Student Lones

By the way, the Washington Post article I linked to in the last post contains a incredibly good point made by the former President, an accomplishment of these Democrats that they should by shouting from the rooftops, but that they just aren’t talking about one bit: They reformed student loans.

Clinton reserves time near the end of his speeches to talk about student-loan policy change, an Obama accomplishment he says isn’t getting its due on the campaign trail. Clinton bemoans that the United States has fallen from first to ninth in the world in the percentage of adults with a four-year college degree – because too many students drop out for fear that they can’t repay their loans.

Democrats overhauled student-loan policy to cap monthly repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income – a law Clinton says Republicans want to repeal.

Why in God’s green earth isn’t every Democrat running for anything touting this marvelous accomplishment?

George W. Bush and I Are Very Different People

Former President George W. Bush signaled on Thursday that he sees not reforming Social Security as his greatest failure from the eight years he served in the White House, the Chicago Tribune reports. In 2005, the president unsuccessfully tried to partially privatize Social Security.

So in 2008, having our Social Security money in the stock market would have been a good idea? Really?

Wonder what he thinks his greatest success was?

In terms of accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amidst a real danger.

Oh, yeah, George, that would be great. IF YOU HAD ACTUALLY DONE THAT.

This weird common wisdom that George W. Bush “kept us safe” has got to stop. He in fact did the exact opposite of that. But because America was collectively shitting its pants in terror, America gave George W. Bush a pass on the fact that he allowed 9/11 to occur; that he ignored Richard Clarke, that he ignored Sandy Berger, that he ignored the PDB, that he spent way the hell much too time in Tejas while these 19 assholes were making aeroplane reservations, and that on September Eleventh, his national security advisor was poised to give a speech about missile defense. George W. Bush did not “keep us safe.” He did the exact opposite of that.

In fact, I was reflecting recently about the Bush legacy. A stunning realization came down on me like a ton o’ bricks.

Even if you go well out of your way to be kind to Bush, there’s still no way around the fact in the following sentence: The presidential administration of George W. Bush was in office during a time when THREE “apocalyptic” events occurred.

Tragedy strikes during every presidency, certainly. President Carter was at the helm when students in Iran took Americans hostage for 444 days. President Reagan had Beirut. President Clinton had Oklahoma City and blow jobs.

But I don’t think you can say that any president in recent memory has presided over events as vividly apocalyptic as were the attacks of Sept. 11, the willful neglect of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, and the tailspin of the 2008 economic crisis.

That, to me, is the true Bush legacy. And that, mis amigos, is what exposes grandly any notion that George W. Bush “kept us safe.” He did no such thing.

(Hell, he couldn’t even keep Harry Whittington safe from his own VP.)

Now, you want to see a President with a shiny pretty legacy, check out that of the aforementioned BJ guy:

If there was any doubt that Clinton remains the Democratic Party’s North Star, it has been erased over the past few weeks as he has packed legions of supporters into basketball arenas, college quads and airport hangars. He is the Democrats’ most in-demand messenger and, unlike Obama, he is summoned everywhere – no matter how hostile the territory.

(Thanks to PB for the link. Yoink!)

Who Has Put This Pubic Hair On My Blog?

Here’s one thing that’s got to be noted, I think, regarding the recent dust-up between Gin Thomas and Anita Hill.

As you will recall, the wife of U.S. Justice and Alleged Porn Freak Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill and asked her this, as quoted in a previous post here at KIAV:

Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas, I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day.

Thing is, this request does what conservatwats are fond of doing: It ignores what actually happened.

Anita Hill didn’t jog up to Capitol Hill in her stilettos screaming WAIT! WAIT! HE’S A PORN FREAK AND A SEXUAL HARASSOR! WAAAAAAAAIT!

Here’s the timeline from the New York Times of yore (Oct. 7, 1991):

The accusations were first reported today by Newsday and National Public Radio. NPR said Professor Hill had first made them to the Judiciary Committee the week of Sept. 10, while members of the panel were questioning Judge Thomas in public hearings.

In an interview broadcast this morning on NPR, Professor Hill said she had initially decided that she would not tell the committee of her accusations but changed her mind as the hearings were about to begin because she felt she had an obligation to tell what she believed to be true. “Here is a person who is in charge of protecting rights of women and other groups in the workplace and he is using his position of power for personal gain for one thing,” she said. “And he did it in a very ugly and intimidating way.”

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who heads the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement today that when Ms. Hill first contacted the committee, on Sept. 12, she insisted that her name not be used and that Judge Thomas not be told of her allegations. He said this effectively tied the committee’s hands.

Only on Sept. 23, Mr. Biden said, did she agree to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the allegations. The report was finished by Sept. 25, he said, and all committee members were notified of it by the next day. On Sept. 27, the committee deadlocked 7 to 7 on the nomination.

Anita Hill was reluctant to testify. She was on the fence for some time about whether or not to testify. As Time Magazine of yore stated:

It was hard to imagine two more unlikely or reluctant witnesses.

I think that Gin Thomas’ voicemail indicates that Hill testified out of sheer vindictiveness and eager spite. I think her reported reluctance to testify signals otherwise: No way no how would Anita Hill have come forward, I think, if she didn’t think it was important.

Important, how? Remember, Hill was no slouch. Yale Law, class of 1980. D.C. Bar the same year. Assistant secretary in the DOE by 1981. Hill was a smart, motivated woman, a character who strikes me as the type to whom this kind of thing mattered. They’ve nominated WHO to be a United States Justice? That creep?

I think there are other things to assess when debating the credibility of these various players. Remember, there was a book written about Anita Hill, called The Real Anita Hill. Its author, David Brock, has since recanted the entire project and now does work for Media Matters for America. An entire book smearing Anita Hill was so egregious that its own author recanted it and changed his entire ideological bent based on its horribleness.

Then there are a few other externalities. Like the four witnesses who testified on Hill’s behalf at the hearing. Like that Thomas himself fell on the old “high-tech lynching” saw rather than just allowing his denials to stand on their own. And, oh yes, there’s this: Clarence Thomas is a male.

Which do I find more believable, that a male human being is capable of acting like a complete hog, or that an attractive female ivy-leaguer who makes it to a major federal department job by age 24 is delusional enough to make up conversations her boss forced her to have about penis?

Sure, Gin, you’re owed an apology. And I’m Long Dong Silver.

Public Broad Casting

Public broadcasting. This is one of those issues on which mine very own Papa Bonk used to opine and I’d sort of squint at him and go “HUH?”

Because PB has argued for years that federal support for public broadcasting should be yanked. And, as of recently—even though that is the entity that taught me how to read—I’m rather down with him on that.

The problem with public broadcasting is that it ain’t. If you tune in to “All Things Considered,” you hear commercials just the same. And, as much as my conservagoat buddies want to argue that NPR is a great liberal media sanctuary, sorry, but it ain’t. NPR is nearly as corporate as CNN.

Not digging that idea? When’s the last time you heard Workers Independent News on your local NPR affiliate? Never? But I’ll bet you that you can tune in tonight to hear Marketplace. That is not the peoples’ media, friends. Sorry.

So the question is, with all of these Conservadicks seizing upon the opportunity of NPR’s firing of Juan Williams for speaking with his lizard brain, bitching about the nearly nonexistent federal funding of NPR, the question to me is, do me and PB throw in with them and call for an end to federal funding of NPR, even if the reason is absolutely wrong-headed and foolish and spearheaded by the likes of Prudence Palin?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Two Many Bosses Spoil the Brass!

An NPR reporter (and someday I am going to take note so I can actually name names) told us yesterday that the military leadership is conflicted about what they can say in public. This all relates to Gen. McChrystal, who just officially retired, and his firing for having second guessed the boss.

The problem, according to NPR, is that the military leadership is conflicted because they serve two masters, i.e. Congress and the President. Thus, when Congress asks questions, they feel compelled to answer. Now here is a little civics lesson for you morons at NPR which I would expect the Pentagon Brass already knows. The President of the United States (POTUS) is not called the Commander in Chief for nothing. It’s right there in the Constitution of the United States:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States….”

That’s Article II, Section 2 if you want to look it up. Thus, the United States Military does not have two masters. It has only one. POTUS. Currently that is Barack Obama. (I could see some right wing nut arguing that this provision does not apply to the Air Force because it does not say air force. Never know what will come out of Cloud Cuckoo Land.) If Congress asks questions, The Brass would do well to make sure their answers are consistent with the intentions of the Commander in Chief.

This is nothing new. Harry Truman fired that fascist bastard Douglas McArthur after the General took his own views of foreign policy to the public in opposition to the President. Vietnam Era officers held their tongue rather than second guess Lyndon Johnson or Retched Noxin. In the days of George Busch, many honorable military leaders resigned their commissions before they spoke out against the Iraq war.

Back I the old days, military offices were taught that they had no business mixing in politics. Few of them voted, and none of them (except for the occasional demigod like McArhur) messed in politics. Eisenhower not only never voted, he was not sure what political party he should join up with when he was recruited to run for President. Now, for better or worse, those times are gone. Military officers often state their opinions. Some of them try to impose their religion on their subordinates. Others have regular followings on the right. One of the more frightening events of the Busch era was a spate of resignations by rational and centrist military leaders who opposed the Busch policies. Frightening because the right wingers stay on and push the military ever further to the right.

President Obama was right to fire McChrystal (wonder of the general will run for President), and he should continue to remind the nation just who is in charge. As for NPR (and, incidentally, Christine O’Donnell), you don’t need a lesson in constitutional law, but sometimes it helps to read the document.

About that Coke Can with the Pubic Hair!

This to too good. Ginny Thomas, wife of Clarence, is still pissed off about Anita Hill. And now she is making phone calls… at 7:30 a. m.  Here is what she said!

“Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas, I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day.”

Here is the news, Ginny! Anita Hill is not going to apologize! She said what she said because your husband acted like a sexist asshole when he was her boss! She said what she said because it was true! And in case you have forgotten, here is what she said:

“My working relationship became even more strained when Judge Thomas began to use work situations to discuss sex. On these occasions, he would call me into his office for reports on education issues and projects or he might suggest that because of the time pressures of his schedule, we go to lunch to a government cafeteria. After a brief discussion of work, he would turn the conversation to a discussion of sexual matters. His conversations were very vivid.

He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex or rape scenes. He talked about pornographic materials depicting individuals with large penises, or large breasts individuals in various sex acts.

On several occasions Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess. Because I was extremely uncomfortable talking about sex with him at all, and particularly in such a graphic way, I told him that I did not want to talk about these subjects. I would also try to change the subject to education matters or to nonsexual personal matters, such as his background or his beliefs. My efforts to change subject were rarely successful.”

Here is bigger news, Ginny. The whole world now wants to know what you were drinking… or snorting or shooting… all night before you called Anita Hill, a quiet, highly regarded law professor, who worked very hard to put all this crap behind her… to talk about an incident that happened 20 years ago. An incident in which, I should add, your husband… and you… came out winners! We want to know why you are still obsessing over it… and what it means about your relationship with Long Dong Silver. Is Clarence still pining for Anita Hill? Is he tired of white nooky? Does he yearn for a real woman?

Stay Tuned. The right wing comedy hour could not be funnier if I wrote it myself.

Staggering/Damning

Perhaps most revealing about today’s posting on the National Security Archive’s Web site is what is missing—any indication whatsoever from the declassified record to date that top Bush administration officials seriously considered an alternative to war. In contrast there is an extensive record of efforts to energize military planning, revise existing contingency plans, and create a new, streamlined war plan.

As if it’s needed, more support for the supposition—and by that I mean “fact”—that George W. Bush took his oath knowing he was going to find a way to go to war with Iraq.

OUTRAGEOUS

A reporter is in a corridor in a public school and is trying to ask a question of a man who is running to be a senator in these Untied States of America.

Before I continue, may I offer a brief definition of a “public school” as “an institution of learning that is financed by taxpayer dollars.”

Private security guards for the candidate HANDCUFF THE REPORTER, drag him down the hall and detain him for 25 minutes.

Before I continue, may I offer a brief definition of a “private security guard” as a “goon who is hired by a Senate campaign for money to be a goon.”

This actually happened. The candidate was Joe Miller, who is running for Senate in Alaska. The reporter was Tony Hopfinger, who edits the website Alaska Dispatch. It happened as Hopfinger tried to ask Miller questions at Central Middle School in Anchorage on Sunday.

This is NOT acceptable.