Monday, May 01, 2006

Buchanan Hits Warmongers and Cowards

One of the few prominent conservatives who has not sold his principles down the river to jump on the President's handbasket bandwagon is Pat Buchanan. He has always spoken with uncommon clarity. When he's wrong there's no rhetoric to hide behind--when he's right, as he so often has been on George Bush, his erstwhile brethren dare not engage him. Buchanan's latest is another shot from the wilderness that puts the leadership on both sides to shame. $Q:
There is a reason the Founding Fathers separated the power to conduct war from the power to declare it. The reason is just such a ruler as George W. Bush, a man possessed of an ideology and sense of mission that are not necessarily coterminous with what is best for his country. Under our Constitution, it is Congress, not the president, who decides on war.

Many Democrats now concede they failed the nation when they took Bush at his word that Iraq was an intolerable threat that could be dealt with only by an invasion. Now, Bush and the War Party are telling us the same thing about Iran. And the Congress is conducting itself in the same contemptible and cowardly way.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Colbert Bombs at WH Correspondent's Dinner

There should be a new color in Homeland Security's alert system to warn against comedy that cuts too close to the core in Washington. The brilliant Stephen Colbert, doing his satire of a republican apologist, fell flat. Problem was, it was a little too close to the real thing. Plus he had no qualms about taking on Gannon, WMD, the Iraq Mistake, PlameGate, Scalia, the docile press and more with the President and First Lady sitting right there.

If only the White House Press Corps had the same type of courage. Riffs like this didn't exactly get Colbert on their side:
Addressing the reporters, he [Colbert] said, "Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know--fiction".

Source: Editor and Publisher

John Kenneth Galbraith Dies at 97

Noted Keynesian, coiner of the term "conventional wisdom", advisor to four presidents--Galbraith was a legend in his field. The economist's seminal work, "The Affluent Society", was an early warning about how an increase in wealth in elements of the private sector doesn't preclude--and may in fact encourage--a lack of conscience in the public sector towards those most in need. The disparities in income he write about in 1958 seem almost quaint compared to the obscene divide between rich and poor today.

Despite his dry profession, Galbraith was a quick wit and his oeuvre is peppered with original and memorable phrases. A sample for those at Fox tripping all over themselves to defend Organized Oil's record profits:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The O'Reilly Spectrum

Crooks and Liars has a story about the ever ridiculous Bill O'Reilly smearing beloved community journalist Stephen Rogers who died in November at the age of ninety. Pictured at right is Bill O'Reilly dancing on Stephen Roger's grave--it's necessarily an artist's conception because O'Reilly still doesn't seem to realize the man is dead.

How did the distinguished Mr. Rogers incur the wrath of the marginal mediocrity? He fell on the wrong side of the O'Reilly spectrum. Goes like this: as the center of the universe O'Reilly believes he's the very picture of reasoned calm and moderation:
  1. Generally anyone who disagrees with him: far-left
  2. Exception being if the above person is conservative, in which case they're far-far right.
  3. Fact checkers are invariably far-far left
  4. Anyone who mentions his humiliating sexual harassment scandal: far-far-left-wacko-smear merchant.

To his great credit, the late Mr.Rogers was a #4. As one who spoke truth to irrelevance, he'll be missed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Crescendo in Musical Criticism Against Bush

Feels like a tipping point has been reached as more influencial musicians are finally taking a stand against the abuses of the failing administration. Check out this clip from Pink, an amazing song. No artlessly obvious "Bush Lied" diatribe here--rather a blistering indictment of the man's essential obliviousness to the effects of his failures.

Dixie Chicks deserve all the props for having the courage to be first, when anti-Iraq Disaster meant anti-America. Now the equation has flipped and their views are the majority.

Neil Young's new release is eagerly anticipated, and even Flea has said his piece. This ain't the usual suspects in the Hollywood crowd. Good music's always had an intangible integrity that silences all criticism in a way that film cannot. These people make their living by tapping into the sentiments coursing through both themselves and the electorate. And their latest is a wonderful sign that the country has finally woken up.

Late yes, but hopefully not too late.