Archive for June, 2009

  • Rob Spectre
  • 30
  • Jun
  • 09

As it usually goes with these things, the Associated Press reported today that the well-publicized affair of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was even more lurid than he previously admitted.  What had been confessed in a painful press conference last week as a one year relationship is now discovered to have started in 2001, turning up the heat on the already boiling, bizarre case of the unfaithful governor.

Over the weekend, the increasingly few Republicans not fighting a scandal were on damage control.  With Sen. John Ensign and Sanford getting exposed for adultery and the Larry Craig incident still fresh in the public mind, the GOP was out to combat the impression that the sexual misconduct was a trend.  The party’s self-proclaimed title as the center for “family values” was in danger and it was all hands on deck to keep another ship in the Republican fleet from sinking.

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney managed to sew a shot at the gay equality movement with his defense of the party’s integrity (emphasis added).

I don’t think there’s any question but that we aspire to the highest standards of ethical conduct and that we aspire to values that’ll make America stronger.  There’s no question.  But the best think you can do for raising a child is to have a mom and dad love each other in a home.  And, and to say that and to say we want to see marriage between men and women, that we want to see families raised with the benefit of people who are married, that’s a, that’s a very important part of our culture.  It’s part of what our, our parties believes.  We believe in life.  These features are important.  And do we have people who don’t live up to those standards?  Absolutely.

By this point, the Republican spin machine has gotten really good at handling adultery, allowing for opportunities for folks like Romney to exploit emergency to the party’s advantage.  But, a decade after the GOP went batshit crazy over an extramarital affair in the White House, are they guilty of hypocrisy?

Romney’s partner on the Sunday news show was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who was quick to point out that the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that President Clinton committed had nothing to do with the affair, but with the conspiracy to cover it up.  Graham drew a subtle distinction between that adultery and this one, claiming Sanford had done nothing wrong.

But the governor did do something wrong. By focusing so much on the “heartbreak” and “love factor” of the affair, Republicans are safely evading the real issue with Sanford’s irresponsibility: no one was in charge of South Carolina for five days.  Not even his wife knew where he was when he ran off to Argentina for one final go with the mistress, and without delegating power to the lieutenant governor, South Carolina was operating without a commander-in-chief.

When impeaching President Clinton, the Republicans said the trial wasn’t about sex – it was about lying.  Now a decade later, already on the ropes when the tables were turned, they are deliberately making the Sanford affair about sex, to avoid the real questions about the governor’s absence.

It is a deliberate hypocrisy; a calculated P.R. juke to latch on to the little power the Republicans have left.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 29
  • Jun
  • 09

Like many popular websites today, (d)N0t did experience a brief outage today. According to our upstream provider, the network issue should now be resolved, allowing our fight against the future to continue without timeouts.

Many thanks to the alert readers who brought it to our attention.

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  • Hala V. Furst
  • 29
  • Jun
  • 09

Back in the halcyon days of my youth, I spent countless hours the way I suspect many only children spent countless of their hours: running around the neighborhood aimlessly looking for fun. I was particularly fond of taking my bike down to the zoo in Riverside Park, just a block from my house, where a curious child like myself could find all manner of fauna indigenous to Wichita- which was basically a couple of ducks and a beaver named Webster.

But eventually I became jaded with the constant wood-chewing, and sought stimulation of a higher magnitude. I took to using my dad’s walkman, playing all manner of cassette tapes. NKOTB (that’s New Kids on the Block to those of you who weren’t a six year old girl in 1988), Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, the soundtrack to the London production of Man of La Mancha, Phil Collins. I memorized all the lyrics, I created elaborate dance routines in the backyard, rocking out in my Garanimals as day became night. All music was equally loved by my undeveloped ears, but none quite as much as Michael Jackson’s Bad. 

Every song on that tape made me want to dance, even the maudlin Man in the Mirror (to which, if memory serves, I crafted a giant Lego building-block masterpiece in the shape of a peace sign). I wasn’t an MJ fan; I didn’t run right out and buy any of his other music like I would do whilst in the thralls of later musical love affairs. But I loved that tape. Listening to that tape made me feel good, for reasons I couldn’t articulate then, and can’t articulate now. Music is like that.  

So when I turned 27 on Wednesday, and Jackson died on Thursday, I didn’t think much of it at first. He was a freak-show, to be sure, a man who was tormented and quite possibly tormented others. And in typical American fashion, a man vilified on Wednesday became a martyr for art by Friday.  His death pushed aside all the terrible things we said about him.  We could safely focus only on his music, now that the grave separated him from our children. 

But that night, as I laid in bed watching the shadows on my ceiling, I kept thinking about the Man in the Mirror. I wondered about what happened to the little boy who sang about love before he could possibly know what it was, whose talent couldn’t save him from the hungry world, or whatever darkness grew inside him. And I wondered about what happened to that little girl, singing full-throated and unafraid, chorus-line kicking her way into the early evening, with only fireflies for backup singers.

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  • Robert Taylor
  • 29
  • Jun
  • 09

Obama, who promised Americans a more open and “transparent” government than the previous eight years of lawlessness, has continuously proven that he is openly embracing this same corruption. First, it was his “preventive detention” reversal, where he promised to continue Bush’s defacto suspension of habeas corpus. Then it was the suppression of the most recent Abu Ghraib torture photos (which showed U.S. soldiers beating, torturing, and raping Arab captives). According to The Washington Post (thanks to the indispensable Glenn Greenwald), Obama is now planning an executive order that would “reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely,” which could also stall his supposed plans to close the U.S. Gulag at Guantanamo Bay. The article actually favorably quotes two former Bush national security officials who argued the merits of similar proposals when Bush was in office.

Photo: Leo Reynolds

Photo: Leo Reynolds

The “detainees” that this order would apply to would be subject to an “annual presidential review,” meaning that every year, the Pharaoh alone will decide whether or not the captured prisoners will continue to rot away in government cages without trials for another year.

This is astonishing. Obama would have the power to lock up anyone that he wants at his own discretion, without trial or without any resemblance of constitutional rights, and then throw away the key. This is all being justified by the so-called “war on terror,”  a war that by definition has no end and which the U.S. cannot conceivably win. Well, there are some winners (defense contractors and lobbyists), but the losers, which include our dead and maimed soldiers, our civil liberties, our currency and economy, constitutional government, and hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians, far outnumber them.

The irony of Obama’s election is that previous critics of the Bush Regime have jumped on Obama’s sinking ship of mimicry. There are a few Bush critics who are also critical of Obama, like the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, but one can search in vain trying to find the mainstream Left saying a harsh word about the God-King. He’s their guy after all, and criticism is counterproductive to Obama’s efforts to nationalize every industry he can get his filthy hands on and pass the largest tax increase in U.S. history. Who cares about egregious constitutional violations now that Bush is out office?

Obama’s arrogance is worse than the Bush Junta’s, and that’s pretty hard to top. During Obama’s sickeningly ironic speech on civil liberties last month justifying these “preventive detentions,” he received a rounding applause as he stood in front of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives. Never in the short history of this country have corruption, secrecy, and war mongering been so supported, defended, and worshipped by so many. Queen Amidala, who witnessed her republic crumble in front of her very eyes, summed it up best: “…so this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.”

Bush and Cheney were pretty upfront that they would act however the hell they wanted, Constitution be damned; Bush was “The Decider.” As Digby correctly notes, Obama and his thugs believe they have this same right to shred the Constitution, and the more his faux-charm and faux-eloquence continue to dazzle the embarrassing establishment media, he’ll be able to get away with anything.

American are fooled every four years into thinking that we have a say in the electoral process, but every four (or eight) years we choose a Republican Caesar or a Democrat Caesar, an elected dictator. Monarchs and emperors of the past liked to fashion narcissistic grandiose titles for themselves, and we should start applying this same rule to the current occupier of the Imperial Throne, Barackuss Obamus. Or better yet, Bush II.

Editor’s Note: For more of Robert Taylor’s work, check the frequently updated column on the Examiner and his own blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis.

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  • Rob Spectre
  • 28
  • Jun
  • 09

Florida Ska-punkers Less Than Jake roll into San Francisco with Warped Tour 2009 on Pride Weekend. During their set, a fan dressed for the big gay occasion joins them on stage for “The Ghosts of You And Me.”

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