The Peach

Proudly providing the reality-based community with the juice on politics, media, religion and culture

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Money For Nothing

If the American people need more evidence that the Bush administration favors big oil, they just need to look at this AP report. A provision in the recently passed energy bill would require federal compensation to private companies for costs associated with oil and gas leases that can't be developed.

In other words, taxpayers must shell out money for worthless land purchased by energy companies. This would include properties prevented from being explored because of environmental or safety reasons. Of all such properties, 36 are located right off the coast of California.

Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, referred to the provision as "a rip-off of the public treasury." Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif) said the bill would force taxpayers to "fork over billions of dollars to the oil companies that don't want to develop the leases anyway."

This just another opportunity for Bush to fill the pockets of his oil friends.

We Say Tomato, You Say Pomodoro

In what is certain to be the beginning of the end of Italy's involvement in Bush's war with Iraq, a U.S. investigation on whether American soldiers were at fault in the death of an Italian intelligence officer has come to the conclusion that they were not.

Unfortunately, the Italians do not agree with the report. In a statement, the two countries were said to be incapable of arriving at any "shared final conclusions." At issue is that the account by the two survivors has clashed with that of the U.S. military. While the survivors claim that soldiers fired at their slow moving car the same time a warning beam was flashed, soldiers argued that the car was speeding and that they fired warning shots before firing at the car's radiator.

Whether they agree or not seems irrelevant. The Italian people don't support the war in Iraq and Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been under mounting pressue to get the Italian soldiers out and to abandon his 'molto pazzo' attempt to become buddy-buddy with Bush.

Ultimately, this may be Italy's best opportunity to just call the whole thing off.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Oil For . . . ?



In what seems to be a huge faux pas by the editors, this picture ran on the front page of the Dallas Morning News next to an article with a headline blaring, "House Bans Gay Unions."

Now, The Peach has on numerous occasions raised the possibility that all of this right-wing vitriol against gays is really an unconscious lashing out against their own repressed gay selves. But far be it from The Peach to suggest that Our Leader and the Saudi prince are anything but, er, friends.

Baron's Brain: Bush's Energy Plan



With the cost of fuel rising at the pumps and current plans for alternative fuel sources floundering, the Bush administration came up with a bold new strategy to cure this country's energy woes. GIANT HAMSTERS!!

That's right, in a speech given at a Small Business Admnistration event, Bush initially had listeners leaning forward with curious anticipation when he, seemingly out of the blue blurted out the phrase, "Why think small when you can get big?"

Then, as the audience sat in a state of shock and awe, he explained how we could handle the whole "steroids in sports" problem while simultaneously feeding this country's insatiable appetite for power. With his hands frantically mapping out an idea he stole from a six-year old kindergarten student, Bush drew out how giant wheels with large belts attached to generators could be driven by steroid enhanced hamsters. He then showed the audience the estimated size of the necessary hamsters.

Though the audience seemed alarmed not only by such an ambitious idea, but also by the possible co-existence with giant rodents, Bush reassured the crowd that Homeland Security agents, armed with tranquilizer guns and shreds of cardboard, would be on 24 hour watch for the public's safety.

He concluded by lamenting the fact that all this country needs is imagination and initiative to move forward, and that anything, including convincing a nation to go to war, can be made into a reality.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bush Again Hiding The Truth

U.S. Government figures show that the number of serious international terrorist incidents more that tripled last year, this according to information the State Department decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week.

Officially, the number of attacks ballooned to a record 655, up from the previous record of around 175 in 2003. Critics say the State Department's announcement to withold statistics on terrorist attacks is designed to shield the government from questions about the success of its efforts to battle terrorism.

This is just another instance of the Bush administration covering up another dismal failure.

Iraqi Insurgency: Same Old, Same Old

During a recent news conference, General Richard Myers stated that there has been no change in the insurgents campaign of violence and that the level is right where "they were almost a year ago."

Even so, Myers stated that counting the number of attacks was a poor method of measuring the insurgency and that he felt coalition forces were "winning." This response comes after a week of attacks leaving dozens dead and a civilian helicopter brought down outside of Baghdad.

The Peach would just like to say this: if Myers was the coach of the New York Yankees and he somehow categorized a losing record as "winning," Steinbrenner would show him the door.

Tom's Unethical Band

In case anyone was wondering why Republicans on the House ethics committee would want to protect a lizard like Tom DeLay, The Peach recommends a look at this report. It seems that all five Republican members received campaign donations from DeLay's PAC, Americans for a Republican Majority. The list points out that Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA), who would chair a panel to investigate DeLay if the committe moves forward, received $15,000 from the group.

The report also discloses that two of the Republican members, Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Lamar Smith of Texas, contributed to DeLay's defense fund. When asked about the apparent impropriety of it all, Rep. Hart responded that it's "just normal" for leaders to contribute to campaigns.

Normal? The Peach questions how these memebers can responsibly scrutinize the actions of someone that contributed to their war chests. It's no wonder they are going out of their way to protect this criminal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fili-BUSTED!

Keith Olbermann of Countdown noted in last night's broadcast that the Family Research Council, the right-wing group responsible for the theocratic, anti-filibuster rant that was "Justice Sunday," didn't used to have such an objection to the time-honored tactic. Indeed, they used to quite like it -- as long as it was being used to block the appointment of gay people.

Back in 1993, when Clinton and a then-Democratic majority in the Senate wanted to appoint the openly-gay James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg, the Senate minority blocked Hormel`s nomination for eighteen months with filibusters. At that time, Family Research Council senior writer, Steven Schwartz appeared on National Public Radio to wax effusive about the positive value of and need for the filibuster in public life. He said:
The Senate is not a majoritarian institution, like the House of Representatives is. It is a deliberative body, and it`s got a number of checks and balances built into our government. The filibuster is one of those checks in which a majority cannot just sheerly force its will, even if they have a majority of votes in some cases. That`s why there are things like filibusters, and other things that give minorities in the Senate some power to slow things up, to hold things up, and let things be aired properly.
The Peach cannot fathom how the SCLM could have missed this striking bit of hypocrisy, or failed to include it in their reporting on the Justice Sunday event. On the other hand, perhaps it can be easily explained in terms of knowing which side one's bread is buttered on. These days, it seems clearer and clearer that it's the "right" side.

We urge readers to push this information out to mainstream media outlets. And while you're at it, demand to know why none of them has highlighted this spectacular flip-flop.

Drinkin' The Kool-Aid

The Peach supposes that now justices will say just about anything to get a promotion. The LA Times is reporting that Justice Janice Rogers Brown, on the heels of her federal appellate nomination, stated that people of faith were "embroiled in a war against secular humanists who threatened to divorce America from its religious roots."

Her speech, designed to portray those opposing Bush's judicial nominees as heathens and Satan worshipers, came before a group of Roman Catholic legal professionals. Justice Brown went on to hint that a person of faith could lose "something" by standing up for what they believe in.

Afterwards, Gary Bauer, president of the socially conservative group American Values, circulated an e-mail claiming that Justice Brown's beliefs is why "the abortion crowd, the homosexual movement and the radical secularists are all demanding that Senate liberals block her confirmation."

No, Gary. We don't support her nomination because she aligns herself with people like you. It's all because of people like you.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Baron's Brain: New Adventures In Republican Fundraising

US President George W Bush, pictured waiting after ordering a cheese burger at a restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina, is to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to his Texas ranch for talks expected to focus on the Middle East peace process and soaring oil prices(AFP/File/Brendan Smialowski)

Not to be outdone by those ambitious child entrepreneurs that open lemonade stands or sell kisses for a dollar, The Brain can only assume that Bush choreographed this event (like most other Bush get-togethers) in order to hit up his right-wing loyalists and corporate lobbyists for a little loose change.

The Brain's sources say that if this works, Bush will consider new methods to pay for that pesky war in Iraq.