On Bush’s Use Of “Democrat Party”

In the State of the Union speech, President Bush again referred to the “Democrat Party.” Media Matter discusses this insult, and looks at the term’s history.
Matthew Yglesias writes about Bush and other Republicans repeatedly using the infantile, schoolyard taunt “Democrat Party” when talking about the Democratic Party.

To call someone by something other than the name he wishes to be called by is rude. To make a mistake is forgivable, but to persist — deliberately — in declining to use your adversary’s proper name is rude and insulting. It’s not a big deal unless you take standing up for yourself to be a big deal. When Democrats go on TV and let a conservative get away with the phrase “Democrat Party” it’s signaling that Democrats are weak. They’re too weak to stand up for themselves. They’re too weak to have a sense of group solidarity or party loyalty. They’re inclined to let things slide. They don’t want to make a scene. They don’t like to have a fight. They’re weak. Is a political party that can’t even protect its own name really going to keep America safe?
… But the fact that this would seem petty and bizarre is the point: “Democratic” is the correct word and this isn’t an obscure point. That everyone lets conservatives say “Democrat” over and over again is part of establishing mainstream acceptance of the idea that the conservative media operates in an accuracy free zone. They’re propagandists and that’s okay by the MSM — no need to get things right!

I hwrote about this when Rep. Boenher insulted Speaker Pelosi while handing her the gavel, when Bush did it the day after the election and a year before that, and in 2002 I wrote about the John Birch Society origins of the insult.

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Did Spitting ‘Victim’ from DC Protest Cry Wolf?

This piece was first published at AlterNet. This post is revised and extended from that piece.
The media interest surrounding Private Joshua Sparling’s claim that he was spit at during the Washington, DC protest merits skepticism considering that his previous claims of victimhood have turned out inaccurate, and that he’s been a frequent associate of right-wing figures such as Sean Hannity and Oliver North.
There is a conventional wisdom that Vietnam War protesters included fringe elements who did uncivil things, including spitting at soldiers returning from Vietnam. Evidence of this belief in the mainstream media appeared as recently as early this month in Newsweek earlier this month wrote,,

Returning [Vietnam] GIs were sometimes jeered and even spat upon in airports; they learned to change quickly into civilian clothes.

Decades later, little has changed. With the headline “SPITTING MATCH WITH DISABLED VET…” the Drudge Report on Monday linked to New York Times coverage of the weekend marches against President Bush’s Iraq “surge” plan to escalate the war. The story, Protest Focuses on Iraq Troop Increase, included the following:

There were a few tense moments, however, including an encounter involving Joshua Sparling, 25, who was on crutches and who said he was a corporal with the 82nd Airborne Division and lost his right leg below the knee in Ramadi, Iraq. Mr. Sparling spoke at a smaller rally held earlier in the day at the United States Navy Memorial, and voiced his support for the administration’s policies in Iraq.
Later, as antiwar protesters passed where he and his group were standing, words were exchanged and one of the antiwar protestors spit at the ground near Mr. Sparling; he spit back.

Wow — those horrible “antiwar protesters” are still at it! And what unspoken message is sent by this? That “antiwar protesters” are such terrible people, doing such terrible things.

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Bush Further Consolidates Control

Bush Directive Increases Sway on Regulation ,

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries.

Recently we heard about the purge of US Attorneys, replaced by political hacks. Now every agency of the government has to have a political officer from The Party oversee its activities.
This is the Stalinist Soviet model. What is Bush planning?
Watch your backs.

Heading Left Talk Show

James Boyce’s (the guy I often write with at Huffington Post) new blog Heading Left is hosting a BlogTalkRadio call-in show Wednesday at 6pm EST / 3pm PST.

The War To End The War. Hear How Iraq War Vets And The Online Community Are Fighting Together.
Join us as we welcome Iraq War Veterans Jon Soltz, founder of VoteVets.org and Jonathan Powers, founder of War Kids Relief.

Try To Remember Peace

I am coming to think that Neil Young’s Living With War is one of the great albums. I’ve been listening to it over and over today.
I think there’s a new mix of it up for listening, with videos and a lot of other stuff at LIVING WITH WAR TODAY.
Here is his MySpace page with more streaming.
While you’re at it, take a look (and listen) at Songs of the Times.
No More Lies!

Democrats Lost Iraq?

Many people only read the headlines and the first paragraph or two…
The Moonie paper: It’s important to ‘keep hate alive’ – The Washington Times,

Destroying a president is not much of a strategy to win a war, but it’s all the Democrats have.
The churls of the left don’t seem to care whether their country wins the war, the important thing is to “keep hate alive.” If hate worked in ’06, maybe it will work again in ’08, when the stakes will be considerably higher.

And examples of these Democrats “keeping hate alive?”

Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican, asks whether “the clock has already run out.” The very point of her question is the smug assertion that of course it has. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who has all but given up his ambition to be John McCain when he grows up, says the obvious: “We have anarchy in Iraq. It’s getting worse.” You can hear the glee in his voice. John Warner of Virginia, eager to demonstrate that he’s no son of the hard, determined men who wrote the book on standing firm against all odds as a fabled army of northern Virginia, rushes to join partisans across the aisle to forge a resolution of regret, retreat and ruin. “Nonbinding,” of course. Senators never bind themselves to anything but their egos and personal interests (which is why we haven’t elected a senator as president in nearly half a century).
… The fiercest critics of the commander in chief (the one the critics despise) and his troops (the ones the critics support) concede they don’t have a clue about what the president should do in Iraq. “I can’t tell you what the path to success is,” says Norm Coleman, a Republican of Minnesota.

Oil Price Manipulation?

This is very interesting: TomPaine.com – Manipulating The Oil Reserve,

… It turns out there is good reason to believe that record oil prices may be due to our own strategic oil reserve, which the Bush administration may have been manipulating to drive up prices for the benefit of its clients. This is something Congress must investigate, and here is some preliminary evidence.
… The last three years have seen rapidly rising oil prices, and a tight oil market has meant that even small increases in demand have had large price impacts. During this period the Bush administration purposely expanded inventories of the strategic oil reserve, which rose from 600 million barrels in May 2003 to 700 million barrels in August 2005. The administration therefore increased demand by 125,000 barrels per day, and oil prices rose from 30 dollars per barrel to 70 dollars.

Some time ago I wrote about Koch Supply and Trading getting the contract to supply oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

This company isn’t JUST a “major GOP Donor.” David H Koch is one of the prime funders of the whole right-wing movement. … Koch played a role in founding the Cato Institute, which pumps out anti-government Libertarian propaganda. The Koch family had given Cato $21 million as of 1999. He was also involved in founding Citizens for a Sound Economy, another anti-government propaganda outlet. Contributions, again as of 1999, totaled $10 million. Koch also is a major funder of the Reason Foundation, yet another outlet for right-wing anti-government propaganda.
… This isn’t just a quid pro quo. This government money will be pumped straight back into the Republican machine.

One more thing the Congress needs to look into.

To The Streets

There is a big March On Washington tomorrow. (And other cities.)
Atrios explains one reason why it’s time to take to the streets. The guests on Sunday’s news shows this week:

So, let’s take these one by one.
Joe Biden – supported the war
Richard Lugar – supported the war
Duncan Hunter – supported the war
Kevin Bacon – unsure of his opinion on war.
Jim Webb – opposed war, though not in Senate at time.
Mitch McConnell – supported the war
Arlen Specter – supported the war
Mike Huckabee – supported the war
Chuck Schumer – supported the war
David Vitter – supported the war
Gerson – former Bush speechwriter, supported the war
Kenneth Pollack – supported the war
Chris Dodd – supported the war
Jon Kyl – suppported the war
Michael Steele – supported the war
Donna Brazile – unsure if she took stand on Iraq war, but is on board of wingnutty Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Sam Brownback – supported the war
Joe Lieberman – loves the war
Ellen Miller – N/A

That typical example might make you angry enough to TAKE TO THE STREETS.