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Archive for the ‘neoconservatives’ Category

Boy oh boy do I hope that Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee in 2008. Why? Because he’s now made it abundantly clear with his rhetoric that he’d be nothing but a younger, crueler and more incompetent version of Dick Cheney. And anyone who’s paid the slightest bit of attention to the polls should know that he’s scraping even further down in the bottom of the barrel than Bush.

I think Democrats would be wise to start pointing out the similarities to Cheney and Giuliani sooner rather than later, as the entrenched myth of Giuliani’s competence as an executive officer is much more formidable than that of Cheney as an assessor of intelligence. The myth of Cheney has been adequately demolished by the Iraq war, but Rudy’s remains somewhat in tact for a large portion of the politically disengaged. In the most recent issue of The Washington Monthly’s Scoop Rachel Morris does a superb job of illuminating these two men’s similarities by way of Ron Suskind’s book The One Percent Doctrine, and by reminding us of Cheney’s rhetoric leading up to the 2004 election:

Giuliani’s speech was about as pure an expression of the Dick Cheney worldview as you’re likely to find outside the inner recesses of the vice president’s psychological bunker.

For instance: “If any Republican is elected president … we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it,” Giuliani said. Later, he added: “Never, ever again will this country ever be on defense waiting for [terrorists] to attack us if I have anything to say about it.”

This is precisely the logic that Cheney has deployed ever since 9/11, with catastrophic results for the country. In his book, The One-Percent Doctrine, Ron Suskind describes a meeting in which Cheney succinctly set out his new doctrine: “If there’s a one-percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response … It’s not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence. It’s about our response.” In a 2002 speech, Cheney pronounced that, “the risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action.

More than anything, this is what Giuliani must be associated with than–much more so than his cross-dressing or his so-called liberal views. It will do more to remind the American people that a Giuliani administration would in essence be more four more years of Dick Cheney running the show. This recent American Prospect article does an excellent job of looking past these superficial and semi-sensational aspects of Giuliani’s campaign and reminding us what a sadistic prick the man has been and will continue to be.

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Treason

Tom Delay:

I think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are getting very very close to treason…For the Majority Leader of the United States Senate in a time of war, with soldiers dying on the ground, announcing that we have lost the war, is very close to treasonous. I looked it up while we were driving over here, the definition of treason, it’s the betrayal of trust. I have never in my adult life, nor in my understanding of history, seen something so blatantly outrageous…I am blown away by this attitude of the Democrats. To me it’s just a hatred of Bush…The American people are gonna eventually be fed up with this.

How detached from reality do you have to be to not understand that 60% of the public are sick of Bush, hence the reason Democrats are in charge and emboldened to stand up to Bush’s war? How antithetical to the principles of a functional democracy is it to call those who disagree with the president treasonous? It’s like they’re on a mission lately to drive voters away from the GOP for at least one generation, but quite likely to completely obliterate the republican party forever.

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and that word is fascism (Via TPMMuckraker):

Over the past six years, the Bush administration has aggressively reshaped the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Many career analysts and attorneys have either been transferred or driven out; their replacements are long on conservative credentials and short on civil rights experience.

According to Moore, his supervisor and the political appointees in the section consistently criticized his work because it didn’t jibe with their pre-drawn conclusions. That was bad enough, he said, but the real trouble came after he and three colleagues recommended opposing a Georgia voter I.D. law pushed by Republicans. After the recommendation, which clashed with the views of Moore’s superiors, they reprimanded him for not adequately analyzing the evidence and accused him of mistreating his Republican colleague, with whom he’d had frequent disagreements. But it got worse. Moore said that his Republican superiors even monitored his emails, eventually filing a complaint against him with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility for allegedly disclosing privileged information in one email (he was cleared of wrongdoing). Fed up, and worried that it was too dangerous to his professional future to remain there, he left.

Moore said that his experience was similar to others in the section who’d disagreed with conservative attorneys working at the Justice Department. Over the following year, all three of Moore’s colleagues who’d joined him in opposing the law either left or were transferred out of the section. The senior member of the team, Robert Berman, the deputy chief of the section and a 28-year veteran of the Civil Rights Division, was transferred to the Office of Professional Development — what Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has called “a dead-end job.”

You have to read the whole thing to fully grasp just how fucked up the DoJ is due to Bush’s installation of brainless loyalists. How is this not simply a coup at this point? They’ve infected the government with career yes-men & women, used their craven loyalty to subvert the will of the American people (that pesky thing called democracy), and are willfully disobeying the law!

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If there’s one thing I hate about the US Attorney purge scandal, it’s that the facts are so transparently chilling that there’s no need for commentary. I’ve been living in a world of blockquotes since the fucking thing broke. Here’s the latest bombshell via NPR

NPR now has new information about that plan. According to someone who’s had conversations with White House officials, the plan to fire all 93 U.S. attorneys originated with political adviser Karl Rove. It was seen as a way to get political cover for firing the small number of U.S. attorneys the White House actually wanted to get rid of. Documents show the plan was eventually dismissed as impractical.

The Justice Department documents released today include a spreadsheet ranking all 93 prosecutors. The chart ranks them on whether they have Hill experience, campaign experience, and — in the last column — whether they’re members of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

I guess there’s a bit of poetic justice in the possibility that Rove was probably right about the fact that it would’ve been a bit less suspicious to fire all 93. Of course coming up with all those replacements would’ve been hard work and we all know how much George “The Greatest Fuckup in US History” Bush hates that.

And let me just add for the record that the Republican party, especially the neoconservatives, own GW. He has been their sole propagandist icon of authoritarian political fealty. He is the one they were sure would sweep in all the sheepish of our flock and eventually purge the nation of the scourge of liberals and progressives. They were the boosters that got him elected, kept him from media and Congressional oversight thru intellectual dishonesty, schmoozing, bullying, and I would bet a couple of blackmail incidents. I know no one of consequence is reading this goddamned blog, but even if you stumbled across this site looking to vent your hatred of Tim and Eric, please–for the love of God–do something to make sure that everyone you know, including yourself, is fully aware of what a terrifying precipice this country is teetering on.

I’ll conclude with some of Bill Maher’s latest rant via Salon:

It turns out that the Justice Department is entirely staffed with Jesus freaks from a televangelist diploma mill in Virginia Beach. Most of them young women with very little knowledge of the law, but a very strong sense of doing what they’re told. Like the Manson family, but with cleaner hair. In 200 years we’ve gone from “We the people” to “Up with people.” From the best and brightest to dumb and dumber. And, come on, America is a big, well-known, first-rate country, and when we’re looking for people to help run it, we should aim higher than the girl who answers the phone at the fake abortion clinic. It’s not just that this president has surrounded himself with a Texas echo chamber of war criminals and religious fanatics. It’s that they’re sooooo mediocre. This is America. We should be getting robbed and fucked over by the best.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., asked at a hearing, “Should we be concerned with the experience level of the people who are making these highly significant decisions?” But in the Bush administration experience doesn’t matter. All that matters is loyalty to Bush and Jesus, in that order. And where better to find people dumb enough to believe in George W. Bush than Pat Robertson’s law school. The problem here in America isn’t that the country is being run by elites. It’s that it’s being run by a bunch of hayseeds. And by the way, the lawyer Monica Goodling just hired to keep her ass out of jail went to a real law school.

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Here’s a handy summary of just how badly the cancerous Bush cult has metastisized within our government:

Consider the reports surfacing only within the past month: that scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency have again been forbidden to discuss climate change; that nine newly appointed U.S. attorneys are political cadres; that the new U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Rachel Paulose, cites Bible verses in the office, harshly orders underlings around and, according to one of four assistant U.S. attorneys in her office who voluntarily demoted themselves, treats disagreement as “disloyalty”; that the Election Assistance Commission last year, giving credence to Republican talking points of widespread voter fraud, ignored experts’ testimony to the contrary; that between 2001 and 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has purged 60 percent of its professional staff and not filed a single voting discrimination case on behalf of African-American or Native American voters; and that after the state Republican Party complained to Rove that the U.S. attorney in Wisconsin, Steven Biskupic, was not attacking voter fraud, Biskupic kept his job by filing corruption charges against an aide to the incumbent Democratic governor on the eve of the 2006 elections. (The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled the aide was “wrongly convicted” on evidence that was “beyond thin.”)

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Considering what we now know about the Bush administration’s tentacles extending into the DoJ, the fact that they used the USA PATRIOT act to do so–an act which seeks to curtail a number of longstanding rules protecting privacy from government intrusion, this article from the Boston Globe is quite chilling, especially considering that this was reported last year:

The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.

The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change, 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds. . . .

For decades, such committees had screened thousands of resumes, interviewed candidates, and made recommendations that were only rarely rejected.

Now, hiring is closely overseen by Bush administration political appointees to Justice, effectively turning hundreds of career jobs into politically appointed positions.

For more shit that ought to be curling up hairs on the back of your neck, check out this TPM entry.

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Glenn Greenwald has some analysis of a recent book luncheon Bush attended with a handful of neoconservative thinkers to discuss revisionist historian Andrew Roberts. Within the piece is the following quote:

The causes of rampant anti-Americanism do indeed include dislike of Bush. But there are others: the war in Iraq; anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian sentiment, laced with some covert anti-Semitism; and resentment of American power. Roberts urged the president not to concern himself with these anti-American feelings, since in a unipolar world the lone superpower cannot be loved. His advice: “Get your policies right and history will prove a kind muse.”

which was preceded by this gem:

On one subject the president needed no lessons from Roberts or anyone else in the room: how to handle pressure. “I just don’t feel any,” he says with the calm conviction of a man who believes the constituency to which he must ultimately answer is the Divine Presence. Don’t misunderstand: God didn’t tell him to put troops in harm’s way in Iraq; belief in Him only goes so far as to inform the president that there is good and evil. It is then his job to figure out how to promote the former and destroy the latter. And he is confident that his policies are doing just that.

Okay, first of all what fucking moron believes he can destroy all evil? That clearly points to the man’s megalomania. But what really bothers me about these two passages is that Bush doesn’t acknowledge that a president serves the American people. Not his historical legacy and not some divine presence, but ordinary people. And nowhere is this ever mentioned to him by his neocon enablers. No they talk about how we haven’t dropped enough bombs on non-english speaking people (who aren’t real people anyway in their view).

Isn’t it enough to just point out to everyone that Bush and the neocons worship at the altar of Leo Strauss, a man who said “those in power must invent noble lies and pious frauds to keep the people in the stupor for which they are supremely fit”. This quote is from an article Greenwald links to which discusses Strauss in more detail and seems to perfectly summarize the disdain that the current ruling class have for us wretched, disgusting, ordinary people. Here’s what I consider the uber-relevant bit from the rest of the Strauss piece:

There have always been those who deluded themselves into thinking that they were akin to gods who are entitled to rule over ordinary mortals. But no one has described this mentality more brilliantly than Dostoevsky, when he created the figure of the Grand Inquisitor. In his short story of the same title, Dostoevsky imagined that Jesus has returned to face a decadent and corrupt Church. As head of the Church, the Grand Inquisitor condemns Jesus to death, but not before having a long and interesting conversation with the condemned man. Jesus naively clings to the belief that what man needs above all else is freedom from the oppressive yoke of the Mosaic law, so that he can choose between good and evil freely according to the dictates of his conscience. But the Inquisitor explains to him that truth and freedom are the sources of humanity’s greatest anguish and that people will never be free because “they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious.” He declares that people can be happy only if they surrender their freedom and bow before miracle, mystery, and authority. Only then can people live and die peacefully, “and beyond the grave, they will find nothing but death. But we shall keep the secret, and for their happiness we shall allure them with the reward of heaven and eternity.” The Inquisitor explains that the “deception will be our suffering, for we shall be forced to lie.” But in the end, “they will marvel at us and look on us as gods.”

To say that Strauss’s elitism surpasses that of the Grand Inquisitor is an understatement. Undeniably, there are strong similarities. Like the Grand Inquisitor, Strauss thought that society must be governed by a pious elite (George Bush the second and the Christian fundamentalists who support him fit this role perfectly). Like the Grand Inquisitor, Strauss thought of religion as a pious fraud (something that would alarm the Christian fundamentalists who are allied with the neoconservatives). And even though Strauss was sympathetic to Judaism, he nevertheless described it as a “heroic delusion” and a “noble dream.” Like the Grand Inquisitor, he thought that it was better for human beings to be victims of this noble delusion than to “wallow” in the “sordid” truth. And like the Grand Inquisitor, Strauss thought that the superior few should shoulder the burden of truth and in so doing, protect humanity from the “terror and hopelessness of life.”

All the similarities between Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor notwithstanding, the Straussian position surpasses the Grand Inquisitor in its delusional elitism as well as in its misanthropy. This shows that while one need not be a religious thinker to be misanthropic, religion is an excellent vehicle for implementing misanthropic policies in public life.

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