Friday, February 09, 2007

The Tabloid Nation's Takeover Of The Real News

Anna Nicole Smith. The stripper who became a model who married an 89 year old billionaire. She was emotionally and intellectually disadvantaged, a tragic train wreck America watched with fascination and sometimes pity. She died at 39, of causes yet to be determined.

The death of Anna Nicole Smith has exposed the state of stupidity the mainstream media is living in. While the death of Anna Nicole Smith is tragic because any death is tragic, it is not life changing and is certainly not the most pressing issue of our nation.

Shouldn't someone ask the media how it is possible they are able to showcase the life of someone who we wouldn't want our own daughters to grow up to be -- but fail to provide adequate coverage and information on the Scooter Libby trial? Many people don't even understand what the Scooter Libby trial is, let alone understand what is going on during it. No wonder. The dumbing down of the news.

Is it true? America is more preoccupied with Tabloid stars than they are the young men and woman who are dieing and getting maimed in Iraq? We get shoddy coverage of the war, but full access to the personal problems of Anna Nicole Smith? This can't be real.

Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah), and Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas) meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Mecca and agreed to form a national unity government in Palestine and end the fighting between Hamas and Fatah. But this too was obscured by the death of the tabloid princess.

US helicopters are being swiped out of the sky like flies and all we can talk about is how depressed Anna Nicole was.

The stars are aligning for a war with Iran, and no one really knows what to do about it, but here is the media, obsessing about Anna Nicole's final moments.

What about our soldiers last moments? What about the last moments of mothers in a marketplace who are brutally wiped out by a terrorist?

There are real problems in this nation, and there are real problems in this world and I would like to see them reported on and investigated on as thoroughly as the color of nail polish Anna Nicole Smith might have been wearing when she died.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hagel Waggles His Tail For The GOP

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska has proven he is all talk and no action when it comes to his alleged opposition to the Iraq War.

Hagel won the adulation of Iraq War critics and the hearts and minds of a fair majority of Liberal and Progressive bloggers with bold statements regarding the Iraq War that even garnered a grumble of disapproval from fellow Republican Dick Cheney.

But when it came to Republicans blocking or filibustering a debate and a vote on a non-binding bipartisan resolution which opposes the troop "surge" in Iraq, it was time for Chuck Hagel to show his true colors and alliance and follow his Conservative counterparts -- rather than adhering to what he had previously implied.

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska on Iraq, two weeks ago :

"This is a very real, responsible addressing of the most divisive issue in this country since Vietnam. Yes, sure, it’s tough. Absolutely. And I think all 100 senators ought to be on the line on this.

What do you believe? What are you willing to support? What do you think? Why were you elected?

If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes. This is a tough business. But is it any tougher, us having to take a tough vote, express ourselves and have the courage to step up on what we’re asking our young men and women to do?
I don’t think so.

When I hear, on both sides of this argument, impugning motives and patriotism to our country, not only is it offensive and disgusting but it debases the whole system of our country and who we are.

My goodness. Can’t we debate the most critical issue of our time, out front, in front of the American people? The expect it. Are we so weak, we can’t do that?"

Note how Hagel so boldly proclaimed "But is it any tougher, us having to take a tough vote, express ourselves and have the courage to step up on what we’re asking our young men and women to do?"

Perhaps that's a question Chuck Hagel needs to be asking himself after participating in a filibuster to avoid voting on the very issue of which he had been speaking.

Or, how about "My goodness. Can’t we debate the most critical issue of our time, out front, in front of the American people?"

Apparently not, Chuck because you aided in blocking the debate. What a hypocrite you are, you have proven you are more loyal to the Republican Party than you are to the will of the American people.

Finally "They expect it. Are we so weak, we can’t do that?" APPARENTLY YOU ARE AND YOU CAN'T.
Screw The Poor To Pay For War

Republicans have a few core beliefs, beliefs they hold sacred above all others, one of those beliefs is "small government".

On the surface an idea like small government doesn't sound that bad, until you realize what exactly Republicans mean by "small government".

A small government means inadequate response to natural disasters, a "small government" means eliminations or cuts to essential social programs for the poor who need it most while giving massive tax relief to the rich who need it least.

During his State of the Union Address the President announced his intention to "stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009" but failed to mention that in order to do that he would be cutting or eliminating social programs that are vital to low income families and the elderly.

$400 million or 18 percent to be cut from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which aides low income families in paying high utility bills.

Remember how Bush likes to talk about an educated America and "No Child Left Behind"?

$4.9 billion or 8 percent to be cut from education, social service grants, training, and employment services.

$100 million to be cut from Head Start, a program that "serves the child development needs of preschool children (birth through age five) and their low-income families."

Remember how America loves it's children?

$223 million or 4 percent to be cut from the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Our elderly will also shoulder the burden of Bush's new budget.

$77 billion in funding cuts to Medicaid and Medicare over the next five years, and $280 billion in cuts over the next decade.

$172 million, an astounding 25 percent, to be cut in funding for housing for low-income senior citizens.

Since the poor are taking a hit in the 2008 budget it would be natural to assume the rich would also be negatively impacted by the budget. This is not the case, per usual with any Republicans.

While social programs for the poor will be cut or eliminated, the rich will continue to benefit.

As The Center On Budget And Policy Priorities reports “People with incomes of more than $1 million would get tax cuts averaging $162,000 a year in perpetuity.”

Well, it's nice to know that the rich are getting tax cuts while the poor are getting the ax.

CBPP also reports that "The President says he wants to promote fiscal responsibility and address growing inequality, but his budget fails on both counts. In fact, it would make both problems worse."

"Future generations would foot the bill for the much larger long-term deficits that the President’s extravagant tax cuts would produce. The tax cuts in the budget far exceed proposed reductions in domestic programs."

(CBS reports that "Bush's spending plan would make his first-term tax cuts permanent, at a cost of $1.6 trillion over 10 years.")

"It is important to note that "in the fine print of the budget, the Administration acknowledges that deficits will shoot up not many years after 2012. The President’s budget would make these long-term deficits even larger."

Bush is also seeking 624.6 billion for the Pentagon and an estimated $141.7 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan plus $37.6 billion for refurbishment as reported by the New York Times.

Because Republicans believe in "small government" they see it as far more decent to cut social programs for the elderly and the poor to fund a war rejected by the American people, than to take back the unnecessary tax cuts from the rich.

For anyone looking for an eye opener as to what true Republicans and Bush supporters stand for one only needs to look to the 2008 Budget plan and note the high military spending and huge tax cuts for the rich while the burden of the cost of paying for a war is placed solely on the shoulders of the poor and the elderly.

How it can even be deemed fair or acceptable in a "civilized" society to cut benefits to the poor and give tax cuts to the rich is beyond me, and I have given up on trying to explain it to myself, it can be nothing other than imperialism and greed.

These same Republicans who support tax breaks for the rich and cut funding for social programs for the poor are the same Republicans who refused to raise minimum wage without a new tax cut and are the same Republicans who orchestrated and continue to hold this country hostage in the Iraq War.

It should say something loud and clear to the average American about the values Republicans in this country hold dear, and those values do not include helping the elderly and the poor.

The Republicans model of America and a "small government" means a government that is anti-social to it's own people, a "fend for yourself" and "dog eat dog" world.

A "small government" to a Republican means the government foots the tax bill for the rich and tries to eliminate assistance for the poor.

But a "small government" to Republicans never means they will stay out of your business or adhere to the Constitution for that matter.

Tax cuts do the society absolutely no good when they embroil the society in massive debt while the poor suffer the worst consequences of all.

A society is not truly rich is not truly successful if it has people who live in desperation.

The poor have been offered a cold shoulder rather than a helping hand by all Republicans and specifically by the Bush Administration, who would rather help those who already have the means to help themselves.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Giuliani in '08?

Today Rudy Giuliani filed a "statement of candidacy" with the Federal Election Commission, signaling his intent to run for President in 2008.

Rudy Giuliani was the major of New York City when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. Because Giuliani stood on a lot of ruble and attended a lot of funerals and because Giuliani was a Republican he has become their "icon" of 9/11.

One cannot look at Rudy Giuliani without being forced to recall the tragic events of September 11, 2001, which is precisely why I would prefer to never see Rudy Giuliani again. It's not so much personal, I just don't like to linger around a grave site five years after the funeral is over.

Republicans embrace Giuliani because Giuliani evokes images of the 9/11 American hero and Republicans yearn for a return to "the good old days" immediately following 9/11 when their leadership, motives and decisions were not questioned in a frightening new world of terrorism, fear and justified revenge.

Giuliani is favorable for many Republicans because with the evocation of the post 9/11 mindset by one of it's Republican "hero's" helps to justify atrocities in Iraq and the Middle East with the "Remember 9/11" mantra.

While Giuliani may find challenges because of his abortion and gay rights stance, he may be able to nab some Democratic and Independent voters who would not vote for John McCain because his hawkish tendencies.

Because many Republicans still refuse to admit a failed agenda in the Middle East and are quickly losing support for that policy their wild card appears to be Rudy Giuliani, "Remember 9/11" because that is the reason we are fighting people in Iraq, why we want to fight people in Iran and why we don't help Palestine, etc. etc... And look, he's "moderate" too.

Why on earth would we want to look at Rudy Giuliani for four years? It's an honest question because haven't we spent the past five years hashing and rehashing 9/11?

Because tough guy Giuliani was a mayor in city that got attacked by terrorist suddenly he has credentials to be the President, during a time when the duty holds more responsibility than usual? That the man who led New York out of the dark days following 9/11 can lead us threw the dark days of Iraq?

Please say it isn't so.