Friday, July 16, 2004

Missing: Bush's Marbles

During a brief meeting, unattended by any press, George W. Bush recently told a small group of Amish the following:

"I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."

Wow... If you had any doubt that Bush is completely gone, absorbed in his own little apocalyptic religious fanatic world, this should really put it to rest. This is a man who cannot be trusted to lead this nation. He is a radical religious fundamentalist who believes that anything he does and says is literally the work and word of God.

These are scary times to begin with. A Bush reelection is bound to make things much, much worse.

posted by Scott | 7/16/2004 | |

Celebrities And Politics

I seriously could not care less which celebrity believes what. Bruce Willis a conservative? Great! Brad Pitt is a liberal? Fantastic! Ed Asner is a socialist? Yay! Mel Gibson says weird things about the Holocaust? Uh, well I guess I do care just a bit.

All I care about is that if someone is going to speak his mind, he does it intelligently. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking about his economic conservatism as a function of his upbringing in left-leaning Europe? Interesting. However, when celebrities do so unintelligently, they look like idiots and undercut the cause they're trying to advocate. (Think Rosie O'Donnell jumping down Tom Selleck's throat on gun control.)

But not only do idiot celebrities bother me. More annoying are the talking heads and their minions who discount celebrities' political beliefs just because they're held by celebrities.

I recall reading once -- I believe it was in the weekend throwaway magazine Parade -- a reader letter that questioned Rob Reiner's right to run for political office (something he has not done, by the way). Whoever fielded the question pointed out that as an American citizen, Reiner had the same right to run for office or to have his own opinion as anyone else. After all, they pointed out, hadn't Ronald Reagan been an actor who ran for office?

So the charge that liberals rely so much on Hollywood and celebrities to help them make their case is absolutely hilarious to me. The Governor of California is a Republican action star. The former mayor of Carmel, CA was another Republican movie star -- Clint Eastwood. The only actor to be elected to the White House was (duh) a Republican.

With this in mind, I thought this little bit about what celebrities are supporting the GOP was definitely of interest.

Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts on "The Sopranos," headlined a fundraiser in Queens last night for the Rockaway Republicans and President Bush. He told The New York Post, "I'm here because I'm a far-to-the-right Republican."

But other than an oddly up-front "far-to-the-right Republican" and celebrity, what else is Tony Sirico?

Well, Tony Sirico is "a danger to society" -- a convicted felon with a "character disorder". During his days as a real-life Mafia thug, Sirico served as a drug dealer and hired muscle, roughing up nightclub owners for protection money.

Of his, ahem, 'methods of persuasion', Sirico once said, "[y]ou hit them over the head with a baseball bat, and they come around." Interesting... I'm sure Karl Rove is taking extensive notes. Now at least we know which Republican has been directing the interrogations as Abu Ghraib.

All of a sudden, anything Barbra Streisand or Whoopi Goldberg might have said or done in the past doesn't seem quite so important, huh?

posted by Scott | 7/16/2004 | |

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Dubya And Kenny Boy Learn To Share

Awww, how sweet? I'm imagining the two of them sitting across from each other at a Houston malt shop, lips puckered on two straws in one vanilla milkshake. Unfortunately, criminal defense attorneys are rarely as cute as this.

James E. Sharp (gosh, I hope they aren't fighting for his attention!) is now representing both Ken Lay in the Enron case and George W. Bush in the Valerie Plame case.

The Beat Bush Blog has done a terrific job of scooping the poop on this story, so I'll suggest that you go there to check it out. However, I have to share my favorite little bit from Sharp's resume. Sharp is primarily a black-ops lawyer, having represented some pretty slimy Republicans during both Watergate and Iran-Contra, and is thought to have extensive CIA ties.

But it turns out that Sharp is a pretty committed Democrat! He's given $44,000 in the last four years to Democratic candidates, his only other political contribution was $2,000 to GOP Sen. Richard Shelby.

Let me spell this out for you people... President Bush's CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY thinks that he shouldn't be president. Get it? Do you get it now?

posted by Scott | 7/14/2004 | |

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

How Liberal Are Kerry And Edwards?

Andrew Sullivan has posted a fascinating reader letter regarding the 'liberal' ratings that have been tagged to Kerry and Edwards by the GOP lately. It turns out that their rankings -- numbers one and four most liberal members of the Senate, respectively -- aren't quite so accurate.

Averaging each Senator's rankings over the last five years, one comes up with a much more accurate -- not to mention moderate -- reading. John Kerry is only the 12th most liberal member of the Senate, while John Edwards comes in smack-dab in the middle of the Democratic pack as the 24th most liberal. This means that John Edwards is also the 26th most conservative Democrat in the Senate.

Suddenly those numbers don't sound quite so damning...

Chalk it up to fuzzy math.

posted by Scott | 7/13/2004 | |

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Jessica Simpson And The End Of American Democracy

Are you intrigued? You damn well should be. There's an interesting link between the Newlyweds pop star and a proposal to coordinate a plan to call off the November election in case of terrorist attack. Let me explain...

The current issue of Newsweek has some interesting information about a frightening possibility many of us have, until now, only joked about. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has recently approached the Justice Department about looking into the legality of postponing the Presidential election. Obviously, this is related to his recent warnings of potential terrorist attacks timed to disrupt the elections. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff also mentions "a recent letter to Ridge from DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission."

Soaries noted that, while a primary election in New York on September 11, 2001, was quickly suspended by that state's Board of Elections after the attacks that morning, "the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election." Soaries, a Bush appointee who two years ago was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Congress, wants Ridge to seek emergency legislation from Congress empowering his agency to make such a call. Homeland officials say that as drastic as such proposals sound, they are taking them seriously -- along with other possible contingency plans in the event of an election-eve or Election Day attack.
So what do we know about DeForest Blake Soaries, Jr., the man who is seeking the power to halt American democracy?

According to his official biography at the EAC website, Soaries served as New Jersey's Secretary of State from 1999 to 2002. He is also the head minister of Somerset, NJ's First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. According to an earlier biography, Soaries was the host of the New Jersey Network's teen-focused talk show "Straight Up with Buster Soaries". He also had another foray into the entertainment business. Soaries was the founder of Proclaim Records, a gospel music record label.

If some of you are starting to feel like you might have heard of Proclaim Records and Rev. Soaries, you probably have. As the head of Proclaim, he was more commonly known as 'Buster' Soaries. It was at Proclaim that Soaries discovered -- and then almost ended the career of -- one Ms. Jessica Simpson. According to VH1, "in January of 1996, Jessica's album is a week away from release" when "Proclaim Records folds due to bankruptcy."

It's certainly bothersome that the Bush administration is actively looking into the prospect of calling off the November election in response to terrorism. Is it even more bothersome that Soaries -- with his resume -- is the man who will pull the trigger, so to speak, on such a plan? I'm not quite sure why, but to some degree, it is.

All humor aside, giving one person the power to put American democracy on hold is a disturbing prospect, no matter who that person may be.

posted by Scott | 7/11/2004 | |
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