When I heard Jane Fonda was going on the Colbert show, I was expecting some sort of grilling by Colbert over her past anti-war actions. Yet I ended up watching this in disbelief, as I am sure Stephen's wife did as well:
Saturday, May 12, 2007
When I heard Jane Fonda was going on the Colbert show, I was expecting some sort of grilling by Colbert over her past anti-war actions. Yet I ended up watching this in disbelief, as I am sure Stephen's wife did as well:
Friday, May 11, 2007
My, my, how the tables have turned. It wasn't but a few years ago when Democrats would bicker while the mighty Republican rubber stamp machine ran wild. Now that Republican legislative priorities have shown they don't work and the war is increasingly draining our treasury and the blood of our brave soldiers, things are rapidly changing. Democrats are becoming more united against the war by the day and the Republicans keep showing signs of fracture. Today's event was quite the crack between House Republicans and the White House.
From The Hill:
Reps. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) attracted the ire of White House officials for allegedly speaking to reporters about a Tuesday meeting between Bush and centrist Republicans on the Iraq war. Details of the contentious meeting first emerged Wednesday evening and attracted Page 1 headlines yesterday.
Sources said that Dan Meyer, Bush’s liaison to the House, confronted LaHood while White House political strategist Karl Rove rebuked Kirk. It is unclear if LaHood or Kirk were the originial sources for the stories, but LaHood was quoted in one of the articles.
Regardless, LaHood and Meyer got into a shouting match as emotions ran high and voices were raised yesterday morning in the White House while lawmakers were waiting to meet with first lady Laura Bush, according to two legislators who witnessed the exchange.
That must have been some sight to see. Lockstep Republicans are officially a thing of the past. While Bush is staying the course, oblivious to the 2008 elections coming up quick, House Republicans who wish to keep their jobs into the 111th session are starting to speak up. Apparently the White House does not like to see their Congressional brethren declaring a bit of independence from their glorious leader. Expect much more of this peculiar behavior from Republicans as the next election looms larger on the horizon as does the strengthening Democratic majority.
Robert Greenwald and his Brave New Films show how Fox News has changed cable news across the board, as others try to copy the propaganda network for ratings and profits, while the fourth estate and the nation suffer for their efforts:
The case for impeaching the President and Dick Cheney is as clear as crystal. The high crimes and misdemeanors could fill a novel (well maybe not that long, perhaps a good size essay though). For far too long, only those on the left have had the courage to speak up about it. They were called traitors, commies, unpatriotic and crazy for telling the truth about the Bush Administration.
Now times, they are a changing. Four in ten Americans believe that impeachment is necessary to stop the abuses of power committed by Dick and Bush. And out of those four, not all are necessarily on the left. Lawrence Wilkerson is an advocate for impeaching and he happens to be the former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell. Hardly a candidate to be accused of being a commie liberal.
Wilkerson is a Retired Army Colonel, the former Chief of Staff at the State Department from 2002 to 2005 under then Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Vietnam War veteran, the former Acting Director of the Marine Corps War College at Quantico, and currently a teacher of national security at William and Mary College.
The program, On Point, was hosted by Tom Ashbrook, who focused the discussion on a need for greater public accountability for the Iraq War, but who maintained that the public was not outraged or interested. (Ashbrook should read some polls and invite on organizers of the impeachment movement.)
Also on the program was Ken Adelman, who promoted the war and said it would be "a cakewalk". Adelman argued a case for not holding public officials accountable.
Wilkerson said in early comments on the show: "This administration doesn't know how to effect accountability in my opinion." But he did not raise the possibility of impeachment until after a member of the audience had phoned in.
Thankfully we have people out there like Wilkerson who realizes the damage the Administration has done and what it would take to stop the madness. I've been a fan of impeachment for some time now and it is good to see the crowd getting larger and more diverse. Of course seeing it through is highly unlikely with the makeup of the current Congress, but unless we keeping pushing, we'll never get anywhere.
Ashbrook is right and wrong at the same time. There is a segment of the population that is actively engaged in getting the Prez and VP out by an act of Congress. Yet many people are more interested in other things (Have you seen the Spiderman 3 hype?) other than politics.
I kid you not, this is for real. Tom DeLay was asked to speak about campaign ethics by the Campaigns and Elections Seminar. I'm sure he'll be talking about his "No Retreat, No Surrender" book and how he is really the victim because others want to hold him accountable for his 'alleged' criminal actions as Majority Leader. Tom continues to stay in the news with stunts like this, enabling him to push his book and of course with a possible trial to hold him accountable for his actions.
More on the seminar from WaPo:
DeLay, a.k.a. "the Hammer," is set to kick off a May 31 Campaigns & Elections seminar, where he will hawk his book, "No Retreat, No Surrender," and talk political strategy ... and, who knows, maybe even ethics. (After all, Michael Scanlon, a former top DeLay aide who pleaded guilty in the Abramoff lobbying investigation, delivered his graduate thesis on congressional ethics last year; so why shouldn't the Hammer be able to join in the absurdity of it all?)
A witty, lampoony e-mail invitation from Campaigns & Elections reads: "Due to strong language (e.g. going negative, oppo, scandal) and adult situations (e.g. networking, politics, education) the Campaigns & Elections political training seminar is not intended for everyone. Some programming will include former Congressman and DCCC Chairman Vic Fazio, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, political strategist Joe Trippi and gratuitous depictions of successful campaigns, explicit discussions of ethics and an extreme passion for politics."
The invitation warns: "Attend at your own risk!"
At least they see some humor in their conference. Still, giving a platform to the schmuck is like feeding the animals at the zoo. The sign says not to, but people still throw scraps in the cage to get a personal show from the lion, tiger or bear. DeLay needs to be released into the wild, you know, like the general population at a Federal prison.
It is official, the parliament in Baghdad voted to get the United States Armed Forces out of their country. Bush said that if they want us out, we'll leave. Well, what are you waiting for Mr. President? The Congress and the majority of the American people are asking the same question....and demanding action.
The Young Turks talked about the subject this morning:
This isn't about an anti-war song from the 60s, it is an important issue that is beginning to seriously affect the agriculture industry from the small farmers all the way up to the big corporations. The fact is, most of our produce comes from flowering plants that need bees to pollinate them in order for everything to work out so we can keep munching and the same goes for the diets of livestock. The problem is, the bees are starting to disappear all over the country, even here in New York City.
From The New York Daily News:
Scientists are baffled by a mysterious plague called Colony Collapse Disorder that has been blamed for wiping out beehives across the country, and now it's stinging some city beekeepers.
"I'm waiting for bees to come through the mail. I've lost quite a few hives," said David Graves, a 57-year-old beekeeper from Massachusetts who keeps hives on the roofs of buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Ninety percent of his hives were wiped out last year, forcing Graves to raise the price of his boutique brand NYC Rooftop Honey he sells at the Union Square Greenmarket from $12 to $15 per half pound.
That rooftop honey is some good stuff and the rising price of local honey products is the least of our problems. Many beekeepers are reporting losses ranging from 30 to 90 percent of their hives. Commercial beekeepers livelihoods depend on being able to pollinate huge swaths of farmland all over the country and if they don't have the bees, there is no business to be had.
The causes for the epidemic are purely speculative at this point. Experts believe that pesticides are the most probable suspect, but no one knows for sure. No matter what the reason, the problem has become a huge cause for beekeepers, farmers and sooner or later more and more consumers will start to feel the effect at their local grocery store.
The Governor of Oregon made the news recently when he pledged to live on $20 dollars a week for food last month. Now to continue the awareness campaign, local Queens Councilman Eric Gioia has sought to live on the New York state allotment of $28 dollars a week. Doing that in New York City where blueberries can be over $5 for a small package, makes it a rough go around.
From The New York Daily News:
Budgeting $1.30 a meal, Gioia plans to load up his cart with peanut butter, beans and "the cheapest bread I can find" at the local supermarket, Food Dynasty, he said.
"Often the cheapest food isn't the healthiest," he warned.
A Daily News intern who purchased $28.73 worth of groceries for a week at Food Dynasty yesterday bought a lot of canned goods, pasta and breakfast bars on sale. More than a million New Yorkers currently collect food stamps, which average $113 a month for an individual and $200 for a family.
In the nation's first "food stamp challenge," anti-poverty advocates, politicians and clergy feed themselves for a week on the federal amount given to needy people for food. They are calling on Congress to pump about $20 billion more into the federal food stamp program over five years.
So why not let Congress know. Call up your local Representative and let them know this problem needs to be addressed. The return of the Democratic majority does not only mean fighting the President on the war (although it is extremely important). It is time for government to heed it's true calling, to serve the people that elect them.
It would be nice to see members of Congress take the challenge as well. The Capitol Grille for lunch can be over $100 with the blink of an eye, a far cry from the reality that impoverished Americans know. Not only does Congress need to add $20 billion to the program to keep up with rising food costs, there should be incentives as well for organic products to be made easily affordable. The facts are that in the United States, saving money at the grocery store translates into lower quality and heavily processed foods.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
In case you didn't know, Rudy Giuliani is a practicing Catholic who just happens to be running for President. Scary, isn't it? The former "Mussolini of Manhattan" ruled New York with a strong hand and even nastier temper when confronted with the press. But what will he do when the Pope threatens to excommunicated him? Pope Benedict XVI has threatened to excommunicate any politician in favor of abortion and withhold communion. Yet the former mayor has another problem, he's living in sin.
But even without the abortion issue, Giuliani can't take communion anyway. It seems he never got a church annulment of his second marriage to Donna Hanover. Church sources said that means he's living in sin with third wife, Judith.
Will that affect the race?
"It may affect, it may not," political guru Henk Sheinkopf said. "For those Catholics who listen to the pope they won't vote for him."
A spokesman for the New York Archdiocese refused to comment on Giuliani's status in the church, saying that would involve a private communication between Cardinal Edward Egan and the former mayor in Manhattan.
Of course this is a private matter. Who cares if he is "living in sin," what matters for deciding on the next leader of the free world is if he or she can govern our nation effectively. Idealistically speaking that is. Some Catholics will vote whatever way the Pope tells them and others will not. That is just plain common sense.
However, it is just another piece of 'questionable ethics' to add to his already considerable ethics problem. Being a Republican in New York City tends to be a tough sell in middle America. Not being from middle America, I wonder just how much flak he can get over not getting the church to annul the marriage....and why the hell he let that one slip in the first place.
Tony Blair announced today that he will be resigning as Prime Minister effective June 27th. The Labour Party, Britain and most of the world is truly grateful to see him go. Although his domestic policies have fared well, he will be most remembered for being Bush's faithful dog, following recklessly into the chaos that is Iraq. This move may indeed save the Labour Party in their upcoming elections, but we will see if it can get the U.K. out of the war any faster.
From the AP:
Blair announced his departure date two days after the formation of Northern Ireland's full power-sharing administration, a goal he spent much of his premiership striving to achieve.
But despite his accomplishments, Blair's legacy looks to be dominated by Iraq.
His decision to stand should-to-shoulder with President Bush by committing troops for the invasion divided his party and the country. Blair said he was content for history to judge him, but four years on and with almost 150 British troops dead in Iraq, the war is more unpopular than ever.
Blair got a decent farewell from party supporters , due to his leadership on the domestic front. Blair did a great many things for the less fortunate of Britons and of course that cannot be forgotten. However, with most politicians, they are generally remembered for one memorable policy in addition to their tact and character. Along with his famous grin, he will go down as a stooge of the Bush Administration, enabling the deaths of 150 British soldiers and giving Bush a solid ally for the occupation of Iraq for which Bush could lean on when he touted international support.
From Brave New Films:
On May 10th, 2007, this video was banned in Congress
Robert Greenwald, the director of IRAQ FOR SALE, was invited to testify before Congress by Rep. Jim Moran. He prepared four minutes from the documentary to show.
Republicans insisted this not be shown.
We have been so focused on finding out the whole truth about the eight fired U.S. Attorneys that no one considered there could be more. It turns out that Western Missouri prosecutor Todd Graves was told to resign several months before the rest were forced out. He left quietly back in March of 2006. So why has he come out now and spoke up about the dismissal? It seems Graves has a few things in common with the others.
From The Washington Post:
The former prosecutor's disclosure, in an interview on the eve of a second appearance today by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales before lawmakers investigating the firings, means that the administration began moving to replace U.S. attorneys five months earlier than was previously known. It also means that at least nine prosecutors were asked to resign last year, a deviation from repeated suggestions by Gonzales and other senior Justice officials in congressional testimony and other public statements that the firings did not extend beyond the eight prosecutors already known to have been forced out.
The characterization -- that Graves was being moved out simply to give someone else a turn -- is practically identical to the explanation that Bud Cummins, the former U.S. attorney in Little Rock, has said he was given last June, when he, too, was asked to leave. He was replaced by a former aide to President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove. The seven other U.S. attorneys were dismissed on a single day in December.
Graves said his conversation with Battle "made clear to me the fact I was getting a push."
"I felt like I was no longer welcome in the department," he said. "It wasn't like I was trying to hang on."
Well that was the main story about the others when we heard about this whole mess in the first place. Then the tale got more twisted as Gonzales lied with abandon and leaks started springing bits of truth. All eight initial attorneys had been investigating issues of voter fraud that could have been bad news for the Bush Administration. So was Graves onto the same thing?
The same month he was asked to step down, Graves's name was included in a Jan. 9, 2006, list assembled by Gonzales's then-chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, of seven U.S. attorneys the administration was considering forcing from their jobs. That April, Sampson sent another e-mail noting that two of the prosecutors on that list had already left. Three names, including Graves's, were redacted when Justice officials released the January list.
Graves said yesterday that he never knew he was on the list and was not given a specific reason he was asked to leave.
During the spring of 2005, an aide to Bond urged the White House to replace Graves, because the prosecutor's wife and brother-in-law recently had been given state patronage contracts to run private offices for driver's licenses and other motor vehicle services. A spokeswoman for Bond confirmed that interaction but said Justice officials later told the senator's staff that the contracts issue was not why the administration wanted him to leave.
Graves acknowledged that he had twice during the past few years clashed with Justice's civil rights division over cases, including a federal lawsuit involving Missouri's voter rolls that Graves said a Washington Justice official signed off on after he refused to do so. That official, Bradley J. Schlozman, was appointed as interim U.S. attorney to succeed Graves, remaining for a year until the Senate this spring confirmed John Wood for the job. Wood was a counselor to the deputy attorney general and is a son of Bond's first cousin, although the senator's spokeswoman, Shana Marchio, said Bond did not recommend him for the job.
So was it purely a political patronage thing or voter rolls...or maybe even both. Either way, Graves was kicked to the street while another attorney was picked for the job. Who is that new guy by the way? None other than Bradley Schlozman, the guy that rushed after A.C.O.R.N. activists right before the November election. Those Bushies sure do know how to pick the winners, don't they?
A few of the 13,000 NYC taxicabs have already installed the new touch screen monitors for passengers to check weather, news and sports, along with seeing the cab on a GPS map and being able to pay by credit card among other things. It is a step forward for bringing those lunging yellow beasts into the 21st century. Cabbies don't see it that way however.
From New York Business:
....But some drivers do not like the idea. They have raised concerns about the costs of the hardware, credit-card fees and potential working time lost if the systems need repair. Some worry that the global-positioning system will be used to track drivers' movements, although the taxi commission says it will record only the pickup and drop-off points and fare, which drivers already are required to log.
Drivers' concerns about the taxi technology have caught the ears of some City Council members, including Transportation Committee Chairman John Liu. He convened a committee hearing on the issue in January and said he has asked the taxi commission to address such questions as what drivers will pay for credit-card processing, a topic up for discussion Thursday.
''We would like to see these additions in New York cabs, but the benefit to the riding public has to be clear, and the concerns of the drivers have to be mitigated,'' Mr. Liu said in an interview.
The problems Councilman Liu addressed should be fixed if they are there. Otherwise, drivers need to put a sock in it. The technology is a huge benefit for everyone involved. Paying by credit card in emergency situations (or not) is a terrific thing, whether it is for drunks who spent all their cash at the bars or absent-minded sober people who forgot to go to the bank beforehand. It is especially good for tourists who do not know the city as well and can avoid being taken advantage of by a cab. And of course, if you are stuck in traffic, make sure to catch up on all the news out there.
President Bush constantly touted that he listens to his generals on the ground. He failed to mention that only includes the generals that agree with him. Major General John Batiste was not one of those and he retired because of George's failed strategy in Iraq. Here is what he has to say to Bush...and especially to Congress:
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
A brand new system of allocating New York City's public education dollars was introduced by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein today. The per-pupil system streamlines an older complicated method that over-funded some schools and left others short-changed. Thanks to a billion dollar boost in the budget provided for by Albany, the transition should be a smooth one.
From The New York Times:
The new budget system, a core component of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s effort to revamp the nation’s largest school system, ties $5.3 billion of the city’s $16.9 billion schools budget to individual students, allotting a fixed amount per child and extra dollars based on particular needs.
It directs relatively more new spending to middle and elementary schools and less to high schools. The city, however, is using an overall $1 billion increase in education spending by the state, city and federal governments to ensure that no school loses money next year, absent a drop in enrollment or other factors like the loss of federal grants.
“Because we are committed to success for all students,” Mr. Klein said at a news conference yesterday at his office, “we are sending new funds to students who have the greatest needs, such as middle schoolers, students who are scoring at the lowest levels on math and English exams, English-language learners and special education students.”
The public is also invited to take a look at the minutia on their website. I am glad to see that the city's school system is being reformed in such a way. Being open, accountable and providing for a more balanced system is what all school districts should be aspiring for.
The new system will have its share of critics complaining of a whole assortment of issues. Yet Klein and the other architect of the plan, Robert Gordon have been preparing for them. The weighted system gives the most to middle school students and helps out more for students needing bilingual education. The schools that have been more well-off will not feel a pinch yet, as Bloomberg has given them a two year leeway.
The so-called mainstream has often talked about the pro-impeachment crowd as a fringe movement of society that does not relate to the majority of Americans. However a recent study has shown that 39 percent of Americans now approve of Congress kicking George's ass to the curb.
From Crooks and Liars:
A surprising number of Americans seem to think impeachment is a good idea. From the very conservative magazine, Human Events:
Few serious observers think things will ever get to actual impeachment. And yet the American public seems more open to the concept than many imagine, according to a new national poll. The implications of this public sentiment could be huge for the 2008 presidential elections.
Our InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll asked this: “Would you favor or oppose the impeachment by Congress of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney?”
Oppose: 55 %
Undecided/Don’t Know: 6%
I should note that InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion is not a liberal polling firm — it’s led by Matt Towery, a former Republican state lawmaker who ran Newt Gingrich’s political operation for several years.
If that polling was conducted by Matt Towery, it would be interesting to see what a neutral pollster would find out there. It is a shame that we do not have at least four in ten Congressmen in favor of impeachment. Where's the representation, eh?
The conservatives are touting the attempted assault on Fort Dix as another reason why Republicans should be trusted more than Democrats to protect us. Of course they easily forget that using law enforcement was what stopped the attempt, something Bush mocked Kerry for talking about. These potential terrorists however, were complete idiots for taking their training video to the local photoshop to be transferred to DVD.
Keith has more:
The army and the media have had a constantly changing relationship over the past sixty years or so as technology has evolved. World War II gave us grainy videos weeks after the fact. Reporters in Vietnam reported on the news every night. During the Gulf War the 24 hour cable news networks had constant updates on the progress in Iraq. Now as we have begun our fifth year of occupying Iraq, the military is going straight to YouTube to broadcast the combat operations of our troops. Multi-National Forces Iraq created a "channel" on the popular video sharing website in March to show the clips, which often capture the intensity of combat while generally showing US troops in a positive light. Pentagon spokesmen were unable to explain what the military hopes to accomplish with the "MNFIRAQ" channel, but it appeared to be part of a push by to find new ways to gain support for a deeply unpopular war. "This is a specific effort to get information out about Iraq," said Colonel Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman.
From the AFP:
Could this actually be a useful propaganda tool for the military? I'm not so sure. Showing video clips of troops blowing things and people up may be cool for part of the video game crowd. Yet the average YouTube user might not be as impressed. This footage will show the brutality of war, as I could clearly see after watching a few posts. The images bring the war right onto the monitor and not the cleaned up crap the traditional media gives its viewers. Plenty of people have watched the footage so far so while it is being widely dispersed, no one knows what the effects of it will be.
Multi-National Forces Iraq created a "channel" on the popular video sharing website in March to show the clips, which often capture the intensity of combat while generally showing US troops in a positive light.
Pentagon spokesmen were unable to explain what the military hopes to accomplish with the "MNFIRAQ" channel, but it appeared to be part of a push by to find new ways to gain support for a deeply unpopular war.
"This is a specific effort to get information out about Iraq," said Colonel Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman.
Religious institutions have been under fire from the progressive community for sometime now due to the rapacious bloodlust of the religious right. The latest abomination was Dobson and many others charge to stop the Hate Crimes legislation from going forward. Today there is a refreshing story about churches around the country that are beginning to protect those that are less fortunate. That group is highly stigmatized because they are considered 'illegal immigrants.'
From The New York Times:
Recalling a movement that challenged United States policy in Central America in the 1980s, several religious congregations in New York and other cities will announce a campaign Wednesday to provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants who face deportation.
As of Tuesday, the organizers of what is being called the New Sanctuary Movement said that five churches in New York City had already offered assistance to two families — one from China and one from Haiti — and would provide them with shelter if the federal government moved to enforce the deportation orders filed against them.
“We’re launching now because we’re fed up with detentions, deportations and raids,” said the Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, the senior minister of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village. “We felt it was not morally possible to remain silent.”
Morality has been twisted by many on the right to protect the privileged few. Morality to them means keeping things neat and orderly for the white majority and to persecute minority groups, whether they be of another ethnicity or sexual orientation. Now that church groups are coming out to protect immigrants that face deportation, the church (or at least part of it) can be seen in their true calling. That is to protect those that are less fortunate and who need a helping hand.
While the government may be cracking down on 'illegals' it is still a moral issue and an American issue to give shelter to those that want to have a better life in America. That is the reason they came to this country much like the ancestors of those that are here today. It is so easy to forget where we came from and try to protect an illusion that new immigrants are out to get us. Many leaders on the right try to play on basic human nature and the instinctual fear to survive that we are genetically programmed with. Thankfully there are people that can see past that and realize that we are all in this together. That is what has made America the great place it is known as and will continue to be.
Congressman Ted Poe of Texas spoke in favor of the war in Iraq yesterday, citing Klan founder Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a leader of the Confederate Army and then started the KKK to combat the threat as he saw it against the newly freed slave population. Thanks to him, the Ku Klux Klan started on its mission of torturing and killing African Americans simply because of their skin color.
“Git thar fustest with the mostest," was Forrest's cry when fighting against the Union Army. Ted Poe thought that the quote was an appropriate remark to justify the ongoing escalation of the war in Iraq. How any sane person would say such a thing on the floor of the House of Representatives amazes me.
From Roll Call via Crooks and Liars:
On Monday, Rep. Ted Poe took to the House floor to discuss foreign policy matters. To make a point, the Texas Republican invoked the words of Civil War Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest: “Git thar fustest with the mostest.”
The quotation got some floor watchers’ attention pretty quickly. Forrest is a controversial figure who was one of the Klan’s first grand wizards. Although the Civil War hero (if you were a Confederate, that is) ultimately abandoned the Klan for its violent tactics, he continues to kick up dust.
After you recover from the shock of Ted Poe's knowledge of the old Grand Wizard, it is actually an amusing comparison. The KKK is now considered a radical fringe hate group in the United States and by any foreign observer. Bedford Forrest is known as one of America's worst people to have had an impact on our history. The Civil War itself is a stain upon our past, though it signifies the end of slavery.
Now in 2007, the war in Iraq is becoming increasingly unpopular. Getting there fast and with the most is a losing proposition and the evidence that the surge is a complete failure is becoming clearer by the day as the casualties mount. Ted Poe may know how to quote Bedford Forrest, but that would be like a German politician citing Hitler to advocate for a position in Germany. Congressman Poe, you are my World's Worst Person in the World for yesterday.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Governor Eliot Spitzer adorned his pom-poms for New York's junior Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton today. He had been leaning for the local girl and now it is going to be official next week. Why oh why though? Isn't there more to an endorsement other than that she represents New York?
From CBS News:
"New Yorkers know first hand how effective Hillary is as a leader, which is why her support runs deep in this state," Spitzer said Tuesday. "As senator she has capably represented New Yorkers and together with countless other supporters I look forward to sharing with the rest of the country the values and strengths that will make her an excellent president."
Spitzer had thus far put off an endorsement, saying it was premature.
The event Monday is expected to draw a host of other New York Democrats, including state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. David Paterson.
For months, Spitzer has hedged about an endorsement of Clinton, who leads national polls for the Democratic nomination. But the governor had dropped enough hints that the endorsement really came down to a guessing game about when _ not if _ it would happen.
"What an amazing president she will be for every person in this country," Spitzer gushed last month when the two spoke before a teachers' convention in Washington.
Eh, I don't know about this. Rooting for the home team is nice and all, but this is for the Presidency, not the World Series or Stanley Cup. New York and the entire nation needs someone that does not rely on a ridiculous strategy of leaning to the center-right while pretending she is still liberal for the primaries.
Of course I would take her over any of the ten (so far) bumbling idiots from the Republican side. Yet we have far more superior candidates for President other than Hillary. Spitzer is known as a steamroller in these parts and he should have rolled over the conventional wisdom of choosing to endorse a candidate based on location.
You can see the examples of it with each U.S. Attorney that was fired by Gonzales' Justice Department. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow discussed the matter yesterday:
Flowers smell nice, candy tastes sweet, but what will make Mom really happy? I've always had a tough time getting my Mom a gift, especially since her birthday is around this time as well. I usually get caught up in what little thing might appeal to the woman that seems to have everything already. Then last night I happened upon this website and I remembered what Mother's Day is truly about.
Julia Ward Howe made her Mother's Day Proclamation 137 years ago and it is still relevant today. Mothers got together to rally against the ravages of war back then when the Civil War claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Now Iraqis are losing a similar amount of their brethren and it needs to stop.
There are plenty of injured Iraqis as well and here is where the gift idea comes in. Salee is a ten year old girl who lost her brother and her legs after U.S. fighter jets missed their target and hit her house instead. It is hard not to tear up just looking at her picture. Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina has graciously decided to give her prosthetic limbs and rehabiliation for no cost.
However she still needs funds to travel to the states and to live here for several months while she learns to use her new legs. Out of the $29,900 needed, Salee still has $17,603 dollars to go (as of the time of this post). You can help out by making a donation in your own mother's name and sending her an e-card showing how you are thinking about her this year. Not only will it put a smile on your Mom's face (as it did for mine) it helps a little girl be able to live her life with the ability to walk.
The debate over Wolfowitz's guilt or innocence is now over. He was found to have violated World Bank rules when he gave special favors to his romantic interest Shaha Riza. Now the Bank is trying to save Wolfowitz's dignity and allow him to resign before being manually kicked out of his office. For the Bank to have to vote on his ouster would mean that divisions on the board would be exposed between the U.S. and the rest of the world.
From The New York Times:
The Europeans worked to arrange a quick exit for Mr. Wolfowitz as a special bank committee concluded that he was guilty of breaking rules barring conflicts of interest in arranging for a pay raise and promotion for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion and a bank employee, in 2005.
The decision was sent to Mr. Wolfowitz on Sunday night after a month of turmoil over the situation. The panel’s findings were not made public, but people familiar with the report said that it reviewed documents and testimony before concluding that Mr. Wolfowitz had breached his obligations in arranging for Ms. Riza’s reassignment from the bank to the State Department.
“What I’m hearing from colleagues is, ‘Let’s not push the Americans too hard,’ ” said a senior European official involved in policy on the bank. “We want to avoid a split between the United States and its European allies. We’re willing to say: ‘O.K., you find a capable American to run this institution and we can live with that.’ ”
The Bank should not have to resort to that, it is important to show a cohesive Bank that is dedicated to helping developing countries with financial difficulties, not dealing with internal difficulties. European nations were extremely generous by allowing the U.S. to pick a new President for the institution. Wolfowitz must resign soon, if not to save his own face but for the betterment of the World Bank.
The Republicans' old talking point about Democrats was that they never had any ideas. Isn't it funny how rare that one is heard these days? Probably because the Republicans are being held accountable as the party with bad ideas, a theory validated by the election last November. Not only have they failed miserably in Iraq and elsewhere abroad, the home front has truly suffered. Don't fear America, there is a new way out of the situation we are in. Democrats truly are a party of ideas that are geared to help the Middle Class and everyone outside the top 1% who do not need the extra assistance Republicans have afforded them in the last 6-12 years. Democrats will work to provide Americans with more sustainable and affordable sources of energy. Democrats are working to pass legislation that will enhance America's security by reducing the nation's dependence on foreign and unsustainable energy sources and the risks of global warming by requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; diversifying and expanding our use of secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly energy supplies and technologies, by repealing tax giveaways to big energy companies; reducing the burdens on consumers of rising energy prices; and preventing energy price gouging, profiteering and market manipulation. Democrats will raise the minimum wage. In February, after a ten year battle, both houses of Congress have passed versions of H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The bill, which will raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15/hour to $7.25/hour in three steps over two years, will benefit 13 million workers and help reverse years of wage stagnation without harming the economy. Of those who would be directly or indirectly benefited, nearly 59 percent are women and 46 percent are their family’s sole breadwinner. Moreover, this raise of $2.10 per hour will benefit well-over six million children whose parents will receive an increase in earnings. As the House and Senate work to clear the bill for the President’s signature, the nation can be assured that Democrats are dedicated to giving workers their long overdue raise. Democrats will restore fiscal responsibility to Democrats are also working to eliminate unfair tax burdens on middle-class Americans. Skyrocketing health care, education, housing, and gas costs have placed middle-class families in a tight economic squeeze. Making matters worse, more and more of these families are being forced to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was originally intended only for the super-wealthy to ensure that they paid a minimum tax. S. Con. Res. 21 includes AMT relief for middle-class taxpayers, to prevent millions of Americans from being subjected to the tax. There is so much more in the briefing, including all the charts and graphs that show how Bush has hurt our economy and our nation here at home. I know it is a partisan document, but so what? Republicans don't apologize for their propaganda and we are not going to apologize for addressing the facts and reality our nation is facing.
From the Democratic Policy Committee:
Democrats will work to provide Americans with more sustainable and affordable sources of energy. Democrats are working to pass legislation that will enhance America's security by reducing the nation's dependence on foreign and unsustainable energy sources and the risks of global warming by requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; diversifying and expanding our use of secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly energy supplies and technologies, by repealing tax giveaways to big energy companies; reducing the burdens on consumers of rising energy prices; and preventing energy price gouging, profiteering and market manipulation.
Democrats will raise the minimum wage. In February, after a ten year battle, both houses of Congress have passed versions of H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The bill, which will raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15/hour to $7.25/hour in three steps over two years, will benefit 13 million workers and help reverse years of wage stagnation without harming the economy. Of those who would be directly or indirectly benefited, nearly 59 percent are women and 46 percent are their family’s sole breadwinner. Moreover, this raise of $2.10 per hour will benefit well-over six million children whose parents will receive an increase in earnings. As the House and Senate work to clear the bill for the President’s signature, the nation can be assured that Democrats are dedicated to giving workers their long overdue raise. Democrats will restore fiscal responsibility to Democrats are also working to eliminate unfair tax burdens on middle-class Americans. Skyrocketing health care, education, housing, and gas costs have placed middle-class families in a tight economic squeeze. Making matters worse, more and more of these families are being forced to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was originally intended only for the super-wealthy to ensure that they paid a minimum tax. S. Con. Res. 21 includes AMT relief for middle-class taxpayers, to prevent millions of Americans from being subjected to the tax.
Democrats will restore fiscal responsibility to
Democrats are also working to eliminate unfair tax burdens on middle-class Americans. Skyrocketing health care, education, housing, and gas costs have placed middle-class families in a tight economic squeeze. Making matters worse, more and more of these families are being forced to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was originally intended only for the super-wealthy to ensure that they paid a minimum tax. S. Con. Res. 21 includes AMT relief for middle-class taxpayers, to prevent millions of Americans from being subjected to the tax.
There is so much more in the briefing, including all the charts and graphs that show how Bush has hurt our economy and our nation here at home. I know it is a partisan document, but so what? Republicans don't apologize for their propaganda and we are not going to apologize for addressing the facts and reality our nation is facing.
Not once but twice the President screws up in this video. I know it's from Fox, so I'll give a tip to save time and from seeing that awful logo. The first good part starts right at the beginning, remember that with these type of events, the President is supposed to walk with the Queen, not trailing far behind. The next one is towards the end at the 2:00 minute mark, I won't spoil that one.
I know this will be a shocker to you, but the state will acknowledge the Bill of Rights and specifically the first amendment of the constitution in this case. As you may know Heather Moriah got a brand new beautiful customized license plate for her Prius. Even the license plate was beautiful, it read "MPEACHW."
Then the DMV of South Dakota got a call from an angry Republican and told her she would have to relinquish the plates because they were deemed offensive. Well Heather wasn't taking their threat lightly and the story went out to the press. The state officials were adamant about 'following the letter of the law' or whatever crap it took so that Heather's car couldn't scream "Impeach George W. Bush" in such a creative way.
Well after a little bit of pressure, South Dakota's DMV caved in and let her keep the license plates. The Department's Secretary Paul Kinsman even came out and made a statement:
“After reviewing case law on this issue, we have determined that the plate will not be recalled.” Well good for you Paul, I am glad you checked that other law after trying to follow the letter of the law. And of course cheers to Heather for keeping those great plates being seen around Rapid City!
Monday, May 07, 2007
President Bush doesn't mind sending troops from all different military branches over to fight his senseless war in Iraq. While the Army and Marines are meant to fight overseas, the National Guard is not. Only in times when there is dire need for their support, should we send them in harms way far from their families. One of the primary roles of the Guard is to protect the homeland, against invaders and to provide assistance for natural disasters. We already saw the consequences of not having Louisiana's men when Hurricane Katrina hit, now we get to see what happens when an F-5 tornado destroys an entire Kansas' town.
"Well, states all over the country are not only missing personnel, National Guard troops are — about 40 percent of the troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan — but we’re missing the equipment. When the troops get deployed, the equipment goes with them," she told CNN.
"So, here in Kansas, about 50 percent of our trucks are gone. We need trucks. We’re missing Humvees, we’re missing all kinds of equipment that can help us respond to this kind of emergency."
She said that because the National Guard doesn't have the equipment it needs, the disaster relief efforts are proceeding at a much slower pace than they otherwise could.
Amen Kathleen! Our National Guard needs to be at home so we can be equipped to deal with emergencies like the devastating tornado that hit Greenburg. Of course there is a relief effort underway, but nothing like it should be. I remember living through the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and the Guard were our heroes. They helped fix massive sinkholes, repair water mains and hand out water while there was none for several days.
That is one of the many reasons why each Governor has command of the Guard, so that they can take care of serious situations across the country when disaster strikes. That is much different than creating the disasters themselves like we (George Bush) have in Iraq.
Congressman John Doolittle's political career is pretty much over now that Federal investigators raided his and his wife's offices last month. Now that we know they skimmed campaign contributions and put approximately a quarter of a million dollars into their bank account, he's toast. Not only will the Republican party abandon him, but he'll most likely end up in jail for his illegal activities.
Doolittle is another Republican crook whom karma got around to, just as Duke Cunningham, jack Abramoff, Bob Ney and many other have found out for themselves. Yet there is more to it. The Sacramento News and Review took a good look at their local slimebag and saw a bigger picture.
...But Doolittle’s devious machinations may not have amounted to all that much if it also had not been for larger forces at work. In hindsight, one can identify the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 and the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 as the beginnings of a conservative ideological ascendance, one that more or less continued--and perhaps crested in the 2006 election. Whatever its sources and whatever accounts for its relative longevity, Doolittle’s rise and fall serve as the bookends of the era.
Whether it’s their aggressive overreach abroad or their negligent under-reach at home, the neoconservative Republican agenda with its ersatz Christian halo exhausted itself in failure. Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and climate change are among the key indicators of their collapse.(snip)
To whatever extent Doolittle’s decline signals a shift in the larger forces that are reshaping the state’s and the nation’s political dialogue, there still seems something exquisitely inevitable about him personally facing the prospect of criminal prosecution. His successful unbroken ride to power, while regularly violating the most basic ethical standards, must have had the effect of deluding him to believe there need not be any boundaries to his behavior.
In a remark suggestive of both his ambition and his underlying amorality, when he first arrived in Congress in 1991 Doolittle told a reporter, “You can do what you need to do here, and the only thing holding a person back is the person himself.” There is a growing likelihood that, in the near future, Doolittle will have some significant time on his hands to contemplate this insight.
In twenty-six years the conservative movement has had plenty of time to prove that their grand ideas would work for the country. Unfortunately for all of us the neo-con agenda has led to a tremendous downfall for our country that is left with the muck of Republican corruption. Doolittle is not just a bad duck, he exemplifies the entire G.O.P. movement.
Forget the ridiculous campaign antics, this story is far more serious than a pathetic attempt at running for office in New York. It seems that Ms Pirro might have withheld evidence in a murder trial that led to a wrongful conviction of Anthony DiSimone. Thanks to the recently revealed information that she secretly recorded work conversations as the DA for Westchester County, there might be a treasure trove of interesting stuff that went on at the office. That fact was disclosed in a filing in federal court in Manhattan in the course of an investigation the purpose of which is not yet fully in the public record. But the disclosures so far indicate that when Ms. Pirro left office in 2005 to run for state attorney general, she asked an investigator to destroy a box containing at least some of the tapes, an assistant district attorney in Westchester, Richard Hecht, wrote in a letter to the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals. The investigator, who is not identified in the letter, did not follow through, Mr. Hecht wrote. One of the reasons this is of interest is that that Ms. Pirro's successor now is in possession of a tape suggesting Ms. Pirro failed to disclose evidence that could have helped a man whom Ms. Pirro subsequently charged with murder. But the existence of any tapes immediately raises the question of whom Ms. Pirro was talking to over her years in office and what conversations, whether of a political or legal nature, might be recorded in the surviving tapes. Pirro has dealt with a few shady characters and is probably one herself. These recordings must be shown the light of day so the truth can come out as to what she knew about the Anthony DiSimone case and possibly others as well. This old crime-fighter might just be a criminal herself.
From The New York Sun:
That fact was disclosed in a filing in federal court in Manhattan in the course of an investigation the purpose of which is not yet fully in the public record. But the disclosures so far indicate that when Ms. Pirro left office in 2005 to run for state attorney general, she asked an investigator to destroy a box containing at least some of the tapes, an assistant district attorney in Westchester, Richard Hecht, wrote in a letter to the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
The investigator, who is not identified in the letter, did not follow through, Mr. Hecht wrote.
One of the reasons this is of interest is that that Ms. Pirro's successor now is in possession of a tape suggesting Ms. Pirro failed to disclose evidence that could have helped a man whom Ms. Pirro subsequently charged with murder. But the existence of any tapes immediately raises the question of whom Ms. Pirro was talking to over her years in office and what conversations, whether of a political or legal nature, might be recorded in the surviving tapes.
Pirro has dealt with a few shady characters and is probably one herself. These recordings must be shown the light of day so the truth can come out as to what she knew about the Anthony DiSimone case and possibly others as well. This old crime-fighter might just be a criminal herself.
Small businesses are the pillar of our nation's economy. They employ over 40 percent of the workforce and enable many to live the American dream. Generally smaller companies treat their employees better since the relationship is on a more human level and 50,000 people's jobs won't be decided on in a nice, expensive boardroom full of millionaires. So how does the insurance industry do it's part to thank this segment of the populaton? They screw them royally of course.
From The New York Times:
In a small workplace, as a result, if an employee or a covered dependent becomes seriously ill, or if someone has even a routine medical need like maternity care, the entire group may pay the price through steeply higher insurance rates.
“Almost any kind of situation where one employee has a serious health condition almost makes the group uninsurable, because of cost,” said the governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, a member of a group studying health care issues for the National Governors Association. “Affordable coverage for small-business owners and self-employed individuals is probably the biggest challenge that we have in Kansas and most states.”
Ms. Sebelius, a Democrat, is currently at work on a bipartisan proposal with the state’s Republican insurance commissioner that would insulate small groups by having the state provide backup insurance for the most expensive medical cases.
Many state governments are trying to find a solution to this colossal mess. It is obvious that the industry will never clean itself up, so government must step in. Since the President would never do anything to help regular Americans and their health care, the responsibility falls to the states.
The problem with this is that some states have done more than others. Several have caps on how much premiums can rise, but most don't and some companies can see their premiums go up close to 30 percent in one year due to an employee falling ill. Essentially the insurance industry will penalize everyone in the company for one person getting sick. So when someone sneezes in your office, ya better say "bless you."
Congressman Charlie Rangel called out the obvious on George Tenet yesterday with Bob Schieffer. He said the former CIA chief has no credibility and should be investigated. I couldn't agree more. Tenet takes no responsibility for his actions in the book, and the stuff he does mention about the Bush Administration.....why the hell didn't he say something before we went into Iraq? That makes him complicit with George Bush and Dick Cheney et al. crime of starting an illegal war. So go get em' Charlie!
On CBS' Face The Nation Sunday morning, after a discussion of the impasse between the Democratic controlled Congress and president over the war funding bill, host Bob Schieffer asked the House Ways and Means Committee chairman if he could "switch to George Tenet, the former CIA director whose book came out this week."
"Sometime back, he got the Medal of Freedom," Schieffer continued. "I believe you were quoted somewhere along the way as saying that rather than the Medal of Freedom, he should be looked at by the Justice Department. What do you think about these allegations that he's making now that he was misunderstood when he said it was a slam dunk, that the administration had already made up its mind to go to war? Does he have credibility with you, Mr. Chairman?"
"No," Rangel responded, "I don't think he has credibility with anyone in the United States."
Rangel continued, "For him to have had the information that he had and to tell the president that it was a slam dunk. For the president to mislead the people in the United States in believing that there was weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attack in 9/11, that he was part of al Qaeda. And for him to have done what he did to my friend, Colin Powell, to have him sitting in the United Nations proclaiming the connection between the two, knowing in his heart that the evidence did not go in that direction. And to accept a medal and then to put out a book -- God knows what he got in terms of an advance -- to me, this warrants an investigation."
If you know that a murder is going to take place and you do nothing to stop it, you are essentially an accessory to murder. If you know that a disastrous war is about to take place, costing thousands upon thousands of lives and the pretenses for it are blatantly false....well then you are guilty of a lot more than just one murder.
As Rangel calls for an investigation, Congressman Henry Waxman has already invited the ex-CIA chief over to the Hill to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform later this week. As Tenet sells books and makes his trip around the country promoting it, it is more than fair for him to pay a visit to Congress and answer a few important questions.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney already has the stigma of being known as a flip-flopper. Of course, that didn't stop him playing to his audience at Regent University and tell lies to please the conservative crowd. He lied about and bashed the French, 'liberal' culture and used the tragedy at Virginia Tech to show off his holiness. It amazes me that this guy is considered a front-runner for anything, let alone the Republican nomination next year.
From The Washington Post:
VIRGINIA BEACH, May 5 -- Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) did not discuss his Mormon faith as he continued his outreach Saturday to conservative Christians in a graduation speech at Regent University, the school founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.
Instead, Romney, who is intensely courting this key segment of the Republican base in hopes of winning the party's 2008 presidential nomination, expounded on conservative themes such as the importance of child-rearing and marriage and the presence of evil in the world.
"There is no work more important to America's future than the work that is done within the four walls of the American home," Romney said. He also criticized people who choose not to get married because they enjoy the single life.
"It seems that Europe leads Americans in this way of thinking," Romney told the crowd of more than 5,000. "In France, for instance, I'm told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past."
Wow, those are some pretty harsh statements against the French. Ah Mitt, if only they were true words. Crooks and Liars looked up your odd statement and found that it was based on a French comedy, not what really goes on outside the brilliant mind of Mitt Romney.
Now that the French have elected a new President they want to follow through with actual morality that benefits society and the world, specifically concerning climate change. Sarkozy wants to work with the U.S. to fight climate change...but what is the chance that a President Mitt Romney would care about little things like that? Probably slim to none.
The immigration debate is one that polarizes people between realizing that America is land of immigrants and those that believe that if as long as they were born here, no one else is allowed to come in. The world is a constantly changing place and if you don't play by the rules of change, you will get hit by the wave while others cruise by on a surfboard.
Plenty of cities have been trying to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants, fighting to keep people from other countries to live the American dream that their own forefathers came here to realize. Building an infrastructure to combat these immigrants from the south has ended up being a costly venture. While in the past 'natives' had simply used racial violence and discriminatory hiring practices, today's minutemen lovers are dealing with high costs that might actually paralyze their municipalities. Isn't it ironic that the people who predict financial doom because of immigration end up bringing fiscal woes to themselves.
From The Associated Press:
More than 90 cities or counties around the country have proposed, passed or rejected laws prohibiting landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that employ undocumented workers or training police to enforce immigration laws.
Approval of these anti-illegal immigration ordinances has generated criticism, demonstrations and lawsuits in Valley Park, Mo.; Riverside, N.J.; Escondido, Calif.; Hazleton, Pa., and the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch.
Escondido abandoned an ordinance that would punish landlords who rent to illegal immigrants after it discovered the legal bills could top $1 million. By the time the city council agreed in December to settle a lawsuit challenging the ordinance, Escondido had spent $200,000, said spokeswoman Joyce Masterson.
The nationalistic fervor has inevitably brought lawsuits challenging their legality. Local governments work on limited budgets so they are hesitant to spend the cash on keeping up their 'pure' appearances. Small cities like Escondido learned their lesson the hard way, along with a few others that aren't just near the U.S.-Mexico border. So my question is, why can't we all just get along? Why does a nation that has become great due to its immigrants hate the newest bunch. After 200 years, the pattern is starting to get old.
Watch out for those dark-skinned people when the terror alert goes up, and if you happen to have a complexion that isn't WASPY white, make sure to have your American flag stickers handy!
The latest twist in events surrounding the U.S. Attorney scandal has reached new heights and perilously low bottoms when it comes to basic human morality. It turns out that John McKay was singled out for removal a while back because of his fight with the Justice Dept to investigate the death of fellow U.S. Attorney Tom Wales.
From The Washington Post:
Several officials familiar with the investigation said McKay and other officials in Seattle believed that senior Justice officials were not paying enough attention to the case. Sampson did not cite specifics, saying only that McKay had demanded actions that led to conflicts, congressional aides familiar with his account said.
The suggestion of a connection between the firing and the unsolved Wales murder case generated angry reactions from McKay and others in western Washington yesterday.
"The idea that I was pushing too hard to investigate the assassination of a federal prosecutor -- it's mind-numbing" that they would suggest that, McKay said. " . . . If it's true, it's just immoral, and if it's false, then the idea that they would use the death of Tom Wales to cover up what they did is just unconscionable."
Well morality has never come easy to the top echelons of the Justice Department and their friends over at the White House. What is amazing is that they would want to drag McKay's feet on a murder investigation. What was the reasoning behind it? Did they just want McKay to focus on investigating Democrats, or was there something more sinister behind it? No senior Justice Department officials came to the funeral, which was considered very odd. Nor did Gonzales attend the fifth year commemoration of his death. He sent an underling instead. Perhaps the two events were out of carelessness for protocol, but who knows?
Either way, it is a travesty that McKay and several of his colleagues' ouster occurred in the manner that it did. Gonzales and the White House can continue to deny that they did anything wrong but the public sees it differently. We all do.
Bush may have claimed a mandate on 51%, but Al Gore might be mandated into New York schools. Assemblyman Rivera of the Bronx was so impressed by "An Inconvenient Truth" that he wants all kids to see this important documentary.
From The Empire Zone:
“It should be common sense to include our children in the discussions on the important scientific data presented in this documentary,” the Assemblyman said in his press release. “We can not waste any more time in engaging everyone capable of helping to solve this planetary crisis.”
Left unclear is whether Kindergarteners are considered capable of helping solve this planetary crisis. The headline of the press release says the Assemblyman wants “all K-12 students” to see the movie, while the body of the release says the legislation will mandate that the documentary be shown to all students in grades 1 through 12.
Despite the discrepancy between K-12 and 1-12, the legislation would do well to pass up in Albany. The children are the future as we all know and they have the right to know what is happening to the planet they will inherit one day. So far this generation hasn't done much collectively, especially with the Bush Administration at the helm. The more people know about the conditions of our planet regardless of age, the better chance we have at turning the dire situation around.