Above the Fray

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Hoof in Mouth

I will not comment..

Unhappy Workers Should Take Prozac --Bush Campaigner
Thu Jul 29, 1:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A campaign worker for President Bush (news - web sites) said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

The comment was apparently directed to a colleague who was transferring a phone call from a reporter asking about job quality, and who overheard the remark.

When told the Prozac comment had been overheard, Sheybani said: "Oh, I was just kidding."

While recent employment growth has buoyed Bush's economic record, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has argued the new jobs are not as good as those lost due to outsourcing in recent years.

Nearly 1.1 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office in January 2001.

YahooUnhappy Workers Should Take Prozac --Bush Campaigner

Thursday, July 29, 2004

A Rising Star?

Lots of commentary on Barack Obama's speech at the convention. Since the TV folks deigned to broadcast it, I located a complete text' [but first a break for commentary]

Jeff Fleischer July 28 , 2004 Barack Obama MotherJones News

The American public – or at least those with cable who chose to tune in – got a glimpse Tuesday night of why Barack Obama has come so far so fast in Illinois politics.

The first state legislator to keynote a national convention, Obama demonstrated his enviable political skills and his ability to appeal beyond his base, which he does by casting his progressive viewpoints in a language of shared destiny...

Obama’s speech was so effective that conservatives are responding by trying to co-opt its content. Roger Clegg of The National Review tried casting the Democratic Party as out-of-touch with Obama’s words, while blogger Andrew Sullivan labeled Obama’s message one of "conservative values." As the Daily Kos blog explains, those comments show why Obama is such a formidable candidate:

The reason Obama has put the Right into a quandry [sic] is that he exposed, in one masterful performance, every caricature the Right has of liberalism. He affirmed our belief in government's ability to make life better without conjuring up images of ‘welfare queens’. He affirmed the right every American has to believe in the god of his or her choice, or no god for that matter, without making it a public matter. He affirmed the beauty of multiculturalism, that we are more than white, black, Asian, Latino, or anything else, without feeding the fiction that we all want a balkanized country. He affirmed that unity is an American value, while dividing Americans based on sexual orientation or race is not.

A Teaser:
..For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. ‘E pluribus unum.’ Out of many, one...

Mark A. R. Kleiman: Obama's speech

A response to Sully et.al.:

This is funny. Obama is clearly beyond reasonable attack, so the talking point of the Right appears to be, "his speech was conservative". So ludicrous...

Attempting the Obama co-op

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Un Paid Ad

Conventions are usually carnivals.. however it is the news type that provide the humor [pathos really]. Read this summary of the coverage. The article ends with this:

I'm heading to C-Span land.Where smart people are allowed to speak without interruption.Whoah, Nellie!
The No-Clown Zone.
(Don't) Send in the clowns'

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Ship of the Line

San Diego is usually associated with vacations, biotech and perfect weather, but for us locals, it is the Navy ships. The first thing I look for when I get to the bay, are the carriers. I was raised here and still get excited about the arrival of a ship..Yesterday was exceptional:

USS Reagan Comes Home

San Diego often throws a party when the crew of one of the region's three carriers returns home from months overseas, but civic groups have pitched in to create an unprecedented celebration. Interest in the arrival also soared following the June 5 death of the ship's namesake.

"It will be a home-porting unlike any other," said Navy Cmdr. Ed Buclatin, who has spent the past year coordinating plans for the arrival.

Nearly 1,100 feet long and standing 20 stories above the waterline, the USS Ronald Reagan's berth at Naval Air Station North Island will lend it a prominent spot on the San Diego skyline...

The Ronald Reagan cruised into San Diego Bay to the cheers of thousands who welcomed the 1,092-foot-long carrier to its new berth at North Island Naval Air Station...

..As hundreds of crew members waved miniature California flags, the enormous aircraft carrier bearing the late president's name arrived at its new home port, where it is expected to be based for most of its 50-year service life.

Reagan's spirit was evident, and it was underscored by the presence of Nancy Reagan, his widow.

When she rose to thank the crew, which had just completed an 18,000-mile journey around South America from Virginia, she got a standing ovation from the crowd of about 5,000 people at North Island Naval Air Station.

An equal number of spectators watched the flattop enter San Diego Bay from shoreline vantage points.

The Ronald Reagan is the third nuclear-powered aircraft carrier now stationed in San Diego, which has been home to flattops continuously since World War II {the Stennis and Nimitz}. The Reagan will replace the USS Constellation, which was retired last year after 41 years of service.

The Stennis, which has been here since 1998, will depart early next year, after its current deployment, for Washington state. The Reagan and Nimitz will remain...

..It was his first San Diego experience. "When we were coming in, all I could think was how beautiful it is here," said the Memphis, Tenn., native. "I can't believe it. It's so beautiful."
"I've been telling my crew it's the promised land," said commanding officer Symonds....

...Thousands of ordinary citizens fell under the spell of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan yesterday.

Many had no plans to come watch the massive warship as it glided to its new home port in Coronado, but got caught up in the moment.

Police estimated that more than 5,000 people lined the bayfront, with the largest gatherings and traffic congestion on Harbor and Shelter islands.

"The crowd on Shelter Island was so big that we had to shut down the island to traffic," said Harbor Police Lt. Ken Franke. "That's the first time I can ever remember that happening." ...
The specs:
Top speed in excess of 30 knots
Powered by two nuclear reactors
Expected to operate in fleet for 50 years
Carries about 80 combat aircraft
Displacement of 97,000 tons
Towers 20 stories above the waterline
Flight deck is 1,092 feet long, covering 4.5 acres
Four 21-foot bronze propellers, weighing 66,200 pounds each
Home to 6,000 Navy personnel
Carries enough food for 90 days
Serves 18,150 meals daily

USS Reagan

USS Reagan

USS Reagan

Palm Springs Press

Ship's website and photos

Chile fusses about the 'downside of the ships arrival [lol]

Falklands-Malvinas & South Atlantic News

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Word for the Day

The word for the day is: disingenuous

..Ms Ronstadt was hustled off stage and out of the building and told she would not be welcome back, now or ever again. She was not even allowed to return to her hotel room to pack. Hotel employees checked out for her instead.

"We needed her off the property," hotel spokeswoman Tyri Squyres told local reporters. "She wanted to incite the audience, and she incited them to the point where they were very upset."..

..Not everyone present agreed with Mr Timmins' account, however. Paula Francis, a news anchor on a local television station, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that her experience of the concert was quite different.

"I was so stunned to read in the newspaper that anyone had a negative reaction," she said. "Everyone who was leaving when I was leaving was just thrilled. They thought it was a good concert." At the moment of the Michael Moore dedication, she said, "there were loud boos and there was quite a bit of applause. But everyone calmed down right away and seemed to enjoy the rest of the encore."...

...The Aladdin quickly sought to deny that it was suppressing anybody's rights. "It did not come down to the statements she had said, per se," a spokeswoman said. "It's about using our venue for political commentary versus being an entertainer. She was hired to entertain, not to preach."

That explanation, in turn, seems a little disingenuous, since Ms Ronstadt has been dedicating Desperado to Mr Moore throughout her current tour and announced the fact in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal published last Friday, the day before her concert: "They say the country is evenly divided, and boy is that true. One half of the audience cheers and the other half boos," she said...

Whoopi Goldberg appears to have been a victim of another such concerted campaign, this time arranged by the Republican National Committee. Her liberal politics and dirty mouth are hardly secrets to anyone who has followed her career with even minimal attention over the past 15 years or so, and one imagines that Slimfast knew what they were taking on when they hired her to speak on their behalf.

In an interview with the New York Daily News immediately after the furore, she pointed out the manufactured nature of the outrage. "America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal, I find all this feigned indignation about 'Bush bashing' quite disingenuous," she said. "For the Republican Party to pretend this is new to them seems a little fake."
Shocked, shocked I say..
America sings a new song of celebrity censorship

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Pots and Kettles

As a friend of mine used to say "..tedious and tawdry":

...In his Marquette speech, Bush ignored the Sodom of San Francisco and focused instead on the Gomorrah of Hollywood, some of whose prominent performers — particularly comic Whoopee Goldberg — had used ribald humor at a Kerry-Edwards fundraiser.

"The other day my opponent said, when he was with some entertainers from Hollywood, that they were the heart and soul of America. I believe the heart and soul of America is found in places right here, in Marquette, Mich.," Bush said. That's where you find "compassion, reverence and integrity."

However, considering that comic Dennis Miller was warming up the crowd for the president the very next day, it's clear that you can escape the Hollywood stigma if you become a Republican — or a homophobe.

Applying Republican ribaldry to disparage the Democratic ticket of Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards, Miller said, "Those two cannot keep their hands off each other, can they? I think I have an idea for a new campaign slogan … 'Hey, Get a Room,' "

Now that's compassionate and reverential humor — almost as classy as Dick Cheney's vulgar performance on the floor of the U.S. Senate....

Homophobia and apple pie

Choices Choices:

Just in case you're trying to decide whether you should attend the Democratic National Convention (website: boston04.com) or the World Science Fiction Convention (website: boston2004.com), the WorldCon folks have created a handy comparison chart.

We're not $10 million over budget. We don't even have a $10 million budget

Our promises for the future are supposed to be fiction

You don't have to donate thousands of dollars to us (though we wouldn't complain)—we'll give you a high-level appointment to work for us for free!

The media will not outnumber the attendees.

No one will be kissing babies except their immediate families and friends.

When we talk about "skull and bones" it's probably in a discussion about paleontology.

We won't be preempting your favorite television shows.

Our speakers are actually entertaining.

Secret Service has no plans to shut down major highways for us.

You can still get hotel rooms for under $2,000 for Noreascon Four, and you don't have to stay in New Hampshire.

If we rewrite history we label it as fiction or "alternative history".

At least some of our funny hats have propellers on them.

In a word-association test, we respond to "Fahrenheit" with "451."

Some of our attendees have written books about ghosts. Some of theirs have had books written by ghosts.

100% greater chance of men openly wearing tights at Noreascon 4.

Our attendees often swear in forms unrecognizable to the FCC.

At Noreascon 4, bloodsuckers are identifiable by the fangs and sunglasses rather than microphones and cameras.

At our convention, none of the reading matter is likely to be redacted.

There's much conversation about "character" at both conventions, but we've got a lot more to say about "plot" and "setting", too.

Which venue do you think I would chose?


Noreascon Four Not the DNC

Monday, July 19, 2004

Molly at her best


Chris matthews outtalks molly ivins 144 words to 14 on subject of men talking too much:

MATTHEWS: Molly, let me ask you about gender, because I love to get these fights going, because it reaches home when I make these comments.

Men-and I've known this-I've been trying to stop-tend to shout when they're on television or at public events. And they get away with it.

IVINS: Chris, no.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I know.

And men can sort of get away with it, because we're not all Reggie Van Gleason, but you can raise your voice. "The McLaughlin Group" is like that. The men yells. When Eleanor yells, it sounds high-pitched. Is that just a problem for Hillary, because I've seen so many women in politics, like Barbara Boxer, who in person have moderated, wonderful tones. They're very charming in their presentation.

IVINS: Right.

MATTHEWS: They get behind a microphone and they start to yell. It doesn't work.

IVINS: Well, not all of us have those high, shrill voices, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well, you're giving me the, what, Raymond Burr now?

Progressive Review

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Time out for more humor-lite:


Send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list!

If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off, do not do it! IT IS A SCAM; they only want to see you naked.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap now...

Busy Busy Busy.. and so it goes..
Progressive Review

It Gets Hotter

It has been in the ninetys here in the sleepy back country of San Diego... Campaign humor is warming up too...

Billionaires to Defy the DNC

John Kerry is a class-traitor who wants nothing more than to scrap the incredible progress our nation has made over the last four years and return America to the grubby hands of the unwashed middle-class masses.

It is our sacred duty as guardians of privilege and power to defend the Bush administration from this barbaric electoral challenge...


More money, fewer hands!

Hey traitors, get a clue,
The USA is not for you!

Poor people, get a clue,
The USA is not for you!

Welfare for the wealthy!
Keep our profits healthy!

Legislation: A Lucrative Investment Arena!
You too can get rich quick in the low-risk, high-yield world of legislation!

If you're like most of us, you're always looking for higher returns on your investments. And while you may be familiar with stocks and bonds, currency speculation, IPOs, and all the rest, there's a new investment arena you really ought to be aware of: Legislation. [ROI Chart Included]

A very clever satire.. they never break character!. For you accountant types, Check out the ROI Chart..

Billionaires For Bush: Legislation

Friday, July 16, 2004

A Simple request

It is called by the sociologists 'Social Reciprocity'. When it is lacking, the going gets tough.

You've probably heard by now that the vice president, Dick Cheney, used the "F-word" in the Senate, addressed to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. Cheney has refused to apologize and, on the contrary, said on national television that it made him feel much better to tell Leahy to go F-himself.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don't believe the Senate should be used for barroom language, any more than I think the Oval Office should be converted into a whorehouse. I know these are decadent times, but if the politicians in Washington don't return to traditional civility, they're not likely to get much done that is worthwhile. We pay them way too much money to tolerate that.

Cheney and George W. Bush are both arrogant men. It's characteristic of arrogant men to disdain people who disagree with them. Bush seems to add a touch of paranoia and sees people who disagree with him as "enemies." His performance at the recent NATO meeting showed his arrogance. Twice he spoke publicly about something that is none of his business — whether Turkey should be admitted to the European Union. The Europeans were naturally riled up....

At any rate, civility, or the lack thereof, is a serious matter. Civilization is a thin veneer. We all have a bit of the beast lurking just below the surface. That's why it takes a deliberate effort to remain civilized, and a huge part of that is courtesy...

Courtesy is like the oil of human relations. It allows us to mix together and get our business done without having four fistfights and shootouts every week. You don't have to like somebody to be courteous.

I don't know if Cheney should apologize to Leahy, because I don't know what, if anything, Leahy said to provoke him. But the vice president ought to apologize to the American people for demeaning the office. After all, the office belongs to the people, not to Cheney.
chief joseph

Charley Reese Civility And Uncertainty

Hollywood Factoid

Hedy Lamarr

"Any girl can be glamorous," Hedy Lamarr once said. "All she has to do is stand still and look stupid."

The film star belied her own apothegm by hiding a brilliant, inventive mind beneath her photogenic exterior. In 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, she patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time.

Female Inventors: Hedy Lamarr

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Reverberating Email Meme

I usually don't propogate email 'wismotics', but this is too good to not pass it on:

New York, NY

6:00 PM Opening Prayer led by the Reverend Jerry Falwell
6:30 PM Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Burning of Bill of Rights (excluding 2nd Amendment)
6:45 PM Salute to the Coalition of the Willing
6:46 PM Seminar #1: "Getting Your Kid a Military Deferment"

7:30 PM First Presidential Beer Bong
7:35 PM Freedom Fries served
7:40 PM EPA Address #1: "Mercury: It's What's for Dinner"

8:00 PM Vote on which country to invade next
8:10 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh
8:15 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: "The Homos Are After Your Children"
8:30 PM Round table discussion on reproductive rights (men only)
8:50 PM Seminar #2: " Corporations: The Government of the Future"

9:00 PM Condi Rice sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
9:05 PM Second Presidential Beer Bong
9:10 PM EPA Address #2: "Trees: The Real Cause of Forest Fires"
9:30 PM Break for secret meetings

10:00 PM Second Prayer led by Cal Thomas
10:15 PM Karl Rove Lecture: "Doublespeak Made Simple"
10:30 PM Rumsfeld Lecture/Demonstration: "How to Squint and Talk Macho Even when You Feel Squishy Inside"
10:35 PM Bush demonstration of trademark "deer in headlights" stare
10:40 PM John Ashcroft Demonstration: "New Mandatory Kevlar Chastity Belt"
10:45 PM Clarence Thomas reads list of black Republicans
10:46 PM Third Presidential Beer Bong
10:50 PM Seminar #3: "Education: A Drain on Our Nation's Economy"

11:10 PM Hillary Clinton Pinata
11:20 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: "Evolutionists: A Dangerous New Cult"
11:30 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh again
11:35 PM Blame Clinton
11:40 PM Laura serves milk and cookies
11:50 PM Closing Prayer led by Jesus Himself
12:00 PM Nomination of George W. Bush as Holy Supreme Planetary Overlord

This gives new meaning to the phrase 'what goes around comes around'. Campaign humor, gotta love it.
World O'Crap

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Summer Heat

It hasn't taken long for the rhetoric to heat up... I hope our San Diego pattern isn't an indicator of things to come [our hottest month is September!]. Has the administration 'jumped the shark?'..

The establishment turns on Bush
Jack Lessenberry, Detroit Metro Times

Bush is a barely legitimate president, if that.

Not long ago, one of my students came to me, perfectly baffled. "How can anyone who's not a rich Nazi support re-electing George Bush?" she said.

This wasn't a gag. She had been researching the implications of his policies, and had been striving hard to learn about the world. There was no way even intelligent amoral greed-heads could support Bush, she had concluded, unless they wanted their children to grow up in a dangerously unstable world...

..We have a leader who combines the worst features of an ignorant imperialist with the moral certainty of a reformed drunk who is convinced that he can do no wrong, because Jesus guides his actions. He is surrounded and shaped by older, more adept politicians who are in some cases far more ruthless and cynical, or as narrow and deeply flawed, as he.

Yet, slowly, it is all coming apart. Lee Iacocca, a relentless salesman best known for successfully persuading the government to bail out the Chrysler Corp. in 1979, did TV spots for George W. Bush four years ago. This year, he is backing John Kerry. No, the cigar-chomping former auto baron hasn't become a left-wing liberal. He loves the establishment as much as ever. He is the establishment - and he knows that Dubya's crazy economic and foreign policies are a serious threat to his security.

More telling was the astonishing joint declaration of a group of the nation's most distinguished diplomatic and military figures, many of whom were appointed to high-level jobs by Ronald Reagan and the present George Bush's father...

BTW, To those of the loyal opposition: No notes about violation of Gresham's Law will be entertained. Strategic 'misdirection' techniques implemented by amateurs is a sad pathetic site. I see you, your hole card is showing. A shorter note: GFY
Think that's tasteless, mean and crazy? Then how about the Bush campaign e-mailing 6 million videos comparing prominent Democrats to Adolf Hitler? The ad juxtaposes snippets of Al Gore, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt and John Kerry criticizing Bush with footage of the Nazi dictator in full rant. Called "Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-Eyed," the ad can be viewed on the Bush campaign's official Web site. So you're a Nazi if you don't like Bush? Good luck selling that story.
And a bit more:

The Bushies have gone too far?:

Will 2004 be remembered as the year of the great conservative crackup? Has the Bush administration and its phalanx of rightwing pundits, talk radio shouters, party-line newspapers and TV news channels grown so intoxicated with power as to leave the majority of Americans feeling uneasy?..

...Because it's apt not to be a lofty abstraction like habeas corpus or the First Amendment that convinces people that the Bushies have gone too far. It's just as likely to be something silly, such as Vice President Dick Cheney telling a U.S. senator, on the Senate floor, to go bleep himself--this, because Sen. Patrick Leahy asked questions about Cheney's former company, Halliburton,

Now where I grew up, it's common to hear the bleep word used a half-dozen times a minute in discussions of, say, baseball. But Cheney used fighting words, big talk from a guy surrounded by Secret Service agents. Then he went on FOX News to boast about how manly it made him feel." Bring 'em on, "eh, Dick?

Some of the administration's more easily shocked constituents, however, may find it unsettling to hear the vice president use contemptuous profanity even as the Bush administration contemplated fining NBC because Bono, the Irish rock star, blurted out that a song was" bleepin' brilliant" on a TV award show...

...In other news from the fruitcake right, Rev. Sun Myung Moon had himself crowned at a ceremony attended by numerous congressmen (including several Democrats) at the U.S. Capitol...

Gene Lyons, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Release the hounds

The establishment turns on Bush

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Time to be concerned?

If these reports are true, we may need to get worried. I have seen these reactions from upper management in companies when a plan is failing.

The project's problems are heightened by a leadership that folds in on itself... a case of 'personal melt down' [a nuclear implosion if you will]. For the employees, there are few options, duck and cover, or bail out.

Gary Leupp: 'On obscenities and opportunities'

...According to the Washington Post, in a brief exchange on the Senate floor June 22 (the day the Senate passed a Defense of Decency Act), Vice President, moral role model and former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney told the mild-mannered Senator Patrick Leahy to "fuck himself" when Leahy made a remark about Halliburton's grabbing up contracts in Iraq (just because it could)...

The report followed upon another in Capital Hill Blue that Cheney's boss (the most conspicuously religious of recent presidents) often indulges in "obscene tantrums against the media" and tongue-lashes "those he perceives as disloyal, calling them 'fucking assholes' in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him 'unpatriotic' or 'anti-American.'"

That Bush and Cheney should be speaking this way in such contexts suggests that they are under great stress...

[Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. Full article here]

Capital Hill Blue article:
President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.

..Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.

..."Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."

Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."

West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft “the Blues Brothers” because “they’re on a mission from God.”

“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”

But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

...The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

Capitol Hill Blue: Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides

Friday, July 02, 2004

4th July Thought

Just thought a reminder would help celebrate 'Freedom Day'.

The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages.

It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments. [1834]

Henry Clay

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

Paulo Freire