Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jackass Awards Part Deux - Virgil Goode

I haven't been blogging much recently. I have been overwhelmed with work and I will be leaving soon for a long vacation.

But this caught my eye. It is a letter from one of our U.S. Congressmen writing to a constituent regarding the use of a Koran to swear in the freshman Representative, Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim.

Virgil Goode, Jr. responds to his constituent to express how much disdain he has for anyone not Christian.

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath of Searing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle Ease to come to this county. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped...

So, apparently, Rep. Goode is not a big supporter of the First Amendment... It is ok for Goode to hold the bible while being sworn in, but god forbid that someone of another religion gets elected by democratic vote and wants to use the holy book of his own religion.

Additionally, I am completely confused about how Rep. Goode equates illegal immigration with the election of a Muslim form Minnesota. Keith Ellison, the recently elected Muslim, was born in Detroit to a Roman Catholic family. Rep. Ellison converted to Islam in college, like many other Americans have over the years. But, I guess you can't apply logic to Rep. Goode's letter since it is devoid of logic completely.

It is so sad that we have a single elected official in the U.S. government that is so narrow minded and so bigoted that he cannot accept his fellow congressman as a legitimate American. The troubling thing here is not a Muslim using the Koran to be sworn into office, but that Rep. Goode is being sworn in at all.

Dee the actual letter here

H/T Talking Points Memo

Update: Virgil Goode has decided to stand behind his bigorty and will not appologise for his letter.

Linwood Duncan, Goode's press secretary, said that Goode sent the letter to hundreds of constituents who contacted their office after Ellison disclosed his plans. At about the same time, a member of a local Sierra Club contacted Goode about a different issue, and the letter was accidentally sent to him in response. The Sierra Club member made the letter public.

"The congressman is not apologizing," Duncan said. "He stands by the letter." - Star Tribune

I guess it makes it ok that he accidently sent the letter to the wrong people. You can be a bigot, but only if you are a bigot to other bigots.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Jackass Awards

Sometimes there are people who deserve a special mention for being outright jackasses. So, today, today, I am listing some from the past week who have gone above and beyond the call of Jackassdom to reach new levels of jackassedness.

#3 - Tom DeLay

Tom Delay this week blamed the whole fiasco in Iraq on liberals and democrats. He claimed that if it were not for them whining and complaining about how bad things are in Iraq, things wouldn't be bad in Iraq. I guess Republicans who had complete control of the government had nothing to do with the failures we have suffered in Iraq. Sectarian violence? Democrats... No military plan to win the war? Liberals... The erosion of moral superiority in the world's eyes? Liberal media... Donald Rumsfeld's job performance? Ted Kennedy all by himself.

#2 - Freepers

The brain trust that is also known as the Free Republic had much to say about the recent tragedy of Tim Johnson's stroke. They spent the first two responses in the thread commenting on how repugnant it is for democrats to talk about the balance of power in the U.S. Senate if Johnson was not to fully recover or die... and then spent the next 78 responses talking about the balance of power in the Senate if Johnson was not to fully recover or die.

Notably, the Freepers also commented on how Johnson's stroke was the will of God to put control of the Senate back in Republican hands.

The real news of the day is that God may have placed the Senate back in our hands!

If the Senator recovers we can have joy for him and his family, we are abased. If he does not, we can have joy for our nation, we abound [emphasis is their own]

Then the freepers went on to make fun of the Senator if he were to be severely disabled.

One blink means 'tax'. Two blinks means 'spend'. Three blinks means 'surrender'

It warms the heart to know that the good people at the Free Republic are looking out for our best interests.

# 1 - Soledad O'Brien

Today, the waste of space that is Soledad O'Brien, interviewed the three wives of the men trapped on Mt. Hood. As the three women held each others hands, on the verge of tears, Soledad reiterated the horrible conditions on the mountain and asked the dumbest question ever:

"Are you still hopeful? The weather conditions as you've seen are so dreadful; the rescuers can't make it up the mountain; It is almost white out conditions; it's weather wise terrible, terrible conditions. Are you still hopeful you are going to get any good news out of this"

Thank you Soledad for telling these women that they have basically no cause for hope that they may ever see their loved ones again. What are they supposed to say? 'No, we have no hope. Our husbands are as good as dead'? Why don't you go eat one of their kids also, Soledad... lets see if you can do anything to make them feel even worse.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow

Yesterday, President Bush stated that he will put off announcing his plans for changes in his Iraq policy until after the new year. As of right now, we have gone into a "new way forward."

And by a new way forward, he means a new way forward... to a new slogan.

Seriously, if they had put as much time into actually planning and executing the war as they put into coming up with new catchy slogans, we might have been able to win this thing.

First it was "Mission Accomplished" - Well, turns out that the mission wasn't accomplished, so they had to scrap that.

Then they moved to "The Next Phase" - Unfortunately, the next phase was a phase into insurgency.

After that, we had "Stay the Course" - Again, that course was right over a cliff

Then came "Adapt and Change" - This, of course, referred to the Bush administrations slogans and not actually policy. The policy remained stay the course. The only thing adapted or changed was Bush's catch phrase.

Now, it is "A New Way Forward" - Again, this appears only to be a way forward to a new slogan. He just needed enough time for his PR team to come up with a new slogan... Because, you know... a good slogan solves everything.

I am thinking the next one will be "What? Like You've Got a Better Idea" - But then again, I think Mrs. Harding's 3rd grade class could actually come up with a better idea, so that might not be a good one.

"It's A Hard Job Being the President" has already been used, so that is right out the window.

With any luck, then next slogan will be "Whatever Dude! I Quit!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Nut Job Convention

There is a world meeting today of the world's leading nut jobs in Iran. Hosted by Iranian President Mahmoud "Mommy Didn't Hug Me Enough" Ahmadinejad, world intellectual featherweights convened the first annual "Holocaust? What Ev" convention to deny the deaths of millions of Jews during the Nazi era.

Disturbing enough was the attendance of former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke, but what really got me was the number of Jews in attendance.

At one point, Ahmadinejad said that Israel will go the way of the Soviet Union and that there should be elections among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner." I guess he forgets that Israel is the only real democracy in the middle east.

Ahmadinejad, while being completely insane, is not politically unsavvy. I have to wonder if there is a motivation behind this conference other than just pure blinding hatred. At first, I thought that it could be a wedge issue to try to split the U.S. from its allies. Anti-semitism is still somewhat stronger in Europe than it is in the U.S., especially in Russia. But if this was his plan, it was sure to backfire, as has proven to have happen. Strong rebukes from all over the world have landed at the Iranian President's door mat. Any indication that he had made to the effect that his nuclear program is "peaceful" is contradicted by this, along with many of his comments that Israel should be wiped off the map.

Unfortunately, just like we are stuck with Bush, Iran is stuck with Ahmadinejad. When military options are nil, the only other path is diplomacy.

Holocaust deniers' meeting spurs outrage
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria - A gathering of Holocaust deniers in Iran touched off a firestorm of indignation Tuesday across Europe, where many countries have made it a crime to publicly disavow the Nazis' systematic extermination of 6 million Jews.

The European Union's top justice official condemned the conference as "an unacceptable affront" to victims of the World War II genocide. British Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced it as "shocking beyond belief" and proof of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's extremism.

"I think it is such a symbol of sectarianism and hatred toward people of another religion. I find it just unbelievable, really," Blair said in London.

"I mean to go and invite the former head of the Ku Klux Klan to a conference in Tehran which disputes the millions of people who died in the Holocaust ... what further evidence do you need that this regime is extreme?" he added.

David Duke, an ex-Klan leader and former Louisiana state representative, was among those at the two-day conference. Although organizers touted it as a scholarly gathering, the meeting angered many in countries such as Austria, Germany and France, where it is illegal to deny aspects of the Nazi Holocaust.

In Washington, the White House condemned Iran for convening a conference it called "an affront to the entire civilized world."

The conference drew especially sharp condemnation in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country repudiated it "with all our strength."

"We absolutely reject this. Germany will never accept this and will act against it with all the means that we have," Merkel told reporters. She stood alongside visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who denounced the meeting as "unacceptable" and a "danger" to the Western world.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy was interrupted by applause from lawmakers when he told parliament in Paris that the conference showed a resurgence of "revisionist" theories "which are quite simply not acceptable."

(Full Story)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Way Forward

Well, the report is in - literally. The Baker-Hamilton report was released today and it flat out says that stay the course is not an option.

"The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved."

Hopefully, Bush will actually use this, along with the new Sec. of Defense as political cover to actually change course.

What I find very interesting about the report is that it acknowledges the role of the Palestine/Israeli conflict in the regions instability.

"The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians — those who accept Israel's right to exist — and Syria."

It took a lot of political balls to not only call Bush out on his failed Iraq policy, but on his failure to fully engage the other problems.

I will keep my fingers crossed that something will come out of this report, but I will not hold my breath. I doubt that Bush has the intellectual depth to comprehend the big picture on the Middle East and the War on Terror.

Excerpts of Iraq Study Group report

Panel: Bush Iraq policy 'not working'

Reaction to Iraq recommendations

Bush text on Baker-Hamilton report

Iraq Panel Calls Conditions 'Grave and Deteriorating'

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bolton Resigns Before Being Blown Out

Thankfully, John Bolton has resigned as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position that he filled after Bush appointed him by using the recess appointment process. Bolton, was active in the ongoing negotiations with both North Korea and Iran in regards to their nuclear programs. His track record on that alone is indication enough as to why he should not be confirmed.

Bush is calling the democrats obstructionist in the matter, even though there are Republicans who are also blocking his nomination.

I guess Bush will have to go back to his father's bull pen again to find someone who can actually do a decent job.

Bolton to exit as U.N. ambassador
By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will step down in the coming days, the White House announced on Monday, unable to overcome Democratic Senate opposition.

Bolton's attempt to hang on to his job, already tenuous, became even more problematic after Democrats who had blocked his nomination won control of the Senate in November elections.

President George W. Bush appointed Bolton largely because of a commitment to reform the world body. But Bolton's outspokenness and prickly manner often angered the diplomatic community and some of his fellow U.N. ambassadors at times found him difficult to work with.

(Full Story)