From Bob Geiger:
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Hugo Chavez may call President Bush the devil, but that is just rhetoric. The Mayans in Guatemala will actually purify the ground he walks on to cleanse it of evil spirits. I kid you not, they actually take Bush's actions to be evil, for the war and the treatment of their brothers to the north. The Mayans have respect for their ancestors and want them to rest peacefully after Bush visits the area.
From the Huffington Post:
Bush has been on a Latin American trip this week to promote his 'free trade' policies and to fight a perception that the United States has neglected Central and South America under the Bush Adminstration. I hardly believe that a quick trip to several countries is going to do anything to improve the relations between Latin America and the U.S. Actions speak louder than words and Bush's decisions only hurt other countries while serving the powerful interests in North America.
"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.
Bush's seven-day tour of Latin America includes a stopover beginning late Sunday in Guatemala. On Monday morning he is scheduled to visit the archaeological site Iximche on the high western plateau in a region of the Central American country populated mostly by Mayans.
Tiney said the "spirit guides of the Mayan community" decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of "bad spirits" after Bush's visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. He also said the rites _ which entail chanting and burning incense, herbs and candles _ would prepare the site for the third summit of Latin American Indians March 26-30.
Sure there are over 8 million residents in the five burroughs and nearly 20 million in the tri-state area. Although what type of resident are they? Do they fit the 'American' standard? What is the 'American' standard?
Leave it to the new Conservapedia to define NYC:
New York City (also Gotham, Sodom, Gomorrah, The Big Apple, Satan's Condom) is the headquarters of the elitist East Coast liberal empire  and the world's largest sustained experiment in secular humanism.There's plenty more in the article, it is extremely amusing in a very demented, right-wing manner. This part is the most egregious, "Most experts agree that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were God's punishment for over two centuries of New Yorkers' decadent sinning — though there is some minor debate about which sins, specifically, led to this smiting. (Believers in usury point to the financial nature of the World Trade Center's businesses, proponents of sodomy stress that the towers resembled two erect male sex organs, etc.)." These bastards have some nerve claiming this shit, it sounds a lot like the religious right declaring that New Orleans suffered Hurricane Katrina for their sins. The thing with these wingnuts is, they hold so much fear that they must have a moral reason for natural calamities. Message to whacko-land, get a grip!
The city's population is often reported by the mainstream media to be as high as 8 million — but a rigorous count of actual Americans, using the methods of Adjusted Freedom Demography pioneered by Smorgensen in the Patriot Census of 2005 (i.e., excluding immigrants, Jews, ivory-tower communists, and nonrepresentational artists, and counting only three-fifths of descendants of African slaves, as originally intended by the Framers), reveals that New York City's population of legitimate Americans is actually only 312. (Smorgensen found Cheyenne, Wyo., to be the most populous city in America, with almost ten times as many pure Americans as New York.) 
After weeks of pressuring from Democratic organizations, progressive news outlets and the blogosphere the Nevada Democratic Party has decided to cancel their controversial debate. We've known from the start that it was bad news to allow the right-wing mouthpiece that is Fox News to cover and 'analyze' a Democratic primary debate. Although it took some time for Nevada's Democratic leadership to understand just how bad Fox is with their biased reporting, at least they see the light now.
Fox did not take the news lightly, they issued a harsh response:
“News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus, which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, MoveOn.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic Party. While most Democrats don’t agree with that, it’s clearly the case in Nevada.”
That is awfully nice of Fox to speak for most Democrats, even though they are managed and owned by right-wing supporters Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch respectively. Of course calling a Democratic organization with well over 3 million people a 'radical fringe group' is a clear cut example of the bias in their 'reporting' along with all the other examples. In fact, it was the latest Obama smear that Nevada Dems use to justify the termination of the deal.
Needless to say, the move was well received by the Democratic community. The best response had to have come from John Edwards, who was smeared with anti-gay hate speech by regular Fox News contributor Ann Coulter last week at CPAC. Plenty of other Fox News contributors and anchors regularly trash Democrats while Republicans are praised. Finally the public at large is beginning to see exactly what Fox stands for.
Calling Newt a hypocrite would be like calling the sky blue on a clear day, or predicting that the s would rise after the night. The clearest case of his 'the pot calling the kettle black' is over marital infidelity. As you may remember, Newt was one of Bill Clinton's most ardent opponents when he raised the issue of impeaching Bill over the Monica Lewinsky scandal nearly 10 years ago.
Now that Newt wants to run for President, he wants to make an early admission of his own affair that went on at the same time as Clinton's impeachment proceedings. Newt may be a 'social conservative' on the issues like gay marriage, but in his own life he is an adulterer and currently on his third wife, after leaving the first one while she was sick in the hospital. Quite the pious man Newt is.
MSNBC took an in-depth look at Newt's admission in an interview with Focus on the Family's James Dobson:
Friday, March 09, 2007
Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas may be a second-tier candidate for President next year but that didn't keep him out of the news today. Apparently this conservative member of the boys club made an uncouth remark to the brand new Senator from Minnesota. What exactly did he mean by this?
He couldn't say take your dress off Senator Klobuchar...but he did anyways in not so many words.
It started off innocently enough as he made small-talk with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, mentioning, in passing, that senators often take off their ties when negotiating bills behind closed doors. Klobuchar needled him about it.
Klobuchar: “Ties off?… But I don’t wear a tie.”
Brownback: “I could say ‘dresses off’ but I won’t.”
Klobuchar (laughing, blushing): “Not while you’re running for president.”
It is always amusing to hear one of the leaders of the 'moral values' party be touted as a pure and saintly. Evidently, Brownback is not one to abstain from possible sexual harassment, even in the halls of Congress. The social conservatives and bible-belters love this guy for his clean-cut image. Of course he is not purported to have much of a chance in 2008. Yet if he were to be elevated to top-tier status due to the fact that McCain's chances are falling according to laws of gravity and current front-runner Rudy Giuliani's past is not widely-known to the general public, this could be an interesting story. Whenever I try to not put GOP and hypocrite in the same sentence, those GOoPers always seem to disprove that idea.
Newsflash! Captain America has died an untimely death and was given an obituary by the NY Times Arts section. Even Fox News devoted sometime to his death. Naturally, if Fox News can cover such an important story, so can Stephen Colbert. It was so instrumental to the war on terror, it made last night's Word:
Last night while I was out with friends the topic of Presidential aspirants came up and we were discussing the Republican side. I believe there is no clear cut candidate that has the muster to claim the nomination as of yet. When someone mentioned Giuliani's surge in the polls and his "America's Mayor" persona, I went into a tirade on our former mayor. Basically I trashed him over 9/11. The Onion did a spoof that he was running for the President for 9/11, but if that 'country' was informed, no one would vote for him. Why is that you ask? Well let me tell you.
Before September 11, 2001 Giuliani was not a popular mayor. He had nicknames floating around the city such as 'Hitler on the Hudson' and the 'Mussolini of Manhattan.' He was known for lashing out at people and the fact that his second wife (the first wife was a 2nd cousin of his) took a restraining order out on him (So that his girlfriend could not come to Gracie Mansion) is absolutely disgusting. Besides the family life and his reputation, what he did to the NYPD and FDNY was beyond atrocious. Many of our city's finest died in those towers due to the fact that communication between the departments was non-existant. The radios that they used did not work between the NYPD and FDNY despite calls to the mayor to have the problem fixed. The result was that while the NYPD knew to evacuate, the FDNY did not.
Even after the disaster, firefighters were further enraged because he limited rescue workers from finding their fallen comrades, cutting the number of searchers from 300 to 25. Due to that, many that died were treated as garbage and their remains hauled off to Fresh Kills Landfill, leaving their families with no remains to bury, leaving their emotional wounds open for a long time.
Well the firefighters are getting their revenge on Rudy. At a recent convention of the IAFF union, organizers invited all the Presidential candidates except for Giuliani. They explained their decision based on the wishes of the two unions here in New York City's request to shun him.
We made this decision after considerable soul-searching and close consultation with our two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, as well as our former Local 94 President and current IAFF 1st District Vice President covering New York.
The IAFF recognizes that Mayor Giuliani generally enjoys a favorable reputation as a result of his actions immediately after the tragedy of 9/11. As such, we want our affiliates and every one of our members to clearly understand the reason and rationale behind this very serious and sober decision.
Many people consider Rudy Giuliani "America's Mayor," and many of our members who don't yet know the real story, may also have a positive view of him. This letter is intended to make all of our members aware of the egregious acts Mayor Giuliani committed against our members, our fallen on 9/11, and our New York City union officers following that horrific day.
I agree that people need to know the real Rudy and this is part of who he is. This is part of his story. I have a hunch that with his current 'front-runner' status, plenty more will come to the surface for all to see.
Not only is he against gay families, heterosexual couples are under attack as well. You see, when you send troops off to war and force them to do two, three, four or more tours of duty it does irreperable harm to the homefront. Married life comes to an absolute stand still as the one who stays home is alone and the soldier is placed in a completely different world.
Due to the war, the bonds of marriage are easily shattered and the statistics prove it. Nearly 60,000 divorces have been attributed to the war with over a million people being sent to Iraq over the course of four years. Factors that contribute to this number include the effects of PTSD, adulterous relationships and the reality that the bond between two people is undone by being so far apart for so long.
From The Progressive:
Twenty-four hours after Lorin boarded the plane for Iraq, I hung a blue star service flag—denoting an immediate family member in combat—in the front window. Then I closed the blinds, hoping to keep the harbingers of death at bay. They still got in, through the phone, the Internet, the newspaper, and the TV.
Two months into his deployment, I got a call from him, and he said, choking up, that there was an “accident.” Two Iraqi children were dead because he gave the order to fire a couple of mortar rounds. Several weeks later, he phoned again, his voice flat and emotionless, to tell me that the men he had dinner with the previous night had been killed by the same Iraqi soldiers that they were training six hours earlier.
Days went by without any communication—anxious hours, restless nights. I swerved between anger and fear.
Emotional isolation is one of the hallmarks of post-combat mental health problems. The National Guard didn’t conduct follow-up mental health screening or evaluations of the men in my husband’s company until they had been home for almost eight months. Nearly a year later, in August of 2006, my husband was informed of his results: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It was obvious that he was suffering, but when I brought it up, he parroted what the military told him: “Give it time.”
It was hard to reconnect after more than a year apart, and the open wound of untreated PTSD made it virtually impossible. Lorin is still the best evidence I have of God’s grace in this world, but we just couldn’t find our way back together after the war came home.
I cut up the article as best I could to make the point of what PTSD can do to a couple, but you should definitely read the whole thing. The ravages of war are not bound by the borders of Iraq. I find it hard to believe that any man or woman does not carry what they hear, see and do in a combat zone out of Iraq and into their lives back at home. War is a terrible thing for any human being to endure. Of course war is sometimes necessary due to the crazy world we live in. Yet this war had no business being fought. Sure Saddam was a bad man and what he did to Iraqis was horrendous, but there are plenty of terrible situations going on throughout the globe and we had no business getting involved over there, we need to get out now before we cause any more damage. That goes for the Iraqis and our brave soldiers.
Bush said he felt 'saddened' by the jury's guilty verdict rendered against Scooter Libby. That sounds like a case of the "sucks to be you's," at least until the hope of a pardon comes around. So Bob and I have to ask, how does it feel?
Now that Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff is a convicted felon, Congress is finally looking into the details of Plamegate and the treasonous activites that the White House (allegedly) committed in order to silence their critics about the war. Of course Fitzgerald did not charge anyone in the Bush Adminstration with a crime in regards to outing covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame, but lying under oath about the matter is still a serious offense. Serious enough that now Libby is looking at up to 25 years in federal prison.
Henry Waxman (D-CA) is beginning hearings to investigate the matter and pull the facts out that have seemed pretty damn visible to the public for quite sometime. As the Chairman for the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Waxman is ready to get to the bottom of the matter. That tenacity Waxman is known for in the past 30 years will come out in the following weeks.
Rep. Henry Waxman will lead a hearing of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform on "whether White House officials followed appropriate procedures for safeguarding the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson," according to a statement at the committee's website. Plame Wilson will be one of the witnesses.
The notice also states that other expert witnesses will be joining the former CIA officer and discussing "the disclosure and internal White House security procedures for protecting her identity from disclosure and responding to the leak after it occurred."
Waxman's office also posted a letter in which he praised Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who successfully prosecuted top White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and asked him to appear before the committee.
"Congress has a responsibility to examine the policy and accountability questions that your investigation has raised. As a result of your investigation, you have a singular understanding of the facts and their implications that bear directly on the issues before Congress," Waxman wrote.
Waxman also intends to question Patrick Fitzgerald on what he learned about the matter while prosecuting Libby. In a very diplomatic tone, the Special Prosecutor said this about testifying in front of Congress, "We will do what's appropriate." What is appropriate is the American people see justice about the matter, just as Scooter got his.
Stephen Colbert wants to keep the army's policy for gays in the military just the way it is. His logical assessment of the situation is right on. For instance, over 11,000 troops have been let go and hundreds of millions spent to prosecute their ousters. Colbert does have one piece of advice however: If the army tells soldiers to not know what the word means, then ignorance can solve the problem. Brilliant!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Now that we are almost three weeks into the scandal involving the horrendous conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center a new development has surfaced. It appears that the GOP Congress was well aware of the dire situation, yet refused to act. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-FL) mentioned that they knew what was going on but refused to go public. His reasoning was that giving the issue exposure would "give the Army a black eye."
This was the official statement from a Congressman who chaired the committee that wrote Defense budget bills. Instead of the black eye at the time, wounded soldiers were subjected to terrible living conditions and medical care. One soldier even died as a result of the lack of attention. Army Staff Sargeant William T. Latham was given percussive therapy and bled to death because the therapist did not the severity of his condition.
Being fully aware of the conditions, Rep. Young offers this excuse:
"General Kiley, we did not go public with these concerns because we did not want to undermine the confidence of the patients and their families and give the army a black eye while fighting a war," he said.
Young also seemed to worry about embarrassing soldiers and their families.
"I would not hold hearings on patients and their problems and violate their privacy," he said.
Young and his wife, Beverly, have done extensive volunteer work at Walter Reed, and he said he used his contacts to make changes in a more 'personal' way.
"We worked person to person, directly with civilian and military leaders to solve the individual problems without casting blame on the many good functions at Walter Reed," he said.
The former chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee also said his committee had carried out regular hearings on the military medical care system and called out the generals testifying before the committee for not bringing the problems now seen at Walter Reed to the fore.
If these hearings were carried out, why was nothing done? His 'personal' way of fixing the fiasco had no effect on changing the way things operated. Congressman Young's inaction is one more sad example of how the Republican Congress did business and especially shows how they 'supported' the troops. The only support given was to hide the truth of Bush's operations and the military's failure to provide for our brave soldiers.
On last night's 'Worst Person in the World' Keith Olbermann awarded Glenn Beck with the top spot after last week's disgraceful moment when Beck asked Dina Sansing to pose nude for him. Olbermann noted that "Not even Bill O would do his sexual heresy on camera."
In a heavily Democratic town such as ours, you would think that the laws of New York would reflect a population that prefers liberty over tyranny, freedom over oppression and the right to public assembly (as stated in the Bill of Rights). Even if a majority of New Yorkers feel this way, it is apparent that the lawyers for the city of New York do not.
Recently a federal judge issued a ruling for the police department to stop videotaping public gatherings and protests so that people who went out on the streets would not feel intimidated by those that are charged to protect and serve, not protect and spy.
On February 15th, Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. resolved a 35 year class-action lawsuit by threatening to hold the city in contempt if the random videotapings occurred again. Nearly a month later the city's attorneys have started an appeal that claims the judge over-stepped his authority in limiting the police's activities. Their assertion is that in 2003 the city agreed to less restrictive rules because “the N.Y.P.D. never had any intention of agreeing to the incorporation of detailed operational guidelines into the consent decree subjecting itself to contempt for a plethora of potential violations.” Basically they find his ruling "an impermissable" order.
As the NY Times points out, the plantiffs disagree:
But the class-action lawyers said yesterday that the city was misstating the facts when it characterized the implementation of the weakened rules in 2003 as a negotiation the city had won. They cited a passage of Judge Haight’s ruling last month.
He wrote that he made those new rules part of a court order in 2003 because he was concerned that improper investigative techniques were being used against people involved in political activity.
He made the new rules part of his 2003 order, he wrote last month, “after senior N.Y.P.D. officers misbehaved themselves by ordering that arrested protesters held in precinct station houses be interrogated in inappropriate ways before being released.”
The city argues that these restrictions limit the police from effectively dealing with threats of terrorism. According to them, asking for permission is too much for cops to be 'vigiliant' on the streets to look for terrorists. This logic is shaky at best. When the police videotape peaceful protests without any good reason to do so, they are blatantly violating the First Amendment. Recording citizens engaged in political activism for the sake of intimidation is simply wrong.
Fighting terrorism is a laudable act and it can be done within the limits that Judge Haight set in his ruling. The city needs to learn that this is still America and their actions need to be curtailed. Too many abuses of power have taken place in the last few years (including the Critical Mass bike ride) and it is unfortunate that a federal judge had to be involved in order to make the police force respect the constitution. Nevertheless it had to be done and the lawyers for the city should just sit there and take it. Hopefully the appellate court sees it the same way.
Two things that come to mind when I think of O'Reilly is that he is bully and a liar. The bullying part is easy to see but the lying takes some facts. There has been plenty of debunking when O'Reilly says something that doesn't measure up to the truth. The 'No Spin' Zone itself is a falsehood. Bill is constantly trying to take facts and spin them to his own twisted worldview. In this particular instance, his bullying and his lies coalesced into one giant debacle that left him out in the cold after the National Center for Missing Children refused to let him speak at one of their events in Naples, FL last month.
O'Reilly spoke viciously of kidnapping victim Shawn Hornbeck in the last couple of months, saying that he preferred to be with his captor rather than back at home and in school. Many of Bill's guests questioned O'Reilly's judgment on the matter but he was having none of it. After many protests and an effective campaign to have O'Reilly pulled from an event that he had no business being at, O'Reilly was sure to be pissed.
Bill never mentioned that he was yanked, obviously irate about the fact that someone took him down a notch. The NCMEC made a brief statement that they had become aware of Mr. O'Reilly's statements about abused children and decided to go a different route by inviting John Walsh instead.
Local reporter Brent Batten tried to get the story from Fox, but was given the run-around:
Why couldn't O'Reilly or his people give a straight answer? If something brushes Bill's ego the wrong way, he simply spins it away.
On Feb. 14 I e-mailed Fox News producer Ron Mitchell, who works with O’Reilly, asking him for a few words of explanation as to why O’Reilly was no longer on the March 9 program.
He responded promptly, directing me to Fox News spokeswoman Irena Brigante. I called Brigante, who referred me to Ernie Allen, the president of the NCMEC. Allen, Brigante said, had a letter on the subject and would read it to me.
Allen did not return repeated messages left at his office.
The only “letter” I could find was a short posting on the NCMEC web site stating, “In response to the numerous e-mails and inquiries we have received, we are providing the following update regarding the Collier County, Florida branch fundraising dinner. Bill O’Reilly, will not be a speaker at the dinner.”
It is always a pain to see your monthly cell phone bill go through the roof after making too many calls or text messages. For Speaker Christine Quinn, March is going to be a terrible month. Since she is fighting the swearing in of councilman-elect Mathieu Eugene, some activists got creative with their lobbying skills.
An email circulated by 'Mark' was sent to newspapers, the DA and a whole host of interested parties that gave out Quinn's personal cell number in order to pressure her into allowing Eugene to take his rightful place on the council. So far she has stubbornly refused in order to see if his residency requirements check out. The Speaker has dragged her feet on the issue and a simple check which should take a few minutes has become weeks of waiting.
Here's the email posted by the Politicker:
Subject:Calling City Council Speaker Quinn on behalf of Dr. Mathieu Eugene
Please call City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
about Dr. Mathieu Eugene being sworn in as the City
Member of the 40th District in Brooklyn. I am
asking you contact her office that the democratic
thing to dois to sit the winner, Dr. Eugene. The
number of votes received by Dr. Eugene indicates a
tremendous and historic win for him as a Haitian
American and an immigrant from the Caribbean.
Speaker Quinn can be contacted by cell phone at 917
###-####, her office number is 212 788-7210. Please
call her and let her know that the historic results
of the 2/20/07 special election won by Dr. Eugene
should be followed and that our communities will be
looking to her as the Speaker of the Council and
will not forget this when she comes looking for our
votes in 2009. Let her know that our brothers and
sisters and progressive people are watching to see
what happens in this matter.
Please pass this on to the people in your email
circles and beyond and those with whom you socialize
Unbought and Unbossed......in the land of liberty.
Yeah I know, the number has been masked, but if anyone out there gives a damn, you should call her office and insist she stop this juvenile crap and allow Eugene to sit on the council after winning the election.
From the Senate proceedings on Monday, here are a few good clips of the witnesses answering key questions as to whether it was legitimate that Heather Wilson, Pete Domenici, et al. called the attorneys about their corruption cases regarding Democrats last year. Although the former U.S. Attorneys tried to play it cool since they were appointed by the Bush Adminstration, certain questions from Senators Schumer and Whitehouse helped reveal just how wrong the Republicans' actions were.
After being the victim this week of a hateful anti-gay slur by Ann Coulter, Edwards keeps marching on and leads the pack in how to run a successful Democratic campaign. First off he raised a heap o' cash from Coulter's vicious attack. He was dignified about his response and others had to agree with his position and not Ann Coulter's, especially the candidates running as Republicans. His latest brilliant political calculation was his refusal to participate in the Fox News Presidential debate being held in Nevada this coming August.
From the Edwards campaign:
There were a number of factors and Fox was one of those. We’re already planning to participate in a jam-packed schedule of debates across this country, but with 16 or 17 currently proposed and probably more on the way, we can’t attend every single debate and forum. By the end of this month, we will have already have attended three forums in Nevada, and we will be participating in others in the state. The additional Nevada debates proposed as of now include CNN in November and another debate in January. But given the wealth of options, the August debate just doesn’t seem to be the best use of Senator Edwards’ time.”
Of course Barack Obama made a smart move by refusing to appear on air or be interviewed by the Fox Noise Channel, but that was a result of their ridiculous and misleading character assassination of the Senator from Illinois. Edwards is doing this on principle and because it is widely known in the progressive community that Fox News is a propaganda tool of the right.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
According the U.S. State Department, Borat is considered a victim of human rights abuse in a list compiled on the unethical behavior of Kazakhstan. Besides Borat, the Kazakhs are accused of murdering an opposition politician, Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, his bodyguard and driver last year. Other offenses include limiting freedom of speech and torture among other abuses. Borat was specifically listed because his website hosted on a Kazakh site was pulled after the government took offense to how Borat (Sacha Cohen) was displaying Kazakhs and the country.
Of course no one in their right mind would condone these sorts of things, especially murdering politicians and limiting the freedoms of a nation's citizens. Nevertheless, this is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. The United States government condones torture and limiting freedom of speech here at home. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, sending prisoners to Uzbekistan and Syria to be tortured and using 'free speech zones' are all part of the Bush Adminstration's plans to make the United States into a land of the fearful and skitish.
Unless you belong to the Bush family, then you can say it does. This includes Poppa Bush, our 41st President. After having lunch with actress Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives, the two parted ways in a slightly less than formal manner. The video shows him patting her on the buttocks and a nice kiss on the cheek. The former President is a quite the daredevil, being a veteran 80-something year old skydiver but going after Teri like that exposes a man that wants to get everything out of life that he can.
Apparently the old man has been teased by his friends after the video surfaced, but he feigns innocence:
He told US TV show Extra, "I have been teased about it relentlessly. (A website) accused me of patting her backside, which I did not do. The camera lies, it's a fraud."
Of course with the aid of photoshop almost anything can be manipulated with a few clicks and keystrokes. Yet after close inspection of the clip, it certainly looks real to me. So why does George Sr deny it, whats wrong with a frisky 82 year old man having a little fun. Perhaps Barbara heard about it and he caught hell from the ol' family matriarch.
WTF you're thinking? One of the icons of America's obsession to keep their heads in the clouds can actually do some good by infiltrating the White House and carrying out this mission, a mission for myspace.
You probably haven't heard of Timothy Griffin unless you are a Republican operative, but it is time to find out who this guy is. After the massive wave of firings of U.S. Attorneys Bush is set to pick a host of new ones to take their place. As the scandal heats up on why the 'Pearl Harbor Day Massacre' occurred, the story of Timothy must be shown the light of day.
From Greg Palast:
Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.
Key voters on Griffin’s hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In October 2004, our investigations team at BBC Newsnight received a series of astonishing emails from Mr. Griffin, then Research Director for the Republican National Committee. He didn’t mean to send them to us. They were highly confidential memos meant only for RNC honchos.
However, Griffin made a wee mistake. Instead of sending the emails — potential evidence of a crime — to email addresses ending with the domain name “@GeorgeWBush.com” he sent them to “@GeorgeWBush.ORG.” A website run by prankster John Wooden who owns “GeorgeWBush.org.” When Wooden got the treasure trove of Rove-ian ravings, he sent them to us.
What was in those emails was truly astonishing. His plan was to target minority voters in the tens of thousands and have them stricken from the voting rolls with his nefarious set of tricks. The lists included homeless shelters, African-American schools and military bases, which would secretly disenfranchise these prospective voters.
Now Bush is trying to scurry him past Congressional oversight using the Patriot Act. Breaking laws set by the Voting Act of 1965 will now be subverted with the incredibly unconstitutional Patriot Act. This madness must be stopped......Congressman Conyers, what say you?
The story of Bob Woodruff's horrific injury and his miraculous recovery is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Jon Stewart had him on the show this week to hear about his story, his book and his incredible year of recovery:
The most important thing in Congress right now is to find a solution to the mess in Iraq. Some want to pull out immediately with no ifs, ands or buts. Others on the right want to stay there indefinitely until we win the war on terror, whatever that means. What needs to be done is to get a binding resolution that will get a large majority of Congress to pass legislation that solves the problem and hopefully has the muster to survive a likely veto from the President. H.R. 455 just might be that bill we are looking for.
From PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN at DailyKos:
For those of you that are in NYC I strongly urge you to attend one of the DFNYC meetups tonight at 7pm (03/07/07) and participate in the discussion. I'll be at the one in the East Village, but there are plenty of other sites around the five burroughs.
Although the bill is not currently the most well-known of the numerous congressional war proposals, H.R. 455 has a number of attributes that make it a distinctive and politically viable option for bringing the Iraq conflict to a reasonable conclusion...
- H.R. 455 is tied to war funding. It would be attached to the appropriations bill so, if it is not removed in conference, the Senate would have to pass it and the President would have to sign it in order to continue funding for the war. Funding is "the only real way to force a change of direction in Iraq."
- Because it maintains funding for the troops (albeit for their removal) it cannot be tarred with the Republican talking point that it "cuts off funding for the troops."
- Because it maintains funding for Iraqi reconstruction, it avoids the argument that we are abandoning the Iraqi people in the same way Congress supposedly "abandoned" the people of South Vietnam.
- The bill establishes a firm and reasonable deadline for troop withdrawal (12/31/07) that will provide an incentive for the Iraqi government to take control of their own political and military destiny. The deadline is well after the "Friedman Unit" that General Petreaus has specified as critical for establishing security.
Unfortunately, at this time the House leadership is not lining up behind H.R. 455 or any of the 13 or so other House proposals for ending the Iraq war or curtailing the current escalation. The compromise currently being floated "requires" withdrawal if the Iraqi government misses ambiguous benchmarks for reducing violence within a "Friedman Unit". Elements from Jack Murtha's plan conditioning troop deployment on adequate preparation and equipping can be quietly circumvented with a Friday afternoon Presidential waiver. Given this administration's apparent interest in maintaining an Iraq presence regardless of the cost and demonstrated ability to circumvent the will of Congress, this plan can be interpreted as little more than a symbolic action. While the composition of this Congress makes compromise essential, compromise that accomplishes nothing is deceptive and useless.
Therefore, DFNYC (the local coalition group of DFA) is soliciting the help of individuals and groups around the country to put grassroots pressure on their congressional representatives to support and cosponsor H.R. 455. Even if H.R. 455 is not their preferred bill, they may be more likely to respond to a focused request rather than the amorphous anti-war sentiments that have resulted in nothing more than nonbinding resolutions. And even if this effort is unsuccessful in getting H.R. 455 passed, it helps build "momentum" that will encourage support of other legislation that will directly keep the President from sending more brave soldiers to die in an unnecessary conflict that will be even harder for his successor to end.
Please contact your congressperson by phone or e-mail and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 455. You can get contact info for your congressperson (and/or find out who he/she is) at http://www.house.gov/...
Here are the locations:
Upper West Side, Cosi (downstairs) 2160 Broadway @76th Street, with hosts Merle McEldowney & Tracey Denton
West Village, Kettle of Fish, 59 Christopher St. (near 7th Ave.), with host Dana Northcraft
East Village, Rififi/Cinema Classics, 332 E 11th St (between 1st and 2nd Ave), with host Abhishek Mistry (Please email Abhishek if you plan to attend - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Park Slope/Brooklyn, Ozzie's, 249 5th Ave, with host Josh Skaller
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Wycoff-Bennette Homestead, 1669 East 22nd. St. (between Quentin & Kings Highway), with hosts Annette Mont & Estelle Glasser
Sunnyside, Queens, The Grind, 39-24 Queens Blvd., with host Dan Jacoby
Bayside, Queens, The First Edition, 41-08 Bell Blvd, right near the LIRR stop, with hosts Steve Behar and Costa of Democrats for New Politics
If you care about a concrete solution to end the war and you have some free time tomorrow night, be sure to stop by one of these spots to find out more on how to get involved.
The always intrepid Fox
News Noise Channel was on the scene today in Washington D.C. covering the Libby trial. As usual they stuck to the facts, adhering to their mantra of "We Report, You Decide" unless of course, they aren't......as usual.
Senator McCain was once the front-runner in the race for the 2008 GOP nomination. Lately his numbers have been on a preciptious slide and Rudy has taken over the lead. Many on the right fear his numbers aren't going to stop dropping and in turn, it seems that his staffers are beginning to jump ship. Sources say that his early pre-announcement announcement and the tank in the polls is to blame.
From Radar Online:
John McCain's Obama-esque remarks about our "wasted" resources in Iraq weren't the only comments that landed him in hot water after a recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. Many of his staff were blindsided by his campaign announcement. And several aides were so outraged that they've quit, say Republican insiders.
"They're imploding—he had a game plan that had him announcing much later in the year," one top Republican aide tells Radar, adding that the campaign is "in serious trouble ... Romney's plan and Rudy's jump in the polls caused him to scrap his plans completely. When you do that, and you're not prepared for it, the staff goes crazy. Some of his coordinators in different states were pulling their hair out!"
Another insider, a guru to the conservative movement, says that McCain himself is growing increasingly desperate in the wake of his downward slide in the polls—a slip hastened by his steadfast support of the very man who savaged him and his family during the 2000 election, George W. Bush, and the president's unpopular plan for troop surge in Iraq. "One of the top aides to the Republican leadership told me that McCain has lost so much support, he's simply beside himself. He's wringing his hands. Things are sinking fast—in two or three weeks, we'll know if there is any recovery."
With so much time between now and the primaries, we might not even see the Senator in the running when it is time for the Republican party to pick their nominee. It didn't help that he didn't show up for CPAC last week and he might have not shown up for fear that he would get a negative reaction. It turns out that the audience booed him when it was announced that he came in far behind many other front-runners in the CPAC straw poll. McCain has plenty of problems with conservatives and the religious right, especially his flip-flopping positions on the war and on important social issues like gay-marriage and intelligent design.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The Steamroller is not taking the challenge to his cuts from 1199 S.E.I.U and the Greater New York Hospital Association lightly. On Friday he hit them with the powerpoint presentation and then Sunday went to the NY Post and wrote a great editorial on his plan to reform the health care system in New York. Today he is moving forward by looking for support from the trustees of over 1000 of New York's hospitals. By effectively manuevering around GYNHA and 1199 who represent the hospitals, he is talking directly to those in charge.
The letter starts of by acknowledging that he was once a trustee himself and cares deeply about the state of our health care system. He reiterates that we pay too much into a system that provides far too little for people that deserve decent medical care in New York.
Here are some key points that Spitzer lays out in the letter:
- New York spends the most on Medicaid in the nation, twice the national average
- New York is #1 in the nation in combined state and local taxes, which as studies have shown, has largely been driven by soaring Medicaid spending
- That spending has gotten us bupkis, specifically 2.6 million uninsured including 400,000 children and that we are #1 in the nation for percentage of deaths from chronic disease, #3 in the nation in per capita deaths from coronary disease
After addressing the problems he defines the solution. Retargeting monies with relatively minor cuts will siphon much of the waste off while providing New Yorkers with what they need. By bringing in essential bureaucracies such as the departments of Health and Insurance, much can be done very quickly. Finally he asks the trustees a set of questions that common sense easily answers.
The Empire Zone does a nice job of finding the key question in the letter:
One of the more notable questions in the governor’s letter: “How can it be that the same hospitals that claim poverty and demand billions of dollars in state subsidies can afford to sustain a $65 million ‘education’ fund, contribute $22.5 million into political campaigns since 1999, and spend $12.7 million on lobbying since 2003?” He adds, “Furthermore, how can it be that those same hospitals that claim poverty and demand billions of dollars in state subsidies can afford to pay their executives multi-million dollar salaries?”
There is plenty more in the four page letter which can be found in the New York Sun. The facts show that the system is cracked and needs a serious retooling. The fiscal waste is glaring and no amount of lobbying by GYNHA and 1199 can mask the obvious fact that the budget must revamp the way health care is provided in New York.
Tony Snow and George Bush have made the issue of supporting the troops and taking care of them so complicated, only the brilliant mind of Jon Stewart can decipher it all:
No, the progressive/liberal talk network isn't switching to a religious format (like NYC's 1150AM did). Instead today is the day when Mark Green takes over Air America Radio after purchasing the company for $4.25 million a few weeks ago. AAR has seen many problems in nearly three years since its inception and has been marked by the right for collapse. Well wingnuts, in the illustrious words of Vice President Cheney, GO *uck yourselves!
Some of the inspirational words from the new chief, Mark Green:
Air America was a large, smart idea to counter the near-monopoly on talk radio by the far (f)right. But like most start-ups, the business plan collided with reality. Six CEOs over its first three years - and various missteps and misspending - sent it into Chapter 11.
It's now ready to go from The Perils of Pauline to The Little Engine that Could. How? First, by focusing on the radio fundamentals of making a strong line-up even stronger; second, by connecting to other progressive membership organizations to be mutually fortifying; and third, by being a multi-media content company involving other distribution platforms - Internet, blogging, audio and video streaming, mobile, social networks, and more. It's time to think outside the (radio) box.
The twin goals are to make it profitable and influential. One without the other won't work. If it's not a business, it'll go out of business.
But it'll be a business with a sharp point of view. The era of on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand liberalism is over -- or as Robert Frost once wrote, "a liberal man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel." For all those who worry about messianic misleaders governing on a right wing and a prayer, Air America 2.0 will be an answer. For all those fearful of plutocracy and theocracy, the pro-democracy hosts of AAR's programs will be an answer. If the conservative media continue to spout propaganda and call it news, there's now the alternative of truth, justice and the Air American way.
So do not fear liberal truth-seekers, Air America is here to stay and be better than ever. Hopefully Green will stay true to these sweet words and deliver for all of us who crave truth on the airwaves with the mass of delusion that is spun up by the right on a daily basis.
Scooter I Libby was found guilty on four out of five counts against him. Except for the false statement count, he was found guilty for obstruction of justice and perjuring himself. These are serious crimes and he is about to pay the price for being a shill of the Bush Adminstration. The full five counts would have warranted 30 years, but these four provided the bulk of that time.
Now the question is, will he make a deal for the higher-ups, or simply be the fall guy and wait for Bush to pardon him in early 2009?
This isn't about instant messages with Congressional pages one-third your age, what is happening in D.C. tomorrow pertains to something much more serious. Recently several U.S. Attorneys were fired from their positions by the Bush Adminstration, who justified the decision based on performance levels. However, all of them had performed quite well in recent reports.
Now one of these attorneys is pissed off enough to go to Congress and name names. David Iglesias worked in the New Mexico office and claims that the elected officials from his state pressured him to lay off Republicans under investigation and go after Democrats instead before the elections last November. Those officials (Republicans obviously) were Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson. At first they denied ever talking to him, but with the Congressional testimony expected tomorrow, their lips are beginning to loosen a bit.
From the Washington Post:
Iglesias, one of seven U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department on Dec. 7, is expected to tell Congress today that Wilson and Domenici were trying to sway the course of his investigation. Domenici acknowledged Sunday that he called Iglesias about the corruption case but said he did not pressure him. The telephone calls to Iglesias by Domenici and Wilson appear to put them in conflict with congressional ethics rules that bar contacts with federal agency officials during most active investigations.
The furor over Domenici and Wilson has rapidly become the focus of the dispute over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys and a change in law that allows Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to appoint interim prosecutors for an indefinite period of time. The Justice Department has said that seven of the prosecutors were dismissed for failing to follow Bush administration policy on multiple issues, and acknowledged that one was sacked to make way for an ally of White House political adviser Karl Rove.
If the White House is willing to admit to one story of political payoffs, you know the truth is far uglier. Most likely, all eight were let go because they did not respect the most sacred of qualities in the Bush Adminstration, loyalty. Whatever you do, do not trye to hold the government that appointed you responsible for their actions. Whether it is people within the White House or friends like Duke Cunningham, those looking for justice will be extrapolated from their positions.Be sure to watch out for Iglesias' testimony tomorrow, this thing may go all the way to the top. From Wilson and Domenici to AG Alberto Gonzales and President Bush, the corruption that exists in the Republican machine must be brought out to face the full power of the law, that law that Bush and his cronies have worked so hard to avoid.
In addition to climate change and the war, our country is facing a huge crisis. A financial crisis that looms so large that most politicians do not want to face it because making the tough decisions to combat it can be highly unpopular. 60 Minutes' reporter Andy Court inteviewed the U.S. Controller David Walker this week and the news isn't pretty:
Monday, March 05, 2007
President Bush has recently paid lip service to the gathering dark clouds that climate change harbors. His voluntary standards for corporations to heed is woefully inadequate to truly address the problem. Now the Pentagon has realized that the threat of climate change far exceeds that of terrorism. The change the planet is predicted to endure will be much more disastrous than any dirty bomb or IED explosion.
From the UK Guardian:
The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.
'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'
The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.
The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The article goes on with many doomsday scenarios that appear almost fictional to a clueless observer. It is hard for the human mind to imagine such drastic changes over a considerable amount of time. However those that study climate change and likely outcomes can see this looming disaster coming down the road. We should all heed the warnings, especially President Bush who cares more about his "base's" bottom lines.
The brewing feud between Governor Steamroller and the health care unions has taken another twist this weekend. Al Sharpton has joined forces with 1199 S.E.I.U. and the Greater New York Hospital Association to fight against the new health care budget proposed by Spitzer. The Reverend has lent his name to a mass mailer and spoke for a radio blitz that claims the new plan short changes the poor and the cuts are in the worst place possible. Or are they?
From the radio spot:
“With H.M.O.’s raking in excessive profits to the tune of $5 million a day in New York alone, it’s unreal to me that Governor Spitzer would pick on underpaid nurses and health care workers in order to meet his bottom line,” Mr. Sharpton, left, said in a statement.
In the radio ad, he says nurses “are being forgotten in Governor Spitzer’s budget."
The Governor's spokeswoman Christine Anderson immediately fired back that the budget would actually provide historic increases for education funding and insurance for every child. Spitzer himself wrote a piece for the NY Post to explain his position.
From the Op-Ed:
We face this crisis because special interests - not the needs of patients - have guided health-care policy decisions in Albany.
My plan for health-care reform would transform our health care system into one that puts the needs of patients first.
I would make insurance available to every child in New York right away and reduce the overall number of uninsured by half over four years. I would not cut Medicaid benefits. I would increase public-health funding to prevent diabetes, obesity, asthma, lead poisoning, HIV/AIDS and cancer. I would use the state's bargaining power to cut the price it pays for prescription drug and improve care for seniors.
These proposals would be funded in part by holding down the growth in the bloated subsidies the state now provides to hospitals with relatively few Medicaid patients.
Not surprisingly, Big Health Care has objected to this proposal. They claim the most vulnerable patients and hospitals would be hurt.
This is nonsense. The total impact on hospitals would be less than 1 percent of total operating revenues. For the sake of comparison, hospital revenues have increased by an annual average of 7 percent over the past four years.
The Governor also proposed funding 20 more low-income area hospitals and fighting the unchecked billions of dollars that flow through the system. It seems that much like the NY state legislature, people are getting pissed off at Spitzer for shaking up the system that has been so miserably entrenched for far too long.
I wouldn't usually post this type of film but sometimes you need to to see the idiocy in all its glory. Here we have Glenn Beck interview Senator Inhofe about global warming. Glenn admits there is something going on, but doesn't think it is done by mankind, although he won't consider changing his habits because China won't either. If you think that is bad, wait till James Inhofe opens his mouth.
Well it isn't an honor from Time Magazine, although if we all won last year then so did he. The award came from the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Stephen is definitely at the top of his game and comedy is a desperately needed skill in these bleak times. Especially when that humor is used to fight conservatives.
From the show on Friday night:
"What an honor. An honor to receive and an honor for you to give to me," Colbert said during the ceremony late Friday.
Often appearing to be a combination of Bill O'Reilly and Archie Bunker, Colbert emphasized that his television character is not him.
"He's not malicious, he's ill-informed, you know. It's just a product of his own education. And he thinks he's saying and doing the right thing, he's not actually trying to hurt anybody," said Colbert.
Colbert is also planning on writing a book, although it is not known if it will assume the textbook style of his other mentor, Jon Stewart.
According to Stephen Duncombe liberals just can't cut it when it comes to marketing the party. Bush and the rest of his pals on the right have done a fantastic job of giving Americans an 'image' that appeals to people on a broad basis. Now of course being the worst President ever has dampened that image considerably, but think about this in terms of elections.
The Democratic Party took power in the Congress last year because they were anti-Bush, not because people liked their ideas. Democrats definitely do have plenty of ideas and they are far superior to the Republicans dream of ultimate corruption because we are the people's party and root our policies in truth. It is definitely more desirable to be on the left if you tend to think this way. The only problem is, how do you market those ideas to the huge part of America that does not even get involved? Stephen Duncombe has an idea with his new book, Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy.
From the Village Voice:
Dream could have simply been an elegy to that pre–9-11 era—a nostalgia piece for the recent past. Instead, it reads like a manifesto inspired by a pop culture fever dream. Seizing upon references high and low, Duncombe makes the case that spectacle can be an ethical and sophisticated means of appealing to, even seducing, the American public. Rather than bemoan the fact that people are obsessed with Paris Hilton and condemn video games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, both of which Duncombe discusses with a mix of awe and critical glee, liberals need to determine why that obsession exists—pop culture as road map into the American mind. "We can't afford to ignore it," Duncombe said. "If we do, we're writing off the passion of a hell of a lot of people."
The idea, which Duncombe dubs "dreampolitik," is that progressives, armed with strategies derived from sources as vast as advertisements, celebrity-gossip magazines, and the casinos on the Las Vegas strip, would then be able to enact a politics that enthralls a broader sweep of Americans. The left needs to start appealing to people's hunger for hope and attraction to fantasy life. What's more, Duncombe said, they have to let go of the belief—"naive at best, arrogant at worst"—that intellectual arguments should be enough to win people over, and that spectacle, as the Bush administration employs it, is something to which they shouldn't have to resort, a tawdry means to an end. "It's a pathos of the left," he said. "We're worried about selling out, but no one's buying." Besides, the point isn't that liberals move towards conservatism; it's that they become savvier and, ironically, more realistic about what it takes to win.
I believe Stephen has a point. In the America we live in, it is all about marketing to get your product across, whether it is a new line of clothing or a different way to help America. Despite our dreams that a vast proportion will look at Democratic proposals for the facts is wishful thinking, it needs to be spruced up. The '100 hours' plan was a nice start, but this thing needs to be humming 24/7.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Despite all of the candidates coming out to oppose Ann Coulter's anti-gay slur directed at Senator John Edwards, one of those guys still seemed to curry favor with the hate-filled mistress of the right. She said in her endorsement that she likes a guy who can easily trick liberals. Um, sorry Ann, we see right through his shit and yours. The guy will say whatever it takes to get the vote, whether it is swinging to the left up in Massachusetts or way over to the right for Ann and the rest of the wingnut brigade.
From Matt Browner Hamlin at HuffPost:
Earlier in his speech, Romney said, "I'm happy to learn that after I speak you're going to hear from Ann Coulter. That's a good thing. I think it's important to get the views of moderates." It is truly shameful that Romney thinks it's a good thing for Coulter to spew her bigotry at anyone, let alone a candidate for the presidency. Does Mitt Romney agree with Coulter's homophobia? Does he think there's something wrong with being gay, as Coulter clearly does? Romney values Coulter's support because, as Glenn Greenwald notes, "she reflects [the] true impulses" of the conservative movement." It is the same part of the conservative movement that is in attendance at CPAC every year and it is who Romney came to court and Coulter came to speak to.
Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney's campaign website printed only excerpts of his CPAC remarks. Praise for Ann Coulter isn't something that Romney would actually want the whole world to know about, only the select few true conservatives at CPAC. That didn't stop Romney from releasing the full text of his speech to RedState.com, which they dutifully published. Surprisingly it was not scrubbed of Romney's praise for Coulter or his joking approval of her as a moderate.
See, when the national audience has it's eyes fixed for the moment on crazy Coulter, Romney will try and look tough against the vitriol of the blonde-headed beast. Yet when it is time to shine to the right, he will stick with her and all her glory.
When asked about the Oscar win, Senator Reid seemed more interested in the 5-4 vote that gave Bush the Presidency despite the popular and seemingly electoral win in 2000.
Possible Presidential aspirant and former ethical disgrace Newt Gingrich recently decried Hillary Clinton as ruthless. He really should take a good look in the mirror. Many know of his story about abandoning his wife while she was sick in the hospital. The display of the cold blood that runs in his veins was directed towards the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
From Our Future:
He blamed the residents of New Orleans' 9th Ward for a "failure of citizenship," by being "so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane."
And he called for a "deep investigation" into this "failure of citizenship."
Here's the full quote:
How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane. (emphasis original)
To listen to the audio, click here.
Many of Bush's Generals have either quit or been expelled for criticizing or disagreeing with the President's decision to escalate in Iraq. Now it seems that even one of his biggest fans with the rank of General isn't too excited about the plan he is executing either. David Petraeus, the military's head honcho in Iraq is giving the 'surge' a one in four chance of success.
Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) recently spoke with the General and had this to say:
Smith's public comments on the war have grown increasingly complex and controversial in recent months. The Republican senator made national headlines in December when he gave a speech on the Senate floor, saying Bush's war policy is "absurd" and "may even be criminal."
Since then he has strongly opposed President Bush's call for a "surge" of 20,000 troops in Iraq. Smith was one of 14 senators to vote last month against the nomination of Gen. George Casey as U.S. Army chief of staff.
"If you're really going to do a surge, you don't do it with 20,000, you do it with 250,000," he said, noting that Baghdad is a city of nearly 7 million people. But he said the United States cannot afford such a response; instead it has to come from the Iraqi Army.
Smith said he recently spoke with Gen. David Petraeus, the new top military commander in Iraq, who told him the troop surge has only a one in four chance of succeeding.
Of course we all know that there aren't 250,000 troops available and Bush would never even try to commit that amount of troops. The number of 20,000 is hard to defend calling the build-up a mere 'surge.' Increasing that amount by more than ten times would put his poll numbers in the tank, in case you do not consider approval ratings in the low 30s bad enough.
Last year the leaders of the WTC site put webcams up around Ground Zero to show the public the progress at the site years after the disaster. A year later, the cameras are mysteriously pulled from the internet as construction finally begins downtown.
From the AP:
The view of ground zero just got a little smaller. The agency that oversaw the redesign of the World Trade Center site on Thursday stopped posting on its Web site hourly images from a camera pointed at ground zero.
The agency introduced the Web camera less than a year ago, saying it wanted to show progress in rebuilding more than four years after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Construction of the Sept. 11 memorial had just begun last March, but the site is much busier today.
Concrete footings are being poured around the footprints of the twin towers to support the memorial, steel columns are rising for a 1,776-foot skyscraper, a transit hub is under construction and officials are preparing land to build three more office towers.
There has been no comment as to why the images were abruptly stopped.