The LA Times has a three-​​pager up about the plight of Muslims* in the US. For the last half-​​decade, there’ve been … prob­lems, of course, but the Times rather ele­gantly skirts the real source of trou­ble with lines such as this:

The ter­ror­ists are just every­day Muslims fol­low­ing their satanic cult,” read a recent e-​​mail to the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles.

That’s the only indi­rect allu­sion to the ele­phant; here’s the Hitchcockian McGuffin, a quote from a Muslim man at the tail of the piece:

I have a few deferred dreams of my own, like learn­ing to fly, or buy­ing a rifle to go deer hunt­ing with friends. But I can’t do either of those things with­out wor­ry­ing about being reported to author­i­ties. Non-​​Muslims can do those things. We can’t.”

It’s obvi­ous what we’re sup­posed to think is the prob­lem; but can you spot the source?

Note, by the way, that Qatar, a Muslim nation, is now offer­ing to help the Boys and Girls Clubs in the Gulf Coast area rebuild after Katrina. Another thing the “pro-​​family” right-​​wing loonies in the Fed can’t seem to man­age: Caring for America’s youth.

I guess they really, really believe in this out­sourc­ing thing, huh?

In other news the Washington Post ran, with­out com­ment, three arti­cles that seem to high­light the total clue­less­ness that is rife in both Congress and the White House.

We begin with Il Duce’s Bush’s pleas to Congress for even more author­ity to wire­tap, even though the cur­rent wire­tap­ping has been deemed uncon­sti­tu­tional, and over the protests of Republicans as well as Democrats. (Nothing like an elec­tion to remind the law­givers law­mak­ers people’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives pla­naria in Botany 500s that their first duty is to the cit­i­zens and true patriotism).

The nature of com­mu­ni­ca­tions has changed quite dra­mat­i­cally,” Bush warned […] “The ter­ror­ists who want to harm America can now buy dis­pos­able cell­phones and open anony­mous e-​​mail mes­sages. Our laws need to change to take these changes into account.”

And the inter­nets. Don’t for­get the internets.

Meanwhile I guess the phrase mene mene tekel uparsin is some­thing that totally escapes the atten­tion of our “Christian” fake pres­i­dent; the same paper reports that UN Ambassador-​​designate John Bolton is not going to be con­firmed after all. Again, this deci­sion comes from a Republican who is in oppo­si­tion to Bush, again for polit­i­cal rea­sons in an elec­tion year.

Chafee is fight­ing for his polit­i­cal life. Next Tuesday, Rhode Island pri­mary vot­ers must decide between Chafee, the Senate’s most lib­eral Republican, and Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who is chal­leng­ing him from the right. If Chafee sur­vives the GOP pri­mary, he must then win reelec­tion in one of the most Democratic states in the country.

This is why we need oppo­si­tion Congress — it keeps both the exec­u­tive branch and the con­gressper­sons them­selves hon­est. Clearly this ele­men­tary civics les­son is lost on many — and dis­tress­ingly, it’s likely that those many are now home­school­ing their spawn.

The tri­fecta is scored by a clue­less Bush (sur­prise!) whose new plan for a pogrom pros­e­cu­tion of pris­on­ers enemy com­bat­ants detainees peo­ple he doesn’t like has met with oppo­si­tion, this time not just in Republican ranks, but in the mil­i­tary as well.

The mil­i­tary lawyers told a House panel that they par­tic­u­larly object to Bush’s bid to allow ter­ror­ism sus­pects to be con­victed on secret evi­dence that is with­held from the defen­dants, an objec­tion embraced by at least three promi­nent mem­bers of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

This is just lovely, in a lot of ways. The admin­is­tra­tion is so clearly dia­met­ri­cally opposed to what the peo­ple — and even Congress, now — want that its self-​​destruction appears immi­nent. Rove’s strat­egy to beat the “tur’rism” drum is obvi­ously a fail­ure; Rumsfeld is com­pletely out of touch with the facts of his­tory and out of tune with real­ity; Rice is almost com­pletely irrel­e­vant; and Bush is … well, he’s cer­tainly got no clothes.**

In sixty days the mes­sage will be clear. This is our coun­try, and we’re going to damned well take it back.

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* For some rea­son they’re referred to as Muslim-​​Americans, which is equiv­a­lent to a term such as Catholic-​​American, which might be an addi­tional clue as to why Muslims are find­ing it hard to fit in here.

** Sorry about that image. If it makes you feel any bet­ter, I feel queasy too.

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