Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Miss USA Admits Cocaine Use -- Still Wears Crown

My post prior to this stated that Tara Conner, Miss USA was alleged to have been doing drugs. She has now admitted it to the world in the form of a Today Show interview.

Donald Trump is such a hypocrite.

Today Show: Miss USA Admits Cocaine Use

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Ethics Of Donald Trump

CNN took up some of the valuable front page space on its website to tell the world that a new Miss America had been crowned. Frankly, I don't give a crap. I have always thought that the Miss America Pageant and the Miss USA pageant and the like were nothing more than 1950's style soft-core porn designed to titillate and feed the fantasies of middle aged married men while promoting a style over substance ideal.

But this year, there were all kinds of problems with the Miss USA pageant. Sex, drugs, lesbianism, and even a pregnancy all interfered with the squeaky clean image that The Donald and his lackeys are trying to promote for their T & A cattle call.

For example, the young woman in red is the now ex-Miss Nevada. She wasn't Miss Nevada at the time, she was a 19 year-old at a party after having too much to drink. She later became Miss Nevada. But then this, and other more explicit photos hit the Internet and Donald Trump stripped her of her Miss Nevada crown.

In an article last December, Donald Trump was quoted from an interview with Larry King.

"The pictures were disgusting," Miss USA co-owner Donald Trump told Larry King on CNN Thursday night. "These pictures were pretty far out there and that is not representative of Miss USA. We had no choice but to terminate her."

Compare this to the allegations against last years Miss USA Tara Conner. You've heard of Tara, I'm sure. She was nearly dethroned late last year when it was reported that she was spending a lot of time drinking in New York bars. In addition to the booze, there were allegations of drug use, having men in her New York penthouse apartment, and french kissing Miss Teen USA Katie Blair on the dance floor of a club.

What did Trump do about her? He sent her to re-hab and let her keep her crown. Trump was quoted on as saying: "I've always been a believer in second chances. Tara is good person. Tara has tried hard. Tara is going to be given a second chance."

Miss Nevada has pictures show up of her flashing tit and kissing girls while drunk and she gets the boot even though the pictures were taken years before she was named Miss Nevada. The reigning Miss USA gets caught drinking, allegedly doing drugs and sucking face with an underage beauty queen in a New York dance club and she gets a second chance.

What does this tell us about the ethics of Donald Trump? It tells us that to Donald, image is more important than substance. It's about what the camera caught, not what really happened. It wasn't the fact that Miss Nevada had once been drunk and swapped spit with another girl, it was that someone had pictures.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Donald. But then, what should we expect for a man who put himself on television every night shattering the dreams of young people for the entertainment of others. Right is what looks good, what gets the best ratings, not something supported by fact or even compassion. So says the actions of the self-appointed face of American enterprise.

Honestly, I don't care about beauty queens. I think pagaents promote the wrong values and encourage young people to worry about what they look like instead of what kind of person they are. But then maybe that's why Trump owns the Miss USA contest, he seems to live and breath a value system based on looks over substance. It just seems a shame that he gets a ton of attention for doing it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Please! Stop It With The "Real Heroes"

When Ronald Reagan pointed to the balcony during his State of the Union (SOTU) speech and started talking about a real American, the nation was enthralled. (Photo by AP)

"Wow!" we all said. "The Great Communicator at work."

When President Bush pointed up into the balcony during his SOTU speech, I suspect most Americans shared my response of:

"Who the f^$% do you think you are. Did you build a hospital in the Congo? Did you dive on the subway tracks to save a stranger? Hell no. And back when your country was calling young men to serve, you f@%#ed around in the National Guard. Geez, you've got big brass ones to think you can suck some of the credit off these folks."

And then they got to the soldier.

Now here is something for which the President can take credit. This brave young man fought off counter attacks and used himself as a human shield during a fire fight in Iraq. He was maimed and injured and awarded the Silver Star for his bravery. And lord knows he could never had done that if the President hadn't sent him to Iraq in the first place.

Bravo Mr. President. A war we can't justify, a war no one wants, a war that has alienated two-thirds of the globe is resulting in our soldiers acting heroically in order to save themselves and the lives of their comrades. That is one hell of an accomplishment Mr. President, thanks for sharing it with me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Foley Problem Solved? Not.

The U.S. House has approved "improvements" to the Congressional Page program that are designed to prevent a Congressional pederast like Mark Foley from conducting his personal page penis census. Their solution? Put more people on the oversight board for the program and require them to have meetings.

Yeah, that was the problem, there weren't enough people on the board and they didn't meet enough. If you have ever wanted to see the Potomac Two-Step, you have just had a front row seat.

Let's recap, shall we?

1) Foley gets caught soliciting male pages for cyber-sex.
2) It turns out he has been doing it for years.
3) It is further discovered that Republican congressmen and their staffers knew about it.
4) They choose to do nothing about it to help keep his seat on their side of the aisle.

And now the good part...


From today's AP article: "Shimkus had learned of Foley's e-mails in November 2005. While he went with the House clerk to confront Foley, Shimkus never convened a page board meeting and Foley failed to stop his messages to male former pages." Source: House approves page program reforms

Can someone please explain to me how adding a few seats to the Board is going to prevent unethical Congresspeople and staffers from doing the exact same thing again? It isn't, and you know why? Because the problem wasn't the Page Board, it was the Republican leadership.

The House Ethics Committee investigated this matter and found that people acted improperly, but refused to dole out punishments. Why? Republican Congressman and staffers knew what was going on and didn't report it. They put their political futures ahead of the well-being of the teenagers for whom they were supposed to be caring. They were co-conspirators in Foley's actions and they deserve to be punished.

That is how you solve the problem. Hold the people who protected Foley accountable. Let the world see that this type of political cover-up will not be tolerated. Make the men and women we elected understand what we expect of them and show them the consequences of failing to uphold that standard.

But that isn't how the Potomac Two-Step goes. Instead they sell America a reform that has a great beat and is easy to dance to but doesn't do a damn thing to correct the original problem: the Congressmen themselves.

Personally Mr. Clark, I give it a two. It is hard to dance to and mostly just makes me want to scream.

For a more complete history of the Foley scandal, check out the posts in The T-Dude October Archive

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Oil It Up And Stick It To Big Oil

Finally, we have a chance to start separating President Bush from the tit that has fed most of his political life -- Big Oil. Not only did President Bush and his party grant huge tax breaks to the oil companies that have been reaping record profits for the past few years while you and I pay over a buck more a gallon at the pump, they also ignored mistakes that would have made Big Oil pay billions of dollars to the federal government. The following excerpt from today's AP story illustrates what I mean.

"The bill is largely aimed at recovering an estimated $10 billion that stands to be lost to the government because of an error in deep-water drilling leases for the Gulf of Mexico issued in the late 1990s. Congressional auditors and the Interior Department's inspector general have said the mistake was ignored for six years by the Minerals Management Service, which oversees the leasing program."

Dems poised to roll back oil subsidies

How long has President Bush and his band of cronies been around? Hmmmmm. Would that be about 6 years? And in that 6 years, they have failed to correct a known error in the deep-drilling leases that would have cost a major industry funder of Bush's campaigns ten billion dollars? Now that's what I call sound investing on the part of Big Oil. They throw a fraction of that amount into a campaign fund for the President and his fellow Republicans and they get $10 BILLION in return. And who gets screwed? The taxpayers. Twice. Once at the pump and once in the form of a growing federal deficit.

Hell, we didn't even get kissed afterward.

So bend over Big Oil, your turn has come and Nancy Pelosi has greased up a big fat 10 billion dollar dong to return the favor.

I only hope they get it on video. And I'm praying for at least two more sequels.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beckham - 1; Bush - 0

You have got to be kidding me. Our President stands in from of the nation and declares that he is sending an addition 21,000 of our fellow citizens overseas to fight and die in a war that the vast majority think is wrong, and and both lead with Beckham moving to LA to play soccer.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I am suddenly stuck in a quandary. Are the major news outlets in this country under-reporting the war and the politics behind it, or are we as American so tired of hearing about the war that they don't feel like they can give it the attention that it deserves? The answer is probably a little bit of both, but either way, it makes me queasy.

Listen, if we as media consumers are more interested in Britney Spears' bare cooter and the living arrangements of a soccer player and his plastic wife, then that is what the news providers will report. But I have to believe that somewhere in the editors' offices and the newsrooms across this country, someone is performing a smell test on what ranks as top-of-the-page headline news.

Whoever they are, I think they need to start sniffing a little harder because their current efforts pretty much stink.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Farewell To A Good Man

President Ford was never elected by the country. In fact, he never even won a statewide race, but he played a vital role in the healing of a country. When he pardoned Nixon, it cost him an election, but he thought it was the right thing to do. When he was a Congressman he would fight the good fight against his Democratic brethren and then they would go out for beers together. He believed that you could disagree with someone but respect their commitment and be their friend.

History will never call Gerald Ford one of our greatest Presidents, but frankly, we could use a few more politicians like him today to show the purveyors of the politics of division how our government is supposed to work. (Are you listening Karl Rove?)

Thank you President Ford, Rest in Peace.

CNN Coverage President Ford's Funeral