Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Neocons and Iraq, Stem Cell Politics, We're Ready!, Takin' Care of Business, China Looms, Twits, Christian Brass and Al Gore.

If you've ever wondered what neocons are or what influence they had in the decision to invade Iraq. WaPo's Harold Meyerson explains it all in For Neocons, the Irony of Iraq.

The sharpest irony was their stunning indifference to the need for civic order.
When the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, said that the occupation would
require many hundreds of thousands of troops to establish and maintain the
peace, he was publicly rebuked by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the
administration's foremost neocon, and quickly put out to pasture. When the first
U.S. official to take charge in post-invasion-Iraq, Jay Garner, called for a
massive effort to train Iraq's police and restore order, he was summarily
dismissed. When looting far more widespread than anything the United States had
ever known swept Iraq's cities after Hussein's fall, Don Rumsfeld shrugged and
said, "Stuff happens" -- a two-word death sentence for the possibility of a
livable Iraq.

A year ago the ultra-right House passed legislation to loosen Bush's restrictions on stem cell research. So we've make all kinds of progress in the last year, right? Well no, it seems that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. who wants to run for President, is afraid to bring it up in the Senate. Why? Because as a Republican he can't afford to alienate those in his party whose sole purpose is to impose their particular interpretation of the Bible on the rest of us.

The legislation, which Bush has repeatedly threatened to veto, would allow the
National Institutes of Health to fund research on human embryos slated for
destruction at fertility clinics. It is backed by science and patient-advocacy
groups, and was endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) last
summer, when momentum behind the research was at a peak.

But the political calculus around stem cells has changed in unexpected ways
since then, raising questions about how Frist can fulfill his promises to bring
the bill to a vote without weakening his appeal to conservatives as he considers
a 2008 presidential run.

When you hear,

U.S. disaster-preparedness officials declared
themselves ready
yesterday for the June 1 onset of hurricane season,...

You know you'd better have a plan to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

The House isn't happy with the Senate's immigration bill. And now they're fighting among themselves over how to change it. One thing most of them agree on is that the root of the problem will be able to do business as usual.

Senators also rejected an amendment, by Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), that would
have toughened penalties for labor-law violations involving immigrants, but they
approved one by Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) that would grant employers "an
affirmative defense against criminal liability" if they follow certain protocols
in hiring immigrants who prove to be illegal.

Another consequence of the right's experiment of wars, tax cuts, outsourcing, and high debts is that China is using our money to build a military that's equal to or better than ours. And most of you thought you could trust Republicans on National Security.

China's military buildup is increasingly aimed at projecting power far beyond
its shores into the western Pacific to be able to interdict U.S. aircraft
carriers and other nations' military forces, according to a Pentagon report
released yesterday that outlines continued concerns over China's rising
strategic influence in Asia.

These guys make big money to get it wrong.

Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, and Tucker Carlson touted a report by Matt Drudge
claiming that according to "sources," Democratic National Committee (DNC)
chairman Howard Dean had authorized a secret effort to aid Louisiana Lt. Gov.
Mitch Landrieu in his attempt to unseat incumbent New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin
-- even after Drudge issued an apparent retraction.

Proving that all Christians are not incapable of independent thought, a group of clergy and lay persons are fighting the proposed Constitutional ban on same sex marriages. Right on.

WASHINGTON, May 22 — An interfaith coalition of clergy members and lay leaders
announced a petition drive on Monday aimed at blocking a proposed constitutional
amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Exxon spokesman compares Al Gore to Joseph Goebbels. These petroleum suckers and that includes the Bush Administration, are just a freak show. From

Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis,
an organization that has received over $390,000 from
ExxonMobil since 1998
. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al
Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth,
to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn
about Nazi Germany.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)