Bush outdoes Nagin

15 March 2008

May I please have some of your respect for our dear leader, so that I’ll have something to lose upon reading this:

I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.

I’m sure they’re thrilled that he said thanks.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “Life” is…

13 April 2007

Here’s some nameless, faceless war protester nobly pointing out the tragedy of sending soldiers to their deaths and killing Iraqi citizens in the name of an optional war waged for personal and political reasons:

In our day there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person.  When that happens, the most vulnerable among us can be valued for their utility to others instead of their own inherent worth.


No wait, that’s Bush speaking in opposition to stem cell research.   He continues:

We must continue to work for a culture of life where the strong protect the weak and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator

The Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, No Nation Building, No Child Left Behind, Compassionate Conservative, Uniter Not Divider, Culture of Life-War President strikes again.  Mission Accomplished.

Why Does Bush Hate America?

28 March 2007

Mr. President, I have a message for you:  We are a country at war.  This is no time to play political games.  Yet here you are, blatantly contradicting the Congress, the representatives of the people.  Don’t you see how this emboldens our enemies?  A true patriot would see that it’s time to put opposition aside and unite for the common good.  You must be patient with the timetable.  Trust us, the pullout is working.

This stuff sounds so familiar…

He’s Shit-ic

7 February 2007

Not that anyone doesn’t already know what our Emperor is, but I was particularly peeved by Bush’s defense of his use of the expression “Democrat Party,” dropping the “ic”.  I don’t really care (no, Freepers, I’m not “offended”), but what I do care about is that W straightup lied about his choice of words.  Here’s what he said when NPR called him on it:

That was an oversight.  I’m not trying to needle…. I didn’t even know I did it.

That struck me as weird because I’d remembered some references to it a few months ago and just picturing him and his frat buddies chortling together about what a great goat-fucking prank it would be to launch this meme.  Well, I finally got around to looking up the references, and found this great Hertzberg post in the New Yorker from way back in early August.

Yeah, it’s minor, but there’s no way this was an oversight; it’s a fucking talking point.  Prick needs to move on.

Belated Election Correspondence

9 November 2006

Jeez, you get sick a couple of times, get behind at work, and all of a sudden it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted. It’s easy to lose momentum. But I gotta get back to it sometime, so that I don’t have to acknowledge “losing interest in things I used to enjoy” as depression inventories would say. So here goes:

I guess I’m not as elated about the dems taking congress as a lot of people are. I’m definitely glad, and I’m glad that Bush will have some accountability, but this won’t do it all, IMHO. Here’s the text of an email I sent my brother (shares my politics) and my dad (from the other side):

Well, of course I’m glad to see some balance in DC, and I’m happy about most of the outcomes (although I’d rather “Dollar” Bill Jefferson hadn’t made the runoff), I want to pre-emptively acknowledge some problems. First, I think Clinton–whose politics I mostly liked–became more effective, and things in the country improved once he didn’t have the House & Senate on his side. For my money, there was more gridlock when it was all dems; I assume that’s because they sniped over the small stuff but took their eyes off the big issues. I’m hoping some accountability will enable Bush to do a better job than he has so far. In that regard, I’m hoping the dems don’t try to act like this is a big mandate to get in there and be obstructionist, but I do hope they can reverse some of the exec-heavy moves of the last few years.

And, just as I agreed with you, dad, that Tom Daschle was a loser, I don’t understand how Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid become the big faces of the party. Same with Frist and Hastert; these guys are so unimpressive, but they’re the ones who get out there. So it doesn’t fill me with glee when Pelosi gives the party’s position on things, and that’s a drag. Frankly, I’d rather hear Dean give the scoop; even though he rubs repubs the wrong way, he’s pretty lucid and knows what he’s saying. Certainly better than Mehlman.

Then there’s Rummy. Probably good to drop him before he gets more heat. Although I’d sort of prefer him to clean up his own mess, I’m hoping that a change of sec will offer a change of course.

We also had an interesting article in the paper here about an issue I didn’t think about. Because most of LA’s house delegation is repub, several members were poised to be more powerful and have a larger role in setting agendas, etc, which would have meant more of an opportunity to try to get aid for the state. Now they will be the minority, and we’ll be more subject to the will of others. I’m hoping that the demos will see fit to get us a fair deal than other repubs would have been, but it doesn’t help that Jefferson got (appropriately) evicted from Ways & Means.

Alright, I’d appreciate y’all’s thoughts. It’s been a good week around here, since the Hornets are the last undefeated team (however, did you see that their uniforms here say “Hornets” and in OKC say “Oklahoma City”? Grrr. I thought the Sonics were OKC’s team), and the Saints have the 2nd best record in the NFC.

My dad and I have an interesting political relationship. Although he knows I’m liberal and he’s not, he talks to me as though I’m right with him. He’ll say things like, “Doesn’t he just make you sick” when Clinton’s on tv or something. It’s bizarre, but when I push him on it, he sounds a lot more moderate. He’ll acknowledge that Bush isn’t really conservative, but he couldn’t vote for Kerry for some sort of inarticulable reason. I wasn’t surprised. But he hates the religious right playing such a role, so we have that common ground. He’s still socially conservative, but, like a true conservative, he believes in people’s right to do pretty much what they want. Now, of course that doesn’t include gay marriage or other radical ideas, but he resents the influence of the evangelists.

So I expect he’ll acknowledge that these outcomes are not all bad for his beliefs, which is part of why I felt the desire to send the above email. I tend to be loyal to a fault to people I’ve supported, which is something I’m not proud of. I find myself trying not to acknowledge shortcomings in people I’ve voted for, in my university, or in my city for that matter. By virtue of my work, I understand why I do this, but it’s weird considering how much I value critical thought. I do think I investigate, analyze, and debate, but then once I decide (whom to vote for, where to work, where to live [and return]), I resist acknowledging their problems. That’s dumb, so I tried to give the first inch to my dad. We’ll see if he takes a mile, or if my concession is as meaningful as I think it is.

W Stole the Flag

12 September 2006

Yesterday was the 9-11 anniversary. I watched the football games that showed the footage of players carrying flags 5 years ago when play resumed. I listened the a “This I Believe” segment from Frank Miller on NPR where he talked about 9-11 teaching him to love the flag again and what it represents.

I’d love to be on-board with all that. I love much of what the US stands for. I think the good outweighs the bad. I was pissed at the terrorists, even as I understood to some degree why they did it (and it wasn’t because they hate our freedoms). But the country’s most visible representative makes me not want to admit that I’m associated with him, and waving a flag has become a way of saying that you support Bush, which I don’t.

It shouldn’t be this way. I should feel proud of the things I like about the US, regardless of who’s president. In fact, I was in Europe in 1990 (when Bush 41 was in office) and had a rather emotional debate with a Swiss woman who wouldn’t say anything good about the US and its people. Still, she seemed to enjoy my company just fine, so I said that she was generalizing too much. I can’t imagine really defending us for much these days. That sucks.

I’ve talked to people from Britain and Mexico who think their leaders are just as lame as ours, but I beg to differ. Those seem to be policy disagreements, not shame. I’m ashamed of our “leader,” and I want to distance myself from him as much as possible. That sucks too. I don’t want to be that way. I want to admit our faults, but be proud of the good things that come out of here, but instead I find myself just avoiding the whole subject.

Maybe it’s the dogmatism of people who do wave the flag that does it. Or maybe it’s Bush himself. Whatever it is, I can’t do it. I can’t chant “USA” at sporting events. And I’m inclined to show with bumper stickers or whatever that I don’t regard him as my president. What a drag.

Here’s hoping that our next prez makes me a little less ashamed and makes the rest of the world hold us in a little higher regard. The rest of the world matters more than we do, and we don’t have all the answers. Obviously.

Give it back, W. Please.

All is Lost

2 August 2006

Aaaah, my eyes! They burn!!!


via BoingBoing

Is W Our Most Conceited President?

21 July 2006

I’m trained as a psychologist, but one thing that I find hard to ascertain in people is whether they’re as conceited as they come across, or merely trying to mask their own insecurities.

I’ve come to the conclusion that W is really just a pompous prick. I’ve suspected as much most of the time and occasionally when he says or does something obnoxious, usually when he thinks it’s a joke, and he sort of scans around hoping to see other people getting a kick out of it too.

But the recent G-8 meeting gave us some firm insight into what a jerk he is. Several observations:

1) Shit. I don’t care that he cusses. I don’t care that he did it in public. But I do care that he’s from the “moral majority” party and uses the illusion of piousness to get his base to elect him. What do they say about the profanity? If he’s doing it when he thinks the mics are off….

2) Irony. The situation he talked about isn’t ironic. Harry’s right, and we’ve elected a guy who never took enough English to know the difference between a bummer and irony.

3) Oaf. He acts like he and Blair are at some stag weekend where they can talk with their mouths full and just chew the fat. He also treats Blair like his lackey, when, as unpopular and misguided as Blair is, the guy can run circles around Chimpy when it comes to brains and eloquence. I think Blair has sold his soul to Bush, but the Brits are sharp enough to see it for what it is.

4) Assault. It’s not cool to give an unsolicited shoulder rub to anyone, let alone a female head of state at a summit. Jeez. I’ve read that Germans tend to be less touchy than us, which simply reinforces the notion that W doesn’t give a damn what other cultures do and just believes that they all want to be just like us. I wish she’d just tasered him in the balls.

All this is to say that I’m more sick than ever of being represented by a guy who takes his role so lightly and doesn’t understand the magnitude of everything he does. If you’re over your head, realize it and shut up. Don’t make things worse.

But his conceit tells him that it doesn’t matter because he’s the king.

The Science President

20 July 2006

The first letter to the editor I remember writing was about Bush I (my first vote was for Dukakis). I took exception to his claim of being the “education president” and the “environment president” despite not doing anything for either cause. As a harbinger of sons to come, he popularized the notion that you could claim something and therefore make it so. That pissed me off.

Now W has never claimed to be the “science president” that I know of, but we’ve never had someone in such a high position who has such blatant distrust for scientific endeavors (missions to the moon notwithstanding). Now he uses his first veto to block legislation that has the real potential to save and improve human lives and has endorsement from such folks as Nancy Reagan and Bill Frist. Neither are friends of mine, but they can’t be wrong all the time.

What struck me in Bush’s veto yesterday was this line:

If this bill would have become law, American taxpayers would, for the first time in our history, be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. And I’m not going to allow it.

My question would first be, “Are fully formed humans less important than embryos?” Now pro-life people would say they’re equal (I don’t agree, but that’s ok). But every day American taxpayers are compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of fully-formed humans. It’s called war, and we’re in an unnecessary one right now that’s destroyed way too many. Generally speaking, no one is mourning the loss of these embryos. No one knows them. No one will miss their personalities. Only people who feel a spiritual bond with monozygotes love them enough to be bothered by their destruction, and that’s ok, but they destroy a lot more life than that without sweating it.

In addition to Michael Kinsley’s excellent early personal coverage of the issue, his more recent post is a slam dunk. The big point: fertility clinics destroy many (he doesn’t cite a count) of the embryos that they fertilize in an effort to help people have babies. Yet, these clinics get praised for their pro-life agenda, but stem cell research, which endeavors to improve the lives of people already in existence, doesn’t get funded because it’s evil.

I’ll admit that I’m not as romantic about the sanctity of life as a lot of people, but it all makes me think of the great Onion headline:

Miracle of Birth Occurs for 83 Billionth Time

Two Presidential Firsts

20 July 2006

This is the first time that W (does anyone else have trouble writing “President Bush” comfortably?) will address the NAACP. He also just yesterday issued his first veto in 5 1/2 years. I doubt these events have anything to do with one another, but they’re both head-shakingly symbolic.

First the NAACP. Clearly, the Uniter has been nothing of the sort, and it’s taken some pride swallowing from the pro-business Gordon in order to pull this off, I suppose. For the sake of the Demos, I’d just as soon he never went, but I’m not reading much into his decision. What the hell is he going to tell them? Clinton knew he was among friends when he went, and he didn’t have to force it; Bush is clearly out of his element, even if some of his best friends….

The bigger news is pulling out the V pen. One major beef I have with this guy is his claim to be conservative. How can a true conservative be so reluctant to kill spending? Now I’m truthfully in favor of gov’t spending to right wrongs, but conservatives are supposed to be so good with money. And althoughI know conservatives are supposed to endorse the “culture of life” stuff, but they’re all supposed to oppose governmental interference. This is pandering to the right, and just evidence of his fear of science.

Come to think of it, I need a separate post on this issue. Comin’ up…