Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 1st, 2007

But Will It Play in Peoria?

Posted by MEC on February 1, 2007

For too many years, Bush has made political capital out of his faux-folksy act, but it seems that “the Heartland” finally has his number.

On Tuesday, President Bush popped in for a surprise visit to the Sterling Family Restaurant, a homey diner in Peoria, Ill. It’s a scene that has been played out many times before by this White House and others: a president mingling among regular Americans, who, no matter what they might think of his policies, are usually humbled and shocked to see the leader of the free world standing 10 feet in front of them.

But on Tuesday, the surprise was on Bush. In town to deliver remarks on the economy, the president walked into the diner, where he was greeted with what can only be described as a sedate reception. No one rushed to shake his hand. There were no audible gasps or yelps of excitement that usually accompany visits like this. Last summer, a woman nearly fainted when Bush made an unscheduled visit for some donut holes at the legendary Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago. In Peoria this week, many patrons found their pancakes more interesting. Except for the click of news cameras and the clang of a dish from the kitchen, the quiet was deafening.

…As Bush signed a few autographs and shook hands, a man sitting at the counter lit a cigarette and asked for more coffee. Another woman, eyeing Bush and his entourage, sighed heavily and went back to her paper.

I almost feel sorry for the White House aide who was responsible for setting up the usual Potemkin Village and mistakenly let Bush be exposed to real people instead.

Posted in Bush | 5 Comments »

To a Possibly Recognizable Melody

Posted by MEC on February 1, 2007

From Macdaffy of Salon‘s Table Talk, inspired by The Master.

Who made me the pundit I am today,
The Eminent Scribe that others all quote?
Who’s the confessor that made me that way,
Who ducked attribution whenever I wrote?

One man deserves the credit,
One man deserves the blame,
and Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby Junior is his name. Oy!
Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby…

I am never forget the day I first meet the great Scooter Libby!
In two words he told me secret of success in Washington:

Wilson Lies! Wilson lies!
Reading the New York Times will strain your eyes,
This fellow wasn’t sent by Cheney’s guys
To cause our war’s demise
So Wilson lies! Wilson lies! Wilson lies! …
And be sure always to call him, please… “A Jerk”.

And ever since I meet this man my life is not the same,
And Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby Junior is his name. Oy!
Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby…

I am never forget the day I am given first original leak to pass. It was on Analytic and Bureaucratic Topology of Valerie Wilson’s Role Within The CIA Hierarchy In Sending
Her Loser Husband Joseph Wilson To Africa!
Bolzhe moi!
This I know from nothing!
But I think of great Scooter Libby and I get idea – haha!

I have a friend at Time,
Who might believe our slime,
And Judy Miller takes a juicy story every time
There’s Pincus at the Post
Bob Woodward is a ghost
If Novak sees that Valerie is C-I-A,
She’s toast!
And when his work is done –
Haha! – begins the fun.
From Novak to Bob
To Pincus a lob
By way of a leak,
At the end of the week,
To Cooper at Time
To Judy’s pique
The slime! The grime!
The sleaze! The crime!
To me the news will run,
Yes, to me the news will run!
And then I write by morning, night,
And afternoon and pretty soon
My name in Wilson’s house is cursed,
When they find out I leaked it first!

And who made me a big success
And brought me wealth and fame?
Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby Junior is his name. Oy!
Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby…

I am never forget the day my first article is published.
Every chapter I stole from somewhere else.
Index I copy from old Judith Miller article sourced by “Curveball!”
This article! This article was sensational!
Fitzgerald! Ah! Fitzgerald! Fitzgerald said: “Zhil byl korol’ kogda-to,
Pri njom blokha zhila” (“It stinks”)
But Ted Wells! Ted Wells said:
“Ya idu kuda sam tzar’ peshkom hodil” (“It stinks”)
The American People bought the trial rights for six million dollars,
Changing title to ‘The Eternal Triangle’,
With Richard Cheney playing part of hypotenuse.

And who deserves the credit?
And who deserves the blame?
Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby Junior is his name.
Oy!

(The original)

Posted in Fitzgerald, Libby trial, parody, Table Talk, Tom Lehrer | 2 Comments »

They Lie About Everything: Troop Redeployment Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2007

You know how Bush and his enablers keep saying that they plan to send “only” 21,500 additional troops into Iraq for their “surge” (aka escalation)?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the real number will be at least 35,000 and possibly as high as 48,000.

Which is why it’s not at all a surprise to see this diary by a serviceman in Iraq over at DailyKos:

I don’t know how I will tell my wife

by soonergrunt
[Subscribe]
Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 10:26:38 AM PST From the diaries, with minor edits. This is why we have to end this war. mcjoan

I know my wife hasn’t seen the following headline yet, or there’d be one hell of an angry, angst-ridden email in my inbox: Oklahoma National Guard to Deploy to Iraq in 2008

It seems that my brigade has been given a warning order to prepare to deploy to Iraq in 2008, about six months after I get home.

I don’t know if it’s the full brigade, or just the parts that haven’t deployed recently, but with the new change in army policy, I could conceivably go home this summer and turn around next January and go to Iraq.

Lovely. Just fucking lovely.

[…]

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I disrespect my Adjutant General. I’ve met him personally, and he’s a good man. He takes care of business, so I’ve no doubt that he’ll take care of us as best he can.

Having said that, if I am going to Iraq, and I haven’t heard for sure yet–no one has handed me orders, or looked me in the eye and said “you, ‘soonergrunt’ are going,” I’d rather just stay on active duty rather than have my employer try to put me to work for six months and then find ANOTHER replacement for me.

I will not volunteer for this mission, but if ordered to go, I will go. I know that there are those out there who would have me go AWOL or refuse to deploy.

I cannot do that. I owe too much to these young men whom I promised I would lead and protect. I do not believe that all war is wrong, so I cannot honestly petition to be a conscientious objector. I also do not believe that just because I hate the president I have to right to refuse to live up to my oath. I’m not a conservative, after all. I have a family to feed, and soldiers to take care of. I can do neither from prison.

I just hope that neither I nor one of my men are the last to die for a mistake.

Lovely. Just fucking lovely.

I wish I could say that I was surprised at all this.

UPDATE:  And meanwhile, we have General Casey saying this in front of the Senate:

The top U.S. commander in Iraq told a Senate panel Thursday that he believed it would take fewer than half as many extra troops to improve security in Baghdad as President George W. Bush chose to commit.Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be Army chief of staff, Gen. George Casey said he had asked for two additional Army brigades, based on recommendations of his subordinate commanders. Bush announced January 10 that he would send five extra brigades as part of a buildup that would total 21,500 soldiers and Marines.

Asked by Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, why he had not requested the full five extra brigades that Bush is sending, Casey said, “I did not want to bring one more American soldier into Iraq than was necessary to accomplish the mission.”

With many in Congress opposing or skeptical of Bush’s troop buildup, Casey did not say he opposed the president’s decision. He said the full complement of five brigades would give U.S. commanders in Iraq additional, useful flexibility.

“In my mind, the other three brigades should be called forward after an assessment has been made on the ground” about whether they are needed to ensure success in Baghdad, Casey said later.

Even so, Casey’s comments seemed put distance between his views and those of Bush and some lawmakers like Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who have questioned whether Bush’s troop increase will be enough.

Hoo boy.

Posted in Bush, Iraq war, madness of King George | Comments Off on They Lie About Everything: Troop Redeployment Edition

Wonder Why This Didn’t Make The Evening News?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2007

The evening TV and radio news trumpeted Bush’s being cheered on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday afternoon. No mention, of course, of whether the stockbrokers cheering Bush were vetted by Bush’s public-relations zampolit before being allowed into the regal presence, as has been the usual practice for Bush whenever he must interact with the general public.

Why is it the usual practice? Because this is what happens when Bush makes unannounced visits to places that — unlike the Republican-heavy and millionaire-heavy NYSE — look like normal America:

On Tuesday, President Bush popped in for a surprise visit to the Sterling Family Restaurant, a homey diner in Peoria, Ill. It’s a scene that has been played out many times before by this White House and others: a president mingling among regular Americans, who, no matter what they might think of his policies, are usually humbled and shocked to see the leader of the free world standing 10 feet in front of them.

But on Tuesday, the surprise was on Bush. In town to deliver remarks on the economy, the president walked into the diner, where he was greeted with what can only be described as a sedate reception. No one rushed to shake his hand. There were no audible gasps or yelps of excitement that usually accompany visits like this. Last summer, a woman nearly fainted when Bush made an unscheduled visit for some donut holes at the legendary Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago. In Peoria this week, many patrons found their pancakes more interesting. Except for the click of news cameras and the clang of a dish from the kitchen, the quiet was deafening.

“Sorry to interrupt you,” Bush said to a group of women, who were sitting in a booth with their young kids. “How’s the service?” As Bush signed a few autographs and shook hands, a man sitting at the counter lit a cigarette and asked for more coffee. Another woman, eyeing Bush and his entourage, sighed heavily and went back to her paper. She was reading the obituaries. “Sorry to interrupt your breakfast,” a White House aide told her. “No problem,” she huffed, in a not-so-friendly way. “Life goes on, I guess.”

Hat tip to Dania Audax for the story.

Posted in Bush, GOP/Media Complex, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wonder Why This Didn’t Make The Evening News?

The Invisible Hand Gives San Diego’s Schoolkids The Finger

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2007

Ho hum. Another day, another for-profit privately-run charter school implodes due to dodgy finances:

As the largest charter school serving Southwest Riverside and North San Diego counties continues its split into two autonomous entities, the board overseeing half its operations fired the school’s longtime executive director after a five-hour meeting Tuesday night.

Citing several contentions, including misappropriation of money and conflicts of interest, the board overseeing the Vista-based coastal operation of Eagles Peak Charter School terminated the employment of Kathleen Hermsmeyer, who has been on administrative leave from the coastal division since November.

Hermsmeyer remains director of Eagles Peak Charter School Inland Empire. She did not return phone calls Wednesday.

The decision to fire her came as coastal board members said they are grappling with a projected deficit of $2.4 million for this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The board members said they largely blamed Hermsmeyer for much of the debt, contending the school has been mismanaged.

Just as there are jobs which should never be given to the people who most want them, there are portions of our societial machinery which should never be entrusted to those whose primary motive is personal profit. Education is one portion; public utilities are another, as shown by countless episodes throughout history, the Enron debacle just being the most notorious of the recent ones.

Posted in charter schools, education, privatization, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

What A Difference A New Congress Makes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2007

It’s just a drop in the bucket, so far, but Abu Gonzales is starting to realize that this country is still a representative democracy, not a dictatorship. His boss won’t ever figure it out, and his REAL boss David Addington will never admit it, but there it is.

Posted in Good Things, madness of King George, Uncategorized | Comments Off on What A Difference A New Congress Makes

Potemkin Pillage

Posted by Charles II on February 1, 2007

A minor note on how manufactured our reality is. As mentioned below, GDP growth was above expected, plus the Fed kept rates steady. The stock market shot up by about a percent over a few minutes. And guess what?

Our Dear Leader arrived on the floor of the stock exchange just in time to receive the cheers of his subjects.

Aside from the timing, this is, according to CNBC, only the second time in American history that a president has appeared on the exchange during trading hours.

For these guys, everything is politics.

Posted in Bush, madness of King George | Comments Off on Potemkin Pillage

 
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