Friday, September 30, 2005

Funny Friday

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a lightbulb?

The Answer is SEVEN:

  1. one to deny that a lightbulb needs to be replaced
  2. one to attack and question the patriotism of anyone who has questions about the lightbulb,
  3. one to blame the previous administration for the need of a new lightbulb,
  4. one to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of lightbulbs,
  5. one to get together with Vice President Cheney and figure out how to pay Halliburton Industries one million dollars for a lightbulb,
  6. one to arrange a photo-op session showing Bush changing the lightbulb while dressed in a flight suit and wrapped in an American flag,
  7. and finally one to explain to Bush the difference between screwing a lightbulb and screwing the country.
Shamelessly stolen from here.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Real Shock and Awe

A judge has ruled that a full release of photos and video be made from the Abu Ghraib Torture Scandal. Of course, the Bush Administration would rather sweep this scourge under the proverbial rug instead of face up to the consequences of their policies.

From the AP via Yahoo news:

Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, had maintained in court papers that releasing the photographs would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken the Afghan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against U.S. troops.

Hellerstein said in his 50-page opinion that he respected Myers' arguments. But he added that his job was "not to defer to our worst fears, but to interpret and apply the law, in this case, the Freedom of Information Act, which advances values important to our society, transparency and accountability in government."

I wrote in a comment at Booman Tribune that "it's disgusting that these acts occurred to even be photographed. Maybe it will shock some of the coma-induced Bush minions to see what their government has wrought by blurring the lines of torture."

Far too many Americans have blindly followed the Bush War Council down a path of violence and divisiveness. There is a running "joke" in liberal blogs that short of George eating a baby on live television, his supporters will march behind their emperor. There is just enough truth in that statement to cause alarm.

The photos and videos will cause revulsion; but we can't erase the fact that these inhumane acts occurred. The lines of torture were blurred by this government, with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales playing a key role. While the release of these additional images may cause an uprising across the world, perhaps they will finally be the zap that shocks this nation out of their Bush Apologist coma.

Accountability will come. It is only a matter of time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Democratic Saboteurs

As many of you know, I have lived in Arizona for the vast majority of my life. My family roots are embedded in the tierra with eight generations of blood, sweat and tears. My ancestors
provided the grunt work for the roadways, the copper mines and the blacksmithing that kept tent cities alive in the 1800s when the rush West was consuming the United States.

Yet today, September 28, 2005, I have absolutely no voice in the United States Senate as a Democrat. Despite John McCain's "maverick" status, I rarely agree with any of his votes. That's why I am joining other progressive activists in this state to defeat arch-wingnut Jon Kyl and get Jim Pederson elected to give voice to my values--my Arizonan values, my American values.

This morning I received two emails that brought big smiles to my face. The first was from John Kerry, who still has my admiration despite his horrible candidacy last year:

Jim Pederson is running against Republican incumbent Senator Jon Kyl. Senator Kyl has been Example A of a strict conservative who continues to put partisan politics ahead of Arizona families. As you know, the Arizona tradition is one of independence, of putting the well-being of people ahead of party, ahead of ideology, ahead of big campaign money,
and Jim Pederson will make sure that he brings this tradition with him to Washington.

Make a contribution

As one of the leading Senate challengers in the country, Jim is running a strong campaign built around common sense solutions to immigration reform, increased national security, and greater access to quality education and health care. Your help now can give Jim's campaign aboost at a critical moment in the campaign.

I thought to myself, "Alright! Some of the big-guns are helping out with Jim's campaign!"

I got even happier when I checked my email later on today and saw this from Barack Obama, who garners a lot of my respect for his populist messaging:

Democrats nationally are excited about this race for new leadership in Arizona. With your support we can win this race. Please support Jim Pederson by contributing online before the September 30th Federal Elections Commission (FEC) deadline.

The Arizona tradition is one of independence, of putting the well-being of people ahead of party, ahead of ideology, ahead of big campaign money, and Jim will make sure that he brings this tradition with him to Washington. As one of the leading Senate challengers in the country, Jim is running a strong campaign built around common sense solutions to
immigration reform, increased national security, and greater access to quality education and health care.


It felt good to see two high-profile Democrats supporting Jim's candidacy. It gave me a flicker of hope that perhaps we had a shot at deposing the scourge; until I read this:

A list of Democrats supporting the reelection of Republican U.S. Senator Jon Kyl will continue to grow as the 2006 election grows closer, says a spokesman for the Kyl campaign.

On Sept. 14, Jamie Molera, former superintendent of public instruction and a consultant to the Kyl camp, released a list of nearly 50 elected Democrat officials, most of them from rural areas, who say they support Mr. Kyl in his bid for a third term.


"It never mattered to me that I was a Democrat. Jon Kyl reached out to work with me," Ms. Chase said. Mr. Pederson "has no experience and isout of the mainstream of Arizona. His support for Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Howard Dean shows that he is part of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party." (emphasis mine)

That final quote was from State Rep. Cheryl Chase, Az District 23. She is on a list of 50 Democrats who are trying to sabotage Jim Pederson's Senate race. I know Ms. Chase's area very well; she hails from a town that is 30 minutes away from the gravesite of my great, great, great, great grandmother. My family still lives nearby. How dare she undercut the hardworking, labor-supporting citizens in her area by spewing forth Republican talking-points?

I am disgusted with people in our party who insist on cutting the throat of those who are fighting for our values. Unless we make it clear to them that we are sick and tired of their attempts to dilute our message, we will forever be the party that stands for nothing.

"Big Tent" has many connotations. To this Democrat, it means that we will stand up for the equality of all Americans regardless of gender, race, sexuality, etc.; anything that diminishes a person's right to a full life in this country should be fought against--hard and relentless. I believe Jim Pederson will carry on that fight.

Why people like Cheryl Chase can't see the harm they are inflicting, I will never know...but I do know that she deserves a barrage of hatemail for her efforts.

Cheryl Chase (DINO-Az District 23)
Phone Number: (602) 926-5030
Fax Number: (602) 417-3123
Address: 1700 W. Washington, Room 128, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Have at it, please, on behalf of my family and the rest of the progressive community in Arizona who are searching for a voice in our government. We've worked too hard to be silenced in the Senate for another six years.

Trifecta of Corruption

The White House - starring Karl Rove in Plamegate:

Several lawyers involved in the case say Fitzgerald was likely to wrap up his inquiry this fall, if not sooner, though they say they have not heard from his office in weeks.

The outcome could have political implications for Bush, whose approval ratings are already the lowest of his presidency.

After initially promising to fire anyone found to have leaked information in the case, Bush in July offered a more qualified pledge: "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."

Prominent Democrats have called on Bush to fire Rove, the architect of his two presidential election victories and now his deputy chief of staff, or block his access to classified information.

Rove's attorneys said Rove did nothing wrong and has been repeatedly assured he is not a target of Fitzgerald's investigation.

The United States Senate - starring Bill Frist in Stockgate:

Frist -- viewed widely as a potential 2008 presidential candidate -- said Monday he had no inside information about the coming profit forecast when he began taking steps in April that led to the HCA stock sale being completed July 8.

He said he would cooperate with investigators, and forecast that an examination of the facts would show he acted properly.

The United States House of Representatives - starring Tom DeLay in Ethicsgate:
A Texas grand jury on Wednesday indicted Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates on charges of conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post. A defiant DeLay insisted he was innocent and called the prosecutor a "partisan fanatic."

"I have done nothing wrong. ... I am innocent," DeLay told a Capitol Hill news conference during which he criticized the Texas prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, repeatedly. DeLay said the charges amounted to "one of the weakest and most baseless indictments in American history."

What do these three Republicans have in common, aside from the blatant screwing of our country under their command?

Accountability means nothing to them. I wonder whose lead they follow...

Torture Watch

I have some local friends who are adamant pro-lifers who love to shove it in my face that as long as the United States recognizes the legality of abortion then a scourge will remain on our society.

Sadly, they don't seem to have the same reaction when it involves post-birth human beings.

I have a problem with that...

Friday, September 23, 2005

String of Disasters

The levees have been breached in New Orleans...again. Perhaps this country will finally have a discussion about the funding cuts the Bush Administration enacted over the past few years to the Army Core of Engineers' budget.

As if the bad news wasn't enough to make a stoic man cry. There is also this:
A bus caught fire and exploded early Friday on a crowded Texas interstate, killing as many as 24 people who were fleeing ahead of Hurricane Rita.

The bus, carrying about 45 elderly evacuees, burst into flames on Interstate 45 south of Dallas. It pulled over and people were getting off when a series of explosions ripped through the bus.

Dallas County Sheriff's Sgt. Don Peritz said 14 or 15 people got off the bus and said as many as 24 people may have died.

There are no words. All I can picture is the string of headlights stretching for miles upon miles that were shown last night on the cable news networks. Evacuation routes have been clogged and I fear many will choose to ride out the storm rather then get caught on the interstates. This has truly been a disastrous summer in the United States.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Roberts Approved

So much for finally getting a chance to clearly define what Democrats stand for:
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday endorsed John Roberts to be the Supreme Court’s next chief justice, sending the nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, scheduled for next week.

The vote was 13 to 5, with the committee's majority of 10 Republicans united behind Roberts.

Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Sen. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, both of Wisconsin decided to support making the conservative judge the nation’s 17th chief justice.


Sens. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Max Baucus of Montana have announced their support for Roberts. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has indicated she is leaning toward voting for the nominee. Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota is viewed as a possible vote for him, as well.

Haven't we already received enough proof that George W. Bush's judgement is not to be trusted? And the Democratic leadership wonders why they lose elections. Here's an idea: stand up for your core values and let the political stormclouds be damned. This pisses me off to no end. Say good bye to women's rights, privacy rights, and say hello to the 1930's.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Republican Values

This does nothing for my blood pressure control:

House and Senate tax writers agreed Tuesday on a package of tax breaks designed to help Hurricane Katrina victims recoup their losses and access needed cash.

The Congressional Research Service, an office that provides lawmakers with nonpartisan legislative analysis, said some of those tax breaks could do more for higher income survivors than for the neediest. (emphasis mine)

How about sending some help for the people who didn't have the option of evacuating the city in their SUV's? You know, all those "refugees" that baked in the streets of New Orleans as Bush strummed his guitar?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Patience is a Virtue...

...but survival is an instinct. Here is a prime example of the disconnect between the government and the everyday citizens on the street:

"Certainly there are some people out there that are frustrated and in need of assistance," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One. "We've got to continue working to get them assistance as quickly as we can."

"There is some level of patience that obviously is going to be required during this time," he said, "but we are urging everyone to move forward as quickly as they can to get people the help they need."

These wackos in charge forget that the victims of Hurricane Katrina did not have the luxury of being patient. They were dying. What's abhorrent is that it didn't have to be that way. If FEMA would've done its f*cking job, then the response would've been adequate, the food and water would've been delivered, and we wouldn't be hearing political bullshit like this:

On another front, 21 House Republicans sent a letter demanding that Bush find spending cuts in federal programs to offset the massive cost of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Conservatives, worried that the deficit will balloon, have been alarmed at the pace of spending with no talk of how to pay for it.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., suggested dropping the Medicare prescription drug plan, which he has long opposed. "It was supposed to cost $400 billion," he told CBS Evening News. "It's now up to $700 billion. We ought to cancel it, go back to square one."

Bush last week ruled out raising taxes to pay Katrina expenses and said other government spending must be cut. His aides have said, though, that no such cuts have yet been identified and that the hurricane relief effort will temporarily swell the deficit.

Further proof that politics will always trump the greater-good with the Bush misAdministration. Wake me up when their reign of terror is over. I've run out of patience. Just like these people:

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pesky Liberals

Why do they always have to ruin the Republicans' fun?

The two Democrats who challenged President George W. Bush for the White House last year said on Monday the devastation of Hurricane Katrina provided a historic chance to reevaluate government priorities and address long-neglected issues including endemic poverty.

In separate speeches, John Kerry and John Edwards said the administration's inadequate response to the hurricane revealed a failure of competence and values, while the public outpouring of support for storm victims showed Americans wanted more from their government. (emphasis mine)

Despite the constant demonization of Democrats that the White House spews forth, the fact remains that we are the party that gives the poor a fighting chance to live a self-sustaining life. We fight for safety nets such as Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, decent living wages, and the rights of workers to unionize so that they can stand up to the money-hungry corporations of the world.

Call me crazy, but those sound like admirable stances.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Damage Control

On Thursday evening, George Bush pre-empted important television to try to shore up his support with his kool-aide drinking minion base. It's clear that his Republican overlords are scared of rapidly declining poll numbers--they don't want Georgie's misfortunes to be tied around their necks, lest they lose some of their power in next year's congressional elections.

The media has been complicit in the brainwashing of average Americans, shilling for the White House by floating their lies under the cover of "anonymous officials". The Katrina Disasters (the flood and the bungled response) have jolted some reporters into action, finally asking pointed questions and refusing to be met with non-answers. The Bullshit Meters have finally started to peak and it looks like the editorial boards are sick of dealing with it:

From tomorrow's Washington Post:

Katrina has added an enormous new burden to a presidency already bending under the stresses of public dissatisfaction with Bush's policies in Iraq and growing anger over rising gas prices. Bush's objective last night was to set out a strategy and commitment for recovery along the Gulf Coast. But the critical question is whether the damage will limit his ability to govern effectively in the remaining 40 months of his presidency and whether he will successfully rebuild the Gulf Coast and Iraq, let alone win approval for other major initiatives on taxes and Social Security.


There is nothing certain about the success he hopes to demonstrate. The rebuilding at Ground Zero in New York has taken four years, and although the work in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast will begin almost immediately, the scope of the reconstruction virtually guarantees debates and delays that could sap public patience. Already there are signs of a brewing battle between business and government elites and organizers working with those displaced over whose voices will be heard in shaping the reconstruction.

Second-term slumps hit every reelected president, but often they come later than this one. Bush has little time to waste to rejuvenate his governing capacity, given the reality that lame-duck status awaits him in the not-too-distant future. But just as it will take time to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, it may take many months for Bush to rebound from what now troubles his presidency. Given the added burdens of Iraq and the economy, the president's road to recovery "will be longer and more difficult," said Ross K. Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University.

What a waste of a presidential term. Here we are, less than a year from George's second inauguration (insert GERD attack here), and his followers are already experiencing buyers' remorse. Forgive me for having zero sympathy for their ire. Voting matters. If they would've been paying attention during the campaign, they would've seen this train wreck advancing toward us.

More response on Bush's sermon, from the New York Times:

The president forthrightly linked the failures in response to the storm to a vulnerability to a terrorist attack and said he wanted to know "all the facts" about what had gone wrong.

Mr. Bush called for unity in tackling the problems. But with only a camera before him, and New Orleans silent around him, he could draw no strength or self-assurance from the cheers of a united nation, as he did when he addressed a joint session of Congress nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks. Not only did his own stagecraft leave him alone in the spotlight, but whatever good will flowed to him across the aisle in those moments after the terrorist attacks is long gone, a victim of a polarized political culture that he did not create but to which he has often contributed.

For Mr. Bush, this was a moment for the country to turn away from what he and his aides have dismissively labeled "the blame game" toward a hopeful vision of a rebuilt Gulf Coast and a smarter government. But it is not yet clear that his performance will stanch the political wounds he has suffered or ensure that he can avoid being hobbled through his second term, not just by what he lost in the faltering response to Hurricane Katrina but by the rising death toll in Iraq, sky-high energy prices and worrisome deficits.

"Performance" is correct. The only reason this speech was scheduled was because he is tanking in the polls. It had nothing to do with Georgie owning up to the government's failure to protect its people. His model of leadership has failed and as a result, countless Americans have died. He is unfit for office, the charade is over, it's time for this great country to say 'No More Bullshit'!

Will you join the revolution?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Paying Attention

Can you guess who isn't paying attention at the U.N. Summit today?

Hat tip to Atrios.

I thought it was a snarky photoshop...can I wiggle my nose to make that the reality instead of the fact that it's real?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Consistently Criminal

These greedy assholes are just as dangerous as the e-coli floating around in the streets of New Orleans:

Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Funny how all that works out huh?


I'm not laughing, are you?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kid Oakland Speaks Truth

If you haven't bookmarked k/o's site, do it now; you won't regret it. Here's why:

hurricane and flood

When we talk about the dead and the lost. A toll we have yet to count, much less have an official estimate of. Remember this:

First there was a Hurricane,
then there was a Flood.

Some people died on Monday morning.
Some people died on Friday night.

Some people died in the crash of a wave.
Some people died waiting for help.

Some people died in a gale force wind.
Some people died when their medicine ran out.

The Hurricane came and hit those who remained.
The Flood rose up around those who'd been left.

If you were still on the coast,
the coast became a grave.

If you were still in the city,
your house became a tomb.

And those who waited for help, for water, for food,
heard one response..."soon, it'll come soon."

First came the Hurricane,
and then came the Flood.

When they got to New Orleans,
They left the bodies in the streets.

There were too many alive, in need,
to stop and claim the dead.

When you tell the story of Katrina,
Make sure you tell this too.

First there came a Hurricane,
and then there came a Flood.

It didn't have to be this way.

We as an American people, as a global people, must demand accountability for a misAdministration that flees from it. People have died, and they didn't have to; families are destroyed, nothing left but memories.

I am sick of this government's failures.

Friday, September 02, 2005

When CNN Attacks

It looks like they finally woke up to do their job:

The Big Disconnect


Hat tip to Atrios for this nugget of outrage:

We've got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)
I wonder if he'll treat the Senator to a song:

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kick 'em like Dogs

I didn't think I could get more outraged today. But then I read this:

It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.

"It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," the Illinois Republican said in an interview Wednesday with the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill.

Hastert, in a transcript supplied by the newspaper, said there was no question that the people of New Orleans would rebuild their city, but noted that federal insurance and other federal aid was involved. "We ought to take a second look at it. But you know we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild too. Stubbornness."

I'm sure that's exactly what the victims want to hear today from the Speaker of the House. These are vile creatures; mere shadows of human beings. The Republican Administration is unfit to govern. Impeach the whole lot of them. Then try their asses for crimes against humanity.

Blood on their Hands

The stain of death will be permanent. It didn't have to be this way.

The administration specifically cut the funds to fix these specific levees, in order to specifically divert that Corps money to Iraq, despite urgent warnings and predictions of catastrophic disaster if the levees were breeched. The administration specifically cancelled the Clinton-backed flood control program to preserve and restore the wetlands between New Orleans and the gulf, instead specifically opening parts of that buffer zone for development.

Nobody anticipated this disaster? It was identified by FEMA as one of the top three likeliest major disasters to strike America. (That link, one of countless stories, was from 2001, by the way.) It has been a major disaster scenario for years. Everybody anticipated it, which makes this single statement by George W. Bush possibly the most dishonest, lying, craptacularly false thing he has ever said in his presidency -- even surpassing his now-infamous State of the Union Address. Truly, this is President Bush's blue-dress moment.

Have you donated yet? Please do it now, and often.

Chicken Little vs. Chickenhawk

If there's one thing the Bush Administration is good at doing, it's playing the victim. Regardless of the fact that the Republican Party controls the White House, Senate and House (the Supreme Court soon), they always cry like spoiled brats when someone calls them on their failures. They denounce anyone who disagrees with their mode of thinking as traitors or accuse the opposition of playing politics.

Fuck that.

Reality has finally set in folks. The championship fight is Chicken Little vs. Chickenhawk.

And for once, Chicken Little will be vindicated. The progressive community has been screaming that "the sky is falling!" BECAUSE IT IS FALLING. The Gulf Coast region of the United States is descending into chaos because of the failed leadership of the Bush Administration. During last year's campaign, John Kerry described George's policies as "more of the same."

He was right.

Everyone in this country--Republican, Independent, Democrat, Green, etc.--must realize that George Bush will keep his word when he says he will "stay the course." The next few years will be no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, all-out warfare because of his incompetence; and the incompetence of those around him. He has never admitted a mistake and I would not start expecting one now that we are beginning to bear the fruit of his poisonous seed-spreading. He is a danger to society.

From the BBC:
US President George Bush has admitted there is "frustration" at the speed of the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina's hit on the Gulf Coast.

"I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. I mean I understand the anxiety of people on the ground... So there is frustration but I want people to know there's a lot of help coming," he said in an interview with ABC television.


Mr Bush dismissed criticism that he had been slow in responding to the unfolding disaster, and had not yet set foot on the ground.

"I hope people don't play politics during this period of time," he said.

"There'll be ample time for politics. But now's the time to focus attention, our compassion and our resources on helping people who need help".

He said he wanted to go to the scene but did not want to disrupt the emergency operation.

Once again, George W. Bush, the Chickenhawk-in-Chief is AWOL.

Use this link to find your elected officials and demand accountability for this humanitarian crisis.

Liberal Blogosphere for Hurricane Relief

Chris Bowers of is spearheading a project to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina throughout the liberal blogosphere. Please contribute in any way possible, I will put a permanent link in the right sidebar.

The Liberal Blogosphere for Hurricane Relief

by Chris Bowers

Please donate to Hurricane Relief.

Currently, a $0.00 ad proposal is being sent through the Liberal Blog Advertising Network. I encourage every single blogger on the network to accept this free ad. It is an advertisement for a mass, coordinated relief campaign: Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief.

The campaign is being coordinated by Kari Chisholm. All of the proceeds will be sent to the Red Cross. Donations are being tracked by Drop Cash. Transactions are secured through Paypal. You can be certain that your contribution will be secure, for a good cause, and it people will know it came from the liberal blogosphere.

You can donate to this effort here. Please consider giving. If you have a blog, please join the effort.