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For those who may have missed it – easy enough to do if you get your news from the mainstream media – on Monday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D – Ohio) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. Bravo!

Back in 2006, when the Democrats re-took control of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the table, thus virtually guaranteeing that Bush and his cronies would not be held accountable for their repeated and flagrant violations of our constitution and laws or their crimes against humanity.

Perhaps Pelosi and the other leaders of the Democratic party did not want to be seen as repeating the pettiness of the Republican persecution of Bill Clinton when he was in office. Perhaps they felt that the slim Democratic lead in the Senate (if you want to even call it a lead, given the Blue Dog Democrats and Sen. Lieberman) would make impeachment a costly and ultimately futile gesture. Perhaps their decision was part of some cynical strategy to let Bush drag the rest of the Republicans down with him in public opinion, ensuring major Democratic gains in the 2008 elections.

I don’t claim to be a mind reader, so I can’t tell you what the reasons are for their failure to take action. But I would beg them to consider the possible consequences of not impeaching Bush and Cheney. What message are they sending by failing to take action against possibly the most corrupt administration in history? What are they telling future members of the executive branch?

The answer is simple: they are saying, in essence, that the Democrats are unwilling or unable to stand up to rampant abuse of authority by the executive branch. They are saying that we are no longer a nation of laws. They are saying that there will be no consequences for starting a war of aggression against a nation that was never really a threat. They are saying there will be no consequences if an administration wants to spy on our citizens, violate our constitution, and torture those who they think might be a threat. That it’s okay to use departments in the executive branch as if they were merely subdivisions of the Republican party, existing to ensure the continued dominance of the Republican party.

And by failing to stand up to the White House, they are effectively complicit in its misdeeds. Which is why it is so critical that they impeach Bush and Cheney now, while there is still time.

jane doe

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John Cusack has teamed up with the folks at MoveOn.org to put together a fantastic commercial highlighting the differences – or more importantly, lack thereof – between John McCain and George W. Bush on some of the important issues facing our country at the moment.

MoveOn.org currently has the video posted on their main page, where they’re raising money to get it on the air. Crooks and Liars also has the video posted here, but if you watch it there, be sure to head over to MoveOn’s webpage and show them some love.

Sure, the video will get lots of views here on the internet, but that’s largely preaching to the choir. We want to make sure this message gets out to the mainstream! Our country (and the rest of the world) cannot take a third term of Duhbya’s failed policies.

Especially since, as regular readers of this blog know, I already think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


I’m blogging with one eye on the sky this evening, because the National Weather Service has determined that we are in a “Particularly Dangerous Situation” (PDS) here in Redstatesville. I’ve got the TV tuned to the Weather Channel with the volume set low so I’ll know if we switch from tornado watch to tornado warning, but I’m not powering the computer down just yet.

I’m working on a post on the politics of fear, the politics of hope, and the implications of terror management theory for both. I’m hoping to get it posted here later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Of course, that’s assuming that a tornado doesn’t come through here and carry me off to Kansas. Or drop a house on me.

In the mean time, keep an eye on that guy behind the curtain.

jane doe

P.S. And yes, I still think Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.


No, wait. They’re all connected. I promise.

See, I was checking out the blogs this morning, and I came across a couple stories in rapid succession that seemed to me closely related.

The first was this story in the Denver Post about someone who claims to have video of a space alien peering into the windows of his home. The story includes a copy of the video — dark and somewhat grainy, but seeming to show a face with enormous eyes peering into a window, which the story helpfully tells us is eight feet off the ground. The story also informs us that the homeowner had set up a security camera because he suspected peeping Toms of looking in the windows at his teenage daughters, and instead caught footage of a space alien.

The second was this story on Politico.com (h/t to HuffPo) about Bill Clinton’s “enemies list”:

With Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on the verge of defeat, Bill Clinton has been placing blame on enemies including a brazenly biased media that tried to suppress blue-collar votes, a powerful anti-war group that endorsed rival Barack Obama and weak-willed party leaders unable to stand up to either of these nefarious forces.

Now, I know what you’re saying, my dear, non-existent readers. “How can these two stories possibly be related?” But trust me — there is a connection in my warped little brain.

Let’s start with the space alien story, shall we? As you read the story, you find out that the guy who got the video was trying to see if there were peeping Toms looking into his house (thus explaining the videocamera pointed at a window). And you might think, “Okay, this seems unlikely, but the video isn’t obviously faked, so I’ll reserve judgment for the moment.”

But then, if you read a bit further into the article, you find out that the homeowner who captured the video images also “claims to have had more than 100 encounters with aliens” and asserts that he was abducted by extraterrestrials.

Suddenly you find yourself thinking, “Maybe this guy didn’t see any aliens. Maybe he’s just a complete nut[1].”

Because one chance unexplained occurrence from someone with no history of such claims might be legitimate, or at least worth exploring. But when you see someone who claims repeated encounters with aliens — when no one else of your acquaintance can make similar claims — you have to think that it’s a bit improbable, and that there is likely some other explanation, probably involving psychotropic meds.

It’s like the stranger you meet in a bar, who is ranting and raving about his ex-wife who (according to him) was a psychotic bitch-monster from hell.

Now, if you talk to this stranger for a while longer, he may provide evidence to support his claim. Maybe she really was a psychotic bitch-monster from hell. It happens.

On the other hand, a longer conversation may reveal that not only was his ex-wife a psychotic bitch-monster from hell, but so was the girl he was dating before he met his wife. And the girlfriend before her. And his mom. And his sister. And his secretary. And his boss. And his third, fourth, seventh, and tenth grade teachers. And…well, you get the idea.

You kind of have to start thinking, “It’s not the women who are the problem. It’s you, buddy.”

Which brings me back to the Clintons.

Throughout the race, they seem to have done nothing but blame and complain. It’s the media. It’s MoveOn.org. It’s black voters. It’s white males. It’s young voters. It’s sexism. It’s the caucus states. It’s the right-wingers. It’s the talking heads. And did I mention the media?

And I can’t help thinking, “Bill, Hillary, maybe it’s not the media. It’s not MoveOn.org. It’s not the Obama supporters. It’s not even the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

Hillary started out as the media-anointed candidate, considered all but a sure thing to win the Democratic nomination. For a long time, all the other candidates, Obama included, were being covered by the press as “also-rans”. Because who could possibly conquer the Mighty Clinton Fundraising Machine(tm)?

But at the end of the day, there were just more people backing Obama where they were needed, netting him more votes, more delegates, and more donations. And those people had a lot of different (and legitimate) reasons for backing Obama. Reasons that may have had little or nothing to do with the media, or MoveOn.org, or whatever.

Game over for Bill and Hillary.

If Bill and Hillary are smart and willing to be honest with themselves (if not anyone else), maybe, just maybe, they’ll take a long look in the mirror, and think, “What could we have done differently, that would have turned the nomination our way?”

But I doubt it. It’s much easier, after all, to blame everyone else than to admit that maybe you could have done something differently to win more voters.

On an only marginally related note, I still think Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe

[1]”Complete nut” being the technical, psychological term, of course.


Okay, this is not exactly a movie review, I guess, since I haven’t seen it yet.

Please. Like I have those kinds of contacts.

Still, it’s a movie that I’m really looking forward to, assuming it ever makes it here to Redstatesville. Which it may not. It is opening May 23rd in a few theaters in New York and L.A. Wider release presumably (hopefully) to follow.

The movie, War, Inc., is by all accounts a mish-mash of genres and a wicked satire of the highest order. John Cusack (who also co-wrote and produced the picture) stars as hitman Brand Hauser (NB: not the same character as the hitman Cusack plays in Grosse Pointe Blank, another wonderful movie he co-wrote, produced and starred in), who is hired by the management of a Halliburton/Blackwater-style corporation called Tamerlane to assassinate the head of a rival company. The story involves the first ever entirely corporate-managed foreign war in a country called Turaqistan, and is clearly based on the Iraq war fiasco, while exploring themes similar to those found in the documentary Iraq for Sale and Naomi Klein’s wonderful book on disaster capitalism, The Shock Doctrine.

[Side note: if you haven’t read Klein’s book yet, you ought to pick up a copy at your earliest opportunity. Like now. Really. It’s that good (and disturbing), and it will change the way you look at a lot of major events you see reported in the news. Seriously, head over to Amazon.com or (better yet) your favorite independent bookstore and pick up a copy NOW. This blog will still be here when you get back, I promise.]

I’ve always thought that Grosse Pointe Blank – Cusack’s 1997 movie about a hitman in existential crisis who attends his ten-year high school reunion – ought to be required viewing for anyone thinking about becoming a corporate attorney (they call them hired guns for a reason, folks!). Martin Blank’s recurring assertion that “It’s not me” in that movie goes to the heart of a lot of business dealings that are too easily rationalized as “It’s just business, nothing personal.”

War, Inc., looks even better in that regard, from what I’ve heard, and the early buzz I’ve heard is very positive.

So why am I writing about a movie that I haven’t seen yet? A movie that, in fact, may not open here in Redstatesville where I live?

Because this thing really looks brilliant. Don’t believe me? Check out the clips and blurbs on Cusack’s MySpace page.

Also, because I am hoping that one of you, my dear nonexistent readers, has seen it (it was apparently showing in Toronto last week) or will see it soon (as noted, it opens in NY and LA on May 23rd). So I’m putting out a call here: if anyone reading this little blog sees it (either opening weekend or before then) and wants to post a proper review (or even an improper review) here, please contact me directly at janedoe [at] inbox.com.

Worst case scenario, I will post a review myself if/when it opens here in Redstatesville (or somewhere within relatively easy driving distance of here).

In the mean time, of course, I still think Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe

Follow-up: minor formatting corrections. Sorry for the multiple posts, RSS subscribers.


Okay, maybe I’m being a bit extreme when I say that. I honestly hope it won’t come down to it. But if Hillary and her minions do exercise the nuclear option, I’m not sure I’ll have a major party candidate I can in good conscience vote for come November. I am quite certain many other Democrats and independents feel the same way. Which means what seemed impossible just a year ago – a Republican victory in this year’s presidential election – may be looming on the horizon.

Perhaps I should back up a bit, and explain what I mean by all this.

The Huffington Post is reporting today that Clinton’s supporters may exercise what is known as the nuclear option – forcing a rules change through the Democratic Party’s rules and bylaws committee to retroactively allow delegates from Florida and Michigan to be seated at the national convention in Denver.

Those states held their primaries early – in violation of Democratic party rules – and current rules prevent the seating of any delegates selected in those primaries.

The candidates knew and agreed in advance that the primaries for those states wouldn’t count – Barack Obama’s name didn’t even appear on the Michigan ballots. Yet the Clinton people are now trying to force their delegates to be seated at the convention because that’s the only shot she has at winning the delegate count at this point.

I understand the frustration that voters in those states must be feeling that their primary votes will not be counted in this year’s close race. But both states were given opportunities to remedy their actions to comply with national party rules, and neither state chose to do so.

I find the Clinton camp’s behavior in recent weeks extremely troubling. First, one cannot help but feel a bit dizzy with all the spinning that they’ve been trying to do lately – only swing states matter, or only big states matter, or only primary states (as opposed to caucus states) matter. They’ve done everything on that front but just come out and flatly say that only states that went for Hillary in the primary matter.

But it’s not just the spinning of primary results that is troubling – that’s part of the game, after all. Rather, it is the fact that she seems to be bent on doing the Republican’s work for them, when all reasonable strategies for victory would now no longer work for her, that I find most troubling. Suggesting that Obama hasn’t passed some sort of “commander in chief test”, making insinuations about his electability (um, sugar, he’s getting more votes than you — doesn’t that say enough about relative electability?), implying that McCain would somehow be more qualified to lead than Obama…this is not the way to make sure the party can move forward once the convention in Denver is over.

If Hillary is so bent on winning that she is willing to risk the destruction of her own political party, how can we hope that she can build the kinds of coalitions necessary to heal this country after eight years of the Decider-in-Chief?

My own state’s primaries are long over. And, in fact, my state is one of the states that, in Hillary’s mind, doesn’t really count. Barring an incident with John McCain eating an aborted fetus during a televised debate in October, my state will most likely end up in the red come election night this year. So what I say may not matter to Hillary and her supporters.

Nevertheless, I feel I must say it.

If Hillary is somehow successful in her efforts to derail the Obama train, and she becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee, I’m not sure I can in good conscience vote for her.

I didn’t always feel that way. Back when we were voting here in Redstatesville, I was actually happy to have two candidates I felt I could support. Yes, I voted for Obama, but I would have accepted and backed Hillary at that point if she had been the winner.

Now, I don’t trust her further than I could comfortably throw her pantsuited ass.

I realize that politics at the national level require certain levels of nerve, chutzpah, and narcissism. A certain amount of making nice with people whose views are appalling to you is a real necessity. But anyone who is willing to go to the lengths she has been lately in order to achieve power is in no way to be trusted with that power.

So if it comes down to a race between her and McCain, I may be writing in Obama. Or – worse yet – not voting in at all in the presidential race.

I don’t really see any other choice for me. I can’t vote for McCain, of course. But at some point, my loyalty to the Democratic Party will stretch no further. I will not vote for a candidate whose tactics I find repugnant.

I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way, either.

Which means that McCain is looking more and more likely to win this sucker come November.

Thus, the Canada option.

jane doe

P.S. Of course, none of this changes the fact that I really think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached. And tried for crimes against humanity and for violating the laws of this nation, the constitution, and their oaths of office.


I should note that my description of terror management theory is grossly over-simplified (in spite of this post’s probably excessive length). I focused only on those aspects of the theory and research that seemed most relevant to my political concerns, and left out many other aspects of the theory and the research to date.

Terror management theory is in fact a very rich and complex theory that attempts to explain human behaviors and emotional responses in a wide variety of settings, not merely their responses to terrorism or in a political arena. Much of the research, for instance, focuses on the interaction between mortality salience and reactions to the “other” – that is, people who are in some fundamental way different from the individual being studied. These aspects of the theory are also very important on a social and political level, and I hope to spend some time on other aspects of the research in later posts. Terror management theory also concerns itself with the effects of factors like self-esteem, stereotypes, and competing worldviews in a variety of situations. I hope to write about some of these factors in later posts, because they are relevant both to understanding the overall theory and some of its political implications. I opted not to include these factors in my original post because, let’s face it, it was more than long enough given the material I did include.

In the mean time, if you want to learn more about the theory, I do recommend checking out both the book I mentioned (see the reference table at the end of this post) or some of the articles I cited in the post. The Wikipedia entry on terror management theory is quite short but has some of the basics and, unlike many of the academic journals I cited, is readily available to anyone with an internet connection. You can also try running the term “terror management” and/or any of the author names I mention (if only for the fun of typing Pyszczynski) in a search engine like Google for additional information on the subject, though I cannot vouch for the accuracy of information found that way.

And furthermore, I think that Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached.

jane doe


…unfortunately, I have a paper due in one of my classes tomorrow morning, so I need to sign off and get to work.

jane doe


I want to apologize to my nonexistent readers for my lack of posting these past few weeks. As I have noted elsewhere in the blog, I am a grad student, and just got back from the winter semester break. I didn’t have time to leave a “going out of town” message because I had to leave in kind of a hurry when my travel plans changed at the last minute due to the storms that hit Colorado right before Christmas.

As I am trying to maintain some semblance of anonymity, at the request of my employer, I will not tell you where I went or what I did on my Christmas vacation, so you’ll have to fill in the blanks with your evil little imaginations. I am back now, and ready to start commenting on the whole mess in our nation’s Capitol once again.

Happy New Year to you all,

jane doe


Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t blog from work, and I’m blowing it on my first day back in the office after creating this blog, but this is simply too appalling to wait until I get home. Rep. Howard Rangel (D – NY) is proposing to bring back the draft. His logic? That reinstituting the draft would deter politicians from launching wars.

With all due respect to Congressman Rangel, that is the kind of logic that would support giving a spendthrift a high-limit credit card in order to encourage him to live within his means.  Yes, I know, the CNN story reports that his logic is that politicians would be more hesitant to enter ill-advised wars if they believed their sons or daughters, or the sons and daughters of their well-heeled financial backers, would be called upon to fight. Nice logic, except that it has always been the children of the very wealthy and powerful who were able to escape the draft — one need look no further than our current alleged President for evidence to support that statement.

If one truly wants to deter unnecessary wars, one should institute a requirement that the leaders that cause us to enter such wars must truly lead their troops — into combat, on the battlefield, risking death right alongside our men and women of the armed forces.  That would get them to think twice before invading countries that haven’t actually attacked us lately. Yes, I realize that this would be impractical, and I’m not truly serious (though I fully expect some right-winger to quote me out of context on that, anyway). But it would be a great deal more logical than reinstituting the draft if one’s goal is to deter unnecessary wars.

Questions? Comments?

jane doe


Yes, I am blogging under the name “jane doe” — the ubiquitous pseudonym for a female defendant whose name is not yet known in legal briefs and decisions. This was not my first choice for posting in this forum. I had originally intended to blog under my real name. I am a person of strong beliefs, and I prefer to stand up for those beliefs, not to hide behind a fake name to protect my identity.

Unfortunately, reality intruded.

You see, I, like most bloggers, do not expect to be able to make my living through blogging. I have a job, one that I rather like, which keeps a roof over my head and Ben-and-Jerry’s in my freezer. My place of employment is in fairly regular contact with, and frequently does work for, government officials of both political parties.

Many of those individuals would probably not find the views I plan to express here terribly pleasing.

Since I like my boss and my job, I do not want to create difficulties for either when I shoot my mouth off in this forum. Thus, the pseudonym.

I ask you, gentle reader, to indulge my weakness in this respect, and consider my words and ideas posted here on their merit, though you do not have a real name to link them to. In return, I pledge that, if and when my employment circumstances change, I will reveal my true identity and dispense with the pseudonym.

Very truly yours,

jane doe

Comment Policy

Thoughtful comments from all viewpoints along the political spectrum are welcome. Abuse and ad hominem attacks are not, and may be deleted. Got a problem with that? Start your own damn blog.

Contact

janedoe.tcm [at] gmail.com or follow me on Twitter: @janedoe_tcm
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