Saturday, April 30, 2005

Helen Thomas on Abu Ghraib

Helen Thomas is a woman I have admired most of my life. I loved to watch her at Presidential press conferences. She never gave up, she followed up her questions, and generally took no bullshit from anyone, including the President. Sadly, now reporters are too chicken, or perhaps less than well educated or informed to ask hard hitting questions; or perhaps they are afraid the Bushites will never let them enter a press event again if they speak out, so they don't. Helen Thomas still speaks out, and eloquently on Abu Ghraib .
I agree with Ms. Thomas that there is absolutely no way these enlisted personnel (and one LTC) came up with the entire idea to torture prisoners. The prevailing attitude is always set at the top. I think there is long line of guilty folks that are getting off. Where were the Chaplains? They should have been out and about, and monitoring the situation, the condition of the prisoners, etc. As the daughter of a military Chaplain I know full well what the Chaplain SHOULD have been doing, but what did he/she do? There are always more people out there than just the guards, and there is rumor, and more. Oddly there was only one man with the courage to stand up and say it was wrong. Now he is basically in a witness protection program. Although I understand he will be awarded a medal from the JFK Profiles in Courage group, which he richly deserves.
The "fearless leaders" of our military deserve punishment for their roles, which I am sure they had in all of this. Instead, the enlisted folks are scapegoated and the big wigs get off. Symptomatic of this country today. The rich and the bigwigs get it all, and the rest of us get nada (nothing).

Molly Ivins, got to love her

"It's a joke that the Right wing claims it is against 'judicial activists.' What they want are judicial activists who agree with them."

- Molly Ivins, syndicated columnist.

Two stupid Bush things this week...

Ok, Bush makes less and less sense to me. Yesterday his speech, including Social Security changes was the first stupid thing.

Why? Well, President Bush said on Tuesday (April 5,2005) in Parkersburgh West Virginia the Social Security trust fund doesn't exist, and that the Treasury bonds held by the program are "just IOUs" that will put an added fiscal burden on future generations unless the entitlement program is overhauled. He went on to say: "There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand that future generations will pay -- will pay for either in higher taxes, or reduced benefits, or cuts to other critical government programs."

Ok, those were Treasury bonds, the same ones he referred to in his speech on Thursday, April 28, as the investment option for "private accounts." On that date he stated that Treasury bonds were "good as gold."

Does anyone else see the faulty logic in this besides me? Treasury bonds are worthless for Social Security, but ok for "private accounts?" It sounds more like we are being sold down the river, in more ways than one.

The second stupid thing, his energy proposal. Drill for more oil. Not conservation, not programs for development of alternative energy, no... drill for more oil. Did he sleep through 5th grade science? Did he not learn that oil, or any other natural resource is not infinite? Maybe infinite is too big a word for him. Oil WILL run out, it's a fact. What an idiot.

He "cares about" the poor? His touted Social Security plan "where benefits for low-income workers will grow faster than benefits for people who are better off" sounds great, but ignores the fact that poor people in this country have just had Medicaid funding cut by billions, have no access to health care, poor schools, no child care options, and Head Start funds have been cut. Sure it would be nice to benefit the poor in their old age, but what about now?

This is not the country I grew up in. I am disgusted and angry about it. Bush is the President of lies and the purveyor of total eyewash and Orwellian speech.

Friday, April 29, 2005

You Gotta Join Up!

I just got my copy of the monthly Democratic newsletter (The Kendallian) and there was a little block with some disappointing statistics. To quote it verbatim:

The Democratic club has received dues from 31 of its members this year, sends newsletters to 125 and calls 136.

Ok, you guys, ya gotta sign up. We need to make a concerted effort to take back our county, our district, our state and our country! The fees are $20 per year. That's less than what one nice meal with your sweetheart costs. Please consider joining the group that will help send the right people into political service.

Our next meeting is at 7pm Thursday, May 5, at the Boerne ISD Headquarters on Johns Road. You can pay your dues there. Come on! You can do it! We need you!

While Rummy Horses Around....

Go to the Must Read section of Michael Moore's website. Read the section below the same picture you see here.

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Mitzi the Dem Dog says those crazy right-wing nut jobs are so infan-tile. Get it? Tile? Give her a break, she's just a dog!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Woman bounced from Bush event

Young Republicans chairman confronted
Woman bounced from Bush event recalls Klinkerman

By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
April 27, 2005

The chairman of the Colorado Young Republicans was one of the people involved in a March 21 incident in which three Denver residents were forcibly removed from a speech given by President Bush because of a bumper sticker.

Jay Bob Klinkerman, leader of the state group for Republicans ages 18 to 40, admitted in an interview that he was at the gate of the Wings over the Rockies Museum when the three people were stopped.

Klinkerman also was identified as being involved in the incident by Karen Bauer, one of the three removed. She confronted him about it at a Young Republicans event Tuesday night.

Two of the three who were removed, Bauer and Leslie Weise, said that Klinkerman is the event volunteer who was wearing a magenta shirt and smiley-face tie that night, and told them, "Secret Service is coming down to talk to your group."

Then a man who looked and acted like a Secret Service agent arrived and threatened them with arrest. He allowed them to enter but then found them 20 to 30 minutes later and forced them to leave.

But Klinkerman, 31, of Thornton, told the Rocky Mountain News that he never said anything to Bauer and Weise about the Secret Service.

He declined to identify the man who threatened the trio with arrest.

The real Secret Service says the man who ousted Bauer, Weise and Alex Young from the president's speech was actually a Republican Party staffer. The Secret Service has told the three that the man admitted to an agent that he ousted them because they arrived in a car with a "No more blood for oil" bumper sticker.

The service is investigating that man on possible criminal charges of impersonating a Secret Service agent. He was wearing a dark suit, earpiece and lapel pin.

The Secret Service and the White House know the man's name but have refused to reveal it. The White House has said he was a volunteer "concerned that these people were coming to the event to disrupt the event."

Bauer and her friends said they did nothing. They want to sue the man for violation of their freedom of speech.

Klinkerman said he had never met the man before the event March 21.

Bauer and Weise said they were stopped at the gate by a man who checked their names on their tickets against a sheet of paper. He told them to wait with the man now identified as Klinkerman.

Klinkerman said he doesn't know how the three were picked out from the crowd, and that he didn't see them removed. He declined to answer other questions.

On Tuesday night, Bauer introduced herself to Klinkerman as one of the three in the incident, and said she had questions that she would like to ask him.

Klinkerman replied, "I won't talk to you about that without a lawyer." He declined to give her his attorney's name and refused to talk to her further.

Bauer said she would have asked, "Who trained him? Did the White House train him? Who was he working with? How were we ID'd?"

"He knows who he passed us on to," she concluded. or 303-892-5438

Comment from progressivegrannie: Freedom of speech denied by the Bush goons!

Pentagon bows to pressure

I don't watch much in the way of TV news (corporate entertainment), but I'm curious about how much of these images will be shown.
Under pressure from advocates of open government and a former CNN journalist, the Pentagon has released nearly 300 photos of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.

Many show U.S. troops carefully and ceremoniously putting flag-draped coffins onto and taking them off military cargo aircraft. Pentagon officials said they decided to release the photos after a review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How Cool Is This!!??

We stood up to 'em and the bullies backed down. Way cool!
The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to reverse Republican-written rules that led Democrats to shut down the ethics committee. Republicans backed the resolution grudgingly.

The Republicans, accused of writing the rules to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay from investigations, heeded Speaker Dennis Hastert's call for a retreat in order to end the deadlock on the evenly divided panel. The vote was 406-20.

In response to George Bush's new "energy plan"

This by progressivegrannie's husband:

The plan George Bush should have developed…makes about as much sense as the one he did come up with…


As an alternative energy plan, George W. Bush has submitted the following plan to the U.S. Congress and the American people:

The plan, known as FART, or Free American Rectal Technology, is designed to help America reduce its reliance on foreign oil for energy production. The plan requires that every citizen 21 or older obtain a FART device from the Federally Listed Anal Technology of the U.S. or FLATUS center. After obtaining the device, one need do no more than follow the simple instructions which consist of inserting the end of a tube into one’s rectum and placing the collection bag on ones waist or thigh. The methane gas collected in the collection bag is transferred to a “holding tank” also obtainable at FLATUS. Once the tank registers “full” the tank is to be taken to a FLATUS center to be siphoned into a larger tank, which will subsequently be taken to a local electrical energy plant for use. Collection vehicles will also visit neighborhoods once a week for those individuals who are homebound or without transportation.

In order that the FART system works optimally, the President will ask Congress for a $280 million dollar farm subsidy to encourage farmers to produce beans, which will be available to the general population at the FLATUS center. The President believes that the increased production of methane will off-set the increased costs of the agricultural subsidy. The plan will reduce dependence on foreign oil to 25-30% for within 5 years.

Remember: Americans cannot be energy independent unless we all go down to our FLATUS Center and try FART.

Write against the proposed constitutional amendment against GLBT

Sample letter to Sen. Wentworth to protes HJR 6, the proposed constitutional amendment stripping gay and lesbian Texans of their rights. Please consider emailing your senator against this bill.

Email Sen. Wentworth
If you don't know who to write, go here: who is my senator

"The Honorable Jeff Wentworth
State Senator
Texas Senate

Dear Senator Wentworth:

I am writing to urge you to oppose HJR 6, the proposed constitutional
amendment which would write unequal treatment for gay and lesbian Texans
into our Constitution by banning marriage for gay and lesbian couples. It
would also bar civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

The Texas Constitution was first adopted in 1876, and its Bill of Rights
echoes key freedoms of the U.S. Constitution designed to protect all
citizens of the Lone Star State. Our Constitution was not designed to revoke
or restrict these liberties.

If this amendment passes both houses of the legislature and is approved by
voters, thousands of committed same-sex couples will be written out of the
Constitution meant to safeguard them and their families.

Marriage, other forms of relationship recognition and basic civil rights
protections are essential components that make all families, including
families headed by same-sex couples, safer and more secure.

Changing the Constitution is never simple. There are over 1000 protections,
rights and responsibilities that go along with civil marriage. Many, like
immigration rights and veterans death benefits, cannot be covered by
contracts or legal planning. The Anti-Gay Texas Marriage Amendment would
permanently deny access to each of these family protections to gay and
lesbian couples and their families.

Our Constitution is for protecting our most basic and important rights. It
should never be used to settle partisan, religious or ideological disputes.
There is no question that many Texans disagree about marriage for gay and
lesbian couples, but those disagreements do not belong in our Constitution.

Please oppose these amendments to the Texas Constitution and any attempt to
build discrimination into our great state's chief document. I look forward
to hearing from you on this extremely important issue."
My personal addition to this letter:

I for one, can't understand why a gay civil union or marriage will threaten my own marriage. It's ridiculous. In addition, as a nurse I have taken care of many gay patients, whose partners are extremely devoted to them, and actually spend more time with their partners than straight people do. They love as deeply as we do, and there is nothing wrong with that. My Uncle is gay, and he and his partner have raised 2 children who graduated from Ivy League schools, something I cannot say I have done with my own children.
Gay people do not deserve to have their rights as citizens of this country stripped from them. That is unconstitutional in my humble opinion.
But then I guess that in every generation we have to find a scape goat and this time it is gay people.
Meet some, they are not scary people. They love, laugh and enjoy life just like the rest of us.

What the World Thinks

This evening I was wandering around the web and found a new (to me) blog that has news articles from all over the world. The site suggests that the reader will "discover what the world thinks about the U.S. with translated foreign news available nowhere else in English". Don't go there if you're in a hurry; it's loaded with news we don't usually see in our papers.

Tony Blair told that British participation in the invasion of Iraq could be illegal

From The Guardian "Tony Blair was told by the government's most senior law officer in a confidential minute less than two weeks before the war that British participation in the American-led invasion of Iraq could be declared illegal.
Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, spelt out to Mr Blair the dangers of Britain going to war without a second resolution. It is understood that he then went on to warn that British soldiers could be hauled before the International Criminal Court."
Why am I not surprised by this? Invading another country is always wrong, especially when done under the guise of lies. Today we sent a co-worker off to Baghdad (a military surgeon), and what he will see and do in the next year, and his attempts to alleviate suffering that we caused with this invasion will surely try his soul. War is costly, and not necessary.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Students at Columbia stopped from striking

"At Columbia, where the students just concluded a weeklong strike in tandem with their brethren at Yale, a previously undisclosed internal memo (just obtained by The Nation--go to the nation website noted below) reveals that the administration has been flirting with union-busting tactics that go well beyond anything an academic institution should contemplate. The memo ,dated February 16, 2005, is signed by none other than Alan Brinkley, a well-known liberal historian who is now serving as Columbia's provost. Brinkley has gone out of his way to assure outside observers, including New York State Senator David Paterson, that "students are free to join or advocate a union, and even to strike, without retribution." Yet his February 16 memo, addressed to seventeen deans, professors and university leaders, lists retaliatory actions that might be taken against students "to discourage" them from striking. Several of these measures would likely rise to the level of illegality if graduate student employees were covered under the National Labor Relations Act."
The freedom of speech I knew as a young adult is gone. There is no FREEDOM OF SPEECH ANYMORE IN THIS COUNTRY!

Jon Stewart kicked some wingnut a** tonight

If you watched The Daily Show tonight, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who missed it, try really hard to catch the rerun tomorrow. It's well worth it! Jon can barely conceal his anger at the recent monkeyshines of the right-wing nut jobs, and he conveys his thoughts in such a clever way! It should be on at 6pm and at 10:30pm Wednesday. That's your homework. Watch, laugh, and feel just a little less alone in your beliefs!

Justice Sunday after Justice Sunday

I was struck by their message that they are the ONLY Christians on the planet. What are the rest of us? I was really insulted. Somehow, they totally ignore the message of the New Testament, and presume, yes PRESUME that they are right and the rest of us are wrong! As my father, an Episcopal priest, used to say..there will be a wall in heaven so they don't realize the rest of us are there.
I really think some letters to the editor need to go out, regarding this Justice Sunday thing and the fact (as many non fundamentalist religious leaders have said this past week) that we are insulted and angered that our religious beliefs are seen as less than theirs, that we are less Christian somehow. Not to mention the fact that the founding fathers did not want a state religion....some strange thing they wrote in our constitution about that, if I recall. Do these people not get the constitution? They want to promote one religion for all, damned to the rest of us, non Fundamentalist Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. That's just not constitutional, period. There are many ways to the same path, lest we forget. As a remote descendant of the Iroquois Nation, of which the Algonquin were members, this speaks to my heart.

Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin: "The Great Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us...."

Many ways to God, is one better than another because man says so? In the greater scheme of things, I think not.

Sen. Reid does it again

DailyKos has a great blog posting about Reid vs. Frist. Give it a gander and have a victorious chuckle.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I'm just not that angry about anything in particular at this moment, so instead I'll provide some links to good places that will keep you informed of facts,as well as analyses of those facts. Go to The Drudge Report for a fairly comprehensive list of columnists from both sides, e.g., Helen Thomas is listed along with Ann Coulter.

I also wanted to remind you about our new progressive radio station in San Antonio. The Jerry Springer Show and the Stephanie Miller show air back-to-back from 8am to 2pm. Both of these shows are really good and very much worth your time! Just click on the link in the links column on the right of this page.

I'm sure I'll be outraged at some injustice by the end of the day, so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Let your voice be heard!!!!

For those of you who are as dreadfully concerned about Bolton's potential appointment as VTexan and I are, drop Ohio Sen. Voinovich a line and let him know how much you appreciate his courage in expressing doubts about Bolton. We did it tonight, and it feels great to know we'll help make a difference!

Celebrating Sunday in my own special way

I'm all worked up, and nowhere to maybe where I should go is to blog city.

Where does this "I believe, therefore YOU must too..." attitude come from? I'm referring of course to this ever-increasing presence of the religious right in politics. Over the past several years, beginning with Reagan and culminating in the Bush administration, there's been a presence, then an influence, and now it seems a dominance of attitude over the Republicans by fundamentalists. These folks want to re-make the world, and the world they want to see is where there's no Rap, there's no porn, there's no abortion, there's prayer in school (whether you want it or not!), and the white girls date who it is they ought to date. You know what I mean.

Y'know, there are quite a number of things I'd like in this world. I'd like it if there were gates around Washington DC and at the checkpoint to get in there was a great big LOBBYISTMETER. If that Lobbyistmeter went off, then the person wouldn't be allowed into the nation's capitol.

I'd like it if all the manufacturers got together and issued a statement something like "we realize we haven't looked after this ol' world like we should. We're all going to try lots harder to stop polluting so much. Instead of resisting, we're going to embrace change on this issue. And by the way, we're sorry..."

I'd like it if all those morons with jacked up pickup trucks with huge tires and the stickers on the back window where someone is pissing on a Ford logo, or pissing on a Cheverolet logo, would all go and live in one state. Nebraska. Mississippi. I don't care where, but someplace far away from here. They're such obnoxious people.

I'd like it if everyone who wanted to work could get a job. I'd be happy to see everyone who's sick get the help they need to get better. I'd like to see the auto industry release every last invention it has which increases gas mileage.

There's a lot of things I'd like to have happen, but the down side to being a free country is that we all have the right to make bad decisions. It's a right we hold dearly here it seems, because we make so many of them.

Back to Fundamentalist Christians. Thank you, but no thank you. I don't believe that Jesus is on your side. He didn't believe in making war, and surely not for the half-baked reasons your leader cooked up. Jesus believed that people should embrace the truth because they felt they should embrace the truth. Not because they were pressured to do so by a government.

This marriage of the extreme religious right with the current day Republican Leadership is spooky. It ain't Taliban Spooky, but it's definitely Twilight Zone spooky. I urge you, resist it. If you're in a setting where someone wants to steamroll you with their religion, politely decline to participate. Or if they wanna argue, do! Let 'em know that there are other intelligent perspectives and that they don't get to ride roughshod over people who aren't on the same page as them. If they can't handle that, tough! This is America buddy; we all have a right to our opinions. Can't handle that? Then choose the Theocracy of your preference and move. This country has a freedom of--and from--religion. That means you can worship however the heck you want to...but that doesn't mean I have to.

Justice Sunday?

Frist Draws Criticism From Some Church Leaders
Justice Sunday my Aunt Fanny! To attempt to portray those of us who disagree with Republicans and their impending theocracy as non-religious is wrong. My Episcopalian soul recoils. I am proud to be a person who believes in Jesus' teachings. However, I believe in the Christian values that Jesus taught, including taking care of the poor, the needy, the sick, and those who society has cast out. I certainly do not see those values in policies put forth by Republicans.
To put on such a "show" just highlights the hypocrisy of the Republican party.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I love this man!

Sen. Reid weighs in on Cheney and Bush (read story below first).
Cheney made a point to stop during an address today to say he would support a ban on the filibuster.

“These nominations were held up strictly for partisan political reasons, in an astounding departure from historical precedent,” Cheney said. “If the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as President of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up-or-down vote,” he said to applause from the politically friendly audience. “On the merits, this should not be a difficult call to make.”

Reid fired back.

“In the span of three minutes, the vice president managed to reinvent 200 years of Senate history and ignore the fact that Congress has already approved 205 of this administration’s nominees," he said in a statement. "Apparently, a 95 percent confirmation rate is not enough for this president. He wants it all, even if it means shattering the checks and balances in our government in order to put radical judges on the bench."

He just doesn't roll over and play dead as do so many of his colleagues!

I hate this man!

Cheney weighs in on the filibuster issue.
"There is no justification for allowing the blocking of nominees who are well qualified and broadly supported," Cheney told the Republican National Lawyers Association. "The tactics of the last few years, I believe, are inexcusable."

"Let me emphasize, the decision about how to proceed will be made by the Republican leadership in the Senate," Cheney said. "But if the Senate majority decides to move forward and if the issue is presented to me in my elected office as president of the Senate and presiding officer, I will support bringing those nominations to the floor for an up or down vote."

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Polo, the Forward-Thinking, Prize-Winning Pony, whose favorite color is blue, tells us to think positive--if HE can win, anybody can!

More shameful Republican behavior

First off though, a tip of the hat to Congressman Henry Hyde. Though I'm about to read him the riot act, I also think it's important to note that at least Hyde was honest about this issue. Honesty is an increasingly rare attribute in politicians these days, even if what he's being honest about is a shameful event.

Hyde was recently asked if the Clinton impeachment was payback for the Nixon impeachment. He couldn't say it wasn't. "That's not an admission" you might offer, to which I'd reply "if it weren't payback the proper answer is something like "absolutely not!" Hyde's "can't say it wasn't" was PR-talk for "okay, I admit it: it was."

He went on to say that if he had it to do all over again, he probably wouldn't. He felt that at that time the Republican party had to stand for something and to walk away wouldn't have been right. And I agree with him. That's why the House is given the option to censure. Looking at things comparatively, censure is prison time, impeachment is the death penalty.

So the Republicans, in the name of standing for something, and in retaliation for the Nixon impeachment, sentenced Clinton to the most severe of penalties for his behavior. That kind of collective thought process isn't good government. It's shameful. They made two errors, compounded by the rest of reality, which I'll get to in a moment.
Error #1: making a decision based on retribution for absolutely un-related matters (the Nixon impeachment)
Error #2: giving the president the harshest penalty possible, instead of something which more befit the presidential misbehavior.

To top it all off, nearly all the movers and shakers on the Republican side--including Hyde-- were found to have participated in similar behavior themselves. Did they tender their resignations? Only one--Bob Livingston.

So the most severe of steps to rein in presidential misbehavior was done for reasons that weren't earnest, weren't what they were stated to be, and weren't in the national interest.

There's no way to take ego out of the political process--it's part-n-parcel to it. But we have to do better than this. And I'm ashamed to add that I suspect the quality of politicians has only eroded in the last 6 years, not improved.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Hyde and Seek...the truth

I was young when Nixon resigned, so I don't really understand all the dynamics, but apparently the Democrats did something that was unforgivable?
Republican Congressman Henry Hyde made some surprising comments Thursday on the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. He now says Republicans may have gone after Clinton to retaliate for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Hyde is stepping down after this term.

Dean, the well-reasoned, calm machine

I just like this guy. He's smart, self-deprecating, and right on the money!
"Now that we're there, we're there and we can't get out," he told an audience of nearly 1,000 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. "The president has created an enormous security problem for the United States where none existed before. But I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now that he's there."

An American pullout could endanger the United States in any of three ways, Dean said: by leaving a Shiite theocracy worse than that in Iran, which he called a more serious threat than Iraq ever was; by creating an independent Kurdistan in the north, with destabilizing effects on neighboring Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran and Syria, and by making the Sunni Triangle a magnet for Islamic terrorists similar to the former Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. "That's where Al Qaida will set up," he said.

Molly Ivins

She's always a good read. Often a great read. Today: a MUST READ.

And here's the column. Enjoy!

Gorbachev calls us hypocrites

He may have a point....
Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, said Wednesday the United States was hypocritical over nuclear armaments and not prepared to disarm its own weapons.

"I think Russia is ready to cooperate. Now the question is, is the United States -- which is the only remaining superpower -- is the United States ready to do this? I think not myself," Gorbachev said.

"I think the United States is sick. It suffers from the sickness, the disease of being the victor and it needs to cure itself from this disease."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Our soldiers fought and died for this?!!!

A sampling of our "smart" voters:

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which
direction was north because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking
him up every morning. She asked, "Does the sun rise in the North?" When my
brother explained that the sun rises in the east, (and has for some time),
she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff.". . . .
. . . She also votes!

I used to work in technical support for a 24x7 call center. One day I got a
call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I
told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" Wanting to end the call
quickly, I said, "Uh, Pacific." . . . . . . He also votes!.

So my colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we
overheard one of the admin. assistants talking about the sunburn she got on
her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but
"didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving." . . . .
She also votes!

My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car. It's designed to cut through a
seatbelt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the trunk. . . . . . . My
sister also votes!

My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were
discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier
multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount. . . . . He also votes!

I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring
attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip
out every time she turned her head?" I explained that a person's nose and
ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned.
. . . . . My friend also votes!

My girlfriend and I were picking up some sandwiches from the sub place last
week and she asked the clerk which of two sandwiches was better. The clerk
didn't have an opinion but did say that the first sandwich was more
expensive. My girlfriend got a quizzical look on her face and asked, "If
that's the case, why are they both listed with the same price on the menu?"
To this, the clerk responded, "I don't think we add tax to the turkey."
. . . . The clerk also votes!

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the
lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up.
She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional
and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived
yet?". . . . . . She also votes!

Thanks, Jackie, for sending this to me.

Wonder How Meaningful this is....

They're crying uncle!

Retreating under pressure, Republicans on the House ethics committee said Wednesday they were ready to open an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Four of the five Republicans on the committee were ready to move ahead, said Rep. Doc Hastings, the panel's Republican chairman. The panel also has five Democratic members.

The Republicans were "prepared to vote at the earliest opportunity to empanel an investigations subcommittee to review various allegations concerning travel and other actions" by DeLay, he said.

Yeah, they're better off in those wonderful orphanages!

This kind of B.S. makes me livid!
The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill banning homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals from being foster parents.

If the bill gains approval from the Texas Senate, the state will be allowed to investigate the backgrounds of current foster parents and remove children living in non-heterosexual households.

I LOVE how we're making this world safer from gay people! (Picture my eyes rolling, and my head shaking)

Jeffords Update

Jeffords may have Alzheimers, so this is probably the best thing for him to do. I always get very sad when I see a great person, with great intellect, suffer from such a horrible disease. I wish him and his family the best.

Terrifying Bit of News... or Great Opportunity?

Jim Jeffords is the latest to talk about leaving. I'm a bit bummed, but maybe this is a good opportunity for a true liberal to win the vacant seat.
Jeffords, 70, has been adamant in saying he will seek re-election, but there have been increasing concerns voiced about his health in recent weeks. He has suffered from a bad back and neck for years and lately has seemed confused by some questions in several news interviews.

The health of Jeffords' wife, Liz, has also been a concern. She is battling cancer.

Jeffords' surprise decision will unleash a host of candidates to replace him in the predominantly Democratic state. U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the state's only congressman and the only independent in the House, has said he would run if Jeffords did not. Like Jeffords, he votes with the Democrats. Vermont's other member of the Senate is Democrat Patrick Leahy

It's interesting how many people want to retire. Are they chicken, or are they hoping someone more courageous will take their place? Hmmmm.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Still want that "private account?"

From the New York Times:
After last week's market plunge - when America's three main stock gauges fell more than 3 percent - Wall Street and unusually nervous individual investors are looking to the flood of earnings reports this week to see how optimistic corporate America is in its outlook for the economy.
Gosh, just makes me want to have more of my money to put in the stock market. That way I can watch my 401K plunge along with my social security earnings that Bushie has convinced me will be "safe" in the stock market.
Want to be even more discouraged ? Read on.

Delay scandalous

DeLay's cronies stated that there was not enough outcry to remove DeLay. Well, watch this, and then email your elected "representative" (term used loosely as these folks represent none of us, they represent their wallets).
See the house of scandal video
Let your voice be heard in D.C. Email, write, call....

Sunday, April 17, 2005


I can't believe they're giving this right-wing wacko a cover of Time. She should be relegated to one of those tabloids that talk about human/wolf babies and aliens in Kansas! She is NOT a legitimate voice of politics. Aaargh!

He's a Freakin' Cat Killer!

I am coming to despise this man! Thanks, Jackie, for pointing me to the story.

Frist acknowledged in a 1989 book that he routinely killed cats while an ambitious medical student at Harvard Medical School in the 1970s. His office said it had no record on how many cats died. Frist disclosed that he went to animal shelters and pretended to adopt the cats, telling shelter personnel he intended to keep them as pets. Instead he used them to sharpen his surgical skills, killing them in the process.

Frist--The new prophet

This column speaks to what Dr. Grissom had to say yesterday:

Democratic senators accused Senator Bill Frist, the Republican majority leader, of exploiting religion for partisan ends by taking part in a telecast portraying them as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's judicial nominations.

"Our debate over the rules of the Senate and the use of the filibuster has nothing to do with whether one is religious or not," Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said at a news conference with Senator Harry Reid, the minority leader from Nevada. "I cannot imagine that God - with everything he has or she has to worry about - is going to take the time to debate the filibuster in heaven."

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Wonderful Luncheon/Tea Today

The event, hosted by KCADW, was lovely and well attended. Dr. Grissom's speech elicited loads of laughter, and the food was delicious! Thanks to everyone who made today's luncheon/tea such a great success!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Riley the Progressive Pooch looks on as Mitzi the Dem Dog rolls on the floor laughing at the plight of poor Tom DeLay.

The Essential Difference Between Them And Us

As the battle looms in the senate over whether or not they will change the Constitutionally-guaranteed right to filibuster, there are those of legal mind who can tell you more legalities than you have the patience to listen to. I'm going to stick to areas where I know a little something: psychology.

There is a Tsunami of conservatism in this country right now which threatens anyone with half a free-thinking bone in his body. If you're reading this blog, I'm probably talking about you.

Why does it threaten? Because the evangelical Christian right isn't just content to raise their families how they want, home school with a ciriculum which conforms to their beliefs, have a stranglehold on the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the Presidency. No, that's simply not enough. They want to create such a grip on power that those who think differently are just S.O.L.. And perhaps even an endangered species.

I don't know about you, but my Christian upbringing taught me to believe that wasn't fair. One of the things that stuck with me, even after some of the rest went away is this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Whether you're Christian or not, that's powerful stuff, doncha think?

But back to politics: if they're able to wrest the last significant point of power Democrats have to resist their dominance, they'll be stocking judgeships with people of like mind and ruling propensities. Still not rattled?

Once they do, they'll close "head shops" like the one in Austin where I bought my "Why is there always money for war, but not education?" bumper sticker. They'll decide that the internet is waaaay too free and clean it up. But as they "clean" it up, will they stop with porn, or will they continue on to places like this, where folks who don't believe as they do say what they want? Ladies--I suspect your right to choose will be gone within 2 or 3 years. Abortion's a darned ugly a thing, but not as ugly as the reality of not having the right to make your own decision about it. Then there's prayer in school.
Jewish? Just bow your head; the prayer will go by quickly.
Muslim?'re lucky we tolerate you in these parts.
Atheist? Y'know what? I think you need an ass whuppin'...

So the difference between us and them is that I think they should have the right to be as Christian as they wanna be. But they don't think I should have the right to be who I am, if I'm not like them.

Two Important points here:
1. One of the key points of Christianity is Free Will. You're supposed to choose Jesus, not have him shoved down your throat.
2. This is America. They're proud Americans. Isn't this the land of the Free? Well...not if they get control.

So the difference between them and us is in my world, they're safe. In their world, I'm...well, the enemy.

Democrats must stop 'speaking down to voters,' Dean says

Dean says beleaguered Democrats need to begin doing more to "show up" in all 50 states, including those they are unlikely to win. And they should stop "speaking down to voters,"

"People in economic distress and harmed by the economic policies of the Republicans continue to vote Republican," he said. "It's because we're not addressing the central underlying fears of people" when it comes to the pressures they feel in raising families.

For more see the article in USA Today.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Devil is in the Details

Just a reminder:

The Kendall County Area Democratic Women are hosting their

7th Annual Luncheon-Tea

Theme: Blue is Beautiful

When: Saturday, April 16 at noon

Where: Boerne Community Center, 820 Adler St.

Speaker: Dr. Colleen Grissom

Donation: $15.00

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bolton: The Most UN-wise Choice for the UN

I've stayed out of the John Bolton for Ambassador to the UN fight. I mean, what do I really know about international politics? Finally I realize though, what the hell do I have to know about international politics when I know common sense?
You've probably heard the quotes from John Bolton, regarding the UN: "There's no such thing as the United Nations," John Bolton declared in 1994. ''If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.''
And this is the guy we're wanting to send to that building to represent us? Common sense tells me that if I work in the UN representing my foreign country, or even if I work there as a US citizen, Bolton probably despises me just because that's what I do.
North Korea has called him a "human scum and bloodsucker."Allright. So you tell me: with North Korea factoring huge in our future as an alleged member of the Axis of Evil, how smart is it to have as your UN Representative someone who has earned such richly descriptive titles from them? Doesn't common sense tell you we ought to have someone who's not openly despised by one of our chief enemies?And in this article it's revealed that Bolton is a serial abuser, in terms of his management style. Here, common sense tells me that the UN is supposed to be all about diplomacy, and we're looking to send a management-through-intimidation serial abuser to the UN?
Diplomacy. That word seems to have little meaning to Bolton. Here's one of's definitions of the word: "Tact and skill in dealing with people." Sound like John Bolton to you?
Once again, these people calling the shots in DC are calling almost all the wrong ones. Could anything be more clear?

Sad Day for the Small-Game Hunters of Wisconsin

If this had passed, yours truly would have been one sad critter blogger.

A proposal to legalize the killing of feral cats is not going to succeed, Gov. Jim Doyle said Wednesday.

"I don't think Wisconsin should become known as a state where we shoot cats," said Doyle, a Democrat who neither hunts nor owns a cat. "What it does is sort of hold us up as a state that everybody is kind of laughing at right now."

Don't you just love the inherent, lovable goofiness of the American people?

P.S. While looking for the picture I used, I actually found lots of pics of hunters holding up their latest cat kill. I just don't get it.

For the activists of the group!

Go to this site to make your voice be heard!

More from our pal, DeLay!

An article from The Washington Post:

As DeLay left a 90-minute luncheon with his party's senators, he told reporters that his basic message was "Be patient; we'll be fine."

Giving a preview of the approach he is likely to take when he appears before reporters this afternoon, DeLay dismissed questions about his travel and his relationships with lobbyists as "the Democratic agenda."

Attendees said DeLay, in extremely brief remarks, told the senators that, if asked about his predicament, they should blame Democrats and their lack of an agenda. The attendees said DeLay thanked Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) for supportive comments on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. Santorum had said that DeLay is "very effective in leading the House," but he also noted that the Texas lawmaker needs to "lay out what he did and why he did it."

A Very Serious Side of Monty Python

A great op-ed piece from Terry Jones of Monty Python, on the side effects of war:

A report to the UN human rights commission in Geneva has concluded that Iraqi children were actually better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.

This, of course, comes as a bitter blow for all those of us who, like George Bush and Tony Blair, honestly believe that children thrive best when we drop bombs on them from a great height, destroy their cities and blow up hospitals, schools and power stations.

It now appears that, far from improving the quality of life for Iraqi youngsters, the US-led military assault on Iraq has inexplicably doubled the number of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Under Saddam, about 4% of children under five were going hungry, whereas by the end of last year almost 8% were suffering.

From Boerne Together

Great News:

Boerne Together with the League of Women Voters will be holding a Meet The Candidates Night April 28th from 7 to 9 at the Boerne Community Center. The 2 candidates for mayor and all 4 city council candidates will be attending.

Because of this upcoming event, the Communications Committee members have been calling registered voters, making them aware of the date, time, and location.

Jill Mason is leading this endeavor and needs more help. If you would like to help in getting the message out, please e-mail Jill.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Unfeeling President

Read what award winning author E. L. Doctorow has to say about Dubya.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

They're starting to turn on each other now

Uh oh! Tommy's playmates don't wanna play with him anymore.

Private GOP tensions over Tom DeLay's ethics controversy spilled into public Sunday, as a Senate leader called on DeLay to explain his actions and one House Republican demanded the majority leader's resignation.

"Tom's conduct is hurting the Republican Party, is hurting this Republican majority and it is hurting any Republican who is up for re-election," Rep. Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican, told The Associated Press in an interview, calling for DeLay to step down as majority leader.

Can't wait to see how this plays out!

What is it with Republicans and their vendetta against judges?

You'd think the recent bad hits Republicans had taken over Delay's veiled threats to judges ("The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.") and then Senator John Cornyn's damned stupid follow-up and reaction to it, that maybe they would take the foot off the accelerator a bit and let the engines cool.

There you go, using your common sense again! I'm talking about the Republican leadership, who, if you look very carefully, is on a mad rush toward a Taliban-esque one-ness of thought. It goes something like this: We're always right. They're always wrong. Period.
And the only reason it's not something that I laugh about is that these folks aren't a curiosity. They're in charge.

But back to my original point. In this article we find that conservative leaders went to Washington to discuss the topic "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny." which tyrannical judges might they be referring? How about Reagan appointee Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy?

"Okay" you're thinking. "Just more theatrics from the bizarro parade of the right wing of the right wing biggie, right?" Wrong. Then lawyer/author Edwin Vieira says this about Kennedy, quoting of all people, Joseph Stalin: "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

If you're scratching your head wondering exactly what that was supposed to mean, maybe you'd like to see the rest of the Stalin quote: "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."

So...why hasn't Edwin Viera been at least questioned by police for threatening a Supreme Court Justice? Because as I said before, these folks are in charge. (this is the point where, if it hasn't before, you hear the Twilight Zone music and a chill runs up your spine.)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Riley the Progressive Pooch stares out from his balcony, looking to the future of America. I'm not sure he likes what he sees!

Don't Mess with Colorado...and Waxman!

Remember those three people who were ousted by Bushies during a Colorado stop on the Social Insecurity tour? The incident may be coming back to bite Bush in the butt! He's been using taxpayers' money to go on this 60-day tour, and the only way that's legal is if he makes it an informational tour for ALL people! His visits cannot be partisan or political. Read here for complete article.

Waxman said that expelling people with contrary views and promoting a partisan agenda are "hallmarks of campaign events, not government-funded political meetings."

A student was barred from a similar event in Arizona for wearing a Young Democrats T-shirt.

In North Dakota, a list surfaced that banned 42 people from getting tickets to another Bush speech in the campaign.

White House spokesman Allen Abney has refused to provide the cost of the Social Security trips, saying it is wrapped up in the annual presidential travel budget.

Taxpayers have paid more than $2 million just for the flights in the Social Security campaign, which is a bit more than half over, according to calculations made by The Washington Post.

Another stupid Bushie trick

Another stupid Bushie trick...posing with a file cabinet. Why you ask?

What happened..."he visited the office of the federal Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, W.Va. He posed next to a file cabinet that holds the $1.7 trillion in Treasury securities that make up the Social Security trust fund. He tossed off a comment to the effect that the bonds were not "real assets." Later, in a speech at a nearby university, he said: "There is no trust fund. Just i.o.u.'s that I saw firsthand."

Social Security takes in more money than it needs to pay current beneficiaries, and the excess is invested in the Treasury securities that Mr. Bush was discussing. They carry the same legal and political obligations as all other forms of Treasury debt, every penny of which has always been paid in full and on time.

In his speech, Mr. Bush went on to acknowledge that future generations would have to make good on the debt. But the intended meaning of the photo-op was clear. In the hope of persuading people to privatize Social Security - a move that would only add to the growing debt burden for future generations - Mr. Bush wants Americans to believe that the trust fund is a joke."

This made as much sense as when he looked for WMD's under the curtains at a banquet.
Idiot boy strikes again.

Here is the full story.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Republicans Are Gnashing Their Teeth Over This

Seems the notorious Schiavo memo wasn't a figment of our imagination after all!

Sen. Mel Martinez said Wednesday an infamous unsigned memo passed around on Capitol Hill emphasizing the politics of the Terri Schiavo case originated in his office...

skipped text

...Martinez, R-Florida, said in a written statement that he discovered Wednesday that the memo had been written by an aide in his office.

"It is with profound disappointment and regret that I learned today that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document," Martinez said.

He said he accepted the resignation of the staffer who drafted and circulated the memo. "This type of behavior and sentiment will not be tolerated in my office," he said.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

HB 16, Frank Corte's way to eliminate women's options

Frank Corte's HB 16 (allowing Pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions) will not only take women's rights down a slippery slope, but lead the way to a massive change in health care delivery. After all, if I (as a nurse) can decide against doing something because it is against my beliefs, then I could refuse to take care of "smelly old people" because I don't believe in taking care of the elderly, or refuse to give narcotic pain medications because I don't believe in them, the list could be endless. Do I give blood to save someone's life or walk away because of my personal beliefs? When personal feelings enter into how health care is delivered, be it medications or other forms of treatment chaos will ensue. When healthcare professionals are allowed to refuse to perform a service that is part of their job, just because of their personal beliefs, the healthcare of the citizens of this state, which is already precarious, will only get worse.

I will always remember my first nursing instructor, Ms. Ruth Sperry, at TCU, who taught us that our personal biases, etc. had absolutely no business in determining the manner in which we treated patients. All patients were equal, period.

Mr. Frank Corte, is not a health care professional, but a religious zealot, who can not see the reality behind his proposal. He is too ignorant to realize that his "agenda" allows the flood gates of "personal beliefs" to alter behaviors in many unforseen areas to the detriment of our society. His lack of respect for women is obvious. Removing women's choices is a first step away from democracy. Shall we return to the 1800's when there were no choices? Shouldn't Mr. Corte state his real goal--getting women back to the kitchen and out of the board room. Having barefoot and pregnant women slapping food in front of their husbands promptly at 5:30 pm, is that your real agenda Mr. Corte?

Women deserve choices and they deserve to have all options available for healthcare, including contraceptives. Since when is a pharmacist a physician? He/she can only surmise what a prescription is for, they can't diagnose or presume to diagnose the reason a medication was prescribed, and therefore have no business refusing to fill a prescription. I can virtually guarantee you that no pharmacist in Texas has refused to fill a prescription for Viagra. Priorities, priorities. Women deserve better.

It would serve this nation well to remember what The Declaration of Geneva
(World Medical Association, 1948, 1968, 1983) states: "I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient." This is as appropriate today as it was in 1948.

Don't Delay...

Let's Investigate Tom!

Are you anything like me? I'm a guy who likes my government served straight up, hold the corruption, please. I've got no use for it.

But recent developments in the nation's capitol leave me shaking my head in disbelief. Or it would be disbelief if it weren't Tom Delay we were talking about. I've gotten to where I believe most anything about him.

We have the leader of the republican party in the House who's been the subject of four separate ethics investigations. Ethics. Remember them? How does Mr. Delay reconcile his allegedly fundamentalist Christian beliefs with fundamentally corrupt behavior? And for that matter, how about his fundamentalist followers? Aren't they beginning to get a little uncomfortable about now? If you're going to err on the side of life, please also remember to err on the side of ethics!

Here's a handy site that's filled-to-overflowing with the transgressions of Tom Delay.

The head of the Ethics Committee (Representative Joel Hefley) actually believed that he was supposed to help maintain Ethical standards in Congress instead of just be a figurehead. Boy, was he ever mistaken! Dennis Hastert had him removed.

Interesting Tom Delay move #1: instead of changing your unethical behavior, change the head of the ethics committee instead!
Interesting Tom Delay move #2: Get rid of two Republican members of the committee who actually believed Delay had an obligation to behave ethically and replace them with two running buddies. Can you guess who one of them is? Well, it's none other than our very own living, breathing representative dedicated to the lower realms of mediocrity, Lamar Smith!

Question for you: do you think Lamar Smith's $10,000 contribution to Tom Delay's legal defense fund might signal that he's going to be an objective arbiter of Ethics? Letsee here...hell freezes over when?

And another question: could things get any worse? I suspect they can, even though that's awfully hard to believe!

Book discussion, God's Politics

Viva! Bookstore at Mini Mansions

Time: Sunday, April 17, 2005 1:00 PM
Location: Ventana Gallery
Title of Event: God's Politics -Book Discussion
There will be a book discussion from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm of God's Politics by Jim Wallis (HarperSanFrancisco, $14.95). All are welcome to participate in this "after Church" discussion group. Cynthia Caruso will facilitate the discussion based on the book's thesis: "Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It."

Yes Virginia, liberals do go to church.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Lest We Forget


The U.S. military also suffered one of its biggest losses in recent weeks, with four service members reported killed Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday, an explosion in the western province of Anbar killed one Marine, while two U.S. soldiers and one Iraqi soldier died in a joint attack on dozens of insurgents in eastern Diyala province. A U.S. military spokesman said two U.S. soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

Another soldier was killed Tuesday in Baghdad when an abandoned taxi exploded on an expressway near a U.S. patrol. Four others were wounded, said Sgt. 1st Class David Abrams, a spokesman for Task Force Baghdad.

Another explosion targeted a joint Iraqi-U.S. convoy in the Amiriyah neighborhood in Baghdad, said police Capt. Talib Thamir.

Yet ANOTHER recipe for disaster!

Don't y'all feel like we're living in Kooksville these days?

From the L.A. Times:

The Minutemen's presence set off some protests from immigrant-rights groups, and Mexican President Vicente Fox called on the U.S. government to protect illegal immigrants coming across the desert.

President Bush outraged many of the activists by calling them vigilantes. They responded by calling Bush the co-president of Mexico and a leader who had failed his responsibility to secure the country's borders.

Update from Yahoo News:

Over the past few days, they have set off sensors, forcing agents to respond to false alarms, said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jose Maheda.

"Now we not only have to look out for aliens and drug smugglers, now we have to look out for these untrained civilians who are unfamiliar with the landscape," Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame said.

A "We Told You So" moment

From Editor and Publisher:

Here are the approval ratings for presidents as recorded by Gallup in the March following their re-election:

Truman, 1949: 57%.

Eisenhower, 1957: 65%.

Johnson, 1965: 69%.

Nixon, 1973: 57%.

Reagan, 1985: 56%.

Clinton, 1997: 59% .

Bush, 2005: 45% .

This may be small comfort, because he's here for four years and can wreak a lot of havoc, but we have definitely been vindicated!

Stop Bolton Now!

Bush has nominated John Bolton, enemy of the U.N., as the United States Ambassador to the U.N.! As you may be well aware, Bolton has made highly inflammatory and derogatory remarks about this organization of nations. I just learned about this site on the Al Franken Show. Watch Bolton put his feelings into words.

From a Reality-Based Blog

This blog is well regarded by the big names, so I thought I'd pass along his thoughts on Sen. John Cornyn from, yes, our own great state.

"Does Senator Cornyn want more people to go about murdering judges? One doubts it. But it seems that he's happy to try and use such incidents to advance his own agenda. Happy to use them, one notes, even though the recent high-profile cases don't seem to actually have a political agenda. His hope -- along, it seems, though less clearly -- with Tom DeLay's is that judges will begin to operate under a cloud of intimidation.

They may not like the idea of buckling under to whatever it is Cornyn wants them to do, but Cornyn is making it clear that he's the judges' friends. He doesn't want to see them killed, or maimed, or assaulted. He's trying to save them. Trying to warn them. Warning them that unless they change their ways someone -- someone who has nothing to do with John Cornyn or the Texas cabal running the country, mind you -- just might decide to do something crazy. But here's Cornyn offering a safe harbor.

Confirm all of Bush's nominees, no matter how incompetent, corrupt, or inept they are, no matter how unsound their view of the constitution. And for the others, try to conform your views to those of Bush's new appointees. Do it and you'll be safe. If you don't do it, well, then, certainly John Cornyn wouldn't advocate killing you, he's just pointing out that it will happen."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

They're "courting" disaster for our country!

Here's a scathing op-ed piece from the Houston Chronicle:

Although Tom DeLay portrays a believable Third World dictator, it is time that he stopped trying to transform the United States into his own ideological fiefdom.

And it is time for him to stop sputtering ill-tempered threats, not only at the judiciary but also at the U.S. Constitution, which he repeatedly has sworn an oath to uphold.

The Terri Schiavo case was a tragedy, and I can't say with absolute certainty that the various judges who refused to further prolong her life made the right decision. But I do know that they knew more about the case and the legal issues involved than I did.

They also were better informed than DeLay, President Bush and the other political leaders in Washington who sanctimoniously tried to butt in at the last minute.

Sunday Talk-Show Circuit

From DailyKos:

ABC's "This Week" - Cardinal Bernard Law, former archbishop of Boston; Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Marco Politi, Vatican reporter for La Repubblica; Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican; former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; Monsignor Brian Ferme, dean, Catholic University School of Canon Law.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Archbishop John P. Foley, president, Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Rev. Thomas Reese, editor, America; George Weigel, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Margaret Steinfels, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture; Judge Laurence Silberman and former Sen. Charles Robb, D-Va., chairmen of the presidential commission on intelligence.

CNN's "Late Edition" - Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

"Fox News Sunday" - Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Red State with Some Blue Blood!

Good for Montana! Maybe other states will follow, which will make the government realize we don't want our rights taken away just so that we can feel more safe. I think we would rather have our freedoms returned to us.
From Common Dreams:

The resolution, which does not carry the weight of a law but expresses the Legislature's opinion, encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights. It requests all libraries in the state to post a sign warning citizens that under the Patriot Act, federal agents may force librarians to turn over a record of books a person has checked out and never inform that citizen of the request.

The resolution asks Montana's attorney general to review any state intelligence information and destroy it if is not tied directly to suspected criminals. It also asks the attorney general to find out how many Montanans have been arrested under the Patriot Act and how many people have been subject to so-called "sneak and peaks," or government searches of a person's property without the person's knowledge.

Thomas Gives Fleischer a Bad Review

Helen Thomas was there every day and she has different memories of the press conferences than does Ari Fleischer, who has just had his memoirs published:

Fleischer defends his role in pumping up the war. It was just a matter of time until Iraq "probably would have weapons of mass destruction and used them against our military forces," Fleischer wrote.
"From my perch at the podium, I took a lot of heat," he said. "I hope I also shed some light."
He did that. He showed us that this administration puts a low premium on credibility when it should mean everything.

Sample living will (tongue in cheek)

Living Will

I,__________________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound
mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerwood
politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a
cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better.

When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children
and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes, and call it a

Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a
special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these
boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the
health, education and future of the millions of Americans who aren't in a
permanent coma.

Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this case . I don't
care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run
for the presidency in 2008, it is my wish that they play politics with
someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace.

I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to
legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these
people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my
behalf. They, too, should mind their own business.

If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a
political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his
or her existence a living hell.



Friday, April 01, 2005

A Big Thumbs Up to Gov. Rod!

I love this story! Way to go, Illinois. Maybe other states will sit up and take notice.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies that sell contraceptives to fill prescriptions for birth control quickly, following recent incidents in which a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill orders for contraceptives because of moral opposition.

"Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to or who he doesn't sell it to," Blagojevich said. "The pharmacy will be expected to accept that prescription and fill it ... No delays. No hassles. No lectures."

Fernando Grillo, head of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, said the emergency rule clarifies an existing requirement.

"This rule is in response, a very affirmative and strong response, that we will not tolerate pharmacies and drug stores in the state of Illinois not meeting their obligation to the women of this state in providing them good health care," Grillo said.

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Speck the Liberal Cat and Mitzi the Dem Dog lounge around the backyard. They like to show their tolerance and acceptance of one another!

Oops...we've been thrown a curve!

Let's face it, we were going to Iraq no matter what the intelligence said! Bush was bound and determined to invade, so invade we did!

The defector, code-named "Curveball," spoke with alarming specificity about Iraq's alleged biological weapons programs and fleet of mobile labs. But postwar investigations showed that he wasn't even in the country at times when he claimed to have taken part in illicit weapons work.

Despite persistent doubts about his credibility, Curveball's claims were included in the Bush administration's case for war without so much as a caveat. And when CIA analysts argued after the war that the agency needed to admit it had been duped, they were forced out of their jobs.

Senator Lautenberg scolds DeLay

This made my day, and I hope it makes yours. Sen. Lautenberg is doing something more Democrats need to do, that is---speak up loudly!

April 1, 2005

Tom DeLay
Majority Leader
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Majority Leader DeLay,

I was stunned to read the threatening comments you made yesterday against Federal judges and our nation’s courts of law in general. In reference to certain Federal judges, you stated: “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”

As you are surely aware, the family of Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Illinois was recently murdered in their home. And at the state level, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and others in his courtroom were gunned down in Georgia.

Our nation’s judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That’s why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?

You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B). That law states:

“Whoever threatens to assault…. or murder, a United States judge… with intent to retaliate against such… judge…. on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished [by up to six years in prison]”

Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress. In my view, the true measure of democracy is how it dispenses justice. Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well.

Federal judges, as well as state and local judges in our nation, are honorable public servants who make difficult decisions every day. You owe them – and all Americans – an apology for your reckless statements.


Frank R. Lautenberg