Friday, May 19, 2006


by Rich Miles

Attn: Radical Right-wing Republicans who still support Bush:
Don't you know you are destroying America? Seriously, it's not the liberals who are killing America. It's you - and you have to stop soon, before it's too late!

Can you possibly have your heads so far up George Bush's backside that you can't see how badly he, and by your complicity you, are destroying everything - everything - that distinguishes America from the rest of the world? Can you possibly be so filled with fear and hatred that you can't look past today's ration of same to see how your hero, George W. Bush, is trying to turn America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, into a fascist police state controlled by the worst men ever to hold power? Can you say 'kakistocracy'? Do you have any idea what it means?

I know I'm not the first person to say these things, and I sincerely hope I will not be the last. But the latest madness issuing from your 'Beloved Leader' just makes me want to puke. Even more than the last bunch of pandering to the alleged 'base', the anti-gay hate rhetoric that would write discrimination against a class of Americans into the U.S. Constitution, made me want to puke. It's a helluva way to lose weight.

Can you really not see that the whole immigration issue is nothing more than an appeal to the worst, most xenophobic, hate-filled instincts of red-state America? Can you really imagine that building a wall across the Mexican border, at HUGE cost, is really going to solve the problem of illegal immigration? Can you not see that, if Bush federalizes the National Guard, again at HUGE cost in both dollars and manpower, he has in effect hired his own private army, who will then be entirely under his command? Do you understand what the Posse Comitatus Act even means?

Sure, it's necessary to control immigration, no matter where the emigres come from. But that's not what's at work here. What is at work here is nothing less than the demonization of an ethnic group for the political gain of a majority party that is in danger of losing majority status. The actions now being taken or considered are NOT going to do anything to correct the problem - but it WILL get a lot of Mexican immigrants legal or otherwise, and more to the point Mexican-AMERICANS, U.S. citizens, beat up or worse.

The Senate passes - not just reports out of committee, but PASSES - a law making English the "national language" - and you applaud this as a needed action to save the Republic. Fuck the Meskins, if they don't want to learn the language let them go back to Mex-land where they came from!

You don't even NOTICE all the things the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration they kowtow to have done to take money out of your pocket, to hurt YOU, to consolidate control over all of us, not just the lefties you so despise. You think your one-party government is going to do everything you want them to do, and liberals can just go fuck themselves if they don't like it.

Do you not understand that Bush is NOT INFALLIBLE? Is it that hard for you to let go of your worship of him, even if continuing means serving your children up to him on an olive-drab platter? Does it not even cause you to raise an eyebrow when the president of the United States says that God speaks directly to him? Are you really that unreality-based?

Something like 63% of you say, as some polls have shown, that you're willing to give up a little personal freedom and privacy, as long as Daddy W will keep you safe from the bad old Osama and friends. And you haven't read enough history to even KNOW that Benjamin Franklin warned us against this very phenomenon more than 230 years ago:

"Those who would surrender essential liberty for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin's Thirteen Virtues

It's not just a clever little phrase from some old leftie. It's our future. And you - those who think it's OK for the government to spy on us because you have nothing to hide (and believe me - everyone has SOMEthing to hide) are the ones who are making America into a collection of gulags, and an international pariah.

Have you traveled outside of America lately? To Europe perhaps, or Africa or Asia?

Of course not, sorry I asked. They don't have NASCAR in those countries, and the animals you would hunt in those other places are not squirrels and rabbits and deer, they are big and scary, and actually require some skill to bring down. So you've probably never been there, and thus you don't know:

We are HATED around the world. Yes, we've always had some enemies, but we've also, historically, had lots of friends the world over. But no more.

My wife is Scottish, so I go to Scotland once a year to visit the Auld Folk. One of the friendliest countries in the world to Americans - until last year, 2005. Last year, the people I had met in prior years, and the strangers I liked to talk to in pubs, had a sort of suspicious air about them. They were willing to forgive us for electing a madman once - but when we did it a second time (and I still don't acknowledge we did) , they had to wonder if they'd placed too much faith in good ol' American know-how. And that hurt me, because it made a country I had loved feel not quite so much like a second home.

So stop it, OK? Stop letting a total sociopath who cares NOTHING for you, who considers you and us merely tools to achieve his goals, run our country into the grave. Stop thinking he's on your side. Stop believing he can give you anything you want, or keep you safe, or make the nasty old liberals go away, because he can't. All he can do, and he's done that remarkably well, is to make the rich richer, and the rest of us poorer, and America despised around the world.

If you can't think of any other reason, can you at least consider: what if the power you're giving Bush now, one day devolves into the hands of Hillary Clinton? Will that scare you enough to rein him in?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Divider Not a Uniter

by Rich Miles

Ever see the movie "Matewan"? It's a fictionalized account of a real incident in the coal fields of 1920's West Virginia, showing the beginnings of coal miner unionization efforts. Stars Chris Cooper ("American Beauty", among others) and Mary McDonnell ("Dances With Wolves", again among others.) I recommend it to your attention.

The reason I mention it now is that I saw it again the other day, and Cooper has a really great speech along about the middle of the picture, when the white miners are highly resistant to the idea of letting black miners, who were originally brought in as scabs to break the union, join them in their organizing efforts. I'll paraphrase a bit, but here is approximately what he says:

"They got you all fighting each other - white against colored, native against foreigners, holler against holler. That's what they want you to do - that plays right into the Company's hands, if they can keep you fighting each other, you don't think so much about fighting them."

As I say, that's a close approximation, but it resonated with me, because it's exactly the strategy our government is using today to keep us from thinking so much about fighting them.

Pres. Bush's speech on immigration Monday night was pretty much a useless mishmash of half-formed and inconsistent ideas, self-evident observations, and unfunded commitments of our National Guard. But more than that, it was practically an invitation to the white majority in this country to tap into their deepest racist fears about, as Bill O'Really? put it, the "browning of America".

Bush (and O'Really) have been really good at pitting us against each other for as long as he's been in office. Democrat against Republican, Right against Left; pro-Iraq war vs. anti-war; pro-choice vs. anti-choice, pro-gay marriage vs. anti, radical Christians against leftie liberals, and on and on.

And for Bush, the net result of this has been that he is still in office, and not in a federal prison somewhere.

Because if we - the American people - were ever to put aside the ancillary points of disagreement that keep us at each other's throats and just agree to disagree, and live our lives according to our own values, and allow others to do the same, it would give us the time and the leisure to take a closer look at how our government is screwing us in so many ways.

And that sort of scrutiny just can't be permitted by this president - and the very fact that it's starting to happen anyway, despite Bush's best efforts to distract us and set us against each other, scares the living hell out of him. That's why I wrote the post He's not leaving back on May 2 - because he's going to keep trying to scare the hell out of US so he can cook up some really good reason not to let go of power in January of 2009, so he can continue to stay out of prison.

We're the ones with the power ultimately. Bush is trying his damnedest to keep that simple fact from us, as he does so many others.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


by Rich Miles

Ah, that famous acronym - It's OK if you're a Republican, not OK if you're a Democrat. The modus operandi of Right-wingnuts for the past at least 12 years, and now in full flower in the indictment of our - no, wait - THEIR governor.

Ernie Fletcher, alleged governor of our fair state of Kentucky, has been indicted for, in essence, being an arrogant jerk, and surrounding himself with MORE arrogant jerks who all seem to think, like our ludicrous excuse for a president, that they are above the law. Of course, that's not the charge shown on the indictments, but to non-lawyers like me, this would be a reasonable layman's interpretation.

So then, what is the first official act of the indicted official and his sub-demons? To accuse the attorney general, who has been on this case for more than two years now, of "political motivation" in bringing the charges, and then file a motion in court to have the attorney general removed from the case.

Now, let's look at that accusation for a minute, because this tale of woe is going to be heard a lot in days to come, and from folks a lot higher up in the political food chain than Ernie Fletcher's puny self and his pals. In fact, I fully expect it to be heard from the White House in not too many more days.

First, is it possible that Atty. Gen. Greg Stumbo has his sights set on a run for the governorship next year? Yes, in fact it's a virtual certainty.

Second, is it also possible that Stumbo has some, shall we say, "personal animosity" toward Fletcher et al.? I would call that too a near certainty, since the Republican administration has called Stumbo and his staff every foul name imaginable over the course of the two-year investigation that has led to these indictments. One does tend to develop a negative opinion of people who do such things.

But third, is it even remotely imaginable that someone who intends to run for the highest office in the state would pose these sorts of accusations against a potential political opponent without rock solid evidence that the charges have some basis in reality?

Do the Fletcher sycophants really think Stumbo is that stupid?

See, this is the biggest mistake the whiny, "I'm the victim of the liberals" Republicans make, over and over - thinking that their opponents are as stupid and venal as they are. Sometimes, I'm sad to say, they're right. But in this case, if Stumbo is indeed that stupid, to bring charges against a sitting governor with only flimsy backup, then it's best we know this now, instead of next year when we might accidentally elect him.

But frankly, I don't think that's the case. And I don't think it's going to be the case when the White House starts saying it either - it's pretty clear that Patrick Fitzgerald is a whole lot better lawyer than Greg Stumbo, and he's not even running for anything.

The "pol-mot" excuse is simply not on any longer. Even the base - Fletcher is, in addition to being a physician, also an ordained wingnut minister - are starting to wake up a little. For the wrong reasons, it's true, but they're still abandoning their godheads left and right: in a recent NY Times-CBS poll the percentage of respondents who think the Dems more accurately represent their moral values is at 50%. Who would ever have imagined that being possible back in November of '04?

And by the way, if I were Fletcher, I would ask myself why

- David Williams, Republican KY State Senate President,
- Darrell Brock, previously-indicted and Fletcher-pardoned chair of the state Republican Party,
- Rep. Anne Northup, (R-KY 3)
- Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY 4) and
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Fletcher's political mentor and the highest-ranking Republican in the state

were "unavailable for comment" on the day the indictments were handed down.

(Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY 2) and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) said nothing either - they just didn't SAY they were saying nothing, and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY 1) went all wingnutty on us. According to Bluegrass Report, he issued the following statement:

...Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-1st District who served in the U.S. House with Fletcher, said the governor “is a conscientious man of high moral character, and this indictment is nothing more than the continuation of a politically-motivated effort to discredit the governor and to bring down his administration..)

They're hanging you out to dry, Ernie! It couldn't happen to a nicer arrogant jerk.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

KY Governor Indicted

Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher has been indicted on misdemeanor charges in relation to a state merit-system hiring scandal. For more, go to The Bluegrass Report. Mark has better facilities for following a breaking story like this.

Update 610pm: Mark Nickolas is all over this at Bluegrass Report - has much better coverage than the two biggest papers in the state, The Louisville Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader (though the Herald is much better than the Courier). Take note of his update - so far, it's a scoop as far as I can find - on Brett Hall sniveling that he's gonna file suit against the state attorney general for "malicious prosecution" - nobody else has that yet.

Of Biblical proportions

by Rich Miles

"Every terror that haunted me has caught up with me,
and all that I feared has come upon me."

Book of Job 3:35, New English Bible

And then some....

Back in November of 2004, I wrote a little piece called Memo To: Red States in which I expressed my utter dismay and anger at the Red States, whose votes for the Usurper got him close enough to steal the election a second time. In short, I pointed out my perspective on the mistake they had made by putting their trust in a man who was cynically using them for the enrichment and empowerment of himself and his friends and cronies. I laid out a list of things that it was clear the "faith-based" community (as opposed to the "reality-based" folks) couldn't possibly know about Bush - because if they did, even they wouldn't have voted for him.

And ya know what? An awful lot of the things I said in that piece have turned out to be far too mild. I expected a second Bush term, when he no longer needed fear the electorate, to be a disaster for pretty much all of us. But I never dreamed he'd create a worldwide disaster of Biblical proportions, and rattle his sabre even further by threatening to create an even worse one.

Who ever dreamed that a U.S. president or his administration might:

- Spy on U.S. citizens accused or suspected of no crime?

- not only refuse to prohibit, but actually approve of torturing prisoners of war

- threaten to use nuclear weapons - nuclear weapons - on a country that has not attacked us, and that will not have even the most rudimentary ability to produce a nuke of their own for at least 10 years

- alienate every ally we had on Earth, and do his level best to further antagonize our enemies

- hold suspected criminals for years without trial or legal representation

- lie to us about the offensive capabilities of a country so as to justify a "pre-emptive" war against them

- repeatedly hire unqualified cronies to lead government posts and for judgeships, even after it's shown that such actions lead to disaster

- approve government funding of religious organizations

- deny that global warming exists despite overwhelming scientific evidence

- ignore or discredit scientific research that conflicts with religious dogma or administration policy

- give Presidential Medals to people who have failed miserably to perform their jobs

- allow the energy industry to dictate energy policy, the pharmaceutical industry to dictate government health care policy, and the business community in general to dictate their own laws and regulations

- go from some of the largest surpluses of the past 5 decades to the largest deficits, both in dollars and percentage of GDP, ever

- and all while cutting taxes over and over and over again

- conduct a war whose costs are completely off the books, thus making the deficit even higher than it appears by hundreds of billions of dollars, or

- ignore his own GAO, the American people, the 9/11 Commission, Congress, any judge who hands down a contrary opinion, and anyone else who disagress with his preconceived ideas?

It's exhausting. The list could go on for another 5000 words, and not even get close to being finished.

Never before has America been led by someone who cares less about the wellbeing of our country or the world. Never before have we been led by a greater cabal of sociopaths and screwups.

In my worst nightmares, I never imagined how bad a Bush presidency untethered from any considerations of being re-elected could be.

And you want to know the really scary part? 31% of Americans, according to recent polls, still approve of him.

What is wrong with those people?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Vote the Rascals Out! ALL of them!

by Rich Miles

Here's a suggestion for how we ("the people" - remember us?) can regain some semblance of control over our out-of-control government this November:

Don't vote for your current congressman and/or senator.

I mean it - no matter what party they allegedly represent, if they're currently in office, don't vote for them - vote for the challenger, no matter how incompetent or stupid or underfunded he or she is. If you have an open seat in your district, vote for the candidate from the former opposition party.

Of course, if everyone in the whole country does this (and even I'm not addled enough to believe they will), we'll end up with a Democratic majority in both houses, which is what is needed to have any hope of a little accountability in Congress and the White House. But that's not what I'm talking about here.

Because we've lost control of the "People's House", which hasn't been anything like ours for decades, and we never even sorta had control of the Senate, the patrician wing of the legislature.

We don't just need to be rid of one-party rule of all three branches of government - we need to be rid of career politicians. Anyone who has served a term in Congress, especially the 107th, 108th or 109th Congresses, has had their turn and needs to go back to the home district. ALL of them. Dem or Rep, Blue or Red, gone. This November. No questions.

We need to get a bunch of scared rookies into the Congress - a bunch of men and women who don't know where the toilets are, much less how the corruption works. A bunch of people who rightfully fear for their jobs every two years instead of assuming that, because they managed to weasel in once, they're set for life, or until the K Street benefits make it worth their while to quit and cash in. There will be some holdover Senators who aren't up this year, but in two more election cycles we can even be rid of them! We HAVE to get rid of them, ASAP!

The evidence for this is so voluminous as to daunt even the most dedicated chronicler, but if one, or actually two recent episodes may be used as representative (no pun intended) samples, here they are:

Bush, Hill Republicans Agree To Extend Expiring Tax Cuts: Democrats Point to Deficit and Benefits for the Rich (By Jonathan Weisman)

Senate Defies Bush on Spending: $109 Billion Bill for Wars, Storm Relief Disdained in House (By Shailagh Murray)

I mean, they STILL don't get it. They - and I mean the whole Congress, though primarily the Republican majority - still think that tax cuts and pork barrel spending and more wars to make them look tough are going to pull their cojones out of the fire again.

They're not right, are they?

Are they?

Give my plan a try - hell, nothing else has worked so far.

Monday, May 08, 2006

So now they tell us

by Rich Miles

Been trying to contain my rage at reading, in today's WaPo , that what we knew all along is true: the Bush tax cuts are NOT strengthening the economy, and are in fact leading to INCREASED government spending and impoverishment of the middle class.

So far, in 5+ years, Bush has gotten exactly NOTHING right.

Well, perhaps that's a bit too harsh. He's VERY good at rewarding his campaign contributors and cronies in various ways while screwing the rest of us blue, and he's top-notch at fudging (or if you prefer the more informal term, stealing) close elections. At least, we think they're close - hell, this thing is so big that he may actually have lost by 20 points and we'd never know it.

How bout this: What Part of $2.6 Trillion Don't You Understand?

Or this: Logic 101

Or even this: The Robbery Continues

It ain't like this is NEWS, people! I mean, the guy's been screwing us, and TELLING us he's screwing us, and asking us to LIKE it that he's screwing us, for FIVE FUCKING YEARS!

And now, all of a sudden, the pundits are starting to sit up and take notice?

It's gone way beyond Dem vs. Republican, folks. If you don't see that the issues at hand represent, in total, the question of the continued existence of the Republic, NOT just "as we know it", but the nation's survival AT ALL, then you're too stupid to live.

And that's the truth.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Just a quick heads-up

by Rich Miles

Tomorrow's Derby Day here in Red State Hell. So naturally, the CIA director abruptly quit today, because HIS boss would not let him have the day off to go to the races.

But seriously - he quit, as Wonkette kindly points out, for one of two reasons: either he's up against the deadline for filing for the Senate primary in Florida against Katherine Harris (they are SOOOO put out with her, and for good reason), or he's about to get arrested for his part in the Duke Cunningham sordidness. As Cat pointed out tonight, a bit of fun is to be had by googling "Porter Goss gambling prostitutes parties lobbyists" - and you can add "corrupt right-wing bastard" if you like...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mayday! Mayday!

by Rich Miles

Oh. My. God.

While everyone in the blogosphere is hailing Stephen Colbert's ass-biting and face-getting-into of the Usurper at the "Press" Dinner the other night, His Self-Righteousness proclaims May 1, 2006 as Loyalty Day across the land.

Loyalty Day! And May 1! If we needed any further proof that a) Bush has no idea what went on in history, even some of the history HE created, and b) he is getting closer and closer to totally insane or at least totally unconscious, it is this prez'denchul proclamation, on this particular day.

For those too young to remember, or too old to likewise, May 1 is the day the Communists used to celebrate their....ummm...communism. They call it May Day, which also happens to be a word used by pilots and other military people to indicate that they're in a world of trouble and are going to bail out. And it also just conveniently happens to be the day when, three years ago, the Bushmaster stood in his khaki clown suit on the deck of the Abe Lincoln and proclaimed an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq.

And just as a point of idle curiosity, loyalty to what or whom? We're already loyal to America - so it's hard to envision him meaning anything else but loyalty to...him!

Do the red-state rubes REALLY still buy this crap - things like "Loyalty Day"? Or is he now totally talking to the hand?