Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bush finds his inner human

These guys in the Bush administration are so funny.

A long-running effort by the Bush administration to send home many of the terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has been stymied in part because of concern among United States officials that the prisoners may not be treated
humanely by their own governments, officials said.

Administration officials have said they hope eventually to transfer or release many of the roughly 490 suspects now held at Guantánamo. As of February, military officials said, the Pentagon was ready to repatriate more than 150 of the detainees once
arrangements could be made with their home countries.

So now the US is concerned about whether the detainees will be treated humanely?

You can't make this stuff up.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

More of That Good News From Iraq

The Iraqis are not exactly feeling "liberated"...

Baghdad -- A majority of Iraqis say their country is in dismal economic shape and getting worse, with 3 of 4 respondents also describing security in the country as poor, according to a new poll conducted by a conservative American think tank.

The poll reveals a population with little optimism about its economic future. The findings show that Iraqis believe jobs are harder to find, electrical service is poorer, and corruption has increased dramatically since last year. And 62 percent of respondents said Iraq is more politically divided today than in the past.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Fat Hypocritical Piece of DooDoo

House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Ill., center, gets out of a Hydrogen Alternative Fueled automobile, left, as he prepares to board his SUV, which uses gasoline, after holding a new conference at a local gas station in Washington, Thursday, April 27, 2006 to discuss the recent rise in gas prices. Hastert and other members of Congress drove off in the Hydrogen-Fueled cars only to switch to their official cars to drive back the few block back to the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Baby With the Bathwater

WASHINGTON, April 26 —The Federal Emergency Management Agency was so
fundamentally dysfunctional during Hurricane Katrina that Congress should abolish it and create a new disaster response agency from scratch, according to a draft of bipartisan recommendations proposed by a Senate committee.

Not necessary. Just get competent people to run it, let it report to the president, and give it a bigger budget.

The new agency, which would still be part of the Department of Homeland Security, should be more powerful, with additional components that would give it a budget twice as big as FEMA's, the report's draft recommendations say.

It would assume functions spread throughout the department, like preparing for disasters or terrorist attacks, protecting the nation's infrastructure and distributing grants to state and local governments. And during major catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina, the agency's director would report directly to the president.

Uh...right. Like I was saying. But forget the Homeland security connection. Let it be a free agent like it used to be -- when it was effective, like under Bill Clinton.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Another Year of the Black Republicans

Every couple of years we get a "Will this be the year the GOP makes inroads with blacks?" news cycle.

WASHINGTON - Ken Blackwell is a man on a mission. A hulking former college
football player who currently serves as Ohio’s Republican secretary of state, Blackwell is running this year to become Ohio’s first African-American governor. And he faces his first test in achieving this feat when he squares off next week in a competitive GOP primary, which he’s favored to win.

He isn’t the only one on a mission, though. Two years after Illinois Democrat Barack Obama was elected to the Senate (becoming the third African-American since Reconstruction to serve in that chamber), the Republican Party is featuring four top-tier African-American candidates -- Blackwell, Keith Butler in Michigan, Michael Steele in Maryland and Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania. All of them are running for either a Senate seat or governorship in states with sizable black populations.

Yes, a black Republican or two could get elected, even statewide, if s/he is willing to adopt positions harmful to the vast bulk of black Americans. The number of such candidates is typically small, but no one should ever say never.

The more important thing is this: will they do it by convincing significant numbers of blacks to vote against their own interests, a la working class whites voting for the GOP? That would be tragic. If they do it by convincing Republican voters that it's safe to vote for a black, that's one thing. But if they do it by conning a significant number of superficial blacks into voting for whoever has black skin, that would be a sad development. Blackwell, the asshole, and Steele, the shucker-and-jiver, are trying to be of the first type. Swann, with zero political experience whatsoever, is trying to be the second type. I don't have a strong read on Butler, but my sense is that he's simply on a personal crusade, and he has no idea or concern about who actually votes for him.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Remaking of New Orleans

Great to know Bush has a "black" man deciding the fate of to New Orleans' public housing residents:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson shed little light Monday on the future of public housing in hurricane-battered New Orleans, but said that “only the best residents” of the former St. Thomas housing complex should be allowed into the new mixed-income development that replaced it.


“Some of the people shouldn’t return,” Jackson said. “The (public housing) developments were gang-ridden by some of the most notorious gangs in this country. People hid and took care of those persons because they took care of them. Only the best residents should return. Those who paid rent on time, those who held a job and those who worked.


“I’m a little disturbed that even today they want to bring a racial component into the hurricane. This isn’t about racism, this is about people suffering,” said Jackson, pointing to the large number of Vietnamese fishers along the Gulf Coast whose livelihoods were ruined by the storm. “It’s important (to remember) that everybody suffered in this disaster, not just black people. It bothers me tremendously when I see the so-called leadership in the black community, the liberal community zeroing in (on) how much more difficult it was for African-Americans than it was for white Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans.”


Eight months after Hurricane Katrina, the future of the 10 public housing complexes in New Orleans remains an open question. Times have never been tougher for low-income people as a shortage of rental housing after Hurricane Katrina has seen rents to historic levels. While HUD has re-opened some complexes, such as Iberville, most of the others remain closed and surrounded by protective fencing. Eager to return, former residents have marched in protest to force the government to open more, but HUD has so far refused.


I think they are getting ready to demolish public housing,” said Laura Tuggle, an attorney with New Orleans Legal Assistance. “One of the hardest parts of redevelopment is having to relocate residents of public housing. That job was done for them.”

So in Jackson's mind, the disabled, the elderly, the unemployed should basically take a hike.

It's clear that Bush crew and the whites of New Orleans have no interest in ever seeing any of the poor blacks return. Given that the odds are thatLandreiu will defeat Nagin in the mayoral runoff next month, it is likely that they will never be allowed to return.

Oh, and while I feel for the Vietnamese fishermen who lost their livelihoods, I'd like to think that the African-Americans who lost everything, including their lives, would register more powerfully in Jackson's mind. But then again, he's a Bush black, so...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Like, I'm Totally Doing God's Will!

The president of the United States sounds like a combination between a second-rate ValleyGirl impersonator and a sidewalk preacher.


NEW YORK President Bush today said he had tried to avoid war with Iraq diplomatically to the max." Speaking to a business group in Irvine, Ca., he admitted mistakes were made in planning for the Iraq invasion, but he defended the troop level, saying "it was the troop level necessary to do the job," and he would commit the same number if given a second chance.


Bush also explained, in unusually stark terms, how his belief in God influences his foreign policy. "I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true," he said. "One, I believe there's an Almighty. And, secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody's soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free.

Somebody please impeach this man. And his sinister vice resident, too. Now.

Wrong Target

(CBS) LOS ANGELES Several black activists plan to join members of the Minutemen Project to protest illegal immigration, which organizer Ted Hayes touted as the "biggest threat to blacks in America since slavery."The protest, organized by Hayes' Crispus Attucks Brigade and the American Black Citizens Opposed to Illegal Immigration Invasion, is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.Hayes, a homeless activist, alleged that most homeless people in Los Angeles are black and illegal immigration compounds the problem since blacks refuse to accept the "slave wages" that many illegal immigrants accept.

I have an idea. How about instead of rallying with racists against desperate people, you rally with desperate people against employers who pay "slave" wages.

Oh, and illegal immigration is the "biggest threat to blacks" since slavery? A little over-the-top, no? Or have we forgotten our friend Jim Crow, who murdered, terrorized, and subjugated millions of blacks for decades?