Monday, October 17, 2005

Sunshine, Dog's Ass part ways

From the Pew Research Center
President George W. Bush's poll numbers are going from bad to worse. His job approval rating has fallen to another new low, as has public satisfaction with national conditions, which now stands at just 29%

Here's the problem for GWB. The guns-gays-god crowd ain't but so big. Eventually even people under the GOP's "big tent" have realized that this administration is little more than than a bastion of feel-good stagecraft, borrow-and-spend liberalism, and rampant cronyism. The independents are long gone.

This administration has gotten a free pass on its missteps for years now, and if things keep up (vetoing the torture bill, Harriet "the greatest ever" Miers, etc.) the midterm elections will be nationalized, giving Democrats a legitimate chance to take back both houses of Congress.

The quacking sound you hear is coming from Pennsylvania Ave.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A little something to chew on today

From the Washington Post

Writing in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, F. Gregory Gause III said that a review of academic literature and statistics finds little evidence that democracy stops terrorism. Gause, a political science professor at the University of Vermont, noted that the State Department's records show that, between 2000 and 2003, India, the world's most populous democracy, had 203 terrorist attacks while, China, the world's most populous authoritarian state, had none. One study cited by Gause found that "most terrorist incidents occur in democracies and that generally both the victims and the perpetrators are citizens of democracies."

Friday, September 09, 2005

Maybe they were all rebuilding Trent Lott's house

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Get in closer, everyone. This picture is extremely important.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

...firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of the came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.

Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel into pockets of Louisiana where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.
But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

There, in a nutshell, is why this administration gets caught flat-footed time and again in times of crisis. Consultants are way too concerned with the next backdrop, and people are dead and dying on a scale that defies imagination.

I'm not giving anyone high marks about Katrina here. This is a top-down failure of terrifying magnitude. However, the largest share of blame has to fall on the largest part of the government.

It's sickening looking back at just how quickly Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and all three branches of Florida's government responded to the Terry Schiavo "crisis" compared to the horrifying death, destruction, and neglect on the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

See you in the private sector, jackass

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rick Santorum has introduced legislation that would limit the information that the National Weather Service can provide to the public, in what the Pennsylvania Republican's aides describe as an effort to make sure that private weather companies -- particularly those in his home state -- can compete in the marketplace and retain jobs.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson nailed it:

"For Pete's sake, no one suggests shutting down the post office because FedEx has a system of delivery."

What is it about this year that's making the Republicans overreach on issue after issue? Take your pick--Social Security, Terry Schiavo, lobbyist-funded trips, judicial nominees-the nuclear option-harassment of the judiciary in general, John Bolton, the consumption tax, and on and on. Fact is all of these issues are losers for Bush and his Congress.

I think 2006 will see a significant chipping away of the Republican majority. Santorum is ready for butter and jam, Rudy Giuliani won't take on Hillary, Conrad Burns is vulnerable.

The clock is ticking for Congress to get any of Bush's second term agenda going. Before you know it we'll have the summer recess, a drawn out budget battle, and then *poof*--election year paralysis. What can Republicans point to as a signature accomplishment so far? The bankruptcy bill? The right 30-second spot can make that bill a fat albatross--lots of people have shitty credit.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Cult of Life

President Bush: is wise to always err on the side of life.

Hold on a second. How many people were executed by the state of Texas when George W. Bush was governor? Care to guess? By August of 1999 he signed death warrants on 93 people, not including one on the day of his inauguration as governor. Where was Congress then? Was there a zero percent chance that every one of those convictions was unjustly decided?

If Congress came back from vacation to argue about that in the middle of the night, I might believe that any of those demagogues could give a shit about Terri Schiavo.

It's very sweet that all these big, strong politicians came back from vacation to try and save one woman in tragic circumstances. But it's not their job.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I Know, Let's Ruin Alaska!

Looks like ANWR finally gets what's coming to it. The Senate authorized oil drilling as part of a budget resolution in that little speck of heaven yesterday. Advocates say drilling will tamp down gasoline prices.

Here's why they're wrong. Say we go out there and start fouling up the refuge. What's to stop OPEC from decreasing production to match our increased output? I can't think of anything either.

Normal Americans won't see prices drop at the pump as a result. Oil companies will see a tidy spike in business, of course. In exchange we get a huge chunk of our natural resources spoiled.

Chances are oil's not going to get any cheaper anytime soon. China and India will see to that.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the real crisis facing this country in the next 20-40 years is a source of inexpensive, easily accessible energy. If our government wants to throw around a couple trillion on a gathering storm, how about a Manhattan Project-sized investment in practical alternative energy?

Ponder how much easier it would be to spread democracy in the Middle East, Russia, and South America if we didn't have to deal with all the bullshit that comes with buying oil from those fuckers. We're in a new kind of war, and we need the flexibility to deal harshly with the shit dictators and royal families without sweating a twist on the spigot.