The author is gathering lawyers, guns and money for the launch of this new column.
Ten weeks from mid-term elections, when Republicans will supposedly sweep dozens of seats and maybe take back the House (according to pundits who get paid to enrage the public with unfounded rumors), the time has come to tally the damage done by this period of "hope."
"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," said Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki on CNN this weekend. "The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday." Yes, you heard the White House right: Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim, and very faithful. Of course it's a ludicrous notion for our government to even address anyone's faith (see the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution), but this is what we get after nearly 10 years of Holy War, two pathetic parties in and out of power, and a "mosque" being planned for Ground Zero. Obama was raised a Christian and attended a secular school that happened to have Muslims and Christians sitting side by side. Imagine that! Try telling that to the one-in-five Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim, a jump from one-in-ten a year ago, according to a new poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. As usual, Republicans are the klan of naysayers, with 34 percent believing Obama kneels to Mecca daily while wanting another kinder, gentler Evangelical idiot who will bankrupt our nation, then invade the wrong country when attacked.
"Only" 50,000 troops still stuck in Iraq, this moment is in sharp contrast to when Dan Rather outed that same President George W. Bush for skipping Vietnam, based on attendance reports and eyewitnesses. We all knew (well most of us) that neo-con-in-chief Dick Cheney got five deferments from the draft, yet when 60 Minutes dared run a piece in 2004 on Bush's avoidance of wartime obligations, it was Rather who was fired. And Bush reelected. The Republican smear machine is far stronger and more destructive than the Democrats', so when a president can be slurred as a Muslim, a non-citizen, even a Manchurian Candidate, and it sticks without any facts, you know we're in trouble. The barbarians aren't at our gates, but in our bedrooms. And not reading books.
Our confidence is shaken, psyches run amuck, and it's no wonder that our economy sucks worse than a junior high prom date. Existing home sales sank to their lowest level in 15 years, with the Northwest being the second-worst region, falling almost 30 percent, only topped by the Midwest's 35 percent slump. Adding to the melee were a half-million new unemployment claims last week, a belligerent boomerang from the hiring of hundreds of thousands of census workers earlier this year (which provided a superficial spike in employment) who are now applying for more free money from Uncle Sam.
Instead of offering fixes, some are fabricating myths, which extends to our Pentagon, its bloody hands full with WikiLeaks. The founder of the de-classifying and whistleblower website Julian Assange was arrested in absentia on Friday for rape and molestation. The charges, coming from a Swedish prosecutor, were then dropped by Saturday morning, but this will only get uglier. Swedish authorities do not normally release the names of suspects, hence their statement saying that Assange's name was leaked to the media and they "did not, in this case, initiate publication." So who did? Hmmm, think hard. Who has WikiLeaks and Assange pissed off most by releasing classified documents? In addition to war, death, burying and rebuilding, is our Pentagon now in the propaganda business? Dumb question, but if anyone can get to the bottom of who made false allegations to prosecutors, then leaked a protected citizen's name to the media it's Assange, who said, "It is clearly a smear campaign... The only question is, who was involved?"
Not involved, at least in his own country's elections, will be Wyclef Jean, whose candidacy for president of Haiti brought an IRS investigation for back-taxes and, now, a snub from the election commission. Jean's name was not among the 19 candidates for president of Haiti released this week. "This has come to our party and to our group as a total shock," said Wyclef in response (remarkably not rapping or sampling for once). Patience, Wyclef, patience. At least Haiti isn't Pakistan, one-fifth under water with cholera and typhoid breakouts as our unmanned drones bomb anyone with a beard.
We could all use a little patience. Like the fine citizens of China along the National Expressway, stuck in a traffic jam extending 60 miles for the past two weeks. Playing chess and surviving on food from vendors, creating an asphalt shopping mall, these people may have to wait another month for construction to relieve the congestion. Equally patient are 33 miners stuck in hard-rock a half-mile beneath Chile for nearly three weeks, with three months more to wait before being saved. Sending notes to the surface and their families, most read, "Where's our president's birth certificate?" I jest, but you get the idea.
In these times of strain and pain, why is the official divorce of Tiger Woods and wife Elin Nordegren news? We have serious business to attend to. Tiger's balls no longer shoot straight and Obama needs to grow some of his own. He must defend his policies, not his party, before the ignorant and proud take America to a place that resembles the Taliban. Women's rights obstructed and one religion enforced, let he without sin cast the first stone.
Editor's note: Frequent contributor, proud American, Dharma bum and modern gyspy Brad Lockwood puts his incendiary take on national affairs down on paper here every week at the Smear Sheet.