Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Have You No Shame

I was going to add to the din of "good riddance" at the soon to be departed Attorney General of the United States. What dissuaded me?
The President had the gall to go to New Orleans and add his simpering platitudes to the real mourning of the city and its citizens at the 2nd Anniversary of Katrina! This lame duck executive cares more about any city in Iraq then the entire Gulf Coast of this country. It isn't that one shouldn't have an expansive heart; it is the false note of this administration doing anything substantive for the devastated gulf coast and Crescent City. I will admit that my families roots are from New Orleans and a young Annie Gleeson came from Ireland in the hold of a Cotton Ship before she became what my French Cousins call "Shanty Irish". My mothers ashes rest below the caskets of one set of grandparents in St. Louis Cemetary # 2, the second oldest cemetary in New Orleans.

Back when Senator Joe McCarthy was conducting another witch hunt during the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings; the plaintiff's attorney asked the senator, "Have You No Shame" in response to a particular bit of verbal slander.

This morning the current occupant of the West Wing used the ceremony to again launch in on a litany of failed and dubious programs. He should just send down an armed car with disbursements for the people, release the Louisiana National Guard, authorize the Seabees to help rebuild the devastated infrastructure, and find someone competent to head up FEMA. President Bush, "Have You No Shame".

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Fly to Drop - Conny McCormack

First Rove, then Gonzales, now Conny McCormack - Registrar of Voters for Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States - has announced that she is retiring, effective the end of 2007.


Long time readers of this humble blog remember that we here at SoCal Grassroots aren't exactly fans of L.A. County's RoV. We've written about her insistence that we just not worry our pretty little heads about proprietary software and that she just doesn't concern herself about the "statistical abnormalities" of Ohio's voting during the 2004 presidential election. I've seen her speak several times and she has always struck me as someone who is more concerned about making her job easier and getting her buddies at Diebold nice fat contracts than the accuracy of the vote.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, however. It seems that - much like Rove and Gonzales - she's planning on entering the private sector, concentrating on "shifting [her] energies and experience to election administration research and consulting both within the U.S. and worldwide."

I feel very sorry for those whom choose to hire her as a consultant.

My Oh My...

....this looks like a week for Schadenfreude Pie.

Not only has yet another anti-gay Republican legislator been caught with his hand in the "soliciting gay sex in a public restroom" cookie jar and dear ol' Al Gonzales resigned as US Attorney General, but last week even Republican creationists on the Texas State School Board voted against including intelligent design in science classes.

Schadenfreude Pie - dark, rich and delicious...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thank You, Teddi

Early Tuesday morning, Teddi Winograd passed away in her Beverly Hills home from cancer, her family by her side. She was 87.

Your humble blogger didn't know Teddi all that well. I worked for her daughter Marcy last year, when Marcy ran for Congress against Jane Harman. It was through Marcy that I met Teddi and attended several events and meetings in her home. She always impressed me as being kind, warm and generous, welcoming to all who entered her home. She seemed to be strong of heart and mind, didn't suffer fools gladly and was fiercely devoted to her family.

She was also quite the activist, sure to be on the front lines and in the front rows of numerous protests and progressive events, many of those events in her own home. Her convictions drove her to fight for peace and justice and the real American Way.

I didn't know Teddi well, but I was amongst those who could count themselves as lucky for knowing her at all.

Thank you for your hard work, your graciousness and your positive energy, Teddi. You will be missed by many.

Teddi Winograd: The "Maternal Heart" of Progressive Democrats

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

POTUS is really amazing

POTUS, the President of the United States, this morning spoke to the National Convention of the VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars. In his lack of timerity, this President spoke to Veterans without addressing veterans problems. He thanked them for fighting, dying, and serving their country! No where did I hear any apology for declining VA services, inhospitable Hospitals, nor a lack of budgetary concern for military families.

What did he speak of on this informercial shown almost completely by the faux fox clone, CNN; well I'll tell you.
He gave us a history lesson complete with fallacies that would make a Logics professor blush. He started with Japan and World War II, took a reminiscenct visit to the Korean Police Action, and even spoke of Vietnam as a precursor to the current occupation of Iraq. He compared Vietnam to Iraq while spinning a fiction that would make for a great Kubrick farce; though this occupant of the White House oozed that hypocritical sincerity he is infamous for with no shame at all exhibited. He even mentioned Graham Greene's "The Quiet American", it is good that someone in the West Wing is literate!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Keep an eye out for the westwitch from Texas

First off an apology for all white witches and good people - the west witch moniker just seemed to fit. Karl Rove, political beastie and policy wonk, is not setting his sail and going off in the west. Notwithstanding how he may protest that it is what he is doing, and that he has no new West Wing/Oval Office plans - yes, absolutely I believe everything this white house tells us!!!

At the least the Texas Republican paryty has to be warmed by the fact that this political pirranha is back in their coastal waters - remember that Politics at it's best or worst is a Blood Sport not made for the squeamish! Soon he will be the new Public Affairs Senior Vice President at a Cheney like salary in some heretofore unknown company. Who knew Hughes Tool before Howard, Halliburton before Cheney, and then we will discover that this unnamed company has been the recipient of the largess of great amounts of Federal dollars from the DOD, NASA, State Department and other administration bagmen!

Of course, to discover this news one would have to listen to, view or read the foreign press - you know the last bastion of an inquiring media outside of the print work of a hand full of Grey Ladies, the NY Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the former Wall Street Journal front page bullet articles. I would start with the BBC, the Economist, and other open sources available as long as the internet is neutral and free
in so far as access that is!

I miss the days of my youth when I would listen on the shortwave, a Zenith Transoceanic, to both the world edition of the BBC, and also Radio Moscow, the english language version. Now that gave you a world eye's view of different opinions.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Congressional Cowardliness: Good for Bush - Bad for the US

Saturday's capitulation by Congress to Bush and his administration's desire to pay more attention to citizens' private communications than to National Intelligence Estimates and real intelligence gathering has, understandably, got a lot of knickers in knots (including my own). By making a previously - and rightfully - illegal act into a legal one, Congress has ensured that private communications with friends, business contacts and loved ones in other countries are now within the purview of a power-hungry administration. Because you know our letters and packages are next.

Good one, guys. And here I thought you Dems were elected to stop this mad, mad, mad administration.

Oh, they say that they're doing it for us and have limited the law to a six month period, to end in February. And several of the Dems that said, "Sure, Bush, go ahead and infringe on the privacy of law-abiding American citizens," have said that they'll be working to fix the law. Speaker Pelosi's her blog said that S. 1927, "[...]contains many provisions that are unacceptable and she does not believe that the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken." Question for all of you Dems who decided to capitulate: if this law is so very broken that it requires fixing, 1) why wait until September to start fixing it and 2) why even pass it at all? A bad law is a bad law. Pure and simple. And if y'all think Bush and Pals are going to let the sunset clause take effect, you have another think coming. Even if they do, they'll just bully Congress again and, yet gain, Congress will cave. They did it with the Patriot Act - you can be damned sure they'll do it with the Protect America Act.

BTW, California's own Senator Feinstein "defended her vote for the Republican version of the spy bill in part by circulating a letter she had received from McConnell describing the ways that the intelligence community would safeguard U.S. citizens' privacy under the new espionage authorities." Because they've been doing such a great job of that in the past, when wiretapping was illegal. Yeah, that's pretty damned believable.

Not surprisingly, protesting has commenced. MoveOn has got a petition urging Congress to reverse their capitulation. The ACLU "will today file legal papers with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requesting that it disclose recent legal opinions discussing the scope of the government's authority to engage in secret wiretapping of Americans." Even the telecoms have gotten in on the act, though there is speculation they're doing it more to avoid lawsuits than to protect US citizens' privacy.

Let's keep screaming. Contact your senators and represnetatives. Let them know that this is an unforgivable act by the very people we elected to curb the abuses of the Bush administration.

Let's protect our privacy.