Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hackett Curbed + New Abu Ghraib Photos + Cheney on FauxNews

Today I got the following note from Paul Hackett (at left, with a supporter), the Iraq War veteran who was running in the Democratic US Senate primary in Ohio. It appears that national party leaders and hacks (Dean, Reid, Schumer, etc.) forced him out, so that Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would face no primary challenge in his quest to unseat the goggle-eyed, quasi-moderate Republican Mike DeWine. I know zilch about Brown, who I've read is quite liberal-progressive, but it's appalling to me that the Democratic Party is short-circuiting democracy (yet again) and leaving the voters of Ohio, which is wracked by one of the most spectacular Republican financial scandals in US history, with even less of a choice as to whom they want to (s)elect.

To my mind, Hackett represented the sort of Democrat that we have got to start electing to Congress, since we do not have a viable progressive third party at the federal level (outside of Vermont). Hackett spoke his mind frequently, openly criticized Emperor Katrina and the inept, corrupt local and national Republican Parties, and recently, when a loudmouthed GOP partisan threatened him publicly, Hackett asked the pseudo-tough creep if he really wanted to throw down. He was ready to step to it! Naturally the guy backed off. (He probably would do well to stay away from the trigger-happy Vice President, though.) Rather than buying the illogical Newspeak on Iraq put forth by the Emperor and his guild, Hackett, who'd dodged IEDs and commanded troops there, was clear that we should start bringing the soldiers home. Rather than playing hide-and-go seek when it came to the turds of legislation the Republicans have foisted on this country, Hackett made his opposition clear. Rather than play silly word games about gay people and gay marriage, he said all people should be treated equally under the law, period. Now, he's been forced out. So Brown had better win, that's clear, Diebold or not.

Back to Hackett:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear John,

Today I am announcing that I am withdrawing from the race for United States Senate. I made this decision reluctantly, only after repeated requests by party leaders, as well as behind the scenes machinations, that were intended to hurt my campaign.

But there was no quid pro quo. I will not be running in the Second Congressional District nor for any other elective office. This decision is final, and not subject to reconsideration.

I told the voters from the beginning that I am not a career politician and never aspired to be--that I was about leadership, service and commitment.

Similarly, I told party officials that I had given my word to other good Democrats, who will take the fight to the Second District, that I would not run. In reliance on my word they entered the race. I said it. I meant it. I stand by it. At the end of the day, my word is my bond and I will take it to my grave.

Thus ends my 11 month political career. Although it is an overused political cliché, I really will be spending more time with my family, something I wasn't able to do because my service to country in the political realm continued after my return from Iraq. Perhaps my wonderful wife Suzi said it best after we made this decision when she said "Honey, welcome home." I really did marry up.

To my friends and supporters, I pledge that I will continue to fight and to speak out on the issues I believe in. As long as I have the microphone, I will serve as your voice.

It is with my deepest respect and humility that I thank each and every one of you for the support you extended to our campaign to take back America, and personally to me and my family. Together we made a difference. We changed the debate on the Iraq War, we inspired countless veterans to continue their service by running for office as Democrats and we made people believe again. We must continue to believe.

Remember, we must retool our party. We must do more than simply aspire to deliver greatness; we must have the commitment and will to fight for what is great about our party and our country; Peace, prosperity and the freedoms that define our democracy.

Rock on.

Paul Hackett

He really did write "rock on," which is another reason he had and has my support. Oh well. Senator Barack Obama won a Grammy the other night. I think that's about as close to "rocking" as the current crop of Democrats are going to get anytime soon, sadly enough.


I just saw the link to and came across the Raw Story's article on the newly released Abu Ghraib photos, which an Australian TV station, SBS Dateline, has just released. The Sydney Morning Herald writes about them here. I refuse to post any of them them, but the link is here. They're beyond horrifying, and when I think that these are only the synecdochic tip of a much more toxic iceberg of torture, secret prisons, extraordinary renditions, warrantless domestic spying, and other heinous activities that this government has been engaged in, I find that my ability to say any more about them right now shuts down.

Instead, for the time being I'll defer to one of my intellectual sheroes, the late Susan Sontag, wrote a brilliant New York Times Magazine piece about the first set that were released back in 2004, "Regarding the Torture of Others." Acclaimed reporter Seymour Hersh said some time ago that there were even worse videos too, involving child rape and other horrors, which Rumsfeld and the others have striven hard to keep classified and out of public view. Sontag, however, had another take. Their eventual emergence into the public domain, she concluded, would be "unstoppable."


For those who may have missed it, our wild-shooting Vice President is on FauxNews this afternoon, giving a live interview about the shooting. Here are some of my favorite outtakes:

FAUXNEWS: Your Highness, why do you think the radical, opposition, leftist, communist, non-mainstream, evil Democrats and their lackeys in the liberal press are getting so worked up about this?

VP: The last Osama tape. If you play it backwards, you can hear him telling them to go IUD against Bushie and me. Total brainwashing. Also, they're pissed they weren't invited.

FAUXNEWS: Yes, they're definitely taking orders from Al Qaeda, those Democrats. Why did you decide to give the president a breather on Saturday and not bother him until the next morning with the information that you'd been forced into an unpleasant situation?

VP: I know he likes his Tom Cruise videos and pretzels, so what's 14 hours? Rover told me he asked if Whitty was thinking of converting to the Commie Democrat party or had mentioned Abramoff before I pulled the trigger. That kinda crap does set a man off like a rocket launcher.

FAUXNEWS: Mr. Vice President, it's been alleged that you might have had a beer or two before Mr. Whittington walked behind you and therefore into your line of fire, and imitated a quail. Is this true?

VP: I only had a fifth of single malt and a few martinis, don't crash with the heart meds, you know, which I split with Pammy [Willeford], so that doesn't count. Helps improve the sightlines.

FAUXNEWS: Naturally. You mention Ms. Willeford, the Ambassador to Switzerland, who was with you on this hunt. Initially she wasn't identified. Why?

VP: Pammy's a good girl. No Brokeback stuff with this one. Lynnie gets a bit huffy about these things, though I didn't bitch when she was off writing her lesbian novel. But sometimes you gotta keep learn to keep a few secrets. Executive privilege, family values.

FAUXNEWS: Exactly. Some moonbats, including the local police, have asked whether you were hunting at dusk....

VP: Look, the sun's to blame for that. And the radical enviro-terrorist-Saddamists. If evolution really existed, wouldn't the sun stay up in the sky even longer by now? Plus what's wrong with moonlight? But it was bright enough that I only fell a few times, so I don't see what the big deal is.

FAUX NEWS: We feel the same way about the left-wing-Islamofascist solar system. Have you heard about Mr. Whittington's condition?

VP: He's fine. A little fibrillar blip, sorta thing I have one about every other week. Blanchard and the rest are praying over him, which ought to draw the buckshot out, and Rover's given him a call, so he's definitely going to work harder to get better.

FAUXNEWS: Rover, what a patriot. He even got the Senate to back down on the warrantless, uh, um, domestic terrorist surveillance program.

VP: I told Bushie, hey, good thing it wasn't Hillary, Kerry or Reid coming outta that covey. We both had a good laugh. Also good thing I didn't have a Bushmaster AR-15, 5.56 mm NATO! Pammy, I mean, Lynnie's gonna get me one of those for my birthday so I can go out and target-practice with the Minutemen. I hear they're pretty good shots....


  1. Yesterday I stopped by a carry out for lunch. The owner and waitresses are Greek (with Central Americans doing the cooking), and they had satellite news from Greece (in Greek, obviously) on the TV. One of the reports was on Abu Ghraib, and they showed some of the new photos and clips of the videos. The owner *turned the TV up* till it was blaring during this report, transfixed by the images and descriptions, a look of disgust on his face. The only thing not in Greek (subtitled) were the weak 'explanations' of the current administration. I think we all felt deeply ashamed by the evidence of what was going on in Iraq "in our name", and the owners reaction made me wonder about how deep the feeling against us/the US/President Wiretap and Quick-Draw McChaney in the rest of the world might be.

  2. Reggie, I think the anti-US feeling increases by the day. Cheney's arrogance only confirms what many people around the world believe about the US administration. There was one headline from an Israeli paper that was particularly harsh, but it certainly wasn't the only one of that sort.