From the Office of Attorney Generalissimo Alberto Gonzales

“I, (insert name of incompetent hack) , pledge undying personal loyalty to El Jefe, the glorious George Armstrong Custer Bush, and do solemnly swear exclusive allegiance to the current Republican Platform of military aggression, class warfare, religious indoctrination, arrogance, and intolerance for which it stands.

As to the quaint old Constitution, I promise to uphold at least the Second Amendment and whatever specific part gives sole power to the President to rule everyone else without question. I reserve the right however to invoke the Fifth Amendment when I am caught shafting the Constitution or a Congressional Page/Intern, whichever comes first. Oh yeah, I also promise to obey some of the Ten Commandments if they do not inconvenience me too much.

I understand that I serve to pleasure the President. I also understand I will be fired if ever my performance at torturing terrorists, traitors, illegal immigrants and Democrats (which are all often one and the same) fails to exceed the political aspirations of my boss because firing for lack of political zealotry and poor job performance are hereafter one and the same.

I swear this so help me God, God Jehovah of the Old Testament of course (not that wimpy liberal Jesus of the New Testament). And, except when the FCC can hear me, I will faithfully and fully swear at anyone who disagrees on anything.”

[Footnotes from the Federal Human Resources Department to all new Republican Appointees regarding oath taking: (1) “When do I get my Medal of Freedom?” should not to be the first question after giving the oath. (2) Once the oath is given, you can no longer lie to Congress until you have cleared the exact wording of the lie with Karl Rove. (3) promptly make an appointment with the Preventive Maintenance Department to have a computer specialist show you how to permanently delete embarrassing e-mails. And, (4) meetings with your future campaign exploratory committees and interviewing recruiters from K Street lobbyist firms for future jobs must be conducted after regular business hours or on weekends.]

[Special footnotes for appointees who have law degrees: (1) Be sure to turn in your ethics exemption cards before accepting bribes. (2) When taking calls from indicted Congressmen, please use only the red “scramble” phone to insure the conversations remain private. And, (3) If you have not already done so, please provide a copy for our files of your law school transcript confirming your grade in Constitutional Law 101 was a “D” or lower]



Regarding the Undeclared War of the Upper Upper Upper Class Against Everyone Else

Class warfare was re-initiated back in the eighties. Although the war is an undeclared one, it is clear anyone making less than $100,000 a year is losing.

It is war about numbers. The ultra rich have the dollars on their side and the numbers are big. They have been using it to attack the only number everyone else still has on their side - voter totals. The latter is a superior number if the people recognize they are under attack and finally decide to vote on the subject.

Unfortunately, thanks to the multi-leveled economic attacks against those who work for a living(lobbying/bribery, control of media, spin when caught, anti-union laws, job outsourcing, attention redirection, name calling, vote fraud, theft, thuggery, etc.), the uberrich have been quite successful so far in reversing all the gains Americans have made since the days of the first Robber Barons.

The poor have been marginalized, exhausted, made ill, sold drugs or killed off. The middle class have been unwittingly distracted, deceived, out maneuvered, or out shouted. Even the mildly well off have been under attack without realizing it. They were bought off or co-opted with the illusion that they might someday be allowed to join the already unconscionably rich. Ironically, while that is the quintessential "American Dream," it has about as much mathematical chance of coming true as the lower classes' eternal dream of winning the lottery. Sadly, the ladders to the upper 1% levels have been pulled up behind established super rich by right of declared entitlement. With the exceedingly rare exception, usually self made like Gates, the titled aristocracy and self described “noblemen” of yore have nothing on the greedy offspring of gazillionaires.

Hopefully, the instinct for self preservation of the rest of us might kick in one of these days as the 99% look at the 1%'s lifestyle and ask why the 99% should pay for it. Hopefully, the concepts taught by Jesus (which have been hijacked by the greedy rich in this struggle) will be rediscovered and taken back. Hopefully, some of those who are the paid lackeys of the richest of the rich will find their conscience and re-read the principles for which this country once stood.



Or, Changing the Debate on Iraqi

Unless the shape of the debate changes soon, it looks like the earliest our troops will realistically be allowed to hope for getting out of the mistake known as Iraq is the day Bush is removed from office or whatever day the amoebas in Congress finally grow a spine. Unfortunately, the Democrats have allowed themselves to be foolishly boxed into a “debate” defending against the assertion that anything ending the fiasco is somehow not “supporting” the troops.

Bush and his NeoCons have once again conned the nation into a non sequitur. What the anti-Iraq quagmire activists need to do is change the question. How to do that? Are there any challenges or demands that can be made (besides the obviously useful impeachment alternative) that might assist? Actually there are several in which Bush’s own rhetoric can be successfully used against him. How about:


Yeah. I know. We thought we already did last November. But, apparently it was not explicit enough on the question of Iraq. If so, it would be pretty easy to organize a special election, a national plebiscite solely on the subject whether to (a) leave now or (b) stay until our soldiers run out of blood or our treasury runs out of money, whichever comes first. Consider it as a national No Confidence Vote which European nations have turned into a proud and useful tradition. Let’s ask Bush and Cheney to resign if they cannot persuade a majority of the voters that Western Civilization itself is riding on us staying in Iraq forever. If he truly has confidence in what he is telling us, ask him why not put it to a vote?

Of course, since we already know Bush is totally opposed to democracy here in the States and is too cowardly to really debate the subject, that will never happen. (In fact, it might even prove counterproductive given how Bush’s minions like the owner of the Diebold voting machines seem to magically achieve voting totals which defy logic and evidence when there is no paper trail to check against.) BUT, Bush does loudly and frequently claim he’s at least for spreading “democracy” in the Middle East. So, let’s let the Iraqis give us the purple finger as to whether they want us to remain.

Why should Bush consider agreeing? He can continue pouring our assets down that rat hole until the end of his term assuming he is not removed by impeachment. On the other hand, he seems to be starting to worry both about his “legacy” and has good cause to worry about post term investigations. Frankly, it’s a perfect solution for him. If the Iraqis vote to keep us as their guards, he wins the debate and can blunt criticism of him. If they vote for us to get out, he then has cover to pretend whatever later disaster happens is all the Iraqis’ fault, not his own massive bungling.

If Bush won’t consider an Iraqi vote or if the civil warring factions there would not allow it, how about demanding a UN General Assembly vote in which we agree not to exercise a veto and to abide by the result? Once again, Bush who surely knows he has already lost the war assuming he can read the reports from his own generals, can shrug his shoulders and say “Well, I would have won, but I wasn’t allowed to do so.” Legacy saved, at least in his own mind.


Bush claims he “supports the troops” and touts the “all volunteer” army with which he likes to play toy general. While it is not true if almost everything learned about missing armor, extended tours, poor vet care, rotten salaries, and literal rotten food, etc. is accurate, nevertheless, let’s insist he make Iraq an “all volunteer” mission. It used to be a tradition that when you sent troops on suicide or dangerous missions, volunteers were called for. If Bush believes so much in the mission, he can truly “support the troops” by saying they don’t have to go to Iraq unless they feel the same way.

Normally, in a real war, that would not be a good idea, but most of our other wars have been fought for valid reasons in which there was a real and present danger from something other than tin pot dictators we had put in power ourselves or a covetous desire for resources like oil. Consequently, let’s give our boys and girls a choice as to whether they want to die in Iraq for Bush’s ego, particularly when they are being asked to do so at a salary one-fifth what the Bush and Cheney are paying Blackwater private mercenaries to do the same thing.

No doubt it will cost substantially more to bump soldier salaries sufficiently high enough to persuade them putting Iraq oil in Halliburton pockets is worth dying for. At the same time, wouldn’t a significant increase in enlisted man compensation finally show some genuine “support” for the troops instead for the empty words Bush has been so fond of mouthing?

Better yet, how about initiating a draft of all those who voted in favor of the Iraq war starting with Bush’s military age offspring? That way, we would not even have to raise salaries. They wanted the war, they get it.

Naturally, Bush will fight such a proposal, but in doing so it once again exposes him for the utter hypocrite he is and shifts the focus on which the issue is presently stuck.


Don’t cut off the funds for the troops, but perhaps insist instead that they be paid for by those who want the war. Perhaps a line could be added to the income tax returns in which citizens and companies could specify how much they would voluntarily add to their tax burdens to fund the Iraq war. Bush could use those earmarked funds, but only those funds.

Oops, the big companies like Cheney’s Halliburton don’t pay much taxes. In fact, they are leaving for places like Dubai so they can pay even less. But, since the war is being really fought to supply them with oil revenue (plus a lot of easy war profiteering), they may have to be assessed some new taxes if the Republicans want to continue in their “Crusade” as Bush used to characterize it. Let them be asked to give back some of the billions they have stolen in graft, corruption, overcharging, insider trading and “bad accounting.”

If that does not supply enough money due to the public finally wising up or the corporations being too cheap to give back some of their obscene profits and obscene CEO obscene salaries, perhaps Bush can hold a telethon or use some of the campaign contribution bribery and lobbying funds he has stashed away. The bottom line is let those who want the war foot the bills for it. If they don’t, then use against them the same “unpatriotic traitor” mantra they call everyone else.


Basically demand the Prez prove that this is not really all about Oil by eliminating its consumption for fuel in this country. Demand immediate genuine progress be accomplished by launching, say, a massive Manhattan Project or first Lunar Mission urgency to end dependency before his Presidency ends. Ask that at least as much be spent on a useful alternative energy goal as has been spent on Bush’s military adventurism. Perhaps a 100% tax on gasoline at the pump, a surtax on oil company profits, mandatory gas rationing as occurred in WWII, elimination of restrictions on wind, wave, solar and other non-oil construction such as the suburban zoning height restrictions preventing home wind generator towers plus a huge research and development project on fuel cells and other hopeful methods.

This only indirectly would be an impetus for getting the troops out, but it would finally require the rest of the country to share some of the burden and sacrifice. Bringing that sacrifice home would remind the heads in the sand public that something is going on for which they too have a responsibility. It broadens the debate.


For instance, have we "won" and can get out if the death toll is dropped to, say, 25% of what it was last year? How about when the electricity operation is on for at least 50% of the day at least six days a week? How about if the daily death toll and utility service availability is at least the same as the average for, say, Mexico, East Timor or Algeria? Those are not very high standards to achieve. How about when reporters can report from anywhere and only, say, 25 a year are killed attempting to do so.

If we cannot achieve even those very low standards, then we will never achieve higher ones and it is better to demand we get out now while we still have the shirt on our backs.

No standards - no continuing.


Although Bush rejects international law, signed treaties, precedent, tradition, the words of his oath of office and most of the Constitution, Bush did seek a “war resolution” to allow him to use force in Iraq. Repeal that resolution or alternatively recognize that the Constitution requires Congress, and Congress alone, to declare war. Read it sometime.

If there is no legal authorization for the troops being in Iraq, then leaving them there would be an illegal activity for which Bush could be impeached.

As to cutting off the funds for the war, Bush attempts to characterize that as an attempt to harm the troops. In fact, it is the opposite. If Bush insists on leaving them there, then he and he alone is responsible for whatever happens next. In fact, by military law, troops are required to refuse to obey illegal orders which they would be if Bush ignores a demand for removal of the troops.

Cutting off the funds was necessary to finally end the war in Vietnam. Few now believe that troops were harmed as a result and that proved to really be the only way to bring them home. To continue the war would be an utter waste.


Bush is always trying to show us how macho he is cutting brush, riding bikes, wearing flight suits. How about if he will not agree to any of the foregoing, double dog dare him to move his personal base of operations along with his VP, senior staff and Attorney General to Iraq. Ask him to show his own personal courage for once rather than the yellow streak he showed in the Vietnam War. He should be asked to show the troops he is behind them just a few miles away, not an entire hemisphere. Legacy-wise, Bush would be asked to put up or shut up.

If he inspires the troops like Custer did, great at least for him. He can go down in history as being proved right – far right. If he gets killed there, no big loss and perhaps the Smithsonian, which is too close to the White House when someone finally does try a nuke, might be saved.

Bush can be reminded that if God is truly on his side as Bush proclaims, surely He will protect Bush. If not, then Bush can be happy he gets to go to his eternal reward even sooner.

One thing is for certain. We can do without Bush and his crew here for the next two years.

And if he doesn’t want to discuss one of the alternatives above, we can always seek to truncate the tumor consuming the White House by reconsidering the great ALTERNATIVE EIGHT: IMPEACHMENT. Overtly rejecting all these other seven alternatives would prove Bush (once again) to be the Hypocrite-in-Chief and might be just the miracle growth tonic those in Congress need to either grow a backbone or conclude they will lose their cushy job next time around.

It is time to break out of the box if we are going to ever break out of Iraq.



Or, Why the Disinformation from the Justice Dept and White House on Their Plans to Fire Local Attorney Generals

Apparently, the Bush crowd prevaricates out of mere force of habit. Its members, especially its leaders, can’t seem to bring themselves to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even when it is entirely pointless to mislead.

In the most recent instance, Bush was free to fire any (or even all) the attorneys that work for the Justice Department. It may have been highly unusual to do so, extremely wasteful, basically slimy and partisan motivated. But, it was legal. Such attorneys serve at the whim of Presidents, wilful or not, and can be canned, no matter how good they are. The reason behind such a firing is legally irrelevant (unless it is motivated by one of a very small list of expressly banned reasons such as firing them because of their sex or religion).

Thanks to an odious clause the Republicans snuck in the so-called “Patriot Act,” Bush no longer even has to let the replacement appointees be reviewed by Congress. Consequently, he can initially put in top notch lawyers for “show” purposes and then quietly replace them later with the party hacks and zealots of which he is so fond. Or, he could put in hacks and zealots from the start. Either way, it’s perfectly legal. Stupidly legal, but legal.

Moreover, tradition has long held that when new Presidents arrive, they get to have their own party members heading the various offices. Granted, Bush was trying something new with the late term “blanket” replacements and granted there have also been matching traditions that you try to get the best lawyers available for the job and that you should try to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Those all go to help insure perceived fairness of the Department. Nevertheless, since it was only a “tradition,” Bush was free to stomp all over it and thumb his nose at the entire country and legal profession. It was legal to do so.

Why then did Bush and his boys apparently elect to lie about it? They got caught wilfully misrepresenting the reasons behind the firings. They also got caught misrepresenting the extent of the White House’s involvement. They ended up essentially lying to Congress, to the Press and to the People. They seem to be still playing “spin” or possibly outright lying further about the coverup.

Why when all they had to do was announce their usual “UP YOURS!” and proceed to do what they wanted? Unlike the searches without warrants, the violations of habeas corpus, the torturings and the other actual criminal acts for which they will hopefully have to pay in court, it was legal to do what they wanted in this instance. Yet, for some reason, they deliberately strategized in secret to mislead and deceive despite the fact that it would cost them little or no harm to be honest for once.

There is a lesson here for the rest of us. When anyone is found to be lying about even such little things, it strongly suggests they are probably lying on all the big things too, (not to mention operating our government at a level of incompetence that is truly mind boggling). Therefore, the next time a Republican tells you the sun will appear in the East in the morning, perhaps you should check an astronomical table before you rely on it and, while you’re at it, check your wallet too.



Or, a Few Thoughts Regarding the Peremptory Firing of Several Competent Federal Attorneys in Order to Replace Them with Political Hacks

Once upon a time, back when competence actually was valued and we preferred our bureaucrats to be as fair and non-partisan as possible regardless of who was in elected office, the local Bar Associations reviewed the backgrounds and performance records of proposed appointees for judgeships, attorney general and other key legal positions. It typically resulted in recommendations submitted to the President or Governors as to the relative qualifications, integrity and lack of bias of each individual being considered. The mutually agreed upon goal of all involved, at least regarding selecting individuals to manage our legal system, was to put the best person in office rather than merely the most zealous partisan available.

It wasn’t perfect, but since the Bar Associations tended to have vocal members from all parties, it worked pretty well. As members of a profession whose licenses were accountable to standards of ethics beyond mere politics and having experienced roughly the same basic law school education, there at least was a shared recognition the courts and enforcement of our Constitution were critical cornerstones of our democracy requiring principled people in charge who cherished those concepts more than the opinions of party bosses. Usually back then, the Governors or the President acquiesced by picking one of Bar recommended top candidates for the job. If nothing else, that method helped earn the consent of the governed (temporary voting minorities included), which is yet another central support for democracy.

Unfortunately, the efforts of the Bar to assist, along with many other customs and traditions which attempted to protect the justice system from petty politics, have been utterly trashed in recent years. The Bush Administration in particular for some reason seems to be interested in abandoning it altogether, converting (perhaps perverting) the judicial system to its own image. Which, if any of the stories regarding torturing those in custody, violating of habeas corpus, searching without warrants and other potential criminalities prove to be true, is not a very pretty picture.

Perhaps it’s understandable why those occupying the White House at the moment might want to insure their collective thumbs rest heavily on the Scales of Justice. But, it certainly seems like an extremely risky gambit to try. It’s akin to attempting a “shoot the moon” strategy in the card game called Hearts, where the consequences of failure to win it all incurs an extremely heavy penalty. Unless Bush manages to establish a permanent Republican majority or outright dictatorial control of the US, the attempt itself is likely to turn around and bite both him and anyone else running under the Republican banner.

Either way, the public should insist upon a return to a more non-partisan, more objective, method of researching, testing and selecting those individuals who want to be in charge of day-to-day justice in America.