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White House: No Kerry Supporters at IATC Meeting 1430

Posted by timothy
from the politics-as-usual dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Time Magazine is reporting that the Bush Administration is removing U.S. delegates from the Inter-American Telephone Commission because they gave money to John Kerry in last year's election. A Bush spokesman admits it's true: 'We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and--call us nutty--it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that,' says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Employees of Qualcomm and Nokia are among those who have been removed from the commission."
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White House: No Kerry Supporters at IATC Meeting

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  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:01PM (#12341440) Homepage
    This just in: Bush Jr. engages in petty retribution. Film at 11.

    Seriously, these are the same folks who were willing to commit an act of treason [townhall.com] to get back at someone who dared speak the truth concerning the blatent lies the President used to lead us into this mess in Iraq. Why should anything these people do surprise us anymore?

    Everyplace you look in Bush's record, you'll see a constant pattern of lies, deception, stupidity, selfishness and tribalism. Bush Jr. has never, ever been about what's best for the United States or its people. Americans will be paying for this particular mistake for decades to come -- anyone who thinks that the seeds of anti-Americanism and economic ruin that these arrogant, short-sighted little men have planted won't come back to haunt us is a fool.

    • by cryptoluddite (658517) on Monday April 25, 2005 @07:02PM (#12342215)
      Americans will be paying for this particular mistake for decades to come

      Well duh. Bush failed at absolutely everything he did until his 40's when his father became president; I don't consider winning the fraternaty bong contest a glowing success, although some might. Then he accepted gifts and help from people wanting to get close to his dad. So why on earth would anybody think a failure until age 40 and drug addict would do well as president? I guess if you want a figurehead who's easy to manipulate he might be a good choice.

      And now look where the country is: the military can't even recruit poor blacks anymore, the deficit and debt are at ridiculously high levels, the world hates us, gas is expensive (partially due to less oil as a result of the iraq war), the constitution is ripped all the hell, the schools are failing mostly because of "no child left behind." And maybe our very democracy is at the brink of failure.

      It's totally predictable based on the man's track record -- I mean jesus christ if you have a visa or family overseas then get out while you have a chance.

  • Shock and Bah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:01PM (#12341441) Homepage
    How can this come as a surprise to anybody even remotely attuned to American politics? How does this differ from how they've been running everything else?

    The current administration values loyalty over all else.
    The current administration brooks no dissent.
    The current administration carefully scripts, stages and choreographs virtually every major public event.
    The current administration is unwavering in their conviction and utterly unapologetic for their actions.

    This is par for the course, folks. If you want a seat at the table, you're going to toe the line, period.

    • Re:Shock and Bah (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gnuman99 (746007) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:15PM (#12341630)
      • The current administration values loyalty over all else.
      • The current administration brooks no dissent.
      • The current administration carefully scripts, stages and choreographs virtually every major public event.
      • The current administration is unwavering in their conviction and utterly unapologetic for their actions
      I *will* be modded as troll, flaimbait or whatever, but there are other governments that fit this criteria,
      • Nazis
      • Stalin and other "communists" (see China or North Korea)
      • Iran's Theocracy
      • Saddam's gov't in Iraq.

      All of these were/are totalitarian regimes. How is it that in US people still call their goventment a "democracy"? I mean, if there is no dissent, there is no democracy. Period.

      And now rebublicans want to change rules because a handful of judges (less than 1 or 2% percent of appointments made by Bush) are not getting though the senate!! Over the last two or three decades, there were over 30 judges filibustered/vetoed, 80% by the republicans...

      But, I guess, as long as Americans can have their assult rifles for "home protection" they will be happy....

      • Re:Shock and Bah (Score:5, Interesting)

        by msuzio (3104) on Monday April 25, 2005 @07:01PM (#12342202) Homepage
        I believe the difference is, while the administration would like to be able to do all of these things, and does get away with most of this stuff unopposed, the system is not designed to uphold this. The problem isn't the American governmental structure (well, not yet, they haven't wiped their ass with the Consitutition just yet), it is that people are basically allowing them to get away with this. Not out of fear of reprisals (which would enforce the totalitarian assertion), but out of sheer neglect. The country is not being taken away from people's control, they are freely giving it away.

        Despite the probable dirty tricks in the last election, it was a free election. We didn't have people staying away from the polls because they feared being shot by the opposition. We didn't have people being strong-armed into voting for the "one party". Truthfully, it was a close election. Bush very well could have gotten voted out, and if he had gotten voted out, Kerry would have become president, and policies and politics would have changed. I somehow doubt we would have seen Bush declare a coup and surround the capital with tanks refusing to cede power. Such a scenario seems pretty plausible in a truly totalitarian regime.

        We're not in an ideal situation right now by any means, but let's not cheapen things by saying "OMG! We live in Nazi Germany!" or claiming the republic has fallen. If we think like that, then people are going to become even more apathetic.

        Much better to take a real look at things and figure out how to avoid letting things get that bad (because, sure, things could get that bad if people don't wake up). The US could change things if people gave a shit and wanted something different out of their government.
    • Re:Shock and Bah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Andrew Cady (115471) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:30PM (#12341841)
      How can this come as a surprise to anybody even remotely attuned to American politics? How does this differ from how they've been running everything else?
      While this is not unique in its anti-democratic character, it is certainly a new tactic, and one that could be very potent.

      A successful GOP strategy of discouraging corporate funding for the Democrats would be sufficient to keep them out of the White House perpetually.

      This is also novel because it quite clearly proves that the ACLU right about the abuse potential of the new campaign finance reforms. (I never really believed them myself until now).

  • What next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lordkuri (514498) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:02PM (#12341447)
    Ya know... I don't get into political stuff much, but this shit has. got. to. stop.

    It really *does* seem as if we're becoming more Facist every day (look it up, it's not a troll)
    • Yes, scary (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:07PM (#12341512)
    • by compm375 (847701) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:20PM (#12341701)
      (look it up, it's not a troll)
      I'm going to try that one time. It is really ingenious. Say you are not a troll and get modded insightful. (This is not flamebait)
    • Re:What next? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by linguae (763922) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:33PM (#12341871)

      Flamebait? Troll? No, the parent post is really serious.

      Wikipedia defines fascism as "exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual, uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition, engages in severe economic and social regimentation, engages in corporatism, implements totalitarianism"

      So far, over the last so many decades (no, this didn't start out with Bush), I noticed that the country:

      1. is using "patriotism" and buzzwords such as "anti-terrorism" in order to pass restrictive laws (such as the PATRIOT Act)
      2. uses propaganda in order to get the people to comply to such legislation
      3. favors corporations over its citizens (look at the DMCA, the copyright extension acts, our patent laws, etc.)
      4. implements a light form of totalitarianism (in various forms ranging from anti-"violent" video game, anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion laws passed in some locales to the PATRIOT Act)

      Not all of the features of fascism are getting implemented, but I do notice that this place seems to be getting more and more like an Orwellian novel every coming year. I'm kind of getting a bit scared here.

  • by Vicissidude (878310) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:02PM (#12341449)
    Sounds like Nokia isn't putting up with this. Their VP is totally correct- an international meeting on telecom is not a partisan matter.

    Bush is biting the hand that feeds him and the Republican party. He will change his mind once the telecom companies start threatening to close their pocketbooks. If not, this will only help the Democrats in the future.
  • At least... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Valiss (463641) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:07PM (#12341517) Homepage
    ...the George Lucas tragedies are merely on TV.
  • by PainBreak (794152) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:08PM (#12341519)
    But who would want bipartisan support on the same committee? Democrats at the same table as Republicans? That's just crazy talk.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:11PM (#12341572) Journal
    If we had a king, he'd have simply have killed all his political opponents.

  • by doormat (63648) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:15PM (#12341628) Homepage Journal
    Here [arstechnica.com]

    Read it. Its more informative that the short writeup above.
  • Wonks versus hacks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ibn_khaldun (814417) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:23PM (#12341747)
    This general problem -- making everything subject to a political litmus test -- has been referred to elsewhere as the triumph of the hacks over the wonks.

    The wonks are the people who actually know how to make policy -- know what options are on the table, which of them might actually work, which have been tried before and didn't work, and so forth. In immense detail. If you read /., you are probably a wonk (or at least could be a wonk -- if you have a life, you aren't a wonk).

    Hacks know one thing and one thing only -- politics -- and they do it 24/7. They are the kids who spent high school impeaching each other on the student council, and then got into college and did the same thing in student government. Now they have a real government to play with, and play they will. Nothing else matters to them. If you know someone who merely claims to read /., they are a hack.

    The hacks have triumphed because of the "permanent campaign" that was brought about by C-SPAN and the cable news channels. If a politician thinks that it is vital to respond to everything within a single news cycle, they by necessity surround themselves with hacks -- wonks actually have to spend time learning things and thinking things through! Can't have that now, can we?

  • Not a valid goal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:24PM (#12341772) Journal
    "We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and--call us nutty--it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that"
    He's right, they wouldn't. Thing is, "representing the administration positively" isn't a valid goal in selecting delegates for this non-partisan commission. This reminds me of all that AdCouncil PR for the Dept. of Homeland Security that prominently featured the smiling, sturdy face of Tom Ridge.

    Yes, perhaps important to get certain Homeland Security information out to the public. No, not important to increase the celebrity of Tom Ridge. Not a valid goal.

    These twisted motherfuckers just keep getting more brazen.
  • by JahToasted (517101) <toastafari.yahoo@com> on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:52PM (#12342085) Homepage
    Yeah partisan politics is nothing new. But this is a little different. These people are being sent to discuss standards not their views on the administration. So why remove the democrat supporters? There's no real immediate gain. In fact this move makes the administration look pretty bad.

    This indicates two things: 1) That the republicans can do whatever they want, no matter how immoral or how illegal, and they can get away with it. 2) Partisan politics is being institutionalised. They are willing to take a short term loss (bad press about this story) to put long term pressure on supporters of their opponents. Their goal is to create a work environment where, to get anywhere you will have to be a member of the republican party.

    Usually political parties only think forward to the next election. This shows tha the republicans have the goal of making it so they are the only party in america.

  • I just started browsing through this discussion at -1, to see if insightful conservatives with valid viewpoints were being squashed by slashdot groupthink.

    They aren't.

    If you can honestly defend this action, you have less critical thinking skills than a Jonestown suicide victim. It's not that big a deal, as I don't think it's going to kill too many people just because a few engineers couldn't make it to the meeting, but it is plainly and completely wrong.

    If you can bring yourself to think that it is right, then you must correct your thinking. I am sure that I have similar backwards notions in other areas, and I would welcome such corrections from the right source. Some guy on slashdot is clearly not that source, so I'm not asking you to give me the benefit of the doubt. But please, consider that you might be wrong. Double check, just this once.
  • by Enrique1218 (603187) on Monday April 25, 2005 @06:57PM (#12342156) Journal

    This is nothing new in regards rewarding loyalty and punishing dissent. But, it does illustrate the adminstration approach to dissent. Basically, it prefers to attack rather than to compromise

    .

    Examples:

    CIA agent reports no link between Sadamn and Nigerian uranium; reveal the agent's identity.

    Need Iraq's oil but you don't want to deal with Sadamn; Invade Iraq.

    Hate Democratic Senators filibustering your appointments; Remove the filibuster.

    Don't like courts making decision on gay marriage; institute an admendment banning gay marriage.

    When dissent is finally quashed, we can finally live in peace under Republican rule. Don't feel too bad though, I hear that an one-party dictatorship has worked well in China

  • by Soong (7225) on Monday April 25, 2005 @07:48PM (#12342624) Homepage Journal
    We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively

    Except that it's not about the Administration, it's supposed to be about representing the United States (and our telecommunications industry, in this case).

    They may also need to be reminded that the President is supposed to represent US and we are not his loyal subjects.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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