Monday, September 29, 2003

Bush's Credit Card "Statement"

This is the statement I believe George W. received on September 11, 2001. Enjoy!

Dear Mr. Bush,
Due to recent catastrophic events, the following changes have been made to your account:

You know have unlimited credit.
We have lowered your interest rate.
We have enstated "No hassle billing," just pay when you feel like it.
There are now no income requirements, so if you lose revenues, you will not lose your account.
We will extend your credit limit throughout all times of war or financial crisis.

We have set some limitations on your card, however. The following is a list of items that are no longer fundable by our company:

Senior Citizens,
School Expenses,
Roads, Bridges, Rail, etc.,
Health Care Expenses,
and any other important programs not mentioned above.

If your card is stolen, call "We-The-People" for a new card. You will be responsible only for the first $5.6 trillion charged while the card is out of your possession.
In the event of your death or unfortunate circumstance, the credit on your account will be transferred to your next of kin (or Dick Cheney, if available).
Enjoy all the benefits of this card, but remember, the American People Credit Company reserves the right to cancel your account at any time. Spend responsibly.

Your Card Information (as it appears):
George W Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Card No. 1107 2000 0911 2001
Expires 01/2005

Thanks again for choosing to be a user.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Why Are You Still Here?

Not YOU!

Can somebody tell me why we still have 10 presidential candidates for the Democratic nomination? I have to say I love all of these guys, but they're really "stopping up" the debates and the press coverage.

Carol, we love you, but do us a favor and leave! It looks like the "men's only" sign might just have to stay on the White House for another four years. Nice try, though.

Dennis, we...well, we..., please go away! Your great mind and liberal fervor would be wasted in the White House. Stay where you are or run for a Senate seat. That could be good fun!?!

Al, Al, Al, Al. Mind if I call you Al? You are a spark, a ray of light in an otherwise "dark" field of candidates (if you'll excuse the irony). Perhaps you could be a speech writer for the eventual Democratic candidate. We can't afford to lose you altogether, but I'm afraid you're taking up too much time.

Bob, I don't think there's anything wrong with a VP candidacy. Maybe you don't either, but there you are. Every time I turn on the television, there you are. As one of the most likeable politicians in the country, you have managed to acheive one of the lowest likeability ratings in the group. Whether or not you have any money, you should bow out gracefully before you make a fool of yourself and ruin it for this ticket: Dean/Graham 2004!

Just think. If these four got out now, the remaining "debates" could potentially give up to 16 or 17 minutes of speaking time per candidate. Maybe we could move beyond one minute answers. After all, liberals and left-leaning moderates (and Joe) need more time to explain themselves than G.W. does. We normally don't see the world in black-and-white like he does. We can rarely give a "yes" or "no" answer to any question, yet with the field of candidates at 10, we have very little choice. For those of you who support one of these four candidates, it may be time for a little reality check. There are two things you can't survive a political contest without in this country: Money and voters. These four have little of either. They all have contributed so much to the process and have brought many issues to the forefront that might otherwise have been ignored, but I'm afraid it's time to say "goodbye."

Don't you even think about it, Hillary!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Visitor # 2000

As of today, my site has logged 2000 visits in just a little over three months in existence. That is roughly 10 times the number of visits my previous (now defunct) site received in 2 years. Big kudos to the Dean campaign for allowing an "angry white man" a link on their blog page, and big thanks to those of you who tune in day after day to see what I might have to say. It has been a wonderful outlet for me, and I hope to continue this effort into the indefinite future. Please feel free to e-mail me with questions, comments, or topic ideas. I really enjoy reading them, and I almost always answer--just ask some of the visitors.

So again, I ask you to log on, visit often, and most importantly, get off your ass and VOTE in every election! I want my country back!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

The New York (Economic) Debate

Wow, what a show! I thought Dean was going to blow a gasket, and who could blame him. Almost every candidate on the stage was gunning for him. This should prove once and for all the formidable frontrunner that Dean has become. Now, I give you the traditional rundown of the debate.

10. Gen. Wesley Clark--Why didn't you just send a taped statement to the effect: "I'm not sure what I believe in or stand for, but I'll get back with you in a few weeks." We could have saved 6 minutes for more delicious Gephardt/Dean banter. Welcome to the "party!"

9. Dick Gephardt--For sinking to the lowest level yet. Howard Dean is not a "Gingrich" Republican, although the comparison could help him with the inaccurate "liberal" label.

8. Joe Lieberman--We just can't get enough of that Jewish wit and charm combined with a no-holds barred New England attitude...Oops, sorry I was watching a Woody Allen film just before the debate, my mistake.

7. John Kerry--For someone who WAS a frontrunner, your not acting very comfortable on stage. Perhaps you need a viagra?

6. Dennis Kucinich--I admire your moxie, but when are you going to start running for President instead of Wisconsin Governor?

5. Carol Moseley Braun--Easily the most classy person ever to run for President. You need a lot more passion and intensity if you want to get anywhere in this race.

4. Al Sharpton--I think they forgot you a couple of times, but that's nothing new. Your shifty, but your awfully funny.

3. Bob Graham--The most improved performance of the debate series. I saw passion and potential. Your setting yourself up as a terrific VP candidate should you lose the nomination.

2. Howard Dean--Aside from a few brief flashes, you controlled yourself very well in the face of attack. The way you deflected policy "flip-flops" was ingenious and unassailable. This is why we love you.

1. John Edwards--For reminding us to keep our eyes on the prize. You are positioning yourself as a potentially dangerous challenge for the other nine candidates. Thanks for not boring us with the whole "my father worked in a mill" spiel, by the way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Discussing Liberalism (Part 2)

The liberal economist...

While I don't really classify myself as a liberal when economics are involved, compared to the Bush administration I might as well be Karl Marx. Didn't we debunk "voodoo" economics (a term coined by none other than Bush the First)in the 1980's ? Why are so-called conservative Republicans recycling this tripe? Anyway, I'm not here to talk about the conservatives right now. I am here to discuss liberal economics first (more on conservatives later).

The basic principle of liberal economics is not even an economic principle. Essentially, liberals believe that we must do whatever we can to insure equal opportunity regardless of a person's "caste" in life. They also believe that the federal government should fund all major infrastructure projects (highways, mass transit, education, health care, etc.). The liberal "economist" agrees with the notion that taxes should be a top-down system; that those who make the most should sacrifice the most for the good of the nation. They also believe that taxes should be based on overall expenditure requirements and that tax burden should be a secondary concern.

I know that this may be gibberish to some, but it is important to understand the basic principles of liberal economics in order to decide with which aspects you agree or disagree. One's ignorance of such ideas only leads to confusion when voting for a candidate for public office.

I consider myself a "radical moderate" when it comes to economics. I support the liberal notion of centralized federal funding of important infrastructure. I also support the idea of a top-down approach to taxes. But I am very concerned about the overall tax burden on the American people in all classes and its effect on the economy in general. When asked issue by issue, most Americans probably fall in this category, but consider themselves conservative simply because they want a lowered tax burden. I have no such delusion.

First of all, "conservatives" of the 21st century are not the same as the fiscal conservatives of the mid-20th century. Their commitment to decentralizing infrastructure and eliminating entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) is much the same, but Ronald Reagan's revolutionary tax policies took that commitment one step further. Reagan adopted the idea of job growth/economic prosperity through tax cuts during his tenure as California governor. The basic idea is that all tax cuts are good for the economy regardless of their immediate effects on the federal (or state) budgets. By passing some of the largest tax cuts in American history (although the tax burden was arguably high) the new conservatives hoped to bring about unprecedented prosperity, insuring their continuing control of the federal government. It did not work.

As most "moderate economists" realize, an economy is not the "bitch" of the fiscal policy of its respective government. Whether liberal or conservative or down-right libertarian, government fiscal policy is a way of dealing with budget realities, not economic cycles. Now, does that mean that no effect whatsoever can be felt from "bad" fiscal policy? NO. All it means is that fiscal policy is a very tiny portion of a largely uncontrollable machine that governs the direction of the economy. Economies depend more on consumer "mood," global weather patterns, and the "price of tea in China" (in case you ever wanted to have a response to that inquiry) than on how high taxes are and how much the government spends on infrastructure.

As the political tone of the country continues to "float" to the right of center, liberals are destined to sound more and more like moderates while conservatives are bound to become slaves to the Reagan-omics of the far right. As such I find myself in a position to welcome real economic liberals to the middle. Together we can fight for universal health care, education funding, solvent Social Security funds, AND a lower tax burden. There is a large pool of money available to give back to the American people, and it's called the national debt. If we can use sound fiscal policy to balance the federal budget and pay down the debt, the American people are bound to be the benefactors of politically expedient tax relief.

What Bush and Company have done is dig deeper into the future repositories of American wealth, requiring even greater sacrifices for the next generation. Taxes will be higher, programs will have to be cut, and the economy (as independent as it is) will suffer. Now is the time to stop the borrowing of our children's and grandchildren's future to pay for a little comfort now. Vote for people who will guarantee the fiscal responsibility which we used to count on conservatives to handle.

to be continued...

Monday, September 22, 2003

Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

Just a quick one...

I want to know why conservatives are supporting this idea. Isn't it a major "tenet" of conservatism that money belongs in the pockets of citizens and not in government programs? It seems to me that conservative Republicans have gone against their basic beliefs on this issue in order to please a powerful special interest group: Evangelical Christians.

This is the same administration (and Congress) that wouldn't fund their own "No Child Left Behind" Act. The same folks who cut special education programs because we didn't have the revenue. It appears as though Republicans want to be able to eliminate useful programs on the basis of prinicple, with which I cannot argue, but they also want to be able to insure their survival by "over-funding" wasteful or discretionary programs that appeal to conservative constituencies (defense, faith-based orgs., etc.). But the most asinine thing is they refuse to take tax-payer money to do it, resulting in bigger deficits, potentially higher interest rates, and an uncertain fiscal future.

I just wish they would be honest with the American people. Sure, I know it would cost them elections, but at least they wouldn't make such big "asses" of themselves. That's our job!

Discuss at

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Discussing Liberalism (Part 1)

It seems to me that there may be some misunderstanding of what it means to be a "liberal." Not that any full understanding can be made, but I have seen some gross misrepresentations of "liberals" of late and would like to try and clear the air. The following is the first in a series of "essays" committed to the task of defining, if not grasping modern liberalism.

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary gives some keywords for understanding liberalism, and I think they are quite appropriate. Liberals are openhanded, licentious, loose, and broadminded. With the arguable exception of "licentious," I believe that M-W is very kind to the word.

"Liberals" are openhanded. By the very nature of the philosophy (which we will discuss in-depth later), "liberals" are generous, benevolent, and egalitarian. We believe that all human beings have the potential for goodness if given the proper environment and tools. As a political philosophy, modern liberalism focuses on righting inequality and correcting social status for the disenfranchised. "Liberals" created Medicare, Social Security, and the graduated income tax (laying the national tax burden mostly on the wealthy). Charity is a notable characteristic of "liberals."

"Liberals" are licentious. Essentially, "liberals" are bereft of a strict moral code, particularly with respect to sexual morality. This is mostly accurate. Modern liberalism takes a "hands off" approach to most issues of religious or social morality. We believe, for the most part, that one's personal behavior (assuming that it doesn't interfere with the individual rights of another) is one's own business. We also believe in a fair system of dealing with "moral" offenders. "Liberals" are more likely to support treatment of drug abusers rather than jail time. We are also more likely to provide inexpensive treatment of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases which may or may not be the result of promiscuous sexual behavior. As a general rule, we do not "dismiss" people based on their personal morality or lack thereof.

"Liberals" are loose. "Loose" is a hard word to define, but I believe that this again refers to the moral "flippancy" that is characteristic of modern liberalism. It could also refer to the way we approach most issues, which brings us to the final notion:

"Liberals" are broad-minded. This is probably the best adjective I can think of to describe the philosophical tendencies of "liberals." Most true liberals approach the discussion of all ideas with an open mind and a rational method. Rather than base their decisions solely on ideology, "students" of modern liberalism seek empirical evidence to back-up their assertions--I have often changed my mind on a variety of issues based on the re-working of scientific data and new experiences. Because liberalism does not require specific beliefs, liberals have a much broader range of opinions than non-liberals (conservatives, facists, reactionaries, etc.) within their "ranks." This makes it very difficult to "pigeon-hole" liberal philosophy, but it is still possible to discuss the general basis for liberal ideas.

to be continued...

Email discussion ideas for this or any other socio-political topic, or you can discuss any topics on this website here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

A Winning Combination

For those who think beating George Bush is impossible, I give you...Election 2004!

Democratic candidate* wins tight race with powerful incumbent. Drawing on the deep base of the Democratic party, the candidate won the electoral vote 271-267. Margin of popular vote victory was also close with less than one million votes separating the two candidates. Third party candidates received less than 1% of the overall vote, making it clear that anti-incumbent forces made a rare "pact" to win this election. Florida was not a concern this year as the Democratic candidate* did well in such states as Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan. In a somewhat expected turn, the Republican incumbent received victories in Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Traditional Democratic states such as New York, California, and Massachusetts were won by slim, yet comfortable margins. No state, however, was close enough to have a "2000-type" recount effort or court challenge. For the second time in 12 years, a popular Republican incumbent has been defeated by a populist Democratic challenger*. In other election news, Democratic challengers for Congress were also elected giving Democrats a two vote majority in the Senate and a much more managable minority status in the House. Voter turnout was greater than 70%.

How would you like to wake up the day after the general election in 2004 and read that? It CAN happen. We need Democrats (of all philosophies) to get off their collective ass to make this work. America cannot afford four more years of war, unemployment, and fiscal deficit. Our children cannot afford to pay for mistakes that we allowed to be made because we were too lazy or too apathetic to VOTE.

If you are 18 years old or older--even if you are Republican--please, register to vote. Vote often and intellegently. Never in the history of this country (with the possible exception of 1932) has it been more important to let our voice be heard. If you are a liberal or left-leaning moderate and need a reason to vote, read the rest of this blog or link to one of the blogs on the Dean blog. Feel free to contact me if you need help.

*A name has been left out for a reason. I may be a Howard Dean supporter, but I will vote with a clear conscience for any of the Democratic nominees. Come November, we all better "fall in line" because you can guarantee the Republicans will--not you "Republicans for Dean," of course.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Why I Love America--the Stupid

I hope this comes off a little mean. We deserve it!

It's good to know that at least 30 percent of this country has a brain! When I heard the news that roughly 70 percent of adults in this country believe in a Iraq-9/11 connection, I was aghast! Not even the Bush administration, with all of their past deceptions, could have come up with a humdinger like this. SEVENTY percent--that's more than 2-to-1--I, I, I need a shower!

Then it occured to me, this is how George Bush became our President in the first place. A vast majority of people in this country are afflicted with acute stupidity (or they are, at the very least, ignorant). Take Alabama for example (as I often do): A Reagan-Republican, a tax cutting, government-phobic conservative, proposes a tax hike on the wealthiest Alabamians while giving tax RELIEF to the lower class. (Something has to be wrong when a guy like that proposes a class-based tax hike). Again, by an eerily similar 2-to-1 margin, the measure is defeated. The same group defeated a state lottery which, with the most conservative estimates, would have produced around $50 million in revenues for the state government. StUpId!!

So, now, Alabamians with less lucrative careers, will be forced to pay higher taxes (as a percentage of income) than their more lucrative counterparts. And as those lower income residents cannot afford the luxury of private boarding schools, and cannot afford to live in a "nicer" neighborhood; their children will be forced to attend public schools with a dwindling tax base for operations. Class size will increase, school programs and activities will be axed, and teachers will lose their jobs. And just like here in Kentucky, prisoners will most likely be released from jail because they cannot afford to keep them. DUM-B!

Then I found the most asinine display of ignorance in a very unexpected group. A majority of Democrats now believe that George W. Bush will most likely be re-"elected" in 2004. By a frighteningly familiar margin (2-to-1), Democrats believe that, regardless of who gets the party's nomination, the incumbent will survive to reign another four years. What the @#%~! Please tell me that the polls have been rigged! Please tell me that Democrats (the smart people in this country) misunderstood the question. Don't they realize that George Bush's reelect numbers are dismal? Don't they realize the powerful "weapons" we have to use against George Bush? Apparently not.

We "intellectuals" have to do a better job explaining to the American people the atrocities committed by this administration. We have to do a much better job at convincing the citizens of this country that our ideas are better than conservative Republican ideas. If we lose next year, it will be because of stupidity. People who don't vote: Stupid! People who never pay attention to the world around them: Dumb! People (especially Canadians) who can't name the capital of Canada: All too common and just plain pathetic.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Thank GOD for the Religious Right

I just watched entirely too much of a Larry King interview with James Dobson. I hope this doesn't come off as "ranting." :')

I know I've "gone off" on Alabama Justice Roy Moore, but there is a much larger problem at hand: the "religious right." Once upon a time, they were called the "Moral Majority," although one could argue that they were never "moral" or a "majority." Having said that, the evangelical Christian "lobby" in this country is still a powerful and influential group. They vote consistently Republican (and boy, do they vote), and they are almost exclusively white and sub-"urban". Many of them are "comfortable" financially, although it is not necessarily so.

The religious right ferociously attacks liberals and progressive organizations (ACLU, GLAAD, etc.). This is just a sampling of their common complaints:

1. God has been removed from our country.
2. Homosexuals are dedicated to destroying the American family to promote their own "agenda."
3. The public school system is devoid of religious expression because liberals won't let prayer and Bible reading exist in them.
4. Abortionists are destroying the basic moral structure of our society and bringing the wrath of GOD upon us.

As I am sure you are all aware, Christianity and Christian worship have been banned within the borders of the United States. Gays and lesbians have been given the right to marry and adopt children in 49 of 50 states--Hawaii was the only exception (all marriages in Hawaii were made null and void EXCEPT gay marriage). Atheist organizations have been given tax exempt status, and there is now a Department of Atheism and Agnosticism in the Cabinet. Churches are being downsized every day with public schools taking over the education of religious institutions. All references to God have been taken off the airwaves by the FCC, while the teachings of Buddha are seen nearly every half hour on PBS. Folks, this suppression of Christian moral teaching must stop. I mean, domestic violence is up 300%, the divorce rate is more than 85%, and more than 20 church buildings are destroyed every hour to make room for "gentleman's clubs" and strip malls. If we do not act now, the entire faith system of our country will falter.

This, of course, is total bullshit. Christianity is as strong today (with a few modifications) as it was in the 1950's (the so-called "hay day" of evangelism). New, larger churches are being built in every city and town while the public schools nearby have to hold classes in trailers. Organizations purely religious in nature have tax-exempt status. No laws have been made to expressly ban religious behavior in the school building (spontaneous prayer and Bible reading--initiated by students--are not illegal). What is the big issue with these people? They get mad because a federal judge ordered the removal of a two-ton monument of the "ten commandments." They cry because gay men can have anal sex without fear of prosecution. They blame abortion for 9/11.

The religious right needs to get a clue. Much like conservatism, religious "fervor" is also a disease. Religious people are not bad people. They are mostly average people with the same sorts of problems that you and I have. I appreciate and celebrate the right of ALL people to worship as freely as they please, but they must also realize that an ever-growing majority in this country do not believe as they do, and those others have rights as well. Practice your religion faithfully, but please, don't force it on others. Remember a basic American principle: Your rights END were my rights BEGIN.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The New Mexico Debate

Welcome to the latest in a long line of Democratic debates aimed at winning the presidential nomination of their party. For most Democrats, this was the first time they had seen many of these candidates. For some, such as myself, it was just another Thursday night with the Dean campaign. If it wasn't obvious, two candidates were acting like frontrunners in this campaign. Howard Dean was one; John Kerry was the other. The only problem: Only Howard Dean is a frontrunner.

Again, Howard Dean did an excellent job going after President Bush and promoting his own agenda. John Kerry has apparently not figured out the value of "platitudes." He is still trying to run his campaign like a chemistry class. Dean has figured out that simple statements, catchy slogans, and the occasional attack on the incumbent are the proper ingredients for winning the "hearts" of Democrats.

I also saw a new Dick Gephardt, tonight. I'm afraid he might be coming off a little desperate, however. He wasn't reprimanded enough for continually going over the time alotted, and looked like a regular ass by answering questions that were never posed to him. To his credit, Mr. Gephardt linked himself to the Clinton administration, but nullified much of his argument by knocking Clinton's passage of NAFTA. Don't get me wrong, in a contest that will be summarized primarily with "soundbites," Gephardt did himself a great service by putting memorable lines into his answers.

Joe Lieberman's attack on Howard Dean was predictable, if not a little anti-climactic. Dean was able to twist himself out with a slight flop, but Joe Lieberman, because he was the only establishment candidate to do so, looked a bit foolish in attacking Dean. Had Howard-bashing been the agenda for the night, it might have been a little more effective. Instead, the attack came off looking like a desperate "cry" for attention. Sorry Joe, people are going to start calling you "Sore Loserman" again if you're not careful.

Al Sharpton gets a 10 again for not showing up in the first place. The field is too large as it is. With the possibility of a tenth candidate (Gen. Clark) joining the race, many Americans may simply lose interest in the whole process until extremely late in the game. It could make this a contest decided in March rather than February. Very exciting! Blah.

So, my rankings are as follows...

8. John Edwards--Who IS John Edwards?
7. Bob Graham--Future Dean supporter?
6. Dennis Kucinich--Angry white man; Socialism never looked so scrawny!
5. John Kerry--His big moment to shine (didn't happen). Need more jokes, less "wonking."
4. Carol Moseley-Braun--Smart woman. I just wish she were from Mississippi.
3. Joe Lieberman--New bad-ass of the party? The RNC forum is THAT way-->
2. Dick Gephardt--Nice to see some fire, Dick. Ouch! No comment.
1. Howard Dean--So nice to be in the lead. Just keep ridding the storm!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


I think that says it all! GO DEAN-biscuit!

picture courtesy of

Foreign Policy Based On Petulance

Howard Dean has recently begun attacking the Bush administrations foreign policy with a bit of "english major" humor. To use Al Franken's terminology, it is essentially "kidding on the square" or humor with a great deal of truth behind it. Whether Dean thinks he is kidding or not is unimportant. What is important is the truth behind the statement: "...foreign policy based on petulance."

Just to make sure I had a case, I looked up the meaning of petulance. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines petulance as

the quality or state of being petulant.

1 : insolent or rude in speech or behavior
2 : characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor

Although the precise word never occured to me, the gist of the notion had. I remember when we were trying to "court" countries from within the United Nations to support our resolution in Iraq. The Bush administration said that the UN would become "irrelevant" if they chose not to follow the course we had chosen. Then Donald Rumsfeld called France, Germany, and Russia "old Europe" as a jab at their willingness to "veto" the will of the United States (only France and Russia have veto power in the UN). After the whole freedom/french word substitution game and the pouring of French wine down sewer drains, the State Department spokesman has recycled this garbage, calling the western Europeans "chocolate makers". Yes, "petulance" seems to fit just fine.

If it wasn't already clear to the American people, Howard Dean has found one more way to bring a case against the policies and statements of this miserable administration. Using "fifty cent" words makes the point even more powerful if not a little bit humorous.