$#!^ Hits Fan at NSA

The Bush administration is finally unravelling at the seams. It’s a shame people wake up so late. Over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost, over 2000 US military lives lost, tens of thousands of American soldiers physicall maimed, mentally damaged, the reputation of the United States severely damaged throughout the world, thousands dead in New Orleans (and hundreds of thousands displaced).

All of this can be traced back to the need for Bush to help make the rich in this country even richer. I think we can all agree that this country is in a lot of debt right now, and that there is not nearly enough money for things that need to be paid for — such as levees in New Orleans. The lack of progress down there was a hot topic of discussion last week on “Meet The Press.” Apparently, the city that needs to be rebuilt has fallen completely off the radar, but that’s not surprising, is it. But I digress. It would appear there have not been enough tax cuts for this criminal regime of so-called Republicans. Earlier this month, they passed even more tax cuts to the tune of almost a HUNDRED BILLION dollars that will be taken away from the treasury over the next few years. According to one Republican, Rep Deborah Pryce of Ohio, “Our economic policies have done the trick. We are in the middle of one of the strongest economies this country has ever seen.” Done the trick?? They’ve done the trick all right. They’ve plunged this country into the worst deficit it’s ever seen. If this country’s economy is doing so well, why are so many people still hurting, still struggling to pay their bills? Why is crime up? Why are we still cutting programs for the poor? And of the nearly $100 billion in tax cuts passed, why is a measly $153 million going to military families who will be able to use their combat pay to claim the earned income tax credit? Seems to me that those who are sacrificing the most should benefit more than that, doesn’t it? I mean, Exxon is not sacrificing a whole lot, and they’re getting billions in tax cuts. Doesn’t seem fair to me.

And then we have good ol’ Robert Novak, who Bush himself has to know who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press. Novak claims, “I’m confident the president knows who the source is… I’d be amazed if he doesn’t… So I say, don’t bug me. Don’t bug (Washington Post reporter) Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.” Yipes! Incidentally, NBC is reporting that Novak is leaving CNN for FOX News. Turns out he was tired of at least trying to appear like he wasn’t a right-wing hack. Now he just be himself, right out in the open.

And then a couple days ago NBC News found out that the government has been secretly spying on its own citizens and today there are reports that Bush OK’d it. I thought we had done away with this sort of thing decades ago? It’s not surprising, considering that Bush isn’t a student of history, that he’d not only get us involved in another war with shades of Vietnam, but that he’d also condone illegal activities of the type that occurred in what most Americans now consider some of the darkest days in American history. Republicans and Democrats alike are now demanding an investigation into the matter, with Florida Senator Bill Nelson commenting, “When the Pentagon starts going into a Quaker meeting house in Florida, then it’s a question of invasion of privacy.”

The backlash has been quick, perhaps even leading to today’s overwhelming rejection of reauthorization of several key elements of the Patriot Act. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Spying on your own citizens? Doesn’t the Pentagon have better things to do than conduct investigations into peaceful protests and anti-war organizations?

On Any Subject, She Agrees With YOU!

Meet the new Hillary Clinton. Any stance you, the public, take on an issue, she’s right there beside you. For gay rights? Against gay rights? She’s got a way to be on both sides. For the death penalty? Against the death penalty? She agrees.

Take her to task for being wishy-washy, and I’m sure she would argue that she’s just being moderate — just trying to stake out a compromise. After all, this past July, she told the Democratic Leadership Council the following:

Let us start by uniting against the hard-right ideology, of those who have used it to divide Americans and distract us from our common responsibility. We Democrats have not yet succeeded in isolating and defeating the far right, in part because all too often we have allowed ourselves to be split between left, right, and center. We can and should differ with one another on this or that detail of politics and ideas. After all, we are thinking Democrats, not lockstep Republicans.

But let us acknowledge that what separates us on occasion is but a tiny sliver in comparison to the Grand Canyon gap between us and the Republican Party. Now, I know the DLC has taken some shots from some within our party and that it has returned fire too. Well, I think it’s high time for a cease-fire. It’s time for all Democrats to work together based on the fundamental values we all share, values violated every day in Washington by the ideologues of the Republican right. Now, that is not just a dream. That must be our common goal and mission.

Compromise. It’s her new thing. All Democrats should compromise on little things and get on the same message for the greater good.

So just how does flag burning fit into all this? I have no idea. All I know is that Hillary is, once again, trying to “compromise” by having things both ways, and all she’s doing is providing more fodder for attacks by the GOP.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps the vast majority of Americans only see, “well, she was against flag burning, and that’s good!” Or there are others that see she’s not for a constitutional amendment that would ban flag burning and they think, “that’s good!” I don’t know. I do know that for many of us who closely follow politcs, Hillary is not our gal for President. We want someone who is going to say what they believe, and follow up on it… Not try to negotiate to a place where they think they’ll end up with the most votes.

It’s the principle of the matter, and I’m starting to question Hillary’s.

Media Matters vs. Chris Matthews

I just received an e-mail from Media Matters about some comments made by Chris Matthews. Here is the text of the message:

On the November 28 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews said of President Bush: “I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left.” Since polls show that most Americans have an unfavorable view of the president, Matthews is labeling the majority of the populace “whack-jobs.” This is only one of several recent examples of Matthews’s habit of insulting those with whom he disagrees and of his fawning praise for Bush. Matthews’s comments demonstrate his disconnect from the American public.

In recent weeks, Matthews has also said that Bush sometimes “glimmers” with “sunny nobility”; he praised a recent Bush speech as a “brilliant political move” — before the speech was even delivered. Now he is calling the majority of Americans “whack-jobs” and deriding critics of the Iraq war as “carpers and complainers.” Tell MSNBC that Matthews’s comments — coming from the supposedly neutral host of a prime-time news show — are unacceptable.

Take Action! Click here to tell MSNBC that you are outraged by Chris Matthews’s recent statements attacking the majority of the American public.

Now, I intensely dislike Matthews’ continually wishy-washy, “he’s not a bad guy” blathering about Bush and his administration about as much as I intensely dislike Wolf Blitzer’s or Judy Woodruff’s similar comments all the time on CNN (which is why I don’t watch CNN anymore). But is this really worthy of a letter-writing campaign? Here’s my e-mailed response to Media Matters (an organization for which I do actually have an enormous amount of respect):

I’m all for calling Matthews out on the carpet, but come on. Don’t you have much more ammunition on people who are actually telling outright lies in the media over people who are just spouting their annoying opinions?

I understand going after Ann Coulter, who couldn’t tell the truth to save her life, but Matthews, while annoying, is just trying to get ratings and/or, well, just being annoying.

The more we go after these kinds of people, the more the right can accuse us of trying to kill the 1st Amendment.

Let them talk. Your job — and the reason why people contribute to Media Matters — is to combat the LIES.. the worst offenders… the people who believe they can lie and lie and lie some more because they believe there’s no one out there who will remember what they said beyond today’s television appearance.

Please stop wasting e-mails on these things. Not everyone we dislike is going to be forced off the airwaves. Our goal should be going after the freaks like Michael Savage and Ann Coulter. I understand calling Matthews to task for his ridiculous views, but I hardly think every opinion is worth a letter writing campaign.

I’ll report here if they bother to write back.