Friday, April 28, 2006
Now there's this new movie out, "Flight 93." (I promise, I'll get back to the President soon.) I have no interest whatsoever in seeing this movie. I don't understand why anyone would have any interest. Do we need a dramatization of those events? The reality not real enough for you? I've heard it's very well-made, and I'm sure it will make the producers buckets of money, and bully for them. They won't get any from me - I don't know if it's too soon, or if it will ever be long enough, but that's okay.
Back to the President. He's been trying to capitalize on 9/11, much the same way as the filmmakers are doing. However, while they are business people, creating and marketing a product that will likely make them money, he has a very different role in our country, a role which carries a responsibility to care more about right than profit.
Of course he doesn't. Everyone knows that the administration's sole objective for being in power is to acquire more power. In doing so, they threw away the best chance we've had to make collective progress as a nation in over half a century - think about what this country was like in the weeks following the attacks, the sense of national pride and connectivity - and then think about what things are like now, with the most bitter partisan politics (and resultant lack of progress) that nearly anyone can remember.
The main tactic they have used in this power grab, as we know, is fear. We're supposed to be terrified that terrorists could attack at any minute, and if we don't listen to everything he says, our children (even if we don't have any) will be killed and beaten and tortured and killed again and we'll have to watch and it will be the worst thing ever and then it will get worse than that and oh my god and and and
The leverage they use is the fear that we felt on 9/11. They have spent years trying to reach into people's guts to grab that fear, and use that fear to inspire hatred and lead us to war. Along the way, they have tried to hijack the real feelings of the American people and trade them for faux-jingoism and bigotry and war. They've acted as if somehow they have more of a claim on that tragedy than anyone else - that somehow their desire to kill and hate is more valid, is more urgent, is more necessary than any other reaction.
Stop it, Mr. President. Stop it right the hell now. You do not have the right to start a war based on lies, quoting my fear of terrorism as a reason. I do not need you (or a hack country singer, for that matter) to remind me how I felt that day. I do not give you the right to destroy the world in my name. I'm taking 9/11 away from you. It's mine. And my neighbor's. And my family's. It's everyone's, and you don't have the right to take it from us and use it for your evil purposes.
I was reading on a right wing blog about "Flight 93", and the delusional bloggers and commenters were busily spewing hate about how much everyone needs to see the movie, to remind us of the tragedy, and (in their sick minds, anyway) reawaken our national anger to lead us further into war. We've become complacent, they cry. We've forgotten, they say.
We have not. Just because we don't want to kill every brown person and build a wall around the country and burn the Constitution does not mean that we've forgotten. My reaction is as valid as any, and it's more human, and humane, than theirs. I say to them that they have no more right to claim ownership of 9/11 than the President, and I'm done. Hate if you want, but you will not do so in my name.
Anyway, yesterday, some of the congresscritters decided that they needed some positive publicity, and did a photo-op at a gas station with some of GM's prototype Hydrogen cars. And when it was over, good ol' Denny left the event in one of those Hydrogen cars for the few block drive back to the capitol.
Until he stopped a block away and got out of that car and climbed into his Suburban.
April 27 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of the war in Iraq will hit $320 billion once Congress approves an emergency spending measure that's now before the Senate, and that figure probably will double before the war ends, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The cost in fiscal 2006 alone will reach $101.8 billion, double the $51 billion spent in fiscal 2003, the nonpartisan service said. Even if U.S. troops start to leave this year, the total costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will jump by $371 billion during the withdrawal, the report said, citing an estimate from the Congressional Budget office.
The total estimated cost of the two conflicts is now $811 billion, far surpassing the inflation-adjusted $549 billion spent on the Vietnam War, the service said.
And that's just what they are willing to tell us. Add in the off-book amounts (like state National Guard equipment that is destroyed, hidden contracts, ongoing expenses, and the stuff they are just lying about) abd the numbers become even more frightening.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I was reading one of my favorite (undisclosed) sites this morning when I saw that the president "could care" less about something. That one is on my list of grammar pet peeves, as that usage implies that the president does care (
Apostrophe abuse is another one of my favorite grammar gremlins. You have seen restaurant signs that say "Semi's Welcome." A fine fellow known to many team members here always gives us a hearty greeting of "Hey guy's!"
Semi's what? Guy's what? That usage is possessive, not plural!! It drives me crazy.
Any others? Comments are appreciated, but if you don't, I could care less, irregardless.
And it is just a happy coincidence that those eight provinces are, oh, I don't know, how do you say it, WHERE MOST OF THE PEOPLE LIVE!!!??????????
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.
However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.
These guys (to be specific, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania - although not for long) will stop at nothing to drill in Alaska, despite the fact that it wouldn't produce oil for a decade and would have a minimal (few percent at most) impact on gas prices and oil supply. It's nothing more than another big sloppy kiss to the oil industry, which, believe it or not, is crying poor.
And are these guys offering this up as a bill which could stand or fall on it's own merits? Of course not. They're attempting to attach it to an amendment to an emergency spending bill which deals with Bush's murderous folly in Iraq and the still suffering Gulf Coast's attempt to rebuild after Katrina and Rita.
Now, part of the bill seems to deal with accountability for the oil companies (they want to examine tax returns), but that's just a political ploy. There's no way in hell this amendment will pass (it needs 60 votes), but it will allow these morons to stand up and say "We tried to hold big oil accountable, and the Democrats didn't want to help the American people", even though they're full of crap.
Oh, and as for the $100? Who's paying for that? Where does the money come from? That's right - Hu, and China, as the national debt goes up to pay for unrestrained spending by the GOP.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
by Rush's Dumber Brother
Does anybody really think homosexual activists aren't trying to push their lifestyle on America -- as opposed to merely striving to avoid discrimination? A few recent news items shed some light on the subject. Scott Savage, a librarian at Ohio State University at Mansfield, got a quick lesson in "tolerance" while serving on a committee responsible for selecting books for incoming OSU students to read as part of their "First Year Reading Experience."
Savage, a devout Quaker, recommended that a number of conservative-oriented books be added to the list, to balance other books on the list, many of which reportedly had a liberal slant.Savage recommended four books, "The Marketing of Evil," by David Kupelian, "The Professors," by David Horowitz, "Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis," by Bat Ye'or, and "It Takes a Family," by Sen. Rick Santorum. How dare he? Won't he ever learn the proper lessons of selective censorship? The school had earlier investigated him for recommending other forbidden conservative books to freshmen students.
But I guess the request to place these dread screeds on a formal school list was just way too rebellious for anyone employed by an institution of higher learning priding itself in maintaining an environment of academic freedom and open inquiry. Three professors strenuously objected to Savage's suggestions, describing the Kupelian book as "hate literature," and "homophobic tripe." The professors, two of whom are homosexual, said the inclusion of these books on the list made them feel threatened and unsafe on campus.
This one is remarkable, even for Rush's Dumber Brother. First of all, you notice in the above and in the rest of the screed that nowhere does he mention what the books were with the "liberal slant?" How's that for intellectual honesty?
But beyond that--look at who the freakshow librarian wanted to include on the list. David Kupelian? Editor of the WorldNetDaily, and author of wonderful little tomes like this? Why, he's a wonderful man, I would love for him to be required reading for college students. And Santorum and Horowitz, they were unanimous inductees into the Unhinged Rightwing Moonbat Hall of Fame. (I admit to not being familiar with Bat Ye'or, but a quick Google search certainly isn't promising--she is an Egyptian-born, virulently anti-Muslim Jewish historian and darling of the right wing).
So this is what passes for conservative "thought" these days. How pathetic.
Fox News, presidential mouthpiece. Isn't that just a bit repetitive?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Well, we can hope, anyway.
Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.
Text of resolution below:
HJ0125 LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r
1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION
2 WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of
3 the United States House of Representatives allows federal
4 impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of
5 a state legislature; and
6 WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering
7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978
8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically
9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
10 warrant; and
11 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized
12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions,
13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States
14 Constitution; and
15 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American
16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war
17 without charge or trial; and
18 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration
19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a
20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the
21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the
22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and
23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and
24 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified
25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an
26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential
27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to
28 investigate the matter; and
29 WHEREAS, The Republican-controlled Congress has declined
1 to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore, be it
2 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
3 NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE
4 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the
5 State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S.
6 House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President
7 of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office
8 to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United
9 States; and be it further
10 RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the
11 charges contained herein, should be removed from office and
12 disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.
The picture represents:
A. The trilobite, an ancient arthropod that appeared roughly 600 million years ago during the Cambrian period.
B. Something placed on earth by God to test our faith.
C. A creature that perished 6,000 years ago when God sent the flood to wash away a sinful world.
D. The fact that anyone who circles (B) or (C) should not be allowed to reproduce.
E. Both (A) and (D) above.
I know, can you believe it?
So Bush uttered some words this morning (I won't diminish the language by calling what he does "giving speeches") about rising gas prices. Something must be done, he hears the people cry - well, he hears Frist and Hastert cry, it didn't matter much when Chuck Schumer said exactly the same things a week ago. Now, he had all sorts of options, from increasing supply to asking his friends in the oil industry to reduce profiteering by a small amount, but he did, of course, what was expected.
First, there's the small bone tossed to those who want to see the oil supply go up - the US will temporarily cease putting oil into the strategic reserve. We'll ignore the reports that OPEC, etc, could actually produce more oil, and say fine, that at least gets at that whole supply/demand thing.
But then what's next? Well, we all know that the reason prices have gone up is that that MTBE, a gasoline additive for years, gets into the water supply, makes it undrinkable, and might cause cancer, is being replaced by ethanol, and that takes time and money. And we certainly can't expect the oil companies to eat any of that cost themselves - if the government is going to punish them by trying to make their products less toxic, dammit, the peons will have to pay!
Oh, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the daily inferences that we will invade every oil producing nation on the planet. Nope, that uncertainty doesn't upset anything.
So, what does Bush want to do to ease prices?
President George W. Bush on Tuesday gave U.S. refiners extra time to pay back emergency oil loans, and called on the government to find ways to ease new clean-burning gasoline regulations.
In a speech to the pro-ethanol Renewable Fuels Association, Bush said the U.S. Congress should find a way to approve permits to build new refineries a year after they are filed.
Bush said he told the Environmental Protection Agency to use "all available authority to grant waivers that would relieve critical fuel shortages," and said he would seek more waiver authority from Congress if needed.
Let's see - he wants to give his buddies (the $10 billion profit club) extra time to pay back loans (but Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public had better not dawdle on those credit card payments when they get laid off because their employers moved to India).
He wants to reduce regulations designed to keep our air breathable and our water drinkable, even as companies like GE have come out in support of limits on greenhouse gas emissions to attempt to curb mankind's influence on global warming.
He wants to make sure that refineries aren't delayed by anything, so that his $10 billion buddies can make more money faster.
He wants the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency. Protection. Sigh.) to allow the oil companies to not change from MTBE to ethanol, so that a small portion of their profits don't vanish ($10 billion) and drinking water continues to get more polluted.
Truly no shame.
Creationists, saying all the answers are in the Bible, put their beliefs on display in $25 million facility
By Lisa Anderson
Tribune national correspondent
PETERSBURG, Ky. -- The recent fossil discovery of a 375-million-year-old fish that could lurch ashore on bony transitional fins--apparently a long-sought missing link between sea creatures and land animals--made a spectacular splash in evolutionary science circles. But it created nary a ripple on the placid American campus of Answers in Genesis, where an enormous museum chronicling the biblical six days of creation is rising fast amid rolling fields.Ken Ham, co-founder and president of Answers in Genesis, believed to be the world's largest creationist organization, and most "young-Earth" creationists are as unimpressed by science's finding another piece in the evolutionary puzzle as they are with science's finding the Earth to be 4.5 billion years old.Using biblical calculations, young-Earth creationists believe the planet is about 6,000 years old; old-Earth creationists believe it could be older. Both, however, take the Bible literally and reject Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory that all life, including human, shares common ancestry and developed through random mutation and natural selection. Evolution enjoys near-universal support among scientists. [MORE]
But it's very important for the American people to understand that they're trying to run us out of Iraq for a purpose. And the purpose is to be able to have safe haven from which to launch further attacks. And I understand it. And we've got a strategy in place to achieve victory.
I based a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true. One, I believe there's an Almighty, and secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody's soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free. I believe liberty is universal. I believe people want to be free. And I know that democracies do not war with each other. And I know that the best way to defeat the enemy, the best way to defeat their ability to exploit hopelessness and despair is to give people a chance to live in a free society.
You know, the Iraqis went to the polls last December for the third time in one year. It seems like a decade ago, doesn't it? It seems like it was just an eternity ago that 12 million people defied terrorists, threats, and said, we want to be free. We're sick and tired of a society that had been suppressed by a brutal tyrant. We want to go to the polls. We want to be self-governing. I wasn't surprised; I was pleased, but not surprised. If you believe that liberty exists in the soul of each person on the face of the Earth, it shouldn't surprise you that, given the chance, people will say, we want to be free. And now the role of the United States is to stand by the courageous Iraqis as their democracy develops.
It's not easy work, by the way, to go from tyranny to democracy. We had kind of a round go ourself, if you look back at our history. My Secretary of State's relatives were enslaved in the United States even though we had a Constitution that said all were -- that believed in the dignity, or at least proclaimed to believe in the dignity of all. The Articles of Confederation wasn't exactly a real smooth start for our government to begin.
Oh my God.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Josh Marshall has done a great job in covering her gymnastics routine in trying to cover up that she is up to her hideous fake breasts in dirty money.
Case in point, her dinner at Michael Richard's elegant Washington eatery, Citronelle, with Mitchell Wade, already convicted of bribery in the Duke Cunningham matter. Their dinner, folks, was almost THREE GRAND. First, she says she reimbursed the restaurant (which was a lie, because the money man paid Citronelle), and now she says that "the night of our dinner, Mr. Wade purchased several expensive bottles of wine which he took home with him uncorked-this is apparently the reason the bill was so high."
So apparently, Katie is saying that she and Mitch Moneybags confused Citronelle:
It is pathetically funny.
You see, Katie's problem is she actually believed she was important, rather than a bit player in a sordid drama. The Bushies needed her, used her, and then VROOM, under the bus with you! Just desserts, I say--very expensive desserts!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
From the Chicago Tribune (hat tip Knobboy):
Why Bush should keep Rumsfeld
Published April 20, 2006
Should the president fire Donald Rumsfeld? That's like asking if Disney should retire Mickey Mouse. Why get rid of someone who represents everything important about an institution--particularly if doing so leaves those things unchanged? No, President Bush should keep Rumsfeld as a perennial symbol of the administration's essential characteristic: hubris.
If you want to know what went wrong in the presidency of George W. Bush, you could find plenty of candidates. There is its ineptitude ...
There is its Soprano-style approach to critics and even in-house skeptics ...
There is its peerless gift for self-delusion ...
There is its brazen dishonesty ...
All these traits flow from the same source: a self-congratulatory narcissism that is utterly impervious to events in the real world.
That was a triumph of arrogance, which my dictionary defines as "an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions." And if you want a human embodiment of that trait, you can hardly do better than Rumsfeld, who was happy to take credit for the initial success of the invasion but pretends that anything that may have gone wrong is way beyond his control.
But none of that is reason for the president to sack him. The problem doesn't lie with Rumsfeld so much as with those above him. Worse, firing him would establish the principle that those entrusted with power are accountable for their failures. And if we followed that policy, who knows where it might lead?
Yipes! "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria."