The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Ahnold's day

Gubernator Watch

I've mostly avoided the topic of the California recall up until now; not only is it a regional issue, but it also makes my head hurt to think about it. But as today is the "big day" when the GOP gets to try to kill representative democracy in the world's fifth largest economy, just as it did in the nation as a whole, it's time to address it a bit.

The seeds of the situation were born from Enron gaming the California energy system (this has been proven with the release of internal Enron documents - it is no longer speculation). Because CA went through energy deregulation (a Republican pipedream that was sold as an elixir for everything that ailed you: "deregulation will bring you lower rates, cleaner electricity, more reliability, and brighter teeth"), it was left wide open to fraud and deliberate rigging of its systems from outside entities. In choosing deregulation, the people of California chose to trade control of power company practices for the wonders of the "free market", and all of the wholesome goodness it brings with it. In any case, Enron (among other companies like Alcoa) screwed them six ways to Sunday. In the midst of the crisis, Gray Davis signed some long term contracts for lower energy rates than were available at the time, but then the manufactured "crisis" suddenly abated and the long term contracts were costly. Budget problems ensued (because of the energy crisis but also because of the dotcom collapse and Chimpy's recession), which have been mostly solved through the magic of cutting government services and raising taxes, but California is still solvent.

In fact, the $38 million budget shortfall, so widely shouted about by Republicans (as if they cared one whit for fiscal responsibility) has been reduced to $8 million.

So, basically what happened was people in California had some rocky times with their energy prices and their rates went up. And Davis was the governor at the time. That is the extent of the "rationale" for this recall.

Never mind that the energy crisis was engineered by Bush's cronies at Enron. Never mind that the people are dangerously close to electing someone who will hand power over to those very same people. Never mind that Davis was the one who had to fight those guys and deal with the screwing they were creating.

What a neat trick: Republicans (and here I should really qualify to mean the Republicans now in control of that party - big business, cheap labor, fundamentalist Republicans who are part of Bush's Familia) bone over California citizens, then use that as an excuse to get themselves elected. In what universe should this happen? The universe we live in, which doesn't have an honest press corps.

The support for Arnold is one of the biggest, most insulting jokes ever perpetrated on the citizenry. To even suggest that this meathead has any of the qualifications to run a state, let alone our biggest and probably most important state, is insulting in the extreme, and to have the media so taken by him that they cannot help themselves but support him shows just how far we have fallen as a society. That the people of California are dumb enough to fall for it speaks volumes about that state's troubled schools.

There is a scene in the movie "The Running Man" where ex-governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota, wearing tights, wrestles and kills future-ex-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, also wearing tights. Think about that for a minute. I'll wait while the nausea subsides.

The people are about to reward Enron for unfairly raising their energy costs by handing them the executive branch. (see this, where it was reported that Arnie was in private meetings with Ken Lay a couple of years ago) Arnold, like W himself, is an idiot front man who will open the doors to the powerfully evil cabal which still goes unprosecuted, thanks to John "Crisco Kid" Ashcroft being our Attorney General.

Good luck today, California.

Bigots Watch

Here is something good for a laugh.

Pat Robertson, everyone's favorite Pharisee, decides that since Rush Limbaugh is getting a hard time about being a bigot, he should jump in and trash Morgan Freeman. Freeman's crime? Getting roles where he plays the president, the head of the CIA, etc. I don't even know where to begin with this one.

Conservative Idiots Watch

Yesterday's Top Ten Conservative Idiots was a tour de force, due to the wonderful week the conservatives brought on themselves last week. You'll pardon me if I quote heavily from it here:
All of which brings us nicely to the topic of John Ashcroft. Last week John Ashcroft vowed that he would not rest until he tracked down the person who murdered his wife. No wait, that was O.J. Simpson. Last week John Ashcroft began a full investigation of the Bush administration to determine who leaked the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak, dismissing calls for a special prosecutor. Despite minor issues, like, say, the fact that Karl Rove was a paid consultant to three of Ashcroft's political campaigns back in the 80s and 90s, the Crisco Kid doesn't seem to think a special prosecutor is necessary to avoid a conflict of interest. Odd, really - Ashcroft used to be a big fan of special prosecutors. Back in 1997 he appeared on CNN's "Evans & Novak" to express his indignation that a special prosecutor was not appointed to investigate important matters like Al Gore's alleged use of a government telephone while fundraising. See - important matters, not like all this boring national security stuff. "...You know, a single allegation can be most worthy of a special prosecutor," said then-Senator Ashcroft. "If you're abusing government property, if you're abusing your status in office, it can be a single fact that makes the difference on that." My, my, how times have changed.

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." (Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002). "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." (George W. Bush, September 12, 2002). "If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world." (Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002). "We know for a fact that there are weapons there." (Ari Fleischer, January 9, 2003). "Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." (George W. Bush, January 28, 2003). "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." (Colin Powell, February 5, 2003). "We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have." (George Bush February 8, 2003). "So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not." (Colin Powell, March 8, 2003). "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." (George Bush, March 18, 2003). "We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad." (Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003). "At this point we have found substantial evidence of an intent of senior level Iraqi officials, including Saddam, to continue production at some future point in time of weapons of mass destruction. We have not found yet, and I'm sure you know this, otherwise you would know it earlier, we have not found at this point, actual weapons." (David Kay, chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, October 3, 2003). Emphasis added to underscore complete and utter uselessness of entire Bush administration.

So weapons inspector David Kay has returned from Iraq, and the news is: no weapons of mass destruction. Oh sure, they uncovered one or two programs and discovered that the Iraqis might have wanted to have weapons at some point in the future, but, uh, no actual weapons. Reaction from the Bush administration was downright lethargic - surprising really, considering that they convinced the American people that we had to invade Iraq before Saddam dropped anthrax down our chimneys. But head chickenhawk Donald Rumsfeld, he of the "We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad. North and south and east and west a bit. They're under Saddam's bed and in his socks. They're in the breakfast cereal of every Iraqi child. They're in the flowers and the trees. They're blowing in the wind, somewhere over the rainbow," seemed particularly unimpressed. Upon hearing the news of the Kay Report's conclusions, Rumsfeld said that it would be "unfortunate" if U.S. intelligence before the war was "dramatically wrong." Unfortunate? Unfortunate? Pardon me, but it's unfortunate when you're doing the dishes and you accidentally break a mug. It's unfortunate when someone backs into you in a parking lot. I think the situation in Iraq has gone a little past unfortunate, Donald. How about a downright bloody disaster? How about a mismanaged, ill-conceived fiasco? How about a murderous, useless, financially backbreaking fuck-up of epic proportions? Unfortunate indeed.

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