Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fence Reid Out

Once again, Democrats on the Hill have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

"With Senate Vote, Congress Passes Border Fence Bill."

"The Senate gave final approval last night to legislation authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, shelving President Bush's vision of a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in favor of a vast barrier." (WaPo)

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said, "Fortifying our borders is an integral component of national security, we can't wait."

True. They can't wait because the Senate is about to adjourn and won't meet again until after the November elections... but, they did respond to the U.S. electorate demanding action. Election-driven action aside, the GOP recognized the will of the VOTERS, not of the illegal aliens.

On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "taunted Bush for laying out an expansive vision of immigration reform, only to cave 'to the radical anti-immigration right wing of his party.' "

Really. "Tin Ear" Reid is once again leading the Democratic party into the desert of arid liberalism. I can hear his cymbals and drums clacking in the far distance while the symphony of victory is reaching a crescendo in the GOP camp.

According to poll after poll, the vast majority of U.S. voting citizens are angry about the invasion of our country by millions of illegal aliens, and they want the borders secured, NOW!

Meddling Mexico, the Catholic Church and other detractors say the fence isn't feasible. Maybe. But the actions of the GOP-led Congress to DO something about the border and thus stem the flow of illegal aliens is a sure-fire winner with the electorate.

And, while 26 Democrats did join the Republican chorus approving the bill, the loud off-key dissing by Reid is what many voters hear and will remember.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bush Dictates the Rules

"Many Rights in U.S. Legal System Absent in New Bill." Suspect detainees held by the United States will continue to experience Bush-style democracy.

"University of Texas constitutional law professor Sanford V. Levinson described the bill in an Internet posting as the mark of a 'banana republic.' Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh said that 'the image of Congress rushing to strip jurisdiction from the courts in response to a politically created emergency is really quite shocking, and it's not clear that most of the members [of Congress] understand what they've done." (WaPo)

"Senate Approves Detainee Bill Backed by Bush." So, the posturing fools in the Senate, following the lead of the bobble-headed fools in the House who are being led by the dangerous fool in the White House, are perverting justice for political gain.

"Democrats resisted.... and nearly amended the detainee bill to allow foreigners designated as enemy combatants to challenge their captivity by filing habeas corpus appeals to the federal courts. But Republicans held fast, gambling that Democrats will fail in their bid to convince voters that the GOP is sacrificing the nation's traditions of justice and fairness in the name of battling terrorists and winning elections." (WaPo)

Not satisfied with giving Bush total power over foreign-born detainees, "House Approves Warrantless Wiretap Law." Yes, we're giving up our liberties, bit by bit, to the all-powerful Bush Constitutional-rights bulldozer. The Decider becomes The Dictator.

The GOP-led House approved a bill that would give legal status to Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.... warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. You and me if Bush so fancies.

"Republicans called it a test before the election of whether Democrats want to fight or coddle terrorists.... Democrats shot back that the war on terrorism shouldn't be fought at the expense of civil and human rights." (WaPo)

Democrats are echoing the sentiments of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin...."Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

We can heed Franklin's admonition and prove that we deserve both liberty and safety.... by sending a clear message to The Dictator and his enablers in November....

Vote!

The Card Deal

The Bush administration, desperately trying to keep their death grip on power, is frantically, relentlessly trying to keep the subject away from the Iraq war before the November elections......TERRORISM, TERRORISM..... SUPPORT US OR YOU SUPPORT TERRORISTS! they yell.

It's no wonder they want to keep the bouncing political ball away from the lied-into terrorist-creating Iraq war.... the bankrupting cost and Haliburton-led no-bid contract corruption.... and Rumsfeld's Bush-supported arrogant wrong-headed decisions in the aftermath of the war.

"Card Urged Bush to Replace Rumsfeld." On two occasions White House chief of staff Andrew Card tried, and failed, to persuade President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Rumsfeld according to "State of Denial," a new book by Bob Woodward that "depicts senior officials of the Bush administration as unable to face the consequences of their policy in Iraq." (WaPo)

Woodward uncovers the "vast difference between what the White House and Pentagon had known about the situation in Iraq and what they were saying publicly." What they were saying publicly was a drumbeat of justifications and misinformation.... 9/11.... terrorism.... only we can protect you... and famously "Stay the course."

Which is ironic really since their own NIE report by Homeland Defense points out that the Iraq war is fueling increased terrorism worldwide. Supporting this assessment, Woodward reveals that a secret intelligence estimate report predicts that terrorist violence in Iraq will increase in 2007.

This report was given to the White House.

November.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

3-Month Debate Signifies Nothing

Have you noticed that since King George has raised his banner and charged forward as a Christian crusader, our country has never sunk lower into the morass of expediency over long-held human rights.

Suspect detainees denied recourse to the courts. Subjected to interrogation treatment we would be outraged over if it happened to our citizens. Justify, excuse and finally condone all the Bush-backed actions that used to set us apart from the barbarians.

"House Approves Bill on Detainees," (HR 6166) is just the latest sad commentary on the state of our country.

"Designated as enemy combatants, such suspects enjoy fewer rights than prisoners of war, and much of the congressional debate centered on which, if any, rudimentary legal rights should apply to them." (WaPo)

The Democrats assured passage of HR6166 when 34 of them sided with the Republicans, caving in to the pressure applied by the GOP that a "no" vote would mean they were weak on terrorism.... "It is outrageous that House Democrats, at the urging of their leaders, continue to oppose giving President Bush the tools he needs to protect our country,".... as articulated by House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH).

The bill now goes to the Senate and is expected to easily pass there. All of the posturing by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), John Warner (R-VA) and Lindsey Graham (R-NC) over their concerns that detainee treatment adhere to the Geneva Conventions have now been "compromised" into Bush having his Decider all-powerful way.

The whole sorry three-month debate reminds us of.....

".... a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Shakespeare's Macbeth

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rule of Law Applies to All

"States, Counties Begin to Enforce Immigration Law,".... I didn't know you "begin" to enforce a law.... but maybe better late than never.

Such enforcement "has led to the removal of many illegal immigrants charged with felonies, people arrested for lesser charges such as traffic violations are also subject to deportation. That, according to Hispanic leaders, has created a constant worry for people who are in the United States illegally and now fear deportation after a simple traffic stop." (WaPo)

Hello.... people who are in the United States illegally are already lawbreakers. Unable, or unwilling, to grasp this concept, they add, "Many illegal immigrants lack valid licenses. As a result, they now risk not only arrest but also deportation whenever they drive."

And that is really the crux of the problem. Hispanic leaders and illegal aliens just don't get the rule of law.

They whine about worrying about deportation if they break even a "simple" traffic law. They don't get the concept that just by being here illegally they have already broken the law.... and driving without a license, which they evidently view as just a nuisance law, puts everyone at risk.

Immigration laws are now being enforced in Charlotte, NC after a truck driven by an illegal alien whose alcohol blood-level was nearly triple the legal limit, hit a car, killing a local teacher and leaving the teacher's wife in a vegetative state.... the illegal alien's fifth impaired-driving accident in five years.

Illegal aliens and their enablers don't seem to understand the bedrock of our society, the rule of law.... they operate under the rule of entitlement.

The only thing an illegal alien lawbreakers is "entitled" to is deportation, and the "right" to enter our country only under the rule of our immigration laws.

Their home countries would demand no less.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Iraq a Leaky Boat

Well, President Bush, you brought it up.

Your rhetorical bombardment trying to turn 9/11 and terrorism into an election advantage for the GOP .... insisting that "the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government has made the world more secure" .... is being shot full of more holes than a stop sign in rural Texas.

Despite your attempts to morph Iraq into a successful terrorism strategy, real facts keep getting in the way.

A classified National Intelligence Estimate report on global terrorism concludes "that the Iraq war has fueled the growth of Islamic extremism and terror groups." (WaPo)

In an effort to downplay the report and the Iraq war, The Decider said in an interview with CNN, "When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma." The sacrifices of our brave troops are a COMMA! The bungled, disastrous and worst foreign policy decision in the history of our nation....a COMMA!

Monday the Democrats highlighted some of the commas and conclusions in the NIE terrorism report. They held a hearing on Iraq policy. Retired U.S. Army Maj. General John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005, said that the "conduct of the Iraq war fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe and created more enemies for the United States." (WaPo)

Batiste said of the Iraqis held by the U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib prison that probably 99 percent were guilty of absolutely nothing, "But the way we treated them, the way we abused them, turned them against the effort in Iraq forever."

Batiste was one of three retired U.S. generals testifying before the committee, who bitterly criticized the conduct of the Iraq war and their former boss, Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld.

A sense of vulnerability, frustration and moral decline in government is pouring over the nation. The Ship of State has sprung a leak at the top.... if we don't act now to curb the enabling legislative deckhands, it may sink us all.

November!



Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton Stomps On Disinformation

Cut and run, Clinton angrily reminded Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.... that's what many Republicans demanded in "Somalia the day after the downing of a Black Hawk helicopter" in 1993. But Clinton kept a U.S. presence there for another six months while transitioning to U.N. forces. (WaPo)

A sandbagging Wallace had requested the interview to talk about Clinton's climate change initiative, but sparked Clinton's forceful response when he asked basically why hadn't Clinton "put bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business."

High time Clinton lost his temper at the history rewriting neocons!

They would love for you to forget that the Bush administration had eight months to try to get bin Laden and "did not try." Clinton reminded Wallace that he "left a comprehensive antiterror strategy and the best guy in the country" to implement it.

"They didn't try to get bin Laden, and I did" Clinton reminded Wallace.

In the runup to the November elections the Bush neocons are trying to rewrite history, to lay the blame for 9/11 on a distracted President Clinton. Clinton is having none of it, and about time.

As Winston Churchill reminded us, "History is written by the victors."

In November let's stop The Decider's rewrites. Vote!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Iraq Reality Check

Is it really any surprise..... "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight."

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April concludes that, "rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position." (WaPo)

And since April.....a sickening and unabated rate of U.S. troop casualties in Iraq, and violent death tolls as reported by the Baghdad morgue.... 1595 in June, 1855 in July and 1535 in August.

ABC's From the Frontline reports that the new Bush administration strategy Operation Together Forward was supposed to establish pockets of security in select Baghdad neighborhoods. In reality, it creates a "whack-a-mole" effect, secure one area and another pops up.

There is no forward progress, we're not winning hearts and minds, instead, the Iraq war is creating more and more deadly enemies who believe ".... the Iraq war is a Western attempt to conquer Islam."

While Bush struts his electioneering "America is safer" drivel, his Iraq strategy has a "really big hole.... we focus on the terrorists and very little on how they are created."

That is because an arrogant and philosophically-limited Bush and his neocon minions have a rigid ideology, fixed ideas unresponsive to reality.

The reality is that our war in Iraq is creating a tsunami of terrorists.

In November we can give the Bush legislative enablers a reality check.

Vote!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Take Back the Train

The Bush administration and GOP-controlled legislature have used the horrific 9/11 attack as justification for their arrogant agenda. Took the nation from a haven of world sympathy and support to an object of resentment and ridicule.

The Democrats unable, or unwilling, to influence these events, opposed..... basically everything Republican, except the White House push to give amnesty to millions of lawbreaking illegal aliens and thus millions of potential voters.

In "The War of the Hacks," Colbert I. King sums it up so well ".... the struggle on Capitol Hill is not about terrorism. It's about gaining and holding power in the fall election. And it is a disgusting sight to behold." (WaPo)

Being a citizen of the United States today feels like being on a runaway train. There is a GOP engineer, throttle wide open, bent on the destination, ignoring the dangers. There is a Democratic brakeman who wants to be engineer but fears using the brakes and derailing.

Then there are the luckless passengers, holding on for dear life and screaming as loud as they can to slow down, ease up on the throttle, use the brakes.... work together to bring the train safely to the station.

"Listen closely to the huffing and puffing on Capitol Hill.... They work themselves into a lather arguing about which party can best represent Americans in the hallowed halls of Washington."

In November, end the huffing and puffing. Throw the reckless engineers and brakemen from the train!

I know we can, I know we can.....

Vote!

Friday, September 22, 2006

McCain Takes a Drive

So, did Sen. John McCain compromise or cave?

President Bush described the tentative accord on interrogation rules as "continued tough interrogations of terrorism suspects by the CIA at secret detention sites." (WaPo)

McCain, whose political persona is anchored on his experience as a prisoner during the Vietnam War, led the Senate rebellion against White House proposals that would "rewrite" the Geneva Conventions. McCain declared of the compromise, "There is no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved."

The accord's language gives Bush a dominant role in deciding which interrogation methods are permitted and prohibits detainees from using the Geneva Convention to challenge their imprisonment or seek civil damages for mistreatment.

So, was this GOP dust up just political posturing? According to one senior Bush administration official, Bush got what he wanted, "We kind of take the scenic route, but we get there."

For a moment there we thought McCain was back.... but it now seems clear he was just trying to get his Straight Talk Express jump-started for his drive in 2008 presidential road show. Too bad, the country could stand a breath of integrity after all of the sulfuric air spewed by emboldened international leaders at the U.N. this week.

It would have been nice to show the world that the U.S. doesn't "compromise" its principles, need secret detention sites or to diminish the rights of anyone, especially when termed "suspects" only.

But then that would be asking the secretive, power hungry, Constitution-trampling Decider to do something noble, dazzling the world of nations with democracy in all its human dignity lights.

Silly us.

November.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez: Theater or Threat

Bush just doesn't get it. And his token Secretary of State doesn't get it. And his throwback Secretary of Defense doesn't get it.

We aren't just in a war on terrorism, we're in a war for the hearts and minds of the world's nations.

And we're losing that war!

Bush couldn't have been president at a worse time. A time when repressed nation states are looking for a better way. Bush has told them we are the only way, and then proceeded to force his Decider view on them. He thought 9/11 would justify every action, and the world would sacrifice itself to his evangelical, myopic vision of how things should be.

Well, a buffoon speaking at the U.N. yesterday laid to rest any illusions we may have that the Bush vision is supreme. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ridiculed the President of the United States and the world tittered and then loudly applauded.

Bush and Clueless Condi dismissed Chavez's comments out of hand. Chavez disgraced himself, they wouldn't dignify his remarks by answering them, they said.

The Bush administration is focusing instead on electioneering Iraq-justifying propaganda. In his U.N. speech this week, Bush hailed his "Freedom Agenda" and the spread of democracy.... "From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom." Yet, even while he spoke, tanks were rolling through the streets of Bangkok as a military coup toppled the elected leader of Thailand. (WaPo)

This elected leader of Thailand was in New York attending the U.N. session. Did Bush meet with the prime minister and ally, show any sign of support? No. Bush's spokesman said the White House was "disappointed" in response to a reporter query on the coup.

Another spokesman, representing the democracy project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, sniffed, "The president's freedom agenda is inherently selective. We care very much about democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, but.... Thailand's just not part of the story, so this falls off the map a bit."

And this is the Bush administration's real problem.... if it isn't the Middle East it just doesn't count. In fact, many voters are convinced Bush really doesn't even care about the U.S., otherwise he would already have secured our borders.

Back to Chavez. He also has an agenda. He wants a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. He wants trade, energy, arms, mining and agriculture agreements and alliances with a host of nations.

Here is a peek at the Chavez schedule mid-July to the end of August:

July 20, Argentina. A meeting with South American trade pact Mercosur nations.

July 24, Belarus. Called for a strategic alliance with this ex-Soviet republic.

July 25, Russia. Signed a U.S.-opposed arms agreement said to be worth $3 billion for fighter jets, helicopters, small arms and AK47 assault rifles.

July 28, Qatar. Wooing OPEC.

July 29, Iran. A show of solidarity.

July 31, Vietnam. Building ideological affinity with the communist country.

August 2, Mali. Mineral rich West African country with oil reserve potential.

August 3, Benin. Another West African nation with possible oil reserves.

August 13, Cuba. Visited Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the hospital. They have a strong alliance.

August 22, China. A six-day visit. China promised to invest $5 billion in a new refinery and a new fleet of oil tankers for Venezuela, and become a major market for Venezuelan oil.

August 27, Malaysia. Possible oil reserves.

August 30, Syria. Building a strategic anti-U.S. alliance.

August 31, Angola. Sizeable oil reserves.

According to BBC News, "Since first taking power in 1999, he [Chavez] has spent some 365 days away on foreign trips - but as long as oil revenue keeps bank-rolling domestic social projects, Mr. Chavez's popularity looks set to continue."

Chavez may be a buffoon, and he may have overplayed his hand at the U.N. But, he has plans, and international friends, and a determination to help shape a world freed of U.S. dominance and influence.

Read about the recent meeting of 118 Nonaligned Movement nations in Havana. That's two-thirds of the nations of the world. The ailing Castro is the movement's president, his brother Raul presided. Iran attended. North Korea attended. Even U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to the body. Fidel met privately with a handful of leaders includling Chavez and Annan.

And, ironically, Iraq's vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, asked the meeting for a statement calling on all countries to stop interfering in Iraq and complained "a war machine has destroyed" the country's infrastructure.

Ronald Reagan dreamed of our nation as a "shining house on a hill." With his bullying, ham-fisted arrogance, Bush has perverted the vision to a barbed-wire enclave in an oil swamp. And has given a dangerous buffoon a critical opening.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thought for the Day....

"As events would have it, though, our nation is led by men who have carefully avoided both war and literature. By men devoid of a sense of the nation's and their own moral fallibility. By men who have led us into a moral desert and aren't even looking for a way back home."

Harold Meyerson, "Into a Moral Desert" (WaPo)

Chavez's Fire and Brimstone

While the Bush administration has been busy tilting at oil wells in the Middle East, it has ignored the festering pools of hatred in our own back yard, South America.

"At U.N. Chavez Calls Bush 'The Devil' " is the WaPo headline. The article doesn't give the full extent of the insult. The exact words of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in his address to the U.N. were, "the devil came here yesterday.... and it smells of sulfur yet today" referring to Bush's appearance at the U.N., and further charging Bush was a "global dictator."

A new low in U.N. "diplomacy," perfectly reflecting the new low in esteem for our country, our ideals, even the U.N. itself.... especially as articulated by the self-described Chavez as the "voice of the Third World."

The Chavez comments drew everything from approving tittering to applause when Chavez called U.S. "imperialism" a menace. In a following press conference, Chavez charged the U.N. is no longer viable, and that the system needs to be "refound."

The fact that this Iran-favoring bombastic South American leader can sling insults at our country to open approval only highlights the fact that international attitudes and events are overtaking Bush, and thus each one of us.

It is obvious that Condi and an arrogant Bush don't have the foggiest of how to formulate and pursue a successful and respected foreign policy. It is time for a strong, independent Congress to put a halt to The Decider's decisions. And to demand an end to Incompetent Condi's tenure as Secretary of State.

The actions by Republican Senators McCain, Warner and Graham working with Senate Democrats to stall the Bush plan to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions is a small, but significant start.

November!

Pulling Allen Up By His Root-Straps

The WaPo headline seems a little misleading..... "Allen Says He Embraces Jewish Ancestry."

Making it sound like Sen. George Allen (R-VA) proudly rushed forward.... and why not.... to confirm his Jewish heritage. Actually....

A reporter covering the September 18 debate between Allen and his opponent, James Webb, inquired of Allen, "It has been reported that your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, is Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?"

Allen responded angrily and said "that he was raised Christian." (WaPo)

The next day Allen released a statement denouncing the TV reporter who asked the question, and belatedly claiming to be proud to have recently discovered that his mother's father was part of a well-known Jewish family.

The recent discovery he refers to probably surfaced as a result of the Macaca flap. The Jewish periodical The Forward reported in "Alleged Slur Casts Spotlight on Senator's (Jewish?) Roots" that in all likelihood, Allen's mother Etty Allen, nee Henrietta Lumbroso, was Jewish "from the august Sephardic Jewish Lumbroso family", and that therefore by Jewish tradition of matrilineal descent, Allen himself would be considered Jewish.

So......it appears the "Macaca"cowboy boot-wearing tobacco-chewing religious-right darlin' Allen will have to burn his Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) card.

The CCC.... one of the largest white supremacist groups, designated as a hate group by the Southern Povertyy Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.... is descended from the segregationist White Citizens' Councils of the Jim Crow-era South.

A constant theme of the CCC since the days of the White Citizens Councils has been the danger of race mixing.... "God is the author of racism," according to a story on their Web site in 2001... "God is the One who divided mankind into different types.... Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God."

At a 1996 Conservative Political Action Conference attended by then Gov. Allen and CCC leaders, Allen suggested that the group join together for a photograph. The Nation obtained and published the resulting snapshot, which had been printed in the CCC Citizens Informer newsletter.

Here is the photo of George Felix Allen, Fred C. Jennings, Gordon Lee Baum, Tom Dover and Charlton Heston at CPAC in 1996.

"Welcome to the real world of Virginia".... and say good night, George.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Born Again McCain

He's baaaaack!

But this time it isn't a spooky Freddie Kreuger thing, it's a hoped for development. A return to the Straight Talk that was Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) byword until he got tangled up with The Decider.

Moderate-leaning McCain fans, Democrats and Republicans alike, were dismayed when he made nice with Rev. Jerry "Winky Dinky is Gay" Falwell, and stayed within pucker distance of Bush's backside hoping to "position himself as the natural heir" to Bush in 2008.

Now, however, "McCain's Stand On Detainees May Pose Risk for 2008 Bid." (WaPo) gives us reason to hope that McCain has found his way out of the Shrub's wasteland.

Hallelujah!

Not because it may pose a risk to McCain's bid for the presidency, but because he is willing to take the risk, to stand up for what he believes.... by not allowing the Bush administration to "interpret the Geneva Conventions as it sees fit."

Even though McCain risks losing the support of the supposed Bush base.... a base adverse to bigger government, huge deficits, and nation building.... in truth many in this base no longer worship at the tawdry, principle-trashed Bush altar.

And, it isn't just treatment of detainees that hangs in the legislative balance, "the legislative battle will shape what limits the administration will face on its anti-terrorism policies in the final two years of Bush's term."

Just like the power-hungry, spoiled frat boy he is, someone needed to set limits for The Decider. The seasoned McCain has at last said enough, and along with all 44 Senate Democrats and enough Republican supporters like Lindsey Graham (SC) to command a Senate majority, is stalling Bush's plans.

Truer words were never spoken than those of McCain's top political adviser who observed, "When John does what he thinks is right, it usually works out in all ways, including politically."

To McCain we say about his return to his Straight Talking ways..... "Stay the course."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Allen is All Hat

When it comes to war, fighting a war, understanding the sacrifices of war, Virginia's U.S. Democratic Senate candidate, James Webb, a decorated Marine and former Navy Secretary, with a son currently serving with the Marines in Iraq, knows of what he speaks. Webb calls Bush's war with Iraq an "incredible strategic blunder of historic proportions." (WaPo)

His challenger, U.S. Republican Senator George Allen during his debate with Webb Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" spewed the Bush line of "staying the course." Asked whether more U.S. troops should be sent, Allen said, "We're going to need to do what it takes to succeed."

Whatever that means.... no draft has been instituted, and our troops and equipment are wearing out. Does he mean to extend yet again the tour of duty for our already overextended brave military on the front lines? Pour more billions of tax dollars into the quagmire?

What expertise does Allen bring to the debate? Has he served in the military, experienced war? No. Has he held a key civilian military post? No. Are any of his children serving in the military? No. He is, as they say in Texas, "All hat and no cattle" when it comes to war and war policy.

Allen gets all of his lines from our Darth Vader President who was "seduced by the dark side of the Force"..... who, with the corrupted GOP-led Congress, is bent on continuing his failed war in Iraq, a war which is enriching his corporate buddies, pursued at the expense of our liberties and moral standing in the world and our sense of moral pride at home.

It is experience that restrains our great leaders from pursuing war, especially wars of choice. Our great modern-day warrior, General Dwight Eisenhower.... successful Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WWII and the 34th President of the United States... made the point during his farewell address to the nation:

"...America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.... to keep the peace, to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among peoples and among nations.

"To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

"Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

November.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Get An Absentee Ballot NOW!

The surprise isn't that "Major Problems At Polls Feared," .... the surprise is that anyone thought it would be any different.

Why would the GOP and Bush administration, who likely stole two presidential elections without any serious challenges, want to change things?

No indeed, they would want to stack the deck even more in their favor..... "In the Nov. 7 election, more than 80 percent of voters will use electronic voting machines, and a third of all precincts this year are using the technology for the first time." (WaPo)

Most of these machines were engineered and manufactured by GOP-promoting corporations. And, independent tests, including a study by Princeton University, have shown that the "paperless" electronic voting machines can be rigged.

State election laws and systems are a muddle, registration rolls are problematic, and in many states, "the administration of elections remains in political hands..."

But, there is a way to combat and override these suspect machines and other election "imponderables."

ABSENTEE BALLOTS.

Contact your state election officials MONDAY. This may be your Secretary of State or State Elections Board.... get your hands on an absentee ballot. Then, use it. This may be the only way to make sure your vote counts in November!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Please Fence Them Out!

If ever there was a case for a border fence, this is it.

WaPo describes today in "As Border Crackdown Intensifies, A Tribe Is Caught in the Crossfire," one of the casualties of the illegal alien and drug trafficker invasion of our border with Mexico.

Around 1500 illegals are crossing their reservation, depositing an average of six tons of trash.... a day!

These lawbreakers are being pursued by Border Patrol agents and the resulting chaos keeps the Tohono O'odham Nation, who live on a 2.8 million-acre reservation in Arizona on the Mexico border, in a state of fear.

The sovereign Nation's tribal council is working with the Border Agents because "..we are in dire straits here."

The Tohono O'odham Nation laments losing their peaceful way of life. They are just another of the many victims of the Bush administration's lack of resolve to stem the flood of gate crashers and criminals.

The GOP-controlled government has ignored, even fostered, the illegal alien devastation of our country, overriding the will of U. S. Citizens. Citizens who vote. November.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Plame Blame Game

Richard Armitage finally fessed up about his "leaky" meeting with columnist Robert Novak.

He says he casually mentioned that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.... yet we are to believe, that armed with this chatty bit of intelligence, seasoned journalist Novak charged off to write a column that outed a CIA operative, and unleashed a major political controversy that led to the indictment of Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

Two and a half years of silence later, Armitage swears that he is now coughing up the hairball of truth, admitting he was Novak's source. But, hairball truths are fuzzy things.

"Novak Accuses Plame Source of Distortion".... in his column yesterday, Novak disputes that that Armitage made an inadvertent remark about Plame's ties to the CIA, "Armitage's statements 'obscured what he really did'.... Armitage linked her directly to her husband's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger and suggested the disclosure would be a good item for Novak's column." (Washington Post)

Yes, that right.... "suggested the disclosure would be a good item for Novak's column."

At the time, the White House was livid at Plame's husband who had been sent to Niger to investigate whether Iraq was trying to buy nuclear weapons material there. He subsequently wrote a column accusing the White House of delibertly twisting intelligence about the Iraqi program to justify a U.S. invasion.

Armitage asserts he made his comments "in an offhand manner and that he did not know why Plame's husband was sent to Niger."

And, if you believe that, there's some Iraqi WMD I want to sell you.....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bush's New Iraq Sermon

Failing to link 9/11 to Iraq.... President Bush crusades on the idea of a "Third Awakening" to justify the war.

He told a group of conservative journalists.... who else.... that the war is a confrontation "between good and evil..... I think there's change happening here.... it seems to me that there's a Third Awakening." (WaPo)

Oh, he is so right. But voters may see good and evil a little differently. Osama evil.... but still running loose. Allies good.... but not many in sight.

The First Great Awakening occurred in the mid-1700s, the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800, the Third Awakening will be this November.

Vote.

Bush the Shunned

"Here comes the Judge".... the voters.

Moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island won his primary yesterday despite a strong conservative challenger. (Wapo) Chafee is not a Bush Republican, in fact he admitted that he didn't vote for Bush in 2004 and that "My record voting with the administration is spotty at best." (U.S. News & World Report 9/11) For Republican incumbents this election season, that is something to brag about!

Then we have Democrat Senator Joe "Bush Lite" Lieberman of Connecticut, who did align himself on many issues with Bush.... most glaringly the Iraq war.... and his party threw him to the wolves. Now he campaigns on the fringes of the pack as an Independent, shunned by the Democrat alphas but embraced by the GOP who have abandoned their own Republican cub.

In Arizona's primary for the House seat being vacated by Jim Kolbe, GOP conservative Randy Graf, a "firebrand running hard against illegal immigration" and endorsed by his local National Border Patrol Council, seems to have won his primary. With 95% of the precincts reporting, he leads by 6% over his closest rival. His opponent, Steve Huffman, was backed by Kolbe and the national GOP party.

Across the election board, the trends are clear.... the voters don't like where Bush and the GOP have taken the country, and want action on the conduct of the Iraq war and border security.

One last thought on the Iraq war, a recent Senate intelligence committee report concluded that Saddam Hussein was "distrustful of Al Qaeda".... not an ally of the terrorist group, as the Bush administration has claimed. (Newsweek 9/18)

November.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bush's 9/11 Politics

On the five-year anniversary of the second date that will live in infamy, "Bush Tries to Win Over a War-Weary Nation" by continuing to link the 9/11 attack by Osama bin Laden's largely Saudi terrorists to his misbegotten, failed war with Iraq. (Washington Post)

Bush the Shameless thinks if he drowns us with his twisted rhetoric we will suddenly forget that he lied us into war. Forget the administration's ham-fisted handling of Iraq that has created a dangerous breeding-ground for terrorists and chased off disgusted and alarmed former allies. Forget that Osama is still on the loose, that Afghanistan is being overrun by drug-dealing war lords and that the Taliban is emerging as the real power in the region.

Bush reminds me of someone who shouts louder and louder to a person who doesn't speak the same language.... just shout loud enough and they'll get it.

Well, we get it all right. We get that 9/11 became a handy excuse for the Bush administration to pursue their lusted-after Middle East war, to restrict U.S. citizens liberties while at the same time turning a blind eye to border and port security in the pursuit of a Meximerica and obese corporate profits.

In the myopic pursuit of his agenda, Bush the Shameless hasn't noticed that the country has already moved on.... away from the peddling of Rove-Snow spins, away from the gutting of our Constitution, away from using our national tragedy of 9/11 as a justification for his none-too-bright and dangerous whims. We have watched in horror at his messianic tilting at oil wells.

No amount of Bush shouting will rewrite his failed place in history.... we are living his history.

November.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bush's Moral Wilderness

The Bush administration has hijacked our national moral compass. Far too many have gotten lost in the shady wilderness of its convoluted agendas.

"Worried CIA Officers Buy Legal Insurance" is the sobering headline in WaPo. Current and former intelligence officials caught in this wilderness "have signed up in growing numbers for a government-reimbursed private insurance plan that would pay their civil judgments and legal expenses if they are sued or changed with criminal wrongdoing."

They are worried about the controversy over the secret CIA prisons and detainee interrogations, and that "lawsuits will erupt if details of the agency's internal probe of wrongdoing related to the September 2001 attacks become public."

In this probe, it was recommended by the CIA inspector general that the actions of senior CIA officials be examined, but Bush's CIA director decided the report should remain secret.

Instead, last week the White House "called for Congress to approve legislation drafted by the White House that would exempt CIA officers and other federal civilian officials from prosecution for humiliating and degrading terrorism suspects in U.S. custody.

Why all of the maneuvering? The Bush mob may lose one or both congressional houses in November.... the light of justice would be reignited, and the scurrying begin.

A former CIA general counsel said he was deeply troubled that CIA officers have to buy insurance.... "There should be clear rules about what the officers can and can't do. The fault here is with more senior people who authorized interrogation techniques that amount to torture," not the officers who carried it out.

Amen.

The journey out of Bush's moral wilderness commences in November.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

ABC Joins Rove Ranks

Fairy tales that try to rewrite history.

That's the stuff of political campaigns, and now it seems the media as ABC unloads a six hour mini-series "The Path to 9/11" on the public. A furious Bill Clinton is demanding the network pull the drama unless gross misrepresentations on his pursuit of Osama bin Laden are corrected.

In a four-page letter to ABC, Clinton refuted several fictionalized scenes that he claims insinuate he was too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal to care about bin Laden, and that a top advisor pulled the plug on CIA operatives who were moments away from bagging the terrorist.

And here is the kicker..... the mini-series is "also being provided to high schools as a teaching aid, although ABC admits key scenes are dramatizations." (New York Post) Is there no shame?

In fact, the 9/11 commission's report found Clinton was "deeply concerned about bin Laden," and found that Clinton's Cabinet gave "its blessing" for a CIA plan to capture bin Laden and determined that ex-CIA Director George "Presidential Medal of Freedom" Tenet squashed the plan.

Clinton allies claim that advance copies of the mini-series were sent to a number of echo-chamber conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, but not to liberals. Limbaugh, who says the screenwriter is a friend of his, gleefully told his radio audience that the film "indicts the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger... and is just devastating to the Clinton administration." (Washington Post)

And in the end, that appears to be what this is all about in this election season.... trying to shift the blame from the Bush administration's failure to capture bin Laden, and shift public attention away from Bush's failed and bloody pursuit of the war in Iraq.

This should be the news we talk about....in Iraq on Monday a soccer star was kidnapped and 35 bullet-ridden bodies found, the U.S. military announced the deaths of five more American troops and a roadside bomb killed two British soldiers.

But, before the November elections expect instead lots more cheap shot fairy tales, and lots less factual reporting on the war in Iraq and the Bush administration failures.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Hangin' Chad" Harris Wins

Rep. Katherine "Hangin' Chad" Harris has won her Republican Senate primary in Florida. She faces incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson who is currently leading by 30 percentage points in some polls, and most predict an easy win for Nelson.

The Harris campaign brought back memories of her role in the controversial 2000 presidential election in which she played a prominent role as Florida's Secretary of State in charge of "certifying" the results.

Viewed as a liability, Harris was shunned by her party leaders for her senate bid, and ran a campaign full of controversy such as declaring the doctrine of separation of church and state a myth and that only Christians should be elected to legislate. She was dogged by stories linking her to a convicted bribery-taking defense contractor.... but, "die-hard Republican voters, they love her." (Washington Post)

It was a different story for Connecticut's Democrats who didn't support Senator Joe "Bush-lite" Lieberman, who lost his primary although supported by party leaders because he had strayed too far into the Bush camp. So he is running as an Independent, and though currently leading in the polls, the Democratic candidate Ned Lamont is close on his heels.

Perhaps these two races demonstrate clearer than anything else the divide in our country. And, that primary voters were not influenced by their party leaders.

Interesting. And, a seeming win-win for Democrats in November.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Beam 'em Up

The Sloganeering Troika..... George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld.... are unleashing a verbal diatribe against the threat of (drum roll) World War II. (Ba-boom) Empty rhetoric.

As Eugene Robinson points out, with Bush talking so much about Nazis and fascism, Cheney quoting Franklin Roosevelt and Rumsfeld warning "ominously against lily-livered appeasement.... one might worry that this direction-challenged administration has wandered into some sort of time warp." (Washington Post)

The Troika has climbed into their time machine and blasted back to the good ole' days of WWII when the allies, 26 nations, united to successfully fight and defeat the threat of Nazi Germany and the Axis.

Allies united.... that has a nice ring doesn't it? Too bad the Troika was so bent on their "forward leaning" foreign policy that they didn't adhere to this most basic winning precept of WWII.

As a reflective Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, opined about our failed Vietnam policies in the DVD documentary "Fog of War".... "We did not recognize that neither our people or our leaders are omniscient. Our judgment of what is in another people's or country's best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose."

That is the lesson the Troika should be taking to heart. It will take a united world-wide effort, headed by respected leadership, to defeat the threat of Islamic totalitarianism.

Instead, the arrogant Sloganeering Troika spout their WWII sound-bites this election season.... living in the past, because they can't talk about the unholy present they have created.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fear-full GOP

The GOP has held the House for 12 years, the White House for six years, and also have the majority in the Senate. And our country has never been in a bigger, more dangerous, mess.

President Bush won in 2002 by the narrowest of (contested) electoral margins and didn't win the popular vote. Nevertheless, he installed a wrecking ball in the Oval Office and proceeded to lay waste to years of national and international gains as though he had an overwhelming mandate.

The voters are living with the results. And they aren't happy.

The WaPo reports that "More GOP Districts Counted as Vulnerable, Number Doubled Over the Summer." Is it any wonder. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) sums up the six years of the Bush presidency as "an endless occupation and a wage-less recovery..." with nothing to offer but "fear."

Franklin D. Roosevelt rallied a nation in the dark days of the Recession by famously saying.... "The only thing we have to fear.... is fear itself."

Bush took a prosperous nation, respected around the world, and in the wake of 9/11 instead of rallying the nation, he tried to sell.... "You should fear, there is nothing else."

As it turns out, what we most have to fear is the continuing strangle hold of the GOP and The Decider. Our liberation starts in November. Vote fearlessly.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fox is Muzzled

Lopez Obrador, Mexico's populist presidential candidate, is protesting his narrow July 2 election loss and demanding a total recount. But the powerful Catholic church has publicly joined forces with Felipe Calderon, the anointed candidate of President Fox's party. And, Mexico's special election court is expected to certify Calderon's victory within days.

So there's nothing to be done, right? Another regime-rigged election, like the U.S. elections of 2000 and 2004, will be allowed to stand.

Not so fast.

Mexican opposition lawmakers "seized control of Mexico's congressional chamber Friday and blocked President Vicente Fox from delivering his final State of the Nation address." They chanted "vote by vote, polling place by place," while some waved signs that said "Fox is a traitor," and others lofted Mexican flags. (Washington Post)

Finally, brave legislators willing to stand up for their people. Demanding that Fox, the Mexican Decider, bring the votes from behind the curtain. A full recount.

Much depends on the outcome of this election, for Mexico and the U.S. Obrador wants to revitalize Mexico and create an economy where it isn't necessary for the poor to storm the U.S. border in order to find a decent job.

He wants to end Fox and President Bush's "engineered export" of Mexicans which suited Fox because he rid himself of the poor and uneducated, and suited Bush and his corporate buddies who are looking for cheap "manageable" labor.

From Fox and Bush's corrupt point of view, a win-win. Except Mexico's poor don't want to have to "leave to live." And U.S. citizens are reeling from the glut of illegal aliens who are lowering wages, draining social services and changing the culture.

Enough.

"Only the unjust resort to violence," is what Obrador told a crowd of supporters, purposely gathered away from the legislative building to avoid sparking such violence, while their representatives blocked Fox's address and delivered their own message.

We say to our U.S. lawmakers who have not risen up to protest the shady elections jammed down our throats by the Bush regime.... "only the corrupt will remain silent" if the November election results once again wildly contradict the polls.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bush World Decider

Judge, jury and hangman.

According to John R. Hamilton, a 35-year veteran with the U.S. Foreign Service, that about sums up how other countries view our judgmental foreign policy by "report card." (Washington Post)

Other countries resent our moralistic, bullying ways. "Each year we issue detailed human rights reports on every country in the world..." after having judged them on everything from their efforts to fight illegal drugs, protection of intellectual property, and labor rights to respect for religious freedom.

And this is just the start of the hurdles set up for other countries to get over if they want to avoid our "watch list," sanctions, or worse.

While the quest for world improvement may be worthy.... the "tolerance of other societies for being publicly judged by the United States has reached its limits."

Can you blame them? Our skirts aren't clean.

Under the Bush administration we have abandoned our pro-active environmental protection leadership, legitimized torture, engaged in wars of choice and dictated sexual mores.

The Bush administration attitude of "Our way or the highway" has turned former allies against us and fueled anti-American sentiment at a time when a united front against terrorism and nuclear proliferation is vital.

I love my country. I don't love what the Bush bully boys have made of it.

Let's take our country back..... November.