Countdown to Bush's Last Day

Grim Statistics

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Air America Retools

FYI, courtesy of my inbox:

Dear EmailNation Subscriber,

For the past two months, new management at the liberal talk radio network Air America Radio has been working hard to re-launch a great idea -- talk radio for progressives that's informative, opinionated and entertaining.

Starting this week, the network has rolled out a new line-up, a redesigned website and a lively new blogger, Nancy Scola, who is posting many times each day. For this re-launch, Air America hosts have also interviewed some thirty leading political and public figures, including John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Eliot Spitzer, Michael Bloomberg, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Gloria Steinem and Ralph Nader.

Featured in the reinvigorated line-up are new weekday programs The Lionel Show, This is America with Jon Elliot and the Air Americans hosted by Mark Riley and featuring roving contributors Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Papantonio, David Bender and RadioNation's Laura Flanders, among others. The weekend line-up will receive a dose of fresh voices with five new programs, including the new RadioNation with Laura Flanders.

A new weekly one-hour program broadcast each Sunday at 1:00 est, RadioNation with Laura Flanders features Nation writers, editors and authors discussing the most pressing political, social and cultural issues of our time. This Sunday tune in to hear conversations with Katrina vanden Heuvel on Iraq and Alberto Gonzalez, David Corn on the Democratic presidential contenders, Betsy Reed and Gabriel Thompson on the immigration debate and Liza Featherstone and Pete Montalbano on the efforts of Starbucks' workers to form a union.

Air America Radio is broadcast on 64 stations nationwide and on XM satellite and can be heard via live Internet streaming on www.airamericaradio.com.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rosie's Reward

From FOX News...how delicious.

Rosie O'Donnell Already Has Offers From NBC and CBS

"Rosie O'Donnell is walking away from "The View" the undisputed winner of what has been a nightmare situation for ABC. Rosie already has had offers from NBC and CBS for daytime shows to counter "The View," sources say.

Not only that, Rosie can pretty much write her own ticket, whether it's a no-holds-barred show on HBO or a syndicated program similar to her previous hit talk show.

What's clear, though, is that O'Donnell is leaving a leaking, if not sinking, ship at "The View." And don't believe rumors that Roseanne Barr will succeed her at the desk next fall. If you thought Barbara Walters had trouble tolerating O'Donnell, believe me, a few weeks of Roseanne would send her over the edge."

I don't feel sorry for Walters. She knew exactly what she was getting when she signed Rosie on.

The buzz I've heard is that CBS is offering Rosie $20 million and a slot opposite "The View." My mother thinks that braindead Hasselback is the next one to go, and that she's weedling for a job on Fox herself. She and her stubborn "Al Qaeda was in Iraq" mantra would fit in perfectly over there.

If you're one of the five people in the country who hasn't seen the O'Donnell-Hasselback confrontation, you can view it here. Normally, I'm a little skeptical of these types of onstage dramatics, but, speaking as someone who has had her share of angry faceoffs, the two here don't have the look of people who are kidding around. They both look really pissed off. I'm not a huge Rosie fan always-she's been known to play a little fast and loose with the facts-but good for her for standing up for herself. She may be a loudmouth, but she'e not a terrorist.

I wish some of these spineless Democratic leaders would take a cue from her.

Boehner's Blubbering

If this doesn't make you go running for the bathroom with your hand over your mouth, then you must have been the contestant on Fear Factor who ate worms without complaint. What is the matter with this idiot?



All that would be well and good if Boehner weren't such a hypocrite, if those tears actually translated into action towards changing policy instead of inertia. His ongoing support of Bush war policy has just added to the ongoing body count of Americans whose deaths can be directly tied to 9/11-officially 2,750 on the day itself, and then thousands more as a result of post-9/11 American war policy. The figures from http://antiwar.com show that 3,444 Americans have been killed in Iraq (694 more than died on 9/11, the latest just yesterday, including more than 3300 killed since "Mission Accomplished"). By his actions, it appears that Mr. Boehner believes that the best way to "keep Americans secure" is to just feed the insurgents a steady diet of them.

As far as coming to Congress to "do something," well, it's hard to argue with him there. By looking at his overall record, however, it appears that what John Blubber went to Congress to do was to destroy the middle class, subsidize the oil industry, support wholesale torture and line the pockets of his wealthy donors.

BTW, John, shedding tears is what destroyed the Muskie candidacy in 1972. Maybe the good voters of the state of Ohio will take the hint...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Add Witness Tampering to the List...

From CNN:

"Goodling said Gonzales "laid out his general recollection" of the firings of several U.S. attorneys during a March meeting before she left. At the time, she was aware that she was likely to have to testify about the controversy, and "I didn't know if it was maybe appropriate for us to talk about that at that point."

She said Gonzales told her, "Let me tell you what I can remember," and "laid out his general recollection" of the process leading up to the firings -- that he believed they had all been dismissed for performance-based reasons.

"Then he asked me if he thought, if I had any reaction to his iteration," Goodling said.

"I just did not know if it was a conversation that we should be having, and so I just didn't say anything," she added."

For someone who would have you believe she "didn't know" she was breaking the law when it comes to her hiring practices-she admits she took political affiliations into strong consideration but insists she didn't mean to-she's smart enough to know when to save her own neck. Pleads the 5th, evades her boss...

She's a principled criminal, apparently. Only breaks he law when it serves her own political interests, and turns like a rat when it doesn't.

She's Monica "The Bull" Goodling.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fuzzy Logic

George Bush, apparently emboldened by the recent spinelessness of the Democratic Congress, again tried to justify the Iraq war by pointing to a recently declassified report saying, among other things, that Osama Bin Laden thought about sending top Al Qaeda lieutenants to Iraq to set up a base from which to launch attacks in the United States.

In 2005. TWO YEARS after we attacked Iraq, and OPENED THE FLOODGATES TO TERRORISTS OF ALL STRIPES TO MIGRATE THERE.

Ah, the law of unintended consequences, eh, George? Depose Saddam, and Bin Laden feels perfectly safe to do business there. Two years later, you get to use that as a compelling reason why we should be there, when the whole scenario is ALL YOUR FAULT TO BEGIN WITH!

What a stupid fuck. So is anybody who is still defending this fool.

Makes me want to eat glass.

The Godfather Part IV

What did we ever do before YouTube? (I know...we all had lives...)

Monica's Truth

Monica Goodling, another braindead DOJ lackey (it would be great to find someone at that department who at least had a pulse, wouldn't it? Reminds you of "Dawn of the Dead"), is testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee as I write. David Margolis, a DOJ attorney, in transcripts released notes that as the controversy hit closer to home for the partisan crone, "She proceeded for the next, it seemed like forever, but it was probably only about 30 or 45 minutes, to bawl her eyes out and say, 'All I ever wanted to do was serve this president and this administration and this department."

And that, folks, tells the story of the whole problem with this administration. Monica, neocon stooge that she is, wanted to serve the president first, then the administration, by making the department as partisan as it could possibly be. I don't see "country" or "America's best interests" anywhere in there. I certainly don't see any concern for the American citizen.

It's all about the protecting the party, as any good fascist will tell you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

You know what? Republicans are right, sometimes, and one of the things they are most right about is the fact that Democrats have no backbone. At least, Democratic politicians don't. First, they knuckled under and capitulated to George Bush's War of Choice; in a way, that was understandable-although not forgivable-as the majority of the sheep collectively known as the American public was clamoring for blood against what they had been disingenuously led to believe was the brains behind 9/11. Democrats bowed to the pressure of their constituencies although it's clear that most of them knew the foundation that was being laid was on quicksand.

Now? The president's approval rating stands at less than 30%; support for the war is nonexistent except amongst the right wing fringe. The president has vetoed one spending bill with a timeline for withdrawal that the majority of those polled felt he should have signed. The Democratic leadership then allowed that little fiasco to be framed by the White House in terms of "cutting off support for the troops" instead of the demand for accountability the public was now asking for. George Bush was again allowed to look resolute and strong-granted, in the face of a disaster, but the one thing this president is very good at is making it appear that he has some idea of how he wants things to go, the very personification of the old saying, "Do something-even if it's wrong!" The Democrats? Well, what the hell do they really want, anyway?

So today, instead of proving that they can actually stand for something, Democrats announced that Speaker Pelosi "will present a plan to House Democrats for a war funding bill that won't include a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but will feature benchmarks with consequences." Consequences? That's the biggest joke of all, as the bill apparently grants Bush full authority to waive those consequences as he sees fit. So essentially, the Democratic leadership is giving King George the "blank check" they swore they wouldn't, to do whatever the hell he wants with no accountability whatsoever. Different Congress, same results. And still no end in sight for the utter disaster that is the Iraq war.

This is not about just Iraq, either. The Democrats also have yet to act with any authority or conviction on the issue of Alberto Gonzales and the politization of the Justice Department, despite the almost-daily revelations of the politically driven, ethically challenged and sometimes blatantly criminal activities that have taken place since 2001. Even the trepidous Washington Post declared James Comey's testimony on the recklessness of the Bush administration's conduct towards the NSA "an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source." And yet, Congress does-nothing. Bends over and takes it. There's more than ample evidence that this situation needs to be taken out of the president's hands and dealt with, and yet so far no one has made even a meek move towards impeachment, much less a daring one. It raises images of the Bush administration stalling on global warming because it needed "more study" while glaciers were boiling and penguins dropping dead in their tracks.

But my winner of the Gutless of the Week award goes to Jimmy Carter, a man I have long admired if not always agreed with. He wins for his weaselly comments on "Today," in which he said he wasn't calling the Bush administration "the worst in history," just worse than Nixon. For one, that doesn't even pass the straight face test-were you saying that Nixon was the worst in history prior to that, or that the tape was doctored? For another, Jimmy, no one was arguing with you. You were right the first time, but allowed yourself to be cowed because of the criticism that "good" presidents don't snipe at one another. That may have been true a decade ago, but the rules got totally revamped when this bunch came to town. Say what you mean, Jimmy, and mean what you say. Like when you wrote "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." That's all we ask.

Whoops. I forgot. You backed away from that strong stance, too...

But, back to Congress. It's infuriating. I'm not sure what these guys think they were elected to do, but clearly the American public is 'way ahead of them on this issue and on the Iraq War. I'm hoping there is some method to this madness, some grand "master plan" that will feveal itself in the next days or weeks, but as of now, I'm not too optimistic.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dubya's Tribute to a Fallen Friend

Tony Blair, poster boy for ambitious sycophants everywhere, recently announced his resignation in disgrace-the once-popular PM of the UK reduced to little more than a poor man's neocon. Very sad (I actually can't wait to read his memoirs). Here is a very moving tribute to the closeness shared by Tony and his mentor, King George. I promise it'll bring a tear to your eye...




There are some pretty creative people out there.

A New Blog

As well as being a dedicated progressive, I also try to be an advocate for animals. I'm a member of the HSUS and our local shelter, the Animal Refuge League, where I also do some volunteer work and have fostered animals. Here's some proof of a couple of my success stories. All these mothers and babies were adopted out successfully!








So I thought I'd let everyone know that the HSUS has launched a new blog, designed to let it's readers hear daily about progress made by the organization in such important and diverse areas as factory farming, fur, puppy mills, and many more. There's also endless opportunities to get involved and stay engaged.

If you love animals like I do, come and join the conversation!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hold Onto Your Hats...

...'cuz Michael Moore is back.

"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!

May 17, 2007

Friends,

It's a wrap! My new film, "Sicko," is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.

My intention was to keep "Sicko" under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I've been up to. In part, that's because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry -- an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP -- was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.

Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with "Fahrenheit 9/11," not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.

Bush's Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don't want to spoil it for you (although I'm sure you'll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than "Cuba." Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I've done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, "ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked."

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the "Sicko" premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. "Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?" "Yes," was the answer. "These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?"

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I'm an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I'm trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don't even need to see the one's smirk or hear the other's sneer to know who I am talking about.

But no, I'm the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin' movie. I mean, it's just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?

Ok. Scratch that.

Well, I'm on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag. Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in the south of France for a week! But then it's back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that's when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).

I can't wait for you to see it.

Yours,

Michael Moore

P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website, MichaelMoore.com

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Change in Strategy?

George Bush seems to agree that the departure of Paul Wolfowitz is inevitable, given that Wolfowitz abused his position to get promotions and raises for his girlfriend. "We want it over, one way or the other," said a senior administration official, who added that the White House was merely reacting to the "reality" of Wolfowitz's shriveling support on the bank board. "If you can't win, you can't win."

Well, I'm glad the administration has made it's philosophy clear. So, about that little matter in Iraq, George...

Impeachable Crimes and other News

This is an important segment on Keith last night. Sorry about the commercials, but I really think people need to watch it and understand how perverse and criminal this administration is and always has been. Clearly Jonathan Turley is fed up with the fact that this Congress keeps letting Gonzo-and, by extension, George Bush-timidly get away with this shit, and quite frankly so am I. To view the segment, you can click here.

In other news, Al Gore admits he may yet launch a bid for president, which will undoubtedly kick hungry liberals everywhere into overdrive. Can you imagine a Gore/Obama ticket? Unbeatable. Yeah, I know Barack says he won't accept a VP nomination, but that's usually a smart thing to say when you're running for the top spot on the ticket. Once the nomination was decided, my guess is, if duty called, he would serve. Just like Harry Truman, that most reluctant of VP candidates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Jerry Falwell died today, and the world is a better place because of it. I'm not even going to pretend to be respectful to the memory of one of the most evil men who ever walked the earth (for a review of how evil, you can read Max Blumenthal's article here.) I'm just glad he's dead.

I wonder what his first thoughts were when he woke up and found himself in hell. Do you think he was surprised? I don't, really. I think he knew exactly what he was-a divisive manipulator, a hypocrite of the highest order who exploited the fears and prejudices of the weak and stupid in a single minded quest for power. My guess is that he didn't even believe in "God," except as a pawn in his quest to divide and conquer. Hell is just the price he figured he had to pay for mind control and the earthly wealth and power that went with it.

Do you think he'll have an epiphany while burning in the flames of damnation, ala Jacob Marley? Can't you just see him dragging his big ole chain around, trying to spare, say, Pat Robertson from suffering the same fate? Just imagine them in this classic scene...

FALWELL TO ROBERTSON: "It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow men! If it goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death! It is doomed to wander through the world! Oh, woe is me! And witness what it cannot share but MIGHT HAVE SHARED on Earth and turned to happiness!"

ROBERTSON: "But it is only that you were a good man of business, Jerry."

FALWELL: "BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!"

I can't see it happening, though. For one, Jacob Marley was a much better man than Jerry Falwell, because at least he made his money legitimately, not be villifying and demonizing those who were different than he. Marley could not have cared less if two guys were fucking each other in the ass five feet from him as long as they paid their debts on time. For another, Scrooge was capable of reclamation; there's nothing of a human being left in Pat Robertson.

So, good riddance, Jerry. May you rest in eternal agony and damnation worthy of a man of your stature.

MaineImpeach.org Rally Notice

FYI...I'm going to be in Philadelphia this weekend so can't make the rally, but I hope you can!!!

MaineImpeach.org
14 May 2007


MaineImpeach.org has surpassed our first goal!


And Dennis Kucinich is joining us to celebrate! You come too !!


10,000 Mainers - including you - have signed onto the Maine Impeachment petition !

Thank you!
But we want even more names. So please contact one or two more friends, and get them on-line to add their names supporting impeachment at

www.MaineImpeach.org

Next we'll deliver these thousands of names to our Congressmen and to the Maine Legislature to push impeachment forward ! This will require phone calls and messages to our Maine politicians from all of you. We'll be in touch to make that happen.


In the meantime -


Join Congressman Dennis Kucinich in Portland this Saturday - TO TALK IMPEACHMENT of Bush and Cheney !!

Congressman Kucinich had the courage to introduce Impeachment Legislation into Congress! Now he will be in Maine to get our help and move it ahead!

Dennis will be in Portland Saturday afternoon, May 19 at 4:30 PM to inform Mainers about Impeachment status and prospects and to make Impeachment happen. Please join us.


We need a big crowd to tell Dennis that Mainers are serious about impeachment and behind him on making it happen!

Time: Saturday, May 19 at 4:30 to 6:00 PM
Place: The Woodfords Club, 179 Woodfords Street, Portland, Maine

All Maine people with strong opinions about impeachment should be there.

Travel Directions: The Woodfords Club is located in the Back Bay section of Portland near Woodford's Corner - the intersection of Forest Avenue, Ocean Ave., Woodford St., and Deering Avenue. To get there, take exit 6B off of Interstate 295, follow Forest Avenue 1.2 miles (6 traffic lights) to the north. At the sixth traffic light, which is Woodford's Corner, turn left onto Woodford St., and the building is at #179 Woodfords Street.

This event is sponsored by the Maine Campaign to Impeach.


_______________________________________________________________


Note -- Right after this impeachment rally, at 6:00 PM (May 19), Congressman Kucinich will be the Keynote Speaker at the Maine People's Alliance Rising Tide Dinner at the Woodford's Congregational Church, just down the street from the Woodfords Club.


Tickets are required for the dinner. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by phoning Maine People's Alliance at 207-797-0967 or order tickets online at www.mainepeoplesalliance.org

We hope to see you in Portland on Saturday !!

Deborah, John, Gary and the other folks at MaineImpeach.org

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Well's Run Dry

Hobnobbing with the president just isn't the thrill it used to be. Just ask the donors attending the annual GOP gala on Thursday, which took in over one-third less for the Republicans than the same event did last year. When you look at who the current head of the GOP is and the pathetic group wanting to take over for him, you can't blame the party faithful for holding onto their wallets. For those who actually did show up, they probably just had a bad day and felt like flushing $1500 down the toilet.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush helped raise $10.5 million for the national Republican Party at its annual gala on Thursday night, the smallest take in years for the event that came only months after the GOP lost control of both houses of Congress.

The Republican National Committee's spring fundraising gala hosted by the president raised $17 million last year, $15 million in 2005 and $14 million in 2003. When Bush was seeking re-election to the White House in 2004, the dinner brought in a record $38.5 million.

Bush defended his policies on the Iraq war, to a friendly reception, but didn't directly criticize Democrats, despite tussles with them over a war spending bill.

Shortly after Bush left the dinner, on Capitol Hill the House voted, largely along party lines, to pay for military operations in Iraq on an installment plan, defying Bush's threat to veto it in a test of wills over the unpopular war. The measure now goes to the Senate.

The cocktail reception drew about 800 people to the cavernous DC Armory, where they dined standing up on tenderloin sandwiches, crabcakes, vegetables and hummus. The ticket price was $1,500 a person, though many donated more.

The president put a positive spin on the night, saying donors would help return Washington to domination by the GOP, both in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

"I believe we're the party of the entrepreneur. I believe we're the party of the doer, the dreamer, the people that work," Bush said. "I believe that we're the party of low taxes. And I know we're the party of strong national defense to protect the United States of America."

The latest fundraising filings for the parties, released in April, showed that national Democrats have nearly eliminated Republicans' traditional fundraising advantage. (Compare fundraising by candidate and party)

The Republican National Committee and its House and Senate committees barely edged out their Democratic counterparts in first-quarter fundraising. Each side raised just over $47 million but the GOP came out on top by a difference of just $76,049.66. The Democrats spent much less in the first three months of the year, so they had more in the bank as of the April filings.

The Democratic advantage came from the congressional committees, which outraised the Republicans now that they hold majorities in the House and Senate.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, raised $24.6 million to the Democratic National Committee's $15 million. The national parties' money is typically targeted more toward the presidential contest, likely to be the case this cycle with the 2008 White House race.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day


I've been learning a lot about Mother's Day over the past week. Did you know that it was first proposed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe (of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" fame) as a call for peace and disarmament for mothers who had lost sons in the carnage of the Civil War? Although Howe failed in her attempt for a "Mother's Day for Peace," Anna Jarvis co-opted the idea in 1908 and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to fly the flag in honour of those mothers whose sons had died in war.

It seems especially pertinent that we remember the words of Julia Ward Howe today, 137 years after they were first spoken. Nothing much has changed.

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions
The great and general interests of peace.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers reading, as well as all of us who yearn for peace in our time.

Another Reason NOT to Vote for Sam Brownback...

...sheesh. As if you needed one.

He thinks Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback in history.

Of course, all those pissed-off Packer fans are wrong, too. If you know anything about football, you know the greatest quarterback in history is Tom Brady.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

No Focus on the Family

Think of how many conservative organizations have the word "family" in their moniker. The most obvious one is the ubiquitous "Focus on the Family," led by the adultery enabler James Dobson, who proclaims without irony that they are "nurturing and defending families worldwide." Then there is the equally unctuous "Family Research Council," who also claims they are "defending family, faith, and freedom" by promoting it with a xenophobic agenda and the stated belief that "government has a duty to promote and protect marriage and family in law and public policy."

Soooo...if the family unit is so important, and it is up to the government to make the preservation of (white Republican two-parent heterosexual) family life a priority, I'd like to know where the voices of these defenders of traditional Donna Reed/June Cleaver moms are on this issue:

"WASHINGTON - Mothers in the U.S. military are stressed, poorly paid and need more help caring for their children, according to a report issued by Congress on Friday.

Nearly half of all women in the active-duty military have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and 24,475 women are there now, the report by the Joint Economic Committee said.

Yet child-care services are not keeping up with longer and more frequent deployments, said the report, released to coincide with Mother’s Day.

And women get only 6 weeks of leave after the birth of a child, it found."

The report also notes that 40% of the women in the active-duty force have children, and that they are more likely to be single parents than the active-duty men. It also reports that "the military is approximately 35,000 short of expected need” in providing child-care services.

So, ok, Jim and Tony, and all your sycophantic followers...where's the outrage? If your organizations were truly committed to the service of all families, why, I'd expect to hear a huge backlash from your organizations concerning the shoddy treatment of mothers and their children by the U.S. armed forces. But, in between immersing themselves in really important, loving works (such as fighting hate crimes legislation , protecting clumps of cells headed for the incinerator, or championing admitted adulterer Newt Gingrich for president), there seems no time to advocate for exhausted military mothers trying desperately to parent their children in between more frequent and longer deployments.

Well, I shouldn't be surprised...none of those families are named Murdoch, after all...and we all know single parents got that way because of their own irresponsibility, right?

What's really sad is that some of these same women, in such dire straits because of failed conservative policies, probably think James Dobson is a saint. Moms, take note...the only voice in support of your plight came from New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who noted “Making sure military mothers have the quality child care, generous family leave, and access to mental health services they need is key to their family well-being and our national security."

Do I hear an amen, James?...Tony?...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Triumph for Science and Public Health

I doubt most of these folks on the Kansas Board of Education are progressives, but at least they have made it clear that they are not going to take politically motivated trampling of the tenets of science in their state lying down. Good for them! Gives the rest of us courage to keep fighting the good fight.

Kansas Board of Ed. erases conservative sex ed policies

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- The Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday repealed sex education policies enacted last year, the latest move by the moderate majority to undo efforts by conservatives when they dominated the board.

One rescinded policy recommended that schools stress abstinence until marriage, while the other urged school districts to get parental permission before students could attend human sexuality classes.

On a 6-3 vote, the board replaced the policies with one that recommends "abstinence plus" sex education programs and leaves it up to the state's 296 school districts to decide whether to get parental permission.

The "abstinence plus" program stresses abstinence before marriage, while also urging schools to give students information about birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

"It's a matter of emphasis," said chairman Bill Wagnon.

Wagnon said the goal was "to describe the curriculum standards in terms of 'it's more than just simply an encouragement of abstinence,' but we want a balance and comprehensive educational program about sex."

But conservative member Kathy Martin said most parents want the standards enacted last year.

"Abstinence until marriage is the best message we can give our children," Martin said.

She said the old standards "emphasized self-control over birth control," and the new standards "fail to give a true picture."

It was the second major change for the 6-4 moderate bloc since taking control in January. Wagnon said the final major change could come Wednesday if the board hires a new education commissioner to replace Bob Corkins, hired by conservatives in 2005. His hiring touched off criticism because he had no experience as a school administrator, and he resigned in November after the new board was elected.

In February, the board repealed science standards backed by social conservatives and switched to ones that treat evolution as well-supported by research. The standards, which take effect next school year, are used to develop tests to measure how well students learn science.

The old standards, endorsed by supporters of "intelligent design," questioned the theory of evolution.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Here, Beary-Beary-Beary....

This is a pretty creative-and, sadly, accurate-portrayal of the "sport" of bear trapping here in Maine. What a bunch of pathetic neanderthals.



Kind of strips away the "stealthy sportsman" facade, doesn't it?

Tom Allen in the Race

Tom Allen announced today that he will, in fact, be a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He will be running against Stoogan Collins, a so-called moderate who is more and more, thanks to her positions on the Iraq War and as a prominent member of the no-oversight Republican-led congress of 2001-2007, being seen as a right wing sycophant. Never mind that she shouldn't be even in the race-she pledged to serve no more than two terms when first elected in 1996. So already she's established herself as a liar.

IMO this is the best news we've had in Maine for a while, and the best opportunity to send this wolf in sheep's clothing to ignomious defeat. Collins has historically had some support amongst Democrats because of her pro-life positions, but the war and the president are very unpopular here in Maine, and, despite her window-dressing to the contrary, Collins has been an lemming-like supporter of both. Allen has the benefit of being opposed to the war from day one, and you can bet he will harass Collins endlessly on this issue. Add that to the national interest (and money) this race will garner-Collins' seat has been targeted as vulnerable one because of the state's recent voting record and her war positions-and you can be certain we'll have a barnburner on our hands. Allen's got his work cut out for him-some early polls put him~20 percentage points behind Collins-but my guess is that as people learn more about the two, the gap will close considerably (especially when you put them side by side, like they'll be in a debate...the only thing that may help Collins in that case is some elocution lessons. She is painful to listen to.)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Socially Responsible Theater

This looks like a film every American should see:



From Harper's:

"104 prisoners have died in suspicious circumstances in U.S. custody during the war on terror. "Taxi to the Dark Side" takes an in-depth look at one case: an Afghan taxi driver called Dilawar, who died as a direct result of beatings he sustained from guards and interrogators at Bagram Air Force Base. The documentary, by award-winning producer Alex Gibney ("The Smartest Guys in the Room"), carefully develops the last weeks of Dilawar's life and shows how decisions taken at the pinnacle of power in the Bush Administration led directly to Dilawar's brutal death.

This is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process. Harper's contributor Scott Horton provides part of the documentary's narrative."

"Taxi to the Dark Side" premiered on April 27 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Sidney Blumenthal is executive producer

Saturday, May 5, 2007

An Historical Milestone


"It certainly is most absurd, the fact can never be!
My great grand daddy never was a monkey up a tree!"
Grace Carleton, "Darwin's Little Joke," 1874


“Parents have a right to insist that godless evolution not be taught to their children”-former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan

On May 5, 1925, a high school science teacher named John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in a public school in a Tennessee public schools in violation of state law. The day before, on May 4, the ACLU had run an ad in the Chattanooga Times, offering to pay the legal fees of any Tennessee teacher who would agree to take the state on in a test case, and Scopes became the guinea pig. Although he was eventually acquitted on a technicality, the Tennessee State Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state law, cementing Tennessee and the south's reputation as an intellectual cesspool for decades to come. Not until nearly forty years later, in 1967, did the Tennessee legislature overturn the law, finally allowing teachers to teach evolution-a law many on the right wing fringe would like to see overturned.

On May 3, two days before the eighty-second anniversary of the historic arrest, three Republican candidates for president-Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado-indicated they did not believe in evolution, thus cementing the Republican party as an intellectual cesspool, not to mention a coalition of pandering lackeys. Huckabee only made things worse for himself when he later tried to straddle the fence:

"If you want to believe that you and your family came from apes, I'll accept that....I believe there was a creative process...We shouldn't indoctrinate kids in school. I wouldn't want them teaching creationism as if it's the only thing that they should teach." He then indicated he thought students should be given credit for having the "intelligence" to think through various theories for themselves and come to "their own conclusions."

Ok, to all who think that makes sense...is it then ok if students judge for themselves whether a musical note is an F sharp or a B flat? Or whether or not the exterior angle of a triangle is always equal to the two angles of the triangle that it is not adjacent to? Or whether or not water is composed of one part oxygen and two parts hydrogen? Or whether or not I comes before E, except after C?

Uh-huh. Thought so.

Wikipedia notes, "At that time in history the theory of evolution was considered controversial in public opinion, and a large faction of its detractors linked it with atheism."

Sound familiar? Remember, they're talking about the 1920s here, not 2007. The more things change, the more they stay the same, apparently.

Where's Clarence Darrow when you really need him?

(Church threat lifted from http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/mine/quotes.htm)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Some Good News for a Change

Credit where credit is due...this doesn't make our president any less a miserable, lying bastard, but he does like animals. Got this nice piece of news in my inbox yesterday

The President Signs Landmark Animal Fighting Legislation

May 3, 2007

"Today, President Bush signed into law a bill that will help law enforcement rid the United States of dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of animal fighting.

Dogfighting and cockfighting crimes are rampant in the United States, with individuals arrested every week in scores of locations under state laws. The vast underground networks generate pervasive animal cruelty, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, public corruption and even violence and murder. The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which passed Congress with large bi-partisan support, will give law enforcement a stronger tool to crack down on this illegal activity.

"Animal fighting is a barbaric and inhumane practice, and it is fitting and appropriate that we now have a national policy condemning and criminalizing this form of organized animal cruelty," states Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, which has led the national battle against animal fighting and been the primary advocate for this federal legislation.

The law takes effect immediately. It provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. It will make it much harder for criminals who engage in dogfighting and cockfighting to continue their operations. Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.

Cockfighting is outlawed in every state except Louisiana, although there is mounting pressure in that state to ban the practice. Many states still have misdemeanor penalties for cockfighting. The federal law slaps felony penalties on interstate cockfighting trafficking, and this should provide an enormous deterrent for the tens of thousands of people involved in this criminal industry.


The law will have a devastating impact on major breeders of fighting animals, who depend on customers from all over the United States and abroad. Dog kennels rely on transporting their fighting dogs across state lines and across the world to customers. The new law should substantially curb the transport of fighting animals across state and U.S. borders. The HSUS is already seeing some major breeders of fighting roosters cutting back on production.

The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act will help end the export of fighting animals to other countries. Selling roosters to customers in the Philippines and other nations can be lucrative for American cockfighters. The new law puts increased pressure on the airlines to stop shipping roosters to cockfighting hot spots.


The new law had been introduced by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) in the House, and by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Senate. It had also been endorsed by more than 500 groups, including all major humane organizations, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Sheriffs' Association, and more than 400 local law enforcement agencies covering all 50 states."

Speaking of outlawing animal cruelty, here in Maine we're the only state in the nation that allows bear trapping, and a ban on it a couple of years ago was rejected largely because some of the upstate rednecks who apparently don't mind earning money off inflicting misery on a living creature. A new bill is in front of the Maine legislature to ban the inhuman practice, and I sent this message to my own state representative, Democrat Lawrence Bliss (if you live in Maine and feel as I do, I suggest you contact your representative as well):

Representative Lawrence Bliss
Maine House of Representatives, Room 333
2 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001

Dear Legislator Bliss,

Please support LD 1635 to ban bear trapping.

In a poll conducted in 1992 by The Maine Sportsman, a
Yarmouth-based magazine, seven out of 10 respondents disapproved
of trapping. The numbers would likely be even more lopsided
among the general public. During the failed bear referendum of
2004, a poll was taken of Maine hunters regarding their opinion
on bear trapping. Of those polled, 70% disagreed with bear
trapping.

Maine is the only state in the country to allow bear trapping,
putting the state outside the hunting mainstream. There is no
wildlife management reason for bear trapping.

I urge your support in banning this practice.


Sincerely,
Lisa Keenan

Larry very kindly answered me back:

Thanks for writing to me about the bear trapping bill.
When a similar bill came to the legislature two years ago,
the folks from northern Maine said that it was necessary
for economic survival of the northern counties. I'll be
interested in their reasons this time.

You'll see me support this bill if it gets to the floor
of the House without amendments. You can never be sure
what the committee of jurisdiction might do in their
work session, so I'll wait to read the final bill. If it
actually does ban bear trapping, I'll support it.

Thanks again for writing to me about this. I'm always
interested in hearing from folks from South Portland
who are interested in what we're doing in Augusta. I
hope you'll stay in touch.

Larry

Representative Lawrence Bliss
House District 122 (South Portland, Cape Elizabeth)

I'll let you know what happens when the bill comes up for a vote!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...


...COMMANDER GUY!!!

No longer satisfied with just being The Decider, George Bush has coined a new nickname for himself. He is hereafter to be known as Commander Guy, defender of untruths, injustice and the way of the former Soviet bloc...

Not satisfied to simply play supporting roles in the new-look administration, the President's cabinet members and closest advisors adopted lame superhero identities as well...

Dick Cheney will now be known as "The Tin Man" (if he only had a heart...)

Alberto Gonzales will be called "Spy Guy"

Karl Rove? "Mr. Burns" (can't you just see him asking his superhero sidekick Smithers, aka former GOP party chairman Ken Mehlman, for the mind eraser device?)

There, I feel safer already. Don't you?

(Superloser lifted from www.about.com)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy Anniversary!


(Lying fuck picture lifted from someplace on the web)

With apologies to Sgt. Pepper...

Oh, It was four years ago today,
George Bush stood up to say
The biggest lie ever that was told
Most of us swallowed it whole
He's trying to still sell you
That lie you bought so long ago,
Mission Accomplished! He said we were throo---ough!