Green Voicemail

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Boy George Has A Problem

From Tradesports. This is Bush's stock. How the mighty have fallen.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/27/2004 11:16:00 AM

Why Stop With Clarke?

From The Indiana Gazette

Rep. Jane Harman of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also wants to see more information disclosed. She said that includes 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's report addressing the involvement of a foreign government in supporting some of the 19 hijackers - an item of dispute with the Bush administration.

"This is selective declassification, in my view, and it is all about discrediting an administration critic," Harman said.

The new slogan:

What is George W. Bush covering up today?

And Where are the 28 Pages?!?

posted by Green Voicemail 3/27/2004 11:06:00 AM

If You Can't Dazzle Them With Your Brilliance, then Blind Then With Your Bull --

I would like to inform the progressive bloggers out there that Bill Frist is shocked, absolutely shocked at these charges from Richard Clarke.

In a blistering speech from the Senate floor, Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Clarke "has told two entirely different stories under oath" -- first in private before Congress's joint intelligence committee in July 2002, then last week before cameras at a hearing conducted by the commission looking into the same topic, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Frist offered no specific contradictions other than to say Clarke was "effusive in his praise" of the Bush administration's handling of terrorism matters in his 2002 testimony, but was sharply critical this week.

"If he lied under oath to the United States Congress, it is a far more serious matter" than being inconsistent with reporters, another Republican charge aimed at Clarke, who served in the White House under four presidents.

Translation: "Dammit, I planned to run for president in 2008! This Bush moron is going to ruin it; Kerry will be in office for at least eight years! If the dumb bastard is too scared to defend himself, looks like I'll have to do it!"

Do we have our Ass-Kissing All Star for March 2004 yet? It will be either Bill Frist, Dennis Miller, or whoever gets assigned to do that Condi interview for 60 Minutes.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/27/2004 08:11:00 AM

Friday, March 26, 2004

One Reason Kerry Don't Get No Money

It seems that when Kerry takes a step forward with me, he takes another step backward. After he gets an endorsement from the Doctor , he publishes a rather annoying statement about Venezuela.

There are lots of sites you could go to get a handle on Venezuela -- I recommend Greg Palast's , author of the must-read book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" -- but I'll instead link to this article by Gregory Wilpert -- the article is here , and publishes both the letter Kerry published on his website and a point-by-point rebuttal.

I have no earthly idea what motivated Kerry to try to bitchslap Hugo Chavez. Maybe once he figured he had Dean's endorsement, he could tack hard to the center-right. If that was the reason, Kerry earns no points with me. Chavez is one of the few leaders who has taken a stance against the globalization movement, and his opposition to US backed "free trade" is one of his big selling points in my book.

Then again it might have to something to do with all that bubbling crude under Venezuelan soil. Venezuela, is, oh, the top exporter of oil to the United States -- Saudi Arabia is second . We've already had one US-backed coup under Bush, which mercifully failed.

The big justification that certain people want to give is that Kerry wanted to influence the recall effort against Chavez which is led by The Usual Suspects in Venezuela. Well, from what can tell, Kerry initially posted his criticism of Chavez on 3/22/2004 on his website -- it seems to have now disappeared from -- and from what I can tell, Venezuela's Supreme Court just brought the recall effort to a halt, invalidating an earlier decision by an electoral committee which claimed that 876,000 signatures had to be accepted as valid. Looks like Mr. Kerry is already influencing Venezuelan politics. (ba-DUM-bum!)

Don't get me wrong. Kerry is still a damn sight better than Bush overall, and that's why he's getting my vote. But it seems as if Kerry is on the side the interests who want a lil' slice of Venezuela and indeed, it looks like Kerry's attitude toward our neighbors south of the border is just "business as usual". Are we going to see a military adventure in Venezuela under the Kerry Administration so Kerry can prove he's a rootin', tootin', military man? Therefore, Kerry's going to have a wait a few months for any money. "Bad dog, no biscuit."

posted by Green Voicemail 3/26/2004 04:45:00 AM

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Biography of George W. Bush

From Rotten.Com , of all places. The bio did something few bios can -- made interesting the less interesting parts of Bush's life, and gave some insights into how he thinks.

First, this wicked comment about Bush's experience as a junior flyboy:

Whatever the reason, Bush never flew again. And he still had another two years to go on his enlistment. So he just sat around. In fact it's unclear exactly what, if anything, he did during those two remaining years. The only thing we know for sure: whatever it was involved neither flying planes nor getting shipped off to Vietnam. (emphais mine )

The bio then highlights one of the least-highlighted parts of Bush's life: his congressional campaign for a seat in West Texas. He was running against Democrat Kent Hance, and Bush got clobbered.


Bush's rookie mistakes didn't help. At a candidate forum early on in the race, Bush told the crowd: "Today is the first time I've been on a real farm." That didn't exactly impress the rural voters. And his decision to show himself jogging around a track in one of his television spots only underscored how out-of-touch he was with the common man. Almost nobody jogged in West Texas.

And in the debates, Bush tried his best to come off sounding smart and serious. He made references to complicated economic policies. Difficult as it may be to believe now, many voters in the 1978 campaign were turned off by George W. Bush's overt intelligence. They figured him for some kind of brainiac. (emphasis mine)

George's opponent pegged him immediately as a spoiled rich kid from New England. A faux Texan. A Yankee carpetbagger. In contrast, the Democrat assumed the role of the earnest-but-friendly local boy. He constantly harped on George's elitist upbringing, as evident in this radio ad:

"In 1961, when Kent Hance graduated from Dimmitt High School in the 19th congressional district, his opponent George W. Bush was attending Andover Academy in Massachusetts. In 1965, when Kent Hance graduated from Texas Tech, his opponent was at Yale University. And while Kent Hance graduated from University of Texas Law School, his opponent -- get this, folks -- was attending Harvard."
The Democrat began telling crowds: "Yale and Harvard don't prepare you as well for running for the 19th Congressional district as Texas Tech does." It really got to Bush. He complained to a local newspaper about being pigeonholed as the outsider:

"We've been attacked for where I was born, for who my family is, and where my money has come from. I don't think that's fair."

Although he was gaining on the Democrat near the end, Bush lost the race. But the experience taught him everything he would someday need to mount an effective campaign. He discovered that voters aren't looking the smartest candidate, or the guy with the most experience. They want somebody who makes them comfortable. Somebody who's one of them. A regular guy. (emphasis mine)


On his run for Texas governor in 1994:

And this time George put into practice the lesson he learned from his 1978 campaign. He knew it was both unnecessary and counterproductive to project an image of extraordinary intelligence. It was all about likeability. So Dubya did just enough homework to hold his own in the debates and otherwise just winged it. His strategy hinged on using his personal charisma to compensate for any intellectual failings.

And on being ambushed by reporters in 2000 who wanted Bush to tell them who the Prime Minister of India was:

Many people mistook episodes like this as indications of Dubya's inability to do his homework. Critics charged that he obviously possessed subnormal intelligence and/or a diminutive attention span and/or a crucial misunderstanding of what it takes to be President. Once again, the underlying problem here is the assumption that Bush believed that the Foreign Leaders of the World game was an important factor for voters. And Bush knew it wasn't. So he didn't waste his time trying to memorize a long list of names that nobody really cared about. The average person isn't a policy wonk; they couldn't name the new Prime Minister of India, and they didn't care if George could either.

Like it or not...I have to agree 100 percent. You can tell people about Bush's policy mistakes until you're blue in the face. Bush's great strength is that he comes off as a likeable fella, smart, but definitely not smart enough to be a threat. A middle class good neighbor who'll share a beer with you. If Kerry is going to win, this is the image he needs to project -- and he has to avoid Bush doing to him what Kent Hance did to George W. in 1978.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/24/2004 08:14:00 AM

Monday, March 22, 2004

An Old Saturday Night Live Script

With George W. Bush wanting to bring his brand of religion and divisiveness into America for four more years, I thought I'd post this old skit from the Saturday Night Live of the 1980s.


A Message from the President of the United States

President Reagan : My fellow you know, a Constitutional amendment to allow prayer in public schools has long been one of my most cherished goals. And most folks think it's a pretty good idea. But, our efforts have been almost blindsided by a small group of self-appointed people. People who say that even the simplest little prayer would make their kids feel...left out. Well, of course, the facts prove otherwise.

Earlier this week, Nancy visited a classroom in Morristown, New Jersey. And, out of thirty-six fourth-graders, thirty-four said that they'd like a morning prayer break. And no one singled out...the remaining children. Emily Handelman , 28 Cedar Boulevard; and Gupta Ramish , 1151 north Main Street, Apt. 3A. ( pictures of children posted on screen )

Even so, out of fear of offending these two, thirty-four good kids aren't allowed to their Creator in the morning. Well, that's going to change. In my second administration, we're going to introduce into Congress a compromise law that would give every single non-praying child...this armband. ( holds up yellow armband with bold black lettering ) It says, simply, " I DECLINE TO PRAY." Well, it's an easily-seen reminder to other students, of his or her religious beliefs. So, with your help on this Tuesday, November 6th...thirty-four kids in New Jersey will have God back in school. And, two others? Well...they won't have a prayer.

Announcer: Paid for by Young Christians For Reagan.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/22/2004 08:34:00 AM

Sunday, March 21, 2004

War Games

Article from this month's Atlantic . This is an excerpt from James Mann's, "Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet".

(No, not those Vulcans! The crowd of Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al, have nicknamed themselves "Vulcans". Wonder which episode inspired them?)

"Please put Mr. Kerry in the agony booth."

Anyway, the article discusses the, uh, extra-Constitutional war games Rumsfeld and Cheney played under Ronnie Reagan when Cheney was the congressman from Wyoming and Rumsfeld was still working in business. Their job, as given to them by their boss, Mr. R -- figure out a way to keep the government running in case the Russkies dropped the Big One. Mann writes:

The U.S. government considered the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union more seriously during the early Reagan years than at any other time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Reagan had spoken in his 1980 campaign about the need for civil-defense programs to help the United States survive a nuclear exchange, and once in office he not only moved to boost civil defense but also approved a new defense-policy document that included plans for waging a protracted nuclear war against the Soviet Union. The exercises in which Cheney and Rumsfeld participated were a hidden component of these more public efforts to prepare for nuclear war.

So how was this plan to work, exactly? There is a Constitutional amendment stating the precise order of succession: President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore, and then the cabinet officers in the order that their offices were created. But in the event that Washington got nuked, how were you going to find the President Pro Tempore? Did anyone even know who the President Pro Tempore WAS? (And who is the current PPT? Answer below.)

Thus, a new plan:

The outline of the plan was simple. Once the United States was (or believed itself about to be) under nuclear attack, three teams would be sent from Washington to three different locations around the United States. Each team would be prepared to assume leadership of the country, and would include a Cabinet member who was prepared to become President. If the Soviet Union were somehow to locate one of the teams and hit it with a nuclear weapon, the second team or, if necessary, the third could take over.

This was not some abstract textbook plan; it was practiced in concrete and elaborate detail.

Science fiction? Hardly. Actual secret exercises took place for weeks at a time, cabinet officials and executive officers shunted off at times to God Knows Where, living on secret army bases and eating out of tin cans. Even Ed Meese was forced to participate, the Attorney General being a cabinet position!

As for the Cabinet members on each team, some had little experience in national security; at various times, for example, participants in the secret exercises included John Block, Reagan's first Secretary of Agriculture, and Malcolm Baldrige, the Secretary of Commerce. What counted was not experience in foreign policy but, rather, that the Cabinet member was available. It seems fair to conclude that some of these "Presidents" would have been mere figureheads for a more experienced chief of staff, such as Cheney or Rumsfeld. Still, the Cabinet members were the ones who would issue orders, or in whose name the orders would be issued.

Sound familiar? Looks like Rummy and Cheney have a boatload of experience in running things from behind the scenes.

(Go here for the answer on who is President Pro Tempore. It ought to be at least as scary as the article above.) Updated to remove subscribe-only link, fer Wanda.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/21/2004 11:52:00 AM

Pick and Choose

Be prepared for that sweet draft in the air if George W. Bush gets elected.

Last week's article at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer discusses plans for a "selective draft". The idea is that this would be a "special skills" draft.

The US already has a plan in place to draft health care professionals from ages 20 to 44 if the need arises. Now, a special draft is being planned by Selective Service for computer specialists and language experts.

I wonder if this is how Boy George is going to speak plans for general conscription past Congress. "I just need a few good men!" Then a few more, then a few more after that...then to the point where you might as well just draft every abled body young male who doesn't have a trust fund.

My suggestion: they should get their computer experts from Dot.Com Republicans. They should get their language specialists from the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute.... All I can say is that this gives me a reason to look forward to middle age.

posted by Green Voicemail 3/21/2004 07:01:00 AM

Happy Anniversary

Well, it's happy anniversary time here at Green Voicemail. I have now been a political blogger for three months! Whee! I told myself that I would give myself three months at this to see if this was the kind of thing I would let fall to the wayside or if I could stick with it. I'm notorious for not sticking with it.

Therefore, I've decided to upgrade the blog. GVM 3.0, as it were. New links have been added at the side (I had to shrink a .jpg file in an earlier post to return the blog to normal.) My first "real" political page was Bartcop. From there, I moved to Atrios, then to NTodd, and now I'm one of those battlin' bastards of Bataan. This makes NTodd my dad. Really, really frightening if you think about it.

If you've been a frequent reader and didn't get up on the link list -- my sincere apologies. If you've linked this blog but don't see yours linked here, leave a comment and I'll get to fixin things.

Here's to another three months of blogging!

posted by Green Voicemail 3/21/2004 06:32:00 AM

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