Link Roundup - 3.31.05
a question: Why do protesters demanding Terry Schiavo
be kept alive in a vegetive state, usually only numbering
in the couple of dozens get 24/7 coverage,
interview after interview, yet two weeks ago, when
10's of thousands protested against our illegal occupation
of Iraq and the murder of 100's of thousands of
people based on lies got NO COVERAGE AT ALL, and
NOT ONE INTERVIEW with a protester was seen?
Let that sink in for a minute when considering the state
of our media and democracy.
This guy just did it! The way to beat the Repubs! Ask
them all a simple question, "Are you with Tom Delay or
against him?" Answer the question!! Everyone on
this list for very long knows i've been advocating this
for two years...make Delay the face of the Republican
party, force them all to defend him, and talk about him
every god damn chance you get...why, because he runs their
DeLay never speaks during Republican conventions, even
though he is the House Majority Leader and the most powerful
Republican in Congress. Do you think that's a coincidence?
Of course not. They know the American people wouldn't
be comfortable with DeLay's extreme views. So they hide
him in the dark corners of their party. It's time to bring
him out into the light. If you're with Tom DeLay, great.
Stand next to him and be proud. If you don't agree with
him, prove it. If you're against his policies, then vote
against them. Why are Blue States tolerating so-called
moderate Republicans who keep voting with their hard right
wing compatriots? Make them accountable. Unless they renounce
the extremists who have taken over their party, there
should be no Republican left standing in the Blue States."
nails it on the Schiavo case...Delay was right,
this is an example of what's happening in this country,
he just had the problem wrong. Indeed, we are headed in
the direction of Israel, where extremists will target,
intimidate, and kill those that oppose them. Think of
the fear already rampant among judges, doctors, and activists...America
as we knew it, or thought we did, is dead.
CORRUPTION DELAY ALLY PART OF ANOTHER INQUIRY:
Already under investigation for extorting
millions of dollars from Indian tribes in return
for access to prominent conservative politicians, AP
reports Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff "was
at the center of an earlier inquiry that said
his firm hadn't justified roughly $1.2 million it charged
the Northern Mariana Islands." Abramoff, who has traded
on his ties to President Bush and
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), was
the lead lobbyist for Seattle-based Preston Gates &
Ellis when it worked on behalf of the islands to keep
them free from certain federal labor and immigration
laws during the last half of the 1990s. One audit concluded
that about $1.2 million in government payments to Preston
Gates was "not adequately supported." The charges included
travel, telephone, photocopy, computer research, outside-professional
fees and "$2,000 for a June 1996 golf tournament."
is more right here
now back to the War on Terror, Already in Progress
Calls U.S. Intelligence 'Dead Wrong' on Iraq Weapons
American intelligence community was "dead wrong"
about Iraq's weapons arsenal in large part because of
an outdated Cold War mentality and a vast, lumbering
bureaucracy that continues to shackle dedicated and
capable people, a presidential commission said today.
"The intelligence community must be transformed
- a goal that would be difficult to meet even in the
best of all possible worlds," the commission said
in its report to President Bush. "And we do not
live in the best of worlds." [...]
The report, several hundred pages long, contains portions
that are classified and were not made public.
Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who heads
the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was pleased
by the report. "I don't think there should be any
doubt that we have now heard it all regarding prewar
intelligence," Mr. Roberts told The Associated
Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, leading Democrat
on the House Armed Services Committee, told The A.P.
that the faults were obviously widespread. "I don't
think you can blame any one person, although the buck
does stop at the top of every one of these agencies,"
Mr. Skelton said.
so they were wrong about the reason for going to war and
killing thousands upon thousand of people. Ooops! But
things in Iraq are improving right? ... Right?!
Iraq kids suffer from malnutrition
Almost twice as many Iraqi children are suffering from
malnutrition since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam
Hussein, a U.N. monitor said Monday.
Four% of Iraqis under age 5 went hungry in the months
after Saddam's ouster in April 2003, and the rate nearly
doubled to 7.7% last year, said Jean Ziegler, the U.N.
Human Rights Commission's special expert on the right
The situation is "a result of the war led by coalition
forces," he said.
Schiavo has passed away.
My heart goes out to the family and the husband of Terri
Schiavo. My heart also goes out to the families of the
other 30,000 Americans who goes through this same tragic
situation but do so without the media circus that surrounds
Terri Schiavo. Where is congress for them? Where are the
Republicans when those other 29,999 people have their
feeding tubes removed?
Well Terri has finally found some peace. Make no mistake,
Terri is now where she should be. With her God. All the
misguided folks on the religious right were so far off
base on this issue. These religious folks would claim
that Terri's husband is killing her. That God wants her
Let me just say this. If God had a choice, Terri would
have dies 15 years ago. This is very simple. Without the
intervention of technology and the work of humans, Terri
would have passed away 15 years ago. How can the religious
right claim God wanted Terri to live, when Without science
and technology she would have passed long ago?
The Republicans who were against letting Terri Pass away
in peace were so far off base on this one. It pains me
to see so many people so misguided. They just need to
look at the facts. But the Pundits wont look the facts
in the face. They never do.
Check out this great clip from Media
Matters of MSNBC's Joe Scarborough getting blasted
by those pesky facts:
the March 28 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country,
host Joe Scarborough interviewed Dr. Ronald Cranford,
one of the two neurologists selected by Michael Schiavo
to examine Terri Schiavo pursuant to an October 2001
appellate court mandate. As part of that duty, Cranford
"reviewed her medical records and personally conducted
a neurological examination of Mrs. Schiavo," according
to the June 2003 Florida appeals court review of that
Lets go now to the Video:
piece is worth passing around. There we see a Doctor,
one who has actually treated Terri, with the facts on
the case. Dr. Ronal Cranford tells it just like it is
and calls Scarborough out for being what he is. An idiot.
If Republicans wanted Terri to live, why not actually
do something constructive and fund Medicare? Why not help
the Democrats when they try to build a better Medical
system for everyone? Why kick and scream and fight against
Democrats who want a better medical system? Why fight
us when we ask for funding for medical research? Why not
stand by our side as we demand better medical care for
ALL Americans? Where is the Right on these issues? It
was medicare that was keeping Terri alive. Yet Republicans
don't seem to care one bit about the failing medicare
system. Why doesn't the Right care about all this? What
will they do when the autopsy is complete and supports
everything Terri's husband claimed? This issue has hurt
the Republicans where they hoped to use it to unify their
cause. Well it bit them right in the ass. And its going
to bite them again before all is said and done.
Rest in peace Terri.
Little Too Late
Polwel was used. They put him out there and fed him lies.
They used him as the sacraficial lamb.
They gave him evidence of WMD that they knew was false.
I do not believe for one second that they ever actually
believed Saddam had the WMD they claimed that he had.
Why else would the reasons for the war keep changing?
Well now Colin seems a bit bitter. And Rightly so.
Not as bitter as these
Says U.S. Was 'Too Loud' Over Iraq -Magazine
The United States made errors in presenting its case
for war against Iraq, but Saddam Hussein had to be removed,
former Secretary of State Colin Powell told a German
magazine. "We were sometimes too loud, too direct,
perhaps we made too much noise," Powell told Stern
magazine in an interview released on Wednesday. "That
certainly shocked the Europeans sometimes."
He said terms like "Old Europe," the expression
coined by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to describe
countries such as France and Germany which opposed the
war, had not helped ease European concerns about Washington's
Powell said he had argued for a diplomatic solution
against cabinet colleagues such as Vice President Dick
Cheney, who did not believe that diplomacy would work.
"The situation with Saddam Hussein had to be resolved,
either by taming him or by removing him by military
means," he said. "I'm sure that the Vice President's
view from the very beginning was: we'll never solve
this through diplomatic means."
Powell said he was "furious and angry" that
he had been misinformed about Iraq's stockpiles of weapons
of mass destruction when he laid out the case for war
before the United Nations Security Council in February,
"Hundreds of millions followed it on television.
I will always be the one who presented it. I have to
live with that."
got a raw deal.
friend sent this to me. She is correct. This is very important.
Please pass the word to the left.
I'm writing to tell you about the anti-choice movement's
latest--and most insidious--attack on a woman's right
to choose. Here's what's happening:
In as many as 20 states, pharmacies are able to refuse
to fill women's prescriptions for contraception, including
the morning-after pill. It's truly outrageous.
When a woman and her doctor decide that a prescription
for contraception is in the woman's best interest, a
third party has no right to override that decision.
Pharmacies must ensure that patients get their doctor-prescribed
medication without delay or inconvenience. Join me in
taking action at NARAL Pro-Choice America to stop them.
here to tell our nation's biggest pharmacies
(Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Eckerd) not
to stand between a woman and her physician.
they can refuse service based on their beliefs couldn't
they be fired for not doing their job? I mean if you job
is to fill prescriptions and you are refusing to do that,
then you are not qualified for the position you hold.
If I am your boss your fired. Not on religious grounds,
rather on the grounds that you refuse to do your job.
Anyway its an interesting issue.
Rights at Front Of New Debate
Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to
fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after
pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates
their personal moral or religious beliefs.
The trend has opened a new front in the nation's battle
over reproductive rights, sparking an intense debate
over the competing rights of pharmacists to refuse to
participate in something they consider repugnant and
a woman's right to get medications her doctor has prescribed.
It has also triggered pitched political battles in statehouses
across the nation as politicians seek to pass laws either
to protect pharmacists from being penalized -- or force
them to carry out their duties. [...]
"There are pharmacists who will only give birth
control pills to a woman if she's married. There are
pharmacists who mistakenly believe contraception is
a form of abortion and refuse to prescribe it to anyone,"
said Adam Sonfield of the Alan Guttmacher Institute
in New York, which tracks reproductive issues. "There
are even cases of pharmacists holding prescriptions
hostage, where they won't even transfer it to another
pharmacy when time is of the essence."
people are in the wrong line of work.
on feeding tube
the pope is now on a feeding tube. I wonder if he has
a living will.
Being Fed Through Nasal Tube
Pope John Paul is being fed through a nasal tube to
boost his strength, the Vatican said Wednesday, casting
a dramatic new light on the Pontiff's struggle to recover
from throat surgery.
Doctors inserted the tube after the 84-year-old Pope
failed in efforts to speak in public for the second
time in four days. He has not been heard in public since
an emergency operation on Feb. 24 inserted a tube into
his windpipe to help him breathe.
man must be so tired by now. It will be quite sad to see
this man wither away before our eyes. He seems to have
no intention to step down from his post. The pope suffers
from Parkinson's Disease, and has been in the hospital
recovering from throat surgery. In a little side note
of irony, Parkinson's Disease is one of many ailments
that could possible be cured through stem cell research.
The catholic Church, of course, does
not condone such research.
this and thought it was a very spot-on rant on the whole
will is the best revenge
Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent events
to prepare a more detailed advance directive dealing
with end-of-life issues. Here's what mine says:
* In the event I lapse into a persistent vegetative
state, I want medical authorities to resort to extraordinary
means to prolong my hellish semiexistence. Fifteen years
wouldn't be long enough for me.
* I want my wife and my parents to compound their misery
by engaging in a bitter and protracted feud that depletes
their emotions and their bank accounts.
* I want my wife to ruin the rest of her life by maintaining
an interminable vigil at my bedside. I'd be really jealous
if she waited less than a decade to start dating again
or otherwise rebuilding a semblance of a normal life.
* I want my case to be turned into a circus by losers
and crackpots from around the country who hope to bring
meaning to their empty lives by investing the same transient
emotion in me that they once reserved for Laci Peterson,
Chandra Levy and that little girl who got stuck in a
* I want those crackpots to spread vicious lies about
* I want to be placed in a hospice where protesters
can gather to bring further grief and disruption to
the lives of dozens of dying patients and families whose
stories are sadder than my own.
* I want the people who attach themselves to my case
because of their deep devotion to the sanctity of life
to make death threats against any judges, elected officials
or health care professionals who disagree with them.
* I want the medical geniuses and philosopher kings
who populate the Florida Legislature to ignore me for
more than a decade and then turn my case into a forum
for weeks of politically calculated bloviation.
* I want total strangers - oily politicians, maudlin
news anchors, ersatz friars and all other hangers-on
- to start calling me "Bobby," as if they
had known me since childhood.
* I'm not insisting on this as part of my directive,
but it would be nice if Congress passed a "Bobby's
Law" that applied only to me and ignored the medical
needs of tens of millions of other Americans without
adequate health coverage.
* Even if the "Bobby's Law" idea doesn't work
out, I want Congress - especially all those self-described
conservatives who claim to believe in "less government
and more freedom" - to trample on the decisions
of doctors, judges and other experts who actually know
something about my case. And I want members of Congress
to launch into an extended debate that gives them another
excuse to avoid pesky issues such as national security
and the economy.
rest is found here
Is Breaking the Law
report is brought to you With help from Zack kaldveer.
Zack is a member of the 'Anti Arnold Media Task Force,
and can be reached at kaldveer- at - yahoo.com
week I mentioned the story of Erica, who
encountered an angry mob of people who
she encountered as she was standing outside of a Target
wearing a sign that read, "I'm a teacher against Arnold's
special election. Ask me why."
However this is just the beginning of the unwrapping of
this story. There is much more below the surface. What
if those signature gatherers hired by Arnold were hired
illegally? What if Target stores had, as part of their
store policy, a policy of not allowing ANY signature gatherers
outside of their store? What if we found out that Target,
was a major contributer to the Arnold Campaign, and that
Target had made an exception to their own anti-petition
gathering policy to allow only Arnold's people to petition
outside their doors. Time to do a little digging......
Got your shovel?
check out the actual California laws on signature gatherers.
Its ILLEGAL TO HIRE OUT OF STATE PETITIONERS!
Even more astounding is the fact that Target, the store
where the incident occurred just gave a huge donation
to Arnold's campaign, is a big back of his, and
in their OWN RULEBOOK it says signature gatherers ARE
Here is the Law in question:
Each section shall have attached thereto a declaration
signed and dated by the circulator of the petition
setting forth, in the circulator's own hand, the following
(Â§Â§ 104, 9022):
* The printed
name of the circulator.
* The residence
address of the circulator, giving street and number,
or if no street or number exists, adequate designation
of residence so that the location may be readily ascertained.
* A statement
that the circulator is a voter or is qualified to register
to vote in the State of California.
* The dates between
which all the signatures affixed to the petition were
Each declaration submitted pursuant to this section
shall also set forth the following (Â§Â§
* That the
circulator circulated the petition section and witnessed
the appended signatures being written.
* That according
to the best information and belief of the circulator,
each signature is the genuine signature of the person
whose name it purports to be.
* That the
declaration is true and correct under penalty of perjury
under the laws of the State of California.
The proponent(s) of an initiative measure are required
to ensure that any person, company, or other organization
who solicits signatures to qualify the proposed initiative
measure, whether they are paid or volunteer, receives
instruction on the requirements and prohibitions imposed
by state law with respect to the circulation of petitions
and the gathering of signatures. Such instructions must
emphasize the prohibition of the use of signatures
on an initiative petition for a purpose other
than qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot.
(Â§ 9607) The petition may be circulated by
a number of individuals carrying separate, identical
parts of the petition called sections. Each petition
circulator who obtains signatures must complete the
attached declaration to the petition. Preprinted dates
or generalized dates, other than the particular range
of dates during which the petition section was
actually circulated, are not allowed (Assembly
v. Deukmejian (1982) 30 Cal.3d 638, 180 Cal.Rptr. 297).
The declaration must be signed under penalty of
perjury. It need not be sworn before a notary
public or other officer authorized to administer oaths,
but must include the circulator's signature, date, and
place of signing (Code Civ. Proc. Â§
2015.5). Prior to allowing a person to circulate an
initiative petition for signatures, the person, company
official, or other organizational officer who
is in charge of signature gathering shall execute
and submit to the proponent(s) a signed statement that
reads as follows (Â§ 9609):
acknowledge that it is a misdemeanor under state law
(Section 18650 of the Elections Code) to knowingly or
willfully allow the signatures on an initiative
petition to be used for any purpose other than
qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot.
I certify that I will not knowingly or willfully
allow the signatures for this initiative to be used
for any purpose other than qualification of the measure
for the ballot.
(Signature of Circulator)
Dated this ____ day of ____, 20__
we have established that Arnold has hired petition gatherers
in an illegal fashion. We know Target made an exception
to its own rule to allow Petitioners working with Arnold
to do so on Target's store property.
us dig deeper still.
Target Donates $100,000 to Support Schwarzenegger's Initiatives
As Lisa Vorderbrueggen
reports in the Contra Costa Times, signature
gatherers for Citizens to Save California got in a dust-up
with an opposing group as they canvassed for signatures
Target? Didn't they bar the Salvation Army from collecting
money for charity in the parking lots and grounds outside
Target stores? Yep.
Bans Salvation Army Ringers
Donation collectors for the Salvation Army have been a
familiar sight and sound for years outside retail outlets
during the holiday season. The bell ringers, though, will
be absent from some major North Texas stores this year.
Target stores have informed Salvation Army officials they
no longer can set up the donation sites outside Target
stores. Officials with the retail giant said they had
to cancel the Salvation Army's exempt status to the retailer's
Corporation restricts the use of its parking lots and
facilities to only business use. Target does not permit
individuals (including political candidates and/or their
campaign organizations) or nonprofit organizations to
solicit donations, distribute literature, sell merchandise
or hold events on our premises."
That's weird. Why would Target go against its own company
policy to allow Citizens to Save California to collect
signatures in support of the Governor's agenda?
for the same reason that
Target Corporation gave $100,000 to Citizens to Save
California two weeks ago .
Maybe Target didn't know CSC was going to be out there
collecting signatures. I doubt CSC's signature-gatherers
are ringing bells after all.
Regardless, it sure strikes me as strange that a store
would kick a charitable organization off its grounds but
not a big-business backed ballot committee with close
ties to the Governor.
you still have room for some more information here are
2 great articles from the past that provide information
on Arnold's shady dealings, conflicts of interest, and
the truth behind Arnold's "man of the corporations"
Peas in a Pod
ike most everyone in and around Hollywood, I spent part
of this past weekend devouring DisneyWar, James Stewart's
572-page vivisection of Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Throughout
the chilling read, I couldn't shake the feeling that
Eisner reminded me of someone.
The answer came when I got to the epilogue. "Eisner's
most glaring defect," writes Stewart, is "his
dishonesty." Stewart goes on to describe Eisner's
"tendency to distort, embellish or forget the truth"
until he becomes incapable of distinguishing reality
from his own fabrications.
That's when it hit me: Eisner is the Disneyland doppelganger
of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's all right there: the
unremitting duplicity; the penchant for saying one thing,
then doing another; the gift for irrational invective;
the way both men forge personal bonds with others, then
turn around and stab them in the back often just
truth about Arnold (Watch the ad for entry)
The movie star poses as a corruption-fighting moderate.
But since taking office, he's pursued a blatantly right-wing
agenda while raking in big bucks from special interests
-- and ignoring his own financial conflicts.
Titillated by the star power of his populist coup in
California, the national media has swooned in Arnold
Schwarzenegger's muscular embrace for over a year. The
New Yorker profiled him as "Supermoderate!"
Wired found him to be "surprisingly effective."
The editors of the New York Times proclaimed, "The
last action hero can seemingly do no wrong." On
the cover of its January 2005 issue, Vanity Fair featured
the leather-jacketed Schwarzenegger posing atop a Harley
with his silken spouse, Maria Shriver. The story, like
so many others, portrayed the glam couple as the future
of American politics: bipartisan, moderate, effective
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
more information: http://www.therestofus.org
PLEASE PLAY BY THE RULES!
On February 7, 2005, TheRestofUs.org filed a complaint
with the California Fair Political Practices Commission
that asked them to investigate Arnold Schwarzenegger's
illegal fundraising for his so-called Citizens to Save
California ballot committee. Please
add your name to the following petition that
asks Arnold to abide by the laws of California.
is also quite anxious to get publicity for our petition
drive: the same petition Erica was getting signed when
she was assaulted by Arnold's thugs.
If you know of a signature gathering effort by Schwarzeneggers'
backers, please report it at the following number or email
address. Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley
will do our best to try to get local folks out there to
counter these despicable efforts to destroy the Californian
Report Arnold's Signature Gatherers
- Jordan & Zack
Burger King to offer 'enormous' sandwich
That is what I saw when I went to CNN this morning to
see what was going on in the 'real world'. Our media system
is seriously fu*@ed up when a sandwich gets more press
time than any story about how our own government lied
and deceived us to start a war for profit.
I sometimes wonder how it is that such huge stories seem
to break at just the right times. Both the steroids story
and the Michael Jackson story came at such a time as to
be very convenient for directing attention away from the
failures of the Bush administration. I remember during
Bush's State of the Union Address, when he started speaking
about steroids. I was thinking "what the heck is
he going on about. Steroids? How is that relevant?"
This was of course before the steroids thing became an
issue. So did Bush know this issue was about to
go mainstream? Or did the story go mainstream because
Bush needed a distraction? The whole Iowa vote fraud was
just trying to get some legs right at that time. The 'salvador
option' was just getting press. There was all kinds of
bad press about the Gonzales confirmation. Etc, etc.
Then you have the issue of documents that should
be secret (in the steroids case or Gannon/Guckert having
classified information regarding Valerie Plame) being
leaked to blow the story open at just the right time.
IIs the government releasing classified information to
certain people top nudge a story to break at an appropriate
Michael Rains, Bondss lawyer, implied that the
Government had leaked the documents to smear Bonds.
My view has always been this case has been the
US versus Bonds and I think the Government has moved
in certain ways in a concerted effort to indict my client,
hear ya Michael. I hear ya.
When some seemingly obscure news story is highlighted
for months at a time (as in the Scot Peterson) you just
have to wonder who is pulling the strings. How hard is
it to pull those strings when all media is owned by 5
corporations? To put that in perspective, in 1983,
about 50 corporations owned most of the media.
Now it is just 5. I wonder of those 5 corporations even
give huge donations to any political party? Gee I wonder....
NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the largest corporations
in the entire world. GE, a major contributor to the Republican
Party, has substantial financial interests in weapons
manufacturing, finance, nuclear power and many other industries.
ABC is owned by the Disney Corp., which produces toys
and products in developing countries where they provide
their workers atrocious wages and working conditions.
CBS is owned by Viacom, yet another enormous media conglomerate
that also owns, MTV, Showtime, Nickelodeon, VH1, TNN,
CMT, 39 broadcast television stations, 184 radio stations,
Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Inc. Etc. Rinse and
Well the best way to control people is to control what
they believe. Control the messenger and you control the
message. This is the very reason Blogging is such a threat
to them. All of a sudden people are getting their information
from sources they do not control.
Its all just distraction. Bread and Circuses.
American Heritage dictionary defines bread
and circuses as Offerings, such as benefits
or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or
distract attention from a policy or situation.
The term was used by the ancient Romans to describe
how their rulers kept the population in the dark at
politically opportune moments. [...]
The corporate media make sure that Michael Jacksons
pajama clad appearance in court was known to anyone
not living under a rock. On the other hand, very few
Americans know that their government is now responsible
for kidnapping terror suspects and sending them to countries
that routinely engage in torture. In one instance a
German national was kidnapped in Europe and sent to
Afghanistan where he was tortured not by vicious foreigners
but by Americans. The tactics used by Chile under Pinochet
or Argentina during its dirty war are now routinely
used by the U.S. government. [...]
When celebrity crime or juiced up athletes dont
provide enough distraction, the corrupt government and
their media side kicks return to the old standbys of
fear and paranoia. [..]
What a coincidence. As the anniversary of the Iraq occupation
brings annual protests and renewed questions from a
skeptical public we are given new reasons to fear, keep
our mouths shut, and put our faith in Dubya and his
Just got back from lunch at my local cafe. Same cafe I
eat at almost every day. Which is why I was so surprised
to see none other than Markos Moulitas. Thats the man
behind the Daily
Kos for those who don't know the name. I felt
bad interrupting the interview but I had to say hi. I
just shook his hand and said I was a big fan and thanked
him for all the work he has done. It was short and sweet.
I think the woman interviewing him was a bit surprised
that I had recognized him. He doesn't seem to put his
face out there too much.
He came by after the interview and asked if I was a registered
user. Yes I am. he knew my handle, which was cool. (He
had front posted my social security artwork
a few weeks back). He was very nice and obviously was
making a point of coming back to say hi to his fan after
his work at the cafe was done. Anyway I thought I would
share that with ya.
Wish I had had my camera with me.
Gropenator is naked. The emporor weares no clothes.
the man on the inside sends me this. Pass it on:
are quite anxious to get publicity for our petition
drive: the same petition Erica was getting signed when
she was assaulted by Arnold's
It's accessible at www.ContestTheVote.org
for on-line signing.
This STOP THE SPECIAL ELECTION petition gives folks
a chance to tell the Gov, "Hey, we see the emperor
has no clothes!" Californians don't want this special
election; polls show they don't want to spend up to
$70 million dollars on an election that could be held
in seven months--in June 2006. And, once we inform them,
they also prefer an election in 2006 because of security:
there will be a mandated voter verified paper audit
trail in the electronic machines next year.
The average, everyday folks we talk to at the Target
in Concord (and at the other stores in Contra Costa
County that Arnold's petition companies have "targeted"),
don't like the thought of public employees being under
attack. These moms and dads tend to like the teachers
at their neighborhood schools, and see firefighters
and police officers as folks who protect them.
Especially hard to take is a bullying, wealthy Gov trying
to take away death and disability benefits from firefighters
Sign this thing and pass the word on to the left. Here
are some more links on the subject:
(click on "Get Involved")
(click on "Join Now")
(click on "Patient Advocacy Action Center" under
some recent numbers for the Gropenator:
(PDF). 2/8-17. MoE 3.5% (September 2004)
Job Approval ratings
Disapprove 35 (22)
Disapprove 54 (34)
Disapprove 11 (6)
you have signed the petition think about joining some
fellow Californians here:
April 5 at 6 p.m., nurses, students, teachers, parents,
firefighters and people who care about public health,
education and justice will rally at the Ritz Carlton
in San Francisco (600 Stockton at California) outside
one of Schwarzenegger's fund raisers for fat cats. YOU
this in an e-mail today. It is an e-mauil from Dr. Lucido
who I had mentioned the other day.
found out this past Friday, that I am scheduled to be
on Bill O'Reilly's , O'Reilly Factor on Monday 3/28/05.
Per google search of "bill o'reilly" AND "medical
marijuana" and got this quote of his:
'"...i believe Montel Williams when he says , "Look,
medical marijuana helps me, helps me cope with this
disease, cope with my suffering. There's no reason why
I should be denied it." And I agree that if this
is the case, if a doctor -- a doctor -- says he needs
it for his MS, he should have it." 7/7/04
So at least we have some common ground. The assistant
producer, Owen Rounds, today, and they/he were impressed
article on my practice standards for medical
cannabis consultations on by MedicalBoardWatch.com website.
Owen indicated that part of what will be asked is "what
a patient looks for in a medical cannabis doctor or
recommendation" That is one of my fortes, but I
do know he is against legalization, but in favor of
decriminalization in some way. Any advice or warnings
are welcome. Sounds bites to remember safe and effective
medicine (again my forte or Ambush questions to anticipate
"isn't this really about legalization?" "what
about kids getting this stuff?"Thanks! peace and
luck with that Frank. You are a braver man than I. Just
don't expect the man to play fair and you should do OK.
You should also know the man has no problem with flat
out lies. Heres a fun O' Reilly blast from the past:
said on my program, if, if the Americans go in and overthrow
Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will
apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush
- Bill O'Reilly, on ABC's Good Morning America, 03-18-03
STORY - More intimidation from the Right
thanks to Zack kaldveer (who you all know from
his great 'Link Roundups') for this story.
Zack has just informed me that Phil Angelides ( California
State Treasurer) & Assemblyman Mark Leno are holding
a dual Press Conference on this story TODAY. More information
when it becomes available.
intimidation and scare tactic from the Right. This time
it is Arnold cronies who are doing their best to make
sure the opposition is stiffled. Below is the personal
account of a woman engaging in her first ammendment rights
when she was confronted in a rather frightening manner
by those who wish her message would never be heard.
kaldveer, who regular readers know from his fantastic
Link Roundups, has brought to my attention this breaking
story. This story is already being covered in the Contra
Costa Times and on KPFA Radio. There will be a press release
in the near future so stay tuned.
is a message straight from Zack on this breaking story:
question to ask is why is the "peoples' governor"
hiring out of state signature gatherers, some of which
are allegedly felons, to intimidate and threaten young
teachers out of standing up to his attempt to reduce
their job security (as if teachers don't have it bad
enough in our society...why not go after Ken Lay Arnold...oh
yeah....you guys are allies)? Strange that this "man
of the people" picks teachers and nurses as his
enemies (and calls them "special interests")
as he raises record sums of money from giant corporations
that depend on his anti-consumer, pro-corporate agenda
chart of where his $$ come from here).
Could this former steroid using body builder, turned
shitty actor and serial woman groper, turned two-faced
poltical con-artist, not be the "People's Governor"
he claims to be? I'm inclined to say "yes".
This man needs to be exposed for what he is, and this
is one more story that does this, now it depends on
us to get the truth to the people".
is the letter sent by Erica to Assemblyman Mark Leno,
regarding her frightening experiences trying to have her
voice heard. This story needs to get out fast as this
is a shocking foul bit of play by Arnold supporters.
name is Erica and I am a graduate student at San Francisco
State. I am student teaching in Berkeley, specializing
in Deaf/hard-of-hearing Education. In brief, I decided
to go out alone and stand near a man who was collecting
initiative signatures in front of the store. I was wearing
a laminated, hand-made sign that read, "I am a
teacher against Arnold's special election......ask me
I was shocked to encounter his immediate intimidation
and threatening language. Within the first five minutes
he said the following, "I'm going to call and get
thirty guys down here. You won't be here long. There
isn't a problem too big I can't handle. You won't last
long". And from there it became completely out
of control. Fifteen people arrived and attempted to
surround me, hurling abrasive insults with aggressive
voices. I was afraid for my safety. My husband and four
other people drove down to protect me. I called the
The tactics were unbelievable. I stayed there four five
hours in the rain under those conditions. I left with
purple lips, shivering and all of us were followed to
our cars. They wrote down license plate numbers. It
What is worse, they are all from Michigan!! They are
paid by the signature and they have no vested interest
in the welfare of California. It is ironic that Arnold
claims to protect Californian's jobs, yet people are
being flown in from other states to support his initiatives.
The story is much richer than I can explain in brief.
I was interviewed my KPFA and the Contra Costa Times
today. KPFA will air the story at 6:00pm tonight.
Please do not hesitate to discus this story with anyone.
However, my husband and I would prefer to release my
first name only at this time. We have reason to believe
these people have criminal records. In fact one women
admitted to being a felon. Feel free to contact me for
more detailed information.
Thank you for you time!
This kind of intimidation is unacceptable in my opinion.
The fact that the intimidation thugs used for this nonsense
are not even from California is a clear indication of
the kind of morals and mind set that is being used by
the opposition in this matter.
The Contra Costa Times has more on the story (Registration
claim foes play dirty
Dueling signature-gatherers squaring off on the sidewalks
of California's shopping centers create a potentially
explosive mix that has already ignited in Pleasant Hill.
Members of California for Democracy, the state arm of
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean's grass-roots
political network, accuse petition workers for Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's reforms of using intimidation
tactics as both sides appealed to Target shoppers Tuesday
Two Democratic activists said their opponents made inappropriate
comments and followed them to their cars, where they
took pictures of or wrote down their license plate numbers.
The battle is over the governor's reform package, which
would replace public pensions with private accounts,
enact budget reforms, pay teachers based on performance
and change how the state draws its political boundaries.
A spokesman for Citizens to Save California, which hired
the petition workers, said late Wednesday that he had
no details of the Target incident and would investigate
"What I do know is that union bosses have told
their rank-and-file members to harass our signature-gatherers
and disrupt the process," Reed Dickens said. [...]
The dust-up began when Erika arrived Tuesday afternoon
at Target, wearing a sign that read, "I'm a teacher
against Arnold's special election. Ask me why."
A man already stationed at the store, where he was gathering
signatures for the governor's petitions, accused her
of interfering with his job and "told me 'I'm going
to call and get 30 of my guys here. You won't last,'
" Erika said.
"Slowly, people started to gather," Erika
said. "They surrounded me. Some tried to pretend
they were regular citizens and tried to goad me into
a confrontation. They were doing everything they could
to intimidate me to leave."
Erika called the police and her political activist colleagues,
telling them that she feared for her safety. [...]
During the next few hours, Erika and Klein said, the
signature-gatherers for the governor repeatedly positioned
themselves close to their opponents, then yelled out
in a theatrical manner, "Stop shoving me!"
One man pounded his fist on one petition and said, "This
job, petitioning, can be very dangerous," Klein
(name in above article changed to "Erika",
as I was told she did not want her last name involved).
who ran on the promise of improving California is now
seeing his worst nightmare come true. His promises to
work for the people can only bee seen as a smoke screen
with this kind of intimidation tactics being used against
the very people he would claim to be protecting.
bit on the Chiavo situation on the Daily Show the other
night. This whole situation is out of hand. tens of thousands
of feeding tubes are pulled every year. Chiavo is being
used by the Right for nothing more than political
advantage and it makes me sick. Furthermore the
people in congress who are making a medical diagnoses
based on a video tape is utterly disgraceful, not to mention
illegal. As usual the hypocrisy is in full swing. Bush
has written laws that allow for hospitals to pull the
plug on comatose patients who are unable to pay for care
so the whole "Right to Life" argument is transparent.
If they really cared they would be passing laws for better
health care, for better prenatal care for infants, for
things that actually help people live a better life. Instead
they argue in congress about a matter that should be settled
privately by those close to her.
out John Stewart at his best.
Roundup 3.22.05 - From Zack
Palast releases his first groundbreaking report on
the true reasons for war, the battle between
big oil and the neo-cons, and the cover up of a lifetime.
Get ready...listen to the interview on Democracy Now...I'll
be on the phone with him tomorrow night and report
to you all Wednesday. This could be big...but I've
said that before, and the truth just disapears into
the Matrix, never to be seen again, and not able to
puncture the pubilc conciousness to the level we all
hope. Nonetheless...this is unreal:
John Zogby, arguably the most reliable pollster in the
United States, who has freely admitted he "blew" last
November's elections and does not exclude the possibility
that foul play was one of the factors knocking his calculations
off course. "We're plowing into a brave new world here,"
he says, "where there are so many variables aside from
out-and-out corruption that can change elections, especially
in situations where the races are close. We have machines
that break down, or are tampered with, or are simply
misunderstood. It's a cause for great concern.
Politicization of Terri Schiavo...this is just too sick
like countless other families, the family of Terri Schiavo
has struggled for years with the intensely difficult
decision of how to match her course of treatment to
her wishes. Now President George W. Bush, Rep.
Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) are using
tragic case of Schiavo a severely brain-damaged
woman who has been incapacitated for the past 15 years
as an opportunity for political grandstanding. A memo,
which the AP reports was distributed
by Senate leadership to right-wing members,
called Schiavo "a great political issue" and urged senators
to talk about her because "the pro-life base will be
excited." Over the weekend, DeLay and Frist held special
sessions of Congress to facilitate passage of a bill
that would allow
a federal court to overturn years of Florida jurisprudence
encompassing seven courts and 19 judges and intervene
in the Schiavo case. (Underscoring that this was about
the politics of the Schiavo case and not policy, the
written explicitly to apply only to Terri Schiavo.)
President Bush played his part in the spectacle, flying
to Washington from his ranch in Crawford to sign the
bill, even though waiting a few hours for the bill to
be flown to him would likely "have made no difference in whether Ms. Schiavo lives."
SIGNED LAW ALLOWING HOSPITALS TO DISCONTINUE LIFE SUPPORT:
In a statement released early this morning, President
Bush said he will "continue to stand on
the side of those defending life for all Americans."
But the facts make it hard to believe that Bush is standing
on principle. In 1999, then Gov. Bush signed a law that
hospitals [to] discontinue life sustaining care,
even if patient family members disagree." Just days
ago the law permitted Texas Children's Hospital to remove
the breathing tube from a 6-month-old boy named Sun
Hudson. The law may soon be used to remove life support from Spiro Nikolouzos, a 68-year-old man. Bush
has not commented on either case.
VOTED TO SLASH FUNDING THAT PAID FOR SCHIAVO'S CARE:
At every opportunity, Tom DeLay has sanctimoniously
proclaimed his concern for the well-being of Terri Schiavo,
saying he is only trying to ensure she has the chance
all deserve." Schiavo's
medications are paid for by Medicaid. Just last
week, DeLay marshaled a budget resolution through the
House of Representatives that would cut
funding for Medicaid by at least $15 billion,
threatening the quality of care for people like Terri
Schiavo. Because the Senate voted to restore the funding,
DeLay is threatening
to hold up the entire budget process if he doesn't
get his way.
FIGHTING AGAINST FINANCIAL RECOVERY FOR PEOPLE LIKE
SCHIAVO: Bill Frist has been positioning himself
in the media as a champion for Schiavo's interests.
Yet, much of Schiavo's medical care has been financed
from two medical malpractice lawsuits Schiavo
won after her heart attack 15 years ago. Frist has been
the charge to limit recovery for people
like Schiavo who are severely debilitated. If Frist
is successful, people like Schiavo would not be able
to recover any punitive damages no matter how severe
Free Speech Zone Challenge
So I was reading a
Diary over at Kos about a young Democrat who wanted
to hear first hand what Bush had to say about Social Security,
but was kicked out of the event. Imagine my surprise.
He was caught blue handed committing the ultimate crime.
He wore a shirt proclaiming he was a Democrat. Funny thing
is, at the event, Senator McCain was quoted as saying
"The door is open for the Democrats to talk to
us about Social Security ... but they won't!".
Classic. No Senator, we have plenty to say, but Republicans
just won't let us in the door.
So this got me thinking. This is a fantastic chance to
get this kind of thing more attention. I am just sick
and tired of the Bush team talking about how bipartisan
they will be, and then throwing everyone out the door
who wears anything resembling a Democratic T-shirt. It
is as if the peace sign is like cryptonite to them. And
that is how my idea was born.
Here is my challenge. Bush uses the word "peace"
in his speeches liberally. Now he may not favor it as
much as he does words like "freedom" and "liberty"
but "peace" is always there. (Only Bush can
make a sentence with the word "peace" in it
seem menacing). So Bush will use "peace" as
a term when it suits him politically to do so. He is always
going on about peace and spreading peace throughout the
world. Ok then. Bush endorses peace. Perfect. So I
have designed a Tshirt (Side note: I am making
no money off of the sales of this particular shirt) with
the classic Free Speech Zone patriotic Peace sign, and
a Bush quote below it:
" The best hope for peace in our world is the
expansion of freedom in all the world ".
- President Bush 1/20/05
My challenge is this. Wear this
shirt to any Bush event where they seem to be
screening folks to keep anyone anyone to the left of Strom
Thurmond from having a say. (In other words wear it to
any Bush event). They of course will not let you in. Because
you have a Peace sign on your shirt you must be a criminal
or something. When you go to do this it would be best
to have at the very least a camera with you. At best someone
from the press. Because it is going to be a great moment
when you shout out to the stern man dragging you away
from the event that the shirt you are wearing is a
PRO BUSH shirt! Point out the quote and make sure
they see that it is their fearless leader who has inspired
the peaceful shirt you now wear. Make sure the cameras
zoom in for the close up as the security team is now forced
to confront their own hypocrisy. Do they throw you out
for wearing the vile and hated symbol of the left? Or
do they kiss your ass and treat you as "one of them"
since the peace sign on the shirt is referring to King
Bush's own desire to spread peace in this world. If they
throw you out be sure to let everyone watching the drama
unfold how disillusioned you are to discover that Bush
does not mean the things he said in his inspired speech.
If cameras catch this it just might expose this hypocrisy
to the world. It has the effect of bringing to the forefront
the idiocy of the pre-screened Bush events as well as
showing Bush's use of the word peace for what it really
is. A political tool. If the security guard throws you
out you can tell the press, rightly so, that Bush does
not believe in peace. If they let you in, then even better.
You now have created a precedent for Bush actually believing
the words he says when he speaks of peace.
Either way we win.
If you manage to do this let
me know. I want to tell your story.
check the store for more shirts
v. Ashcroft & Schiavo V. Bush
The Republicans might be shocked to find out that some
of their values are out of the main stream. Since the
Republicans are always saying that Democrats are so out
of touch this little bit of irony is a delicious tid bit
bit that I would like to point out to you. I am of course
taling about the Schiavo case and the questionable role
Congress has decided to play. It seems like the people
disagree with some of what the GOP and Congress is doing
in regards to the Schiavo case. Heres the numbers from
a recent ABC
70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress
to involve itself in the Schiavo case.
- 67% of Americans think the elected officials
trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political
advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles
- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of
Democrats oppose federal government intervention in
- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention
in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.
increase the irony just a bit further I remind you of
a law that Bush himself passed when governor of Texas.
It was called the Texas Futile Care Law. Lets go now to
for the details:
Days Of Our Lives
By now most people who read liberal blogs are
aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas
that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life
support if the patient could not pay and there was no
hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's
wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law.
Under this law, a baby was removed from life support
against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week.
A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by
the Texas courts just yesterday.
Those of us who read liberal blogs are also aware that
Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no
pun intended) on medicaid funding that pays for the
kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many
others who are not so severely brain damaged need all
across this country.
when you thought this whole situation couldn't get more
ironic lets take a trip down memory lane. GOPers are all
caught up in a hissy because a woman in a "vegetative
state" won't be kept alive by medical means. Now
I withhold judgment on this one and believe this matter
should be settled by the family not by congress. However
it is interesting to note that Republicans I am sure would
be against Another woman fight to stay alive. Angel Raich.
Lucido, M.D. states, "Angel has no reasonable
legal alternative to cannabis for the effective treatment
or alleviation of her medical conditions or symptoms associated
with the medical conditions because she has tried essentially
all other legal alternatives to cannabis and the alternatives
have been ineffective or result in intolerable side effects.
Angel will suffer imminent harm without access to cannabis.
Angel needs to medicate every two waking hours. After
a certain number of medications have been tried, it would
be malpractice to subject the patient to further unnecessary
harm." Angels medical records show she runs
a very real risk of malnutrition and starvation without
the use of medical cannabis. (Read
the Declaration of Frank Henry Lucido, M.D (PDF)
is a lot more information on this historic and very relavant
case right here:
the Raich v. Ashcroft federal medical cannabis lawsuit
born, and who is involved
Wings Patient OutReach, Inc. retained attorneys Robert
Raich, David Michael, and Randy Barnett who agreed to
bring forth the historic lawsuit of first impression,
Raich, et al. v. Ashcroft, et al. The lawsuit
was filed on October 9, 2002, by patient-activist Angel
McClary Raich, Diane Monson, and Angel's two anonymous
caregiver growers. It charges Attorney
General John Ashcroft and DEA Administrator
Karen Tandy with violating constitutional rights under
the Commerce Clause, the Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments,
and medical necessity. McClary Raich, a medical
necessity patient with life-threatening illnesses, is
asserting her right to fight for her own life. [...]
to the Complaint, John Ashcroft, the Federal Justice
Department, and the DEA are unconstitutionally exceeding
their authority by embarking on a campaign of seizing
or forfeiting privately-grown intrastate medical cannabis
from California patients and caregivers, arresting or
prosecuting them, mounting paramilitary raids against
them, harassing them, and taking other civil or administrative
actions against them.
another case of Republicans having their cake and eating
check in with Gregory Pratt, the youngest and hardest
working blogger on the block. Here is a sample of what
is on his mind these days. Check
his blog for more.
Tear Down The Big Tent
Michael Savage earns some voters for the Republicans
- by soothing the stone cold right - but, if the Republican
Party openly embraced the Savage wing of their party
we could label them as nuts, and label them so in a
very effective and vicious manner. Personally, I would
love to run for President against a Republican who had
Mike Savage as a special guest at his convention. In
that same vein, they use Moore to label our party as
the tax-happy, weak-on-defense, in-favor-of-all-abortions
gun-hating party. That needs to stop if we want to win
one day and, obviously, we do.
That doesn't mean Moore should go away. That means that
he should not represent the Democratic Party, and who
can argue with that? Why would anyone want Moore to
be the image of the Democrats? Even if you love every
word he's ever said, you'd be hard-pressed to say, "Well,
he's a great candidate and spokesman."
for MoveOn, I think it's a great organization, obviously.
I am a fan of theirs, but they do need work with their
public relations. Listen, they run ads with big, rich
Hollywood celebrities and, as we all know, Hollywood
can be a very naughty place. If MoveOn.org ran more
ads with more normal people - not with people like Rob
Reiner - they would be a much better organization. Again,
it's not a knock on them, or on Reiner, but it's a basic
truth that you don't appeal to those who feel that their
culture and values is under attack (which is how many
Conservatives feel) by running ads featuring the people
who they feel are attacking them.
an eye on this guy. At 15 years old he is already climbing
his way to the top. The top of what you might ask. Who
knows but whatever he reaches for I am sure he will get
there. Great work Greg.
Global warming is a myth. Don't believe those movies that
tell you we are on the verge of dramatic climate changes
that may change life as we know it. Ignore the groups
of scientists who are trying to warn us that we
are destroying our planet. Don't pay any attention to
those crazy types who will tell you that glaciers that
have been ice covered for thousands of years are
melting at the alarming rate of 50 feet a year.
I mean if all this were true wouldn't we be having tornados
in San Francisco or something?
'probable tornado' rips through South San Francisco
South San Francisco got a taste of Dorothy's Kansas
on Sunday when what authorities called a "probable
tornado" whirled through town, ripping off roofs,
pulling down power lines and breaking windows and then
flinging the debris for blocks. [...]
"The floor began to shake and then all the people
outside began to run indoors, yelling 'tornado,' "
said Jorge Lozano, 20, who was working in the Ayar Produce
store near downtown. "Then everything was blowing
around in the store, pinatas, all of the stuff on the
shelves. The windows blew out, and everyone was screaming.
There was glass all over."
At least 40 buildings -- 20 homes and 20 businesses,
including a fire station under construction -- were
damaged as the swirling winds ran a wild 3-mile path
across the city, from Westborough to the San Francisco
Bay. The twister also uprooted towering trees, caused
gas leaks and knocked out power to about 1,500 residents.
South San Francisco Fire Chief Philip White said that
one home had to be evacuated because of extensive damage.
"I've been with the South San Francisco Fire Department
for 22 years and I've never seen anything like this,"
from "The day after tomorrow"
the off chance that you live in Berkeley California
and have nothing to do come check out some art. I will
be at the art opening of political activist Wavy
Gravy. How Berkeley of him! Wavy does collages,
very minimal in his approach. I have seen them and they
are stunning. The opening is at the Trout Farm.
18th Art Opening
TROUT FARM - Storefront.
2179 BANCROFT WAY
BERKELEY, CA 94704
5 PM - 8 PM music etc.
See Wavy at the opening on March 17th
you there? If you can't make the opening no worries.
The show is up for a while.
Guest Blogging - Derek Zoolander
may not be able to turn left, so I am making up for
it by leaning left. I'm pretty sure there just might
be more to life than being really, really good looking.
And I plan on figuring that out some day.
But right now I want to talk to you about my new found
brothers in the Demonstratic Party. And when I say brother,
I don't mean, like, an actual brother, but I mean it
like the way they use it in the hip-hop community. Which
is more meaningful I think.
Anyway the party. The demo.. The people on the left
over there. I think they were right about this whole
war for oil thing. I mean Earth to Rebuplicans, Bush
had a plan to invade Iraq long before 911. Hello? This
war is about one thing. This is a war for oil. O.I.Y.L.E!
You people over there in the... on the right can say
all you want about how this war was to liberalate the
Iraqi people but if you did say that, you would be wrong!
You Neo Consivitors think that you're too cool for school,
but I have a newsflash for you Walter Cronkite... you
I mean what, are you having a whack attack? How much
damage will you do to this world to make money for your
selves? Do you understand that the world does not revolve
around you and your Neocom, do whatever it takes, ruin
as many people's lives, so long as you can keep your
party in power, no matter how many lives you kill or
people you leave dead and bloodied along the way, just
so long so you can keep your Relug... Replugica... as
long as you can stay in power, no matter how many friends
you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied and dying
along the way?
So to simmerize what I am saying here to you people,
let me read to you this piece of this particle on Bush
US plans for Iraq's oil
The Bush administration made plans for war and for
Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy
battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight
has revealed. Two years ago today - when President
George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces
would begin to bomb Baghdad - protesters claimed the
US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting
off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives
at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination
of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department
"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest
plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department
was, we learned, drafted with the help of American
oil industry consultants.
Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within
weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001,
long before the September 11th attack on the US.
snap! I told you!
and the BOOO! Factor
Bush uses terror alerts when he needs a bit of a
boost in his ratings. I have been saying this for a
long time now but this graph found over at The
Left Coaster gives it to you nice and straight.
it out and pass it on
Roundup 3.18.05 - From Zack
Refuge from Greed: Alaska Open For Business
one of his last acts in office" Republican President
Dwight Eisenhower set aside the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, "the only
place in the nation where the full spectrum of
arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems is protected in an unbroken
continuum." The 19 million-acre refuge is a land so pristine
that it has been described as "a
domain for any restless soul who yearns to discover
the startling beauties of creation … where life exists
without molestation by man." The name given to the area
by the Gwich'in tribe, the indigenous people of the region, "translates to The Sacred Place
Where Life Begins." But big oil has been greedily devouring
the lands surrounding this virgin wilderness area, turning
them into an industrial site riddled with scores
of contaminated waste sites and daily
pollution spills. And now, after using backdoor
tactics disapproved of by the overwhelming
majority of Americans, right wingers in the Senate
and White House have set the stage
for big oil to drill through the very "biological
heart of this untamed wilderness," with the hope
of drilling in other environmentally sensitive areas.
NUMBERS…: The United States Treasury will likely never
see the drilling revenues presupposed by President Bush's
2006 budget. The budgetary estimates drastically exaggerate
the price per leased acre, in some cases expecting "between
66 and 120 times the historic average." Waning
industry interest in the area is also a serious
factor and one of President Bush's own advisors stated,
"If the government gave [the oil companies] the leases for
wouldn't take them."
EVEN FUZZIER: The administration also is relying on
a 50-50 split of the revenues between Alaska and the federal
government, but "current
law calls for 90 percent to go to Alaska." And it
is likely that Alaskans would be ready
to go to court with the federal government to protect
the 90-10 split. Remarkably, it is not just the revenue
but the refuge's oil itself that may never reach American
consumers; Alaska's congressional delegates are loudly clamoring
to restart oil exportation to foreign countries.'
A DISTRACTION, NOT A SOLUTION': Drilling in the Arctic
refuge "serves neither
short-term demand … nor long-term national policy."
After the decade
or longer it will take to begin oil production on
the land, the United States Geological Service estimates
the amount technically recoverable and economically profitable
to recover "represents
less than a year's U.S. supply." At the height of
production, "the refuge would produce a paltry 1 or 2 percent
of Americans' daily consumption." Tire changes and updated
fuel efficiency standards could
individually save more oil than is likely to be
found in the refuge.
COMING SOON TO A COASTLINE NEAR YOU: If neither
big oil nor the majority of Americans wants drilling
in the Arctic refuge, the environmental
consequences will be permanently scarring, the activities
the future of an entire people as well as scores
of wildlife species, and there is no
way to restrict it to just one sliver of the land,
why is the right wing pushing so hard for something that
will do little to nothing to cure our nation's energy dependence?
Precedent. In a closed
door meeting with fellow conservatives, House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) spoke about the "symbolism involved
in opening up the refuge to drilling" as well as the precedent
the move will set. DeLay's comments reveal that drilling
in ANWR is "a domino game that will lead to drilling in
the Rocky Mountains, off the California coast and in the
Gulf of Mexico." Watch out when the moratorium on eastern
Gulf drilling expires in 2007.
of ethics - A
defiant Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) came out swinging yesterday,
attacking the press and blaming partisan politics for
reports of his recent ethics violations. "I have yet
to be found breaking any House rules," he crowed. Not
so fast, congressman. In the past year, DeLay was rebuked
three times for ethics violations. On 9/30/04, he was
admonished by the House Ethics Committee for trying
to bribe a colleague into supporting the Medicare
bill. On 10/6/04 he was rebuked for using the Federal
Aviation Administration to track down Texas
legislators during a state partisan squabble. He was
also rebuked for appearing to solicit campaign contributions
from corporations interested in an energy bill. Still
outstanding: Lobbyists picked up the tab for expensive
vacations DeLay took to Britain
He's also under new scrutiny for his involvement in
funneling illegal corporate campaign funds to candidates
for Texas state office. (For a list of a dozen of DeLay's
dirty dealings, check out ThinkProgress.org.) Tired of DeLay's blatant
disregard for basic ethics? Tell your lawmakers it's
time for DeLay to go by signing
this petition from the Public Campaign Action Fund.
THE NEWEST CHARGES:
evidence of DeLay's involvement in a criminal
investigation in Texas. The political action committee
Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) is currently
under criminal investigation for using laundered corporate
money to finance Texas campaigns (which is highly illegal
under Texas law). Three political operatives with close
ties to DeLay have been indicted for money laundering,
although DeLay himself has tried to distance himself
from the group. (As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
points out, "There is no question that DeLay was involved to some degree in that
scheme. The only doubt is whether his involvement rises
to a degree that makes him criminally liable.") New
documents were introduced in court recently
showing that "DeLay personally forwarded at least one
large check" to TRMPAC and he was "in direct contact
with lobbyists for some of the nation's largest companies"
on TRMPAC's behalf. Also, there is new evidence that
DeLay's personal leadership action committee, ARMPAC,
may have been involved
in illegally funneling the checks.
are some other great articles oput right now:
even more AWOL than we thought
According to USNews, Bush's violation of the rules was
EVEN WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT. This is a BIG honking story.
At this point, I'll give the GOP the CBS memos if they
want 'em - who cares if they're real now. USNews, known
to be a conservative-leaning magazine, has just come
up with indepdendent evidence showing Bush shirked EVEN
MORE of his National Guard duty than we thought, that
the White House lied about it, and that there is no
explanation for how Bush could reasonably get an honorable
How can a party containing such principle-challenged
people as Tom DeLay and Bill O'Reilly dominate the moral
values discussion? How are Democrats castigated as "outside
the mainstream" when President Bush is leading
the charge to dismantle a hugely popular government
program? It's all due to Republicans successfully
and consistently framing their opposition. Communications
Facts - From
a Dkos Diary
is a fantastic chunk of information on Diebold and E-voting.
I have edited this for length so be sure to CHECK
OUT THE FULL VERSION. There is a LOT more There
is more on my VOTE
FRAUD page as well.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
and Diebold count 80% of all votes in America.
Diebold also makes ATM machines. Their ATM machines, unlike
their electronic voting machines during the 2004 election,
has its corporate headquarters in Ohio.
vice president of E.S.&S. and the president of Diebold
Diebold and ES&S's other major "competitor",
owned by a partner member of the Carlyle Group,
which has substantial ties to the Bush family and friends.
In 2003, a cadre of computer scientists showed that the
software running Diebold's
new machines can be hacked with relative ease.
than 35 Ohio counties used electronic voting machines
made by Diebold and up to 50,000 Diebold touch-screen
machines and 20,000 scanners of paper ballots were used
in 38 states during the November 2004 election.
Montgomery County, two precincts recorded a combined undervote
of almost 6,000. An "undervote" means
the voter made selections for lesser offices, but did
not vote for President. In these two precincts alone,
that number represents an undervote of 25%, in a county
where undervoting averages out at just 2%. Democratic
precincts had 75% more undervotes than Republican ones.
In Precinct lB of Gahanna, in Franklin County, a computerized
voting machine recorded a total of 4,258 votes for Bush
and 260 votes for Kerry. In
that precinct, however, there are only 800 registered
voters, of whom 638 showed up.
In Miami County, the Concord Southwest and Concord South
precincts boasted incredibly high 98.5% and 94.27% turnouts,
of them registering overwhelming majorities for Bush.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
is a lot more. CHECK
OUT THE FULL VERSION
believe the hype
As the popularity of Bush's plan... er... theory on how
to "fix" Social Security continues
to plummet, Bush himself admits "I
have not laid out a plan yet". Which is odd
because the Republicans are always going on about how
Democrats should quit whining and put forward a plan of
their own. To which we say there is no need for a plan
when small adjustments can create long term solvency.
If it is not broken don't fix it.
Make no mistake, Republicans are not out to fix Social
Security, they are out to destroy it. They are out to
widen the gap between the rich and the poor. If you needed
any more proof of that just look at the bankruptcy
But I digress. Americans know that the Social Security
problem bush has invented is false. Just like the WMD
crisis was false. Americans have caught on to how Bush
has used fear tactics to force his policies through. But
with only 35% of Americans believing this hype Bush is
fighting a losing battle. It seems Bush will go down kicking
though, as he has hauled Greenspan out to cry doom and
gloom like the hack that he is. Same old tricks. When
things aren't going his way, he simply drags his trained
shills out to scare the people into submission.
chief: Expect Social Security cuts
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress
that the mounting financial pressure of a wave of retiring
baby boomers is so great that cuts in future government
retirement benefits are all but inevitable.
The Fed chairman told the Senate Special Committee on
Aging that the nation has about three years to work
out a fix. "In 2008, the leading edge of what must
surely be the largest shift from retirement in our nation's
history will become evident as some baby boomers become
eligible for Social Security," he said in his prepared
Greenspan said most leading economists at the time had
expected budget surpluses to stretch into the future,
citing forecasts by the Office of Management and Budget
as well as by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.
And he said that he had also pushed for tight rules
on Congressional spending and more fiscal discipline.
"I don't think that the issue is a question of
taking a wholly different view... It turns out we were
all wrong," he said, referring to the prevailing
budget surplus forecasts. He also said that he would
take the same position again if he was faced with the
Senator Clinton finished her questioning with a quick
parting shot: "Just for the record, we were not
all wrong, but many people were wrong."
snap! Way to get in the last shot Hillary! True, Democrats
were right back then and are still correct to this day.
So Bush continues to lie to us about Social Security being
in crisis. Interesting to note that Bush just this morning
admitted that his own ideas on Social Security do not
even fix the solvency issue at all.
"Personal accounts do not solve this issue."
this morning at his press conference
So he invents a crisis, then proposes a plan and claims
it will fix this problem that doesn't even exist, and
then admits his plan does not even address the crisis
he said existed. If Bush really wanted to solve a problem
he could look to the huge deficits his policies have created.
Even better he could fix the REAL problem of Medicare
deficit is 7 times that of Social Security. Why
isn't he interested in solving that problem?
Oh yeah, because that would actually help the American
people. Can't have that.
rips off tax payers. Nobody cares.
Just a month ago Halliburton was awarded a 9.4
million dollar bonus for doing such fantastic work
out there in Iraq. Thats right, receiving no bid contracts
is hard work! But they do so much more than that. They also
for 1 bag of laundry per soldier. So if every soldier
in Iraq washes his draws only 1 time during his/her deployment,
then Halliburton gets 15 million. Good times. On top of
that they have
abandoned dozens of expensive army vehicles because
they lacked intelligence to supply extra spare tires and
gas filters. These vehicles cost $85k. How about some soda?
Its hot out there and troops need to drink right? Ok that
will cost 'em $45
for a case of pop. The
Halliburton Company also appears to have charged
the US government $27 million to
deliver $84,000 worth of fuel to Iraq. Everywhere
you look there is gross negligence.
For the rest of this story lets go now live to The New York
Sees $108 Million in Overcharges by Halliburton
Overbilling for postwar fuel imports to Iraq by Halliburton
totaled more than $108 million, according to a report
by Pentagon auditors that was completed last fall but
has not been officially released to the public or to
one case, according to the auditing report, the company
claimed that it had paid more than $27 million to transport
liquified petroleum gas it had purchased in Kuwait for
just $82,000, a charge the auditors dismissed as "illogical."
In a letter sent to President Bush today, Mr. Waxman
and Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, minority
leader of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
asked for an explanation of why the reports had not
been made public and demanded stronger efforts to reclaim
money from Halliburton.
of overcharging for the fuel imports have swirled from
the initial days of the occupation, but this latest
audit suggests that that the scale of disputed charges
was higher than previously known.
December 2003, the same Pentagon auditing agency announced
that a preliminary study had discovered $61 million
in unreasonable fuel bills up to that point.
of that company have asserted that Halliburton executives
demanded kickbacks for the awarding of the fuels contract.
The company denies the charges...
the main stream news should cover this? Me too. Let
CNN know they are slacking. Fill out the news
tip form and ask them why they aren't providing greater
coverage to this story.
Kerry/Edwards File More Ohio Election Motions
would think this might get some media attention but it
won't. They are too busy crawling up Shrubs arse and drooling
over Michael Jackson coverage. So I will fill you in:
File More Ohio Election Motions
Kerry-Edwards 2004 has just made two filings in the
Ohio recount case currently pending before Federal Judge
Edmund Sargus in Columbus, Ohio. Kerry-Edwards 2004
has been relatively quiet in this case for the past
several weeks and its filings today indicate its continued
interest and involvement in this litigation.
In December 2004, presidential candidates David Cobb
and Michael Badnarik filed extensive documentation with
the court demonstrating that the recount they had requested
in Ohio of the 2004 presidential vote had been conducted
with inconsistent standards throughout the state, in
violation of the equal protection and due process guarantees
under the US Constitution (see Bush v. Gore).
Cobb and Badnarik filed amended counterclaims seeking
a new recount to be conducted with uniform standards,
in accordance with the US Constitution. (As an example,
97% of the ballots have yet to be counted by hand in
Ohio and, more than often, the 3% of the vote that each
county counted by hand was not randomly selected, as
required by Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's
own guidelines) To access the amended counterclaims,
this document (Adobe required).
Roundup 3.15.05 - From Zack
bloggers reaching out to mainstream media? You bet, and
the New York Times covered the story. And guess what,
I have been asked to participate in these "national blogger"
teleconferences in which we will plan a more coordinated
and strategical effort to get the mainstream media the
facts they need to adquately cover the stories they need
to cover...essentially helping them do a better job. Exciting
here's some commentary from Brad
Friedman of the Brad Blog on the story, as
well as new dirt on Delay, the electoral reform movement
and updates on the whole Curtis/Feeney hacking program story
(it isn't over). Brad is one of the founders of the
coordinated blogger campaign concept, a trendsetter
in the blogger movement with his amazing investigative
work, and the one who contacted me.
and Edwards file more suits in Ohio...but
of course, this isn't news, well, what's the importance
of democracy and widespread election fraud compared
to 24/7 coverage of the Nichols murders and the Michael
Jackson trial? C'mon, I need to know those details,
particularly the life story of every person involved
in these drama's, with dozens of pundits telling me
what to think about it, and analyzing every minute
detail, hour after hour. Just because the candidate
FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is still filing
charges saying there were election law violations,
corporate crimes, and collusion doesn't make it a
story! We're talking about Michael Jackson molesting
kids for God's sakes! That's news!
Delay's in Real Trouble
been following this, as you all know, for about two
years, and finally, it looks as if we may have this
criminal where we want him. What a blow this would
be to the radical right wing. If Delay wasn't a congressman
he'd probably be a mobster...and of course a bug exterminator.
Its unfathomable how his Republican counterparts are
ensuring he won't get busted, and preventing a real
investigation with penalties...how do they sleep at
night? They spent 8 years trying to bury Clinton on
sex and they work just as hard covering up for the
most corrupt elected official perhaps in US History.
CORPORATE DEFENSE FUND: Since the indictment last
fall of two his closest political operatives in Texas,
DeLay has raised $250,000 for his legal defense fund,
upping the total to nearly $1 million since 2000.
But the New York Times reports the fund
itself has become an object of scrutiny. The
list of recent donors includes two lawmakers who were
placed on the House Ethics Committee this year (they
replaced conservatives who were purged
for being critical of DeLay). Among the corporate
donors to the defense fund are Bacardi U.S.A., the
rum maker which has also been indicted in the Texas
investigation, and Reliant Energy, "another
major contributor to a Texas political action committee
formed by Mr. DeLay that is the focus of the criminal
inquiry." In December, DeLay was forced
to return funds from registered lobbyists
because those contributions violated House ethics
CONNECTIONS: In a particularly blatant example
of conflict of interest, one of the Ethics Committee's
new appointees, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), was "co-host
of a 2002 fundraising breakfast to benefit the DeLay-founded
political action committee that is now the subject
of a grand jury investigation in Texas. The
grand jury is looking into whether the PAC improperly
used corporate funds to influence the outcome of state
legislative races." Smith also donated $10,000 to
DeLay's legal defense fund. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) also
gave the fund $5,000 before winning a seat on the
Ethics Committee. The deck is apparently now well
FROM HOUSE RULES: DeLay "could face new legal
bills over a swirl of allegations" made against him
and other House members that they "accepted
foreign trips from lobbyists and registered foreign
agents." In addition to his European vacation,
DeLay accepted an expense-paid trip to South Korea
which, in direct violation of House rules, was paid
for by a South Korean lobbying group. The
cost to send DeLay, his wife and three of his lawmaker
friends to Seoul for three days was $106,921. The
group that funded the trip, Korea-U.S. Exchange Council,
a Georgetown address with former DeLay aide
and current lobbyist Ed Buckham.
ETHICS IN HOUSE: Don't expect an investigation
into DeLay's transgressions any time soon. Rather
than coming clean about his various ethical violations,
DeLay and his allies in the House have sought to cripple
the House Ethics Committee. The committee, which rebuked
DeLay three times last year, was purged
of its most "responsible" members last month
and is currently "paralyzed"
by a proposed rule change that "would prevent the
committee from launching any investigation without
the support of at least one Republican—a restriction designed to protect the majority leader." House leaders
proposed the change only after abandoning their proposal
to repeal a rule forcing the House Majority leader
to retire from his post if indicted. The measure was
dropped after rank-and-file lawmakers complained "the
party was sending the wrong message."
is a big one. Lots more right here
politics - Santorum lives where?
Article 1: Section 3: Clause 3 of the of the United
3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained
to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen
of the United States, and who shall not, when
elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he
shall be chosen.
Shorter, more appropriate version: If you are not
a resident of the state, you aren't allowed to run for
the U.S. Senate.
Cross-posted from the Pennacchio for Pennsylvania campaign
lot has been made of Rick
Santorum's residency in the past few months.
1.) Penn Hills (PA) school district paying $38,000 a year
for his children's cyber
2.) His wife won a $350,000
civil suit against a chiropractor. The claim
was filed and the judgement was awarded in Virginia.
(Umm, yeah, Santorum is trying to limit these types of
judgements to $250,000 -- she filed for $500,000 and Rick
Santorum testified on her behalf)
3.) The Pittsburgh Post Gazette wants to know if Senator
Santorum (R-VA/PA) is behind the recent push-polling
done against members of the Penn Hills School District.
4.) Then there are the actual home that Rick Santorum
owns in Pennsylvania. The home that supposedly houses
his wife, six children, and the two people that he rents
it to in Pennsylvania.
That's a total of 10 people that live in this
You got it -- Ten people
And we are supposed to believe that his family lives here
instead of their $757,000
home in Leesburg, Virginia? Come now.
Sq. Feet: 2071
Full Market Value: ~ $106,000
But here is the ironic twist in the
Rick Santorum needs to convince the voters of Pennsylvania
that he lives among them and not just an out-of-towner who
used to live here when he was first elected.
his initial House race against Rep. Doug Walgren in
1990, challenger Santorum attacked the incumbent from
Mt. Lebanon for buying a house and raising his children
in McLean, Va. Now Rick Santorum of Leesburg, Va., is
saying that he is and he isn't a resident of Pennsylvania.
Distribute. Liberally. Please
is a bit off topic but I can't resist. This looks like
something I will have to see within my lifetime.
Harbin snow and ice festivals
is made of either snow or ice. Check out these 2 pages
of amazing photos:
1 - Page
it get any cooler than that?
I will come right out and say it. Bush uses fear and terror
to control the population of the United States. By keeping
the constant fear of another attack hovering over our
heads Bush can garner support and finances for all his
military endeavors and make sure all his friends in big
business get the big bucks and no bid contracts. He can
use this fear to make people believe that only he, or
people who think like him can keep the world safe. Further
more every time Bush needs a boost in the polls all he
has to do is put out a terror warning. Always these warning
come when bad news for bush is making the rounds or when
his numbers are slipping. All you have to do is pay attention
to when the terror alerts are put out and then look for
a correlation with his approval numbers. It
is an easy connection to make.
But is there really a threat?
FBI report doubts al-Qa'ida can stage 9/11-type strikes
A secret FBI report has cast doubt on al-Qa'ida's ability
to stage another "spectacular" attack in the
US, three and a half years after the 9/11 suicide hijackings
and a year after the Madrid bombings, the network's
only other major strike in the West.
While the desire of the al-Qa'ida leadership to attack
the US was "not in question", the report said,
"their capability to do so is unclear, particularly
in regard to 'spectacular' operations". Contrary
to statements by prosecutors and the FBI's own chief,
Robert Mueller, the February report, obtained last week
by ABC News, says the agency knows of no al-Qa'ida "sleeper"
agents in the US.
The leaked report emphasises that it is not only Britain
which is having difficulty measuring the potential threat
from international terrorism. Recently President George
W Bush said Osama bin Laden had contacted Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, al-Qa'ida's chief associate in Iraq, to
seek his help in planning attacks on the US.
Although some analysts saw this as a sign of weakness
on the al-Qa'ida leader's part, Mr Bush said: "Bin
Laden's message is a telling reminder that al-Qa'ida
still hopes to attack us on our own soil. Stopping him
is the greatest challenge of our day."
I am sure that won't
stop them from keeping us feeling we are about
to be attacked.
good story of the day
back in the day when we were invading Iraq because it
had WMD? That didn't pan out so we tried a few other reasons
to be exact). The WMD was the one that got the
whole ball rolling. So if we were invading the country
for WMD it would have made sense to make that a priority
right? One would assume that we would head right for the
weapons caches to protect them from looting right? Right?
I mean Rummy
said we know right where they are!
"We know where they are. They're in the area around
Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
Right Rummy, sure.
of going to protect the weapons, they
went and protected the oil fields. True colors
Let us now go to the New York Times for unfortunate punch
line to this story:
at Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says
the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters
systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery
from Saddam Hussein's most important weapons installations,
including some with high-precision equipment capable
of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official
said this week in the government's first extensive comments
on the looting.
The Iraqi official, Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister
of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized
operation had pinpointed specific plants in search of
valuable equipment, some of which could be used for
both military and civilian applications, and carted
the machinery away. [...]
The threat posed by these types of facilities was
cited by the Bush administration as a reason for invading
Iraq, but the installations were left largely unguarded
by allied forces in the chaotic months after the invasion.
the irony. If Bush really wanted to take out the biggest
threat this planet faces from WMD all he needs to do is
eat more pretzels.
news - Not just for John Stewart anymore
2 interesting reads about the new trend of our government
creating fake news to gather support for its plan to destroy
Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News
"Thank you, Bush. Thank you, U.S.A.," a jubilant
Iraqi-American told a camera crew in Kansas City for
a segment about reaction to the fall of Baghdad. A second
report told of "another success" in the Bush
administration's "drive to strengthen aviation
security"; the reporter called it "one of
the most remarkable campaigns in aviation history."
A third segment, broadcast in January, described the
administration's determination to open markets for American
To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second
segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government
produced all three. [...]
... In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including
the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made
and distributed hundreds of television news segments
in the past four years, records and interviews show.
Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across
the country without any acknowledgement of the government's
role in their production.
This winter, Washington has been roiled by revelations
that a handful of columnists wrote in support of administration
policies without disclosing they had accepted payments
from the government.
it is sad that our government does not have support for
its policies and thusly has to create fake support. But
it is even more pathetic that our Media organizations
run these falsehoods without question. Hey big media,
whose yer daddy?
Sadly this practice is spreading. Propaganda, its not
just for dinner anymore.
Gov. 'News' Videos Cause a Stir
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has acknowledged
making several videos masquerading as news stories to
promote its agenda, creating an uproar from Democrats
and labor leaders in a controversy parallel to one ignited
by the Bush administration.
``When the governor produces official government propaganda
and tries to fake it to look like news it's very, very
corrosive to democratic values,'' said Barry Broad,
a labor lobbyist who compared it to efforts by totalitarian
Criticism initially focused on a video promoting labor
regulations altering workers' meal breaks. But the administration
later said it made videos on Schwarzenegger's efforts
to reshape state government, stall rules that would
increase nurse staffing at hospitals and alter teacher
pay and tenure requirements, said aides to Sen. Gloria
Romero, D-Los Angeles.
I wonder why our own government feels the need to lie
to us in order to gather support for an idea that is supposed
to be for our own good? Could it be that they don't have
our best interest at heart? Why don't Bush and Schwarzenegger
just leave the fake news to the Daily Show?
Guest Blogging - Ali G
Respect. Some wickid news on dis Friday. Checkit. All
da pimpin mista Bush as done to bone up social security
was all fa nothin. Da ard work Democrats 'ave done in
da past months towards savin' Social Security just might
ave paid off. Massive innit'?. Let dis be a lesson to
all yous Democrats out there dat it pays off to stick
togetha as a party. Big up yourselves wif a massive dose
of unity. Yous geezers learn from dis one. Togetha yous
can overcome da conservavites who is all up in your turf.
Now if only yous all had da bollocks to stand firm on
da bankruptcy bill as well. I guess it's one step at a
But I digest...
For da 411 on dis chillin story we go now to da Washington
May Block Social Security Vote
Bush's bid to add individual accounts to Social Security
faces such formidable opposition in the Senate that
its supporters may be unable to bring it to a vote,
according to a Washington Post survey of senators.
An overwhelming majority of Democratic senators said
they will oppose, under any circumstances, Bush's plan
to allow younger workers to divert a portion of their
Social Security payroll taxes into individual investment
accounts that would follow them into retirement. A few
others said they will not support such accounts if they
require substantial government borrowing. Even many
Republicans say that is inevitable because the alternative
involves unacceptably large cuts in benefits or tax
increases to replace the diverted taxes or both.
rememba kids stand firm wiv your boys and we can get work
done. One party. One people. One chronic. Now is da time
to rebuild our foundation and big up against da Rethuglicans
who seem intent on bringing ruin to da US of A. Booyakasha!
to Defend Social Security
I notice that the Coalition to Defend Social Security
is having a funeral march to Sen. Santorum's office on
Tuesday the 22nd. Wish I was able to be there. If you
are in PA you should check this out. Nothing like a bit
of marching in the streets to get the spirits up.
for Pennsylvania - US Senate
I do not Blog much about my personal life. Most folks
who read this Blog don't know much about me (I know you
read here mom. I am talking about the others. Both of
them). I currently live in California. I am soon to move
to Pennsylvania though. Thats right. I am leaving this
wonderful secluded liberal bubble of a reality and moving
to a swing state! PA here I come. Home of Rick Santorum
(that frothy mixture of ... oh nevermind...).
I was so happy to see PA go blue during the last election.
But it saddens me knowing Mr. Santorum will be my senator.
This is where Chuck comes in. Chuck
Pennachio is about as decent and honest as politicians
come. He is a family man with a great sense of where this
country should be heading. He also embraces like few politicians
do, the concept of net roots in politics. Chuck, you had
me at go.
So I encourage people to support his candidacy for US
Senate. If you live in PA be sure to get
involved or contribute
if you can.
Lets get him elected shall we?
Obvious to the Rescue!
would we do without this guy?
Budget Deficits Pose Big Threat
In a wide-ranging speech, Greenspan said he believed
the United States' flexible economy would be able to
deal with current concerns over trade and savings. "The
resolution of our current account deficit and household
debt burdens does not strike me as overly worrisome,
but that is certainly not the case for our fiscal deficit,"
Greenspan said in prepared remarks to the Council on
Foreign Relations in New York. [...]
"Our fiscal prospects are, in my judgment, a significant
obstacle to long-term stability," Greenspan said.
of War #10
of an Iraqi Child
When I look
at the purple-blue sky
I want to see stars,
circling in the moonlight.
I want to watch shooting stars
instead of the flare
of the crashing bombs
on the streets
Stars are the angel-bridges
of comfort - nothing should block
Mathis, Grade 6
this over at TCS. Sent a chill down my spine
Webb was an investigative reporter who linked
the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angels.
He died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the
head. Yes he shot himself in the head more
Lombardi drew pictures demonstrating the links
between Bush, James Bath, and the bin Laden family
and many other favorites of the conspiracy crowd.
He committed suicide.
already mentioned Hatfield
who committed suicide in a hotel room. He wrote
the book "Fortunate Son" which alleged that the reason
Bush "volunteered" for community service in the early
seventies was to erase a cocaine bust from his records.
Casolaro committed suicide in a Hotel room
in 1991. He was working in a conspiracy "theory of
everything" called "The Octopus" that linked the CIA,
October Surprise, BCCI, and pretty much everything
suing Bush for sexual assault. She committed
suicide on September 22, 2003.
Lemme was an investigator for the Florida
Department of Transportation who was investigating
claims of voter fraud (the article explains why FDOT
would be involved). He committed suicide in a hotel.Nothing
to add really. There are troubled people in the world
and the troubles of the world can be too hard to bare.
That said, that's quite a list.
strange, and often tragic, things happen to people who
stand in Bush's way. To this list I would add David
Kelly, a UN weapons inspector who came back from Iraq
to report that there were no WMD. He predicted he would
dead in the woods" and he was correct.
Police called it a suicide but
paramedics questioned that.
Then there is the strange story of death of perhaps
Americas most influential advocate of a verified
voting paper trail, Athan
Gibbs, in the era of touch screen computer voting.
Gibbs, an accountant for more than 30 years and the
inventor of the TruVote system, died
when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeled truck
which rolled his Chevy Blazer several times and forced
it over the highway retaining wall where it came to
rest on its roof.
could I foget this
Mr. web was found in his apartment with a gun shot wound
to the head. The authorities are calling it a suicide.
Gary was best known for his articles criticizing the
CIA Mr. Webb wrote in The San Jose Mercury News in 1996
that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold crack cocaine
in black neighborhoods and used the profits to finance
the operations of the contras, the C.I.A.-supported
guerrillas who were fighting the leftist government
in Nicaragua. Facing a barrage of calls from the media
and the public, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office
issued a statement Tuesday confirming that former investigative
reporter Gary Webb committed suicide with two gunshots
to the head.
Link Roundup 3/9/05
Amending Economic Justice
bipartisan coalition in the Senate is determined to
help the credit card industry, which took
in $30 billion in profits last year.
That's why many senators are supporting a
bill (S. 256) that would make it harder
for average people to recover from financial misfortune
by declaring bankruptcy. And they refuse to let anyone
of identity theft, not those
suffering from debilitating illness,
military get in their way. Last
week the Senate rejected
a series of amendments to the bankruptcy
bill that would have, among other things, closed loopholes
for the wealthy, cracked down on predatory lending practices
and protected the homes of those who were facing bankruptcy
from medical bills. (For more on the bill, check out
memo by American Progress CEO John Podesta).There
is no more time to waste a final vote on this bill
is scheduled for tomorrow. Write
your senators now and demand that they oppose the bankruptcy
CLOSING LOOPHOLES FOR MILLIONAIRES: Under the bill,
the very wealthy would be able to shield millions in
assets after declaring bankruptcy by setting up "asset
protection trusts." Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced
an amendment that "would
have limited the use of the trusts to shield assets
only up to $125,000." The amendment failed
Schumer lamented, "now we have a bill that says a family
won't be protected if it has $50,000, but it will if
it has $5 million."
PROTECTIONS FOR THE ELDERLY: The bill will be especially
hard on elderly Americans, who are bankrupted
by medical bills with increasing frequency.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced an amendment that
would have shielded their homes (up to a modest $75,000)
from seizure after declaring bankruptcy. The amendment
PROTECTIONS FOR THE SICK: More than half of all bankruptcies
result from families
who are unable to pay medical bills.
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced an amendment to exempt
those who became bankrupt because of illness from the
new restrictions. The amendment failed 39-58.
Stream Media Will Never Touch This
As if we needed more proof that this administration has
fully embraced manipulating the media and using propaganda
to influence public opinion. They used the toppling
of the statue of Saddam to create a PR
spectacle. They glorified the death of Pat Tillman
turning his story into a heroic event when in
reality he was killed by friendly fire. They turned
Lynch story, literally into a made for TV propaganda
piece. They get
caught paying commentators illegaly to put Bush
policies in a positive light. Twice.
Don't even get me started on Gannongate.....
And now this:
Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction
A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version
of his capture was fabricated.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted
in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam
was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not
the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.
"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of
Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days
in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in
a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as
announced," Abou Rabeh said.
"We captured him after fierce resistance during
which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed,"
He said Saddam himself fired at them with a gun from
the window of a room on the second floor. Then they
shouted at him in Arabic: "You have to surrender.
... There is no point in resisting."
"Later on, a military production team fabricated
the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in
fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.
is another link on this same story
of war #9
President Bush's uncompromising second inaugural address
does not so much as mention the words Iraq, Afghanistan
and the war on terror, he and his supporters continue
to engage in a planned reordering of the world. The wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan are but one part of a supposedly
universal effort to create world order by "spreading
democracy". This idea is not merely quixotic - it
is dangerous. The rhetoric implies that democracy is applicable
in a standardized (western) form, that it can succeed
everywhere, that it can remedy today's transnational dilemmas,
and that it can bring peace, rather than sow disorder.
Dangers of Exporting Democracy
Bush's Crusade is Based on a Dangerous Illusion and Will
by Eric Hobsbawm
friends like these....
Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena thought her worst days
were behind her when she learned that she was to be freed
from her captivity in Iraq. She had been a captive for
over a month. The 56-year-old reporter from the left-wing
Italian newspaper Il Manifesto was taken by her captors
to the Baghdad airport. But before she could be freed
trip turned tragic. The car she was traveling
in was sprayed with machine gun fire and the special forces
agent who had helped negotiate her release was killed
as he protected Giuliana Sgrena from harms way. Italy
mourns the loss of this life even as it rejoices that
Giuliana is out of harms way. The political ramifications
of this friendly fire killing are
just being felt.
incident has strengthened Italian opposition to the
continuing military presence in Iraq.
Six in 10 Italians now think the war was wrong.
Hundreds of Italians lining the streets applauded as
the cortege approached the packed church.
who has already been critical of the war is now hoping
for an apology from the United States. The tragic
loss felt by Italy will likely make stronger their criticism
of the war. The coalition of the "willing" continues
Giuliana Sgrena has since told her version of events.
has hinted that it may have been no accident that
her car was shot at.
several interviews to Italian and foreign media outlets,
Ms Sgrena said she believes US troops might have deliberately
opened fire on the car.
Ms Sgrena, who works for communist paper Il Manifesto
and has always been an outspoken critic of the war,
argues that US authorities strongly oppose the kind
of negotiations conducted to free her.
"I cannot rule out that I was the real target,"
she told Rome-based daily La Repubblica.
has given a detailed account of her days in captivity
and of the final hours after she was released only to
be shot at my American forces:
car proceeded on its way, through an underpass full
of puddles, almost skidding to avoid them. [...] Nicola
Calipari sat by my side. The driver had notified the
embassy and Italy twice that we were heading to the
airport, which I knew was controlled by the American
troops. It was less than one kilometre, they told me
. . . when. . . . I remember only fire. At that point
a rain of fire and bullets came at us, forever silencing
the happy voices from a few minutes earlier.
The driver started shouting we were Italians, "We
are Italians! We are Italians . . ." Nicola Calipari
dove on top of me to protect me and immediately, and
I mean immediately, I felt his last breath as he died
on me. I must have felt physical pain, I didn't know
why. But I had a sudden thought: I recalled my abductors'
words. They said they were deeply committed to releasing
me, but that I had to be careful because "the Americans
don't want you to return."
The U.S. of course immediately
rejected the notion that troops fired on the car
if a foreign liberal reporter on purpose even though her
captors had warned her that Coalition troops may not want
her to make it out of Iraq alive.
The White House on Monday said it was "absurd"
for a former hostage in Iraq to charge that U.S. military
forces may have deliberately targeted her car as she
was being rushed to freedom.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the
car carrying Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was
traveling on one of the most dangerous roads in Iraq,
to the Baghdad airport, when it was fired upon. An Italian
intelligence officer in the car was shot and killed.
Responding to Sgrena's statement that the car may have
been deliberately targeted, McClellan said. "It's
absurd to make any such suggestion, that our men and
women in uniform would deliberately target innocent
the notion that journalists, who tend to be critical of
the Iraq war, are being targeted by friendly troops is
hardly a new one. Journalists covering the war
in Iraq have been killed on many occasion, sometimes in
To top it all off another friendly fire story is hitting
the wires today as Bulgaria
claims one of it's troops was killed by American
forces in Iraq.
forces in Iraq, already implicated in the killing of
an Italian secret agent, faced more "friendly fire"
embarrassment on Monday when Bulgaria said they had
probably shot dead one of its soldiers.
The controversy raised questions over whether U.S. troops
are over-zealous in their efforts to crack down on insurgents,
who killed at least 25 people in fresh attacks on Monday.
Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolai Svinarov said an
investigation into the death of the Bulgarian soldier
showed he was probably accidentally killed by American
another day in the quagmire...
is going to be a good movie. It is not showing in many
theaters so check the web site to see if it is playing
in your area. The movie documents the lives of 400 soldiers,
who carry out their mission from a bombed-out pleasure
palace once owned by Saddam Hussein.
It is made my the soldiers themselves and promises to
show a side of the war that we will never see on the news.
Support the people who made this thing and take some friends
to go see it. Support the troops in more ways than a sticker
on your car. They are trying to tell us their side of
this unfolding story. Let's listen to them.
free to send
me a review if you get a chance to see it and
I will post it on this page.
to the web page
for play times and locations
Link Roundup 3.4.05
a bit backed up with the site redesign so this Roundup
is a 2-fer. More links per square inch! There is a lot
more in the full page version so be sure to check
'Pulling Feeding Tubes'
Bush is proposing slashing health care funding for the
poorest Americans, leaving cash-strapped states to pick
up the pieces. The administration's budget proposes reducing
the federal share of funding for Medicaid the joint
federal/state program that provides health insurance for
more than 50 million low-income Americans by $60 billion
over ten years. At the winter meeting of the National
Governors Association, which ended Tuesday, the Bush administration
tried to convince state leaders to accept the cuts in
exchange for "flexibility." Democratic and Republican
governors aren't buying it. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS)
said, "If flexibility comes with $60 billion worth of
will give us the flexibility to cut off people from health
care that they desperately need." Sebelius
echoes the sentiments of Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), who
said previously, "people need to remember that to balance
the federal budget on the backs of the poorest people
in the country is simply unacceptable. You
don't pull feeding tubes from people. You don't pull the
wheelchair out from under the child with muscular dystrophy."
Write to your members of Congress and tell them not to let President Bush cut Medicaid.
ABOUT PRIORITIES, STUPID: President Bush has no problem
trillion over 10 years to extend his tax cuts for the
wealthy, but calls $60 billion in federal
Medicaid spending unaffordable. The administration suggests
states could make up for the funding shortfall by requiring
"low-income people to make a co-payment before receiving
Medicaid benefits." Secretary of Health and Human Services
Mike Leavitt tried this as governor of Utah and ended
hospital admissions, clinic visits and access to prescription
drugs for the state's poorest residents. In
other words, the plan would "price
the neediest people out of basic medical treatment and
drive up the number of uninsured people."
FAKE CONSENSUS: Nevertheless, Leavitt claimed that
"he has support among the nation's governors" for the
proposal. That's not true. Interviews conducted by the
New York Times "with numerous governors suggest that the
consensus described by Mr. Leavitt does not exist."
FRAUD FALLACY: Leavitt claims that much
of the shortfall can be made up by closing loopholes
that supposedly allow "many older Americans...to become
eligible for Medicaid by giving away assets to their children."
Governors are skeptical of the claim that "millionaires
were exploiting Medicaid to gain coverage of nursing home
care." Gov. James E. Doyle (D-WI) said, "To suggest that
there is widespread abuse and that we can get big savings
really question that." Doyle noted that in most cases
are hard-working people who have put aside a small amount
and desperately want to leave it to their children."
REAL IMPACT: While Leavitt and Bush present the cuts
as a "streamlining" of the program, the size of the cuts
will inevitably mean real consequences for the poor. Some
perspective: the cuts Bush is proposing, just in the fifth
year of the plan, are "the
equivalent of providing health coverage for over 345,000
seniors or almost 1.8 million children."
BIG SECRET IT'S EFFICIENT: Leavitt also is trying
to convince governors that the $60 billion can be made
up through improving inefficiencies in the system. That's
unlikely, since Medicaid is actually quite efficient now.
Physician Mark Johnson noted in the Seattle Inquirer,
is one of the most cost-effective sources of health coverage
among both private and public plans." Johnson
points out that "spending growth in Medicaid and in private
coverage is comparable even though Medicaid disproportionately
provides services to individuals who require more and
it out, there is more
Ironbody - The New Reporter
Daily Show did a seriously funny bit last night with
Rob Cordey, or should I say "Dino Hardbody".
He poked fun at Gannon/Guckert as well as bloggers.
It was pretty classic. If you missed it, be sure to
check it out now. It would be great if the Ironbody
character becomes a regular on The daily Show. Watch
out Colbert! Cordey is climbin that ladder!
Media - Quicktime
- Thanks to Crooks
and Liars for the video.
John Stewart and The Daily Show will be censored. The
Right will smear him and bring him down. He has become
too powerful a tool for Democrats to make fun of the Right
and get our talking points out. You just wait and see.
Axworthy: 1 -- Condoleezza Rice: 0
Lloyd Axworthy is president of the University of Winnipeg
and a former Canadian foreign minister of Canada. Lloyd
handed a serious smack-down to Condi in the form of this
letter. Get out the popcorn and try not to blow chunks
out your nose when you read the verbal
pimp-slap he handed to Condi:
Condi, I'm glad you've decided to get over your fit
of pique and venture north to visit your closest neighbour.
It's a chance to learn a thing or two. Maybe more.
I know it seems improbable to
your divinely guided master in the White House that
mere mortals might disagree with participating in a
missile-defence system that has failed in its last three
tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully
rigged to show results.
But, gosh, we folks above the
49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't
quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud
As our erstwhile Prairie-born
and bred (and therefore prudent) finance minister pointed
out in presenting his recent budget, we've had eight
years of balanced or surplus financial accounts. If
we're going to spend money, Mr. Goodale added, it will
be on day-care and health programs, and even on more
foreign aid and improved defence.
Sure, that doesn't match the
gargantuan, multi-billion-dollar deficits that your
government blithely runs up fighting a "liberation
war" in Iraq, laying out more than half of all
weapons expenditures in the world, and giving massive
tax breaks to the top one per cent of your population
while cutting food programs for poor children.
Just chalk that up to a different
sense of priorities about what a national government's
role should be when there isn't a prevailing mood of
manifest destiny. Coming to Ottawa might also expose
you to a parliamentary system that has a thing called
question period every day, where those in the executive
are held accountable by an opposition for their actions,
and where demands for public debate on important topics
such a missile defence can be made openly. [...]
Your boss did not avail himself
of a similar opportunity to visit our House of Commons
during his visit, fearing, it seems, that there might
be some signs of dissent. He preferred to issue his
diktat on missile defence in front of a highly controlled,
Such control-freak antics may
work in the virtual one-party state that now prevails
in Washington. But in Canada we have a residual belief
that politicians should be subject to a few checks and
balances, an idea that your country once espoused before
the days of empire.
is just warming up. Read
the rest of this timely smackdown.
refuse to walk the plank for Bush
It looks as if Bush's plans to privatize Social Security
have hit the wall. Democrats are united as they very rarely
are and Bush has been running around the country pimping
for the destruction of Social
Security. His attempt to get just one Democratic
Senator on his side finally came to an end when Sen. Leiberman,
who was on the fence on the issue signed a letter with
41 other Democrats making
their collective stance on Social Security very clear:
While Secretary Snow's suggestion was initially encouraging,
subsequent reports indicate that you remain committed
to your privatization plan and his public comments were
little more than a tactical maneuver. According to a
story in today's Washington Post, "White House
officials are privately telling Republicans that Bush
is opposed to the idea [of accounts outside of Social
Security], but does not want to say so because it would
appear he is not willing to compromise."
Given the conflicting and ambiguous reports on such
a critical issue, we urge you to publicly and unambiguously
announce that you reject privatized accounts funded
with Social Security dollars or otherwise linked to
the provision of guaranteed Social Security benefits.
Such a statement would eliminate a serious obstacle
to the kind of bipartisan process that Democrats are
seeking to deal with Social Security's long-term challenges
and to improve the retirement security of all Americans.
As they get tired of losing ground on this issue republicans
seem to be backtracking. Not used to being on the losing
side of such battles, they are regrouping and rethinking
how wise it is to toe the line on this issue. Cracks are
beginning to form. Lets check in with RAW
and Republicans in Congress are respectively signaling
either a death knell or a long haul for Social Security
reform, reflecting eroding support for President Bushs
privatization plans, RAW STORY has learned.
The issue is so grave, says one senior Democratic aide,
that some Republican members have begun to see joining
the Bush team as walking the plank. [...]
Norm Ornstein, a longtime CBS News election analyst
and fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute,
says any legislation is contingent upon Republicans
reaching an agreement with themselves. At this point,
he says, no Democrat would sign on.
The problem that the president has starts with
his own party, Ornstein told RAW STORY. Theres
no consensus at all among House and Senate Republicans,
and youre certainly not going to see Democrats
negotiating until Republicans can [agree]. [...]
With Republicans in complete disarray, theres
no political benefit for Democrats to work with them,
the aide said. At this point, theres no
substantive reason we would work with them because we
dont believe in draining money from Social Security
and putting it into private accounts. Politically, theyre
getting beaten about the head with this issue; the longer
its out there, the better it is for Democrats.
is not just Republicans who can see this battle is all
bust lost. Bush
himself has recently changed his stance on the
issue as well, signaling that he knows the issue is all
President Bush said on Thursday he would focus for now
on the financial problems facing Social Security, signaling
a shift in tactics amid a slide in support for his private
account plan. [...]
The emphasis on the financial problems facing the retirement
system as the huge baby-boom generation begins to retire
comes as opinion polls show declining support for Bush's
plan to carve private investment accounts out of the
program. Despite such polls, Bush said he felt the administration
was making headway in explaining to the public that
Social Security's future was troubled. "People
are beginning to say, we have a problem," Bush
told reporters. "The next phase, when people say
we have a problem, is going to be, what are you going
to do about it?
Bush the question isn't "what are we going to do
about it?", rather the question all Democrats
should be shouting out from the rooftops is "WHERE
IS THE MONEY!?". Thats right. Lets think this
through. If Bush is claiming that the population spike
that is the baby boomers will throw Social Security finances
into a tailspin then he is obviously skipping one vital
tidbit of information. That same population spike should
have put a huge surplus into the system. They will all
have paid into the system before their collective retirements
giving a financial boost that should take care of the
So Bush, where is the money? Why isn't this money there?
I will tell you why. It is missing because our so called
elected president RAIDED the Social Security surplus to
pay for his tax cuts for the rich and other programs.
This after promising in 2001 not to touch the surplus.
going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep
the government from raiding the Social Security surplus."
right. Shortly after that The New York Times reported
that "the president's new budget uses Social Security
surpluses to pay for other programs every year through
2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in
Social Security funds to other purposes."
Show me the money!
will it end?
Republicans seem intent on ruining the entertainment industry.
Already the FCC has been handing out fines as they see fit
to radio personalities that they deem to be of a foul nature.
Never mind for the moment that people, like howard stern,
who are getting fined by the FCC have also been extremely
outspoken against Bush. The fines they throw down are so extremely
over the top, as to make it impossible not to comply with
the wishes of the FCC. So personalities like stern go to satellite
radio where, for a time at least, they are safe.
But this mess seems to be spreading. Now they want to apply
these same restrictions to cable television. They want to
restrict what can be shown on a medium that we pay for. That
is the difference here. Not the free airwaves but cable TV
which we pay a fee to watch. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) are behind the push to regulate cable
television. Once again the republicans want to force the desires
of the few onto the backs of the nation. What is next? All
movies need to be vetted by the white house? Where will it
Just think of it. Sex on the city. Gone. Do they think the
nation really would stand for that? Do they think no Republicans
watch these shows? What about Real Time with Bill Maher? What
about The Daily Show?
Take away my daily show and I am going to be seriously pissed.
has the story:
Press for Decency Limits on Pay TV, Radio
Two top U.S. Republican lawmakers on Tuesday said they
want to apply broadcast decency standards to cable television
and satellite television and radio to protect children
from explicit content.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said he
would push legislation this year to accomplish that goal
and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton
said he would back it if it does not violate free speech
"Cable is a much greater violator in the indecency
area," Stevens, from Alaska, told the National Association
of Broadcasters, which represents hundreds of local television
and radio affiliates. "I think we have the same power
to deal with cable as over-the-air" broadcasters.
"There has to be some standard of decency,"
he said, but noted that "no one wants censorship."
Stevens cited the discussion of masturbation and sex toys
during prime time television as one example of content
that bothered him. He told reporters he would extend the
restrictions to premium channels like HBO as well.
Right seems to be in serious denial in regards to what the
American people want to view in the privacy of their own
homes. This needs to be stopped before it is out of control.
Republicans want's to pretend sex does not exist. That it
is not a healthy part of our society. Yet at the same time
divorce rates and teen pregnancies are skyrocketing in the
red states. Taking censorship to cable television will not
fix these problems. Teaching abstinence will not fix these
Talking openly and honestly with teens about sexual issues
will solve these problems.
and Clinton Lead the Way
these two make me proud. They are taking
on the most important issue we face. Election Reform.
February 18th, Senator Hillary Clinton and I introduced
the "Count Every Vote Act" - critical legislation
that will bring overdue reform to our election system
and restore the faith of all Americans in their most basic,
Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that
their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that
in the voting booth, their vote has a much weight as that
of any CEO, any member of Congress, or any President.
Our democracy is the centerpiece of who we are as a nation,
and we must take action now to ensure that the American
people have full confidence in our electoral system.
many other important facets of this legislation, the Count
Every Vote Act will:
Provide voter-verified paper ballots for every
vote cast on electronic machines
Set uniform standards for provisional ballots
Ensure equal access to voting machines and election
personnel in every community
Designate Election Day as a federal holiday
Reduce wait times for voters at polling places
Make deceptive voter suppression activities a federal
Restrict the political activities of state elections
officials and voting machine manufacturers
can show your support by joining
up with their PAC or by donating
today and of course sign
this and pass it on.
Away Run Away!
seem to be abandoning the sinking ship of Social
Security reform. The initial sales
pitch by the Rethugs seems to have come to nil.
Support for reform has dropped from 43% to just 35%. People
seem to be waking up to the fact that maybe, just maybe,
Bush does not have our best interests at heart.
Security plan support drops
Poll: 35% approve of Bush's record on issue
Only one in three Americans approve of President Bush's
handling of Social Security, his lowest rating on the
issue since he took office.
A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll conducted Friday-Sunday found
that 35% approved of Bush's Social Security record, 56%
disapproved and 9% had no opinion. That was down from
three weeks ago, when 43% approved. In March 2001, just
after he took office, 49% approved.
The poll included several pieces of bad news for Bush
on the issue, which he has made his top priority this
year. The president traveled to eight states in February
to make the case for an overhaul. [...]
date, Bush has no support among Democrats in Congress.
Many Republicans such as Florida's Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite,
who represents a quarter-million Social Security recipients,
are on the fence.
The poll showed that Democrats have made headway in their
opposition to Bush. In early January, Americans divided
evenly when asked whether Social Security needs major
changes in the next year or two. Now 59% say it doesn't
need to be changed right away. [...]
Democrats are doing a great job of getting this message
out there. Keep on truckin'.
a related story, Bush's approval ratings are once
again falling. Must be time to start
frightening the populace again.
Court Dose the Right Thing
now and then the Supreme Court makes a decision that doesn't
make me sad to be an American. Thats right the United States
can now join the rest of the civilized world in the decision
not to kill children.
Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths
A closely divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it's
unconstitutional to execute juvenile killers, ending a
practice in 19 states that has been roundly condemned
by many of America's closest allies.
The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of 72
murderers who were under 18 when they committed their
crimes and bars states from seeking to execute minors
for future crimes. The executions, the court said, violate
the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
"The age of 18 is the point where society draws the
line for many purposes between childhood and adulthood.
It is, we conclude, the age at which the line for death
eligibility ought to rest," Justice Anthony Kennedy
The ruling continues the court's practice of narrowing
the scope of the death penalty, which justices reinstated
in 1976. Executions for those 15 and younger when they
committed their crimes were outlawed in 1988. Three years
ago justices banned death sentences for the mentally retarded.
to be on the right side every now and again.