Thursday, December 14, 2006

What October Surprise?


There seems to have been none and that's surprising. Unless you count the surprise Rev. Haggard's wife received. Sweet Jesus.

Iran wasn't invaded. Bin Laden wasn't found in the Lincoln bedroom, No US cities or national monuments were blown up. No terrorist plots were uncovered. What's going on? Did the Republicans think the election was so locked up that no Surprise was needed this year?

There were reports of voter intimidation, electronic voting machines malfunctioning, annoying robo phone calls, racist advertisements, but this is just SOP for the RNC so no surprise there.

Rummy resigning was not surprising, unexpected maybe, but because it was a post election event, it didn't affect the outcome. Well, at least not in a way beneficial to Republicans.

So, I'm sad (?) to announce there was no October Surprise. At least none that I or the judges of this old Contest can see.

Or did we miss something?

Monday, September 25, 2006

What's Karl Rove's October Surprise?



Republicans are an ambitious group of fellas. They'll stop at nothing to get elected and they'll let no one get in their way. So when Karl Rove brags about having a secret plan, an "October Surprise", that will guarantee Republican control of both houses of Congress, you gotta wonder - what's he got up his sleeve?

From therawstory.com:
"In the past week, Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders an 'October surprise' to help win the November congressional elections," reports Ronald Kessler for Newsmax.

[...] A few weeks ago, another conservative publication, The American Spectator, reported that White House staffers had "been talking up the possibilities of an 'October Surprise' or two leading into the mid-term elections."

"They say the President feels confident he can still play a role in the election, that he intends to campaign hard for Republicans, and that on the policy front, there are a couple of issues that can be used as wedges along the way," according to a column written by "The Prowler."

I've come up with a few ideas of my own, but enough about me. This is about you! Here's your opportunity to predict what Rove's "October Surprise" might be - and not just because you think you're spot on, nope. There's a $1000 prize to the person who guesses right. Really. I'm not kidding.

Here's how it works: Post your guess in the comments section here - no guess is too outrageous, remember we're predicting how low the Republicans will go to win the November elections. Will they send soldiers into Iran to "fight terror"? Well, that's almost too easy. Perhaps Osama bin Laden will be captured? Or maybe the US will have to invade Iran to catch Osama bin Laden! Now that's creative thinking. Anyhow, you have until midnight September 30th to post your guess.

Then we all get to sit back and see what unfolds. How will you know if you've won? Well, I'm asking a few political savvy friends to help me judge this contest. The most Rovarian event occurring before the election will be the winner. The winning event will be posted on this site by midnight Nov. 7th. If you guessed correctly, you win $1000. If more than one person guessed correctly, the first post wins. So post your Karl Rove October Surprise prediction now!

And remember: On November 7th, vote for your Democratic candidate. Anything less is unpatriotic.

Good Luck!

Raging Gurrl
(double "geh errr")

Photo from AP/World Wide Photos
Newsmax story, "Karl Rove Promises October Surprise" written by Ronald Kessler, can be found here:
October Surprise

View "Right to Life" on YouTube.com


You can now view my short film, "Right to Life", at YouTube.com

A few years ago, as I watched and read the early reports on the Iraq War, I wondered: If the media and our government are reporting victory, then why are American soldiers still fighting and dying? Victory means the conflict ends. So, why are we still there?

While searching for answers, I was taken far, far from the mainstream media where I was horrified by pictures of American and Iraqi casualties. Children with limbs in shreds; mothers pulling out their hair in anguish. And the brave, young and tragically misled American soldiers, lying in the streets, mortally wounded. These images would never be allowed to appear anywhere in the mainstream media. Yet, they truly do need to reach us. Why? Because Americans need to understand what we are doing, why we are increasingly hated by so many, and how we are suffering. So I created a short film that juxtaposed images from the Iraq War with two evangelists’ views on the value of life; I chose this perspective because many members of the religious right are fervent Bush supporters. But, in order to support him, they must ignore their faith. I asked these evangelists preaching on a street corner, a few questions about their beliefs, the war, politics – I was surprised by their answers.

I have so many more questions to ask. I feel that as a “nation under God” we have lost our bearings. Human suffering results when forcing one’s own religious beliefs on others and the evidence can be found in world history. Christianity's teachings of peace, love and tolerance are too easily subjugated by those who crave power.

By exposing the truth, my hope is that we will put the significance of our actions in context so that we can get out of Iraq and heal our wounds. We have created a horrific image of America - the killing needs to end or else it will continue to be what defines us to the rest of the world.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

- Galileo Galilei

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr. Cheney! Stop! You're scaring the children!

Richard Bruce Cheney, you should be ashamed of yourself! Your fear mongering is terrorizing the babies. And do you know what that makes you? Yes, a terrorist!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Salute to Volunteers


After the glow of activist participation has dimmed a few things will come to mind:

One can never thank the volunteers enough.
When planning an action - keep in mind that people are participating by donating their time, personal resources, talent and funds to its success. If you're going to write a summary of the day, ask yourself, have I written a note of thanks to the volunteers yet? If the answer is no, then get those emails written first. Because folks will compromise their schedules to fit these actions in, so while you're sending follow up emails to the new contacts in your Palm Pilot, send a personal thank you note to the volunteers, too.

Volunteers can't live on love-of-country alone.
I've worked on independent film projects where many folks are donating their time and talent for free. We, at the very least, will provide a break for folks to grab a bite or provide lunch, snacks, beverages. If this is not in your schedule, then you haven't planned it through. If you can't do this, then find someone who can.

DO NOT get huffy with volunteers.
You lose your temper, you lose respect. Check acerbic tendencies at the door. Consider yourself Ambassador to VolunteerLandia. If your strength isn't dealing with people, then allow someone else to guide your volunteers.

Just remember that each member's participation is invaluable. Make it a beneficial experience for them as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

People Powered Politics


Net Roots is something you should know about. It's a group of folks gathering in their states, not in person, but online through Google Groups. They've decided to do more than just complain about state and national politics.
For example, take a look at what us New Yorkers had the gall to do recently:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/04/25.html#a8042

Yup, we actually visited our Senators' Offices. I wrote to friends about the stark contrast between our reception at each office and I have to share this response, from a wise friend, with you:
Hillary Clinton's reception (or lack thereof) of the group is a further illustration that she is not much better than her Republican counterparts. If she is the best candidate we have to do battle in 2008, we are in trouble (again). Interesting how the receptionist wanted to know what company these people represented; a further example of who many, if not most, members of congress believe their constituency is.

The Schumer response was much more what I would expect my senator to do.

Regarding Nancy Polosi: I admire her spunk, and side with her positions, but she lacks the ability to deliver an off the cuff speech that can hold the attention of those "not in the choir". Also, her energy message does not tell the complete story. We Americans have been spoiled by cheap gas for ages while citizens of most other nations endure prices up to twice what we pay at the pump. Of course, the pump price is not our actual cost, which comes in the form of higher taxes to protect our access to the oil supply. These other nations have dealt with the real price of energy by using mass transit and driving sensibly sized vehicles. They don't give tax breaks to business owners to offset the cost of a Hummer or Lincoln Navigator, at the expense of every other taxpayer, not to mention their impact on the environment.

If the Democrats are looking for a cause, The Environment is the place to be. Within that subject are issues of the carbon effect on severe weather patterns, national security (energy independence), health and managing personal finances through tough times of energy procurement.

The Republicans will throw up political smoke screens in the form of Anti-gay marriage, Anti-choice, and Anti-immigration initiatives, all in an effort to diffuse the real issues of sustainability and survivability in the competitive global market place. Cogent arguments why environmental issues affect people's lives in real ways, in language understandable by the masses must be presented and the voices of our spokespersons must be heard above din. The concept of Global Warming is not something that is readily understood by most of our citizenry, and new terminolgy must be developed to better advance the message.


Join Net Roots by sending an email to: stateproject@gmail.com, list your state as the subject of your email. You will be added to your state's discussion group. Participate as much or as little as your schedule allows. It's your group. It's your country.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bush is Tracking YOU



Listen up: Bush wants to know who you're calling and emailing...wait, he already knows!
The Times article disclosing the data mining program last December quoted officials in the government and the telecommunications industry who have knowledge of parts of the program as saying the N.S.A. has sought to analyze communications patterns to glean clues from details like who is calling whom, how long a phone call lasts and what time of day it is made, and the origins and destinations of phone calls and e-mail messages. Calls to and from Afghanistan, for instance, are known to have been of particular interest to the N.S.A. since the Sept. 11 attacks, the officials said.

Senator Russell D. Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who is also on both the judiciary and intelligence panels, expressed dismay over what he termed the administration's "arrogance and abuse of power." He said the United States can fight terrorism and still protect privacy, "but only if we have a president who believes in these principles."

We'll have to wait until 2008, Russ.

Excerpt from NY Times article, Written by By John O'Neil
Image By Dan Heller, www.danheller.com

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Republican Governor is in a Jam

Excerpts from article By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A GOP telemarketing firm implicated in two criminal prosecutions involving election dirty tricks got its startup money from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, financial records show.

Barbour's investment company arranged a quarter-million-dollar loan to GOP Marketplace in 2000 and also gave a promotional plug to the telemarketer several months later, according to Virginia corporation records and other documents.

Barbour, who became Mississippi governor in 2003, gushed over the prospects of GOP Marketplace in a company press release in 2000. He predicted it would be profitable and "give Republicans an edge" by using the Internet to buy and sell telemarketing services.

The loan made Barbour and his Washington business partners part owners of the company, the incorporation papers show.

By 2002, federal court records contend, GOP Marketplace president Allen Raymond and the Alexandria, Va.-based company were carrying out political dirty tricks in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Raymond, who once worked for Barbour at the Republican National Committee, is serving a three-month prison term after pleading guilty to arranging for hundreds of hang-up calls in New Hampshire in 2002. The calls jammed Democratic phone lines that were offering people assistance in getting to polling stations in a close U.S. Senate race.

In a New Jersey indictment, prosecutors said Raymond and his company were implicated in a separate scheme to make harassing calls to voters, but neither was indicted. Rather, the indictment charged the losing candidate who hired Raymond. Ex-candidate James Treffinger pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and mail fraud.

GOP Marketplace's New Jersey operation preceded the New Hampshire phone jamming and used a different tactic, prosecutors said. Raymond arranged for annoying "attack ad" calls during the 2002 Super Bowl. The ads attacked a Treffinger opponent, but appeared to come from a third candidate. Treffinger served spent 13 months in prison.

In a company news release from Aug. 7, 2000, announcing the agreement, Barbour praised the company's use of the Internet and described his own role.

"I am convinced that GOP Marketplace will not only be a profitable business, but will also give Republicans an edge in the 2000 elections," he said.

"Campaign managers are always battling time constraints, and GOP Marketplace will clearly save campaigns time. As soon as I heard about the idea, I started pulling together the necessary financing."


Delicious. This jam is sweet and tart.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Phone Jamming II - RNC, Delay, Abramoff Ties?


Just in from The New York Times written by ADAM COHEN

"A Small-Time Crime With Hints of Big-Time Connections Lights Up the Net"

Bloggers are fascinated by what they see as eerie parallels between Watergate and a phone-jamming scandal in New Hampshire. It has low-level Republican operatives involved in dirty campaign tricks. It has checks from donors with murky backgrounds. It has telephone calls to the White House. What is unclear is whether it is the work of a few rogue actors, or something larger.
The parallels drawn with Watergate are a good place to start:

1. The return of the "second-rate burglary." The New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal is being dismissed as small-time, state-level misconduct, but it occurred at a critical moment in a tough election.

In November 2002, Republicans were intent on winning a Senate majority so they would control the White House and both houses of Congress. They saw the Sununu-Shaheen race as pivotal. On Election Day morning, the phone lines were jammed at the Democratic offices and at a get-out-the-vote operation run by a firefighters' union. The police were called, and the lines were eventually freed up. The election wasn't as close as expected. Mr. Sununu won, and Republicans retook the Senate.

2. The return of the high-priced lawyer. Aficionados of the Watergate connection like to point out that one of the first clues that the Watergate burglars were not ordinary small-time crooks was the presence of a slick lawyer in an expensive suit at their first court appearance. In the New Hampshire case, Mr. Tobin was represented by Williams & Connolly, a pre-eminent white-collar criminal law firm. The legal bills, which published estimates have put at more than $2.5 million, were paid by the Republican National Committee. Democrats are asking why the committee footed the bill, if Mr. Tobin was a rogue actor who implicated the national party in a loathsome and embarrassing crime.

3. The return of "follow the money." (As if it ever left.) New Hampshire Democrats pored over the filings of the New Hampshire Republican Party and found three contributions for $5,000 each, all shortly before the election. One was from Americans for a Republican Majority, Tom DeLay's political action committee. The other two were from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, tribes that were clients of Jack Abramoff. Those checks add up almost exactly to the cost of the phone jamming.

Republicans say that a lot of money flows into a campaign and that there is nothing to tie these checks to the phone jamming. But New Hampshire Democrats argue that it is highly unusual for Indian tribes to contribute to a state party in a state that does not have federally recognized Indian tribes or Indian gambling.

4. Does anybody get to ask: "What did they know, and when did they know it?" Democrats would, of course, like to connect the jamming to the White House, and this month they found a possible link. The Senate Majority Project, a pro-Democratic campaign group, examined the phone records that came out in Mr. Tobin's case and found that he made dozens of calls to the White House's office of political affairs right when he was executing the phone-jamming scheme. Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman who was the White House political director at the time, insists that close contact of this kind between political operatives is the norm on Election Day, and that none of the calls mentioned the jamming.

New Hampshire Democrats have filed a civil lawsuit seeking to learn more about what occurred. They want the judge to give them access to e-mail messages that could shed light on the phone calls to the White House, and to let them question officials of the Republican National Committee and the White House. In March, a federal grand jury indicted a fourth person in the jamming scheme, the former co-owner of the Idaho telemarketing firm. The Senate Majority Project has been putting key documents on its Web site (www.senatemajority.com) and is continuing to investigate.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Phone Jamming


From the Associated Press, Written by Larry Margasak
WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

Besides the conviction of Tobin, the Republicans' New England regional director, prosecutors negotiated two plea bargains: one with a New Hampshire Republican Party official and another with the owner of a telemarketing firm [Virginia-based telemarketing firm GOP Marketplace] involved in the scheme. The owner of the subcontractor firm whose employees made the hang-up calls is under indictment.

Repeated hang-up calls that jammed telephone lines at a Democratic get-out-the-vote center occurred in a Senate race in which Republican John Sununu defeated Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, 51 percent to 46 percent, on Nov. 5, 2002.

A Democratic analysis of phone records introduced at Tobin's criminal trial show he made 115 outgoing calls — mostly to the same number in the White House political affairs office — between Sept. 17 and Nov. 22, 2002. Two dozen of the calls were made from 9:28 a.m. the day before the election through 2:17 a.m. the night after the voting.

The phone records show that most calls to the White House were from Tobin, who became President Bush's presidential campaign chairman for the New England region in 2004. Other calls from New Hampshire senatorial campaign offices to the White House could have been made by a number of people.

A GOP campaign consultant in 2002, Jayne Millerick, made a 17-minute call to the White House on Election Day, but said in an interview she did not recall the subject. Millerick, who later became the New Hampshire GOP chairwoman, said in an interview she did not learn of the jamming until after the election.

Virtually all the calls to the White House went to the same number, which currently rings inside the political affairs office. In 2002, White House political affairs was led by now-RNC chairman Ken Mehlman. The White House declined to say which staffer was assigned that phone number in 2002.

While national Republican officials have said they deplore such operations, the Republican National Committee said it paid for Tobin's defense because he is a longtime supporter and told officials he had committed no crime.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Happy Holiday


Attend a feast, hunt for eggs, or go on a quest for chocolate bunnies and sweet chicks.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Now That's a Spicy Meatball!


From The Sunday Times wriiten by Michael Smith
TWO employees of the Niger embassy in Rome were responsible for the forgery of a notorious set of documents used to help justify the Iraq war, an official investigation has allegedly found.

According to Nato sources, the investigation has evidence that Niger’s consul and its ambassador’s personal assistant faked a contract to show Saddam Hussein had bought uranium ore from the impoverished west African country.

The documents, which emerged in 2002, were used in a US State Department fact sheet on Iraq’s weapons programme to build the case for war. They were denounced as forgeries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shortly before the 2003 invasion.

Can't wait to hear how deep this rabbit hole is :-D

photograph by Eric Staudenmaier

Thursday, April 06, 2006

...Like a Sieve


From the National Journal, written by Murray Waas:

Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff has testified that President Bush authorized him to disclose the contents of a highly classified intelligence assessment to the media to defend the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq, according to papers filed in federal court on Wednesday by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case.

Libby also testified that an administration lawyer told him that Bush, by authorizing the disclosure of classified information, had in effect declassified the information. Legal experts disagree on whether the president has the authority to declassify information on his own.
The White House had no immediate reaction to the court filing.

Damn those pesky leakers - where are those traitors hiding? Gotta round 'em up, yessir.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

There's nothing worse than...what?


Before the taped interview on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, the host and guest Tom Delay had an off camera chat:

MATTHEWS: Have you seen this new focus group stuff on the candidates?

DELAY: No I haven’t

MATTHEWS: It’s great stuff. I’ll send it to you — it’s great — yeah it’s great stuff. Hillary, John Kerry. All these guys, all these Democrats, and how they do. And, uh, Frank Luntz did it…

DELAY: who I like

MATTHEWS: …and Hillary did not do well. Kerry did well.

DELAY: You’re kidding.

MATTHEWS: I am NOT kidding. They didn’t like Edwards — they thought he was a rich lawyer, pretending to care about poor people...

DELAY: Too slick. Too slick.

MATTHEWS: …and Hillary was a know-it-all.

DELAY: Nothing worse than a woman know-it-all.


Oh yes there is. You're worse than any one ever thought, Tom Delay. A cheat, liar and hypocrite. And Chris, you're no better, for kissing up to this moron on your show.

Wonder what Hardball's advertisers think about this. Let's give them a call, shall we?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

God Damn, this Ad is Funny!













What do you think?


"Right to Life" now on BUSH FLASH!


You can now view my film, "Right to Life", at BUSHFLASH.com
While you're at this site, check out their videos and flash animation. Some powerful stuff here - Democrats would be wise to employ the authors of this site in upcoming election advertisements and campaigns.

A Concise, Composed, and Coherent argument for Impeachment.

Scrutiny is Still an Option
Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

By Dan DeWalt / Author of a successful town resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

On March 7, 2006 townspeople crowded into the 19th-century Union Hall in Newfane, Vermont for their annual town meeting -- one of America's last expressions of direct democracy. As the wood stove warmed the old hall, the voters dealt with town matters and then turned to a resolution of national importance. When the debate ended, the Newfane citizens overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the United States Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush -- a vote also passed by four other Vermont towns that day.

Now as calls for impeachment begin to sound across America, some, especially those in the elite media establishment, belittle our efforts, writing them off as merely political, spurious or at best premature. They ask, what right do small Vermont towns have to weigh in on a question of such magnitude? Who are we to cast our sights beyond the demands of our roads, bridges or annual school budget?

As a Vermont citizen and a Newfane Town Selectman, I’d like to respond.

Vermonters are asking a different set of questions. We see boys and girls, men and women from across our state, falling one by one, coming home to somber burials or partial rehabilitation. We see that the torture of captives has become official administration policy, and as a result our nation is now reviled and despised across the globe. We see an administration that spies upon our Quaker pacifists in the name of fighting "terror." We see a crumbling national infrastructure, inept and under-equipped to respond to natural disasters, and heavier financial burdens placed upon those who can least afford it, all because of the hundreds of billions of dollars being drained by this administration’s failing effort to place its crusading imprint upon an unwilling people who had nothing to do with the terrorism that has been visited upon us.

A growing number of patriotic Americans from coast to coast have joined Vermonters in asking: If it's not a crime to lie to the nation about Iraq's ties to 9/11, and use those lies to instigate a war, contrary to international law, what is? If warrant less wiretaps of Americans, in direct violation of the FISA Act of 1978, is not a crime, what is? If breaking our treaty obligations with respect to the treatment of military and civilian prisoners — obligations which, according to our Constitution, are to be the supreme law of the land — is not a crime, what is?

We ask how any American loyal to the Constitution and the laws that make us a nation could not call for a complete congressional investigation into the alleged crimes of this administration? How can any American with a sense of morality, anyone who professes to adhere to religious principles, not insist that the deceit and the violence must cease?

Every day, our moral standing in the eyes of the world is further debased. Every day that we acquiesce to these actions of our government, we debase ourselves and make ourselves unfit to be called Americans.

The worst failing of any nation is when its citizens no longer scrutinize their government. Today, whether because of apathy, distraction or exhaustion, we are not paying attention. It will be at our peril if our awakening comes only after the government has consolidated its hold on power, and we find that scrutiny is no longer an option.

Dan DeWalt is a woodworker and select board member in the town of Newfane, Vermont, and the author of a successful town resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

 

Monday, March 27, 2006

Provoking Spin

This makes my head spin...

Excerpt from the NY Times regarding a recently released memo from Tony Blair's office:

The memo indicates "that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein."

The United States as Rodeo Clown? We're in the attack provoking business, Yee haw.

News Flash

Mr. President - The Press is not responsible for how this war is turning out and that excuse for your incompetency just won't work this time. Remember, these are the same people you used when the Mission was Accomplished and purple fingers were all the rage. It was convenient to have them around then, but now...not so much.

If I were the press, I'd feel a little...used, right now. I mean, you guys were so close, for YEARS. And they were kind to you, would do anything to please you. How can you be so fickle after all they've done?

You cad.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Tune In: CSPAN2, at 4pm EST

Senator Russ Feingold will introduce his Censure Resolution today in the Senate at 4pm broadcast on C-SPAN2.
I'll be giving him a standing ovation in my living room. This man is a Patriot.

Could it be that we really do live in the Home of the Brave?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hypocrisy Now: Abortion – All Wrong for America, Selectively Right for America’s New Nuclear buddy, India.

In the world’s largest democracy, it is legal to abort a fetus, but not if the abortion is performed to terminate the pregnancy of a mother carrying a female child. Despite this anti-female foeticide law, which is not very popular because it prevents would-be parents of girls from aborting children who would be a burden to them - you know, dowries and all that - abortions for this purpose are rampant in India. In fact, this practice is so well known that Indians living abroad return there for the sole purpose of having this procedure performed.

So, during my latest sleepless night, I tossed and turned thinking about how hard our President works to protect the life of the unborn child, but puts no pressure on our newest nuclear partner to enforce their abortion law. If Bush and his congressional cohorts could spend just one fifth of the time saving the lives of the already born (instead of saving fetuses, abandoned embryos and those in persistent vegetative states) I might be able to forgive him for all his other sins (I said might).

In that forward thinking state of South Dakota it is now illegal to perform an abortion for any reason except to save the life of the expectant mom. This means pregnancies resulting from rape or incest would have to be brought to term, unless the mother had some ill-will toward the perpetrator and travels to another state (or in the near future another country*) to perform this procedure. You mean women might not want to have the child of her rapist?

*This will certainly be the first real test of Roe v Wade for the Bush shaped U.S. Supreme Court in the next several months. I’m not anticipating too many restful nights thinking about how that might turn out.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Delay Delayed - But Not Stopped

The registered Republicans of Tom Delay’s district, have shown confidence in their swaggering savior by approving him as their candidate for a twelfth congressional term.

Was it the moral high ground taken by Mr. Delay in his dealings with Jack Abramoff that earned him 62% of voting GOPers? Ignoring an indictment by the state of Texas for money laundering, golf junkets with the aforementioned lobbyist paid for by Choctaw Indian and internet gambling interests, these enlightened voters rejected calls from primary opponents to take integrity into consideration before pulling the lever. The money laundering was in connection with circumventing the law prohibiting corporate contributions to candidates in state elections.

My take on this is that loyal party hacks that always vote in a primary, vs. the wider electorate, wished to reward the man (who’s reputation has won him the handle of “The Hammer”), for his supreme effort to rid the state legislature of that pesky Democratic opposition. Delay went the extra mile to prevent those endangered Democrats from leaving the state to avoid the quorum needed for Republicans to accomplish their dastardly deed. The gerrymandering that resulted would make even Gerry roll over in his grave.

In the general elections this November, Mr. Delay’s district will have to decide on a Democrat who lost his seat in one of the Hammer’s redistricting efforts, or to give Delay another chance to wreak havoc with democracy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Democracy NOW!



From their Website:

Democracy Now!'s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, the War and Peace Report hosts real debates - debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeopleon the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other.

For true democracy to work, people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information.

But the last two decades have seen unprecedented corporate media consolidation. The U.S. media was already fairly homogenous in the early 80s: some fifty media conglomerates dominated all media outlets, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, music, publishing and film. In the year 2000, just six corporations dominated the U.S. media.

In addition, corporate media outlets in the U.S. are legally responsible to their shareholders to maximize profits.

And U.S. “public” media outlets accept funding from major corporations, as well as from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Every Corporation for Public Broadcasting board member is appointed by the White House and confirmed by the Senate.

Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, donations from corporations, or donations from governments. This allows us to maintain our independence.

Monday, February 27, 2006

P=MI

Power=Money(Influence)

The religious ferocity of Bush supporters predisposes them for his style of leadership: Do not question, just believe.

There will be a time to reexamine our government's funding for these right-wing religious organizations. Restoring funding to pre-2000 levels, when they were nearly bankrupt, is a good place to start.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush Didn't Know about the Dubai Ports Deal

The excuse that Bush "didn't know" about the sale might help him form his defense after terrorists blow up a few ports, but for now, his statement shows how disconnected and derelict he is in his duties as President. It is irresponsible to not know that American ports are scheduled to be operated by a country with ties to al Queda.

Yet he is able to ascertain in a matter of days that the deal poses no threat to national security. And he's so confident, he'll veto any legislation that blocks this sale. Now that is scary.

It's also unnerving that the White House agencies' "extensive" review process for this sale lasted approximately 30 days, over two weeks short of the 45 day review period that is required when a company is owned by a foreign government. This mandate also comes into play when the sale "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S."

Bush claims that he consulted with those who report to him, asked their opinion about the transaction and was satisfied with their answers. He then draws a line in the sand: "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company." A two minute Google search could help you figure that one out on your own. But alas, poor George, you can't help yourself. You were born with a silver thumb up your butt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Sell Out

This is interesting: We've just sold the operations of port facilities in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore and Miami to the United Arab Emeritus.

This is a bit strange, no? It really does sound like the beginnings of some Crazed-Karl Rove plan. Think about it. We all know that this administration and its supporters want more power. What better way to do this than scare Americans into submission.

Let's connect the dots...
.
.
The United Arab Emeritus provided significant money and support to al Queda, including the terrorists responsible for 9-11.
.
The United Arab Emeritus owns Dubai Ports World.
.
John Snow, Chairman of a CSX rail firm, sells his company's international port operations to Dubai Ports World for $1.15 billion in 2004.
.
George W. Bush appoints John Snow as Secretary of The Department of the Treasury.
.
In 2006, Secretary John Snow approves the deal to sell OUR port operations to Dubai Ports World for $6.8 billion.
.
David Sanborn runs Dubai Ports World's European and Latin American operations.
.
George W. Bush appoints David Sanborn as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration.
.
.
Hmm. The players seem to be in place.
.
So when our ports are blown up:

...Americans will fear for their lives (particularly those who live in the blue states.)
...Port access will be cut off because of security issues.
...Military and private security contractors will be called on to patrol our streets and coastlines for our own protection.
.
Mission Accomplished

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Essence of the Problem:

Radical Religious Fundamentalists. They willingly abandon God and the core principles of their faith in exchange for power.

So when are the Democrats going to shine a bright light on these zealots in the Republican party? They should begin by asking someone like Rev. Lowery to lead the campaign to demonstrate what true Christians believe and to challenge the hypocrites in the Republican party. Lets start with "Thou shalt not kill" - and here's a short video commentary on this subject:

http://video.download.com/3800-11431_53-8680.html?tag=vdl_cntnt_col1_rslt_name

These fanatics will present the most far fetched arguments to rationalize Bush's failures - it would be comical if they weren't so dangerous.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Right to Life

As I watched and read the early reports on the Iraq War, I wondered: If the media and our government are reporting victory, then why are American soldiers still fighting and dying? Victory means the conflict ends. So, why are we still there?

So I searched for answers and was horrified when I came across pictures of American and Iraqi casualties. Children with limbs in shreds; mothers pulling out their hair in anguish. And the brave, young and tragically misled American soldiers, lying in the streets, mortally wounded. These images would never be allowed to appear anywhere in the mainstream media. Yet, they truly do need to reach us; Americans need to understand what we are doing, why we are increasingly hated by so many, and how we are suffering. So I created a short film that juxtaposed images from the Iraq War with two evangelists’ views on the value of life; I chose this perspective because many members of the religious right are fervent Bush supporters. But to support him, they must ignore their faith. I asked these evangelists preaching on a street corner a few questions about their beliefs, the war, politics – I was surprised at their answers.

I have so many more questions to ask. I feel that as a “Nation under God” we have lost our bearings. Human suffering is inevitable when forcing one’s religious beliefs onto others and the evidence can be found in history. Christianity's true message of peace, love, tolerance, is too easily subjugated by the need for power.

My hope is that we can put the significance of our actions in context so that we can get out of Iraq and mend our own horrific image. The killing needs to end or else it will continue to be what defines us to the rest of the world.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Democrats and Elephants

Unlike most other animals on the savanna, the Democrat thinks he can survive on his own. When a stampeding herd of Elephants turns towards him, he is frozen with fear. He's unarmed and alone.

No one survives on the savanna by themselves and neither will he, until he joins with others. He must defend his fellow Democrats as strongly as he'd defend himself, because every member of the tribe is needed to take down the beast.

We need a leader to bring these nomads together - because I think they do want to survive, but don't know how.