Thursday, July 28, 2005

What do Republicans stand for?

Senate Reid breaks down the Congressional Record:


Radical Judges, Over 30 Days: The Republican majority used over 30 days of the Senate’s time to pick a fight over radical judges and to find jobs for five people who were already gainfully employed. [Congressional Record]

Bankruptcy, 9 Days: The Republican majority used 9 days of the Senate’s time to pursue special interest legislation that benefited few Americans. [Congressional Record]

Class Action, ­­4 Days: The Republican majority used 4 days of the Senate’s time to pursue special interest legislation that benefited a narrow minority. [Congressional Record]

Putting Aside Our Country’s Defense, 3 Days: “Senate Republican leaders decided Tuesday that a gun manufacturers’ liability bill is more important than next year’s $441.6 billion defense authorization bill. With Democrats expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons’ purchases and research, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate Republican leader, decided Tuesday that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority.” [Army Times, 7/26/05]


Health Care: The Republican majority has not spent a single day on the Senate floor focused on the health care crisis in this country. With 45 million Americans without health care and prices skyrocketing, the Senate has failed to address this issue. [Congressional Record]

Protecting Americans from Terrorism: The Republican majority rejected Democratic efforts to increase protection for our rail and transit systems and also failed to find time to help keep the most dangerous weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists. [RC 184, S. Amdt. 1218 to HR 2360, 7/14/05]

Retirement Security: While the Republican majority has spent months using hot rhetoric about dismantling Social Security through their privatization schemes, the Senate has not spent a single day working to strengthen Social Security, address the pension crisis or increasing savings among Americans. [Congressional Record]

Veterans Health Care: By making the Gun Liability Bill a higher priority than the Defense Authorization Bill, Senate Republicans have stripped the Senate the opportunity to fully fund veterans’ health care. [Congressional Record]

Education: As Americans continue to struggle with the rising cost of college tuition, the Senate has not spent a single day to help more Americans achieve the American Dream by making a college education more attainable. [Congressional Record]

Guard and Reserves: The Senate has failed to address the concerns of the National Guard and Reserves while they are being depended on like never before in our history. The Senate has failed to address the crucial issues of health care, child care and pay that these soldiers have deserve to have addressed. [Congressional Record]

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bug Man trapped?

From The Left Coaster:

...after the House GOP leadership closed the energy bill to further amendments, and after committee chairman Corrupt Joe Barton gaveled the debate to a close, Tom DeLay added a provision to the bill that amounts to a $1.5 billion giveaway of taxpayer dollars to his district, Marathon Oil, and, you guessed it, Halliburton. None of the conference committee members saw the provision or had a chance to review it and debate it before Barton closed the debate and DeLay inserted his payola. The tactic is similar to what the House GOP leadership did last week in inserting into a medical malpractice bill a liability shield for drug makers after the bill had been closed for further debate in committee and sent directly to the House floor. Henry Waxman caught DeLay’s payola on the Halliburton giveaway and is requesting that Denny Hastert have it stripped from the energy bill before it goes to the House floor for a final vote.
Sadly, this is the modus operandi for the Republican House Leader. DeLay is the definition of corruption, and his efforts are sanctioned and encouraged by his party.

Visit Nick Lampson's website here to contribute funds to the man that will exterminate the Bug Man from Texas District 22.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Did Bush just admit to torture?

We are just over 15 months away from congressional elections and I think it's time to really put the Bush Administration on defense regarding torture. We have all the proof to show that the Republicans have condoned the blurring of lines for interrogation techniques that have directly lead to the horrors committed at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Let's use some LBJ politicking and nail these apologetic piles of rat turd with this issue.

Gasoline for the fire from Reuters:

The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere.

The Bush administration, under fire for the indefinite detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and questions over whether its policies led to horrendous abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, put lawmakers on notice it did not want them legislating on the matter.

In a statement, the White House said such amendments would "interfere with the protection of Americans from terrorism by diverting resources from the war."

"If legislation is presented that would restrict the president's authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice," the bill could be vetoed, the statement said.
(emphasis mine)

It's time for us to fight dirty on this issue. The Bushistas are already juggling plenty of issues with Traitorgate, eroding poll numbers, Iraq, North Korea, Gaza, SCOTUS, etc. It's only a matter of time before we force them to lose their concentration and watch their farcical government come crashing down.

If the Democrats can form a united front against torture, in a commanding way, then Bush will be forced to deal with the mishandling of this issue.

Like I said before, it's time we start playing the game like LBJ:

In his heyday, nobody was better at gettin' down politically than Lone Star Lyndon. In 1948, after 11 years in the House of Representatives where he proved to be a formidable, power-hungry campaigner, LBJ hit fellow Democrat and popular former Texas governor Coke Stevenson with everything he had as they squared off for a run at the Senate.

Legend has it Johnson told one of his aides -- "Go out there and tell 'em Coke was caught having sex with a farm animal."

"But, Lyndon," the aide protested, "you know that's not true!"

"Of course it's not true!" Johnson responded impatiently. "That's not the point. Tell it anyway -- and make him deny it..."


Make these sick bastards deny that they condone torture (again), then let the soon-to-be-released photos make their rounds around the world to embarrass the hell out of them.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Republican Immigration Bill

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs many of you already know, this week the U.S. Senate received another Immigration Reform bill (PDF file at link). The title of the diary is appropriate because it was sponsored by two Republicans--Jon Kyl (AZ) and John Cornyn (TX).

Apparently these two border-state senators decided now would be a good time to give the middle finger to the tens of thousands of latinos and progressives in their states because this bill is full of hubris. Compare and contrast it to the Kennedy-McCain bi-partisan bill sponsored and you will see what I mean.

Below I will outline some of the provisions of their Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005.

Full details can be found via the immigration section of Sen. Cornyn's website. Here are some key areas I would like to bring to your attention:

  1. Border Enforcement and Visa Security
    • Authorizes sufficient resources, including 10,000 Border Patrol Agents (same figure as Intelligence Reform bill, with monthly reports to Congress on progress made in hiring and deploying the agents) and 1,250 new Customs and Border Protection Officers (working at ports of entry). Authorizes $5 billion over 5 years for accompanying technology (e.g. cameras and sensors) and infrastructure (e.g. stations and checkpoints), to stop illegal border crossing
    • Expands and improves Expedited Removal, which provides a streamlined means of removing aliens who are clearly ineligible to enter the U.S. Authorizes $50 million over 5 years

  2. Strengthening Interior Enforcement and Leveraging State and Local Law Resources
    • Provides the Department of Homeland Security with 10,000 detention beds over 5 years to eliminate the release of illegal aliens into the country
    • Clarifies State and local authority to enforce federal immigration laws
    • Expands Institutional Removal Program to identify criminal aliens in federal and state correctional facilities and remove them upon completion of their sentences
    • Establishes new Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice to oversee immigration enforcement and litigation, to ensure high level DOJ attention and accountability

  3. Worksite Enforcement
    • Authorizes 10,000 additional agents over 5 years to investigate employers who hire illegal aliens. Also 1,000 new investigators over 5 years to detect fraud in application process
    • Increases the penalties for unauthorized employment of aliens, social security fraud and false claims to citizenship
    • Requires within one year issuance of secure machine-readable, tamper-resistant Social Security cards
    • Closes loopholes in identity theft by establishing minimum standards for state-issued birth certificates
    • Requires within one year that all new hires participate in a Social Security-based electronic employment eligibility verification system

  4. Obligations of Participating Countries
    • Requires countries to enter into bilateral agreement with U.S. government before the nationals of the country are allowed to participate in a temporary worker visa program or Mandatory Departure status
    • Requires aliens to have a minimum level of health coverage, which can be provided by the participating country, the alien or the employer

  5. Temporary Worker Program
    • Establishes new visa category that allows aliens to enter the U.S. to work temporarily when there are no available U.S. workers
    • Limits the period of visa to two years, after which the alien must return home for one year. Alien may participate up to three times (for a total of 6 years of employment in the U.S.)
    • Establishes a Temporary Worker Task Force to prepare a report on the effect of the temporary worker program on wages and employment of U.S. workers, which would then form basis of cap
    • Family members may visit principal worker in the U.S. for no longer than 30 days within a given year

  6. Mandatory Departure and Reentry in Legal Status
    • Allows aliens who are present in the U.S. illegally to apply for Mandatory Departure, which enables them time to depart the United States voluntarily and reenter the country through normal legal channels (e.g. as temporary worker)
    • Aliens granted Mandatory Departure status are ineligible to obtain permanent resident status (i.e. green card) while in the U.S. – they must depart and reenter through normal legal channels
    • Aliens are registered, fingerprinted, and checked against all available criminal/terrorist lists
    • Aliens are issued secure, biometric identity documentation. The documents will function as identity documents and employers will use document readers to verify identity and employment authorization
    • Provides incentives for aliens to depart the United States immediately, but all aliens are required to depart prior to five years
    • Aliens who return to home country within a short period of time may quickly reenter through legal channels as a temporary worker and are not required to spend up to 10 years outside of the country
    • Aliens who fail to depart are ineligible for any other immigration benefit for a period of ten years

  7. Circular Migration and Visa Backlog Reduction
    • Creates temporary worker investment funds to encourage aliens to return home
    • Reduces visa backlog waiting times by allowing the recapture of unused visa numbers and terminating the Diversity Visa Program

Aside from the fact that this automatically lumps all illegal immigrants into the terrorist/criminal category, I guarantee you that there will be a lot of kicking and screaming from the latino community if the Democrats support this bill. There is already a bi-partisan alternative out there that can be a decent starting point for discussion.

Howard Dean already understands that the Republicans are going to use this issue to divide the country next year for the congressional elections. They will appeal, as usual, to the worst emotions from Americans in order to gain more political power--fear, bigotry and bitterness.
In a speech to an influential Hispanic organization, Dean said that Republican-sponsored immigration legislation and escalating rhetoric on the issue are part of the latest GOP effort to use fear as a political tactic.

Republicans tried to scare people by talking about "race quotas" instead of affirmative action in 2002 and putting ballot initiatives to ban gay marriage in several states in 2004, he said.

"In 2006, it's going to be immigrants, you wait and see," he told the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, at its annual convention.

After the speech, Dean said he doesn't think that President Bush is a bigot but that he "doesn't have the guts" to speak up against "the bigots in his own party."

Houston Chronicle

For further reading:
  • Duke 1676's diary where he outlined a good starting point for discussion.
  • My diary, "The Immigration Crisis", where I outlined the human cost to the delay of this debate.
  • Detailed information on the Kennedy/McCain sponsored Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act
  • Washington Post's take on the Kyl-Cornyn bill
  • Minuteman Project update - the Border Patrol is considering making them an auxiliary branch
  • Az Central article with a heads-up that J.D. Hayworth is going to be entering the immigration boxing ring soon.
  • An article on the International Organization for Migration's report citing the advantages of immigration.
Crossposted at Booman Tribune

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Presidential Hubris

So, the big news around the blogs and news is Bush's first crack at a Supreme Court nominee. With his selection of Judge John Roberts, the President is repaying a debt to his right-wing minions that still claim their ownership to his re-election. The thing that troubles me most about this choice is the fact that Mr. Roberts has only been on the bench for two years. TWO YEARS! Seems fishy to me that after all the promised "careful consideration", George would settle for Judge Roberts.

Perhaps he didn't spend enough time on his vetting process:

Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy.

Bush originally had planned to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 26 or 27, just before his planned July 28 departure for a month-long vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, said two administration officials, who spoke on the condition they not be named.

The officials said those plans changed because Rove has become a focus of Fitzgerald's interest and of news accounts about the matter.


So there it is. George Bush is playing politics yet again with our system of government. Rather than hold anyone in his administration accountable for their various atrocities, he would rather pull a rabbit out of the hat for a good hearty distraction. Congratulations America, you elected this sick fucker...TWICE.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Classfied Ad Response

Someone is looking for work.

Kos on Fire

Here's what Markos has to say about the current political situation. I completely agree:

Right-thinking people -- even Republicans -- should look at these unfolding events with horror. I would certainly feel betrayed and angry if a Democratic administration thusly endangered national security and undermined our non-proliferation efforts. I wouldn't make apologies for it. I wouldn't rationalize it, attempt to distract with irrelevant, tangential points. I would demand accountability.

But to modern-day Republicans and their apologists, they can do no wrong. No Republican's action is worthy of scorn or censure. They are perfect. Flawless. Immune to error. Godlike.

How someone could be reduced to that level is beyond me. Republicans have now sent notice that they place allegiance to party and power above their allegiance to the United States of America. To them, the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes.

Go read the whole thing.

Immigration Revisited

This was originally submitted to Booman Tribune on June 21, 2005

I've been trying to find the words to express the crisis we are facing here in the American Southwest with regards to the failed Immigration policies of the United States. I hope to continue the conversation I started with my first BooTrib diary about the need for our elected officials to take a serious look at reform of our immigration system.

Regardless of how you feel about this issue, there is one underlying factor that cannot be ignored any longer--people are dying by the hundreds in the desert heat of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Metal art at the Nogales border crossingAs I've mentioned in many comments here, President Bush has soured the debate on Immigration Reform by insisting that it's a Homeland Security issue. By using his terrorism meme, this becomes solely about "Securing our Borders" rather than a full-fledged dialog on other issues such as economics and human rights.

Tom Barry, policy director of the International Relations Center, recently wrote this analysis, entitled, "The Immigration Debate: Whose Side Are You On?". I recommend that you read the full thing, it's very good.

Whose side are you on? That's the question that President George W. Bush asked in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. And he gave the world his answer and warning: "Either you are with us or against us."1

The president has not retreated from his "them-versus-us" framing of international affairs. At home, restrictionist groups demanding a clampdown on legal and illegal immigration are framing the immigration debate in the same dualistic terms. They insist that U.S. political leaders tell the public whose side they are on--the side of pro-immigrant groups, or the side of the opponents of "mass immigration," "open borders," and "immigrant terrorists."

The "whose side are you on" question about immigration is sparking political fires across the country--from U.S. border communities in southeastern Arizona, where citizen vigilantes proudly say they are protecting the "home front," to the halls of Congress. An increasingly powerful caucus of Republican representatives is pushing to close the borders to the immigrants that stream across on a daily basis and to deport the 9 - 10 million unauthorized immigrants living within U.S. borders.

Anti-immigrant movements are, of course, nothing new in the United States. Campaigns against new immigrants have generally coincided with the business cycle, rising in intensity with economic slowdowns, declining in times of prosperity. There are two main corollaries to this rule. One, the U.S. public generally views immigrants with more or less hostility according to the color of their skin, their English-speaking abilities, and the degree to which their religions and cultures depart from Judeo-Christianity and what conservative Harvard scholar Samuel P. Huntington calls the "American Creed."2 Two, in times of war, immigrants from nations in conflict with the United States are especially suspect.

Grassroots campaigns that blame immigrants for job losses and declining wage levels, as well as charges that fault the immigrant population for crime and public health crises, have coursed through U.S. history, ebbing and surging in response to economic and political circumstances. Certainly, the deepening sense of vulnerability experienced by many U.S. citizens today in the face of downsizing, outsourcing, stagnant wages, labor union decline, and the steady loss of medical and retirement benefits explains part of the rising anti-immigrant backlash.

But now, the restrictionist forces come to the public debate armed with a righteousness that goes beyond perceived economic threats from foreign workers. Immigration restrictionism is increasingly framed as key to homeland and cultural protection. Most of the allied anti-immigrant forces argue that the War on Terror cannot be successfully fought without gaining total control of U.S. borders, downsizing the resident immigrant population, and severely restricting new immigration.

This issue concerns me greatly for several reasons. First of all, I am a 7th generation Arizonan of Mexican descent. My family was in this area before the current border was in place. The same blood flows through my veins, through all our veins. Secondly, I work amongst the Latino activist organizations here in Tucson that are bastions of hard-core liberal Democrats. We are trying to fight for the human rights of these people but are increasingly frustrated by the lack of focus on this issue.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn May of 2005, Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain introduced the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S.1033). While the bipartisanship signal sent was great, both Senators came under immediate fire from their party bases. It seems like there is one thing all people can agree to regarding immigration--to disagree. Why?

RubDMC provides our community with a daily reminder of the human rights crisis in Iraq. I hope you will all take the time to visit the Derechos Humanos website regularly to see the lives lost here in the United States. There may not be poetry, but it should still cut deep to the heart. These people are not criminals, they are immigrants seeking employment or residency to help bring themselves and their families a better life.

Probable hyperthermia; gunshot wound; multiple injuries due to motor vehicle accident; hypothermia due to exposure to the elements...

The crisis will continue as long as the debate remains stagnant. I hope to jump-start this dialog here. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why the Rove Issue Matters

John Aravosis of AMERICAblog sums it up perfectly:

Perhaps the best part of "Today's" interview with Ambassador Joe Wilson? His emphasis on a conspiracy and the lies the White House peddled to sell the war in Iraq. Some people fear Rove is a "distraction" from the DSM et al. But Wilson reminds us that this is why they attacked him in the first place.

Wilson emphasized that this is about the war in Iraq and the lies the White House used to sell that war. Tony Blair offered up shoddily forged documents claiming the weak and enfeebled Hussein was trying to buy radioactive material in Africa. Bush sent Joe Wilson to check it out. Joe Wilson came back and said it wasn't true -- the evidence didn't hold up. Bush didn't like that answer so they sent someone else to investigate. They came back and said the same thing: the proof isn't there. Bush STILL didn't like that answer so they sent someone else. Three separate investigations and all three said the same thing: no go.

But Bush lied anyway. In his State of the Union address leading up to the war, Bush stated flatly in 16 fatal words that Hussein had gone to Africa to buy radioactive material. Wilson was astonished and finally decided to come forward and speak out publicly -- the very thing the far right just excoriated Deep Throat for not doing. Wilson knew it meant they would attack and smear him but he came forward anyway. Those 16 words -- that lie -- became the focus of intense debate and ultimately Joe Wilson was vindicated: the White House admitted it didn't have the proof to back up that claim. According to the Bush Administration, Joe Wilson was right and they were wrong.


Why? Because it's all about Iraq. The White House had two "smoking guns" in convincing the American people to go to war. The tubes and the claim that Hussein was actively trying to buy radioactive material. Both were lies. The Bush administration didn't "get it wrong," they knew what they were saying wasn't supported by the facts and they said it anyway.
To see the full transcript and video of Ambassador Joe Wilson on the Today Show, click this link.

Pay it Forward

I am in a great mood today compared to yesterday. I had major GIRD attack from the news regarding the Guantanamo Bay torture report. Enough of that though. I thought I would share a story with you all that was left in a comment on BooTrib by user Bearpaw. Enjoy:

Every workday, I commute into work via the Boston area subway system. For those of you who've never commuted via public transit, let me just say that on some level, it's pretty weird. Twice a day I willingly climb into a compartment that's almost always sealed, spends much of its time moving through a narrow tunnel at a fairly high rate of speed (when things are going smoothly), and I share that compartment with many people I don't know, sometimes in very close proximity. If people know each other, they may chat, but other than that most folks generally keep to themselves. When they don't ... well, the general reaction is complicated and highly context-dependant. Especially these days.

It's weird, like I said. But I'm used to it after all these years, it usually works pretty well, and it beats the hell out of driving to work.

So this morning I'm riding along, nose in a book as usual, when one of the other passengers starts singing pieces of a song out loud, presumably along with the music he's listening to on his headphones. It's a little irritating, though I'm sort of torn between wishing he'd shut up and wishing he'd sing all of the song, because it sounded like a nice song and the man has a beautiful voice. But mostly I just tune him out, and continue reading. Near as I can tell, everyone else is just ignoring him, too.

Except one guy, who eventually goes over to the man and starts trying to get him to be quiet. There's some back and forth, fairly polite, but the singer doesn't want to quiet down and the guy who wants him to be quiet is pretty insistant ... and finally threatens to call the police.

At which point I stop trying to ignore the whole thing. Call the police? Because this guy is singing on the subway? So I tap the guy on the shoulder and when he looks at me I put on my best calm-and-reasonable face, suggest that he relax, and motion him back to where he was sitting. Somewhat predictably, I suppose, he doesn't relax, doesn't sit down. He asks me if I'm kidding. I shrug and say that I prefer the singing to listening to someone chatting on their cellphone. I musta hit a nerve; the guy goes speechless. Then the doors open, he says he's getting off at that stop, in a tone that suggets that he's escaping from dangerous lunatics. He stops outside the door, shoots me a look, and tells me I "should think about this". I smile and wave, and the doors close.

Thing is, I did think about it. Until my stop, I wondered if I should've kept quiet, whether I'd done any good. Plus, I really dislike direct confrontations like that; as calm as I try to be on the outside, they always leave me shaking a little bit.

Then, as I was getting off at my stop, one of the remaining passengers caught my attention and thanked me. I smiled at her and gave a little shrug, and continued out the door.

That "thank you" is what this story is about. Sure, I spoke up, intervened in a small incident that I thought was going too far. I've already patted myself on the back, so consider that covered. This story is a pat on the back for the person who thanked me. I don't know her, and if I see her again on the subway I probably won't recognize her, so I can't pat her on the back in person. I needed that thank you. I needed someone saying, publicly, that they appreciated what I did. It made a hell of a difference in how I feel about that incident.

If you notice someone doing something nice for someone else today, being humane or considerate to a fellow human being, please thank them. The gods know that we really need to encourage that behavior in each other.

Thank you
What a great reminder on this Thursday. Imagine how much better off we would all be if we made a conscious effort to treat our fellow human beings with the dignity they all deserve? Join me in taking Bearpaw's last paragraph to heart.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

We are all Torturers

Beware, Eegee is one pissed off Latino right now.

Military officials gave a report detailing the torture that has occurred at the Guantanamo Bay prison in a hearing today before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

You want outrage? Here's outrage:

Interrogators subjected a suspected terrorist to abusive and degrading treatment, forcing him to wear a bra, dance with another man and behave like a dog, military investigators reported Wednesday, saying that justified their call for disciplinary action.

They said they recommended that Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller be reprimanded for failing to oversee his interrogation of the 9-11 suspect at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said he overruled their recommendation and will instead refer the matter to the Army's inspector general. Craddock concluded that Miller did not violate any U.S. laws or policies, according to officials familiar with the report.

AP via Yahoo


The Bush Administration is a failure.

The Republicans are unfit to govern.

Tell everyone you know that these fuckers are torturing people in our name AND refusing to hold anyone accountable.

Here is what they are doing in our name:

According to investigators:

_A Female interrogator in one case smeared what she described as menstrual blood -- it was fake -- on a prisoner, but they recommended no further action on the allegation because it happened some time ago. The woman was disciplined, investigators said.

_A Navy officer threatened one high-value prisoner by saying he would go after his family. This was in violation of U.S. military law, the investigation found.

_Military interrogators impersonated FBI and State Department agents. This practice was stopped after the FBI complained.

_Interrogators improperly used duct tape on a detainee. An FBI agent said a prisoner was bound on the head with duct tape, his mouth covered, because he was chanting verses from the Quran.

_Interrogators used cold, heat, loud music and sleep deprivation on prisoners to break their will to resist interrogation. These techniques were approved at certain times at Guantanamo.

_Chaining a detainee to the floor in a fetal position was not authorized; however, the investigation could not confirm an FBI agent's allegation that detainees were left in this position for long periods.

These are not allegations. They have now been officially reported to the United States Senate.

Now will you PLEASE sign the damned blogroll?

Hey Republicans - does Santorum speak for you?

Senator Kennedy calls for an apology. Why? Because of this:

Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, refused yesterday to back off on his earlier statements connecting Boston's ''liberalism" with the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal, saying that the city's ''sexual license" and ''sexual freedom" nurtured an environment where sexual abuse would occur.

''The basic liberal attitude in that area . . . has an impact on people's behavior," Santorum said in an interview yesterday at the Capitol.

''If you have a world view that I'm describing [about Boston] . . . that affirms alternative views of sexuality, that can lead to a lot of people taking it the wrong way," Santorum said.

(emphasis mine)

Santorum is a Senate leader for the Republicans. He speaks for his party.

When are the rank-and-file Republicans that I KNOW would disagree with this, going to speak up and say "No More!" Santorum is standing by his remarks, but he's a politician and will change his tune if enough of his constituents pipe up about it. How about it my Republican friends? Does Rick Santorum speak for you?


What's the point of this site? There are plenty of political blogs out there. This may sound selfish but it's the truth: it's all about me.

Each day I become more and more appalled at the state of our democracy in the United States. I have watched as our constitutional checks and balances are eroded, portions of our people are marginalized, and poverty continues to spread.

I am a bleeding heart liberal. I take it very personally when I see one of my fellow human beings being kicked around and used as targets for political points. Take your pic: homosexuals, muslims, illegal immigrants...the list goes on and on and on. I am sick of it.

My bullshit meter is very refined. Due to this, I can barely stomach anything that is spewed forth from the podium at the White House. Whether it's Scott McClellan or Bush himself, I know that I'm being fed a truck-load of manure with their political spin.

We are living in dangerous times and Bush has been a failed leader when it comes to ensuring that we do a better job of protecting ourselves. It is a farce to think he is strong on homeland security--take a look at the facts. The truth will destroy their lies.

I started this site to get my voice down on "paper". I don't really care if I get five or 500 hits in a day. I'm doing this because I care about my country. I yearn for the days when we can again proudly live up to this inscription that can be found on the Statue of Liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

What do you wanna see here?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Republicans Unfit to Govern

The Bush Administration, under the complete direction of Karl Rove, has been the dirtiest pack of politicians this country has seen in decades. They pull no punches when it comes to spreading lies and smear campaigns of their opponents. They have perfected the art of floating information to their media minions so their talking points will hit the radio and television airwaves and front pages of papers across the country.

The Republicans are unfit to govern. They may be skilled politicians, but each of them are failures at ensuring the survival of our democracy. Since George W. Bush took the oath of the Presidency in 2001, he and his "brain" Karl Rove have systematically worked to destroy opposition. They spit in the face of common ground initiatives and slit the throats of anyone who disagrees with their position. It's undemocratic and unAmerican.

As Karl Rove's demise starts to unfold, there is one important thing to remember: he is the Architect of George W. Bush's political life. Regardless of what the SpinMasters report, they are inseparable with regards to information sharing. What Karl knows, Bush knows. It's time for this country to shed the illusion that W is a "moral" leader; he is the most ruthless politician the United States has seen since Richard Nixon.

Just to reinforce my point:

Bush did not respond to a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he would fire Rove, in keeping with a June 2004 pledge to dismiss any leakers of Valerie Plame's identity.

At a White House briefing afterward, spokesman Scott McClellan was pressed about Rove's future.

"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence," McClellan said.

The White House said two years ago that Rove wasn't involved in the leak. According to a July 2003 e-mail that surfaced over the weekend, Rove told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper that the woman "apparently works" for the CIA. It added that the woman had authorized a trip to Africa by her husband, U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, to check out allegations that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger for nuclear weapons.

They are a bunch of liars. They set their agenda based on lies. This makes them unfit to govern.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Frogmarch Rovitt

No more parsing words, they are a bunch of liars.

For two years, the White House has insisted that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a CIA officer's identity. And President Bush said the leaker would be fired.

But Mr. Bush's spokesman wouldn't repeat any of those assertions Monday in the face of Rove's own lawyer saying his client spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified in a newspaper column.
It looks like the White House Press Corp finally woke up. Check out the rundown of questions, compiled by Bill in Portland Maine from Kos.

The legalistic implications of all this is still unclear, but politically it's fatal. The White House has been caught lying about this security breach with all of their spin documented in public record from interviews and press gaggles. Time to prepare those handcuffs.

[UPDATE] They did wake up. Karma is such a bitch, as demonstrated by the AP article.

And speaking of the B-word. Keith Olbermann gets the Bitchslap-of-the-Day Award.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

More Guantanamo Outrage

crossposted at Booman Tribune

The commanding officer of Guantanamo Bay prison was relieved from duty on July 9th due to "allegations of inappropriate management practices" [Duh!]

From the Boston Globe:

The officer, Captain Leslie J. McCoy, who had commanded Guantanamo since March 2003, was the subject of an investigation into inappropriate personnel and administrative practices unrelated to the base's detention camp for suspected terrorists.


McCoy was relieved of his duties Saturday by Rear Admiral Annette E. Brown, the region commander, who had ''lost confidence in his ability to effectively lead," Dooling said.

The military is already trying to spin this as being unrelated to detainee practices. They are refusing to give any details to the "allegations", but they are obviously strong enough to merit a transfer.

It's not a secret that the United States is using torture practices to extract information from "terrorists". We are seeing widespread deterioration of our justice system as a result of the Republican Administration. How do they respond? By pretending that there isn't a problem.

Inmates from the US-led war on terror held at the prison camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are well treated, play outdoor sports, and have access to a broad Muslim-approved menu, a US senator who traveled to the site said.

US Senator Pat Roberts, a conservative Republican from Kansas, said on "Fox News Sunday" that he just returned from visiting the Guantanamo detention site.

"They have a Muslim menu down there of 113 dishes," said Roberts, chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I saw them playing soccer. I saw them playing ping-pong. I saw them playing ... I think it was volleyball," he said.

AFP via Yahoo - emphasis mine

Face it folks, we will continue to torture people until enough of us call for change. We have to summon the energy to fight back hard against the spin.


Well, here's a good start for a rebuttal: "They're not all guilty in Guantanamo"

The Pentagon has determined four more prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, no longer pose much of a threat and plans to release them, a senior official said Friday.

No information on those four was available. The State Department is making arrangements to send them to their home countries, said Rear Adm. James M. McGarrah, who oversees the reviews of prisoners and whether they should remain at Guantanamo, told reporters at the Pentagon.

Their fate was determined by a quasi-judicial process called an administrative review board, which the Pentagon created after human rights groups complained about the indefinite nature of the detentions at the U.S. naval base.

LA Times - emphasis mine

Keep fighting everyone! We're making a difference. For starters, add your name to the list here. Make a stand for justice.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Site Update

I'm working on an overhaul of the site to make it "mine" rather than a blogspot template. I hope to have it done this week and will be blogging more regularly afterwards.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Fourth of July Action Alert -- Guantanamo Bay

Click on the flag to read about a blogger coalition that is uniting to end the torture that is being done in our name. I have been ranting for months about this issue and am proud to stand with other Americans to say "NO MORE!"

This campaign is being done in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights and will culminate in a 4th of July rally in New York City. Details are at the link.

If you would like to join the coalition, please email Susanhu at

For further reading and action items:

Torture is NEVER right. Take a stand today and join us in our campaign to stop it immediately.

Peace, Pace, Pax, Pacem y Paz,
Man Eegee

No more delay for DeLay

The House of Representatives has been operating under a neutered Ethics Committee for the past few months due to the Republicans insistence that they put party loyalty over their constitutional duties. Not anymore:

Leaders of the House ethics committee broke through a months-long stalemate over staffing Thursday, making it possible to investigate Majority Leader Tom DeLay and conduct other business.

The evenly divided committee, which investigates member misconduct, has been shut down all year by partisan bickering.

Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and senior Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia negotiated the agreement. The key part of the deal would allow personal staff aides to the leaders to be their liaisons to the committee's nonpartisan professional staff — but have no managerial responsibilities.


While Democratic leaders have called for an investigation of DeLay, the GOP leader has accused Democrats of trying to stall ethics committee operations to ensure an investigation lasts into 2006 — an election year.

DeLay was admonished on three separate issues last year by the committee, formally called the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

With the agreement, the committee can now take advantage of extra funds it was allotted this year to hire additional investigative staff, including a chief counsel who also would serve as staff director.

Accountability is a funny thing. It's like a shadow; always following you. Eventually a big spotlight is shown in your direction, causing it to grow as tall as a Halliburton skyscraper.

DeLay's time is coming. He will not be able to escape his shady dealings for much longer.