Friday, May 30, 2008

Karl Rove: Santa's Favorite Elf

For sometime I have been aware that a number of Americans hate Karl Rove. I have been mystified by these hostile feelings because it is well known that he cares about each and every American, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or political affiliation. This has earned him the nickname of "Santa's Favorite Elf," among many, many people. I have even been told that each night before he goes to bed, he says a special prayer for the well-being of liberal Democrats throughout this country. Isn't that sweet.

He has been blamed for spreading disinformation about the clause and purpose of the war in Iraq. To the best of my knowledge he has consistently stated that we were invited in by the Iraqis to help them overthrow Saddam Hussein. He certainly wasn't responsible for the fact that the CIA and other intelligence sources gave the president and his advisers faulty information regarding the status of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. My inside source within inner conservative Republican circles, Stanislaw Lemsky, a former Soviet school teacher and member of the KGB, told me that Karl cautioned the president about making sure the intelligence information was absolutely correct.

A number of people have also accused him of preventing significant numbers of Americans from being able to vote. To substantiate such absurd claims recently inappropriately intercepted e-mail messages with voter names have been used as purported evidence to support this assertion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Karl and his staff have been working late into the night to make sure these people who have been targeted by unknown sources are actually assured of their ability to vote in the presidential election.

Lastly, allegations have been made about Karl's involvement in the prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama. I'm sure Jill Simpson means well, but she probably misunderstood Karl Rove when he allegedly asked her to photograph then Governor Siegelman in compromising sexual activities. Karl probably told her that he wanted some personal pictures of the governor and his wife so that he could hang them. To have said what Ms. Simpson accuses him of saying what have constituted dishonorable and illegal activities, both totally abhorrent to Karl's altruistic nature.

Come on Americans, let's get the truth straight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In Defense of Hillary Clinton

Defending Hillary Clinton at this point in time is an extremely difficult endeavor, akin to my guarding Kobe Bryant in a game of basketball. I believe that somewhere amongst the various versions of Hillary displayed during the past years, there is a Hillary that is very bright, very capable, and could make a good president of the U.S. Unfortunately, as I alluded to in the previous sentence, we have been presented with different Hillarys and it is difficult to know which one is real. A significant group of people detest her to a degree that is almost unfathomable. Thus, when she makes a “mistake” or utters anything that could be interpreted negatively, a nuclear arsenal of verbal vituperation is launched at her creating a mental radioactive wasteland that makes it hard to render a fair judgment of what she said.

The most recent nuclear verbal uproar was in regard to her mentioning Robert Kennedy’s assassination in June1968 when he was a candidate for the presidency of the U.S. A wide range of groups were horrified by her mentioning this fact. Various interpretations of “what she was really saying” spewed forth like foul smelling volcanic lava. Something that should have been a major factor in determining how people reacted to what she said, but which was largely overlooked, was the reaction of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He was not offended by what she said, and this should not be overlooked because he is a Hillary Supporter. Unfortunately, at this point in her career, and her bid for presidency of the U.S., each person’s individual feelings are paramount in interpreting what she said or did.

Let’s get back to the problem of the multiple Hillarys. Recently, I watched a documentary of former president Harry S. Truman. It seemed that once he decided to campaign for the presidency in 1948 he had already formulated what he wanted to say. When he arose each day on his famous train trip across America he spoke from his heart without hesitation. He did not have to figure out who he was going to be that day and what he was going to say. Therein lays the dilemma for most people who have run for president and other political positions since that time. They get up each day and have to figure out who they are going to be and what they are going to say to the people on the day’s agenda. This is certainly Hillary’s dilemma as is it Senator McCain’s, but to a lesser degree Senator Obama's. When Hillary is at her best, speaking from her heart, she has been able to establish a somewhat improbable connection with the working class of America. At such times she resonates well because there is less political artifice going through her head. Unfortunately, much of the time she is constantly trying to figure out what to say, how to say it, and who to say it to. This is when she ends up in deep caca. One particular instance was when she casually stated she would wipe out Iran when questioned what her response would be to Iranian nuclear aggression. I believe she was trying to impress on the interviewer, and the audience, that she would be tough leader. Unfortunately, this was a horrendous way of making her point.

Another factor hampering her ability to come forth as a consistent person is her association with her husband Bill Clinton. There is nothing genuine about Bill because everything he says and does is calculated for a desired effect. This does not make Bill unique as a major political figure but he has served as a poor model for Hillary. The Clintons as a single psychological entity have developed their own narcissistic sense of personal entitlement.

I’m not sure how well I defended Hillary, but it was a tough job and someone had to do it. No doubt James Spader portraying Alan Shore on Boston Legal would have done better. But that is fiction and I have been dealing with the reality that the Hillary who could have been a good president has long since been subsumed by political calculation, blind ambition, and the belief that she was entitled to be president. As Americans have learned to our dismay being the best presidential candidate has little to do with becoming the president. Shame on us.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fox News: The New Comedy Network

Today, Fox News became the new comedy network for America, and probably for the world. While being interviewed by Bill Hemmer, Liz Trotter was heartily driving one more stake into the alleged "Queen of the Vampires," Hillary Clinton, for her ill chosen remark about staying in the election because of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, when Liz got Osama and Obama mixed up and decided to kill them both. I only wish I was making this up. This wouldn't make it past the Saturday Night Live censors. In a five second burst of irony she had put her foot so far in her mouth that the foot was in the middle of her stomach. Gee, wasn't this what she was skewering Hillary Clinton for, the ill chosen use of words. Of course, Hillary's was more premeditated, while Liz's was just your ordinary so-called Freudian slip of the tongue. Based on this, I wouldn't want to be somebody that Liz Trotter didn't like.

Realizing what she had done, Liz sort of giggled it off. Sure, that's pretty funny, mix up Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama, lump them together, and decide to "rub" them both out. Hemmer chuckled, and then said, "Tell us what you really think." That makes it two people who thought it was funny. I shouldn't underestimate the other Fox conservative shills in their ability to make light of this situation. Of course, they will continue to pillory Hillary as a warm-up to telling us why Barack Obama is a threat to the American way of life and our democracy as we know it. Wouldn't it be easier if Fox News called itself the Republican Conservative News Network? Ah, it couldn't do that, because then it wouldn't be able to slip in the odd comedic moment. And this certainly was an "odd" comedic moment.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain and His Merry Men

Unlike the fictional Robin Hood of yore, Senator McCain intends to continue the tradition started by President Bush, of making the rich richer. While no one has accused the Republican Party of stealing from the poor to give to the rich, neither has anyone ever accused the Republican Party of taking anything from the rich and giving it to the poor. Even though he initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, Senator McCain now supports them. This will certainly help Senator McCain in his efforts to reach out to the working men and women of America who can barely make ends meet and don't have adequate health insurance or any health insurance at all. No doubt he can explain this in the 500 words or more.

Robin Hood, as depicted by Hollywood, wore green tights and hung out with a band of "Merry Men." An actor by the name of Errol Flynn, set the standard for portraying Robin Hood in the movies, and also set other standards with women of all ages. Excuse me, back to the Republican Party. It is against conservative Republican principles for men to wear green tights, and you hardly ever see a group of high-ranking Republicans with their arms around each other with smiling faces. Perhaps if we could get a group shot of them on a visit to Guantánamo we could see them in a more festive mood. Cheap shot? Hardly! Those that live by the sword tend to get skewered by the sword.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seantor Clinton Wins Kentucky and Karlrovia

Senator Clinton easily won the primaries in the states of Kentucky and Karlovia. The win in Kentucky was widely expected, but the win in Karlrovia was a relatively new development. Karlrovia, not one of the 50 states or ancilliary voting areas such as Guam and Washington D.C., was recently added as an ad-hoc state by the conservative wing of the Republican party. Karlrovia is a permanent state of confusion caused by listening to Karl Rove for more than 15 seconds.

Recently, Mr. Rove allegedly released secret polling data showing Senator Clinton to be a stronger candidate the Senator Obama. Mr. Rove's intention was to cause chaos and confusion in the Democratic party by giving Senator Clinton a reason to fight for the nomination even after Senator Obama had more than enough delegates to clinch the nomination. The only persons fooled by this charade were Mr. Rove, his pet poodle ZsaZsa, and a few odd conservative Republicans. Mr. Rove's credability took a swan dive after leading the Republican party to disastrous losses in the 2006 elections. Senator Clinton's victory in Karlrovia gives her permanent possession of the American Idol's "You picked the wrong song" trophy. When asked about this honor, Senator Clinton said she would be donating the trophy to Smithsonian Institution for their permanent Mad Magazine Collection.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Senator McCain's Memory Problems?

Senator McCain is exposed uttering an unending stream of contradictions/misstatements in a recently released video on Youtube. For example, in a brief video he makes a statement that it is safe enough in Baghdad to walk on the streets unprotected. Immediately thereafter, another piece of video footage shows Senator McCain wearing a flak jacket and surrounded by soldiers. He goes on to say that General Petreaus goes out every day in an unarmed vehicle. The next piece of video shows him being contradicted in that the general of course goes out in a heavily armored vehicle. Senator McCain's response is hopeless. The video goes on ad nauseam.

It would be kind to portray these instances as memory problems, and in a sense one hopes they are. Because if they are not, then the senator does not say what he means or mean what he says. If they are memory problems, serious questions are raised about his ability to manage his own finances, let alone be President of the United States. My grandmothers had a succinct expression for a situation like this. It consisted of the words "Oy gevalt.” What more can I say? Better yet, what will the Republicans say?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

President Bush's History of Appeasement

A number of people have sought out this post likely because of its title. What follows is a satirical/sardonic commentary on the president's inappropriate and offensive use of the term appeasement.

President Bush's use of the term appeasement marked the official beginning of the cage fight for the next presidential election. Throw out the Marquis of Queensberry rules and let no quarter be asked or given. Of course, the president didn't mention Senator Obama by name, but anyone with a half a brain, including the ultra right conservative radio talk show hosts, knew who he meant. Before going any further, it is imperative to understand what appeasement is.

Appeasement is not talking to a terrorist or someone who may not have your best interests at heart, but rather involves some overt act of giving them something in an effort to mollify their aggressive/hostile intentions. Chris Matthews gave a hard history lesson to Kevin James who was so thick skulled he failed to understand how utterly foolish he had been in not knowing what the term appeasement meant. The president didn't define what appeasement meant. Surely he knows the difference. One hopes.

Using the looser definition of appeasement, which probably fits the needs of the Republican Party, President Bush stands out as one who has a history of being an appeaser. Am I kidding? The record speaks for itself.

After the Democrats won control of the Congress thanks to the president’s bungling policies in Iraq and elsewhere, the entire nation saw him meet time and again with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Hasn't Nancy Pelosi terrorized the Republican Party for years? If meeting with a terrorist is appeasement, then the president was guilty, guilty, guilty. Of course the president being the guileful politician he is, Speaker Pelosi walked away with little more than a handshake.

Another instance of the president's meeting with a terrorist were his interviews with Barbara Walters. Anyone who has seen Ms. Walters’s interviews with people over the years had to notice that the majority of people she has interviewed ended up in tears at one point or another during the interview. Clearly this is an act of emotional terrorism and for the president to meet with her is to meet with a terrorist. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Lastly, and most egregiously, on May 8, 2008 President Bush met with the players of the New York Giants defense. These defensive warriors had repeatedly terrorized Tom Brady of the New England Patriots in snatching away the Super Bowl championship in February. Again, guilty, guilty, guilty.

Before casting the first stone, the president should have been more mindful of his own actions.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mercedes, BMW's, and Lexus are in My Parking Places.

On a recent shopping trip to Target, I had to squeeze my Toyota Corolla between two large Mercedes-Benz sedans. There was barely enough room and I certainly didn't want to cause any scratches on someone else's luxury toy. I idly wondered if the owners of these expensive cars had come to Target out of convenience, or because they were trying to save a few shekels like I was. Not a big deal. However, last week when my partner and I went to Wal-Mart, the parking lot was nearly full. I was somewhat astonished to find Mercedes, BMW's, and a variety of other luxury cars competing for the limited number of parking places. Its one thing to fight with these luxury cars for parking places at Target, it's quite another to have to do so at Wal-Mart. I don't like going shopping at Wal-Mart. Who does? How can you like shopping in a huge box? You go there only to save money. Are these rich people so desperate they need to go to Wal-Mart? Or maybe they aren't rich anymore, now that the value of their starter mansions has depreciated by over 20% and they have negative equity in their homes. That's their problem, not mine. In the future I would appreciate if these people shopped at stores more appropriate for their style of luxury vehicle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Senator Clinton Overwhelms Senator Obama

In a crucial game in West Virginia, Senator Clinton badly defeated Senator Obama by a score of 66 to 27. Despite Obama's previous basketball experience, he was no match for Clinton on this night. Senator Clinton hit five three pointers and continually drove by Senator Obama for lay-up after lay-up. Senator Clinton was just as dominating on the defensive end where she continually put physical pressure on Senator Obama and prevented him from going around her for any lay-ups. Former West Virginia high school basketball coach "Munch Murdoch" said that "Hillary clearly intimidated Barack tonight." At six foot five and 350 pounds, Coach Murdoch surely knows the meaning of physical intimidation. Senator Clinton declined to be hoisted on Coach Murdoch's shoulder and do a victory lap after the game.

Statements by Senator Obama that the game really didn't count gave some credence to Senator Clinton's remarks about Senator Obama's ability to handle the pressure of the big-time game. Senator Clinton went on to say that she expects to compete in the same manner in the general election in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other key industrial basketball states. There were allegedly some remarks from Obama supporters that Senator Clinton had run up the score. On that count, this reporter says, "If you can't take the heat don't play one-on-one." Senator Obama's favored to win in Oregon, but Senator Clinton says that she will fight each game until the tournament is over.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

President Bush’s Secret Election Surprise*

Americans are gearing up for a bitter campaign between Senator Obama and Senator McCain to decide who will become the next president of the United States on November 4th. Right? Wrong!

Within the last 24 hours my secret operative Yusef Ben Schwartz, the only Islamic-Jewish resident of Georgetown, placed into my hands a secret plan to extend the presidency of George W. Bush. The plan is bold in its audacity and changes the history of America forever. On October 23rd, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike McMullen will announce that five Iranian gunboats attacked the US fleet in the Strait of Hormuz by firing torpedoes on two frigates. He will further state that the frigates returned fire and destroyed all the gunboats. Simultaneously, President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice will declare that a state of war exists between the United States and Iran.

An emergency meeting at the United Nations will be called on October 26th in an effort to head off a war between Iran and the United States and will prove unsuccessful. Both nations will give each other 24 hours to apologize for its warlike actions. On October 28th Iran will launch missiles at the US fleet and at Israel. The United States Navy will intercept the missiles but one of the nuclear missiles will land in the Negev in Israel. Israeli missiles will strike several military targets in Iran as will several dozen US cruise missiles. Pillars of smoke will be visible for over 100 miles.

As a result of these actions the price of oil will soar to over $500 a barrel and create an economic crisis within the United States. On October 28th, President Bush will go to Congress and ask for a formal declaration of war upon Iran and for emergency war powers to enable the administration to deal with the economic crisis at home and the military crisis abroad.

On October 31st, President Bush will unilaterally implement the American Patriot Act which will give the FBI the authority to arrest any protesters and all persons of Islamic descent. Senators Obama and Reid. and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, will all be taken into protective custody. All Americans will be required to obtain national identification cards and special gas rationing coupons will be issued to all citizens. Because of the dire nature of the situation President Bush will suspend the November elections and extend his term of office for another two years. Dick Cheney will resign as Vice President of the United States, and assume the newly created post of Secretary of National Survival.

Scary thought isn't it.

*a fantasy

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hillary's Last Stand

You’re circling the wagons for one last stand.
It's a grand gesture but it just won't work.
There are too many out there saying quit, quit, quit.
Some old enemies are saying it with glee.
Others in the party say it's time to concede,
because Obama’s the candidate to run in the fall.
You've worked long and hard but you didn't succeed.
You know in your heart you can beat that Republican hack.
You were supposed to be president, it says so right here.
But the Grinch can steal more than just Christmas.
If Obama loses you could run next time.
But can your body and soul take one more such a grind?
Maybe Vice President wouldn't be so bad.
But Michelle won't have you, and Nancy just cringes.
You can still be senator and wield much power.
Think of the Bush-ites to torture and mangle.
They'll be hearings aplenty about his scandalous regime.
An indictment or two would cheer you up.
Maybe the future just isn't so bad.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is There Any Justice on the Supreme Court?

Recently, I participated in a discussion on Ann Althouse’s blog regarding Senator McCain and his attitudes or beliefs regarding the choice of justices for the Supreme Court. One of the issues addressed was that of judicial activism, which is a no-no for conservatives. Actually, judicial activism is being practiced with ardent fervor on the Supreme Court by the conservative justices who mask it under the rubric of "strict interpretation of the Constitution." Does anybody really believe that the founding fathers (pardon me ladies) had so much foresight that they were able to write a document over 200 years ago that would take into account all the changes that would occur in the centuries to come. Would someone please pass me an automatic weapon while I peruse the right to bear arms amendment?

Of course not. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe the Constitution has been amended a time or two. One of the amendments had something to do with ending slavery. If the founding fathers were all knowing that would have been an odd thing to omit. Actually they were very shrewd and the Constitution was drawn up in an atmosphere of political compromise after the Articles of Confederation failed. Slavery was allowed in the Constitution because men like Jefferson and Madison were from Virginia and the other southern states would have never countenanced a Constitution that prohibited slavery. The 18th amendment made it illegal to produce and consume alcohol. This was constitutional and judicial activism of the worst kind. Odd that the founding fathers didn't address that issue in the first place, given that much of the Constitution was probably formulated in ale houses.

The Supreme Court needs above all to consider the importance of justice for all the men and women and children of this country. Recent Supreme Court decisions advocated by the conservative justices have given much support to the revival of the death penalty. I am not going to argue for or against the death penalty. Rather I raise the question as to how can the death penalty be constitutional when a disproportionate percentage of the people who are executed are poor and the disproportionate percentage of executed persons are black. How can justice be served when we execute developmentally disabled people who cannot conceivably comprehend the nature of what they did? How can justice be served when prisoners waiting to be executed could be exonerated by new DNA evidence but no one is standing up for them? Didn't I just say I wasn't going to argue against the death penalty? I'm arguing against the way it has been and continues to be instituted.

No member of the Supreme Court can ever think that he or she is free of the personal beliefs and biases and the experiences which have shaped them. Can Justice Scalia ever render a strict legal opinion that is totally independent of his Catholicism? Can Justice Ginsburg ever be expected to forget the Holocaust? What is the impact of Justice Thomas’s perpetual anger, as evidenced in his television interview, on the decisions he renders? The real issue is not whether or not there is judicial activism. The issue is under what circumstances it occurs and to what degree is it open for all the people to see. Justice might be blind, but it is horribly offensive that it be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Fire away if you disagree, but please remember this is a brief post on this issue, not a full treatise/book. "Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ariana Huffington's Journalistic Role Confusion

On May 5, 2008, Ariana Huffington posted an article, "What John McCain Told Me, and What It Says about How Far He's Fallen." In the post Ms. Huffington lists a number of extremely embarrassing and quite damaging statements that John McCain allegedly made to her. She says that he told her that he didn't vote for George Bush in 2000, and that he even talked about being John Kerry's running mate in 2004. Egad! Senator McCain staff naturally rebutted these remarks and in effect said that one needed to consider the source of them. Of course, Ms. Huffington replied in a similar manner. The war of words between Ms. Huffington and Senator McCain’s staff went even further. Earlier today, Mickey Kaus of Slate quoted McCain aide Mark Salter as calling Huffington "a flake, and a poser, and an attention seeking diva." Forget the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, or even the presidential election, here is the real news story.

The confusion I refer to in the heading of this post is that Ms. Huffington is supposed to report the news, not be the news. But then again, one wonders whether Ms. Huffington is a "reporter" or a "celebrity." To call her a "flake" is possibly carrying things a bit too far. Aside from Senator McCain's apparently poor judgment in confiding critical issues to Ms. Huffington, the question remains as to how Ms. Huffington sees her role in the midst of this political chaos. She seems intent on wrecking as much havoc as possible on Senator McCain's campaign for presidency. This alone would not disqualify her from being a journalist. Maureen Dowd, of the New York Times, has been continually sticking a verbal pitchfork into Senator Clinton . It appears that Ms. Huffington needs the spotlight shining on her so that the people of this country can see the vital role she is playing in safeguarding their future.

So as the campaign to become the president of the United States chugs along three things have become evident: Senator Obama has Reverend Wright hanging around his neck like a Gila monster; Senator McCain has Ariana Huffington carpet bombing his campaign; and Senator Clinton has a whole host of people who intensely dislike her, urging her to quit, with the esteemed columnist from the New York Times running at, or near, the front of the pack.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Banking on Wal-Mart

In business, it is not unusual for one company's problems to become another company’s opportunity. A recent article by the Associated Press indicated that more affluent customers are shopping at Wal-Mart as a result of the recession that is not yet a recession. The article also states that Wal-Mart is in a position to keep these customers when the economy improves. Well isn't that splendid. The nation's largest retailer is going to get even bigger. The biggest boot in American retailing is going to be stomping on more competitors so that you and I can survive a recession that was brought on by the greed of bankers, mortgage brokers, a whole host of other financial institutions, and individuals who either didn't read the fine print, or decided that they needed a house bigger than their paycheck could afford.

Wal-Mart is trying to get into the banking business, but so far has not been able to get legislation passed to enable it to do so. Wow, wouldn't that be something. If such legislation gets passed there go the neighborhood banks. But not to worry. Wal-Mart is seeking to take care of our every need. It has opened limited scope health clinics and has vision centers. Prenatal clinics, senior centers, and a host of other health and social services are likely soon to be added. The plans seems self-evident, Wal-Mart intends to take care of us from cradle to grave. George Orwell was right, but I don't think he imagined big business taking care of every aspect of our lives.

Wal-Mart is not the only business finding an opportunity in the current economic crisis. J.P. Morgan & Co. went shopping on Wall Street one day and managed to buy Bear Stearns at the bargain price of two dollars a share. (Later this price was raised to $10 a share). This was one hell of a great example of waiting for something to go on sale. Not only did J.P. Morgan get this fabulous sale price, but the federal government provided a $30 billion guarantee to J.P. Morgan for its self sacrificing behavior. It's always good to know that the federal government is watching out for the little people in this country and letting the market forces of the economy determine what happens to big business. The federal government has made over $100 billion available to large financial institutions to avoid an economic catastrophe. While this was necessary to prevent economic chaos, it would have been nice for these large financial institutions had more appropriate risk management controls in the first place.