Maturin42's Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Best Explanation of our Political Landscape

Go to

Bill Moyers, perhaps the last respected Journalist in America outlines what is happening in America. He lays out the connection between the awful influence of Corporate money on politics, and how the political influence bought by this money has produced the growing gap between the haves and have-nots. It should be required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the Bush administration and what the Republicans, particularly stand for. And lest you think it is only Republicans, the infection has spread to the Democrats as well, just not quite as quickly or as thoroughly.

Please read this column.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Florida Recount

Today, out running errands in preparation for our cruise to Alaska, and being in Salisbury, MD, I turned on the radio, and not liking the selections being played on NPR, I switched to AM, and there was Rush, bloviating about Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11, specifically about how Moore lies in his movie about the Florida recount in 2000. He cites conclusions by the group that commissioned a study of the ballots that were not counted in Florida that he claimed showed Bush winning by every standard. That didn't sound right to me, because of several reports that I had read. Now I have been told by unsympathetic relatives to "get over it", but gosh darn it, no matter how I try, things like Rush's lying, deceptive hogwash get me all riled up again and tear off the scab. goes back to the original data related to the uncounted vote, the undervote, the hanging and dimpled chads, and the felon lists, and demonstrates that the Miami Herald and the Media Consortium both applied some very curious spin to achieve a result for Bush that is not supported by any legitimate interpretation of the original data. Check it out and see if you can square what the data shows with what Rush said. (If you flash on the source being and say, well there you go - it's biased - just read the data and then tell me who is biased).

If you follow the link above, the information is there to make up your own mind, or at least to show where Moore gets his case. Greg Palast has also extensively documented the theft of the election.

And finally, the last item on that page is a picture. It identifies the Rethuglican mob that rioted at the Miami Canvassing board and shut down the recount. It indentifies the people involved in the "spontaneous" demonstration. What isn't said and you may not know is how they got to Florida.

They were flown to Florida in the Corporate jet belonging to Enron Corporation and Ken "Kenny-boy" Lay, George W. Bush's largest contributor. That plane was also George W. Bush's campaign plane during his unsuccessful run for the Presidency (had the vote been correctly counted).

Score - Moore 1, Rush 0

Sunday, July 11, 2004

George W's Values

George W. Bush has criticized the Democratic candidates for President on the basis that they are not aligned with the values of the American people, unlike himself and his puppeteer, Dick "**ck you" Cheney.

Let's see, George. What values would that be?

Are you talking about conservative, small government, fiscally responsibile, support the working man, non-interventionist values?

Can't be that, because you have expanded government and its ability to interfere in the lives of American citizens in the name of protecting us from shadowy "terrists", who have not made a move in this country since 2001, when you received a clear warning and went on the longest vacation in American Presidential History.

In order to finance a huge giveaway to your millionaire and billionaire buddies, you borrowed a record amount of money from our posterity, and want to make those giveaways permanent, even though your own Fed chairman warns that you endanger our economy and the health of our currency. You have supported policies that steadily export the jobs of ordinary Americans, and reassure India and China that you will do nothing to stop the steady migration of jobs their way. You have conducted the most unilateral, interventionist foreign policy in our history, breaking the long-held tradition of this country by waging a preemptive war on a weak and almost defenseless country, who were described by your Secretary of State as being "in a box". I don't see a lot of signs of those values in the way you have run your government.

Are you talking about the values of personal responsibility and integrity, respect for the truth, and equal justice?

Can't be that one either. Personal responsibility is hardly the hallmark of your group. Given the most collossal intelligence failure in American history, and a whole series of missteps that has so far cost over 1000 dead coalition soldiers and countless Iraqis dead and wounded, NOBODY HAS BEEN FIRED! In fact, all your guys have been praised as having done a superb job. George Tenent, who headed the primary intelligence agency, after leaving his job was praised as having done a "superb job". That means you endorse the "slam dunk" case he made for going to war.

Even though you thought to ask your Justice department, hey, would it be OK for me to authorize torture for our prisoners in the war on terrism? When they twisted the logic around to reach the conclusion you were looking for, and Rummy sent out word to "take the gloves off" and you transferred the General from Gitmo to Gitmo-ize the Abu Ghraib prison, and you allowed civilian contractors (who you, by executive order relieved from any accountability and placed outside the reach of any court) to conduct the interrogations of prisoners, and you placed slightly trained Guardsmen under those contractors, and then you incentivized the contractors to get more material which led to more contracts, which led to more pursuasive means, which led to more coerced information... well, you get the idea. It was just a few grunts that caused all the problems.

What would it take to get someone fired? Oh, wait. I know! Telling the truth about the deceptions and double dealings of your administration will get your butt out the door in a heartbeat. The chief Medicaid actuary was threatened with firing if he told Congress the real cost of the gigantic giveaway to pharmaceutical corporations - some of your largest financial backers - otherwise known as the Medicaid Reform bill. Paul O'Neill would surely have been fired if he had written his book about your lack of any form of policy process in the White House. In fact, an unusual volume of former "superb" players on your staff or in government have, after exposing inconvenient truths about pre-9/11, your tax cut policies, or any number of embarrassing flubs by your crowd, been publically and loudly denounced by your political hit men on Faux news and as many other outlets as you can find. I suppose that you know that a firing would probably lead to another embarrassing book.

Well, does that bring us down to religion and family values?

On this one, I have to say that you have framed the argument so that if we take you at your word, you appear to be a genuine religionist - if there is such a word. You go through the motions, attend the prayer breakfasts, pray quite openly, suck up to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, and Bob Jones University. You invoke the name of God often, but then it gets a little scary. If one of my neighbors confided in me that he was ordered by God to kill the guy two doors down, I think he would be picked up for observation and likely subjected to a psychiatric exam, at the very least. Yet when you told the Prime Minister of Israel that God told you to strike Afghanistan, and you did, and then he told you to go after Sadaam, and you struck him, nobody much batted an eye. It was not widely reported in the press.

Then there was the matter of consultation with end-days experts before forming the policy of the U. S. toward Israel. Elliot Abrams assured you, after checking, that Gaza had no biblical significance, so sacrifice of that strip of land would not have to be undone before the rapture. The fact that you believe that end times are approaching is also alleged to have helped form your environmental policies and accounts for your lack of heed to the rate at which we are using up the earth's natural resources - particularly oil. We won't need it!

To me, that is just scary. I don't have any issues with people in Government having a personal faith. It is a little comforting to me to have them at least acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, or even Buddha, or even Mohammad, as long as it is tempered by at least retaining touch with and a secular understanding of the world we live in. I would want their experience to be wide and deep, which I understand yours is not. When the President of all the people of America starts talking about receiving instructions from God directly and personally, I want them to undergo a medical and psychiatric workup, at the very least, since they hold the trigger for Armageddon - literally.

I won't speak for Jesus, but I really doubt that he would have a) set records for the number of people executed under his watch while governor, or b) make jokes about signing a death warrant, as you did about Carla Faye Tucker on the eve of her execution. He might also have had some problems with executing mentally defective people and juveniles - unlike yourself.

You have cynically positioned yourself on the wedge issues on the side of the religious right. Marriage is defined as a union between man and woman and it says so in the bible, so you gays just sit down and shut up, and I will change the constitution if I need to to set it in concrete. If you succeed, you will be the first modern President successfully to sponsor writing discrimination INTO the Constitution. You have scoured the countryside for the most cynically neanterthal right-wingers to appoint to the judiciary. Jurists with the most bizarre understanding of the role of government and the duty of courts to protect the rights guaranteed us in the Constitution have been sought out for the Federal bench - giving you a rich field of knuckle-draggers to choose from for your next Supreme Court nominee. This is the most frightful thing about the prospects of your next term. Overturning Rowe v. Wade will just be a starter. John Ashcroft will run amok with the Patriot act with nothing to stop him. The establishment of one-party, one-viewpoint, one philosophy rule will be complete, and it will last for the next ten years. And you will do this while your hired shills of right-wing radio shriek to the heavens about "activist" liberal judges making law.

If you want to see activist judges, just wait until the Bush appointees truly dominate the Supreme Court.

These values you point to don't seem to be those of the America I know, based on the way they reflect in the actions of your administration and your party. Those that John Kerry and John Edwards talk about are more in line with what I want my country to be. You can take yours back to Texas with you when you leave in January.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Martha we hardly knew you

Martha Stewart has lost her appeal for a new trial and it appears she is to do hard time. She was very publicly prosecuted to show how tough this government is on white-collar (lace-collar?) crime. The fact that she is an outspoken Democrat might have something to do with it, I don't know. Her offenses, however, pale to insignificance in light of the curiously unpublicized financial transgressions of our misleader in chief who dumped his stock in the Harken oil company shortly before it took a huge plunge in 1990. You can read about it at .

You may ask yourself why a huge deal was made of Martha's crime (not insider trading, but lying to cover it up), when Mr. Bush has never been hauled before a court or investigative body to explain his foresight in anticipating the loss of over $800,000 of his value in a company on whose board he served, and bailing out, selling his stake to a person whose identity has not been disclosed. Martha's $47,000 looks kinda puny at this point, does it not? The fact that the future President (and the current President's son) was specifically warned that such action might trigger an insider trading charge did not deter him. Remember, he is a strong and determined leader.

Does this lack of prosecutorial zeal look a little funny to you, when you consider that the Republican Javerts in Congress pressed an investigation at a cost of $70 million taxpayer dollars of the Clintons over a land deal in Arkansas in which they lost money? The only "crime" they could come up with was a tawdry White House sexual escapade, and then only by hauling the President up and arranging for him to lie very publicly about the private matter.

If the Democrats controlled either house of Congress right now, can you imagine how different Mr. Bush's life might be?

John McCain - It's a Sad Day

This is a letter submitted to John McCain on 9 July. I knew John McCain slightly - he was a flight instructor in Beeville, Texas in 1967 when I was in advanced jet training in the Marine Corps. I have followed his career and admired him as a principled man, tempered by his horrific experiences in Vietnam.

Submitted through John McCain's Senate web site. 9 July, 2004

John, I have written you in the past, inspired by your willingness to buck the trend of the Republicans and the administration in their sellout of the American people in favor of Corporate influence and their wrong-headed march into a militaristic, imperial foreign policy.

I even urged you to consider joining John Kerry to overthrow this administration in November. Your decision not only to condone, but to support actively this corrupt administration means to me that you place politics above principle. By praising George W. Bush's "moral clarity", you have tainted your own. How you could praise the moral clarity of a cabal that attempted to destroy your reputation by excrable campaign tactics in South Carolina is beyond my ken. I have always described you as someone whose integrity was beyond reproach. You are the only one who could have destroyed that view, and you have done it, sacrificing principle for your party. This country needs your leadership and you have abdicated.

It is a sad day.

LtCol. USMC (Ret.)
Flight Student, Beeville TX, 1967

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Teddy and Chappaquiddick - Save it

In response to a forwarded message reminding me about Teddy and Chappaquiddick.

Ron, I think you and I are going to be unreconciled politically this year. Bush started out in a hole with me during the 2000 election and has gone down steadily from there, with the single exception of the invasion of Afghanistan, which I supported. Since then, the record of the administration and the congress under Republican control has been a steady and unremitted sellout of the American people to their Corporate sponsors. I am near despair because there does not seem to be anyone in Congress or the White House representing the interests of the average American, and the media - totally in the control of 6 corporations, as opposed to the 50 or so when you and I were growing up - avoids the real story of the sellout like a plague. And our two-party system has locked us into a choice between the wimpy Democrats and the totally corrupt and toxic Republicans. Wave Chappaquidick all you want, it's old news, and Ted Kennedy is actually one of the people who are trying to hold the tide of Corporate control of all aspects of our lives. I have not always thought that, but Bernie Sanders has won me over. We are living as serfs in a Corporate feudal state, courtesy of the Democratic Leadership Council and the Republican party.

Thanks to Bush, the guy who makes his living clipping coupons and cashing his dividend checks pays a lower percentage of his income as taxes than the guy who is trying to support a wife and four kids on $50k a year. That guy probably does not have health insurance, or pays a lot for it. His health care costs are higher than any other country in the world, but his next baby is more likely to die an infant in this country than in 12 or so other developed countries in the world. His job, if he has one, is likely being evaluated to be shipped overseas to China or India by the Corporation who controls it, where he will be placed in direct competition with a worker who makes $3.00 a day. His union has been busted by right-to-work laws put in place for that purpose, and he is alone against a corporation whose sole value is profit and who answers to nobody, the government having been bought out. With a few thousand campaign contributions, magically, environmental restrictions are lifted, anti-trust measures have their teeth pulled, and even corporate welfare prevents horrendous management from failing. The corporation, which used to pay about 15% of tax revenues now pays about 7%, but that is still too much, so they move their headquarters to Bermuda or the Cayman Islands, and avoid U. S. taxes altogether. Meanwhile our hero gets a job a Walmart, where he makes a fraction of his old $50k salary, has no benefits at all, and if he saves real hard, he may be able to buy cheap sneakers made in China. Our trade deficit builds exponentially, representing a direct threat to our economy. Our hero continues to pay taxes to finance wars in which his sons, but not those of the feudal lords, are at risk, and to finance the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires and more Corporate welfare. His kids go to a school where, due to No-Child-Left-Behind, he studies to pass tests, but doesn't get much of an education, thus preparing him splendidly to be propagandized by Rush, Bill O'Lielly, Ann Coulter, Niel Boortz, and Sean Hannity into voting for those who are doing this to him in the name of Patriotism and family values. All of this propaganda comes from the Heritage foundation, or right-wing think tanks like it, financed by Richard Mellon Scaife and Joseph Coors, and spewed out daily in talking points for the Southern Command and the "No-Spin Zone". And if he starts to suspect that he is voting against his own interests and for those who are making it impossible for the middle-class in America to exist, he will get Chappaquidick and "liberal bogey-men" waved in his face.

Billionaires are an expanding class in America
Millionaires are an expanding class in America
Middle-class is a shrinking class in America
Poverty is on the rise in America
Job growth is not keeping up with the number of people entering the work force
George W. Bush is on track to be the first President since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net loss of jobs in his Administration
Between them, the Bush dynasty has not created A job.
$70 million was spent by the Republicans attempting to pin something on Bill Clinton over a failed land deal and a tawdry sexual escapade - unsuccessfully.
The Bush white house has committed treason - actual treason - by spitefully outing a CIA agent, ironically who was trying to track actual Weapons of Mass Destruction, and whose husband told an inconvenient truth that embarrassed the President who lied in the State of the Union Address. The white house has stonewalled the investigation.
George W. Bush, a reputed conservative, has run up the highest deficit in American history. He is borrowing money from Kaleb to pay off his Rangers.

I could go on, but I suspect I have said more than you want to hear, and none of which you will agree with. But you knew this was a hot button for me. It is crystal clear to me that our country has been hi-jacked by neo-con zealots that bear no resemblance whatever to an actual conservative.

You are a smart guy, Ron, but if you are buying the crap the right wing is pumping out now, you need to look deeper. Liberals and progressives are our only hope. The good things in America throughout our history have been accomplished by liberals. If you can name me one thing since 2000 that has been done by the Republican party that is primarily for the American people and not for some Corporate or other special interest, you will have done what one Republican Congressman has not been able to do.

I will leave it there. Chappiquidick used to be a big deal to me, 20 years ago. He has rehabilitated himself many times over by resisting the steady erosion of the American Dream at the hands of Corporate power.
Hang in there, Teddy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

What is Holding Him Up?

What is holding George W. Bush up? He is like Wiley Coyote after he runs off a cliff. He hangs in the air a few seconds.

I have engaged in a running dialog with my siblings over the last several months, in a, so far, less than successful attempt to convince them that George W. Bush's administration, aided and abetted by the Republican majority, is dangerous to American democracy and must be removed in November. I have been totally mystified by the attitudes I have run into, which, I understand from the polls that are announced almost daily, are still shared by about half of the citizens of the U. S.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that their viewpoint has practically nothing to do with agreement with what the Bush administration has done (or not done) in the 3.5 years they have been in office, but what they believe Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld ARE. Presented with unarguable facts about the Republican assaults on our institutions, they make excuses, or attack the source (left-wing media or a disgruntled employee), but don't challenge the facts.

I believe they have created the image of Bush according to what they want to see in their leader. They ignore the reality of the man and project on him a God-fearing, earnest, brave, down-home image that is created and sustained by a carefully prepared and controlled branding campaign by the marketeers who created and sustain this Presidency.

I have repeatedly asked them, but I have yet to hear them offer any substantive defense of the current administration's actions or policies, or their many flagrant breaches of acceptable political conduct. (See 1, below, for a partial enumeration) Comebacks usually consist of slams against Democrats in general and John Kerry, in particular, expressing a general distaste for the man.

I don't know any of my siblings who would agree with or defend many of these actions or measures implemented by the administration and their Congressional allies. Yet they defend the President and his party and excuse them.

It's like the news interview of a person who, upon hearing of a neighbor who has been revealed to be a serial killer, describes him as a "nice guy".

Although the persistence of this attitude is puzzling among otherwise rational people, I believe I know one factor. When I can bring myself to listen for a 5 minute stretch (that is the absolute limit I can stand) to the daily bloviating of the right-wing talk parade of convicted or potentially convicted felons that comprise the bulk of that parade, I believe that they are the ones who have institutionalized rationalization of the indefensible and partisanship in the face of overwhelming evidence of misdeeds and lies that would have had Bill Clinton's head on a pike. Their daily recitation of half-truths, outright lies, and distortions, all from the same list of talking points, utterly bereft of any honest analysis or debate, has made it respectable to disregard evidence that a point of view is just wrong. Fox news can offer "analysis" of wildly distorted "facts" without challenge because there is no need to offer any countervailing viewpoint. The "uniter, not a divider" has produced a nation that is so polarized the public discourse takes place in two parallel stovepipes that never encounter each other. We have grown accustomed to discussions between the far right and the not-quite-as-far right, sometimes with a tame, nominal "liberal" thrown into the mix as a punching bag (see Alan Colmes). This passes for balance and fairness in the world of cable news and political mud wrestling shows. One can hardly blame the average viewer or listener from coming away with the idea that the left is out of ideas and has no answer to the Hannity's Ann Coulters or Laura Ingrahams. You have to work pretty hard to dial up Air America or, and stay near your computer to listen to any ideas left of center in most markets. This may change, and there is some evidence that it is slowly changing, but the dialog will still take place in parallel stovepipes, with the audience seeking those they agree with already.

Bill Clinton was, to some people, one kind of person, therefore his one documented lie to the American people was a matter rising to high crimes and misdemeanors, even though it only affected his private life. George W. Bush, being another kind of person, and his administration have told 237 (at last count) documented lies about Iraq < > and they get a pass from Congress and the American people.

Because to his base, he is a good man, with a good heart, and he is defending us against "terrists", and besides, conservative = good, liberal = bad. Everything else is just details. Despite mounting evidence that our middle east policy, and its manifestation in Iraq, can only be described as inept, a majority of Americans feel that Mr. Bush is better to lead us against terrorism than John Kerry.

The latter has demonstrated exceptional moral strength in standing up for his convictions, as well as physical courage under fire. Our President demonstrated only a willingness to take advantage of family and social advantages to avoid any obligations, and a positive talent at finding investor after investor among his father's friends and those currying favor with the 41st president to grow a fortune based on business deals (some that would have made Martha Stewart green with envy) with nary a profit in sight.

I am aware of similar attitudes exhibited in the past by "yellow dog Democrats" who refused to consider an alternative to tax-spend-elect politics so often identified with that party, so it isn't confined to Republicans. But I get the uncomfortable feeling that with the capture of the public airwaves by the right that a sea change has occurred in the way America carries on political discourse.

While I understand that distortions of the public debate occur during election years, I can't even begin to understand an intellect (or moral compass) that looks at John Kerry's military record and George W. Bush's non-record and say that the guy who showed physical and moral bravery, recognized by multiple awards for heroism under fire and demonstrated by unpopular opposition to a war that almost all now agree was a huge mistake, can somehow be found wanting in leadership qualities when compared with the scion of a powerful politician who failed to even meet the minimal attendance obligations of the "Champagne Unit" of the Texas ANG, and whose sole act of leadership that bears any scrutiny consists of his standing on smoking rubble and swearing revenge through a bull horn. Staying the course with a man who led (or lied) us into the middle of a swamp, with no plan or apparent idea how to get us out seems the height of folly.

The stakes of this election are no less than the soul of America. There have been pivotal elections before in our history, but it is hard to come up with one on which more of our freedom and our fortune is at stake. If the Bush administration would play so recklessly with our world reputation, the lives of our troops, and the future of our environment when they are faced with running for reelection, what will they do when they have no need to moderate those policies in preparation for a new election?

It is hard to imagine.

(1) A partial list of the transgressions of the Bush II administration and his Republican allies.
* Pressing for round after round of "tax cuts" that offer chump change to middle class Americans, while lavishing huge windfalls to the top 1% of Americans, even when it became clear that by doing so, the move would produce budget deficits as far as the eye can see and our children and grandchildren would be paying them back, while simultaneously telling us that we have no choice but to cut social security and medicare benefits.
* Egregiously retrograde environmental policies and repeated appointments to oversight positions in watchdog agencies of lobbyists representing the economic interests seeking to overthrow the protections to our water, air, and natural resources.
* Their policies on energy, developed in secrecy and apparently with participation or domination by the likes of Ken Lay, selling out the security of the country to big oil, coal, and nuclear.
* Their horrific Medicare "reform" that amounted to an implementation of the wish list of the pharmaceutical and insurance industry and use of the taxpayer's money to "sell" this package to us in thinly disguised political commercials for the incumbent President.
* The threatening and intimidation of the chief Medicare actuary to prevent him from disclosing, prior to passage of the bill, that the actual cost of the Medicare reform bill would not be $395 billion but $155 billion more than that, which would have rendered it unacceptable to the the few real conservatives left in the Republican-dominated Congress, had they known.
* The wee hour arm-twisting and outright bribery and extortion of members of congress to get the Medicare bill passed.
* Their march to an ill-advised war, with a case that has fallen apart under the facts and the weakness of which were apparent to many - some in the administration - prior to the war.
* Their treasonous "outing" of Valerie Plame for partisan revenge against her diplomat husband for telling the truth counter to a mendacious lie by the President in the state of the Union message.
* The inexplicable reaction of Mr. Bush in the classroom on 9/11 to the news that we were under attack, in which, with the full knowledge that we were undoubtedly under attack, he continued with a photo op, asking questions of the children about the story about a pet goat.
* Their massive no-bid giveaways to cronies in Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Carlyle group amid myriad conflicts of interests and mounting evidence of war profiteering.
* Continued cover-up and denial of the Sept. 13 Saudi Airlift which spirited 140-160 prominent Saudis and members of the Bin Laden family out of the country with the obvious (but denied and uninvestigated) complicity of the highest authorities in the land, when even charter transportation for a heart for a transplant patient was being denied permission to fly.
* The institutionalization of war profiteering by cronies and political sponsors by privatizing everything in sight related to logistical support of the troops.
* Appointment of a fundamentalist religious zealot to the office of Attorney General of the United States, whose stated law enforcement priorities appear more driven by the agenda of the religious right than the constitution or threats to our safety or well-being.
* Our President's inexplicably resistance to answering questions before a 9/11 commission he was practically forced to appoint to investigate the worst security lapse in our modern history.
* His refusal to appear before that commission without his VP by his side, and not under oath.
* Stonewalling of the Commission on their request for documents relevant to the investigation, even those from the Clinton White House turned over and released by the Clinton administration to the Bush White House.
* Refusal of his "team of adults" to consider plans for the post-invasion Iraq drawn up by professional planners, including the Army War College, that would have avoided many of the difficulties encountered by the occupation forces.
* Their claims prior to eventual release, that the report of 6 August, 2001, to the President entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U. S." had nothing to do with terrorists planning to strike in the U. S.
* Steamrolling and forced retirement of senior professional military leaders who disagreed with the neo-conservative chicken-hawks' wishful thinking on Iraq (Gen. Shinseki, Army; Gen. Anthony Zenni, USMC).
* One insider after another stepping forward and telling the world through books and essays the nature of this Presidency, from the incurious attitude of the commander-in-chief to the almost complete absence of substantive discussions of policy, to outright breaches of constitutional authority ($700 million diverted from the war in Afghanistan to prepare in secret for the invasion of Iraq).
* Failure of the president to consult with even his own senior staff prior to deciding to launching a preemptive war for the first time in our history.
* Producing a tax code that taxes people who live off the proceeds of wealth - stock dividends at a lower rate than ordinary working Americans.
* In the name of anti-terrorism, rendering us vulnerable to countless acts of additional terrorism, by fulfilling the predictions of the still-at-large leader of the terrorism effort, by invading an oil-rich Arab country without provocation.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Richard Clarke and the Saudi Airlift

Something does not add up. Richard Clarke now says he alone authorized the Saudi Airlift after 9/11. That is at variance with his testimony to the Commission investigating 9/11, during which he says it went through a "decision process" after being cleared by the FBI. The FBI essentially said "Who? US?". Clarke made no mention of the fact that Prince Bandar met with George W. Bush prior to the airlift and it doesn't take a genius or a bread-crumb trail to directly connect that meeting with the departure of the prominent Saudis. Why would the Bush administration then pretend that the flights did not occur? The whole thing smells. If they don't like Michael Moore's presentation of the facts, let them come out with an explanation and their own version. So far it looks like they are attempting to ignore the issue and issuing only enough contridictory information to confuse us, then waiting for our notoriously short attention span to do the rest.

November can't get here fast enough.