Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gerald Ford: RIP

I'm sorry for Betty Ford's loss.
Gerald Ford was one of the few Republicans who didn't seem to be on the take, and that made him a very unique member of his party.
Sure, he pardoned known-criminal Richard Nixon, but I'm sure he agreed to do that in order to get the job. Let's face it, we'd all perhaps do something sort of slimy if we got to be president as a result.
Besides, he lost his shot to be an elected president because of the pardon, so what went around came around. End of story.
But Ford's best asset was his wife.
Betty Ford is the ONLY GOP wife in history who admitted she was a pill popping drunk. You don't see Crazy Eyes going in for treatment, and you sure as hell don't see Barbara Bush admitting she's a tippler.
The Betty Ford Treatment Center is one of America's preeminent dry-out centers, and the nation has her to thank for that, and the recovery trend in general.
So, Betty, I send my sympathies to you and your family.
He seemed to be a decent old guy. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dead Saddam

Okay, I personally don't care if the guy's dead or not.
Sure, he was a tyrant who sent hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to their deaths, but he certainly was no threat to America, and he wasn't the only tyrant in the Middle East who probably needed killing.
Besides, he seemed to personify the Iraqi character: violent, dogmatic and without regard for human life. When he was their dictator, we heard nothing about civil war or other incessant Iraqi turmoil. He kept that Hellhole contained, for what it's worth.
Please note that George W. Bush, who set this whole thing into motion, has been curiously absent from the "Saddam is Dead" fray. He simply issued a terse, written statement about the execution, obviously trying to distance himself from the final outcome.
Yep, Bush once said of Saddam, "He tried to kill my Dad."
And now he's dead. Mission accomplished.
So...if the world is getting hot on executing leaders whose decisions and orders result in the death of his or her countrymen, what about a leader who attacks other nations unprovoked and causes the death of thousands of military troops and tens of thousands of innocent civilians?
Should Bush be tried for war crimes and executed?
Nah. That would be Barbaric.
Should Bush and his war cabinet be tried, and if convicted of war crimes, be put into prison for life?
That would suit me fine.
Criminals are criminals, and regardless of their national origin or political clout, if we tolerate their intolerance and support their dictatorial policies, we are no different from the bloody mongrels in the Middle East who simply do not value human life.
Bush is not quite as Barbaric as Saddam, but he sanctions torture and the wholesale slaughter of human beings as casually as he did when he was caught driving drunk those times.
Saddam, Bush, Cheney, bin Laden, the Saudi Princes--what a bunch of pricks.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

America Wakes to Dying Dreams, Dead Soldiers
by Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts

Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Thibodaux, La.; Pflugerville, Texas; Presque Isle, Maine; Westerville, Ohio; Marysville, Wash.; Redding, Calif.; Stokesdale, N.C.; Bapchule, Ariz.; Oxford, Ala.

These are the hometowns of 10 American troops killed recently in Iraq, 10 of almost 3,000 fatalities. And there will be many more. The good folks of Pflugerville and Westerville and Marysville no longer believe their sons and daughters are dying for a good reason, but President Bush seems in no mood to hear them.

Yes, he fired Donald Rumsfeld. And yes, he will announce next year "a new way forward." But listen carefully. It's clear the president is not really interested in a "new way" at all. He still firmly believes that his old way is right, that the war was justified, that "victory" is the only way to keep Stokesdale safe.

His own words reflect no doubt or regret: "Iraq is a central component of defeating the extremists who want to establish a safe haven in the Middle East, extremists who would use their safe haven from which to attack the United States. This is really the calling of our time, that is, to defeat the extremists and radicals."

But the president has not only lost the "battle for hearts and minds" across the Arab world, he's lost it across the United States. The people of Bapchule and Oxford no longer believe his words or trust his judgment. Virtually everything he ever said to them about the war — from "Mission Accomplished" to "absolutely, we're winning" — has been wrong.

Once, Americans might have shared his vision of a free, self-governing Iraq, but not any more. He has squandered their trust and betrayed their patriotism. The parents of Thibodaux and Cheektowaga no longer want to sacrifice their children to a lost cause.

The elections certainly showed that, and since his party's defeat, the president's standing has continued to deteriorate. In the latest CBS News poll, only 15 percent agree with him that America is winning the war. Even his closest supporters are jumping ship. Fewer than half of all Republicans, and only one-third of all conservatives, approve of the president's war strategy.

In a USA Today poll, three out of four Americans say Iraq is engaged in a "civil war." How does the president convince parents in Redding and Presque Isle that it is worth American lives to keep Muslim sects thousands of miles away from slaughtering each other? The answer: He can't.

Republicans are turning against Bush. Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, who faces a tough campaign in 2008, broke ranks with an extraordinary speech: "I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets is the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal."

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska says Bush "misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam."

But how can these critics exert any leverage over a president who is not running again and seems detached from reality? GOP hardliners — like Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney, who don't have to stand for office, or send their own children to war — are still telling Bush to ignore the "surrender monkeys," as one headline put it.

As for the Democrats, they're in a bind. As the Baker-Hamilton panel demonstrated, the Bush administration has made such a mess that there is no such thing as a good option in Iraq. The panel's two main suggestions — negotiating with Iran and Syria and turning over security to Iraqi forces — have been widely derided as unrealistic. Neither holds much promise of working. Nothing else does, either.

That's why the Democrats are lying low and insisting that "the ball is in the president's court." That might not be a courageous position but it's certainly an understandable one. This is Bush's war. He broke Iraq and now he owns it.

The nation is facing an enormous tragedy. Bush can't or won't leave Iraq, but staying means Pflugerville will keep burying its children. Only a new president will be able to stop the dying.

Cokie Roberts is a journalist; Steven V. Roberts wrote "My Fathers' Houses: Memoir of a Family."

Copyright 2001-2006 Cox Texas Newspapers, L.P.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Yeah, I know the radical right hasn't got much to pin on the rest of us, so they allege that we don't like the term "Merry Christmas" because it's not inclusive.
But a lot of us celebrate Christmas, and I see no reason to have to say "happy holidays" just so some Islamic or Jewish person doesn't feel excluded.
All the Jews I know have in some way noted Christmas for me, so it's not like they have their panties in a wad about it.
I don't know very many Islamics or Buddhists, but in America I sense they too would understand that Christmas is a big deal for many of us and they'd get over a phrase like Merry Christmas.
Besides, if someone wished me a happy Chanukah or joyous Ramadan, I'd say thanks because I'd know they were just trying to include me in their holiday joy.
Anyway, I hope your day is a nice one, regardless of what day it is for you.
I'll be on the road shortly, planning to spend part of the day in Austin with my family. We've agreed to keep it low key and without stress.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The X in Xmas Shopping

I never shop at Walmart but I absolutely had to go there yesterday because it's close to my house, my electric blanket broke and I hated the idea of spending 'Bed, Bath and Beyond' money on something that just needs to lay there and be warm about 12 days of the year.
However, Walmart didn't have electric blankets but they did have screaming, unsupervised kids who think nothing on slobbering on merchandise their parents have not purchased, people who can't operate a simple cart, lots of curiously large people on electric scooters, and a staff that must have descended from the Jabba the Hutt clan.
I felt sticky and unclean after I left that dump, like someone had rubbed me down with damp gumdrops they'd found in the parking lot.
Meanwhile, my neighbor Pete used to live next door until he shacked up with Margie across the street, then they married and he rented his house to a drunken young asshole and the things he holds dearest (in descending order:) his loud motorcycle, yelping dog, wife and kids.
Needless to say, a few battles have started between me and the neighbor punk, and between me and his landlord Pete, whose face resembles a pockmarked scrotum with a mustache.
Pete seems not to care that he's turning the neighborhood into a rathole by renting it to a drunken little punk and his low-life brood.
Suffice it to say, the punk family is learning all about opera these days. I turn it on when they start making noise too close to my house...which is all the damn time.

Anyway, last night I had to laugh.

After Pete told me to go fuck myself last Thursday night when I called him after 11p.m. to tell him the stupid ass next door woke me up by nailing boards on the fence they have illegally attached to my house, Pete spent the weekend putting up Christmas decorations on the house he shares with Margie.
That must make him feel so Christian.
I just hope Jesus is watching him.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Happiness

... is not having to watch the Clay Aiken Christmas Show with special guest Rod Stewart.

Christmas Happiness

... is not having to watch the Clay Aiken Christmas Show with special guest Rod Stewart.
Another Democratic Landslide

Repugnican Congressman Henry Bonilla was ceremoniously thrown out of office in a run-off election in San Antonio yesterday.
Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez won in a landslide.
Bonilla had been elected after Tom DeLay and his cronies masterminded the scheme to redistrict Texas, causing the noted coconut to collect the all-important honky vote in Texas.
Once the Supreme Court, lopsided as they are, had to admit that the redistricting was illegal, Ciro was finally returned to his rightful place in Congress.

I loathed Henry Bonilla when he ran 14 years ago because he was then the news director for CBS affiliate KENS-TV in San Antonio.
When he first ran, he used the station's computers to create and print his campaign materials. Chris Marrou, the anchorman, held a fundraiser for his boss in his home. Bonilla was married at the time to co-anchor Deborah Knapp, who also ignored journalistic ethics and stumped for him.
I figured a dishonest, unscrupulous journalist would make a dishonest, unscrupulous Congressman- and I was right.
Bonilla had his nose so far up Tom DeLay's ass, it's a wonder DeLay could sit down.

So, let's give Bonilla a big adios, MoFo.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This new job has me busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
I like it, though. I like it a lot.
Between the job and a new little friend in Austin I try to see two or three times a week, blogging has slipped to the bottom of the list, right after following politics.
Yep, once we got back the House and the Senate, I felt vindicated. Rummy and that cocksucker Ken Mehlman getting fired were gravy.
All is well...we just have to watch that imbecile Bush bumble through the next 700 or so days, which I think will be fun.
...If I had time to watch the news, which I don't.