Monday, September 25, 2006

Please Nancy let them go home

I understand what Rep Pelosi is doing here and I sure she means well.....but please drop it and let the Republicans get out of DC ASAP. Everything they touch turns to shit, the longer they're in session the more will have to be undone later.
The House Democratic leadership has written Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to tell him that they will "actively resist adjournment" at the end of the week, RAW STORY has learned.

The Republican leadership has scheduled a light calendar this year, leaving embattled incumbents more time than usual to campaign at home.

Democrats are pressing "five key issues" that they believe Congress hasn't addressed during the current session. Until those issues are addressed, Democrats say that they will use procedural maneuvers to resist calling adjournment.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

how'd they get that whole head on one book cover?

Media Matters slices and dices O'Reilly's new book.

I find it amazing that O'Reilly calls himself a warrior.

The only real battle he ever had was a legal one against Andrea Mackris, he got all puffed up for a little while then quickly folded like a cheap suit after she filed suit. He ended up giving her millions of dollars to avoid airing his dirty linen in public. Quite the warrior.

While we're on the subject of O'Reilly.....Why this little tidbit about the baffoon is never brought up is beyond me.

Right before U.S. forces invaded Iraq, O'Reilly made a bold promise on ABC about Iraq's WMDs: "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?"

The first thing I would say to him if I ever a guest on his show is - You know Bill I must admit when it comes to the trusting the Bush administration you and I are on the same page, and then throw his now forgotten quote in his face.

MSM catches up with the blogs

Iraq war triggered terrorism, says US intelligence report

A report in The New York Times says an American intelligence report has concluded that the Iraq war helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and increased the overall threat of terrorism.

It quotes the report by the National Intelligence Council, a think-tank for 16 different US spy agencies, as saying Islamic radicalism has mushroomed worldwide.

The National Intelligence Estimate, as the document is known, reflects the views of no fewer than 16 US spy agencies.

According to The New York Times it says the Iraq war has triggered more, not less, terrorism and helped spread Jihadist ideology.

Overall, the report is consistent with other intelligence assessments that suggest that while Al Qaeda may have been weakened since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, the radical Islamic movement worldwide has strengthened.

It also reportedly concludes that Al Qaeda has now mutated into a global franchise of semi-autonomous cells.

In a series of recent speeches, US President George W Bush has been portraying the war on Iraq as the central front in the war on terrorism.

This report implies while that may be true, that it is a front the United States's own making.

In the past, President Bush has dismissed such reasoning by arguing that Islamic militants had hated the US long before it invaded Iraq, or even Afghanistan.

The estimate, the first US assessment of international terrorism since the Iraq war began, has not been seen by The New York Times.

But the paper has spoken to officials who have either read it or been involved in drafting it. - link

-BBC

Russ Feingold for President

The President and the Law (1 Letter)


Published: September 24, 2006

To the Editor:

John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, acknowledges that President Bush’s unique approach to the law, which the president has insisted is necessary to fight terrorism, is motivated by the “broader’’ goal of strengthening executive power (Op-Ed, Sept. 17).

Mr. Yoo cites this goal as a reason the administration has fought a “pre-emptive’’ war, “data-mined communications in the United States to root out terrorism,’’ detained terrorists without “formal’’ charges and conducted “harsh’’ interrogations.

The agenda includes the reclassification of government information and the withholding of information from Congress and the courts, and has been buttressed by the president’s “signing statements,’’ which Mr. Yoo asserts claim the president’s right not to enforce “unconstitutional’’ laws.

In our system of government, it is the courts that determine the constitutionality of laws, not the president.

But Mr. Yoo takes his argument further, asserting that the president can ignore laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because they have produced “dysfunction.’’ Indeed, according to Mr. Yoo, the president can ignore both laws and judicial decisions that he deems “wrongheaded’’ or “obsolete.’’

These views are clearly offensive to our constitutional system. It is long past time for Congress to reassert its proper role in checking an executive branch that has so little respect for the principles that have sustained our democracy for more than 200 years.

Russ Feingold
U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
Washington, Sept. 19, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

say no to torture

Letter to my Congresscritters....


Dear ______,

As a citizen of this great counry I never imagined In all my wildest dreams that I would have to write the following to a member of MY GOVERNMENT.

Say no to torture! Reject Bush's compromise torture bill. If Bush doesn't torture as he's claimed on numerous occasions, then there's no need to change the current laws. You do realize that five former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff oppose this president's policys concerning treatment of prisoners, please stand with our military and force this administration to abide by existing laws and conventions.

Thank You

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

enough of this bullshit about Democrats not having any ideas


21st Century Military
To Ensure Unparalleled Military Strength and Honor our Troops, we will:

Rebuild a state-of-the-art military by making the needed investments in equipment and manpower so that we can project power to protect America wherever and whenever necessary.

Guarantee that our troops have the protective gear, equipment, and training they need and are never sent to war without accurate intelligence and a strategy for success.

Enact a GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century that guarantees our troops -- active, reserve, and retired -- our veterans, and their families receive the pay, health care, mental health services, and other benefits they have earned and deserve.

Strengthen the National Guard, in partnership with the nation's Governors, to ensure it is fully manned, equipped and available to meet missions at home and abroad.


War on Terror
To Defeat Terrorists and Stop the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, we will:

Eliminate Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, finish the job in Afghanistan and end the threat posed by the Taliban.

Double the size of our Special Forces, increase our human intelligence capabilities, and ensure our intelligence is free from political pressure.

Eliminate terrorist breeding grounds by combating the economic, social, and political conditions that allow extremism to thrive; lead international efforts to uphold and defend human rights; and renew longstanding alliances that have advanced our national security objectives.

Secure by 2010 loose nuclear materials that terrorists could use to build nuclear weapons or "dirty bombs."

Redouble efforts to stop nuclear weapons development in Iran and North Korea.

Homeland Security
To Protect America from Terrorism and Natural Disasters, we will:

Immediately implement the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission including securing national borders, ports, airports and mass transit systems.

Screen 100% of containers and cargo bound for the U.S. in ships or airplanes at the point of origin and safeguard America's nuclear and chemical plants, and food and water supplies.

Prevent outsourcing of critical components of our national security infrastructure -- such as ports, airports and mass transit -- to foreign interests that put America at risk.

Provide firefighters, emergency medical workers, police officers, and other workers on the front lines with the training, staffing, equipment and cutting-edge technology they need.

Protect America from biological terrorism and pandemics, including the Avian flu, by investing in the public health infrastructure and training public health workers.

Iraq
To Honor the Sacrifice of Our Troops, we will:

Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.

Insist that Iraqis make the political compromises necessary to unite their country and defeat the insurgency; promote regional diplomacy; and strongly encourage our allies and other nations to play a constructive role.

Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses that have placed our troops at greater risk and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.


Energy Independence
To Free America from Dependence on Foreign Oil, we will:

Achieve energy independence for America by 2020 by eliminating reliance on oil from the Middle East and other unstable regions of the world.

Increase production of alternate fuels from America's heartland including bio-fuels, geothermal, clean coal, fuel cells, solar and wind; promote hybrid and flex fuel vehicle technology and manufacturing; enhance energy efficiency and conservation incentives.

- Link

Monday, September 04, 2006

Howlin Wolf - I'll Be Back Someday

Republican war on Labor

Great OP-ed by David Sirota:
On America Working
The war on workers

David Sirota
Monday, September 4, 2006

U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige labeled one "a terrorist organization." Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, called them "a clear and present danger to the security of the United States." And U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., claimed they employ "tyranny that Americans are fighting and dying to defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan" and are thus "enemies of freedom and democracy," who show "why we still need the Second Amendment" to defend ourselves with firearms.

Who are these supposed threats to America? No, not Osama bin Laden followers, but labor unions made up of millions of workers -- janitors, teachers, firefighters, police officers, you name it.

Bashing organized labor is a Republican pathology, to the point where unions are referenced with terms reserved for military targets. In his 1996 article, headlined "GOP Readies for War With Big Labor," conservative columnist Robert Novak cheered the creation of a "GOP committee task force on the labor movement" that would pursue a "major assault" on unions. As one Republican lawmaker told Novak, GOP leaders champion an "anti-union attitude that appeals to the mentality of hillbillies at revival meetings."

The hostility, while disgusting, is unsurprising. Unions wield power for workers, meaning they present an obstacle to Republican corporate donors, who want to put profit-making over other societal priorities.

Think the minimum wage just happened? Think employer-paid health care and pensions have been around for as long as they have by some force of magic? Think again -- unions used collective bargaining to preserve these benefits. As the saying goes, union members are the folks that brought you the weekend.

The government's numbers explain how unions have helped their members. According to an analysis of federal data by the Labor Research Association, average union members receive a quarter more in compensation than nonunion workers. Eighty-nine percent of union members have access to employer-sponsored health care, compared to just 67 percent of nonunion workers. Unionized workers receive 26 percent more vacation than nonunion workers.

Unions also benefit nonunion workers. That's thanks to the "union threat effect" whereby anti-union companies meet higher standards in order to prevent workers from becoming angry and organizing. For instance, Princeton researchers found in industries that are 25 percent unionized, average nonunion workers get 7.5 percent more compensation specifically because of unionization's presence.

The flip side is obvious: The more corporations and politicians crush unions, the more all workers suffer. It is no coincidence that as union membership and power has declined under withering anti-union attacks, workers have seen their wages stagnate, pensions slashed, and share of national income hit a 60-year low. As Council on Foreign Relations scholars put it, the decline in unions "is correlated with the early and sharp widening of the U.S. wage gap."

Big Business claims union membership has declined because workers do not want to join unions -- a claim debunked by public-opinion data. In 2002, Harvard University and University of Wisconsin researchers found at least 42 million workers want to be organized into a bargaining unit -- more than double the 16 million unionized workers in America. A 2005 nationwide survey by respected pollster Peter Hart found 53 percent of nonunion workers -- that's more than 50 million people -- want to join a union, if given the choice.

Increasingly, however, workers have no real choice. According to Cornell University experts, 1 in 4 employers illegally fires at least one worker during a union drive, 3 in 4 hire anti-union consultants, and 8 in 10 force workers to attend anti-union meetings. When workers petition the government to enforce laws protecting organizing rights, they are forced to go before the National Labor Relations Board, which is both run by anti-union presidential appointees, and chronically understaffed so as to slow down proceedings. When Democrats have tried to expand workers' union rights by introducing the Employee Free Choice Act, the GOP has prevented a vote on the legislation.

So when GOP lawmakers pledge their commitment to workers at Labor Day celebrations today, remember -- Republicans are waging a war on the very workers they purport to care about.

happy Labor Day





THE HISTORY OF LABOR DAY

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

On September 5, 1882, some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City to participate in America's first Labor Day parade. After marching from City Hall to Union Square, the workers and their families gathered in Reservoir Park for a picnic, concert and speeches. This first Labor Day celebration was initiated by Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader who, a year earlier, cofounded the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, a precursor of the American Federation of Labor.

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thom Hartmann's new book

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While the radical GOP extremists have been diverting the attention of America's middle class with demagogic, divisive emotional "values" issues, the Republican Party has been picking their pockets, reducing their opportunies, and dismantling their support systems.

As the book illustrates, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle calss is getting screwed.

Hartmann always grounds his contemporary analysis in the context of the origins of our nation, our Constitution, and revolutionary history.

Do people or profits come first in our society?

Are we a nation that is interested in advancing the public good and interest of the many? Or are we an oligarchy, in which the many must sacrifice their futures for the benefit of a privileged few?

The latter sounds a lot like a monarchy, doesn't it?

And wasn't the American Revolution a result of the rule of an unjust, tyrannical monarchy? - buy it here

Midnight

Cat Stevens - Moonshadow

for those who think McCain is a moderate

The American Conservative Union gives Sen. McCain a lifetime rating of 83 (on a scale of 0 to 100). A liberal organization, Americans for Democratic Action, gives the senator a 5 on its 0-to-100 scale of liberalness.

#2 again ?

Iraqi and US forces have detained the second most senior al-Qaeda in Iraq figure in an operation that took place a few days ago, an official said.

Isn't it amazing, when Bush is trying to gin up support for his fiasco, suddenly another tape comes out and presto, another #2 quida gets caught, funny how that works.

the General

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rocky gets 3 Feingolds for this

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Wow, you've got to hand it to the mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. Quite the brave politician. Imagine the grief the wingnuts are giving him.

Excerpts from Mayor Anderson's speech:

A patriot is a person who loves his or her country.

Who among you loves your country so much that you have come here today to raise your voice out of deep concern for our nation - and for our world?

And who among you loves your country so much that you insist that our nation's leaders tell us the truth?

Let's hear it: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!"

Let no one deny we are patriots. We love our country, we hold dear the values upon which our nation was founded, and we are distressed at what our President, his administration, and our Congress are doing to, and in the name of, our great nation.

Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.

A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president.

That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience - a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid - afraid we are right, afraid of the truth (even to the point of denying it), afraid he or she has put in with an oppressive, inhumane, regime that does not respect the laws and traditions of our country, and that history will rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.

In response to those who believe we should blindly support this disastrous president, his administration, and the complacent, complicit Congress, listen to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a great president and a Republican, who said: The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

We are here today as truth-tellers.

And we are here to demand: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!"

We are here today to insist that those who were elected to be our leaders must tell us the truth.

We are here today to insist that our news media live up to its sacred responsibility to ascertain and report the truth - rather than acting like nothing more than a bulletin board for the lies and propaganda of a manipulative, dishonest federal government.

Remember how good you felt............

after the 2004 Presidential debates?
Here's Hunter S. Thompson's take on them.
Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful. . . . I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him "Mister President," and then I felt ashamed.

Karl Rove, the president's political wizard, felt even worse. There is angst in the heart of Texas today, and panic in the bowels of the White House. Rove has a nasty little problem, and its name is George Bush. The president failed miserably from the instant he got onstage with John Kerry. He looked weak and dumb. Kerry beat him like a gong in Coral Gables, then again in St. Louis and Tempe -- and that is Rove's problem: His candidate is a weak-minded frat boy who cracks under pressure in front of 60 million voters.

That is an unacceptable failure for hardballers like Rove and Dick Cheney. On the undercard in Cleveland against John Edwards, Cheney came across as the cruel and sinister uberboss of Halliburton. In his only honest moment during the entire debate, he vowed, "We have to make America the best place in the world to do business."

Bush signed his own death warrant in the opening round, when he finally had to speak without his TelePrompTer. It was a Cinderella story brought up to date in Florida that night -- except this time the false prince turned back into a frog.

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now that's a campaign ad

Charles W.Sanders is running for Congress in Ohio......and he's put together one hell of a campaign ad.