Thursday, June 14, 2007


Why GOP Bush-Haters Are Even Scarier Than The 28-Percenters


Over the past year, George W. Bush has gone from being perhaps the ultimate GOP wet-dream president to a politician whom even many Republicans hate.

At first glance, this ought to be welcome news. After all, we liberals have been shouting from the highest rooftops about why Bush is bad for America ever since 2000.

It's nice that a lot of Republicans have now come around to our way of thinking.

There's only one problem. If you take a look at the reason why many Republicans finally rejected Bush, it's not an encouraging sign.

After all, why did many Republicans finally turn against Bush?

Was it the illegal, immoral war in Iraq that Bush lied America into? No.

Was it Bush's blatant disregard for America's Constitution? No.

Was it Bush's illegal wiretaps? No.

Was it the disastrously bungled response to Hurricane Katrina? No.

Was it embracing torture as an official instrument of American policy? No.

Was it any one of a number of other serious violations of Bush's oath of office and impeachable offenses? No.

The scary thing is that the Republicans who abandoned Bush didn't have problems with any of the above.

They stood by Bush through thick and thin, and weren't deterred from supporting their hero, even when he dragged America's name through the mud and made us the most feared and hated nation on the planet.

No, the thing that finally ended the love affair between millions of Republicans and the Fratboy-In-Chief was their former hero's immigration policy, of all things.

I've talked to a number of Republicans over the past year and it's become apparent to me that Bush's immigration policy was the straw that broke the camel's back for them. As a couple of Republicans explained it to me last week, "We're sick and tired of all these fucking spics coming into our country."

So there you have it: torture is fine, shredding the Constitution is fine, lying the nation into war is fine. Just keep America as white as possible, and you won't get a peep of protest out of the droves of Republicans who abandoned Bush.

Like I said, Republican Bush-haters are even more frightening than the 28-percenters.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007


He's Lost It: Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick Declares His Power "Absolute"


Among infamous serial killers, they're often named Wayne (Something or Other). Among Texas politicians, they seem to be named Tom (DeLay, Craddick).

If anyone comes close to Tom DeLay as an embodiment of the crypto-fascist outfit that the Texas Republican Party has become, that person must now be state House Speaker Tom Craddick.

This from various news sources: Craddick, when confronted Friday night with motions to remove him as speaker, declared that his power to disregard such motions is "absolute." His parliamentarian and her assistant resigned and were replaced after a two-hour recess. Many Republicans were angered and in shock. Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, was quoted: "I knew we had a speaker. I didn't know we had a dictator."

The New York Times reported:

"During the five-hour spectacle, Mr. Craddick outmaneuvered his opponents, lawmakers who tried to overtake the speaker’s podium were physically restrained and the House parliamentarian resigned before the House adjourned shortly before 1:30 a.m. Saturday. ...

"Democrats and Republicans complain that Mr. Craddick, Republican of Midland, has ruled with an iron fist. They say his style often forces them to vote against the interests of their districts."

Craddick is an almost 40-year legislator from Midland -- recall, just incidentally, that this is the flat, treeless, right-wing oilfield paradise where George W. and Laura Bush spent much of their undoubtedly idyllic childhoods.

He now faces an open mutiny within his own right-wing party, and for good reasons. He has faced an insurgency within Republican ranks for a while. No Democrat would ever have trusted him further than the next Republican lobbyist. But he has a well-earned reputation as a despot, and even the Republicans are rebelling against the megalomania that is in full display now.

Craddick's history as a tin-pot Napoleon is a long one. In '03, when the newly Republican-controlled Legislature was busy Gerrymandering the state's congressional districts, some of the Democrats in the Legislature split for Ardmore, Okla., where they could hole up and prevent a quorum. They said they actually had to cross the state lines to do this. The reason: Herr Craddick had ze state troopers out looking for zem, to bring zem in, unter ze orderz. Achtung.

Anyway, the House and Senate eventually managed, with then-U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's invaluable help, to Gerrymander Texas to a congressional Republican majority for the next couple of generations.

DeLay was eventually indicted on criminal charges stemming from alleged campaign finance violations. The trial is pending. And, let us not forget Craddick's role as one of DeLay's state Republican toadies. They were very tight back then.

But a general thing to ponder is the Republican Party's incredible talent for jacking itself, and the country, around, and usually both at once. In Texas, the problems with Craddick began right after the Republicans gained control of the state House for the first time in 130 years.

Democrats can be quite exasperating at times. But one thing I've noticed about Republicans, when they are taken seriously and voted into office: When given power, it takes them about one-tenth of the time to shit their britches.

I sincerely hope the situation can get better, and without so many diapers at public expense.

Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Michael Moore "Watchdog" Site Owner Reveals Wingnut Hypocrisy


Here's a simple question for Jim Kenefick, who runs the self-appointed Michael Moore "watchdog" Web site,

Why, exactly, did you keep the $12,000 check that Michael Moore sent you to pay your bills?

By trying to defend your decision to keep the money, you showed the world that you are a hypocrite who has no principles.

You've spent years now sliming Moore's work with your pathetic little wingnut site. In one unhinged, hysterical attack after another, you've called Moore a liar, a scam artist, and worse.

Then one day, you bitched and moaned that you couldn't pay your bills. And Moore was kind enough to send you a check.

Much of the blogosphere has been abuzz lately about your lack of class and how ungrateful and insulting you've been to Moore during this episode. But to me, this episode only showed what a despicable hypocrite you are.

If I was struggling and some right-wing guy who I detested offered me some cash to get by, I would starve to death before I'd accept one FUCKING CENT of his money. There is no way on earth that I would accept money from any supporter of the party of a psychopath like George W. Bush, who has done so much to harm this once-great nation.

But I guess that's the difference between us liberals and the wingnuts. To us, principles and integrity are far more important than mere grubby money. By contrast, the GOP and its supporters worship at the altar of money every day (and seem genuinely baffled that the rest of us don't do so as well).

Look, Kenefick: if you wish to attack Moore, that's your right. (It would be nice, though, if you had some valid points for a change, instead of just making up bullshit about Moore, day after day).

As far as being a target of Kenefick's rage, Moore is at least in good company.

After all, on Oct. 10, 2004, in a typical rambling blog post, Kenefick accused John Kerry of "traitorous behavior."

Let's review a couple of facts. Kerry volunteered to serve his country in combat during the Vietnam War. He was wounded in action and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts by the U.S. Navy.

And now, Kenefick says Kerry is guilty of "traitorous behavior."

This, even as Kenefick keeps his tongue firmly lodged in the ass of George W. Bush, a coward and a deserter who never saw a day of combat and who got his rich, powerful daddy to pull strings to get him out of serving in Vietnam.

For Kenefick to keep Moore's money to pay his bills is reprehensible, no matter how he tries to spin this. He's a hypocrite who has absolutely no principles.

Hmmm, I guess he fits right in with today's Republican party. Most Republicans I know are greedy jerks who're obsessed with money. A lot of them would probably sell kiddie porn if there was a quick buck in it and they could get away with it.

One thing I'd like to point out is that I think that having a watchdog site for Moore is actually not a bad idea in concept. (Just as I think Fox "News," CNN, and the rest of the corporate MSM ought to have watchdog sites that keep tabs on their content).

What I find despicable, though, is that sites like attack Moore for supposedly telling "lies" and then turn around and praise the likes of George W. Bush, the biggest pathological liar who ever occupied the White House. And, unlike Moore, (who only makes movies for a living) Bush has done unfathomable damage to America and the world---not to mention the 600,000+ Iraqis slaughtered for his lies.

Wingnuts like Kenefick have been sucking Bush's ass since Day One. They've been desperately trying to convince the rest of us that Bush's shit is instead actually fine gourmet chocolate. Their despicable little scam actually worked for a short while in the confusion and chaos of post 9/11 America. Today, however, all sane, rational Americans now know it's all shit---which leaves Bush's little cult-like fan base looking more pathetic every day.

I'd suspect that, there are wingnuts out there now considering stepping forward, offering to pay Kenefick's bills, if he'll send Moore back his money. At this point, though, it'd make no difference, even if Kenefick returned the money.

The damage is already done. We've all now seen what an ungrateful, classless jerk Kenefick is. And we've all seen how he was quite content to put money ahead of principle.

Hey, Kenefick: it's up to you whether you keep Moore's money or not. Just don't expect anyone to take you seriously ever again.

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Friday, March 30, 2007


Who's Bankrupt Now? Thoughts On "How The Right Went Wrong"


In Time magazine's March 26 cover story, "How the Right Went Wrong," Karen Tumulty began by quoting Ronald Reagan in a sort of "bandwagon" logical fallacy at the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference. "... the other side is virtually bankrupt of ideas. It has nothing more to say, nothing to add to the debate. It has spent its intellectual capital." The core argument: Cons rule; get with it.

The writer seemed to veer even more off the track after that, going into the general gloom among conservatives -- but failing to adequately discuss the many failures of policy and ideas that put the Right in this mood. This kind of obfuscation is common in the Mainstream Media.

I'd like to get this back on the real track. Fast-forward to 2007.

For all but two of the past 26 years, the Republican Party, dominated by its "conservative" wing, has controlled either the executive branch, the legislative branch, or both, of the federal government. In that time:

-- The national debt has grown to over $5 trillion. When Reagan entered office, it was less than $1 trillion. The only balanced budgets, or surpluses, run during the past 26 years were in the final years of the Clinton presidency, when the rich were being taxed somewhat more than they are now, or were in the '80s.

So much for fiscal responsibility.

-- The welfare state has actually grown overall. An Associated Press analysis of government data shows that nearly 1 in 6 Americans relies on some kind of public assistance, the most since the government began the measurements two decades ago.

I can already hear the "cons" muttering, but this didn't happen because of liberals. The 1996 welfare "reform" was mainly a GOP idea. It has indeed cut the welfare rolls, by nearly two-thirds. But when former recipients went to low-wage, no-benefits jobs like those at Wal-Mart, guess what? Applications for food stamps grew, and the number of Medicaid recipients went off the charts. The new, not-so-improved welfare state is basically a huge subsidy for low-paying corporations like Wal-Mart.

More results: Real wages had already been slipping for decades, and the trend accelerated. Could it have been all those low-wage workers pouring into the work force? And all the while, other sets of numbers have been trending up--consumer debt and corporate profits. Call me paranoid, but sometimes it seems like somebody in a boardroom thought all this up.

The problem is, what's generating short-term profits for the few seems to mean long-term misery for many. Census figures show that the number of Americans categorized as severely poor--not just under the official poverty line--grew by 26 percent, to 16 million, between 2000 and 2005.

-- For two generations we've heard politicians rant about "law and order," even many Democrats. But the GOP Right Wing got by far the most political capital out of the issue, mainly by promising to lock up drug offenders and throw away the key, and to whittle Death Row down to about a dozen inmates.

I won't dwell on the possibility that some undetermined number of innocent people have been executed. (Although recent DNA-testing breakthroughs give some hint at the number of wrongful convictions.) I'll focus instead on "The Drug War." America had a serious crack cocaine problem in the '80s--but the approach to drugs in general became shotgun-style, where a rifle was needed. With that, and mandatory sentences, the federal prison population exploded. People were getting hard time for small-amount possession. From 1980 to 2000, the overall U.S. prison population quadrupled, despite a decline in violent crime and property crime since the early '90s. In federal pens, 57 percent were in for drug offenses. The overall U.S. incarcerated population in 2006: 2.2 million. In 2005, 1 out of every 136 Americans was in some kind of jail. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population, and 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population. (Source of all stats above: Wikipedia.)

Predictably, the taxpayers, even Republicans, got tired of paying for the U.S. being the world's biggest jailer. Here in Texas, Republican state legislators are introducing bills to cut way down on probation revocations, especially for nonviolent offenders. Even in the GOP, "lock 'em up" for damn near anything has become an impractical notion whose time has passed.

-- Tumulty wrote that Reagan "... helped bring about the defeat of what he very undiplomatically christened 'the Evil Empire.' " She apparently buys, at least to some degree, the notion that Reagan presided over a military buildup that "bankrupted" the Soviet Union.

This is one of the most toxic myths that the Right has sold to many as history. When Russian economists have been interviewed about this, their response has often been laughter. Everybody there who could see the big picture knew what the problems were, and they had been serious for many years before Reagan took office. All economic indicators had been declining for years. Life expectancy, down. Absenteeism, alcoholism, infant mortality--all up alarmingly. (Dartmouth College historians Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth.) It was requiring 25 percent of the Soviet GDP to support their military empire. But military spending, CIA stats show, was very level between 1975 and 1985.

The problem was systemic. The Soviets' particular experiment with socialism was a debacle--a top-heavy, command economy that basically collapsed under its own weight and inflexibility. Yet, many cons argue that Reagan's goofy "Star Wars" initiative was the final blow. With the Soviet economy already so dead in the water, this was like giving Reagan credit for every sunrise that occurred on his watch. If he even hastened their collapse, I doubt that it was by as much as a year.

But the Right has had uncanny success at selling such mendacity to tens of millions of Americans. They've built a hard core of about 30 percent of the electorate that will swallow any such B.S. and lick their lips like it's a fudge brownie.

How did they do this? One must go back in history. Liberal hegemony in U.S. politics was roughly 1932-1980. At the start of that period, about one-third of Americans lived in poverty. It was more serious then, with no food stamps or Medicaid. By the '70s, poverty had been cut by about two-thirds, down to around 11 percent. By the '50s, union membership peaked at 35 percent. In 1959, corporations paid 39 percent of federal income tax revenue (Barlett and Steele citing IRS stats, 1990. It's a fraction of that now).

Gradually, progressives and liberals became victims of their own successes, convictions, and coincidences. In the '60s, the Democrats lost the white South by embracing civil rights. In the '70s, demand-pull inflation, fueled in no small way by the OPEC embargo, began plunging the U.S. economy into deep recessions.

And, when people become affluent enough, they forget about G.I. Bills, federal housing loans, Pell Grants and the like that helped them get there. Lower taxes and higher property values become the main concerns. The Democrat becomes a "Reagan Democrat."

Then came the wedge issues: Abortion, affirmative action and gun control drive a bigger "wedge." And finally, the Reagan Democrat, under pressure from his golf buds, becomes a Republican.

And, the Right never has a problem getting money. Starting in the '70s, a network of "think tanks" formed, lavishly financed by Corporate America, to undertake such campaigns as selling "intellectuals" such spurious ideas as the Laffer Curve and utility deregulation. Such ideas eventually "trickle down" to the general public, even if the real money doesn't.

Tumulty talks about "conservatives," not liberals, being victims of their successes. Which triumphs are those? The ones I just reviewed?

The main success I can see is that the "conservative movement" ran one of the most longlasting and successful "cons" on the public in U.S. political history. They have nothing at all to show for 26 years of being more or less in power. Their astonishing talent is for keeping discredited ideas alive:

-- Cutting taxes on the rich and big corporations was supposed to increase revenue and eliminate the deficit by growing the economy. It never happened, even when tried twice.

-- The Clinton economic plan, which passed in 1993 without a single Republican vote, was supposed to wreck the economy. It didn't. (What it did do, eventually, was balance the budget, and even produce a surplus.)

-- We have heard over and over that raising the minimum wage is supposed to set off inflation and increase unemployment. It's been done many times, and it never has.

I won't stoop to Reagan's fallacy of intellectual bankruptcy. It's more like a case of a high-roller who finally goes into debt so deeply that the bank just keeps lending him more money, because if he goes under, the bank does, too.

But fortunately, more voters are deciding he's not the guy to put in charge of the Treasury.

Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.

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Friday, March 16, 2007


Rove On Dems Being Partisan? That's Like Ted Bundy Indignantly Accusing Someone Of Homicide


Are the ides of March finally arriving for Karl Rove? Bush's "turd blossom" has led a charmed life for many years. But with the U.S. attorneys scandal now exploding, can it be that Doughface is about to, at long last, face the long knives?

I will present an excerpt here from a report from the McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau:

"... Allen Weh, the [New Mexico Republican] party chairman, said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias [for New Mexico] to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House.

" 'Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?' Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event that month.

" 'He's gone,' Rove said, according to Weh.

" 'I probably said something close to 'Hallelujah,' said Weh.

"Weh's account calls into question the Justice Department's stance that the recent decision to fire Iglesias and seven U.S. attorneys in other states was a personnel matter - made without White House intervention. Justice Department officials have said the White House's involvement was limited to approving a list of the U.S. attorneys after the Justice Department made the decision to fire them.

"Rove could not be reached Saturday, and the White House and the Justice Department had no immediate response.

" 'The facts speak for themselves,' Iglesias said, when he was told of Weh's account of his conversation with Rove."

With congressional subpoenas still in the works, it remains to be seen whether anything illegal was done. But what has come out, clearly, was that Iglesias and most of the other fired U.S. attorneys had been getting good job evaluations. They were fired because they weren't being cooperative right-wing Republican political hacks.

Iglesias wasn't bringing the right cases against Democrats, as he apparently learned under pressure from the GOP's U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, both of New Mexico. He was, he says, pressured to bring indictments against certain Democrats in time for the 2006 congressional elections. And he wasn't quite cooperating. (Our Republican moguls, of course, deny it all.)

But, back to Herr Rove. It's too bad that so many are focused on getting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a scummy enough right-winger himself, to step down, and not recognizing who the more experienced and enthusiastic hatchetman is here.

Herr Rove doesn't lack for chutzpah. Like other large rodents, he tries to spit like a puma when cornered. But the sound of him accusing congressional Democrats of playing partisan politics on this issue rises to a new level of absurdity. This sleazy man has built a lucrative career on character assassination, partisan dirty tricks and, arguably, electoral larceny.

Like other large rodents, Herr Rove has a talent for being able to find a secure spot in the woodpile when he needs to hide. But let's hope that this time he can't. And beyond him, the woodpile still needs plenty of cleaning. One can only hope that Scattergun Dick, and then Il Doofus himself, will be outed, too. Senator Leahy -- let's roll that wood. And get the rat poison ready.

Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.

Keith Olbermann discusses the U.S. attorneys scandal:

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


Countering Ann Coulter's Hate Speech: A Citizen's Action Guide


Are you fed up with Ann Coulter's vile, disgusting hate speech? If so, you're not alone. Thousands of Americans are now taking action against Coulter, who regular poisons our nation's political discourse with her bigoted outbursts.

As is usual in cases like this, if you want to make your voice heard when it comes to the corporate media, you've gotta hit them where it hurts: their wallets. The sort of media outlets that would give the time of day to a disgusting hate spewer like Coulter can only understand one thing: the financial bottom line.

If you want to make these corporate entities see the light, you're wasting your time if you try to appeal to their sense of human decency. On the other hand, if you hit them in the pocketbook, you just might catch their attention, if only for a moment.

As it turns out, Coulter's latest unhinged outburst (referring to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot") has already cost Coulter some sponsors. CNN has reported that at least three major companies have sought to have their ads pulled from Coulter's Web site: Verizon, Sallie Mae and Georgia-based NetBank.

Liberal Web site pointed out recently that the only remaining major advertiser on Coulter's Web site is If you'd like to let know how you feel about their sponsorship of Coulter's site, the email address for's Investor Relations is:

As recently noted:

"One of the best ways to communicate one's distaste for Coulter's repeated incidents of hate speech is to respectfully but firmly let her advertisers know you are deeply troubled by their indirect support of bigotry through their advertising on Coulter's Web site."

Meanwhile, Edwards is fighting back against Coulter's hate speech. The Democratic candidate is aiming to raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to keep his campaign "charging ahead and (to) fight back against the politics of bigotry." If you'd like to donate, go here.

Coulter's column is currently syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate to over 100 papers. If you'd like to add your voice to the thousands of Americans who are urging these newspapers to drop Coulter's column, go here. Also, the media watchdog site Media Matters has a list of newspapers that carry Coulter's columns, (as well as the email addresses of those papers' editors).

The various ongoing efforts to stop Coulter's bigotry are already paying dividends. Media Matters reported Friday that seven newspapers have now dropped Coulter's column since her comments about Edwards.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Thanks to Media Attention, Ann Coulter Is Out-Limbaughing Limbaugh


It is hard to figure out how to deal with a public figure as vile as Ann Coulter.

This fetid product of gated-community privilege has spent her adult life spewing contempt at everyone and everything different from the sorority-house milieu that she surely knows too well. This is not unusual in itself.

But what makes Ann different is her nasty gift for perverse self-promotion. She is quite calculating in her use of epithets such as "faggot" and "raghead." She suggests that Timothy McVeigh was wrong only in that he did not target The New York Times. She says perhaps the solution to the Mideast crisis is that we should simply invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders and convert the populace to Christianity. Her ad hominem attacks on political opponents have become ad nauseam, they are so predictable and frequent.

So, how have the mainstream media dealt with the blond hatchet-face? The responses have been wide-ranging. Some outlets have mostly ignored her. Others have gone so far as to call her some kind of American Voltaire -- which shows how decadent our MSM have become. Either way, Ann has trumped her physical opposite, the corpulent, oozing Sultan of Slime, the would-be Court Jester to the Third Reich, Herr Rush Limbaugh. With the miniskirts and the carefully crafted persona of Debutante From Hell, she has stolen Fat Boy's thunder.

How should she be dealt with? It's a tough question. I've got a suggestion. When one chooses to live by the sword, one should die by it. Ann specializes in ad hominem attacks. OK, here goes:

This is an unmarried woman, 45 years old, who has reportedly broken off a number of engagements. When some reporter pointed out that this seemed at odds with her "family values" politics, she dismissed the reporter as "ugly." And, she once commented about how all the pretty girls on college campuses seemed to be the ones she saw in Republican and conservative groups. Does she dig them? Makes you wonder a little, doesn't it? Unmarried at 45, and admiring the young GOP sweeties? (I believe the analogous word for "faggot" is "dyke." Please don't send me to rehab.)

She has enhanced her career by being tall, blond, leggy and skinny. Well, to me she looks skinny enough to be bulimic (Thrown up any veggie burgers lately, Ann?), and her limbs look like toothpicks. She has no cleavage to speak of. She's somewhere between hatchet-faced and horse-faced, and she's got bug eyes. She's a hard-looking woman who won't age well without help from her plastic surgeon.

She's the spawn of affluent people in Connecticut who were able to sent Miss Prissy Princess to all the best schools and universities, where she no doubt shared her stuffed toys with her dainty suitemates. She has no firsthand idea how most people have to make it in life. Her mind is a gated community.

Her main talent is for the insult, and that has made her temporarily famous. She will be remembered much the same way Father Coughlin or Joe McCarthy are now. Voltaire has nothing to worry about.

This is a person who will, I forecast, be remembered as a sort of perfumed vermin of our time.

Live by the sword, die by it. Fair enough?

Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his new blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.

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"Every generation needs a new revolution."
-----Thomas Jefferson