Thursday, March 31, 2005
It is a sad day when I find myself agreeing with the right wing. They have always accused Jesse Jackson of being publicity hungry. "So what," I'd say. Most people in the public eye can smell a camera that is many miles away.
Well, it turns out that not even Jesse's enemies could predict how much he hungers for the limelight. Jesse Jackson did the rest of us in because Terri Schiavo's parents asked him to appear on camea. I guess he doesn't know that the right ring used the Schiavo case to make the case for packing the federal judiciary. Maybe Jesse didn't notice that this was a Karl Rove propaganda ploy to be used against the hapless Dems.
I wonder. If Jesse gets enough camera time will he stab us in the back and support privatizing social security? Let's hope that Bush doesn't invite him to a press conference. '
Saddam Nicer to Kids
George W. Bush has starved more Iraqi children than the evil Saddam did. Read it here.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The Secret Service also revealed that ticket distribution and staffing of the Social Security event was run by the local Republican Party. They wanted us to be clear that it was a Republican staffer - not the Secret Service - who kicked us out of the presidential event.
Bush certainly believes in privatization. He has privatized his social security propaganda show. The events are run by the Republican party but the Secret Service will eject any American taxpayer they think might disrupt the love fest. Daily Kos has the story.
Get ready Dems. Your party is now preparing to make you a loser in November 2008.
The position of the "National Security Democrats" is that the party should be "more open to the idea of military action, and even preemption" and that the Democrats should "try to distance themselves from the Party's Post-Vietnam ambivalence about the projection of American power."
Let me get this straight. Embracing the awful policy of preemption is the way to win? If that is what the party leadership think then we should all just sit back, relax and forget 2008. We will all be watching Arnold or Jeb or whoever the hell to be sworn in four years from now. Read it here.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Thank God for right wing Christians. They certainly don't suffer from ambivalence. A North Carolina man was arrested for soliciting the murders of Michael Schiavo and Judge George Greer.
Not to be outdone in the hypocrisy department, it was revealed that Tom DeLay pulled the plug on his brain damaged father in 1988.
Religion and state power are a bad combination. See rule #8.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Sorry I haven't posted anything under this title since November. So much fascism, so little time. Here is a story that should not go under the radar screen. Young Conservatives at the Univerisity of Texas planned an immigrant catching day. How lovely.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero was shot to death as he said mass in San Salvador, El Salvador. As some members of the clergy go out of their way align themselves with state power, Romero warned about the folly of such actions.
The church, he announced, is “not to be measured by the government’s support but rather by its own authenticity, its evangelical spirit of prayer, trust, sincerity and justice, its opposition to abuses.”
We live in a different country and in a new century, but we would do well to remember Romero and his ministry, especially on Good Friday.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
"This very month both Israel and the US are making open threats of armed attacks as early as this summer on Iran's nuclear weapons potential." - Daniel Ellsberg
The corrupt, corporate U.S. media won't tell you, but Israel plans to attack Iran, with permission of the Bush administration of course. Mordechai Vanunua is being made to suffer because of those plans. Daniel Ellsberg tells the story.
Monday, March 21, 2005
When George W. Bush was Texas governor he signed the Texas Futile Care Law. The law allows hospitals to pull the plug on patients if a doctor believes the patient is unlikely to recover and if that patient can't pay. Six month old Sun Hudson was taken off of life support against his mother's wishes. Too bad his name wasn't Schiavo.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
The corporate media doesn't tell you much about it, but Iraq is a cash cow for U.S. corporations. Corruption in the contracting process is rife of course. It also follows that anyone who threatens said corruption is in very big trouble. Read all about it here.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Everyone knows that if you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Anyone considering doing business with the Bush administration had better get an extra strength flea collar first.
Take the AARP, please. In 2003 the AARP cut a deal with Republicans in Congress to pass the Medicare Drug Bill. That is the same bill that does absolutely nothing to lower the cost of prescription drugs. In fact, it forbids the U.S. government to in any way assist in lowering drug costs. It turns out that AARP CEO William Novelli is a big fan of Newt Gingrich, yes, that Newt Gingrich, and believes that privatization of entitlement programs is the way to go.
Well, now the AARP is feeling the wrath of the right wing. I guess their flea collar just wasn't big enough. USA Next, the GOP front organization propagandizing against social security, has the AARP in its cross hairs. Read this interview that appeared in today's New York Times magazine.
QUESTIONS FOR CHARLIE JARVIS
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
Published: March 13, 2005
USA Next engineered the recent controversial ad that branded AARP pro-gay marriage and included a photograph of two men kissing.
What else are you planning?
In a few weeks, there will be ads that very specifically and aggressively brand AARP for what they are, the planet's largest liberal lobbying organization. When they are honest about that, we will take a large number of their members away.
With a budget of $10 million, how much advertising can you afford?
We're talking about TV, radio, Internet ads, large-scale direct mail and e-mail and telephone alerts. And the telephone alerts, for example, are extraordinarily inexpensive. I can call every household in South Dakota in just four hours. And it would cost only $10,000.
But don't all sane adults hang up on those prerecorded digital phone solicitations?
We know that in the range of 10 percent of those called will respond to our message.
With 35 million members, AARP is considered the leading organizational champion of seniors in this country, and I am wondering whether you can say anything positive about the group. I have nothing positive to say about their goals. They are stodgy, out-of-date and they don't really know the facts about an issue like Social Security. We do.
Isn't that just a lot of ideological name-calling?
No. This is a Democratic republic. Democratic republics are loud, and they should be.
Critics say your organization is not a legitimate lobbying group but a front for those who want to privatize Social Security, including Karl Rove, the president's chief strategist.
I have never had a one-to-one meeting with him.
What about a two-to-one meeting?
I've met him. I think he is a political and tactical genius. I've been in presentations by him at the White House briefings.
Does he know your name?
Now he does. He would say, of course: ''Charlie Jarvis was the one who was in that interview in The New York Times Magazine. And how did he blow that interview so badly?''
You previously worked for Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian group that recently dubbed Sponge Bob Square Pants a promoter of homosexuality.
I call him Sponge Robert Square Pants because I don't know him well.
How much time did you spend in the Oval Office during the years when you worked as a deputy under secretary of the interior for President Reagan and the first President Bush?
The deputy under secretary of the interior is position No. 3 in that department. I was a lowly figure. I probably met Bill Clinton more than I met Reagan. Clinton is absolutely, undeniably the most charming person I have ever met in my whole life.
Is your family in agreement with your politics?
Not completely. My two older sons, who are 21 and 19, lean toward a left-libertarian perspective. They wonder what we are doing in Iraq, and they are very concerned about the implications of the Patriot Act. We have had some very honest, knockdown arguments.
Do you care if your sons vote Democratic?
They have to make those decisions for themselves. I mean, I am going to beat them with a rubber hose if they do!
In addition to dismantling Social Security, what are the goals of USA Next?
Generally, we want to provide private-sector solutions to public health programs. Also, we want to eliminate the death tax, and radically cut the capital-gains tax.
As a leading critic of Social Security, how do you plan to support yourself in your old age?
I'm 55. I don't think of myself as getting older. I think of myself as maturing.
Your comment suggests that you are currently immature.
My wife insists that I am.
Whatever Charlie. I have two points about social security. Number one, the Republicans are master propagandists. I fear that they will succeed in getting rid of social security altogether, or altering it so badly that it will cease to function as the solvent, entitlement program that helps millions of Americans survive.
The Republicans have not given up because they had the foresight to form organizations like USA Next. While they perfect their propagandizing the Democrats don't even know how to tell the simple story of how social security works better than any other government program.
So don't sneer when USA Next uses gay marriage to fight the AARP. It was just a trial balloon. They will come up with something else that resonates with millions of Americans. The question is this. What will the Democrats do to counter it?
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
This comes from War Room at Salon.
Tell it to the slaves
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared over the weekend at an annual Lincoln Day dinner in Knoxville, Tenn. Why wasn't he back home in South Carolina? Because, Graham said, his home state isn't quite ready to honor the 16th president of the United States. "We don't do Lincoln Day dinners in South Carolina," Graham said. "It's nothing personal, but it takes awhile to get over things."
I agree. One-hundred forty years is quite a while.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Oh boy. Giuliana Sgrena is toast. Today she is being described as the "left wing journalist." This means the U.S. corporate media is going to deep six the story of the killing of her rescuer by trigger happy G.I.s.
Ms. Sgrena was held hostage by kidnappers in Iraq. Her government negotiated her release only to have an Italian security agent, Nicola Calipari, killed when her car was fired upon by American soldiers. Ms. Sgrena was also wounded by gun fire. Our troops, the ones we are told to support without question, are shooting first and asking questions later. They fire on anything and anyone that moves.
We will never know if Sgrena's assertion of a deliberate shooting is correct or not. We won't get any answers from our government or from Italy's government either. Prime Minister Berlusconi is committed to assist in the occupation of Iraq. The killing of one of his nationals will not end his support for Dubya. Thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the same manner as Calipari and no one knows their names or investigates those deaths. It is truly shameful.
David Neiwert gives us more reasons why a real investigation, meaning not one from the White House, is in order. Sgrena may have been ready to prove that the U.S. was using phosphorus or napalm against Iraqis.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Why do I say that? They said no to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). That means they will help keep the U.S. in line, as I discussed in the most recent Black Commentator.
They are also wise enough to provide links to said commentary. I discovered that my missive had a link on the Canadian website Rabble. That is always good news, for obvious, selfish reasons, but I was glad to discover Rabble for myself.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
When John Stewart called Paul Begala a "hack" he was right on the money. Begala is a Clintonite and Exhibit A in the DNC destruction of the Democratic party. But my eyes must be deceiving me. The hack actually said something worth while. Here is the quote:
And yet rumors abound that Democrats, perhaps even former vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, will find a compromise that allows Mr. Bush to succeed in privatizing part of Social Security. Look, any Democrat who rescues Mr. Bush's assault on Social Security ought to be defeated in a primary and allowed to begin their own retirement early.
Well said. Social Security is a line in the sand issue, or it ought to be. I will actually quote a Republican. "Just say no." Democrats must say no to any attempt to privatize, personalize or partially privatize Social Security. Social Security should be left alone. Period.
At this point, Bush is a beaten man in every part of the world except America.
Today's Alternative News
If we are lucky, the rest of the world will continue to beat up on America. I have more to say about it in tomorrow's issue of Black Commentator, but an assertive world must save America from itself. Check out the article from Today's Alternative News.