Saturday, July 14, 2007

Iraq Tells Us To Leave...Again

First it was the Iraqi parliament that overwhelmingly told the United States' forces to leave their country. Now Prime Minister al-Maliki is telling us again, please leave. Pretty please with cherries on top. They know the American occupation can do no good in Baghdad or anywhere within Iraq. So do the American people. The only stalwarts left are George Bush and his sycophants.

From Yahoo News:

BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

Al-Maliki sought to display confidence at a time when pressure is mounting in Congress for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces. On Thursday, the House passed a measure calling for the U.S. to withdraw its troops by spring, hours after the White House reported mixed progress by the Iraqi government toward meeting 18 benchmarks.

Someone once said we would stand down when they stood up. Well Iraqis want to stand the American occupation that is. They may want to kill each other as well, but they want us to leave and leave now. This news puts another huge hole in Bush's rationale to keep our country mired in a war we cannot win. Yet this is George Bush we are talking about and no one is going to make him leave Iraq, even the Iraqis themselves.

The Weekly Top Ten Is Back

It has been a few weeks but the PoliticsTV Top Ten is back. Here is your top ten political videos of the week:

FEMA Denies Reimbursment To Cajundome

FEMA already has a woeful track record when it comes to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The debit cards were a terrible idea, the rebuilding efforts were horrendous and the corporate giveaways were a sham. Now they want to add to that legacy by rescinding their offer to reimburse the Cajundome in Lafayette for housing refugees to the tune of $1 million dollars out of the $5 million originally agreed on in addition to $1.2 million for usage fees. Haven't they pissed on the area enough already?

From The Advocate:

LAFAYETTE — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked the Cajundome to repay $1 million that had been reimbursed to the facility for its use as a shelter during the 2005 hurricanes.

Cajundome Director Greg Davis said Friday that the news FEMA wanted the money back came with a denial of an appeal he had made to the agency for more money.

“FEMA just continues changing the rules as the game is being played,” Davis said. “We are so shocked. That’s the last thing we expected.”

Everyone expected so much more from an agency that was once world-class in helping Americans through natural calamities. I grew up just a couple miles from the epicenter of the Northridge/Reseda Earthquake in 1994 and was amazed at the efforts and the assistance. Now FEMA is a shell of its old self and has done next to nothing for the residents of New Orleans and the rest of the devastated region.

Say What Condi?

Bush had his tool Secretary of State go on the Today Show yesterday to talk up the Administration's delusional view of the war in Iraq. As Monday and the deadline for Bush's excuses for the situation in Iraq approaches, the White House is defending the status quo by saying that things are getting better over there. Of course that is hardly the case.

From ThinkProgress:

[I]f you look at the way that they are fighting now, in a less sectarian fashion…I think they’re fighting on behalf of all Iraqis, where they showed up in the numbers that they are supposed to.

Are you kidding me??? Iraqis are constantly fighting each other, escalating the violence day by day, week by week and month by month. Shias, Sunnis and even the Kurds are incessantly killing each other in a never-ending civil war. Many of them join the army to exact revenge on one another. They also frequently surprise the American troops that are there to train them.

For the love of humanity Condi, please come back to earth and talk about what goes on there with at least a shred of truth.

What Should George Do After 2008?

The Politico asks what George should do after he leaves the White House. I think he should be in jail, what do you think?

Peggy Noonan Makes A Good Point About Bush

George Bush lost the confidence of the Reagan official turned political pundit over the immigration debate, being the xenophobe that she is. But she made a good observation about the President and his delusional state of mind yesterday in the Wall Street Journal (of all places). It is getting so bad for Bush that he is now being consistently attacked on both the left and the right. Despite the attacks and the realities of war, Bush doesn't seem to mind, and that is exactly what Noonan makes light of.

From The Wall Street Journal:

....I'm not referring to what used to be called Bush Derangement Syndrome. That phrase suggested that to passionately dislike the president was to be somewhat unhinged. No one thinks that anymore. I received an email before the news conference from as rock-ribbed a Republican as you can find, a Georgia woman (middle-aged, entrepreneurial) who'd previously supported him. She said she'd had it. "I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth." I was startled by her vehemence only because she is, as I said, rock-ribbed. Her email reminded me of another, one a friend received some months ago: "I took the W off my car today," it said on the subject line. It sounded like a country western song, like a great lament.

As I watched the news conference, it occurred to me that one of the things that might leave people feeling somewhat disoriented is the president's seemingly effortless high spirits. He's in a good mood. There was the usual teasing, the partly aggressive, partly joshing humor, the certitude. He doesn't seem to be suffering, which is jarring. Presidents in great enterprises that are going badly suffer: Lincoln, LBJ with his head in his hands. Why doesn't Mr. Bush? Every major domestic initiative of his second term has been ill thought through and ended in failure. His Iraq leadership has failed. His standing is lower than any previous president's since polling began. He's in a good mood. Discuss.

Is it defiance? Denial? Is it that he's right and you're wrong, which is your problem? Is he faking a certain steely good cheer to show his foes from Washington to Baghdad that the American president is neither beaten nor bowed? Fair enough: Presidents can't sit around and moan. But it doesn't look like an act. People would feel better to know his lack of success sometimes gets to him. It gets to them.

The first thought that comes to mind is that maybe Bush isn't human, but that might be reaching a bit much. Is it his alcoholism perhaps? Nah, that would take a lot of booze to create that much numbness and Bush doesn't appear to be drunk all the time (at least not yet). I think the issue is that he just thinks that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, that he will be remembered as one of the greatest Presidents despite the overwhelming disapproval that the nation gives him. He perceives that he leads for a higher calling, on a mission from god and that he will be exonerated long after he is gone.

That kind of arrogance can get to anyone, even arrogant conservatives like Noonan.

White House Hides Tillman Records

You would think that hiding, lying and distorting dozens of different stories might be hard for the White House, but they just keep on doing it. Bush is using that good ol' Executive privilege to deny Pat Tillman's family and the American people the truth about what happened with his death and the following cover-up. Congressmen Waxman (D-CA) and Davis (R-VA) from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are on the case yet again.

From The Huffington Post:

The committee made public a letter last month in which Fielding said the White House was holding back certain papers "because they implicate executive branch confidentiality interests." He added the White House had blacked out portions of "purely internal e-mails between White House personnel."

The White House's argument for withholding some papers is the same one it used last month as it rejected congressional subpoenas for documents in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. Executive "confidentiality" is a lesser claim than "executive privilege" _ more a polite way of declining than a firm refusal _ and thus still leaves room for negotiation, congressional staffers involved in the matter said.

Fielding added the White House had blacked out portions of "purely internal e-mails between White House personnel."

Waxman and Davis fired back that "these are not appropriate reasons for withholding the documents from the committee." And they charged that the White House had simply held other papers back.

Basically in my mind, I believe the President wants to look perfect and innocent on this. If he can cover-up the fact that he knew Tillman died of friendly fire yet use his death for political bonus points, thats the name of the game. Rumsfeld and everyone below him knew, they just hid the information for Bush. Now that things are still ugly, George is using his new Presidential powers that the Congress allows him to have to give the finger to the legislative branch.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lil' Al Gore Versus Lil' Bush

If only Al convinced Bush of climate change when they were three feet tall.

McCain About To Go In The Red

That two million dollar sum McCain had only a few days ago has now dwindled to just $250,000 dollars. It is a lot of money to the average person, but in campaign terms it is next to nothing. The money is flying away fast, almost as quickly as the life of the campaign and the major players inside of it. The man who was once the front-runner is about to be nothing more than a footnote of the early part of the 2008 Presidential race.

From CNN PoliticalTicker:

The sources tell CNN that next week the McCain campaign will reveal it has about $1.75 million in unpaid debts, wiping out the $2 million in cash-on-hand the campaign currently has in the bank.

It was not immediately clear whether the campaign debt must be repaid immediately or whether the debt can be paid back over time, including after the presidential campaign ends.

Even though McCain has raised just over $11 million overall in the last three months, his campaign has spent large sums of money, one of the primary reasons for the departure earlier this week of his top two strategists, Terry Nelson and John Weaver.

With all of the wind being taken out of his sails, McCain's pledge a few weeks ago to consider dropping out of the race only after June or July might have to be cut short. It is already the 12th of July, but with the limited funds in his account, I don't see this ship lasting another 20 days. I would say 'stick a fork in him' but that has already been done.

Silver Reverses Course, Congestion Pricing Funds In Peril

Sheldon Silver said earlier this week that he would examine approving congestion pricing on Monday, the day of the deadline for federal funding assistance. Now he is saying that he will only hold an informal conference downstate instead of officially looking at the proposal up in Albany. Spitzer was working behind the scenes to get the Assembly to convene a special session, but he won't go as far as using his gubernatorial powers to force a session. This might be the end of the Mayor's heavily touted plan to reduce congestion in the city.

From The Daily News:

The GOP-led state Senate expects to pass congestion-pricing legislation Monday - the same day the federal Department of Transportation says is the deadline for the city to tap some $500 million in federal startup funds for the plan.

"There is no flexibility with that," DOT spokesman Brian Turmail told the Daily News from Washington. If Albany drags its feet past Monday, the city won't qualify for the funding, he warned.

The Senate support for congestion pricing means little without a companion measure adopted by the Assembly. Instead of meeting at the Capitol, though, Silver (D-Manhattan) directed city and suburban Democratic Assembly members to gather Monday afternoon in Manhattan for an unofficial conference on congestion pricing.

"If you believe the mayor that this has to happen by Monday, then it's dead, because we are not going to do it on Monday because we won't even be in Albany," said an outerborough assemblyman who asked not to be named.

Bruno's support means nothing without Silver's cooperation. Since he represents a large swath of Lower Manhattan, I'm guessing his rationale is that business will be restricted due to the increased fees. Though I suspect with a Good Old Boy like Sheldon, there are other factors involved. As for the rational thought, reducing congestion actually improves business because people will get to downtown to do business instead of idling on the LIE on approach to the tunnels and bridges.

Of course he probably knows that, so I'm guessing his actions have to do with 'other factors.'

Fighting Terrorism With Your Gut

I think the color coded terror alert system is still in effect, but we'll have to add Michael Chertoff's gut to wondering whether the terrorists will attack us tomorrow. Olbermann rips him to shreds and exposes what the Homeland Security Department is all about.

Ben Nelson The Coward

A Senate panel recently moved to block the funding of Dick Cheney's office because the Vice President feels he is above the law and remarked that he is not subject to rules governing the executive branch by the Congress. Democrats had a smart reply for him, if he wasn't going to submit to the law, then Congress would strip his funding.

Although the White House and Cheney tried to backtrack when the press asked questions, they are still holding firm to avoid oversight of their criminal activities. Due to that stubborness, Democrats took the initial step of cutting the VP's budget in Committee. Needless to say, it was a party-line vote. But then Senator Nelson (D?-NE) decided to reverse his vote and succumb to his conservative overlords. What a shame.

From The Times-Argus:

Nelson, who cited Fielding's letter when he changed his position, often votes with the White House, and it didn't hurt Cheney's cause that he is from Nebraska and bypassed opportunities to attack Nelson in his re-election campaign last year.

"The president has the power and authority to issue executive orders to do exactly what he wants," said Nelson, a former governor.

Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn said, "We are pleased to see the Senate Appropriations Committee reject this political stunt."

Ben Nelson must think we are all stupid. The President has the power to issue executive orders, but he does not have the authority to keep Dick Cheney and himself above the law. It does not work that way Senator. The Vice-President must be accountable to the people, no exceptions.

As for Megan McGinn.....the only political stunt here is Ben Nelson's submitting to his friend Dick Cheney. They may interpret cutting Cheney's funding as a stunt, but when Congress has the power of the purse and one of it's recipients refuses to follow the law, then they should be stripped of that funding.

Can someone please, please, please run against Nelson in Nebraska and replace this Bush apologist?

Another Day, Another Vote, Another Veto

So the courageous and valiant Democratic Congress passed a bill yesterday to get us out of Iraq by April 1st. That would be great if it could happen. Unfortunately there are still too many Republicans that support Bush's ego and his failed war. Two hundred and one members to be exact. They will not object to his eventual veto and they certainly will not mind a few hundred more deaths of our soldiers and the countless thousands of dead Iraqi civilians.

From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — The Iraqi government is achieving only spotty military and political progress, the Bush administration conceded Thursday in an assessment that war critics quickly seized on as confirmation of their dire warnings. Within hours, the House voted to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.

The House measure passed 223-201 in the Democratic-controlled chamber despite a veto threat from President Bush, who has ruled out any change in war policy before September.

"The security situation in Iraq remains complex and extremely challenging," the administration report concluded. The economic picture is uneven, it added, and the government has not yet enacted vital political reconciliation legislation.

The new Democratically led Congress has its faults, but the main problem is the President and his chickenhawks that keep the war machine turning. The Democrats know Bush will veto anything that gets in his way. And that is why we need to to fight back just as hard. Since Pelosi helped fire some artillery yesterday, she must not relent until the battle of Washington is won. That means that when Bush vetoes the bill, she must send another one just like it. Again and again the demand for troop withdrawal can not flinch or cave to Bush's demands. Ultimately the current funding will run out and then Bush has to relent. It is a war of words and political strength. The question is, have the Democrats learned their lesson from two months ago?

Telling It Like It Is

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) calls a spade and a spade, saying that the George Bush does not care about health care for our nation's children:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

NYC Wants You To Throw Away Bottled Water For Good

New York City is on a tear to be as green as possible. Hybrid taxis, energy efficient building codes, congestion pricing and the entire PlaNYC platform has New Yorkers talking. The latest campaign is to get rid of bottled water. Although they are 'convenient,' those bottles are made of plastic which comes from oil. Fifty million barrels of oil are used to make the nation's plastic water bottles every year and it takes many, many more to ship them to their destination.

Meanwhile, using tap water is ridiculously more efficient and the quality is just as good. Especially in the city, our water quality is one of the best in the country. The campaign to get people to switch the way they drink water is under way and progress is already starting to show.

From AM New York:

With a series of ads in subways and businesses, the city is promoting its own "delicious," "fat-free," and "refreshing" tap water as a better alternative to plastic bottles that are used once and thrown away.

In doing so, New York joins a growing movement away from bottled water. Some restaurants in California have stopped offering it, and in September, Mario Batali's Del Posto on 10th Avenue will become among the first to do so here.

"We don't look at it as losing money, we look at is as investing in the world," said Del Posto co-owner Joe Bastianich, who said the restaurant will make and sell its own mineral water on site using tap water.

That is damn good investment. It is great to see businesses realize that by not profiting on bottled water, they are doing so much to save our planet. One restaurant changing its practices won't solve the problem of climate change, but collective action will. This is one step of many that we need to take in order to help reduce our carbon impact.

Barbara Boxer Wants Impeachment Back On The Table

We all know the President needs to be impeached for his multitude of crimes. Wiretapping, lying us into war, committing treason by letting Libby go, etc. etc. are all high crimes, not even misdemeanors. Nancy Pelosi said after the 2006 election that impeachment was not on the table, resulting in many groans from the progressive community. Now as the evidence accumulates, we finally have a leader in the Senate who wants to take a serious look at impeaching George Bush. She told it to Ed Schultz on his program today.

From Tiny Revolution:

SCHULTZ: They're throwing down the gauntlet. They're just declaring that they're not going to change anything -- the President in Cleveland yesterday saying, we're just getting started. So in the meantime, the frustration of the American people continues to build, and I have to tell you Senator, I'm not trying to rope you into a conversation one way or another or where you're at on this, but I want to say this for our listeners: they want impeachment put back on the table. They want impeachment on the table as a bargaining chip. Because for instance, Scooter Libby, commuting the sentence, what happened today with Sarah Taylor saying she'd been instructed by the president not to say anything, Alberto Gonzales, the story today about how he was briefed over the Patriot Act and then lied a week later in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. I mean, when is enough is enough?

BOXER: Yeah. I mean, you left out a bunch of things -- spying on citizens without a warrant, going around FISA, on and on. Look, I have always said it should be on the table. Ed, I've always said it. I was on a book tour and I ran into John Dean of Watergate fame. He was on the book tour that I was on, for his book. And it was right after we discovered that the administration was spying on our people without a warrant. And he just said, he looked at me and basically just said, as far as he could see, unless there was some explanation for this, this was impeachable. I've always said that you need to keep it on the table, and you need to look at these things, because now people are dying because of this administration. That's the truth. And they won't change course. They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he's decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we've ever come to a dictatorship. When you have a situation where Congress is stepped on, that means the American people are stepped on. So I don't think you can take anything off the table. Because in fact the Constitution doesn't permit us to take these things off the table.

I don't know if it has always been on the table for Boxer despite her good progressive record, but now is as good a time as any. Thankfully she refers to the matter as a Constitutional one and not about politics. This isn't about Ds versus Rs. It is about the rule of law, and following it when our President continues to break the law and shake the pillars of our democracy.

Another Republican Rep. Runs From Their Constituents

The latest coward is Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL). Iraqi war vet Josh Lansdale was denied admission to Kir's event, but he went after Kirk anyway. See how he answers Lansdale's question about Kirk's position on the war. Truly pathetic.

Bush Admits White House Leaked Plame's Name, Then Ignores The Bombshell

President Bush is quite the extraordinary man (boy). At a press conference today he pretty much let out what we already know, one (or two or whatever) of his men leaked Valerie Plame's name, committing treason and then covered it up. The admission came after he was asked about Scooter's commutation, but Bush didn't want to talk about it, so he passed over certain reporters for follow up and went to a Fox News reporter.

From RawStory:

Abramowitz stated, "You spoke very soberly and seriously in your statement about how you weighed different legal questions in coming to your decision on that commutation. But one issue that you did not address was the issue of the morality of your most senior advisers leaking the name of a confidential intelligence operator. Now that the case is over ... can you say whether you were at all disappointed in the behavior of those senior advisers, and have you communicated that disappointment to them in any way?"

"First of all," responded Bush, "the Scooter Libby decision was, I thought, a fair and balanced decision. Secondly, I haven't spent a lot of time talking about the testimony that people throughout my administration were forced to give as a result of the special prosecutor. I didn't ask them during that time, I haven't asked them since. I am aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person, and, you know, I've often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, 'I did it.' Would we have had this -- endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But it's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House and it's run its course and now we're going to move on. Wendell..."

Bush neither gave Abramowitz the chance for a follow-up question nor apparently remembered that he had already promised to call after Abramowitz on a different reporter, who interjected an objection to being passed over. Instead, Bush called on Wendell Goler of Fox News, who stated, "Thank you, sir. You have spoken passionately about the consequences of failure in Iraq. Your critics say you failed to send enough troops there at the start, failed to keep al Qaeda from stepping into the void created by the collapse of Saddam's army, failed to put enough pressure on Iraq's government to make the political reconciliation necessary to keep the sectarian violence the country is suffering from now from occurring. So why should the American people feel you have the vision for victory in Iraq, sir?"

Michael Abramowitz's question and the subsequent answer left the press corp and the American people feeling more violated than inmate who dropped the soap in the shower every two minutes from shaky hands. Bush mentions the news in a very nonchalant and apathetic way, just as he did about how he doesn't spend much time anymore on Osama bin Laden.

What makes the story more disturbing, yet not surprisingly is how he ignores the history of his own actions. When the focus was on the White House initially to come clean about who leaked what to whom, he said he would fire whoever leaked the information. Now that it is obvious that Scooter was helping his boss Dick Cheney to exact revenge on Joe Wilson and his covert wife, he conveniently forgets his own words.

This is just another reason out of many to impeach the President and Cheney, there are so many to count, but the Congress fails to act. Where's the action? The strength? The courage? Someone needs to stand up for our democracy before there is no democracy left.

Firefighters And 9/11 Victims Continue Truth Campaign Against Rudy

The International Association of Firefighters has come out with a new devastating attack of facts against the Republican Presidential hopeful. As Giuliani remains high in the polls along with Fred Thompson, the non-partisan organization (though it tends to lean towards Dems) wants everyone to know the myth of "America's Mayor." They know him more as an urban legend.


(CBS) NEW YORK The International Association of Firefighters has gone on the offensive against "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani, releasing a 13-minute video that viciously rips into the former New York mayor, who has been using his leadership demonstrated on September 11th to urge people around the country to support him in his quest to become President of the United States.

The video, released early Wednesday evening, is titled "Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend," and offers testimonials from various members of the organization and family members of firefighters lost in the terror attacks.

“We have the remains of dead heroes at the garbage dump because of Giuliani and his administration and they’re still there today and they won’t remove them,” claims FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches on the DVD, which was released to CBS 2 HD before its public debut.

Putting partisanship aside, the IAF looks at what really happened on 9/11. Rudy used the event to look strong without actually making good decisions. He ran around the distraught city aimlessly when he should have been in a secure location making smart decisions. Instead, many firefighters lost their lives due to bad communication. Not only that, he seemed to be more interested in recovering foreign countries' gold bullion than helping rescuers with air safety and recovering the bodies of their comrades. He is a despicable man, and everyone should know it.

Save Little Senator Vitter

There's a new David Vitter campaign and it has nothing to do with politics. Concerned citizens heard what Mrs. Vitter would do to her husband, taking his member while making Lorena Bobbitt proud. Now that the truth is out about his extramarital activities, it is time for her to deliver, but there are people who want his better half to not go through with it.

What The Northeast Will Look Like In 100 Years

My Dad grew up in Brooklyn back in the 40s and 50s. He remembers longer winters, actual seasons (not two week periods) called spring and fall with a few really hot days here and there in the summer. Nowadays we get a lot of snow within a couple days but remain snowless for most of the rest. It gets cold, but its not that bad overall as compared to winters past. On top of that the seasons stop and start at will and screw up the blooming of trees, or the trees just vanish from the local ecosystem. But if you think 2007 is bad, just imagine 2107.

From The New York Times:

“The Northeast can anticipate substantial — and often unwelcome or dangerous — changes during the rest of this century,” concluded the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which examined the impact of global warming on the region. “The very character of the Northeast is at stake.”

The report, which covers nine states, is the product of a two-year collaboration between the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group, and a team of several dozen independent scientists and economists.

Speaking at a news conference at the New York Botanical Garden, one of the authors of the report, James L. McCarthy, professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University and president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said there could be droughts every summer in the Catskill Mountains, which supply drinking water for 9 million New Yorkers. At the same time, there could be heavy downpours that could turn the city’s water more turbid and cause flooding.

Climate change means so many different things for the region. Flooding is one issue, which locally can submerge low-lying parts of the city and completely shut down the subway system. Floods from recent violent storms have knocked power out in the suburbs and caused millions in damage.

Agriculture is also at stake. Warmer weather will increase pests that destroy crops, decimate the world-famous apple crop without having a decent frost, drive Long Island lobsters out of the region completely and make dairy cows produce less milk in hot summer months. Those few hot days we experience now could turn into having an average of one month full of 100 degree days.

Sounds bad, eh? Well the good news is that we can do something about it. Start being a "tree-hugger" and use more energy-efficient lights and appliances. Go carbon-neutral. Choose mass-transit over a car. Make re-using and recycling a habit. Whatsa matter? Is machismo stopping you? Perhaps laziness or general apathy to the plight of the planet? It's time for everyone to get off their ass and do something, or else the Northeast that we love will become an entirely different place for our children.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bush Makes Little Girl Cry

Jessica Hackerd is a 13 year old girl from Ohio who unfortunately had the chance to talk to President Bush today. Being the callous man that he is, he left her in tears, literally. She innocently asked what she thought was an intelligent question, that being about the recent legislation on immigration that was all over the news recently. Instead of being a thoughtful politician, he made an ass out of himself instead.

From The Washington Times (no love left for Bush from the Moonies apparently):

"Mr. President, I know immigration has been a big problem in the U.S. And what is your next step with the immigration bill?" Jessica asked Mr. Bush, during a question and answer period after a speech Mr. Bush gave to a Cleveland business group.

Mr. Bush's sarcastic reply -- a wry "yeah, thanks" -- drew laughter from the crowd of 400. But the attention caused young Jessica, who characterized herself in an interview afterward as very shy, to immediately tear up.

"No, it's a great question. No, I appreciate that," Mr. Bush said, as he saw Jessica's reaction.

Jessica, in the interview, said that she was crying because she was so nervous.

But when the president's sarcastic answer was mentioned, she said, "I heard that too."

Mr. Bush went on to speak more than 1,100 words about the death of his proposed comprehensive immigration reform, which was a heavy blow when it fell apart last month.

But Jessica, there with her parents and younger sister, continued to wipe tears from her eyes for several minutes, and midway through his answer, Mr. Bush again tried to encourage the distraught youngster without drawing too much attention to her.

Bush tried to backpedal but once you bring tears to the eyes of an innocent young girl, you're cooked. George Bush's popularity keeps on falling, and he isn't doing to well with future voters either.

Joe Wilson Has Words For Bush Over Libby Commutation

Ambassador Joseph Wilson was invited today by Congressman Conyers to talk about the Libby commutation given by the President. His testimony shows exactly why Scooter Libby deserves to be in jail, along with those (like Dick Cheney) belong there with him.

New Life For Congestion Pricing

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Speaker (D-Manhattan) was one of Bloomberg's biggest critics of the controversial plan to introduce congestion pricing to the city. Now he is willing to reconsider. The deadline for federal funding is this coming Monday and the Mayor needs his support to pass the plan up in Albany. Late last night we heard that there is hope for clearing up the gridlock in Manhattan.

From The Daily News:

A deal is far from certain. But the talks show Silver is at least willing to entertain bringing the Assembly back in time for the city to meet a Monday deadline to qualify for $530 million in federal transportation funds.

"The fact that people who for several weeks haven't had a conversation that we're aware of are sitting down to talk can only be seen as positive," a City Hall source said.

Bloomberg wants to charge cars $8 and trucks $21 to enter Manhattan during peak weekday hours. He says the plan will reduce traffic and help clean the air.

Spitzer has been supportive of the measure, and the state Senate will meet on Monday about the matter.

Monday should be quite a day up in Albany for the fate of congestion pricing. Critics on Long Island are unlikely to budge, but if Silver comes on board and brings a number of Democrats along with him, it might just pass.

Sprint And The Problems Of The TeleCom Industry

If you haven't heard by now, Sprint sent a letter to 1,000 or so people that complain too much notifying them they had been dropped from their service. Deemed habitual complainers, Sprint is tired with customers that call too much about their shitty service. Ironically they were told to call customer service if they had any questions or complaints.

So is this just a story of a company trying to free up their customer service reps for other people to complain or was the wait time for rep just too long for Sprint's liking? Frankly, I don't care. A responsible company would have added more staff to deal with callers complaining about the quality that Sprint delivers. Now these dropped customers will have to go somewhere else having been banned by the nation's third largest carrier.

But where will they go? There's AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, thats it. There are four major cellphone coverage providers left. Nextel, Cingular and the rest are gone, having been merged into the fold in this post- 1996 Telecommunications Act world.

Is it fair? I'm sure the CEOs and other corporate brass at these companies would say so. Some of the large shareholders might echo it as well. But for the consumer, the options are limited and at the rate things are going, there will be even less than four choices before you know it. Who knows, maybe WalMart will just buy them all out and we'll need their permission to use cellphones in the future. And as for customer care...if you have a problem, it might be best to just shut up and be thankful you have a cellphone at all.

Moore Versus Blitzer: Part Deux

In this second round, Moore is invited back and Wolf shows us the unedited film from the initial spat. Blitzer is much more subdued this time, constantly saying that "it was a powerful movie" over and over again. Any arguments against the facts was limited by the CNN host and when they were presented, it was in an easy fashion for Moore to slam them down.

Lieberman Has Lost It, Lunacy Leads To Hurting Troops

Joe Lieberman has done and said many dumb things...and today is no different for Holy Joe. He helped to kill Senator Webb's amendment requiring that our soldiers are allowed to stay at home for the same amount of time that they are deployed. Our troops are weary from five years of constant battle and they need adequate time to breathe. But Joe doesn't think so, and neither do his friends in the GOP. To Webb's credit, he had a quick response to the lunacy of Lieberman.

From Think Progress:

On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said that proposals to withdraw troops and restore the strength of the armed forces are “legislating a defeat” in Iraq.

This afternoon on CNN, responding to Lieberman’s criticisms, Webb reminded the public that he was warning in September 2002 that we were “heading for trouble” if we went to war in Iraq:

I was warning about the consequences of invading and occupying Iraq well before we went in. … I don’t know where Sen. Lieberman gets his opinions about how well we’re doing. […]

You have a government in Iraq that has no power. It has very little power — it cannot compel action and it’s surrounded by armed factions that retain the power. That is not a situation we’re going to resolve without the interaction of all the countries in the region in a positive, proactive diplomatic way. And that’s what I’ve been saying for three years.

And now the bill is dead. Thanks a lot Joe. Just remember come election time who actually supports the troops and their families.

Republicans Tell Vitter To Resign

Senator Vitter's woes grew exponentially over the course of a day following his confession to being one of those on the infamous Pamela Martin and Associates list. The man that loved to claim he was Mr. Moral was exposed as a hypocrite, but it isn't only Democrats who are crying foul. People that are supposed to be his buddies are telling him to leave or switch parties.

From The Advertiser:

BATON ROUGE – In the wake of U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s apology after his phone number turned up in an escort service's call list, a member of the Republican State Central Committee called for him to resign.

Vincent Bruno of Kenner said today that Vitter should resign “for his own good, the good of the party and the good of his family.” If he doesn’t resign, Vitter should “join the Democratic Party where they think that kind of behavior is OK.”

Bruno said Vitter’s actions violate the Republican Party’s “Family Values” stance but he doesn’t expect the party leadership to do anything about it. “We had David Duke and couldn’t do anything about it.”

I hate to break it to Mr. Bruno, but Vitter isn't the first, second, or twentieth Republican that says one thing about family values and does another. David Duke is just in another class by himself.

If Vincent Bruno wants to take the righteousness road with this story he can go ahead. If it results in his resignation, it'll be another hit for the Republican party (even though it is already) that won't ultimately register until next year's election or for Vitter's re-election in 2010).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cheney One Step Closer To Losing His Funding

A Senate Panel voted 5-4 tonight along party lines to deny Dick Cheney's budget for his office in the next fiscal year. Democrats were prompted to do so because the VP has blatantly disregarded the law and specifically declared himself to be above the law by claiming his office wasn't in the Executive branch. Cheney is trying to avoid the laws set down by the Constitution concerning his office because, gets in his way.

From Yahoo News:

At issue is a requirement that executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify. That information is to be provided to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives.

Cheney's office, with backing from the White House, argues that the offices of the president and vice president are exempt from the order because they are not executive branch "agencies."

The funding cut came as the appropriations panel approved 5-4 along party lines a measure funding White House operations, the Treasury Department and many smaller agencies.

Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said Cheney's office was flouting requirements that it comply with the reporting requirements on classified information.

"Neither Mr. Cheney or his staff is above the law or the Constitution," Durbin said. "For the vice president to believe that he has no responsibility to meet this requirement of the law is a dereliction of duty."

Cheney has been derelict of his duty for some time now. This is just another episode in his war against our democracy. He wants things his way and if that conflicts with the rule of law, his own interests win out every single time. He only gets away with it because we as a nation allow him to be in that office with the power that it affords and is gaining with Cheney at the helm. There is only one answer to this problem and it starts with the letter "I."

You Don't Know Dick

Jon Stewart gives us an in-depth look into the world of one of the most vile men, our Vice President:

NYC Starbucks' Accused Of Union-Busting

The Seattle-based coffee company is literally everywhere in New York City. The stores can be seen from almost any spot in the city. Setting aside the issue of corporate over-development versus local businesses for a second, lets take a look at how they treat their employees. Starbucks is going to have to defend itself in front of the New York Labor Relations Board for allegedly intimidating activists at four different locations in Manhattan.

From 1010 WINS:

An NLB trial looking into the matter began yesterday, with some of the peeved baristas showing up to express their anger about the Seattle-based company's labor practices.

The board says the company fired pro-union employees, banned workers from wearing union pins and gave unfair negative performance reviews.

The coffee company could be asked to reinstate fired employees and publicly state it will not try to break unions if it is found guilty at the hearing.

A spokeswoman for the coffee giant said the claims are baseless. Of course the board will answer that question. Starbucks claims to treat their employees great, so why no unionizing? Why would employees talk about horror stories like these? Starbucks acts like any other retail giant by giving employees limited work hours to avoid dealing with overtime as well as keeping them disorganized.

While Bush fights against labor for his corporate buddies, unions are still legal entities in this country. They have been the force that has afforded Americans a decent wage and safe working conditions. Even in the sanitized retail world that consumers see, there is an ugly side to any company that puts profits above their workers.

Senator Vitter Knows The D.C. Madam

He probably has more intimate relations with one of her former employees, but what counts is that he is on her infamous phone list. The Louisiana Republican fessed up yesterday to his connections with the Madam. He says that he used her services before he ran for the Senate in 2004 and already has been forgiven by God and his wife. Well thats great for you and Mrs. Vitter, but what about your hypocritical nature when it comes to claiming you are virtuous while Democrats are the party of sin?

From The Washington Post:

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press.

"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

Neither Palfrey nor her attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, could be reached for comment last night. Sibley told the Associated Press that his client posted the phone records of her escort service on the Internet yesterday, four days after a federal judge lifted a restraining order preventing their publication. The records were included in a series of files on a Web site devoted to Palfrey's legal defense fund.

This isn't the first time he has been involved with escort/sex services before. When he ran for election in 2004 he was accused by a member of the state Republican party of having a long-term relationship with a prostitute down in the French Quarter.

Oh my! The list was just republished yesterday and already we have a Senator being skewered in the press. Pass the popcorn before the next act starts!

Running Away From Reality

Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R-VA) doesn't like her constituents. It is especially apparent when she runs away from their questions like she does down below. When an icky issue like Iraq penetrates her own little bubble, she scrambles away from any possible human interaction. Truly pathetic.

Without Regard For The Consequences

John Koppel does not care about the consequences of his actions and we are all grateful for it. Mr. Koppel has worked in the Justice Department since 1981. He still works there (for now at least) and he has never seen anything as bad as George Bush and his sidekick Al Gonzales. Within two days of Scooter Libby's commutation, he wrote a devastating indictment of how Bush has dismantled the DoJ in the Denver Post.

From the Op-Ed:

As a longtime attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, I can honestly say that I have never been as ashamed of the department and government that I serve as I am at this time.

The public record now plainly demonstrates that both the DOJ and the government as a whole have been thoroughly politicized in a manner that is inappropriate, unethical and indeed unlawful. The unconscionable commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence, the misuse of warrantless investigative powers under the Patriot Act and the deplorable treatment of U.S. attorneys all point to an unmistakable pattern of abuse.

In the course of its tenure since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has turned the entire government (and the DOJ in particular) into a veritable Augean stable on issues such as civil rights, civil liberties, international law and basic human rights, as well as criminal prosecution and federal employment and contracting practices. It has systematically undermined the rule of law in the name of fighting terrorism, and it has sought to insulate its actions from legislative or judicial scrutiny and accountability by invoking national security at every turn, engaging in persistent fearmongering, routinely impugning the integrity and/or patriotism of its critics, and protecting its own lawbreakers. This is neither normal government conduct nor "politics as usual," but a national disgrace of a magnitude unseen since the days of Watergate - which, in fact, I believe it eclipses.

Read it all, it is an incredible essay and damning synopsis on the Bush Administration. We all pretty much assume what probably goes on in the Department of Justice, but this man knows with absolute certainty. Thank you Mr.Koppel, you are a brave man.

Michael Moore Rips Wolf A New One

CNN's Wolf Blitzer had Michael Moore on his show yesterday to talk about SiCKO, but not before "fact-checking" his work with their own Sanjay Gupta. Much like in the article from a week and a half ago, CNN says Moore is somewhat right, but with a lot of smudging of the facts. Well that lit Moore's fuse and he fired off salvo after salvo at Blitzer and CNN as a whole.

From RawStory:

"That report was so biased, I can't imagine what pharmaceutical company's ads are coming up right after our break here," said Moore. "Why don't you tell the truth to the American people? I wish that CNN and the other mainstream media would just for once tell the truth about what's going on in this country."

Moore argued that CNN has such a lousy track record of reporting the truth about the war in Iraq and asking tough questions, that Americans should be skeptical of their reporting on health care.

"You're the ones who are fudging the facts," said Moore. "You've fudged the facts to the American people now for I don't know how long about this issue, about the war, and I'm just curious, when are you going to just stand there and apologize to the American people for not bringing the truth to them that isn't sponsored by some major corporation?"

Blizter grew defensive and backed up his fellow CNN employee, saying that he would stand behind correspondent Sanjay Gupta's record on medical issues. Moore, in response, vowed to post a rebuttal to his website,, showing that Gupta's facts weren't accurate.

Wolf was on the defensive from the start and never recovered. He tried to redirect the conversatioin, but Moore wasn't having any of that. Since Michael hasn't been on the show in three years, he laid it into Wolf about the war and their free pass for Dick Cheney. He demanded an apology from Blitzer to him and the American people for their shoddy journalism on the war and on the health care crisis. After he left Jack Cafferty had a pity party for Wolf, saying that CNN doesn't pay him enough.

Oh please, save the pity and do your jobs. I'll give Cafferty some credit on his reporting as of the last few months, but Wolf has done nothing but crap on television. Remember when he promised great questions for the Democratic debate a while back? He had nothing of the sort, in fact it looked like more of a conservative hit job than being a moderator.

I would personally like to thank Moore for attacking Wolf yesterday. He has had it coming for a long time. I would have loved to lambast Blitzer on the air, but since the likelihood of myself being interviewed on CNN is pretty much slim to none, Michael took care of it for me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rudy: Not A Mormon

From the same guy that brought us the fascist Giuliani ad, a new one appears, trashing Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Apparently this guy wants to see Rudy get the nomination. Now I know what you're thinking, it looks crazy and it is probably just one big joke. But. But. I found out recently from the land of myspace that a conservative blogger posted the first 'ad' on the official Rudy site and since it contained HTML code it had to have been approved first. Well its up on Rudy's site with the campaign's blessing. I wonder if this one will be approved as well.

Baseballs Won't Be The Only Thing Flying At The All-Star Game

Are you a baseball fan? Do you want to see George Bush and Dick Cheney impeached? Well you can help make the two come together in San Francisco tomorrow night at the All-Star Game. Jacob Park started a facebook group to raise money for a plane to pull the pro-impeachment banner around the stadium. All he needs is a few hundred dollars more to get the necessary $695.

Baseball is the national pastime and this nation needs to get rid of Dick and Bush. You can go here to donate for this worthy cause. Congrats to Mr. Park for taking the initiative on this one. As many baseball fans tune in tomorrow night to see the NL beat the AL (my prediction at least) they can look up in the sky and see what America needs to do most, get rid of the corruption in the White House.

MN-Sen, Franken Outraises Coleman

Not only did comedian turned politician Al Franken double the fundraising numbers of his Democratic competition, he beat incumbent Norm Coleman by $300,000. However, the overall numbers are only half the story. Sen. Coleman has not surprisingly turned to big money interests such as industry PACs. Franken only claims one percent of his contributions from PACs. The rest is all from the grassroots. It isn't hard to see who is running a campaign for the people.

From The Politico:

The Al Franken for Senate campaign announced today that it expects to report having raised over $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2007 when it files its quarterly report with the FEC on July 15.

The money was raised from nearly 28,000 donors. So far in 2007, over 36,000 donors have contributed a grand total of over $3.2 million. The campaign is particularly pleased to note that over 95 percent of contributions in the second quarter were $100 or less.

The $1.9 million figure would mean that Al has likely out-raised incumbent Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) in the second quarter, an unusual feat for a challenger. Sen. Coleman's campaign reported raising "over $1.5 million" in the quarter. The Franken campaign will report nearly $2 million cash on hand.

The average Franken supporter gave just $65 dollars. The majority of that PAC money came from Dick Durbin. Coleman took over $450,000 or a third of his contributions in PAC money last quarter. There aren't any numbers for his 2nd quarter of that detail yet. CW says incumbents win the money race but there is no conventionality when it comes to Al Franken going after freshman Norm Coleman.

Conservatives Protesting Live Earth

Get ready for a lesson in lunacy. Conservative activists (all 15 of them) descended upon the Live Earth event in Washington to protest for global warming. Apparently they like that our planet is getting hotter and the climate becoming more erratic. It seems our Al Gore haters don't pay attention to the devastating effects of this change. Whats a few islands being swallowed up by rising sea levels anyways (Not to mention stronger hurricanes, deathly heat waves, catastrophic floods and devastating droughts)?

Reservists Fighting Back Against His Fifth Deployment

The Pentagon has taken advantage of men and women who not only just serve for the country, but especially those that are in the Reserves. Erik Botta is one such soldier that has been regarded over and over again as expendable, he is now fighting a fifth deployment. His job, family and most importantly his life is being put at stake again and he has had enough. He is suing the Army for a honorable discharge since they refuse to give him one, even though he is currently in college and working for a defense contractor with a young wife.

From The Miami Herald:

Deployment now would mean that he could no longer afford his house -- his wife would probably have to move in with her parents. Plans to start a family would be on hold. He would probably have to repeat some engineering courses after his return, and he might even lose the job he just landed about a month ago. Previously, he worked at Pratt & Whitney in the Joint Strike Fighter and Raptor engine programs.

''This is no peace protester,'' Waple said. ``I wouldn't have touched this case with a 10-foot pole if it was. He's put the boots on and been in combat.''

Although Botta knew there was a risk that he would be called to duty again, he assumed that it was very slight, given his four combat deployments, pursuit of an engineering degree and employment with military contractors, he said.

''The world pretty much stopped when I got the notice,'' said Botta, weighing each word. ``I've sacrificed a lot for the military. I didn't want to end with litigation, but I feel I've done my service to my country. I've done what I signed up for in more ways than one.''

It is good to see that the fighting spirit is still Erik. The will to fight against an unjust military is even more honorable. It is uncalled for to have our troops being taken advantage of in this manner as well as for their families. Mr. Botta has risked his life enough for the war, it is time to let him go so that he can build a life back home.

Bush's Popularity Is Drying Up Crawford Tourism

George Bush made Crawford the place to see, both for his supporters and anti-war activists. Since Cindy sold her nearby land and Bush's numbers have dropped into frigid territory, bad times have fallen over the little town in the middle of Texas. Stores and restaurants were used to brisk business, now the activity has dwindled and shuttered businesses are easier to see than tourists.

From The Houston Chronicle:

A for-sale sign is the only thing in the smudged window of the turn-of-the-century, two-story brick building that once housed the Crawford Country Style store. "The numbers just weren't working," said Norma Nelson Crow, who closed the shop at the beginning of the year.

Traffic and sales of shirts, caps, refrigerator magnets and other presidential curios began slowing in 2005, she said. By the summer of 2006, Crow said, her hopes for a turnaround in the business faded. "It was my baby and I loved that little store, but I had to face the facts," she said.

Retail sales figures kept by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts document the slide. In 2004, gross retail sales in Crawford totaled $2.6 million. They fell to $2 million in 2006, down by more than 20 percent.

The situation is even bleaker this year according to residents. They lay at least part of the blame on Bush's popularity plunge. On top of that, residents were disappointed George chose Dallas for his library instead of nearby Waco. Even when Bush is long gone, the tourists looking for GWB memorabilia will be far north of the little ranch town.

Nothing against the residents of Crawford, but if they thought they could capitalize on this monster's Presidency for long, they were going to be inevitably disappointed. Crawfordites should be glad for what they got in the last few years.

YouTubing Rachel Maddow

This is an exercising in YouTubing a YouTubed YouTube. Rachel is highlighting the CNN conjunction with the video giant that is getting people to ask tough questions for the candidates of 08'. Rachel however, doesn't look too tough in this one. Playing Dance Revolution while wondering aloud a serious question for Dennis Kucinich is almost as funny as Dennis Kucinich's candidacy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Zip-Bikes In NYC

Zip cars are widely popular in several American cities already. Without worrying about the cost of insurance and maintenance, people can pick up cars at spots around the city and drive them for a couple hours or a couple days at a time for the cost of a yearly membership in addition to the per-hour or per-day fee. But cars still pollute and they aren't very efficient for making a quick trip, especially with the traffic situation drivers face here in NYC. Well now there may be a new alternative along the same lines. Instead of picking up a zip-car, try a zip-bike.


(CBS/AP) NEW YORK It works in Oslo, it started this year in Barcelona and it's about to launch in Paris. But is New York ready for bike sharing?

A group that's hoping the answer is yes is providing 20 free bikes for a five-day experiment in green transportation, European style.

If the program is a hit, its backers will try to design a year-round bike-sharing system for New York.

"One of the major revelations for us is how real of a possibility this is," said David Haskell, executive director of the Forum for Urban Design, an organization of architects and planners that came up with the bike-sharing experiment. "In major European cities they have bike-share programs that exist."

For five days you can pick up a bike from the Storefront For Art and Architecture down in SoHo. It started yesterday, so you have until Wednesday to try it out. Usage requires credit card info so it doesn't turn into a bike giveaway. Cities across Europe have a had huge successes with their programs, with thousands of bikes and hundreds of pick-up/drop-off sites.

Would this work in NYC on a large scale? I certainly think it would and so do many people that study urban planning. Count me in for bike sharing. I hope it takes off.

Save Your Tears On Katie Couric

By now its a foregone conclusion that the addition of Katie Couric to the CBS Evening News was a colossal mistake. Once proud and formidable, CBS is dead last among the network news programs on weekday evenings. She has been criticized on everything from her dressing habits to the choices made on interviews. Now she is out and crying about what a bad move it was to come to CBS and how it is everyone's fault but her own.

From The Huffington Post:

"People are very unforgiving and very resistant to change," Couric said in an interview with New York magazine. "The biggest mistake we made is we tried new things."

Couric's move to CBS has been a bust so far. The evening newscast's ratings are deep in third place, and CBS has rolled back some of the changes it made last fall to shake up the format. Couric conducts fewer interviews, an outside opinion segment was scrapped and the anchor admits she's even dressing down a little to give her critics less ammunition.


Couric admitted there are days when she wishes she hadn't made the move to CBS.

"Of course," she said. "I'm human. I'm not going around `dee-da dee-da dee.' I have days when I'm like, `Oh my God, what did I do?' But for some weird reason, they don't happen that often."

It seemed like all Couric has done at CBS is go 'dee-da dee-da dee.' Choosing Rush Limbaugh as a newsworthy interview was pathetic. You would have never seen Edward Murrow perform as poorly as she has in the last few months. And he didn't need an enormous salary for it either. While alumni of the position have brought credibility to the CBS broadcast, Katie has done nothing but detract from it.

But is it all Katie's fault? The state of journalism today is precarious at best. There was a management decision to bring Katie in with a huge salary, banking on looks and her fluff from The Today Show. The sensationalism that the media chooses today centers around Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, not the scandals that the White House embroils itself in on a daily basis. Apparently celebrities draw better ratings that the ongoing degradation of our Constitution and liberties in general. At one time news was about things that impacted people's lives, now it is used for people to escape from the real world and into the ridiculousness of celebrity.

Ron Paul On This Week

Although this was leaked last week, Ron Paul talks about his chances for next year and his reaction to the fact that a long shot like him has more cash on hand than John McCain.

Falafel Fascination With Lesbian Gangs

O'Reilly likes to tout that he brings the news that is relevant to people who watch his show. With that said, there has to be a lot of Americans out there that are being harassed by gangs of lesbians. It is something I worry about every waking moment. According to O'Reilly and his focus on this ridiculous idea, it is something you should be terrorized about too.

From The Southern Poverty Law Center:

A "national underground network" of pink pistol-packing lesbians is terrorizing America. "All across the country," they are raping young girls, attacking heterosexual males at random, and forcibly indoctrinating children as young as 10 into the homosexual lifestyle, according to a shocking June 21 segment on the popular Fox News Channel program, "The O'Reilly Factor."

Titled "Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem," the segment began with host Bill O'Reilly briefly referencing for his roughly 3 million viewers the case of Wayne Buckle, a DVD bootlegger who was attacked by seven lesbians in New York City last August. Deploying swift, broad strokes, O'Reilly painted a graphic picture of lesbian gangs running amok. "In Tennessee, authorities say a lesbian gang called GTO, Gays Taking Over, are involved in raping young girls," he reported. "And in Philadelphia, a lesbian gang called DTO, Dykes Taking Over, are allegedly terrorizing people as well."


The Authorities Disagree
Nine-millimeter Glocks painted pink? Dykes taking over? More than 150 lesbian gangs in the Washington, D.C., area alone? These claims are, as Wheeler suggested, "very, very interesting." They're also very, very flimsy. Gaithersburg, Md., Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, said there is no evidence whatsoever of a lesbian gang epidemic in his region. "Our membership reports only one lesbian gang," Word told the Intelligence Report.

Sgt. Brett Parson, a member and former commander of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, also questioned Wheeler's numbers. "We have 150 to 175 total gangs in the D.C. area, and out of those only nine where the predominance of members are female," he said. "You simply can't make the jump that they are lesbians. I think it is fair to talk about violence and female gangs. But to sensationalize or marginalize a community by making a statement like that seems irresponsible."

Sgt. Parson, there is nothing responsible about Bill O'Reilly and the "experts" he brings on to prove his hateful theories and remarks. It is amazing that Bill still has three million viewers. It is incredible that one single person would buy his bullshit. Then again, when one is sucked into being made afraid of people that they have no contact with (especially when groups being attacked are mostly fictitious) it is easy to tune in to learn about who they should be afraid of next. Speaking of next....what will the Falafel come up with next week? I hear those two-headed Democrats are especially creepy.

Rudy Doesn't Remember Vietnam

I know that the Vietnam War was a long time ago, a senseless conflict that killed tens of thousands of Americans and millions in Southeast Asia. Rudy Giuliani acts as if he forgot all about it, specifically on how it ended. At a recent event in front of the Jewish Community Relations Council here in New York he showed his historical ineptitude.

From ThinkProgress:

[I]f we flee Iraq, if we do what the Democrats want us to do — which is to not only flee Iraq, not only retreat in Iraq, but give them a timetable of our retreat.

Have you ever heard of that in a history of war? Have you ever heard of an army being required to give a printed schedule of its release to the enemy? It makes no sense, does it? Whether you’re for the war or against it, you would never have an army retreat on a six- month, one-year, 18-month schedule explaining, We’ll reduce the forces by 20,000, then by 30,000, then by 50,000. Gee, you can then figure out when the forces are depleted enough so you can really do damage to them.

Giuliani needs to brush up on his history. A publicly-announced gradual reduction of forces is exactly what the United States did in the Vietnam War. On May 14, 1969, President Richard Nixon laid out an “eight-point peace plan” calling for the gradual withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam.

Whoops. Democrats are the ones that want a timetable to get out Iraq, so does most of the country. Rudy forgets that the first pullout in this manner was done by a Republican. Richard Nixon, even though he was a corrupt criminal in the White House, had a timetable to get out of Vietnam. Bush is also a corrupt criminal in the White House. Unfortunately he won't follow in the footsteps of Nixon. Getting out of us out of this war and resigning would have been a great way for him to go.

Now it is time for Rudy to brush up on some history of the United States. He really should keep his fat mouth closed until he does so.

The President's Sinking Senatorial Support

CNN highlights Republican Senators and their defections from President's Iraq position:

The "Volunteer" Live Earth Experience

First of all, I must say that was one of the best concerts I've seen in a while. When The Police sang "S.O.S. to the World" and John Mayer and Kanye West came out to back them up, that was something I knew would never be seen again. Equally good was Roger Waters. Half the crowd got stoned when he came out (either first or second-hand) and played three amazing Pink Floyd classics. The music lasted from 2 to 10:30 pm, but my day started way before then.

I got up early to catch the train to Secaucus to make the 8am shuttle bus, but being that this is a liberal event, there was no shuttle until 8:45. Then the bus dropped us off on the other side of the Meadowlands, so the walk was a bit long. Finally we found the volunteer tent and I got to work.

Having credentials duty, I stayed put and helped people get setup to do their jobs. Handing out bracelets, water, meal tickets and I.D. badges doesn't sound so bad. But when you have hundreds of people streaming towards one line for A-M and my line for N-Z last names, it can be kind of hectic. Despite the 500 or so people processed between 9 and noon, it went rather quickly and efficiently.

The best part was meeting each person if even for a moment. People came from Portland, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts, Upstate NY, Pennsylvania, Long Island and beyond. There were all sorts of environmental shirts and flair. And on top of it all, the weather wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Before I knew it my shift was over and I wished that it wasn't over yet. But I picked myself up and went to the NJ state fair anyways. The food there was good and the rides looked tempting, but I was sad to see they still had 'freak' shows, isn't this 2007?

Time flew by again and I got a seat on the side of the stage on the 2nd level. The acts were all good save for Kelly Clarkson. From my vantage point I saw the teleprompter scrolling her lyrics as she sang. When she wasn't singing you wished she wasn't talking, she sounded like a complete airhead. Besides her act, I was glad to see everyone else. If I had to give a top three, it would be Dave Matthews, The Police and Roger Waters. With all of the music, drinking and inevitable drugs around the area, the event went smoothly and no one got hurt. It was a great, long day.

But the question is, will it do anything for climate change? In between acts celebrities came out and the loudspeaker told us ways to cut down on our carbon emissions. People pledged to shop at stores that were had more energy-efficient products and politicians like Al Gore and Robert Kennedy Jr. told us how things are going to be different with international treaties mandating reduced emissions from countries around the world.

Will that make a difference? Will nine concerts around the world on one day make people change overnight? Probably not, but it does increase awareness of the problem by taking the issue off of the back burner in people's minds. They key is to keep it front and center.