Saturday, May 27, 2006
Lay and Skilling are damaged goods to the GOP. They are no longer powerful, and they are tainted with the stench of scandal. The GOP and more specifically Bush has dropped them like hot potatoes. That was evident when the Enron scandal first broke. Bush, who had been so chummy with Lay as to give him the moniker Kenny Boy, acted as if he had only met him at a cocktail party.
Why the cold-shoulder? Because Bush and Company are opportunists and power brokers. You are only as useful as your money and votes. If you no longer serve their purposes, you are persona non-gratis. They are in it for the money and power and there to make more money for their backers. Those backers, Halliburton, Carlyle Group, Boeing, Mobil/ Exxon and the other companies should take note. Make one big mistake and you are gone. Thanks for the money and help, now swim for yourself.
Jack Abramoff was a regular visitor at the White House, but the scandal makes him suddenly a nobody. His leverage is that he has rolled over and is spilling the beans on the whole gang. Had Ken Lay disclosed what really went on in those energy policy meetings at the White House, he might have leverage too. Blackmail, money and power all speak in the Bush and company world. I suspect that all these wiretaps and phone record probes will eventually reveal that the administration has been using them to blackmail lawmakers and keep them in line.
The more I look at the situation in Washington, the more I think Bush and Company has modeled their administration on the family of Don Corleone. And now, they kiss Lay and Skilling, whispering in their ear, "you will keep our secrets or you sleep with the fishes."
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The student made the calls from March 23 to May 13. That's a lot of phone sex even for a Bible College student. The strange thing is he said he made he calls from public pay phones. That's hardly the kind of privacy I'd want for phone sex!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
"Frist smiled and spoke unremarkably from the lectern, reeking of silverback testosterone."
It's part of an incredible puff piece on Bill Frist titled "A Doctor At Heart". It comes as close to romance novel journalism as I have ever seen. With descriptions of Frist in his " jungle-pattern surgical scrubs and a pair of hairy, toned biceps" and purple prose about "The stink of ape sweat and gorilla testosterone soaked his hair and clothes."
OK, this is a description of Frist volunteering at the zoo to help the vets with a silverback gorilla, but puh-l-eeze!
Jefferson was the Congressman with the freezer full of marked bills that the FBI allegedly slipped him in a bribery sting. Now I understand many on both sides of the aisle are upset with the FBI for raiding the Congressman's private offices under what lawmakers of both parties said were unconstitutional circumstances. But I think the Democrats should hold themselves to a higher standard, and when one of their own is embroiled in this kind of corruption, they should seek his resignation until his case is cleared to avoid the least appearance of impropriety.
Call me old fashioned, but I think what is good for the goose is gravy for the gander. Time for our elected officials to play by the rules.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
From calling for assassinations to wacko interpretations of the Bible, Pat Robertson has reached a new low. He is selling snake oil, or at least recipes for it. His "Pat Robertson's Age-Defying Shake" is touted as giving him the strength to leg press 2000 pounds! ThinkProgress.org has the stats on how impossible that is, but besides that his own web site states that his recipe and it's benefits are a lie. The disclaimer at the bottom of the page states:
Disclaimer: Consult with your physician before starting this or any new
health regimen or supplement program, especially if you have allergies to any of
the listed or related products, or are under the care of a physician or other
medical professional, or have any other health problems. No specific health
benefit is implied or promised from this recipe. (Highlight is mine.)
I guess there is a fine line between a tent show revival and a medicine show, and the web has become the latest venue for it.
More than 100 groups actively oppose this amendment and you can join the fight by signing a petition at Clergyforfairness.org. Help stop the institutionalized hatred of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans.
Monday, May 22, 2006
"On June 1st of this year the life of a man who has spent half his
life in prison will be extinguished in Pakistan. Mirza Tahir Hussain, a
36-year Pakistani-British dual citizen, will be hanged for the crime of murder. He will be hanged after an Islamic court in Pakistan found him guilty of murdering a taxi driver in 1988. He will be hanged after he was acquitted of all charges by the Pakistani High
Please write your congressman, the President and anyone else in power who can help stop this travesty of justice. Remember, Pakistan is supposed to be an ally in the War on Terror, so we should have some pull. It's worth a try, to do nothing is to be part of the problem.
Madonna opens a worldwide tour with a mammoth production worthy of any Las Vegas showroom and the only thing that leads the headlines is "Madonna Hangs From Cross At Gig". I can hear the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments from the fundamentalists now.
They will scream Satanist; blasphemer and other lovely invectives and they will totally miss the point of the act. She donned a crown of thorns and was suspended on a stylized mirrored cross for the song "Live to Tell". The message, splashed across huge video screens of world poverty and hunger will be missed by many who only see any image of Jesus as that of a redeemer and personal savior. The same folks who will complain the loudest will likely be the ones who feel that being a good Christian involves only "accepting Christ" and spreading the Good News. For many Christians that Good News only involves the dispensation granted to us by ChristÂs death. Many will miss almost all the words that were uttered by Jesus in respect to the moral way to live.
Some themes rings loud and clear in Jesus teachings: make peace, feed the hungry, heal the sick, advocate for the prisoner, treat every human being as you would like to be treated, carry this message to others that they may know the good news.
Her point was clear, we cannot claim to be a godly people when we ignore poverty and oppression. The World Food Summit proposed in 1996 that world undernutrition be reduced 50 percent by 2015. The total cost would be $60 billion over 15 years, or $4 billion per year in increased spending. Only $4 billion! That is less than the record profits made by Mobil/Exxon last quarter. It is the cost of only a couple of B2 bombers or the cost of a few more bridges to nowhere in Alaska.
Wake up people! Artists and humanitarians use symbols like the cross to get our attention and to dramatize truths that need to be heard. Why should it take a pop star to shake the affluent countries of the world into action? After all, we had the Son of God give us this information over 2000 years ago and apparently that hasn't worked either.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
The teacher, 35 year old Bonnie Davis now faces far more serious allegations: six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; two counts of sodomy and one charge of having sex with a 14-year-old.
This case again shows the danger of having heterosexuals teach our children. In a similar case a coach in Weatherford, Texas is accused of having sex with a female student. Though the student was 18 at the time this still is a violation of school policy. When will we stop putting these inherent predatory heterosexuals in charge of innocent children.
(Note for the benefit of the Religious Right, Republicans and others who lack critical thinking skills:
This article uses irony. It is a literary device used in this case to emphasize the fallacious arguments used by the radical right to paint homosexual men as child molesters. In both cases it is an un fair generalization, however in the case of heterosexuals, they far outnumber gays in cases of child abuse and exploitation. )
Contrary to what he pledged in 1999, he has managed to find a way to weasel money from teenagers who might have savings or investments in college savings funds. According to a story in the New York Times:
Good to know that Bush still finds ways to stick it to a portion of the American public that can't fight back at the ballot box. So much for higher education, Exxon and Halliburton need that money more than they do.
"Under the new law, teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income will now be
taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates. Long-term
capital gains and dividends that had been taxed at 5 percent will now be taxed
at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at
as much as 35 percent."