Tag Archives: truth

Leadership, Carville & Truth

Leave it to James Carville to get people thinking. His advice this week to President Obama was to panic, fire a bunch of people and indict some of the people responsible for the financial crisis. I, respectfully, differ.

This President has done his darndest to play the traditional role of cheerleader President. No matter the reality, reassure the masses and do the “right thing.” Find compromise. Reassure his base through incrementalism. Reassure his opponents by putting everything on the table. I don’t think that I am the first to say that this ain’t working.

These are not normal times. The opposition party sold out their patriotism a long time ago for corporate favor and corporate-sponsored ideology. President Obama is being played. Over and over and over again.

I have a suggestion. Tell the American people the truth. Sounds un-American, doesn’t it?

Sure, the stock market up 30% since Obama took over and the Bush economy that was going down the toilet is growing again slowly up the side of the bowl. Sure, some of the bleeding has stopped, but there is a limit to what a President can do without Congress. Even less with a Congress that is doing everything they can to undermined America. I say, cut the crap and tell us the truth.

Tell us that the banks have been lying and most are insolvent – as bad as as what’s going on in Europe. That we face a multi-trillion dollar under-capitalization of banks. Tell us that we, the treasury, has colluded with the financial industry to allow them to classify assets as preforming that are junk. Tell us that the only thing that has kept them in business is the abuse of the Fed window allowing them to bet on a totally rigged Wall Street – and, of course, the continued rape of consumers – aka: Americans. Tell us truth, while reminding us that bank CEOs are paying themselves billions in bonuses – while we are wondering whether this is the week that a bank will repossess our house with fraudulent documents. Then remind us that our homes can’t be sold for what we owe and that millions of repossessed houses aren’t even on the market, yet.

Tell us that we are in real trouble. That most of our pension funds are also insolvent. That they have invested in worthless real estate and our treasury has colluded with them to pretend it isn’t true. That those empty office buildings around the country are being counted as if they were worth something. That commercial real estate is a scam and it is the other shoe that will drop, unless we can just pretend our way out it this mess. Tell us the truth: there is a limit to how many offices Homeland Security and the NSA can lease.

Tell us that we are in unwinnable wars around the world. That Iraq and Afghanistan are as big a mess as when we arrived. That we continue to fight them because we are terrified at the thought of bringing 300,000-400,000 fully armed private mercenary soldiers, along with a 200,000 of our real troops, back home where there is no work. Tell us, that we have had a wartime economy since Reagan. That if we were to have peace, this depression would be number one. Tell us the truth.

Tell us that most of the the 13 million official unemployed will never work again for real wages unless we do something to change it now. Tell us that 10-20 million more who are doing everything they can to keep their families together by working fast food and driving cabs, shouldn’t expect find real work again, either. Tell us that the reason we haven’t done re-training of these Americans so they could find jobs, is that there aren’t jobs to be found. Tell us the truth. That stimulus was misnamed. A third of of it was typical pickle barrel stuff to get votes. A third of it went straight to the states to keep them from firing people. And the final third, was, well, a mix of shovel ready jobs and liberal aspirations that was oversold.

Tell us, that, we the people, have screwed up big time. That corporate bribery of our Congress is so rampant that we have totally f’cked our tax system and need a new one. That we have an economy where the American dream, aka: Bernie, is really dead. Tell us 90% of us are slaves to the other 10%. Tell us the real plot of Ayn Rand capitalists is to get the wages of the poor down to the pennies a day they pay in third world countries. Tell us the truth.

Tell us the truth that organized labor working with organized business is what created the middle class and made our economy the envy of the world. Tell us the truth about the bill the Republicans passed last week to weaken the NLRB. That it is an attack on the middle class at a time when we need Labor more than ever.

Tell us the truth that tens of thousands of bridges and roads are crumbling and that investments in our infrastructure to rebuild them will create good jobs and lasting value for all of us.

Tell us that our nation’s school systems are failing and that the most important investment we can make is in our next generation. Tell us how we can fix it.

Tell us the truth that our farm subsidies have ruined family farmers around the world and caused deadly food inflation in the places most vulnerable. That our subsidies for corn is a huge part of the obesity problem. Tell us the truth that by subsidizing corn and corn ethanol, which will always be inefficient and penalizing sugar cane and sugar-ethanol imports, which are very efficient, we are preventing our own southern hemisphere from a rich and sustainable future.

Remind us that gasoline costs over $10 to get to the pump, but that the Federal Government subsidies allowing you to buy it for $3.50 – something that has to stop. Tell us the truth that free trade is not fair trade. That low prices are good for Walmart customers, but not people wanting a job anywhere but Walmart. Admit that you caved on ozone rules because you were afraid it would cost you reelection and that the new rules need to be implemented. Apologize to all those you could have appointed during recess, admit you were afraid of Senate Republicans and promise not to do it again.

Tell us that the reason Medicare and Medicaid are in trouble is the greedy bastards in the pharmaceutical, medical equiptment and health insurance industry who have rigged the system. Tell us to look at every other country in the world and we’ll see that we are a nation of chumps. Tell us that “Obamacare” is a bullshit compromised bill. That it should be repealed and replaced with a new bill with a single payor that would give us all better care for way less money. Tell us the truth: that privatization is just a more expensive way of doing the same thing, but will make some individuals rich, but not you. Tell us the budget deficit is meaningless to most of us, but the rich do want the government to pay them interest. Tell us the truth: that if the rich won’t pay taxes and the poor can’t, just who the f’ck is left pay? We, the whoever is still working, are. Tell us that we are acting like lemmings marching behind the t-party idiots off the cliff.

Tell us that unless we get rid of the bastards in the House and push back the lowlife lobbyists on K-Street, the whole friggin’ thing, our American way of life, is going to topple down. That we the people will starve in the streets of the richest country in the world while the top 1/10 of 1% are laughing their asses off behind their gated communities. Tell us the truth.

Remind us that the President is part of the executive branch of government. That the executive powers are limited to carrying out the wishes of Congress. And when Congress, or their lobbyist masters, wishes the country to go in the ditch, the President is powerless to stop them. Tell us the truth.

Tell that creationism and intelligent design are silly and that evolution is fact. Tell us that global climate change is real, will kill us all and may already be too late to reverse. Tell us that tax cuts do not and never have created jobs. Tell us that water boarding is torture. Remind us that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real. Tell us the truth about Roswell, Kennedy and Elvis.

Tell us that the games are over. That he, President Obama, is going to tell the truth. That when these crazy pink Republicans say blatant lies, he’s going to call them on it. That we are going to hell and take the world with us unless they stop this idiotic fantasy.

On the other hand, maybe he should just fire a bunch of people and indict some of the people responsible for the financial crisis.

Sermon on the stump

The Damnitudes:
Now when he saw the ratings, he went up on each of the networks and sat down. His disciples tuned in to him, and he began to teach them saying:

Damned are the poor and unemployed, for theirs is the kingdom of the street.
Damned are those who mourn, for they will be mocked.
Damned are the meek, for they will inherit the nothing, though it will be tax free.
Damned are those who hunger and thirst for leftedness, for they will suffer and starve.
Damned are the merciful, for they will be shown no mercy.
Damned are the pure in heart, for they will be blind to my truth.
Damned are the peacemakers, for they will be called cowards.
Damned are those who are persecuted because of leftedness, for theirs is the kingdom of MSNBC.
Damned are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Mourn and be sad, because great is my reward in Washington, for in the same way they persecuted their political opponents who were before you.

Crude Oil and Darkness
:
You are the crude oil of the Gulf. But if the crude oil loses its wellhead, how can it be made into gasoline again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by beach goers.

You are the darkness of the news cycle. A ghetto in the city can easily be ignored. Neither do people turn off their spot lights and security systems. Instead they turn them all on, and it gives light to everyone in their gated community. In the same way, let their light shine for them, that they may see only what they perceive as good deeds and praise their party on AM radio.

The Fulfillment of the Law:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Constitution; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you what you think is the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in on nightly news, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of prime time. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of Reagan and the teachers of the constitution, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of the party.

Murder:
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother will not be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Obama,’ is answerable. But anyone who says, Bush and Cheney’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be accuse your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Settle matters slowly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it during an election year while important issues are before Congress, or he may hand you over to the electorate, and the election may hand you over to the lobbyists, and you may finally have the money to subvert them all. I tell you the truth, you will not get their votes until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has not committed adultery with her in his heart until it is on YouTube. If your right eye causes you to sin, call it your left eye and point at something else. It is better for them to lose one part of their body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut theirs off and throw it away. It is better for them to lose one part of their body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce:
It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to come on Larry King, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery, which is fine.

Oaths
:
Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the party.’ But I tell you, swear to anything at all: either by heaven, claiming it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great political victory. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘No’ be ‘No,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this, say it comes from the evil one.

An Eye for an Eye:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to Fox News, and say it was the left. And if someone wants to investigate you and make you tell the truth, let him have your lies as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, force him to go two miles. Take from the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to give you free trips and campaign contributions

Love for Enemies:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: hate your enemies and pray for vengeance for those who persecute you, that you may pretend to be sons of your party in heaven. Just say that He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and not the leftous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? All of it. Are not even the tax opponents doing that? And if you only greet your brothers, what are you doing in the Republican party? Do not even pagans do that? Be imperfect, therefore, as your heavenly party is perfect.

Giving to the Needy:
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of leftedness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from me in Washington.

So when you take away from the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, but make sure you do as the hypocrites do in the churches and on the streets, to be honored by voters. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you take from the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your taking may be in secret. Then your party, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer:
And when you pray, be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the churches and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, do not go into your room, close the door and pray to your party, who is unseen. Then your party, who sees what is done in secret, will not reward you. And when you pray, do keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Be like them, for your party knows what you need before you ask him.

This, then, is how you should pray:
Our party in heaven, hallowed be our names, our kingdom come, our will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today their daily bread. Bailout our debts, but not as we also have charged 33% to our debtors. And lead us into temptation, but deliver us from being called the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, you really should join another party. But if you do not forgive men their sins, our party will forgive your sins.

Fasting:
When you fast, look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they will received their reward in full. But when you fast, put crude oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will be obvious to men that you are fasting, but to your party, who is unseen; and our party, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven:
Store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  Pretend to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body and looks good on TV. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

You can serve two masters or as many as you like. You can hate the one and love the other, or  be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can serve both the party and Money.

Do Not Worry:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly party feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his political life?

And do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how the party clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the lobby firms, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ ‘Who would vote for me?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly party knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself and it will be really really hot. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Judging Others:
Judge, or you too will be judged. For in the no way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will not be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in a brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to a brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of his own eye, and then you won’t need to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Demand, Seek, Knock:
Demand and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a few dollars? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your party in heaven give good gifts to those who ask! So in everything, do to others what you would not have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Constitution.

The Narrow and Wide Gates:
Enter through the narrow gated community. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gated community and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit
:
Watch out for true prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are really sheep. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is can be elected this fall. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘party, party,’ will enter the kingdom of Washington, but only he who does the will of my party who is in Washington. Many will say to me on that day, ‘party, party, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders
:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a rich man who had his house built on hight ground on the rock overlooking the ocean. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because he could afford to have its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

When He had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

————

Author’s note: Apologies to the original author (Matthew, generally gets the credit) for my parody of this beautiful sermon epitomizing the moral teaching of Jesus. My intent was simply to remind us of these wonderful words and the perverse ways our politicians (and bloggers, including me) have chosen to distort them.

Why are they torturing us?

smilingdickSeeing Dick’s crooked smile again on talk TV. Watching Nancy parse, fumble, flip, fluster, clarify and accuse. Hearing the Newt call for a leader to step down for something other than sex, racism or corruption. Watching liberal pundits be interrogated night after night by the gleeful wing nuts.

It was cruel. I just wish it was unusual for there to be more outrage at someone who is presumed guilty of not doing than those proven guilty of the most heinous crimes.

House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, stands accused of having attended a highly classified intelligence briefing in September 2002  (Republicans held the majority in the House at the time and she was not in the minority leadership) that included a description of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) used by the Bush Administration – and not doing much as a result. Further, at different times this week, she denied she was briefed on water-boarding, accused the CIA of not being truthful about the information presented, and had great difficulty describing her role without betraying the secrets of the briefings.

pelosiandbushWhat did she not do and when? Who else knew and didn’t act?

Beginning in 2002, the CIA held 40 separate intelligence oversight hearings that included information on EITs.  It is believed that at least 65 members of the House and Senate attended at least one of these meetings including John McCain (R, AZ), Pat Roberts (R, KS), John Rockefeller (D, WV), Carl Levin (D, MI), Dianne Feinstein (D, CA), Evan Bayh (D, IN), Barbara Mikulski (D, CA), Russ Feingold (D, WI), Lamar Alexander (R, TN) and Richard Shelby (R, AL).

Pelosi was included at one of those briefings along with Porter Goss (R, FL)) who later became head of the CIA. The subject of the briefing was the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah who had been captured in Pakistan in 2002. The interrogation techniques used on him were discussed and the representatives were reassured that was legal. Most of the focus is presumed to be about Zubaydah’s confession (later proved to be phony) that Al Qaeda terrorists use chemical weapons, helping justify invading Iraq.

I’m not here to be an apologist for any of them. What they did not do is disgusting.  It was September of an election year. The first anniversary of 911. The Rove propaganda machine was at full tilt. Bush, the decider, had decided to go to war. No one in Congress had facts. The Misleader-in-Chief and his dark sidekicks, Dick and Don, had threatened the patriotism of any one that wasn’t for them. It is easy to look back and see how convenient it was for our leaders to be informed, but not have the courage to martyr themselves just because it was the right thing to do.

Even if she knew of the water-boarding, just remember the controversy that surrounded Pelosi after her election two months later as the first female Minority Leader (of the lame duck session). It is pretty easy to see why she would might been reticent to stand up in January as House Majority Leader and throw away the Democrats’ promised agenda by announcing the Bushies were war criminals.

Bring on the Truth Commission. The tortured truth needs it.