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The Stepford VP, The Worst and the Dimmest

by BobHiggins Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:39:04 AM EST

Last night's debate between six term Senator Joe Biden and the former Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

What I saw and heard:

Joe Biden was a picture of confidence and self assurance. He took the stage with over three decades of experience in the Senate and his stature as one of the preeminent legislators of the latter half of the twentieth century and a key policy maker in the current one, was inescapable.

For the most part he offered serious and thoughtful answers to the questions which were put to him and presented a solid supportive picture of the Democratic ticket and their intentions in office.

He performed his first major job as vice president admirably if cautiously. Although I saw his anger rise several times when confronted with Palin's distortions of his and Obama's records, and her flatulent cutesiness, he kept it under control. He proved that he belongs in my White House on either position of the ticket.

Sarah Palin, doggone it, what can I say, golly, wasn't she just precious, the way she read talking points and sound bites to the cameras. She was a model of right wing Church Lady womanhood, all lip gloss and sly winks to the camera, and jeepers she was so folksy, reminded me of the time Aunt Martha fell in the privy at the family reunion.

She was the Stepford Vice President. I thought her delivery to be robotic, canned, and obviously drilled into her by rote.

Compared to the calm seriousness and substance of Joe Biden she offered the ultimate pop cultural spam of what modern Republicans pass off as political discourse.

She also pronounces the word nuclear exactly like George Bush: NuKUler. I find that single fact eerily and enormously frightening. Hell, she even cribbed on Ronald Reagan, "Now Joe, there you go again."

Palin could not be a more transparent fraud. In that area she needs no practice; she learned the curtsy and dimples shtick in the beauty pageant business.

I do not want this woman anywhere near my White House. Alaska is not far enough away, maybe we can get her a place on Big Diomede so she can see Russia for the first time.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

Comments >> (6 comments)

Sarah, Pass the Heels and the Ball to Rudy, He's Going In

by BobHiggins Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 07:25:50 PM EST

John Sidney McCain III made his first national "executive" decision a few weeks ago. He chose a person who was singularly unqualified to hold even city wide office to be his (and, unfortunately, our) Vice President.

I think that single decision shows us who John Sidney III really is, reveals him more clearly than anything I have seen in this or his many previous failed campaigns.

His choice, as far as I have been able to determine, may have been partially forced upon him by the darker forces of neo-conservative Republican politics. The Roves and the Cheney's intend to rule from Mordor long after their official tenures are over in Washington. They need their Bushes, their McCains and Palins.

Forced though the choice may have been, McCain made it with a degree of public glee, of arrogance and cynicism that I have never personally witnessed in presidential politics in my tired old life.

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McCain: Don't Know Much About Economics, I Can Read the Polls, It's Time to Bail

by BobHiggins Wed Sep 24th, 2008 at 08:11:01 PM EST

It's crucial that John McCain return to Washington at this time, in fact, it is critical as he is titular leader of his party as well as its interim standard bearer. As someone who admittedly knows little about economics it is of the utmost that he be at the center of debate on this recently manufactured economic crisis.

As McCain says, in times of extreme crises like this we should suspend political debate and all this unseemly partisan electioneering and put Wall Street first.

There are a lot of people wearing Gucci shoes and Hermes neckties gathered in the halls of power right now, eagerly waiting for his assistance in the slicing of this historic pie of capitalist opportunity.

McCain, after all, has chips in the game and so do his people, it is important that he, and they, be in on the split. They, who did so much in their tireless, albeit well paid, efforts to deregulate the finance industry deserve to be in on the grim harvest. These are truly historic times.

I have tried to remember, yes, it comes back to me now, Lincoln campaigned against his own Republican party as a National Unionist at the height of the Civil War until he hammered out a deal with Fremont and defeated McClellan, an unenthusiastic Democrat, who he had relieved from command years before. I don't remember Lincoln running home to avoid public political debate.

Wilson ran a bitter campaign against Hughes during the darkest hours of the "war to end all wars,"
when American neutrality and our imminent involvement in Europe was the central issue. Woody did not run home to avoid political debate, he campaigned to victory.

FDR fought serious health problems and a tenacious Republican named Tom Dewey in 1944 amidst the Allied invasion in France and as a prelude to the "Battle of the Bulge." He did not avoid political debate with cynical and self serving calls to "put country first." He solidified his party and beat Dewey's republican ass although the campaign probably hastened his death.

I know John McCain to be a liar of the first order. I know John McCain to be a panderer and a pimp for corporate, religious, and political interests that he believes will assist him on his road to what he mistakenly believes is power. John McCain is "a fraud."

I have read that John McCain was dubbed "Songbird" by his fellow POWs. I now believe that John Sidney McCain is an unconscionable opportunist as well as a political coward. In my book he is "unfit for command."

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

Comments >> (1 comment)

It's the Court that Makes the King

by BobHiggins Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 05:42:37 PM EST

Illustration from: The Fata Morgana files, pt. 17

"I believe if we had, and would, keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own. That they design and want. That they fight and work for...and not the American style, which they don't want. Not one crammed down their throats by the Americans." David M Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps 1958-1963

A war in Afghanistan that is now losing ground held only tenuously and shedding blood at the highest level since it began seven long years ago.

The stalled fiasco in Iraq, a war that has nearly ruined our armed forces by stretching them, year after year, on the rack of a bloody and unending futility.

A foreign policy of swagger and boast, diplomacy and firm negotiation recklessly discarded and replaced with bluster, threats and sanctions that harm only the innocent and fuel the fires of radical hatred resulting in the creation of more enemies.

In Iran, Georgia and Russia in Europe and Asia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Honduras in the Americas, sabers are rattled, coups are plotted, gauntlets are thrown and the seeds are sown for another generation of war, of poverty, of  instability and chaos and profits for those control the game.

This is the Bush Foreign Policy, this is the Republican Foreign Policy, this is the McCain Foreign Policy, and this is the Neo Conservative Foreign Policy. This is the "Project for a New American Century," whose motto seems to be "Peace never, peace nowhere."

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Republicans: Seeing the World through Crooked Glasses

by BobHiggins Tue Sep 9th, 2008 at 08:57:32 PM EST

It is, or should be by now, plainly evident to most observers that the current crop of Republicans will run the kind of Rovian sleazoid campaign that has worked so well for them in the past.

They will co opt the message of the Democrats at every opportunity and swift boat anyone who gets in their way. They will, as in the past, use the politics of personal destruction, of sneer and smear, a style that has become a necessity in modern Republican strategy as it so purely reflects the mentality and ethos of a sizable and increasing fraction of their base.

The party that has come to reflect the endemic racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and the rapidly widening schism between economic classes in this country has nowhere else to turn. They have become directors of a noisy, and potentially dangerous lynch mob. A criminal mob acting to serve the interests of an out of control business culture and an irrational priesthood that sees the face of God in its own self righteousness.

Republicans dare not run on their party's record of governance over the last eight years. The record is abysmal and they know it. As much as possible that record will be kept in the dark dank shadows with the sordid history of the modern Republican Party. It will be hidden in that shameful place where they will store Bush, Cheney, their denial of health care to America's children, denial of decent wages to America's workers, our terribly fractured economy, serious unemployment, two misguided and mismanaged wars and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

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Making Heads or Tails out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

by BobHiggins Sun Sep 7th, 2008 at 01:17:38 PM EST

"Mortgage Giant Overstated the Size of Its Capital Base," reads the headline of this morning's New York Times.

The headline tops a story by NYT writers Gretchen Morgenson and Charles Duhigg which, like so many articles on finance, quickly leaves me floundering in a murky wake of economic jargon, acronyms, and boardroom corporatese.

I understand the gist of what I read, though I would have opted for a different headline, something along the lines of "CEOs and CFOs of Major American Financial Companies Lie to Regulators, Shareholders and Public, Throw Markets into Chaos, Cost Taxpayers Tens of Billions."

I am I admit on medication.

I realize that writers and reporters seldom write the headlines that lead their stories and shouldn't be held to account for them. That duty is performed by headline writers under the supervision of editors who are answerable to the corporate structure and its advertisers.

Writers pen their stories under the same supervision and are answerable to the same powers and advertisers, hence we get stories which fail to state the case clearly, as does my substitute headline.

I am not currently working in the "news biz."

The story of the private collapse and public bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac which follows is well written, as we usually expect from the "Times," and informative, to a point. However it neglects to tell the whole story or to truly point us in the direction of the "real story."

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True Patriotism: The empty lapel of Barack Obama

by BobHiggins Thu Feb 28th, 2008 at 11:36:37 AM EST

"It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see publick dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. But he sounds no alarm, when there is no enemy; he never terrifies his countrymen till he is terrified himself. The patriotism, therefore, may be justly doubted of him, who professes to be disturbed by incredibilities..." Samuel Johnson
The stage is covered with American flags, draped and propped and perched everywhere, to the left, to the right and behind the speaker's dais, which itself is covered with flag bunting and a covey of microphones nearly buried in a spreading nosegay of ... flags.

The wall at the rear of the stage is covered by a gigantic "Old Glory" and every participant, from the high and the mighty to the clipboard bearers, coffee servers and floor sweepers wears a flag on his lapel or near her heart. Ubiquitous is the term that comes to mind, sleazy is another, frightening yet another.

The people, the true believers in the audience are waving smaller versions of the national banner in a crazed, grinning, drooling frenzy of nationalistic sentiment, carrying signs, and banners, wearing shirts, hats, and neckties on which the same theme is repeated, ad nauseum projectillum.
All in all, there are more flags in attendance at this rally than swastikas at Hitler's lovely Nuremberg torch light soirées of the thirties.

Such is the face of American politics, American policy, in the 21st century, lurid, self righteous and jingoistic, the face of rabid, belligerent sanctimony.

There is significant part of this crowd as all the throngs in attendance at these events who wish that, along with the flags there would be represented, with equal prominence, the cross, the symbol of the God that they believe has led them to ravage large portions of the world, to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocents, to maim, to cripple and traumatize, and to displace millions more, to drive hundreds of millions of others to despise with a nearly everlasting hatred, the very symbols that they display in their leering, insensate, mocking pride.

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Throw Out The Hyenas of the Ruling Class

by BobHiggins Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 10:24:29 AM EST

Is there anyone out there who still harbors the delusion that George Bush or most of his administration possesses the slightest shred of human integrity or the tiniest morsel of respect for the truth, for law, for the people of this country or any other?

Sorry, the question was rhetorical and asked out of personal frustration with the evil festering stew of lies, theft, brutality and domestic and international piracy that this administration has created in the place of what was once the USA.

No, I'm not naive enough to believe that we were ever a perfect country, free of guilt from participation in many and various Machiavellian schemes and plots over the last two centuries, the influence of the power lusts of private wealth have always had far too much influence in our public affairs to allow us to avoid responsibility for the results of our contributions to the general level of human misery. We have committed serious crimes against people in places as varied as Vietnam and Chile, and as far apart in space and time as Nicaragua and Iran.

In the generally business driven efforts to support the interests of entities such as United Fruit, Chiquita Banana, Anaconda, various oil giants, mining companies, and financial institutions we have gone to bat for tin horn dictators in Iran, Cuba, Chile, Cambodia and in other places to numerous to name here.  Even the Mafia found support in the efforts to prop up the fascist pig Batista against communist pig Castro.

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US Senate Declares Torture "Peachy," Confirms Mukasey as "Grand Inquisitor"

by BobHiggins Thu Nov 15th, 2007 at 04:50:02 AM EST

Waterboarding is now as "American" as "Mom" and "apple pie"

The "distinguished jurist" told them in open hearings and in written communications that he could not call waterboarding "torture," and reportedly, pravately expressed his fear that doing so might open the gates for some executive department and military officials to lawsuits or criminal prosecution.

Notice here that what is important to this "distinguished jurist" is not the fact that the laws of the United States regarding the use of torture may have been violated by highly placed government officials, or that subordinates were directed to violate the law, but that those officials must somehow be shielded from civil or criminal sanction.

[editor's note, by Migeru] One paragraph moved above the fold for the front page.

No matter that the practice known as waterboarding has been around far longer than any of the doddering graybeards in the senate, has been the reason for the prosecution and imprisonment of soldiers and officers of the armies of many countries in this century and is proscribed by US law and international treaties.

Diary rescue by Migeru

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Waterboard the candidates, let's get the truth, start with Rudy

by BobHiggins Mon Nov 5th, 2007 at 06:58:26 PM EST

The next time Michael Mukasey is called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee I suggest that he be strapped to a stretcher, a rag placed in his mouth and water poured in the rag until he begins to answer completely and truthfully the questions put to him by the committee.

Now that waterboarding has become an accepted form of interrogation in these United States, I recommend that it be utilized not only with Mukasey, but with all future witnesses before committees of the congress. I think that there are subpoenas kicking around out there for Condi Rice and other executive department figures who have been less than forthcoming in past appearances, so perhaps as our favorite republican tough guy Rudy Giuliani says, we should question them aggressively.

It might be a good idea if the voting public were able to use the same technique in questioning the presidential candidates on their positions. For the rest of the debates all candidates should be wheeled in strapped to stretchers and aggressively questioned using this simulated drowning method.

Using these methods we may begin to get the truth from our "public servants" and declared wannabes.

This will not work in Atlanta however, they don't have enough water at the moment to achieve any kind of satisfactory results.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

Comments >> (3 comments)

America, Open For Business, Closed To Freedom

by BobHiggins Fri Nov 2nd, 2007 at 09:40:18 AM EST

Is there any area of our government, over the span of the last seven years, any area, in domestic or foreign policy, national defense, public welfare, the economy, name it, where the average, reasonably informed American might point to success, to signs of progress, of improvement, something, anything, to point to with satisfaction, with pride?

Yesterday I read an article by Steve Benin on the resignation of Karen Hughes from her post as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, a mouthful there, and a job for which she was as ill suited and unqualified as the man who appointed her and in which, during her two year tenure, she accomplished little, if anything.

In truth, she accomplished nothing, unless you want to count convincing large portions of the world that all Americans must be as out of touch with reality, as clueless and unthinking as their current Commander in Chief, and at that she excelled, as anyone might, having been dispatched to the Middle East with the rank of Ambassador, but without knowledge of the language, culture, history, religions, and general pet peeves of the various states and peoples of the region.

But Karen Hughes was tapped for her office for the same reasons as all Bush appointees are chosen, not for expertise or experience, not for performance or integrity in public service but for loyalty, for unwavering belief in the Messianic delusions of neo conservatism, and a willingness to march in lockstep, nah, goose step, against all who might disagree or dissent.

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The "Hitler Comparison"

by BobHiggins Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 05:20:41 PM EST

The "Hitler comparison" should be shouted from the rooftops, as should the Goebbels comparison, the Himmler comparison, the Mengele, Stalin, Torquemada, Beelzebub comparisons and all the rest. If it struts like a Nazi, talks like Nazi, tortures like a Nazi and wages aggressive and illegal war like a Nazi... it's not a duck.

Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post comparing Bush, Cheney and the boys from PNAC to Hitler, to the Nazi hierarchy and to the wonderful folks who gave the world kristallnacht, the terror bombings of Guernica, of London and conducted history's magnum opus of human carnage, the holocaust, the destruction of two thirds of the Jews in Europe and millions of other "undesirables."

I took a moderate amount of heat for what one local (Dayton) commenter called my "classlessness," and received a few surly EMails from people who are probably, to this day, driving around with "Bush/Cheney" bumper stickers on their Cadillac and Lexus SUVs but since I want so badly to be loved and admired, (or at least not ignored) I resolved to try to avoid using the "Hitler Comparison" after that.

I saw it used by others on the blogs and, guardedly, in the MSM, witnessed their reception of similar treatment and I realized that a taboo (see Godwin's law) had been created. "Disrespectful to the office of the President," some cried, "diminishes the horror of the holocaust and the brutality unleashed on Europe's Jews by the real Hitler," cried others, "the ultimate ad hominem attack," wrote one academic seeking to show that such comparisons were childish , demeaning to those who offered them and "kills dead," scholarly internet discussions.

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Enhanced Interrogation Methods? No, The Word Is "Torture"

by BobHiggins Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 03:36:13 AM EST

I am sick to death of all the pussyfooting around the subject that has occupied the media for the duration of this premeditated, illegal war of terror that we the people of the United States have allowed to be waged against the people of Iraq, in our name, for the last several years.

No matter how much lipstick and rouge we smear on the face of this war no matter how we attempt to  dress up the evil and bestial acts that have been performed in its unholy name, it still has the hideous countenance of an evil swine from hell.

It is an illegal war, begun and conducted under false pretenses, by a group of criminal liars and thieves in the United States Government, abetted by a cowardly congress who abrogated their constitutional duties in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds and furthered by a complaisant press that ignored their obligation to remain independent from government, from their sponsors and report the facts. 

Another necessary rant written from the heart — diary rescue by Migeru

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Blackwater, The Privatization of War And Public Enemy Number One

by BobHiggins Thu Oct 4th, 2007 at 10:24:58 AM EST

When we evaluate the facts, the use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped, the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. mission in Iraq, going against our best doctrine and undermining critical efforts of our troops. Even worse, the government can no longer carry out one of its most basic core missions: to fight and win the nation's wars. Instead, the massive outsourcing of military operations has created a dependency on private firms like Blackwater that has given rise to dangerous vulnerabilities.The dark truth about Blackwater

The idea of privatization of American public and governmental functions has been at the center of the neo conservative movement and over the last decade has been presented as the cure for everything that ails us from Social Security to Medicare, prison administration to public education, law enforcement and even the waging of war.

This idea that private enterprise can accomplish governmental functions more efficiently, at less cost while providing better service is, of course absurd and, in fact, is nothing but an enormous lie, and, like all enormous lies, if repeated often and loudly by the right authority figures and affirmed in "scholarly" studies performed by the Heritage or American Enterprise think tanks, it will take hold and seem, to a sizable portion of the uncritical public, to be the truth, simply because they have heard it so many times from so many familiar voices.

True to form, Bob Higgins delivers an excellent and necessary rant — promoted by Migeru

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Chickenhawks, Chickenshits, Cowardly Candidates and a Craven Congress, Aint That America?

by BobHiggins Thu Sep 27th, 2007 at 04:59:01 PM EST

The progress being made in our 4 1/2 year war of terror on Iraq is phenomenal. So impressive are our recent gains that the "top tier" Democratic candidates who have lined up in competition to become the heirs of this great struggle for freedom, for Middle Eastern democracy, for oil and gas rights for western corporations and of course for lucrative contracts in arms sales and private security for campaign contributors, last night went way out on a limb and declared their goal of removing our troops from the quagmire in Mesopotamia by the end of their first term in office in 2013.

Despite their boldness, they did not report whether or not they could guarantee the colonization of Mars, a cure for cancer, or flying pigs within that time frame.

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Class Warfare-Making Sure That The Wealthy Get Their Share, And Yours Too

by BobHiggins Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:40:39 PM EST

I'm on dozens of Email lists, everybody from the New York Times to Victoria's Secret (great articles over there) sends me Email and I spend way too much time scanning and deleting most of it daily. I subscribe to Email lists from news organizations, campaign committees, government watchdog groups and all kinds of public service organizations. I also get stuff addressing me as Dear One, with great investment opportunities in Nigeria and missives that promise to make me larger, but I delete them all summarily as I have nothing to invest and..., never mind.

Most of what I receive is of a "progressive" or "liberal" nature but in the interest of knowing what the adversary is up to, I also subscribe to publications from conservative groups, the spectrum runs from the Coulter, Limbaugh breed of invertebrates to the American Enterprise Institute and other large lizards. I"ll tell you, a little of this stuff goes a long way.

I got a real dandy this morning from the Heritage Foundation, you know, the conservative think tank that has worked so tirelessly for the Bush administration, embroiling us in various wars of empire and providing invaluable aid and advice in support of administration efforts to relieve American citizens of such pesky irritants as habeas corpus, civil liberties and due process of law, while conducting additional studies aimed at relieving us of our money.

Heritage has long fought the good fight for corporate rights and limited government. These are the guys who burn the midnight oil to come up with ways to help corporations pocket employee pension funds without exposing themselves to criminal liability while working diligently to ensure that federal regulatory agencies are toothless, and in all ways impotent. The effectiveness of their efforts on behalf of corporate America can be measured in such events as the Crandall Canyon mine collapse.

The organization, which came into existence in 1973 was bankrolled by Joseph Coors, of the Coors Brewing Company and billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, Paul Weyrich was one of it's founders, there were no wild eyed leftists in that circle unless they were carrying a rake, polishing the crystal or cleaning the pool.

Heritage is now funded to the tune of 30 to 40 million annually by obscenely wealthy individuals and cash bloated corporations. They also receive large sums from foreign governments and such entities (it has been reported) as the Korean Intelligence agency. In return for their generosity Heritage spends about twenty percent of the take lobbying government on their behalf and publishing studies which tell them things that they want to hear and helping them market bullshit and lies to the rest of us.

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Crandall Canyon, The King of the Mountain , The Fox in the Coop

by BobHiggins Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 at 06:06:43 PM EST

A rumble a loud crack, like thunder, rocks, dirt and chocking dust rain down.
A rock fall is imminent. So what is a miner to do?
"You run for your life," said Tim Miller, who toiled in Kentucky's mines for more than two decades.

... The goal is to eliminate the coal industry. Of course the goal is to eliminate the coal industry. Coal is filthy. It destroys ecosystems to dig it up. It kills the people who work around it. Coal plants throw particulates in the air and causes respiratory ailments. They throw mercury in the water and causes birth defects. They throw CO2 into the atmosphere and cause global warming. The coal industry corrupts the political process. It lies to the public about global warming, and mine safety, and coal reserves, and everything else. It leeches money and opportunity out of the states where it is based.
The only reason we think of coal as "cheap" is that we don't tally all those costs in the debit column.
From David Roberts Coal is the enemy of the human race...

During the winter of my fourteenth year I had a part time job. Every morning I would get up at 5 o"clock and walk up the hill to the ancient brick home of an elderly widow where I would descend to the dimly lit basement and remove the previous day's supply of clinkers from the firebox of an equally ancient and frightening looking furnace, shovel in a supply of fresh coal and get a good fire roaring. That was it, home to shower and head to school. She payed me two dollars a day and in 1958 when a gallon of gas was a quarter, that was a good sum of money. That is also the sum total of my life's experience with coal.

David Roberts wrote the brief but engaging piece quoted above earlier in the summer at Huff Post, he wrote his rant in reference to a coal industry mogul who for several months had been preaching to anyone who would listen about the evils that congress, in league with environmentalists, were plotting to perpetrate on the coal industry. I had heard the name of the subject of his rant before but at the time I didn't recognize it.

It wasn't until two weeks ago when a mine in central Utah's Emery County in Crandall Canyon, one of the deepest coal mines in the country collapsed, burying six miners 1500 to 1800 feet below the surface and 3 1/2 miles from the entrance point, that the name and the reason the it rang a bell popped back into my mind.

Robert Murray. The name was familiar because I had read a Washington Post article about his testimony before a congressional committee in the spring in which he took congress to task over the Clean Air Act of 1990 and declaimed on the perils of listening to the purveyors of Global warming science, which he has since referred to as "global goofiness." (as quoted below in the New York Sun)

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John Doe Padilla Convicted of Conspiracy

by BobHiggins Sun Aug 19th, 2007 at 05:57:42 PM EST

Jose Padilla, center, is escorted to a waiting police vechicle by federal marshals in this Jan. 5, 2006, file photo. He has been on trial in Miami for most of this year, charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States.

Photo by J. Pat Carter, AP

On Thurday August 16 2007 A federal jury convicted Jose Padilla of three counts of conspiracy

in a trial that was the culmination of five years of a criminal proceeding that is among the most shameful in the history of the United States justice system.

I am not an apologist for Jose Padilla, I belong to no "Free Jose" organizations nor am I a member of any "Jose Padilla defense funds," although maybe I should have been, maybe we all should have been because when they throw away the keys to Padilla's cell we will also throw away any pretense to being a nation of laws, a nation that respects human rights, we will throw away a large measure of what once made us a great and civilized nation.

I am also not a terrorist, nor am I a member of any terrorist organization and that declaration alone, in the modern, mandatory, cocoon of fear within which we are now required to live by governmental decree, is probably enough to have a tap placed on my phone and a couple of guys who look like the Blues Brothers parked in front of my house at odd hours. After all, if I have nothing to hide, why would I bring it up. Under the new Department of Justice rule book I must be indictable for something.

Jose Padilla was arrested over five years ago in May of 2002, picked up in Chicago after returning  from Europe and allegedly carrying over 10 grand in cash. He was held for  about a month as a material witness before Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed a trip to Moscow in order to announce that the US had discovered a plot to explode "dirty bombs" inside the country. Padilla was branded as the "Dirty Bomber" and George Bush declared him to be an illegal enemy combatant.

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See You In September, With A Report We Wrote In July

by BobHiggins Thu Aug 16th, 2007 at 12:18:52 AM EST

In a story in the LA Times this morning "Top general may propose pullbacks" Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel report that Petraeus may announce pullbacks from some areas in Iraq, including al Anbar province and a turnover of those ares to Iraqi forces.

I'm somewhat mystified by this process as it appears that, at the White House, they seem to know already, in other words, today, what they are going to report in September, in other words, a month from today. In fact it seems that they began writing their "field report" weeks ago... in the White House.

I'm not sure why exactly, but this somehow reminds me of reports I hear from teachers with experience in the "no child left behind" follies, who have described to me the specter of spending weeks and weeks of classroom time devoted to "teaching to the test" in order to maintain mandated academic ratings and the flow of federal funds. Taking the test is mostly a charade, passing the test, a foregone conclusion, an exercise in making things look good on paper.

In other words, as Junior might say every few seconds, in the case of Iraq they are writing a "report" which will contain recommendations that will allow us to draw conclusions, that were decided on in the White House more than a month ago.

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Did The Rooster Call Up the Sun or Did Rove Get the Last Laugh?

by BobHiggins Mon Aug 13th, 2007 at 07:49:09 PM EST

Did The Rooster Call Up the Sun or Did Rove Get the Last Laugh?
The only certainty my grasshoppers is that the cherry blossoms of spring will become the turd blossoms of summer

Karl Rove also known as "Turd Blossom" in that colorful native patois spoken by the Texas Chicken hawks announced today that he is leaving the rapidly sinking Scow of State that is the Bush administration effective the end of August.

His reason for leaving, taken verbatim from the official Washington departing rats exit speech is of course, to spend more time with his family.

When asked by one of the fully interchangeable talking heads of the White House press horde if he was being forced out, TB replied, "that sounds like the rooster calling up the sun" which I believe is another expression in that curious Pecos dialect that these birds use among themselves. Only Molly Ivins could decipher and translate the curious Texas Pig Latin these guys speak in private. I miss Molly.

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 September 2023

by Oui - Sep 1, 214 comments

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