Friday, March 31, 2006
Posting Like the Dickens
I'm off to a much needed weekend get-away. Will try to post but if it doesn't happen, please make allowance for my inattention.
In the meantime, news is kinna light today but I tried to make all the points that needed making from my perspective.
Poor Sap, He Just Doesn't Get It
Trolling through LexisNexis for the latest news, I found an op-ed by a fellow Cuban in the Houston Chronicle. The poor guy just doesn't get it. Folks in Texas don't like Spics; and it doesn't matter if you're Cuban with a grandpappy from the Old World.
To more than a few Texans, if you're a Latino, you're either a wetback or a Spic or both; even if you never crossed the Rio Grande, you, too, are eligible for their hateful slurs.
Oh yes, the writer's letter took me back to happy joyous days of living in the Bayou City with Southern charm and their narrow-minded scorching jokes.
Well, here's what Señor Pete Herrada had to say, beginning with his declaration that he has mistakenly been identified as a Mexican. The horror. THE HORROR.
Where has this guy been living?!? Listen to any conversation for more than a few minutes in Texas, and you'll hear racist slurs, racist jokes and racist comments about some wetback or foreigner or other ethnic minority.
It is unsettling to me when immigration policy is the issue of the day. I am fully in support of the rule of law, and illegal immigration is not acceptable, no matter how you view it. What I have a problem with is the nagging feeling that some will use this to justify their anti-Latino sentiments.
Texans are equal opportunity bigots. For Italians, their pet names is either Diego or Wop; English, Limey; Mexican, Wetback; Cajun, Coonass; Spanish, Spic; Jew, Hebe; African-American, Nigger; Northerners, Damn Yankees; Arabs, Sand Nigger; Vietnamese, Gook.
Have I left anyone out...?
My fellow Cuban is obviously living in full denial. Although his clan may run things in Miami, it's quite a different story in the Lone Star State; and I'm sure it's quite a shock to his system to have to hear disparaging remarks about his ethnic roots.
Let's hear what else my new amigo has to say on the subject.
Oh dear, dear Pedro, er, I mean Pete. People in Texas don't give a rat's ass about Fidel Castro; to them he might as well be Zorro; and yes, that's commendable that you were in the Marine Corps, but hell, probably half the volunteers from Texas fighting in Iraq are minorities.
I am a first-generation Cuban-American born of immigrant parents who were granted asylum from Fidel Castro's Cuba.
I am also a Marine Corps veteran who is fiercely loyal to this country. But in Texas, I am a Mexican.
I say clean up immigration law, deport criminals and let hardworking people of all racial and cultural backgrounds prosper or fail, according to their abilities.
To the demonstrating students: Go back to class, where you can truly make a difference for your families.
Tell me why anyone should care more about your plight than the thousands upon thousands of Mexican-American soldiers who are discriminated against when they return from service?!?
Bigots don't need to justify anything to be bigots. They're red, white and blue baby; born in the USA; yes, born in the USA and so was their daddy and their daddy's daddy, or at least that's what they claim and no one is around to say any different.
Vicente Fox Says Ten Years From Now US Will Beg for Mexican Workers
Hell, if the nutwings in the House of Congress have their way, they'll be begging a lot sooner. But be that as it may, Mexican President Vicente Fox met with Pres. George Bush today to talk-up the immigration problem.
Meaning, the fact that corporate America likes cheap labor but doesn't like the bad P/R.
NewsMax, that beacon of hope for nutwings reports Fox reaffirmed earlier comments made a few weeks ago that Yankees should be careful with what they wish for.
"I dare say that in 10 years, the U.S. will be begging, will be pleading with Mexico to send it workers," said Fox, who meets with President Bush in Cancun today to discuss what he calls the "migration" problem.And indeed, Fox has a warning for the Tandredos and Matthews and Dobsons of the world.
Yes, all this mumbo-jumbo about illegal aliens of late is just a red herring to try to get Whitey to vote for Republicans.
"Let's put it this way," he told MSNBC's Rita Cosby. "[The] U.S. economy will need additional labor than what they have, because population growth in United States is not growing."
Fox said he foresaw the day when his country's excess labor pool would dry up.
"Mexico will level off it's population by year 2030," he explained. "Mexico will never pass 130 - 135 million people and then it will level-off so we won't have that kind of energy that youth, but more so, we will need them here in Mexico to sustain our
retirement, pension families which will be many."
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Liar, Liar, Matthews Mouth is on Fire
Jolly, jolly, jolly, with Chris Matthews of MSNBC and Lou Dobbs of CNN, is it any wonder Americans wrongly believe Latinos cost US taxpayers $$$?!?
This is probably the same crowd who to this day believes Sadam Hussein was reponsible for 9/11 with indubitable links to Al Qaeda.
Hay Dios Mio, well here's a few factual morsels for the "idiotos."
Hispanic businesses and Latino workers are major contributors to the US economy; and they help to keep social security afloat.
Don't believe me?!?
Well, last year the Census Bureau reports that Latinos generated $222 billion in revenue; that rights, billion, nine zeroes behind the number.
The spurious argument that foreign workers cost states money should be debunked by every abled-body American.
Think about it, besides school for their mostly US-born kids, what else do states have to pay?!?
Health care?!? Nope.
Food stamps?!? Nope.
Roads? They collect gasoline and retail taxes.
Where, please tell me, is this overpowering cost coming from?!?
But let's just say for the sake of argument that initial outlay for illegal immigrants is more than any taxes collected, eventually the vast majority earn enough wages, pay enough taxes, buy enough goods and services, and contribute to the economy by far more than the state's initial costs.
Digby of Hullaboo writes today that Matthews is once again lying about the subject; he totally misstated a recent poll to shill for his side of the argument.
I guess if you can't argue the facts, argue the law; and if you can't argue the law, argue the facts; and if you can't argue either, LIE your head off.
Matthews falsely claimed that 71 percent of Americans said in a recent survey that illegal immigration was their number one concern.
That's right; the poor frightened Gringos are more concerned about Juanita and Julito than they are about health care, the war in Iraq, terrorism in the homeland, skyrocketing gas prices, and so on.
As it turns out, Matthews at least got the figure right, the number is 71 percent, but it's got nothing to do with the public's number one priority.
What the folks actually said was that "the single most important foreign policy issue is globalization and outsourcing."
No ambiguities, just the facts.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
US Threatens Nigeria
What is it with this administration?!?
Isn't it enough that we've threatened Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Palestine, Belarus, Indonesia and Syria within a mere 30 days? Now we have to go and threaten Nigeria?!?.
Reuters reports the US has warned Nigeria that they better turn over former Liberian president Charles Taylor to LIberia or face "consequences."
Liberia is demanding that the former tyrant/president be returned to his country to face charges of war crimes, but Nigeria says they have no idea where Taylor is.
Not that Howling Latina is siding with Taylor; the man is a brutal killer. Yet the United States has little moral authority on the subject of harboring suspected terrorists.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan would not say whether President George W. Bush would still meet with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as scheduled on Wednesday.
"Right now we are looking for answers from the Nigerian government about the whereabouts of Charles Taylor," McClellan said.
Nearly a year ago, suspected terrorist Luis Posada Carriles crossed the Mexican border and showed up in the United States; he currently bunks at a detention center in El Paso, Texas.
Carriles is suspected of "masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people in Venezuela." The US is trying to find a country to accept him but so far, no takers. Venezuela wants to extradite him and bring him to justice.
Meanwhile back at the White House, everyone had been primping for the soon-to-arrive Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. Associated Press reports that news Taylor had disappeared was reported by the Liberian government only an hour before Obasanjo left with his entourage headed for Washington.
How many countries is the US going to threaten?!? Considering how we're up to our eyeballs in debt and our military is way overextended in Iraq, not to mention all the torture and killing on our side of the ledger, what can we really do?!?
We're a toothless tiger who can only growl; and claw a few hapless pigeons along the way.
Darn, I lost another One to a Bushie Toady
Former Republican National Chairman and current treasurer of Sen. George Allen’s presidential, er, I mean senatorial PAC Good Government for America, Ed Gillespie, was rumored to be a candidate for Andy Card’s gig at the White House.
But...he’ll have to trot along our favorite Virginia goober for just a tad longer. Today the White House announced White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card resigned and Joshua B. Bolten, a long-time Bush aide going to back to Texas, will be his replacement.
That Texas crowd is like the Corleone family. You have to be Sicilian to join their Longhorn Mafia.
Or maybe they're ticked off 'cause Gillespie is backing the wrong steer.
One bit of gossip for you single gals; Bolten use to hang out with movie starlet of "10" fame Bo Derek; and he's SINGLE.
A story about Virginia transportation in the Washington Post reports Sen. Mark Warner's favorable remarks on Gov. Tim Kaine's proposal to solve the vexing problem of traffic in a story this morning.
The front-page Metro story starts with the following lede, "Sen. John W. Warner warned Monday that Virginia will lose federal money if the state fails to reach a budget deal that increases funding for road and transit projects."
The article then writes a brief summary of background, legislators are in a special session because they couldn't agree how to fund future road and transit needs during the regular session in Richmond last month; and then continues the story by noting and quoting:
Now here's a few comestibles from the Associated Press via Daily Press regarding the very same story.
Warner, the state's senior Republican senator, praised Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for proposing a $1 billion tax increase and challenged members of his party in the legislature to reach a compromise that allows Virginia to receive the maximum amount in federal matching funds.
It is really up to our distinguished speaker of the House and the majority leader in the Senate and others to sit down and show a measure of political courage to resolve it," Warner told reporters after a meeting with Kaine and other members of Virginia's congressional delegation. "The people of Virginia deserve no less."
Nary a peep about Warner's strong warning in the AP story until almost the very end.
New legislative session, same result: no action on a new two-year budget, much less a transportation package.
Neither the House nor the Senate advanced new budgets to fund state operations from July 1 into the summer of 2008.
With no word of when the House Appropriations Committee will even address the new spending blueprint, the House adjourned Monday and sent its members home until further notice.
On Monday, members of the state's congressional delegation urged the House and Senate to agree on a transportation package or risk forfeiting billions of dollars in matching federal highway funds. "I support the governor's leadership, and it is clearly up to our distinguished speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate and others to sit down and show a measure of political courage to resolve it," said U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, a Republican.Now here's the tricky part; it seems Warner did not specifically endorse Kaine's proposal; although the Post reports he "praised it" and "challenged" the House to find a "compromise."
On Monday, members of the state's congressional delegation urged the House and Senate to agree on a transportation package or risk forfeiting billions of dollars in matching federal highway funds.
Keep in mind that most small town newspapers across the commonwealth publish stories written and framed by the Associated Press.
So what sayeth the Associated Press about the risk of loss of funding and the impasse?!?
Here is how they characterized it:
Neither Warner nor fellow Sen. George Allen, a Republican, voiced a preference for the House or Senate plan, however.And then for good measure, they sprinkle a few insipid and innocuous remarks by Sen. George Allen that add absolutely nothing to the story except to show how worthless he is.
"Both the proposals--the House and Senate proposals--have a significant increase in revenues, and it will all get worked out. I'm confident of it," Allen said after he and his congressional colleagues met for the first time with Kaine in the Executive Mansion.Yea, we know all about certitudes by Republicans. But how about the fact that "Virginia could lose its federal road funds" as the Post headlines?!?
Monday, March 27, 2006
New Friends in Virginia
The Virginian-Pilot reports today that many of the companies that bankrolled Kilgore’s campaign for governor beat a hasty retreat after he lost and chipped in to help towards the costs of festivities for Kaine's inauguration.
Amazing, win an election and they’re lining up like show dogs at Minstrel; lose, and nobody remembers you.
Amerigroup Corp., a Virginia Beach-based managed health care company, gave the
Kilgore campaign $121,000, one of its biggest contributions, while giving
nothing to Kaine, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks
campaign finance data statewide.
The company, however, later gave $50,000 to Kaine’s inaugural committee, making Amerigroup one of Kaine ’s top donors. All told, Kaine’s inauguration committee collected $3.1 million, according to VPAP.
Maybe this coming election cycle, corporate Virginia will be a little more charitable towards our Democratic brethren. No longer are Republican victories preordained, which brings to mind that old song from the Broadway musical hit, Cabaret. “Everybody loves a winner, so nobody loved me.”
Start winning and everyone is your bestest pal; lose a few elections, and you’re on the outside looking in.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Hundreds of Thousands Demonstrate Against Immigrant Legislation
Half a million Latinos marched in Los Angeles to protest legislation making its way through Congress, and every major US newspaper as well as international media reported the story on Sunday.
The would-be law that suffered the odium of so many Latinos criminalizes "undocumented" immigrants; and the rally organizer, Javier Rodriguez, said that "demonstrators wanted an immigration system that was humane and not racist."
BBS via Truthout writes:
Republicans are making a monumental mistake if they think that their 2004 electoral success can easily transfer to the wedge issue du jour, immigration.
The House of Representatives...passed a bill that would make it a felony for immigrants to be in the US illegally.
The Senate is set to discuss the bill on Tuesday. President George Bush has proposed a guest-worker plan.
Lou Dobbs and Chris Matthews notwithstanding, this Latina Democrat can only say, "Bring it on."
With a huge portion of Latinos safely ensconced in society, the national party is going to go the way the California Republican Party did during the 90s, down the toilet.
Let's keep in mind all those millions of Latino voters in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Illinois and Pennsylvania; a swing of one or two points in a close election can bring about a majority in the House and Senate for Democrats.
Just last year, the Census Bureau reported that "the number of U.S. businesses owned by Hispanics rose by almost a third between 1997 and 2002, three times the average growth rate for all businesses."
Yep. "The number of Hispanic businesses rose [by] 1.6 million, generating about $222 billion in revenue."
Put that figure in your pipe and smoke it, Señor Minuteman, Al Garza. So typical for a minority self-loathing idiot to join the enemy and pray for dispensation. Meanwhile back at the pueblecito, wonder what my fellow Cubans in Miami think about all this foreign Xenophobic hysteria?!?
Holy Cow Mason is Going to the Final Four
George Mason University from Fairfax, Virginia won.
Leading UConn with less than one minute to play in overtime, 84-82, the final score was 86-84.
At one point in the game, Mason trailed by as many as 12 points.
The Associated Press via Washington Post reports that only one other 11th seeded team has ever reached the Final Four. The other team was Louisiana State University in 1986; and no, Shaquille O'Neal wasn't even on the team; he didn't arrive until 1989.
During the Madness the Patriots beat the last two national champions Connecticut and North Carolina.
It seems presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain has earned the collective scorn and ire of conservatives for his signature legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act.This morning an urgent alert about our First Amendment rights came across computer screens via NewsMax, that beacon of freedom of speech except for the faithless, unpatriotic infidels who oppose the Iraq War; or the Michael Moores of the world.
The good folks at NewsMax are asking voters to rise up against the tyranny of "John McCain and a few power-hungry Washington politicians [that] apparently don't believe in freedom of speech."
You see, this single bill has quelched the right for issue-oriented law abiding groups like the National Rifle Association or the National Right to Life Committee to sponsor ad campaigns right before elections.
They want to abridge it and abridge it and abridge it - until people like you and me are bound and gagged and helpless.
That way, only government-approved folks like the New York Times or CBS News will be able to criticize politicians and analyze campaign issues without risking a stiff fine or an all-expenses-paid vacation to a federal prison.
At the nerve center of the most recent call-to-arms is a decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that any exception to the Internet violated the law, in a split with prior Federal Election Commission ruling.
The House immediately passed a bill to overturn the ruling without a committee vote, which then required a two-thirds majority, failed, worked out the kinks and is back before the House where now only a simple majority is needed.
A similar bill has also been introduced in the Senate.
Of course, the NewsMax alert happily notes the judge was a Clinton appointee; but when NewsMax asks that we "demand" our First Amenments rights to be "affirmed," it is notable they make no distinction between McCain, Feingold or "other liberal incumbents" miscreants who went to Court to close the Internet loophole.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
A Lesson to the Supremes
In a verbal poke in the eye at Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Scalia and Thomas, the Supreme Court decided this week in a 5-3 decision that evidence without a warrant is inadmissible in the court of law; and as long as one occupant does not give permission to police, it doesn’t matter if another party does so.
Scott F. Randolph of Americus, Ga., was charged of cocaine possession after his wife called the police and the officers searched the home, even though Randolph expressly negated his wife’s prior permission. Evidence was stricken from the trial.
The Washington Times wrote that "the state trial court [had] denied his motion to supress the evidence," but the Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court overturned the decision and ruled that a warrantless search is invalid if one occupant denies permission it, whether a second occupant gives consent or not.
The New York Times reported Souter wrote for the majority: "Scott Randolph's refusal is clear, and nothing in the record justifies the search on grounds independent of Janet Randolph's consent," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority. He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.”
Chief Justice Roberts said the result of the majority's conclusion "is a complete lack of practical guidance for the police in the field, let alone for the lower courts." Justice Antonin Scalia joined the chief justice's dissent and wrote one of his own, as didRoberts argued the majority ruling failed to consider how the finding might affect future police action if “a third household occupant” becomes embroiled in a similar situation.
Justice Clarence Thomas.
In spite of his lofty rank, Justice Souter bluntly told the second to newest justice, “We decide the case before us, not a different one."
Ouch…Now there is a strict constructionist!
In the latest Survey USA poll, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., has a 51 percent approval rate. Not exactly the popular senator media hypes him to be; only a year ago, The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote about the "hugely popular" Allen in an article in April.
Well, here's a bit of reality based approval ratings for Allen for the past 11 months.
May (48 percent) June (53 percent) July (54 percent) August (52 percent) September (53 percent) October (49 percent) November (53 percent) December (59 percent) January (56 percent) February (51 percent) March (51 percent.)
Even though the "do-nothing" Republicans in Richmond have tried to sabatage Kaine's key transportation plan at every turn, our great governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, has a 53 percent approval rate.
States with governors running in 2006 are Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.
The governors in dire peril are Republican Frank Murkowski of Alaska with an anemic 29 percent approval rate; and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California with 36 percent approval rate;
Republican Gov. George Pataki is saying good bye to New York with a 45 percent approval rate. Republican Mitt Romney is lucky he's running for president instead of re-election as governor of Massassachusetts with a 42 percent approval rate. Disgraced Republican Gov. Bob Taft is leaving office with a dismal 17 percent approval rate.
The Democratic governors who face an uphill re-election fight are Rod Blagojevich of Illinois with only a 44 percent approval rate and under the radar gun of prosecutor extraordinaire Patrick Fitzgerald. John Badacci of Maine with only 39 percent of voter approval rate. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan with a 45 percent approval rate. And Ted Kulongoski of Oregon at 26 percent who faces primary challengers that hopefully will take him out; even though Kulongoski is a former labor lawyer, major federal and state unions have either sat out the primary or endorsed his primary opponents.
Things also don't look too good for Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., who is up for re-election in the fall and has a 45 percent approval rate; or Sen. Michael DeWine, R-Ohio with a 46 percent approval rate; or Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., with 38 percent, or Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn. at 43 percent.
The only Democrats up for re-election under 50 percent are Sen Bill Nelson of Florida with a 49 percent approval rate; but he's still 6 points higher than the junior Republican senator, Mel Martinez. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan at 48 percent. Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota at 48 percent, 7 points higher than a year ago. And Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey at 48 percent.
Lucky for some Republican senators they don't have to face voters in November, such as Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky with a 39 percent approval rate; or John Cornyn, R-Texas who has a 44 percent approval rate.
All is forgiven in Louisiana for Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu with a 53 percent approval rate. Not so lucky for her Democratic sister, Gov. Kathleen Blanco with a 34 percent approval rate.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Another One Bites the Dust...
And another one...
Probecito niñito, looks like little Ben lasted but mere days at his new home, the Washington Post.
After DailyKos and Atrios outed Domenech for stealing passages from Salon and others, looks like he opted to resign and spend more time with his family.
Oh my bad, that's right, he's not married, he's only 24 years old; well, then to spend more time with his dog.
The Washington Post reports:
This is what you reap when you have failed to sow. The Washington Post, in their reckless rush to hire the "right" face behind a conservative byline, based their criteria on factors having little to do with bona fide credentials.
Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, which operates independently from the newspaper, said he would have dismissed Domenech if the former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer had not offered to quit first. He said there was "enough smoke" in the allegations of plagiarism "that we needed to sever the relationship."
Brady said his staff did "a fair amount of checking" into Domenech's background before the hiring but that "we could have and should have done a better job."
This latest fiasco shows progressives that yes, Great America, there is a God of justice. Try to hire a hack to counter a journalist, and this is what HAPPENS!
With the brim pulled way down low
Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go
Are you hangin' on the edge of your seat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat, yeah
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust, hey
Hey, I'm gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
How do you think I'm going to get along
Without you when you're gone
You took me for everything that I had
And kicked me out on my own
Are you happy, are you satisfied
How long can you stand the heat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat, look out
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust, ow
Another one bites the dust, hey hey
Another one bites the dust, he-e-ey
There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man
And bring him to the ground
You can beat him, you can cheat him, you can treat him bad
And leave him when he's down, yeah
But I'm ready, yes I'm ready for you
I'm standing on my own two feet
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
Repeating to the sound of the beat
A Secret may have been Revealed
Maybe nothing has changed and Boeing has always sponsored "Meet the Press," but it wasn't until today that I noticed my handy-dandy e-mail from NBC touting their upcoming Sunday show courtesy of their wonderful sponsor, The Boeing Company with an even handier link; oh, and their 153,000 proud employees, of course.
Call me a cynic, but could it be that the reason pundits and public officials are increasingly right/center, right or ultra-wingnuts is because of the generous advertising bounty from defense contractors like Boeing?!?
I'm just asking...
Meet the Press
This coming Sunday guests will include Secretary of State Condoleeaza Rice, columnist David Broder of the Washington Post, White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times, columnist Charlie Cook of The The National Journal and editor of the Political Report and columnist John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal and chief Washington correspondent of CNBC.
Well boys and girls...expect a real gabfest.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Accustomed to seeing Bond movies and Russians with bad accents as arch villains, or Arab terrorists on Fox's 24 as the updated version of evil, it's alarming to note how pop culture in other countries increasingly portrays Americans as the bad guys.
During clashes between countries and cultures, each side often sees reality through their nationalistic rose-colored glasses; and so true to form, the Washington Post writes this morning about the new unfavorable light our government is depicted in Muslim plays, movies and television.
In "The Night Baghdad Fell," a new popular film in Egypt, the United States comes across as the Ugly American. In the plot, loomings of imminent US invasion prompt a teacher to recruit his former student to save Egypt by building a weapon to stop the intrusion; but alas, the weapon fails as the hash smoking would-be soldier dreams about wild sex with Condoleezza Rice on his wedding night.
Can you think of anything so gross?!? Even Egyptians feel the sentiment goes too far; but the point is, America is not very well liked.
It seems during the last couple of years, Americans have started to be depicted as "bullies, rapists and mindless killers." And that's on the light side. In story after story thread, "yanks emerge as [the] bad guys," with one play using ushers dressed as "wild-eyed" Marines, and another one blowing up the Statue of Liberty.
Yes, "We're the heavies," the Post admonishes.
Guess we shouldn't complain too loudly in light of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA secret renditions, and Lord only knows what else. In the meantime, Americans continue to churn out evildoers to comport with our national sensitivities. The Middle East is just catching up to our nationalistic creation of others.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
This is the title of an article in Ohmy News which posted one entry from the award-winning blog by an Iraqi woman.
In her entry, she talks about life in Baghdad after the American invasion, and the living hell that is her life.
She writes, "It has been three years since the beginning of the war that marked the end of Iraq's independence. Three years of occupation and bloodshed."
This partial entry reflects the sad tale about American incompetence. No flowers for this bunch of idiots.
Three years and the electricity is worse than ever. The security situation has gone from bad to worse. The country feels like it's on the brink of chaos once more -- but a pre-planned, pre-fabricated chaos being led by religious militias and zealots.
School, college and work have been on again, off again affairs. It seems for every two days of work/school, there are five days of sitting at home waiting for the situation to improve. Right now college and school are on hold because the "arba3eeniya" or the "40th Day" is coming up -- more black and green flags, mobs of men in black and latmiyas. We were told the children should try going back to school next Wednesday. I say "try" because prior to the much-awaited parliamentary meeting a couple of days ago, schools were out. After the Samarra mosque bombing, schools were out. The children have been at home this year more than they've been in school.
As most Americans live their privileged lives without giving the war a second thought, Iraqis live in a world turned upside down by the weight of giant boulders of ineptitude. From beginning to now: poor judgment, faulty intelligence, feeble planning, poor execution and ultimately, worthless assurance of competence.
Words from Dr. Shrink
From time to time, Carmen G., a clinical psychologist will post on Howling Latina. Here are her thoughts.
On this third anniversary of the war in Iraq, we pause to reflect, what does this conflict mean to us? How are we touched or impacted as individuals, as a society?
In my work as a clinical psychologist, I am constantly working with individuals to find their voice, not just any voice, but a voice that is just and balanced.
Do we not teach others to try to "work through conflicts" with the spirit of resolve and contact? Is righteousness, vindictiveness and anger superior to peace, cooperation and resolve?
I find that most of us are bombarded with anger reflected in people screaming at each other. As one client said to me "I just tune off. I can't listen to all the anger;" and another who said "I just turn off the news. I can't listen to all the bad news."
So on this anniversary, let's take a moment and contemplate, how do we turn people back on? How do we empower individuals to believe that they individually and collectively can make a difference?
"Oblique to the heart, the word a man seeks Seldom comes to life in a tongue of flame From the grate of silence where anger dreams And stutters in embers thought cannot reach." John O'Donohue
George Mason upset University of North Carolina, 65-60 and joins basketball elites as a Sweet 16 team.
The Washington Post reports GMU is the "first Colonial Athletic Association team to reach the round of 16 since 1988." They will meet Wichita State at Verizon Center a mere 22 miles away from Patriot Center next Friday night.
Since Wichita State was supposed to lose to second ranked Tennessee, you have two upstarts playing against each other.
Third Year Anniversary of Iraqi Invasion
Today marks the third year anniversary of the Bush War in Iraq; and if one closely reads the tea leaves, one is witnessing Cheney and neocon policies finally being discarded.
The shock and awe we felt when we watched America march to war as if it were a Fourth of July procession with spectacular fireworks as a backdrop set off of a deadly series of events still unfolding today.
Like everything about this administration, the latest news out of the White House about Iraq is disjoined. One minute the US is on the march with Operation Swarm, and Ken Mehlman is scolding Democratic leaders who would cut and run; and in the next breath, the administration is blessing a 10-member panel headed by the Bush family consigliere, James Baker, "to take a fresh look" to see how the US can extricate itself from Iraq.
You almost feel sorry for the sacrificial administration mouthpiece, such as Gen. George Casey on "Meet the Press," when sent on a mission that may have been dumped with old talking points; par for the course, send a soldier to war without proper armor.
Only this morning Casey bravely continued to spout about the "great progress" the US is making in Iraq; but make no mistake about it, something is going on inside the White House. Cheney and Rumsfeld have fallen from grace, the question is how far was their fall.
The big boys are back in town; like days of old, Bush needs daddy and his friends to bail him out; and truth to the dope is back in vogue. Or as in the words of the consummate diplomat Baker, to render the administration “an honest assessment of where we are and how we go forward..."
Even the folks at Fox know when Bush calls the big boys back to town, it's Katy-bar-the-door. And with no exit strategy, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., on the same program would have none of the happy stale talk.
Murtha rightfully referred to the war as Bush's War; and waved off Tim Russert's attempt to rattle his purpose by calling attention to administration efforts to sway public opinion by slandering war critics and referring to them as as partisan hacks.
Murtha said, "You can’t win this with rhetoric...This should not be political. When I go by the graveyard over there at Arlington, it doesn’t say Democrat or Republican, it says American. When I look at the graveyards, the veterans graveyards all over the world, it doesn’t say Democrat or Republican, it says American."
Murtha exposed how the administration parses data to project progress; the devil is in the details. So when Bush and his cronies brag about how Iraqi government controls over 75 percent of Iraq, here's what Murtha has to say on the subject:
But did W. wait too long to call on his father to rescue his failed presidency?
[O]ne of the commanders said 75 percent of the country is going to be under control of the Iraqis and 75 percent of it is desert? I mean, give me a break. That’s part of the problem.
[T]hey said not long we’re going to have 75 percent of the country controlled by Iraqis. Well, I, I flew for an hour and 15 minutes over desert, wasn’t a soul—and that’s, that’s the territory I guess they’re talking about because in the Sunni Triangle, which is 40 percent of, of the country, the incidents have increased, unemployment’s 60 percent; in Anbar Province, the province that I visited, unemployment is 90 percent. So I don’t see the progress that they’re portraying and I don’t understand how they can continue to say that and the American public understands that and we understand it.
Personally, I hope not; we need someone with political gravitas to tell Bush to sit down, quit throwing out orders and let the real thinking-men figure a way out of the quagmire.
Too late for the fall elections; but hopefully not too late for our soldiers in Iraq.
Eleventh ranked George Mason University plays number three North Carolina today at the University of Dayton (Ohio) Arena at 2:20 p.m.
In the Washington Metropolitan Area WUSA (Channel 9) and WJZ (Channel 13) will televise the game.
The Washington Post has key matchups between the two schools and reports an interesting side note. Assistant coat Scott Cherry of George Mason was a member of the 1993 North Carolina team that won the national championship.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela made good on his promise to deliver cheap oil to American households in economically depressed areas.
BBC News reports Chavez is "pumping goodwill" in New England with his oil tankers dropping off heating oil at reduced prices from Citgo, Venezuela's government-owned oil company.
It's a crying shame when the world's wealthiest nation refuses to take care of its own people and a Latin American country has to come in and do the job. Meanwhile, American oil companies wallow in riches.
There is snow on the ground in Maine and the temperatures are plummeting. This is where Mr Chavez is launching his latest front in his cold war against the president of the United States.
Among those people who are directly benefiting - like pensioners Malcolm and Mary Lyons - there is no doubting their appreciation for President Chavez.
It's very comforting," she says. "I think it's a wonderful gesture. Thanks to the Venezuelan people to make this all happen to us."
In an absolute must read story, In These Times via Buzz Flash highlights the recent win in Virginia by Mark Herring,
It also lists the recent string of victories by Democrats in other special state elections, and why Democrats are poised to take back the House in the fall; and yes, maybe even the Senate.
No longer a dream, the article lists recent special elections that portend a run at the table by Democrats at the polls.
Focus on Iraq at "Meet the Press"
A little late with the announcement, but Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., and Gen. George Casey, Commander of the American forces will be guests on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.
Casey has been a Rumseld mouthpiece with his "everything is hunky-dory in Iraq if only the press would stop reporting all the bombings, killing and chaos" meme.
Murtha, on the other hand, has called for the US to withdraw military troops out of Iraq.
This will make quite an interesting display of babble, deception and bullshit versus reality.
World Baseball Classic Final Four
Team USA lost to Mexico on Thursday 2-1, and was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic. Roger Clemens, 43, was the losing pitcher and hinted he may have pitched his last game.
The US will now host the "final round of the tournament in San Diego this weekend." Here are the final four teams:
Cuba (4-2) plays Dominican Republic (5-1). Cuba lost to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Cuba has won the last nine World Cups.
Dominican Republic lost to Puerto Rico.
Korea (6-0) plays Japan (3-3). Japan lost twice to Korea and once to Team USA.
Friday, March 17, 2006
The Patriots upset sixth-seed Michigan 76-65.
What a great night of victories; first James Webb and now my alma mater.
The Washington Post reports the 11th seeded Pats won by hitting "59 percent of their shots from the field (29-of-49)."
So much for those naysayers who said George Mason didn't belong in the tournament; and this without guard Tony Skinn who was suspended for one game for "punching an opponent."
Each of its previous three trips in 1989, 1999 and 2001, George Mason lost in the first round, but not this time around!
Onward faithful soldiers to RCA Dome.
Update: George Mason will play the Tarheels on Sunday with karma on their side. Today the women Tarheels, the third seed, lost to 10th ranked University of Miami.
Bush Despised by Many in Latin America
Last week, the LA Times wrote an op-ed about the administration's failed attempt to demonize Chavez with the people of Latin America.
It almost seems as if the more names Bush uses for Chavez, such as "demagogue, strongman or would-be dictator," the more beloved he becomes, and like the mythical hero Odysseus who overcame the Sirens, the venom only adds to the legend that is becoming "Chavez."
The editorial pointed out that the Venezuelan president is "immensely popular in Latin America because he is a democratically elected populist who is sharing his nation's wealth with his people (and ours), and he's using it to cut the purse strings to U.S. credit sources."
With the recent rash of left/center presidents elected in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and possibly next month in Peru, Chavez has lots of friends in his neck of the woods.
That's a good thing for them -- and for us in the long run. The U.S. has long favored brutal right-wing dictators over democratic leaders.
Bush is squandering our influence there, and, in 20 years, people will ask, "Who lost Latin America?" The answer will be clear: George W. Bush.
Instead of trying to oust Chavez and tell Latin America how they should run their affairs, especially after centuries of destructive colonial policies that created immense poverty, the U.S. should just get over herself; and the bad old days when they ruled the roost. The new boys and gals have a new way of doing business.
George Allen Kindles Fire for Election Day Straw Man
Since Sen. George 'Gomer Pyle' Allen hasn't really done anything for Virginians while in office during the last five years, he's now trying to stoke political flares with wet matches from the book of Republican wedge issues.
Everytime we hear Allen say something about anything, it's about immigration. The LA Times quotes him this morning declaring: "We need to invest in technology, heat sensors and a virtual fence -- unmanned drones that can patrol the border and use infrared sensors to detect people crossing at night."
And only last weekend during the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Allen gave a toothy smile and then chawed off the head of his favorite strawman.
Protecting our homeland also means securing our borders. And securing our borders is the first principle of immigration reform. And the second principle is, you do not reward illegal behavior with amnesty.Allen sure seems to be taking his Senate race cavalierly; the bullshit strawman he's set up to fight looks nothing like the face of the man he'll face in the fall.
One of the greatest concerns for Americans is how we can extricate ourselves from the quagmire of Iraq without bringing the apocalypse to the Middle East; and Julito and Maria Elena crossing our borders have got nothing to do with the heart of the problem.
Mark Warner Warming the Midwest Heartland
Sen. Mark Warner paid a visit to the good folks in Illinois "earlier this week trying to build the case for his candidacy among the party faithful."
The Chicago-Sun Times writes a most favorable story about Warner; and this is what they have to say:
Let's hope Warner doesn't spend all his political capital supporting Miller 'cause as everybody knows Webb is the one who can beat George Allen.
Warner has an impressive resume: He's a graduate of Harvard Law School and one of the original founders of the cellular phone company Nextel. But Warner's most impressive credential, as far as some Democrats are concerned, is that he managed a convincing five-point win in 2001 in a red state that voted twice for President Bush. Warner also left office at the beginning of this year with the highest approval rating in Virginia's history.
Warner is full of ideas on a range of issues, but the essence of his candidacy boils down to five words: "Hillary can't win. I can." Warner doesn't say it like that, of course, but he doesn't have to. Democrats are desperate to take back the White House and Warner's message resonates with those who loathe the idea of losing again in 2008 by putting another Northeastern liberal at the top of the ticket. Of course, Warner has history on his side as well: The only two Democrats to have won the presidency since the early 1960s have both been governors from the South, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Are White Babies Smarter?
After Herrnstein and Murray published their controversial study and findings, "The Bell Curve," many people in academia scorned at the notion that whites were smarter than blacks; and Asians were smarter than both.
Now a close examination of data from 10,000 babies by two economists from the University of Chicago and Harvard show that when comparing black babies with white babies, there is no IQ difference; and both score higher than Asians.
So much for that theory. Economists Roland G. Fryer of Harvard and Steven D. Levitt of the University of Chicago analyzed a data set that contained measures of mental abilities for more than 10,000 babies 8 months to 11 months old and born in 2001. Trained evaluators rated a baby's skill in exploring objects (reaching for and holding items), exploring objects with a purpose (trying to determine what makes a bell ring), babbling, early problem solving (when a toy is out of reach, using another object as a tool to retrieve it), and using words to communicate.
Talk about a turned upside down world?!?
When they looked at the data, they found there were no difference in mental ability between black and white babies -- and, if anything, Asian infants did slightly worse.
As a hard-core sociological thinker, the Bell Curve theory always smacked a tad too close to Cesare Lombroso's discredited theory of "atavistic traits" which he concluded were "physical, biological indicators of a person such as body type or the shape of the face" that predicted criminality. His theory was all the buzz in the early half of the 20th century.
And yes, this glorious theory also posited that since "criminal tendencies stem from biological factors," punishment would never work. The only thing society could do was to neutralize (i.e. zap, nuke, fry, nix, kill) the evil deviant; and we know how his theory turned out for the millions of Jews, Gypsies, Catholics, Poles, Slavs and other undesirables during World War II.
Although the Bell Curve is less ambitious, it is equally objectionable. Their premise is that life's chances hinge on intelligence; the higher the IQ, the more likely one is to suceed in life; and the American Dream is predetermined by genetics at birth.
The rub of the problem for Bell comes when African-Americans are tied to "a bell curve of IQ scores" that veer "to the lower side of the white mean." East Asians are said to have "bell curve of IQ scores...slightly to the right of the white curve."
With Lombroso, it was deviancy; with Herrnstein and Murray, it's class and race. No countermeasure such as pre-natal care, early child education, safe home environment, well-trained educators or good diet can help. One is born stupid and lives a life of stupid choices.
Gracias a Dios, after 12 long years, their bogus study has finally been debunked; pesky countervailing facts showed little black babies are just as smart as white ones; and even smarter than their yellow buddies.
Uncle Sam and GI Joe Replaced by Uncle Chin and Brother Zhou
As Latin American countries try to extricate themselves from the weight of debt to Uncle Sam and military alliances with GI Joe, China is increasingly making inroads in our part of the world.
NewsMax reports that a three-year-old law has had very unpleasant and unintended consequences in a reverse-Midas touch schema where anything Bush touches turns from precious gold to worthless dung.
The pesky U.S. law that started the ball rolling is one that "mandates an end to military training in countries that refuse to exempt U.S. citizens overseas from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.” China patron saint.
China is training increasing numbers of Latin American military personnel, taking advantage of a three-year old U.S. law that has led to a sharp decline in U.S.-run training programs for the region, an Army general said Tuesday.
Hmm...it looks like lots of folks in Latin America are saying, "Hasta la Vista, baby." Guess Uncle Sam is finding out they are not the only country with guns, and GI Joe is not the only person who can teach military maneuvers.
Twelve Latin American countries have declined to do so and are now subject to sanctions. Craddock testified that in 2003, a year before the law took effect, the United States trained 771 military personnel from countries that are now sanctioned.
Pobrecitos! Los Americanos. don’t wanna play by global rules!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
News from Wingnut World
Pat Robertson is up to his very old and tired trick: maligning Muslims during his "700 Club" show.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that yesterday Robertson told his TV audience that Muslims wanted to take over the world in biblical Armageddon and exterminate believers.
The Pilot quotes Robertson via Americans United for Separation of Church and State as saying:
"[T]hese people are crazed fanatics and I want to say it now; I believe it's motivated by demonic power, it is satanic and it's time we recognize what we're dealing with … The goal of Islam, ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not, is world domination."Yes siree, just what we need, some "crazed" fanatical Christian "determined to throw gasoline on the fire" and jump start the battle of Armageddon -- as if Bush needed any help.
Billy Graham on the Subject of Suffering
In today's political climate, too many people shy away from religion, preachers or Bible-speak because right-wing wackos hijacked the faith. But link to a recent Billy Graham interview; read it; and just maybe your heart will soften towards them.
In the article by Newsweek, Graham talks about his visit to New Orleans – not just for a photo op – but to console 1,000 preachers who are trying to reconcile a loving God with suffering from Katrina.
Only a few days ago, a post by a blogger foolishly compared Billy Graham to his freeloading son, Franklin; and I told him the son was not equal to the father, as is often the case. For indeed, the idiot son of Billy, like idiot sons the world over (George W. Bush), often fall short of the mark.
The only worthwhile thing Franklin and Dubya ever did was beat out the competition on their way to the Promised Land of their mother's womb. By the fruits of their labor, you shall know them; and their narcissistic sense of privilege and entitlement give witnesses to my point.
At the age of 87 years old, Graham admits he doesn't have the answers to the question of suffering, for the Bible never fully explains. Only in the Book of Job is a glimpse descried, and that is that believers must abide in their faith when tested, no matter what.
Graham told Newsweek that if one believes in a sovereign, almighty, omniscient God, then one must accept that for His reasons, God allows suffering. But the most important thing to remember is that ultimately everything one loses will be restored.
This makes perfect symmetrical sense. For in the universe, every negative has a matching positive. So anything one loses has to be restored; this is the universal law.
Monday, March 13, 2006
In thinking about the latest poll numbers, one mind-bloggling figure truly stuck out. CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans believe Bush lied us into war, 51 percent to 46 percent.
WOW! Just allow those numbers to slowly descend into your mind -- like an innocent floating snowflake; and stay with the vision; focus on the sound of Conyers calling a House Judiciary meeting as chairman; block out any negative thoughts; you are breathing in a new Democratic majority as you breathe out the wingnuts. Breathe in, breathe out; inhale, focusing on the innocent snowflake...
And then shout for joy.
Didn't Americans share with pollsters last November that Bush should be impeached if he lied about Iraq?!? Yes, they did, by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent.
Chris Matthews is a ‘Frigging’ Idiot
Hanging around Republicans too long has transported the mark of the beast to the face of Chris Matthews; and nowhere was this more evident than when he interviewed Rev. Al Sharpton and former Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe, cutting them off before they could answer and then chiming in with a smirk and his non-sequitur.
According to Matthews, by refusing to play the GOP’s little Xenophobia game, the Democrats assure their defeat at the polls. Illegal immigration is the new Holy Grail of wedge issue that guarantee victory for Republicans.
With all the sage advice from Matthews, let’s just see how far Brother Jim gets in his bid to be Pennsylvania’s next lieutenant governor. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Matthews pointed to Sen. George 'Gomer Pyle' Allen's crowd-rousing words from Memphis about immigration as proof positive that Democrats are a bunch of clueless duds.
There is only one tiny historical problem with this premise; it's been tried and didn't work.
People don’t give a rat’s butt if foreigners cross the Rio Grande as long as they continue to clean their house, bust their restaurant table, mow their lawn, wash their SUVs, pay into Social Security without taking a dime, and most importantly, stay out of trouble and keep the cost of services down.
What American citizen is going to mow a house lawn for 25 bucks...? Or clean your toilets and 3-bedroom house for $50.00 -- the going rate in Texas?!?
Someone should remind Mr. Tweedy how far the battle cry of “foreigners over the wall” worked for Kilgore in Virginia. He lost by bunches.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
News Under the Radar Screen
A visit to Capital Annex alerted me to juicy news out of Texas. The Houston Chronicle has unearthed quite the scam. It seems former aide to disgraced Rep. Tom DeLay, former partner to disgraced Jack Abramoff and former aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison were hired and paid by Gov. Rick Perry but they never did any actual work.
After firing "17 full-time, less lavishly paid employees from Texas' Office of State-Federal Relations," Perry hired and paid three lobbyist as much as $667 an hour under the elusive "meeting and "phone calls" category -- without any backup documentation.
While the hours and activities of the lobbyists were vague, the issues they worked on and the side of the aisle they frequented couldn't be more obvious. Just one lobbyist reported working with Texas Democrats; the lawmakers the lobbyist mentioned said they had no record of contact with him.
Meanwhile, the lobbyists' projects were identical to those initiated by Republican leaders. Lead lobbyist Drew Maloney, for example, reported working on two personal projects for DeLay: desalination in Freeport and a Sugar Land energy research center. Surely DeLay, still influential after stepping down as House majority leader, needs no help.
The Chronicle obtained the records via the Texas Public Information Act. Like Annex says, it's amazing what you can find with a little digging around. These Republican folks are bad to the core, without shame. One-party rule breeds contempt and then corruption. The madness must stop in November 2006.
Don't Let George Allen Get Away Without Answering...
Fresh from his trip to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis and his third-place finish in the presidential straw poll with 10.3 percent, Sen. George Allen of Virginia appeared this morning on "Meet the Press."
Sen. Joe Biden was also a guest; and both agreed "these are tough times in Iraq." Hmm...so what else is new...?
The most interesting part of the segment came when Russert asked Allen about abortion and the extreme law passed in South Dakota that bans abortion in all cases, except to save the life of a woman.
Allen never directly answered the question of whether or not Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Here is his nonanswer:
I think Roe vs. Wade has been interpreted in such a way that it precludes the rights of the people to decide their laws. When I was governor, we passed the law on parental notification. I think parents ought to be involved if a girl who’s 16, 17 years old...Ask a man a direct question about choice, and he'll set up a straw man to fight with. Señor Allen, we really don't care about parental notification; we want to know whether or not you support a woman's right to choose; and whether Virginians can count on you to keep radical right wing Republicans from outlawing legal and safe abortions.
Yes, let's not argue pesky legal points of law; and if a state wants to ban abortions in the case of rape, incest or health of a woman, well she can always travel to another state or suffer the consequences from a law passed by men.
MR. RUSSERT: So you say overturn Roe. You hope Roe is overturned.
SEN. ALLEN: Well, Roe—if you need parental notification for ear piercing or a tattoo, they certainly ought to be involved with it. And so I think Roe vs. Wade has been interpreted in such a way as to restrict the will of people. Moreover, that decision was from the early 1970s and medical science has advanced a great deal. We know a lot more and of course, unborn children have an earlier stage of development.
MR. RUSSERT: So overturn?
SEN. ALLEN: The point is, rather than arguing on a legal term, the point of the matter is the people in the states ought to be making these decisions. And if that’s contrary to the dictates of Roe vs. Wade, so be it. Because the way that Roe vs. Wade has been interpreted is taking away the rights of the people in the states to make these decisions.
Seems fair to me, now let's just see how Virginia women feel about that!
Yes, evil. Just as he watched his football coach father as a child trade an entire team's future to "win now," Sen. George Allen will say anything to win re-election in Virginia. The hell with future consequences. Win today, BABY!
Who can forget his venal campaign for governor as the tougher-than nails candidate with facile answers to the Willie Horton hysteria? Yes, his calling card was his synister campaign pledge to end parole with his "truth in sentencing" bullshit slogan.
Well, Allen is at it again with another wedge issue. This time he hopes to garner the Republican presidential spot by trashing illegals. Of course, Mr. Law-and-Order surely never hired an illegal to do babysitting, lawn cutting, tree pruning or laundry. Of course not.
The New York Times reports Allen spoke at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Nashville.
For all you would-be Harris Miller suporters; are you willing to risk a senate seat loss if Webb is the guy who can wipe the smirk off Allen's face?!?
Senator George Allen of Virginia went from noting his support of Mr. Bush's tax cuts to calling for tough immigration controls that stood in obvious contrast to Mr. Bush's efforts to permit some illegal immigrants to work in the United States.
"Let's just say this: the president's position on all of this is not all that clear," Mr. Allen said after delivering his speech. "I want to be plain and clear: what we need to do is secure our borders."
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Communication, Communication, Communication...
One of the problems with communication professionals is their underlying cannon that anyone can sell a dead skunk to a blind person by simply repeating over and over that it's actually a vintage mink coat.
In due time, the removed stink glands from the anus give way to stench from the corpse; and with nostrils aflame, the smell of death overtakes the poor sap.
Well, such is the case for Bush's Iraqi War, the metaphysical bush tailed polecat; and media consultants are just the latest snake oil sales force to hit the mean streets of Washington. No amount of perfumed boxes, ribbons and bows can wipe the cruel reality of dead GI's coming home in body bags wrapped inside flag-draped coffins. Inside those coffins are real and women who didn't need to die for a lie.
After three long years of happy-talk and 2,308 soldiers dead, 17,004 wounded, and who knows how many civilians killed with over $246 billion spent, isn't it time for the media to quit enabling our Drunkard-in-Chief? Eventually you have to confront him and tell him no more booze, even if it means you have to admit you were duped; you bought the skunk coat.
The Washington Post keeps covering up for Bush's War. Message to folks in the media (i.e. Fred Hiatt), you bought the coat from the affable souse, and now you're stuck with the stink and the carcass, but for the sake of our country, expose him; stop giving lines to his lies.
This morning, readers of The Washington Post were treated to a gem of a story on page A-3, "Bush Goes on Offensive to Explain War Strategy, Speeches to Combat Public Pessimism."
Well, at least the Post had the decency to not front-page the non-story.
Think Progress had a great analysis on the topic. I mean, as they ask, how many times will newspapers continue to "headline" the same tired meme "that we have seen [so] frequently over the past three years"?
The article, like previous ones with similar headlines, posits that public dissatisfaction with the war has intensified because Bush has not “explained” it well. The story notes, “The president hopes to give ‘better depth, understanding and context for how the strategy in Iraq is unfolding,’ a senior White House official said of the planned speeches.” A quick review of old headlines, however, shows that Bush has been given ample opportunity to explain his Iraq strategy, but the public is no longer buying his bill of goods:Indeed, the Bush administration is tone-deaf and blind, and it certainly looks like they might've bought a skunk coat of their own. No doubt communication gurus with hefty consulting fees have been telling them they can sell anything with the right message packaging.
Election fraud? No problem. Secret energy meetings? No problem. Exhaustive tax breaks for the rich? No problem. Jobs for your buds? No problem. Needless war? No problem. No bid contracts for friends? No problem. Massive deficits? No problem. Warrantless spying? No problem. Lackluster economy? No problem, more tax cuts. Why just think how pretty America will look in her brand spanking new skunk coat!
On topic, this morning The New York Times showed the world why they are the number one newspaper in the country. Their lede, "Bush Is Business as Usual Despite Party Grumbles" pins the tail on the skunk. In talking with their inside sources, it's clear Bush and Company worship at the altar of media packaging.
"They have a transmitter but not a listening device," said one well-known Republican with close ties to the administration who gets calls from White House staff members. "They'll say, 'What are you hearing, what's going on?' You tell them things aren't good on the Hill, you've got problems here, you've got problems there, or 'I was in Detroit and boy did I get an earful.' And their answer is, 'Everybody's just reading the headlines, we've got to get our message out better.' There's denial going on, and it starts at the top."Reminds me of an old Aretha Franking song, "Whose zooming who?" In perfect poetic irony, looks like the hunter got captured by the game. But just the same, please dear Washington Post, no more stories about soon-to-come skunk coat sales.
To hear conservatives talk, people on the east and west coast should simply secede from the Union, form their own heathen nation and save the rest of the country from their liberal polluting slime.
In the latest rant, Gabriel Garnica, an attorney and frequent writer for the far-right media watch group ChronWatch, comes right out and says so. Not that folks on the coastlines would mind; especially since it's mostly their tax dollars that subsidize the rest of the country.
Here's what the licensed barrister and self-described "educator" from Long Island had to say about his neighbors:
Maybe the east and west coast should just form their own nation called East and West Liberalia and leave the rest of the country alone. Given the usual agenda and causes of these two areas, perhaps Liberalia should just be changed to Genitalia.Oh yes, the coasts are obsessed with sex, don't you know; and this is exactly the reason why the Bible states have the highest divorce rate and presumably the highest adultery rate -- the number one root cause for divorce. Sex never enters their chaste, "red state thinking."
But then how to explain how Lubbock, Texas ended up with "the highest rate of teenage pregnancy" in the entire country?!? Or "the highest [teenage] rate of STDs." Hard to figure...
In his article, Garnica goes on to rant against the media and Hollywood elites; and for good measure proves retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is right on the $$$ about conservative discourse; they love to trash the judicial system as his following quote shows.
The liberal triumvirate of the media, Hollywood, and the courts are leading this once wholesome and reverent nation toward moral and social ruin.Guess we don't have to tell you how judges became radical, activist, runaway judges...? Yep, right after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
One-time nominee to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and top Bush lieutenant has been charged by Montgomery County police in Maryland with felony theft.
The Washington Post reports that Claude Allen, "who resigned last month as President Bush's top domestic policy adviser, was arrested this week in Montgomery County for allegedly swindling Target and Hecht's stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scheme," according to police.
Well, thank God the Democrats blocked his nomination back in 2003; but this is just the latest example of the kind of pilfering, thieving, rotten people Bush has working for him and then tries to prop up to the highest levels of government.
And once again John Kerry is proven right! "These guys are the most crooked, lying group I've ever seen!"
But you gotta give it to the guy; he had quite the scam going on. He would purchase an item, take it to his vehicle and then turn right back, steal the exact item and go straight to the return desk for his cash refund.
Just another good old Virginia boy. The Post writes Allen once "worked for the Virginia state attorney general's office." He also worked as state health and human resources secretary."
And just how did he Allen catch the eyes of the folks at the White House and snag Bush's largesse?!?
The tried and faithful way. The Post reports that as secretary, Allen "earned a reputation as a staunch conservative" to the extent that "once he kept Medicaid funds from an impoverished rape victim who wanted an abortion."
Did we tell you that he is a professed born-again Christian? Yea, another Pharisee who came mighty close to ruling over Virginia as circuit judge.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Very sad news out of Iraq.
The dead body of Christian peace activist Tom Fox, 54, of Clearbrook, Va., was found, and the U.S. State Department confirmed the story to CNN this evening.
A video with only three of the hostages had been released earlier this week, and it was feared that Fox might have already been killed.
The Christian Science Monitor had earlier reported that all four men were members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, a group formed by Mennonites, Brethren, and Quakers in the early 1980s with a core mission of "devot[ing] the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war."
The other men from the team were from Britain and Canada; and the tape released "was stamped with the date, "28 2 2006."
Already 2,307 Americans have died. How many more must die for a lie?
There is a special place in hell for those who have shed the blood of innocents; and yes, that includes the killers as well as our leaders who started this godless war.
Our intrepid traveling senator is taking time off from his 2008 presidential campaign to chat-up his nice guy persona with his "good-old" boy accent and idiom.
Allen and Sen. Joe Biden will be guests on "Meet the Press" er, I mean, "Meet the Press with Tim Russert," along with retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Bernard Trainor and New York Times Military Correspondent Michael Gordon, who jointly wrote, "Cobra II: The Inside of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq."
Hopefully their book is not yet another shrine to the dogged steadfastness and resolve of the Bush administration leading up to the Iraqi War.
Allen, along with just about every Republican who is running in 2008, is in Memphis at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. A straw poll will be taken at the end of evening on Saturday; and by Sunday, we should know who won.
Ay Dios Mio, please let it be Allen. He's the perfect Stepford-candidate; no substance, just all smiles, yucks and aw shucks.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The Shame of the 'God Hates Fag' Church
The Christian name is once again defamed by the Pharisee-wing of the church for the whole world to watch.
The LA Times reports today that a Baptist congregation in Kansas has vowed to continue to picket the military funerals for fallen soldiers.
In the past, the homophobic 'God hates fags' Baptist church has picketed soldiers' funerals with words of damnation and ruin. In their twisted mind and un-Christian avowal, God is using the Iraqi war to smite a nation that condones homosexuality.
Imagine the inconceivable and sickening ordeal experienced by family members when a group of religious bigots decide to picket the funeral of a loved one, destroying precious last private moments. Recently, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin banned demonstrations at funerals; and Westboro Baptist Church begrudgingly told reporters they will obey the law.
The Daily Telegraph of London also reports today that "a volunteer army" from the Patriot Guard Riders," a motorcycle band of brothers whose guiding principle is to pay homage to "fallen heroes, their families, and their communities" recently acted as honor guards to the grieving family members of Sgt. Rickey Jones. Jones recently died in Iraq from a roadside bomb.
Members were able to mobilized "more than 200 bikes" for the military ceremony; and because of the continued threat of demonstrations, "turnout was greatly increased" as a result.
Well, praise the Lord and Hallelujah; and a thousand Hossanas as well.
As a Baptist who loves core church tenets, recent Baptist history has annihilated the initial precepts of the faith. A story by the Associated Press via the Honolulu Advertiser retraces the church's origins; and no they did not start out as neocons.
Funny, my core progressive beliefs lie closer to the vision of Roger Smith than Jerry Falwell, yet somehow the Jerry Falwells of the world were able to hijack the faith. As a person who believes in divine nudges, perhaps a few of the faithful will join the church and fight to bring the body back to her Biblical core.
Most Baptist factions trace their roots to Roger Williams, the 17th-century minister who founded Rhode Island and organized the nation's first Baptist congregation in 1638. The uncompromising provocateur was banished from Massachusetts for attacking state-sponsored Puritan congregations, demanding the separation of church and state, and arguing that American Indians had property rights.
Williams was fiercely committed to what he called "soul freedom" — or freedom of religion. Just months after organizing the first Baptist congregation, he left it and rejected the institutional church altogether.
Williams said he had a "restless unsatisfiedness" in his soul, and one of his contemporary critics called him "constant only in his inconstancy." Scholars say those attributes continue to mark the faith today.
"Wherever two or three Baptists are gathered together, there's a schism," said J. Stanley Lemons, the First Baptist church historian.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Maybe my list of voters in Texas were from the hometown of Ciro Rodriguez in San Antonio and that's why they mostly supported him.
First Read reports that DINO Cuellar will likely avoid a run-off, leading by 53 percent to 41 percent. But like the close race in 2004, voter fraud is once again an issue.
When the two candidates met in the primary during the last election cycle, Rodriguez filed suit of voter irregularities in Webb and Zapata counties, Cuellar strongholds. He lost the challenge on a technicality; he filed too late.
This time his team immediately "sent volunteers and lawyers to Laredo to monitor the vote count after officials there reported a 'technical glitch' that kept ballots from being tabulated."
I don't know why it's always in Republican strongholds where computers seem to break down.
We've got people in Zapata, and we're sending people to Laredo, just in case,” he said. “We're making sure everything is above board.”
The New York Times reports Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, surrendered to the 'KGB' White House and agreed to make nice.
The oft-described moderate GOPers caved in to administration pressure, and unfortunately there will be no House Intelligence Committee hearings with sworn-in witnesses. We will not find out how many U.S. citizens have been illegally spied upon by the White House in their secret eavesdropping program.
Does anyone besides me find it strange that Cheney and his office are forever at the fulcrum of negotiations between White House and Congress?!? I mean, is Bush a mere 'puppet' president with sinister strings pulled and drawn by Cheney behind a secret White House curtain?!?
The agreement, hashed out in weeks of negotiations between Vice President Dick Cheney and Republicans critical of the program, dashes Democratic hopes of starting a full committee investigation because the proposal won the support of Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine.
Mr. Hagel said the group worked out the last-minute deal in long telephone calls with Mr. Cheney; the White House counsel, Harriet E. Miers; and Stephen J. Hadley, the assistant to the president for national security.
I'm so tired of hearing about Cheney machinations, or Rove's behind the scene dirty work. I mean, is President Bush nothing more than a figurehead, like the queen of England who opens British Parliament then wanders the countryside with empty gestures and pomp that have little to do with governance?!?
And when are Republican legislators going to do anything to reassert their constitutional oversight of this run-amok administration?!? As Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va. said, "The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House."