Monday, February 28, 2005

Putin's Question To Bush

Putin asks a questions the rest of America should be asking:

When Bush complained about restrictions on press freedom in Russia, Putin gave a response that surprised Bush and baffled the Americans. He said if the press was so free in the United States, why did reporters at CBS News get fired over a story that arose during the presidential campaign, officials said.

CBS News fired four employees in January after an independent report critical of CBS anchor Dan Rather found a "myopic zeal" led the network to disregard basic journalism principles when it aired a faulty story on Bush's military service record.

A senior U.S. official said other Russian officials raised the same issue during the day and noted a Russian journalist at the Bush-Putin news conference had asked about journalists fired in the United States. This led to suspicions that the question had been orchestrated by the Kremlin.

The view that Bush somehow had something to do with the CBS firings was "divorced from reality," the U.S. official said.

Sure, the Kremlin probably did orchestrate the question so that Bush would get asked in in the news conference. After all, Bush is used to having reporters working in concert with government agencies in our country, so why not over their also?

I am not surprised that other "less than democratic" countries start to point fingers at the blatant hypocrisy of our administration. How can the country that is busy spreading freedom be at the same time imprisoning its citizens without charging them, torturing prisoneers (some of which are innocent of any crimes against the US), and "disappering" people to other countries where they can be held indefinately (or killed) ?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Baby Needs Some Rocket Fuel

Bob Harris Proposes New Childerens' Book; Uncle Bucky and the Rocket-Fueled Breasts

Ok, now that's got your attention, let's move beyond the comedy and into more serious matters, shall we?

Study finds chemical component of rocket fuel in womens breast milk.

Scientists on Tuesday reported that perchlorate, a toxic component of rocket fuel, was contaminating virtually all samples of women's breast milk and its levels were found to be, on average, five times greater than in cow's milk.The contaminant, which originates mostly at defense industry plants, previously had been detected in various food and water supplies around the country. But the study by Texas Tech University's Institute of Environmental and Human Health was the first to investigate breast milk.

The findings concern health experts because infants and fetuses are the most vulnerable to the thyroid-impairing effects of the chemical.


Perchlorate blocks the nutrient iodide and inhibits thyroid hormones, which are necessary for brain development and cellular growth of a fetus or infant. A baby with impaired thyroid development may have neurological defects that result in lower IQ or learning disabilities.

The researchers recommended that pregnant and nursing women block the effects of perchlorate by taking iodine supplements as a precaution.

Environmentalists have urged the EPA to set its standard based on the body weight and perchlorate intake of an infant rather than an adult. Toxicologists said that would probably mean a standard of a few parts per billion. Pentagon officials have said that would shut down many water systems across the country and cost the military and its contractors billions of dollars in cleanup costs. They have instead lobbied for a standard of about 200 parts per billion based on thyroid studies of adults.

Yea, that's our government. Looking out for those poor defense contractors just trying to earn a buck by keeping Amurika safe. So what if the rocket fuel in breast milk lowers all of the IQ's of infants? That just makes them better Republicans anyway.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bush: Winning Is Everything

Tapes reveal what some of us already have guessed:

Predictably, commentators poring over this Rosetta Stone have focused on the hieroglyphics about drug use in the Sixties (Bush is a little more candid in private than he was in public) and his careful (but not too public) wooing of evangelicals.

Far more revealing are the glimpses into the combative, even arrogant heart of Bush’s character – and that of the Bush Clan. These are people expert at boarding-school blasé, at hiding a seething need to win behind a veil of bumbling nonchalance.

A key to Bush’s strategy was to scare others out of the Republican nomination race by amassing a horde of contributions and endorsements, and by drying up those resources for the other candidates.

But there was no stepping on Forbes. The guy had untold millions of dollars of his own, a geeky fearlessness that make him oblivious to threats and close, deep ties to the libertarian wing of the conservative movement in the GOP.

Bush’s response? ...Bush threatened to take his ball and go home, then wait for the moment of payback. Were Forbes to win the GOP nomination by attacking him too hard, Bush told Wead, he could forget any support from the Bush family, including from his brother Jeb, the governor of Florida. Forbes “can forget Texas,” Bush tells Wead. “And he can forget Florida. And I will sit on my hands.” In other words, Bush would rather see the Democrats win the White House than a Republican who humiliated him by defeating him in the nomination race.

Simply put, Bush's win in 2000 and 2004 had nothing to do with his compassion or his vision of improving America. It was merely his ability to play any card, use any tool at his disposal, in order to "win the presidency". The problem is, the office of the President should not be a position that is "won", but earned. Why should the world look to us for leadership when we elect a cutthroat, influence-pandering, elistist blohard who has no compuction about lying his way out of responsibility?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Chalabi Watch

Chalabi withdraws from Prime Minister contention:

The big question here is: what was the concession that got Chalabi to withdraw from the PM spot? I'm sure he was offered something.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"On The Other Side"

Powerline post accuses ex-President of supporting terrorism.

Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side.

Let's talk about who's on what "side", shall we?

Donald Rumsfeld:
His December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish "direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein," while emphasizing "his close relationship" with the president. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.'s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq's oil.....Rumsfeld also met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, and the two agreed, "the U.S. and Iraq shared many common interests."

Dick Cheney:
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has called Iran "the world's leading exporter of terror," pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton Co. in the 1990s. And his company's offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran.
"We seem to be sanction-happy as a government," Cheney said. "The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments."

Ronald Reagan:
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate March 21, 1982, as Afghanistan Day.

Every country and every people has a stake in the Afghan resistance, for the freedom fighters of Afghanistan are defending principles of independence and freedom that form the basis of global security and stability.

Yes, yes, let's talk about who is on our side.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Republicans Above The Law?

They evidently want to make the executive Branch above the very laws the branch is meant to enforce:

Section 102 of the Immigration Bill that passed today provides that "notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws" he determines necessary to construct barriers and fences.

Oregonian Rep. Earl Blumenauer regarding this provision:
If this provision, the waiver of all laws necessary for quote improvements of barriers at the border was to become law, the Secretary of Homeland Security could give a contract to his political cronies that had no safety standards, using 12-year-old illegal immigrants to do the labor, run it through the site of a Native American burial ground, kill bald eagles in the process, and pollute the drinking water of neighboring communities. And under the provisions of this act, no member of Congress, no citizen could do anything about it because you waive all judicial review.

This is our "Good Government" at work. Asserting their will over the rights of the common American, setting up loopholes so they can bypass enacted law when it suits them, and punishing (even through illegal or unscrupulous means) those who oppose them.

Not 8 years ago, one of these supposedly Conservative, God-fearing, Law-abiding, Grand Old Party reform politicians uttered the following solemn quote:

"I believe that this nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law. "

Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.

Shall we follow the rule of law and do our constitutional duty no matter unpleasant, or shall we follow the path of least resistance, close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking, forgive and forget, move on and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system? No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.

Gee, You will never, ever in a million years guess what sack of IRONY made flesh and blood uttered that phrase.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Preznit Makes A Grab For Power

In church, no less.

...Dubya didn't let the Sabbath inhibit him Sunday when he and Laura Bush attended services at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House. The frisky moment came shortly after the Rev. Luis Leon encouraged his flock to greet one another.

Most congregants settled for a handshake and the salutation "Peace be with you."

But the Chicago Tribune's White House correspondent wrote in his pool report: "[President Bush] leans toward [the First Lady], gives her a quick kiss on the lips and then pats her behind - I am not making this up - before turning to shake hands with other worshipers around him."

Yep, that's President Frisky - with his No Patting (the) Left Behind Act.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bush Talk, Put To Rhythm

Note: As you read the following, remember to say the bold stuff out loud. There is no reason to it, but maybe we can add some rhyme.

And now..............


Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers.
For example,(uh,huh-uh,huh)
how benefits are calculate
for example, (uh,huh-uh,huh)
is on the table;
whether or not benefits rise based upon,
wage increases or price increases. (boom bada-boom bada-bada-bada boom)
There's a series of parts of the formula
that are being considered.
And when you couple that, those different cost drivers,
affecting those, (uh,huh-uh,huh)
changing those with personal accounts,
the idea is to get what has been promised
more likely to be (uh,huh-uh,huh)
or closer delivered to what has been promised.(boom bada-boom bada-bada-bada boom)
Does that make any sense to you?
It's kind of muddled.
Look, there's a series of things that cause the --
like, for example, (uh,huh-uh,huh)
benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages,
as opposed to, (uh,huh-uh,huh)
the increase of prices. (boom bada-boom bada-bada-bada boom)
Some have suggested that we calculate
the benefits will rise based upon inflation,
as opposed (uh,huh-uh,huh)
to wage increases. (boom bada-boom bada-bada-bada boom)
There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect.
In other words, (uh,huh-uh,huh)
how fast benefits grow,
how fast the promised benefits grow,
if those (uh,huh-uh,huh)
if that growth is affected, it will help on the red. (boom bada-boom bada-bada-bada boom)

Okay, better? I'll keep working on it.

Word to ya mother

......Yes, thank, you all, you're a great audience, you..........hello?

(Chirp, Chirp goes the crickets)

Spend, Spend, Spend

Whitehouse releases budget proposal today:

The spending document projects that the deficit will hit a record $427 billion this year, the third straight year that the red ink in dollar terms has set a record. Bush projects that the deficit will fall to $390 billion in 2006 and gradually decline to $233 billion in 2009 and $207 billion in 2010.
Bush’s 2006 spending plan, for the budget year that begins next Oct. 1, counts on a healthy economy to boost revenues by 6.1 percent to $2.18 trillion. Spending, meanwhile, would grow by 3.5 percent to $2.57 trillion.
The budget also does not include any new spending for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration has said it will seek in coming weeks an additional $80 billion for the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for this year.

Yes, the Bush plan does include alot of cuts in discretionary spending, namely in Medicare Benefits, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and the Army Corps of Engineers. But these are just small pieces of the overall budget. Meanwhile, military spending will increase by 4.8%, not including the extra $80 billion to be asked for Iraq and Afghanistan. Not the least of issues is the fact that choosing to sunset the 2000-2004 tax cut provisions would have probably paid for everything anyway.

Yet again, the GOP knows how to spend money they don't have.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tax(cut) and Spend,Spend,Spend Republicans

GAO forum, first section, titled Today’s Fiscal Policy Is Unsustainable:

In the long term, current fiscal policy is unsustainable, and the sooner we
change course, the better. GAO3 and the Congressional Budget Office4
(CBO) agree that addressing the long-term fiscal challenge will require
fundamental changes. These changes could include changes in policies,
process, transparency, and enforcement mechanisms. A key question is,
“How much time remains before action must be taken?”


In fiscal year 2004, the federal budget deficit increased and the long-term
outlook worsened significantly. The unified deficit was $413 billion, or
about 3.6 percent of the economy.
This deficit includes $151 billion in
Social Security surpluses, without which the deficit would have been that
much larger
Indeed, the on-budget deficit for fiscal year 2004 was
$568 billion, or 4.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Fiscal year
2004’s deficit followed upon several years of increasingly negative federal
fiscal outcomes.
(Emphasis Mine)

Note: The last sentence, in a "fair and balanced manner", neglects to mention the fact that prior to the "several years", there were several other years (known as the Clinton Years) where federal fiscal outcomes were not only decreasingly negative, they even became increasingly positive. Well, anyway, read on...

In addition, as the Fiscal Year 2004 Consolidated Financial Statements of
the U.S. Government show,8 in fiscal year 2004 the federal government
added $13 trillion in new liabilities, unfunded commitments, and other
principally due to the new Medicare prescription drug
.9 The federal government’s net liabilities, unfunded commitments,
and other obligations now amount to more than $43 trillion, or about
$350,000 for every full-time worker, and these unfunded commitments are
growing larger every day.
(Emphasis Mine)

If we assume that all tax cuts remain in effect rather than expire as
scheduled under current law, and if we further assume that for the first 10
years discretionary spending grows with the economy rather than at the
rate of inflation, a dramatically different picture emerges.
This simulation
is called “Discretionary Spending Grows with the Economy and All
Expiring Tax Provisions are Extended.” (See fig. 2.) Under this alternative
simulation, by 2040 the government would have only enough money to pay
interest on the federal debt

My interpretation, "if the current group of fiscally irresponsible Republicans maintain their control of the legislative branch, government will be so burdened by spending obligations that eventually our government will run out of money to pay for any programs.

Economic growth can help improve the long-term fiscal outlook, but it
cannot solve the long-term fiscal problem
. A “status quo” fiscal policy is
not an option. The sooner we take action, the better. The sooner we act,
the sooner the miracle of compound interest can work for us rather than
against us.

In other words, you can stick a fork in that supply-side economics theory, Mr. GOP. It's done.

This is something that I think Democrats should be pounding the GOP with. No Republican candidate ever resists the temptation to point his/her finger at a Democrat opponent and pronouce the immortal curse (say it with me now, you know it by heart):


I have never seen/heard any Democrat point to their Republican counterparts and accuse them of being part of the "Tax-cuts-for-the-elites-and-Bankrupt-the-USA-GOP"!!!
Hmmm...maybe someone else out there could come up with something that rolls of the tongue a little smoother.