Saturday, August 11, 2007
What a devious strategy, blaming Democrats for helping terrorists while leaking state secrets. Something so devilish and unpatriotic, only a GoOPer could carry out. Well it isn't as bad as telling the enemy our secret locations, but Pete Hoekstra (R-Of course) disclosed classified intelligence information. It gets better, not only did he tell the press the budget for intelligence was being decreased, Pete hypocritically bashed others for leaking too much information to the media.
From The Blotter:
In an opinion article published in the New York Post Thursday, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., reported the top-secret budget for human spying had decreased -- the type of detail normally kept under wraps for national security reasons.
"The 2008 Intelligence Authorization bill cut human-intelligence programs," Hoekstra wrote in the piece, in which he also criticized "leaks to the news media."
Formerly the chairman of the intelligence committee, Hoekstra is now its highest ranking Republican. In its recent budget authorizations, that committee kept from public view all figures and most discussion of spending on such classified items as human spying. Hoekstra's apparent slip was first noted on the liberal Web site, Raw Story.
You just got to love the hypocrisy, even when Pete shares classified information with the general public. Hey Congress, can we get an ethics investigation here?
Whenever I drive with friends through E-Z Pass lanes on the toll roads around here, my first thought is how nice it is to not be in the Cash Only line that can take quite a while during rush hour. It never occurred to me that you can catch your cheating spouse. Ah, big brother has its rewards to those who are hurt by their loved ones.
CBS/AP) TRENTON, N.J. There's some potentially troubling and telling news for all you motorists out there who may be taking the Turnpike for the worst crime in marriage: cheating on your significant other.
E-ZPass and other electronic toll collection systems are emerging as a powerful means of proving infidelity. That's because when your spouse doesn't know where you've been, E-ZPass does.
"E-ZPass is an E-ZPass to go directly to divorce court, because it's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery," said Jacalyn Barnett, a New York divorce lawyer who has used E-ZPass records a few times.
Is this a violation of privacy or just what happens to cheating spouses when they are lazy/foolish enough to have their barcode scanned in the middle of the night? What they are doing is wrong morally by going behind their partner's back. As a civil libertarian, I think that E-ZPass records should be for deducting money from your account, not to keep track of where you are going. If divorce attorneys can use the information, why can't the government? It is a slippery slope where a seemingly useful tool for revenge can translate into one more piece of our big brother society.
Cecil Howard Sinclair was a kind and generous soul who died too young. At 46, he was an navy vet who passed away from an infection while waiting for a heart transplant. The High Point Church in Arlington, TX offered to provide a funeral service for him because his brother worked as a janitor there, a very nice gesture for the bereaved family. But the service was not to happen because the Church canceled on them because the obituary mentioned he was survived by his life partner, basically being gay does not allow for compassion from High Point and Rev. Gary Simons.
From The Huffington Post:
Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.
"Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness," Simons said.
Wright (Sinclair's sister) called the church's claim about the pictures "a bold-faced lie." She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.
Not only did Simons and the church lie to Sinclair's family, their hatred towards people who's sexual orientation is different than them stretches into the afterlife. Now Simons claims he had no idea that Sinclair was gay, even though it was made known almost immediately by the family. The church ended up paying for a service at another location, but not under their name. Wright called it a slap in the face, it seems like they also punched them in the gut, spit on them and began kicking when the family had fallen.
The church claims that they did not want to be seen condoning homosexuality, a sin in their eyes. It is more like they do not allow for compassion for another human being, just because of a different lifestyle that harms no one.
As the race for our next President heats up, the names for the top spot are already being talked about a lot. People like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are in the news and being seriously considered. Meanwhile on the Republican side candidates such as Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are only given the casual shrug by likely Republican primary voters. So that is why in 2008, Democrats might have to face the toughest "candidate" from the right, Mr. "None of the Above."
None of the Above has polled higher than Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and all the other Republican presidential candidates, reflecting a lackluster field that isn’t catching on with the American people.
Because Republicans are clamoring for a change, None of the Above is testing the presidential waters. This week in Iowa, look for an ad in the Ames Tribune, in which None of the Above will ask for the support of Republican voters. You can view the ad by clicking here (PDF).
Only 1 in 5 Iowa Republicans “say they are satisfied with” their choices in the Republican caucus. The current field represents no new ideas, no strategy to end the war in Iraq, and no plan for America’s future.
Only one candidate has a plan -- and it’s None of the Above.
And now, None of the Above is asking for your support.
The Democratic Party, out of the goodness of their hearts wants to help the GOP. They suffer from a weak pool of applicants, so we want them to gear up for 2008. Next year when the nation seriously considers who they want to lead them through 2012, we want to see a debate between two contenders that can have a real discussion about the issues. Since the current slate of GoOPers can only spew meaningless rhetoric and vitriol towards each other, it is the right time for None of the Above to announce his/her candidacy so voters can make the right choice next November.
Dearest republicans, there is no need to thank us for this, we do it out of the goodness of our hearts.
Friday, August 10, 2007
The top writers in the blogosphere sat centerstage for lunch at YearlyKos this Saturday to talk about current events and what it all means in the grand scheme of things.
This past weekend the Democratic Congress grabbed their metaphorical ankles and bent over as far as they could to make Bush's illegal wiretapping program...legal. FISA was amended with plenty of "bluedog" Democratic votes along with Republicans who all voted together so that Bush could spy on anyone he wanted to without warrants. It was a sad couple of days for our democracy to say the least. At least someone wants to do something about it, because you know, its illegal.
Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a federal judge Thursday to invalidate a days-old law that lets government agents eavesdrop on suspected terrorists without first getting court-approved warrants.
They said the measure signed into law Sunday by President Bush is illegal because it gives the national intelligence director and the U.S. attorney general too much power to intercept communications of suspected terrorists overseas _ even when they are talking to someone in the United States.
The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights' lawsuit, along with about 50 others, are all being considered by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco.
There is just too much power being handed over to the President. There is no reason we should trust George Bush to listen for terrorists.We all know what he did with credible intelligence a month before September 11th, 2001, which was absolutely nothing. He has been illegally spying on Americans for years now, a high crime that is an impeachable offense by itself. Now Congress is trying to cover his ass for no good reason.
Now the bill's fate lies in the hands of a judge in San Francisco. Bush's lawyers have a bullshit argument that if they have to defend themselves they will reveal national security secrets. See, everyone knows that Bush is raping the Constitution and the rights of Americans, that is hardly a secret anymore.
California's 8th district has been a lock for Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi since she was first elected Congresswoman in 1986. It is especially helpful that the boundaries are solely wrapped around San Francisco, the beautiful city Bill O'Reilly loves to hate. Now there is a famous challenger in the race for the 111th Congress next year. The challenge isn't from the right, but from the left. Cindy Sheehan has given up on the two party system and is running as the anti-war independent that she represents so well.
From The International Herald Tribune:
SAN FRANCISCO: A tearful Cindy Sheehan cited her son, killed in Iraq, as her inspiration as she announced her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives against Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker.
Sheehan last month said she intended to run against Pelosi, the House speaker, if the San Francisco congresswoman did not move to impeach President George W. Bush by July 23.
Sheehan said Thursday that Pelosi had "protected the status quo" of the corporate elite and had lost touch with people in her district, most of whom want American troops out of Iraq.
Pelosi is a relatively good Democrat, but as Speaker of the House she has tremendous powers to get things moving. Announcing impeachment off the table was a serious blow to many people who helped her ascend to the Speakership by voting Republicans out of office across the country.
Not acting against Bush may have been a 'political' move to help the Congress get stuff done, but ultimately without a veto-proof majority, Bush kills almost every good bill that they produce. The rest of what they come up with are weak compromises with Republicans that do not reflect the will of the American people.
Now there is a woman that is willing to do what it takes to get our troops out of Iraq. No one doubts she has the motivation for it, vilified by Republicans and even some Democrats, she is still a symbol of the peace movement in this country. Her chances according to conventional wisdom are slim to none, especially with the power and the resources that Pelosi possesses. Nevertheless, Cindy was brave enough to stand up to the President back when he was popular, and she continues to speak out for what is right, not what is 'political.'
Rudolph Giuliani is apparently suffering from an extreme case of a super-inflated ego. The "Mussolini of Manhattan" is on a quest to be our next President and he does not care who gets trampled. Even if those who are raked through the coals are the people that Giuliani builds his "America's Mayor" fame on, Rudy cares about no one but himself.
From The Daily News:
Rudy Giuliani drew outrage and indignation from Sept. 11 first-responders yesterday by saying he spent as much time - or more - exposed to the site's dangers as workers who dug through the debris for the missing and the dead.
Speaking to reporters at a Cincinnati Reds ballgame he caught between fund-raisers, the GOP front-runner said he helped 9/11 families and defended himself against critics of how he managed the attack's aftermath.
"This is not a mayor or a governor or a President who's sitting in an ivory tower," Giuliani said. "I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."
His statement rang false to Queens paramedic Marvin Bethea, who said he suffered a stroke, posttraumatic stress disorder and breathing problems after responding to the attacks.
"I personally find that very, very insulting," he said.
Giuliani has no right to say what he did yesterday. His ego needs to be crushed, and that can start when he loses the Republican nomination.
I think many more people than Bethea find it insulting, including myself. Of course, it hits closer to home for Bethea than many people who find Giuliani to be a piece of garbage. On that terrible day, Rudy was exposed to toxins, but he was do nothing to help the people trying to rescue victims. Patting hard working people on the back does not help anyone. Screwing up the communication system between the NYPD and FDNY hurt the ability of New York to save more lives. His decision to limit time for rescue workers was nothing less than malicious. Telling people the air was safe is downright criminal.
This past Saturday I got Governor Richardson to take a picture with me at YearlyKos with my thermal camera on this MacBook. We both came out blue which was nice to see. Unfortunately he had some problems with the the color spectrum yesterday when some of the candidates got together to talk about GLBT rights in America.
Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson declared homosexuality a "choice" after a question from lesbian signer Melissa Etheridge during the Democrats' "gay debate" Thursday night.
Etheridge, one of the panelists, asked the governor whether he considered homosexuality "innate" or a choice.
“It’s a choice,” he replied.
"Suggesting Richardson might have misunderstood," remarked the gay paper Southern Voice, Etheridge "then rephrased her question to ask him whether he thinks 'a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that around seventh grade, we go, 'Ooo, I want to be gay.'"
“It’s, it’s, it, you know, I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition,” he said. “I see gays and lesbians as people, as a matter of human decency. I see it as a matter of love and companionship and people loving each other. You know, I don’t like to categorize people. I don’t like to answer definitions like that, that you know perhaps are grounded in science or something else that I don’t understand.”
Richardson's further 'clarifications' didn't do much in the way of damage control. He couldn't just come out and say that sexual orientation isn't a choice. Why he refuses to do so is beyond me.
The comeback was ok, human decency should be applied to all humans, regardless of our differences. But Governor, the science is in, our sexual orientation is not a choice. The only choice is to either express who you are or hide in a society that has so much discrimination against people being different, especially when it comes to this issue.
Congressman Sali (R-ID) is well known as a racist bigot for some time now, even before he became a member of the House of Representatives. Well if you thought the big city might bring some decency to that hideous mouth of yours, guess again. The already tainted Congress just got a little uglier.
From some people that love Bill Sali:
"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes -- and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers," asserts Sali.
Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through "the protective hand of God."
"You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike," says the Idaho Republican.
According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God. He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, "that's a different god" and that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country."
Who is Bill Sali to know what the founding fathers envisioned. Sali's hate and vengeance towards people who pray differently is a sad representation of a small minority of Americans. The founding fathers envisioned freedom of religion due to the persecutions that were suffered back in Europe. It would be terribly hypocritical to proclaim that freedom as a difference from the monarchs in Europe and then not practice what you preach.
Sali should be censured and kicked out of Congress for that type of talk. There is no place for hate in our nation's legislature and it needs to swept out ASAP.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
The lack of compassion George Bush has for Americans in general is truly pathetic. What is worse is that he seems to care less about the troops, and more about hiding the secrets of the military. The Pat Tillman cover up is almost as tragic as the death itself. The Pentagon has disgraced itself through and through, yet the President won't do a thing. All we can expect is hollow rhetoric.
From The White House itself:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You speak often about taking care of the troops and honoring their sacrifice. But the family of Corporal Pat Tillman believes there was a cover up regarding his death, and some say perhaps he was even murdered, instead of just friendly fire. At a hearing last week on Capitol Hill your former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, other officials used some version of "I don't recall" 82 times. When it was his term to step up, Pat Tillman gave up a lucrative NFL career, served his country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Now you have a chance to pledge to the family that your government, your administration will finally get to the bottom of it. Can you make that pledge to the family today, that you'll finally, after seven investigations, find out what really happened?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I can understand why Pat Tillman's family, you know, has got significant emotions, because a man they loved and respected was killed while he was serving his country. I always admired the fact that a person who was relatively comfortable in life would be willing to take off one uniform and put on another to defend America. And the best way to honor that commitment of his is to find out the truth. And I'm confident the Defense Department wants to find out the truth, too, and we'll lay it out for the Tillman family to know.
Q But, Mr. President, there have been seven investigations and the Pentagon has not gotten to the bottom of it. Can you also tell us when you, personally, found out that it was not enemy fire, that it was friendly fire?
THE PRESIDENT: I can't give you the precise moment. But obviously the minute I heard that the facts that people believed were true were not true, that I expect there to be a full investigation and get to the bottom of it.
He expects to be liked by the nation, and that ain't gonna happen any sooner than when hell freezes over. So there is no reason for any of us to expect a full and complete investigation. The lack of sympathy and forthright for the Tillman family is sickening. The fact that the entire Bush Administration is in on it is downright nauseous.
The truth be damned, George thinks whatever the hell he wants, as you can see in the footage from today in the White House. The arrogance is incredible...or....doesnt lyme disease cause insanity?
Its a bad sign for a Republican presidential candidate to lick the feet of the current unpopular commander in chief. It is never good to have less cash on hand than the "fringe" candidate. Its terrible to see your staff leave the campaign in disgust. But when Republican voters favor a Democrat over you, it really is time to walk away.
From The Carpetbagger Report:
Less than a month ago, with his campaign in free-fall, John McCain’s presidential campaign circulated talking points to supporters, explaining the skeleton of the senator’s comeback plan. In a nutshell, the strategy was premised on McCain excelling in three early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Success in these three states would get McCain back on track, and victory would beget more victory. The plan looks a little shaky in light of the senator’s wholesale collapse in Iowa.
How bad is that collapse? Oh, its really, really bad.
The changes among Republican voters since March are dramatic. Romney is now the preferred candidate at 21.8 percent — double his March support.
Giuliani’s support, 10 percent, decreased by almost 8.5 percent. McCain’s support has collapsed in Iowa. His support among registered Republicans dropped from 14.4 percent in March to 1.8 percent in July-August. UI political scientists note that McCain has been passed in popularity not only by former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who earned 5.2 percent support, but also by a Democratic challenger, Obama, who is supported by 6.7 percent of Republicans. No other candidate received more than 3 percent support. (emphasis added)
The issue of net neutrality should be an easy one to comprehend. We need legislation that guarantees freedom on the internet because the people can not trust telecomm companies to self-regulate. Corporations like AT and T say they can be trusted, but the evidence shows otherwise. Just this weekend, Pearl Jam played at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Eddie Vetter said some bad things about our dictator-in-chief....guess what, it was censored on the net.
From Down With Tyranny:
CMJ is reporting that AT&T censored Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza set on Sunday. Maybe they figured no one would notice. I guess this has to be expected when one gets in bed with freedom's mortal enemy: corporations, which will always pimp for the status quo. The was an AT&T Blue Room live broadcast set up and an AT&T "content monitor" found "Daughter" too risque for Lollapalooza fans.
Maybe they objected to Eddie quoting that subversive Neil Young! No, it wasn't that. According to the Pearl Jam website it was lines sung by Eddie: "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home" that offended them so. Pearl Jam doesn't seem too happy:
Most telecommunications companies oppose "net neutrality" and argue that the public can trust them not to censor..
Even the ex-head of AT&T, CEO Edward Whitacre, whose company sponsored our troubled webcast, stated just last March that fears his company and other big network providers would block traffic on their networks are overblown..
Our fears are overblown?? It looks like our fears are actually coming true. The corporate execs are free to support George Bush and his unconstitutional behaviors on an individual basis, but censoring content is a serious no-no. They want to make this type of crap legal. That is the last thing we need. As long as human beings are busy being human beings, especially in the areas of greed, power and ego; we need government regulation to keep these corporate goons in check. Freedom of expression is essential to our democracy, whether it is on the streets or on internet.
AKRF stands for the names Allee King Rosen & Fleming, but it means much more than a few surnames to the city of New York. AKRF has been consulted for many different projects around the area to certify environmental and historical sites to be developed or redeveloped. Their analyses are used for small projects like this one on Duffield Street in Brooklyn and large endeavors such as the reconstruction of the World Trade Center. So why is this important to anyone? Because their history is quite murky and there tends to be a lot of cold hard cash involved when they are involved.
From Duffield St.:
While New York City is suffering from an ailing electrical and sewer infrastructure, we are on a building boom. Somehow, it's the priority to build endless luxury highrises and not fix potholes. How is this done?
For all of the megaprojects going up, one firm is responsible for most of the environmental studies: AKRF. This blog focuses on the Duffield Street homes, and we are committed to examining the credibility of AKRF's historical analysis.
You may ask, Who cares if AKRF screws up a historical analysis? The problem is that "historical resources" fall under the scope of environmental analysis, just like air pollution and waste water. So if AKRF lacks credibility in its historical analysis of Duffield, this raises questions about its traffic analysis.
Duffield St also provides a giant list of shameful links about AKRF and the poor decisions they have made in the past. This post puts a spotlight on one relatively hidden cog in the beast that is the redevelopment of New York City and its historical integrity. Gentrification may seem inevitable, but if we can shine enough light on how the process works there just might be some hope for the people to have their say when it comes to the future of New York.
Jon uncovers a little of Hillary's lobbying shenanigans and Sunday's Republican debate that was just, well, pitiful.
Harold Ford Jr. was heralded to do big things within the Democratic party. A young Congressman who ran for Senate in Tennessee last year was struck down for his "Republican-lite" ways and lost to Bob Corker, a corrupt sonofabitch. Now he is at his fallback position, running the center-right organization that is known as the DLC. Appeasing Republicans to win votes for Democrats (yes, it is as confusing for me as it is for you) is what they are all about, and Harold did not disappoint as he went on Fox News (surprise) to talk about Iraq.
From Crooks and Liars:
Colmes: Barack Obama had a great point when he said those who voted for the war in Iraq and then had to apologize for that vote should probably be the last people to criticize he—who was right about the war in Iraq all along.
Ford: I don’t know who’s been right about this war all along…
Colmes: Sure you do…
Ford: That’s open for dispute.
Colmes: You don’t know who’s been right about the war all along?
Ford: One thing is clear. What we’re doing now is not working.
Even Alan Colmes sounds more like the Democrat, Hannity didn't need to open his trap because it seems Ford was filling in for him here quite well. Everyone knows who has been right about the war since before the war even began. It is just that Republicans and DLC-types like Ford do not want to admit it.
The anti-war community was chastised for being weak, unpatriotic and sympathizing with the terrorists. When most of the country was gung ho for the war, along with media that covered their screens in red, white and blue with embedded reporters going for rides with the troops....there was a voice in this country that exhibited sanity and reason. It was a call to stop the war before it started. I myself marched in Los Angeles that beautiful day of February 15, 2003 to protest the invasion.
Over four years later most of the country now sees the mess we were misled into. America wants out. It is nice to see that Ford knows the current situation isn't working, but him and his bluedog Democratic friends are doing nothing to stop it. Their appeasement of Bush is sickening and more frustrating as the deaths of our troops and the chaos that is Iraq increases day by day. We need to get out of there, and we need to do it now.
Chris Matthews is a real prize. For the most part, he is a fixture of the D.C. cocktail weenie circuit, where journalists blend in with politicians for camaraderie instead of, um, practicing journalism. Chris also has a chauvinistic side. That is especially apparent when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Now I am certainly no fan of the lobbyist-influenced Mrs. Clinton, but this was uncalled for.
From Media Matters:
On the August 7 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, prior to the AFL-CIO's Democratic candidates' forum airing on MSNBC later that day, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell referred to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that 39 percent of respondents said they "feel positive" toward Clinton on the issue of her "warmth and compassion," while 30 percent said they "feel negative." Saying that Clinton's "negatives are still so high on warmth and compassion," Mitchell asserted that Clinton "has to show some personality and some likability, because she really has to show that she's approachable and a little bit softer than she's been in the past." Hardball host Chris Matthews replied: "I know. She has to smile when she puts the knife in."
What the hell does that mean Chris? Putting the knife in? She's a politician, not a murderer. And if you are referring to the metaphorical blades, why not mention the enormous collection of blades by other elected officials. God only knows how many knives, axes, ninja stars and machetes Republicans carry around. There is nothing wrong with a woman playing "hardball" Chris, so lay off.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The Stoners for Giuliani group might now be officially disbanded after this comment from the candidate. Oh well, boo hoo for them. I hear Ron Paul is more on the 'libertarian' side for Young Republican lovers of Mary Jane.
I hate to call out Mitt's kids, but come on, when they are mentioned by the candidate in an explanation for support of the war in Iraq that makes them fair game. The animal lover/father spoke up for his five boys who are not serving in the military because, get this, they are patriotically running around the country supporting their dear old dad. Puhleeze!!!
From The Huffington Post:
"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."
Romney's five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a "Five Brothers" blog on Romney's campaign Web site.
Romney noted that his middle son, 36-year-old Josh, was completing a recreational vehicle tour of all 99 Iowa counties on Wednesday and said, "I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country."
That isn't serving our country, thats serving your Dad. Its perfectly fine to support one's Dad (though Caroline Giuliani declined on that one) but don't call it something other than that. Rachel Griffins, an army vet who posed the question about Romney's kids was not satisfied by his answer. Neither am I Rachel, neither am I.
The rightwing radio duo don't have a cold or even the flu, their sickness is strictly inside those small, narrow-minded heads of theirs. Combined with their icy-cold hearts, the combination produces vile comments out of their ugly mouths that can easily offend the light-hearted. Unfortunately I've seen so much of what right-wing radio can produce, so this disgusting attack on the Edwards family and Elizabeth's battle with cancer does not surprise me.
From Media Matters:
On the August 3 edition of Fox News host John Gibson's nationally syndicated radio program, the show's executive producer, who goes by the name "Angry Rich" on the program, claimed Democratic presidential candidate former Sen. John Edwards (NC) "whored his wife's cancer as a fundraising gimmick." He also went on to call him "a fraud" and "a pansy." Gibson referred to Edwards as "the Breck Girl," "Silky," and "the biggest fraud running for president." Gibson and "Angry Rich" were attacking Edwards for saying that Democratic candidates should give back campaign contributions from News Corp., the parent company of Fox News Channel, while accepting advance and expense money from HarperCollins, another News Corp. division that had published a book written by Edwards; Gibson played an audio clip of Edwards stating that money was donated to charity. They also attacked Edwards for his refusal earlier this year to participate in a debate co-sponsored by Fox News.
How low can one go? When it comes to Fox News-employed wingers like Angry Rich and John Gibson, there is no bottom to the abyss in their hearts.
Presidential politics is nasty, but now it is spreading to the girls that adore them. Actually, it is just the new "Romney Girls" going after the already famous "Obama Girl." Will there be a response? Hmmm, do you even care?
So if you live in New York City or read/watch/listen to the news, you'll know that we had some pretty severe weather early this morning. Heavy rain and gusty winds caused a lot of damage in the area and snarled traffic across the city. I had to get up to Lincoln Center from 28th and 2nd Ave, which usually consists of a walk across town and then hopping on the 1 train to 66th St. I walked on the dry but muggy streets to 7th Ave. only to find the trains completely stopped. The next hour was a major ordeal as I tried to take the C train from Penn Station (but that wasn't running either) only to have to walk over a mile to Lincoln Center because the buses were packed and empty cabs were nowhere to be found. To put it lightly, it was a miserable commute.
Why oh why must rain shut down mass transit in the biggest city in the country? Because the MTA does not adequately pump rainwater out of the tunnels. The current system simply cannot handle a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Basically, it comes back to infrastructure. If our system (among others) was properly funded, we would not have problems like this. Europe laughs at us when it comes to things like this.
Now Governor Spitzer is ordering a review of the currently crippled system. The trains are still off as of 2pm (I tried getting on the 6 train downtown at 59th, it wasn't happening) and commuters are furious. But Governor, there is no need for a review. We know what the problems are and they should have already been taken care of. A competent federal government would have ensured that the pumping system could handle any amount of water. Electricity for trains above ground should be properly installed so that no amount of bad weather could affect them.
But no, there is no funding, all the money goes to Iraq, and to the weapons that have 'mysteriously' disappeared and found their way into the hands of insurgents that kill civilians and our troops. Our government would rather have the country languish and structurally fall part than give up any number of billions of dollars spent on the war machine.
Saving our environment will consist of many different things. Governments must act on the macro scale to curb emissions and promote green technology when the markets refuse to do so. We as individuals must do our part as well. There are so many different actions we can take, from changing our light bulbs to fluorescents, using cloth bags for our groceries and refusing plastics, driving greener cars and now you can help by using a Google alternative called Blackle. What is that you ask and why does it make a difference?
In January, a blogger named Mark Ontkush wrote in his blog EcoIron that an all-black Google home page would save 750 megawatt-hours of electricity a year. What does that mean? We looked it up.
Turns out 750 megawatt-hours can power for an entire year:
-- 77 North American homes
-- 150 European homes
-- 268 African homes
-- 536 Asian or South American homes
-- 3,750 homes in Afghanistan
-- 6,000 televisions
-- 800 microwaves
Ontkush pointed out that an all-white Web page requires about 74 watts to display, where a black page requires only 59 watts.
In response, an Australian company called Heap Media created a Google-powered site called blackle.com. The site keeps a running total of the number of watts saved to date. At press time, that number was nearly 135 million watt-hours.
It won't make the Earth spin backwards, but like I said, every good action makes a difference. So when you need to google (which is something I do many, many times a day) remember to use Blackle and save some juice.
This impromptu cameraman found Rudy Giuliani shopping in a WalMart the other day. The Mayor says he's a fan of the low prices (won't mention why they are so low of course) and a proponent of having more big box stores in Manhattan. He can have the one finger salute from me over that alone.
So Bloomberg was not telling the truth (i.e. lying) last month when he pressed Sheldon Silver and the New York State Legislature to pass his version of congestion pricing. Well Senator Silver didn't believe him and it seems there was good reason not to. Officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation still have the matter on hold, and have not made a decision either way to grant p to $500 million in federal aid.
From The NYT CityRoom:
Supporters of the mayor’s congestion pricing proposal will have to wait a few more days before getting a crucial federal go-ahead on the plan. The United States Department of Transportation, which had been slated to make an announcement on Wednesday about New York’s status in a federal competition for more than $500 million in funds, now says the decision will be delayed.
“We won’t be making the announcement tomorrow,” said Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the department. “We don’t know when it’s going to happen.”
Mr. Turmail would not elaborate on a cause for the delay, but at least one source with knowledge of the situation believed that the department may be redirecting its resources to the federal response to last week’s Minnesota bridge collapse.
Helping the situation in Minneapolis is far more important than any desire for a quick solution to approving funds for congestion pricing. Of course, it still has to be taken care of eventually.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Ok well tonight was a debate, but I really do not see too much difference between forums and debates. The only thing is in forums they try to make the candidates play nicer, but they are too quick for that. So YearlyKos is over but the candidates are back to debate in front of the AFL-CIO in the windy city.
This debate in particular is a good one because it focuses on the issues of working people. Job insecurity, health care and income inequality are serious concerns (in addition to the war). Our next President has a lot of work cut out for them after eight disastrous years for the American worker. George Bush has stopped at nothing to undermine regular people to help his corporate buddies. That includes the ones at the top health industry leaders. They do not care about affordable health insurance, and they do not care about people like this:
From Crooks and Liars:
If this man’s genuine passion and anguish doesn’t move you, you’re not human. Steve Skvara, a disabled, retired steel worker from Indiana tells the story of how he lost his family’s health insurance after the company he worked for, for 34 years closed two years after they forced him to retire. Skvara received a standing ovation, and rightfully so. He represents millions of hard working Americans who have lost their jobs and benefits and face the humiliation of not being able to provide for themselves or their families. Can you imagine a Republican fielding a question like this?
The question was directed toward John Edwards and his answer was passionate and on the money. Edwards vowed to stand up with the American people, calling for Universal health care for all.
Funny how Edwards stands out on questions like these. I wonder how Hillary and the corporate lobbyists that pile money on her campaign feel about all of this?
Yes, sadly there will not be a third YearlyKos next year. But the good news is that there will be the first Netroots Nation at an undisclosed (or undetermined) location in 2008. Here's Gina Cooper telling us all about it this past weekend:
America runs on top of the strength of our infrastructure. Commerce would grind to a halt without properly maintained roads (as it did last week in Minneapolis). Extreme weather would kill thousands more every year if it wasn't for electricity (and steam here in NYC) that remained on to power homes. Levees protect large cities from floods and other natural disasters (except for in Louisiana). Are you starting to catch my drift here? Thats why ridiculous comments from neo-cons like William Kristol tend to piss me off. He thinks there is no problem.
Fox News political contributor Bill Kristol, appearing on the August 5 broadcast of Fox News Sunday, made comments minimizing the significance of a bridge collapse in Minnesota last week. At least five people were killed and 100 injured when the bridge collapsed Wednesday.
"I don't think this symbolizes any great failure of our infrastructure," said Kristol. "Once every twenty five years some bridge falls down unexpectedly due to engineering problems and it is unfortunate obviously but the idea that the whole country is crumbling is not, I think, credible."
The callousness is disgusting. Of course for Billy, there are more important things to spend our nation's money (and its debt) on, like illegal wars and whatnot.
The City Council convened today to address concerns and investigate the steam pipe explosion last month near Grand Central Terminal. One witness you would think should show up is the #1 guy at Con Edison. Those pipes are controlled by the utility giant and as the chief, Kevin Burke has a duty to testify. Mr. Burke apparently disagrees, and didn't bother showing up for the hearing.
From 1010 WINS:
NEW YORK (AP) -- City Council members criticized Con Ed's CEO Tuesday for not appearing in person to answer questions about last month's steam explosion in midtown.
Images from Steam Pipe Explosion
The Council members also blasted the company for not being able to say why the July 18 explosion near Grand Central Terminal took place.
A Council committee had invited Con Ed chief Kevin Burke to testify.
Business leaders say that money lost by nearby stores that are still closed could add up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Burke needs to be held accountable for the explosion, especially as midtown businesses continue to suffer with ongoing repairs. The larger infrastructure problem is bigger than Burke, thats for sure. Yet Con Ed is under his control, and he should at least have the decency to show up for New Yorkers who want to know what happened and why.
No it isnt' their hot dogs, god no. Nor is it their drinks. It was this sign in their window on the corner of 72nd and Broadway today (flipped on its side for comic relief purposes):
Don't they know he doesn't ride the subway quite like the rest of us?
Things are getting worse by the day for the Kansas Republican party. Thanks to Governor Sebelius, many moderate Republicans have bolted their party and switched over to the blue side. We aren't talking precinct captains here, this goes all the way up to the State Attorney General. The GOP also lost a Congressional House seat and in a state where there are only three districts, thats a huge loss. So if you were the chairman of all Kansas Republicans, what would you do? Make people sign a loyalty oath? Nah.....or would you?
From The Wichita Eagle:
Before taking office in January, chairman Kris Kobach promised to reorganize and reinvigorate the Kansas GOP. He and other Republicans have said GOP activists need to show unity in elections so that Democrats don't take advantage of their disagreements.
"The motive behind this is, 'Let's make sure Republicans are supporting Republicans,' " said Christian Morgan, the state GOP's executive director. "If you want to hold a party post, you should at least be supporting Republican candidates."
The state committee's actions struck a sour note for some Republicans, particularly moderates on issues such as abortion. Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist, suggested the loyalty committee could prove a "public relations disaster."
The PR disaster is just the beginning. This spectacle stinks of anti-democratic behavior. Beatty went as far as calling it communist (a big red herring for Republicans). Why is it so hard for these people to understand that in this country, citizens are allowed to vote and endorse anyone they want to. Sure, suffer political consequences for your actions, but demanding loyalty is crossing a huge line.
Of course, it isn't democracy that people like Kris Kobach care about, their only concern is power. Now that they are losing their might, they'll do whatever they think it takes to hold on to it.
Jerome Hauer knows Rudy Giuliani quite well, he served as the top anti-terrorism aide to the mayor for several years before September 11th. While Rudy keeps on running under his 'experience' during that horrific day in New York City, there are more and more reports of just how bad a mayor he was, both on September 11th and beforehand. Hauer knows what he is talking about here.
From The Telegraph:
Jerome Hauer, New York's emergency management director from 1996 to 2000, said Mr Giuliani was closely involved in locating the city's crisis control room in the World Trade Centre complex, even though it was a known terrorist target after the 1993 truck bomb attack which killed six people at the site.
The location proved disastrous in 2001 as the building was set ablaze in the collapse of the adjoining twin towers.
The condemnation by Mr Hauer, a leading US expert on biological and chemical terrorism, provides fresh ammunition to Mr Giuliani's foes, who want to undermine the widespread acclaim for his actions in the aftermath of al-Qaeda's attack on the towers. It follows similar criticism from the main firemen's union.
Giuliani came out swinging, saying that Hauer is bitter and playing politics, while asserting that it was his recommendation to place the emergency command center downtown. Too bad for Rudy that the evidence is in Hauer's favor. It is another defensive lie on the mayor's part. I'm sure he doesn't feel too bad about it, since lying and sacking people who get in his way is standard operating procedure for Rudy.
Sure this could be a minor slip up, if the First Lady only screwed up the name of Hurricane Katrina once. Yet she managed to say "Hurricane Corrina" twice in ten seconds. This sounds more like a major disconnect and apathetic attitude more than anything else.
Monday, August 06, 2007
So YearlyKos 2007 in Chicago is now over. Everyone has gone home, the lights at McCormick Place are turned down and the place is being cleaned up. I am sitting here back in Manhattan after dealing with flying into Newark this afternoon (we circled the airport for half an hour due to air traffic and waited for the bags for forty-five minutes), enjoying the somewhat cool and muggy air.
The four days went by so quickly, in part because there was so much going on.
Thursday was a day of panels and workshops. I made some amazing contacts and great friends that I had mostly only known by their orange names on DailyKos (mine is proudprogressiveca btw, the ca is because I was living in CA when I signed up). I learned so much and heard many great things, but before I knew it, the time had come to sit down to an appetizer-style dinner and listen to Sam Seder, comic relief, a taped message from Senator Durbin and then finally an incredible speech from Howard Dean. By the end I heard myself chanting "Howard, Howard, Howard" like I had started doing four years ago. In a way it saddened me to think about those good ole' Deaniac days, but also grateful to see how far we have come since his campaign ended.
Friday was another great day that was full of running around from room to room, seemingly miles apart (probably only a quarter to a half mile, but who's counting). Hearing Wesley Clark deliver a powerful message to the ballroom audience was inspiring. Having the honor to see Eric Massa, Cenk Uyugr and John Dean in one room was fantastic. Then it was off to hear George Lakoff and Jeffrey Feldman talk about how to frame the issues. Later on I got to talk to Bob Geiger on how I can get more than five hits a day on this little blog. He gave us the message that if he can do it, so can all of us.
I missed the netroots candidate party that night due to a meeting and by the time I could head up there, I would have missed it due to the very long walk. So Friday night gave me a chance to relax with my non-DailyKos friend and get away from the McCormick behemoth.
Saturday turned out to be the longest day for me. I got there at seven in the morning and left at eleven at night. There was only one panel I attended, the second one I was going to was Tim Tagaris' campaign blogger thing but it was mysteriously canceled. No big deal though, because the best was yet to come.
This was when I got my macbook photo with Governor Richardson, followed by the Presidential forum with everyone attending minus Joe Biden. I was sitting four tables back dead center, so the view was great. But the fireworks on stage were fantastic to see. The breakout session with Edwards was also incredible. I ran up there as fast as I could and snagged a front row seat. Unfortunately he didn't call on me for the Q & A session, but there were plenty of good questions thrown out there.
Then things cooled down a bit, with the Teamsters BBQ by the lake. It really does amaze me that the body of water that looks like a sea is actually a lake. I'm used to the ocean and it looks quite similar minus the big waves. Then the night wrapped up with the keynote. Markos did his thing up there following a couple of comics and then it was over for the night. Sunday's brunch was a great wrap-up to the convention and we all said our goodbyes...but it sold me on coming back next year, even with the new "Netroots Nation" name.
Senator Joe may be feeling glum after all the heat that Spitzer is taking from the helicopter investigation craziness, but there are more storm clouds ahead for him in the legal department. See, it is illegal to receive more than $5,000 in a year from any particular company, but that didn't stop Bruno from diving into the troughs of his corporate buddies after the giving was supposed to be over.
From Rochester Turning:
On September 25, 2005, Golub Realties, INC. donated $5,000 to Bruno, despite having already donated $3,050 earlier in 2005. Bruno’s donation brought Golub to a total of $8,050 in contributions in 2005.
We all know how republicans in the NYS Senate operate. Accordingly, they will no doubt attempt to deflect attention by intimating some democrats also took contributions over the legal limit. Unfortunately, that argument neglects two critical points that I hope will preempt any such distractions. First and most notably, is the common denominator to ALL of the heretofore mentioned donors is Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Second, Bruno’s admitted disdain for substantive campaign finance reform opens him up to strict scrutiny of his actions.
Uh oh Senator, you might want to stop throwing stones at the Governor while you are living in that pretty glass house of yours.
Yes, the Democratic candidates are similar in many regards. They're all anti-Bush for starters, but there are marked differences between all of them. One important contrast making its way through the blogosphere today is a story about a union on strike and the owner of the company that is being protested. Unions have plenty to do with politics, but this example goes directly to John Edwards and Hillary Clinton and what they represent.
It started as a political photo-op... with democrat John Edwards rallying with union workers on strike from Standard Ready Mix Concrete.
But, the scene turned tumultuous when union workers say they scuffled with the company's president.
During John Edwards campaign stop, Standard Ready Mix owner, Mark Jensen walked out with camera in hand. He also brought out a "Hillary for President" sign.
John Edwards, "Cute, that's cute."
To Hillary's credit, she wasn't there nor is she officially connected to Mr. Jensen. She did not have anything to do with this bully and him charging $20 for people to drive their cars out of his lot without telling them when they drove in (see the link above for more details). Yet the important thing is to see where people stand and what side they are on. I am on the people's side and John Edwards seems to be standing closely by.
Hillary is nowhere to be found with the Teamsters. She said she'd rather take Washington lobbyist money, you can check here to see where she gets her big dollars from. It certainly isn't from working people that need a break from the corporate culture that this nation is suffering from.
Chris Dodd's new commercial combines the ridiculousness about Edwards' haircut fiasco along with Bill Richardson's "job interview" ad to create this somewhat funny ad. When he was up on stage at YearlyKos that white hair had quite the color contrast with his face that turned bright red. No mention of that though in this thirty second piece:
So much for family sticking together. It is a rare sight for the children of politicians straying from the nest when the family goes to the polls, but Giuliani has a new "daddy." Politically speaking of course.
There's one vote that Rudy Giuliani definitely can't count on in his 2008 presidential bid: his own daughter's. According to the 17-year-old Caroline Giuliani's Facebook profile, she's supporting Barack Obama.
On her profile, she designates her political views as "liberal" and—until this morning—proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)." According to her profile, she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it.
You got to love the internet and sites like Facebook. I wonder if dear old Dad even got the message personally, the news probably came to him in the same way we all read it. Rudy has been slipping in the polls and now losing support from his own flesh and blood. There are certain things that can tip you off to the demise of a campaign and this might just be one of them.
Playing "Where's Waldo" was always fun for me as a kid in magazines and puzzles, but finding missing weapons is no laughing matter. That is especially important because there are nearly 200,000 missing sidearms and automatic rifles that we gave to the Iraqis. Accountability has been lacking in the Bush Administration from day one, now there is another deadly example of how the Pentagon has mishandled this war.
From The Washington Post:
The author of the report from the Government Accountability Office says U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops. The highest previous estimate of unaccounted-for weapons was 14,000, in a report issued last year by the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
The United States has spent $19.2 billion trying to develop Iraqi security forces since 2003, the GAO said, including at least $2.8 billion to buy and deliver equipment. But the GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Gen. David H. Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in Iraq.
The Pentagon did not dispute the GAO findings, saying it has launched its own investigation and indicating it is working to improve tracking. Although controls have been tightened since 2005, the inability of the United States to track weapons with tools such as serial numbers makes it nearly impossible for the U.S. military to know whether it is battling an enemy equipped by American taxpayers.
Again, Mr. President, members of Congress, get us out of this terrible war now.
The chance that our own weaponry is killing our own men and women is becoming more and more likely. It is a sad reality that we have no control in this civil war. The only thing we have power over is the choice to stay in the many lines of fire, killing dozens of our troops every month. We have made so many mistakes in Iraq and despite the Pentagon claiming that they will "investigate," the problems will continue as long as we are there.
Out of the seven candidates that made it to the event, none was more impressive to me than John Edwards. Sure he went into his stump speech a couple of times, but he spoke from the heart. In this race and all that it means for our country, this is the most important attribute to me because it gives insight into how he approaches all the essential issues that we face.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
John McCain blamed Congress for not adequately funding our nation's infrastructure today because of their love of earmarks. But really, he blamed himself. See, our nation's infrastructure has been suffering for decades now. Calling for tax cuts takes away from funding the country's essentials; and the culture of corruption, especially while the Republicans controlled things for 12 years led to the further degradations of our "inner workings." It isn't just the pet projects Senator, its the ideology that wants to drown our government in a bathtub which causes tragedies like these.
ANKENY, Iowa - Republican John McCain said Saturday that Congress could share in the blame for the Minnesota bridge collapse because lawmakers diverted billions of dollars in transportation money from road work to pet projects.
"I think perhaps you can make the argument that part of the responsibility lies with the Congress of the United States," the Arizona senator said.
McCain said Congress spent roughly $20 billion on special-interest projects when it approved a new highway bill, signed into law by President Bush.
McCain then decided to descend even further, demonstrating Sen. Grassley's (R-IA) $50 million dollar indoor rainforest project in Iowa as horrendous pork. But McCain avoided questions such as if additional spending would have prevented the disaster in Minneapolis.
As the candidate that is spiraling out of control, he is trying his best to do an image makeover. He took a potshot at President as well, saying in his Presidency, you would know who the President was.
The reemergence of the "Maverick" is too little, too late. His supporters and staff are vanishing rapidly. McCain's maneuvering to the right has painted him as a hypocrite to many in the middle. Even when it comes to pork, the evidence shows he loves the trough just as much as the next politician. Now things are starting to catch up to the dear Senator and his candidacy for President is vanishing like the image of a mirage that can be found in the desert around Phoenix.
The compassionate conservatism that has been so glaringly absent from the majority of Republican politicians reared its ugly head yet again when Mitt Romney stepped inside the Red Arrow restaurant up in Manchester, N.H. last week. He was giving stump answers to questions about A.I.D.S. and how it is dealt with around the world when his speech and his world was interrupted by Michele Griffin, who works as a waitress at the 'political' eatery.
From The Washington Post:
"What about our nation? How 'bout the USA? C'mon!" yelled Michele Griffin, a 12-year veteran behind the counter at one of Manchester's most famous eating establishments.
She turned to walk away, but the former Masschusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate called her back, sparking an emotional and confrontational 10-minute exchange about health care and the needs of the working class. The already hot diner got even hotter fast.
The exchange took place at the Red Arrow, one of two diners the Washington Post will be visiting repeatedly during the next six months.
One of the things I'm proud of doing in my state is putting on track a plan that gets everybody health insurance," Romney began, seeing an opening for his standard stump speech about his efforts as governor of Massachusetts.
But Griffin was in no mood for platitudes, and interrupted.
"After we pay our huge deductibles for our insurance and our cost for our prescriptions, there's nothing left," she said.
She continued on to blast the ex-governor and inadvertently showed his apathy for average people suffering under the tutelage of the current health care crisis. Romney tried to pull out his stump speech but Michele had none of it. She continued to tell her story (while showing Romney to be seriously out of touch) until Romney couldn't take it anymore. Eventually he walked out of the restaurant and she was the one left in tears.
She isn't the only one crying, we are all saddened by the state of health care in America. Unfortunately, Romney isn't one that will break the status quo nor will any of his Republican competitors.
Big thanks to Cenk Uyugr of The Young Turks on Air America Radio for coming out to Chicago for these last few days. He is a great progressive voice on the radio and a wonderful site to see here in Chicago.
So as you all know, the Congress enabled George Bush in the last two days to illegally (or not illegally anymore) wiretap American citizens to his cold dead heart's content. Over sixty Democrats decided to help the traitor-in-chief in his quest to destroy our liberties and our constitution. But there is a silver lining that a Republican Congress would not have provided.
From The LA Times:
WASHINGTON — Pushing to chart a new national energy policy, House Democrats on Saturday passed legislation that would require the nation's utilities to generate more electricity from clean-energy sources, such as the wind and the sun.
And in another indicator of the changed political landscape on Capitol Hill, they stripped the oil and gas industries of $16 billion in tax incentives and voted to apply those tax breaks to efforts to spur production of cleaner forms of energy.
The energy measures passed in a final burst of activity before lawmakers were to adjourn for their summer recess this weekend.
Now, this all depends on if the President signs this legislation and if he does, without a signing statement that says he doesn't have to follow the law Congress passed. What are the chances of that? Hmmmmm.
So is this a silver lining, or just a meatless, tasteless bone thrown to us by the Democrats in Congress? Our constitution is in shambles, our nation can be spied on at will without a care by dozens of Democrats who claim that our "security" is threatened if we do not give up our liberties. While Congress is on their pleasant summer break full of trips and fundraising events so that they can keep being re-elected, maybe they can pick up some reading material by Patrick Henry and be reminded what America is all about.