Sunday, August 30, 2009

Idiot Cheney Needs to STFU

Fox News Sunday became the latest Fox News show to turn over its airtime to former VP Dick Cheney to spew forth his propaganda about his administration without any challenge from Chris Wallace (not that Wallace has the chops to challenge anyone -- his father, Mike Wallace, must be so distressed to see how his son has become a mere shill for the Right Wing Noise Machine).

What was interesting about the segment was the box Cheney put himself in. Cheney is furious that Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether CIA interrogators exceeded legal guidelines in torturing prisoners to obtain information about terrorist activities. Cheney railed that the CIA Inspector General already conducted its own investigation, finding and prosecuting one individual.

It appears that there are a couple of issues here. First, can a new administration investigate and perhaps prosecute individuals from a previous administration for illegal activities? The answer is yes. We saw that in the wake of Watergate. Second, are investigations conducted during one administration free from political pressure that might color the results? If those results are so colored, should they be trusted as "fact"?

Given that new administrations have precedent to investigate, prosecute and punish illegal activities conducted by previous administrations, then the issue is whether prior investigations have been free from political interference. Historically, there has always been a tension between the President and the Attorney General's office. Though a Cabinet official, the AG is often seen as independent from the President. Had Janet Reno been concerned about politics rather than the law, she never would have ordered Elian Gonzalez be returned to Cuba. That action may very well have cost Al Gore the state of Florida in the 2000 election. This is how the Obama administration is treating Attorney General Holder. By contrast, the Bush-Cheney administration did not see their three AGs (Ashcroft, Gonzales and Mukasey) as independent entities, but mere extensions of the chief law enforcement officer in the land -- the president. Cheney reiterated this view on Wallace's program this morning.

In essence, Cheney conceded that investigations conducted about governmental activities during his administration were controlled by the White House -- ultimately serving political ends, rather than the ends of justice. In doing so, Cheney undercut the legitimacy of the Inspector General's investigation, meaning that our country needs to have a non-biased, apolitical investigation.

By opening up his mouth to yet again complain about the Obama administration, Cheney has given much-needed support to the special prosecutor. If Cheney wants to keep himself and others close to him out of prison, he really needs to STFU.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Idiot Prejean for President

According to the St. Petersburg (FL) Times, former Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean may be throwing her tiara into the political ring -- except, of course, she doesn't have one to throw.

Times political editor Adam C. Smith reported that Prejean declared, "I definitely have a high interest in politics," during a state Republican Party conference. Prejean added, "I love Sarah Palin. I think she's amazing."

Oh, gee, didn't see that one coming.

Now, there's a ticket -- Palin and Prejean. From media victims to leaders of the free world.

Unfortunately, they would have to wait until 2024, when Prejean would be at least 35 -- the minimum age to be Vice-President. That might not be a bad thing. If Palin starts to study now, she may be minimally qualified to have enough knowledge to be chief executive.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Idiot Criticism of Obama Vacation

The Right Wing Noise machine has geared up this week to attack President Obama for going on vacation, first a weekend getaway to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, and then a week's vacation on a Republican businessman's estate on Martha's Vineyard. Several critics have attacked Obama for going to the "liberal hotbed" of Martha's Vineyard. Many others, however, have criticized for Obama even taking a vacation.

President Obama has been in office for seven months. During that time, he has treated Michelle to a date in New York City, and the two vacations listed above -- 10 days total. If we extrapolate, he will have less than 20 days of vacation time this year. Projected out over eight years, Obama will have 80 days of vacation.

His predecessor, George Bush, made 149 visits to vacation at the presidential retreat at Camp David for a total of 487 days during his two terms. In addition, he made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford, TX for a total of 490 days. Overall, George Bush took 977 days of vaction -- nearly one-third of his entire tenure!!!

In addition, during his vacation in August 2001, he received intelligence on the potential of the attacks that occurred a month later on 9/11. During his August 2005 Crawford vacation, Bush initially failed to cut his vacation short while New Orleans was flooded by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Maybe people didn't complain about the previous president's time off because the longer Bush was on vacation, the less he could screw up the country?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Idiot Fox Distorts Health Care Debate

Two days ago, NBC released a poll on the progress of the health care plan. Nearly half of respondents believe aspects about the health care plan that are just not true.

Even more interesting is the comparison between Fox News Viewers and CNN/MSNBC viewers. For example, 45% of the respondents believe the myth that the health plan would "allow the government to. make decisions about when to stop providing medical care for the elderly." Broken out according to preferred news source, 75% of Fox News believe in the myth while only 30% of CNN/MSNBC News Viewers do. "Fair and Balanced" news coverage by Fox? I'd settle for "accurate" at this critical time at the health care debate.

Would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants
55% - Overall
72% - Fox News Viewers
41% - CNN/MSNBC News Viewers

Would lead to a government takeover of the health system
54% - Overall
79% - Fox News Viewers
39% - CNN/MSNBC News Viewers

Would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions
50% - Overall
69% - Fox News Viewers
40% - CNN/MSNBC News Viewers

Would allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care for the elderly
45% - Overall
75% - Fox News Viewers
30% - CNN/MSNBC News Viewers

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Frank Pushes Back at Idiot Protester

One of the most frustrating things to watch the past month has been the absolute idiocy of my fellow citizens at the various town halls discussing health care reform. Rather than reasoned discourse, too many folks have tried to shout down their elected representatives -- esp. those in favor of health care reform.

For example, at the town hall in Dartmouth, MA, last night featuring Rep. Barney Frank, members of the LaRouche (as in political whacko Lyndon LaRouche) Political Action Committee displayed a giant poster of President Obama with a Hitler mustache.

Then, a woman with the Committee asked Frank, why he continued "to support Nazi policy."

I guess that it never dawned on the woman that Rep. Frank is Jewish. I don't know many Jewish people who have been in support of Nazi policies.

I have been waiting for someone to push back at this crap. Last night, Barney Frank did.

Frank went off on the woman: "When you ask me that question, I revert to my ethnic heritage and answer your question with a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

After some applause, Frank continued, "You stand there with a picture of the president defamed to look like Hitler. My answer is that it's a tribute to the First Amendment that such vile, contemptible nonsense can be so freely propagated."

When the woman started to protest that she wanted to continue to dialogue with Frank, he refused: "Trying to have a conversation with you is like arguing with a dining room table."

Finally, some pushback. Let's hope that other Representatives and Senators will call out those who are more interested in spreading misinformation than engaging in serious debate.