Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Truly Prophetic Work

Yes, I know it was first published several years ago, but this article remains eerily prescient.

How the Bush Administration Destroyed FEMA

You know, the federal agency that deals with natural disasters, like hurricanes?

As opposed to human-made disasters--like the Bush Administration.

This Is So Cool

I saw this story in DKos the other day so I decided to check it out for myself. Mitsubishi has marketed the first truly practical household robot. Check out what this thing can do.

And this is just the start.

Iraq Now Costing More Than Vietnam

Dubya's Iraq adventure is now the most expensive U.S. military effort since World War II.

I believe it was Richard Perle who said, prior to the Iraq invasion, that this effort was going to be "cakewalk".

One hell of an expensive cake, I'd say.

Not to mention the almost 1,900 brave young men and women who will forever be gone from the families.

Evidence of a Scientifically Illiterate Population

The depressing news is in the New York Times today.

It seems that a lot of Americans still can't get this through their heads: it does not matter what the majority of people think is true; all that matters is what is actually true. Just because a lot of people accept creationism as a "fact", it doesn't mean that there's a single shred of actual evidence for it. And there isn't. Not one. None. Nada. Zip. If people can't deal with that, I find it both sobering and deplorable.

Challenging "Intelligent Design"

Some excellent responses to this bogus "science" can be found here.

What I found to be eye opening in the second response was the way in which creationists deliberately misuse the work of scientists, and then when the scientists call them on it, say there's a "controversy" that should be discussed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Incomes Flat, Poverty Rising: Bushonomics At Work

Tales from the grim Bush economy here, courtesy of the New York Times.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"It's not clear this is welcome to the female."

This is just amazing.

I'm not sure whether to be envious or not.

(This and the previous post courtesy of Fark.)

Uh, No, I'm Not Going to Do This

Un-freaking believable.

Did TIME Magazine Deliberately Deceive Its Readers?

And in so doing, did it help tilt the outcome of the 2004 Election? You might want to give this a read.

Now THESE People Have Strong Stomachs

News Hounds--they watch FOX so you don't have to!

What Happens When You Cross Halliburton

You get demoted. Read all about it here.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Just So Everyone's Clear...

OK, Pat, Jerry, and all the rest of you, does this help?

Breaking News! Dinosaurs Were on Noah's Ark!

Don't believe it? Check this out, heathens, Satanists, and worshipers of some strange cult called "Science".

Geez Louise. Just when you think you've heard every kind of idiocy from the creationists, they manage to surprise you.

Hat tip: Buzzflash

Republican Leader Robertson Has a Long History of Insanity

Pat Robertson, who recently called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, has a long history of wildly irresponsible, absurd, or just downright paranoid comments. This page has a good collection of them.

For further enlightenment, check these out:


Aug '05, calls for assassination of Venezuelan President

Summer '05, holds televised prayer asking GOD to remove more Pro-Choice Justices. Also takes credit for the retirement of O'Connor, saying it was a result of his Summer '03, 21-day, televised fund raising prayer vigil, asking GOD to remove Pro-Choice Justices.

May '05, insists that the US Federal Judiciary and the Supreme Court poses a greater threat to The United States, than Bin Laden and the 9-11 Hijackers.

Oct '04, on the Paula Zahn show, he reveals that he spoke to GOD before the Iraq invasion, and that GOD told him that "it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy." He relays this "conversation" to Bush, but Bush says that he also talked to GOD, and that GOD to him that there wouldn't be any casualties.

Oct '03, is condemned by the U.S. State Department after saying "If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom [U.S. State Department], I think that's the answer,' and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.'"

Sept 13, 2001, joins Jerry Farwell in blaming GOD for the 9-11 attacks; saying that GOD could have stopped them, but that GOD choose not to do so, because GOD was mad at "the Pagans, and the Abortionists, and the Feminists, and the Gays and the Lesbians."

Attacks Buffy the Vampire Slayer, saying: "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice withcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 1/8/92

"When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" --from Pat Robertson's "The New World Order," page 218.

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them."--Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."--Pat Robertson, 1993 interview with Molly Ivins

(talking about apartheid South Africa) "I think 'one man, one vote,' just unrestricted democracy, would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, a minority, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 3/18/92

"NOW is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 12/3/97

(talking about Planned Parenthood) "It is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism-everything that the Bible condemns."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 4/9/91

"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore." --Pat Robertson, November 1993 during an address to the American Center for Law and Justice

If this guy doesn't frighten or appal you, I'm not sure who would. This man is sick, dangerous--and evil.

Thank you and a big hat tip to Al Rodgers.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Remarkable Woman Chronicled

Go read the story of the woman who calls herself Shameless Hussy. If anyone deserves the title "Christ-like", it's people like her.

And then do what you can for the people of Darfur.

Haw! Check This Out

Psycho Annie in action.

From a while back, but still funny as hell. Hat tip: Paul Claycomb

Republican John Bolton Begins the Attack on the UN

Josh Marshall has the disgusting details.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bolton is the worst choice for UN Ambassador in American history.

Mark Green Applies the Smack-down to Republican Lunatic Coulter

Green asks the right question--why on earth is Ann Coulter (who, wonderfully, has been referred to as Joseph Goebbels with breast implants) still getting invited to speak on national television? When will her lies, her screeching, ugly slander, and her vicious attacks on anyone who dares to disagree with her become despicable enough so that even Fox News won't have her on?

An Example of Courage

Shabana Rehman is a Pakistani-born comedian who lives in Norway. She constantly attacks, through ridicule, the primitive and barbaric practices directed against women by many in the Norwegian Muslim community, and the cowardly lack of protest about them by many in Norway's "enlightened" community. She's a voice that needs to be heard.

(Hat tip: Tapped.)

How to Tell When Rumsfeld is Lying

I mean, besides simply whenever he opens his mouth.

Friday, August 26, 2005

How LOW Can He Go?

Gallup has Bush's approval at its lowest mark yet in that poll, a wretched 40%, confirming ARG and Harris's assessments.

At this point in his Presidency (August 1997) Bill Clinton's popularity in Gallup stood at 61%.


Republican Psychotic Ann Coulter Calls New Yorkers Cowards

Yes, friends, she's talking about the very people who suffered the 9/11 attacks and then bounced back so magnificently from them. The nauseating details are on Huffington.

The very fact that this woman is regularly given national air time to spew her lies and slander says something very bad about the state of America's political culture. In any decent society Ann Coulter would be in an institution for the criminally insane.

General Clark on Iraq

A cogent and incisive essay on this crucial issue.

As I've said before, wouldn't General Clark make a fine president?

Want to Know the History of the Plame Affair?

Then go here to learn it, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

God Bless America

The spirit of democratic-republicanism still lives. Check out these numbers from the AP-Ipsos poll on public attitudes on Iraq. Especially look at Item #6. The people support the right of public dissent against the war by a margin of 87-12.

Something for the American Legion's leadership, which recently endorsed stifling all dissent toward the war, to ponder.

If the Economy is Doing So "Well" Then Why Aren't People Happy?

Let the invaluable Paul Krugman explain.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sick of Arguing with Creationists? Have Them Go Here

The site is called Things Creationists Hate. It's a devastating list of evidence for the reality of human evolution that no sane person can refute or deny.

Of course, the word "sane" doesn't apply to either Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

Murder on Their Minds

Media Matters regales us with more ugly musings from the radical right.

I call them the Homicidal Right. I like the sound of it.

Access to Birth Control: A Fundamental Human Right

Want fewer abortions? Want to show your support for the rights of women? Then fight the right-wing attacks on access to birth control. Start by going here.

Remember, there is no area of private life, however intimate, that the right-wing radical Republicans don't want to control. They want to regulate every aspect of personal behavior, from the bedroom to the death bed. If we don't stop them now, then who will be able to later?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

See the Ad the Networks Won't Show You

It's here. The subject is fake "news" versus actual accounts of people suffering.

Not Reading the Daily Howler?

Then you should be. These items in today's edition make me want to either laugh or tear my hair out.

By the way, The Howler's Bob Somerby has done a brilliant job of chronicling the insane, sinister war against the Clintons and the war to destroy Al Gore. (Visit his incomparable archives.)

Go give this a read.

The Only Safe Way to Listen to Bush

You gotta like it.

"A Recipe for Civil War"

The perspective of a Britsh journalist on Bush's disaster in Iraq. (Via Bushwatch)

How the Right Wingers Argue

Choice nuggets from the Freepers, via MyDD.

A Republican Rips Into Karl Rove

This former Reagan official sounds really angry, and I don't blame him. Karl Rove is a cancer virulent enough to take down our political system.

(From the Houston Chronicle, via Buzzflash.)

Harris Poll Confirms Bush's Collapse

Bush is at 40-58 negative in the new Harris survey.

The news isn't all good for Democrats; Harris says Congress is rated exceedingly poorly, with Democrats just a low-rated as Republicans.

The message for Democrats? Get in Bush's face with impunity. Especially oppose Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. But articulate a strong, forceful message and hammer it repeatedly.

Oh yes--and fight hard EVERYWHERE--just as Howard Dean is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Be Careful--You May Vomit

A chart comparing network news coverage of the trivial, insignificant genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan to coverage of the amazingly significant, earth-shatteringly important stories of the "Runaway Bride", Michael Jackson, and Tom Cruise's lovelife.

And people wonder why I get all my news from the Internet?

The Scourge of Fibromyalgia

A disease that strikes women more heavily than men, fibromyalgia causes unimaginable suffering in millions of people. Too often dismissed as hypochondria, it is a real affliction. Maryscott O'Connor shares a harrowing story here.
(Scroll to top of column.)

The Politics of Dirty Tricks and Our Weak-Kneed Press

From Dissident Voice, a bitter article on the way too many people in our gutless media continue to let the Bush White House lie and cheat with impunity.

Republican "Man of God" Robertson Calls for Murder

Pat Robertson, who imagines himself the moral superior of other people, has publicly called for the assassination of Venezuela's President Chavez.

Robertson has shown a dangerous mental imbalance on many occasions. The one that made me personally fume the most was his assertion that churches such as the United Methodists and Presbyterians were basically allied with the Anti-Christ. His most notable outburst of insanity was the assertion that God was using the 9/11 attacks to punish America for tolerance of gays and feminists.

I kid you not. And this is a man who is a major force in the Republican Party.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bush in Total Political Collapse--36-58 NEGATIVE in ARG Poll

The American Research Poll published today has Bush's disapproval rating at 58%, as opposed to an anemic 36% approve. This represents a political collapse of epic proportions. These ratings are lower than Nixon's Gallup ratings in the early period of the Watergate scandal.

Bush is now the least popular second term President (at this point in his term) EVER.

Democrats, it's time to grow a spine. Don't give in to Bush and his criminal buddies on anything. Give him nothing.

The 2000 Election Coup...Again

Let Paul Krugman explain...again.

U.S.Debt At All Levels Out of Control

Bonddad nails it here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The True Story of Limbaugh, the Toughest Talking Draft Dodger in America

The inimitable Snopes has the story of Limbaugh's anal cyst, the "ailment" that kept him out of the military. Of course, his draft number in the Lottery was higher than necessary to keep him out of the service as well. But couldn't the great Defender of America have volunteered?

Remember, this is the person who attacked and ridiculed John McCain, who volunteered for Vietnam, was shot down and captured, was brutally tortured, and was kept as a POW for years. Limbaugh attacked and ridiculed John Kerry, who also volunteered for Vietnam. He joined in the chorus of attacks on Vietnam triple amputee Max Cleland.

Now he attacks and ridicules Cindy Sheehan, having the damned nerve to call her a liar and dismissing the loss of her son in Iraq with the phrase "Everybody loses things."

What is it about people like Limbaugh? Is it guilt? Psychological projection? Just plain moral degeneracy? I don't care any more. I just want the SOB taken down and taken down hard. Keith Olbermann and the Daily Howler are right: Limbaugh is one of the worst people in America.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Portrait of a Psychotic: Ann Coulter

A selection of lowlights from the person who might just be the worst of all the rightwing media sewer rats--and with Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, and Liddy as competition, that says something.

A truly worthless human being, and as vicious a pathological liar as can be found anywhere in America.

Have Credit Card Debt? Look Out for October

This post on Daily Kos has the unpleasantly surprising news that the minimum payments on credit card debt will increase substantially in October. Check it out.

And then pay off your balances as fast as you can.

Four More Iraq

At least that's what the Army is planning for, according to this AP report.

Seems not so long ago that Dubya was playing dress-up on the deck of an aircraft carrier underneath a banner that said, "Mission Accomplished".

My ass it was.

A Pleasant Surprise--Alabama as a Model of Child Welfare Reform

The encouraging details are here.

I was, in addition, struck by these passages:

What by all accounts had been a dysfunctional system in Alabama, scarring too many children by sending them to foster-care oblivion while ignoring others in danger, has over the last 14 years become a widely studied model. But it has not been cheap, and in some ways Alabama has had to be dragged onto its pedestal because of political and philosophical resistance to the reforms and in spite of the state's endemic poverty. (Emphasis added.)

Child-welfare spending that totaled $71 million in 1990, including $47 million in federal money, rose to $285 million in 2004, $179 million of it from the federal government. Some of that came from Medicaid money the state had not previously tapped.

The state hired hundreds of new social workers and thinned caseloads. Workers could now spend more than 10 hours a week in some homes.

When "philosophical resistance" (i.e., traditional conservatism) is overcome and the resources are found, good things can happen. There's a lesson for the whole country here.

Thinking About Energy

In light of the $60+ price of a barrel of oil, I thought it would be good to look into energy on this overcast Saturday. Here are some articles that have caught my attention.

From the New Yorker.

From Tim Wirth.

From Common Dreams on Cheney's ties to energy criminals.

Friday, August 19, 2005

What the Right Really Wants

It's the elimination, either political--or physical--of anyone who disagrees with them.

From Orcinus.

Before the 60s Became "The Sixties"

A fascinating article in The Wilson Quarterly about America in the early 1960s. The author makes the case that there was a lot of hope for the future and involvement in America's civic life at the time, and I agree. He also says it was a period of tension, upheaval, and nuclear-stimulated anxiety. I agree with that,too. Go and see what you think.

Gore Won the 2000 Election

The evidence is overwhelming for it, and Paul Krugman confirms it yet again.

Someday it will be understood that what happened in Florida, and in the period immediately following the election itself, was nothing less than a Republican-led coup d'etat.

By the way, check out item # 14 on this list.

The theft of the 2000 election was one of the most appalling acts of criminality in American history. And its effects have been catastrophic--the installation of the worst presidential administration in American history.

(Tip: roseriter on DKos)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Survey USA's Senate Approval/Disapproval Poll

And guess who's #100, the member of the Senate rated lowest by his or her voters?


It's Little Ricky!!

(Thanks, Kos)

The Right's Agenda: Kill Social Security

Don't take my word for it. Fox News says so.

Gee, do you suppose the Democrats should make this an issues in 2006? Hmmm.

(Via Media Matters; thanks to Atrios for the tip.)

The Right-Wing Smear Machine vs. Sheehan

This article by John Nichols from the Capital Times lays it out straight.

Thanks once again to Buzzflash!

Interested in Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology?

Then check out this mind-blowing web site.

(Thanks to Cliff Pickover)

The Right: Increasingly, Party Before Country

I don't really care for everything Paul Begala writes, but man does he nail it here.

And to the right-wing hysteric that mowed down the memorial crosses placed near Bush's Crawford "ranch" by Cindy Sheehan and friends--you're a low life bum.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Republicans: Destroying America's Financial Future

A powerful article from the current Economist on the wretched state of the government's accounts,a situation brought about by Republican incompetence, profligacy, and dishonesty. And as Eric Alterman (from whose blog I was tipped off about this item) points out:

-The cost of the Iraq War is not factored into the deficit.
-The current administration has presided over the biggest swing from
surplus to deficit in U.S. history.

And these are the "conservatives"? Not the kind I grew up with.

No wonder the truly conservative Economist endorsed John Kerry last fall.

More Bad News for Dubya: Check Out Survey USA

This poll breaks down Bush's approval rating by state. Look at those numbers--brutal.

Damn. The election was held nine months too early.

Rasmussen Poll: Bush in the Tank

The Rasmussen Poll tends to be sympathetic to Republicans. So when it says that Bush has hit an all-time low, I take notice. But look at something else here. In a box to the side of the main story, there's a breakdown of the results. Look at the difference between "Strongly disapprove" and "Strongly approve". The ratio is 2 to 1 on the side of strongly disapprove.

Something good is happening in America. The awakening is taking place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Case Against "Intelligent Design"

Eloquently stated by Jerry Coyne, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago, in the current New Republic.

(Via Arts and Letters)

Putting the Pro-War Pundits in Their Place

As part of my continuing act of penance for having been a pro-war Democrat in 2003, I hereby post an essay by the inimitable Harold Meyerson from The American Prospect Online.It's a devastating critique of those opinion makers who pushed us into war without sufficient cause.

Saddam was isolated and neutered in early 2003. I was for the war on what I considered to be liberal humanitarian grounds--the eradication of an atrocious, murderous government. While I'm glad Saddam is gone, I'm pretty convinced that the ultimate outcome of this war be more tragedy, not success.

Letter from a Grieving Aunt

Her nephew was killed in Iraq. Her anguish and outrage are here.

After reading it, I don't know what to say.

(Thanks to Buzzflash)

Controversy Over Releasing Abu Ghraib Pictures

The Jerusalem Post has the story here.

In World War II the United States captured hundreds of thousands of Axis prisoners. We did not deliberately abuse them (in the vast majority of cases). Why should any violations of Military Law be tolerated in the Iraq war?

A Marine Lays It Out Straight

This is a moving letter published on Huffington today.

Get That Sunscreen On!

Science News has the alarming reason why here.

Monday, August 15, 2005

You Absolutely Owe It To Yourself...

to get Google Earth. This is one of the most astounding internet tools I've ever seen. I've already burned up a couple of hours just gawking at it. Amazing stuff.

There's Hope for Me Yet!

New Scientist has the potentially great news.

Democrats, 2006 is the Objective

This is from EDM about a month ago, but it's a message that needs to be repeated: Forget 2008 for the time being, and focus on 2006.

The objective is clear. Capture control of at least one branch of Congress. Personally, I think the Democrats can take control of both houses.
I say give it a shot.

And then make the lives of Bush, Rove, and Company utterly miserable.

The Man Behind Bush Explains Dubya's Appeal

Check out this stirring explanation of Bush's "Man of the People" eloquence.

(Thanks to Lance Ehlers)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Go Read This Now!

Bonddad, a frequent poster at DKos and My Left Wing, hits the nail on the head about Church-State separation right here.

Sunday Funnies

Too good not to steal. (From Tom Tomorrow)

Now THIS Is Interesting

Getting 250 miles to a gallon of gasoline? Check out this article and see how it can be done.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Frank Rich is on FIRE

He swings the heavy cudgel of truth once more at the Bush Administration.

A True American Hero

Read this and see why.

Yes, Saddam Deserves to Be Executed, But First...

I'd be very interested to know the intimate details of his dealings with Republican administrations in the 1980s.

Really interested.

Damned interested.

Link to the news story is here.

U.S. Manufacturing: Hitting the Skids

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent update.

See especially this chart.

Krugman is right. Selling real estate to each other has become the basis of our economy.

Has He Gone Crazy?

Read the BBC's account of Bush threatening the use of force against Iran.

Force? What force? The land forces are tied up in Iraq or deployed elsewhere. The only option left would be a massive air strike. What demons would be unleashed by that?

Deterrence against any Iranian nuclear threat is the rational answer, not empty threats of attack if they don't abandon their nuclear program.

My God, has he lost it?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Go Get 'Em Arianna!

Arianna Huffington gives the Rightwing slime machine both barrels for their heartless and vicious attacks against Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan.

Egad, I just love Arianna. She's a former conservative Republican who saw the light and got her head right!

A Discussion on Muslim Responses to Terrorist Violence

An excellent post on My Left Wing concerning a recent discussion on PBS's Newshour which involved four Muslim scholars and writers talking about the issue of Muslim responses to terrorist violence. Outstanding stuff.

And This Was BEFORE Bush's Tax Cuts

The distribution of wealth in the United States, 2001.

Total Net Worth in U.S.: $42.3892 trillion ($42,389,200,000,000)

Source: Arthur B. Kennickell, "A Rolling Tide: Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in the U.S., 1989-2001," Table 10. (Levy Economics Institute: November, 2003)

Want a Quick Education in Our Post-World War II Economy?

Then check out this slide show from Newsbatch. Revealing, to say the least.

The Real Story of Our So-Called "Recovery"

From the Congressional Budget Office:

Employment falls during economic recessions and typically begins to rise shortly after economic activity starts to recover. During the recession of 2001, which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research lasted from March until November, job losses totaled about 1.6 million, or 1.2 percent of the pre-recession level of employment. That loss was roughly comparable to the average rate during previous recessions, even though the recession was mild in terms of its effect on gross domestic product (GDP). After the recession, when economic activity picked up noticeably, employment continued to decline, by an additional 1.05 million jobs over the next year and a half—prompting some commentators to characterize the period as a “jobless recovery”.

The period was also characterized by exceptionally weak growth of the labor force. During the recession, the aggregate labor force participation rate (the percentage of the adult population that is either employed or actively looking for work) fell from 67.2 percent to 66.7 percent; during the early recovery, it continued to fall, reaching 66.1 percent in the second half of 2003. In early 2005, it stood at a low of 65.8 percent. Although it is not unusual for growth of the labor force to slow during recessions, as some potential workers face limited job opportunities, both the magnitude and persistence of the decline during the past several years are unprecedented. Thus, while the unemployment rate jumped from 4.0 percent to 5.5 percent during the recession, it edged up only modestly, to 6.1 percent in the second and third quarters of 2003, even as employment continued to decline following the recession. Although the slow growth of the labor force was most likely to some degree a consequence rather than a cause of the low rate of job growth in 2002 and 2003, its continuation may have helped to re-strain job growth in 2004 and early 2005.

The period after the 1990-1991 recession also has been termed a jobless recovery, but net job losses following the 2001 recession were both deeper and more persistent than in the earlier episode.

[Emphasis added in second paragraph]

Bush and his people have said repeatedly that the tax cut giveaways to the richest people in our society would stimulate massive job growth. What do you think?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just So You Can See for Yourself

Job creation under Bush and under Clinton. (Figures are in 000s)

The Bush Administration's management of the government's finances.

Alterman Tells the Truth

about the continuous river of slander and personal invective that rightwing slime artists continue to pour out on anyone who dares to disagree with them. It almost makes me physically sick when I think of it.

Dan Savage Rips Santorum

Rather than just supply a link, I felt compelled to reproduce Dan Savage's superb post that appears on Andrew Sullivan's blog today. (Savage is a gay man who writes an extremely frank love advice column.) Here's what he had to say:

SANTORUM VS. FREEDOM: Rick Santorum, perhaps my favorite Republican U.S. Senator, opened his fool mouth last Thursday on NPR. As Bush has moved his party away from its longtime commitment to fiscal sanity, balanced budgets, and black ink, Santorum (and the wing of the GOP he represents) has moved the GOP away from its historic position on personal freedom. Basically Santorum’s GOP is all for personal freedom—so long as you freely choose to refrain from smoking pot, pulling feeding tubes out of brain dead loves ones, and doing what you like in your own bedroom (or, in the case of Msrg. Clark, your own hotel room).

This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don't think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want.

Listening to Santorum, I found myself wondering what part of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” he doesn't understand. That’s Amendement IV in the Ye Olde Bill of Rights. Call me ka-razy, but the right to shut the door to your bedroom and not have to worry about a sanctimonious, hypocritical, creepily fey U.S. Senator sneaking in and lifting back your blankets seems implicit.

And make no mistake, hetero readers: Santorum doesn’t just seek to stamp out the kind of relationship I enjoy with my longtime personal secretary. The Santorum wing of the GOP is targeting your privacy, and your pleasures, too. From porn (just as popular in red states as it is in blue) to divorce (more popular in red states than in blue) to masturbation (equally popular in red and blue states), the Santorums and Scalias and Bauers and Dobsons want to tell you how to live, who to love, and how exactly you should love ‘em. When Santorum made his famous “man on dog” comments he wasn’t just defending anti-gay sodomy laws, but anti-straight sodomy laws too. Santorum doesn’t just believe that the state should have the right to regulate gay sex out of existence, but two out of three most popular straight sex acts too. In his dissent in Lawrence, GOP and Bush/Santorum favorite Antonin Scalia didn't just bemoan the fact that the majority decision could lead to same-sex marriage rights, but that it would prevent the government from passing and/or enforcing laws against masturbation and pre-marital sex. Oh, the horror.

Whatever happened to the party that backed rugged individualism? Of personal freedom? Of autonomy? Remember Newt Gingrich’s stirring speech at the 1996 GOP convention in San Diego, in which he praised the way in which American freedom lead to the creation of beach volleyball? If that’s too painful, remember Dick Cheney saying freedom means freedom for everyone?

Personal freedom is like free speech: Some people are going to exercise their personal freedom and/or freedom of speech in ways that make you uncomfortable. So long as they’re not imposing themselves on you, they should be left alone. And, I’m sorry, Rick, but the haunting fear—or certain knowledge—that someone, somewhere, is enjoying himself in ways that you think are sinful does not qualify as an imposition.

[What more can I add? J. Miller]

Where I Stand, Part One: America in History

The small but interesting handful of you who read this blog may have noticed that I describe myself as a proud, fighting Democrat. I wasn't always one; I spent time wandering in the conservative world, and I think I have a pretty good grasp of different political perspectives. I don't know if you're interested, but I think you're entitled to know where I stand and why I consider myself a Democrat. So here goes.

The founding of the colonies that later comprised the United States took place for a variety of reasons, ranging from religious separatism to the hope of economic gain. Very early in our history there were some settlers who saw in the American colonies a "shining city on a hill" as John Winthrop characterized it. This is, I believe, the source of American exceptionalism, the widespread belief that America stands out from other societies and has a special mission to accomplish in the world. America's "moat", the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, contributed to this sense as well.

There were a great many Americans who had (and have) great qualities as people: a powerful work ethic; a disdain for social class distinctions (as de Tocqueville pointed out); a natural optimism; religious faith that sustained them through never-ending tough times; fierce loyalty and devotion to family; a deep personal honesty and integrity; self-discipline; and the conviction that America could represent a new ideal of opportunity and justice. Not everyone held all these views in the same measure or breadth, but they were widespread enough to propel this society forward in a tremendously dynamic way.

Much of this country was settled and built by people who had to fight for everything in their lives every day. The hardscrabble existence these people lived introduced into American culture a certain toughness and aggressiveness, a willingness to fight over any issue, and a generally low opinion of the intentions of others. This tendency has existed to this very day.

The great national sin of slavery stained the colonies and later the new country. The failure to abolish slavery in the Revolutionary Era was the foremost disaster of America's moral and legal history, a disaster the consequences of which are still being felt.

The United States is ideologically the product of the Scottish, English, and French Enlightenments. Many of its founders were deeply religious people, but they took care to insure that America's legal foundation was, in regard to religion, both tolerant and neutral. They may have thought of America as a Christian nation personally, but publicly they made possible the concept of separation of church and state. (The opponents of this separation say that no such phrase exists in the Constitution. I would point out that the words God and Bible don't appear in that document either.)

The conquest of North America involved many injustices against the native population. The Native Americans should not be idealized in a Rousseauian way as "Noble Savages". They were culturally quite diverse and capable of terrible inter-tribal violence. White Americans, on the whole, treated them badly, dehumanized them, and either rejoiced in or ignored the destruction of their cultures.

The settlement of North America was carried out by guns, canals, railroads, McCormick reapers, and a mixture of heavy free and slave labor. The country attracted immigrants because it really was possible to build a new life here. The North's economic development was more rational than the South's.

The Mexican War may have been unjust, but the Mexican government from which the land we won was taken had itself stolen it, so I have a hard time feeling that bad about it.

The Civil War's chief cause was slavery, despite the nonsense you hear from some people. The right side won the war. The Confederacy's defeat was one of the best things in American history. Southern racists collaborated with Northern racists after the end of Reconstruction in 1877 to virtually re-enslave the South's black population.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Benjamin Franklin are, in that order, the greatest Americans. Thomas Jefferson doesn't make the top 5 because he couldn't bring himself to favor the abolition of slavery, an institution he knew to be wrong.

John Calhoun and Jefferson Davis were utterly loathesome.

The industrialization of the United States was a necessary thing, but it was carried out too often with unnecessary harshness.

The rise of labor unions in the United States was a very good thing.

The creation of the public school system contributed enormously to America's growth and well-being.

The United States created a vibrant and original literature, new forms of music, and perhaps less vibrant new forms of visual art.

The Populist and Progressive movements showed America's capacity for resistance to entrenched economic interests. They also showed, on occasion, America's narrow racism, class envy, and moralistic tendencies.

The United States has done a better job of assimilating a great range of humans than any other society in history, and we should be proud of this.

The U.S. helped to decisively tip the balance in World War I and was a key to the Allied victory in World War II.

The U.S. was on the right side in the Cold War, as the restriction and then destruction of Soviet communism was absolutely necessary.

The Korean War was necessary. The Vietnam War was not. The Gulf War was necessary. The current Iraq war is not.

America, despite its faults, has provided an enormous number of people with a huge amount of freedom and opportunity. It also created an enormous Middle Class. America's economic system is the most productive in history. FDR's regulated capitalism has been the basis of America's economic prosperity.

The U.S. has sinned on occasion, such as in Central America. Its business interests have not always treated local people justly. America has too often interfered in the affairs of other countries, often out of a misguided conception of its national security.

America is worth fighting for. It is worth saving from the depredations of the organized crime group that now controls it. It is worth dying for.

Some day, I believe that it will live up fully to the Preamble to the Constitition.

More later.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Buzzflash Editorial Says It All

You see the Bush Administration at its ugliest whenever anybody publicly challenges them. Rove and the other assassins bring out the knives faster than you can blink, and no gutter level tactic is beneath them. Read this piece for a dose of some bitter truth.

How Will the World End?

Check out this site that catalogues virtually every way in which it could happen.

Makes you want to think twice about paying off those charge bills.

Free Fall

Emerging Democratic Majority has the story of Bush's continued collapse in public opinion surveys. It's just too bad the public wasn't seeing as clearly as they are now last fall.

Left-Wing Creationism

I find things in the strangest places because of the tangential nature of the Web. I saw a comment on a thread in Washington Monthly and it led to a post in Gene Expression. It's an excellent article about a bizarre and persistent phenomenon: the refusal of some on the political left to acknowledge the role of genetics in the shaping of human behavior. In my view, the evidence shows that human behavior is a continuously interactive combination of cultural and biological influences, but the reality of latter influence is rejected rather vehemently by many. Check out this and see what you think.

There is no creation science; there is no Marxist science; there is no feminist science; there is just science. Period.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Man, I Love Paul Hackett!

I usually don't like to lift so much from someone else's post on DKos, but these quotes from Paul Hackett ripping into rightwing son of a bitch Rush Limbaugh are too priceless not to steal:

[In reference to Limbaugh calling him a "staff puke" and denigrating Hackett's service in Iraq]

"That's typical for that fatass drug addict to come up with something like that. There's a guy ... I didn't hear this, but actually when I was on drill this weekend, I've got to tell you, he lost a lot of Republican supporters with his comments. Because they were coming up to me, telling me, "I can't believe he said that! Besides that, he called you a soldier. He doesn't know the difference between a soldier and a marine!"

So generally, the consensus is Rush doesn't know squat about patriotism. He's typical of the new Republican. He's got a lot of lip and he doesn't walk the walk. The fact of the matter is, I went to Iraq to serve my country. I left my nice house, my nice wife by my choice because I thought it was the right thing to do. And man, if I was good enough to be able to see into the future that Rob Portman was going to step down from Congress, I mean I should actually be running for something a lot more than Congress. I went to Iraq because I wanted to serve my country and be with my Marines.

I think it probably says more about Rush Limbaugh than it does anybody else that he comes up with those thought processes. And I think it's indicative of today's Republican party, which is patriotic lite translated to anybody who serves their country who truly who truly serves their country and demonstrates it by their actions as opposed to their flapping gums.

They want to attack us. But the fact of the matter is they can attack me, but I punch back just as hard as I get. Ask Rush how come he wasn't taking phone calls for the two days when he was on the attack with me. Ask him why his phone lines were clogged up. That's because he was getting thousands of calls from veterans from this war and other wars who were clogging up his phone lines, giving him an earful."

Bobcat JH's original post is here.

"This is not about who they are; this is about who we are."

Wow. You must read this story about three Republican senators trying to prohibit torture by the U.S. military.

By the way, the Bush Administration is fighting them tooth and nail about it.

A Stirring Defense of Lincoln

Man, it must be the end times. Normally, I don't agree with conservatives, but Dinesh D'Souza make a compelling case in defense of our greatest president here.

(Thanks to Arts & Letters Daily)

I Guess If You Deny It, Then It Isn't So

Niger's leader says his people are "well-fed" and that there is no famine in his country. He says his political opponents are spreading these stories.

Well, he's certainly convinced me.

How Halliburton "Supports" Our Troops

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

They have no shame.

Monday, August 08, 2005

More on Halliburton

An angry column from Chris Floyd on our friends at Halliburton.

If only half of these charges can be validated, this is an outrage.

However, don't expect a special investigation. Those are saved for really important things, such as whether Bill Clinton was having an affair.

The Minutemen Exposed

Anti-immigrant border vigilantes, the self-styled Minutemen, receive a much deserved going over in this item from Orcinus. Check out the flags displayed at a recent Minuteman rally. Revealing, I think.

Once Again, Kerry Was Right and Bush Was Wrong (What a Surprise!)

Newsweek has the details of a new book that describes Bush's spectacular screw-up at Tora Bora, where we missed a chance to get Osama bin Laden. I guess Kerry wasn't "Monday morning quarterbacking" after all.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hastert Implicated in Bribery Scandal?

Vanity Fair magazine is publishing a piece that purports to demonstate that House Speaker Dennis Hastert has taken bribes from Turkish interests. (A summary of the allegations can be found here.)

It might not be so, but who knows? I know: let's start a congressional investigation and hire a special prosecutor. Maybe the Wall Street Journal can run dozens of editorials on it. It wouldn't be unprecedented.

It's what happened in the Whitewater "scandal".

I'm Liking It!

A group of wealthy liberals is forming a counterweight to the Republican noise machine that has fouled the air of U.S. politics for so long. The details are here.

Halliburton and Iran: The Fun Never Ends

Halliburton, which is still paying Dick Cheney on a deferred basis, has continued to do business in "Axis of Evil" member Iran through a subsidiary.

A related story is here.

And if this is true, then in my eyes Halliburton is guilty of treason.

My God, how do these rightwing Republican crooks continue to pass themselves off as morally upright patriots? It's the biggest con job in American history.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Four Years Ago Today...

George W. Bush ignored the implications of this memo and went on vacation for a month in Crawford, Texas.

You know, where he is now.

He's Hitting the Skids All Over

Dear Leader continues to go down the tubes. This time it's in Newsweek's public opinion survey. And make sure you check out Dubya's rock bottom numbers on Iraq, Social Security, and stem cell research.


Looking for Something Different?

Then you really need to check out this guy's site. It is truly weird and wonderfully original.

Keep the Voting Rights Act Strong

Emerging Democratic Majority tells us why the Voting Rights Act, enacted 40 years ago today, is still needed, and why its provisions must be kept intact.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Absentee President

Cenk Uygur on Huffington Blog lets our vacation-loving President have it.

And I'm sure glad that Bush didn't let the deaths of 21 Marines delay his departure to his phony ranch in Crawford.

Lazy. Dishonest. Incompetent. Malicious. My God, how has our nation's leadership fallen to this level?

Worst. President. Ever.

Bush Continues to Tank

Latest AP-Ipsos Poll indicates Dubya's on the wrong end of a 42-55 approve/disapprove rating. Here are some cheerful graphs.

I think the American people are catching on.

Where You Can Help Africa's Famine Victims

Here's a list of where you can make a contribution.

If I Believed in Hell, Fred Phelps Would Be Headed There

Piece of human garbage Fred Phelps, who wanders around the country with his sick little band of fanatically anti-gay lunatics, has started to make a habit of protesting at the funerals of men killed in Iraq. Freddie Boy is of the opinion that Americans are dying in such events as 9/11 and the Iraq war because God is punishing America for accepting homosexuality. (The soldiers at whose funerals he is protesting are not gay themselves.)

I'd call him a maggot, but I don't want to insult maggots everywhere.

(Thanks to georgia10 at DKos.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ohio Still Ain't Goin' Away, Part 2

Read this excerpt from this month's Harper's and tell me you don't want to know more about what went on last November 2.

The Bush Administration as the Sopranos

Wow! This article says it all. Tremendous. (Seen originally on Altercation, I wanted to link directly to the author.)

Great job! Well said!

You Need to Read Eric Alterman Today

He has a superb review of an important book, a book which explains why so many ordinary Americans have become alienated from liberals. Democrats and progressives, I'm lookin' at you. Go over to Altercation and read!

The End of the World Must Be Near

I actually agree with Charles Krauthammer about something. This miraculous turn of events can be found here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

U.S. Savings Rate Hits Zero

We're living on borrowed money and borrowed time. And if housing prices flatten out or go into decline, a lot of people will be hurting.

A Veteran's Wise Historical Perspective

A Gulf War veteran marshals the lessons of history to analyze America's role in Iraq. An interesting read.

Tragedy in Iraq

Fourteen U.S. Marines have been killed by a roadside bomb. My heart and my condolences go out to their families.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Yet Another Reason to Hate Rush Limbaugh

He has slandered Iraq veteran and Ohio 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Paul Hackett by referring to his duty in Iraq as that of a "staff puke".

This from a guy who got out of military service by having a cyst on his ass.

Limbaugh continues to show he's a piece of garbage in new ways all the time.

I Need to Know If It's True

I don't know what to believe about Abu Ghraib any more. Certainly the first round of stories coming out it was disturbing. Now Bush and his people are blocking the release of a second round of photos, said by those who have seen them to be much worse than the first. Bush is also fighting a bill to prohibit torture in our interrogation procedures, despite the fact that it has Republican co-sponsors (McCain and Graham).

Are the stories that our guards have sometimes allowed children to be raped true? Are they enemy atrocity propaganda? What is the evidence one way or another? I just need to know. I love America and I want to believe the best about us. If we're violating our own standards, I think we deserve to hear about it.

Every war produces atrocities. Yet, in the Second World War, German and Japanese prisoners were not beaten or tortured. Some Germans, late in the war when the number of Germans surrendering was overwhelming, did die in our captivity, but relatively few, and not by intent. We were decent to prisoners who had fought for Nazi Germany, for God's sake. Is it unreasonable to expect that the same standards be applied to those whom we have captured in Iraq?

And for those who argue that America is doing no worse than many other countries, I reply simply: we're not other countries. We must set the highest standards of conduct. If America is what we say it is, a shining city on a hill, then we are morally obligated to root out our own abuses, forthrightly and honestly. No other option will do.

(Thanks to jpol on Booman for the original story.)

Maybe the Most Disturbing, Fascinating Site on the Net

Post Secret allows people to send in postcards revealing their most private thoughts. Some are whimsical, some are tragic, some horrifying, and some just bizarre. You owe it to yourself to check it out.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bush Gives Bolton Recess Appointment

In his typically dishonest and cowardly way, Bush has appointed the disastrous John Bolton as America's UN ambassador by use of a recess appointment, which avoids a nasty confrontation in the Senate. (There was opposition to Bolton on both sides of the aisle, by the way.) The AP story is here.

Another slap in the face of the world by the most incompetent, corrupt president in modern American history. Bolton is the worst choice for UN ambassador in the entire history of the UN's existence.

"But...but...I thought Kerry was wrong...French are the Axis of Weasels..."

The Financial Times this morning reports that the Bush Administration is shifting away from a purely military approach to the war on terror (I'm sorry--War Against Violent Extremism [TM] as its now known) toward one where intelligence plays a key role (as John Kerry said it must during the campaign) and is asking France --yes, France--to help in the effort to reach out to moderate Islamic groups.

You tell these Bush people that they're doing something wrong and they attack you.

Then they start advocating the very thing they've attacked you for.

In. Freaking. Credible.

(By way of Jerome a Paris on DKos)