The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nader Does it Again. And the Media Continues to Feed His Gargantuan Ego


America's Spoiler-in-Chief, Ralph Nader, has decided to toss his frayed hat into the presidential ring yet again. I find Nader to be the political equivalent of that mosquito that annoys the crap out of you in the middle of the night while you're tying to sleep. You try swatting it away, but it just stays there...buzzing around your ear, landing on your nose. You keep swatting until you give up and doze off into REM. Then you wake up in the morning with a big-ass bite on your face. Seven years ago, Nader was the bug, and George W. Bush became the bite. I don't want to wake up November 5th with yet another bite called John McCain.

Many, including this writer, believe Nader is responsible for the colossal mess Bush has left us these past two terms. That the 97,000 votes he siphoned away from Al Gore in Florida was the primary reason Gore lost (Gore lost to Bush by 543 votes); that his campaign achieved the exact opposite of every single principle he allegedly stands for. While the '00 election was indeed a disaster because of Nader, it should be noted that his overall impact in '04 election--.04%/411,000 votes--was virtually non-existent. But what happens this November is anyone's guess.

So what truly drives Nader? I think he's no longer the ideological maverick he once was; no longer the 'everyman' out to save America from corruption and big business. I believe today it's all about ego. I think this man lives in a world of delusion. That somehow there's a "calling" for him by the electorate to speak for them, fight for them, as he used to quite valiantly 30 years ago. Today, Nader is a sad, pathetic character who's putting his own selfish interests before country. And it's a shame that the mainstream media continues to feed this beast. Why on Earth would/should Tim Russert's venerable Meet the Press open the show Sunday with Nader, indulging him with the program's initial twenty minutes? Are there no more important, relevant issues/individuals associated with this election that merit that coveted space? Nader does not belong in the same chair as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Maybe if he was ignored he'd simply go away.

Can you imagine what it'll feel like if November 5th we awaken to learn that Nader's votes resulted in McCain becoming president? Let's just hope he's as politically insignificant as he was four years ago.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman"


I have two thoughts on the latest scandal involving allegations that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the GOP's 2008 presidential frontrunner, had an illicit affair and inappropriate political relationship with a lobbyist approximately eight years ago. The first is that this type of personal smear is despicable. The second is, too bad. Ever since the mid-90's when New Gingrich and gang went on their venomous which-hunt and crucified Bill Clinton over his sexual indescretions, the Washington, D.C. landscape changed forever. I remember back then saying how these myopic fools failed to realize the old cliche that what goes around comes around; that someday this newfound license to ruin someone over personal matters is gonna bite 'em in the ass big time. Judging from the wave of Republican scandal since, that's exactly what happened. The Republicans changed the rules back then. Open season on your sex life. And now McCain's reaping what they sowed. And yes, I say too bad. I don't make the rules. I just expect them to apply to everyone equally.

I want McCain to be put on the same hotseat as Bill Clinton. I want him to have to look into America's collective eye and say, "I did not have sex with that woman." Let's get him on record making a panicked denial, as Clinton did, when faced with the prospect of a ruined political career and shattered family. Yes John, what goes around comes around indeed. And now it's your turn to feel Bill's pain. A very important distinction though: Bill's drawers-dropping daliances never involved providing political favors to his mistresses.

At a 9am press conference Thursday, with his yet-another-embarassed-and-publicly-humiliated Republican wife Cindy smiling tersely by his side, McCain unequivocally denied all of the allegations. So what do we have here now? One of two things is at play: either the Times had absolutely no factual basis to print this story, and has committed journalistic malpractice and will pay dearly--both in reputation AND in court--or McCain is lying through his teeth.

Regardless, can McCain recover from this scandal? Are the mere accusations enough to derail the Straight Talk Express? Will McCain, who's been playing the integrity card since the campaign began, be able to shake these allegations that he used his power seat as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee to grant favors to lobbyists and corporate America? Will this be the nail in the coffin for conservatives, already in strong opposition to his campaign? If Rupert Murdoch's right wing rag NY Post is any indication with its huge Thursday headline--McCain Shocker--McCain could be in serious trouble. Especially if further evidence surfaces after his strong denial. There's another old cliche I love: where there's smoke, there's fire. Stay tuned....


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is Obama The Dems' Version of "The Guy We Want to Have a Beer With?"


Call me crazy, but I'm not quite ready to jump whole hog onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. Sure, he's young, smart, charasmatic, telegenic and has more momentum right now than the pre-Super Bowl Patriots, and he could very well be our next president and perhaps even a great one at that. But, that doesn't mean there aren't real issues with his candidacy. Issues that could very quickly derail a national campaign against Sen. John McCain.

Democrats fall in love easily. They have a tendency to over-intellectualize everything, and end up sticking their heads in the proverbial sand as a result. Not me. I'm a realist, and I worry. I worry that Sen. Obama might just be the Democrats' version of the guy we'd like to have a beer with. And we know where that voting strategy got America the last time. As Air America Radio host Lionel said Wednesday morning of the Illinois Senator's great oratory skills, "Obama is the bedside manner; Hillary is the experienced heart surgeon." Great point. And if Hillary's the heart surgeon, how will voters view McCain? Is he the Hospital's Chief Administrator?

A serious turning point for me, as I wrote Tuesday night, was something that occured in the Wisconsin post-primary coverage on MSNBC. Here's what I wrote:

...As an aside, the ever-entertaining and Hardball-throwing Chris Matthews of MSNBC did an interview Tuesday night with Texas state Sen. Kirk Watson, an outspoken Obama supporter. Matthews aggressively pressed Watson on three occasions to name one legislative accomplishment of Obama's while in the U.S. Senate. Three times. The poor shlemiel from Texas was rendered speechless. He kept falling back on the whole "inspirational" thing (which is starting to get real tired, by the way) and Matthews relentlessly pursued the answer to his question. Stammering, all Watson could muster was "I'm not gonna be able to do that tonight." Matthews replied, "Well that's a real problem, isn't it?" Yes it is, Chris, my thoughts exactly. Just wait until the Republican attack machine starts asking the very same question....

If I were leading McCain's team, I'd be preparing what would be the very first question I'd have my candidate lob at Obama at their first nationally-televised debate: "I was a U.S. representative from '82-86, and have been a Senator for the past 22 years. I've sponsored/authored and/or passed major legislation such as McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain Detainee Amendment, the 9-11 Commission...tell us, Sen. Obama, tell us just one legislative accomplishment of yours while in the U.S. Senate." And Obama better have an answer other than that he "inspires people"... or we're in for some serious trouble.

I struggle with Obama and the Obama phenomenon. I worry that, like the car that is at or below empty, he's running on fumes. I worry that, beyond inspirational rhetoric (Remember "bring honor and integrity back to the White House?" Remember "compassionate conservatism?") and sexy soundbytes, that there's not a lot of "there" there. And that's precisely why Hillary Clinton, despite a string of 10 losses, still runs a close race where total delegates are concerned...and there's still several major contests coming up like Texas and Ohio, where she could fare very well. The simple truth is, virtually 50% of Democrats are just not feeling the inspiration. And I for one don't want another empty suit like George Bush just because that suit is blue and not red. What I care about, what I obsess over, is winning in November. Democrats would be terribly remiss if they do not start to make these observations as well, and ask the same hard questions before they fall in love and end up heartbroken once again.

And here's one last thought on the issue of whether or not he played dirty Tuesday night by pre-empting Hillary's consession speech to start his victory speech: just because she may not have lost "gracefully," as the Obama camp claims, doesn't mean he has carte blanche not to win gracefully. Two wrongs don't make a right. It was bad judgement call on his part, and he should take the heat for it.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama's Big Diss. Not a Classy Move


Another primary, another win for the steam-rolling Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Nine straight victories. This time Wisconsin, where white men clearly can jump...through hoops, that is, to vote for Obama. He's got awesome momentum. He seems like he's getting the nomination sewn up more with each passing day, with each new contest. He's the great inspirational candidate. The agent of change. The politics of hope purveyor. So what does the annointed one do after chalking up yet another decisive win? Does he show any humility? No. Right smack in the middle of Sen. Hillary Clinton's concession speech he decides it's time to hijack the airwaves and pre-empt her with his victory speech. Buh-bye Hillary...it's ObamaTime. C'mon, Barack, show some class.

As an aside, the ever-entertaining and Hardball-throwing Chris Matthews of MSNBC did an interview Tuesday night with Texas state Sen. Kirk Watson, an outspoken Obama supporter. Matthews aggressively pressed Watson on three occasions to name one legislative accomplishment of Obama's while in the U.S. Senate. Three times. The poor shlemiel from Texas was rendered speechless. He kept falling back on the whole "inspirational" thing (which is starting to get real tired, by the way) and Matthews relentlessly pursued the answer to his question. Stammering, all Watson could muster was "I'm not gonna be able to do that tonight." Matthews replied, "Well that's a real problem, isn't it?" Yes it is, Chris, my thoughts exactly. Just wait until the Republican attack machine starts asking the very same question....

Now, one last word about Obama. The "plagiarism" issue that surfaced Monday. By and large, not such a big deal...unless you bill yourself as the icon of inspiration. The truly great inspirers get copied; they don't copy. His whole campaign is propped up by the inspirational factor. Kind of makes him look a little like a fraud when the words of inspiration are literally lifted word-for-word from someone else's speech. That makes him an actor.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pappi Bush and McCain. Two Ancient Relics Seeking Conservative Love


The Republican presidential frontrunner, Arizona Sen. John McCain, not a favorite among hard-core conservatives, proudly accepted the endorsement Tuesday of former president George Herbert Walker Bush. Standing side by side at a Houston press conference, the 71-year-old candidate and the 84-old-year-old former commander-in-chief couldn't have looked more like dinasaurs than if they had been perched on the 4th floor of New York's Museum of Natural History. The contrast to the rock-star candidacy of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats' frontrunner, couldn't be more startling. There they were, just a couple of really old rich white guys who'd love to see the party return to the glory days when another really old rich white guy, Ronald Reagan, first took the White House at age 69.

When asked about McCain's struggle with the party's base, Pappi Bush referred to Reagan, also criticized by the Right during his presidency for being "a turncoat," and likened it to the onslaught against McCain, which he referred to as "an unfair attack." He said that McCain has "a sound conservative record but not above reaching out to the other side."

But just what value will Bush's endorsement bring to McCain in his quest to win over the base? Remember "Read my lips...no new taxes?" Conservatives never forgave Bush for that broken promise. I'm sorry, but getting cozy with Pappi ain't like getting a nod from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the 5-star General who led the famed Republican Revolution of the early 90's. In fact, in this week's New Yorker, Gingrich said that McCain's candidacy is "...the victory of the moderate wing for the moment. But I think that's partially due to a collapse of the Delay wing of the party, and secondarily a collapse of the Rove-Bush wing of the party." See what I mean?

To e sure, if Obama does indeed find himself across the stage from McCain during the autumn pre-election debates, it will be like 1960 all over again, when John F. Kennedy looked like a suave, charismatic, cocksure Cary Grant compared to Richard Nixon's sweaty, desperate, 5-o'clock-shadowed Peter Lorre.

And what about Junior? Bush 43. The absolute worst president in history. It's probably safe to say that McCain would rather throw himself under the wheels of the Straight-Talk Express than pick up his endorsement.

What to Make of Bill Clinton's Behavior


We've seen this tale before. The media whips itself into a lather over Bill Clinton's confrontational behavior on the campaign trail. "Bill Ruining Hillary's Chances," they shout. This past weekend was no different. At a Canton, OH rally for his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, the former president got testy with a Barack Obama supporter who razzed him. The man, Robert Holeman, now claims that Bubba made physical contact when pointing his famous finger in the heckler's face.

There's more. At a Steubenville, Ohio rally on Sunday, a protestor near the stage held up a sign that read "Abortion Kills Children," as Bill boasted that his administration successfully reduced the abortion rate without eliminating abortion rights. "We had the lowest teen pregnancy rate since the statistics had been kept when we were doing that. And guess what? Without overturning Roe v. Wade, or trying to keep people all torn up and upset or calling them killers, the abortion rate went down almost 20 percent on our watch," he said. (According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, abortions dropped to 1.3 million from 1.5 million between 1993 and 2000).
Another protestor shouted at Bill and, visibly rattled, he replied "We disagree with you. You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree. ... If you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison. And you won’t say you want to do that because you know that, because you know that you wouldn’t have a lick of political support."

The red-faced Bubba has been doing this sort of thing for months now, since Hillary first rolled him out onto the campaign trail. And the big question is whether all this passion and aggression is helping or hurting her presidential prospects. Personally, I love it. I love seeing Bill Clinton passionate and saying what he believes, without worry of camera, media or criticism. That's the character of a true leader. He's not pandering to anyone, nor does he care if he pisses off the opposition. To the contrary, I believe he actually enjoys it, as he's acutely manipulating them even further out into the open, exposing them for the belligerent, myopic kooks they are. I wish more politicians--yes, even his wife and Obama--had the nerve, the confidence, to actually say what they believe rather that what they think they need to say or are told to say by advisors.

Make no mistake. There's a reason why Bill Clinton is one of the most popular prsidents in our 232 year history. And it's because he always has been and will always be able to connect with Americans the way no other president has in modern history. They believe him, and in him. That he takes no shit on the campaign trail from the angry right-wingers who get in his way only furthers this idolatry. As to whether his antics hurt or help his wife's candidacy, I suspect it has no effect on the Republicans he allegedly offends, and it demonstrates to the Democratic base that he's still a fighter who's not afraid, like so many others, to speak his mind and stand up for himself and his wife. Imagine if John Kerry in '04 or Al Gore in 2000 had done the same. That's why they're losers and he's a winner.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself. The Fear-Monger-in-Chief Ratchets Up the Terror Rhetoric Yet Again


In his radio address Saturday morning president Bush did what he does best: spread lies and deception pertaining to protecting America from terrorist attack. Freshly pissed from the House's failure to renew his tyrannical surveillance law, the nation's top scarecrow delivered his blistering attack on Congress, rife with his standard fear-mongering tactics (excerpted below):

"Good morning. At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire. Congress had the power to prevent this from happening, but chose not to......Some congressional leaders claim that this will not affect our security. They are wrong. Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attack. At midnight, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance against terrorist threats abroad. This means that as terrorists change their tactics to avoid our surveillance, we may not have the tools we need to continue tracking them -- and we may lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack on America.... Instead, the House held partisan votes that do nothing to keep our country safer. House leaders chose politics over protecting the country -- and our country is at greater risk as a result."

Bush knows this is bullshit, and he ought to be ashamed of himself for relentlessly preying on the fears of our citizenry. Our national security efforts will not cease nor are they hindered. The FISA court still presides over surveillance requests, and law enforcement agencies can still do whatever necesaary to protect America...just as it did before Bush took office. FISA authorization can be obtained immediately in the event of emergency situations. The difference here is that Bush wants to continue skirting and/or breaking the law, and Pelosi & Co have finally stepped up to say no.

At issue among House Democrats is the Senate bill which passed Tuesday that contained a provision granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies who cooperated with the Busheviks by providing personal data after 9-11. Pelosi and the Dems want more time to work out the kinks, while the Repugs sought to pressure them into House passage this week.

And as for "choosing politics over protecting the country," no one in the last seven years has been more guilty of this than George Bush. He is, without question, the biggest terrorist of them all...


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Al Gore at a Brokered Convention?


Is there hope for an Al Gore presidency yet? The closer the Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama race gets, the more plausible the scenario (ok, at this point it's still the fantasy scenario) that has the former vice-president being drafted at the August Democratic convention, finding himself on a second ballot for the nomination. Crazy, you say? Not really. I wrote about this possibility a while back, and I'm not yet convinced it's that improbable a scenario. In fact, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift wrote about the same thing on Friday. The last time the Dems had a brokered convention was 1952, when President Harry Truman allegedly hand-picked Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson to be the party's nominee.

To be sure, it's those pesky little 'super-delegates' who may hold all the cards. Many remain uncommitted, and even those pledged can switch allegiances at convention time. Just who are these folks who wield such ultimate power? There are 795 of them on the Democratic side, not counting those in Florida and Michigan (the states whose delegates were unseated by the party over primary-scheduling disputes). They comprise former U.S. presidents, vice-presidents, DNC members, governors, snators, US representatives and other party officials. The system was hatched in frustrated response to the 1972 nomination of the largely-unpopular George McGovern and inexperienced Jimmy Carter in 1976. Their effect was first felt in 1984 when they pulled away from Gary Hart to pledge support to Walter Mondale, the more electible nominee. These virtual kingmakers exist as a safety-valve against ideologically extreme or inexperienced candidates. Their mandate is to ensure that the party puts forth its most electible candidate in the general election.

Now jump to 2008. Here's were it gets interesting: Clinton needs 86% of the remaining 1237 regular, pledged delegates--starting Tuesday in Hawaii and Wisconsin--to win the nomination outright without any superdelegates. In turn, Obama needs 80%. At the rate they're going, they could feasibly split this balance and each end up with around 1900 or so delegates overall, well short of the 2025 needed to win the nomination.

Let's suppose the Democrats head to Denver in late August and Obama and Clinton are deadlocked. The party's power-brokers panic, fearing neither candidate has a clear majority of popular support and therefore can't beat the GOP's John McCain in November. They turn to Gore, a proven entity who would unite the party and perhaps enlist Obama or Clinton as his running-mate, creating an unbeatable ticket in the process. For Gore to get on the ballot, according to Clift, "All it would take is a delegate perhaps from Tennessee, his home state, to raise a point of order, and with backing from five other state delegations, Gore's name could be put in play as a prospective nominee."

Not so crazy after all....

Now there's been much said about whether or not it bodes well for our Democracy to have such a small group of political kingpins potentially deciding the outcome of an election. But keep in mind that super-delegates are not some renegade band of self-serving mavericks out to undermine the Democratic party. To the contrary, they are the party's most accomplished, most respected, most vested members who truly have only one mission: to ensure that the party sends is best candidate into November so that it can win.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Help This Man Find a Job

This comes to us from our friend Jenny in upstate New York....


RESUME

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Law Enforcement:
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the
influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's
license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been
"lost"
and is not available.
Military:
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to
take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By
joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty
in Vietnam .

College: I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a
cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil
business in Midland, Texas in 1975. I bought an oil company, but
couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly
after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that
took land using taxpayer money.

With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry
(including Enron CEO, Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies,
making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure,
Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions
in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American
history.

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's
appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President of the United
States, after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a
criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one
billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S.
history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any
12-month period.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the
U.S.
stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans
lost their jobs and that trend continues.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any
administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire,"
Condoleezza Rice,
has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S.
President.

I am the all- time U.S. and world record holder for receiving the
most corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends,
Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in
U.S. history, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to
assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election
decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against
investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent
investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent
investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I
presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused
to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded
government contracts.

I appointed more convicted criminals to my administration than any
President in U.S. history.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy
in the history of the United States Government.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S.
history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations
remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspector's access to U.S. "prisoners of war"
detainees
and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election
inspectors (during the 2002 US election).

I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any
President since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one- year
period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the
worst security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade
Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most
hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world
history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to
simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people),
shattering the record for protests against any person in the history
of mankind.
I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked,
pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation.
I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S.
Citizens and the world community.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in
duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for
attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans
(71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and
security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster,"
a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to
justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's
library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my
bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public
view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President,
attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and
unavailable for public review. I specified that my sealed documents
will not be available for 50 years.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Yes We Can." ObamaMania Blows Through Three More Contests on Road to White House


The results are in: Sen. Barack Obama has won decisive victories in all three of the Maryland, Virgiania and DC "Potomac Primaries" Tuesday. His momentum is tremendous. Something's happening here that's hard to ignore. His campaign is alive and brimming with excitement. This gives him an impressive string of eight consecutive victories in the last 4 days in addition to the thirteen states he won on Super Tuesday. With each passing day, with each new speech, Barack Obama is starting to not only look like his party's clear nominee but, compared to the stiff, aging, conservative Republican relic John ("My Friends") McCain, he's also looking like our next president. It's very hard to watch all this and not get goosebumps; a strong sense that history's in the making.

The contrast between Obama and McCain is startling. Just watch their speeches. Behind the junior Senator from Illinois is a crowd of young, old, white, black, male, female. On stage with Arizona's McCain are old rich white men like Sen. John Warner and Rep Tom Davis. The 72-year-old McCain represents the past. A generation of conservative war-mongers and tax cut whores. The same-old-same-old standard GOP rhetoric. The 46-year-old Obama represents the future. He embodies the change for which Americans are desperate. He's inspiring a legion of young people to get involved in their future. He's arousing voters across the land with his thrilling speeches about a new world. About a new America. About the need to end the war, end the recession and create jobs, educate our young, provide universal heathcare for our children. To win back America's respect on the global stage. To bridge the divide between red and blue, between black and white. Wow. It's really hard not to get swept up in his passion and bask under his shining light.

What about Sen. Hillary Clinton, the once "sure thing?" For the former First Lady, the picture is getting bleaker and bleaker with each primary and caucus. Obama's raging momentum threatens to put a serious crimp in her fundraising efforts, which are already struggling. In politics, the money tends to follow the winner. Donors don't like toss money on a perceived loser. As the losses pile up, the delegates go to Obama and the financial pipeline narrows, Clinton is going to feel Obama's dust in her eyes. Her campaign will start to appear desperate, the consultants (if they don't get fired) will constantly change her message, and there will be missteps. She will look like a loser, and that's already starting.

Of note Tuesday are the critical inroads Obama made with certain voter groups. He picked up the union vote, white catholics, white males and came almost even with Clinton on whites overall. She still holds onto white females. Another potential wrench for Hillary are the so called "committed" Super-Delegates, who are technically not so committed after all. They can change their minds at any time. It's highly possible, and even likely, that they will see the handwriting on the wall like they did in 1984 when they unceremoniously dumped Gary Hart at the last minute to back Walter Mondale.

Obama deserves major kudos. He's running a brilliant, historic campaign. He now seems unstoppable. Change is in the air.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Al Gore Would've Won


Make no mistake. The Democratic Party is experiencing one of its most exciting presidential campaigns ever. For the first time in history, the party will be sending either a black man or a woman into the national election. Democrats are fired up. Ready for major change. Fed up with eight abysmal years of Bush/Cheney/Rove tyrannical rule. Judging from all the polls and the national pulse, we know that any Democrat will likely beat the GOP frontrunner, Sen. John McCain (AZ), and it's any Democrat we'll be happy with as our next president. While some may prefer Sen. Barack Obama (IL) and others Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), the secret truth is, either candidate will make any Democrat ecstatic and proud.

But for former vice-president Al Gore, the inconvenient truth is that, had he run, he would be the party's nominee. The fact that Obama and Clinton are running such a tight horserace, in a virtual delegate dead-heat, demonstrates the degree to which voters are split. And that would've bode very well for The Goracle.

Let's take a look at what we know so far as to the perceived weaknesses of both Obama and Clinton, and how Gore differs:

1-Electibility: no issue here. Gore was elected once before, when the economy was humming and we were not at war. Times have changed, and he'd have been even more electible now.

2-Ability to Beat McCain: The crotchity 72-year-old Republican is a war-monger, woefully lax on the environment, and weak on economic policy. The much younger Democrat can speak to Americans' desire to end the war, protect the Earth and be fiscally prudent.

3-Skeletons in the closet: none. He's been vetted many times over already. Therefore, unlike the fear Democrats have about Hillary, Obama and a post-2000 Bill, there are no election-eve surprises about Gore. He's clean as a whistle.

4-Polarizing: Emmy, Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize. 'Nuf said?

5-Agent of Change: Gore can successfully appeal to the "change" voter without carrying the baggage associated with the Clintons or with Obama's overall inexperience.

6-Race/Gender: He's a white male with a solid history of advancing the rights of women and minorities. This won't make me popular among certain other liberals, but in 2008 America, still, a highly qualified white male would probably fare better that a woman or a black. To say that race or gender is not a political liability is just plain being naive. You can stick your head in the sand, but I won't

7-The Senator Factor: Gore would've run as former eight-year VP. This, historically, puts him in a much better position than Obama and Clinton; the last time a Senator won the presidency was 1960 with John Kennedy.

8-The War and Foreign Policy: Unlike Clinton, who's voted in lockstep with Bush on Iraq, Gore has vociferously opposed the war from day one. And unlike Obama, who has shown his foreign policy shortcomings on many occasion, Gore's eight years in the White House has given him tremendous exposure and experience on the global stage.

I think you can start to see the point here. That a Gore campaign would've been free of the many political challenges both Clinton and Obama face, which is why voters are having a very hard time rallying around one of them. But no matter, Gore's not running, which is unfortunate. He would've truly united the party and made one heckuva great president.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obama Sweeps Saturday Contests. Is this the End of the Clinton Era?


Give him credit. Barack Obama has come from behind to mount an aggressive, highly -effective offensive that, without question, has made him the clear Democratic frontrunner for the 2008 presidential nomination. On Saturday, he swept Louisiana, Washington, Nebraska and the U.S. Virgin Islands, sending his rival Hillary Clinton home empty-handed (but since the Democratic Party awards delegates proportionally, Clinton stands to pick up an appreciable number of the 3-state 158 total). It was a highly impressive showing, in particular his 2-1 margins in Louisiana and Nebraska. Surveying the landscape at this time it's hard to imagine this momentum fading at any time soon. It's hard to imagine him not going all the way. In politics, momentum and perception is everything. And he looks, act and sounds like a winner. In his victory speech, he was strong, confident and driven; he carried imself like a man who had a window into the future, and he really liked what he saw. To the contrary, Clinton appeared like a tired loser; weak, scared and whose window afforded a much less exciting view.

"Today, voters from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the heart of America stood up to say 'yes we can," Obama told an adoring crowd of supporters at a dinner gathering in Richmond, Va.

For Obama and Clinton, after today's Maine caucus (24 delegates), the campaign heads to Tuesday's "Potomac Primaries" in Maryland, Virginia and D.C., where a total of 168 delegates are at a stake. Troubling for Clinton is Obama's near 20-point lead in both Maryland and Virginia, where 153 of those delegates are up for grabs.

Watching Obama it's hard not to get caught up in his excitement, momentum, and the truly historic aspects of his candidacy.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Could this be Obama's Big Weekend?


To anyone who knows me and reads this blog it's clear that I am pulling for NY Sen. Hillary Clinton to win the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. I of course had high hopes that former vice-president Al Gore would've entered the race, but Al seems happier collecting Emmy's, Oscars and Nobel Peace Prizes than becoming leader of the free world. And while I have not been moved by Illinois Sen. Barck Obama the way millions of others have, I could very easily get behind him should he emerge victorious from the campaign.

Let's be sure about one thing: I am a true-blue left-leaning Democrat. Nothing, and I mean nothing, would make me happier than to see these great Unites States finally have a woman or black president. In fact, it's what this country desperately needs; it's time we break free from the leadership stranglehold of rich white men. And this election gives me chills of joy thinking that (a) the Democratics Party will be nominating either Clinton or Obama, and (b) given the political landscape right now, one of them is extremely likely to become our 44th president. Historic, and beautiful.

Which is why this weekend is a most critical one, especially for Obama, whose campaign has shown much strength and momentum. As much as I'm pulling for Hillary (and I know I'm not the only Democrat wishing Bill were back in the White House too), the Washington, Louisiana, Nebraska and Maine contests could be where Obama all but puts it away. By Saturday night, he could be the clear frontrunner. He's ahead in some polling, and he's done well in the previous caususes, and there's three of them this weekend. While many are talking about the February 12 "Potomac Primiaries" in Virginia, Maryland and DC as the next big contest milestone, I believe this weekend is even more important. On the heels of last week's 24 Super-Duper Tuesday primaries and caucuses, Obama could once and for all prove that he's the people's choice to take on Arizona Sen. John McCain come November. And if so, this coming week could be the longest, most difficult in Hillary's political life.

Hillary or Obama. I'd be ecstatic either way.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Romney's Despicable Attack on Democrats. He Should Be Ashamed of Himself


Well, the guy who "hates to lose" has lost. Stick a fork in him. Former Massachusettes Gov. Mitt Romney has bailed out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But not before spewing a bunch of disingenuous, reprehensible garbage about his reasons. Did he say he's exiting because he's now got as much of a chance of winning the GOP nod as I do? Nah. Did he say that, as an astute businessman, he's tired of throwing good (personal) money after bad into his disastruous campaign? Nah. Here's what the flip-floppin' Stormin' Mormon did say Thursday:

"They would retreat, declare defeat, and the consequences of that would be devastating," Romney said of his Democratic rivals, NY Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Adding that staying in the race "would make it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win," he went on to deliver this irresponsible and despicable accusation: "Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding the surrender to terror."

I am so fed up with this absurd rhetoric. This notion that Democrats would "surrender to terror," and that Democrats "want to lose the war," is preposterous and must stop. Romney should be ashamed of himself. He calls himself a person of faith and hides behind his religion (as so many of these phony zealots do), yet has no problem whatsoever defaming an entire party with lies, deception and highly calculated partisan drivel. Who exactly is surrendering to terror? Who exactly wants to lose the war? Clinton? Last time I checked she's voted in lockstep with President Bush on Iraq and with national security, wiretappings, etc since she came to Washington in 2000. And so has Obama. Romney's ridiculously offensive accusations are so without merit. It just shows the true charcter of this man. The same character that's been questioned and criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. He's an insincere, shameless self-promoter and narcissist who'll say and do anything to further his mega-self-interests. Personally, I find it all, and him, disgusting. Good riddence.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What to Make of Super-Duper Tuesday and the Road Ahead


It's been about 36 hours since the results are in from the over-hyped, mega-state Super-Duper Tuesday primaries and caucuses. As I suspected, Arizona Sen. John McCain all but locked up the Republican nomination. He now sits with 689 delegates to Mike Huckabee's paltry 156 and Mitt Romney's even thinner 133. Look for Romney to leave the race fairly soon. Sure he's got all the money in world to keep going...but he didn't get mega-rich by making dumb personal financial decisions. As for Huckabee, the affable yet right-wing extremist former Arkansas governor will also soon realize that the rest of the nation's states are not as evangelical-rich as the few Southern states he won this week. Let's not forget that this part of the country, where religious zealots are in abundance, only gave the Baptist minister a mere handful of delegates. Watch McCain on TV now. He's downright giddy. New-found confidence that knows no bounds. And that's because he's now the shark who sees and smells the blood. He knows it's over.

But the Democratic landscape is anything but decided, which is a surprise to me. I had expected a much stronger showing from NY Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, and a dimmer one from her rival Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Kudos to to Obama. He picked up key swing states like Missouri and even somehow managed to pick up states like Idaho. All in all, he captured 13 states to Hill's 8. Granted, she won huge states that really count in a national election--NY, NJ, CA--and she's ahead in the polls of many upcoming key contests in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania for example, but we cannot discount Obama's ability to attract, excite and inspire voters. He's a great campaigner, and is even better at raising funds. He's really giving her a run for the money.

But what Clinton has that Obama doesn't is a very powerful political machine behind her. One that may very well afford her the lion's share of the all-important "super-delegates;" the behind-the-scenes party leaders and officials (governors, senators and other Democratic power-brokers) who comprise 40% of the total delegates needed to win the nomination. This advantage could likely push her over the finish line if things get too close around convention time, when the party could possibly see a brokered convention for the first time since Thomas E. Dewey took the prize in 1952. The NY Times estimates that Clinton's total count of all delegates and super-delegates currently rests at 892 to Obama's 716. That's a 20% margin, and one that would surely grow once others begin to commit to her.

I still believe that Hillary has a better cross-section of Americans behind her, which will be to Obama's detriment going forward. Clinton pulls in the blue-collar, latino, female and white female voters, as well as a healthy percentage of white males. Obama's strength remains among Blacks, white males, the wealthy and educated. To be sure, if I was running, I'd prefer Clinton's constituency over Obama's.

It's just a question of time, but the race will soon boil down to Clinton vs. McCain. And then the real fun begins.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bush's Iraq Distraction Has Allowed Al Qaeda to Strenghten. Intelligence Chief Warns of Grave New Terror Threats to U.S.


It's a relatively small article, and it looks lost on The NY Times's bottom front page Wednesday amid all the political election coverage. The headline reads: Intelligence Chief Says Al Qaeda Improves Ability to Strike in U.S. And it's scary as all hell.

This is further confirmation of what anyone with a brain has known for several years now: that while President Bush has been recklessy squandering our precious financial and military resources on his misguided, irresponsible elective war in Iraq, our real enemy, the murderous bastards who killed thousands of our innocent citizens on 9-11-01, has been allowed to regroup and strengthen in the mountains of Pakistan, planning their next big attack here at home.

Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, told a Senate panel on Tuesday that Al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, still lead the terror organization and are promoting a new legion of lieutenants and are recruiting new militants, including Westerners (even Americans), with the goal of infiltrating the U.S and attacking domestic targets. Does this surprise anyone? The Iraq war, Bush's legacy, is the biggest military blunder in U.S. history, and has served as a colossal distraction from the war against terrorists. So, what should we expect from a nation that's taken its eye off the enemy? Chillingly, it's just a matter of time before Al Qaeda succeeds.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been a vocal critic of the Busheviks' miserable failure in Iraq: "The focus of America’s military forces and intelligence resources were mistakenly shifted from delivering a decisive blow against Al Qaeda, which is the enemy."

That Bush, his inept cronies, and the GOP in general have the audacity and arogance to tout themselves as the tough national security guys--better able to protect us from terror than the "wimpy" Democrats--is absurd and infuriating. Let's hope Democrats use this new testimony to showcase just how inept the Republican leadership has been in truly protecting America.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Swiftboating of John McCain. 'Conservatics' Are Running Scared


I had an occasion to be on a long drive Monday and treated myself to many hours of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin (I say that with tongue firmly in cheek). I do this when I can to learn what the other side is thinking. And now I'm convinced: the other side is nuts! These guys--as well as Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and others--are uniformly trashing Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP frontrunner as if he was the devil incarnate. They not only call him a liberal, which is utterly absurd, they accuse him of making liberal policy. Oddly, I found myself (if only for a fleeting, non-partisan second) thinking..."Hmmmm, if these self-serving narrow-minded blathering boorish buffoons hate him so much, maybe I should like him? Maybe, just maybe, he's the right guy to bridge the gap between Red and Blue? To be the conduit of political peace between the parties? Nah. But it's a nice thought. Like I've said all along, McCain is certainly no moderate. It's just that, to the far-right wing of the Republican Party, he's not enough of a 'conservatic' (a cross between a conservative and a lunatic).

The biggest bloviator of them all is Levin, whose syndicated radio program unfortunately polutes the airwaves each night. This guy is so rabid and venomous, and his vitriol knows no bounds. He's a nasty, angry, mean-spirited blowhard who flings ad-hominem personal attacks with reckless abandon (see: "Mike Huckaphony, Gov. Jerkenegger, Dorothy Rabi-no-wits"). He even calls his own party "Re-pubic-ans." All because they've annointed McCain the frontrunner. Man, I'd love to spar one on one with this guy, as I know exposing his ignorant, racist rhetoric for the garbage that it is would be tantamount to stealing candy from a baby. It must be really nice to have a national radio program where you can, with impunity, scream and yell and call people names as you relentlessly lie about them and everything else for that matter (so if you're out there and listening, Levin, bring it on...).

So, what exactly is the consrvatics' overall beef with McCain? As Limbaugh put it, "he doesn't speak for us." Us? Just who exactly is us? To be sure, McCain is clearly speaking to a majority of Republicans, otherwise he wouldn't be kicking dust in former Gov's Mitt Romney's (MA) and Mike Huckabee's (AR) faces. Perhaps McCain's overall popularity is a wake-up call to right-wing fanatics like Hannity, Rush, Levin, Coulter, etc. A signal that the average conservative is fed up with the politics of hate and fear and devisiveness. To the conservatics, you are not a Republican unless you have a singular platform that conforms to every single belief of theirs. There is no "big tent" for these guys. There's only one-type of "acceptible" Republican. You must be a national security junkie. You must hate taxes. You must hate illegal aliens, and wish to ship all 12-million of them back home. You must hate campaign finance reform. You must hate big government. You must hate welfare, free education and socialized medicine. You must hate gays. You must hate abortion. You must hate atheists, agnositics and anyone who doesn't believe in Creationism. You must hate Democrats, and everything they stand for. You must hate, period. And if you hate, say, most of these things, that's not good enough for the conservatics. You must hate 'em all.

The conservatics claim that McCain "will destroy the Republican Party." Well, the very conservative columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan said recently that it was George Bush who's destroyed the party. She's 1000% right. And I believe if Republicans were smart they'd recognize that McCain is the guy to unify them in the future. He's got the moderate Repubs, the conservative Dems and the highly coveted independents. In that sense, he's almost as Reaganesque as Reagan. But the conservatics hate him so much because of his impressive record of reaching across the aisles to create compromise legislation (i.e McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman). But isn't that what politicians are truly supposed to do? Wasn't that the vision of our Founding Fathers? Or, as Hannity and Limbaugh would like you to believe, did they have Rovian partisan hate politics in mind instead? I am no personal fan of McCain, but I do admire his tenacity, his resolve, his independence. He strikes me as the guy who puts country and beliefs before party. Call me crazy, but that's what they all should be doing.

The conservatics also decry McCain's flip-flopping on the Bush tax cuts, but completely give their boy Romney a pass on his abrupt and very politically-timed about-face on gay marriage and abortion. Go figure.

One of my best friends is a Republican. There, I said it. Cliche, but true. "Karl" and I have been close pals for 25 years now. I love the guy, except his politics. So I asked him about all this McCain Swiftboating last night. And sure enough, I could close my eyes and hear Hannity and Levin and Limbaugh coming through loud and clear. "He doesn't represent us," said Karl, dutifully repeating the Kool-aid drinkers' mantra. I asked, what about McCain's record on the war, terrorism, Bush Tax cuts, school vouchers, abortion, guns, gays, and God? Doesn't that make him pretty damned conservative? Well yeah, Karl conceded, but then he went right back to the "doesn't represent us" thing. I guess he won't let facts and logic spoil the fantasy.

Poor conservatics. There's a party goin' on and they weren't invited. And it makes them angry. Angry like the high school nerds who weren't invited to the party either. So they are violently unleashing their venom on McCain and everyone who supports him. After Super Duper Tuesday, this just might once and for all prove to be most of the GOP. And maybe the end of the conservatic movement as we know it.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.

Friday, February 01, 2008

U.S. Death Toll in Iraqi Increases. So Much for the "Surge" Success


The party's over. For four months the Busheviks got to stick out their collective wannabe testosteroned-engorged chests and brag about how well the surge is working in Iraq. For four measley months the violence lessened and U.S. soldiers' deaths steadily declined. Four months. That's all it took for the lunatic-in-chief to once again mistakenly declare "Mission Accomplished." It's the same old tired story with Bush. His strategy? Just say it, and it must be true, right? Wrong. The U.S death toll reached 38 in January, a 65% increase from December. And the killings spread to Diyala and Ninevah provinces, outside Baghdad and Anbar province, and where the violence against our soldiers has been concentrated.

And while Bush blathers on incessently and deceptively about how "Al Qaeda's on the run" and "Al Qaeda knows the surge is working"...Pentagon officials and U.S. commanders on the ground caution against being too optimistic. Neither knows when we will be able to leave Iraq without the violence increasing.

Any fool knows that sending 20,000 more troops into Baghdad was only a band-aid. That the surge would not and could not stem the violence long-term, nor would it result in any real political change in the war-torn country; change that is critical if Iraq is ever to stand on its own two feet and govern independently and securely. But our president isn't just any old fool. This Bozo never seems to learn from his or anyone else's colossal mistakes. One premature "Mission Accomplished" is just not enough for him. He and his legacy hunger for victory so much that he'll lie about at it every opportunity, hoping that Americans are dumber than he is. And perhaps he's right. An exit poll last week after the Florida primaries indicated that just 14% of Republicans now deem the Iraq war to be our number one priority. Democrats aren't much better at 24%. Man, how quickly they forget. Perhaps Bush is the smart one after all.

BTW, news of the increased death toll came out the same day as the report of a 20% increase in the number of suicides in the U.S. Army; as well as an independent Congressional commission report stating that the U.S. military and our National Guard is woefully unprepared for a catastrophic attack. "Right now we don't have the forces we need; we don't have them trained; we don't have the equipment," said commission Chairman Arnold Punaro.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.