Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Summing Up Eight Years

Have you seen Laura and Condie's recent media pouncing trying to convince America that eventually we will all recognize just how fabulous W really was? 
Well, this end of the year Vanity Fair article will surely put to rest any question or misgivings you might have about calling this administration the worst group of reckless asshats in the history of the United States government.

An Oral History of the Bush White House

Here's an excerpt

March 19, 2003 The Iraq war begins. Two weeks of “shock and awe” bombardment herald the invasion by ground forces. U.S. and British troops make up 90 percent of the “international coalition,” which includes modest support from other countries. The defeat of Iraqi forces is a foregone conclusion, but within days of the occupation Baghdad is beset by looting that coalition forces do nothing to stop. Rumsfeld dismisses the breakdown of civil order with the explanation “Stuff happens.” Kenneth Adelman, a Rumsfeld- appointed member of a Pentagon advisory board, and initially a supporter of the war, later confronts the defense secretary.

Kenneth Adelman, a member of Donald Rumsfeld’s advisory Defense Policy Board:
So he says, It might be best if you got off the Defense Policy Board. You’re very negative. I said, I am negative, Don. You’re absolutely right. I’m not negative about our friendship. But I think your decisions have been abysmal when it really counted.
Start out with, you know, when you stood up there and said things—“Stuff happens.” I said, That’s your entry in Bartlett’s. The only thing people will remember about you is “Stuff happens.” I mean, how could you say that? “This is what free people do.” This is not what free people do. This is what barbarians do. And I said, Do you realize what the looting did to us? It legitimized the idea that liberation comes with chaos rather than with freedom and a better life. And it demystified the potency of American forces. Plus, destroying, what, 30 percent of the infrastructure.
I said, You have 140,000 troops there, and they didn’t do jack shit. I said, There was no order to stop the looting. And he says, There was an order. I said, Well, did you give the order? He says, I didn’t give the order, but someone around here gave the order. I said, Who gave the order?
So he takes out his yellow pad of paper and he writes down—he says, I’m going to tell you. I’ll get back to you and tell you. And I said, I’d like to know who gave the order, and write down the second question on your yellow pad there. Tell me why 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq disobeyed the order. Write that down, too.
And so that was not a successful conversation.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Angry Mob at Change.gov

Obama supporters are angry about Rick Warren delivering the invocation at the presidential inauguration next month and are making their voices heard at Change.gov
Here's a sample comment:

Mr Obama,

I am writing to ask that you return the campaign donations made by myself, Jacinto Hernandez, and my husband, Charles Callahan, to your campaign. Chet and I were passionate supporters-- Chet volunteered for weeks at a local phone bank. We attended numerous rallies and fundraisers-- including one with your wife, Michelle (see attached picture) That fund raiser was ostensibly held to court support with the gay community. At that fundraiser, Michelle held my my baby and promised to "not forget us." Yet you have. We worked tirelessly for your campaign-- replacing our yard sign when it was vandalized. So why would you betray the gay community- that stood by you-- and ask Rick Warren to lead your inauguration, when his anti gay rhetoric is dangerous to our family. He also was a huge proponent of proposition 8, that has endangered our family and has eliminated the civil rights of thousands of Californians.

We gave thousands of dollars-- despite the tough economy- in hopes that are community would no longer be marginalized. Despite the passage of prop 8, we celebrated on election day. Today we feel betrayed. There are so many christian leaders who are advocates for the gay community-- why choose one who is not?

Please return our donations immediately. We made donations over a number of occaisions, frequently in response to "urgent" pleas from your campaign. Consider this an "urgent" plea as well.

Please remove us from your mailing lists and never ask us for your support again, unless you stand with us and reject homophobia once and for all.

Your move, Mr President-Elect.

Obama in Response to Anger Over Warren

Let me start by talking about my own views. I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on and something that I intend to be consistent on during my presidency. What I've also said is that it is important for Americans to come together even though we have disagreements on certain social issues. I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited by Rick Warren's church to speak despite his wariness that I held contrary views.... that's what this campaign was about....We're not going to agree on every single issue...but what we have to do is be able to create an atmosphere that we can disagree and not be disagreeable....

This is as good of a response as I can think of.

God, The Bigot

I'm not the most religious person. In fact, organized religion has never been a part of my life. I know a tiny bit about the religion of my birth, Judaism, and even less about Christianity. The little I know about Christianity comes from reading and talking with those who are guided by it's principles. 

Now I don't want to pigeonhole anyone and I know Christianity, just like most other religions, is a nuanced set of beliefs that varies from one subset to the next, but I just can't wrap my head around the sheer hypocrisy of some of it's followers. 

How can one preach love and acceptance and in the same breath deny commitment to countless adults? How can one be so dedicated to living life as a moral human being yet be so determined to prevent others from living their lives as they see fit? 

Since when was anyone's religion the rule of our land? 
If I ever do find myself a believer in a higher being it sure as hell won't be to a bigoted deity. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boo to Obama on Choice of Secretary of Agriculture

Despite petitions from organic farmers and advocates of sustainable agriculture, Obama has chosen Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture. 

Who is Vilsack? 
He's a former Governor of Iowa who is a staunch supporter of GMO food, particularly pharmaceutical corn. He has fought to limit states' rights to regulate seed, GE crops and pharma crops and he's also in favor of corn and soy biofuels - both of which use as much as or more fossil energy to produce as they generate. 

This is very alarming news and doesn't bode well for the future of our soil and our food supply. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


No, not Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich - although I do think he needs to be kicked to the curb post haste. I'm talking about something even more sinister, more mind-bogglingly evil than trying to sell a Senate seat. 

Torture. That's right, folks. Torture is what I speak of. Our abysmal President Ok'd illegal torture, so says a bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee Inquiry. 

What to do now? Throw shoes? Make excuses? Pretend it's not our country abusing power and breaching laws of the land? 

I know many of us are hoping Obama can restore respect and admiration for our country after the last eight years but it's hard to imagine how other countries can look to us as a moral society until we bring Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to trial.