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Bush Calls for Air Strikes Against Russia in Retaliation for Georgian Missile Attack August 8, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, arms control, Bush, George W. Bush, Georgia, Gore, missiles, News and politics, President Gore, Russia.
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Former Presidential Candidate George W. Bush today called for air strikes against Russia for what he called “its unpardonable missile attack against Georgia.”

Bush, who was defeated by President Al Gore in a close and controversial election in 2000, speaking from the Betty Ford Center, where he is completing an extensive stay, said, “The great state of Georgia should be answered for. I have many friends in many parts of Georgia, including Atlanta, and of course Savannah, a fine town, and I’m sure they must all be very upset about the Russian attack. I don’t know what could have provoked the Russians to attack our homeland, but it is vital that this appeasement president respond in kind. I therefore call on President Gore to immediately launch a strike against the Soviets.”

There has been no official response from the White House yet on Bush’s remarks. President Gore is in Havana, Cuba, on a visit with Raul Castro.

Al Gore’s “October Surprise” November 6, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Bush, Congressional ethics, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Gore, Iraq, Neo-cons, Neo-conservatives, News and politics, Politics, Scandals, Terrorism.

Al Gore today, in a surprise pre-election announcement, has pardoned several well-known Republican criminals, including Bill O’Reilly (imprisoned for illegally obtaining abortion clinic patient records), Donald Rumsfeld (who along with Dick Cheney was nailed for racketeering and embezzlement during the Iraq Reconstruction Project — see this link for background on the Bill of Hope), and several other small-time Republican crooks. Notably absent from the list was Senator Tom DeLay.

Press Secretary Aaron Sorkin today said Gore is doing this as part of national reconciliation efforts that began when Republicans were routinely put in prison back in 2001, when Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris were thrown in jail for vote fraud.

He is also offering “limited amnesty” to Republican sex offenders who have not yet been apprehended and who come forward and show a willingness to adhere to a GPS-based tracking system, and who voluntarily submit to psychological counseling. Insiders say that the reasons for this are more practical than a simple desire for national reconciliation. “Our medium security prisons just don’t have enough room for all the offenders,” says one official close to the administration.

In fact, prison overcrowding has again become a major issue, in spite of recent changes in criminal drug laws that no longer mandate imprisonment for minor drug offenses and have returned the focus to drug rehabilitation. Studies are beginning to pour in showing that, since the crackdown on Republican corruption, the prison population once dominated by drug offenders and minorities is being replaced by Republicans.

With the mid-term elections tomorrow, and the nation enjoying unprecedented peace and prosperity, electoral interest seems to be at an all time low, and Gore appears to be trying to remind voters why he was re-elected in the first place. While neocons refer to Gore as “the appeasement president”, the fact is that Gore has become a world leader based on his skills at managing reconciliation on a global level, while driving successful worldwide anti-poverty and environmental programs. He has, in other words, not only not squandered the good will that wrapped the U.S. in an emotional blanket of sympathy after the 9/11 attacks, he’s capitalized them in a huge way, one that’s easy to take for granted in a less dangerous world.

When things are going well, it’s easy to become complacent, and Gore apparently is trying to find a way to remind voters how dangerous such complacency can be. “It’s really hard for most voters to imagine how bad things could become if the current Republican leadership were ever to take control of the government,” says one Democratic campaign pollster, who is hopeful that the neoconservative wing of the Republican party is finally being dismembered through its delirious combination of sex and corruption scandals, as well as voter antipathy towards the neoconservative doctrine of perpetual war.

Also, in a speech late yesterday, Gore offered what he called some personal advice to the challenger in his first presidential election, George W. Bush. “I think maybe it’s time for George to check himself out of the Betty Ford clinic. He’s been in there, what? Five, six years? I know it was a tough election, but it’s time to move on.”

Republicans Gear Up Their Media Fear Machine October 21, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Gore, Haliburton, Iraq, Law & Politics, Neo-cons, Neo-conservatives, News and politics, Politics, September 11th, September 11th & The War On Terror.

The Republicans have officially ramped up their fear-based media frenzy by generating ads suggesting we’re all about to die.

You can find one of them here.

As a professional web developer, I ask this simple question. Do you really trust a party that uses Dreamweaver to write its scripting code to tackle such potential horrors as dirty suitcase bombs?

How do you know they’re using Dreamweaver? Easy, just do a view source and see the ubiquitous Macromedia function MM_swapImgRestore() littering the HTML code. Now, there’s nothing wrong with amateurs using Dreamweaver to crank out a site, but do we want the Republicans to hire amateurs to run a war? If they can’t come up with the technical resources to do a web site properly, how in the name of fat hypocrisy can we expect them to run a war if they somehow get the presidency back?

You think the connection is off the wall? Well, just, for a moment, let’s come up with a preposterous scenario.

Imagine, for a moment, that Bush had beaten Gore in the presidential race of 2000. Now, imagine that instead of engaging the Middle East with diplomacy and, essentially, winning the “war” on terrorism (as summed up here) Bush had done something crazy, like invade, oh, I dunno, just for the sake of argument, maybe Iraq. Who knows why, but just bear with me for a moment. For me, it’s almost as easy to then imagine other weird scenarios. You know, like the U.S. drives into Baghdad, quickly routs the hapless Iraqi army, then disbands it and allows a massive looting spree where all kinds of nasty weapons are squirrelled away.

Okay, granted, I do have an over-active imagination. You have to sort of clear all reason from your mind to imagine such a scenario, but if you saw the job Bush did in Texas and, generally, what a dunderhead he is in general, you begin to realize that, by golly, anything is possible, had he won.

Understanding that Bush would have probably included guys like Paul Wolfowitz in his cabinet makes me think even greater disasters would have been possible, had he been elected. Keep in mind that in February 1992, Wolfowitz’s henchmen drafted an American defense policy that called for the United States to brandish its military might aggressively and persistently. The policy was too chilling even for Republicans, and it was dropped, but George Bush Sr.’s well known phrase “New World Order” came largely from that document, as did, later, the Project for the New American Century, of which several dedicated neo-cons were a part of, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, and Wolfowitz.

In fact, way back in the day Bill Clinton was in office, the neo-cons officially urged an invasion of Iraq.

Still think the whole idea is silly?

See? This is what happens when we become complacent during times of peace and economic prosperity.

Gotta watch that. It’s dangerous business, this complacency.

Okay, so let’s just say their man had won. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that their man, he of a somewhat dim mind, would have played catch with these fellas.

Now, chances are, these neo-cons would not have thought out the prospects for an invasion of Iraq. Even if they did know the difference between a Sunni and Shi’ite, neo-cons are, basically, and simply, warlike. And arrogant. They probably felt that if Saddam could contain the two groups, the U.S. certainly could. As preposterous as it sounds, they probably would have done something completely outrageous, even after winning the initial phases of the war. Who knows what? But something. Maybe they would have relied on patronage to manage the rebuilding process instead of using local civil engineering firms. After all, you can bet that any invasion would have really torched the Iraqi infrastructure. Everything from electrical grids to oil fields would need to be rebuilt.

Who knows, maybe after beating up on the Iraqi army these clowns would even disband it, letting them roam the streets penniless, hungry, and angry.

I know how silly and impossible this all sounds.

Today, Iraq is a study in possibilities, a thriving regional economic power whose biggest problem is the restive Kurds, who want to finish the job of autonomy and become an independent state, but who are not so restive as to take up arms.

But still, these are people whose idea of technical competence is using Dreamweaver on their web site. If that’s the kind of technical competence the GOP has on hand, had Bush been elected and had done the neo-cons’ bidding, I bet they couldn’t have even kept the electricity on in Baghdad for more than a few hours a day, had they been foolish enough to invade.

But the most chilling aspect about their incompetence is their fuzzy knowledge of world affairs. If they thought Iraq was okay to invade, then who would be next? Syria? Or, even more incredible, Iran? Let the dominoes fall, right fellas? Geniuses, all of them.

All of this would have given birth to an army of new terrorists. I suspect if we had invaded Iraq, that nation would have become an Al Queda playground, where American troops would have been engaged in a horrible guerrilla war, with red big targets on their humvees the size of Dick Cheney’s massive butt.

If the U.S. had then moved on to Iran, then we really would have been talking about the very real possibility of a nuclear terrorist incident in the U.S.

And that, my friends, is something the GOP doesn’t talk about in its ad.

Luckily, this is just a nightmare scenario. The kind of thing we only think about as the autumn skies turn grey and the void between life and death, as represented by old Gaelic beliefs of Halloween, approach.

A Belated 9/11 5th Anniversary Post October 14, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in 9-11, Al Gore, Bits from the New York Times, Bush, death, firefighters, Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Gore, Iraq, Marshall Plan, New York Times, News and politics, Nye, Politics, September 11th, September 11th & The War On Terror, The Washington Post, Washington Post, World Trade Center.
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This is a reprint. The Gore Years Website did not exist during the 9/11 five year anniversary. This was our eulogy, and, in fact, the reason why the site was begun.

Ahmed Ibraim remembers the dark years.

He remembers his friends and neighbors while they were rounded up by Saddam Hussein’s regime. He remembers the air raid sirens blaring at 3 am, and the frantic rush for cover, and, especially, the awful roar of the occasional nearby explosions. He remembers hating America for it all.

A Sunni, Mr. Ahmed today lives in a neighborhood that was, in many ways, spared from Saddam’s dark curtain, and, somehow, most of the bombs Saddam’s regime provoked.

Today, his once dusty neighborhood is replete with schools, busy grocery stores and even an occasional Starbucks. His three children have all passed entrance exams for universities run by a group known as the Hijric Collective, a Muslim group that has taken over management of the educational system. Some say the group is tainted by American imperialism and Zionism, but the Hijric is so well financed, and most importantly, housed by Imams, paid off or not, that most of the complaints are mere utterances within the confines of local coffee houses.

The fact that the Hijric Collective is funded by numerous Western benefactors is not lost on Mr. Ibraim, but he adorns his skepticism and distrust with the hope that his children will have a better life than he could have hoped for.

Such is life in modern Iraq, a diffused land that has somehow, despite geopolitics, demonstrated that the concept of civics is a real one, and that disparate groups like Sunnis, Shi’a and Kurds can choose to overcome extreme pasts even in a place as haunted as the world of Middle Eastern politics.

Mr. Ahmed is a typical Iraqi working man. A carpenter by trade, he spends hours at lunch time with his friends dissecting politics not only concerning his land, but America as well.

Nightmare — 600,000 dead. October 12, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Blogroll, Bush, Iraq, News and politics.
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I woke up last night dazed and confused.

In my dream, I was taunted by a reality that I knew could not exist.


was what I saw in my nightmare.

I thought to myself, what?

A dream? A stress dream? A real nightmare?

First thing I did was look at my feet.

They were cool.

But then, scary Jesus, I saw 600,000 ghosts taunting my toes, and, well, I dunno about you but I HATE it when people “f” with my toes.
Then, in my dream — I mean, nightmare — George Bush won the 2000 election.

NO!! I protested.

I said, no, it wouldn’t have mattered. Bush was not much different than Al Gore.

The Greens said so. They promised. They told us so, when they tried to tell us when Bush almost stole the election.

The Greens, in their brilliant naivite, tried to sell us on the concept that the two candidates, Bush and Gore, were not different.

There is no way to measure that, other than to live the nightmare I had last night, the one with 600,000 souls.

That seems impossible to me to imagine.

Interview with Former Presidential Candidate Bush — Final Installment October 7, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Bush, News and politics.
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This is our third and final installment of our interview with former candidate Bush.

GY: When President Gore was elected in what was a very closely contested election, many people said there was little difference between the two candidates. Now that Gore has pushed a somewhat more liberal agenda than may have been anticipated, how would you assess the difference between yourself and Gore?

W: Well, John, first off I should say that Al Gore is a good man, a decent man, a family man. A real family man. And Tipper is just wonderful, absolutely wonderful. But I mentioned in the first election that there were differences, and so did John McCain during the 2004 elections.

The environment is obviously one difference between the GOP and Gore. Gore has imposed impossible standards on the auto industry. GM will probably be bankrupt in another year or so, simply trying to compete with the Japanese auto industry in attacking these impossible new standards.

GY: But GM and Toyota have formed a partnership for developing and selling hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

W: It’s a brilliant strategy by Toyota. Get into the market, with the help of American ingenuity, and snatch the market away from the domestics. It’s a snatch and burn policy, really.

GY: Could you be a bit more clear about why Toyota can succeed in this market with the same cars and GM can’t?

W: It’s all about regulations. We regulate now more than we did prior to 2000. We have standards today, and we shouldn’t have standards. Standards are constricting. They constrict and confuse people.

GY: So you don’t think the massive tax breaks given to GM for developing alternatives to combusion engines will offset the regulatory burdens at all.

W: Well, as Laura likes to remind me, breaks are for cars, not taxes. You cut taxes, period. You don’t just break them.

GY: Gore has come under considerable criticism from the Left that the tax breaks to the domestic auto industry amount to corporate welfare. Do you disagree with that?

W: The welfare of American companies is in all our interests, so no, I can’t really agree with that. I’m interested in the welfare of the hard working people in our companies. Aren’t you?

GY: Let’s move back to foreign policy before we close. What do you consider today’s biggest foreign policy issue?

W: I’m glad you asked that John, because of recent developments. Right now we face a grave threat right here at home from a foreign policy. Russia has begun deporting Georgians, and is imposing sanctions on Georgia. It’s a pretty belligerent act on Putin’s part. But I can tell you that I know Georgians. The great state of Georgia will not tolerate these sanctions, and neither should we. It’s a mystery to me why Russia would target Georgia in the first place. From Macon to Atlanta, just a bunch of hard working folks minding their own business.

GY: Actually, Russia is targeting the nation Georgia, in the Caucusus.

W: Well, their base of operations may be in the Caucusus. As you know, there are many Russian military installations in the Caucusus. I simply hope that Mr. Gore will take off his appeasement hat for a day and defend the good people of Georgia.

GY: Well, thank you Mr. Bush. This has been an illuminating interview.

W: Thank you, John, and God bless America.

Will Will Ever Get It Right? September 16, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in Blogroll, Bush, Business, Economy & Business, George W. Bush, Gore, monopolies, News and politics, Politics, Wal-Mart.
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One of the true luminaries of conservative thought is George F. Will, who likes baseball a lot, but just doesn’t quite get why Wal-Mart is about to be broken up.

Under the amusing headline, “When the people speak, liberals turn deaf,” George F. Will wrote an article the other day excoriating “liberals” for the imminent break-up of Wal-Mart (although he doesn’t actually refer to the recent FTC action in his article).

His dateline city is Evergreen Park, Illinois, a city, he notes with typical conservative statistical manipulation, that is 88 percent white, but within whose boundaries sits a Wal-Mart whose customer base, according to his report, is 90 percent black. Will doesn’t attribute either statistic to any resource, so maybe his article is actually a blog, without any of the editorial constraints newspaper reporters are said to be subject to — either that or bloggers are no longer the only ones who get a break when it comes to attribution.

Anyway, let’s look at where Evergreen Park is situated. Will says it is a Chicago suburb “contiguous with Chicago’s western edge”. According to Webster, contiguous means:

being in actual contact : touching along a boundary or at a point.

The Wal-Mart in Evergreen Park is near the hub of two major Southwest Side arteries, 95th Street and Ashland Avenue. This is an intersection that people of all races and creeds focus on when traveling within 20 miles of their homes. So, I have no idea what Will’s point is when he points out that African Americans are happy to trek a few blocks to 95th and Ashland. Evergreen Park’s demographics are a moot point when it comes to Wal-Mart demographics. Wal-Mart demographics are based on income level, not race.

I don’t think the country clubbers in DeKalb, Illinois spend much time in the DeKalb County Wal-Mart, but you can be sure that the small business owners who have been put out of business by that company have plenty of family members who shop there, if only to survive.

Will’s column gets funnier. He then describes what I guess he perceives as a typical Wal-Mart customer in the Evergreen Park store, a black woman chagrined at not getting a job at a recent hiring event at the store but who shops there anyway. “Sensibly,” Will writes with a straight face, “she compartmentalizes her moods and her money.” Will goes on to suggest that because Americans have saved so much money at Wal-Mart, liberals have some bizarre “philosophical repugnance towards markets because consumer sovereignty results in the masses making messes.” In other words, he seems to be suggesting that liberals don’t like to save money. Or something.

A devout free-marketer, Will also seems to be saying that the free market is not capable of creating an economy where consumer costs can be held down in a world without a Wal-Mart.

Will also says, “Liberals think their campaign against Wal-Mart is a way of introducing class into America’s political argument.” He conveniently forgets that “the liberals” don’t own the argument against Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s policies of extortion against suppliers and its support for conditions in Third World countries that would have Upton Sinclair blush are well documented. Centrists like myself are in full support of the FTC’s suit to break up the company. This is not a “liberal” agenda.

But Will, free market man that he is, is okay with the pillaging of the U.S. manufacturing sector, because, in the words of a Fast Company article, “There is no question that Wal-Mart’s relentless drive to squeeze out costs has benefited consumers. The giant retailer is at least partly responsible for the low rate of U.S. inflation, and a McKinsey & Co. study concluded that about 12% of the economy’s productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s could be traced to Wal-Mart alone.”

Somehow that hasn’t been enough for the Gore administration. FTC hearings begin in two weeks. I can’t wait.