Friday, June 30, 2006

Political appointments have consequences

While the people of New Orleans became painfully aware of this, things are very disturbing at the Supreme Court as well.

First, a quick refresher. The US government is made up of 3 branches, and each one's power is supposed to be checked by the other two. Most people are pretty aware by now that Congressional Republicans have, some voluntarily and some coerced, become ditto-heads for whatever talking points come out of the political agenda of the executive branch. Rubber stamping instead of serving the people. Most people are also pretty aware that the 3 Bush (1 from senior) appointments to the Supreme Court were appointed because of their political beliefs and willingness to follow a political agenda.

Many of us held out hope that the elevation to a Supreme Court Justice could cause a person to rediscover their integrity, and do what is right and lawful over what is politically motivated at that moment. Well, another hope dashed.

While the Supreme Court did just narrowly defend the Constitution over the idea of a "unitary executive" (that is, the President is above the law and should have unchecked power with no oversight), the vote was 5-4, with the predictable four - Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito - siding with the idea that the Constitution does not apply when the President wishes it not to. Oh yes, recall that dubya has referred to the US Constituion as "that goddamned piece of paper".

Clarence Thomas wasn't satisfied with merely supporting the "President is above the law" notion. He personally attacked the other justices, just like other folk that do whatever Carl Rove demands. But his mannor of slander was the best part. He accused the court's majority of suffering from an "unfamiliarity with the realities of warfare." That's right, the chickenhawk who has no military service despite being draftable age during Vietnam is claiming war experience over Justice Stevens who served in the Navy during World War II. Justice Thomas - spouting talking points and following the agenda. Facts and the law be damned.

(political cartoon credit to Tom Toles. IMHO, the best of the best.)

Just claim victory

Nixon declared victory against Vietnam. He also claimed that if a President breaks the law, it's not really against the law, because anything a President does is necessarily correct.

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

All the real experts, the actual weapons inspectors, said there was no evidence of Saddam having WMDs. The Bush Administration declared not only that there were, but they knew exactly where they were. For proof, they offered a known forgery (the famed yellowcake document that Bush touted in his State of the Union address, even though it was previously declared a fake), aluminum tubes (constructed in a way to make them unusable as a component of a uranium centrifuge), the word of a known double-agent who was on Iran's payroll (Curveball), and the fact that Donald Rumsfeld and George H.W. Bush brokered a deal to sell Saddam chemical weapon technology in the 1980s. So we bombed Iraq and seized their oil fields. Eventually we admitted that there were no WMDs, and there haven't been since they were destroyed in the aftermath of Gulf War I.

Well, that doesn't sound very good if you're trying to elect Republicans in 2006, so what's the answer? Return to Nixon's tactics and just declare that WMDs were indeed found. That's right, the neocon propaganda machine is now just declaring that Saddam's WMDs have been found. There's only one problem, the facts. Some shells constructed in the 80s were indeed found in 2004, and they had contained sarin gas. The gas has decomposed, the shells are corroded, and many were completely disabled. Weapons experts testified that these shells cannot be used as intended (they wouldn't survive firing) and could not be made into IEDs. The actual gas itself now has a toxicity level of pesticides found in household products.

Undeterred by facts when it's important to declare a talking point as truth, Representative Curt Weldon described the presentation of the facts as "in my opinion, is just plain stupid".

Wonderful. Just declare that WMDs were now found. Damn the facts, we've got an election coming up and we've got to save face and reinstill fear in the minds of US citizens, so just keep repeating the talking points. Rove's one-play playbook.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fanning the flames

There's a lot of money to be made supplying weapons to both sides of a war. After selling nuclear secrets to India, Bush is now proposing selling five BILLION dollars worth of US fighter jets to Pakistan. Yes, this makes great business sense, but how many innocent lives have just moved closer to peril by stoking the flames of animosity between 2 countries that have already fought 3 wars? Is a little money worth so much more than human lives? All the while, he keeps saying he's making the world safer, but I'd say his actions aren't consistent with the rhetoric and talking points.

How can they be against fighting diseases?

The most successful investor ever, Warren Buffett, recently pledged the bulk of his $44B personal fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The main mission of the foundation is to combat disease and poverty in developing nations. While most people see this as one of the greatest humanitarian actions ever taken, don't count the right-wing extremists amongst the cheerleaders.

Dubya's "base" as he likes to call them, decided to equate Buffett's actions with the Holocaust. That's right, once again if they don't approve of something, they compare it to Nazism. Predictable, but beyond sad.

"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world. Buffett will be known as the Dr. Mengele (Nazi death camp doctor) of philanthropy unless he repents." president of Human Life International.

Now, I understand that some people believe that helping the weakest amongst us, the ones in the greatest need of help, can somehow serve to harm the riches of the wealthiest amongst us, the ones least in need of help. I also believe that they're wrong, that a rising tide really can lift all boats. If we did rid developing nations of widespread disease and poverty, yes they could create significant economies. But that is not a bad thing for the rich economies of the world.

If a rich person decides to be philanthropic instead of greedy, break with the right wing extremists and join me in praising them.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Neocon bedfellows

For the 2000 presidential election, George Bush's campaign hired Carey Lee Cramer, a Texas political consultant. Cramer created ads saying that Clinton (and therefore by association, Gore) gave nuclear weapon technology to China in exchange for campaign donations. These ads were, of course, complete fabrications and outright lies. However, because the neocons siezed power, no charges were brought against their friend Carey, but was instead applauded for a job well done, and paid quite well.

Well, this neocon bedfellow was finally found guilty for his crimes, but not for his 2000 slander and lies. Turns out this bud of the dubya campaign is a child molester and will be facing up to 149 years in prison for those horrible crimes.

The company you keep...

Heck of a job, Purdy

Crony alert.

Donald "Andy" Purdy Jr., dubya's cybersecurity chief is being paid $577,000, which is a raise of over 200% more than the previous chief. With a title like "Director of Homeland Security Department's National Cyber Security Division", he must be quite the technical whiz, right? Nope, Purdy is a rich lawyer with no formal, technical background in computer security at all. So, what's he doing? Well, for one thing he has funneled almost 1/5 of his entire budget to Carnegie Mellon University. Now, CMU is a great institution, but considering it is Purdy's former employer and is still has him on their payroll, this sounds like more than just a little conflict of interests.

Granted, this isn't as bad as Halliburton paying Cheney over $1,000,000 to get all those billions in no-bid contracts, but for those of you keeping score at home, the culture of crony is alive and well in the Bush Administration.

Neocon watch - avoid hard issues, stick with fluff

With all the problems we're facing, many of which were created in the last 5 years, Congressional Republicans decided that the 4 instances of flag burning deserved a full debate and vote, instead of things like education, clean air and water, disaster preparedness, the cost of gas, healthcare, social security, the debt, the trade deficit, veterans' benefits, and a myriad of other real issues. And after all that time they devoted to the subject, they decided not to pass the bill anyway. Of course, they're labeling Democrats as traitors for this outcome, but take a wild guess which party is in control of both houses of Congress? Yet another political stunt instead of doing the jobs that people elected them to do.

Now let's go back to October, 2001. One of the ways that Bush proclaimed that the US would go after the terrorists is to go after their financing. US investigators would start looking into financial transactions that supported terrorist organizations. Now return to the present day where the Bush Administration reiterated this to the press, but now it appears that they're not just looking into terrorist financial records, but may be looking into bank records of every American, just like they're looking into all of our phone records. Of course, the justification is the war on terror, but they're going after the private information of all Americans. As an example, they've demanded an inquiry into the private financial lives of the chief scientists researching global warming. Sadly, that's not a joke - these honest people are facing federal government harassment because they told the truth. Talk about abusing power. Oh wait, it gets better. What will the Bush Administration do to itself for making this information public (the actual facts reported are not secret)? By proclaiming that the New York Times should be shut down, because they were one of several media outlets that picked upon this old story from 2001. That's right, the neocons leak information, and then blame the messenger that you most want to persecute. Of course, I guess the NYT brought it upon themselves for thinking that the First Amendment to the Constitution was still relevant. Nope, if they just spouted neocon talking points and followed the political agenda they wouldn't have a problem.

With all this abuse of power, the neocons are still reaching for more. Even though the neocons are in complete control of both houses of Congress and do exactly what they're told by the White House political arm, they want more power. They've renewed call for giving the President carte blanche power to strike individual characters from any piece of legislation brought before him. Here's what Bush actually said:

"I was disappointed, frankly, though that more Democrats didn't vote for the (line item veto) bill, especially those that are calling for fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C. I mean, you can't call for fiscal discipline on the one hand and then not pass a tool to enhance fiscal discipline on the other hand. You can't have it both ways, it seems like to me."

Keep in mind that the President's own neocon handlers have written every single bill that the President has passed. They have all the power in crafting the budget, and have driven us deep into debt. The bloated, pork-laden budgets have been crafted by a single political party. Yet he wants to blame democrats for the lack of fiscal discipline? Can anyone see how that makes any amount of sense at all?

Meanwhile, Democrats are fighting the Republican attempts to increase Congressional pay by another $15/hour, because they feel it's more important to lift the minimum wage that has languished at $5.15/hour ever since the Republicans took control of Congress. Now who is it that's fiscally responsible?

(political cartoon credit to Tom Toles and Ben Sargent)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cut and run

As I'm sure everyone has heard, every time someone starts to present a plan for how to get out of the mess we've created in Iraq, they get cut off and the yelling begins: "you're cut and run", "you don't have a plan", "cut and runner", etc...

Apparently the party in power equates putting their fingers in their ears and yelling "la-la-la" as being a good thing because it means staying the course. Well, consider this. When the US decided to practically abandon the war on terror (remember, no matter how many times it's implied otherwise, Osama's group attacked us, it had nothing to do with Saddam) in favor of occupying Iraq's oil fields, the intelligence was cut. All the evidence showed that Saddam was an enemy of al Qaeda, not an ally. All the uncooked evidence showed that Iraq had no WMD program. All evidence about 9/11 pointed to al Qaeda, hosted by the Taliban. But those intelligence reports were cut off, cherrypicking just the sound bites that supported invading Iraq and taking their oil. The US Army was told to run into Iraq and occupy the country. Run in without a plan that was supposed to come from the Administration, but never materialized (except for protecting the oil fields and building permanent US bases, that is). Now which position is "cut and run"?

Oh yes, now it has become public that the US military leaders actually in support of exactly what the Democratic plan for Iraq is - a slow but immediate draw-down of US soldiers from Iraq. I guess by neocon definition, the US military is now supporting the terrorists. After all, they claim that the Democratic plan gives aid and comfort to the enemy, because any member of Congress that does not follow the White House's political agenda necessarily hates America.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Neocon watch - Grover

Grover Norquist is a neocon insider and field marshal of dubyanomics. He's fairly well known for his position that the US government should be completely disbanded except for the military. In his own words, words that he stands behind and believes (really this isn't taken out of context, he actually advocates this):

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

Remember, the military is 1/2 of government spending, and that is not to be reduced. So, if you don't touch the military, but cut the government in 1/2, there is nothing else remaining. Hence the bathtub comment.

That is the ultimate, pure form of capitalism. No government, only corporations. For an example of how utopic this would be, there's one country on earth with this setup. That would be Somalia. Again, this is not taking things out of context - the end-game goal of neocon economics involves 100% privatization. That includes the elimination of public schools, courts, parks, unions, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, government-built roads and bridges and government-controlled police, fire and other services. Anything that is currently a reason to have a government would need to be privately funded. Very efficient for the ultra-rich. Hell on earth for the common folk. Ask the residents of Mogadishu.

Anyway, I digress. Grover is not in the news today due to these established plans. He's not in the news today because the is THE MAN that the neocon-controlled Republican Party has anointed as the economist to shape our future. No, he's back in the news because one of his tactics to get the entire Republican party behind this plan has been revealed. Of course, the plan involves money, and lots of it. His preferred way of controlling politicians economically? By laundering money for Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist caught illegally buying political influence.

No wonder he has been held in such high regard by dubya and his handlers. His dedication to the "abolish government by bankrupting it" ideal justifies, in his mind, criminal behavior. For good measure, he also said that applying the estate tax to the untaxed fortunes of the ultra-rich was a much a crime against humanity as the Holocaust.

Can we please go back to having leaders that work for the GOOD of the country and a BETTER future for Americans? I'm really sick of the current lot in power.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This rat must be with the terrorists

Part of the neocon agenda involves degrading public education (math and science are particularly targeted) and hindering scientific research. Particularly under assault is any research that involves the word "stem", because for some reason the far right has deemed this to be against God's will. While I cannot recall reading "thou shalt not use stem cells to cure" in the Bible, we're assured it's in there if you interpret it the one true way. Of course, this is the same mentality that once preached that women should never be given any type of pain management during childbirth, because the male conservative thinkers of the time said that would dull their ability to feel Christ's pain, which is a gift. They also claimed that transplants and artificial organs would destroy someone's soul. OK, then. There's lots of precedent showing how difficult it is to reason with these kinds of folk.

Well, there was a breakthrough today. A paralyzed rat just walked. That's right, one of the holy grails (pardon the overused expression, and no blasphemy intended) of medical research was just achieved. Granted, it's just once, and it's just on a rat. But that's one small step for a rat, and one giant leap towards curing human spinal cord injuries. Here's a few of the articles:
American Council on Science and Health


As you can probably guess, the catch is that the rat can walk due to stem cell therapy. So here's my proposition. Can all of the supporters of Bush and the folk that give him his agenda please sign a waiver saying that because they don't approve of any form of stem cell research, that they will never allow any cures that come from that research to be applied to them? The rest of us would remain free to support such research, and benefit from the medical breakthroughs, if any.

(political cartoon credit to Tom Toles. IMHO, the best of the best.)

Another neocon day - minimum wage and gitmo

Despite rising prices for everything, Republicans in the Senate again denied any cost of living increase to Americans toiling away at minimum wage. According to them, no prices (for example housing, heating or gas) have increased since 1997, making a wage increase unnecessary. So, people working hard at full time (or more) jobs don't get to rise out of poverty, but billionaires have gotten how much government welfare since dubya and company seized power? I've lost track of just how many tax cuts for the rich have occurred. Well, I suppose that's one step closer than what the House Republicans did - they refused to allow the issue to be brought up. What a great way to lead, with your fingers in your ears yelling la-la-la-la-la.

The annual gross income of a minimum-wage worker who works 40 hours per week is just $10,712. The buying power of the current minimum wage, when adjusted for inflation, is now at its lowest level since 1955.

Meanwhile, bowing to European pressure, Bush has now done a complete about-face on the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Remember how he said it was absolutely necessary and would not hear any discussion about changing how it operates? Well today he said that he wants to close it and send most of the prisoners back to their homes. Uh, exactly how is that not flip-flopping? Exactly how is that not an admission that it's bad to arbitrarily detain people without access to a lawyer or facing charges for over 3 years? Yes, the prisoners who would destroy/kill if released should be kept locked up, but by the government's own admission (back when dubya wouldn't hear any voices not in lock step with his own), many detainees were just in the area when soldiers were rounding up potential terrorists - and were unable to come up with any charges or reason for detention. Lovely - why does Bush claim the terrorists hate us? For our freedoms? And just how does this administration promote freedom? Oh yea, by occupying a foreign country under false pretenses, removing freedoms from citizens, lying about removing freedoms from citizens, and locking up people that might look suspicious for years without charges. What a freakin' humanitarian.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quick neocon status check

So, relations with North Korea had been improving for years until Bush pulled out of agreements with them, directly insulted their leader, and then taunted them with the "evil" label. Since then, they've responded by developing their nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missile capability to the point where they have become a real threat. The Bush administration has responded to all of this, over their entire tenure, by ignoring the problem, other than spouting a little rhetoric. Understandable, since North Korea does not have vast oil reserves.

As baby boomers age, the Social Security and Medicare catastrophes loom large. Rather than address such long-range problems, dubya had a failed attempt to cripple social security, and succeeded in screwing seniors and taxpayers, while massively subsidizing big pharma, with his "part D" plan.

Corruption has run amok in the Republican party, and today yet another Bush crony, David Safavian, was found guilty of criminal corruption.

Bush has been touting how great it is to have democracy in the sovereign nation of Iraq, yet he was unable to define the word sovereign, and a commitment to withdraw the occupying US military was requested by the elected President of Iraq, the elected Vice President of Iraq, a majority of the Iraqi people and a majority of the American people.

With all of this going on, you might expect Bush to engage in his number one presidential activity - going on vacation (like he did after being told 8/01 that "Bin Laden determined to strike in US"). Close, he's reacting so all these crises he's created/helped by raising more money for the neocon machine. Yup, the country's in desperate need of leadership, but raising $27M for candidates that blindly follow the neocon marching orders is more important that the good of our country.

Business as usual.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

PopSci's 10 steps for energy independence

Fight the neocon agenda of remaining so universally dependent on foreign oil. Check out the Popular Science article entitled 10 Steps To End America’s Fossil-Fuel Addiction. Of course, with the domestic spying program, attempts to inform yourself about non-oil energy sources just might land you on the neocon's watch list.

And, before somebody comments something along the lines of "but didn't Bush say hydrogen will be our fuel of the future?", keep in mind two things - the dubya administration and the neocons allowed oil companies to write our national energy policy. Not coincidentally, it involved invading and occupying nations rich in oil, keeping oil as the main source of energy into the future, and stunting alternate fuel programs. And, for reference, hydrogen can be an energy delivery mechanism, but it's not a fuel source. It must be created (typically by splitting a water molecule) by the application of energy.

Your financial security

By now we've all heard about the government's loss of millions of financial records of current and past members of the armed forces. This information, in the hands of identity thieves, can cause our soldiers and veterans to be burdened with thousands of dollars of fraudulent debt, loss of countless hours of trying to straighten out the mess, and trashing of their credit records. A horrible situation, to say the least. What's worse, is that the VA warned this would happen if security wasn't increased, but their requests were denied by the neocon government. So, how has the "support our troops" neocon agenda been adjusted to help our brave service men and women now that their negligence has enabled this?

They just overturned laws in several states that allow victims of identity theft to freeze their own credit histories. So, once credit crimes start being perpetrated against you, your right to prevent further crimes against you was just taken away by the Republican Party. They will not allow states to pass such laws.

The neocon philosophy - bigger central government, much higher government spending, skyrocketing national debt, fewer states rights, increase dependency on foreign oil, war for natural resources and corporate interests, degrade public education, fewer individual freedoms, and harm citizens rather than the mere perception of inconveniencing big business - even if it helps criminals.

We could solve our dependency on foreign oil if we could just harness the power of dead, honorable Republicans spinning in their graves because of what their once proud party has been reduced to. Pathetic.

Family values and the 10 commandments

We've seen the separation of church and state trashed in favor of giving taxpayer money to religious organizations approved of by a "unitary executive" (politically correct term for dictator, btw). We're also still hearing rhetoric about making the Christian 10 Commandments into US law. Keep in mind that the first of these demands that only the Christian God shall be worshiped. Making this into law would make it a crime to be atheist, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, or anything else that is not deemed by the courts to be the specific kind of Christianity that the "law" demands. Also, remember that two of the commandments begin with "thou shall not covet". Should those be made law, if law enforcement decided that you so much as envied the spouse, property or any possession of another person, then you would be violating the law and should be punished.

Of course, the neocon push to make the Ten Commandments into law is just more political pandering, with no real substance behind it, in order to distract from the horrible situation they have created over the last 5 years of holding absolute power. Don't believe it? Then consider the chief architect of the proposed law that would require the Ten Commandments (but not corresponding tenants of other religions) to be part of the US Senate and US House of Representatives. That would be Georgia Representative Lynn Westmoreland. When asked point blank by Stephen Colbert during an interview about the Ten Commandments, he didn't even know what they are. The man is following his party's platform to pass such bizarre laws instead of working for the good of the future, and he doesn't even know what he's striving for. Typical of the neocon propaganda and rhetoric machine, but just so pathetic.

Now let's look at what the neocons consider family values. They talk about this conceptually a lot, but in the real world, they just want to single out heterosexuals as being better, with more rights, than anyone else. They recently advocated that it's perfectly all right for 15 year old girls to be married off, and noted that the law would allow girls as young as 12 to be married off. They do not consider adultery or divorce to be against their family values. They want to force, whenever possible, rape to result in a child. They want blastulas from in vitro fertilization to be destroyed rather than be used to help find a cure for horrible diseases. All this is what really lies behind their "we're for family values" sound bite. Again, avoiding real issues facing this country and this planet, in favor of spewing hot air and hate. Pathetic.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Keep this in mind about Al-Zarqawi

The killing of that murderer is being touted at a great success in the US war for Iraq's oil.

Yes, it's a very good thing that he's out of the picture. Indeed, people (and I use that term loosely) like him should not be allowed to exist in society, for he lived only to kill and destroy. Right-wing talk radio and the right-leaning mass media either suggest our outright say that anyone opposed to dubya's war for oil somehow sympathize with that monster. Although this is obviously a load of crap, there are actually ditto-heads out there impressionable enough to believe it. Well, aside from this doo-doo, consider a few facts.

Before the US invasion, the US military planners warned of a vast insurgency if enough troops (between 250,000 to 500,000 depending on which actual expert you asked) weren't immediately deployed to provide basic security. Their recommendations were overridden by the Bush administration for reasons not given.

Before the US invasion, US military planners gave the White House reports on exactly where Al-Zarqawi and his terrorists camps were in the US-protected "no fly zone". That's right, Bush could have ordered this monster and his minions killed or arrested at any time. Instead, he PROTECTED Al-Zarqawi from Saddam. Indeed, Saddam saw Al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda as a thread and didn't want either in Iraq.

During the US invasion, the US army siezed a massive munitions dump. They were ordered to LEAVE the bombs behind. The oil fields, however, were very well protected. When the US army was following their order to leave the bombs unprotected, insurgents started looting it. The army reported this to the administration, explicitly stating that very bad people were walking off with tons of guns, bullets, bombs, RPGs, and every kind of military weapon that Saddam had amassed.

Yes, the US army is doing the best job they can, given their circumstances. Getting Al-Zarqawi was a success for the military, given the hand they were dealt. The lack of planning for the post-invasion portion of the war for oil, or possibly even the very successful planning that has lead to the current insurgency, comes from the Bush administration. That is the cause for the current state of Iraq. The army is not to be blamed for this situation, no matter what the conservative media says.

So, if you're tempted to applaud dubya and his war planners for helping to lessen the insurgency in Iraq, remember that they took explicit steps that allowed it to take off and flourish.

No surprise in the jet-set

Today it was revealed that the Bush administration's secretary of HHS has been using a luxury Gulfstream jet reserved for emergency use in order to travel the country promoting the new Medicare Part D brainchild.

Remember, this is the Bush administration's program that makes it illegal for the government to negotiate prices for Medicare prescription drugs. This means that the drug manufacturers, major Republican party corporate donors, can decide how much they want the government to give them, and then by law the government must fork over that money.

The plan is also designed to provide so many confusing options, that seniors will be put off by the entire process and not seek the best help they can get.

This at a time where the country needs better (yes, even universal) healthcare. The administration's response is to screw the taxpayers for no benefit, and then top things off by racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in propaganda expenses, proclaiming that the plan doesn't suck.

But the truly sad thing - the level of corruption in the Bush administration is so high, that this news did not surprise anyone. Very sad.

Monday, June 05, 2006

An election must be coming

"President George W. Bush on Monday rallied backers of an amendment barring same-sex marriage"

Before seriousness, delve into comedy. For whatever reason, Bill Bennet thought goint on John Stewart's show would somehow be a good way to get out the message of amending the constitution to insert discrimination.

Now back to the issue at hand. The budget deficit is out of control, aided by massive corruption and unprecedented welfare for billionaires. It's generating massive debt to be paid by future generations.

Global warming is actual science, not the junk science that suggests we ignore the problem. A catastrophe is building while short-sighted profit-takers compound the problem.

Hurricane season is almost here again. A flu pandemic might be coming. Meanwhile, FEMA is still gutted from 5 years cronyism, the addition of another layer of bureaucracy and, effectively, sabotage.

The war against the bastards that attacked us still has less troops deployed than there are police in Manhattan. Instead we've embarked into perpetual warfare for natural resources. People are dying left and right in a war that we started against a country that did not attack us, and did not have the ability to do so.

Fuel prices, thanks to world-record profit taking by dubya's buddies in the oil industry are more than double from the start of the current regime - all with the blessing of a federal energy policy that was written by the oil industry.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr has plainly laid out a compilation of the cold hard facts that show us the reality of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

A recent poll indicates that a majority of American want universal health care, but instead we get costs spiraling out of control due to massive corporate profit taking and inefficiency.

Civil liberties are under attack, and are being rolled back at an alarming rate, and we don't even know the extent to which the executive branch, without any oversight, is spying on ordinary citizens without any warrant or cause to suspect terrorist activity.

So what does dubya do? Return to preaching how anyone who is not publicly heterosexual must be discriminated against by law. This, coming from someone whose party claims to want government out of private lives. The reality of his policies is a loss of freedom, privacy, states' rights and blatant disrespect for the Constitution - a document that dubya has referred to as "that goddamned piece of paper".

Think he'll change his ways and work for the good of the country to aid his party for the 2006 midterm election?

Nope, right on schedule, the good of the country is completely ignored so the neocon propaganda machine can focus mass media attention on wedge issues to distract from what he really has, and hasn't done over the last 5 years.

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

turned the corner

So, dubya said that the Iraq war just turned the corner. He has said the same thing a few times before. If you make 4 turns in the same direction, aren't you headed right where you were in the first place?

To put this in perspective, if you do NOT include deaths from insurgent attacks, 1,400 Iraqi civilians were killed last month in Baghdad alone. We keep hearing from the Bush administration that things are going well, according to their plan. While there are many pro-war advocates that would disagree, I consider civilians in Baghdad to be people, and their deaths are preventable tragedy, not acceptable loss in order to keep the oil flowing and cronies enriched.

(political cartoon credit to Steve Sack)