Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And yet you can claim that you and you alone can protect us from terrorism?

I am compelled to post Keith Olbermann's latest Special Comment. Its message could not be more timely, its delivery more powerful. Crooks & Liars also has the video along with the transcript in its entirety.

And over this weekend, they have found still more remains. And now this week will be spent looking in places that should have already been looked at a thousand times, five years ago.

For all the victims in New York, Mr. Bush, the living and the dead, it is a touch of 9/11 all over again. And the mayor of this city, who called off this search four and a half years ago, is a Republican. The governor, with whom he conferred, is a Republican. The House of Representatives, Republican. The Senate, Republican. The President, Republican. And yet you can claim that you and you alone can protect us from terrorism?

You can't even recover our dead from the battlefield. The battlefield in an American city. When we've given you five years and unlimited funds to do so.

While citing a Military Commissions Act so monstrous that it has now been criticized by even the John Birch Society, you told us, Mr. Bush, quote, "there is nothing we can do to bring back the men and women lost on September 11th, 2001, yet we'll always honor their memory and we will never forget the way they were taken from us." Except of course, for the ones that have been lying under a manhole cover for five years.

Setting aside the fact that your government has done nothing else for those five years but pat itself on the back about terror, while waging pointless war on the wrong enemy in Iraq and waging war on the cherished freedoms in America, just on this subject of counter-terrorism, sir, yours is the least competent government in time of crisis in this country's history.

Hear, hear.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

BREAKING: Obama Considering Presidential Run

On this morning's Meet The Press (NBC), Illinois Senator Barack Obama acknowledged he is considering running for President in 2008.

WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama acknowledged Sunday he was considering a run for president in 2008, backing off previous statements that he would not do so.

The Illinois Democrat said he could no longer stand by the statements he made after his 2004 election and earlier this year that he would serve a full six-year term in Congress. He said he would not make a decision until after the Nov. 7 elections.


On Sunday, Obama dismissed notions that he might not be ready to run for president because of his limited experience in national politics. He agreed the job requires a “certain soberness and seriousness” and “can’t be something you pursue on the basis of vanity and ambition.”

“I’m not sure anyone is ready to be president before they’re president,” Obama said. “I trust the judgment of the American people."

This bit of political news has certainly brightened my day--hell, make that my entire year. When one considers the possibility that an articulate, erudite, and blazingly intelligent person might occupy the White House again, everything is thrown into a different light. Anything seems possible. Human beings are capable of amazing feats when they put their minds to things, and given the magnitude of the chaos, the depth of the disaster, and the far-reaching stench of the squalor into which the next president will be walking come January '09, a brilliant mind is going to be job requirement Number One.

Author, attorney, and fellow Harvard Law alumnus Scott Turow wrote about Sen. Obama when he was running for Senate in 2004:

Having known Obama since the inception of his political career, I have watched his rise closely. We are hardly intimates, but we are certainly warm with each other, and I have been a political contributor and supporter of his. No one in these circumstances would regard himself as unbiased (except perhaps Justice Antonin Scalia). That said, I have many friends whose company I savor whom I would not commend for service in the U.S. Senate. Obama, though, has matured in plain view. He has gone from someone impatient with the legislative process to an effective and respected leader in the Illinois Senate, and from a candidate who once seemed to be getting ahead of himself politically, and whose base in the black community was shaky, to a figure who appeals to voters of all hues.


Obama's biography is both intriguing and inspiring, an American story for the 21st century. The résumé detail that initially caught wide attention was his election in 1990 as the first African-American president (that is, editor in chief) of the Harvard Law Review, the premier legal academic publication in the United States. Banish any lurking thought of an affirmative-action wind at his back. Exams at Harvard Law School are graded blind, and Obama graduated magna cum laude (also unlike me.) He has taught for many years at the University of Chicago Law School, along with many of the country's preeminent legal scholars.

But academic excellence is only one part of his story. "Dreams From My Father" is a beautifully crafted book, moving and candid, and it belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride's "The Color of Water" and Greg Williams' "Life on the Color Line" as a tale of living astride America's racial categories. No other figure on the American political scene can claim such broad roots within the human community. Obama is the very face of American diversity.

I am still a die-hard Al Gore fan and I'd love to see him run for--and win--the office that was rightly his in 2000. That said, I am nothing less than thrilled that Sen. Obama might run.

Imagine the bumpersticker: Obama '08--Now can we go with the smart guy?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Taking Arms Against a Sea of Troubles

Ah hell, we've had a bit of a mad week here at Casa Litbrit. I say it's time for a little fun at the expense of the unfairly gorgeous Matthew McConaughey, whom I predict will soon be cast in the next Hollywood remake, which (also predicting here) will be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

In the Paul Newman role, of course. *BIG sigh*

(Hat tip to Queen Mum 2)

Friday Photoblogging

Recently, we took the boys to Universal Studios Florida to celebrate Son Three's seventh birthday, now a week-long observance that netted him no fewer than three cake-munching/candle-extinguishing experiences this year.

Mr. Litbrit shows the boys one of the many giant black-trunk fishtail palms at Universal that came from his nurseries.

Entering Seuss Landing, my favorite part of the park.

Oh, the thinks you can think...

One Fish, Two Fish, Wheeeeee!

Look! There really is a Mulberry Street.

Mr. Litbrit took this one...hey, isn't this supposed to be a family amusement park?

Ah, they're street lights, not headlights.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Talk to the Bush

What a wonderful--and wonderfully simple--political ad.
(With thanks to Shakespeare's Sister.)

Five Things I've Learned in Forty-six Years

Litbrit right before the smoke alarm went off

  1. God is in the details. You mustn't get so bogged down with quotidian concerns, pointless stress, and national crises you cannot possibly control that you fail to appreciate life's small and abundant beauties: the gorgeous smell of coffee as it brews; the perfect form of a curled, sleeping cat; the softness of children's hair; the cool, salt-tinged autumn winds now (finally!) arriving from the north, reminding you of home.

  2. There is no such thing as a magic bullet, and there is no such thing as a side-effect-free antidepressant.

  3. When your first baby emerges after hours of experiencing what it is to be drawn and quartered, you really do forgive your parents for everything, even the trauma-inducing short haircut at age six and the school with the power-crazed, strap-happy nuns.

  4. Anger, sorrow, and fear are as natural as breathing; usually it's best to acknowledge the rogue wave and let it wash over you. Even if it means getting tossed about; even if it means wailing and crying for a while as you sort yourself out and relocate the shoreline.

  5. All the new shoes, long-awaited books, and dark chocolate in the world won't make you as happy as the simple act of creating something will. In my case, I must remember this: Bad things happen when writers don't write.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Olbermann on the President Who Makes Things Up

I am in awe of this man, a true patriot and a hell of a journalist. In his most recent Special Comment--brilliant as ever--Keith Olbermann addresses the high-rise scaffold of papery lies upon which BushCo have mounted the authoritarian behemoth that now threatens the American people and our Constitution. Crooks and Liars has the video.

But tonight the stark question we must face is - why?

Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?

Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?

In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.

If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.

We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size, and party.

We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.

But the premise of a President who comes across as a compulsive liar — is nothing less than terrifying.

A President who since 9/11 will not listen, is not listening — and thanks to Bob Woodward's most recent account — evidently has never listened.

A President who since 9/11 so hates or fears other Americans, that he accuses them of advocating deliberate inaction in the face of the enemy.

A President who since 9/11 has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack. Attack by terrorists, or by Democrats, or by both — it is now impossible to find a consistent thread of logic as to who Mr. Bush believes the enemy is.

But if we know one thing for certain about Mr. Bush, it is this:

This President — in his bullying of the Senate last month and in his slandering of the Democrats this month — has shown us that he believes whoever the enemies are — they are hiding themselves inside a dangerous cloak, called the Constitution of the United States of America.

(Reminder to self: buy more Thank You notes.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Never Again. Our Democracy Depends on it.

The film is called American Blackout, and thus far, its awards include the Sundance Film Festival 2006 Special Jury Prize, the Urbanworld Vibe 2006 Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary, and the Independent Film Festival of Boston 2006 Special Jury Prize. The above trailer should pique your interest, if not send chills down your spine (and I'm not exaggerating).

Whatever you think you know about our election systems or Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, this film will make you question further why the news media fails to accurately inform the public. Directed by GNN's Ian Inaba, creator of Eminem's "Mosh" music video, American Blackout critically examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence voices of political dissent.

Many have heard of the alleged voting irregularities that occurred during the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Until now, these incidents have gone under- reported and are commonly written-off as insignificant rumors or unintentional mishaps resulting from an overburdened election system.

You can go here to locate a screening near you.