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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Depends What 'Is' Isn't

by CLINTON FEIN

Click to Send PostcardYou would think that the president's plummeting poll numbers would be enough to curtail his arrogant disregard for Congress, the courts, the Constitution, and American people.

You would think that Democrats, who in the wake of September 11 obediently passed the Patriot Act without actually having read it; who gave the president unprecedented power to wage a war based on what they now claim was faulty intelligence; and who, along with fellow Republicans, were aghast when it was revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on American citizens without a warrant in violation of FISA, (which was passed to ensure just such oversight), would have learned from their mistakes.

In their attempts to "not appear weak" they recently made permanent provisions of the Patriot Act which had expired under sunset provisions that had originally been put into place to ensure that Congress could exercise appropriate oversight. Their lofty claims -- that their support of this legislation would enable them to work with other members of Congress from across the aisle in a bipartisan fashion -- rang hollow when the president signed the Patriot Act along with a signing statement clarifying that the intentions of Congress, as well as the clearly expressed provisions included in the legislation, had no bearing whatsoever on the president or his administration and Justice Department. In essence, the president told Congress that he has the power to interpret and execute the law as he sees fit. And their role, frankly, serves little, if any, purpose.

If you consider the fact that the elected representatives, who we vote to serve us, are supposed to do exactly that -- namely, represent us -- then you have to consider that who you vote for must represent the very worst in you. To the extent that you are a coward, your representatives have you covered. To the extent that you allow greed and stupidity to overshadow common sense and the wisdom gained from learned experiences, your representatives have you covered. To the extent that you allow a propensity to follow rather than lead, resulting in a record of mediocrity, your representatives have you covered. To the extent that you would rather play it safe to preserve your self-interest than take a risk to benefit the people you took an oath to serve, your representatives have you covered.

A growing chorus of retired generals has publicly denounced the crusty, combative Defense Secretary as a stubborn civilian who ignored the advice of seasoned military brass from the very beginning of the Iraq invasion
As we enter into the fourth year of the war in Iraq, the brief moment when the Administration admitted mistakes had been made, has once again been replaced by a delusional, rose-colored assessment that has absolutely no basis in reality. Once again, we are being exposed to doublespeak that is so out of touch it would be funny; if not so many people were dying. The situation in Iraq is one of sectarian violence among different sects, not a civil war. Invasions are really occupational invitations. Don't forget, as Mr. Rumsfeld once pointed out, freedom is messy. So is loyalty, it seems. A growing chorus of retired generals has publicly denounced the crusty, combative Defense Secretary as a stubborn civilian who ignored the advice of seasoned military brass from the very beginning of the Iraq invasion resulting in the death and destruction that characterizes the current occupation.

But never mind Iraq. Or the fact that America overwhelmingly has begun to perceive the Iraq war as a no-win proposition. (Yes, it took us three years, but we’re not the sharpest tools in the shed.) We are now focusing on Iran. As its arrogant asshole, representing far less Iranians than he believes, swaggers about threatening to wage war preemptively if necessary, the character traits of Presidents George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are uncomfortably similar.

Back in March 2003, I created an image of the President under the title, “Next Year in Tehran.” Although it was before the Mission Accomplished shtick, I foolishly assumed America would have a battle ready military to defend against genuine nuclear threats by the following year. I was a few years premature. But not entirely off base. According to Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, we’ve pretty much already begun, but why believe him? The last story he broke was about some torture scandal at Abu Ghraib. It’s far easier to listen to the lying sack of shit in the White House. He says we’re pursuing diplomatic channels, and dismissed plans to attack Iran as “wild speculation.” That’s not exactly a denial.

He also said he was furious about the fact that someone in his Administration leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to discredit her husband Joseph Wilson who had warned that the Administration's WMD rationale for going to war -- buttressed by Saddam Hussein’s pursuit of yellowcake from Niger in order to enrich uranium -- was dubious at best. Until last week, when papers filed by Patrick Fitzgerald , the Special prosecutor in the Scooter Libby investigation, revealed that the President himself had authorized selective leaks to the press to refute Wilson’s claims. Only, the leak was re-termed declassification. And a formal declassification only took place ten days after the authorization. According to Fitzgerald's April 5, 2006 filing, Libby has also testified that in July 2003, that then-Counsel to the Vice President, David Addington "opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amount to a declassification of the document."

The questions Republicans should be asking, (Democrats lacking the balls and willpower), is how ridiculous in a time of war is it to have a man suspected of treason offer a rationale for illegal and unconstitutional conduct under the guise of national security?
Nonetheless, Karl rove, the pseudo-religious architect of Bush’s destructive agenda – the living embodiment of why abortion should remain a viable option (if not a requirement in certain circumstances) – told nervous Republicans at a fundraiser in Pensacola Florida, facing an election this year, that the illegal wiretapping of American citizens shouldn’t worry them. “How ridiculous in a time of war is it to have concern about Osama bin Laden's civil liberties over the security interests of the United States of America?” he asked sardonically. As if respecting the civil liberties of Americans has anything to do with Osama Bin Laden. This, no less, from the man outing CIA operatives for political expediency, endangering the lives of innocent people working to genuinely protect America.

The questions Republicans should be asking, (Democrats lacking the balls and willpower), is how ridiculous in a time of war is it to have a man suspected of treason offer a rationale for illegal and unconstitutional conduct under the guise of national security? Who needs drugs when reality is this altered?

After the Fitzgerald court filings revealed the Bush Cheney role in the leak of classified information, Alex Witt, the pencil-thin lipped, blonde weekend anchor on MSNBC, who communicates like she was plucked from a trailer park and plastered with more makeup than Tammy Faye and JonBenet Ramsey combined, sat giggling with Pat Buchanan over how Valerie Plame was not exactly a James Bond girl. Trivializing her role as a CIA operative and joking about matters of grave national security. Yep, endangering the lives of not just Plame but all who associated with her is hilarious fare for a Saturday morning. I wondered when Witt would begin giggling at the girl allegedly raped at the Duke University lacrosse party by calling her a ghetto Paris Hilton wannabe.

As far as endangered species go, isn’t there a greater need to protect the life of bears than trailer trash?
But back here in the land of the free, just when you thought things couldn’t get any kitschier, a sculptor, Daniel Edwards, unveiled a pro-life tribute to Britney Spears. Without a trace of irony, the life-sized "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," shows Britney Spears, her legs open wide and ass in the air, about to give birth to her son on a bear skin rug. Maybe it’s just me, but as far as endangered species go, isn’t there a greater need to protect the life of bears than trailer trash?

Speaking of trash, back to MSNBC. This high caliber cable news channel which carries the slurring, Vicodin-riddled Don Imus in the morning reached another low over Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney’s altercation with a policeman at the Capitol, where she allegedly slapped an officer who didn’t recognize her, claiming he touched her inappropriately.

Imus giggled like a Brokeback cowgirl, with his effete sidekick, Charles McCord, as his unconvincingly heterosexual, suspiciously homophobic producer, Bernie McGuirk, launched a racist diatribe suggesting Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney's “never had a white man jizz on her face.” Along with a requisite attack on pussies and fags. Has Deirdre Imus, Don Imus' wife, ever had black man's jizz on hers? How about McGuirk's wife Carol?

I’m not the censorship type, but occasion and time do have relevance. Do the brass that own and run these media outlets ever watch the shit they live off?
I’m not the censorship type, but occasion and time do have relevance. Do the brass that own and run these media outlets ever watch the shit they live off? Ever been slapped in the face by a black dick? How about, Andrea Immelt, the wife of Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive and chairman of General Electric which owns half of MSNBC? Or their daughter Sarah? Black man’s spooge in the face? How about Caryn Zucker? Or Melinda Gates? Young kids are up at this time, having breakfast with their parents. How would Suzzane Wright the wife of Bob Wright, chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal, tell a young girl what “white man’s jizz in the face” means? This incident occurred shortly before Wright and his daughter spoke to Imus about children with autism. Presumably with jizz-free faces.

No one really expects anything more than this caliber from Don Imus and his freak show. Shortly following this misogynist, racist attack on McKinney, Congressman Harold Ford, one of those “married-to-his-work” type bachelors called in. Uncle Harold, who co-chairs the Community Solutions and Initiatives Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that supposedly seeks to help faith and community based groups solve social challenges perhaps might be best positioned to explain to young children what white man’s jizz in the face is.

Racism, misogyny and homophobia are as American as apple pie, but when they are packaged under an umbrella of legitimacy by MSNBC and NBC News there has to be accountability at some level. Especially when it comes to glaring hypocrisy. Stunningly, NBC (along with the other networks) rejected a new television ad by the United Church of Christ that emphasizes the church's diversity. The 30-second "Ejector" ad featuring a black, unmarried mother, a gay couple, a Middle Eastern man, an elderly man in a walker -- who are literally ejected from their church pews -- states: " No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here." NBC declared the spot “too controversial.”

This is what your kids are watching in the morning. These are the people who represent you in Washington. Just don’t be surprised when your sons rape strippers when they get to college. Or rape your daughters
"Unfortunately, NBC standards & practices has rejected this spot and it is not approved to air on USA Network," according to a USA network e-mail dated March 27, 2006. Yet the Senator John McCain, Joe Lieberman-type sycophants flock to Imus like flies to shit. This is what your kids are watching in the morning. These are the people who represent you in Washington. Just don’t be surprised when your sons rape strippers when they get to college. Or rape your daughters.

Following massive rallies in the Unites States by immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- the true face of America is showing itself, and it’s not always pretty. According to a report in the New York Times, Maria Rodriguez, from Tyler, Texas was fired from her $6.75 an hour job after missing work to attend a rally. The air-conditioning company that fired her, Benchmark Manufacturing, Inc., released a statement: "This issue is not about going to the rally, it is about following the company policies that govern every employee." How about the federal policy that governs corporations hiring illegal immigrants for cheap labor?

Like the hypocrisy of our government and media, this reflects the cultural superiority that we are exporting preemptively by force and attempting to protect from external influence by racing toward implementing an anti-family, xenophobic, geocentric immigration policy that is as humane and family values-oriented as performing an abortion with a rusting butcher knife.

...an anti-family, xenophobic, geocentric immigration policy that is as humane and family values-oriented as performing an abortion with a rusting butcher knife
Once upon a time, we impeached a President because he lied about a private affair with a consenting adult. This President has sent men and women to die under false pretenses, leaked classified information for political purposes, and authorized illegal eavesdropping on Americans in flagrant violation of the constitution. That not a single senator, save Senator Russ Feingold, has the moral certitude or political courage of their convictions to so much as formally reprimand him, speaks volumes about American leadership. In his famous parsing of all parsing, President Clinton famously declared before a grand jury: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.”

The liars, leakers, cheats and hypocrites that reflect the media, congress, and this Administration has reached a point where nothing is meant by what is said, and no one means anything they say.

It depends what ‘is’ isn’t.

Clinton Fein can be emailed at


 
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