Sunday, April 30, 2006

Do you really want to trust Bush again?

The May 8, issue of Newsweek has an article titled Iran: A Rummy Guide.

It lays out the case that Iran may not even be trying to make nuclear weapons and even if they are, they're a long way from completing it.

Even Bush's own people are skeptical of any imminent nuclear threat:

Last month in Washington, top aides to U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte
told reporters they believe Iran will not have a nuclear bomb until after 2010,
at the earliest.

I would hope, as a country, we would be a little more cynical, this time, about Bush's desire to solve another country's imaginary WMD capabilities by military force. We do have past experience to go on, this time.

Yet it's also true that no solid evidence has ever been revealed linking
Iran's known nuclear program to the actual development or production of nuclear

"Are there secret facilities? I don't think so," says Gary Samore,
nonproliferation expert in the Clinton administration, who recently wrote a
major study of Iran's WMD programs. "Look, if there were, Iran would be very
foolish to provoke acrisis over its known facilities. Their best course would be
to soothe everyone by allowing the IAEA to monitor those, while secretly working
away in the clandestine plants." Joseph Cirincione at the Carnegie Endowment is
equally skeptical. "There's not a scintilla of evidence," he says. "Is it
possible? Yes. Is it possible Iran has a base on the moon? Yes."

Stephen Colbert has Broiled Bush for Dinner.

Stephen Colbert, who has arguably the best political show on television, ripped Bush a new one at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night.

President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, who arguably have no sense of humor, were not amused.

Colbert, who has a legendary fear of bears, showed no fear Saturday night as he was brazen enough to tell the truth to the President's face.

This ought to, at least, be worth another Peabody Award.

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly
supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval
ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known
liberal bias.”

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House
was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is
soaring, not sinking,” he said. “They are re-arranging the deck chairs--on the

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by
refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky”
movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else
in the world.”

Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs
best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a
fabulous government in Iraq."

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, as well as " Valerie
Plame." Then, pretending to be worried that he had named her, he corrected
himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... Joseph Wilson's wife." He
asserted that it might be okay, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was probably
not there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft
carriers and at hurricane disasters, and Vice President Cheney shooting people
in the face. Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the
president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no
matter what happened Tuesday."

Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by the
liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes
in presenting both sides—the president’s side and the vice president’s side." He
also reflected on the good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your
families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one
about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know--


Happy, clueless Republicans.

After 5 years of screw-ups, deficits, wars, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for big business, bungled hurricane responses, corruption, $3.00 a gallon gasoline, leaks, ignoring Constitutional rights, election hanky-panky, outsourcing, loss of jobs, etc., the Republicans think that a few meaningless staff changes at the White House will improve their chances in the 2006 elections.

It's no wonder this country's in the shape that it's in.

Well, good luck GOP, your record speaks for itself.

The recent White House staff shake-up has bought President Bush a measure of
peace with his disgruntled Republican allies on Capitol Hill, who see the new
lineup as belated evidence that the president is finally determined to gain
political traction before the November elections. But they fear those ambitions
may be frustrated by public unease over Iraq and party divisions over spending
and immigration.

Republican lawmakers regard the arrivals of new White House Chief of Staff
Joshua B. Bolten, budget director-designate Rob Portman and incoming press
secretary Tony Snow as more than superficial job shuffling. They interpret the
changes as a sign of Bush's desire to improve tattered relations with Congress
and the media -- key steps that could aid in revitalizing his presidency.

"If this were the NFL draft, these would be some awfully strong picks," said
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), adding, "I think they're really trying to do something
that is much more than cosmetic. They're trying to make meaningful changes that
will give a new look as well as a new air to the administration."

Lead the way, Connecticut.

Finally, we have some Democrats that are willing to stand up and point out that it's no longer acceptable to call yourself a Democrat while supporting the Republicans. Ned Lamont is their man.

Lamont is going up against Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn) in the Democratic primary.

Let's hope this is a start of a national trend.

In a repeat of the shameful episode in Ohio, where the Democratic leadership pressured Paul Hackett, a Iraq War veteran, to step aside so that one of their own brand of Democrat could run, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called Lamont asking him to back off. Lamont stated, "But you're not going to lose a senator. You're going to gain a Democrat."

The Democratic Party has to realize that the only way they will be taken seriously is by establishing their own identity and stop trying to out-Republican the Republicans.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- With his ruddy tan and dark gray suit, Ned Lamont is an
antiwar liberal with a twist. Rather than targeting a Republican, the
millionaire Greenwich businessman is challenging a fellow Democrat, Sen. Joseph
I. Lieberman, one of President Bush's strongest supporters on the war in

When Lamont announced his primary challenge in mid-March, he was viewed as
the longest of long shots, a quixotic blueblood who was scratching a political
itch. While many Connecticut Democrats had soured on Lieberman over his war
stance, a poll showed that voters backed the three-term senator over Lamont by 5
to 1.

Now, Lamont has turned the Democratic primary into a horse race, giving
Lieberman his first real test since he joined the Senate 18 years ago, according
to Democratic operatives and analysts in Connecticut. Party leaders were so
rattled by the challenge that Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.)
called Lamont asking him to back off.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Tale of Two Economies.

The Commerce Department reported that the economy grew 4.8% last quarter.

Bush said, "This rapid growth is another sign that our economy is on the fast track,".

And can you think of anything that Bush has been wrong about?

Someone must be doing awfully well.

And the economy isn't the only thing that's going up. So are mortgage foreclosures, 72% rise this last year. Worker compensation is half of the rise of inflation.

What this means is that, while the wealthy are reaping the benefits of this surge in the economy, and the people that are producing that surge, the working people in this country, are working harder for less.

Remember Trickle Down Economics? Well, this is it. But the benefits that it produces evaporates before it trickles down to the working class. Something they didn't tell us about when they were promoting it.

This is exactly what Republicans dream of.

It's not just the oil companies.

So you didn't want universal health care in this country. You actually believed the right wing, big business propaganda that the government can't provide health care coverage as well as private interests.

Hope you plan on staying healthy.

Here's a story about a CEO of a HMO. He quit being a doctor in 1986 to go to work for UnitedHealth Group Inc..
He's now worth over a billion bucks. A real American success story. That billion bucks used to be yours.

The story, datelined Minnetonka, Minn., was about William McGuire, a doctor
who stopped practicing in 1986 to take a management job with UnitedHealth Group
Inc., one of the largest HMOs in the country.

He's now the chief executive officer of the corporation, makes $8 million a
year in salary plus bonus, has personal use of the company's private jet and has
amassed what the Journal describes as "one of the largest stock options fortunes
of all time."

According to the newspaper, those options total $1.6 billion.

"Even celebrated CEOs such as General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch or
International Business Machines Corp.'s Louis Gerstner never were granted so
much during their time at the top," the WSJ story said.

But the gist of the story is that while McGuire and other UnitedHealth
execs are raking in millions, their company is putting the squeeze on everyone

"Dr. McGuire's story shows how an elite group of companies is getting rich
from the nation's fraying health care system," the bible of the business world
reported. "Many of them aren't discovering drugs or treating patients. They're
middlemen who process the paperwork, fill the pill bottles and otherwise connect
the pieces of a $2 trillion industry."

The newspaper's research shows that UnitedHealth has particularly benefited
in recent years as health care inflation eased somewhat.

Insurers still raised premiums at double-digit rates. At UnitedHealth, for
example, its stock price tripled from January of 2003 to January of this year
and its net income rose to $3.3 billion. Hence, the nice
board-of-director-approved windfall for McGuire. (Interestingly, former
UW-Madison Chancellor Donna Shalala is a member of UnitedHealth's board.)
On one hand we have Medicare, which provides universal single-payer coverage to
all Americans over age 65 at about a 2 percent administrative cost. On the other
hand we have a hodge-podge of plans with layer after administrative layer that
gobbles up close to 20 percent in overhead costs (Dr. McGuire's just a piece of
that) and leaves millions out in the cold.

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Krauthammer's Article.

Charles Krauthammer has written a reasonably true article in today's Washington Post. Despite the title, Say It With Me: Supply and Demand, which to me, implies that the rest of us are just too stupid to understand what's going on.

But he is kind enough to try to enlighten those of us who don't possess his superior mental acuity.

He makes some very good points:

· Demand is up. China has come from nowhere to pass Japan as the number No. 2
oil consumer in the world. China and India -- between them home to eight times
the U.S. population -- are industrializing and gobbling huge amounts of energy.

American demand is up because we've lived in a fool's paradise since the
mid-1980s. Until then, beginning with the oil shocks in 1973, Americans had
changed appliances and cars and habits and achieved astonishing energy
conservation. Energy use per dollar of gross domestic product was cut by 30
percent in little over a decade. Oil prices collapsed to about $10 a barrel.

In March 2000, the price of gas hit $1.80 per gallon. Scandalized
congressional Republicans shamelessly pushed for repeal of Clinton's whopping
4.3-cent gas tax increase. Now that the president is a Republican, what do you
think Senate Democrats are proposing? A 60-day suspension of the federal gas
tax. It would cost $6 billion and counteract the only good thing that comes with
high gas prices -- the incentive to conserve.

George Shultz once said,
"Nothing ever gets settled in this town." But even Shultz, who has seen
everything, must marvel at the perfect regularity, the utter predictability, of
the bottomless cynicism of Washington in the grip of gasoline fever.

Then the points get a little fuzzy:

Then amnesia set in, mile-per-gallon ratings disappeared from TV ads and we
became "a country of a million Walter Mittys driving 75 mph in their
gas-guzzling Bushwhack-Safari sport-utility roadsters with a moose head on
hood, a country whose crude oil production has dropped 32 percent in the
last 25

Yea, you go Charles!

...but which will not drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for
fear of disturbing the mating habits of caribou."

Cute, but opening ANWR to drilling won't solve the problem, in fact it won't even make much difference. Except to the caribou's social lives. First it would take about 13 years to bring ANWR on line

If you can see the little bump on the graph, that's the boost we get if we gutted ANWR.

Why don't we import the missing ethanol? Brazil makes a ton of it, and very
cheaply. Answer: the Iowa caucuses. Iowa grows corn and chooses presidents. So
we have a ridiculously high 54-cent ethanol tariff and ethanol

Another regulation requires specific ("boutique") gasoline blends for
different cities depending on their air quality. Nice idea. But it introduces
debilitating rigidities into the gasoline supply system. If Los Angeles runs
short, you cannot just move supply in from Denver. You get shortages and more
price spikes.

Well, he certainly states the petroleum industry's case well. But there are studies that say this is pure bull.

Neither the MTBE phaseout nor the substitution of ethanol is a serious part of
the increase
. If the MTBE phaseout or ethanol blending specifically
increased costs for oil companies in California, other states in the West using
conventional unblended gasoline should be much less affected. Yet Washington
State, which uses only conventional gasoline and has similar refinery capacity
and crude oil sources, mirrored California's increase;

And his whole premise, that this is just a supply and demand situation and the rest of us are just too dense to understand, is at best specious.

You see most of us realize that the majority of refinery production in this country is controlled by the oil companies themselves and there's just too much evidence of their working together to reduce supply and artificially keep prices up.

Say it with me: Racketteering and Demand.

Investigating Refining Capacity Rhetoric:

Why gasoline prices are headed for $3.50 at the pump.

Internal Memos Show Oil Companies Intentionally Limited Refining Capacity To Drive Up Gasoline Prices

New Gasoline Study Shows Profits, Not Crude Oil Prices Or Ethanol, Are Driving Pump Price Spike

I'll have some of what she's smoking.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Turkish leaders to stay out of Iraq and that the U.S. would handle the problem of Kurdish incursions into Turkey.

Sounds good and tough, but unless the Turks live in the same fantasy land that the current administration does, it really doesn't mean too much.

How Ms. Rice proposes to either stop the Turks from coming to Iraq or keeping the Kurds from going into Turkey is anyone's guess.

The best information I can get is that the American Military is stretched too thin to do anything more than protect themselves, at best.

We're loaning sailors to the Army right now, so that Bush can keep up the pretence that we are actually accomplishing something in Iraq other than sheer survival.

Ms. Rice, you might be fooling some people in this country, but I doubt if you're fooling the Turks. And I know you're not fooling the Kurds.

You got to face it, your boss has ruined the military ground forces in his ill-advised adventure into Iraq. And he didn't even get the oil.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured Turkish leaders on Tuesday
that the United States would step up efforts to stop the infiltration of Kurdish
insurgents from Iraq into Turkey, but she warned the Turkish government not to
send troops into Iraq to do the job.

Addressing what has become a new irritant in relations with Turkey, Rice
acknowledged that the problem of infiltration by Kurdish rebels into Turkey from
Kurdish regions in northern Iraq had been allowed to grow.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

And we didn't even get a kiss.

Exxon: Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Don't you think our values in this country might just be a little bit skewed?

While making a profit is a good thing, there has to be a line somewhere that making obscene profits at a time that it is detrimental to the well being of society just shouldn't be done.

I'm always glad to see American companies do well. But you've bought the President and the Congress and they've bent over backwards to kiss your butts, it's about time you showed a little consideration for your customers that have no choice but to use your product.

DALLAS -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest oil company, reported
Thursday the fifth highest quarterly profit for any public company in history,
posting gains from higher oil prices that were likely to stoke the furor over
outsized oil company earnings.

Despite the 7 percent gain in earnings to
more than $8 billion in the first quarter, Exxon Mobil said its earnings came in
below its record fourth-quarter because all three of its business _ exploration
and production; refining; chemicals _ didn't perform as well.

Placed in
perspective, Exxon's revenue for the three-month period was still greater than
the annual gross domestic product of some major oil producing nations, including
the United Arab Emirates ($74.67 billion) and Kuwait ($55.31 billion), according
to statistics maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.

They actually think that dismantling FEMA will help?

Based on the performance of FEMA during and after Hurricane Katrina, a Senate report recommends dismantling the agency and completely rebuilding it, while keeping it under the authority of DHS.

Using that logic, we had just as well dismantle the entire U.S. Government.

Didn't FEMA work pretty well before Bush and the Republicans were in charge?

Hurricane Katrina exposed flaws in the Federal Emergency Management Agency
and the Department of Homeland Security that are "too substantial to mend," and
FEMA should be dismantled and rebuilt inside the troubled department, according
to the final report by Senate investigators.

The report, to be released to key senators today and to the public next
week, makes 86 recommendations that would undo major changes made when President
Bush and Congress launched the department in 2003, and would reverse parts of a
reorganization ordered by Secretary Michael Chertoff last summer. It stops short
of restoring FEMA to independent, Cabinet-level status, as many in Congress and
former agency directors want, but would promote its chief to confer directly
with the president in a crisis, according to a summary released to news

Good luck! Hurricane season starts in a month.

WaPo rips bush on gas prices.

The Washington Post has a really good editorial today and everything in it is pretty much the truth. Unfortunately, it wasn't all the truth. They let the oil companies slide. And believe me that is a big omission.

NO DOUBT IT makes everyone feel better when the president states his concern
for Americans, who are now paying more than $3 a gallon for gasoline.
Unfortunately, the measures President Bush chose to announce this week to combat
high prices are either meaningless or possibly dangerous in the long run, even
if they do offer a bit of temporary relief. For example, just talking publicly
about "price gouging" can spook gasoline providers into slightly lowering
prices. And maybe it's useful to inspire state officials to start looking harder
for crooks, given that price gouging is defined at the state level, not by the
federal government. But in the long term, such talk encourages the public to
believe that evil price gougers are responsible for higher pump prices, when the
real culprits are global economic growth, increased demand and Americans' own
large cars.

And he could have used his statutory authority to raise automobile fuel
economy standards or persuaded Congress to find other ways to improve mileage
per gallon of U.S. vehicles. Again, if he were completely honest, the president
would tell Americans that the main reason fuel prices are higher in this country
is because demand is growing -- and one reason for growing demand is that people
drive inefficient cars. They drive inefficient cars because public policy, long
shaped by the president and by Congress, has made it advantageous to do so.
Until that changes, little else will.

What they didn't seem to want to tell you is that the few big oil companies that control supply and pricing, have been playing us for fools and doing a damn good job of it.

The campaign to avoid responsibility for high gas prices is much like the
campaign to avoid responsibility for global warming. Big Oil pays off an army of
think tanks like Heritage and AEI to tell the public that big, bad
environmentalists and consumer advocates are to blame for not letting them build
more refineries. And to be sure, more refineries could indeed mean cheaper gas.
But it's Big Oil that's been keeping its refinery capacity down, not

The Foundation for Taxpayer
and Consumer Rights
has a handful of internal memos from Texaco, Chevron, and Mobil, all dated
from the 1990s, detailing company plans to purposely reduce refining capacity to
raise profits. The plan worked. From 1999 to 2004, American
refiners increased their profits by a whopping 80%
, from nearly $0.23 to
$0.41 per gallon of gasoline. From the beginning of 1999 to the end of 2004, the
retail price of gasoline went from about $0.98 to $1.84 per gallon.

Oddly enough, the Washington Post knew this last September.

When the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline peaked at $3.07 recently,
it was partly because the nation's refineries were getting an estimated 99 cents
on each gallon sold. That was more than three times the amount they earned a
year ago when regular unleaded was selling for $1.87.

OK WaPo, in the future let's try to get the whole story out and not just half of it. People might think you're knuckling under to Big Petro.

Government says wounded troops owe it money.

It's bad enough that American troops were put into the position that they're in, but now the government says they owe it money for various BS reasons.

Forced to fight in a war, knowingly started on false information, these troops are now being badgered by the government and threatened with private collection agencies.

And it's not just the wounded, they're going after the KIA's too.

This is one sorry bunch running the country. No effort is spared to make life better for the wealthy and big business. But for someone that has actually served and sacrificed for the country there's scorn and disrespect. I guess they thought they'd try to create a little surplus to offset the deficit.

They're blaming it on old, faulty computers. Have you seen the military's budget? If you believe it is a computer problem, I'm sure you think Saddam participated in 9/11.

Nearly 900 soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have been saddled with
government debts as they have recovered from war, according to a report that
describes collection notices going out to veterans with brain damage, paralysis,
lost limbs and shrapnel wounds.

The report from the Government Accountability Office, to be released at a
hearing today, details how long-recognized problems with military computer
systems led to the soldiers being dunned for an array of debts related to
everything from errors in paychecks to equipment left behind on the

In one case cited in the GAO report, the debts meant that a soldier's
family had no money to pay bills and had to send an 11-year-old daughter to live
out of state.

At today's hearing, Army and Defense Department officials are expected to
testify about what is being done to correct the problem. A database of soldiers
wounded in action has been created, but the GAO suggested that more needs to be
done, including congressional action to forgive more soldiers' debts and provide
refunds in certain cases.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dish Network may pick up Al Jazeera.

Can't be any worse than Fox, CNN and MSNBC, with the exception of Countdown with Keith Olbermann

While it doesn't look like it will be appearing along side the Big Three, Dish Network is the only U.S. outlet to even consider carrying it.

Dish Network
is the only cable or satellite operator in the U.S. publicly
willing to consider carrying controversial Arab news channel Al Jazeera's
planned English-language spinoff.

Even on Dish, Al Jazeera's attempt to provide an alternative to Western
news outlets like BBC World and CNN International isn't likely to appear on any
of the satellite-TV operator's popular programming tiers.

But there are some who don't think American's should be able to see an alternative news program with an Arab point of view.

Clifford May, president of the advocacy group Foundation for the Defense of
Democracies, is skeptical of Al Jazeera's assertions that its English-based
network will feature objective reporting.

"Al Jazeera's main purpose is not to deliver the news," May said. Much of
the programming on the Arab-language channel reflects "a militant Islamist
ideology," he said, and "I would certainly urge anyone considering carriage to
keep a careful eye on its content."

For Clifford May and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, "objective reporting" means, like Fox News.

With a few possible exceptions, the
members of FDD
are predominately conservative and neo-conservative and the
articles written by FDD's members and the literature on their site promote a
neo-conservative slant.

Supidity Personified.

How do we lose election after election to these guys?

No longer showing any pretense at working for the people of this country, House Republicans hid behind closed doors to stop a $5 billion over five years raise in taxes on oil companies.

House and Senate tax writers have been struggling to reach an accord on
separate tax bills approved last year to extend some expiring tax cuts enacted
during President Bush's first term. But House Republicans have raised strong
objections to Senate-passed provisions that would raise nearly $5 billion in
taxes over five years -- primarily by changing arcane accounting rules that have
allowed oil companies to substantially lower their tax bills, according to House
and Senate tax aides familiar with the talks.

The actions of Republicans hashing out a tax bill behind closed doors
indicate that, despite tough talk from the White House and Capitol Hill, the
party is not ready to hit the oil companies hard -- even on measures that have
broad support in the Senate.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bush Orders Probe into Gas Pricing.

And invading Iraq would only be done as a last resort.

Does anybody out there really believe that Bush will seriously check into the oil companies profits?

The same oil companies that made this country's energy policy. The same oil companies that donated over $40 million to Bush's campaigns.

I don't think he'll probe too far, because he knows all roads lead right back to him and his failed policies.

President Bush, faced with rising public discontent over high fuel prices, today
directed his administration to help investigate possible price gouging and
ordered a temporary halt to deposits in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Three Bucks a gallon.

The politicians that have sucked up to the oil companies for so long are getting nervous.

I can't imagine why.

Could it be the freezing of CAFE standards, so that we would consume more oil?

Could it be the big tax breaks for those with Little Penis Syndrome, that felt compensated by driving Hummers and other monster vehicles?

Could it be the huge tax cuts the oil industry received when they were already making record profits?

Whatever it is that's making them nervous, anything short of having a Lincoln Navigator drove up their backsides just wouldn't be justice.

President Bush and congressional Republicans are under mounting public pressure
to reduce gasoline prices, but they have few if any policy choices that would
cut them over the next few months as family driving reaches its annual peak and
as the midterm elections near.


Don't Let Congress Ruin the Internet

Right now Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the First Amendment
of the Internet -- a principle called "network neutrality" that preserves the
free and open Internet. Congress needs to hear from you today or they will hand
over control of what you do online to companies like AT&T, Verizon and

Politicians are trading favors for campaign donations from these companies.
They're being wooed by people like AT&T's CEO, who says "the Internet can't
be free." Sign this petition to tell your elected representatives to protect
Internet freedom now. When you fill out the information and push submit, we will
automatically send it to your Members of Congress.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Look at all the Right Wing Crap you can get for just $4.99.

It's amazing and it's true. For just $4.99, just a little more than a gallon of gas, you can receive enough right wing garbage to make you dumber than dirt.

Not only can you get Ann Coulter's new book Godless, hot off the presses, but you can get even more worthless Republican paper with a four month free supply of NewsMax Magazine.

Just think, for less than five dollars you will have everything you need to get your own spot on Fox News. You'll receive enough paper to warm your home for a week this winter. Hey, this stuff is cheaper than toilet paper.

So check out the Right's latest attempt to propagandize the ignorant:

Ann Coulter's long-awaited new book is due out in June – but it's already
creating major media buzz.

The Drudge Report says that "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" is such a hot
item that Ann Coulter "received one of the largest advances paid to a
conservative author" for the manuscript.

In her book, Ann holds nothing back in detailing liberalism's war on religion
and yes, God. Reportedly, chapter titles include "On the Seventh Day God Rested
and Liberals Schemed" and "The Holiest Sacrament: Abortion."

For sure, copies of Ann's latest will sell out fast – so reserve your copy
today at an incredibly low price. This book retails for almost $28 – so with our
offer you'll save almost $23 off the retail price.

Plus, you get NewsMax Magazine:

Each month in NewsMax Magazine you'll read hard-hitting investigative reports,
with special commentaries from Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Bill O'Reilly, Dick
Morris, Ed Koch, John Stossel, David Limbaugh, Thomas Sowell, Michael Reagan,
Christopher Ruddy and many others.

That's more pussies than Hugh Hefner's seen in the last 20 years.

Be sure to take advantage, just call 1-800-IMADUMBASS

John Gibson's Latest.

I can't believe that anyone takes Fox News seriously. It's just amazing that there are people stupid enough to believe the garbage that the right wing, loud mouthed, bunch of pussies at Fox shovel out.

All the major media news outlets are a pretty lame bunch, but Fox News is head and shoulders above them all. There is no organization that is more anti-American, anti-Constitution, anti-human rights than Fox News. Al Queda may be close.

John Gibson, the man who said, "It's when America has no problems that people vote Democrat, out of guilt. But when you want something done -- and done right, mind you -- America votes Republican.", is advocating that anyone doesn't agree with Bush should be locked up and that Crawford's village idiot should have dictatorial powers.

What is really going on here is the secret war by CIA-types against
President Bush and his policies. This is the group inside the CIA — think Valerie Plame — who think
their opinions and analysis of the world should trump whatever it is the
president thinks. If the president goes against their opinion, they call The New
York Times and start leaking embarrassing stuff.

It's a war against Bush, waged by Americans.

It's wrong, it's illegal and people are going to start going to jail.
That's good.

Next up? Whoever was leaking to James Risen of The New York

His story about the secret NSA wiretapping program probably did damage to
national security, because it may have tipped off Al Qaeda that we could listen
to their cell phone conversations to people inside this country.

Now that the secret prisons leaker is out of the way, the counter-leaking
team over at the CIA can concentrate on Risen's leaker. With any luck, we will
soon hear the sound of the jail house door slamming... again.

That's My

Don't forget my radio show.

And remember, there are people out there who actually believe this crap.

Under Bush the FDA is selling you out to big pharma.

Since the beginning, the Bush Regime has been intent on revising the job of the FDA from a consumer safety watchdog, into a big pharma profits watchdog.

The Government Accountability Office is starting to take notice.

The Food and Drug Administration is sometimes too slow in picking up safety
problems once drugs are on the market and in responding to emerging danger
signals, a federal study concluded in a report to be released today.

The review by the Government Accountability Office found that the FDA does
not have clear policies for addressing drug safety issues and that it sometimes
excludes its best safety experts from important meetings.

The report also calls on Congress to consider expanding the FDA's authority
to require that drug companies conduct studies of already-approved products. The
agency's ability to order post-market studies is now limited, and many drug
companies have been slow to conduct studies that they had agreed to undertake as
a condition of gaining FDA approval.

The question is, why did it take so long?

In 2004, 20 year FDA employee Dr. David Graham became the whistleblower that got Merck to take Vioxx off the market.

"Today, the United States of America is worse off when it comes to drug safety
than it was a year ago when I testified," Graham says. That's because the FDA's
recent drug safety initiatives serve only as window dressing, diverting
attention away from real solutions, such as an independent Office of Drug
Safety, Graham says.

An article from JAMA states:

An article in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association supports
Graham's assessment of the FDA. Especially in the past five years, writes Howard
Markel, a University of Michigan pediatrician and history of medicine professor,
the FDA has been heading downward "from a sterling - albeit very human -
regulatory agency into one much more tarnished, politicized, and increasingly
disputed by the very people it was designed to protect."

How does the FDA respond?

Susan Bro, senior communications adviser in the FDA commissioner's
office, responded via e-mail:

"Who's the 'we' behind the FDA? Thousands of cutting-edge scientists,
physicians, pharmacists and public health experts who consult with their
colleagues and outside experts to make sound medical decisions and
recommendations each and every day. To characterize the work being done here as
anything less than substantial, forward-looking and ambitious is simply not

And how did the FDA thank Dr. David Graham for his public service?

Fearing for his job, Dr Graham sought the help of the Government
Accountability Project, a public interest group that protects whistleblowers in
order to promote governmental and corporate accountability.

But the group received another request from an anonymous whistleblower at
the FDA who was being "bullied" by Dr Graham. The caller also said that Dr
Graham's study could reflect scientific misconduct. After some investigation,
the "anonymous" call was found to come from FDA management, attempting
to discredit Dr Graham.

Not surprising from the folks that brought you the Iraq War.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

For my friends at the Muskogee V.A.

You all do such a great job. It's a shame you have to work under an idiot President and scum like Anthony J. Principi.

In a typical Republican get rich quick off the taxpayers scam, Anthony J. Principi left a firm with V.A. contracts to become Veterans Affairs Secretary.

And here's the story of how he ripped off you and the veterans that are in your care.

WASHINGTON — A Diamond Bar company headed by former Veterans Affairs
Secretary Anthony J. Principi could get fees exceeding $1 billion from the VA,
much of it on contracts approved and amended while he ran the agency, records

Principi was president of the medical services company QTC Management Inc.
before he joined President Bush's Cabinet in 2001. He ran the VA for four years,
then returned to the firm as chairman of the board.

While he was VA secretary, Principi's past and future corporate home
collected about $246 million in fees, according to VA records. Congressional
Budget Office projections show the contracts could be worth as much as $1.2
billion through 2008.

Principi's firm administers medical exams to veterans seeking disability
assistance. It also examines soldiers before they are discharged. The results of
the exams play a substantial role in VA disability benefit decisions.

A QTC hearing exam, for instance, averaged $495.55 compared with $89.80 for
an in-house VA exam. Even with an adjustment for possible hidden VA costs, the
difference exceeded 400%. For a general medical exam, QTC's average fee was
$393.52 compared with the VA's $225.58, the consultants found. They recommended
further cost-comparison studies, but such an analysis was not done.

Now just how stupid is that? There's evidence that this slimeball's company was denying benefits to veterans to pad their own profits. This is a pretty long article, hope you can still have a good day after reading it.

Bin Laden's new tape.

Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for 9/11.

Osama Bin Laden, the man about whom Bush said: "I want justice," Bush said. "And there's an old poster out West… I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.'"

Osama Bin Laden, whose family and the President and his family have a business realtionship that goes way back.

Osama Bin laden, the man that got away, so we attacked Saddam, because Bush needed to catch someone.

Osama Bin Laden, the man that Bush forgot about; [3/13/02] Bush: “So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him. … And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.”, has a new tape for us.

His tape is just more of the same old diatribe, no direct threats. I just wanted an excuse to bring all this other stuff up.

Pimp My Embassy!

Ever since Bush has become Reverend-in- Chief it's been all abstniance, all the time. But what's a good little Faith Based Republican to do when he has an itch that needs scratching?

He turns to U.S. Ambassador Reno "The Ambassodor of Love" Harnish from Azerbaijan.

The Moscow newspaper Trud newspaper reported on Thursday that FBI agents began
interviews with embassy officials about the smuggling of Azerbaijani
into the United States and the issuing of visas.

From one of his speeches:

"-- and to create
for all citizens of Azerbaijan."

One prostitute at a time.

Rumsfeld, incompetence unleashed.

After his amazing Iraq victory, puffed-up bag of fart gas, err, that should be Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, now wants give himself even more power by getting the military involved in what was formerly CIA and State Department territory.

With Rummy's track record, we can expect even worse intelligence and possibly becoming the most hated country in the world.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has approved the military's most
ambitious plan yet to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more
rapidly and decisively in the case of another major terrorist attack on the
United States, according to defense officials.

Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly
expanded role for the military -- and, in particular, a growing force of elite
Special Operations troops -- in continuous operations to combat terrorism
outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three
years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, the plans reflect a
beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the
Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.

Mary McCarthy, American Hero.

Mary McCarthy, CIA officer whose love of country trumped her loyalty to a despotic, corrupt Administration, was fired last week for leaking information on prisoner abuse and outsourcing of prisoners to countries that torture.

Mary McCarthy gets Redneck Liberal's Brass Balls Award for doing the right thing.

The rare firing last week of a CIA officer accused of leaking information to the
news media stems both from the sensitivity of the subjects she allegedly
discussed and the Bush administration's forceful efforts to block national
security disclosures that have proved embarrassing or caused operational
problems, according to current and former intelligence officials.

Proved embarrassing would be the case. Catching Bush in his lies about America not torturing, to be exact.

Larry Johnson, a former State Department counterterrorism expert who worked
briefly for McCarthy at the CIA in 1988, said yesterday that if McCarthy were
really involved in leaks, she may have concluded that the investigation was "a
whitewash, and why not tell the press? . . . I am struck by the irony that Mary
McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring the truth
about an abuse was told to the American people."

Bush is a lying SOB.

If you're George W. Bush and you're self-delusional enough to believe that the omnipotent God, in which you so fervently believe, is so inept that he needs the help of a simple minded, political bully with highly questionable ethics to carry out His plan to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, you'll do whatever it takes to do it. And it makes your friends and family a few bucks along the way, so much the better.

Lying and killing your own people, not to mention tens of thousands innocent Iraqis, is a small price to pay to curry favor with the Divinity of your choice.

This is what we have for a President, the man that is supposed to be working for us.

Back in October, 2002 Bush outlined the threat that Iraq was to this country. And you should click on the link and read the whole thing. Knowing what we know now, it's a real hoot. And remember he knew he was lying when this was coming out of his mouth.

In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of
Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to
admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly
biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely
produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of
biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing

We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents,
including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has
experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran,
and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or
injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who
died in the attacks of September the 11th.

And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that
it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Every chemical and
biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that
ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet, Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and
keep these weapons despite international sanctions, U.N. demands, and isolation
from the civilized world.

And now we know.

The CIA had evidence Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction six months
before the 2003 US-led invasion but was ignored by a White House intent on
ousting Saddam Hussein, a former senior CIA official said, according to

Tyler Drumheller, who headed CIA covert operations in Europe during the
run-up to the Iraq war, said intelligence opposing administration claims of a
WMD threat came from a top Iraqi official who provided the US spy agency with
other credible information.

The source "told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction
programs," Drumheller said in a CBS interview to be aired on Sunday on the US
network's 60 Minutes.

"The (White House) group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war
came back and said they were no longer interested," he was quoted as saying in
interview excerpts released by CBS on Friday.

Bush and most of his Administration need to be behind bars.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bootlick Bush apologizes.

It's bad enough that we have such a dumbassed, effete, pussy President, but when he starts apologizing for someone in this country exercising their Constitutional rights, it's time to send him back to Crawford.

I thought Reagan was bad, but this clueless sack of chickenshit makes Reagan look brilliant. If you've been paying attention you know the story. Here's the aftermath:

Chinese leaders place high importance on protocol and symbolism, and Bush
moved promptly to deal with the protest on the lawn. Once they reached the Oval
Office, Bush
apologized to his guest.

"He just said this was unfortunate and I'm sorry it happened," said Dennis
Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security
Council staff.

Hu was gracious in accepting Bush's apology, Wilder said. The two leaders
moved on in their talks and it was not mentioned again in several hours of
meetings. In what the White House described as a sign of their friendship, Hu
and Bush sat next to each other at the luncheon — a departure from traditional
protocol that would have them at different tables.

Gracious? Hell, this is America. This is the way Democracy works. We don't apologize to anyone for saying what we think. Let alone to someone that controls their country's freedoms with an iron fist.

China permits about three dozen foreign television channels to be distributed in
China, mostly entertainment channels, but also CNN and the BBC among others.
Their signals, however, must first pass through a state-owned monitoring center,
allowing the government to black out news stories it dislikes — and it routinely
does so.

In Bush's America the perceptions of the Chinese is more important than the perceptions of the American people.

"It's hugely embarrassing," said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at
Pentagon and now
an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China "must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling
crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn't control this is going to
play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust
about American intentions toward China."

But we all knew Bush/Cheney would gladly sell out the country to make a few bucks.

Carlyle Group to be biggest-ever foreign investor in China SOE

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Is the Religious Right splitting over the environment?

I know, it's an old cartoon, but it's still appropriate.

Recently more than 80 Religious Right leaders signed the Evangelical Climate Initiative . It's a statement that makes four claims:

Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real

Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem

Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change starting now.

Seems like a pretty sane and responsible statement.

But, as you know, sanity and responsibility aren't exactly cornerstones of the Religious Right movement. And now the Holy shit has hit the fan.

It would appear that there is an even crazier branch of the Religious Right and they aren't the least bit happy with the brethren that have adopted the position that is obvious to the rest of us. They are even accusing them of being soft on gays and calling them liberal. Now that's about the worst insult you can throw at the right.

Howse argued that while "It is bad...that so many 'evangelical' environmental
extremists have infected our churches, colleges, universities and evangelicalism
with their liberal brand of
but now they want to damage America's free enterprise system by
making it difficult for business to compete in the world market place?"

And we all know that Jesus died to save American Business.

Free Speech in Bush's America.

This would just be funny, if it wasn't so damned sad.

Bush is lecturing the Chinese President on free speech, when a woman in the audience spoke out.

She was promptly taken away and arrested. She should have known that free speech in Bush's America can only happen inside an enclosure far away from Bush.

CNN, a former news service, was covering the event. The folks at CNN found the exercise of our rights "embarrassing".

Attytood has the complete story.

The Bush Economic Fantasyland.

There seems to be two ways of looking at the economy. First the GOP/Bush Fantasyland version from the White House:

"The tax cuts I signed left $880 billion with our nation's workers, small
business owners and families. They've used that money to fuel our economic
resurgence. Not everyone in Washington agreed with the decision to let people
keep more of their own money. On the day that Republicans in the House and
Senate were finalizing the 2003 tax cuts, one Democratic leader said these cuts
would 'do nothing to create jobs.' Facts have proven the critics wrong 5.1
million times over."
-President George W. Bush, April 7, 2006

Then there's the economy for those of us who live in the real world:

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked the payroll jobs
data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services, I
have the adjusted data from January 2001 through January 2006. If you are
worried about terrorists, you don’t know what worry is.

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US
economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population
growth. That’s one good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that
cannot keep up with population growth should not be boosting population with
heavy rates of legal and illegal immigration.

Over the past five years the US economy experienced a net job loss in
goods-producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing
activities--primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance,
waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government.

From my point of view, there's no doubt which is accurate.

Dueling children's books.

Can't you just picture it, two 1st graders on the playground squaring off, one a little liberal, one a little conservative. The one named little Rush, after his daddy's hero, telling little Al to wait just a minute. Little Rush running off to hire the 4th grade bully to put a whooping on little Al.

While I think the notion of children's propaganda books is a tad strange. If you check out the books I believe you'll notice a difference in style and a difference in the way the books are promoted that pretty well encapsulates the whole liberal/conservative points of view.

WorldNetDaily used quotes from known drug addict Rush Limbaugh in it's book review:

Once again we find conservatives able to be totally honest about who liberals
are," said Limbaugh, praising DeBrecht for her observation that liberals oppose
religion, traditional families, and the free market because those institutions
are obstacles to eliminating personal responsibility and establishing a welfare
state. "And I'm telling you, the liberals cringe – they go ape! – when you dare
be honest about them. They call it an attack!"

"Our hat is off here to
Katharine DeBrecht, the author of 'Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed,'"
concluded Limbaugh.

BuzzFlash uses quotes from the book in it's review:

"Why Mommy is a Democrat" is a short book for very young children, but it gets
its point across in an endearing, embracing story. How can you argue with a page
that declares, "Democrats make sure everyone is treated fairly, just like Mommy
Does," or, "Democrats make sure sick people are able to see a doctor, just like
Mommy does"?

It's "Christopher Robin"-like illustrations make for the
ideal traditional children's nighttime tale. And, unlike "Help! Mom! There Are
Liberals Under My Bed!", it's true!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gotta love them Dixie Chicks!

Sure glad they're on our side.

Iraq: Women better off under Saddam.

President Bush says a lot of nice things. He doesn't mean any of it, but he wants us to believe he does. A lot of people do. But they also believe that Fox News is "Fair and Balanced".

Here's an example from a White House propaganda fest celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month.

President Bush pledged that the United States will “help women stand up for
their freedom no matter where they live,” saying the full and equal
participation of women in civic and political life has strengthened democracies
around the world.

Speaking March 7 at a White House event celebrating International Women’s Day
and Women’s History Month in the United States, Bush said that the current
condition of women’s rights around the world call for “a firm conviction in our
beliefs that all people are created equal.

“There's no doubt in my mind, empowering women in new democracies will make
those democracies better countries and help lay the foundation of peace for
generations to come,” Bush said.

The president thanked and welcomed delegations of Iraqi and Afghan women who
had been invited to Washington. In Afghanistan, he said women have started to
“breathe that beautiful air of a free society,” after years of oppression under
the Taliban, and he noted that Iraqi women will hold 25 percent of their
country’s legislative seats under the new government.

But according to a survey of Iraqi women, this just ain't the case.

According to the findings of a recent survey by local rights NGOs, women were
treated better during the Saddam Hussein era -- and their rights were more
respected -- than they are now.

"We interviewed women in the country and met with local NGOs dealing with
gender issues to develop this survey, which asked questions about the quality of
women's life and respect for their rights," said Senar Muhammad, president of
Baghdad-based NGO Woman Freedom Organisation. "The results show that women are
less respected now than they were under the previous regime, while their freedom
has been curtailed."

According to the survey, women's basic rights under the Hussein regime were
guaranteed in the Constitution and -- more importantly -- respected, with women
often occupying important government positions. Now, although their rights are
still enshrined in the national Constitution, activists complain that, in
practise, they have lost almost all of their rights.

Ladies, if Mr. Bush and the religious right have their way, this could be you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Isn't this child abuse?

It was a strange Easter at the White House this year. Gay couples started to line up for the first come first serve tickets 36 hours in advance. The right wing press somehow misconstrued this as "crashing" the White House Easter Egg Roll.

In the interest of fairness, to the straight couples, the White House made sure that the first to get tickets would have to wait until the second shift to attend. While the activities are the same on all shifts, the President and First Lady only made an appearance during the first shift.

The gay parents probably lucked out, because the President and First Lady were serenaded by a group of kids from the Katrina ravaged gulf coast. It was a song of praise for Congress, the President and, get this, FEMA. What kind of sick mind came up with this?

At the annual White House
Easter Egg Roll
, children from the stricken Gulf Coast region serenaded
First Lady Laura Bush with a song praising the beleaguered Federal Emergency
Management Agency.

To the tune of Hey Look Me Over, about 100 young children from Louisiana,
Mississippi and Alabama sang:

"Our countrys stood beside us People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.

Congress, Bush and FEMA People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!

No Child Left Behind. Another Turd from Bush.

It's that time of the year again. My kids' school has gone into "teaching for the test" mode. If the schools don't test well, their funds get cut.

But the states are helping schools keep their funds by excluding the scores of minority students, as long as there's not too many of them.

No Child Left Behind in a lot of schools seems to apply to white kids.

States omitting minorities' test scores

Laquanya Agnew and Victoria Duncan share a desk, a love of reading and a
passion for learning. But because of a loophole in the No Child Left Behind Act,
one second-grader's score in Tennessee counts more than the other's. That is
because Laquanya is black, and Victoria is white.

An Associated Press computer analysis has found Laquanya is among nearly 2
million children whose scores aren't counted when it comes to meeting the law's
requirement that schools track how students of different races perform on
standardized tests.

The AP found that states are helping public schools escape potential
penalties by skirting that requirement. And minorities - who historically
haven't fared as well as whites in testing - make up the vast majority of
students whose scores are excluded.

The pressure of meeting minimum test scores have forced some students, in some schools to have no other classes other than math, English and PE. Bet they can't wait to get to school.

About 125 of the school's lowest-performing students are barred from taking
anything except math,
reading and gym
, a measure that Samuel Harris, a former lieutenant colonel
in the Army who is the school's principal, said was draconian but necessary.
"When you look at a kid and you know he can't read, that's a tough call you've
got to make," Mr. Harris said.

The increasing focus on two basic subjects has divided the nation's
educational establishment. Some authorities, including Secretary of Education
Margaret Spellings, say the federal law's focus on basic skills is raising
achievement in thousands of low-performing schools. Other experts warn that by
reducing the academic menu to steak and potatoes, schools risk giving bored
teenagers the message that school means repetition and drilling.

One child that didn't get left behind is the President's brother Neil, his company is cashing in on the required testing.

In his Talking Points Memo, Joshua Micah Marshall says Ignite!
makes its money
by jetting Neil to exotic locales, where he visits
"international statesmen, bigwigs and criminals who want to 'invest' in Ignite!
as a way to curry favor with the brother in the White House."

Would you trust Wal-Mart with your money?

Would you trust Wal-Mart to do anything except to provide cheap, foreign made crap?

Now Wal-Mart is wanting to venture into banking. Next will be maternity wards and funeral homes. That way they could control us from beginning to the end.

Those who trust Wal-Mart will limit itself to a narrow range of banking activity misunderstand the nature of publicly-traded corporations, which by design are driven to grow perpetually. For a publicly-held company, there is no such thing as “big enough.”

Just as Wal-Mart constantly expands into new spheres of retail and services, so too it will seek to expand its reach in financial services. Given the current ease with which giant corporations convert monetary power into political power, why should we doubt it will succeed? Wal-Mart will not be content to continue leasing space to banks in its “supercenters” in exchange for a slice of the action when it can take the whole pie.

Wal-Mart naturally would use its bank to maximize shareholder profit, rather than serving the interests of communities in which it operates. And while many other banks are publicly-held companies, Wal-Mart’s size and scope again creates potential for harm that no other company is capable of inflicting.

A great place to keep up with the goings on at Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart Watch.

Oil prices up, dollar down.

Oil prices have reached over $70 bucks a barrel. Back in 2000 didn't Bush say that having two oil men in the White House would keep gas prices down? Did you believe him?

Here's the reason that crude oil prices have skyrocketed.

Traders are anxious
that U.S.-led efforts
to stop Iran, OPEC's second-largest member, from
pursuing a suspected nuclear weapons program would lead to a disruption in
Persian Gulf supplies.

China owns so much of our debt that have us by the short and curlies. Hard to believe that China has more say over the value of our currency than we do. Let's thank Congress and Mr. Bush.

AP Dollar Falls Sharply in Asian TradingMonday April 17, 5:35 am ET

Dollar Falls
Sharply Against the Euro and Yen in Asian Trading

TOKYO (AP) -- The dollar fell sharply against the euro and yen in Asia Monday
on a media report suggesting that China might reduce its purchases of U.S.
Treasury holdings, and amid speculation that U.S. interest rates may have

The Real Deal, Al Gore in 2008.

Look's like Al may be back.

With Hillary moving farther to the right, to try for support that she's never going to get anyway and her vote to give George and Barbara's idiot child the U.S. Military to play with in Iraq, this could be great news.

From the NY Daily News:

Exclusive: Gore Hires Neel
Al Gore is getting the band back together.
Gore spokesman Mike Feldman confirms that the former Vice President is hiring Roy Neel, a key aide on his 2000 presidential campaign and the manager of Howard Dean's 2004 run, to coordinate a new push on his main cause, global warming.

Gore's new movie and book are raising his profile as the nation's leading voice of warning about a coming climate crisis, but Feldman told The Daily Politics Neel's role is not connected to the book or film, but to a broader agenda.

Richard Reeves' great article.

Richard Reeves details the disastrous reign of the Bush Administration and asks if we can stand three more years.

This guy is good.


On this Bush's watch, we have invaded a country --yes, a lousy country with a
bloody dictator -- for reasons we still can't explain. Worse: We are not
winning; we are only occupying. Much of the world, which was with us morally
after Sept. 11, 2001, has turned against us in the years since as we stained
ourselves in ways large and small; the whole world is watching American blunder
and torture.

We are borrowing from the world to spill our treasure, or our
grandchildren's, into the sands of Araby. Our volunteer military is already
stretched beyond its capability in Iraq; recruitment is in trouble, with even a
third of West Point graduates quitting after their mandatory five years of

It is difficult and profoundly depressing to contemplate what Bush and
Rumsfeld will come up with in the almost three years they have left in office.
This president came to power as superpower, when the United States dominated the
world economically, morally and militarily. That will not be true when he
leaves. We have been diminished in almost every way by this administration's
ignorance and incompetence -- and now we are going to do more of it by shouting
ourselves hoarse in response to fanatic loudmouths in Iran rather than letting
them destroy themselves with their own people.

What makes a political conservative?

Haven't you ever wondered what makes a person a conservative? Well, Haven't you?

Back in 2003 some professors got together, did a lot of research and came up with a report about just that.

I think most of us will find the report's conclusions quite interesting. Conservatives probably wouldn't.

Researchers help define what makes a political conservative.

BERKELEY – Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

Fear and aggression
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
Uncertainty avoidance
Need for cognitive closure
Terror management

Bush and the Iraqi Civil War.

You'd think that a President, that starts a war for no good reason, would at least be cognizant of what was actually happening with it.

On March 21st, Bush said, "We all recognized that there is violence, that there is sectarian violence. But the way I look at the situation is, the Iraqis looked and decided not to go into civil war." Just like all the other "situations" Bush has looked at, his conclusions are once again wrong.

Now I don't expect you to take my word for it. I have no personal experience with Iraq. But people who do have a quite different assessment.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The conflict in Iraq is not marked by front lines or raging
battles between warring Iraqi factions. There is no Green Line separating
sectarian militias, as in Beirut in the 1970s and 1980s, nor are there clearly
defined armies and commanders.

But by any measure, Iraqis will tell you their country is embroiled in what
amounts to civil war.
Since the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya mosque, a
Shiite Muslim shrine in the city of Samarra, waves of suicide bomb attacks have
struck other Shiite targets, killing hundreds of civilians.

They have been followed by reprisals in the forms of assassinations and
kidnappings, with hundreds of Sunni Muslims found bound, gagged and shot in the
head across Baghdad and surrounding towns.

"We are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people throughout the
country, if not more," former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told the British
Broadcasting Corp. last month. "If this is not civil war, then God knows what
civil war is."

The dictionary definition says a civil war involves war between geographical
sections or political factions of the same nation. Many U.S. and Iraqi officials
insist that the violent insurgency engulfing the country does not constitute
civil war.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Thanks P.O.A.C.

Does Paris Hilton really need another tax cut?

Unless you're in the top 1% you should be really upset.

It's just unbelievable that the White House, the GOP and some Democrats have the balls to try to put another tax cut for the wealthy on the backs of our grandchildren.

Are we really so stupid and apathetic that we'll let these crooks loot the nation's future again?

Stay tuned. I'll be keeping a close eye on these fine individuals that will stand in line to lick the sweat off a rich man's scrotum.

MUCH TO THE chagrin of the White House and the GOP leadership, lawmakers
didn't get a new round of tax cuts done in time for tax day today. But when
Congress comes back from its recess, it's expected to take up a deal to extend
President Bush's capital gains and dividend tax cuts. To make their
budget-busting tax policy appear less costly than it is, the lawmakers are
resorting to a gimmick that is even more egregious than their usual

This one would, as usual, hide the cost of tax cuts that primarily benefit
upper-income Americans. But it would accomplish that budgetary smoke and mirrors
with a new tax provision, involving retirement savings accounts, that also
benefits the well-to-do. And, to top things off, this new tax provision, while
masking the cost of the tax cuts by bringing in more revenue in the short term,
would in the long run worsen the fiscal situation by piling on more debt. No one
who's serious about controlling the deficit -- whatever one's position on
extending the tax cuts -- could support this dishonest approach.

Rep. John Conyers Jr., (D-MI), old enough to know right from wrong.

OK Democrats, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you do crap like this.

Those of us who expect our party to be something better than a pale imitation of the GOP, aren't going put up with this kind of foolishness, Mr. Conyers. You are paid plenty well enough to afford a babysitter.

I'm sure some of your constituents in Detroit could use some extra cash.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two former staff members of U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr.,
D-Michigan, say the longtime Detroit congressman made them baby-sit his
children, run errands and work on political campaigns while they were on his
congressional payroll.

Sydney Rooks, whom Conyers hired as a legal adviser in his Detroit office,
recalls the lawmaker brought his two young sons into her office several times,
saying, "Rooks, they're your responsibility for right now. I'll be back

She said later could be a few minutes or an hour. "Later could be frantically
calling around trying to find him because it was now 8 or 9 p.m. or later in the
evening and not knowing what to do with the children," she said.

John Conyers is basically a good man and has done good things, but if he did it, he knows better.

GOP prostitutes itself to the Religious Right.

The Republican party is hardly what you would call a moral party. Oh, they talk the talk, but they sure don't walk the walk. Just check the news if you don't believe me.

But this doesn't matter to the self-righteous, aggrandizing Religious Right, who only want to replace our Constitution with their version of "Heaven on Earth". The Hell with the rest of us who don't agree with their vision. As long as the Republicans assist, the Religious Right will sing their praises from the pulpit.

And this doesn't matter to the Republican party as long as they get their votes and don't interfere with the GOP's plan to turn the coffers of the government over to big business. The Republicans will gladly trade lip service for votes.

This is what's known as a symbiotic relationship, common in nature. What's uncommon about this relationship is that it involves two parasites feeding off each other. Yet it seems to benefit both. It's a strange story, indeed.

And here's the latest chapter in that story.

WASHINGTON -- Protection of marriage amendment? Check. Anti-flag burning
legislation? Check. New abortion limits? Check.

Between now and the November elections, Republicans are penciling in
plans to take action on social issues important to religious conservatives, the
foundation of the GOP base, as they defend their congressional majority.

Time Magazine must be crazy

for employing Joe Klein and passing him off as their voice from the left.

Just to show how far to the left Mr. Klein is, he recently stated, Well they won't if their message is that they hate America which is what has been the message of the liberal wing of the party for the past twenty years.. Ann Coulter should sue plagiarismrism.

And just to show how whacked out Joe really is, here's what he had to say on This Week.

Klein: We should not take any option including the use of nuclear, tactical nuclear weapons off the table...
Stephanopoulos: Keep that on the table?-That's insane...

Time, we expect better from you.