Monday, January 31, 2005

$9 BILLION lost!

Gawdam, we are freakin' incompetent!

From YahooNews :

Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq

WASHINGTON - The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found.
The U.S. officials relied on Iraqi audit agencies to account for the funds but those offices were not even functioning when the funds were transferred between October 2003 and June 2004, according to an audit by a special U.S. inspector general.


What's a few billion among friends?! Yeesh!

more Iraqi election thoughts

OK, blogspot lost my first post regarding this, so I hope that I can do this again.

It looks like the Iraqi elections have turned out better than expected. Of course there were something like 44 people killed and hundreds wounded. Amazing that we find that a positive conclusion! Obviously this is a first step and a first election in a series, but we at least we didn’t screw this up as badly as we had anticipated.
That said, it is hard to believe that the Dems are continuing to be reviled for continuing to ask for an exit strategy. An exit strategy is not an admission of defeat – it is a PLAN, something that we apparently have not had since the start of this war.
Obviously, we cannot leave the Iraqis on their own after destroying their country, but we need to start making plans and creating goals to accomplish that will lead to us bringing home our troops. This will not “aid the insurgents” but it will help the morale of our troops, as well as the Iraqi people who see us as occupiers.
Of course, since these ideas are coming from the Dems and since it involves common sense, it will probably be ignored. Common sense has had nothing to do with this military action since the start!
But again, a salute to the extremely brave Iraqi people who are risking their lives for something that they believe in! I only wish that we could have accomplished this without murdering thousands of them and destroying their homes and cities.

super frightening

We really are bringing up a generation of robots!

From MSNBC :

First Amendment no big deal, students say
Study shows American teenagers indifferent to freedoms

WASHINGTON - The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.
It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released Monday.
The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.
Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.
“These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous,”
said Hodding Carter III, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which sponsored the $1 million study. “Ignorance about the basics of this free society is a danger to our nation’s future.”
The students are even more restrictive in their views than their elders, the study says.
When asked whether people should be allowed to express unpopular views, 97 percent of teachers and 99 percent of school principals said yes. Only 83 percent of students did.


Too scary! Kids care even less for our basic rights that the adult sheep! No wonder bush is so popular - people don't know any better! Government approval of news stories?!?! What has happened to our country?!

Friday, January 28, 2005

who comes up with this stuff?!

From CNS News :

Babies 'Very Happy' Over Feldt's Decision, Pro-Lifers Say

Pro-life organizations cheered the announcement that Gloria Feldt is resigning as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with one activist stating Friday he thinks "babies are very happy" over the change.

This is one of the silliest things that i have ever seen in print, and that's saying something these days!!!

is there ANYTHING honest about this administration?

seriously. anything at all?

From YahooNews :

Report: PR spending doubled under Bush

The Bush administration has more than doubled its spending on outside contracts with public relations firms during the past four years, according to an analysis of federal procurement data by congressional Democrats.
The administration spent at least $88 million in fiscal 2004 on contracts with major public relations firms, the analysis found, compared with $37 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office. In all, the administration spent $250 million on public relations contracts during its first term, compared with $128 million spent for President Clinton between 1997 and 2000. The analysis did not examine what the Clinton administration spent during its first term.
"While not all public relations spending is illegal or inappropriate, this rapid rise in public relations contracts at a time of growing budget deficits raises questions about the priorities of the administration," said the report by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee.

Guess the numbers are not surprising considering that so far three "journalists" have been caught for being on bush's payroll. Wonder how many more will be outed?

can we even have ONE day when we're not flabbergasted by this administration?!

From Americablog :

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday, "An official U.S. delegation sent to Ukraine's presidential inauguration last weekend included a Ukrainian-American who has accused Jews of manipulating the Holocaust for their gain and playing an 'inordinate role' in the rise of Soviet communism."

There is no end to the insanity, is there?

On a related note - cheney dresses completely inappropriately for an Auschwitz remembrance.

Iraqi election thoughts

Listening to a news report about the Iraqi elections is truly amazing and frightening these days. Last night I heard two different families discussing their strategies for voting – whether to go separately or all together – because they were believed that there was a very real possibility that they would DIE while voting!

Who in America can imagine this?! Possibly the first black voters in the south, but beyond that, this is incomprehensible! We worry that someone will come up to us and try to influence our vote or simply bother us with different positions, but there they are seriously afraid that they will be machine-gunned while standing in line! Does anyone know anybody in America who would take this risk? I mean, I seriously believe that bush is a very real and personal threat to my life and my liberty, but I probably would not have risked gunfire to vote against him!

But even more astounding are the conservatives who say that anyone who voices their very real concerns for the Iraqi people’s safety and who wishes that the American forces were better prepared to protect these people, are somehow aiding the terrorists! The thought that the insurgents are holed up somewhere, reading American blogs and listening to the few people who are discussing these problems is fairly absurd. I think that they have a lot more direct concerns on their minds. I hardly believe that they give a damn whether some Americans believe that it will be dangerous for Iraqis to vote. They know how dangerous it will be – they will be involved in it!

Questioning our actions and our motives does not aid the insurgents. Blindly following a lunatic who sent our people to war for literally no reason and has murdered thousands and has caused the rest of the world to hate and fear us DOES aid the terrorists! This war has been their biggest recruiting tool ever!

We do not rejoice at all of the catastrophic disasters that bush has caused. Our most fervent desire is that some safety and stability can be brought to this country that we have destroyed (as well as our own!). But when we see problems compounded by more terrible problems, we have to speak out. Keeping quiet is a far worse crime!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

US Oil funds denial of global warming

From The Guardian :

Oil firms fund climate change 'denial'

Lobby groups funded by the US oil industry are targeting Britain in a bid to play down the threat of climate change and derail action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, leading scientists have warned.
Bob May, president of the Royal Society, says that "a lobby of professional sceptics who opposed action to tackle climate change" is turning its attention to Britain because of its high profile in the debate.
Writing in the Life section of today's Guardian, Professor May says the government's decision to make global warming a focus of its G8 presidency has made it a target. So has the high profile of its chief scientific adviser, David King, who described climate change as a bigger threat than terrorism.

can't be a surprise to anyone, but it is wild how blantant these scumbags are!

still more reality intrudes on bush's "crisis"

From The Guardian :

The case of the missing crisis
President Bush is predicting doom for America's social security system, but some critics are questioning his motives, says David Teather

It is has been dubbed "the fake crisis" by its critics, and there are many.
Since re-election, the Bush administration has been aggressively arguing that the social security system, which pays cheques to America's elderly, is facing insolvency.
President George Bush insists the system is in need of dramatic reform if it is to avoid going broke. At the heart of his solution is partial privatisation; allowing individuals to divert tax dollars into personal accounts that would be invested in the stock market and carry the attendant risks and rewards.
It would be the most radical reform of social security since the New Deal came into being 70 years ago and, as one commentator has noted, do more to dismantle the programme than any of Mr Bush's Republican predecessors managed to achieve.
"The people who hustled America into a tax cut to eliminate an imaginary budget surplus and a war to eliminate imaginary weapons are now trying another bum's rush," the economist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times. Democrats are in the mood for a fight. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid described the Bush plan as a "disaster for the most successful social programme in the history of the world".
"The existing program, as it has been developed in the last 70 years, provides a stable monthly income that has prevented seniors, almost 50%, from falling into poverty. I don't think we want to erode the principles of that system," she said.
"But there is a strong argument, which the (social security) agency acknowledges is a possibility, that the system is solvent as it is."
The real issue, Mr Lowenstein pointed out, could be that the government has been spending the social security surplus and will need to find the cash to repay its debts from 2018, causing even larger federal deficits down the line.
Today he receives an amount indexed to wage increases. That would shift to price indexing. Because inflation has grown in the past far slower than wages, it would lead to benefits being cut by 40% in real terms by 2075, according to some estimates.
The other issue thrown up by private accounts is the immediate impact on federal debts. By allowing younger workers to shift cash away from the trust fund, the Bush administration would starve the system of a large chunk of revenue. The government would be forced to borrow a further $2 trillion in the next 10 years on top of the already record $5 trillion deficits run up in the Bush administration's first term.
Wall Street's role in managing the funds is also controversial. Investment bank fees would effectively be deducted from social security taxes.
Over the next 75 years the Bush tax cuts, largely aimed at wealthy Americans, are projected to cost between $10 trillion to $12 trillion. Simply paring the cuts back by a third and putting the cash into social security would cover any funding shortfall.
Instead, through the introduction of private accounts and increasing the federal deficit even further, President Bush, she said, is "transforming an imaginary crisis into a real one".

Of course, we well know that bush will never listen to logic or facts and bases everything that he does on, well, nothing really! Of course, as usual, the American public are the ones that will be hurt by his stubborn insanity.

Man, the evidence against bush's plan continues to mount. Here the NYTimes explains the mess that a similar plan has caused in Chile.

bush continues to flip-flop and backtrack

Not surprisingly! His inaugural speech, besides having a record number of references to "freedom" and "liberty", literally said that he was willing to invade the rest of the world to enforce his brand of "democracy". Of course, everyone in the world realized how absurd and unrealistic that was (despite everyone's certainty that bush would love to invade the entire world!) so since then there have been a number of "explanations" of what he "really" meant. Has there ever been a president that has needed so many excuses, explanations, and rationale for everything that he has said and done?!

From YahooNews :

Reality starts to test Bush's rhetoric on liberty

Ever since President Bush's lyrical inaugural address last week, White House aides, Bush allies and even Bush's father have been scrambling to explain what the president meant - or didn't mean.

At his news conference on Wednesday, Bush himself took a turn. He reiterated his pledge to advance liberty worldwide and wipe tyranny from the globe, but he seemed to scale back expectations. The inaugural speech was not a dramatic policy shift, but "it sets a bold new goal for the future" that will require "the commitment of generations," Bush said.
Bush's clarification came as the costs and difficulties of spreading freedom to just one place - Iraq - continued to mount.
In his stirring inaugural appeal to American idealism, Bush made only brief and oblique references to these costs. And he didn't directly address the glaring conflict between U.S. aspirations for the world and the pragmatic necessity of dealing with others who don't share those ideals, or give them lip service at best.
Does the policy apply to allies as well as enemies?
Will the U.S. press hard on China, a major trading partner and purchaser of the bonds that finance our government's spiraling deficits?
Or Saudi Arabia, source of 20% of the nation's imported oil?
Or Pakistan, a key ally in the hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden?
Or Russia, a key geostrategic partner whose president, Vladimir Putin, has taken a sharp turn away from democracy?
Bush's answers Wednesday indicated that he knows that the democratic ideal he seeks won't be reached quickly or easily. Asked about the recent arrest of an outspoken lecturer by Mideast ally Jordan, Bush urged Jordan's king to "make sure that democracy continues to advance." He spoke of having raised human-rights issues with the leaders of Russia and China.
He'll have to do a lot more of that, with country after country, if the legacy of liberty he sketched so compellingly is to be more than rhetoric.
Encouraging the spread of freedom and democracy is a noble cause. It is also a long and costly one.

for John Kerry, kids come first

Sign his petition, the Kids Come First Act, in order to help children get proper health care coverage.
Click here to read a summary of the act.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

no matter how many times it happens, it still astounds me....

....just how much the "right"-wingers will literally say anything and continually make up shit!

From MediaMatters :

Taranto accused Kerry, Edwards of "calling Dick Cheney's daughter names"

How many time can i say "wow!"?! Kerry & Edwards respectfully called her a lesbian, which she is, but only conservatives called her any derogatory names. Do these people think that no one in the world remembers what happened in our reality?!

bush insults seniors!

From Americablog :

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Because you're not a senior citizen yet. Acting like one, however. Go ahead. (Laughter.)
Q What is there about government that makes it hard --
THE PRESIDENT: Faulty memory. (Laughter.) Go ahead. (Laughter.)

He never seems to have a problem laughing at serious matters, does he?
He is like that dunderhead in school that would latch onto you for no real reason and not realize that you had nothing in common. He'd tried to be "cool" by talking about "partying" or "banging chicks" or telling inappropriate jokes or something and not understand that you thought he was an imbecile and couldn't wait to get away from him, but you were too polite to tell him to f'k off. Only difference is that I don't think that many people would have a problem telling bush to f'k off - and we're stuck with him for 4 years.

now there actually IS a reason to distrust a clinton!

Hilary voted FOR C. Rice!
Well, she has just lost a majority of the Dems!

What will the repubs do if the Dems disown the Clintons? Who will they have to hate?! It would actually be pretty funny watching them try to come up with another scapegoat!

But here is a list of the brave few who actually voted against Rice:

Daniel Akaka (Hawaii)
Evan Bayh (Indiana)
Barbara Boxer (California)
Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
Mark Dayton (Minnesota)
Dick Durbin (Illinois)
Tom Harkin (Iowa)
Jim Jeffords (Vermont)
Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts)
John Kerry (Massachusetts)
Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey)
Carl Levin (Michigan)
Jack Reed (Rhode Island)

Nice to know that Kerry continues to remain consistent in his beliefs!

democrats ask for accountability and repubs whine

More from Cox News :

Condoleezza Rice's Confirmation Appears Certain, Despite Strong Democratic Dissent

WASHINGTON -- Despite strong dissent from a small group of Democrats, Condoleezza Rice appeared Wednesday to be headed toward an overwhelming Senate confirmation to be the next secretary of state.
Democratic foes of her appointment focused mostly on the way Bush and Rice took the United States to war in Iraq and how they have handled the war with insurgents since deposing Saddam Hussein.
They said mistakes had led to mounting American casualties.
As the debate drew to a close, word came from Iraq of the crash of a U.S. military transport helicopter in bad weather, killing at least 30 people in the worst U.S. loss since the war.
Bush rejected claims by Democrats that they had been lied to in the run-up to the war in Iraq.
On the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested Democrats are sore losers. Rice had enough votes to win confirmation, as even her Democratic critics acknowledge, McCain said.
"So I wonder why we are starting this new Congress with a protracted debate about a foregone conclusion," McCain said. Since Rice is qualified for the job, he said, "I can only conclude that we are doing this for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness over the outcome of the election."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, turned the debate against the Democrats, whose senatorial campaign committee sent a fund-raising e-mail signed by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. She quoted from her sharp questioning of Rice in last week's confirmation hearings. Cornyn characterized the e-mail as part of a disinformation campaign that "crossed the line" of politics.
Now, she will be at his side trying to improve relations with European allies, pursuing a Middle East settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, seeking a way to stop North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons _ and, above all, trying to pacify Iraq with limited additional U.S. casualties. The two days of hearings last week and Tuesday's Senate debate gave Americans and the rest of the world unusual access to U.S. foreign policy and to Bush's critics.
Byrd, the Senate's senior member, said Bush, with Rice's help, steered the country into an unprovoked and unjustified war based on false information that Iraq had been a training ground for terrorists.
"Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people into believing that there was
an imminent threat from Iraq," Byrd said.


It still blows me away that the repubs will literally say anything and attack,attack,attack when they are called on the lies that they tell, while never trying to justify the lies.
Calling the Dems "sore losers" just because the Dems want to point out Rice's faults and lies to a country that has been sheltered from them by the overwhelmingly conservative media before she is promoted by the repub majority is absurd! The media won't do its job, so we have to get the facts to the public somehow! We know that the conservatives won't do it! As the article says, this gave the world "unusual access to U.S. foreign policy".
I'm on Boxer's mailing list, and I have no idea what Cornyn is talking about when he says there was a "disinformation campaign". Boxer simply stated the facts and explained why she was standing up to Rice. But, i guess to the repubs, facts are "disinformation"!
If only we had more Dems that were willing to take the chance and take a stand.

bush bizarrely evokes the ever-reviled clinton!

From Cox News :

Bush Says He Will Lead Congress on Social Security, Making Some Republicans Nervous

WASHINGTON -- President Bush publicly prodded Republicans on Wednesday to follow his lead and approve personal accounts under Social Security, conceding some lawmakers are concerned about whether it will be worth the political price. "I think it is," he said.
"Our job is to confront issues and not pass them on," the president said at a White House news conference. He said he looked forward to mounting a vigorous public campaign for his recommendations, and stressed that he is open to discussions with lawmakers on "all areas except raising the payroll tax."

Well, i'm sure that it makes everyone else feel better when bush says "I think it is" worth the price that the rest of them will have to pay!
And nice that he is flat-out refusing to hear a reasonable solution to the "crisis" - taxes.
The president said, "I fully understand the power of those who want toderail a Social Security agenda by, you know, scaring people.
It's been a tactic for a long period of time by those who believe the status quo is acceptable."

Amazing how he always accuses the others of "scaring people" when that has been the cornerstone of everything that he has said and done since he came into office! His speech writers must laugh their asses off at the things that they have him say!
In his remarks, Bush twice likened his efforts to those once undertaken by former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. His predecessor was effective in "teeing up the issue," the president said.
Bush did not mention two significant differences _ Clinton urged Congress to "save Social Security first" in an era of budget surpluses, while the current administration faces large deficits and is considering borrowing as part of its recommendations.
Nor did Clinton support allowing individuals to divert their payroll taxes into personal accounts.

Equally incredible that he tries to liken himself to Clinton, whom his followers despise, while having nothing whatsoever in common with him!
Bush said he looks forward to working with lawmakers of both parties, although thus far, his private meetings at the White House with members of Congress have been for Republicans only.

It's always funny to see the differences in what he says and what he does! But then he has proven again and again that he will literally say anything!

lots more hot air from bush

from Cox News :

Bush Calls on Iraqis to Vote, Urges Americans to Be Patient As U.S. Toll Tops 1,400

WASHINGTON -- President Bush urged Iraqis to defy terrorists and vote in Sunday's election, and sought patience from anxious Americans as a Marine helicopter crash Wednesday pushed the U.S. death toll above 1,400.
"The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people," Bush said on the deadliest day for U.S. forces since the Iraq war began. "I understand that. It
is the long-term objective that is vital _ that is to spread freedom."
He lashed out at critics who say Iraq has become too costly and deadly, suggesting that such second-guessing could hurt the U.S. mission. The administration plans to seek $80 billion to pay for war costs, bringing the total since the Sept. 11 attacks to more than $300 billion.
"I think the Iraqi people are wondering whether or not this nation has the will necessary to stand with them as democracy evolves," Bush said. "The enemy would like nothing more than the United States to precipitously pull out and withdraw before the Iraqis are prepared to defend themselves."
More than half of Americans think it's unlikely that Iraq will become stable and democratic, according to an Associated Press poll. Undeterred, Bush said he is leading the nation toward an honorable goal _ in Iraq and across the world. "I firmly planted the flag of liberty," he said.
To the Iraqis who face daily attacks from insurgents, he said: "Clearly, there are some who are intimidated. I urge people to vote. I urge people to defy these terrorists."

Wow! He thinks that stating the fact that this war is costly and deadly will hurt our mission?!?! How much worse can our "mission" be "hurt"?!?! I hardly think that stating a well known fact - especially well known to the people of Iraq - will affect anyone's opinion!
And he believes that he has "planted the flag of liberty"?!?! Double wow!
Also seems kinda easy for him to urge people to vote and defy the terrorists. Wonder what this draft-dodger would do in their place?

Bush spoke as the Senate prepared to confirm his nomination of Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, one of the architects of Bush's Iraq policy. "She is going to make a wonderful secretary of state," he said.
It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces since March 2003, when Bush led a fragile coalition against Saddam Hussein in search of weapons of mass destruction. No weapons were found, and now Bush is making the spread of freedom the cause of U.S. troops.

Nice flip-flop there!

Bush was asked if he would condemn human rights abuse by the Jordanian government, a U.S. ally, which arrested a man and charged him with slander after he delivered a lecture called "Why We Boycott America." Bush said he was unaware of the case, but urged King Abdullah II to "make sure that democracy continues to advance in Jordan."
"As I said in my speech, not every nation is going to immediately adopt America's vision of democracy and I fully understand that," Bush said. "But we expect nations to adopt the values inherent in a democracy, which is human rights and human dignity, that every person ought to have a voice. And his majesty is making progress toward that goal."
Bush mixed up the budget and deficit numbers when asked about money requests he would make in his budget proposal Feb. 7. "It turned out that the budget was $412 billion for last year," he said. That's the figure the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office cited for the deficit last year.
"Now, the budget is projected to be at $427 billion," he added. Again, that's the figure the White House projects for this year's deficit.


Kind of funny that he mixes up those numbers. Do you think that he is actually not aware of how badly he has put this country in debt? Just how sheltered is he?!

Monday, January 24, 2005

surreally dense!

absolutely wacky post on freerepublic.
because they hate all Clintons passionately (for no apparent reason), they seemingly are not even reading the article and certainly are not addressing it in the posts. The fact that there were less abortions during the Clinton administration due to the fact that he encouraged teaching family planning instead of bush's illogical just-say-no-and-don't-tell-kids-any-realistic-advice policy flies right by them!
They rant that the Clintons actually want people to have abortions constantly! They can't comprehend that lack of sex education is a bad thing that will cause more people to become pregnant unintentionally, which, of course, will cause there to be more abortions. Not exactly rocket science, but you would think so by the lack of understanding here!

this is conservative?!

from MSNBC :

Bush reportedly seeking $80 billion more
Request on top of earlier spending on Iraq, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration plans to announce as early as Tuesday that it will seek about $80 billion in new funding for military operations this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration and congressional sources said Monday.
The new supplemental budget request, which would come on top of the $25 billion in emergency spending that had already been approved for the current fiscal year, would push total 2005 funding for military operations and equipment close to a record $105 billion, the sources told Reuters on Monday.
When it requested the original $25 billion in May, the administration said it would need another $25 billion later for 2005. The $80 billion request is more than triple that amount.


They will never stop spending our money and asking for more, will they?! Unreal!

bush loves a vacation.... we well know since he refused to cut his xmas vacation short when over 200,000 people died in Asia, or, for that matter, when we were told that bin Laden was planning an attack on US soil previous to 9/11/01.
Yahoo shows just how much he loves his time off! Admittedly, not as much as his dad or Reagan, but still, a lot more than any recent dems!

random, post-inauguration thoughts

Since last Thursday, I have been thinking a lot about the fact that one man has changed the history of the world forever. Of course, that man is Osama bin Laden.

Until or unless we discover that bin Laden has been working with the American government to promote bush (not that wild of a concept, considering that we trained and outfitted him initially), then we have to realize that one man (and his followers, of course) has managed to completely change the course of human events around the world as well as the status of the US in the eyes of every person on the planet.

Without the actions that Osama orchestrated on 9-11-01, bush would have continued to have been a bumbling dunderhead of a president, with no credibility whatsoever, and would never have been elected in 2004. bush’s plans for attacking Saddam and Iraq would have been met with considerably more scrutiny and would never have escalated into the horrific disaster that we are now embroiled in. He would not have reason to believe that he has a “mandate” and would never have been able to create the terrible policies that are restricting the rights, actions, words and lives of our people, as well as those around the world. The US would not be hated and feared universally across the earth and we would not be looking at possible Armageddon.

Our government played so perfectly into the hands of bin Laden that it’s almost difficult to believe that they are NOT working together! Osama could not have asked for a better reaction than bush’s. Attacking a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks has caused the world to despise and fear us, has helped Osama’s recruiting, has murdered thousands upon thousands, has caused America to live in fear and has pretty much destroyed our economy. What more could bin Laden want?!

Whether or not they are working together, neither bush nor bin Laden would logically want either one to be removed from power. Each one is the other’s boogeyman. Each is a recruiting tool, an example of the “evil” in the world. This will continue until one decides that the other is no longer needed.

One man’s action has sent the world on a collision course with disaster, as they say. Will the forces of evil at work here let anyone rise up against this insanity? That is anyone’s guess. Has it already gone too far? Possibly…. Let’s hope there are enough people with some fight in them to give us all a chance, though!

rummy fears war crimes arrest!

Also from The Left Coaster :

Rummy Avoids Germany Trip Fearing War Crimes Arrest
In a story that our mainstream media has ignored all day, Donald Rumsfeld was forced to withdraw from a scheduled trip to Germany next month because of the
possibility he would be arrested for war crimes upon stepping foot on German soil.
The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights filed a complaint in December with the Federal German Prosecutor's Office against Rumsfeld accusing him of war crimes and torture in connection with detainee abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.


Amazing! If only he would be held accountable by SOMEONE!

democratic agenda

From The Left Coaster :

Senate Democrats Lay Out Opposition Agenda This Morning
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will do something this morning that an opposition party is supposed to do: Senate Democrats stopped playing defense and will begin playing offense by setting forward an ambitious agenda of their own. In a conference call earlier this morning, Reid’s staff announced their top ten priority bills
for the 109th Congress, and they address many of the needs accumulated by this country but ignored by the White House the GOP Congress under Bill Frist and Denny Hastert.
Some of these priorities are:
Senate Bill 11 will address our troop strength problems brought about by George W. Bush’s foreign policy and backdoor draft.
Senate Bill 12 establishes four interlocking pillars necessary to wage an effective war on terrorism
Senate Bill 13 addresses Bush’s abandonment of our veterans by ensuring all veterans get the health care they deserve by 2006
Senate Bill 14 lays out an ambitious list of measures to deal with economic opportunity
Senate Bill 15 deals with education by strengthening Head Start and child care programs;
Senate Bill 16 deals with health care
Senate 17 deals with voting reform
Senate Bill 18 deals with Medicare
Senate Bill 19 is the Fiscal Responsibility for a Sound Future Act
Senate Bill 20 deals with reducing unintended pregnancies and reduces abortions through increasing access to family planning services


Wow! Positive ideas and agendas! Thank goodness some people are fighting and trying to keep America from being destroyed! Can we dare to hope that we have a chance?!
1-27-05 - A follow up from Boston.comNews :
The Republican Agenda:

Item one on the list is Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security for younger workers;
Other Senate Republican priorities include:
making the recent rounds of tax cuts permanent,
limiting the scope of class-action lawsuits, ...
outlawing the transportation of a minor across state lines with the purpose of skirting state laws requiring parental consent to have an abortion....
approve a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Let's see, which agenda actually will HELP America and its people? Hmmm....Interesting to see the different priorities.

Friday, January 21, 2005

more on the myth of "liberal media"

so much shit has been happening in the last few days - in the world and in my private life - that i'm overwhelmed and don't even know where to start! but, MediaMatters has brought up a number of issues regarding the myth of "liberal media" (the idea is so absurd these days that i have to use quotations!) that i figured i'd post links:

Cable news dismissed and ridiculed inauguration protesters

While conservatives accused Face the Nation of slanting left, Schieffer came clean on program's Republican-dominated guest list

CNN paid scant attention to inaugural demonstrators, focused instead on license plates and limos

No room for progressives on cable news inauguration coverage

And this is besides the usual Fox BS! I guess the fantasy about "liberal media" is created when, once in a blue moon, some facts are actually reported (instead of continual repetition of repub talking points), and, of course, facts always makes "conservatives" look bad!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

america is "safer" when the world hates us!

From YahooNewsUK (can't imagine why the States aren't reporting this!) :

Poll shows world anti-Bush

LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of people surveyed in a global poll think the re-election of George W. Bush as U.S. president has made the world more dangerous and many view Americans negatively as well, says the BBC.
The survey by the broadcaster published on Wednesday showed that only three countries -- India, the Philippines and Poland -- out of 21 polled thought the world was safer following Bush's election win in November.
Traditional U.S. allies in western Europe, such as Britain (64 percent), France (75 percent), and Germany (77 percent), were among the most negative about Bush's re-election.
A majority in Italy (54 percent) and Australia (61 percent), which both have troops in Iraq, also thought his win had made the world more dangerous.
Anti-Bush sentiment was strongest in Turkey, with 82 percent thinking his win was bad for peace compared to just 6 percent in support. A large majority in Latin American countries, including 58 percent in close neighbour Mexico, were also negative.
Analysts said the poll had far-reaching implications, suggesting a serious rise in anti-U.S. feeling in general, with 42 percent saying it had made them feel worse about Americans compared to 25 percent who made it think more of them.
"Our research makes very clear that the re-election of President Bush has further isolated America from the world."
The survey found that 47 percent of those questioned now see U.S. influence in the world as largely negative.

Has there EVER been anyone who has caused the world to hate us this much?! Truly incredible, especially considering the outpouring of support after 9/11. So, bush took a tragedy that because of its horrific nature brought us unparalleled support and, while endlessly referencing that tragedy, managed to make the world hate us! Well, I guess that's a legacy!

hard to comprehend

From the Guardian :

Tsunami death toll rises to 225,000

This level of devasation is difficult to even grasp! Please help - there is a link to the right with a number of agencies that are helping.

more on bush's version of free speech

From AOL News :

No Prime Spots for Protesters

WASHINGTON (Jan. 18) - Supporters of President Bush have a right to reserve prime positions along the inaugural parade route and do not have to share them with protesters, a U.S. judge ruled Tuesday.
The ruling by District Court Judge Paul Friedman is a setback for an anti-war coalition called ANSWER, which had sued the government for greater public access to the inaugural parade on Thursday.
Authorities plan to close off 100 blocks in downtown Washington and use bomb-sniffing dogs and military troopers for the first inaugural event since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Those who provided funds for the $40 million inauguration ceremony will view the parade from reserved bleachers lining much of Pennsylvania Avenue, between the Capitol and the White House.
ANSWER, an acronym for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, said the bleachers left little space for protesters or ordinary citizens who might want to view the parade.
"The sidewalks, for this particular moment, should be open to all," said ANSWER attorney Carl Messineo.

god forbid that bush acknowledge that there are a LOT of people who disagree with everything that he has done and is trying to do to destroy this country of ours. i know that to him free speech only applies to those that agree with him. revolting....

ok, i'm just getting disgusted with everyone

Here's another story about the Rice hearing from CoxNews.
I'm glad that a few Democrats are standing up and saying that they think that Rice misled the American people, but then why are they saying that they will still ok her nomination?!
I have really tried to support the dems through these horrific times, because their beliefs are correct, but they are letting them be trampled on by the repugs and are only giving token resistance. We need to make a stand at some point and that means more than just acknowledging that these people are scumbags.
We have to stop them from getting into positions of power, or being promoted into a position of greater power than they already have! These evil-doers should be facing charges, not becoming members of the president's cabinet!
I would never have believed that we could be in worse shape than we were when nixon was president and have worse people in power, but we've managed to do it.
Its enough to make you want to give up on this country, which should be and once was the greatest in the world. Now we're one of the worst. Its embarrassing and sickening.

Condoleezza Rice Challenged by Leading Democrat to Admit Mistakes Bush Administration Made in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice acknowledged "there were some bad decisions" by the Bush administration on Iraq, as Democrats pressed her Wednesday on whether the reasons for going to war were misleading. But her approval by the Senate appeared secure.

Rice insisted that Saddam Hussein was a dictator who refused to account for weapons of mass destruction. And it was impossible to change the nature of a terror threat in the Middle East with him leading Iraq, she testified.

But Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., would not be shaken off, even after Rice acknowledged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "there were some bad decisions" taken by the Bush administration on Iraq.

She accused Rice of "an unwillingness to give Americans the full story because selling the war was so important to Dr. Rice. That was her job."

And now, Boxer said, the toll of American dead and wounded is the "direct result" of Bush administration "rigidness" and misstatements.

Sen. Joseph Biden, ranking Democrat on committee, challenged Rice to acknowledge administration mistakes on Iraq and said he would vote for her confirmation, but only with "some frustration and reservation."

The Delaware senator, zeroing in on U.S. policy in Iraq as he had during Tuesday's initial hearing, accused the administration of giving shifting reasons to justify the war to oust Saddam.
Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., meanwhile, urged Rice to consider reconciliation with Iran, which he said was about as repressive as China was when the Nixon administration approached Beijing for better relations.

But Rice said, "It is really hard to find common ground with a government that thinks Israel should be extinguished," supports terror groups and is undercutting U.S. peace efforts in the Middle East.
Committee approval would send the nomination to the Senate where confirmation appears certain _ despite unease, especially among Democrats, about reasons Bush, Powell, Rice and others in the administration gave for going to war in March 2003 and how they are dealing with a deadly postwar insurgency.

At the State Department, Powell planned a farewell speech at midday, while employees were told to gather Friday in the lobby to welcome Rice on what would be her first day in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

Her positions on the war did not stem blistering criticism from Democratic senators. Sen. John Kerry, who made Bush's management of postwar Iraq an issue in his losing presidential campaign, told Rice Tuesday that "the current policy is growing the insurgency and not diminishing it."

"This was never going to be easy," Rice said in response. "There were going to be ups and downs."

She said that after the Iraqis have voted on Jan. 30 for a transitional assembly, the Bush administration would conduct a review.

"We need to be patient," she told Kerry.


And she continues to lie and be evasive and never admit the lies that led to this terribly managed war that continues to be disastrous. And now she's sowing the seeds for the next war....."We need to be patient"?! shit.......

Update - just saw that she was voted in by a vote of 16-2. Way to stand up to the thugs, dems! Thanks to Barbara Boxer and John Kerry for showing some backbone! We need more!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Salon lists 34 bush administration scandals

The scandal sheet
Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency -- every one of them worse than Whitewater.

(you can sign on for free. Check out this list - unreal!)

halliburton still working with the enemy

Halliburton awarded major gas project in Iran

The U.S. oil giant Halliburton won a major contract to work on Phases 9 and 10 in Iran’s largest gas field, despite the U.S. sanctions against foreign investments in the Tehran’s energy industry.

As usual, the laws do not apply to this administration or their friends! So, as we are planning to go to war with Iran, Halliburton makes money there! Amazing! As James Poling asks, where is our "liberal media" when stories like this come to light? Wouldn't it be nice if there really was a liberal media?!?!

Monday, January 17, 2005

yet another bush excuse bites the dust!

From CBS News :

No Basis For WMD Smuggling Claims
(AP) As the hunt for weapons of mass destruction dragged on unsuccessfully in Iraq, top Bush administration officials speculated publicly that the banned armaments may have been smuggled out of the country before the war started.

Whether Saddam Hussein moved the WMD — deadly chemical, biological or radiological arms — is one of the unresolved issues that the final U.S. intelligence report on Iraq's programs is expected to address next month.

But intelligence and congressional officials say they have not seen any information — never "a piece," said one — indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria, Jordan or elsewhere.

Let's see...wonder what the next excuse will be or if they will keep sweeping this story under the rug and hope that no one remembers it. Seems to be working so far - how can a story of this significance have so little coverage?

and, once again, bush as a pompous ass!

From CBS News :

Bush: Voters Ratified Iraq Policy

CBS/AP) President Bush says his re-election proves Americans agree with his decision to invade Iraq, and that as a result, there's no need to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes made in planning for the war, or its aftermath.

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Mr. Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post for Sunday's editions. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

In the interview, conducted Friday aboard Air Force One, Mr. Bush set no schedule for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and said he will not ask Congress to expand the size of the National Guard or regular Army. He urged Americans to be patient as Iraq moves toward creating a democratic nation in place of a dictatorship.

Well, thanks red-staters! Now he thinks - more than ever before - that there should be no accountability for anything that he does, no matter how horrendous! Wonderful!

the most incredible bush quote yet!

I am not kidding :

Asked why bin Laden was not been captured yet, the president responded, "Because he's hiding."

ohmigawd!!!! Does bush consider this some kind of game of "hide and seek"?!?! Does he really have a mind of a 3 year old or is that he way of making the public think he's a "regular guy"?!?!

wow! who was involved in THIS poll?!

From YahooNews :

Poll: Americans Hopeful on 2nd Bush Term
WASHINGTON - A majority of Americans say they feel hopeful about President Bush's second term and have a generally positive view of him personally, but they also express continued doubts about Iraq.
Ahead of Bush's inauguration on Thursday, six in 10 people said they felt hopeful about his second term and in response to a separate question 47 percent said they were worried. Most said they were neither angry nor excited about his final four years in office.
Nearly two-thirds of those polled described Bush as likable, strong and intelligent. A majority said he is dependable and honest.


Damn that "liberal media" at it again!!! Whoa!!! Where did they find THESE people?! I don't know of ANYONE who feels this way in the least!! Of course, they are saying that even though a "majority" are "hopeful", 47% are worried! Not a big majority, obviously! And how can ANYONE, even his faithful followers, believe that he is "likable, strong, intelligent...dependable and honest"?!?! He comes off as an idiot (whether he is or not, i still haven't figured out), he's arrogant and obnoxious, and "honest"?!?! WOW! The biggest liar we have ever had for a president is what is considered "honest"?!?!?! I don't even think that the "right"-wingers believe that he's been honest. But, i guess that fact that the damn "liberal media" completely buried the story about there being no WMDs in Iraq (which should have been the biggest story of the year) and going nuts over the Dan Rather non-story shows where the bias is in America these days. Scary scary scary times ahead of us!

Friday, January 14, 2005

a great article on the "exaggerations" on the oil-for-food "scandal"

From InterPressServiceNews :

POLITICS:Misdemeanors But No Felonies in UN Oil-for-Food

Thalif Deen A series of 58 internal audits of the multi-billion-dollar oil-for-food programme in Iraq has revealed overbilling and management lapses by its U.N. supervisors, but no large-scale fraud.
The United Nations, which provided food and relief supplies to 27 million sanctions-hit Iraqis during 1996-2003, was charged with overseeing some 65 billion dollars in oil revenues to finance goods and services.
But preliminary U.N. audit reports made public by the Independent Inquiry Committee, created by the U.N. Security Council last year, show management failings resulting in losses amounting to about two million dollars -- mostly due to overbilling.
"The scale is the key," says Jim Paul, executive director of the New York-based Global Policy Forum, which closely monitors the United Nations. "When you have a 65-billion-dollar programme and manage to find two million dollars missing, you don't have a big story," he told IPS.
Paul said that newspaper editors who play up the story are "complicit" in an ongoing virulent campaign by U.S. right-wing neo-conservatives to undermine the world body.
The lapses pointed out in the audit reports include failure to supervise contractors, overcharging by companies hired to monitor oil sales, lack of direction and coordination, and ad hoc management practices and procedures.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Monday that the United Nations is already focused on issues of management and accountability.
"We are engaged in a critical review of the way we work, which will lead to a broad overhaul of the U.N.'s management structure and systems in order to improve performance and accountability," he said.
"And let's not forget that the oil-for-food programme did fulfill its main objective by providing humanitarian relief to 27 million Iraqis and thereby helping to maintain political support for U.N. sanctions which, in turn, prevented (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's regime from acquiring weapons of mass destruction," Dujarric said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who described the U.S.-led war on Iraq as "illegal" in a television interview last year, has come under heavy fire from right-wing groups in the United States.
These groups have also accused the world body of facilitating the Saddam Hussein regime to siphon off some 10 billion to 20 billion dollars in illegal profits from the oil-for-food programme.

But in an newspaper interview Saturday, the head of the Independent Inquiry Committee, Paul Volcker, a former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, said those figures were "grossly exaggerated". He said his own investigations show only about 1.7 billion dollars in illegal profits.

Volcker also said he did not see any "flaming red flags" in the audit reports. Paul said that "people in Washington have continued to exaggerate the figures for political reasons." He said the figures were getting bigger and bigger every day. "They were being repeated until they came to be accepted as truth."
He referred to a monumental scandal the United States has chosen to ignore involving the Development Fund for Iraq, which was under the U.S.-administered Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) set up after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Paul said the United Nations transferred about 8 billion dollars in Iraqi oil revenues to that Fund. The Fund also accumulated another 10 billion dollars of oil revenues when the CPA administered Iraq.
"A number of countries in the Security Council described the Fund as a 'black hole' because it was totally non-transparent," he added. There were even stories of how some of the monies ended in Swiss banks, he said.
"So the people who are so troubled by the misuse of funds by the United Nations have not taken the trouble to look at the U.S.-administered Development Fund for Iraq," Paul said.
He said the oil-for-food programme has been turned into scandal as part of a right-wing conspiracy. "What is also sinister about it is that it is also being used as lever to change personnel at the highest levels of the United Nations," he added.
Last week, three senior officials-- the Under-Secretary-General for Management and Administration, the Financial Controller, and Annan's Chief of Staff-- indicated they would either retire or leave the Organisation, mostly under pressure.
In an editorial titled "Housecleaning at the U.N.", the New York Times said Monday that Annan is "doing the right thing" by changes in his top management staff. "Further changes are certainly warranted, but they should not just be aimed at appeasing Washington and improving the U.N.'s public image. They are needed in such critical areas as peacekeeping and refugee assistance," the editorial said. Paul said that a group that calls itself "Friends of the U.N." is putting pressure on Annan to make changes at the top. "The campaign lays the ground work for these so called "friends" to urge Annan to bow to U.S. pressure. And it is happening," he added.

He said it is very similar to the way the United States gets rid of U.N. ambassadors by pressuring foreign governments. U.S. officials are "masters at this game," Paul said. "It's a disgrace."
Meanwhile, Annan has cautioned against any rush to judgment until the Volcker committee releases its report. The secretary-general says he will abide by the decisions of the committee.

Among those under investigation are Benon Sevan, a senior U.N. official who once headed the oil-for-food programme, and Annan's son Kojo Annan, who worked for a Swiss company that had contracts related to the programme.
Volcker has said that a preliminary report will be released by the end of January and the final report by June 30. Predicting that he may not be able to find a "smoking gun", Volcker said last week that when he releases his final report, he expects criticisms from both sides -- those who are supportive of the United Nations and those who are against

So, this "scandal" is considerably smaller than the neo-cons make it out to be and their is a larger scandal involving the US that we haven't heard of at all! Surprising? Not these days!

more on bush lying about SS

A good article in The Daily Howler

Incredible! Despite the fact that it will literally cost trillions to cover bush’s destruction of SS, he will also be cutting benefits!!!! ARGH!

bush has no regrets!

From an article in the Review Journal (no link on their site):

Bush notes sound bites from first term
President says “bring ‘em on”, “dead or alive” comments had unintended consequences

Washington – In a rare, reflective look back on his first term, President Bush said Thursday that he learned a lesson about “the unintended consequences of my words,” recalling two famous expressions: “Bring ‘em on” and getting Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.”

After he made the bin Laden remark at the Pentagon six days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush said: “I got back to the White House, and Laura said, ‘What did you say that for?’ Well, it was just an expression that came out. I didn’t rehearse it.”

Bush said his “bring ‘em on” comment, directed at Iraqi insurgents who were attacking U.S. forces in July 2003, was meant “to rally the troops. …Some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger, but that certainly wasn’t the case.”

Bush’s comments came during a wide-ranging White House interview with 15 reporters one week before his inauguration for a second term.

When Bush was asked about his biggest regret during his first term and his greatest hope for his second, he said peace was his most fervent hope, citing Iraq and the Middle East. But he deflected the first part of the question.

“I’m not a regretful person,” he said. “I’m a look-forward, get-things-done type of person.” At the end of the interview, Bush was asked again about any regrets.

“One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes words have consequences you don’t intend to mean,” he responded, leaning back in his chair in the Roosevelt Room. “The classic example was ‘bring ‘em on.”

Some former military leaders had criticized the president’s remark, saying it might goad Iraqis and put soldiers at risk. Bush opponents often used the “dead or alive” comment against him, pointing out that bin Laden was still on the loose.

“I don’t know if it’s a regret, but certainly a lesson, to be mindful of what you say, to be mindful of the consequences of your words,” he said. “What would you call it? Confession? Regret? A something.”

Asked about many issues, Bush was most animated in defending his campaign to overhaul Social Security by allowing younger workers to set up private investment accounts using part of their payroll taxes.

“I’m only going to be here four more years,” Bush said. “You can mark time or take the responsibility for making life better for the next generation.”

He pledged to lay out a detailed plan in the coming weeks for Social Security changes, with ways to pay for the transition costs.

Bush was upbeat and relaxed through much of the interview as he discussed his second-term agenda.

He called for making tax cuts permanent, limiting medical malpractice awards, and revamping immigration laws to help some undocumented aliens stay and work in the country.

Bush defended his policy on the treatment and interrogation of prisoners in the war on terrorism, saying he was “concerned” about reports of abuses “that will be investigated.” He said he was “adamant” in opposing any use of torture.

But he didn’t say whether he agreed with his White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, who said at his congressional hearing last week to become attorney general that the president, as commander in chief, had the wartime power to override laws and order harsh interrogation, possibly even torture, in the name of national security.

“I’ll have to talk to Al about that and make sure where he’s coming from,”
Bush said.

Asked whether he’d ever authorized the transfer or “rendition” of prisoners to countries that practice torture, Bush said that he wouldn’t answer: “this administration will not talk about intelligence-gathering matters.”

Wow! Not only will he reuse to admit any mistakes – of which there are millions – but he will not even say that he regrets anything that he has done!!!! Is this the most arrogant jackass that has ever lived or what?!

He doesn’t “regret” the idiot things that he has said, even though even his wife thought that they were stupid!

A “look-forward, get-things-done type of person”?!?! I don’t think he looks forward any more than he looks back! He certainly doesn’t plan anything and he admits that he doesn’t anticipate the consequences of his words and deeds. He obviously isn’t planning for the consequences of his destruction of Social Security, or the continued tax cuts or the lawsuit limitations, and obviously, not of the war!

Also interesting that he refused to comment on the transfer of prisoners to countries that practice torture….

In yet another example of the “liberal media”, AOL News now has a headline in regards to these comments that bush said he was “sorry” for these comments. No, he very distinctly does NOT say he is sorry, something that I don’t think he has ever done. Nice spin, though!

Paul Krugman on SS

Paul Krugman is a writer for the New York Times. Check out his articles on bush's plans to dismantle Social Security. Well reasoned, well thought-out, well researched and well written. Terrifying to think what will happen to us all is bush puts through some of his disastrous plans!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

more on bush's plan to destroy Social Security

Just watched the Daily Show do an amazing report on bush's press conference about SS! Man, this guy gives them SO much material! Its hard to believe that this is all real!
Jon Stewart makes the excellent point that, seeing how bush admits that he does not read any newspapers or watch the news, that he doesn't want to hear bad news from his staff, that everyone that is allowed into any of his speeches is hand-picked to make sure that they agree with him, he is the living embodiment of the Truman Show! Does he even know that they are real people out here that he is hurting and killing?! Maybe not!
Anyway, some highlights from his speech :

In reference to his plans for personal savings account for SS:

a personal savings account which can't be used to bet on the lottery, or a dice game, or the track.

Wow! The faith that he has in the American people is heartwarming! I swear that these are actual quotes!

Secondly, the interesting -- there's a -- African American males die sooner than other males do, which means the system is inherently unfair to a certain group of people. And that needs to be fixed.

As Jon Stewart pointed out, shouldn't we maybe address the reasons why African American males die younger?!

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, you're a dairy farmer?
MR. WRIGHT: That's correct.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Milking those cows.
MR. WRIGHT: Yes. Not today, obviously. I made my dad stay home and do it. But we have a dairy farm in central Utah, and you can fit the whole town in this building here.
THE PRESIDENT: Kind of like Crawford.
MR. WRIGHT: There's a lot more cows than there are people, so I spend a lot of time talking to animals. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Are they talking back yet? (Laughter.) When they start talking back, give me a call. (Laughter.)

Oh my gawd! I can't believe that this is the height of debate for this president! Gotta mention that he's from a "small town" too! Of course, he could buy the town and probably the state if he wanted, but he's just a small town boy!

If nothing takes place, if Congress says, oh, don't worry, we'll just push it down the road; why do we need to deal with it, there's no crisis -- if nothing happens, and we don't start moving on it now, by the time Josh gets to retirement age, the system will be flat broke.

This has been proven to be an outright lie, but, of course, that's never stopped bush!

MS. STONE: I would like to introduce my mom. This is my mother, Rhoda Stone. And she is grandmother of three, and originally from Helsinki, Finland, and has been here over 40 years.
THE PRESIDENT: Fantastic. Same age as my mother.
MS. STONE: Just turned 80. The Talent Show points out, can bush read minds or see into the future now? How did he know the age this person was going to say before they said it? Couldn't possibly be scripted, could it?!

I realize it's not going to be easy. This isn't easy. If it were easy, it would have already been done.

Man, he loves to go on about his "hard work", doesn't he?!

And a petition to tell Congress not to destroy Social Security!

From MoveOn :

Subject: Tell Congress to protect Social Security
Dear friend:
George Bush and Republican leaders have made phasing out Social Security through privatization and massive benefit cuts their top priority for 2005.
Members of Congress are choosing sides over the next couple of weeks.
We need to make sure they choose correctly now—before a massive election-style campaign by George Bush and the Wall Street interests gets to them including what might be a $100 million TV ad campaign.
MoveOn’s trying to gather 200,000 signatures to present to lawmakers when they return after the inauguration. You can sign the petition now at:
Social Security is a complicated issue, but the basics are really pretty simple:
° Social Security provides monthly benefits to some 44 million Americans who are retired, disabled or the survivor of a deceased parent. It provides most of the income for older Americans--some 64 percent of their support. It has lifted generations of seniors out of poverty.
° Social Security is not in crisis. That is an outright lie perpetrated in order to create the urgency for radical changes. Under conservative forecasts, the long-term challenges in Social Security do not manifest themselves until 2042. Even then Social Security has 70 percent of needed funds. That shortfall is smaller than the amount needed in 1983, the last time we overhauled Social Security. George Bush's Social Security crisis-talk is an effort to create a specter of doom -- just like the weapons of mass destruction claim in Iraq.
° Phasing out Social Security and replacing it with privatized accounts means one thing: massive cuts in monthly benefits for everybody. Social Security privatization requires diverting taxes used to pay current benefits into privatized accounts invested in risky stocks. Without that money Social Security benefits will inevitably be cut -- some proposals even cut benefits of current retirees. These benefit cuts are inevitable, since diverting Social Security money into privatized accounts means less money to pay current and future benefits.
° Every serious privatization proposal raises the Social Security retirement age to 70. That might be fine if you're a Washington special interest lobbyist but it is incredibly unfair to blue-collar Americans with tough, physical jobs, or for African Americans and Latinos with lower life expectancies.
° Privatization means gambling with your retirement security. There is probably an appropriate place for a little stock market risk in retirement planning -- but it isn't Social Security. Privatization exposes your entire retirement portfolio to stock market risks -- and the risk that you'll outlive any of your savings at retirement. You can't outlive your Social Security benefit.
° So who does benefit? Wall Street. Giant financial services firms have been salivating for decades over the prospect of taking over Social Security. Wall Street would make billions of dollars in profit by managing the privatized accounts -- money that would come directly from your benefits.
° Action is urgently needed today. President Bush and Republican leaders in Congress are joining forces with the financial services industry for a major campaign to convince the public there is a major crisis and pressure members of Congress to vote for privatization. Action is needed now before it is too late. Please sign MoveOn’s petition to protect Social Security at the link below.
Thanks for doing this.

a petition to make C. Rice tell the truth!

Barbara Boxer has a petition circulating to let Rice know that we want the truth!

From Ms. Boxer:

Thank you so much for signing my petition, calling on Condoleeza Rice to tell the truth about the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism during her Senate confirmation hearings.
As you know, I have never been afraid to stand alone on the Senate floor -- like earlier this month when I led the fight to challenge Ohio's Electoral Votes.
But now I cannot stand up without you. The fights are getting harder and harder since our numbers in the Senate have diminished.

So, please join our PAC for a Change. With PAC for a Change, we can stand together to fight against the President's foreign and domestic policies that are moving us away from the core values that underlie our democracy.


Please sign the petition at the link above! Let them know that there are plenty of people who want the truth, not more of their lies!

a Roosevelt stands up to the GOP!

Daily Kos reports on a grandson of FDR demanding that the repugs stop using his granfather's image in their ads for dismantling Social Security! It actually is pretty incredible just how many people do NOT want to be associated with the "right's" madness! I guess bush thinks that any legacy is a good legacy and so he is striving to be the most extreme and most hated president ever! Nothing else would explain the insane things that he has done!

degrees of "lies"

See The Poor Man for a compare & contrast between "Rathergate" & the nonexistant WMDs! See the comments to see crazed conservatives freak out at any critism of bush and his lies as they continue to rant & rave about Dan Rather and the "liberal media"! See them scream that Dan Rather deserves "punishment", while bush does not! Dan has been humiliated and is no longer a reporter and 4 others were fired - this is FAR more than has happened over the lies that we were told as we were forced to go into a completely immoral war! Which is worse, a "lie" about a source of information, even though the information itself is true, or a proven lie, that we were told over & over & over (along with many others) to send our country into war? All we want is a LITTLE accountability on bush's end!

Go Canada! Some good news, for a change!

From YahooNews :

Canadian Researcher Invents New Solar Cell

TORONTO (Reuters) - It may only be a matter of time before we will be using our shirts to charge our cellphones.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have invented a flexible plastic solar cell that is said to be five times more efficient than current methods in converting energy from the sun into electrical energy.

Team leader Ted Sargent, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, said the cell harnesses infrared light from the sun and can form a flexible film on the surface of cloth, paper or other materials.

And the film can turn 30 percent of the sun's power into usable electrical energy -- a far better performance than the 6 percent gleaned from the best plastic solar cells now in use.


Wow! Let's hope that our government doesn't squash this development since it could conflict with some of the organizations in their back pockets!

more insanity over Iraq

From YahooNews :

U.S. Lowers Expectations for Iraqi Vote

WASHINGTON - Administration officials say the Iraqi elections at the end of the month will be less than perfect, but nonetheless will pave the way for a drawdown of U.S. troops.

"The election is not going to be perfect," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. "This is the first time Iraqis will be able to freely choose their leaders. It's for a transitional government, and it's one of three elections that will take place over the course of this year."

Separately, Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said American troops will begin leaving this year as the Iraqi army, national guard and police force take on a larger security role.

"But I cannot give you a timeline when they will all be home," Powell said in an interview with National Public Radio that was released by the State Department on Wednesday.

So, this imperfect election, (that can't come as a surprise to anyone, can it?) which will likely cause more insurgency, will signal a start of American troops coming home?! And the Iraqi army will start taking on a "larger security role"? Because they've been so successful so far? Just doesn't make sense!
On another front, the White House acknowledged Wednesday that its hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction has closed down without finding the stockpiles that President Bush (news - web sites) cited as a main justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

"Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action because this is about protecting the American people,"
McClellan said.

WHAAAAAATTTT?!?!?!? I literally laughed out loud at this absurdity when i heard it on the news today! How are we protecting the American people be attacking a country that we have proven had no way to hurt us at all?! We're kind of doing the opposite, since our actions have bred MORE terrorists, and thousands have been killed and wounded in Iraq. How is it possible that they can even say these ridiculous things without being called on them?!
The U.S. military's ground forces commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, has said that while most of Iraq's 18 provinces are secure enough for the elections to proceed, security remains poor in four provinces. Those provinces — Nineveh, Anbar, Salahadin and Baghdad — are home to about 25 percent of Iraq's population.

So, at least ONE QUARTER of the people (still living) will not be able to vote in this election? And the rest are scared that they will be murdered as they try to vote? Yeah, i guess you could call that "less than perfect"!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

another "right"wing nutcase!

From Media Matters :

Ann Coulter: Bill Clinton "was a very good rapist"

The January 10 edition of the New York Observer printed a January 3 interview with right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, in which she stated that she was "fed up with hearing about ... civilian casualties" in Iraq; that "it would be fun to nuke" North Korea; that all feminists are "weak and pathetic;" that former President Bill Clinton "was a very good rapist." Coulter's personal website provided a link to the interview.


Absolutely outrageous! How does someone get to rant & lie in the media like this?! Oh yeah, i forget, its that "liberal media" conspiracy at it again! This "person" is simply grotesque! Can you imagine if someone said these things about a republican?!

does ANYONE believe this crap?!

From Media Matters :

Safire: Republicans "restrain taxes while increasing social spending at home"; budget reports show otherwise

In the wake of reports that President Bush is proposing a 2006 budget that slashes or freezes domestic spending, New York Times op-ed columnist William Safire wrote in his January 12 column -- in which he touted "the growing strength of national character" in America -- that the present-day Republican Party "is characterized by a mission to defeat terror while exporting freedom abroad, and a policy to restrain taxes while increasing social spending at home."

But, as Robert Pear reported in a January 9 New York Times article, the leader of the party that purportedly embraces a policy of "increasing social spending at home" is expected to propose cuts to numerous entitlement programs -- such as Social Security, Medicare, veterans' disability compensation, and Medicaid -- as well as cuts or freezes to other social programs, such as housing, scientific, and health programs.

Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Weisman reported on January 12 that in its 2006 budget, the Bush administration "plans to reintroduce measures to stem the growth of federal health care and other entitlement programs that rise automatically each year based on set formulas, they said." Weisman explained budget cuts expected for federal housing programs:

Community Development Block Grants, funded this year at nearly $5 billion, could be cut by as much as 50 percent, aides said. The Home Investment Partnerships Program, a housing program that was trimmed by 4 percent this year, is expected to take a larger hit in the president's 2006 budget. Overall, housing programs will be at best frozen, said Barbara Thompson, executive director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies.


NO ONE can actually think this is true, can they?! I mean, bush doesn't even try to pretend that he is "increasing spending at home"! Part of his effort to "cut the deficit" (that he created - and, of course, he isn't really trying to cut it at all) is to put all money toward defense and take away from any homeland programs. These repugs really have complete contempt for the public, don't they? They really think that we are mindless slaves to their lies. I guess 51% are!

more financial news

From YahooNews :

Trade Gap Hits Record as Exports Drop

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in November to a record $60.3 billion, propelled by the highest-ever oil import bill and a drop in exports, a government report showed on Wednesday.

The surprisingly large increase sent the dollar tumbling in morning trading against both the euro and the yen.

It also suggested U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2004 was slower than expected, as steadily rising imports of goods and services cut into domestic output.

The widening of the deficit -- which topped $60 billion for the first time -- defied Wall Street forecasts for it to narrow to $54 billion. October's deficit was revised up to a $56.0 billion gap from the originally reported $55.5 billion.
The deficit has continued to balloon despite a 50 percent drop in the value of the dollar against the euro over the past three years, which has been expected to narrow the gap.

this would be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetic!

From AOL News :

Search Ends for Banned Weapons in Iraq
By Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Jan. 12) -- The U.S. force that scoured Iraq for weapons of mass destruction has abandoned its long and fruitless hunt and is assisting in the more immediate task of counter-insurgency efforts, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.
''You can only search so many places for WMD,'' said a defense official, who added that the ISG continues to review documents and interview people knowledgeable about deposed President Saddam Hussein's arms programs for possible leads.
Charles Duelfer, the CIA special adviser who led the ISG's weapons search, has returned home and is expected next month to issue a final addendum to his September report concluding that prewar Iraq had no WMD stockpiles, officials said.
The Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had no stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons and its nuclear program had decayed before last year's U.S.-led invasion.

The findings are contrary to prewar assertions by the Bush administration, which stated in the run-up to the war that Saddam possessed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, was actively reconstituting his nuclear arms program, and might provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists to attack America.


I can't believe that they actually had someone looking for these fictional WMDs! I had no idea that they were even going through the motions since they knew that this was all BS.
From DailyKos: a LONG list of the numerous lies about WMDs that the bush administration gave us as a reason to go to war. Why has the story of there being no WMDs been down played so much in the press? Why isn't there ANY accountability in this administration?! Damn that "liberal media"!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's OK If You're A Republican (IOKIYAR)

From the NY Times :

Worse Than Fiction
By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: January 7, 2005

I've been thinking of writing a political novel. It will be a bad novel because there won't be any nuance: the villains won't just espouse an ideology I disagree with - they'll be hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels.
In my bad novel, a famous moralist who demanded national outrage over an affair and writes best-selling books about virtue will turn out to be hiding an expensive gambling habit. A talk radio host who advocates harsh penalties for drug violators will turn out to be hiding his own drug addiction.
In my bad novel, crusaders for moral values will be driven by strange obsessions. One senator's diatribe against gay marriage will link it to "man on dog" sex. Another will rant about the dangers of lesbians in high school bathrooms.
In my bad novel, the president will choose as head of homeland security a "good man" who turns out to have been the subject of an arrest warrant, who turned an apartment set aside for rescue workers into his personal love nest and who stalked at least one of his ex-lovers.
In my bad novel, a TV personality who claims to stand up for regular Americans against the elite will pay a large settlement in a sexual harassment case, in which he used his position of power to - on second thought, that story is too embarrassing even for a bad novel.
In my bad novel, apologists for the administration will charge foreign policy critics with anti-Semitism. But they will be silent when a prominent conservative declares that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular."
In my bad novel the administration will use the slogan "support the troops" to suppress criticism of its war policy. But it will ignore repeated complaints that the troops lack armor.
The secretary of defense - another "good man," according to the president - won't even bother signing letters to the families of soldiers killed in action.
Last but not least, in my bad novel the president, who portrays himself as the defender of good against evil, will preside over the widespread use of torture.
How did we find ourselves living in a bad novel? It was not ever thus. Hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels have always been with us, on both sides of the aisle. But 9/11 created an environment some liberals summarize with the acronym Iokiyar: it's O.K. if you're a Republican.
The public became unwilling to believe bad things about those who claim to be defending the nation against terrorism. And the hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels of the right, empowered by the public's credulity, have come out in unprecedented force.
Apologists for the administration would like us to forget all about the Kerik affair, but Bernard Kerik perfectly symbolizes the times we live in. Like Rudolph Giuliani and, yes, President Bush, he wasn't a hero of 9/11, but he played one on TV. And like Mr. Giuliani, he was quick to cash in, literally, on his undeserved reputation.
Once the New York newspapers began digging, it became clear that Mr. Kerik is, professionally and personally, a real piece of work. But that's not unusual these days among people who successfully pass themselves off as patriots and defenders of moral values. Mr. Kerik must still be wondering why he, unlike so many others, didn't get away with it.
And Alberto Gonzales must be hoping that senators don't bring up the subject.
The principal objection to making Mr. Gonzales attorney general is that doing so will tell the world that America thinks it's acceptable to torture people. But his confirmation will also be a statement about ethics.
As White House counsel, Mr. Gonzales was charged with vetting Mr. Kerik. He must have realized what kind of man he was dealing with - yet he declared Mr. Kerik fit to oversee homeland security.
Did Mr. Gonzales defer to the wishes of a president who wanted Mr. Kerik anyway, or did he decide that his boss wouldn't want to know? (The Nelson Report, a respected newsletter, reports that Mr. Bush has made it clear to his subordinates that he doesn't want to hear bad news about Iraq.)
Either way, when the Senate confirms Mr. Gonzales, it will mean that Iokiyar remains in effect, that the basic rules of ethics don't apply to people aligned with the ruling party. And reality will continue to be worse than any fiction I could write.

new choice for dept of homeland security

Michael Chertoff :

Chertoff: Kerik without the sex
Now that the dust has finally settled from the Bernard Kerik fiasco, President Bush has named a new choice to head the Department of Homeland Security: Federal appeals judge and former high-ranking federal prosecutor Michael Chertoff.

Because Chertoff was recently vetted for the federal bench, we assume that he's passed his background check with flying colors, and we won't be hearing about any more World Trade Center love nests, arrest warrants. Mob pals, and all the other things that made the brief Kerik period such a fun time to be a journalist.

That's the "good" news. The bad news is that while Chertoff may lack the whiff of sex scandal that would put the NY tabloids on the case, he's arguably a worse choice than Kerik. In the days after 9/11, Chertoff -- as head of the criminal division under John Ashcroft -- was architect of some of the most regrettable policies of Bush I.

It was Chertoff, as assistant atttorney general overseeing the initial 9/11 probe, who OK'ed and then defended the detention of hundreds of "material witnesses" of Arab descent -- even though it would later be determined that none -- that's right, none -- of the detainees had anything to do with the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Chartoff's actions during this period would later be roundly criticized in a report from the Justice Department's own Inspector General. It found that immigrants were rounded up in an "indiscriminate and haphazard manner," held for months while denied access to attorneys and sometimes mistreated behind bars.

The report noted that Chertoff "urged immigration officials to 'hold these people until we find out what's going on,' despite the fact that many had been swept up and detained on minor immigration charges."

Chertoff also push prosecutors and the FBI into greatly expanded use of domestic surveillance. In November 2002, according to this report, he "defended the need for government agencies to aggregate large amounts of personal information in computer databases for both law enforcement and national security purposes."

What's more, Chertoff was responsible for the badly botched prosecution of al-Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who has yet to be brought to any type of justice even though he was arrested three-and-a-half years ago. Under his leadership, the Justice Department pursued a theory that Moussaoui was "the 20th hijacker" -- despite zero evidence to support that claim.

However, that argument has been used as an excuse to deny the American public from information that might prove what really happened to Flight 93 on 9/11.

Last week, Democrats were able to use the Alberto Gonzales for attorney general hearings as a venue to air the dirty laundry of the Bush administration's torture policies. Although Chertoff is likely to be confirmed, let's hope it's not without a discussion of these civil rights abuses.


And this doesn't even get into his role as Whitewater persecutor! Does bush even know anyone who is not a scumbag?!