First, what I'm watching --
Saw the Gibson flick, Paparazzi. Terrible. Basically, it seems to be Gibson's little temper tantrum against the scrutiny he received during the release of Passion.
The film introduces a kid to take the brunt of the consequences of the evil paparazzi. The photographers are left with absolutely zero sympathetic characteristics (or intelligence), which makes the film incredibly boring.
Now on to 9/11 --
I'm left to feel like the nation believes in Bush the same way Arizona believes in Sheriff Joe Arpaio. NOW with Bill Moyers has just aired a lengthy analysis of the 9/11 attacks, showing how ineffective our response was militarily that day, the clues we missed before it happened, the coverup that followed (most agregiously, it seems, by Condi Rice.)
No matter how much the right continues to blame Clinton and Hussein, Bush and the boys really bungled this thing. The experts tend to say out of hand that despite the wealth of information available to them, the attacks more likely than not would have succeeded despite a focused response from the Bush administration.
The more we learn, the less I believe that conclusion.
When you look back at how Cheney, et. al. interfered with scrutiny of their actions at every turn, how Bush would not meet with the 9/11 commission without Cheney holding his hand, how Condi has lied, been caught, and rephrased the lies so many times; how much is being hidden from us?
There are numerous startling facts that everyone but Fox viewers know by now. The infamous PDB titled "Bin Laden determined to attack within the United States." The long vacation(s) Bush took while the alarms were going off all summer. The demotion of Richard Clarke by the Bushies, who knew the danger better than anyone.
And yet, the polls show the nation puts its trust in George W. Bush.
How is this possible?
I think people are looking for the simple answer. America good, Iraq bad. Nuke 'em 'til they glow. The cartoon showing a bald eagle sitting on a chair and sharpening its claws. Simple.
Arizona has a sheriff who has encouraged his deputies to spy on each other, frame suspects and each other, and kill inmates without disciplinary action. This has resulted in multi-million dollar judgements the tax payers have to pay. (The only hit in Arpaio's popularity, ever, has been his refusal to participate in a smear of Democratic governor Janet Napolitano.)
And yet, Arizonans love him.
How is this possible?
Joe offers simplicity. He is a media whore. He has made major events out of outfitting the jailed with pink underwear and feeding them green bologna. He has staged a "Pussy Possee" sweep busting hookers. He calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff" and built a "tent city" in the jail yards.
"I will never have a 'No Vacancy' sign in my jails."
It completely overlooks problems like mandatory sentencing, illegal immigration, drug laws jailing more of our population than any other developed country in the world, etc. But complicated solutions are boring, hard to understand, and besides: "Fear Factor" is on in 20 minutes.
Bush leads in the same way. Tax cuts mean more money in your pocket (nevermind that payroll taxes are what kills most Americans' pocketbooks, so the rich are the prime beneficiaries of such a policy.) We will smoke the terrorists out of their holes (nevermind we have spoon-fed the anti-American terrorist forces around the world, making recruitment more lucrative than ever.)
We want simplicity; we elected a simple man. We are reaping our rewards.