Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More White House LIES: "The president and the VP are complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material"

"There is evidence that the White House has repeatedly failed to investigate security violations, take corrective action following breaches, and appropriately protect classified information"
-- Rep. Henry Waxman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
White House Press Secretary Perino lied on Monday, "The president and the vice president are complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material." In fact, White House security violations are likely widespread. From Rep. Waxman's letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding:
  • White House security officials have been blocked from inspecting West Wing offices for compliance with procedures for handling classified information.
  • The White House regularly ignored security breaches.
  • The President’s top political advisor received a renewal of his security clearance despite presidential directives calling for the denial of security clearances for officials who misrepresent their involvement in security leaks.
  • The White House has condoned widespread mismanagement at the White House Security Office.

Read the evidence - Rep. Waxman's letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding

Cheney contradicts himself, abuses power, subverts the constitution

Cheney 2007: Vice President's office refuses to comply with an order governing the oversight of classified documents; the order does not apply because the VP is not “an entity within the executive branch.”

Cheney 2001: Cheney asserts that a congressional probe into the workings of his energy task force “would unconstitutionally interfere with the functioning of the executive branch.”

What would you expect from the guy who said two years ago the Iraq insurgency is "in it's last throes" and "we'll be welcomed as liberators"? If there ever was a case for impeachment, this is it.

Senior GOP Senator: "our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests"

Senator Lugar gets it.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee said on Monday:
"Our course in Iraq has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond... The current surge strategy is not an effective means of protecting these [American] interests. Its prospects for success are too dependent on the actions of others who do not share our agenda. It relies on military power to achieve goals that it cannot achieve ...Our continuing absorption with military activities in Iraq is limiting our diplomatic assertiveness there and elsewhere in the world. The prospects that the current 'surge' strategy will succeed in the way originally envisioned by the President are very limited... Unless we recalibrate our strategy in Iraq to fit our domestic political conditions and the broader needs of U.S. national security, we risk foreign policy failures that could greatly diminish our influence in the region and the world. ... ."
Maybe he can talk some sense into Bush and fellow Republicans. America needs a 'plan B' for Iraq. Bush has offered us nothing but more of the same. Lugar has some good ideas. This extensive speech on Iraq policy can be found here in it's entirety.

Dump the chimp. He's screwed America with his lies and his botched Iraq policy that has weakened the American military, our national security, and our reputation world-wide. America deserves better.

Impeach Bush and Cheney. It's the right thing to do. The American thing to do.

UPDATE: Republican Senators support Lugar's statement on changing course in Iraq.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bush lies are effective: 41% believe Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack - Newsweek Poll

A new Newsweek Poll shows more Americans now believe the Bush administration lies that "Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the planning, financing or carrying out the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01" than did in 2004.

The 41% that believe this lie is up 5% from Newsweek's September 2004 poll.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

LA Times: "Cheney's rejection of mandatory inspections required of all federal offices ...defies basic standards of good government and common sense."

Excellent editorial on Cheney' abuse of power from the LA Times.
Worth the read, a great summary on how Cheney has manipulated the government to defy all oversight.

No Veep is an Island: Cheney has been instrumental in eroding privacy rights for all Americans -- except himself.
June 23, 2007
LA Times

VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney's refusal to comply with a presidential order regulating the handling of classified information might be scary were it not so ludicrous.

Cheney's rejection of mandatory inspections required of all federal offices to make sure they are properly protecting top secret documents defies basic standards of good government and common sense. And his argument that he needn't comply because his office isn't part of the executive branch is specious. Moreover, after clashing with the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which conducts the routine inspections, Cheney's vindictive staff reportedly tried to abolish the unit. That's like trying to disband the Internal Revenue Service for demanding a tax audit. Has the veep taken leave of his senses?

Unfortunately, Cheney's behavior is entirely in keeping with his long-standing views on executive powers, executive privilege and the divine rights of vice presidents. He also has championed policies that have shredded American privacy rights in the name of national security, with methods that have included warrantless wiretaps, e-mail and postal-mail snooping, monitoring library withdrawals, mining data on the telephone and buying habits of millions of citizens and the expanded use of national security letters. But Cheney has been vigilant in defending his own privacy rights. The vice president's office has been operating in stunning secrecy for six years.

For example, according to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), Cheney refuses to follow an executive branch ethics rule requiring him and his employees to disclose travel paid for by special interests. In fact, he won't even disclose who some of his employees are — though the salaries of these political appointees are paid for by public funds. Contrary to White House practice, the vice president's residence won't release the names of those who come to visit. Cheney has even succeeded in getting President Bush to give him the power to prevent the release of vice presidential papers after Cheney leaves office.

Cheney's inventive argument is that because the vice president also serves as president of the Senate, his is "a unique office" that is not part of but rather "attached to" the legislative branch. Yet the vice president is funded and housed by the executive branch, travels on Air Force Two, enjoys Secret Service protection and seldom appears in his (mostly symbolic) Senate office. And he has never subjected his staff to the even more restrictive Senate rules on handling classified material. Apparently, Cheney sees himself as a fourth branch of government that enjoys all the authority of the presidency but is bound by none of its rules.

On Friday, the White House defended Cheney yet again, saying the president never intended the veep to have to comply with the presidential order. Bush should stop enabling his errant No. 2 and enforce the rule of law.


A more extensive multipart series on Cheney's manipulation of government begins this Sunday in the Washington Post.

Part 1 here.

Bush refuses to comply with "our democratic principles"

Bush and Cheney continue to lie, hide, and subvert their own rules of accountability -- rules that Bush acknowledges in his own executive order are 'democratic principles' of this great nation:

"Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government"
- Bush's Executive Order on oversight of classified documents.

Bush denies he or Dick Cheney are subject to these democratic principles of oversight.

"When the president does it, it's not illegal" - Richard Nixon
Cheney refused to file annual reports with the federal National Archives and Records Administration, refusing to spell out how his office handles classified documents, and refusing to submit to an inspection by the archives' Information Security Oversight Office.

More from the LA times:
Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' government secrecy project, disputed the White House explanation of the executive order.

He noted that the order defines "agency" as any executive agency, military department and "any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information" — which, he said, includes Bush's and Cheney's offices.
"If the president and the vice president don't take their own rules seriously, who else should? If they get a blank check, it's a recipe for disaster. I can't think of a quicker way to break down the credibility of the entire security-classification system. If there are all these great safeguards in place, then where are the [missing] e-mails?""
-- Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive
Blanton noted that the White House had acknowledged that a substantial number of in-house e-mails had disappeared in recent years, at a time when investigators wanted to review them for possible evidence of inappropriate leaks of classified information.

The White House has tried to explain this with meaningless smoke and mirrors.
None of the citations given to the press by WH press secretary Perino had anything to do with Presidential or Vice Presidential exceptions to this oversight requirement.

Fact check on these assertions at thinkprogress.org - they continue to lie.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cheney creates his own branch of government

Vice President Dick Cheney says the office of the Vice President is not an entity within the executive branch of the US government.

Wow, not part of the executive branch? An amazing position from a Vice President who is constantly exercising his 'executive privilege' to maintain the secrecy of his actions.

Does this remind anyone else of Nixon's famous quote: "when the president does it, it's not illegal..."?

We all remember from school, the three branches of our federal government: executive, judicial, and legislative. Well now, there is a fourth branch. It's called the "Secret Dick Cheney branch." Why would Dick declare that his office is no longer an entity of executive branch? True to form, to avoid oversight and accountability.

But wait a second... according to the White House website, the executive branch consists of the President and the President's Cabinet. The White House clearly states that the Vice President is part of the President's Cabinet. So, indeed the Vice President is officially part of the executive branch but ... tricky Dick has withdrawn from it and formed his own private branch of government - the"Secret Dick Cheney branch."

Why would Cheney break away from the executive branch? Reason - to exempt his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. Why would he do that if he acted appropriately and safeguarded classified national security information? Obviously, Cheney has something to hide. A clear violation of the Presidential Records Act. Hmm, wonder if this has to do with those secret erased emails? I see a pattern. Cheney has tried to abolish the agency that tried to oversee him - the
Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives, according to documents released by Congressman Henry Waxman.

Under the executive order - the Presidential Records Act, executive branch offices are required to give the Information Security Oversight Office at the National Archives the data on how much material their office has classified and declassified. Cheney's office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped. Starting in 2003, the vice president’s office began refusing to supply the information. In 2004, Cheney blocked an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office, a unit of the National Archives. Such inspections were routinely carried out across the government to check whether documents were being properly labeled and safely stored.

Henry Waxman, chairman of the committee, said Cheney's office claims it need not comply with the executive order because it is not an "entity within the executive branch."

"Your position was that your office 'does not believe it is included in the definition of 'agency' as set forth in the Order' and 'does not consider itself an 'entity within the executive branch' that comes into the possession of classified information"
-- National Archives summary of Cheney's chief of staff David Addington response to the National Archives request for information
The Vice President's office's refusal to comply with the executive order and the National Archives's request prompted the National Archives to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office. But the Justice Department has not followed up on the Archives's request.

In his letter to the Vice President, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Henry Waxman writes:
"I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions. ... It would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials ... Your decision to except your office from the president's order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk."
Waxman and the House Oversight Committee has prepared an excellent document on this pattern of deception and efforts to avoid accountability:


Isn't it great that we can find our own president's lies and the VP's efforts to avoid accountability on an official US government website? We're living in a great country.
"Don't need no shadow man, runnin' the government. "
-- Neil Young, Living With War CD

BREAKING: NEW YORK TIMES STORY on Cheney's efforts to avoid accountability and retaliate against those government agencies that try to oversee his actions.

Bush at 26% - How Low Can He Go?

Newsweek Poll:
26% approval is all-time low

from MSNBC:
Only 26 percent of Americans, just over one in four, approve of the job the 43rd president is doing; while, a record 65 percent disapprove, including nearly a third of Republicans. The new numbers—a 2 point drop from the last NEWSWEEK Poll at the beginning of May—are statistically unchanged, given the poll’s 4 point margin of error. But the 26 percent rating puts Bush lower than Jimmy Carter, who sunk to his nadir of 28 percent in a Gallup poll in June 1979. In fact, the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in. The war in Iraq continues to drag Bush down. A record 73 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Bush has done handling Iraq. Despite “the surge” in U.S. forces into Baghdad and Iraq’s western Anbar province, a record-low 23 percent of Americans approve of the president’s actions in Iraq, down 5 points since the end of March.

But the White House cannot pin his rating on the war alone. Bush scores record or near record lows on every major issue: from the economy (34 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove) to health care (28 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove) to immigration (23 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove). And—in the worst news, perhaps, for the crowded field of Republicans hoping to succeed Bush in 2008—50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of terrorism and homeland security. Only 43 percent approve, on an issue that has been the GOP’s trump card in national elections since 9/11.

The Congress also receives poor marks, at 25% - the result of not being able to clean up Bush's mess quickly enough.

It' s clear which way Bush is going, and which way he has led the GOP:




Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fred Thompson: "Dumb as a stump"

A Nashvillian who's now married to a legendary songwriter, once dated Fred Thompson. Recalling Fred, she said, "he's dumb as a stump."

We can see that, and he's a denialist to boot:

Fred Thompson says it is a "paranoid myth" that Bush deceived Americans in the lead up to the Iraq War. Thompson says "multiple hearings and investigations into pre-war intelligence findings ... have debunked this paranoid myth." listen here

A paranoid myth??
from thinkprogress:
The Pentagon’s inspector general found that former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith developed, produced, and disseminated “alternative intelligence assessments” to falsely claim that a relationship existed between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Also, you can find 237 specific lies about Iraq by the Bush Administration - lies by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell - all in a neat searchable index in the Congressional Record on an official House of Representatives website:

Check it out here.

From the website:
Iraq on the Record is a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq. It contains statements that were misleading based on what was known to the Administration at the time the statements were made. It does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, it was excluded even if it now appears erroneous.

Not only is he 'dumb as a stump', he's a classic Republican denialist.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


From WSJ - Republicans' Outlook Dims for '08

Of greater concern for Republicans generally, however, is the party's weak state heading into the 2008 election. By 52% to 31%, Americans say they want Democrats to win the presidency next year. Americans give the Republican Party their most negative assessment in the two-decade history of the Journal/NBC survey, and by 49% to 36% they say the Democratic Party more closely shares their values and positions on the issues.

NEW POLLS - Bush Approval:
WSJ - 29%
Quinnipiac - 28%

Sorry, wingnuts . . . game over. We tried to tell you GW Bush was a bad idea. But you didn't listen. Now you pay the price.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The most drastic global climate change in human history is happening now

Don't be a denialist - global warming has happened before and is happening now.

Look at the CO2 chart. It is very likely that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is greater now than at anytime since the advent of the human species as we know it. And we know unequivocally that the more the CO2, the warmer the planet.

Yes, greenhouse gas global warming has happened before . . . but not since the human species has been around. One of the most notable episodes occured 55 million years ago, (that's 53 million years before humans evolved to our present state). This warming event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), upset oceanic and atmospheric circulation, leading to the extinction of a great number of species. This event affected species evolution causing a major turnover in mammalian life on land, marking the emergence of mammalian species lines recognizable today. Sea surface temperatures rose between 5 and 8°C over a period of a few thousand years, and in the high Arctic, sea surface temperatures rose to a sub-tropical 23°C/73°F. Causes for this warming have been attributed to the release of methane in the atmosphere. The melting of methane 'ice' that forms in cold water under great pressure caused a massive release of sedimentary methane hydrates into the ocean & atmosphere. Methane was rapidly converted to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, upsetting the global carbon cycle which led to runaway global warming. Volcanic activity may have been a factor and some suggest a massive asteroid or comet impact could have also triggered the episode.

How do they know and what can we learn from this?

Scientists studying core samples drilled into the ocean floor have been able to determine what life existed in various places such as the Arctic and elsewhere. Scientists discovered the remains of tiny algae called Apectodinium in the Arctic, which previously had been restricted to warmer regions of the world. The presence of Apectodinium during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum confirms subtropical conditions existed in the Arctic during this time. Sediment cores drilled from the ocean floor revealed an abrupt change in ocean chemistry at the start of the PETM 55 million years ago, followed by a recovery that took at least 80,000 years. Through this research, the link between advancing levels of atmospheric CO2 and rising air and ocean temperatures has been undoutedly established.

Global warming then was ultimately the result of higher carbon dioxide concentrations, as the released methane would have been rapidly converted to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The same thing is happening now

8 scientific climate model projections are in relative agreement, this global warming event is extraordinary - likely as dramatic or more so than the PETM episode 55 million years ago that caused mass extinctions. The 8 models, representing the best science available predict the sea surface temperature will rise between 2 and 3.8°C in the next hundred years. The PETM was said to have been the result of a 5 to 8°C sea surface temperature rise over a few thousand years. The present trend would clearly indicate an event like the PETM is a likely possibility.

So what?

Yea, so what, we'll all be dead by the time these drastic effects impact most humans. Just forget about politics. Forget about what Al Gore says, what the 'Bushcult 30%ers' tell you. Just look at the science.

Forget about causes and remedies and politics.

Just look at the science and the data.

More on the politics of all this in a later post.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Republicans tend to be less educated, more religious and deny scientific facts

68% of Republicans deny the scientific fact of human evolution

Gallup Poll:

A 68% majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

The data from several recent Gallup studies suggest that Americans' religious behavior is highly correlated with beliefs about evolution. Those who attend church frequently are much less likely to believe in evolution than are those who seldom or never attend. That Republicans tend to be frequent churchgoers helps explain their doubts about evolution.

Considering this, and the fact that in the last election, there was a significant correlation between educational attainment and presidential vote, what conclusions should we draw from this? Statistics clearly show that the states that were won by Bush contained the lowest percentage of college educated adults.

Bush supporters tend to be less educated, more religious and deny scientific fact.

Fortunately for these denialists, a new museum of fraudulent information has opened. The Creation Museum in KY where people can learn that dinosaurs rode aboard Noah's Ark and that the earth is just 6000 years old.

Can you imagine what the curators of the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian must think of this?

" Webutante" - this week's example of a religious right-wing authoritarian blogger

Webutante: blogger in denial - a proud member of the '30%ers'

I've recently been attempting a dialogue with a new found religious right-wing authoritarian (RRWA) blogger. Check out "webutante." Communication is difficult because, like most other bloggers with this psychological profile, she will often delete comment posts - a hallmark characteristic of such 'denialists.' I use the term '30%er' to describe the Bush loyalists. Of these 30%ers, about half, or about 15% strongly support the the President. These people are the hard core religious right-wing authoritarians. Webutante fits the bill. Like other RRWAs have done (i.e. Mark Rose, Terry Frank, etc...), she has deleted at least 4 of my posts.

She says, "Moderation is used to eliminate tasteless, obscene language and mean-spirited, hateful harangues which do nothing to further intelligent discussion or the flow of ideas." Here are the subjects of some of my deleted posts, none fit the above objections and rely solely on facts, quotes, and interviews:

The indoctrination of this type of religious right wing authoritarian is often religious-based, as shown in the recent documentary, Jesus Camp - where children are taught to worship a cardboard cutout of GW Bush. Webutante would love this!

Besides abject 'denial' demonstrated by Webutante, she exhibits the RRWA characteristics of 'holding contradictory ideas' and the 'use of double standards in their thinking and judgements.' She calls herself a 'conservationist' but gives her unconditional support to Bush who is regarded universally as the worst environmental president in modern history by virtually all environmental groups. Watch how she shrugs off the evidence presented to her in this comment. She bills herself as a christian law-abiding citizen and conservationist but says she's not going to get 'wigged out' that Bush's environmental policies are so destructive, they have been repeatedly ruled illegal in federal court.

Webutante also shows the RRWA characteristic of uncritically accepting insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs. Example - this comment:
"Did you know that CO2 levels actually decreased last year in the United States even as GDP went up several percentage points?"
As if this single statistic could disprove 100+ years of Global Climate Change science and statistics. Quite the contrary.

As mentioned in the previous post, RRWA's exhibit a high degree of submission to the authorities, God and president Bush being the first. They also exhibit a general aggressiveness directed against various persons - the 'liberal' being their biggest target. An example - one of her regular commenters (vienna) complained repeatedly of being labeled 'anti-American' for expressing a dissenting view. In Webutante's posts bashing Clinton and Carter, this aggression is also apparent.

Webutante professes to have found the light and overcome any 'liberal' tendencies as youthful indiscretions. Many RRWA tend to be much older than progressive and left leaning people, Webutant appears to be in her 60's or 70's. Many of her circle of like-minded are either christian and/or senior citizens like herself. In one of her clever retorts, she refers to me as 'a child to be cast asunder' in Latin. She sees those that disagree with her as children, not as wise as her (never mind, I have a doctorate, what level of education did she complete?) . She posts about a disenting bumper sticker as "Ahh, the sins of our youth".

In another Webutante post, her aggression is also directed toward Isreali Prime Minister Ohlmer's willingness to give up the Golan Heights in return for a peace agreement. It is clear that she also exhibits and perpetuates another RRWA hallmark - fear of the enemy, fear of a dangerous world - precisely the way neo-cons have solidified power. So much for peace.

Yet another classic characteristic of RRWA's that Webutante shows us is her ethnocentrism. Her biggotry is pretty clear in her post:
"Only a black man can say this about New Orleans."

So, they do exist. Webutante is typical of religious right wing authoritarians that have a lot of denial, conflicted principles, aggression, fear, self-righteousness, ethnocentrism, and dogmatism. They uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs, toss off personal failings and avoid learning about their personal failings . . . or more often, even facing them. They conveniently use religion to erase guilt over their acts and maintain their self-righteousness. Supporting a war and a president whose policies have maimed so many brave Americans forces these types of individuals to rationalize, because after all - Bush is our christian president, his cause is just and can never be wrong. They can't admit a mistake even though, many of their fellow Republicans have:
"This war was very badly mismanaged for a long time, and Americans have made great sacrifices, some of which were unnecessary because of mismanagement of this conflict."
- John McCain, GOP debate, June 5, '07

Congrats to Webutante - our Religious Right Wing Authoritarian of the week.

In a desperate move, the US gives arms to former Saddam loyalist Sunnis to fight al Qaeda

New strategy: in the middle of a civil war, give guns to our enemy.

The US is arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.

No shit!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The psychological profile of religious rightwing conservative authoritarians

Religious right wing conservatives - the shoe fits.

You often wondered why conservative bloggers are incredibly inflexible, delete posts, and can not accept evidence that disagrees with their mindset? By observing the psychological makeup of such people, this should explain why.

I've often struggled to understand why some 'type' of people believe the way they do. There must be a psychological profile that defines religious right wing conservatives. Many don't realize that they are in fact authoritarians. Why they rely on faith instead of reason, dogmatism instead of critical thinking. Why it is impossible to form a debate with such people who already have the 'divine understanding' based on a sense of "the good and moral us" vs. "the bad and immoral them". This could explain why debating with such people is so difficult, why their level of denial is so great, why such bloggers strictly moderate their posts and don't hesitate to delete "inconvenient truths."

from MyDD.com:

"Rightwing authoritarianism is defined as the convergence of three attitudinal clusters:"
  • Authoritarian submission: A high degree of submission to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
  • Authoritarian aggression: A general aggressiveness, directed against various persons, that is perceived to be sanctioned by established authorities.
  • Conventionalism: A high degree of adherence to the social conventions that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities.
And of course, with the religious right wing conservative, God is the ultimate authority figure and all information is filtered through a religious dogma. Though there are shades of gray, through extensive research, Robert Altemeyer identified these tendencies among right wing authoritarians. From his book, The Authoritarian Specter, published by Harvard University Press -

Right Wing Authoritarian Tendencies:

Faulty reasoning

Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:

  • Make many incorrect inferences from evidence.
  • Hold contradictory ideas leading them to `speak out of both sides of their mouths.'
  • Uncritically accept that many problems are `our most serious problem.'
  • Uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs.
  • Uncritically trust people who tell them what they want to hear.
  • Use many double standards in their thinking and judgements.
Profound Character Flaws

Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:

  • Be dogmatic.
  • Be zealots.
  • Be hypocrites.
  • Be bullies when they have power over others.
  • Help cause and inflame intergroup conflict.
  • Seek dominance over others by being competitive and destructive in situations requiring cooperation
Blindness To Own Failings
Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:
  • Believe they have no personal failings.
  • Avoid learning about their personal failings.
  • Be highly self-righteous.
  • Use religion to erase guilt over their acts and to maintain their self-righteousness.

Political Tendencies

Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:

  • Weaken constitutional guarantees of liberty, such as the Bill of Rights.
  • Accept unfair and illegal abuses of power by government authorities.
  • Trust leaders (such as Richard Nixon) who are untrustworthy.
  • Sometimes join left-wing movements, where their hostility distinguishes them.
  • But much more typically endorse right-wing political parties.
  • Be conservative/Reform party (Canada) or Republican Party (United States) lawmakers who
    1. have a conservative economic philosophy;
    2. believe in social dominance;
    3. are ethnocentric;
    4. are highly nationalistic;
    5. oppose abortion;
    6. support capital punishment;
    7. oppose gun-control legislation;
    8. say they value freedom but actually want to undermine the Bill of Rights;
    9. do not value equality very highly and oppose measures to increase it;
    10. are not likely to rise in the Democratic party, but do so among Republicans

    Hostility & Fear Toward Outgroups
    Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:

    * Weaken constitutional guarantees of liberty, such as the Bill of Rights.
    * Punish severely `common' criminals in a role-playing situation.
    * Admit they get personal pleasure from punishing such people.
    * But go easy on authorities who commit crimes and people who attack minorities.
    * Be prejudiced against many racial, ethnic, nationalistic, and linguistic minorities.
    * Be hostile toward homosexuals.
    * Support `gay-bashing.'
    * Be hostile toward feminists.
    * Volunteer to help the government persecute almost anyone.
    * Be mean-spirited toward those who have made mistakes and suffered.
    * Be fearful of a dangerous world.

Not-So-Healthy Ingroup Cohesion
Right wing authoritarian conservatives are more likely to:

* Strongly believe in group cohesiveness and `loyalty.'
* Insist on traditional sex roles.
* Use religion to erase guilt over their acts and to maintain their self-righteousness.
* Be `fundamentalists' and the most prejudiced members of whatever religion they belong to.
* Accept unfair and illegal abuses of power by government authorities.
* Trust leaders (such as Richard Nixon) who are untrustworthy

Many studies, some government funded, have reached similar conclusions of this psychological profile - like the one quoted on my main blog page that cites conservatives as having: " a set of neuroses rooted in fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity."

One of the best recent books on this subject is John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience. He notes that this type of conservatism is a recent phenomenon - the religious rightwing conservative authoritarians of today are not the same as the Barry Goldwater or the William F Buckley conservatives, they are a new breed. For a quick summary of the main points of this book, constitutional lawyer Gleen Greenwald reviews it with excerpts:

"Dean contends, and amply documents, that the "conservative" movement has become, at its core, an authoritarian movement composed of those with a psychological and emotional need to follow a strong authority figure which provides them a sense of moral clarity and a feeling of individual power, the absence of which creates fear and insecurity in the individuals who crave it. By definition, its followers' devotion to authority and the movement's own power is supreme, thereby overriding the consciences of its individual members and removing any intellectual and moral limits on what will be justified in defense of their movement.

Dean relies on substantial social science data to illustrate the personality type that seeks out authoritarian movements. But his case is made much more persuasively by what one can visibly see unfolding before one's own eyes.

As Dean convincingly demonstrates, the characteristic which defines the Bush movement, the glue which binds it together and enables and fuels all of the abuses, is the vicious, limitless methods used to attack and demonize the "Enemy," which encompasses anyone -- foreign or domestic -- threatening to their movement. What defines and motivates this movement are not any political ideas or strategic objectives, but instead, it is the bloodthirsty, ritualistic attacks on the Enemy de jour -- the Terrorist, the Communist, the Illegal Immigrant, the Secularist, and most of all, the Liberal."
I would be extremely interested in knowing about the 30% of Americans who still support GW Bush. According to Rasmussen, roughly half (about 14%) strongly support Bush. I'd be willing to bet that, of the 14% of Americans that strongly support Bush, 90% of them are devout Christians as well. By all indications, it figures into the psychological profile.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Former US Commander in Iraq: "America has a crisis in leadership at this time"

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez who commanded U.S. forces during the first year of the Iraq war said that the best outcome America can hope for is to “stave off defeat.” From his remarks after a recent speech in San Antonio:
“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will — not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat. I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time and we’ve got to do whatever we can to help the next generation of leaders do better than we have done over the past five years ...”
-- General Sanchez, speaking to the San Antonio Express-News
Yet another US Commander acknowledges the incompetence of the Bush administration. Yet wingnuts still hang on to Bush. I don't get it, it defies reason and common sense. One third of America still approves of the job Bush is doing.

I have struggled to understand this, and from what I've seen around the blogging community - especially in the south, many Bush loyalists tend to be devout Christians. The mindset that leads itself to an unquestioning and dogmatic allegiance to Christianity, is the the same mindset that supports a leader who is a professed Christian, despite any and all shortcomings. They will support him to the end and turn a blind eye to the damage he's done. Typically, bloggers of this mindset will carefully moderate their blog and remove any comments that provide a valid argument or an inconvenient truth.

To the white Christian party's news outlet - all blacks look the same

Fox News uses footage of John Conyers at the Alberto Gonzalez hearings when discussing the William Jefferson indictment.

See the video here at Talking Points Memo.

Unlike the Republicans who continue to promote corrupt politicians, the Democrats will not tolerate this corruption and Jefferson will be forced out.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Wild-eyed Bush pounds his chest and repeats 3 times: "I am the President!" ... ooga ooga

Republicans - here's the guy you voted for:

The president is being himself again according to the Dallas Morning News:

"By all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness. Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny."
This is not the first report of strange behavior from the chimp. This is from the Nelson Report:

"Some big money players up from Texas recently paid a visit to their friend in the White House. They got out exactly one question, and the rest of the meeting consisted of the President in an extended whine, a rant, actually, about how "no one understands him, the critics are all messed up, if only people would see what he’s doing, things would be OK" …etc., etc.
Apparently the Texas friends were suitably appalled. Bad president!! No banana.