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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Virginia Foxx's Opposition to Federal Money for Education 

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx once again says one thing, does another.

The Congresswoman's attack on President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" (Winston-Salem Journal, Jan. 31), amounts to damage control. She recently stood on the House floor and declared that the federal government "should not be funding education." Period.

Her radical and blanket condemnation of all federal help for education -- brick and mortar projects, educational materials, funding for teachers and teacher aides -- may be wholly typical of the shoot-from-the-mouth "style" we've come to expect from Congresswoman Foxx. But it quickly became enough of a liability for her that she felt compelled to write one of her "what I meant to say" explanations and have it published in the Winston-Salem Journal.

What she meant to say, evidently, was that "No Child Left Behind" is highly unpopular and is a symbol of good government intentions gone awry. We can't disagree.

But in writing those words, Foxx was disagreeing with herself. When President George W. Bush came to Waldo C. Falkener Elementary School in Greensboro in October 2006 to praise the local accomplishments of his "No Child Left Behind" federal program, Congresswoman Foxx stood with him for the photo ops and even issued this press statement: "I was pleased to join President Bush today as he highlighted the successes of the No Child Left Behind Act."

Congresswoman Foxx went on:
"The first year that Waldo C. Falkener was tested under the NCLB the scores were low and the school had fallen short of the standards for progress. Falkener Elementary took a number of steps to improve results by using federal funding to pay for new laboratories, teacher collaboration, research and professional development as well as tougher accountability measures. They increased their focus on results and implemented a Saturday Academy for students in need of extra assistance. Through these efforts Falkener Elementary has met NCLB standards for three years in a row, exemplifying the progress and the success of the program."

When currying favor with President Bush, federal assistance to education was A-okay with her. With Democrats now in power, Congresswoman Foxx has rediscovered her deep "constitutional" opposition to funding education.

Ms. Foxx also forgets to tell her constituents that for every dollar North Carolina sends to Washington, we get back $1.08. If the Congresswoman succeeds in her mission to stop all Federal dollars coming into our state for education, that means a major tax increase for the working men and women of our state.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Coming Out 

Disgraced politicians have limited options. When they decide to make a reappearance in public, they desperately need to go where they're guaranteed a friendly, even adulatory reception, and a minimum of booing. Which is why Richard M. Nixon in August 1979 chose the tiny (and heavily Republican) mountain town of Hyden, Kentucky, for his first public appearance after being forced from office. That's him on the right in the Hyden school gymnasium, sharing a victory wave with the judge executive of Leslie County, who was running for reelection at the time and was pleased as punch to be standing next to the ex-president. The judge executive happened to be under indictment at the time for fraud and vote-buying.

Birds of a feather.

Thus are the citizens of tiny Woodward, Oklahoma, beside themselves that their invitation to George W. Bush to attend their July 4th celebration tomorrow was accepted. "To actually come to a small community like this, that shows his character," said Kelle Robinson, co-owner of the Sweet Surprises store, which has been turning out U.S. flag cookies. "He's not too good for the common people."

His character? Why, yes. He's being paid for the visit ... to a place where the last surviving Democrat died in captivity decades ago.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Dealing with W. 

I'd been avoiding this movie. But at someone else's house this weekend, where someone else punched it up via Pay Per View, I found myself watching it compulsively and hating myself for giving in so easily.

Amazing what a Whole New Context will do for a movie like this one. Which is to say, with W. out of office, there's a little more distance -- precious little, granted -- to appreciate what that bad bad boy Oliver Stone manages to pull off.

Not going for a full review here. Because the movie turns out to be what I read about it, unusually sympathetic to the subject, and I ain't there yet.

But it deserves a viewing, via whatever means.

Just a brief special bravo for Stacy Keach, who does a small turn as the Reverend Earl Hudd, the preacher who helped W. find God. And raspberries for the usually excellent Thandie Newton, who is turrible as Condoleezza Rice.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I've found myself clenching up repeatedly since January 20th, wondering if this or that move by President Obama, this or that statement, this or that appointment to the cabinet, will be the ten-penny nail that seals his coffin and destroys his presidency. Sometimes I feel like frost-heaved soil, alternately thawing with the election and the Inauguration, and then freezing up again at the sight of too many Wall Street Boys in the Obama administration or too many fainting goats among the Democrats in Congress.

I'm tired of winter. I'm tired of fear. I've decided to relax and enjoy the Obama administration.

A smart man in the White House! A calm man. A thoughtful man. A man who can demand that the CEO of General Motors clean out his desk for abysmal performance, and the CEO of General Motors cleans out his desk! A man who is respected and even loved abroad, instead of a wince-inducing buffoon who bullied and blustered and proved on a daily basis that he was in way over his head. (Every time Fox News plays nostalgic TV footage of their hero, George W. Bush, Obama's ratings just go higher.)

And about those approval ratings. The newest polling shows that "the number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since Barack Obama's election," and the American public actually seems to understand who was responsible for the economic meltdown (it ain't Obama). Despite the universal ululating of the Lilliputian Right, the Limbaugh-ettes who scream "socialism," the Dick Cheneys who intimate that our president is essentially a traitor, the Congressional Republicans who look increasingly like the flying monkeys who served the Wicked Witch of the West ... our president has the people solidly behind him and behind his agenda to change the policies of the last president.

I'm through holding my breath every time the cable-talkers tell me that Obama's presidency has failed because there's a chance that Wall Street or even Main Street is unhappy ("Morning Joe," I'm looking in your general direction). The special election yesterday in the NY-20 to fill the congressional seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand is, if anything and even though it isn't decided, proof that people in that Republican-leaning New York district are NOT willing to push back against the Obama administration.

If the American people cared what Congressional Republicans had to say, we would have a different situation on our hands. But the American people don't care what Congressional Republican have to say, aren't listening to them, and the more John Boehner and Mike Pence put both hands on their hips and stamp their feet, the more the American people can't stand the sight of them. (Congresswoman Virginia Foxx is now crying on cue as often as Glenn Beck, and with the same evident purpose of proving how superior her patriotism is to any Democrat's. No one cares.) We don't see any indication yet that the vast public is willing to run back into the baleful embrace of the same political/economic philosophy that landed us in this awful soup.

So I'm through with fear, through with holding my breath, through with jumping at the sound of squeaking hinges. I'm going to enjoy this moment in American history.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be back at my worry-beads before the sun goes down on the daffodils.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bushes' Moving Van 

Here's a sight we thought we might never see.

The mind races with apt captions, with parting shots, with poetical adieus, but we're far too dignified to set them down here.

You may, however, consider this your open thread for getting your own thoughts off your chest.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

So, Bush Wins (Revisited) 

By guest blogger Matthew B. Robinson, Ph.D. (Professor of Government & Justice Studies, Appalachian State University):

In November 2004, George W. Bush had just won reelection, and I reacted as honestly as I could in an essay that was published here on Watauga Watch. Now that the Bush disaster –– I mean, presidency –– is finally over, I thought it might be useful to review that column for its prophetic accuracy.

FYI, my kids are now 7 1/2 and 4 1/2 years old, respectively. They managed to survive the Bush presidency, although not unscathed. Fortunately, each is happy and healthy, still too young to know what they've actually managed to live through. But they're also much poorer than they would have been had someone else –– probably anyone else –– been elected in 2000 or 2004.

Thankfully, I was wrong in my prediction that we'd be attacked again on our soil by al Qaeda. There has not been another attack against America on our soil under the Bush presidency, and Bush takes credit for this every chance he gets.

Frankly, he does deserve some credit but maybe not as much as some think. I've read numerous accounts of al Qaeda –– what its goals are and how it operates. Each attack, they think, must be bigger and more dramatic than the last. The first time al Qaeda attacked us on American soil was in 1993. The next time was in 2001. That eight-year gap gave them time for something much bigger and more horrific.

It's now been about eight years since 9/11. Had we done nothing to weaken al Qaeda in America, it'd be just about time again for another major attack.

You might say that George Bush gave al Qaeda a much easier way to attack us, not here but in Iraq. The group known as "al Qaeda in Iraq" did not exist until our invasion, and there simply was no al Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to 2003 when we started the war. Now that we are there, so too are they, and Americans have paid with their lives.

Which brings me to my next 2004 prediction –– that we'd be in Iraq for 5-10 years and lose as many as 5,000 to 10,000 military personnel. Four years later, we're still there. Fortunately, we haven't hit 5,000 deaths yet -– not quite -- but about 600,000 Iraqis has died prematurely as a result of our invasion and occupation.

We didn't start another war against a country not involved in the 9/11 attacks, as I thought likely. But the Iranian influence in Iraq and in the Middle East is far greater now, and Bush policies are the proximate cause. "The Iranian problem" is being passed on to President Obama, along with the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Sure enough, we've swelled the ranks of al Qaeda, creating more enemies and putting our country at greater risk. U.S. intelligence shows that al Qaeda is stronger and larger now than on 9/11 and is operating freely in portions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The rest of my predictions were 100% accurate. Bush gave us Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. These two individuals are young and healthy and will continue to push the Supreme Court to the right for decades to come.

Medicare and social security are still in deep trouble. The gap between the rich and the poor is greater than ever. Poverty, child poverty, true unemployment, and the number of people without health insurance have increased steadily throughout the Bush Administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency was reduced to a good old boy hangout, just like FEMA, and now plant and animal species are threatened. Further, literally nothing has been done to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy. Funding for education (and for just about every social service) is in serious jeopardy. Cuts are occurring everywhere.

We are less free because of the USA PATRIOT Act (now permanent law), domestic eavesdropping/warrantless wiretapping (in violation of U.S. law), the suspension of habeas corpus, the detention of US citizens as enemy combatants, and the official use of torture as part of the war on terror.

What I was probably most wrong about was that George W. Bush would finally be forced to take responsibility for all of this. Just the other day, Bush held a farewell press conference, saying he was disappointed that we did not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that one of his greatest mistakes was hanging that "Mission Accomplished" banner on the aircraft carrier. What a warped sense of morality this guy has!

The last four years of the Bush Administration did in fact give us tens of thousands of Americans who are poorer, more uneducated, more uninsured, more polluted, sicker, more threatened, definitely more hated, more monitored by Big Brother, and even deader. But thankfully, I was also right that the last four years of George W. Bush shifted the political pendulum to the left.

We can credit George W. Bush for giving us a black man named Barack Hussein Obama, the 43rd President of the United States of America. Think about it –– would this have been even remotely possible without a George W. Bush presidency?

Now Democrats and Republicans of good will can get back to fixing the problems thrust upon us by eight years of the Bush Administration.

It's over.

And I'm feeling much better now!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Your Grandfather's GOP 

Bless their hearts, but a cabal on the Republican National Committee intends to force conservative orthodoxy on their elected leaders, fashioning a resolution that they intend to ram through at their end-of-January national meeting which says flat-out that George W. Bush has taken the country toward socialism. And men like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John A. Boehner aided and abetted.

"Socialism." Might as well have accused Shrub of being a dirty, 5th-column Commie. Well, as a matter of fact...

We applaud this upwelling of The Pure in the National Republican Party and can't wait to see this played out.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

The Bush Legacy 

Rarely content where there's money to be made, the George W. Bush Criminal Conspiracy has taken steps to allow the mountains of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee to be bulldozed into any flanking creeks, branches, streams, rivers, rivulets that get in the way of the strip miners.

The goddamn Godless bastards are also taking steps to make it impossible for Congress to intercede to prevent all kinds of other mining on public lands, including those adjacent to some of the gems of the American landscape like the Grand Canyon.

This, in addition to the myriad other perversities of power George W. Bush has been busily enacting in his Last Days in office through the regulatory powers of the Executive.

Rape and pillage is his legacy, and our American resources are only part of it.

Sorry, sorry, sorry excuse for a human being.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jerk, To the End 

The "midnight rules" of George W. Bush:

Rules that will make it easier for polluting industries to pollute.

Rules that will make it harder for women to get federally funded reproductive health care.

Rules that will change the way regulators assess risk for jobs, especially those that expose workers to chemicals.

Rules to make it impossible to sue in state courts for negligence on the part of manufacturers.

Rules making it tougher for employees to take family or medical leave.

Rules that would effectively gut the Endangered Species Act.

And our personal favorite:

Rules to ease restrictions on coal companies that decapitate Appalachian mountains to get at the coal underneath and then push the waste dirt and rock into neighboring creeks.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

It Wasn't a Frickin' Stream! 

As John McCain was using the financial crisis as a means to save his mortgaged candidacy, and decided to air-drop himself into the negotiations, El Presidente graciously invited both candidates and a host of Congressional leaders in this afternoon to share in the disgrace of his presidency.

For those many voters who told us in 2004 that, although they thought George W. was a bald-faced liar and multitudinously inept, they were afraid "to change horses in the middle of the stream," we wonder how they're feeling now that El Presidente has ridden us into the deep blue sea.

Thrown us into the drink and then announced that we'd have to pay MUCH more for a life preserver and that we needed to pay for it RIGHT NOW.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's original demands of Congress are posted in their entirety here, for your amazement and edification. Be sure to get a load especially of the notorious Section 8, titled "Review," which runs one whole sentence, to wit:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

That's the Bush administration in a nutshell.


Sen. Chris Dodd's counter legislation is also posted here, but we understand that it's been tinkered with further in consultation with U.S. House leaders, so this isn't the final version being discussed this afternoon at the Booby-Hatch (a.k.a., White House).

John McCain's grandstanding about all of this is just this side of pathetic. We're supposed to get BACK on this particular horse/elephant? Gee thanks, but this time I think I'll walk.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brokeback Presidency 

El Presidente will be in Greensboro on Sept. 30th for a fundraiser for John McCain, and we can't help noticing the quick exit from his general vicinity of any Republican running in a tight race. Like Liddy Dole, who's already said (cough, cough) that she's planning an aneurysm that day or needs to be at her home in Washington, D.C., on the 30th to pet the cat and pull a dead leaf off the ivy.

But apparently, the 30% of Americans who still approve of George W. Bush mostly live in North Carolina (and some 65% of that 30% live in Blowing Rock!).

Watching El Presidente's (non) performance this past week during the financial market meltdown certainly identifies him as an intellectual partner to McCain. It must be a proud moment for both of them, presiding over the nationalization of private debt. The apotheosis of Conservatism.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Night Comes to the Constitution 

The George W. Bush adminstration, those paragons of fabrication, want to enshrine their expansions of executive power into accepted law and practice, for the greater comfort of their successors in the presidency, especially the power to spy on us citizens and to build dossiers and to cook up great big stews of suspicion and paranoia based on secret intel.

So El Presidente, through his most excellent Justice Department, has published for comment a plan to "make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years."

As we wade ever deeper into the weeds of this lying, torturing, secretive Bush Deuce administration, our abilities are frankly waning to even be shocked yet again at their blatant defilement of the Constitution. The American people are generally just exhausted too, maybe, and not acquiescing in the rewriting of our founding documents (as one might suppose from the collective silence, as the Bush/Cheney/Scalia Police State encroaches on more and more of our American landscape).

What's the point of screaming ourselves hoarse when the general election is in sight that can wipe these criminals and their crimes into the dust of history?

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Foxx Will Attend Republican Convention 

...according to Lisa Zagaroli, while Liddy Dole, Sue Myrick, Robin Hayes, and Howard Coble are staying far away.

Perhaps the Madam figgers she'll have a cleared aisle for getting El Presidente in one of her arm-locks, in order to swap saliva with him, since so many of her fellow Republicans have decided to avoid him. At least in public.

Yes, this is what we're talking about.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Madam Foxx Votes No on Foreclosure Prevention Act 

No surprise.

The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 is designed to help 400,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure. The bill also includes a federal bailout for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Virginia Foxx voted no, blaming the victims of mortgage scams for being victims. You should have known better. So what if you lose your house? Some packing crates make excellent shelter.

The bill passed in the House anyway, 272-152, and El Presidente says he'll sign it.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Virginia Foxx ... Very Good at Not Listening 

Virginia Foxx writes on The Hill's Congress Blog that she came into a meeting of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, but they were discussing the lawlessness of the Bush administration (refusing to turn over documents about illegal activity and stuff). So she stuck her fingers in her ears and ran from the room, because "I did not want to have to listen to the comments."

Sounds familiar, like the time she turned her back on a big crowd in Boone rather than take questions. "La-la-la-la-la, I can't heeear you!"

"The Bush administration is going to be gone really soon, it just seems like it is beating a dead horse," writes Madam Foxx, using the same rationale Republicans benevolently bestowed on the likes of Bill Clinton for getting his pipes snaked. "Why would we want to beat a dead horse?" Or, in the case of El Presidente, a dead stump.

Especially when only a war was started and maintained under false representations, and American citizens were spied on illegally, and federal prosecutors were fired for refusing to pursue politically motivated prosecutions.

Because, as Republicans, what's yesterday got to do with today, or for gawd's sake, TOMORROW? You want us to climb into the WAY-BACK MACHINE? It'll all be over soon, so just relax. That's the Republican philosophy.

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The Corruption of Big Money 

"...Bush is akin to the Captain of the Titanic, except that before putting wealthy Republicans on the lifeboats, he takes all the valuables from the passengers who will be left to drown."
--The Political Junkies, commenting on the Bush plan to bail out Fannie & Freddie

And this: "To rescue Fannie and Freddie is the ultimate implementation of socialism for the rich and the well connected."

Then this: "As with the bailout of Bear Stearns Co., corporate interests and stockholders get the benefit of taxpayer dollars propping up insolvent companies or limiting their stock losses. For the average American who is facing a home foreclosure, Republicans merely call them 'irresponsible,' and leave them to lose their homes."

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The World Turned Upside Down 

Good Gawd, ya'll. Virginia Foxx voted to over-ride El Presidente's veto of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act.

Going all soft and squishy in her 65th year?

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Sneaking Bush Into NC 

GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory welcomes El Presidente to Raleigh today, but he doesn't want anyone to know Bush is here -- except fat-cat contributors to his campaign. "Big name ... small profile," the N&O observes.

"Not designed to draw attention." But putting a sack over the president's head and rushing him in the servants' entrance will inevitably draw some attention.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

NC GOP in Full Whine Mode 

How DARE NC Democrats remind people that George W. Bush is a Republican! Why would anyone even care that Sen. Liddy Dole has been a Washington bobblehead for Bush policies? Or that John McCain trips over his own legs trying to line up with El Presidente (most recently on off-shore oil-drilling, which McCain used to oppose).

Because no Republican would ever associate one politician with another to make a political point.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An NC Republican for Obama 

At Barack Obama's kick-off campaign event in Raleigh on Monday, the only other speaker was an unemployed nurse from Pittsboro, Pamella Cash-Roper, who highlighted what seven years of George W. Bush trickle-down economics have meant for blue-collar, pink-collar, and lower middle-class workers. The main message: Don't even think about getting sick in George Bush's America. (Details of Pamella Roper-Cash's remarks from

Both Pamella, 54, and her husband Keith Cash, 58, who was an electrical technician at WakeMed, developed heart disease. Keith first. He needed heart surgery in 2000 and couldn't work. He lost his job and hence their company-paid health benefits; and though federal law guaranteed him extended health insurance for 18 months, they couldn't afford the $600 a month insurance payments on top of the $1,800 a month for his prescriptions.

Meanwhile, they were dropped by their disability insurance carrier, a decision they continue to dispute, so far, unsuccessfully. So they sold their house, moved to a smaller one and went without health insurance for two years until he became eligible for Medicare as a Social Security disability recipient.

Pamella continued to work as a home-health nurse/aide until 2005 when she, too, needed bypass surgery and also turned to disability payments.

Today, she said, the two live on combined disability payments of $1,164 a month. Each takes about 15 kinds of medicine paid for by a state prescription-subsidy plan enacted during the Easley administration and paid for from tobacco-settlement funds funneled through the Health & Wellness Trust Fund.

It cuts their costs to between $2 and $4 a month for each prescription, she said. "If that had not been implemented," she said, "we'd probably both be dead."

Pamella told NPR's "Morning Edition" "We were lower middle-class. Now we're not even lower middle-class, I'm as low as it can get. When the price of milk and the price of gas are almost the same, we need to start looking at something."

Pamella Cash-Roper is a Republican and Will Vote for Obama

Apparently, that particular headline caused the NCGOP a little heartburn. First, the state party chair apparently tried to deny that she was even a Republican. She is. I've been gazing at her voter registration on the state Board of Elections website. Her husband Keith is registered Unaffiliated.

Look for the Obama campaign to use more Republicans in this way and for local and state Republican Party apparatuses to stamp their feet indignantly.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pat McCrory Using/Hiding George W. Bush 

El Presidente is coming to N.C. July 20th to do a "high-dollar fundraiser" for Republican Guv candidate Pat McCrory, but lest anyone actually see McCrory with the wildly unpopular president, the fundraiser is being held at the private home of a real estate mogul. Birds of a feather.

McCrory has already received one rebuke from a Charlotte conservative blogger for this bit of scheduling. Can the Perdue campaign be far behind?

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

McCain: "Legendarily Awful" 

"[McCain] finds it impossible to pretend he's actually thinking what he's saying. But this whole speech is defensive in character (explaining why he's not running for Bush's third term), awkward and just feels old. The slogan seems to be: Am Not McSame!"

--Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

Maybe McCain's edumacational chickens are finally coming home to roost: he graduated from Annapolis ranked 894th out of 899 "middies" at the U.S. Naval Academy. That's a level of accomplishment that certainly would appear to mesh well with the stupendous incompetence represented by El Presidente, the man whose policies McCain intends to "perfect."

Obama spoke directly last night to the promises McCain offers America:
...John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine. My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign.

Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

It's not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college — policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt.

And it's not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians — a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn't making the American people any safer.

So I'll say this — there are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

When Baptists Act Out 

You may recall many posts back that a conservative student group at Furman University was upset that some university faculty said they would boycott commencement this year because El Presidente is the featured speaker (that's today, actually).

Only about 30 faculty have said they won't attend. However, another group of faculty do plan to attend in order to stand silently while the president speaks ... along with others of the university community who intend to wear "We Object" T-shirts.

So out-of-the-ordinary for anyone in South Carolina to object to the Bush presidency, but at a university founded by Baptists, it's even more startling. Unless, of course, you know the history of anabaptists and their habit of stiff-necked objection to all forms and levels of tyranny.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why He Will Go Down in History as President Knucklehead 

A few quotes from Scotty McClellan's book about the Bush White House:
"He [President George W. Bush] set the [Iraq war] policy early on and then his team focused his attention on how to sell it. It strikes me today as an indication of his lack of inquisitiveness and his detrimental resistance to reflection...."

"[Bush was] a leader unable to acknowledge that he got it wrong, and unwilling to grow in office by learning from his mistake -- too stubborn to change and grow."

"One [reason] was his fear of appearing weak. A more self-confident executive would be willing to acknowledge failure .... [Another] was the personal pain he would have suffered if he'd had to acknowledge that the war against Saddam may have been unnecessary .... [Bush] was not one to look back once a decision was made. Rather than suffer any sense of guilt and anguish, Bush chose not to go down the road of self-doubt or take on the difficult task of honest evaluation and reassessment .... another motive for Bush to avoid acknowledging mistakes was his determination to win the political game at virtually any cost .... there was Bush's insistence on remaining true to his base .... As far as Bush and his advisers (especially Karl Rove) were concerned, being open and forthright in such circumstances was a recipe for trouble."

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Comparisons Are Odious, But What the Hey! 

Michelle Malkin, the internment-and-torture loving velociraptor of the right wing, has published an editorial in today's Washington Times making the case that the gaffes of Barack Obama disqualify him for the presidency (or something).

Seriously, she opens that can of worms without even mentioning George W. Bush's inability to speak or think clearly in English. We only know about the last seven years or so of El Presidente's muddled syntax, but we assume his problem goes back a lot further, to, like, when he was frying his synapses with coke and booze. There are whole websites devoted to keeping up with Bush gaffes (here and here, for example).

We'll take a few missteps from Obama any day. George W. Bush's problem is much more that mere stumbles. They bespeak a clouded head, a cottony batting where the brain ought to be.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"You Vill Listen and You Vill Like It!" 

El Presidente Bush (remember him?) is scheduled to give the commencement address at Furman University in South By God Carolina on May 31st, and some Furman faculty members "have suggested" that they may boycott the ceremonies in silent protest.

This outrageous feint in the direction of free speech has set off a stink bomb in the other direction, with some 500 up-tight Furman enrollees, calling themselves "Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow," demanding that the Furman administration "refuse to allow" any faculty members to skip graduation.

"Refuse to allow" ... it's a plime-blank puzzlement what that might mean. Tie them into their seats? Dock their pay? Dock their ears?

We're certainly glad to see that "Conservative Students" at Furman University understand so thoroughly the blessings of liberty and the guarantees of the Constitution.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Do You Revive an Elephant? interviewed a panel of Republican campaign experts and distilled their best thinking about the party's current political crisis, "Six Ways the GOP Can Save Itself."

In brief, the six "fixes":

1. Get a clue

2. Cut the crap

3. Beg for help

4. Burn the Bush

5. Change the pitch — and your face

6. Fan the fear

It's an interesting prescription, jangling with contradictions, especially in the way # 6 ("Fan the fear") clashes with the game-changing behavior advised elsewhere in the list. By "Fan the fear" those wise Republican operatives advise attacking the patriotism of Democrats (especially Obama, natch!) at every opportunity. Pardon us, but that's more of the crap that # 2 in the list says you should cut. Just saying.

You can read the discussion that goes with each of the six suggestions for yourself -- and it's entertaining reading! -- but # 4 is especially engaging: the advice to Republican office-holders is to run as far away from George W. Bush as humanly possible, and as fast. We reflect on the problem that scheme is going to pose for at least two of our North Carolina delegation, both Virginia Foxx and Liddy Dole. Both have proven to be dedicated yes-women to every presidential whim. Imagine them unplugged from the Bush command central. Why, it's unimaginable. And Foxx especially has already memorialized herself forever as the Sumo wrestler who would not be denied multiple smooches of the presidential mug.

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