MUSIC: Intro/Hendrix, Star Spangled Banner
S9/ Supreme Beings of Leisure, Under the Gun
Exeunt/WildChild, Renegade Master
J. Good morning, and welcome to The Mojowire... I’m Mojo...
S. And I’m Sean, it’s Saturday, October 25, 2003, 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 morning, Sy Hersh, who has been quiet of late -- almost too quiet -- unleashed a massive butt kicking on the administration’s treatment of intelligence data, and how it was abused to get our nation into war in Iraq and damaged our campaign against terrorism at the same time.
J. But there is good news in the war, though. No, not that South Asian distraction, the Bush Administration’s real war; the one against the nation’s poor. Their strategy is working, according to a recent report that shows more Americans falling into poverty and median incomes nose diving.
S. Next we take a look at the national energy policy with the help of The American Prospect. In spite of 9/11 “changing everything,” the plan looks like just another GOP giveaway to big oil, in a vain attempt to drill, dig and pollute our way out of our current energy conundrum.
J. With this week’s horror forecast, Dr. S9 asks the arcane question: why is the President deliberately allowing the Chinese army to get total control of Global Crossing? Story is there are some disgruntled Americans who are angered that their higher bid was rejected, and they're raising a stink...and it's a pretty weird stink.
S. And those liberal, hippy scientists are at it again, trying to scare everyone with lurid tales of a coming global catastrophe. I mean, so what that this most recent September was the warmest on record anywhere and that glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere are melting at an increasingly alarming rate. Don’t you know there’s a war on?
J. And then with this week’s Presidential roundup, we take a look at the DNC’s most recent visit with the Oracle of Bill of Clinton. He pronounces party infighting and liberalism as “not good.” Then Kerry is having a problem selling his new found respect for peace, and Sen. Eyore is now really grasping at straws, saying he would make John McCain Sec. of State if elected. Great. Eyore in the White House and Tigger down at Foggy Bottom...what could *possibly* go wrong...
S.... So stand by to stand by while we get ready to kick this pig...
J. This intercepted by the SooperSnooper UltraLowFrequency Mojohaus Listening Station at Ice Station Echo deep beneath the Arctic: “By early March, 2002, a former White House official told me, it was understood by many in the White House that the President had decided, in his own mind, to go to war. The undeclared decision had a devastating impact on the continuing struggle against terrorism. The Bush Administration took many intelligence operations that had been aimed at Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world and redirected them to the Persian Gulf. Linguists and special operatives were abruptly reassigned, and several ongoing anti-terrorism intelligence programs were curtailed.”
So a proven threat to the security of the Nation was pushed to the background while we diverted precious resources to beat up someone who never landed a successful punch against the United States. This administration has allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and reform, which they have undoubtedly done since the decision to go to Iraq.
And all that jabbering from the Administration about going to the UN and leaving all options open was utter garbage. The President decided to go to Iraq, at least 6 months before his dad’s pals outed the administration in August on the nations Op/Ed pages. They possessed rigged intelligence, offered up by crooks and thieves pimped by dubious sources like Ahmad Chalabi, and spiced up by secret cabals within the Pentagram errr...Pentagon and the White House.
You know, all the Duct Tape and plastic sheeting in the world isn't going to help this administration if a revamped Al Qaeda takes another crack at the Motherland...
“inside the military, ‘stovepiping’ is slang for the practice of taking a piece of intelligence or a request that should be pushed through the chain of command-checked at levels and sent from one level to another-and bringing it straight to the highest authority. One of the things that people in the intelligence community have learned over the years is that early reports are often wrong. And so, before you respond to the first piece of information you have, you analyze it, you vet it, you study it, and then you make a decision about what you're going to do with it. Stovepiping allows them to cheat the process. When you stovepipe stuff, you leave yourself open to the worst kinds of results.”
The Hersh story confirms our worst fears about this administration. This practice of Stovepiping, ignoring the process and views of the experts and using political hacks to decipher complex information and twisting it to support their established opinions, is how this administration conducts themselves not only Iraq, but the War against Al Queda, the economy, the environment, all their policy decisions.
Remember, this is from an administration where the President doesn’t even glance at a daily newspaper, but relies on underlings to “synopsize” the day’s news for him, because he wants the “unvarnished truth.” This is an administration that has turned intellectual laziness and disengagement into a kind of zen thing that they are getting way too much mileage out of.
S. This story is a crucial piece in understanding how dangerous these people really are. They embroil us in Iraq because they refuse to listen to contradictory information, no matter how well sourced or grounded.
They bankrupt the government and put the American economy on the brink of a devastating financial crisis, even putting Social Security and Medicare at risk, no matter what their economic advisors or the Treasury Secretary tells them. They ignore the threat of global warming because it would displease their corporate contributors. Scared? You should be.
This problem is compound by President's admission to Fox News that he never cracks open a newspaper or reads anything his aides don't prepare for him.
So if they are ignoring evidence that might call their views into question, is it any wonder that mendacity and deceit just congeal out of thin air every time he opens his mouth. This is Hubris on a scale that even shocks us. This is bad enough at any time in history, but the in face of the real national security threats facing the country, Al Qaeda, North Korea, a nuclear Iran, and the threat of world wide economic melt down, it's downright scary.
I'm talking the "Ring" Scary, like a fuzzy scaly chick climbing out of a well while you are watching The O’Reilly Factor and going postal on you.
Jesus!..How many times do we have to say it..There are no WMDs...The administration is lame and mendacious...They lied to us and themselves...They have risked American lives for minimal return on the National Security dollar.
They only know one thing, making their money while they are in office, and making sure that the right contributors get paid, while average Americans like us get to suck hard vacuum. This is not a government, this is an organized crime gang, a low-rent, intellectually-crippled version of the Corleone family, that got over in one of the most massive election frauds of all time.
They suck and have no game. They should be run. Not just out of the building, but out of the country and possibly off the planet to an icy asteroid in the OOrt cloud where they can ponder the vastness of space and scare each other during the eternal night with stories of Saddamzilla and his radioactive fire breath and the alien saucers he use to control Rodan and Monster Zero...
J. So what is it really with this administration and the poor? What is the deal here? Is it the guilty hatred of the conqueror for the conquered? Do they fear some sort of Dickensonian visit from the ghosts of starving children and homeless wokrers? Are they really the central casting villains that they are trying to convince us they are, like the evil childnapping slaver from Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang?
Well, there may not be real answers for these questions, but the effects of the Bush Administration’s policies are very real. To wit: the Census bureau reported recently that another 1.7 million of your neighbors, friends, family and other assorted fellow Americans sank beneath the waves for the third time and drowned into poverty last year.
That brings the grand total of Americans in poverty to 34.6 million. Just suck down that one for a moment. More than 12 percent of Americans live in poverty. That means they can’t afford rent, food, clothes, medicines and all those other luxiries that Dick Cheney takes for granted.
And those people will be in good company soon... the median income in the United States edged down by more than 1 percent last year to $42,409. Yeah, and once the rest of the world starts calling in their markers on the U.S. dollar and we continue to sell our country to oil rich despots, see how much that $42,000 will buy you.
The best part about this is the answer from our Nation’s Tool-In-Chief, White House flack Scotty McClellan: “The president acted. He led, and he acted, and we passed those tax cuts to get more money back into people's pockets so they can spend it on a good or a service. The economy is growing. And as the economy picks up even more steam, the economists will tell you then that creates an environment for job creation.”
That’s right, think about that for just a moment. Forget the horrible untruth of the whole “we put money back in the pockets” thing. Even better is the “just ask the economists, they’ll tell you...” bit.
Well, no Scotty, they won’t. Why? Because when the President’s Council of Economic Advisors were trying to motivate Bush and his speechwriters to get off the bong long enough to listen to a little reason, they were summarily evicted from their digs in the Old Executive Office Building and exiled off into a basement in an old disused Housing and Urban Development suboffice down in Alexandria, Virginia somewhere where the White House wouldn’t have to listen to their continual carping buzzkill about “large structural deficits.”
No, the speechwriters in the West Wing assured everyone that they remember their macroeconomics class in High School, and as long as everyone just stays high all the time, the numbers really do work out, or at least workout long enough for your pot-addled attention span to make it to the next “Joe Millionaire” episode...
S. Now some people in the rough-trade wing of the economics department are asking: How can this be? We have a growing economy. Gross Domestic products are up, up, up! The stock market is cruising towards 10k again! There is a massive pool of new capital to fuel the next round of business mergers and acquisitions!
Well, hold on there, Diamond Jim... That, in fact, *is* the problem. It would appear that our glorious Maximum Leader will be the first glorious Maximum Leader since Maximum Leader Herbert Hoover to preside over net job loss on his watch. And of course, you all remember the era Hoover presided over...
Steny Hoyer, the terrible and ancient Senator from Maryland hit it right on the head: “Americans have listened for three years to President Bush's lofty promises of economic prosperity and ‘robust growth,’ while he dismissed the three million jobs lost under his watch as a ‘short-term problem,’ But increasing poverty and decreasing opportunity is not a problem easily dismissed. The policies pushed by the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress have been breathtaking only in their failure to improve the lives of average Americans.”
It is becoming apparent to even the most rock-brained, FOXNews addled, ditto-head that the current good news in economic statistics is only good news to a certain portion of the population, and they are beginning to suspect they are *not* a part of that demographic.
For instance, we were told the great news a couple of weeks ago that in spite of Daimler-Benz announcing plans to close plants and layoff thousands of American workers, it was all good, because WalMart was planning to open dozens of new stores across the country, and hire people.
And as for a new round of mergers and acquisitions? Hooray! More American workers shipped off to the Island of Redundant Toys... But that’s okay, there’s always room for one more at Sam’s Place...
So let me get this straight. We are going to trade $25 an hour auto-manufacturing jobs with great health benefits and retirement packages for minimum-wage parttime WalMart jobs that have no benefits whatsoever, much less a union to help the workers fight for their rights.
You know, this is how revolutions start... Memo to the President: Continually throwing your feces at all the people who voted for you in the first place, in the vain hope that the dread of Iraqi Flying Saucer Technology, will keep them from noticing that they are standing on a breadline in a cardboard city, is, perhaps, not the wisest political play in the book.
It didn’t work for Maximum Leader Hoover, and trust us, you are not even close to being in that intellectual ball park...
J. So, is there any really any surprise anywhere that the current national energy plan crafted by the White House and snaking its way through Congress ensures our continued reliance on fossil fuels imported from some of the most criminally violent regimes on earth?
I mean, seriously, in an administration absolutely awash in oil-barons, can anyone muster even a shred of shock that their energy plan would be a continuation of the same old policies, in spite of the fact that “9/11 changed everything...” or so they say.
Well, the truth is that for this administration’s outlook on energy, 9/11 didn’t change a damn thing. The American Prospect gave a pretty good rundown recently on where our current energy policy stands.
“As it stands now, the conference committee, headed by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Rep. Billy Tauzin of (R-La.), is cooking up much the same legislation as Vice President Dick Cheney did in his pre-9-11 secret tryst with energy lobbyists. They may remove the unpopular drilling in the Alaskan wilderness from the bill (though in recent days Alaska's Republican delegation has threatened to vote "no" unless it remains in).
“But the core of the legislation -- $18 billion in tax breaks to the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries -- remains unchanged. The operating assumption, to the extent there is anything more than corporate greed behind the bill, is that the United States can drill, dig and pollute its way to energy independence.”
We are getting the big lie: just do whatever the Petroleum industry says, and no one gets hurt. Forget the fact that two-thirds of our domestic oil usage goes to internal combustion engines and that 60 percent of our supply is imported.
The fact remains that no matter what sort of goat-blood voodoo we enact in terms of economic planning, there simply is not enough oil in the freeking ground to meet our bulemic over-indulgent SUV fixation.
And that augers for an even worse national security situation than Al Qaeda sleeper cells haunting the bars of your favorite Appleby’s on a Monday night watching football. Forget someone flying a 747 into the Sears Tower... if you want to see an international economic crisis that will stop the world on a dime, wait until someone gets the bright idea of driving a massive truck bomb into the Al Abqaiq oil field in Saudi Arabia.
It was just recently that former CIA Director James Woolsey pointed out the dearth of the Emperor’s oily clothes, noting that most of the world’s largest producing oil fields have now peaked, and that we would already be in a supply jam if not for the increased production of Norway and the Russian Federation.
But it’s only putting the eventual day of reckoning off, and not putting it off very far into the future.
S. This is not a matter of ideology, this is not a matter of fuzzing thinking hippies or gun-toting racists...it is science, we are running out of the product, and we need to be preparing for that day.
The company or government that gets out ahead of the next big energy technology, solving some of the issues surrounding photo-voltaic efficiency or large-scale capacitor storage will be gazillionaires, they will simply rule the world.
Sure, we can go on and on about meeting our energy needs by solar, clean, carbon-sequestration coal, hydrothermic, hydrogen fuel cell, biomass ethanol and wind sources, to name a few, and those who are so inclined will dismiss the talk as the raving of aging hippies leaning on their pitchforks, shooting the breeze around the old compost heap.
Surprise... these sources already account for 20 percent of global energy production and growing by 30 percent per year. Everywhere, that is but in the world’s leading industrialized power. When it comes to renewable, efficient and clean energy (don’t worry, we’ll get to Global Warming in a few minutes) it is the United States that is stuck in 19th Century.
And that, ultimately, may be the real threat posed by the energy rip-off now being enacted in Washington. The Europeans are the technological leaders in wind power. The Japanese have seized the lead in photovoltaics. The Brazilians have mandated that new vehicles burn up to 85 percent ethanol.
Chris Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute, put it succinctly at a forum last week on Capitol Hill: “The danger we face today," he said, “is that if we don't develop a strong domestic market in these technologies, we will not have the companies and we will not have the jobs that will flow from the revolution taking place around the globe.”
But no, not us...what we get is a President giving away the treasury to their oil drilling pals, more American kids coming home in boxes for attempting to protect our access to a shrinking supply of a destructive commodity all because a gang of bible thumping weirdos proclaimed that they read in their Bible Code version of the Old Testament that the Earth will be cleansed by the firey wrathful fist of the angry pre-atomic space god Jehovah-1 before Bush’s second term is up anyway...so, what the hell, smoke’em if ya got’em...
SEE PART II