The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘George Bush’

Exposed

Posted by keithosaunders on November 7, 2016

The election season will come to its merciful conclusion tomorrow with the assurance that the outcome will be utterly depressing.  The most likely result, that Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman president, provides us with four more years of the status quo –   rising income inequality, the continued use of drone warfare, and a government beholden to Wall Street and corporate interests.

Of course a Trump presidency throws us back into the stone age. I don’t believe that The Donald would be more than a figurehead, but when you consider the damage that a Mike Pence and a stasi-esque Cabinet could wreak the mind boggles.

I do not believe that Trump will win, but regardless, the damage has been done.  He has exposed the racist underbelly of the United States and it is exponentially greater than was thought.  The fact that nearly half of the electorate will cast their vote for a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, narcissistic dullard speaks volumes on the state of the American psyche.

Then you have the effete liberals, practically pissing their pants in fear of a Trump victory.  I haven’t seen such pearl clutching since Zabars stopped carrying organic Camembert cheese.  Man up!  We lived through twelve years of the Bush dynasty and eight years of Reagan — we’ll make it through Trump.

Or not.  Who cares at this point?  In a country that doesn’t provide health care, wages perpetual war, rewards corrupt, predatory CEOs, punishes its working class, sentences its college goers to a life of crippling debt, and leaves its poor to scramble for minimum wage jobs, what’s the difference?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

 

 

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Sayonara Scalia

Posted by keithosaunders on February 18, 2016

And just like that the Supreme Court has a chance to become a moral, humane body.  The Republicans will do their best to obstruct but they are a beaten party, their power waning faster than Nazgul’s after the ring was thrown into Mt Doom.

There is precedent to stall a Supreme Court appointment. In 1969 it took a Democratic Congress 391 days to appoint Harry Blackmun after Abe Fortas retired.  Bring it on, I say, because the next president will be a Democrat.  Wait a minute, what’s that I see in the distance?   Why it’s the clown car pulling up to the TV studio, and out pour the Republican candidates for president!

Scalia was proof that intelligence and education do not equate to morality.  He was a virulent racist and homophobe who wrote that African Americans belonged at ‘slower track,’less advanced  Universities.

He, like his fellow right wing Justices was an abomination.  He promoted states rights, which is thinly veiled code for white’s rights, and he was anti abortion, gay rights, and gun control.  He was a strict constitutionalist until it meant going against the document, which he did in Bush v Gore.   He, along with the four other right wing justices, voted in favor of allowing Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris’s previous certification of George Bush as the winner of the primary to stand, thus giving him the presidency.  This would lead to the deaths of thousand of Iraqis, as well as the severe erosion of civil rights, continued degradation of financial regulations, and ultimately the great financial collapse of 2007.

There are people in power of great intelligence who are amoral and inherently evil.  Scalia was one of these people and it is of utmost importance to this country that we replace him with someone with courage and moral integrity.  Appointing Justices is the most important thing a president does.  A vote for oompa-loompa Trump or batshit-crazy Ted Cruz is a vote for the further erosion of civil rights.

 

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How low can you go?

Posted by keithosaunders on February 24, 2012

Just when you thought the Republicans could not sink any lower, they have gone on a rampage against — get this —  birth control.  Yes folks, brought to you by the people who gave you deregulation, the war on terror, and unlawful detention.  It would be laughable, but there’s nothing funny about wealthy white men attacking women’s rights.

These Orwellian scum have my utmost contempt.  The bar hasn’t been invented that’s low enough to prevent them from going under it.

With their recent ‘talking points’ attack on Planned Parenthood —  an organization that provides birth control, cancer screening, STD testing and abortions to 3 million women a year —  they have outdone themselves.  It’s as if, knowing that the White House is unattainable, their intent is to create as much racism, homophobia, and misogyny within their pathetic base, so as to yield a divided populous.

I’m no great fan of Obama.  His staff is chock full of people who are responsible for the financial meltdown, he dropped the ball on illegal detention, and he missed the chance to prosecute Bush administration war criminals.

In the end, Obama, like most politicians is beholden to big business, and hence, special interests.  Still, even allowing that he is a corporatist, he has managed to do some good.  He avoided a depression, got Detroit up on its feet, and took steps towards fixing health care.

My inclination has often been to say that there is not that much difference between the parties, but at this point how can anyone with half a brain not see the difference?  One party courts a progressive base, but is essentially just to the left of the center.  The other, at best is bat shit crazy, and at worst is a desperate, rabble-rousing, homophobic, racist, pack of miscreants.

 

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The heroism of Daniel Ellsberg

Posted by keithosaunders on November 17, 2011

Last night I watched a very good documentary on Daniel Ellsberg called The Most Dangerous Man in America.  Ellsberg is the former Pentagon worker who, in 1971, leaked a top-secret document showing how five U.S. presidents lied to the nation in order to facilitate and continue the war in Vietnam.  I was eleven when this happened; old enough to remember it, but not quite old enough to grasp its enormity.

The thing that struck me the most while watching the film was the courage and integrity, not only of Ellsberg, who risked a long jail sentence, but of the newspapers that printed the documents.  The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and many others printed this story in the face of threats from the imperial Nixon administration.  They did it because they realized that regardless of how bad these documents made the country look, without a free press the U.S. may as well be a banana republic.

Contrast this idealism and integrity with the New York Times (and the rest of the media) of 2002 and 2003, which enabled, even championed a war with Iraq.  You had reporters such as Judith Miller who wrote a series of articles as far back as 2001 detailing Saddam Hussein’s capacity to build and deploy nuclear weapons.  Her main source was Ahmad Chalabi, a former Iraqi politician who had close business ties to many Bush administration officials.  Much of his information, though proven false, seemingly evaded fact checking from Miller or the Times. 

My point is that in 1971 you had people within the Nixon administration willing to risk their career in order to stop an illegal war.  Fast forward to 2002 where you had reporters and Bush administration officials willing to lie in order to facilitate a war, as well as further their careers.

This is why the occupy Wall Street movement is important.  In these bleak times it is important and necessary that there be truth spoken to power.  These banks are rotten as the day is long — we all know that.  Yet what price did they pay for ruining our economy and costing tens of thousands of people their homes and jobs? 

Where is the Daniel Ellsburg of 2011?

Posted in media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

More Weiners, less hysteria

Posted by keithosaunders on June 12, 2011

If people think that Congressman Anthony Weiner should resign because he sent lewd photos over Twitter, they should have their head examined.  What does that have to do with his ability to do his job?  While it’s not the smartest thing for a politician to do, it is naive to think that they don’t have foibles.  Heck, foible-schmoible, he didn’t even cheat.

What’s worse?  He could be an alcoholic, a drug abuser, or a wife beater.  He could have started an illegal war.  Why is the fact that Bush invaded Iraq with no evidence not a scandal? 

It so happens that often times Republican politicians are implicated in these sex scandals.  Who can forget the wide-stance guy, or the Appalachian trail guy.  And there’s always Arnold “cup the balls”  Schwarzenegger.  The only difference I see is that at least the Democrats aren’t preaching bullshit politics, such as family values and abstinence.  When one of your boiler plate hypocrite Republicans gets caught canoodling around, he really looks silly.

To sum up:  We’re all sexual creatures.  Those of us not “doing it” are thinking about “doing it.”  For me, the bigger story is the arrogance of the politician that thinks, in this instantaneous digital age, he can get away with it.  I suppose it takes that same arrogance to consider running for office.

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Celebrating death

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

The idea that there were people in the street celebrating Bin Laden’s death, and behaving as if it was time to party is disgusting to me.  It was reported that after hearing of his death, people spontaneously gathered at Ground Zero and began singing the Na Na Na, Hey Hey Goodbye song.  Is this what things have devolved to —  celebrating a man’s death in the same way you would a Yankees victory? 

I don’t care how many deaths bin Laden is responsible for –  using it as an excuse for a party is like a tacit admission that murder is a moral act, as long as you have the high ground.  I am grateful that he can no longer take lives, but I am not going to party and sing about it.    

The American response to the September 11th attacks, especially the Iraq war, seemed destined to escalate terrorism and to put our country at greater risk.  I felt uncomfortable with the Bush administration’s knee jerk reaction to wage war against a country that had little to do with the catastrophe.  It was as if the only way we were capable of reacting was to begin killing people, regardless of whether they were guilty or not. 

All the celebrating in the world will not bring back the thousands of Americans that died on September 11th.  Nor will it bring back the hundreds of thousands of people who have died since then.  Do you think we can call it even now?

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End of an era

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

Tonight the news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by American special forces.  I spent an hour watching network news, as well as viewing president Obama’s address to the nation.  The news anchors could not overstate the importance of the event, calling it an end of an era that defined a generation.  On screen a series of stock footage of Obama, as well as troops wearing black ski masks holding automatic weapons, endlessly looped.

Obama’s speech was understated and humble, if not a little short on details.  Listening to the speech I could not help but recall Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished  speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq.  That speech was arrogant and smug, and ultimately untrue, as the war continues to drag on to this day. 

By the same token, despite what the talking heads say, I have a hard time believing that we have turned a corner in this so-called war on terror.  Yes, the man who is responsible for one of the great American tragedies is gone, but look at all that remains in the aftermath.  Still in place are the Patriot Act, warrantless wire-tapping, unlawful detainment, and the continuing abuse of civil liberties at our airports.  Furthermore, I have a hard time getting excited about Osama’s death in 2011, when he could have, and should have been captured at Tora Bora back in 2001. 

It is way too early to know what effect Bin Laden’s death will have on the nation, but one thing is certain — politically, this is a boon to Obama’s 2012 campaign.  The Republican party is chock full of fringe candidates, and whoever wins the nomination will be unable to attack Obama on being weak on defense.  Even if the economy only marginally improves he will be a lock.

Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Baby needs a new pair of shoes…NOT APPROVED!

Posted by keithosaunders on February 17, 2011

These days budget cuts are all the rage in Washington D.C.  The new sexy talking point around the beltway is ‘cutting spending.’  All that money flushed down the toilet on needless programs like college aid, job training, and the EPA will finally be saved. 

Funny thing, though.  When George Bush was in office I didn’t read one word about cutting spending.  He couldn’t spend money fast enough.  Under his regime we saw an enormous expansion of government — two wars and the creation of the bureaucratic black hole that is homeland security.    The tax cuts for the rich made it certain that we would go into massive debt.   It was the go-go aughties, however, and everyone knew that real estate prices would continue to go up for the rest of time.  Taxes?  We didn’t need any stinkin’ taxes!

But I have to hand it to the Republicans.  They always manage to outmaneuver the Democrats.  They stay two steps ahead at all times.  When they were in power they spent money like drunken sailors.  By the time the Democrats got in there was only one thing to do:  Cut spending.  

With the massive poverty and the harm to our infrastructure that will result from these cuts guess which party is going to take the blame?  This clears the way for the next Republican administration and the spending can begin anew. 

Checkmate.

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Meet the new boss

Posted by keithosaunders on December 8, 2010

With the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at least we can put one fallicy to rest:  We now know unequivocally that the Republicans could care less about the federal deficit.  For the past two years the major Republican talking point has been, and continues to be, “smaller government and reduced spending.”  

Let’s run the laundry list.

How about defense?  No cuts there.  

Social Security?  Non-starter.  Leave the senior abuse to the Dems and their death squads. 

Medicare?  Same.

How about federal workers?  Yes!  That will lop a whopping 5 billion off the 3.7 trillion budget.   While we’re at it we’ll cut food stamps, minimum wage, and college grants.  That’s a wrap.

Personally, unless there is much more than meets the eye, I don’t understand the politics.  Obama spent a good deal of time today talking about how the American people were being held hostage by the Republicans and how he didn’t believe in doing harm to hostages.  To these ears that sounded forced and contrived. 

Even when the Democrats held a super-majority in the Congress Obama was constantly playing defense rather than controlling the message.  I get that the Republicans are obstructionists and that their mission from the start has been to oppose any legislation put forth from the new administration.  I feel, however, that Obama holds some culpability for failing to provide a cohesive message.  He claims to care about the middle class but time and again we see an administration that is more corporatist than populist.  From the appointments of Timothy Geithner and Laurence Summers, to the decidedly big-pharma (and insurance company) friendly health care plan, to his failure to prosecute Bush administration officials on war crimes, we see a president who is very much invested in the status quo.

Yes, he staved off a depression, saved the auto industry, and managed to eek out a (tepid) health care bill.  Let’s give the man credit where credit is due.  In the end, though, where is playing it safe going to get him?  Barring a dramatic turn of events in 2012, I fear that the answer will be a one way ticket to Chicago.

Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chutzpah’s finest hour

Posted by keithosaunders on October 20, 2010

Some things you just can’t make up.  Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, left a voice mail on Anita Hill’s answering machine asking her to apologize for making allegations of sexual misconduct against her husband in 1991.  At that time Hill was an attorney who worked for Thomas, who was at the Department of Education.  She testified at Thomas’s confirmation hearings that he had subjected her to comments of a sexual nature, which whether they were  illegal or not, were (in her view) inappropriate. 

The temerity of Ginni Thomas is astounding, to say the least, but what do you suppose possessed her to leave a voice mail?  She must have realized that it would be recorded and scrutinized.  What kind of bubble does she live in?  

Here is the transcript:

“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas.  I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.  So give it some thought.  And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day.”

First of all, is there one wealthy, religious Republican who can speak in complete sentences?  This reads like a bad Sarah Palin impression.  I’m wondering if the Baricuda herself might not have impersonated Ginni just for shits and giggles.  I love the way Ginni used prayer as an olive branch in which to temper the anger Hill might be feeling at the unmitigated gall.

It makes no sense.  Can you imagine Mrs Clemens asking Mike Piazza to apologize to Roidger for the dirty look he gave him after bat-throwing incident?  “Just go ahead and pray on it and I’m sure you’ll sympathize with the undo stress you caused my hubby.”  

It must be great to be wealthy, religious, and Republican.  You can literally get away with saying anything as long as you couch it in the lord.  Sprinkle in a few “I’ll pray for yous,” and “God bless yous,” and you have carte blanche to ask for undeserved apologies in childish syntax.  This strata of people feels that the world owes them something and is not shy about asking for it. 

Ginni, this is Keitho talking to you.  You’ve had a great life.  You’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, and your husband, though he does not deserve it, is one of the most influential men in America.  Why don’t you relax, take a nice vacation to Hawaii, and enjoy life.  If you’re really feeling bad about what happened 20 years ago (even though it did work out quite nicely in the end) why not go to Church and do some praying of your own.  But whatever you do, just shut up.  SHUT UP!    

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