Monday, April 30, 2007
Mr. Tenet, you cannot undo what has been done. It is doubly sad that you seem still to lack an adequate appreciation of the enormous amount of death and carnage you have facilitated. If reflection on these matters serves to prick your conscience we encourage you to donate at least half of the royalties from your book sales to the veterans and their families, who have paid and are paying the price for your failure to speak up when you could have made a difference. That would be the decent and honorable thing to do.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Poor construction, improper design, substandard materials and lack of maintenance have brought into question the usefulness of seven of eight U.S.-funded Iraq reconstruction projects.
Is there ANYTHING that these clowns actually do right?
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that President Bush will reject any attempt by Congress to require the Iraqi government to meet benchmarks as a condition for US troops remaining in Iraq, in a blow to emerging efforts to craft a compromise war-funding bill.
I hope the Democrats use this to beat Bush about the head, because it's a no-brainer. Not only won't they accept a timetable, they refuse to consider any GOALS a criteria for withdrawal? They refuse to demand progress from the Iraqi Government as a pre-requisite to sending Americans to die for Bagdhad?
Let's override THAT veto, and watch the little boy throw a temper tantrum.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Retired Gen.: Bush should sign Iraq bill
President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on October 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said Saturday.
"I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him," Odom said, delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address.
Odom, an outspoken critic of the war who served as the Army's top intelligence officer and headed the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, delivered the address at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. He said he has never been a Democrat or a Republican.
The general accused Bush of squandering U.S. lives and helping Iran and al Qaeda when he invaded Iraq.
"The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place," he said.
"The president has let [the Iraq war] proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued. He lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies."
WASHINGTON, April 27 — The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.
White House and Pentagon officials, and particularly Vice President Cheney, were determined to attack Iraq from the first days of the Bush administration, long before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and repeatedly stretched available intelligence to build support for the war, according to a new book by former CIA director George J. Tenet.
Thus saith Tenet.
So what we all thought was true: George W. Bush used an attack on the United States as an excuse to pursue a pre-determined agenda, instead of actually responding to the actual attack.
That's why Bin Laden was never caught.
Because they didn't want to.
They wanted to occupy Iraq from the very start of the administration, and when 9/11 happened, they thought, "Here's our chance."
Thursday, April 26, 2007
OSLO (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday all but said she will not testify to Congress about a discredited justification for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq but agreed to answer questions in writing.
Whatever happened to the quaint idea that the President was just a citizen, and could no more defy a subpoena than any of the rest of us?
I know - silly me. Everything you learned in Civics was wrong.
WASHINGTON - The Senate is expected to pass a bill today that would order the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq to begin this fall. Last night, the House voted 218-208 to pass the $124.2 billion supplemental spending measure containing the provision.
Bush will veto it; and let him. And then send it back.
Every bill the Democrats send should fund the troops; require full training and full funding for armor and equipment; and have a withdrawal date. Not only is it right, the people are foursquare behind all of those things, and the veto just makes Bush look more and more out of touch.
WASHINGTON - As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats.....
Yet the poll shows that 56 percent say they agree more with the Democrats in Congress who want to set a deadline for troop withdrawal, versus the 37 percent who say they agree with Bush that there shouldn't be a deadline.
What's more, 55 percent believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible. And 49 percent say the situation in Iraq has gotten worse in the last three months since Bush announced his so-called troop surge. Thirty-seven percent say the situation has stayed about the same, and just 12 percent think it has improved.
12 per cent are buying the bullshit that the situation is improving. About the same number that say they like Dick Cheney.
I think Typhoid Mary polls higher than that.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"This bill gives General Petraeus great leverage for moving the Iraqi government down the more disciplined path laid out by the Iraq Study Group. The real audience for the timeline language is Prime Minister al-Maliki and the elected government of Iraq. The argument that this bill aides the enemy is simply not mature - nobody on the earth underestimates the United States' capacity for unpredictability. It may further create some sense of urgency in the rest of our government, beginning with the State Department."
--Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.
"The bill gives the president a chance to pull back from a disastrous course, re-orient US strategy to achieve regional stability, and win help from many other countries -- the only way peace will eventually be achieved."
--LT GEN Wm. E. Odom, USA, Ret.
"Supporting the Iraq Supplemental Bill not only reflects the thinking of the Iraq Study Group but puts teeth to the phrase "Supporting the Troops". By establishing timelines it returns the responsibility of self preservation and regional sovereignty to the people of Iraq and their government."
--Maj. Gen. Mel Montano, USANG, Ret
"This important legislation sets a new direction for Iraq. It acknowledges that America went to war without mobilizing the nation, that our strategy in Iraq has been tragically flawed since the invasion in March 2003, that our Army and Marine Corps are at the breaking point with little to show for it, and that our military alone will never establish representative government in Iraq. The administration got it terribly wrong and I applaud our Congress for stepping up to their constitutional responsibilities."
--Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.
"We must commence a coordinated phased withdrawal of U.S. combat troops and condition our continuing support of the Iraqi government on its fulfilling the political commitments it has made to facilitate reconciliation of the contending secular factions. Otherwise, we will continue to be entwined in a hopeless quagmire, with continuing American casualties, which will render our ground forces ineffective."
--Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, USA Ret.
I just thought I would draw your attention to Think Progress, and the wonderful job they do cutting Cheney into tiny, little bite-sized chunks, and serving him as the Lunch Special.
WASHINGTON (AP) - An Army Ranger who was with Pat Tillman when the former football star died by friendly fire said Tuesday he was told by a higher-up to conceal that information from Tillman's brother.
``I was ordered not to tell him,'' U.S. Army Spc. Bryan O'Neal told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
These people are the biggest scum on the planet.
The fact is that the Army spun an entire set of lies to hide the truth about Tillman’s death and, on top of that, they made up a story that tried to turn his death into a dramatic, heroic act so they could use him as a poster boy. They saw his death as a PR opportunity.
They hurt his family and called into the question everything they say about every death in this war.
How many mothers and fathers who have lost kids in Iraq now think “If they lied to the family of Pat Tillman, maybe they're lying to me"?
The Office of Special Counsel will investigate U.S. attorney firings and other political activities led by Karl Rove.
WASHINGTON — Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.
But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.
I expect the White House to do something desperate very, very shortly, and it worries me.
Cheney is wrong about me, wrong about war
By George S. McGovern, a former U.S. senator from South Dakota, was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972.
April 24, 2007
VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney recently attacked my 1972 presidential platform and contended that today's Democratic Party has reverted to the views I advocated in 1972. In a sense, this is a compliment, both to me and the Democratic Party. Cheney intended no such compliment. Instead, he twisted my views and those of my party beyond recognition. The city where the vice president spoke, Chicago, is sometimes dubbed "the Windy City." Cheney converted the chilly wind of Chicago into hot air.
Cheney said that today's Democrats have adopted my platform from the 1972 presidential race and that, in doing so, they will raise taxes. But my platform offered a balanced budget. I proposed nothing new without a carefully defined way of paying for it. By contrast, Cheney and his team have run the national debt to an all-time high.
He also said that the McGovern way is to surrender in Iraq and leave the U.S. exposed to new dangers. The truth is that I oppose the Iraq war, just as I opposed the Vietnam War, because these two conflicts have weakened the U.S. and diminished our standing in the world and our national security.
In the war of my youth, World War II, I volunteered for military service at the age of 19 and flew 35 combat missions, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross as the pilot of a B-24 bomber. By contrast, in the war of his youth, the Vietnam War, Cheney got five deferments and has never seen a day of combat — a record matched by President Bush.
Cheney charged that today's Democrats don't appreciate the terrorist danger when they move to end U.S. involvement in the Iraq war. The fact is that Bush and Cheney misled the public when they implied that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks. That was the work of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda team. Cheney and Bush blew the effort to trap Bin Laden in Afghanistan by their sluggish and inept response after the 9/11 attacks.
They then foolishly sent U.S. forces into Iraq against the advice and experience of such knowledgeable men as former President George H.W. Bush, his secretary of State, James A. Baker III, and his national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft.
Just as the Bush administration mistakenly asserted Iraq's involvement in the 9/11 attacks, it also falsely contended that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When former Ambassador Joseph Wilson exploded the myth that Iraq attempted to obtain nuclear materials from Niger, Cheney's top aide and other Bush officials leaked to the media that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent (knowingly revealing the identity of a covert agent is illegal).
In attacking my positions in 1972 as representative of "that old party of the early 1970s," Cheney seems oblivious to the realities of that time. Does he remember that the Democratic Party, with me in the lead, reformed the presidential nomination process to ensure that women, young people and minorities would be represented fairly? The so-called McGovern reform rules are still in effect and, indeed, have been largely copied by the Republicans.
The Democrats' 1972 platform was also in the forefront in pushing for affordable healthcare, full employment with better wages, a stronger environmental and energy effort, support for education at every level and a foreign policy with less confrontation and belligerence and more cooperation and conciliation.
Cheney also still has his eyes closed to the folly of the Vietnam War, in which 58,000 young Americans and more than 2 million Vietnamese died. Vietnam was no threat to the United States.
On one point I do agree with Cheney: Today's Democrats are taking positions on the Iraq war similar to the views I held toward the Vietnam War. But that is all to the good.
The war in Iraq has greatly increased the terrorist danger. There was little or no terrorism, insurgency or civil war in Iraq before Bush and Cheney took us into war there five years ago. Now Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorism, a bloody insurgency against our troops and a civil war.
Beyond the deaths of more than 3,100 young Americans and an estimated 600,000 Iraqis, we have spent nearly $500 billion on the war, which has dragged on longer than World War II.
The Democrats are right. Let's bring our troops home from this hopeless war.
There is one more point about 1972 for Cheney's consideration. After winning 11 state primaries in a field of 16 contenders, I won the Democratic presidential nomination. I then lost the general election to President Nixon. Indeed, the entrenched incumbent president, with a campaign budget 10 times the size of mine, the power of the White House behind him and a highly negative and unethical campaign, defeated me overwhelmingly. But lest Cheney has forgotten, a few months after the election, investigations by the Senate and an impeachment proceeding in the House forced Nixon to become the only president in American history to resign the presidency in disgrace.
Who was the real loser of '72?
THE VICE PRESIDENT spoke with contempt of my '72 campaign, but he might do well to recall that I began that effort with these words: "I make one pledge above all others — to seek and speak the truth." We made some costly tactical errors after winning the nomination, but I never broke my pledge to speak the truth. That is why I have never felt like a loser since 1972. In contrast, Cheney and Bush have repeatedly lied to the American people.
It is my firm belief that the Cheney-Bush team has committed offenses that are worse than those that drove Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from office after 1972. Indeed, as their repeated violations of the Constitution and federal statutes, as well as their repudiation of international law, come under increased consideration, I expect to see Cheney and Bush forced to resign their offices before 2008 is over.
Aside from a growing list of impeachable offenses, the vice president has demonstrated his ignorance of foreign policy by attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Syria. Apparently he thinks it is wrong to visit important Middle East states that sometimes disagree with us. Isn't it generally agreed that Nixon's greatest achievement was talking to the Chinese Communist leaders, which opened the door to that nation? And wasn't President Reagan's greatest achievement talking with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev until the two men worked out an end to the Cold War? Does Cheney believe that it's better to go to war rather than talk with countries with which we have differences?
We, of course, already know that when Cheney endorses a war, he exempts himself from participation. On second thought, maybe it's wise to keep Cheney off the battlefield — he might end up shooting his comrades rather than the enemy.
On a more serious note, instead of listening to the foolishness of the neoconservative ideologues, the Cheney-Bush team might better heed the words of a real conservative, Edmund Burke: "A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood."
Monday, April 23, 2007
FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food
The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show.
Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports, however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents.
Relied on producers to police THEMSELVES?
What a nice way of saying "no oversight."
Reid and Pelosi are doing what Republicans are supposed to be good at, and it's giving them fit. Reid says "denial." Pelosi called Bush's behavior (over the Syria trip) a "temper tantrum." It's called framing the issue. For the last six years (longer, actually), the right-wingers have controlled the terms of the debate. No more. Reid and Pelosi - unlike many spineless children who invest the Democratic Party - are NOT going to pretend that Bush's behavior is normal, or a legitimate way for a chief executive to behave.
You know what would be great? If Bush just completely loses it in public. I don't mean his usual stammering and looking confused. I mean screaming and spitting. That would be great.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us....
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy....
So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?
Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.
I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?
Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough.
Friday, April 20, 2007
John McCay, also known as archy the cockroach. Left-wing politics and art by George Herriman. I can't imagine who that reminds me of.
James Benjamin at Left End of the Dial. He rouses the rabble whether they want to be roused or not.
Iggy Junior, of course. Not only does he deserve it, but how could I not? And maybe being tagged will nudge him to post more.
Out of the political swamps and to more personal blogs, Li Mortacci Tua; the diary of a weird Italian lady in Georgia.
The Woman At The Well. Getcher liberal lady priest here. One who can really write.
And I'm breaking protocol, and adding a sixth, so I can tag Jordan back. For one thing, because I can; and for another, because I hope takes a break from conquering to art world post a little more on Nothing Matters, And What If It Did? again.
I am consistently struck by how thoroughly out of touch the right-wingers are. The cyberspace scuttlebutt and blog-based blather coming from the right-wing is that Reid and Democrats will suffer enormously because Reid said that, and it shows what horrible traitors those nasty Democrats are. Tom Tancredo (R-Raving Nutjob) says that Reid should be held responsible for every soldier that dies.
They actually believe that. Never mind that it's obviously completely insane, they believe it. They actually don't realize that the vast majority of Americans think that this war was lost months ago, and are breathing a sigh of relief that somebody in power actually said what the whole damned country is saying, and pushed Washington, D.C., into the real world. And the vast majority of Americans believe the morons who keep sending soldiers into a lost war for no good reason are the ones responsible for their deaths.
The right-winger nuts actually think that you only lose if you ADMIT you lost.
But little kids think that way. Not grownups.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Heckuva job, Fredo.
Administration tried to curb election turnout in key states
WASHINGTON // For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates, according to former department lawyers and a review of written records.
Gonzales got creamed today like you've almost never seen a man get creamed. He said "I don't recall" 55 times; he was laid into and brutalized by both the Republicans and the Democrats. If he keeps his job after this, Bush will look like a total moron, and even the Republicans will jump ship.
How is it possible that the White House didn't know how badly this would turn out for them?
He's about to take another whacking.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Two Secret Service officers injured at White House
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Secret Service officers were injured on the White House complex on Tuesday after a gun accidentally fired, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford.
Their injuries are non-life threatening, the spokesman said.
One officer suffered a shrapnel wound to the face, and the other was wounded in the leg. Both were from the service's uniform division. They were taken to George Washington Hospital.
Hmmmm. Are they sure that THIS guy wasn't around anywhere?
Monday, April 16, 2007
McCloskeys have been Republicans in California since 1859, the year before Lincoln's election. My great grandfather, John Henry McCloskey, orphaned in the great Irish potato famine of 1843, came to California in 1853 as a boy of 16, and joined the party just before the Civil War.
By 1890 he and my grandfather, both farmers, made up two of the twelve members of the Republican Central Committee of Merced County. My father's most memorable expletive came when I was a boy of 10 or 11: "That damn Roosevelt is trying to pack the Supreme Court!"
I registered Republican in 1948 after reaching the age of 21. We were the party of civil rights, of free choice for women and fiscal responsibility. Since Teddy Roosevelt, we had favored environmental protection, and most of all we stood for fiscal responsibility, honesty, ethics and limited government intrusion into our personal lives and choices. We accepted that one the duties of wealth was to pay a higher rate of income tax, and that the estates of the wealthy should contribute to the national treasury in reasonable measure.
I was proud to serve with Republicans like Gerry Ford, the first George Bush and Bob Dole.
In 1994, however, Newt Gingrich brought a new kind of Republicanism to power, and the election of George W. Bush in 2000 has led to wholly new concept of governance. The bureaucracy has mushroomed in size and power. The budget deficits have become astronomical. Our historical separation of church and state has been blurred. We have seen a succession of ethical scandals, congressmen taking bribes, and abuse of power by both the Republican House leadership and the highest appointees of the White House.
The single cardinal principle of political science, that power corrupts, has come to apply not only to Republican leaders like Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney and John Doolittle, but to a succession of White House officials and appointees. The stench of Jack Abramoff has permeated much of the Washington Republican establishment.
The Justice Department, guardian of of our rule of law, has been compromised. It's third ranking official, a graduate of Pat Robertson's dubious law school, has taken the 5th Amendment.
Men who have never felt the fear of combat, and who largely dodged military service in their youth, have led us into grievous wars in far off places with no thought of the diplomacy, grace and respect for other peoples and their cultures which has been an American trademark for at least the last two thirds of a century. We have lost the respect and affection of most of the world outside our borders. My son, Peter, one of the U.S. prosecutors at The Hague of the war crimes in Serbia and elsewhere, tells me that people of other countries no longer look at the country which countenances torture as a beacon for the world and the rule of law.
Earth Day, that bi-partisan concept of Gaylord Nelson in 1970, has become the focus of almost hatred by today's Republican leadership. Many still argue that global warming is a hoax, and that Bush has been right to demean and suppress the arguments of scientists at the E.P.A., Fish & Wildlife and U.S.Geological Survey.
I say a pox on them and their values.
Until the past few weeks, I had hoped that the party could right itself, returning to the values of the Eisenhowers, Fords and George H. W. Bush.
What finally turned me to despair, however, was listening to the reports, or watching on C-Span, a whole series of congressional oversight hearings on C-Span, held by old friends and colleagues like Pat Leahy, Henry Waxman, Norm Dicks, Nick Rahall, Danny Akaka and others, trying to learn the truth on the misdeeds and incompetence of the Bush Administration. Time after time I saw Republican Members of the House and Senate. speak out in scorn or derision about these exercises of Congress oversight responsibility being "witch-hunts" or partisan attempts to distort the actions of people like the head of the General Service Administration and the top political appointees in the Justice and Interior Departments. Disagreement turned into disgust.
I finally concluded that it was a fraud for me to remain a member of this modern Republican Party, that there were only a few like Chuck Hegel, Jack Warner, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins I could respect.
Two of the best, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, and Jim Leach of Iowa, after years of battling for balance and sanity, were defeated last November, and it seems that every Republican presidential candidate is now vying for the support of the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells rather than talking about a return to the values of the party I joined nearly 59 years ago. My favorite spokesmen have beome Senators Jim Webb and Barack Obama.
And so it was, that while at the Woodland courthouse the other day, passing by the registrar's office, I filled out the form to re-register as a Democrat.
The issues Helen (McCloskey) and I care about most, public financing of elections, a reliable paper ballot trail, independent re-districting to replace gerrymandering, the right of a woman to choose not to bring a child into the world, a reversal of the old Proposition 13 and term limits which have so hurt California's once superb education system and the competence of our Legislature, are now almost universally opposed by California's elected Republicans, and the occasional attempts at reform by our Governor are looked on with grim disdain by most of them.
From Helen's and my standpoint, being farmers in Yolo County gives us the opportunity to work for purposes which were once Republican, but can no longer be found at Republican conventions and discussions.
I hope this answers your questions about the party and a government I have served in either civil or military service under ten presidents, five Republican and five Democrat ... I doubt it will be of much interest other than to our friends, but it has been a decision not easily taken.
Respectfully, Pete McCloskey,
EXCLUSIVE: Gonzales Contradicts His Own Testimony
Recently Released E-Mails Show Attorney General's Involvement in Attorney Firing Talks
By JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG and ARIANE de VOGUE
April 16, 2007 — - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.
That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.
When the sycophantic Bush-loving MSM puts things as plainly as "Gonzales contradicts own testimony" - these boys are in trouble. It means that not even the press can deny the lies.
Microsoft and AT&T.
We truly inhabit Bizarro World.
Two thirds of Americans, including a narrow majority of Republicans, see political motivations behind last year's firings of eight chief federal prosecutors. But the nation is deeply divided along partisan lines about whether Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales should lose his job over the scandal.
Two-Thirds of Americans believe that the Attorney General is lying.
The scary thing is that the Republicans don't think the Attorney General should be fired for lying under oath.
Paxman: "Is there not an American responsibility - having invaded a country, dismantled all the apparatus of government - to ensure that the citizens of that country are not murdered?"
Bolton: "We don't have a responsibility to make the government of Iraq succeed, that's their responsibility."
Saturday, April 14, 2007
They think the email thing MAY be a scandal. And that poor, poor White House just needs to DO better.
It isn't A scandal. It's two of them. The first scandal is that the White House was using RNC servers for their emails AT ALL. Goverment documents belong to the public, and all such communication is supposed to be on a secure government server, by law. The Bushites ignored that, because they hate transparency like they hate shit. They place PUBLIC documents on a PRIVATE carrier, inrder to avoid scrutiny.
And the SECOND scandal is that they then LOST them.
The idea that the Washington Post thinks that that's possibly no big deal is a perfect example of how pathetic the Washington press has become.
"I think the thing that discouraged me about the vice president was uttering those famous words: 'No controlling legal authority.' I felt like there needed to be a better sense of responsibility of what was going on in the White House. I believe that -- I believe they've moved that sign, 'The buck stops here' from the Oval Office desk to 'The buck stops here' on the Lincoln bedroom."
That was George W. Bush attacking Al Gore for using a White House phone to make a campaign call.
As opposed to using a political party's account for official Government communications.
And then "LOSING" them.
Why WOULDN'T they use the Republican National Committee for official government communications? They actually DO think that the Federal Government is just an arm of the Republican Party.
They do everything with politics - and ONLY politics - as there sole consideration.
They started a war for the sake of politics. They've run it entirely on the basis of politics.
They've gotten American soldiers killed for purely political considerations.
They have decided to continue getting soldiers killed for political reasons.
They have a campaign manager making foreign policy decisions.
The only thing possibly worse than that? The fact that we have a bought-and-paid-for press that pretends that it's ok.
Friday, April 13, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 13 — A Justice Department e-mail released today shows that the former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales proposed replacement candidates for seven United States attorneys nearly a year before those prosecutors were fired, in contrast to testimony last month in which the aide said that no successors were considered before the firings.
But this reaches new heights of insanity, even for the Bushes:
The clash also seemed to push the White House and Democrats closer to a serious confrontation over executive privilege, with the White House counsel, Fred F. Fielding, asserting that the administration has control over countless other e-mail messages that the Republican National Committee has archived. Democrats are insisting that they are entitled to get the e-mail messages directly from the national committee.
The White House is claiming that the RNC's emails are covered under executive privilege? How does that work exactly?
Is the ENTIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY covered under executive privilege?
It looks to me like that statement is an admission that the RNC account WASN'T just used for campaign purposes, but for official government business.
When do we start impeachment proceedings?
And I don't think the Congress should tolerate the White House "trying to find them." They should subpoena the computers in question, and conduct their OWN attempt at finding them.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Incidentally, just about any computer geek will tell that email is very seldom actually lost. Especially if it's been sent out over the internet. Hitting the delete key doesn't do it.
Waxman should subpoena the computers. Those supposedly "lost" emails are probably still on those computers.
Kurt Vonnegut. What can you say? He was one of the very best; the world was a better place because he was in it. And he'll be very, very missed.
This is from A Man Without A Country
No Matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.
If I should die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
(CBS/AP) A bomb rocked Iraq's parliament building in the heavily fortified Green Zone on Thursday, killing at least two lawmakers in a stunning security breach in the third month of a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown on violence in the capital, officials said.
But it's safe to walk around in Baghdad.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 11 — Political advisers to President Bush may have improperly used their Republican National Committee e-mail accounts to conduct official government business, and some communications that are required to be preserved under federal law may be lost as a result, White House officials said Wednesday.
So, the Bush administration used private email accounts to conduct official government business, and now says that they lost some of these emails, which were legally supposed to be preserved.
As you probably know I voted for this war. I was wrong and I take responsibility for that. Every day this war drags on is worse for Iraq, worse for our troops, worse for our country. We don’t need more debate. We don’t need symbolic resolutions, we don’t need abstract goals. What we need are binding requirements, and we can’t wait until this President takes off in 2009. Here’s what I think ought to happen. Simply put, Congress should use its funding authority to force President Bush to end the war, and start immediately bringing American troops home from Iraq.
We know George Bush and Karl Rove will deploy the full fury of their PR machine to blame Democrats for Bush’s choice, Bush’s choice to veto funding for the troops. There are many people in Washington that are gonna be tempted to cry uncle, and they’ll say, they’re gonna let Bush win another round in this fight, so where will Congress find the courage to stand firm? I’ll tell you where they’ll find it: they’ll find it in your letters. They’ll find it in your calls. They will find it in your voice. Forty years ago, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a sermon speaking out against the war in Vietnam. He said, “There comes a time in all of our lives where silence is a betrayal.” That has never been more true than it is today. It’s true because in the weeks and months to come, our voice has extraordinary power to really change things. And that means we have an absolute responsibility to use that power to the absolute fullest. - John Edwards, Moveon Virtual Town Hall
WASHINGTON -- President Bush yesterday invited Democratic leaders to meet with him to discuss legislation that provides $100 billion for the US war in Iraq, but he ruled out making any concessions to Democrats on their effort to include a timetable for US troop withdrawal.
Got that? He will meet with them, and tell them that he'll do whatever he wants.
That's what the moron means by "negotiation."
Well, let him stew. The spoiled little boy has been pampered his whole life, and it's time he grew the hell up and learned that you don't get your own way all the time.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"No, no to the occupier. Yes, yes to Iraq," they chanted, as demonstrators burned and ripped apart American flags. "Get out, get out occupation."
There isn't even any BAD sense in our staying anymore.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.
Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle [a hydrogen-electric hybrid car], so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as [CEO Alan] Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.
"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen. This is all off the record, right?"
This MIGHT explain why he keeps disappearing for a few days, and then re-emerging with his face all cut up.
Or maybe not.
The only thing these morons have had going for them for six years has been a suppliant and sycophantic press corps. That's gone, and they are sinking.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran. But one of the options was for US combat aircraft to mount aggressive patrols over Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran, to underline the seriousness of the situation.
The British declined the offer and said the US could calm the situation by staying out of it. London also asked the US to tone down military exercises that were already under way in the Gulf.
NOBODY respects us anymore. Thanks to Bush, we now have a reputation as war-mongering assholes who fuck up everything we touch while claiming to "help."
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
And he tried to attack Nancy Pelosi for going to Syria (aided and abetted by his propaganda outlets in the media.)
Unfortunately for George, three Republican Congressmen ALSO went, and he said nothing about it. But Pelosi did.
Now those three Republican Congressmen are saying this:
"I don't care what the administration says on this. You've got to do what you think is in the best interest of your country," said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.
"None of us in the Congress work for the president. We have to cast our own votes and ultimately answer to our own constituents.
I love this:
A White House spokesman, Alex Conant, said the administration tries to deter lawmakers from both parties from engaging Assad.
"We discourage all visits to Syria because it's a state sponsor of terror," he said. "A lot of officials have gone, and it hasn't changed the Syrians' behavior."
It's not in the article, but on the radio this morning, the reporter he was talking to said, "But NOT talking to them hasn't changed their behavior, either, has it?"
My God. Diplomacy? Negotiation? To actually get something done? In 21st-Century America, we start wars instead. That way, we kill lots of people and improve nothing. Haven't the British learned that that's the way to go?
If this had happened to Americans, we would now have a war with Iran and 15 hostages dead.