Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bush’s latest ‘post-presidency cringe-inducing activity’

Amazingly sick:
Later this month, former President George W. Bush will join up with Liz Cheney, the daughter of his former vice president, to speak to a group of hunters in Reno, Nevada. Attendees of the Safari Club International Annual Hunters' Convention will also be treated to the musical stylings of Three Dog Night and Papa Doo Run Run, a Beach Boys cover band.

On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow laid into Bush's latest "post-presidency cringe-inducing activity." Maddow featured a parody advertising the former president's gig in the style of a monster truck rally commercial.

"On Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!" the ad screamed. "It's the Safari Club International Convention starring live in person the 43rd president of the United States of America George W. Bush!"

The Safari Club bills itself as "the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide" but Michael Satchell, a senior consultant for The Humane Society of the United States, says their membership is about "doing nothing more than killing animals-an entire alphabet."

Writing a few years back, Satchell described SCI. "With its photographs of grinning hunters posing with lifeless animals and its meticulous rankings for the biggest tusks, horns, antlers, skulls and bodies, the SCI record book perfectly encapsulates what trophy hunting is all about: killing for killing's sake."

But SCI's endeavors do not end with their "macabre scorecard." They also lobby to relax restrictions on killing animals worldwide. And they have enlisted some famous names in their effort.

SCI's membership includes former President George Herbert Walker Bush, who has lobbied the government of Botswana on the group's behalf to lift the ban on killing the nation's dwindling lion population. What's more, President George W. Bush appointed Matthew J. Hogan, SCI's former Government Affairs Manager, as one of the two current deputy directors of USFWS-a classic example of the fox guarding the hen house. Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, in turn, has worked to weaken the ESA, from abandoning federal efforts to restore grizzlies in Idaho to undermining a key provision that allows citizens to sue the government to speed up protection of imperiled species.

Bush Can't Help But Smirk When Asking for Help for Haitians

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Bush Years-- A True Test of Conservatism

Don't forget the naughts, because this decade, no matter what anyone on the right might say, was conservatism on trial. You want less taxes? You got less taxes. You want less regulation? You got less regulation. Open markets? Wide open. An illusuion [sic] of security in place of rights? Hey, presto. Think we should privatize war by handing unlimited power given to military contractors so they can kick butt and take names? Kiddo, we passed out boots and pencils by the thousands. Everything, everything, that ever showed up on a drooled-over right wing wish list got implemented -- with a side order of Freedom Fries.

They will try to disown it, and God knows if I was responsible for this mess I'd be disowning it, too. But the truth is that the conservatives got everything they wanted in the decade just past, everything that they've claimed for forty years would make America "great again". They didn't fart around with any "red dog Republicans." They rolled over their moderates and implemented a conservative dream.

What did we get for it? We got an economy in ruins, a government in massive debt, unending war, and the repudiation of the world. There's no doubt that Republicans want you to forget the last decade, because if you remember... if you remember when you went down to the water hole and were jumped by every lunacy that ever emerged from the wet dreams of Grover Norquist and Dick Cheney, well, it's not likely that you'd give them a chance to do it again.

And they will. Given half a chance -- less than half -- they'll do it again, only worse. Because that's the way conservatism works. Remember when the only answer to every economic problem was "cut taxes?" We have a surplus. Good, let's cut taxes. We have a deficit. Hey, cut taxes even more! That little motto was unchanging even when was clear that the tax cuts were increasing the burden on everyone but a wealthy few. That's just a subset of the great conservative battle whine which is now and forever "we didn't go far enough." If deregulation led to a crash, it's because we didn't deregulate enough. If the wars aren't won, it's because we haven't started enough wars. If there are people still clinging to their rights, it's because we haven't done enough to make them afraid.

Forget the naughts, and you'll forget that conservatives had another chance to prove all their ideas, and that their ideas utterly and completely failed. Again.