Thursday, April 26, 2007

K.O. Special Comment

Since some indeterminable hour between the final dousing of the pyre at The World Trade Center, and the breaking of what Sen. Barack Obama has aptly termed “9/11 fever,” it has been profoundly and disturbingly evident that we are at the center of one of history’s great ironies.

Only in this America of the early 21st century could it be true that the man who was president during the worst attack on our nation and the man who was the mayor of the city in which that attack principally unfolded would not only be absolved of any and all blame for the unreadiness of their own governments, but, moreover, would thereafter be branded heroes of those attacks.

And now, that mayor — whose most profound municipal act in the wake of that nightmare was to suggest the postponement of the election to select his own successor — has gone even a step beyond these M.C. Escher constructions of history.

“If any Republican is elected president — and I think obviously I would be best at this — we will remain on offense and will anticipate what (the terrorists) will do and try to stop them before they do it.”

Insisting that the election of any Democrat would mean the country was “back ... on defense,” Mr. Giuliani continued: “But the question is how long will it take and how many casualties will we have. If we are on defense, we will have more losses and it will go on longer.”

He said this with no sense of irony, no sense of any personal shortcomings, no sense whatsoever.

And if you somehow missed what he was really saying, somehow didn’t hear the none-too-subtle subtext of “vote Democratic and die,” Mr. Giuliani then stripped away any barrier of courtesy, telling Roger Simon of

“America will be safer with a Republican president.”

At least that Republican president under which we have not been safer has, even at his worst, maintained some microscopic distance between himself and a campaign platform that blithely threatened the American people with “casualties” if they, next year, elect a Democratic president — or, inferring from Mr. Giuliani’s flights of grandeur in New Hampshire — even if they elect a different Republican.

How ... dare ... you, sir?

“How many casualties will we have?” — this is the language of Osama bin Laden.

Yours, Mr. Giuliani, is the same chilling nonchalance of the madman, of the proselytizer who has moved even from some crude framework of politics and society, into a virtual Roman Colosseum of carnage, and a conceit over your own ability — and worthiness — to decide who lives and who dies.

Rather than a reasoned discussion — rather than a political campaign advocating your own causes and extolling your own qualifications — you have bypassed all the intermediate steps and moved directly to trying to terrorize the electorate into viewing a vote for a Democrat, not as a reasonable alternative and an inalienable right ... but as an act of suicide.

This is not the mere politicizing of Iraq, nor the vague mumbled epithets about Democratic “softness” from a delusional vice president.

This is casualties on a partisan basis — of the naked assertion that Mr. Giuliani’s party knows all and will save those who have voted for it — and to hell with everybody else.

And that he, with no foreign policy experience whatsoever, is somehow the messiah-of-the-moment.

Even to grant that that formula — whether posed by Republican or Democrat — is somehow not the most base, the most indefensible, the most un-American electioneering in our history — even if it is somehow acceptable to assign “casualties” to one party and “safety” to the other — even if we have become so profane in our thinking that it is part of our political vocabulary to view counter-terror as one party’s property and the other’s liability ... on what imaginary track record does Mr. Giuliani base his boast?

Which party held the presidency on Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party held the mayoralty of New York on that date, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party assured New Yorkers that the air was safe and the remains of the dead recovered and not being used to fill potholes, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party wanted what the terrorists wanted — the postponement of elections — and to whose personal advantage would that have redounded, Mr. Giuliani?

Which mayor of New York was elected eight months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, yet did not emphasize counter-terror in the same city for the next eight years, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party had proposed to turn over the Department of Homeland Security to Bernard Kerik, Mr. Giuliani?

Who wanted to ignore and hide Kerik’s organized crime allegations, Mr. Giuliani?

Who personally argued to the White House that Kerik need not be vetted, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party rode roughshod over Americans’ rights while braying that it was actually protecting them, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party took this country into the most utterly backwards, utterly counterproductive, utterly ruinous war in our history, Mr. Giuliani?

Which party has been in office as more Americans were killed in the pointless fields of Iraq than were killed in the consuming nightmare of 9/11, Mr. Giuliani?

Drop this argument, sir.

You will lose it.

“The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us,” Mr. Giuliani continued to the Rockingham County Lincoln Day Dinner last night. “Never, ever again will this country be on defense waiting for (terrorists) to attack us, if I have anything to say about it. And make no mistake, the Democrats want to put us back on defense.”

There is no room for this.

This is terrorism itself, dressed up as counter-terrorism.

It is not warning, but bullying — substituted for the political discourse now absolutely essential to this country’s survival and the freedom of its people.

No Democrat has said words like these. None has ever campaigned on the Republicans’ flat-footedness of Sept. 11, 2001. None has the requisite, irresponsible, all-consuming ambition. None is willing to say “I accuse,” rather than recognize that, to some degree, all of us share responsibility for our collective stupor.

And if it is somehow insufficient, that this is morally, spiritually, and politically wrong, to screech as Mr. Giuliani has screeched, there is also this: that gaping hole in Mr. Giuliani’s argument of “Republicans equal life; Democrats equal death.”

Not only have the Republicans not lived up to their babbling on this subject, but last fall the electorate called them on it.

As doubtless they would call you on it, Mr. Giuliani.

Repeat — go beyond — Mr. Bush’s rhetorical calamities of 2006.

Call attention to the casualties on your watch, and your long, waking slumber in the years between the two attacks on the World Trade Center.

Become the candidate who runs on the Vote-For-Me-Or-Die platform.

Do a Joe McCarthy, a Lyndon Johnson, a Robespierre.

Only, if you choose so to do, do not come back surprised nor remorseful if the voters remind you that “terror” is not just a matter of “casualties.” It is, just as surely, a matter of the promulgation of fear.

Claim a difference between the parties on the voters’ chances of survival — and you do bin Laden’s work for him.

And we — Democrats and Republicans alike, and every variation in between — We Americans! — are sick to death of you and the other terror-mongers trying to frighten us into submission, into the surrender of our rights and our reason, into this betrayal of that for which this country has always stood.

Franklin Roosevelt’s words ring true again tonight.

And, clarified and amplified, they are just as current now as they were when first he spoke them, 74 years ago.

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” — and those who would exploit our fear, for power and for their own personal, selfish, cynical, gain.

Good night, and good luck.


In true Edward R. Murrow fashion Mr. Olbermann delivered a knockout blow to the poseur Goulianni, he deserved worse but Mr. Olbermann is a civil human being unlike Goulianni.

Repugs are running out of viable candidates and that is good. We used to have a good two-party system, now one of the parties has run amok and the other is teetering on the brink.

Hope is somehow we can piece it all back together and regain the country formerly known as the United States of America we have all come to know and love before idiots like Goulianni and Bush showed up and ruined it.



DEN said...

Micki, I saw your comment on KO and thought it worthy of a full post, he was severely pissed and so am I.

Gerald, Oprah needs a new brain?
HA! that and a magazine with less advertisements, Laura gets it and I can tell when it is in the mailbox because it leans from the weight of the thing, YIPES!

DEN said...

Dear Dennis,

There is a trail of rot making its way through our government—and it leads straight to Karl Rove.

New evidence shows that Rove has been methodically working to twist even the most impartial branches of the federal government—including the Justice Department—to serve the Republican Party at the expense of the American people.

Enough is enough. Impartial justice must be protected. Integrity in government must be defended. Karl Rove must be fired.

Tomorrow, John Edwards is going on national television to take part in the first presidential debate. And that night, he's going to call on George Bush to fire Karl Rove.

Will Bush listen? Not to John alone. Not to you or me alone. But if thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of us speak out together to demand accountability for Karl Rove and end their era of cynical, destructive, partisan government—we cannot be ignored.

Please add your name, so when John speaks out at tomorrow's debate it's clear that he's speaking for thousands. We'll keep a signature counter online to show how many have joined the call.

Karl Rove's assault on our democracy is not new. We all know how Rove's strategy of relentless deception has poisoned our political debate and led to disaster after disaster for our country—starting with the war in Iraq.

But these latest revelations show that no branch of our government is safe as long as Karl Rove is in it.

It is now clear that Rove was at the center of the outrageous, politically-motivated firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. When this scandal broke, John Edwards was the first candidate to call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for politicizing justice and betraying the public trust.

Some of these officials were fired because they refused to buckle under to demands that they manipulate the timing of voter fraud investigations, or because they were investigating well connected Republican defense contractors.

And now it seems clear that the White House had its fingers all over this purge. Whose fingers? Karl Rove's, of course.

And Rove's motivations may have been even more insidious than rewarding party loyalists. There are indications that this was all part of his plan to install partisan U.S. Attorneys that would help Republican candidates in 2008 by interfering with minority voter registration drives.

And now, evidence has emerged that that shows Rove has been pressuring impartial federal agencies and employees to use government contracts and other favors to help Republican candidates.

At some point, the very fabric of impartial justice and a government that works for the people—not political parties—is so threatened that we simply cannot sit back and wait for the next election to clean house. That point is now.

In 24 hours John will speak out to the national media gathered to cover the presidential debate and call on President Bush to fire Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales. That means we have 24 hours to gather enough support to ensure that when John steps forward, he's not stepping forward alone.

Click here

Thank you,

--David Bonior
Campaign Manager
John Edwards for President

DEN said...

The Weezel speaks?

OSLO, Norway — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she has already answered the questions she has been subpoenaed to answer before a congressional committee and suggested she is not inclined to comply with the order.

Rice said she would respond by mail to questions from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Bush administration's prewar claims about Saddam Hussein seeking weapons of mass destruction, but signaled she would not appear in person.

"I am more than happy to answer them again in a letter," she told reporters in Oslo, where she is attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.


Nice try, but no!

DEN said...

Keeping Fido smiling:

A dog is an animal with an enormous sexual appetite which can't be controlled. Many methods consist in artificial ways to stop dogs inborn character. These methods like castration or meds are going against the nature laws. Hotdoll is a natural (and beneficial for dog's health) way to control its sexual impulses. This love doll for dogs is shaped to be grabbed easily by the dog's paws like female hips. Hotdoll is designed in 2 sizes to be used by little dogs and by big ones! Its contrasted colors are made to be easily distinguished by dog's eyes. The body is made by a plastic structure covered with a 1 cm technogel skin to create a soft touch. All orange parts are made of rubber, that way the doll grips on the floor. The pink hole needs to be washed regularly for hygienic reasons.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

micki said...

I wonder how many people know that the government of South Africa withdrew its support for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy -- the school that Oprah has publicized and touted on her show (which I have never watched, I admit).

The South African government expressed concern that the amount of money spent on the lavish spa-like school could have been spent to build numerous perfectly fine schools that could have served many, many, many more students than the 350 students who will, in part, be selected for admission by Oprah herself. South Africa worked very, very hard to do away with separateness -- apartheid.

I'm sure that Oprah has done many good deeds in her life. She's worked hard. Won't take that away from her....but...

She is the Queen of "Stuff" -- one of her gimmicks is to give away stuff to her audience (the reality is she's giving away stuff from her corporate sponsors -- it's not her stuff). But, anyway, showcasing this gimmick of giving away "favorite things" as a focal point of her show is just another example of the Great American Way -- stuff, stuff, stuff.

Millions of people deeply trust Oprah -- because of that, too bad she doesn't set a a less acquisitive example for those ardent followers. Also, too bad she didn't build many perfectly fine schools for many, many more South African youngsters.

Saladin said...

DEN and all, check this out, it's fantastic.

Ray Bethell, the master Multiple-Kite flyer

Make sure the sound is on.

DEN said...

She is the Queen of "Stuff"

Got that right, she is milking the corporate cow.

Remember George Carlins rant about having a place for your "stuff"?

DEN said...

Kite Maestro!

DEN said...

Fascist America in Ten Easy Steps:

As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their work today in a context in which we are "at war" in a "long war" - a war without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that gives the president - without US citizens realising it yet - the power over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

@ The Guardian

Eye opener needed?

David B. Benson said...

Olberman done good. Real good.

Sock it to 'em...

micki said...

April Showers?

Dr. B -- I saw your mention of Germany's driest April. the UK....

April may be famed for its showers, but so far this month Norfolk has had just 2mm of rain, compared with about 50mm in previous years, and is on course to be the driest April on record.

micki said...

...and dry here, too.

The Isle of Man could be in line for its driest April on record.

The Met Office at Ronaldsway said there has been no measurable rain on the island since the start of the month.

David B. Benson said...

A bit dry here as well, but it doesn't seem that unusual.


DEN said...

Democratic Debate was worth watching, I like Gravel personally, seems to be a straight shooter, Obama and Kucinich had an interesting exchange.
Clinton sounded like a Repug, Ricardson got cut off short and looked frustrated, spoke well in post debate interview. Edwards is still blinking incessantly while speaking, too much like a tell. The rest are OK but not as good as Gravel.

You will hear more from him unless the press mess pisses him off, better get him Jon!

Anonymous said...

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