Sunday, December 31, 2006

Troop Deaths Officially Hit 3,000


The death of a Texas soldier, announced Sunday by the Pentagon, raised the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq to at least 3,000 since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Healed The Country, Schmealed The Country

Another Woodward bombshell: "I looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.

Taylor Marsh's "NIXON PARDON: For Friendship, Not Country" post on HuffPo articulates it all so well.

So much for revisionist history.

Grand Canyon Apparently Not As Old As We Thought

Every time I think I can't possibly get any angrier at these idiots running the show, I come across something like this:

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

"In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.'"

Yes, go ahead and read it again, I'll wait. I had to read it twice myself to actually fathom that something this ludicrous is happening within the borders of the US. And the topper is that for the last three years, the only book approved to be sold in the park bookstore is "Grand Canyon: A Different View". I'll wait again while you pick your jaw up off the floor.

Have I mentioned how much I hate these people?

Read the rest of the article.

Saddam, We Hardly Knew Ye

BAGHDAD (AP) - Saddam Hussein struggled briefly after American military guards handed him over to Iraqi executioners. But as his final moments approached and masked executioners slipped a black cloth and noose around his neck, he grew calm.

In a final moment of defiance, he refused a hood to cover his eyes.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam's Done By Saturday

From the AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, said an Iraqi judge authorized to attend his hanging. The former dictator's lawyers said he had been transferred from U.S. custody, but an Iraqi official said he was still in the hands of American guards.


And there you have it. Hussein will be executed. No interviews. No "tell all" book from prison. Maliki signed the death sentence, by Iraqi law. Oh, by the way, if he had refused to sign it, one of the two Iraqi vice presidents could have signed it. Oh yeah, if they also refused to sign it, Saddam would have been executed anyway. Nice law, huh?

He was officially guilty of this: An Iraqi appeals court upheld Saddam's death sentence Tuesday for the killing of 148 people who were detained after an attempt to assassinate him in the northern Iraqi city of Dujail in 1982.

1982? But that was before this:


Yes, that is Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam Hussein's hand in December of 1983, over a year after the crime for which he was convicted. When we have use for them, they are our allies, but when they know too much...

Ford's JFK Connection

Jesse at TVNewsLies.org gives us his take on Gerald Ford.

Jesse from "So Gerald Ford Is Dead. So What?": "For those of you who do not already know this, Gerald Ford is a special man in American history in that he took part in not one, but two cover ups related to the JFK assassination. First off, he was one of the authors of the fictional piece known as the Warren Report. Then he pardoned Richard Nixon so that the real reason for the Watergate break-in would not be revealed."

There is evidence that Gerald Ford altered the autopsy reports on JFK. Ford's explanation: "My changes had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory," he said. "My changes were only an attempt to be more precise." Unfortunately, his changes look like an attempt to make the "Magic Bullet Theory" more plausible. Read them for yourself.

For all you conspiracy "nuts", (and I have to admit, I'm slowly becoming one) this is something you have to see. If you read on and have the patience to watch the 90 minute video linked on Jesse's page regarding the ever-increasing evidence that has amassed over the last 40+ years, you probably won't have many doubts about the JFK assassination and cover up. Remember, this is just a theory, but a very viable one.

I personally never believed the JFK's assassination was the result of a lone gunman after I had the time to do some minor research. I do believe that Oswald was a patsy. If not, why are certain documents still classified? Who would be implicated if these documents were allowed to be seen? Hopefully, I'll still be alive when they finally release them.

Still, you have to see this video to understand the depths of what could have happened and how close-knit the people in power really are.

Here's the video. It took me two days to get through it. Sit back and concentrate.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In-the-Ground Truth in Iran?

This is direct from David Corn's website. I've copied and pasted instead of linking because, for some reason, you can't link to a specific column, only the main page, on Corn's site. Fix it, Dave!

David Corn: "The most important news story of this week (so far) was an 8-paragraph piece buried on p. A9 of [the Dec.26] Washington Post. The Associated Press story reported:
Iran is suffering a staggering decline in revenue from its oil exports, and if the trend continues income could virtually disappear by 2015, according to an analysis published Monday in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
Iran's economic woes could make the country unstable and vulnerable, with its oil industry crippled, Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University, said in the report and in an interview.
Iran earns about $50 billion a year in oil exports. The decline is estimated at 10 to 12 percent annually. In less than five years exports could be halved and then disappear by 2015, Stern predicted.

Hold on. If this is true, it changes the popular conception of the ongoing Iran crisis. In the conventional view, Iran is enriching uranium for one reason alone: so it can become a nuclear power, dominate the Middle East, and threaten the Israel and the United States. The Iran war hawks (formerly known as the Iraq war hawks) scoff at the notion that Iran might have other motives for enriching uranium. They dismiss Iran's claim that it is processing uranium as part of a civilian nuclear energy program. With all that oil? the hawks argue. No way.

The supposed implausibility of Iran's argument has been fueling the move toward confrontation--that is, war. And in recent weeks I've spoken to several outside-the-administration Iran experts who believe the Bush White House is intent on military action against Iran--probably air strikes. Yet what if the Iranians are essentially telling the truth?

I have no sympathy for the repressive theocrats of Tehran and do not counsel taking them at their word. But before there is another march to war, there ought to be close scrutiny of the reasons for that march.

The rest of the AP story depicts a more nuanced situation than the one depicted by the beaters of the drums of war:
Stern's analysis, which appears in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, supports U.S. and European suspicions that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons in violation of international understandings. But, Stern says, there could be merit to Iran's assertion that it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes "as badly as it claims."
He said oil production is declining and both gas and oil are being sold domestically at highly subsidized rates. At the same time, Iran is neglecting to reinvest in its oil production.
"With an explosive demand at home and poor management, the appeal of nuclear power, financed by Russia, could fill a real need for production of more electricity."
Iran produces about 3.7 million barrels a day, about 300,000 barrels below the quota set for Iran by the oil cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The shortfall represents a loss of about $5.5 billion a year, Stern said. In 2004, Iran's oil profits were 65 percent of the government's revenues.
"If we look at that shortfall, and failure to rectify leaks in their refineries, that adds up to a loss of about $10 billion to $11 billion a year," he said. "That is a picture of an industry in collapse."
If the United States can "hold its breath" for a few years it may find Iran a much more conciliatory country, he said. And that, Stern said, is good reason to belay any instinct to take on Iran militarily.
"What they are doing to themselves is much worse than anything we could do," he said.
"The one thing that would unite the country right now is to bomb them," Stern said. "Here is one problem that might solve itself."

Doing nothing--starting no war--and solving a problem? That sounds pretty damn good. Whether Stern is right or not, what's happening within Iran deserves far more coverage within the US media. Without more information, the public will not be able to evaluate--or challenge--the next case for war."

Ford Disagreed with Bush on Iraq

"On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post's Bob Woodward. The interview was conducted at Ford's Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death."


"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."

...Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.
"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."
Ford said he would not have gone to war, based on the publicly available information at the time, and would have worked harder to find an alternative.

UPDATE: Before this story came out, Bush had this to say about Ford on Tuesday: "With his quiet integrity, common sense and kind instincts, President Ford helped heal our land and restore public confidence in the presidency."

I wonder what George is saying about him now?

Robert Scheer: Ike Was Right

Columnist Robert Scheer has written a great article regarding Eisenhower's warning of the "military-industrial complex", a term he apparently created.

Excerpts:
[Eisenhower] chose in his farewell presidential address to the nation to warn that the war profiteers had an agenda of their own, one that was inimical to the survival of American democracy:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."


Dick Cheney and Halliburton anyone?

The big prize here for Bush's foreign policy is not the acquisition of natural resources or the enhancement of U.S. security, but rather the lining of the pockets of the defense contractors, the merchants of death who mine our treasury. But because the arms industry is coddled by political parties and the mass media, their antics go largely unnoticed. Our politicians and pundits argue endlessly about a couple of billion dollars that may be spent on improving education or ending poverty, but they casually waste that amount in a few days in Iraq.

As Eisenhower warned:"We should take nothing for granted, only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. ... We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's Official

American troops killed in Iraq now exceeds the number of Americans killed in the 9/11 attacks.

Another six soldiers were reported killed on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 2,978. That's five more than those that were killed at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Just a little reminder: Remember this guy?

Yeah, Osama bin Laden. Wasn't he the one that was responsible for the deaths on 9/11/2001? You know, Georgie's friend. I remember something about "Wanted: Dead or Alive" ... am I dreaming this? Did I just imagine some "Bring 'em on", swaggering, cowboy wannabe asshole saying something like this? Guess he forgot.

Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Godfather of Soul

James Brown dies at the age of 73.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Asleep in the Bunker


I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume.
--George W. Bush

Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had.
--Dick Cheney

"This is scary. The president of the United States of America has created a hellish disaster that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and thousands of American soldiers, and he's resting well. The vice president believes that the man responsible for three of the greatest military blunders in U.S. history (attacking Iraq without devising a strategy for securing the country after the invasion; dissolving the Iraqi army, creating armed and trained recruits for the incipient insurgency; and mounting an extensive de-Baathification campaign that destroyed the governing infrastructure of the nation) did his job well."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Nation: About Face

The Nation magazine writer Marc Cooper has an amazing story of the start of a legal appeal from active-duty soldiers in Iraq. So far, over a thousand signatures have been collected. The three sentence Appeal of Redress, which will be presented to Congress within the next few weeks, simply reads:

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Gulf Coast


It's been 16 months since Hurricane Katrina hit the south. The focus was on New Orleans, the largest city hit by the storm and what we all saw on television and in the news was unimaginable. This wasn't a third world country we were looking at, this was in our own backyard.

Obviously, everyone was appalled by the lack of initial response by the government. But in hindsight, I feel it is typical of the Bush Administration. When you hear of the rebuilding efforts or catch the occasional photo, it's pretty likely that it'll be a picture of the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Bob Herbert of the NY Times has written several columns regarding Katrina and its continuing downpour on its victims. The water may be gone, but the drowning feeling remains. Here is an excerpt from his Dec.21st column, "America's Open Wound".

"In mid-September 2005, with parts of the city still submerged and soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division on patrol, President Bush made a dramatic, flood-lit appearance in historic Jackson Square. In a nationally televised speech he promised not only to do all that he could to rebuild the Gulf Coast, but also to confront the terrible problem of deep and persistent poverty.

“That poverty,” said the president, “has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.”

Now, more than a year later, the population of New Orleans is less than half what it was before the storm. The federal government has allocated billions for the city’s recovery but much of that money has been wasted or remains hopelessly tied up in the bureaucracy. Very little has gotten to the neediest victims, the people who were poor to begin with and then lost their homes and their livelihoods to the storm.

...Many of the poor residents in the city feel that they’ve been abandoned by the government and the rest of America, and that the president broke his promise to help. “We’re in terrible trouble down here,” said a woman named Delores Goode, who stood outside the Superdome asking passers-by if they knew where she might find work as a baby sitter. “We were all over the television last year. Now we’re back to being nobody.”

But it isn't just New Orleans that got hit hard. Remember, that this hurricane was so large, it effected Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Katrina's size was approximately 90, 000 square miles. That's the size of Great Britian. An earlier Herbert column from Dec. 18th was focused on Baton Rouge, LA. and a trailer camp run by FEMA called Renaissance Village.


From "Out of Sight", Bob Herbert:
"More than a third of the 1,200 people in this sprawling camp are children. Only about half of the school-age youngsters are even registered for school; of those, roughly half actually go to school on any given day. The authorities can’t account for the rest.
A number of officials who asked not to be identified told me they are concerned that large numbers of children are remaining isolated at Renaissance Village, holed up in the trailers day in and day out, falling further and further behind educationally, and deteriorating emotionally.
Leah Baptiste, a caseworker from a local affiliate of Catholic Charities, said: “These trailers are small. They were only meant for traveling. And you’ve got families with three and four children cooped up in there seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with no privacy, no babysitter, no job, no money — there’s a lot of help they need. Some people have learned to adapt, but a lot are depressed.”
The most critical needs for the trailer camp population are housing and employment. Many of the adults at Renaissance Village were working before the storm but have been unable to find work since. Even the lowest-wage jobs in the Baton Rouge area are scarce, and without cars (in some cases, without money even for bus fare) it’s extremely difficult for Renaissance Village residents to get to them.

...The big story in the immediate aftermath of Katrina was the way the government failed to rush to the aid of people who were obviously in desperate trouble. What we’re witnessing now is an extended slow-motion replay of that initial failed response. Thousands of people remain in trouble, but instead of clinging to roofs and waving signs at TV cameras in helicopters flying overhead, they are suffering in silence, out of the sight of most Americans.

The government could have come up with a crash program to build housing and find or create jobs for the victims of Katrina. It could have ensured that all those hurt by the storm received whatever social services they needed, including mental health counseling and treatment. It could have begun to address the long-festering problems of race and poverty in this country.

The government could have done so much. But it didn’t."

I know many of us get depressed reading stories like this. I know I do. But turning the page or closing our eyes doesn't make it go away. So I continue to read and research, I give what I can to organizations that are trying to make a direct difference.
Some of us give to the local animal shelters, which is fine, I think it's a wonderful thing. Yes, puppies and kittens are cute. But the people in places that no one talks about, like the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they are our fellow human beings.

I'm an avid listener to the Mike Malloy Show, as those who read my blog (all three of you) will know by my posts. There is a regular caller to the show that goes by the name of "Sarge". I hear Herb "Sarge" Phelps at least two to three times a week on the Malloy program alone (I'm sure he calls in on other shows). He has the will of a thousand people. He pushes on, hoping someone will hear him and respond.

One of the organizations Sarge touts is the Jackson County Community Services Coalition, in Jackson County, Mississippi. Jim Yancey, its Executive Director, is hands on and there isn't much bureaucratic red tape. He helps families directly in need.

Here is an example of what the JCCSC does: The Leroy Johnson Story

According to Sarge's site updated on Dec.20th, "In 10 days to 2 weeks thanks to... listeners from Head On Radio Network and Nova M who donated money to Jackson County Community Services Coalition and others, like the women from Mississippi Home that have selflessly contributed by putting aside their lives to come help, Mr. Johnson will be moving into a new house built by the Jackson County Community Services Coalition."
If you have a some spare change this Christmas, I'm sure they can use any help available.

Bush: Shop Til You Drop

He said it again. I suppose we shouldn't think of the bad things currently happening and just spend money... that's the American way, right?


Market Watch: "The recent report on retail sales shows a strong beginning to the holiday shopping season across the country," Bush said. "And I encourage you all to go shopping more."

Bush said he was looking forward to working with the incoming Democratic Congress to hold down federal spending, encourage investment in technology and reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.

You've had SIX YEARS to hold down federal spending! Now you're going to put it on the Democrats to clean up your mess?! What a surprise! This idiot is delusional!

UPDATE:
Arianna Huffington's latest blog is a shopping list for her "favorite -- and not so favorite -- public figures." Fun reading for a change. Also, you can add your own gift ideas in the "Comments" section.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Georgie's Christmas List

Malloy's Latest Rant

What can I say? I love this guy. He voices the frustrations that I know a lot of us feel but can't put into words.

MIKE MALLOY, December 19th, 2006:

Last week, I was quoting from John Dean's column that impeachment would detract from the business that the Democrats have to do in order to repair the damage that these evil people have done in six years, the Bush Crime Family and this sick, degenerate Republican Party. And I thought about it over the weekend and then I read some other stuff.

I go to Michael Lerner. I go to Robert Perry. I go to Noam Chomsky. I go to BartCop. I have this whole list of people whose opinions I factor in. And it occurred to me that I made a terrible, terrible, terrible mistake in saying that John Dean is right.

Without impeachment, not only will history judge us as not caring about the Constitution or the future of this country, but are we not faced with a moral, if not moral, an ethical imperative here? We have watched, over the past six years, very slowly, incrementally, this Bush Crime Family destroy everything.

Now the problem here is not everybody, very few people as a matter of fact, relatively speaking , out of 300 million of us, have felt the lash. The people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have felt it. The people in certain Midwestern towns, that have seen, all of a sudden, their town die because jobs are exported. Families who were conned into believing that they were defending liberty or protecting America and now have a folded flag where they used to have a husband or a mother, or sister or a brother, they've felt it. But so many of us haven't felt it yet. And I guess that's the inertia.

And in the meantime, television and the entertainment industry does what it is commissioned to do. Make us forget. Make us forget. It's like, what's the drug they give you to make you forget... Versed. ...it's a conscious sedation. I've had oral surgery four or five times, not recently, but they give you an extra drug called Versed so that when you come out of the conscious sedation, even though you haven't been under general anesthesia, you have no memory. It stops your mind from being able to file stuff away. And that's exactly what television and the entertainment media are doing to us. They're preventing us from filing stuff away.

Now dammit, I don't mean to beat a dead horse, or in Cheney's case, a dead deer, but either we're going to do something, either we're going to insist that the laws of this country be upheld and that the criminals be brought to justice, or we're not. It's very simple.

If we do not, if this Bush Administration is allowed to escape from the requirements of the United States Constitution, and it is up the the Democratic Party leadership to either enforce the law or turn their backs on it; and if they turn their backs on it, then it is finished.

Patriot Acts I and II that have eroded Constitutional rights, illegal wars, the response to Katrina, the CIA leak probe, illegal wiretapping, torture memos, the Downing Street memo, fake intelligence, tens of thousands of innocent lives lost, no HUNDREDS of thousands!

WHAT IS AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, MS. PELOSI?! What the hell does it take?! These are high crimes and misdemeanors of the most sterling quality. What does it take, Senator Reid? What does it take? What would you two have to see happen? What would you two have to see this Bush Crime Family do in order to say, "Yes, we're going to impeach him."? WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?! If not this, what? If not this, then the Constitution of the United States is toilet paper.

And don't any of the Democratic Party leadership EVER, EVER get all misty-eyed on Veteran's Day, or the 4th July or any of these national holidays because you will have crapped all over the documents that put this country together. Now either get off your asses and enforce the law or shut up and leave me and other people in this country alone to figure out how in the hell we're going to survive and pass something on to our children that is worthwhile.

We have criminals running this country! And this sick son of a bitch sits in the Oval Office in an interview with Washington Post staff writers Peter Baker, Michael Fletcher and Michael Abramowitz... He is going to send more troops to die and kill into Iraq. Do you understand that?

Every single rational person in this country, from the military to the journalists, to the academics, have all said to this crazy bastard, "No! It's over! Stop it!" And he's going to do it anyway. He's never been legally elected. It's WAY past time he got out of Al Gore's house! What does it take?!

Senator Reid, Nancy Pelosi, you don't know me from Adam's house cat, and you couldn't care less, but damn both of you if you don't at least make the effort of removing this criminal from office! Enforce the Constitution! DO WHAT WE ELECTED YOU TO DO!

NY Times - Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment

The Trial is a surreal novel by Franz Kafka about a character named Joseph K., who awakens one morning and, for reasons that one never discovers, is arrested and subjected to the rigours of the judicial process for an unspecified crime.
Impossible, right? ...Right? Ask Donald Vance.

From the NY TIMES: "Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the FBI about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.
But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents."

Read the article, then ask yourself what the hell is going on with the US military and this God-forsaken Administration. Ask yourself why impeachment is "off the table." Screw impeachment. I'm looking for convictions on war crimes!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Open Letter to American Christian Conservatives

A letter from Demosthenese_01 at The Sarcastic Cynic rails on the Conservatives so-called "Christians" of this country. An excellent letter worth reading.

EXCERPT: I was there, in Washington D.C. BEFORE the war. I was standing there with my sign that said "PEACE NOT WAR", not even saying anything, when a self-described "Conservative Christian" came up to me and started telling me in detail why I was going to hell because I opposed this war and that I should "repent my heathenish Liberal ways". I tried to explain to her that I am a Christian. I am an ordained reverend in a non-denominational church. She would hear none of it...

...An example of how REAL Christians react when they are attacked is right here in America's heartland, right under your noses. Earlier this year the Amish in Pennsylvania were attacked by an insane man who executed several of their children in cold blood. He put them on their knees and shot them from behind.
How did the Amish React? ...they immediately held a press conference and publicly FORGAVE the man.

Then, when the money and gifts started pouring in from all over the world, their first action was to create a fund for the wife and children of the man who murdered their children.

...You all really need to reevaluate your principles. You need to reexamine what "Christian Values" really are.

No Mission No Surge

Remember when most of us respected Colin Powell? If anything, he came across as a stand up guy and you really didn't have doubts that what he told you was nothing but the truth, because he seemed to exude honesty and integrity. Well, that was until the whole "aluminum tubes" thing, and then he bailed out.
Here he is with Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation, December 17, 2006. I don't have doubts that was he's saying this time is true.

MR. POWELL: "Over the summer, the United States and Iraqi forces launched Operation Forward Together. Began in June, and then phase two began in August, with thousands of American troops going into Baghdad to try to stabilize the situation. They haven't stabilized the situation. So we have tried this surge of troops over the summer. I am not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad for the purpose of suppressing this communitarian violence, this civil war, will work. But if somebody proposes that additional troops be sent, if I was still chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, my first question to whoever's proposing it is what mission is it these troops ought to accomplish? Is it to secure Baghdad, in which case the American army isn't large enough to secure Baghdad, and we should not use our troops as policemen. It is to take over--is it to take over a certain section of Baghdad, is it to go after the insurgents? There needs to be a clear mission that these additional troops are going to be performing."

"...So before I would add any additional troops or recommend it to a commander in chief, I'd want to make sure we have a clear understanding of what it is they're going for, how long they're going for. And let's be clear about something else ...that gets a little confusing. There really are no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who're there there longer and escalating, or accelerating, the arrival of other troops."

"...I'm suggesting that what General Schoomaker said the other day, before a committee looking at the Reserve and National Guard, that the active Army is about broken. General Schoomaker is absolutely right, and all of my contacts within the Army suggest that the Army has a serious problem in the active force, and it's a problem that will spread into the Guard and Reserves:
Backlog of equipment that is not being repaired, soldiers--especially officers and noncommissioned officers--going on repetitive tours. So if you surge now, you're going to keep troops who've already been kept there long even longer, and you're going to be bringing in troops from the United States who were going to be coming anyway, but perhaps a little bit later. And so that's how you surge. And that surge cannot be sustained. The current active Army is not large enough, and the Marine Corps is not large enough, for the kinds of missions they're being asked to perform. And we need to let both the Army and the Marine Corps grow in size, in my military judgment."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Howard Zinn - The Uses of History and The War on Terrorism

My blogfriend at Deep Confusion brought this to my attention and I thought I'd add it to my blog as well. Doesn't hurt to spread the news.

As Howard Zinn was lecturing at the University of Wisconsin, he quoted Hermann Göring, second in command to Hitler, in his speech to make a point: "...the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war? But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. It works the same way in any country.”

Read his transcript at
Democracy Now.
Hear the entire lecture here.
(To save the audio, right-click the hyperlink and choose "Save Target As...")

Joe Barbera Dies at 95

Joe Barbera died on Monday at the age of 95 of natural causes. Most of us will remember Joe as part of the Hanna-Barbera team that gave us cartoon classics including Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo.
They found their first success with the Tom & Jerry cartoons and this one my favorite. It's a strange coincidence that I was just mentioning this cartoon to a friend of mine the other day and he couldn't remember it.


"Can't play GUI-tar wthout a GUI-tar string!"


Thank you Joe Barbera.

Rumsfeld-The Best Sec.of Defense EVER?!

Dick Cheney: "The record of the years 2001-2006 only comfirms the good qualities and the gift for leadership that Don Rumsfeld has shown all his life. Our former boss, President Gerald Ford, said recently that holding the office of Secretary of Defense in times like these requires a certain amount of steel. Don Rumsfeld has that steel in him. In his regard for our people in uniform, in his unwavering strength through unprecedented challenges, in his example of leadership and patriotic service, I believe the record speaks for itself: Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had."


OH MY GOD!!! Why would he be fired if he was the best ever?! This has to be the biggest line of bullshit ever. I often wonder how these guys keep a straight face when crap like this comes out of their mouths. You can imagine these clowns coming together and rehearsing their speeches and CRACKING UP, just laughing hysterically like the outtakes you'd see on Seinfeld or the end of a Bert Reynolds flick while the credits roll.
As far as "his regard for people in uniform", here's Rumsfeld in January 2003, on the draft during the Vietman War (courtesy of a listener writing in to the Mike Malloy Show): "Big categories were exempted. People who were in college, people who were teaching, people who were married, and what was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months and then went out adding no value, no advantage really, to the United States Armed Services."

Tell that to the families of the 58,000 names on this wall and to all other Veterans that made it home after serving in Vietnam.

Picture courtesy of www.1-5vietnamveterans.org

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tom Friedman on Meet The Press

Tom Friedman of the New York Times was on Meet The Press this past Sunday and a couple of observations he had struck a chord, so I thought I'd share. Here's part of the transcript:

VIDEO- MRS. LAURA BUSH: "I do know that there are a lot of good things that are happening that aren’t covered, and I think the drum beat in the country from the media, from the only way people know what’s happening... is discouraging."

FRIEDMAN: "...if I can share with you another rule I had about the Middle East, it was that any general going to the Middle East—or reporter—should have to take a test, and it would consist of one question:
Do you believe the shortest distance between two points is a straight line? If you answer yes to that question, you can’t go to Iraq. You can go to Korea, you can go to Germany, you can go to Japan. You can’t go to Iraq.
And the problem is, when you hear the first lady, when I think of the way Bush is running this war, he thinks that in the Middle East the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It’s all straight, it’s a matter of just add a little more force here, and a little more, you know, give another speech there. It’s insane. I wanted this to succeed, you know, as much as anybody, all right, because I thought it was really important. But I thought it was really important and really hard. And to me, what history will damn these people for is they thought it was really important and really easy."


..."Think of what happened this week. OK, Dick Cheney, the vice president, stood up at a massive farewell ceremony for Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and said he was the greatest secretary of defense in American history. Now, if that is true, either George Bush is a fool or Dick Cheney is a liar, all right? Because either George Bush just fired at the height of a war, at the greatest national security threat of our country’s current era, the greatest secretary of defense in history, or Dick Cheney thinks we’re all walking around with a sign that says 'Stupid' on it.

But I can stand up and say this: After this incredible fiasco—you ...tell people that this guy was the greatest secretary of defense in history—people are tired of that, Tim. Too much is at stake now. The first lady says, you know, 'Things are going well in Iraq.' If things are going so well in Iraq, why are there a million Iraqi refugees in Jordan now, and 600,000 in Syria? Because we misreported it? They’re not reading The New York Times."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lewis Black on Bush, Flag Burning and Christmas

No commentary necessary. Just enjoy.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Young Marine Speaks Out


I heard this letter read on the Mike Malloy Show of Dec. 14th and apparently Randi Rhodes also read it on her show.

"This letter was written by Philip Martin. He has been a Marine for 2 years. He is in the infantry (a "grunt"), and spent 7 months in the al-Anbar province of Iraq. He went on more than 180 combat patrols in and outside of the city of Fallujah, where he was hit with 2 IEDs (luckily never injured) and was involved in a number of firefights. He is currently stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA, and due to return to Iraq for a second deployment in April 2007. He is 21-years-old. "

By Philip Martin
I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It's the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life.
When I joined I took an oath. In that oath I swore to protect the Constitution of the United States. I didn't swear to build democracies in countries on the other side of the world under the guise of "national security." I didn't join the military to be part of an Orwellian ("1984") war machine that is in an obligatory war against whoever the state deems the enemy to be so that the populace can be controlled and riled up in a pro-nationalistic frenzy to support any new and oppressive law that will be the key to destroying the enemy. Example given – the Patriot Act. So aptly named, and totally against all that the constitution stands for. President Bush used the reactionary nature of our society to bring our country together and to infuse into the national psyche a need to give up their little-used rights in the hope to make our nation a little safer. The same scare tactics he used to win elections. He drones on and on about how America and the world would be a less safe place if we weren't killing Iraqis, and that we'd have to fight the terrorists at home if we weren't abroad. In our modern day emotive society this strategy (or strategery?) works, or had worked, up until last month's elections.
My point in this; to show that America was never nationalistic. If anything they were Statalistic (giving their allegiance to the state of their residence).

You'd do yourself a disservice by not reading the entire letter.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ching Chong Rosie

What is going on with Rosie O'Donnell?
In a Dec. 5 segment, O'Donnell joked about how Danny DeVito's recent — and seemingly drunken — appearance on the ABC daytime talk show had become international news.
"You know, you can imagine in China it's like `ching chong, ching chong chong, Danny DeVito, ching chong chong chong, drunk, ``The View, ching chong.' "

Here's the clip:

" You know it was never (my) intent to mock," O'Donnell said on Thursday's show (12/7), "and I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground. But I'm also gonna give you a fair warning that there's a good chance I'll do something like that again, probably in the next week — not on purpose. Only 'cause it's how my brain works."

For those that demanded an apology, "there's a good chance I'll do something like that again" doesn't really cut it, does it?

But let's put things in perspective: Asians were insulted. Some have slammed her for her insensitive stereotype including conservative Michelle Malkin. But Malkin goes on a tirade and tries somehow to make it political, calling O'Donnell "one of the Left's loudest voices", and a "holier-than-thou liberal celebrity". She then compares her mockery to former Sen. Al D'Amato's mockery of Judge Lance Ito, for which he later apologized on the Senate floor.

You're comparing a comedienne with a politician?! Hey Michelle, didn't you write a book approving the Japanese internment during WWII? You can't have it both ways, or is it acceptible because you're Filipino?

Don't get me wrong, I am not a Rosie fan. I happen to think she fell off the deep end since she came out to the world. And her rant regarding Kelly Ripa's incident with Clay Aiken doesn't help matters. It's not very smart to call Ripa a homophobe when Aiken hasn't claimed he is homosexual. Oops! But let's lighten up.

O'Donnell is/was a comedienne. If you watch the video clip in context, it's not nearly as inflammatory as some are trying to make it. If she decided to go with France instead of China and spoke french jibberish, would we be hearing as much? There was no intention to harm. It wasn't about Chinese newscasters, it was about Danny DeVito.


In my opionion, some of us have gotten too politically correct. Everyone is walking on egg shells after the Michael Richards fiasco and now it seems white comedians aren't allowed to offend anyone. I suppose Jeff Foxworthy is out of business. Or are rednecks still in season?

Let's just put a moratorium on comedians - you can comment on and satirize anything BUT race, religion and sexual orientation. Oh, and let's throw in obese drug addicts and anorexics with big feet... but we wouldn't want to offend Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, would we?

Convert Or Die!

So what are you getting your kid for Christmas? How about this new and exciting video game where players get to convert non-believers or mow them down? I kid you not.

"Left Behind: Eternal Forces" is selling like hotcakes in stores everywhere including Wal-Marts, Best-Buys, Sam's Clubs and others. The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand that Wal-Mart dump the PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens. Protesters are targeting Wal-Mart, where the game retails for $39.96, because it is one of the biggest video game sellers in the United States.

In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."

Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story. When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.
"That is so obvious," he said.

Jeff Gerstmann, senior editor at Gamespot.com, an online publication, said the game isn't popular. The game itself, which Gamespot rated 3.4 out of a possible 10, has lots of glitches. "And it's kind of crazy," Gerstmann said. "One of the evil characters is a rock musician. ... If you get too close to him your spirit is lowered."


Convert to Christianity or be killed... good thing this doesn't happen in real life... oh wait... nevermind. Seems a little different than the "do unto others" idea that I always associated with the little baby Jesus.

Tim Johnson and the Senate Majority

Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, was in intensive care today after undergoing surgery late Wednesday night for a brain hemorrhage, a development that highlighted the fragility of the Democrats’ new majority in the Senate.

If Mr. Johnson’s health problems prevent him from serving, his replacement would be named by Gov. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, a Repulican. If Mr. Rounds named a Republican, the 51-49 Democratic majority in the new Senate would become a 50-50 split. Vice President Dick Cheney would break tie votes, effectively giving Republicans control of the chamber.

Currently, there is no law to force a member of the Senate or House of Representatives to resign due to incapacitation and in the past, some ill members of Congress have missed substantial time.
In 1969, two years into his fourth term, South Dakota Sen. Karl E. Mundt, a Republican, suffered a stroke and was unable to continue voting. He offered to resign, but only on the condition that South Dakota's governor appoint Mundt's wife to fill the vacancy. The governor refused, and Mundt retained the Senate seat, even while missing three full years of votes. He even remained on three committess until 1972, when the Senate Republican Conference stripped him of these assignments.
Similarly, in the 1940s, Sen. Carter Glass of Virginia missed two years' worth of votes due to illness—he was 87 and in failing health—but refused to retire even as newspapers from across his state pressured him to step down.

According to information from the Senate historian cited on
CQ.com, at least nine senators have taken extended absences from the Senate for health reasons since 1942. Robert F. Wagner, Democrat of New York, was unable to attend any sessions of the 80th or 81st Congress from 1947 to 1949 because of a heart ailment. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, missed about seven months in 1988 after surgery for a brain aneurysm. And David Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas, suffered a heart attack in April 1991 and returned to the Senate in September that year.

If either house of Congress wanted to institute disciplinary action for absentee representatives, they would have to amend their rules of operation. But it's unlikely that members would vote to give themselves stringent attendance guidelines.


Politics aside, let's all hope Senator Johnson has a full recovery.

Peter Boyle Dies at 71

A former monk, a good friend of John Lennon (Lennon was his best man) and veteran actor in movies by Martin Scorsese and Mel Brooks, Emmy-winning actor Peter Boyle -- most recently known for his recurring role on "Everybody Loves Raymond" -- died Tuesday in New York. He was 71.
The actor's publicist, Jennifer Plante, told the Associated Press that he had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease.


Rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Evangelicals in the Pentagon?

From the Washington Post:
Inquiry Sought Over Evangelical Video

"A military watchdog group is asking the Defense Department to investigate whether seven Army and Air Force officers violated regulations by appearing in uniform in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization.
In the video, much of which was filmed inside the Pentagon
, four generals and three colonels praise the Christian Embassy, a group that evangelizes among military leaders, politicians and diplomats in Washington. Some of the officers describe their efforts to spread their faith within the military."


Now I don't particularly care if anyone practices their religious beliefs. Everyone is different. You can be Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, it doesn't matter. But in my opinion, when it comes to matters of government, you leave your religion at the door. Otherwise, we will end up living in a theocracy, not a democracy. I don't want a military officials to make decisions on what Jesus Christ wants him to do after prayerful meditation.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, but rather is derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group identifying themselves as the Danbury Baptists. In that letter, quoting the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, he writes: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

Jesus Christ is sometimes credited with the invention of the separation of church and state when he advised his followers, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21)

I advise you to watch the video, and if you can stomach it all the way to the end, tell me it doesn't scare you a little.

Courtesy of Crooks & Liars:
Quick Time Version
Windows Media Player Version

MSNBC: No Iraq Announcement Yet

This just in from MSNBC at 1:02pm:

"Now it looks like there won't be a pre-Christmas announcement for Iraq after all. Instead look for President Bush to announce a strategy change after the holiday. White House officials say there's still work to be done on the new plan and that the key is to get it done right. At the same time the offical says the delay does not reflect a plan for a major shift in direction by the Administration."

Outsourcing the Presidency

Well, it's still early but it seems that the Iraq Study Group was just another waste of time and money. Of the 79 recommendations in the report, Bush has inferred that he doesn't like any of them. Not a one. I find it a little disheartening but not surprising.

"A week after the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gave Bush 79 recommendations for changing direction in the unpopular Iraq war, Bush did not appear to be warming to some of the panel's major conclusions as he prepared his own plan."
From Dec.9th : Richard Perle, a prominent neoconservative and early advocate of invading Iraq, dismissed the panel as a “misadventure” that should be ignored. “
You don’t outsource the responsibilities of the commander in chief,” Mr. Perle said. “The whole thing is absurd.”

Outsourcing the Presidency? Well, I suppose one could look at it that way. I've also heard rumors that the panel was a 'come to the rescue' effort initiated by Bush Sr. But now I suppose that the term "outsourcing the presidency" has made it into the Republican talking points, because W. had this to say:

From Paul Krugman's NY Times Op-Ed piece on Dec.11th entitled "Outsourcer in Chief":

"According to U.S. News & World Report, President Bush has told aides that he won’t respond in detail to the Iraq Study Group’s report because he doesn’t want to “outsource” the role of commander in chief."

Hmm... sound familiar? Krugman then goes on to say that for an administration that has outsourced everything from a Coast Guard modernization program, to police training in Afghanistan, to FEMA evacuation techniques during Hurricane Katrina, they've all been a dismal failure.

The result of these three mentioned?

The Coast Guard spent $17 billion and Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman gave them "expensive ships that aren’t seaworthy. The Coast Guard ignored 'repeated warnings from its own engineers that the boats and ships were poorly designed and perhaps unsafe,' while 'the contractors failed to fulfill their obligation to make sure the government got the best price, frequently steering work to their subsidiaries or business partners instead of competitors."

"In Afghanistan, the job of training a new police force was outsourced to DynCorp International, a private contractor, under very loose supervision: when conducting a recent review, auditors couldn’t even find a copy of DynCorp’s contract to see what it called for. And $1.1 billion later, Afghanistan still doesn’t have an effective police training program."

FEMA's "job of evacuating people from disaster areas was given to a trucking logistics firm, Landstar Express America. When Hurricane Katrina struck, Landstar didn’t even know where to get buses. According to Carey Limousine, which was eventually hired, Landstar “found us on the Web site.”

Perhaps we can find someone on the internet who can do a better job than the worst president ever. After all, it's not like the next person to have the job can do worse... but, boy, are they going to have a major mess to clean up.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I know I'm late to the party...

...but I'm having some fun researching these videos. And Keith Olbermann does such a good job with these clips that I thought I'd share.
So here, for your viewing pleasure is the "Stay The Course" video. Hope you get a chuckle out of it before you become enraged by these lying bastards... again.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

The New Way Forward - Another Catchphrase

It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The new way forward. But its meaning is lost a little bit more every time it is uttered.

Watching President Bush's press conference the day after the Iraq Study Group was released was painful. Mr. Deer In The Headlights kept repeating the new catchphrase over and over and over again until it had lost all meaning. There he stood, trying to sell us the equilvalent of a book report by a fourth grader who didn't read the book, just the title and the jacket cover.

Oh, he said he read it. He even wanted extra credit for it. "Some reports are issued and just gather dust," Bush said. "And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it..."

It seems to me that he didn't even read the Executive Summary (the Cliff Notes version) that is prepared for everything that crosses the president's desk. But he went on: "...and our guest read it. The prime minister read -- read a report prepared by a commission. And this is important."
I was then waiting eagerly for the press to finally take Bush to task and ask him a difficult question, like "President Bush, of the 79 recommendations in the ISG report, is there one that particularly caught your attention? Can you explain it for us?" But nothing. And of course, he didn't offer any specific recommendations he would adopt, because HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S IN THE REPORT!
Now, the British press, on the other hand, still like to consider themselves actual journalists, so we then got this gem:
A British reporter quoted the Iraq Study Group report in describing the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating." He noted that the president's language in his opening statement Thursday was weaker, calling the violence "unsettling."
The reporter wondered whether the president is in denial about how bad things are.

"It's bad in Iraq," the president shot back. "Does that help?", then snickered his addle-brained snicker.

Why are you laughing, George? It's not funny. Dead soldiers aren't funny. Dead Iraqi civilians aren't funny. Billions upon billions of dollars poured into an illegal war is not funny.
He had more to say:
"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die. I understand there's sectarian violence. I also understand that we're hunting down al-Qaida on a regular basis and we're bringing them to justice. I understand how hard our troops are working. I know how brave the men and women who wear the uniform are, and therefore, they'll have the full support of this government. I understand what long deployments mean to wives and husbands, and mothers and fathers, particularly as we come into a holiday season. I understand."

... Do you think he understands? He says he understands. We hear him say he understands. Does he understand what 'understand' means? Understand understand understand understand! See? After a while it doesn't even sound like a real word.


Now we all know what he meant to say was "I talk to the families of the soldiers who die", but I'm tired of figuring out what Bush means to say. I am tired of this dim-witted dolt stepping on his tougue again and again and everyone making excuses for his "simple talk". We're talking about the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD! We're not talking about a pencil salesman on a street corner. We're not talking about a sanitation worker... and I mean no offense to the pencil salesmen or sanitation workers of the world. At this point I'd rather have one of them be president because our current Commander in Chief is an embarrassment.




Besides, the notion that Bush talks to the families of the fallen is a lie as well. I'm sure of it. Bush doesn't talk to the families of the soldiers who die anymore than he reads reports, whether it be the Iraq Study Group or Presidential Daily Briefings. If he did speak to the almost 3,000 families of our fallen troops, he'd never be off the phone! Do you think he's sitting at his desk making anywhere from 5-25 phone calls a day?! Obviously not!

Has anyone also noticed that when Dubya is really screwed and has painted himself into a corner, he always has a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his side? Is this supposed to lend some kind of credibility to this war criminal? 'Well, if Blair's standing next to him, he must be telling the truth.' Again, obviously not. The only thing it's doing is ruining Blair's already damaged credibility.


So let's wait and see what happens. Let's wait a week or two and find out if "The New Way Forward" is a reality. Or maybe it will just become another catchphrase to join the Bush lexicon like "stay the course", "fomenting sectarian violence" and "mission accomplished".

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Slim Gaillard

I thought a little break from politics was in order and a friend of mine brought this video clip to my attention.

"One of the most eccentric vocalists ever to hit the jazz scene, Slim Gaillard became a legendary cult figure thanks to his own privately invented jive dialect “vout," a variation on hipster slang composed of imaginary nonsense words (“oreenie" and “oroonie" being two other examples). Gaillard's comic performances, laid-back cool, and supremely silly songs made him a popular entertainer from the late ‘30s to the early ‘50s, especially on the West Coast, and several of his compositions became genuine hits, including "Flat Foot Floogie" and "Cement Mixer." Versatility was not Gaillard's stock in trade, but he was highly effective at what he did, and his musical ability as a singer, Charlie Christian-style guitarist, and boogie-woogie pianist was perhaps a bit overlooked in comparison to the novelty value of his music."

Apparently he was good friends with Jack Kerouac and a performance of his is described in "On The Road". I can't say for sure that he invented the beat generation lingo, but I'm certain he had a major hand in it. Enjoy the videoroonee, McVootee.


McKinney Submits Impeachment

"With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us," said Congresswoman Cynthina McKinney as she submitted articles of impeachment on Friday against President Bush, VP Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

"President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people."

Read John Nichols' column here, as well as McKinney's entire transcript.

Word of the Year: "Truthiness"


truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)

2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)


This is the word of the year for 2006 according to Merriam-Webster, which originated on Comedy Central's, The Colbert Report in October, 2005.

As for Stephen Colbert's reaction: "Though I'm no fan of reference books and their fact-based agendas, I am a fan of anyone who chooses to honor me. And what an honor," he said. "Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like `squash,' `merry,' `crumpet,' `the,' `xylophone,' `circuitous,' `others' and others."

Friday, December 8, 2006

Mary Cheney's Baby

(Read to the tune of "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka)

First of all, GOOD FOR HER! It's a wonderful thing when two people can share their lives with each other and raise a child in a loving home... just leave grandpa out of it!

Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, her partner of 15 years, are expecting their first child in the Spring. They moved from Colorado to Virginia a year ago to be closer to the Cheney family. Virginia is one of seven states where voters approved anti-gay-marriage amendments during the midterm election in November. Is that a problem?

From the Dallas Voice:

Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Pride, a national organization that advocates for LGBT people and their families, said news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy exemplifies the inequities faced by LGBT-headed families.“As Mary and Heather enter into the life-changing roles of parents, they will quickly face the reality that no matter how loved their child will be — by its mothers and its grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and close family friends — he or she will never have the same protections that other children born to heterosexual couples enjoy,” Chrisler said in a statement released Wednesday. “Mary and Heather currently live in Virginia. Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child.”

Chrisler accused the vice president of having been “complicit in the largest full-scale attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community in modern history. He, his president and his political party have repeatedly targeted the LGBT community and LGBT families for scapegoating as part of their calculated political strategy and have attacked at all levels the rights and protections his own daughter will need to ensure a strong, healthy, legally protected family.”

And I LOVE this line:

“Grandfather Cheney will no doubt face a lifetime of sleepless nights as he reflects on the irreparable harm he and his administration have done to the millions of American gay and lesbian parents and their children.” Chrisler said.

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS?! Obviously she hasn't personally met Dick Cheney. I'm guessing that he probably sleeps soundly on a bed made of human skeletal remains and the mattresses are stuffed with large piles of blood money.
And then you have the other side of the coin:

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America described the pregnancy as unconscionable. "It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father," said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group's think tank.

Carrie Gordon Earll, a policy analyst for the conservative Christian ministry Focus on the Family, expressed empathy for the Cheney family but depicted the pregnancy as unwise.
"Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn't mean it's a good idea," she said. "Love can't replace a mother and a father."


Well, damned if you do, damned if you don't! The gay/lesbian side is pissed because Mary doesn't speak out for gay rights and the Religious Right think it's an abomination. These are the same freaks that were admonishing John Kerry during the 2004 debates for bringing up Mary Cheney and calling it an "invasion of privacy". Damed hypocites!

But wait, there's more!


From the Mike Malloy Show, December 6th, 2006:

Now the hypocrisy of the Bush Crime Family - the hypocrisy of the ruling elite of this country... I wonder if Rick Santorum or Bill Frist or some of these evil sons of bitches are going to send a congratulatory letter to the Cheneys or to Mary Cheney specifically...

Bless them. This is not about them or their baby. This is about the evil sons of bitches in the Republican Party, every single one of them who have demonized the idea of gay or lesbian or transgendered or bisexual or whatever people living normal lives, especially where it concerns children.

...I know there's an effort here in Georgia to pass a law that bans the adoption of children by gay couples or a gay individual. Aww, you evil sons of bitches, you evil pigs, you really are! But how do you people feel? You right-wingers, who think that the sun rises and sets in one of Dick Cheney's body orifices. How do you feel? I mean, he gives you the finger!

'Oh, vote for us and we'll stop the queers. Oh, by the way, my daughter, who happens to be gay, is pregnant. Yay! We're gonna have a grandchild. You other people? Screw you! You're not gonna have any children. You gay and lesbian people? No, no, you don't get any. We do though, because we're the Cheneys! WE'RE THE POWER STRUCTURE!'

 
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