Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Texans, Beware Dubya in a Blue Shirt . . .

You good folks in Texass better watch out now . . . George Bush is coming in his blue shirt. Why here he is speaking to his base in Houston after Gustav . . .

Hold on, wait a minute here! That picture looks familiar . . . Oh yeah, its the same picture he posed for on the Mississippi gulf coast after Katrina . . . in another blue shirt . . .

So what's the gag? How can you tell when George Bush is up to no good? When he's wearing a blue shirt.

We need another Huey Long now . . .

In January, I posted an item on Huey Long, the former much maligned governor of Louisiana. Click here: Won'cha'hep'me: A Few Words from Huey Long Love him or hate him, the 'Kingfish' was not afraid to take on the establishment.
In his 1933 self-published auto-biography, Huey spoke truth to power, and railed against the corporate greed and corruption that brought about the collapse in 1929. It's time to revisit some of Huey's words:

"All the people in America cannot eat up the food that is produced in America; all the people in America cannot wear out the clothes that can be made in America; nor can all of the people in America occupy the houses that stand in this country, if all are allowed to share in homes afforded by the nation. But when one man must have more houses to live in than ninety-nine other people; when one man decides he must own more foodstuff than any other ninety-nine people own; when one man decides he must have more goods to wear for himself and family than any other ninety-nine people, then the condition results that instead of one hundred people sharing the things that are on earth for one hundred people, that one man, through his gluttonous greed, takes over ninety-nine parts for himself and leaves one part for the ninety-nine.Now what can this one man do with what is intended for ninety-nine? He cannot eat the food that is intended for ninety-nine people; he cannot wear the clothes that are intended for ninety-nine people; he cannot live in ninety-nine houses at the same time; but like the dog in the manger, he can put himself on the load of hay and he can say: 'This food and these clothes and these houses are mine, and while I cannot use them, my greed can only be satisfied by keeping anybody else from having them. 'Wherefore and whence developed the strife in the land of too much, beginning in the year 1929."(Every Man A King, Huey P. Long, 1933, pgs. 291-292)
Click here: Won'cha'hep'me: A Few Words from Huey Long

So here we are in 2008, faced with the potential for financial disaster as great as that suffered in 1929, and for many of the same reasons, the principal of which is simply greed. And once again, we need a Huey Long to speak for the common man and for the common good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain throws down the gauntlet, and gets caught

What's wrong with folks changing their minds about an issue? Not a day passes that we don't receive some new information that affects how we view a variety of subjects. So what is wrong with changing positions? Just don't lie about it and expect it to go away.

In the political world it's called FLOP-FLOPPING and it is made out to be a sign of wavering or weakness, or relativism, and its used as a bludgeon on one's opponents. But again, it's not "bad" in itself. What's bad is not the change of mind, but the "pandering" behind the change of mind. When a position is changed strictly because it is politically profitable, and it is calculated to "win" votes, then it becomes intellectually questionable.

Throughout the primary season this year, both Republicans and Democrats were accused, and accused each other, of the dreaded FLIP-FLOP. And on both sides of the isle, some did and some didn't. It was just politics.

What folks, and particularly politicians, seem to have forgotten is that we live in an age of high technology, of recorded audio and video, and phone cameras, and of the internet and uTube. When words are spoken, they are immediately placed in the public domain, and widely shared. We haven't quite reached the 1984 stage where facts and information can be changed at will or simply made to disappear. When a public figure takes a position or makes a statement, it's going to be out there somewhere, and savvy people are going to find it.

John McCain has gone on TV, and stated "Nobody can name an issue I have flip-flopped on". Here's the story:

"On ABC’s The View today, host Joy Behar complained to John McCain that “you used to be more of the Maverick, then you sort of turned.” “In what way?” McCain asked. “You became much more lockstep, I think, with your party, with George Bush’s policies,” Behar answered, adding, “I don’t see the old John McCain. … I understand why — you want to get elected.” McCain issued this challenge in his defense: I’ve been through this litany before, where I say, “ok, what specific area have I quote changed?” Nobody can name it. … I am the same person and I have the same principles. Click here: Think Progress » McCain Issues A Challenge: ‘Nobody Can Name’ An Issue I Have Flip-Flopped On

Now that's just throwing down the proverbial gauntlet. It's as dumb as when Gary Hart, amid carousing allegations, challenged the press to "catch me if you can", which they promptly did. And that's exactly what reporters have done to John McCain. Here is the compiled list of purported FLIP-FLOPS by John McCain:

McCain’s 42 Flip-Flops - all documented

FOREIGN POLICY* Attacking Terrorists In Pakistan* Defense Spending* Detention Of Detainees* Divestment And Sanctions* Donald Rumsfeld* Henry Kissinger* Illegal Wiretapping* Law Of The Sea Convention* Long-Term Troop Presence In Iraq* Negotiations With Hamas* Negotiations With Syria* Normalization Of Relations With Cuba* Nuclear Reactors* Nuclear Waste Storage At Yucca Mountain* Rogue State Rollback* Torture* 21st Century GI Bill
ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY* Ethanol* Everglades Restoration* Offshore Drilling
ETHICS* Criticizing The Media* Katrina Investigations* Lobbyists* The Wyly Brothers
Check'em out.
ECONOMY* Americans Live Better Under Bush* Balancing The Budget* Bush Tax Cuts* Earmarks For Arizona* Fairness Of The Estate Tax* Job Losses In Michigan* Social Security Privatization* Tobacco Industry Regulations* Windfall Profits Tax
RADICAL RIGHT* The Confederate Flag* Jerry Falwell And The Religious Right* The NRA* Teaching Intelligent Design
CIVIL RIGHTS* Gay Marriage Amendment
HEALTH CARE* Abortion Exceptions* Repealing Roe v. Wade* Taxpayer Funding For Contraception In Africa

Check'em out for yourself. There may well be some that are a bit equivocal, and you might think it really wasn't a FLIP-FLOP at all. It may well have simply been a 'change of mind' based on new information, and that's alright. But more likely, each was just the same ole political pandering, and saying what was calculated to appease whatever audience he was addressing.