Bush Finally Unites Left and Right

[updated 2/4/06]

Here are a few reactions to Bush’s State of the Union.

On the far,

far right, calcified Cal Thomas notes that Mid-East oil is actually a pretty small part of our consumption and that we’ve been flapping

our gums about alternative fuels for 30 years. Along with a little echo of his support for, gasp, taxes to keep gas prices high, he’s

now calling for nationalizing the oil industry — kidding, here’s a defribulator — but almost as shocking, he suggest the Oil Rich help

subsidize research. How shall we get them to do that — taxes?

On the left, Dionne notes Duhbya’s hair-splitting and hair-raising

conversion. The old flip-flop.

Maureen Dowd points out Cheney’s direct role years ago in keeping us addicted to oil. Paul

Krugman sums it up, as many have, with “what did you expect?” mjh

The state of the union may be good � by Cal Thomas

Mr. Bush again

called for energy independence and trotted out the hydrogen car idea. He said America must free itself from its addiction to Middle East

oil. But imports of oil from the Persian Gulf make up less than one-fifth of all oil imports to the United States and just 12 percent of

total U.S. oil demand. What is needed is a reduction in consumption. That is unlikely to happen without a breakthrough with alternative

fuels, or until gasoline hits four dollars a gallon at the pump. In addition to hydrogen cars, the president promised more research into

ethanol as a petroleum substitute. Since the Arab oil boycott during the Carter administration, we’ve been hearing about alternative

energy sources, including ethanol, wind farms and hybrid cars. Maybe Mr. Bush should ask ExxonMobil to use some of its $36 billion profit

last year to lead the way.

Opportunities galore for

Democrats after Bush speech by E.J. Dionne

Then there was Bush’s line about how his administration had “reduced the growth of

nonsecurity discretionary spending.” That’s cutting the budgetary salami mighty thin. A fiscally irresponsible president who sent the

deficit through the roof uses a gobbledygook phrase that excludes most of the budget � and then brags merely about reducing spending

growth in that little piece of territory. Feel better now?

On some issues, Bush simply went over to the other side. Having once

battled for tax giveaways to promote more oil drilling, Bush has decided that “America is addicted to oil.” Next, he’ll take out a

Sierra Club membership.

Oilman Plays Ozone


Conservatives were so gobsmacked by W.’s promise to have the government drum up nonpetroleum energy

options – Robert Novak huffed that it not only violated G.O.P. free-market philosophy, but it also had “a lengthy pedigree of failure” –

that the vice president had to swiftly lumber onto conservative radio shows to praise drilling and gas guzzling.

Asked by Rush

Limbaugh if drilling in Alaska was now out, Mr. Cheney said: “No, it’s not off the table by any means. We’ll keep pushing it because we

think it makes eminent good sense.”

Asked by Laura Ingraham if he agreed with Tom Friedman that the administration should impart

pain with a gas tax, Mr. Cheney demurred, “Well, I don’t agree with that.” He said that he and W. are “big believers” in the market and

letting the market work, and that people “make decisions for themselves in terms of what kind of vehicle they want to drive, and how

often they want to fill up the tank, and from the perspective of individual American citizens, this notion that we have to ‘impose

pain,’ some kind of government mandate, I think we would resist.” …

Back in the Ford White House, when Vice President Nelson

Rockefeller pushed a plan to have the government help develop alternative energy sources and reduce our dependence on oil and Saudi

Arabia, Dick Cheney helped scuttle it.

If he hadn’t, we would no longer be oil addicts. And Dick Cheney wouldn’t have to go to

the trouble of scuttling a new plan to have the government help develop alternative sources of energy and reduce our dependence on oil

and Saudi Arabia.

State of Delusion By


So President Bush’s plan to reduce imports of Middle East oil turns out to be no more substantial than his plan –

floated two years ago, then flushed down the memory hole – to send humans to Mars.

But what did you expect? After five years in

power, the Bush administration is still – perhaps more than ever – run by Mayberry Machiavellis, who don’t take the business of

governing seriously.

What the

President Meant to Say By Dan Froomkin

The most memorable portion of President Bush’s otherwise largely forgettable State of

the Union address Tuesday night was his call for America to break its addiction to oil from the Middle East.

But it turns out

maybe we should forget that, too.

Kevin G. Hall writes for Knight Ridder Newspapers: “One day after President Bush vowed to reduce

America’s dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic

adviser said Wednesday that the president didn’t mean it literally.

It’s the Credibility, Stupid By Dan Froomkin

President Bush’s fundamental

challenge as he tries to regain his political footing is that most Americans don’t trust him anymore.

In the latest Washington

Post/ABC News poll, for instance, 53 percent of Americans said they do not consider him honest and trustworthy. A recent New York

Times/CBS News poll found 52 percent of Americans believe the Bush administration intentionally misled the public in making its case for

war in Iraq. Serious stuff.

Sedition – Your Passport to Gitmo

I heard this report on

KUNM radio (one of the best news reports I’ve ever heard produced by KUNM; here’s the link to page with link to the audio — worth a listen).

Summary –

1) Like hundreds, if not thousands before her, a disgruntled citizen writes a letter to the editor of the Alibi

expressing her outrage at BushCo’s incompetence and deceipt.

2) Her government employer confiscates her work computer, after she

tells them she did not write the letter at work, as a part of a necessary check on “any act which potentially represents sedition” (definition: Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority

of a state. Insurrection; rebellion.)

No reason to fear for your right to free speech. I guess we can be glad she didn’t simply

“disappear.” That comes in Bush’s third term (when he can’t trust anyone else to protect AmeriCo like he can). mjh

PS: I recommend you read The Sedition Act of 1798 — I

think you and I may very well be guilty of violating that act. But then, Lush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have probably violated the act

in the past.

alibi .

september 15 – 21, 2005

Wake Up, Get Real

Dear Alibi,

I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and

criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes!

Bush, Cheney,

Chertoff, Brown and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence. …

We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to

remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit. Otherwise, many more of us will be facing

living hell in these times.

Laura Berg

ABQJOURNAL: ACLU Wants Apology to VA Employee Investigated on ‘Sedition’

VA human resources chief Mel Hooker said in

a Nov. 9 letter that his agency was obligated to investigate “any act which potentially represents sedition,” the ACLU said. …

Berg, a clinical nurse specialist, wrote a letter in September to a weekly Albuquerque newspaper criticizing how the administration

handled Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She urged people to “act forcefully” to remove an administration she said played games of

“vicious deceit.”

She signed the letter as a private citizen, and the VA had no reason to suspect she used government

resources to write it, the ACLU said.

“From all appearances, the seizure of her work computer was an act of retaliation and a

hardball attempt to scare Laura into silence,” the ACLU said.


Mexico Weblog – ACLU Protests Investigation of VA Employee for “Sedition”

The Latest Con


Duhbya, the oil man, standing in front of Cheney, the oil man, in a year in which oil company profits have exceeded any in history, on

the day that begins the trial of an oil con-artist, and, ignoring all irony, declares America has an oil addiction. Standing in the very

chamber where countless scoundrels have sought repeatedly to sneak in the rape of ANWR to any unrelated legislation. Was that a howl of

laughter or outrage that swept the land this morning?

MR may have said it best: “he could have said this right after 9/11.”

Indeed, imagine the hundreds of billions spent on Iraq having been spent over the last 4 years on alternative fuels or public


Now, as someone who believes America has a serious oil addiction and is currently ruled by the pushers, I wish I

could be happy that Duhbya finally sees the truth. I wish I could ignore that everything he turns his attention to is destroyed and hope

that that won’t include alternative energy, conservation and the environment.

But when someone says, “here’s the truth!” while

ignoring how that truth completely contradicts everything he has said and done his whole life, he should at least acknowledge his

conversion and might have the graciousness to say, “you know, they were right and I was wrong.”

Instead, when someone says,

“here’s the truth!” and acts like he has always had this truth, it sounds like a cynical trick to shift the focus of the nation and/or

to steal the arguments of his opponents. You know, “Republicans — the Party of the Prius!”

If there were a god, the earth would

shake at this arrogance. mjh

Today’s Sermon

Kids, stop reading now.

Tell me if any of this is news to

you. There is no Santa Claus. There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no god.

Why is that last statement such

an unacceptable thought to so many people?

Generally, I believe in letting people believe what they will, especially in a matter

that is so deep in our kind and so entrenched in our culture. I really don’t need to PROVE there is no god, anymore than one with faith

needs to prove there is (and yet, the evangelicals really seem to need to prove something).

I’m writing about atheism today

having read an article about Christians finding common ground in the matter of evolution. One might not think that Christians agreeing on

something is terribly news-worthy, but, of course, it really is because religion divides as much as it unites.

Now, I don’t

expect atheism to get equal time — ever, anywhere. But, I chafe a bit at a quote that:

[Ideologies ‘laid on top of

science’] have ranged from “eugenics” … to atheism….

Much as a conservative chafes at “Great leaders

from Hitler to Duhbya” or a liberal at “Notions from genocide to public transportation.”

Again, I don’t expect equal time —

ever! Especially in an article that isn’t in any way about atheism, except in so far as Religionists agree it’s bad.

Bless you,



Scholars Say Science, Religion Can Co-Exist By John Fleck, Journal Staff Writer