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Political Tidbits 2/15/06

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Republican or Democrat, American or Foreign, the politicos are fine subject for speculation, rumination and a bit of derision


Funerals and Politics

This is the second funeral attended and orchestrated by mostly Democrats that I watched with my own disbelieving eyes.

First was the infamous Wellstone funeral when all the Democrats in attendance (Wellstone was a Democrat congressman) carried on in a manner most inappropriate for a funeral. At least by my definition of a funeral which would be a solemn event for benefit of the deceased.

The Coretta King funeral, just recently, was another. Although for this funeral I give some allowances. For many of the speakers at this King funeral were colleagues of King, or political buddies, as the case may be. While I might disagree with a lot of the sentiment expressed I can understand on some level that Mrs. King herself shared the passion and idealology of many who pontificated at her funeral. Mrs. King would probably approve, I surmise.

I’m not at all sure about an ex-president spouting about wire-tapping, an obvious slap at the current president uttered at the politically opportune moment what with the NSA flap still rustling in the political winds.

I must take a moment here and document for posterity the story of Jimmy Carter’s sad presidency. I am old enough to remember it quite well. At the time I was a daring and dashing liberal. Carter’s policies changed me forever.

Let us document:

-long gas lines-if your license plate ended in an even number than you got gas on even numbered days. Same with license plates ending in odd numbers.

-mortgage rates upwards of 15-20% ladies and gems. I sat and listened to tears of those who dreamed of owning a home, who finally had the money for a down payment, who couldn’t possibly afford such high interest rates. It was terrible.

-let us not forget the mad bunny

-the Iran-Hostage crisis. What a debacle. A failed rescue attempt. They held our American citizens for over a year! On the day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated the hostages were released. Figure it out.

-Carter himself bragging how he liked to start a fire in the fireplace then turn on the air conditioner. Wow, what a flap. Here we were sitting in gas lines for endless hours and this guy’s wasting energy like this.

-oh…and don’t forget, no Christmas lights. Yes indeed. No Christmas lights the year of the gas lines to save energy. It was dismal.

-non U.S. participation in the Olympics. They practiced all their lives for the moment, but U.S. athletes could not participate because of Jimmy Carter’s failed foreign policies.

-the man actually got on TV, in front of my lying eyeballs, and complained that Americans were victims of a “general malaise.” Sure we were. Because of HIM.

-voters across the fruited plains booted this man out of office first chance. By a huge majority I might add.

Thus whenever I see Jimmy Carter pontificating I remember those “good old days.” I get bitter as hell. What an utter failure.

Back to the funeral. There was also that little tidbit between Hillary and Bill. Bill said, I paraphrase, “It’s an honor to be here with past presidents (meaning Carter and Bush the elder), and the current president (meaning Bush the younger), and …” At this point Bill faded off. The unspoken words were “and the future president,” meaning Hillary standing by his side.

Now this, yon readers, is an obvious political campaign ploy and by me it was in the poorest of taste at the King funeral.

Hillary is entitled, by golly, to this country’s presidency. Everyone knows that.

It gets old.

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Preachers Protest Superbowl

Held in Detroit this year, it was the first time this major uniquely-American sports event was held in a colder clime for many years. Some, it would seem, had issues with this.

Birmingham activist lawyer, James Leonard Elsman arranged a “protest” of sorts outside of the stadium the evening before the event. More telling is the list of grievances the city of Detroit had with the event.

“1. Few Detroiters, or even Michigan citizens, will attend. This is not an ostentatious wine-and-caviar town.

“2. Detroit is a failed city, with a ‘Bling-Bling’ immature and corrupt Mayor for a poor role-model, as it nears bankruptcy. Even Seattle and Pittsburgh have their own unemployment and social problems.

“3. Detroit does not have a team worthy of the name — but a long record of failure under current ownership and management. What is there to celebrate?

“4. The Michigan economy is at its lowest ebb in years, with the recent GM $9 Billion 2005 loss, Ford downsizing, and several companies in bankruptcy, e.g. NW Airlines, Delphi, and Kmart.

“5. Everyone knows that the homeless have been hidden away in Detroit shelters for the weekend, and that false-fronts have been put on many buildings, like a “Potemkin Village” in Czarist Russia. Real phony! Over $1,000,000,000 has been spent to earn $300,000,000 for private business and not one person has been helped. You just watch the local businesses complain about their losses after Sunday. False-fronts are not Detroit!

“6. Detroit is plagued with AIDS, crime, drugs, and a high school educational system that will not be world-competitive for many years, because of generational problems. The city is full of Aid-to-Dependent-Children women and abortion-on-demand — plus the suburbs as well.

“7. Sunday is the Sabbath for Christian Churches, yet many have had to close or shorten their programs — for this heathen event. Super Bowl weekend will also affect Muslim and Jewish services.

“8. Porn stars like Jenna Jameson and Playboy Magazine will be hosting large parties. Prostitutes from the USA and Canada are flocking here. It is one big bacchanal — a Roman feast to the heathen god of football, an excuse to get drunk and carouse and gamble.”

Elsman’s list might be correct as concerns Detroit. Sounds a lot like New Orleans. So I must ask, just who is in charge of Detroit?

Scooter Libby’s Trial

By me the Valerie Plame fuss is a nothing thing and a waste of time and money. The woman was not under-cover so folks could talk about her all day and her job at the CIA and no law would be broken.

Now we find out that Libby’s trial won’t happen until a whole year from now. This for a basically nothing charge having nothing to do with the original investigation. Let us not forget the monkey wrench Bob Woodward threw into the matter when he came forward and said that he’d been informed about Plame’s status long before those dates mentioned by the reporters Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald bothered to interview.

A nothing leak, with nothing consequences from which nothing can come from it. I note conflicting dates and pre-scheduled trials are part of the reason for the delay. I suspect Fitzie knows he’s got a loser and is waiting until some time when the dust settles to drop the charges.

From the Guardian:

A federal judge on Friday set former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s trial date in the CIA leak case for January 2007, two months after the midterm congressional elections.

The trial for Libby, who faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges, will begin with jury selection Jan. 8, said U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. Walton said he had hoped to start the trial in September but one of Libby’s lawyers had a scheduling conflict that made an earlier date impractical.

Walton said he does not like “to have a case linger” but had no choice because Libby attorney Ted Wells will be tied up for 10 weeks in another case.

Democrats Worried

Scuttlebutt has it that Democratic party leaders are fretting that what with so many opportunities to jump on the problems of Republicans, especially with the Abramoff flap, they still failed miserably. The president’s approval ratings did plummet with all the beatings but folks, go with me on this. Polls are most accurate during election years. Phone me up on a busy day two years after an election and hey, I’ll tell you – yeah, I’m mad at the president.

Approval ratings in non-election years are very subject to the mood of those polled whereas voters polled during election years know that soon enough they will be in that voting booth to put their money where their mouths are.

Even with that, as these sorts of misleading polls are apt to do, the president’s approval ratings rise the next time he makes a speech or any other positive.

The Democrats are looking to pick up seats in the House and Senate during these midterms and are now lamenting that their attacks did not work. In fact, the approval ratings of congress is in the basement, a tidbit they never mention.

What’s more interesting, from Captains’ Quarters, quoting the NY Times, is the difference in the success of the attacks as perceived by different factions within the Democratic party.

Democrats described a growing sense that they had failed to take full advantage of the troubles that have plagued Mr. Bush and his party since the middle of last year, driving down the president’s approval ratings, opening divisions among Republicans in Congress over policy and potentially putting control of the House and Senate into play in November.

Asked to describe the health of the Democratic Party, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said: “A lot worse than it should be. This has not been a very good two months.”

We seem to be losing our voice when it comes to the basic things people worry about,” Mr. Dodd said.

Now get a load of Nancy Pelosi, Democrat minority leader in the House of Representatives, and how she perceived the current Democrat status.

Heh.

Ms. Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, did not dispute that argument. But, pointing to the Democratic strategy in defeating Mr. Bush’s Social Security proposal last year, she said there was no rush.

“People said, ‘You can’t beat something with nothing,'” she said, arguing that the Democrats had in fact accomplished precisely that this year. “I feel very confident about where we are.”

Remember Coleen Rowley?

Rowley was, until the hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 9/11, basically a nobody. Now she is a Democratic candidate for Minnesota’s second district for the House of Representatives.

I couldn’t stand the sight of the woman as she testified with an off-putting smarminess. Rowley had written a letter to the head of the FBI regarding the Muslims in this country suddenly taking flight lessons. When this letter came to be known, Rowley was considered an “expert” on failures in our system.

While Rowley deserves kudos for doing her job, and while her testimony on any failures in our bureaucracies was helpful, that’s pretty much her only qualifications for any sort of elective office.

Now she’s proven herself to be a nasty candidate by putting a doctored photo of her opponent on her campaign web site. She took her opponent’s picture in his army uniform and clothed him in a “Colonel Klink” Nazi outfit.

Her opponent, John Kline, objected.

From Powerline:

Dear Mrs. Rowley,
It has come to my attention that you have placed on your campaign website a doctored photo of me in which my military uniform has been replaced by a Nazi uniform. I demand that you immediately remove from your website that outrageous and disgusting insult to me, my family, and every man and woman who has ever worn a military uniform in defense of our country.

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No one knows better than I the rough-and-tumble of a political campaign, but we owe it to the voters not to cross the line of civility, respect and common decency. With regard to each of these, you have clearly crossed the line by portraying me as a Nazi.

I demand a personal apology from you, as well as an apology to every veteran.

Your attempts to smear my good name and 25 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps by equating me to a Nazi shows a lack of perspective, a lack of seriousness, and a lack of good judgment. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sincerely,

John Kline
Member of Congress – Minnesota’s 2nd District.

What a complete and silly lack of class.

Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction
From the Captain we learn that the House of Representatives will be investigating the matter of Saddam’s missing weapons of mass destruction. For it seems that as a result of our invasion of Iraq there is a bounty of documents that for now, remain un-translated. Scuttlebutt has it that there’s evidence aplenty about Saddam’s weapons programs.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence wants to reopen a question on what it calls “postwar” intelligence that both Congress and the administration would prefer to remain closed — whether Saddam Hussein had WMD in late 2002. Its chair, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, says that mounting evidence and testimony point to Saddam’s possession of the banned weapons prior to the final UN debates on the invasion, and that untranslated documentation holds the answer:

Seethe Fatigue
From Yahoo.com:

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Thousands of Muslims have vented their anger in seething protests around the world over satirical caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, torching flags and effigies and clashing with police.

From Nairobi to Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul to Islamabad, protesters took to the streets after traditional Friday prayers while political leaders scrambled for answers to a crisis that has exposed cultural and religious divisions.

“Seething protests” is the current jargon to describe the very orchestrated rage as exhibited across the planet by Muslims allegedly angered by some cartoons published four months ago.

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Now we’re not going to let this issue of Political Tidbits go by without at least one picture from the offending cartoons. And if the above cartoon hasn’t caused enough seething, below is the cartoon published by the Washington Post that had so many Americans up in arms.

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The Americans didn’t seethe enough to march and burn, however.

Coming Up This Week

Executives from Google Inc. and other Internet companies head to Capitol Hill next week, where they will become feature players in an awkward debate: Are U.S. companies giving in to China too easily?

Last month, Google announced an agreement with the Chinese government to censor search results from its Chinese site. It was the latest Internet company to accede to the Chinese government’s censorship restrictions, following Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.


Pat Fish is a published author and her books have drawn attention from her fellow reviewers on Blogcritics. Reviews of Memoirs of Josephine Fish and Mystery and Mirth have been conveniently provided for your reading pleasure.

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About pat fish

  • RogerMDillon

    Where are the Republicans? Or did you only mention them to pretend that you are non-partisan?

    “when all the Democrats in attendance (Wellstone was a Democrat congressman) carried on in a manner most inappropriate for a funeral”

    Impressive, you waited until your second sentence to write a falsehood. What proof do you have to offer that “all”, not some, not most, not the majority carried on in this way. Please provide evidence.

    Carter:
    “the Iran-Hostage crisis. What a debacle. A failed rescue attempt.”

    Sounds like you don’t support the troops.

    “They held our American citizens for over a year! On the day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated the hostages were released. Figure it out.”

    It’s so easy to figure out that even you should get it. Reagan and his staff had no problems using the hostages as political tools and selling weapons to our enemy to get into power.

    “By me the Valerie Plame fuss is a nothing thing and a waste of time and money.”

    Thankfully, you aren’t involved in national security. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make a nothing thing.

    “that’s pretty much her only qualifications for any sort of elective office.”

    Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets forth three qualifications for representatives: each representative must be at least twenty-five years old, must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past seven years, and must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state he represents.

    She doesn’t need anything else, so unless you live in her district, your opinion, as is usually the case, doesn’t mean squat.

    If you are going to write about scuttlebutt, why not write about Cheney being drunk and out with his mistress when he shot Whittington in the face? Or are you saving that for your True Crime piece?

  • Maurice

    Roger

    where did you get the (wrong!) idea that Patfish was non-partisan?

    You may want to read a book titled “444 Days”.

    Oddly enough you missed her point completely about qualifications.

  • RogerMDillon

    Maurice,

    I didn’t say she’s non-partisan, but if you look at the sub-title she used for this feature, it says “Republican or Democrat…are fine subject for speculation, rumination and a bit of derision”. I raised the question because it was inaccurate. Oddly enough you missed that point completely.

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