has an approved form of religion, so too will prisons. Open up for fire and brimstone, the prosperity gospel, might beats right, and the religion of free markets. As for those of us not yet behind bars without habeas corpus, there's no need to open your front door. Courtesy of Congress, President Bush already has a copy of your key...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bush Record on "Fair & Transparent" Probes

On ironically the same day as Senator Larry Craig's return to Washington and its "hallowed stalls of government", U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice promised the Iraqi Prime Minister a "fair and transparent probe" of the Blackwater Security Company incident where eight Iraqi civilians died. Why should the Iraqi people place their faith in a Bush launched investigation as their record is dismal? The internal investigation into the CIA agent leak never occurred as promised and convicted perjurer Scooter Libby received a presidential pardon, but there's much more.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush team created their Lessons Learned report with the aim of preventing such a disastrous response from happening again. Sec. Rice used the same language regarding the Blackwater incident. Yet, the author of the Katrina report left out the hospital with the largest death toll post landfall. That hospital company had just been purchased by The Carlyle Group weeks before the deadly storm struck. The White House also omitted the trade group that coordinated the evacuation of acute care patients in FEMA's place.

The Bush administration contracted out the investigation into British Petroleum's Texas City refinery explosion that killed 13 people. James Baker of The Carlyle Group headed up the $2 million taxpayer funded inquiry. While the oil company failed to invest in process safety equipment and establish rigorous safety procedures, management got a free pass in the report. Guess who hired the BP CEO on duty when the tragedy occurred? He's now heading up The Carlyle Group's European energy portfolio.

So Mr. al Maliki, be very wary of a Bush led investigation. The pattern involves whitewashing what happened and exonerating their friends. Who is Mr. Bush closer to, Blackwater execs or the Iraqi people? As for Condi Rice, she's been irrelevant on the world stage for how long now?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Alberto's Teary Goodbye

Justice Department Chief Alberto Gonzales said goodbye to his co-workers this past Friday. My imagination had it going like this:

"I'm really gonna miss you guys. Who can remember those hours spent scheming to lean the next national election our way by dumping uncooperative attorney generals?"

All the heads shook side to side.

"Who can remember our purging voter rolls for much the same reason?"

More denials.

"But who can forget those late night hours spent around the tattered sofa in the basement of the White House, smoking the no-no and jamming to Purple Haze while President Bush played RISK, only the whole board was the Middle East?"

Cheers and tears flowed freely. The crowd cried "we love you Alberto". Yes, Mr. Gonzales runs with a funny crowd, long on loyalty and short on memory. What will the nation do when Alberto is recycled into public service in the future? Will we remember?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Russian Bomb Takes Out "Objects & Buildings"

The Russians announced a new bomb. The Vacuum Bomb is as powerful as a nuclear weapon but leaves no radioactive fallout. However, like a nuclear bomb it generates enough force to destroy alot of things, to "cause widespread devastation."

The bomb works in two stages. First, a detonator scatters a fuel widely through the atmosphere where it mixes with that necessary combustible, oxygen. Then a charge ignites the solution. It's similar to jet fuel scattered through the air in a plane crash into a tall skyscraper, but on a much larger scale.

This development has me confused given President Bush's assertions that "democracies do not war." Why would democratic Russian need to develop such a weapon? Why do they need to destroy objects and building in other countries?

But what I really want to know is how such a large explosion can occur and not kill or maim people? How hot is the fire generated by the vacuum bomb? What does that do to human hair and skin at varying distances from detonation? What does the temporary vacuum do to human physiology? Does it cause already burned lungs to collapse? Did you know the United States already used a version of the weapon in Operation Desert Storm? And they shall beat their thermobaric bombs into plowshares...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Hole in Our World

There's a hole in the world
Made by anger
Planned by leaders who claim to be right
Executed by followers who sought glory
Yet the biggest hole is inside
It cannot be filled by hate
It grows in size with each purposeful attack on others
The gaping hole can only be filled with what our leaders refuse to practice
Respect, mutual cooperation, and love

Bin Laden's Caravan of Martyrs

Hey Osama! Leaders lead by example. Please, go first... (That is if you really said it)

Harry Reid's "Real Vote Getter" is a Pig

The New York Times recently ran a column critical of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's push to legalize prostitution. In response the elected official threatened to harm its author.

“I’ll take a baseball bat and break his head if he ever comes here.”

Had Oscar worn a rag on his head, might he be on a rendition flight to Guantanamo? This rising star in the Democratic Party did two things with his warning. First, he threatened physical violence. Second, he warned a member of the media not to come to his fair city. Are we losing out freedom to travel within our borders as well?

Nevada Senator Harry Reid called Oscar Goodman a "real vote getter" not long ago. The Senate Majority Leader entertained the prospect of Goodman's run for the U.S. Senate. Had Oscar won, would he be threatening Capital Hill members of the press with baseball bats?

The times are strange to say the least. The answer to a cowed Congress isn't a swing to other extreme with mob-like threats and violence. However, people are sick of sorry leadersip. The recent finger pointing on dismantling Saddam's army was pitiful to say the least. Was it Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Bremer or Cheney?

While things may be clear with Oscar Goodman, from my view it's clear the man is a pig. I guess that qualifies him to gorge at the campaign money trough with Damnocrats and Repugnicants.

Monday, September 10, 2007

George Was Supposed to Raise, not Raze the World

President George W. Bush speaks of lofty goals, yet falls well short on delivery. Democracy in the Middle East remains in prolonged "birth pangs" with the infant's life in jeopardy. Domestically 47 million people have no, as in zero health insurance. This number is guaranteed to grow dramatically as business bails on its traditional employment benefit. Both examples are part of the Republican mantra of strong defense and free markets.

Yet free markets have American businessmen (who fund U.S. politicians) all pursuing the lowest common denominator, with the main exceptions CEO and investment manager's pay. I've heard several folks speak lately about the burden of employer sponsored health insurance on businesses. A U.S. Congressman mentioned it in his open house while a retired CEO of a large for-profit hospital chain lamented on behalf of his industrial counterparts.

Rather than look to European countries or Japan (against which we also compete), Republicans look to China and other "low to no benefit" countries as justification for dumping health insurance as an employment benefit. Notice there is no encouragement to lift the slackers up. The U.S. "needs" to lower itself to remain competitive in global markets.

Oddly, the for-profit CEO painted a bleak picture for the future of "private" health care, complete with hospital bed and doctor shortages. I thought that was the outcome of "government run" health care, not free markets. It turns out training doctors and building hospital beds is alot like discovering oil. It takes a lot of money and a long time. Something the current administration has no, as in zero plans for.

Despite this bleak future, Mr. Shelton won't pay a penny more on his $40 million proceeds from the recent sale of Triad Hospitals. He wants more inefficiencies wrung out of the system before raising taxes on the rich. Yet, 700,000 more kids became uninsured and 1 million more employed adults lost coverage the year Denny negotiated his big sale.

Over 7 million new uninsureds, over 4 million displaced Iraqis, President Bush, you were supposed to raise, not raze the world.

Focus Shifts from Iraq to "I Ran"

On the day when General Petraeus testifies before Congress on the state of the Middle East's newest democracy, CNN's breaking news states Idaho Senator Larry Craig wants to withdraw his guilty plea for lewd behavior in a Minneapolois airport.

"I had to go number two real bad so I ran from my plane to the men's room. How was I to know it was the gay meet up place? Anyway, my favorite stall was occupied. How dare he? So I glared through the crack in the door as menacingly as possible, hoping to scare the crap out the goy so he'd leave. How was I to know he was a fearless cop?"

A reporter asked "How traumatic, Senator, what happened next?"

"Thank you for asking. I had to potty in my least favorite stall. For me to get the proper pooping angle, my physiology requires a wide, NFL down lineman stance. You should see the john's in our house, there are yards of free range, squating space. I also like to pre-emptively prepare a handful of toilet paper. The tiniest corner of the wad flacked off falling to the floor. I couldn't bear to see what was once a tall strapping Idaho tree go to waste. So I reached down. The feathery little fellow flew into the air toward the stall next door. I quickly grabbed the base of the divider and ran my hand back and forth to create a breeze that would return the little fellow to me for proper use. The next thing I know the man next to me flashes a badge and I'm charged with a crime. Despite all my best preparations, the poop never shooted. Therefore, I didn't flush, wanting to conserve water in the Land of 10,000 Lakes."

The Senator paused to wipe a tear from his eye, before steeling himself in righteous indignation.

"At first I thought it best to resign my Senate seat rather than make a spectacle of myself. But my friend Senator Specter encouraged me to hold firm, to stand up to the cop who squatted in my favorite stall. So today, I tell you the truth. I am a victim of having a broad stance and wanting to conserve valuable natural resources. With that I plead my case."

Wind breaking news....

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Virtually Incompetent Fran Calls Osama Virtually Impotent

Foul mouthed White House Homeland Security Advisor . Fran Townsend called Osama bin Laden "virtually impotent" today on CNN. She said he'd been marginalized to the point of sending videotaped messages from a cave. That brings to mind another Bush video star, Michael Brown of FEMA. Bush's emergency czar did little more the first few days than pose for a camera.

I can hear the collective groan saying, "no fair, that's Brownie's not Fran's." And who wants to defend Osama bin Laden? Certainly not me. However, Fran played a key role in Hurricane Katrina. She wrote the White House Lesson Learned report for Katrina. Had she been a male, I would characterize the report as virtually impotent. Instead, it qualifies as incompetent.

Videotape showed President Bush asking Mike Brown about hospital patients, but this area got short shrift in the post mortem. In a normal investigation you state who's responsible and how they performed. Not in Bushes world.

Fran left out the hospital with the largest number of patient deaths post Katrina, Lifecare. Just weeks before landfall, The Carlyle Group purchased LifeCare Hospitals. That company now blames the federal government, saying as soon as FEMA set up evacuation teams in New Orleans, their patients became wards of the federal government.

However, Carlyle has for the most part kept their good name out of news reports. Their media guru is the ex-CEO of Time Warner, which happens to own CNN. Now we're getting somewhere...

Impotent, incompetent ... they seem to apply to both Bush and bin Laden.