Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Goodbye, John Edwards. MSM - Mission Accomplished!

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to John Edwards' candidacy.

I certainly can't say I didn't see it coming, but I now have to forego the luxury of feeling excited about the candidate I support.

Up until the last minute I held out hope for an Al Gore candidacy, but I had to let that go. Kucinich, who best represents my values, was kicked to the curb as a viable candidate early on. But Edwards' strength encouraged me. I have always liked him - I liked him in 2004 and I liked him better this time around. I think he would have made a great President. He is the candidate that talked about the elephant in the living room - the corporatocracy which is driving us towards feudalism and has turned the middle class into the working poor and the working poor into the indigent. He is a fighter who has taken on the big corporations and won. As I have said before, he's not perfect; but the perfect candidate for me could not get elected county dogcatcher - our sorry electoral system makes sure of that. Chris Dodd earned my respect by standing up for the rule of law - in the middle of his Presidential campaign! - enough to get some of my hard-earned money.

Yes, the mainstream media has done what it set out to do - they got their "Thrilla In Manila" on Pay-Per-View. By insisting that Edwards was a loser with no chance, and leaving him out of the discussion except to mention that he was not part of the 'historic' Steel-Cage Death Match, they made it happen. Bravo, fellas.

But the party's over for me. Now it's just a matter of doing what it takes to get a Democrat into the White House - more to keep the Repubs from adding any more right-wing fanatics to the Supreme Court than anything else. Emotion about politics is a luxury. When you can be enthusiastic about a candidate, it feels good and energizes you to work for them. Nothing wrong with being jazzed about your guy or gal, if I may be so bold. But it's not a necessity. And if it weren't for the justices and other appointments that are made by a President, I might not even care. Let the Repubs lie in the bed they made. Let them take on the disaster that the Boy King has saddled us with.

However, I can't go there. I have to work for a Democratic candidate. I can't sit back and leave my daughter with a Supreme Court that will take away her privacy and control of her own body. I can't sit back and leave my sons with the possibility of being drafted when we run out of volunteer cannon fodder (or my daughter, for that matter.) I have to stand up for Democratic values and hope that our nominee will stand up for them, too. All I can do is pressure them within the party structure to move towards our real American values - liberal values.

Hillary? Barack? Who knows? Who cares? It's back to business as usual.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Bush Residency - A Perfect Storm

(cross-posted at the Smirking Chimp and Daily Kos)

If you, like me, have been wondering how this incredibly grotesque, outrageously pig-ignorant President was forced upon us, and why it's so difficult to stop him, I've given some thought to the matter.

Remember when he was running in '99? He was so uninformed and bumptious it was laughable. Especially since we had been used to having an intelligent President with an active brain for the eight years before. Lined up against the other candidates, he looked like a pimply-faced frat boy at a VFW lodge.

But, with hindsight being 20/20, it now seems inevitable. The stars were in alignment, and a peculiar set of circumstances were in place to insure an unstoppable Republican juggernaut.

First of all, no candidate in recent history has been the son of a President - and Bush Senior was not just a President, but the son of a Senator (Prescott Bush) as well as the scion of an international financial powerhouse - generations of power and influence whose tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of American finance and government. You'd have to go back to John F. Kennedy to find a similar lineage. LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton - all self-made men who did not have family ties to power. What power they had they forged themselves (with the possible exception of Reagan, but his advocates were financial and corporate, not familial, and it was his own celebrity which made him a desirable candidate.) They could be taken down without reprisal. And the Kennedys, the other political dynasty, unlike the Bushes, have not fared well. Their lineage was also of more recent date, and their Catholicism somewhat suspect. The Bushes not only had financial, social and government capital, but they married into more, joining forces with the Walkers, who controlled the Harriman investment firm. Both Bush 43 and his father were named for George Senior's maternal grandfather George Herbert Walker. Dubya's great-grandfather Samuel Prescott Bush, the patriarch of the Bush dynasty, was a wealthy industrialist who was appointed to the War Industries Board in 1918 by banker Bernard Baruch, and from then on, the Bushes were inextricably connected to the forces that pulled the strings and dictated the policy in the United States.

George Senior was not only vice-president and President, but also briefly the head of the CIA. He was chairman of the Republican National Committee during Nixon's presidency, and the men he worked with from that time would go on to infest his hapless son's Administration - Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Negroponte, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, to name a few. And in what can only be viewed as the most bizarre of coincidences, most of them happened to be signatories to the document known as the Project for a New American Century - the neoconservative blueprint for permanent military dominance abroad, and permanent conservative dominance at home. Other signatories included Dan Quayle, George Sr.'s vice-president and Jeb Bush, Dubya's brother.

The other factor besides, or I should better say intertwined with, the government influence was oil money influence. The Bush family, as everyone now knows, has had a thirty-year relationship with the House of Saud - so close that they considered each other practically family. And with oil, of course, comes the servicing of oil, and the defense of oil - and vice-president Dick Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, one of the largest and most powerful oil servicing companies in the world. Although he resigned shortly before selecting himself as George W.'s vice-president, he still receives deferred compensation and stock options. Speaking of Halliburton stock, there's an interesting relationship between the price of Halliburton stock, the number of American soldiers killed, and Halliburton's Iraq revenue. George Sr. struck out West, far from his preppy Connecticut roots, to make his fortune in oil, and after his presidency joined the powerful venture capital Carlyle Group, made up of the world's most powerful people. His son became the fortunate recipient of millions of dollars in oil money toward his Presidential campaign, as well as the influence that only the son of another President can guarantee.

Scores of books have been written about the Bush family and their connections, so I don't really need to elaborate much more, but my point is this:

Unlike most presidential races, George W. Bush's 'Presidency', I believe, could not have been stopped. It didn't matter whether it was George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, or Neil Bush - or Barney Bush, for that matter. In fact, the smart money was on Jeb (his parents certainly thought so, and were shocked when the idiot wastrel took the prize) and if it were not for Karl Rove's man-crush on Dubya, I believe it would have been. But I do not doubt that it would have been a Bush.

We are not up against just one person, but the entire military/industrial/corporate complex that spins the wheels of the world - the 'shot-callers', as they're known in the gang world. Bushes do not pay for their mistakes - others do, always. When a Bush fails, he fails upwards. And no one has failed better or higher than George Walker Bush.

The reason that Dubya is able to get away with thumbing his nose and giving the middle finger to Congress, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and to the American people - and the world, for that matter - is that when you cross Dubya, you're not just crossing one person. You're crossing the entire military/industrial/corporate complex - he's just the smirking, simian face of it. And you'd better believe he relishes every second of it. When Bill Clinton was president, he could be crossed with impunity, because he did not have what the Chimperor has - the family, money and power going back almost a hundred years. So, while I am not giving the Dems a pass for not standing up to him, I can understand what makes it so very difficult. By defying the Bush machine, you may very well be writing your own financial and career epitaph for decades to come, and a lot of people are simply not ready to do that.

I believe that it is going to take a grass-roots progressive populist groundswell, because there may not be enough political will to make it happen. John Edwards' media black-out is one indication of how afraid, how very afraid, those at the mercy of these corporations are of what they know to be true - that these powers-that-be are willing to take down anyone that threatens their dominance, and can do so with impunity.

It's the elephant in the middle of the room, and atop it sits a grinning little monkey.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Last Minute Gig Pimping!

Sorry for the late notice, but tomorrow night (Tuesday, Jan. 22) I will have the pleasure of playing with some of my favorite people at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. I'll be playing keyboards and singing with the fabulous blues guitarist/singer Dave Widow, along with the baddest rhythm section I've ever had the privilege to work with - the legendary James Gadson on drums and the world-famous Gerald Johnson on bass. If you don't know who these guys are, just Google. If you're a blues fan or just a music fan, treat yourself to an evening at the Lighthouse - I would love to see you there, and you can hear some living legends (whose records you've listened to a million times) doing their thing up close and personal.

We start at 9:30 and end at 1:30. Hope to see you!

30 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 372-6911

Sunday, January 13, 2008

You Heard It Here First, Folks!

Great minds think alike... and here too - 2 days later, that is!
(except, I originally had it incorrectly as the Thrilla From Manila - still...)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Run For Your Lives, Conservatives – the Populists Are Coming To Get You!

Conservatism is anti-American.

That’s right. I said it.

But don’t take my word for it; ask conservatives themselves.

They’ll tell you straight out.

That towering colossus of intellectual rigor, Jonah Goldberg, puts it out there, and openly says what most conservatives believe in their hearts but dare not say in the public sphere (emphasis mine):

David Frum has an interesting column on the limits of populism and the upside of elitism. These are two of my favorite themes. And since Huckabee seems to be a champion of the former and a foe of the latter, I thought (in the spirit of bloggy self-promotion) I’d call attention to one of my broadsides against populism and one of my defenses of elitism.

Regardless, I agree with David that populism is a useful and healthy passion when aimed at the liberal elite. But conservatives can get drunk on it when they proclaim that elites are bad simply because they are elites. Conservatives respect authority — the authority of ideas, traditions, morals, religion, customs, reason, law, excellence and so on. One cannot believe in this kind of authority while having a blanket hostility to elitism in any form.

The privileged son of Lucianne “Linda Tripp” Goldberg, a lifelong suckler at the conservative ‘wingnut welfare’ teat, is only echoing the tenets of the neoconservative movement, as articulated in the ideas of political philosopher Leo Strauss of the Chicago School of Economics. The basic idea is that the ‘masses’ must be controlled by the imposition of religion, authority and morality, for the sake of social stability, but that the ‘elites’ – meaning the conservative intellectuals – need not be bound by those pedestrian ideas, which are only needed to keep the rabble controllable. The fact (to them) that there really is no overriding morality would be too much for the feeble-minded public to handle without descending into anarchy and chaos, but intellectual giants such as themelves are rugged enough to withstand the mental turbulence. This means, of course, that they believe in a two-tiered morality for society – one for the ‘masses’ and one for the ‘elites’ – which, conveniently enough, always seem to include themselves! There’s nothing they like better than to sit around on their not-inconsiderable behinds and tell other people to go out and fight and die in wars that they would not for a second get personally involved in. Because, you see, it’s good for the 'little people'. Builds character and backbone. And war also presents many fine punditry and scholarly opportunities for themselves, as well as marvelous opportunities to brush aside those inconvenient and pesky notions of ‘democracy’ and ‘civil rights’ that the little people insist on yammering about. Not to mention that the warmongering (which they have no need to physically participate in, thank you!) is their method of choice to establish the United States as the lone superpower in the world, with the rest of the world our cowering subjects.

The core dimensions of conservative ideology, which according to a study analyzing 50 years’ worth of research on the conservative personality called "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," are acceptance of inequality and resistance to change. Neoconservatism departs from the second definition in its radical approach to imposing its vision on the rest of the country, but the ‘acceptance of inequality’ is the linchpin that binds all lines of conservatism together and differentiates them from liberalism.

‘Acceptance of inequality’ – if I had to pick only one description of the difference between the liberal and conservative outlook, this is the one I’d choose. Every conservative thought, conservative feeling, conservative policy, can be boiled down to its essence here. “There have to be poor people so there can be rich people, and that’s only natural – just as long as it’s not me!” The conservative outlook is hierarchical in nature. They really don’t believe ‘all are created equal.’ They believe that ‘some are more equal than others.’ There have to be losers in order for there to be winners. And to try to work towards everyone being winners is just plain wrong – even immoral.

Immoral – just like those pinko Founding Fathers.

Somehow, conservatives seem to have missed the message about America. America’s vision is a liberal vision, a progressive vision. The people who refused to accept the yoke of tyranny and the idea that God had placed some people above others were the people who fought for a radical new form of government – democracy of the people, by the people and for the people. The idea that all people are created equal was shocking and unheard-of. But the idea of God-given authority of a chosen few over the powerless many – this was the status quo. Acceptance of inequality and resistance to change. Back then, the Revolutionaries were progressive, and the Royalists were conservative. And it continues to this day.

Conservatives vehemently oppose anything so democratic, so American, as ‘populism’. The idea that the ‘rank and file’ should decide how they are governed is anathema to these people.That’s why they are becoming unglued at the very whiff of populism in their own ranks, as can be seen in the way that the Chattering Teeth in the conservative punditry are descending upon evangelical science-hater Mike Huckabee like a school of underfed pirhanas for even whispering about economic inequality and the problems of the working man, even when the rest of his message is everything the Religious Right could ask for. Bad enough that John Edwards is calling out the greedmeisters. That’s to be expected – he’s a left-wing lunatic. But one of their own? Heresy!

Well, guess what, conservatives? The populists are coming to get you!

You can run, but you can’t hide. We do not ‘accept inequality.’ And we are eager for change. America’s vision will not be denied forever. The economic and social Royalists and their sovereign, King George, have had their way long enough. If the definition of freedom is ‘nothing left to lose’, then we’re almost there. You’ve taken just about all there is to take.

And that’s a dangerous place to be in.

Run, conservatives, run for your lives!

The populists are coming!

(also on Smirking Chimp - thanks, Jeff! BTW, it's fundraising time over at the Chimp, so if you're inclined, it would be great if you could kick in a little to support this fine site.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

What Would I Do Without Someone Telling Me How To Vote?


Thank goodness that someone so much smarter than I am is here to set me straight. Lawrence O'Donnell has just informed me that the candidate who comes the closest to representing my views is a loser, and I shoud not vote for him.


By voting for my candidate, John Edwards, I am subverting the democratic process and depriving Hillary or Obama of a vote that is rightfully theirs. After all, it's really a two-horse race. Everybody says so. It's two 'historic' candidates. And they 'deserve a one-on-one contest.'

What is this? ESP-fucking-N?

Time for the white guy to get out of the way? Make way for the Thrilla In Manila?

Just one more reason for me to hate the media.

Well, Larry, you've just convinced me - to send some more money (that I don't have) to John Edwards.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

John Edwards - The Invisible Man

Night before last, I went to a little bar in Santa Monica to watch the Iowa caucuses on MSNBC with Drinking Liberally. I saw some old friends (Skippy, Shockwave), met some new friends (dday, occam's hatchet) and checked out the show on the big-screen TVs. Most of the time it was difficult to hear what was going on, but we could see the numbers going up - Obama at 38%, Edwards at 30%, Clinton at 29%. (For a rundown on the numbers and the money spent in Iowa, check BruinKid's DailyKos post here.)

The big news, of course, was that Obama beat Hillary.

According to the MSM, there are only two horses in this race.

Listening to all three of the candidates' speeches afterwards, I was struck by the non-specifics of Obama. For all his talk about 'change' and 'hope' and making things better, I did not hear anything other than vague feel-goodies. What I have not seen, other than his initial opposition to going to war with Iraq (which I commend) has been leadership in the sphere where he is currently working - the Senate. When Chris Dodd stood up against amnesty for the telecoms in the FISA bill, we got Obama (and Hillary's) hearty good wishes and nothing more. In many other places where he could have stood up for something, he votes 'present' without committing himself. Dodd's stance alone made me send him money and support. I want a candidate who's going to fight for something other than caucus votes. I was disappointed when Dodd dropped out, becuase he has shown me that he has principles that he is willing to stand up for - even at the expense of his Presidential campaign.

Also, I think Obama is dead wrong when he talks about 'bipartisanship' and ending the rancor between the two parties. He does not seem to notice that in taking that position, he is stabbing the Dems in the back, and is falling into the trap that the Repubs have laid - that of equating the relentless attacks on Dems with the idea that both parties are equally culpable. The Republicans have been doing this since Bill Clinton got into office - see Digby. He is either unaware of it - which is not a quality I want in the next President - doesn't care about it, or is part of it, which is not what I want in the next President either.

For Hillary to have the machine she has, and the money and effort she's put into Iowa, and still trail Edwards, does not augur well for the viability of her message. She, also, has not stood up for things I think are important when they come before Congress - unless she thought she could get away with it without ruffling any corporate feathers. She's disappointed me with too many votes for me to get behind her for President. I don't have the Hillary-hate that many people have, but I think her views are incompatible with mine on too many issues. I see the desecration of the Constitution and the death-grip of corporatism (both of which are culpable for the Iraq debacle) as the biggest issues we have facing us, and she does not strike me as a candidate that will fight for either of those, as well as being far too hawkish for my taste. We don't need a Maggie Thatcher as our first woman President.

So, yes, I support John Edwards. No, he's not perfect; the 'perfect candidate' could never hope to be elected to so much as neighborhood dog-catcher in our hopelessly unworkable election system. But I think that John Edwards 'gets it'. I thought so in 2004 also, and supported him then.

And I think the proof that his message is hitting home is the virtual media blackout around him.

Even though he was vastly outspent in Iowa by his Democratic rivals -
Obama (more than $9.5 million)
(more than $7.5 million)
($7 million-plus)
Edwards ($4 million)
Huckabee ($1.4 million).
- he was the second-place winner, beating someone who outspent him almost 2-1. But as far as the media were concerned, he might as well have stayed home. He is not a part of the History-In-The-Making® narrative of the first African-American President Candidate vs the First Woman President Candidate Death-Cage Smackdown. He messes up their nice little World Premiere Television Event.

BruinKid writes:

Of all the multi-candidate headlines on Google News, Edwards appears in just 8%, compared to 97% for Obama and 95% for Clinton.

In other words, out of 2,901 multi-candidate headlines, Edwards appeared in only 228. Obama appeared in 2,813. Hillary, 2,761.

But it's his message that makes the establishment shake in their Ferragamos and Bruno Maglis. He openly talks about takng on the corporations. What's more, he's done it successfully as a (...dum dum dum...straight from the bowels of hell...) trial lawyer. He understands that there are, indeed, Two Americas. And that's the last thing that the plutocrats want us to know. The more they hammer on about 'personal responsibility', the less they have to worry about corporate responsibility. But it seems that, somewhere, somehow, a few Americans are starting to 'get it' also - Republicans as well as Democrats. As David Sirota points out, populism is on the rise. The media is attempting to spin Huckabee's win in Iowa as merely an evangelical phenomenon. But Huckabee is also the only Republican who talks about poverty, job outsourcing, CEO overindulgence, and other economic concerns. And having people start worrying about those issues instead of the War on Terra, Islamo-Fascism™ and 9/11-24/7 is to be avoided at any and all costs.

The mainstream media, with its incestuous relationships with those in power, are desperately trying to pretend there's no such thing as John Edwards. The intrepid Elizabeth Edwards, however, ain't havin' it, and calls out the Tweetmeister, Chris Matthews on Hardball. (h/t Crooks and Liars) When he inevitably goes after Edwards for taking money from the dreaded trial lawyers (the bane of the corporatists' existence, and the only line of defense for an individual who has been wronged by an entity much bigger and richer than he or she could ever hope to be), calling them an 'interest group', she neatly disposes of his talking points, one by one. He weasels, she hones in. But Tweety's telling phrase is this:
"I mean, he’s not the first woman president, first African American president—this is exciting history. John Edwards is just another white Protestant from the South."
Gee, Tweety. What a shame a great candidate has to go and ruin your frickin' "Movie of the Week." God forbid that a candidate with the interests of the American people at heart, not just the 'haves and the have-mores', should gum up the works when you have your Sweeps Week mini-series so neatly planned out. Perhaps it would be more interesting if, say, Edwards were to come out in a dress and pearls? The First Cross-Dressing President? (Never mind - Julie-ani's already covered that.) Or, maybe if Criss Angel were to have him materialize onstage in a puff of smoke, maybe with some devil-horns for good measure?

Won't somebody please think about the ratings?

(Update: for more in-depth analysis of the Incredible Shrinking Edwards, see JedReport.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Old Gray Mare, She Ain't What She Used To Be - more thoughts on NYT

(Welcome to the folks at Crooks & Liars! Thanks, Mike!)

DistributorcapNY wrote a great post on the hiring of Billy 'the Kid' Kristol - much better researched than mine (although in my defense, I wrote mine after coming home from my New Year's gig at 3:00 in the morning...)

Here's what I thought:

Have you noticed that all of the 'responses' to the people who write or e-mail the NYT with the complaint, not about Kristol's conservatism, but about the fact that he's Wrong. About. Everything. are answered with 'we want a variety of viewpoints'!

Yes, you must always balance truth with a lie - or it wouldn't be
'balanced', would it?

That non-answer is completely ignoring the question asked, which has nothing to do with what side of the political spectrum one is on, and everything to do with credibility. These buffoons refuse to address that issue, but switch their answer over to something that wasn't asked.

What, couldn't they get Katherine Harris?

The Old Gray Mare, she ain't what she used to be...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year from Hooterville and Alicia!

Hi friends and fam,

It seems fitting to start my Hooterville Post Office Newsletter today.

2007 has been a year of ignition and transition; I'm hoping 2008 will be a year of fruition.

Although I started my book 'The Price of Right' at the end of 2006, last year was the year I really became a writer. It was a long, hard slog - especially trying to balance writing along with my first priority - my family - and my music work. My heartfelt thanks go out to my publisher, Drew Nederpelt at Sterling and Ross, because if it were not for his interest in my writing, I would not have written a book. Period. A note to my fellow bloggers out there: you can do it, too! As most of you know, I began blogging in 2004 after the debacle that was the Residential Selection. I did not start blogging because of any great conceit that I was a fabulous writer - I started blogging to save my sanity. I have no writing background; my 'higher education came to an end 3 months into my freshman year of college, when I got a road gig, and never looked back. But I was so 'shaken and stirred' by the outcome of the election that I had to find a vent for my thoughts and feelings, and that's when I became a blogger.

I had started a Wordpress blog earlier that summer, more to indulge my 'inner geek' and find out what this 'blog' thing I'd heard of was about, than to write about anything in particular. In fact, I think my first post was something along the lines of "Umm, this is my blog, and it's eleven o'clock at night, and I can't think of anything to write about." But the morning after Nov. 3rd, I was ready to spew, and started a Blogger blog just to say what I had to say. I didn't necessarily think I would write a second or third post, much less make it a regular part of my life. In fact, after my first couple of introductory posts, I didn't write again until the Bankruptcy Bill of 05 raised its ugly head on the scene. Furious, I threw myself back into blogging, which meant, of course, reading, researching, networking, and I've been reading, writing and researching ever since.

I would also be remiss if I didn't give props to my blogfather* Kyle E. Moore of Comments From Left Field, who was the first person that I actually had a blog conversation with, and who encouraged me to improve my writing. Thought of the day: you never know where a supportive word will take someone, so if you notice someone or something worth encouraging - do it!

Of course to Mike Malloy, whose radio show gives voice to what so many of us are thinking and feeling, whose outrage helps us by knowing that we're not alone in our own outrage, and who has been kind enough to read some of my articles on the air, including the one that caught the attention of my publisher.

And to you all - my family and friends, both blog-wise and in person, who have been along on this ride with me, thank you so much. As I said earlier - if you're a blogger (or even if you're not!), you can do this too. If you've learned to write something every day, that's 90% of the battle. Your voices are needed. Blogging for me was the first step that led to local activism, and then to a book. Blogging doesn't just have to be sitting in front of a computer and ranting to other bloggers - it can be a catalyst for change. It has been for me. As progressives,we may not have the luxury of being babysat by wealthy think-tanks to get our message out there. The Conservative Book Club is not going to buy a gazillion of our books to propel us onto the best-sellers lists. But it is absolutely imperative that everyone with something to say takes the opportunity to say it - while we still have that luxury.

It's difficult to keep up an optimistic viewpoint when we're faced with the daunting opponents of Big Money, Big Media, Big Guns and Big Religion, but as far as I'm concerned, apathy or 'opting out' are luxuries we simply can't afford. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other, regardless of whether we can see a light at the end of the tunnel or not. We have to ask ourselves "What's the right thing to do?" - not the easy thing or the thing that stands the most chance of success. And then we have to do it.

That's my resolution for 2008. I hope that the hard work of so many progressives will come to fruition, and that we will take courage from each other, and give support to each other. This is the only way we can win.

peace, Alicia

*he hates it when I call him that!

Bite Me, New York Times.

(Update: Front-paged on the Chimp again! Thanks to whoever does that!)
(Update 2: FP on Buzzflash! Wow, folks - thanks!)

On the last day of 2007, the New York Times published an editorial, titled "Looking at America," bemoaning what the nation has come to. It starts out like this:

"There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency."

It's a great editorial, and I agree with pretty much every word in it.

So why am I so pissed off?

Because the NYT was no small contributor to the state of affairs in which we find ourselves today. In fact, this little tid-bit:
"We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant."
was information that the Times knew about before the 2004 election - and sat on so as not to hurt George W. Bush's chances for re-election! Like the Supreme Court in 2000, who delivered a ruling that only applied to Bush to guarantee his civil right to be President by not counting votes, a lot of institutions seem dedicated to protecting at all costs one man's divine right to the Presidency. Funny - I thought the first responsibility the press has (and the reason that it is the only profession singled out in the First Amendment for special protection) is to the public interest and the public's right to know the truth - not covering the President's rear end. But the New York Times held back what they knew about warrantless wiretapping, and Dubya was able to weasel into another deadly term.

This supposed 'liberal rag' was a cheerleader for this war that they are now wringing their hands about. Judith Miller delivered article after article filled with 'information' trumpeting 'weapons of mass destruction', which gave credibility to the Bush Administration's insistence that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat who could only be dealt with by pre-emptive military attack.

Every time the Times had a chance to stand up and tell the truth, they cravenly rolled over for their corporate masters. Now they're blubbering about how awful these last seven years have been.

Boo hoo hoo.

You can bite me, NYT.

The editorial finishes up like this:
We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.
Unlike 2004? You mean when you kept vital information from the American voters so as to assure another Bush presidency? How about looking in the mirror as a newspaper, instead of a propaganda mouthpiece?

And, to add insult to injury, at the same time you're sniveling into your hankie about how horrid it's all been, you serve up more of the same, hiring Bill Kristol, neocon war-monger extraordinaire, as your newest 'columnist'. Could you possibly find a more credibility-challenged candidate? Practically every word out of his mouth has been proven wrong, and yet he continues to be treated as an 'authority' of some kind. David Corn writes in the Nation:

On March 5, 2003, Kristol said, "I think we'll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq."

Such vindication never came. Kristol was mistaken about the justification for the war, the costs of the war, the planning for the war, and the consequences of the war. That's a lot for a pundit to miss. In his columns and statements about Iraq, Kristol displayed little judgment or expertise. He was not informing the public; he was whipping it. He turned his wishes into pronouncements and helped move the country to a mismanaged and misguided war that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. That's not journalism.

This is someone who should be writing for the 'Paper of Record'?

So pardon me, NYT, if I'm not buying your sob story. Save it for some other chump.

The Gray Lady doth protest too much, methinks.