Friday, September 30, 2005

Running On Empty

He's running on Empty.
Just like your gas tank.

You want another four years of his empty ideas?
They got you to where you are now.

Inspire you with confidence?

It's a RepbuliCON game.
They win.
You lose.

Vote Democrat.

The Tipping Point

Phil recently reported on the following:

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.


That irreversible phase is what men (and women) of science politely call “The Tipping Point”. A scarier way of saying it would be “The Point of No Return”

The Anchorage Daily News in August reported how the permafrost – earth that has been frozen since the Woolly Mammoth - is thawing:

It's happening now in Fairbanks: Toppled spruce, roller-coaster bike trails, rippled pavement, homes and buildings that sag into ruin. And the meltdown is spreading in wild areas: sinkholes, dying trees, eroding lakes.


There’s also that pesky side effect of towns being swamped by rising sea levels and people having to move away from coastal regions.

Another web site talked about how the massive forests in Alaska are now being devoured by a bark beetle because there hasn’t been as much rain or snow. The beetles kill the trees, which help create a massive forest fire danger and let’s face it, that’s all we need is tons of smoke in the atmosphere.

There’s a Tipping Point also occuring near Siberia, where another whole section of permafrost the size of Rhode Island is melting and when that happens, scientists say it's going to release insane amounts of methane into the air which will only make the greenhouse effects worse. Oh and guess what happens to plants when the planet gets hotter? According to a Berkley University study, plants won’t be able to absorb enough of the CO2 from the atmosphere, which, you guessed it - only makes Global Warming worse.

But perhaps the most shocking Tipping Point of all - the one that could really have repercussions around the world - is happening right now in London. Tony Blair, who I always thought was reasonably sane, who championed for provisions against Global Warming and fought so hard to get nations to sign the Kyoto Protocol – is now tipping over to Bush’s (What me worry?) way of thinking. According to the online Independent:

Tony Blair has admitted that he is changing his views on combating global warming to mirror those of President Bush - and oppose negotiating international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol.


Tony, now having done the Vulcan Mind Meld with Bush, thinks that there’s a technological solution to Global Warming. And it ain’t cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions. That’s for pussies. No, it’s got to be out-of-the box thinking. Something boffo that we’ve never thought of before. Hmmm…how can we replace all those millions of acres of ice that have been naturally reflecting the sun’s heat, keeping our planet cool and sustaining life as we know it since the dawn of time?
I know! Let’s stretch tin foil over the North Pole! Let’s make a huge mirror and point it at the sun! Let’s turn down our air conditioners to 60 and keep 'em that way!

Or - let’s just bend over like Tony did and kiss our sweet asses goodbye.
Link

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Cheese.

That's my nephew's nickname. I've posted about him before. The kid who signed up for Marine Reserve duty out of High School. He was lured in part by the cool commercials--you know, the one where the guy does like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II, climbing sheer rock bare handed.

And he did it partly out of patriotism.

But mostly he did it for the money and the education.

Because that's one of the few ways kids of his economic class can get to college. So he joined up.

He got his nickname in boot camp. Because no matter what, he'd always be smiling like someone was taking his picture. I've got tons of pictures of him here in the house. At Christmas. Easter. Halloween. In his karate gi. Playing with my kids. Each one of them, he's got the big, shiteating grin going.

That stopped about 5 weeks ago. That's when his unit was ambushed. Big firefight. Something like 14 marines died. You saw the headlines. You may have even read the story.

I didn't.

Whenever I see 'Marines killed.' I move on. Because there's nothing I can do about it. If I read it, I'll just worry about him. If the bullet came for him we would know soon enough.

My nephew survived that attack.

Or at least, he didn't get killed.

Because after the attack, Cheese was gone. He didn't smile. He barely interacted. He did what he was ordered to do, and did it with a thousand-mile stare. He was counting the moments until he got out of there.

Which was supposed to be this month. In time for what could have been his sophomore year.

But he didn't. They extended his orders. For how long, we don't know. Or at least, no one's told me.

But the last report I heard was he was out of Baghdad, out of Iraq. His entire squad--or at least, what's left of them--is being shipped to Germany, while being investigated for murdering insurgents.

My nephew, who babysat my youngest two kids, being investigated for murder.

One of my daily reads is Tom Tomorrow's blog, which oftentimes will feature other writers. A frequent contributor is Jeanne D'Arc, who wrote this earlier today:

Captain Fishback went to Iraq believing that the Geneva Conventions did not apply there, because that was the impression his training left him with. It was only when he heard Donald Rumsfeld testify at the Abu Ghraib hearings that the letter of the Geneva Conventions were supposed to apply in Iraq, that he realized something was wrong, and began to act, assuming there should be some relationship between stated policy and what was happening on the ground. That's a reasonable and decent assumption. If anyone above Captain Fishbback's pay grade had believed Rumsfeld was telling the truth about the Geneva Conventions applying in Iraq, there would have been a whole lot of people realizing they were in trouble if they didn't get things cleaned up fast. Didn't happen. Captain Fishback wandered through a military maze for 17 months, trying to find someone to take his concerns seriously, before turning to senators and Human Rights Watch. And he wasn't just ignored, he was threatened, and denied a pass to leave his base in order to speak to senators.


So, a career military man, trained at West Point, doesn't know what does or does not constitute abuse in Iraq. Follow the links, and you'll read testimony that states prisoner abuse was one of the ways soldiers blew off steam in Iraq. Grab a baseball bat, and play whak-a-mole with the hajis.

Oh, and here's another nugget: an amateur porn website gives away free access to soldiers who send him pictures of dead bodies in Iraq:

...you can see an Arab man's face sliced off and placed in a bowl filled with blood. Another man's head, his face crusted with dried blood and powder burns, lies on a bed of gravel. A man in a leather coat who apparently tried to run a military checkpoint lies slumped in the driver's seat of a car, his head obliterated by gunfire, the flaps of skin from his neck blooming open like rose petals. Six men in beige fatigues, identified as US Marines, laugh and smile for the camera while pointing at a burned, charcoal-black corpse lying at their feet.


Anything to boost our boys' morale!

It's Amok time in Iraq. Death can strike you or your buddies at any time, from any place. There's no front. There's precious few opportunities to strike back.

And the rules are as substantial as a dust storm.

I do not condone the actions of anyone commiting these horrible, unspeakable atrocities.

But I can understand how it happens.

If my nephew was home, he'd probably be halfway through his sophomore year. Remember sophomore year at college? I remember parts of mine. I remember being naive, I remember trying to act older and tougher than I was. I remember making stupid mistakes.

Because I was a kid. I didn't know how to act like an adult. I learned by fucking up, and went on to be a (relatively) productive member of society.

Imagine living day-to-day in a place where it's 100+ degrees even at night, where you have to wear 35 pounds of armor at all time, where you know that anyone not in your uniform is potentially your killer, where you watch fourteen of your buddies die in one afternoon, where there's no real sense of a battle beginning or ending, and where no one knows the rules of engagement. Can you imagine the stress you would be under?

And then, as you can see the end of your time in this godawful place coming closer and closer, it suddenly gets pushed back.

My nephew may be spending some time in prison. But even if he doesn't, he'll be spending years in hell.

For what?

Say Cheese, Mister President.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Drive Less

This brilliant energy solution is the latest forward thinking by our President to solve the energy crisis.

Look forward to other brilliant innovative thinking including:"Turn down the heat in winter, good for the circulation to keep brisk!"

Remember, the energy bill he signed? It didn't address new energy at all, and gave new corporate tax breaks to the Oil Companies already flush from higher retail gas prices, and posting the highest quarterly profits in their history (in the tens of billions of dollars - for a quarter profit earning).

Empty man, in an empty suit.
Link

He Said, She Said

She Said:

"Under the provisions of Section 501 (a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5206 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35, I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing. The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area and the mid state Interstate I-49 corridor and northern parishes along the I-20 corridor that are accepting the thousands of citizens evacuating from the areas expecting to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina."

--Letter requesting emergency status written by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, August 27,2005

He Said:

"The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn."
--White House Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana, August 27. 2005

So what, you ask? So this: If you locate these parishes on a map of Louisiana, you'll notice that it excludes Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, Jefferson and basically every coastal parish, and the next parishes closest to the coast.

In other words, The locations that would be hit hardest by Katrina

This is old news. If you go to Tom Tomorrow's website you can find a map showing this in detail. A later news release includes the missing parishes. The rescue effort was not hindered in any way by this error. By other things, yeah, but not by this.

It's obviously a mistake. The sort of stupid thing that happens when you've got a whole bunch of things to do. It should be no big deal.

Yesterday, Heckuva Job Brownie appeared in front of a committee nearly entirely made up of Republican lawmakers to answer questions about his and his agency's response--or lack thereof--to Hurricane Katrina. Rep. Steven Buyer, a Republican from Indiana, asked him about the discrepancy:
________________________________________
"BUYER: I would like to ask some questions about the pre- landfall. So I'd like to know why did the president's federal emergency assistance declaration of August 27th not include the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines?

BROWN: Under the law, the governor makes the request for the declaration and the governors of the states specify what areas, what counties they want included in that declaration.

And, based upon the governor's request, that's the recommendation that we make to the president. So if a governor does not request a particular county or a particular parish, that's not included in the request.

BUYER: All right.

Orleans Parish is New Orleans. I was listening to my colleague, Mr. Jefferson's, questions about when they talked about, you know, they asked for this assistance for three days and then president responded the very next day, not the day that it was made -- the request -- but the governor of Louisiana actually excluded New Orleans from the president's federal emergency assistance declaration?

__________________________________________

There it is. A direct question about the omission. How to handle it?

How about the truth: "Well, Congressman, Governor Blanco's request didn't mention parishes by name. She mentioned New Orleans, and the southern parishes. At FEMA, our procedure is to name all affected counties or parishes specifically when declaring emergencies. Somewhere along the way, our press office goofed and left those parishes off. As soon as we discovered our error, we rewrote the release."

There. A simple procedural error. Hell, he could have even scored some points: "This is the sort of minor, nit-picky questioning that truly hinders the process. It was, in the scheme of things, a tiny little insigificant. Everyone was too busy trying to co-ordinate relief efforts on a massive scale to proofread. It didn't hinder rescue efforts in New Orleans. This is playing 'Gotcha.'" In fact, Governor Blanco should have been aware of the procedures as outlined in the Stafford act when she first sent us the request. This is the sort of things that FEMA regularly encountered when trying to co-ordinate relief and rescue efforts"

Ooooo-SNAP! That would have been a slam dunk for Brownie. Turn a negative into a positive, and still find a way to blame the locals.

Too bad he didn't say it.

Here's what he did say:
_________________________________________
BROWN: Again, Congressman, we looked at the request. The governors make the request by...

BUYER: Let me ask this. Since you went through the exercise in Pam, was that not shocking to you that the governor would excluded New Orleans from the declaration?

BROWN: Yes.

BUYER: When that request came in excluding these three parishes, did you question it?

BROWN: We questioned it. But I made the decision that we were going to go ahead and move assets in regardless because we have the ability to add those parishes...

BUYER: Regardless. Define regardless to me. What does that mean?

BROWN: Well, under the Stafford Act, once that declaration is made under the delegation of authorities, the director of FEMA can add counties on."
_______________________________________

Waitaminnit. Rereading the Governor's request, you see she specifically states: The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area... but these guys are acting like she didn't request it?

Aroo?

So we have a Republican Representitive tossing up softball lies for Brownie to whack out of the park. There's nothing resembling the truth here.

Why isn't this perjury? Why is this man still employed by FEMA?

What is the lesson to be learned about this man, this administration?

Yeharr

Comics

If Only We Were Making It Up

A picture named bushphone.jpg

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cheney's Secret Surgery

Is this on anyone's radar? The veep has gone in for surgery that, though mentioned by the White House, is being treated with the utmost secrecy.

From the Carpetbagger Report

Is it possible the Bush gang feels the need for secrecy because this was a little less routine than the Bush gang has let on?

[Dr. Thomas R. Bernik, chief of endovascular surgery at St. Vincent's Manhattan Hospital], said the decision to do both repairs on the same day was "surprising and a little bit irresponsible, I must say." That is partly because the extra procedure could increase the risk of complications now or in the future, he said.

"You really never want to tackle both sides at once," Dr. Bernik said, "because even though things may go smoothly on one side, you can still run into a problem while you are doing the other side, or shortly thereafter, and then you really could have a big problem on your hands."

It's just odd. Considering Cheney's medical history, the public has a right to know if the VP has a serious health problem. By shielding doctors — who are willing to speak to reporters — from questions, the White House is only fueling suspicions. Why?


No question something's up. The guy's had more heart attacks than most people have divorces, is probably working on congestive heart failure, and common sense says any operation would be avoided due to the effects of anaesthesia alone.

Doing two surgeries at once, to a man in such ill health, must mean something big is really up and they're unsure of the out come.

Worse for them if they go in looking like everything is find and dandy, and do routine press corp chit chats about it, but at the outcome, the big press conference in the hospital lobby is to report that the veep has lost both legs, and is in critical condition. They must know that something serious is in the offing. In secrecy they lose nothing, except to tip their hand that something very major is under way and they are worried. Bush may have his brain, but perhaps his evil mentor is preparing to exit stage right. What will the black prince do in his stead? Raise a glass to the dearly departed? And another? And another?
Link

Cindy Sheehan Arrested

Arrested at a peace rally. Nice move.


The World Is Watching

Link

Bush Begs The People For Money

Well, this is the great vision our President has for our country. Cut taxes, four or five times, run the deficit higher than Courtney Love before re-hab, and then ask the People to send him money when his bank runs dry. That's the America I want to live in. Haven't Republicans even had it with this crap? It's a problem.

Bush's plea to help re-build Iraq nets $600

Great vision.
Link

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The RepubliCON is ON

The RepubliCON is on.

Can't keep us safe.
Can't win a war.
Can't sustain the economy.
Can't lower oil prices.

They conned us all.

Don't trust a Republican with your money. They'll take it.

Time for you to Take.

Take back America.
Vote Democrat.

That's the only way to
Keep Your Money.
Keep Safe.
Keep Strong.

Current Disasters

Just to keep the list straight, as it's hard for the media to handle more than one story at a time, sadly, I've made a short list. Please add on if I've forgotten anything!

  • Iraq War
  • National Deficit
  • Electronic Voting Failure
  • Abu Gahrab
  • Guantanamo Bay
  • Hurricane Rita (people die before hurricane hits)
  • Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (thousands died for lack of aid)
  • Soaring Gas Prices
  • GOP Leaders DeLay, Frist; Both Under Investigation for Corruption
  • GOP Office Holders/Lobbyists arrested; Safavian, Abramoff


Bravo Robbie Conal

Robbie Conal is a brilliant artist who lampoons politicians and bureaucrats and skewers them with satirical street posters. He's got an army of volunteers who puts up his posters around the country. He now has an animated movie he's going to launch
guerrilla style in major cities.

He said:
It's designed for guerrilla street projection—we'll drive around LA and other cities on our A BOMBIN' NATION tour, firing it up 40 feet high on building walls out of our bio-diesel vans--say, a crunkin Saturday night, 11pm on Sunset Boulevard in Lalaland, Lincoln Center in NYC, the Pussycat XXX Theater, 5 blocks from the White House in DC and coming to a street corner near you---that sort of thing, aight? Soon, very soon...(actually, the Bunnies'll be Bombin' at the Anti-War demo's on Saturday!).


He's a great example of thinking outside the box. You want to do something about this administration? Think like Robbie. See it at the link. With thanks to Huffington Post.
Link

RepubliCON

New talking point.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What are we going to do about this?

What can we as individuals do to fight this administration? How can we make sure that our candidates get elected? It’s not going to be easy. If it were, Gore would be President right now. So if you want change, you’re going to have to fight real hard for it. There are no magic bullets to this problem. It truly is up to people like us to make a difference.

Start calling a spade a spade.
The people in the White House are the worst kind of liars. So say it loudly and often. This administration is dishonest, corrupt and incompetent. What’s more, they’re a danger to this country. They appoint their idiot cronies to important jobs that they’re not qualified for. They weren’t misled by bad intelligence about WMDs. They shaped the intelligence to fit what they wanted to do. If more and more people framed the discussion – like Rove likes to do – and called them what they are – liars – they would be on the defensive. Start the word-of-mouth, now.

Don’t get distracted.
We think all we have to do is beat the Republicans. But this problem is beyond the Republicans. Or the Far-right Conservative Christians. Or the foaming-at-the mouth-pundits on Fox. They’re all just tall, leggy blondes in skimpy outfits distracting us from the real magician - Big Business. Halliburton. Oil companies. The Banking Industry. Diebold. And the Media.

Think about it. Bush suspends minimum wage for workers helping to clean up the Gulf Coast, but Halliburton gets another no-bid contract. So Halliburton makes a boodle of money off misery while the workers from the area that need the money - aren’t getting it. And Bush claims he’s just trying to protect a struggling economy.

Let’s not forget how much Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown and Root and other American companies are profiteering on the war in Iraq. (I swear Halliburton is like some dark, scary shadow government in this country. I’m expecting a coup any day now.)

Our new bankruptcy bill is something the financial industry has been banking on for years, because it protects them - not poor people.

The Clean Skies Initiative protects factories belching out pollution not the ones breathing it.

Dick Cheney decides energy policy in a top-secret meeting with the energy industry.

Bush is so far up the butt of Big Business that all we can see is shoe leather. He doesn’t care about what the people want. It's what corporations want that matters to him. And, they control the media.

How do we beat the corporations? Buy Blue. Stop supporting companies who support this administration. When something stinks, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and fax a copy to the corporation. We’ve been too silent, too long.


Help get out the vote.

Campaign for someone you believe in. Volunteer at campaign headquarters. Lick some stamps. Get on a phone bank and make some calls to get people out to vote. Volunteer to drive seniors to the polls. Watch the polls and report any improprieties. Run for office. I’m serious. If you’re smart, capable and care about this country, become a candidate. Start off with city council and move up from there.


Don’t compromise your beliefs.
When people suggest Bush is a strong leader or a compassionate conservative, tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about. Be blunt. The latest polls are indicating that most people are figuring this out for themselves, but let’s make it obvious. Let’s get his approval rating down in the low 30s. It’s time to stand up for what you believe in.

Tell Congress what you care about.
Send emails to Congress and the Senate. If you believe in what they’re doing, encourage them. If you disagree, tell them why. (Even if they’re out of state, they care what the rest of the country thinks.) Don’t let them hide in their little ivory towers. Let them know what you’re thinking. And demand ideas from them. If they’re not proactive about problems, we don’t need them in office.

Network with friends.
Create an email list of like-minded people and let them know about issues you care about. Include any numbers or email addresses you want them to follow up on.

Stop driving gas-guzzlers.

Oil companies helped get Bush elected. So if you’re driving anything that even resembles an SUV you are your own worst enemy.

Be visible.
If there’s a protest in your area, be there. March like your life depends on it. Demand accountability from the media. Write more letters to your editor. Bush and his cronies are destroying this country - and the planet for that matter. Let's take it back.

There's No Place Like Home, Not Even His Actual Home, For Bush

He's known about the anti-war march for weeks, his advisors did too and didn't want him around, but couldn't even lock in a schedule in time to explain it away, they just knew he wouldn't be there this weekend:

"As thousands of antiwar protesters began descending on the nation's capital, the nation's president prepared to leave town.

The White House in mid-week said President Bush was scheduled to travel to "TBD" (to be determined) on Friday after leaving Birmingham, Ala., and would be continuing on to "TBD" on Saturday. Clearly, Bush's advisers decided it would not be smart to have the president holed up in the residence, surrounded by a marching sea of angry Americans wearing yellow "Bush lies, who dies?" buttons, especially not with the need to show compassion to victims of yet another hurricane."

More at Capitol Hill Blue.

And from Washington Monthly

"Bush was all set to fly to the storm area in Texas, where he planned to observe emergency personnel in action at a San Antonio supply depot. But that plan was scrubbed when the emergency operations group was moved closer to the coast.

Instead, Bush wound up going directly to Colorado, where the Defense Department's Northern Command — responsible for domestic troop deployments — is monitoring storm developments.

....Some obvious options for Bush were ruled out. He wouldn't stay in Washington, where demonstrators were massing for a huge protest against the Iraq war. He probably would avoid his ranch near Crawford, Texas, where he was criticized for spending the first few days of Katrina instead of visiting the disaster scene. He would want to show attention to the storm, but not get so close that he could become a distraction to rescue officials."

Poor guy. He's got no place to call home..... (Kevin Drum)

The thing of it is, he's most like a temp, hired by a cabal of greed to just take of business at the office while they gut the treasury. So he dresses nice and can act the part, like any good temp at the reception desk, with equal skills I might add, thing of it is, when the business goes bankrupt and natural disasters threaten the building, suddenly everyone is looking to the temp for answers. No wonder he looks like a deer in the headlights. His not having a clue isn't new, but the demands on his office have become so exponentially increased (all on his watch and more than half due to his policies I might add), that his not having a clue is suddenly in the spotlight 24/7 and it becomes so painfully clear that the emperor may soon be arrested for nudity. His only talent, learned during his black sheep of the family days, is to chase the idea of what he should be and fake it, he's been doing it for more than half his life. He's doing it now, rushing around after the idea of what a President should look like, having no moral compass to guide him as to what he should really do. He has no instinct for it, no gut feeling, only self portection, only not wanting to get caught, yet again, having done something wrong.


Link

Marginalize This

From the Boston Globe: (AP): "Anti war demonstrators shout slogans as they march past the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005 in Washington. Opponents of the war in Iraq marched by the tens of thousands Saturday in a clamorous day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead, some showing surprisingly diverse political views even as they spoke with one loud voice in wanting U.S. troops home."

Marginalize that Mofo.

The caption as the White House would prefer it:

"This Minor Majority of americans against the war in every poll that can be taken, regardless of how the questions are phrased, are clearly off track. They have a difference of opinion, and the Presidene respects that. But listening to the people is not the job of the President, if he did that where would we all be now?"

In an America we loved and recognized.
Link

A Family of Fredos

From Fact-esque, a reality based blog:

After writing about BushCo's hapless calling for the mythical "Bianca" during a recent press conference , and remembering Jed's disclosure of his special relationship with his imaginary warrior friend, Jan from Firedoglake wrote:

Christ. It's just one family. Everyone can't be Fredo.

Best Appraisal of the Family BushCo Ever.

Hysterical.


Link

Bush's Journal

Exlusive to Burned Out Paranoid Democrat. Bush's Journal:

Bush’s Journal

10/12/05

Do I have bad breath? Something between my teeth? I mean, I’m the same me. The same President. But people aren’t kissing my ass the way they used to. Maybe I should use a bullhorn whenever I talk. People seem to like that. I gave a policy speech the other day, (That’s all I’m doing nowadays – I miss my naps) and I was whipping out those talking points Ken Mehlman gave me. I was forceful, you know. Scaring the bejesus out of everyone, including myself. Then I said how Al Qaeda was going to go after Spain and all the dominos were going to fall. How great was that? That was a total improv! And did I get a good reaction? No! I got zip! Nada! And now I hear those snotty Republican women and lazy NASCAR dads don’t like me anymore. Well, I don't like them! How do you like that? And those crazy white evangelicals can go straight to hell, too. I’m the President for 3 more years. So everyone can kiss my big fat mandate. I can do anything I want. I can nominate my dorm mom Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. And if that doesn’t fly, I might just nominate Barney. Rove told me all about his hero, Caligula. How he made his horse Incitatus, a Roman senator. (I always thought the Senate was filled with horses asses. HA! ) So why couldn’t I make Barney a Supreme Court Justice? He’d look cute in those robes. And he’d vote anyway I wanted him to. Shit, Barney’d overturn Roe V. Wade for a Snausage. While I'm thinking about it, maybe I should crucify a few pollsters right out there on Pennsylvania Avenue. That'd stop traffic. Jumpstart some major league ass kissing, too. Get the press to stop interrupting me with their stupid, boring questions! Like that asshole, Matt Lauer. He messed up my Habitat for Humanity photo op with all his whining about death and suffering and negative crap like that! I would love to feed a few liberals to the lions while I’m at it. That’d show ‘em some swagger. I wonder how long it would take me to burn D.C. down to the ground? Just a thought...

2/28/05

What in sweet Hell is going on around here? It must be because I lost my
swagger. Kinda like Samson losing his hair. Everything¹s going right into
the crapper. I¹m being stalked by killer hurricanes. The press is heckling
me. And now, Tommy Boy Delay¹s been indicted. He is one greasy cowboy, that
one. Who¹s next? Frist? Ney? I sure wish Cheney was here. Since his
knee surgery he said I can¹t sit on his lap anymore. A lot of people think
he¹s cold and ruthless. But I feel safe with the Dickman. I'm going to
miss the way he used to stroke my head and tell me what to say. He always
knows what to say. Here's a shocker: I saw myself on TV yesterday. Laura
says I'm startin¹ to look like my old man. Like, I don¹t know what¹s going
on. Scary.

9/24/05
The Washington Post reported that Laura says I gotta change my cowboy image. The swagger thing ain’t workin’ for her anymore. How do they find out this shit?!! There was a time when she loved the swagger. She used to beg me to slap on those chaps and walk on the balls of my feet like The Duke. I wish to hell I could get my approval poll up (If you know what I mean). Jeb offered to lend me his mystical warrior Chang. I told him to ixnay on the angchay. Makes him sound like a fairy. No way he’s ever going to be President now. I can just hear the press. “Hey Jeb, you gonna make Chang your Vice President?” He’s toast.


9/23/05
I hate that David Gregory. Man, does he have a big head. Like one of those bobble-head dolls.
There I am givin’ the press a little briefin’ about Rita, and he yells a question at me (hate that) askin’ if I was going to get in the way over there in Texas. Well I whipped around and told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going to get in the way…I know what I’m doin’. I’m going down there to make sure that everything’s going to be alright. Then the Pillsbury Doughboy tells me I’m going to stay in Colorado after all. Says there’s too much going on in Texas and I might be an obstacle. So, guess I gotta stay here and look at a bunch of big maps and listen to a bunch of boring generals yammer about troop positions and rain and shit. Wish Barney and I were fishin’. I catch ‘em and he bites their heads off. Good times.

9/22/05
I feel irritable today. I saw all those media reports about Kate Moss doin’ coke.
Was she stupid or what? At least she’s taking a little of the heat offa me. Thanks Katy!
I can’t remember the last time I had a little nose candy. I miss the drip. And the choppin’. I was a good little chopper. I wonder if Kate ever laid out a line between the breasts of some woman? Nothing brings out the swagger more in a man than a little tootsky. If I were sure that the National Enquirer wouldn’t get their mitts on it, I would write Katy a letter and tell her not to worry. And day now, somebody else is going to screw up and the media is going to be all over like white on rice. Delay’s bound to be indicted. Or Frist. (Blind trust my ass!) And then she can go back to her real job of being a skinny-ass model. Maybe I should have the Pillsbury Doughboy advise her on how to suppress police reports.


9/15/05
Laura said I should put my feelings down on paper since I’ve been experiencing a lot of termoil (?) over this Katrina thing.
Man, I hate rain. When I was a kid, and it rained, mother would make all us kids stay inside cause we tracked in too much mud over the marble floor. Then she’d give us a big helping of wup-ass. I get antsy stayin’ inside too long. I get the epizooties. I wanna be out clearing brush, ridin’ my bike, raising money for the GOP. Laura likes to sip tea in front of the fire and read those damn romance novels when it’s rainin’. She’s a cuddler that girl. I hate to cuddle. Not cuddly. I’m a man of action. That’s why I was out there clearin’ brush, ridin’ my bike, strummin’ that damn guitar…the media says I blew it. Wasn’t paying attention. I can’t be everywhere at once, you know. I’m not God.
I thought my guys had me covered. I’m the CEO President. CEOs don’t do everything. They don’t run the company and answer the phone and send out faxes. My guys are supposed to watch my back. And they let me down. C’mon people! I don’t have time to sit in front of the TV all day and watch weather reports. Now, the Media says I don’t like black people. They don’t know how I feel. Truth is, I don’t mind black people. I like that Wayne Brady. He is one talented Mother. I used to watch him all the time on that show “Who’s line is it anyway?” How does he make up those songs outta his head? Now I never know when it’s on anymore. Doesn’t matter anyway… the Pillsbury Doughboy says I got to watch the Weather Channel more often. Iand guess what? Now there’s another Hurricane whippin’ up. They’re callin’ it Rita. They should call it Maureen. I hate that Maureen Dowd. Dowdy. That’s my new nickname for her. Gotta go. Barney’s gotta whiz.

posted by Boni.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Boozy Born-Again Who Got Elected Believes In Salvation After The Apacolypse, Hopes To Bring It all On A Bit Sooner And Get The Show On The Road

Sorry, was that a bit too harsh? Maybe it's a bit too close to the truth. I've already post the Enquirer link here, saying he's drinking again. But if you're too quick to brush that aside, the drinking thing is surfacing in different areas and it's a wee bit scary, don't you think?

I mean, he does have his finger on the trigger, and he's already pulled it a few times. He can't put two sentances together without creating sounds like he's reading a toppled game of Scrabble, and he lies all the time and it's documented.

So - is there an upside to this guy? Can we impeach now, please? On one of several items of his corrupt menu? Because we've got to get him out of the chain of command and away from all those weapons. Fast.

Interesting articles on the drinking issue here at American Politics, about the idea of what a "Dry Drunk" is. and here on the discussion of his severe drinking problem, his self induced cold turkey without lack of support or rehab,
and here, the article "Bush on the Couch" a psychoanalyst's most unfortuante report card on his ability to function.
Link

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Phil Donahue takes on Bill O'Reilly, mano a mano and watch how the bully blusters, then the wind falls from his sails. Donahue is steely tough and talk about staying the course. He evicerates Bill's points and keeps citing the facts.
A picture named fox_of_donahue_sheehan_050921a1.jpg
Is it my imagination or are we seeing more of this lately? Cindy Sheehan, Paul Hacket (veteran who ran against incumbent in Ohio and lost by narrow margin), Donahue, citizens standing up and blasting back.

Donahue mentions the big anti-war rally this Sunday, he says largest since Vietnam. Right outside the President's window.

Something is happening, finally...

Crooks and Liars.

How do you think W.'s handling the pressure? War failing, public support waning, national crisis mishandled, his carefully crafted image cracked? Enquirer says he's drinking again. Well, they're only right about 70% of the time, wouldn't you say? (Raw Story had the link)
Link

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Old Joke

It's the day of the shareholder's meeting, and the CEO Couldn't be more uncomfortable. "We have just found out," he told the crowd, "that we cannot account for six hundred and fifty-six billion dollars of our assets."

Cries of protest and foul play eminate from the shareholders. A movement is drawn up to replace the CEO, the President, the upper management, and the entire Board of Directors. Suddenly, an accountant runs up to the CEO and shows him a printout.

The CEO sighs in relief, and, beaming to the collected group, says "We have just discovered an accounting error that caused us to miss six hundred and fifty-five billion dollars!"

The shareholders roar their approval and start to vote for bonuses all around, when one little old man stands up and says "Excuse me, but what about that last biillion dollars?"

"Oh, well," snorts the CEO, "if you want me to go looking for every penny..."

I wonder what made me think of that?

I wonder?
(second link courtesy of the LT)

New Joke: Not a single major US media source seems to care anything about it.

If you want me to go looking for every penny...

Well, if you want to go looking for every penny, check out Senator Bill Frist's bank account. He just sold all his stock in Hospital Corporation of America. After all, a government watchdog group, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer rights, had filed a complaint with the ethics committee that it was a conflict of interest for the Senator to own this stock. According to his spokesperson, "There was no compelling reason for him to do it because it's not a conflict," Call said. "He wanted to ensure that in the future there were no appearance issues. He went ahead and just decided that it was the best thing to do."

It's good to see that the Senator's a thoughtful man. He waited nearly a year after the complaint was thrown out of the "We Love Tom DeLay" Ethics Committee to dump his stock.

Pure coincidence that the stock took a nosedive one week after he sold it.

After all, it's not like it's his family's company or anythng.

That would be such a Bush thing to do.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how much money the government spent on the Whitewater investigation?

Yeharr

Global Warming to become Global Replace For All Coastlines

We've been writing on this ad nauseum, since the Bush Administration bailed from the Kyoto treaty, and signed new energy bills reducing the regulations on polluters and extending deadlines for "independent compliance", all just as a thank you for saying keep the donations coming in.

But what's the point of having a little more money when the whole Earth system collapses? Isn't it a wee bit short sited? Won't W. be bummed if he can't visit his friend Tony Blaire because Britain is a block of ice? Or if his nice little home town Texas Ranch is run over by rioting looting mobs, panic stricken by lack of gas, food and goods becasue of global climate disaster and spurring on governmental collapse and disorder?

It sounds like a bad movie, but Bush has made us all day players and extras in this one:

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer


Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.
'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'
The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

More and more.

How are you going to throw money at that one, W. to help increase your soon to be single digit polling numbers? Will Karl Rove advertise summer vacations at the North Pole and tax breaks to corporations who outsource surfing and water skiing to the south pole?

Hard to believe how many disasters one man can bring upon the world in so short a span of time.

Don't know if you read "Time to Sell the Beach house", written all of five days ago, but it's time..
Link

True Bipartisanship

Governors Ask for Inquiry on Oil Prices

New York Times. CHICAGO, Sept. 20 - "The governors of eight states sent a letter on Tuesday to President Bush and Congress calling for an investigation into profits made by oil companies after Hurricane Katrina and asking for legislation that would require the companies to refund to customers any profits deemed excess.

"When the wholesale price of gas went up by 60 cents almost overnight, oil companies were obviously using the most devastating natural disaster in our nation's history to reap a windfall at the expense of American consumers," said the letter, which was initiated by Gov. James E. Doyle of Wisconsin and was signed by governors from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

"To price-gouge consumers under normal circumstances is dishonest enough," the letter stated, "but to make money off the severe misfortune of others is downright immoral."

The letter cited an analysis by Donald A. Nichols, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who reported that gas prices surged disproportionately compared with crude oil price increases. The price markup from crude oil to gasoline has almost tripled since the hurricane, the report said"


You know, it's something that only the Bush Administratin could have truly fostered. Slash and burn politics, empty promises, hollow rhetoric, raiding the treasury, strangling the middle class, bolstering only his rich supporters: and viola! You discover you've actually screwed the whole country, not just the "other side". Now, every politician will have voters with thinner wallets, less Federal protection and support in times of crisis, insufficient health care, and bad schools! So suddenly everyone circles the wagons to fight the new enemy, Empty Hearted W.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Republicans and Democrats find common ground against Bush, his family business and his supporters. Who would have thought?

Link

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When you can no longer sit at their table...

I saw this on thenation.com. Sharon Olds, a writer and winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at NYU, was invited along with other writers by Laura Bush to read from their works at the National Book Festival in Washington. Sharon wrote a beautiful letter of decline to the First Lady. Here is the last part and it's like a punch to the gut...

So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism--the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing--against this undeclared and devastating war.

But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.

What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.

Sincerely,

SHARON OLDS
Link

Because It's True

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

-Bob Dylan

To my dad

My dad, Ernest, passed away on August 23rd. He was a real, hard-core blue-collar, liberal. And a big believer in what was fair.
He always fought for the little guy because he never for a moment forget he was the little guy. When I was a kid, he spat on the TV screen when Barry Goldwater was on, that’s how hard core he was.

On his death bed, struggling so desperately to breathe from end-stage emphysema, he couldn’t even talk or barely open his eyes. He was surrounded by his three kids and his nephew. My brother, sister and I were holding his hands and stroking his forehead. He knew we were there for him. He would squeeze our hands when we talked. And as I held his big, working man hand in mine I was amazed at how strong it still looked even though he was so feeble. So, we were telling him how much we loved him and how everything was going to be ok. In that beautiful, soulfull moment, that’s when my older brother, a raging Republican says to my dad – “I promise I’ll take care of things, but I can’t promise you that there will be a Democrat in the White House anytime soon.”

I didn’t even have time to think “What the fuck did he say that for?” The next thing I knew I was on my feet in a Mr. Smith goes to Washington moment vowing to my father “Dad, I promise you there will be a democrat next year. I’ll do everything I can to make sure that happens.”

And you know what my dad did? My dad gasping for air, and just barely squeezing our hands - laughed with pure glee.
I love you dad.

Cindy Sheehan Shut Down

You know, more on this later today, but really - it's time for a call to arms. You have to read the story. It leaves you speechless.

Call the Mayor, dammit. Email him.

Copy this from below if you want: And then go here and paste it in.

Dear Mr. Mayor I was shocked to hear how Cindy Sheehan was interrupted from speaking in Union Square, her microphone taken away and escorted off the premises. There are times when events occur not just in a public square, or a street corner, but on the public stage as well, and this time the Nation is watching. Cindy Sheehan has become a national figure symbolizing compassion, grief, and peace. A Gold Star mom who has made the greatest sacrifice, giving up her child's life for the war in Iraq, I was disgusted to hear how her peaceful comments were unceremoniously shut down. New York City is a national symbol of high finance, high art, and one had thought until now, high intelligence. Is this how you treat a one of our Nation's newly beloved?
Link

Crony Soprano

Better open your umbrella, it's an indicment shower:

"David Safavian, who was chief of procurement policy in the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget until late last week, was arrested Monday on charges of making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation. Safavian is charged with making false statements to a General Services Administration ethics officer and the GSA inspector general's office. Safavian served as chief of staff at GSA before moving to OMB."

From Government Executive. The whole story. Also the Washington Post reports it here.

And this from when the crony was hired in June, 2004:

"-- But in federal acquisition circles, Safavian, President Bush's pick to oversee federal procurement policy at the Office of Management and Budget, is still something of an unknown.

"He doesn't have a lot of background in procurement, so the hope is that he's a good learner," says Steven Kelman, who served as federal procurement administrator in the Clinton administration. "I don't know where David Safavian comes out on [acquisition reform]," says Allan Burman, another former procurement chief. Angela Styles, who held the top acquisition post until last September, says Safavian has "no apparent philosophy" on procurement issues. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved Safavian's nomination on June 2."

More.

See, the thing of it is, his boss when he was a lobbyist, before he was moved to the government job? Was the lobbyist Jack Abrahamoff, also recently arrested:
MIAMI, Aug. 11 -- Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a business partner were indicted by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy in their purchase of a fleet of Florida gambling boats from a businessman who was later killed in a gangland-style hit. - washington post.
And what's really a victory for the moral values crowd, is that this Washington elitist, friend and business partner of Tom DeLay, is not arrested for any of his government lobbyist corruption cases which are pending, but a Tony Soprano's style F-up in the world of off shore crime.

So, anyone see a pattern here yet?

Do we build a new jail just to house BushCo's mountain of crony's who are dropping like flies?

(Hat-tip to Al Franken Blog)
Link

Monday, September 19, 2005

John Kerry On Fire.

I was wondering when somebody (anybody!) from the Democratic party was going to find his cojones, step up to the plate and just blast this administration for all of its incompetence and duplicty. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be John Kerry. And man, did he do a killer job. He delivered this rousing speech today at Brown University. Here are two excerpts, but I encourage you to go to johnkerry.com to read the whole thing. (Sorry Phil, still trying to navigate the link thing!)

"Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job - Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to “Mission Accomplished” and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done."

And this:

"Americans can and will help compensate for government's incompetence with millions of acts of individual enterprise and charity, as Katrina has shown. But that’s not enough. We must ask tough questions: Will this generosity and compassion last in the absence of strong leadership? Will this Administration only ask for sacrifice in a time of crisis? Has dishonesty in politics degraded our national character to the point that we feel our dues have been paid as citizens with a one-time donation to the Red Cross?"

Amen...

Bush To New Orleans: Drop Dead Again

Well, let's recap the last week. Katrina pile drives New Orleans into Oblivion, Bush continues vacation, plays guitar, eats cake. Cuts his five week vacation two days short and flies over the ravaged city, to peer out the window and comment on the mess, then ignores the place for five days while thousands more die.

If that weren't enough to pat oneself on the back about, there's nothing like permitting contractors to pay below the prevailing wage in one of the poorest areas of the country as they rebuild:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage.

In a notice to Congress, Bush said the hurricane had caused "a national emergency" that permits him to take such action under the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act in ravaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Davis-Bacon law requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is conducted. It applies to federally funded construction projects such as highways and bridges.

Bush's executive order suspends the requirements of the Davis-Bacon law for designated areas hit by the storm. - CNN

Where's the outrage in the media? He provides billions in aid, the companies that are favored by Bush Lobbyists get the reconstruction jobs, and he nickels and dimes the broken poor who will be the local contractors to get the work.

It's beyond painful. Is this America? Is this what you want America to look like? Is this the spirit of the American Way? To be allowed to build yourself up again, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? Except the GOP just cut your straps and you fall back into the ecoli infested water?

Welcome to Bush's America.

Cut the wage. So Haliburton can get its 68 BILLION, but Joe New Orleans gets his $3/hr, instead of $7?

Because remember, this is a friendlier, compassionate GOP. Why, the just happened to vote for an increase in the minimum wage in March, didn't they? Yes, they voted for a minimum wage increase, finally, after years of retreats from Democratic bills. This bill lead by friend of the people, Rick Santorum, ostensibly raises the minimum wage $1.10 over three years. But here's the teeny weeny downside:

The upshot: while 1.2 million workers could qualify for a minimum wage increase, another 6.8 million workers, who work in companies with revenues between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year, would lose their current minimum wage protection.

And an even larger number of businesses, those with revenues under $7 million, would be exempt from fines under a range of other safety, health, pension and other labor laws. Essentially, the realm of unregulated sweatshops would be expanded and legalized under Santorum's bill.

Killing Overtime: It gets worse-- the 40-hour work week would be abolished and companies would not have to pay overtime if they cut hours the next week. The proposal is called "flex time", but workers would have no say in the matter. Their hours could be rearranged, upsetting child care and other weekly routines, and companies would no longer have the deterrent of having to pay overtime as a way to encourage giving workers a regular weekly schedule.

Banning State Minimum Wage Laws: But here's a kicker from a GOP supposedly dedicated to states rights. Santorum's bill would ban states from requiring employers to pay tipped workers with a guaranteed wage. Employers could pay tipped workers nothing and force them to live off tips, while states would be preempted from creating a higher wage standard for tipped workers.

From Labor Blog. And there's more and more and more...

Gee, think that's why Santorum is trailing in the polls in his own hometown?

From The Hill, Sept. 19th (hat tip to Daily Kos)

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is losing ground to his Democratic challenger, state Treasurer Bob Casey, a GOP poll to be released today shows.

The Strategic Vision survey, conducted Saturday through Monday, gives Casey a 14-point lead over the second-term senator, with the Democrat at 52 percent and the Republican at 38 percent. Seven percent of the 1,200 likely voters interviewed were undecided.

A poll released in early August by the same firm showed Casey leading Santorum by 11 points.

As more people have heard about Santorum’s book, It Takes a Family, and as the senator has come under attack for comments he made about Hurricane Katrina, a negative impression has begun to congeal, Strategic Vision CEO David Johnson said.
But back to gutting the minimum wage:

Wven with all that stripping of protection from Santorum's bill, voted in by the GOP, Bush just had to come in and slap the stunned survivors of New Orleans who are trying to rebuild their lives with just one more big flyswatter, one more time -

THWAPP.

You're poor, you can't help me, so let me help those that can help me.

Is this the America YOU want to live in ?

Call the WHite House and tell them. 202-456-1111
email the white house and tell them. comments@whitehouse.gov
Link

Why The Urgency About the Now Dead Social Security?

What has been discussed little about the now retired Social Security, is WHY? Why was Bush so urgent about it? Rushing around the country trying to bowbeat seniors into accepting a crappy second rate privatization scheme that he had to admit would offer them less in their retirement years? I think even a retarded snake-oil salesman would have come up with a better pitch than that. But he wouldn't stop, his push was relentless amid blank stares and public derision.

Well, there's a huge reason why. It has to do with the way the social security trust is used by the government since it was established. The gov't regularly dips into it, to offset it's own spending or debt, and then replenishes it with govenment income. That's okay, that's the way it's supposed to work. You use a credit card and you pay it off. It's one way our gov't can assure it runs continually, smoothly, particularly in times of difficulty and crisis.

Except, it suddenly hasn't been working in the last five years. Because Bush has blown the deficit so high with two wars and tax cuts that there is no way to replenish it under his current tax-cut sytem. New funds aren't coming in, and we're spending about $1 billion a day on our military ALONE. And to have to explain it would reveal the disasterous time bomb he's created in our own country, a fiscal collapse that will pull the safety net out from under every qualified senior, and blow the bank that has allowed the gov't to run smoothly time and time again.

Needless to say, they must have been a very concerned meeting at some point when they realized their mistake and the looming collapse. Unless they changed the social security system entirely. If it's privatized, they don't have to pay it back. They can keep running up the government credit cards and never have to look back, never be accountable until they're long out of office and others enter to clean up the mess, which no one will be able to.

The Agonist says it quite well:

"The Social Security Trust Fund actually lends money to the rest of the government in exchange for government bonds, which is how the system must work by law, but how do you later repay Social Security while you are running a huge deficit? It's impossible, without raising taxes sometime in the future or becoming fiscally responsible now. Social Security money is being used to escalate our deficit and, at the same time, mask a much larger government deficit, instead of paying down the national debt, which would be a proper use, to guarantee a future gain."

His whole post explaining it.

Do you see the depth of their selfishness? Their deceit? The values driven government that is so empty of basic moral value it's beyond mind-blowing?

Link

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Something for all of us bitches to worry about.

Question: What’s the FDA view on women’s health?
Answer: Bark like a dog.

Dr. Susan Wood, Director of the Office of Women's Health, resigned from the FDA in August because they were stonewalling releasing Plan B, a morning-after pill, as over-the-counter medication. She said, "The recent decision…about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women's access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions, is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health."

So, who did the FDA appoint to replace Wood as the acting Director of Women’s Health? Dr. Norris E. Alderson. A guy, who according to Planned Parenthood, "has spent the majority of his career in the office of veterinary medicine." That's comforting - if you're a poodle with ovarian cysts. But I gotta say, it's not a real confidence builder for me.

Planned Parenthood said Alderson’s appointment “further undermines the shaky credibility of an agency that has allowed politics to trump sound science, medical evidence, and women's health.”

So I looked at who hired Alderson - FDA Commissioner, Dr. Lester Crawford. His on-line bio reads:
“Dr. Crawford received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Auburn University, his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Georgia, and his Honorary Doctorate (MDV) from Budapest University.” Hmmm…another Vet. (See the trend here?). But, hey, this one has an Honorary Doctorate (MDV) from Budapest University. Gee, how does one get an honorary doctorate from Budapest University? And does it involve a post office box?

For those of you who are women, and those of you who care about them, this should make you “sit up” and take notice. It should make you wonder about the experts in important government positions. Remember Mike, aka “Brownie” Brown whose Arabian Horse background did zip to prepare him to be the head of FEMA? We really should be watching who is minding the store, because in this administration, you wonder if anyone else is...

Leaders Lead

While Bush tries to play "catch up" to his needy image of what a President should be, to try and offset the meteroic drop in his polls and possibly endanger the GOP in 2006 imd-term elections, W's running his damage control into over time, tossing virtual billions of dollars at LA, except that they don't exist due to his trillion dollar deficit. Insisting that we'll stay the course, he seems unaware that the course he's steering is headed the country straight for the rocks.

It's kind of like having Captain Queeq of the U.S.S. Caine assure you he's fine and has everything under control. Woops - he's insane and will destroy the ship, but shut up and sit down, he's your commanding officer. (Caine Mutiny)

Meanwhile, President Clinton still leads forward thinking and into the future:

"NEW YORK - Former President Bill Clinton convinced world and business leaders to commit more than $1.25 billion to address major global problems, ranging from poverty to clean energy.

In his closing remarks Saturday the first annual Clinton Global Initiative, the former president promised progress reports on the more than 190 initiatives.

Clinton told participants - including heads of state and business leaders - to remember the impact their work can have on future generations, saying "we are so arrogant because we are obsessed with the present."


Link to Clinton's site.
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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Yard Apes

Have you heard about this yet? Nothing like disaster to make people reveal their true nature. This from Kate-a-blog. I was going to write a post on it, but she did better than I could:

"A Greenville Technical College Official twice referred to New Orleans evacuees in Greenville as "yard apes" has resigned, school officials said. She (Renee Holcombe) had been employed at the college for 19 years.



--- But maybe Mz. H. was using "yard apes" to describe the mostly black children the way one uses the terms "rug rats" or "curtain crawlers" etc. The term refers to unruly, ill-mannered children, so in any case Ms. H. was making an assumption that was equally derogatory. Regardless how Ms. Holcombe intended the term to describe child survivors, she probably would have enough sense not to stand by the school bus and publicly rub the little burrheads for luck and not ask little Tyrone to lie across her feet to cure the rhum'tism. That would be close to being bad as bad can get."
Check out her whole post.
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Time To Sell The Beachhouse

Bush continues to refute the idea of global warming - that it still "needs to be looked into". He entered the White House in 2000 and scrapped the U.S. involvement in the Kyoto Treaty in the first week. Why? Any oil man will tell you that curbing emissions is a threat to profits. And as his family's holdings in the Carlyle group and other oil rich cosortiums have a lifeline to healthy oil business, damn limits and damn regulations.

Problem is, the North Pole is really melting, more each year since Bush has been in office. The oceans are becoming more turbulent, hurricaine season has gone from an occasional news worthy storm to yearly disasters, and this is just the beginning. Watch as New Orleans becomes the first of many sea level towns leveled by a larger ocean. Watch as we're forced to quickly and painfully redraw the shorelines of our world maps. The self-protective cry will go out "if only we had been told". They've been told time and time again for the last five years, and they've shut down every study, refused every verdict and ignored every warning because it doesn't fit into BushCo's Gas/Oil Cartel profit model.


"A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

Arctic specialists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University, who have documented the gradual loss of polar sea ice since 1978, believe that a more dramatic melt began about four years ago.

In September 2002 the sea ice coverage of the Arctic reached its lowest level in recorded history. Such lows have normally been followed the next year by a rebound to more normal levels, but this did not occur in the summers of either 2003 or 2004. This summer has been even worse. The surface area covered by sea ice was at a record monthly minimum for each of the summer months - June, July and now August."


"Current computer models suggest that the Arctic will be entirely ice-free during summer by the year 2070 but some scientists now believe that even this dire prediction may be over-optimistic, said Professor Peter Wadhams, an Arctic ice specialist at Cambridge University." - The Independent.


Do we add this to the list of Bush's tragedy filled tenure? At current emissions, the U.S. alone is responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Bush Takes Responsibility, No Big Deal, Right?

Okay, this is hysterical


Posted on Oliver Willis.

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A few bananas short of a bunch

You know, is it asking too much for basic job skills? Like dressing oneself?

The image “http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6997/810/1600/bushbutton4ai.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

hat tip to crooksandliars, but they got it from kate-a-blog.

Local Help

For those of our readers who are in the LA area and want to help Katrina survivors who have been tranpslanted here:

Dear Friends,

We are working with the Bethel AME Church to provide babies' and children's clothing to disaster area families. Please join us by contacting Jamica at the church to make a donation.

Thank You,

Jay

Bethel AME Church 7900 S. Western Ave. LA, CA 90047 (323) 750-3240

Civil War Diaspora Revisited

Not since the Civil War have so many people been on the move, relocated from destroyed homes. This great article in the NY Times gives a window to some of the experience.

This article gives some amazing moments from Katrina itself.
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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bush Vows Aid for Storm-Struck Career

Now that Rove is back in the driver's seat, and his kidney stones have passed, the President is acting like a human being again. Remember now - the operative word here is "acting" because he has a script again, a guidline to follow, tape marks to stand on and the right props (billions of dollars) to move around appropriately.

Remember now - the operative word there is "appropriate" because this guy only throws money at the people he needs, whether it be his donors and the elite corporate power group for the first term, or the devastated poor in the second term, (the plight of whom when ignored was so tragic it actually woke up the press corp and bit W. in the ass). So he's back on book, chasing the image of what a President should be, acting the part of leader while the emptiness inside still beckons to us from the abyss within, waiting for the crisis to pass so that things ca go back to normal, and the black hole can return. The non-person who can act like a person whenever any hint of his true blank self cracks through the facade.

John Roberts Job Interview

Has John Roberts ever been on a job interview? If so, and he failed to answer as many questions there as he has in the Senate, he would never have been hired. Since when does secrecy, evasion and "no comment" fill in for substance? Obviously since the Bush administration took office, as that is on page one on the President's playbook of standard operating procedure. If nominated, this Chief Justice will mold the shape of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years. The American People deserve the same from Roberts as we'd expect from anyone on a job interview. Answer the questions, or see the door. The arrogance of his position based on avoiding answers, is a worrisome indicator the he feels unaccountable to his own record. So what is he hiding? Why is the Bush Administration sill refusing to turn over more of his records? Since when is that behaviour Chief Justice material?
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GOP Scuttles Another Comission

Do you remember how Bush shot down the 9/11 commission? Said there was no point to it. Until the families outcry and the nation's agreement was so immense he flip flopped and said they needed to do it? Here they go again. The fear runs deep in their mis-steps:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans on Wednesday scuttled an attempt by Sen. Hillary Clinton to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong with federal, state and local governments' response to Hurricane Katrina.

The New York Democrat's bid to establish the panel - which would have also made recommendations on how to improve the government's disaster response apparatus - failed to win the two-thirds majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles.

"Just as with 9/11, we did not get to the point where we believed we understood what happened until an independent investigation was conducted," Clinton said.

The Senate vote is hardly likely to be the last word on whether to create an independent commission or as an alternative a special congressional committee to investigate Katrina. The 9/11 Commission was established in 2002 after resistance from Republicans and the White House, and opinion polls show the public strongly supports the idea. In a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll taken Sept. 8-11, 70 percent of those surveyed supported an independent panel to investigate the government's response to Katrina. Only 29 percent were opposed.
Bush's presidency will so far be defined by disaster. 9/11, Iraq, a 1.7 trillion deficit which has pretty much bankrupted the government, the burgeoning gas crisis, and Katrina. Though I'm sure revisionist historians are already spinning their writings to defend him against such impossibly bad karma, the reality is, he brought it all on.

His inept, arrogant White House ignored the threats that this own intelligence sent to him (Bin Laden plans to attack U.S. memo), rounds and rounds of tax cuts to the wealthy have cut government income drastically, attacking Iraq as a "preventative measure" has cost us roughly $1billion a day for two and a half years and disrupted the oil flow from the region, taking money away from N.O. repair projects on the levees left them unable to weather the storm, as it were.

His hand is at the forefront of every disaster. It's easy to say it's just bad luck. I think we've all had enough of his bad luck.

Have we had enough yet?
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Social Security Reform is Retired

Well, apparrantly there isn't anything the GOP can't learn as long as you bang a sledgehammer into their collective heads for about two years. People don't like their ideas of privatizing social security. Bush can't sell a lie that it will be better, because even he has to admit it won't be. It will cost more, and you'll get paid less! What a great sell!

The story is from Roll Call, The Newspaper of Capital Hill:

More - registration required.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Half Court

Funny, I thought a court decision was actually a decision that was lawful and binding. So it was supposed when CNN sued FEMA for access when they declared their policy that "bodies would be removed with dignity" from NO, which meant, no pictures no press. So what happened here?

As bodies recovered, reporters are told 'no photos, no stories'
New Orleans
-- A long caravan of white vans led by an Army humvee rolled Monday through New Orleans' Bywater district, a poor, mostly black neighborhood, northeast of the French Quarter.

Recovery team members wearing white protective suits and black boots stopped at houses with spray painted markings on the doors designating there were dead bodies inside.

Outside one house on Kentucky Street, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division summoned a reporter and photographer standing nearby and told them that if they took pictures or wrote a story about the body recovery process, he would take away their press credentials and kick them out of the state.

"No photos. No stories," said the man, wearing camouflage fatigues and a red beret.

The whole story.

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The Emperor May Be Arrested for Nudity

With nothing but failures and disasters in the wake of his Presidency, George Bush brought in the most powerful spin machine the office has ever seen. But one can cry wolf only so many times before the public begins noticing that the wolves have been hunted into extinction and only the boy is left, alone, with his gun desperately aiming at ghosts.

Washington Post: "Amid a slew of stories this weekend about the embattled presidency and the blundering government response to the drowning of New Orleans, some journalists who are long-time observers of the White House are suddenly sharing scathing observations about President Bush that may be new to many of their readers. Is Bush the commanding, decisive, jovial president you've been hearing about for years in so much of the mainstream press? Amid a slew of stories this weekend about the embattled presidency and the blundering government response to the drowning of New Orleans, some journalists who are long-time observers of the White House are suddenly sharing scathing observations about President Bush that may be new to many of their...

Judging from the blistering analyses in Time, Newsweek, and elsewhere these past few days, it turns out that Bush is in fact fidgety, cold and snappish in private. He yells at those who dare give him bad news and is therefore not surprisingly surrounded by an echo chamber of terrified sycophants. He is slow to comprehend concepts that don't emerge from his gut. He is uncomprehending of the speeches that he is given to read."

Read more.
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The News Keeps Getting Better

Just when you thought the GOP had scraped the bottom of the barrel of deceitful tactics, cronyism and empty rhetoric, they inspire once again:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired Kenyon International to set up a mobile morgue for handling bodies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, RAW STORY has learned.

Kenyon is a subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.

The whole story.


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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Won't They Please Just Stay Away?

Now Laura Bush is touring the NO disaster area, again, because her husband's approval raiting is slightly lower than the Titanic, and hers are better. Well, who's aren't better? They could send down complete unknowns, blank faces from general casting and do better than George, problem is everytime George, or his wife, or Cheney come down to apologize, save face, point out how great everything is, how community has come together (one million refugees had to leave the destroyed area), how there are no complaints (Laura's quote) well, what do you expect after five days with no food or water, and then you actually get food and water? Might be hard to form a sentance. And how "it's working quite well for them?" (Barbara Bush's quote on the sudden influx of LA poor in Texas and the better living conditions), they don't consider how the entire are is locked down for the eight hours of their stay, how there can be no helicopter flights, pick ups, drop offs, and all search and rescue or clean up comes to a halt?

Just stay away, please, you've done enough damage already.

Big Fat Hairy F*&!ing Deal

President Bush said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and that the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

Like that's anything other than obvious to everyone in the world. With the exception of a few die hard redstaters.

Just to skip ahead to the answers to those broader questions, George: The government's ability to respond is directly proportional to how important you think the governments ability to respond happens to be. One measure of how well the government will be able to respond in an emergency is how much funding you give to emergency preparedness.

You want a government so small that, according to your boy Grover Nordquist, it could be drowned in a bathtub.

Do you think he regrets that choice of words? Do you?

You have deceived America for six years. No: you have deceived enough of America for six years that you have gotten what you wanted. You have reshaped the government into a custom-built funnel to give you and your cronies more money.

And you even have the gall to do that in this time of emergency: You contracted Halliburton to start cleaning up New Orleans. And the Shaw Group, whose lobbyist is none other than Joseph Allbaugh. You might know him as your 2000 campaign manager. And former head of FEMA himself. And former roomie of Michael Brown.

And you did this all the while mouthing platitudes and lies--yes, lies--to the American public. And probably to yourself as well, George.

Did you really not know "what didn't go right?" last week? Did you really think "Brownie" was "doing a heck of a job?" Are you such a delusional dry drunk that you can't for one moment face the truth of the shithole you've turned this country into without flying into a rage and flipping people off?

What do you do when there's no one to sic your attack dogs on?

You tried that with the local governments in this mess, and it got slapped back in your face, George.

You've run out of people to blame.

You've run out of excuses.

You've run out of places to hide.

Now you're standing there in the cold spotlight, all defenses refuted, and out of options.

And this is when you decide "to take responsibility."

No shit.

I repeat, mister president: Big Fat Hairy Fucking Deal.

Is it 2008 yet?

Yeharr
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"Things Are Going Relatively Well"

Chicago Sun Time Editorial:

"From the disputed presidential election of 2000 to the terrorist attacks on America on 9/11/01 to the failure to find Osama bin Laden to the quagmire of a war in Iraq to Hurricane Katrina, this has been a terrible decade, century, millennium."

"In the meantime, we're two weeks into one of the most tragic and shameful events in American history. Here, in chronological order, are some of the most memorable quotes from evacuees, politicians, journalists, media personalities and celebrities...."
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To Dream



T-shirt sold by Working Assets. Link is here. Burned Out Parnoid Democrat receives no proceeds from this t-shirt sale, but just love the picture too much to let it go by without a post.

A Cut-and-Paste Post

I usually try to put something of myself into these posts. Something that passes for my opinion. But sometimes all it would do is get in the way of the important stuff.

Like what Molly Ivins has to say.

"Some of you may have heard me observe a time or two -- going back to when George W. was still governor of Texas -- that the trouble with the guy is that while he is good at politics, he stinks at governance. It bores him, he's not interested, he thinks government is bad to begin with and everything would be done better if it were contracted out to corporations.

We can now safely assert that W. has stacked much of the federal government with people like himself. And what you get when you put people in charge of government who don't believe in government and who are not interested in running it well is... what happened after Hurricane Katrina.

Many a time in the past six years I have bit my tongue so I wouldn't annoy people with the always obnoxious observation, "I told you so." But, dammit it all to hell, I did tell you, and I've been telling you since 1994, and I am so sick of this man and everything he represents -- all the sleazy, smug, self-righteous graft and corruption and "Christian" moralizing and cynicism and tax cuts for all his smug, rich buddies.

Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention."


That's just the end. Read the entire column.

Nuff said.

Yeharr
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