Friday, March 18, 2005

There really is a secret plan, Virginia

Cut to the chase: Greg Palast, author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," presently a correspondent for the BBC's Newnight, wrote yesterday:

Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists."

Remember when Bush first took office and an announcement was made that Cheney was meeting with certain figures to work on an "energy plan"? Ta da:

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant Falah Aljibury says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

All this and more can be gleaned from Mr Palast's website, What is somewhat surprising to me, is that a lot of the information that Palast is using came to him through Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department. Obviously, someone over there is not privy, or couldn't care less, or just plain doesn't like the present administration, and released the information. I can't imagine that a Shrubbery plant would allow that stuff out of the building. My hat is off to him or her.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Reframing right wing thuggery

Finally! A group of professionals has taken on the task of putting down on paper (or monitor, as the case may be) the words we need to use to frame the duplicitous right wing wackos and their actions.

Parker Blackman at Fenton Communications has posted on their website a manifisto, as it were, for us all to read and follow.

We all know that the current leaders of the Republican party – be it President Bush, Tom Delay, or Bill Frist – represents the extreme right wing of their party. But most of America doesn’t see them that way because nobody has successfully framed them as such. So let’s start calling them what they are – irresponsible, reckless, extreme, and radical. These are four adjectives that I think most accurately describe their agenda. More important still, these adjectives imply un-American values and speak to a flaw in their collective character.

They suggest we start using, and repeating in every mention of the Repugs, Reckless, Irresponsible, Extreme, Radical.


Again, this frame can be applied to any issue – health care, Iraq, social security, oil-drilling in the Arctic – thereby allowing all progressive interest groups to repeat a singular theme as it applies to their particular issue.

Well, this sounds good to me. Reading on in Mr Blackman's post, he has some words of wisdom on framing the issues so that people like me don't seem quite so trigger happy.

A majority of Americans are conservative or cautious with their money and with the decisions they make about their children’s health and education. Being conservative implies saving something, thinking ahead, being safe, showing good judgment. “Neo-Conservative” doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone outside of the beltway or heavily involved in politics. By using these words, we are either reinforcing a positive framework for Republicans, or we are using language that is, at best, benign since nobody knows what it means.

Ok, there it is. You can use it or not.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Tar and feather these bastards

Democrats and progressives all over the country are staggering badly as they take body blow after body blow from the massed Republican assault on human rights, civil deceny and financial responsibility.

Criminal after criminal is appointed to high government office while social and economic programs that have been in place for decades are cast aside, deliberately underfunded or "reformed" while Senate and House Dems fold under the pressure.

When Ed Schultz, a popular talkshow host on Air America, asked a popular Democrat whose name I have conveniently forgotten, why she voted for the new bankrupcy bill, HR 685, a new shredding of the Bankrupcy Act, Bimbo replied, in essence, that our representatives in the House and the Senate have been trying for over five years to rewrite the Bankrupcy Act, and they just got tired of wrangling over it, so what the hell, let's just vote for this one and get it over with. Forget the fact that The Shrub signed into law a punitive bill back in 2002 that had been rejected by the Clinton administration. This bitch rationalized that this bill would pass with or without her vote, so, what the hell, let's go with the flow.

This goes to my argument that this bi-partisan shit has got to stop. We keep hearing from Dems that they want to sit down and parlay with the Repugs. They just don't seem to get it through their thick heads that the Repugs don't want to bi- anything. They want to dismantle government, period, and if that means throwing grandma out of her retirement home, or turning this country into Sao Paulo, so be it.

They will cheat, lie and steal because they have no fear of the Democratic minority representation in Congress, and that's because the Democrats don't fear their constituency.

These people need the fear of God thrown into them, and, as far as their job longevity is concerned, we are their God, so we need to let them know that this shit has got to stop, or they are out on their collective ass.

We used to ride these assholes out of town on a rail, after they had been tarred and feathered. It's time to bring this practice back.