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Tom DeLay's Hypocritic Oath

Dr. Howard Dean was certainly required to take the Hippocratic Oath when he became a doctor. Congressman Tom DeLay has his own version:
Tom DeLay's Hypocritic Oath

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won gains of those Republicans in whose steps I walk, and gladly attack those those who do not follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the GOP, all measures which are required, applying those twin traps of distortion and invective.

I will remember that there is art to distortion as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding have no place in its application.

I will not be ashamed to contradict myself nor will I call my colleagues on their hypocrisy.

I will respect the privacy of my lobbyists, for their pizza is disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of lunch and dinner. If it is given me to eat a lunch, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to provide lunch to my staff; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own hunger. Above all, I must not pay for pizza.

I will remember that I do not work for my constituents, but for my donors, whose money may affect my party's economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care for the wealthy.

I will used diseased speech whenever I can, for invective is preferable to pure.

I will remember that I remain a member of high society, with special obligations to all my fellow patricians, those sound of cash, but not the destitute.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with aversion thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the power of the GOP and may I long experience the joy of ignoring those who seek my help.

Further reading: A day of color and surprise on Capitol Hill
Pizza Rule. House Republicans Tuesday weakened their own ethics rules related to food, travel and lodging. Under the so-called "pizza rule," the value of food had counted against a $49.99 ceiling for a single gift to a lawmaker from a lobbyist. The change calls for the value of each slice or plate of food eaten by each person to count against the cap, not the total value of the pizza or food purchase. The changes also mean charities can pick up the travel and lodging tabs for lawmakers. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, denounced the changes as opening "a proverbial can of worms."
Who's leading the anti-war movement? Congressional Republicans, Tom DeLay and the party of appeasement, and the essential What Did You Do in the War, Hammer? which contains this:
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.
2/28/2003 12:04:00 PM [Link] |

Crying Wolf

The Democrats are coming out swinging with their new "Credibility Gap" campaign, which Sen. Daschle unveiled a couple of days before the State of the Union. This time around, it's got some legs, not only on blogs, but also in the mainstream media. Here are some links:
Threats, Promises and Lies
 by Paul Krugman
Democrats Challenge Bush's Credibility
 in the Washington Post
Caught on Film: The Bush Credibility Gap
 The House Appropriations Committee
 MyDD: "Liar, Liar"-- Yes, That's Right
 The Left Coaster: Bush and His Credibility Problem and Bush Lies-Chapter 2
Like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, at some point Bush will be telling the truth and try to warn us about some real danger. Maybe that time is now, and Iraq is an imminent threat to The United States. But I don't believe President Bush will tell me the truth--I believe he will distort the truth for personal gain. It doesn't matter if I believe the logic of his argument, because I believe he is distorting the premise, and his lack of credibility automatically extends to the entire administration.

I have no choice but to wait for some independent evidence. Since the Senate is probably getting their information from CNN, where can we possibly look to for facts? I'm interested in what Blair says. He's putting his neck on the line for this war, and presumably has access to real intelligence, notwithstanding the dossier debacle. Blair's in a lot of trouble right now, so unless he's got some real intelligence, we should see him pull back a little--I'll be watching what he says and does over the next few weeks.
2/28/2003 10:09:00 AM [Link] |

Fascists and Communists, Part II

Yesterday, I asked Google about GOP Fascists. Today I want to find out the biggest Commie Democrat. By the way, the result for GOP Fascist on Google is a shocker (Update: This now points to Noho-missives, look at the second link). Just in case it changes, when I just did it, the top link was this page, which is pretty strange, because the word "Fascist" doesn't even appear on the page--Google is that good.

Pages with "Clinton is a communist" (exact phrase): 55

Pages with "Gore is a communist" (exact phrase): 18

Pages with "Daschle is a communist" (exact phrase): 2

Pages with "Gephardt is a communist" (exact phrase): 0

Pages with "Clinton communist" (both words): 215,000 ("Clinton commie" (both words): 10,800)

Pages with "Gore communist" (both words): 59,100 ("Gore commie" (both words): 5,190)

Pages with "Daschle communist" (both words): 9,590

Pages with "Gephardt communist" (both words): 7,070

and for calibration

Pages with "Stalin was a communist" (exact phrase): 35

Pages with "Stalin communist" (both words): 131,000

2/23/2003 10:42:00 AM [Link] |

Who's the biggest GOP Fascist?

In the Daily KOS comments today, someone asked "When did Democrat become synonymous with Socialist to Republicans?" I replied that, to be fair, we on the left often refer to Republicans as Fascists. Using Google, I'm proud to report the results of who the web thinks is the biggest Fascist.

Pages with "Bush is a Fascist" (exact phrase): 89

Pages with "Cheney is a Fascist" (exact phrase): 0 (shocking, but true)

Pages with "Ashcroft is a Fascist" (exact phrase): 14

Pages with "Limbaugh is a Fascist" (exact phrase): 3

Pages with "Bush Fascist" (both words): 65,900

Pages with "Cheney Fascist" (both words): 8,500

Pages with "Ashcroft Fascist" (both words): 8,070

Pages with "Limbaugh Fascist" (both words): 3,610

To calibrate these results,

Pages with "Hitler was a Fascist" (exact phrase): 32

Pages with "Hitler Fascist" (both words): 79,900

Tomorrow: Who's the biggest Communist Democrat?
2/23/2003 02:24:00 AM [Link] |

The West Wing: GOP Edition

I watched Mr. Sterling last night. Like on The West Wing, the President is a Democrat. In Mr. Sterling, they go a little further and make the Senate Democratically controlled, and, although Sterling is an independent, he leans left, and his staff are all Democrats.

In real life, the President and both houses are controlled by the GOP. So why the discrepancy? The West Wing was created during the Clinton presidency and accurately portrays the makeup of the government at the time. Mr. Sterling, however, premiered a couple of months ago, and still has a Democratic bent. The pilot was probably written when the Democrats still controlled the Senate, but that's not really an excuse. Clearly, the creators of the show felt more comfortable writing about lefty politics--or maybe they wanted to attract The West Wing's audience so they mimicked its politics.

I think that's a shame, because I'd welcome a fictional political show about the GOP. It would give us a chance to see the rationale behind conservative policies. The liberal writers of The West Wing get a chance to explain their ideas in more than the sound bites that modern politics allows--so should conservatives.

With the major networks spinning off their popular dramas (Law and Order, CSI), there's no reason why NBC can't spin-off an alternate show, perhaps called The West Wing: GOP. To help them get started, I'll be publishing, on this site, some scenes that they can feel free to use if they decide to go ahead with it.

Here's the first of what I hope will be a weekly series:




PRESIDENT BORGE GUSH seated behind his desk--His Chief Political Advisor, RARL KOVE has just entered the office and is walking towards the desk holding a sheet of paper.


Is that it?


Yes. (Hands sheet of paper to Gush who starts reading it, pen in hand, making notes while reading).


This isn't going to work. We know that Social Security and Medicare are bad programs, but they are very popular. We can't come out and say we want to shut them down.


I know--we've come up with something. By only projecting the budget out five years, we can hide the impact of our tax cuts on our ability to pay for entitlements to the boomers. We're also introducing a bill to end taxes on dividends to tie up the Democrats while the rest of the tax plan sails through.


That only works if we can sell the tax cut. How do we convince 95% of the American public to be for giving more than half of the tax cut to the other 5%?


That's a little tricky. We're going to raise the alert status to orange and turn up the heat on Iraq--but that's just a distraction. Ultimately, we just need to convince the middle 20% to go with us, so what we're going to do is only present the tax plan as averages--we'll average their cut with the millionaires to make it look like they'll be getting about $1,100 when only the top 20% will actually get that.


Great. Then after re-election, we'll shut down Social Security and Medicare and have 40% of the budget freed up to use on the war and real tax relief. We just need to figure out how to pay for caring for our Greatest Generation and their children.


The dividend tax cut goes mainly to them--it should be no problem.



Press Secretary FLARI EISCHER standing at podium. Seats facing him are filled with REPORTERS.



Tune in next week to see Flari handle the White House press corps.
2/23/2003 01:33:00 AM [Link] |