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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
The rumor mills are working, producing many a name as possible replacement for Dan Rather as the anchor on the network evening news. Most of the names are the CBS drones, too familiar, hoping to work their way up the corporate totem poll (YAWN!). Drones just drone.
One name being passed around CBS headquarters is that of Tim Russert, host of "Meet the Press." Interesting possibility, showing that there may be a glimmer of imagination and thinking left in CBS headquarters. Though not enough.
It would be bad for Russett to accept this job if offered. Not because it means shifting networks. After all, who is loyal these days? No, it would be Russert jumping on to a sinking ship, and when the vessel finally drops below the waves, he will be blamed for the debacle.
There is no need for another boring, white, middle-aged male to be reading the news for 21 minutes five nights a week to a dwindling, half-attentive audience eager to get to the prime time lineup. The format has to be changed completely, away from the reading-anchor model. It has to be a blogger-style newscast with fuzzy edges and split ends. Informative and exciting. Not seen as another slice of entertainment. And, above all, not based on the ego of a reading anchor!
Qick! Who has the biggest ego? Rather, Brokaw, or Jennings?
Time for the egos to go, not to be replaced!
Read the article by David Ignatius: "The Langley Lobotomy." It is the best reporting and analysis of the purge going on at the CIA. Here is the gist of the author's point:
It's crazy for a nation at war to be purging its spies. But that's what has
been happening in the weeks since former representative Porter Goss (R-Fla.) and
a phalanx of conservative congressional aides took over at the CIA. What makes
the putsch genuinely scary is that it seems to be driven by an animus toward the
CIA that could do real damage to the nation's security.
Goss's supporters argue that he's just trying to rebuild an agency that needs a
shakeup. And certainly the CIA could improve its performance: It is too
risk-averse, too prone to groupthink, too mired in mediocrity. But the cure for
these problems is hardly to send in a team of ideologues from Capitol Hill and
drive out the agency's most experienced intelligence officers. This
politicization can only make the agency's underlying problems even worse. And
heaven knows what foreign intelligence services, which are America's crucial
partners in the war on terrorism, make of the spectacle at Langley.
What's driving the Langley Lobotomy is a belief among conservatives
that the CIA is an impediment to Bush administration foreign policy. Civilian
officials at the Pentagon and neoconservatives at Washington think tanks have
been badmouthing the agency relentlessly for the past four years.
We are pleased to see that others now recognize that there is a neocon coup d'etat going on to transform the foreign policy apparatus of the US government into a willing tool of neocon ideology. The neocons want the CIA to produce politicized intelligence that supports the neocon goals. Fire anyone who doubts.That is the mission of Porter Goss.
State is next, under Condoleezza Rice.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Iraq's elections for the National Assembly are scehduled for January 30. In the face of the country's disorder and violence, there is a question of whether the elections will be postponed.
The point is this: If the elections are postponed, that will be a victory for the terrorists. The terrorists understand that and will do all in their power to create more turmoil and make holding the elections impossible.
In The Washington Post, an article on this subject, "Shiites Reject Delay of Elections," accurtately describes the situation:
Iraq's Shiite Muslim parties and the religious leadership headed by Grand
Ayatollah Ali Sistani on Saturday rejected a demand by other communities for a
delay in nationwide elections scheduled for Jan. 30, in an escalating dispute
that magnifies the country's ethnic and sectarian fault lines.
Parties representing Iraq's Sunni Muslim Arab minority, as well as ethnic Kurds and
other secular groups, had called for a delay of up to six months in the vote for
a National Assembly, which will be charged with appointing a government and
drafting a constitution. The postponement would allow more time to persuade
groups boycotting the election to take part and to bring calm to regions roiled
by a tenacious insurgency.
The Shiites, 60% of the country's population, want the elections held as scheduled. So do the interim government and its backer, the US. On the other side, the Sunnis, Kurds, and other secular parties want a delay so the order necessary for a free election can be restored.
The terrorists' main goal now is to get the elections delayed. They hope to achieve their goal by exploiting the fault lines in Iraq's political geography.
Watch for major terrorist offensives to achieve the end of making Iraq ungovernable.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Did President Bush let slip that Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities to stop it from developonmg nuclear weapons? This story in The New York Sun carries that implication: "Bush Hints at Israeli Role in Iranian Atom Bomb." It claims that
At a dinner party two weeks before the election, President Bush agreed that a
second-term flashpoint would likely center around the acquisition of nuclear
weapons by Iran."It is Israeli policy not to let that happen," Mr. Bush
said, adding after a moment's pause. "Don't go telling anyone I gave a green
Israel could be a surrogate for the US in an aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, giving a new meaning to the term "coalition of the willing." Israel once bombed nuclear facitlities in Iraq to stop the atomic bomb program promoted by Saddam Hussein. Performing the same function in Iran would be doing exactly what the Bush Administration wants.
An interesting move in the talks to bring a final peace settlement to Northern Ireland. The talks now focus on admitting Sinn Fein to power sharing in the government of Northern Ireland, a move the DUP, the main Protestant party, opposes on the grounds that Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA. The DUP does not want alleged "terrorists" in the govrenment.
At a crtitical juncture in the talks, Rev. Ian Paisley, head of the DUP, received a sudden telephone call from President Bush urging a quick resolution of the issues and the admission of Sinn Fein to the government. Britain's Guardian carries the story in "Bush in Peace Plea to Paisley," where it is revealed that
Mr Bush was anxious that a deal be secured and told Mr Paisley to call him at any time if further help was needed.
President Bush has shown almost no interest in Norther Ireland during his first term. Why now the suddent interest? A few possibilities:
- He is doing a favor for Britain's Prime Moinister Tony Blair in trying to speed the settlement of the issue.
- He wants to signal to the world that he is not focused exclusively on the Middle East.
- He sees the peaceful settlement of the Norther Ireland crisis as an essential element in his global war on terrorism.
- He knows that a settlement in Northern Irealnd is a sure path to a Nobel Peace Prize.
Friday, November 26, 2004
For some time we have been watching China move in on Latin America to extend its economic reach and assure itself of a supply of needed resources.
Now China is making a move on Canada. Toronto's Globe and Mail reports on that move in "China in Talks to Buy Calgary Oil Giant." China wants to but Husky Energy, a Canadian oil and gas giant, to assure supplies of oil for its ever-expanding economy. The move, if successful, would also make China a major player in the world's oil market.
This move on Husky is part of a broader Chinese agenda:
China has embarked on a global hunt to secure resources for its booming economy.
Chinese state firms are already active in Sudan and Peru, and are scouting
investment opportunities in other countries, including Ecuador, Chile, Australia
While the US is focused exclusively on its military adventures in the Middle East and committed to regime change there, the Chinese have continued their policy of global economic reach with the aim of challenging the dominant role of the US in the world.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
The events surrounding the presidential election in Ukraine are becoming more and more important. At stake is whether Ukraine will be oriented towards Russia or towards Europe.
In an essay titled "Freedom's Front Line," Tomothy Garten Ash, an expert on contemporary European affairs, points out another important feature of the conflict. It is whether Ukraine will experience a "velvet revolution." That form of political change has become a feature of European life in recent years: in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Serbia. It is a challenge to the long tradition of violent revolution identified with the Jacobin-Bolshevik tradition. It is important for the world that the US and other powers pressure Ukraine to settle the confronation peacefully so that velvet revolution becomes a permanent way of changing untenable situations.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Did the Internet bloggers defeat Dan Rather? See this piece in The New York Post.
We will probably remember 2004 as the year in which the Interet surpassed the old television networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) as the main source of news for US voters.
President Bush has identified the "axis of evil" as the source of trouble in the world today: Iraq, Iran, North Korea. The US has invaded Iraq and is now threatening Iran. Will it also threaten North Korea?
The neocons in the US government hope so. As the Asia Times reports,
The US foreign policy hawks who pushed for the Iraq invasion are now pushing President George W Bush to take extreme measures with North Korea, including planning for an economic embargo or for military strikes to bring about regime change and a better class of dictator.
These plans were allegedly discussed at the APEC meeting in Chile last week.
Will the US actually begin a campaign for "regime change" in North Korea? Will that include military strikes?
Have the neocons learned no lessons from the Iraq invasion?
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
So, Dan Rather has announced that he is leaving his job as anchor of the CBS evening news program. But, like Tom Brokaw at NBC, he plans to hang on for a long time between his announcement and his departure. The reluctant departure, both!
The decision was inevitable. After the debacle of "Sixty Minutes" and the forged documents accusing President Bush, Rather was finished. He just did not have the grace to resign immediately.
But it was only a matter of time before CBS pushed him out. It is just too bad that CBS waited so long to make a decision it should have made years ago.
"Too bad" because CBS has lost viewers in a steady decline. It will be difficult to regain viewers after this amount of damage has been done. CBS should not follow the NBC model of simply appointing another anchor (Brian Williams for NBC, ugh!).
If CBS wants to have a serious news division and regain the trust of viewers, it needs to devise an entirely different model for delivering the evening news. Otherwise, it should simply stop trying to deliver the news and become solely an entertainment and sports channel.
The intelligence reform bill failed to get approval by the House of Representatives, even though President Bush favored it and, he alleges, lobbied for it. And the Republicans have a majority in the House!
Interestingly the opposition to the bill's passage came not from Democrats but from Republicans. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld opposed it, as did the Republican chairmen of the Judiciary Committe and the Military Affairs Committee.
As we warned before, Bush should begin watching for opposition to his programs developing among conservative Republicans!
What now has to be asked is whether Bush, with this act by the House, has become a lame duck already? The weakening of the president's powers in the last year of his final term is to be expected. What is a surprise here is that Bush's lame-duck status may already be appearing even before the start of his second term!
We will have to watch how Bush deals with Rumsfeld. If he does not fire him over this matter, he is acquiescing in being a lame duck.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Watch for the development of a major policy debate in the US over the reduction of military forces in Iraq.
The surprise will be that the Pentagon hawks and neocons who championed the US intervention in Iraq will now argue for the downsizing of the US military presence in that country:
A growing number of national security specialists who supported the
toppling of Saddam Hussein are moving to a position unthinkable even a few months ago: that the large US military presence is impeding stability as much as contributing to it and that the United States shouldbegin major reductions in troops beginning early next year.
Their assessments, expressed in reports, think tank meetings, and interviews, run counter to the Bush administration's
insistence that the troops will remain indefinitely to establish security.But some contend that the growing support for an earlier pullout could alter the administration's thinking.
Those arguing for immediate troop reductions
include key Pentagon advisers, prominent neoconservatives, and some of the fiercest supporters of the Iraq invasion among Washington's policy elite.
The core of their arguments is that even as the US-led coalition goes on the offensive against the insurgency, the United States, by its very presence, is stimulating the resistance.
The argument for troop reduction is a recognition that US policy is not working by the very individuals who formulated the policy.
It is also a recognition of the over-extension of US military commitment, at a rtime when the Pentagon wants to press the case against Iran and North Korea.
The problem, of course, is that disengaging from Iraq may not be so easy. The possibility that US military may be replaced by newly-trained Iraqi police and military has something of a dream quality to it: wishful thinking but doubtful. Once you grab the tiger by the tail, it is difficult and dangerous to let go.
In any case, it is now clear that the Bush Administration is trying to formulate an exit strategy.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
As we have posted several times, there are signs that the neo-con hawks in the Pentagon are gearing up for a showdown with Iran over its nuclear program. Now Britain's Guardian has picked up on this developing story:
Pentagon hawks have begun discussing military action against Iran to
neutralise its nuclear weapons threat, including possible strikes on leadership,
political and security targets.
The neo-con ideological commitment to transforming the Middle East threatens to hurry the US into military over-extension.
President Bush has spoken about a tripartite "axis of evil." He has invaded one of the three, Iraq. Will he now want military action against another, Iran?
Saturday, November 20, 2004
The public demonstrations currently being held against President Bush and his Iraq policy in Santiago, Chile during the APEC Forum are a forecast of a wave of demonstrations that will follow him anywhere he travels in the world.
The worry that similar demonstrations will geet him when he tavels to Canada later in November is voiced by Toronto's Globe and Mail in the article "APEC-Style Protests Feared for Bush's Ottawa Visit." Specifically,
As anti-George Bush American protesters clashed with police in the streets of Santiago yesterday, Prime Minister Paul Martin called for Canadians who disagree with the U.S. President to keep their dissent "reasonable" when Mr. Bush visits Ottawa later this month.
Such demonstrations should be a cause for worry about the place of the US in the world. Will similar demonstrations begin within the US?
All eyes are on the conflict in the Netherlands involving the Muslim community there. But the conflict may be emerging more threateningly in Germany, where there is also a large Muslim population.
Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports on statements made by Annette Schavan, cultural affairs minister in the government of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in her campaign to be elected premier of the state:
Schavan, who is running to become the state's premier, suggested that imams in
Germany should speak only German when they preach in mosques. “We no longer can allow mosques to use languages that are not understood outside the Islamic
community,“ she told the dpa wire service.She said the idea could be introduced
as legislation in the Bundesrat, the chamber that represents Germany's 16 states
on national issues. “In an open society, everyone must be willing to communicate
in the language of the country,“ she said.
Her views encompass anti-foreign, anti-immigration, and anti-Muslim sentiments that are popular in Germany. They amount to a warning to Muslims. And they are a clear sign of the emerging conflict.
Will Jews be allowed to use Hebrew in synagogues and Catholics to use Latin in church? Ms. Schavan does not address those questions.
The Middle East is not the exclusive area for cultural conflict. The cultural conflict will spread strongly to Europe.
We have been warning that the US dominance in Latin America is being challenged by China while the US is preoccupied in the Middle East. The Monroe Doctrine has for over 150 years claimed Latin America as a US sphere of influence. Expect the Monroe Doctrine to be challenged in the 21st century.
Now The New York Times has picked up on the Chinese push into Latin America in its article, "China Widening Economic Role in Latin America." Here is the gist of the article:
But while the United States may still regard the region as its backyard,
its dominance is no longer unquestioned. Suddenly, the presence of China can be
felt everywhere, from the backwaters of the Amazon to mining camps in the
One of the costs of US intervention in the Middle East may be the loss of Latin America as its backyard. It is part of a process in which China will increasingly challenge the US position as the world's only super power.
The end of the Monroe Doctrine will be one of the major reversals of modern history.
The US commitment to fight terrorism globally seems to grow and grow. Asia Times reports on a new US commitment to assist Thailand against a possible Muslim insurgency:
The US Defense Department has trained and equipped police on the tourist
playground island of Phuket to prevent "international terrorists" staging a
copycat of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a Thai official said.
When does a global commitment become over-extension?
Did the US once act the same way to stop the spread of Commmunism?
We have been suggesting that the Republican Party might succumb to arrogance because of misunderstanding the message from the voters in the November election.
The Boston Globe describes the energetic hustle of congressional Republicans to get an assembly line going for the President's agenda:
With expanded majorities in both houses of Congress, Republican leaders are
tightening the circle of power and sending warning signals to moderates and
Democrats who might threaten the ambitious legislative agenda of the White
Railroading an agenda through is a mistake, as trains do get derailed. The GOP has to understand what the mandate is.
Friday, November 19, 2004
The United Nations has issued a study that reports on the level of drug trade in and through Afganistan:
Heroin production is booming in Afghanistan, undermining democracy and putting money in the coffers of terrorists, according to a U.N. report Thursday that called on
U.S. and NATO-led forces get more involved in fighting drug traffickers.
It is a consequence of the US invasion of Afghanistan that it has become a narco-state. An unintended consequence, of course.
If you want the opium trade in Afghanistan suppressed, put the Taliban back in power. When the Taliban ruled the country, they were committed to ending the growth of poppies, production of opium, and transport of heroin - all part of their puritanical ethic.
Now Afghanistan joins with Colombia on the world stage of globalization.
The Washington Times has a story entitled "US Declares Insurgency 'Broken.' " The gist of the story is this:
The top Marine officer in Iraq declared yesterday that victory in the battle of Fallujah has "broken the back" of the Iraqi insurgency, while another commander in the war on terror said Osama bin Laden is all but cut off from his terrorist operatives.
The history of terrorism teaches one clear lesson: never declare victory. Such a declaration only inspires the terrorists to prove the claim wrong by launching a major attack. Claims to victory are always premature in an anti- terrorist war.
In light if this US claim, expect a major offensive by terrorists in Iraq and a major
al Qaeda operation.
If you challenge terrorists, they will pick up the challenge.
Does the Bush Adminsitration want a weak dollar?
The Japan Times reports that Tokyo currency dealers think so. Which explains why they are dumping US dollars. They base their conclusion on remarks by Treasury Secretary John Snow :
They said remarks made by U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow in London on
Wednesday triggered massive dollar sales. Snow told a seminar that Washington is
committed to a strong dollar, but later said, "The history of efforts to impose
nonmarket valuations on currencies is at best unrewarding and checkered."
Publicly the Bush Administration has stated its desire for a strong dollar in face of the dollar's plunging value in the world markets. Privately, as they face serious trade and fiscal deficits, they think there is an advantage of a weak dollar as an economic benefit in writing off current accounts deficits.
Tokyo traders spotted this, and they joined in pushing the value of the US dollar down further.
The Bush Administration is playing with fire on this issue!
While US military sources are claiming victory in Fallujah, there are signs that the US is NOT winning in Iraq. As we have said, the major victory that the insurgents are aiming at is the postponement of elections slated in that country for January. These elections are the linchpin of US policy there, and if they are disrupted or postponed, it will be major victory for the terrorists.
Already the hints have appeared:
Leading Sunni politicians and representatives of Iraq's prime minister and president called Thursday for Iraq's national election to be postponed until order is restored in the Sunni Arab heartland, the strongest signal yet that the ballot might not take place as scheduled in January.
This development would be a major setback for the US and assure that the US military presence in Iraq will be required for a long time.
Many members of the Republican Party are acting as if they think their victory in the recent election indicates a seismic shift in public opnion that will assure them permanent power. They are wrong. But in acting as if it were so, they will assure that it will not be permanent.
GOP arrogance will be the major factor in any Democratic victory in the future.
We have already posted in this subject, pointing out the arrogance of the neo-cons in believing they have a mandate to stifle any opposition to their ideology.
We also pointed out the mistake of the House Republicans in changing the rules to protect Tom DeLay. We are pleased to see that The New York Post columnist John Podhoretz agrees with us in his piece, "GOP Arrogance." And Podhoretz is a conservative who was sympathetic to Bush's re-election.
Power may make the GOP blind to the reality of American politics. That - not some magical candidate - is what could bring back Democratic control of the White House.
Colin Powell, lame-duck Secretary of State, yesterday revealed that Iran has developed the missile capability to deliver atomic warheads. Today, the Administration issued a statement implicitly critcisizing him for doing so:
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell shared information with reporters Wednesday about Iran's nuclear program that was classified and based on an unvetted, single
source who provided information that two U.S. officials said yesterday was
highly significant if true but has not yet been verified.
What are we to make of this?
The answer is clear. Powell, in a final shot against the neo-cons who forced him out of office, exposed their agenda. The neo-cons want a confrontation between the US and Iran over nuclear weapons. And, it is certain that they will provoke one even on the basis of questionable intelligence, as they did in the case of Iraq. What do they intend? A war against Iran? A regime change in Teheran? Bombing Iran's nuclear production facilities? That specific is not clear.
But Powell has done the country a great service by revealing the neo-con agenda. Characteristically, he did not appear in the guise of a whistle-blower but as a concerned man sharing information. But he has blown the whistle!
Ask not for whom the whistle blows....
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The US Senate has voted to permit the government to borrow up to $8.18 trillion.
Does it seem that our government has gone on an uncontrolled spending spree? Sen. Everett Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."
Of course, the war will be used to justify this spending. But that is not the reason for it. The reason is Washington politicians who cannot - or will not - exercise responsibility. President Bush campaigned in 2000 on the platform of smaller government, but he has delivered just the opposite.
Fiscal conservatives can only be alarmed by the Senate vote. When will conservative Republicans stand up and say, "Enough"? Watch for this development.
The New York Times headline states it as clearly as it can be stated: "Chief of CIA tells his staff to back Bush."
Here is the gist of the situation:
Porter J. Goss, the new intelligence chief, has told Central Intelligence Agency
employees that their job is to "support the administration and its policies in
our work,'' a copy of an internal memorandum shows.
"As agency employees we
do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or
its policies," Mr. Goss said in the memorandum, which was circulated late on
Monday. He said in the document that he was seeking "to clarify beyond doubt the
rules of the road."
Translation: If you want to keep your jobs, you will produce intelligence that supports the policies and positions of the Administration.
Goss wants politicized intelligence. Not objective intelligence, but "information" that supports the neo-con ideology. Goss knows how he can keep his job!
As we have said, the neo-cons, led by Cheney, are trying to reforge intelligence into a tool to be used to advance their cause. That is why the purge of the CIA is underway. This Administration does not want objective intelligence. It wants propaganda.
But the purpose of the CIA, when it was formed, was to provide objective intelligence free of political influence and independent of politics. Cheney and Co. want to change that, and they have found in Goss the perfect tool to use to do so.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
We have cited several examples of the Democrats not getting the message of the recent election. But the Republicans too show signs of not getting the message.
Here are two examples:
In the flap over Senator Specter rising to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican senators are falling over themselves to assure his success in the name of collegiality. Senator Robert Bettet (R-UT), deputy party whip, characterized the flap as a "tempest in the teapot". What planet is Bennett on? Did he not see the last election results? If the Republicans think that the Specter episode can be dismissed so haughtily, they - and Bennet - are in for a rude awakeneing. Popular forces have been roused, and the politicians have to understand that it is not going to be business as usual.
Attitude is one thing, egreguious behavior is worse. The House Republicans have a rule that if a member of the leadership faces criminal charges, he has to step down. Now they are suspending that rule so the Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) can continue as whip even if he is indicted. What planet are these guys on? Do they really want to smear their own party with the appearance of corruption? What would they say if Democrats did this?
Pollsters tell us that moral values top the list of voter concerns. Do the Republicans not understand this?
What would constitute a terrorist victory in Iraq?
Short-term it would be the delay of elections scheduled for January.
If the terrorists can disrupt these elections, they will have scored a major victory. Be sure that this disruption is their goal.
The Pentagon's war is not just being fought in Iraq. It is also being fought in Washington against any government agency that questions its official neo-con ideology.
A headline story in today's Washington Times says it clearly: "Pentagon Cheers CIA Shake-up." As the Washington Times is a cheerleader of the neo-con view, its story welcomes the purge at the CIA.
But that purge is intended to politicize US intelligence so that will be tailor-made to support the neo-con plans for regime change in the Middle East, war in Iraq, democracy forced on Iraq, universal war on terror, and security measures imposed on the US.
Woe to anyone in the CIA who ever questioned the existence of weapons of mass destruction or said there was no evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda!
Woe to those in the State Department who said the same thing!
This neo-con purge leaves the Pentagon as the determiner of intelligence and the controller of US foreign policy.
Colin Powell has always been the Democrats' favorite member of the Bush Adminsitration. With his resignation, that favoritism has continued, with Powell praised as a "moderate" in a nest of hawks.
A more sober and realistic assessment come from Philip Gordon, "The Truth About Colin Powell."
Powell was a man who went along with policies he knew were wrong and harmful. History is full of men like that. They do not deserve praise.
TheTimes of India is unimpressed by Colin Powell's reputation as a "moderate." In its editorial, it sees the alleged "moderate" as one who is a fence-sitter out of fear of taking action. This inaction leaves victory to the extremists.
Stephen Hadley, currently a deputy to Condoleezza Rice, will rise to take her place as National Security Adviser.
What are his credentials for the top job? Britain's Guardian summarizes them accurately:
Ms Rice's deputy and close ally, Stephen Hadley, 57, was named as her
replacement as national security adviser. Mr Hadley, who has served under the Reagan and first Bush administrations, admitted he had allowed wrong information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to appear in Mr Bush's 2003 state of the union address.
So, loyalty IS the criterion!
Of course, in putting that information about Iraq's WMD into the Bush speech, Hadley was doing the bidding of VP Cheney.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Ever since the presidential election, there has been speculation by politicians and journalists about the second Bush Administration. In fact, what is rapidly developing is that this presidency is becoming the first Cheney Administration.
In a rapid sequence of moves, Vice President Cheney has gained control over the foreign policy apparatus of the United States in the name of his neo-con ideology:
- Using Porter Goss, the new Director of Central Intelligence, Cheney has ordered a purge of CIA members and leaders who do not share and support the neo-con ideology. Cheney has long supported the politicization of intelligence, and now he will get it.
- Getting Powell to resign opened the way for Cheney to promote a purge of the State department, again ridding it of those who oppose the neo-con ideology. Condoleeza Rice's job is to conduct that purge, and she will faithfully do it.
- Rice is being replaced as National Security Adviser by Steve Hadley, a Cheney protege who used to work for Cheney.
Defense will now command the foreign policy of the US. The neo-cons will ride unchallenged.
What is happening is that President Bush is being turned into a figurehead. The actual power in this administration is going to be exercised by Dick Cheney.
So, call it by its name: the first Cheney Administration.
As we said yesterday, the surpise will be the development of conservative Republican opposition to the agendas and policies of the second Bush Administration.
Senator John McCain has already begun the campaign. He has called the Administration's stance on climate change "terribly disappointing" and convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transporation Committe, which he chairs, to determine what to do about the human impact on climate in the face of White House inaction on the subject.
This is the first shot in the campaign of conservative Republicans to wrest control of the Party agenda from the White House.
So Condoleeza Rice, National Security Adviser in the first Bush administration, will be secretary of state in the second Bush administration. Why are we not surprised?
Rice is an unquestioning and faithful servant of Dick Cheney's. She is thus being rewarded for her "loyalty.".
But, even more, she represents the continuation of the neo-con coup d'etat. She will do the bidding of the neo-cons. Look for a purge of the State Department when Rice takes over, comparable to the purge of the CIA now going on.
State has long been denounced by the neo-cons for harboring opposition to neo-con plans for an expansionist and interventionist military policy. They labeled these opponents as disloyal to Bush and sold the President on that idea. Now they are poised to empty State of anyone doubting their ideology. Rice will be the executioner: that is her job.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Britain's Guardian succinctly identifies the issue in Secretary of State Powell's resignation by describing him as a "dove among hawks."
His departure will leave Bush foreign policy in the hands of the hawks. But that, as we say, is exactly what the neo-conservatives - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and company - want.
Watch the evidence for a neo-con coup d'etat develop over the next few days.
Yes, the Democrats will oppose President Bush in many of the intitiatives and policies he wants to promote in his second adminstration. The surprise, however, is the opposition that he will get from conservative Republicans.
Opposition to Bush will come from a number of conservative groups and organizations who feel that they elected him and should have a say in his policies, decisions, and appointments. The conservative opposition to Senator Specter's elevation to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee is already a clear forecast of this opposition already forming.
But conservative opposition will also mobilize over the war in Iraq, a foreign policy of pre-emption and intervention, deficit spending, balanced budget, expansion of big government, and immigration policy - all traditional conservative Republican concerns.
This development will not gridlock the government, but it will not be an opposition that can be dismissed as "partisan politics."
Secretay of State Colin Powell has submitted his resignation.
To understand the meaning of this event, it is necessary to look at the purge of the CIA ordered by the White House.
The two events together give a warning that a neo-conservative coup d'etat is under way to get rid of people who do not share the neo-con ideology. Final proof of this assertion must await the President's naming of a new secretary of state. If the new holder of that office is a neo-con, then the coup is well under way!
The neo-cons have long resented that CIA and State have questioned and opposed their ideological doctrines, leading to one of the major splits in the Bush Administration. At the heart of the disagreement is the war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq. The neo-cons have presented this disagreement as a sign of disloyalty to the President by State and CIA, and they have sold Bush on that idea.
These two moves mark the ascendancy of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Perle. They also instill the worry that President Bush may squander his victory and its political capital by pursuing foreign policy goals of intervention, conquest, and an anti-Muslim crusade.
Many of President Bush's supporters hoped that his second term would see a decline in the influence of the neo-cons.
The chances of Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) becoming chairman of the Senate Jusiciary Committe continue to dim.
The latest blow came on Sunday when Bill Frist (R-TN), Majority Leader of the Senate, refused to issue a statement of support for Specter but indicated he would defer his decision.
Frist's stance should be a warning to Specter!
What are the possibilities for Specter? He might simply be rejected for the position he covets, an embarrassing event for him. Or he could withdraw his name gracefully for, as he would say, "the good of the Party." Or he could accept the chairmanship but understand that he has been de-fanged completely: he would docilely have to accept and promote and vote for any judicial nomination that President Bush puts forth.
Whatever way, Specter has been defeated!
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Germany is rattling its sabers! It has been a long time since we heard that sound, and its return is unwelcome.
Don't be fooled by Germany's unwillingness to particpate in the US intervention in Iraq. It is not pacifism that motivates it. It is that it wants assurance of access to Iraq's oil supplies.
Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported on the views of the country's defense minster:
German Defense Minister Peter Struck has added a new dimension to the futureEvidently Chancellor Schroeder's trumpeted "no blood for oil" policy does not mean what it says. The German government is apparently willing to send its troops - and European Community troops - marching out to assure that supplies of raw materials and energy are assured and secured to keep the German and Eueopean economies healthy.
of the EU's international military engagement. A key aim must be to secure
Europe's access to energy and raw materials, he said in Berlin this week.
The old European imperialism dies hard!
It is just that Germany does not want the US to engage in imperialism. That is evidently an exclusive European prerogative. Or a German one.
The post mortems continue. Democrats will continue to ask why Senator Kerry lost the presidential election if only to try to determine what they should do differently in 2008.
The Boston Globe, a Kerry-friendly newspaper, published a long piece trying to answer that question: "On the Trail of Kerry's Failed Dream." This piece seeks to present Kerry in a positive light, but it is evident from the article that Kerry failed for three reasons:
- He was a poor campigner.
- His message was unclear, unfocused,unrecognizable.
- He had an arrogant belief that he would win the election easily.
A potent mixture that produced failure! Is there a way to protect future candidates from making the same mistakes?
In politics, what starts as tragedy ends up as farce.
Lee Roystone, a former girlfriend of Senator Kerry proves this statement with the publication of her novel , Hedge Fund Mistress. The novel is a semi-autobiographical work of fiction based on her affair with Senator Kerry. It promises, for those enticed by prurient appetites, to be a graphic depiction of love, lust, ambition, and a hundred other vices.
The novel has earned full discussion in Britain's Telegraph: "Kerry ex-girlfriend relives their affair in graphic novel." See how popular the Senator is abroad!
Ms. Roystone kindly delayed publication of the novel until after the election. Think of the talk show circuit and the book signings! Would she have published it had he won the election?
Who needs Theodore White or Bob Woodward with Ms. Roystone around?
Saturday, November 13, 2004
A mystery combined with conspiracy theories will surround the death of Yasir Araft unless an autopsy is conducted.
Beirut's English-language newspaper, Daily Star, published an article that effectively states the problem: "Mystery Lingers Over Cause of Arafat's Death." Behind all the speculation is the rumor that Arafat was poisoned. If he was, who was the culprit?
Here is what Arafat's doctor said:
"Arafat's physician, Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, has called for an inquiry, saying poisoning was the 'highest' possible cause and urging an autopsy.
'One cause of platelet deficiency is poison,' said Kurdi, who examined Arafat in Ramallah two weeks ago. Although 'not definitive, I believe the highest reason for Arafat's mysterious death is poisoning. Therefore, there should be an autopsy.' "
Until the mystery of Arafat's death is resolved, there will be major problems in settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His death was "convenient" for too many people!
CBS embarrassed itself in the Rathergate episode where memos alleging to show problems with President Bush's national guard service proved to be forgeries. But CBS, ignoring the lesson that episode, continues to ride on into the sunset.
When news of Cairman Arafat's death broke, CBS interrupted a popular tv show, CSI: NY, to report it. A reasonable decision since the death will alter Middle East affairs fundamentally. With US military personnel dying in the Middle East, the American public needs to follow news of the region.
But, CBS News decided , it was not reasonable! It fired the producer reponsible for the decision to interrupt the popular program and apologized to the public for the interruption!
At CBS Television, entertainment comes first! The producer apparently should have used a news "crawl" at the bottom of the screen to report Arafat's death, while leaving the show untouched.
This is another sign that CBS should give up pretending that it presents news on television. It should drop its news division and become another entertainment channel like USA, Nickelodeon, and TNT.
CBS is dying slowly - and publicly
The New York Post correctly editorializes today about the hypocrisy of France as it invaded Cote d'Ivoire this week.
All the reasons that President Chirac used to oppose the US action in Iraq also apply to French action in Cote d'Ivoire! Yet France went in anyway, destroying that country's airforce and flooding the country with its Foreigh Legion.
The difference? France thinks it has a right to control its former colonies in West Africa and to intervene militarily whenever it chooses. It is just that the US should not think it has the right to conduct imperialist ventures. Vive la difference!
Friday, November 12, 2004
The jury found Scott Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in the case of his wife Laci and second-degree murder in the case of his son Connor.
Rest assured! This circus is not over yet. Just part one.
Part two, the endless punditing and talking about the case and the jury on television "news" shows will now follow immediately. Everybody will have an opinion. Democracy is wonderful!
Part three, the sentencing hearing will come later in Nobvember.
Part four will be the endless appeals filed by Lawyer Garagos.
So, your favorite soap opera will continue in endless episodes! After all, Scott Peterson is more important than Osama bin Laden!
All analysis of the recent presidential election commented on the bi-coastal nature of the Democratic vote.
The major phenomenon to watch over the next few years is how Republicans will plan to take California in 2008, entering it in the column of red states. President George H. W. Bush called California the "big enchilada." If the enchilada can become a Republican state, the republiucan hold on power will be complete and unchallengable.
Kerry won California this year, but by a smaller margin than Democrats in the past. Add to that the election in a special vote of a Republican governor, Anold Schwarzenegger. Signs of change! Look for a major Republican effert to swing California their way. It will be done by the generous usage of special-interest plebiscites and referendums, like gay marriage, that attract voters to the polls in great numbers.
Will British Prime Minster Tony Blair push President Bush into action on the Palestinian issue?
That is the reason Blair has come to the White House today. He is signalling that the Bush Administration is focusing too much on Iraq. Blair believes that the Palestinian issue is the major impediment to peace, that peace in the Middle East lies through Jerusalem not through Baghdad.
Will Blair be able to persaude Bush? It will require a major shift of thinking in the Bush Administration to do so. But Blair's advice should be listened to!
Donald Rumsfeld is widely reported to want to stay as Secretary of Defense in the second Bush Administration in order to finish what he has begun. Too bad. He is one member of the Administration who should be sent packing right away.
In fact, his desire to complete what he has begun shows his major weakness: An egotism and self-aggrandizement aimed at exalting his reputation rather than being committed to serve the country.
Rumsfeld has been associated with four policies that have failed:
1.Do more with less.
His desire to cut the military budget, reduce spending, and cut infrastructure showed his belief that the military could accomplish more with less. As US military commitments expanded, it was clear they could not. Critics rightly point out that the major problem with US intervention in Iraq is that not enough troops were assigned to it. That problem is directly attributable to the Rumsfeld doctrine of doing more with less.
2. US foreign policy to be run by the Defense Department.
Rumsfeld is committed to undercutting the State Department because he thinks they are weak and ineffectual, unwilling to use force. But this position has made the diplomatic solution to problems impossible and compelled the US to use force where diplomacy might work.
3. Military policy is better formulated and conducted by civilian geostrategists than by military personnel.
Obviously shown to be false by the experience in Iraq. The theorists have cloudy dreams of how reality will conform to their ideas. Military people know what war is and are not self-deluded by the ideology of the neoconservative hawks.
4. Exorcise the ghost of Vietnam.
Rumsfeld believes that the experience in the Vietnamese War made the US gun-shy, afraid to use force in international affairs. He expected that "shock and awe" in Afghanistan and Iraq would change that view. The view has not changed. In fact, the result of his adventurism is likely to leave the US once more unwilling to resort to force in international affairs, actually re-enforcing the Vietnam Syndrome.
Rumsfeld would best serve the government by retiring gracefully. If not, President Bush can best serve the men and women in the military by removing him
Thursday, November 11, 2004
On November 9, Dissolving Solids claimed that China would begin moving into Latin America, undercutting the US long-term position that Latin America is an exclusive US sphere of influence.
Evidence for our claim is mounting. Today, China's President Hu Jintao is arriving in Argentina to promise massive investment in that economy in return for needed energy sources: gas, oil, and nuclear fuel. China more than doubled its trade with Latin America last year, and it is increasingly looking at the region as a source of needed natural resources washingtontimes.com/world/20041111-011021-6976r.htm.
Argentines see this connection as a way to solve their economic troubles and bring prosperity. Other states will follow suit.
While the US is preoccupied with the Middle East, look for China to penetrate Latin America. The days of the Monroe Doctrine may be at an end.
We don't want drugs from Colombia, but we do want drugs from Canada! At least some people in the US think buying drugs from Canada will allow us to cut the cost of prescription medications. The governor of Illinois thinks so; so do other politicians
There is worry that the FDA will try to stop this move on the grounds that the quality and purity of foreign-source pharmaceuticals cannot be assured. But look for opposition to come from another - and surprising - source: the Canadian government.
Canada's Minsiter of Health Ujjal Dosanjh has blown the whistle on such purchases. "It is difficult for me to conceive of how a small country like Canada could meet the drug needs of approximately 280 milliion Americans without putting our own supply at major risk," he said.
The dream that prescription drugs may be outsourced to Canada may turn out to be short-lived!
It is fascinating to watch grassroots democracy at work: it is one of the results of the 2004 election. The opposition to appointing Senator Specter as chairman of the Senate Juduciary Committee is a case in point.
It is clear that the opposition was not satisified just to express opposition. Its campaign is continuing and growing - and it is having effect. Radio ads have now appeared opposing Specter, adding to the email, telephone calls, and faxes that have poured into Senators' offices.
And the opposition is widening to issues other than Specter's stand on abortion. His voting record shows that he opposes tort reform, a major feature of President Bush's agenda for his new term. Fearing that he would use the position of chairman of the Judiciary Committee to derail tort reform, conservatives have mounted an even more strenuous effort to stop his appointment.
Senator Specter wants the chairmanship badly, and he is willing to go to humiliating lengths to assure he gets it. He is meeting with Senators privately to try to reassure them on the question of a litmus test on abortion for judicial appointments. He will be asked to make a public statement to that effect, and expect him to do so. Texas Senator Cornyn said it clearly: "I know that private conversations are sometimes remembered differently in the future. That's why it's important to memorialize things in a public fashion where everybody's clear on what the understanding is." Translation: to get the chairmanship, Specter will have publicly to reject his own pro-abortion stand.
The irony: Specter will do anything to get the chairmanship, but the commitments he has to make in order to get it will make it inpossible for him to do the job with integrity! Will Specter understand this finally and drop out?
It has long been a given that foreign policy is the exclusive right of the federal government. Like other gives, that may be changing.
That change may come in unexpetcted ways. Illinois and other states are negotiating to import pharmacuetical drugs from Canada as a way to cut the cost of presciptions. Nex Mexico, Illinois, and New York City are planning to import flu vaccine from Europe to meet the vacccine shortage. And California's Governor Schwarzenegger is on a four-day trade mission to Japan to promote trade and economic relations between his state and Japan.
Local jurisdictions are threatening what has been an exclusive federal government domain. The result will be that they thereby pressure the federal government into changing its policies or etsbalish that they too may conduct their own foreign policies.
The stated Republican commitment to federalism - the powers vested in the states by the Tenth Amendment - may lead to unexpected reults!
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
President Bush a has announced that he will appoint White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez to be US Attorney General.
Look for a surprise! Opposition to his appointment will not come from Democrats but from conservative Republicans.
When Gonzalez was a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, he wrote the opinion that allowed minor females to have abortions without parental permission.
John Ashcroft is an evangelical Christian. Will other evangelicals be disgusted by his being replaced by a man who is soft on abortion? Will they organize the kind of campaign against Gonzalez that they have launched against Senator Specter becoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee?
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The recent elections in Nicaragua confirm a general trend in Latin America -- the leftward tilt of politics.
The Sandanista Front swept to victory in local elections, including capturing the mayoralty of Managua, the capital city, and 151 other towns. By itself, this event may not be significant, but it is part of a region-wide development.
Last week, Uruguay elected its first socialist president, Tabare Vazquez. Uruguay thus joined other states in the cone of South America in having leftist governments: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay. Think also of the left-leaning president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, recently confirmed in power by defeating a recall attempt.
Until recently, Castro stood alone as a lefitist leader in Latin America. That is changing, and it will change more and more.
This development promises moves against globalization, free market economics, and pro-US policies. Latin America will join the coalition of the unwilling, the bloc of countries that object to the US being the sole global power and exercising power unilaterally.
Who will benefit from this leftward move in Latin America? China. Watch for China to start moving in on Latin American markets as US influence in the region falters. That is one development stemming from the exclusive focus of the US on the Middle East.
Defeat may have changed Senator Kerry. At least, he thinks so. His supporters and advisers report that he is now acitvated, longing to return to the Senate where he can lead the fight against the programs that President Bush plans to introduce.
If he manages to do this, it will be a conversion rivaling that of St. Paul on the road to Damascus! (Kerry, the former altar boy and wanna-be priest, will understand that allusion!). For his twenty-year career in the Senate, Kerry has been a do-nothing politician with no legislative record to speak of. In the two years he has been running for president he has scarcely entered the senate chamber at all.
What Geritol or vitaming concoction will he take suddenly to stir himself to action?
Forget it. Kerry will descend into oblivion as fast as his mentor, Michael Dukakis, did!
Monday, November 08, 2004
The postmortem on the presidential election continues as new statistics keep coming in.
It is now established that President Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote. That is up 9% from his 2000 vote of 35%.
If that trend continues and the pro-Republican Hispanic vote soon surpasses 50%, that plus the 62% of white male voters who vote Republlican could easily assure a Republican victory in the 2008 presidential race.
The significance of this Hispanic vote for Bush should worry Democrats. They have long believed that have a lock of the Hispanic vote as tight as that on the African American vote. It is clear they do not: they are losing it.
In fact, the surprise that looms ahead for the Democratic Party in 2008 is that it will lose its lock on the African American vote.
Anyone who is skeptical that Osama bin Laden tried to influence the US presidential election should read this story from The Debka File, a source with close connections to Israeli intelligence: "Bin Laden's Videotape Was Hit-and-Run Assault on US Election" http://debka.com/article.php?aid=928.
His attempt to influence the election against Bush failed, obviously. But that he tried this method indicates how weak al Qaeda has become. Osama was unable to launch an attack on the US homeland, which would have been a more powerful way to influence the election, as it was the Spanish election. Osama was reduced to words as propaganda.
The episode indicates that the terrorist war will be focued in Iraq, not in the US.
There are many groups credited with re-electing President Bush: evagelicals, right-wing ideologues, rural people, Catholic bishops, the moral-values crowd, etc. But the left has to consider what it did to assure his re-election.
A perceptive article by Fred A. Wilcox ("How We Progressives Helpled Elect Bush," The Blanket, November 5, 2004 http://lark.phoblacht.net/faw07114g.html) describes how the left contribued to Bush's victory by dismissing Bush as stupid and laughing at his supporters as dumb hicks.
If the Democrats want to win another election, they should read this article and learn from it!
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Among the major losers in the presidential election was David Boies.
You remember him! He was the chief lawyer in conducting Al Gore's campaign to win the 2000 election in the courts. He became something of a television personality, preening before every camera that would focus on him.
Boies, of course, popped up again on the day of the election, informing news audiences that he was ready to perform the same service for John Kerry in 2004.
In the Boies Room, the view evidently is that our leaders should be chosen by lawyers arguing before judges rather than by voters in voting booths. That would be a uniquely American form of coup d'etat. In most countries where the will of the electorate is thwarted, it is done by the army. In this case, it would be done by lawyers!
But dreams do sometimes dissolve before reality. Boies, with his attempt to pick our president, has faded away. Is it possible he will be back in 2008, older but not wiser?
Pundits, journalists, and peddlers of easy explanations are arguing that the presidential election showed the US is a divided nation. Beware that argument! It is part of a political agenda.
On the question of same-sex marriage, America is not divided. The American population resultely rejects the idea. And it is not a rejection that can be dismissed as the fantasy of religous fanatics and ignorant rednecks and red state bigots. Here is a passage from a liberal newspaper, The Boston Globe, on the subject: "America is not divided on this issue. The national consensus on the meaning of marriage is strong and broad, uniting whites with blacks, the Bible Belt with the coasts, working class with the well-to-do. Same-sex marriage advocates went 0-for-13 this year not because they were thwarted by intolerant extremists but because they are demanding something wildly out of step with American values and history. Gay and lesbian activists should be able to acknowledge the legitimacy of the nation's deep opposition to homosexual marriages. And they should be able to respect the outcome of the democratic process, even if they don't like it." (Jeff Jacoby, "Listen to America," The Boston Globe, November 7, 2004 www.bostonglobe.com).
Coming together after the election? On this issue, we are already there.
For four years it has been the common line among Europeans that President Bush is an idiot. After his re-election, these critics are shifting their focus to say that all Americans are idiots.
Here is an example from the explanation in Britain's Daily Mirror for President Bush's electoral victory: “The self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, sister-marryin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-loathin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport-ownin’ rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land ‘free and strong’.”
From one idiot to many. Is this progress?
For four years it has been the common line among Europeans that President Bush is an idiot. After his re-election, these critics are shifting their focus to say that all Americans are idiots.
Here is an example from the explanation in Britain's Daily Mirror for President Bush's electoral victory: “The self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, sister-marryin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-loathin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport-ownin’ rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land ‘free and strong’.”
From one idiot to many. Is this progress?
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Most Democrats show that they do not understand the election results. Are there any Reublicans who do not get it?
Yes! Senator Arlen Specter. The votes were scarcely counted when, anticipating that he will be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter warned President Bush that he (Specter) would not allow any appointments to the US Supreme Court that were strict constructionist, too conservative, or seemed to be pro-life.
Did Specter not understand what the voters were telling him? The essence of democracy is that the people rule!
Maybe the Specter position is not a surprise. What is a surprise is that the voters who elected Bush, the Red State people, plan to continue to exert their will on the political process. They are not going away. Politicians who think they only have to worry about the people when there is an election in process had better learn that the times have changed.
Opposition to Specter's appointment as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has mobilized on the Internet. Check out http:///www.notspecter.com which has an online peition to sign in opposition to Specter.
For a further sign that the Red State voters will keep organized to assure thet their victory will not be sabotaged or undermined or squandered: look at http://www.redstate.org.
The election of 2004 might well go down as the election that mobilized an ongoing public against the politicians who think they can go back to business as usual. Politics is changing! Democracy rules!
After a major electoral defeat, a political party should conduct a post mortem, an autopsy, to determine what went wrong. This move is the prelude to making things right for the next election. Soul-searching some call it.
Here is what Nancy Pelosi, congresswoman from San Francisco and the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, has to say: "It's not about soul-searching. It may be about how we can educate the American people more clearly on the difference between Democrats and Reublicans." Translation: the American people are stupid and we, the Democratic elite, have to tell them how to think and how to vote.
Is this woman from the planet Earth? Her stubborn refusal to consider that the party might need to change shows why the Democrats lost the presidential election -- and why it will lose the next one. The Democratic Party refuses to consider that it is out of touch with maintream America!
Consider this nightmare: had the Democrats won the election, Ms. Pelosi would have become Speaker of the House.
Friday, November 05, 2004
The stock market votes after the voters have made their choice.
Watch the maket following President Bush's victory on Tuesday. A rally!
The market is voting for Bush. Here is his mandate. And a forecast of strong economic recovery.
Who was the major contributor to President Bush's re-election?
Answer: the Massachusetts Supreme Court and its chief justice, Margaret Marshall.
When that august body decreed that laws denying the right of same sex marrigae violated the Massachusetts constitution, people around the country were galvanized into action. It was not just the prospect of gay "marriage" that galvanized them. It was also the picture of activist judges with a private agenda contemptuously imposing their will on a public and a state legistlature that opposed such a decision. The court was legislating.
Deep down, there is the fear of a coup d'etat. Not one, as in some Third World countries, effected by the military. But one conducted by the courts. To much of the public, the survival of American democracy, threatened by judicial tyranny, was at stake. Hence the overwhelming vote in eleven states in suport of constitutional amendments declaring that "marriage" is a union between one man and one woman.
This galvanized public voted in great numbers and supported President Bush, who seemed to be the champion of traditional family values.
The law of unintended consequences: the Massachusetts Supreme Court sought to impose gay "marriage" on an unaccepting public and ended up contributing to the election of President Bush and the likelihood of a marrriage amendment to the US constitution.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The unheralded victor in the just-passed presidential election is the electronic voting machine.
Despite all the stated fears, the nightmare scenarios projected, and the army of lawyers waiting to litigate, the electronic voting machines worked very well in the election. An occasional minor glitch here and there, but nothing as bad as the voting machine and paper ballot problems of the past. The electronic voting machines gave a quick, accurate, and honest result, assuring the survival of American democracy. They have set the standard for future elections.
All in all, a triumph for information technology.
The canned wisdom of the Old Media pundits now is that the major beneficiary of Kerry's defeat in the presidential election just passed is Senator Hillary Clinton. They have all but annointed her as the Democratic nominee for 2008 and already counted her as elected.
This trend fits into the long-term Hillary strategy of making it look as if it is inevitable that she be elected president. She has played this game, abetted by the Clintonistas, since she left the White House and entered the senate chamber. The point is to get the public, even the Hillary haters, to adjust to the fact that she will be president one day and there is nothing you can do to stop it. That plan is meant to make her passage to power easier by preconditioning public opinion for the eventuality. A clever strategem! And one aided and abetted by the Old Media.
But this canned wisdom is as appealing as canned dogfood! There is nothing inevitable about a Hilllary presidency. In fact, Kerry's defeat makes it an impossibility. The Democrats will not nominate another northeastern liberal for the presidency in 2008 because the public has already rejected that generic choice. It will not nominate a candidate who is polarizing. Nor one who is totally identified with abortion on demand, gay marriage, gay-lesbian promotions, secular agendas, and the left wing of the party. And certainly not nominate one who spits at the traditional values that the public broadly endorsed when it voted overwhelmingly for President Bush.
If the party did, that would be the road to another total defeat. The conclusion? NO HILLARY in 2008.
It is time for the Democratic party to start looking for a new generation of leaders unburdened by the ideas and issues and follies of the past!
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The story making the rounds in Washington is that before Senator Kerry telephoned President Bush today to concede his defeat in the election, he sent a telegram to France's President Jacques Chirac. It said, UNPACK.
With hindsight, one feature of the presidential election sticks out like a broken toe: the polls were wrong.
First, the polls showed that the race was too close to be called. It was not. President Bush won handily, with the largest popular vote in American history.
Second, the exit polls said Kerry would win. He did not. The exit polls were wrong.
The problem with both the polls and the exit polls is that they were biased toward the Democrats. Why? This is a question not yet answered.
With the presidential election over, we will finally be freed from the media use of the word "nuance." It was the buzz word of this election, a term meant to conceal that Senator Kerry could not make a decision. The explanation for his incapacity was that his thinking was "nuanced." That is, he saw the complexities of reality. An excuse for a mental defect and a personal inertia!
Every election has its buzz word. In 2000, it was "gravitas:" a charge against then-Governor Bush that he lacked the gravitas necessary to be president. VP Gore presumably had it. So the media that beat the drums for Gore said. The word was actually an attempt to cover the fact that Gore was pompous and smug and self-important.
"Gravitas" is in the graveyard of dead words. "Nuance" will now join it. Requiescant in pace!
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The Center for Media and Public Affairs did a study of 500 news stories to identify bias on the part of journalists in the presidential election. They found that Senator Kerry had a "record-breaking 77% positive press evaluations" while President Bush had only 34%.
The Center's director said, "It's not just that John Kerry has gotten better press than President Bush before this election, he's gotten better press that anyone else since 1980."
The point is: In this election the contest is not between Bush and Kerry but between Bush and the old media. Kerry is irrelevant in this election.