Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tim Russert – RIP

Ben Bradley, éminence grise of Washington, DC press corps, commented that the death of NBC TV journalist Tim Russert was treated as a state funeral. Bradley, who for many years was the silent keeper of Watergate's Deep Throat secret, was right. Surprisingly, usually anything said about an Irishman concerning another Irishman has to be discounted for blarney content at least 45% before you take it to the bank.

Russert's lie in state at the Washington Cathedral and the Kennedy Center was the scene of his memorial ceremonies. The Military District of Washington provided a uniform color guard for the memorial ceremony even though Russert never wore a uniform or held a government-elected office. Without question the man had connections with the high and the mighty – a double rainbow blossomed in the sky over the Kennedy Center as his memorial service finished – a big smile by St. Patrick – that is what the superstitious Irishmen will believe.

Apart from accepting the tragic loss of a man of substance much before his time, it was a loss to the body politic of the US. Maybe Russert stood out so much because his cohorts were, comparatively, pygmies – in the Kingdom of the Blind the one-eyed man is king. I identified with him as a Catholic, with ethnic origins and working class background – there were no Irishmen in my neighborhood, just lots of Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, Croatians, Serbs and Ukrainians.

Unlike the Irish, our Eastern Europe coteriere detested politicians of every stripe. Graft and corruption in Northern Indiana at that time was run out of Chicago's Cook County. There was a Slovak who ran for mayor who gave a speech; said, HE WOULD BUILD PARKS, SO THE BOYS WOULD NOT HAVE TO PLAY WITH THEIR BALLS IN THE STREET. Center to the life of the the community were the parish churches. In mine there was a display of three large photographs on the backdrop of the stage in the parish hall – in center was Father Karch our priest – on one side of him was Abe Lincoln and the other side George Washington. We called each other by our last names; took me a long time to break the habit – one habit I did not break was my antipathy for politicians; that may explain why those with Eastern European backgrounds do not hold much political power in the US.

For better or worse, we all got along. Went to each others' ethnic picnics in the summers, bazaars in the winter, and played BINGO every Friday night. The guy who called the BINGO had more respect than the mayor; we intermarried. The biggest problem in our narrow society was that the priests chased their housekeepers – now they they chase little boys; bigger sins for bigger times? I am not the least bitter; l do not cling to my guns or my religion, but they are still stashed in my past to be dusted off if needed. By the way, Obama cut his political teeth in Chicago's Cook County. This man understands well.

Russert wore his origins as a badge of courage – a sense of pride and honor. This was reflected in his work and no bullshit attitude. It gave him authenticity unlike the many of his colleagues who skip through their lives conforming to latest external values. Can you imagine if the world was filled with Larry Kings, Tom Brokaws, Chris Matthews; all ethnic guys who sipped the cool aid of political correctness? They are like awkward cows wearing saddles – they stand for book promotions and analyzing media generated polls.

As the Washington, DC NBC Bureau Chief, Russert directed other journalists. During the week-long tribute to him on MSNBC, it became clear that Russert exerted enormous control over his people; he would prep them before press conferences that almost amounted to a rehearsal. My sense is that this curbed initiative, imposed self-censorship and inhibited follow-up questions not cleared by the boss. You have to wonder who gave Russert the marching orders that he passed on. It would explain the media failures on the run up to the Iraq war and the avoidance to discuss the deleterious impact of Israel on our foreign policy. When will the gutless wonders of the press use their platform to find out what the US intends to do with an embassy five times the size of the Pentagon in Baghdad and the sixty-some US bases built in Iraq? For starters, just ask Bomb Bomb McCain the next time he is in your studios or on the road in his straight talk express.

Given my ethnic background, Russert bored me with constant reference to his Irish pub culture. He made me cringe over his mawkish coverage of his wunderkind. And his corny promotion of a second-rate football team from Podunk was vexing. Despite this, his magnetism and professionalism drew me from bed early every Sunday morning to sit and watch with fascination as he remorselessly questioned his guests. He had the highest professionalism in a ragged trade.

Farewell bright shining IRISHMAN. I will sleep later on Sunday; I will know less. The US media will sink to lower standards. Your Buffalo Bills may be sold to Little Rock, Arkansas. If you are in heaven, you might intervene,. If you can stage rainbows, you can do anything. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Bomb Bomb McCain's epitaph could read Blood Oil and Sand only if the tomb stone maker is friendly – if unfriendly, the word CATASTROPHE will added. Before Bomb Bomb and his bumbling shadow GWB came along, blood and sand evoked brave matadores bleeding to death, gored by a black Barcelona bull in a Madrid bullring; if you are film savvy, you have to remember Tyrone Power dramatically slowly dying his in suit of lights – alas, time marches on as new images roll over the old ones. While the story line Tyrone Power's Blood and Sand permitted him to die with bravado and stature, this will not be remotely possible in Bomb Bomb's case

The main stream media has decided that it will not discuss Bomb Bomb's military record or his age during the campaign – this is stunning as it provides the very matrix to understand Bomb Bomb's conduct and sometimes weird behavior. But this is the same bunch of incompetents that accepted Bush's crooked misleading march to war in Iraq, for fear of being unpatriotic. Some female pundits seem in the vanguard of this shield – they offer as an explanation that such attacks are unkind and self-defeating to the sensitive American electorate. BLUSH GUSH MUSH SLUSH ABSURDITIES.

So let us dare to examine the high points of Bomb Bomb's military career as they may serve as transfer of training to the president of the US, an office with commander-in-chief role. His five years as a POW would qualify him as a prison guard – not even that as warden. The fact that he broke under torture when others did not and supported the enemy propaganda may qualify for John Three XVIth redemption role on Skid Row for victims of substance abuse. The fact that he was shot down by enemy fire and crashed three aircraft in training flights, puts him on the bottom rung of naval aviators; it may qualify him as an acquisition point for 2nd hand aircraft parts, since he knows how to produce them. US naval aviators are the best world, but Bomb Bomb is not part of that elite group with his dreadful performance failures. There is no McArthur, Eisenhower or Patton in Bomb Bomb. Given his proclivity for self promotion, he should have renamed himself as Captain Hornblower. McCain's most useful military career assignment linked to high national office was as a naval liaison officer to Congress which started his political career.

Apart from Bomb Bomb's career as a military aviator, it is generally agreed that military aviation is narrow, high skilled, technical training – pilots kill from 30,000 feet, perceive the world as series of targets and with their heads in the clouds, walk away from the damage inflicted on the ground with a surreal attitude--so it is uncertain how this qualifies them for national security policy problems related to the presidency – you just cannot bomb your problems away.

As far as a battered 72 year old man with his crippled body, scared face, and past serious health problems becoming president, his expected creeping senility is an appalling thought – the last impaired president was FDR and he gave away Eastern Europe to Stalin at Potsdam and Yalta. To promote his family longevity, Bomb Bomb introduced his 80 year plus old mother on Matthew's Hardball TV. A little ditzy, out of the blue, she promptly embarrassed him by blasting Romney's Mormonism. Look, Bomb Bomb makes a gaffe nearly every time he opens his mouth; another way to regard him as GW Bush, but 12 years older – those who know both of them, believe Bush is smarter and Bomb Bomb is a bigger jack ass. That should be enough to frighten any knee-jerk Republican.

Bomb Bomb's signature issue is Iraq. It is a strategic loss by any standard. Soon the Democrats will figure out the cost of war is wrecking the US economy. It will be ended next year despite squeals from Israel and its US lobby. You should note Bomb Bomb almost never focuses on Afghanistan; if he did, we have to title this blog: BLOOD, OPIUM, ROCKS AND BOMB BOMB McCAIN. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Losing It – Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is not the first person in the world to lose an election. Her anguish over her loss reached a form of dementia. Her narcissistic conduct and reluctance to admit defeat in the Democratic primary, once it was conclusive, evinced an ALice-in-Wonderland syndrome that is found normally in children or seriously troubled adults.

Democrat leadership should give a big sigh of relief that Bill's wife went down to defeat in the primary. It was apparent that the stress of the campaign had deranged her and clouded her judgment. At the end she was robotically repeating talking points. She dashed from state to state in a mad hatters frenzy. She tried to change the rules of the primary by extolling popular vote importance over delegate votes. She begged to count primary votes that violated the Party's rules to which she had agreed. She joined and supported Bomb Bomb McCain to slam her opponent. One person told me that he had voted for Obama, because Bill's wife does not play by the rules. It was no accident that Obama asked Howard Dean to continue as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, for he held her to the rules despite all the blandishments by Clinton stooges.

Her repeated lies on attacks on her by Bosnia snipers and her fixation on assassination as a route to power are not the products of a heathy mind.

If you believe Bill's wife was crushed by her defeat, that was nothing compared to Republican party's despair over her loss. Hillary had many vulnerabilities, but her husband Bill was a superbly rich target for Republican attack. Republican junk yard dog Limbaugh even encouraged his followers to cross over and vote for Bill's wife in the Democratic primary. Republican pundits consistently supported Bill's wife on TV talk shows while they diminished Obama. The Republicans had prepared a devastating attack on President Clinton's personal conduct and financial affairs.

On the eve of Obama's triumph, Vanity Fair published a story which advertised Hillary's husband's questionable financial affairs and brought attention to Bill's high-flying life style since he left the presidency. It was based on sourced material, but sources were anonymous. Bill was furious. He responded with a White Paper that outlined his good deeds, but failed to spike the personal attacks or reply to his earnings. He lost his cool and called the reporter, the husband of his former press secretary, a scum bag.

Wild Bill returned to his Harlem, NY redoubt to play spin the bottle with his staff. The Republicans put their anti-Clinton quiver of arrows in storage just in case another Clinton would pop up. And Bill's wife swooned over the possibility of Vice Presidential selection.

Four days after Obama won the Democratic primary, forced by her super delegates, Hillary finally conceded to Obama and promised to support him in the general election. She did not release her elected delegates. Hillary was not a woman full of grace in this episode.

There is much speculation on what Hillary wants. Some believe it is the Vice Presidency. Others believe she does not know. Sally Quinn, a long time reporter for the Washington Post who specializes in pithy personality profiles suggested that Bill's wife is a tortured soul and should take time off to rest and smell the flowers.

Her selection as VEEP would doom the Obama – a woman and black on the same ticket is too much a jump for the American electorate – especially the woman Hillary. The Republicans would pull that quiver out of storage immediately and send their arrows flying – the election would be about HIllary and Bill not Obama. While Hillary threw the kitchen sink at Obama, Obama did not really counter attack ad hominem in the interest of long term party unity – he gave her a free ride that Republicans would never do. This may explain some of her popular votes.

One pundit said with Hillary as VEEP, Obama would need a food taster. The Republicans are now supporting Hillary for VEEP as their last hope.

Hillary's fall-back position, as her hopes for VEEP go aglimmering, is to to be the senator queen of the feminist movement. Votes for her in the primary by the sisterhood were in the main limited to white uneducated females over 60 years old – not exactly the sharp cutting-edge of the sisterhood. If she is the best leader of the movement, put me down as sexist. Anyway, find a female candidate that does not have to disguise her lumps and bumps in unfashionable attire. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Disloyal Loyalist: Scott McClellan

Your conclusions on the deeds of Scott McClellan, a recently fallen GW Bush angel, depends on your viewpoint. His so-called tell all book What Happened does not reveal much that was unknown. His declaration that GW Bush was involved in the outing of Joe Wilson's wife may tighten the sphincter muscle of GW Bush, but is not the stuff from which impeachment is hatched.

The fact that he believes the real reason for GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq was not for the control of oil, but because of coercive democracy planted by the US sword in the mid East, assumes his readers are imbeciles. Poor McClellan is still spinning – even now. Alan Greenspan in his book confessed it was war for oil; the other reason of course, was for the security of Israel, but neither Greenspan nor McClellan would confess to that. The WMD argument for war was just propaganda – Pentagon's Wolfowitz openly admitted it. Oil has always been the first reason and Israeli security was the second, so McClellan did not get that right in his book for one reason or another. He just blew smoke that supported another deceptive reason for the invasion; under any circumstance, dying for oil and Israel was a much harder sell.

If you are a blood seeking liberal, you adore McClellan's book as it provides you aid and comfort proving GW Bush's perversity and incompetence. If you are a current or past member of Team Bush, out of loyalty, you have to excoriate the author. If you are a historian, you puzzle on what percent is truth or fiction. If you are an American patriot, you should never vote for another Republican president or high official... that is, of course, until the next Democratic leadership crashes and burns.

McClellan was predictably attacked for disloyalty by White House stooges, past and present; but the most surprising were the attacks by Viagra Bob Dole and venal Bernie Kerik, the sometimes federally indicted buddy of Rudy Giullani. To get Dole to write a letter of harsh criticism to McClellan, the GOP had to rescue him from the body snatchers; as far as Kerik’s email, McClellan should frame it as a certificate of achievement. Despite heaps of virulence by the republicans towards McClellan's honor, none attacked the substance of the book.

The media made a circus of the book by interviewing the author incessantly since publication. On every main TV channel, McClellan offered as an excuse for his lies that media insufficiently focused on the run up to the invasion of Iraq. The interviews in most cases side-stepped that issue – by promoting the book so frenetically, the media insured that disloyalty pays.

I never thought much of McClellan who sweated before cameras as the president's press secretary – he never was convincing; he was just part of the Bush Texas amateur hour that was running the country. His predecessor, Ari Fleisher at least had the verve and skill of a slimy second-hand suit street salesman. ARI, TURN ON THE GREEN LIGHT, THE MAN WANTS TO BUY A GREEN SUIT.

McClellan's book depicts a squalid inept, reckless, dysfunctional Bush administration; massive failures in national security, domestic programs and economics are now the living proof. As far as McClellan's declaration that he wrote the book for a higher loyalty than to that of his commander and chief, forget it... greed, vanity and to cover his ass work better.

Sickest part of the current drama is the media's role in the book's promotion. Next orgasmic media saga is General Sanchez’s, former Iraq coalition commander, new book that accuses the President of massive strategic blunders... Bring Him On... Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret