Friday, September 30, 2005

Showing Little Favoritism

Isn't it interesting that in 1983 Ronnie Earle indicted himself for filing improper contribution forms? He then paid a $200 fine.

Researched by The Daily Show.

Necessary or Unnecessary

On The Huffington Post David Sirota recounts what the Republicans (who set America's political agenda) think is necessary to move our country forward after our recent setbacks. The "necessary" is mostly a continuation of the elitist tax cuts for the rich. As he points out, the top 1 percent of earners will get 386 billion of our tax money this way, no matter what happens in Iraq or Louisiana.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Vista Operating System

According to the website the new Vista Windows operating system will start up in 3 seconds by loading everything in the background. Neat.

My Kind of Cat Blogging

Republican Criminals

Howard Beal from Hullabaloo

A great post by Digby about the recent pile up of Republican criminals (and indictments).

Quote(s) of the Day, Part III

Ronnie Earle

"We are a moral people, and the first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt" -Ronnie Earle

Or maybe you might like this one better:

"Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog." -Ronnie Earle

Today Mr.Earle got that indictment of Tom Delay.If convicted,this charge burns up to two years in jail.

Quote of the Day, Part II

Christopher Hitchens

Commenting about the President:

"His eyes are so close together he could use a monocle." – Christopher Hitchens

Quote of the Day

Slick Willie

"We have two cars, my wife and I, that run on vegetable oil. She has a Volkswagen. I have a Mercedes. They've never had anything in them except 100% vegetable oil. Our bus is run on 100% soybeans. So there's no reason for us to be so dependent on foreign energy." – Willie Nelson

Now, we don't all have the resources of a Willie Nelson, but his rides sound like good examples of what we could actually do if we used our brains.

Muddying the Waters

Among the most disturbing abuses of the current administration is their recurrent, almost inevitable strategy of "muddying the waters." This technique has nothing to do with truth or facts,or good governance or even expediency - only with winning in the short term.Curiously, Bush and Co often seem to be on the defensive.

Since we first learned of George Bush and his mentor, Karl Rove, muddying the waters has been operative. In the course of the 2000 primaries (especially when you're falling behind) spread a few rumors about John McCain's brown adopted child; they don't have to be factual.But you can muddy the waters enough that people will talk, and some ill-informed or prejudiced individuals will be turned your way.

One exigent element is a complicit media, the kind that proclaims its objectivity no matter what kind of half truths, no truths,or whatever they convey. Reporting is done by telling any and all viewpoints with no accountability or even the simple fact checking expected in a second-rate Journalism School.Muddying the waters creates that small seed of doubt that gives you just enough of an edge. If it's too close to call,the Supreme Court can then place you in power. This is what was done to Al Gore, of course.The Corporate Media went along with the many little lies told about Al Gore in 2000, even when they knew better: it was a kind of journalistic sport to chuckle about.

Plant the seed, no matter what the facts are. I believe this is how the Salem elders killed more than one witch - all based on sworn testimony. This is how John Kerry was Swiftboated out of his wartime heroism. It doesn't matter what the real issue is. When Dan Rather was driven out of CBS, we never did find out how George Bush spent that last year of his military service, did we? The waters became too muddied.

This drill also appears to work against the best efforts of the world's scientists. If the science of Global Warming threatens your profits, you hire an agreeable scientist from the Heritage Foundation (pay him/her well) to muddy the waters - to create some semblance of a study that you can point to - see? So there! The waters are dirty.In the name of fairness, we are told that Intelligent Design should be taught as an alternative to Evolution in Science classes, though ID is speculation based on religious expectancy with no chance of scientific proof unless the God Jesus walks among us again.

Muddying the waters continues to this day when Right Wing policy wonks attack Cindy Sheehan ad hominem, claiming to know what she and her dead son should be thinking. Muddying the waters is at best a defensive strategy which lacks any reality or substantial content.The transparent inadequacies of the current leadership in saving Iraq and Louisiana may have finally shown all the flimsy underpinnings of Bush World.The current polls say this is so.In any case, future generations will look back and decide whether this deceptive kind of political machination has been good for our country. No way.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Toast to Little Russ

Here's a little graphic cheer to Tim Russert for trying to gotcha Aaron Broussard. Apparently the Grandma that Broussard broke down crying over was one of his staff's Moms who died because she was left in her nursing home-without help from anyone, including the Feds and FEMA.

Start of a Civil War ?

Muqtada Al Sadr

Robert Dreyfuss reports in Tom Paine that two Shiite armies are facing off in Iraq, the Badr Brigade (a 20,000 man force) against the armies of Muqtada Al Sadr. This doesn't sound good at all, what with the supposed vote approaching on their constitution in a few weeks. These are the guys that are supposed to approve the new democracy as they cut out the Sunnis.

Saint Clinton

CafePress has a complete site where you can get all kinds of Saint Clinton stuff. Remember the good old days before the Bush deficit ? You can get posters, mousepads, T-Shirts, or coffee cups...

I've Got These Storms Under Control Now

A Commanding Presence

The Pat Tillman Mess

We all love our soldiers, men and women, who have been asked to do what seems an impossible. thankless job. It becomes more and more difficult to accept as we learn the way that Pat Tillman, the NFL hero, and his parents have been treated. See the updated story in the San Francisco Chronicle.Click Mr. Tillman's picture below to see the lies the Pentagon originally told about his demise in April of 2004.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Vice President is Recovering

Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital this weekend. It was learned that he had surgery on both knees to remove an aneurysm.

Pounding Pork

The Bridge to Nowhere

August J. Pollak shows us what a delicate operation it will be to get rid of all that pork to pay for hurricane relief. Perhaps they could start with the $941 million dollar bridge in Alaska designed to join Gravina Island, population 50 to Ketchikan, population 8,000.All things being equal, that amount would have been plenty to shore up the levees in New Orleans and perhaps save hundreds of drowning victims. How much pork were they worth ?

A Good Size Turnout

Although the Right Wing Bloggers try to diminish Sunday's demonstration, pictures like the above show that thousands of people traveled to Washington to protest Bush's War. This is certainly better than the 300 or so of the pro-war demonstrators who showed up.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Private Donations

In an unusual move, over the last month the Bush Administration has been asking for private donations to rebuild Iraq.England's Observer reports that they have managed to amass $600.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

From the Peace Demonstration

Go to Brad Blog for video...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Quote of the Day

Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of Thomas :
"If those who lead you say to you, 'look, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds will get there first. If they say 'it's in the ocean,' then the fish will get there first. But the Kingdom of God is within you and outside of you. Once you come to know yourselves, you will become known. And you will know that it is you who are the children of the living father."

Trailer Parks to the Rescue

In a report from the La Times,we learn that the Federal government doesn't want to add to programs that are already in place to help hurricane victims: they want to promote one time deals. So they don't want to add all these victims to the Medicaid rolls, for instance. Also, instead of $10,000 vouchers for standard housing, they want to start trailer parks at $16,000 a pop. They did this last year in Florida, where now they want to take back or be paid for the trailers, even if the victims haven't yet found a job or a new place to live. Surprisingly, I agree with a quote from that nefarious Repug Newt Gingrich who says:

"The idea that — in a community where we could place people in the private housing market to reintegrate them into society — we would put them in [trailer] ghettos with no jobs, no community, no future, strikes me as extraordinarily bad public policy, and violates every conservative principle that I'm aware of," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.

"If they do it," Gingrich said of administration officials, "they will look back on it six months from now as the greatest disaster of this administration." This is from the LA Times.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's Jim Beam or Me !

The National Enquirer (not very trustworthy at all) reports that since Katrina, Preznit Dubya has begun drinking again. He famously quit on his 40th birthday, but the Enquirer insists that recent setbacks have driven him to drink again. Laura has previously delivered an ultimatum - "It's Jim Beam or Me !" Who or which would you choose ? The booze or the Stepford First Lady ?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Taking Advantage of the Poor's Agony

No longer suffering

Here is a portion of an article from the WSJ (subscription required, cheapest access costs about $60) describing how the Republican majority is using Hurricane Katrina to slip in some their favorite strategies (and ripoffs) by stealth:

After Katrina, Republicans
Back a Sea of Conservative Ideas
September 15, 2005; Page B1

"Congressional Republicans, backed by the White House, say they are using relief measures for the hurricane-ravaged Gulf coast to achieve a broad range of conservative economic and social policies, both in the storm zone and beyond.

Some new measures are already taking shape. In the past week, the Bush administration has suspended some union-friendly rules that require federal contractors pay prevailing wages, moved to ease tariffs on Canadian lumber, and allowed more foreign sugar imports to calm rising sugar prices. Just yesterday, it waived some affirmative-action rules for employers with federal contracts in the Gulf region.

Now, Republicans are working on legislation that would limit victims' right to sue, offer vouchers for displaced school children, lift some environment restrictions on new refineries and create tax-advantaged enterprise zones to maximize private-sector participation in recovery and reconstruction. Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would offer sweeping protection against lawsuits to any person or organization that helps Katrina victims without compensation."

This is from a longer rundown in the right wing, conservative Wall Street Journal. These elitists are really taking advantage of all of us for their own profit. They are so shameless it makes one sick.

A Curious Correlation

While discussing race and U.S. politics, Digby compares these two maps:

And this one:
The two maps are really pretty much the same, if you consider the territories as newly opened land that hadn't yet decided which way to go.Apparently by the time they became Red States, their decision was made.The Blue States are the free ones, while the Red are the slave states. The 2004 map is a 180 degree switch from the old Dixiecrat tradition.See what Digby thinks matches up here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Looter Story

Here is the story of Merlene Maten, a 73 year old grandma arrested in Gretna,LA for stealing $63.50 worth of sausage after the storm. To keep her from skipping town,her bail was set at $50,000!Of course,she couldn't post this kind of money, so she stayed in jail for two weeks. Finally, more reasonable thinking prevailed, and she was released.Follow up in USA Today.