Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Jig is Up

The coverage of Hurricane Katrina has been extensive here at BooTrib. Madman describes anarchy, while tribe34 alerts us to the offer of help from Canada; Stu Piddy is raising the possibility of racial disparities in the recovery effort, while ManfromMiddleTown muses whether New Orleans should be rebuilt at all.

The common thread of this disastrous event is the blatant lack of competence with respect to the rescue and recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast. Homeland Security failed in a real way this week. The Bush Administration has flunked their first major infrastructure test since the September 11th attacks.

Newsweek puts all of this in context below the fold...

On Tuesday, President Bush called an abrupt end to his five-week "working vacation" at his Texas ranch and announced he would return to the White House two days early to oversee federal response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. "These are trying times for the people of these communities," Bush said Tuesday during a visit to a naval base in San Diego. "We have a lot of work to do."

For the White House, it was interesting timing. Over the last month, administration officials have deflected criticism of Bush's monthlong stay at his Texas ranch by making the case that technology has made it possible for Bush to run the country from anywhere, even the so-called Western White House. Indeed, the Bush ranch is equipped with highly secure videoconferencing equipment and phones, and, according to White House officials, Bush has made use of them just about every day this month to talk to senior aides back in Washington and other administration officials scattered throughout the country.


So why is Bush going back to Washington now? When asked yesterday what Bush could do in Washington for hurricane relief that he couldn't do from his Texas ranch, McClellan told reporters no less than five times that it was the president's "preference" to return to the White House. Asked if the decision was more "symbolic" than logistical, McClellan said, "I disagree with the characterization."


Well Scotty, I'm not sorry that you disagree with the question. I happen to disagree with the fact that George Bush is the President of the United States. You see, I happen to consider George the worst leader I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing first-hand.

For the past five years, progressives and other sane Americans, have been screaming from their virtual rooftops; trying to get the attention of the rest of the country that they were being led astray by an incompetent Master of Deception.

The greatest illusion in history has been the way the Republican Noise Machine has distracted the people from recognizing this fact. Perhaps the American people will finally snap out of their trance and realize that the rooftop screaming is no longer an illusion:


Front-paged (thanks to susanhu) at Booman Tribune with an update and comments

Meanwhile in Iraq

In the highest one-day toll since the American invasion, more than 800 people died this morning after rumors of a suicide bomber led to a stampede in a vast procession of Shiite pilgrims as they crossed a bridge on their way to a shrine in northern Baghdad.

Most of the dead were crushed or suffocated, witnesses said, but many also fell or jumped into the Tigris River after the panicking crowd broke through the bridge's railings.
Death. Death everywhere. So much death. When is it going to stop?

Somebody Wake the Dead

georgia10 managed to make this stoic latino cry:

There is something about watching a drenched woman guide her husband's corpse downriver that makes you realize that what's going on in your life, well, it really pales in comparison.

I come back briefly because, like all of you, my eyes still can't believe the videos I see, and my ears still can't believe what I've been hearing. Specifically, I can't stomach the actions of this President. I've read RenaRF's diary, and she says it so eloquently. I'll be more blunt. The President fucked up. This is My Pet Goat II.

Over the next few weeks, we will see a devastation none of us has ever witnessed in our lifetime. The devastation will look like a thousand Ground Zeroes. When the waters recede, bodies and broken lives will litter the streets. Thousands will be found dead, either crouched in attics or parched dry in the debris. And thousands more will be affected by disease, hunger, poverty.

As one official said, this is our tsunami. I would add it is our Darfur. It is another instance of acting too late, of not appreciating the gravity of the situation. While the President continued with his schedule these past couple days, declaring that he and Laura were having a "fabulous" time, Americans gasped for their last breaths as the water overtook them. They clung to trees. They grasped at debris. They swam with alligators in their streets. They watched as the water inched up their necks and listened as it filled their ears. Fabulous, indeed.


But those who are victims of this distaster will know one thing. That, as Commander-in-Chief, he has failed them. That, as the Homeland Security President, he abandoned their homeland when it was the least secure, when they were most in need of immediate assistance. That, at a time when their lives were threatened by real terror, the President acted liked he didn't know the meaning of the word.

So somebody wake the dead. Someone whisper into their water-clogged ears that we are a nation defenseless, unprepared. Someone make sure their eyes are closed so they don't have to see the bumbling, clueless officials act like they know what they're doing. Someone tell them that Mother Nature took their lives, but this administration didn't put up a fight. Because there are more important things in life than mobilizing your military to defend the defenseless. There are more important things then making sure every helicopter is in flight, that every boat is in the water, that every hand reaching up for help will not clasp empty air. There are more important things to be done during those critical 72 hours. Like playing guitar, or laughing it up, and pretending to be President.

Read the whole thing....

The nightmare is just starting... sayeth the Rude Pundit.

The Rude Pundit never lived there, but he knows a lot of people in that damn town, and he knows they got out. But he's also pretty damn sure that their homes are wrecks or are gone. He's pretty sure that alligators are swimming in the streets of the subdivisions (and that ain't hyperbole - there's a lot of friggin' alligators there), that a plague of snakes has come out of its isolation in the dessicated swamps. But its the water, the omnipresent water, that we would shake our heads about whenever a hurricane came near.

And as the levees break or are topped in New Orleans, bringing god knows what else to the city, there will be time to rake over the coals those responsible for the callous disregard of environmental degradation, those who neglected to understand that "homeland security" means making sure that people in the homeland are secure. For now, gird yer loins. The nightmare's just starting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Bitch in the Ditch"

Cindy Sheehan hugs a tent pole as the camp breaks down near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Sheehan and her anti-war supporters are taking their protest on a cross country tour. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

That's what the supporters of George W. Bush are calling Cindy Sheehan. Tell me, my Republican friends, do you agree with your brethren?

I am disgusted, when are you going to speak out against this type of shit; and they call liberals unAmerican. Fuck that.

Failed Leadership

Think Progress shows us pictoral proof of George W. Bush's failed leadership. Yesterday, while Americans were undergoing a tragedy, he was golfing at a resort in El Mirage, Arizona. He disgusts me.

What Bush saw: At El Pueblo Mirage, the waterfront brushes up against the 12th hole

What Bush missed: In New Orleans, the waterfront brushes up against the front door

There are more pictures at the link.

Taking the Reins

I'm hosting the Froggy Bottom Cafe every Tuesday at Booman Tribune, come check us out. I hear an elected official is going to announce his/her candidacy for the Philly area sometime today in our virtual coffee-house. What a cool evolution of online activism. No filters, no middle-men. Just the people and their prospective elected officials.

[Update] I also posted links to the American Red Cross Online Donation Page via the cafe diary. Please consider making a contribution to help them deal with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The scene in New Orleans is getting exponentially worse today.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Impeach and Indict

The L.A. Times has a great round-up of the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson scandal:

Underestimating the impact of Wilson's allegations was one in a series of misjudgments by White House officials.

In the days that followed, they would cast doubt on Wilson's CIA mission to Africa by suggesting to reporters that his wife was responsible for his trip. In the process, her identity as a covert CIA agent was divulged — possibly illegally.

For the last 20 months, a tough-minded special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has been looking into how the media learned that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative.

Top administration officials, along with several influential journalists, have been questioned by prosecutors.

Beyond the whodunit, the affair raises questions about the credibility of the Bush White House, the tactics it employs against political opponents and the justification it used for going to war.

Raises questions? I'm sick of the media still holding back their fire from these criminals. The fact is the White House LIED to the American people, are still smearing anyone who tries to expose those LIES, and are directly responsible for the death and destruction that has been unleashed. They deserve to be impeached and indicted--every one of them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Big Red Strikes Again

She has been on a roll since she returned from her hiatus:

For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.

"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.

Perhaps W. just takes his moral cues from his "Christian" Right leadership team.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Trigger-happy Cowboy

For those of you who think I'm over-reacting when I say that George is a trigger-happy cowboy; take a look at his statements made on international television:

President Bush said on Israeli television he could consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give up its nuclear programme.

"All options are on the table," Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said in the interview broadcast on Saturday.

Asked if that included the use of force, Bush replied: "As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

And the drums of war continue to echo across the land...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Presidential Perspective

Steve Clemons does a side-by-side between Georgie and those whose shoes he will never be able to fill:

It's hard to know, but I think that Harry Truman would have met Cindy Sheehan. I think that Dwight Eisenhower would have. He knew about military sacrifice -- the horror and complexity of it. [snip]

Ronald Reagan would have stopped his car, if for no other reason that to hold Cindy Sheehan for a few moments, to express the regrets of a nation that her son was lost, and to thank her -- even though he might not have made her and many of us believers in this war.

Bill Clinton would have had Cindy in to the ranch and made a summit of it.

George Bush drove by. . .on the way to a fundraiser. Shameful.

He should have stopped, made a gesture -- even if she stood on the opposite side of his policies.

He-whom-shall-not-admit-a-mistake is unfit to lead our great country. He is a disgrace.


George Bush loves to preach about "values". If you still think he's a moral man, perhaps you support his vision of morality:

"I've thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree," he said.
So he strongly disagrees with trying to reduce the loss of life. Got it. Thanks. Now I'm really glad that I didn't vote for him. Not that there was a chance in hell that I would...

On Friday, Bush's motorcade, en route to a political fund-raiser near his ranch, passed by the site of Sheehan's protest where more than 100 people had gathered to support her. But it did not stop.

Law enforcement agencies used their cars to block two intersecting roads, where the demonstrators have camped out all week, and required them to stand behind yellow tape. They were not asked to leave their makeshift campsite.

Sheehan held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

It's unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, looked at the demonstrators as his caravan passed. He arrived before noon, local time, at a neighbor's ranch for a barbecue where he was expected to raise at least $2 million for the Repulbican National Committee said RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.

Some 230 people were attending the fund-raiser at Stan and Kathy Hickey's Broken Spoke Ranch, a 478-acre spread next to Bush's ranch. All have contributed at least $25,000 to the RNC, and many are "rangers," an honorary campaign title bestowed on those who raised $200,000 or more for Bush, or "pioneers," those who have raised $100,000 or more.

Gotta keep those donors happy. Nevermind that a grieving mother is asking for an hour of his time during his 5-week vacation. He cares nothing for the people, unless they are raising cash for his War Fund.

Compassionate Conservative indeed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Beacons are Lit

Since Aragorn showed up at Camp Casey/Camp Love today. I will quote Gandalf during the lighting of the beacons in Return of the King: "Hope is kindled"

Today is kind of a blur to me. From running around from interview to interview, to getting a visit from Viggo Mortensen, today was a whirlwind of activity. I have discovered that the White House press corps is always looking for something to do and someone to cover. We have been happy to oblige them. We had a press conference today with Gold Star Families for Peace and Military Families Speak Out members. It was very effective when people who actually have skin in the game ask the president to be held accountable for the words he has actually said.

Still putting out the O'Reilly fires of me being a traitor and using Casey's name dishonorably, my in-laws sent out a press conference disagreeing with me in strong terms; which is totally okay with me, because they barely knew Casey. We have always been on separate sides of the fence politically and I have not spoken to them since the elections when they supported the man who is responsible for Casey's death. The thing that matters to me is that my family: Casey's dad and my other 3 kids are on the same side of the fence that I am.

Since Congress is not holding George Bush accountable and the media is not doing their jobs and holding George Bush accountable, we the American people need to hold him accountable for lying to us to get us into a disastrous war. November 2 2004 was not his accountability moment: today is. We are finished allowing him to get away with deceiving the American public and abusing his power.

We are mad as hell and we're not taking it anymore.

--Cindy Sheehan, 8/10/2005

Click here to make donations and get more information about the Crawford Peace House.


Concerning Warmongers

In my not so humble opinion, Atrios is the King of Snark.

This is why.

Worst. President. Ever.

"I understand the anguish that some feel about the death that takes place," Bush said."

Really? How many military funerals have you attended? None? That's what I thought.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sept. 11th and Iraq

One of the biggest lies the Bush Administration has ever spread is their linking of the September 11th attacks to Saddam Hussein. Let's get one thing straight: Iraq had NOTHING to do with September 11th. Every single member of the Bush War Council has worked hard to blur the lines between the two. Now we have this:

The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of Sept. 11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing Tuesday.

"This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports Your Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."

The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on Sept. 11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.

My levels of disgust are peaking. Can someone tell me why Rumsfeld still has a job?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Work for Peace, Support Cindy Sheehan

Unless you've been living in a bunker awaiting the nuclear war that George Bush will probably spark before he is frogmarched out of the White House, you have probably seen Cindy Sheehan on the news.

This woman lost her son Casey to the Iraq War on April 4, 2004 and is now camped out a few miles from Bush's Crawford Ranch where he is on vacation for five weeks. (must be nice huh).

Camp Casey, as it is now being called, is attracting Peace activists from across the country. Thanks to kossack periphrastik there are several ways you can help this brave woman stand up to the Bush War Council and demand answers on the Iraq debacle.

Whether you can go or not, please read on to see what else you can do to help.

How you can help

Go to Crawford
Donate to Crawford Peace House (PayPal now working)
Contact Your Representatives
Contact the Media, National and Local
Sign Cindy's Online Petition

Be sure to contact both national and local media for this story. A good idea is to call your local TV station before you go, and tell them where you are going and why. Offer to report updates to them from the scene. Tell your local media to cover the stories of local families who have lost children in the war and want answers from Bush.

Crawford Peace House
Cindy Sheehan Website
Gold Star Mothers for Peace
Code Pink
Military Families Speak Out
Veterans for Peace
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against War

dKosopedia Entry for Cindy Sheehan - Includes related diaries

Daily Updates
Texas Iconoclast: Crawford Newspaper with "Cindy Watch"

Media Blackout
Radio Show Silences Cindy
NBC doubles back on covering the story

Information for those going to Crawford
How to Prepare
Find a ride, share a ride, give a ride

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

Written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson

"Pro-family" group opposes SCOTUS nominee

From the AP:

A conservative group in Virginia said Tuesday it would oppose Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' confirmation because of his work helping overturn a Colorado referendum on gays.

The stance by Public Advocate of the United States, which describes itself as a pro-family organization, puts it in opposition to conservative groups that have endorsed Roberts. A number of liberal groups oppose President Bush's nominee.

"The move comes as a result of Roberts' support for the radical homosexual lobby in the 1996 Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans, which overturned a pro-family law passed by the citizens of Colorado in an appalling act of judicial activism," the group said in a news release. It planned a news conference for Wednesday in front of the Supreme Court. (emphasis mine)

How dare the group, Public Advocate of the United States claim to be pro-family? They are pro-bigotry and hatred.

Do you know what really gets under my skin? THIS is the reason they are opposing John Roberts for the Supreme Court. Never mind that he could give a shit about judicial process, the environment, or rights to privacy.

These people make me sick. Congratulations to the "mainstream" Christian denomination for uniting with these bigoted freaks. Shame on all of them, including my own Church. Where's your priorities?

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters


I'm disgusted. How fucking horrible.

Look, I have a healthy sense of humor. Believe me. So I hope they don't object to my t-shirt with the tagline, "USA: Home of the KKK, Minutemen and Tom DeLay"

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Minutemen are Nazi Pigs

Via Ornicus:

At a recent anti-immigrant rally in Laguna Beach, the connection was made explicit.

The rally was held July 30. It apparently was a follow-up of sorts to a similar rally held in the same locale on July 16, in which a local anti-immigration activist decided to protest a local arts festival's financial support for a day labor center for undocument workers. This rally drew the participation of the Save Our State campaign (an ostensibly mainstream anti-immigration organization) and the Minutemen's Jim Gilchrist. It also drew a contingent of neo-Nazis.
Pictures of the Nazi flag proudly displayed at their rally can be found at the link. For those of you who are sympathetic to the Minutemen cause: Congratulations, you are also getting labeled a Racist Thug.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bush is playing limbo

How low can he go?

Less than half of Americans now say they think President Bush is honest, according to an AP-Ipsos poll taken at a time of increasing concerns about Iraq, a potential problem for a president who won re-election declaring that "people know where I stand."

The percentage of people who say they consider Bush honest has dropped slightly from the start of the year. In January, 53 percent described him that way in the AP-Ipsos poll, while 45 percent said they did not believe he was honest. Now, people are just about evenly split — 48 percent saying he's honest and 50 percent saying he's not.

So much for that mandate. A liar can only juggle so many lies before the truth comes out. It's about time this country starts to remove the scales from their eyes and see George Bush for what he is--a liar and a terrible leader.

Bush's Weekly Radio Address

This weekend George W. Bush will give his radio address; thanks to Atrios, we have the script ahead of time. Do you think he even mentions the deaths this week of Marines? Not a f*ing chance, he's touting "economic progress."

Excerpt via Atrios:

Good morning. As families across the country enjoy the summer, Americans can be optimistic about our economic future. In the past four years, our economy has been through a lot: we faced a stock market decline, a recession, corporate scandals, an attack on our homeland, and the demands of an ongoing war on terror.

To grow the economy and help American families, we acted by passing the largest tax relief in a generation. And today, thanks to the tax relief and the efforts of America's workers and entrepreneurs, our economy is strong and growing stronger.

There are no words to express my outrage. There better be a re-write. I would hold my breath, but I don't want to be another casualty of George Bush's incompetence.

BooMan Unleashed

The Booman Tribune has become my online home base for a number of reasons. There is a perfect mixture of politics and play, great diaries and investigative reports, and a strong sense of community that exists because we have a fair and articulate leader.

When Booman speaks, you listen. The truth is hard to ignore.

If you haven't signed up for the site, I highly recommend it. It's free and the discussions are lively. See you at the Frog Pond.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Shadows of the Past

We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam Iraq, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds insurgents, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out. . . .

In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam Iraq which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.

We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever Saddam Hussein, but also we found that the Vietnamese Iraqis whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.

We found most people didn't even know the difference between communismIslamic rule and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies fields without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Viet-namesethe insurgency, Al-Qaeda or American.

We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies streets for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by the flag, and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam Iraq ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism — and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong insurgency.

We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly at My Lai Falluja and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.

We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals Iraqis.

We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental muslim human beings." We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese insurgents. We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s Fallujas and Mosuls and Basras and Tikrits, and so many others.

Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese democratizing the Middle East.

Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam Iraq, someone has to give up his life so that the United States
doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake.

Someone has to die so that President Nixon George W. Bush won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war." can retain his position as a "War President."

We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam Iraq? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? . . . We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country — the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. That is what we are trying to say.

It is part and parcel of everything.

An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "My God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end.

We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Powell and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They've left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country.

We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission — to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.

--excerpted and modified from John Kerry's statement before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, April 22, 1971

Wednesday, August 03, 2005



I'm Pro Choice

No, this isn't an entry about abortion. Sorry to disappoint you.

I have a serious problem with the direction my country has been heading over the past five years. The Republicans try to blame Clinton for all their woes; yet I don't recall discussing torture, erosion of civil liberties, or widespread anti-americanism in the 1990s.

Ronald Reagan once asked during his campaign, ""Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" He struck a tone of distinct change from President Carter's vision of America and gave America a choice. A bad one, in my opinion, but the people understood that there was a difference.

Twenty-five years later the United States faces a new decision. We can either continue down the path of our country's destruction, or we can finally say "Enough is Enough!" and send the neo-cons back to their holes. The grassroots of the Democratic party must force our elected leaders to take a stand and not sway in the wind regarding our basic principles: equality for all Americans, rights to privacy and the fostering of hope that can bring about a true United states. The people must understand that when they vote for a Democrat, they are not voting for Republican-Lite. We cannot afford to have "more of the same".

It's ironic that electoral success for the Democrats could lie in the shadows of Ronald Reagan's famous quote. Those of us in the grassroots have to make sure that the American people are given a real choice. We have to take our country back from these monsters.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Immigration Storm Clouds Gathering

The summer months in the desert Southwest are a mixture of blistering hot days followed by the methodical rolling-in of the thunderheads in the afternoon; bringing lightning, thunder and rain to the parched earth.

As I was watching a storm roll through the city today, the immigration reform issue came to my mind. (Really...) I have a habit of googling 'immigration' in their news section to see if anything new has popped up. I've noticed an uptick of articles over the past months and was drawn again to the fact that storm clouds are gathering in the horizon.

The Republicans are searching for their next issue to divide Americans and it looks like immigration will be at the top of their list. Rumblings of thunder below the fold...

For starters, I've got Georgia on my mind:

During the last primary campaign for the U.S. Senate, the three Republican candidates - Johnny Isakson, Herman Cain and Mac Collins - each visited the Daily Post to speak with reporters and editors. At each session, the candidate was asked the following: "What is the No. 1 issue on the minds of Georgia voters?" All three candidates gave the same answer: immigration. [snip]

Immigration, it seems, has become a touchy subject in some quarters. Nothing else will have greater impact on the future of our nation. Yet when it comes time to have substantive discussion, many would rather not. Perhaps they fear not being "politically correct." Perhaps they fear being labeled "racist." Perhaps they don't want to disturb an inexpensive labor force. Perhaps the politicians don't want to alienate a voting bloc. [snip]

Adding to the frustration is that many come here illegally. Without proper documentation, they skirt the laws the rest of us are expected to follow. Some U.S. citizens see the influx as a threat to their way of life. The Post receives more letters concerning immigration than any other topic.

Clearly, U.S. immigration policy is waffling in the wind. We have laws we don't enforce. We have borders we do not patrol. We have an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. It seems we're stymied for fear of being regarded as politically incorrect.
At all levels of government, the issue of immigration needs to be outed. Leaders and citizens of our cities, counties, states and the nation should discuss problems and solutions. We need to face the problem head-on. Immigration is no place for kid gloves.

Gwinnett Daily Post - GA (emphasis mine)

Or how about this flash of lightning from my home state. Are you ready for Goldwater V2.0?:

Republican Party activist Don Goldwater announced his candidacy Tuesday for governor in 2006, sounding some of the same conservative themes once heard from his uncle, 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

"The state is headed in the wrong direction," said the 50-year-old candidate. "We must return to the basic principles of limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom."

Goldwater said he would push for tax cuts and school choice and combat illegal immigration. He said he would fully enforce a voter-approved immigration law, including its requirement that voters produce identification at polling places.

He called illegal immigration destructive to the state's health care industry, a burden on public schools and a threat to public safety.

"No longer can we turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, hoping that it will just go away," said Goldwater, who is seeking to unseat first-term Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. (emphasis mine)

If the Republicans have their way, especially the increasingly nasty strain of Republicans ala Kyl and Cornyn, there will be a modern-day witch hunt in this country with anyone who resembles an immigrant being a target. Mark my words, there is no tin-foil hat on my head.

The Republicans are still trying to craft their response to the immigration "problem". They aren't stupid, they know that their past antics scream of bigotry. They don't want to smell a whiff of racism in their response. It will be devastating towards any inroads they've managed to make with Latinos and other minority groups. They are clearly being careful with this issue:

Two Cabinet members were no-shows yesterday at a U-S Senate committee hearing on immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao canceled their appearance at the hearing focusing on two immigration bills filed in the Senate. One bill is co-sponored by Senator John McCain and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and the other is co-sponsored by Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Aides say Chertoff and Chao will testify later.

"Later" will occur after the Rovian minions have fully calculated their response to the two competing Senate bills on immigration. Will the Democrats be ready to weather the storm? or will they step up to the plate and change the wind?

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

Monday, August 01, 2005

The "Fuck You" President

George W. Bush continued his misAdministration of the United States today by giving a big middle finger to the Senate and anyone else who disagreed with him regarding the appointment of John Bolton to the United Nations.

I was waiting for Melody Townsel's response to this:

As I posted here, and some of you commented upon over the weekend, Bush's move to appoint Bolton today is exactly what it looks like: A giant "fuck you" to anybody who questions his presumed authority and dares to believe in the spirit of advise and consent.

This is the "fuck you" presidency.

Don't like our battle against global extremism? Fuck you.

Don't think a CIA agent, or an ambassador's wife, are fair game? Fuck you.

Don't care for Rove's tactics? Fuck you.

You believe there should be a balance on the court? Fuck you.

Support our constitutionally promised systems of checks and balances? Fuck you.

The Bolton appointment is just the latest, and one of Bush's best, "fuck yous." And not just "fuck you" to Democrats, but a "fuck you" to Republicans like Voinovich who didn't just lie back and think of England over this appointment.

For more information on John Bolton, check out the wikipedia entry for this A-Grade Asshole.

To see a video on why this this appointment is completely outrageous, click this link. It shows Bolton, in his own words, pontificating on the destruction of the United Nations.

George W. Bush, the "Fuck You" President