Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pervez and Neil -- No Brother Left Behind

In Pakistan, the oppressed have taken to the streets to fight the imposition of martial law by G.W. Bush’s self-described friend, Pervez Musharraf. They are being rounded up by the hundreds, and still more take their place. Their leader, placed under house arrest by the power-mad leader, has called for them to continue their struggle. Video has shown pitched battles in the streets of Islamabad, with the protesters being beaten by Musharraf’s goons. And what group is leading the charge against the suspension of the constitution and the clampdown in this supposed U.S. partner?

Lawyers.

Yes, lawyers. "The lawyers have been the only force in the country to mount protests since Saturday night," reported the New York Times. The well-dressed revolt was spurred on by the chief justice of the country’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, who was deposed by Musharraf hours before the court was about to rule that he could not run in the next election and must step down as Pakistan’s leader. "Go to every corner of Pakistan and give the message that this is the time to sacrifice," urged Chaudry. "The constitution has been ripped to shreds...Don't be afraid." The photos and videos of protesters in suits and ties were as strange as they were heartening. "How do you function as a lawyer when the law is what the general says it is?" said one Pakistani barrister.

How, indeed? It almost makes one wonder why lawyers in the United States haven’t ditched their briefcases for protest signs, given the assault on the rule of law by the Bush Administration. Bush doesn’t have to fire the Supreme Court that put him in office in the first place and that has been so friendly to his program of indefinite detention, the practical elimination of habeas corpus and unprecedented executive secrecy, so there is less of a crisis atmosphere. It does sort of make you wonder what Cheney would have tried to pull with a less politicized and pliant judiciary. If Bush and Co. were really bold, it could be said that Musharraf’s recent antics are just a trial run for the American junta in 2008 – the bloodless coup by those who just won’t leave. Don’t think they haven’t thought about it.

Musharraf uses the excuse of his phony "war" on "extremists" and the resulting need for "security" to excuse his self-preserving crackdown. Sound "familiar"? That’s why Bush shrugs his shoulders and says to the clever slug who sucked $10 billion out of our gulible presdient and delivered nothing: "You ought to have elections soon, and you need to take off your uniform." That’s tellin’ him, tough guy. So much for Junior’s democracy agenda – a phony conceit to begin with, especially if it proves to be inconvenient.

***

Speaking of inconvenient, Neil Bush is back in the news. The president’s younger brother held the title of black sheep of the family before Junior got him off the hook by being the worst president in U.S. history. He embarrassed his father when he was president by getting caught up in the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, barely avoiding indictment (but didn’t they all?). The details of his divorce from his wife featured tales of Asian prostitutes and his soon-to-be ex stealing hair from his head for either drug tests or voodoo experiments, depending on which version you believe. A delightful review of Neil's history of bufoonery is here.

Now, Neil Bush appears to be benefitting from his brotherly connections by creating a sham product that magically gets money from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) fiasco and, believe it or not, Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. Using a company that started up – no surprise here – with money from his ever-protective mom and dad, Neil’s job these days is to promote something called Curriculum on Wheels (COW). Various school districts across the country including, naturally, Texas and Florida have spent NCLB money on COW.

The problem is that the program has been determined to be educationally worthless by those stuffy educational types that demand that public money be spent on worthwhile things. Jay Spuck, a former curriculum director for the Houston school district that spent $300,000 on the overpriced junk, said "It’s not helping kids at all. It’s not helping teachers. The only way Neil has gotten in is by his name." Better yet, "the Katy Independent School District west of Houston used $250,000 in state and federal Hurricane Katrina relief money last year to buy the Curriculum on Wheels," according to the New York Times. And Babs Bush herself gave eight of the useless COW units to other schools with large numbers of Katrina evacuees.

Supposedly, the Department of Education is looking into all this and we breathlessly await their whitewashed report. In the meantime, it’s nice to know that another Bush is bungling up another business and getting bailed out by the usual suspects. The last time one of the Bush boys was looking for something to do, you know what happened. Let’s hope Neil is able to keep his job so we don’t have to go through that again.

Neil Bush’s antics, though, do raise an interesting point about the difference between what the right-wing is willing to do with information and what the left is unwilling and unable to do. If Neil Bush was even a second cousin Clinton or Rodham, I wouldn’t have to explain his history here – everyone would know because those expert in the politics of personal destruction would have made sure every detail got out into the MSM through daily repetition of the foibles of this damaged family member in the right-wing echo chamber.

But lefties can’t or won’t do that. I think it’s because we play fairer – we can’t bring ourselves to harp on the frailties of others, unless it effects public actions. That spoiled greedheads like Neil Bush would take advantage of government funds made available by his brother’s government privatization campaign comes as no surprise. We mention it here or there and move on. Even if we wanted to make him a national laughing stock – as deserving as his is – we don’t have the platforms to make it happen.

Besides, with Junior still in office, we’ve already laughed ourselves sick. It’s not funny anymore.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well if Mike Plaisted says that Neil Bush is doing all of this nefarious activities, then it must be true! Tell us more Uncle Mike!

Anonymous said...

Frankly, the fact that it's lawyers this battle is against makes it very difficult for me to pick a side!

patrick said...

Priceless moments:

"a trial run for the American junta in 2008 – the bloodless coup by those who just won’t leave. Don’t think they haven’t thought about it." yeah, right.

"You ought to have elections soon, and you need to take off your uniform." obviously didn't watch the news tonight

"But lefties can’t or won’t do that. I think it’s because we play fairer – we can’t bring ourselves to harp on the frailties of others, unless it effects public actions." + "The details of his divorce from his wife featured tales of Asian prostitutes and his soon-to-be ex stealing hair from his head for either drug tests or voodoo experiments, depending on which version you believe. A delightful review of Neil's history of bufoonery is here" Yeah, Delightful! (hard to argue againist a post which rebutts itself....)

"Even if we wanted to make him a national laughing stock – as deserving as his is – we don’t have the platforms to make it happen." I guess ABC news and the Econimist and New Republic and Media Matters don't count?

Mike Plaisted said...

Patrick:

Right -- "ABC news and the Econimist and New Republic and Media Matters don't count". Reporting the raw facts in the straight media is much different from the kind of 24/7 blaring that is done everyday by right-wing radio. Hey, did you hear that Hillary didn't tip the waitress in New Hampshire yesterday? Did you also hear that it was a lie? A right-wing lie gets around the world before the truth gets its boots on.

My point is that even if the left had anything like the giant megaphone that the wing-nuts use to bludgeon the populace with right-wing propaganda on a daily basis, we wouldn't do it. We have a sense of fairness that would prevent it. The best we can do is a clever moment on the Daily Show -- since it's based on truth, sometimes it sticks. And, as we all know, a mention on my little blog don't mean shit.

The right wing, on the other hand, has to tell its lies hour after hour, day after day to get anyone to believe it. But I'll take the high road of truth over lies any day. As the 75% against Bush and his war will tell you, the truth will out.

patrick said...

Was it a sense of fairness that prompted the fake memo about Bush's service record? Of course the left would take the opportunity to smear. Did you miss the flat about the phoney solider comments limbaugh supposedly made? The floor of congress is a small megaphone? Larry Craig? The false journals about soldiers trying to run over dogs with bradleys? Your own post? Come on. Lets at least be honest. You smear. We smear. But don't claim some blanket high ground, that's insane. Don't give me the raw facts crap. Or is it a raw fact that Hillary didn't tip a waitress?

Mike Plaisted said...

The memo might have (MIGHT have) been faked (still not proven), but the fact that Bush didn't serve like he promised is not at issue. Besides, the right-wing got a lot more milage out of their war against CBS News in that instance than the left ever did in Bush's fake "service". I heard Limbaugh's slur against anti-war soldiers -- the whole thing, not the version with the minute-and-a-half gap that he put out.

No, I don't smear. And anything I have to say is not amplified in a 24/7 echo chamber, including the power of FCC-licensed radio.

And, I'm sorry, Drudge, Limbaugh, Sykes and the other losers you read and listen to lied to you about Hillary tipping. This from Fox News, of all places:

"National Public Radio was forced to correct a story it issued Thursday that had suggested Clinton left waitress Anita Esterday high and dry after Esterday served the candidate and her entourage when they stopped in to the Maid-Rite diner near Boone, Iowa.

"Turns out, however, that the campaign paid $157 for the meals and left a $100 tip. Campaign spokesman Phil Singer said he doesn't know what happened to the money, but Maid-Rite manager Brad Crawford confirmed to FOX News that the bill and tip were paid. He wouldn't say the check's amount."

I've always treated smears like this like I treat free money offers (If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is): If it sounds like a smear, it probably is. But, even after the correction, the lie continued to run on Drudge and all the other usual suspects on the radio.

It even had you believing it. You should be upset. It makes you look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

The giant megaphone for conservatives? Funny, that monstrous megaphone doesn't do much. A poll on NBC last night said that only 35% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans and that nearly 50% claim they're Democrats. What about the giant liberal megaphone of the MSM?

Mike Plaisted said...

Don't kid yourself, Anony. If not for the 24/7 GOP echo chamber on national mainstream radio (MSR), Republican would be at 25% and Bush's approval would be below 20%. In other words, especially after the Bush disaster, the Republicans would go the way of the Whigs if not for the MSR and their various other syncophants. As it is, they have 24/7 apologists that inflate GOP support and drive up the negative of their constant Dem targets.

MSM? Give me a break. The only thing the MSM does that coincidentally supports the Dems is tell the Truth once in a while. Which, I agree, is a lot, but that's their job. Nobody in the MSM or anywhere else has advocates screaming party talking points 24/7 the way the MSR does for the GOP.

patrick said...

Mike:

Your big gottcha is that fox news--Satan of the left--ran a story which forced NPR--the lefty'd best friend--to make a correction?

Mike Plaisted said...

Nobody would have had to correct anything if the GOP didn't send out talking points getting their usual lackeys to point out a minor "gotcha" on Hillary supposedly not tipping. It was all a bunch of nonsense to begin with, but stands uncorrected most of the places where the lie was distributed. That's how the right-wing machine works -- put out the lie, cause the damage, and move on to the next smear.

patrick said...

I just can't get over the idea of NPR as a right wing lackey--LOL. Maybe thats where Dick Chaney goes when he "disappears?"

Mike Plaisted said...

I was listening to the reporter who did the NPR story the day after the wing-nuts decided to pull this small (false) fact for a Hillary smear. The reporter said he should have checked with the campaign before including what he considered to be an unimportant aside in the story. If he would have, he wouldn't have included it.

NPR is not a lackey for the right or the left. If they get something wrong, they'll probably correct it. The MSR, on the other hand don't care whether what they say is correct or not and certainly won't correct anything once the damage is done.

Anonymous said...

So Mike, your goal is to end conservative talk radio and that way the Republican Party, as it stands today, will be extinct and everyone will be a democrat?

Boy you're right Mike, conservative talk radio has completely created my views, I have no original thought whatsoever, I follow them blindly and without question. If conservative talk radio didn't exist, I'd immediately send my membership money to the DNC and start blaming Bush/Cheney/Halliburton for all of society's woes...hell I'd even blame them for "Global Warming."

I.M. SMALL said...

THEN HOW SHALL WE PRESUME?

So Neil Bush loved his prostitutes
And yet is a good Christian--
Who says Christ´s doctrine it refutes,
It is a standing question.

But take the deeds of Neocons
And put them in a room--
God, if it happens all at once,
"Then how shall we presume?"

gus said...

Mike, I know you're a limp wristed liberal sissy, but who the fuck cares about Neil Bush. I mean besides pathetic losers like you.

Other Side said...

Oh sweet little Gus. You shouldn't be so mean.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that there are that many lawyers in Pakistan know that they have a constitution and are willing to fight for it...wish we could say that for here and in our courts where peoples right aren't considered.