Saturday, February 09, 2008

Republican Election Tactics That Scare You Into Voting GOP

Published on Saturday, February 9, 2008 by

The Right-Wing: SOL

by Guy Reel

Writing in The New York Post, Charles Hurt noted that conservative Republicans fear John McCain will make a left turn if elected. “He will,” they suspect, “return to his lifelong positions as soft on illegal immigration, skeptical of tax cuts and favoring strong federal control over things like campaign financing.”

Wow. God forbid that we might stop the insanity of tax cuts for millionaires when we’re facing trillions in debt, largely a result of reckless Republican borrowing from countries like China and Saudi Arabia. God forbid that we might have someone “soft” on illegal immigration (that is, someone uneasy about rounding up and deporting 11 million people and turning American into a police state at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars). And God forbid that we might attempt to address a campaign finance system that is utterly corrupt and corrupting.

Later, McCain was booed at the Conservative Political Action Conference for not being outrageously narrow-minded and homogenous enough. Many in the right wing say they would rather have - gasp! - Hillary Clinton in the White house than allow for the possibility that any nuance whatsoever exists in the Republican Party. Some commentators, in a nice display of their idea of patriotism, said that after Hillary destroys the country, Republicans can win indefinitely after that, so it won’t be so bad. Hmm. You mean after she gets us into an optional war, runs up trillions in debt and sits by idly smirking while eco-systems and coastlines face extinction?

Oh wait, that’s what the last guy did.

But all of this isn’t surprising coming from the right-wing extremists. Though they claim otherwise, their positions are rarely about right and wrong. They’re about what wins them elections. In fact, many of the right’s policies are directly contrary to the national interest and they hurt America. But in some way, the Republican Party usually benefits from them because the policy either a) hurts Democrats or b) allows the wealthiest to line their own pockets at the people’s expense.

It’s sad that we have a large portion of a political party that will choose their narrow worldview over the national interest. And, given the ideology of the most venal among them, candidates must vow to sacrifice the future of America in order to win their support. Why? Well, because they’re fighting liberals and Democrats!

This became crashingly apparent, if it wasn’t already, from the “farewell” speech of Mitt Romney. In disgraceful display of counterfeit patriotism, Romney claimed he was withdrawing from the race for the good of America because of the horrible things that might happen if a Democrat wins in November. Setting aside the pious, petty and obviously phony rationale - everyone knows Romney dropped out because he was such a bogus purveyor of mixed messages that he couldn’t even beat a guy who’s loathed by the very people that Romney genuflects before - his speech amounted to little more than an egregious display of anti-American partisanship. Oh, but that’s what these people love. It’s all about hating liberals and Democrats, you see, not about Republican policies that have overextended the nation’s military, ignored the health of millions of children and mortgaged the future to China.

Romney is among the nastiest of those right-wingers who employ what I call the SOL strategy - suppress, obstruct and lie.

It goes like this:

1) Suppress the vote because in fair elections with large turnouts, Republicans can’t win. Here’s a dirty little secret: most people don’t agree with policies that hurt America - even if they do hurt gays or the poor. So, under this part of the strategy, we see such frauds as “voter i.d. cards” that affect only the elderly or the poor - those who are mostly likely to vote Democratic - and that solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Or, we see the purging of voter roles (Florida 2000) that remove perfectly eligible voters.

2) Obstruct the passage of legislation that may actually improve the quality of people’s lives, even if it is supported by the vast majority of voters. (See SCHIP.) This strategy allows them to argue that “government doesn’t work,” another lie that allows outsourcing to private industry which almost always proves more costly, less efficient and less accountable than government programs. Sure, there’s waste in government; but don’t you think there’s waste, fraud, greed and criminal activity in private industry? Take a look at the outsourcing for war profiteers in Iraq. The Republicans actually love big government when it allows them to line their own pockets - just don’t ask any questions about where the money goes.

3) Lie about their own message; lie about the Democrats’. Romney is a dissembling machine in this area - look at his goodbye speech. He loves to say Democrats want to wave the “white flag of surrender” in Iraq and in the war on terror. Never mind that no Democrat has ever advocated anything of the kind; rather, the fact is, the war on terror has been severely damaged by the war in Iraq - ask any national security specialist, including those in the Bush administration. Republicans employ this strategy on a whole host of issues, from gay marriage to gun control to health care to flag burning. For example, the Republican candidates keep saying Democratic candidates want “socialized medicine.” Not even close. They say the Democrats are for gay marriage. Um, no. Some Democrats may support civil unions, but most Democratic candidates do not support gay marriage. Guess who signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to ignore gay marriages sanctioned in other states? (Hint: it was another person named Clinton.) Another favorite whopper - “Democrats want to take away your guns!” Nope. While some may want to ban, say, assault weapons in schools, nearly all mainstream Democratic candidates support the use of firearms for hunting or protection. Just recently I heard the right-wing’s favorite theory about the Clinton campaign - that it was trying to appeal to the racist Democrats in order to stop Sen. Barack Obama. Um, actually, if there was any racial undertone there, it was about trying to make the point that Obama might have problems in the general election because of the racist right-wingers. All of these are classic propaganda devices - create false issues and accuse your opponent of being extreme to hide your own extremism. (When was the last time you saw somebody burn a flag?)

Sigh. One has to admit that the strategy has been successful - successful in electing Republicans. Never mind that America’s economy, armed forces, health care, natural resources, educational system, deficits and foreign alliances have all been made worse over the last seven years. That doesn’t matter, you see; they believe the country must be destroyed in order to save it - from the Democrats.

Guy Reel is an assistant professor of mass communication at Winthrop University. He can be reached at

The Telecoms, FISA, And Amnesty For Illegal Spying

  This has got to be my pet peeves, I think. It just galls the fuck out of me that I, and you, have been paying our phone providers every month just for them to spy on us and turn all of our records over to the Bush Crime Syndicate! I use to have cell service with Verizon but canceled it over a bill dispute so I went to ATT. Was that a big mistake or what? But you and I did not know, at the time that I changed providers, that we were be eaves-dropped on. That our SMS's were being read or that our emails were being stored in someone's database somewhere. Rumor has it that a bill is supposed to be introduced this month, by Republicans, that would make it okay for our government to monitor the entire Internet! This would be passed due to worries that cyber-terrorist might destroy our banking system somehow or some other large financial institutions. Of  course, The rumor is also that the Internet would become a playground for the U.S. Military. Do we really need this? I think not.

  Back to the telecoms and the Bush administration.

There simply is no separation between these corporations and the military and intelligence agencies of the Federal Government. They meet and plan and agree so frequently, and at such high levels, that they practically form a consortium. Just in Nacchio's limited and redacted disclosures, there are descriptions of numerous pre-9/11 meetings between the largest telecoms and multiple Bush national security officials, including Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke.

The top telecom officials are devoting substantial amounts of their energy to working on highly classified telecom projects with the Bush administration, including projects to develop whole new joint networks and ensure unfettered governmental access to those networks. Before joining the administration as its Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell spearheaded the efforts on behalf of telecoms to massively increase the cooperation between the Federal Government and the telecom industry.

The private/public distinction here has eroded almost completely. There is no governmental oversight or regulation of these companies. Quite the contrary, they work in secret and in tandem -- as one consortium -- with no oversight at all.   Source

  If you wish to learn a little bit more about the FISA/amnesty bill and its impact on you, then I suggest reading THIS from the ACLU and/or this concerning one of the lawsuits against AT&T.

    More:   Later On      Reclaim the Media    FISA     Protect America Act

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John McCain

  As many of you know, the GOP is now bound and determined to have Senator McCain as their next leader, which is their right. However, it is not within their right to set this man up as the leader of our country. If they want this old man as a president, then they might as well keep Bush in, since it would be the same old song and dance for another four years. It might even be worse. Much worse.

   The media is making a big deal of McCain's war record and his stint as a Prisoner Of War. He did his thing in service to our country, which is all well and good. That does not guarantee that he will be a good president. Just look at Bush as an example. He went to the better schools and all of that bullshit and even got himself an M.B.A.  at a grade of " c." The better schools,and daddy's money still did not make him any smarter. Most of you know that pretty much every business that Bush has ever been involved with has been a failure, just like his time in the White House has been a failure. Does this country really need/want more of this shit? I know that I do not. I really do not care for either of the Democrats that we have to choose from either. Once again, the media and the corporations have given you and I our choices. The Democratic choices are once again the lesser of two evils. What a choice. I seriously doubt that we even get to choose among our chosen ones any more. I think that our next president has already been decided and that you and I get to vote anymore just to make us feel like we have a say in the matter.

  Back to Senator McCain. I would have actually voted for this man back in 2000 and I have supported him up until the he and Bush agreed on the torture ban.

McCain said.

"We've sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists. We have no grief for them, but what we are is a nation that upholds values and standards of behavior and treatment of all people, no matter how evil or bad they are," McCain said. "I think that this will help us enormously in winning the war for the hearts and minds of people throughout the world in the war on terror."      Source

  As we all know, this agreement on the torture bill turned out to be nothing more than show for the public as McCain pretty much went along with Bush on everything that Bush said to go along with. McCain was doing nothing but playing theatre with the American public.

  Another reason that McCain should not be the president is, simply, that he is to damned old! We do not need another old fart who is near his end to be sitting in the White House running our country. Come on now! Let's get a younger person in the chair for once. I don't mean Obama or Clinton as I have no use for these two either. McCain is just to old to be sitting in the White House, getting hot-headed and impatient and having to make quick decisions on important matters.

   Did I say hot-headed?

    McCain's political colleagues, however, know another side of the action hero - a volatile man with a hair-trigger temper, who shouted at Senator Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor to "shut up", and called fellow Republican senators "shithead ... fucking jerk ... asshole". A few months ago, McCain suddenly rushed up to a friend of mine, a prominent Washington lawyer, at a social event, and threatened to beat him up because he represented a client McCain happened to dislike. Then, just as suddenly, profusely and tearfully, he apologised.  

Many Republicans who have had dealings with McCain distrust him (not just conservatives but traditional Republican moderates too). While taking rightwing positions on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, his simmering resentment of Bush led him virtually to caucus with the Democrats in early 2001 (before September 11). Then, abruptly, he rushed to embrace Bush.      Source

    Though McCain can still get up and move around, he has lost something in his life. That would be the life itself. he's gotten older and it shows when you look at him closely while he is giving a speech. He is distant and this country does not need some like this inside the White House. Plus, he will always be tied to George Bush and his policies. Enough is enough.

   Do what is best for this country John McCain. Go back to Arizona, retire, and have a few drinks because you did very well while you could.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Harry Reid And The Suicidal Democrats

Published on Friday, February 8, 2008 by

Particide in Six Easy Steps: Diligent Democrats Demonstrate Dumbness Daily

by David Michael Green

Suppose you had a political party you were trying to get rid of. How would you do it?

Would you give it some cement shoes and toss it into the bay? Would you roll it up in a carpet and drag it into the trunk of your car in the middle of the night? Would you put out a contract on it?

If the latter sounds appealing, no need to get your hands dirty messing with any nasty mob guys from Jersey. I know some very upstanding establishment folks who’ve perfected a killer formula (pun intended) for particide. They’re called Democrats, and they know how to get the job done right.

In fact, they’ve demonstrated it again for the umpteenth time just as I’m writing these words. Yesterday, that tough guy Harry Reid laid down the law for congressional Republicans thinking he wouldn’t play hardball on the much-needed economic stimulus package now working its way through Congress. He told them: “Well, I think that if they think this is a bluff, wait until we have this vote and they’ll find out if it’s a bluff. I’m not much of a bluffer.” Then, today, he completely caved into their pressure on the bill, proving - though perhaps not quite in the manner he intended - that he is in fact not much of a bluffer, after all, even if he is from Nevada. Nor, as it turns out, is he much of a negotiator either.

Yep, ladies and gentlemen, if it’s particide you’re after, Reid and his fellow Democrats would be happy to show you how it’s done. It’s pretty simple, really. There are just six easy steps that you need to follow to take out a political party that’s grown a bit, shall we say, inconvenient.

First of all, make sure it does nothing. If you’re looking for a good way to anger voters, here’s the best. Have them send you to Congress to address a host of their urgent concerns. Let them invest their full faith in you to rescue them from all the effects of a country gone completely off the rails. Let them believe and let them hope. Then do nothing. Crush their pedestrian little dreams in your blood-soaked hands by protecting corporate interests instead. Spend two years racking up not a single notable legislative accomplishment, and then go before the voters asking for another term. They’ll remember your name.

A second excellent technique is to fail to block the worst tendencies of the worst president ever, the very mission you were most entrusted with by the voters. If they hate this president’s stinking war, make sure you give him the money for it every time he asks. Send all his reactionary nominees to the Supreme Court after they mock you in bullshit hearings. Yeah, go ahead. Allow a supporter of torture and Constitution-shredding to become the highest law enforcement officer in the land. Etc., etc. Get it? Sure, you can go through the motions of opposition, but at the end of the day, be sure to bungle it so badly that you leave everybody scratching their heads and wondering which party actually controls Congress.

Next, while you’re at it, don’t do anything to make this hated president and his administration accountable for their manifold crimes of the century. Treat them as though they’ve got pictures of you in some airport men’s room somewhere that they’re threatening to release if you dare do anything remotely resembling oversight (or patriotism). Let these guys absolutely run rampant thrashing the republic in every imaginable way, while you sit on top of your congressional majority abdicating any responsibility for protecting the people who sent you there to protect them. Show the public how tough you can be by investigating the use of steroids in baseball, while lies about war and illegal phone-tapping and torture and suspension of habeas corpus go ignored. Keep your priorities straight and you’re guaranteed to score points with the voters, for sure.

Of course, not only must you fail to oppose an insane kleptocratic dictator, but it’s crucial that you also have absolutely no program or ideas of your own to offer. I mean, who can’t never not get no excitement going about nothing? Er, something like that… Anyhow, the point is that a political party without ideas is like a car without wheels. And it will go just about as far, too. If you want to get rid of your party, be sure to be about nothing whatsoever.

And yet, even while trying to be the Seinfeld of political parties, you will no doubt sometimes accidentally advance some sort of popular idea or another, despite yourself. You know, like a million monkeys at a keyboard… When these inadvertently beneficial bills are immediately destroyed by the obstructionist minority party - who continually overuse and abuse parliamentary tactics you (of course) never dreamed of all those years when you were in the minority - make sure that nobody in the voting public knows about it. You could run around screaming about them continually blocking you from doing the people’s business, but that would only increase public sympathy for you. And since you’re trying to kill your party, you surely won’t want to do that. No, like a good Democrat, you want to make sure the other guys never have to pay for their crimes.

Finally, one of the very best things you can do to destroy a political party is to avoid at all costs articulating an alternative narrative. Play ball on their turf! Let the other guys define the issues, frame the discussion, and paint you in the worst possible light - as deviants, traitors, cowards and haters of your own country! Now you’re talkin’, my friend. You want your house robbed right? Hand the door key to the thieves! You want your car crashed properly? Park it on railroad tracks! You want your party rubbed out completely? Let the other guys make the rules, fool! Heck, if you really want to make sure of your party’s demise, you can even encourage them steal elections you’ve actually won! It worked in Florida and Ohio!

If these six steps seem like a ridiculously reliable way to destroy a political party, that’s because they are. Still, they may not be entirely infallible. This year will be the acid test.

The good folks running the Democratic Party have assiduously followed the above formula to the letter, carefully dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’. But damned if the recalcitrant right isn’t failing to play ball! What’s up with that? Have Republicans become so intractable nowadays that they’re even blocking the Democrats’ own self-induced demise? Is destruction obstruction the latest GOP game?

Or are Republicans just following their own particide formula, which - needless to say, like everything they do - is more disciplined and effective than even this fine blueprint belonging to Dumb Dems’? It kinda looks like it, after all. Consider their prescription: Take the biggest surplus in the history of the federal government and turn it into the biggest deficit. Fight a hugely unpopular war. Get caught lying about the rationale for it. Block efforts to save the planet from a looming environmental crisis, while pretending it isn’t real. Allow religious crazies to deny effective medical treatment to suffering humans in order to protect about-to-be-destroyed blastocysts. Get caught in all manner of corruption and sexual ‘deviancy’ while interminably preaching your own holier-than-thou sanctimonious purity. Shred the Constitution in every way imaginable. Load the government up with every incompetent low-wattage political hack you can find stuck behind a church pew somewhere. Make the whole world hate us. Use the federal government to prosecute people on the basis of their party affiliation. Stand by and watch one of the country’s major cities drown. Destroy a foreign country. Destroy the middle class of your own country. Be asleep at the wheel (at best) when the country is attacked. Fail to come even close to winning a war against the people you blame for that attack. And so on…

Quite a litany, eh? Yet, for all their best efforts, Republicans still can’t seem to get the Democrats to put the GOP out of its stinking misery. Still can’t get them to investigate. Still can’t get them to impeach. Still can’t get them to win. So now Republicans have brought out the big guns, engineering what looks like a massive economic recession on top of everything else. And they’re throwing people out of their homes in droves so that Wall Street can profit even more. Right before an election, too!

Yes, indeed. These guys aren’t messing around. Democrats seeking to kill their party are going to have to work extra hard in 2008, that’s for sure! Six steps may not be enough. If Democrats want to rub themselves out this year, they may need a seventh.

Get on their knees and beg the public not to vote for them? Nah. Too subtle.

Change their name to the Socialist Party? Nah. It might actually increase their share of votes.

Have their own sex scandals? Nah. Been there, done that.

Something else is going to be required to kill the party off for sure this year.

Oh, I know! They could nominate Hillary Clinton!

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers’ reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be found at his website,

An Eye On Washington

  I am letting you know that over this coming weekend, this site will be changing its name. Why is this happening? A couple of reasons, but the main one being that I feel that our elections in November are irrelevant and that the winner has been decided already no matter your vote. Another reason is the fact that our country is under siege by terrorist within our government and our corporations, not from the middle east so much. Our government is the biggest worry that we have at the present time and you, the reader, need to realize this.

  For the most part, this site will be dealing mostly with things such as the FISA Bill, Protect America Act, and other subjects which deal with you're civil rights as well as the constitutional ones. What is our government up to, our corporations, our neighbors? You and I are getting fucked in this country, one which I love and cherish and we cannot allow our government to keep fucking us up!

   The 90% of you who pay no attention to life, need to get your heads our of your asses while you still can, and wake the fuck up!

   This may turn out to be a reality-based soap opera for the Internet seeing that this country appears to be in one.  This is your life!

   Welcome to " An American Gothic ".

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Deficient Kevlar in Military Helmets Cost Company A Slap On The Wrist $2 Million

  This is just one more example Of the Bush Administrations support of the U.S. troops.

  Sioux Manufacturing, a manufacturer based in Fort Totten, North Dakota, has agreed to a payment of $2 million to settle a lawsuit which says that the company pretty much was manufacturing helmets for the military that was not made to standards. 2.2 million helmets went onto the heads of our first troops who went to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  What really sucks with this is the fact that just 12 before this settlement was announced, the company had received a new $74 million contract to make helmets which are to replace some of the older ones! The old ones were made from the late 80's up until last year.


     At the core of the investigation was the contention by two former plant managers that Kevlar woven at Sioux failed to meet the government’s “critical” minimum standard of 35 by 35 threads a square inch.

When properly woven, Kevlar, a polymer thread made by Dupont, is stronger than steel, and able to deflect shrapnel and some bullets. Government regulations call for rejecting Kevlar below the 35-by-35 standard.

The company “was underweaving,” Mr. Wrigley said.

“That is undebatable,” he said.

The factory’s own inspection records often showed weaves of 34 by 34 threads or as low as 32 by 34 and 33 by 34. Looms were “always set for 34 by 34, always,” said Jeff Kenner, who operated and repaired the looms and oversaw crews on all three shifts.

In a statement, the company president, Carl R. McKay, denied “any and all of the allegations originally brought to the attention of the Department of Justice by disgruntled ex-employees.”     READ MORE

  This was a whistle-blower lawsuit which was seeking $156 million, so $2million is a very tiny slap on the wrist. Business as is usual for the Bush Crime Syndicate.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Will Congress Allow More Spying By Bush?

   You know my thought on this so I'll just let you read a little more on the FISA subject, written by Ari Melber over at The Nation.

posted February 5, 2008

Will the Senate OK More Bush Spying?

Ari Melber

This week Americans face a profound choice--and it has nothing to do with the presidential election.

The Senate is about to vote on legislation, favored by President Bush, to strip American courts of their authority to supervise massive government surveillance. The Senate intelligence bill sidelines the US intelligence court, established by a 1978 law, and grants Bush new spying powers. Under the proposal, the Administration merely needs to "certify" it will not abuse them.

Of course, Bush already has abused his spying powers. He conceded in 2005 that the Administration conducted massive surveillance without the warrants required by law. A judge resigned in protest; Bush's former attorney general, his deputy attorney general and the FBI director also threatened to resign; and one federal court found the warrantless spying illegal.

Yet the Senate's legislation fails to confront that history. Instead, Democratic leaders are poised to validate Bush's illegal surveillance--giving even more ground than the Republican Congress ever did. Worse, the current bill would cover up Bush's abuse by granting retroactive amnesty to telecommunications companies accused of breaking the law, even if the people involved acted knowingly or maliciously.

The retroactive amnesty proposal is so extreme, in fact, it is hard to fathom how Congress, as a law-making body, can advance this blatantly lawless approach. This amnesty makes presidential pardons look tough. While pardons save convicted felons from jail, a controversial tack, they still require a full public trial. Retroactive amnesty just squashes entire cases. No investigation. No judicial fact-finding. And the public gets no information about these alleged crimes at the highest levels of American government and business. What if the spying was abused to distort elections or pad corporate profits? The bill would keep the public in the dark.

The intelligence bill is not just unpalatable; it is indefensible on the facts. That may be why the Senate is pushing the bill now, during the distractions of the busiest week in presidential politics. (The ACLU, MoveOn and liberal bloggers have also been fighting the bill, causing some delays and fortifying efforts by Senators Feingold and Dodd to amend it this week.) The Administration has also savaged the facts to bolster a weak hand. Bush officials have mischaracterized the bill, impugned the security credentials of their opponents and threatened to veto a temporary version so they could blame any ensuing intelligence problems on Democrats.

Bush's bad faith nearly derailed everything, because his veto threat enraged the bill's chief sponsor, Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Bush ally on intelligence issues. Last week, in a showdown on the Senate floor, the normally mild-mannered Rockefeller even accused the White House of "political terrorism." Then Bush buckled, signing a temporary measure despite his veto threats, while reiterating his demand for amnesty in a final bill. Jacob Sullum, a conservative writer for the libertarian Reason magazine, described it as "the latest in a series of Bush administration reversals and self-contradictions" on intelligence legislation. "If the president and his men can't even get their public story about warrantless surveillance straight, how can we trust them to secretly exercise the unilateral powers they are seeking?" he asked.

We can't. And it's not just Bush, who has little time to exercise these unfettered powers, anyway. Spying abuse has bipartisan roots, from Democratic administrations infiltrating the anti-war movement to Nixon taping everyone from John Kerry to his own aides.

Surveillance is only more crucial and ubiquitous now, in an asymmetric war with elusive non-state actors. The core issue is whether Congress will ensure that our government conducts surveillance the American way, with oversight by American courts and public accountability for anyone who would exploit security concerns for illicit ends.

Proponents of warrantless surveillance like to say that "you have no problem if you have nothing to hide." Put aside the unconstitutional premise about individual rights, though, and that dare works in the other direction. Congress can confront Bush with a similar imperative: court oversight is no problem for you or the telecommunication companies, as long as you have nothing to hide.

( My emphasis )

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

President Bush's 2009 Budget Proposal

    “One thing we can say about President Bush and his budgets: at least he’s consistent. President Bush has run deficits for seven straight years, and this year is no different. The President has submitted a budget that would saddle America with one of the largest budget deficits in history, while cutting health care for seniors and education for our children. Democrats will propose a budget that is balanced and is balanced with our priorities.”     Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel

President Bush’s Budget Deficits

FY 2002: $158 Billion
FY 2003: $378 Billion
FY 2004: $413 Billion
FY 2005: $318 Billion
FY 2006: $248 Billion
FY 2007: $162 Billion
FY 2008: $410 Billion
FY 2009: $407 Billion
TOTAL: $2.49 Trillion  Source

  Who taught this idiot how to make a budget? I'll bet that he was AWOL from that class also!  George Bush is solid proof that even a vastly wealthy idiot who was educated (?) at the better schools, will remain an idiot after being educated. Money can't buy a functioning brain for a moron!

For more on the education cuts and funding reductions in the President's 2009 budget (PDF, 46KB) »
For more on how the President's 2009 budget leaves workers behind (PDF, 53KB) »

Mitch McConnell Introduces More GOP FISA Obstructions

  I'm not even going to comment of this sub-human piece of gutter garbage. I'll let you read about it yourselves.


by mcjoan 
Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:22:50 PM PST

McConnell and Reid are on the Senate floor trading verbal blows over the most recent obstructionist move by the Republicans. They have tied up what was supposed to have been quick consideration of the economic stimulus package by invoking 30 more hours of debate, using the argument that they got it too late to fully consider it. They're actually raising hell about low-income heating assistance being "slipped" into the bill. Heartless bastards.

Reid is as steamed as I've ever seen him, and is actually sounding like us in talking about the important constitutional issues and executive overreach on FISA. He's arguing that McConnell is using this stall tactic to try to run out the clock on the 15 day extension of FISA, thereby trying to get us back to the position we were in last August, forcing through a bad bill under strict time constraints.

This means that we are pretty unlikely to see any votes on FISA before Thursday. Which means that we could get past Super Tuesday and perhaps have a full Dem caucus in DC when the votes happen.

Update: dsmilev sums it up perfectly in the comments:

"Republicans want to let poor people freeze so they can protect multi-billion-dollar companies from their own lawbreaking."

   Against my better judgement, I live in the state of Kentucky and that embarrassment of a Senator, McConnell, is my representative. That is enough to make one throw-up. This asshole needs to be removed from office come November, so let's get with the program and nail his sorry ass to the wall!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Have a Congress?

  That is something that many of us have been asking ourselves since the latest edition of the peoples representatives came into being back in November, 2006. But it seems that the people of the United States have had a problem with our Congress way before then, as noted by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under the Reagan Administration and was once an editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal,Business Week, and other things.

"In truth, Congress gave up its law-making powers to the executive branch during the New Deal. For three-quarters of a century, the bills passed by Congress have been authorizations for executive branch agencies to make laws in the form of regulations. The executive branch has come to the realization that it doesn't really need Congress. President Bush appends his own 'signing statements' to the authorizations from Congress in which the President says what the legislation means. So what is the point of Congress?" Source

  It has been bad enough to begin with, having a spineless Congress even when both parts of the equation were Republican controlled, but it has gotten down right ludicrous since the Democrats captured the House and the Senate, even though by a narrow margin in the Senate.

  Just what has this Congress accomplished other than a raise in the minimum wage ( much needed, not enough ) and lip service to the Bush administration only to back down and give him pretty much everything that he has wanted, the way that he has wanted, on most of the other important matters?

   We have a Congress which is still giving the Bush Crime Family every dime that it asks for to go and get more of our people killed in Iraq. There is no improvement in Iraq after this much vaulted " surge " came into being. Nothing there that resembles success in the least bit. You all know the rest of the story, so I'm not going any farther with a list.If this Congress can't do its job, then maybe it is time for a newer, better one in its place.

  This comes back to my usual topic of FISA and the telecom amnesty amendment attached to it. I already have and you need to let your Senators know that amnesty for the telecoms ( Bush Administration ) is not an option and it will never be. I guess that you and I have to force some backbone upon our Congress, so lets get to work and do it, shall we?

The Senate Vote On FISA...

   is today and the votes on the amendment are not under way. It is thought that the telecom amnesty part of this will not come up until tomorrow so there is still plenty of time for you to contact your Senators to let them know to vote  NO on telco amnesty, basket warrants or reverse targeting, sequestration of illegally harvested evidence. You can also tell them to make FISA the only means of surveillance, and to vote for a 4 year sunset.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hillary Clinton And The Republican's

  Many time throughout the day I browse through various political web-sites reading the stories that are posted. As you know, there are many of them to choose from, especially with the presidential election coming up. But, though the writings may be interesting, it is the comments left by the readers which can be even more interesting.

  I read that many Democratic voters plan on voting for whoever the Republicans have running ( McCain ? ) if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination on the Democrats side of the fence. The reason? Many just plain do not like her or they do not want another Clinton in the White House, or they do not trust her. I do not trust her, but if it comes down to a choice between Senator Clinton and another Republican in the White House for four years, I'll take the Republican-Lite Clinton any day of the week. I don't like Clinton's personality all that much either, but if she is the chosen one, then I will vote for her over any Republican. At the least, if she makes it into the White House, at least some of the " common " people will get a little more help from policy than you have gotten under any Republican, ever. As long as she does something for the people of this country, I will vote for her and I do not care what cash she takes from the corporations. In case you haven't noticed, all of the candidates do/have for the most part. Any real representative of the people ( Kucinich, Edwards, Dodd )  has been banished to the sidelines, so our choices are few.

    On this subject, voting against yourself, here is a comment from a  poster at CommonDreams, and it is a view that I tend to agree with.

    • hedgerama February 1st, 2008 10:34 pm

      Losertarian - you and others like you who will vote for a ‘third’ person rather than the Democratic nominee because you believe there’s no difference in the two parties will guarantee 8 more years of what we’ve recently had. What you are going to do is exactly what the Republicans want. The Democratic vote will be split and the Republican vote will be unified. Combined with the usual stealing on the part of Republicans, via fake felon lists, caging, and other underhanded methods, a split Democratic vote will ensure a Republican win, despite the fact that for the first time since Reagan, nearly 85% of Americans polled on various issues, consistently come down on the progressive side of those issues - not just ending war in Iraq, but universal healthcare, public education, public roads and utilities (as opposed to toll roads owned by foreign corporations and governments), maintenance of the infrastructure, poverty, homelessness, etc. Even the willingness to pay higher taxes to achieve these things.

      With 85% of Americans strongly in favor of the liberal side of numerous issues (without necessarily calling themselves liberals) we have a great shot at winning the White House and an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress. Unless, as so often in the past, Repubs unite behind their nominee and Democrats split because some are too determined to protest not being able to have their ‘dream’ candidate in the White House. This is exactly what Republicans want - they’re laughing at you vote splitters right now, and they’re encouraging you as much as possible in the mainstream media.

      Wake up and think of what’s at stake if we lose the White House again. At least 3 Supreme Court Justices will need to be replaced soon. The Repubs already have a 5 to 4 majority there. If we get another Repub president, the Supreme Court will be a unified force in the wrong direction for decades to come. Do you think abortion rights are all they will reverse? With 8 or 9 Conservative and neo-con Justices in the Supreme Court, things you thought were forever could become yesterday: Women could lose the vote again; we could have a federal government which won’t intervene to stop separate lunch counters for different races again and separate but equal schools; we could see all manner of other things too horrible to imagine.

      Wake up and support the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she might turn out to be. Let’s win for the Supreme Court and the Congress. Let’s win for us      ( read more )

    • Before you shoot yourself and this country in the foot by voting for the opposite of what you really want, just remember the previous eight years.