Friday, November 03, 2006


I held off posting a couple of days to avoid simply venting my outrage at the recent flap over a botched turn of phrase from John Kerry which the GOP, Fox News and every other media news venue (including, shamefully, NPR) spun endlessly this past week. At least when the same tactics were applied against Howard Dean, he was fucking running for office.

Hearing the ceaseless sound bytes of none other than churlish Dick Cheney savoring Kerry's faux pas, after all the blatant lies, misstatements, and outright bullshit he, Rumsfeld, Rice, Snow and Bush (who should be pilloried daily by the press for his ongoing inability to string two coherent words together) on every news venue in the US just goes to show how completely "the media" is in the GOP's pocket, and what a complete lie the "liberal media" myth really is. If that were so, Bush's verbal gymnastics would be daily fodder for ridicule, quite deservedly so. Last week, it was painfully made clear anew via Bush's own stumble-bum rhetoric that he has no idea what the difference between "strategy" and "tactic" might be -- unsurprising from the President who declared open war on a tactic (shame on the US and the rest of the world for even accepting "The War on Terror" as anything grounded in proper English, much less a fundamental grasp of reality).

The desperation is palpable from the Republicans, but what's really fascinating is the corporate media's fumbling coverage of the issues in every arena: the transparency of their own self-interests is betraying some curious divisions and conflicts. It's getting tougher to buy for a nanosecond into Bush's "them Dems are going to raise your taxes!" when it's increasingly evident, day by day, that whoever is in the White House after these jackals cut and run will be paying dearly for Bush's irresponsible, American-economy-depleting abuses (note, for instance, that even as Bush bullishly pushes this line of shit on the campaign trail, his own policies since 2001 ensure that Americans earning $75,000-$500,000 per year will enjoy raised income taxes starting next year, thanks to the alternative minimum tax laws and Bush's championing new tax cuts for the rich while failing to address the consequences of those cuts; Congress failed to address the necessary revamp of alternative tax issues, too).

The race against time isn't just this coming week's election -- it's Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice et al racing to stay ahead of any consequences for their policies, actions and inactions, hot to accomplish their goals (stated and unstated) before it's time to truly pay the piper for the tax cuts Bush still insists should be made permanent... not to mention the unprovoked pre-emptive war(s), the complete squandering of the budget surplus and ever-mounting deficit, shirking any culpability for the lack of any concerted effort to address the devastation of the Gulf Coast in Katrina's wake, ignoring Korea, Durfur, Global Warming, and other international issues completely, etc. etc. etc..

The toll is steadily rising.

The strategy: leave that hotseat for the next President and administration, and bully them from the sidelines; how long with the American public fall for this shell game?

Ramping up the verbal beatings of whipping horse "candidates" who aren't even candidates (in this case Kerry, a neat companion to the cheapshot end-of-summer attacks on Clinton) and endless homophobia (the 21st Century racism of choice for this pack of dogs and those Americans stupid enough to play along) may be playing in some sectors, but it sure looks like flopsweat to me.
  • As if the whole Foley/Hastert brohaha in't enough, this just surfaced minutes ago (as of my 7 AM posting),
  • adding to the ongoing splitting-at-the-seams fear-based GOP election week mania.

    If you vote based on the Republicans's ongoing fear-mongering, well -- what can I say. Remember Katrina, October's record body count of US GIs in Iraq, and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan (The War That Bush Forgot!), and tell me we're safer and the War is going well.

    Whatever you do, though, however you vote -- VOTE.


    Blogger Marky Mark said...

    Who did you say is ongoing fear-mongering?

    You're funny! Gotta luv ya!

    Hey, I came by here to tell you I got a big pile of old Comics Journals. Maybe some you are looking for in there. You can have the whole pile. I'll be sure and bring them up before you move! Add it to the pile!

    Anonymous Mark Williams said...

    Voted absentee in Vermont,(I'm on vacation next week in Philadelphia).

    Did my part to try to upset the Republicans! ;)


    Anonymous sam kujava said...

    I went to Green Bay City Hall last week to obtain an absentee
    ballot for son Lee, who is attending college at UW/Madison.
    I noticed with surprise a number of people, young and old, filling
    out their own absentee ballots.
    I've never had any problem making
    it to my local polling place to cast my votes in person, but filling out absentee ballots seems
    to be growing in popularity nationwide. Ironically, when I go
    to vote on Tuesday, I will be filling out...a paper ballot. It
    goes through a machine afterwords
    to be counted, but the volunteers
    maintain their own counting records, so that at the end of the
    day, all the votes are counted and
    add up properly.
    I'm also proud to say that Lynn and I have raised our family to
    take their voting rights as an
    important responsibility. When I
    hear someone loudly griping in
    public about politics, I ask if
    they vote. If they don't, I move
    away. They still have a right to
    complain...but I don't have to
    hear about it! My right...

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    surpisee surprisee moving ... congradulations.. good luck same place for half my life....whoa... manly man trip coming up the 2nd. weekend of dec... see ya ? yesdearb..

    Blogger Rob Walton said...

    I think this mid-term election will tell the tale on vote fraud. If the Republicans hold the senate and House you can bet there's hanky-panky. Remember 2002 when all those Republicans were slated to loose in every pre-election poll then all won? Read Greg Palast on his breakdown of how the Republicans stole the last two presidential elections and how they can steal the next. He has a long chapter in "Armed Madhouse" on the subject. Also find the documentary "Unprecidented". It will shock and appall you and make you want to vote like mad.

    Best of luck to all. The world is watching.

    Rob Walton

    Blogger David E. Talvoces said...

    The October Body Count in Iraq is a pathetically small number. It was equalled within seconds during D-Day and the total death toll for all Coallition forces in 5 years of Iraq was 1/3 of the death toll of the first day of the Battle of Normandy. John Kerry's flub is just as news worthy as any other slip of tongue that the President has made over his term in office, but what astounded me was his lack of apology. In his initial statement Kerry said that it was a "botched joke" that the soldiers "knew what he meant" and that they weren't "offended." He was right only on one count, it was a botched joke (and not a good joke to start) but the soldiers did not know what he meant and they were most certainly offended. I have a wonderful image of a group of soldiers who knows a friend of mine who sent a photo back from Iraq that reads "HALP US JAHN CARRY! WEER STUK IN IRAK!" The least the man could do is provide a decent apology.

    Frankly the media did slightly over react, but no more than they did when they called Mark Foley a pedophile. Even if he had sex with a page it would have been legal since all the pages are over the age of conscent in DC (which is 16). It is still morally irreprehensible, but it is not pedophilia and to us such a loaded word shows political malice and motivation.

    I could continue to poke holes in a large number of your points. First the majority of the democrats being reelected voted for the war right along with Bush. Secondly the tax cuts stimulated an economic growth beyond all democratic expectations. Thirdly, the UN is just as culpable as the US in ignoring Durfur, Korea, and other issues, and these same issues were not addressed when Clinton was in office and Kerry never claimed he would address the issues had he won in 2004.

    Regardless, I will vote this November because I always vote. And I won't let the Democrats' fear mongering or the fear mongering of internet bloggers who keep telling me that voting Republican will be the end of the world and freedom affect my vote. I won't give into that.

    Blogger HemlockMan said...

    Ah the RubliKlansman raises his hoary head. Oy.

    They're going to rig it again. My prediction is that the RepubliKKKans will actually add seats in both House and Senate, somehow "confounding" the best predictions of those in the know.

    It'll take violent revolution to return us to the democracy that we allowed the scum to destroy in 2000. We get what we bloody well deserve.

    Anonymous sam kujava said...

    The reason that the Republicans
    would win on Tuesday is that they
    received more votes than the Democrats.
    Political dirty tricks and stolen
    votes are not the province of one
    party. The mudslinging this election has been pretty equally
    flung from both directions.
    The real shame, in my opinion, is
    that the vast majority of eligible
    voters will STAY HOME on Tuesday,
    leaving 15 or 20% of us who go to
    the polls deciding the election
    I don't agree that we get what we
    deserve. But we reap what we sow. There won't be any kind
    of revolution while most of America lives in a state of apathy.

    Blogger Rob Walton said...

    I repeat: Greg Palst has spent the last six years documenting the stolen elections for the BBC. He presents the findings in his new book "Armed Madhouse." It's not about how many people vote, it's about how many votes are counted and whose votes are counted and why. We all know that no one party has a monopoly on virtue, and you only have to ask Nixon about whether or not the Democrats ever stole an election, so it's important that we educate ourselves on how election fraud takes place so neither party can get away with it. What's happening now is the legality with which your elections are being rigged through faulty and outdated voting machines and "caging" lists. What you should be concerned about is not the mud-slinging, or the holier-than-thou-pronouncements and fear-mongering on all sides, it's whether or not if you go to the polls your vote is even going to get counted. It's whether or not the democratic process of voting is even legitimate in the United States any more. Who gets elected is not as important as how they're getting elected. This demands serious reflection. We can no longer afford to be ignorant. The Republicans lost both the 2000 and 2004 elections. Yet they're in the White House. And nobody is saying a damn thing when even the new york times and washington post know it to be true because they recounted the votes and buried the story. That should be cause for grave concern. Forget Iraq and the economy or whether or not George Bush had advance warnings of terrorist attacks. Concentrate on making sure the government the people actually vote for gets elected be they Republican or Democrat.

    Blogger SRBissette said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Blogger SRBissette said...

    David E --

    I'll do my best to remain civil and not attack you in my response to your post. You've clearly adopted many of the GOP's talking points as your own, though I wonder if you can back up your claims.

    The latest GOP and rightwing body count "arguments" (fueled in part by FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS being in theaters, despite it's low boxoffice earnings), it's been the latest comeback of the season. What utter nonsense. More died at Hiroshima, too, in a nanosecond; whatever the mortality rate, it's too many dying over an unprovoked, unnecessary war -- and the wounded numbers (not to mention psychological trauma on both sides of the conflict) are completely uncounted, my friend.

    In the context of my post, I was noting what all sources have cited as the worst mortality month for US military serving in Iraq since January of 2005. The right's defensive body count argument (including the recent dismissal of the estimated 650,000 Iraqi dead estimate) only demonstrates the paucity of reason, callous disregard for life, and just how impoverished the national debate (not to mention conscience) truly is over our willfully launching this preemptive, completely unjustified and unjustifiable war.

    Comparisons of the Iraq War to World War 2 are completely skewed and morally reprehensible. There's no comparison at all to be made, not with any basis in history or reality -- if WW2 is the yardstick, the generals who supervised the US and Allied forces throughout WW2 would have stomped the living shit out of Rumsfeld long ago. (You want an apology from Kerry? How about Rumsfeld apologizing for his statements of the past months, including refuting any responsibility for his failed strategies and blaming the ground forces for the failure of his botched policies and strategies?)

    If 9/11 were the 21st Century's Pearl Harbor, as the GOP and right loves to caricature 2001's national tragedy, we'd have torn into Saudi Arabia, not a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11 -- if you're only believing what Bush himself says, note he himself admitted as much (quite impatiently) earlier this summer at one of his press conferences.

    The most telling aspect of the WW2 analogies is how transparent it renders one of the unspoken reasons behind the Bush administration's waging war: the craving for a return to the Victory Culture we celebrated post WW2. Whether you subscribe to the War on Terror (a nonsensical declaration of war on -- a tactic, that of the disenfranchised and those sans country or centralized gov't) or the Iraq War as the war of note -- since the US seems to have handily dropped the hot potatoe of our first war of the Bush presidency, the War in Afghanistan -- neither has any rationally defined point of "victory," and in fact it would seem both are, by definition, the kind of wars in which it is impossible to achieve any form of victory. This is not defeatist resignation: how, David, does one "defeat" terrorism as a tactic? There's no definable entity to wage war against, much less proclaim victory over. How does one define victory in Iraq? Saddam has just been sentenced to death by hanging, but Iraq plunges deeper in chaos and civil war every day, a war our very presence aggravates -- and which Rumsfeld has never had any handle on, and clearly has no strategy for dealing with, much less (ahem) "victory."

    We've had our asses handed to us every war since WW2, and we're now entrapped in an unwinnable war -- by definition, a war against a tactic is unwinnable -- that may be the most dangerous our nation has ever engaged in. To have fomented this unwinnable crisis sans any justification (not one reason this President and Administration has given for attacking Iraq has held a drop of water) removes us, as a nation, from the side of justice, or right, or victory, or God. We have erred terribly, and those who cheered this war on before its launch are truly delusional souls; those who continue to believe "victory" is even vaguely possible are even more delusional.

    Say what you will about Kerry and his statement; he isn't a candidate in this election, isn't running, and the desperation with which the Republicans seized on his misstatement was pathetic. Rumsfeld and members of Bush's cabinet and the GOP have said far, far worse this very fall amid their feeble defenses of their failed militaristic policies; why aren't you demanding their apologies?

    You're the only one on this blog aligning Foley with pedophilia thus far, David. I cited this as a gay rights issue, and an obvious clash between the strident Republican homophobic rhetoric and reality (from within their own ranks).

    The core hypocrisy between the rampant homophobia the right uses to ramp up its Bible-thumping homophobic base, and the reality of the lives of some of its key public figures (Foley last month, Rev. Ted Haggard this week), is the issue at hand. The conflation of homosexuality and pedophilia is, in fact, something I first saw Fox News indulging in the day the Foley scandel broke: a neat diversionary tactic (that clearly worked for/on you, at least). This is beneath any reason to even engage in the discussion on the level the right chooses to indulge; its diversionary at best, and offensive at worst. Frankly, I don't get it; unless you're dreading a Foley or Haggard popping into your home and raping you in your home, what's to be afraid of? Homosexuality is a reality, not a life choice per se, and the past six years have only emphasized the civil rights element, as the courts repeatedly confirm (there's nothing "activist" about the legal entities arriving at that sobering realization).

    Scapegoating gays and pathologically targetting gay rights is another pathetic characteristic of the right's own aggressive rhetoric, and that's the truly "morally irreprehensible" [sic] aspect of all this.

    "I could continue to poke holes in a large number of your points," to borrow another of your turns of phrase:

    * The votes Democrats and Republicans have on record post-9/11 have been increasingly distorted, those who voted to give the President the power to deal with the 9/11 attack most certainly did not give Bush a blank check to carry on as he and his administration has, nor was it a blanket sanction of war (nor does Bush "vote" with that body).

    * The tax cuts are hardly stimulating economic growth, and will in fact create for the upper middle class the very tax hike the Republicans are already preemptively blaming Democrats for. To make the necessary adjustments to the alternative minimum tax laws required by Bush's tax cuts would reportedly result in over $800 billion in tax revenue being lost in the coming decade, ravaging the federal budget and revealing "how utterly unaffordable the tax cuts of the last five years really are" (The New York Times, "Future Tax Shock," Oct. 29, 2006, Week in Review, pg. 11). Congress has been passing temporary stopgap relief measures to cover this hole in the Bush tax "plan," with the latest set to expire in two months; nevertheless, even with these temp patches in place, upper middle class Americans are being nailed as the tax revenue (sorely needed to deal with this utterly irresponsible President and Administration's policies and lunatic spending binges -- there's a war on, remember, David?) dwindles, requiring increased borrowing by the Federal government.

    In short, the steadily mounting national debt Bush and his cronies have racked up, the heavy interest due on the loans they've incurred to cover that debt (putting our national future in the hands of our foreign debt-owners, like China -- how's that fit with the right's xenophobic fears?), the unbalanced tax cuts resulting in fewer tax revenues to offset this mounting debt -- it's a recipe for disaster, David, making future tax increases AND profound, deep budget cuts a sure thing in the very near future.

    Bush and his White House cronies continue to stall and act like nothing's wrong, preemptively blaming whoever is next in line in the White House for the pricetag for the fiscal disaster Bush and his cronies have made inevitable (tax cuts + massive, historically unprecedented gov't debt + loans + interest = fiscal disaster).

    You can reiterate the GOP and Fox News talking points all you care to, David, but don't expect it to disguise the increasingly grim reality of our national situation.

    For most Americans, the economy has NOT been kind over the past five years. The escalating cost of living, lack of any commeasurate increase in income (despite measurable increases in productivity and demanded longer hours at most workplaces, often sans compensation), ongoing outsourcing of jobs and staggering corporate layoffs and abandonment of once-solid employment venues, steady undermining of an incrasingly shaky free-market health care system unaffordable to millions of hard-working Americans and fleecing and/or abandonment of (earned) retirement savings and plans is taking a terrible toll economically. On the other hand, record profits among the major oil corporations and a new Gilded Age among America's top 5% wealthiest clearly indicates a gross imbalance of income.

    The shellgame of lower gas prices to rev up this election is already over: this morning, it was announced the "oil glut" that fueled (pun intended) the lower gas pump prices of the last two months is over, and prices will climb again.

    Tomorrow is election day. Go ahead, those of you who posted here saying this was entirely coincidental -- tell me again that there's no correlation.

    * "Thirdly" (to borrow another of your wordings), the UN didn't precipitate the North Korean crisis, Bush and his cabinet has -- by refusing to engage in any form of diplomacy for five years, by blatantly demonizing selected countries via "the Axis of Evil" speech, by fomenting war against countries blameless in the 9/11 attack (Iraq primary among them), by racheting up the global crisis level via waging unnecessary war(s) and by escalating the nuclear arms race back up to Cold War levels. The demonization of the UN is part and parcel of all this spin, especially given the US's handy refuting of UN policy when it doesn't suit US policies, and appealing to or chiding the UN when the US gets in over its head.

    The UN may be and may not be many things, but the right's lunatic caricature of the UN continues to rage over a mischaracterization of what the UN can do, has done, or was designed to do.

    * Clinton maintained a level of foreign diplomacy during his years in office that stands as a role model compared to the bullying, browbeating and waging of war Bush and his administration have indulged sans imagination, culpability or any sense of diplomacy.

    * Why even mention what Kerry did or didn't "claim he would address" during the presidential campaign of 2004: Bush explicitly throughout his 2000 campiagn that he was against nation-building or waging war, and refused to discuss any strategy save "stay the course" during his 2004 campaign; remember, please, 9/11 had nothing to do with what he and his administration subsequently did -- it was a group of Saudis with boxcutters who turned those planes into weapons, and Iraq and Saddam Hussein had NO link with Al Queda.

    I'm glad you're voting, David.

    Vote as you see fit.

    But you've neither "poked holes in a large number of [my] points" nor put forth any rational argument to support your outrageous claims.

    I welcome further conversation, but urge you to think past the designated talk points and sound bytes.

    Anonymous sp said...

    Give 'em hell, buddy. I go tomorrow to vote for the first time since 1992 when I voted for Clinton, who remains in my mind the best president we've had in my lifetime, but I go with a pathetic knowledge that it really won't count. I vote against ALL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES; a simple choice of getting these nazi's out of office. They will, however, steal it, cheat it -- as they have done since Bush stole it in 2000. This administration is the most reprehensible bunch of crooks since Nixon, and even old TD seems good compared to them. I would vote any alternate party available, but this time its the dems because of the need to oust every one who calls themself a Republican. But again, I think the criminality and power they have attained is so huge and out of whack they will hack the machines that count the votes and make sure they win. I am totally cynical, and believe Hemlockman in the armed revolution thing being the only way. Yet that is an impossibility, too (Koresh, KKK, White Power groups like Stormfront) because THERE ARE 4 MILLION POLICE in this county. 4 mil.
    They will crush all who oppose anything. 4 mil is larger than most of the worlds armies.
    So, even though we vote ... let's face it. It's fairly hopless. The great surprise ... and some part of me hopes for it ... will be if there is some sort of upheaval of the republican stranglehold ... if somehow our votes do get counted. Somehow ...

    Blogger HemlockMan said...

    The RepubliKKKan plutocracy that we currently have running the show is a travesty. From their looting of our national treasure to their raping of our natural environment to the hideous scapegoating and race-baiting they employ to curry favor with the hateful and the ignorant, they are a bane on this nation. That they may very well take us all down a path to economic ruin and diplomatic disaster is a given.

    Anonymous Anonymous said...



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