Saturday, August 05, 2006

Rummy to Hillary: “My goodness,’’ he exhaled finally, ......

Ive got something in the works on the Lamont rally yesterday in Geenwich, coming soon to a little blog near you if I can kick this headache and get down to business...but, this is just too good......Here ya Go...........

August 5, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Henny Penny Harridan


The enunciation of a clear sentence about the war in Iraq by Hillary Clinton means that there must be an election coming up.

Until now, she has been unsubtly subtle about the most urgent issue facing the country, sending signals rightward, sending signals leftward, tacking here, tacking there. Some days she seemed to be signaling whether she intended to signal.

But now, suddenly, she’s a woman of passion, a model of concerned clarity. After an eon of calculated silence on most of the big moral questions of the day, there is a calculated breaking of the silence. The enigma won’t play anymore. It’s time for the drama.

But the drama played like “The Taming of the Shrew,” with the only question being, who was the shrew?

Hillary was trying to bring Rummy to heel, and Rummy was trying to exert manly control over Hillary.

The junior senator from New York staged a drama in three acts, first sending a letter summoning the reluctant Rummy to appear before the Armed Services Committee; then hectoring him with a litany of his “numerous errors in judgment”; and finally at the end of the day, like the Queen of Hearts, delivering her climactic demand for his head.

“I just don’t understand why we can’t get new leadership that would give us a fighting chance to turn the situation around,” Senator Clinton said after the hearing, summing up a truth acknowledged by everyone except W. and Dick Cheney, and particularly felt at the Pentagon, where the deeply unpopular defense chief has gone from self-styled matinee idol to self-destructing idle martinet.

During the hearing, Hillary unmanned Rummy, as Shakespeare would say, accusing him of incompetence, impotence and improbity.

“You did not go into Iraq with enough troops to establish law and order,’’ she said. “You disbanded the entire Iraqi Army. Now we’re trying to recreate it. You did not do enough planning for what is called phase four and rejected all the planning that had been done previously to maintain stability after the regime was overthrown. You underestimated the nature and strength of the insurgency, the sectarian violence and the spread of Iranian influence.”

She pointed out that the administration succeeds only in achieving the opposite of its aims — with the number of American troops in Iraq scheduled to increase, not decrease, and the violence and instability spreading.

She cited the administration’s reality disconnect on the Taliban in Afghanistan, where every new claim of success has been followed by new evidence of failure. The Taliban have been written out of the war by administration flackery, but they keep coming back like Mel Gibson’s hangovers and apologies.

She tartly summed up: “Because of the administration’s strategic blunders and, frankly, the record of incompetence in executing, you are presiding over a failed policy. Given your track record, Secretary Rumsfeld, why should we believe your assurances now?”

There was a pause while Rummy summoned all the condescension he usually reserves for doltish reporters.

“My goodness,’’ he exhaled finally, firing off a defense that could have been translated as: “Where do I start educating you on your utterly superficial understanding of the enemy, you harridan hippy-dippy Henny Penny?”

The Pentagon rank and file have tuned out Rummy, whose only transformation so far has been to transform himself into a dangerous, deluded codger. But when the respected General Abizaid admitted that “it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war,” it was clear Iraq was already in one. It opened up a river of talk across the river about what people there had long been afraid to say: that Rummy’s jutting jaw is not going to cut it. There needs to be an alternative strategy to keep our kids from having to fight their way out of a sectarian conflagration.

When Hillary and Rummy square off, it is a gladiatorial contest of two masters at hauteur, self-righteousness, scriptedness, infighting and belief in their own manifest destiny.

Hillary wants to avoid Joe Lieberman’s fate by arguing that how the administration went about this war has caused all the problems, not that it went to a needless war she supported. Her stratagem avoids the lie that set off all the other lies, and leaves Hillary risking a John Kerry problem, being both for the war and against it.

It’s going to be a tough triangulation. Even Bill never had to squirm his way out of something as hard as this.

John Tierney is off today.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Ned Lamont Rally Yesterday in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the Long, Slow Fall of Joe Lieberman....

Did anyone see the Lieberman-Clinton joke picture in which Joementum has on blackface and Clinton is in dark glasses, thanks to the clever photoshopping of some jokester out there? Well, Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake apparently published it on Huffpo, causing some sort of uproar. I guess that Joe wants Ned to remove Hamsher from his campaign, saying:

"This is one of the most disgusting and hurtful images that has been used in American history, it's deeply offensive to people of all colors, and it has absolutely no place in the political arena today,"

Really Joe? One of the most disgusting and hurtful images in American History?? All of it? And the whole political arena too?
Wow. That is quite a statement!...and as usual, you are very precious about yourself and lack a sense of humor....But, oh well.
In any case, Jane isn't an official campaign staffer, and as a blogger she is more a part of the press than a campaign operative. I guess that the difference is that blogs are so much more personal and interactive in a way so it seems like a personal slap to you where a comic in an old fashioned newspaper might be more palatable.
Firedoglake as well as Huffpo are journalism and journal, which is a new form of the disseminating of information and not under the control of a Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman, or the neocon agenda of silencing the press and the citizens of this country.
As Arianna Huffington, the proprietor of Huffpo said, the image was satire, and Jane removed it of her own accord. Huffpo had not asked her to. But the thing to keep in mind here is that the picture in question is SATIRE! And of course in some politically correct over-reaction the thing has disappeared, lest it take anything away from the fact that Ned is squishing Joe like a bug. But then the hyperbole of "the worst ever!!" sort of statement does lend itself to the spin of, say, a Karl Roveian move to change the story. The continuing attempt of the Lieberman campaign to paint Lamont as a racist is laughable and desperate.

Speaking of PC, the Lieberman campaign needs to hire paid volunteers because they don't seem to be able to get anyone to actually volunteer or Joe didn't bother to set up a campaign infrastructure because he has been unable to accept or believe that he was actually being challenged. The troubling thing is how careless and clueless they seem to be in the face of what they are doing and how they are acting as an extension of a candidate who doesn't really represent them.
Today I went to a Lamont rally in Greenwich at which Lowell Weicker introduced Ned and he spoke eloquently, as usual, about how it is time for all of us to stand up to this crazy administration. Greenwich is a wealthy town and not many black people live there. There are areas with small houses and there are certainly people of color around, but nothing like the crowd that showed up en masse, dressed in bright white Lieberman shirts and holding up handmade signs. There are a few central characters in this group who are white and then most of the hired hands are black, and brought in for something like $60 per day, to harass Lamont supporters and cause trouble.
Considering that many young Lamont volunteers came in to CT of their own accord by train and bus to work for Ned, the necessity for Joe to hire these kids who really don't care much about why they are there as long as they are paid, don't know what their signs mean, and don't even fully fathom what they are doing, is just sad. It says alot about what is going on with the Lieberman campaign and how out of touch Joe is with the voters of CT (and the country.)

To say that we are gathered around Ned Lamont witnessing history and something that may effect the midterm elections and the next 2 years of how our government works, is an understatement. You can feel it there in the crowd...and its not just that Ned is a real person or that he has charisma...But that he offers us a way out of this morass, through the simple, logical truth. We are taking a wild flying chance on someone who offers us only his ideals and his idea of what is right. Hopefully he will be joined in Washington by many others like him.
Meanwhile, Joe Lieberman, via a questionable team that includes lobbyists who are calling the shots apparently, and who calls a satirical image, one of the "worst things" ever (worse than pictures of dead children in Iraq? Worse than young girls from the inner city being used for $60 per day to push their way through a crowd to display a sign that they don't understand?) buses in young inner city people to make trouble...and in this case, they stuck out like a sore thumb in white Greenwich.

The signs said things like: "Can Tiger Woods Play Golf at your Club?" which, of course, he could because he's rich as hell. The club in question that Joe so desperately needs to show to be racist, is really just a club for rich folks like Ned and Joe himself. There are blacks in the club in proportion with how many blacks there are in Greenwich. And isn't that issue more of a neocon one, really? As the minimum wage gets raised as its actually cut, in a big switcheroo that only the neocons could dream up, so do the rich get another tax break in a time of war. So, isn't the existence of such rich towns that aren't properly integrated more of an issue for Lieberman to address in his support of the president and his policies that clearly favor the rich?
On top of that, these kids are trained by lobbyists to be thugs, thus completing the forced and false image of scary black people walking down Greenwich avenue (again, an issue that needs to be addressed by the neocons and the idea of Two Americas.) There are reports of old people getting pushed and people getting hurt. I watched a couple of very aggressive girls push through the crowd during Ned Lamont's speech be up front with their signs and on camera. In so doing they pushed some old people out of the way and they blocked the view of alot of people, including me.
Then the Lamont supporters were trying to get in front of them to cover the signs....But Ned welcomed all of the Lieberman supporters and gave them the kind of considerate and courteous treatment that they have denied him all along. I find these surrogates for real supporters to be figures to be pitied, and all I wanted to do was to say to them " ...You know, he doesn't represent your best interests at all," and ..."If what you are doing were ever to be successful, it would harm you for years to come..."

Look, these thugs feel that they have to follow the Lamont campaign to every stop and do things like fill every booth in a diner where he is scheduled to appear and then as he walks in put on Lieberman T-shirts and attack him with questions, when they must realize that he smashed their candidate in the debate and that anything else that they are coming up with is just reaching. Ned owns stock in some questionable companies?...Well, lets talk who owns what stock. I don't think that anyone ever comes out of that little bit of detective work totally OK. But, if its true, what was posted on a sign at the rally yesterday, and the amount so small as to be part of a fund's holdings, then I would hesitate to even waste time on it. But then, this is all about wasting my time, right?

I'm starting to get more and more pissed at Lieberman and his surrogates for wasting my time and for being so insecure in their own platform and content that they feel that they have to shut the other guy up with nonsense and spin. If you have something real to tell me then do it...But don't send a bunch of kids in to step on my toes and try to tell me something about a town and a club that I know...a town and a club that will definitely be permanently out of their reach should Joe Lieberman and his ilk stay in power in this country. For God's sake, at least find a few locals to come out and talk intelligently about Joe and why I should change the view of him that I have seen build up since his run for VP, when his conservative and precious treatment of the issues did not portend well to the possibility of the ticket winning or doing much of anything....i.e. Wimpola no speaky intelegencia de issuadas!

So, today, the news that Joe has called back the ground troops in favor of pouring his resources into his turn to an Independent.....Oh wait....OUR resources....Because the Democratic party is supporting him, placing his signs and making his calls, until he loses the primary! THEN he will become an Independent, Dems be damned, me and you be damned.....Because the evil fringy left obviously is against him and they have turned the real voters against him, so if he could just get to the general election somehow, we might all come to our senses...Along with the Republicans who have little to no one to vote for, and elect him again. This is because we don't know our own minds, and how dare we not elect Joe to his lifetime job as sole dictator of all Juniorati-Senatorialistic representation of CT?

So, in watching things like this from the rally yesterday,
and read things like this
and this
I find myself feeling more strongly than ever (having my experience at the rally reaffirmed,) that Joe has got to go. He has lost control of his campaign and his position, just as he seems to have lost control of his powers of observation and reason in his support of George W Bush. Bye Joe!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mel, Mel, Mel...God and Dowd...What else do you need on such a hot day? Here, have some iced coffee!

I stopped liking Mel Gibson when I realized what a serious Catholic he is, and how he wanted to go back to the mass that no one can understand...and then his father's strange rantings...and that strange sadism movie that seemed to so turn on the serious Catholics in this country....having so many kids because he doesnt believe in birth control...keeping hogs on his Greenwich estate too close to the river on his property so that they fouled the water for his neighbors....but, not wanting to fix it and making the town go after him! ...and finally building his own church in Malibu, that his wife isnt even a part of.
I dont care too much about celebrity gossip and who is DUIing along the PCH, but Mel has been boosting the fringy moral majority extremists who are ruining this country, and that is not a good thing.
And, he goes further. I was listening to Al Franken yesterday and Lawrence O'Donnell called in from the coast to fill us in........
Mel's church is a sect that has totally broken from the...ugh...Vatican, and not only do they say the mass in latin, letting the priest sort if out, but they also believe that Jews and anyone not in this particular sect will burn in hell. In fact, Mel's wife is gonna burn in hell because she is not in the sect proper, or some such. I'm sure she is wishing that they allowed divorce, but she is stuck, man. Its a good thing that somehow Mel feels OK partying with young hotties at the local bar because I doubt there is much sex happening in that house, lest she have to pop out another child! (..and apparently the final thing he said before leaving the bar was "I'm Drunk!"...what an idiot!)
I dont know or care about his career anymore. I loved Braveheart and...well, manybe the Leathal Weapons when I was a kid....but this is not about entertainment. This is about shutting up and listening to the patriarchal priests...and following the rules blindly, because they were taken from an earlier scroll than the scroll down the block.
I dont believe that there is a God who wants blindness like this.
If there is a God, this is a test...and Mel loses...along with all the other sheep who need this sort of direction so badly.
It has to be about how we live together and how we treat must be...Why would we be given brains and the capacity to learn and reason if not to use them?
Do we need a papyrus scroll to have empathy and care for eachother? Do we need a church/synagogue to tell us to make war or not, or to help a child?
OK...Im off....but here is Dowd. I just cant resist this one....
I suppose a little gossipy news can cleanse the palate for the next assault.
Today: Lamont signs (you want one?,) farmgroup pickup, bird, boob MRI.....and already its HOT....

August 2, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Mel’s Tequila Sunrise

My mom always warned me to stay away from tequila.

She would have given the same advice to Mel. She loved Mel, and always thought he would have been perfect for the role of Michael Collins, the romantic fighter for Irish independence who came to a bloody end in a roadside ambush in 1922.

Michael Collins came a cropper in County Cork, not County Quirk, as Mel Gibson did, careering along the same Pacific Coast winding yellow brick road where Robert Downey Jr. and Nick Nolte were snagged by the Malibu police in other momentous events in American history.

Mr. Gibson appears to believe that the Jews control everything. It is an ancient anti-Semitic insult. But now that he has gotten into trouble for his bigoted views, he has thrown himself at the mercy of the object of his bigotry.

He said he wants to “meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.”

He added: “I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.”

It’s not the first time he’s gotten in trouble for intolerance. When “Braveheart” came out in 1995, Mr. Gibson ranted and raved when Frank Bruni, then the movie critic for The Detroit Free Press, asked him about some reportedly homophobic remarks he had made three years earlier to a Spanish-language magazine. The magazine quoted him as saying that he became an actor “despite” the fear that it might lead people to assume he was gay. Ecce homo! He told Frank that the arbiters of political of correctness were “tantamount to Nazis.”

Now that the volatile Mr. Gibson has pleaded for guidance from leaders of the American Jewish community, I decided to consult the only one I know. I asked Leon Wieseltier, the author of “Kaddish ” and the literary editor of The New Republic, how he would help Mel heal.

“He has been a very bad goy,’’ Leon said.

“It is really rich to behold Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? Why would a people who start all the wars make a peace? Perhaps he’s feeling a little like Jesus, hoping that the Jews don’t do their worst and preparing himself for more evidence of their disappointing behavior.

“I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us. Take that cop who arrested Gibson. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was a Jew? We have been following Gibson’s every move since he released that movie. The other night, when our uniformed brother spotted him bobbing and weaving in his star car, we saw an opportunity and we took it. Don’t blame us. It’s what Yahweh would do.

“When Officer Mee busted him, we all busted him.

“Moreover, it is the elders’ considered view that whereas alcoholism may require a process of recovery, anti-Semitism is a more intractable and less chic failing. This was not a moment of insanity, even if Gibson is insane. His hatred of Jews was plain in his movie and in his twisted defense of it, which was made when he was sober under the influence of his primitive world view. Perhaps he thinks that all he needs to do is spend a few months in AA — Anti-Semites Anonymous — and find some celebrity sponsor and run for absolution to Larry Zeiger, I mean Larry King, where he can say with perfect sincerity that the Holocaust was a terrible thing and gut yontif.

“But the elders have instructed Larry to be strict with the uncircumcised offender. He is to appear only opposite ‘American Idol’ and in the company of David Gest.

“We understand that Gibson cannot do it alone. But why do we have to do it with him? We would find it hard to be in a room with him unless, of course, he wants to count some money with us. Why doesn’t he turn to the vast number of his Christian brothers and sisters who show no trace of anything resembling his disgusting prejudice?

“Mad Max is making Max mad, and Murray, and Irving, and Mort, and Marty, and Abe. But we’re not completely heartless. If he wants to do Shylock at dinner theater, fine. If he agrees to fill his swimming pool with Kabbalah water, fine.”

Then Leon was just too aggravated to speak. He mumbled something in Aramaic and hung up.

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