14 July, 2005

The GOP: Yeah, I'm Embarassed They Run Our Country Too...

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: Short Cuts. My love for lengthy ensemble pieces is shining through again. This film has drawn countless comparisons to Magnolia, and while they're both three hour films with huge casts set in Los Angeles, not much else is the same. I believe Magnolia to be better, but I believe Magnolia to be better than many, many films, so that doesn't say much. Short Cuts is definitely worth checking out, the three hours fly, as they do with Magnolia, but don't come in to this film looking for Magnolia, it's a totally different movie. Master director Robert Altman helms this one and directs the fantastic cast quite skillfully.
Date to Keep Free: Saturday, July 16. Yep, that's right. You know you've got to keep this date free, because O'Leary's making his triumphant return to Pompton Plains, best brace yourselves! Yeah, I'll see you kids on Saturday, sometime in the later half of the day.

I've had a dry spell of politically themed entries recently, at least in my opinion. Thanks to a lack of television at Cornell, I've been reading the news both online and in print much more than I would at home. This has brought me to the conclusion that broadcast news sucks for the most part and print is better in that a larger selection of articles is available and you can choose what news you get to hear. Being the left-of-centrist I am, I've been reading up on the plight (one I'm not at all sympathetic to) of this nation's GOP, the Republicans.

Quite the contrary to how our nation is supposed to run, ideally, the Republicans control just about everything in this country: the majority of the governerships, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House. This is quite a ridiculous fact, although the White House isn't much of a problem as people have come to realize this administration is just some sick joke. Right now, the members of the GOP are making fools of themselves. To give a quick run through, demigod of the right, Karl Rove, is at the center of an alleged White House cover-up to protect him from charges of exposing the top secret identity of a CIA operative; William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the highest individual judicial power in the land, is living in a hospital bed and refuses to retire; and the president has his nation in a war for which support is slowly drying up.

Karl Rove, the advisor who is credited with significantly helping Bush's reelection campaign, is now being called to retire by Democrats. Rove is being blamed for releasing the name of a secret CIA operative during an investigation of the authenticity of the evidence to go to war in Iraq. The situation is complex and I'm not going to go into all the detail but as a result of all this, Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter sits in jail. The important part is that the Bush administration has taken no apparent stance on Rove's involvement in the situation as Press Secretary Scott McClellan has repeatedly answered "no comment" to all questions regarding his involvement in the situation, despite the fact that just a few months ago he denied that Rove was at all responsible for the situation. The way I see it is that the White House will just keep up this "no comment" strategy until the press finds something else to cover. Several months ago, Democrats demanded another high ranking member of the administration, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for authorizing the torturing and whatnot that occured at Abu Ghrab, but that eventually died down and this twisted dude still controls our defenses. So most likely, the Democrats and members of the press will call for Rove's resignation or firing but the hype will probably die down. We should all be impressed with this strategy the White House is using.

The Supreme Court has been in the news recently because of an announced retirement and because of a speculated retirement. Chief Justice William Rehnquist is battling thyroid cancer, seems to be in the hospital every other day, is very old and feeble, and was in the Nixon administration. He needs to step down or get healthier. This stubborn Republican seems insistent on finishing out his alloted life term on the Supreme Court. We can't have this feeble man holding the highest judicial position in the land, it's just ridiculous.

(Read like the "Now, a word from the President" line in "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta") Now, a word 'bout the President. Oh boy that was thrilling to conceive and type. Bush, Bush, Bush. Let's go back to the beginnin: the guy was placed into office by a court order and the help of his brother and friends down in Florida. Then, less than a year into his first term, 9/11 occurred. Now normally, a national catastrophe creates a hero in the president of the time. For a while there, Bush did have the potential to become a revered figure. He was strong in the days following 9/11 and in October he went to war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in a successful military campaign, although that fight is still going on as we try to create democratic stability and search for Osama bin Laden. Then we got involved in Iraq, and after about a month of fighting, Bush declared an end to major combat operations. Now, more than two years since that, and almost 2000 Americans dead, the end of "major combat operations" doesn't seem visible quite yet. With his approval ratings hitting an all time low, as almost half of the nation does not approve, it makes me wonder what Americans were thinking eight months ago when they reelected him. What could they possibly expected him to do in the upcoming months? Well, whatever Bush voters were expecting him to do, he hasn't done. Recent polls have also shown that Americans are looking for control of Congress to switch parties following the 2006 elections. What were the people thinking in November '04?!

America's frustration with the way the Republicans are going about things just seems to be increasing. Hopefully they'll be out of office soon enough or they'll get some sense knocked in to them. Well I wish you all well in the coming months as the Republicans continue to control our country. I'll leave you with this deep, humorous slogan that surfaced during the election campaign last year, "At least when Clinton lied, no one died."