Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Someone needs to thaw out the Republican Party (or at least Rudy Giuliani)

January 6, 2008

So I was watching the debates yesterday and all I can say is, holy cow. Someone needs to thaw out the Republican Party, or at least Rudy Giuliani. I think they believe that it’s the 80’s and the US is still facing off with the USSR. So Giuliani believes that we need to grow our military (which was already costing us around $300B before Iraq) to a 300 ship Navy, 200k Marines, and (I think) around 500k regular Army? What war is the Republican Party planning for? The reality is that our current forces are just fine. Yes they are strained under the current conditions, but (I’m sure much to the angst of the warmongers) at some point, this little venture will come to an end. What enemy is so grand that we need such a military? If I’m not mistaken, Russia is second in military spending at (again, I think) $30B. Before Iraq (by the way, pronounced “ear-rock”, not “eye-rack” [just a pet peeve of mine]) we were spending around 10x the number 2 nation and these guys want to spend more? We already carry a big stick, the biggest stick on the planet in fact and they want more toys? Yaaa, hold on, I’ll get my wallet. This gun-slinger diplomacy really irks me. Time and time again, it has been shown that engaging, trade, building wells, schools, hospitals, blah, blah, blah has been far more effective at making friends than pointing a gun at people. I remember during Bush’s reelection that one of the things “those people” kept saying was that the Democrats “just don’t get it”. How almost prophetic.

Bush, World War III, but who’s invited?

December 8, 2007

I’m sure this has been talked to death already, but does anyone know who exactly is suppose to show up to this World War III party Bush was talking about? According to the Evangelical whack-jobs out there, I believe their version of this scenario is that Iran shoots a nuke at Israel, they (and we) respond in kind, and then for some reason Russia gets involved? If I’m not mistaken, aren’t these the exact same religious zealots who were saying that China was suppose to be the prophesied great evil not too long ago? And I think at least one of them was proclaiming that the year 2000 was suppose to mark the start of the second coming (or something to that effect)? I think he was even peddling a book about it. Jack van something I think. Anywho, why is Russia going to bother? I mean yes, they do have a few billion tied up with Iran and it is currently to their advantage to cozy up to them so Putan can stick it in the eye to Bush, but is that really enough to draw Russia in? I think not. 1) They have vast natural resource reserves of their own (and if we and Israel laid waste to Iran, won’t the oil reserves in Russia become even more valuable?), 2) Their financial dealings with the European Union are far and away more lucrative and stable over the long term, and 3) They are an emerging (or reemerging) power on the world stage. Why on Earth would they want to screw it up with a war over Iran (who by the way would be the guilty one here since they would have started this scenario by attacking Israel)? If this scenario did happen, Russia would have to make a choice. Go with the bad guys (an image they are trying to shake) or go with the rest of the world an enjoy their new found economic and political power? The choice is obvious for me, it is unfortunate that the Evangelical Legion of Doom seems to think to the contrary. Has Bush or anyone in his administration ever spelled out this scenario? I’ve been paying attention and I don’t think so. Maybe I’m wrong. As far as I can tell, Bush seems to think that Amadinajad is suppose to just wake up one morning and decide to attack Israel. Does anyone realize that he does not have the power to make such a decision? Although I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Kaptain Koo-Koo wouldn’t know that. And doesn’t the latest NIE that is all the buzz these days demonstrate that more rational minds are in control behind the curtains in Iran? They had a weapons program, then after careful consideration, decided that it wasn’t in their best interest to continue pursuing it. Now I’m not saying that we should leave Iran to their own devices or embrace them as life long chums, but I think this rhetoric is a bit over the top. Aaaa, what do I know. I’m just a grasshopper.

Bush says goodbye to Gonzales with all the sincerity one could possibly muster reading word for word.

August 28, 2007

I am absolutely astonished by what journalists have been saying about Bush’s speech yesterday commenting on Gonzales’ leaving. Practically everyone I heard characterized his speech as being punctuated with anger. Really? Was I watching and listening to the same speech they were? All I saw was the same, “Do I have to?” or “Can’t Cheney get someone to do this for me?” look that he has had for just about every speech that he has ever given. What I found most astonishing was that it was sooo painfully obvious that 1) He didn’t write the speech, 2) He in no way prepared for the speech, and 3) He was so completely disengaged that when he got to the line where he said that Gonzales’ good name was dragged through the mud, he actually had to stop when he got to the “through the”, turn to the next page, and REEEEAD the word “mud”! AAAAAAA!!!!! I think I feel blood running out of my ears. Am I the only one who saw that? Anyone? Anyone? Please! Someone say they saw it too! You should be able to find a video of his speech at http://abcnews.go.com/politics. I just can’t be the only one to have seen that.

Bush countdown clock! (get one for your blog)

August 27, 2007

Arrrrrrgh! Crap on a stick. Due to the limitations of the free blog (I suspect), WP keeps stripping out the code needed to show the clock. Well, this was certainly anticlimactic. Maybe I should migrate over to blogbspot (I know it works with them). Its still cool though, so clearly you need to go here.

Father Brown stops by to knock some sense into Junior. Will it stick?

July 31, 2007

So Gordon Brown decided to drop by and pay a little visit to Junior Monday. Obviously, we don’t know exactly what was said. But, I’m pretty sure that once you boil down all of the pomp and circumstance it was basically, “What the hell are you doing?” with sprinkles of, “Why have you dragged England into this?” I do have to hand it to el Gordo, however. While Blair struck me as that parent who so desperately wanted to be the “cool one” and so let his kid get away with murder, Gordie seems to be more of the disciplinarian who will pull the reigns taught when needed. Perhaps, in the end, Gordon might have a greater positive impact on US foreign policy than on England’s. One can only hope.

The Chinese government may not be perfect, but at least they execute their bureaucrats

July 23, 2007

As I said in my “about me” page, I don’t know what my voice will ultimately be in this crazy world we call the blogosphere. But on the whole, I envisioned it being an upbeat one with a slant towards humor. However, over the last two weeks I have heard/read some stories about the actions of a few in our government that have made me quite annoyed and perhaps just a bit, dare I say, angry. Being in this state of mind draws me to a story a few days ago of the Chinese government executing Zheng Xiaoyu, the head (or former head) of their FDA. And despite all of their faults and brutality, I think they may be on to something here.

First up, FEMA administrator R. David Paulson. Do I really need to go into this one? Formaldehyde in Katrina trailers, FEMA knowing but not wanting to confirm it for fear of “owning” the problem, FEMA lawyers advising not to do it, and Paulson, only after being forced to publicly face the facts, having the nerve to say, “This agency made the best decisions it could with the information it had,” and, “Now we know we have to do something different than we’ve done in the past.” I would say that he and everyone at FEMA needs to burn at the stake for this one, but frankly, I think that they have wasted more than enough taxpayer’s dollars. Therefore, I think a single shot to the head would be most cost effective. Oh, and let us not forget all those involved in spending $30 some-odd million to ship ice all over the country which later had to be dumped. You can read about the formaldehyde story here.

Now we have Julie A. MacDonald (anybody have a picture of her?), she resigned as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for the Department of the Interior on April 30th. I’m assuming she did this to avoid having to go before a House oversight committee a week later which would have allowed the mainstream public to see just how much of an absolute jerk she is. She twice violated feral regulations by giving internal EPA documents to industry lobbyists, repeatedly violated the Endangered Species Act, rewrote conclusions of scientific field reports, commented on report drafts using language meant to belittle and censor field scientists, and numerous other acts that anger me too much to invest the time to type out. Her actions during her tenure have been so deplorable that the Inspector General for the Interior Department (ID) has referred her for administrative action. Although since she quite, I’m not sure what the ID can do. And what do you think the Bush administration’s opinion is? Well apparently they liked her behavior so much that in March 2005 they signed off on a $9,628 STAR award. An award for which no official justification has been given.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Commissioner Edward McGaffigan. I cannot believe anyone thought that he was qualified to be the head of anything. Briefly, the General Accounting Office (GAO) set up a sting. They wanted to see if they could purchase moisture density gauges containing radioactive materials. To do this they had to get a license from the NRC. They made fake everything, applied, and received the paperwork they needed. What really burns me up is not only did the NRC not bother their heads to do an on-site inspection (Oh I don’t know, like perhaps the STATE of Maryland does?), but apparently they didn’t do any verification of the GAO’s phony application. What?! Were they just too busy checking out sport scores or downloading porn? Was it too much trouble to put the address on the GAO’s application into Google maps or mapquest? Anything? And this happened after new security measures where supposedly implemented due to September 11th. When asked about it McGaffigan said, “We’ve fixed the problem…”. So the deaths of some 3,000 people wasn’t enough to get these people to do common sense things, but being publicly embarrassed was. You can read the story here.

Its stories like these that make me glad that I am just a simple grasshopper.

I’m sure there are others. Feel free to add to the list.

 

President Cheney officially takes the reigns Saturday

July 21, 2007

So if you were hoping for some dry, in-depth political analysis of Darth Cheney officially seizing power today through the use of some phony-bologna colonoscopy on Curious George you can forget it (that didn’t sound right, although the “evil-doers” are probably just upgrading the mind control chip in his head – maybe now he’ll start saying “nuCLEAR” correctly). The only thing I’m wondering is what is going to come first: Scooter’s full pardon, the handing over of our environmental policy to the energy industry (coal powered power plants for everyone!), the invasion of Iran, replacing the Pentagon and the GAO with Halliburton, or him gunning down every Democrat he can find (followed by a full pardon). It’s your time to shine baby!! Oh, and bring back Enron!

Die Beetle! Die!

July 18, 2007

Now if I may get serious for a moment. I think that there is one aspect of immigration reform that we can all get behind and that is the complete removal of all Japanese Beetles from our hallowed soil. Oh sure, I’ve heard the arguments against it like, “The Japanese Beetle eats the foliage that us Americans don’t want.” and “Without these beetles the pesticide industry would suffer undo financial hardship.”. I say all that is nothing more than right-wing, neo-conservative, tax and spend liberal propaganda, oh, and complete rubbish too. Their very presence in our country takes food out of the mouths of hard working American grasshoppers like me. And their willingness to work for grass clippings makes it hard for honest American insects to afford the healthcare the so desperately need, especially since the presence of these NAFTA refugees has caused pesticide companies to use blends that cause cancer and other long term health consequences that we don’t even know of yet. So where you may see some cutesy little beetle, munching on a leaf, minding his own business, I see a menace to society and that is why I say, “Die Beetle! Die!”.

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Dr. James Holsinger, man of science or religious ideologue?

July 15, 2007

So here we have yet another offering from the Big Top. Dr. James Holsinger. His credentials certainly are impressive. He’s a Mud-Phud (MD/PhD), lecturer, bla, bla, snoooozzze. But is that what’s really important here? Given the environment under which the previous tenant left, I think not. In my humble opinion, the surgeon general may be appointed by the the prez., but he works for the American people. It is his job to identify a public health issue, collect AAALLL the mainstream science on the matter, chew it into a palatable form for the public, then educate and promote well thought programs to address the issue. I realize there’s more to the job than that. However, I feel that this is one of, it not the most, important of those jobs. He is the face of what the federal government thinks is the best answer to wide spread medical concerns. In other words, he maybe a political appointee, but he is not a politician.

So as you may have guessed, I am building my case for why I don’t think he has any bin’ess being our medical spokesperson. Basically, I have three reasons, all of which are from his testimony before the Senate.

  1. Ah yes, that little religiously motivated, highly slanted article masquerading around as science that he wrote for the United Methodist Church.
  2. His non-answer to the stem cell question.
  3. The exercise in political speak (technobabble for gobbly-gook) over the question of birth control.

The common thread, to me, that runs through all three of these answers is one of religious overtone and not of objective, this is what the science is telling us, reasoning.

More specifically,

For point one: What?! There is a very specific reason why the Methodist Church asked him, or someone like him, as oppose to, say, Apu from the Kwik-E-Mart, to write that so-called summary of the medical literature. They were looking for someone with credentials in the science world to give credence to their viewpoint, and apparently they found their man. (Of course, I find the irony a bit humorous given the whole creationism flap.) He had a very clear understanding of why they wanted this paper written and what they were going to do with it and he had no problem having his name attached to it. Also, I do not believe for one second his answer of, “… the paper does not represent where I am today…”. This tells me two things. 1) He did agree with their opinion and 2) He still does. Why still agrees? I’m glad you asked young grasshopper. Dude! The guy is 68 now, 52 when he wrote the article. What life changing event occurred that has caused such a supposed continental shift in his personal opinion on a topic like homosexuality? Did he start hanging around Ted Haggard?

Point two: I’ll admit that this is a tough personal choice, but the science is clear. Stem cells should be looked at. His non-answer is a clear demonstration that not only is he willingly allowing his personal opinion to get in the way, but that he is going to cherry pick which public health issues he is going to promote. This issue does need to be discussed, the surgeon general does have a seat at the debate, and it is not going to go away by simply using the Rumsfeld strategy of, “If I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist.”. Oh, and this position makes him ideologically aligned with ole Georgy, which I think is one of the seven deadly sins.

Point three: First his answer, “That is one of a number of appropriate means of birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, I would also talk about others.” Uhh, allow me to translate that for you. “I don’t like gays, I’m opposed to stem cells, and while I won’t not talk about condoms, I won’t talk about them either.” I’m sure he’ll have a single pamphlet on the subject crammed in a drawer somewhere just to cover himself, but again we have yet another example of his personal opinion trumping what the science is saying.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure he is perfectly competent in his various endeavors, I just don’t think he should be allowed within 100 miles of the offices of the sturgeon general (ya, I just threw that one in there). He says he would resign before he would let politics get in the way. But that is the problem, I don’t think that he views his personal opinions as political, and as it so happens, his opinions are the same as Bushy’s. Therefore, no conflict will arise. And if an issue did arise where he differs from Captain Koo-Koo Bananas, I believe he would simply avoid any potential foibles by simply not addressing it. I mean come on, childhood obesity is not exactly the most divisive issue confronting us.

Someone who is so willing to trade on his credentials has no business being the Dr. Phil for the federal government.

-the hopper

p.s. By the way, having to mention the president by name at least three times per page in a speech? Oh, I’m sorry, I thought our country was being run by adults. How about if Bush is so concerned about his image of being involved, he actually does something to deserve it? Ever hear the saying, “You get all the respect you deserve.”?