MUSIC WILL BE -Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Eat Static, Crash and Burn
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master
J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire, and this week, we are coming to you live from the the super-secret, ultra-dope, mega-cool, extra-jiggy, Mojohaus spy satellite of love high in geosynchronous orbit above Baghdad by the Bay …I’m Mojo...
S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, July 26, and here’s the news for the week gone-by...
J. Brought to you by Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988. Now headlines, from Mojohaus
S. First this week, we take a look at the DeMedici-like machinations that are boiling just barely beneath the surface of the cheap veneer of civility the Bush Administration has shellacked over their attempts get underlings to fall on their swords regarding cooking intelligence reports on Iraq.
J. Next, we pour a stiff one and come to grips with the mounting evidence that the Republican Party is morphing the American political system is into a clone of the old Mexican political patronage system under the rule of the Partido Revolucionario de Institucional.
S. And for the second time in two months, the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice, has called out their political masters for being a bunch of racist thugs in the implementation of the Patriot Act, by detailing numerous credible reports of civil rights violations that were committed by Justice employees in pursuit of the diabolical terrorist menace in our midst.
J. Then the good Dr. Strychnine, brings the love in part two of his reading of the entrails from the Oracle, Alan Greenspan, and delivers the bad news to Mr. and Mrs. Main Street that their futures bets on the Bush Administration’s Faith-Based Economy are about to tank...
S. And in the meantime, the list of people being shipped off to the Island of “I hate being right all the time,” has become quite illustrious while the U.S. Senate is laboring mightly to prevent an official accounting of the cost of the Iraq war to the U.S. economy, stifling another attempt just earlier this month, and the end result could be dire for the Republic.
J. Finally this morning, our regular presidential roundup. We start the round up this morning with a look at how GOP faithful are having their dark night of the soul as they watch Bush’s numbers start to drop with no real political end in sight, and yet another look at how the Dems are relating to the war news out of Iraq.
J. So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...
J. This whole Iraq intelligence, weapons of mass destruction thing is really starting to sound like the old “who’s on first” Abbot and Costello routine. They are tripping over themselves trying to get their stories straight.
Unfortunately for them, there is no story *too* get straight. There is only a mass of lies, contradictions, half-truths, back-tracks and back-side covering. Remember the words of David Broder in the Washington Post last week... in the years to come, people will look back on July 10, 2003 as the day it all started to come apart for George Bush...the day he had to admit to the American people that he was a moron who had no idea what he was doing leading American to war in Iraq.
Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the administration has stoked the anxiety and fear of Americans to advance their own ideology. First by passing the draconian Patriot Act that would have sent Joe McCarthy squealing to the ACLU, and then by distorting the threat posed by Sadism Hussein, changing him from a regional Joe Stalin wannabe to the greatest threat to America since Orson Welles announced an invasion of Martians in the heartland.
But as you faithful listeners of the Mojowire know, this Administration has debased the fine art of political spin to the level of contemptuous hubris and fraud. Now the chickens have come home to roost in recent weeks, with the obvious realization that the Memo detailing Iraq's program to obtain Uranium from Niger used by President Bush in his State of the Union speech was a fraud, and that the Administrations claims that Iraq's Nuclear capability posed a threat to the United State were bogus.
A few weeks worth of deranged confusion culminated in the apparent mea culpa by CIA director George Tenet, who appeared to accept blame for the appearance of the claim on behalf of his beleaguered agency. Tenet was summoned to the Senate Intelligence Committee presumably to reiterate his act of seppuku.
But to the shock and awe of everyone in the beltway, he upped the ante. Check this: According to the Nelson Report website: in closed testimony sources confirm, Tenet named NSC non-proliferation official Bob Joseph as the White House staffer who forced the CIA to accept the “negotiated truth” Bush used to “prove” assertions by Vice President Dick --may I call you “Dick” Mr. Vice President, Cheney, and Rummy, that the Administration “knew” that Saddam Hussein was trying to “reconstitute” his nuclear bomb program.
What started out as falling on his own sword, has been revealed as a masterful chess move of beltway poltics, where the CIA director appeared to assume responsibility, but cleverly implicates his rvials at the NSC.
Now, Steven Hadley, Condi Rice’s deputy whose fingerprints are all over the infamous 16 words in the State of the Union, has accepted responsibility. Darth Tenet is no doubt relaxing with a tall frosty glass of Aunt Beru’s Blue Cocktails contemplating which White House Patsy he is next going to deprive of their pension.
S. We would dearly love to be surprised by these revelations. But how do you act surprised when this adminstration has proven itself unable to utter a truthful statement in virtually every aspect of their operation.
If it isn't cooking up distorted numbers to hide who is going to get the latest campaign contribution kickback, err, Tax cut in this years GOP prostration to its rich wheel-greasers, then it's another fairy tale about how deconstructing the environmental regulatons will improve air and water quality
The biggest scandals in the last 30 years have all come down to lies and deceptions, almost always about something that would have been survivable if the adminstration in power had just owned up to it.
Instead of coming correct, though? The bodies are starting to appear. First in the cavalcade of corpses? That honor goes to British Weapons inspector, Dr. David Kelly, a biochemist who was part of the original inspections regime, who testified to the House of Commons recently about being told to make the politically correct spin on the intelligence the Brits were supplying to the Americans.
His body was found near his home, in an apparent “suicide.” Look, we’re not saying that the NSC asked MI-5 to rub the guy out just as his story of falsifying reasons for war were coming to light...we’re just saying it smells like rough trade to us.
This administration has set a new standard of secrecy and stonewalling. Could they, faced with the possibility of disclosing their mendacious behavior in the Iraq War debate, come clean on this. Don't hold your breath....
J. And it’s time once again to play the game that’s sweeping the nation: Let’s See If This Sounds Familiar...today’s puzzle: a country, nominally a democratic republic falls under the sway of a single party, where in spite of competing political visions, this party always stays on top through a program of semi-official corrurption, patronage and pay-for-play policy making.
Now, yes... Wireheads are not stoopid, you’ve already guessed the punchline, we’re not really talking about the Mexican government under the PRI, we’re talking about the emergent Republican power structure in Washington.
But if you think that little parable is far-fetched, look at a couple of the most recent examples of GOP influence peddling.
First, our favorite poisonous little thug, House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, was exposed as a cheap mafia-esque arm-twister in a tell-all Washington Post piece last week. But even more outrageous, is the story that Republican state attorneys general have banded together to shake down campaign contributions from companies they are currently suing on behalf of their states.
Tom DeLay, for years we’ve chaffed under this reptillian mook . But in reality the Post piece doesn’t say anything we didn’t already know. It only exposes the ugly nuts and bolts undersides of how the DeLay polical influence machine works.
For the first time, a group called Democracy 21 -- look ‘em up on the web and give them your support -- have compiled a really complete picture of the series of money laundering schemes disguised as an interlocking system of political action committees run by DeLay and supporting the candidates and causes he feels are worthy.
We’ll let the post story speak for itself for a moment: “The group's analysis of DeLay's top 100 contributors from 2000 to 2002 reveals a pattern: Each donor gave to at least two political operations linked to the Texan. These committees included his reelection campaign; Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC); the short-lived Republican Majority Issues Committee; and his "leadership committee," Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC) , which had a federal arm and non-federal arm that could collect unlimited "soft money" donations before new campaign finance laws were enacted last year.”
In the world of big time Washignton politics, everyone has come to know that Tom DeLay is only about one thing, and one thing only...gettin’ paid. Money talks and we all know what walks.
A couple of examples: the nearly $800,000 given to these committees by R.J. Reynolds, which apparently bought DeLay’s opposition to more stringent tobacco legislation and taxation during the Clinton years. More recently, money given by Kansas-based Westar, an energy company, was specifically to buy a place at the table in writing energy legislation, according to recently released internal company emails.
Next, we have the story that the not only have Republicans been attempting to buy the legislative branch of government, they have been seeking to purchase judiciary futures as well.
A report released recently by the Center for Public Integrity, the same people who broke the news about Patiot Act II, detail how the Republican Attorney Generals’s Association, has been careening across the country in search of camapaign money from the very corporations they are currently pursiing in litigation.
Of the favored few who gave to the attorneys suing them, Shell Oil, who had just settled a state royalties case, gave $12 million to then Texas AG, now Texas Senator John Cornyn. Brown and Williamson Tobacco, Phillip Morris are other high profile companies implicated in this.
The documents state that in return for contributions, company officials would be entitled to meet with the attorneys general, participate in conference calls with them and socialize with them. As of Feb. 22, 2000, the group had collected $235,000 from 21 firms, received promises of $188,500 from 24 other firms, and was soliciting funds from an additional 114 firms, the documents state.
The group was born of federal applleate court nominee and former Alabama AG William Pryor and the Republican National Committee with the explicit aim of soliciting funds from the firearms, tobacco and paint industries and other industries facing state lawsuits over cancer deaths, lead poisoning, gunshots and consumer complaints, according to statements by Pryor and other officials, stated the Post report.
S. There is a strong argument to be made that perhaps Attorneys General should not be elected. Maybe the top law enforcement officer in the state should not be the guy who solicited the most money from his corporate friends and then grifted all the jethros to crawl out from their swamps and one room cabins just long enough to cast a vote for him before returning to quiet lonerville to contemplate the space brothers transmissions to Agent Cooper.
But beyond that, where is the outrage from the American Bar Association. I mean, Mojo and I are not lawyers, but we are fairly sure there is something in the ABA’s model code of ethics regarding the solicitation of money from parties you are currently suing. And we’re fairly sure it’s not a blanket endorsement of that practice.
Why on earth aren’t these guys being hauled up in front of ABA hearings and being stripped of their law licenses. For cryin’ out loud, Bill Clinton got his card yanked for five years just for lying about sexual indiscretion that had nothing to do with his ability to practice law. These guys are shaking down opposing litigants for camapaign contributions like cheap mob muscle.
But hey, when your legislative role model is Tom DeLay, the biggest whore-slash-pimp the House of Representatives has ever endured, then I guess the ethical bar is set pretty low.
In many ways it does remind us of the pre Vicente Fox era of PRI poltics in Mexico, when weeks before an election, people would line up for free televisions and bicycles at the local PRI bunker and the regional officials would submit their list of public works projects to be completed for target constituencies.
And of course, it is the party of the slim-black-brief-case-filled-to-overflowing-with-tightly-bound-hundred-dollar-bills. Corrpuption of public officials in Mexico is not just accepted, it’s the way the government really works. Reforms at this point would actually damage the government’s ability to govern before thing actually straightened out.
And that is where the likes of Tom DeLay and these rogue Attoreneys General are taking this country. Over the falls in a barrel full of holes and only at the last minute do we realize that they were lifted to safety by the pick up crane, as we feel the tug of gravity sending our Republic and our traditional notions of democratic fairness to a watery grave.
Good news citizen, there is something *you* can do about it. You see, this sort of thing can only choke out the American spirit with your acquiesence. That’s right, if you don’t like this, you can change it. That means, you register to vote, you get informed and you get the skinny on who’s striaght up and who’s not and you hold them accountable, not only at the voting booth, but by taking an active role in civic affairs. That’s how you arrest the cancer of corruption in our current system, and it all rests with you. You are the sovreign remedy for this poison.
Or, you could be just like your Republican neigbors, condemened to an existance of cheap American Beer, wreteched lies from the “reality technicians” at Fox News, and a willing receptacle for the latest throught command from Republican Star Control. This is the difference between your GOP Neighbors and you Wireheads. They are furry proto-monkeys throwing their Bud cans in the in air in Kurbrikian Glee, and your average wirehead is a freethinking Brainiac, with a cranial cavity big enough to dock a Star Destroyer and producing enough wattage to power an Mac G-5. Now register to vote and put your foot on their thick necks. But hurry, time is running out.
J. So fresh from their scathing criticism of the Ashcroft Justice Department’s Kristallnact in the wake of 9-11, the Inspector General of the Justice Department followed up their debut album with another little opus that takes the AG and his gang to task for being out of control facist thugs.
Well, perhaps that’s a bit overstated, but at the same time, they did validate dozens civil rights violations concerning enforcement of the USA Patriot Act, as again brought to you by your friends at the Washington Post.
You know, is there any point in continuing to have a Consititution anymore if the adminsitration in power is going to feel free to ignore it anytime they want?
But wait we’re getting ahead of ourselves. In spite of the nearly constant bloviating from FOXNews about how liberals and progressives were just being paranoid about the implementation of the Patriot Act, the reality is turning out to be much different.
“The report said that in the six-month period that ended on June 15, the inspector general's office had received 34 complaints of civil rights and civil liberties violations by department employees that it considered credible, including accusations that Muslim and Arab immigrants in federal detention centers had been beaten,” according to the report in the Post.
And this was culled from hundreds of other reports that for one reason or another just could not be corroborated, although no criteria was given for that.
There are many, not just the faithful wireheads who saw this coming. I mean, is there anyone who could look at John Aschcroft, a guy who thinks that the Old Testament should carry more weight in a court of law than the Consitutution, and *not* see that coming? No, of course not, and now he is still out there pimping the discredited notions of how he needs more power and how unless he can lock up anyone he wants without cause or trial, then no one will be safe from the Al Qaeda menace.
Abraham Lincoln once spoke some very prophetic words for our time: “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
For the history impaired, what he was saying is that the only people who can destroy America is Americans, not some foriegn bogey man used to sell t-bonds and duct tape, but Americans, especially those that we give power to, then forget to check up on them.
Is there anyone who is honestly surprised by the fact that when given nearly unlimited power, that it was almost immediately abused and used to violate our most cherished traditions of fairness and justice?
S. The answer to the proceeding question would of course be no.
John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan on the House Panel looking into abuses said: “This report shows that we have only begun to scratch the surface with respect to the Justice Department's disregard of constitutional rights and civil liberties. I commend the inspector general for having the courage and independence to highlight the degree to which the administration's war on terror has misfired and harmed innocent victims with no ties to terror whatsoever.”
We couldn’t agree more. There are more than enough examples to demonstrate that the Justice Department can’t be trusted with these kinds of powers. In fact, there is a damn good reason the authors of the Federalist Papers were scared of a centralized state with nearly unlimited police powers.
Why? Because they had just fought a war to be free of that kind of government and they wrote a constitution that would guarantee that no swamp-dwelling nitwit with a badge and delusions of grandeur could aspire to total power in the United States anytime within foresight.
However, they reckoned that they had left such a good map for how the country should be run, complete with the ability to adjust to changing times that things could never get that far, and never thought that a power elite would take control in America that thought that a return to the good old days of King George were a good thing.
Well, dust off those old beefeater jackets and call me macaroni because that’s just where the Ashcroft gang in the Justice Department are steering this out of control bus.
Part of problem is that the average American still doesn’t believe it can happen to them, inspite of the blatant warnings written into the act, as well as its follow up, the National Security Enhancement Act of 2003, which if defeated as a package will enjoy a hidden piecemeal enactment as riders on the coattails of various bits of inocuous and popular legislation.
After 9/11 there seemed to be an idea that as long as we rounded up “those” people, then everything would be okay. But when Ashcroft, his henchmen and his few supporters in Congress start talking about how it’s a good thing that anyone can be disappeared because they gave money to a group that later was designated a terrorist group, for reasons that are not disclosed and not legally revealable in public, that makes us all targets.
For the love God, how many times do we have to cover this ground? We know that the loyal wireheads out there are probably on board with this thing, but we are talking now to the hoardes of people who were scanning by, heard something funny and stayed for a moment to listen.
Well it’s like this... the United States *is* under attack, and its not by the swirly-eyed, turban-wearing, madrassa-trained, AK-wielding, Islamacists. Think of the words of Lincoln again; almost 150 years ago, he was laying out the basic argument that the no foreign power could destroy America. Only Americans can destroy Ameirica, and if we are not careful that is exactly where facist exteremists like John Ashcroft are taking us.
SEE PART II