July 31, 2007

Oh. My. God.

Would someone come over here and put Block Thought on my brain? Please? I just keep coming up with these ideas that put Bush&Cheney in the driver’s seat and the rest of us tied up, gagged and blindfolded in the trunk of the car.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve studied the Third Reich since I was in my early teens. I don’t know why the fascination, but there you are.

In many, many of the accounts authors have stated something to the effect, ‘Hitler and his henchmen couldn’t have gotten away with what they were doing if the country hadn’t been at war.’

As most of us [except maybe the 23%] know by now, immediately after 9/11 White House top advisors were ordered to find a connection between the attack and Iraq. When they didn’t, one was manufactured. The American people were given, in succession, at least 3 separate reasons for going to war in Iraq. When one was shown to be fallacious another was trotted out for inspection. The final justification wasn’t, as the others had been, anything to do with Hussein’s having designs on this or any other country. The contention that he was a Bad Man wasn’t disputable— and that was the pretext under which we were dragged, many of us kicking and screaming, into war. But—if that were truly a reason for going to war, this country would have been embroiled in constant combat for its entire history. The world is filled with Bad Men in high places. We don’t generally trouble ourselves with taking them down. Why this one?

Then, the ‘strategic planning’ began. With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, the administration told us that the troops would be home by Christmas, that they would be greeted as liberators, that everything would be just fine and not to worry our pretty little heads about the war. They then proceeded to take too few troops, too poorly equipped to be effective, into Iraq. The troops seemed to be under orders to allow the Iraqis to destroy the infrastructure of their own country. The orders may not have been explicit— but accounts began trickling out that a hands-off approach when it came to looting and destruction seemed to be the order of the day.

As anyone outside the administration [and, arguably, within the administration as well] could have predicted, the most powerful armed forces on the planet got bogged down in a war with a much smaller country. The whole operation made this giant much more vulnerable to attack than it had, originally, been.

As each objective was reached [remember ‘Mission Accomplished’?] the goal posts were moved.

Meanwhile, the search for bin Ladin was quietly called off.
Now, fast forward to today:

A couple of weeks ago, Bush quietly signed the National Security/Homeland Security Order giving himself dictatorial powers if, in the assessment of the president, a threat to national security is perceived.

I believe this administration is capable of perceiving an imminent election as a threat to national security. However, they know that the rest of us don’t see eye-to-eye with them on this matter. So they will hunt around for something we could, conceivably, believe to be a threat and the invisibility cloak will be thrown off to reveal Voldemort beneath.
Someday in the future, I predict, some author will pen the words, ‘‘Bush, Cheney and their henchmen couldn’t have gotten away with what they were doing if the country hadn’t been at war.’
Interesting Timing
Talk of the Nation, on NPR, today aired a program about the fact that Bush now wants to close Guantanamo Bay Prison. Hundreds of the people who will be released have nowhere to go if/when they are released. Their homelands don’t want the majority of the detainees. Even if they do get to go home, they will almost certainly be ostrasized with all that that entails: Want a job? You’re a suspected terrorist. Allow my children to play with yours? You’re a suspected terrorist. Live in MY neighborhood? You’re a suspected terrorist. Government officials are looking for possible terror suspects. Oh, officer! I know someone who was in Gitmo!

As to another country taking them—our country is refusing to keep them. So our allies are rightly asking why they should be willing to take people we refuse to set free on our own soil. We, after all, were the ones who took these people prisoner and refused to let them go even those who, our officials knew, had been turned over solely for a bounty and had had nothing to do with terrorism or insurgency or war.
But, I actually want to address another, tho related, issue:

Suppose you had been picked up in a sweep. Or sold for a bounty. For whatever reason, you were rounded up, taken to a prison in a foreign country and held without counsel, without being charged, possibly in solitary confinement, for four years or more. Further suppose you were subjected to excess cold conditions in your cell. Or lights kept on 24 hours per day. So you covered your body with your prayer rug or covered your eyes with your arm. You were then deemed to be ‘uncooperative’ and your prayer rug was taken away or you were placed in restraints so you couldn’t cover your eyes.

Now, you’re being released. You can’t go home. You may be subjected to torture if you do. You will almost certainly be ostracized. There’s a fair chance, given the global situation, you will be released into the country that unjustly held you for half a decade. You may never see your family and friends again. You may be ostracized by your neighbors in your new country. You may not be able to find a job. The country you are released into will not provide either a way to make a living OR any form of sustenance so that you can live an even halfway decent life.

Are YOU going to simply sit back and accept your fate? Or, are you likely, NOW, to take up arms against the country that treated you so shabbily—even though you were not so inclined before your ordeal began?

And, oh, by the way—the president of that country has, in his desk drawer, an order granting himself dictatorial powers if someone attacks his country. Well, it serves these people right. LET them live under a dictator! What do you care?

OK! Maybe Now We're Getting Somewhere!

This from Crooks and Liars --
BREAKING: House Democrats Introducing Bill To Investigate Impeachment Of Alberto Gonzales
By: Logan Murphy on Monday, July 30th, 2007 at 1:35 PM - PDT

'MSNBC just reported that Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) announced he will be introducing a bill tomorrow that would require the House Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. At the beginning of the report MSNBC’s Chris Jansing says this bill was being presented by a group of House Democrats, but Inslee is the only one mentioned. More details to come…'
Well, it's a start.
May more and bigger fish fry soon!

I'm hyperventilating over here.
Hope this works.
One more thing: If you live in Washington or know someone who does, would you please write Inslee and thank him? Deluge him with correspondence!
Let everyone in Congress know we're paying attention and this sort of move will get votes much more effectively than any amount of money from the fat cats--

July 30, 2007

I imagine I'll be offline most of the day, today. Doing some wallpapering. Hmmm--- I'll probably be off for several days.

The Day After Tomorrow

This from the Huffington Post:
After the Next 9/11 -- by Marty Kaplan

. . .[N]o more than King Canute could stop the tide, no more than a Big One in California can be prevented, no more than the hundred thousand people who will die in accidents this year will evade their untimely ends, an act of domestic terrorism is inevitable. What counts is how we think about it right now, how we prepare today for when it happens tomorrow, and how we handle it -- politically, emotionally, morally -- when, as it must, it occurs.

Is there any doubt that the Bush administration, and its dead-ender allies in the Republican Party and the media, will use an act of domestic terrorism as a fresh opportunity to further demonize their political opponents and further compromise the Constitution?

Click here for the complete text.
It's frightening how I just keep reasoning myself into corners.
If bin Ladin or some other terrorist mastermind wants to keep Bush in office forever, he now has the power to do exactly that. All he has to do is attack America. That's all. Just do what he wants to do anyway, and he gets his desired goal-- even if he kills or maims only a few dozen people.

Such a scenario would give Bush the excuse he needs to enact his recently signed statement that gives himself full dictatorial powers to suspend the Constitution and set aside the electoral process. And Bush, himself, will have destroyed this country much more effectively than bin Ladin could ever have done.

Through inaction Congress and the American populace have given our enemies the power to determine the future of this country and the outcome of the next election [or non-election.]

Bush can rest easy now. His grand-daddy would be so proud.

July 29, 2007

I Just Keep Seeing Doomsday

I just had another thought-- related to the post of 7/24.
You know, I've been concerned that BushCo might declare Marshal Law and take over the country before the election. I've comforted myself, though, with the thought that Congress, the Supremes and the people would certainly wake up if they did that and not allow them to get away
with it.
Then, this AM, I had another, even more chilling thought:
Maybe they'll allow the elections to go ahead -- not tip their hands. Then, if they don't approve of the person elected President or-- possibly --the make-up of Congress -- suddenly 'al qaida' will attack us and THEN they'll declare Martial Law.
After all, if a Dem is elected president [which will almost certainly happen], if a veto-proof liberal-leaning Congress is voted into office [which could conceivably happen], won't they see the writing on the wall? The chances of their being hauled into court will go up exponentially. And there's at least a fair chance that the dictatorship they've worked so hard to build will come crashing down.
Do we truly think Cheney will simply sit by and allow those scenarios to play out?
I don't think so.

July 28, 2007

in trouble here

make it quick.
modem working only sporadically today.
will post something if I can stay online long enough to.
Ha! It wasn't the modem.
It was the downside of living in paradise where it rains every day during the summer.
The cap on the telephone pole had been knocked loose and water had gotten into the cable housing.

WHY these things always knock out the computer and phone [which matter more] and leave the TV alone [which matters less] is a mystery. Well, no, probably not. It's precisely BECAUSE the modem matters more, i'nnit? **sigh**
**more sighs**
got back up and running for about 2 hours after the tech came and went. then **splat!** again.
now, about 7 1/2 hours later, I noticed the online light was on again. go figure. tech is due back tomorrow -- now that it's running [for the moment].

and I had so wanted to spend the day commenting over at Left of Centrist.
the best laid plans. . . .

Our Troops Want to Stay in Iraq?

During the debates Tuesday night, one after another Senators rose to say that they had been told by soldiers that they are proud to be in Iraq. That they want to stay there to 'fight for freedom.' Click here and judge for yourself the truth of those statements.

The 'I' Word -- Again

This from the Huffington Post:
Chris Durang -- Will Bush Ever Get His Comeuppance?

Will this long presidency of George W. Bush ever be over?
Living through it is starting to seem like some ghastly, upsetting novel in which the hero is the country, and the president is this disturbing, pig-headed, oblivious villain who makes things worse and worse and worse.

And as with a fictional villain, I find I have a longing that he get his comeuppance -- that his villainy is codified and he's finally held accountable for what he's done.

But will that ever happen?
. . . . Lord, if ever a case called for impeachment, it is this one.

I missed the recent Bill Moyers Journal program that had a discussion of impeachment, but I found a transcript of it
The discussion of impeachment on the program is between Moyers and his guests John Nichols of The Nation and Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official during the Reagan administration who drafted articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. . . . Fein did so "because perjury is a legal crime. And Fein believed no one is above the law." He adds that Fein is a constitutional scholar, and has been affiliated with conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation and writes a weekly column for the Washington Times and Politico.com.
I, too, missed the original Journal and have piecing it together from various sources. The one cited by Durang is a good one.

And it's so refreshing to find a conservative who doesn't turn himself into a pretzel by condemning Clinton and absolving Bush simultaneously.

Perhaps we've found our Goldwater [who went to Nixon and told him he had to resign]. Of course, Nixon listened-- which I'm sure we can count on this president not to do.

July 26, 2007

PLEASE! Stop The Bickering!

I see so much bickering and working at odds to one another among the Democrats, I feel the following warning must be put here. Please read and heed. Or, if you can think of a better solution, please let the rest of us hear from you here.
I hate to say this but feel the time has come to face the facts:
How have the neo-cons been able to do their dirty work? They banded together. They put aside their differences and worked toward a single goal: that of stealing the country from the rest of us.

If we want it back, we must take a page from their book. We must stop bickering among ourselves, agree on one goal [returning the country to the rule of "one law for everyone" would get my vote] then do WHATEVER IT TAKES [short of committing felonies] to achieve that goal.

So--Dems and all fellow travelers-- please, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our troops, for the sake of our own safety, we MUST stop the bickering. We must stop threatening to jump ship or to refuse to vote if we're not thrilled with the Democratic presidential nominee. And we must vow not to vote for a 3rd party candidate. That way lies a red carpet for the GOP nominee straight into the White House.

In short, we must unite to achieve our ultimate goal. Otherwise, to quote the [to my mind] wisest among our founding fathers, 'We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

July 24, 2007

Look What We Did

Just one thought today:
Remember Nero? Remember Caligula? Rome had an excuse: Several generations before those two came along, Rome had degenerated from a republic to a de-facto monarchy/dictatorship.

We have no such excuse. Until the present group of thugs took over, we had a democratic republic. WE, personally, allowed them to turn this country into a dictatorship under our feet. We even had a second chance in 2004 and we failed to stop them.

Now, we look to Congress to stop them when WE DIDN'T!
Case closed.
And, pretty soon now, we're going to hear the cell doors close, too.

July 23, 2007


This from the Washington Post:
Destabilizing Iraq, Broadly Defined -- by Walter Pincus

Be careful what you say and whom you help -- especially when it comes to the Iraq war and the Iraqi government.

President Bush issued an executive order last week titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq." In the extreme, it could be interpreted as targeting the financial assets of any American who directly or indirectly aids someone who has committed or "poses a significant risk of committing" violent acts "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq" or who undermines "efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform . . . ."
However, the text of the order, if interpreted broadly, could cast a far bigger net to include not just those who commit violent acts or pose the risk of doing so in Iraq, but also third parties -- such as U.S. citizens in this country -- who knowingly or unknowingly aid or encourage such people. [emphasis added]
Click here for the complete text.
And we all know the penchant this administration has for interpreting things broadly.
I may be in trouble:
Every day, I click on 5 sites that help feed the hungry, give health care to children around the world, save the rainforest, etc. What if one of those sites is deemed to be involved in 'destabilizing Iraq?' I may suddenly find myself unable to buy food. Or my index finger might get lopped off.
I'll keep you posted. Or if you don't hear from me for several days-- it could be due to the missing digit --so, to be safe, pack up and head for the hills.


From the Huffington Post:
Sen. Feingold Proposes Censuring Bush

WASHINGTON — Liberal Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold said Sunday he wants Congress to censure President Bush for his management of the Iraq war and his "assault" against the Constitution.

But Feingold's own party leader in the Senate showed little interest in the idea. An attempt in 2006 by Feingold to censure Bush over the warrantless spying program attracted only three co-sponsors.

Feingold, a prominent war critic, said he soon plans to offer two censure resolutions _ measures that would amount to a formal condemnation of the Republican president.

The first would seek to reprimand Bush for, as Feingold described it, getting the nation into war without adequate military preparation and for issuing misleading public statements. The resolution also would cite Vice President Dick Cheney and perhaps other administration officials.

The second measure would seek to censure Bush for what the Democrat called a continuous assault against the rule of law through such efforts as the warrantless surveillance program against suspected terrorists, Feingold said. It would also ask for a reprimand of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and maybe others.
Click here for the complete text

July 22, 2007

Not the First Time

Recently I reminded myself: we've been here before. Remember McCarthy? Remember Nixon?
This is a dark time, no doubt about it. And it's not the first.

This country has SO much to answer for-- not the least of which is the propaganda it spews every chance it gets about it being the greatest country on earth.
It's like Bush's lies that, he hopes, he can pass off as true if he just says them often enough.
Our country has a long tradition of doing exactly that.

So, I want to tell our entire government -- saying something day after day after day DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE.
A country that commits genocide isn't great.
A country that experiments on it's [or any other country's] citizens isn't great.
A country that confines its citizens in concentration camps isn't great.
A country that tortures isn't great.
A country that consistently doesn't educate its citizens isn't great.
A country that is among the richest on the planet in which many of its children are hungry isn't great.
Need I go on?

When the current crisis is past we must do more, much more, than return to the status quo.
Addendum 7/23
This morning at 3:20, The History International Network made my point for me.
A profile of Hitler's early history noted the one characteristic of the US that he approved of and, in fact, sought to emulate: he thought the United States had carried out a wonderful calling by slaughtering the natives of this country, by enslaving them and driving the survivors into concentration camps and, eventually, reservations.

Oh, wonderful, our country received approval from Hitler. Something we can certainly be proud of. Yep--this proves how great this country is.

July 20, 2007

Call Me Cock-eyed

After a day of feeling overwhelmed by all the data coming at me and posting blog article after email after email after blog post and getting virtually nothing else done all day, I've come to one conclusion: the protest marches people have been calling for just may have begun.

Today, people moan-- 'Where is the passion? Why aren't we taking to the streets?'
It looks to me like we have plenty of passion and we ARE taking to the streets-- of the 21st century.
It may not FEEL as exhilarating as marching with hundreds of people by your side -- but it can be far more effective.

Back in the 1970's we marched in the streets and held rallies because those were the only methods available to get our messages out there: get a rally going, alert the media, hope they show up, pass out leaflets, chant, scream, stomp, sing, shout.
Today, we can reach more people from behind our keyboards than we could have dreamed of reaching 40 years ago.

Protests don't HAVE to consist of kids marching in the streets yelling, 'Hell no, we won't go!' or 'Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?'
People like me -- almost 60 years old -- can be as involved as any 20 year old even though I probably couldn't keep up in a march and certainly couldn't run away from the cops like I did back then. I'd be mowed down.

People of both sides are saying the Senate all-nighter was a stunt. Maybe it was. But it was in response to something. Congress hears us and is beginning to stir into action.

I think the marches have begun.
You know --I think just maybe-- I'm beginning to feel a little optimistic about getting something done here, after all.
What do you think?

Just wondering along. . . .

July 19, 2007

Umm--God, About That Little Matter----

Until recently, I thought the 3rd commandment meant not swearing by using God's name. As a result, I thought that I habitually broke the 3rd commandment. It's such a common practice today, though, that I thought I'd probably be able to skate if push came to shove-- which I doubted it ever would --since I don't believe in the the vengeful-old-Guy-on-a-throne, anyway.

Recently, though, on the History Channel or somewhere, I saw a documentary that delved deeply into the Ten Commandments and I had an aha! moment.

Having studied ancient history as I have, I feel as if I should have figured this out for myself-- but I never did. The 3rd commandment isn't about not swearing in the name of God. That was common practice back then, too. Only, in those days, it was done in a heartfelt way. People commonly called upon their gods [Yahweh included] to witness the truth of what they were saying. People even called down curses upon themselves should they be forsworn after taking an oath in the name of their deities.

The 3rd commandment was saying, 'Don't bring my name into an oath if you don't intend to keep it.' In other words, don't be forsworn in God's name.
Now, fast forward to today:
Our current president-select has done what most presidents before him who didn't wear their faith plastered to their foreheads have managed not to do: he broke the 3rd commandment -- twice.

Twice, while taking the oath of office, he swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He swore this as a solemn pledge before the God he purports to believe in, to honor and to obey. And, even before taking the oath the first time, by stealing the Florida vote, he had already begun dismantling the Constitution-- a task he has been happily engaged in ever since --except, maybe, when on vacation.

He did it on purpose. With malice aforethought, he forswore himself before his God. And, if he believes what he says, he does believe in the vengeful-old-Guy-- and hellfire.

Change in Policy

Hey, folks:
As some of you know, my first blog was hit by two sets of bot-spam a couple of years ago. [More than 550 irrelevant comments were posted overnight on 2 separate occasions.] The second prompted me to close that blog and start this one.
When I began the new one, I set it up so that I had to pass muster on each comment before it would appear. That method worked well until recently because I was almost always home and online.
Since I've moved to Florida, though, things have changed. I'm away from home more often and simply not in a position to monitor comments as I used to be.
For 1100+ obvious reasons, I'm not willing to leave the comments completely unprotected--so I'm turning to you. I know I hate to type in the verification code [it's almost always rejected the first time tho I'm certain I typed it correctly (rrrggghhhhhhhh!)] and, I imagine you're not fond of it either. But I'm setting it up here anyway.
I beg your indulgence and patience when blogspot doesn't accept your code. Please blame those folks who have nothing better to do than bot-spam blogs-- and please keep posting those thoughtful comments the rest of you leave here. They are very much appreciated one and all.
two crows.

July 18, 2007

The Not-So-Great Debate

Please check below to see if your senator has placed him/herself on the record in favor of remaining in Iraq [this is by no means a complete list]:
6:18 PM--Another senator who has decided she's ready to move to K-Street, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison [R-TX], is mouthing phrases like, 'Cut and Run,' and 'The greatest country on earth.'
Give me a break.
6:48 PM--Kit Bond [R], the senior senator of my former home state [MO] seems to feel pretty safe. After all, he's not up for reelection till 2010. So he's struttin his stuff at the podium sarcastically commiserating with the custodial staff about their having to work late because the Dems are making the Republicans stay after school to get something done.
His sympathy is so moving.
7:24 PM--Jim DeMint [R-SC] is perpetrating the myths that al qaida is hiding in Iraq and that our soldiers are happy to be there. 11:42PM--DeMint showed his true colors when he brought up the matter of oil. Of course. In a debate about getting our children out of a foreign civil war, a Republican talks about the oil.
7:38 PM-- John Warner [R-VA] – Pushing to wait for Lap-Dog Petraeus’ report. I had just typed, ‘I wonder what delaying tactic he’ll want after that?’ when I got my answer. He brought up yet ANOTHER report from ANOTHER general—General Pace or Base or some such.
7:52 PM-- Now he's urging patience with maiming and death because 'there may be some measure of success with the surge.’
8:00 PM-- Charles Schumer [D-NY] ‘We are involved in a war not of our own making.’
The first lie I heard spoken by a Democrat. Of course it was of our government's making! Please don’t try to sell us the idea that our government was lily white in this affair. It wasn’t.
Otherwise, his comments were well-reasoned and thoughtful.
8:49 PM—While the quorum was being called, when his name was called the first time, Brownback [R-KS] was present. About three minutes later, his name was called again—and he was not present.
This was telling. If elected president, when a difficult decision is to be made, it looks as if he will be notable by his absence. Take note any conservatives who happen by. [Further note: He was present at 5:00 AM Wednesday.]
10:13 PM—Lieberman [I-CT] is talking of his rights and the traditions of the Senate. I’m sure it won’t be the first time our children caught in a war have died of red-tape. Remember Vietnam?
He is showing himself as the fool on the hill: He said, ‘There are people who believe they were led to war while not being told why we were going there.’ [Dismissively], ‘I believe the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.’
He was talking of apples and oranges: Lies and Hussein’s death. They don’t belong in the same paragraph.
3:32 AM--Orrin Hatch [R-UT] wants to have it both ways. He's dissing both Bush and the democrats. He said the dems are calling for a retreat with no exit strategy though dem after dem has outlined the exit strategy on the table. In essence, Hatch is rationalizing his vote for sticking around long enough to secure the oil.
And he is setting his cap at Iran. In a debate about war in Iraq, he gave a profile [much of it propaganda] on IraN. And he mentioned that it is 'awash in oil.'
7:27 AM--Wayne Allard [R-CO] is pricking jingoistic pride by saying that warring factions and al qaida would use our withdrawal for propaganda purposes. Hello, Senator? They're using our presence for propaganda and as a recruiting tool!
8:00 AM--James Inhofe [R-OK] is talking about everything but the war. [The president of OK University, Cuban refugees and Nicaragua for instance.] And he's blaming Clinton for Bush's policies. That takes chutzpah. When you aren't supported by the facts, blame the previous administration. Btw--it took him 8 minutes to get to, 'Cut and Run.'
8:49 AM--Lindsay Graham [R-SC]—mentioned the discontent with the Congress. He said he didn’t know why—then speculated it’s because of the faction fighting. I have several problems with his disingenuousness: 1] last night’s debate was a result of those low poll numbers; 2] the war is a major reason for the numbers 3] another reason for the low polls is the erosion of our civil rights and their failure to move on impeachment. If Graham doesn’t know all that he’s a fool. I believe he DOES know it and would rather look like a fool than admit that knowledge. And oh, btw, he did eventually get around to talking about the war. [He's against the bill--duh.]
9:26 AM--Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]—called the amendment unconstitutional. Huh? My understanding is that, according to the Constitution, the President can’t go to war without Congress’ blessing. And vice-versa. This amendment is returning the Constitution to the Iraq war.
He recommended ignoring the statement of the President of Iraq while listening to the evaluations of privates in the army who, HE SAYS, want to stay there.
9:48 AM--Larry Craig [R-ID]--calling for the amendment to die and wait for Petraeus' report. And he's calling the amendment a 'cut-and-run bill'. He's also saying the American people don't want out of the war. **ahem** Senator? What are you smoking? And oh, he closed his speech with cheering for the oil. It's so refreshing to hear a Senator tell the truth about what's important to him.
10:08 AM--John Cornyn [R-TX]--wants to stay till the oil--er, I mean Iraq-- is secure. Both will be a long haul. And yes, it took him two minutes to mention the 'oil revenue'. And he calls the Senate 'arm-chair generals' and is saying that they shouldn't say how to handle the war. So what's HE doing on the floor? And what does he think Bush is?
10:42 AM--Mitch McConnell [R-KY]--another senator weighs in in favor of killing our kids with red tape. He sees it as more important to give Petraeus more time because the Senate signed the previous bill than to support the troops by getting them out of a foreign civil war.
Over and over, I heard 'Freudian slips' [either accidental or calculated] of 'Viet Nam' and 'Iran' then changing the word to, 'Iraq.'
Like Bush, like Cheney, like McCain, these folks weren't paying attention last November
The vote was 52 to 47 -- a clear majority. But, since the Republicans held out for a 60% majority-- it did not pass -- despite the fact that the people have made our voices clear on the matter.

Majority Leader Reid then requested an up/down vote. Minority Leader McConnell objected and started off his speech [which he called a 'serious vote' by quoting from the movie Casa Blanca.
Senator Reid, as he certainly should have, called McConnell on it--telling him, 'This is a serious matter--not a movie.'
Btw--I wrote Kit Bond in MO today and informed him that I posted his statements in my blog. He knows we want out of Iraq. And he is voting to stay. Let the people above know that you know how they're voting. And that you will vote, too.

July 17, 2007

The Great Imploding Candidate

McCain did it again. He did exactly the wrong thing for his presidential campaign. During his speech I could hear, in the background, his handlers gnashing their teeth as they prepared their resignations and their resumes.

C-Span was preparing for tonight's all-nighter and filibuster. And McCain once again rode the president's coattails.
Errrm-- Doesn't the number 23% mean anything to you at all, Senator?

So, you plan to carry 23% [and falling] of the electorate to the Republican Party, come next year. I'm sure they'll thank you for that. They'll fall all over themselves giving you kudos and the nomination.
Suddenly, I'm reminded of the theories of the forces behind the slide of the Roman Empire. There are scientists who theorize that the lead pipes that carried water to the city brought about delusions and hallucinations among those who governed it.

What is the plumbing in your home made of, Mr. McCain?

July 16, 2007

Not One More Man

The lyrics of
Written by Robert Rouse

Not one more man shall die for you, not one more mother’s son
Not one more man shall go to war, not one to shoot your gun
We won’t let you just take their lives to do with as you will
Not one more man shall die for you, not one more shall you kill

You started your own little war to make your daddy proud
It didn’t matter if your pride made mothers wear a shroud
You tried to make the US think your holy war was good
But we saw through deception and we all understood
The attacks were linked to Baghdad is the story that you sold
But this holy war has holes throughout the story that you told
It’s really very easy to right this wrong you tried
Just start by telling every one in America you lied

Not one more man shall die for you, not one more mother’s son
Not one more man shall go to war, not one to shoot your gun
We won’t let you just take their lives to do with as you will
Not one more man shall die for you, not one more shall you kill

You try to make the people think that what we say is wrong
You’ll tell them only traitors would ever sing this song
You’ll talk until your face is blue but lies won’t change the facts
See we have truth upon our side and truth is what you lack
You tell us God appointed you to lead us into war
But people know that war is not what our great God stands for
You need to read the Bible and perhaps your eyes will see
That it is us, the peacemakers who God says “Blessed be.”

Not one more man shall die for you, not one more mother’s son
Not one more man shall go to war, not one to shoot your gun
We won’t let you just take their lives to do with as you will
Not one more man shall die for you, not one more shall you kill
Not one more man will die for Bush, not one more mother’s son
Not one more man shall make you rich, no one to buy your guns
We won’t let you just sell their lives, your coffers there to fill
Not one more man shall die for Bush, not one more shall you kill
Let’s stop the killing, tell the truth, not one more shall you kill
Please Mr. Bush, for your own soul, please no more shall you kill

Fox Telling It Like It Is? What's the Date?

Interestingly, Fox ends with the statement that some people in the audience disagreed with the presentation -- but **ahem** they couldn't get any of those folks to voice their opinions.

Yeah, right -- I've never found folks who disagreed with progressives to hold their peace. Have you?

July 15, 2007

Stop the Logging in the National Forest

A woman who lives in my community sends out a greeting every morning. This was sent to me this morning and I received her permission to post it here.

It's urgent that this information get out -- especially now when so much attention is being diverted to the war which is hugely important, obviously--but under cover of which people in congress can push this sort of thing through without much notice being taken. We must show them that we are paying attention to everything they're doing.
An action link is provided here and below.
It was brought to my attention that they are trying to do logging in California again at one of our National Monuments. We need to stop this logging.

John Muir worked to preserve wilderness in America.
Born April 21, 1838( Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland
Died December 24, 1914 (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation engineer, naturalist, writer
Spouse Louisa Wanda Strentzel
Parents Daniel Muir and Ann Gilrye
Wanda Muir Hanna (March 25, 1881–July 29, 1942) and Helen Muir Funk (January 23, 1886–June 7, 1964)
John Muir was one of the first modern preservationist and a close friend of Teddy Roosevelt. I have a quote by John Muir "The battle we have fought, and are still fighting, for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong...So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for." November 23, 1895.
I have been lucky enough to have visited Muir forest in years gone by, it is amazing to see the size of the beautiful (Redwood Trees) Sequoia Trees,
The thought of them logging these beautiful creations of God's is mind boggling to me.
The Forest Service continues to cling to practices of the past and is allowing old timber sale contracts to move forward in the Sequoia National Monument.
The Burton Timber Sale was logged last summer (2006).
John Muir Project, Sequoia Forestkeeper, and Sierra Club halted two other timber sales in the National Monument, but a new bill in Congress (H.R.5760) threatens to revive these timber sales that were enjoined by a federal court.
Click here to take action.

Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee. Job 12:8

Making a Case for the Draft

This from the Washington Post:
And Now, an Important Announcement About [Thump] -- By Dana Milbank
Friday, July 6, 2007

Yesterday, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M), previously a full-throated supporter of the war, gave a news conference in Albuquerque to urge an expedited withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Domenici, who has served in the Senate for 35 of his 75 years, said he was moved by a conversation with the father of a New Mexico soldier who was killed in Iraq. "I'm asking you if you couldn't do a little extra, a little more, to see if you can't get the troops back," Domenici said the man told him. "Mine is dead, but I would surely hope that you would listen to me and try to get the rest of them back sooner."
Click here for the complete text.
Some months-- maybe a year --ago, I wrote about a couple of other Congress people who changed their stances on the war after going to Iraq and meeting with soldiers there.
Three young men showed them the sorry state of their body armor, shared pictures from home and explained about the hardships of being away from their loved ones and how difficult it was for their families when they were away from home for so long. And they talked about the general drop in morale when their rotations were lengthened with no warning.
In fact, it took the death of one of those soldiers before the politicians felt compelled to change their views.

And, once again, a young man had to die before a politician took a stand.

This seems to me to be the greatest argument for reinstating the draft-- but only for the children of our president, vice president and our representatives in Congress
Maybe then they'll actually think about their decisions when it comes to making war.

July 14, 2007

The Crime

CIA Said Instability Seemed 'Irreversible' -- By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer

Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.

For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give what one panel member called a "Churchillian" vision of "victory" in Iraq and defend the country's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. "A constitutional order is emerging," he said.

Later that morning, around the same conference table, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden painted a starkly different picture . . . . Hayden said "the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible," adding that he could not "point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around . . . "

"The government is unable to govern," Hayden concluded. "We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function."
Hayden's bleak assessment, which came just a week after Republicans had lost control of Congress and Bush had dismissed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was a pivotal moment . . . and it helped shape its conclusion . . . that the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating."
Click here for the complete text.
Hayden spoke of the things that matter to this government: 'energy and treasure.'
Well, since he didn't see fit to mention them-- since they seem to be irrelevant to this government --I will. What about the lives that have been spent, Mr. Hayden, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush?

What of the American and Iraqi, British, Greek and Spanish lives that have been maimed or snuffed out in the eight months since that November morning when Mr. Hayden gave an assessment that amounted to a complete and dismal failure --which everyone already knew was the case before they sat down?
Here is the crime. Here is the unpardonable, unfathomable, irrefutable crime. The meeting occurred. And everyone in that room and everyone in the new congress that was about to take its place in its chambers and in history did nothing.

And all those people still do nothing except allow this administration to stumble on pushing its agenda, getting away with murder.

And Hayden didn't even mention the lives.
. ...

July 13, 2007

WMD’s in Florida

The last of the closet components finally got here and I was able to cart all the boxes they came in off to the recycling center.
While there, I saw the strangest sight—
A young man drove up and proceeded to unload a bunch of paper and boxes. Good for him—except—he left his pickup truck running for the 8 minutes or so it took him to offload his stuff.
A case of having his heart in the right place—but God knows where his head was—though I have my guesses.
He’s essentially saying, ‘I want to save the trees [which we need to do, goodness knows—but we CAN grow more of those] but the hell with those 80 million-year-old ferns [which we can’t grow more of.]
His windows were rolled up—so I assumed [and, yes, I know how dangerous that can be] that his air-conditioning was on.

Soon after he left, a young woman drove up. She turned off her engine, hopped out and dumped her recyclables into the bins and drove off.

Then ANOTHER man drove up in his SUV. And left his engine running [windows up—so probably a/c was on]. And, get this, he left his doors open the entire time. He would unload cardboard at one set of bins, drive [with doors open] to the mixed-paper section, unload that, drive to the aluminum section, unload his cans, etc. Engine on, doors open, windows up, and a/c presumably on the entire time.

I noted with interest that the two who wasted gasoline while recycling were both White Males. So, I dubbed them White Male Dummies.

[Btw—you DON’T want to get me started on all things White Male—I can be a downright bore on the subject. Suffice to say that today's example is just one of hundreds I could cite.]

Believing NEVER HAS Made It So

This from the Huffington Post:
I Believe for Every Drop of Rain That Falls, A Flower Grows
by Marty Kaplan

"I wouldn't ask a mother or a dad -- I wouldn't put their son in harm's way if I didn't believe this was necessary for the security of the United States and the peace of the world. I strongly believe it, and I strongly believe we'll prevail. And I strongly believe that democracy will trump totalitarianism every time. That's what I believe. And those are the belief systems on which I'm making decisions that I believe will yield the peace."
-- George W. Bush, Cleveland, July 10, 2007

Who gives a flying fig for what you believe, Mr. President? You believed trading Sammy Sosa to the White Sox was a good move. You believed Saddam was making nukes from Nigerien yellowcake. . . . You said you had faith in General Casey (until you fired him). You keep telling us you have faith in Alberto Gonzales. . . .[B]ut why should any American mother or dad let you put their son in harm's way just because you "strongly believe" that his being wasted by a roadside IED in an Islamic civil war makes the world more peaceful and the United States more secure?
He believes he was elected as the Defender of the Faith, and that it is we who are accountable to him, rather than he who is accountable to us.
Click here for the complete text.
It's truly terrifying to have a Believer-in-Chief as the most powerful person [if you don't count Cheney and Rove] in the world.

July 12, 2007

While Congress Fiddles

The Vices of Cheney: The Burden is Upon the House Judiciary Committee--by W. E. Jackson, Jr.

Chairman John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee* are holding hearings today on the commutation of the jail sentence of former chief of staff to the vice president, Scooter Libby.
In mid-July of 2007, one has to wonder if the House Democratic leadership and the once-bold Conyers are not on another diversionary mission to embarrass the White House and score points -- rather than getting down to what should be the most pressing duty at hand, the convening of an impeachment inquiry into probable "high crimes and misdemeanors" by Dick Cheney that would likely lead to the drafting of formal Articles of Impeachment.
[C]onstitutional law expert and former Justice Department official in the Reagan years, Bruce Fein, [said] in Slate of June 27: "Impeach Cheney: The Vice President has Run Utterly Amok and Must Be Stopped." "As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify." Moreover, Fein posits that President Bush has outsourced a major share of his presidency to Vice President Cheney."
Click here for the complete text.
Jackson goes on to enumerate the list, compiled by Fein, of Cheney's crimes.
I highly recommend it. It is truly terrifying to have them all put together in this way.
As threatened, I did send Fein's list to two Congressional reps--the one in Florida [a Republican, so I expect no help there] and my old Democratic buddy in KC [since HE'S the one I voted for, I still view it as my right to bend his ear on occasion.]
Now, I'm asking you: Please read the list included in the article and, if you agree that they constitute impeachable offenses, please write your Rep and tell her or him so.
thanx, tc.

What A Surprise!

This from the Washington Post:
House Grudgingly Accepts a Pay Raise, as Usual By Lois Romano

Democrats have for weeks been privately wringing their hands over whether to accept an automatic 2.5 percent pay increase, fretting that the raise may appear inconsistent with their campaign promises.

But last night, the House made its peace with it, rejecting a bid to block the automatic cost-of-living raise of about $4,400 on a 244 to 181 vote.

. . . Majority Leader Steny Hoyer supported accepting a bump . . . since the Democrats kept their word by quickly pushing through the first federal minimum-wage increase in nearly a decade after taking power in January.

But Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel-- ever conscious of ensuring that Democrats stay in power -- was said to be a bit skittish about it, because Democrats made the raise a big issue during the elections. The Illinois congressman has long donated his salary increases to charity.

The cost-of-living increases for Congress are automatic by permanent law, and have for years been in the fine print of an appropriations bill. . . . Having the measure lumped with other legislation insulates the members from specifically voting on a raise just for themselves.
Members must actively vote to block the raise to stop it.
Click here for the complete text.
Leave it to Congress to make a law that they get an automatic raise. Don't you wish you could do the same?
And their ingenuity knows no bounds when it comes to things they WANT to do: they wring their hands in public, then quietly, privately, do nothing--thus giving themselves the raise.

I wish they wanted to rescue the country from Cheney.
Bush went into his frat-boy mode and made a 13-year-old cry.
The Washington Times dutifully reported it [imagine my surprise].
The blog Reformed Chicks Blabbing re-reported it under the title, 'Oh The Poor Thing'. When asked if she was carrying on the joke at Jessica's expense, RCB denied it.
According to RCB, 'At least when he makes a teenager cry he feels bad about it.'
I wish the same were true when he makes an 18-year-old die. Or when the crying child is Iraqi.
Click here for the Washington Times article and here for RCB's take on it.
And, btw, before any Bushies begin, I'd like to go on record: I was appalled when Johnson picked up his dog by his ears, too.

July 11, 2007

Too Clever, Cheney! :)

Senate panel cuts off funding for Cheney's office in flap with Dems over executive order
By Andrew Taylor -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats moved Tuesday to cut off funding for Vice President Dick Cheney's office in a continuing battle over whether he must comply with national security disclosure rules.

A Senate appropriations panel chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., refused to fund $4.8 million in the vice president's budget until Cheney's office complies with parts of an executive order governing its handling of classified information.

At issue is a requirement that executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify. That information is to be provided to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives.
Cheney's office, with backing from the White House, argues that the offices of the president and vice president are exempt from the order because they are not executive branch “agencies.”
The tempest originally attracted widespread media attention after Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged that Cheney's office's had originally argued to the Archives that it did not have to comply with the order because it was not “an entity within the executive branch.”

Cheney's office, Waxman said, also blocked the archives from doing an onsite inspection of his office to make sure classified information was being properly protected.
Republicans on the Senate panel said Durbin was going overboard in using Congress' power of the purse to try to force Cheney to conform with the order.

Such a step, said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would set a terrible precedent in relations between the executive and legislative branches of government, which have historically let each other set their own budgets.

“This is going to further erode any sort of working relationship back and forth,” Brownback said. “This is a patently bad idea.”
[emphasis added]
Click here for the complete text.
The Dem's are going too far? I find it interesting that that is the Republicans' knee-jerk first-response. Look at what Cheney has done, fergoshsakes!

And, Brownback apparently wants to have it both ways:
Hello--Senator??? Cheney himself says he's not part of the executive branch! So, how can the Senate erode 'relations between the executive and legislative branches of government' if the executive isn't involved in the dispute?

Hoist by their own petards. If Cheney and Bush insist they are not part of the executive branch--the senate can simply stop treating them as if they are.
Hey! Since, by their own admissions, they're not part of the government, we don't have to impeach them in order to get rid of them!

What Kind of Liberal Are You?

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are an Eco-Avenger, also known as an environmentalist or tree hugger. You believe in saving the planet from the clutches of air-fouling, oil-drilling, earth-raping conservative fossil fools.

July 10, 2007

Thinking Blogger

I've been nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award. Thank you, Robert--I felt quite humbled by your take on my ramblings.
As a nominee, it is my honor to nominate five blogs that I think fall into this category and I'm happy to name these. Please check em out and see if you agree with my assessment.
They are, in alphabetical order:

Alien Citizen -- a refreshing blog that brings up much food for thought-- from the demise of the honey bee and the vegan take on things to the excitement of the Harry Potter phenomenon not to mention her disgust for all things Bush.

Did We Say That Out Loud? -- These women on the verge [of what sort of mayhem? one wonders] rant about everything from primary education to BushCo -- and very effectively, I might add.

Divine Democrat -- Don't let Mary Ellen's wimpled persona fool you. She obviously thinks deeply about her posts and I'm [almost] certain her ruler is harmless. :)

Suzie Q -- unmasks everyone from Rove to Bush to Cheney and recently noted their throwing of Miers' to the wolves-- again.

Various Ectasies -- brings up some of the sillier human endeavors [anyone up for a little run-with-the-bulls? or how about watching people play poker on TV?] for scrutiny along with more sinister goings on-- like sending Scooter to bed without dessert after being convicted of a few felonies. When I think about it-- these two sets of posts have a great deal in common-- they both make one question whether there is intelligent life on any planet in this solar system.
Now, here are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

July 9, 2007

The 'I' Word!

The MSM did it, folks!
Yesterday, a Congressman [sorry, I don't remember who-- just that he was a Democrat] said on Today with George Stephanopolous that 58% and 43% of the population of the country reported to pollsters that they are in favor of impeaching Cheney and Bush respectively.

While he was quick to back-pedal when asked if he would support such a move, he couldn't unring that bell. The WORD was out there on network TV for all to hear. He actually said the word, 'Impeachment' without adding the phrase, 'Off the table' in the same sentence.

July 6, 2007

Summing Up the American Experience

I've been hearing a saying lately. I don't know if it's a Florida-ism or if it's out there generally:
"It's better to be lucky than good."

The Latest Poll

msnbc.com's latest poll shows Bush's numbers continuing to plummet. No surprise there.
And so are Congress' numbers.
Hey, folks! WHEN are you going to get it? You keep giving Bush every little thing he wants and the country WILL NOT give you what you want come November, 2008! HELLO!
Click here for the latest poll results.

July 4, 2007

The Legacy of The Fourth

Please go here and view the video for a moving demonstration of true leadership--in case you have, as I had, forgotten what it looks like.

And read the article. It brought a lump to my throat as I thought about all the people who know discrimination simply because their skin is a different color from mine; they speak with a different accent or in a different language than I do; because they're poor.

As we celebrate 'freedom' [though I think we actually celebrate smugness on this date more often than anything else] may we remember what our parents, grandparents, great grandparents -- whichever generation in our respective families made their ways to this country -- bequeathed to us. They were almost certainly poor. They came here with hope that their children could know better lives than they had known. We owe them more than smugness.
Addendum 7/5/07:
This morning I reread the article and had another thought about it:

I am reminded of another time - when McCarthy fanned the flames of panic and hatred of the ‘Red Menace.’
Today’s ‘Menace’ is a different color: brown.

Many of our politicians are taking a page from McCarthy’s book and using already inherent leanings among the people to point the finger at the Outsider, whether from the Middle East or Mexico, in order to push their own agendas and to get us to take our eyes away from the real threat: what they, themselves, are doing to the country.

Belated Reflection

This from the Washington Post:
A President Besieged and Isolated, Yet at Ease -- By Peter Baker, Washington Post Staff Writer

At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers. One at a time or in small groups, he summons leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House to join him in the search.

[H]e asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I'm facing? How will history judge what we've done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?

These are the questions of a president who has endured the most drastic political collapse in a generation. Not generally known for intellectual curiosity, Bush is seeking out those who are, engaging in a philosophical exploration of the currents of history. . . . For all the setbacks, he remains unflinching, rarely expressing doubt in his direction, yet trying to understand how he got off course.
Irwin Stelzer [a Hudson Institute scholar] said Bush seemed smarter than he expected. The conversation ranged from history to religion and touched on sensitive topics for a president wrestling with his legacy. "He asked me, 'Do you think our unpopularity abroad is a result of my personality?' And he laughed," Stelzer recalled. "I said, 'In part.' And he laughed again."

Much of the discussion focused on the nature of good and evil, a perennial theme for Bush, who casts the struggle against Islamic extremists in black-and-white terms.
[S]aid Michael Novak, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, "[I]f you've got that set, all the criticism, it doesn't faze you very much. You're answering to God."
Hearing that a Congressman's wife wonders why he doesn't give up, Bush phoned her. 'but got voice mail. Bush left a message: "I'm doing okay. Don't worry about me."'
For the first time in his presidency, according to all I've read, Bush is speaking to people who don't necessarily agree with his ideas. He's asking for opinions other than his own.
Too late, of course.
Meanwhile, Baker sounded sympathetic to the plight of the President. He seemed to be asking almost plaintively, as Bush also seems to be, 'Where did it all go wrong?'

Which leads me to the question of both Baker and Bush: Where have you been for the last 6 1/2 years? Have you been paying attention?
Click here for the complete article.

July 3, 2007

A Cogent View of the Anti-Choice Movement

Here is a thoughtful article--by Chris Hedges in Truthdig:

The relentless drive against abortion by the Christian right—the first salvo having been fired with the 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision . . . to uphold the federal ban on the procedure known as “partial birth abortion”—has nothing to do with the protection of life. It is, rather, a cover for a wider and more pernicious assault against the ability of women to control their own bodies, the use of contraception and sexual pleasure. The movement openly conflates contraceptives with devices or substances that cause abortion. It holds up as heroes of “conscience” those pharmacists who refuse to sell contraceptives. It works to block over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraceptive pills. It peddles, with hundreds of millions in tax dollars handed to the movement by the Bush administration, abstinence-only sex-ed curricula and opposes a vaccine against the HPV virus, the major cause of cervical cancer, claiming it would promote promiscuity.
here is the complete text.
It is urgent that we remove religious movements from politics in our country.
Aren't we learning anything from the theocratic governments we see in places like Afghanistan, et al where they blasted two statues of the Buddha out of existance, where they have tortured and killed women for not wearing officially sanctioned clothing, where they dictate the length of a man's beard, where they refuse to educate girls and allow boys to study only the Koran and how to hate the rest of the world?

There are people who would take this country into those murky waters.
As a result, I am proud to participate in the Blog Against Theocracy.

The Schoolyard Bully

This from the Huffington Post:
George W. Bush is One Tough Hombre -- Paul Begala

Tough enough to execute Karla Fay Tucker -- and then laugh about it. Tough enough to sign a death warrant for a man whose lawyer slept through the trial -- and then snicker when asked about it in a debate. Even tough enough to execute a great-grandmother who murdered her husband -- after he abused her.

. . . [T]ough enough to invade a country that was no risk to America . . . Tough enough to sanction torture. Tough enough to order an American citizen arrested and held without trial.
Click here for the entire text.
I sat here for a few minutes trying to think of a comment to the article. But--I think Paul said it all.
I take it back-- OneBigScotsman left this comment on the original. It was too good not to pass on:
'This has left me confused. Since New Orleans, I've thought Bush was incompetent and arrogant about it. Now, I think he might by arrogant, and incompetent about it. Any assistance will be appreciated.'

July 2, 2007

Restoring My Faith :)

Some good news for once [perhaps]!

As many of you know, I recently moved to Florida [What else could I do? I'm retiring and it's the law. :) ]

Anyway, I ordered components for a HUGE walk-in closet/dressing room. They didn't come. And they didn't come. I had used a debit card and the company helped itself to my money and the components never came.

I contacted the company and got the royal run-around.
I looked the company up at New Jersey's BBB and found, belatedly, that they have a history of not delivering goods and not responding to complaints to the BBB. Oh, great.

Meanwhile, I mentioned this series of events to a man I met in my community and he suggested contacting New Jersey's Attorney General. So I did.
I figured that would be the last I would hear on the matter-- this IS a government agency, and I don't vote in New Jersey, after all.

So, imagine my surprise when I brought in the mail today and found a letter from the AG's office! They've referred my letter to the Division of Consumer Affairs in their office. They gave me a contact there should I have further information to send them. They asked me to hold on to all relevant info and correspondence [I already have] and told me that someone in that branch will be contacting me for more information.

A gov't agency that actually follows up and does it's job? What's the date?
[I'm gonna frame that letter. :) ]
Oh, and the closet?
I ordered ANOTHER set of components from a different company. They're assembled and installed and beautiful and, as a result, I'm essentially unpacked! Finally. And all it took was 4 months -- including the month I spent waiting for the shipment that never arrived.
I'll keep you posted as events unfold -- if they do.

Making Congress Irrelevant

This from the Washington Post:
For Bush, the Fun Begins at Recess -- By Al Kamen
Friday, June 29, 2007

This summer -- the seventh of a presidency -- is when the Senate's confirmation machinery -- especially when it's controlled by the other party -- starts slowing to a crawl.

And it probably doesn't help that some Senate Democrats were infuriated first by the recess appointment of former U.N. ambassador John Bolton in 2005 and especially by the April recess appointment of Sam Fox, a big donor to Republicans and to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth anti- Kerry campaign, as ambassador to Belgium.

But not to worry! There's another great option: a recess appointment, which at this point is just as good as a confirmation, since an appointment will expire pretty much at the end of the administration.

President Bush, who's never been a fan of that annoying "advice and consent" notion the Framers favored. . . is a firm believer in the beauty and simplicity of recess appointments. And he's on pace to set a record for the number of such appointments, as the accompanying chart shows*.

As of June 4, Bush had filled 105 full-time positions with recess appointments. At a comparable point in his presidency, President Bill Clinton had used his recess appointment powers to install 42 people in full-time jobs. (And by then Clinton had dealt for four years with a GOP-controlled Senate.)

But Clinton accelerated the pace in December 1999 and by the end of his presidency had filled 95 full-time jobs and 45 part-time slots (on boards, commissions, councils and such) for a total of 140.

Bush has already named 171 people to full- and part-time jobs, and he's just entering the high season for presidential recess appointments -- the closing months of a presidency. President Ronald Reagan recessed 243 people to full-time and part-time jobs in his two terms -- 84 of them in his last year in office.

"There is a de facto freeze on confirmations after Jan. 1" of next year, said New York University professor Paul C. Light, an expert in these matters. "So if the nomination isn't done soon, the job isn't going to be filled through the Senate. After January 1, this administration will have more people on recess than a kindergarten." The rest will have "Acting" as their first names.

And recesses have never been easier. There's no constitutional definition of how long a Senate recess must be before the president can make an appointment, and the length has shrunk dramatically in recent years.

"Even a Sunday fishing trip counts as a recess these days," Light joked. "The Senate is losing its authority to confirm presidential appointees through recess," he said, a situation that would have the Framers "spinning in their graves."

The Bush administration has responded that the way to handle this is to exempt a great number of nominees from confirmation.
[emphasis added]

Click here for the complete text.
*And here for the chart.
Yet another case of the hackles on the back of my neck rising.
Hitler also made the other legislative entities in his country's government irrelevant That was before he abolished them altogether.

July 1, 2007

Sunday Brief

Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT] was asked today, on Meet the Press, if he would go so far as to hold the executives [yes, the VP IS part of the exec] in contempt of Congress if they don’t cooperate with the investigation into their actions concerning the stacking of the Justice Dept. He said yes, he would. He went on record on national tv. He didn’t duck the question. He didn’t equivicate. He simply said yes.

Where do I go to find a congressperson to put in a Florida seat who will do the same?
While being interviewed on This Week about the recent attacks in Britain and Scotland, without being asked directly about them, Lieberman advocated increasing the numbers of cameras in the streets that track people’s movements—as is the case in Britain.
WHAT a great idea! Let’s use a method that didn’t stop those bombs from being put in place [though, according to Lieberman, they were used to apprehend the criminals after the fact]; in this time of an enormously heightened disgust with and distrust of our government, lets hand it a carte blanche to spy on us WHILE investigating that same government for breaking the law in order to spy on us.

Putting forth half-baked, ill-thought-out ideas for expanding government while that government is being investigated for going too far already. Just one more service Lieberman offers.